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Caldwell Redux: Another Look at The Age of Entitlement

1,844 words

Christopher Caldwell
The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2020

In January, when I first read and reviewed Christopher Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement, I couldn’t help noticing that the book was being hit by a broadside smear-attack, impressive in its vitriol. Four days before the book’s publication (that is to say, January 17) the New York Times warned the reader that it was an “overwrought and strangely airless book”:

Perhaps the author should have come up for oxygen when he found himself suggesting that the Southern segregationists were right all along.

[The book’s argument] leads nowhere. It proffers no constructive alternative, no plausible policy or path. The author knows perfectly well that there will be no “repeal of the civil rights laws.” He foresees only endless, grinding, negative-sum cultural and political warfare between two intractably opposed “constitutions.” His vision is a dead end.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal said it was “a book suffused with anger — at the system, at the movement of history.” But the most elaborate trashing came from the “conservative news site” Washington Examiner, in a review lip-smackingly entitled “Trumpism for Highbrows.” Here the reviewer, one Wesley Yang, effectively characterized Caldwell as an aggrieved white male in a MAGA hat, angry about the civil rights revolution because people of other races and sex-permutations were now getting a slice of the pie. With this ad hominem attack, the reviewer simply dismissed Caldwell’s evidence and argument as lacking any substance:

In the absence of any real evidence that the civil rights state has done grave material harm to white America, Caldwell settles into a long rant against political correctness. . . [He] fails to note that the overwhelming majorities of people of every ethnicity, including 3 out of 4 blacks, and upwards of 80% of Asians, Native Americans, and Hispanics, dislike political correctness.

As if that had anything to do with the price of eggs.

You can buy Greg Johnson’s The White Nationalist Manifesto here

These reviews described a book so different from the one I read, I concluded they were parroting a list of talking points that the publishers had sent out pre-publication, in order to gin up controversy and buzz. I would assume that Simon & Schuster was afraid potential readers would pass by this new offering from the tweedy, self-effacing Caldwell, imagining the book to be erudite but soporific, like the many opinion columns he has written over the years for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the NYPress, etc., etc. That is just an educated guess.

Anyway, the advance promotion did create a buzz, at least in the Twittersphere. Gloating over a bad review, the Russian-Jewish neocon Cathy Young gaily tweeted: “Somehow unsurprising that [Christopher Caldwell], whom I used to know ages ago, has gone hard right.” She hadn’t read the book, and neither had omnivorous hot-take artist Jeet Heer (formerly of The New Republic, now at The Nation) who jumped in with: “He’s a really gifted writer, so this . . . makes me sad.” Others bemoaned Caldwell’s intellectual decline since 1998, when he wrote about the directionlessness and moral vacuity of the Republican Party (“The Southern Captivity of the GOP“).

But then the sun came out, and we started to see reviews from ink-stained wretches out in the provinces and wire-services — people who actually read the damn thing, and found it to be insightful and cogent. (“The Age of Entitlement is a Fascinating Read.” — Associated Press.)

The main difference between these favorable mainstream reviews and the early hit-jobs is that the early notices focused entirely upon such hot-button issues as civil rights, the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment, and the legal sanctity of gay marriage. But later reviewers (those who read the book, without a cheat-sheet) took The Age of Entitlement to be as much a popular social history as it is a political treatise, something along the lines of William Manchester’s The Glory and the Dream (subtitled A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972).

You can buy Greg Johnson’s Toward a New Nationalism here

Caldwell’s book could be subtitled Angst and Pop Culture in America, 1963-2015. We briefly revisit waterbeds; Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion and round bed; “sexist” commercials from Eastern Air Lines and “feminist” ones for Virginia Slims cigarettes; the brief rise of the CB radio fad in the 70s and the downfall of the IBM Selectric typewriter in the 80s; Gay Lib; Rush Limbaugh and the talk-radio cult; the Trayvon Martin affair; immigration and the demographic transformation of America; and what it means to be “red-pilled.” Financial matters figure greatly: the S&L and bank failures of the 80s and 90s; the student loan crisis (Caldwell blames Pell Grants); junk bonds; leveraged buyouts; global outsourcing; and the mortgage debacle that crescendoed into the 2008 Wall Street crash. But these too were pop-culture trends of a sort, enabled by deregulation and political opportunism.

The biggest fad of all, though, is the equality-and-diversity cult. This initially seeded itself with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Since then it has gradually metastasized, sprouting bureaucracies, oversight agencies, and judicial diktats. The legal framework of this cult has come to form a kind of Deep State (a “Second Constitution” in Caldwell’s phrase), against whose authority all appeal is futile. But you cannot describe this monstrous apparatus without talking about those other artifacts of pop culture. They are mutually enabling. The Sexual Revolution led to Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges; not because it had to, but because it gradually changed popular opinion, meaning there were opportunities to litigate, particularly in an over-lawyered society where you can sue a ham sandwich for violating your civil rights.

