Politics Scrapbook

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Politics /

2006 05 25 Group invitations for the feast determining seating order, determining who’s excluded

Expand: Humans, fledgling members of Sentiens (universe of awareness), claiming membership in a fledgling Persona (universe of aware individuals) ganging together to decided who sits where at the feast: and who’s barred from eating at all.

2004 10 17 The parent pk Politics piece, 1998 12 18, started as my introduction to FLEX. Over time parts got stripped for incorporation in new pieces. By last year little but the skeleton remained. I promised to be back but remained busy elsewhere, the site having grown to over two-hundred fifty text files supported by nearly one hundred graphics. [Twice that size as of 9/10/1] Today I return to add one thought of overriding political importance.

All laws that can’t be scientifically supported as having been in place since before kleptocracy, AKA: civilization, are pennies in a fuse box: tempting for the moment; but destructive in the long run.

When the lion has drunk from the water hole, he goes back about his business and the gazelles can drink. Man is the lion who’s always thirsty. States, militaries, cities … are permanent claims to the water hole: illegitimate claims: illegitimate by god’s law. Those of us, like me, who would argue for sanity, for legitimacy, for real possibility, are silenced regardless of what the human law pretends. If we don’t reform ourselves, trim our numbers, get real, repudiate Wasi’chu, or, if no outside force (Gort, for example) or set of circumstances (plague, for example) stops us before we carry our corruption to the rest of the universe, then the resultant fire will burn more than this poor (no longer innocent) planet.

Opportunity here is born dead.
The Fixer

1999 09 11
Everything I do, everything I think, has a political dimension. The problem is: I don’t believe there are any political solutions to our problems. Not unless some hard learning comes into play.

(The soft learning I offer here is a waste of time under the circumstances.) (Not for me, for the group.) (Meaning: all which is not effective learning, in our situation, is a waste of time.)
2001 09 10 There [were] currently seventy-eight files in my Social Pathologies Directory and another thirty-eight in my Evolutionary Background Directory. The majority of them are extensions of this file. (04 13 2004 update: the number is now two hundred & ninety.)
Humanists for over two centuries have built their faith on some version of salvation by politics. Gary North

2002 10 29
I just added a link to my Democracy section which I must repeat here, Brian Miklethwait’s view of politics is so delicious (the file requires Acrobat Reader: you might want to finish here and then try it): What is Wrong with a Libertarian Political Party? You can leave out the “Libertarian” and just read it as What’s wrong with Political Parties (the author’s point as well as mine).

One of the great beauties of politics as an art form was its lack of restriction to merely standard forms of realism.
Bruce Sterling

A Knatz.com friend just emailed a great political joke. I mount it among my online jokes.

2004 10 24
In a dilute sense of the word much of what happens in a family could be seen as “political.” But in the meaning more appropriate for the super-societies of the modern world politics is that type of activity that attempts to centralize authority in this camp rather than that. Central authority: that’s what we’re about. And that is what I’m against. We’ll survive better decentralized. Smaller bank accounts: longer tenure.

Politics As Pathology
Politics: Pathology bred with pathology, interbred with pathology, the pups manifesting every sort of pathology: winning medals, and sometimes decorated with blue, pink, and gold ribbons.

Ivy League White House
Eli Yale, Eli Yale Eli Yale, Eli Yale
Eli Yale, Eli Yale Eli Yale, Eli Yale
Eli Yale, Eli Yale Eli Yale, Eli Yale
Fol dee roll, dee roll roll roll.

It’s a good thing that the American electoral process has sent more than a couple of Ivy Leaguers to the White House; otherwise the world might to too tempted to take the Ivy League’s rep too seriously, too literally.

My favorite story about Yale has already been told at Knatz.com: Yale was founded by the faculty-to-be gathering together and putting their personal libraries on the table. Now that’s a university ideal: intellectuals, books, gathered together: others will gather around them. No coercion, no certificates, no seduction is necessary.

But then, just as the universe displays entropy as well as negentropy, just as life displays disease and death as well as it displays birth and healing, Yale turns out a Bush: and then another. Can you picture George, any George, in his freshman beanie, singing Fol dee roll, dee roll roll roll?

Other pk favorite Yale stories are also told here. I repeat two of them to freshen this context: Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann obtained his Ph.D. in physics at Yale, but he writes that he didn’t learn what science was until he was doing post-doc work at MIT: he actually saw a scientist change his mind when the evidence went against his theory! (I’ll repeat another in a moment.)
Now: Yale, like Harvard, like Princeton, like Columbia … is supposed to gather the intellectual cream of society’s (male) youth. Right? Of course we all know that if daddy donates forty million to build a new building with his name on it, very ordinary Sonny gets in anyway. Still, Sonny isn’t supposed to be a total moron.

