Quite often, I am asked for my opinion. You might think that the topic would be politics, or history, or perhaps business, but usually, it is not. Rather, I am asked how a young man should approach his life, in these days of confusion, of uncertain future, of corrosive liquid modernity. In response, I piecemeal a relatively short answer, tailored to the questioner. After numerous such quick exchanges, I decided to think more deeply on the question, seeking principles of general applicability. So here is my advice to the young, by whom I mean men and women between eighteen and thirty-five, about how to approach their futures.
My advice is more directed at men than at women—but I direct advice to women as well, mostly separate and different advice. I hesitated a little bit to offer advice to women—until I realized my hesitation had been hypnotized into me by decades of feminist propaganda, which falsely claims that men should never instruct women, only the reverse. In truth, any man, and especially a father, should most definitely not just offer advice, but issue directions, to both men and women. The idea that men should not direct women in life choices is a degenerate artefact of modernity; relationships between men and women are partnerships, necessarily involving mutual instruction.
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My advice is predicated on my optimistic vision of the future, which I have laid out elsewhere in detail. I assume that the political and social structures of what is now called America will, within no more than a decade, be very different, after some difficulties. If you believe that current American structures will last indefinitely, you should not listen to me. You should either scrabble to join the ever-more-crowded professional-managerial elite, or join the Amish. If you believe that a fracture followed by reworking of our society is coming, then I have something to offer you.
To demonstrate, however, that I am right about the future, let’s have a sidebar on the strength of the regime, by which I mean not only the government, but more broadly the current system of governance by a Left-dominated professional-managerial elite (the “PME”), the end-stage of the managerialism identified most clearly by James Burnham. Some maintain that our American regime is strong and growing stronger. Sure, “President” Biden is senile, but behind him are smart, if evil, people, who are really in charge of the regime, inside and outside government, and are busy creating a digital panopticon backed by force to control us all, which will ensure the continuation of the current system. This claim is gnostic; it requires a belief in hidden knowledge, because the visible facts do not support the theory. And nearly all gnosticism is foolishness.
For example, the regime recently had to pick a new mouthpiece for Biden. This is obviously a crucial role for any President, and ten times as much in the case of Biden, who is unable to speak for himself (and thus cannot credibly correct any undesirable statements made by the mouthpiece), and whose unpopularity and incompetence needs continual alleviation through skilled message manipulation, because of the apocalyptic damage Biden’s presidency is causing all elements of the regime. Yet those making the decision reached into the barrel and picked someone who is plainly the worst spokesman in my lifetime—one Karine Jean-Pierre, a profoundly (and obviously so) stupid and tongue-tied person, whose only qualifications are that she is a black homosexual woman, and appointing her thus fulfils the overriding Left goals of Procrustean equality and supposed emancipation, at the cost of all more immediate concerns and needs crucial to the regime.
You could read this as an esoteric statement of regime strength, I suppose. Or, much more accurately, you could read it as the brain rot of late-stage leftism. Vilfredo Pareto said that a “shrewd” ruling class could keep power for a very long time; our ruling class is the exact opposite of shrewd. Other examples are legion. Sure, the military can’t recruit, and spends its days celebrating trannies while, off camera, fishing planes crashed by women pilots out of the ocean, but really, it’s super competent and will crush any opposition! Or, let’s consider the recent FBI armed raid on Donald Trump’s personal residence. Certainly, this is political violence designed to suppress dissent, but it was very incompetently done, with no forethought by smart people, instead redolent of Henry II’s “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Just like most of the flailing moves of the Left over the past three years, the raid emerged, in a way of its own accord, out of a maelstrom of incompetence. It was not some centrally-planned move in a 4D chess game seeking the destruction of the Right. All the stupidity of our society is going to be squeezed out soon, as reality reasserts itself, and this truth underlies my advice, the core of which is that ascending the cursus honorum of the past several decades, both in career choices and in life choices, is the worst possible decision to make, because it is a road to nowhere.
It is, perhaps not surprisingly, hard to let go of the lure of joining the PME. For decades, joining that class, or staying inside it and advancing further, has been the obvious goal for the majority of young people, at least in the middle and upper-middle classes. It was once mine, and I never gave it a moment’s thought; it seemed obvious and natural (to be fair, it was much more attractive in the 1990s). This, not so much statistics about earning, lies behind the obsessive push to obtain a college degree—without that credential, you cannot join the PME, which offers stability and honors more than money. Even on the Right, this mirage retains a grip on very many people, who usually couch their insistence that the young continue on this path in terms of joining the existing elite in order to be part of a new elite, or to work against the existing elite from within. This is obvious cope from those unable to stomach themselves or their children not being in today’s elite. I am writing a separate piece on class and elites as they relate to the Right, a topic that is receiving increasing interest as the outlines of the coming fracture emerge from the mist, but there is no connection between joining today’s elite and being part of tomorrow’s elite, which will not be derived from today’s elite. There may be a tiny overlap, but probably not. You must choose. Those on the Right who today desperately try to maintain a toehold in today’s elite should be presumed to be unreliable, and their advice on how to order your life should be ignored.
I will divide my advice into several segments. Where I am advising women, rather than men, I make that clear. But one piece of advice applies to everyone, and overarches everything I say. You must avoid nostalgia. Nostalgia is a besetting sin of the Right. I get it—the past, even in living memory, was so much better than today on every axis that “trad” images and thinking are like a warm, comfortable featherbed. But nostalgia enervates, it prevents action, it fosters passivism that leads to destruction. There is no way back; all that can be done is first destroy our enemies utterly, and then build a new thing, founded both on the wisdom of the past and the needs, and limitations, of the present. What you should do now to maximize your personal return in that future is what we are discussing today.
How Should I Educate Myself?
Here I do not mean education as it relates to the goal of supporting yourself and your family; I treat that below. I mean broader education, in the knowledge and skills required to lead the good life. The American ideal has always been for every citizen to be so educated, those of the ruling class as well as those of the yeoman class. This has fallen away, on the one hand by narrowing education to study directly related to employment, and on the other by the capture of education, from nursery school onward, as a tool to inculcate Left ideological poison—while suppressing what was once called “liberal” education, in the real, permanent, things because all of it contradicts the Left project. The result is that very few people today are educated in this broader sense.
That means, unless you are fortunate enough to receive a primary and high school education at a classical academy (which are, no surprise, rapidly growing in popularity), you will most likely have to teach yourself. For some decades, the so-called Great Books, the Western philosophical canon (really, mostly the canon of mid-twentieth-century Western progressives) were regarded as a path for desirable auto-didacticism. But I think that they are of extremely limited value. First, many of them are infected with destructive Enlightenment thought, which has led us to the pass we are in, and while it may be useful as a tertiary matter to know the content of such books, it is far down the list of important matters to the average man. Second, many of those books are not relevant either to our present moment, or, really, to core matters of self-education. Certainly, Aristotle can be valuable, but to the average man today, calm self-introspection and philosophizing is of little value, although there will always be a subset of men interested in philosophy, and their advice to the men who actually rule can be valuable. Nonetheless, knowing yourself is, frankly, not very important. Knowing your duty, and how a society can and should be molded—that is much more crucial.
Therefore, the focus of self-education should be to learn history, not philosophy, and to learn useful skills. For both, the internet is helpful, one of the few areas in which the internet has added, rather than subtracted, value from society. Books (very carefully chosen if written in the past fifty years, and chosen with some caution if written in the past one hundred) are still best for history, but audio books are a reasonable alternative if for you they are easier to consume, and a wide variety of excellent history podcasts (e.g., MartyrMade’s) should be considered as well. And while any skill requires the tacit knowledge that can only be obtained from doing, or in some cases by watching a practitioner, you can ascend the learning curve much more quickly today by watching videos.
Every person will have different likes and needs, as well as gifts. However, when you have free time, not tied to your job or to other worthwhile activities, self-education should be a constant focus.
How Should I Earn My Bread?
That depends on your talents. But work within the PME, to the extent it is chosen so that one may enter and stay in the PME, should be rejected out of hand, and any work chosen should have core characteristics. Your prime goal, to earn bread, is to have a job that offers useful skills in any environment, and that offers you and your family resilience in uncertain times, while also offering a platform for your and your family’s success and happiness on the other side, when stability and opportunity are restored.
The first question is whether you should go to college. College today is mostly a finishing school for feminization, to the extent it is not simply Left indoctrination. Outside of the hard sciences, discussed below, there is little reason for a man to go to college. In the new elite after the coming fracture, those of talent who chose manual work will be the core of the new elite, and anyone who went to college after 2010 or so will be automatically suspect. But if you do not go to college, your choices in today’s structures, with rare exceptions, boil down to manual work of some type (perhaps after skill training at a trade school or community college), or entrepreneurship (though that requires the right psychological makeup). This seems like a limitation now, and it is. However, it will not be in the future, because jobs not involving manual work will be hugely fewer in number—jobs such as “pharmacy benefit manager” will not exist. Then the wisdom of the choice, that gave you useful skills, will be entirely clear.
I have recently written a long article on manual work, which I will not repeat here, but I will note that manual work can also be psychically very fulfilling, because a natural tendency of men is their desire to create, and to be fulfilled by creating, lasting objects to be productively used, to create functional solutions to problems in the real world, and to offer those solutions to others. The biggest immediate cost to choosing manual work is that because you are, by definition, for now excluded from the elites, you will not be honored in today’s society, but denigrated and spat upon by our rulers (although, to be sure, if you are a white man, you will also be denigrated and spat upon at nearly any college). And, a real cost, you will likely have more trouble finding a wife, because the common feminine desire to “marry up” means you will be excluded from consideration by many women, who are trapped in a PME mindset. On the other hand, you should not want to marry a woman whose heart is set on a position in the PME, or, even worse, on a PME career of her own. And on the plus side, manual work will most definitely make you more masculine, and therefore more desirable to the kind of woman you should want, in comparison to the legions of effete betas who typify young men today.
Yet some of you will go to college; manual work for pay is not for every man, and college is, in practice, necessary for the hard sciences. (It is also helpful, perhaps, for many jobs in technology. In the future, technology will still be around. But technology jobs will be fewer, because the stupidity and wasteful existence of companies such as Uber, Tik Tok, Door Dash, Tinder, Groupon, Google, and many other such will have been squeezed out of the system, by natural processes or by armed force). As long as you do not incur massive debt, it may not be the end of the world if you go to college—although it may ruin you psychically, may saddle you with heavy baggage such as the wrong wife, and as I say will, to some extent, be held as a black mark against you in the future.
But if you go to college, you should almost never go to graduate school. Nobody, nobody at all, should become a lawyer (and, contrary to myth, the only thing you can really do with a law degree is be a lawyer). Nobody should go to business school—you learn nothing about business at business school, or rather most of what you learn is false. Its main point is to offer an expensive credential, and (very secondarily) to introduce you to others who may help you in the future. The credential is only useful for joining today’s PME, and will be a second black mark against you. And those contacts are, for the most part, exaggerated as to their usefulness, and only useful for progressing within the PME. Business school does not teach you anything about entrepreneurship, and even if it did, or if you met others with whom you might start a real business, the costs, both out-of-pocket and opportunity, greatly outweigh any such potential benefits. (Taking some classes in accounting at a local school, though, is a good idea.) And obviously, nobody should get a graduate degree in the humanities, or, God forbid, in a fake discipline such as sociology. (I’ll ignore worse possibilities; nobody reading this would, I hope, even consider for a second a degree in a filthy destructive clownshow such as “Gender & Sexuality Studies,” a real major to which I saw a reference yesterday. )
The sole exception to the rule of no graduate degrees is the hard sciences, and medicine. As to the former, hard sciences, if you have the talent and the interest, are very much worth studying to prepare for the future. When conducting your studies, you increasingly have to avoid the talons of the Left, but it can be done. (Your bigger problem will be being surrounded by legions of Chinese nationals, who dominate the hard sciences because they pay top dollar to learn matters of value from what are still the best research institutions in the world. They are culturally incompatible with Americans, are mostly here to steal what they can to benefit themselves and their home country, and they devote much of their time and effort to cheating, as I know personally from teaching at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.) And medicine, although the Left has greatly corrupted it, has the potential to be extremely useful to you, your family, and your larger community when the fracture comes, if you can choke down the garbage force-fed to you by Left commissars, and maintain self-respect as your fellow doctors who are in far over their heads due to affirmative action kill patients without consequences.
