Category: Politics

The Clash and the Angry Left, Circa 1977

funky skull graffiti on locked roll down black door
Photo by William Matte on

I’ve been getting into The Clash lately.

Okay, okay: this probably isn’t the appropriate season for the music of an angry Socialist punk band (it ain’t Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” album), but I couldn’t help it. I got pulled in last week by this Spotify podcast, Stay Free: The Story of The Clash.

It’s really good. I think it’s “overproduced,” in the sense that it tries a little too hard to be jumpy and punchy, making it a bit too disjointed. Each episode so far has started in medias res, then it jumps back, then returns to the middle, then back, then to the middle. I find it a bit disorientating, wholly unnecessary, and mildly disrespectful of the listener’s time.

However, it is really good so far (I’m 3/8ths of the way through).


The brief sidelight about drummer Terry Chimes (Episode 3; 15:00-20:00) is instructive.

Chimes was a butt of jokes because he wasn’t political. He was in the band to make money. That didn’t sit well with the rest of the band members, who let him know it. He finally quit shortly before the first album came out. (In retaliation, the band named him “Tory Crimes” on the credits.)

Years later, Chimes was interviewed and said, though he didn’t realize it at the time, everyone in the band was angry about life in general, which is why they were leftwing radicals:

Every one of those people, no exceptions, came from a broken home. I came from a happy home. When [the manager] would say, “The world’s horrible, it’s out to get you, you have to

Read the rest

Taki Veers to the Middle

Taki Magazine is the most fearless sophisticated publication on the planet.

It allows writers to speak their minds, regardless of their reputations and regardless of whether their words skate into forbidden territory (read: “race”).

But it’s not an alt-right publication of clickbait inflammation. It’s smart, erudite, and urbane.

I’ve noticed that this month it is veering heavily to the “smart, erudite, and urbane” side of its formula.

It’s sounding a considered alarm bell to its readers and fellow-travelers, advising them to resist conspiracy theories and despairing resignation.

But it’s doing so with verve.

Exhibit A: David Cole’s recent piece, assuring folks that they are complete idiots if they stop voting because of the Democrats’ voter fraud.

He points out that there has always been voter fraud and it’s primarily the Democrats (which makes sense; such things are the province of the big cities), but that doesn’t mean it’s futile to vote. Far from it.

But that’s exactly what the Left hopes happens. By allegedly perpetrating massive voter fraud this year (see below), they hope to discourage all opposition. The result? A George Soros world.

David Cole minces no words about what this would mean:

The worst of the worst on the left aren’t wizards, and if they’re to be effectively countered, it’s vital to understand how they do what they do. George Soros isn’t a warlock. He’s all too human, though arguably one of the most evil humans to ever draw breath. I’ve said this on Twitter and it sounds hyperbolic, but I’ve never been more serious in my life: The greatest tragedy of the Holocaust is that the one Jew who deserved to

Read the rest

L.A. Genocide

David Cole has written one of the most interesting and amusing essays of 2020. Bonus: It’s about Los Angeles.

low angle photography of brown building with los angeles led sign
Photo by Giovanni Calia on

Los Angeles has always fascinated me. Among U.S. cities, it’s second only to NYC in my mind.

I’ve only been to L.A. once, but I’ve read a lot about it, and L.A. stories always get a click from me, so I feel like I kind of know the place.

But not like David Cole, whose recent article in Taki Magazine about L.A. is one of the best things I’ve read lately. It’s so good, that for the foreseeable future if I see “David Cole” anywhere, I’m going to click on the story, even if the link indicates it will go to a gay porn site.

Cole’s piece is about the collapse of L.A.’s black community.

I had heard a few times that the L.A. Mexican gangs were basically perpetrating genocide on the vastly outnumbered L.A. blacks on a scale that, if whites were doing it, would’ve gotten the United Nations involved, but because the violence didn’t fit the binary narrative, it was ignored.

Cole makes it clear that the genocide is almost complete. “L.A.’s black population has dwindled to just a few remaining areas that could realistically be called ‘black communities.’ It’s a ‘black belt’ that starts south and east of the prosperous Westside and stretches farther south beyond LAX. But those communities are placeholders, destined to be either Hispanic or gentrified within the next decade. And blacks know this.”

Cole’s story revolves a BLM protest against a Jewish developer who plans on renovating a run-down piece-of-s*** mall in a … Read the rest

The 2020 Election and Men in the Gray Flannel Suits

November 2020: When holding leftist beliefs officially became a sign of monotonous conformist thinking

How did Biden pull off his victory?

He didn’t do as well with minority voters as every presumed he would.

The Catholic vote continued to hover around 50% like it has for 20 years.

So what did it?

Answer: Elitism.

You see, only rubes, hicks, rednecks, wife-beaters, and Elvis fans vote for Trump. In order to mark yourself as (oh so) above the unwashed, you vote Democrat. And if you’re really smart and want people to know how good you are, you fly rainbow (like I see at Notre Dame University) or BLM banners (like I saw on Lake Shore Drive in ritzy Grosse Pointe over Thanksgiving weekend).

I had that feeling throughout 2020: the feeling that Biden voters looked at their leftist support as badges of virtue . . . of being “with it” . . . of wokeness . . . of truly understanding things.

“Nothing,” this poseur line seemed to say, “signals intellectual distinction like agreeing with the New York Times.”

And it was reinforced, I felt, by suburban living, where conformity is, was, and always will be, the enduring trait. We laugh at the 1950s cookie-cutter houses, competition to get the newest TV, buying a paneled station wagon, keeping the wife in the kitchen, and voting for Ike.

But now everyone in the suburbs has two incomes, the most-recent iPhone, and McMansions.

And votes for Biden.

That, anyway, is how I felt.

I had no proof.

Until now.

