The Two Churchills And The World's "Collective Munchausen Syndrome"

Authored by Rusty Guinn via Epsilon Theory blog,

This is my favorite street art in the world.

It adorns a rail bridge that soars above I-45 in Houston. More than 300,000 cars pass by it every day. It has been modified a couple times by other street artists, but every time it goes back.

It’s a complicated statement, and I suspect people read it different ways. To most, it means to Be Someone Important. To matter. It’s an external way of reading it: to have an impact. To be engaged. To have your contributions to the world, or humanity or some other measure weighed and acknowledged as a net positive. To be known and well-thought of.

There’s another reading that is more internal in perspective: to find the whole person that we are. Not an amalgam of symbols and identities and tribal affiliations, or of words we use to describe those things and hide ourselves behind language. To be a man or woman in full. To be someone.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to Be Someone in the external sense. But it is perilous.

When our engagement with our communities and our societies is driven by a desire to have the greatest possible impact on the world, we are prone to competitive behaviors and to seeing competitive behaviors in others.

At a time when we are already being forced into a Competitive Game, it isn’t a long road from well-intentioned desire to be known for changing the world to existential defensiveness, where we become slaves to how we think others are judging us, or worse, where we impose that slavery on others.

*  *  *

There were two notable men in the Second World War who bore the surname Churchill. Both were British, and both are famous. I’m sure that you know at least one I’m talking about, but maybe not the other. Both were men in full.

Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is regarded by many historians and other chroniclers of the times as the most indispensable man of the 20th Century.

More importantly, he is regarded by me that way. As author, orator, humorist, strategist, motivator and statesman, he was a man from another time at a time when the rush of modernity required exactly that.

The other, Lieutenant-Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, was no relation to the prime minister, but had every bit of the more noteworthy Churchill’s quirky personality.

He was a newspaper editor, actor and male model born in Hong Kong who toured Burma on a motorcycle while stationed by the British Army there during the ‘20s. When war broke out again in 1939, he joined the British Expeditionary Forces in France. His tenure in Europe was an eventful one.

THE Churchill wanted to Be Someone. His tongue was only planted partially in cheek when he famously (and somewhat apocryphally) said that history would be kind to him because he intended to write it. He cared deeply about how he was perceived and about his reputation. His speeches were famously rich with evocative language and calculated delivery, and he cultivated a preternatural ability to induce emotional response. At that unique point in time, the stalwart British needed a man who would make himself great to make his nation capable of greatness. To modern sensibilities this carries a whiff of distasteful inauthenticity. Our culture so prizes the trappings of humility that the proud hero who knows he is a hero and plays the role willingly is typically considered to be no hero at all. Sir Winston would have reared back his head in laughter at such a heaping load of tosh.

The OTHER Churchill wanted to Be Someone, too. That someone was Mad Jack. He was a character straight out of a storybook, and not some soft Caldecott Medal-winning heartwarmer. We’re talking one of those German tailor-chopping-off-the-kid’s-thumbs-because-he-wouldn’t-stop-sucking them storybooks. In some of his early action in May 1940, he signaled the attack on a German position at L’Epinette by shooting a barbed arrow from an English longbow into a German sergeant. After joining the Commandos, his first campaign brought him to the shores of Norway, where he jumped out of the landing boat, grabbed his bagpipe and blew The March of the Cameron Men before pulling out a grenade and tossing it at the German position.

Later, he landed in Sicily with his pipes on his back and broadsword in his hand. After that, he moved on to Molina. There, together with a corporal he grabbed for the mission, Churchill captured a German position…along with the 42 Nazi troops manning it. In Yugoslavia he was the last man standing from his unit after heavy mortar fire, and fired every weapon he could find at advancing Germans until he ran out of ammo. What did he do then? Well, obviously, he jumped up, grabbed his pipes and played Will Ye No Come Back Again until he got knocked out by a grenade.

He was captured and escaped. Captured and escaped again. Walked 100 miles to Italy and lived out the rest of his life in peace. No, I’m kidding. He rescued 700 doctors and patients in Palestine, defended a medical convoy from 250 insurgent fighters, did more acting, designed surfboards, built coal-fired riverboats and rode motorcycles throughout the English countryside until he finally decided the world was too boring in 1996.