What if you already did go to college, or graduate school, or are already in the PME, or far down the track of joining the PME? Your best bet is to edge out of the PME—to harden yourself and your skills against the future collapse of the PME, within the limitations you have now, such as having to service existing debt. This involves acquiring useful skills that are separate from your current career, moving out of Left areas, and making contacts with networks that can help you move away from your PME career. This will likely involve sacrifice and disruption; there is no help for that. You can chance it, not take action and hope to take action later, but that’s very risky, and as a hidden rightist in the PME, you and your family will keep bearing all the costs I identify in this article.
How about the military? While some argue that entering the military provides valuable training for future use, and for undermining the regime from within at the appropriate time, I can’t recommend the military (although I have no inside knowledge, not having served in the military myself). Even in the past two years, the military has become far more hostile to white men, and far more useless as an institution (it seems obvious we’d quickly lose a war to China, and probably to Russia too). Moreover, you don’t really want to be in today’s military when the balloon goes up, and some butch lesbian “general” orders you to go drone children because their parents like Donald Trump, or to bomb a church in Texas because the congregation consists of cis-het white people; you’re then faced with the choice of participating in the regime’s evil or deserting (or going out in a blaze of glory). Along similar lines, I would certainly never allow my children to be conscripted by today’s regime, and I have negative loyalty to the military and to every other structure of today’s federal government, which is wholly illegitimate, both procedurally and substantively. If you do join the military, you aren’t going to get to exemplify heroic virtue, or be a bronze-age warrior. True, in certain future circumstances, military training and contacts will prove useful. But I expect that organic substitutes will spring up upon need (especially as weapon availability will never be a problem in what was the United States).
Most of my advice seems, and it is, directed at those for whom a PME career is a possibility. What if you are of average, or below-average, intelligence, or don’t have a decent primary education, so in these days of elite over-production, that path is functionally shut to you? Or what if, like J. D. Vance, you had no knowledge of how one can enter the PME, so you ignore it as a possibility until it is too late? (This is more common than one might think. It was only when I was in law school that I learned there was something called an “investment banker” and what such men did. If you are not exposed to a possibility, it is not available to you.) Mostly, this is a feature, not a bug. You’ll likely end up in the more desirable place, off the cursus honorum, with less agonizing.
Don’t worry if you don’t have high intelligence, something that has no doubt often been thrown in your face if you’re white, to suggest you are worthless and should just, in the infamous words of the fat grifter Kevin Williamson and the tiny mincing goblin Bill Kristol, be replaced. Certainly, intelligence dictates the ability to participate in some professions—the hard sciences and medicine are probably out. And general intelligence is strongly correlated with success in many areas, probably largely because of its strong association with desirable traits such as low time preference. But the vast majority of jobs can be done well by anyone of reasonable intelligence. This is especially true of worthwhile jobs—most paper-pushing jobs are BS jobs and require little intelligence; most jobs that are worthwhile, that are useful and resilient, require competence and hard work, not intelligence as such.
As to jobs for women, in a healthy, well-run society, in which the vast majority of men and women marry, and which forbids most divorce, women would not need the ability to support themselves with work outside the home. In such a society, women would go to college not to acquire skills for the job market, but to be educated in the liberal arts and to find a husband (what was, until very recently, the normal path for women who went to college). We don’t live in that healthy society, however, and it’s a big risk for a woman to not be able to support herself if she cannot find a decent husband among today’s ubiquitous beta males. On the other hand, most women who work today are not actually supporting themselves; they are working BS jobs, in effect created by the state, which will disappear soon enough. The logical answer is for a woman to acquire skills that can be used for jobs that should be generally reserved to women, because they fit women’s natures. This includes obvious ones such as teaching and nursing of various types. It also includes all types of work that sustain the web of life, especially those that require organizing and working together in a cooperative, rather than competitive, manner, notably charitable work. Acquiring these skills means both the ability to earn a living now and having appropriate training for a remade society, such that if by that time you are unlikely to marry due to age, you can avoid being dependent.
Should I Move?
Nobody should ignore his natural obligations, to his parents and larger family, and there is a great deal good to be said for staying in the place in which one has roots. Atomization, the breaking of attachment to things one naturally should and does love, is one of the great evils inherent in the Left project, and geographic separation from one’s roots in place and people is a key driver of atomization. (It is worth reading J. D. Vance’s famous Hillbilly Elegy for a good exposition of why people stay where they are, even when there is no opportunity to have a decent life, much less to better it. Chris Arnade’s Dignity is also an excellent read tied to this topic.) Those outside the PME have long been propagandized that their goal should be to flee their birthplace to become a drone in Capitol City or one of its satellites, to join the leftist hive mind, to sink into debt and consumerism, and to lead an empty, childless life. You should purge this propaganda from your mind.
Yet I still conclude you should very much consider moving, if you are in a state or area dominated by the Left. Living under Left oppression today means helot status for a man of the Right. You may not speak your mind, your employment is contingent on burning incense to evil spirits, anti-white hatred is rewarded and self-defense against it is punished, you are forbidden ownership of weapons of war, and your children are sexually propagandized (or, worse, groomed and molested) and turned against you. Moreover, the evils forcibly imposed by the Left upon decent people in areas they control are expanding quickly. These evils likely outweigh any good reasons to stay; few choices are ever perfect, and any man of the Right wanting to improve his, and his family’s, situation will likely be unable to do so under Left subjugation, and he risks total destruction of both himself and his family.
Even if you do not live in an area dominated by the Left, if you live in a “purple” area or an area dominated by the Right, it may still be necessary to consider moving. It depends on your role in the community. Are you interested in a simple, happy life? Then if you have a community, you should stay, and help heal its wounds, and fight for it in the wars to come. Are you interested in building the new age, hopefully that of Foundationalism? Then you may need to move to be closer to others working on the same task. True, technology allows remote contributions, but nothing will ever really be the same as physical presence, especially in a counter-cultural movement. This is not flight, but it does prepare you better to fight, which is necessary preparation whether you stay or go.
Neither city nor country is necessarily better, though leaning toward the latter is most likely preferable. Where each person lives is in part idiosyncratic, part dictated by chance, and part dictated by how you earn a living. Yes, the ability to grow at least some of your own food is very valuable, but this is less crucial if you live in an area dominated by the Right. And most rural areas are no longer havens of virtue, and face variations on the same struggles urban dwellers face, notably drugs and alienation. Thus, this choice should be a personal one.
Whether you stay or go, a prime goal should be to link up with, and to form community with, others who share your view of the world, and are willing to work to achieve it and take risks. This is not necessarily easy; most people will have to work hard to reverse the effects of Left atomization on their own lives. The prime aid to winning in future years will be such networks, and they offer innumerable benefits along the way—both material and spiritual, and not least, a good chance of finding the right spouse, if you’re not already married. As you no doubt know, I favor more robust, prickly networks than “Benedict Option” type networks, but you have to start somewhere.
If the calculus dictates a move, where? The obvious place to move is Texas, probably the Dallas area. That’s where many of the cutting-edge, but normal, people on the Right are heading (with a few to Tennessee and such places). Texas is where New Founding, the most prominent exponent of building new business structures on the Right, is headquartered. I have never lived in Texas myself, to be sure. I live in Indiana, but that is not something I can recommend for young men without any existing connection to the state. There is little real Right here, though the catamite Right is very well represented in the state’s political rulers. If the United States fractures, as seems likely, there will be no doubt of the political direction of Texas; if you choose a less-certain state, you risk ruin and exile in future civil conflict. Florida is another possible choice—right now, it seems like Florida might be the most likely to refuse federal tyranny, and to thereby get the party started. That offers both opportunity and risk. Florida seems more variegated, however, along many different axes, and that is not good for building community in uncertain times. You will have to decide what makes the most sense for you.
For married women, there is likely to be less choice as to where to live, because a woman follows her husband, who should be the breadwinner, and whose work outside the home is necessarily primary. If a married woman, before she has children or after they leave the house, is trained in or working in an appropriate type of outside-the-home work, transferring those skills to wherever the family moves is easy. An unmarried woman, depending on the community in which she finds herself, should consider moving to Texas, or some other place containing desirable men (and a major focus of communities in those places should be setting up structures to encourage meeting and marriage of young people, something at which the Right has miserably failed). I ignore, of course, the possibility that a woman is independently pursuing a career in the PME; that choice is even worse for women than for men, and typically leads to becoming a sad wine aunt, or if lucky, a sad divorcee, and the only correct action is to get off that track immediately.
What Assets Should I Strive to Acquire?
You may not have the ability to buy many assets—the BS jobs offered by the PME offer a good deal of fake money, which can still be used to purchase real assets, and if you are not in the PME money may be harder to come by (although many manual work jobs do pay well). Yet assets, whether a few or many, mean options and power, and the inability of your enemies to have a hold over you. Therefore, you should acquire whatever hard assets you can, and sacrifice ephemeral consumption as necessary to make this possible. Tools, land, gold, and guns should be your focus. Acquire some catastrophe, prepper-type materials. Ideally, hard assets can be shared among an extended family or local community, rather than each person having to independently acquire all useful assets. Don’t buy financial assets, such as stocks and bonds. Whatever you do, you should avoid debt. This is most true of debt that does not have an offsetting sellable asset, but all debt should be avoided if at all possible.
When Should I Marry?
You should marry as early as possible, within the limitations of finding the right person and, for a man, having the ability to support a wife and children. This is, of course, another reason to avoid college, because spending four years that way delays the date when you can become independent. Early to mid-20s is probably ideal for marriage. You should then immediately start having children, with the goal of having at least three, preferably more. There will never be the “right” time to have children; you can always tell yourself that later you’ll have more stability, or more money, or some other thing that seems desirable, and you convince yourself is necessary. On the contrary: right now is the right time, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar, and probably a Commie, but certainly a weak and stupid person, no doubt full of regrets or resentment for his (or more likely her) own life.
What Should I Do For Recreation?
You should do anything you enjoy that is real and not pernicious, though it’s always a bonus when what you do for fun benefits you in some more permanent way. Thus, the classic “sun and steel” approach of outdoor activity and bodybuilding not only is healthy and fights anomie and depression (common problems among today’s young), but it makes you more attractive to women. Shooting and hunting provide useful skills, as do martial arts. And so forth.
You should go to church. This both strengthens you spiritually and increases your contact with like-minded people, if you are attending the right church. It also increases your chances of finding a wife (although a great many churches either do not make any or enough efforts to match up young people, or are run in a feminized fashion that exalts women over men, demanding much of men and requiring nothing of women, rather celebrating “strong independent women,” thereby driving men and women apart, and men away).
You should not do things that contribute to a lush fantasy life or to celebrating the accomplishments of others. Thus, you should limit video games—preferably to zero, and you should spend as little time as possible watching or following sportsball. You should not argue on the internet—but you should seek to improve your rhetoric and logic through traditional methods. You should not watch porn. You should eat healthy (and not eat the bugs). You know all this—you don’t need me to expand on it, because all of this is obvious. It merely requires discipline, which only you can find within yourself.
What Personal Attributes Should I Strive to Acquire?
As with recreation, you already know the answer. Within the constraints of your personality, you should seek to embody what until very recently were universally seen as the moral virtues of an honorable man. Bravery, above all. Honesty. Competence. Self-control. Self-sacrifice. You need to push back against living in the pod—you need to carry yourself in a self-confident way, and seek out other self-confident men to be your friends. When you acquire some of these characteristics, it makes it easier to acquire others. Work in this area becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Should I Involve Myself in Politics?
Generally not. Life is full of opportunity costs, and in the current environment, your time is much better spent on self-education and other forms of self-improvement, or on getting married and building a family. Certainly, working in national politics is a total waste of your time.
Maybe there is some benefit to working in politics on a local level, such as school board elections, currently a hot topic on the Right. But winning school board elections no longer actually accomplishes anything, because the regime will not permit any rollback of their victories, until their power is wholly broken. If you win a school board election today, unless you run an aggressive and exhaustive equivalent of denazification to root out and terminate the employment of any Left teacher, the “education professionals” in your system will simply continue corrupting children, even if you putatively control the levers of power. Meanwhile, the federal government will try to put you in jail, and otherwise harass you, while a campaign of violent hatred is waged against you by local leftists. Thus, there’s really little benefit to even local elections, if the goal is actually exercising power.
