Even Deep State Analysts See the Slide to Civil War


“We actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are, whether a country is an anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for a partial democracy, and whether ethnic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious, or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power,” Professor Barbara Walter of the University of California at San Diego told CNN last week. “And the amazing thing about the United States is that both of these factors currently exist, and they have emerged at a surprisingly fast rate.”

Walter serves on the CIA’s Political Instability Task Force, which assesses the health of countries around the world. The task force isn’t allowed to turn its gaze on its home country, but Walter did so on her own (she has a book on the topic coming out in January).

“The United States is pretty close to being at high risk of civil war,” she concluded.

Dana Milbank, Washington Post douchebag, also discusses Walter’s findings in a recent Op-Ed piece. Because Milbank is a howling cunt, he of course blames the slide toward civil war on “Trump” and “Trump supporters.”

A nation heading toward civil war:

Defining Leftism

At https://blog.reaction.la/party-politics/end-of-pretence-of-democracy-rescheduled-to-2024/ HerbR provides a good list of definitions of leftism:

– De Jouvenel AKA HLvM [high and low vs. the middle]: Elites weaponizing underclass (collectively “left”) against middle class (“right”).
– Cladistic: Leftist ideologies all share common memes and derive from common ancestor(s).
– Social-network: Leftism inferred from personal/institutional ties, parties attended, etc.
– Antinomian: Christian definition, elevating “divine grace” over established law, usually to describe Puritan/Quaker movements.
– Revolutionary: Actual etymology of “Left/Right”, the revolutionaries vs. royalists – more generally, hatred of non “consensual” authority.
– Economic: Leftism as destruction/”redistribution” of capital, rightism as capital creation.
– R/K: Leftism/rightism as manifestations of different reproductive strategies (r and K, like rabbit vs. wolf).
– Status-maximizing: Leftists as “sociopathic status maximizers”, best to just google it.
– Warrior/priest: Jim Lite, leftism as priestly rule, rightism as warrior rule.
– Game-theoretical: Leftism as defect/defect, rightism as cooperate/cooperate.
– Thermodynamic: Leftism as social entropy, that which creates disorder and regresses us to a more primitive state without constant energy input.

But this list isn’t supposed to be a “pick any one you want” buffet, the reason the list exists is that all of the models have some predictive power (some more so than others) and none of them are complete.

Here’s my take on the main (not the only) defining feature of leftism:

Leftists are people who want the unearned.

Welfare recipients are an obvious example but a lot of it is more subtle, e.g. demands for employment via affirmative action.

But it’s not only people who want unearned money, jobs, etc.

It’s also that fat chick who doesn’t want to exercise or go on a diet, and who demands that beauty standards be overturned so that she’s considered attractive (LOL).

It’s that “Oscars So White” movement demanding that more honors for great acting be awarded to black actors. Not with any reason provided, just there “aren’t enough” Oscars awarded to black actors.

It’s people who say the safest possible things in our society and expect to be praised for their courage. An NFL player came out as homosexual a few months ago and articles on his announcement were constantly calling him “brave,” “courageous,” etc., even though there is nothing safer in the current US than announcing that one is homosexual.

Leftist psychology is eternal. C.S. Lewis portrayed the contemptible demand to call playing it safe “courageous” in 1945: In his novel The Great Divorce there’s a conversation in the afterlife between two souls who were friends in life. One was a priest, and they are talking about their attitude toward religious matters when they were alive:

“It all turns on what are honest opinions.” [the non-priest says.]
“Mine certainly were. They were not only honest but heroic. I asserted them fearlessly. When the doctrine of the Resurrection ceased to commend itself to the critical faculties which God had given me, I openly rejected it. I preached my famous sermon. I defied the whole chapter. I took every risk.”
“What risk? What was at all likely to come of it except what actually came — popularity, sales for your books, invitations, and finally a bishopric?”

Lewis wouldn’t have bothered to satirize such outrageous claims of courage unless they were prevalent in his day. This crap didn’t originate with wokeness. Some details of leftist politics change over time, but there is a definite leftist psychology, and its basic features never change.

Moldbug Again

The Humbug from The Phantom Tollbooth. Included in this post for no particular reason.

I might as well appoint myself the official Moldbug contrarian. I think you people (NRxers) are all on drugs to find this guy so interesting/important and it’s driving me dotty.

Can you name one proposition asserted by Moldbug that has all three of the following features?

1) True
2) Important
3) Original

On that last one, originality: I can’t bash anyone for belaboring the obvious, since my blog’s current tagline is basically “Belaboring the obvious.” But I can blame y’all for treating obviousities as if they’re mystic eldritch insights of supernatural wisdom.