When Kennedy got shoved up the public’s nose in the late 1950s, even though he said “Cuber” instead of “Cuba,” the press could claim that he could read fast, remember facts after a glance at a document, and so forth. The guy might actually have had some sort of a mind (as well as balls like a rooster).

pk knows some good Harvard stories too (as well as some funny JFK memories), but none to match his Yale stories. My favorite JFK memories are of this sort: late fifties he was supposed to appear somewhere on Long Island. I was trying to drive with my girl friend to my mother’s place in Freeport. Traffic on the Southern State Parkway stopped dead for hours. I blamed JFK, elections, and have never forgiven either. Or this: sitting around the back room of the White Horse Tavern I’d hear story after story of Tom Cat Jack and who Jackie had fucked first, second, third … I never took any of the stories seriously. But decades later the stories got retold by any old media organ. The back room regulars really did seem to know some special things. I even heard when Ruby would shoot Oswald months before it happened.

But George is the Ivy Leaguer who’s up the public’s nose now, so I return to Yale: Spring 1957 the Columbia crew team is given changing-space in the Princeton boat house locker room. We’re standing there in whatever state of dress and undress when we’re told that the Yale frosh have to come through to get to the space designated for them. As I narrated the event to my journal, a dozen and a half pale WASPs filtered through us, moues of aristocratic disdain spoiling the bland symmetry of their lips: they looked at the Columbia frosh like something growing on the drain. Now pk was as pale a WASP as any Yalie, but any Yalie knows: there are JEWS at Columbia. Of course Yale had a Jew or two as well. I’m sure they had a least two blacks in 1957 (where Columbia had at least three), but Columbia was, God, … forty percent ??? Jewish!

Now any sane intellectual acolyte might well therefore assume that Columbia must be a richer environment than Harvard, Yale, Princeton combined. Don’t think for a moment that I’m saying that Jews are smarter than WASPs. And I’m certainly not saying that WASPs are smarter than Jews. (I don’t say that Jews are starter than WASPs even though any persecuted minority has more reason to be smart: and the Jews do stick, sort of, to their traditions: including their tradition of trying to be brainy.)
What I am saying is that George Bush is an embarrassment to ANY university! would be even to those margarine-roux cookies stamped out by the state! [note]

Here’s a Harvard joke my Harvard lawyer told me: newly minted Harvard lawyer goes to the lawyer convention. He and his cocktail find themselves standing next to some veteran lawyer with his cocktail.

Say, where did you go to law school? Same place you did. Uh, have we ever met? Nope. Well, I attended Harvard Law. Of course. Same as me. But how did you know I did? We’re the only ones who ask.

I’ve been at Princeton four times for any two times I’ve been at Yale and I’ve been at Yale two times for any one time I’ve been at Harvard. note Still, I’ve been at Harvard a few times. I don’t mean matriculated; I mean on some sort of business (including selling to the Harvard Coop). My first visits were personal, indeed romantic: I visited a girl friend who attended Boston College, but to hang at coffee houses we’d go to Cambridge. The coffee houses were full of Harvards, and the Harvards were worshipping not Pythagoras, not Wittgenstein, not Shakespeare; but Bogart!

Now when my son walked around in a trench coat with the collar pulled up, that was fine: he was in high school. I even bought him an etching of a movie marquee featuring The Maltese Falcon. But nowadays bk is enraptured with Ludwig von Mises, and with Bogart only distantly.

This and that White House has raided Harvard on this and that occasion. But what do they come away with? Pythagoras? Wittengenstein? No: they come away with Galbraith! Central planning! Stalinist economics! An unending string of John Maynard Keynes (LSE) clones.

The Soviet Union finally had the decency to fall on its nose. When will we follow?


Been at Princeton:
Biographical incident is supposed to be mere symbolic coloring in much of my writing, but having somehow said so much for atmosphere, I may as well spell it a bit further. I’ve visited the Cornell campus a few times: once to visit a girl, another time taking bk for an interview. I visited a pal at the University of Pennsylvania, stayed a week, climbed around in some Louis Kahn constructions. We had previously rowed on the Schuylkill: issuing from a most picturesque boat house. Living around Philly, I passed U.P. I don’t know how many times. Still, the campus left little impression on me. Not at all like Princeton or Cornell. Brown I’ve never been anywhere near.

Hmm: have I covered the whole Ivy League? Of course it’s way different now: women and so forth. And the state, ever more present: especially after 1968.

PS: I also remember Lake Carnegie and the Princeton boat house with great fondness. Me at the rudder, screaming my lungs out, we were just gaining a seat on first place U.P. when one of the ubiquitous day sailers froze in the middle of our lane, the skipper frozen in panic, his date languidly trailing her ankles in the water.

My crew was in a lather of competition, but they stopped rowing when I called Way Enough, knowing full well that the finish line had not yet been crossed. Henley. Sprint distance.

Then came the crunch. Our shell pierced the hull, drove it starboard chines down, and came out port chines closer to the spine. The skipper was astern of the impact. Miraculously, the girl was not speared.

The coach has specifically told us to ignore the sail boats. “They always stay clear away.” Not that one.

Despite the disaster I was commended for my sang froid, giving them every last second to get clear. (You don’t turn an eight-oar shell on a dime. And you don’t stop it in any given stretch of water. Like a chopper, they’re build to go straight ahead, and fast.

