Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Democracy, Equality, Stability. Pick Two.

Democracy does not imply equality, either in the social or the political sense. No historical examples of democracies of a significant size granted universal suffrage. The conviction that democracy means equal political input by all in the citizenry is more of a modern experiment than some time-tested attribute of democracy. Even in the US women have only had the vote for about a hundred years.

Democracy does not imply stability. Democracies tend to avoid the turmoils of succession endured by autocracies, such as late Rome, and often even seen in hereditary monarchies. Yet at their worst democracies are subjugated to the whims of the mob.

Equality does not imply stability. There isn't much of a historical accord for universal equality to judge the concept empirically. If equality were true then it seems it would be highly stable. But of course equality is not a concept seen in nature, but a theoretical construct imposed by man. In reality humans are highly varied in their capabilities to produce, lead, and make rational policy decisions.

Government systems that employ equality can be stable. Under autocratic communism the people are theoretically equal components of the state, and in practice they mostly are all equally disenfranchised of any political power. Mostly those regimes have not been stable in the long run. (But what is?) One explanation might be that they don't suffer from inherent instability, but they tended to fall because they could not compete economically with their capitalist adversaries. But that doesn't gives us much reassurance that they fell as a matter of unique circumstances. Economic performance is essential for the stability of any state. Communism may be unique in the sense that by imposing economic equality on the citizenry, the benefits of market pricing are lost. Competent employees are not incentivized to work any harder than the least capable, and manufacturers have no incentive to generate products at anything but the lowest required standards. China has attempted to ameliorate this consequence by allowing economic freedoms. The rising inequalities in China raises the question as to whether the political autocracy can be maintained in the face of free market forces.

Democracy can be stable. Equality can, perhaps, be stable. But democracy and equality merged cannot be. In a stable system the most competent are elevated to positions of authority. Capitalism tends to be stable for this reason. Those who invest wisely will tend to accrue capital, giving them increasing input into the economy. Those who invest foolishly or are wasteful will not survive long as venture capitalists. Society benefits from the resulting stability.

Democracies succeed because they provide analogous hierarchies. The American system was founded to employ this sort of elevation of the competent. Franchisement was limited, and those permitted to vote did so to elevate competent individuals to decision-making roles. The benefit of a representational democracy is not that it gives "one man one vote" so much that it tends to elevate the competent. Promotion of the most competent is generally a big problem in government. A great king may rise to power and rule his people with extraordinary competence and wisdom, but regression to the mean applies. Nothing say his descendants will inherit any of his great abilities. Non-hereditary monarchies also tend to fail at succession, with Rome being the prime example. Most Roman emperors ended their reign's on the wrong side of a broadsword. There's this paradox where the best outcome for the nation is if the monarch chooses a successor early, so there can be no succession fight, yet that is not always the best choice for the emperor. For one, any man competent enough to be chosen as successor is probably also competent enough for regicide. Second it tends to erode the enthusiasm of all his remaining lieutenants who were not tapped for succession, and causes bitter resentment.

Democracies under equality tend to stop promoting the most capable to office. Elections become something of a popularity contest based on appeals to the lowest common denominator and promises of government largess. An electorate distracted by bread and circuses and mass propaganda might be most convenient for the ruling class but it basically defeats the purpose of democracy. In fact I would say it's more tyrannical than outright despotism, in the way that Noam Chomsky describes American corporate propaganda as more effective than Soviet-style state propaganda. In the Soviet Union everyone knew the propaganda was propaganda. In American they call it news. Similarly, under a dictatorship everyone ultimately realizes it's a tyranny. Under a democracy they don't. There's plausible legitimacy.

For democracies to succeed the electorate must be intelligent, informed, and moral. The three attributes are correlated to some degree, so let's just look at intelligence. The higher the IQ of the electorate, the more likely they are to make wise choices in selecting government officials. If a nation wanted the highest IQ electorate possible, they would simply have the single smartest individual be the only voter. There are numerous drawbacks to such an approach. The highest IQ person might still be something of a loon, and it eliminates the major point of democracy: to give input from the people, both in the sense that distributed decision making has inherent advantages over top-down control, and in the sense that giving my toddler two choices of toothbrush helps prevent bedtime revolts against the patriarchy. So we should allow a number of lower IQs to vote. But where to stop? Under equality we don't. Universal suffrage yields the electorate with the lowest average IQ, which is where we find ourselves today. The natural variances of human attributes are cast aside, and the citizen with 140 IQ has no greater say in governance than one with 70 IQ.

Jim's Blog described democracy in a recent post:
The basic theory of democracy is that instead of holding a civil war, every so often you count heads, declare who would have won if you had actually held a civil war, and proceed in a civilized manner, thus avoiding a lot of death and destruction.
If this is the model for democracy, then clearly it must be true that the outcome of the elections must at least loosely follow the outcomes expected of a civil war. That means the people who would actually be fighting the war must believe that they are being served by the decisions of the electorate and their appointed governments. Under equality the vote of the most useless counts just as much as the vote of the most capable. Eventually, if the would-be-warrior class sees that they are losing all self-determination to a bunch of losers bribed by welfare and other freebies, they will start to wonder if civil war isn't in their best interest after all.

Democracy + Equality = Collapse. The people can only be bribed for so long. The treasury can only be raided for so long. The warriors can only be placated for so long. Natural hierarchies can only be suppressed for so long. Market distortions eventually correct themselves.

Monday, February 27, 2017

That's So Republican

It's strange what a few months can do. A year or so I was using the word Republican as a pejorative, in the way we used to call things "gay" in high school. (And in college. And in the military.) At some point it became socially unacceptable to call things you don't like gay, so Republican seemed like a nice substitute. I mean what was more useless than a Republican anyway?

So it was unexpected that within six months I would be strongly supporting a Republican for president. Trumped picked fights with the media. With the globalists. With the Bushes and other establishment Republicans. He brutally savaged Hillary's character and record, which is what we expected out of Bernie the anti-corrupt. One thing about Trump was certain: he was picking fights with the right people!

Now we're over a month into the Republican supremacy. They have the presidency. They have both houses of Congress. Soon the Supreme Court will be conservative. They have the vast majority of the state houses and governors. Surely this is the opportunity Republicans have been dreaming of. Finally they can run the government the way they want, without the evil socialist Democrats stopping them! So how much legislation has our massively empowered Republican legislature passed in the 5 weeks of Trump?

Nada. No legislation. The Republican house, which voted to abolish Obamacare six times under certainty of veto by Obama himself, can't bring themselves to pass the same bill now that he's gone. Why? Because they want to be seen as fighting to stop government excess, without actually bearing the consequences of actually stopping government excess. They've ranted for years about the dangers of social healthcare but now that the ball is in their court they're revealed as either frauds, corrupt, or spineless. I think it's mostly the last one. They're afraid of being called bullies by liberals for taking healthcare from the destitute. Well you know what? The liberals are going to call you mean names no matter what you do. Have the Republicans learned nothing at all?

Leading the pack in all this is Paul Ryan. He is the biggest traitor in politics I have ever witnessed. After the Omnibus bill he should have been shunned by every single last Republican. Instead he easily won his re-election in Wisconsin. How painful to witness that. Isn't it interesting that the two on the ticket that gave Obama a nearly uncontested re-election, McCain & Ryan, have revealed themselves to be traitors to the Republicans? Can you list one achievement of either man that doesn't being with, "Helped the Democrats to....."? McCain actually forwarded damning and hilariously fraudulent private intelligence reports against Trump to the FBI; he is actively engaged in sabotaging the Republican president. McCain is a man who started his career by crashing every jet he ever got his hands on, and then was given the nickname "Songbird" by fellow POWs while in captivity. At best he has always been dead weight to this country, and at worst a lifelong traitor.

And just look at Ryan. That was his tough-guy photo shoot. Wisconsin how do you not just whither away in shame? He looks like a kid playing with daddy's weights. This photo op is every bit as fake as his politics. Memo to Ryan: curls are for girls. Even the women in my gym seem to prefer deadlifts and squats, god bless them. Ryan is pathetic in the gym and pathetic as a Republican congressman. Why America are we electing these worthless losers?

