Star Wars and Politics

The original Star Wars movies were political, but only baseline. They dealt with the idea of rebellion, Empire, and tyranny, but generally they weren’t terribly divisive, because they had a clear good vs evil narrative. Diversity was incidentally included, because the stormtroopers were uniform Nazis, while the rebels were diverse (at least the side characters). The main good guys were all white (except Yoda), and mostly male.

The prequels were especially political, considering half the movies take place on the capital planet, much of that in the Senate or with the Chancellor/Emperor. They show the fall of the Republic (mimicking Rome), which was especially poignant in the Bush era of the War on Terror and the Patriot Act. We saw the Senate and House giving power to the Executive branch, and undermining constitutional rights. The idea of Bush becoming an emperor of sorts wasn’t too outrageous in that light. Again, we see incidental diversity in side characters, but the main cast (Obi Wan, Anakin, Palpatine, Padme) are all white humans, and mostly male.

Now we’re in the post-racial Obama era, where, ironically, race, sex, and sexual orientation are the only things that matter. This is reflected in the sequel trilogy. The inclusion of characters for diversity points (Finn, Rey, Rose, Holdo, Maz Kanata, partially Poe) is obvious, and made even more obvious when the villains are primarily white men (Hux, Kylo Ren). Even worse, they killed off the original cast (Han and Luke, leaving Leia).

The movies were always political. But they dealt with politics of ideas, ideologies, governance, not just tribalism.  Because of the ambiguity of who the real underdogs are, the old evil empire vs good rebellion falls flat, leaving the in-your-face inclusionary identity politics.

The debates of tradition vs progress, socialism vs capitalism, the working class vs the rich elites, proper economic and social policy are over, and now it’s all about the plight of degenerates, women, and brown people. Enlightenment values like freedom, justice, and democracy  are now viewed as impediments to the emancipation of brown people. The fall of Star Wars is a reflection of our loss of these ideals in favor of base tribalism.

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Star Wars and Politics

The Star Wars Sequels

In the prequels and the original trilogy of Star Wars, Anakin is the main character. He’s the messiah. Obi Wan even calls him the chosen one, and, in a roundabout way, he eventually destroys the Sith and returns balance to the force.

In the sequels, Anakin is dead, and Rey is a nobody, so the messiah plotline doesn’t work. With minimal backstory and virtually no motivation besides “doing the right thing”, she’s a very weak protagonist. That’s why they have to rely on the other main plotline of movies 1-6: the space opera Roman Republic/Empire stuff.

Which brings me to my main point: Unless there is more backstory that the movies don’t get into, the First Order are the underdogs and the “rebels/resistance” are the defenders of the galactic hegemony. The First Order are trying to develop superweapons in the periphery of the galaxy to defend themselves against the Republic’s political, economic, and military hegemony. The “rebels” are actually just soldiers of the Republic, enforcing the status quo. The only reason the “rebels” are remotely compelling is because the Republic is too inept and mismanaged to send a real army to fight the First Order.

The “rebels” fighting the First Order is like the US sending in CIA operatives to fuck up Iran or North Korea. You can’t sympathize with the CIA spooks, because they’re greedy, self-serving, and undermining a country’s right to self-determination.
Instead you end up sympathizing with a dictatorial government trying to build nukes. They’re only building nukes because they don’t want to end up being overthrown by the US like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc, etc.

There’s also the fact that the simplistic moral tones of the original trilogy are not as compelling when you’ve grown up. The childlike belief that “republic = good” and “empire = bad” has washed away as we’ve seen the nominally democratic republican governments in the US and Europe controlled and run by money and shadowy deep state interests. As we continue to see nominally democratic republican governments pushed to invade countries, prop up police states, and erode our civil rights at the behest of corporate and international interests.

This might be why the First Order have been compared to the alt-right. The alt-right are the rebels against the mainstream dogma, while the SJWs (like Vice Admiral pink-hair) uphold the status quo and try to undermine or destroy the alt-right. Most of us have grown up out of the simplistic notion of universal equality. As we grow, we see how corrupt and rotten the Republic really was, just as we see the naivety of individualism, equality, and universalism.

This is why the “rebels” are an uncompelling force: holding up a corrupt, broken, or false status quo, while being supported by the power of the state. They are not underdogs fighting for freedom and justice anymore.

