Spelunking the alt-right

Recently, on a mailing list I frequent, one of the regulars uttered the following sentence: “I’m told Breitbart is the preferred news source for the ‘alt-right’ (KKK and neo-nazis)”.

That was a pretty glaring error, there.

I was interviewed on Breitbart Tech once. I visit the site occasionally. I am not affiliated with the alt-right, but I’ve been researching the recent claims about it. So I can supply some observations from the ground.

First, while I’m not entirely sure of everything the alt-right is (it’s a rather amorphous phenomenon) it is not the KKK and neo-Nazis. The most that can truthfully be said is that ‘alt-right’ serves as a recent flag of convenience to which some old-fashioned white supremacists are busily trying to attach themselves.

Also, the alt-right is not Donald Trump and his Trumpkins, either. He’s an equally old-fashioned populist continuous with Willam Jennings Bryan and Huey Long. If you tossed a bunch of alt-right memes at him, I doubt he’d even understand them, let alone agree.

The defining characteristic of the alt-right is, really, corrosive snarkiness. To the extent an origin can be identified, it was as a series of message-board pranks on 4chan. There’s no actual ideological core to it – it’s a kind of oppositional attitude-copping without a program, mordantly nasty but unserious.

There’s also some weird occultism attached – the half-serious cult of KEK, aka Pepe, who may or may not be an ancient Egyptian frog-god who speaks to his followers via numerological coincidences. (Donald Trump really wouldn’t get that part.)

Some elements of the alt-right are in fact racist (and misogynist, and homophobic, and other bad words) a la KKK/Nazi, but that’s not a defining characteristic and it’s anyway difficult to tell the genuine haters from those for whom posing as haters is a form of what 4chan types call “griefing”. That’s social disruption for the hell of it.

It is worth noting that another part of what is going on here is a visceral rejection of politically-correct leftism, one which deliberately inverts its premises. The griefers pose as racists and misogynists because they think it’s the most oppositional stance they can take to bullies and rage-mobbers who position themselves as anti-racists and feminists.

My sense is that the true haters are a tiny minority compared to the griefers and anti-PC rejectionists, but the griefers are entertained by others’ confusion on this score and don’t intend to clear it up.

Whether the alt-right even exists in any meaningful sense is questionable. To my anthropologist’s eye it has the aspect of a hoax (or a linked collection of hoaxes) being worked by 4chan griefers and handful of more visible provocateurs – Milo Yiannopolous, Mike Cernovich, Vox Day – who have noticed how readily the mainstream media buys inflated right-wing-conspiracy narratives and are working this one for the lulz. There’s no actual mass movement behind their posturing, unless you think a thousand or so basement-dwelling otaku are a mass movement.

I know Milo Yannopolous slightly – he is who interviewed me for Beitbart – and we have enough merry-prankster tendency in common that I think I get how his mind works. I’m certain that he, at any rate, is privately laughing his ass off at everyone who is going “alt-right BOOGA BOOGA!”

And there are a lot of such people. What these provocateurs are exploiting is media hysteria – the alt-right looms largest in the minds of self-panickers who project their fears on it. And of course in the minds of Hillary Clinton’s hangers-on, who would rather attribute her loss to a shadowy evil conspiracy than to a weak candidate and a plain-old bungled campaign.

I’m worried, however, that that the alt-right may not remain a loose-knit collection of hoaxes – that the self-panickers are actually creating what they fear.

For there is a deep vein of anti-establishment anger out there (see Donald Trump, election of). The alt-right (to the limited and conditional extent it now exists) could capture that anger, and its provocateurs are doing their best to make you think it already has, but they’re scamming you – they’re fucking with your head. The entire on-line ‘alt-right’ probably musters fewer people than the Trumpster’s last victory rally.

It’s a kind of dark-side Discordian hack in progress, and I’m concerned that it might succeed. Vox Day is trying to ideologize the alt-right, actually assemble something coherent from the hoaxes. He might succeed, or someone else might. Draw some comfort that it won’t be the Neo-Nazis or KKK – they’re real fanatics of the sort the alt-right defines itself by mocking. Mein Kampf and ironic nihilism don’t mix well.

The best way to beat the “alt-right” is not to overestimate it, not to feed it with your fear. If you keep doing that, the vast majority of the rootless and disaffected who have never heard of it might decide there’s a strong horse there and sign on.

Oh, and a coda about Breitbart: anyone who thinks Breitbart is far right needs to get out of their mainstream-media bubble more. Compared to sites like WorldNetDaily or FreeRepublic or TakiMag or even American Thinker, Breitbart is pretty mild stuff.

All those fake-news allegations against Breitbart are pretty rich coming from a media establishment that gave us Rathergate, “Hands up don’t shoot!”, and the “Jackie” false-rape story and was quite recently exchanging coordination emails with the Clinton campaign. Breitbart isn’t any more propagandistic than CBS or Rolling Stone, it’s just differently propagandistic.

225 thoughts on “Spelunking the alt-right

  1. Oh, I think the alt-right does exist in a meaningful sense, beyond the players you have mentioned. It’s not a huge movement, true, but it’s a lot of conservatives and libertarians (or their ex- or semi- versions) unhappy with both the left and the conservative/Republican establishment.

    I’m a little surprised that you seem “concerned it might succeed.” You think it would be a bad thing if (e.g.) the US put a stop to illegal immigration and Muslim immigration? Because chances are, those immigrants (and their descendants) are not going to be voting to increase your liberty.

    • >I’m a little surprised that you seem “concerned it might succeed.”

      You can’t build anything useful and non-toxic out of corrosive snark and nihilism. That is a separate observation from any judgments about immigration control, which I think is only incidentally an alt-right issue in the same way every other specific policy idea is incidental.

    • >“We’re the platform for the alt-right,” Bannon told me proudly

      If that’s true, and considering the actual content of Breitbart, it actually lowers the threat level of the alt-right in general.

  2. I think there’s a lot more to the alt-right than “corrosive snark and nihilism.” Nationalism, which is central to the alt-right, is in distinct opposition to the mass immigration supported by the left (“More votes and diversity!”) and (to a great degree) the establishment right (“Cheap labor!).

    It certainly looks to me like opposition to mass (and Muslim) immigration is not incidental, but defining: it’s common to all factions of the alt-right (and much of the right) everywhere around the world.

    Sure, there are plenty of trolls and griefers, and the total number of readers of Steve Sailer, Mencius Moldbug, Nick Land, etc. may not be huge, but I think it’s enough to be a small (for now) but potent political force.

    • >Sure, there are plenty of trolls and griefers, and the total number of readers of Steve Sailer, Mencius Moldbug, Nick Land,

      Eh? You identify the alt-right with the Dark Enlightenment crowd?

      Having studied both, I think that’s a mistake. The cognitive styles are different.

  3. This was a nasty piece of work: http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/05/18/little-benji-throws-twitter-tantrum/

    As was this: http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/03/breitbart-mocking-ben-shapiro-220712

    As for Vox, I stopped reading him when he outright lied for Trump.

    Whether they’re “alt-right” or merely assholes, I wouldn’t touch Breitbart.com with a 10-ft pole. They’ve ruined a once-good site, and they’ve murdered Andrew Breitbart again. He hated collaboration with the media, and they’re now just Trump’s propaganda wing. Sad!

  4. > Eh? You identify the alt-right with the Dark Enlightenment crowd?

    Sure. It’s a rough grouping, sure, but with plenty of ideological overlap. They are no more different than many groups that are grouped on the left. At any leftist demonstration these days you’ll find progressives, Trotskyites, Maoists, BLM, SJWs, etc. They all consider themselves leftists, but their cognitive styles aren’t identical.

  5. Interesting post; thanks for returning to politics. Now, let me help you make it perfect:

    1. “…it was as as a series…” <—One "as" too many

    2. "…a hoax (or a linked collection of hoxes)" <—You meant "hoaxes”

    3. “…we have enough merry-prankster tendency is common…” <—You meant "in common”

    4. “…the Trumpster’s last victory rally.” <—Shouldn't that be «Trumpsters'»?

    • >4. “…the Trumpster’s last victory rally.” <—Shouldn't that be «Trumpsters'»? No. A native speaker would understand it to be a possessive form of the singular "Trumpster", used here as mildly belittling by-name for Donald Trump.

  6. With appropriate cautions about history not really repeating itself, the alt-right (in its broadest sense) seems like the New Left did in the early-to-mid ’60s: an ideological splinter heralding a political realignment. The New Left got many of the things they wanted: improved civil rights for blacks and women and gays, and a takeover of the Democratic Party. But they pushed too hard, and got Nixon and Reagan and now Trump and the alt-right.

    One defining aspect of the alt-right is a strong, forthright anti-leftism. It’s not standard religious social conservatism (e.g. Moral Majority), and not just a seemingly enervated conservative resistance (e.g. National Review): wanting to tap the brakes on change. It’s a direct assault on leftist premises regarding feminism, identity politics, and multiculturalism.

    (Of course, part of it is not anti identity politics, because it’s repurposing the language of identity politics which the left has been promoting for decades, but is now stunned and frightened to see it adopted by white people.)

    This is worth a read, though not specifically about the alt-right. It’s by a leftist noting the intellectual incoherence among his Team.

  7. Griefing is not social disruption for the hell of it.

    People who are deliberately think skinned and who make a massive fuss about trivial things, just to attract attention to themselves, need to learn that other people can leverage their idiocy and trigger them on command for fun and profit.

    Milo makes money from being controversial.

    At the same time Milo refuses to be coopted by socialists who expect him to be obedient for no other reason than because they feel they own the gay voting block (try checking a history book and see how socialism really treats homosexuals). Milo openly encourages other fringe groups to abandon the hollow promises of political power that the social planners dangle like a carrot.

  8. > A native speaker would understand it to be a possessive form of the singular “Trumpster”, used here as mildly belittling by-name for Donald Trump.

    Amusingly enough, based solely on that apostrophe’s placement, “Trumpster” could be a reference either to Trump or to his supporters (mildly belittling in either case).

    Regarding the substance, I agree that the alt-right are being blown out of proportion by media reactions to them, largely because they comprise many expert trolls who have made it their raison d’être to harrass reporters on Twitter. That said, they aren’t nothing either, or completely without sincere positions. Their nationalist/populist bent is real, and those same tendencies will be the catalysts for enormous political energy over the next few years and decades; the potential exists for the alt-right (and related or constituent outer-right factions) to gain enormously in numbers and power in the near future.

    Whether this will be a good thing, only God yet knows. But indeed we live in interesting times.

  9. I see two “alt-rights” – the 4chan et al version you described, and then the anti-GOP “elite” (anti-GOPe) version. The set of the latter might include the set of the former, but not vice versa. Or maybe the other way around?

    Anyway, I think of the the latter (anti-GOPe) as the “shift-alt-right”, and I believe that Bannon, being naive and unaware of the 4chan shenaniganizers, considered himself and Breitbart to members of this set. Milo is a member of both.

  10. As noted previously regarding Milo Yiannopolous, he makes his living by taking controversial positions on social media and traditional news platforms. Similarly, Vox Day makes no secret of using alt-right associations as a means of promoting further development of his alternative platforms to Twitter and Wikipedia (“Gab” and “Infogalactic” respectively), along with his on-hold-for-now alternative to Facebook.

    It seems clear that these two specifically regard the alt-right as an opportunity to advance their own personal strategies. Both seem to have at least some degree of affinity with various “alt-right positions” (to the extent those can be said to have been determined), but both are undeniably opportunists preying on the alt-right for their own purposes.

    Which, if you hold your head at the right angle, would appear to be at least a little consistent with the general attitude of shit posting and snarkery displayed by self-identified alt-righters generally. I don’t know how, or even if, it’s serious, but it’s damn sure entertaining.

  11. There was a EU wide poll discussed on German TV (sorry, cannot find the reference). But the outcome should not be a surprise. The main driving force of the things called “the rise of populism” is fear. It can be described as a fear for “globalism”. The main group of people harboring the fear are people with low education. The other phenomenons that are generally attached to the rise of populism, e.g., racism, antisemitism, and nationalism, can be seen as a consequence of fear.

    The fear (and anger) was seen to come from the feeling of being neglected by the institutions (often called, the elites) and being left out in the cold in a fast changing world.

    The neo-con consensus of the last 2 decades was indeed that everyone should fight for themselves, with the lower SE strata being worst hit. Hence the call for reconstructing the nation state with all its (imagined) protections for the weak. All populists, from Trump to LePen and Orban promise that the state will protect the blue collar workers and the pensioners. That is exactly Opposite to what the conventional right wing party promise. They all use Apartheid as their political model as blue-collar workers are always afraid to be displaced by people on even lower steps on the SE scale, mainly immigrants.

    What I see is that all kinds of “conventional” fascist and racist groups try to rally these wandering herds of fearful people to their flag. As Eric writes, the “alt-right” is one such flag, Islamophobia is the Eurasian one, strongly pushed by Putin in Russia and Modi in India with China very interested to join.

    This all reminds me way too much of the rise in nationalism in 1910 in response to the unprecedented globalization at the end of the 19th century.

    If you want a more sophisticated model of why we might be in WWIII in 2020, look here:

    WAR/ning 2020
    Social integration and expansion in anarchistic systems
    How connectivity and our urge to survive determine and shape the war dynamics and development of the System.
    https://global4cast.org/

  12. I did some internet-archeology myself on the subject, and here are my findings:

    Term “Alt-right” was coined by Richard Spencer back in 2010, and his views are very representative of what it was all about since then.
    If I had to summarize it i’d say alt-right is white ethno-nationalism plus left wing partisan tactics.

    It got slightly more radicalized over time, but I’m not sure how much of it thanks to people being more compfortable with expressing their already radical opinions openly, and how much of it thanks to actual shift in values due to “no friends to the left, no enemies to the right” policy.

    (Significant group of alt-righters claim to be ex-libertarians, but they sound a lot like fundamental Chistians claiming they were atheists in their teen age but it was just a phase, so I have my doubts about that. On the other hand Libertarian party doesn’t look very libertarian to me either)

    A lot of new people (4chan, Milo, Breitbart and Cernovich included) adopted the term for themselves during the election without really looking into it, resulting in somewhat of a Eternal September -like problem for the movement. This is where Alt-right’s appearance as a loose-knit group of internet-saavy jesters comes from.

    Who will control alt-right identity in the future, new blood or old core, remains to be seen, but my moneys are on old guys, since a few weak roman salutes were enough for new people to start dropping the label.

    • >A lot of new people (4chan, Milo, Breitbart and Cernovich included) adopted the term for themselves during the election

      I don’t think this can be right. I’m pretty sure I saw what you’d call “new blood” use at least two years ago, notably by Milo, so it’s not a phenomenon coincident with Trump and the election craziness.

      That in turn causes me to think you’ve been taken in by Richard Spencer or his partisans. I’ve dealt with Milo and he’s a lot more careful and thoughtful about what he does than you’ll realize if all you notice is the dangerous-faggot flamboyance. I can’t see him either knowingly adopting a neo-Nazi label or being careless enough to pick one up without tracing its backtrail.

  13. It’s really interesting watching people trying to figure out how to define the alt-right.

    Especially since there is no such thing as the alt-left, mostly because there’s no left-wing theory that’s weird, loopy, or downright insane enough to not be adopted wholeheartedly by the left wing of the political spectrum.

  14. So the alt-right is for now only a label used to screw with the control-left, but if the left freaks out hard enough, they could bring it into existence? And since they seem to have never met a mistake they couldn’t double down on… ox head hurt.

  15. “All those fake-news allegations against Breitbart are pretty rich coming from a media establishment that gave us Rathergate and the “Jackie” false-rape story and was quite recently exchanging coordination emails with the Clinton campaign.”

    I expect there’s not much new to you in the following, but for peanut gallery and posterity, I’d like to emphasize the richness by commenting that this establishment also gave us, among other things:
    …the Rotherham coverup and denial of Muslim sex slave rings, and the fake “Hands up don’t shoot”, and the edited Zimmerman call, and various wild hypotheses one after the other about how Russia rigged the election, or maybe didn’t rig it but wanted us to think they’d rigged it so we’d lose faith in the democratic process or something, and accusing Pence of proposing to electroshock the gay away (which he might secretly want, but the only thing I actually found when I looked for evidence was the bland “resources should be available to those who want to change their sexuality” which the Left would probably repeat in the right context), and a good bit of the fake-news meme itself with PropOrNot, and “there is no way Donald Trump can win the primary” leading into “there is no way Donald Trump can win the election”, the last for which I think the marvelous high point was the Huffington Post’s hyper-precise, thoroughly GIGO statistical model whose 99.9% middle of distribution did not include the actual outcome, instead it predicted that Clinton winning with 360+ electoral votes was more probable than Trump winning at all. This the day before the election. Behold the professional press!

    • … accusing Pence of proposing to electroshock the gay away (which he might secretly want, but the only thing I actually found when I looked for evidence was the bland “resources should be available to those who want to change their sexuality” …)

      It’s even less interesting than that: Just about every time Pence has used legislative language about “assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior” this has explicitly been defined as discouraging promiscuity, encouraging condom use, etc., etc.

