Author Archives: Free Northerner

Abortion, Tomlinson, and Moral Midgets

A few days ago, an author by the name of Patrick S Tomlinson, posed a trolley problem, which, in a huge bout of Dunning-Krueger, he claimed eviscerates the pro-life argument.

You can read his argument in full here, but the basic gist is: if given a choice between saving a thousand frozen embryos or a 5-year-old from afire, every pro-lifer will either equivocate or choose to save the 5-year-old. Of course, many pro-lifers then responded that they would save the embryos, invalidating his point, and he showed his intellectual maturity by calling them monsters, thinking that was a reasonable argument. I personally tweeted that I would save just 1 embryo before I would save Mr. Tomlinson, thereby proving, by his own logic, that he was worth less than an embryo and should be killed, to which he reacted predictably. I tweeted some other stuff he didn’t respond to because they showed his argument to be foolish.

That was the end of it until tonight, when one Heidi asked one Lauren if she had a response. She responded, that tagged me in saying much smarter people such as myself could answer better. Being a sucker for flattery (thank you for the compliment, Lauren), I couldn’t resist responding, but decided it would be easier to do so by blog than by Twitter. So here we go.

Ben Shapiro already responded, and his response was okay. Tomlinson then proved the full heft of his intellectual integrity and honesty by then refusing to engage the argument, then blocking Shapiro. He further displayed his overwhelming philosophical openness by whining about people who pointed out flaws in his little puzzle I don’t expect this to have any impact on Tomlinson (though I plan to tweet it at him), or those ideologically blinded, morally retarded, or just plain stupid enough to agree with his little trolley trap but hopefully it will help those questioning.

Before I begin, these kinds of puzzles are often given by those with good verbal abilities to trap people. It can be hard to see the trap because their high verbal abilities conceal things; leading you into thinking incorrectly based on their hidden presuppositions. Never concede the presuppositions until you have figured out what they are. A good way to do this is to switch to equivalent terms. In this case I did so:

We can see when we replace the terms that there’s something wrong with the argument. Almost everybody would save their own child over 1000 strangers (and most people would look askance at someone who too readily agreed to part with their own child) or a healthy child over 1000 dying elderly people.

We can see that Tomlinson himself would rather spend money on plants and Mustang’s than on saving Africans from Malaria or starvation. By his own logic, Tomlinson himself values the life of a plant more than the life of an African. He values slightly higher acceleration over Africans. Tomlinson is a very cold, ruthless person is her not?

No, because everybody does these kinds of things. Those who don’t are a cut above and end up sainted.

So what are the problems:

Action vs. Theory

The first trick the question plays is to set up an elaborate story of a burning building and a crying child. YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE! This story is meant to play on your emotions, to get you thinking like you are actually there. Quick, you see a crying, frightened child and a metal box, which do you save? A crying child about to die provokes a strong emotional response. Nobody in that situation would stand still for a minute and carefully ponder the ethical ramifications of saving a child or embryos, they’d just grab wailing kid that’s hogging their attention and run. He’s trying to force you into immediate emotional response, then acting like this applies to a moral-philosophical question. There is no basis for claiming a split-second decision is equivalent to a well thought-out moral philosophy of life.

Remove the story, remove the immediacy and the loaded wording and the question suddenly becomes: either one 5-year-old child or 1000 unborn children will perish. Which would it be more ethical to let die? Now the answer’s not so obvious and requires thought. I’d bet pro-life folks would be a lot more split on this.

Concentric Circles of Morality

This then touches on another matter Tomlinson has artfully concealed: Moral distance. Interpersonal morality is different the closer the person in question is to you. Anybody who neglects to feed their own child is a moral monster and almost everyone agrees they should be jailed. If a neighbour child was going without food most everyone would feed him, and we’d probably look down on or criticize someone who didn’t, but we wouldn’t call them a monster and certainly wouldn’t demand they be jailed. You can feed a child in Africa for less than your own child or your neighbour, yet most don’t give to World Vision. (Sponsor a child). Many of you won’t even click that link. This is normal, we wouldn’t even look askance at someone who doesn’t give to World Vision, let alone actively try to punish them.

This is because your moral responsibility is greater to those near you than to those farther from you (by whatever metric that distance is measured).

In Tomlinson’s story, he artfully forces the moral closeness of the crying child right in front of you compared to the sterile farness of embryos in a cold metal box. The question suddenly changes if you change the moral closeness. Would you spend $3340 to save the unborn child you’ve been trying to conceive for years, your only chance at a child, from a miscarriage, or donate $3340 to World Vision? I’m sure most pro-abortion people would suddenly find themselves valuing embryos more than 5-year-olds in that situation.