“He was slightly eccentric. He had very unusual taste but was happy so long as he was doing his own thing.”
 - Malcolm Churchill, speaking about his father, Lt. Col Jack Churchill


“I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial.
 - Winston Churchill

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to Be Someone like Winston Churchill. I think highly enough of him that I named my firstborn son after him. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to greatness, or with seeking reputation. The desire to have an impact on the world usually comes from a good place.

But in seeking to promote our brands, in our search for greater impact and influence, we are doing a lot of things that are killing our ability to have real dialogue with one another. As we grapple with how to break ourselves out of the Competitive Game we’re being forced into, we must also understand the forces that are keeping us there. Here are some of the ways in which our desire for our small voice to have an impact among 7 billion others is keeping us there instead.

The Principal / Agent Problem in Media

In Fiat Money, Fiat News, Ben discussed how, in the same way that bad money drives good money out of circulation, fake news drives real news out of circulation. Like money, this can manifest itself in two ways: through true counterfeiting of the news itself, or through biased presentations of facts published as advocacy by institutions acting as principals. In other words, fiat news. Some of those institutions are sovereign entities like, say, Russia that have an interest in promoting their interests through both fake and fiat channels. But some, probably most, of those in the business of fiat news are the media outlets themselves.

The media’s indispensable function is its ability to make available information that others do not want disseminated, especially when those others are governments, corporations and other powerful entities and individuals. In this function, journalists act as agents for the public, and do it a significant service. In some cases, that service really changed the world. The intent was to reveal and inform, and the outcome was a shift in the course of history.

This is changing. It has changed. From its historical role as agent, news media has increasingly set itself up as a principal. How? Rather than informing and allowing the dice to fall as they may, the media often now enters the fray with a view on the right outcome for the dice. Most media institutions have the good sense not to include outright lies, of course. But when you have an interest in the outcome of the story rather than its capacity to inform, you end up with fiat news like this, where CNN intentionally cuts off a portion of the video that would ruin the intent of their story, which is very obviously not to inform. You end up with fiat news like this, where you must read 7 paragraphs into a story to discover that a man being executed confessed to raping and murdering a 16-year old girl. Even that fact is couched in dismissive language that is very obviously intended to guide the reader to a salacious conclusion.

It’s not hard to come up with all sorts of explanations for why this is happening, from the consolidating ownership of media outlets, to the democratization of news via cheap internet venues that create a lowest-common-denominator effect, to the infotainment impact of always-on cable news. I think the root cause is more insidious. Through the feedback processes of each of those things and the resultant ways in which journalism is now taught at universities, a very significant portion of those entering the media want to Be Someone like Winston, not Jack. They are becoming journalists because they want to change the world. And so, in setting out to change the world, to borrow from the Washington Post’s insipid masthead postscript (“Democracy dies in darkness!”), they cease to be a light that shines in all dark places, and become instead a hand that guides the light to only those dark places that fit their aims.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these responses to a question posed by the Future Journalism Project survey from a couple years ago, which asked “Why did you become a journalist?”

“Soon you find out that you can really make a difference.”


“It can change the world.”


“I’ve always wanted to change the world.”


“I developed a sense of injustice [sic] for the underdog, because the underdog, I felt, was me.”


“I learned that injustice is part of our world, but that need not be a hopeless feeling. Not when you’re a journalist.”

It’s not that these are bad sentiments, or that they’re coming from bad people. Quite the contrary. But when the institutions that are supposed to act in service to the public start taking sides in the public debate through their news practices, even if it comes from a good-hearted place, from a desire to Be Someone, it is a terrible thing. In the same way that our American constitutional experiment is built upon the need for the rule of law despite the theoretical existence of benevolent kings, we should demand a similar standard from our media. When the media acts as principal, they, perhaps more than any other political institution in the world, serve to strengthen the equilibrium of the Competitive Game we are in.