On the other hand, there is one benefit to local organizing for political office. You can learn who are allies and potential allies, and you can learn their strengths and weaknesses. And there may be some circumstances, especially in areas that are already largely or totally Right, where control of a city or county government, or an existing good relationship with the county sheriff, might become extremely useful. Nonetheless, in all of these cases, for a young person there are almost always going to be far better ways to spend your time.
You should spend zero time engaging the Left in discussion. Forcing their poison entirely out of our society should be our only political goal, and to achieve that end, there is no political solution. Most people on the Left today have long since passed into epistemic closure; they live in a fantasy world, from which they never need emerge and in which they are rarely, if ever, exposed to any thinking that is not confirmatory of their beliefs. (This is, paradoxically, an advantage of the Right, that we are continually bombarded with Left beliefs, because it prevents intellectual shriveling, and makes our intellectual powers sharper.) There is no point in engaging with people who, for example, believe that the recent assault by the regime’s secret police on Trump’s home is an example of the rule of law in action—and they really do believe that, as bizarre as that is. There is no hope for such people, or at least for their leaders and enforcers (most people who skew Left today, as I have said before, will quickly change their tune when the winds of power blow from a different direction). If closed-minded people of the Left are your friends (although such people, who as the Left always does insist on total politicization of all areas of life, have widely shed any friends who refuse to share their hive mind), or family, you should just avoid talking about politics, and ponder whether exile or lustration is their future, or whether they will be part of the larger group that can be permitted to live with us after the fracture, when they adopt new healthy opinions and wholesome practices.
That’s it. There is nothing more to say. Yes, nearly everything I say in this article has exceptions or obscure counter-examples, and your mileage may vary, for time and chance happeneth to us all. This does not affect the analysis in the least. You’re welcome.
Well, I think I picked up a thing or two about leadership, entrepreneurship and the rest of it both from several years of enlisted Army service and from the M.B.A. program for which that service paid. I also learned that manual labor in my forties was even more exhausting as an occupation than it had been when I took my first full-time labor job at seventeen. I don’t plan to perform manual labor for pay again. Instead, I’m pleased to collect a six figure salary and excellent benefits at a federal job secured by the terms of that employment and by veterans preference earned in Afghanistan, which service in Afghanistan I still think was the best use of our Army since Korea — inasmuch as every talib my platoon killed remains quite dead. Especially the first one I ever saw, strewn through the lower boughs of a Murghab Valley pistachio tree.
Yeah, but that path is no longer available to the young. That’s my point (or one of them). And, sad to say, I don’t expect collecting your federal job benefits (which are certainly earned much more than the average federal employee) is going to go on for much longer.
Someday I would like to pick your brain on why you think Afghanistan was a good use of US treasure and blood. Doesn’t seem like it in retrospect.
I should add that as a veteran myself I generally discourage young people with a core from joining the military
Growing up around the Military I have much respect for most of its members however culturally the Afgan and Iraq war did little to help us.
Every Talib we killed was replaced 2 to 3 fold. And while our soldiers were there thwy went to their bunk and dreamed of your girl back home and the “enemy” went home and banged his wife. Some lucked out and had a kid, maybe even two while the men in Afghanistan had many many more children.
Long term the math favors them not us.
Which path no longer is available to the young?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Scholarships, both of which I availed myself to obtain a fully-paid, full-time, first-rate elite M.B.A. both remain fully in effect. Free college exists; it only costs three years active enlisted service.
Federal civilian benefits are bargained for and agreed to, much like military benefits. I’ll get paid.
Ever take a big fight outside, so that you don’t smash up the furniture? Afghanistan was our ‘Outside’.
I mean that getting on that path now will not lead to the same result. And you won’t get paid when there’s no longer a federal government, I’m afraid. Which I suspect will be soon.
I don’t think, again in retrospect, that there was any fight we did not cause ourselves. Just as in Russia, we are at fault.
“I mean that getting on that path now will not lead to the same result. And you won’t get paid when there’s no longer a federal government, I’m afraid. Which I suspect will be soon.
I don’t think, again in retrospect, that there was any fight we did not cause ourselves. Just as in Russia, we are at fault.”
I don’t understand any of this.
1. Why would enlisting in the Army now, and successfully completing that enlistment, not confer the same educational (and other) benefits which it did upon yours very truly?
2. What’s your time horizon for the end of federal authority?
3. Are you seriously suggesting our skirt was too short?
4. Ukraine’s, too?
1) See #2.
2) This decade; before 2030.
3) I’m not sure what this metaphor means. But it’s pretty clear in retrospect that the threat to us from Islamic terrorism was grossly exaggerated, for a variety of reasons, mostly venal, and that the costs of the war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) way outweighed the benefits (which were negative in the latter case, and obviated in the former case, if there were any).
4) Yes, as Henry Kissinger himself recently noted, not only did we cause the war in Ukraine, every aspect of it is bizarre. That’s a longer discussion, however. I merely note that (a) the vast majority of what we have been told during the course of the war is obvious lies, and admitted to be such shortly thereafter, yet few seem to notice and (b) prior to the twentieth-century absolute moralization of wars, there would be nothing surprising or notable about this war at all, which is about national interest. It is as if Iran had taken over the government of Mexico, installed a violent theocracy, funded it with billions in equipment and training, and constantly announced its desire to overthrow our regime and install a similar theocracy. In the past, war would have been seen as inevitable, yet we express surprise.
The Kissinger quote from yesterday: ““We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to.” About right.
Please drop by for a bottle of independent Ukrainian vodka — financed on a U.S. federal salary — on the night of January 1, 2031.
Ha ha. Neither is likely. If there is Ukrainian vodka, it will be made on land that is actually Poland. But we will see.
I have also read closely what Heinz has said lately about Russia. I figure there may be quite a bit of the ole Death Bed Confession from ‘Doctor’ Kissinger* — as he insisted on being addressed — who may wish to alleviate his conscience over Cambodia, et al.
I am not a fan of his, clearly, however, I believe he still maintains intelligence contacts from all over the world and has the deep experience and background to read what’s happening on an international scale, especially the Russia-Ukraine involvement. At 99, Henry knows what’s on the immediate horizon for him, and to leave the rest of us with useful wisdom might not be a bad trade for him as he steps into the Great Beyond.
*PhD in History
I picked this spot to comment because I was surprised that you didn’t understand the metaphor “our skirt was too short,” which is to suggest we “asked for it” like a scantily dressed girl has asked to be raped. So, Dave V may have been incredulous or bristling, but he clearly was questioning if you really meant that “we are at fault” and there was not “any fight we did not cause.” Since some have said 9/11 was our fault, your comment was unfortunately imprecise, but your follow-up response seems clear that you were referring to our decision to retaliate via Afghanistan.
So, aside from the debate about the worthiness of a military career for the young, which I can easily see arguing on either side, I want to pay you a compliment or two and offer a suggestion on your general approach to advising the young.
1. Your appearance on Tucker Carlson was an entertaining introduction to your ideas and your admirable goal of helping America to flourish. Your advice to the young is just the type of guidance they need and helping them will help us all along the path.
2. Your skill and love of language is obvious. I laughed out loud when I read your mincing goblin description of Bill Kristol. That said, my suggestion for addressing the young is to consider the tendencies of that generation and use more concise language to reach a wider audience. Your excellent word choice is a good example that gives them something to aspire to, but they have been trained to have little focus and short attention spans in the post ADHD and Ritalin era. Fewer words, please. Though I sometimes like reading with a dictionary on hand, and I am patient by nature, I am certain the length and sophistication of some of your comments would be overly challenging to the young.
Thank you! I am not sure, however, that I care to cut my jib to appeal to the young. Doing so absolves them of the need to stretch themselves, to improve themselves, to understand language and writing that is superior to that consumed by ADHD sufferers. No doubt many will not hear the message as a result, but those that matter, will.
You seem like a very intelligent and erudite guy, and this advice was what I wish I’d had from my father (whom I never saw or knew). I’m going to read more or your writings.
That said, though, you can’t just make statements like this. I, too, am a Gen Xer, albeit more of a [very long time] reactionary rightist. I’ve been hearing about “the coming collapse” from libertarians and white nationalists (and even various Christianist types) for nearly that long. I have long a) believed in an eventual Civil War 2 (read the book by merc Thomas Chittum when it debuted in the mid-90s); b) been a gold bug; c) opposed the immigration invasion; d) supported radical budget reductions and decentralization for libertarian, moral-conservative, and ethnonationalist reasons; e) advocated for national “de-fragility” measures, and a New Stability Agenda as a GOP centerpiece; and f) been a race realist.
Putting it all together, I have always believed (at least since the LA riots of 1992) that the USA as a civilized nation is doomed – that our future was one of irreversible degeneration until ultimate collapse, followed by the fracturing of America into various ethno-ideological zones some of which will restore rudimentary civilization, while others will be hostile areas characterized either by short term internal plunder (and, once the local swag is consumed, longer term warmaking upon the civilized areas), or perhaps, foreign (Mexican or Chi-com) conquest.
So I’m not too far from your position, at least attitudinally. But the idea that the Federal Government won’t be around soon; well, what is “soon”? I suggest that the Burnhamite managerial regime (I was reading Sam Francis on this concept by the late 80s) in fact has a great deal more running room until it hits the edge of the abyss (although it is clearly using up that road at an accelerating rate). What do you think would cause the FedGov to collapse? I don’t see that happening until a majority on the Right have fully psychologically emancipated themselves from loyalty to nation, and belief in the political order’s essential legitimacy – and I don’t think we’re nearly there yet (though episodes like the gross mistreatment of Trump, as well as the various stolen elections, among which I plausibly think the Chicago mayor’s race can be included, are speeding this up, of course).
Thanks for your writings nevertheless.
It is always good to begin with compliments! But I can, in fact, “make statements like this,” and I do, often. While it is always true that, as Richard Posner said, that all apocalypses are falsified, except the last, I have written at great length recently, several times, on why I believe my claim (that what is now called the United States will no longer be the United States, de facto if not de jure) by 2030. Among these discussions I address all counter-arguments.
Every single American military action in the Islamic world/Middle East was a complete and criminal waste of lives and money, with the only exception being our war on the Barbary States.
Afghanistan is by far the worst of many Middle Eastern disasters.
Perhaps you found your own experience in Afghanistan discouraging. I did not. Over the course of a year (OEF ‘10-‘11), my combat engineer platoon, deployed as a route clearance patrol, cleared hundreds of mines and hundreds of Taliban and foreign fighters out of the Murghab valley. We weren’t greeted as liberators, but by the end of the year we had won enough local trust and support that some helpful folks were showing us where the mines were. Twelve years after we left that valley, the talib have re-occupied some areas and increased their activities, but to this day that valley is not under their control — because we exterminated the little bastards. It was a glorious time.
Military men have often found glory and purpose in fighting. But what does America care who controls a valley in Afghanistan?
As between longtime local warlords Ismail Khan and Rashid Dostum, while some Americans including I may have had our favorite, that choice wasn’t of great importance to most Americans — unless like me they were connoisseurs of pistachio nuts, garnets and Afghan war rugs. And under the influence of some of the local talib-allied commanders, Americans would have little short term concern over the Murghab valley. But should it fall under activist, globalist Taliban commanders allied with foreign fighters of the wahabbist clique which brought spectacular attacks to American soil, that valley should interest all Americans.
Besides, there is a finite amount of land acreage in the world. I’d like to see as much of it as possible under the control of the least unfriendly authorities.
I haven’t been to Afghanistan, but my experience in CENTCOM showed me how pointless us being there is. All the countries we have bases in just leach off of us.
You cleared tons of mines, gave the locals tons of money, and after a few months the locals just barely trusted you enough to point out mines, an action so clearly in their self interest that they should have done it instantly? Screw them, we shouldn’t have spent lives and trillions of dollars on them.
This is all the while I’m sure that you were ordered to ignore rampant pedophile rapes of the local authorities you were sent to help.
By your comment about glorious times I’m assuming you just wanted to kill while ignoring the real problems there, problems which the US shouldn’t have been involved with.
