Thursday, June 13, 2013

Little Brother in the Big City

When the big things start getting out of control, we start focusing on the little ones instead. Tackling small problems we can't solve is a good way to feel good about the big ones that we can't.

Can't do anything about the nice young men from Nigeria, Somalia and Bangladesh who occasionally stop maxing out social welfare and working odd jobs to set off bombs in the London Underground or butcher a soldier within sight of his base?

Just arrest an 85-year-old woman who shouts at Muslims that they should go back to their own country. At 85, she probably won't put up much of a fight. Then send out 1,200 police officers to protect Muslims from the wrath of a few dozen angry Brits who might conceivably hurt their feelings. And follow that up with some interfaith sessions with community leaders and you're all set.

Can't do anything about Muslims rioting and burning cars in Stockholm? Just send them out to leave parking tickets on the charred wrecks afterward. The owners probably won't do more than mutter a few obscenities and then recollect that they are lucky to be living in such a progressive country that stays out of both foreign and domestic conflicts while providing the best in social welfare.

Most multicultural urban utopias are sliding downhill under a new generation of technocrats who can juggle the numbers and focus on what really matters. Salt in food. Bike shares. Toy gun buybacks. Plastic bag bans. Composting. Obesity programs. Diversity programs. Bullying programs. And forty other mostly irrelevant things.

The city is being segmented into unlivable welfare ghettos where there is no law and gentrified areas inhabited by hipster technocrats who want a thousand regulations that will make everything come out exactly their way. Both the ghetto and the gentro are expanding and squeezing out a working middle class baffled to wake up one morning and find out that they are the enemy of the new state.

In the modern city, you can walk two blocks or drive two miles and cross from a graffiti streaked strip of subsidized housing where the only law is don't talk to the police to an oasis of renovated homes where there are roughly four million regulations covering every little thing.

On one side, the police are out in force responding to shootings, stabbings and domestic violence complaints. On the other, the community board or local council is constantly under pressure from "community activists" to pass new Green regulations on energy efficiency or a ban on displaying toy guns in store windows.

The big effort to salvage the cities lay with courting a new elite of top grads by catering to their proclivities for bike zones, artisanal fusion cupcakes and just enough multiculturalism to make them feel good about sending Sierra or Madrigal to a private school that reserves 10 spots for diversity. That made trendy companies more comfortable about setting up shop in the city and the new burst of gentrification ticked out numbers that made it seem like the city was on the way up. Growing populations of hipster yuppies were displacing the ghettos to the suburbs, helped along by diversity lending mandates from banks, and ushering in a new clueless incarnation of the nanny state.

The old city was liberal. The new one is retarded. It's chock full of all the insane regulatory treehouse agendas of the college campus and just as tightly controlled. Its livable areas are hideously expensive post-college hangouts for grads with big money and big debts looking for hip places to live and its unlivable places are kept to a dull roar with lots of freebies. That worked in the 90s when cities were full of tech and finance sector money and were happy enough to pass it down to the ghettos or to even export the ghettos to the suburbs. But now the money is tight and the violence is up.

Progressive technocracy failed at all the big stuff, but it's focusing on all the small stuff. Set foot in a modern college campus and you'll be leafletted by a dozen activists pushing their petty agendas. That is now the state of the city where no one talks about mass riots and unsustainable pensions, instead the agenda is dominated by the petty fascism of environmental activists and diversity activists. The areas of every city not inhabited by the hipster yuppies and their dog parks could burn to the ground and the very next day the big agenda would still be LGBT school bullying or plastic bag bans. 

Bloomberg isn't some kind of outlier. He just happens to be more obnoxious than the rest. The truth is that in policy, he is no worse than dozens of other mayors, who eagerly sign on to all his initiatives. And the other truth is that this petty control freakery is a convenient way to avoid dealing with the big issues. The worse the big problems get, the more focused the entire policy apparatus becomes on the minutia of liberalism. It's not big brother anymore. It's his obnoxious little brat of a sibling.

Forget burning cars. If anyone can smell a waft of cigarette smoke, Little Brother will be on you. Bombings and beheadings are taken in stride. But sensitivity violations bring out the cops, who always know whom they can take a club to and whom they can't. Fighting Morlocks is dangerous, but abusing an Eloi who didn't use the proper verbal form for a protected group or didn't put something recyclable in the right trash bin is fun for the whole government family.

