You do know what you want?
I was returning home by the fields.
"Everything in this world is magic, except to the magician" – Robert Ford, Westworld
You do know what you want?
Footprints line the snow,
speaking little things.
Are we pigeons to the pigeons?
I am standing
at the corner.
a drop of
it looks like the wall is bleeding.
Dark shadow casts a silhouette against itself.
Unlit, dim. A candle burns in the heart of men.
One flame, many parts.
Many different jewels to hold with passionate coldness.
Stolen artifacts, history rolls.
Indifference is Nature’s God.
My God left long ago, with promises of glitter and gelt.
Dispersed throughout, the children play.
The ash beneath their feet is snow, each flake unique.
The same shape repeats.
I see a gate, sometimes, in my dreams.
It remains closed to me.
My God is in his garden.
Let’s imagine we are in a car, driving along a dirt road. The road is covered in fog and, unbeknownst to all but very careful observers, a cliff is approaching.
Suddenly, a figure appears in the road, and the car runs straight into him. He pushes back, and the car stops. Not wanting to become stuck, the driver hits the gas and begins redlining the engine. Then, the figure steps out of the way, and the car zooms off the cliff at breakneck speed. Boom!
The United States is the car in this metaphor, and we (the passengers) are its citizens. The driver? I’ll refer you to Unqualified Reservations for that (hint: The Cathedral). So who is the mysterious figure that stopped the car? Donald J. Trump.
Trump represents the final pushback against the failed American experiment in neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism (two ideologies that pretend to be different, but are in fact, the same). You can tell this because of how crazy politics has become since his election. The only reason that the media and governmental institutions turned up the heat is because they perceived their progress to be threatened. They thought the car had stopped. Not wanting to see their beautiful experiment finally fail (even though the car is missing a wheel and all its doors), they decided to up the stakes.
The United States has been redlining its engine since 2015, and Donald Trump has so far managed to halt its progress (albeit only slightly). Just as in physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Trump pushes, and the system pushes back with equal ferocity. It takes two to tango.
Obviously, this type of energy in American politics is not sustainable, and we are already beginning to see signs of fracture. Many Americans do not vote, many are disillusioned with the political process, and I bet all feel “just wake me up when it’s all over, please, and give me five extra minutes.”
Who will give first? Who should give first?
I think it is safe to say that the American Left will not be the first to blink. I see no indication of this at all, and if anything, the last couple of months have proven that they are just getting started with escalation. They are in it for the long haul, and this is not surprising. Trump has only been in office for 4 years, but the American Left has been in power since the election of Woodrow Wilson and our involvement in World War 1. And yet, Trump has managed to convince the American Left that their car has stopped, and that if they don’t continue to increase their volume all will be lost.
Regardless of if this is even true or not in reality, it is safe to say that many on the Left believe this. Words like “Nazi,” “racist,” and “white supremacist” have become so common that they have lost all meaning, and the focus on racial politics over the past few years shows desperation, not the signs of a confident ruling class. The American Left feels scared, feels that they are about to lose their ability to drive the car. They might even feel that Trump could somehow manage to push the car backwards.
This is their greatest weakness. If you already at 10/10 intensity, if the car’s engine is overheating and at 9000 RPM, there is nowhere left to go. All Trump must do now is simply smile and step out of the way, and watch while the car shoots forward off the cliff.
So, Joe Biden.
Joe Biden is boring, really boring. So boring, that I find it hard to imagine how the New York Times will manage to produce a single interesting story in his entire 4 year term. Imagine the headlines: “Joe Biden…just kinda sits around…”
Now contrast that with the current headlines about Trump. Every day seems to be a new crisis, whether it is the end of women’s rights or the start of a nuclear holocaust with Iran. As long as Trump is in power, his very presence is enough to generate and sell controversy. His existence is oxygen to the flames. Cut the source of oxygen, and the entire fire goes up in smoke.
This is why I will be voting for Joe Biden on November 3rd. I don’t want to keep driving towards the cliff at 5 mph, I want it to happen now (Don’t worry, my seatbelt is unbuckled so I can make the escape, and make sure yours is as well). The election of Joe Biden means the end of the Progressive Left’s hegemony, because they will have lost their greatest villian.
Who is Neo without Agent Smith? Who is Dorothy without the Wicked Witch of the West? Nobodies.
This is how we finally, once and for all, eliminate the Progressives’ hold on power. Let them drive the country off a cliff, I mean, we all knew it was coming. Now is not the time to play politics, because playing politics only justifies the Left’s existence. Take away their villain, and they cease to exist.