Pace the New York Times review — “It proffers no constructive alternative, no plausible policy or path” — Caldwell’s book does indeed give a roadmap for those who want one. It’s not a silly how-to guide for activists (1. Write your Congressman; 2. Organize a Tupperware party), but rather a description of where we’ve been and what dangers we must avoid going forward.

You Can buy F. Roger Devlin’s Sexual Utopia in Power here

The Age of Entitlement brings a clarity to the Right-nationalist schema that wasn’t there before. For decades, we muddled on with an inchoate set of high-flown theories about race and ethnicity, and who has the best IQs and test scores and time-preference. And we kept losing, year after year, decade after decade. We didn’t understand what was happening. We just knew something didn’t feel right in our gut, and we were ashamed that we didn’t have an impressively abstruse explanation for it all. The magic of Donald Trump in 2015-2016 — however much a disappointment he turned out to be — was that he crashed through all the fluff and abstraction and told our inarticulate instincts that some moral principles need no justification or apology: We need, and we deserve, to run our own country. And our nation must be populated by our own people; in its simplest formulation, we need a mostly white country.

Trump never said this, of course, and neither does Caldwell. But that’s where the bien-pensants seem to think they’re both headed. Hence the anger and alarm in those book reviews I describe up top.

The Age of Entitlement shows us that the political cant of race-grievance and perversion is only that; empty words, like the patter of the three-card-monte shark as he prepares to take your money. From now on, any jabber in praise of the civil-rights cult and its destructive offspring is going to be recognized as the sanctimonious humbug that it is.

*  *  *

One weakness in this book — more a feature than a bug, perhaps — is that it seems to dribble off inconclusively at the end, with the Donald Trump announcement for President in 2015. And here we are now in 2020. I suspect Caldwell was probably looking for a coda with the Trump Administration, and so he held up publication.

His last big book was Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, which came out in 2009, and which The Economist called “the best statement to date of the pessimist’s position on Islamic immigration in Europe.” That too lacked a coda, because the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan massacres in Paris wouldn’t happen till 2015, nor would the crest of the European “refugee crisis.” But sooner or later you have to make an end and publish. When I ran into him in Washington, D. C. at the November 2016 NPI conference, Caldwell said he was writing an opinion piece for the New York Times‘ Week in Review section (which he did: “What the Alt-Right Really Means,” Dec. 2, 2016). But now I realize he must have been searching for a conclusion to The Age of Entitlement. He didn’t find one.

Something else that’s askew in the book is its treatment of the role of finance and capital markets in the promotion of civil-rights culture. He regards political faddery as the horse pulling the cart of capital. To my mind, it’s quite the other way around. The civil-rights culture was enabled, and encouraged, by changes in financial markets that occurred in the 1960s-80s: a short-term, “high time-preference” mentality, with a willingness to take on massive debt and chase quarterly earnings rather than invest for the long run. With this corporate mindset, public relations become paramount. Boardrooms pander to trendy and “woke” opinion, worry about getting bad press, and fear vexatious lawsuits about “discrimination.” There are good reasons why things like Affirmative Action were complacently accepted by the corporate suite in the 1980s and 90s when they never would have been in the 1920s or even 1950s.

Similarly, progressivist public policy was not the prime mover behind the financial debacle of 2008. No, that had its roots in the deregulation that began during the Jimmy Carter administration and ran all the way up through the George W. Bush years, driven by lobbyists from Wall Street, S&L’s, and commercial banks. Caldwell says the remote causes of the crash were politically driven. I say they were politically enabled. His version makes for a clearer, juicier story, one more adaptable to a film script or book tour. And he’s absolutely marvelous in tracing the origins of that financial failure to a specific point in time. In The Age of Entitlement and more recently in a New York Times column, he starts the tale with the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles race riots. George H. W. Bush signed the Housing and Community Development Act, lowering underwriting standards for “underserved areas,” i.e., “minority” neighborhoods. Bill Clinton went a step farther, forcing banks to write mortgages for risky, low-income borrowers, often without any down payment at all.

The less likely you were to pay off a mortgage, the more likely you were to get one. . . No well-informed accountant thought these loans could survive an economic downturn, and they did not. The politicization of poor people’s mortgages in a single country . . . brought the world to the brink of economic disaster. (New York Times, February 15, 2020)

To my mind, Caldwell’s telling begs the question of why banking executives were so easily gulled and strong-armed into an arrangement leading to disaster. It was because they had long lived with the high-risk, short-term outlook endemic to their industry. By the time the crash hit, they expected to have moved on and perhaps retired, with their own assets safely locked away. Après eux, le déluge.

