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  • The American Virtual Civil War

    Posted by David Foster on November 29th, 2016 (All posts by )

    Musings on Cirque des Crazi, at Ricochet, was inspired by two long-time (since childhood) friends of the author and his wife…one a senior nun and the other a retired IRS manager…who have “been looney, angry, mean and distempered crazies before, during and since the election”…”Yes, they are Hilaryites. They are the scourge of (his wife’s) Facebook, showing no mercy or measure of humanity. Both use language that would make Trump blush.  Many people on Ricochet have reported similar insanity and we all watch the media created Cirque Des Crazi on the streets of blue cities and the academic child care centers formerly known as Higher Education.

    Read and discuss.

     

    40 Responses to “The American Virtual Civil War”

    1. dearieme Says:

      The thing that strikes about the indoctrination of the young into anti-racism is their belief that, for instance, distasteful jokes and disparaging remarks equal racism. It’s as if they haven’t really internalised the fact that racism was once a serious scourge: innocent people died from other people acting on it. And that’s in spite of the fact that their history lessons seem to be dominated by the holocaust. It’s all very odd. Maybe we should just expect the young to be simultaneously fanatical and superficial.

      As for the rabid followers of Hillary Criminal: put them down – it would be for their own good; they will at last know peace eternal.

    2. Grurray Says:

      They’re all spot on, but this one in particular is where Dennis Prager nails it as far as the holiday hostilities many felt this year

      “8. Unlike conservatives, politics gives most leftists’ lives meaning. Climate change is a good example. For leftists, fighting carbon emissions means saving human existence on earth. Now, how often does anyone get a chance to literally save the world? Therefore, to most leftists, if you voted for Trump, you have both negated their reason for living and are literally destroying the planet. Why would they have Thanksgiving or Christmas with such a person?”

      With families, communities, and traditions negated, the overbearing central state doesn’t just control government but also rushes in to fill the void to control our personal lives, either bestowing meaning to them or condemnation. Personal milestones, commemorations, holidays, sacraments, etc are all subordinate to the decrees of a far off authority.

    3. David Foster Says:

      “For leftists, fighting carbon emissions means saving human existence on earth”

      I actually saw a meme being circulated that you shouldn’t have kids, because ‘carbon’ emissions.

      How many people, before making such a major life decision on climate change grounds, make any attempt to actually understand the scientific and mathematical evidence and logic involved in climate projections?

    4. jaed Says:

      Linking the themes of the first two comments: kids also envy past glories and covet them for their generation and themselves. All adolescents feel this way.

      They are taught the glories of the struggle against slavery and the struggle against racism, so is it a wonder if they want to believe that standing tall against a joke, or browbeating some unfortunate caught reading a book, is the moral equivalent of running a stop on the Underground Railway or marching at Selma? If you look around and see that the deadliest adversary of justice is someone’s sombrero Halloween costume, why, you’ll inflate insufficiently-woke sombrero-wearing into Satan, so that the glory of fighting against the Devil himself may be yours.

      It’s absurd, but it’s based on entirely universal motivations and desires. The problem here is not that young people want to fight monsters; it’s that their teachers are failing to point them at the monsters that actually exist in the world, because noticing those monsters would be too disturbing. Safer to fight fiercely against same-sex locker rooms.

    5. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      As I have been saying for years. We are literally separate, hostile nations trapped within one set of borders. There is no Social Contract between the [multiple] sides. The differences are irreconcilable. They are TWANLOC. One will have to conquer and destroy/eliminate the others [they have been more than open in their desire to do that to us] or there will have to be a separation.

      They do not honor either the rule of law or the Constitution. They will seek absolute power by any means necessary. They will have to be answered the same way.

      The Trump administration is literally the last chance to deal with the problem short of open, hot, 4th Generation Civil War. If it fails, we will do what we have to do, in response to what TWANLOC will do.

