Don't call it a spade
Monthly Archives: August 2016
So some people are saying I’m just some rootless cosmopolitan who speaks Chinese. How can I be alt-right?
此言差矣. It doesn’t work like that. I have insight precisely because I’ve been around, and I’ve read around. Let me prove my alt-right bona-fides by quoting Zhu Yuanzhang, the great founder of the Ming Dynasty, the Empire of Brightness.
Zhu Yuanzhang is the greatest rags-to-riches story in the history of mankind. He was some minor son of a landless peasant, born during the period of Mongol rule in China. Mongol government in China was quite horrible; infrastructure decayed, bandits were everywhere, and all manner of natural disasters happened all the time. One of those disasters killed our hero’s whole family. Starvation. Every single one of them. Our hero had to go to the closest Buddhist temple to beg for some food; and all he got was an old wooden pan, and an order to beat the crap out of the temple and beg some food outside. Which he did for years. Beg for food. Around the country. For years. Until he met some band of bandits. Heaven had it so that his best childhood friend was a bandit chief; so he soon joined them. Our hero then slowly but steadily climbed the bandit meritocracy ladder; next thing you know he is leading the best rebel army in China, expels the Mongols to the steppe and reunifies All Under Heaven.
There’s something to say for the tradition, the slow accumulation of knowledge in society. But some things just don’t require an education. Just razor-sharp smarts. And industrial amounts of cruelty. And Zhu Yuanzhang had those. He was an illiterate beggar, and yet he built and commanded the armies that beat the Mongols and founded the Ming Dynasty. Not unlike Genghis Khan; he also didn’t need to go to school to command the best run armies in the history of mankind. Politics really isn’t that hard.
Anyway, one of the most fun things of the founder of the Ming is that he was illiterate. Which in China is a problem, as elite people were supposed to be able to write in Classical Chinese, which is kinda like Latin in the West. Obviously he couldn’t do that, so many of his edicts are written in plain vernacular language. So he would sent imperial decrees to his troops saying “grab those damn Japanese pirates and slit their fucking throats on the spot. This is My Command”. He was very fond of sending commands, edicts and decrees to the whole country. China is a big country; and the guy, for all his illiteracy, had many ideas. He had built and run the army who conquered the country. Surely running the country in peace couldn’t be that hard? All you need is order and discipline. And he knew something about that.
Anyway, this is one small snippet of his views on women and sexual propriety:
Which translates as:
There must be a separation between men and women. Women must be always inside the house, must not be allowed to come outside. If they go out of the home revealing their head or their face, that will inevitably result in lewdness and debauchery. But these days there are some stupid men and stupid women who can’t reason properly and make a mess of proper morality.
See for example this the Commander of Qujing, this Niu Lin guy. While he was in Yunnan he got some woman as a concubine, and when he went to drink with his comrades, he would take her to drink with them! So of course she ended up being seduced by another commander called Liu Ying, who then had her poison her husband Niu Lin.
Just how dumb was this guy? He brought his wife to drink with other men, drunk for a while, next thing you know he got killed. If he had kept a proper separation between men and women, nothing like this could have happened. I had Liu Ying and that woman killed. If something like this ever happens again, they’ll get the same treatment.
So… Hillary Clinton just gave the alt-right the public spotlight. People are Googling like crazy, and people like Richard Spencer are gloating like they haven’t in years.
By the way, Richard if you’re still in Japan by all means give me a call. I could use some hairstyling advice from you. I’m sure he’s getting Japanese groupies just by standing out there in Tokyo looking good and white. He should do some activism while he’s there.
Anyway, so the alt-right is trending, and I guess I should say something. Am I alt-right? Of course I am. Why? Because I say so. I’ve been writing about how language works. Words exist to be useful. What’s the point of having the word “alt-right”? To make friends among fellow dissenters from the progressive mainstream. So yeah, I’m alt-right. I also want a wall. And I could use more readers.
I’m probably the most disagreeable alt-right out there, in that my specialty is pointing out how every single political idea out there is either stupid or impractical, and I use profuse examples from ancient and modern history to make the point. Recently I’ve been pointing out why political ideas are either stupid impractical, and why they still keep coming up because the point of having political ideas is not their brilliance or practicality, but just to get some status points in ad-hoc local signaling games.