Whataboutism, Grand Narratives and the Hunt for Hypocrisy

The tribal layperson is guilty, too. The same competitive forces that push us into promoting our views and drowning out those we disagree with when we’re entrusted with impartiality like the media have similar effects on us in our personal lives. After all, if we are to make ourselves and our tribe great, we can do so by defending ourselves or by tearing others down. The most common form  whataboutism tries to do both. It’s a major part of the hunt for hypocrisy that dominates so much of the dialogue of the Competitive Game.

The Soviets made famous and frequent use of it during the Cold War. Václav Havel characterized its most common construction as a debate between two parties:

  1.  Your subway does not operate according to the timetable.
  2.  Well, in your country you lynch blacks.

The basic idea is to transition the discussion of an issue that threatens one’s tribe from a substantive one to a discussion of relative credibility. Sure, you may want to criticize the efficiency of our implementation of state-run, state-owned transportation, but we refuse to even broach the issue with people who still have racism in their country. Or: I don’t need to listen to a Roy Moore argument from the party that defended Bill Clinton. In other words, the tu quoque fallacy has taken the place of most every form of debate that used to be common to our national politic.

For a modern perspective, look at the below from Ben Shapiro, who I think is actually a pretty thoughtful conservative. This was his initial take on the day when the claims that Roy Moore assaulted a 14-year old girl some decades ago came to light:

Now, bear in mind, Shapiro followed this up with a clarifying comment asserting that Moore should step away in shame, full stop. The reality is that there are infinitely worse perpetrators. Paul Krugman, once a legitimate economist (no, really), can now be summoned by sacrificing three unblemished rabbits in a candlelit pentagram and repeatedly chanting “tu quoque” in monotone. But the blurb above is still fascinating in one fell swoop, it accurately explains and decries the problem created by whataboutism, and in doing so uses that as an opportunity to engage in some hypothetical whataboutism of its own. This is how it works:

  1. Someone from our Tribe does or says something dumb or evil.
  2. We see a narrative forming ascribing that dumb or evil thing as a trait of our Tribe.
  3. We are frustrated by the injustice of that, since the other Tribe is way worse on that dimension.
  4. Instead of disavowing that trait in our Tribe without qualification, we say, “Well, what about them and THIS thing they did.”

Sometimes whataboutism isn’t just about trying to assault our opponents and weaken their credibility with outright claims of hypocrisy. Sometimes it’s demanding that every person we debate with follow our priorities of issues, or that they follow the forms we prefer for discussing them. I think you know what I’m talking about, because we see it all the time:

In the rare moments when our political and social dialogue isn’t “Well, what about what your tribe did”, it is often “If you said this, why didn’t you say this?” We are endlessly charitable in assuming that our own philosophies are consistent with our words and actions, but we fill in the gaps for others with far less kindness. If someone engaged in a Competitive Game against us doesn’t condemn an action as quickly as they ought to, if they don’t use the same number of exclamation marks as when they criticized someone else’s actions a month before, if they want to discuss or write about X when much bigger issue Y just happened, if they don’t balance and season every single political or social statement they make with comments on any possible related issue, we attack.

We have no choice, we think. We were destined for this. We have to fight this battle, and we have to win, because it’s not acceptable to be the party that is more associated with this Bad Thing. But when we see every battle as existential, when we seek to purposely dominate others by inserting meaning they never intended, when we search for every hint of hypocrisy to make ourselves great, to Be Someone in the great conversations of our time, we perpetuate the Competitive Game.

‘Collective Munchausen Syndrome’

While the ways in which the Competitive Game drives us to dominate and diminish others through language are perhaps most prevalent, so much of what it means to Be Someone is still locked up in identity. Lebanese-Canadian evolutionary behavioral scientist Gad Saad coined the above expression to describe how people in large social settings have taken to competitions in (usually imagined) victimhood. From Donald Trump complaining about #FakeNews and the mean jokes of the SNL cast, to the sorts of absurd ethnographic intersectionalist ramblings you’ll find coming out of most sociology departments, practically everyone across the sociopolitical spectrum is in on this game. There are few behaviors which are more conducive to maintaining the strong equilibrium of our Competitive Game (and to establishing some strategic dominance within that game) than establishing the strongest victimhood credentials. The reason? Because like the other strategies here, it simultaneously argues that our voice ought to be louder and that other voices ought to be silenced completely. It is a tactic perfectly engineered for this time.