Situational, Relative, and Absolute Moral Worth

The next trick he pulls is to apply to confuse absolute, relative, and situational moral worth. He assumes into the question and the follow-up that because you would save a child about to burn to death over a thousand embryos that that is a guide to the absolute moral worth of an individual.

My little joke earlier illustrates the problem nicely: I dislike Tomlinson for being intellectually dishonest and for supporting the murder of children by the millions, so I’d save an embryo over him. Does that mean I think the embryo has some absolute moral worth more than Tomlinson? No, I just think he’s a evil dick and like embryos more than him.

There’s absolute moral worth: all lives are equally valuable before God (or before Athe if you don’t believe in God).

Then there’s relative moral worth: Anybody with a soul and an ounce of moral character would think to themselves: “my child is my child and is therefore worth more to me than an indeterminate, but very high amount of other people’s children.”  Yet that doesn’t mean that in absolute sense one child is worth more than another.

Then there’s situational moral worth: Most people, including many elderly cancer patients would think to themselves: “these elderly cancer patients have lived long lives and will die soon. This healthy child will live for decades to come. We’ll save the child.” That doesn’t mean that the child is somehow absolutely more morally worthy than dying old people. It’s just the current circumstances dictate who we save.

Change the relative and situational moral worth and the question and answers change: do you save a 1000 embryos, including your dozens of you own, your only hope for children, or do you save the cruel little brat who’s laughing as he set the clinic on fire while trying to kill those embryos for fun?

Moral Worth and Killing

There is an unspoken argument Tomlinson denies making and doesn’t come right out and say, but implies heavily and is trying to make you emotionally feel without having to come out and say it because, at some, level, even Tomlinson has to know that it is utterly ridiculous. This argument, the argument that the pro-abortion argument rests on, is that if there is a difference in value between a child and a embryo, then it is alright to kill the unborn. Tomlinson, and most other abortion supporters, won’t make is that an unborn child is without value, because anybody with a shred of humanity knows there is at least some value in the unborn.

Instead, they say it is of lesser worth, then leap from lesser worth to morally acceptable to kill with impunity, and hope you won’t catch the leap, maybe not even catching it themselves. Tomlinson denies making this, saying he’s against abortion, but his argument right from the go is that pro-life people (ie. those wanting to restrict abortion) don’t care about the unborn but only desire to control woman (for some vague unprovided reason). His whole argument, unstated but very clear, is that the only reason to be against murdering the unborn is that you hate women and desire power over them for some unknown reason. Contra his objections, this does not seem to be imputing any value to the unborn.

Even if it is ceded that an unborn child is of lesser absolute moral value than a born child, (something I won’t cede, but that Shapiro weakly did) that does not in itself make abortion morally acceptable. If the elderly cancer patient is of lesser moral worth than the healthy child, that may morally allow me to save the child instead of the cancer patient, it does not morally allow me to shoot the old cancer patient.

To make abortion morally acceptable you have to show that it has no value (which Tomlinson rejects) or show that the difference in value is great enough that killing an unborn child for convenience is permissible while killing a born child is not. Tomlinson does not even attempt to do so, he just accuses his opponents of bad faith and hopes the emotional correlations he builds will carry this implicit argument without him having to make it.

Action vs Inaction

Following from the above: abortion is the killing of the unborn. In his story, the embryos are dying. There is a moral difference between allowing someone to die, particularly if you can’t save them or have to choose, and killing something. Allowing embryos to die makes zero logical impact on whether killing them is justified.

Utilitarianism

All the above can be linked to one major moral flaw, the philosophical hobgoblin that eats the minds of morally stunted rationalists: Utilitarianism. Look past the fancy language and big words and utilitarianism is essentially stripping away man’s humanity and reducing him to units of pleasure and pain (perfect for our inhuman modern society), then doing cold calculations on how various actions allocate units of pleasure and pain, then deciding to take the action that gives the most overall plaeasure. You can see this inhuman calculation most readily when they start talking about animals and meat-eating, and making mathematical conversions of animal pain to human pain.

Trolley problems are usually interesting because they bring up deep philosophical problems. The classic brings up the relative weight of killing the fat man by action versus allowing 5 others to die by inaction. Are people as morally responsible for inaction as for action? If not, how much difference is there? It’s these deeper issues that really get you to think. Strip away the deeper issues and a trolley problems becomes a utilitarian calculus of do you save one replaceable human unit or five replaceable human units. Five is more than one so you obviously do what is most efficient with your replaceable human units. This interchangeability is the crux upon which Tomlinson’s argument rests, yet he cloaks it behind an emotional story to prevent you from seeing it.

