Too Few Good Men

Language warning.

“[I]f they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed.” So they didn’t. They chickened out. (Related. More.)

In the background of the gun control debate, and many other political debates, is the implicit assumption that there will always be enough “good guys” around—and they are mostly guys—to fix our stuff and keep us safe when crap hits the fan. However fashionable it may have been to hate on cops two years ago, we all still want someone to pick up if we have to call 911. Especially if our kids’ safety is involved.

But it turns out we’ve begun to exhaust our supply of good men. Feminism hasn’t helped, perpetual war hasn’t helped, the opioid crisis hasn’t helped, “Progress” in general hasn’t helped. Many men are shirking their duties as men, precisely because the payoff for being a man just isn’t there. Boys will be boys, but many men will only be men if you give them good reason to be. Our society hasn’t given most men such reason, and so here we are.

But we need good men. In particular, we need courage, the paradigmatically masculine virtue. The problem is that we’ve jacked up our courage supply chains even worse than our baby formula ones. And that problem cannot be fixed by anything less than a civilizational reset.

Lewis:

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. … In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

We call cops pigs and expect them to risk their lives in active shooter situations. We laugh at masculinity and are shocked to find dead children in our midst.

Nature Utterly Pwned Nature

Consider the story of the identical twins Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, who were raised separately from the age of four weeks. They reunited at 39 and found that they were each six feet tall and weighed 180 pounds; bit their nails and had tension headaches; owned a dog named Toy when they were kids; went on family vacations at the same beach in Florida; had worked part-time in law enforcement; and liked Miller Lite beer and Salem cigarettes. There was one notable difference: Jim Lewis named his firstborn James Alan, while Jim Springer named his James Allan. Had Lewis and Springer never met each other, they might have assumed that their adoptive parents played big roles in creating their tastes. But it appears that those interests were, to a large degree, coded in their DNA.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “The One Parenting Decision That Really Matters”

Cochran: “At least in this case, Nature utterly pwned Nurture. … [T]he environment influenced them all right, but it influenced them in exactly the same way.”

Three quick overarching takeaways:

  • The majority of what people blame on capitalism, “systemic racism,” “white supremacy,” “the patriarchy,” etc. has little if anything to do with any of the above. Unsurprisingly, our Establishment routinely underestimates the importance of genetics: “The environment influences people want to exist, mostly don’t.” Update your views on politics, history, education, etc. accordingly.
  • Parents should think carefully about what they can control and what they cannot control, optimize the former, and not stress out about the latter. If one identical twin is raised by the Amish and the other is raised by hippies, they will be profoundly different in some ways. But they will also be profoundly similar in other ways. Update your views on parenting accordingly.
  • People can change, and sometimes they do. But usually not easily, usually not without miracles. Pray accordingly.

All This Was Proclaimed Progress

Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter: "We will never forget & never forgive the # Holodomor, Stalin's 1932-1933 genocide killing millions of Ukrainians. For  their entire lives, our elders couldn't leave a crumb on the

Putin:

The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags, as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs, and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion, and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones—all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. … The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past—such as Shakespeare—are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood, memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what color or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Peterson:

[A]ll of you going along with the DIE activists, whatever your reasons: this is on you. Professors. Cowering cravenly in pretence and silence. Teaching your students to dissimulate and lie. To get along. As the walls crumble. For shame. CEOs: signalling a virtue you don’t possess and shouldn’t want to please a minority who literally live their lives by displeasure. … At the moment, I can’t tell if you’re more reprehensibly timid even than the professors. … Musicians, artists, writers: stop bending your sacred and meritorious art to the demands of the propagandists before you fatally betray the spirit of your own intuition. Stop censoring your thought. Stop saying you will hire for your orchestral and theatrical productions for any reason other than talent and excellence. That’s all you have. That’s all any of us have.

You Can’t Trust the Experts: COVID-19, Part II

Why conspiracy theories on coronavirus have spread so quickly - Vox

Statistics and data are important, but so are stories:

‘Everyone’ was saying these vaccines were safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. But how could they? There were literally zero studies. This is when I realized we were being lied to.

The problem was everywhere. Almost every paper I read had at least one obvious and serious problem with it, often of a type that you didn’t need any actual expertise to notice. I started to wonder how these papers were getting through peer review and getting published. … [M]y confidence in publicly funded science is completely destroyed … Our society is completely in the grip of people who have effectively evolved under selection pressure to strongly resemble scientists without actually being scientists.

