It’s one of those things of which I was mildly aware for decades, mostly through the medium of novels with an English setting … but now it has become painfully and bitterly obvious that there is an American class system, and in it’s present incarnation, malignant. We had always prided ourselves on being relatively class/caste fluid, a place where one might go from rags to riches through striking it rich, developing a better mousetrap, investing cannily, and still be on the same social level as ‘old money’. This new divide is bitter, hostile, and possibly lethal. It’s the social and political authoritarians, who crave power over the rest of us, pitted against the working and middle classes – those who have a degree of control over our own lives, enough income to be at least tenuously comfortable, the leisure and energy to take part in public matters, even if only in a small way. The middle class have the effrontery to believe that yes, we ought to be able to control our own lives, rather than have every aspect controlled by the authoritarians.
A thriving middle class, of competent and relatively prosperous citizens is a direct and immediate threat to power-jealous authoritarians. The parties may change names; used to be royalists and feudal nobility threatened by the power of independent merchants and guildsmen, 19th century aristocrats dismayed by the wealth and confidence of the new bourgeoisie, Stalin demolishing the kulaks – the marginally-to-substantially-more prosperous peasantry, or in our current situation – our existing conservative middle class. The American oligarchs are afraid of the middle class, the working business owners, the independent-minded residents of flyover country, all those ordinary people who voted for Trump and sill have Trump posters and flags out there.
Being somewhat economically secure, the middle class and independent working class have the time and energy to demand a voice in matters – such as what our children are being taught in school, and whether we must wear masks to go into a restaurant. This is anathema to authoritarians, even seen as an existential threat to their authority, authority which they would very much prefer to go unquestioned. So it appears to be the belief of the American oligarchy that the middle class must be destroyed, calumniated as terrorists, defanged, impoverished, made dependent, fearful … so as not to interfere with the grand and aggrandizing schemes of the authoritarian ruling class. It’s a terribly short-sighted strategy, since history has frequently demonstrated that a stable, secure and politically-engaged middle and working class tends to be a guarantor that a nation will be in turn – a stable, secure and relatively long-lasting entity, given no powerful external enemy. An authoritarian oligarchy: jealously reserving power to those inside the structure is almost guaranteed to eventually become rigid, unstable and fragile, liable to fall apart once it begins to shut out rivals for power.
So, that is where we are at present, I think – with our ruling class increasingly hysterical, and prone to lash out against perceived threats, especially from a still-independent-minded middle class. Discuss as you wish.
34 thoughts on “The War Against the Middle Class”
I don’t frame it quite as “class”, as in the sense of British classism or Indian caste. That’s because it’s entirely different from those two examples, and based far more on things like education and indoctrination than it is on where or who you were born to.
You can become a member of the elite here in the US pretty easily–Just get yourself into the right colleges on scholarships or racial set-asides, meet the right people, and you’re set for a career of telling other, lesser, people how to live their lives. That’s the attraction of it all–Power over others. Everything the left does is meant to accrue that power, secure it, and drive everyone else into agreement with them.
I’m sure that we could outline something of an inherited caste-like structure, but the reality is that they perpetuate themselves not so much by inheritance, but by brainwashing the children of others, usually aspirational types from the lower and middle classes whose labors support the whole structure. This is the primary role of the academic community, and why they’re angling for “free college”, as well as why they went for mandatory “free primary education” and “free high school” for all. It’s how they perpetuate the fraud, reproduce themselves, and have managed the soft takeover of American public life. Most people don’t even question a lot of the BS they put out, because they heard it so early and hard–They’ve internalized it all, thinking that what they were brainwashed into is some sort of ground truth that can’t be questioned.
Look at the misery of the average “gender warrior”, the people who can’t quite figure out the very simple question of what their biology means, in real terms: In decades past, in other, more successful civilizations, such people were marginalized, and for good reason: The mental illness and dysfunction that typically accompanies such basic identity confusion. Now, we lionize these people, hold them out to others as examples of “bravery” and “courage”. The reality? They’re fundamentally dysfunctional idiots obsessing over things that can’t be changed, are immutable, and which it’s a waste of time to agonize over. You’re born with a dick? You’re a boy; you’re born with a vag? You’re a girl; get the fsck over it. There’s no way at this time to remediate either condition if you feel you’re in the wrong body, so just do what everyone else has to do, and deal with it. Hell, I’d have preferred being born as a goddamn Sasquatch, but you don’t see me agonizing over it all…
The root of all this BS isn’t class; it’s mass psychosis on the part of the so-called “elites”. It started when we began assigning virtue to being able to do well on tests, and succeed in academia, making those people our “cognitive elite”, when the reality is, whatever the hell it is we’ve tested for, selected for, and rewarded? It ain’t intelligence as we normies would define it; it’s more a weaponized autism of a very narrow, brittle, and dangerous sort. These morons have no common sense, no ability to work out likely effect from causative beginnings. They truly believe that the things they say, the plans they make, are what matter–Not the actual effects and results of those words and plans once they’re out there in the real world. They all live in a fantasy world of diktat and dream, where what they say goes, and nothing at all can interfere with the dream’s enactuation. They literally don’t see the reality, nor can they project the actual likely effects of their actions and words.