Some will misunderstand my meaning here, I think. It would be stupid to deny that privilege, the word typically used to cast someone as an anti-victim, exists. If you can’t accept that certain birth circumstances make your success and ease of navigating our society easier or harder, you’re not approaching the question seriously. If you can’t accept that certain life experiences will have similar impacts, you’re being obtuse. But there’s a marked difference between (1) recognizing those truly different starting places and working wherever possible to eliminate them within society, on the one hand, and (2) concluding that they constitute a system of oppression that can only be addressed by empowering those who would silence the views of any they would call privileged, on the other. The prevalence of this approach is a nightmare for any hopes of escaping the Competitive Game. The answer to this, as I argue in Gandalf, GZA and Granovetter, is only for a critical mass of citizens and voters to choose to hear all voices, knowing that no individual may be reduced to her privilege or victimhood.

We respond to symbols and events based on millions of experiences, and no one can tell us what they mean to us.

OK. So now what?

Well, in the last three notes on this topic, including this one, I’ve written about a range of things I think we can do to hit escape velocity from the Competitive Game equilibrium.

  1. We can stop treating every issue as existential. (Yes, I’m looking at you, ‘But Gorsuch’ Republicans and ‘Trump is the End of the Republic’ Democrats)
  2. We can stop telling people what they intended by their words and actions.
  3. We can stop allowing people to tell us what we intended by our words and actions.
  4. We can stop looking for hypocrisy everywhere.
  5. We can stop using identity to shut out opinions we don’t like.
  6. We can stop abusing the trust people put in us to represent their interests by promoting our own.

But what else?

For those of us who think about improving civic engagement, who want to be citizens, I have a humble suggestion: stop trying to be Winston Churchill. I recognize that this counsel is likely to be as popular as my advice from Before and After the Storm (i.e. learn to lose). I’m not saying not to be ambitious. I’m saying that instead of identifying strategies for debate and discussion which elevate us while they demean and debase our opponents, instead of making every matter existential, instead of choosing grand rhetoric, instead be the most independent, extraordinary, true version of who you are. If you can manage to find a truly independent voice in your personal, political and financial life, pursue it with reckless abandon. Don’t set it to the side so that you can build a brand or make an impact.

Trust me. If you’ve decided to Be Someone like Mad Jack, you’re going to have an impact. So get your ass out of the boat, grab your bow, strap on your broadsword and sound the pipes. All that’s left is to decide what song you’re going to play.


Dindu Nuffins shitshitshit Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:22 Permalink

What a turd of an article.It artlessly inserted a hit-piece on Roy Moore, as if we even care that he allegedly did some hanky-panky 40 years ago and then apparently never did again after being married, while equating it to Ted Kennedy actually confessing to killing a woman in his car while simultaneously running for office. (And the Roy Moore allegations are likely just propaganda entirely.)Then it rambles about Churchills. Both of whom could profitably be villified in their different roles in the war that destroyed Europe and gave it over to its ancient enemy. I'll never forgive Winston Churchill for knowing about the full intent of Judeo-Bolshevism, and writing this in the Illustrated Sunday Herald on February 8, 1920:--"International JewsIn violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek – all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing."--Yet with this knowledge, he still signed on to help Soviet Russia defeat Nazi Germany, tearing apart the Western world in the process, allowing the marxists to win and spread their plan for one mixed people and one world government, articulated by the president of the proto-European Union, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, in his 1925 book "Practical Idealism":--"The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process. No wonder that this people, that escaped Ghetto-Prison, developed into a spiritual nobility of Europe. Therefore a gracious Providence provided Europe with a new race of nobility by the Grace of Spirit. This happened at the moment when Europe's feudal aristocracy became dilapidated, and thanks to Jewish emancipation." 

