Learn to Die

“To learn to die is to unlearn how to be a slave”


I heard this quote a few days ago in a Modern Wisdom podcast about stoicism and they haven’t stopped floating around my head. The phrase is provocative and brave in a way I don’t think people today would voice openly for fear of being cancelled. And that is the problem.

Today everyone is beholden to the luxuries of modern life. Not only are we afraid to die…we are afraid to live without the approval of our social media friends, we are afraid to live without our current jobs, we are afraid of anything changing to harshly. We have become slaves to the modern era.

That’s not to say I’m a Neo-Luddite. I think the internet and the freedom of information our technology provides is a net good in the world. Our dependence on those technologies, on the other hand, has become a hinderance. Today we can hardly imagine how to survive without our Netflix subscription. Hell, Disney+ still has millions of subscribers even after thanking the Chinese province that is, right this instant, detaining, sterilizing, and “re-educating” Uigher Muslims in concentration camps for their government’s security service’s help in filming Mulan. We don’t lack the knowledge of supporting a company that supports concentration camps…we are too weakened to tell that immoral company “no.”

We have become slaves to our technology.

To live free is to have nothing forcing your actions. In order to ensure that nothing has control over you, you have to learn how to give everything up when you think the fight is worth the cost. In learning how to die, you can learn to never let your soul be corrupted by powers that seek to control you. You can draw a line in the sand and say, “There is nothing you can do to me to make me cross that line. You will have to kill me before I cross it.”

You shouldn’t be vainglorious in this pursuit, nor should you chase after death with glee. Instead, think on what you could give up today if you decided to. If your morality called for it. Would you give up Disney+ to show that you don’t support their condoning of Chinese atrocities? Would you give up your smart phone because you believe that the companies have gone too far with invading privacy and selling private information? Would you risk your friendships to voice an opinion that the majority of society might disagree with, potentially costing you your job along with everything else, if you thought that opinion was morally correct? Would you die to protect your values?

What is your line in the sand?

The path to societal enslavement is usually caused by individuals too scared to speak up. To say what they believe is right in the face of systems bigger than themselves. Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pott’s Cambodia, Mussolini’s Italy, Nero’s Rome. Every violent, murderous regime has flourished because the masses wouldn’t stand up. They didn’t know how to die. And they were enslaved.

Our founding fathers knew how to die. They knew that signing the Declaration of Independence was the same as signing their death warrants should the revolution fail. They signed anyway because they believed in representative government. That every man is created equal with unalienable rights. For their bravery we live in the most free and diverse country in the world. We can learn many lessons from our founding fathers, but I think the foundational lesson is:

Learn how to die so you can learn to be free.

If you like what you have read I encourage you to check out my novella “The Butcher of Island, Kentucky.” You can pick up your digital or physical copy on Amazon. I’m also trying to build my Locals community where we will be able to talk about books, philosophy, or just share random thoughts and life moments in among our own community. I’m currently working on ideas on how to give subscribers more value for being paid subscribers to the community, so that will be an option eventually, but for now go to my Locals page to follow my content. As I release more books and figure out what kind of online product I want to produce I will build upon what I have now, but I see it as a contained community we can build away some of the more toxic social media environments. Until we meet again, Cheers!


You Harm Yourself with Excuses

How easy is it to make excuses? Any honest person would have to admit that they make excuses every day, and often multiple times a day, because that is often the easiest option in a situation. Why were you late to work? Traffic was bad. Why didn’t you take out the trash? Oh, I thought about it, but then I got distracted by this other thing and forgot.

Excuses are our way of preserving our ego from admitting failure. We use them to paint over our faults and excuse ourselves of blame. Sometimes we even do this over more consequential and ongoing issues in our lives. Why can’t we make meaningful emotional connections to others? Well, my parents didn’t hug me enough. Why did you cheat on your wife? Because she wasn’t having sex with me as much as I would like. Why do you drink yourself to blackouts every night? I’m under a lot of stress.

