Category: What He Said

The Power Of No

“Call me whatever you want, I’m not going to participate in this.”

In a recent long-form essay on New Discourses (…totalitarianism/), James Lindsay explained the origins of totalitarianism in a single word: psychopathy. There, he explained that totalitarianism arises from people who cannot cope with reality as it is, and yet who are content to manipulate others, constructing a “pseudo-reality” in service to a vision of the world that serves their needs. That pseudo-reality holds as its North Star a Utopian vision that aligns with artificial resolutions to their inability to cope with reality as it is, and it thereby attracts others who have similar issues. By constructing a false logic (a paralogic) and a false morality (a paramorality) to define and enforce the pseudo-reality, they can gather supporters in a cult-like fashion. In the end, those ensnared lose the ability to distinguish reality and pseudo-reality almost entirely and become functionally psychopathic, and if they gain enough social, cultural, economic, and political power, they can hold hostage entire societies that are, in effect, on the march to totalitarianism and, eventually, total catastrophic collapse.

[…] in this podcast, he begins the process of linking the concept of “ideological pseudo-reality” to more familiar examples, not least Wokeness. Critical Race Theory, for example, is a pseudo-reality that positions racism as the ordinary state of affairs in society, not an immoral aberration from them. Queer Theory is a pseudo-reality in which being normal with regard to sex, gender, and sexuality is a problem while being in some way deviant (which is not the same as being gay or even trans) is elevated as normal. Communism is a pseudo-reality that deems socially engineered command economies as effective and efficient ways to maximize human flourishing. Covid-19 is a pseudo-reality built to enact control around a genuine and serious virus called SARS-CoV-2. These topics and more are presented in this episode of the New Discourses podcast to help people understand and, hopefully, able to see reality for itself again.

Grab a coffee. You’ll recognize much of what he describes immediately.

h/t RP

Discourse Engineering

James Lindsay; (Twitter thread, collated)

In no regard does “coup” apply here. Disruptive? Yes. Illegal? Yes. Bad? Yes. Violent? Yes. But they didn’t even have a coherent plan to stop what would have been their main target (certification of a vote, which could have happened again later anyway). It’s not even close.
The totality of evidence does not bear this out. Some of Trump’s rhetoric and some of his expressed views are favourable to those views, but he hasn’t ever actually applied any of that or gave any indication that he wanted to, even with a pandemic in his lap to justify it.
I spent years incorrectly arguing Trump was a tyrant. You’re not likely to convince me using arguments I’ve already worked through and seen for being wrong in myself. You’ll need real evidence, which I suppose could still arrive, but it hasn’t yet.
My own opinion remains that every single person in the United States who participated in riotous activity, say in the last 12-24 months (if we want limitations) should be prosecuted appropriately under the law, regardless of political affiliation or rationale.
If Justice isn’t blind, it isn’t Justice.
I said something similar today too. The form we’ll see today will look a lot more like what we presently see in China, but more advanced. Social credit will be the primary mode of social control. Wrong politik will get you bad credit, as will wrong travel and wrong association.
Five years ago, the media launched a campaign to define conservatives as “racists and white supremacists.”
Five days ago, they changed the terms to “seditionists and domestic terrorists.”
The first is to dehumanize the opposition; the second is to justify their repression.
It’s pretty important that you learn to see this “discourse engineering,” or, as Lyotard had it, “legitmation by paralogy,” when and where it occurs. The media is high enough on its own supply now that it believes it can do it more or less without limitations on its power.
The most dangerous part of believing they can do it without limitations on its power is that that is dangerously wrong and will therefore be “fixed” by using increasing amounts of force and coercion. This is what the slide into totalitarianism and atrocity looks like.
Another parallel example of exactly this is when radical Islamists (not all Muslims!) insist that Islam is “a religion of peace,” wherein what they mean is that when everyone believes THEIR NARROW THEOLOGY and submits to it, there will peace. Same, same, or very close.
The asymmetry is a crucial point to observe here too. They’re using Repressive Tolerance (link) as part of their paralogy. They’re going to “induce national calm NOW” by silencing their enemies and continuing to force their pseudo-reality onto everyone.

A related article here.

h/t RP

“What if these weren’t fat LARP’ers, lost young men, and Q dummies?”

A portion of a Mike Cernovich thread collated, and slightly edited.