[L]egislation which institutes lockdowns with no exit strategy … is not drafted with the view that the emergency will (can) end. The people drafting this legislation are not stupid. If they have not written an exit strategy into the legislation … they do not intend to implement one (at least not unless it is politically expedient). … The young, the poor, and people with disabilities would be among the cohorts who would bear the brunt of the damage.

40 years of NIOSH and OSHA data said their containment strategy was a joke.. and every hazmat expert who spoke up got de-platformed. That convinced me the government was not serious, and it was all theater. … I knew from history that both cloth masks and 6 feet “social distancing” were both failed strategies from the pandemic of 1917-1919, which Facui et al just recycled. That’s not serious science.

How could anyone be over due for a vaccine that was still in clinical trials and was only available under an emergency use authorization

[T]he media was flooded with stories of apparently healthy 40 year olds who died from covid. No comorbidities or risk factors, just died. I started to recognize it for fear porn and even suspected some of these ‘stories’ were fabricated.

[M]any children killed themselves across the US and the media would not cover it…. [T]he game plan was to day by day, using the Task Force daily briefings, make Trump look incapable and that all he was doing was a failure…to report infections by the thousands daily, and to make America unmanageable and ungovernable so that by the time the election came, people will be fed up and hurt and crushed by the lockdowns etc. and they actually pulled that off.

None of this involves “conspiracy theories,” just recognition that we are ruled by people whose ambition exceeds their ability to lead—because they are groupthinkish, or incompetent, or dishonest, or (in some cases) malicious, or cowardly—or all of the above. If you work at a large organization of pretty much any kind—”public” or “private,” “for-profit” or “not-for-profit,” etc.—you probably know the type(s). Heck, you (and I) have probably been the type at some point or other.

The only reasonable course of action is to adopt a stance of alienation from the prevailing Narrative—which is certainly not always wrong, but which never deserves the benefit of the doubt. Alienation—not just from journalists, but from politicians (both Democrats and Republicans), bureaucrats, “scientists,” professors, CEO’s, and pretty much any other “expert.” Not just about COVID, but about faith, health, family, and pretty much any other aspect of the good life.

But alienation is not enough. You cannot turn your back on the prevailing Narrative without something—or Someone—else to turn to. Or else you’ll go crazy. (Cynicism and despair are arguably even worse than blind trust. Tolkien: “The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.”)

(Part I here.)

Unprecedented

[I]n his Politics, Aristotle says that “dissimilarity of stock is conducive to factional conflict,” i.e., ethnic differences in and of themselves, irrespective of disagreements over regime form (typically few versus many), can drive revolution. Aristotle seems to admit the possibility of assimilation: dissimilarity, he says, leads to conflict “until a cooperative spirit develops.” But he cites no examples, forcing one to wonder how likely it is for this theoretical possibility to be actualized in the real world. … Multi-ethnic polities are hardly unknown to history. Of these, Aristotle gives several examples—all of which ended up fighting civil wars along ethnic lines. … [W]hen the Census announced that, for the first time in American history, the white population had declined in absolute numbers, The Tonight Show’s audience cheered. No native-born population of any country has ever literally cheered its own dispossession.

Michael Anton, “Unprecedented”

Read the whole thing.

White Flight’s Success

Jews displaced by street crime in New York City were many Holocaust survivors and refugees. One Canarsie grandmother made a comparison that rattled the sociologist who heard it: “I am locked up like in the ghettos of Europe. I am afraid of people knocking down my door. I still am not free.”

How could this calamity be memory holed so thoroughly that, to the extent anyone remembers it today, we talk as if the Holocaust survivors were the villains of the story? It is because the boomers themselves were too young to remember it. Most people born in the decade after 1945 would have been in their twenties when Judge Garrity’s busing decision came down, too old to be in school and too young to have children of their own.

Preserving the boomers’ liberalism on race was, in many cases, precisely why their parents had fled to the suburbs. Bernie and Roz Ebstein of Chicago had marched with Martin Luther King and were committed to staying in Merrionette Manor even as the neighborhood flipped, until their school-age sons started expressing racial resentments. “You believe this stuff about integration,” their eldest told them, “but we’re living it.” The Ebsteins quickly moved to Hyde Park, where little David and Steven would no longer have their liberal opinions beaten out of them. Having high-status views on race was part of the middle-class life they wanted to pass on to their children, no less than material comforts and a college education.

It is therefore a mark of white flight’s success that so many boomers are willing to believe Ta-Nehisi Coates’s lies about it. 

