It’s the end of the month, and that means it time to release something that’s been sitting around rotting since February. Some of the links might no longer work, that’s the downside of the every-changing nature of the internet.

Last time it started with Henley and led to Hayden. So naturally, the next round began with Tom Hayden.

SP initiates: This was mockingly pointed out at the Lew Rockwell blog.
I’m pretty morose about the future of my own country, but here I can say: suck it up, Tom.

MM responds: Given that Lew has spent the last couple of years promoting a Tom Hayden foreign policy, you’d think he’d have some shame!

I’m pretty morose about the prospect that Tom Hayden will ever have his head shaved and be driven by catcalls through the streets, like a French collaborateuse. But perhaps I should have more hope. It’s good to hope.

SP: What’s the difference between Lew’s foreign policy and that of you and Carlyle?

MM: He gets the right answers for the wrong reasons, and that’s fatal.

SP: Right answers for the wrong reasons is way above average. I’ll take that gift-horse whenever I can get it.

MM: Bad plan, Stan. You can’t win if you have right answers for the wrong reasons, because people who see through your wrong reasons will dismiss you as a doofus. Even if they get the wrong answers for their own wrong reasons, as they presumably do (how would you get wrong answers for the right reasons?)

When you take on the conventional wisdom, you have to be right every time. It only has to be right once. That’s what happened to McCarthy – he was crucified for even the tiniest of misjudgments or errors. Whereas his enemies lied, cheated and stole every chance they got, and they got a lot.

Ron Paul may well lose his own district, for exactly this error. Which of course is not his fault. Paul is just a nice old man. The issue is his handlers – like Lew. They got a lot of votes by snuggling up with Glenn Greenwald. Now we’ll see if they can pay the price.

Have you read the new Michael Scheuer book? On preliminary investigation, it’s surprisingly good. Let’s just say that Scheuer has clearly decided he’s never going to work in government again…

SP: I think merely being right is sufficient to get you dismissed. Most people are, after all, wrong.

If you believed some fact to be true that turned out not to be and reasoned from that to believing something else that would have been true, you can be wrong for the right reasons. You can also make a bet with probability on your side and still lose out, because million to one shots still occur roughly once every million times.

Being right all the time is an absurdly high standard. No one has ever been that. McCarthy wasn’t crucified for anything he was wrong about, the line was “at long last have you no decency?” which doesn’t have a damn thing to do with being wrong.

Ron Paul is not going to lose his district. He’s beaten incumbents 3 times, which is mighty tough to do. The national GOP has sided against him in primaries and he’s still won. It might be better to think of his Presidential campaign as a publicity stunt to expand his direct-mail listings. I don’t think Paul ever cuddled up to Greenwald nor has anyone ever tried to tar the former by association with the latter. It’s more the reverse with Greenwald sticking up for Paul against idiotic attacks against him. What’s your problem with Greenwald anyway? I remember you saying “one word: bushitler” before, but according to google he’s never used the term. And in what sense did they get lots of votes? Ron Paul lost out to John McCain among anti-war primary voters, which when you really think about it should not be terribly surprising.

I haven’t read any Scheuer books, but I’d like to.

MM: Think very hard before you assume you know the true story of the McCarthy affair.

Being right is sufficient to get you dismissed. By those in power. But attaining power is a fight, not an argument. The people you are trying to convince are those who have not yet made up their mind. Among these people, the truth wins not because truth is glorious, but because it serves as a Schelling point. You only have to go wrong once to completely dissipate this effect.

Ron Paul is a stooge for Lew Rockwell. Lew Rockwell publishes Glenn Greenwald (aka Rick Ellensburg). The case, she is closed. We’ll see if he loses this primary – I sure hope he doesn’t. But last I heard he was behind in the polls. Middle Americans know they are not the cause of all the world’s problems, and you can’t change their minds, because they are right.

At least half of Paul’s voters support him because of his position on Iraq. Probably more.

My problem with Greenwald is that his theory of US foreign policy is basically the same as Howard Zinn’s. If you needed one word for “historical Lysenkoism,” you could just call it Zinnism.

SP:

Think very hard before you assume you know the true story of the McCarthy affair.

What do I need to know? By the way, here’s a review of that McCarthy book you were talking about at Reason.

Ron Paul is a stooge for Lew Rockwell. Lew Rockwell publishes Glenn Greenwald (aka Rick Ellensburg). The case, she is closed. We’ll see if he loses this primary – I sure hope he doesn’t. But last I heard he was behind in the polls. Middle Americans know they are not the cause of all the world’s problems, and you can’t change their minds, because they are right.

What? Paul is a Congressman and Rockwell is a nobody. Paul doesn’t know what Rockwell is doing most of the time and I’ve never heard anyone suggest he takes orders from him. Rockwell links to Greenwald’s posts at Salon rather than hosting them at his own site. The American Conservative has published Greenwald though. I don’t recall Paul claiming anyone was the cause of the “world’s problems” because he doesn’t really care that much about those. He talks about the Constitution first and foremost then American sovereignty. What I read of Greenwald is just about the former. The remark about “middle americans” reminded me of this though.