The real reason they hate the rest of us is that they’re the men whispering in the Emperor’s ears about the wonders of his new finery, while we’re that kid in the street saying “But… But, he’s naked!”. That’s what’s anathema to them, their kryptonite: Anyone pointing out reality. They’re the asylum inmates who’ve turned the outside world into a massive extension of the asylum. Quite literally, in a lot of fundamental ways.
I think that leftism and all of its varied iterations are actual the outcomes of untreated mental illness. You can usually talk to conservatives and people on the rightward side of the spectrum about their ideas not being actually workable, point out where they’ve failed, and they’ll usually be capable of changing their minds. Anyone on the left side of the center? Oh, hell no–You can’t convince them of anything they don’t want to believe, even if you have reams of evidence, create massive presentations of evidence backing up the essential unworkability of their dream-world fantasies, and they’ll become violent if you press them on it.
You saw the same shit with the various flavors of nuttiness back in the day–The anarchists? The Communists? The Nazis? All of them were on the left, and all of them were violent loons. The rational people who weren’t, and who got out-shouted? All of them were in the reasonable segment of the population, the normies; they’re the ones who were with Kerensky, Niemoller, and the other sane people.
I think that our problems run along another axis entirely, and “class” ain’t it. The real axis of issue here is “Delusional” vs. “Living in the real world”, and the delusionals are currently on top. Mostly, because they’ve leveraged themselves there, and are currently crowing out their superiority to all and sundry.
It is interesting, though, how many “normies” are catching on. I’ve had some interesting conversations, of late, with people I’d have never thought would pay attention, let alone do something. They’re getting more and more motivated by the day, watching all this crap go on, and they’re the ones that are going to have to be taken into account once they get going.
I’ve no idea where we’re going with all this, but I suspect that the powers-that-be are in for a short, sharp shock when the whole enterprise blows up in their faces. The public has had a willing suspension of disbelief for years, watching these assholes run things into the ground. They’re losing the willingness and the belief, and I don’t think I’d want to be the one whose name is on the blame line when they finally snap.
I’ve joked before about legislators getting cannibalized, but… Man. I think it’s a real possibility that some of these freaks may wind up dangling from ropes if they venture into the wrong parts of their legislative districts, and I’m absolutely not kidding about that, either. I was in a conversation just the other day about the idiocy the Washington State legislature got up to with regards to restraining the police, and the absolute venom that I heard coming out of one woman’s mouth was instructive. Even though our local rep didn’t vote for it, the fact that he didn’t successfully stop it, either? Not going to earn him any mercy, whatsoever.
I think we’re in for a rough few years, as all this shakes out. I strongly suspect that the current set of “leaders” and “elites” may not be long for their positions, not if they don’t straighten this crap out and start doing productive things.
I like the term “the clerisy” to describe that segment of society that thinks it is educated and therefore entitled to privilege. The Middle Class has long been made up, in this country at least, of those who are prosperous due to education or having a skilled trade. When I was a child, long ago, skilled trades were pretty common among the middle class. Many are high school graduates and in previous years, high school provided a pretty good education. I think a minority of my classmates in high school went on to college. No student loans in those days. Now, college provides less education than high school did in the 1950s when I was a student.
The clerisy is very jealous of its status and I would venture to suggest that status anxiety is behind much of the agitation we see at present. The “Racism” theme is part of this anxiety. Here is an example. Of course, in the Economist’s view, the Trump voters are the racists. Of course the setting is Alabama. Now, northern Virginia is seeing parent protests of the racist school curriculum. In the view of the school boards, they are terrorists.
More than 50 years ago, Peter Drucker tried to warn Americans about the dangers of excessive reverence for educational credentials, especially those from ‘elite’ institutions.
One thing it (modern society) cannot afford in education is the “elite institution” which has a monopoly on social standing, on prestige, and on the command positions in society and economy. Oxford and Cambridge are important reasons for the English brain drain. A main reason for the technology gap is the Grande Ecole such as the Ecole Polytechnique or the Ecole Normale. These elite institutions may do a magnificent job of education, but only their graduates normally get into the command positions. Only their faculties “matter.” This restricts and impoverishes the whole society…The Harvard Law School might like to be a Grande Ecole and to claim for its graduates a preferential position. But American society has never been willing to accept this claim…
We as a country are a lot closer to accepting Grande Ecole status for Harvard Law School and similar institutions than we were when Drucker wrote the above.
I spent my life inside academe; the worst part is that there are still people there who want to pursue learning and the life of the mind, who want to preserve that which has been best and most significant in our civilization, to share it and pass it on.
But those people are rarely ambitious for power and status–unless status among the eight other people in the world who understand the topic counts.
Education is essential; credentialism is education’s enemy.
The reign of “experts” must come to an end, because they’re not actually “expert” at anything other than chiseling a living out of the rest of us, and screwing everything up.
