Between a Glock and a Harvard Place

In the aftermath of the Parkland School shootings in Florida in February 2018 a handful of student activists emerged calling for gun control. One was David Hogg who looked like something from The Man in the High Castle. Then there was the chick who spoke at rallies with a Cuban flag patch on the shoulder of her jacket. On the other side was a teenager called Kyle Kashuv who departed from his fellow activists by backing the second amendment. He was a conservative, in other words. From what I can remember a few prominent folk on the alt-right tried to co-opt him, but then he sort of fell under the wing of Ben Shapiro. Or he was trying to emulate Shapiro and was taking advice from him, I’m not sure.

Anyway, Harvard University for some reason offered places to Hogg and Kashuv, and I doubt this was on raw academic ability. However, yesterday a story broke that Kashuv’s invitation had been rescinded by Harvard because private documents had emerged (meaning, they were stolen and distributed for political purposes) from when he was 16 and used a racist word which you hear a lot in rap music. Kashuv has posted the details on Twitter, and it appears he apologised and tried to cooperate, and then he tried begging, but to no avail. Those calling themselves conservatives are now running around decrying Harvard for being harsh on the lad, with Ben Shapiro leading the charge. They are all citing variations of “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and issuing dark warnings of a world in which there is no forgiveness. And of course, they’re all denouncing his use of words in the original document.

This offers up two good examples of why the right are destined to keep losing. If this was a 35 year old lefty who’d made horrific and obscene remarks about Jews or white people on live TV last night, the airwaves and social media would be full of people putting the remarks “into context”, excusing them, and downplaying them, while everyone else on the left – crucially – shuts the f*** up. I don’t say this in order to make the pointless charge of hypocrisy, I simply show that this is the difference between those who want to win and those whose priority is to be considered decent people by those who hate them. If the right intended to win it would come out and say, “So what?” They’re called racist anyway, so what have they got to lose?

But more importantly, it looks to me like Kashuv’s rejection was set up in such a way as to achieve maximum humiliation. Kashuv has made the same mistake as Julia Hartley-Brewer and Jordan Peterson that Milo identified and I wrote about here. Harvard doesn’t care what Kashuv wrote in high school, but those pulling the strings care very much he didn’t toe the line when he was supposed to and so have singled him out for defenestration. Whether they like it or not, Kashuv, Peterson, and others are dissidents in the eyes of what remains of the moderate left and Waffen SS officers according to everyone else. They need to wake up and understand that they cannot occupy the turf they’ve chosen and expect to participate in a society run by their sworn enemies. The right needs to accept the institutions are lost and start building some of their own with the only rule being if you’re a lefty you don’t get in. But they can’t do that because people like Shapiro are too busy feathering their own nests and punching right to make sure they don’t get outflanked by some real conservatives who couldn’t care less what Kashuv wrote when he was 16. Above all, the right needs to start behaving more like dissidents in the Soviet Union and less like a school prefect who’s been caught smoking behind the squash courts and is worried he’ll lose his privileges. And that means poking lefty in the eye at every opportunity, doubling down, tearing up the rule book, and refusing to apologise even if caught red-handed. It’s not like we don’t have a rather prominent example of how this works in the White House, is it?

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36 thoughts on “Between a Glock and a Harvard Place

  1. I can’t help but think you’re correct. We’re in a culture war but the right is assuming the enemy is playing by the traditional rules of war.

    It’s like a boxer, playing by boxing rules, trying to take down a street fighter who is armed with steel spiked batons.

    I can’t help but think Boris is taking a leaf out of Trump’s rule book – not appearing in media, not going on the first debates etc.

    The leftists I work with can’t understand it, they are mocking him and his PR team, not realising his inaction has gotten them all talking about him.

  2. Lefties have infiltrated a la Gramsci but surrender stupid. Institutions have to be reclaimed by blasting the Overton window wide open and mocking their vapouring sensibilities . Trump is showing the way. If he can now forceFarcebook, Twatter and Google to return to being public utilities rather publishers via swingeing penalties then the battle for freedom of speech and freedom of conscience will be won and the left will shrivel up together with the heritage propaganda outfits.

