Sausage Links, or the Shared Values of Neighboring Classes

Dearest friends,

I prefer condos to conventional forms of housing. It is far more convenient to delegate certain tasks to an association. The hiring of certain kinds of help simply does not scale down well to one home. But, of course, the Homeowner’s Association comes at a cost. I don’t just mean the fee for services. I mean conformity. Your neighbors are the same as you, your neighbors are a little different. There is comfort to that, but it straitjackets true creativity and individuality.


When it comes to classes, there are ways in which neighboring classes resemble each other. I will name a few examples, but this is key in successfully identifying which social class a given person is from. Some values are shared by neighboring classes, and some values exist in a candy cane fashion and are shared by classes two apart. By combining your observations, you can reliably tell how poor someone is.

That’s my superpower. I’m the Incredible Classist Man. Read exciting testimonials from people you don’t know!

“He cured the AIDS in my butt! It turned out to be tiny poor people!” – A Degenerate Homophiliac
“100% nonsensical ENTP blather nigger. What are you talking about?” – The Old Jew
“Really finds all the poors, even the ones that claim to be upper middle class!” – That angry wasp living by your storm gutter
“And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kid and your damn Doge!” – A Poor, Rightfully Put In His Divine Place Farming Mud

Let’s start with brand names and status signaling through material goods. Proles love status signaling by buying expensive brand name stuff. Even if it’s not a terribly good idea, buying something like a fancy shirt, some nice kicks, or a BMW allows them to feel bougie. Why is this a valuable status signal? In Proleland, resources are relatively scarce. Accordingly, the ability to not only acquire lots of resources but to spend them on useless luxury goods raises their status in society. It shows they can make and dispose of great sums, which makes them great. The ceremonial feast and other such ritualized destructions of wealth are some of the earliest rites of showing status in primitive societies. To say that shiny rims don’t result in lasting social mobility is to miss the point. The point is to impress others *within* one’s milieu.

Material signaling continues in the middle class, but it has a slightly different character. Everything shared between two classes is manifested a little differently in each. In the middle class, the emphasis is no longer about big, flashy, one-time purchases, but about maintaining a lifestyle expensive enough that the proles cannot imitate it. As such, the wasteful spending is no longer about bling. Both the upper class and middle class buy organic, Whole Foods food… but only one can afford it. The middle class is always collecting stuff and cluttering up their homes with it. Not tasteful, intelligence signaling stuff like African masks (where are the masks babs show me the masks) and golden Maltese Crosses, but stuff like Margaritaville machines and CD collections. The middle class is trying to maintain the highest lifestyle they can, keeping up with the proverbial Joneses. When the middle class sees a brand, it sees a marker of quality that shows a product is going to last a long time while simultaneously advertising their lifestyle. The middle class loves Target because it’s like Walmart but everything is *slightly* more expensive, thus keeping out the proles, and because the poor retail drones are forced to worship the customer. The middle class believes, erroneously, that the higher castes love to run their servants and ritually humiliate them, and Target gives them a place where they can ritually humiliate poorly paid shelf stockers. Because of the slightly higher price point, proles avoid the store, reasoning that it doesn’t make much sense to pay more for literally the same crap. This comforts the middle class person, for the sight of proles reminds them of where they came from and where they could return if not careful, and it is this atavistic fear that really drives their extreme disdain for “trashy” people. It is the fear of death. Better to bury the past and cut off all the crabs that could drag one back into the bucket.

Now, if you’ve got inherited money, it doesn’t prove anything to be able to spend it at Target. So that’s not going to be a successful status signal anymore. When resources are no longer scarce, spending them doesn’t mean anything.

What bridges the middle and upper middle classes? Ideas. Ideas are the bridge.

Proles distrust authority and establishment ideas. They think, not unfairly, that experts spew lots and lots of crap ideas that make no sense. The middle class is different. The middle class is the class of expert worship. If a doctor tells you to do something, you do it. Expert worship is partly a product of social distance. You really can’t worship experts once you see them close up – they are too human, too mortal. And it’s partly because of the transformative power of ideas. The middle class is able to rise above the masses because it is skilled labor, not unskilled labor. It is able to do things through the special things it has learned. And furthermore, they acquire values which allow them to structure their lives. By living in accordance with bourgeois values, they are able to escape the chaotic mess of prole life. How can they not worship experts when experts are the ones that create these wonderful and powerful ideas? Science says! The middle class uses this new concept of ideas to look down upon the proles. The middle class knows all the right ideas, and the proles are so ignorant to them! In the middle class mind, every question has a right answer, and it is only a matter of being told what the right answer is. When they see someone with the wrong answer, they scoff, imagining that person never learned the right answer or that they are too stupid to absorb it.