Yes it was your big fight, and Haji humiliated Uncle Sam in front of the whole world.
This is advice well worth considering, as much as any advice about an uncertain future can be. I have already shared it with a couple of my boys.
But it is generally too career focused. Skills come and go and good men can and do adapt on the fly.
With today’s broken marriage market, I generally encourage the young to begin with plans to maximize their chances of healthy marriage, and then plan everything else out from that.
That may require moving and will certainly require careful attention to the church community they participate in.
The first step, which would be true for your career oriented advice also, submit themselves to God such that they can ask for guidance and act on any that they receive.
Very grateful for your site, your particular brand of futurist traditionalism is very congenial
Excellent advice, Charles. I will bookmark this page and keep it on hand to share with my grandson when he is older, if the fracture has yet to happen by that time.
Your advice to learn a trade coupled with your advice to move to Texas is, let’s say, not well thought out. As a tradesman, my general advice is that no one should pursue that path unless a) they want to work independently and b) they stay out of the southwest.
The reason for staying out of the southwest, particularly Texas and Arizona, is that there are a relatively larger number of Mexicans residing there who also work trades for cheap and competing with them is never going to be a path to middle class comfort, let alone wealth. I know this because I have family in Texas, and they’ve told me how cheap trade work is down there. When I compare what they pay on Texas to what I charge in the Midwest, it’s become obvious that moving to Texas would require about a 30-50% drop in pay, adjusted for cost of living.
Moreover, working a trade is generally hard on the body. My strategy for dealing with this has been a consistent stretching and exercise regimen and seeing a physical therapist at least once a month. There’s a lot of variance when it comes to employment as a tradesman, so regular PT may not be something most tradesman can afford, and so they retire with a broken body. I also know quite a few tradesman, and virtually all the non-independent ones work lots of mandatory overtime (one in particular works mandatory 12 hour shifts seven days a week for weeks on end and while he’s in his late 40’s, he looks a decade older than that). You can generally have a more reasonable schedule if you’re independent, by virtue of setting your own schedule, but it does take quite a bit of time and effort to become independent.
That said, I can personally attest that is possible to make six figures working a schedule you set for yourself as a skilled tradesman, but I can count on one the number of men that I know who have attained this and still have fingers to spare. It takes skill, self-discipline, sacrifice, but most of all, tremendous amounts of luck to make a better than subsistence living as a skilled tradesman. Most skilled tradesmen don’t make enough to support a family by themselves, which is why the wives of most tradesmen also have jobs.
Finally, I’d also point out that tradesmen have never been given political prominence in any political regime (with the exception of the Mongolian empire, and only under Genghis Khan). The reason for this is mostly due to the reality that technical skill in a trade has absolutely no relationship with political sophistication or ability. If you’re hoping to have an impact politically, pre- or post- collapse, the trades is not the path to that.
Your points are entirely accurate—in the present dispensation. My premise is that the present dispensation is not long for this world, and bridging one’s path to the new is the core of the matter. The future elite will be largely or entirely made up of those who do manual work now. It is not that tradesmen will be elevated; it is that some members of the society outside of the current elite will form the new elite. Those men would be prominent in any society, because talent rises to the top. In many instances, the transition will not be direct. Most likely, the majority will be those engaged in manual work who come to prominence as leaders in and during civil conflict.
The matter of Mexican competition is a wrinkle, to be sure. I am unclear what the future dispensation will be in that area. Certainly, mass deportation of anyone who arrived illegally within the past several decades, and their families, will be an option. On the other hand, the new society might integrate everyone to some degree, although that is historically anomalous. Might be done, though, especially with Hispanics, and especially in what has historically been a mixed, marcher area.
I also note that “trade” is not synonymous with “manual work”; I linked my recent piece on manual work, which goes into more detail regarding this.
Finally, it is no doubt true that it is hard to support a family on one trade income. This is also an artefact of degenerate modernity, both of the distorted market and of consumerism, and will also come to an end.
What’s different in Texas is that many educated or experienced manual laborers or trade workers can easily start their own business employing cheap labor options. I have dozens of friends who’ve done the same. Managing at the start can be a headache, and sometimes a 7 day a week job, but the pay more than justifies it. After awhile, the biggest headache becomes what to do with the constant turnover (either because of deportation or stupid decision-making). But if you’ve established a reputation as someone who cares for their workers and pays them fairly and consistently, word travels fast in that community and people start seeking you out.
While there are dozens of men I know, as mentioned, who’ve done this, I’ll mention two brothers who went to Texas A&M, studied engineering, got tired of the office environment, established a lawn service company which now has 20 crews (after around five years) serving the entire Dallas metroplex. They have privately told me they bring in a quarter-million each and do relatively nothing on their end. They’ve found competent managers over the crews and women office workers for scheduling and conflicts, and they largely just make appearances for get togethers, handing out prizes and delivering food to show gratitude for the employees’ hard work.
I also live in Dallas. And for a long time I was unsure of my future. I’m in my forties, have no experience outside the oil/gas industry and have no skills to offer any PME type job on paper. And I don’t believe oil/gas work is going to pay the bills much long. So a change is necessary soon. But these businesses have given me things to think through. Many wealthy suburbs in Dallas feature wives with PME careers and the constant topic is how to feed their families healthy food instead of upscale (but still relatively unhealthy) takeout orders. While healthy dinner production and delivery businesses have been big failures in the past, I wonder if the market has changed. That’s something I’m exploring. I’m also exploring pilot school, but haven’t been able to grasp what the future holds for that industry. Finally, I’ve been looking into whether or not there’s an ability and market for appliances built to last…without the fancy bells and whistles. Life for many in the suburbs is busy, busy, busy and the ability to avoid repair appointments and the ineptness of most technicians could offer to relieve a lot of frustration should these appliances actually be built to last like the 70s 80s models.
These might all be stupid ideas. I’m new to waking up to a lot of reality, but I’m thinking and trying. I wrote a novel about the dangers of progressivism (my experience in it for two decades) and the possible coming social debit system that some have floated. Check it out on kindle: “Happy Points” by Chris Andrews. It can be hard to find though as Amazon hides books that haven’t sold well. Although it has sold about 10x the copies in the UK for some reason.
My apologies, for some reason the rest of the comment disappeared.
I will attempt to reproduce:
“Despite publishing the novel, I didn’t really enjoy the writing much at all. So that’s not something I wish to pursue as a career. I’m really not sure what to do, but despite not being a young man I did enjoy reading this article and reasoning through it. And, of course, it encouraged me as a father of two boys.
With every day that goes by your ten year window seems more likely. It’s hard to imagine a different country, but as far as the left wants to push this ‘Trump is a threat to democracy’ nonsense and seeing how they are ratcheting up intense, violent rhetoric in journalism, that bubble of tension will have to burst. But imagine telling a Democrat in 2000 that a fat, orange, impulsive and buffoonish man would become the biggest threat to democracy in their eyes. They’d have laughed silly. That makes me wonder if the tip-top leadership of the left really believes that or if it’s just a construction to push the country towards this breaking point. They just can’t be that stupid. But at the same time, very rarely do they ever accomplish anything deftly.
Anyway, again definitely appreciate the article. I have gotten to the point where I look forward to each new post more than just about anything else hobby-wise. Your wisdom is a gift for me.”
There are many good pointers in this piece, but it is very homoerotic. Especially the invocation to engage in bodybuilding but not follow football, and the general disdain for women and the sensual and intimate pleasures of married life. I think the author would be happiest in a Spartan Männerbund full of bronze rippling musculature and far away from the irrational nagging of the fairer sex.
Not sure which “piece” this is, but if you mean my article, keep on projecting!
This is thoughtful, practical advice for the young who are being exposed to more moral dangers, and physical assaults (the “jab”) than my generation endured. As a former academic, I am still seduced (habits are hard to break) by notions of honing good arguments (Dr. Schmitt’s image of the liberal society as a polite debating team), but I am convinced that discussions about strategy by like minded folk are more to the point these days than refining Austrian economic insights on the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. Ignore dialog with the masked zombies, as you say. On the subjects of education and the liberal arts, I believe that the young should be reared on the Scriptures and be familiar, as well, with classical mythology. While reading Aristotle’s Metaphysics might be fulfilling for the few given to philosophical reflection, his Ethics and Politics should inform any decent curriculum, home schooling or otherwise, for the young, alongside, say, the Anti Federalist Papers. The Art of Manliness website has excellent articles for the young male, from crafting personal appearance, to achieving physical fitness, to appreciating Stoic ethics.
Thank you for the excellent advice; as a guy in his mid-20s discerning the future (and longtime reader of your work), I’m taking your points to heart.
I’m interested in your thoughts on the ministry as a vocation for young men, and the future of the church in America after the dust settles. The odious mainline churches will naturally be disposed of (with a healthy use of ’eminent domain’ by the Maximum Leader to possess many of their still-beautiful cathedrals and buildings from last century), but what about the orthodox and biblically faithful churches? I include in this the Eastern Orthodox, orthodox Catholics, and the various denominations of orthodox Protestantism.
The need for strong, masculine leadership in these churches is already urgent, and I imagine it being even more so once the regime collapses.
Great question. Yes, I think that for those who are called, who discern a vocation, the ministry is an excellent place. Of course, there are lots of challenges. After all, in an organization where obedience is prized, it’s hard to push against the grain if the power structures are against you. Thus, I imagine a heterosexual man who wants to be a Catholic priest will face a huge number of challenges. And it is a tough road to go down, if one is relying on things being reset. (If I were Pope, I would fire and rusticate the entire four top layers of the Vatican hierarchy and all monastic orders, without discussion and without appeal, and without individual evaluation. Then I would kick everyone out of Vatican City except the police and firemen. Then I would sell some Michelangelos, purge all homosexuals from every clerical position in the world, and rebuild. It sounds insane–but someone like Napoleon could do it.) If they are not reset, you will be worse off than if you had not pursued ministry. But you have to place your bets sometime . . . .
I’d join your army…things can’t start rolling soon enough.
You have crafted excellent advice for the young. Most, maybe all of it, goes against what the school system, the media, and, I believe, the churches are advising in their grooming of the young. A website I refer young (and not so young) men to consult is The Art of Manliness. They will get on that site recommendations from matters of personal appearance (tying a Windsor knot, for instance), physical culture, and introductions to Stoic ethics (Roman, of course). This is likely not an apt time to discuss counter-curriculum for young people, so I shall be brief. One of the scams profiting the modern academy are those courses/majors in “Ethics”. As far as I am concerned, if a child has not developed a sense of right and wrong, say by seven years of age, no college courses are going to do the job. But those undergraduate and graduate courses are not about traditional right and wrong but, rather, indoctrination in wokeness. While I agree that his Metaphysics might meet the needs of a very few young folks, most of them would profit from reflecting upon Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and, later on, the Politics (with special attention to his analysis of oligarchy: our present mode of ruling). Of course, the Anti Federalist papers would provide a useful alternative to contemporary ‘”liberalism”. I assume that the young will be conversant with the Scriptures as well as familiar with Greek mythology.
That’s a good site; I was generally aware of it, but will link to it in future thoughts! I’m not opposed to some philosophy, just to an over-emphasis on it.
Great piece as always! Only two questions:
1). How much of this applies to Europe? Do you think Europe is beyond saving?
2). While I recognize that the military is not as great a path as it used to be, I think you undervalue the value of military training (not generic basic training which is a joke, but SOF or Ranger). In Roman times, aristocrats like Caesar could learn on the job, but today becoming a good soldier is a full time job. Just look at the casualty rates in the Ukrainian army between volunteers and trained soldiers. Don’t you think therefore that despite the current problems in the military, it is essential to have military training when things start to go awry?
“While I recognize that the military is not as great a path as it used to be, I think you undervalue the value of military training (not generic basic training which is a joke, but SOF or Ranger).”
Perhaps you found your own Initial Entry Trainng disappointing, but I did not. My U.S. Army Combat Engineer Initial Entry Training not only prepared me for deployment to Afghanistan six months after graduation, and not only formed important bonds with other Sappers with whom I eventually would deploy to Bala Murghab for the greatest year of my life, but moreover introduced me to and trained me on the M2 Heavy Machinegun — Ma Deuce — arguably the greatest implement of modern warfare devised by the prophet John Moses Browning, peace be upon him. Hooah.
