Friday, December 29, 2017

Saint Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket

The Catholic take: Thomas Becket, Saint

Some commentary from Thermidor with an eye towards the current political stuggle:
The Roman Church, of course, does not have a monopoly of social justice doctrine: indeed, the Social Gospel movement probably had far more influence on the contemporary Social Justice movement than the Roman Popes, but the Popes nevertheless belong to a more clearly uninterrupted inheritance of the Western Christian intellectual tradition of natural law from Aquinas forward, meaning their adoption of a Leviathan-based understanding of social justice is of profound significance, and puts the lie to many contemporary claims about the significance of Vatican II in modernizing Rome.

Without fear of contradiction, we may say that the profoundest influence on Social Justice doctrine comes not from Rome, but the Baptist preacher Walter Rauschenbach. Rauschenbach has something of a colourful history that many of his admirers use to life him up as a sage of reason, but his significance to our purposes is the invention of “institutionalized sinfulness” – the notion that institutions and corporate entities share as individuals in the inherited guilt of Original Sin and therefore must be redeemed just as individuals are redeemed through lived purposive action. It was in the wake of the Second World War, with the redefinition of good and evil in the wake of the World Wars, that the sensibilities of the pre-War Social Gospel movement met the lay movements that were deliberately intended to have grown out of Rerum Novarum, Quadragesima Anno, and Divini Redemptoris, and were helped along by the constitutions issued by Vatican II. The result was Dorothy Day and Cesar Chavez in the United States and neo-Marxist Liberation Theology in South America.

The Vatican has been very successful in suppressing Liberation Theology in the Hispanic world; what it has not done, however, is eradicated the assumption of institutionalized sinfulness—the idea that institutions need to be purified and redeemed through action (far worse, the idea that institutions can be purified or redeemed by fallen man). This has manifested in the approach taken by Roman Catholics in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals—the result has been for the laity to “walk away from the Church”, that is, to abandon the institution, and the broader movement among the narrative-makers is that the institution must change and must correct itself. Believers insist that “the Church left us”—but clerical abuse is by no means new in the Roman Church. Certainly, pederasty and sodomy have not been historically significant phenomena, but murder, theft, bigamy, and adultery—these were common. They were so common, in fact, that they quite nearly caused a schism between Rome and London during the reign of Henry II and gave England one of her greatest saints, Thomas Becket. There was no mass exodus from the Church, no questioning of the institution of Church or Crown—only questions about the Pope and King Henry themselves.

It is true that part of the reason no schism took place was that there were no real alternatives to the Roman church in England, as there would be when another King Henry entered a conflict with the Papacy, but there was also a distinct difference in the mind of the English. With a healthy and active system of communal justice, whereby offending priests were punished by the community if they were not handled by ecclesiastic authorities, ordinary Englishmen were by and large untouched by the dispute between King and Pope. To them, the Church constituted an eternal body, subject to changing human powers, but, like the monarchy, not to change—and, furthermore, an incorrupt body, which might be helmed by evil and corrupt men, but would never cease to be what it had been instituted to be by God. Institutions of this nature were not just incorrupt, but incorruptible.

Social Justice is utterly dependant on precisely the opposite view—that no institution is incorruptible, and, indeed, institutions are more corrupt than fallen humans. Revolution, then, and not stability, becomes the rule of history—in order that justice might be served, the institution itself must be fundamentally altered. Furthermore, groups and individuals therefore succeed and fail not on the virtue of the cohesion of the group or the competence of the individual, but by virtue of the power of the institutions which are perceived as obstacles. Worse, when individuals are turned against their group because its institutions are perceived as corrupt or destructive, the only means whereby communal justice can direct social justice is lost. Spurious concepts like “racism”, “sexism”, and the plethora of social phobias that have arisen in the last half-century have been institutionalized in the minds of the narrative-makers, manifesting the sinfulness of institutions, and dismantling most of the framework for social justice to function in a communal manner.