Such an attitude makes a person very smug.

The upper middle class doesn’t need bourgeois ideas to structure their lives. Their lives are naturally quite disciplined and orderly. They have the money to protect them from proledom. What matters here? Épater le bourgeois! Only novel ideas can keep you ahead in the Baron’s Race! I have written extensively on this subject already, but suffice to say, novelty dominates conventionality. The Left always wins in the end. But… the Left can also be Right.

But the upper class is no longer the class of ideas. It was, once upon a time. But its members are now stagnant, and they are aware of this. To be nimble of mind when there are no dangers is a difficult thing. There is no selection pressure to stay sharp. To compensate, and to prove their domination over their nerdy minions (actual peasants are too lowly to even figure in upper class minds), they become more physically adept. The established WASPs could out-muscle the new Jews, but the fact that they resorted to this was a mark of insecurity – the new blood was stronger than them. Again, the fear of death reigns.

What bridges the upper middle and the upper? Pedigree. Prestige. For the middle class, just going to college is enough to be proud. But for the upper middle, it is not enough to get into college (a trivial task) – one must also get into a professional career. To do that, one needs prestige, as much prestige as can be gotten. It’s not what you know, it’s where you learned it, and who you learned it with. Seniority is out, names are in. The golden sheepskin serves as legitimation for one’s place in the world. And this legitimacy is necessary because one’s family name and ancestral legacy is no longer enough to carry a man. People first become aware of the great wheel of history at this strata. It is filled with the ruined legacies of great noble houses. Memory is long and history is short. Below is oblivion, above is a return to glory. But to move up requires one to turn the great wheel. The projects that might accomplish this increasingly become world historical and multi-generational. Alliances are made, plans are planned and then forgotten, and all the while, centuries slip by. Many families are extincted before they ever seize the grass crown, while others are destroyed by their attempts to grab it.

Yet people keep trying. Man is a creature whose appetites are never sated.

How can a man rise?


As above, so below,
Monsieur le Baron

Candy Canes, or High Society and the Discontinuities of Society

(With thanks to my pal Babs)

Dearest friends,

When you look at a cake, you have frosting on top, but also little squiggles of chocolate and fruit and stuff. People always focus on the frosting, so much so that the top part is basically just called frosting, not “frosting and fruit and stuff”, but the other stuff has distinct properties as well, properties very different from frosting.

I don’t really like cake.

Anyways. Enough talking about dessert. Let’s have our main course.

As far as most of society is concerned, the UMC is the upper class. When people think of the upper class, they think of the 1%, and they create a sort of phantom chimera of UC and UMC traits mashed into one group. But the two are distinct in a number of ways.

To know why, we must consider the Slate Star Codex idea of classes as cells. I call this the Candy Cane Hypothesis. To wit, classes resemble each other when they are two cells apart. Because the UC has no fear of being confused with the MC, they are able to adopt behaviors which resemble MC behaviors without any possibility of confusion. Indeed, the UC is not even really aware of the MC’s existence. When prompted, their conception of MC careers is that they are the lumpen, the poor, out-of-sight underclass. Thus, we see a circling around.

Where I buy Costco shirts, they buy from Brooks Brothers. The idea is here is signaling quality, but the MC focus is on the signal, that they can buy such wonderful clothing (that they really can’t afford), while what the UC focuses on is the *quality*, because their goal is to minimize the hassle in their lives. My shirts may last me somewhat over a decade, but their goal is to have shirts as old as houses.

The MC has expert worship because they’re midwits. They are just smart enough to learn the answer by rote and repeat it. This becomes the sign of intelligence, the ability to repeat the “correct” answer. When they see someone with a “wrong” answer, they scoff, assuming it is a prole too stupid to know the right answer. The UC has expert worship because they know they are no longer the class of ideas and that their minds have atrophied with disuse. They are insecure regarding their intellectual superiority because they do not have to go through intellectual trials and the gauntlet is that is the academic-corporate-industrial complex. Instead they rely on their “idea guy” servitors, who pitch them at social clubs and venture capital events and golf greens.

The MC doesn’t know the value of a dollar because it is disconnected from the standard mechanisms of the means of production. The teacher and the bureaucrat are not paid by profit-making private entities, but by a gargantuan government bureaucracy. They do not eat what they kill. The UC is disconnected from the work chain and the value of a dollar in a similar way. All their kills are done by their men, and the money flows up to them like a bubbling spring. Accordingly, the MC and UC both do not support their kin in times of need, as they feel the need to teach the value of a dollar through actual jobs and work.