Look at the current crop of military leaders for examples. Who could believe that a general officer of the United States Army would throw refugees off of a transport to take home an illegal war trophy? But, one just did. West Point graduate Major General Chris Donahue did just that, to bring home a Toyota Hilux with a 23mm cannon on the back of it, rather than 50 Afghanis who might have been men who’d fought for us.
The entire “elite” needs to be put down like rabid dogs, top to bottom, side to side. I’d rather have some morally-grounded peckerwood from Alabama running things than half the “educated elite” we have, because those assholes wouldn’t know morality if it rose up and bit them in the ass.
I cannot describe my disgust at what things have come to. These creatures have zero moral right to lead, and should be roundly ignored while they starve in the streets–Which is what I’d strongly suggest as a solution “after the revolution comes”. Forget shooting them–Just ban them from public employment. They obviously couldn’t make it on their own, and without being able to leach off the public fisc, I’m pretty sure they’d starve to death in a year or two. Parasites, one and all.
Oh, yeah… Forgot the cites:
I’ve seen that in more than a few other places, so I’ve no doubt it happened as described. It’s also fully consonant with what I expect from the majority of the sociopaths we make general officers. It’s a wonder he didn’t leave American troops behind, to make room for his toys…
I respect good scholarship. I really do–What I loathe is what they’ve turned it all into, over the last few decades. As you say, credentialism has cheapened everything, from high school diplomas on up. And, the ironic thing is, they’re all becoming equally worthless.
I have no other explanation than to resort to my “humans are bastards” thesis, which holds that when you put power into structures, those structures inevitably get taken over by the power-hungry. Which is not something I see any solution to, short of “don’t build structures” on any sort of permanent basis, because once you create that power-sink, someone is going to go after it like a heroin junkie seeking a hit; there are some people who just can’t help themselves, and the only way to prevent them from wielding their corrupting influence is to cease giving them the opportunity.
Longer I live, the more of an anarchist I am becoming. Not the “blow it all up” type of anarchist, but the “leave me the fsck alone” sort. And, sadly, I’m also coming around to the idea that these assholes won’t leave me alone until and unless I make a point of forcing them to leave me alone… Which is likely to have some ugly repercussions.
remember he was badgering a fmr veteran who was at hillsdale, over vaccines, not so much the epidemic of suicides,he also apparently told the paras, to stop rescuing british citizens it was making us look bad
It’s correct that “class” isn’t quite right. But the fact that what’s going on isn’t a classical class struggle makes it much more dangerous–the old aristocracy had responsibilities to the non-aristocracy, that came with their elevated position, the noblesse oblige. The current “elite” class thinks they are legitimately superior to the deplorables, due to their intellect, education, etc. This gives them no compunction about dehumanizing, and even eliminating, their inferiors, if they dare step out of line.
We need to stop venerating “elite” college graduates. Even conservatives say “Tom Cotton went to Harvard, isn’t that amazing?” and “Ted Cruz went to Harvard, he’s so smart” and “Ron DeSantis went to Yale, he’s so dreamy.”
We should move to completely dismantle the higher education system. Seize their endowments at payment for student loans already given, appropriate their campuses for public use, scatter their faculty to the winds.
Eisenhower’s warning should have been regarded:
“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Print that out and staple it to Fauci’s forehead.
“We should move to completely dismantle the higher education system.”
I’d suggest starting with the jocks and the B-schools. How many overpaid weight coaches and fashion merchandising professors does a serious culture need?
How many sports and recreation management majors (a.k.a. uneducable athletes)?
How many assistant deputy vice-provosts for tedium and twaddle?
In the first flush of enthusiasm after the Russian Revolution, the Red Army did away with officers — we are all Comrades here. In time, they realized this was unworkable, and officers reappeared. But not officers chosen for their birth & breeding, per the English fashion; officers at least nominally chosen for their competence (and loyalty to the Party, of course — no system is perfect).
We will always need individuals in charge — whether it is the guy diagnosing why our truck keeps dying or the surgeon hovering over us with a knife. The issue is whether those individuals are competent. Obviously, in much of the West, the individuals in charge in political, bureaucratic, legal, military, and commercial circles are not competent. Yet there are no consequences for incompetence — see Biden*, Fauci, Milley, Congress, the Federal Reserve, or the entire Board of Boeing.
It is the absence of any mechanism to weed out incompetents that has allowed the establishment of our current inbred Political Class. Sadly, the only way those incompetents will relinquish their power is when it is dragged from their cold dead fingers. The human suffering this will cause may make the 20th Century look like the Good Old Days.
“We will always need individuals in charge…”
Close the loop on this one for me, Gavin: Precisely why do we need “individuals in charge”?
Only slaves need slavemasters.
Do you need someone to tell you what to do? Are you afraid of making your own decisions, perhaps? Do you want someone else to blame, when your failures come? Someone else to take credit, for your successes…?
We don’t need this entire class of wannabe self-named masters over us. The idea that we should have them, that we should kowtow to someone who puts on airs over us, entirely without real justification or actual superiority? That’s ninety-nine one hundredths of the problem, right there: The idea that someone should tell us what is right, an authority figure.