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      I theink the list is spot on, except fopr #7:

      “Conservatives message to the financially comfortable has been “You are smarter and your ideas are better, be happy with superior ideas. We will win someday”. Their message to the uncomfortable has been “Too bad you are a loser, go away you obsolete people”

      I believe that the conservative message (at least the traditional one; not diluted by some politicians post Reagan) is one of relying on the individual. Modern Progress-ism has become a religion; hence the mass hysteria we are seeinkg today.

    7. Grurray Says:

      Hmmm… Well Bill, I’m not sure about #8 either.

      Maybe that’s what it’s like in ‘Heinlein America.’

      But for most us, Conservationism is trying to pass natural laws and natural values on to our children and grandchildren by trying to preserve our communities. Progressiveness destroys these values, and by extension natural communities. In their place it imposes artificial ones.

    8. Exasperated Says:

      Thoughts from the Zblog
      “This very well may be the inevitable consequence to the post-scarcity world. We live in an age when poor people are fat and have gaming consoles and 60-inch flat screen televisions. For middle and upper middle-class young people, the risks in life are not physical in the form of hunger and violence. The risks in life are all emotional in the form of lost status and hurt feelings. Once again, it turns out that Huxley got the future more right than Orwell. In the post scarcity world, everyone is focused on self-actualization, because otherwise life has no purpose.”
      Or alternatively:
      “Aldous Huxley, another smart Brit, got a lot right about the future. In Brave New World, the Savage eventually kills himself rather than conform to the dull stability of the World State.”

      On an Aussie blog, I was reading about the hoaxers. What is this, a variant of Munchausens, a compulsive, desperate neediness for sympathy and attention, or is it false flag cynicism? We need a term for this behavior.

    9. Phil Ossiferz Stone Says:

      The sneering and snark at us inflexible rural bipeds in the comments section was a bit too much for me to stomach, thanks. I can damn well do without ‘allies’ like that.

    10. Mike K Says:

      Ricochet seems to me to be still bitter about Trump and the shoeless, tieless savages that elected him.

      I read for a bit and gave up.

      I do think we have a division but I have family members on both sides and try to stay away from open discussion. We all know what we think.

      I still can’t get over Orange County voting for Hillary and Issa barely getting re-elected.

    11. Bill Brandt Says:

      “How many people, before making such a major life decision on climate change grounds, make any attempt to actually understand the scientific and mathematical evidence and logic involved in climate projections?

      @David for the average mentality of the “climate concerned” citizen, I like this example:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d54IrOBC1S0

    12. Anonymous Says:

      There is no post-scarcity world. Resources are scare or everyone would have all of everything they want. Human effort is scarce or these resources would be made into the things we want in such abundance that no one would want more of anything.

      Scarcity is not the same as rare. Air is abundant and in most places we inhabit is plentiful. It can still be scarce such as under water. In the first case, we don’t pay for the air we use, but underwater we are willing. Scarcity is what gives resources, human effort, productive technology and the means of production value derived from the value of the goods and services they actually produce.

      Not trying to be anal (it comes naturally), but the confusion about scarcity is the crux of the progressives’ lack of economic literacy, especially about how markets work and how central planning can never come close to being as efficient and innovative.

      A “post-scarcity world” can reasonably only be a concept a progressive might posit. Makes redistribution seem so logical and humane, completely detached from unintended productive consequences. Especially useful to a central decision maker for justifying confiscating the “surplus” of some individuals to provide to those with a “shortage”, minus the handling cut. As in “fair share”.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Krugman came up with this term.

      Death6

    13. dearieme Says:

      I thought this pretty good, and from a most unlikely place.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/blame-trump-brexit-identity-liberalism

    14. Mike K Says:

      That’s a pretty good attempt to understand but this is deluded.

      It is 20 years since the philosopher Richard Rorty predicted that a Trump-like “strong man” would emerge to express how “badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates”.

      I’m not “badly educated” and have three college degrees. That is not the whole thing although people like me are a small subset of Trump voters.

      The left still does not understand what happened to them.

      I have not seen this sort of thing in my family, but there are some very angry lefties.