What we have is not quite fascism. It's a selective fascism. It's stuff white people like fascism. It's fascism for enclaves of hipster yuppies who still believe in initiatives advocating perfecting the community through petty tyranny while around them the world burns. It's not Reichstag fascism, it's a compartmentalized fascism in which the sheep prey on the sheepish while pretending that the wolves don't exist. It's the fascism of the Eloi who don't just sit around helplessly, but oppress other Eloi.

Little Brother and Little Sister never grew up, and instead of a family album, they have photos of their favorite meals in their social media. They would only wear jackboots ironically, but they have painstakingly exact tastes in everything from food to fonts to politics and they want everything to be exactly the way that they think it should. They believe in freedom and in reporting their neighbors to the authorities. They believe in personal choice for everyone who thinks the way that they do. They are, it goes without saying, Obama voters.

In Little Brother's state, the police don't enforce the law. They enforce the whims of Little Brother and Little Sister. They are there to see that all the children play with Little Brother and Little Sister the way that they want them to. They don't believe in fighting crime or terrorism, except briefly when it happens to them, and they let go of it once their Facebook friends tell them to check their privilege, but they do believe in enforcing the million petty regulations of utopia.

Little Brother doesn't want anything done about crime. He wants something done about the rude people who drive cars to work or carry food home in plastic bags without caring about the impact on the environment. Little Sister doesn't care about Islamic terrorism. Islam is like spiritual and part of the great fabric of diversity. She wants something done about the unenlightened people who just don't get that.

Little Brother and Little Sister are the new elite. They are the unthinkingly glib products of an educational system that teaches little, but indoctrinates a lot. Their knowledge comes from Wikipedia. Their actual education taught them little except about how many people the United States managed to oppress in such a short time and how we need to feel connected to the environment to truly be alive.

Every age has its elites. Our age is burdened with idiot elites dedicated to destroying the "elites". We have a 1 percent that inveighs against the power of the 1 percent and then throws around its weight to get its way. We have people who work for corporations denouncing corporate power only to make use of it anyway. Our elites offer a torrent of contradictory pieties that are undone by their actions.

And the people who actually run all this, negotiating between the idiot elites and the violent classes, are only too happy to focus on the small stuff because the big stuff is officially hopeless. The real problems are a tangled Gordian knot that can be cut through, but not unwound individually the way the technocrats would like to do. And the little problems devolve into petty fascism that makes everyone but the people being stepped on feel better.

The angry mobs get to torch, behead and bomb. And the remnants of the middle class get a boot in the teeth. And Little Brother and Little Sister get to turn another street into a bike path or to insert calorie counts or environmental warnings or some other treehousery into daily life so that they can pretend that they have power, when the territory that they have power over is actually shrinking.

The center of power is always the last to feel the sensation of deadening chaos outside. It takes tyrants, even petty ones, a while to figure out that the system is over. The power that insulates them from that knowledge becomes petty. Instead of controlling nations, they control capital cities and eventually only their own courts. That micromanagement gives them the illusion of being in charge.

The Little Brothers have pushed the West to the edge, but they laugh at the very idea of danger. By all their metrics, everything is better than it was before. There are more jobs developing apps and more bikes being ridden and fewer people saying insensitive things and more little boys being taught not to play with guns and more diversity everywhere. It's progress. It's the future. It's forward and onward.

They're winning all the arguments and controlling the debate, but yet somehow everything is slipping through their fingers. Every initiative of their agenda passes, but it never works out the way that they think it should.

Little Brother, that poor sad imitation of Uncle Joe or Fidel, is a child playing with toys. All his experiences have taught him that he can control whatever he wants to, from his parents to his electronics to other children, but his societies, cities and countries are slipping out of his grasp and into a dark territory of anarchy.

The new power isn't an entitled brat with a government, but a gang leader with a hundred men or a kid who figures out how to bypass some onerous aspect of the system and tells other about it. Civilization is coming apart at the seams and it is the destroyers who have the power, not the petty liberal fascists who can dictate the ingredients of every meal, but not whether they will be beaten to death while biking home.

Liberals have wrecked cities and nations. And what rises out of the wreckage is not some progressive utopia, but oases of petty progressive fascism surrounded by a growing darkness of unmanageable and ungovernable territories and people. The dark age isn't coming. It's already here.


mindRider said...