Tomlinson’s argument rests on the implicit assumption of utilitarian interchangeability. He assumes that if you value one life in a particular circumstance over a thousand lives in another particular circumstance, you therefore assign an objectively higher moral value to the former over the latter. If you value both embryos and children as lives worth preserving and protecting, you must therefore view them as morally exchangeable sacs of utilitarian units. One embryo for one child. One fat guy for one guy tied to a railroad track. One unit of utility for one other unit of utility. All are interchangeable.  If they are not interchangeable, you must value one less than the other, they must not think them morally equivalent.

This stripping away of humanity if what Tomlinson’s argument, and many modern moral arguments, rest upon. This child is not a crying child in need of rescue from a fire pulling at your virtue, he is one unit of 70 life-years to be saved. If you do not act exactly the same to an embryo as to this unit of 70 life-years, you must place lesser absolute value on the embryo. The circumstances of the life-unit, your relation to the life-unit, your own virtue, your own emotions, none of it matters, this is the cold calculus of comparing life units.

Morality can not be removed from its circumstances. This is why Tomlinson made up that whole story to put the argument in specific moral context and circumstances to best elicit the moral response that bolstered his argument. Once he elicited that moral response, he then strips the moral context away and introduces a cold utilitarian calculus. You did not save the embryos, therefore they must be of less value.

Nobody sees this magic trick because he pulled it off deftly and we’ve been conditioned through countless abstract moral problems involving switches, trolleys, and lying to axe murderers to view morality as inhuman, contextless, calculations of utilitarian value.

Human morality can not be compared as numbers on a spreadsheet. It exists in context. After a moral decision has been placed in a specific context, it can not then be removed from that context to suddenly become an abstract, absolute, objective arbiter of moral value.

Restorative Justice: The Nuremberg Option

Once we are victorious, justice will need to be enacted, both for the sake of justice itself, and to placate the baying mobs.

But victor’s justice can be damaging to the victor. Spilling too much blood, disorderly or mob justice, or simply enacting justice too strenuously or thoroughly can easily backfire and damage a society, particularly one undergoing a newborn restoration. Justice must be measured. Justice will be needed, I doubt restoration will be doable without the justified execution of thousands, but we can ensure that it doesn’t become unjustified execution or go beyond the thousands.

So, I will lay some groundwork for the implementation, based on the Nuremberg trials. Nuremberg was a clear example of victor’s justice, but it was measured and didn’t cause blowback, thus it provides a good basis for victor’s justice. Beyond the principles of international law it established (I will note here, international law is a farce as the international community is not sovereign), the trials worked based on two interrelated assertions:

  1. That some crimes are so great that they can be prosecuted retroactively even if they do not violate the existent law at the time of the offence.
  2. In such cases, only the offenders and major offenders were subjected to trials and potential jail or execution, while lesser offenders and followers were merely probated or restricted.

The first assertion is a secularized version of aspects of divine/natural law; God’s law is higher than man’s law, takes precedence, and is always applicable even if man’s law disagrees. Because of this, we can easily adopt the original version within our own ideologies. Part of the second assertion has already been raised by Moldbug; we retire and bar the whole of the present regime from public service, and furthered by me, where we execute some of the most criminal. It strikes a good balance between the practical and humane and the need for justice to be done.

These assertions are already fairly well accepted as legitimate, and so will be relatively easy to sell to all sides of the reactionary bargain. They also solve two legal problems we will face during the restoration: Most of the major crimes being committed (abortion, cultural genocide, the destruction of communities and the family, usury, inflation, etc…) are legal and most people are involved in them to some degree. By adopting the necessity of the application of divine law but restricting it to only the major offenders we can ensure justice is done, without going beyond justice.

A few practical examples: it would be impractical to bring justice to every women who had an abortion and every pro-abortion individual, so we can offer them a general amnesty (making abortion and the promotion of it illegal and punishable going into the future), while we can execute abortionists and the most vile proponents, apologists, and promoters of this evil. Jailing every banker would be a miscarriage of justice and politically untenable, but we could execute the main leaders of the federal reserve and jail the more predatory bank and credit card company executives. It’d be untenable to bring justice to every family court lawyer and judge, but an example could be made of the more despicable ones. And so on and so forth.