We excuse away all of our bad traits and behaviors so we can still tell ourselves that we are good people and that all of our problems are the faults of others. While this seems easy, meaningless, and sometimes justified absolving yourself of your faults does you more damage than you can understand.

Each of us is an individual who makes decisions in our lives. Those decisions shape the course of our existence. All of our success and failures stem from these decisions. If we discount the decisions that make up our failures we immediately discount those decisions that made us successful. By making excuses and refusing to live up to your faults and failures, you remove from yourself all agency.

Many people smarter than myself have stated that a person’s happiness and wellbeing are directly linked to their belief that they have agency in their lives. Therefore, refusing to face the darker parts of yourself that make mistakes on a regular basis, you are also defeating the brightest parts of yourself that have allowed you to succeed to whatever level you have in your life. You can only do this so long before you find yourself incapable of believing that you control your own destiny at all.

The best part of this message is, while looking at your faults honestly is painful and difficult, when you do this the strong parts of you only get stronger. Being honest about your faults is like weightlifting for the soul. And just like a real gym, only you can make the decision to go in and do the hard work. If I may be a little lame and quote lyrics from a mid-2000’s song to prove my point; Allow me to remind you of the words of Incubus…

“Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear

And I, I can’t help but ask myself

How much I let the fear take the wheel and steer

It’s driven me before

And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal

But lately I’m

Beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel.”

Drive by Incubus

Virtue Signaling the Fall of Man

Social media has been a great boon to society in many ways. Being able to post onto a site where millions of people hang out has allowed smaller content creators and businesses to break through monopolistic barriers in stagnant industries such as the music and movie industries. Access to different cultures and ideas have made the world both a vast landscape where infinite is seemingly at your fingertips and simultaneously so small that you can become intimate friends with a person on the other side of the globe.

Yet, as with every human endeavor, the immense good comes to us as a well paved road with steep cliffs at either side. Social media has allowed vanity to run rampant in our culture and has many people acting as their own PR firms, doing shallow acts in the public eye to increase their stock with their peers without accomplishing anything.

Welcome to the stage – the virtue signal.

I am not naïve enough to believe that humans have always been virtuous before our current culture, that would be an act of blindness so immense one would have to wonder if I still possess a pulse, but we did have societal standards that tried to call attention to our base desires and point us in a more productive direction. These were the Cardinal Virtues; Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.

Virtue signaling has become commonplace because the act gives you all of the social capital that actual virtues will get you without the work. We see it every day when someone scrawls posts of empty-worded sloganeering all over their page for a few dozen likes or when a corporation pretends to care about a hot-button issue because they think it will help their bottom-line or when a politician pretends to care about an issue to get your vote with no intention of following through with their promises. We have devolved as a culture to reward these vane practices as morally high-minded and worthy of praise.

We shouldn’t mince words, virtue signaling is a selfish act of pride only meant to bolster the signaler and no one else. Pride is a vice we should try to extinguish from our culture. Pride is the mother of all sins because pride deludes us into thinking we are beyond reproach. Pride demands respect and attention from those around us. Pride does not give anything back to the world. Pride only takes.

If you want to do something good in the world, practice the four Cardinal Virtues. Be prudent in your decisions, be just to yourself and the world around you, have the fortitude to weather life’s unavoidable struggles, and temper your desires so they don’t overtake you. And also, live your values quietly. Your silent greatness will speak louder than that weak voice in the void asking for attention.

2021 Reading List

Here is my unofficial reading list for 2021. I might change it up here or there, but I don’t plan on changing much, maybe only the order. According to my math this should get me to 33 books which is my goal…I might even try to do better than 33 books. We shall see.

