Tag Archives: gop

The Tyranny of the Bookish

Saw this re-tweeted by the great Charles Murray:

Perhaps it’s reading books, not grades, parenting, or TV, that is the biggest influence of success at life. It seems in our increasingly intellectualized economy and society, everyone is flaunting how much money they make or how many books they read. This ties into the growing MGTOW and Red Pill movement, which fuses right-wing philosophy/ideology with self-improvement. Even as recently as a decade ago, the conservative message centered around God, guns, and gays – but now, especially since 2008 and online, it has shifted towards intellectualism (like the Red Pill or Dark Enlightenment/NRX philosophy), self-sufficiency (delaying family formation to go your own way so you can be happier), objectivism (related to going your own way, hedonism), and economics (the unending online debate about student loan debt, jobs & automation, national debt, and wealth inequality). It seems like the old wedge issues just aren’t that important anymore, especially among younger conservative and libertarian types. It doesn’t mean Republicans have abandoned all wedge issues, but they have been pushed to the periphery. Defense spending, free trade, homeland security, and interventionism – once popular with the right as recently as 2004 – has lost its luster. It’s hard to know how long this trend will continue.

But back to the topic of being bookish, this picture went viral, with Reddit users wholly impressed. It isn’t at all like the stereotypical high school, where bookworms are ostracized – quite the opposite. The girl with the book and her parents were ‘rockstars’ that day. So much for America dumbing down, as the left keeps insisting it is.

Whether it’s mathematicians, theoretical physicists, coders, writers, quants, economists, or bibliophiles, the viral image above is more evidence that in America, especially, intellectualism is more important than ever, with MIT and Caltech the ‘meccas’. Reddit users know that the booksish, socially awkward, and introverted will rule the world, if they haven’t already. The financial problem of 2008 kicked the legs of the flimsy folding table that was the old economy, knocking it over and crushing those intellectually unfit.

Or from my post The Great College Debate in response to a Taki article by John Derbeshire, The Tyranny of the Bookish, in which I write:

Not being bookish is fine if you enjoy working a crappy job the rest of your life or you have the connection to join a guild. The evidence is clear: those who read more books (which I guess could include technical books) tend to make more money and without the need for as many connections. In Britain (and the rest of the world) during the years Derb’s youth there was an abundance of good-paying factory jobs that didn’t require much book learning; nowadays, not so much. In the post-2008 economy, cognitive capital translates into financial capital, and this leftist yearning for an earlier era when this wasn’t so won’t change reality. Republicans understand this, it’s the left, in their lack of understanding of economics, who wants to bring back the obsolete, overpaid factory jobs.

And that’s why being bookish is not just a hobby, but a predictor of success in an economy and society that increasingly rewards high-IQ.

The Right Concedes the ‘Gay’ Wars

A recent discussion on Jack Donovan, author of The Way of Man, and my observation of how the men’s rights movement doesn’t hold his homosexuality against him got me thinking about how ‘right wing’ values have evolved over the years.

I’ll admit it – we, ‘the right’, after a string of victories, including the 1996 passage of the DOMA, threw in the towel on gay issues. And this is not a war we lost at metaphorical cost of blood, sweat and tears – but by throwing down our guns in a conciliatory defeat, a sign of the changing times. The men’s right movement – a subset of ‘the right’ – is indifferent to homosexuality, family formation, and other virtues and vices that the ‘traditional right’ holds dear. You see this shift on Reddit: young people who are economically conservative (neo-conservative economics or libertarian economics), pro-gun, and anti-SJW – but are either pro-gay marriage, want to make it a state issue instead of a federal one, or are indifferent. And even I was behind the times because I still thought sexual preferences were important to ‘the right’ – but in today’s meritocracy, where the value of an individual is in their IQ, wealth and intellectual accomplishments, they aren’t. Peter Thiel, a hero of the libertarian right, is gay, and that doesn’t detract from his accomplishments or his clout; in fact, it’s irrelevant. While the left has a tendency to wear their sexual orientation on their sleeve, as some sort of badge, the alt-right doesn’t seem to care all that much. And on right-leaning sites like National Review and the Wall St. Journal, for example, it seems pundits have largely given up on Dr. Laura/James Dobson-esq moralizing, choosing instead to focus on more fruitful topics such as economics and foreign policy. When a gay issue comes up they frame it as a free market/religious freedom issue (the right of a baker to deny baking cakes to gay couples under the pretense of free market capitalism or religious freedom), not a moral one (it’s ‘bad’ to be gay). In the 80′s and 90′s ‘the right’ wanted to fix gays. Now? Not so much. Forget the family, in these hard economic times it’s every man for himself. To fixate on sexual preferences is like worrying about religion or astrology; such matters seem quaint and obsolete in a post-2008 world.