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Culture War Roundup for the week of January 2, 2023

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The American right doesn't believe in its own ideology of individualism and therefore is stuck in a losing spiral of hypocrisy.

The US was largely founded when groups, not individuals, moved to north america to build their own communities. The US was not a free hippie-town when it was founded, it consisted of strong communities with strong levels of collectivism. A puritan community was in many ways highly collectivist with clearly enforced social norms, values and expectations. The idea of keeping the state out of people's business wasn't about freeing the individual as much as it was about freeing the congregation or town from the King. Towns and communities who didn't like the British king moved to the US to build towns with their values. However, in these communities norms were enforced and the individualism that is common in the American right wasn't really represented. Taxes were low, there was little government regulation and people could bear arms. However, men were men and women were women, my body my choice views on abortion would not have been accepted. People may have legally been able to dress like they wanted and pray to whatever god they wanted but in practice this wouldn't have been tolerated in a Puritan town. These towns were not morally relativistic and policed behaviour of their members.

The ideology was formulated in individualist terms yet was practiced in collectives. This worked since there were homogeneous communities that stuck together naturally and people didn't really use their right to identify as whatever they wanted and engage in moral relativism.

However, in the past couple of decades, the people have started to practice the law as written in the sense that they are engaging in true individualism. Gay marriage, feminism, multiculturalism, transgenderism etc do in many ways follow from true individualism. The American right have had a difficult time arguing for social conservatism from a truly individualist standpoint. If the legal system is built around the freedoms and rights of the individual it becomes difficult to enforce social norms and values that are cultural. If the US is a country of individuals doing as they wish multiculturalism is more difficult to object to and in a more multicultural society it becomes harder to enforce social norms implicitly.

What many conservatives actually want is to enforce their values, norms, and culture on society. They may say they want a separation between church and state and that they think that religion is up to the individual. However, many of them do not want to live in an atheistic state in a society in which Hinduism and Islam have the same standing as Christianity. Most conservatives want to live in a society that enforces traditional christian/European American values, culture and norms. Much of the conservative movement has had an incredibly difficult time defending what they want and getting what they want since their ideology isn't in line with what they want. Instead, they end up being hypocritical, making unnecessarily convoluted arguments and not promoting what they want since they are bound by an ideology that isn't inline with their goals. When people make arguments that aren't inline with their intentions or true beliefs they often face great difficulty in debates.

One winning strategy I can see is to stake out a piece of land and establish a zone in which norms are enforced. A common way of handling diverse countries is to allow different groups to have their own autonomy. In India, much of the middle east even in Indian reservations there are local governments that enforce the norms of the people who live there. Russia is an atheist state, however, Islam is enforced at a local level in Chechnya and the federal government in Moscow isn't really involving itself in their internal affairs. Without imposing Christian European American values in a geographic area it is going to be difficult for conservatives to get what they actually want. In order to do so they need to realign their ideology with their actual desires.

Conservatives have on the one hand almost uplifted a constitution and political system built around the state as a neutral arbitrator between individuals to a third testament while at the same time often showing a desire to live in a state with a clear culture, religion and moral foundation.

This is meant to be taken as a thesis, and as a start of a discussion of what conservatives actually want to achieve rather than soap-boxing.

This is meant to be taken as a thesis, and as a start of a discussion of what conservatives actually want to achieve rather than soap-boxing.

As I've pointed out here in the past, conservatives do not actually want to achieve anything - they don't have a grand utopian vision that they want to realize. They are perfectly happy to do nothing, so long as nobody else gets to do anything either.

The problem isn't that conservatives don't want to actually achieve anything, it's that they are much less ideologically consistent than liberals. Just from seeing people post 'what conservatives value' in this thread indicates the wide spread of ideological differences that conservatives align themselves left, from libertarian types who believe in individual liberties to evangelicals who desire a God-centric government to business owners looking for less regulations to lower middle class complaining about taxes. The modern conservative group is more against anti-woke ideology than they are a cohesive voting block; this makes actually constructive policy much harder to pass (see the recent McCarthy voting fiasco because conservatives congresspeople could not agree on a vote).

Just from seeing people post 'what conservatives value' in this thread indicates the wide spread of ideological differences that conservatives align themselves

All of this has been argued before.

The Dark Enlightenment, by Nick Land, 2013:

The left thrives on dialectics, the right perishes through them. Insofar as there is a pure logic of politics, it is that. One immediate consequence (repeatedly emphasized by Mencius Moldbug) is that progressivism has no enemies to the left. It recognizes only idealists, whose time has not yet come. Factional conflicts on the left are politically dynamic, celebrated for their motive potential. Conservatism, in contrast, is caught between a rock and a hard place: bludgeoned from the left by the juggernaut of post-constitutional statism, and agitated from ‘the right’ by inchoate tendencies which are both unassimilable (to the mainstream) and often mutually incompatible, ranging from extreme (Austro-libertarian) varieties of laissez-faire capitalist advocacy to strains of obstinate, theologically-grounded social traditionalism, ultra-nationalism, or white identity politics.

‘The right’ has no unity, actual or prospective, and thus has no definition symmetrical to that of the left. It is for this reason that political dialectics (a tautology) ratchets only in one direction, predictably, towards state expansion and an increasingly coercive substantial-egalitarian ideal. The right moves to the center, and the center moves to the left.

Etc.

On a separate note: I am still not sure why exactly we have to reinvent some stilted "Right Rationalism" now, at the cusp of Singularity, as if this line of thought, clear and precise, was deboonked by Scott in his NRx critique of obscurantist Moldbuggian gobbledygook and we had a decade to ponder on merits of polyculae and gender theory. Scott, of course, is in a traditional marriage with a straight woman these days, and I gather their planned children will be more traditional still – perhaps even Orthodox.

AutisticThinker with his assabyiah fixation was a hundred times more insightful than mainstream rats. It's telling that he became akin to a plague to the respectable Mottizens.

AutisticThinker with his assabyiah fixation was a hundred times more insightful than mainstream rats. It's telling that he became akin to a plague to the respectable Mottizens.

I'm reminded of the old "Jews in the attic" (something came up a number of times in my arguments with AT) the idea being that regardless of truth value the correct response to "are you hiding Jews in your attic?" is always "no". Insert quip about context here.

If you're sure that there are no Jews in your attic, 'yes' is defensible.

AutisticThinker was either a troll, or someone whose mental disability caused him to act like a troll, which should be handled like a mental disability forcing someone to rob banks--you may have slightly more pity for him, but he doesn't belong anywhere near a bank.

this makes actually constructive policy much harder to pass...

Can you give some examples of "constructive policy" enacted in Conservatives' absence? Perhaps at the state level?

Maybe constructive policy isn't correct - I just meant policy in general simply because there is a lack of uniformity of opinion

I've been arguing for a while that what people generally think of when they hear the term "policy" doesn't, strictly speaking, exist. Laws get passed with some frequency, but it seems to me that there's very little observable connection between the laws being passed and the outcomes those laws are supposed to generate, and that this fact doesn't actually seem to have any impact on either the people writing the laws or the people voting for them. Having watched this process for more than two decades now, I find it impossible to maintain credulity that the standard model of our political system is descriptive.

When you talk about "policies", I think you're referring to a planned intervention in our social systems to try to improve some specific thing. We make all the cops wear body cams, or we start teaching the 1619 curriculum in fifth grade, or maybe we start allowing prayer in school, and each of these is supposed to improve metric x or y or z. Can you think of such interventions in your lifetime that have clearly worked? Where has policy been a clear win, to give us an idea of what obstruction is costing us?

They are perfectly happy to do nothing, so long as nobody else gets to do anything either.

This isn't really true. First, for plenty of conservatives there are a lot of progressive measures which they believe are harmful and they would like to roll back. That alone means that conservatives would like to do something, and they would only accept "everybody does nothing" as a compromise solution to stop further progressive measures they think would be harmful.