Like, Democracy doesn’t work in practice the way it works in theory. NO SHIT! Everyone already knows this! GAAAAAAH!

Don’t piss on my foot and tell me it’s raining, and when someone says “Two plus two is four” don’t tell me this is some superadvanced Jedi shit straight from the mind of Yoda.

Jesus, people. All the man does is (a) say things that are nonsense, and (b) say things that are obviously true, but in 1,000 words where 10 words would do, and with reference to ancient Zoroastrian history where a reference to familiar 20th century history would do.

Moldbug is worthless. Yeah, fight me.

Striped Lizards, Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Political Dynamics

Preface: We are going through so much history per year now that my political beliefs have become quite fluid. My beliefs about politics may have changed as much in the last five years as they did in all my adult life before that. Which is to say: Please don’t think of my political posts, especially my recent ones, as intended pronouncements ex cathedra about eternal truth. Lately I think of them as more like progress reports on a research agenda. I drop them into a mailbox occasionally, addressed to “Anyone who might be interested.”

We’re getting more historical time per unit of calendar time lately. This is not always fun, but it’s certainly intellectually stimulating.


In Game Theory Evolving, Herbert Gintis discusses the lizard species Uta Stansburiana, the males of which fall into three types. The proportions of the types in the population cycle over time, because the mating competition game they play is essentially rock-paper-scissors. That is, type A beats type B and type B beats type C, but type C beats type A. For this reason the proportions of the different types of males are in constant flux; they never settle down to equilibrium.

If you look at the Infogalactic page or the Wikipedia page (the latter is more comprehensive) you will see that in this case the reality matches the theory: Empirically, the male lizard population indeed cycles between the various types as predicted by the game theory.

“Finally!” I can hear you cry. “I’ve been wondering for years when you were going to get around to lizard population dynamics!” Actually my point is not about lizard population dynamics. My main point is:

Political systems could be like this, with (for example) democracy necessarily turning into dictatorship eventually, dictatorship eventually softening into a benign monarchy-cum-aristocracy, and benign monarchy-cum-aristocracy eventually turning into democracy. Or something like that. Not necessarily that specific pattern, but the basic point that the dynamics could be cyclical. There’s no guarantee of convergence to a steady state.

Actually my current thinking is that there are only two main systems viable since 1776. One is democracy, but that can’t last because power-mad psychopaths can manipulate it through electoral fraud, etc. Thus democracy tends to disintegrate into dictatorship.

But dictatorship, in the modern world, also can’t last due to the narrative power of democracy. I suspect this means that some sort of democratic faction will eventually gain control, whether through a palace coup, a long march through the institutions, or whatever.

In short: Democracy is vulnerable to a Machiavellian attack by megalomaniac sociopaths. Dictatorship is vulnerable to a philosophical attack based on the idea that government should have the consent of the governed.

I agree with this, by the way, for all kinds of reasons. If, like me, you think that democracy is desirable but inherently unstable, then we may be in the position of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation: We can’t stop the descent into totalitarianism but maybe we can do things to shorten its lifespan and hasten the revival of democracy.


Oh, that reminds me:

Memo to future pro-democracy revolutionaries:

(1) If you’re not going to establish the death penalty for electoral fraud, don’t bother having your democratic revolution. I mean this. If you are not willing to make fraud a capital crime then stay home, put your feet up, and have a beer. It’s safer for you and will have the same basic result in terms of establishing a persistent democracy.

(2) There must be no significant political power that is unelected. There must be no significant political power that has life-time tenure. One of the things that destroyed democracy in the United States of America was judges who were appointed by politicians and who had lifetime tenure. Such judges brazenly, overtly ignored the law. In various ways, this by itself may have been sufficient to terminate American democracy.

We have learned these lessons at devastating cost. Please, learn from our mistakes.

No System of Government is Stable

In a recent post I wrote, paraphrasing,

I don’t agree with the view of NRx that monarchy is better than democracy. But it looks like we don’t have a choice. Apparently history says that in the long run our only choices are one kind of monarchy or another kind of monarchy.

This may be true, but I’ve realized there’s a catch: Every government needs a state religion— an official ideology that asserts the government’s legitimacy— and ever since 1776, the only workable state religion is democracy.

(This is true at least in the western world, and increasingly outside it.)

But history— not to mention recent electoral developments, ahem— teaches us that democracy is inherently unstable; it can’t last.

How to reconcile these two truths?

