Contra: Your Leaders Hate You (and You Should Hate Them Too)
Intellectual dark weebs, origins of domestic extremism, corporate journalists as regime jockstraps, Australia's most wanted, consolidating Juneteenth and pride parades into the new 'Independence Day.'
Hello, friends. This week’s podcast, of course, has been pushed back to next week due to scheduling issues. My guest will be Aimee Terese: political commentator, podcaster, Australia's most wanted.
I’ve got a few articles out now.
The Secret to China’s Soft Power Success in the United States
For The National Interest, I wrote about how the most “interesting” aspect of the U.S.-China relationship is that America’s ruling class and elites seem to be helping, at times celebrating, the latter’s rise.
“I’m really sorry. You have to understand that I love and respect China,” John Cena pleaded in a video posted to Weibo, a Chinese social network. The hulking wrestler made the mistake of referring to Taiwan as a country while giving a promotional interview—a mistake that reduced all six feet, two hundred and fifty pounds of him to an apologetic kitten.
Cena joined a long list of American hotshots who have run afoul of Chinese sensibilities. Recall when Daryl Morey, then the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protests in 2019.
Down with the Intellectual Dark Web
For The Spectator, I wrote about the “intellectual dark web” and its problems in light of a recent spat.
In the winter of 2018, Politico magazine ran a ‘Culture Wars’ issue, providing its delicate, cosmopolitan readership with a glimpse of the intellectual stirrings in the provinces of the empire. One of the articles, ‘The Voice of the “Intellectual Dark Web”’, profiled Australian journalist and founding editor of Quillette, Claire Lehmann.
At the time, the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ represented a kind of vanguardism, or at least prestigious media coverage portrayed it as such. For example, Bari Weiss, then a writer for the New York Times, romanticized the concept in a story for the paper. ‘What is the IDW and who is a member of it? It’s hard to explain, which is both its beauty and its danger.’
The Origins of Domestic Extremism
For American Greatness, I wrote how and why the federal government has become the real font of domestic extremism in the United States.
Earlier this year, The Intercept warned that the Pentagon was considering for its Countering Extremism Working Group consultants who hailed from “anti-Muslim and Christian conservative” organizations. The shadows of bigotry would lengthen over the land under the pretense of domestic counter-extremism efforts.
That narrative, of course, was fantasy, akin to a political “Handmaid’s Tale,” and porn for progressives. With Bishop Garrison at the helm of these efforts, the Pentagon was bound to continue its hard left turn.
Garrison is senior advisor to the secretary of defense on “human capital and diversity, equity and inclusion.” He’s leading the Countering Extremism Working Group and a proud proponent of anti-white racism.
Questions About the FBI's Role in 1/6 Are Mocked Because the FBI Shapes Liberal Corporate Media
Glenn Greenwald raises questions about what really happened—and how the media is covering it up—on January 6 in his latest article.
The axis of liberal media outlets and their allied activist groups—CNN, NBC News, The Washington Post, Media Matters—are in an angry uproar over a recent report questioning the foreknowledge and involvement of the FBI in the January 6 Capitol riot. As soon as that new report was published on Monday, a consensus instantly emerged in these liberal media precincts that this is an unhinged, ignorant and insane conspiracy theory that deserves no consideration.
The original report, published by Revolver News and then amplified by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, documented ample evidence of FBI infiltration of the three key groups at the center of the 1/6 investigation—the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters—and noted how many alleged riot leaders from these groups have not yet been indicted. While low-level protesters have been aggressively charged with major felonies and held without bail, many of the alleged plot leaders have thus far been shielded from charges.
Revolver News, which Glenn cites, has published a series of very interesting articles, probing the reality of January 6. You can read them here.
The Sexual Left, the Welfare State, and the Divorce Revolution
Stephen Baskerville writes the June feature for Chronicles on divorce.
Extremists break out of the margins and take power when they fool opponents into advancing their agenda. By politicizing the family and sexuality, the left duped conservatives, and all of us, into becoming their accomplices.
Since last fall’s electoral coup, the United States has been well on its way toward becoming a de facto communist government. But it is not the communism that conservative Cassandras have warned against, nor did it come about as they expected. In fact, conservatives bear a huge share of the responsibility for what happened. Misunderstanding the dynamics of today’s left, they helped fulfill their own prophecies.
The Closing of the American Public Sphere
Mark G. Kelly has an interesting essay in the new issue of Telos, on the managerial regime, its allies, and its enemies.
In an article published last year in this journal, I suggested that, compared to the possibility of “fascism” developing in the United States, the extent to which a rising Big Tech might, through its combination of new technologies with the concentration of immense wealth, transcend the state form altogether presented a greater danger. The actions of Big Tech after the so-called “Capitol Storm” of January 6, 2021, in censoring not only so-called “insurgents” but also a sitting U.S. president might seem to bear out this warning of mine. However, the way this played out in fact caused me to reassess my analysis and conclude that Big Tech is far more politically subordinate than I had previously estimated it to be. The analysis I will now present is, in short, that technology corporations seem to be solidly imbricated within a ruling alliance that has cemented its power in America as of January 2021, as a minor partner relative to the outsize influence of more conventional news media. Other prominent partners in this alliance are the Democratic Party establishment, the national security state, and the U.S. haute bourgeoisie, each with their own distinct agenda.