In reply to by shitshitshit

Escrava Isaura Dindu Nuffins Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:58 Permalink

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Article: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to Be Someone like Winston Churchill……bad money drives good money out of circulation………….  This article is pure propaganda. The British people voted Churchill out of office because Churchill was a right winger fascist bigot. Let’s overcome the ‘engineered’ history that we were indoctrinated at.   Jon Trew: Churchill badly misread the public mood and in a radio broadcast compared British socialists to the Gestapo. Even members of his own family thought he had gone too far. These comments were widely viewed as a huge insult to many Labour Party (socialist) supporters who had fought and died against the Nazis; even some Conservatives realised this. The effect of the war on the home front had heralded some massive social changes. Angus Calder points out in his brilliant book "The People's War" that the evacuation of children from inner-city areas exposed people from the more ‘affluent shires’ to the reality of the lives of the slum-dwelling urban poor. Surprisingly for the poor, war-time food rationing proved to be a blessing as many had never had such regular and nutritious food. During the war the health of the British people overall actually improved, due to a diet that was nutritionally balanced, low in sugars and high in fiber and vegetables. Life expectancy of civilians actually improved during the war. The war also meant full employment and being in work meant that workers came into contact with and under the influence of Trade Unions. This for the first time began to influence many women as well as men, as during the war many females had found work in factories, instead of being condemned to work in domestic service as servants for the rich. One of the reasons why the Allies won the war was the huge technical and scientific advances that were employed to defeat the Nazis and Japanese. This, too, helped fundamentally change the structure of British society. Officers could no longer be selected from only the upper classes. Owing to a shortage of recruits from the ‘right’ background, the RAF had to allow non-officers to become pilots, called pilot sergeants. After the defeat of the Japanese in Burma, British soldiers in Rangoon threw their officers overboard when they learnt the ship they had boarded was not taking them home but instead taking them to India to help maintain British rule there. In India and the Middle East there was a wave of strikes and mutinies. When votes were cast it became clear that Labour had won a landslide winning (393 seats) almost twice as many seats as Churchill's Conservatives who only held on to 197 seats. Interestingly the huge swing to Labour only became apparent when votes from soldiers serving overseas were counted. Churchill had completely failed to understand and comprehend the huge social changes that had taken place in Britain and politically paid the price.  

In reply to by Dindu Nuffins

Endgame Napoleon The Wizard Thu, 11/23/2017 - 09:17 Permalink

I found this to be a very thoughtful article, pinpointing some of the problems in contemporary journalism and the public discourse. I am trying to avoid doing some of the things this writer mentioned. Hard to do. Many of us try to be Joan of Arcs for some cause, whether the motivation springs from tribalism, economic injustice or whatever. It probably springs from ego. The only psychologist who rings true to me is Adler, the one who said that all human behavior springs from the desire to feel superior. Sad.

In reply to by The Wizard

Ms No Endgame Napoleon Thu, 11/23/2017 - 10:58 Permalink

I think we are a little more complicated than that but certainly it happens a lot.  As time goes on I feel way less personal responsibility to save the world.  If you think about it the more time elapses the more concrete the results.  Ten or twenty years ago it was easy to have a desperate feeling to stop the things that were developing but now the possibilities are probably collapsed anyway.  That's how I look at it lately anyway.  Maybe it's just because I want to wash my hands of concern for it but whatever is coming is coming.  Stopping a war they want or an economic disaster is pretty difficult at this point and wherever people stand on their opinions now wont be changing much short of these things happening anyway.  The numbers we have are the numbers we have, their effect will be their effect.  Some things just have to run their course.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

True Blue Endgame Napoleon Thu, 11/23/2017 - 13:46 Permalink

Hey now.Joan of Arc is alive and medium well.*Rimshot*As for Churchill, he was a bloated Colonel Blimp who never forgave the German or Dutch press for publishing the truth about the Boer War, (in which Churchill fought and) in which England established the world's very first Concentration Camps to be filled with Boer men, women and children who suffered a ~30% mortality rate.And the little Boer 'Anne Franks' did not get the luxury of dying in a hospital bed or inventing the ball point pen.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

The Wizard Endgame Napoleon Thu, 11/23/2017 - 14:08 Permalink

One of the best books I read on the philosophy of history in my post graduate work is Plumb's Death of the PastTalk about historical figures, Jim Garrison was the best when it came to uncovering the JFK assassinationAnother Great Interview by Jason  John Barbour Discusses American Media and the 2nd Assassination of JFK I now have a good picture of John Barbour. Want facts on jFK assassination. Jason Goodman is probably providing the best information in putting together a large collection of dots of Deep State skulduggery. If you haven't watched John Barbour's collection of the Jim Garrison tapes (online ) it is a must watch like the other information John has collected.  Midnight Writer News 

