Looking over the events of this week, it became clear that the postwar order has well and truly ended. America was able to bind itself together with a fusion of its founding ideals and the liberalism it had picked up during the Great Depression.
That meant that we moved the center to the Left, oriented both parties to that, and set up a nice tidy arrangement like football: one side had the ball, the other played defense, and when that was done, they traded sides.
The glitch, however, arose because politics has inertia. If you swing to the Left, you will soon slide to the Left… further to the Left. Our postwar order held itself in check because the Soviets provided an example of “too far,” so we knew what our limits were.
Then, reality struck. It turns out that the Soviet system was every bit as bat feces insane as conservatives said it was, and with a little goading from Reagan, the edifice of nonsense and bureaucracy collapsed into the abyss. Now nothing held us back.
Bill Clinton, our first diversity president, rose to take advantage of that situation. He knew that someone was going to get famous as the person who made peace between the races, even if that was obviously an illusion. He went for it, and got famous as a result.
Our economy was already on a spending spree, having defeated the Soviets but not their arguably more powerful Communist ally, the Chinese. That group realized that if they made themselves indispensable to the American economy, they could win without firing a shot.
America’s weak point showed itself clearly: unions had torn up our industry in the 1950s-1980s, causing the Japanese auto industry to eat us alive. They made better cars cheaper, in part because they could rely on their labor and not suffer strikes.
We should have taken a look at Japan and said, “Heck. They have one culture, one ethnic group, and one language, and as a result, they have enough unity that their workers are not trying to exploit the system for their own gain at the expense of others.”
Instead, we started talking about the Japanese as if they were the new Hitler. They were little robots, it was said, who lacked creativity and would never make amazing cars like we did. Like all lies, this was part-truth — Japan emphasizes function over novelty — but it was not fully true.
The auto industry led the way, pioneered by Lee Iacocca, who figured out that if he made subsystems of his cars overseas, he could pay American workers to put them together, and at that point, it did not matter if he paid union wages, since he was paying far fewer of them.
By the end of the 1980s, your average American car had a Japanese engine and drivetrain, wheels from Mexico, dashboard from Thailand, seats from Italy and a body from Canada. This kept American workers on edge, since they realized they were very close to being simply replaced.
China just amplified this process. They bid whatever they had to in order to get contracts, then waited a few decade before raising the price. Throughout the 1990s, America became giddy and sloppy on the huge wealth boom of cheap products made in China.
In the meantime, the Left — relying on its new minority-majority populations — got everything it wanted. We stopped just short of full socialism, but got very close, and our debt swelled to record proportions based on the three-quarters of our budget spent on socialist-style entitlements programs.
Sometime around 2000, however, the order began to crater. The Chinese were raising costs… the internet boom was over, and we spent the money on junk to keep daytime television watchers occupied… our foreign policy of WW2-style tyrant busting had made us into American World Police.
The Left responded by electing as close to a Clinton as they could, but designed for the “new Americans” who were not white and did not respond as well to Hillary Clinton as do the single mothers, stoned soy boys, and neurotic “intellectuals” who form the mainstay of the Leftist base.
Obama patched everything up by spending like a madman, priming the economy, and allowing us to hide how badly we were doing. This looked great on paper, but people noticed that they were dead broke and everything had gotten more expensive, but wages were stuck in the past.
People argued over the policy implications, but what had really happened was that the bill had come due for our post-Soviet spending binge. You can only prime the pump so much before people rely on the priming, not the reservoir, and then you go into bankruptcy-style circular motions.
Enter Trump. Was he the cause, the product? He came after Brexit, and just as identitarian movements were rising in Europe. These had a simple message: the WW2-era order of ruling the world with liberal democracy, free markets, socialist-style entitlements, and a consumer economy had ended.
Those things never worked, said these new leaders, but what would work was self-sufficiency. Cut ourselves free from the grand ideological plans, whether the EU or PRC. End all the entitlements, and focus on rewarding the productive and driving everyone else away.
Diversity was the catalyst, as it has been in most of American history, because it forced both instability and high costs on an already overburdened system. We were also seeing, around 1998 or so, that the first generation of minority-majority mayors were corrupt.
Even more, although this has not been widely reported, it seems that the postwar boom in labor-saving appliances, convenience products, and gadgets has come to an end. These things no longer command massive margins, and so the big money has gone, meaning that we can no longer base our economies solely on consumer demand for luxuries. Instead, everything is going to get more serious, and more functional. The days of making refrigerators that connect to Twitter and getting rich from it are over.
