Locklin on science

On cultures that build

Posted in econo-blasphemy by Scott Locklin on June 19, 2020

I tire of the Andreessen spurred discussion of “cultures that build.” I agree with the sentiment; I do miss the America that could make stuff.

I am annoyed that numskulls refuse to face the actual fact of the matter. The historical entity which built most of the stuff you see around you no longer exists. That civilization is dead. Full stop; the end. In fact, the predominant social energy of the moment, backed by most of the mainstream organs of respectable thought, most government agencies, virtually all corporations and collectives, and right thinking people everywhere is to wipe out any remaining historical reminders of that civilization because of muh feels. For example:

People who dislike the idea of tearing down statues are so thoroughly politically vanquished they can’t prevent the destruction of statues of the historical founder of the country. Pardon me if I laugh at the concept of becoming a “culture that builds” at this present moment in time. US culture and its colonial offspring are now cultures of destruction; both at home and abroad. Virtually all organs of US power are organized to not only prevent building things; they’re organized to destroy things.

see a pattern here?

I would say that the chances of the US becoming “a culture that builds” is about the same as the present day municipality of Venice becoming a powerful trade and naval empire in the Adriatic and Bosphorus. The knowledge is gone. The cultural capital is gone; the society that produced those kinds of productive people hasn’t existed in decades. The physical ability to do this is gone; thanks to the globalization our genius economists told us was inevitable, the US lacks the factories, mines and shipyards required to build things. The human material who would actually do the building is gone: dimwit MBAs destroyed the skilled working classes, atomized their communities, continue to demonize and demoralize them and utterly destroyed the kind of basic low level education and social cohesion required to have a productive workforce.

Our technocrats (aka you lot and the morons you went to college with) themselves are typically not capable of working with matter any longer, preferring more profitable and more fashionable masturbatory financialized nonsense that doesn’t pollute the environment. Instead of building Project Pluto, modern american technocrat and managerial types prefer making dopamine rat mazes such as Facebook, imbecile glass bead games like “quantum information theory” or abstract quasi-religious bullshit such as…  woke collitch culture and its sinister city-burning, cancel-culture Jacobin offspring.

In fact, one of the main things the US produces at the moment is the type of people who think “cultures that build” are so horrible, visible reminders of them need to be removed from the public square. We don’t produce many innovators, but we produce plenty of people who think remaining builders  should be persecuted and made to apologize for having the temerity to excel. We’ve created a managerial caste who is so psychologically fragile they can’t even abide images of success. What are they going to do when they’re asked to do something difficult like invent the transistor or discover DNA, or even skirt San Francisco Zoning Laws

Let me posit this, fellow builders of things. Politically speaking, the kind of changes required for the country to go back to its past of building and inventing cool things will involve at minimum dealing with the kinds of loathesome barbarians tearing down statues and burning cities. Those people have to be prevented from interfering with both built structures and the present day builders of things. There are a lot of them and they have a lot of free time on their hands to get up to mischief. 

Not only that; a productive future will involve active persecution of the evil dimwits responsible for making chimping barbarians think it’s OK to burn it all down. There are a lot of their lot too, and they’re generally comfortably ensconced in schools, foundations, non-profits, government bureaucracies, large corporations, entertainment complexes and other such places of institutional power. These are the people who would implement any government or societal policy. You have to either  change their minds or get them out of the way somehow. 

These bozos would be pretty easy to deal with if we had the political will to do so. I’m not even talking physically, though there is that; most are noodle-armed vegans or two twinkies from a heart attack. Many of these mentally ill assclowns are so hysterical they actually require trigger warnings to get through the day. You could probably take away their antidepressants and they’d all have to check themselves into the booby hatch. This alone would probably double US economic output. Just removing crazy people from positions of responsibility instead of promoting them would be an enormous help. 

 Every historical example of a society turning to a productive direction (I dunno, post Revolution France, or Deng era China) involved defanging tin pot Robespierres before anything good happened. Removing statue toppling city burners and their encouragers and enablers as active dangers to the rest of society is table stakes for making a society of builders. The more serious issue is the MBA types who think it’s just fine to ship middle class jobs to the third world, or import new helot worker classes to destroy the bargaining power of local labor because “muh free markets.” These people are sharks, they’re wreckers, and it is they who have weaponized the “woke culture” of the left to prevent the actual left (as opposed to numskulls who think overturning a statue helps anything) from raising their taxes.

None of them are interested in investing money in productive directions; they’re all about pyramid schemes and looting the remaining human and physical capital. These fuckers are burning the proverbial furniture to warm themselves. They’ll have to go, and they won’t go easy because they have all the loot and no loyalties beyond their bank accounts. That includes almost everyone in Andreessen’s shitty industry (reminder: “VC” means “toilet” in Russian): almost none of them are interested in investing in things involving innovation or matter. They’d rather invest in garbage which skirts hotel and taxi laws or become sneaker loan sharks, making everyone else more miserable in the process by socializing the costs. 

The society we have right now is a result of the people that compose it. Outcomes won’t change until you at least change minds of the people in charge of running the day to day operations of it. Are you willing to ship NPR reporters, Goldman Sachs bankers, Ford foundation grant administrators, pornographers, Booz Allen Hamilton consultants,  mid-level tech managers, 99.8% of Venture Capitalists, and all the 3rd assistant secretaries of education to a potato picking Gulag in North Dakota? Are you willing to at least get them fired so they have to get jobs at Burger King, and put your supposedly waiting-in-the-wings non kakistocrats in charge of their bureaucracies? To be honest, me neither; that’s probably why we can’t have nice things. We’ve built our cages out of iphones, twitter, prozac and people obsessed with their feels and the doings of their crotches. You won’t get any more Edisons or Wozzes or Bardeens in America as long as hysterical imbeciles and demonic looters are preeminent and people who actually lower the entropy of the universe, past, present and future, are demonized. 

It’s over; the US has has a remarkable run as a place where regular people could have a nice life, and exceptional people could make exceptional contributions. “Vanished under night’s helm as if it had never been.” Genap under nihthelm, swa heo no wære.  Acting like some minor tweak in policy is going to reverse this is laughably insane. Policy fiddling is a ghost dance; trying to bring back 1945 in America when we had a competent and productive civil service, nuclear lightning in our hands,  our enemies vanquished at our feet, a largely virtuous and almost fanatically united society, sitting on top of the stock of the world’s capital with a host of giant new high technology factories. That reality and that America is long gone. It has run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible; it is bleedin’ demised. That society isn’t pining for the fields; it’s pushing up the daisies. I’m standing in front of you with a dead parrot society.

I realized it was too late about 7-8 years ago, and organized my life around my exit strategy. The country is too far down kakistocracy, and the remaining decent people are too deluded about the root causes and their potential remedies to ever change things. If you’re still in the US, you live in an evil empire of chaos and destruction, and the best of you are probably serving the worst ends of it.

 You can cower under your desks with home-made diapers on your faces hoping some member of a productive society invents a vaccine for the Chinese Lung Butter or whatever phantom (and entirely inflicted by our kakistocrat mandarins) terror of the moment afflicts you. Those N95 factories aren’t coming back, let alone Bell Labs type innovations; even if you wish really really hard. 

 

78 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. phf said, on June 20, 2020 at 2:02 am

    I suspect not an insignificant number of your readers have been constructing an escape strategy for the past however many years, the problem is that there’s no longer an equivalent of an America to escape to. Are we all just going to spend the rest of our lives hiding out in a self imposed exile on Elba or Costa Rica or wherever else, while the western civilization is dying? Is it maybe possible to find a middle path between an exile and a A Feast in Time of Plague? I agree it doesn’t look hopeful.

    • asciilifeform said, on June 22, 2020 at 1:37 am

      The current item is more 476 than 1991. In 476 there was also no America to move to…

    • Tong said, on July 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      Learn Russian, seriously. It will be the best investment you make. As America slowly becomes a third world slum, the largely ethnocentric and homogeneous Russia will take its place as world superpower.

    • Mark Miller said, on July 3, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      Nature abhors a vacuum. A nucleus will form somewhere and the self-selection will begin anew. The periodicity of these things is inevitable. If we play our cards right, we won’t even have to dirty our hands (too much) and the detritus will cull itself.