      Per it’s wont, Politifact still rates the “sent AIDS funds to conversion therapy” claim as “half pravda” (http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2016/dec/02/gavin-newsom/pences-support-conversion-therapy-not-settled-matt/). This is an improvement over their previous “full pravda” rating, I guess.

  16. A fragmeted, ill-defined organization that’s big enough can be harmfull to your health (;-))

    In Canada we used to have four parties, and the ones on the ends were pretty fragmented.

    On the right we had the Reform party, that once descibed itself as one-third libertarian, one-third objectivist and one-third conservatibe religious. That was more that fragmented, it was downright incoherent. Nevertheless it covered a wide range of ppeople, and spun up a seies of stong leaders, starting with Stockwell Day, who grew the party and and purged some of the really scary folks, and ending with Stephen Harper, who did a reverse takover of the Conservarive party and in the next election became our Prime Minister.

    Just because a group is incoherent doesn’t mean that a populist like Mr Trump or Mr Day can’t pull it together into a powerful voting block, and a powerfull leader can’t use that block to take over the Republican or Conservative parties.

    I would not welcome a day when the Republican part has to describe itself as one-third tea party, on-third alt-right and one third traditional conservatives.

  17. So how do you separate the merry pranksters from the actual racists*? I’ve been doing some research into Sam Hyde and the Million Dollar Extreme: World Peace controversy and ran into a block trying to decipher it. Nihilism is a good term but it seemed to have an underlying seriousness. The description in Sam Hyde’s YouTube video of his standup also seemed to indicate he’s a true believer in white victimhood.

    *I’m including people who use the victimhood language to argue for white identity under this label

  18. The White Nationalists say that they are the Alt-Right, and they are, properly speaking, all of the Alt-Right. I’m pretty sure that, say, 5 years ago, Alt-Right was indeed a euphemism for White Nationalist.

    Now, the WNs are not the same as white supremacist Neo-Nazis, but even so, they are close enough that 5 years ago, everyone with the slightest desire for respectability would’ve run in terror from their labels instead of attempting to co-opt them. And I think that is a sea change.

    I think we’re seeing the progressives so discredit themselves that, finally, after the 99 years since the 1917 revolutions, we are at the end of No Enemies to the Left.

    Steve Sailer pointedly said that Trump’s campaign was actually Alt-Center. The progressives’ Overton Window has shifted so far, so fast, that holding 2007 era moderate beliefs will now get you called a “literal fascist”.

    As for the snark, St. Boniface, the Christian missionary to the Franks, chopped down Thor’s sacred oak tree and dared the god to zap him. No lightning forthcoming, the old gods were discredited.

    Also, in Haidt’s Victim Culture, instead of dealing with slights by one or another of one’s own virtues, one makes efforts to identify oneself as a fragile and aggrieved victim, that everyone else must then be obliged to aid. The mocking, the Smug Pepes, reject this obligation and invert it to an expression of callousness.

    The downside of this approach, I think, is that you can’t fight something with nothing. You can’t live on a diet of “A progressive said this stupid thing today, let’s mock it” alone. And that, unfortunately, leads us back to the White Nationalists. Everyone wants to belong to and participate with something larger than themselves. We’ve lost religion. Communism has discredited fixing the entire world. Those progressives have been telling you that every non-white ethnic group is good and whites are terrible, why not invert that too? Never mind that white people are not a nation, never have been a nation, and that nationalism sucks (though maybe it might suck less than what the progressives will deliver).

  19. One of the realities to note is that, in general, being ‘on the right’, simply means you are not left. Now, you don’t actually get to say whether you are right or left; no, the left decides. The national socialists, we are told, are right- even though to my mind we ought to lump all the socialists together.

    Alt-right has been used merely to differentiate from the previous Republican order, which had a solid track record of betraying anyone who voted for it. Richard Spencer happened to have a website- either of the name or close to it- and he sort of claims the brand, but I think it tracks pretty well, and is as unorganized with the original ‘right’.

    The meme wars represent a realization that we are never going to win (and that we most definitely includes libertarians) via logically constructed arguments. There’s a vast number of people who only operate emotionally. Things like KEK, or gleefully shoveling carloads of racist content at people who call you racist- may not seem useful, but then you don’t speak the left’s emotionalese either.

  20. ESR: “Eh? You identify the alt-right with the Dark Enlightenment crowd?”

    Why don’t you ask JAD?

    ESR: “I don’t think this can be right.”

    Then I suggest you step out of the “merry prankster” bubble. The Left is not scared of Milos and frog-gods, they are scared of voxday’s ideology becoming the govt’s. I’m sure the person who wrote this can appreciate that.

    ESR:”The best way to beat the “alt-right” is not to overestimate it, not to feed it with your fear. If you keep doing that, the vast majority of the rootless and disaffected who have never heard of it might decide there’s a strong horse there and sign on.”

    This is a good point, bolstered by this interview with the pizza gate gunman.

  21. @Winter “There was a EU wide poll discussed on German TV (sorry, cannot find the reference). But the outcome should not be a surprise. The main driving force of the things called “the rise of populism” is fear. It can be described as a fear for “globalism”. The main group of people harboring the fear are people with low education.”

    So … lefty organization examines its opponents and finds that they are poorly educated and driven by fear. Film at 11.

    Did they remember to add “clinging to their guns and religion”? Or does that pejorative not work as well in Europe?

  22. Agree with most of it, except that Breitbart is “far right”. Fox News & the WSJ are to the right of center, Breitbart is to right of that, and then there’s stuff that’s even more to the right. When you’re to the right of every liberal publication and the top 2 right wing media outlets, you’re pretty far right. Only if you stretch the overton window so far that it is going to snap can you try and pretend Breitbart is close to center. Or you ignore what is to the left. The far left is not the New York Times or Vox, it goes equally distant in that direction.

    • > When you’re to the right of every liberal publication and the top 2 right wing media outlets, you’re pretty far right.

      Unless you pay attention to where outfits like the Pew Foundation locate the psephological center of the American voting public, which I do. In that case, Fox News sits just a tiny smidge to right of center and the MSM is waaaaaay out left, probably further left than Breitbart is right.

  23. In the 1970s there was a reaction to the corruption and manipulation of popular music that came to become known as “Punk”. About the same time synthesizers and electronic instruments because easier to use and more affordable.

    Then can the “Compact Disc”. The compact disk was interesting because it was actually *cheaper* to produce in volume than a vinyl record, the 1,000,000th “pressing” sounded identical to the first[1] and (most importantly for our discussion) were *slightly* cheaper to produce (memory says 1 dollar cheaper per unit), but sold at twice the cost. This meant that there was a HUGE margin on CDs.

    Oh, and MTV. Let’s not forget those bastards.But they were more part of the feedback loop than the cause.

    Stay with me, this is relevant.

    In the 1970s and early 1980s there was a HUGE explosion of bands exploring a new musical space. The Ramones and Siouxsie and the Banshees, X, The Clash, The Specials, FISHBONE, New Model Army, Subhumans (Both Canadian and British), Flock Of Seagulls, Sisters Of Mercy, The Police[1], Einstürzende Neubauten, and all the others. BOOM. (A similar thing was happening in the community that became “Hip Hop”, and I *think* in Country Music, but I wasn’t there so I don’t know details).

    Completely changed the “status quo” in the music industry.

    See, prior to the CD there was a HUGE investment in producing a record, and a relatively low margin on the other side. So making an album was risky. CDs were cheaper to produce and had a higher margin. MUCH less risk, and much more upside for “new” music.

    Thus we went from “Classical, Jazz, R&B, Rock, Country, Western” to a million varieties.

    If you were into these sorts of bands you went and looked in the “Alternative” bin at your local record store. Then you went to look at Rock and Heavy Metal because sometimes Agent Orange would get dumped there when the clerk didn’t know where else they went and just looked at the picture on the cover.

    So to we found ourselves in the culture wars of the 2000s. Where on one side we had the VileProgs who wanted to tell us how to live our lives, and we had the (largely media driven) notion of the “Conservatives” who also wanted to tell us how to live our lives[3].

    Much like music had CDs in the late 1970s to allow massive experimentation, we had the internet (well, starting in the 1990s).

    The problem was that out side of the Media (aka “Progressive activists with by-lines”) things were very different. I’m a *life long* Conservative and Libertarian. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go to a bath house with a bag of poppers and a gallon bucket of lube, but if that’s your idea of a fun friday night, have at it. Just don’t expect me to pay for your hospital bills when you wind up with with a list of STDs as long as Rodney King’s rap sheet, and a really bad Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors habit.

    See, both sides (The Left and the Right) had their notions of How We Should Live, and both sides had been infected with the notion that Government Could Make It happen.

    By the time GW Bush ran as a “Compassionate Conservative” (aka a “Christian Progressive”) there were a lot of us who were sick of the Bill Buckley/National Review/Wall Street conservatism.

    And it while it claimed to stand for things like Limited Government and Constitutionalism, it’s proponents were more interested in getting their mug on Firing Line and getting invited to D.C. parties.

    This Conservatism wasn’t standing athwart history yelling STOP, it was more of a sea anchor trying to slow the ship and head it in the right direction. Oh, and carving off big checks for media consultants and assorted scum along the way.

    But in the 1990s a new conservatism was starting. At first it was fueled by Talk Radio–sort of the New York Dolls/Johnny Thunder of what would be the Alt-Right[5]–all of the sudden people who thought they were alone heard other voices that–if they were’t saying exactly what they believed, were a lot closer than Walter Cranky and Barbra Wawa. And they were holding the Old Conservatism’s feet to the fire.

    People like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Reynolds were part of the group that forced Congress to get rid of earmarks (and now some >spit< Republican bastards want to bring it back. Anyone got some pine pitch handy?).

    This was the Alt-Right that Breitbart was talking about. This is the Conservatism of pundits like PJ O'Rourke–the sort that maybe don't recognize names like Russell Kirk (wasn't he a movie star?) or even know what "Standing Athwart History Yelling Stop" is even about, but they get that the D.C. Dick Heads *do not* have their best interests at hear. Yeah, they've got their hands on their guns and their religion because D.C. is trying hard to marginalize both.

    Breitbart *DID* think he was part of the Alt-Right. But Breitbart is more like "Sham 69" to Vox Day's "Type O Negative"[4]. Both fit under the label "Alternative", but they are as different from each other as they are from the mainstream.

    The internet allowed the voices of the Alt-Right to flourish and find each other (the Left has always had more *obvious* splinters and factions than the right. e.g. "Democratic Decentralized Socialism")

    What The Progressive Activists With Bylines are now doing is slandering me, and every other non-bucklyite conservative by insinuating that we're doing it because of race. That if we look at FBI statistics on violent crime and actually *run the numbers* we're racists. That if we look at psychometrics and say "what's up with that" we're racists. If we don't want 40 year old men in the toilet with our 9 year daughter, then we're whatever. If we think that people are entitled to hold whatever stupid belief they want *even if it is intolerant and hateful* we're assholes or whatever.

    Fine. I'm an asshole.

    The "Alt-Right" is much more than just the poo flinging monkeys on 4-chan. Or at least it used to be.

    Then again, Breitbart sold out to Trump, much like U2 because more "approachable" after War or Under a Blood Red Sky, so, to quote the philosopher Cyndi Lauper, "Money, Money changes everything".

    [1] Vinyl records were pressed from a mold (basically). They wore out over time, so the sharpest or "best" sound was from earlier pressings. This is why promotional copies are valued)
    [2] Many of these bands made the crossover to "Mainstream". Some retained what made them special, some didn't.
    [3] In different ways. The Left doesn't want us eating Red Meat or having children because Gaia, and God Is Dead. The Right doesn't want us shooting Heroin and aborting fetuses because God Said So, and WTF is this Gaia nonsense?
    [4] Yes, deliberate, I know the age old question and don't care about the answer.
    [5] Yes, I just compared Rush Limbaugh to a bunch of cross dressing rock and rollers.

  24. > > Sure, there are plenty of trolls and griefers, and the total number of readers of Steve Sailer, Mencius Moldbug, Nick Land,

    > Eh? You identify the alt-right with the Dark Enlightenment crowd?

    Euler Diagram–DE crowd is, to the extent that a member if it is “right” is part of the “alt right.

    Roughly:
    [Alt-right (D-E ] )

  25. It’s been my opinion that the alt-right basically started gaining traction as a thing as the progressive Social Justice Warriors began seeking to expand their influence into new areas, such as science fiction (see: the circumstances leading up to Sad/Rabid Puppies), video games (see: Gamergate), open-source software development (see: this post by Our Host), and even heavy-metal music (see: this description of “Metalgate”). Clearly, they’d like to see their brand of political correctness spread everywhere.

    “Always leave your opponent a line of retreat–unless you want a fight to the death.” The SJWs don’t want to leave any lines of retreat. Consequently, it seems inevitable that a group of people, drawing from some of the same groups reacting to the above developments, would decide to band together and proclaim, “If it’s war they want, then war they shall have!

  26. @Michael
    “So … lefty organization examines its opponents and finds that they are poorly educated and driven by fear.”

    Reality is a bitch. Better to shoot the messenger and ignore it. If you only have accusations and conspiracies and no numbers, I go with the numbers.

    @Michael
    “Did they remember to add “clinging to their guns and religion”? Or does that pejorative not work as well in Europe?”

    This is Europe. Neither argument even registers as a blip on the horizon.

  27. What William O. B’Livion and Erbo said.

    Political labels are always arguable, especially the most sweeping ones, but I think it’s fair to use “alt-right” to cover the recent anti-SJW movements, the paleocons, the “race realists,” the neo-reactionaries, and the nationalist/populist movements opposed to mass immigration and Islam.

    Unfortunately, by nature it will also attract and include outright, old-school racists and anti-Semites. Of course the left will focus on that, and use it to tar the entire alt-right. And of course they never judge their own side by its worst elements: we’re not supposed to notice that nearly every “peace” demonstration is organized by Communists, that BLM includes black nationalists, that “immigrant rights” groups include La Raza revanchists and Islamic supremacists, that feminism includes misandrists, etc.

  28. I am always amused when leftists claim their opposition is “driven by fear.” That’s rich coming from the team that constantly invokes the boogiemen of the nearly-nonexistent KKK and the Nazis, claim that every racial and gender minority is in constant danger of being lynched, that women on college campuses are raped at Red Army in Berlin rates, that the planet is doomed, that every Republican president is Hitler, and on and on.

    (Fun fact: Truman attacked Dewey in 1948 by comparing him with Nazis.)

  29. @PapayaSF
    “I am always amused when leftists claim their opposition is “driven by fear.””

    But if you ask them, the majority says they fear globalization. Which is NOT the same as saying they are driven by fear. Which no one said in this study anyway. Just that the supporters of “populist” parties fear globalization much more than supporters of other parties.

    Also, it was found that supporters of these parties do more often think there are too many immigrants in the country, but that difference is smaller. No surprise.

  30. @PapayaSF Most people don’t want conflict. I’m sure the SF fans that made up the Puppies would rather have just done their thing, “in the gutter where [science fiction] belongs.” Similarly, the gamers, the open-source hackers, and the metalheads would prefer to just do their thing, and not have to care about all the Social Justice malarkey. But the SJWs want everybody to be forced to care, by any means necessary.

    The old-school racists, neo-Nazis and their ilk, were around for a long time, and never really gained much traction. But, if you’re an average SF fan, gamer, hacker, or metalhead, and you’ve got SJWs screaming at you that you’re the “real racist” for just doing what you’ve been doing for years, you may start to wonder, “What’s the point? No matter what I do, I’m going to get called a racist. Maybe these other guys really are racists, but they’re not the ones pissing in my soup.” (Hence Point #12 of Vox Day’s “Sixteen Points” of the alt-right: “The Alt-Right doesn’t care what you think of it.”) And there’s a big overlap there with a lot of Trump supporters, as this article makes clear.

  31. Erbo: I totally agree.

    Kevin S: I agree that Breitbart is “right” as opposed to center, but “far right”? I’d say no more so more so than Salon and The Nation are “far left.”

    esr: I do find it funny when people try to claim that the “center” is the New York Times or NBC News.

  32. @esr
    ” In that case, Fox News sits just a tiny smidge to right of center and the MSM is waaaaaay out left, probably further left than Breitbart is right.”

    I think it is rather simple. Roughly equal numbers of people voted for Clinton and Trump (48% vs 46% is too small a difference to matter here). If we assume this is a left versus right phenomenon the “center” will therefore be between them.

    So, news outlets that support either candidate exclusively must be either definitely to the left or right of the center. As far as I know, Fox News has not ever published something positive about Clinton. That means I can only conclude that Fox News is completely to the right of the center.
    I understand that Breitbart is not considered a relevant news outlet by quite a number of Republican voters that watch Fox News and feel somewhat close to Clinton in that they might have considered voting for her. That means Breitbart is fairly conclusively to the right of Fox News.

  33. It feels to me like the alt-right is fairly strongly analogous to the hippies of the 60s in de facto tactics. They’re absurdist provocateurs, but underlying it is a real sense of disenfranchisement with the establishment and a hatred for a consensus that they think has screwed them. They understand the opposition at a gut level because they grew up immersed in it, and they want to take all the tools that their opposition has built up and turn them on their opponents – partially because it’s a set of tools that has proven effective, and partially because it’s hilarious. At root, they’re a bunch of 3edgy5me kids, even the ones who are older than that, but if they get traction then a lot of people on the same side will think “Well, at least they’re better than the old establishment”, start identifying with them, and build it into a real movement. It won’t have a lot of staying power, because the underlying ideology is incoherent(it’s mostly mindless oppositionalism, not an actual theory of how the world should run), but it can really make a mess while it lasts.

