Category Archives: Critique

The Meta On ‘Cancel-Culture King’ Ben Shapiro

Celebrity, Conservatism, Critique, Free Speech, Political Philosophy

From his comfy perch alongside establishment conservatives, Ben Shapiro regularly whinges about the de-platforming of members of his center-right, ideological cabal. This, as he vilifies and ostracizes those on the alt- and dissident right.

Understand, Ben. It’s all in the meta: Your methods are of a piece with the methods of the Left. For you can’t claim to support unfettered speech if you actively work to fetter those whose speech you abhor.

The Alt-Right asks questions. This is not despicable, as Mr. Shapiro terms the faction. The Alt-Left throws punches. This is despicable:

Daily Wire puff piece about its own editor here.

More me on Ben-Shap here.

Ben Shapiro Attacks The Dissident Right.

The Great Lady herself. Ms. Malkin knows that Ben-Shap deceives people into thinking he’s really smart by going “300 RPM”:

Conservatives are most certainly interested in cancelling conservatives and libertarians to their right.  Ben Shapiro is the “king of such cancellation culture,” as Ms. Malkin points out. And she is still standing, railing against the “two-faced pundits and keyboard warriors.” Bravo!

America First is why Shapiro, who is ConInc subsidized, tried to cancel Michelle. “There is no money in telling the truth (don’t I know it: was cancelled 20 years ago). … The young men Ben-Shap opposes pose a threat to his business model.” David Rubin is another intellectual mediocrity. True again. Been saying this for years.

UPDATE (8/2/020):

 

NEW COLUMN: H.L. Mencken: Misfit In 21st-Century America

America, Celebrity, Critique, Human Accomplishment, Intelligence, Journalism, Literature

NEW COLUMN IS “H.L. Mencken: Misfit In 21st-Century America.” It first appeared in American Greatness (which is shaping up to be the most courageous webzine on the intellectually honest, hard Right).

The column is now on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

An excerpt:

…  Written at a considerable level of abstraction, for a prosaic people that, by Mencken’s estimation, “cannot grasp an abstraction,” a Mencken essay is certain to furrow the brow of the above-average American reader, writer and editor nowadays. Unlike the tracts disgorged by Conservatism, Inc., the least complicated of Mencken’s editorial writings would place excessive demands on the unsupple minds of young activists, who are busy striking a selfie on social media or running to CPUKE conferences.

Indeed, ideas are in retreat; and the incremental and steady “closing of the American mind” is on the march. By virtue of the unsettling, bracing originality of his ideas, Mencken is rendered as inaccessible to the American reader as an alien from deep space.

While Mencken’s libertarian acolytes and admirers focus on his disdain for The State as the leitmotif of his writings—Mencken’s war on the “dishonest, insane, intolerable and tyrannical” U.S. government was, arguably, the least controversial thread in his voluminous oeuvre.

Mencken’s grasp of government as a predatory, “regimenting” force that fleeces the citizen without flinching; that could and does “safely strip [the individual] to his hide”; a “gang well-nigh immune to punishment”—these, nowadays, are the most acceptable of Mencken’s thoughts.

What would make Mencken an outcast to the turgid minds dominating the current marketplace of ideas is his disdain for the “intellectually underprivileged” American electorate, whom he called the “boobs.” As Mencken saw it, Boobus Americanus, so easily and reliably “impressed and enchanted” by the political scoundrels, was largely to blame for why nowhere in the world was government more secure than in the United States. Americans were simply the “most timorous, sniveling, poltroonsish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag …”

“A glorious commonwealth of morons,” Mencken called America. “The American moron’s mind”—this “mob-man’s” mentality—is that of a “violent nationalist and patriot,” to whom ideas are a menace, and who would always opt “to keep his Ford, even at the cost of losing the Bill of Rights.”

These are all Mencken’s words, not mine.

It was Mencken against America, then, to paraphrase the scholar Thomas W. Hazlett. And it would be Mencken against America today.

More so than his anti-statism and strong, spare prose—so different from today’s insipid, anemic, meandering commentary—Mencken shattered every conceivable totem and taboo of American life. It is this so-called anti-Americanism that would make Mencken unpalatable and unemployable in our times.

In a word, being a man of ideas is what would render Mencken a misfit among his countrymen. For, as Mencken saw them, Americans were congenitally and “implacably hostile to” the very things that made him tick: “novel ideas and points of view.” “Everything American,” mocked Mencken, is characterized by “a great distrust of ideas” … and “a harsh fidelity to a few fixed beliefs,” most of which Mencken derided.

Let me count the ways. …

… REMEMBER: THIS IS MENCKEN Unadorned:

READ “H.L. Mencken: Misfit In 21st-Century America,” on American Greatness , WND.COM, and the Unz Review.

Big Corp America Is No Country For Small Biz Or Individualism

Business, Conservatism, COVID-19, Critique, English, Ilana Mercer, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, War

Face it, we live in a country in which, increasingly, big corporations with political clout prevail in the economy. In politics, it’s the factions with the biggest corporate donors and the slimiest lobbyists: their politics and policies rule the day.

What is particularly sick-making is not only that a (subsidized) sham like “Tesla is allowed to reopen in defiance of the shelter in place order,” applied diligently to small companies—but that Tesla doesn’t care to protect its employees.

Hardly a good corporate citizen.