I’ve written, a couple of times, though it’s been a few years, about Europe. Yeah, I think Europe is beyond saving. Their total failure have children, their acceptance of millions of raping alien invaders, and their limp, fearful to the Wuhan Plague, and more to their ruler’s insane prescriptions, pretty much shows this. (Australia is even worse off, although they have allowed fewer invaders, so the advent of chaos is less imminent.) Sure, there is a minority of people who are pushing back, such as the Dutch farmers. Unless and until they rise up with actual violence, every time an order of magnitude greater than that directed at them, this will accomplish nothing. And do the Dutch farmers have children? I doubt it. Just becoming irate because you’ve realized that you wrongly trusted your rulers doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to save your culture.
SOF and similar training is no doubt very useful, but it’s a pretty narrow path, not available to most people. (Not to mention that if a young man sets off today down that path, by the time he reaches it, the various branches of SOF will no doubt be filled with women and trannies, and the training and effectiveness sharply reduced.) Yet you are right, military training is essential. The only response I have to that is “necessity is the mother of invention,” and when necessary, organic, spontaneous organization of training, led by the many in the oppressed classes who have experience, will happen fast. As I noted, the saving grace is that in America, weapons are freely available (and there is zero chance gun control will ever happen here; nobody would accept it at this point, because even Right-leaning normies now see the only reason for the Left to take the guns is to kill us more easily). It’s going to be on-the-job, whether we like it or not, for most people.
Some generally sound advice here, but I find the education part of this really frustrating. It’s become a trope among certain conservatives that we should generally avoid reading modern books. But why, especially in history? I suppose if you just want a general historical narrative of the great civilizations, you can find some good books from the early 20th century. It’s also useful to study historiography from different time periods. But the field of history really does progress as new sources or methods are employed.
You’ve reviewed some books on Islamic history, to give one example. If you mostly read books on Islam that are a century old, you would have an impoverished view of that field. I’m no expert, but I think the same could be said of WWI, American history, and many other fields.
Some conservatives also recommend those old, sweeping historical volumes, like Gibbon or Churchill as superior to academic history, but again, I’m skeptical. Yes, they are impressive achievements in some ways, but I don’t know many historians that consider them particularly accurate. Gibbon, for example, didn’t know anything about Byzantine history, and actually did much to distort that field of history.
Anyway, all of this is to say that if you are a serious student of history, you should read books published by academic presses. By all means, read old books, but don’t pretend that the vast majority of historical scholarship coming out these days is garbage and easily dismissed. It’s not. There are, to be sure, some obnoxious trends in academia, but there is still plenty of serious work coming out. I have also found that seeking out books that get a conservative seal of approval will almost always lead you to inferior, cringe-worthy material.
Your remarks on philosophy badly miss the mark. For one, Aristotle is not calm, introspection. His work serves as the foundation for so much of Western thought, and it’s almost impossible to understand medieval history without some grounding in his works. Not to mention, his Ethics is still one of the most important books you can read on raising and educating children. Similarly, as an Orthodox Christian, how do hope to understand Christian theology without some background in Platonism and Greek philosophy? Not to sound rude, but much of your difficulty with David Bentley Hart’s work could be alleviated by some basic readings in classical philosophy.
I’m sorry my first post here is in a critical tone. I enjoy your blog and have been reading for a while. Like you, I encourage all men to learn useful trades and work with their hands. But I often think that conservatives shoot themselves in the foot by retreating from academia and intellectual pursuits. It’s easy to write off liberal gender studies majors, but on the other hand, most conservatives I know are utterly helpless to defend themselves against progressive ideology.
I am glad you enjoy the site! But not only do you badly miss the mark by seeming to think that I am suggesting “retreating from academia and intellectual pursuits,” you are factually wrong on most of what you say.
As a threshold matter, there is no reason for people on the Right to “defend themselves against progressive ideology” through intellectual debate. As I say at the end, we should not discuss or debate with the Left. We should force them to bend to our power, and exile any who will not, externally or internally, after confiscating their assets if they have any substantial assets. We are long past the point of intellectual “defense,” and the Left’s dishonesty and bad faith would make that pointless even if it were, say, the world of 1995 (and that we are here, in the world of 2022, proves I am right).
I didn’t say you shouldn’t read modern history books, I said you should choose “very carefully.” That’s because a substantial majority of modern books, both academic and popular, are full of lying propaganda. Worse, the casual reader, who is looking to inform himself and is therefore by definition not already informed, cannot always tell what is propaganda, because he (a) cannot tell what is lies and (b) cannot tell what is omitted.
Examples are legion, but one shining example is nearly all modern histories of the Crusades, written since the main object became avoiding “Islamophobia.” Sure, some true facts are in there. Many lies are in there, and much is omitted, all with the specific desire to sell a specific, false “history,” that exalts Muslims and denigrates Christians. Or, more recently, there was what looked like an interesting new history of the Vikings. But when you read other reviews, you realized that one of its main points was to claim that the Vikings were trannies.
There are no doubt some areas where history advances. There are not nearly as many of those as you seem to claim (nearly all of them are tied to archaeology), and the benefits of newer books have to be weighed against the costs I identify. Why, exactly, would I have an “impoverished” view of Islam if I read books a century old? Don’t quote Edward Said to me.
I, for example, could read a book on quite a few history topics and know when I am being lied to, by commission or omission. That is not true for most young people, to whom my article was directed. Most of the “history” they have been taught is lies, unless they went to a specifically right-wing school. Their being bathed in lies will continue if they do not choose “very carefully.” Choosing books “published by academic presses” may be worse than reading popular histories; no book can be published today on any even remotely controversial topic without bowing before the right gods.
Let’s take an example. The now-elderly David Hackett Fischer wrote, thirty years ago, Albion’s Seed, about the “four folkways” of Englishmen that constituted colonial America. Throughout that book, he refers to an upcoming book he had written, about blacks in colonial America. His main point was that there was no importation of black culture from Africa, and that in fact what we think of as a “black accent” was in fact a very specific English accent from a particular area. That is, blacks in America were deracinated and had lost all connection with their origins, and rather adopted new cultures from English folkways. Sounds interesting.
He did not publish the book when he said he would. I know people who asked him, and he demurred; it was obvious, even in the 1990s, you could not publish a book that did not claim black culture was not unique and important. But, this past May, his book did come out! It is titled African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals, and is obviously (though I will never read it) just a book celebrating how wonderful black culture really made America, no doubt culminating in the gift that God gave us of the sacred George Floyd. The blurb says the book shows how black people “enlarged American ideas of freedom in varying ways in different regions of the early United States. . . . This startling history reveals how much our country was shaped by these African influences in its early years, producing a new, distinctly American culture.” This is exactly the opposite of what Fischer said he was going to write.
You can get a flavor of the angle of the book by the top Amazon review, which is titled “This changes everything” and contains such gems as “Fischer conducts an unprecedented wide and deep and evidence-based inquiry, not to advance a political agenda, but to pursue the truth of how African slaves helped found our idealistic, contradictory, unstable, aspirational republic.” Sure they did. The statement refutes itself. Yet you can be sure that tens or hundreds of thousands of students will read this tripe and believe it.
Why Fischer would do this, I have no idea. He’s 85. It doesn’t matter; the point is this, and everything else produced today, should be assumed unreliable in whole or in part unless proven otherwise. (It is no doubt true that most explicitly conservative history produced today is cringe-worthy. That’s why older books, which are conservative because that is reality, not because they are trying to be, should be the default.)
Although, I will say I have read Gibbon, and don’t think much of him. He was a propagandist, just like modern historians.
It’s not impossible to understand medieval history without grounding in Aristotle. That’s silly. You exaggerate the impact of Platonism and Greek philosophy on Orthodoxy (though this is a large and very debated topic). My difficulties with David Bentley Hart have nothing to do with his opinion about philosophy; his earlier work was excellent, but he is now an overt heretic and clearly has a screw loose, probably because he came to believe his own press.
You should remember that the Ancient Greeks, at the height of their power, had something between distaste and contempt for philosophers such as Aristotle. No doubt Greek philosophy has been highly influential on Western civilization, but the idea that it is necessary for civilizational success, or individual success, is false.
It seems to me your viewpoint is like that of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web, who hold the belief that if only the Left would give the Right a little space, everything would be great. Meanwhile, we can live in the culture they allow us, and if we don’t complain, maybe we will be left alone. No. They want to kill us (see the remarks yesterday by the former head of the CIA, the execrable Hayden). The sooner we get that through our heads, the better off we will all be.
I think we’re misunderstanding each other to an extent. I actually agree with much of what you say here: I agree that there is little to no return on debating leftists. When I say normie conservatives can’t defend themselves, I mean that they don’t possess the mental framework to resist progressive ideas like transgenderism, and invariably end up accepting all the left’s ideas over time. Men of an older, saner generation would have just dismissed it instinctively. But resisting something like transgenderism today requires the ability to think categorically and make some finer metaphysical distinctions. Thus, a lot of younger conservatives, who have no intellectual training, just get steamrolled by the fancy verbiage of the left.
I admire Albion’s Seed, but I agree with your points about Fischer. It is suspicious, and indeed there is a lot of pressure from publishers to conform to trends.
Regarding the Crusades, I’m curious what books you have in mind? Jonathan Riley Smith is probably the best known Crusades scholar in recent history, and he certainly is not a Muslim apologist. I read Paul Cobb’s book, and while you can tell he is a pretty standard liberal, I don’t recall many distortions in his book. Same with Carol Hillenbrand. I guess I’m willing to deal with the imperfections of academic history because they at least are written in a format that shows you the sources and allows you to follow the interpretation. Popular history doesn’t do that, which allows for looser narrative weaving.
On the topic of Islamic history, the field has actually become way more skeptical of Islam and more willing to challenge Muslim dogmas than 100 years ago. To some extent, the field was blown wide open in the 70s and 80s, and now people are asking a lot of questions that weren’t acceptable before. Older books (see Montgomery Watt) tend to just regurgitate Muslim narratives, whereas scholars have always treated the Bible with withering skepticism. Take a modern scholar like Stephen Shoemaker, who very unapologetically points out the violent nature of early Islam in his academic books and is still well-respected. Conservatives could read him ( a real scholar), but instead they will invariably flock to some cringey “politically incorrect” guide to Islam or something. Again, I’m just pointing out that it’s not at all clear cut.
I loathe Edward Said…but you should check out Steve Sailer’s interesting take on him.
Re: philosophy, I am certainly not arguing that civilizations need it, nor is it essential to all people. But a vague familiarity with Aristotle and Plato are required to understand how medieval and ancient people saw the universe ( I should have specified intellectual history). See, for example, CS Lewis’ brilliant book The Discarded Image. Medieval Catholic theology without Aristotle is almost incomprehensible.
I have no position on Hart’s universalist claims. Whether he is a heretic or not is for the bishops to decide; thus far, none have denounced him. I was simply referring to the fact that in your reviews of his books, you say that you have trouble following his philosophical arguments. In any case, you can of course, be a perfectly good Christian without understanding the theology perfectly, but there is no denying that the Arian controversy and all the Christological controversies leading up to the council of Chalcedon result from the collision of Christian ideas with Greek philosophical categories. You can lament that fact, but it is nevertheless true that when people debated the “nature” of Christ they were relying on concepts originating in Greek philosophy.
I realize that I am perhaps unfairly projecting a frustration of mine onto you. As you said, explicitly conservative history is unbearably bad. If your foundationalist future does come to pass, I want a higher intellectual standard than Rush Limbaugh books on American history.
Thank you; I certainly don’t intend to be rude! (As my father used to say, a gentleman is a man who is never rude by accident.) This sort of exchange is, I think, a valuable part of TWH.
1) I had, specifically, Asbridge’s books in mind, but there are others. I have all of Smith’s books, and have read most of them. But I would be shocked if a single institution not explicitly Right uses Smith’s books. I am not familiar with Cobb or Hillenbrand, or Shoemaker, although they all look interesting.