 

22 Comments

  1. HamburgerToday
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I am glad you’ve come back to Age of Entitlement. There are, of course, various groups who would like to pretend Age was never written or published.

    One of the things I’ve noticed is that when an idea is both radical and appealing, the People of the Status Quo always want know how it will be implemented. This is, of course, not a question asked in good faith, but a way of appearing to have an interest in the idea while, at the same time, placing an excessive burden on the supporters of the idea in order to kill their enthusiasm.

    Whenever a member of the Status Quo People says something like ‘The author knows perfectly well that there will be no “repeal of the civil rights laws”, what they really mean to say is ‘Yes, it could be done but we don’t want you to think it could’. The Civil Rights Act could be undone the same way it was brought into being via legislation. In terms of pure technicality, it would be easier to undo the CVA (or Hart-Cellar or the Voting Rights Act) than it was to undo Prohibition.

    • Astonished
      Posted March 4, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Repealing the CRA 1964 would require essentially a religious inversion, given that Americans steep in the cesspool that is a Theocracy based on Universalist sacraments. It would require redefining what it means to be a right-thinking person. The entire cargo cult of “build the facade, then the essence will come into it” will have to burn to the ground.

      I do not think this is remotely possible as things stand today; while it may take a lot of effort to pass legislation that the majority disagrees with, it takes far less fervent support (from a committed faction) to maintain existing fiat law. It’s akin to reforming public pensions in Illinois; the math simply doesn’t work, but current and future beneficiaries will move mountains to obstruct reasoned reforms, such that game theory indicates that reform will be delayed until after it’s impossible. Theological dogma of Blank Slate and Magic Dirt produce similar dynamics from defenders. I suggest that this dogma has geographically shuffled together peoples that loathe each other, that open hostility already exists in one direction and all that’s missing is to take the “candy” away from white people (a debt-deflation economic cataclysm) and tolerance for what Colin Flaherty calls denial, deceit and delusion will evaporate. But that won’t return us to the Norman Rockwell painting of my youth.

      Evidence abound that the institutions of our past are dying, being destroyed from within by the very people who staff, own and depend on them. From the fake-news MSM and a federal government that can’t even police the border to an electorate abandoning the Past’s “muddy middle ground” for mutually antagonistic belief structures, etc., all argue that the USA is heading for a break-up, a contested and vicious divorce. No, we cannot coexist under the same polity with those whose beliefs are literally an existential threat to our and our children’s lives. The future is break-up, and the only questions are (1) how many different polities and (2) how bloody the process to separate into them? The divisions now evident between people in the USA make those of the late 1850’s look minuscule by comparison. This alone should inform us what’s inevitable.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      • HamburgerToday
        Posted March 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        I sometimes think that the multi-generational neoliberal political Ice Age has made us believe that political change is harder than it is. But the reality is the current neoliberal political arrangement is fragile and the apparent stability is the result of the Status Quo People constantly running round putting out fires. They have resources and they have (some) power, but they lost a great deal of control and cannot seem to find a way to regain it. The level of repression is an indicator of the amount of control they no longer have. In a perfect neoliberal political system, alignment with the elite appears natural. Chomsky is pretty good on articulating this viewpoint.

        As for the Great Divorce, what’s obvious to me is that the ability to manage the energies released — the number and kind of polities — requires new political logic, one that, truly, owes more to prehistoric polity-building than the polity-building of the 18th Century. Race will, either overtly or covertly, be a part of this polity-building, if for no other reason than pragmatics: there are no problems that race-mixing makes easier to solve.

        • Astonished
          Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          I concur, if I interpret your words correctly. I am an adherent to Prechter’s Socionomic Hypothesis (even as I reject his claims to market forecasting) and thus see belief-trends as nothing but large-scale fads and fashion, animated by humans’ natural (neurobiologically-dictated) cognitive processes. Fashions can change on a dime, and the current fad (Universalist Cargo Cult Theocracy) could change as fast as any such event in history. Certainly there exist the seeds of such a change in currently unfashionable places like counter-currents. I am also a biologist by first education, so concepts of race and heritability inform my views of mixing poodles with coon hounds either in the field or in the litter.

