The Bill of Rights is What Matters Now
I don’t write about politics much these days. I don’t believe anything anyone says.
Politicians are playing a game with each other, and everything they say or do is a chess move. If a politician told me that the sky was blue, I’d wonder why he wanted me to believe the sky was blue, or which politician he was trying to get to disagree with him so that he could try to make them look like an idiot.
For a few decades, reporters were classical “liberals” — the kind of people who cared about truth, freedom of information, and the free exchange of ideas. The kind of people who opposed book burning and knew the history of the First Amendment. At least, it seemed that way. Maybe more people just bought into their industry self-talk.
Today’s “news entertainers” are the used car salesmen of truth. They act like your friends and sell you whatever “truth” profits them most. I stopped watching and reading and writing about “the news” years ago, because I got tired of helping them talk up their lemons.
Most state institutions and publicly-traded corporations are run by mobile careerists without much skin in the game. They think and act in the short-term — for the quick bonus, raise, or resume bullet point. Whatever programs or innovations they promise will be left to languish as soon as they receive credit for them and turn their attention elsewhere. Everything is a hustle for rootless Nietzschean “Last Men” navigating morally with no true North — no “thou shalts” — only an ever-changing landscape of trending moral buzzers in a great game of Operation.
Nevertheless, I’m skeptical of the view that we’re living in some kind of “end time” or cyclical inversion of all righteous values. People have always carried signs saying “the end is near.” Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. Our golden perception of the past is colored by its most successful myth-makers.
I’ve heard that my secret “master plan” is Evolian but the truth is that I’m tired of hearing about the Kali Yuga from fans of that time-traveling love child of Jordan Peterson and Dr. Strange. Maybe it’s the end of some grand historic cycle. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it gets better. Maybe it gets much, much worse.
Practically speaking, this is a narrative choice…a question of frame. Is the narrative serving you, or are you serving the narrative?
Maybe we’re all just guys, living in time, and things were never that great for most people. Maybe it’s not so melodramatic, and we’re not that special. Maybe we’re not tiger cowboys giddy-upping though a dark age of desolation.
Let’s concentrate on the present reality – because it is all we truly know.
I see some of the same problems and dangers, right now, in this time, that you see. And I share many of the same concerns.
I often find myself in conversations with thumotic men who are looking for a cause. They want to be sent “to the front.” But the conflicts that concern them have no front. Protest marches are for the most part performance art for college girls and memelords and 20th Century political LARPers.
America is dying on the inside. Its external enemies are comparably inconsequential. The next “wall” or middle eastern adventure won’t stop the whimpering death of freedom or the progressive emasculation of men.
There is no political “cause” to join that has any legitimate potential — just a handful of doomed demagogues and hopeful trust fund tyrants frantically scrambling to scribble their names into the history books.
I respect Donald Trump as a man, and I’ll admit that I’d rather have him as captain on this sinking ship than any of the other options I’ve seen presented. However, in accordance with my 2016 prophecy, it’s become increasingly obvious that he can’t “save” America and he’s not going to “make it great again” in the way that many men wanted him to. He’s not riding a dinosaur and he’s not going to break the wheel.
Vituð ér enn – eða hvat?
I don’t want to see good men — men who have promising futures and who could still raise good kids — throw their futures and their Y chromosomes away on lost causes.
If you make war with the whole world, the whole world will make war with you. And in that scenario, frankly, I don’t like your chances. Sure, doomed causes are romantic and Germanic, but hold your horses and reign in your Todestriebe, Captain Save-a-Civilization. Odin also said that, “No good can come of a corpse.” (Hávamál 70-71)
There have always been aspiring maestros waiting in the wings, hoping to conduct the bass drums of your anger to drive the fury of their own symphonies. Take care, fellas. Make sure it’s a piece worth playing.
If you’re honest with yourself, the future of Western Civilization is probably way above your pay grade.
The best thing you can do for yourself and for the world right now is to take control of the things close to you, within your own perimeter and direct sphere of influence.
You have the power to set boundaries and set an example and control the culture within that sphere. That’s your fire to tend. Stop worrying about all of the flickering myriad fires yonder and concentrate on your own.
I’m friends with a lot of men who genuinely believe in what America represents to them. They often say, “I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I’d fight for your right to say it.”
That demonstrates strength of character. However, it can also be a weakness. Especially when the people in question are advocating against freedom of speech.
Karl Popper wrote about an oft-quoted “paradox of tolerance…”
“If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”
If freedom means to you, as it does to me, “live and let live, but stay the fuck off my lawn” — then you can’t in good conscience advocate the suppression of anyone’s speech.
What you can do is draw a hard line socially, in your own life, with people who do advocate censorship of opinions they don’t like.