  3. “They need to wake up and understand that they cannot occupy the turf they’ve chosen and expect to participate in a society run by their sworn enemies. The right needs to accept the institutions are lost and start building some of their own with the only rule being if you’re a lefty you don’t get in. ”

    Exactly! The Right need to (re)read the Fountainhead. Its a template for how the Left usurp and destroy institutions they can’t get access to. In the book, Ellsworth Toohey, Rand’s woke architect character, cannot get into the existing architectural organisation to usurp it, so creates his own astro-turf architectural organisation. It hardly exists beyond a few of his mates talking b*llocks, but he uses the power of the media (which of course leans to his ideas anyway) to create an image of reality, it becomes important and eventually overtakes the traditional institutions. Indeed they fall over themselves to emulate the new arrival.

    The Right need to learn these lessons and create their own areas and organisations that are off-piste to the Left. They will of course be called every name under the sun by the media and all the fellow traveller right (think Rory Stewart), so those in them will need thick skins. But they need to realise that while ordure will be poured on them from the Establishment, outside of that ordinary people will be watching. And taking note. And the more the hate poured on them by the Establishment, the more ordinary people will hear about them, and think ‘I wonder what this lot of nutters are on about?’ and come to have a look, and make their own judgement as to who is right.

    Merely attempting to fight the Left on its own commanding heights is insanity. Its like a frontal assault on the Maginot Line, doomed to failure, or at the very best a victory that all but destroys the victor too. We need an Ardennes offensive instead.

  4. I don’t know how clever or calculating the left are, or how strategically they think. What I can see clearly is that there success to date has been, to a not inconsiderable degree, a facet of the right running scared of them.

    Tories from 1997 anybody? The first thing pretty well they did was the destruction of private pensions. Tory response? Nothing whatsoever.

    Look at how the Donald responds to that billionth rate, moronic nonentity “mayor” of stabistan.

    Why are “right wing” politicians so reluctant to do the same. As you say, their shrieking hate and abuse is publicity and brings these issues to the fore, exposing their hypocrisy and incompetence.

    The no doubt think they own the media, but they don’t own who is watching and many of those are capable of making their own minds up.

  5. I don’t understand why people buy expensive watches like Rolex and Omega. £2000+ for a watch that is less accurate than a smartphone, that keeps time as well as a £20 Swatch. You have these ridiculous campaigns like Philippe Patek talking about how you’re the custodian of it for your children, which means that you aren’t spending thousands for you, but for them, except that they’re then nothing but a custodian.

    Now, at one time, back when watches were mechanical, a Rolex had high intrinsic value. If you wanted the most reliable, best timekeeper, you bought a Rolex. Today, they’re really just a status thing. You spend £25K on a Rolex just to show you can spend £25K.

    I feel this way about university and many of the old left’s institutions. We might have once needed museums, art galleries, newspapers, BBC, universities (and for sciences we do still need universities), but technology has superceded them. They aren’t dead, but they’re surviving on little more than status. And status can fade, change with generations. Operagoing is pretty much dead it stopped being a status thing. You go to an opera, it’s people who like the form. It’s now more of a status thing to see a classic rock band like the Stones (Stones tribute bands are generally better than the Stones now).

    That’s why there’s no point in doing the Oxford Union or going on the BBC. 20-30 years, this stuff will be as good as dead. Don’t even waste your time on the old institutions. Work on the new.

  6. “The right needs to accept the institutions are lost and start building some of their own with the only rule being if you’re a lefty you don’t get in. But they can’t do that because people like Shapiro are too busy feathering their own nests and punching right”

    I agree with the diagnosis, but not with the prescription. Shapiro has some 750K youtube subscribers. Not all of these are diehard, anti-PC conservatives. These listeners (or viewers) follow him because they admire his judgment, and they admire his judgment precisely because he gives it without fear or favor. If he had followed your advice from the beginning, he might be no more than yet-another right-winger preaching to a 50K echo chamber. He will be shut down, eventually, but his value to the movement is precisely that he reaches agnostic audiences, who would otherwise hear nothing but the usual PC claptrap.