The MC focuses on culture and right ideas to signal its own intelligence and worthiness, and thus distinction from the tasteless proles. The UC focuses on culture and right ideas because in a world without work or struggle, that’s all that matters.

And most of all, both the MC and the UC stand atop their respective worlds. For the MC, American meritocracy means poor people can work hard, save money, and go to college just like them, receiving a “good job” that pays “good money” with stability. They do not perceive anything above them, and when they have to deal with the UMC, they scoff at them as boorish and beneath them. Much to my chagrin. And the UC stand atop their laboring servants, their whims law over the world, their every desire fulfilled. What they see as the story of American meritocracy is one of the Stuy people being able to, after decades of cube service, being able to golf with the beautiful people as a VP. For both classes, what this creates is a sense of narcissistic benevolence. For the MC, the emphasis is on the narcissism, the sense they are more deserving and more worthy of special treatment, the “Can I speak to the Manager????” mentality. For the UC, the emphasis is on the benevolence… because they actually get all the special treatment they want from their servants (but not wider society, even if your name is on the building. Being out of sight of the proles means nobody gets why you matter. A cruel irony.)

Both the proles and UMC gravitate to common sense ideas. The proles because they disdain the education that gives the MC the “right answers”, while the UMC is forced to continually confront what is taught with what works – their genteel survival is on the line. Pragmatism often ends up trumping what is fashionable, and so UMC society is defined by doublethink, where people praise diversity while living in gated communities, talk about intelligence being taught while searching out high IQ mates, etc etc.

Both the proles and the UMC are forced to be generous and supportive of their kin. For the proles, kin constitutes their primary support network, because they lack the capital and educational assets of the MC. For the UMC, the value of House and name, the game of Namm und Stamen, is often their last link to high society, and their position is so precarious that they take every competitive advantage they can get. That means paying their kids through college, buying or paying for a home in Manhattan, and funding their first deal. The big Christmas present of the proles doesn’t spoil because it is contrasted with rather meager living the rest of the time. And the pampering of the UMC doesn’t spoil because parent and child both know survival is at stake. To be returned to the peasant dust is a fate worse than death.

Both the proles and the UMC know intimately the value of a dollar and of work. The prole is the worker, the UMC owns the means of production. The UMC person has to take stock of their stocks, bond with their bonds, and do the business of running their businesses. A doctor is no doctor if he doesn’t understand his craft, regardless of how many honors he may have. One owns the means of production, the other is subjugated under them, but both know the score. And so there is a kind of respect between owner and worker that classic Marxists can’t really understand.

Despite actually having the guns and doing the labor, when it comes to class conflict between a working man and a government regulator or a meddlesome social worker, the latter always comes out on top. And despite holding the reins of corporate power, when the TOOS coming knocking at a corporate vice president’s door, it is clear who holds the whip hand.

Ultimately, despite making their worlds tick, both the proles and the UMC have a deep sense of being on the bottom. The proles recognize that they don’t have the means of production (it is very easy for union leaders to get them to read and understand Marx because it is so very real), while the UMC also lacks the means of production – the means of political production. As the class truly producing the ideas, they are resentful that their plans have to be mediated through the filter of people who play tennis and have good cocktail parties. When a man like Bill Gates or the Zuck or Vladimir Lenin rises from the UMC to the UC, they finally have the chance to make real their ideas. And when those ideas are of the ant farm variety, terror ensues.

The UC is like a chicken, and I am the Chinasaur. What is functional in me as striver-killer instincts becomes vestigial in the UC, as the selection pressures of constant competition are replaced with the selection pressures of being charming and fun at parties.

Two little worlds, both unaware of each other. Scholars of class almost always hail from the UMC because they’re the ones best positioned to see the whole spectrum.

I have an affinity for the proles. Does that mean the UC has an affinity for the MC?

No. Everybody hates the MC.

Resentful he can’t go to the Slavic titty bar,
Monsieur le Baron

P.S. To be continued in Sausage Links, or the Shared Values of Neighboring Classes

Color Guards and the Cycle of Civilization, or Priests Pt. III

Dearest friends,

Monads! Monads are a mere secularization of the idea of self. And the Phenomenology of Geist is, of course, a long discussion of what the self is, culminating in the answer that the self is Geist, and we are all Geist, as we finally shed our false consciousness of otherness, this thing which first allowed us to recognize the concept of our self vis-a-vis our life and death struggle with the other.