Well, why would you think they require reconciliation? Democracy is inherently unstable. And ever since 1776, all non-democratic forms of government are also inherently unstable.

All is flux.

I don’t like it either. Something in the human soul wants stability. Well, we’re just going to have to suck it up.

We’re going to have to adopt the mindset of the Moties in The Mote in God’s Eye. That’s a classic science fiction novel in which, due to the biological nature of the alien Moties, their civilizations necessarily end in Malthusian collapse at somewhat predictable intervals. The Motie species is immensely older than the human race, but has never expanded beyond their home star system, largely for this reason, while the much younger human race has. The Moties’ long-range planning assumes future collapse. At one point a Motie nonchalantly says to a human something like, “Our plan is to, when the next collapse comes, do X, Y, and Z.” “You’re using it!” the horrified human exclaims. “You’re actually assuming the collapse and basing your planning on it!” And the Motie responds with “Well, yeah, of course.”

We’re going to have to proceed like this. We are just going to have to accept that human political reality is going to be a roller coaster, if not forever, then at least far beyond the planning horizon of anyone now alive. There is no Fukuyaman “End of History.”


“Okay, sure,” you say, “but what are governments, who want to persist, going to do?”

Pretty obviously, human political reality is heading toward non-democratic dictatorship with the official state religion of democracy. That particular tension will continue to be resolved, in the short run, by liberal applications of electoral fraud. But that resolution will be a blink of an eye on a historical timescale. In the long run systems that flagrantly violate their own explicit standards of legitimacy can’t last.

Which brings me back around to the point that no political system can be stable ever again. Even dictatorship and monarchy, which managed to be quite stable as systems, historically, were not dynastically stable. The history of monarchy involves a fuck-ton of succession wars, assassination, revolts of the aristocracy against the monarch, etc. Typically this resulted in one dynastic family being overthrown and replaced with another dynastic family. So the system of monarchy lasted for thousands of years, but that doesn’t imply “continuity of government” or whatever you want to call it.

To think that it does is to confuse the levels. We’ve had stability of the laws of physics for 13.6 billion years, but that didn’t stop Russia’s communists from overthrowing the czars.

In the modern world, many flagrantly undemocratic regimes have persisted for a while, e.g. the 75-year run of the USSR, but that was a femtosecond in human history. And such regimes had to give lip service to democracy to last even that long. There is something strange about this: Even when literally every person knew that the regime was not democratic, the regime still had to give lip service to democracy. Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

(Random aside to Moldbug fanbois: I can also quote this saying in French: L’hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu. This proves that I’m sophisticated and therefore everything I say is true.)

So we are simply going to have to operate within that environment, that no government is stable. Leftists are going to get the “permanent revolution” that some of them said they wanted. It’s not going to be what they thought. (They didn’t really want it; they just wanted revolution to put them into power and a cessation of revolutions once they were in power. Well, too bad, kids.)

A state religion that doesn’t have democracy is not possible from now on, any more than it’s possible to have a state religion founded on the notion that lightning is caused by Thor being angry. The world has moved on. Pandora’s box was opened. The call has escaped from the trumpet; you are not going to put it back in.

It does not even matter whether anyone thinks this is good or bad. It is like having an opinion about whether the laws of physics are good or bad.

And do remember that our ideas have tremendous rhetorical power too. That’s the entire reason that even after half a century of domination of the media and education by the left, and massive electoral fraud, they still couldn’t prevent Trump from being elected in 2016! That’s proof of an immensely powerful set of ideas.

Buckle up!

Why Socialism Doesn’t Work, the Short Version

Imagine that every day at midnight, every person in the world randomly switched bodies.

What would happen? Everyone would eat their favorite foods with no regard for the health consequences. No one would ever do any exercise, except for kinds of exercise which are inherently enjoyable. There’d be a lot of smoking, drinking, and doing drugs, etc., because we’d face no long-term health consequences of such. Obviously the health of the human race would deteriorate horribly. We might even die off.

This is what happens when there is no property, when people have no stake in the long-term management of a resource or asset.

Miscellany 27: When you stare long into the Miscellany, the Miscellany also stares into you

(1) I don’t agree with the view of NRx that monarchy is better than democracy. I suspect the people who think that are comparing the sordid reality of democracy to the radiant vision of the best theoretical monarchy. That’s not a valid comparison; we must compare the sordid reality of democracy to the sordid reality of monarchy.


It looks like we don’t have a choice anyway. Apparently history says either we’re going to get totalitarianism, which as a practical matter is going to be led by one person a la Stalin, or we’re going to get a Caesar, who is going to destroy our current totalitarianism and replace it with a non-totalitarian monarchy. In other words, in the long run it looks like our only choices are one kind of monarchy or another kind of monarchy.