MM: Read the Stanton Evans book – the review doesn’t do it justice. Or read Roy Cohn’s “McCarthy.” Or both.

I don’t know exactly who Paul’s handlers are, but he definitely has them. LvMI publishes books under his name, for God’s sake. The cure for 20C politics is not more 20C politics.

Linking to Greenwald is bad enough. There’s a difference between real paleocon isolationism, or as I prefer to say neutralism, and Georgetownist pseudo-isolationism. The latter is highly credulous of the party lines of Third World nationalist mafias. I hear plenty of the “insurgent will always win” and “they fight because of our dreadful war crimes” vibe coming out of Paul, Rockwell & co. And it really bugs me to see Amcon picking up this crap, which is nonsense from its ass to its elbow.

Want some real ultrapaleoconservatism? Try this British overview of the Civil War, circa 1866. Blackwood’s rocks. (Note that the essayist is anonymous.) I was linked from this. Suffice it to say that on any issue where Philip Sheridan and Rick Ellensburg disagree, I’m with Phil.

SP:

I don’t know exactly who Paul’s handlers are, but he definitely has them. LvMI publishes books under his name, for God’s sake. The cure for 20C politics is not more 20C politics.

I think it’s a matter of public record who the people that work for Paul are. And what’s this “20C politics” you’re worried about? Ink on dead-trees? The fact that he’s a Congressman?

Linking to Greenwald is bad enough.

Why? It’s generally just him saying that the Bush administration is full of shit and violating the Constitution, which is invariably the case.

There’s a difference between real paleocon isolationism, or as I prefer to say neutralism, and Georgetownist pseudo-isolationism.

Who the fuck cares? Does it matter if a cat is black or white when it catches mice? I don’t even know what Greenwald thinks our foreign policy ought to be since I generally read him talking about domestic stuff that a Constitutional lawyer would know about.

The latter is highly credulous of the party lines of Third World nationalist mafias.

Has Lew Rockwell ever linked to Greenwald displaying credulity of “Third World nationalist mafias”? And why should we even care what their doing in the Thirld World as long as it stays out of the First?

I hear plenty of the “insurgent will always win” and “they fight because of our dreadful war crimes” vibe coming out of Paul, Rockwell & co.

Paul has always cited intervention, bases in Saudi Arabia, sanctions on Iraq and support for Israel. The same stuff Michael Scheuer talks about. Nothing about Abu Ghraib or depleted uranium. I don’t even know if Rockwell buys into the concept of “war crimes”. He generally seems to regard trials for such things as “victor’s justice”. But you get vibes. Wow, man. I guess when you’re smoking the good shit you don’t need actual facts, just “vibes” and then you understand the universe.

And it really bugs me to see Amcon picking up this crap, which is nonsense from its ass to its elbow.

Amcon seems the same as it was before. The Greenwald column they ran was on Giuliani being an authoritarian (it goes well with the Godwinning cover-art), and I don’t know if even Eric Dondero has denied that. In it he attacks Giuliani by comparing him to Hugo Chavez. Very credulous of his Third World nationalist mafia, eh?

Try this British overview of the Civil War, circa 1866

I skimmed a little of it. They fret over how England will fare if it ends up as democratic as its American cousin. I would say that has happened, but they haven’t had a Civil War since Cromwell.

Suffice it to say that on any issue where Philip Sheridan and Rick Ellensburg disagree, I’m with Phil.

Who is Rick Ellensburg?

MM: Google “Rick Ellensburg.”

Any 19C politician would have considered it disgraceful to deliver speeches, put his name on books, etc, written by someone else. Any 18C politician would have considered it unthinkable. If you want to restore the Old Republic, great, but walk the freakin’ walk.

Terrorists fight for the same things as anyone else: money and power. The reason they fight is that they have a chance to win. All this crap about what supposedly offends them is exactly that. The entire “moral high ground” theory is nothing but military malpractice, a pile of dung the size of the Empire State Building, and Paul and Rockwell have been peddling it.

Today’s US military has more respect for the so-called rights of their enemies than any army in history. Or at least, any fighting army. The Euros don’t count. The more of this ridiculous “moral high ground” the army has captured, the less effective it gets. It might as well just march itself into the ocean and drown.

Do you know that in the Civil War, the US Army – quite intentionally and as a matter of policy – burned towns, shot guerrillas without trial, moved civilians into strategic hamlets, etc? And worked like a charm it did, as it always does. Read all about it here.

A real isolationist opposes both Georgetownism and Arlingtonism, but in very different ways. Georgetownism is the problem. Arlingtonism is a misguided attempt to solve the problem, which in fact makes it worse. When you emphasize the failings of the latter, which is the subordinate and perennially losing tradition, you are serving as a faithful lackey of the former, which is the dominant and perennially victorious one. Oops.

Moreover, a real isolationist is someone who is tired of lies. You cannot win with lies. The problem in your thinking is that you keep thinking of politics in terms of *policy* outcomes. This is your democratic brain speaking, and it is lying to you. The only path to real “change” is to win the war of ideas in the minds of elites. This requires being right about everything, all the time. You cannot transition gradually to sanity, little step by little step. The Fabian strategy only works in the other direction.

