home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |


Take Your Pick: Nationalist, Socialist, or Both

IN the sore losers department, National Review is running pieces today, here and here, mourning the sad state of America today, how our prosperity and our freedom have been lost to a powerful and unaccountable government by administrative hegemony. Charles Murray, as usual was way in front on this, with his quiet manifesto of revolution, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.

Mona Charen puts it best, in the aftermath of the New Hampshire primary, tagging the results as "victories of an inane socialist demagogue and a foul-mouthed nationalist demagogue." Gee, why don't we combine the two?

Look, there's no mystery about the anger. America is not working very well for ordinary Americans; they feel trapped. The sensible response of a trapped rat is to lash out. So Bernie Sanders encourages his Millennial Kids to lash out at Wall Street bankers and make them pay for free college and free health care. Donald Trump encourages his white working class supporters to lash out at the China that has stolen their good jobs at good wages.

Sanders blames greedy billionaires for the problems of the middle class and the poor; Trump blames treacherous immigrants, crafty foreigners and incompetent leadership in Washington. Some people seemed surprised that there was overlap between Sanders and Trump supporters, but it makes perfect sense.
 Well, the richest men in America are people that have brought us Microsoft and Apple and Google and Amazon. And what have they done to deserve such riches? They have merely made it possible for anyone in the world to buy a smartphone for $99 that is cheaper and more powerful by orders of magnitude that anything dreamed of in the vacuum-powered 1950s. That is how you make the really big money these days. Or, like Carlos Slim, you can do it the crony capitalist way by charging Mexicans an arm and a leg to phone home to Mexico. Why don't we make him pay for the wall?

The great truth of social animals is that War is not the Answer. Except for pirates and plunderers. The problem is to decide who is a pirate and a plunderer. The whole point of socialism from Marx to Bernie is to blame the capitalists for their riches on the pardonable assumption that they are no better than the feudal nobles of old. The whole point of nationalism is that foreigners are dangerous so we should put them down before they put us down.

And they were right, up until about 200-300 years ago. Feudal nobles were predatory scum, wasting the product of their peasants on their prideful power games. The national land was life, and the land of the neighboring tribe could be put to use feeding our people.

But in the unbelievable increase in prosperity of the last two centuries all this has been turned upside down. The way to make real money is not to exploit the peasants or the workers, but to come up with something new, like coal, oil, nuclear power instead of wood and windmills, textile manufacturing instead of hand-work, rail transportation, electricity, personal transportation, information and communications. And the way to prosper is to trust anyone that demonstrates trustworthiness.

Well, that doesn't seem to stir the hearts and minds of Americans in 2016. What we seem to want is scapegoats and... yes, what comes next after the sacrifice of the scapegoats?

Back to National Review and Charles Murray and their jeremiad against the unjust administrative state. The question is: who will bell the cat? Who will dare to start to wind down the vast wasteful looting of today's big government programs? Who will dare to dismantle the vast injustice of the administrative state? Who will dare to do that when the Millennial Kids are baying for free stuff, and the white working class is baying for the lost Eden of good jobs at good wages.

History teaches us that the only way we get to demolish the privileges and the plunder of today's regime is when Attila the Hun shows up and sweeps everything away.

The problem is that Attila is no respecter of persons. He sweeps away the good with the bad, and leaves misery and famine in his wake.

If only there were a better way.

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/11/16 6:04 pm ET

Politics Always Breaks Your Heart

GOVERNMENT is a devil's bargain. One the one hand people need protection from pirates and plunderers. On the other, they need protection from the protectors. Think of the situation of English peasants about 1,000 years ago. They were subject to the raids of the Vikings every autumn who would sail up the rivers, kill the men, take the newly harvested grain, and sell the women and children into ...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/10/16 5:52 pm ET

The Metastasizing Injustices of Liberal Race Politics

CONSERVATIVE media sources have noted the dog that didn't bark after the Iowa caucuses. Usually, after such an historic event, the liberal media is all agog with the wonder of the First Latino to Win a Presidential Caucus. But this time, when the son of a Cuban immigrant won the Iowa caucus all we heard was crickets. Until The New York Times ran a piece that told us that Ted Cruz wasn't really ...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/09/16 6:55 pm ET

Breaking the Liberal Spell

THERE will be life after liberalism, but it is anybody's guess how long the liberal hour will dodder along into decrepitude. Here are two different looks at the problem. Jay Cost talks about the problem of the establishment. Don't just rail at it, he writes, do something. And that something has to deal with the fact that it pays the elite players to service the special interests. I think our ...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/08/16 6:38 pm ET

|  February blogs  |  January blogs  |


“I Want a President”

Georg Simmel’s Sociology

Charles Murray’s By The People

Thomas Piketty’s Capital

The Spirit Level

McCloskey’s “Bourgeois Era”

Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation

A Look at the Left: “Contra-deBoer”


Do Not Get Mad, Get... Happy!

HERE WE ARE, with gas prices going through the floor and the budgets of Russia and Saudi Arabia in free fall, and Trump is up and Clinton is down and Obama is a busted flush and everyone is... Mad as hell and they are not going to take it any more.

But I say don’t get mad, don’t even get even. Get Happy!

I know that everyone is mad at the GOP establishment for lying to us, running for election as tough conservative mastiffs, and then legislating like lap-dogs. But meanwhile the two top GOP presidential candidates are ...

more | 01/26/16

"New York Values:" The Cruz Strategic Play Against Trump

After the GOP debate last Thursday night the big issue was “New York Values” and the next day it looked like New Yorker Donald Trump had dealt with the issue by invoking the shades of the fallen 9/11 heroes. ...

more | 01/19/16

Cologne Gets Us One Step Closer to Solving the Muslim Problem

Stop Sucking Your Thumbs, Liberals, and Get a Clue!

The Liberal Christmas from Hell



RMC Contents
Chapter 1: After the Welfare State
Chapter 2: Down in South Carolina and Out in Brooklyn
Chapter 3: Awakenings of Monotheism

THE SUPRISE OF REDNECKS debouching from the Appalachians into the Atlantic plain and the explosion of Pentecostalism in the inner cities has unnerved those who had convinced themselves that religion was a thing of the past, now that God was dead.... more

Chapter 4: The Nineteenth Century From the Top Down
Chapter 5: The Nineteenth Century From the Bottom Up
Chapter 6: Popular Religion in the Nineteenth Century


RMC Book of the Day

Carnes, Tony, The Pentecostal City

RMC Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in

RMC Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present

RMC Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland

RMC Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


How Bad Are Things?
things are a lot worse than you think. Really

Will the Republican Party Survive the 2016 Election?
David Frum thinks that Republicans are tearing themselves apart.

Feminist trouble
Camille Paglia doesn't like the "safe spaces" feminists.

New Words for a New World
Newt Gingrich tries to understand the nature of the new Long War.

The Yale Problem Begins in High School
Jonathan Haidt encounters the bullying PC culture at a private high school.

> archive


cruel . corrupt . wasteful
unjust . deluded


Take the Test!


Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Here’s how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>


The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.



“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


©2014 Christopher Chantrill

mysql close