  2. drewish said, on June 20, 2020 at 2:11 am

    This reminds me of a podcast on Ross Douthat’s book The Decadent Society. I think there’s a lot of problems in the US and you definitely hit on a lot of them (MBAs outsourcing everything, imaginary industries, “innovation”), but the focus on looters and people pulling down confederate statues just seems strange. Even odder to do that without any mention of the cause of the protests. I usually find your posts very insightful but this one just seems dashed off while you were in a bad mood.

    • Scott Locklin said, on June 20, 2020 at 4:32 am

      Since when is George Washington a member of the Confederacy? I really don’t give a shit about morons reaction to some fucked up shit they saw on twitter where some psycho cop murdered a junkie: there’s no excuse for this.

      If you ever mention a sack of shit Lace Curtain Irish dunghill like Ross Douthat on my blog again, I will not be responsible for my actions. Amusingly I was telling your story to a friend last night. Guess your ears were burning.

  3. averros said, on June 20, 2020 at 2:45 am

    You’re way too pessimistic. Look at the modern-day Russia – hypersonic weapons, per-capita GDP PPP growing by a factor of 3 (during Putin’s reign – if you ever wondered why he is so popular over there), growing middle class and growing life expectancy and population. All of that despite the fact that in 91 the country was on the brink of widespread hunger (I still remember the taste of rotten potatoes), antiquated and decrepit capital stock in industry, and completely demoralized population which was subjected to 70 years of targeted assassination and persecution of its brightest and most decent people (and don’t forget the war against Nazis, compared to which the rest of WWII was minor skirmishes). Add to that the on-going incessant barrage of crippling economic sanctions and propaganda from the West, and the level of adversity the country had to go through is incredible. US is in a much better position to make a recovery.

    All it took is the complete failure and dissolution of Soviet Government Almighty, and then a patriot (no matter how flawed) getting to the top and ruthlessly suppressing first the Moslem jihadists (whom, unlike US, Russia has as indigenous population), then the oligarch thieves, and finally the “progressive” fifth column sustained by NGOs (Soros is on the wanted list in Russia). Oh, and Christianity turned out to be a much better deal for those who need to BELIEVE than “Scientific” Socialism. It does have “don’t steal” as its commandment, rather than “steal, steal, steal!” of socialism/communism (aka “expropriating the expropriators” in marxist cult’s newspeak).

    • Scott Locklin said, on June 20, 2020 at 4:22 am

      I’m not talking about Russia, which is a rising power, a modern day culture of builders, and seems to be doing fine for the moment (hopefully this is not dependent on one man); I’m talking about America, for a largely American audience.

      It is useful to have historical perspective though, so thank you for pointing it out.

      • averros said, on June 20, 2020 at 8:47 am

        Russian culture is not that different from American… more cynical, more fatalistic, somewhat more communal (but not much), and much much older – but the basics – national rather than ethnic identity, idealistic individualism, strong Christian background, and opennes, are the same. (This, incidentally, is why Russians tend to see Americans as friendlies, even despite decades of warmongering and propaganda. Attitude towards Chinese, for example, is a lot more guarded.) I felt rather comfortable adapting to American culture after I emigrated from the USSR – the really unpleasant surprises to me were seeing people informing on others to the authorities (that was a big no-no in late USSR…) instead of trying to resolve conflict themselves (minor stuff like calling police on a noisy party), and seeing tolerance towards marxists and their bullshit.

        The socialist-caused devastation in Russia was a million times worse than what is going on in US right now. That leaves me rather hopeful that as soon as a significant portion of Americans give up on trying to be polite and tolerant towards leftists, the swing back to the foundational culture will be swift and hard. I see it happening – quietly but unmistakably – daily. Formerly anti-gun people are buying guns (they’re not going to support people who try to declare them criminals). People who voted for Hillary now privately admit that they’re going to hold the nose and vote for Trump this time (I didn’t encounter a transition in other direction, unlike Bush Jr. time). Left-wing stalwarts are bewildered by the antics of the new radically insane left, and basically give up (often after being viciously attacked by their comrades for some thoughtcrime).

        Once you smelled the wind of change, there’s no mistaking it.

        • asciilifeform said, on June 22, 2020 at 1:51 am

          Out of curiosity, which “socialist-caused devastation” ? The one that built ~100% of their still-working infrastructure (including the nuke-and-delivery gear which — while it lasts — keeps “democracy spreaders” the hell out, and prevents the place from getting cut into two dozen permanently stone age Nicaraguas) ? Or, say, 100% of the R&D capability (not the least bit of which, the simple basic literacy, the kind largely absent in e.g. USA since 1970s or so) which distinguishes current-day Ru from Zimbabwe?

          • Toddy Cat said, on July 2, 2020 at 3:26 pm

            “The one that built ~100% of their still-working infrastructure”

            You haven’t seen much of post-Soviet Russia, have you? The idea that the Soviets are behind most of Russia’s modern R and D is absurd.

          • Toddy Cat said, on July 2, 2020 at 3:27 pm

            There are a few other things that distinguish Russia from Zimbabwe, if only I could think of them…

          • Bobby Babylon said, on July 3, 2020 at 7:59 am

            Speaking of Zimbabwe………. From a Zimbabwean who was pursuing a degree at Stanford.

            https://ezimbabwe.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/america-4-i-design-ipod-covers-at-apple/

            The essential set of passages from the above link:

            >The competition is frightening, fueled by an unrelenting superiority complex that inevitably creates a superiority pyramid among students. Science and engineering students are better than arts/humanities students; engineering students are better than science students; electrical engineering students are better than civil engineering students; computer science students are better than engineering students; computer science students who are also entrepreneurs are better than all the other students. This is not an invisible superiority pyramid – it’s reinforced in everyday conversation.

            >So it was that, when I sat down with a diasporan graduate, I was reminded of my place in the pyramid. He asked me why I had chosen civil engineering. Why on earth did you choose civil engineering!!? is what he meant. It was evening and he was a little tipsy, but I judged that he would still understand me. I explained that it had been a difficult choice between civil and mechanical engineering, and that I’d finally settled on civil engineering. That seemed to puzzle him more. “Really!? Why?” he probed. He meant: “Are you insane? Why would you do that?” I told him that I loved working on physically larger projects, stressing the word physically.

            >With the most self-satisfied smirk I have ever seen, he declared, “Well, I’m a mechanical engineer and I design iPod covers for Apple.” Our table erupted with laughter – they’d been people sitting with us. They thought Mr. iPod Covers had put me in my place. What could be bigger than designing iPod covers for the most valuable company on this earth? Designing foot-bridges over water canals? Ha! I tried to explain that I’d meant physically larger projects; as in, a bridge is much larger than an iPod cover. But the laughter drowned out my voice. Nobody wanted anything to perturbe the popular elite school narrative – that some people are better than others because of what they do.

            >I will not poke fun at the irony of it all. That here was a young, overworked guy inflating himself because he (was part of a team that) designed iPod covers at Apple. How big!

            Notice that, after the humanities, the level of superiority is in direct relation with the level of abstraction. It would seem that part of the dominant idea of Modern Anglo-America is that the physical (material) world, doesn’t matter. See also, Gnosticism. Transgenderism

  4. George W. said, on June 20, 2020 at 5:05 am

    Ted Kaczynski was (somewhat) right.

    It’s amusing to look at the number of things going wrong in our society and even more so to realize that any single person is helpless against such things. Humanity–not just America–has had a good run.

  5. fpoling said, on June 20, 2020 at 7:40 am

    It was not Martians or a powerful evil conspiracy that replaced the builder spirit in US with the current culture. In a sense the builders built it. And it is not clear if it was just few historical mishaps or was it inevitable.

    One can speculate, for example, that after US won the Cold War it was all to easy for the country and China will soon become another powerful enemy requiring a builder spirit to fight back, but that is too simplistic. From what I know about US the current trends were already in eighties when almost nobody thought that the demise of the Soviet Union was around the corner.

    • fpoling said, on June 20, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Or maybe in reality nothing changed in US. The common thing between building and destruction is that they change things. So the culture could be of people who change. And since one cannot really lower entropy, one can only export it, maybe the US just run out places to export entropy and now all that energy from the desire to change generates the entropy locally.