Once more you write the facts as they might be, but as it happens it is as it is and none of those who did not like the path chosen by these "proregressives" following the Sirene song of present day Europe found an answer of such appeal that it did attract anybody with ideas strong enough and convincing enough for followers to democratically bring an administration to power that could and would stop any of this frightening present future and stop what inexorably will lead to the demise of the ideal called "the heyday of Western culture".

dave S said...

One of your best. Congratultions. Is there a book coming ?

sykes.1 said...

A delusional, intrusive elite can separate itself from the chaos they produce for some time. But, they are destroying all the systems (cultural, legal, economic, technological) that they and their lifestyles depend on. This cannot end well.

One particularly ugly possibility is a race war between native blacks and immigrant Mexicans. It is already underway in LA where ethnic cleansing of blacks from neighborhoods and displacement of blacks from traditionally black jobs is nearly complete. Once native blacks realize that immigration reform will replace them, the Democrat coalition that has existed from the 1960s is finished.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. Just brilliant.

Bob said...

"Is there a book coming ?"

I hope so. And I hope there are a hundred other people writing books in this vein to boot.

The social dynamic is breathtaking to behold. Everything mentioned in the essay has been discussed, revealed, talked about, predicted, etc., for decades. Now that the full consequences of all this liberalism, for lack of a better word (tyranny?) is upon us, there is STILL no recognition of the danger. Hell, I'd be happy with mere suspicion. Or just a question or two?

Perhaps a book on brainwashing is appropriate. When I argue with people I no longer feel like I am arguing with a person. It's more like I am fencing with the NBC evening news, swapping talking points.

DenisO said...

I thought we were viewing London, then we're in L.A. A bit confusing, because I am optimistic that we will see a complete break-down of Society in European Countries, that allow Little Brother and Sister to decide what is "important", before it happens here. Our big "progressive" cities are following, nose to tail, the leaders in W. Europe, but middle America is leaving a safe distance, so far. Are beheading's condoned in London, if they are limited to Sharia areas, or are they still "crimes"? Does Mayor Bloomberg recognize the danger of following too closely?
Like it or not, the pendulum always stops and swings back, and it's a heavy, inconsiderate wrecking ball if things get in the way.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

it's an all too common phenom now. Many people think they have opinions when they're regurgitating back the last NBC News and Saturday Night Live

IgorR said...

Just one more category of urban pest: the little liberal brother.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful piece, but did you mean to say "Liberalism" to lead off the last paragraph?

chillis said...

Brilliant work again. Where do you come up with this shit Daniel?
Sit at the kitchen table in the morning, couple cups of kona coffee and a smoke? Whatever you're doin, stay with it.

Anonymous said...

"It's stuff white people like fascism."
What does that mean?

Dave said...

Daniel another brilliant essay, you must get tired of hearing that. You are literally the atomic bomb of sensible logic. Thanks for saying so exactly what I was trying to say when I started posting in 2009;
"I am greatly concerned about the steady erosion of the America I was born into and the polarization of society. I used to think liberals were a healthy balance to our culture and now I see what they have done to America and other cultures throughout the world. I fear we are at the doorstep of another civil war and it will be a repeat of the Weimar Republic where conservative Christian capitalist battle Socialist unionist through the streets of Germany for years."
and what I most recently posted here;
"We will surely Cross the Rubicon and I pray ours doesn't run red as the actual one in Italy.
Part of me dreads paying the boatman's toll and part of me says, Its time to get wet."

Avrum Mordechai said...

I like the image of Little Brother and Little Sister strutting on a stage that gets smaller and smaller, until they are in a closet talking to themselves.

Down here in small-city NC, universities are chock full of LB and LS, as Daniel describes them. But one block away from the campus, at the 7-Eleven, Piggly Wiggly, and hardware store, LB and LS know they are in hostile territory inhabited by ordinary people.

"You call me 'Sir,' boy. My name ain't 'man.' And, no, we don't have soy milk."

Rod Freeman said...

Holy crap. This is the best thing I've read in a year. How many times have I seen this, known this, thought this. It's the reason I hate traveling to Europe, and will never do it again if I can help it. But the USA is almost at part with Sweden on this one.

Solution: Small town (under 10,000 people). Resource based economy. Western Canada. Almost exclusively homogeneous culture. Rampant mockery of, and non-compliance with, sissy state regulations.

That's my location of choice for now, until things change.

Naresh Krishnamoorti said...

Brilliant. You've perfectly described San Francisco.

NO BS said...

I wonder how our liberal pseudo-adults rationalise their views. There has to be a lot of mental gymnastics going on for them to remain so ignorant on key issues.