  34. @winter –

    > Roughly equal numbers of people voted for Clinton and Trump (48% vs 46% is too small a difference to matter here). If we assume this is a left versus right phenomenon the “center” will therefore be between them.

    Wrong. Try looking at a more stable measure of political spread, like DW-Nominate. And the vote here was divided by much more complex criteria than simply “left” and “right”.

    As has been pointed out many times, the edges of USA politics do not correspond very well to the edges of European politics.

  35. I think the reading on alt-right being simply and wholly defined as anti-left is wrong. The ideological part of the alt-right is in fact explicitly not reactionary in that sense but rather puts forth it’s own philosophy and world view, having observed that the conservative movement “failed to conserve anything” in Vox Day’s words.

    See this post on Vox’s take on alt-right philosophy: http://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/what-alt-right-is.html

  36. The alt-right is being trumpeted by the left to try and tar the literally Millions of Trump voters as racist, sexist, homophobic bigots and to get them to sit down and shut up. That’s all its about, because our real motives for choosing Trump terrify them to their core.

    “Dammit”, the left says, “we almost had complete control!!” And they’re mad as hell they didn’t get it! They could see that a Hillary Presidency would represent lacing up the boots and getting ready to stomp on a human face forever.

    I know from personal friendships and family members that voting AGAINST Hillary Clinton was an almost Existential prerogative (btw, only close friends discussed even a chance of voting for Trump, it was crystal clear that sharing that information with anyone not completely trusted was a very dangerous risk). She was prepared, willing and would have been able to absolutely gut First and Second amendment rights. She was openly going to only take feedback and guidance from leftist costal elites. The rubes in “flyover country” were going to get theirs and finally realize that they were on the wrong side of history and bowing to their elitist costal masters was how things were going to be done from now on. (BTW, anyone who un-ironically uses the term flyover country to my face will be punched in the nose).

    There are some really really pissed off people out here because we’re being ruled by an elitist government that doesn’t only not care what we think, they want us gone.

    How many “non-right (i.e. only left) thinking” people needed to have their careers and lives utterly destroyed by these rabid fascist leftists for the backlash to happen? Well, I think the answer has been given, enough is enough!

    A LOT of conservative (or hell just not leftist pinko) voters went in to the PRIVATE ballot booth where their vote was completely secret, and told the leftist bastard SJW’s to go to hell.

    BTW, filling in the circle for Trump was the very last thing that I did when I voted. I wanted someone different from the Republicans, but its where my vote had to go. Hillary (and the leftist elites) had to be stopped.

    I am not alt-right, I don’t really much care for the alt-right, but I hate their reflection, the SJW left, with the heat of 1000 suns.

  37. esr:

    …a possessive form of the singular “Trumpster”, used here as [a] mildly belittling by-name for Donald Trump.

    My bad. I’d searched the Web for the term and one of the first results claimed it refers to Trump’s supporters.

    By the way, you didn’t correct the “as as”. It’s in the second sentence of the paragraph that begins with “The defining characteristic of the alt-right…”. Just sayin’. :-)

    William O. B’Livion:

    The Left doesn’t want us eating Red Meat … because Gaia, and God Is Dead.

    There are medical arguments against red meat, I think. Besides, the production of meat – red or otherwise – entails much suffering.

    Mind you, I’m not attacking you or being self-righteous; I do eat, and generally like, meat (though I’ve tried to quit it). I’m just saying there are legitimate reasons to oppose the systematic enslavement and killing of animals, regardless of the overlap between the sets of veg(etari)ans, authoritarian leftists, and New Age believers.

    My ambivalence concerning this matter can be summed up in an eloquent remark Paul Graham once made in passing: “…for me at least, eating a steak requires a conscious effort not to think where it came from”.

    Oh, and a relevant short piece: Confessions of a Vegan Libertarian | LewRockwell.com

  38. Jason: On a libertarian board, one commenter explained why he voted for Trump, in words along these lines: “Because voting for Gary Johnson wouldn’t raise my middle finger high enough for Sacramento and Washington DC to see it.”

  39. The Left doesn’t want us eating Red Meat or having children because Gaia, and God Is Dead.

    I have yet to see a grounded refutation of the China Study.

  40. Starting in the ’60s, some on the left adopted the “street theater” variety of agitprop, and the left has used this ever since. I remember attending a few anti-war rallies (I was a Vietnam vet, and just went because it was interesting). Agitprop was a big part of that, and was used by SDS and other vermin.

    The right had no equivalent – we were just arguing and talking, but not disrupting. Meanwhile, the left also took over a lot of the culture – Hollywood, mass media and academia. The right just stood by.

    Andrew Breitbart understood that that we needed to act more aggressively and on broader fronts – especially in taking back the culture. His approach was relatively gentle compared to today, but he definitely got into street theater. He was the early publicist and financier of Project Veritas, for example. His eponymous web site was a hub for his new style of political warfare.

    Sadly, he died unexpectedly in 2012. The movement he founded, however, continues. Breitbart.com is a successful conservative web site. And, growing out of it, I think, has been the more confrontational movement that is the non-Spencer alt-right.

    They have gone beyond Breitbart’s vision, and I don’t know what he would think. I suspect the recent very rapid ratcheting up of political correctness has driven more people to this movement, and that plus modern technology has led to their “crazier” tactics.

    While you cannot build something with just snark and nihilism, you may be able to help deconstruct the toxic constructs of the left.

    There is no doubt that this movement has, not surprisingly, attracted misfits and trolls of all types, including racists of the sort that inhabit takimag.com – at least its comment sections, along with general misfits. I agree, however, that alt-right is not a synonym for racism, and is a complex mix of operators like Milo, grass roots activists, trolls, crazies and a few racists. A better leftist adjective would be “reactionary,” except unlike the leftist interpretation, “reactionary” is necessary today.

  41. I think a particularly funny (& kind of sad) dynamic is how exaggerated the power/influence the white nationalist/neoNazi segment of the alt-Right is.

    The motivations kind of make sense: the KKK/neoNazi elements want to attach themselves to what might be the spearhead of a political realignment. And the (Left) media wants to tarnish their opposition. And to the degree that SJWs have left no line of retreat, I’d imagine it can be quite entertaining to pretend to be super-evil if you’re going to be called racist no matter what you do.

    But the big white nationalist conference in D.C. that had the media all atwitter had a total attendance in the low hundreds.

    For comparison, BronyCon last year had on the order of 7,000.

    I mean, really? The great threat to freedom and decency in America can’t even muster an order of magnitude lower attendance than guys who are willing to admit that they like watching a cartoon about ponies and how friendship is magic?

  42. Once upon a time, our ancient ancestors struggled to survive in a world of routine hardship and existential threat. These daily battles were largely tangible, physical episodes and we evolved both mind and body fitness which moved us to the top of the biological pyramid. Today, we live in a world where the lack of real hardship has created an epidemic of hypersensitivity to the trivial and the inane. We battle with words and memes, but are starved for the primordial gauntlet that tested our robustness. Eric trains regularly in martial arts, and that is the model that we are missing. Mental exercise alone is a dead-end, and skirmishes like the alt-right uprising are merely a symptom of individual restlessness and craving for corporeal challenge.

  43. TomA: An excellent point. There is a “corporeal challenge” aspect to the alt-right, I think largely spurred by Islamic terror and immigration. And, of course, to the effete vegan snowflake left, that’s “racism” and “xenophobia” and just like the rise of Hitler!!1!, but they are the descendants of the crowd that, 50 years ago, thought that John Wayne was the avatar of American fascism. Oh no, it’s the Patriarchy!

  44. Eh? You identify the alt-right with the Dark Enlightenment crowd? Having studied both, I think that’s a mistake…

    I won’t claim a deep knowledge, but John Derbyshire, whose work I do enjoy following, identifies as alt-right (having acknowledged that the term won out over his preferred “Dissident Right”), and his thinking falls within the DE (at least on human biodiversity). This self-identified alt-right journalist claims a significant number of anonymous online alt-righters are simply afraid for their careers, and not just trolling behind a handle for the fun of it…Maybe the fellows you examined were part of something larger?

  45. Fake news has been around for generations (Remember the Maine!), but what’s new is that it’s not all pro-government like it used to be. One of the great changes brought about by the rise of the internet and the decline of the legacy media is that anyone can be just as loud as anyone else. Individuals can practice yellow journalism now, and more importantly, liars in the legacy media can be exposed.

  46. I think you’re leaning on out of touch, here. The alt right is the 4 network engineers I share a cubicle with in a small CLEC data center that all voted Trump, enjoy pol memes, and leaned libertarian until someone finally addressed the demographic issue that will make liberty impossible to achieve in a democratic society if unaddressed.

    Michigan didn’t flip because Trump has dwindling support. He is the only politician in the last 30 years to even vaguely address issues affecting the white poor and white middle class. We seem to be the only ones comprehending the danger from the SJW left, mass islamic immigration, and an establishment that got caught rigging a primary and exposed as actually owning the MSM.

    When the libertarians care to address any of those issues instead of worrying about appearing safe to a liberal perspective, or when they don’t have a VP candidate that supports fucking gun control, maybe they’ll appeal to guys like us again.

  47. @John D Bell
    “And the vote here was divided by much more complex criteria than simply “left” and “right”.”

    Yes, but that is NOT the approach taken here to damn everyone who voted for Clinton as a deluded Stalinist. So, IF, and only IF, we put voters and news media on a left-right scale, I do not see a better division.

    @John D. Bell
    “As has been pointed out many times, the edges of USA politics do not correspond very well to the edges of European politics.”

    Indeed, your USA left wing extremist Stalinist are middle of the road centrist politicians in Europe. But I was evaluating US news media relative the US voters and politics.

    @PapayaSF
    “Winter: Fox News was often critical of Trump.”

    Because they thought Trump was to lefty? If you have nothing good to say about the candidate from the “left wing” and some criticism for the candidate of the “right wing”, then it seems to me that you are simply tot he right of the candidate of the “right wing”. I am entirely willing to concede that Fox News is more right wing than Trump.

  48. @PapayaSF
    “And, of course, to the effete vegan snowflake left, that’s “racism” and “xenophobia” and just like the rise of Hitler!!1!, ”

    Any link between vegetarianism and politics is local and idiosyncratic. Hitler was a vegan.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler_and_vegetarianism

    and he also loved animals. Over here in Europe, the parties equivalent to Trump are all deep into animal rights. Among others, they use it to harass Muslims and Jews over religious rules regarding slaughter.

  49. Rick wrote “Michigan didn’t flip because Trump has dwindling support. He is the only politician in the last 30 years to even vaguely address issues affecting the white poor and white middle class.”

    From outside the US, I find it had to distinguish Mr. Trump from previous Republican cantidates for president. He says (and is) an outsider, is for the middle class and opportunity to thrive, and is against the government. The only thing that stands out from a distance is the intensity of his language.

    What does it look like from up close?

  50. From outside the US, I find it had to distinguish Mr. Trump from previous Republican candidates for president….What does it look like from up close?

    Three differences that leap out: #1, Trump is far more restrictionist on immigration (this is the issue that really brought him to the fore; neither of the major parties had been restrictionist before, though there were restrictionists in them); #2, he’s far more protectionist on trade (both parties were more-or-less for free trade before, though you could find protectionists in them); #3, he’s outspokenly opposed to the 2003 Iraq war (good or bad, this is a clean break with the last Republican administration and one of its least popular issues).

  51. Not to go back off topic, but I couldn’t leave this unaddressed… Jeff Read, you want a grounded refutation of the China Study? You haven’t bothered to look. Here you go: https://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

    It would not be unreasonable to conclude that T. Colin Campbell’s work is outright fraud.

  52. J. C. Salomon:

    That’s a category error.

    How so? They’re brought into the world just to be killed, and in between their lives are extremely sordid (at least in the case of factory farming). I don’t mean to trivialize human slavery; I simply feel that the sentience of beasts makes them worthy of some degree of moral consideration. At the very least, we could refrain from causing them unnecessary suffering – especially in the case of relatively-harmless herbivores.

    See also A bloodmouth carnist theory of animal rights.

    No, thanks. I already read that when it came out, and even posted a couple of comments. I strongly disagree with Eric’s stance, though I didn’t dare say so at the time (I was new here). Nor did I dare point out that the T-shirt is in bad taste.

    Instead, let me point you at Scott Alexander’s “Vegetarianism for Meat-Eaters”.

    Jeff Read:

    I have yet to see a grounded refutation of the China Study.

    Thanks. That study is a prominent example of the medical arguments I was referring to.

    Winter:

    Hitler was a vegan.

    I think you meant “vegetarian”; claiming he was a vegan contradicts the very page you linked to, which mentions he ate eggs and cottage cheese. But it also includes accounts of his eating certain kinds of meat; if that’s true, he wasn’t even a vegetarian.

    Not that his diet is relevant to the issue of animal rights, any more than his love of dogs makes dogs – or those of us who love them – evil. But that’s not what you were saying anyway; you were rightly objecting to the conflation of leftism and concern for animals. I just wanted to set the record straight. ;-)

    That said, they did call themselves “National Socialists“. A more compelling contrast is to be found in Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau (they experimented with vegetarianism), since they were hardly enemies of liberty.

  53. Jorge: Thoreau is one I’d stay away from. He may not himself have been an enemy of liberty, but his insipid primitivist nonsense has fuelled millions of such enemies over the last couple centuries.

  54. Remember how shocking it was at the time, that Reagan didn’t just want to try to contain Soviet-backed International Communism, or delay its inevitable victory, or come to some accomodation with it, but actually wanted to oppose, push back and destroy it?

    Yes, it was truly revolutionary. It felt great. It was correct.

    Well, what Reagan was for the Soviets, the alt-right is to the accumulated soul-deadening strangling encrustations of a century of Progressives being in the driver’s seat at home. Don’t just contain it, delay its inevitable victory, or come to some accommodation with it. Destroy it.

    Yes, it’s truly revolutionary. It feels great.

    It’s still early days, people are just coming out into the open and getting their feet under them. It’s a big job, and people have different ideas of where to start, how to do it, what to prioritize, so it’s a little chaotic. But we seem to be experiencing a preference cascade – lots of formerly cowed people showing what they *really* think.

    If it seems nihilistic, it’s because there really is a lot that they very sincerely want to destroy. Having a boot on your neck does that.

  55. I hope the alt-right shapes up as positive and coherent (early days) because the alt-right led culture war is the last viable alternative that I can see to a hot civil war.

    And that would be almost unimaginably bad.

  56. There’s been a lot of talk in different forms about leftism here. No need to bring up the dark side of Progressicism, or Gramscian damage, etc.

    There’s also been a lit of talk about how traditional Conservatives, for decades, have been correct about the dangers of the left and total failures in opposing it.

    Recent years and recent events have driven a lot of different people to decide that leftism as we currently enjoy it delenda est. Lots of different folks are getting there, each in their own way. Once they make that decision, they are, by definition/process of elimination, outside any traditional right, and so alt-right.

    In concrete terms there’s no one program, because there are so many groups independently arriving at the station, as it were.

    Well that’s just how I see it.

  57. @Greg
    “Recent years and recent events have driven a lot of different people to decide that leftism as we currently enjoy it delenda est. Lots of different folks are getting there, each in their own way. ”

    With half the USA voters voting for Left-Wing candidates, I find that a stretch.

    And if you listen to those “new” voters of Trump, they all want more government. More government in protecting jobs, more government in building infrastructure. A lot of “Keep Your Goddamn Government Hands Off My Medicare!” here.

    We saw the same in the Brexit vote. The most popular slogan was more money for the NHS (National Health Service) and kicking out all foreigners. The same all over Europe, the message is always government protecting income and health care against the “free market”.

    No, the message of all these elections was not the Conservative message of Less Government, More Market, but More Government, Less Market. They vote for the Right Wing candidates because they also want an ethnic cleansing of their countries. Those pesky lefty do-gooders do not want mass deportations of colored people. Hence they vote for the likes of Trump and LePen who do promise mass deportations.

  58. Yes Winter, you have discovered that this is a divided country. Voting yourself a living, and even status and power to boot, from the public purse is a huge draw so the Democrats have many entrenched constituencies. It’s a problem.

    Many of us even suspected that the parasites outnumbered the hosts, as it were, we had passed a tipping point and it was a race to point where *everyone* was a millionaire or on welfare.

    But you really have no idea on details of our domestic politics. Many of those new Trump voters you talk about, they want *jobs*. You, your media sources, and even to an extent Trump himself (he is largely a NYC liberal, after all) seem inclined to think that must mean governments works programs.

    To some extent that is even true. There is a certain amount of infrastructure spending we’re going to need to do, but it’s more deferred maintenance. The Obama program was actually to steer money away from such jobs, presumably because it provided a healthy living to too many burly men.