Now the Republicans are talking about not replacing Obamacare so much as renaming it. Their newest proposal includes removing the fines applied for not carrying insurance, and instead implementing a tax credit to those who do get insurance. IT'S THE SAME DAMN THING!! There are three conservative complaints against the healthcare situation right now.
  1. The federal government has no authority to be in the business of healthcare to begin with.
  2. The government can't force citizens to buy a product.
  3. The cost of healthcare is astronomical.
For years conservatives have stood against all three of these. At some point in his campaign Trump switched his rhetoric to "repeal & replace" which meant he was going to let Issue #1 slide by. Fine, he was still fighting the other two. Two out of three ain't bad. Now the Congress is reneging on Issue #2, and I don't hear them doing anything to address Issue #3. This is the kind of shit that caused the Trump revolution to begin with. Republicans going to Washington and not doing what they were sent to do. It's as simple as that. Look, we only have a limited supply of brash self-funded billionaires to fall back on. Trump might have been a one-shot deal.

And Trump himself has not been any great savior to conservatives. I think Ron Paul sums it up very well. Trump is a massive improvement over the status quo Republican, don't get me wrong. Unlike them, he's not a sellout and has a backbone. But the big problem with Trump is that in the context of the budget he is a borrow and spend liberal, like Bush, like Reagan. I actually support the policy, but from the viewpoint of accelerationism. I believe the only way to stop the tyrannical western democracies is for them to bankrupt themselves. But I don't think that is Trump's intention, nor the desire of most conservatives.

 If Republicans don't get the job done this time.....I just don't think the conservatives in this country have much patience left for treachery and incompetence.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Equality and Other Founding Myths


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...
If you had to sum up the entirety of Progressive ideology in a single word, I don't know what you could possibly pick other than equality. (Besides maybe a few pejoratives.)  They are obsessed with equality. Their major gripe, taken from Marx, is that all inequality stems from oppression. Thus they find and fight oppression pretty much everywhere. And as a sane person, if you challenged them on the notion, they will accuse you of being anti-American, of violating our core values. But is this the equality that was intended by the founding fathers?

What do most people today think of when they hear "all men are created equally"? Ask someone. They will likely tell you "equality under the law." Right? All men (in the gender-neutral sense) are afforded the same legal rights and protections. It's as simple as that. It's the only possible interpretation. But is that how the Founders themselves interpreted it?

It is fairly straight-forward to show they did not. Most glaringly, the acceptance of human slavery is certainly the strongest evidence imaginable to disprove the belief in equality under the law. Slaves were granted none of the inalienable rights mentioned. Perhaps the only stronger evidence would be the strong restriction of political franchisement. Here was a government of the people, where a relative few were actually permitted to vote.

So why would the phrasing of equality be given such prominence if equality under the law isn't really what was intended? The answer is actually quite simple, and would be quite obvious to anyone if it we hadn't been educated to think a certain way about this. What is the context of the phrase? It was written in the Declaration of Independence. What was the intention of that document? Was it to lay the framework for a new government? Was is it a philosophical treatise on Enlightenment-era principles of government? Was it to instruct future Americans on what "American values" would be?

No. It was to renounce the authority of King George III over the colonies. That's really it. It was a giant middle finger and, implicitly, a declaration of war. The core of the matter is this: where did King George's authority over the colonies come from? From the colonies themselves? Clearly not. From the British Parliament? Possibly, but then why was the declaration not made to them? Generally speaking, what claim did monarchs of the era make giving them authority to rule?

The answer is the divine right to rule. God Himself graced the monarch with His blessing. It should be no coincidence that the Declaration of Independence was penned shortly after the publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, a wildly popular pamphlet that eviscerated royal political legitimacy. The context of the phrasing is clear. Equality meant no divine right to rule. Political legitimacy comes from the consent of the governed, not from the Almighty.

Eventually the definition of equality became applied more liberally, to mean equality under the law as we generally conceive it. And there is much evidence to support this. Slavery has been abolished. Political franchisement has been granted to nearly all adults. And we expect our judiciary to perform their duties in an impartial fashion.

Equality was again expanded to be applied even more liberally again, to mean equality of opportunity. All Americans should be granted the same opportunities for success, no matter their background. Because of this we have universal public education, labor laws, consumer and renter protections, and a whole slew of other regulatory designed to eliminate obstacles that might obstruct citizens from reaching their full potential.

And in the modern era equality was expanded even more liberally yet again, to mean equality of outcomes. The notion is that if there is no general equality in outcomes of different groups of people, it must be corrected by the government. This provides the justification with what has become the large enterprise of government today: social programs and wealth transfers. The non-governmental sector see this as well through affirmative actions programs and scholarships and other aid intended for disadvantaged demographics. Further we are seeing large energetic movements, now mainstream on the left, that condemn the willful oppression of some groups by others, which is merely Marxism. What would the Founders say about such an interpretation of equality? Well interestingly enough, Paine addressed it himself in the first paragraph of the relevant section of his pamphlet.
MANKIND being originally equals in the order of creation, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstance: the distinctions of rich and poor may in a great measure be accounted for, and that without having recourse to the harsh ill-sounding names of oppression and avarice. Oppression is often the CONSEQUENCE, but seldom or never the MEANS of riches; and tho' avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy.
Here he seems to refute the Communist Manifesto 170 years prior to its publication. Perhaps this indicates I give Marx to much credit as the founder of  Oppressionism, as the notion seems to have been prevalent enough in the 1700s for Paine to feel obligated to address it immediately in his own work. Clearly the notion of equality of outcomes was specifically dismissed by the Founders as spurious, although where they stand on equality of opportunities is a question I'll save for a later time.

Universal Rights

The Declaration of Independence quote from above continues.
... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
What could be more undeniably American than the guarantee of basic human rights? But as before there is no reason to believe the words were not written with the same intentions as they are interpreted today. Today every other political agenda is couched in the terms of human rights. Women's rights, gay rights, abortion rights, consumer rights. All are apparently inalienable rights bequeathed from the good Lord Himself. 

Let's examine a few of the original rights.

Freedom of Speech

The second inalienable right mentioned, so it must be important. But was it really inalienable? Certainly much speech was still limited. Libel and slander laws applied. And the early government passed legislation against sedition, making it illegal to advocate for insurrection. Clearly universal freedom to say anything was not intended. What was intended was that political opinions could not be suppressed by the government. 

Freedom of the Press (from ridicule)

Recently we're hearing the press complain that by routinely criticizing the honesty of the media, Donald Trump is denying them their Constitutionally sanctioned Freedom of the Press. This is the same media which has for over a year run the most ridiculous and slanderous stories imaginable. Did the Founders share the belief that the press shouldn't be ridiculed by the President? We should consult the author of the Declaration and 3rd President himself. (source)
  • "I deplore... the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them... These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food. As vehicles of information and a curb on our funtionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief... This has, in a great degree, been produced by the violence and malignity of party spirit." --Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1814. ME 14:46
  • "Our printers raven on the agonies of their victims, as wolves do on the blood of the lamb." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1811. ME 13:59
  • "From forty years' experience of the wretched guess-work of the newspapers of what is not done in open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1816. ME 14:430
  • "Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." --Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 1807. ME 11:224
  • "As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers." --Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806. ME 11:118
  • "Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1819. ME 15:179
  • "The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807.

Right to Bear Arms

Many on the right oppose any sort of gun control on principle. "What part of shall not be infringed do you not understand?" goes the common retort. And yet the Founders did not hold themselves to such a strict standard. Guns were forbidden to slaves, criminals, indentured servants, and frequently to Indians, or even immigrant groups such as Catholics. Guns were sometimes registered or confiscated or removed to a central location for public safekeeping. Locales in the Wild West frequently had more strict gun laws than seen today. Clearly the Founders' intention of a well-armed militia capable of resisting state tyranny does not translate into the modern stance of every schizo gets a gun.