I believe that people should be able to say, write and believe whatever they want. And I should be free to entertain their viewpoints or ignore them completely.
If you can’t be ok with that — if you’re such a bitchy, passive-aggressive little tyrant that you can’t sleep unless you can use someone else’s power to control what other people say, write and think — then we have a problem.
If you think censorship is cool, then fuck you.
People can say and believe whatever they want, and I have no choice but to tolerate them in the world or this country — I wouldn’t want it any other way — but I don’t have to tolerate them in my life.
I don’t want to control you, but if you want to control me, then fuck you.
I can’t control what publicly traded corporations do. Many of them (like Gillette, for instance) may be quietly acknowledging behind the scenes that trusting the marketing advice of people in the urban left affirmation bubble isn’t as profitable as they thought it would be.
But if you’re an independent contractor or small business, and you’re advertising that you want the government (or corporations) to censor ideas or ban firearms, then I’m not going to hire you for freelance work. I’m not going to patronize your business if I have another viable option.
I don’t want anything to do with people who want to target other groups of people. I’d rather be “pro” something than “anti” anything.
And if you’re pro-freedom, let us all know, because I’d rather support you. I’m just one guy with a small business and a modest income — but there are a lot more men like me than the media wants you to believe. They’re just not standing in the street screaming.
In a neutral, public space that I can’t control, I’m never going to be rude or obnoxious, because that’s not how I was raised or who I am. But in my personal life, I’m done pretending to be friends with people who think it’s their job to mommy adults. I’m not going to show up at your event and smile and nod. I won’t break bread with you. The things you want are non-negotiable.
I’m done being nice to people who want to control me. It’s about time these people started feeling the cold shoulder and exclusion that they threaten everyone else with. It’s time that they felt some real pushback.
These are the kind of steps you can take to control your social environment — your own world. To tend your own fire and expand your personal influence.
A few months ago, someone pointed me to an issue of Foreign Affairs titled, “The New Nationalism.” Various authors weighed on on the good and evil and, often, the inevitability of some kind of nationalism. If you have a nation at all, it has to have some kind of identity and purpose. A nation needs a story.
In the past, nations formed or invented a common history, usually based on shared culture and ancestry. America never really had that. Germany has a distinct culture, language and heritage with ancient roots. So does France and Sweden and Italy.
People traveled to America from all over Europe, and eventually the world, seeking freedom and opportunity. America is a frontier nation that became Empire, but what Americans share is the story of America’s founding, its guarantee of freedom and its spirit of innovation and adventure. American culture has long been meritocratic and animated by a rugged individualism — a break from the old world culture of nobility and entitlement.
A contemporary American Nationalism can’t be about race or entitlement.
But it can and should be about freedom and individual sovereignty.
America’s founders created the Bill of Rights, because they understood the danger of unchecked state power. The lived in a world where people competing religious groups spent generations murdering and trying to control each other. Actual witchhunts are part of early American history. The founders lived in a world were political imprisonment and execution was a real threat.
If you think a 21st Century state with access to drones and facial recognition technology doesn’t need to be checked and will by some miracle behave more benevolently than all of the human governments that have ever existed, you’re dangerously foolish.
The original Bill of Rights is the only thing preventing a completely Orwellian police state.
If you think you know anything about what goes on in Europe, you’re wrong, because they don’t have the same protected freedoms. Their “news” is already state-sanitized propaganda.
If you want to live in a country where people are arrested or disarmed at gunpoint for expressing an unpopular or unsanctioned viewpoint, under the auspices of “public safety” — then fuck you.
The Bill of Rights is what matters now. It’s the only thing standing between us and a corporate police state. It’s the only thing standing between the government monitoring you and controlling what you can and can’t say. Without the original Bill of Rights, America stops being free. It might as well be China.
I don’t care where you stand on most issues – you benefit from the ability to be able to express your opinions and spread information that may not be mainstream. And that only works if you’re willing to protect the speech of people who disagree with you. If you think that you’ll be able to influence a state with unchecked power, or that you’ll always be on the right side of their sanctioned “truth,” then you’re wrong.
America is a messy, diverse, divided nation. We can agree to disagree on a lot of things. The only political cause I really care about now is The Bill of Rights. I think it’s something a legitimate majority can get behind. A cause that should matter to all races and religions. As long as the integrity of the Bill of Rights remains, everything else is still up for debate.
If you’re looking for a cause or a “front” to go to, I believe that this is the front of our time. This is not a war to be fought with guns — in fact, please fucking do not. (Like most gun owners, I’d love to be in a locked room with one of these sad boy shooters.)
Start with your world. Take a stand in your own home, with the people you know. And put your money where your mouth is.
If you’re going to draw a hard line in your own life, draw it here.
These things are non-negotiable.
The Original Bill of Rights of the United States of America
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.