So, when the restoration occurs and the time for justice is at hand, the leader should establish, quickly and firmly, an orderly plan for justice based on these principles. These principles are, obviously, very broad and more work would definitely have to be done on the practicalities of implementing justice come the time, but I think it wise to have some basic principles of restoration justice established and propagated throughout reaction while we have the luxury of time and cool heads, so the restoration doesn’t get caught up in the moment and commit acts it will regret.

Lessons from Charlottesville

By now, you have heard of the Unite the Right rally in Charlotteville. You’ve probably also heard it turned into a gong show. We can lay blame on the police, politicians, antifa, the organizers, or whoever, but blame is not what this post is about. Also, I was not there, so my impression of events is formed by the first-hand accounts from Twitter, particularly Pax’s as he has gone in-depth on what exactly happened.

As my readers know, I’m an advocate of passivism. Lately, and somewhat hypocritically, under the heady rush of success the alt-right has been experiencing lately, I’ve found myself supporting activist activities. I overestimated how much legitimacy we actually had. I supported Unite the Right, particularly because of Pax’s involvement. As it turns out, things went exactly as passivism would’ve predict.

First, Trump and Sessions both denounced white supremacy, neo-nazis, hate, violence, bigotry, and racism and Sessions has sworn to crack down “to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer, to protest against racism and bigotry.”

This is bad for us, but not as bad as it seems on first glance. Neither specifically denounced the alt-right, its ideas, its constituent groups, or the actual people making up Unite the Right. No one seemed to notice this, which is one of the good things of the left’s inability to distinguish nazis and white supremacists from anybody else on the hard right.

Some are calling this a betrayal, but it is not. Trump and Session were never us, they were our allies with some common goals, but they were never a part of the hard, dissident, or alt-right. They’ve always been conservative civic nationalists. Anybody thinking they were us was fooling themselves. But they’ve treated us with benign neglect so far, which, all things considered, is good for us.

Unfortunately, the actions of James Field has given the media and left enough power to push their hands. So, we may no longer have benign neglect. We’ll see.

After the writing of the rest of this post, things took an awesome turn. Trump held a conference where he attacked antifa and supported the alt-right. Nazis are in for it, but we’re probably good for now. But we’ll continue on.

Second, it looked bad. The death and injuries gave the media ammunition against us; it will not play well among middle America.

Third, a rally is a display of power. A rally is not for building power, it is for showing power to widen legitimacy. Friday night with the tiki torches was great. We showed power, the left was truly afraid, we claimed the area, and we built legitimacy; it went perfectly. Saturday destroyed what was built on Friday. The police undercut us and delivered us to antifa, showing their power and undermining ours. It was bad.

Fourth, antifa displayed power. Antifa won and won hard on Saturday and they know it. This will embolden them.

Thankfully, this will be buried under the media cycle in a couple weeks. Things may get a little bit harder due to Trump and Session’s shift (if it’s truly a shift) and the emboldment of antifa, but as long as we don’t repeat our mistakes, it shouldn’t be permanently damaging.

So what lessons can we learn?

1) Most importantly, we should not pretend to power and legitimacy we do not hold. Having a rally go badly is far more damaging than any possible gain from a successful rally, as we just saw. Never hold a rally unless there is minimal chance of things going wrong.

2) The police, as a group, are not on our side. They will obey their masters. The police drove rallygoers into antifa. They purposefully (or through gross incompetence) set up violence. One twitter user, I don’t remember who, remarked that no cop even tipped off the rally about the betrayal the police were to visit on the rally. As well, Pax and a few others tried to get “civil disobedience” arrested, but the police didn’t accept the arrests and drove them into antifa. Do not trust the cops to protect our rallies or meetings. Do not trust them to protect the peace.

3) Planned and advertised rallies give the left and their supporters in the government time to plan. So, only make open, planned rallies where you are sure that either the police will act to protect the peace or where antifa will not have a free hand to destroy. So never make plans for future rallies in Democratic cities or states.

4) No swastikas, no sieg heils, no roman salutes, no red armbands, no public gassing/ovening jokes, whether its serious or meming for the lulz. This is not punching right, this is not virtue signalling, this is basic optics. Real life is not the internet, it is not 4chan. 90% of the population will react very negatively to nazi signalling IRL. This is not going to change in the foreseeable future. The media will pull the two people doing nazi stuff from hundreds and go “look they’re all nazis” and it will work to turn normal people against us. There is nothing to be gained from nazi signalling and a lot to be lost (same for any KKK stuff, but nobody seems to be doing that). The nazi well is poisoned.