Second, as @aqouta recently put it (with respect to conservative views on finances): the conservative vision is that things are pretty good right now, and that they don't want to ruin a good thing by messing with it too much. However, that does not preclude careful improvements. Conservatives don't believe that the world has ever been literally perfect, and they are in fact open to making changes. They simply want reforms to be of the incremental variety, not the "reshape large swathes of society all at once" variety.

I mostly agree with this but I'll slightly quibble with word choice. It's less that things are pretty good now, although they are, and more that the conservatives view the motive force of progress as private action that depend only partially if at all on what the government does; mostly in the form of upholding private property rights, fixing rare tragedy of the commons/multi-polar trap situations and more than anything staying out of the way. As things stand the government not changing anything at all accomplishes 1 and 3 pretty well and neglecting 2 as a compromise is probably worth it.

The progressive formulation however views collective/government action as the main thrust of progress citing things like the civil rights act and legislation enshrining minority rights. In it's proper place this isn't wrong or anything and has some positive trade offs but it's going to lead to pretty different perspectives on how tragic a government that does nothing is.

You've presented a conservative libertarianism, @SubstantialFrivolity a Burkean conservativism. Both are at odds with progressivism, which is going to use state action to drag you kicking and screaming into the future whether you like it or not, and a more harsh traditional conservatism which would use state action to force you into your proper role or into prison (or exile in times when that was an option). They are also at odds with each other but less so. But this doesn't mean they don't have a vision.

Your winning strategy is Waco. It doesn't work because the Feds eventually come to shoot at your women and children with incendiary ammunition. And if you resist that's proof you deserved it.

You're not allowed to escape the system.

You can solve this problem by ‘not hoarding machine guns’ and ‘not having underaged harems’.

So it's proven they lied for years about the incendiary nades but I should trust them not to plant machine guns on the premises and generally falsify more evidence why?

What about Ruby Ridge? Weaver survived and it was proven in court he didn't make a machine gun, that's not going to resurrect his wife.

No, you can't solve this problem by obeying the law. They'll find a reason to fuck with you, they don't give a shit whether you're guilty or not.

The Branch Davidians were not "hoarding machine guns". The girls in the underaged harem were all burned alive in a fire that began immediately after federal agents launched pyrotechnic grenades into a highly flammable wooden structure, and then detained responding fire department vehicles until it was too late to do anything but cool the ashes, before engaging in an extensive coverup that nevertheless collapsed roughly a decade later.

I strongly oppose "christian" cults that discover that their leader needs to have a harem. I oppose government agents burning men, women and children alive to cover up a botched PR campaign a whole lot more.

Branch Davidians

Obligatory twitter thread for people who want to crawl into this rabbit hole.

TL;DR: the official line on Waco is as accurate as official line on ... anything else.

https://twitter.com/mattakersmusic/status/1528054223254040578

edit: link

I'm skeptical of anyone claiming CIA involvement, and deeply skeptical of connections to more general conspiracy theories like government mind control experiments, but a lot of the actual, documented evidence about interactions and specific government violations seems legit. I don't think there's any connection to a grand dramatic narrative in Waco. The government was looking to make an example of some weirdos for PR purposes, tried to manufacture a dramatic armed raid, fucked up, and then killed a whole lot of people in a plausibly-deniable way during the cover-up.

No need for any CIA stuff. Just ask anyone spouting the official line how the hell the government loses an entire door. The double front door to the compound is where the shooting started. The Davidians claim ATF shot first. ATF presented one of the doors, with bullet holes going out. The other door simply vanished.

And the reply is that if you're worrying about what is "allowed" you've already failed. The correct answer will always be "Let them come."

If you want to die stupid, maybe.

The correct answer will always be "Let them come."

Tell it to David Koresh's crispy corpse.

The point isn't to independently escape the system but to change the system to allow for the enforcement of local norms. I don't personally agree with this idea (it would render the 14th Amendment largely useless), but that's what the OP was arguing.

So what, let's just have Waco then. A 1000 Waco if needed.

To all the Republicans who think the elections were stolen. So what? Be better. Cheat twice as well as them. Biden gets 80 million votes? Get Trump 160 million votes. Have news anchors read 'the real voting results comrade' at gunpoint on Election Day. Next time you feel like waltzing into the Capitol and having a gay little BBQ, actually do something. They shoot one of yours? Shoot two of them. Burn down the whole place. You will get years in prison anyway.

Some of us are hoping it doesn't come to that. Peace is valuable, and not easily repaired once broken.

A more hopeful option is a strategy of large-scale defiance of federal law, "sanctuary" cities and states, in hopes of forcing sufficient concessions by fiat accompli. The name of the game is brinksmanship, and the first side to start large-scale violence quite possibly loses.

the first side to start large-scale violence quite possibly loses.

What is the threshold you have in mind, and why is the Summer of 2020 below that threshold?

A fair point. Allow me to rephrase: large-scale, cross-tribal, lethal violence. Summer of 2020 was mostly blue-tribe-on-blue-tribe, and the incidents that weren't were thankfully isolated. While the violence we did get was very bad and appears to have done catastrophic long-term damage to our society, it has not yet resulted in a spiral of retaliatory terrorism and murder.

Yes, what people presenting solutions don't want to see is that there's a meta-rule built into society which simply says "you lose", and until that's removed nothing will work. But it's a major blackpill so of course few want to see it.

Yes, what people presenting solutions don't want to see is that there's a meta-rule built into society which simply says "you lose", and until that's removed nothing will work

This is a lie told to you by your Marxist college professors.

The truth is that you were always were going to lose, and yet that this has never been an obstacle to making things "work". Your Marxist college professor wants you to believe that you can make things better by tearing society down not because it was true but because he/she/xe wanted your help. It is a fundamental law of the universe that you can not "win" only "break even", or "delay the inevitable". Accordingly the best any of us can hope for is to delay the inevitable. The enemy always wins and we still to fight him.

Only a true liberal would would be so arrogant and culturally ignorant to believe in the possibility of a final victory this side of Armageddon.

This is a lie told to you by your Marxist college professors.

No. I actually didn't have any Marxist college professors, at least none who were out about it in class.

Only a true liberal would would be so arrogant and culturally ignorant to believe in the possibility of a final victory this side of Armageddon.

Thermodynamics doesn't really apply here. In the long term we get the heat death of the universe. In the short term -- and human lifetimes are extremely short term, with all of human history being short term -- we can win or lose. There is no law of the universe that says the left must win; it's an entirely human law.

It is a fundamental law of the universe that you can not "win" only "break even", or "delay the inevitable".

What does "final" mean? If they keep increasing their power until the fact that their system simply cannot work becomes evident and civilization falls, that's final enough. Sure, after the collapse human society will probably rebuild, but that is no comfort to me, who will not live that long (I likely will not live long enough to even see the collapse, despite their best efforts).

The Hasids do an excellent job, actually a perfect job of maintaining an insular community. Their strategies can be studied and copied. Their victories are stunning, they literally take hundreds of millions of the gentiles’ money and use it to indoctrinate their children into the Hasidic culture. There’s no reason why sufficiently motivated conservatives cannot begin to organize according to an Hasidic template.

But the welfare office staff they're conning don't hate them or sit around the office all day talking about driving them into the sea. That makes a big difference.

Gentile conservatives who tried to do what they do would be instantly slapped with investigations from the state prosecutor and probably have their kids taken from them.

Change takes time. No one would be making such propaganda if advertisers were seriously boycotted and funders had legal protestors outside their businesses and activist-journalists phoned up all of their past classmates and partners fishing for reputational damage.

The Hasids also had their fare-share of rock-slinging a la David & the Goliath: https://www.nytimes.com/1978/12/03/archives/70-are-hurt-including-62-officers-as-hasidim-storm-a-police-station.html

The Amish don’t. The broader fundamentalist Christian landscape in America is threatened with losing their children more often than average, but they don’t actually lose them that often(in part because they will just take their children and disappear when CPS is probably going to take them away, and social workers don’t get paid enough to attract the best and brightest). And of course, actually working for a living instead of living off of welfare fraud also helps a lot.