          At its core, what we see today is the apotheosis of a mania in social mood “optimism,” akin to drunkenly trusting everything and anything because “everything is awesome.” Homophilia, Open-Borders, normalizing of individual insanity (i.e., sex/gender confusion) and religious ecumenism to the point of homogenizing Christianity out of existence all emanate literally from the same unconscious herding urges that animate paying $100 today for an IOU that promises to return $100 in ten years, and doing so even as the total value of such IOU’s surpasses a quadrillion U.S. Dollars. It all emanates from the same cognitive subroutine, one of the vast library of such subroutines humans harbor. Unfortunately, we have a bad habit of employing the wrong subroutine at the wrong time. As Kahneman notes in Thinking Fast and Slow, we spend most of our time on cognitive autopilot, AKA the impulsive mind, and even when employing our deliberative mind, we often use it to rationalize whatever self-destructive idiocy we already impulsively decided upon. Humans are not rational creatures, we’re rationalizing creatures. And few among us can grasp complex abstractions needed to understand even a fraction of the word in which we now live.

          How far back “in time” will humans go when the one-sided bridge nailed together out over the Abyss (intended to reach Utopia on the other side) fails, plunging all whose lives were built on it into chaos? As I see it, the “optimism accelerometer” was pinned to +100 now for decades. When the cycle finally, 20-years-overdue rolls over, social mood negativity (pessimism, distrust) will swing just as far south. Globalism’s “We Are The World” created in people’s minds the notion that the Venn Diagram for humanity was One Big Circle (there’s only “one race, the human race.”) A trend toward -100 distrust will break that single circle into innumerable smaller ones, whose overlapping aspects will be warfare of varying levels of violence. No nation-state measured in the tens of millions (much less hundreds of millions) is governable. There simply aren’t that many people who want to live together under the same exact set of rules.

          Race. Ethnicity. Social/economic class. Political-economy beliefs. Bears-Packers-Vikings. Cat people vs dog people. Classical vs Pop vs Rap. The number of divides over which people may choose different living arrangements is huge. The Utopia I favor is a world of small polities, each sporting a different set of pre-agreed-upon rules. Dry or alcohol. Pot or no. Loud music or no. Basically each place promising a homogeneous cultural experience, where those who promise to behave one way but who insist on breaking their pledge are summarily EVICTED…exiled from the community (family and all.) If I want to live in a community that is quiet, peaceful, family-centric (basically a Norman Rockwell painting) then I might give up a glass of wine periodically to get it (if the only available such community was dry.) I’d give up a lot to have a place similar to where I grew up, where crime was exceedingly rare, you didn’t have to listen to your neighbor’s booming bass sub-woofers and adults who wanted to have sex with adolescents were treated very, very harshly. I’d like to leave behind a hedonistic society that rewards weakness with resources (because you ALWAYS get more of what you reward.) I’d like to return to a society that discourages citizens’ indulgence in vice (self-destructive actions undertaken with the expectation of pleasure.) And in the world I envision, those who insist on living what I deem amoral lives are told to do so elsewhere, amidst their fellowmen. Absent would be my need to “fix” the lives of those bent on self-destruction. I wouldn’t live among those who’d call me “literally Hitler.”

          In time, conditions inside the walls of my ideal community would be good, and the outside would become a Hobbesian State of Nature. No more would the barbarians be allowed to fester inside the gates. Those agitating to “improve” the local community standards would be exiled to go live their “dreams” with the like-minded, to prove via lived experience that what they espouse works (it doesn’t, but they can self-nominate for Darwin Awards for public edification.)

          Of course, I named “my” ideal Utopia for a reason. I now see that the world I prefer is “talking my own book,” because I was born with a set of attributes that yielded my living life on the easy setting. Yes, it’s true: heterosexual, white, low-time-preference, highly-intelligent, attractive, masculine, talented men (and similar, feminine women) have the world at their feet. Given that all of these attributes (except the first) are genetically determined, the Universalist Cult’s indictment of such people is tantamount to insisting they all be exterminated (because those attributes cannot be taxed away or otherwise redistributed.) Paradoxically, the hardships of my personal backstory render me immune to the success-induced guilt that drives white Cultists’ attribution of black failure to racism rather than natural, biological, irremediable factors. I want a world that gives capable people like me the ability to cast off the parasites and barnacles who attach themselves to us via social beliefs. I want a world that stops trying to use me and mine as the oxen to drag an ever-growing Idiocracy toward establishing the Kingdom of Heaven On Earth.

          But then again, genetic vitality must be forged via hardship and culling. I’m mindful that me and mine are products of several generations that dammed Nature’s historically normal levels of culling weakness, that we’ve existed in a period of unprecedented ease. We are nowhere near as robust as our ancestors who survived Nature’s fury. So I am careful for what I wish, because I just might get it. I’m an ant, riding on a leaf that floats down a wide river. Nothing I do changes the course of the river ahead, and my perspective is so limited that even if I attempt to paddle my leaf to the left or right, it’s just as likely I’m going further into danger as into safety.