But hey, don’t let me discourage you. Because I’m also the guy with the best theory about what the alt-right is about, why it happened, why it’s getting bigger, and why it isn’t going anywhere. Unless the solution we don’t want happens. Or the dysgenic trends just keep going on forever.
So this was my clumsy attempt to catch some of the spotlight that Hillary Clinton was so nice to give us. Oh, by the way, I also have the best theory about what the Clintons are about.
I should get myself a fancy brand. The Philosopher of the Alt-Right. Or maybe something more specific. The Schopenhauer of the Alt-Right. Suggestions are welcome.
Master Xun (荀子 Xunzi):
Which translates as:
The people can easily be unified by means of the Way, but one should not try to share one’s reasons with them. Hence, the enlightened lord controls them with his power, guides them with the Way, moves them with his orders, arrays them with his judgments, and restrains them with his punishments. Thus, his people’s transformation by the Way is spirit-like [i.e. religious]. What need has he for demonstrations and persuasions? Nowadays the sage kings have all passed away, the whole world is in chaos, and depraved teachings are arising. The gentleman has no power to control people, no punishments to restrain them, and so he engages in demonstrations and persuasions.
When objects are not understood, then one engages in naming. When the naming is not understood, then one tries to procure agreement. When the agreement is not understood, then one engages in persuasion. When the persuasion is not understood, then one engages in demonstration. Thus, procuring agreement, naming, demonstration, and persuasion are some of the greatest forms of useful activity, and are the beginning of kingly works.
When a name is heard and the corresponding object is understood, this is usefulness in names. When they are accumulated and form a pattern, this is beauty in names. When one obtains both their usefulness and beauty, this is called understanding names. Names are the means by which one arranges and accumulates objects. Sentences combine the names of different objects so as to discuss a single idea.
Persuasion and demonstration use fixed names of objects so as to make clear the proper ways for acting and remaining still. Procuring agreement and naming are the functions of demonstration and persuasion. Demonstration and persuasion are the heart’s way of representing the Way. The heart is the craftsman and overseer of the Way. The Way is the warp and pattern of good order. When the heart fits with the Way, when one’s persuasions fit with one’s heart, when one’s words fit one’s persuasions, then one will name things correctly and procure agreement, will base oneself on the true disposition of things and make them understood, will discriminate among things without going to excess, and will extend by analogy the categories of things without violating them. When listening to cases, one will accord with good form. When engaging in demonstration, one will cover thoroughly all the reasons. One will use the true Way to discriminate what is vile just like drawing out the carpenter’s line in order to grasp what is curved and what is straight. Thus, deviant sayings will not be able to cause disorder, and the hundred schools will have nowhere to hide.
One kind of person is brilliant enough to listen to all cases, but has no combative or arrogant countenance. He has generosity enough to extend to all sides, but does not make a display of his virtue in his appearance. If his persuasions are successful, then all under Heaven is set right. If his persuasions are not successful, then he makes clear his way but lives in obscurity—such are the persuasions and demonstrations of the sage. The Odes says:
Full of refinement and nobility,
Like a jade tablet or scepter is he,
So lovely to hear and lovely to see.
The contented and tranquil gentleman
Serves as a model universally.
This expresses my meaning.
Translation from Eric Hutton’s Xunzi. Pretty good translation, I must say.
And yes, Classical Chinese writing really is that short.
I’ve written extensively about monarchy. And for good reason. We’re all here in great part because we share our criticism, or at least disillusion about democracy. Some critics of democracy come from the long reactionary tradition, going back to the De Maistre and the opponents and the French Revolution. But most of it today, at least on this corners of the internet, derives from libertarians figuring it out that democracy isn’t quite conducive to liberty. Certainly not in a theoretical way. Hans Herman Hoppe put it best, wrote a whole book about it, saying that if economic theory made any sense, monarchy was the best system of government. Moldbug run his whole blog on that. He used to troll Larry Auster in that the modern world suffers from “chronic kinglessness”, then went away praising Henry VII Tudor.
