Corruptarky

Charles Murray reviews a leftwing tome on the topic in the Claremont Review of Books: Meritocracy’s Cost

Check it out and come back.

Jordan Peterson frequently points out that hierarchies are natural and inevitable, from lobster fights to human IQ, and that hierarchies tend to corruption. This is the framework for “absolute power corrupts…”

The question is not how we eliminate the inevitable, but how we control the consequences.

Harrison Bergeron is an example of what happens when a corrupt hierarchy is put in charge of eliminating hierarchies.

Freedom of conscience is the fundamental human method of hierarchical control. Which is why corrupt hierarchies attack free speech and institute thought police. You can’t say “All Lives Matter,” “Trans males are not women,” or “Let’s try ivermectin.”

The corruption in our governing meritocracies, by which I mean the academic, military, political, economic, and cultural Anointed* – concentrated in, and supported by, our major population centers – threatens to bring down the Republic.

What is to be Done?
-V. Lenin, 1902

*Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, 1996

“…the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?”

“Systemic processes tend to reward people for making decisions that turn out to be right—creating great resentment among the anointed, who feel themselves entitled to rewards for being articulate, politically active, and morally fervent.”

“. . ideology. . . is an instrument of power; a defense mechanism against information; a pretext for eluding moral constraints in doing or approving evil with a clean conscience; and finally, a way of banning the criterion of experience, that is, of completely eliminating or indefinitely postponing the pragmatic criteria of success and failure. —Jean-François Revel1”

“What is seldom part of the vision of the anointed is a concept of ordinary people as autonomous decision makers free to reject any vision and to seek their own well-being through whatever social processes they choose. Thus, when those with the prevailing vision speak of the family—if only to defuse their adversaries’ emphasis on family values—they tend to conceive of the family as a recipient institution for government largess or guidance, rather than as a decision-making institution determining for itself how children shall be raised and with what values.”

“The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society.”

Credit when due

It’s been quite awhile since TOC’s poster child for woke-feminist cluelessness made an appearance here. She first came to my notice in March, 2006, before “woke” was a thing.

There was a controversy at the time over the admittance to Yale of Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, who had been a Taliban ‘diplomat’ in the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad in 1998, then a ‘roving ambassador’ in 2000. He apparently did not even possess a GED.

Sentilles found her new extreme affirmative action classmate unremarkable 5 years after 9/11, when we well knew how the Taliban treat women.

One striking aspect of this controversy is the reaction from Yale’s liberal community. Della Sentilles, a Yale senior, recently wrote a piece for the Yale Daily News denouncing such manifestations of rampant misogyny at Yale as the shortage of tenured female professors and poor childcare options. On her blog, a reader asked Sentilles about the presence at Yale of a former spokesman for one of the world’s most misogynistic regimes. Her reply: ”As a white American feminist, I do not feel comfortable making statements or judgments about other cultures, especially statements that suggest one culture is more sexist and repressive than another. American feminism is often linked to and manipulated by the state in order to further its own imperialist ends.”

No shit, Sherlock, though who is the subject and who the object of the imperialism could be debated. Let’s just say it’s a symbiotic relationship.

So. A “shortage of tenured female professors and poor childcare options” is a result of our horrible misogyny, while any comment on excluding females from education entirely, a national dress code requiring Burqas at pain of severe beating, and mass public execution of women by gun-shot in the back of the head… would be culturally inappropriate?

In June, 2006 I applauded pushback on this from self described radical feminist Phyllis Chesler: An American Jew who had been married to an Afghan and lived in a harem in Afghanistan. Go figure.

Unlike Sentilles, Chesler was able to render an opinion of the culture. It seems her 2005 book, The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom, had not reached Yale.

It looks like Sentilles is now working for the DOJ. Naturally.

Chesler is actually doing something about Afghan women now trapped behind Taliban lines by Feckless Joe. She writes about it here:
Team of Radical Feminists Rescues Thirty Afghan Feminists

Props to Phyllis Chesler! And to those who helped her, even if she’s not sure who all of them are. I say that because I found this a little curious.

“She obtained vital paperwork, helped remotely guide our Afghan women through the streets to the airport, and was perhaps aided by some on-the-ground muscle. Of this, I am not sure.”

I guess there may have been some men involved. And not remotely. They aren’t exactly dismissed, but the word “objectification” comes to mind. I probably wouldn’t have had that reaction if the essay had not been quite so celebratory of radical feminist bona fides.

A nod to the undoubted expertise and courage of such men wouldn’t have been so difficult. Even less difficult would be simply to omit the comment, if you are “not sure.”

There certainly was some of that “muscle” going around in other rescues, and I can’t imagine it would not have been highly appreciated by the evacuees. Maybe critical to their escape.
As Biden Abandoned Afghan Allies, Retired US Special Ops Hatched “Operation Pineapple Express” – Rescuing Over 600 From Taliban Slaughter

In Bari Weiss’ words:

I’ve been thinking a lot these past two weeks about luck. The luck of where we are born. The luck of the parents we are born to. And, right now, the luck of who we know.

Knowing — or having proximity to someone who knows my well-placed friend, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — is a matter of life or death for untold numbers of Afghans…

That’s in an intro to an essay by another woman, Melissa Chen, a classical liberal perhaps less attuned, shall we say, to radical feminism. Bari Weiss introduces Chen:

Melissa co-founded an organization called Ideas Beyond Borders, which digitizes and translates English books and articles into Arabic. And not just any books: Books like Orwell’s ‘“Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now,” and a graphic novel based on John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty.” Works that promote reason, pluralism and liberty. Suffice it to say the translators she works with in places like Egypt, Syria and Iraq do so at great risk.

Because of her connections in the Middle East — and because she is the kind of person who lives by her principles — it did not surprise me that she found herself involved in the efforts to save Afghans from the horrors of the Taliban. She shares some of the details of those remarkable efforts in the essay below.

Inside the Underground Railroad Out of Afghanistan

It was at this point that Esther told me she found out about a WhatsApp group with roughly 15 members including a former CIA agent and a former Marine who had connections on the ground. They had successfully extracted other girls from the school and felt they could do the same for Rahima…

As for me, as Esther had been working on getting Rahima out, I had been fretting over a list. On August 17, I was part of a group that was given access to a list of 500 names of Afghan aid workers, human rights activists, and religious and ethnic minorities. When it became clear that the American government wasn’t doing enough, such lists started circulating among various volunteers. My heart sank when the person in charge of flight manifests asked us to split the list into “high priority” and just “priority.”

By Wednesday night, August 25, shortly after receiving a memo from the U.S. military that signed off with a bleak “may God be with you all,” I was asked to cut my evacuation list down to just five people.

Might there have been a shortage of “muscle?” I’m asking you, Joe.

Finally, compare and contrast Chesler and Chen with what passes for feminism among the #METOO wokerati. It’a not just Afghani women abandoned by the corrupt shell of feminism, it’s any inconvenient female.
TIME’S UP FOR TINA TCHEN

Losing the TERF War

THE WAR ON STANDARDS, WOKE U.S. ARMY EDITION

The U.S. Army apparently has decided to gender-norm scores on the test it administers for combat fitness… women will be judged based on how they perform in relation to other women.

This radical change is a response to the unsurprising fact that women are failing the Army’s combat fitness test to a disproportionate extent. The test in question evaluates soldiers in six events: dead lifts, a two-mile run, push-ups, a shuttle run, a medicine ball throw and leg tucks, in which soldiers must hang from a bar and bring their knees to their elbows. About 54 percent of women and 7 percent of men failed the test last year.

Wait a minute. If trans women ARE women, every soldier is potentially a woman. But biological females can’t compete on the same physical fitness curve as biological males?

The NCAA could not be reached for comment.

Rules for Radicals v1.0

A friend sent the the first quote following the other day as a post topic, and I’ve added another from the same source:

“Undermine the enemy first, then his army will fall to you. Subvert him, attack his morale, strike at his economy, corrupt his leaders, sow internal discord. Destroy him.”

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

― Sun Tzu

For the Chinese, The Art of War remains current doctrine. But it is more than an ancient (~5th century BC) Chinese military treatise on strategy and tactics.

Consider it as Rules for Radicals v1.0. Saul Alinsky wasn’t such an original thinker. His major contribution (maybe V1.05?) was no more than an amoral gloss: Glorifying personal mendacity, celebrating corrupt nihilism, and justifying individual persecution by the mob.

War” does make for a much punchier title than “Business, Sports, Politics, Strategy, Tactics, and Life in General.” But, Sun Tzu’s advice is often general. With Alinsky’s help it applies to American Leftist academicians and authoritarian politicians as much as to the present day Chinese People’s Liberation Army; and to our SJW Community Organizers as much as to the Russian CyberKommand. Even though they all are enemies.

If you’ve been paying even slight attention, you easily can supply many recent examples of the Chinese Communist Party’s deceitful undermining of the United States. The list includes attempts at subversion, demoralization, economic disruption, corruption of high officials, and sowing of internal discord. That would be in line with Sun Tzu’s advice. I hope we’re doing it to them. But their Fifth Column is much better than ours.