St. Mary’s, Kansas, is a majority traditionalist catholic town in the USA. By all accounts it’s a near theocracy and they get away with it. Heck even the FLDS(which violates significantly more laws) still runs their own towns and gets their kids back.

St. Mary’s, Kansas, is a majority traditionalist catholic town in the USA. By all accounts it’s a near theocracy and they get away with it.

What's this? That town doesn't sound familiar to me.

Cheers, that was an interesting read.

In the early days of this site, there was an extremely interesting comment regarding one user's investigation into their ways to evade taxes in NYC, appropriate much more or the city budget money than commonly reported (by orders of magnitude, to the extent NYT investigation would be more of a coverup in comparison) and generally run things like a powerful mafia. He deleted it, unfortunately, and in private communication stated that on further reflection he'd rather support people abusing the system for valid darwinian ends than disgusting deracinated liberal NPC drones who believe they're fundamentally on its side and it only needs a little tuning (to wit, us).

I think he just got cold feet, perhaps because it dawned on him (or someone politely made him aware) he left traces of his sleuthing all over. It's honestly hard to never leave identifying traces.

Groups without the ability to inspire such mind-numbing fear are fucked. And I don't think anyone would fear a bunch of conservatives.

Groups without the ability to inspire such mind-numbing fear are fucked. And I don't think anyone would fear a bunch of conservatives.

What group? Hasids?

If so, they have indeed an advantage that other mafias, gangs and cartels cannot even dream about.

Italian Americans once tried to learn from the best and emulate their success. Unfortunately, too little and about a century too late.

I remember that. He worked in a federal department that handed out grants, I think by phone line. He looked into the businesses and they weren’t really eligible for them and many didn’t exist. Did you happen to screen shot that comment?

No, missed by like an hour. This reminded me, painfully, that one should never trust things on the Internet to not just disappear on you.

There are tools for continuous browser grabbing, implemented in different ways from caching to actual recording.

This reminded me, painfully, that one should never trust things on the Internet to not just disappear on you.

Everything lasts forever on the internet unless you actually need it - then it never existed in the first place.

I once had this weird theory that, whenever I embedded a video on Tumblr, it would bring more attention to YouTube's invisible police bots, eventually ensuring its takedown.

The American right doesn't believe in its own ideology of individualism and therefore is stuck in a losing spiral of hypocrisy.

Isn't conservatism to some extent at odds with atomistic individualism? Conservatism has always been in a losing battle, save for a handful off issues like taxes and guns, because of the tendency of norms to not stay fixed but move leftward .

They may say they want a separation between church and state and that they think that religion is up to the individual.

Few conservatives argue this. This would be libertarians. Religion being up to the individual is not the same as separation of church and state.

Isn't conservatism to some extent at odds with atomistic individualism?

I believe that's the point. American conservatives employ individualistic and libertarian rhetoric in support of their political goals, but while this makes some amount of sense in the context of opposition to welfare or regulation, it is more broadly incoherent because they're religious communitarians rather than libertarian individualists. You might be able to square banning abortion with libertarianism on the grounds that you regard it as murder, but it's harder to do that for, e.g. restricting drugs and alcohol, wanting Christianity to have a privileged status, banning immigration, or more generally wanting collectively enforced conservative social norms.

I'm not entirely convinced by the above; I think the GOP's failure to achieve many of its goals are less a matter of a mismatch between goals and rhetoric and more a matter of being unable to resolve real tension between disparate goals (or between their stated goals and maintaining electoral success). Of course, a mismatch between goals and rhetoric may impede the resolution of these tensions, but the root issue is their existence in the first place.

American conservatives employ individualistic and libertarian rhetoric in support of their political goals

Do they? As I alluded to up thread I feel like this post is in large part motivated by a failure to recognize that "Libertarian" and "Conservative" are not the same thing and that Libertarians are tiny minority within the US right relative to conservatives.

I have the impressions sometimes that people who rediscover non-individualistic ideology end up looking even less individualistic than those that are already there. Their conclusions from it tend to be very ant-colony-maintainance and top-down-rule, because theyre applying the same egoist materialism as before, but now from the perspective of the community instead of an individual.

This is how many people see things even after doing the first step away from individualism, and most definitely before that. So when you talk about Great Men in any context other than them already being leaders who are followed, it will sound relatively more individualistic to them.

The ideology was formulated in individualist terms yet was practiced in collectives. This worked since there were homogeneous communities that stuck together naturally and people didn't really use their right to identify as whatever they wanted and engage in moral relativism.

This is true for all societies at all times. Moral relativism is an unstable solution long-term, and gives way sooner or later to a moral consensus. This is because there is a non-trivial level of values-coherence needed before the negotiation and cooperation required for a complex society become possible. No non-collective society of any appreciable scale has ever been observed. Sooner or later, people come together to coordinate around a shared understanding of the good, and to punish those who defect from that good.

However, in the past couple of decades, the people have started to practice the law as written in the sense that they are engaging in true individualism.

That certainly was the claim. It does not seem to me that such a claim can be sustained post-2014. Once the old conservative social consensus grew weak enough, the resulting absence of a coherent value framework invited alternative ideologies to make their play for hegemony. The Libertarian ideal of "true individualism" is simply incompatible with human nature.

Gay marriage, feminism, multiculturalism, transgenderism etc do in many ways follow from true individualism.

...Except that all of these find themselves enforced by collective action and, increasingly, state power. Christian desire for unrestrained hegemony can at least be pushed back against with the "separation of church and state" meme. Progressive ideology doesn't see itself as a religion, and so accepts no restraint to its ideological demands against dissenting individuals, first through social pressure and then through explicit force of law. Libertarian ideology has proved entirely powerless to arrest such enforcement.

What many conservatives actually want is to enforce their values, norms, and culture on society.

To a first approximation, everyone wants to do this. The constituency of truly-principled libertarianism is vanishingly small. People want to work together to solve their problems, and they want to solve defection by coordinating overwhelming punishment of the defectors. If I murder my neighbor's kid, he doesn't want to have to do calculus on whether he personally can coordinate enough force to hold me accountable. Why prefer that to the nigh-omnipotent collective force of the entire United States of America turned against me?

They may say they want a separation between church and state and that they think that religion is up to the individual.

Many conservatives were willing to accept and even adopt this line of thought, when it could be plausibly claimed that a stable libertarian détente was possible. That argument is no longer credible, and probably never will be again within any of our lifetimes. Call it religion or ideology, common sense or The Science, but some form of values coherence will be enforced by the majority on all dissenting minorities. Far from being dystopian, such enforcement has been the basis for every good thing we've ever gotten out of society; people need such enforcement to work and live together in peace.

Instead, they end up being hypocritical, making unnecessarily convoluted arguments and not promoting what they want since they are bound by an ideology that isn't inline with their goals.

The hypocrisy is certainly real, but I see no evidence that it's limited to conservatives, or is indeed much the fault of most of the hypocrites in question. Our entire society is founded on an incoherent ideology, and what you are seeing is simply that incoherence unavoidably expressing itself over and over again. The Enlightenment believed that people were fundamentally good, and that commonality of values would naturally emerge from the primordial ooze of liberty if only stultifying social control systems were removed. When those systems are removed and things reliably get worse, people rush straight back into imposed social controls, only usually in a far more arbitrary and less workable fashion than what they had before, trading long-evolved and highly fit mechanisms for naïve solutions derived from the local groupthink and labeled "reason" and "science".

One winning strategy I can see is to stake out a piece of land and establish a zone in which norms are enforced.

Why allow such a patchwork to exist? Value of diversity for its own sake? Epistemic humility? Neither seem common enough to be a basis for meaningful social structure. Fear of the destructive results of runaway conflict is the classic answer, drawing on the example of the Peace of Westphalia. But of course, the peace of Westphalia was instituted in the exhaustion following one of the most destructive periods of protracted warfare in human history, and was instituted in an environment of relative values-homogeneity. Even with such favorable conditions, it could not last indefinitely, and the concepts it was founded on now seem quaint.