Freedom of Religion

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Originally meant to restrict Congress from declaring an official state religion, this has been stretched nearly to the point of being interpreted as a human right not to be exposed to undesirable religious speech. Of course the Founders practiced no such hostility to the open exercise of religion by government personnel and even institutions. To understand what freedom of religion means you really have to put yourself into the context of a group that had just broken away from a the British monarchy and the Angilican state religion.

Universal Suffrage

The Constitution makes no mention of requirements for voting, leaving the matter to the individual states. The states tightly restricted franchisement, with restriction to white property-owning males being common. Since that time numerous changes have been made to the Constitution making universal suffrage the codified law. If someone tells you the right to vote is a basic American right, well they are correct. But if they try to say the country was founded so that every man could vote, well that is just not accurate.


Much of what is passed off as traditional American values or founding principles are really nothing of the sort. Often people make the assumption with realizing the actual stance of the Founders on the various issues, and without realizing how much they have been altered in the nearly 230 years of our country's existence.

Scott Adams: The Climate Science Debate Illusion

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) posted on the climate science debate. Naturally he framed it in terms of his favorite subjects: persuasion and hallucination. He hit hard on an idea I have also discussed on this blog: that two sides of a heated debate can actually be having almost completely separate arguments. My usual example is the abortion debate. Pro-lifers and pro-choicers are not really having the same debate. Pro-lifers are arguing about the rights of the fetus, pro-choicers are arguing about the rights of the mother.

Adams arrives at the same conclusion for climate debate. In his estimation some people are arguing in terms of science, while others are arguing in terms of predictive models, which are not science. I made the distinction myself recently in my post Climate Change Science: So Convincing It's Not Real. Adams makes the same distinction I make; models are not science, they are a tool that scientists might use. He quips that calling a model science is like calling a microscope science.

Adams and I are clearly on the same page with all this. However I take some issue with the example he used. If you didn't read his post that I linked (and you should have...there's still time to go back and read it if you haven't) then here is the tweet he referenced.

He states:
Chelsea’s tweet exchange is representative of the debate illusion around the country.
But is it really? This doesn't sound so much like a comment of the type that Adams and I are both talking about, but more like an example of the Oliver Effect I described in John Oliver is a Moron: John Oliver is a Moron. It is not an example of an argument framed from the viewpoint of the scientific method versus predictive modeling; it's an argument from someone too stupid to know the difference. And could anything better summarize the ditzy liberal wading into a debate on science than, "ummmm, it's like science, duh!" (Remember, The Left Can No Longer Be Satirized).

This is also an example of something I call scientism. [I thought I had a post on scientism to refer back to. I actually have an unfinished draft, so I'll work on getting that finished.] Scientism is science as a belief system. It's adherents typically mock religion as something that has been superceded, however they don't fully comprehend the scientific method themselves, so science hasn't so much replaced religion as it has become the preferred religion. Ridiculing climate skeptics because science (in the lay sense) said they're wrong is really no different than ridiculing other religions because the Bible said they're wrong.

Downward Redistribution Doesn't Boost the Economy


In a discussion on universal basic income, it was postulated by one member of the group that by moving money from the rich to the poor the economy would be stimulated for growth. The notion was that rich people tend to save their money, but if transferred to poorer people it would more likely be spent on consumption, i.e. economic activity.

This was said by a professor of philosophy at the local university who, while clearly not an economist, is someone who can be categorized as educated and intelligent. It seems that the fundamentals of macroeconomics should be common knowledge, at least amongst people of that intellectual tier. If you have a grasp of macroeconomic fundamentals and understand the professor's mistake then there is no need to read any further. However if redistributing wealth downward sounds like a good way to boost the economy then this article is for you. Please note that I'm not claiming there are no good arguments to be made for downward re-distribution, just that overall economic growth is not one of them.

There seems to be a misperception of the very wealthy as Scrooge McDuck types who keep an enormous vault of money used for the purpose of recreational swimming. While clearly many rich people are guilty of overconsumption, that is not where the bulk of their money goes. Look at the example of Warren Buffet, who is the normal go-to example of how billionaires don't pay their fair share. Famously he pays a lower tax rate than his personal secretary. But he is also a model billionaire, who has stayed in Omaha rather than heading for a trendy city and still lives in the relatively modest home he's been in for decades. Almost the entirety of the man's wealth is not "saved" in the overstuffed mattress sense, but is invested in businesses. It is capital.

Perhaps to those who naturally recoil to the word capitalism then Buffet's capital investments are a waste and should be re-allocated to the poor who will spend it, as money is meant to be spent. And in fact, after I responded to the professor, another in the group (it's worth noting most of the discussion group are Trump-hating liberals) stated that capital investments do not contribute to economic growth. If that doesn't strike you as ridiculous it will in a moment.

Before we get into the economics part, there are a few ways to question their statements logically without even getting into economic theory.
  • If moving money from to capital investment to consumption boosts the economy, then why don't we move all of the money? Why aren't capital investments heavily taxed?
  • If capital investments don't lead to economic growth, then why do so many businesses spend their money on it?
  • If consumption is the primary driver of economic growth, why would we ever limit it? Sales taxes should be immediately abolished, and savings discouraged. The Fed would have every incentive to keep the inflation rates high.

Macroeconomic Growth Theory

If we include human capital and technology into the category of capital investment, then it is not only a way to drive economic growth, it is the only way to drive economic growth. The size of the economy is measured in GDP. The formula for GDP is:
GDP = consumption + investment + government spending + trade balance
What happens to GDP in the short term if we move money from investment to consumption? Nothing! What happens to GDP in the long term if we move money out of investments? It decreases. The only way it might make sense for increasing consumption at the expense of capital would be if there was excess production capital not being utilized. It would be an unusual circumstance, caused perhaps by a massive economic contraction. So universal basic income might make sense in case of zombie apocalypse.

Example: Sticks & Scones

Let's consider a very simple economy to see what effects capital investments can make.

Please contact me if you need custom cartography work done.

In Simpletonia there are two towns: Woodville and Cornucopia. Woodville is deep in the forest and their sole natural resource is wood. Cornucopia lies on the plains and their only resource is grain. The two towns are connected by a road of very poor quality. Grain is used to make scones, the only food in Simpletonia. A citizen needs at least a batch of scones a year to survive, two to be comfortable, and 3 or more for luxurious consumption. Wood is the only source of energy, used for heating and cooking. It takes one bundle of wood to cook a bushel of grain into a batch of scones. A citizen requires a minimum of two bundles of wood to survive the winter, four to be comfortable, and six for luxury comfort.

Citizens of Woodville work as either lumberjacks or bakers. There are three classes of residents in Woodville.
  • Five are low-class. They consume a minimum of resources: one batch of scones and two bundles of wood.
  • Four are middle-class. They consume two batches of scones and four bundles of wood.
  • One is an upper class baron. He consumes three batches of scones, six bundles of wood for heating, and extra bundles to expand his palatial home.
The total food consumption is 16 batches of scones per year. The four middle-class Simpletons work as bakers; each converting 4 bushels of grain to scones, and using 16 units of wood in the process. Grain is acquired from Cornucopia. They are always happy to trade a bushel of grain for a bundle of wood. However the trip is treacherous, so the traders require payment of two bundles of wood for the voyage.

The baron owns all the land. He hires the lumberjacks to cut wood, and pays them enough for minimal subsistence. Any excess wood he uses for his own luxury.

The five lower-class citizens works as lumberjacks. They can each cut 20 bundles of wood per year. Wood consumption is as follows:
  • 32 for consumption
  • 16 for cooking
  • 48 traded for grain
  • 4 per year used by the baron to improve his mansion
Let's look at some different scenarios and how they might impact the Woodville economy.


Some Simpletons suggest that the economy could be improved by redistributing wealth downwards. A tax is levied. All the baron's extra wood is given to the poor, and his own consumption is lowered to 5. All the lower-class wood consumption is thus raised to 3, somewhat above subsistence but not quite to the middle-class level. Nothing fundamental has changed in the economy; consumption has just been shifted.

