Category Archives: Culture

The Loss of Trust Is Well Earned, by Jeffrey A. Tucker

The question isn’t why wouldn’t you trust the government, but rather why would you. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:

Society is broken at many levels, and the economy too. We face a mental health crisis among young people following two years of unprecedented educational and social disruption. The highest inflation in most people’s lifetimes has people nearly panicked about the future, and that combines with strange and unpredictable shortages.

And we wonder why. Few dare call it for what it all is: a result of lockdowns and overweening control that has compromised essential rights and liberties. That choice shattered the world as we knew it. We cannot simply move on and forget.

The question I’m constantly asked is: why did this happen to us? There is no one easy answer but rather a combination of factors that involved both misunderstandings of cell biology and the social contract but also something more nefarious: the deployment and use of a crisis to further special interests.

Let’s try to sort through this.

We hoped that the disaster of the covid response was a one-time event. And that it had nothing to do with politics and interest groups. Maybe it was all some giant confusion? In which, the whole thing could be reversed. It was not part of some larger plot but merely an enormous screw up.

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Doug Casey on the Rapid Cultural Decline and What Comes Next

Western Civilization and the ideas that truly made America exceptional are under full frontal intellectual and political assault. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: Nations in decline often experience cultural degeneracy. We saw that in the Roman Empire and Weimar Germany, for example.

Today, in the US, we see increasing signs of cultural degeneracy in Hollywood, advertisements, academia, science, corporations, politics, and other areas of life.

What is your take?

Doug Casey: There have been a number of major turning points throughout history. Rome in the third century was one of them. It was a period of economic, political, and military chaos, aggravated by the social chaos accompanying the rise of Christianity. These things set the stage for the complete collapse of the old civilization in the West with the barbarian invasions after Adrianople in 378.

The Renaissance changed the nature of life in Western Europe starting in the 15th century, as did the Enlightenment in the 18th century. And, most important, in many ways, the Industrial Revolution overturned the pre-existing economic order starting in the early 19th century.

Whenever the public was in a frenzy about something or other, my friend Herman Kahn (look him up) liked to quip, “There are only two important things that have happened since the dawn of history—and this isn’t one of them.” He was referring to the Agricultural Revolution around 5000 years ago and the Industrial Revolution. It’s good to keep things in perspective…

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Why Is Everything Broken? By Edward Curtin

If you suspect there’s something demonic about what’s going on out there, you’re not alone. From Edward Curtin at lewrockwell.com:

“Begin then with a fracture, a cesura, a rent; opening a crack in this fallen world, a shaft of light.”    Norman O. Brown, Love’s Body

Being sick for the past few weeks has had its advantages.  It has forced me to take a break from writing since I could not concentrate enough to do so.  It has gifted me with a deeper sympathy for the vast numbers of the seriously ill around the world, those suffering souls without succor except for desperate prayers for relief.  And it has allowed thoughts to think me as I relinquished all efforts at control for a few miserable weeks of “doing nothing” except napping, reading short paragraphs in books, watching some sports and a documentary, and being receptive to the light coming through the cracks in my consciousness.

I suppose you could say that my temporary illness forced me, as José Ortega Y Gasset described it, virtually and provisionally to withdraw myself from the world and take a stand inside myself – “or, to use a magnificent word which exists only in Spanish, that man can ensimismarse (‘be inside himself’).”

But as I learned, being “inside myself” doesn’t mean the outside world doesn’t come visiting, both in its present and past manifestations.  When you are sick, you feel most vulnerable; this sense of frailty breaks you open to strange and familiar thoughts, feelings, dreams and memories that you must catch on the fly, pin with words if you are quick enough.  I’ve pinned some over these weeks as they came to me through the cracks.

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AMERICAN FREAKSHOW, Jim Quinn

Why do so many people try to destroy their own appearance? You’re not asserting your individuality if 75 percent of your peer group is doing the same thing. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.” – George Carlin

MONTEGO BAY RESORT - Updated 2022 Prices & Motel Reviews (North Wildwood, NJ)

When we saw the forecast for this past weekend on Wednesday, we quickly booked a room for Friday and Saturday nights in Wildwood. Even though we are headed back down to the beach in two weeks for our annual vacation, we couldn’t pass up an 80 degree day in May. The Montego Bay hotel is one of only a few that are open all year in Wildwood. It’s kind of dumpy, the staff is grumpy and the one elevator takes five minutes to arrive.

You park underneath and there is always water dripping from somewhere. It always reminds me of that condo tower that collapsed in Miami last year. The rooms are clean and the view from the 5th floor balcony is spectacular, looking out on the Atlantic Ocean. You get to see a stunning sunrise, majestic sailboats, and dolphins frolicking close to the beach.

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And yet, there’s still plenty of good news. By Simon Black

You can always find something to pop Panglossian bubbles, and conversely, there’s always something to counter unremitting gloom. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

On January 2, 1710, King Louis XIV of France was finally ready for peace.

After nearly seven decades on the throne (which still makes him the longest reigning sovereign monarch in human history), Louis XIV had seen more wars than he could probably remember.