Yes, I am aware that Paul, Rockwell, et al do not favor the Georgetownist permanent answer to everything, “a New Deal for the world.” The problem is that they are building a political base by parroting Georgetownist arguments against the Arlingtonists, these arguments are BS, and it so happens that many people who happen to live in Rep. Paul’s district – having strong ties to the military – are quite aware that they are BS. It’s just as stupid and shortsighted a strategy as the approach that generated the “racist” newsletters, except that the mindless pandering is going in the opposite direction. At least racism is genuinely anti-government.

Why is the Georgetownist answer to everything “a New Deal for the world?” Because their goal is to build a global massarchy. They are trying to beg, buy and borrow support worldwide, and capture “global public opinion” for a fantasy world in which everyone wants to be governed by Washington. That this has no chance of succeeding does not stop the project – since when has it? Read this.

Once you kill this insane, megalomaniac project, as anyone with two brain cells to rub together would, the “moral high ground” is a piece of shit you scrape off your shoe. What matters to American security is that non-Americans don’t care to fsck with us, and the less concern we have for the (nonexistent) constitutional rights of some tribe of barbarians halfway around the world, the more effective our efforts will be. Scheuer, to his great credit, is starting to figure this out – read, for instance, this.

I love the reviewer’s soapy mouth. “The extremity of Mr. Scheuer’s policy prescription is unhelpful to his argument.” Actually, Scheuer is a moderate. His small steps toward sanity, while incomplete, exude a distinct odor of fresh air. And if you want to capture the minds of the people who can actually create an actual victory, fresh air and nothing else is exactly what you have to smell of. Scheuer has not quite mastered this trick, but nobody else has, either.

Britain is in desperate need of a civil war. It won’t get one.

SP:

Any 19C politician would have considered it disgraceful to deliver speeches, put his name on books, etc, written by someone else.

I thought it was just the newsletters that were written by other people. At any rate, listening to Ron Paul speak I have to wonder what kind of peanuts he’s paying his writers, because he’s no Barack Obama.

Any 18C politician would have considered it unthinkable.

Are we to be bound by the fashions of the past? Division of labor, people! I for one am glad Goldwater had ghost-writers.

Terrorists fight for the same things as anyone else: money and power.

I think you are forgetting the very important fact that list most people they are idiots.

The reason they fight is that they have a chance to win.

I’m with Jim Henley. If by win you mean “create chaos”, that’s easy. But that’s not their goal and they’re not all that succesful at their other ones. There’s no way al Qaeda is going to build jack in Iraq, for instance, it’s full of pissed-off Shi’ites. I actually agree with the putz, Reza Azlan, on the feasibility of their goals: they’re like the Russian nihilists and anarchists, rather than the Bolsheviks.

All this crap about what supposedly offends them is exactly that.

You don’t think they care about U.S intervention? That would make them mighty unique and xenophobia-free folks! I get irritated at the idea of foreigners meddling here (like the letters-to-Ohio-from-Britain campaign) just cause their foreigners, and a lot of other people are similar. I actually don’t think al Qaeda cares that much about Israel, since they’ve only launched one ineffective rocket-attack against them, but other Muslims sure do. If we minded our own business they wouldn’t give nearly as much of a shit and would focus on killing whoever is irritating them instead. Only Germany hates Liechtenstein for its freedom.

The entire “moral high ground” theory is nothing but military malpractice, a pile of dung the size of the Empire State Building, and Paul and Rockwell have been peddling it.

I don’t recall much of a “moral high ground” argument from them. They point out that the U.S government does horrible things, which is no surprise as they’ve long hated the U.S government and still haven’t forgiven it for invading the South! “High ground” is a relative thing though, and I don’t recall them ascribing any moral goodness to enemies of the U.S (they explicitly deny doing this for the Confederacy).

Today’s US military has more respect for the so-called rights of their enemies than any army in history.

Fighting an irregular war would seem to erode whatever standards an army might have. I’d say armies that restricted themselves to fighting the uniformed enemy on the battlefield might have a better track-record, but why the fuck should either of us even care?

Georgetownism is the problem. Arlingtonism is a misguided attempt to solve the problem, which in fact makes it worse.

Doesn’t that make it the problem as well? What makes one “the problem” and the other misguided but well-intentioned and once again why should we care?

When you emphasize the failings of the latter, which is the subordinate and perennially losing tradition, you are serving as a faithful lackey of the former, which is the dominant and perennially victorious one.

Emphasis is in the eye of the beholder, and right now the guy that started the war happens to still hold power and the war is still going on. I’ll revert to the 90s when D.C does. Am I supposed to ignore the failings of some side because it’s above criticism? Am I supposed to feel sorry for the poor underdog that has to publish in the New York Post and occasionally in the New York Times? Nothing I do makes any difference and I receive no directives from the nefarious opposition that like a good righty I tear into for shits’n’giggles, so what kind of lackey am I? I could easily imagine a bizarro-Moldbug saying I shouldn’t criticize the Dems because they’re the opposition to the dominant power. It would be the same reasoning and it would still be retarded. Quit being a retard.