My answer to that is that if you know your history you know that monarchy doesn’t work like Filmer or Hobbes said it did. The theory was good; but an absolute ruler is just that, a theory. In practice power gets exercised by the people who seek power. And a king won’t necessarily seek power. He may be a shy man; or a dissolute hedonist. Or have a strong mother who won’t let him. Or have powerful ministers who craftly dodge his attempts at exercising him his royal prerogative. Modern governments are a mess. Old royal courts were also a big mess. And it’s all written down.
Still, some people keep on not getting the joke. Mostly because they don’t want to get the joke. It’s convenient for them to keep on theorizing in how awesome monarchy is. Filmer and Hobbes were amongst those. The modern Japanese right is also like that.
As I said the modern Japanese right has been organizing for some time around the need to reform the Constitution. Or more frankly, to scrap the present one and come up with a new one. They just won the election and they’re getting to it, but they’ve been planning for some time. In 2012 the LDP, the perennial ruling party, or more specifically the right wing of the LDP, announced their draft for a new constitution. It scraps article 9, which forbids Japan from (nominally) having military forces. And it changes article 1. Article 1 right now says:
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
And this they want to change into:
Article 1. The Emperor is the head of the State and shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
You can see the total list of changes here, in very good English.
So anyway, the change isn’t very big. But the whole thing of the “head of state” has the internet right, which like the Western alt-right but 100 times bigger, very excited with talk of having a proper monarch and all that. And all that’s very cool, but they seem to have forgotten to actually ask the emperor. And he’s not playing ball.
In July 13, the whole country was startled when the public broadcaster, NHK, announced that the emperor had the intention of “abdicating”. The wording was pretty ominous, “生前退位”, “abdicating in life”, but the actual wording is “giving away the throne”. The proper wording would be 譲位 “passing the throne to”. The wording kinda meant the emperor was abolishing the institution. That mostly was just a careless journalist not knowing his imperial vocabulary, but still. The very fact of rumors coming out of the imperial household was completely unheard of. And to make it worse, later in the very same day, the Imperial Household Agency, the government bureaucrats who run the palace, denied the whole thing. Nothing to see here!
So not only rumors were coming out of the imperial palace; but there were conflicting rumors. That’s even worse. Something was seriously amiss here. But for weeks nothing happened. Until last week, the Emperor gave a press conference.
First of all, the Emperor is not supposed to do that! He shouldn’t be talking to the people besides any predetermined royal business of his. But he had something to say, and he said it. And what did he say? That he’s old, that he’s busy, that there’s a lot of stuff to do, he’s not able to do it, so he thinks it better if he leaves the throne so that the tasks of the emperor don’t suffer.
The whole thing was weird. Weird in the eyes of monarchists. The Emperor is the royal person. He can do what he wants. He’s not a bureaucrats with tasks to do. That’s secondary. But the Emperor doesn’t see it that way. He mentioned the word “symbol” 8 times. Because that’s his job under the current constitution, to be the “symbol of the nation”. Apparently he feels very strongly about his job as a symbol, and wants someone to do it if he’s unable to. But that’s not the idea of the monarch that people have these days. He’s to be the head of state! The symbol thing is just some word. But he doesn’t see it like that. He feels he has a job. He feels like the right wants to change his job. And he surely doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t even want to be there when the whole thing happens.
The left has rushed to argue that this is the Emperor’s way of protesting against the rightist shift. And they have a point. Imperial sovereignty in pre-war Japan led to the military declaring war to the whole world in the Name of the Emperor. And the Showa Emperor, Hirohito, the present emperor’s father, grew to resent that. When the famous Yasukuni shrine went fascist and declared that the war criminals punished by the US in the Tokyo trials were also enshrined there, the Emperor never again visited the shrine. His son, the present Emperor, has never gone himself. The Imperial Household is not amused by rightist nostalgia of pre-war Japan. They are in the left.
And if the present emperor is in the left, you haven’t seen his son. The crown prince, Naruhito, is married to a Foreign office bureaucrat, who is always sick, unable to do her princess duties, unless she has to go to Europe. Then she’s always healthy and stays long periods of time shopping in Paris. She hates the imperial bureaucracy, and they hate her back. And the crown prince is fully on her side. He has protested several times on how the imperial bureaucracy treats women badly. You know where this goes.