When Charlottesville happened, I begged guys not to go. They did what young men do – mock me as a weak old guy. I said they’d ruin their lives, and I’ve watched one after another get caught up. Some bad actors, and a lot just showed up not really understanding the implications.
It was like beating my head up against the wall. Warning people that events often sweep people away. “Caught up in the game” is a term you hear in law. Wrong place, wrong time. You’re maybe just curious, but you end up getting swept up in events. And then it’s over for you.
But from the young guy’s perspective, what’s the answer? There’s no escape value. It’s all, “Oh you’re broken because you’re a man. You have toxic masculinity.” The only socially offered fix is for men to become less like men and more like women.
Otherwise, they’re diseased.
I saw political violence coming because I understand men. ANTIFA is largely white men. That’s been proven over and over again. You’re a man, you want to live out Fight Club, and ANTIFA is a way to do this and basically get a free pass.
The counter to that is the Capitol.
Extremist researchers from Muslim world know that you have to offer a moderate solution, an off road. That when you call men terrorists, you drive them into radicalized groups. That research is being tossed out now in the West. Every man who has alternative view is a terrorist.
The incentives are to create more problems, that drives funding into “extremism research.” To raise money, you need more extremists! And yet that’s how you summon more of what you’re supposed to be militating against. The researchers know this, and they don’t care. It’s money.
I’ve said this consistently since at last 2015 – terrorism will become a way of life in the U.S. It’ll be like parts of Middle East. Because everything we learned about Islamic terrorism, that you don’t attack *all* Muslims, that you build up moderates, is being thrown away now.
The biggest mistake a society can make is to confirm the righteousness of zealots. That started with “Punch a Nazi,” where Nazi predictably grew to mean every Trump voter. Capitol rioters watched attacks and riots celebrated by media, and now they feel righteous, too.
The U.S. is poised for a post-911 crackdown on civil liberties – which was a disaster then and will be a bigger disaster now. You cannot enforce authoritarianism against 40% of the country. To do so is to incite a “civil war,” which won’t be what people think.
Capitol LARP’ers watched too much Bravehart and 1776 stuff. They are in an old model of war.
A current model of war will be 4GW, which is the worst possible way of having a war, because it never ends. You end up not with Balkanization, but the cartelization of society.
We are in unbelievably perilous times. Just as people who didn’t see Trump’s rise and dismissed it, because they know it all, think they can just put the boots down the necks of 40% of the country.
I just can’t believe what I am watching, and what will *obviously* happen. It’s not the Q people or fat LARP’ers I worry about. It’s that the oppression becomes so severe that you get what happened in Mexico. A Special Forces Group says, “F*ck this.”
Then what?
There is 0 reason to believe It Can’t Happen Here. We are not special. I won’t go into tactics, not only for reason to not educate bad people, but for others.
If you watched the Capitol storm you no doubt asked, “What if these weren’t fat LARP’ers, lost young men, and Q dummies?” What if this had been *real* guys?
If the attack on the Capitol had been real guys instead of fat middle aged men and Q boomers and aimless young men, it would have been *hundreds* of dead Congress members. That’s how vulnerable an open society is. That’s how fast civil society can disappear.
The Scalise attack, the Capitol attack, all of this shows that – thank God – it’s simply the case that real guys don’t want to do violence and domestic terrorism.
Anyone anything about solutions must start from there. As of now, real guys don’t do that. How do we preserve it?
I don’t have a lot of answers on how to preserve civil society, but I do know one fact. You *do not* preserve society by turning the state against 40% of the country.
This isn’t Soviet Union, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or Mao’s China.

You should read the whole thing, while you still can.

The Two Reasons Things Fall Apart

My New Years gift to us all, to be viewed before the word “resolution” passes anyone’s lips. Ten minutes with Dr.Jordan Peterson on the life lesson that is part of automobile ownership (and more). Great stuff.

I’ve set the video to begin at the relevant portion of the lecture, which continues until about the 25 minute mark.

What Would We Do Without Experts?