    Consider, also, what a right-wing institution might look like, if it was built on the principles that no lefties were allowed, and no right-winger might be criticized. It will attract precisely the wrong kind of people – those who love power for its own sake, and will dismiss any challenge or accusation by arguing that their opponent is “punching right”. Their definition of “who is a leftist” will slowly expand, to justify the exclusion of their opponents within the movement, and their definition of “punching right” will get ever more tenuous – soon we’ll have people accusing each other of “micro-punches”. It will evolve into the mirror image of the modern leftist, PC university.

    Disagreement is not treason, and it should not be so within the conservative movement.

    And as a historical note, left-wing movements did not find it impossible to build institutions, and even conduct revolutions, while at the same time arguing endlessly and hurling accusations at each other. And conducting running street battles, and the occasional little wars, if memory serves. If the right fails to build its own institutions, it’s not because of a few hostile blog posts between the members.

    An interesting case in point (has anyone else stumbled upon this?) is this indictment by Milo against Caolan Robertson and George Llewelyn-John. The article itself deserves careful reading, because not all the accusations are supported by an equally strong factual basis, but if the substance of the accusation is true, should Milo have kept silent on the grounds that one ought not to punch right? Perhaps that principle is what allowed the pair to get away with their behavior for so long (assuming, again, that the accusations are true)?
    https://www.dangerous.com/50638/say-farewell-to-the-klepto-queens-of-the-british-far-right/

  7. You have these ridiculous campaigns like Philippe Patek talking about how you’re the custodian of it for your children

    Other way round: Patek Philippe. I have got my father’s so the claim holds good in my case.

    £25k watch? Pfft, that’s a peasant’s timepiece!

    Also appropriate in my case.

  8. “I was at the opera a few weeks ago. It was full.”

    Covent Garden? I used to have to buy tickets for Oxford or Bristol months in advance. I can still get tickets with a couple of days notice now. Magic Flute was 80% full.

  9. I share many of the concerns Jonathan has raised, and find it interesting that “punching right” is an accusation thrown around by people punching fellow right-wingers. That people who are on the front line of the culture war are told by people on the sidelines that they haven’t conserved anything etc. However, Tim’s points have merit and while conservatives tend to downplay their victories (buying into enemy propaganda IMO) lately they most definitely are fighting a guerilla campaign – uphill.

    The divide, in my view, is what is usually is: individualists vs collectivists. Individualists hold their views on principle but can be blind to the bigger picture, losing the ability to freely hold those principles in the process. Collectivists always think strategically about the “team” or “cause” but do so at the expense of the individual and often the group’s principles, which can destroy the cause in the pursuit of power and purity.

    The best compromise I’ve seen so far is to hold fast to your principles, build your own spaces, never apologize, mercilessly mock and criticize the enemy, and employ Momma’s Rule for your wayward friends: if you aint got something nice to say, don’t say it at all.

    Unfortunately none of this matters. I think people are ready for a fight and will find the appropriate justification for one soon enough.

  10. Why would any sensible person want to go to Harvard anymore? Certainly not as an undergraduate!

    I have this nagging feeling that none of this media noise really matters. We need to accept that the Authoritarian Left has won; but their victory contains the seeds of its own defeat.

    Think about the West. Native birthrate is below replacement — demographically, societies are going away. Unrepayable national debts are mostly growing. Pension and health care commitments are unsustainable, and will not be honored over the longer term. Real wealth (i.e., mines, factories, research capabilities) has been pushed out to Asia, leaving an increasingly hollow shell in the West. Graduate programs at Western universities are filled with Asian students. Young Westerners lack confidence in their own civilizations.

    To be blunt, most Western societies are well down the Highway to Hell. That is what the Authoritarian Lefties have accomplished — sawing off the branch on which they (temporarily) sit so comfortably.

    Historically, this period will be seen as analogous to the 1930s, when most people closed their eyes and refused to see the rising tide that was destined to wash in World War II. But we probably don’t have war in our future, more likely to be economic collapse of some form — either the slow Argentinian version or the more rapid & complete Venezuelan version.