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Future Jim Idaho potato head Thu, 11/23/2017 - 07:37 Permalink

Because of Roy Dernagement Syndrome, Hillary voters just found out that they will forever be called out as vicious hypocritical douchebags ever time they try to visciously bully supporters of other candidates, and like this author, they reeeally don't like discovering that they have permanently lost the moral high ground. This guy is obviously a Hillary supporter, and the veiled goal of his article is to shut down debate, but the bell can't be unrung. We know what they did. Roy Derangement Syndrome"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"—VoltaireJust about every week, the American media work the American left into a virtue signaling frenzy (Do you remember Statue Derangement Syndrome?), but one of the goals of such manipulations is to waste the time of independent minded people, so one should usually ignore such absurdities.The third week of November 2017, it is Roy Derangement Syndrome. Hillary supporters around the nation are threatening to end relations with any family and friends who support a previously obscure (and typical) candidate (Roy Moore) for the US Senate!—in another state!—Hillary supporters!Such cognitive dissonance is extreme, but more importantly, that's just so ... douchy ... Right? Who does that? OK, cult members do that, and communists and fascists do that, but otherwise, who does that? It's creepy.Although 100% of typical politicians are bad, Hillary is not a typical politician. Hillary is probably the worst. So her supporters are not motivated by principle when they sacrifice their friends and family. The ugly reality is that Hillary supporters are the kind of addicts so desperate to score just one more hit of virtue signaling that they would sacrifice any of their friends and family who don't conform . Of course, we already knew they had that fascist streak. That's how it was possible for the players to manipulate them into being Hillary supporters in the first place.Let's compare what has Hillary supporters so worked up about Roy Moore ... to the crimes of Hillary.Hillary supporters accuse Roy Moore of trying to date girls who looked 18 when he was 20-32 ... and of having no game ... in Alabama ... in the 1970's ... I'm not kidding ...The worst is that on the last of a couple of meetings, one of them admitted she was 14 and Roy was still interested, and although the Washington Post writer and the four accusers are not credible, I suspect the gist of their accusations are true—at least with some girls if not these. Nevertheless, that alone would make him no worse than 90% of Congress, which is still pretty bad. I wouldn't vote for any of them.Now let's look at some of the crimes of Hillary: 1) Hillary sold classified information to foreign agents. 2) Hillary befriends/defends rapists and pedophiles, and destroys the women and girls who accuse them—and laughs ?about it. 3) Hillary has had over 100 people killed who had dirt on her. 4) Hillary has eagerly traded favors for bribes from criminals and foreign agents. 5) Hillary has eagerly used the CIA and US military to kill or harm millions—and laughs about it. 6) Hillary cheated and colluded with the media, the Democratic Party, the Internet gatekeepers, and other big corporations ... to defeat Bernie Sanders (and others).Anyone who is suddenly enraged about some nobody politician who has a level of character typical among politicians—when America is inundated with existential crises—has clearly been played by those who manufactured the crises. Of course, anyone who would vote for someone as evil as Hillary has clearly been played too.Many in the American left were suddenly enraged a few weeks ago by some old statues, and the week before that by a timid comment posted several months earlier to a company's internal employee suggestion box. However, that international incident had actually begun to peel back the illusion of legitimacy, without which, the players would be finished—like how we all helped to make Hillary an irredeemable threat to the illusion of legitimacy by the time the election was near, thus forcing the players to go with their plan B (Trump).The enraged are helping the players to realize their agenda, which is actually very harmful to the enraged themselves, who are thus working against their own best interests. The players refer to such people as ... "useful idiots." The strategy of the players is to create an army of useful idiots who will neutralize the players' opponents by making frequent frivolous accusations (e.g. racist) against anyone who doesn't conform.The goal is also to incite conflict because all conflict can be used as a pretext to justify more of a police state.