Margarine Roux:
2005 01 21 Jay Leno just had a funny insult for the occasion of Bush’s second inauguration, the swearing-in: he said that it would mark the second time in office that Bush had his hand on a book.
Then I think that Leno can’t read much either, or Letterman, or Trump, or any successful modern. I’m sure he has his hands on books all the time: but what can he read cover to cover?

Change of Administration
Where is human vanity greater than in the belief that a change of administration will fix things?

American kids during Vietnam were sure they would do better than their elders. My mother and her generation thought they were saints for backing Roosevelt. Beethoven and Wordsworth thought they were saints for tagging after Napoleon. I bet there were a bunch of Germans who thought that Hitler was finally going to make things right.

Christians were sure that they’d be better than Jews. Jews still think they’re better than Philistines.

And Americans thought that everything would finally be all right if they could just get Nixon out of the White House.

When I went into the art business (ahem) full time (I’ve never done anything full time! and have no intention of starting), I was told horror stories by one and all about how corrupt the business was: dealers cheating artists, cheating each other, cheating the public … I’d already experienced rejection by numerous publishers, certain that they hadn’t really looked at my submissions let alone understood them. The next thing I know, I have stacks of submissions that I too never looked at, didn’t even open them! Next thing I know I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul, breaking promises, shading the truth … Thank God I was only thirty-three or so when I realized how the slime sucks everything, that in the right circumstances (and the right circumstances are everywhere, ubiquitous) I too might take bribes, falsify evidence … assassinate an angel.

I look around and recognize almost no one else as having learned the same lesson. But then you see I don’t trust my own judgment altogether either. There’s one thing though I’m sure does make me different: Lots of people don’t trust their own judgment: and that’s where the church, the government, the false teachers have them. Just because I don’t trust my own judgment doesn’t mean I’m ready to swear allegiance to the Jesuits instead. or the Illuminati.

OK. I throw up something fast. Hints of this are already around Knatz.com. Now I’ve got a place to string more reflections, examples, perspectives.

2008 06 22 I’m sorry. Democracy is such an important subject: and I’m afraid I’ve made a mess of it over the dozen or so years I’ve devoted to Knatz.com. The files, supposed to be neat little modules making up a bigger picture like a 4D mosaic, sometimes look for like flotsam and weeds in the Sargasso Sea. If I live long enough I’ll fix it all. Eeuw, what I curse I’ve just wished on myself!
These files started off in my Society and Its Pathologies section. Now they’ve moved to my new NoHier section: properly a social order aspect of society. I glance at this garbage and retch: almost as badly as I retch when reading gibberish written by other writers. For example, I just saw a pk statement that democracy and kleptocracy are incompatible: that’s left over from when I believe in democracy as an ideal and merely believed that we had failed to realize that ideal. Now I see democracy as purely a kleptocratic invention: so I reverse the statement: democracy and kleptocracy are fully compatible.

I’ll try to revise all these files. Meantime I came here today with a particular story in mind, from 1966, something quintessentially democratic:

Mayor Lindsay’s Best and Brightest

John Lindsay had just been elected mayor. His staff was being touted as eager beavers, the Best and Brightest. They’d supposedly chopped out and replaced the bureaucratic dead wood of the previous administration. One night I went to the West End Tavern for a beer. I ran into a fellow I knew casually, from the bar: a schoolteacher. I was at the time a doctoral candidate. I had not yet taught college English, I was merely preparing to. I was not yet the deschooler. So when this fellow, Bill, told me of some horrid practice of the school board I was sympathetic. Bill and his fellow indignant teachers made an appointment at the mayor’s office. Young BestAndBright receives the small committee in his office. They voice their complaint, hand over the written version. The eager bureaucrat immediately cuts to the chase: “How many of you are there?” he asks.
“About two hundred,” answers Bill and his fellow committee members.
“That’s all?” says Mr. FixIt. “Then fuck yiz.”
The brave bass doesn’t bother to eat minnows below a certain size. The political democrat can’t be bothered with injustices till they have a frightening population base.

“Tytler” on Democracy

2002 12 20 Alexander Fraser Tytler 1748 – 1813
Scottish professor of history at Edinburgh University, a.k.a. Lord Woodhouselee, author of The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic (1776)

from The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic [1776]
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Tytler describes the life cycle of civilization as from Bondage to Spiritual Faith to Great Courage to Liberty to Abundance to Selfishness to Complacency to Apathy to Dependency and back into Bondage.]

Note: I quote this from an email. The source now additionally IDs his source: http://www.conservativeforum.org/authquot.asp?ID=723. For problems in verifying the quote, see the following comments by Loren Collins.

Politicians Perverting “History”
2016 08 11 Watching Rebellion, Irish TV series, loving it. One Irish republican reads V. Lenis to another, “Sometimes history needs a push.” That is fabulous: mistaking one logical type for another. Nixon’s maulings of “history” were also priceless: “History will say …” Nixon used to muse. They misunderstand their own metaphor and people let them get away with it!


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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