    No need to be despondent! The human race will survive. Our role is to keep the flame of liberty and limited government alive until it can re-ignite human progress after the collapse of Leftie Authoritarianism.

  11. The left are better at this than us as they view absolutely everything through the lens of the war they are fighting and they never take prisoners. We (well not me) fight under archaic rules of engagement and are limited by our remaining morals, belief in peoples goodness etc and by having jobs and lives to live ha! Until we fight on every issue, give no ground and refuse to concede on anything we will be beaten out of existence.

  12. “I don’t understand why people buy expensive watches like Rolex and Omega.

    Ï’m reliably informed; cuanto más grande sea el reloj más pequeña será la polla, by those who have considerable experience in these matters. I believe it applies to caro, as well

  13. Jordan Peterson and a few others are about to launch a commercial platform to rival Patreon/YouTube. There will be clear Ts & Cs and you’ll only get thrown off for violating the normally understood limits of free speech ie incitement to immediate violence or by court order. There’s a number of other nifty features in the offing.

    You can hear him talk about it at the end of part 2 of his interview of Joe Rogan. The interview is quite good because he probes Rogan about his youth and how he got to where he is now.

  14. “I have this nagging feeling that none of this media noise really matters. We need to accept that the Authoritarian Left has won; but their victory contains the seeds of its own defeat.”

    They haven’t won, and in fact, they’re intrinsically weak. They only have power because the right fails to fight some fairly easy battles. The UK government could easily make the license fee optional and destroy the BBC. They could put government jobs out to tender and quicken the end of The Guardian. They could cut most of the foreign aid budget that funds lots of lefties and would lose no votes. They could auction off the part of the TV spectrum that Channel 4 uses for free. They could appoint people to the National Lottery who would spend the money across the country, on local projects that normal people want, like new goalposts for sports teams, or new instruments for youth orchestras rather than ploughing money into bloated, pro-left arts organisations.

  15. But we probably don’t have war in our future, more likely to be economic collapse of some form — either the slow Argentinian version or the more rapid & complete Venezuelan version.

    No need to be despondent! The human race will survive. Our role is to keep the flame of liberty and limited government alive until it can re-ignite human progress after the collapse of Leftie Authoritarianism.

    Starship Troopers. I keep telling you people.

  16. Tim, your solution is just surrender with extra steps. If we choose to isolate ourselves and live in a lesser parallel society, with fewer rights and opportunities then what’s the point? We may as well just start a war, kill as many as needs be and take back control of civilisation. There is nowhere we can retreat to that they will not attack. However, the reality we live in is that there is no one left who is willing to fight for anything, so surrender it is.

  17. BoM4: absolutely, we’re simply handing our civilisation to the theftists! Anyone with an ounce of belief in equality before the law, freedom of conscience or freedom of speech should be out there being awkward.
    It’s hard to unite when the battle is about the rights of the individual versus the collective who enforce orthodoxy with a brutality utterly inimical to our values, but Tim’s suggestion of parallel institutions is defeatist and will corale us into ever shrinking pens for them to infiltrate.
    Milo has it right: never apologise, never act in any way that concedes authority to their values, be rude to them, be rude about them, mock their values, their hypocrisies, stop being polite.
    The battle is against theftism and they are stealing our freedoms, something which is attempted every generation.

  18. I suspect that Kashuv has been done a favour, and Hogg is being ruined- on the assumption that neither of them have the academic attainment necessary to keep up at Harvard. See Thos. Sowell on affirmative action and mismatching.
    Part of the problem is that the right does not exist. Sure there are a bunch of people with similar ideas who describe themselves as left. But left is just a label. There are many alternative sets of ideas as different from each other as they are from the so called left.

  19. Bloke on M4

    “They haven’t won, and in fact, they’re intrinsically weak. They only have power because the right fails to fight some fairly easy battles. ”

    Spot on. The right hasn’t shown up for the fight.

  20. Ljh,

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with parallel institutions, and it isn’t defeatist. Sometimes, our laws and society have been changed not by people working in parliament to change them but by people outside rendering laws useless or producing competition.