Instead of arguing with blue haired feminists online, just ignore them. We all learned this in elementary school. How do you handle a bully? You ignore them. Pretend they don’t bother you, continue on with your business as if they never even pushed you into the locker to begin with. Eventually, a bully becomes bored and leaves you alone.
A bully only gets their power from their victim. Refuse to be their victim, and they can’t do a damn thing.
So, what should you do? Prepare yourself for the inevitable crash. Detach yourself from politics, and position yourself so you won’t get caught in the crossfire. Remember, this car, the country, is heading to a cliff, so you better be ready to jump ship at the right moment. All your tweeting, all your anger, all your resentment of the ruling class gives them power. Take it back.
America is a legal oligarchy. Lawyers and Judges run this country and we need to stop pretending this isn’t as bad as it really is.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, notorious progressive Justice behind decisions as monumental and controversial as Roe vs. Wade, has died. Upon her death, thousands of grieving progressives flocked to the Supreme Court building to mourn her passing. Many in the intelligentsia media class felt devastated, even taking to Twitter to express their shock and outrage. For about fifteen minutes, everything seemed alright: people on both sides of the aisle were respectful and courteous.
Then, everyone remembered what timeline we’re all living in. Immediately, the online world caught fire once progressives and conservatives realized that Pres. Trump would have the opportunity to push through his third Supreme Court Justice in his first term, and only months before the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, I sat, sipping my tea, watching the chaos unfold.
I find it humorous how wrapped up people get with the Supreme Court, specifically, progressives. These are the same people who want to dismantle the heteronormative white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy, aka all power systems in existence, and yet, here they are writhing in grief over a woman who held more power than almost anyone in the federal government. It seems that even the revolutionaries can’t escape the allure of power, no surprise there.
Americans have a strange habit (or compulsion), to immediately react to any talk of royalty with a quick, guttural jab of “We hate Kings over here! No royalty in America, no way!”
And yet, we basically worship figures such as RBG (Just Google Notorious RBG). Ginsburg’s status was very much Queen-like. She was not elected, she had no term limit (even after becoming gravely ill), and her words were law. The comfort that many Americans feel with the Court is curious, and must be challenged.
If we are truly at a point where the Republic is lost if the Supreme Court tips one way or another, then I’m sorry to say, we have already lost. Just imagine trying to explain this scenario to Alexander Hamilton or George Washington, who saw the Court as so inconsequential that they put it in the basement of the Capitol building. They would have laughed at those who felt it necessary to hold a vigil for RBG, and they would have immediately recognized the religious overtones it carries.
I am not trying to disparage Ginsburg, I am saying I refuse to worship her. I do not believe in submitting (in the Islamic sense) to a human power, especially one who serves in the government. This goes for the ridiculous pageantry of funerals held in the Capitol as well, such as when John McCain died. I do not believe that we should worship our government leaders, I think they should be treated as flawed human beings, just like everyone else. They are not Gods, people!
Devoting yourself to a person will never, ever end well. Our country knew this, and this is why George Washington refused to turn the Presidency into a dictatorship. People are not gods, and they should never be treated as such. Doing so goes directly against the very core of Liberalism, the founding ideology of this country (Although this, too, might be wrong)
The Supreme Court is itself an incredibly dubious institution. Based solely on the Constitution, the Court’s jurisdiction exists only in original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction, neither of which grant any power in asserting power over the Legislative or Executive Branches. Judicial Review, or the ability of the court to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, was not added until 1803 in the case Marbury v Madison. After this monumental case, the Supreme Court gave itself the power to determine if laws were constitutional or not.
On the surface this feels reasonable, after all, who will act as a check on the federal government if not the courts? Upon deeper analysis, this ability is in fact the most powerful lever of control that exists in the federal government. This lever is not wielded by an elected body, but by legal oligarchs who answer to no one.
Take Roe v Wade, for example. We can all agree: the Constitution has no mention of the unborn, of abortion, or of the role of the state in matters of pregnancy. And yet, the Supreme Court was the body that enshrined abortion as a woman’s right. Whether you agree or not, it is shocking that a decision as politically charged as abortion would be decided by oligarchs, and not popular vote.
Let’s imagine a hypothetical case before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff claims that they have the right to own nuclear bombs, since the Second Amendment makes no limits on what “arms” mean. A public opinion poll reveals that 30% of the American public believes that it is a right to own nuclear weapons, while 70% do not. What would happen if the Supreme Court decided that yes, nuclear bombs are covered by the Second Amendment?
Congress could pass a law banning their sale, but the Court could turn around and declare it unconstitutional, nullifying it. Who checks the checkers?
