Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's all about me!

After long days of agonized, Tourette's-styled outbursts that startled the cat and made the dog wag his tail consolingly, I have decided to go back to the drawing board and reexamine the very nature of humans. For Obama to have won this election -- whether by hook or by crook -- says far more about us as a people than it does about Obama or Romney. I have often argued that the insanity of Nazi Germany was not in Hitler, though he incited it and rode the whirlwind. No, the insanity lay in the people - their right arms lifted in salute and their voices raised in adoration.


The deep impulse in the human being to surrender his will to the force of a charismatic leader has always been with us. We are naive, or perhaps arrogant, to believe that somehow Americans in the 21st century are suddenly immune, especially when one realizes that immunity, if such a thing exists, can only be gained through an inoculation of history. Man only becomes cognizant of his dangerous tendencies when he can view the results of succumbing to them through the lens of history. Man can not see the horror of what he desires in the immediacy of the here and now.

The study of history affords the possibility of wisdom for there is no wisdom in the present moment, only desire.


One of the most consistent tactics of the left is to sever the follower from the ties of his past. "Never trust anyone over thirty." "Kill your parents." Don't look back, the left demands, for the lessons of human nature are found there. "Forward, comrade!" is always the rallying cry. The left sees nothing of value in the past because it is determined to wipe out human nature and make a new man. The wisdom of the past, the lessons learned, mean nothing. All is new. All begins with them.

This is a very seductive idea because it immediately gives those who succumb to it a heady sense of importance and unearned grandeur. When one surrenders their will, they are left with only their ego. Suddenly they are all important. No need to be anything other than here, in this moment. All else falls away as unnecessary and superfluous to the glorious vision of what awaits. FORWARD!

Besides, history is a total downer....dude....It imposes restraint and demands subordination. Who wants to accept that one simply has a place in the tapestry of humankind, that others of great stature and accomplishments have gone before you? And most importantly, that you must deny your desires because of lessons old dead guys can teach you?

Screw that.


Once the ties of history have been severed, the appeal to the ego is unrestrained. There is nothing else but one's immediate desires and sense of lofty self-importance.

It's all about me!

The charismatic leader appeals to this universal need to be important, to matter! It is so enticing. All one has to do to be transported from the smallness of one's life in the scheme of things to the heady heights of changing the world is to accept the absolution of one's sins and failures bestowed by the beloved leader, The One. All is made new. YOU are made new. There is no past. There is nothing outside the dream that he paints. LOOK FORWARD!


The beloved leader doesn't just offer absolution and a place in history beginning with you. He offers the fulfillment of all your desires. Desires that were set free with the relinquishment of human history. Cell phones, gas in your car, your mortgage paid, free healthcare, free education, free birth control (for guys, you might still have to pay to get laid...sorry...we're talking dreams here, not crazy fantasies!) You can have it all.

How great must he be? How great must YOU be? To be special enough in all of the human race - in all of history - to see and understand the uniqueness of his vision? It is your privilege to march with him to reshape it all, to rewrite the human condition, to prove that history means nothing to the joyous vision of a promised tomorrow.

Because he promised. And you're that special.


But eventually we all must wake from the dream for there is no escaping the very nature of our being. And when we do, we will realize that we created a nightmare in our attempts to deny reality. We are born human, with all our frailties, and we will die human, because of them.

As we willingly follow this new Pied Piper off the cliff, it is evident that we have learned nothing from history.

So be it.



I can't bring myself to be a donkey, but I can be a stupid, dancing zebra! Close enough.


  1. And if you point out the cult of personality to any progressive of your acquaintance you are "over-reacting" or "it's just not the same."

    God, but I'm tired. Hopefuly the prozac will kick in sooner rather than later, and I can start picking the pieces up.

    My daughter is in the other room listening to the Broadway cast album for Camelot. The reprise is more fitting right now than the opening. "Don't let it be forgot
    That once there was a spot
    For one brief shining moment that was known
    As Camelot."

  2. Worn down by the utopians and their followers. Followers willing to give up any trace of dignity and sacrifice anyone to give it to them, all for nothing but a promise that someday maybe they'll be given a little taste. I've given up hope that we're going to avoid the coming dark age. For the moment at least, you crash hard when it's taken away but hope is addictive stuff.

  3. Hi! I didn't notice the follow-up until recently about you accepting the wager I was making. Details are over here; in short, please donate one hundred dollars to the Against Malaria Foundation, and if you do not find it morally odious to do so and it's feasible, see if your employer will match it.

    Thank you for being brave enough to actually believe in what you say. It's a rare quality, and I hope things go well for you in the future.


    2. I acknowledge your obvious struggle to be nice. References like "odious" are entirely unnecessary except to reveal your true feelings.

      Actually, this is a very worthy organization and I am delighted to donate.