Moreover, a real isolationist is someone who is tired of lies.

Unless it’s from the adorably pathetic favored side above criticism, right?

You cannot win with lies.

I can’t win no matter what. If you want to make a difference, vote with a bullet. Lone wackoes get through every now and then.

The problem in your thinking is that you keep thinking of politics in terms of *policy* outcomes.

No shit, it’s the policy causing the problems. End the policy of taxing me and telling me what to do and I’ll stop giving a shit.

This is your democratic brain speaking, and it is lying to you.

Policy exists even if democracy doesn’t. Your focus on “ideas” is idiotic democratic propaganda.

The only path to real “change” is to win the war of ideas in the minds of elites.

Intellectuals think ideas are important because if they weren’t what’s the point of intellectuals? Ideas aren’t important. Keynes was wrong there too. As Converse pointed out, most people don’t even know what the ideas are. But their opinions still determine things in our democracy. Our intellectual elites wouldn’t agree to what we have, but the general public does even if it believes otherwise. If it’s about ideas than you have an excuse to pontificate about them as if it mattered, but just admit it’s because we enjoy shooting the shit.

This requires being right about everything, all the time.

How did Kristol win the minds of so many elites despite being wrong all the time? How did Marx? Where is the connection between being correct and winning converts? Maybe when it comes to engineering, but not where it’s rational to be irrational.

You cannot transition gradually to sanity, little step by little step.

We went from believing the earth was flat and the brain was unimportant coolant to the Standard Model fairly gradually.

The problem is that they are building a political base by parroting Georgetownist arguments against the Arlingtonists

What base? They’ve got some nerds on the internet. Bigger than any libertarian candidate before, but that’s not saying much.

these arguments are BS

Quote me some BS from Ron Paul.

and it so happens that many people who happen to live in Rep. Paul’s district – having strong ties to the military – are quite aware that they are BS.

The voters aren’t aware of jack shit, the anti-war Republicans went for McCain(!) over Paul. Did you read this? Do I have to quote Larison again?

It’s just as stupid and shortsighted a strategy as the approach that generated the “racist” newsletters

Ron Paul gets more individual donations than any other Congressman. How has he been able to accomplish that and keep it up for so many years? The newsletters! There would not have been a presidential campaign today if not for the newsletters back then.

except that the mindless pandering is going in the opposite direction.

The nuttiest stuff was published when Paul went back to his private practice and didn’t know what was going on. Since he actually evaluates stuff now because he’s saying it it’s back to the level it was at before he retired from Congress, which is a lot less idiotic.

At least racism is genuinely anti-government.

No it isn’t, it’s orthogonal. You’ve said some stupid things, but that’s still really dumb. When Rockwell published (in a regular newspaper) his piece about Rodney King, it was pro-government. He even considered banning possession of videorecorders.

the (nonexistent) constitutional rights of some tribe of barbarians halfway around the world

When has Paul stated anyone other than Americans had constitutional rights? And aren’t their “rights” the business of their own governments, which we don’t even need to discuss? You aren’t a South African, so why are you crying for the Afrikaners? What part of genuine isolationism involves bemoaning the Portugese withdrawal from Angola?

Actually, Scheuer is a moderate.

Not if the term means anything. I suppose it doesn’t, in which case there’s no point in using it.

Britain is in desperate need of a civil war.

Ours really fucked us over, and I can’t say their previous one led to good results. Why the hell does a country with some of the highest living standards in history need a civil war?

MM:

Any 19C politician would have considered it disgraceful to deliver speeches, put his name on books, etc, written by someone else.

I thought it was just the newsletters that were written by other people.

Oh, no. None of the output is Paul’s. He doesn’t really write books on economics.

Any 18C politician would have considered it unthinkable.
Are we to be bound by the fashions of the past? Division of labor, people! I for one am glad Goldwater had ghost-writers.
That’s your inner Whig speaking. Until you understand *why* any 18C politician would have considered it unthinkable, you don’t get to criticize.
The reason they fight is that they have a chance to win.

I’m with Jim Henley. If by win you mean “create chaos”, that’s easy.

No, by win I mean “become rich and powerful and admired by all.”I’m not talking about “they” collectively. I’m talking about the *individuals*. There is no such thing as society, remember?The history of the last 50 years in the Third World is nothing but the history of terrorists becoming rich and powerful and successful. Watch the new film “Terror’s Advocate,” now out on DVD, by the same French dude who did “General Idi Amin Dada.” Better yet, make it a double feature. Or read any biography of Saddam Hussein. Or…Every last single one of these “liberation movements” is nothing but a mafia. The ideologies are completely interchangeable. Islam, Marxism – doesn’t matter at all. They are all made up of young men doing what young men do, which is exchanging violence for power. Occam’s razor, people!
All this crap about what supposedly offends them is exactly that.

You don’t think they care about U.S intervention? That would make them mighty unique and xenophobia-free folks!