  2. ia
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    “In 1992 Congress mandated the creation of a regulatory agency that would operate under the roof of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Known as the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), this agency has ridden herd on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reach out to “underserved” populations.”

    The Clinton administration’s initial quota of targeting underserved areas (i.e., low-to-middle-income Census tracts with high nonwhite populations) was 21 percent; the Bush administration, obsessed with promoting an “ownership society,” has upped this floor to 39 percent.”

    Why did Congress create the oversight agency? Because lawmakers believed the line that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had been “neglecting” their commitment to promote affordable housing. It was radical nonprofit activist groups who sold that line, with ample help of homebuilders, banks, realtors, and most of all, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Captors and captives have bonded!”

    And political influence ensures more of the same. Nobody has mastered the art form quite like the two GSEs, having contributed a combined roughly $200 million in lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.” [The American Spectator, Aug. 4, 2008, Carl F. Horowitz: http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13630%5D

    To quote from an excellent article on the US Subprime Crisis by Steve Sailer:

    This is not to say that minorities are “to blame” for the Mortgage Meltdown. The bipartisan consensus in favor of raising minority homeownership rates through laxer credit standards deserves much of the blame. As does the financial industry’s refusal to ask politically incorrect questions about how many NAMs (Non-Asian Minorities) in California and elsewhere could possibly earn enough money to pay back the huge mortgages being handed out in 2003-2007, or could find Greater Fools willing to pay even more to live in slummy neighborhoods.

    U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who strongly supports preferential credit and mortgage policies for designated minorites, said: “In other words we [minorities] are a credit risk because no matter how much money we make, we are also too stupid and undisciplined to know how to spend, plan and save.’ 

    • P. J. Collins
      Posted February 27, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, blaming public policy for financial failures is an easier sell than blaming financial interests for bad public policy. Thank you for your expansion on this.

  3. M.
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece. There is so much to learn from Caldwell’s book, . One thing here caught my attention. You say, “When I ran into him in Washington, D. C. at the November 2016 NPI conference, Caldwell said…” Does Caldwell move in those circles? Is he acquainted and conversant with people on the identitarian right?

    • M.
      Posted February 28, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      On second thought, I regret posing the question and please don’t answer. There would be nothing to gain by exposing such any such associations, were they to exist.

      • P. J. Collins
        Posted February 29, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Well I’m going to answer anyway. No “associations.” He was there, amongst the other 300-400 people (not 200, as mainstream stories have it), as a member of the press. He had a column to write, linked above, and he did it. Read the piece, make your own allowances for NYTimes acceptability, and make your own judgment.

  4. ia
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Have you read this 2006 Harvard study?  For more information please go to: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/publications/markets/son2006/index.htm.

    According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, “Accounting for nearly two-thirds of household growth in 1995 to 2005, minorities contributed 49 percent of the 12.5 million rise in homeowners over the decade.” . . . “Without the sudden expansion of subprime lending, most of these homeowners would have been denied access to credit.”

    In 1993, there was a lowering of standards in subprime loans in order to implement the 70s Community Reinvestment Act. This started the fad for no-downpayment, balloon loans, no verifiable income, etc. The no-down payment policies began to spread beyond sub-prime. Banks began to buy mortgage-backed securities without capital to back them. The triple A rating would allow banks to buy with only 1.6% capital backing. Home equity loans also were a tax-free way to borrow money. Subprime grew from $35 billion in 1994, $125 billion in 1997, $210 billion in 2001 to $625 billion in 2005.

    Why did rating agencies give triple A ratings to worthless securities? According to the NYT, January 27, 2008 article on the Cuomo investigation:

    But investment banks did not give the rating agencies their due diligence reports, and it appears that the agencies did not demand them, people familiar with Mr. Cuomo’s investigation said. ” . . . “In November [2007], Fitch Ratings published a detailed review of 45 loans in an effort to identify what went wrong as mortgages were turned into securities. It found extensive inaccuracies and fraud. The firm noted that many of the problems would have been easy to identify by looking at loan applications, appraisals and credit reports — but it appears that such review was either never done or ignored.”

    Banks and ratings agencies followed the money.

    Politicians and bureaucrats act, business follows the money to the point of bending the laws or simple negligence. Closing the many “gaps” has been the obsession with politicians of both parties for half a century and it is continuing.

  5. Sutter
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid the reviewers are largely right here.

    While I have not read the book, none of the reviews, even the favorable ones from websites like this, are able to explain the logic of this man in depth.

    Given this fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is no logic.