If it is true that those are the only two possibilities, then it indeed makes sense to think about how to bend the coming monarchy, if we get one, into its best-case scenario.

(2) Director Eats Too Many Finger Paints in Art Class, Tries to Make TV Show Trailer

“Drama is people doing amazing things for good reasons; melodrama is people doing amazing things for no reason.” —Dictum of fiction writers.

Via Blind Prison of the Mind

There’s a desperately sad trailer for an upcoming Wheel of Time vidya series. The Wheel of Time books are a fantasy series I haven’t read, but they’re well known among fantasy fans.

The trailer goes like this. A bunch of people – suitably racially diverse for Current Year – are sitting around in an old-timey tavern and inn. It’s definitely not a pub, let alone a bar or club, but a tavern. There’s no electricity, everything’s made of wood, etc. There’s a massive fireplace, the fireplace equivalent of a walk-in closet. That bad-ass fireplace turns out to be the best thing about this moronic trailer. We get enough shots of the clientele laughing to get that this is a laid back/party environment where everyone is having a good time. In fact, there’s enough unexplained acausal laughing that I started to wonder what the fucking joke was. But okay, whatever.

There’s a moment of two dudes having some dumb beta orbiter talk about the barmaid.

Then the stupidity really kicks in. The tavern door opens and we see a pair of boots. The camera is on the floor, lingering on this pair of boots. We cut away to some reaction shots of the tavern’s customers. They’re all appalled, or shocked, or just stunned into silence. My God, what is it? Back to the floor-level camera, showing us the boots walking a bit. “This is weird,” I thought, “what’s with the boots?” Then another couple of reaction shots of the stunned clientele. What is it, a dude with two heads or something? Then another floor-cam shot of the boots, walking. At this point I blurted, “What the hell? Is the director of this a foot fetishist?”

Then the camera pulls back and we see what has caused the tense hush among the people. It’s… a man! This is what has shocked the tavern’s customers into speechlessness. Or maybe it’s the fact that he left the door open behind him – on this rainy winter night – and they’re all thinking, “What a douche!”

(New joke:
You: “A guy walks into a bar.”
People you’re telling the joke to: “Yeah, then what?”
You: “I can’t tell you; I’m shocked into silence by a guy walking into a bar.”)

Challenged by the barmaid to identify himself, he dramatically pulls back the hood of his cloak and introduces himself as “Joe Shmoe, moron who was raised in a barn,” or whatever, I wasn’t really paying attention. Then we jump to a flashback or dream sequence or hallucination or something. It’s a severely out-of-focus shot of a figure walking toward the camera. What does it mean? The focus resolves and wait, nope, it’s not a dream sequence; it’s just a woman walking into the tavern, out of focus for absolutely no reason whatsoever. In she walks, and she also leaves the door open, even though there is no one else coming in after her. What a fucking twat!

The man introduces her and she orders a stable for their horses and a room for the night, a move that is so unexpected in this tavern and inn that everyone is still speechless. Finally the tavern owner is like “No prob; I’ll sesh you,” and… that’s the scene.

As one YouTube commenter asks:

“How do you reckon that conversation went? ‘Okay, so here’s the plan. I’ll walk in alone while you stay out in the rain and wait for people to stop what they’re doing to notice me before announcing myself. Then when I announce you you dramatically walk out of the downpour, and we leave the door open.’”

There also is a thread of commenters who have read the books wondering why these two people, who apparently need to be traveling incognito, are doing everything possible to draw attention to themselves short of setting their hair on fire.

The whole trailer is notably fuckwitted, and it raises a question: What the fuck was the animating idea for this scene? Worse, this is what the producers of this thing think is one of the best scenes in the production, good enough to be featured in an ad for it. It’s clear from watching it that the director had no idea what the fuck he – or she! – was doing. An ad for a new show should make us think “Wow, that looks really cool” or “Hmm, I’m intrigued by the mystery.” Instead we’re thinking either (1) Close the fucking door! or (2) Why did they hire a director of foot fetish porn for this project?

That foot thing is surreal. You have to watch the clip to believe it. The director was just copying some technique he saw somewhere and now he thinks that’s just how you do it: You focus on the feet. This is a textbook example of the cargo-cult mentality: copying techniques without the faintest idea of why and how the techniques were originally used. Presumably this kind of shot originally was used in a way that made sense. One can easily imagine such uses. E.g., it’s from the viewpoint of a character who just got slugged and is lying on the floor. Etc. But this dumb-ass director has never even contemplated the notion that cinematic techniques are used for a reason. He just saw it in a music video once and thought, “I’ll do that.”