I bow to no man, and the world can kiss my ass. I’ve had the scales fall from my eyes, over these last few years, and the last little jot of respect I once had for these “authority figures” has gone away with them. I served beneath scum like this piece of human filth Donahue, and I now recognize that for a sad fact. I fell for the con, but no longer.
There is no need for men like this, no need for Bidens of any type; their power and virtue is illusory, because they only have the power we grant them, and their virtue is nonexistent. Cease the prattling about the need for these creatures, because no free man needs a master–Only slaves do.
In the end, the question is one you’ll have to answer for yourself: Are you free, or slave?
Kirk sounds like the kind of person who’s never been involved with any project more complicated than a backyard bbq. Try building a house with no one in charge. Try manufacturing a 30 ton machine part with no one in charge. Fool.
I am in Europe. The millions of people from the south pouring into the continent have diluted much of the “freedom” remaining here. This immigrant wave and many native-born are satisfied to be “lead” by technocrats and be showered with largesse. The trend strengthens.
America, in the same situation, is but 15 years behind Europe. The percentage of native-born Americans espousing “freedom” and the right to be left alone will slowly diminish. They will ultimately have less of a voice than sheep bleating in a field.
Of course, in the Economist’s view, the Trump voters are the racists. Of course the setting is Alabama.
I remember the Economist. I used to get it out my local library and read it, before cell phones. I quit, because there were rather too many articles with theme of X is going pretty well for the US right now, but maybe if Y happens, then those b*stards will get what they deserve.
Anyway, about those racist Trump voters, one of the myriad things that strikes me about our so-called elite is just how much gullibility they manage to stuff into their ignorance.
For example, someone claims that a hospital in a certain red state is so overflowing with horse-paste overdoses that gun shot victims are left to die- and it seems like the entire leftist media picks it up and runs with it, without any effort to check it at all. The hospital in question had to come out and deny it, and even point out that the person who made the claim didn’t even work there. There is nothing too stupid or too ridiculous to be said about conservatives that it will not be instantly believed by our supposed betters, and of course they aren’t going to investigate Ivermectin on their own.
These people make the proverbial pig-ignorant pig look like a Nobel-prize winning physicist.
Someone should make one of those midwit memes with the idiot and the genius saying “Overplanning/overregulation is ruining everything” and the midwit saying “Try building a house with no one in charge.”
“of course they aren’t going to investigate Ivermectin on their own.”
What’s needed is some conservative/right-wing billionaire who is as dedicated as George Soros is to whatever it is he is trying to accomplish. There’s a lot of whining that no one pays for studies the FDA demands for drug use for public-use drugs like ivermectin, but how much could it possibly cost compared to how much money Peter Thiel or the Kochs or whoever else have?
comrade strelnikov, next question
remember what they did to mellon scaife, then the koch brothers, then the ones behind bannon and breitbart
Kirk: “Precisely why do we need “individuals in charge”?”
I suspect a failure to communicate here — we are probably on the same page. We need individuals in charge for the reasons Mark mentioned — though I would have tried to say that a little more gently.
Think about a volunteer fire department. The volunteers make a commitment to the department; they choose some among them to make decisions, sometimes alone (e.g., in attacking a fire), sometimes with full consultation & discussion (e.g., in choosing what equipment to buy). And if those individuals in charge don’t continue to impress the other volunteers with their competence, they get rotated out.
The problem in today’s society is that the “individuals in charge” have vastly exceeded their remit, don’t consult with the people, and are indisputably incompetent — yet we have no way to rotate them out, short of collapse.
Brian…”the old aristocracy had responsibilities to the non-aristocracy, that came with their elevated position, the noblesse oblige”
I think many of the current ‘elites’ do think they have responsibilities to the ‘masses’, and the way that they think about it is part of the problem. Susan Woscicki, who runs YouTube, probably really does think she is saving lives by protecting people from medical misinformation. The problem is that she is viewing people as merely consumers in need of protection rather than as citizens who are part of the governing process.
Gavin…”The problem in today’s society is that the “individuals in charge” have vastly exceeded their remit”…indeed, we have a serious problem with people grabbing authority beyond what they legitimately possess…a professor who decides he has authority to tell his students what political activities they should be involved in, a company CEO who politicizes his company way beyond anything necessary to protect its legitimate interests.
The level of specious reasoning and authority-worship here is amazing, and entirely a piece with the infamous Gell-Mann amnesia hypothesis–People think that they need an authority figure anywhere outside their range of familiarity, but within it, they typically know very well that most of the authority figures in that field are idiots.
There are two ways of operating within the realm of authority, and the true test of what sort of human being you are is this: What do you do in the absence of “authority”?
In the military context, the question is, what happens when the boss isn’t there to tell his or her subordinates what to do? Does the job get done, properly, and in accordance with standard operating procedures, to standard and on time? Or, do the troops stand around while everything is going to shit, because nobody told them to do anything…?
On the one hand, we have a system that works, that doesn’t “need” an authority figure around to animate everything. The other one is what we’ve built, and what I’m decrying here–The “need” for someone to tell you what to do.
