Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Can things get worse?

 

Can things get worse? Why, yes, they can!

Recall the sardonic observation: No matter had bad things are, always remember they can get worse.

For those who take comfort in knowledge, prepare to get comforted but not comfortable: Steven Skultety posts an article at American Greatness entitled “Grim Lessons from Aristotle on the Causes of Civil War“. As outlined by Skultety —

Aristotle is a helpful guide. Not only did the ancient Greek philosopher think deeply about the numerous civil wars that took place in the tumultuous world of ancient Greece, but he also grasped a profound point that’s easily lost on us: civil wars don’t show up like some surprising and alien virus attacking an otherwise healthy body. Civil war takes place because familiar forces wear down the healthy civic bonds that hold citizens together until some crisis finally triggers action.

So what are these civic bonds and how have they been worn down?

  • Rather than persuading a majority in a democracy that your policies are better, you import new voters whose presence your policies permitted and who are indebted to you.
  • Imported voters tend to work for lower wages and depress worker income. This increases the profits of the employing class and their financiers. To some degree, this is redistribution of wealth from the laboring group to the managerial/financial class. In the near term, this creates tensions between earlier and later employees and over time tensions between workers and the investor class.
  • Income is not the only inequality; there is also an inequality of “honors”. As Skultety describes it —

    Honor is not some archaic value, and our own cultural elites obviously dole out major awards, highlight positions of prestige, and publicly celebrate specific kinds of citizens for emulation and approval. Indeed, anyone who leans Right has long learned to live with the fact that most cultural honors are reserved for progressives. Nevertheless, though this partisan distribution of honor was always perceived as unjust, it was tolerated: for those on the Right could still go about enjoying their lives, cheering on and supporting their own heroes overlooked by elites. But times have changed. Progressives in positions of cultural power are no longer content merely to reserve honors for the Left; they have decided it is time for those on the Right to be actively dishonored. All public statues and symbols revered by the Right must now be toppled and desecrated. Conservatives and Republicans must be “deplatformed” from college campuses, corporate boards, and social media because they should not only be deprived of the honor of speaking but need to be publicly shamed.

  • The ones in charge of conveying honors and dispensing dishonors become increasingly arrogant in their dispensations.
  • At some point, the dispensation of dishonor flirts with reaction and thus the dispensers must be able to instill fear in the dishonored. Again, Sklutety —

    Consider how extraordinary it is that David Plouffe, a famous, elite democratic advisor felt completely comfortable tweeting, “It is not enough to simply beat Trump. He must be destroyed thoroughly. His kind must not rise again.” What does that communicate to Trump supporters?

  • The combination of the success of the preceding manifests itself in contempt. And it is this contempt that blinds the “masters of the universe” to the danger of a successful revolution–

    One might wonder: how could highly educated professionals not expect some pushback from such gratuitous cultural shaming, humiliating, and even scare tactics? The answer is that they sincerely believe there is an insurmountably large competency gap between themselves and everyone else. Much like ancient oligarchs, our cultural elites have what Aristotle calls “contempt” for those beneath them. They genuinely believe that “deplorables” in the lower social ranks are simply too disorganized, chaotic, and emotion-driven to amount to anything, while they see themselves as supremely competent and judge their coordinated decision making as indisputably beneficial for the common good.

But such assessment is hubris, and deadly hubris at that. Much of what Skulkety talks about was already covered in Tucker Carlson’s 2018 book Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution. But in two years since Carlson wrote his book, the civic bonds have been frayed even more. A November triumph by the Left will crank up the contempt meter to the red zone and they won’t even know it. They will assume that their rightful place has been restored and that the deplorables have been put firmly and permanently down. That would be a poor bet.

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  1. RightAngles Member

    Tucker Carlson has been pretty much the lone beacon of light shining on the cesspool and exposing it. I often wonder how long it will be before they silence him. Also I never had any idea how many nitwits I’m surrounded by until all this stuff started. I recommend staying away from your local NextDoor.com for the duration.

    • #1
    • June 28, 2020, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin: A November triumph by the Left will crank up the contempt meter to the red zone and they won’t even know it. They will assume that their rightful place has been restored and that the deplorables have been put firmly and permanently down. That would be a poor bet.

    What will a November triumph by the Right bring, in your analysis? If we win, what kind of reaction can we expect? What should we prepare for?

    • #2
    • June 28, 2020, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Rodin: A November triumph by the Left will crank up the contempt meter to the red zone and they won’t even know it. They will assume that their rightful place has been restored and that the deplorables have been put firmly and permanently down. That would be a poor bet.

    What will a November triumph by the Right bring, in your analysis? If we win, what kind of reaction can we expect? What should we prepare for?

    It will be bad, @ brucecaward, but it will be an opportunity to do some repair to our constitutional system. The bigger the win by President Trump the better the opportunity. Nothing is assured on the upside; too much is assured on the downside.