I will admit that the Crusades might not be the best example. After all, Islam occupies an odd, conflicted, place in Left thinking, and the high water mark of Muslim victimology is well over a decade past. Moreover, past history isn’t always great either—Stephen Runciman was terrible (in many of the same ways as Gibbon), and everyone knows it. But it’s easy to demonstrate the total corruption of academic history on a holistic level; just check out the recent forced humiliation of James H. Sweet, head of the AHA, who dared to offer some very mild questioning of the viciously anti-white “1619 Project” and related propaganda. See https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2022/is-history-history-identity-politics-and-teleologies-of-the-present. I don’t think it’s plausible that this atmosphere produces any significant amount of reliable writing on history.
2) I completely agree that medieval Catholic theology, and more generally medieval intellectual history, in the West (see my review of Etienne Gilson), revolves largely around Aristotle. But my point is that neither of those topics is of great importance to the present moment, nor to the young of the present moment. It might be good to live in such a society; we do not, and we will not unless we take much more direct action (along the lines of the quote by John Adams about his sons and grandsons).
3) Orthodox hierarchs, and even more Catholic ones, need to do a LOT more denouncing. In fact, they should reserve at least five hours a week for nothing but, including related ceremonies such as excommunication.
4) I will entirely agree that most “conservative” popular writing is nasty tripe. It is a shame. But it’s part of the degradation of society, and that there is no Right elite. Which is a topic coming up . . . .
I really enjoyed reading this, it certainly provoked a lot of thought. Some of this I had considered already in some fragmented form or another, which other parts of it were entirely new and stretched my brain. I have many more thoughts and I will chew on this for a while as I toss it back and forth among friends but for now, I will share this:
I work in mental health, as an entrepreneur, with the gun community. It’s quite the juxtaposition, but one in which I relish the contributions I make in helping to demystify counseling for those who need it but are afraid of walking into a Leftist ambush. There are more like me out here who are in hiding, afraid to come out of the closet because they are overly concerned with what their peer colleagues might think, not wanting to risk ostraciziation. I kicked that to the curb a few years ago but across many professions, people believe they are trapped. If they can’t immediately set free those who are self-censoring, I hope at least that these words you’ve written will help the next generation as we raise them differently. Thanks for the article.
Yes, my strong opinion is that there are many people like you, and moreover, once we get rid of (by internal or external exile, most likely) the 5% of people who are ideologues or commissars, the fashions of most people will shift rapidly. This is the historical norm, and it will happen here, with added force from the Left having (hopefully) become permanently discredited.
New reader here. This is good, provocative stuff. It’s well written, deep and broad. Nobody is ever going to agree with 100% of what somebody else says every time, unless they are a simpering syncophant. So the comment section is good and provocative as well.
I think the takeaways here are mostly both practical and insightful. Although I’m no longer young and approaching the tail end of my career ( working with my hands ( and my brain) as a surgeon), I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s nice to see somebody arrive at many of the same conclusions I have, albeit by a different path. Society is collapsing and the collapse is accelerating. Despite dancing as fast as it can, and shouting as loud as it can, the regime is getting progressively more clumsy. You can practically see the sweat trickle down their foreheads as they fabricate a state of continual crisis. There is little art in their sledgehammer ( Procrustean as you say) attempts to manipulate the public square and force through the very types of oppressive policies that will only hasten their well deserved demise. Financially and socially the cake is baked. And the overt hostility of the learjet Leftist class and their political lackeys have for the rest of us is by definition no longer closeted.
Most jobs these days are bullshit jobs, that add no value. Most “innovations” these days are also bullshit. So is most of what passes for modern intellectual activity. Delivering food may provide desired convenience and it may be lucrative for some venture capitalists, but a food delivery app is a novelty, not a breakthrough. Ideologies based entirely on lies ultimately just hurt everybody on the receiving end. Our institutions have been deracinated. Trust is a scarce commodity.
The growth of the administrative ( professional-managerial) class is a cancer that is strangling practitioners in all areas of productive endeavor. Most desk jockeys are superfluous. The administration of most enterprises only requires a ton of administrators to cope with the business preventative regulations and laws that have been invented to stifle competition and provide control for government. Based on my personal observations this class of worker is not particularly virtuous, with nary an original thought in their heads. We’ve seen this in medicine for 40 years. The suits add enormous cost and hassle on the backs of the practitioners and patients, with little benefit to show for it.
A particularly malicious offshoot of the metastatic regulatory regime is the explosion of lawyers. Somebody has to write the laws/regulations and fight over them. We have gone from being a nation of laws to a nation of lawyers. We now all need a lawyer to resolve even the most picayune matter/dispute. The tail is wagging the dog, and the dog is getting dizzy.
I didn’t think 15 years ago that I’d be worried about a neo-Marxist takeover of the United States. I underestimated the extent of the rot. As I woke up things became clearer and the atomization of society more personal. As a practical matter in late middle age I feel I’ve had no choice but to achieve a degree of competence in areas which were not previously on my radar: handling a firearm, securing and storing provisions and other elements for survival, thinking about strategies for bugging out, teaching my wife and kids the same.
I agree the status quo is not long for this world. Reality always wins. Athough you have to give credit to the bad guys – they have been resourceful and ruthless in their quest for self-preservation. We have to be even more resourceful and determined. We will get there, but not without sacrifice. I don’t know what the next phase looks like, nobody does. But it isn’t what we have now, and there’s going to be some bad times before the smoke settles.
This comment is absolute fire. Excellently stated!
Everyone else’s job looks easy from the outside if it is done right.
There are those who would call surgery a “bullshit job”, reasoning that most surgeries these days are elective or cosmetic, and that emergency surgeries only occasionally restore the patient to an independent, high-quality existence for a period of time commensurate with the suffering endured and the expense invested.
I’m a federal bureaucrat who works at a desk in a support role for a part of the government which handles debt financing. Sounds pretty “bullshit”, right? But my office would be required even if the government ran a a surplus rather than at a deficit, because revenue receipts and expense disbursements are highly uneven both seasonally and situationally. Moreover, a higher headquarters function is required to analyze and plan, for example, the timing, amount and denominational distribution of federal securities auctions. And somebody has to continually monitor and update operational issues as well as plan for contingencies such as attempted auction intrusions and interest rate manipulation schemes. To not do so would hazard the financial integrity of the United States, not to mention incur trillions of dollars in additional non-optimized interest expense for future taxpayers. So, maybe my job isn’t bullshit.
We all get paid because somebody deems our services desirable. If I could, I’d ridicule the phrase “bullshit job” out of usage.
While it may be true that your job is not a bullshit job (although since a good 90+% of what the federal government does is either unnecessary or pernicious, it can both be true that you perform an actual service valuable to the system, and that that service is objectively worthless to society), it strikes me as entirely bizarre to suggest that bullshit jobs in general do not exist. It smacks of long-discredited University of Chicago 1990s ideology. More thoughts here, explaining exactly what constitutes a bullshit job.
[From your linked essay]: “Basically, Graeber thinks a BS job is one where if the worker simply stopped working, nobody would notice, or care.”
With the possible exception of George Costanza’s fictional work, this describes no job I’ve ever seen. When a worker paid to perform a service stops performing that service, the one paying them to perform that service, immediately upon discovery of this unhappy circumstance, assuredly notices and cares. If I paid a University if Chicago student to sing “Telephone Rag” while dancing his way down East 59th Street, and he quit after the first stanza, I’d notice, and I’d want for him to continue or refund my money. The logic of this is so elementary that I’m amazed less that the creators of the “bullshit job” appellation overlooked it than that their editors did.
I think this is wrong, and wildly so. Graeber’s other, parallel definition of a BS job is one where if it were made illegal, no black market would develop. For example, 90% of HR jobs are BS jobs, and no sane person would dispute this. True, much of what they do is mandated by government, but that is not the contrary of them being BS jobs. And while there is a certain amount of hyperbole in what Graeber says, in that it is unlikely nobody would notice, in most cases, if a worker simply stopped showing up to work, it is true that in a huge number of jobs, that work no longer being done would have no socially negative consequences. It might have negative consequences, in that a supervisor would not have someone he was putatively supervising, or fewer anti-white struggle sessions would be conducted, but “nobody caring” here means society, not special interests. And by the criterion of society noticing or caring, I think it indisputable that a majority of PME jobs in America, maybe 80%, maybe even more, are BS jobs.
You are taking things personally, bro. Obviously the themes in this thread struck a chord. I didn’t say you had a bullshit job. I don’t know you. I just said there are a lot of people who do and IMHO aren’t adding value. I’ve seen them in inaction. It isn’t their fault necessarily. More on that below. They have to survive and they may like what they do. It takes a lot of vegetables to make the stew. They may be competent at what they do, whatever that is. I confess, I like people who are creators, build things with their hands, get their fingernails dirty, sweat, take personal risk, take responsibility for themselves and those they care about and walk it like they talk it. The 30,000 foot perspective of society: are the administrators adding value? I’m comfortable telling you that most administrators in 2022 are redundant and because there is no market mechanism for right sizing government and government dependent enterprises that feed off the public teat ( other than impending collapse, bankruptcy ( sometimes, unless they are “too big to fail”, or revolution), there is no incentive to run lean, as there would be in a truely free market environment ( which means limited government, not zero government). Of course “value” is to a great extent in the eyes of the beholder.
The darker side of the administrative overload/overlord is something we already know from history and have had shoved in our face in abundance during the fabricated COVID disaster. Most people won’t stand up on their hind legs and speak truth to power. Most people won’t fight. They’ll conform until their olfactory brain sniffs out the winds of change and their survival instinct shifts. Some people will vigorously defend things they know at every level of their being are just wrong. Others will go into denial to rationalize their choices. The administrators these days are the paper enforcers of conformity. They build the tall walls of legal subjugation. They interpret the regulations to their taste. They hide behind the rules when the rules are unjust, do harm, and for personal gain. They are “just doing their jobs”, “just obeying orders”, even when clearly wrong or illegal in the case of various government agencies these days. We are seeing that the unaccountable, unelected, incompetent and frankly malicious government bureaucracy has greater power than the elected representative government. This is in great measure the proximate root of our current debacle as a nation This doesn’t mean you are a bad guy. Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. But you might be on the wrong team. (BTW I know lots of people who have worked for the Federal government, including people in significant positions, who weren’t that enamored of the experience.)
But I think it’s cute that you are so well-informed and so well-placed to evaluate each of our millions of individual jobs jobs according to their imagined value to your imagined society.
Me? I value a job according to how much it pays.
It’s simpler that way.
Perfect response for both our purposes. Cheers.
Nothing to add, but always good to see others reaching the same conclusions by different life paths!
Thank you for standing up and sharing your point of view. We need more erudite discussion and common sense in the public square.
Greetings Charles (great name btw),
I enjoyed your article. You’ve basically typed out my life! [(F) 3+ progeny]. However, our church system in America is an octupus arm of the Federal government. Since 1913, all our “churches” are 401c3 tax exempt toothless, mangy old dogs. Our “pastors” were taught by Schofield and zionist rabbis in theology school. Many take up special tithes go to inner cities and “Zion” in Palestine. Catholic and Lutheran charities run refugee aid programs with our tax dollars. Any family still stuck going to one of these whorehouses is probably not good marriage material for the long haul. I’ll take your suggestion of Dallas, as an example: I catch some zio-evangelical FM radio clips on Sunday occassionally just to see what the subversion has to say – “As Gawds peepull dze gews weil allwayz be Pursieyqcuuted!” Barf. But the mega church crowd eats up this vomit. No, come OUT of whore Babylon churches that have fornicated with the Beast system. There are normal, White moral people of both genders looking for love outside that filthy institution of modern day Israeli subversion.
An excellent read mister Haywood! Certainly a “due north” cardinal point for any and all youth, at this time of earthly and especially Western history, in my humble opinion. We need to create not only with our thumb on our hand, but also with the thumb in our intellects. To make use of the grasping thumb to ensnare what the other four digits are trying to hold. The trouble with smart people is that they could outsmart themselves and, with enough power, outsmart the world.
Thank you! To all, live long and prosper.
“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.”
– A Solzhenitsyn
One of my closest friends has worked in the mines over the years, with a recent hiatus of about 4 years working on the pipeline and on highway construction. He has decided to go back underground, and competed his continuing ed to get his shift boss card current. Before he can go back underground, to mine coal, my friend has to complete a sensitivity training unit!! Srsly.