Have you ever lived in the Third World? These people are not like you!Party lines are a dime a dozen. If xenophobia works, they’ll go with xenophobia. The essential ingredient of any violent movement is that it actually has a chance of seizing power.Xenophobia is popular because *Westerners* support it. All the terrorist movements of the 20th century, and in fact most of them in the 19th, seized power through external support. The pattern goes all the way back to Byron and the Greek nationalists, to the Whig support for Irish home rule, etc, etc. By adopting a platform of xenophobia, nationalist movements appeal to the romantic democratic-nationalists in London, Paris and New York, who provide them with support that is very meaningful indeed. Same old, same old.Why aren’t you xenophobic? Why don’t you get upset about being ruled by some half-Kenyan? Half the time you are expecting people to be just like you, and the other half you see no parallel at all.
I get irritated at the idea of foreigners meddling here (like the letters-to-Ohio-from-Britain campaign) just cause their foreigners, and a lot of other people are similar.
Again: your universalism is showing. These people are not like you.Furthermore, you can get as irritated as you want. But do you go out and start an IED campaign? Hell, no. Because you couldn’t achieve anything by it. The sine qua non is the realistic chance of success.
I actually don’t think al Qaeda cares that much about Israel, since they’ve only launched one ineffective rocket-attack against them, but other Muslims sure do. If we minded our own business they wouldn’t give nearly as much of a shit and would focus on killing whoever is irritating them instead. Only Germany hates Liechtenstein for its freedom.
Your first two sentences are statements of the Georgetownist line. Your third is a refutation of the Arlingtonist line. Consider the possibility that they’re both wrong.
The entire “moral high ground” theory is nothing but military malpractice, a pile of dung the size of the Empire State Building, and Paul and Rockwell have been peddling it.

I don’t recall much of a “moral high ground” argument from them. They point out that the U.S government does horrible things, which is no surprise as they’ve long hated the U.S government and still haven’t forgiven it for invading the South! “High ground” is a relative thing though, and I don’t recall them ascribing any moral goodness to enemies of the U.S (they explicitly deny doing this for the Confederacy).

As you just did, they infer terrorist motivation from these “horrible things” every day and twice on Sunday.Read about the British occupation of Egypt. The rules of engagement were 1000 times more relaxed. Britain occupied Egypt for 20 years with 5000 troops and no air force. The rebellion of Urabi Pasha was repressed trivially, and Urabi was exiled to Ceylon where he died a nobody. When did the Brits start having problems in Egypt? When they started easing up. Precisely in contrast to your theory, and in agreement with mine.Lew Rockwell hasn’t forgiven the North for invading the South. But pretty much everyone else has. Why? Because there’s no freakin’ alternative, that’s why.

Today’s US military has more respect for the so-called rights of their enemies than any army in history.
Fighting an irregular war would seem to erode whatever standards an army might have.
Yes – because “asymmetrical warfare” is nonsense. In a real war, both sides play by the same rules.
Georgetownism is the problem. Arlingtonism is a misguided attempt to solve the problem, which in fact makes it worse.

Doesn’t that make it the problem as well? What makes one “the problem” and the other misguided but well-intentioned and once again why should we care?

Because if you can get rid of Georgetownism, Arlingtonism goes away. It exists only to solve the problems created by its enemy. Nobody in the Pentagon really wants to invade the world – they just think it’s the best of all their bad alternatives. The converse is not the case.
When you emphasize the failings of the latter, which is the subordinate and perennially losing tradition, you are serving as a faithful lackey of the former, which is the dominant and perennially victorious one.

Emphasis is in the eye of the beholder, and right now the guy that started the war happens to still hold power and the war is still going on. I’ll revert to the 90s when D.C does. Am I supposed to ignore the failings of some side because it’s above criticism? Am I supposed to feel sorry for the poor underdog that has to publish in the New York Post and ocasionally in the New York Times?

It’s not a moral issue. It’s a tactical issue.

Moreover, a real isolationist is someone who is tired of lies.
Unless it’s from the adorably pathetic favored side above criticism, right?
It’s a matter of proportion. The American right isn’t capable of propagating any serious lies, because it has no serious organs and no serious power. Everyone with a brain ignores them already. The main task with “conservatives” is to convince them that they have no chance of winning, and they should give it up.
The only path to real “change” is to win the war of ideas in the minds of elites.

Intellectuals think ideas are important because if they weren’t what’s the point of intellectuals? Ideas aren’t important. Keynes was wrong there too. As Converse pointed out, most people don’t even know what the ideas are. But their opinions still determine things in our democracy. Our intellectual elites wouldn’t agree to what we have, but the general public does even if it believes otherwise. If it’s about ideas than you have an excuse to pontificate about them as if it mattered, but just admit it’s because we enjoy shooting the shit.

Ideas organize people’s actions. And if they didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be fun. Do you think the Reformation didn’t matter, too?Washorg-4 is not forever. Nothing is. You probably think it’s a contradiction in terms for democracy to terminate itself, but why should it be? It’s not a contradiction for a military junta to hold an election.
This requires being right about everything, all the time.