Expand labor

The baron realizes he can get more production out of the lumberjacks by making them work more hours. They lumberjacks now each cut 24 bundles per year, for 120 total per year. The baron hoardes all the extra lumber.

Infrastructure investment

Seeing how well Woodville is doing, the King of Simpletonia conscripts one of the lumberjacks as a road worker. Wood production falls to 96. However the road is improved so much that the traders now only demand one bundle of wood. The wood distribution is modified.
  • 32 traded
  • 32 consumed
  • 16 for cooking
  • 16 extra

Capital investment

The baron decides to invest his extra wood and uses it to build a bakery. The bakery is much more efficient, doubling the production of each baker. The baron hires 3 of the bakers, who make 24 batches of scones per year. This raises the food consumption of nearly everyone. All lumberjacks now get 2 scones per year, and the three hired bakers get 3. Only the 4th baker, now unemployed, does not see his standard of living rise. The wood usage looks like this.
  • 48 traded
  • 32 consumed
  • 16 for cooking

Human capital / education

The unemployed baker heads to Simpleton University and is trained as a master in lumberjack management. After graduation he returns to Woodville and is hired by the baron. He improves lumberjack efficiency 100%. After cutting back their hours, the baron is able to let one go and still produces 120 bundles of wood per year.


The process for growing the economy is consistent. Production improvements free up labor that can be used to drive even more improvements in efficiency, yielding even more production improvements, and so on. Investments in capital, labor, and technology are the only practical way to grow the economy. Then notion that transferring money downwards because the rich are hoarding it all is a myth: the money they aren't spending is being used for capital investments.

The Real Reason for Redistribution

In our example the workers were always able to make an appropriate transition. For instance the lumberjack was able to transition to road worker, since they're both low-skilled labor. The baker, being already somewhat skilled, was able to retrain into industrial management. Typically technology will tend to eliminate low-skill jobs and open up high-skilled jobs. This is one reason for our obsession for education. But what happens to the people who can't be trained up? Certainly we shouldn't expect the 80 IQ laborer to ever be qualified for intellectual pursuits. It's quite possible these people will be left behind. And as AI advances, the displaced will be of increasingly higher IQs until, at the technological singularity, all humans are replaced from the economy. So there are very real arguments for a redistribution of wealth, but economic growth is not one of them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Scorched-Earth Environmentalism Pt II

In Scorched-Earth Environmentalism I showed that the environmental protesters and hippies in general tend to destroy the environment wherever they roam. In The Left Can No Longer Be Satirized I showed that they called my bluff on the satirical "scorched-earth" label by deliberately torching a camp on Indian lands before their forced evacuation deadline. Today this showed up on my facebook feed:

My thanks to the commentor for explicitly stating the sentiments of the left. Honesty is always preferable to delusion. In this case the delusion has been that the environmental protests against DAPL had anything to do with the environment. It's been apparent to the rest of us that this was more about victim/oppressor politics (i.e. Marxism) than legitimate concerns. We were told they were building on Indian lands, but that isn't true. We were told it threatens their water supply, but that is located 70 miles downstream. I'm curious as to how many water sources lie within 70 miles of an oil pipeline in the US. Surely tens of thousands.

So why the focus on a single river crossing out of the entire 1,200 mile pipeline project? Not facts, clearly. But narrative. If they protest at that location they can frame it as evil corporations versus oppressed Indians. It's always about the oppression narrative. It's textbook Marxism.

If the concern was primarily about the environment and water quality of Indians, their preferred outcomes would be ordered something like this:
  1. No pipeline is built
  2. Pipeline is built but environmental impact is minimalized
  3. Pipeline is built and is an environmental catastrophe
If the concern was primarily sticking it to evil oil corporations no matter what then the list of outcomes would be ordered differently.
  1. No pipeline is built
  2. Pipeline is built and is an environmental catastrophe
  3. Pipeline is built but environmental impact is minimalized
Clearly their preferred outcomes are of the latter ordering. Most preferred is the pipeline isn't built at all; environmentalists win! But if they lose, they want to see the project fail, and the oil company to suffer. Even if it means wrecking the environment and Indian waters they pretend to care about.

The protesters trashed the camp, have now torched the camp (which caused burns to 3 children, one seriously) and are praying that the grounds will be contaminated by oil leaks. I will be surprised if we don't see outright sabotage on the pipeline. The Indians are so fortunate to have these liberals fighting on their behalf, huh?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Left Can No Longer Be Satirized

You notice how the old sketch comedy shows are dedicated almost full-time to satirizing Trump and his team? A major reason for this is of course that they are extreme liberals who hate Trump. But another reason is simply a matter of necessity. They have to satirize the right because the left doesn't leave much room for it. Satire means exaggerating the qualities of the subject to the point of logical absurdity. So how do you satirize that which is already logically absurd?


Robert Reich

The night of the riots in Sweden I made the following comment on social media in an attempt to ridicule the response of the left's supposedly intellectual guard to the Milo riots.
Well I checked some mainstream media sources and they're saying Trump's claims of problems in Sweden are false and "baffling." So what do we make of this video footage? Were they right-wing provocateurs staged by Steve Bannon to make the media look bad? Hopefully Robert Reich can sort this out for us in the morning.
This was of course meant to be a joke. And yet the next day Reich answered the call on his Twitter.

Again he was able to blame violent riots by the left (or in this case the left's favorite pet group, Muslim immigrants) on Trump. I tried to make a joke of the form, "watch Robert Reich try to blame this one on the right," and he goes and does it! This time using the old they are peaceful people but if you criticize them they will become violent bit of logical absurdity. His take on a Sweden rioter is something like this:
  • Is happy grateful refugee. Practices religion of peace.
  • Sees vague reference from Trump about some unstated event in Sweden.
  • Rests 48 hours.
  • Firebombs local police in response.
That is the Reich timeline.

Scorched-Earth Environmentalism

Recently I wrote Scorched-Earth Environmentalism which commented on the supposed environmentalists who left tons of trash at a camp on an Indian reservation. The phrase scorched-earth was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. A metaphor. A joke. I didn't mean for them to go and take it literally. In response to a deadline to clear out of the area, the environment lovers torched the camp and all the trash there along with it.

As with Reich they've stolen my cheeky quip by literally doing the thing I was joking about. Sheesh.

Rainbow Snatch

Millie the Millenial has a new mock SJW character that she took to the Alex Jones show yesterday.

I like the approach. I've said many times here that ridiculing the left is a more effective strategy than trying to reason with them. She does a good job of it, but something is a little awkward. Because it's satire, you expect her to somewhat exaggerate what they say; to amplify the absurdities. But mostly she's just talking exactly the way they do. "You're a racist. You're a bigot. Violence against Milo is okay because he's a Nazi. This pussy grabs back." That's what they say more or less verbatim. It's a weird situation where ridiculing the left basically means duplicating them as accurately as possible.

Tucker Brings on anti-Fascist SJW

Last night Carlson brought on a guest who believes that Trump is Hitler, literally a Nazi, and will incinerate the world in nuclear Holocaust. 

You can see he has trouble making any sort of logical counterarguments. And really how could he? He might as well bring on someone who believes in unicorns. Tucker's shtick is to ask very simple, straight-forward questions to expose the logical (or illogical) core of a person's beliefs. Similar to satire, he's trying to draw out the logical absurdities into plain view. How's he supposed to operate with this one? The logical absurdities are her primary arguments! The only way they could be exaggerated might be to get her to say Trump is literally Satan, I guess. Although I don't think most the public feels as negatively towards Satan as Hitler. It's degrees of absurdity here. I really question the value of Tucker even bringing people like this on the air given his format.


