In the Northern Virginia Horse Country, west of the cesspool of Big Government and the hellish suburbs full of liberals, the scenic country roads, all little two-lane farm roads offering few opportunities to pass, on every weekend and holiday outside the winter, will be choked with intensely annoying hordes of spandex-clad idiots with insectoid helmets peddling along on their stupid bicycles blocking traffic.
You have only to look at them, to perceive their hideous bad taste, to grasp that they are all trendy, narcissistic vegans, with a strong representation of inverts, who vote democrat. Clogging other people’s roads, forcing the locals to crawl frustratedly behind their lengthy parades of bent-over grotesquerie, they positively exude entitlement and self-gratulation as they misuse roads other people built and maintain and drink in the scenery that was home turf to Turner Ashby and John Singleton Mosby, to Confederate cavalrymen and to fox hunters, to precisely the kind of people they hate and despise.
When the mass migration of all the worst elements of modernity hits the little village shop in Orleans, they clean out the soft drinks cooler case and buy up all the prepared sandwiches, to the absolute fury of the farm workers who arrive at lunch-time finding nothing left for themselves.
Just as those who tolerate or encourage racist, sexist and homophobic or transphobic comments on social media contribute to emboldening the people who attack and menace particular groups, people who parrot stereotypical comments about cyclists on social media subtly encourage those who would harm them — tearing down a memorial, close-passing a mother with a child on her bike or aggressively edging their car into a bike lane to menace and squeeze a bicyclist.
It was not until several years ago, when in my 70s I took up an electric bike as my primary form of transportation, that I began to realize how pervasive the hatred of bicyclists is among car drivers. At first, I thought it must be my inexperience that explained drivers cutting me off by turning directly into my path, honking impatiently and close-swerving around me when I slowed or moved out into the lane due to an obstacle ahead of me. They couldn’t know (or didn’t care) that I was being extra cautious to avoid being “doored” by someone parked alongside the bike lane in which I was riding. As I rode more, I saw drivers regularly do these things to other bicyclists, including everyone from kids to expert riders like Boyes.
The next time you are tempted to pile on to such a discussion about bicyclists, ask yourself if you are doing so because you consciously or unconsciously resent them — for taking up space on the roads, for slowing you down in your car, for seemingly being so free while you are stuck in car traffic. And if so, stop and ask yourself if you can re-envision them in a non-stereotyped way: as your own kids, grandmothers, parents or other people who are placed at risk by negative comments. Your words have the power to reinforce hurtful stereotypes or to reshape perceptions.
We do loathe and despise you for exactly same kind of abusive and insolent self-entitlement and eagerness to claim a special privileged status that allows you to run roughshod over the normal rest of the world that is merely going about its business that characterizes all the whining minorities, the proudly perverted, and the mentally-disordered impersonators of genders not their own. Sod the lot of you!
Our politics has changed. Our ruling establishment has changed. The leadership of our institutions has changed. And entirely everywhere for the worse.
The media, of course, used to be biased, but the bias was unconscious back then. Today, it is calculated, deliberate, and ruthless.
The American establishment was Country Club Republican, liberal but with some moderation and common sense. The establishment today is a Marxist devoutedly treasonous clerisy that hates the rest of America and that has every inclination to impose its positions by force. The liberals have been purged.
Of the several unwelcome revelations in the past six years, the most politically significant is that liberalism as a political philosophy is dead.
Oh, there may still be some individuals who identify with it, but for the most part they are old, retired, or cowed into silence by the howling mobs of progressives, the “woke,” and the identitarian left.
And how do we know this? We know it by the collapse of colleges and universities as places of open debate and inquiry. And we know it by the abandonment of any kind of honest and principled journalism by the vast majority of the legacy and social media. For decades these two institutions, the press and the academy, have been the white hot center of American liberalism, and their metamorphosis into woke and progressive fortresses signals the end of it.
How else to explain the spectacle of acceptance, if not the promotion, of censoring, shadow banning, and cancelling? Or the spread of CRT concepts in education from elementary school to college? Or the hostility shown toward Elon Musk’s stated goal of reinstating free speech on Twitter? Or the thuggish and uniform media lies regarding stories like the origin of COVID-19 and authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop?
You don’t have to admire or share the philosophy to know that liberalism is, or was, popularly likened to virtues like tolerance and broad-mindedness. But none of the examples above reflect any of those qualities. Just the opposite.