    Was Yang right? Well, of course he was somewhat right that Caldwell does not want what he wants: free access to all opportunities in the USA for just about any immigrant, especially Chinese. His blasting of Caldwell’s concerns on the basis that white people’s wealth is not decreasing is of course annoying; nationalists are the sorts of people who would die in wars to preserve a nation, much less lose some money, so making or losing some money obviously is not what our concerns boil down to (maybe Wesley Yang really is a homo economicus).

    The critics are right that there is no taking back civil rights. I am shocked to see some commenters suggest that we advocate this, what’s waste of time. It is a holy event to most Americans. Trashing it accomplishes nothing and angers many; it also sows social distrust. For this reason, responsible news outlets would trash this book.

    I fail to see how this provides much guidance or clarity.

    • HamburgerToday
      Posted March 4, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Civil rights legislation (and subsequent abuse by the courts) created the ‘Church of Grievous Wokeness’. Undoing legislation is built into the system. The people of the US undid Prohibition and that was a Constitutional Amendment. I think broad enough coalition of Whites and non-Whites could be created to repeal the Civil Rights Act and a number of other Acts (e.g Hart-Celler), especially if it was part of a ‘package’ of changes with wide support.

      The ‘Civil Rights Act’ will be either overturned or nullified or create the conditions were outright RAHOWA will rage across this once fair land. Most people would prefer a controlled demolition over an unmanaged collapse.

      • Astonished
        Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        FWIW, I don’t think any polity or political committee will rationally dismantle what is in effect a Mutual Suicide Pact (CRA 1964 and Hart-Celler.) I just don’t think that’s how this is going to work.

        Most likely in my largely obscured view is that the decline and fall of Large Scale Institutions (e.g., the Federal government, Big Business, Global supply lines, etc.) will accelerate in its already self-evident trend, and people will out of necessity be forced to pay attention exclusively to that which is near, both geographically and socially. If that’s the way it plays out, it won’t be a conscious, public and openly-communicated renunciation of the Theological Dogma animating desegregation, open-borders replacement, etc., but a more subtle, de facto absence of enforcement, leading eventually to an admission that “yeah, we’re not concerned about that crap right now, but maybe when this crisis is past and we return to ‘normal….'”

        It won’t be evident until hindsight that there’s no such thing as returning to the past, and by that time people will be concerned with far more mundane things…the stuff that occupied our ancestors, long before people had so much time on their hands to dream up tolerance for the intolerable. I often wonder what the future historian who channels Charles Mackay will write about this longest-ever Popular Delusion and [the] Madness of Crowds.

        No doubt he’ll have difficulty finding words adequate to the task of describing such a galaxy-sized folie a plusiers.

  6. Sling Blade Podner
    Posted February 29, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’d never seen a photo of Caldwell before. Not a bad looking gent, although he looks like he’s lusting after some “french fried pertaters, um hum.”

  7. DP84
    Posted February 29, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    @P.J Collins

    I have a question for you: Is it possible, in your mind, for a White person to be simultaneously Pro-White and Pro Market, Pro-Suburbia, and Pro-Upper and Middle Class? Simply put, is a White person who is Pro-White only allowed to identify with the Working Class, and only allowed to support Democratic Socialist economic policies?

    I ask because I want to know what exactly it is that Pro-White advocates such as yourself want your ideal country to look like. Mine is simple: The 1920s and 1950s in a time loop, with accompanying technological progress, and an economic system that provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people, which, from my point of view, is the Social Darwinist system promoted by Herbert Spencer and, yes, William Graham Sumner.

    I personally have no interest in voting for candidates who support policies that benefit people – White, Black, or Brown – who objectively don’t deserve it. The Arthur Fleck’s of our race need to be allowed to experience the natural consequences of their decisions, which are usually the result of their internal character, or lack thereof. I buy the Leftist, egalitarian ethic that successful Whites should be forced to support unsuccessful Whites.

    • P. J. Collins
      Posted February 29, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      In answer to your primary question, I’d say yes. In a homogeneous society, we’d have no shortage of brickbats to throw at each other. You wish to be a country-club snob like Judge Smeals, then do that. You wish to be Walter Reuther and fight for top perks for your union members, that’s fine too. You want to fight for obscurantist Libertarianism or your notion of Social Democracy, be my guest.

      The big point here is that we would not be distracted by issues that do not directly pertain to us. Currently the political dialogue is completely derailed. Solving the race problem does not give us Heaven on Earth, but it at least lets us sort out priorities.