      The lefty web sites that I used to read and comment on long ago banned me from commenting. They are really in a bubble and that is part of it.

      It really is two worlds in many cases. If the Democrats double down on losing policies, as they seem intent to do, the chasm will only grow.

      I don;t know how it ends. Maybe California should secede and let them all settle there.

    15. dearieme Says:

      He made less than he might have of this excellent sentence: “It granted selective rights and privileges, but never duties.”

      People will accept even the privileges of an aristocracy if it shoulders its duties: noblesse oblige, and lead from the front. But no duties? No sir.

    16. David Foster Says:

      Dearieme…”He made less than he might have of this excellent sentence: “It granted selective rights and privileges, but never duties.””

      Where was that sentence?…I couldn’t find it

    17. dearieme Says:

      Para 9

    18. pst314 Says:

      “I’m not ‘badly educated’ and have three college degrees…”
      Me neither. And all my friends who voted for Trump have at least a BA or BS and some additional degrees.

      “…That is not the whole thing although people like me are a small subset of Trump voters.”
      I’m not absolutely sure about the demographics, as so much of what I have seen has come from the (suspect) MSM sources.

      “I have not seen this sort of thing in my family, but there are some very angry lefties.”
      Only one member of my family has actually cut me off, but the rest have been so disrespectful over the last few decades that I no longer visit them on the holidays. It’s not that I shun them because they are lefties, but because I am tired of being insulted and tired of socializing with people who have repeatedly told me that I am stupid and evil.

    19. Jonathan Says:

      A lefty acquaintance of mine told me that I am the first Republican he has met who is not a racist. What’s most likely: that most of the conservatives in my area are racists, that my acquaintance needs to get out more, or that most of the conservatives he knows figure out quickly that he is so naive that there is nothing to be gained by talking politics with him? I don’t think he is considering the latter two possibilities.

    20. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Also noting, while I have 2 1/2 years of college, during which I talked my way into graduate level history courses and got A’s in them; I had to leave school because of family responsibilities. I have written for professional military journals under my own name. Although uncredited on the cover [because my part really was a small fraction of only a couple of his works]; a friend of mine was a best-selling novelist and he credited me in the dedication. I have qualified for Mensa, although I am not a member.

      I worked quite actively for Trump, and for conservative causes before that.

      I had a friend, since between 6th and 7th grade, who moved Left as I moved Right. When G.W.Bush was president, he would call me in the middle of the night and drunkenly curse me for Bush.

      Just after the election, he did the same thing, drunkenly cursing me about Trump. I don’t need the aggravation. I’m done with him and his family.

      The country is splitting. Or rather, it has split irrevocably. Either one side is going to subjugate the other, or there is going to be a final separation.

    21. Mike K Says:

      If you think the country is NOT splitting, look at this video.

    22. Ginny Says:

      Surely civil wars don’t come about because of this – large numbers that voted for Obama (God knows why) then voted for Trump – are we all that split? Sure, if Ellison becomes Democratic chair (or whatever), the rest of us are likely to see the d’s as beyond the pale; sure, there’s a country with enough seething insanity to lead to riots, etc. I never had much faith that the demonstrations of my youth were led by people who had any idea what we were doing in VietNam or of history, but at least war was a real thing. This seems to be just farcical. If Trump continues to press for less rather than more government, I suspect these battles will be headed off. Is anyone going to war because a reality program’s stars go to a church that believes in traditional marriage or because they have more choices (and fewer comforts) in insurance choices?

      An experience like Jonathan’s: a friend of my husband said that he could accept my husband’s beliefs, that the others he knew thought of some grey-bearded guy in the sky and he didn’t believe that; he tends to be contemptuous of Christians (he has to accept that my husband is a scholar, etc. so he just decided he didn’t believe this strange definition of religious belief that he had formulated himself (I suspect) and then assumed that was what his students and others in the community thought (some of whom are a good deal more interested in and conversant in theology than my husband, but whom his friend didn’t see as an equal. I wonder if there isn’t often an element of class snobbery (which some seem to take for “reasoning” and “intellectualism”) in comments like his and Jonathan’s friend.