    But what you seem to be completely ignorant of is the loathing for the regulatory agencies. There are entire agencies staffed with bureaucrats, who (former) workers have come to see as having no mission than destroying the livelihoods of ordinary people. Like, say, coal miners. Or anyone involved in ranching, or in fact anyone engaged in agriculture of any kind in California. They want the EPA dead, BLM (that’s Bureau of Land Management) burned to the ground, even the Army Corps of Engineers needs a proper beating (it’s been actively engaged in gratuitous overreach in expanding its powers at the expense of anyone who owns land, during the past few years).

    But as usual, lack of knowledge doesn’t stop you from insisting I believe you over my own eyes.

  59. I’m a little surprised that you seem “concerned it might succeed.” You think it would be a bad thing if (e.g.) the US put a stop to illegal immigration and Muslim immigration? Because chances are, those immigrants (and their descendants) are not going to be voting to increase your liberty.

    Yesterday — in the D.C. suburbs, of all places — I saw a car with both Ron Paul and Donald Trump bumper stickers. Someone else may’ve been having the same thoughts.

  60. @Greg
    ” Many of those new Trump voters you talk about, they want *jobs*. You, your media sources, and even to an extent Trump himself (he is largely a NYC liberal, after all) seem inclined to think that must mean governments works programs.”

    In the US, the Democratic states are net payers of federal taxes. The Republican states are net receivers of federal subsedies. As the states with the biggest net tax surpluss also have the strongest Democratic support, it seems to be a case of “putting your money where your mouth is”.

    Actually, Trumps voters seem to call for closing the borders for foreign products as well as immigrants. They are opposed to free trade and a free labor market. I have not heard them complain about government subsidies for coal and steel. On the contrary.

    In short, Trump’s voterd want more government, not less. It seems you do not have listened to their demands. Trump echoed them, but it is doubtful whether he will actually do something about it.

  61. This last election was a real oddball for parties. The Democratic nomination was a crypto-Republican beating a Socialist, and the Republican nomination was a Democrat beating 16 Republicans. Sanders and Trump weren’t even members of their respective parties until recently, and Trump’s policy was opposed to Republicans on virtually every topic. (Seriously, can you name anything that Trump and Reagan would agree on? The best I could come up with was a sarcastic comment about them both wanting to destroy the governments of Eastern Europe.)

    Trump was a Republican in tone, but not even close to one in substance. The fact that he’s surrounded by actual Republicans and seems to have no discernible ideology may be the only thing that makes his administration wind up being to the right of Clinton’s on any topic but feminism.

  62. Alsadius: Repealing Obamacare, cutting federal regulations, cutting taxes, protecting and expanding Second Amendment rights, enforcing immigration law, and at least pausing Muslim immigration. That’s all pretty Republican “in substance.”

  63. And all of it contradicted by stuff he was saying a few years ago. I don’t believe for a second that he means more than half of it, tops.

  64. @Alsadius
    “I don’t believe for a second that he means more than half of it, tops.”

    I think that throwing up coins to decide what he believes is the best we can do. However, I have a strong suspicion that Trump has no personal believes or opinions. He will say and do whatever suits him at the moment.

  65. Another seismic shift is the end of the 40-year racial detente in America:

    “The rules of the deal were pretty straightforward. For whites, they stated that outright racist statements and explicit appeals to white racial identity were essentially banned. Along with this, whites accepted a double standard about the appropriateness of cultural and political tribalism. For obvious and reasonable historical and economic reasons, black and brown people explicitly pursuing their own interests was viewed differently than whites doing the same thing.

    “The other side of the deal was that so long as white people were sufficiently punished for acts of outright racism, minority leaders and communities would be cautious with accusations of racism. The key here was that once leveled and proved, the accusation of racism was a blow most whites could not come back from. From Jimmy the Greek to Michael Richardson, being labeled a racist was a black mark that did not wash off easily.”

    The detente ended when just being white (either in actual skin tone or culturally) was treated as being beyond the pale (pun intended):

    “That shift, from carefully directed accusations of racism for direct actions to more general charges of unconscious racism, took away the carrot for whites. Worse, it led to a defensiveness and feeling of victimization that make today’s whites in many ways much more tribal than they were 30 years ago. White people are constantly told to examine their whiteness, not to think of themselves as racially neutral. That they did, but the result was not introspection that led to reconciliation, it was a decision that white people have just as much right to think of themselves as a special interest group as anyone else.”

    For he record, this is NOT A GOOD THING. Far better to incorporate the “black and brown” (and yellow and purple) people into the “white” category, as have Jews and Irish and other formerly distinct ethnicities.

    In other words, I understand the alt-right, but wish we didn’t live in a society where it is becoming more and more attractive to whites.

    Reference: http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/14/election-marks-end-americas-racial-detente/

  66. Parallel, the reason that it’s becoming more attractive to whites is precisely because we are being hated for simply being white. The Left’s been pushing the politics of identity for a long time now. They should not wonder that white men have come to the conclusion that the only way not to get shit all over on is to own our identity, just like everyone else.

    Alsadius, I shared your skepticism of Trump’s governing philosophy…but there are very, very few appointees so far who have given me other than cause to celebrate, as a conservative.

  67. It’s Michael Richards, not Richardson.

    Boy, I really hope somebody at The Federalist got fired for that blunder.

  68. @Jay “white men have come to the conclusion that the only way not to get shit all over on is to own our identity, just like everyone else.”

    I’m very encouraged about Trump’s inclusionary rhetoric. I’ve heard him repeatedly express his intent to make life better for all Americans, explicitly including Blacks and Hispanics. For Blacks the message was (essentially) “vote for me; you’ve been voting for Democrats for decades and your life sucks. What have you got to lose?” Even his rhetoric about building a wall is inclusive of Hispanics who have followed the rules and immigrated legally.

  69. Jorge Dujan on 2016-12-08 at 19:39:22 said:
    > William O. B’Livion:
    > > The Left doesn’t want us eating Red Meat … because Gaia, and God Is Dead.

    > There are medical arguments against red meat, I think.

    Yes. And there are just as many arguments FOR it, but thanks for proving my point.

    > Besides, the production of meat – red or otherwise – entails much suffering.

    And Heroin addiction and Abortion *do not*?

    Note that I’m pretty libertarian on heroin use, and mostly libertarian on abortion, but I don’t think *either* of those things are even neutral, much less *good*. Philosophically I opposed the state regulating those things because philosophically I oppose the state getting involved in the day to day lives if it’s citizens.

    > I’m just saying there are legitimate reasons to oppose the systematic enslavement and
    > killing of animals,

    The point that you so carefully dodged, is that BOTH sides want to modify our behavior “for our own good” based on their beliefs.

    Oh, and Balderdash.

  70. Jeff Read on 2016-12-08 at 21:46:13 said:
    > > The Left doesn’t want us eating Red Meat or having children because Gaia, and God Is Dead.

    > I have yet to see a grounded refutation of the China Study.

    And another one misses the point.

    But ask and you shall receive:
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-china-study-revisited/
    And his original:
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/385/

    Please feel free to forward me studies that show heroin is better for your health than red meat, that abortions don’t actually hurt anyone, and that the circle can be squared.

  71. David Collier-Brown on 2016-12-09 at 09:20:00 said:
    > From outside the US, I find it had to distinguish Mr. Trump from previous
    > Republican cantidates for president. He says (and is) an outsider, is for the
    > middle class and opportunity to thrive, and is against the government. The only
    > thing that stands out from a distance is the intensity of his language.

    To be utterly crass, the further down the line you go, the more flavorful you have to be. A Sous Chef in a high end restaraunt can work with subtle flavors.

    A food cart pours on the onions and peppers.

    Trump flavored his speech to his customers. Mitt flavored his speech to his financial backers.

    Mitt cared about what the NY Times wrote about him. Trump just wanted to make sure the NY Time spelled his name right.

  72. BTW, here’s hoping that somehow General Mattis runs for office in the next presidential election.

    I’d *LOVE* to put a sign in my front yard that said MAD DOG 2020.

  73. Did you hear that Mattis has a bearskin rug in his living room?

    The bear’s still alive, he’s just afraid to move.

  74. William O. B’Livion:

    Yes. And there are just as many arguments FOR [red meat]…

    Just in case, it might be a good idea to have it only a couple of times a week.

    And Heroin addiction and Abortion *do not* [entail much suffering]?

    They do. I’m disgusted by both drug use and abortion, though I do fear that banning them may be counterproductive.

    The point that you so carefully dodged, is that BOTH sides want to modify our behavior “for our own good” based on their beliefs.

    I did not “dodge” anything. You made that statement elsewhere in your post; I responded to a passage where you claimed that leftists engage in the anti-meat struggle for Gaia’s good.

    And I did not “prove [your] point”, either; I’m not one of those who advocate regulations for people’s own good. I’m saying that there may be good reasons for avoiding red meat, not that you should be forced to avoid it.

    That said, I certainly would like to see a substantial drop in the demand for meat (red and otherwise), since that might alleviate the overcrowding in factory farms. But I don’t want to change people’s behavior through legislation; I prefer civil-society campaigns that address the consumers directly, preferably without harassment or guilt-tripping. In my opinion, this short piece is spot-on.

    PapayaSF:

    Did you hear that Mattis has a bearskin rug in his living room?
    The bear’s still alive, he’s just afraid to move.

    Chuck Norris once ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

    esr:
    Thanks for correcting the typo that remained. The opening post is perfect now. ^_^

  75. “In the US, the Democratic states are net payers of federal taxes. The Republican states are net receivers of federal subsedies. As the states with the biggest net tax surpluss also have the strongest Democratic support, it seems to be a case of “putting your money where your mouth is”.

    I’m shocked, shocked to see you pushing this discredited trope. /s

    Setting aside the flawed metrics used to arrive at that specious and oft-repeated conclusion, when you break down by county and urban areas, those red/blue affiliations quickly flip back to precisely what any thinking/observant person would expect.

  76. “I’ve heard him repeatedly express his intent to make life better for all Americans, explicitly including Blacks and Hispanics.”

    The first one of these clowns to stand up and say “The President lacks the power to make your life better, and as yours, I will do nothing within my power to try.”

  77. Alsadius-‘The last election was a real oddball for parties.’

    I keep seeing this in media. I don’t see it. The apathy vote is always the big one- around fifty percent every election. You win when your side is less apathetic. Trump got the macho white guys excited. Hillary had the sisterhood of the travelling pantsuits on her side, but she also needed the unorganized left, the folks Trotsky shot down like partridges. They felt the Bern, and when he lost they were voting only because they trusted the primary election process. Then Wikileaks said Hillary stole the primary from Bernie Sanders. Unorganized lefties trust Wikileaks. Why should they vote for a thief?

    An R-party guy who used to be D party, who supports Planned Parenthood and ran against US soldiers fighting Russia over their Syrese navy base, who wraps himself in the gay rainbow flag, who ran a 90s Dick Gephardt campaign- the real Left has seen worse. Except on immigration, and it is possible to be on the left and not approve of lower wages in America.

  78. You know, on some level (my own internal “alt-right” simulatior, perhaps), I find the left’s obliviousness darkly hillarious.

    Before the election, I didn’t have any clue how the country would vote. But I did know that all the predictions being made by the media-people and the left were worthless, and didn’t signify anything. Why? Because, at this point, the left has to lie to itself about who the conservatives are and what motivates them. They have to maintain that lie in their minds. Hyping the alt-right is part and parcel of this.

    They have to believe we are ill-educated subhuman scum. They have to believe that we are motivated by hatred and racism.

    Another part and parcel of this is the left insisting that the economic ruin in most of the country is due to “robots”. It’s so ironic you need a chainsaw to cut it: Word manipulating Eloi from the coasts who probably wouldn’t know how to make the blinky light program work on an Arduino lecturing the industrial midwest on automation! On why we are “obsolete” and “have no place in the future”.

    They can’t realize what we are and what we really care about. They can’t bring themselves to understand why. If they did, they would understand that the evil oppressive aristocratic villains that they fight against in their imaginations are staring at them in the mirror.

  79. Good points, ams. Note that Jonathan Haidt’s research has shown that (on average) conservatives have a better sense of how liberals think, compared to the other way around. In my personal experience, this is true. A much higher percentage of leftists think in clichéd, extreme terms about political opponents.

  80. Due to recent findings by the CIA, we may have to account for another factor in the rise and composition of the alt-right: Russian agents of influence.

    Oh, the delicious, delicious irony…

  81. @ams
    “Another part and parcel of this is the left insisting that the economic ruin in most of the country is due to “robots”.”

    I read a lot of what you call “left” publications, but they all told me the “economic ruin in most of the [USA]” was due to bad education/skills and associated low productivity and neglected infrastructure. That is, the rust belt’s decline was due to not adapting its work force and infrastructure to the new economic realities.

    If we look at the countries that really do well competitively in the world then it is the likes of Scandinavia and North West Europe, particularly, Germany, where they invested heavily in good (vocational) education.

  82. @gmmay
    “Setting aside the flawed metrics used to arrive at that specious and oft-repeated conclusion, when you break down by county and urban areas, those red/blue affiliations quickly flip back to precisely what any thinking/observant person would expect.”

    Nonsense. The numbers are simply what they are. Those states that are reddest politically, are the ones most dependent on federal subsidies. Those states that are bluest are the ones that pay for it. Which means that Democratic states put their money where their mouth is, and the reddest Republican states are hypocrites, biting the hand that feeds them, but only AFTER having eaten the food.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/which-states-are-givers-and-which-are-takers/361668/

    And all those rural communities also rely on subsidies from the hated state:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-11/farmers-get-biggest-u-s-subsidy-check-in-decade-as-prices-drop

    https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

  83. I’ve only read a quarter of the comments so sorry if it’s been already brought up but I think one missing aspect here is that many leftists have no idea where Trump’s mainstream support comes from. Combine that with the fact that today’s echo-chamber-focused social media makes it impossible to gauge the size of anything (see how Hillary supporters did not take seriously the possibility that Trump could win until halfway through election night) and the result is people are seeing the extremism of places like Reddit’s r/The_Donald and 4chan’s /pol/ and correlating it to the size of a movement that could elect Trump and the conclusion it leads to is terrifying.

  84. @gmmay “Setting aside the flawed metrics used to arrive at that specious and oft-repeated conclusion, when you break down by county and urban areas, those red/blue affiliations quickly flip back to precisely what any thinking/observant person would expect.”

    If the correlations were really what you think they are, shouldn’t they hold equally well at both levels? i.e. “blue” states are blue when measured as states because they have, proportionally, more urban areas with more democratic voters, and therefore according to you should likewise pay less taxes and receive more subsidies? How do you square that circle?

  85. “How do you square that circle?”

    No squaring required. You’re failing to account for the fact that a higher proportion of wealthy taxpayers and businesses reside in blue states than red ones. And they pay the vast majority of taxes.

    Further, break it down to voter registration and it’s not even close.

    Then take forget Medicare and Social Security (which gets stupidly lumped in with this stupid argument) where the recipients have a reasonable expectation of a return on their mandatory “investment”.

    Be a little more honest and look at food stamps, housing assistance, and Medicaid.

    Again, not even close.

  86. “””Then take forget Medicare and Social Security (which gets stupidly lumped in with this stupid argument) where the recipients have a reasonable expectation of a return on their mandatory “investment”.”””

    Nope. The argument is about whether what is being paid in matches what is being paid out. It’d be more reasonable to limit it to only programs that are supposedly an ‘investment’ than to exclude them.

  87. “The numbers are simply what they are. Those states that are reddest politically, are the ones most dependent on federal subsidies.”

    Speaking of nonsense. States aren’t people. Since you appreciate numbers, but can’t interpret them, break down the numbers on who (read: residents of states) receives the most in federal subsidies. The numbers are out there.

    And no, Social Security and Medicare shouldn’t count since most of the recipients contributed to those programs. Oh, and the fact that their contributions were forced.

    Your third link might make sense in this context if reality meant that only red states had the farms. It would also be useful for you to ask (though I know you won’t) why farmers need subsidies to begin with. Or why their product might be a wee bit critical to another large federal subsidy scheme (which gets back to the previous “why”).

  88. “Nope. The argument is about whether what is being paid in matches what is being paid out. It’d be more reasonable to limit it to only programs that are supposedly an ‘investment’ than to exclude them.”

    Nope. The argument is about that only if you’re a dishonest twit.

  89. @Random832
    “Nope. The argument is about whether what is being paid in matches what is being paid out.”

    Indeed, and after that, it is about the difference between words and actions.

    Democrat lead states put their money where their mouth is. They pay for their convictions. Quite a number of the reddest Republican lead states are hypocrites who talk the talk pretty loud, but do not walk the walk.

  90. @gmmay
    “Nope. The argument is about that only if you’re a dishonest twit.”

    That was my argument. So if it is not yours, what are we talking about?

  91. “That was my argument. So if it is not yours, what are we talking about?”

    Quite obviously my argument is that you are a dishonest twit then. As I have already pointed out the flaws in your argument (you’re treating states as people and the federal government has created the structural problems which have led to these spending patterns), what precisely are you having trouble with?

  92. @gmmay
    “you’re treating states as people”

    No, I treat the politicians that rule a state as people who air moral opinions that do not square with their actions.