  • Logic: A Complete Introduction
    by Siu-Fan Lee
  • Wheel of Time Book 10: Crossroads of Twilight
    by Robert Jordan
  • White Guilt
    by Shelby Steele
  • Wheel of Time Book 11: Knife of Dreams
    by Robert Jordan
  • How to Have Impossible Conversations
    by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay
  • Wheel of Time Book 12: The Gathering Storm
    By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Irreversible Damage
    by Abigail Shrier
  • Wheel of Time Book 13: The Towers of Midnight
    By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life
    by Jordan Peterson
  • Wheel of Time Book 14: A Memory of Light (Finally! I mean, the story is good, but 14 books! I’m ready for this point in the year)
    by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Return of the God Hypothesis
    by Stephen C. Meyer
  • 1984
    by George Orwell
  • False Alarm
    by Bjorn Lomborg
  • The Kill Artist
    by Daniel Silva
  • Apocalypse Never
    by Michael Shellenberger
  • Timeline
    by Michael Crichton
  • The History of the Ancient World (I listened to the audiobook last year…feel like I need to read the physical copy this year…)
    by Susan Weise-Bauer
  • The Expanse Book 1: Leviathan Wakes
    by James S. A. Corey
  • The History of the Medieval World
    by Susan Weise-Bauer
  • Mistborn Trilogy Book 1: Mistborn
    by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Plantagenets
    by Dan Jones
  • James Bond: License Renewed (First Bond novel after Ian Fleming’s death. Hope it’s good.)
    by John Gardner
  • The Wars of the Roses
    by Dan Jones
  • Witcher Series Book 2: Time for Contempt
    by Andrej Sapkowski
  • Reinventing Racism: Why “White Fragility” Is the Wrong Way to Think about Racial Inequality
    by Jonathan D. Church
  • Witcher Series Book 3: Baptism of Fire
    by Andrej Sapkowski
  • One Vote Away
    by Ted Cruz
  • Paradise Lost
    by John Milton
  • The Naked Communist
    by W. Cleon Skousen
  • A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth (yearly tradition around Christmas)
    by Charles Dickens
  • Meditations
    by Marcus Aurelius
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
    by Harper Lee
  • The Rational Male 3: Positive Masculinity
    by Rollo Tomassi

Books I Read in 2020

2020 was a wild year for me as far as reading goes. I had always wanted to read more but never lived up to what I wanted for myself. This last year I found the advice of Scott Adams extremely helpful. Never set goals for yourself (or at least don’t pay too much attention to them) it is more important to set up a system that you can work every day. Eventually the daily system will lead you to a larger goal if you calibrate it correctly. This list is living proof of this method (one of the many for me this year). I decided to read 30 pages as my daily system, which roughly translates into an hour of reading. With this system in place, I read more books this past year than I have in the last decade and I plan to increase my yearly goal for 2021. Here’s to the end of a wild year and to more success in the next!

  1. The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
    by Susan Weise Bauer (Audible)
  2. The Wheel of Time Book 4: The Shadow Rising
    by Robert Jordan
  3. Carnival Row
    by Stephanie K. Smith (Audible)
  4. Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch
    by Ruth Cowen (Audible)
  5. Mere Christianity
    by C.S. Lewis
  6. Cari Mora
    by Thomas Harris (Audible)
  7. The Happines Hypothesis
    by Jonathan Heidt (Audible)
  8. The Wheel of Time Book 5: The Fires of Heaven
    by Robert Jordan
  9. Magna Carta
    by Dan Jones
  10. Congo
    by Michael Crichton
  11. The False Promise of Single Payer Healthcare
    by Sally C. Pipes
  12. The Last Wish
    by Andrej Sapkowski
  13. The Madness of Crowds
    by Douglas Murray
  14. Sword of Destiny
    By Andrej Sapkowski
  15. The Keys of Prolific Creativity
    by David V. Stewart
  16. The Wheel of Time Book 6: Lord of Chaos
    by Robert Jordan
  17. Loserthink
    By Scott Adams
  18. Blood of Elves
    by Andrej Sapkowski
  19. #Blackprivilege
    by Charlamagne Tha God
  20. The Wheel of Time Book 7: A Crown of Swords
    by Robert Jordan
  21. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity and Why That Harms Everyone
    by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
  22. Dune
    by Frank Herbert
  23. The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
    by Thomas Asbridge (Audible)
  24. Lose the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America
    by John McWhorter
  25. The Wheel of Time Book 8: The Path of Daggers
    by Robert Jordan
  26. The Go-Giver
    by Bob Burg and John David Mann
  27. The Wheel of Time Book 9: Winter’s Heart
    by Robert Jordan
  28. Charter Schools and Their Enemies
    by Thomas Sowell
  29. A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth
    by Charles Dickens
  30. The Law
    by Frederic Bastiat
  31. Brave New World
    by Aldous Huxley