Most recently, France had been fighting the War of Spanish Succession against virtually all of Europe. It had been incredibly costly — France alone suffered half a million casualties, plus the war had ruined the economy.

Louis finally capitulated in 1710 and sent a clear message to his adversaries that he was ready to make a deal. It took three years of negotiations, but finally, in 1713, the peace treaties were signed.

The end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 capped off roughly a century of raging warfare in Europe which had started with the Thirty Years War in 1618.

Along the way there were dozens of separate wars that took place in Europe — Portugal against the Netherlands, the Netherlands against England, England against Spain, Spain against France, France against the Holy Roman Empire, the Empire against Sweden, Sweden against Russia.

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Much wants more and loses all, by Gefira

That the Russians are going to depose Vladimir Putin over the war with Ukraine is a pipe dream. The Russians have lived under authoritarians and dictators for over a century and have endured two world wars that decimated their country. From Gefira at gefira.org:

The collective post-West has been running amok for the last two weeks. The powers that be make believe that they did not expect that events would unfold the way they are unfolding now (though they did their best to make things happen as they are happening) and they make a show imposing sanctions on the aggressor and assuring the populace that the aggressor sooner or later will cave in. There is yet a third aspect to the phenomenon: the same powers that be want the people to forget that merely twenty years back they themselves assaulted Yugoslavia/Serbia, used missiles with depleted uranium, bombed cities and shot at civilians. Of course, that earlier event was a humanitarian action while the current one is a brutal act of aggression, but we digress.

Now there is a big misconception on the part of the post-West about Russia. If the Western media claim the Russian people are against the war or that the Russian people are about to rebel and overthrow President Putin, then they are either delusional or lying through their teeth. Reality is something that refuses to obey our wishes. The Russian people have rallied around their president and and their authorities; the Russian people – unlike citizens of the post-Western countries – are patriotic and ready to sacrifice themselves in defence of their fatherland. Western sanctions? The post-West may withdraw businesses and impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs, which is music to the ears of the Russian people. They resented Western dominance anyway and they will be more than happy to see the oligarchs mopped up from their society. Russians view the hostilities as a repeat of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Contrary to what has been done to the Western collective mentality, the Russian authorities under Vladimir Putin took great efforts to raise Russia’s citizens in patriotic values. Russians are going to win because they do not care about money so much as the West does. That’s one big misconception that Western people have about their opponents from the East.

It is the West that cannot imagine a life without money and the resultant luxuries. Sanctions or no sanctions, Western companies will sooner or later (I bet: sooner) resume business with Russia because – as everybody in the West knows – “money makes the world go round”. No less a person than Comrade Lenin famously said: capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will make a noose to hang them. And so they will, make no bones about it.

Yes, the West is ready to go to war with Russia so long as it has… Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian soldiers at its disposal. The moment the West runs out of those soldiers, its leaders will go back to the negotiating table with the Kremlin. Do you want any evidence? Here you are.

A few days ago Americans tried to set Poland against Russia in that they suggested to Warsaw that it send Soviet-made MiG aircraft to Ukraine. Though the Polish authorities usually oblige the West’s wishes, this time they had second thoughts about the proposal and replied that they were ready to send the said aircraft to the American air base in Rammstein so that Americans could pass them over to Kiev. And you know what? Washington was beside itself with annoyance! You see? The dog was expected to bite the bear, with the dog’s owner watching from the sidelines and biding his time.

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Back In the USSR, by Good Citizen

Russians may be set to reject their dalliance with Western culture, and that may not be a bad thing. From Good Citizen at thegoodcitizen.substack.com:

A brief glitch in the Russian Matrix.

It was probably fun while it lasted. A brief thirty year flirtation with western decadence and shameless mass consumerism in post-soviet Russia is quickly coming to an end. It took two decades to get the engines going but now it’s time to shut them down again. The remnants will stick around for a generation or so, but the speed with which fashion and trends enter and exit the popular culture will ensure Russia crystallizes this moment in time in a similar way to the nations trapped behind the iron curtain in the middle of last century. It won’t be quite the same however because this time things are different.

This time it’s the west that’s degrading toward the worst elements of the USSR faster than Russia. Every horrible thing they tell us about Putin and Russia exists in the west and ten-fold in some cases. Political prisoners held without trial. Censorship. Pravda media. Kangaroo committees. Secret police for internal coups. Shutting down protests of one political nature while allowing others. Unequal protection under the law. Oligarchies posing as democracies. Fascism posing as liberalism. Things are certainly trending backward toward tyranny to say nothing of coerced bioweapons injections and democidal agendas. How about surrounding Russia with secret bio labs for twenty years and doing experiments on Ukrainian soldiers?1

We haven’t even arrived at the endless bloody wars for greed and profit that saw no cries or pleas of mercy, no Iraqi, Afghan, Yemeni, Libyan or Syrian flag emojis or disgraceful America-phobia of the likes we’re presently witnessing against Russia. The depleted uranium used by American forces in Falluja alone sent the cancer rates sky rocketing among locals there. Did you see any western monuments light up with the colors of the Iraqi flag for them? We did see western governments nod in approval as Colin Powell spoke of fictitious weapons of mass destruction at the United Nations. Selective outrage is a funny thing, reserved for certain peoples, with certain agendas, all of whom should certainly never be trusted again.