And, to make matters funnier, the crown prince has one only child. A daughter. Which under the present imperial household regulations, can’t inherit the throne. There was some attempt at reforming that, and allowing a future empress. But then the crown prince’s brother had a baby boy, and he became the next in line. But once the crown prince becomes the Emperor, he will most certainly push to reform the law to get his daughter on the throne some day. And he will have the full support of all the Japanese left.
So you have a monarchist right, which dreams of traditional monarchy, fighting a leftist royal house who wants nothing to do with it. They want to be fancy bureaucrats on a salary doing a “symbol” job. But the right doesn’t care. Their monarchism isn’t about the monarch. It’s just some convenient Schelling Point they got to make friends amongst themselves and sell bullshit to the populace. Which is what politicians do.
And you could say that of any political idea. The content is secondary. The consequences are completely besides the point. What counts is what works in the political arena. What gets retweeted. What gets you votes. How ideas develop depends on that, not in actual internal logic or likely consequences.
Razib Khan recently wrote a good post about how retarded the whole tirade on “social constructs” can be. Gender is a social construct! Sports should be integrated! Come on. As a scientist it’s natural he gets pissed at the whole thing.
I commented there a while ago about how, you know, leftists are actually right. Race is a social construct. Gender is a social construct. They got that exactly right. It’s a rather profound point, and I’ve been thinking on exposing my argument a bit better. It’s a linguistic argument, but that’s what I do.
Let’s put it more precisely. Race is, obviously, not a social construct. But “race” is a social construct. As “gender” is a social construct. The same way “car”, or “moon”, or “democratic republic” is a social construct. Words are social constructs. That’s how language works. Word meanings are social conventions. There’s nothing else to it. If you raise a child in a community where the word “car” is used to refer to a certain subset of vehicles, then that’s what a “car” is. If you raise a child in a community where “fascists” is used to mean a certain subset of low-status people, that’s “fascists” are.
Of course there’s a lot of details about how children adopt the usage of words. Sure, language, as so much else, is a social convention. Most human behavior, indeed the behavior of most social animals is conventional. People from different places walk in different ways. Samurais pre-1860s famously had to be trained by French officers to run properly, as samurai practice was to lower your back and run in small steps like a 6 year old kid after shoplifting. Language works the same way. A sensitive person can tell accents and little quirks of speech at the village, even the family level.
But why would people adopt those conventions? That’s the real question. Why do people in villages adopt every tiny little intonation quirk? Part of it is just human instinct: people are mimetic creatures, as the late René Girard liked to say. But instinct evolved for a reason. To put it simple, adopting conventions is useful. It helps you get by. It gets you more status than you would get by not adopting the convention. Humans adopt behavior which is useful to them. Humans are pragmatic.
And so language use depends on its pragmatic nature. Race is, certainly, not a clear cut category. Humans can mix. There are continuums of genetic clusters. But humans, at least since the modern era, have classified humans in different races; often according to very crude markers such as skin color. Andaman Islanders aren’t at all African; no genetic test will cluster them with Nigerians. But if you found one at your local grocery store you would most likely call him black. Why? Because it’s useful. If Andaman Islanders were all incredible geniuses who gave you 10 bucks every time you met them, soon enough people would find a way of telling them apart from other dark skinned, kinda African-looking people who don’t give 10 dollar bills at first sight. But in real life, dark skinned, kinda African-looking people tend to behave in similar ways; so there’s no particular necessity to notice their little differences and tell them apart. Nigerians, Jamaicans, Kenyans and Somalis are interchangeable for most purposes. The same way people don’t care to tell apart Irish from Italians from Swedes in America. They do in Europe! Because it’s useful to do so. Not in the US: so they’re all white.
Wittgenstein made himself famous by basically destroying the whole academy of philosophy by pointing out the, on hindsight, obvious point that Philosophy is based in a misunderstanding of how language works. How people use language in daily life. Words don’t have definitions, they don’t have essences. Writing books about single words is completely pointless. Words are things we use in particular contexts; the use changes all the time. It’s all convention, and conventions are dynamic, pragmatic affairs.