Best Non-Fiction book of 2020: This was a difficult decision to make…I read a lot of great books this year, but I think the best of them was Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. The book was packed full of information often citing or quoting original materials from the subject matter they were discussing. This gave me more confidence in the conclusions they were reaching in their overview of the Critical Theories that we see invading our current culture. I definitely recommend picking up this book if you are interested in philosophy or want to understand the craze of calling everything racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic.

Best Fiction book of 2020: I have to go with Dune for this pick. I originally listened to Dune on audiobook a couple of years ago and couldn’t enjoy it. The vast universe that Frank Herbert created is almost too obscure in audiobook form because you can’t see how the strange terms the characters use are spelled and you don’t get the appendices at the end of the book that explain so much. This year, inspired by the Denis Villaneuve film that was SUPPOSED to come out last month, I decided to pick up the physical copy and give the story another shot. Upon the second reading, with the appendices for help, this book really stood out to me as a testament to fantasy and sci-fi storytelling.

The Butcher of Island, Kentucky – Preview

Chapter 1

Mack fled south toward Nashville, Tennessee for two reasons: Joliet was no longer safe, and he had it on good word that a man in Nashville named Clarence Grassly knew about his father’s murder. The good word had come from a low-level government official that signed the report that eventually lead to his father’s death. He hadn’t been forthcoming at first, but a hammer to both hands had loosened his lips considerably. That low-level official now sat at the bottom of the Des Plaines River thanks to a hunk of stone and some chain. Mack had put him there after taking the keys to his motorcycle.

He had spent the night at a run-down bed and breakfast in Evansville after a day of travel south. Luckily, communication between police departments was only as fast as the ethanol trucks that carried official documents could travel. Mack could move considerably faster on the motorcycle. The roads this far out from Chicago were difficult for the capital city to maintain. They were marked by large holes, fallen trees, rocks dislodged from hills, anything that could fall, stall, or destroy a road took their toll. Mack’s newly acquired motorcycle sped easily around obstacles that didn’t block the whole road. The trucks would have to make plenty of stops and detours.

Time was on Mack’s side, so he allowed himself to relax and enjoy the sun on his face and the wind in his hair. He even passed some fields filled with waist-high wildflowers. For forty years the old farms had grown back to something like their natural habitat. The world before the fall must have been so full to require so much food.

Mack left the bed and breakfast before the sun topped the eastern horizon. At that time, he figured the Chicago officials wouldn’t start looking for The Good Word Man until close to lunch. And probably another couple of days before they realized he was feeding fishes in the river. Mack wanted to put as much distance between him and Chicago as he could by that time.

His morning ride south through the northern reaches of old Kentucky were slow going. Most of old Kentucky was considered Chicago, but that was in name only. Chicago didn’t have the manpower or the money to control anything south of the Ohio River, but none of the other cities in the region openly opposed Chicago after the destruction of Indianapolis. Chicago’s victory in that war caused a chain reaction in the surrounding cities with Cincinnati becoming a vassal state a couple of days later followed quickly by Madison and Milwaukee.

Chicago ranged far and wide, but their border territories fell into disuse.  Kentucky hardly had a road system and Mack spent half the morning stopping to find alternate routes because the roads had been destroyed.

Due to this, it was close to lunchtime as Mack drove past a large white sign with green letters that proclaimed:

Welcome to Island, KY

POP. 435     EST 1872

The population had been crossed out with a big, red spray-painted “X” Next to it a large red zero had been added.

Nature never failed to captivate Mack, and the green hills leading into town were no exception. He almost hit a pothole as large as his motorcycle he was so lost in the scenery. Eventually the hills gave way to a quaint little town snuggled into the green hills and trees. Mack’s’ stomach stung from hunger, so he pulled over into the overgrown asphalt of a squat blue building nearly drowned by weeds and three-foot tall grass. He killed the engine and climbed off the bike.