5) Keep your cool. I don’t know whether Field’s attack was planned or if he just ended up trapped and panicked, but whatever happened, it hurt the cause a lot. Rally-goers need to keep their cool and not react disproportionately. Pax and others noticed that there was a blank shot fired during the rally. His hypothesis is that the police were trying to set it up so the right would fire on and massacre antifa. Thankfully, the right kept their calm. Keep your cool and don’t overreact. The left doesn’t care if their lumpenprol cannon fodder gets butchered; they will gladly sacrifice them if it gives them a weapon against us.

6) Stick together. My best guess is that Field was isolated, set upon, then panicked. It could have been avoided had Field not been isolated; he may never have been put in that situation or someone could have talked him down or prevented his panic. Don’t let people get isolated. Isolated people will be in danger and will either be hurt or hurt others in disproportionate way. Beforehand, set up a small squad structure. Make sure everybody has a couple of buddies who will stay with him throughout the rally. For those who come alone, set them up with a few people. However it’s done, make sure everybody is part of a small group looking out for each other and make it known to never abandon someone during the riot (unless he has been safely arrested; don’t start a fight with the cops). At the very worst, if you can’t plan anything better, have a box with numbers on paper and pass the numbers out as attendees enter, then tell everyone to stick together with those sharing their numbers for the rally.

7) Have a bug out plan. Nobody predicted this would happen, but now we know it can. So, any rally should have planned, safe escape routes (have at least one back-up in case your main route gets closed) should something like this happen again. Rallygoers should all be briefed on it (but not too far advance so it doesn’t get leaked). If a rally goes down like this again, use the route. Have a person (and some backups) ready to take control and lead the escape. Train a squad or two beforehand on how to make a spearhead to break through a antifa/police line if it comes to that.

8) Relatedly, have a transport plan. Set up beforehand a general area people will park, bus to, walk to, etc. to walk to the rally, or coordinate a bus or two or something. If everybody parks wherever, the chances of someone becoming isolated like Field did increases. If people all enter and exit from the same general area, then this provides some level of safety and order. Of course, if antifa finds out this area, this increases the likelihood of vandalism or violence leading up to extraction, but at least nobody will be trapped alone. If necessary, you can have a parking area far form the rally and organize a shuttle service/evac point to and from the rally.

9) Quality control. This will probably be hard to do in practice, it may be impractical, but we should try to find a way to control the quality of people at the rallies. To get to the point where ramming people with a car seemed like a good idea, Field had to have made a series of bad decisions, including isolating himself, entering his car into antifa territory, and punching the gas. Try to keep people who make poor decisions, who panic, or who lose their cool out of rallies, or at least position them so they can’t get into a situation where they can make bad decisions. I don’t know if this is possible, but it should be attempted. 100 calm, disciplined marchers is far more effective than 1000 people milling about in chaos.

10) The Friday march worked, and worked tremendously. The left was panicking in fear, the pictures and press turned out amazing, it looked cool, it projected power and self-control; it was a major win (promptly undercut by Saturday). This is what we should model future rallies on: minimal prior public notice, control and self-discipline, and a display of power. We asserted our control, everybody knew, on a very primal level, that the right was successfully asserting political dominance and building legitimacy.

11) Tactical leadership. Related to the squad idea above, every rally should have a set tactical chain of command, and all rally-goers should know to follow it. The police betrayal was unexpected, but had a command structure been set-up beforehand, rally leadership could have provided some order to react properly, punch through antifa lines and extract everyone with minimal harm and no deaths. If somebody refuses to follow a chain of command, boot him. We are the right, we value authority. At the bare minimum, announce to all rallygoers at the beginning, “these are Tom, Dick, and Harry, if things go badly they will lead us out. Obey them,” or pass out a few distinctive hats to leaders and announce to obey people with those hats if chaos erupts.

12) Start smaller. The rally made it clear we do not yet have the organizational capacity/skills to run a large, pre-planned rally given the obstacles presented to us. This is not a knock against any of the organizers or the job they did, but these capacities do not just spring from nowhere, they are built. So, instead of one large rally, we should focus on smaller, more particular rallies and get some people building experience in organizing, before the next large rally.

To summarize, for now we should focus on smaller, better planned, more disciplined suprise rallies (with torches). We should seek to emulate Friday’s march. The goal of the rally proper should be to march through and dominate an area, demonstrating that we have power over said area. Rallies should be a form of guerrilla political war.

However, the overarching goal and main focus of the rallies should be on building planning, organizational, and leadership capacities within the right. We should also be working on forming natural groups of men, so we don’t have to resort to the paper numbers method. The passivist building of bonds and capacities are far more important at this stage than the political benefits of a rally.

Once we have these built, then a few years from now, we can hold the Return of Unite the Right and display the legitimacy and power we have actually built.