You shouldn’t support oligarchy just because it agrees with you most of the time.
Be skeptical of all authority, and don’t place your “faith” in glorified bureaucrats.
“The State, by its very nature, must violate the generally accepted moral laws to which most people adhere.” – Murray Rothbard.
Societies, and the interactions between them, are usually evaluated and understood through a binary of peace and war. Peace is defined as the absence of war, that is, a time in which cooperation, not conflict, governs the goings on of the citizenry. War, a time of not-peace, is defined as the opposite: when conflict between peoples becomes so great that cooperation is not possible, and when domination is pursued as the means of securing power or value. I want to dispel this notion, and posit that war is the only state in which man finds himself. Peace, or the supposed absence of war, is still war, but one in which the bearing of arms and killing of one’s opponent is not deemed worthy to pursue. War, or the formal conflict between two nations or states, is the inherent conflict present within populations reaching a boiling point, and once this threshold is passed the taking up of arms is deemed worthy and a justifiable means.
By categorizing peace as war, I think it gives the casual observer of history a better model for political thought, since wars (those formalized by history and declarations) are often looked at as outside the domestic issues of a country leading up to war being declared by a state institution. For example, if one looks at the period before US involvement in Europe during World War 2 through the traditional peace-war binary, one will assume that the US was at peace before involving itself in the war. This is not true, and one can fall error to assuming that it was external, European influences which brought the United States into the war. By assuming that every state of man’s nature is one of war, then one can look at countries internally. This theory posits that a country who is not at war with another country is currently at war with itself, and once this war is thoroughly solved or unsolved will the country declare war on another country.
Man’s fundamental nature is that of war. Man needs resources to survive, and there are not enough resources on the Earth to supply each man with the resources he feels he needs. This leads to conflict, which can be dealt with in infinite ways, with some being more violent than others. Markets have become readily recognized as the most efficient and least violent means of distributing goods along efficient means, but that does not make the market itself an object of peace. Conflict still arises, and trade is the mechanism for which to delay, or provide an alternative to, violence. Because of scarcity, all men must go to war to secure the resources they require. If left alone, and with no modern inventions that make violence less and less justifiable, man will use violence to secure the things he desires, or he will starve. If there is no store to secure food, a man may steal food from a neighbor, thus committing an act of war against him. If a man cannot find what he needs to be obtainable in a non-violent means, he will use violence. The invention of violence-softening apparatus, such as storefronts, allows man to seek what he desires and to obtain it, all without using violence. Man’s inherent war-like nature is thus pushed underneath the surface, but not changed or eliminated in any way. If scarcity is present, or is perceived to be present, then men will resort to their fundamental nature to acquire the resources they need.
Violence undergirds every interaction a man finds himself in and is the primal means of advancing a man’s position in society. Society, thus, is the product of numerous individuals going to war with one another. Just as in wars between countries, some men may find it beneficial to ally themselves with men of the same goals and purpose, so that together they can wage economic war more effectively. This is called business. If in business, or the waging of war through economic means, a large enough population of defeated men, those at the bottom of the economic rung, become too dissatisfied with the terms of their economic defeat, they may band together to effectively battle the economic elite.
All internal social conflicts, those that stay within a state’s borders, are wars. Even if the bearing and taking up of arms is not happening on a large scale, groups are still coming into conflict. The resource of power, in a political context, is a finite resource, otherwise all men would hold power, thus rendering power meaningless. Again, there is a jockeying process in which one group asserts dominance over another. Just as in the economic sense, if one group feels that they are not able to secure enough political power for their desires, that group may take up arms and use violence.
This inherent reaction to scarcity is war, according to my definition. I find this more useful, because instead of perceiving history as the fluctuation between two phases: that of peace and war, I posit that history is the story of restraining man’s warlike nature. Technology acts to submerge the war instinct, since it lowers the perception of scarcity, at least in terms of things necessary for man’s survival. By looking at history as a dialectic between war and peace, one assumes that peace is inherent in man. I do not think this is the case. If this were true, if there was an instinct to be peaceful, then men who did not have the resources they require would simply submit to failure and death. This is clearly not the case, so it is then reasonable to conclude that peace, or the appearance of peace, simply signifies a period where scarcity has been combated effectively.