To a first approximation, no one is ever going to accept a bunch of rapists founding Rape Town just down the road. A generation of serious liberalism can generate sufficient values-drift to make equivalent disputes over values inevitable. Truly diverse peoples will, in fact, adopt values sufficiently and mutually repugnant such that there's not enough room in the country, continent, or solar system for the both of them. Social controls keep regenerating themselves because they solve this problem proactively, by counteracting values drift and keeping the vast majority in pleasing accord with one another. Such societies still have diversity, still have individualism... just maybe not as much as committed Libertarians might prefer.

Conservatives have on the one hand almost uplifted a constitution and political system built around the state as a neutral arbitrator between individuals to a third testament while at the same time often showing a desire to live in a state with a clear culture, religion and moral foundation.

This, on the other hand, is entirely correct. The primary failure of Conservatives is a belief that long-standing social structures are in some way immutable and omnipotent, that rules self-enforce somehow outside the will of the humans involved. Having had their desires effectively constrained by appeals to the Constitution, they imagine that the Constitution constrains everyone's values equally. This is obviously a stupid inference to draw, but their experience and social setting left them ill-equipped to grok postmodern language games and other forms of adversarial social engineering. The resurgence of the illiberal right demonstrates, I think, that they're catching on. Time will tell.

The problem is that your model of the US right is not an accurate model of the US right, it's a liberal's attempt to steel-man the right and then being confused when rightist follow their own beliefs instead of the liberal steel-man.

I often get accused of here of hypocrisy for violating libertarian principles (supporting censorship and the like) but the thing is that I'm not a libertarian. I don't actually buy into all those liberal lies about how "you are your own", "emancipation", and other such nonsense. We may be free agents but by nature we are bound. Individualism, especially the radical sort espoused here, is a luxury afforded to children and others who lack wider responsibilities.

I'm confused by your premises.

You describe puritans and the founding of the US as if to imply these are strongly related, one flowing from the other perhaps. But if we look at when the Mayflower landed--1620--and when the Constitution was published--1787--there's over a century between those two dates! I'd expect the people and the norms and ideas to have changed much in the time in between.

Admittedly, I know little about early/Puritan America, but looking at the Consitution, it seems to strongly lean toward individualism. The Bill of Rights establishes a framework where the individual is the basic unit of society and seeks to protect the individual from the Government. I know that in reality this didn't always work out this way because people were constrained by customs and norms, especially as seen from our vantage point, but compared to what was and had been going on in Europe back then, it was an incredible leap forward away from collectivism.

These towns were not morally relativistic and policed behaviour of their members.

But this policing was done according to norms that, back then, were revolutionary! Like, in contrast to much of Europe, women were allowed and supported in attaining an education. I don't have sources at hand, but I also believe men were punished for beating women. And again, this sounds conservative now, but back in the day, this was some holy shit progressive thinking and if I were to go out on a limb, many European conservatives of that era would have labeled allowing ordinary women to attend school as something disgusting and upsetting to the perfect, God-ordained order of things.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that modern conservatives would find issues with how liberal both the Puritans of the 17th century and the Enlightened "Spirit of '76" crowd of the 18th century.

(Though my understanding of modern US conservatism is rather fuzzy, so I should spend more time reading through this thread.)

What many conservatives actually want is to enforce their values, norms, and culture on society.

When I naturalized some years back, I signed up for the Republican party. In my mind, this was the party espousing the values of 1776 (and 1787). Markets, individualism, responsibility. Friedman, McCain, Schwarzenegger. But since then, I noticed the same pattern you point out here, cut my ties, and having no other options, marked myself as independent.

I don't have much to add except that you may be interested in reading a related article from Aaron Ross Powell over at Reimagining Liberty. Powell is a libertarian who thinks the fusionist alliance between libertarians and conservatives was a big mistake for libertarianism. In the article above he develops a similar thesis as your comment. That conservatives often have preferences towards certain kinds of social and economic arrangements that are disrupted when people are free to develop and live out their own conception of the good, so that there is a tension between the idea of being a conservative and supporting ones liberty to lives ones life the way one wants.

In a world where most people accept or go along with the conservative’s preferences, he will see little reason to use the state to enforce his preferred patterns because they will be, in effect, self‐enforcing. This is why, for a time, fusionism looked like it might work. Conservatives were broadly in favor of markets and against regulation because greater wealth is good and because most people’s economic behavior and the resulting outcomes weren’t a threat to conservative preferences. Leftist big government, on the other hand, was a threat. This enabled conservatives and libertarians to find common ground on opposing big government, repealing regulations, and promoting free enterprise.

In a world where society’s contours and tastes largely align with a conservative’s values, he will support political and economic liberty because they bring recognizable benefits such as freedom for his religious practice, plentiful high‐paying jobs in places he wants to live, and so on. But in a state of freedom, the economy and culture are never static.

In contemporary America, secularism is on the rise while membership in organized religion declines. Women are spending more time pursuing education and careers, are earning more money, and so are having fewer children. The population of cities is growing, in large part because their economic and cultural dynamism make them attractive places to live. Immigrants are introducing new ideas, languages, aesthetic preferences, foods, and ways of living, and many of those are catching on in popular culture.

In other words, the conservative’s preferred patterns are being disrupted by liberty. Being free means people have the option to choose lives that are different, sometimes radically so, from what the conservative prefers. Freedom has increased wealth, making it easier for them to make those choices. And it has increased dynamism, upending old economic arrangements such as those which enabled middle‐class jobs in small towns.

In this changed world, political conservatism has two options. The first is to reject liberty. In recognizing that political and economic liberty have undermined their preferences, they’ll demand that the state restrict freedoms in order to incentivize or coerce people into returning to the conservative’s preferred way of life or to prevent them from continuing to do things that threaten it. In this case, political conservatism places this pattern above the liberty‐maximizing pattern, and so conservatism is no longer an ally with, or even compatible with, libertarianism.

The second option begins similarly, in that political and economic liberty cut against conservative values and preferences. But instead of fighting the tide, this conservative accepts it. It’s not ideal from a conservative perspective, but they recognize the need to respect everyone’s liberty to choose, even if their choices are distasteful. In this case, the conservative sees that liberty has disrupted his favored patterns, but he still sees the government’s role as maximizing liberty. But notice that, in taking this path, our conservative isn’t a political conservative at all, because now his political philosophy is aimed at maintaining maximum liberty. Thus there’s no need to make a case for the compatibility of conservatism and libertarianism, because the conservative and the libertarian are now both libertarians, though perhaps with different cultural tastes.

I believe Tanner Greer's analysis here covers similar ground. The Puritans weren't the only founding culture of America, but are the source of much of its elite culture, including on the right. Their collectivizing and moralizing impulses are fundamentally opposed to the folk libertarianism of much of the republican base, which descends from the culture of the Scotch-Irish borderers who settled the Appalachian frontier. Trying to meld them together is like trying to build a secular nation-state by mobilizing a population of tribal Islamists, and the track record there is not great.

Problem is that libertarianism (even folk libertarianism) is a vanishing minority of the republican base but as a rule it will be the only flavor of republicanism that the average college-educated gay aethiest FAANG worker living in SF or NY will have had direct dealings with and thus it occupies an outsized place in both the motte, and the media's discourse.

I believe much of the American right would consider an appropriately palette-swapped version of Turkey’s politics to be somewhat of an improvement.

If you listen to a lot of libertarians (or at least classic liberals) they see voluntarism as not atomizing but as part of a community. Stated differently, you can’t have an individual without a community but likewise you need strong free individuals to have a community. This is one criticism of the dole; it hollows out the community as some members don’t pull their weight creating resentment / spiritual hollowing out.

So you need both strong individualism and a community orientation — at first they appear contradictory but the two go hand in hand.

Community of your free choice, community you can always leave if you find better deal elsewhere, is as untraditional thing as there can be.

Strong communities of the trad past were created either by direct coercion (serfdom, Jim Crow laws etc...) or by fact that even if you were unhappy in your home village, there was nowhere to go.