On Political Rallies

Here’s a quick post on political rallies, as a short theoretical introduction to my coming post which will examine lessons to be learned from Charlottesville.

Here are basics I’ve stated before:

Politics is the use of power to distribute status and resources. Politics is power and all power is, at base, the capacity for violence. Capacity for violence comes from authority, the ability to command men to commit violence.  , men’s belief in your right to command them.

To succeed at politics you first need legitimacy. Then you turn that to authority, which you then turn to power. The accumulation of authority and power, in turn, further increases legitimacy and authority.

All political actions are either displays of legitimacy, authority, or power, or exercises of power.

Government is the exercise of power.

Voting is a display of legitimacy. Voting is the statement: ‘I believe the person I vote for has legitimate authority over me.” This is why naked dictators have hold elections where they win with 120% of the vote. It reinforces their legitimacy.

It is also a display of power. It is a ritualistic counting of heads; who would outnumber whom if political disputes needed to be resolved by violence. ‘I have 65 million people who believe I have legitimate authority and who would fight for me if violence began. You have fewer and would lose. Surrender peacefully’

Letter and phone campaigns, and petitions are the same. They are either displays of and appeals to authority (‘You have authority over me, please exercise it in a way I desire’) or displays of power (‘as you can tell from these letters/calls/signatures we outnumber you. Obey our demands’).

We hide these displays of power behind prettied-up democratic language, because politeness allows us to peacefully coexist. It is easier to accept others having power over you without responding with unlawful violence if you think of it as ‘the people decided’ rather than ‘my opponents displayed greater capacities for violence, so I submitted to them’, even though the latter is the unvarnished truth of democratic decision-making.

Onto rallies and protests specifically. Rallies are displays of power. To peel away painted-up democratic language, they are displays of tribal war, agnostic behaviour, two wolves sizing each other up before fighting.

We often hear the terms ‘people power’ or ‘direct action’, but we never realize the full depths of how primal and literal this phrase is. A rally is a naked show of force, a threat, a taunt. It states to your political opponent, ‘this is how many men we have who would commit to violence, do you dare fight or do you submit?’ On a primal level, all understand this, but, for politeness’ sake and in our muddled democratic thinking, we downplay how serious a rally is.

Knowing this, we can know the reasons for rallies; to assert power and control. To hold a rally is to say, ‘this area belongs to us.’ To hold a counter-protest is declare, ‘you do not control this area, we are willing to fight!’. If the rally continues, those holding the rally show they have the power over that area. If the rally is ended, the counter-protesters have shown the area truly belongs to them. Government agents stand in the middle, keeping the displays as just displays, knowing that whichever side wins the area truly belongs to the government.

You should never hold a rally unless you know you can conclude it. To fail at a rally is to show a lack of power, it shows your opponents are in control.

Changes

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed a lack of updates recently.

That’s for two reasons: I’ve been overall busier lately and I haven’t really had any ideas worth creating a blog post or inspiration pushing me to create.

So I haven’t been reading as much, which is why there hasn’t been a Lightning Round in a couple months.

This lack of inspiration is probably temporary, but how temporary I don’t know. I ran the well dry, but it will refill at some point. When I have something I want to write about, I’ll post it up here, so there should still be the occasional posts, but not as many as I’ve been putting out. At some point, I’ll probably pick up blogging seriously again, and I’ll pick it up here when I do.

If you want to read my more minor thoughts, I do tweet regularly here: so feel free to follow. It’s also probably the best way to contact me.

I haven’t checked my e-mail for a long while, so if you’ve e-mailed me, than you have my sincere apologies for my lack pf response. I probably won’t be responding. to any I’ve received, my apologies again.

Finally, check out Counter-Fund. Support them. Building an alternative infrastructure for the right is probably the most important political task we have.

When I start writing seriously again, I’ll probably become an influencer there. If/when I do, hopefully you’ll support me. If you do, then I’ll force myself to read, think of things to write for you, and respond to inquiries promptly.

 

Lightning Round – 2017/04/12

Constitutionalism is a myth.

Ethnonationalism and aristocladism.

Basic strategic concepts.

The rise of the reactionary: 1, 2, 3.

Against realism.

The inglorious revolution.

Political freedom and the banality singularity.
Related: Show liberals know mercy.
Related: Non theories begat non sense.

The long romance of socialism and liberal democracy.

The Northern Dawn Symposium.

The WASP question.

Meet the beadles.

But mostly cars.

The Pentagon is making the CIA and State obsolete.

Sociobiology as the Freudianism of the right.