  6. maggette said, on June 20, 2020 at 9:34 am

    I am kind of sceptical about he “great run” the US supposedly had. Most of the times the US worked fine as long as you weren’t black or an native american. There was probably one and half decades, maybe two decades, that were really hopeful. But before and after that..nah.

    I am also not a fan of labeling Putin’s Russia as a success. That guy might be an improvement over a psyco mass murder like Stalin or a drunk western puppet like Jelzin…he still is horrible. From a moral and a practical point of view. I might be biased. My wife is from Russia and Belarus. Her family still lives in Belarus and Russia (Smolensk, Moscow and St Petersburg). So I have two uncles that went to jail for doing nothing than being a partner in business that should be interchanged with somebody else or winning a construction contract. My wife couldn’t visit her mother, because her former boyfriend who is a gangster with close ties to the police threatend to have her arrested for smuggling for HIM!!

    Also the number aren’t great at all. Given the fact that this country has all the natural resources you could dream of and capable “human capital” (a good portion of the math books on my shelf have names on it that end with “ov” and “ev”), they actually could be closer to Norway is lifestyle and success. They aren’t. I am even arguing that Kasachstan is doing a better job. I have attached some links that indicate that Russia still is a disaster and isn’t making any progress in many metrics.

    .If you want a dictator that really improves the (at least economic situation) of his people, you have to look at Asia. And than you have to accept that your freedom is not of interest to anybody. Not at all. LKY wipes his ass with your first AND your second amendment. Stil, there is no denial that the asian technocracy is a success model. I don’t think the model can be imported into a country were armed citizens dressed up as delta force operators for with AR-15s storm government building because of social distancing rules. Americans are to self righteous for that.

    I am not very worked up about people bringing down statues of whoever. Don’t care. But if that is all a revolution is doing…I almost can hear the people in power laughing!!

    If you want to scare american plutocrates…tax’em!!!! But that is “unamerican” (and by the way also “ungerman” 🙂 )

    Life expectancy Russia vs US and China
    https://www.google.com/search?q=russia+life+expectancy&rlz=1C1GTPM_enDE880DE880&oq=Russia+life+expe&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l6.9473j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Life expectancy Germany vs Spain and Italy (IMHO that is how improvement looks)
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Germany+life+expectancy&rlz=1C1GTPM_enDE880DE880&oq=Germany+life+expectancy&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l7.5169j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Gini coefficient
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/872875/gini-index-score-of-russia/#:~:text=The%20Gini%20Index%20is%20a,started%20to%20decline%20after%20this.

    GDP. per capita and given the potential and absolute disaster:
    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GTPM_enDE880DE880&sxsrf=ALeKk03kAuPaTFGJ–sliDG_wlO0dElnZw%3A1592644310837&ei=1tLtXsHfMs2EmwWvm4-QCw&q=russia+gdp&oq=russia+gdp&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIFCAAQywEyBQgAEMsBMgUIABDLATIFCAAQywEyBQgAEMsBMgUIABDLATIFCAAQywEyAggAMgIIADIFCAAQywE6BAgAEEc6BggjECcQEzoECCMQJzoKCAAQsQMQFBCHAjoECAAQQzoHCAAQFBCHAlCeHljjJ2C3KmgAcAF4AIABa4gByQKSAQMzLjGYAQCgAQGqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjBopqzhpDqAhVNwqYKHa_NA7IQ4dUDCAw&uact=5

    Median income: more or less an function of the natgas and oil price. Putin is hardly a success story here,
    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/russia/annual-household-income-per-capita

    Violence crimes, suicide rates, alcohol abuse…ok, an improvement. Improved from “buck shit crazy” to “still really bad”

    • Scott Locklin said, on June 20, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Russia is no place I’d like to live at the moment, but compared to the brief times the US looter economic system was imposed on them, they’re doing great. In fact, compared to almost any time in Russian history, this is basically their golden age. If you want to name a better time for the average Russian; go for it! Pretty sure you can’t. For builders: they still build human rated rockets that work; new ballistic missiles, new submarines, new hypersonic missiles, new aircraft, new Cathedrals (dedicated to the military …. ) new buildings, new subway stops. The US would go bankrupt simply keeping up with the Moscow subway system.

      You’re a German, so your views of American history are probably based on some foaming lunatic like Howard Zinn and Karl May novels. As an American I view your history is basically Hitler and BMWs. None the less, Germany has been a culture of builders since the 1200s, long before its present geographic extent and political system. Even after we blew it all up, Germans built it all back. The US used to be like this; it isn’t any more, and it’s closely related to the fact that we let barbarians burn our cities and knock down old monuments. It’s not even vaguely debateable, whether or not you, a foreigner, care about our monuments or Indians or whatever.

      • asciilifeform said, on June 22, 2020 at 2:09 am

        AFAIK the “times the US looter economic system was imposed on them” are not over. Place is run by people who keep their children at Harvard (to get MBA!), their moneys — in London, their retirement plan — in Miami. Exactly like Argentina and every other similarly shadow-colonized shithole.

        And the Ru elite’s “work” consists of sawing up into pieces what their parents had built, and selling said pieces to the octopus for “fire sale” prices. Exactly like in 1990s Ru. Or, for that matter, USA circa 1980s-present.

        The Ru wunderwaffen incidentally — some are re-editions of soviet-era hardware; but more often “3d Studio” art.

        • Candide III said, on September 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm

          Place is run by people who keep their children at Harvard (to get MBA!), their moneys — in London, their retirement plan — in Miami.

          Quite true, but it’s not because the US looter economic system was imposed on them. It wasn’t imposed, it was invited. At the very end of 80s and in early 90s, all the up-and-coming komsomol leaders, deputy party secretaries and red directors with friends and relatives in the KGB were eager to finally get their hands on the assets they already controlled but could only more or less surreptitiously skim under Soviet rule. They got their wish, and hired the best Western sharks to create legal appearances, just as early Bolsheviks used Swedish banks and financiers to handle their affairs. As for Russian elites keeping their moneys and children abroad, where do you expect them to keep them, in Russia where they are not safe from expropriation in case they fall out with the wrong person? Where (to use maggette’s anecdote) even a lowly emigrant wife cannot visit her parents because her ex in the police/security services threatens to put her in jail?

    • Dividualist said, on August 20, 2020 at 4:38 am

      >Most of the times the US worked fine as long as you weren’t black or an native american.

      This was about achievement, not personal outcomes. Your comment precisely demonstrates what is wrong today, this “What can I, he, she, this guy, that gut GET?” instead of that old “What can people build and achieve if they get together, regardless of personal rewards?”

      • maggette said, on August 20, 2020 at 2:05 pm

        Where I am from (Germany), not everything is perfect, but also there isn’t really anything wrong.

        My country leapfrogs the present United States by quite a margin in almost every quantitative measure of success and social well being. .
        – Murder rate
        – Gini Coefficient
        – EIU Democracy Index, Heritage Foundation Ranking, Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders, Corruption Perception Index..and any other democracy/freedom of speech/human rights index or report you can find on the internet
        – life expectancy
        – per capita debt
        – patents per citizen
        – trade deficit
        – drug addiction
        – Bloomberg health care efficiency ratio
        – environmental impact and energy efficiency

        If like, you could replace Germany with the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland or Austria. Former Soviet Union sattes like Estonia will surpass the greatest nation in a couple of generations. .

        This is the case even though the vast majority of Germans think like me and we care about fairness and protect minorities. Or maybe because?

        The US is the oldest democracy in the world. It was a role model for almost all other nations I mentioned above. But it has serious systemic flaws now.

        You can keep on living in your “frontier mentality” fantasy or accept that “What can people build and achieve if they get together, regardless of personal rewards?” is and always was pure fiction. Unless ethnic cleansing of at least 80 millions native american is what you call “achievement” and by building you mean “sail oversees and grab us some slaves to build an cotton empire”.

        Or you accept the facts, become less ideological and look outside of your beloved country and reinvent yourself. I personally would welcome it. Because of the powerful US military, we are a puppet attached to the US puppet master. Even though that is a hard pill to swallow, I still prefer it over control by China or Russia.