There aren’t many jobs further removed from the PME than going underground to mine coal in WV, and yet, even to do this, he has to dance to the tune of the HR mean girls.
Precisely. Those HR jobs are BS jobs.
So, my daughter’s HR job is ensuring that applicants to sensitive federal contractor positions complete their background screening. So that they don’t become the next Brad Manning.
Hard to say, without an objective view of the job. But it is “90%,” not 100%. Payroll clerks will always be necessary. Background checks are important for national security, perhaps–but one could argue, since the American military-industrial complex is bullshit, any HR job that serves it is also bullshit. This is what I mean by “it can both be true that you perform an actual service valuable to the system, and that that service is objectively worthless to society.” In a correctly run society, that job would likely not exist, because our (small) military would be protecting America, not busy imposing globohomo by force on nations that don’t want it, with its generals traitorously working against the duly elected President, and therefore espionage concerns would be much narrower in scope.
Nobody came after your daughter’s job, stop trying to find excuses to be offended here.
Though if you want an answer it’s probably a job with actual work but bullshit results as those people are probably hired for jobs in the Cthulhu state.
While there is a lot of street wisdom from the school of hard knocks in this piece, it also has some glaring flaws… which, to reiterate, does negate what is generally (marginally qualified) good advice for a large segment of the US male population.
The writer’s denigration of the Chinese is typical “Normie” thinking by people who either can’t compete with or relate to those who possess demonstrably higher IQ’s. (Look up Murray and Herrnstein’s “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life”) It is probably more likely that the outlook is simply that of someone who has never questioned the fabricated deep state “Republicrat“ declaration of the external enemy as the “Yellow Peril” in order to distract from the real internal enemy who one can easily deduce is NOT the Chinese (or Russians) had one studied a little bit of the stuff one learns in the “worthless” [sic] humanities including even those of the evil Enlightenment: “To learn who rules over you, observe who you are not allowed to criticize.” (Attributed to Voltaire) For those who have not studied logic or philosophy, I will make it simple. If everyone right, left or center thinks it is OK to criticized the Chinese, but it is against the law and taboo to criticize, Jews, Blacks, Homosexuals, Trannies, etc. do you think it might be possible that the Chinese are the ones being singled out as scapegoats in order to focus anger against a fabricated external enemy so that it doesn’t get focused on the real internal one?
Before condemning the study of philosophy (literature, arts, music… and all the Humanities as “bunk” Haywood would do well to consider the wisdom of Plato who understood that any civilization (that Haywood himself would want to live in) would require a wide variety of not only skills but temperaments, personalities and physical attributes all of which translates to a variety of vocations and types of work. Rather than vilifying college education and exalting manual labor (as Marx did) Haywood should consider focusing his criticisms on the media/propaganda system (run by who?) that channels masses of students into colleges instead of trade and vocational training for which they would be better suited, more productive, gainfully employed and happier. Just because there is a surplus of unqualified people studying the Humanities and cranking out bunk does not mean that the Humanities themselves are bunk.
By their very nature the Humanities incorporate more of the subjective and existential side of life than do the objective disciplines of math, science and engineering. That does not make them worthless, in fact it makes them extremely valuable, because no man or society can live without a strong subjective and existential understanding of his life and its meaning in the culture in which he lives and works. It is also why the PME need to pervert and control the Humanities so that they will have more unthinking drones at their disposal to fight their wars and work in their corporations. Because the subject matters of the Humanities are less objective and more personal they are also easier to manipulate, pervert and use as propaganda. But it takes someone trained in the Humanities to understand this, communicate it and counter it. As C.S. Lewis said, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy must be answered… The learned life then, is for some, a duty.” Haywood rightly understands that knowing one’s self is not worth much without knowing one’s duty. He also needs to realize that duty alone is a very poor motivator and figuring that out and communicating it widely is unlikely to gain traction coming from a tradesman unless that tradesman is widely educated in the Humanities regardless of whether acquires that knowledge by self-training or formal education.
“It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time – for we are bound by that – but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time… No one can become really educated without having pursued some study in which he took no interest- for it is a part of education to learn to interest ourselves in subjects for which we have no aptitude.” – T.S. Eliot
This comment deserves a fairly long response, because it betrays a lack of understanding about both this site and the Foundationalist state/society.
1) The idea that the problem with Chinese nationals coming here to steal our stuff and take the places that would otherwise go to Americans is that they are more intelligent is silly. It is no doubt true that Chinese, and Asians generally, are more intelligent than other racial groups. It is also true that they, as a society, have never managed to accomplish anything with that intelligence, because societal success is based on a lot more than intelligence. The problems are what I identified, nothing more.
I don’t regard the Chinese as a relevant civilizational competitor; they are already failing, because they failed to have enough children, and anyway, their cultural characteristics would have ensured that today, as ever, they would not be great. (That doesn’t meant our civilization is not even worse off, though.) I don’t care about Taiwan, nor do I think we should spend resources preparing to fight the Chinese in what is, and should be, their own sphere of power. The United States should have little or nothing to say about what happens in the Far East. Who cares? But we should certainly ship every Chinese national studying here back, tomorrow, or preferably today, and not invite any of them back. (Any Chinese national, not just students, should be suspect, and assumed to not be acting in America’s interests, and deported, unless he can prove otherwise.)
2) You have not read much of this site if you have missed the innumerable criticisms of trannies and homosexuals. As to the former, the Foundationalist state will treat, in an appropriate manner, the mental illness of gender dysphoria. It will also hunt down and punish everyone who has been involved, whether for ideology or profit, in the chemical or physical mutilation of children, including public execution for the most notable offenders, and it will utterly forbid any such mutilation for adults. As to the latter, it is clear that the homosexual agenda has been a major driver of the Left’s depravities, and enormously destructive, especially in the realm of child molestation (conducted at a vastly greater rate by homosexuals than by heterosexuals), but also corrosive of all right order. (No successful society has ever existed without extremely rigid sexual taboos.) The Foundationalist state will therefore aggressively stigmatize homosexuality and will levy very heavy social and other debilities on anyone who insists on publicly identifying as homosexual, though in most cases will not legally punish homosexual acts (though I might change my mind on this). (Of course, adultery and other heterosexual vice will also be similarly punished.)
As to blacks, I have no criticisms of black people qua black people. No doubt black people, as do all racial groups, vary genetically on a variety of measures, including having very substantially lower average IQs. That’s a social management matter, not a reason to indulge in fantasies of white ethnostates or similar weird fantasies. Diversity is not our strength, but that’s what we’re going to have, so we need to manage it (though of course, almost zero immigration should be allowed, and anybody here illegally should be deported, including all those with bogus “birthright citizenship,” which will help with our diversity problem). Likewise, I have no criticisms of Jews qua Jews, and am in general very favorably disposed to Jews. I recognize, however, that every society struggles with Jews, both because Jews are smarter and more successful than others in almost every instance, and because having a group that is never fully part of a society always causes difficulties. (Related, but not the same, I favor Greater Israel ruling most of the Middle East. I’d certainly prefer a reborn Byzantine Empire, maybe headed by the Tsar of All the Russias, but that doesn’t seem on offer.) Again, this is a management problem, not some reason to babble about how the “JOOOOOOZ run everything!”
3) I have hardly “condemned the study” of philosophy and the humanities. This piece is “My Advice to the Young,” however, and for the reasons identified, no young person should study any such matter at college. He needs to prepare himself to be useful and resilient in the coming years of turmoil. After that, when our society is cleansed, organized study of the humanities will be very valuable, and necessary, as it is for every functioning society. He may want to study such things on his own, as I noted. But it cannot be the main focus now, because that’s the way it is. (Moreover, I did mention vocational training.)
Now I’m going to step in it.You write well and have thought through a lot of issues, but some of your positions are dogmatic to the point that they will as a practical matter render your philosophy untranslatable into a successful large movement. In particular as regards people of different ethnicities, sexual orientation, and religions, you are going to be more successful, and have better quality allies if you find a way to be more welcoming to those who might be on board with most of your fundamental tenets, but may not meet all the rigid requirements in order to feel like first class citizens. (Unless of course you are looking for a small movement.) It’s not just a management issue. It’s both a moral and practical issue. Technology has made the world a very small place and that’s not going away. Allegiances will shift according to principles of attraction. In the future governments will compete for successful citizens. It’s going to happen after these Neo-Marxist toads croak their last. The Founders of this country got it right in terms of all men being created equal under God and deserving of opportunity ( but not equal outcomes), and the separation of Church and State. They got it right as well with the recognition and institutionalization of the rights of the individual, notwithstanding the fact that this country was created predominantly by Christians and invested with Christian values. Christianity to my understanding is not incompatible with those ideals. It goes without saying that sans Christianity, much of what this country accomplished would never have happened and our particular set of national characteristics would have been vastly different. But the first Christians here were considered heretics by other Christians somewhere else, were they not? Meritocratic advancement pathways are key. Make your philosophy open to the best and the brightest. If the best particle physicist in the world wants to immigrate to your country, but happens to be an Uzbeki Jew are you going to say no? I don’t think so. You’re too smart to make that mistake. It’s a different matter entirely if he’s a dedicated Communist or fundamentally hostile to your country, which paradoxically seems to be fine with suicidal Western governments these days. Is an official state religion a recipe for success? You’re going to limit your talent pool. Similarly, some phenomena are going to be intransigent . As regards homosexuality, most people don’t “choose” their sexual orientation. It’s not something they can unchoose. It’s mostly biological or so deeply rooted in some childhood trauma that it’s unconscious. I don’t care what happens between two consenting adults for the most part. Child abuse is a different matter and like other serious forms of evil deserves vigorous prosecution regardless of the gender preference of the offender. And absolutely, some “lifestyles” are not models for a successful society. Being an alcoholic is a lifestyle, but nobody with a brain would seriously suggest we should all be alcoholics to get ahead. (Although the D.C. uniparty does seem fine with everybody turning into potheads and fentanyl victims.) I recognize that as a Christian, you may believe that as a matter of faith you are compelled to certain positions, but I believe that compassion, a recurrent principle and theme in Christianity, Judaism, and other religions, should not be left to the side in coming up with a comprehensive philosophy oriented toward a better society. That doesn’t mean the social safety net becomes a hammock. That’s a trap. We can all find a way forward. And we can look to the past for best practices in many, but not all, instances. There is much to be appreciated in what this country has created and in the Republican form of government. It’s got its faults, as we can see that it’s subject to manipulation by bad actors under weak leadership. What we are seeing these days is the perversion of its ideals by sleazy opportunits and grifters across the political spectrum who have sold us out. Your advice for kids is mostly right on and your view of traditional human roles in the family and in social hierarchy is also mostly correct. Hundreds of thousands of years of human experience have value, because repeated iteration over time under myriad conditions has been a constant forcing function toward successful strategies proven to be the best way to deal with problems and make sustainable progress. The current crop of Jacobins are dangerous idiots, like their original predecessors, and they won’t last.
You’re certainly not stepping in it; all are entitled to their opinion here (as long as expressed civilly). But this confuses “movement” and “society.” As I have noted many times before, I accept all kinds of allies. The shape of any future successful society will, however, of necessity allow a narrower range of socially acceptable behavior and belief. “The marketplace of ideas” is a destructive farce, as appealing as it once seemed, like so much of Enlightenment thought.
Thanks for your response. I don’t consider all ideas or nations equals in terms of advancing the cause of mankind and civilization. That pretty clearly is not the case. But you’re going to have to figure out a way to incorporate the role of technology which creates new opportunities and problems for society into any model, as it’s going to drive a lot of social development and present alternatives for talented people. The current government model is outdated. It no longer serves the needs of the people paying for it on any axis. While there are naturally elites, what we have now in power are degenerates and mediocrities for the most part. Have you looked into blockchain technology and some of the potential for trustless interaction? This has a lot of potential to mitigate social friction points without establishing central controls. I suspect the future will be more free, not less free, after a period of conflict.
A fair question, but one addressed from different angles in several writings here, in the “Technology” and “Science” topic sections (although blockchain is not specifically addressed in any detail, because I am agnostic about it at this point). But I certainly agree that on balance, despite much hand-wringing on the Right, technology is good for the Right, and that the digital Left panopticon is a fantasy.