This new Social Justice doctrine is defined by the absence of stability—for it must be constantly changing, constantly repenting, constantly altered, with each new manifestation of sinfulness: redemption, for the progressive, is only possible through revolution. With the implosion of systems of communal justice due to the inevitable meddling of the Leviathan State, this new, redefined Social Justice increases social instability, with new fragmenting groups seeking their just due emerging continuously until one arrives at the Current Year. Such phenomena cannot help but accelerate, either: Social Justice will by its very nature continue to spiral into absurdity because it cannot overcome the inherent imperfection of a human institution, and it must end either in absolute tyranny of power or complete social paralysis and collapse.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Max Boot Preen, Preen, Preens! in Foreign Policy

Max Boot writes in Foreign Policy: 2017 Was the Year I Learned About My White Privilege

Steve Sailer comments: Mr. Invade the World / Invite the World Discovers White Privilege Under Trump
Well, live and learn. A quarter century is enough time to examine deeply held shibboleths and to see if they comport with reality. … In the last few years, in particular, it has become impossible for me to deny the reality of discrimination, harassment, even violence that people of color and women continue to experience in modern-day America from a power structure that remains for the most part in the hands of straight, white males. People like me, in other words.

But not exactly like me.

In case you missed it, here's Tucker Carlson taking apart Max Boot in under 10 minuets. Although he isn't responding to the article above, Tucker rebutted Boot back in September: "to dismiss people who disagree with you as immoral, as is your habit, isn't a useful form of debate, it's a kind of moral preening..."

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas


Conquest's Second Law Hits Homeschooling

It's not clear that HSLDA has turned progressive, but it is easy to see how it gets there from here.

HSLDA Wrong on Race in Homeschooling
Homeschool graduate and bow-tied master’s student in philosophy Philip Pugh penned the article in order to dispel the “myths” mentioned at the outset of this Faith and Heritage article: that homeschooling is the creation of white Christians, for white Christians, and that its future existence is handcuffed to the success of its founding demographic. If that last statement sounds familiar, it’s because it is no different from the thesis underlying much of the Alt Right: that the success and survival of Western civilization depends on the success and survival of Western peoples. If you want the fruit, tend to the root.

In his article, Pugh unfortunately subscribed to that cuckservative theory of “the less white it is, the more biblical it must be” in lauding statistics that show a declining rate of participation by whites in homeschooling, and a rise in non-white participation. According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics the sheer numbers of homeschoolers is on the rise — from 850,000 in 1999 to 1,773,000 in 2012. Those same statistics show that the white share in homeschooling dropped from 75% in 1999 to 68% in 2012. Conversely, the Hispanic share rose from 9% in 1999 to 15% in 2012. To Pugh, this is great news, and is evidence that homeschooling is really catching on in the ‘hood and barrio. In fact, to make sure their readers didn’t miss this feel-good factoid, the magazine’s editors and graphic designer splashed Pugh’s claim across the page in huge font — next to a stock picture of a smiling non-white family, of course.
Seen at "This Week in Reaction"

Robert Conquest's law is always in effect. If an organization isn't explicitly right-wing, it will be converged. And even if you convince right-wingers that this law is correct, they will reject having explicit political rules because most believe in universalism. Failing to see that universalism is a utopian, left-wing idea on Earth.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

We Need a Softcoin

The Austrian School and hard money advocates want hard money, that's why they like gold and Bitcoin:

The difference between hard money and soft money is that people are always happy to take hard money, not so happy to take soft money. Always willing to give you soft money for hard money, not so keen to give you hard money for soft money.
Hard money isn't popular because people want to borrow in soft money. And since nearly everyone borrows, he who controls the soft money controls the world. I don't know what percent of the people really want hard money, but I'd guess it is not more than 20%. Most people do not save for the long-term. Is that a consequence of living under debt money for a century or hardwired attitudes? I can't deny that credit money system is degenerate. It is hyperinflation in slow motion. That said, it's the system we have.

Anyone who goes into debt wants soft money. If you are the sovereign and you have absolute power, you can enforce a hard money system. If you do not have absolute political control, then the soft money crowd will eventually win a victory, and get soft money monetized, and then it's all downhill from there. You can't ever go back because it will cause an economic collapse. Monetary resets usually happen after hyperinflation, and that often comes during or at the end of a war.

A Bitcoin miner can take out a 100 Bitcoin mortgage (when Bitcoin was $1,000) and not worry about repaying his now $1.7 million mortgage because he mines Bitcoins. But a moron who borrowed 100 Bitcoins is now comically insolvent and his lender owns a $125,000 house instead of $1.7 million worth of Bitcoin.

If you want to live in the dollar system, but have hard money alternatives, the best you can hope for is Bitcoin and gold get treated as money for tax purposes, as in no taxes. Your gains cannot be taxed, your losses cannot offset your income.

