Culturalism · Economic History · Federal Government

Walled Off

There’s an older meme of Congressman Ron Paul smiling or waving his arms with the caption “It’s Happening!” The image is meant to imply that Paul was right, and simply got ignored by the broader masses of sheep who continue voting for establishment Democrats and Republicans. Most people throw it around sarcastically, and even less probably recognize Ron Paul anymore.

Except it’s not really a meme. According to reports from congressional testimony, incoming DHS head Alejandro Mayorkas will not commit to tearing down Trump’s spooky fence wall on the southern border region. This seems completely out of character for someone like him, who is only in power due to a political party which spent the last several years lamenting over immigrant detainment and access control. Are the Dems having some magical wake up call regarding border security?

Absolutely not. After all, Biden has encouraged the approaching wave of migrants to enter in the future, regardless of the damage such a move is bound to cause. Instead, the development from Mayorkas made me think back to an old debate from 2011, when Ron Paul answered a question on the long-legislated idea of immigration control:

What a fascinating idea: instead of the wall being used to keep terrorists and immigrants out, it is actually designed to prevent people who wish to leave. From a traditional conservative standpoint this sounds absurd, as who would really want to depart the United States? As it turns out, more than we might realize. The next couple years will begin to show people how all the security apparatus which they endorsed happily as a weapon against terror is going to be used against them. We already have folks getting kicked off platforms and denied flight access because they expressed views which are seen as toxic to the mainstream. How far are we from passport revocation on the same basis?

Not far at all. The IRS already possesses the ability to snatch a person’s passport on the basis of tax issues, so only an upgrade to “problematic political ideas” is needed for us to come full circle. After all, we can’t be exporting extremism and terror to other countries…that would be unacceptable.

This too shall be forgotten by next election.

Culturalism · Self-Improvement

A New Year’s Mission

In real life, which is sometimes less believable than the internet, I tend to dispense with formalities and grandiose declarations. If I have a goal, it gets written on a scrap of paper, which will ultimately be shredded or burnt, because the vehicle itself is unimportant. What matters is my personal drive to complete the requisite objective, not how ceremoniously it was announced. This may be the fault of seeing far too many people over the years making bombastic commitments about changing their lives, only to abandon the cause after life gets in the way. Nevertheless, it works.

Except this year is different. No, I still refuse to outline some progressive scheme of self-betterment which can hopefully satisfy the local bar’s social circle long enough to sound relevant. The thought of such a process remains toxic to my senses. Instead, I am determined to continue forging a path based more on empathy for others. It is almost certain that the word elicits a clichéd eye roll from readers, yet I advise taking a pause. What I mean by empathy is challenging oneself to sincerely understand the position and life experiences of others, as opposed to either dismissing outright or mindlessly groveling before their interests.

The mere prospect of this path does not come easy to me. As a child, I concluded early on that the world had no respect for exhibitions of emotion or vulnerability, particularly from a man. Even the souls who claimed to have sympathy for such expressions would be quick to document and use them against others, typically in pursuit of personal aggrandizement. Tearing up as a boy was social suicide, just like recognizing the innate injustice of a system made you a pathetic victim. A superior approach meant being unmoved, resolute, and condescending, all traits of the “real” man.

Satisfying as these proclivities might be in the short-term, they are immensely destructive when applied across the span of life, and even more so in society. Resorting to hazing and mockery of others serves to mask genuine corruption infecting a system, whether between individuals or behind an organization’s doors. Complaining about a serious problem like manipulation or even abuse becomes the basis for a counterattack which labels the honest observer as a poisonous barnacle likely to destroy the ship. “Shut up and do what you’re told” begins to prevail, and anything else tastes of crime.

On a macro level, the mentality of refusing to comprehend other outlooks produces disastrous outcomes in national policy. Some years back, I would have giddily jumped on the bandwagon to condemn welfare users without even considering their individual status or backgrounds, which are less disdainful than many would believe. I did so because to defend them would indicate weakness or laziness, both threats to the meritocratic order we all subconsciously adhere to. Providing those people were a blurry monolith of greed offered up by shock jocks and politicians, they were incredibly easy to write-off as entirely worthless from a social standpoint.

We can see a similar dynamic inherent to issues like migration. Liberals clamor for acceptance of higher numbers in the name of human rights or decency, while seldom stopping to seriously consider how their own consumerist habits and social polices destroy traditional communities once operating on subsistence practices, if with less progressiveness than the leftist desires. Conservatives on the opposite agitate for walls and moratoriums, while also ignoring the unpleasant facts of U.S. involvement in destabilizing southern countries through the drug war and anti-leftist warfare. Unfortunately, the way we go about swiftly cordoning and demonizing rational analysis of any situation allows these illogical placeholders to not only remain, but grow stronger than before. Fighting back requires an open mind, something hardly valued in the days of now.  

Much as I may not have control over the world, nothing prevents me from demanding higher personal standards in this regard. Thus my continuing mission for 2021 will be to examine more of what I disagree with, and strive to at least know where and why others have formulated their own biases or grievances, even if my initial reaction would normally be to wave them off. It stands to be a fascinating adventure.

Will you join?