        And of course: people were always looking after what they could get individually. Always. The US was and is no exception here.

        • Scott Locklin said, on August 20, 2020 at 7:34 pm

          You know, there’s some famous statistic about Finnish PISA scores versus Finnish-American PISA scores. The Finnish-Americans, who are easy to identify by their names, did better (we certainly spend more on their education). One could contemplate a similar exercise with German-Americans versus Germans across a wider span of measurable things. Not sure how it would pan out, but I can guess.

          I mean, of course your country is pretty good: it’s filled with efficient Germans. Try living in a country where every tribe of resentful cannibals on the planet shows up and asks for a handout, a Harvard diploma, a Baywatch looking GF, and, oh yeah can you come fight my wars and ethnic battles for me, pleeeeeeaze racist white man? I mean, from the looks of things, the Germans seem determined to attempt American example despite the obvious drawbacks; hopefully they don’t talk you into invading anyone. I think Thilo Sarrazin already pointed out that your strategy of importing a tribe of fruit merchants and hairdressers isn’t likely to be a long term success.

          Socialism in the US is about as likely to work as anything else in the US; nobody here likes anyone else, and the taxation required to fund it is mostly an exercise in low level ethnic warfare, like pretty much everything else in the place. America is presently run in the same way the British empire used to be run: the people in charge use ethnies against each other. Not any different than how the Raj worked, or how they used Indians and Chinese against the native Malays. This would be fine (though unpleasant) if our “elites” were competent as the Raj elites were, but affirmative action has rendered them almost completely incompetent as well, and one can’t even point their lack of competence out any more without being denounced as a loathsome scoundrel for noticing things.

          Don’t get me wrong; I think Germany is great and present-day America is terrible, but I suspect our vaunted “frontier mentality” is one of the few things keeping the place ticking over, rather than a source of problems. Certainly life is a whole lot more pleasant in the “frontier” places like Texas and New Hampshire than it is in the advanced socialist utopia of California, which can’t even prevent forest fires any longer for fear of offending environmentalist nincompoops.

  7. electricangel said, on June 21, 2020 at 4:39 am

    I think you knew this in 2009, when you wrote about the USA of 1959 and how that might have been its peak year, at TakiMag. I’ve not been concerned with black looters, but I’m fully in favor of shooting every white rioter and arsonist.

    • asciilifeform said, on June 22, 2020 at 1:57 am

      Might work better to leave the rioters alive — and instead shoot the folks who point them to burn random shops instead of e.g. Goldman Sachs or Harvard.

  8. anonymous said, on June 21, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    What is your exit strategy? What are you working towards? I’m not being sarcastic, I genuinely want to know what people like you (people who seem intelligent and aware of the world) see as opportunities and dangers (and why) for building an individual life worth living.

    • Bruce said, on June 22, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      I’d bet most of your serious readers are curious about this, although I could easily imagine that’s something you’d want to keep close to the vest and answer indirectly if at all.

  9. Rickey said, on June 22, 2020 at 1:09 am

    Mr. Locklin,
    As I was reading your article, these thoughts that were unearthed from my mind dungeon.

    One of the reasons we are no longer building or innovating is that the high IQ persons are following the money. Why schlep as an engineer or scientist making only six figures when you can go into the financial services industry making seven. Put that math or physics degree to manipulating other persons savings or money created by the Federal Reserve and developing software and systems to perform those functions on an industrial scale. I have a nephew who went from engineering to working for Wells Fargo and a neighbor who was a physics professor who moved to Malaysia to develop international transaction software.

    The MBA mandarins are not sharks. They are lampreys that suck the life out of a business until there is nothing left and then move on to the next host. At least a shark has to hunt and put effort into obtaining its nourishment.

    Why invest billions of dollars in a chip fabrication or any other manufacturing plant which will only give you limited returns since you are dealing with actual materials and hardware that must be processed and physically handled. It is much less risky and vastly more profitable to throw much smaller amounts into gaming, entertainment, social media, etc. software to become the next Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc. Streaming and storing bits is much less expensive than actually manufacturing a product.

    I used to live in Ohio but now I live in southern Mississippi. Persons like to mock “redneck” culture but they do not put up with any social nonsense. Even after hurricane Katrina, there was almost no residential looting and the commercial looting was minimal compared to the New Orleans area. Posting signs saying “You loot. We shoot.” tends to moderate negative behavioral impulses. Also, many blacks and lower income whites tend to have similar jobs and work alongside one another so “white privilege” is not really a thing down here.

    When I was in high school, vocational education was a socially acceptable and respected option for students. Back then, persons knew that not everyone had to go to college to be successful. For some reason now, even skilled laborers are considered “dumb” persons who could not handle college even though the electrician or automotive mechanic make more money and have much better problem solving ability than the assistant manager in some cubicle farm with a four year degree.

    I think the two main problems that our American society now have is that government elected officials and career bureaucrats at separated from the private sector and do not have a clue on what it takes to run a private business that must attract customers and make payroll. Money is manna that magically appears every fiscal year whether or not you are productive or accomplish anything. This is the reason they do not have a problem indefinitely extending the WuFlu lockdown since it has absolutely no financial effect on them. The second one is that we federally subsidize laziness and stupidity when persons can make more money or receive more benefits not working and making bad decisions. Dropping out of high school, having multiple children out of wedlock, working a minimum wage job is for chumps, no problem!, the welfare state will compensate your bad luck and oppression.

    • asciilifeform said, on June 22, 2020 at 2:17 am

      > Persons like to mock “redneck” culture but they do not put up with any social nonsense. Even after hurricane Katrina, there was almost no residential looting and the commercial looting was minimal compared to the New Orleans area. Posting signs saying “You loot. We shoot.” tends to moderate negative behavioral impulses.

      Now if only they also knew how to shoot the other kind of looter, the kind in suits — the ones who mass-evicted them from their houses in 2008–present, drive them into six-figure “medical debt” from broken leg, or their children into similarly six-figure “college debt”, or the ones who tax small biz at 50+%, etc.

  10. Anonymous said, on June 22, 2020 at 8:03 am

    This very much reminds me of the ‘the Russia we lost’ wonks who obsess over the destruction of the Russian Empire by the Bolsheviks. They like to mention all those scientists/engineers/etc who got murdered or had to flee but very much dislike being reminded that this upper crust ecosystem was sustained by systemic oppression of everybody else. And I wouldn’t care much if membership in that ‘everybody else’ class wasn’t largely hereditary. Personally, as I’m watching the US Empire slowly and painfully collapse and people who can still build things weep, I grin. I’ve lived in US-touched shitholes, I know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of American greatness. Pass me another cup of coffee, please. Yes, with cream.

    That being said, this collapse of a centralized system just as any collapse of any other centralized system teaches that as a builder you can’t get away with not taking care of the basics. Hyperspecialized division of labor *does* *not* *work*. I mean, it can work in the short term, maybe you’ll even die before the end of that term, but running away from responsibility to feed, shelter, and defend yourself always leads to a disaster. All these academic folks who bitch about funding, cancel culture, etc — they all made their bed. In general, the broader middle-class-ish intellectual community now complaining about institutional incompetence — they all are their own ‘evil buratinos’. It was *their* idea that e.g. a scientist should science and everything else should be outsourced because it’s too much work, too distracting from planning the next collider, and not fashionable because too blue-collar. As someone actively climbing out of this pit I can tell all of this is true but I’m just a lone guy more or less. They had their professional orgs, their milieus, an economic foundation that could undergird an effort to automate the basics away so that scientists could science while not bowing to the bureaucrat or feeling threatened by a street junkie. So I’m *very* glad this system is being dismantled because it finally pushes those who are still capable to face the physical reality where food doesn’t come from a grocery store and collaboration and conflict resolution have to be done peer-to-peer. Unfortunately, few will learn their lesson, most will simply leave for greener pastures hoping to die before those collapse as well.

    • Toddy Cat said, on July 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      And of course, there was no systematic oppression under the Bolsheviks. That there are still apologists for this Red lunacy is at least as discouraging as the looting and economic stagnation; and of course, it’s related.

      I’m glad that the destruction of my country pleases you so. But as Leonard Cohen (no flag waver himself) once put it, “you aren’t going to like what cones after America”. I wish you joy of it.