Unfortunately, as a haver of false consciousness, I still perceive you as an Other, and therefore I believe you do yet possess all of my thoughts on this matter. Last time, I left you with the statement that the debate of priests is the cycle of civilization. Let’s get right back into that.

What is leftism? Leftism is the process by which elites gain power by signaling certain things. But what determines the nature of these signals? It’s simple. The purpose of Leftism may be power, but the content of Leftism is the natural extension of society’s founding ideas. Thus, the descent of the West into Bioleninism is merely the natural extension of the idea of equality. If all people are truly equal, then the most worthy among us are those who have suffered the most undue harm (being equal, the only way inferiors end up behind is because of the harm inflicted on them by the universe). Therefore, we should praise most the least among us. Communism is also a child of equality. When we look at the excesses of states founded on personality cults, like the infamous Mangoes for Mao, we find that people are simply taking Mao worship to extremes. Leftism merely takes the ideas of a civilization to their logical conclusion.

It is too bad that the logical conclusion of any civilization is ruins.

But it also means that Leftists are justified in ignoring anyone outside the walls. The indifferent operate on facts alone, but FACTS are not what sets the spirit of a civilization. Spirits are ultimately creatures which exist before the world of facts. Values like equality are not facts, they are put forward as axiomatic. They are the premises upon which we build Western Civilization. And in a way, Leftists are right to despise those who reject Leftism, because they are rejecting the ROOTS, the FOUNDATION of the civilization in which they live. If they accept them, they are merely another kind of Leftist with a different idea of what the implications of societal axioms *should* be… or they are a Conservative. And in this case, a Conservative is nothing more than a lapsed Catholic. They’re a believer, but not a very strong one. They, like the lapsed Catholic, have put the needs of this world above those of the Church. A Conservative, ultimately, is not a heretic. He does not reject society’s founding principles.

How can Monsieur espouse Dissident Right ideas in the Lion’s Den? It’s simple. I just have to make Right Left. It is very easy to express these notions in a way that is derived from the West’s founding principles of equality. You just need a little verbal twisting, but verbal twisting is what elites are bred for.

Unfortunately, even if my arguments won, there is ruin in them too. Every society bears the seeds of its own ruin. Ultimately, the principles of any society are stupid when taken far enough, because principles are creatures of the ideal, not the real. And the ideal is inhuman. It does not tolerate life in its sterile perfection.

So what is to be done? Do we have to accept the death of all things? Or is there a path towards long term stability?

Well, if Leftism works by pushing forward societal principles, then the answer is simple. You just have to have a society without any principles. Enter China. China did not have great ideologies. Rather, it had a color cycle. You pass from the Era of Red to Green to Yellow to Blue, etc, etc, etc. And so, the Chinese idea was not extended over and over until it collapsed because there was no Chinese idea. There was only a Chinese system could and would re-form, time and time again. The only problem?

This is stagnation. In death, there is life. In collapse, there is rebirth. Every explication of ideas teaches us something, even if that lesson is not to do that.

Mortality cannot be overcome except in the spiritual realm.

But maybe I just think so because I’m an unhealthy bastard.

Mortified by the metaphysics of McDoubles,
Monsieur le Baron

Met a Physic for the Cancer in my Monads, or Priests Pt. II

Dearest friends,

I was reading a blog by a very smart person, and it occurred to me that if I aped his style, others would also find me to be cool, smart, and attractive.

Prodigy Prodigal: Isn’t it peculiar that priests wear those black robes? And those churches, they have bells.
Mentor The Old Jew: What are you blathering about now?
Prodigy Prodigal: Bells are like… bell curves. They’re got the same shape. That’s math.

Unfortunately, I must confess, Reader, that I am an idiot, and to my chagrin, the clothes of a wise man are ill-fitting on a fool. Like all confessions, this one is best heard by a priest. And that does set me to thinking about them. The Priestly caste is a distinct feature of Indo-European societies.

Here are some quotes from Razib Khan:
“The Western Christian priesthood and the Dharmic religious class exhibit a degree of detachment from normal society due to their celibacy.” “I think the difference seems entirely reflected in the character of their philosophies. Christianity and the Dharmic religions have had large numbers of religious-intellectual professionals detached from worries of family life as monks across their history. In contrast, Jewish rabbis, Muslim ulema, and Confucian scholars have all had to concern themselves with family life.” “But, a minority are devoted to causes. To society.”