How did Kristol win the minds of so many elites despite being wrong all the time?

Kristol didn’t win shit. There are like twelve conservative intellectuals in the world. The movement is over, done, finito, stick a fork in it. As John Derbyshire says, it’s “dead as mutton.”
How did Marx? Where is the connection between being correct and winning converts?
Ah, now you’re talking. You see, there is an asymmetry. You can win supporters by being very right, or by being very wrong. The tactics for each are very different.
You cannot transition gradually to sanity, little step by little step.

We went from believing the earth was flat and the brain was unimportant coolant to the Standard Model fairly gradually.

Yeah, and our understanding of politics is greatly inferior to that of Josiah Tucker. Not to mention Aristotle.

The problem is that they are building a political base by parroting Georgetownist arguments against the Arlingtonists
What base? They’ve got some nerds on the internet. Bigger than any libertarian candidate before, but that’s not saying much.
No, but it lets them feel important. At the expense of any productive effort.
Quote me some BS from Ron Paul.
“Since this agreement was reached, the International Atomic Energy Agency has never found any indication that Iran has diverted or attempted to divert source or special nuclear materials from a peaceful purpose to a military purpose.”http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul304.htmlElapsed time: 20 seconds.In reality, everyone with the intelligence of a donkey knows Iran has a nuclear weapons program. To an Arlingtonist, Paul is at best confused. There’s a perfectly good isolationist argument to be made for letting Iran have a nuclear program. Paul isn’t making that argument. Instead, he (or his Svengali) is emitting BS.
and it so happens that many people who happen to live in Rep. Paul’s district – having strong ties to the military – are quite aware that they are BS.

The voters aren’t aware of jack shit, the anti-war Republicans went for McCain(!) over Paul. Did you read this?

Oh, please. Don’t develop a Madonna-whore complex about democracy. People have a nose, and they can tell who smells funny and who doesn’t. Paul has made himself smell funny to his constituency. Hayes has no data, not that I care. He is just saying that voters are generally idiots. Which they are. But they still have basic tribal recognition signals.
At least racism is genuinely anti-government.

No it isn’t, it’s orthogonal. You’ve said some stupid things, but that’s still really dumb. When Rockwell published (in a regular newspaper) his piece about Rodney King, it was pro-government. He even considered banning possession of videorecorders.

Dude, there are two types of 20C government. In one, the security forces control the information services. In the other, it’s the other way around. In other words, either the government controls the press, or the press controls the government. Antigovernment speech in the first class means speaking out for freedom of speech. It means offending the security forces. This is how it worked in Franco’s Spain, in South Africa in the ’70s, etc, etc. Antigovernment speech in the second class means speaking in favor of the security forces. It means offending the press. This is why the government hates racists, etc.

the (nonexistent) constitutional rights of some tribe of barbarians halfway around the world
When has Paul stated anyone other than Americans had constitutional rights? And aren’t their “rights” the business of their own governments, which we don’t even need to discuss? You aren’t a South African, so why are you crying for the Afrikaners? What part of genuine isolationism involves bemoaning the Portugese withdrawal from Angola?
Dude, black rule in Africa is not a passive choice. If the West abandoned the ANC, the Boers would be back in charge faster than you’d believe. The whole continent would be back under white rule. Look at what Sandline did in Sierra Leone.
Britain is in desperate need of a civil war.

Ours really fucked us over, and I can’t their previous one led to good results. Why the hell does a country with some of the highest living standards in history need a civil war?

Okay, it doesn’t need a civil war, it needs a coup. Perhaps one of Charles’ kids will grow some balls…

SP:

That’s your inner Whig speaking. Until you understand *why* any 18C
politician would have considered it unthinkable, you don’t get to
criticize.

I don’t know why the ancient Egyptians thought the heart was the thinking organ, I just consider them wrong and move on. Why do I have to extend any benefit of the doubt to 18C politicians? They’re the ones responsible for the 19C and in turn 20C!

No, by win I mean “become rich and powerful and admired by all.”

Osama was already rich from his construction business. Now he lives like a hermit in charge of an organization that hasn’t accomplished anything more than hiding for years and is unable to get active al Qaeda franchises not to disobey his direct orders. Way to go, Osama. He did manage to get two Third World mafias taken out, only to be replaced by ones more friendly to Iran.

I’m talking about the *individuals*.

Including the individuals that blow themselves up? Real rich and powerful they, rich and powerful in a hole.

The history of the last 50 years in the Third World is nothing but the
history of terrorists becoming rich and powerful and successful.

I would distinguish between Third World nationalist mafia and terrorist. Nasser and the Ba’ath party came from the military officer corps, so they didn’t need to resort to terrorism. The Khomeinists did not come out of the officer corps, but neither did they really get involved in the terrorism business until Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Terrorism also doesn’t seem to have been much of a factor in East Asia. I’m actually still wondering what your opinion on post-independence India (which would be better associated with counter-terrorism) is.

Every last single one of these “liberation movements” is nothing but a mafia.

Liberation movements are nationalist, al Qaeda is trans-nationalist.