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The Coming Terror of Social Impact Finance and Social Credit Score, by Derrick Broze

Theodore Kaczynski had some interesting things to say about technological dystopian. From Derrick Broze at thelastamericanvagabond.com:

Will the social engineers of the future use social engineering tools such as social credit scores and social impact finance to co-create a more equitable and just world? Or are all of the buzzwords simply another mask for the next stage of colonialist-corporate-capitalism?

“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries.” ― Theodore John Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

Between 1978 and 1995, Theodore John Kaczynski, or simply Ted Kaczynski, launched a coordinated bombing campaign in an attempt to raise awareness about the threat digital technology poses to the planet and all life. Kaczynski’s bombs resulted in the deaths of 3 people, 23 persons injured, and him being sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

On September 19, 1995, The Washington Post and The New York Times co-published Kaczynski’s manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, and quickly catapulted the terrorist to cult status among certain radical anti-technology activists and anarcho-primitivists. It was the publication of Kaczynski’s writing that ultimately led to his capture and imprisonment. Since that time, his words and ideas have been heavily debated, dissected, praised, and scorned.

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Amazon’s Woke Lord Of The Rings Is The Death Rattle Of Social Justice Content, by Brandon Smith

J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings is an allegorical masterpiece and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy actually did it justice. Amazon is bringing out its own adaptation and it’s got nowhere to go but down. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Modern social justice in all of its forms is communism. The political left doesn’t want to admit it openly, but there is no way around it and there is no debate. Some would call it “cultural Marxism,” but the bottom line is that there is no such thing as a legitimate social justice movement in the west because by law all people regardless of their ethnic circumstances are equally protected. You could say that SJWs are rebels without a cause, but I would point out that “social justice” is not their real cause. They aren’t really interested in equality, they are interested in control.

There is a classic playbook for communist sabotage of a target society, and one of the first tactics is always the destruction of that society’s history and symbols. When Mao Zedong announced the birth of the “Cultural Revolution” in China in 1966, his goal was to disrupt growing discontent among the Chinese people with the broken promises of the communist regime. Only 8 years earlier in 1958 Mao had initiated the “Great Leap Forward,” which was a purge of his political opponents as well as a massive population reduction program that used food as a weapon. After the deaths of over 65 million Chinese citizens, Mao sought to redirect public anger by scapegoating a supposed conspiracy of “capitalists and imperialists.”

The Cultural Revolution was essentially a nationwide witch hunt spearheaded by rabid and ignorant children; people easy for the government to manipulate and exploit. They scoured their own towns and cities as spies and enforcers for the CCP, looking for any signs that their neighbors were part of the conspiracy to disrupt the communist collective. They held tribunals and struggle sessions where anyone who said the wrong thing or who angered the wrong person was publicly humiliated or even murdered as “insurrectionists” by a mob of communist zealots.

Most importantly, the Cultural Revolution was used as a means to utterly destroy any remnants of Chinese history before the commies arrived on the scene. Museums and universities were raided and ancient artworks, documents, books and historical parchments were burned in pyres. Historians and people with knowledge of the Chinese heritage were marched up and down the streets and chastised as enemies of the people. Statues were torn down and entire buildings razed to the ground. The communist system cannot gain dominance without two things – Rule at the barrel of a gun, and complete control over cultural products and information.

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The Unicultural Edge, by Steve Sailer

The Chinese look at racial issues much differently than Americans do. From Steve Sailer at takimag.com:

The Unicultural Edge

A formerly secret 2013 Pentagon report, The Strategic Consequences of Chinese Racism: A Strategic Asymmetry for the United States, argues “China is a racist superpower.” It makes for eye-opening reading on how both the Chinese people and the American deep state think.

This book-length paper, which was posted online as the result of Freedom of Information Act litigation and then discovered by Twitter user @s_decatur, is by an author whose name remains redacted. But we know for sure that it was commissioned by the legendary nonagenarian strategist Andrew Marshall.

This shadowy mandarin started his career as a machinist in Detroit during WWII, then joined the RAND Corporation in 1949 to do Dr. Strangelove-like nuclear war planning. Henry Kissinger brought him into the Nixon White House and in 1973 Defense Secretary James Schlesinger created the enigmatic Office of Net Assessment for Marshall to think deep thoughts like a terrestrial Hari Seldon about the future of superpower rivalries.

“The great Chinese advantage over both the United States and Russia is that it’s less of an empire and more of a nation-state.”

He served as Director of Net Assessment in a windowless suite of Pentagon offices for 42 years under thirteen secretaries of defense until his retirement in 2015 at age 93, when he was said to be the oldest federal worker ever. A Chinese general considered Marshall perhaps China’s wisest foe and referred to the ancient seer as “Yoda.”

Nobody outside the Pentagon knows all that much about his views—not even secretaries of defense were allowed to keep copies of his highest-level write-ups known as “net assessments.” Only one copy of each was printed and when the cabinet officer finished reading it, Marshall put it back in his safe.

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