In reply to by Idaho potato head

Endgame Napoleon Future Jim Thu, 11/23/2017 - 09:38 Permalink

Without going into the ways in which feminists violate their own anti-harassment standards, and without claiming that alleged harassment is morally okay, you can assert the value of innocent until proven guilty and the value of innocent if you cannot prove guilt. You can do that in a Republic, even outside of the court system and even when mere career advancement, not incarceration, is at issue.

If not, you risk setting up the scenario found in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” where mob-fed rumor leads to a tragic downfall. Groupthink with a crusader mentality has led to a lot of evil things that are sometimes morally worse than what the crusaders try to combat.

This article is also about the folly of allowing crusader-style identity and over-competitiveness to invade every issue, distorting the public debate and “changing the world” for dubious underlying reasons.

In reply to by Future Jim

Ex-Oligarch Future Jim Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:08 Permalink

It's worse than that.  The article argues that there is hypocrisy in treating (a) admitted, proven crimes and misconduct differently than (b) unsupported allegations.The author argues that both (a) and (b) must be condemned or both (a) and (b) must be excused.  In the author's view, truth or falsity has no bearing, nor does the rational (let alone legal) process used to distinguish the two.This argument keeps showing up again and again in various forms, and it pisses me off.  A variant has been showing up lately as well; that if the acccuser is credible, unsupported allegations (a) should be treated as proven (b) unless and until conclusively shown to be false.  Even conservative commentators have fallen into this trap (like Sean Hannity, for example, with his calls for Moore to clear up the matter, despite Moore's explicit and specific denials).Moore's case provides a clear example of how this approach produces unfair results. He is accused of conduct that was not illegal, with no evidence, decades after the alleged conduct, by accusers who are politically motivated and of dubious character.  The charges will never be proven before any legal authority, and may well have been invented with that in mind.  Yet it will not be disproven prior to the election. 

In reply to by Future Jim

ParkAveFlasher Thu, 11/23/2017 - 05:22 Permalink

Talk about the goodness of Christ, nevermind the media narrative.  There are people wandering around out there mindless and addicted, shivering in the cold yet not recognizing their condition.  You have your right mind, don't you?  Be thankful, therefore.TPTB love to have us arguing blue team read team while spitting corn at one another, it's their second favorite thing.  Their first favorite thing is silence!

BritBob Thu, 11/23/2017 - 05:16 Permalink

Propaganda 21st CenturyCritics of the Argentine government’s strategies and rhetoric toward the Falkland islands have coined a new verb – malvinizar – to describe how the claim for and memory of the Malvinas is used simply to divert attention away from more serious domestic socio-economic challenges. Seriously, have you heard of a territory being usurped in the 19th century?Falkland Islands – The Usurpation (1 pg): Neither have I.

Ex-Oligarch BritBob Thu, 11/23/2017 - 13:08 Permalink

Bob, god bless ya, are you aware of the irony here?  You are raising the subject of the Falklands under an article witih no connection whatsoever to the Falklands, while complaining about how your opponents derail discussions about other topics by raising the subject of the Falklands.

In reply to by BritBob

any_mouse Thu, 11/23/2017 - 05:27 Permalink

Conflating Ted Kennedy's historical record with allegations made against Roy Moore.

Roy Moore's guilt has not been established in a Court of Law.

Why should he step away from his career?

Rule of Law is "Innocent Until Proven Guilty in a Court of Law".

Why the rush to judgement outside of a Court of Law.

msamour Joe A Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:10 Permalink

I suspect the negative comment is because the person does not know the story of Mad Jack Chruchill. I saw a documentary years ago about his battle exploits. It was said for a long time he was the first and last person to record a kill in Europe during WWII using a long bow. The same can be said about the type of sword he used. In the documantary they interviewed German soldiers that had the fear of Gods of that guy. His reputation preceeded him everywhere he went. It was also said that after the war when Mad Jack took the train home from work he would open the window scream out loud "heads up" and throw his bag in the backyeard of his house. I suspect the passengers got used to that pretty quick with the exception perhaps of the people who only ocassionally took the train. Mad Jack was his own man, I have a lot more respect for that than for a man like Winston Churchill. (Editied twice because writing before taking my morning coffee is not easy...)