You are correct, I do have a lack of understanding of your site. This article is the only thing I have read from it. In spite of my few critical comments, I thought it was an excellent piece. What I like most about it was that you are thinking way ahead of the maddening crowd about how to put Humpty back together again after he has been totally destroyed or self-destructed. This is brilliant and I totally commend you for it even if we disagree on a few points. Now that you have gotten my attention I will read more and promise to apologize if I have I have misunderstood you in any way.
I won’t pick the Foundationalist epistemological bone with you as I think it is completely irrelevant to where we disagree. Not to mention the fact that the vast majority of Americans are too stupid to even know what we are talking about, though I suspect some of your readers might actually get it. I have no idea what a “Foundationalist State” is. So hopefully you can enlighten me on that. Are you talking about Plato’s Republic, Biden’s America, Xi’s China or Putin’s Russia?
As I said, I really agree with most of what you said in this piece. But what I find totally incredulous is your statement that the Chinese “have never managed to accomplish anything with that intelligence, because societal success is based on a lot more than intelligence.” To anyone who has ever been to China (not just a US or Canadian “Chinatown”) this is laughable. Obviously you have never been to China or you would not make such an uninformed statement. Yes “societal success” (however you define that) is based on more than intelligence in the same way that “personal success” is (equally difficult to define). Maybe defining societal success would be a good place to start? Nevertheless, how ever you define it, the indisputable fact is that I can walk down any street in any major Chinese city at 2:00 AM in the morning with zero fear… while I cannot walk down the street of my own US suburban neighborhood after dark without carrying a gun and even then I don’t feel safe… and God forbid that I should ever have to use the gun. The law would certainly not be on my side even though I complied with every jot and tittle of it. All the more so if I, as a white man, shot one of the protected privileged minorities with a jail record a mile long while breaking into my neighbor’s house which I captured on my phone.
Chinese civilization, no matter how repulsive you may subjectively find it personally, is well documented to be at least 6,000 contiguous years old and probably more like 10,000. The US is 245 years and struggling to keep its head above water and its citizens from launching Civil War II. (I personally doubt it makes it to 250 years.) Explain to me again how those high IQ Chinese are have failed to achieve civilizational success while the low IQ Americans with their foundational epistemology have managed to achieve it? What am I missing? Should we factor in the homeless encampments in every major US city (none in China) into the civilizational equation? How about the dead kids shot up in our wonderful public school system that produces such stellar test scores internationally in spite of students having to dodge bullets just to stay alive and deal with gender dysphoria (none in China)? What a shame. They call gender dysphoria insanity in China. So civilizationally backward!
Gay marriage is still illegal in China and homosexuality while legal is socially repulsive to most Chinese – with exceptions of young people in Hong Kong and Shanghai influenced by foundational US and British philosophy and a media overwhelmingly supported, financed and promulgated by Jews. If you want to debate the fact of massive Jewish power, money, media, religious, intellectual and political support for homosexuality and transgenderism I will accept that challenge with enthusiasm, if you agree to publish it unredacted on this site.
In any successful and well-run society you can walk down the street without fear. That’s not what I mean by societal accomplishment. No doubt at the present moment it is much safer in China than in the United States; I think at the present moment China outranks the West on any number of crucial social measures. But in five thousand years, people will remember what the West did in our era (i.e., the Christian era, though hopefully there will be another Christian era), and what China did will not be remembered, because it meant nothing to this era. If it were not for the West, as I constantly say, we would be living in the world of the 15th, or the 12th, century.
Admires the homicidal Chinese CCP, hates Jews, thinks Americans have low IQs, but lives in America. Got it. You been hitting the slivovice? Well you Czechs make good beer and a decent pistol and Milan Kundera is a great writer. Other than that, meh.
If you go to China and you get to know Chinese people who aren’t party members or who are party members, but trust you somehwhat and will speak frankly, you might change your tune. And btw, China has street crime and dangerous areas. Plus they lock you in your apartment against your will for months at a time. Is that a feature or a bug?
How exactly do you define “social accomplishment” and “social success?” Lifting 800 million uneducated peasants out of abject poverty and turning the entire country into a buzzing dynamo in 40 years is no small feat and will no doubt go down in history as bigger by the numbers than anything the West has ever done. Creating a functioning society that is governable and has a high degree of freedom, safety and wealth, is again no small feat. Surveys made by the Chinese government and audited by numerous Western agencies both public and private show the CCP with a 85%+ approval rating. By any Western standard that indicates a higher level of functional democracy than anywhere in the West which is even more remarkable when one considers it was accomplished by people who do not even vote! No wonder Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between hates China… she makes them look like buffoons, frauds and losers… which they are.
I too share your love and appreciation of Western Civilization. But I try to deal with the world as it is not necessarily as I would like it to be, though I do also try to be guided by the latter. However, prophesying 5,000 years into the future is above my pay grade, though if I had to bet on it, I would bet on the civilization which has managed to maintain itself on the core foundational values of the Tao for 10,000 +/- years VS the upstart flash in the pan civilization that has only managed to last for 245 years and insists that there no difference between male and female.
As for the Western “Christian Era”… there are approximately 68 million Christians in China and Chinese pastors whom I have personally spoken with estimate that the real number is much higher. The Christian Church in all its flavors is growing far more rapidly in China than it is in the US, and from what I have experienced myself it is more sincere and authentic than in the US. I honestly don’t know whether I want another “Christian Era” or not. Jesus himself told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. Pilate seemed satisfied with that answer and was prepared to set him free… before a certain high IQ but (according to Jung) “highly uncivilized” tribe of thieves and squatters threw a tantrum and threatened to start a riot.
That same nomadic tribe of thieves and ex-slaves that were squatting in Rome at the time of Christ had earlier moved into Canaan (a highly advanced civilization) during the late Bronze Age, and as it was collapsing (due to a variety of natural disasters and broken supply chains) ravaged entire cities by terrorizing the inhabitants and squatting in (to quote their own records) “…land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.” (Joshua 24:13)
The tribe claimed that because the land fell into their hands like over-ripe fruit, it was given to them by their god (the only true God) who gave it to them in return for them enacting divine punishment against the evil inhabitants – you know, uncivilized people like the Phoenicians who gave us uncivilized things like the alphabet and the Babylonians who invented worthless things like astronomy, calendars, and math. The god of this conquering tribe, ostensibly told them to not just kill all the fighting men but also the infants and even the flocks and pets, but… they could take the most beautiful women captive for wives, concubines and slaves… for as long as they “found pleasure in them.”
The truth is that as far back as written and archeological history goes, all civilizations are stolen, pilfered, copied and improvised on from somewhere else, and those who do the deeds and survive to tell the story invariably tell it from their point of view and usually get the credit for any perceived civilizational “improvements” by calling the new synthesis their own. All empires whether absolute empires consisting of military conquest or clandestine empires run behind the scenes by infiltrating governments, banking, media, entertainment, academia, law etc. essentially survive and expand by incorporating what they perceive as the best and most useful of the people they conquer or control by stealth. If there are any marginal exceptions to this that have any hint of originality, it would be the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China… of which only China has survived the modern synthesis intact.
Reams of history have been and are currently being written in China today that never get translated in the West. (What could the longest surviving civilization on earth possibly understand the we in the West do not?) Much of that history documents truthfully what China has borrowed from the rest of the world, if and only if, what was being borrowed was deemed superior to what the Middle Kingdom itself had invented or discovered and if it served a useful purpose that would not undermine Chinese values and society. Hmmm, does that meet your definition of a “foundational state” or is something clever like Descartes “I think therefor I am” a more certain and sure epistemic foundation that you would prefer to hang your civilizational hat on? Our mutually beloved Western Civilization did not descend from some novel axiomatic foundation that wasn’t itself someone else’s a priori.
This is addressed in various writings under the topic “Great Divergence,” but that China managed to lift itself out of the mire using Western technology and Western principles doesn’t say much for China, especially because in the same breath the same people claim that China has been great for 4,000 years, yet only in the past century managed to find (copy) the path.
Christianity by itself does not make a civilization great. It is true, but that is not the recipe (by itself) for temporal success, though there are strong indications Christianity is a driver of larger civilizational accomplishment, in combination with other factors.
The relationship of “great civilizations” of the ancient world to today is hard to parse out. (Your side references about the Old Testament I address in my review of “God is a Man of War.”) You may also want, for China, to check out my reviews of Toby Huff’s books.
1. Do you speak and read Chinese?
2. Please read Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.
I think we should take China and the civilizational threat it poses very seriously. But China has not been particularly great in the arts or intellect (which is noteworthy, given that its population has always been greater than that of Europe), and it did not invent modern mathematics or the scientific method. Why China and the East have been so much less impressive than the West is a large and fascinating topic, but an undeniable one, too.
I think the problem here is that ya’ll are, in essence, sons of the merchant class, and the merchant caste, no matter how many ‘good’ schools they erect in Chicago or anywhere else, will always be a class better suited to selling vegetables and trading grains than forming a ruling elite in a higher culture. Let’s face it, the bourgeoisie are merchant stock, which is one level above craft people and slaves. This is why there are so many Jewish fellow travelers in your ideology: Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Alissa Rosenbaum and Henry Kissinger — merchant and money lender mentalities all. You simply cannot build a superior culture with merchant leaders at the top. Or look at National Socialism: thugs simply cannot be the elite, they can only be ultra-right populists. Fascism may be a good aesthetic, but as politics it attracts only strong apes, not supermen.
Your kind should leave the thinking to the overmen and continue selling your vegetables and skin care products. I’m sorry, but it’s for the best.
To put it bluntly, you may have an IQ of 275, as I’m sure Milton Freedman does, but that does not make you a natural aristocracy. The fact that you cannot notice this is definitive proof that you are unfit to be that aristocracy. This is a deeply autistic culture, so full of idiot savants that not even its ‘revolutionaries’ notice that a transcendent cultural spiritual moment is not going to be brought about by geeks with messianic complexes — as those pathetic world changers in Silicon Valley truly and sincerely believe — but by Spirit in itself, which is not the same as res cogitans. That is the drama of the bourgeois gifted child since Descartes: no matter how clever and capitalist you are, you will never be fit in virtue of aesthetic development and philosophic temperament to constitute the true superior culture. The communists confuse society with culture; you confuse economy with culture. Neither of you have the aristocratic characteristics to deliver higher culture as such.
Friedman, not Freedman. And he is dead, so he “does” not have anything. The trolling, while amusing, is getting tiresome; this will be your last comment here.
Dear Mr. Haywood,
I have been binge-reading your blog the last few weeks. I really like your concept of book reviews going further than just analysing the content, but your standalone articles are also very well written and full of insights. As I am not young anymore but a father of two, I wanted to ask you, if you could share some advice on raising children in this insane world? Do you have any literature to recommend?
A good question, and perhaps one I should write a follow-on piece about. I suppose the short answer is “implement what I say in my piece about advice to the young.” That is, guide your children in those paths, and encourage them to take that advice. Beyond that, I’d have to give this some more thought, but it seems to me the basics of raising children in this world are simple, but hard. The key element is to keep your children from what used to be accurately called “bad company.” That’s no longer greasers with switchblades, though. It’s the groomers who teach at the local school, other parents, and the children of those parents, and bad influences mediated by technology.
Thus, it’s malpractice to send your children to any public school; you should homeschool, or find the right classical school, and you should rigidly oversee, even there, your children’s friends and teachers. Parents should parent, and simply forbid company they think may be harmful. For some reason, even many Right-leaning parents seem to allow their children to dictate to them. They shouldn’t, and they should ignore any pleas from the children, or suggestions they children won’t be adequately socialized.
Tied to this is that devices of all types should be forbidden entirely. Certainly cell phones, until high school at the very earliest, and even then it should be a judgment about each child. No social media, of course. Again, so many parents think this is impossible; it’s not, in the least. It just requires will. Computers should be treated as occasionally necessary evils, but never used if not necessary, and always supervised strictly. Similarly, ideally zero television should be allowed; if a little is allowed, it should be very aggressively curated.
Do all this, and you’ll have a pretty good chance of raising successful kids, ready to face the challenges ahead.
Hey Charles, I just found your blog and finally I found someone who can articulate what I have been uncovering about the world for myself in the last few years! Would you have a top ten list of must read books to recommend? Many thanks, I am looking forward to exploring more of your blog.