      • DP84
        Posted March 1, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        @P.J. Collins

        Fair enough. I agree with you that in a White Ethmostate, there would be different factions of Whites that would each support their own values that they believe in, whether that’s Libertarianism, Trade Unionism, etc. Some regions could be more communitarian, others more meritocratic and individualistic. I’d definitely prefer to live in the individualistic areas, as I resent other people telling me how to live my life.

        That all being said, the reason I asked you that question in the first place is because I strongly disagree with your underlying assumptions in this article about how the 2008 Housing Collapse came about. The Democrat Party forced the banks to give housing loans to unqualified non-whites, and they did it because they had a political agenda and a racial agenda. The blame lies with them. It was not the new corporate culture of that resulted in the housing collapse. That culture was merely a conduit that Leftist ideologue politicians used to socially engineer society in a way they saw fit.

        More to the point though, I completely disagree with this notion promoted by everyone from Richard Spencer to Keith Woods to Erik Striker to Mike Enoch that the White Nationalist cause would be advanced if we could use the power of the government to “reign in” neoliberalism. Economic Leftism is being treated like a panacea or a silver bullet by people who can’t stop blaming every social ill – mass immigration, LGBT parades, Drag Queen Story Hour, etc – on neoliberalism. They are deflecting blame onto a scapegoat ideology that simply puts Private Property rights on too high of a pedestal, when the real culprit of all those social ills is:

        1. Organized Jewry (SPLC, ADL, politicians like Hart and Cellar)

        http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/v1/2005/Staff031305MaliciousDuo.htm

        2. Leftist ideologues like Antifa and SJW’s, who go out of their way to implement the agenda that they were taught by the academic establishment and the Jew run media.

        Jews are the movers and shakers, Leftists are the foot soldiers. Corporations and businesses merely go along with whatever the cultural flow is. To assert that Corporate America is the real mover and shaker of racial egalitarianism and the Great Replacement is 100% Bolshevik propaganda and deflection, and is exactly what communist Jews like Bernie Sanders want us to do.

        • ia
          Posted March 1, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Blaming Jews and Democrats won’t help you. The main architects of free-market capitalism were gentiles like Adam Smith. George Bush was the biggest pusher of no-down payment, liar loans.

          As long as there is an antidote to capitalism that describes a moral order superior to mere material being capitalism can work well.

        • P. J. Collins
          Posted March 2, 2020 at 4:01 am | Permalink

          Bad loans, easy credit, risky debt instruments were created and promoted by “Wall Street” (etc.), going back to the 1970s. In the 1980s this paid off with the failure of S&Ls and banks, and the gutting of companies through leveraged buyouts (which buyouts were funded by saddling the target companies with enormous debt; i.e., mortgaging the acquisition). This casino culture was enabled by changes in regulatory rules. The government did not deregulate on a whim, it was pressured and lobbied to do so by the banks. When GHWB Bush signed the Development Act mentioned above, it was just further deregulation, and was welcomed by the mortgage lenders because they could write more loans and escape the consequences by packaging and selling them as mortgage-backed securities. The semi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loosened their rules to enable this. The Clinton and GW Bush administrations raised the risk even further. Yes, this was welcomed by Democrat politicians, particularly those from “inner city” slums, whose districts were receiving the free money for development. No doubt many got rich off these schemes. But they did not start the ball rolling. Focusing on the superficial political noise misses the real story.

          Caldwell focuses on political noise because that’s his beat, and he’s telling a cultural and social history. Unravelling all the financial background of the 2008 crash might make for a worthwhile book, but not one most people reading The Age of Entitlement would find interesting or accessible. And of course it would be a very different book. He’s in the position of an automotive critic who doesn’t drive himself and isn’t mechanically inclined, but is asked to write about some late-model vehicle that has been responsible for many deaths. The fault is probably in poor engineering or shoddy knock-off components made in China, which the manufacturer chose to use to keep costs down. But the writer can’t spend hundreds of hours and thousands of words analyzing drive trains and steering assemblies. He has to find easy, familiar explanations: the car was cheap and showy and aimed at a young market, and young people have a lot of accidents and don’t wear their seatbelts, and they really ought to have invested something solid, like a Volvo. In the same way, Caldwell gives the reader an explanation political pundits can understand: it’s all about political parties and special-interest groups.

          It’s certainly conceivable that with political activism we could build a firewall or a movement to prevent the kind of abuses that Caldwell discusses throughout his book. Feebly we’re always attempting that, in trying to halt illegal immigration or the outsourcing of jobs, etc. etc. But then we come up against the hard fact that most people in government, most politicians, won’t give us their ear; because we’re not funding their campaigns or lobbying or setting up fancy public-policy forums where they can come and get an award and feel influential and important. If we were able to fund those things, and we had enough allies in high places, we could succeed. And then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

          • HamburgerToday
            Posted March 4, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            [T]he hard fact that most people in government, most politicians, won’t give us their ear; because we’re not funding their campaigns or lobbying or setting up fancy public-policy forums….