    @gmmay
    “the federal government has created the structural problems which have led to these spending patterns”

    The problems you alude to should then also be felt by Democratic lead states. But in reality, these problems have their roots in history, sometimes back into the 19th century. Blaming the federal state for local failures of policy is a popular diversion tactic. It is still a pretty weak tactic. Other states thrived while paying the federal state, instead of failing while receiving money.

  93. > And no, Social Security and Medicare shouldn’t count since most of the recipients contributed to those programs.

    The *whole point* is that there are, necessarily, people who are net contributors (who receive less than they paid in) and net recipients (who receive more than they paid in).

    > Oh, and the fact that their contributions were forced.

    Your libertarian position on the legitimacy of taxation in general is completely irrelevant to this question in particular.

  94. @gmmay “The first one of these clowns to stand up and say ‘The President lacks the power to make your life better, and as yours, I will do nothing within my power to try.’”

    Even under a strict constitutional interpretation perspective, POTUS can:

    1. Undo executive orders and purely executive regulations that raise the cost of doing business in the United States. This would make the economics less attractive for businesses to move jobs overseas, benefiting the American working and middle class of every ethnicity.

    2. Step up enforcement of Federal laws against employing illegal aliens. They are driving down the cost of labor, as they compete for jobs with native born and legal immigrant workers.

    3. Approve domestic energy exploration and infrastructure permits. Again, more opportunities for domestic jobs.

    That’s just off the top of my head. With a cooperative Congress even more is possible.

  95. @gmmay
    If you want to look at the economic contributions of voters of Clinton and Trump, often presented here as socialist parasites versus conservative hard working folka, here are the numbers.

    “According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country’s economic activity last year.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/22/donald-trump-lost-most-of-the-american-economy-in-this-election/?utm_term=.aee0572988d9

    As some put it (e.g., Jacques Lévy), without Trump voters, the US would be richer, without Hillary voters, there would be no USA.

  96. If we are going to reduce this to geography, Hillary voters get their water, food, oil, and electricity from Trump voters….

  97. Jorge Dujan on 2016-12-10 at 19:35:05 said:
    > William O. B’Livion:
    >> Yes. And there are just as many arguments FOR [red meat]…
    > Just in case, it might be a good idea to have it only a couple of times a week.
    > > And Heroin addiction and Abortion *do not* [entail much suffering]?
    > They do. I’m disgusted by both drug use and abortion, though I do fear that banning
    > them may be counterproductive.
    > > The point that you so carefully dodged, is that BOTH sides want to modify our behavior “for our own good” based on their beliefs.
    > I did not “dodge” anything. You made that statement elsewhere in your post; I responded
    > to a passage where you claimed that leftists engage in the anti-meat struggle for
    > Gaia’s good.

    You did miss it, and even when it’s pointed out you can’t *HELP* it.

    Both the Progressives and the non-libertarian right[1] have a fundamental desire to regulate the lives of others based on cockamamie bullshit and religion. At least on the right MOST of what they want to stop really is horribly bad for at least one party (well, except prostitution–that’s just a specialized massage and most of the harm can be mitigated, and gay marriage, which is mostly based on a different understanding of the term “marriage”).

    You then went IMMEDIATELY to argue that the progressive position was based on science (it’s not, or at least not on good science) and was good for me.

    You couldn’t help it. It was *REFLEX*. And then when called on it you doubled down.

    > And I did not “prove [your] point”, either; I’m not one of those who advocate regulations
    > for people’s own good. I’m saying that there may be good reasons for avoiding red meat,
    > not that you should be forced to avoid it.

    Did you ever see the movie Boondock Saints?

    Last (real) scene of the movie:

    Connor: How far are we going to take this, Da?
    Il Duce: The question is not how far. The question is do you posess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?

    Most people do not have the courage of their convictions.

    > That said, I certainly would like to see a substantial drop in the demand for meat (red
    > and otherwise), since that might alleviate the overcrowding in factory farms. But I don’t
    > want to change people’s behavior through legislation; I prefer civil-society campaigns

    And who funds those? And what do you do about opposition to those? Do the Factory Farmers get a say?

    Me, I don’t like factory farms. I prefer to buy meat and eggs that are “free range”, but I vote with my dollars (unfortunately my wife also votes with my dollars and doesn’t care as much). But I’m not going to argue with a model that has made food so cheap that poor people get fat when the likely alternative isn’t a return to range feeding but rather making the product MUCH rarer and MUCH more expensive.

    > that address the consumers directly, preferably without harassment or guilt-tripping.

    How the hell are you going to do that?

    You’ve got a sufficient number of charasmatic psychopaths out there who have NO problem telling blatant, provable falsehoods (and I’m not JUST talking about marketing types like Trump who are engaging in hyperbole), and you have enough flat out bad science (like the history of h.pylori and ulcers) that they can claim uncertainty.

    Then you’ve got enough people like me who *just flat don’t care*. A high protein diet lets me do the things I want to now, and if I die three or five years faster, I’m comfortable with that. But I expect to do like my father–get up from my work table, lay down for a nap and never get up. Not like my grandmother, lying in a hospital bed surrounded by strangers who are feeding her and wiping her ass for her as her mind goes.

    The only “civil-society” campaign in this country that has made *any* significant positive change has been to increase seat belt utilization, and that was backed by the force of the state (it is an infraction in most states). Smoking cessation campaign? Mostly useless against people already addicted, but it has stopped *some* younger people from starting. Drunk driving? Some success amongst the occasional drinkers, but not really. Drug Abuse reduction? Maybe of some of the “hard” drugs, but that’s as much fashion and the decriminalization of pot. Then again opiate ODs are at record highs, and Meth and Crack are a problem in the relevant communities.

    Which means you’re either Don Quixote, or you’re reaching for legislation.

    Now, you may desire to do that, and you may hold firm against your principles (as I have against things I find undesirable, and hope to continue), but how hard are you REALLY going to fight against something you believe in.

    Would you *really* be willing to fight to the death to defend my right to eat a cheese burger?

    [1] Well, some of them too.
    [2] No, not a racist, not prejudiced. Race has nothing to do with it, it’s not prejudgement. Bigoted might be applicable if it is required that fundamentally I accept chattel slavery and ownership of people, but that would be a rich allegation coming from those who are worried about the rights of animals.
    [3] This could, depending on implementation, be constitutional under IV, Section 1, but under that having a CCW permit anywhere in the US means it *already would be* valid.

  98. Jeff Read on 2016-12-11 at 03:55:25 said:
    > Due to recent findings by the CIA, we may have to account for another factor in
    > the rise and composition of the alt-right: Russian agents of influence.

    I wish there was a way to give *that* stare via text.

    You’ve said some pretty…partisan things here, but that has to be the most thoughtless repitition ever.

    Hacking is NOT the CIAs purview, if they had done *any* work in this are they are violating their boundaries an are about get their dicks knocked in the dirt by their REAL enemy across the Potomac–the NSA.

    It is especially not their space to investigate what happens inside the national boundaries. They are not a police organization that is the FBIs turf.

    And finally we’re less than a month from the allegations being levied and they already have a PUBLISHED report?

    When has a government investigation EVER moved that fast?

    They’re using laser printer paper, it’s not even worth wiping your butt with. Which doesn’t make it *wrong*, just utterly untrustworthy.

  99. > This last election was a real oddball for parties. The Democratic nomination was a
    > crypto-Republican

    Lots of people were saying this about Hillary, but it’s pure nonsense. Almost every one of her public positions, from Health Care (Hillary Care was 15 years ahead of Obama Care) to Gun Control (Australian Style Gun “by-backs” are essentially banning large swaths of guns. The by-backs were not (legally) optional) to Free Speech (the corporation in question in the Citizens United case was a 501c4 set up to engage in political speech, this is groups as disparate as Trade Unions and the NRA filed briefs on CUs side. The left wants that shut down so they can re-monopolize the press).

    People say that Hillary is pro-business, but that’s baloney. She, like the rest of the left, the authoritarians in the Republican Party, and salesmen everywhere LIKE dealing with large corporations because it’s only a little more work to get Ford on board (or extract a speaking fee from them) as it is to get Mom & Pop, Inc on board, but with Ford you get a lot more done (large sales, larger speaking fee etc.)

    The difference is Republicans just want the baksheesh, and maybe a few more jobs in their district. Hillary, like the rest of her party, want wage and price controls, gender and race quotas, insane minimum wages laws (working at McDonalds and Starbucks will soon be worth $15 an hour here in Colorado. Help desk is currently *about* that. I got a call on a “Hardware Engineer” job (really REALLY inflated title) that was racking hardware, running ethernet and power (which is actually harder in modern data-centers) and doing the initial installs and was under $25 an hour.

    So please tell me how Hillary is a “crypto-Republican”.

    My bet is some variant on: U2FsdGVkX197dyvrbamf2TduYbtOFVxl9HiUpKDpd04=

  100. gmmay on 2016-12-10 at 20:18:25 said:
    > The first one of these clowns to stand up and say “The President lacks the power to
    > make your life better, and as yours, I will do nothing within my power to try.”

    The President has a *HUGE* amount of power (currently) to make people’s lives better, but those kinds of people don’t run for office, much less get elected.

    “As of today I have ordered the IRS to work off the assumption that people are *trying* to do the legal thing on their taxes and to *assist* people in getting things done right rather than set up an adversarial relationship until one is clearly demonstrated.”

    “As of today I have instructed the BATF to stop screwing with small business, and to actively seek to HELP gun dealers clear up paperwork issues and stay in compliance”.

    “As of today I have ordered the EPA to pull it’s head out of it’s ass where the term “Navigable Waterways” and “Wetlands” are concerned, and if they don’t get the message I will PERSONALLY rip them a new one and blackball them from holding a federal job.”

    “As of today we are going to start moving whole departments out of D.C. The first to be moved will be the EPA. They are going to Boseman Montana. I like Boseman, and I’m sorry for them, but we’re all going to have to take one for the team here. The Department of Agriculture will be moving to Amarillo Texas, Stillwater Oklahoma, Salina Kansas, Mitchell South Dakota and Fargo North Dakota. Because they should be close to the people they *serve*.”

    And etc.

    And yes, there is little the president can do to directly impact the economy in a positive way, but there are ALL kinds of ways he can impact it negatively.

    Sicking government agencies on them (Gibson Guitar etc.) is one way. Another way is constantly saddling them with more regulation.

    “Don’t just do something, STAND THERE”.

  101. Random832 :
    > If the correlations were really what you think they are, shouldn’t they hold equally
    > well at both levels? i.e. “blue” states are blue when measured as states because
    > they have, proportionally, more urban areas with more democratic voters, and therefore
    > according to you should likewise pay less taxes and receive more subsidies?
    > How do you square that circle?

    One way it’s been “debunked” is to question the nature of “red state” v.s. “blue state”. See here: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2013/09/the_myth_of_red_state_welfare.html

    A similar attack along those lines is to point out that much of that spending developed over time when those states might have had very different voting patterns.

    Another way is to separate out defense spending–both on the grounds that we have more defense bases on border states, which tend to go “blue” and that defense spending is HUGELY unbalancing in that equation. https://militarybases.com/, and that really that spending, no matter where it is in US is intended to protect the whole country, so a dollar spent on a fighter jet stationed in Alaska to protect against a Russian attack across the arctic is really not to “Alaska”, but to the whole of the US.

    I have not seen the data, but it is also possible to use county and district level data to argue that it’s the red districts/counties that are paying the freight for blue districts/counties. At the district level this is problematic because people might vote in a blue district and live in a red one.

  102. @PapayaSF
    “If we are going to reduce this to geography, Hillary voters get their water, food, oil, and electricity from Trump voters….”

    You put voters supporting Trump/The Right in the same category as third world countries. It find that uncalled for. There is no reason to prop up their feelings of insignificance. But I see that as a propaganda tactic. It is the Democrats that profess a willingness to help the disadvantaged, not the Republicans.

    What I want to point out is that many commenters in this blog say things along the lines of Thatcher’s “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”. The underlying message being that “The Left” are parasites that leech of the money earned by “The Right”.

    But the hard numbers are that it is “The Left” that makes the money and “The Right” that lives of it. And it is “The Left” that lives up to its words and shares their earnings, while “The Right” are hypocrites about it and bite the hand that feeds it.

  103. @William
    “I have not seen the data, but it is also possible to use county and district level data to argue that it’s the red districts/counties that are paying the freight for blue districts/counties.”

    You haven’t seen the data, but you can speculate that you must be right, aren’t you?

    I have seen the data (published above) and they show the Blue counties earn TWICE the amount of the Red counties.
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7258&cpage=1#comment-1786164

    The numbers, from whatever source I look, clearly show that it is the Democratic voting part of the USA that earns the money, and the Republican voting part that spends it.

    But obviously, you can come up with real numbers showing you are right? Up to now, you only have offered fact free speculations.

  104. @Winter “But the hard numbers are that it is ‘The Left’ that makes the money and ‘The Right’ that lives off it. And it is ‘The Left’ that lives up to its words and shares their earnings, while ‘The Right’ are hypocrites about it and bite the hand that feeds it.”

    How arrogant is it for the “The Left” to regulate and obstruct energy infrastructure, mineral extraction, forestry products, and all sorts of manufacturing industries out of existence–and then sneer with contempt at the formerly hard-working people forced to accept government handouts just to survive?

  105. “No, I treat the politicians that rule a state as people who air moral opinions that do not square with their actions.”

    No, your self-righteous and oft-discredited argument hinges on states being people. Because you aren’t posting any useful numbers which indicate which voters are takers or makers. Continuing to break down your stupid argument, you’re also failing to account for red states that elect blue politicians in statewide elections.

    More than two seconds thought should lead you to more intelligent conclusions.

  106. “Random832 on 2016-12-11 at 10:23:50 said:

    The *whole point* is that there are, necessarily, people who are net contributors (who receive less than they paid in) and net recipients (who receive more than they paid in).”

    Yes, and my *whole point* is that that point is so fatally flawed as to be stupid, for reasons you can scroll up to read again until they sink in.

    “Your libertarian position on the legitimacy of taxation in general is completely irrelevant to this question in particular.”

    If I were making a libertarian point about the legitimacy of taxation, you might have a point.

  107. winter on 2016-12-11 at 16:38:12 said:

    The discussion was Red v Blue states, not Hillary v Trump voters. Or have you forgotten which trope you were pushing?

    And if you comfort yourself at night with Levy’s little lies, I won’t stop you.

  108. Parallel on 2016-12-11 at 12:29:12 said:

    Your point is well-taken, and I think the following point by:

    William O. B’Livion on 2016-12-11 at 19:09:50 said:

    In that ‘the POTUS can definitely make it worse and the people who would actually make it better don’t run for office’ more accurately reflects my view.

  109. In the red/blue counties discussion, there’s a systematic bias from not considering the payout per 1000 people.
    If “red” is more rural and “blue” more urban, then all the evidence says is that cities (yeild more tax income && have more people) than country. Without per-capita information, we might have “blue” city residents paying less tax per capita and still providing more tax money than “red” country residents.

    I weakly suspect cities earn more per capita, but the data discussed here can’t prove this either true or false.

  110. “If I were making a libertarian point about the legitimacy of taxation, you might have a point.” – what was the point of saying “Oh, and the fact that their contributions were forced. “, then?

  111. In the red/blue counties discussion, there’s a systematic bias from not considering the payout per 1000 people.
    If “red” is more rural and “blue” more urban, then all the evidence says is that cities (yeild more tax income && have more people) than country.

    I’m not sure how making it per capita changes anything at all, since the conclusion being made is about the sign of the number not its magnitude.

  112. @Parallel
    “How arrogant is it for the “The Left” ….”

    Excuses, excuses. If the going gets tough, the tough get going etc.

    @gmmay
    “Because you aren’t posting any useful numbers which indicate which voters are takers or makers.”

    The politicians were voted in, repeatedly. In the states involved, the majority of voters supports their representatives consistently. Be it in the voting booth or when asked afterward At every level, deeply red entities predominantly are takers, and deeply blue entities are predominantly makers. When looked at at the county level, things are even more extreme.

    If Republicans are makers and Democrats are takers, this should show up in the economic numbers. It never does.

    If Democrats are makers and Republicans are takers, it should show in the numbers. And it invariably DOES show up.

    Show me the numbers if you know this is not true. All you come up with is complaints and Just-So stories.

    @gmmay
    “Continuing to break down your stupid argument, you’re also failing to account for red states that elect blue politicians in statewide elections.”

    Hybrids are always more productive, competition is good. What can I say more?

    @gmmay
    “More than two seconds thought should lead you to more intelligent conclusions.”

    Sorry, but this not a thing to be settled by pure thought. This is an empirical question that requires numbers. Numbers you consistently FAIL to supply. However, there are numbers enough, but you want to dismiss them because they do not suit your ideology.

    @gmmay
    “The discussion was Red v Blue states, not Hillary v Trump voters. Or have you forgotten which trope you were pushing?”

    For this discussion, the overlap is close enough. And the trope was that Republicans and Trumpistas are hypocrites that will condemn the federal state and socialism while living off state welfare. On the other hand, the deeply blue, so called, “socialist” states are putting their money where their mouth is and subsidize the deeply Red states.

    @David
    “If “red” is more rural and “blue” more urban, then all the evidence says is that cities (yeild more tax income && have more people) than country.”