(Is western society becoming more idiotic? Or was it always this stupid, and the past seems better because the crap is forgotten over time, leaving mostly the good stuff?)

I tried to come up with a hypothesis of some conscious goal that the producers of this crap had in mind as they tried to string a coherent thought together in the fog of their oxygen-deprived haze. And maybe there is a semi-sentient purpose in this: to name two major characters who will be familiar to the fans of the book series. Thus we get Barn-Boy dramatically pushing his hood back and saying “I’m Barn Boy,” then adding, “And this is Standing-In-The-Rain Girl.” (No, I’m not going to re-watch it to see what their actual names are; I’ve already watched the crap twice, which is more than enough.) But this is done badly; badly enough for the YouTube comments to be overwhelmingly mocking. Do it correctly, asshats.

Off the top of my head: We start with the tavern. Two people enter. They don’t leave the door open, they don’t stand there in the middle of the floor, and they don’t do anything else to call attention to themselves. They unobtrusively go straight to a table and take a seat. They doff their hoods, not melodramatically, but normally, and we see that one is a man, who is sitting with his back to a wall so he can see the whole room, and the other, facing him, is a woman. He says to her, “Why don’t you swing around a bit so you don’t have your back to the room, [Her Name].” And she replies, “I don’t have to worry about that, [His Name]; I have you to watch out for me.” Thus we get their names for the fans, and we also get realistic behavior. We also get some mystery for the non-fans, because we want to know why it’s dangerous for her to be sitting with her back to the room and how/why she has this bodyguard traveling with her. And can the average person afford a bodyguard? Presumably not, so that raises the question of her social position as well. Is this a countess traveling incognito or what? And if so, why?

If that’s not enough there’s her ring, which figures prominently in the actual trailer. I have no idea what its significance is, but that could be worked in as well. Just have a barmaid come over to take their order and have the woman quickly pull her hand under her sleeve, obviously trying to hide the ring. That adds more mystery. And the whole scene, if I say so myself, has an appropriate measure of drama. None of it involves bizarre camera work that pulls the viewer out of the scene with its grating pointlessness, people traveling incognito going out of their way to call attention to themselves, or humanly unrealistic reactions of people being shocked into speechlessness by the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of a guy walking into a bar.

Now my version doesn’t end on a dramatic note, so if you want, you can then do the standard rapid-fire montage of action shots to let people know that, yes, there is some action, and yes, we have a special effects budget of more than fifty bucks. Fine. It’s been done, but it’s better than trying to whip up drama with a couple of people requesting lodging at a tavern/inn.

Now as I said, I’ve never read the books. Maybe they’re not on some dangerous quest and my bodyguard notion is off. But I’ve heard this is a classic “band of heroes teams up to defeat the bad guy before he destroys the world” fantasy series. So there’s something interesting about them, or there wouldn’t be a series of like ten books devoted to their quest. Whatever that interesting thing is, the dialogue between them can hint at it.

I literally just made this up, and I dare say it does a better job than the version they actually came up with. I’m pretty sure that my version would at least dodge dozens of comments to the effect of “Close the fucking door, asshats,” and might even interest a few people.

(3) Circa November 8, 2021: I read some article about a guy slashing a bunch of people on a train in Germany. They don’t report the perpetrator’s name or any details. So of course I make certain inferences about the attacker.

If you dig around you can, with a little effort, find out the attacker’s salient identity-politics characteristics. He’s a Syrian immigrant. Surprise!

But that’s not my main point. My main point is that it recently hit me:

We now read the news like the citizens of the Soviet Union read their news.

Soviet citizens would read Pravda not because they thought it told them the truth, but because they could infer certain truths from Pravda by analyzing its content. They noted what it said, what it didn’t say, how it said what it said, how the narrative would do a blatant 180 from one week to the next, etc.

All that is stuff we do now, at least those of us with a clue. The newspaper didn’t tell me that the attacker was a Muslim and/or non-white and/or immigrant, but I inferred that with a high degree of confidence from what they didn’t say.

Of course, those of us who aren’t leftist wackos have been reading in a manner somewhat like this for decades, but it’s become different in the last few years. Consider e.g. the media’s simultaneous assertions, starting in late 2016, that subverting US elections is impossible (and anyone who thinks it’s possible is a fascist), and that Trump and Russia subverted a US election. That is a new level of double-think. The media has demanded that its faithful leftist readers abandon all principle, and embrace hypocrisy, for a long time. But

“US elections cannot be subverted and Trump subverted a US election”

is new. It is a leveling-up of the psychological demands made on the ideologically faithful.