War is not a moral good, nor a moral failing. It is neutral, because it is a reaction to environmental conditions, and not a conscious ideology formulated outside the constraints of reality. Man is thus a creature in a constant state of reaction. Man cannot act, he simply reacts. For example, if a man is hungry, he seeks food. He does not seek food until he has felt hunger. A man who has never experienced hunger would not know to find food, since eating food does not exist as an independent act, as it has a reason for its occurrence. All of man’s actions are reactions, since there is no way to understand them other than understanding the environmental conditions which led to the action. A man does not speak unless he feels what he thinks has been unsaid, or that it needs to be said. If the man who wishes to speak has no other men with which to speak to, he will never actually find himself with the need to speak, since he will have nothing that he is reacting to. If a man finds himself in extended solitude, he may find himself speaking to no one, he must create actions for which to react.
By categorizing war and man’s fundamental reactionary nature as part of the same essence, I find it much easier to understand an array of modern social dilemmas. For example, in the current political arena of the United States, many different groups are competing for power. The United States is at war. I predict that once these groups have settled themselves in a satisfactory manner, the United States will find itself at war with another nation, since the war instinct will have moved outward. In times of social unrest, scarcity of a sought-after resource has become increased, and more and more individuals are forming collective groups with the hope of securing that scarce resource for themselves. Currently, in the United States, political power is the sought-after resource. Once political power has been obtained, and the winners of the power game have decided they have had enough, will the conflict stop. On the inverse, if the losers of the political game feel that they lost too much, then they may initiate violence to secure more power.
The problem with many self-professed pacifist movements in contemporary politics, such as Libertarianism, is their inability to seize control over a resource. The non-aggression principle, a commonly referred to Libertarian talking point, asserts that the use of force in an initiatory context is a moral wrong and must be avoided. Only after someone has violated your right to be free from force is it then justifiable to use force. What believers of this motto do not realize, or do not care to realize, is that there is no definition, or even discussion, about what constitutes aggression. If one’s place on the resource hierarchy is being threatened in a way that does not threaten one’s life, is force justified to secure oneself? At what point does simple annoyance move into aggression?
Libertarianism forgets that all men must use aggression first and solely as their means of securing resources. If one only uses force in a reactionary context, one will always lose, since they are never able to secure resources for themselves. Libertarianism assumes that every man is equal in their resources, and that never will two men find themselves in conflict over the same resource. Let us pretend to be in a supermarket aisle, if only for a moment. You are standing at the tomato sauce section, and notice there is only one can of tomato sauce left to buy. You have no food at home, so that tomato can is the only means of eating dinner you have available. As you realize this and prepare to grab the can, another man comes up and grabs it off the shelf. He committed no act of aggression towards you, he did not violate your sanctity in any way. You didn’t own that can, and you didn’t even add your labor to it to make it yours (As Locke would say). Nothing about the other man’s actions hurt you in any way directly, yet they clearly impact you. You are going to sleep hungry for the night, even though no one directly initiated violence against you.
Using the war instinct framework (Or whatever you want to call the line of thought in this essay) one could fairly argue that you had the right to take the tomato sauce can from the other man. In an environment of scarcity, one must secure resources to survive, and it is your only duty to care for your own needs. Now, perhaps society has disincentivized using violence to get the sauce can from the other man (Jail, police, courts, cheaper prices, etc.), but this does not address the fundamental issue of you going hungry for the night.
Pacifist movements have no means of securing resources because they assume ownership of resources is already decided. If resources are already owned, but you do not have enough, pacifism’s only response is “too bad for you”. Only an ideology based on reaction can thoroughly sort out this issue, since reaction is the only means of securing well-being. Securing resources for yourself is the end, and the means are what politics hopes to solve using as little violence as possible.
A problem I see arising in the current political environment is the presence of positive ideologies. Positive ideologies are ideologies which assert a higher form of man’s being, and offer a deliverance from man’s animal, flawed nature into a higher form of kindness and fairness. These ideologies will not last, because man is incapable of separating his nature from scarcity. Scarcity is what governs man’s actions, and not a higher force of ascension. The inherent quality of things to degrade is proof that man’s fundamental nature is no different from the reality he finds himself, and an attempt to make man forget this is a means of seizing control over his faculties. Ideologies should operate in accordance with reality’s laws, otherwise the only result is bitterness from those fooled into believing. If an ideology posits that it can give everyone political power, it means it will take political power, since power must be structured hierarchically if it is to have any meaning at all.
What political groups who claim to want to give everyone political power mean is that they will singularly have all the political power, and they will make decisions on behalf of those whose power the group took. Political parties act as a means of centralizing power, not distributing it.