    The BBC, for example, didn’t play rock and roll until Radio Caroline came along. The tax on betting was defeated by internet gaming companies operating from outside the UK. I think that private training and the internet are going to damage universities over the next few years.

  21. “They haven’t won, and in fact, they’re intrinsically weak.”

    The left have won, but also are intrinsically weak. They control the dominant part of Western life in the 20th and 21st centuries – the State sector. But that is an increasingly weak position – they have bet the farm that the current system of governance and international economy will continue for ever. It won’t and when the current debt based fiat money system collapses (and it will) the Left will be washed away with it. They are living in an incredibly fortified castle, but its foundations are slowly being eroded.

  22. BoM4: universities are in receipt of public funds and tax breaks. They used to be repositories of accumulated and diverse knowledge. It is a major cultural defeat to simply cede them to the thefties even if we could outflank them with parallel institutions . It should be axiomatic that diversity of approach and opinion are the prerequisites of further education.

  23. I agree with the diagnosis, but not with the prescription. Shapiro has some 750K youtube subscribers. Not all of these are diehard, anti-PC conservatives. These listeners (or viewers) follow him because they admire his judgment, and they admire his judgment precisely because he gives it without fear or favor. If he had followed your advice from the beginning, he might be no more than yet-another right-winger preaching to a 50K echo chamber.

    This is a common defence of Shapiro, but I think ZMan has it correct when he says far from him being a gateway to right wing ideas he actively prevents properly conservative movements gaining traction. For
    example, when Tucker Carlson delivered a lengthy monologue containing some very un-PC but highly popular genuinely conservative ideas and talking points, Shapiro’s immediate reaction (along with the rest of the bought-and-paid-for right) was to attack everything he had said.

  24. If we choose to isolate ourselves and live in a lesser parallel society, with fewer rights and opportunities then what’s the point?

    Why would this parallel society have fewer rights and opportunities?

  25. Tim’s suggestion of parallel institutions is defeatist and will corale us into ever shrinking pens for them to infiltrate.

    Okay, here’s an example. Whether he intended to or not Joe Rogan has created a parallel institution with his podcast, which now delivers more clout and has more reach than all but the largest of newspapers and TV shows. Is this defeatist?

  26. This is a common defence of Shapiro, but I think ZMan has it correct when he says far from him being a gateway to right wing ideas he actively prevents properly conservative movements gaining traction. For example…

    Careful, Tim, someone might think you’re punching right 😉

    As a general observation, though, I’m not sure if the expectation that he would function as a gateway drug is wise. Does it bring more benefit to have one person become fully red-pilled, so to speak, or to have a thousand eyes opened to the possibility of having a non-PC opinion espoused by a non-Nazi?

    For example, when Tucker Carlson delivered a lengthy monologue containing some very un-PC but highly popular genuinely conservative ideas and talking points, Shapiro’s immediate reaction (along with the rest of the bought-and-paid-for right) was to attack everything he had said.

    I’ve only listened to about two hours of Shapiro altogether, I think, so I’m not an expert by any means, but this is not what I would expect. This is the sort of thing I ought to watch in context, as it may well prove that my initial judgment is mistaken. I would be grateful for a link to this specific example, or a similar one. What I would expect is to hear Shapiro utter precise criticisms of specific things Tucker said, without turning it into a blanket condemnation of all his ideas or his character. It’s the sort of thing you have to see in context, however, as third parties (both on the left and on the right) might have cut a specific criticism out of context and presented it as a blanket condemnation.

    Why would this parallel society have fewer rights and opportunities?
    Joe Rogan has created a parallel institution with his podcast

    Then the punching right didn’t really stop Joe Rogan, did it?

    I think the question is, what do you mean by institutions? If you mean podcasts, youtube channels, and twitter feeds, then that’s already happening, with a considerable degree of success. The problem with all these is that they are vulnerable to big-tech censorship. Barring federal legislation, there’s going to be a cat-and-mouse game as more and more platforms get purged, and dissent moves to porn sites, or servers hosted in Sierra Leone, or banned books get copied via bittorrent, etc.