Another case from 2016 is the case of Hillary Clinton having a blatant seizure on video, followed by the media saying, “You did not just see her having a seizure.” This was the clearest case of “How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?” that I can think of.

The other major example over the last few years is the new approach to reporting based on racial criteria. The media always reported in ways that helped the leftist party line on race. But lately the deliberate burying of news stories of black-on-white violence, playing up of the opposite stories, etc., has intensified significantly. It has mutated from silence about black-on-white violence to an attempt to convince the population of the opposite of the truth about inter-racial violence. The truth, which one can still learn from official crime statistics— for the time being— is that blacks are several times as likely to attack whites as vice-versa. But the media purposefully report, and don’t report, news stories in such a way as to create the opposite impression. I fear that many young people in the US might believe that whites attacking blacks is more common than the opposite.

Of course we know the media does this, but here’s an interesting case in which they actually admit to doing it. Here’s a piece at a Binghamton NY media outlet in which they lament, in 2019, that a 2009 shooting has all but been forgotten. Gosh, why was it forgotten?


“Not that the community wants to be solely identified by its own active shooter at an immigrant center that claimed the life of 13 victims 10 years ago.”

Goodness, a shooting at an immigrant facility! It must have been a white supremacist!

“But with each subsequent mass shooting, it seems the shocking incident that gripped this community in fear and mourning on a rainy and chilly Friday morning fades further from the nation’s collective memory, creating a double tragedy for the innocent, many of whom were foreign nationals in an English class.”

We read a rather lengthy article filled with woe that this shooting has been forgotten. Strangely, the identity of the shooter is never mentioned. Then we get to an editor’s note at the end:

“Editor’s note: Though the identity of the man who killed 13 people at the American Civic Association in 2009 is public record and has been widely circulated, the Press & Sun-Bulletin has chosen not to include his name or likeness in these articles.”

Yeah, I noticed that. A quick Net search reveals this at Wikipedia:

“Jiverly Antares Wong, a 41-year-old naturalized American citizen from Vietnam, entered the facility and shot 17 people…”

Of course we don’t need the editor’s note or an article identifying the shooter to know why they censored his identity. This is merely a rare case in which they are relatively explicit about their censorship.

(What goes on the minds of people who censor news stories, then wonder why those news stories are forgotten? I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be that stupid.)

Even people who aren’t aware of egregious cases like this know the media does things like this all the time. And so we read and watch the media the way people in North freakin’ Korea read and watch their media.

And so we take another step into the psychology of totalitarianism.

Miscellany 26: Shred the Miscellany like You’re an FBI Agent and It’s a Pile of Documents on Electoral Fraud

(1) I do a certain amount of yapping about dark-haired women, but…

I get the thing about blondes if they look like that!

(2) Suones at https://blog.reaction.la/politics/make-women-property-again/ tersely sums up the problem in the priesthood:

“Since superior holiness is the currency of priests, their failure mode is holiness-spiralling.”

This is a clearly true statement about the priesthood. However, the problem is not limited to the priesthood, as a casual glance at the political environment in 2021 reveals. Thus I disagree with e.g. Pooch at https://blog.reaction.la/war/where-we-are-now/

“Open priesthood is at the roof [root] of the holiness spiral problem. A theoretical perfect religion will still inevitably get holiness spiraled to demonic levels with an open priesthood.”

A lot of dudes in NRx think that the main problem of holiness spirals is an open priesthood. Alas, it’s not that simple. Even without an open priesthood, non-priest assholes would still have a desire to holiness spiral to virtue signal, and everyone has an incentive to do it to reduce the chance of being attacked by the swarm. (Some resist the incentive, of course.) The people who post “Refugees welcome” on Twitter don’t do that because they’re hoping for a job in the African Studies Department of their local university. Yes an open priesthood exacerbates the problem, but it’s not the core of the problem.

(3) As a follow-up to the previous point: What are we going to do if we actually win and succeed in closing the priesthood? I mean, as a matter of policy? The unofficial policy, expressed casually, will be something like, “Be pious, but don’t have a stick up your butt about it. And DON’T try to out-pious your neighbors, or we’ll punish you.” Robert Heinlein, in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, had his character Maureen Johnson say something in a similar vein, summing up what makes a person liked in her town, as opposed to resented for being an a-hole about religion: “Commandment number four. Go to church on Sundays. Smile and be pleasant but don’t be too smarmily a hypocrite… Support the church by deeds and money but not too conspicuously.”