There’s a huge gulf of difference between the two, and the specious reasoning that you have to have someone around to do your thinking for you, to tell you when and how to move your bowels at their whim is the evil we’ve fallen into. You don’t actually need someone to tell you what the right thing to do is, you’ve just gotten used to your status as a slave, and are more comfortable in that mode. It’s easy when you don’t have to think, to reason, to work out morality.
The striking thing here is that any of you think this way, but then again, most of you really aren’t at all independent thinkers, mostly because you’ve been “in the system” for so long, you can’t see your way out of it. You think that houses get built, not as an activity of a bunch of guided self-actuated workers coming together to accomplish something, but because some singular foreman somewhere is telling everyone what to do, when to do it, and how. The reality? It don’t work like that, fools… And, if you’d ever actually been around a professional framing crew or a finishing crew, you’d know that. But, you’re divorced from the reality of “doing”, living in the rarefied atmosphere of the white-collar world, where everyone is seemingly in lockstep, and you’re too afraid to think for yourselves, reason for yourselves, or make actual moral choices.
You’re trusties in a prison of your own minds.
All y’all are sheep, and what’s worse–You’ve made yourself sheep. It’s not surprising we’re all getting sheered, because that’s your preferred mindset.
It’s funny, but I’ve seen more independence of thought on your average jobsite containing nothing but the “working class” drones I suspect most of you disparage, than I do here. The bleating “I need someone to tell me what to do…” is an outrage against reality.
There is an exponentially vast qualitative difference between “I need someone to tell me what to do” and the way actual non-sheep human beings should be operating, and that’s the one you’re missing. You don’t actually need someone to tell you what the right thing to do is–You should be doing it of your own accord, without prompting. If you’re like one of those domesticated British jobsworthys, standing around watching a child drown because you’re enough of a numpty to chose to pay attention to the “rules” that say you can’t jump in the pond without supervision and the “proper safety equipment”, then you’re on the other side of the looking glass from me, and every other actual human being on this planet–Who’re apparently an endangered species.
The dividing line is the difference between “need” for telling you what to do and doing what you know is right when it comes time. You condition yourself to constantly be looking for that authority figure? Behave as though you have to have one, in every little activity? You’re a slave, pure and simple, wearing shackles of your own forging. You may not realize it, thinking you’re “following fashion”, giving weight to “thought leaders” and “activists”, but what you’ve done is given up an essential bit of yourself to slavery.
There’s an essential difference between willingly and knowingly following the guidance of someone who has demonstrated competence, and then just looking to the guy the system has put “in charge” because he’s gone to all the right schools and knows all the right people. That’s the thing you don’t get, when you’re looking at a bunch of guys building a house on a framing crew; the lead carpenter ain’t there because he went to carpenter Harvard, he’s there because he actually knows what he’s doing. If he doesn’t, he’s going to be out of a job in short order, and all of the guys who’re under him are going to make up their own minds about that competency, along with the general contractor who hired him. He has to demonstrate competence, and the day he doesn’t? He’s out of there.
Unlike most white-collar jobs, where incompetence is protected and rewarded with promotion, I might add. Just like the rest of society.
You all look to “leaders”, when we also know, simultaneously, that most of them have feet of feces, not even managing clay. If you have a drain problem, leaking raw sewage into your home, you don’t hire a plumber, tell him to fix it, and when you come home to more raw sewage and a huge bill for not fixing it, do nothing: You fire his ass, because you set a metric and followed it, “no raw sewage on my floor”, and then followed it up with an objective assessment of success or failure. Plumbers don’t have the luxury of “failing upwards” the way white-collar assholes do–You either do, or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re not eating this month.
Contrast that with the people you “need” to have in charge: You weak-minded twats never hold them to the same standard, or they wouldn’t be in fucking authority over us. Does anyone in the Puget Sound metro area look at the dipshit “authority figures” who’ve been bleating about fixing the “homeless problem” with billions of tax dollars over the last decades, and hold them accountable for lack of performance the way they would a plumber set to fix something in their homes? Oh, hell no… You all “need” someone to tell you what to do, and when they tell you what to do and you witness failure, you just go “Oh, well… I don’t know what to do, he does, so I’ll just keep right on listening to him…”.
Sheep. You’re all fucking sheep, waiting for the shepherd to come lead you into the slaughterhouse, once he’s done fleecing you.
The root problem here is unquestioning acquiescence to “authority figures”, and the fact that you’re afraid to think for yourselves, most of you. A citizen of a republic has to question everything and hold those they choose to run things accountable–And, when you “need” someone to be your authority figure, you’re not a citizen, you’re a helot-in-training.
It’s a disgusting thing to recognize, but most of the people reacting to this are either fully domesticated animals, or they’re well on their way to it. You don’t have a republic filled with domesticated animals; you have a situation ripe for tyranny and the development of an aristocracy that’s going to fleece everyone but their favored cronies. That’s what you’re simultaneously actuating and espousing, with this “need” of yours. Be a human being, not a sheep–Think for yourself, and do what you think needs doing, don’t wait around for someone else to show up and tell you what to do.