      • Anonymous said, on July 3, 2020 at 10:18 pm

        > And of course, there was no systematic oppression under the Bolsheviks. That there are still apologists for this Red lunacy is at least as discouraging as the looting and economic stagnation; and of course, it’s related.

        Did your brain short-circuit or did you really see Bolshevik support in my post? If the latter I want a proof, if the former — fuck off.

        > I’m glad that the destruction of my country pleases you so. But as Leonard Cohen (no flag waver himself) once put it, “you aren’t going to like what cones after America”. I wish you joy of it.

        What will come after America is probably China which is yet another empire. Also some regional wannabe empires like Russia and Turkey. And yes, I’m gonna like their destruction too. The suffering of those who oppose empires is necessary for their spiritual and technological growth, the suffering of bootlickers is simply well deserved.

  11. CT said, on June 22, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    The major question is how this non-building society reacts to a major military defeat, like the sinking of an aircraft carrier to the like. A defeat like this is coming, and probably in the next decade. I believe it will cause a psychological break among the messianic Robespierre types.

    • Scott Locklin said, on June 24, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Pretty sure dipshits aren’t going to stop policing productive people’s twitter feeds for ideological deviations if they blow up a US aircraft carrier. In fact, I’d posit they’ll do it all the more. The deranged neocon types are unlikely to change either.

      • maggette said, on June 26, 2020 at 11:13 am

        Is neocon still a recognizable force in Washington? Or the US population in general? Sure there are were some hawkish elements who tried to sneak into the administration of the Orange Man (Bolton). It’s hard to tell from the outside. Are they still relevant?

        • Scott Locklin said, on June 26, 2020 at 3:27 pm

          They are in the summits of power and influence in DC, the media, the CIA, State Department, the FBI and both political parties. I’d say they have about 70% unquestioned support on the MSNBC “left” who see Russian spies everywhere and 40-50% on the “right.” It used to be the opposite, but the eye of propaganda Sauron moved away from the right to the left in 2008 when the occupy protests started, and people like me started pulling on the strings on the right and suggesting common sense reforms. Actually left wing people call them “neoliberals” when they’re democrats but it’s exactly the same thing as neoconservatism; they take bribes from the same people and are often even related or married to the self-declared neocons (Nuland Kagan family, Carville Matalin, etc) . Usually the “neoliberals” phrase their foreign adventurism as fighting the evil Russians, but bombing countries for “humanitarian” reasons is also popular. If you didn’t notice Samantha Power, Clinton and Nuland-Kagan’s shennanegins under Obama, you weren’t paying attention.

          These people have no real constituency in the population and never did: they serve finance capital, the MIC, and foreign national interests. I’d say the regular population consistently votes against the empire and for peace and normality and US national interests (aka the last 3 presidents: Bush-2, Obama and Trump were explicitly against new foreign adventures in their campaigns -only Trump has delivered so far), but I guess they get showed the Grassy Knoll videos once they’re in the white house and end up toeing the uniparty line. It is these people I refer to when I say “lizards.” It’s spawned a real social class with a real ideology. Go talk to a DC mandarin some time; 3rd assistant secretaries of state will all have precisely the same pro-empire, pro-outsourcing views. It’s like lizards put a giant suction cup on their heads when they got hired and removed all rational thought and replaced it with the gibberings of WaPo columnists.

          I look at 2016 Bernie Sanders (who I voted for then and now) as representing the authentic left, though he’s been subverted by woke cancel culture (which is extremely useful for getting rid of troublemakers for the uniparty). I also look at 1992 Pat Buchanan, of which 2016 Trump was an imperfect reflection, as being the actual, organic right. Either one of them is vastly better than the uniparty octopus. The common people in the uniparty need to either swear allegiance to a different ideology or be sent to pick potatoes; they unfortunately presently make up the majority of the US Government, and are actively working towards subverting the remaining pockets of resistance in the power centers of the US (military mid-level to lower management, the NSA and local constabulary).

          • maggette said, on June 26, 2020 at 4:15 pm

            Thanks for the POV. That’s pretty dark. I did see some quite hawkish tendencies in some of Obama actually policy actions (quite confronting to Putin, a cold shoulder to “La Grande Nation” since thy have their own ideas..), but back then didn’t follow US policy close enough. But these fit the pattern. So yes, I didn’t pay any attention. The swing of the “neoconservative” to the left is kind of an interesting idea.

            Could you name 1 or 2 books where some of the lizards present their ideology (I guess some manifesto type publication should exist)?

            It’s scary, I think that a couple of guys I kind of admire are probably part of the cult.

            • Scott Locklin said, on June 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm

              Lol manifesto: you are soooo …. cheeerman. These aren’t people who manfully state their principles for public approbation; it’s a bunch of shitheads who descend from the Antlanticists who defeated your people in WW-2 and attend the same colleges, conferences and yak-head-wearing Epstein blackmail sex orgies under the mountain or whatever it is they do for fun.

              I’m sure Cass Sunstein/Sam Power or Kissenger or whatever mandarin have a book that fits the description, and everyone basically believes what PNAC stated in the 90s. Go look at some Brookings institute pablum: exactly the same shit, except for democrat party, which makes it …. soooo much better.

              I am, believe it or not, prominent, cool or ugly enough I get to talk to state department flunkies and policy makers for “both” political parties: every last one of them toes the ideological line. If they didn’t look like some rainbow coalition, you could imagine them all being pressed from the same mold in a factory somewhere. I assume it’s because you don’t get a job if you don’t believe this crap, or at least it doesn’t look real attractive doing stuff like overthrowing Ukraine’s government or making Uganda more gay unless you believe this gorp.

        • Bobby Babylon said, on July 3, 2020 at 8:03 am

          Pssst… From a former neocon:

          You want the chapter “The White Overclass and the Racial Spoils System”

          • Scott Locklin said, on July 4, 2020 at 8:02 pm

            Not terrible for a 1995 view of things. I think Paul Fussell had a better view of those times. Things have obviously changed in the last 25 years, and the upper middle managerial caste are considerably more incompetent and evil and convinced of their own rectitude. For example thanks to the miracle of covid induced government zoom meetings, we can skip around here in the minutes of the NYC Community Education Council for Manhattan District 2 working business meeting:

            I dunno how Andreessen can imagine a “culture that builds” run by a managerial social class of evil lunatics like this, yet that’s where we’re at. These are all managerial class and aspirants making decisions about an elite school district in the country’s greatest city. The folkways they display are not only accepted and given the highest deference; veto power over everything else even. You’ll see this imbecile spectacle played out in corporate boardrooms, government agencies, office jobs and so on all over the country. How does a “culture that builds” allow this? Pretty sure that’s not possible. Those people either need to be put in a funny farm where they can’t bother anybody, or put on a raft and pushed out to sea. Instead, America puts them in charge of everything. I mean, you can have a “culture that builds.” Those people can’t even be an accepted part of it, let alone the ruling sector of it. Look at the hollow eyed lunacy there. Imagine trying to do something sane like tweak industrial policy when people like this are running things. Pretty simple observation; no rocket science or abstruse theory involved. Most people somehow can’t admit the fact that people like this are evil and crazy. They’ll go on accepting this as normal, laudable behavior, rather than endemic incipient mental illness.

            • Bobby Babylon said, on July 5, 2020 at 6:35 am

              I’m just reading the synopsis on Wikipedia for Class: A Guide Through the American Status System and it already seems savage.

              I saw a part of that video earlier on /pol/. I think its suspect. A lot of these things that have been coming out in the past 2 years just seem suspect. Like when the lady was bawling about the black child in the non-black man’s lap around minute 27 (when I stopped watching), or when Edward Irizarry was speaking. They all sound like poorly voice-acted anime villains. It has to be fake. That shit can’t be real. A lot of suspect shit has been happening. I don’t just mean the magical bricks appearing out of nowhere.

              Hub City Riot Ninja appearing out of nowhere. Where they come from? I’m not believing that there is some Great Sorosian Conspiracy to destroy the West, but how is that morals and standards are changing so fast?

              Now I have no idea what it is these people are protesting, or what their end goal/objective is. But then again, you have to have some idea of how to build things in order to get to an end result in the first place.