The street artist that had adjusted the population on the sign outside of town must have been correct. Island, Kentucky was the quietest town Mack had ever heard. Nothing moved along the long, straight street that crossed the front of the blue building

Mack ate lunch in the shade of an abandoned industrial building. He sat Indian style in a padded down patch of waist high grass. Hidden in his little blind, he was sure no one would see him from the road. He took a bite of his cheese sandwich and glanced back into the darkness of the building. He had made sure the building was empty before settling down for lunch, but one couldn’t be too careful. A crafty thief could always take one unawares.

The building itself sat twenty yards from the road at the other end of a cracked and weedy asphalt lot. Vines covered the concrete walls of the building covering the chipped paint of old with lush greenery. An image of a time lost and mother nature’s constant desire to feed upon the works of men.

Mack didn’t know what the building had been used for before the world of old collapsed in on itself. All metal had long since been scavenged leaving holes in the concrete where structures used to be attached to the floor. A rotting bed and a stash of slick-paper pamphlets of nude women were the only things other than trash that filled the building now. Mack’s father had been alive when everything collapsed nearly four decades earlier. Mack had grown up with stories of roads filled with cars (most of which were now nothing more than rust buckets, parts were expensive) and cold boxes he called fridges filled with food. Sometimes Mack would try to imagine a world like that, but those moments were few and far between. Survival was a full-time job, as his dad used to say.

Life seemed simpler now anyway. Harsher, sure, but simpler. He didn’t have instant grams to distract him while he enjoyed the song of a blue jay. Whatever the hell an instant gram was.

Mack stuck the last corner of the sandwich in his mouth and leaned back into the grass. A cool breeze crossed over him and he watched the tall grass sway above his head. His eye lids grew heavy. He considered a nap before getting back on the road. He had ridden his old Harley down main street past the broken windows of old stores. No more stores, no people walking the streets. His bike wasn’t quiet, and he was careful to take his time looking for any curious eyes peeking out of windows or from around corners. He had seen nothing. Yes, he figured a nap wouldn’t be too bad here. He allowed his eye lids to close and felt that weightless feeling one gets right before dropping into sleep. That’s when he heard it. A rustle. To his left. Something in the grass?

He sprang up. Closed left hand around one of his revolvers and swung it out where he heard the sound. He got his feet under him and poked his head above the grass. A small man in an ill-fitting shirt recoiled. Mack’s finger had the trigger half squeezed before he realized the startled man’s hands were raised.

“Woah, woah, woah!” The man exclaimed. The momentum of his fright made him lose his balance. His upper body bent and spun faster than his feet reacted and he ended up stumbling with is back to Mack, eventually falling to his knees. “Don’t shoot! Jesus.”

“Sneaking up on a man is a good way to get a few extra orifices.” Mack said as coolly as he could. His heart thumped in his chest. How could he be so dumb? He considered taking some pressure of the trigger but kept it half-compressed. He shifted his body so he was directly over his other gun.

“You’re telling me, it’s just been so long since I’ve seen anyone around these parts.” The man spoke back over his shoulder.

“Shut up for a second, would ya?” Mack snapped. The man was rail thin. His clothes hung off him like he was nothing but bones. The man was a head shorter than Mack with flat brown hair that hung limply to the man’s shoulders. He had a few days’ stubble on his cheeks.

Mack knelt and picked up his other revolver, pointed that one at the man, and dropped the left gun back into his leg holster. He kept the right gun on the man.

“What’s your name?” Mack asked, he let annoyance weigh down his words.

“Izakiah.” The man said. His voice was high and sing-songy.

“Alright, Izakiah. Why don’t you stand up-SLOWLY. Turn around so I can get a good look at you.”

“You can call me Z.” The man said, trying to be friendly.