That’s the difference you don’t actually see until the crisis hits–A military unit used to kadaversgehorsam “corpse-obedience” will just lay there, inert, in the absence of some authority figure to tell them what to do. A properly-led unit, with citizen-soldiers taking willing part in the collective effort? They’ll do what needs doing, as it needs doing, and do all of it in the absence of someone being there to tell them to get up off their asses and do it. Every time you see apathy and trained-in failure to act, that’s anathema to a free society; every time you see someone acting to do the right thing in the absence of their “betters” telling them what to do? That’s the essence of what a free society of human beings should be. You have to train in “obey”, and that’s been the guiding theme of the “elites” around us for the last hundred years–And, all too many of you have fallen into line with them.
Think for yourself, do for yourself, and BE THE FUCKING AUTHORITY FIGURE in your own goddamn life.
“Need” someone to tell you what to do? I spit at that. Only sheep need a fucking sheepdog. I imagine a lot of people reacting to what I’m saying think they’re “free thinkers”, but the reality they’re demonstrating is…? Sheep.
Authority in anything should be earned, demonstrated on the daily. If it isn’t, then it’s not legitimate authority, and you should not fall into line with it because it was right–Yesterday.
Authority must be freshly reviewed every moment–Clyde, our steersman? He may have been the guy to follow, the one to lead, while the river was calm and placid, but those rapids up ahead? They ain’t Clyde’s forte; he’s never been in them, and to allow him to continue on steering the raft once he’s demonstrated that is manifest stupidity. Don’t be that part of the boat crew that looks back at the calm and says “Well, Clyde done good, back there… Let him keep on going…”.
Ironically, right after I finish venting, I find a near-perfect cri de couer saying what I want to say, but much better:
Every time you look around yourself for “leadership” or an “authority figure”, these are the creatures you’re enabling. Once you hit adulthood, you shouldn’t need an “authority figure” like good ol’ mommy. Be a fucking grown-up, do your own “authority figuring”, because there is no way in hell you could possibly do worse than these feckless felching morons that’ve failed upwards into the Presidency.
I was once on a military exercise in Texas, when one of the periodic gully-washer storms came in. My company and another were bivouaced in a wash, one day; it was the end of the exercise, and all the “leadership” was off at the after-action review, while we were supposed to be doing maintenance and “resting”. Storm came in, and all of the mid-level guys and junior leaders in my company looked around at themselves and said “Screw this; we’re getting to higher ground…”. And, we did, getting all our gear and equipment packed up (sloppily, I might add, but packed up nonetheless…) and up onto the plateau above the river. Self-actuating action in the absence of “permissive authority”, no?
Our adjacent sister-company was run by a martinet whose usual behavior made Captain Queeg look quite restrained and civil. His guys were afraid to act, in the absence of authority, and proceeded to dither even as the water rose around them. They kept sending plaintive radio messages that they knew wouldn’t be heard, because of range, they sent runners seeking permission to move, and when the flash flood finally came, they got washed the hell out, losing most of their gear and even a couple of vehicles. Took two days for them to find as much of their missing equipment as possible, and our higher commander was not happy when he found out. He didn’t do damn thing about Captain Queeg, though, but he did find it in himself to relieve for cause the two platoon sergeants who’d been on-scene at the time this went down, sending the signal “damned if you do, damned if you don’t…”.
Our commander, who that same battalion commander was wont to excoriate for his “lack of discipline” in the company? He didn’t have to do a damn thing and paid out nothing for lost gear, because his troops did the right thing in his absence. That’s the measure of true discipline–When he came back in to see several hundred thousand dollars in lost equipment from the other company floating away on the flood, he walked into his own company where we’d not only moved out of the wash we’d been assigned on our own, we’d also set everything back up so that we were under canvas and behind wire.
Without “authority” telling us what to do, either. We just… Did.
That’s the difference: Condition yourself to “look to authority” for your answers, and you’re no longer an independent agent, no longer an actual human being–You’ve made yourself the willing and feckless extension of someone else’s will, someone whose interest in you extends only as far as you’re doing something for them.
we agree with you, kirk, you have to take yes for an answer, we are all iconoclasts in our own ways, willing to look past burning straw, and broken idols, but others are not, they require status authority figures, to anchor themselves, now the medical financial intelligence and military establishment, are woefully inadequate if not actually evil (depending on the day, I think the latter) soros and schwab and ayers and spinelli (the real architect of the eu, italian communist) planted their roots decades ago in the west, and the fruit is hatching, there are a very select few like orban and duda in eastern europe, mostly opposition figures in western europe who put any kind of resistance, boris johnson, turned out to be like a shorn samson, after covid got to him, morrison, has proven utterly useless,
I’m always glad my mom didn’t name me Yu Peepul.
I can’t say why, but there was something encapsulated in that “need” wording that just set me off. You do not and should not “need” someone to tell you what to do, to herd you into the right direction like you’re some sort of sub-sentient farm animal. And, people who do that automatically, who look around for someone to tell them what to do in the middle of a crisis? Those people are the utterly useless wastes of flesh you should absolutely leave behind in a burning building–They’ve rendered themselves objectively useless and irrelevant to anything, going forward. It’s one thing not to know the absolute right thing to do, in a given situation–It is, however, entirely another to sit there in apathy, waiting for the axe to fall.