So the basic idea is simple. But how can we officially communicate it to the population?

(4) Game: A field report. In my previous Miscellany post I wrote about some shit testing that I’ve encountered at the rink where I’ve been skating lately. Since that post until today that mostly stopped— I suspect this is because as I’ve gotten used to the temperature in this rink I’ve been wearing gloves less, so my wedding ring is now visible most of the time that I’m on the ice.

So anyway, it mostly stopped… until earlier today (the day I’m writing this, not the day I’m posting it). I get this blatant shit testing (STing) from two young women. One of them is the alpha bitch I mentioned in the previous Miscellany post; the other is a buddy of hers. Buddy is also a regular there but has never ST’d me before so I’ll call her New Brat. Now I can’t describe the shit test, because it involves a fairly unique feature of this particular rink, and I don’t want to out my location. It was not subtle. It was one of those, “Let’s blatantly provoke this guy because we’re intensely curious about how he’ll respond” shit tests.

I give myself a C-minus for handling it, by the way; I would say C+ but I’m dinging myself because I should have been expecting it— I got complacent when the tests died down over the last couple of weeks. Anyway…

So in response to the blatantly unreasonable behavior I throw a couple of joking jabs in New Brat’s direction. I’m nowhere near being within reach of her— maybe five feet away— and I’m smirking at the girls’ blatant double-X chromosome antics, so any human who’s not autistic is going to get that I’m kidding. New Brat goes, “Seriously? You’d hit a teenage girl?” Either she’s an autist or this is just another shit test. (What do you think?) Now let’s replay that and dig my immediate response:

“Seriously? You’d hit a teenage girl?”
“Oh yeah, I do it all the time!”

Any reader familiar with the basics of Game will recognize this as Agree and Amplify. But what interests me is that I wasn’t thinking in those terms. It just came out of me spontaneously in response to this dorky rhetorical question by this silly chick. And this is my point: We think of Agree and Amplify as a Game technique, but the reason the technique is a good one is that it’s a man’s natural response when some chick is being a dork and you don’t take her at all seriously.

Of course, this is true of all Game: The entire point is to mimic behaviors of a man who’s not impressed or interested. But it’s been years since I’ve had a chick say something quite that austitically dorky to me. I couldn’t even be arsed to pretend to take her seriously.

Of course, all men who use Game have experienced the delightful change of having the right behaviors become natural and spontaneous. I experienced that decades ago. But I normally think about this in terms of general alpha behavior (Game in the large), not specific techniques (Game in the small). So it was interesting that I spontaneously Agreed and Amplified, a specific technique, without thinking about it.

Ah, the classic techniques. They’re classic for a reason.

By the way, New Brat’s expression changed noticeably in response to my mockery. It looked like she was surprised or confused. Hopefully it’s because she actually heard what I was saying through my words. My words were, “Oh yeah, I do it all the time!” But what I was saying was, “You dork!”

However, since I don’t think I passed the shit test well, overall, there will be a follow-up test some time soon. God damn it, now I have to think about this until it gets resolved. Females are such a pain in the ass!

Follow-up about ten days later: Another shit test!

Memo to anti-Gamers and assorted blue-pillers: Note that Game predicted these young women’s behavior. Game is scientific; it’s a set of generalizations gleaned from a large mass of observations. And so, like classical mechanics enabling us to predict the positions of the planets, Game literally enables you to predict the future.

This time it was the alpha bitch from the previous Miscellany post, whom I am going to refer to as Drama Queen henceforth, for reasons that will immediately become apparent.

This time she and I did sorta kinda have a near miss. But not a very near miss. So she yelps “You almost killed me!” or something like that, while holding her hand over her heart as if she’s having a heart attack, LOL. She then skates over to the boards to get a consoling hug from her friend New Brat. I swear I am not making this up.

So I skate over to them and say to Drama Queen, “You’re okay. Everybody has near misses.” (Really, it wasn’t a very near miss.)

“What?” she says, while she theatrically folds her arms across her chest and tries to give me a piercing Alpha Bitch stare. The problem for her is, while this would be scary if it were Russia a couple of centuries ago and she were the Czarina and had the authority to have me sent to Siberia, coming from a teenage chick in the modern US it’s just silly. Actually it was kind of cute. I wish that all the teenage girl shit testing had been this easy to handle when I was in my teens. Or maybe it was, and I just find it easier to handle now due to experience.