Hoppe and all those feudalist libertarians disagree. They say those communities were created organically specifically in times where if your local lord was a tyrant you always had exit as a practical ability by moving to the other German village a few valleys over.

I tend to agree, people have a weird view of the middle ages inherited from a scornful bourgeoisie when it was actually a time of great personal freedom compared to what followed.

I don't know how true or generalizable that assumption is. I was reading the other day that in contrast to mainland Europe, England is surprisingly intermixed - excepting Cornwall, there are few genetic holdouts anywhere in the country. In comparison you can find French medieval villages where nobody married anyone more than ten miles away for hundreds of years. Despite this, there was robust community organization throughout the country - county clubs and women's institutes and many levels of political and charity organization.

That unique balance of individualism and pro-social behavior is not easy to replicate. For the most part, I think it is totally gone in the modern UK. But it's real and it's not a contradiction. Maybe the divide is not individual versus community, but high-trust versus low-trust. China is hardly an exemplar of individualism, and yet it's not a hivemind either - the authorities don't trust the people and the people don't trust the authorities.

The issue with this IMO is that you're conflating beliefs that different groups have had at different times and putting them all under the banner of "conservatism" since they've all found themselves on the Red Team side for various reasons. Yes, both sides of the culture war have created some odd bedfellows, but that's the consequence of having 2 sides and big-tent movements. Your argument would be more meaningful if you could cite a specific person or group who actually believes all of the things you say are contradictory at the same time.

I could just as easily complain that Blue Team contains both people who want better conditions and rights for workers, and people who want open-borders immigration. Or that want us to stay out of foreign wars, but want direct intervention in the Ukraine war. Or that think you shouldn't let people have guns because they should call the police, but want to abolish the police.

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I think the simple explanation here is the right one, conflict theory-ish though it may be. 'Defund' progressives don't want no police, they want the police to be their guys.

Most every serious proposal for police defunding/abolishment I've looked into came with small print about the profession being replaced with Police In All But Name - a vision of social workers dispensing restorative justice to the oppressed. How these unarmed healers are going to deal with the realities of dealing with actual humans at their worst moments is usually glossed over pretty thoroughly, but I think it's not too hard to see where it ends up. Form follows function; the cops will still be there, they'll just be packing Women's Studies degrees along with their sidearms. In theory this will make them kinder, gentler public servants, but I suspect that it would just point their monopoly on violence at a different set of outgroups.

That depends on who is being attacked by whom. As we saw with the Rittenhouse, self-defense after attempted murder after being pursued after attempting to flee a confrontation is a partisan privilege, not a right.

Not a progressive, but I suppose the charitable explanation is the same as mine - that maybe no actual person claims to support both at the same time. And/or they believe (naively IMO) that nobody will want to attack anybody or break into houses if the proper progressive policies like government-provided healthcare and UBI are enacted.

The not so charitable explanation is that progressives want anybody who disagrees with them or who would prove their beliefs false to die broke in a gutter somewhere and aren't real particular about exactly how that happens.

Which one of those is true? That's not for me to say, you'll just have to examine their actions and claims and decide for yourself.

Previously I've written about how Musk can Make Twitter Great Again with Celebs&Sports.

But now let me discuss how Musk can use twitter to subvert the regime without even trying: just allow people to have a clear and unfiltered look at the world.

As an example of this, consider the most recent viral content on twitter - more popular than an NBA game happening simultaneously - #wafflehousefight.

As the mainstream media might describe it, "some drunken revelers at a Waffle House in Austin, TX engaged in an altercation with Waffle House employees." At least that's what they might write if they covered it, but only yahoo and foxnews have bothered to actually cover it. And of course the reason is clear: the story is a group of morbidly obese angry black women assaulting a pretty-ish blonde (and clearly red tribe working class) waffle house employee after demanding the "white girl" make them waffles while they sat in a closed off area. The blonde white woman is clearly the hero of the engagement. It's a clear glimpse of what the mainstream media + tech companies normally try to hide: a disproportionate amount of crime is just black people getting angry and doing dumb stuff.

Quite a lot of tech and media tries to cover things like this up. Reddit has banned factual subreddits like /r/hatecrimehoaxes, /r/greatapes (black people doing crimes) and similar. The mainstream media similarly downplays stories such as black nationalist terrorists shooting up subways, as well as using tactics like not including the attackers photo.

Numbers, for anyone curious. Newspaper have also stopped publishing mugshot galleries to prevent people from noticing.

When the entire network works together to suppress facts, they generally succeed. But twitter can change that.

Twitter is popular because of celebrities and sports, and the content most people consume there will continue to be 90%+ celebrities and sports. But with stories like #wafflehousefight, Musk has an opportunity to give people a glimpse of what is being hidden from them. People may begin to realize that their eyes aren't lying, it's merely a set of elites who are gaslighting them.

What exactly do you think is being hidden, and from whom?

I listed specific examples above.

I also recognize that you can quibble about whether they are truly "hidden" as opposed to downplayed, obfuscated or whatever. Regardless of exactly which word one wishes to use, they are certainly not discoverable for someone not actively seeking them (in contrast to stories/narratives the left wishes to hype). Twitter can change that.

This feels like a dodge, "discoverable" by whom then? Spit it out.

The 6 words after the word "discoverable" in the comment above clarify this point.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discoverability

Again, discoverable by whom?

To quote the comment you keep refusing to read: "someone not actively seeking them"

If you want a concrete persona for such a user, consider Joe Sportsguy who has logged on to twitter to engage with memes and discussions about any of the current topics of twitter's "Trending" tab. At the moment in the USA, 17 of the top 20 topics are sports, 1 is pro wrestling, and the remaining 2 are sports mislabeled as "business and finance". He occasionally sees other topics in his feed - #wafflehousefights or #blacklivesmatter - and they enter his consciousness. His view of the non-sports world is not based on actual statistics of the world, merely on an average of the things that enter his consciousness via various feeds and media.

Incidentally, this is also why the pressure campaign against Joe Rogan happened. Most of Rogan's podcast is bodybuilding, long distance running and stand up comedians. But in between that mainstream parasocial content there's a bit of stuff the establishment wants to suppress.

In Victoria 2, populations have the stats 'consciousness' (politically awareness and pursuit of political self-interest) and 'militancy' (how prepared they are to join rebel groups or perform civil unrest). The consciousness and militancy of black populations in Western countries is very high, supported by the media. The consciousness and militancy of white populations is very low, again due to the media.

For example, I'm confident few outside the US have heard of the Zebra murders, where four black men killed somewhere between 15 and 70 whites, wounding several more. They were motivated by some racial-religious angle, there were some connections to the Nation of Islam. There may have been many more involved in the killings who were never uncovered. Fascinatingly, about half the wikipedia page is about various civil rights groups trying to stop what they saw as racial profiling when the police tried to racially profile the all-black suspects.

Yet practically everyone in the entire Anglosphere has heard of Emmett Till, who was lynched. I'm not even American and yet they brought it up in class when I was at high school - we were studying 'To Kill a Mockingbird' as a compulsory text. There are Emmett Till poems and songs and films - Biden signed an Emmett Till anti-lynching act back in 2022. And in marked contrast to the forgotten Zebra Killings, Robert Raben has been lambasting the criminal justice system for not harassing the accuser enough:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/emmett-accuser-carolyn-bryant-donham-last-chance-justice-rcna42415

On a purely objective basis where we ignore the race involved, you'd think the former would be much more widely known. Killing many random whites is surely worse than killing one black, who was thought to have sexually harassed someone. That's merely on the level of honor killings - which clearly isn't good. At least there's some kind of reasoning behind the killing other than racial hatred.

Yet Emmett Till is big news even today, Zebra murders are forgotten.

If a white police officer chokes a black criminal in Minneapolis, or is seen to choke him (I don't really want to go into the George Floyd drugs/breathing thing) there's a giant global media frenzy - there's massive rioting and corporations falling over eachother to support BLM. If a black police officer turns and inexplicably shoots a random white woman who was totally unconnected to his work in Minneapolis... It's so unmemorable I have to check it up online to find it at all.