If you want to try for a monetary kill shot, you need a soft currency. What would that look like? In cryptcurrency, it might operate as upfront inflation. Create a cryptocurrency software that everyone wants to have on their devices because everyone running the app is "gifted" a certain amount of crypto. (Bitcoin pays out a block to the winning miner. "Softcoin" would pay out a flat rate to everyone running the software, plus a bonus to the winning miner or the largest stakers.) As more users get onto the system, coin issuance would increase proportionally. Inflation would be limited organically by the number of users. If everyone is running the app, it will scale and transactions will be fast. Since the amount of coins are always going up, the exchange rate with Bitcoin will go down over time, and maybe even decline slightly against USD, in which case it will make sense to borrow in it instead of USD. And then the banks come to you and want to get in on your currency.

If someone doesn't invent "Softcoin," a government or central bank will. It makes too much sense, especially in a deeply indebted democracy addicted to welfare. We are in a period of stagnation because the credit money system expanded to its natural limit. More debt cannot be forced into the system. Debt must be devalued or defaulted on.

There is very little fiat money in the U.S. money supply. It is mostly debt, more than 90%. Most people looking ahead expect the U.S. government will start repaying credit money (Treasury debt) with new fiat dollars. The Federal Reserve doesn't print fiat money, it creates debt notes that it swaps for bonds. In order for the Fed to "print money", it needs a huge borrower to sell it lots of bonds. The only borrower capable of inflating the credit supply enough to generate significant price inflation in the wider economy is USG.

Add in the "bonus" of the public blockchain that reveals all economic activity to the government.

Bitcoin (as opposed to cryptocurrency in general) isn't a threat to the U.S. dollar. It is probably a threat to gold, although the overlap between the markets is probably small. And gold isn't a threat to the dollar because it's controlled by the futures market, which is settled in USD. What launched this week? Bitcoin futures.
Newly launched bitcoin futures on Monday suggested that traders expect the cryptocurrency’s blistering price gains to slow in the coming months, even as it blasted above $17,000 to a fresh record high in the spot market.
This isn't a conspiracy. It's the power of soft money.

Gresham's Law says bad money drives out good money. If you want to replace the dollar, you have to make something that's a little bit worse.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Russia Collusion Crimes May Blow Watergate Away

In October I thought the Russia story was getting : Bigger Than Watergate.

Once we learned the Russia dossier was created by opposition research and was potentially used to obtain warrants, the question then became: what did they know, and when did they know it?

If the Obama administration and various agencies including the FBI used the Russia dossier as evidence for a FISA warrant to spy on a political opponent during an election, it is the greatest political scandal in American history. It is basically your worst nightmare scenario out of a Hollywood movie. There aren't too many crimes against a political opponent that are bigger than this. Arresting an opponent based on false evidence is the next step, followed by state sanctioned murder. Democrats are trying to impeach President Trump and presumably arrest him for non-existent crimes...

We're used to Republicans rolling over and playing dead. But Trump uncucked the GOP, and probably a generational shift plays a role as Generation X moves into power. The Congressman who said this last week was born in 1964:
"Here's what I think Director Wray. I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. 'Super Agent' at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court...and if that happened...if you have the FBI working with the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign...if that happened...that's as wrong as it gets."
He's not speaking in hyperbole there.

It's possible this didn't happen, or at least everyone can play dumb and nothing much comes of it.

It's possible this did happen, and Strzok takes one for the team, although probably others will go to jail over this because it's such a big story. But if that happens, it's a smoking gun. And few will believe the head of FBI counterintelligence decides by himself, with no help, to turn most of the government's intelligence apparatus against a political opponent during an election. A smoking gun will open up the entire Democrat Party establishment to investigation, including Obama administration officials.

With anyone else in office, I'd bet the Democrats get away with it. With Trump, I'll bet on major investigations. An independent counsel (or counsels) with wide latitude (because we know how these investigations go) will put a healthy chunk of the Democrat party leadership under threat of prosecution. And Trump will have the political power to purge the FBI and intelligence agencies of appointees going back to Clinton administration to get the stink out.

Finally, as we see with the #MeToo witch hunt, once there's a chance of advancement, the narrative gains support from ambitious climbers. The dirt will flow.

Maybe it's nothing. Maybe the Democrats will win political advantage and complete their coup. Maybe they'll change the narrative to "Move on, why are we still talking about the debunked Russia story?" But there is a lot of smoke billowing out of DC and we can catch a glimpse of still smoldering embers. If there's a fire, the scandal is orders of magnitude larger than Watergate. It has no precedent in American history. We'll have to dig through political thriller novels or foreign history to find comparable events.