Irrationality has an interesting benefit: it insulates one from satirical ridicule. In that light I think Millie aka Rainbow Snatch is right on the money. She is ridiculing them simply by mirroring them. It's the strategy that should be adopted when the opponent is protected from satire by the logical absurdities of their core beliefs. Tucker should follow suit. Instead of trying to argue, let her run with it. Pace her, push her towards the absurd ends of her beliefs, and keep a running catalog of her beliefs and let the absurdities showcase themselves.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Infuriating Hypocrisy

In the past three days, Milo has lost
  • A speaking slot at CPAC
  • A lucrative book deal
  • His position as Tech Editor at Breitbart
If you read the media reports you'll hear that Milo advocates pedophila. If you have a brain and look at what really happened you'll learn that Milo has been fiercely anti-pedophilia, and his comments were meant to suggest that he was and others are capable of giving consent at ages as young as 13. He doesn't actually advocate that consent ages be lowered, and is mostly engaged in rationalizing his own life's circumstances. He is of course completely wrong on the subject. Consent laws apply because it is believed that children below a certain age aren't wise enough to make those decisions that can have life-long consequences, and Milo's own eccentric sexuality is merely case in point as to what can happen when a child's innocence is damaged by an adult. While Milo's stances are troubling, he is engaging in rational debate that is largely muddied by his victimization as a child.

Nevertheless, he has been brutally hounded by the media, liberals, and even the Never Trump pseudo conservatives, who are doing everything possible to destroy his career and reputation. Let's look at some other personas they adore.
  • Sarah Silverman joked about pedophila on Twitter.
    Allowed to speak at Democrat National Convention and maintain lucrative acting career.
  • Lena Dunhan described in a book how she repeatedly sexually molested her toddler sister.
    Allowed to maintain book deal, allowed to speak at Democratic National Convention with standing ovation, given her own show on HBO.
  • George Takei advocated that gay sex with a 13-year-old is okay as long as the boy is attracted to the man.
    Cult following among the left, keeps lucrative role as Taco Bell persona.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a judicial opinion advocated that consent ages be lowered to 12.
    Promoted to Supreme Court; adored by liberals.
  • Roman Polanski is a convicted child rapist.
    Received standing ovation from Hollywood elites at Oscars.
  • Bill Clinton flew routinely on convicted child sex offender Jeffery Epstein's "Lolita Express", even shaking off his own Secret Service detail to do so. It is widely believed that those flights included sex with children.
    Revered by the left. Given prominent speaking slot at Democratic National Convention. Chosen to return to the White House as First Gentleman.
  • Over 1500 sex offenders and human traffickers arrested in Trump's first month. Dozens of victims saved.
    Ignored by the media.
  • In a roast of Rod Reiner, Al Franken did an extended bit joking about anally raping his infant son.
    Serves as US Senator. Adored by the left.
  • Salon ran numerous articles by self-confessed pedophile Todd Nickerson which attempted to normalize pedophilia with titles such as, "I'm a Pedophile, Not a Monster." These articles had been condemned by Milo.
    Salon quietly deletes all trace of these articles from their site so they can pile on against Milo.
  • Bill Maher defended a 35-year-old woman who had sex with a 12-year-old boy, asking, "How can you rape a man?" (Implying a 12-year-old boy can give consent.) He also stated that the only crime committed was they didn't make a video. Yes Maher, who is taking credit for helping bring down Milo the pedophile, responded to the statutory rape of child by lamenting that they produced no child porn.
    Host of high-profile HBO show. Highly respected by the left.
  • Cenk Uyghur approves of sex between a 15-year-old and a 29-year-old.
    Still the host of Young Turks, a favorite show of the far left.
  • Hillary Clinton defended a child rapist by stating the 12-year-old victim was attracted to older men, insinuating the crime was some degree of consent.
    Democratic Presidential nominee.
I mean this is just absurd. This is all upside down. The left calls conservatives that threaten them pedophiles to ruin their careers, while at the same time boosting the careers of actual pedophiles, or those whose comments were far worse than Milo's.

As always the most infuriating aspect of all this is that so many people are completely sold on a clearly bogus narrative and hit job. These people are walking around saying 2 + 2 = 5 and think you're the one who's crazy for thinking otherwise. If humanity is defined by its ability to reason and seek truth, then we are in a very troubling situation, as irrationality is highly normalized and encouraged. Appeals to emotion absolutely dominate our supposedly civilized society.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Capitulation is Worse than Bad Optics

Well the Cuckservatives are at it again, this time rescinding their offer to let Milo speak at the CPAC conference. Milo, who has done more to advance the conservative message and to wage war with the left than any white-collared DC insider has done in decades, is being blocked because of a video that has surfaced where he talks about relationships between young gays and older men.

That Milo would seem to normalize sexual encounters between teenagers and adults isn't terribly surprising, considering he was himself a sex abuse victim at that age. Do sexual abuse victims in this country not get any empathy these days? Of course not, not if they're conservative. However Lena Dunham who wrote in her book about sexually assaulting her sister when she was a toddler is free to speak at the Democratic National Convention. Apparently talking about pedophilia or being gay or being an immigrant are terrible things in this country if you happen to be a conservative. (Remember them saying Peter Thiel can't be gay because he supported Trump?)

The lesson the Republicans can't seem to learn is that if your position is even remotely defensible, you never back down to leftist bullying! Never never never!! No matter how bad the optics. Sure, keeping him on would have opened them to accusations that his interview could be interpreted as normalizing child sex abuse. But their side allows someone who wrote things that can't be interpreted as anything but normalizing child sex abuse! He was a victim; she was a perpetrator. As long as conservatives allow themselves to be held to a double standard, they will be. The cause of the right will be far less damaged by standing strong during controversies than by chumming the water with the blood of their own every time "the optics are bad."

You know it's interesting I was listening to the radio on the drive to work this morning, and I heard Joan Jett's famous hit, "I Love Rock n Roll", which is just a story about her going home with a 17-year-old. Where is the outrage? Nowhere, of course, because she is politically liberal.

Here's the video in question:

Are the optics bad? Yes. Does he advocate for pedophilia? No. Does he walk a dangerous line in advocating ephibophilia (attraction to post-pubescent minors)? Yes. Does he outright endorse it? No. And in his response he clarifies that he does not. Also consider the context. In Europe, where he grew up, the age of consent tends to be low (he mentions 14 in his mother's home country). Yet these countries also until fairly recently had gay ages of consent at 21. So in his example where he was 17, the relationship was illegal only because he's gay. And yet the pro-gay left is going full-bore to attack him. Salon even deleted their articles showing favor for pedophilia (which Milo strongly condemned) just so they could attack him for it!

 This all falls easily into the category of "remotely defensible."

Milo's response to the matter:

Progressivism: It's a Jungle Out There

As I described in Religion of the Secular West, Progressivism is the de facto religion in our society. To be successful a religion needs an enemy, or an antagonizing force. In the Old Testament that was the immediate competitors of the tribes of Israel. In Christianity Satan is the corrupting force, who schemes to lead souls to eternal suffering. In Islam the enemy is all who do not submit, be they infidels or the apostates within their own ranks.

Progressivism needs an enemy to thrive. There are some requirements on what would make a suitable enemy. First, they can't be too abstract. Christianity had success with the devil, which worked well in superstitious eras. Today it does not have the same effect. Also Progressivism is largely derived from Marxism, which was all about oppression of the ruling class. Progressives need a group of oppressors.

Counter-intuitively, the evil force can't actually be that oppressive. Let's imagine a scenario, using characters from The Jungle Book. Imagine Mowgli wants to create a religion, to increase his own power. He needs an adversary. Someone to point out as evil, to unite his following. The obvious choice would be Shere Khan, who is the evil force in their world. Except Shere Khan is extraordinarily dangerous. Provoking Khan would be extraordinarily risky. A better choice might be Kaa, who in the Disney movie is like a secondary antagonist. Kaa is less capable than Shere Khan, but is dangerous nevertheless. If Mowgli was wise, and somewhat brave, Kaa should be his target. If he can destroy Kaa he both removes a direct threat but also an ally to his real nemesis. It would still work towards isolating Shere Khan.

But if he is cowardly then he will choose Baloo. Baloo is large and physically capable of destroying Mowgli, but is of such a gentle disposition that we can never imagine him being a threat. If Mowgli wants to craft an enemy, with very little chance of retribution, Baloo is whom he would demonize.