In the summer of 2020, Harper’s magazine published an open letter signed by 150 or so people, most of whom would then have been regarded as liberals. In it, the signers made clear their dismay over the attacks on freedom of speech:
The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture; an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.
More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.
At the time of its publication the letter looked like it might be the beginning of a powerful liberal backlash against the illiberal machinations of progressives and the like. In hindsight it looks like the last gasp of an exhausted stock.
The reptiles and invertebrates running places like Yale today are burdened with inherited commitments to Free Speech dating back to a different time. At Yale, they have not quite nerved themselves up to the point of repudiating the Woodward Report, they only ignore it in practice then obfuscate and pay a little hypocritical lip service to Free Expression that they no longer support. They gave a good citizenship award to one of the Shrieking Students who hounded the master of Silliman College out of office because his wife defended free choice of Halloween costume. Open and frank repudiation of every kind of free speech and expression is just around the corner.
As with the suspension of Trump (and on a much, much lesser scale, me) progressives cheered the deplatformings the way public lynchings used to attract a picnicking crowd. The left controls social media (as well as most mainstream media) and so day by day their unreal world becomes ethically more cleansed, more free of things they do not like, and with all the bad news (Hunter Biden) made to go away. The world online is the way they want it to be, with the real world held at bay behind the screen. Like living in The Villages in Florida, or maybe in the Matrix.
It is very much the same for what we’ll call social media 3D, things like renaming high schools and tearing down statues. Those acts are the equivalent of tweets. Nothing changes because of them, but everyone feels more righteous. Might as well send the 45 cents a day to one of those TV charities and think you are solving hunger in Africa. Or posting on Facebook that everyone should get vaccinated. Or, at least when gays were still performing as victims, changing your photo to a rainbow flag.
You see it also in the blurred lines between fiction and reality. A touchpoint for understanding Trump was the dismal novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Black empowerment? Wakanda. Economic equality is fictionalized by replacing every white person in a TV commercial with a black actor, and every other Hallmark romance with a same-sex couple. Same thing when our society over-celebrates the first transgender Jeopardy! winner or another children’s book where the cuddly caterpillar who does good deeds is nonbinary. NYC’s Shakespeare in the Park this year featured Richard III with the lead played by a black woman, no doubt as some imagine the Bard secretly intended.
But this detachment from reality, the appearance of action instead of action, is why progressives continue to have to “raise awareness” for the same old things over and over. In the end, nothing that happens online matters. Online is just propaganda of unknown real-world effectiveness. The left celebrates the deplatforming of Marjorie Taylor Greene, forgetting she is still a sitting congresswoman. Votes count, “likes” do not. Joe Rogan talks to 11 million people a week; Neil Young, his one-time media nemesis, not so many.
The danger of all this, as every purple-haired undergrad eventually realizes, is it creates learned helplessness. …
Kurt Schlichter contends (correctly) that losing to today’s Left would be simply too disgraceful.
Have you noticed the absolute freakshow quality of the people who want to keep us in chains? Perhaps it’s one thing to be repressed by people who are at least nominally badass, like Romans or Mongols. But these geebos who make up the Democrat Party’s loudmouth wing? The sexually hopeless toads outraged because other people who might someday know the loving touch of another human can’t whack their babies? No. Not only does their tyranny fail the freedom test, it fails the aesthetic test.
We simply cannot allow ourselves to be serfs toiling in the fields of a bunch of people who, in any just and sane society, would spend their lives living in fear of getting wedgies for being so bizarre.
Look, I’m not saying that our society should bring back bullying nerds. I am simply observing that when nerds were busy trying to avoid swirlies in the boys’ room, they did not have the time to devote to getting their groomer allies access to Kindergarteners. If Melvins and Pointdexters living in fear is the price of little kids not getting chatted up by pedo-adjacent strange-os, I say that’s a bargain.
All leftists are insufferable, but this current crop is insufferable in many diverse ways. It’s not just the ones who defile or mutilate themselves to get their parents’ attention. It also includes ones that don’t tatt up, who appear normal until they open up their kale holes. Think Nina Jankowicz. On the surface, she looks like any other childless, middle-aged Chardonnay-guzzler who is pushing 40 but has failed thus far to earn the love of a man. But when she starts talking, yikes. And just look at the antics of that fascist disinformation girl. She sings show tunes. She’s into Harry Potter – non-threatening sensitive and magical boys are sooooo dreamy. She’s also eager to shove you into a train car headed to a gulag, and as it pulls away from the station she’ll be shouting at you ruffians to use your inside voices.