The Star Wars Sequels

Religion and Civilizations

Every civilization is centered around some kind of religion. It is the glue that produces social and cultural cohesion. The Roman empire was based around Roman paganism. The Arab caliphates and the Ottoman empire were based around Islam. Western civilization is based around Christianity. An ideology can also work, as in the case of the USSR, but it tends not to last as long, since ideologies are less comprehensive and persuasive than religions.

When the Romans gave up Paganism and took up Christianity, the empire was already in decline. The Christian monks preserved and maintained the scientific and cultural knowledge of the Roman empire.

Now the Christian west is in decline, and we see social justice being compared to a religion. The “monks”of social justice live in universities. Social justice has pervaded every level of academia, even the hard sciences. However, the hard sciences are beginning to view the humanities, arts, and softer sciences as bullshit. If you’ve seen people ranking college majors, you’ve already seen this in action. STEM, medicine, and law are seen as admirable goals. Women’s studies and racial grievance studies are seen as a waste of time. I’ve heard biologists refer to sociology as “not science”. We already have people studying “blackness” under the guise of anthropology and sociology. Soon enough, even the harder sciences will be under duress with scientists trying to prove that ancestry DNA tests are racist, and that there are more than two genders. When even hard science is politicized, people will either lose faith in science or create a pseudo-religion around the ideology that politicizes it. Conservatives have already lost faith in science. The replication crisis and publication bias are only additional nails in the coffin.

While the ideology that is coming to replace Christianity, social justice, has an admirable end goal of a world without prejudice and bigotry, I believe that such a goal is naive and will be overcome by Islam or even simple tribalism. We already see liberals embracing Islam, despite its contrary positions on womens’ rights and gay rights.

Religion and Civilizations

Government Waste

Returning home for Thanksgiving has made me consider where government corruption and waste comes from. While I live in a rich, coastal state that benefits from international trade and finance, I grew up in a landlocked state with little industry.

In my hometown, people don’t buy the newest technology, they make do with what they have. They don’t throw away the things they have, they fix and reuse old junk. My mom keeps piles of old junk, which ends up being useful once every few years, if at all. When I have clothes that rip, I take them to my mom to fix. Our town had one day every year where people could toss their junk on the curb, and anybody who wanted it could take it. My highschool friend would take that day off from school to peruse the junk.

The technological difference is also noticeable. In my hometown, the only places where vending machines take credit cards are the mall and the airport. No rest stop vending machines take them. For comparison, on the coast, every vending machine takes credit cards. On the coast, there are solar panels on the lightposts, and above parking lots. People buy new cars, something virtually unthinkable to my mom.

Much of the difference is money. My mom was a penny pincher. Warren Buffett, known for being a penny pincher, still lives in Omaha in a house he bought for $30,000 in the late ’50s. In contrast, Donald Trump, known for living lavishly, lives in New York in a gold tower with his name on it. These are anecdotes, but it illustrates the difference. The coast is rich off of international finance and trade, while the interior is necessarily thrifty.

When there is so much money to be thrown around, the government can afford to fulfill all basic services, and then some unnecessary services. When the US was still growing in the early 20th century, we could afford social security. When the US was peaking in the 60’s, we could afford the great society.

No longer though. Nations decline. Economic growth declines. Tax revenues decline. And, governments with declining tax revenues find it harder to eliminate waste than to create it, resulting in deficits. This is how California, Illinois, and New York ended up deeply in debt, while the interior states largely avoided it. Liberal governments take their tax revenue for granted. Governments that throw money around trying to buy votes usually end up going broke.

Government Waste

The Alt Right and the Creativity Boom

The rise of Donald Trump and the alt-right has been accompanied by a creative boom. Just as the beatniks embraced jazz and literature, the hippies embraced rock, and the punks created their own music, the alt-right has produced its own music and culture.

In the same way that the forebears of punk and grunge were bubbling under the surface before being accepted by major labels, the ideological framework for the alt-right has existed for over a decade at VDare, TakiMag, AmRen, and others. The alt-right (or something like it) has existed for years in the manosphere, 4chan’s /n/, /new/, and finally /pol/, and to a lesser degree in places like Stormfront. These are corners of the internet rarely mentioned in public, usually negatively.

Parenthetically, in the top 40 for this week, I see forgettable newcomers and washed up has-beens. Pop music is formulaic and repetitive. Rock has been on the downslope for two decadesRap and hip-hop have reached rock bottom. Classical and Jazz aren’t popular anymore. Even if the new music is a retro homage, it’s infinitely more original than any of the shit on the radio.