    The total of Trump voters ~ the Total of Hillary voters. Hillary voting counties contribute twice as much to the US GDP than Trump voting counties. Yes, urban people are more productive than rural people AND rural people vote more conservative than urban people. So, what is the connection?

    However you slice and dice this, this still makes Democratic/Clinton voters more productive than Republican/Trump voters.

    And it still makes Republicans fuming out of their mouths about the evil federal state hypocrites when they hold up their hands to take the welfare mainly produced by the Democrat voters.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/22/donald-trump-lost-most-of-the-american-economy-in-this-election/?utm_term=.aee0572988d9

  113. If I have 10,000 sucessful people and 1,000 unsucessful in my city, I will appear to be paying for many *many* counties with 100 sucessful people and 200 unsucessful. The counties will be unfairly labelled as tax sinks, despite my city having as many unsucessful people as five “unsucessful” counties.

  114. @David Collier-Brown
    “If I have 10,000 sucessful people and 1,000 unsucessful in my city, I will appear to be paying for many *many* counties with 100 sucessful people and 200 unsuccessful.”

    Another Just-So story to perpetuate a fantasy. All numbers point in the same direction, and that direction is not what the one you say. Come back with real numbers instead of another mirage.

  115. I think you misunderstand: I’m saying you can’t conclude anything from the insufficient data provided in the “blue pays for red” scenario, and you’re saying the proponents need to get real data. We’re in “violent agreement” (;-))

  116. Winter, if you ever come over to the US, we can meet and you call me a welfare pig to my face. Care to do it, chicken shit?

  117. David Collier-Brown:

    We already have real data. It’s just that they point to a reality opposite to what libertarians and conservatives assume about “leftists”, so the libertarians and conservatives hereabouts introduce epicycles in order to make the data not mean what they clearly say. We see it with climate science, we see it with income inequality…

    Thr numbers say that Democrats put their money where their mouth is and Republicans are fucking hypocrites. Want to dispute that? It’s up to YOU to come up with better numbers. Pounding the interpretation when you can’t pound the facts is the hallmark of the losing side of the argument.

  118. @David
    “I think you misunderstand: I’m saying you can’t conclude anything from the insufficient data provided in the “blue pays for red” scenario, and you’re saying the proponents need to get real data.”

    Insufficient data? That IS a stretch. I get the distinct impression that no data will be good enough to let you admit anything.

    I submitted real data, you pound the table. The data are very clear. There are even TWO independent data sets that give the same result (besides a history of state level tax disparities you can Google yourself). All you do is come up with just-so stories that these data do not show what they show.

    If you think they do not show what they clearly show, then come with DATA and FACTS that show your very unlikely scenarios are true. Until then, I just look at the data and see that some of the reddest politicians and their voters are hypocrites, while the bluest of Democrats put their money where their mouth is.

  119. “In the US, the Democratic states are net payers of federal taxes. The Republican states are net receivers of federal subsedies.”

    “Setting aside the flawed metrics used to arrive at that specious and oft-repeated conclusion, when you break down by county and urban areas, those red/blue affiliations quickly flip back to precisely what any thinking/observant person would expect.”

    HAVE YOU CONTROLLED FOR RACE? Not seeing it in the sources provided.

    This question should probably be affixed to any large-scale statistical comparison in or involving America. I don’t pretend to know which way it’s going to turn out here; I just know that failure to control for race is a persistent confounder that fucks up studies of everything from family structure to murder rates because they end up being partial race proxies and the argument ends up one step removed from the population density xkcd.

  120. @Ken
    “Winter, if you ever come over to the US, we can meet and you call me a welfare pig to my face. Care to do it, chicken shit?”

    Threats seem to be a staple in right wing politics. If you are insulted by my comments, you must be accepting (federal) state money while fuming about the evil state. Otherwise, I cannot see how you could feel insulted. Because, if you read back my comments, I addressed only those Republicans who do this.

  121. @Erik
    “I don’t pretend to know which way it’s going to turn out here;”

    I think to know how it will turn out. Urban people are more productive economically and are more likely to vote Democrat. Race is just a diversion tactic.

    Note, the point is NOT that rural/conservative folks are less productive than urban/progressive folks nor that poor people get subsidies/welfare (I wholeheartedly approve of welfare and subsidies). The point is that certain rural and very loudly conservative folks are hypocrites.

  122. @Winter
    Race may turn out to be a diversion, but until this is actually demonstrated I’m suspending judgment and I’m suggesting everyone should be unmoved by the arguments given so far.

    Blacks committing murder at ~8x the rate of genpop thoroughly confounds any measure of e.g. “most murderous states” into a partial proxy for “most black states”, and when you say “Urban people are more productive economically and are more likely to vote Democrat.” I imagine there may be a similar confounder in that blacks are less productive economically, more likely to vote Democrat, and I don’t know how blacks are distributed between urban/rural in America.

    Control for race. This goes for your interlocutors, too. I’m largely disregarding the proffered stats until I get better evidence that they’re actually measuring the sensitive political hot topic you want it to be about and not some potential Simpson’s Paradox in a field where I know beforehand the distribution is uneven along multiple axes.

  123. “Winter, if you ever come over to the US, we can meet and you call me a welfare pig to my face. Care to do it, chicken shit?”

    “Threats seem to be a staple in right wing politics. If you are insulted by my comments, you must be accepting (federal) state money while fuming about the evil state. Otherwise, I cannot see how you could feel insulted. Because, if you read back my comments, I addressed only those Republicans who do this.”

    Hmm. Thinking on this thread, I’m reminded of something that came up in the archives of Foseti’s blog, and after its expression by recurring commenter Jehu there, I wish to propose a speculative anthropological observation that I’d be interested in our host’s comments on.
    Jehu’s Principle: ridicule trumps reason, but violence trumps ridicule.
    Hence the enduring popularity, and arguable legitimacy, of “say that to my face” retorts, “fighting words” doctrines, and the like. (Or in D&D terms: INT < CHA, but CHA < STR. Mind your &lt; tags.) Reasoned debate is a nice norm to have, but a difficult one to maintain, because reasoning is frequently hard and unfun. Much easier and more fun to go for the heartstrings, appeal to emotion, and fling some insults. Responding to insults with reason is not very effective to most audiences, either – cf. the pessimism of the political proverb “if you’re explaining you’re losing”. Hence the use of norm enforcement of some kind.

    “Violence” doesn’t necessarily take the form of punches to the face, which are understandably considered anathema to a good society. Snappy catchphrase aside, there can be a myriad of ways of compelling ridiculers to shut up. Libel lawsuits, for instance, are a potential example of violence as a response to ridicule: I can have you punished for what you said. Bans are a functional substitute for violence in a comment section. But this principle suggests that free ridicule is also corrosive to a good society, if not as bad as roving gangs. If you want decisions driven by INT it’s not enough to ban those with high STR from beating dissenters into silence; you also want to limit those with high CHA from using their own powers to influence the decisionmaking process in non-INT ways, which means not simply lumping together INT-based and CHA-based remarks under “free speech”. I’m not sure how it should be done and it looks to me like this is a potentially underexplored field. (Dear profusely widely-read commentariat of A&D: any literature you can point me towards that perhaps explored this already? My first check was Friedman’s Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, didn’t see it there.) Various caveats like falsely claiming insult apply, I’m sure, but I’m getting wordy already.

    This ties into how truth should be a defense to claims of defamation: “Joe willingly receives money from the federal government and says one should not receive money from the federal government, which makes him a hypocrite” is an empirical statement that can be justified on the grounds that it is true. Insults are not empirical statements and could therefore reasonably be punished for “coarsening debate” or however you wish to phrase the offense of moving from discussion towards flyting. Nothing wrong with prearranged flyting, but then, nothing wrong with prearranged duels either, and something definitely wrong with drawing arms on a debater.

  124. @Erik
    “Jehu’s Principle: ridicule trumps reason, but violence trumps ridicule.”

    This is a rock–paper–scissors game as there is also a widespread appreciation among civilized people that he who uses violence loses the argument by default.

    But I know there are circles where Might-is-Right. But in these circles, argumentation is useless anyway.

  125. This is a rock–paper–scissors game as there is also a widespread appreciation among civilized people that he who uses violence loses the argument by default.

    Maybe if you use a circular definition of “civilized people” as those who agree with your proposition. Otherwise, no.

  126. @Erik
    “Maybe if you use a circular definition of “civilized people” as those who agree with your proposition.”

    Sorry, but the root of “civilized” is “being a townsman” or a “citizen” but also related to “civil law”.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=civil

    That is, “civilized” means being courteous, polite. Since dueling is outlawed, violence has stopped being a “civilized” option to win an argument. And indeed, it is not considered a civilized option.

  127. @Erik
    “Maybe if you use a circular definition of “civilized people” as those who agree with your proposition.”

    Sorry, but the root of “civilized” is “being a townsman” or a “citizen” but also related to “civil law”.

    That is, “civilized” means being courteous, polite. Since dueling is outlawed, violence has stopped being a “civilized” option to win an argument. And indeed, it is not considered a civilized option.

  128. Winter: “But the hard numbers are that it is “The Left” that makes the money and “The Right” that lives of it. And it is “The Left” that lives up to its words and shares their earnings, while “The Right” are hypocrites about it and bite the hand that feeds it.”

    and Jeff: “Thr numbers say that Democrats put their money where their mouth is and Republicans are fucking hypocrites.”

    There are three things wrong with this common leftist trope.

    1) If you look at charitable giving, the numbers aren’t even close to comparable. Republicans donate far more to charity than Democrats do. Joe Biden’s $1000 a year is typical.

    2) How virtuous is it to be charitable with other people’s money taken at gunpoint? Robin Hood was not a hero, but a virtue-signaling thug.

    3) The Left, these days, is a coalition of the urban elites and the urban poor. The elites make so much more than the average American in flyover country as to skew the statistics. A few of George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg and Steven Spielberg outweigh a bunch of average schlubs like me.

    Sorry, not buying your argument.

  129. @Jay Maynard

    None of your arguments addresses the fact that Republicans fuming against the evil state but still taking state money, are hypocrites.

    Still:
    1) Federal transfers are BIG, and make a lot of difference at the state and county levels. Not so much for private donations.

    2) Democrat states are Democrat voters electing Democrat politicians giving away Democrat money. What is wrong with that? That is putting your money where your mouth is.

    3) Urban people make so much money that they can give away tax money to poor rural people.

  130. @Winter:

    Urban people are more productive economically and are more likely to vote Democrat.

    Of the two statements you make here, I do not contest the latter (urbanites vote Democrat); this is very easily seen by examining county-based election results. Even in “red” states, Hillary won the counties which compose large metropolitan areas.

    However, I believe the metric (gross income) you are using to assay the former (urbanites are more productive) is flawed, for a very simple reason: under this measure, the most productive economies in the world were Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany, because citizens earned billion- and trillion dollar/mark salaries.

    The best way I can seem to find to correct for this error is by re-indexing using some sort of price index; the most pertinent such source appears to be this cross-city survey. [Normally, I’d use the official CPI, except they say it isn’t suitable for lateral comparisons.] Now, we can use that data and Wikipedia’s income by state numbers to get a CoL-adjusted income.

  131. Accidentally clicked post a bit early. To continue:

    So, I’ve already run all the numbers listed and it shows the states Hillary won having a +$12,000 pre-adjustment income, compared to the states Trump won. After we adjust for cost of living, that number is decreased significantly — would you care to make a guess what the margin is?

    When you decide you’d like to compare results, here is my work.

  132. The altright is the real world reflection of an intellectual movement that is serious and ought to be taken seriously. It is based roughly on the following three propositions:

    1. Free markets and political plurality work; democracy doesn’t.

    2. Democracy tends to destroy free markets and political plurality.

    3. People are unequal as individuals and as identity groups, and free markets tend to work by establishing useful hierarchies of people that have disparate impact on identity groups.

    If one looks through your own posting record, one finds a lot of support from you for all of these propositions.

    The altright is somewhat racist, sexist, etc. True, but not a problem: the real world is too equalist.

    The races aren’t equal; emancipation of the blacks has been a natural experiment that more or less proved the confederates right about blacks. That doesn’t mean their solution was the best but any viable solution (e.g. profiling, sentencing differentials) is going to look a bit like theirs.

    The sexes aren’t equal. Traditional marriage worked, outlawing binding marriage has created the sort of social chaos conservatives predicted in the 50s. The failure of our sexual politics is most clear in every Western country having a below replacement birthrate. The civilised world is literally dying out from its crazy belief in sexual equality. This is far more of a catastrophe than 30 years of steadily declining GDP would have been, and no one would disagree that that would have been a catastrophe.

    The altright is no dumber than any actually existing political movement derived from a set of ideas that intelligent people can take seriously, and much more true and necessary than any other such movement that exists in the West today.

  133. @AlexK
    “The best way I can seem to find to correct for this error is by re-indexing using some sort of price index;”

    The comparison with Zimbabwe is ridiculous, as they use a different currency (which isn’t worth the paper it is printed on).

    As both urban and rural USA use the same currency and have a free flow of people, goods, and services, your re-indexing is a mirage. Things are more expensive in urban areas because they are more valuable. People WANT to live there more than they want to live in a rural area. The price differences are real and reflect the way people value the different locations.

    What you do is like re-indexing the price of a A location house at a beech resort to give it the same value as a house in a Mississippi inland swamp. The swamp house is cheaper because it is simply less valuable.

    Such re-indexing has merit when we compare different currency and the flow of people, goods and services are restricted due to visa and trade restrictions.

  134. @Winter

    As both urban and rural USA use the same currency and have a free flow of people, goods, and services, your re-indexing is a mirage. Things are more expensive in urban areas because they are more valuable.

    It is apparent you did not even read the site I linked, because it shows not only the composite index used but also breaks things down in categories (grocery, housing, utilities, transportation, health, and “miscellaneous”).

    Now, I’ll give you that a house on the beaches of Hawaii should be significantly more expensive than one in a Mississippi swamp. However, if quality was the only discriminant, then only those states for which the “free flow of people, goods, and services” might be hindered (ie. Alaska and Hawaii) should have a different index for the other, non-housing categories.

    Since this is not what the statistics show, I find your explanation unsatisfactory.

  135. William O. B’Livion:

    Part I

    First of all, I’m sorry for your losses. The agony scenario you described has occurred in my family as well, so I can relate.

    You did miss it, and even when it’s pointed out you can’t *HELP* it.

    I insist that you’re contradicting yourself: you’re simultaneously claiming that leftists fight against (red) meat for people’s own good and that they do so for the sake of an imaginary entity. So, which one is it?

    You then went IMMEDIATELY to argue that the progressive position was based on science (it’s not, or at least not on good science) and was good for me.

    I was simply taking issue with your assertion that “The Left doesn’t want us eating Red Meat … because Gaia…”. Sure, many vegetarians-and-the-like hold New Age beliefs (I used to be like that), but animal suffering and environmental damage are real. So is the fact that such damage will affect the future inhabitants of this planet.

    You couldn’t help it. It was *REFLEX*. And then when called on it you doubled down.

    I just made a suggestion. Does advice amount to coercion?

    Did you ever see the movie Boondock Saints?

    I’m afraid not. But I did watch A Man for All Seasons, which includes the following exchange (I’m copying it from IMDb):

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  136. Part II

    And who funds those [campaigns]?

    I wasn’t thinking of anything that would require taxpayers’ money (I’m against that). It could be simply a modest online campaign; this website may be an example.

    And what do you do about opposition to those?

    Present better arguments?

    Do the Factory Farmers get a say?

    Fine by me. They’d have a hard time convincing people that their animals are treated well, tough. (They could just argue that animal suffering doesn’t matter; but that position, fortunately, seems to be losing popularity.)

    I prefer to buy meat and eggs that are “free range”, but I vote with my dollars…

    That’s what I advocate. Let’s change the world through the market, not through the State.

    But I’m not going to argue with a model that has made food so cheap that poor people get fat…

    Yeah, but meat is still more expensive than plant-based foods (except for the “organic” ones). Also, I understand that any given plot of land will produce more food if it’s used for agriculture than if it’s used for husbandry; is that correct?

    How the hell are you going to do that?

    Again, this website may be an example.

    You’ve got a sufficient number of charasmatic psychopaths out there who have NO problem telling blatant, provable falsehoods…

    Well, I’d try to distance myself from those.

    The only “civil-society” campaign in this country that has made *any* significant positive change has been to increase seat belt utilization, and that was backed by the force of the state (it is an infraction in most states).

    Well, that’s one thing that should be backed by the force of the state (or by the force of private organizations in an ancap society ;-)). If a driver’s not wearing a seatbelt and their car crashes, they’re likely to be ejected through the windshield and may thus injure someone else. So it’s not only irresponsible toward oneself, but also toward others. The same goes for drunk driving.

    …you’re either Don Quixote, or you’re reaching for legislation.

    Maybe you’re right. But I’m powerless anyway.

    Would you *really* be willing to fight to the death to defend my right to eat a cheese burger?

    As a matter of fact, I had one the other day. With bacon, even. So it’s our right to eat cheeseburgers.

    But, to be honest, if meat were to be banned (which is unlikely), I’d just shrug and switch to soy burgers. I’ve tried them; they’re not that bad.