Helen Andrews, Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster

If God So Loved the World…

Kyle Rittenhouse's former lawyer predicted weapons charge dismissal a year  ago in politically charged case | Fox News

…then God so loves Kyle Rittenhouse—and Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, Gaige Grosskreutz, Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, Biden, Trump, Gandhi, Hitler, Madonna, Prince, the person crossing the street. Anyone. You. Me.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” But when I’m walking around town, pretty much all I see is ordinary people. Nice people, sometimes, but also annoying people. Obese, loud, forgettable people. Rarely extraordinary.

What would it mean to see only extraordinary people? What would it mean to recognize the immortal beauty in every single human being? What would it mean to love the whole world wholly—clean through?

And what does it mean to be so loved? To be so recognized and seen? And to know that we are not alone—that literally everyone else is just as loved, just as recognized, just as seen?

They Called It Progress

Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Revives Debate Over the Atomic Bomb -  The New York Times

In absolute terms—and probably per capita as well—the twentieth century visited more collective violence on the world than any century of the previous ten thousand years. … [E]arlier wars deployed nothing like the death-dealing armaments, much less the state-backed extermination of civilians, that twentieth-century conflicts brought with them…. [T]he world death rate for large-scale war ran around 90 per million population per year during the eighteenth century, 150 per million during the nineteenth century, and over 400 per million during the twentieth…. Altogether, about 100 million people died as a direct result of action by organized military units backed by one government or another over the course of the twentieth century. Most likely a comparable number of civilians died of war-induced disease and other indirect effects…. Large postwar waves of genocide and politicide occurred before 1980 in the Soviet Union (1943–1947), China (1950–1951), Indonesia (1965–1966), again China (1966–1975), Pakistan (1971), Uganda (1971–1979), and Cambodia (1975– 1979). During the 1980s they continued on substantial scales in Afghanistan, Uganda, El Salvador, Iran, Syria, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and probably Iraq…. Since 1945, then, the world as a whole has taken decisive, frightening steps away from its painfully achieved segregations between armies and civilian populations, between war and peace, between international and civil war, between lethal and nonlethal applications of force. It has moved toward armed struggle within existing states and toward state-sponsored killing, deprivation, or expulsion of whole population categories. These trends greatly exceed population growth and the multiplication of independent states; they constitute an enormous increase per capita and per state. … Except occasionally to wring their hands at other people’s barbarity, residents of rich Western countries have not much noticed.

Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence

The Power to Tear Things Down

Tom Wolfe Has Died at 88 | Vanity Fair

If you ask me, newspaper reporters are created at age six when they first go to school. In the schoolyard boys immediately divide into two types. Immediately! There are those who have the will to be daring and dominate, and those who don’t have it. Those who don’t … grow up with the same dreams as the stronger…. They, too, dream of power, money, fame, and beautiful lovers. Boys like this kid grow up instinctively realizing that language is like…a sword or a gun. Used skillfully, it has the power to…well, not so much achieve things as to tear things down—including people…including the boys who came out on the strong side of the sheerly dividing line. Hey, that’s what liberals are! Ideology? Economics? Social justice? Those are nothing but their prom outfits. Their politics were set for life in the schoolyard at age six. They were the weak, and forever after they resented the strong. That’s why so many journalists are liberals!

Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood

Cordevilla: “Grievance is the handle by which you push these pawns into your cultural wars.”

Handle: “The political formula of ‘use propaganda to agitate maximum resentment, and then weaponize it’ has evolved and been refined to an art-form. … [M]aintaining a perpetually heightened sense of resentful grievance and bitter acrimony is extremely effective, albeit incompatible with a nice future.”

Thomas Sowell: “I am so old that I can remember when other people’s achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance.” (In related news, notice all the statues coming down?)

Robin Morgan: “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”

But of course loving less will not get us anywhere. The politics of hatred—violent or merely casual, left or right—is the politics of death. “We must love one another or die.”

You Can’t Trust the Experts: COVID-19, Part I

“The most vaccine-hesitant group of all? PhDs”

Just in case you weren’t already aware: You can’t trust the experts when it comes to COVID.

Here‘s a helpful rundown (apologies for the crassness and vulgarity). And Locklin doesn’t even mention that “Pfizer crossed its published benchmark before Election Day, but didn’t want to have to announce its results, so it shut down its lab work on [its COVID-19 vaccine].” Nor does he fully dive into the media’s role in everything (nor the geopolitical angle).

“[S]ubmission works in stages. If you submit to this small thing, what next will you submit to?” Don’t submit to faceless institutions which have not earned your trust. Submit to God and in “secular” matters think for yourself.

Related. Related.