Now, it is popular among a certain set to proclaim their determination to be childfree. On one level, it’s a statement that the world is overpopulated. But that is part of the new civic religion in which Gaia must be appeased – anti-natalism is secular celibacy. The Bobos are the priests of a modern secular religion. And the Priestly Caste was not just morality police. They were the thinkers! They were the scientists and the intellectuals! While the Kshatriya were kings in early modern India, the Brahmin were its haughty mandarins.

They are priests, but also priest-lords, priest-scientists, priest-intellectuals. The distinctiveness of this idea and its consequences can be seen by contrasting Christians with Jews. I am not a believer in Sapir-Whorf. It gets the causal chain precisely backwards. Words do not shape our thinking. Rather, when we think about and attempt to grasp a concept, we find ourselves inventing words to capture the idea. And the more prominent the idea in our way of being, the more prominent it becomes in our language. Jews did not invent a metaphysics. YHVH is the verb to be. Ehiyeh asher ehiyeh, I am that I am. There are only two tenses, the mortal tense, and the Godly tense – the future perfect. God exists in a state of timelessness, while mortals do not focus at all on their existence. Jews go to their house. But Aryans *are* going to their house. They, in the verbiage, are constantly in a conscious state of existing and existence. The language necessitates a concept of self and in turn enables an obsession with self. Because the name of God is forbidden, Jews cannot easily discuss being, which precludes this deep exploration of the self.

When we arrive at Christianity, this develops further, because the universe is then supposed to be mechanistic, ordered by God-as-Logos. The self is an orderly thing which is then conceptualized within a universe of orderly things. The self-question thus extends into the general question of the Logos question. What is the order of the universe, its Logos, which serves as the divine principle, the Arche of being? Removing God from the equation does not kill the question, it merely secularizes it. Metaphysics is thus the secular version of two interrelated questions. Who am I? And what is existence, especially in relation to me? Do I exist and does existence exist? Can I truly know that which is Other to me?

The priest, therefore, becomes a figure that knows the secrets of the world of Logos and the true order of the universe, which of course is the truth of reality. He is a liminal figure which can step between the perceived earthly world and the world which is true. But, of course, he is also a moral creature. Because God is not just Logos, he is Goodness, he is Love. He provides not only the structure of the universe, but its morality. When we engage in the rites of the Church, the priest symbolically stands in the place of God. He acts on God’s behalf. In turn, when man demands it, the priest, being one who can walk in the other realm, can intercede on behalf of man. He is man’s intercessionary. Pagans do not need intercessionaries in this sense because the spiritual world is not made distinct from the physical world. There is no truth of the Logos lying behind reality. Gods are tangible things – bigger people, Sky Daddies, the Sun.

When you remove the religion, these norms still persist. Society only has so many narratives, and people naturally fit their roles to their narratives. The workplace is the court reborn, and its politics merely the continuation of Patrimonial Bureaucracy. So too are the Bobos merely the priests of yesteryear. Why is this significant? Because it means it’s futile to discuss the truths of ideologies (secular religions) with those who are not of the Priestly Caste. Outsiders may muster up all the facts they want, but that doesn’t matter. Facts are of the physical, untrue world, and not of the spiritual world. And the spiritual world, the other world, is the true world.

Okay, so it’s just a roundabout way of saying cultists don’t consider anything outside the walls. So what? We already knew that. Sure. But it ties into my next point…

The debate of the priests is the cycle of civilizations.

But perhaps I’m just trying to get the old Jew off my back.

Makes overlong excuses for being bad at math,
Monsieur le Baron

Three Ladders and Three Minds, or Estates Far Too General

Dearest Friends,

I am convinced that a clergyman ought to be three things. Well-read, well-bred, and well-breaded.


Because he’s a friar.

And such men are creatures of the church!

Speaking of church, let’s talk about Church. No, not the concept of the Church. That’ll have to wait for another time. I mean Michael Church, or more specifically, Michael Church’s musings on class.

To be honest, for the longest time, I didn’t really like it. I thought that his division of gentry and elite was mostly a way for him to divide the world into good folk (‘gentry’) and bad folk (‘elite’), and that he arbitrarily divided the professional class between the gentry and the elite so as to put himself on the right side.

But as I got older, I realized that such distortions are informationally valuable in-and-of-themselves, since they reveal the thought patterns and preferences of their holders. A lie reveals more truths than a fact. The Chinese learned this a long, long time ago, and that’s why they play poker with their cards face up. A submarine can be detected by the absence of sound. A mystery can be solved by the dog not barking in the nighttime.