    If you mean universities, then the rules are different. If you apply a political test for entry, it will ruin the place’s reputation. You need to go back to what a university used to be – free speech, focusing on excellence. You have to reject government money to get out of government shackles. You need to tempt several high-profile lefties who are also sick of PC culture to join the place. It will have to be funded by generous donors, mind you, but who says these can’t be found? Maybe rich and successful Asians will be happy to fund a place which doesn’t exclude their exceptional sons and daughters on the grounds of inclusivity. Have 5% of the student body funded by full scholarships, based on ability only (no PC rubbish). I think it’s starting to sound like the old British grammar schools, to be honest. If the school is good, and espouses the old principles, it will appeal to many, no matter how much it horrifies the elites. If it applies a political test to sift applicants, no-one will take it seriously.

    I don’t think there’s any reason this can’t be done, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been done. It may be that the time is not yet ripe. The public still has its trust in the old institutions, and is still willing to take government loans to put its children through them.

    That said, the fall of the old institutions may, in the end, not be caused by a logical proof of their errors, but by more mercurial means. If there’s an economic collapse, or Europe comes to war after the EU breaks apart, it may discredit PC notions more effectively than a strictly rational counter-argument. I remember reading G.K.Chesterton’s book “Eugenics and other evils”, which ends on an ironic note. “A funny thing happened”, he says, after enumerating all the evils that Eugenics as a policy was likely to cause. “England went to war”. The originators of the ideas of Eugenics were all Germans, and when England came to hate Germany during WWI, Eugenics went out of fashion. Not because it was finally understood to be evil, but because its originators had become hated for unconnected reasons.

    This is not an inducement to war, mind you, merely a reflection on the limits of rational discourse to influence public opinion.

  27. Careful, Tim, someone might think you’re punching right

    Shapiro is to the left of me.

    Then the punching right didn’t really stop Joe Rogan, did it?

    Who on the right has punched Joe Rogan?

  28. “Why would this parallel society have fewer rights and opportunities?”

    You mean the way hated minorities in a segregated society have all their rights fully respected by the dominant culture?

  29. You mean the way hated minorities in a segregated society have all their rights fully respected by the dominant culture?

    I’d rather you just answered the question.

  30. I stopped listening to Shapiro a couple years ago after being an avid consumer. Not out of malice, more that my own tastes and preferences changed and I found other pundits more entertaining and innovative.

    So I’m unable to identify the mechanism by which Shapiro is apparently able to shut down “true” conservative movements. If people like his ideas and his style they will tune in. Otherwise they have 1000 other options, big and small, to get their right wing news and opinions from. Seriously I cannot understand the big deal about Shapiro made on this blog. The Tucker Carlson example only confuses me more – isn’t Tucker an absolute mega-star with a huge audience? Isn’t the overlap between Shapiro and Carlson’s audience fairly large? Aren’t pundits going to disagree about what “conservatism” means, and how best to apply those principles?

    I’m starting to think it’s all excuse making and scapegoating. Face the facts: citizens allowed their governments and institutions to become this fucked – outright demanded it in many cases – and it is those people that will need to be dealt with if anything is to improve.

  31. So I’m unable to identify the mechanism by which Shapiro is apparently able to shut down “true” conservative movements.

    1. A commentator emerges with some conservative ideas, albeit an inch to the right of Shapiro.

    2. Shapiro denounces them as beyond the pale.

    The Tucker Carlson example only confuses me more – isn’t Tucker an absolute mega-star with a huge audience?

    Yes, and the left have organised an advertising boycott of his channel because they accuse him of being a Nazi. He needs support from all conservatives or if they can’t being themselves to do that they could at least STFU.

  32. I remember Shapiro countering some of Tucker’s points, not describing Tucker as beyond the pale, but fine – your point about pundits manning the walls is noted.

    I look forward to the Right adopting ever more state intervention because we dare not brook legitimate dissent as to what conservatism means and how it is to be applied.

  33. Face the facts: citizens allowed their governments and institutions to become this fucked – outright demanded it in many cases – and it is those people that will need to be dealt with if anything is to improve.

    This is true.

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