In reply to by Joe A

Grandad Grumps Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:00 Permalink

The message I got from this overly long and meandering article is: "Do as thou wilt. That is the whole of the law". Yes, of course it is the whole of the law on earth. But, even though we have free will, we are defined by our choices. Winston was a self-serving ass who murdered people and who was a complete failure through most of his life (yes, I have visited the Churchill museum in London).

Mad Jack as described here was also a self-serving ass who murdered people.

Everyone serves themselves. Some do it by actually serving others and some do it by pretending to serve others. Some don't bother to pretend that they are serving others.

Ya know, I am all for clean competition. It tends to bring out good things in people. Then again, there are ever those who only compete if they can win and they cheat, defraud and deceive to accomplish their victory. I do not believe that these people, regardless of how much money and power they have collected, deserve the respect that they yearn for so much.

falak pema Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:39 Permalink

"Our culture so prizes the trappings of humility that the proud hero who knows he is a hero and plays the role willingly is typically considered to be no hero at all. Sir Winston would have reared back his head in laughter at such a heaping load of tosh."...At last a poster that uses an historical actor worthy of being iconised to DEFINE the zeitgeist of his Nietzschean theory about what drives Man to be Superman; like "Thus spoke Zaraustra" which made Nietzsche's fame in philosophy like the Prince did for Machiavelli.The man who launched the disastrous Gallipoli campaign adventure as Minister of War in WW1; who said he would never preside the demise of British Empire in front of a "half naked fakir"; was a true Oligarch from the House of Atreus-- as revealed by his bloodline and reference to his illustrious ancestor : The Duke of Malborough. He wanted to out-Malborough Malborough, like an ancient hero.No Bonaparte who becomes Napoleon in purple can then avoid his fate as it has been written by his own inner drive and it ends in the desolation of Moscva-Berezina!What this guy forgets is the counter argument that the great philosophers bequeathed us about the FOLLY of men who aspire to be selfrighteous writers of History--- like Homer's tale of Troy which started the "ball rolling" in our timeline and the final episode to that pursuit of glory : after the victory the fall.The House of Atreus destroyed their "Greece of the Victors", thrown back to its own Dark Ages for having defied the GODS in HUBRIS.Yes the Greeks who taught us everything worth knowing taught us WHY Hubris is the ULTIMATE crime of "absolute power makes absolute corruption" and why : courage, temperance, justice and prudence stay the cardinal virtues of Mankind.Those who think they can write History without consequence and payback, like a Caesar crossing the Rubicon; having written his OWN VERSION of the Gallic Wars which made him the equal of his historical idol : Alexander; met his fall on the Ides of March at the very feet of his worst enemy's stone effigy : Pompey ! Some awesome Karma and Payback.Don't downplay humility it is with sense of honour; aka the golden rule of life; the foundations of life well spent.But I grant you the temptation to incarnate the PRINCE of Machiavelli's timeless treatise is an ambition that few men of Vision can easily put aside; as Destiny awaits no man and "there is a time for every man to take the rising tide at the flood" portrayed by the other Churchill, simple man.The philosophical battle between the Prince of Machiavelli and the Separation of Powers principle that defines the modern method to avoid Hubris of Man-- as Princeps or Despot-- is one that will probably never know a true issue.It is truly the stuff that legends are made of! Jefferson got that right when he defined his Aristotelian principle of "pursuit of happiness" as being more worthy of pursuit of HUMBLE simple man than the pursuit of  Power and Riches of Imperial Man.A nation was built on that simple HUMBLE ethical principle.The other Churchill was more true to that vision. 

Last of the Mi… Thu, 11/23/2017 - 07:06 Permalink

Funny how nothing was ever said about the "allegations" of Roy Moore's sexual predation. Again, once again, the presumption is guilt and deeply within the article it is driven deeper by an article that is about Collective Munchausen Syndrome" 90% of these articles picked up no are NGO Bot written with some slant against constitutionalism, conservatism, small government, and any sort of personal responsibility.

quasi_verbatim Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:30 Permalink

Both these Churchills were Baron Munchausen wannabes in their day and the whole damn gungho thing has been brought to its end by nuclear weaponsThose who live in the past are condemned never to escape it.