And Church’s choices are informative indeed. They illustrate an important point – differences in perception. When you come up from the bottom, coming up hard, your viewpoints are far different from someone born into the upper middle class. Now, he claims to be a native G2, but he certainly has quite a lot of vitriol towards bluebloods. So if he is, that’s quite a lot of loathing towards himself. Probably a majority of his peers are bluebloods in the truest sense – descent from historical reigning aristocracies. The values of his profession can be traced directly back to Ancien Regime and its values. That someone like this would have more in common with a teacher than an investment banker is *absurd*. Both the investment banker and presumably Church went to elite colleges. Teachers do not, in any meaningful sense, ever work up to or promote into being professionals. They’re teachers. They teach until they become admins or get pensioned out. It’s a stable enough life, but it’s no meaningful sense on the same ladder as a professional. He is of a social rank roughly equivalent to the Oscar Meyer heir. Yeah, the hot dog guy. By no means is this top, but to suggest this is the realm of mere mortals like schoolteachers is absurd.

Let’s look at another group that often comes up hard: conservative talking heads. Or, as they are often called, Cuckservatives. One reaction to one’s new environs is hatred and distancing, as Church does. And we’ll return to that later. But another is to hate one’s origins in order to ingratiate one’s self with one new peers. To do that, one slanders the working and middle classes as brutish, unsophisticated, disgusting flyovers. One places all sorts of follies and ills at their feet. This also serves an important psychic purpose for the class migrant. By making the origin the image of evil, he can convince himself of his worthiness to join his new class, since he’s good and not evil like the rest of the unwashed. And then, having made his new home class the font of goodness, he can adopt its norms to an extent unnatural for any native. Speaking of many of these NGO people… their ties are far, far too straight. Or, to use a conservative example, Buckley is the very image of the platonic WASP precisely because he is not one. Of course, their new peers never truly accept them. To the native elite, the newcomer is gauche, a perpetual outsider. His oddities become emblematic of his crude origins. That exaggerated pose of eliteness? It’s the exaggeration of a clown. They’re considered nothing more than talking apes. Orwell despised these people, and for good reason. They sell out their kin, their honesty, and ultimately even their dignity… for the scraps off their master’s table. Cuckservative indeed.

Anyways, back to Church. The idea that teachers and him are both gentry is ridiculous. But I will admit a similarity. And the similarity lies in where Church places his gentry. In the middle. It is his middle class. And the fracture between his gentry and his elite is real. His self-identification with the middle is driven by another phenomena I’ve noted on this blog. The screeching masses of the middle are society’s conscience. And so too is Mr. Church.

Who does Church put atop his gentry? The media. And that’s because the media are the high priests of the Cathedral, our modern civic religion. And Church, as an ideological professional, is one of its priests, spreading the mores of what some may call good taste, but what I call closed-minded dogma. Teachers are the little lay pastors.

We can this moralizing in what he calls the oppression of engineers. Namely, that they are subject to micromanagement and having to report to bosses and that they paper this over by imagining themselves little owners of capital. But… they are little owners of capital. A millionaire is a little owner of capital. It’s by no means false consciousness. And the business with reports and annoying obligations to bosses and others is nothing more than my great-great-grandfather and uncle had to deal with, and millions lived and died by the word (for a very brief amount of time). That is about as high as you can go, and you’re still saddled with the bullshit. Similarly, when he discusses fascism, he calls it freedom from competition. In fascism, the ruling elite free themselves from competition and force the masses to fight. This has the advantage of being a neat explanation, and thus pleasing to the typical autistic mind of an elite. The problem is that this consistent definition defines out what most people consider actual fascism. Nazi Germany was many things, and it is a regime that I have very few fond feelings for, but it was certainly not a great place to be elite. Many an old family was ruined in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. And those who held on were subjected to Hitler’s ridiculous parallel org charts where duplicated responsibilities led to constant infighting and competition. Now, one could say that Der Fuhrer himself was free from competition. The problem with that is that the remnants of the old aristocracy tried to assassinate him. Constantly. They even made a movie about one attempt. And the far-right of Old China as they transitioned into Taiwan? No, that was a terrible place, full of purges and terror and replacement. The place where my ancestors were free of competition and could live stably and peacefully? America. The America of the working class settlement and class truce. The America of socialist democracy. So yeah, I guess that would be fascism. Right.