      Actually I don’t know how a guy that looks at religion like that can teach lit, but he is in Brit lit and likes the romantics and the ’90’s types. You sure couldn’t teach am lit without learning more – or else miss half what is going on in many works.

    23. Mike K Says:

      I wonder if there isn’t often an element of class snobbery (which some seem to take for “reasoning” and “intellectualism”) in comments like his and Jonathan’s friend.

      Of course there is. I have a leftist son who is a lawyer and, until he stopped talking to me, used to ridicule my opinions as if I did not have three degrees.

      When he was in college, at my expense I might add, he still thought I was smart and told me about taking a class in Athenian Democracy because he knew I was a reader of Greek History.

      Now, I am beyond the pale which probably has a lot to do with his Psychology PhD wife.

      I have all levels of political thought among my five children.

    24. David Foster Says:

      “I wonder if there isn’t often an element of class snobbery”…absolutely, that is a big part of it. But their is also a ‘religious’ element to it, in that Leftist beliefs serve the function of a religion to quite a few people.

      Everyone here is probably tired of my excerpts from Sebastian Haffner, but I think this is relevant…

      When things got more stable during the late Weimar era…”The Day of Judgment was remote again, and there was no demand for saviors or revolutionaries…There was an ample measure of freedom, peace, and order, everywhere the most well-meaning liberal-mindedness, good wages, good food and a little political boredom. everyone was cordially invited to concentrate on their personal lives, to arrange their affairs according to their own taste and to find their own paths to happiness.”….

      this was not to everyone’s taste:

      “A generation of young Germans had become accustomed to having the entire content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions…Now that these deliveries suddently ceased, people were left helpless, impoverished, robbed, and disappointed. They had never learned how to live from within themselves, how to make an ordinary private life great, beautiful and worth while, how to enjoy it and make it interesting. So they regarded the end of political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation. They were bored, their minds strayed to silly thoughts, and they began to sulk.

      To be precise (the occasion demands precision, because in my opinion it provides the key to the contemporary period of history): it was not the entire generation of young Germans. Not every single individual reacted in this fashion. There were some who learned during this period, belatedly and a little clumsily, as it were, how to live. they began to enjoy their own lives, weaned themselves from the cheap intoxication of the sports of war and revolution, and started to develop their own personalities. It was at this time that, invisibly and unnoticed, the Germans divided into those who later became Nazis and those who would remain non-Nazis.”

      I think we are seeing something similar in a big segment of the Left today.

    25. Mr Dicey Semantics Says:

      I have a leftist son who is a lawyer and, until he stopped talking to me, used to ridicule my opinions as if I did not have three degrees.

      I think when you phrase it like that, you implicitly give weight to the idea that your degrees are or ought to be some kind of validation for your opinions. This plays the lefty technocrat game whereby only the educated have the right to form political opinions, which we see at its ugly zenith in the video you yourself posted.

    26. dearieme Says:

      “It was at this time that, invisibly and unnoticed, the Germans divided into those who later became Nazis and those who would remain non-Nazis” doesn’t seem right to me if he’s implying that only the future Nazis were seeking to favour an energising public life over a prosaic private life. Communists surely did too, and some of the Social Democrats/Trade Unionists, and various reactionaries e.g. pro-monarchy people (whether pro-Hohenzollern, pro-Wittelsbach, or whatever) and some Papal enthusiasts.

    27. David Foster Says:

      Dearieme….elsewhere in the book, he remarks in the psychological similarity between Communists and Nazis. Comparing two acquaintances–one Communist, one Nazi–he says:

      “They both came from the ‘youth movement’ and both thought in terms of leagues. They were both anti-bourgeois and anti-individualistic. Both had an ideal of ‘community’ and ‘community spirit’. For both, jazz music, fashion magazines…in other words the world of glamour and ‘easy come, easy go’, were a red rag. Both had a secret liking for terror, in a more humanistic garb for the one, more nationalistic for the other. As similar views make for similar faces, they both had a certain stiff, thin-lipped, humourless expression and, incidentally, the greatest respect for each other.”