Monday, December 11, 2017

How Much Bitcoin Do "Nazis" Hodl?

I can't find the tweet, but someone sent one around showing SJWs tracking Bitcoin addresses that donate to Alt-Right causes. Bitcoin is anonymous, but also public, thus your anon address can be "blacklisted" based on where it sends coins.

This could also presumably be used to figure out how many coins are held by the Alt-Right and various other social groups, since it is all 100% public information.

Which reminds me of a description of the Saudis and Wahhabism from Bernard Lewis I believe. Explaining how fundamentalist, jihadist Islam spread, he said imagine members of the KKK owned all the land containing oil in Texas.

In this case, the Bitcoin wealthy are most likely libertarians or former libertarians. I learned of Bitcoin back in 2010. I can't remember if it was discussed in the comments at a neoreactionary blog or a liberatarian one, but there was much cross pollination.

In the past couple of years came problems with funding the Alt-Right and a desire for anonymity. Presumably a bunch of these folks got involved.

Back in 2010 you could mine coins with a CPU. Just run the wallet. A 50 coin block is worth about $800,000 right now.

Presumably, libertarian/neoreactionary/alt-right causes will see a major uptick in funding over the next few years. Assuming the price stabilizes.

My view on the current mania: the blockchain is more important than Bitcoin itself. Although there's reason to think Bitcoin might be the "gold standard" for cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin definitely looks like a speculative bubble. If the price goes to $1 million and settles at $100,000, you will say I am wrong, but we can't see across the Event Horizon. That's why it is speculative. Internet stocks were a speculative bubble in 2000, but the Internet is still here, and you made money if you bought survivors such as Amazon. Housing was a speculative bubble in 2005.

Bitcoin's value is impossible to predict because it is based solely on future demand. Speculative demand is high in the expectation that there will be massive future demand from savers. This is why Bitcoin is a bubble. But Bitcoin will always be a bubble, like gold, because there is little intrinsic value. Gold has some industrial use and jewelry demand, but monetary demand exceeds it. Also, if the price of gold exceeds platinum, demand for platinum jewelry might increase, or industrial substitutes are found. But the monetary demand for gold goes up because like Bitcoin and other financial assets, the higher the price, the higher the demand.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Anti-State Department, Distributed Intelligence Network

The Presidency could get a little more imperial soon, if Trump is really working on an Anti-State Department and Distributed Intelligence Network.

“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”

Oliver North, who appears frequently on Trump’s favorite TV network, Fox News, was enlisted to help sell the effort to the administration. He was the “ideological leader” brought in to lend credibility, said the former senior intelligence official.

Some of the individuals involved with the proposals secretly met with major Trump donors asking them to help finance operations before any official contracts were signed.

The proposals would utilize an army of spies with no official cover in several countries deemed “denied areas” for current American intelligence personnel, including North Korea and Iran. The White House has also considered creating a new global rendition unit meant to capture terrorist suspects around the world, as well as a propaganda campaign in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran.
Sounds like meme-warriors could sign on for the last bit.

Nations and leaders seldom choose decline. They deal with various symptoms of a deeper, underlying problem, and their short-term actions eventually become part of the next step lower. Rome's temporary dictatorship eventually became permanent. In the U.S., the Deep State runs the American government. The "resistance" within the bureaucracy is the Deep/Permanent State revealing it has grown far apart from the public and will no longer submit to the will of the people. Therefore, the President will begin operating outside the control of this bureaucracy. Trump's move is logical.

An Anti-State Department will undermine the State Department. A Distributed Intelligence Network will counteract the Central Intelligence Agency. Trump's retweets of anti-Islamic propaganda videos is exactly what a private spy network would be engaged in when it comes to propaganda. The State Department controlled governments in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany will put out pro-Islamic propaganda, the Anti-State Department will counteract it. The State Department tries to undermine the Hungarian government, the Anti-State Department will support it.

Since it has an ideological component, a private spy network will likely exist separately from USG beyond the Trump presidency. The network won't become the Imperial President's tool, but a Shadow Government that the next right-wing President could tap. In a good outcome, the network is eventually merged with the Deep State and harmony is restored. Or USG is eventually infiltrated, with future presidents expediting the careers of the Shadow State.

A private spy network is to the CIA as Bitcoin is to the U.S. Dollar. Power is being redistributed from large, centralized states to decentralized groups. When Great Powers are allied, such as the United States and Russia in Syria, a decentralized state such as ISIS will be crushed. Where they are in opposition, they will undermine each other using non-state actors.



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