This set up our division in the present, which means that the postwar order is over. We no longer all agree that having a world where every country is a diverse liberal democracy with civil rights is the best possible order; in fact, we think it is boring and suffocating as a system.
People have lost faith in democracy, equality, diversity, and government. We are ready for something new with fewer rules, less red tape, and more of the simple rule of rewarding the good and beating back the bad, who under “equality” get away (sometimes literally) with murder.
Our people want structure again. They want a culture, with its own cuisine and calendar, so they know how to behave. They want normal dating, not weird promiscuity and depressing kinks. They want to know that doing the right thing will mean a good life, instead of becoming a tax cash cow to pay for those who are not doing the right thing.
Francis Fukuyama sounded a warning back in 1992 when he wrote that human history had ended because liberal democracy had won. That was the post-war order, and we could all see that it was dysfunctional and existentially miserable underneath the chrome, glitz, CSS, and CGI.
The same thing that 1980s movies complained about — that adulthood was dull, hopeless, and soul-killing — became amplified in the 1990s and unbearable in the 2000s. Liberal democracy had seemed to win, but in victory, it had become evil, like so many brands once they gained market dominance.
New spaces were required. We want to be able to live normally again, without every hour of our days accounted for by some system that seems so intent on keeping everyone working or subsidized that it has made slaves of us all.
Even more, we want values outside of money, work, shopping, and politics. We would like to have neighborhoods, real communities, again. We want the endless hand of civil rights to stop forcing us to interact with other groups, and we want government to leave industry alone as much as possible.
We are entering uncharted waters, but we like risk and ambiguity more than certain servitude, control, and most of all, boredom.
Another diversity shakedown:
Evans, who is black, alleges that Founders tolerated a “racist internal corporate culture,” passed on him for promotions because of his race and witnessed multiple employees say the N-word around him without immediately getting fired (the latter of which Founders admitted to in its response to the lawsuit; it’s denied most other allegations). Evans also says Founders management in Grand Rapids electronically named two printers the “white guy printer” and “black guy printer,” which Founders has denied.
Perhaps people should not be fired for saying one wrong word, even if we think that such behavior is cruel and unwarranted. Perhaps, instead, they should be told that this is unacceptable and sent back to work. Perhaps we should accept that what they think outside of work should be their own business, and simply bar them from talking about it at work. In the battleground that is diversity, however, being a victim means big money, and so that money will be taking from a thriving business and given to someone who was probably passed over for promotions because of low performance.
Guy from California notices that gasoline costs half as much in Texas. On the coasts, people get paid more, but in order to support all of the people doing unproductive ceremonial tasks instead of contributing output, those areas tax people into oblivion. The courts encourage this by finding new obligations based in civil rights for all these businesses to follow, and they pass the cost on to the consumer. However, there is no escape, since even “low cost” places like Texas have become expensive, despite not having income tax or excessive gasoline taxes, because the property taxes required to sustain education for illegal aliens and diversity programs have driven up costs to the point where Texas is no longer affordable. Instead, it is going to follow the coastal model, based on the massive wealth of the oil industry and its own minority-majority population.
US demands China go through lots of red tape to visit educational institutions. China objects, but the rest of the world, accustomed to Chinese spying, nods and looks away.
Trump attacks “disparate impact,” the legal doctrine that holds that if minorities are underrepresented in your community, you are racist, even if there is no evidence of that intent. He is carefully setting up the groundwork for affirmative action to fall, and when it does, the Leftist hold over minorities — vote for us and get free stuff plus jobs from which you can never be fired — will fall, as will the idea of diversity. Under affirmative action, we have a lot of minorities driving new SUVs and going shopping at luxury stores during the working day here in America, a phenomenon that the Left supports because it pumps money into the economy, but it is no longer making us rich, only making government swell, and Trump is wise to attack it at the root.
There is no more modern product than Coca-Cola. Mostly water, it consists of sugar, flavorings, and carbonation plus a giant helping of a massive advertising blitz. Now we are seeing that you cannot go more than five feet anywhere on Earth without encountering a Coca-Cola can. Perhaps finally the economy based on disposable things designed for the lowest common denominator human behavior will fall, and we can go back to making things of actual value that last. It turns out that many of our “miracle products” are in fact environmental sabotage, and so all those people turning out for Extinction Rebellion protests are going to slowly inch away from them. The future product is the cheap refrigerator, made just down the road, that lasts for fifty years, not the car, tablet, computer, phone, or watch that we replace every few years just to have the newest. Reuse, recycle, and renew may be more than a catchy slogan; it may be the end of consumer economies as we know them. In turn, that will savage the gadget-based internet economy and the entertainment sector, since those things coexist with the advertising blitz that sells gadgets and luxuries.