That’s right – the mediocre girl who played the lead in your high school’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” – which you skipped to go pound Buds with your pals like normal people – is the harbinger of tyranny.
Ugh, that’s so sad. Tyranny is intolerable even if you are facing a worthy foe. But tyranny by this kind of over-credentialed, shame-free dork? No way. Never.
And that’s true of the rest of the salty commie crew. Pierced beings with blue hair. Fat-positive behemoths in spandex. Daddy-issue goofs of all genders who can’t do a push up. If we are going to lose our country and our freedom, it can’t be to this gallery of goblins. At least with proper enemies – like, say, the Hessians – you could get some satisfaction shoving a bayonet into their guts. With these weebles, you fail to call them by their bespoke pronouns and they collapse into a sobbing heap. Where’s the challenge?
We simply cannot lose to these people. It’s undignified.
And it’s unnecessary. The only way they win is if we let them win. They can’t take a punch, and the whole caste of them – which probably numbers a couple million across the country – collectively probably has access to about as many guns as the average Trump voter. The only threat they pose is to fetuses, and pretty soon only in Moloch-friendly states like Cali and New York. They talk big about revolutions and insurrections, but they have neither the cold steel or the upper body strength to pull it off.
What are they going to do – pester us into submission? Yes, that’s actually their plan. They really think that if they call us “racist” enough, if they moan enough about patriarchy, if they bleat enough about how us saying what we think is “unsafe” we will simply give up.
It is ironic and amusing that the Left which always sides with the criminals against the police, and which wants the police to be defunded and calls for policemen to be jailed when they are obliged to employ physical force against criminals resisting arrest, yesterday placed absolute reliance on the police, the military (whom they always betray and in which they do not serve), and the National Guard (consisting entirely of the deporables they despise) to protect them and to defend the confirmation of their stolen election from the righteous wrath of the offended American people.
Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: The Consummation, 1836, The New York Historical Society.
Pedro Gonzalez pessimistically describes the inexorable advance of the credentialed class of sophisters, calculators, and economists whose interests inevitably coincide with the cause of collectivist statism.
Before the storm of steel that was World War I, Robert Nisbet wrote that the federal government, for most Americans, was a strangerâ€”something they mainly encountered only on visits to the post office. This may be hard for us to fathom now, we who have been born and raised long after the chains of industrial and technological conglomeration crushed the social, cultural, and political independence middle America knew just a few generations ago.
Different thinkers gave different names to this revolution of mass and scale in virtually all areas of organized human activity. James Burnham heralded its rise, as a system that would replace capitalism not with socialism but â€œmanagerialism.â€
Burnham defined managerialism as the centralization of society in which the distinction between the state and the economy is eliminated, the separation of ownership and control is effected, and, most importantly, powerâ€”real powerâ€”rests in the hands of â€œmanagers.â€
If it seems there is little room for republicanism or constitutionalism in this scheme, thatâ€™s because there isnâ€™t. â€œAmerica still has a written constitution, but it is nearly impossible, theoretically or politically, to comprehend the distinction between the government and the Constitution,â€ John Marini writes. â€œThe theoretical foundations of social compact theory have been so undermined as to make constitutionalism obsolete as a political theory.â€
Demystified, the â€œmanagersâ€ of our post-constitutional cruise through the truculent waters at the end of history are business executives, technicians, bureaucrats, journalists, administrators; the whole host of technically trained experts who constitute the credentialed class which produces nothing and owns little but without whom mass society would not function.
â€œAgricultural and industrial societies always had their unhappy intellectualsâ€”lawyers, clerks, teachers, radical journalistsâ€”men whose profits lay in ideas rather than things, and who were thus in the vanguard of upheavals and demands for reform,â€ Kevin P. Phillips wrote in Mediacracy. â€œBut the intelligentsia was always a small subclass, influential at times when it could channel public unrest, otherwise subordinate.â€ Now the managers throttle their enemies with the levers of power and, to a large extent, manage unrest while overseeing the managed deconstruction of the civilization they did not build but inherited.