Ancient Greece and the Strategic Failure of Modern Humanism
Spencer Klavan has a philosophical book review in Law & Liberty.
The great men of Ancient Greece were not universally beloved in their day. The historian Herodotus was faulted for misleading the public. The statesman Pericles was constantly suspected of aspirations to tyranny. And Socrates, godfather of Western philosophy, was executed for subversive teachings. Yet we remember these men far more readily than we do their many detractors. Their wisdom has proven durable and fruitful for every subsequent generation that sees fit to make use of it.
Our own generation seems mostly to be in the process of discarding that wisdom and following gleefully down well-worn paths toward destruction, albeit at the heels of new sophists and new demagogues. But there are still people who believe the ancient Greeks have things to teach us. Claudia Hauer is one of those people, and her new book, Strategic Humanism: Lessons on Leadership from the Ancient Greeks, is a short guide to “drawing on Greek literature as we encounter the problems of our own age.” It is a book in which I find some things to admire, and some things to dispute.
Why Wouldn’t America Talk About The Lab Leak?
Robert W. Merry writes in The American Conservative on the true nature and origins of COVID-19 and why we aren’t allowed to ask questions about these things.
Much has been written now—finally—about the remarkable groupthink fiasco in which America’s elite institutions sought to throttle any inquiry or even just any curiosity about whether the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated from a laboratory leak in Wuhan, China. Now we know that such a leak remains in fact a very real possibility, and many scientists, editors, and commentators are scrambling to shed their previous know-nothingism on the matter and join the inquiry on what really happened and why (while avoiding, in most instances, any acknowledgement of their earlier folly).
But some implications of the sordid tale haven’t received much attention. What does it say about America’s capacity for meeting the multifarious and growing challenges to its global leadership? Can a country utterly preoccupied with avoiding any imputation of negative feelings toward other peoples and other nations—those twin evils of “racism” and “xenophobia”—meet the kinds of challenges that inevitably emerge from other peoples and other nations?
Make Communist China Pay for COVID-19
Josh Hammer argues that China should pay reparations for blighting us with COVID-19.
As the world slowly begins to emerge from the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and American elites develop an interest in the formerly dismissed Wuhan lab leak theory, it is time to focus attention where it belongs: punishing a rogue Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for what it has inflicted upon an unsuspecting world.
To many of us, it was obvious from the outset that COVID-19 was a "Chinese Chernobyl." Regardless of whether the virus has as its provenance a zoonotic transmission at a wet market or an "escape" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology—to say nothing of the low, but still non-negligible, possibility that it was intentionally developed and weaponized as a bioweapon—the CCP's gross negligence, recklessness and, indeed, malice all contributed to an initially localized virus metastasizing into a crippling global phenomenon.
For today, this section will mostly focus on Juneteenth, and why it represents yet another defeat in the culture war that was lost long ago.
Black History Is Under Attack as States Ban Critical Race Theory. Teaching Juneteenth Is Key to Fighting Back
via Business Insider:
It smacks of hypocrisy for federal and local governments to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday while so many Americans are working to prevent students from learning why the holiday exists.
The occasion must center the uncomfortable history of the country and the unquenchable human will for freedom that Black people in this country have always displayed, even before the first Juneteenth of 1865.
For Juneteenth, America Needs a New Flag That All of Us Can Honor
The Confederate battle flag, which was crafted as a symbol of opposition to the abolishment of slavery, is just recently tired. We don’t see it much anymore. However, on the 6th, when the stormers rained on the nation’s most precious hut, waving Old Glory — the memo was received: the American flag is its replacement.
President Biden, Madame Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate, it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect. It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us. It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.
Critical Race Theory Panic Is Everywhere—Just in Time for Juneteenth
via Mother Jones:
. . . the fake outrage about critical race theory is hitting a fever pitch at a crucial moment: the month when Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery, is celebrated. This celebration is a relatively new phenomenon. In the past, the day has hardly been acknowledged, but it has gained more recognition recently. And after last year’s racial justice protests, companies and schools rushed to acknowledge the day with time off, celebrations, and learning opportunities. But that acknowledgment has its limits.
Evanston, Illinois is having a Juneteenth Parade and a Gay Pride Parade, but is cancelling the 4th of July Parade & Fireworks
Here are the arguments Democrats made for Juneteenth:
Just 7 percent of Republican voters wanted Juneteenth to be a federal holiday. In fact, the event was mostly irrelevant and unknown to the majority of Americans for years. From 2004 through the present, Juneteenth only became a term of interest for Americans during the week of the George Floyd riots, when the left latched onto it as symbol.
I’ll be writing about this for Chronicles next week, and it will probably surprise people where I go with my conclusion.