    3. I went back to my confirmation page link today, just to see what it would show. It's reset itself. If you don't trust my "odious" character (such a lovely word), you can find the donation on their site. I made it anonymously but made it in your name, grendelkhan.

      Just one question for my hundred bucks: why is it that you on the left always assume that we are either stupid, mean or just plain evil? Seems a rather narrow, and intolerant view, if you ask me. In order to relegate all ideas of political and economic freedom to the categories of stupid, mean or evil, you must also resign yourself to the conclusion inherent in your opinion that men like Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Locke, Bastiat, de Tocqueville, and so many others were also stupid, mean or evil. Seems rather a difficult task to dismiss so many men of great character and insight in favor of men like Chomsky, Zinn, and Marx. But hey, they're the ones handing out the free ice cream. I get it.

    4. Good of him to congratulate you on putting your money where your mouth is. I notice it's something he didn't do. He didn't make a wager, he said he "wished" he could make a wager. I guess he knows about "sadly rare" qualities from the mirror.

    5. I noticed that, too, and realized that I could have easily stepped back from my flippant response that I would "take that bet", since he didn't really make one in the first place. But the cause was worthy, and he was a complete and utter dick. I got to feel good about myself TWICE with one action.

      It was worth the hundred bucks.

    6. I don't fault you for it. Just, on the off chance he comes back here, letting him know that anybody can see what a fraud he is.

    7. Hi! Sorry about the lateness. RG, I don't have any way of proving this, and I haven't been in that situation, but I'd like to believe that if I'd been wrong, I would have paid up. Maybe I wouldn't have done it for the right reasons--I wouldn't want to look bad in public, for instance--but I really was serious there.

      Buttercup, I'll do my best to answer you. I'm not speaking for anyone but myself.

      I don't think that you're stupid, mean, or just plain evil. It'd be much easier if you were, but we humans are so bad at reasoning that all it takes is one wrong step, and we'll turn the full force of our intellect to the task of defending a mistake. And that's even assuming we care about the truth more than about winning a political argument, which is hard, and I don't think any of these problems is unique to any political alignment. It'd be great if there was an opinion so awesome it made us immune to error, but there's not. (The courage of one's convictions is sadly rare everywhere, not just among libertarians.)

      I don't think that George Washington was evil. He did evil things, like owning slaves, but it was considered normal at the time and you can't really blame him for not being a moral savant. I don't know much in detail about Chomsky, Marx or Zinn, which I'm okay with, since I don't follow any of them; I think that at least most of the people you list had some important ideas worth listening to, but they were just people.

      If I were to point to one thing that might infuriate people with beliefs similar to my own, it's the overarching mythology among libertarians that the history of the United States over the last hundred and fifty years or so has been one of gradually diminishing liberty and encroaching tyranny, when if you're not a property-owning white man, things have been getting, practically speaking, way better for you over that interval. People are far less violent than we used to be, and at least some of that can be attributed to people leaving violence up to the government rather than taking it into their own hands.

      As for me in general, I work a full-time job as a professional for a large company and pay federal income taxes. I don't personally receive food stamps or any other direct transfer payments, though I've benefited from tax breaks on employee-provided healthcare, student loan interest, and tuition, as well as a state-run merit-based scholarship program that paid my way through engineering school, which has since been discontinued. The policies I advocate don't generally affect me directly at this point.

      I read nonfiction; some of it is political, like Twilight of the Elites, some of it isn't, like Bill Bryson's At Home, and some of it might be, like Infidel. I read fiction; some of it is fluffy, like the "Discworld" series, and some of it is difficult but rewarding, like Greg Egan's novels. I enjoy recreational math, and I've been doing a lot of really fascinating reading about education which has turned a lot of my notions on their collective head. I would be terribly sad (assuming I wasn't shot or whatever in the churn) if there was a revolution, because they're horribly destructive and almost never turn out well even after all the carnage is over.

      I'm not hoping to get 'free ice cream'. I'd like to live in a nicer society, shaped a bit more like it was before the Great Divergence of the 1980s and onward, but with the internet and gay marriage and all the other nice things we have nowadays. I'd like it if fewer people were ground into misery by the horrors of poverty, too.

      I hope that gives you an idea of the sort of person who'd hold these beliefs. I'm not a mustache-twirling villain, and I don't think you are either. Sorry for being so long-winded, and again, for giving offense.

  4. Eric Hoffer's "True Believer" is instructive, Buttercup.

    1. I have read him. He was a fascinating man. You know he went blind as a child and then spontaneously regained his eyesight? And that he worked as a dock worker?

      The guy was a genius in understanding human nature.