“I haven’t figured out what I’m going to call you yet.” Mack snapped. Mack studied the man’s face. He had small beady eyes that looked out from sunken sockets. His nose was too big for his face and his chin barely poked out further than his Adam’s apple. The man’s green eyes darted to the gun in Mack’s hand. Something other than fear in his eyes. Mack took a step forward, brought the gun closer to Izakiah’s face. That look went away. “Tell me what you are doing out here?”

“I live here.”

Mack moved the gun closer. Izakiah squirmed and licked his lips, tried to smile.

“Izakiah, I want you to know something. I’m not too fond of strangers sneaking up on me. I’m also not too fond of being woken from naps. You just did both of those things, so I’m not too happy with you right now. If you want to keep up this little game, I’ll happily put a bullet between your eyes right now and be done with this.”

Izakiah’s eyes flew open as wide as they could when he didn’t see a shred of humor in Mack’s eyes. He started shaking. “Okay, okay. Like I told you, I don’t see many people around here. It gets lonely here, ya know?”

“Who else lives here?”

“Just me.”

Mack didn’t see a lie in his eyes. He lowered his gun and took a step back. “Maybe you forgot what these days are like. Sneaking up on someone like that is a dangerous proposition.”

“I wanted to catch you before you left town.” Izakiah lowered his arms. “You’re going south, right? I saw you on the main strip.”

“I go where I go.”

“The nearest town is south, east and west are more difficult to traverse. You would be sleeping outside if you go either of those directions.”

“Let’s say I’m going south. What does it matter to you?”

“Well, you don’t want to go south!” Izakiah’s voice jumped almost an octave and his eyes went wide again.

Mack lifted an eyebrow.

“The bandits.” Izakiah explained as if Mack were a child. “Nobody goes south from here. Those monsters will attack anybody on the road. They’ll steal what you have and leave you for dead if you’re lucky.”

“And if I’m not lucky.”

Izakiah scrunched up his face and pushed one finger into the circle made by the fingers on his other hand.

“Great.” Mack scratched his stubbly cheeks. “How many are there?”

“You can’t take them yourself, believe me.”

“How do you know about them? If they are as dangerous as you claim, how are you still alive?”

Izakiah chuckled, “Sometimes I sell them meat from the animals I kill.”

“You sell it.” Mack stated unbelieving.

“They need to eat just like you or me.”

Mack understood. “So I’ll go around them. East or West, then south.”

“Oh, you shouldn’t do that today, mister.” Izakiah shook his head. “No, it is much too late in the day for that.”

“The sun is barely on the ‘eve.”

“The roads east and west are hard to drive. They are completely missing in some places, wiped out by rains. You have to cross a river to the west. Bridge is out. On top of that, those roads aren’t straight, they weave in and out of woods, you’ll get lost probably. Stay here with me tonight. I’ll help you map the best route and you can go tomorrow.”

Mack sighed and looked out at the road. This day started out simple, now he was stuck with two decisions he liked less and less. Finally, he dropped the revolver into his right thigh holster. “C’mon then. I hope you have a good place for me to sleep.”

A smile spread across Izakiah’s face. “You mean it? You’ll stay?” He clapped his hands together and bounced from one foot to the other. “Magnificent! I have some deer meat left over from the other day. We’ll cook that up and have a right feast. Follow me!”

And Mack followed. What started as a simple day was about to get much, much more complicated.

Thanks for reading!

You just read the first chapter of my upcoming novella, “The Butcher of Island, Kentucky.” I hope you enjoyed it! Leave a comment down below with feedback and make sure to go to amazon.com to pre-order the digital copy for $0.99, which should be going up sometime this weekend/early next week. OR, you can order a physical copy for $5.99 on September 25th! If you like what you read, sign up for my mailing list for updates or follow my social media sites located on my Contact page.

A Case Against Collectivism

Collectivism has long been the vehicle of much human suffering. To discount the individual in order to promote the collective, a society can rationalize and enact a litany of injustices upon any number of people it deems unfit or dangerous to society. As an individualist, I oppose collectivism at all costs because I can look back at history and note when collectivism created catastrophic injustices upon innocent individuals.