Everything is a social construct; because society is very important for human life. Many people, in particular the sort of person who would read this blog, often can’t understand why most people believe common progressive ideas. Surely humans aren’t all equal! Surely open borders doesn’t make sense! Surely spending millions on transexual toilet rights is pointless! Why does anyone take all this seriously? Well, because it’s useful. Because not doing so brings very concrete social consequences.
If you put your finger in a fire, it burns. It hurts a lot. If somebody comes later and tells that you that fire doesn’t burn, to put your finger in the fire; you are likely to protest. Of course it burns. It hurts like crazy. But most things in life aren’t like that. Nobody has ever got burnt due to global warming. Most ideas don’t have immediate consequences. If somebody tells you that “Muslims belong in Germany”, unless you have been stabbed by a Muslim recently, the proposition doesn’t have real consequences for you. It’s just a set of words. Your reaction to that proposition doesn’t depend on your memory of getting your finger burnt. The only real consequences to that conversation is the opinion that your peers will have about you. So if your memory about talking on Muslims belonging in Germany is that any contrary opinion gets your peers mad, and results in you having lower status; well your reaction will be “sure, Muslims belong in Germany. Merkel is awesome”.
The vast majority of ideas don’t have physical consequences; all they have is social consequences. They are status markers. Whether Muslims belong in Germany or not won’t get your finger burnt immediately. It may over the long term, but human brains don’t work like that. You learn behaviors to avoid danger and earn pleasure. And social disapproval by uttering non-progressive opinions are as harsh and immediate as a burnt finger in a fire.
So the reaction of most people to any abstract proposition like that will rely on their calculation of the social consequences of their particular reaction to that proposition. As it happens, being a good progressive gets you status and approval; not being a good progressive gets you low status and disapproval. So of course most people will do whatever gets them status and approval. The few contrarians like us who disagree, do so because of different experiences, because they don’t see the point in earning that sort of status, or, in many cases, because they are like the philosophers who Wittgenstein made fun of, and are just not getting the point. Taking stuff literally when you’re not supposed to. That’s not how language works.
You could make a meta point about “social construct”. It of course means that definitions are social conventions, which is a completely accurate point. But how is the string “social construct” used in actual language usage? A mere frequency analysis would tell you that “social construct” is a string that leftists use in order to crack down on bad people. You could perfectly define “social construct” as “a word whose definition is set by the Cathedral, and which denying it would get you in real trouble so shut up already”. When people come out of their way to state that “race is a social construct”, that’s not a scientific point. All they mean is “race is what I and my friends say it is and shut up you fascist”.
Note that they don’t really need to be aware of the difference. Surely some people understand that “social construct” is supposed to mean a concept deriving its meaning from social convention. But plenty of people just have picked up “social construct” being used in leftist agitation, got what’s used for, and imitated that usage themselves. You don’t need to be aware of the origin of words; only how they’re used. That’s the etymological fallacy at the micro level.
I’ve had hour long conversations about how to define “racist”. But “racist” in common usage means “bad person who I can easily accuse of disliking black people in order to ostracize him”. That’s how the language game is played. You can contest that kind of usage, and word usage indeed changes a lot all the time. But changing social conventions requires power. Political power. Because, of course, everything is politics. That’s a point the left understood a very long time ago. Even if they won’t say so.
Just in case anybody was concerned, no, I wasn’t killed at any of the recent Islamic murders in Europe in the last few weeks. And I really didn’t have much to say about it. My last post stood as an almost miraculous oracle of why Islamic murders happen, and why they will continue to do so. And voila, they continued to do so. And of course, as I said, European governments did nothing of importance to address the problem. Because they can’t.
But now some days have gone on without further incidents, so it’s time to change topics. I could write about Japan, which has gone through two very important elections, elections for the Senate in July 10th, and elections for the governorship of Tokyo in July 31st. The Senate elections gave a large 2/3 majority to the right, which in Japan it’s defined as nationalists who want to change the constitution, apparently to, among other changes, delete the clause that “The Emperor has the responsibility to uphold the constitution”. So they want nominally absolute monarchy. Nominally, of course, Japan’s emperors haven’t counted for shit for thousands of years, and the next emperor in line is known to be a wimpy liberal whose wife spends more time shopping in Paris than attending Shinto rituals.