Here’s the issue. The things he points out as problems are nothing more than the demands of reality. Sure, being jerked around sucks. But everyone is jerked around, even CEOs. Being both a worker and a capital-holding business owner, I can assure you that both involve lots of micromanagement and bullshittery. That’s just how life is. And competition? EVERYONE wants to be free of competition, not just corrupt elites. Perfect competition is hell. It’s great for consumers – except every consumer is also a producer. And all those producers want some power to determine their own prices and fight their own wars. The corruption of the elite in seeking to end their competition is nothing more than what everyone wants. Workers want to end their competition too. Everyone does. Everyone wants everyone else to compete. But we can’t have that, so life is a constant struggle for monopoly power. Nobody wins forever. The positive is also the negative. There is no utopian state that combines the upside of both. Most work is boring not because of the greed of employers, but because life is honestly kinda boring and not some aspirational, self-actualizing funtime joyride for smiling aristocrats. Socialists like him? What they seek to overthrow is not the government regime but the regime of reality. It is doomed to fail.

These ideologies are nothing more than civic religions. What they seek is not reform, but salvation.

He calls it an issue that corporations would prefer to keep their employees politically bland! As they say, that’s not a bug – that’s a feature! Cuius regio, eius religio. What protects the corporation from his liberal proselytizing is also what keeps out the acolytes of what he considers a detestable little fascist, Donald Trump. The four century truce, as fragile and torn as it is now, is the only thing saving corporate from constant bloodbaths and bickering over civic religions. Sure, he thinks that the masses are tricked into following a false idol… all of the evangelists think that! And allowing that in corporate turns the infrastructure of our world into tools to punish unbelievers. Down that road is either theocracy or civil war. The Thirty Years War was one of the most destructive, in relative terms, in human history. When true believers are fighting for their religion, they tend not to back down. The result is villages reduced to ashes and bones, mothers eating their children, and sons slaying their fathers.

The crux of the Church issue is that his name is fitting indeed. He’s not a baron… he’s a bishop. And while I’m sure he’s a competent, caring man who wants only the best – the intertwining of temporal and spiritual authority makes for a sick society.

But who knows? Maybe I’m just one of the bullies.

Cruelly yours,
Monsieur le Baron

P.S. Parasitic bluebloods? A neoliberal future where the poor are forced to cycle to create power to serve themselves ads and prolefeed? Look, I will readily admit many evil things about Hillary Clinton, but she doesn’t want to strap you into exercise bikes Matrix-style so you can watch MORE YOUTUBE LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE NOW. To my readers, please do read Haidt. Ordinary people understand fanatics, but fanatics cannot comprehend ordinary people. To borrow one of Z Man’s images, everyone outside the walls is evil. They do evil things for evil reasons because they’re evil. Come the fuck on. Everyone in the top level elite is evil? Most of them believe the same things he does! They’re just even more psychopathic, autistic, and bubbled off than even regular elites. Zuck isn’t a lizard or Satan, he’s just a megasperg.

The Cargo Cult of the SWProle, or the Curious Case of the DINK in the Nighttime

Dearest friends,

The cold season is upon me, and snowflakes descend like falling ash from distant burning woods. When I look up, I half-expect the skies to be a murky black, filled with dark, churning clouds spreading like goopy oil slicks, the air rich with a stench half-way between a Vegas gambling den and a gaping incinerator.

But… it’s not.

The bugs are gone, for now. Fly away, little bugs. Perhaps I ought to decamp to warmer climes myself? Maikäfer flieg!

But I won’t.

Instead, like rather less majestic insects, I will hunker down in my little hole, digging deep for warmth. And once ensconced, I will sup on defrosted lamb and all this Brisk Iced Tea (Brisk, goes down smooth and fast! A real thirst quencher!) I got for real fire sale prices.

It is a certain kind of bliss, I suppose.

Speaking of groceries, it reminds of that strange little box, Whole Foods. I don’t shop there, and I never have. Too rich for my blood. Well, I suppose that’s not completely true. When I was in school, I had a friend who liked to buy a particular brand of yogurt from Whole Foods. These trips were always brief, lest the Eye of Mackey gaze deep into our wallets and dispatch his legion of crustwraiths after our shekels. Would we, one day, be white enough to shop their hallowed halls without shame? Probably not, though he now is getting close. The day we graduated, we went and bought bottles of VOSS water and drank them. To be honest… it didn’t really taste that great. But that didn’t matter – it was the excess of it, the conspicuous consumption, the sheer audacious whiteness – it might as well been, no, indeed it was… the nectar of the gods. The culmination of years of effort, struggle, and pain. It was over, it was done. At long last, a deathly silence had settled over our lives, for the guns had stopped. And all was stillness on the Western Front.