They are not wrong, but for us to tackle our problems, we need to decouple from China. They did not think of that one, did they?
Jihadists keep trying to destroy Germany, interrupted only by a state-sponsored program of surveillance. The politicians want to ban “hate speech” — basically, noticing how diversity has failed — instead of addressing the actual problem. Will the voters snooze through yet another crucial issue?
Trump ends the world police, and tells the world to solve its own problems, because we are bleeding out through all of these interventions in places that refuse to save themselves from their own insanity. If we can do the same to entitlements, imagine how effective we will be.
Why would someone see affirmative action as bad? First, it ensures that lots of people get hired to do nothing because they are there as token minorities, and if they turn out to be incompetent because they were hired only for being minorities, someone else gets hired to do the real work and the cost gets passed on to you. Look around your average office, and you will see many empty chairs. Those people are out enjoying life because they know they cannot get fired for failing to attend jobs that are basically there as a subsidy from the state, because they are effectively required by law (you can get shut down by the government and sued for millions if you do not have enough of the right color faces). Maybe white people used to avoid hiring minorities… in white firms. That did not harm those minorities by obligating them to pay for whites as dead weight, but affirmative action does that to whites. If you want to keep your job, and two candidates show up, hire the one that is not white. You cannot be sued and you will not get complained about, so your career will keep rocketing upward. Every now and then, some white guy sues and wins, but they try to keep those stories on the back pages.
Since every government on Earth is now censoring the internet in some form, led by the West which demands “hate speech” laws, the BBC is taking a first step which many others will soon take, which is to offer itself on the dark web, or the part of the internet that is not public and therefore, cannot be censored by governments directly. Note of future paranoia: the use of the “dark web” may be considered de facto attempts to evade legal oversight, and used as evidence in the “red flag” law trials which will seize your butterknives before you can enact another lynching or genocide.
Trump seems to be sleeping through this; why? He knows that with empire comes massive costs that Russia-China cannot bear, and that it would be better for Americans to depend on zero foreign imports. Let them take over Africa, South America, and any other place clueless enough to trust despots, and then the empire which the Chinese are building — Russia is effectively their proxy — will collapse all the faster, leaving behind the US and UK with functional economic systems. Britannia may rule the waves yet again.
When the Left talks about a balanced budget, what they mean is that conservatives should cut our programs so that the Left can expand their programs, which already take up three-quarters of the budget. Now that we have brought in a foreign workforce which depends on these programs, expect that to further run up the cost. How do you say “Galt’s Gulch” in Spanish?
Somehow, the Clinton-Obama-China gang ended up owning Big Tech. Perhaps this reflects the fact that, since 2007, Big Tech has been dependent upon the underclasses to buy its products and browse them on its phones. Everyone else has fled, just like how the cutting edge people fled MySpace once the clueless masses showed up. The new use of the internet is to stream purchased content, use encrypted chat services, and have private mailing lists, avoiding the rest which has become the equivalent of daytime television.
Government cannot wait to do more. If they cannot seize power with diversity, they will do it with environmental law, all while ignoring what actually must be done: keep half of the land intact for nature, with no human interaction. Our economic systems could survive that, but eco-socialism will destroy us.
Other states, including Vermont, Oregon and California, are already creating K-12 materials that prioritize the experiences of communities of color. But while some school districts are only building stand-alone ethnic-studies classes, Seattle is also rethinking existing courses to be taught through an anti-racist lens.
In a U.S. history class, for example, histories of oppression, institutionalized racism, community organizing and resistance can be worked into the lesson plan, said Wayne Au, a professor at the University of Washington, Bothell, who has helped lead Seattle’s ethnic-studies initiative.
Following Chinese and Soviet propaganda, the Left is using race as a way to take over our educational systems and produce future generations of ideological zombies who seek symbolic victory and ignore reality.
The West has lost a sense of its own goodness, and replaced it with “inclusivity,” which is sort of a way of saying that misery loves company. When we are fully “inclusive,” what will we tell people to get them through the night, about what gives their lives meaning? We have nothing and it makes us nervous, febrile, and weak.
Tags: linkpost, pipe meditations