Resentment Builds When COVID-19 Reopening Rules Apply To Some Businesses, But Not Others“:

“At the beginning we immediately closed our store, shut off our lights, put up messages to the community saying ‘we’re all in this together and we’ll be back,” said Marcy Simon, co-owner of Ashby Flowers.
But even now, the tiny shop is not allowed to bring flowers outside for curbside pickup by customers. It’s legal in the rest of Alameda County but Berkeley has its own health rules that say florists can only deliver. Meanwhile large Whole Foods Market right next to it–which also sells flowers—has a long line of people waiting to get inside.
Simon is like a lot of others who thought they were doing the right thing, but are now starting to get mad.
“I think that many people are now definitely looking for ways to get around the rules, there’s no question about it,” she said.
Clinical psychologist Judye Hess says that shouldn’t be a surprise. She says people naturally lose respect for laws when it feels like they’re being unfairly applied.

This mentality applies across the board. How many times, over 20 years, have I heard the shameless refrain from conservative outlets that, “We won’t syndicate a column that doesn’t come from the major syndicator”? To be syndicated by a major syndicator you have to parrot received opinion pretty much on everything. Neither can you be a stylistically risque, interesting writer. With few exceptions, monotony of style and mind are a must if you are to be syndicated.

Other than “too idiosyncratic,” there were the other refrains around the time my column was first syndicated unsuccessfully (2001 or 2002), chief among them were these: “You are neither Republican nor Democrat. And you don’t support Bush’s war.” (The Iraq onslaught was supported by most members of the duopoly.)

The idea that the gritty little gal or guy carries the day, or that individualism is cherished in the USA: These are fallacies in my experience.

*Image via Mises

China Vs. Uncles Sam And Gates

America, China, Critique, Globalism, Nationalism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Economy, Republicans, Science, The State, The West

I understand the honest, plaintive anger expressed below by American Greatness reader Major Rage, directed at my argument in Who Invited The World To Infect America?” (“Hate the Chinese government if you wish, but hold your own government responsible for hollowing America out like a husk.”)

The reader had done everything right. He’s a good, obedient American who has served Uncle Sam. And now I’m suggesting he reconsider; that he consider turning on Uncle Sam and its corporate-industrial-complex.

I’m disturbed by this article because at the end of it – I felt as though I was supposed to hate myself……as if I had betrayed my family and community. But, I don’t recall ever doing such evil things.

I’ve served my country, started and run a legitimate and profitable business, paid taxes out the ying-yang, put my children through good schools and universities, been faithful to my wife, and generally stayed out of trouble.

Now, a foreign sourced plague has been introduced into our lives – threatening our existence and livelihoods and I’M SUPPOSED TO FEEL GUILTY! Guilty……for what? For not stopping the rich from becoming richer? For not exposing the corrupt for conniving and cheating society? For not preventing mad scientists from monkeying with Mother Nature? For not standing at the jetway with a gun to prevent immigrants coming into my country?

Please tell me, Ilana Mercer, WTF am I guilty of?

The answer is that NO ONE OUTSIDE OF WUHAN OR BEIJING is guilty in this affair. Feelings of guilt are nearly identical to feelings of shame for being a helpless victim. On reflection – this writer strikes the absolute wrong chord by suggesting that we, ourselves, are to blame for this disaster. How can the victims be to blame? She suggests we did this horrible thing to ourselves. But, did we? NO. I’m outraged at the mere suggestion. No one is going to put the crown of thorns on my brow.

Ms. Mercer……take your guilt trip and shove it!

Not a word did the article say about ordinary Americans betraying their own. To that end, “Who Invited The World To Infect America?” was even divided into clear thematic headings that made that clear:

Trade Goods, Not Places (allusion to top-down population replacement)
Economic Elephantiasis
(the endless expansionism of the American multinational)
No Multiculturalists in China
(self-evident: Chinese are a homogeneous, chauvinistic people) 
Where Accountability Goes to Die
(Uncle Sam’s “investigation” of COVID)

But I fully understand “Major Rage’s” rage. He wanted the warm smell of the herd—he wanted to hear amplified (as from most other pundits) that it was China v. America: “USA, USA, USA!”

Instead he was challenged thus:

If the United States must rely on the Chinese government to keep its citizens safe, then what kind of a Micky Mouse country is it?
If the American people can be convinced by their government to saddle a foreign power with the responsibility for their existential welfare—what kind of people are we?
China didn’t force the traitors of the American economy to shift crucial production lines to its country and strand Americans without surgical and N-95 masks and medication; homegrown turncoats made that decision, all by their lonesome.

Less do I understand Dan @ Twitter @deltajulietx
Apr 30
Replying to @IlanaMercer

Ilana, are you losing your way? What price liberty? 61,349? 250,000? 1 million? Etc? What was it that Benjamin Franklin said about exchanging liberty for (imagined) safety? I would reflect long and hard before sacrificing liberty to any government for any reason. Full stop!

Dan was reacting to this:

On March 31, the number of Americans dead from the Chinese coronavirus stood at 3,900! A mere month on, at the time of writing, and 63,801 Americans have perished.

American deaths by COVID-19 account for a quarter of the world’s, including those in the undeveloped world. To ignore this Third-World-like specter is to dismiss the dead and the dying. It’s tantamount to cancel culture.

Dan, like many, conflates the honoring of the dead, the seriousness of the disease and the magnitude of COVID devastation with betraying liberty. In Dan’s cohort, unless you put on a tinfoil hat about COVID science–you are considered a liberty hater. Crap. Unless you dismiss the dead, you are betraying the Great Leader.

Since I wrote the lede to my essay, the number of Americans dead by COVID has reached 68,602. 4801 souls dead in three days. Rest in peace.

* Photo via iStock. Thanks for fair use.