I appreciate that my sentiments on music are elitist and hipsterish. Hence the picture:

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The Alt Right and the Creativity Boom

Liberals Alienating Whites

Akinokure has an interesting post on Democrats alienating their white base with social justice. Social justice, especially feminism, is so cancerous that it pushed Richard Dawkins, the face of atheism, away from atheism. Moreover,  SJWs are just plain annoying. Hating on SJWs is easy to do, and won’t threaten your career, so it’s an obvious first step many people take to the alt-right.

I could’ve been a leftie. There were many others who supported Trump, liked Bernie, and hated Hillary. The parallels between Trump and Bernie are obvious. Both populists, both outsiders, both nationalists (at some level). Hillary, on the other hand, relied on identity politics. Bernie was the candidate of naive white socialists and lefties. Hillary was the choice of the minorities. The Democrat party is now the party of minorities, which is how I knew, back in January, that Bernie didn’t have even a 30% chance.

For me, there is no innate appeal of limited government and low taxes. Coming from a middle class family, I wouldn’t mind a Scandinavian-style socialist paradise, but I know it could never happen in America. That’s because America is a diverse country, where a big government with big tax revenues devolves into racial rent-seeking. This is why poor southern whites are overwhelmingly Republican. They know that generous welfare helps blacks at the expense of tax-paying whites.

For decades, the best thing Republicans could offer white voters was to minimize the government, so that tax-paying whites weren’t subsidizing welfare-consuming blacks. Trump has gone beyond that to suggest that the government not only lower taxes on productive whites, but explicitly aid whites by enforcing immigration law, bringing back jobs, and rebuilding infrastructure.

Scandinavian socialism works because their countries are homogeneous, high-trust, and low-corruption. Unfortunately, these generous welfare systems also attract leeches who would abuse that system, and the Scandinavian immigration and refugee policies enable those leeches.

Social justice is used to recruit minorities and women to the left. Convincing racial minorities, women, and gays that they are under attack by straight white men, allows them to join together (in the left), even if their individual interests are contradictory. It’s no secret that Muslim culture is not only misogynistic, but extremely anti-gay. It’s an unspoken truth that blacks are extremely anti-gay. As such, the left coalition should fall apart, but it’s held together by social justice.

More importantly, as long as one political party has an interest in alienating minorities from the majority culture, they will do it. If blacks, hispanics, muslims, or gays felt like they were part of the historic white Christian nation, they’d be less likely to vote Democrat. Thus, agitating minorities with BLM, feminism, and social justice, Democrats are effectively recruiting them. This process undermines social cohesion and cultural integration. By alienating minorities, Democrats are building fissures and divisions.

The Republican response to social justice has been to make a wider appeal for integration, and to reiterate their political correctness credentials. “Democrats are the real racists!” Republicans believe that hispanics can become natural conservatives because they are religious and socially conservative. They do not understand that hispanics are linguistically and ethnically different from the America that Republicans represent. As such, they are riper fruit for Democrats than Republicans, and no amount of cucking will change that.

Liberals Alienating Whites

Elitism and Education

The dominant narrative after Trump’s win was the political importance of working class whites. With that, voting patterns by education:

Education.png

Then, there is the liberal elitist notion that the uneducated voted for Trump. Obviously this implies that more education is better. While everyone could do with a history lesson or two on the Roman Empire, a primer in economics, and a lesson on recognizing and understanding bias, much college education is garbage.

Without a historical basis for comparison, western civilization looks evil: We stole the Americas from the natives! We had slaves! We conquered Africa! We committed genocide against the Jews! We nuked the Japanese!

But again, in a historical context these are all things that have been done on a smaller scale by virtually every civilization: Every civilization has been built by conquering land and integrating the natives. Every civilization has had some kind of religious or political justification. Virtually every civilization had slavery in some form. Whether it be archery, horses, or Greek fire, every civilization has used technology in their warfare.

No civilization before has had automatic weapons, tanks, or nuclear bombs, but no civilization before has had universal literacy, electricity, internet, or a space program.

Going back to education, liberals think that only Mexicans and brown people should be doing blue collar work. They believe their children are above that stuff, and that having a college degree makes you better and smarter. We have internalized the notion that Mexicans will do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do. The logical conclusion from this notion is that any American who works with his hands is no better than a Mexican.
That’s what it boils down to. They want their children to be better off than they are, and they’re frightened at the prospect that their children might have to work with their hands. That’s why liberals are obsessed with Head Start, even though preschool doesn’t affect life outcomes in any meaningful way. That’s why liberals love (the idea of) free college.

Elitism and Education