And, maybe it’s my own inability to produce a viable course of action in this current situation, the fact that there’s not a thing to be done, so long as the vast apathetic majority are unwilling to even recognize that there’s a damn problem in the first place. I mean, you can be trying to move people towards the fire exits, and attempting to get at the fire hoses they’re all blocking, but if you can’t get the idiots to move or even acknowledge the flames licking at their bodies…?
It’s trained helplessness, which I see typified by that “we need authority” idea that absolutely enrages me. Do you really need someone to tell you that the FBI is out of fucking control, when they’re raiding the NYPD unions because they endorsed Trump? Do you need to have someone tell you that the fact they’re holding a guy in custody because he refused to be an informant on January 6th is a problem? Or, that there are Democratic Party elected officials cheering on this blatant and obvious abuse of power?
‘you came here for an argument’ kirk, so other than a ‘red wedding’ all through the beltway what is your solution, yes christopher wray was perhaps only the 3rd worst candidate for bureau director, of those offered, if one lives in a red state, these flying monkeys have less effect, although local officials listen to the gannett and ap seed pods
No, miguel… I came here to vent, really. There’s some hope of waking some of the posters on this site to what they’re really looking at, but anywhere else? Fruitless effort, wasted.
Here’s the thing: If you feel the “need” to look to an authority figure, seek out someone to tell you what to do? You are wrong, if you’re even framing things such that there is a need. What you need to do is look within yourself for that authority figure, and determine what is right from within. Civilization relies on that; you can’t impose it from without, and have it last.
I don’t care what you call it–Spirituality, belief in a higher power, religious faith, or whatever, it springs from within, not outside of you. And, if you’re looking to another human for that “authority figure” in your life, you’re setting yourself and everyone around you up for failure when that weak reed inevitably fails.
All of these failed gods of ours are human, and they’re failed mostly because we put too much automatic, unthinking reliance on them. We relied on them to “do the right thing” and to tell us the “right thing to do”, when the reality is this: They’re corrupt and feckless, useless in the face of crisis.
I once relied on the markers, the outward signs of virtue; in my world-conception, a Major General of the United States Army was someone who might perhaps be flawed, but they could never be so outrageously corrupt as to prioritize an already-illegal war trophy over the lives of allies we should have been faithful to. The fact that he could do so, and get away with it? That tells me that the markers of virtue and worthiness that I once unthinkingly held to be true are utterly and totally corrupted, now useless as markers for anything other than base suspicion and likely malfeasance.
This is the root of my rage at this idea we “need” leaders; you cannot trust those who this now-corrupted systems has placed in positions of trust and authority, and the quicker we all realize and recognize this fact, the sooner a solution to it all will come. I don’t ask for sainthood from these men, but I damn sure demand accountability and results; two things that are signally absent from our supposed “betters” and the “elites”…
no, don’t treat us like msnbc watchers that’s all, yes faith in a higher power, is very important, this is why the state demands worship, and thanks to garland and monaco, heretics will be punished, the deep state has failed upwards, conjuring up phantoms, something out of plato’s ‘oracle of the caves’
…but they could never be so outrageously corrupt as to prioritize an already-illegal war trophy over the lives of allies we should have been faithful to.
What this incident reminded me of was something that occurred during the conquest of the Republic of Vietnam, when someone flew their family out to a USN aircraft carrier in a small aircraft- and the captain had to choose between throwing several expensive warplanes over the side or letting them crash and die.
He chose to dump the airplanes. This particular general in today’s woke army should be cashiered and sent to ponder his priorities in Leavenworth.
Cashiered would be generosity personified. What he should have happen to him is to be flown back over Afghanistan at about 30,000 feet and thrown out the back of the aircraft naked, without a parachute.
That might serve as sufficient expiation and exemplar to the rest of the ring-knocking traitor class.
The amount of rage and disgust I feel just thinking about this incident cannot possibly be described in words. I utterly lack the eloquence necessary to express my feelings.
We have been betrayed, with a thoroughness that defies our ability to comprehend it all. We are irretrievably dishonored by the very existence of such men wearing our uniform, and the fact that we have set them in positions of authority and trust.
Kirk — that was some vent! But who around these parts would disagree with you?
It seems there is a misunderstanding about the need for “someone in charge”. If someone like AlGore tries to tell us what to do to prevent that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (which supposedly killed us all a decade or more ago) — many of us are quite capable of laughing at him. We don’t need that kind of “authority figure” to spread misinformation and lies.
On the other hand, when the Incident Commander at a fire says attack the blaze from the north end, it is generally better for the crew all to get to work attacking the north end of the fire instead of holding a debate about the relative merits of north versus south — or for each firefighter to attack the fire independently. Some military guy once said something like ‘An adequate plan aggressively implemented today beats a perfect plan implemented tomorrow’. This was probably the driving force behind the Red Army re-introducing officers.