They are all made up of young men doing what young men do, which is exchanging violence for power.

Young men don’t get any power, young men are expendable cannon fodder willing to fight because they are idiots. It is the older men that always gets the power.

Have you ever lived in the Third World? These people are not like you!

Have you read “The Blank Slate”? Do you not believe in human nature? Xenophobia is universal, and what I do know about the Third World indicates it’s significantly more prevalent there.

Xenophobia is popular because *Westerners* support it.

Ahahaha, and you try bringing up Occam’s Razor! Blaming Third World xenophobia on Westerners reminds me of how anti-semites love to blame everything on the Jews without a shred of evidence. The much simpler and obvious alternative is that most people are xenophobes, without any external force necessary to make them so. Or maybe Universalists went back in time to cause the Jewish uprisings against the Romans that had delivered peace, prosperity, roads, sanitation and so on.

If xenophobia works, they’ll go with xenophobia.

Xenophobia pretty much always works because most people are xenophobes.

All the terrorist movements of the 20th century, and in fact most of
them in the 19th, seized power through external support. The pattern
goes all the way back to Byron and the Greek nationalists.

They were terrorists?

Why aren’t you xenophobic?

I am! One of the reasons I assume xenophobia on the part of others is because I possess it myself!

Why don’t you get upset about being ruled by some half-Kenyan?

I am upset, but I don’t really think of him much as a “half-Kenyan”. He’s a hawaiian liberal raised by whites with no help from his father who has joined the Chicago black community. Actual Kenyans seem pretty upset when members of the other tribe win office though.

Again: your universalism is showing. These people are not like you.

I thought it was Universalists who tried to deny human nature and paint Third World mafias as fighting for some Universalist ideal rather than particularist xenophobia. They aren’t like me in that they are dumber.

But do you go out and start an IED campaign?

Would that be a roadside bomb that would blow up the mailman’s vehicle as he delivered their letters? Or a mail-bomb back to the senders of the letters? They’re all the fuck the over the way in England and just sending letters I read about on the internet. Not high on my list of priorities. The Mexicans who live next door and are actually moving in here are a different story.

Because you couldn’t achieve anything by it. The sine qua non is the realistic chance of success.

What have the actual IED-makers in Iraq accomplished? Getting themselves cleansed from Baghdad? Way to go!

Your first two sentences are statements of the Georgetownist line.

It’s the Georgetownist line that al Qaeda doesn’t really care about Israel? I guess they really are controlled by the Israeli-lobby! I just guessed that because actions speak louder than words and despite all the standards nasty words for Israel they deliver like good Arab Muslims they’ve let other groups shoulder the burden. As for the second sentence, who in the Middle East cares about Liechtenstein? I don’t give a shit about Tonga. My guess is there’s a common reason for both. I don’t give a shit what’s “Georgetownist” or “Arlingtonist” either, I’m not handing out affirmative action for underprivileged ideologies.

As you just did, they infer terrorist motivation from these “horrible things” every day and twice on Sunday.

It’s not the conduct of the occupation, it’s the occupation itself.

The rebellion of Urabi Pasha was repressed trivially

They wouldn’t have had to deal with it at all if they weren’t in Egypt in the first place!

Precisely in contrast to your theory, and in agreement with mine.

What part of my theory says how an occupation is to be conducted?

But pretty much everyone else has.

I lived in Georgia. You’re just plain wrong.

Because if you can get rid of Georgetownism, Arlingtonism goes away.

What the hell makes you think that? People are plenty idiotic on their own and Arlingtonism seems to predate Georgetownism. One could just as easily claim that Georgetownism will go away if Arlingtonism does, which would be just as wrong.

Nobody in the Pentagon really wants to invade the world – they just think it’s the best of all their bad alternatives. The converse is not the case.

So they do want to invade the world but it’s not their fault? What about not doing anything at all? I know it’s a crazy idea that might be difficult to implement, but I don’t see how it would be any worse than what they have been doing.

It’s a tactical issue.

You and I are tactically irrelevant.

It’s a matter of proportion.

When I point out the failings of the left to liberals they usually wave it away with “but the right is just SO bad!”. It’s a matter of proportion to them too. Translation: ignore the problems with my side because I cry when you point out how ugly it is.

The American right isn’t capable of propagating any serious lies, because it has no serious organs and no serious power.

What the hell was with the invasion of Iraq then? A shitload of people thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and had nukes. The American right controls the White House, until recently the Congress (and what the fuck have the Democrats accomplished since taking that?) and might be argued possesses the Supreme Court.

Everyone with a brain ignores them already.

Is this going to be a no-true-Scotsman argument? Enough people pay attention that we invaded Iraq. I’d say that’s pretty fucking important.

The main task with “conservatives” is to convince them that they have no chance
of winning, and they should give it up.

And I’m supposed to do that by not hurting their feelings insulting them? Prozium over at Odessa Syndicate seems hold that goal. And once the Arlingtonists give up are the Georgetownists supposed to give up too? Is the government supposed to stop grabbing power once it has enough?

Ideas organize people’s actions.

Action precedes thought.