It turns out white suburbia turned out en force for Biden.

Trump 2020 outdid Trump 2016 in … Read the rest

Is the New Left the Old Occult?

The supernatural and paranormal. Postmodernism and critical theory. What could be the connection?

Over 40 years ago, Norman Cohn, author of that masterpiece about countercultural movements in the Middle Ages, The Pursuit of the Millennium, wrote a review about a little-known book by a young genius who would commit suicide at age 34.

The author: James Webb, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, a man who Colin Wilson considered “one of the most brilliant minds of his generation.”

The book: The Occult Establishment (1976).

Cohn said:

[T]his book performs an important task. It offers the most vivid portrayal yet given of that hydra, irrationalism; and leaves one waiting, with curiosity if not with trepidation, to see what the next head will look like. 

“In Pursuit of the Irrational,” The Times Literary Supplement, June 17, 1977

The Occult Establishment is now out of print. Amazon says my copy is worth $100, if only I hadn’t beat the hell out of it with my underlinings and side notes.

But I didn’t know it would go out of print, and I didn’t know Webb was a genius of the first order.

Besides, I probably couldn’t have helped myself anyway.

The book is packed with fascinating (underline-worthy) facts about the 20th-century occult.

What is the Occult?

The “occult” is an umbrella term. It means anything pertaining to the mystical, supernatural, magical, and paranormal that falls outside religion or science.

Both religion and science use reason and logic to construct their “systems.”

The occult, on the other hand, embraces the irrational.

Religion and science seek to explain, but the occult revels in the unexplainable.

The occult, in fact, could … Read the rest

$58 for an AOC Sweatshirt Isn’t Too Much

But the mere use of a price at all is

I found the uproar over AOC’s $58 sweatshirt fascinating.

I don’t object to the price tag. It’s no doubt pricey, but she’s fundraising for her campaign. I frequently overpay for items when the proceeds are going to church or charity. For the ideologue, a donation to AOC’s campaign is a donation to church (the progressive earthly paradise).

Besides, she apparently bought the most expensive sweatshirt possible by purchasing one made with union wages. That no doubt increases the overall cost.

You’d think other people would understand these things and not ridicule her.

But there was an intuitive, almost visceral, reaction that something was very wrong with the $58 price tag.

I don’t think it was the $58 price point.

I think it’s the fact that she used a price point at all. What’s a socialist doing, using prices? Aren’t those two things wildly inconsistent?

Those are fair questions.

Prices are merely one way of allocating a society’s scarce resources. The reason we can’t all have lakefront houses isn’t because they’re so expensive. They’re so expensive because there aren’t enough to go around. It’s a problem of scarcity. Prices determine who gets a lakeside house and who doesn’t.

It’s the capitalist system.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the socialist system. In a socialist system, prices don’t dictate who gets what. The government does. The government determines who gets a lakeside house and who doesn’t. 

Enter AOC.

She wants the government, not prices, to allocate scarce resources.

This is baked into the sweatshirt itself, which sports the motto, “Tax the Rich.” Why tax the … Read the rest

You’re Not a Lunatic? Thank Your Daddy.

What do the violent extremes on the Left and the Right have in common?

They tend to come from fatherless or divorced homes.

That’s Mary Eberstadt’s observation in “The Fury of the Fatherless” in the current issue of First Things.

She recites the well-known statistical facts about fatherlessness in the inner-cities (65% of blacks are born into fatherless homes) and that “absent fathers predict higher rates of truancy, psychiatric problems, criminality, promiscuity, drug use, rape, domestic violence, and other less-than-optimal outcomes.”

She then points out that the BLM movement itself seems almost intuitively drawn to promote a society without fathers.

The BLM website at one point declared: “We disrupt the Western-­prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

Eberstadt: “Note the missing noun: fathers. It is as if fathers—as distinct from “parents”—had ceased to exist. And indeed, for at least some of the people drawn to BLM’s ideology, fathers have ceased to exist. In this sense, BLM is a direct heir of the founding document of identity politics, the Cohambee River Collective Statement put forward by black feminists in 1977. That manifesto spoke of women and children only—never of fathers, brothers, or sons.”

Alt-Right Daddy Problems

She also points to anecdotal evidence that it’s not just a Leftist problem, though her instances are all pointed at divorce only, which can be, but isn’t normally, the same thing as being born entirely out-of-wedlock or with no father in the picture:

“The founder of the white nationalist group Identity … Read the rest

Do You Like Being a Chump?

The Left is turning the United States into a nation of chumps. It won’t end well.

In progressive circles, “justice” doesn’t mean fairness or evenhandedness; it describes a world in which every problem is the fault of some entrenched power group. Therefore, every solution should involve both special aid for the victims and some sort of punishment for those who created the problem.

James B. Meigs

What happens when folks are rewarded for not playing by the rules or following the social norms that keep a society functioning?

It turns the rest of us into chumps.

What happens when it happens too often?

Well, people get really angry. More people start cheating the system.

People just come to the conclusion that the system isn’t fair and it isn’t worth participating.

Those are things pointed out in this splendid essay at City Journal: “The Chump Effect.”

The one effect that it doesn’t address, though, is the possibility that a society could suddenly tilt from a law-abiding one where it’s the norm to pay your taxes and fees, to one where only a chump pays his taxes and fees.

That side of the Chump Effect was touched upon in this Econtalk podcast episode: “Michael Munger on Crony Capitalism,” in the context of Chile and Argentina.

“If you don’t pay your taxes in Chile, other people think, ‘Well, you’re a terrible person.’ And if you do pay your taxes in Argentina, people think, ‘Well, you’re an idiot. You’re a chump. Nobody does that.’

Argentina hired soccer players and actresses to go on TV and do ads about how you should pay your taxes. … Read the rest