There are circumstances where it is smarter for group to follow the direction of a person in charge while performing a particular task; however, that is very far from religiously following whatever command Flip-Flop Fauci issues today. Do you recognize the difference?
Yes, the white collar world is full of worthless credentialed tossers in positions of authority. If we find ourselves at work told to do stupid things by such persons in authority, we can always keep our self respect by voting with our feet — albeit usually at some personal cost. The bad part about the bureaucrats and politicians who are destroying our society (the society on which they depend) is that voting with our feet is impractical for most people.
Oh, I recognize the requirement, all right. What I don’t agree with is the mindless certitude that all too many of our citizen-sheep have that someone else is due all the unearned and unquestioned respect for authority. When you say “Someone needs to be in charge…”, what you’re really doing is plumping down for the Divine Right of Kings, and all that that implies. This is what I’m railing against.
You have to go about your acceptance and acquiescence to authority in a mindful and attentive manner; one of my family friends was once in the emergency room, where the attending physician failed to pay attention to her telling him she was allergic to penicillin and a few other things–Redhead, you know. He left instructions for the nurse to administer the standard drugs for the situation, two of which my friend was allergic to. One was a member of the penicillin family, the other was a pain-killer. When my friend wanted to know what the nurse was about to inject her with, the nurse got all high-and-mighty about it, told her she didn’t need to know, and that she was getting what she was getting. Whole thing devolved into a physical fight, the nurse called in security, and had them restrain our friend, and it wasn’t until her boyfriend came in and found all that going on that anyone stopped to look at her Medalert bracelet for her verified allergies.
Whole thing would have wound up in a malpractice lawsuit, but it was a military medical facility, she was a military member, and Feres Doctrine held. They damn near killed her, because of blind, unthinking worship of authority–And, the best part yet? The friggin’ doctor wasn’t even disciplined for ignoring her and prescribing meds that would likely have put her into anaphylactic shock.
You have to keep your eyes open and evaluate; “experts” and “authority” can and will kill you through sheer venal incompetence. What we have going on right now, across society, is that whole problem writ large. They’ve gotten their egos engaged, and lost all humility, abandoning the idea that they might, just possibly, be capable of being wrong. And, the general public? We’ve enabled that, by letting them do it.
Kirk: “You have to keep your eyes open and evaluate; “experts” and “authority” can and will kill you through sheer venal incompetence.”
We are in total agreement on that point, Kirk. If we got right down to it, we are probably also in agreement that there are times & circumstances where cooperating with the directions of a “team leader” creates the best outcome.
It seems your concerns about “authority” apply with most force to highly elevated figures. And, yes, we all have to take the blame for allowing flawed human beings to become highly elevated figures. Still, we are where we are. We know that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is unscientific nonsense; we know that the Lock Downs are a hugely damaging over-reaction to the CovidScam — a disease with a fatality rate in the same ball park as flu. But all we can do as individuals is laugh at the punters who promote those scams. We laugh at them, and they fire us for not taking the risk of their injected gene therapy with currently-unknowable potential long term effects. It is not very satisfactory!
That is why I have come to the conclusion the best thing we can do is smile, be happy, and take advantage of the good things in life today. Resident Biden*, Congress, the bureaucrats are in the process of destroying all that through their arrogance & stupidity — no matter how many Harvard Law School credentials they may have. Practically speaking, there is nothing that any of us can do to stop those bozos from driving us all over the cliff.
Gavin, it’s got to start somewhere. If we all just apathetically acquiesce to it all, then we’re a considerable part of the problem. You and I may not be able to do anything about the Joe Bidens of the world, but we can certainly influence things lower in the food chain by not casually accepting the sort of BS I’m railing against from others.
Major General Donahue is someone I keep coming back to–How does anyone do something like he is reported to have done in Afghanistan, and still remain able to look himself in the mirror? Simple; nobody has ever called him on his hypocrisy. This is a man, who I’m certain has probably presided over preferring charges against lower enlisted and junior officers for transgressions of a similar nature, and yet who sees no problem at all with his own choice to violate the provisions of the general orders we were all issued from day one about “war trophy” bring-backs. Not even the fabled 101st Airborne Division in Iraq was able to circumvent that set of rules, and this jackass just put a Hilux and 23mm cannon onto a plane? Forget about the Afghani interpreters he left behind to do that, look at what the asshole just demonstrated to the troops: If Joe Private tried bringing something like a semi-auto pistol back, he’d be crucified upon being caught. And, this flag-rank officer just blew right past that, ‘cos… I have no idea how he rationalizes it, but the man has blown any moral authority he ever had to discipline troops.
CENTCOM has not rescinded those general orders, or the policy letters about trophies. How does this assclown get away with it?
he is favored by bishop garrison, the political officer, that lloyd austin installed, say one thing with the likes of elphinstone, when they farked up, they got the custer treatment, austin retired to the Skynet (I mean raytheon board) till shambling man, needed him again, of course petraeus represents kkr (in my novel, he he gets blown up by a islamist sleeper) mccrystal, went over to a whole hosts of enterprises,
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