And if they didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be fun.

Is that supposed to be some sort of proof-by-contradiction? It is fun therefore it matters?

Do you think the Reformation didn’t matter, too?

I’m not entirely sure, but I wouldn’t compare liberalism and conservatism to the Reformation.

Washorg-4 is not forever. Nothing is.

I know it won’t survive the heat-death of the universe, but unless the Singularity arrives I’m betting it well survive me. What’s your guess for the date by which it will end?

You probably think it’s a contradiction in terms for democracy to terminate itself, but why should it be? It’s not a contradiction for a military junta to hold an election.

What the hell gave you that idea? Weimar was a democracy that ended itself, Pinochet ran a military junta that held an election.

Kristol didn’t win shit. There are like twelve conservative intellectuals in the world. The movement is over, done, finito, stick a fork in it. As John Derbyshire says, it’s “dead as mutton.”

Kristol got the Iraq war. In the 2000 primary he supported McCain, and now he’s got the nomination in the bag. There are plenty of conservative intellectuals in the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Federalist Society and numerous scribblers at various publications. For a dead movement they sure are active in shitting all over the place. If only libertarianism were as dead!

Ah, now you’re talking. You see, there is an asymmetry. You can win supporters by being very right, or by being very wrong. The tactics for each are very different.

Being very right is not the same as being right about everything. Was Marx wrong about everything? About the existence of God or that capitalism was an improvement on feudalism? Has there ever been an intellectual movement right about everything that took hold of the elites when they had previously been wrong-headed?

Yeah, and our understanding of politics is greatly inferior to that of Josiah Tucker. Not to mention Aristotle.

Politics, like religion, is an area where irrationality abounds. It is the mind-killer. We do have an advantage over them in that we not only have their writings but also recorded history after their deaths.

At the expense of any productive effort.

There is no productive effort to be made.

Since this agreement was reached, the International Atomic Energy Agency has never found any indication that Iran has diverted or attempted to divert source or special nuclear materials from a peaceful purpose to a military purpose.

Is it not the case that’s what the IAEA found? Or was he supposed to add “and they’re all liars, and so is the CIA’s report”?

There’s a perfectly good isolationist argument to be made for letting Iran have a nuclear
program. Paul isn’t making that argument.

“If Iran had a nuclear weapon, why
would this be different from Pakistan, India, and North Korea having one?
Why does Iran have less right to a defensive weapon than these other
countries?” http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2006/cr040506.htm

In reality, everyone with the intelligence of a donkey knows Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

Like how everyone with a brain believed Iraq had WMDs? I did, but I wasn’t dumb enough to support an invasion. From what I’ve heard, when Iran has the civilian nuclear power it claims to seek, it won’t be too difficult to transition from that to a nuclear program with a lot of the hard work already done.

Oh, please. Don’t develop a Madonna-whore complex about democracy. People have a nose, and they can tell who smells funny and who doesn’t. Paul has made himself smell funny to his constituency.

I don’t like democracy, I thought that you were trying to encourage that reaction! I agree with Hamilton that “the people” are a Great Beast, but sometimes I suspect you haven’t sufficiently eradicated the People’s Romance from your mind. Every morning before breakfast say to yourself “Fuck the people. Fuck them up their stupid asses”. So the people make their decisions based on “smells”. Are those like your “vibes”? Are they smoking the same shit as you?

Hayes has no data, not that I care. He is just saying that voters are
generally idiots. Which they are. But they still have basic tribal
recognition signals.

Hayes is backed up with data from Converse, Caplan, Althouse (Scott, not Ann) and scads of others. So, is the Texas Baptist from the wrong tribe and a bunch of New York Jews the right tribe?

Dude, there are two types of 20C government. In one, the security forces control the information services. In the other, it’s the other way around. In other words, either the government controls the press, or the press controls the government. Antigovernment speech in the first class means speaking out for freedom of speech. It means offending the security forces. This is how it worked in Franco’s Spain, in South Africa in the ’70s, etc, etc. Antigovernment speech in the second class means speaking in favor of the security forces. It means offending the press. This is why the government hates racists, etc.

If the press controls the security forces, how can speaking out against the security forces be anti-press? And calling anti-press “anti-government” is such an abuse of words it goes beyond anything in Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”. The press is not the government but the security forces most certainly are. Timothy McVeigh opposed the security forces. Was he not anti-government?

Dude, black rule in Africa is not a passive choice. If the West abandoned the ANC, the Boers would be back in charge faster than you’d believe.

How is the West keeping the ANC in power? What are the concrete actions it is taking? And do the Boers still control the police/military? What are they going to use to take over the country?

Look at what Sandline did in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone was some podunk country already wracked by civil war, and Sandline just assisted the existing government. Taking over South Africa (ignoring the entire continent for now) is a different story.

Okay, it doesn’t need a civil war, it needs a coup. Perhaps one of Charles’ kids will grow some balls

Hopefully not Charles himself, he seems like a Universalist. The royalty are just figureheads anyway without actual power. What are they going to use to take over the country? Echoing Stalin, how many divisions do they have?

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