            Most of the major changes in American politics have come about by the emergence at least one new political party intended to represent interests and ideas not represented at the time.So, it’s not just money alone, but the threat of electoral irrelevance. The usual response by established parties is to co-opt just enough of the policies to skim off votes from the insurgent party.

            Thus, the established party’s platform — or at least the party’s rhetoric — changes (sometimes only slightly) and the future prospects of the insurgent party are delimited. This has happened again and again in my lifetime (Wallace, Perot, Buchanan, Nader).

            The Status Quo People will not change anything that might adversely effect their perks except out of fear of losing those perks.

    • HamburgerToday
      Posted March 4, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Since Arthur Fleck is White, he deserves the benefit of White Solidarity. Randian Libertarian indifference to White ‘losers’ is just another form of anti-White-ism. A system where White ‘winners’ have no obligations to the White ‘losers’ is as unsustainable as a mixed-race regime.

  8. Astonished
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    History, as Hoppe points out, supports mutually contradictory theories about causality (and thus offers no help in choosing among them.) What led Americans in the mid-1960’s to favor the politicians who enshrined Universalism’s Equalist Dogma in law? I suggest that it was a people used to being the only advanced country not bombed into oblivion 1941-1945, having experienced a vertical 20 year economic boom, not wanting the party to end [and in fact, drunkenly agreeing with Progressive agitators to invite everyone (blacks, that is) to the party.] When the booze in the punch bowl began to run out (money), a policy of credit inflation was pursued, necessitating removal of the last hard link between the dollar and any consistent tangible (silver in 1964 and then for international market-clearing, gold in 1971.) The party could continue, albeit stocks went sideways for a decade, only taking off for real a year after bonds bottomed their long-term bear market in 1981. Ever since then, the desire to OWN debt has been essentially unlimited.

    Markets for intangible assets demonstrably do not obey Econ 101 supply-demand pricing. While a bull market rages, as price rises, the market-clearing quantity RISES as well. For 39 straight years this has been the case for the IOU’s of governments, corporations and individuals. Is this a product of top-level con-artistry or is it simply a function of human nature, social behavior version, expanded by globalism & the 24/7 always-on data feed? Can a nation of honest men be so easily cheated? Do we all love a Monopolist Banker who both plays the game and credits himself an unlimited purchasing power, breaking Say’s Law at will?

    Caldwell reportedly argues that the costs of desegregation were basically papered-over via this orgy of debt-buying and debt-issuance. During the Great Bond Bull Market for every dollar borrowed and spent into the GDP-counting economy, at least two dollars of “wealth” appeared: A dollar of GDP was counted each time that borrowed dollar changed hands, and another dollar of wealth, a receivable, landed on the bondholder’s balance sheet. For all practical purposes, the path to greater society-wide wealth was to borrow-and-spend…the more the better. Desegregation’s costs weren’t a burden, they were a blessing. Ditto the costs of America’s foreign wars, the evolution of its China-to-consumer-to-landfill consumption culture, endless 8-12% compound annual growth in medical service spending, etc.

    This is absurd, of course. [Affirmative Action’s costs are nicely estimated by http://lagriffedulion.f2s.com (Affirmative Action: The Robin Hood Effect)] Since it is impossible to consume that which has yet to be produced, debt-enabled-spending consumes the NOW, not later. It warped the structure of production to build-out entire industries that, absent the feeding frenzy for debt ownership, would simply not exist. Worse, this artificial shift from organic activity to that which displaced it is much like an entire community building 5,000 sq ft McMansions instead of 1700 sq ft ranch houses, and when the borrowing mania does finallyreach its end, the community will be covered with rotting McMansions too expensive to maintain and not even have the modest ranch houses it might have built.

    What happens when the people who pay taxes and keep the lights on awaken from this near-four-decade debt-insanity and near-six-decade monetary and social madness, and face the prospect that ALL of the processes dependent on continuously growing debt are Dead On Arrival? If Caldwell sees the CRA 1964 correctly, desegregation will experience the same air-pocket loss of funding (and public fervor) as will the funding for Medicare/Medicaid, the Military-Industrial-Complex, and all other debt-fueled industries.

    True religion involves faith-based belief in that which cannot be seen. The theocracy governing Western nations involves faith in sacraments and dogma falsified by our eyes everywhere we look. When the scales fall from eyes, the ensuing search for scapegoats and objects of retribution should be as record-setting as this astonishing lifetime-long Extraordinary Popular Delusion.

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