    28. Mike K Says:

      I think when you phrase it like that, you implicitly give weight to the idea that your degrees are or ought to be some kind of validation for your opinions.

      No, what I meant to say was that the superiority he assumed was that he knew better and I was ignorant. It is a common method on the left. My degrees had little to do with politics as they were concerned with engineering and medicine although the last one was in health policy, a bit closer to politics. However, there was still the assumption, common I guess in adult children toward parents, that my beliefs were no longer valid, if they had ever been so.

      I think anyone who debates with a leftist senses this superior attitude as though only those uneducated can hold conservative views. It is certainly present in the Trump haters who demonstrate the irritating smug sense of knowing far more.

    29. Anonymous Says:

      So, as in Germany, the folks that just wanted to be left alone (the majority) were subjugated by the few that wanted to tell everyone else how to live and what to believe and made it so. I’d say that we have a similar situation here. I’m not sure what will cause the ultimate outcome to be different, except possibly the Second Amendment and the remnants of self-sufficiency. We have the additional challenges to maintaining liberty in an era of a polyglot of alien cultures hostile to our traditional values and society. Not a good prognosis.

      Death6

    30. Mike K Says:

      Here is a comment from a very long comment thread at WaPo today on the election.

      The 2016 election broke along educational lines. This is a somewhat awkward development for Democrats, who traditionally had portrayed themselves as battling a privileged elite. However, even with a rather stilted and elderly party leadership, they will adapt.

      The overall Republican disadvantage in education raises several issues. There is a correlation to lower intelligence, but not close. Only formal education levels are measured – the percentage of college graduates in a county who voted does not include those with 140 credit hours but without a degree, or those with no college but who read college level research and are quite knowledgeable.

      Overall however, the Republican base is not the brightest, and the new converts to Trump are unlikely to have a philosophical patience with promises to better their lot.

      That is what I was talking about. It is a major assertion by the left.

    31. David Foster Says:

      The argument of a dichotomy between ‘the badly educated” and “college graduates” is pretty silly, given what we know about the knowledge and skill levels of American college graduates, as revealed by multiple studies.

    32. Mike K Says:

      “given what we know about the knowledge and skill levels of American college graduates,”

      This is a recent phenomenon in our country and a very unhealthy one, I would say. It is only 65 years since we had a president who had not attended a college and who was extremely well educated.

      The loss of real value in college education is more recent. I put four of my five children through college, three to graduate degrees.

      The youngest got the least valuable experience, I think. She majored in French, which I was willing to accept although I encouraged her to add a minor in Accounting.

      Her general education courses the first two years were useless and worse. I have previously posted some of the false information she was expected to learn.

      For example, the “Silent Majority” was made up of “white people whop refused to accept the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” That was in her study guide for her course in “American History Since 1877.” It also included the assertion that settlers in the West learning farming from Indians The Plains Indians were, of course, hunter gatherers and, except for the Navajos, did no farming.

      I saw a survey a few years ago showing that Harvard freshmen had a greater fund of knowledge than seniors.

    33. veryretired Says:

      Marxism was, and its legacy of progressivism/socialism is, a gnostic christian heresy dressed up as an intellectual, scientific ideology.

      One of the key elements in marxist thinking, and in later progressive mindsets, is the firm belief that the true believers have discovered, or had revealed to them, a higher form of knowledge hidden and unknown to the rest of society.

      When you meet these people who are utterly convinced that their political, cultural, or social ideas are inherently superior to anything you could possibly understand, you are not dealing with a thoughtful, intellectual person, but a true believer for whom nothing that ever happens in the real world can ever mean that they are fundamentally wrong about any significant belief.

      Collectivism, in any and all of its manifestations, is a purely faith based belief system, with all the features of traditional evangelistic religion, including holy scriptures, prophets, saints, and a future heavenly existence that can only be realized when everyone is among the faithful.