As I like to say;

A few years back, you might remember, we were subjected to one of those navel-gazing D.C. polemics lamenting the “death of expertise.” Know-nothing proles had been showing less than appropriate reverence for the expert class — even though it continues to get so much wrong. In reality, it’s been more a “suicide of expertise.”
When allegedly erudite social scientists with big platforms make hyper-partisan arguments from positions of authority — “Hey, sociologist here . . .” — they do their already untrustworthy disciplines no favors. It’s not just that a Nobel Prize–winning economist such as Paul Krugman has adopted the malicious rhetoric of shrieking activists; it’s that his partisan-fueled predictions are so often and exhaustively wrong that he’s probably set back trust in economics by decades. (So maybe Twitter isn’t all bad?) Same goes for constitutional scholars such as Laurence Tribe. Once respected on both sides of the ideological divide, he is now sometimes barely distinguishable from @notmypresident6758we9a, the account that is raging deep in your feed late on a Saturday night.

Not Showing Up To Riot Is A Failed Conservative Policy

Gen. Michael Flynn;

I was once told if we’re not careful, 2 percent of the passionate will control 98 percent of the indifferent 100 percent of the time.
The more I’ve thought about this phrase, the more I believe it. There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals who uphold our laws are under the gun more than at any time in our nation’s history. These passionate 2 percent appear to be winning.
Despite there being countless good people trying to come to grips with everything else on their plates, our silent majority (the indifferent) can no longer be silent.

Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century

On the anniversary of Chernobyl.

Some of you know I have written a book that many people find controversial. It is called State of Fear, and I want to tell you how I came to write it. Because up until five years ago, I had very conventional ideas about the environment and the success of the environmental movement.

The book really began in 1998, when I set out to write a novel about a global disaster. In the course of my preparation, I rather casually reviewed what had happened in Chernobyl, since that was the worst manmade disaster in recent times that I knew about.

What I discovered stunned me. Chernobyl was a tragic event, but nothing remotely close to the global catastrophe I imagined. About 50 people had died in Chernobyl, roughly the number of Americans that die every day in traffic accidents. I don’t mean to be gruesome, but it was a setback for me. You can’t write a novel about a global disaster in which only 50 people die.

Undaunted, I began to research other kinds of disasters that might fulfill my novelistic requirements. That’s when I began to realize how big our planet really is, and how resilient its systems seem to be. Even though I wanted to create a fictional catastrophe of global proportions, I found it hard to come up with a credible example. In the end, I set the book aside, and wrote Prey instead.

But the shock that I had experienced reverberated within me for a while. Because what I had been led to believe about Chernobyl was not merely wrong—it was astonishingly wrong. Let’s review the data.

Truckers are saying “fuck the log rules, I’m hauling”

Truckers are saying “fuck the log rules, I’m hauling” and they’re getting supplies to the stores. People are stocking the shelves all night and letting old people shop first. Folks are buying meals for truckers, who (obviously) can’t go through the drive-ups. Asking ’em what they want, then buying it for them.
Carnival Cruise Line has told Trump “We can match those big Navy Hospital ships with some fully staffed cruise ships”.
GM and Ford have said “hold our cars and watch this — we can make ventilators where we were just making car parts, starting next week” — by re-engineering seat ventilators which their engineers hacked together for a new purpose. In under a week.
In a project with which I’m loosely associated, a very-effective agricultural disease-control agent was re-purposed and re-labeled specifically for Corona-virus control by the FDA and EPA in under ten days, from initial request to distribution.
Restaurants and schools have said, “we’ve got kitchens and staff; we can feed the poor kids who used have school lunch.”
NBA basketball players have said, “Hold our basketballs while we write checks to pay the arena staff.”
Construction companies are saying, “Here are some high-end masks for medical staff and doctors”.
Distilleries are making sanitizer out of distilling “heads and tails” which are normally discarded. Nasty shit to drink, but effective sanitizer.
People are tipping grocery check-out clerks and thanking them for taking the risk.
Local, state, and county governments are taking control of everything the feds cannot do. Some are doing it wrong, but for the first time in decades … they’re doing it. Federalism is re-emerging, and the smallest unit of government is the individual and the family. This, too, is re-emerging after decades of dormancy.
As Japanese Admiral Isokuru Yamamoto said, after Pearl Harbor … “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
I sense this has just happened. We have a wonderful country, the greatest single force for good in all human history. We have closed our borders, with good reason, yet we have top medical people now assisting North Korea in their response to the virus.
Many things have been re-set, and will never be the same.
By microbiological accident, we are living in profoundly transformative historical times.

Bart Hall, on Facebook

Via Instapundit.