Similarly Progressives target not Muslims, who actually tend to be oppressive, but white Christians. Think of how thoroughly they demonized the Christian baker in Indiana for refusing to bake a gay cake. How brave to attack an oppressive Christian baker!! Can you imagine anyone in the world who is less threatening than a Christian baker? What's interesting is that Muslim bakeries also refuse to make gay wedding cakes.

Why is it that a Christian bakery refusing to do a gay wedding cake is a national outrage, but a Muslim bakery doing the same is not? This is why. And this. Also this.

Liberals don't condemn Muslims as oppressive because Muslims might show up and shoot them. They've taken the cowardly route. They don't dare say a mean word about Shere Khan. They attack Baloo. He is a big scary bear! An in truth Baloo is much bigger and more powerful even than Shere Khan. But it is safe to attack him. Attacking Shere Khan is likely to invoke a violent response. So they generally don't. Attacking Baloo gives them the feeling of great moral conviction ("look at us stand up to oppression!") without the nasty side effects of provoking someone who is actually oppressive.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Your Memes Suck Because You Are Stupid

What's a meme?

The concept of a meme originated with Dawkins. It is the smallest atomic unit of cultural transmission. It is intended as an analog to genes in the nature vs nurture dichotomy. How do we quantify genetic expression? Through genes. How do we quantify cultural expression? Through memes.

Many people are of the belief that the term meme has been hijacked, and now memes are just silly pictures with captions you find on the internet. Technically the term for those are image macros (if we can consider this to be a technical discussion). But there's no reason an image macro can't be a meme. And nothing that says a meme can't be a shitty meme, or false, or true but ineffective.

What makes a meme good?

A successful meme should be both entertaining and should transmit a unit of information that either (a) conveys a logical truth, or (b) works towards some cultural consensus. A meme that only conveys information isn't a good meme, because it won't have the impact of an entertaining meme. It won't "go viral". And a meme that doesn't convey information isn't really a meme at all. Let's look at some of the attributes a good meme might have.


What makes something funny? Think of a good standup comedian. Think of the bits that you can watch over and over. What do they have in common? There are different takes on what humor is, but to me it is the articulation of something you know to be true but had never quite put it into concrete terms. Often humor reveals some logical absurdity that has always been right in front of us but we never quite realized. When the comedian is really killing the people cutting up will say things to the effect of "oh my god, it's so true." The comedian has unveiled some truth. He has conveyed information. And you'll notice most good comedians seem to have well above average IQs.


A meme should be concise. It should convey an atomic unit of logical or cultural expression. Wall-of-text memes never go viral. If the memer wants to convey multiple points they should find another medium (like a blog!). 


Something is provocative when it either violates the moral values of the audience, attacks a person or group directly, or violates cultural conventions of the society at large. Like all things it can be used, misused, and abused. Donald Trump and Milo are both masters of provocation. They are able to provoke their enemies into making the point they want to make for them. 

Unity & Morale

A meme can also serve to reinforce groups beliefs, or to provide therapeutic value. These memes are important, but they don't contribute to meme warfare. They serve a support role in the way that the NCO Club doesn't contribute to the war-fighting capability of the military, but is considered to be helpful anyway.

Why their memes suck

Liberal memes are mostly ineffective. Here is the most viral meme they have going around right now.

It's kind of funny. But what information is being conveyed? At what point does someone say "oh my gosh that's so true!" It is merely recreational. The liberals are getting a kick out of them, but frankly so are the Trump supporters. Some of their responses.

Notice anything different about the pro-Trump versions versus the original? They actually convey information. The first one insinuates Trump as the savior of the people. The second puts Trump into the David & Goliath role against the establishment backed candidate. The last one shows Trump as the candidate who could not be controlled by the establishment. Still a tiny Trump, but information is conveyed.

Here were the most viral leftist memes of a couple weeks ago. 

Pussy hats and vagina costumes. Are they funny? I guess, in the way that crude representations of genitalia can be funny. Are they provocative? Sure, dressing up as a vagina violates social norms and public decency. But what information is conveyed? What's the message? It might fit in to the Unity category of meme. "Hey look, we agree we're all gynocentric!" But that's not meme warfare, and fits the conclusion I made in my post Women's March: Proof of Privilege that the marches were mass group therapy, not political action.

I've said a number of times that this isn't a battle of logic or ideologies. Still either side absolutely needs smart people and a solid and consistent logical foundation. If you don't have a logical base, you can't make effective arguments, and you can't make successful memes. Meme warfare is information warfare. We didn't meme a president into the White House because our side is so childish we were distracted by silly pictures en masse. We memed a man into office because we won the information battles. The left is responding by losing all grip with rationality, so we should keep wining the infowars for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Milo on Maher

 For those who haven't seen, Milo was on the Bill Maher show last night.

Just a quick note about this. I didn't like when Milo said the panel was low IQ. For one, they didn't see that low IQ to me (although to be fair not up to Milo or Maher's level). And second it's simply not an argument. I wanted him to go in and win with logic. He does actually debate very well, and I don't think this was his best showing. However remember a couple things: he was in the lion's den, outnumbered both on the panel and by the audience. Also, for most liberals (and most people) logic doesn't win, only emotional manipulation. And Milo is a master of this. After he made his low blow, the panelists revealed themselves as the completely hypocritical stereotypes that he describes the left as.
  • Liberals want everyone to believe that they are so understanding of gays → They go on to call him confused about his sexual identity on TV.
  • Liberals want everyone to believe that they are accepting of immigrants → When he finds out Milo isn't American, he tells him to fuck off.
  • Liberals want everyone to believe that they use logic to make arguments → The panelists just tell him to "go fuck yourself."
Milo unveiled that they are both uncivil and unprincipled. (Even if he had to provoke them first to make the point.) Further, by dialing the gay up to 11, he really puts the doubt into the minds of Maher's very liberal audience. "Wait, this is the racist homophobic Nazi they've been rioting over?"

I didn't actually watch the whole thing, because it was painful and I could see where it was going. Milo won big, but it wasn't the kind of debate I like to watch. Much more enjoyable was the pre-panel 1-on-1 with Maher, which frankly I'd rather watch that for an hour.

Friday, February 17, 2017

All Costs to be Measured in Terms of Communism

When I was a college student (the first time) I used to drink a lot of beer. (I still do, but I used to too). In that era I got into the habit of making all cost-benefit analyses in terms of beer. The math was made especially easy thanks to Wednesday night being dollar beer night. So for instance if I was interested in a $27 dollar shirt, I would ask myself, "hmmmm, is this shirt really worth 27 beers?"

In hindsight it was a stupid comparison. Beer drinking was ultimately the frivolous activity, and I should have been making the judgment in the other direction. "Are these 27 beers really worth forgoing essentials like clothing and rent?"

I see this image constantly on my facebook feed. (Yes I realize my blog is quickly devolving to me just ranting about shit I see on facebook.)

It fails basic economics. Actually calling it economics is too generous. It fails rudimentary budgeting. And budgeting is just counting. So this meme fails at counting. It totally ignores that the wall will lead to less overall spending, not more. Illegal immigration costs the US  over $100 billion a year. It fails cause and effect, which is the aspect of humanity that separates us from the animals. (Maybe not though; even my cat knows if I catch him on the countertop it will be spray bottle time.) Let's just use similar hypothetical scenarios of this "logic" in action.
  • Instead of buying equipment the boss could give us all massive raises.
  • Instead of having plumbers fix the cascading water main dad could take us all to the circus.
  • Instead of paying for critical infrastructure repairs the governor could give every kid a puppy.
The last example kind of stretches the qualifier of "hypothetical" if you live in California. But you get the point. Instead of doing capital investments or preventive maintenance we could just give shit away!

Just like I used to foolishly measure all my costs in terms of beer consumption, liberals now measure all government costs in terms of welfare spending. Providing homes to people, universal free education, free healthcare. If they achieve their goals then the only leftward step from there is nationalizing the means of production, I'd think. Basically the argument is "why pay for all this other crap that doesn't help my feelings when we could have sweet communism instead?"