      When confronted by the utter hysteria that characterizes the collectivist response to any opposition or defeat, it helps to remember that one is not dealing with a scientific, intellectual thought process at all, no matter how it is dressed up, and described, but a fanatical religious fervor, which can abide no deviation, no contradiction, no competing thoughts or principles.

      It’s a cult, with all the destructive attributes that implies. It is not they who should be shunning us, but those of us who believe in liberty and the rights of the individual who should, and must, begin shunning them.

      The sooner their deluded and destructive beliefs are simply dismissed and excluded from any thoughtful conversation about the world and its problems, the better off we all will be.

      Scorn and derision are all they deserve, and those are the mildest responses they should receive.

      They don’t know what they’re talking about, and never have.

    34. David Foster Says:

      I think it is important to segment the opposition and understand which segments are convertible to a saner view, and what approaches are most workable for each.

    35. veryretired Says:

      Which segment of those who believe they should put a gun to your head and order you to do anything they feel is a good thing, or not to do anything they think is a doubleplusungood, including think it or say it, would you like to debate with first?

    36. David Foster Says:

      VR….if you want to win, in business marketing or political marketing, you focus on those who are feasibly persuadable rather than those who aren’t. Many of the Trump voters are people who voted for Obama in at least one of the prior elections. I guess you can say that based on their Obama votes they were people who ‘believed they should put a gun to your head and order you to do anything they feel is a good thing, etc’…but Trump’s decision to focus on blue-collar workers was an example of selecting a winnable segment.

    37. Anonymous Says:

      David Foster: “So they regarded the end of political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation. They were bored, their minds strayed to silly thoughts, and they began to sulk.”

      For people like that a demanding hobby such as mountain climbing, sailing, scuba diving, etc. might help occupy their minds from trying to control other people.

      I hate politics, but cannot ignore it because there are too many people who want to tell me how to live my life.

      Such people are everywhere. Even in my local homeowners association they are eager to get control of the offices so they can tell others how to live. Such things as telling people what plants are approved for planting in your yard, what color you can paint your house, where you can put your satellite dish, whether you can fly the American flag, prohibition of political signs, and more is what they live for.

      There is a collectivist personality and they will always be with us. We are descended from hunter-gatherer tribes and the tribal instincts are still very strong. Humans have progressed from strictly tribal where the tribe is always more important than the individual to a point where individualism has gained many followers, but is always in danger of being demonized by the fanatic believers in the collective’s right to coerce people into toeing the progressive line.

      Winning elections is the best (and least damaging) way to fight back. So, politics must be a participatory sport until further notice.

    38. Grurray Says:

      “As similar views make for similar faces, they both had a certain stiff, thin-lipped, humourless expression and, incidentally, the greatest respect for each other.”

      Someone posted this picture this morning to highlight the rise and fall of the Social Liberals. Merkel’s last-man-standing, stiff-lipped sullenness belies her ostensible democratic leadership, considering she was quite active in the communist youth organizations of her beloved East Germany.

    39. Bill Brandt Says:

      @Anon. Good post on the nature of man. I might add though there are people like me who were roped into being on an HOA board and don’t not feel the need to micromanage the lives of others

    40. Xennady Says:

      As I have been saying for years. We are literally separate, hostile nations trapped within one set of borders. There is no Social Contract between the [multiple] sides. The differences are irreconcilable. They are TWANLOC. One will have to conquer and destroy/eliminate the others [they have been more than open in their desire to do that to us] or there will have to be a separation.

      They do not honor either the rule of law or the Constitution. They will seek absolute power by any means necessary. They will have to be answered the same way.

      The Trump administration is literally the last chance to deal with the problem short of open, hot, 4th Generation Civil War. If it fails, we will do what we have to do, in response to what TWANLOC will do.

      Having read your commentary for years, here and elsewhere, with great appreciation for your knowledge and insight- I regret that I agree with you, once again.

      Alas.