The SFSU strikes. Part 2.

Single white women are the undertow of legacy Americans.
Related: How menopausal women lead to Islam.

White privilege vs. white death.

Allying with far to destroy near.

The coordinated hit on hate.

Ignorance is strength.

Trump already remakes the world.
Related: Not a nation of immigrants.
Related: Montezuma’s corollary.

The border-adjustment tax.
Related: A classic upside-down NYT article on corn and NAFTA.

The likely shape of a Trump autocoup.

Syrian gas attack persuasion.
Related: Neoconning Trump.

Trump: 4d chess master or puppet?
Related: Syria and the next target.
Related: Possible joint Chinese-US offensive against North Korea.
Related: On Trump’s Syria strike blunder.
Related: Scott Adams on the strike.
Related: Syria: what we know.
Related: Trump: the master or the cuckold?
Related: Mark was wrong on Trump.
Related: It’s looking grim.
Related: The victory of the Cathedral.
My opinion: Wait and see. Trump has earned a measure of benefit of the doubt.

Copts murdered in Egypt.

Trump spied on by Obama administration.

The alt-lite’s fatal flaw.

The fantastic health care failure.
Related: Prioritize.

The ideological cult of the SJW.

Brexit begins.

On usury.

No patriarchy without patriarchs.
Related: Manliness is authority. And femininity is desire.

Men and women’s fates are bound.

Cuck nation.

Another victim of family courts.

The sexbot and robot revolutions.

Manufacturing the college rape scare.

On nazi art.

The Venezuelan judicial coup.

California criminalized undercover reporting, by conservatives.

Leftist mom enjoys tolerance.

The lizard people.

Modern science is non-science.
Related: Where anthropology went wrong.

On socialization.

Chesterton on AI Risk.

When both Taibbi and Chomsky think you’re nuts regarding Russia.

The #BLM Stanford kid.

The failure of Marvel’s progressive agenda.

On the Pepsi ad.

Crippling the Priesthood

Here is another, long term strategy for the Trumpenkrieg.

The right has two main enemies: the press and academia, together with the bureaucracy they form what we call the Cathedral. Academia creates liberal doctrine and indoctrinates the young into it. The press promulgates doctrine. The bureaucracy implements it. The bureaucracy, while a problem, follows the lead of the press and the academy.

The press is immolating itself. It is being outflanked by non-traditional media enabled by modern technologies and is squandering what’s left of its legitimacy rapidly. We should help it along its course, but its self-destruction is nigh inevitable. The main question is rebuilding something favourable to western civilization in its place.

On the other hand the academy is going strong and continually grows stronger. It’s primary strength is that a diploma is necessary for a “good” job. The destruction of the traditional economy is leaving many in a situation of Yale or jail. For ever-more Americans the choice is increasingly either college or destitution. So most young Americans choose to load themselves in debt for their anti-poverty paper.

I’ve stated before, we should end federal student loans, and I stand by that, but that is a minor measure that still leaves the system intact. Another measure to strike against the university is to end disparate impact. Sailer has been writing about how disparate impact prevents direct meritocratic hiring, forcing employers to rely on indirect signals, such as a degree, for years now. Ending disparate impact would alleviate some of the economic necessity of a college degree.

But, I’m going to present a strategy even more direct. One that would almost immediately cripple the academy’s stranglehold over meritocratic signalling. I will say beforehand, that this would require significant resources and extensive coordination. Ideally, this could function as a start-up if someone had enough access to VC and could get buy-in from at least one industry to start, but realistically, this would probably have to be a government project (so if any of you have a line to Bannon or someone else who might be interested, send this idea along; take credit if you want, the idea is simple and not particularly novel, its implementation would be the heavy work).

The idea is simply a Knowledge and Skills Signaling Organization or KASSO for short. Essentially, the KASSO would be a single window supplier of certifications for occupational knowledge and skills.

KASSO would work with various industrial and occupational organizations to develop a battery of certification tests, both academic and practical, for each industry/occupation, the completion of which would demonstrate a certain level of competence in the tested competency. Upon successful completion of certification tests, the testee would be given a certificate of competence, which would he could present to employers.

For an example of how this would work, let’s look at programming. Programming already has a large spread of certifications, but KASSO would centralize and standardize these certifications. It would start by consulting with major Silicon Valley firms and other firms with large programming departments, about what particular skills requirements they would require for their various programming occupations. It may also talk to other industry players, such as programming languages organizations, language developers, or conferences, but it would primarily be aimed at what the employers wanted.