  5. THIS, Buttercup. "And when we do, we will realize that we created a nightmare in our attempts to deny reality." Yes yes yes. And the photo you used to illustrate it is exactly and precisely what I was ranting about in my email to you the other day. THAT is what I see in my mind when I truly comprehend the abject stupidity of voters, or even the "giving up" attitude. THAT is where we end up when too many people are either stupid, or just give up because what's the point? Too many people either worshiped a bad leader or didn't but stopped bothering to fight back against the people who worshiped a bad leader. I'm not saying Obama will bring a Holocaust. I'm saying when people are so fucking ignorant and/or in denial and/or apathetic about what is going on around them, real bad shit happens. Real bad shit. Not always a Holocaust. Just sometimes the self-destruction of what was once the best country in world history. And THAT, my friends, will create a world where another Holocaust or another Mao's China or another Stalin's Russia can and will happen.

    Goddammit, I'm still mad. I'm just so damn angry at some of my friends and relatives for saying the stupid, stupid shit they are saying. "Oh, don't worry, that talk of the fiscal cliff is just fearmongering. Oh, forget politics, you'll win next time. Oh, be happy, it all always works out." NO IT DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK OUT YOU STUPID ASSHOLES. LEARN SOME HISTORY! Gahhhhhh

    Sorry Buttercup. I'm struggling.

    1. NEVER apologize. You know I'm right there with you.

      I agree, Rachel. This ascent of Obama and his followers to "flexible"-fuck-you power probably won't end in piles of dead bodies, not in this country. But it DOES effectively end the "great experiment" of freedom. Not that it hasn't been giving ground to repeated and unrelenting attacks from the left for a century. But Obamacare and the massive increase in spending -- OOPS! investment -- under this schmuck will finish us off as a Constitutional Republic based on limited government.

      So we'll survive, but not as a free nation. We will be returned to some form of legal serf, essentially working for the government whether we are in the private sector or the public, it's all too entangled now to give a shit, and being taken care of nominally...enough to keep us in front of our TVs and glued to our cell phones.

      As I have ALWAYS said, MOST people on this planet have no use for freedom. They aren't even slightly interested. They want security instead. And given the opportunity, they will vote for it every time. Our Founding Fathers knew this and wrote a Constitution they hoped would chain this impulse and remove it as an option. But our politicians knew this tendency in humans, too, and used all their efforts to gradually get us to allow the expansion of the state in return for goodies and bright shiny objects. OOOOOOHHHHH! Free birth control! Free healthcare!!! Now I can look forward to free pain pills provided by a kind and benevolent gov. instead of the surgery I really need and that I would have provided myself through private insurance. Obama said so. Weren't any of these assholes listening?

      All they hear is FREE STUFF! YEAH! And EAT THE RICH!! DOUBLE YEAH!! I am betting that eating the rich IS going to be the dumbasses free stuff. And then what? Eat the producers and see what happens. I hope it makes all the SOB's diabetic.

      We are all Greek now.

    2. Rachel, I agree more with Buttercup. People haven't voted from ignorance and denial and certainly not from apathy(they don't bother voting). People vote for the same reason that they have always voted. Self interest. It was a great campaign strategy to assassinate Romney on the 47% angle. Sure, a large number are honorable retirees, vets, etc. However, they all do receive benefits whether well deserved or not and the whole campaign came off with the impression that Romney wanted to cut benefits and put people to work. Well, if you are a retiree, where does that put you?

      It really is true that the Republican Party is shrinking. The baby boomers are retiring and want their money. They perceive, with some validity, that Republicans will provide less than Democrats. Schools are pushing out Dembots at a greater rate than ever and immigrants have bought in to the Dem=friend, Rep=enemy. Guess what populations have the greatest birth rates? There will continue to be growing numbers of future minority voters born compared to caucasian babies for the foreseeable future.

      Everyone who votes Dem will continue to vote that way as long as it serves their self interest. The tipping point has been reached. Frankly, with 47% of people receiving money from Gov't full time, I am shocked that Obama only received 50% of the vote.

    3. I do believe we have reached the tipping point. That was Obama's entire plan for his 4 years. Cobble together a constituency that will insure Democratic power for the rest of this country's life.

      He did it.

      Unfortunately for his long range plans, he did it at the expense of the country. When the shit hits the fan, it will be interesting to see which philosophy ends up being dominant, the FREE SHIT philosophy, or the FREE philosophy.

  6. Time to go Galt. Germany survived Hitler only to surrender to the EU. The US will survive Hopey McChange - but perhaps not his true believers. Since we can't beat the progressives, it's time to leave them. Luckily I will not live long enough to hear the crash as we land off the fiscal cliff. My kids are prepared - are yours?

  7. Oh please, Old Man, how can you (them) be prepared?
    Short of keeping your billions in gold pills (not bricks), emigrating to your own island in the ocean, fortified on perimeter and with catacombs full of supplies - you are vulnerable anyway.

  8. I'm glad your kids are prepared. Mine are still quite young and there's no way they can reasonably be prepared to grow up in a country with chronic 8 to 10% unemployment, stagnant economic growth and HUGE public debt.

    They simply won't have the life or future I always believed would be theirs.