Anyway, at this point I’m already skating backwards away from her because I want to get back in motion, so I make my hand into a trumpet and loudly repeat what I said while keeping eye contact with her, then I turn and skate away.


Drama Queen’s shit testing is so silly, like she hasn’t had much practice. In general she, like her friend, is kind of a dork.

Two possible explanations (aside from her just being a doofus):

1) She might be younger than she looks.

2) They attend an all-girls school. This would explain the silliness of Drama Queen’s shit testing, as well as the fact that even though she’s hot she obviously isn’t getting laid (man this chick needs to be pronged, as her hilariously melodramatic shit testing reveals).

I seem to have been identified as the situational alpha of this rink. This is flattering, but the ST’ing is annoying as well as amusing. The amusement comes from the fact that her shit testing drama queenery is so over the top. When we both had to stop suddenly, Drama Queen acted like she was in a sub-basement two stories belowground at Hiroshima when the nuke went off, and through a freak combination of circumstances managed to survive. (“I need a hug!”) Also, I was skating backwards and she was skating forwards, so she should have seen me coming plenty of time before I looked over my shoulder and saw her. The annoyance comes from the fact that I am there for ice, not to be ST’d by histrionic females. Women!


I already have a woman, so leave me alone, you little spazzes! And even if I didn’t, there are also a few other considerations. I don’t want to fail shit tests, because I want to keep my dignity (and honestly, it’s fun to practice passing them). But the more I pass them the more of these chicks’ attention I’m going to draw. The ideal outcome is that they both start getting laid soon and they’ll suddenly be a lot more… relaxed. Then, one may hope, this whole issue will go away.

Trusted Institutions By Default Become Untrustworthy

From the movie Last Man Standing:

Capt. Tom Pickett: Things in this town are out of control. Two gangs is just one too many… What I’m concerned with is keeping a lid on things, and what we got here in Jericho is just way out of hand, and Sheriff Galt, here, can’t do much about it, right? Matter of fact, it might be fair to say that he’s part of the problem, right? Now you been going back and forth, playing both sides according to Mr. Galt, here, making yourself a lot of money out of all this. Well, it’s over, son. I’m coming back here in ten days, and I’m gonna bring about twenty rangers with me. I will tolerate *one* gang, because that is the nature of things. A certain amount of corruption is inevitable. But if I find *two* gangs here when I get back, then in a couple of hours there will be *no* gangs here. So it’s simple. One gang quits and goes home. You boys work it out. I don’t give a damn which one.

(Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG0RjhdNPCQ starting at the 1:47 mark.)

Why does Pickett say that a certain amount of corruption is inevitable? Sure, there’s no such thing as perfection in this vale of toil and sin, but might there be a more specific reason?

Yes: If there were no corruption there’d be no reason to have social measures to control corruption, so we wouldn’t have any such measures… but without such measures corruption would be low-risk and very rewarding. So corruption would appear. Thus, as Pickett says, a certain amount of it is inevitable.

For the same reason, as I wrote in a recent post, institutions like news media and educational institutions will always end up with some sort of bias, unfortunately. It is not a Nash equilibrium for them to be bias-free. This is because if they were bias-free, then we’d trust them… but if we trust them, they can get away with being biased without being detected. So essentially there’s no internally consistent scenario without bias.

Similarly, a zero-violence world cannot be an equilibrium: If there were no violence then we’d have no measures to prevent or punish violence, but if there are no such measures then et cetera.

A la mode: Predation and parasitism are ubiquitous in nature. Indeed, when computer folks first started playing around with evolving artificial life, one of the things they often noticed was the rise of parasitism and predation, even when they hadn’t built those features into their worlds at the outset.

It is tempting to think that we can solve this problem with oversight bodies that will discipline the institutions we’re concerned about, but those oversight bodies are subject to the same problem. There’s an infinite recursion problem here. Thus the ancient rhetorical question, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

This doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything or that all political institutions are equally good or equally bad. After all, the left took over our schools, so in principle we can do the same. But we must be realistic about what is achievable and how long such successes can persist. (If the left thinks their victories will last forever they’re using too short a time scale to think about these things.)

If the Pandemic Is Still Ongoing, Booster Shots Are Redundant

If the COVID virus is still prevalent then post-vaccine booster shots are not necessary: If the virus is prevalent then we’re constantly being infected with it in everyday life anyway.

On the other hand, suppose the pro-booster crowd’s response to that is that you need a booster because you probably go 6 months without encountering the virus. Well, if the average person goes 6 months without encountering the virus, the virus has disappeared; the pandemic is over.