              You’ll see this imbecile spectacle played out in corporate boardrooms, government agencies, office jobs, and so on all over the country.

              I refuse to believe this. But then again the last time I was in the United States was in early 2015 for a few months, over in Berkeley California, so things may have changed since then.

              Instead, America puts them in charge of everything. I mean, you can have a “culture that builds.” Those people can’t even be an accepted part of it, let alone the ruling sector of it.

              See, this is the big question I have. You say “America” put them in charge. But that feels like a cop-out. Now, while I do believe that the people in said videos were playacting, that does not excuse the fact that Anglo-American Civilization is facing some very serious, very existential problems. Now, by my telling, there are 24-25 years between Lind’s book and now. What happened to make people go from Lasch era Narcisissim, to whatever is infecting the elite our Civilization currently?

              When it comes to building, there is a lot that is going on – in Minecraft, Fortnite, and other virtual havens. Much of what is going on with computing just feels like techniques to addict the younger generation – ship them off to the Matrix if you will. Just instead of battery power, they give up their info to analytics firms. The mass proliferation of ubiquitous porno, online videogames, combined with the breakdown of civil associations and the two-parent family basically means that children are being raised by “nerd dildos.” Never mind the previous generation (ie, me)who basically went through a less advanced version of the same. I just hope to God that post-Corona, we see a switch from the virtual world to more relevant stuff in mechanics and electronics, etc.

              One thing I wonder – if Farnsworth had invented Television today, how many patent minefields would he have had dandily trespassed in without knowing? Much more BBS with the transistor?

              Most of the obstacles, I see, to building a builder (producerist society) lay in the current legal frameworks, inability to access capital for simpler type projects (see proper cheap spacelaunch and space manufacturing, new nuclear power) and just the weird-ass social atomization that has taken place in much of Anglo-America. Hopefully, when trump wins again, he’ll actually do some leading this time.

              P.S.

              ☢ More array language posts. Shakti maybe? And has happened to Kerf?
              ☢ Any coming posts on Topological Data Analysis? That would be good to read.
              ☢ Six to One odds Ghislaine dies from COVID-19 (ahem) in the next three months.

              Have a good one.

              • Scott Locklin said, on July 5, 2020 at 4:50 pm

                Most of the protagonists in that video have twitters and appear to be real people who really believe the insane things they say. I mean, every day people who haven’t been paying attention to such things …. notice. For example; I guess classics scholars are canceling, like classical scholarship now: https://quillette.com/2019/02/26/how-i-was-kicked-out-of-the-society-for-classical-studies-annual-meeting/

                The lunatics are definitely in charge of the asylum. Some large fraction, maybe even a majority of the country, is still reasonably sane. But as long as they defer to people like this, effectively putting mentally ill nihilists in charge, nothing will get better.

            • David Peterson said, on July 13, 2020 at 4:43 am

              Something I can’t wrap my head around: you clearly discern the evil, crazy, hollow-eyed lunacy, and yet you voted for Bernie.

              I perceive Bernie as a chief enabler of this type of lunacy, and certainly not a leader who would foster a culture that builds.

              Am I wrong? Can you make a case that a President Sanders would demote the lunatics, and steer us in the direction of being a culture that builds?

              • Scott Locklin said, on July 13, 2020 at 10:55 am

                You ever been to Vermont?

                • David Peterson said, on July 14, 2020 at 7:16 am

                  Yes. Vermont is quaint, and increasingly populated by NY Community Education Council-style lunatics.

                  Senators Sanders and Leahy represent 623,989 Vermonters. I.e., each Vermonter has 40 times as much representation in the Senate as each Californian, so the state punches above its weight when it comes to receiving federal pork.

                  Despite that, Vermont is below average in the Gross State Product per Capita ranking. Vermont ranks about the same as Michigan, despite not being weighted down by the blight of Detroit. https://inflateyourmind.com/macroeconomics/unit-3/section-4-per-capita-gross-state-product/ https://tinyurl.com/detroith

                  As the lunatics run Vermont’s economy into the ground, Vermonters won’t have the means to maintain their quaint old buildings, even if they wanted to. And as more of them become convinced that those buildings are symbols of white privilege, they won’t want to.

                  In 1985, Sanders hosted Daniel Ortega and a pro-Sandinista rally in Burlington. He would later travel to Nicaragua and praise the new government there. He hasn’t mentioned that in recent years, which is wise, as at least 568 people have been killed while protesting Ortega. https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190404/461451211715/ong-establece-en-568-el-numero-de-muertos-en-crisis-de-nicaragua.html

                  Now for a few choice paragraphs from Thomas Gelsthorpe, who can turn a phrase better than I.

                  “Like most of rural New England, population barely budged from 1850 to 1960, as farm kids decamped for cities. From the 1960s until 2000, it grew rapidly as migrants from eastern metros converged on this antique, no-growth paradise. In effect, Vermont became an exurb for dilettantes living their ‘Thoreau phase’ until fierce winters and cramped opportunities scratch the shine off the northern apple.

                  “Today’s most famous Vermonters are Age of Aquarius in-migrants. Anti-carbon fanatic Bill McKibben of Palo Alto, California, fumes about cutting global fossil fuels by 95 percent, to less than half the per-capita consumption of Bangladesh, then converting world energy to tens of millions of acres of solar panels and windmills — but without using fire to do it? Meanwhile his adopted Vermont has regressed from lowest carbon-intensive state to one of the highest, by closing its only nuclear power plant.

                  “East Hampton, New York, preppy transplant and former governor Howard Dean has regular public meltdowns, recently threatening to exile national Republicans to Russia. Brooklyn-born septuagenarian, Sen. Bernie Sanders, spouts New Left mantras like Mario Savio raging at Berkeley undergraduates 50 years ago.

                  “Vermont is quaint, pretty and anachronistic, casting a small shadow, I hope.”

                  Over to you – looking forward to you making a case that Bernie would demote the lunatics and promote a culture that builds.

              • George W. said, on July 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm

                Beats me too, but he is not a “chief enabler” per se. He is one of the only authentic politicians left in congress. Bernie has good takes on many issues like foreign policy, trade, ending corruption, etc. Still, he is not well versed in economics–at all–he/his team supports national rent control.

                Also…

                ^I know people who followed this advice. I also know businesses that are struggling to find employees because of it. The unemployment increase was negotiated by the democrats, including sen. Sanders.

                I can’t completely rebut his “for-all” programs (which kinda sound reasonable), but medicare for all cannot fix the US health care system by itself, which is plagued by the patent system, low supply of doctors, lobbyists, pharmaceutical monopolies and most importantly, a massively unhealthy population. MAYBE Sanders would have done something to address those issues, personally, I have no idea what he would do.

                What if we got the worst of both worlds? Rent control, but ridiculous zoning laws that prevent new construction. College for all, but no distinction between engineering majors and gender studies majors. Reduced military spending, but continuation of endless wars (or vice versa). Green new deal, but no new nuclear energy reactors.

                @Scott Locklin
                What did you see in Sanders campaign, specifically, that would make America a culture that builds again?, aside from Vermont being one of the top 5 states in the US.

                • chiral3 said, on July 14, 2020 at 12:07 pm

                  I am not sure what we could say about Sanders’ record as it relates to VT proper. Green Mountain state is beautiful, made more beautiful being framed by opioid-addled rust-belt wastelands, and not terribly different than it was prior to Bernie’s arrival. His record touches nationally / globally. He’s very authentic but a bit too edgy for the fly-over states. I suspect that is Biden’s appeal: as demented as he appears and sounds, he’s not terribly polar, a nice and palatable shift the voter base can accept relative to Trump. He’ll bring back the Sam Power and the Donilon types to do the real work but the average low-information voter will not even know who these people are.

  12. anonymous said, on June 26, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    I wasn’t inclined to take Andreesen’s original piece at face value. It struck much more as a strategic pep-talk than a serious reflection on the current state of affairs. Andreesen asks “why can’t 100,000 or 1 million students a year attend Harvard?.” He’s a smart guy; I think he knows the answer. The fact that he can’t state it is as bad an indictment of our anarcho-tyrannical regime as anything else.