    • #3
    • June 28, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Saint Augustine Member

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Nothing is assured on the upside; too much is assured on the downside.

    #WhyIVoteRepublican.

    It’s not like I trust the GOP to do what’s right.

    I sure trust the Dems to do what’s wrong.

    • #4
    • June 28, 2020, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. Stina Member

    How long until Vox Day is vindicated for his prescience?

    He’s been writing about this kind of thing since at least 2012. I think he estimated 2030 as the tipping point. Trump was the hopeful shot in the dark. While not perfect and not useless, he was not enough.

    How fast can a reluctant and weary populace flip to stalwart defenders? Is there still time for us to find the moral justification to stand for our rights to exist and thrive?

    • #5
    • June 28, 2020, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Saint Augustine Member

    Skultety:

    Much like ancient oligarchs, our cultural elites have what Aristotle calls “contempt” for those beneath them. They genuinely believe that “deplorables” in the lower social ranks are simply too disorganized, chaotic, and emotion-driven to amount to anything, while they see themselves as supremely competent and judge their coordinated decision making as indisputably beneficial for the common good.

    More Aristotle:

    . . . but the point of our present discussion is this, that all men suppose what is called Wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of things; so that, as has been said before, the man of experience is thought to be wiser than the possessors of [merely] any sense-perception whatever, the artist wiser than the men of experience, the masterworker than the mechanic, and the theoretical kinds of knowledge to be more of the nature of Wisdom than the productive. Clearly then Wisdom is knowledge about certain principles and causes.

    The problem, of course, is that these highly “educated” people often have no real knowledge of much of anything. They often have a bit of critical theory, some rudimentary acquaintance with a few areas of the humanities (without genuine understanding), some familiarity with the more popular scientific theories, and maybe a bit of highly specialized knowledge of whatever they got their Ph. D. in.

    If they had the wisdom Aristotle was talking about, maybe they would be wiser than the deplorables. But they don’t have it.

    Some deplorables may be, like Ratbert, as “dumb as toast.”

    But some of them are farmers. Or plumbers. Those guys know more than a lot of Ph.Ds.

    Aristotle says so.

    • #6
    • June 28, 2020, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    So we know this, so we are without excuse. As Hugh Hewitt wrote 16 years ago, “If It Isn’t Close, They Can’t Cheat.” Meaning, Democrats always cheat. Always. Since the foundation of the party. So, no sniveling and no hating the game, just beat them at the game. Because we have a republic to save.

    • #7
    • June 28, 2020, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  8. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Rodin: A November triumph by the Left will crank up the contempt meter to the red zone and they won’t even know it. They will assume that their rightful place has been restored and that the deplorables have been put firmly and permanently down. That would be a poor bet.

    What will a November triumph by the Right bring, in your analysis? If we win, what kind of reaction can we expect? What should we prepare for?

    It will be bad, @ brucecaward, but it will be an opportunity to do some repair to our constitutional system. The bigger the win by President Trump the better the opportunity. Nothing is assured on the upside; too much is assured on the downside.

    Whether Trump wins or loses, there will be street demonstrations, riots, and lawfare (litigation of every election a Leftist loses.) If Trump wins and the Dems keep Congress, another impeachment attempt. If the Dems take the Senate, no more conservative judges, plus the end of the filibuster.

    • #8
    • June 28, 2020, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Unsk Member

    Clifford: “As Hugh Hewitt wrote 16 years ago, “If It Isn’t Close, They Can’t Cheat.” Meaning, Democrats always cheat. Always.”

    That is surely true. The problem I think with this election is that the Democrats have so jumped the shark so far beyond the bounds of reasonableness in their breaking of the law and have in many ways gotten away with it, that many fear that the cheating and chicanery in this upcoming election will be so off the charts that they will somehow be able to win, despite I think the overwhelming number of people who are upset by turmoil that the Democrats have purposely caused. 

    We may be looking at a Banana Republic like election in November. 

    • #9
    • June 29, 2020, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Clifford: “As Hugh Hewitt wrote 16 years ago, “If It Isn’t Close, They Can’t Cheat.” Meaning, Democrats always cheat. Always.”

    That is surely true. The problem I think with this election is that the Democrats have so jumped the shark so far beyond the bounds of reasonableness in their breaking of the law and have in many ways gotten away with it, that many fear that the cheating and chicanery in this upcoming election will be so off the charts that they will somehow be able to win, despite I think the overwhelming number of people who are upset by turmoil that the Democrats have purposely caused.

    We may be looking at a Banana Republic like election in November.

    I would like to think such a fear is completely irrational. But events of the past few years suggest that the number of “things that cannot happen” has definitely shrunk.

    • #10
    • June 29, 2020, at 9:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like