PS. I really hate that people come here with extremely cringe names like gaygroyper100 or that pedofascist fellow we had earlier. Don't be egregiously obnoxious should apply to that. If someone did that on 4chan with a tripcode they'd be bullied and rightly so.

Your comparison of the Zebra murders with Emmitt Till doesn't work. The Emmitt Till case is well-known because it was historically important. It was an important factor in the success of the Civil Rights Movement, because it engendered white, middle class support therefor. The Civil Rights Movement in turn was nothing less than a social revolution. Moreover, the Emmitt Till case was representative of a much broader phenomenon, ie, Jim Crow. So, of course it is well known. Hell, it was even indirectly responsible for the development of The Twilight Zone.

In contrast, the Zebra killings and shootings had little effect on history or society, though I suppose it is possible that Art Agnos would never have become mayor had he not been a victim. Nor were they representative of a larger social issue. Had they given rise to a race war, or perhaps in the alternative some sort of police state, they would be better known.

And, btw, you answered your own question re the shooting by the Minneapolis police officer (a case that was the subject of about 20 articles in the NY Times, btw): You called it "inexplicable." That implies that it has no greater implication, does it not? Unlike, say, George Floyd, which was, at least arguably, an example ,albeit an extreme one, of the larger phenomenon of excessive force by police. And, btw, it doesn’t help you to misstate the facts of your ostensible examples; the victim in Minneapolis was not "totally unconnected" to the cop's work, because she is the one who called the cops in the first place.

Emmitt Till is historically important because it was well known, not the other way around. If it got as much coverage as the Zebra murders it wouldn't be any more important today.

The OP actually made no claim about the amount of coverage that each event had at the time. (And in fact the Zebra killers got enormous coverage at the time). OP's claim was about why one event is known broadly today. Even if Till got more coverage, the difference is not so great that it is a plausible explanation of why it is so much better known today.

Again, the Till story affected history, specifically, it affected one of the most significant developments in US history. Hence, it is included in history books, and hence is still remembered today. The Zodiac case did not affect history, hence it is not remembered.

In contrast, the Zebra killings and shootings had little effect on history or society, though I suppose it is possible that Art Agnos would never have become mayor had he not been a victim. Nor were they representative of a larger social issue. Had they given rise to a race war, or perhaps in the alternative some sort of police state, they would be better known.

I think you are completely missing the posters point.

He's arguing that the Zebra killings could have been every bit as significant as Emmitt Till if the people writing history chose for them to be. They could have been politically impactful if the crafters of narratives and politicians at the time chose for them to be. You are both working with opposite models of cause and effect. He's arguing that powers chose the cultural and historical narrative, and fit the events that advantaged that narrative into our national mythos. You are arguing that events have whatever impact they have, and earn their place in our national mythos by merit.

I'm not sure how it used to work, back when these events were, or weren't, cemented in history. But seeing how it works now, and the raw, naked, narrative crafting that just gets adopted as institutionally protected truth, now and for all time, immutable no matter how much the common people know how wrong it is, I'm more inclined to adopt the OP's framing than yours.

I don't believe that is OP's argument at all. He is complaining about why Till got into history books, and the Zebra killings did not. OP is not complaining about how they were treated at the time -- and in fact the Zebra killings were a big deal at the time, and were seen as a harbinger of things to come (of a piece with various violent radical movements, such at the Weathermen, and the SLA, and the Red Army Faction, etc, etc). And, had they turned out to be a harbinger of things to come, they would be better known. But, that didn't happen; radical left terrorism died out, it was a blip, not the leading edge of a new reality.

Basically, both were seen as a big deal at the time, but only one of them turned out to be at the leading edge of historical change. Hence, it is hardly surprising that only one of them is widely known.

I have never heard of the Zebra killings before now. I would have expected to hear of 70+ racially motivated serial murders in a "non-historical" manner the same way as I have heard about Dahmer, Ted Bundy, the Unabomber, etc. None of those serial killers had a historical impact that you could point to, yet they all have Netflix specials.

There are ways to shape this into a historical narrative (or counter-narrative):

Why did the public have a growing taste for Tough On Crime policies in the 1970-90s? Why did large swaths of the public support racial profiling or de-facto racial profiling (stop and frisk, etc.) where Civil Rights organizations did not (as documented in the Zebra wiki)? People trash Biden today for Crime Reform in the 90's (strict sentencing, "Superpredators", etc.), but crime was a top issue in politics in this era.

If the NYT (especially with their writers who are very skilled at crafting narratives) repeatedly reminded the public of the Zebra killings, it would be on everybody's mind every time the topic of racial profiling or Criminal Justice Reform came up. Instead it's just deemed "not relevant".

The Zebra killers also spawned books and TV specials back in the day. And I am unclear what your discussion of crime rates has to do with anything.

Yes, if the NYT repeatedly reminded people of X, more people would know about X. What does that have to do with Emmitt Till?

Yes, even a movie The Zebra Killer (1974). In which a Black detective, after his Black girlfriend is raped, finds that the murders are commited by a white man in Blackface.

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Earlier you had suggested that the Zebra Killings are not discussed in media because they lack "historical" relevance rather than the story being memory-holed for uncomfortable political reasons. Modern political issues can be given "historical" salience if there is motivation to do so. Bizarro Right Wing-NYT: "Activists say black on white crime is rare, the grandchildren of Zebra Killings victims beg to differ" could be used to promote racial profiling. In this scenario, activists would have statistics on their side, but enough repetition leads to a distorted view of the world.

Emmitt Till is relevant because the story of his murder gets reinvigorated every time progressives want to push for Criminal Justice Reform or to tie it in with some tragic police shooting, giving the story narrative throughline. Between him and George Floyd, people mentally have an anchor when it comes to lynching and police brutality. Vivid stories of "black on white" violence exist but don't receive the same level of obsessive coverage because it would lead the general public to have more right wing views of policing/crime. I don't think obsessive coverage of "black on white" violence is good because it would enflame racial tensions and because they account for a relatively small number of crimes. However, you can't get mad a people noticing the double standards in coverage.

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The Emmitt Till case is well-known because it was historically important. It was an important factor in the success of the Civil Rights Movement, because it engendered white, middle class support therefore. The Civil Rights Movement in turn was nothing less than a social revolution.

But why? Because that case was widely promulgated in the media. The Civil Rights movement got extremely favorable media coverage: incidents that supported them were played up. Incidents that damaged them were swept under the carpet. Nobody hears about the teacher in a

In contrast, the Zebra killings and shootings had little effect on history or society,

Because the media didn't run with them and say 'let's have a massive scare campaign about blacks randomly killing whites that we use to raise the militancy of the white population and make them demand more anti-black policies/refuse to support pro-black policies'. They could have chosen to do that, it's within their power. What do you think they would've done if there was a band of 4-8 white supremacists wandering around murdering dozens of blacks on the street?

That implies that it has no greater implication, does it not?

What, so when George Floyd gets choked and dies that's extreme force but when a woman gets shot dead, it's not? The 'implication' that the media rammed down everyone's throats was that white police officers hate and kill black criminals unjustly. They create that narrative, picking out whatever supports their case regardless of its statistical relevance and then ignoring opposing examples. Police anti-black racism is not a thing, it's been shown statistically: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-systemic-police-racism-11591119883

the victim in Minneapolis was not "totally unconnected" to the cop's work,

Sure but this doesn't alter my point at all. She wasn't supposed to be a target in any way, shape or form. If it had been some other woman there, he would've shot her too.

Looking over Mohamed Noor's spotty biography, he may have benefited from Affirmative Action by MPD (see: Psychiatric concerns). The Somali community is significant in Minneapolis and they are underrepresented in policing. "Noor had been lauded in the past by Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges and the local Somali community as one of the first Somali-American police officers in the area".