    If one is inclined to think America cannot “build” now, but that America can coast along for the next century on residual geopolitical and human capital—I think they are sorely mistaken. A society that is invested against its own children AKA the future isn’t stagnant, it’s broken. Countries where foreign oligarchs prop up non-profits running extortion schemes on any corporation that won’t buckle to anti-natal agendas under the guise of stopping hate speech are countries that will not successfully maintain power. Nations too busy violently vacationing in Asia hauling working-class jobs along with them to teach their children not to tear down historical monuments are done—finished. Regimes where honest discussions of such failures are restricted to mostly anonymous conversations on weird corners of the interest are doomed and they deserve it.

  13. Societe De Café said, on July 3, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Pining for the fjords.

  14. Bobby Babylon said, on July 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

    OK. What comes next? Michael Lind and the American National School actually have some good ideas. Same with Matt Stoller, though they oppose each other at times.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/hub-city-riot-ninjas

    The above is Lind on the type of people who do not build. But how do you create people who do build?

    • sigterm said, on July 4, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Testosterone, training, education. Why, respectively: ambition, whether in scientific research or business is the hunter instinct sublimated (Spengler); skills and confidence are needed; any important task is a team effort, so civilized behaviour (coop-coop outcomes on instances of the prisoner problem) is needed.

  15. SteveC said, on July 5, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Agree with the sentiment, but this article contains no mention of the unions or public schools that make Western labor less competitive. It is fashionable in the West to say “college is a waste”, but Asians are serious about education from start to finish.

    And then there is the US Drug War. Black markets are inherently wasteful, and incarcerating your population is not a great way to make them productive.

  16. Tom Henderson said, on July 6, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I take this article as a huge contrarian indicator.

    Armies amassing on borders are over, war as we know it is done.

    The USA will boom.

    • Scott Locklin said, on July 7, 2020 at 12:10 am

      Bold for a New Yorker. I’d offer you a side wager, but you’ve already bet with your feet, and I can respect that.

  17. Web Guy said, on July 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    If it is too far gone to stay and fight, where should we go? Compared to W. Europe, where you can get jail time for saying the wrong thing, or leaving a bacon sandwich in the wrong place, we’re still in an ok position to fight back. Maybe Russia, but like you said, who knows how much of their renaissance rests on old Putin’s shoulders? Could re-colonize some armpit of Africa, though we’d have to contend with the Chinese there eventually. Latin America? Maybe…

    You gave us the blackpill, but we are a readership of degenerate western dorkaloids. We need a happy ending. Where’s my happy ending?

    • Scott Locklin said, on July 7, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      I’m just pointing out we can’t have factories and space colonies when we can’t even prevent barbarian city sackers, MBA looters and twitter Robespierres making all important decisions in the country. First step in solving a problem is admitting you have a problem.

      I’m not a politician: I’m just the guy pointing out the obvious. Seems obvious to me! Don’t know why other nerds think we can tweak industrial policy and everything will come out OK.

      • Web Guy said, on July 7, 2020 at 8:20 pm

        Considering your “NYC Community Education Council” video, serving on such a thing must be like slow death to getters of shit done. Given the nature of modernity, everything is a council now–whether it’s the school board, the IETF, or the federal reserve.

        Perhaps civilization can be saved. Not through exodus or armed confrontation, but by sitting down with the obese lesbians twice a month to eat that 1h25m shit sandwich–instead of just yielding the high ground. I think it might work because I know it will hurt. My God will it hurt.

    • maggette said, on July 7, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      I am from Western Europe, Germany to be precise, and it is true that you are not allowed to deny the holocaust here or hoist the 3rd Reich Swastika flag without legal consequences, but other than that you are pretty much allowed to say whatever you want. We have a multi-party system here, you are actually allowed to choose between more than two positions when it comes to political stuff.

      Of course that implies other people are allowed to call you an idiot for saying stupid stuff. That is what many “free speech” people often mistake as “not being allowed to say what you think”.

      With some exceptions, most Germans regard “PC culture” as common sense: it is a good idea to try NOT offend people. That is how decent grown ups try to act.

      Sometimes I think some Americans should take a step back and probably…just mayyybeee…not take themselves so preposterous serious.

      You are welcome to join. You just need to leave your gun at home. But we offer affordable health care in exchange :).

      • EggplantSystems said, on July 7, 2020 at 9:03 pm

        man was sentenced to 1-yr in britain for leaving a bacon sandwich at a mosque. zemmour was fined 3000 euros for accusing muslims of colonizing france.

        if germans think that’s all good, none of our business–you gotta do you. in the usa, we have a first amendment to say what needs to be said, a second amendment to defend it with, and would very much like to keep it that way.

      • Scott Locklin said, on July 7, 2020 at 10:27 pm

        Germany is definitely doing better on civic society than the UK and US for the moment. Of course, this is mostly because y’awl were a craptastical hellscape shit sandwich between 1915 and 1990. It feels like I visit the society of the future when I visit; hopefully you continue to learn from recent history.

        • maggette said, on July 8, 2020 at 8:59 am

          That*s an interesting thought that crossed my mind many times. My forefathers torched the earth with fire and it needed not one but two superpowers to beat us to our senses again. After that our hippies (68er generation) really pushed nationalist and fascist sentiment out of law, university, government and rest of society. The few nationalist elements we still have are always pointing out that we don’t have any national pride. The vast majority of our country (myself included) thinks that is actually an improvement. Sometimes I think: maybe the spanking and hitting the reset button was a healthy exercise?

          On the other hand: New Zeland, South Korea, Singapore and of course the scandic countries outperform Germany in most aspects. So maybe it is not a necessary step to become a fascist shithole with super-inflation and extreme debt?

          An like you said: at present Germany looks fine, but the wolves are lurking. They are a minority, but chat rooms are full of their dreams to grab for power and “rise” again. The test of time is still on

          @EggplantSystem:
          I think you are confusing your libertarian fantasy with your home country (or any society for that matter). Almost all countries have free speech listed in the top 5 of their constitution. Every country also has laws that provide some ammunition against defamation. The US has them too. These laws actually predate your constitution.

          The US has the highest incarceration rate or all nations. By far. So there are obviously a lot of ways to loose your freedom in the land of the free. And you are obviously not doing a good job on the “none of your business thingy” as well (https://geographicalimaginations.com/tag/us-military-bases/).

          IMHO the us has become a nation of narcissist drama queens,that mistake nationalism with patriotism and freedom with “things have to be the way I like it”.

          Fat guys armed and dressed up as ODA operators are not defending anybodies freedom. Like you said, IMHO sitting down with the fat lesbian ( or the fat “minute men” impersonator) are the way to save the nation.

          The first thing to solve a problem is admitting to have one. America has been abusing its power as “leader of the free world”. No question. But still I would really really like to have that power around and functional as an counterweight to China. So please: get your shit together :).

          • Web Guy said, on July 8, 2020 at 9:24 am

            > libertarian fantasy

            1st Amendment American Reality

            > Almost all countries have free speech listed in the top 5 of their constitution.

            I wouldn’t count being fined 3,000 euro for bitching about immigration “free speech.” But again, I’m not German, so you do you.

            > a nation of narcissist drama queens

            Instead of judging us from the abominations in media, and scribblings of resentful wine aunts at WaPo and NYT, come visit flyover country. Come hunt, fish, drive around in an SUV, and watch “The Apprentice” with Bubba in his 3,200sqft McMansion. We know we aren’t perfect, and wield power which exceeds our own good judgement, but the bitterness in your reply would not withstand first-hand experience.

            • maggette said, on July 8, 2020 at 9:37 am

              Fair enough. I know more than 20 but less than 50 americans well. The vast majority of them served in the military or were civil contractors for the military over here.

              I have friends Montana and hope I can travel there in the future.

              • Web Guy said, on July 8, 2020 at 9:48 am

                > The vast majority of them served in the military or were civil contractors for the military

                There’s the problem! No one is going to trash-talk his own gravy train. People engaged in production over here are just as eager for us to get out of everybody else’s business as you are–if not more so. You Germans only have to suffer our neocon spiritual deformities. We have to pay them. Think of how demoralizing that is.