Some say that Japan will go bankrupt before any constitutional change can be decided on; but financial crises do not stop political change: they accelerate it. Usually in a bad way. As things stand, Japan is on course to enter a rightist singularity of ever accelerating nationalist madness. And lack of money will only fuel the fire. Interesting times.
The Tokyo election was somewhat different: the incumbent, recently elected (2 years on the job) governor of Tokyo, Masuzoe, was busted because of misuse of government funds. The dude was spending big money travelling first class, spending weeks on a time on pointless foreign trips. But that’s a long standing Tokyo tradition, his predecessor was even worse than him. The guy was completely busted by the media, and he didn’t get it. What have I done wrong? The Tokyo bureaucracy obviously loved the guy, who was never around, so they had free hands to do what they pleased; another long standing Japanese political tradition.
The guy did get it coming in many ways. He was a textbook sociopath, narcissistic fuck who has published dozens of inane books about how awesome he is; multiply divorced, is known to have multiple mistresses, all of them with his children, whom he refuses to support. A nasty piece of work he was. But that isn’t immediately disqualifying for office; and in any case everybody knew that before the election, and he got the job anyway. So there’s no good theory about why suddenly the establishment went against him. As I am a great believer that the face is the mirror of the soul, please take a look at the guy.
The only plausible reason I can think of is that he was in cahoots with the Koreans. Tokyo has a famous issue with a lack of daycare centers; and the guy canceled a daycare center building in order to sell the land for cheap for the construction of a Korean school. Koreans don’t have children; nobody has in Tokyo, there’s no good rationale for a second Korean school. Obviously this was about money and patronage; first thing the guy did in office was go on a trip to Seoul and bend his back to the Korean president. And that looks bad. Baaad. Bad! in Japan. So powerful forces started to conspire against him; his arrogance made him look bad in the media, who realized that shitting on the guy got them better ratings; one thing led to another, and the guy got busted. Oh well.
So they held new elections a week ago. And it got interesting because the ever-ruling party, the LDP, i.e. the right, the party of Abe, couldn’t agree on a candidate, and thus split. The LDP is the ever ruling party of Japan, running the place almost uninterruptedly since 1945. But like I always say about monarchy, the nominal power structure doesn’t mean anything. If there’s many parties competing for power, people will organize themselves around that. If there’s a single party running the place, people will form factions and bicker inside the single party. The amusing thing about the Japanese LDP is that the faction system is formalized: there are nominal factions, which call themselves “factions”, which openly meet in congress centers and conspire for their benefit in front of everyone. It’s pretty funny.
The divide lines among the LDP are pretty obvious; especially so in regional centers such as the Tokyo council. Basically it seems that the Tokyo legislature is run by this big old corrupt ogre, which runs a huge pork machine which basically controls the whole of Tokyo. Again tell me if he just doesn’t look like a big old corrupt ogre.
Well this guy has been running Tokyo for a decade or so, and for this new election he of course wanted to run his own candidate, somebody who was willing to allow him to run his pork machine for a small commission. And so he got some boring old ex-minister, Masuda. What’s funny is that this Masuda guy had been Minister of the Interior years ago; and one of the things he did was send huge amounts of money out of Tokyo out into the provinces, in order to help the struggling countryside. “How can you put this guy to run Tokyo? He’s the enemy!”
But that was missing the point. The guy as Minister of the Interior did what the Minister of the Interior bureaucrats wanted him to do: get them bigger budgets. And as Governor of Tokyo he presumably would do what the big old corrupt ogre wanted him to do: get him bigger budgets, and help him come up with new bullshit projects with the excuse of the 2020 Olympics, which have already become an obscene money drain.
But surprise, surprise, some other faction of the LDP decided that his couldn’t go on. While this big old corrupt ogres go on wasting money on pork, at this rate even Tokyo is going to go bankrupt. No, we need Reform™. We need to cut on bureaucratic waste and entrenched interests. And so this lady, also from the LDP, declared her candidacy. Ms. Koike.