Working with these groups, it would develop a series of tests that would show competence, in these. For example, you could have a C++ 1, C++ 2, and C++ 3 for basic C++ knowledge for grunt-work programmers, mid-level programmers, and expert programmers, respectively. Each test would be a rigourous, complete and supervised. The C++ 1 test could, for example, be a combination of developing a few simple programs or routines, doing some basic debugging, and answering some basic theoretical questions. While the C++ 3 certification could be developing a complex program from scratch and a difficult debugging problem based on a real-life example.

The length and involvement of these tests would depend on the requirements thereof. The C++ 1, may only be a 3-hour test, while the C++ 3, may be three 8-hour days or even a 24-hour marathon.

Upon successful completion of the C++ 1 test, the testee would then be provided with his C++ 1 certificate, which he could present to his employer who would know that this testee was qualified for C++ work and to what degree he was qualified. What competences and what level of competence each degree represented would be easily available and clearly explained on KASSO’ website.

Of course, adding more gradations of skills would also be a possibility. You could have, for example, C++ 1 – Standard, Silver and Gold, depending on the level of competency shown.

Cheating would be possibility, so the strictest anti-cheating measures would be put in place to ensure the integrity of the process. Each testing class would be kept small, say a half-dozen testees. Each test would be monitored by two KASSO testers at all times. To prevent memorization, each test would actually be one of a half-dozen similar and equally challenging, but different, tests administered in a quasi-random order. There would also be a cool-down period for unsuccessful testees; say 4 months before they could attempt the test again. Insofar as possible, the tests would be as practical as possible so that cheating required as much competence in the subject matter as successful completion.

KASSO would pay for itself, or even be a for-profit organization. If each student had to pay, say $500 per a test, they could take a half-dozen different certifications for a fraction of a years worth of tuition, yet KASSO would still be raking in cash. Or, more likely, different tests would have different costs: C++ 1 may only cost $100, while C++ 3 may cost $2000. For those taking multiple related certification, there could be a discount program. Say, $5000 for testing in C++ 3, VB 3, and Java 3.

This same thing would be done for each in-demand language. There might be a set of certifications for those showing competence in language independent parts of programming. Whatever industry expresses a desire for. There might be a broader Programmer certification for those who’ve been certified in a certain range of programming languages and theory.

For each skill domain, industry, and/or occupational group there’d a similar set of tests and certifications, drawn from the needs of the various industries and organizations hiring people with those skills.

In addition, to such specialized certificates, such as programming, KASSO would offer more generalized certifications. A small battery of tests, similar to a GED, similar to a high school certification. Another, more larger and more difficult general test, that would be generally equivalent to the knowledge gained from a generalized humanities bachelor. A series of general tests could be equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science. A series of tests could be the equivalent of a business degree. And so forth.

You could even apply tests to softer skills. Although, these tests may be harder to plan and implement, you could have certifications in salesmanship or public speaking.

These were all general examples, the details would have to be developed by experts, but the essential idea of KASSO is to create a self-funding organization providing a set of well-known, broadly-accepted, reliable certifications. Employers would know exactly what certified students had demonstrated competence in, while (future) employees would know which certifications would be needed to get the job they wanted.

There are a number of potential pitfalls. The main problem would be starting this up and getting buy-in from employers. Now, for the federal government a solution might be converting the useless education department to developing KASSO.

Another problem that would come from a government implementation of KASSO is political considerations intervening in what should be an impersonal and objective certification program. To combat this, the government should make it an independent, arms-length institution mostly outside the the ability for politicians or bureaucrats to interfere. Possibly even privatize it after it gets off the ground.

Anybody implementing KASSO may also have to be wary of disparate impact, but with enough will this could be worked around.

But beyond these pitfalls, KASSO would have numerous benefits. First, it would allow another route to competence signaling beyond college or even beyond high school. It would allow the self-taught, the self-motivated, and prodigies to receive certification without having to rely on formal schooling. It would reduce tuition debt slavery, as people could get certification relatively inexpensively through KASSO. It would reduce certification time as people taught themselves on their own schedule, so young people could enter the workforce earlier. Once heavily adopted, it would provide a standard set of certifications for human resources departments to look for and for (future) employees to pursue. It would help poor people lift themselves from poverty; they could get “better” jobs by studying on their own schedule and getting certifications. It would break the back of academia. It would prevent the waste of time and resources of dropouts, as it’s a lot easier to waste a day and $500 failing a test than a year and $10,000 failing your first year at university.

* All numbers and examples are rather arbitrary and undeveloped. They are there for illustrations sake; this is a broad outline, the experts would have to develop the real details.