When we look back in history at the government bodies that were created in Marx’s name, via collectivism, we are forced to peer around HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dead bodies. These people, who had hopes, dreams, families, and enemies just as all of us do, were deemed unfit for society and their bodies where thrown upon the self-righteous alter of collectivist thought. You see, collectivism doesn’t care about who you are, or who your mother or father is, they only care about the health of the collective. The evil of collectivism is the belief that they are righteous to take what they want from you, no matter what you think on the matter, because they are building a just society. What is just about killing someone’s mother for the betterment of the collective? Or their father? Or you.

Collectivist thought is not a new concept, it is an everlasting evil that exists within humanity. It is glorified tribalism and it was used to enslave and subjugate anyone outside of one’s tribe since we were stabbing mammoths with spears. Today, tribalism is rearing its ugly head again in the form of identity politics, and sadly I see a lot of my acquaintances on social media falling into the tribal trap. I plan to do everything I can to keep this evil from spreading again. The ease with which we can kill millions of people with our current technology makes tribalism and collectivism infinitely more dangerous than in the past and I refuse to sit back and watch the atrocities unfold. I plan to build upon this idea in later blogs to hopefully help turn our society away from a disastrous and lethal ideology.

The Price of Free

“Gibs me dat!” the crowds scream. “Gibs me dat!” They clamor for the easy release from stress and their worldly problems. The crowds are so enraptured with the idea of getting something for nothing, that when they reach their hands out to grasp what they deem so rightfully theirs, they don’t notice the shackles closing around their wrists. They gaze up at their new masters with love and affection. Their masters listened, didn’t they? They asked for the easy way, and their masters provided. And so the crowds were silenced. And when some on the fringes of the crowd notice the shackles and ask their masters about them, the crowds turn on them and tear them to pieces. The crowds cheer with delight, believing themselves free, and their masters tighten their shackles, smiling.

Anti-Racism is just Racism in a Crappy Mask

The discussion of race in this country has become absurd to a point of insanity. The dialectic breaks down into two basic camps as far as I can tell. One camp, let’s call them the traditionalists, believe that race shouldn’t be a deciding factor in how people are treated and that we should expect the best of every person in our society regardless of their race. The other camp, we’ll call them the progressives, believe that systemic racism has oppressed people of color for centuries and needs to be destroyed in order to end the oppression. I know many people that would bristle at my description of the progressive argument, but I take that argument from the progressive camps own scholars. That, though, is a discussion for another blog. I try to keep these short.

One term or idea that has come out of this poisonous discussion is “anti-racism.” An anti-racist is a person who identifies and challenges the values, structures, and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism. Seems straight forward on the surface, but then we must dig into the definition of systemic, or structural, racism. Structural racism is a lens from which a person can view the world that allows them to see that, as a society, we take for granted a context of white leadership, dominance, and privilege. This is, basically, white privilege or “whiteness.”

With all of that out of the way, I think we can start to break down what anti-racism really means when we look at the article published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture which is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution museum (yes, this atrocious article, which I’m sure you’ve seen was published by an organization partially funded by our tax dollars. THIS is a moment where I say taxation equals theft).

In the article, they included a graphic that they have since taken down, but I’ll include it here. The graphic is titled “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness and White Culture in the United States” by Judith H. Katz and lays out the varying aspects of “whiteness” that apparently we should avoid. The list is confusing to say the least as none of the attributes on the graphic describe anything about a pale skin color. Instead it lists such items as: Self-reliance; Independence and Autonomy; Objective or rational linear thinking; Hard work is the key to success; Value on owning goods, space, or property; Plan for the future; Progress is always best; Following a schedule; Protection of property; Action Orientation; Must always do something about a situation; Decision-making; Being Polite.