Note: don't try making these arguments (or any arguments) to liberals. I mean you can do it if you want, and you can try teaching your dog French too, if that's how you like to spend your free time. I'd just say, "yeah and Obama could have paid for all that 7X with the $150 billion he handed over to Iran." Although to them Trump spending $20 billion on border control when we're swamped with illegal immigration is more wasteful than just handing $150 to a state sponsor of terror. You really can't reason with these people; only ridicule. Please do your part.

Fake Fukushima Radiation Map

This Zerohedge article is going around facebook, and is previewed with this image.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the article is predominately a lie. Is that the distribution you'd expect of contaminated ocean water? For reference, here are the currents in the Pacific.

In comparison, in their map the radiation seems to be moving linearly from the source. What in the ocean moves linearly from the source? Maybe waves? And indeed a 2-second Google search for "noaa fukushima tsunami map" reveals the answer.

Despite attributing the source to NOAA based on the image logo, ZeroHedge clearly didn't confirm the validity of the source, or they'd see the image had been altered by cropping off the text that explains what the image is. Amusingly enough, the mastermind who concocted the ruse left in the scale which shows the data is measured in centimeters, a very odd unit for radiation, wouldn't you think?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Universality in the US

Universality is the principle from philosophy that morality judgments should be applied to all individuals and groups uniformly. In fact, we can often tell if there is injustice by inverting the parties involved to determine if the moral determination is altered. Consider the following scenarios.

  • 96% of campaign donations by the media are directed towards the Republican party.
  • Whites are given preferential access to colleges and jobs.
  • Women receive 63% longer jail sentences than men for the same crime.
  • Haiti engages in a bombing campaign against the US for not handing over the terrorist Emmanuel Toto Constant.
  • Whites commit violent crimes at 7 to 10 times the rate of other races.
  • Custody courts rule in favor of men 90% of the time.
  • Iran maintains a heavy naval presence in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure oil makes it safely to market from Texan ports, and maintains numerous bases in Mexico, Cuba, and Canada to support them.
  • Republicans routinely inflict violence on Democrats to suppress their freedoms of speech and assembly.
  • European nations pay a heavy burden for the defense of NATO while the US pays very little.
  • All non-white countries are expected to diversity their ethnic compositions. However white countries are free to remain homogeneous.
  • Men host nationwide marches but women's rights advocates are widely ridiculed and condemned as misandrists.
  • 20 million Americans enter northern Mexico illegally. They take jobs from the locals, enroll in social programs, and frequently vote in Mexican elections.
Do you think any of these scenarios would cause tremendous outrage in mainstream America? If so it might be the case that our society is driven by identity politics more than principles, which does not bode well for the long-term stability of the nation.

Expansionism is the Fundamental Threat to the West

A video going around on facebook shows Steve Bannon asserting that the clash between the West and Islam is going to be the 4th great crisis or "turning point" in American history. This is intended by liberals to show Bannon is irrational or a war monger or Islamophobic or whatever insults they can conjure up. Their reactions remind me of the description given by another blogger that SJWs don't read or listen for the point of accumulating information, but they merely scan for something to be enraged by. In this case the video went viral because it feels like some form of hate speech to them, although conceptually there's plenty there for rational adults to analyze.

The question in general is does Islam pose an existential threat to Western society? and if so, is it the greatest threat? I'm taking this a step further than Bannon, who invokes Judeo-Christian values or western society, but his examples pertain particularly to the US. The American revolution and civil war didn't pose some existential threat to the entirety of Western civilization.

I agree with Bannon that Islam is a threat to the West. Despite what liberals would have us believe Islam is not a race, and I would argue that it is not a religion. It is, but it is also a culture, and even more importantly, a political ideology, much being incompatible with the Western tradition. This is not to say of course that individual Muslims can't prosper in the West or contribute to it, but they cannot in large numbers without changing what the West fundamentally is. We could not replace the native population of America with Muslims and expect it to look, behave, or function anything like the West.

Islam is a threat in the way that pneumonia is a threat. Yes, if enough pneumonia gets into the body it will kill the host. But that doesn't typically happen. Pneumonia only gets an advantage when the body is weakened. So which is the true cause of death: the pathogen, or the underlying weakness? If someone battling AIDS finally succumbs to pneumonia, we generally say they died of AIDS.

I propose that the greatest threats to the West boil down to a single concept: expansionism, which I will describe in the following sections. Now I don't pretend this is the only threat to the West. There are others, greed, hysteria, a lack of rational discourse being high on the list. I suspect though we might be able to provide a context where those vices are downstream from the expansionism.

Territorial Expansionism

Anyone who has read history or played a good strategy game like Civilization or Risk knows that, even in games where expansion is the goal, over-expansion leaves one vulnerable to counter-attack. Let's explore some scenarios where over-expansion has led to problems for the West and ethnically European people.


In his book The Collapse of Complex Societies Joseph Tainter lays out the cycle of empirical expansion and collapse, with Rome serving as the canonical example. In those days the primary energy source was grain. A country's energy input was roughly equivalent to the grain they produced or purchased. However an expanding nation could plunder the accumulated wealth of the conquered. As long as plunder was inbound, the nation enjoyed an artificially high level of wealth / energy. The downside was that with each conquest they accumulated responsibility for administering the new lands and putting down insurrections. As the size of administered lands grew, and the plunder shrank, the balance sheets became untenable.

The Romans were not able to adapt to their new reality. In fact their policies tended to drive farmers off the land; in the late empire a surprising amount of arable land went to seed. Clearly the Romans did not grasp the long-term costs of expansion, nor how to maintain power without large inflows of wealth. Ultimately the Romans were put to the mercy of the invading Goths.

Nazi Germany

Probably the quintessential example of the perils of manic militant expansionism. Not content to dominate north central Europe, Hitler pushing his Wehrmacht halfway to Asia, choosing to fight nearly everyone at once, and ending in the total destruction of the German state. While we are reminded frequently of the Jewish dead, usually stated at 6 million although the real number may be under 3 million, what is rarely mentioned is the number of dead Germans. Roughly, four and a half million killed in the military. Another half million killed by bombing and other affects of war, and then another half million or so killed after the war, bringing the total to something like 6 million.

Even if you were a dyed-in-the-wool Aryan supremacist, the excessive expansionism was disastrous. If you were just a normal German caught up in the mess it was even more disastrous, or if you were one of the millions that lied in the path of Wehrmacht, or who died helping to fight it. The end result was grief for nearly everyone.

United States

The United States as we know it was born out of Manifest Destiny, or expansionism sanctioned by God. The 13 English colonies became 50 spread from one side of the continent to the other, with two halfway to Asia. Such an aggressive land grab might have made sense in the context of early America. Western European populations were surging as a result of the technological advances of the industrial revolution. There was also limited competition for the land. The stone-age native inhabitants were scant in number, with estimates at just over a million over the whole land that would become the United States (and just 20 million spread over the 2 continents of America). There was little competition from the advanced powers as well, with the French and Spanish being checked and ultimately ejected from the western hemisphere.

From 1607, the founding of Jamestown, to 1965, a span of 358 years, the population surged from a million or so Indians to almost 200 million total, with about 90% European, yielding an average growth rate of a little over half a million a year. By modern standards 200 million people over an area the size of the US was still a fairly low-density country, but at this point the expansion policy seemed to be successful with good long-term prospects. [Note, for the analysis I'm using white population as something of a proxy for western society. We're talking about large-scale ethnic and cultural trends here. I understand that trends don't apply to every individual, and yet current attitudes make these sorts of disclaimers a necessity when discussing demographics.]

Around 1965 two events greatly altered the demographic trajectory of the US.
  1. Slowed growth rate. Over the course of the 1960s the birth rate dropped by over a third.
  2. Non-white immigration. Until 1965 immigration primarily came from Europe. However in that year the Democrat-run Congress passed a law the shifted immigration priorities towards non-white and non-western sources.
The effects have been immense; it doesn't seem most Americans truly understand the demographic swing undergone in a generation or two. In 1965 the population was nearly 200 million souls and 90% were white. In 2010 the white population was a bit under 200 million. That's very small growth, just a few million in about 50 years, a far drop from half a million a year. 