Perhaps a story about an incompetent jumpy cop shooting a woman who posed no threat could have been deemed Newsworthy and sparked a debate about Affirmative Action.

There was another bit in his wikipedia page about how he supposedly put a gun to someone's head during a routine traffic stop. All around not a good guy! I left that out for brevity though.

Isn't the Minneapolis case also an example of excessive force?

The Minneapolis case is so bizarre that it is sui generis. It was a rookie cop panicking when someone approached the window of his car, and shooting that person -- and, in doing so, shooting across the body of his partner, who was sitting in the seat next to the window. It was not a cop using excessive force to arrest someone, or to punish someone for giving him lip, or for any of the usual reasons.

Emmett Till didn't set out to become a martyr, nor did his killers set out to make him one and light a fire in the Civil Rights Movement. Their intentions didn't matter, but the intentions of those using their story did.

I don't understand why that matters. The point is not what they intended (unlike the Zebra killers, who might well have intended to create a race war, IIRC). The point is that one turned out to influence a major, major historical development, and the other did not. That is why everyone has heard of the former, and not the latter.

The radical left of the 70s might not have gotten everything they wanted, but I find it hard to swallow saying that they haven't had much more success than they deserved, or that the Zebras weren't representative of a larger social issue (the same social issue as Till and Floyd, really).

? Why does it matter whether they had more or less success than they deserved? My point is not about deserts, but about the extent of change that happened subsequently. As I mentioned, the Civil Rights Movement was quite literally a successful social revolution. Whatever success the radical left of the 1970s achieved, it was quite marginal compared to the Civil Rights Movement, which was one of the two or three most momentous developments in US history. Of course we are going to be familiar with people associated therewith.

Well, of course a story can't have impact unless people hear about. But the story of the Zebra killings also was widely told at the time. The reason that one is well known today is because it was part of a massively, massively, massively important historical development. You might as well ask why everyone in the world has heard of Hitler, but not Father Coughlin. After all, they were both anti-Semitic demogogues!

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The story of 70+ people being murdered is of course going to circulate at the time it's happening and not be completely buried. The question is why is it considered literal bar trivia? As mentioned, many of us hadn't heard of the killings at all and have heard of many Dahmer-type serial killers. The obvious reason is the racial angle. Five Klan members killing 70+ black people in the 1970s would still be widely discussed today, but I'm not sure what could convince you of that.

I'm not suggesting a sensational Top Men coverup of the story. It's more mundane than that. People in media will highlight and dwell on stories that conform to their world view and forget or downplay those that counter their worldview.

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Let me explain it by way of analogy.

One of my favorite board games is Commands & Colors: Ancients. I've played it well over 100 times. It's hook is that it takes your typical hex and counter conflict simulator, and encodes the combat results table into custom dice. Then it has some extra rules for things like support, evasion, leaders, and then a fuck ton of cruft around how elephants work on the battlefield.

There is tons of light cavalry in this game. My understanding is that light cavalry in the ancient world were attackers of opportunity. Ride down the weak and injured. Flank the enemy. Stuff like that. These are literally just unarmored dudes on horses. These are not the heavily armored medieval knights that Hollywood has cemented in our consciousness as synonymous with cavalry.

I played probably 30 games in a row with a guy who simply could not dismiss the Hollywood version of cavalry from his consciousness when playing this game. Every, single time he plowed his light cavalry directly into my heavy infantry. Every time. No matter how many times I showed him the statistics behind these light cavalry, Hollywood had just brainwashed him into thinking they were heavily armored knights. No matter how many times they got cut to ribbons in scenario after scenario after scenario, he was just incapable of noticing.

The statistics, the personal experience, all of it glided off his smooth brain because he had no narrative to help contextualize it.

Sorry, still don't get what this has to do with my question. What do you think is being hidden and from whom?

I think the point of the anecdote was that "people will believe all sorts of misconceptions because they saw it on TV or in a movie; black criminality is no different, as the way the media handles it has implanted the context of 'black people are never at fault for anything' in most people's heads." Whether or not that's true, it's hard to say.

For my money, I'd say that the Internet is pretty good at exposing and debunking things that only happen in movies (WRT guns, physics, security...basically anything that would have serious ramifications for one's continued existence in the real world), one Tumblr post or YouTube video at a time.

That game sounds great. How heavy would you say it is? Estimated time to play a simple scenario?

It takes more than an hour, but less than 90 minutes usually. It has 24 pages of wargame rules. But it's a lot of half page illustrations and reference material. Still, if all you've played is Catan, it's gonna be a doozy. I think it's a good entry level consim, if that's your cup of tea. But many people think it might be, go and try to read the rules for their first consim, and nope out after the first 3 pages spend defining all the terms the manual uses. All that said, I think the rulebook for Commands & Colors: Ancients is excellently written, and the first few scenarios have almost no terrain, and no units with wonky special rules.

My favorite games are Twilight Imperium and, recently, Hansa Teutonica. Before I tried the latter Brass: Birmingham had that spot. I don’t mind a dense rule book, but it’s a harder sell to get my friends excited about it!

I’ll check it out.

Maybe try luring them in with Rex for a slightly simplified version of Dune with the Twilight Imperium IP on top. Then you can entice them into a TI3:Shards of the Throne game using the Fall of the Empire scenario.

TI4 seems superior based on few games I played

Is

TI3:Shards of the Throne game using the Fall of the Empire scenario

having something to recommend it? Is it redoable in TI4?

TI4 is generally better as a game but doesn't have quite the same road map. I'm more familiar with TI3 and have the full set of expansions. The Fall of the Empire scenario specifically is a variant with a playable Lazax faction starting with control of Mecatol Rex with a surplus of military power, reduced political power and the objective card win conditions shape the play pretty close to the lore. You can jump from Rex to TI4 but it is slightly less clean of a lore integration. The scenario cannot be replicated in TI4 without significant homebrew because of how dependent it is on the combination of treaty mechanics, the Lazax faction tuning and the objective cards.

The scenario itself is a very natural follow-up to Rex which is the Dune board game rules with various factions fighting on the ground to control Mecatol Rex while instead of the storm from Dune it has a fleet moving around bombarding locations. The mechanics, lore, diplomatic backstabbing and approachability of Rex (compared to Dune or TI proper but definitely still a barrier) seem like an easier sell the TI itself. I haven't played the Galeforce 9 Dune version and while the Avalon Hill one is well loved it has known issues and takes a long time. Rex from my perspective was a better game for the time, matches the TI lore theming pretty well for a barely modified reskin that mostly streamlines some mechanics (made the physical board actually being usable, still not a fan even of the GF9 version but then again Rex's board while usable is very bland) and can be played with fewer players and makes it shorter by an hour or so.

In both Rex and TI3: Fall of the Empire the Lazax naturally fall into a position where you can have an experienced player handling their more complex, initially overpowered position (offset by actual win conditions) acting as a sort of DM playing the BBEG on the board.

Yeah, you'll probably be fine. Wargame rulebooks are just... different though. They read more like laws, with sections, subsections, sub-subsection, everything enumerated. Rules will often refer to other rules or sections with simple notation like [Section 2] or [Rule 3.2.1]. Once you get over the learning curve behind how different consim rulebooks are written, they aren't so bad. I find a 24 page rulebook is about the limit of the complexity I can handle. Especially since most of them break down into maybe 12 pages of actual rules, and 12 of illustrations and reference. And among those 12 pages of rules, there are probably 8 you'll encounter regularly and 4 that are just cruft bolted on to try to force some historical flavor.

I've played probably 250 games of Axis & Allies over the years and 249 of them were with my buddy Jimmy. And the one that wasn't just him actually involved him as it was a Christmas present from someone's mom. Dude killed himself last year and I haven't played a game since and I'm really itching to play.

I don't think I even like board games, I think I just enjoy Axis & Allies. However, maybe I don't even like AA, maybe I just enjoyed hanging out with him?

One of my favorite board games is Commands & Colors: Ancients.

Stop trying to make me like you.