If war is inherent, if it is the central mode of operation for all men, then what should the goal of politics be? Instead of promoting peace, should we seek to restrain war? Remember, war itself is morally neutral, as are all things not yet judged by man. War has certain qualities, of which must be dissected before any serious solution-oriented conversation can take place. War is competitive, meaning that it is hierarchical. Those who win war reside at the top, and those who lose at the bottom. War is also usually waged in teams, since it becomes easier to exert more force and power when many men agree than in solitude. War is destructive, as in it is waged for the purpose of reshaping the current situation, to change it in some manner. In this way war is also constructive, since a replacement structure must be substituted and implemented by the victors, otherwise war will continue. War is also capable of being pulled back, meaning that war is capable of being stopped, once it is realized by those involved that further war at the same intensity does no one any good. War acts as a self-regulating mechanism of sorts, then, since it can restrain itself, and set the rules for which it will be waged.
The political process can thus be seen as a means of regulating the rules of war. Men have agreed, and found, that extended wars or overly destructive wars have negative consequences for every party, and thus have decided that war must be fought using different weapons, such as the law and finance. War has not gone away; it has just shifted forms. Any political scientist must then realize that war cannot be ended, it must be regulated. A system must be set up that allows for constant war but has internal mechanisms in which to restrain or encourage it. A certain level of war is always needed, else a worse war will be formed later. War must be allowed to constantly be waged at an acceptable level, so that the instinct is fed and not allowed to starve. Just as a starving bear will act more violent, a society of so-called peace and unity will lead men to become more war-like.
The United States became one of the only countries to realize the truth about war, and therefore it is so uniquely successful. There is no central American identity, but there is a sense of respect to one’s fellow citizens. War is the way of life in America, but the state acts as referee, allowing men to wage war in means that do not overly burden everyone else.
Sports teams are a perfect example of regulated war and shows that when men can act according to their fundamental nature, remarkable shows of cooperation, skill, and brotherhood are seen. Any political society must understand the function of war and must create mechanisms which foster it.
Societies which discourage war among citizens are known as tyrannies and autocracies. Unity, and a sense of overwhelming loyalty to the class struggle or nation’s leader leads men to become resentful, since they are not able to war with one another in a constructive manner. What these regimes inadvertently, or perhaps purposefully, do is discourage completely any cooperative, war-like behavior that does not actively support the state. By making cooperative war illegal, a state makes all its citizens at war with each other. Now, citizens compete for political power with each other, and are not able to unite to promote a common cause. By centralizing political power in the state, all non-ruling class citizens are left at war with each other, since no mechanism exists in which cooperation will lead to victory. All resources are owned by the state, making war with the state the only means.
If a state instead seeks to detach itself from all resources, that is, allow the populace to organize themselves, that state will find that prosperity is not far behind. This is because men can cooperate with one another, and wage wars against other teams of people. This cooperation breeds connection among team members, and a higher sense of identity, since individuals now perceive themselves as part of a larger context. By letting war take place, the system is constantly updated and changed, and since the state has no investment in what form the system takes, it allows individuals to organize themselves in the most efficient means. Now, the role of the state is not to simply disappear, it must set the framework for which war will be fought within. War is self-regulating, but usually only after a fair amount of destruction has taken place. The state in this system acts as moderator, and instead of limiting men in their actions, seeks to guide them in the right direction. The state sets limits but does not stop actions. The state’s job is to foster war as much as possible, since it is the constant state of economic war which allows prosperity and wealth to be formed. The state must also act when war gets out of hand. In this sense, the state must treat the populace as a tea kettle of boiling water.
If the pot is too cold, that is, if war is not taking place, the tea will not brew. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure that competition can take place over goods. If too many goods are being hoarded by one man, the state must distribute his goods so that other men can compete for them. This is the worst situation for a state to be in, since it means it has created a society which encourages laziness and decadence and is historically the hardest to right. If the kettle is too hot, the water will boil over and spill. This is undesirable, but less so. It is easier to cool off water than to start the fire with which to boil it, but the state still must step in with equal ferocity to ensure that the society does not come apart.
This middle ground between too cold and too hot is where the state should seek to keep the society, since it is in this range that productivity is maximized, and harm is minimized. In this way, morality has no bearing on state policy, since it is not the state’s job to tell its citizens how to act, but to limit them to stay away from extremes. The state should only focus on making sure that war is fought at a consistently moderate level. This means that the tools of the state are much less since the state is only concerned with placing a finger on the scale to rebalance it. A heavy-handed state that has too many resources under its control has to it a heavy weight, and this weight can tip the moderation of war too far in either direction. The state must treat its society as a fire. Keep it lit, but don’t let it burn down the entire forest.
This will be a place for ideas, first and foremost. I want to explore anything, no matter its association. I want to go where no one has gone before, and I hope you will join me on this journey.
“Everything in this world is magic, except to the magician” – Robert Ford, Westworld