However the overall population soared to 310 million officially, with the real number probably closer to 330 million. In the same era that white population grow maybe 5 or 6 percent, non-white growth was [...does math, takes 130 million divided by 20 million.....] 650%, with an expansion rate of over 2 million per year. Since 1965 the growth rate of non-whites has been 100 times that of whites!! In 50 years the founding race's population percentage has dropped nearly a third. I would challenge you to find any example of such a demographic scenario in all history that was not caused by armed invasion, natural disaster, or the willful emigration of the founding tribe to a more desirable locale. This seems to be historically unprecedented.

Now the normal rebuttal you'll hear to all this is that none of these demographics matter because America was founded on an idea. [Well really that assumes you're opponent is rational. The more likely rebuttal I hear from liberals is I'm just upset because I'm white with insinuations that white people aren't allowed to have certain opinions. But remember, they aren't racist, right?] But is America really founded on an idea or is that more like American mythology? Certainly the founding fathers themselves didn't think America was an idea where all concerns for demographics could be brushed aside as petty xenophobia. Benjamin Franklin questioned the practicality of permitting even Germans from settling in Pennsylvania, as they would tend to isolate into their own cultural bubbles. And in fact he was correct, with many such enclaves persisting until our wars with Germany made such cultural affiliations a social liability.

The question isn't so much deciding what is right or wrong, but what will happen regardless of our beliefs. It might be morally superior to allow entry too all those who wish to partake in our welfare state (it's not, but let's just go with that). Regardless of opinion, the result is likely to be both a degradation of the cultural values that made America great to begin with and, more concretely, the fracturing of the country along ethnic and cultural boundaries. It's already happening. The four states with white population percentage less than 50% are California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas. What do those states have in common? Not a lot, but they all have active secessionist movements. They aren't the only such movements, as they are also seen in Alaska, Cascadia, and New Hampshire/Vermont, but there is an undeniable correlation between the demographic situation and separatist desires. 

If you investigate the separatist movements, you'll find mostly the countering arguments are economic. You'll find much less allusions to the American "idea" as cause to stay united. New Mexico's movement stays small because ultimately they receive more from the federal government than they receive. And this should be generally true, on average, since the federal government is running enormous deficits. They're able to spend more than they're collecting from the states' citizens. But that can't last forever. What happens when the economy tanks and the government piggy bank is emptied out?

Whether you support multiculturalism or not, there is simply no precedent for a stable multi-cultural society. Even the Old Testament warned against such ventures. I predict that as multiculturalism progresses in the country we will see increasing segmentation in the country, leading to outright schisms once the economy falters.


Even tiny Israel pays the price for expansionism. In 1971 the Arabs offered peace to Israel, in exchange for ceding back the lands it had gained in the 1967 war, particularly the Sinai lands it annexed from Egypt. Israel chose to hold out for more, and since that time has engaged in widescale expansion of Israel settlements into the West Bank and the Golan Heights. The cost has been intense hostility with the Arab world and almost universal condemnation of Israel from the UN. Even the US abandoned Israel, a parting f-you from the outgoing Obama administration. Because of their expansionist desires, the long-term tenability of the world's only Jewish state remain uncertain.

Economic Expansion

Nations these days tend not to compete militarily as much as economically. The Soviet Union lost the Cold War because it could not keep up economically. Much as military expansion drove the empires of yore, economic expansion drives the US hegemony today. But even in the economic realm expansion is prone to the same side effects and risk of collapse. The American empire is a realm of aggressive global capitalism and mercantilism. The fiercest wars are waged for access to markets, to resources, to cheap labor, and ultimately to higher profits.

But these venture come at a cost to the nation. The free flow of capital to outside investment means less investment domestically. The free flow of capital drives the free flow of people, and the drive to undercut wages causes the mass import of foreigners and the instability that comes with a multi-ethnic state.

The destructive forces of unrestrained capitalism were laid out two centuries ago by Marx and Engels. While the prescription (communism) was bunk, the diagnosis was illuminating. Liberals today tend to blame all social ills on capitalism. Conservatives in turn blame it all on the liberal agenda. The reactionary should be careful to understand that unrestrained capitalism and liberalism are both wrought with destructive potential, and we should take the time to tease out which societal ills are being caused the two orthodoxies and their associated expansionist tendencies.

State Expansion

While the state is just one portion of the nation, it too is subject to the same tendency to over-expand and collapse. A massive and monolithic governing apparatus is stifling to a country for reasons too numerous to get into here without reciting half of the conservative doctine. But let's look at an example that allows us to witness some concrete aspects of state expansionism.

Europe does not suffer from territorial over-expansion. Her empires have long since collapsed. However the state sector has expanded enormously, so that the bulk of western European countries are welfare states. And not just welfare states, but they are something of a Ponzi scheme, where the state requires a forever growing productive population base to fund the social liabilities. This need provides the major rationale for letting immigrants pour in: the social programs need warm bodies. So they permit a massive demographics shift with all the risks I mentioned earlier. The great irony in this is that the immigrants are generally not very productive and cause an even greater strain on the very social programs they are fighting desperately to maintain.

Adversarial Expansion

Most readily apparent as a threat to a civilization is the expansion of a competing neighbor. Even a perfectly balanced society is at risk of being overrun. Let's look at a couple threats that the US has faced on the global scale.


People today don't have the perspective to realize just what a threat global communism was following World War II. The Soviet Union was a collosus and had the intention of imposing global communism. It had gobbled up Eastern Europe and posed an immediate threat to western Europe. Communism also took hold in China, and Korea was only saved (halfway) through direct US intervention. Similarly Southeast Asia became an orgy of communist and anti-communist bloodshed. Latin American countries were also falling to communist yearnings, many averted only through covert and typically brutal intervention by the US military and CIA.

Even more alarming was the level to which the US was infiltrated by communists, considered to be the most heavily infiltrated modern government ever. I highly recommend everyone to take the 3.5 hours (don't need to all at once) to watch Stefan Molyneux's breakdown of the communist threat that drove Joseph McCarthy to make his infamous purges of communists from the government and media.

While history always seems like a foregone conclusion, just imagine where we'd be if communism had completed it's sweep of Europe and Asia. Clearly communism did at one point pose a very direct threat to the Western way of life.


Islam is inherently expansionist. Upon it's introduction in backwards Arabia it's adherents sprung immediately into prominence, quickly occupying great swathes of the Middle East, north Africa, and southern Europe, and the growth and spread of Islam has continued to this day. In fact Islam is projected to become the world's largest religion by 2070, despite Christianity having a 800-year headstart and being spread by the great colonial powers (including Rome itself).

Islam is designed for expansion. Of interest to western nations should be the concept of Taqqiya, which allows Muslims to downplay and even outright deny their religion if there is social pressure to do so. However as the percentage of Islam grows so do their religious demands on the society, as has been outlined by Peter Hammond.

Note this graphic is out of date as France is at 10% now, and faces frequent riots and restlessness. The official numbers put Sweden and Germany at 5%, but those were from before the great Merkel open-door's policy. No doubt they are close to 10%, and the Netherlands as well. They fool themselves into believing the Muslim immigrants will happily adopt to the superior Western ideals. They would do well to open a history book. The expansion of Islam will either have to be repelled, or those countries will turn increasingly Islamic, eroding the western tradition. What do people really think will happen once Muslims have 51% of the electorate in a western democracy?


Here I have shown 3 ways in which a nation's own over-expansion can lead it to ruin: territorial, economic, and political. Over-expansion implies many things. Lack of patience. Lack of planning. Lack of sobriety. Lack of proportion. Lack of humility. Generally a lack of balance and a lack of virtue. When pondering some social ill, ask yourself in what domain could expansionism have been the cause. To do so immediately drives one to consider the big picture of the issue within the context of the continuous power cycles that occur between and within nations.