Hexes, not freeform positions measured with rulers? Special dice instead of booklets of results tables? Sounds like some sort of children's card game.

Hollywood brainwashing is painfully powerful, I've had instances where I know the factual details of a historical event, read several first-hand accounts then watch a movie about it and have to constantly, conscientiously consciously correct away from made-up details that the lizard brain "remembers" having seen and emotionally knows to be true. "It's like writing history with lightning."

In D&D a long time ago, I mentioned that you could estimate the time by using the width of your fingers to measure the distance between the sun and the horizon. My friends pooh-poohed this and mentioned it for years as an example of me being stupid and believing in dumb shit.

Until Johnny Depp did it in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Then they accepted that it was real. No amount of me googling it, finding good sources or even literally doing it so they could see it was real would help. They had to see Johnny Depp do it.

Welp, that's enough blackpills for me today, gdi

There is no reason to think the wafflehouse fight would not have gone viral on Twitter if Musk hadn't bought it. And it's not being reported because it's not really that interesting. The most to come out of it were memes about how the employee should be in the next Smash DLC or something.

Suppressing news about black people being in the wrong and white people being in the right is wrong, but this is not a great example of that. For another examlpe, consider Tariq Nasheed documenting a white hotel employee having a mental breakdown and trying to assert it being a white vs. black thing. He was roundly criticized, and that was long before Musk's acquisition.

There is - at least pre-Musk, twitter put a thumb on the scale of which hashtags were allowed to go viral or not. (This may or may not happen now, that's unclear.)

A very plausible alternative timeline is twitter jannie notices a contra-narrative story going viral, presses the de-amplify (or whatever euphamism they used for shadowbanning a trend) button on it and then it fizzles.

I don't find that plausible at all. This is simply too much like the Eric Garner case - no one is defending the customers who trashed the place, just like Bill O'Reilly said it was a clearly wrong thing for the cop to kill Garner. Even now, searches for "Waffle House Wendy" returns mostly positive tweets and pieces, with the focus on her impressive deflection of the chair over anything else.

It's not inconceivable that left-wing mainstream outlets decided, even prior to the girl going on Tucker Carlson's show, that it wasn't a good story because a black person was the aggressor and a white person in the right, but the newsworthiness of the story is inherently low. Makes for a good ice breaker at a party, not a headline on CNN.

There are better example to choose if you want to highlight the left-wing media's bias against anything perceived as anti-black, NBC cutting the Zimmerman police call to make him sound racist being a good example.

I'm pretty sure you're correct about Twitter putting their thumb on the scale before. I'm pretty sure incidents of groups of black people behaving in a shameful fashion went viral on twitter anyway. Why are you so confident that this one wouldn't have?

I am not sure about this specific one. I don't think that we disagree on much - we certainly seem to agree that we'll see more of these with twitter not putting their thumb on the scale.

But both examples you gave were scissor statements - it was possible for two people of completely different backgrounds to give two completely different interpretations from the same evidence. You're not seeing that in the case of the waffle house fight at all, just about no one is defending any kind of interpretation that black people have the right to throw chairs at fast food chain employees. They are instead focusing on how "cool" the employee was for defending herself so smoothly.

I don't think reddit or any social media should be censoring anyone, but if reddit banned a subreddit about black people committing crimes that called itself "great apes," I rather suspect that reddit was motivated by something other than the desire to hide the truth, and that those who created the subreddit were motivated by something other than pure truth telling.

I rather suspect that reddit was motivated by something other than the desire to hide the truth,

It's not clear what "reddit was motivated" means. Are you suggesting that many of the reddit jannies/"anti evil operations"/etc who suppressed true facts are not motivated by preventing people from learning these true facts and taking on "wrong" beliefs?

I don't know about reddit, but journalists have openly admitted their motivation in this is preventing people from forming true beliefs they don't like: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/ap-stylebook-updates-entry-on-racial-ids-in-news-stories/ https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2020/more-newspapers-are-cutting-mugshots-galleries/

"Reinforcing stereotypes" is the term they use, of course.

...those who created the subreddit were motivated by something other than pure truth telling.

Why do you believe this is relevant?

I don't know why you say, "It's not clear what "reddit was motivated" means", given that your entire post is a claim that reddit, and the media in general, is motivated by a desire to suppress the truth.

I don't know why you say, "It's not clear what "reddit was motivated" means"

No, I'm making the claim that individuals in media are motivated to hide facts that hinder the narrative.

I avoid the claim "reddit was motivated" because reddit is an organization with multiple individuals (e.g. jannies, AEO, advertising directors, data scientists), and a common leftist dissembling tactic is gloss over the specific individuals doing a thing and instead demand proof that the organization as a whole does a thing. But of course, you only really need the jannies and AEO in most cases.

Look dude, I'm very much on the side of free speech and I'd prefer we still had the reddit that an odious subreddit like that could exist. But we don't have that reddit. We have the one that bans legal consensual porn subreddits for giving them a bad look. It is not fear of the truth that caused them to ban a subreddit that in the very name compares black people to apes. Pretending otherwise is not helpful for our side.

They would either ban or coopt a subreddit dedicated to crime in general if it didn’t aggressively moderate to wokewash racial crime rates.

No argument on that specific subreddit, but /r/hatecrimehoaxes provided a necessary and timely service.

And was not limited to black people doing hoaxes (although a LOT of them were racism hoaxes). One such hoax was a white cop faking a vandalism incident by painting "Black Lives Matter" on his own garage, for instance.

I saw this video as a snippet on youtubehaiku. Just the sweet demonstration of chairbending. That part was hilarious without knowing any context. In fact, it’d be hilarious without any racial information, because the only context that matters is late-night Waffle House energy.

Trying to inject racial commentary is purely for political reasons. That goes for you as well as for MSM editorials. Y’all can’t just enjoy this little slice of Americana, no, it’s gotta be meaningful, to further your narrative. So you wax poetic about giving us the look behind the curtain, about unveiling our lying eyes. Truly, you are woke to the forbidden truths.

But in the end, it’s still a Waffle House.

I know it's acceptable to laugh at the antics of the lower class, just like it's okay to hope that people get raped in prison.

To me, your comment activated a feeling of class resentment.

What for you is a little slice of Americana, is for that blue collar worker a terrible job for awful pay. I'm sure that person in the video would love to work in HR or something for 3 times the money. Alas, she has to be assaulted by insane people instead. It's easy for the elite classes to dismiss these concerns because they can just float above the problems. When the media just ignores this stuff because of optics, it's worse.

Which is to say I think a month working at Waffle House might do wonders for the smugness of the average elite class member.

worldstarhiphop didn't exist for the "upper class" to laugh at poor people. everyone enjoys these little "slices of americana" when they blow up on twitter.

I’m going to resist the urge to dissect this joke and explain precisely why it’s funny. Instead, I’ll just observe that humans laugh at offensive, violent, sad situations all the time. I don’t think that’s inherently a bad thing.

Yeah, I’ve got some sympathy for dangerous, underpaid jobs. For all I know, that video doesn’t even represent her worst night on the clock. There’re plenty of reasonable reactions to such evidence, and I won’t judge anyone who finds it depressing rather than funny.

The OP was not constructed out of sympathy for the plight of the working class. It is taking one specific, tired narrative and framing it as forbidden knowledge.

Musk has an opportunity to give people a glimpse of what is being hidden from them. People may begin to realize that their eyes aren't lying, it's merely a set of elites who are gaslighting them.

How controversial, yet brave! But for all the self-aggrandizement, the OP is still commentating a fight at a Waffle House. I find the contrast amusing.

Agreed, and I feel like this is amplified by the background knowledge is that the "gay groyper" here is only signal boosting this incident because they think it will further their agenda. And yes, while we can talk about crap pay. Waffle House really is a little slice of americana and something of a blue-collar institution.

It might sound silly but the more I think about it the more this actually kind of bugs me. Serious question, how many mottizens actually eat at the waffle house on a semi-regular basis? That is more than 5 - 10 time a year. How many mottizens have worked at a Waffle House or know someone who has?