  137. @AlexK
    I still don’t buy it. If people and goods can move freely, prices should reach an equilibrium representing the value of goods. Most “cost of living” differences can be attributed to the cost of real estate, infrastructure, and wages. Which in rural areas are low, lousy, and low. Which is a way of saying that the cost of living is lower because people are poor and have liwer productivity. And, they live where other people do not want to live.

    Which brings us back full circle, rural areas are cheap because they are unproductive and poor.

    Was that what you wanted to say?

  138. Unless you pay attention to where outfits like the Pew Foundation locate the psephological center of the American voting public, which I do. In that case, Fox News sits just a tiny smidge to right of center and the MSM is waaaaaay out left, probably further left than Breitbart is right.

    I’ve seen these reports before but neglected to save them and am failing at searching. Can you provide a link/reference?

  139. The most popular podcast on the Alt Right – The Daily Shoah – gets approximately 100,000 downloads per show now. That doesn’t include streams. But please by all means keep thinking the Alt Right is a bunch of basement-dwelling anime-fappers – it can only help us.

  140. @Christopher Smith –

     

    Unless you pay attention to where outfits like the Pew Foundation locate the psephological center of the American voting public ….

    I’ve seen these reports before but neglected to save them and am failing at searching. Can you provide a link/reference?

    The Pew Foundation’s US Politics website is rooted at http://www.people-press.org/; here’s a report which digs into “Political Polarization in the American Public”.

    Hope this helps.

  141. The “alt-right” is in fact a hodgepodge of people, many of whom don’t identify with any specific ideology, but are more concerned with finding a pragmatic solution to the obvious decline of western societies and civilization. For many, including me, much of the damage has been inflicted by mass immigration of non-assimilable, dependent, and low IQ third worlders. That immigration has drained resources everywhere, destroyed trust, and enabled the election of leftist Utopians who are hell bent on turning the west into Brazil.
    Three scientific facts confirm the catastrophic nature of such policies. First, recent studies have found that intelligence is at least 70% genetic, while all behavior is at least 50% genetic. Hence, there is no melting pot for third world immigrants. Second, genetic anthropology discloses that population replacement has been the rule rather than the exception over the eons. Finally, Robert
    Putnam’s work has confirmed that diversity is inconsistent with high trust civilization.
    Hence, the present course will be catastrophic if allowed to continue, and those who realize that in any fashion must oppose its architects.

  142. “To my anthropologist’s eye it has the aspect of a hoax (or a linked collection of hoaxes) being worked by 4chan griefers and handful of more visible provocateurs – Milo Yiannopolous, Mike Cernovich, Vox Day – who have noticed how readily the mainstream media buys inflated right-wing-conspiracy narratives and are working this one for the lulz. There’s no actual mass movement behind their posturing, unless you think a thousand or so basement-dwelling otaku are a mass movement.”

    It certainly is a mass movement, and was a mass movement long before Vox Day showed up to pretend he invented it. Bitch-boy Teddie Beale (‘Dark Lord’ Vox Day) has been promoting himself and his pals as Leaders of the Internet Right relentlessly the past few years. What’s much more telling is that every time I read an article in the MSM about the ‘Alt-Right’, I see the same names mentioned — Teddie, Cernovich, and their Travelling Homo Clown, Milo. Even the MSM has been promoting these gutless fakes — WaPo keeps trotting them out as Big Players . . . in negative context of course, but isn’t that interesting? There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Why is WaPo, supposedly part of the Enemy, continually publicizing the same few names as ‘leaders’ of the internet Right? Why, it’s almost as if our new ‘leaders’ have been predetermined. But of course THAT couldn’t be!

    I hope Teddie and his friends the LePens achieve their slavering desires to rule. They and the nations of the West truly deserve one another. Well fit for the fire.

  143. Races are different. Men and women are different.

    Men and women have to cooperate for obvious reasons, but with races, diversity plus proximity equals war.

    You may not be interested in identity politics, but identity politics is interested in you.

    The alt right is simply those that acknowledge these realities.

    You live in a world where the key organizing principle of leftism was classes defined by economics, and the idea that one class will take the upper class’ stuff.

    That world no longer exists.

    We are now in a world where the key organizing principle is identities defined by race, and the idea that everyone will take white male’s stuff.

    Such a world would be as disastrous as socialism, because of the demonstrated inability of women and nonwhites (apart from East Asians and certain rather white looking dot indian castes) to operate a modern economy.

  144. esr on 2016-12-07 at 22:56:59 said:
    “You can’t build anything useful and non-toxic out of corrosive snark and nihilism.”

    You don’t recognize the left for what it is, you are still dealing with the early twentieth century left. So you don’t recognize the alt right for what it is. Crimestop prevents you from seeing reality as it really is.

    Social justice warriors want all white male activities awarded to non whites and non males – such as your maintenance of various open source projects.

    Of course your replacements will not actually maintain these projects. They will perform a cargo cult imitation of maintaining these projects. But if you were to continue to maintain these projects – being white and male and ninety nine point nine percent of the patches you accept are from white males – that would be racist, so it is not going to be allowed for much longer.

    Imagine yourself in court trying to explain that there is nothing racist about the fact that ninety nine percent of your accepted patches are from white males. You will be there soon enough, and will probably be fined several hundred thousand dollars for discrimination.

  145. @Winter:

    Most “cost of living” differences can be attributed to the cost of real estate, infrastructure, and wages. Which in rural areas are low, lousy, and low. Which is a way of saying that the cost of living is lower because people are poor and have liwer productivity.

    Let me make sure I don’t misunderstand you: you’re saying that as long as the infrastructure is equivalent between two regions, we can be certain that where both wages and living costs—including, but not limited to, real estate—are higher, this indicates the people there are more productive?

  146. esr, when you see “snark”, and “nihilism”, that is your crimestop module shutting down your brain with protective stupidity to protect you from dangerous truths.

    For example you theoretically believe that differences between individuals are greater than differences between races, or differences between males and females, and that therefore someone’s race and sex does not tell us a lot about the content of his character, or is a highly unreliable guide to the content of his character.

    This, what you believe, or what your crimestop tells you that you believe, is Stalinist boilerplate that leads inexorably to race war, politicide, and genocide. The authorship of your patches disproves it. Not much overlap among your accepted patch contributors is there?

    Similarly, fatherhood. If you watch television, the only good father figures are black, like the father figure in fantastic four, and all white father figures are buffoons that there family would be better off without, like Homer Simpson.

    In real life, black males make very little effort to be fathers, as near to none of them function as fathers as makes no difference, while all white males, as near to all of them as makes no difference, make a huge effort to father their children, so the state tears them away from their families in an effort to impose black family styles on whites, as it used to impose white family styles on reluctant and uncooperative blacks. There is some overlap, but not a whole lot more overlap in fatherhood than in authorship among your patch contributors.

    A sane state would not only not impose black family structures on whites, it would not impose white family structures on blacks. Blacks would not have marriage, or rather would have African style marriage, whites would have white style marriage – what marriage used to be, monogamous, patriarchal, and indissoluble except for great and grave fault. When a white female had a mixed race child, it would simply be illegitimate and fatherless.

  147. esr:
    > I can’t see him either knowingly adopting a neo-Nazi label or being careless enough to pick one up without tracing its backtrail.

    Milo, and most leading figures of the alt right, including the Dark Enlightenment, accept my position “No enemies to the right”. http://blog.jim.com/politics/no-enemies-to-the-right/

    Yes, if I was in power I would classify national socialists as left, but I am not in power, and we have a common enemy, so classifying them as alt right for the moment, and earnestly attempting to remind them of the track record of socialism, with considerable success.

  148. @John Bell: I think I’ve actually seen that report before. What I’m hoping to find, though, is something that more directly addresses what a “middle-of-the-road” position would be in the US, so that one might say, for example, that Fox News is very close to/right of/far right of the average voter’s views.

  149. Whatever the alt right might be (gay, of dubious whiteness, etc), its foremost thinkers and meme artisans hang out at mpcdot.com.

  150. The “alt-right” label is nothing but forked-tongue-speak for white nationalist right. They of course prefer to refer to themselves as “alt-right” but everybody else should simply, and consistently, refer to them as white nationalists, without the mainstream media’s hysteria and labels.

    White nationalism of course makes about as much sense as “slanted-eye nationalism” (non-PC Trumpian speak). Slanted eye nationalism, could in fact be based on similar arguments (IQ, crime stats, delayed gratification etc, skull shapes etc) white nationalists use.

  151. @Jim:
    > In real life, black males make very little effort to be fathers,

    I don’t think you actually *know* any black people, and that your interactions with non-blacks are extremely filtered.

    > Yes, if I was in power I would classify national socialists as left

    You’re just as bad–just as authoritarian and controlling as the socialists and nazis.

    Frankly there isn’t a spits worth of difference between them and you.

    I can accept that might be a genetic association between “race” and IQ–after all we see correlations between muscle fiber density and other physical characteristics, why not IQ?

    What I do not accept is that there is a significant correlation between IQ and moral worth. Yeah, some guy with a 90 IQ can’t refactor code. But 90% of the people who *can* refactor code can’t run a shovel to save their lives, or hump sandbags to save someone’s house.

    Worth *as a human* has nothing to do with how smart you are.

    I know PLENTY of decent, hard working, honest people who are *box of rocks* dumb. Heck, I’ve got a couple in my family. The kind that would stop on the side of the road in the middle of the night to help you change a tire. The kind who tithe 10 percent of their income to church and charity and *just do without* to make that happen.

    I’d take them over you any day of the week.

    • >Worth *as a human* has nothing to do with how smart you are.

      I’d like to agree with you, but I think this is untrue in at least one important way.

      Many of the traits we associate with moral worth and ability to function in a network of reciprocal trust are connected to – I think it’s not putting it too strongly to say “enabled by” – having low time preference. With, as a consequence, impulse control and the ability to defer short-term gratification for long-term gain.

      Inversely, scratch a criminal deviant and you will generally find someone with either high time preference or who is literally too stupid to plan on long time horizons, or both.

      Time preference is inversely correlated with IQ. Thus, in at least one significant respect, how smart you are really does have something to do with your worth as a human being. Note that I am not claiming people with high IQs are intrinsically better human beings; I am saying that, empirically, as you go further down the IQ bell curve you find more and more of the incubator traits for criminality, and more bad guys.

      You’d be hard-put to find a criminologist who would argue this point.

      Which is why, once again, racists are missing the point. Pair up a black guy and a white guy with equal IQ and time preference, and track them. Over a large enough set of such pairs, the revealed difference in propensity for criminality will be statistical noise.

  152. > White nationalism of course makes about as much sense as “slanted-eye nationalism” (non-PC Trumpian speak). Slanted eye nationalism, could in fact be based on similar arguments (IQ, crime stats, delayed gratification etc, skull shapes etc) white nationalists use.

    Yes and “slanted eye nationalism” is extremely popular in the “slanted-eye countries”, and for the most part no one seems to be particularly concerned about this.

  153. Eugine_Nier: It also seems like it might contribute to some objective measures of success, but we mustn’t look closely, lest reality turn out to conflict with our ideological preferences.


  154. Yes and “slanted eye nationalism” is extremely popular in the “slanted-eye countries”, and for the most part no one seems to be particularly concerned about this.

    Very intelligent WN observation indeed! China, Japan, North and South Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, etc all think of themselves as one “slanted-eye” nation. If it wasn’t for the new world order and Alex Jones’s black helicopters they would merge tomorrow into one harmonious and “homogenous” nation.

  155. Straw man, uma. Nobody is saying they think of themselves as one country. All are different cultures (with North and South Korea being a special case), but share some traits.

  156. @esr:


    Many of the traits we associate with moral worth and ability to function in a network of reciprocal trust are connected to – I think it’s not putting it too strongly to say “enabled by” – having low time preference. With, as a consequence, impulse control and the ability to defer short-term gratification for long-term gain.

    And virtually all of the outright evil and machiavellian traits are “enabled by” having low time preference. No?

  157. @AlexK
    “Let me make sure I don’t misunderstand you”

    You do misunderstand me. Differences in local price levels are determined by three cost components: the cost of Wages, Infrastructure (local taxes), and Real estate

    Low productivity results in low wages. Low wages means low tax income and therefore, low spending on infrastructure. Low wages also means little money for buying real estate and hence low prices for real estate. On the business side, low wages means low consumer spending, hence low business profits which also leads to low tax income and low real estate prices. I assume here that high tax income leads to high spending on infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc) which increases taxes for businesses.

    This can all be offset by outsiders buying houses and paying for infrastructure. This you see in gentrification and tourist resorts. For Instance, Costa Rica is a very poor country. But Americans buy up houses along the beaches which drives up real estate prices and the resulting taxes are used to improve the infrastructure which increases the costs of doing business.

    As you see, this all starts with productivity and wages. Re-indexing the prices for cost of living does not address this low productivity. It only tells us that if you want things other people do not want, e.g., living in a rural area, you might be able to live cheap.

    I do not see why this is all so difficult to understand. It is not that the differences in productivity between urban and rural areas is some newly discovered, highly complicate economic principle. That we never have understood why all over the world people move in to huge megacities. Isn’t economics not covered in high school in the US?

    But the original point stays: Deep red Republican states fulminate against the evil state but are still taking their money. Which makes them hypocrites.

  158. @PapayaSF
    “All are different cultures (with North and South Korea being a special case), but share some traits.”

    I am always amazed by the ignorance of human genetics shown by people talking about “race”. Or maybe I should not.

    It is though very simple, up to 90% of all variation in human genes is found between the people originating below the Sahara. Everyone originating from outside sub-Saharan Africa (Irish Celts vs Tibetan monks and Mayans) is genetically more alike than the people of Nigeria are. Any person from Ethiopia has genetically as much in common with a person from West Africa as with an Eskimo from Greenland. Yes, the Father of Obama from Kenya is genetically less like your average African American than a random Caucasian American.

    And the situation in the US is genetically a mosaic anyway. This is given away by the fact that Caucasian Americans have repeatedly posed as African Americans and vice versa.

    But then, all racists are delusional fools.

  159. @esr
    “Time preference is inversely correlated with IQ.”

    Morals is about deciding what is just, not about deciding what is profitable. IQ is about deciding what is profitable. There is ZERO correlation between morals and IQ.

    • >Morals is about deciding what is just, not about deciding what is profitable. IQ is about deciding what is profitable.

      You assume a distinction that doesn’t exist. Behavior that is “just” is precisely that which allows actors to maximize their long-term cooperative gains in an environment of other actors they cannot dominate. Smarter people are better equipped for this game. As a matter of actual measurement, criminal deviance decreases with IQ.

  160. >There is ZERO correlation between morals and IQ.

    >A sample of 202 IQs of serial killers had a median IQ of 89.

    Really makes you think.

  161. @Anonymous
    “A sample of 202 IQs of serial killers had a median IQ of 89.”

    You are conflating morals with crime. Crime is bad morals combined with bad decisions. Obviously, people who make bad decisions and get caught tend to have low IQ. It has been said before, if you are stupid, you become a bank robber, if you are smart, you become a bank CEO.

    And serial killers tend to be psychopaths, who do not have morals. Bad example.

  162. @esr
    “Behavior that is “just” is precisely that which allows actors to maximize their long-term cooperative gains in an environment of other actors they cannot dominate.”

    That is the evolutionary explanation. The implementation of which is morals. All people are moral, with the exception of psychopaths (that is why they are considered mentally ill). Even you have morals, and you judge others by their morals.

    If you want to pose that people don’t have morals, only a utility-maximization strategy, you should not talk about the “worth of people”, but only about their economic value. See how far you get with that.

    @esr
    “As a matter of actual measurement, criminal deviance decreases with IQ.”

    Very stupid people are also bad in crime. Hence the decrease. But it also depends on the types of crime under consideration. Crime is also a career choice taken mostly by people who cannot enter other, less dangerous careers.

  163. @Winter
    Supposing you define “racist” as “delusional fool”, much like the circular reasoning you used to say that civilized men agree to abjure violence because… civilized men means those who agree with the law that abjures violence, then yes, all racists are delusional fools.

    And you’re still one too.

    But the normal usage in English is that “racist” indicates people categorized by shared values, not possession of facts; and being learned about the internal genetic distance in Nigeria can be quite irrelevant to a man hating Nigerians of every unique sort.

  164. > It is though very simple, up to 90% of all variation in human genes is found between the people originating below the Sahara.

    For genes of interest, for example skin color, eye color, genes correlated with educational attainment, genes correlated with self control, this is not true.

    The diversity to which you refer seems to be in junk genes of no effect.

    What happened is that the world outside Africa was settled by small groups, who thus had only a small sample of the junk genes of no effect. But finding themselves in a new environment, they proceeded to evolve new genes to meet the new environment – often the same adaption being accomplished in a wide variety of different ways. Aryans have two sets of adaptions for fair skins, which were probably separately evolved by two groups, who subsequently merged. Hence the striking diversity of eye color and hair color characteristic of whites. Similarly there are many adaptions each supporting the ability to digest milk as an adult, the predominant one being the one evolved by the Aryans. There are two separately evolved adaptions to high altitude living.

  165. @Erik
    “But the normal usage in English is that “racist” indicates people categorized by shared values, ”

    Yes, and then we have the empirical sample of modern racists. I define a “fool” as a person who does not think because he is convinced he already knows. Delusional, I define a person who sees a reality disconnected from sensory observation.