Pethaps it's the erosion of morality as we know it. Expected and learned general good practice which works best in the long run, replaced by a mixture of sentimental wishful thinking and subconscious control issues.

They've hipstered morality!

Ladder of Divine Ascent said...

"It's stuff white people like fascism."
What does that mean?


I believe it means fascism coming from the type of white liberal that the "Stuff White People Like" website describes:

#22 Having Two Last Names
#21 Writers Workshops
#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture
#19 Traveling
#18 Awareness
#17 Hating their Parents
#16 Gifted Children
#15 Yoga
#14 Having Black Friends
#13 Tea
#12 Non-Profit Organizations
#11 Asian Girls
#10 Wes Anderson Movies
#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside
#8 Barack Obama
#7 Diversity
#6 Organic Food
#5 Farmer’s Markets
#4 Assists
#3 Film Festivals
#2 Religions their parents don’t belong to
#1 Coffee

SFMEDIC said...

And to extend the picture Avrum, "I like the image of Little Brother and Little Sister strutting on a stage that gets smaller and smaller, until they are in a closet talking to themselves.

without a gun but with their cell phone and a police dispatcher telling them to "wait the officers are on their way", while thugs ransack their home looking for them.

Too late to review your choices in life and think about what you would have done differently. Maybe too late to ask God's forgiveness
as he would probably say " I gave you a brain and freedom and told you I help those who help themselves. Why did you think the immoral, criminal beings you fostered your entire life wouldn't do anything to you ?"

Bugsy said...

Here in Atlanta, the coffee sipping Obama voting white urban pioneer hipsters are getting offed by "urban youths" at a pretty fast clip these days. I know two personally who have been assaulted in the last year, one shot for being white late at night and the other carjacked and beaten into a hospital. But of course the causes of this escalating black on white violence are too complex to unravel.

Anonymous said...

"When I argue with people I no longer feel like I am arguing with a person. It's more like I am fencing with the NBC evening news, swapping talking points"

It's like yelling at the TV.

Anonymous said...

Where have you been all my life Daniel? This article took my breath away. GREAT insight!

SFMEDIC said...

The more I think about Daniel's essay, the more I see how it captures the truth of today. LB and LS do not suffer from low morality or low intelligence as much as they suffer from refusing to accept Pascal's Gamble.
Blaise Paschal was one of the early existential philosophers in the age of enlightenment. He proposed an idea which would lead a rational person to accept God as, either he does exist or he doesn't so you haven't lost anything by accepting him if he doesn't but gained everything if he does.The rational choice is to bet on God "If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing", meaning one can gain eternal life if God exists, but if not, one will be no worse off in death than if one had not believed. On the other hand, if you bet against God, win or lose, you either gain nothing or lose everything.
The reason LB and LS appear as brain-dead zombies to us, the acutely aware and righteously indignant, is they do not want to accept the gamble and just as they try to prolong attaining adulthood and its responsibilities by being career students or living it their parent's basement until they are 40 years old, they do not want to commit to deciding whether there is a God or not.
They, white self-hating LB and LS, have chosen the path of passive nihilism because they choose to not accept Paschal's Gamble, the only wager which pays dividends on lives and souls.
Im certain real zombies hate themselves and their lives just as much as LB and LS and long for the certain death of a bullet in the brain. That is, if they had a brain to reason with.

Tom M. said...


I agree Daniel is brilliant, but I thought he was perfectly describing my hometown Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.

Anonymous said...

This essay is stunning, and needs to be emailed, linked to and quoted from very very often.
- BarbaCat


"Civilization is coming apart at the seams and it is the destroyers who have the power, not the petty liberal fascists who can dictate the ingredients of every meal, but not whether they will be beaten to death while biking home."

This is a good essay, but I would insists that the two groups are really one and the same: The petty liberal fascists are the destroyers, for when they're not prescribing salt intake they're passing gun control laws and looting the productive class with income redistribution. Which they do today depends on their mood and how much they think they can get away with - that's all.

howellb1 said...

"Civilization is coming apart at the seams and it is the destroyers who have the power, not the petty liberal fascists who can dictate the ingredients of every meal, but not whether they will be beaten to death while biking home."

So maybe you get beaten to death biking home, and maybe you don't. If it has to be, I'd prefer it happened while I was imagining eating a nice meal, and not while I was preparing for an insulin shot.

Anonymous said...

This just described Washington DC to a T...

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