Big old corrupt ogre went batshit crazy. He threatened with firing her from the party, announced that she would get no electoral support. And he sent a memo to all Tokyo party members, saying that if any party member, including their families, supported Ms. Koike, they would be immediately fired. Including family members! Yes, Japan is going back to the middle ages.
The first news reports were that Ms. Koike had effectively committed suicide; she had no party machine, no voter pool, no support from the party. She would lose badly, get expelled from the party, and die the lonely death of a traitor spinster. And those news got the left excited. Because yes, I haven’t mentioned it, but Japan does have a left. And as the right is getting righter, the left is getting lefter.
Japan used to have a Soviet-aligned Socialist Party during the Cold War; whose party leaders went to North Korea to celebrate the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and stuff like that. That’s besides the official Communist Party, which is still around. The Socialist Party never managed to win an election, and after the Cold War it slowly disintegrated. For a while the remnants formed the Democratic Party, which was supposed to be a modern, Blair-Clinton kind of thing. They never managed to amount to much, but they did win the 2009 election, just in time to preside over the big 2011 Tsunami. Besides the Tsunami they botched everything they did; basically they were dumb, and the bureaucracy sabotaged everything they wanted. So since 2012 the Democratic Party has been dead, completely suppressed by the amazing Abe charisma.
The solution the Democratic Party chose since 2015 was to… ally with the Communist Party. Yep. I’ve no idea who convinced whom but this madness actually happened, with predictable results. The Democratic Party went full retard on leftist insanity, arguing for increased immigration, voting rights for foreigners, new feminist laws, gaymarriage, abolishing nuclear power, that sort of stuff. Stuff which is not exactly popular right now because Japan is undergoing a rightist singularity as we speak. But the Left is the Left is the Left, and their solution is always to move lefter. So they made an alliance with the Communist Party, and given that the right had split before the Tokyo elections, they thought they stood a chance. So they selected as a candidate this guy, Mr. Torigoe.
Now you can see from his hairstyle, that this guy is a complete douche. He’s also a leftist douche. 75 years old, he’s a remnant of the old Soviet aligned left, those who were students in the 1960s. He made his living as a leftist journalist, so he had plenty of brand recognition. But the guy also happens to have multiple cancers, and show clear signs of dementia. He’s 76 after old. Also, being a leftist douche, he was found to have harassed dozens of young women. Kinda like Sartre and all other famous leftists have always done. I mean, what’s the point of being a leftist celebrity if you can’t get young pussy through it? That’s the actual motivation, ideology is the means to an end.
Anyway, the Democratic and Communist parties thought they could pull a Tokyo governorship with this guy, but the election was so completely inept that they botched it spectacularly. And I mean spectacularly. Mr. Leftist Douche came in third place. The puppet of the Tokyo pork machine came second. And… oh yeah, Ms. Koike the outsider won the election. Reform won the day.
It’s unlikely she will be allowed to get away with much; the governor doesn’t have that much power. But I don’t know; perhaps there are sectors of the Tokyo bureaucracy that she can use for her ends. Bureaucrats play divide and conquer with politicians; a skilled politician has to play divide and conquer with his bureaucrats. Structurally speaking bureaucrats are usually better able to run tight loyal ships to avoid that kind of attacks, while politicians are more vulnerable to it. But Ms. Koike has a reputation for being tough as nails. And yes, she is also hard-right. “Let’s change the constitution and have an army”-right.
That shouldn’t matter much, but as thing stand today, being a “let’s have an army” politician is a fairly good way of gaining support from a wide set of people. There’s lots of conspiracies about “secret sects” like Nihon Kaigi that are conspiring to get Japan back into the Middle Ages, which is driving the US foreign policy circles crazy right now; and while it can’t get that simple; the fact is that being on the right in Japan pays. So people move to the right. It doesn’t pay to go crazy Nazi; there’s plenty of those, and they are very unpopular. But a smart degree of rightist signaling gets you a long way. And that’s not thanks to media support. The mainstream media is, generally, batshit leftist, and they overwhelmingly supported the rapist leftist douche. What is rightist though, is the internet, and some more fringe sectors of the media, such as news weeklies and the like.
The funny thing is that Schelling points right now, while still functioning as Schelling points, are all slowly shifting in different directions. And that is a worldwide trend. Interesting times.