              • maggette said, on July 8, 2020 at 9:53 am

                But I hold my ground on the fact that your society isn’t more free than any other “western country”.

                You get fined in Germany for speech integral to illegal conduct or speech that incites imminent lawless action and true threats.

                After 10 minutes of internet research it turns out your country as almost EXACTLY the same laws and same exceptions when it comes to resriction of free speech (“false state of fact”, “fighting words”) and even some stuff that is handled much less strict over here (Obsecenty).

                Every society has rules that restrict personal freedoms.

                I keep at it; a country that has an incarceration rate that of more than 600 per 100K is not free.

                And I will never watch the apprentice.

                • Web Guy said, on July 8, 2020 at 10:01 am

                  > After 10 minutes of internet research

                  Ok

                  > a country that has an incarceration rate that of more than 600 per 100K is not free

                  You need to come and visit! If the apprentice isn’t your cup of tea, ask Bubba if you can borrow his SUV. Drive up to Chicago, and experience the magic our big cities have to offer.

                  • maggette said, on July 8, 2020 at 10:15 am

                    Alright. I will shut the f*** up until I gathered on site data 🙂

                • Candide III said, on September 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm

                  American incarceration rate per capita is as high as it is solely because America has a large fraction of blaqs. Germany doesn’t (yet). Enjoy it while it lasts.

                  • maggette said, on September 16, 2020 at 6:27 pm

                    ???
                    I am sorry. But how on earth do people come up with stuff like that? I mean do you really believe something like that? Did you care to check at least SOME data?

                    If I ignore all african american inmates (about 475K) and just look at the white inmates (400K) the US is still closer to Belarus, Jemen and other oppressive nations. And worse than China.

                    And light years away (by magnitude of 3) from civilized nations like Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden or even France or UK.

                    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/30/shrinking-gap-between-number-of-blacks-and-whites-in-prison/

          • Scott Locklin said, on July 8, 2020 at 6:50 pm

            See, I don’t feel any desire to lecture Germans on what precise degree of self flagellation is required, but Weimar and East Germany both seemed like pretty fucked up places/times while managing to be pretty non-nationalistic. FWIIW both Singapore and South Korea are *insanely* nationalistic: Singapore even uses the Mosleyan (British Fascist) thunderbolt in the PAP flag. Maybe Germans are nature’s own dickheads and require constant berating, but other countries seem to indicate there is a middle ground between national suicide and Hitler. Just pointing it out: I don’t live in a futuristic country like yours; if you think constant self flagellation is necessary to avoid invading France, I guess I’ll take your word for it.

            > Almost all countries have free speech listed in the top 5 of their constitution.

            Yeah, gee I wonder where they got that idea? I mean, might it have something to do with having their cities flattened by a country whose constitution had this idea baked into it 200 years ago? Naaaah; I’m sure it’s just a coincidence and they all thought it up on their own.

            Particularly recommend the hot link at 1985 seconds:

            • maggette said, on July 9, 2020 at 7:14 am

              Hi,
              I don’t believe it is necessary. I already mentioned Sweden, Norway (which is pretty nationalistic), Singapore (who think they can lecture the whole world on how a modern society should look like), Denmark…and New Zeland and Australia is don’g alright without being bombed by nobody.

              It is no question that the US has been the role model for the free world. One of my grandpas was too young to really serve in the military and served as a “FLAK Helfer” (Anti Aircraft Gun assistant…carrying ammunition to 4 x 20mm AA guns). In the last days of the war he got drafted into the “Volkssturm” and handed a rile, 6 rounds of ammunition and a peace of paper that he should join with some army element that were fighting (or retreating from) the red army.

              Indoctrinated as he was he followed orders and he and his buddy marched east. There was a road block with some grizzled Wehrmacht veteran standing guard. They showed him their marching order. He looked at them and said: “Boys, are you crazy, throw that stupid rifle in the ditch, get rid of the uniform, avoid SS and “Kettenhunde ” (military police) and march 20 miles north west, there is “der Ami” (the Americans). Go there and surrender to them.”

              And so they did. After roughly 20 miles they came to a bombed out house, The furniture had been brought outside in case the building collapses. There was the first american soldier, sitting outside on a sofa and shooting and air pressure gun he found on some empty food cans. Obviously confident an unworried of his surrounding.

              They were scared as shit but walked up to him, saluted and told him in broken English that they were surrendering. Even close before his death my grandpa said he would never forget his reaction, he laughed out loud but friendly, smiled and saluted back, padded them on their back, gave em some cookies and pointed them the way to the POW camp and told them not to worry. My grandpa said never ever somebody told him “not to worry. That was when the war was really over for me and I felt save”.

              That’s the picture of US I grew up with.

              • Scott Locklin said, on July 10, 2020 at 2:23 pm

                I guess that’s a nice anecdote, and one which I heard before (in Germany and South Korea) but you’re missing the substance of my point, which I’ll spell out:

                1) Nationalism isn’t really a problem, and you should probably listen to some of those people rather than demonizing them. The present dynamic is so bad, if nationalists suggested better roads, the rest of you would go around creating potholes to spite them. Some of the things they flag as problems really are problems!

                2) Most countries, including yours, are to a large degree, basically American colonies. Anglos have been doing it for 400 years: it’s the oldest street scam in the book -the forced hand. Germany gets any leader they care to elect, as long as it’s one of the approved/controlled parties that won’t rock the boat and that will ultimately do as they are told by the Embassy: just like the Mayor in the video (and just like what happens in the US, where we are so far gone we elect actual actors to be the face of our “elite”). It’s fairly subtle compared to what the Soviets were doing. But also obvious. Why do you think all those South American countries became “democracies” overnight in the 90s? Very few of them actually have a say in anything, or any kind of autonomy, and the ones that do (presently limited to Venezuela; our lizards were patient with Ecuador) are punished. Historically this hasn’t been terrible for the average person; fewer people disappear in the middle of the night under such subtle methods, though more probably die of violent crime, but as the US “elite” rots from the head down, y’awl are likely to see …. changes.

  18. Cameron said, on July 8, 2020 at 1:05 am

    I tend to agree with your sentiment but I’m not shipping out yet. In the same manner in which the tides are rolling against us, they can be reversed. It’s disappointing to see so many men I respect admit defeat. I see it as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the time when this country needs our good men and women the most, many are surrendering. Stick around, Scott. If nothing else, keep posting.

  19. chiral3 said, on July 10, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Late to the discussion. Great post Scott.

    These things have really long arcs, mainly due to how the money works. Oddly, if China doesn’t doesn’t implode by timing out during their nth 5-year plan, their approach may be ideally suite to the situation. Time scales something north of “US like” and something south of Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. Of course if something EurAsian happens, not just technologically, but financial-systemy, in the next decade or so, this will accelerate both the falls and ascensions.

    I’m a bit more goldilox on how it plays out. Something less severe than the US version of some Maoist-agrarian move to send youth to the Dakotas to grow potatoes and sleep in the dirt would be that Gen Z and AA and AB neither can nor want to live like their parents. Expectations about living come down and the consumption model is ditched for something more sustainable. I think these kids will want to make something (more complex than hats and t-shirts, sorry veterans….) and the MBA is dead, thank god. What’s left after this private equity run times out?

    There’s a parallel anthropological observation: a few people wander around PNW for years. Fuck, die, Fuck, die. Third generation sets up shop on river. Fish river. Sell fish. Save money. Buy boat. More fish. More boats. Hire workers. Enter management. In this regard this cycle happens everywhere all the time. It’s just so uninteresting the way its happened in the US, watching all this helpless little children walk around ogling clothing and devices and tiktok. Imagine some weird pocket of kids that all they want to do is design and build tube amplifiers. I suppose that would translate to other skills better.

    Anyway I digress. I like the other poster’s comment about cf Russia. Although so much of that position today was built on bluffing and luck it’s hard for me to see a perfect translation to the US predicament.

    This is trite, but I agree with McRaven (“…education”). Producing these delicate, psychotropic-device-addled, entertainment-consuming, sexless little robots, at least on the coasts, isn’t helping the cause. I delayed my exit plan until my kids (9 and 12) get a little older. If I never married I’d be on a lake in the mountains right now enjoying my days subsisting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: