How What is Came to Be.

Someone needs to tell the story of how we came to be where we are.

That someone isn’t me, as I have not the discipline. However, I think I might be able to point the way. The first step is to name the thing, the second to define it. The third to explain in detail how it came about.

I name the thing we are experiencing: The Progressive Era.

I define it as specifically the last fifteen or so years, the beginning corresponding roughly to the first election of Barrack Obama. It is different from the time before in that many long term progressive projects have come to their final fruition during this time: Abortion on demand at any stage, up to and in some cases including birth. “Euthanasia”. The legitimisation and promotion to the common place of what were previously thought of as perversions. The bowdlerization of national identities. The acceptance that the apparatus of media and education should be turned to the task of open indoctrination. The massive and unapologetic intrusion of the government into the lives of the citizen. The strange deformation of the concept “responsibility”. The final severing of the ties between our civic life and Christianity. The replacement of traditional conservative ideals with a loose libertarianism as the main philosophical driver of the mainstream, acceptable (for now) face of the “right”. The almost incredible reversal on the left of the belief that segregation is evil.

The ordinary observer is now able to discern the results of many ideas that were previously only hypothetical, or understandable by historical analogies.

What has manifest is an interlocking complex of circumstances that leave a traditional individual, with traditional ideas of family, reward for effort, acceptance of responsibilities, with notions of self- determination and of judging people on their character, with a feeling of being absolutely snookered, cornered. Such a person has the growing suspicion that this is precisely what all of this progressivism is meant to do.

Of course, the origins of all of this reaches back much further than the last fifteen years. Back to no fault divorce, back to universal compulsory education. Back to the first rounds of offshoring. Back to the privatisations and deregulations that were themselves forced upon governments as a result of the utter mess that was the 1970s, but which often deregulated and privatised exactly the wrong things and left the most powerful tools in the hands of subsequent left wing governments. Indeed, the first privatisations in the West were wrought BY a left wing government: The Lange government with Rogernomics.

We can utterly discount technological developments as drivers in some cases, while suspecting their involvement in others. The scope of abortion has increased at precisely the same time as ultrasound technology has allowed everyone to see the development of the unborn. No one who advocates for abortion can be under any delusion that the process is just one of deleting some random cells, rather than the killing of a small, developing human being. Is the willingness to kill the unborn unlinked to the technological ability to know what is being killed, or is this another case of an outcome being contrary to what one might expect? Is it that the accurate visualisation of a helpless, growing human makes the reality of undesired parenthood more concrete and even less desirable?

On the other hand, the increase in promiscuity and the general cultural acceptance of unusual bedtime activities as normal has a technological driver as in that every human being has daily contact with a technology that does that Nietzschian abyss thing of looking into you as you look into it, and discovering your darkest, most reptilian grottos.

Other drivers of the dawning of the progressive era include age demographics. All those quips about boomers that so upset them, are shorthand for something much less specific to that generation: The long term, centuries spanning signal in age demographics which drive all sorts of cultural, political and societal changes. From crime statistics to political preferences, from education practices to housing and job markets, the age profile of the population underlie or amplify much of the observed trends. On a global scale, the relative age demographics of different blocs drive geopolitical contests.

The change in how citizens think of the nation, in Australia particularly, isn’t only a function of the progressive desire for electorate change holding hands with the corporate desire for GDP growth (to put it generously) and setting the agenda to opening the spigot. It has it’s origins in the end of Empire, the embarrassment of the English elite at having had one, and their conflicting desire to maintain some direction over world affairs. In other words: we are all unwittingly playing out the consequences of decisions made before any of us were born.

All of this, hand in hand with myriad other forces, large and small, have brought us to this place: China rampant, with our looted industrial might at her command, our institutions degraded, our leaders with no concept of personal responsibility, our education systems broken, our militaries directed by idiots who went along with twenty years of death and destruction in aid of a lie, while damaging our ability to confront the real threat. Our economists furiously engaged in a phony debate about laissez- faire vs central control. Our political and cultural life reduced to the absurd, the petty and the banal.

An addendum on responsibility:

Power without responsibility is tyranny. The undermining of the concept “responsibility” is something I have noticed these last few years. Responsibility must come from within the individual. It must be taken on willingly and then highly valued. It cannot be imposed from outside without a definition change and then a resort to a police state and the implementation of massive surveillance. The change in how responsibility is defined or even the defining away of responsibility for the elite, is the major conceptual underpinning of this new progressive, tyrannical society.

Comments will be curated based on the philosophy that the article above encapsulates. My philosophy. Not libertarianism. If you fail to understand that, the fault lies with you, not the author. No explanations given, no arguments entered into. Do not defame anyone. Do not threaten or doxx anyone. Do not provide links to boring crap I haven’t the time to read. The author is not responsible for and does not endorse the contents of any comments that appear, but will ensure that ones that displease him disappear soon enough.

44 thoughts on “How What is Came to Be.”

  1. May as well be the first deleted.

    The loss of a cultural understanding of the transcendent set the scene and for me, this stems further back than the last 15 years and coincides with the First and Second World Wars. Western civilisation died there and we have been living on the carcass ever since.

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  2. Good piece, Arky.

    I’ll only add that there is a spiritual dimension to all this.

    The father of lies is attacking our beliefs and morals.

    Thankfully, when we – or the US government in particular – attempt to export our progressivism abroad many countries are saying “No, we don’t want it”. It’s no coincidence that these are often countries in Africa or Eastern Europe which are experiencing a renewal of the Christian faith.

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  3. With respect, you have posed a “Rorschach”type test upon us but remember that you are the one showing the dirty photos.

  4. I feel that many of the problems that beset us in the West (and elsewhere) arise from two developments. One is the destruction of the inner life, caused by a constant and relentless assault by Marxists, feminists and other ideological groups, who push the notion of victimhood, which allows you to avoid taking responsibility for your actions. The other is the abandonment of logic, accompanied by scare campaigns about global warming, pandemics, systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia and other hobgoblins that combine to induce irrational fears and beliefs in most of the population.

    I have a question: is all of the above occurring spontaneously, or is an agenda being imposed on us, and if so, who is imposing it?

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  5. I have a question: is all of the above occurring spontaneously, or is an agenda being imposed on us, and if so, who is imposing it?

    An excellent question.
    Best answered by rigorously describing what can actually be seen, and not speculating or extrapolating on what can’t. That way lies insanity.

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  6. You might recall that Yuri Besemov defected to Canada in the sixties.
    In the 1980’s he was interviewed by G Edward Griffin.
    He spelled out in exact detail the Soviet Union strategy.
    Kruschev wasn’t planning to take America down through the military.
    Instead, it intended to destroy America from within by infiltrating the education system.
    Three generations of young people were tapught to hate their home country and each other.
    The Supreme Soviet then watched them go forth and plant the seeds of self-loathing throughout their nation. The Soviet Union was not interested in fighting America. It was interested, instead, in co-opting it through psychological warfare.
    Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, is it possible that the torch has been handed to the CCP?

  7. My Pounds worth (used to be 2 bob but Biden/Morroswine-flation)

    WW1 kicked off the decline.
    Prior to that there was a reasonably stable belief that your rulers, of whatever sort, were trying to improve their countries.
    After WW1 you had the fall of pretty well every government followed by chaos & new shaky power structures. Many experimental and grafted onto existing structures which were hostile to them.

    Unfortunately the rise of the Soviets coincided with a complete loss of faith in democracies (and monarchical) expertise.
    This left them extremely vulnerable to the disgruntled intelligentsia transferring its allegiances to the “scientific” Communist system.

    The Communists already had a primer on how to destabilize nations through “useful idiots’ (intelligentsia especially), front groups which supposedly championed real causes, and Labor unions.
    The best thing about all 3 of those is they were either government funded or otherwise were self funded through “donations” from the well meaning.

    Possibly the biggest driver of the acceleration of idiocy has been the progressive freeing of pressure groups from needing to generate funds. Instead many are QUANGOs, bulk funded by government itself to push government agendas.

    So you have people who dont make money being gifted large sums from other people who dont need to make money.

    TL/DR: Since WW1 we have been the barbarians living in the ruins of Rome.
    We call ourselves Romans, use the same titles, and vote ourselves the same lifestyles.
    But the skill to repair the aqueduct and keep the water flowing is beyond us.
    But its ok, the Government has decreed Aquaducts were racist and we will have water too cheap to meter from rooftop collection instead.

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  8. Don’t want to be obsequious, but this is a very fine piece, Arky. If I can draw anything hopeful out of this nightmare we have entered, it is that it is generating some extraordinarily prescient pieces – particularly in the Australian Spectator – but also in various social media websites. This is encouraging, because without forces to light the way, we are lost.

    What has manifest is an interlocking complex of circumstances that leave a traditional individual, with traditional ideas of family, reward for effort, acceptance of responsibilities, and notions of self- determination, of judging people on their character, with a feeling of being absolutely snookered, and the growing suspicion that this is precisely what all of this is meant to do.

    I guess we all know, because most of us have commented on it over the years, that the Left has been an organised force in achieving its objectives. This has been achieved through organisations such as the young socialist & Fabian organisations that threw up (in every sense of the word) doctrinaires like Gillard, Ardern, Andrews and others. Those of us who came up against such people in the course of our work and careers were often shocked (as I was) at their vehemence and determination in undermining virtually civilisational fundamentals. In my case, it was in defending the Years 11 & 12 Ancient History syllabus against their attempts to diminish the the depth of understanding of the roots of our western civilisation in Graeco-Roman & Judaean civilisation. They “took no prisoners”, so to speak. I found them to be formidable opponents particularly as they were so focussed. Having withstood their onslaughts (somewhat shaken, and with some casualties) many of us underestimated their persistence.

    We are now paying the price.

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  9. Good summary, Arky.
    The West reached its cultural zenith in the mid 1800s, ie. before the Rousseau-ian “enlightenment” and the upheavals of the post-monarchical revolutions at the cusp of the 18-19thC reached critical mass in Europe.
    Just look at art, music, science, architecture, public sanitation.. truly learning from, and standing on the shoulders of giants.
    It’s been downhill since, the wealth created by the industrial and scientific revolutions creating the technologies, wealth, mind-fuckery and evil ideologies at the root of today’s problems.

    Humans are weak, easily suggestible apes.. too much comfort… not enough struggle… and we believe we can be Gods.. and here we are.

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  10. A major cause of our decline has been a willingness to tolerate the intolerant. This has allowed political obsessives to dominate all cultural fields. Too many conservatives have been “so open minded that their brains fall out”.

    What to do? Call the intolerant for what they are. In their minds they are paragons of virtue. Demonstrate to them that they are not. Most will not care, but the few who do become valuable allies. Look at the prominence of former so-called “progressive” leftists in the fight back.

    Meet rudeness with rudeness, arrogance with arrogance, and whenever possible, use satire. Alinsky’s Rules are a useful guide.

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  11. lemmiwinks: There are disturbing parallels between the demise of western society and mouse utopia.

    Perfectly expressed.


    PS: All hail the super dyke.

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  12. I mostly agree with you Arky. However, I’m not sure there has actually been a great reversal by the Left with regards segregation, on the contrary the tribalisation of society, grievance politics and playing everyone off against each other always was and always will be SOP for them.

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  13. everything Left is a dazzling kaleidoscope of relativist thought.

    there’s no difference between a climate mandate, a mask mandate and a pronoun mandate

    the whole pile of relativist gibber is built on logical fallacy, defended by name-calling but enforced by proxy violence or the threat thereof

    history rhymes

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  14. Great writing, Arky. While you’ve given a précis of how we got to here, I’ll try to make a couple of points about the future of this country, and perhaps if there is in that a convergence of ideas in other western democracies.

    I’m more heartened today than I have been in a long while. And that’s because I’ve come in contact with some youngish tradies who’ve been woken up because of what our governments are currently doing to us. One of them has never voted – seems to be early 30s – and has been calling/texting me with questions of how our political system works, what should be the role of govt, the realisation of what freedom is and how it can be taken away.

    Here they are hundreds of klms away from Victoria but interested in how the vote before the Victorian Legislative Council will go, the numbers of people marching and how the minor parties will go at the next election.

    I think there’s a whole generation of young people – as well as the normally disengaged – who’ve all woken up to what control and coercion looks like when government gets too big and too powerful, and they now know it’s not for them. I think these ideas are beginning to flow right around the world, as people have come to realise that politicians and bureaucrats won’t back off. What we could be experiencing is a very strong move away from any party that believes it has the right to control. Amen, to that.

    Ps Arky, one the painters told me that two friends of his parents – one a female aged 44 had a heart attack & died after the jab and the other a male (not sure of the age) had a stroke and is very unwell.

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  15. When people started to sing along with Peter, Paul and Mary’s song, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,” rather than take responsibility themselves we should have known we were in trouble.

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  16. Someone needs to tell the story of how we came to be where we are.

    That someone isn’t me, as I have not the discipline. However, I think I might be able to point the way. The first step is to name the thing, the second to define it. The third to explain in detail how it came about.

    I name the thing we are experiencing: The Progressive Era.

    I define it as specifically the last fifteen or so years,

    We are not special. History repeats. What is happening is who we are.

    We can resist. For the moment. At the edges.

    But the tide is irresistible.

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  17. Someone needs to tell the story of how we came to be where we are.

    In one word.

    Welfare. That’s how we came to be where we are.

    It’s been hinted at by others upthread. The concept of receiving something for deliberately doing nothing has grown from individuals or family groups of work-dodgers, such as the Paxtons, to entire industries revolving around doing nothing, contributing nothing yet receiving free money. All that is required in return is to have a very public opinion.

    The indig industry. Feminism. Arts grants to the same people year after year with nothing realistic expected in return. Climate change. Occupational health and safety. The galaxy of useless regulations invented by people who needed to invent them in order to keep their jobs, and who stay in clover by designing compliance regimens for everything that produces anything of value throughout the country.

    Nobody in any of these fields of endeavour actually does anything other than self-perpetuate, but absolutely all of them believe themselves to be vital, and the louder their voice – the louder the profile. And with the profile comes a greater propensity to be handed cash. This creates a non-productive, inefficient environment where the useless thrive and the workers wither.

    Welfare, writ both small and large is the reason we are where we are.

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  18. Spot on there KD. There is a massive industry of annoying and pointless shit all built around mofo bureaucrats/public servants/private chancers justifying their existence and milking the system.

    I work as a cook in a large new establishment. All good, professionally run etc. Some ‘Training’ scammer with connections to a TAFE came through a few months back and signed everyone up to enhance their skills etc. We are all qualified chefs, so what is all this about?

    It’s all about him and his business, and maybe the company I work for gets some payola.? A big fucking rort.

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  19. It might not popular to say so, but the moral rot here in the States started when we kicked God out of the public school system and our culture at large. My heart literally lusts for a Nineveh-esque mass-repentance.

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  20. Fuck my old boot !! What a lot of tosh, nonsense and balderdash. Free agency is the answer and has been since the Garden of Eden. Kungflu has been used as a smokescreen to deprive citizens of their free agency. And all run by satan and his minions. Why cant people see that ?

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  21. We’re suffering terribly from affluenza, where the more padded the human condition becomes the more accepting we are of the things that add to the padding, whether delivered by government or some massive corporation, or our institutions.

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  22. The “Welcome To Country” is an effective prayer to reject our collective heritage as individuals of the enlightenment, and hitch our souls to the hellcart of dependency and shame.
    That’s why it’s solidly prevalent amongst gatherings of schoolchildren and state employees.

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  23. Arky

    Picked up via Small Dead Animals Canadian blog. There might be something here.

    The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 53
    New Discourses is excited to present the first publication in its book imprint, Counter Wokecraft: A Field Manual for Combatting the Woke in the University and Beyond, by Charles Pincourt with James Lindsay. This short, accessible guide presents the idea that Wokeness isn’t just a philosophy but also a practice that is used to infiltrate and take over institutional settings, particularly universities. In that regard, it has a method attached to its madness, which Pincourt aptly names “Wokecraft,” in parallel to spycraft. This guide presents a brief overview of the Woke ideology (“Wokeness”), outlines many of the most prominent institutional techniques of Wokecraft, and then offers the reader many strategies for identifying and fighting back against Wokecraft wherever it may be encountered. A first of its kind, this book takes on Wokeness at the level of its institutional strategy and equips readers to do something about it. In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, contributor to the book James Lindsay walks through the table of contents in extraordinary detail to give listeners an overview of this exciting and useful new title. Join him and pick up your copy of Counter Wokecraft today!

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  24. WW1 kicked off the decline.
    Prior to that there was a reasonably stable belief that your rulers, of whatever sort, were trying to improve their countries.

    Sez who?

    Do you really think that your average peasant in central Europe, trying to wrestle a living from the land, with at least half of his/her children dead before they reached five, believed that? And do you really think that the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire gave a damn about them?

    The ruling class has changed its membership, but not its nature.

    Romanticising previous ruling classes is ahistorical, and clouds debate.

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  25. Arky

    Have a look into how progressivism started. It was the evangelical Christians in the US. Yes, it is ironic to boot.

    If you have read Aquinas, what he describes isn’t far off ideal. It is 90% off a libertarian ideal.

    I could live with that.

    The simplest way to describe libertarian ideals is “propertarianism” or “responsibilitism”. The first one has an an AP flair whilst the second is concomitant with classical republican themes. No genuine libertarian has ever said freedom is about zero responsibility. It is about responsibility being correctly assigned. The other extreme is bearing responsibility for matters that are not your concern. Anti freedom ideologies belong at either end (no responsibility or slave mandates).

    There are a few things you have overlooked.

    1. Make work jobs (not just diversity hires but diversity officers etc).
    2. Schools and most universities are redundant…just like the ABC, SBS, Telstra & the Post Office – the internet did this.
    3. Apropos of John Taylor Gatto – public schools and public funding of schools has always been a control system. Note that Massachusetts had higher literacy BEFORE compulsory education.
    4. We have a massive middle class whose job it is to reinforce the system, no matter how unproductive they are (in spite of “being good at their job”).

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  26. I too think WWI started a decline we are only just coming to grips with.

    The financial and human costs were unprecedented since the likes of the Great Northern War, Napoleon or the Seven Years War.

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  27. Do you really think that your average peasant in central Europe, trying to wrestle a living from the land, with at least half of his/her children dead before they reached five, believed that?

    Losing in the Victorian era had some pretty severe consequences for leaders.
    If they were lucky they were deposed.

    Do you really think that your average peasant in central Europe, trying to wrestle a living from the land, with at least half of his/her children dead before they reached five, believed that?

    Many of them did.
    And we would still be seeing 1/2 our kids dead if it werent for the invention of antibiotics, which is one of the sillier progressive arguments. .

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  28. Mole

    Your peasant in outer Slobbovia had zero to do with the ascension or deposition of rulers. Zero.

    As for antibiotics, you are wrong. While they made a hefty contribution to reducing the death rate among babies and young children, the death rate was already falling significantly before they became widely available. Things like public sanitation and greater availability of health services (including education campaigns) played a major part.

    The point is that while public health measures were immensely beneficial in the beginning, now that the job is done the public health bureaucrats need to find new justifications for their well-paid existence.

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  29. And we would still be seeing 1/2 our kids dead if it werent for the invention of antibiotics,

    Why don’t you try looking at history before you make such claims?

    Life expectancy trends did not accelerate (they were already rising) after the introduction of antibiotics (or widespread vaccine programs). In fact, they decelerated. Of course, they probably would have done so anyway because of diminishing returns but there is zero evidence that antibiotics or vaccines had any positive impact on life expectancy.

    This is mirrored more recently in the developing world where mortality trends were improving (a little) faster before the mass vaccine campaigns.

    An amazing article here about the lies we are fed.

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  30. Calli posted this liberty quite in OT. I think it belongs here.

    The loss of the religious understanding of the human condition—that Man is a fallen creature for whom virtue is necessary but never fully attainable—is a loss, not a gain, in true sophistication. The secular substitute—the belief in the perfection of life on earth by the endless extension of a choice of pleasures—is not merely callow by comparison but much less realistic in its understanding of human nature.

    — Theodore Dalrymple

    Welfare is not the cause, it is one of the consequences of the rise of materialism, which is a philosophical underpinning of the secularism. Human race is perfectible, according to it. And since there is nothing beyond material, the only option for perfecting it is by using only material means (comes down to money in the end).

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  31. Like JC, I blame all foibles on the damned iPad!

    But yes, Aquinas description of how society should function is mostly compatible with classical liberalism.

    Never does he stray into whacky ideas like nudge politics, banning dark roofs…or having other taxpayers pay for your sex change.

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  32. Welfare is not the cause, it is one of the consequences of the rise of materialism, which is a philosophical underpinning of the secularism.


    Human race is perfectible, according to it

    Not necessarily.

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  33. Sky’s extensive expose on China aggression last evening raised a factor that I had never considered but has ‘end of days’ implications for the West.
    It was argued that the CCP is determined to capture the Taiwanese microchip industry.
    They manufacture 80% of the world’s chips using processes so advanced that they cannot be replicated in the short term.
    Security is apparently so sophisticated that they have resisted constant agressive CCP espionage.
    It makes one so grateful that we have one former PM earning 30 pieces of CCP silver, another psychopath supporting them to spite Murdoch and the LNP, and yet another ex-PM psychopathic narcissit who will support anyone in order to piss on the Government.
    It’s all good though, ain’t it ASIO.

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  34. “For a first hand description of what we are up against in the capture of government by the bureaucracy in all western nations…”

    While that tends to be the case, there are at least some who push back, even in the USA.
    Eg, Kash Patel and John Durham. Hell, even Trump tried, as did BoJo in the UK.
    Here we can talk about Craig Kelly and yes, even Tony Abbott.
    So they exist.
    We need to support them to the max if we believe they are doing the right thing, and we need to call out those who are not doing the right thing and/or betraying the principles we think are needed.

    I have some hope that the “slow creep” that we have previously witnessed, and about which we are complaining, has become a deluge – and that “everyday man” has finally noticed. The question is whether or not there is a way to fix it, and motivating such “everyday man” to do what is required to actually fix it. The big issue with that is the “slow march” through both journalism and big tech. There is push-back on both of those, but I wonder if it is enough – if the MSM and Big Tech push UAP as “radical right”, “waaacist!” etc, recovery could still elude us. But it is possible, as DJT showed. Whether our own system will allow something similar here remains to be seen.

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  35. Also:
    we should not neglect the innate sense of “fairness” in all sentient creatures, us included – if you have two dogs, you can feed one in excess of his needs, but he will still get upset that the other dog got more food.
    So fairness is natural, and unfairness is railed against. One thing the left has done is to exploit this – those who have been even mildly disadvantaged, even if that disadvantage is removed, will still complain about the unfairness. This needs to be addressed every time it comes up, and turned on them.
    As in:
    “Aboriginal people were treated unfairly in the past, we should compensate them for it!”
    “No – we have removed the unfairness years ago, what you are proposing would now be unfair to all those NOT Aboriginal.”

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  36. After the rise of rationalism in the enlightenment, the West became increasingly a technic society dependent on a techno-literate class; mechanics and those we call tradies working with more theoretical/mathematical types to maintain and develop society. It could never be stable because these types had curiosity, inventiveness and no great interest in acquiring power. Conversely, the power-hungry had no great interest in the physical world, their forté was in persuasion by talking. And the great majority of the population are incapable of handling the technical aspects of anything much, and just want to learn the right things to say.

    The various stages of collapse can be enumerated, although it calls for a thesis of some length and I have neither the space nor the inclination to do so. But the rise of the pseudo sciences such as sociology and educationalism are predictable, given that snobbery drives stupid ppl to look down on the rude mechanicals, and to envy the theoreticians, while being incompetent at both the practical matters and the theoretical. So they invented non-subjects to be experts in.

    The growth of government comes out of the wealth created by the technic class, their uninterest in power, and filling up the administration with those not clever enough to understand anything complicated.

    I’d say that this outlines the dynamics of what has been going on since the eighteenth century in the West. It’s much too big for anyone to do anything about absent a lunar or Martian colony.

    Learn mandarin.

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  37. Aris Roussinos traces the beginning of the collapse of Western societies to the economic crisis of the mid-70s, which was a driver of our deindutrialisation and the subsequent globalisation of supply chains, which system is now teetering on the brink of collapse. There’s a bigger picture, but in economic terms there’s a lot to be said for this view.

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