That is, the Chinese have had a lot of help with their efforts. While we can draw parallels to Art of War, more damage results from domestic application of Rules for Radicals. As a few of Alinsky’s aphorisms will illustrate:

“The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”

“The organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems… The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.”

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

“Human beings do not like to look squarely into the face of tragedy. Gloom is unpopular.”

“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism…”

“To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles.”

“Accuse the other side of that of which you are guilty.”

“They have the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns then it will be through the bullet.”

“Always remember the first rule of power tactics; power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

And my favorite – which you never hear – in these days of BLAMTIFA and ‘gender’ chaos:

“The fact that people are poor or discriminated against doesn’t necessarily endow them with any special qualities of justice, nobility, charity or compassion.”

Anything strike you about Alinsky’s advice and current events?

Mask mandates? Lockdowns? Riots, looting and arson unopposed by civic leaders? Pronoun wars? Cancel culture? Election fraud? Destruction of small business? Dollar gutting multi-trillion dollar pipe dreams? Self-debasement of our media? Objections to “Wuhan Virus” as racist?

Further reading:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

– Theodore Dalrymple

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

-George Orwell, 1984

We’ll let Sun Tzu have the final word:

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

11th

A moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that is when the guns went silent for the armistice that ended World War I. Today was Armistice Day until 1954, since the War to end all Wars didn’t.

It’s 11 years since this post first appeared. I’ve added the picture above, because the Cat’s Eye nebula reminds me of a poppy. It is a stellar tribute to our veterans…

___________________________________________________________________

It is Veteran’s Day. In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. Please observe a moment of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In Flanders Fields
Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John Kerry, belatedly, proven right

Qasem Soleimani, deceased commander of the Quds Force (Iran’s amalgam of the CIA and Navy Seals), a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – designated as a terrorist organization last year – has a long history of conducting war against the United States.

He helped plan the attack on our Benghazi diplomatic facilities. He armed dozens of militia groups enabling them to kill hundreds of Americans. He was responsible for the Dec. 27th attack near Kirkuk that killed an American contractor. He organized the recent attack on the American embassy (i.e., American soil) in Baghdad by Quds Force proxy Kata’ib Hezbollah; who raised their flags on its walls.

He had been sanctioned by the previous administration in 2011:
Flashback: Obama Sanctioned Soleimani for Attempted Terror Attack in Washington, DC

“Under Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Soleimani was to be removed from international sanctions after eight years, though then-Secretary of State John Kerry promised that sanctions against Soleimani would be in place “forever.””

Now, John Kerry is right. If not about the sanctions he was thinking about.

Soleimani was traveling when he died after a very short illness.

Our Maim Scream Media is describing Soleimani as a “revered figure” and a “war hero.” One Progressive wag suggested Soleimani’s demise was like the killing of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Captain America “all in one.”

This person was referring to the sentiments of Iranians, most of whom, au contraire, are glad the asshole is in pieces. Still, I can’t help but consider that promoting such concern over a terrorist is like the Confederate press favorably noting the North’s mourning of Lincoln’s assassination, the British press happily detailing celebrations of Washington’s victories, and the Red Skull posting excerpts of Captain America’s eulogy on his blog.

So, the parallel with the American press is accurate.

Rainbows everywhen

87983-poppyIf Ye Break Faith With Us…
-Mark Steyn on 11/11/2001

[T]hough we can scarce grasp what they symbolize, this year the poppies are hard to find. Three Canadian provinces had sold out by last Monday, and by the time you read this the rest of the Royal Canadian Legion’s entire stock of 14.8 million will likely be gone.

Canada today…
Former Conservative party candidate apologizes for viral rainbow poppy tweet

The apology was mistaken:

Rather than having been suspended for rejecting the poppy during choir practice as Bird’s initial tweet read, Natalie outlined that she had been suspended for “rejecting the idea” of the rainbow poppy…

It’s worse that Natalie was suspended for “rejecting the idea.” The idea is the problem.

I do know why Cyara Bird apologized: Unless you enthusiastically support the appropriation of Remembrance Day at SJW whim, and embrace compelled speech, YOU are a bigot.

The LGBT+ folks already have a plethora of their own days, weeks, and months – with parades and celebrations.

Every other occasion for reflection or pride does not require fealty to a group of aggrieved, narcissistic activists who occupy the space at the very edges of the Bell curve of human sexuality.