This, I must say, is not an extensive list but it certainly drives home a picture of the person they want you to be. In this ideology “whiteness” is bad, so these are supposed to be activities that they would suggest you do not partake in. Considering this list, I believe it is safe to imply what kind of person the creators of this graphic would like you to be. If we reverse the wording the path away from “whiteness” (and evil) becomes clear:

  • Be reliant on someone else
  • Be dependent and controlled
  • Subjective or irrational thinking
  • Take handouts since hard work won’t get you anywhere
  • No possessions to call your own
  • Don’t Consider the future, act only on what you want NOW
  • Don’t better yourself
  • Don’t have discipline
  • Don’t protect yourself or your property
  • Don’t act in any given situation
  • Don’t feel the need to “do something”
  • Don’t make decisions
  • Be rude (so no one enjoys being around you)

These attributes have nothing to do with race. They are building blocks for a successful and stable culture. These people think you should be dependent, inactive, and unable to escape. To me it sounds like they want slaves. I know that’s a loaded term, but let’s be real. Any person that genuinely cares for another would NEVER give them this advice. Would you honestly tell a loved one to never make decisions? To never better themselves?

The implication this graphic makes, whether the artists meant to imply this consciously or not (I’ll say not to be charitable), is that non-white people are less able to embody these attributes and so these structures in our society must be destroyed so non-whites can be equal. That is a horrendous white supremacist message. To any black, brown, yellow, green, purple, lizard-skinned person reading this. You are just as capable of embodying the best aspects of man such as rational thought, discipline, and independence. The anti-racists say otherwise. They imply that you can’t do it…which seems pretty damned racist to me.

Being colorblind isn’t cool anymore. Somehow treating everyone the same makes me racist now to this crazy ideology, but I’m going to do what I know is right. I’m going to treat everyone as the valuable gift from God that you all are.

Below I have copied an archived version of the graphic. They don’t have the balls to stand behind their ideals, so I’ll gladly flaunt them as an educational tool.


Oh! Piece of racism!
Oh! Piece of racism!

Rooftop Koreans are Quintessential Americans

Americans protecting what is theirs. True Beauty.

The brave Korean-Americans that guarded their livelihoods during the 1992 Los Angeles riots have become something of legendary figures in our culture. When the chips were down and society in the city of Los Angeles was crumbling, they successfully deterred rioters from destroying their businesses. Their story sticks in our cultural subconscious, maybe not as strong as our founding fathers or the young men who stormed the beaches of Normandy, but nearly thirty years later we are still talking about them. Using their image as a rallying cry for bravery and grit.

The first lesson that should be taken from their story is that the government will not always be able to protect you. We have become fat and complacent in our lives and the Rooftop Koreans are a stark reminder that we are constantly walking a razors edge between order and chaos. Our system only runs effectively because 99.9% of people act in accordance with most societal norms. If enough people decide to act out, the police can quickly be over run. Couple this with politicians grandstanding about “peaceful” protestors and telling police to stand down while their cities burn, and police usually only showing up after a crime has been committed and you are left with one stark truth: You are your own first responder. You must protect yourself and your property.

The second message we should take from the Rooftop Koreans is that a little bit of backbone goes a long way. The men who patrolled their businesses didn’t have to kill anybody. The threat of violence was enough to deter the rioters. This is the best-case scenario when rioters and looters come to your door, but that outcome will only happen if you show them that you aren’t an easy target. But we must remember that a line in the sand shouldn’t be drawn lightly. You must be willing to stand up if someone crosses the line. If someone breaks into your property with intent to hurt you, your family, or your property as far as I’m concerned, they have forfeited their life.

I can already hear some of you balking at the idea of killing someone over attempting to break or steal “objects.” I plan to further explain my beliefs on private property and how your property is intrinsically a part of you in a later blog, but for now I wanted to talk about some of my personal heroes. We call them the Rooftop Koreans, but in all sincerity when they protected their property from vandals and looters, they were embodying the very spirit of America and for that reason I’m proud of them.

 P.S. There is a weird discussion about race when it comes to the topic of the Rooftop Koreans Americans, but this is silly so don’t bring your weird racist thoughts to my door. I don’t care who is doing the looting or rioting, I don’t care about a person’s skin when they are coming to harm somebody else, immoral behavior is immoral behavior no matter what region of the world your ancestors hail from. And to that end, a person who seeks to harm another person can catch a slug or two, I won’t lose sleep over it.