    What I see in modern racists is foolishness in that they reject all factual evidence on human genetics because they already know what it should be. And I see delusions in the descriptions of a world that exists only in their mind.

    It is not just all the ludicrous conspiracy theories they harbor worthy of advanced schizophrenic paranoia. When asked about a particular black person or groups we get responses that remind me of how women with advanced anorexia nervosa describe their figure. There is no relations with the observable universe.

    @Erik
    “much like the circular reasoning you used to say that civilized men agree to abjure violence because… civilized men means those who agree with the law that abjures violence,”

    Actually, that is what civilized means: Behaving according to the Civil Law. That is the etymological root of the word.

  166. @Jim
    “The diversity to which you refer seems to be in junk genes of no effect. ”

    Prove it. Where did you get the information that made you decide it was only junk genes?
    The original research was done on expressed genes. That is, genes that actually resulted in proteins and products.
    E.g., see:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953791/

    See also the “delusional fools” post above.

  167. We are living in an time of enormous productivity, accelerating technology, and extraordinary mass communication. For most of our evolutionary history, genetics was the dominant mechanism of encoding fitness traits and it ultimately produced a sentient species that reinvented evolution itself. Today, memetics has as much influence on our future course as the entire history of natural selection. We are now re-wiring behavior patterns in the span of a single generation, which is scary enough; but our invention of civilization has also fundamentally altered the cauldron of competition in which fitness is determined. This is a non trivial breakpoint, and doesn’t even address the unknowns related to the now-imminent genetic redesign of our species. Like BLM, alt-right is just another distraction. In the ancestral era, being distracted often times got you dead. There is no downside to improving your self-preservation skill set.

  168. Which is why, once again, racists are missing the point. Pair up a black guy and a white guy with equal IQ and time preference, and track them. Over a large enough set of such pairs, the revealed difference in propensity for criminality will be statistical noise.

    Many criminals have been exposed to terrible abuse during their upbringing. If you are being beat, shouted at, instead of talked with, and generally neglected, you will end up being significantly dumber than you might otherwise have been. There is a lot of environmental influence in the perceived stupidity of criminals.

  169. >Many criminals have been exposed to terrible abuse during their upbringing. If you are being beat, shouted at, instead of talked with, and generally neglected, you will end up being significantly dumber than you might otherwise have been. There is a lot of environmental influence in the perceived stupidity of criminals.

    And also, the Earth is flat. What seems obvious isn’t always true.

  170. “Me, I don’t like factory farms. I prefer to buy meat and eggs that are “free range”, but I vote with my dollars”

    Free range has no legal definition for eggs. But, then, legal definitions, advertising standards, etc, are statist oppression; anyone should be able to put anything they want on their label, right?

  171. James A. Donald:

    “Races are different. Men and women are different.

    “You live in a world where the key organizing principle of leftism was classes defined by economics, and the idea that one class will take the upper class’ stuff.”

    Classes are just races which are more difficult to tell apart: different social strategies evolving in the same geographic space rather than geographically separated strands adapting to somewhat different environments. Races are hyper-classes. The left has moved to race war from class war because building a cohesive movement with actual grassroots support is much more viable.

    This was already visible when the official ideology was class war: “kill whitey” got them Vietnam and Africa while “epater la bourgeois” didn’t even get them very far in Finland. The only people who got excited about epater la bourgeois were the bourgeoisie.

  172. esr:

    “Which is why, once again, racists are missing the point. Pair up a black guy and a white guy with equal IQ and time preference, and track them. Over a large enough set of such pairs, the revealed difference in propensity for criminality will be statistical noise.”

    Someone who agrees with that statement but makes the additional statement average IQ and future orientation is considerably lower among blacks than whites is also a racist. So at least some racists are not missing the point.

    In the past several years I have spent quite some time reading and debating racists on the internet, and the type of racist who literally has an aesthetic dislike to certain skin colours on which he then projects various moral and practical failings is not one I have ever seen in the wild.

  173. >A sample of 202 IQs of serial killers had a median IQ of 89.

    Really makes you think.

    Makes me think the smart serial killers didn’t get caught.

  174. esr:

    Sorry, I was wrong. There’s one more typo in the opening post: you wrote “Willam Jennings Bryan” (emphasis added). Oops.

    Jim:

    Yes, if I was in power I would classify national socialists as left, but I am not in power, and we have a common enemy, so classifying them as alt right for the moment, and earnestly attempting to remind them of the track record of socialism, with considerable success.

    I oppose the politically-correct establishment, but your position is flawed in that it isn’t universalizable. If you belonged to at least one of the collectives that Nazis want to exterminate (as I do), allying with them wouldn’t even be an option for you.

    That said, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of approving of something some Nazis did as a (non-violent) protest against the rich people who support multiculturalist policies while leading sheltered lives that are unaffected by such policies.

    But still, I wouldn’t knowingly interact with Nazis even if they were the last anti-PC people on Earth.

  175. > I oppose the politically-correct establishment, but your position is flawed in that it isn’t universalizable. If you belonged to at least one of the collectives that Nazis want to exterminate (as I do), allying with them wouldn’t even be an option for you.

    So you prefer to ally with the people who not only want to exterminate you but also are much more active about making it happen.

  176. Eugine_Nier:

    So you prefer to ally with the people who not only want to exterminate you but also are much more active about making it happen.

    How does that follow from what I said? I don’t intend to ally with any Marxists or progressives, either (though I’m sympathetic to the progressives of A&D in a non-political way).

  177. The alt-right saw how #Gamergate pushed back against its critics and carried that attitude to this election cycle. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when one knows what’s posssible.

  178. winter excreted:

    “The politicians were voted in, repeatedly. In the states involved, the majority of voters supports their representatives consistently. Be it in the voting booth or when asked afterward At every level, deeply red entities predominantly are takers, and deeply blue entities are predominantly makers. When looked at at the county level, things are even more extreme.”

    And this argument still fails to discern which voters are receiving more federal tax dollars. Please, please show me the numbers which show that red voters are predominantly takers while the blue are predominantly makers. Until you decide to try for a little more honesty, you’re just putting up half-assed guesswork bolstered by undeserved conceit.

    “If Republicans are makers and Democrats are takers, this should show up in the economic numbers. It never does.”

    And point you have not proven in the slightest, despite your unjustified bragging.

    “If Democrats are makers and Republicans are takers, it should show in the numbers. And it invariably DOES show up.

    This is what academics refer to as “utter horseshit”. Again show me the data which supports what voters are receiving/making, not your nonsense statewide generalizations.

    “Show me the numbers if you know this is not true. All you come up with is complaints and Just-So stories.”

    I’m still waiting for you to provide the numbers which back up your argument on a logical level. See above. I’m more than happy to show you numbers just as soon as you quit ignoring the huge problems in your argument that I’ve already pointed out.

    “Sorry, but this not a thing to be settled by pure thought. This is an empirical question that requires numbers. Numbers you consistently FAIL to supply. However, there are numbers enough, but you want to dismiss them because they do not suit your ideology.”

    This is just your continued projection. Your argument boils down to “A state tends to vote a particular way, therefore I can (erroneously) deduce that that’s a reliable indicator of which voters receive what.” This is a purely stupid argument and to claim you’ve shown numbers to prove this only shows that you don’t understand numbers.

    “For this discussion, the overlap is close enough.”

    No, it’s not.

    “And the trope was that Republicans and Trumpistas are hypocrites that will condemn the federal state and socialism while living off state welfare. On the other hand, the deeply blue, so called, “socialist” states are putting their money where their mouth is and subsidize the deeply Red states.”

    Which I’ve taken too much time and effort to explain not only how you haven’t proven this, but have gone about it stupidly.

  179. gmmay: Winter’s argument also fails to explain why Democrats are always advocates for expanding the welfare state, and fight any attempt to shrink it. Because they’re so concerned about something that benefits Republicans? I don’t think so.

  180. “what was the point of saying “Oh, and the fact that their contributions were forced. “, then?”

    Making a factual observation that’s relevant to the discussion. Please don’t tell me I need to explain its relevance.

    I didn’t think something so basic would arouse the libertarian bogeyman living inside your head.

  181. @gmmay
    “Please, please show me the numbers which show that red voters are predominantly takers while the blue are predominantly makers.”

    You did not show any numbers at all. All you do is whine. You just do not want to accept reality.

    Your complaints are all just attempts to deny a reality that is screaming you in the face: Democratic lead county earn the bulk of US income and they also are net payers of federal taxes. Some of the reddest states are net receivers of federal tax money, and still are whining about the evil state. So they are hypocrites.

    Nothing you say will change that conclusion: Some of the most vocal Republican haters of the State are hypocrites.

  182. @PapayaSF
    “Because they’re so concerned about something that benefits Republicans? I don’t think so.”

    Because Democratic voters are decent people who are concerned ovrr the wellbeing of their compatriots? Are Republican voters NOT concerned over the eellbeing of their compatriots?

  183. Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to have received food stamps at some point in their lives

    Are Welfare Recipients Mostly Republican?

    Hardly surprising, we see that in a two-party split, 60-80% of welfare recipients are Democrats, while full time Workers are evenly divided between parties.

    You have similar results in this recent NPR-Poll. Among the Long Term Unemployed, 72% of the two-party support goes to Democrats.

    It appears that once more common sense is right and the impression left by the New York Times wrong. Indeed, people who live off the government disproportionally support Democrats.

  184. Because Democratic voters are decent people who are concerned ovrr the wellbeing of their compatriots? Are Republican voters NOT concerned over the eellbeing of their compatriots?

    Greed: Voluntarily giving one’s own money to help the poor. Nobility: Confiscating other people’s money at gunpoint to help the poor but also one’s own friends.

  185. @Winter: “Are Republican voters NOT concerned over the eellbeing [sic] of their compatriots?”

    I condemn as immoral the enslavement of any compatriot of mine. A vote slave given free food, housing, health care and walking around money in exchange for his vote every couple of years is still a slave.

    I also utterly reject the arrogance and paternalism of WEB Du Bois and his modern day successor race pimps Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and so many others. The self-anointed “talented tenth” rightfully deserve the blame for leading their community into the misery too many of them experience today.

    Far better the followers in spirit and action of Booker T Washington who taught that blacks should gain the respect of whites through “industry, thrift, intelligence and property,” as well as the heroism and tactical effectiveness of such storied units as the Tuskegee Airmen. That’s what Martin Luther King Jr. meant by “content of their character,” not the willingness of vote slaves to accede to the politics of race baiting and victimhood.

  186. @Parallel
    “I condemn as immoral the enslavement of any compatriot of mine. ”

    I too am against forced labor in US prisons. But I do not see why this would be relevant here. The rest of your argument has nothing to do with “slavery”.

    @Parallel
    “Christopher Smith”

    People pay taxes everywhere in the world. The only places where they do not pay taxes there is robbery at gun point instead.

    @PapayaSF
    “Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to have received food stamps at some point in their lives”

    That just tells us that Democratic lead counties have more inclusive food stamp programs.

    But these are all straw man arguments. Nothing you counter has been claimed by me. And nothing here disproves my claim that some of the most vocal Republican attackers of the evil state are hypocrites that accept federal money when it suits their needs.

  187. I still cannot fathom why you people keep responding to Winter.

    He is just claiming that if an arbitrary grouping of people has a net gain from the federal government, then a subset of the the individuals in that group are hypocrites. Note that he only applies this logic to people that he hates – everyone else he insists on considering each individual, as in the discussion about criminality.

    When a child tells you that he hates you, the correct answer is not to engage him in debate on the fine details of his hatred, but simply to ignore him.

  188. @kjj
    “I still cannot fathom why you people keep responding to Winter.”

    I agree. I cannot see why you keep up raising straw men. What I have written in this thread is nothing controversial.

    @kjj
    “He is just claiming that if an arbitrary grouping of people has a net gain from the federal government, then a subset of the the individuals in that group are hypocrites.”

    No, I say that people who claim the federal state is evil and welfare is evil, but who then as the political “rulers” of a state, accept money from the federal state, are hypocrites. The people in question are leading the administrations of some of the reddest states in the USA. I made no moral claims about people who accept federal money nor about people who vocally object to the federal state on moral or practical grounds. I just made moral judgements about people who do both at the same time.

    If the leaders of rich Democratic states would refuse to do net payments to the federal state, I would label them hypocrites too. Just as I will label a hypocrite anyone who has moral objections to donating blood or organs for transplantation but who will accepts blood or transplantation organs. Or anyone who preaches hell and damnation to adulterers but frequents prostitutes himself.

    The second message from this overlong thread is that those counties who are lead by Democrats are doing very good economically, very good. So good that even Republican lead states benefit from them. So any argument claiming that the rule of Democrats is a recipe for economic disaster is counter empirical evidence.

    You all seem to be very emotionally about this. Somehow, you all seem to want to prove that Republicans are the one and only source of economic productivity. This is nonsense. The most likely reason of this difference in economic productivity is urban versus rural economies. Urban regions are more productive that rural regions AND urban regions vote Democratic by a large margin versus rural regions voting Republican. Why that is, is a totally different matter which has only indirectly to do with economic productivity.

  189. “No, I say that people who claim the federal state is evil and welfare is evil, but who then as the political “rulers” of a state, accept money from the federal state, are hypocrites. The people in question are leading the administrations of some of the reddest states in the USA. I made no moral claims about people who accept federal money nor about people who vocally object to the federal state on moral or practical grounds. I just made moral judgements about people who do both at the same time.”

    Why do you continue with this nonsense? You and I and everyone else all know that the opinions of state politicians have no more bearing on the federal government than yours does. The governor of a state simply does not have the option to block federal money coming to residents of his state. For that matter, most of the recipients of that money have no say in the matter either.

  190. “… anyone who thinks Breitbart is far right needs to get out of their mainstream-media bubble more. Compared to sites like WorldNetDaily or FreeRepublic or TakiMag or even American Thinker, Breitbart is pretty mild stuff.”

    Indeed. And then we might compare Breitbart to American conservatism circa 1960, like the original, pre-purge National Review, or even (gasp) the John Birch Society. Or compare it to the Old Right: Nock and Mencken and Flynn and company. Or compare it to Metternich, or to Jünger, or to Maistre, or to Filmer.

    “There are more things in heaven and Earth,” my mainstream friends, “than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

  191. > [Donald Trump is] an equally old-fashioned populist
    > continuous with Willam Jennings Bryan and Huey Long.

    Let’s see their positions on taxes:
    WJB: In favor of income tax.
    HPL: Wanted to raise income tax and soak the rich.
    DJT: Will lower taxes on the rich.

    On big companies:
    WJB: Big trustbuster.
    HPL: Very anti-corporate.
    DJT: Will go easy on Wall St. and gut the SEC.

    The evidence says that while WJB and HPL were true populists, and actually proposed things that would make poor people’s lives better, DJT just talks the talk and will make rich people more money.

  192. @EMF “The evidence says that while WJB and HPL were true populists”

    What is a true populist? I would think that the measure is whether the things he proposes are popular, rather than if they’re in anyone’s best interests… by whatever theory of what their effects will be – maybe he sincerely believes that doing those things will cause trickle-down benefits to poor people. His supporters certainly do, and he seems kind of dumb.

  193. Question: At what point in the past do you think that racists became a fringe minority in the United States?

    This question was inspired by a few comments you made about researching historical racial views amongst the populous. I’d like to look into this myself.

    • >Question: At what point in the past do you think that racists became a fringe minority in the United States?

      Hmmm….I’d say no earlier than 1963, but no later than 1980. With large regional variations; pluralities with racist views persisted in the South and the Midwest longer than on the coasts or in the Mountain West.

      A good way to track this is by polling support/opposition on interracial marriage. Support has gone from 4% in 1958 to 87% in 2013. It is a good bet that most of the remaining objectors are black.

  194. @esr
    “It is a good bet that most of the remaining objectors are black.”

    That is not what the polls say:

    Opposition to Interracial Marriage Lingers Among Evangelicals
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2011/june/opposition-to-interracial-marriage-lingers-among.html

    Evangelicals may have the most negative view of interracial marriage [16%], but there is also opposition among white mainline Protestants (13 percent) and Catholics (10 percent). Statistically, the percentages in these traditions who saw interracial marriage as bad for society were about the same as for evangelicals.

    The views of white Christians stand in stark contrast to two other groups: black Protestants and those with no religion. Only three percent of either group said interracial marriage was bad for society. Eight-in-ten respondents said the trend “doesn’t make much difference.” Those who are not religious were more optimistic, with 38 percent saying it was good for society.

  195. > A good way to track this is by polling support/opposition on interracial marriage. Support has gone from 4% in 1958 to 87% in 2013. It is a good bet that most of the remaining objectors are black.

    I agree, that is probably a really good indicator. My gut tells me ‘most’ is a bit strong, but I am really curious now.

    • > My gut tells me ‘most’ is a bit strong, but I am really curious now.

      So am I. Winter has presented polls that purport to show otherwise, but I suspect they underampled the non-religious. Blacks exert a lot of negative pressure against assimilation, more than I think is consistent with only the reported 3% approval of interracial marriage.

      BTW I know this because I’ve had black girlfriends. What they told me was revealing.

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