We had won. We had won and we were drinking fucking VOSS water and we were reveling in it because, goddamnit, we deserved it. We were the fucking Masters of the Universe. Born to be kings! Princes of the Universe! That water was the ecstasy of gold in pure, bottled form. It was JUST. FUCKING. WATER. And that was the beauty of it, that was what we exulted in, that pinnacle of white-being. Water, this thing which was free, we had just bought and drank at great expense.

VOSS wasn’t water, it was liquid status.

After that, I didn’t give Whole Foods any more mind.

Until now.

A friend of mine showed me ad for Brandless, which appears to be a store selling organic generics. Its claim to fame is that it’s cheaper than Whole Foods.

Yeah, no fucking shit. Having fresh fish flown to me from goddamn Alaska and pairing with caviar was literally cheaper than Whole Foods. It doesn’t make it cheap! What the hell!

Under my feet, seemingly overnight, had grown an entire class of people buying and doing lots of fancy shit. There were a few possibilities. One was that, while I was looking at the lint gathering in my navel, the rest of the country had become astoundingly rich and left me behind. Now, a trip to the national income percentile statistics strongly suggests this was indeed not the case, but there was always the chance that everyone but me is evading, like, a shit-ton of taxes.

The other possibility, which I strongly believe is true, is that the modern middle class spends lots and lots of money on ostentatious luxury goods. Literally speaking, groceries purchased from Whole Foods are food. But the price tag is not because of the specialness of the food you buy. Rather, fancy organic SWPL food exists as a *positional* good that elevates your status above others. When I wear my crappy suits, they serve as a visual statement that I am inferior to The Management in their crisp new Brooks Brothers. Similarly, when my peers at college shopped at Whole Foods, it was a statement of power and prestige – they were so king dick that they could eat shopping carts full of quinoa harvested by weeping Chilean babies in mist-shrouded mystic highlands, and treat it like no big deal. “Why yes, my father does happen to be close to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, now that you mention it,” as they take another bite of oven-roasted kale.

Meanwhile, I take another swig of tea-flavored high fructose corn syrup, that marvelous beverage, Brisk, a perfectly frugal choice for the modern shopper.

I call these creatures SWProles. That the SWProles so often live so luxuriously often places me in the unfortunate position of envying their lifestyle. With the ordinary proles, while I may shake my head when they buy a massive TV, ultimately, I don’t need or want such a thing. Not so with the SWProles, who often live lives that make me blush with furious envy. Casual Eurotrips, degrees in subjects so outrageously useless and expensive that they almost approach the platonic ideal of Veblen good, the kind of thing you’d be shocked to see outside of Lynndegarden, funny jobs making artisanal pottery and hipstercraft cereal, and the nicest not-nice clothing a thrift store can offer.

These days, I am more likely to identify one of my peers by their relative lack of ornamentation and luxury. So what has brought about such a state of affairs? The SWProle has come to believe that the luxury goods purchased by the overclass are not a signal of their prosperity, but instead are the cause. In short, a cargo cult. I’m not sure how this started precisely, but many SWProles blame their parents or society or their parents AND society. Apparently, there was a widespread narrative that these things were the road to wealth. Go to college and get an English degree and you’ll get a good job, probably. Did you know there are around four thousand 4-year schools in the US? I didn’t, and the figure horrifies me. As far as I knew, the USNews top 200 was *it*, all the schools in the US. It’s like finding out your map of the world only covers California. Or better yet, art school! Go to the city and slum around the fashionable parts of town, because that’s where the work is. A gap year is a great resume builder! It is a Frankensteinian pastiche of luxury status signalling and middle class earnest conscientiousness. People who go on vacation to Europe because… that’s just what is done. A too small apartment in Manhattan with a Studies Studies degree and a barista job (or some menial white collar position they cheerfully dub “professional”), that’s the way to do it. It’s like the industry that’s sprung up selling canned answers to prestige firm interviews – the point of the interview is to demonstrate your authentic UMC habitus, not to recite certain correct answers like this is a goddamn exam at a two-bit school.

Just as yesteryear saw the emergence of Class X, that fusion of bohemian tastes and bourgeois wealth, and that new creature of “BoBo” came to dominate the UMC, so too do we see conspicuous consumption wedded to MC conscientiousness, SWPL tastes and prole incomes. Behold, the New Soviet Coastal Man, the SWProle, rising from the sea foam.


My life doesn’t go smoothly because I have the right taste in burlap (I don’t, which is why I have a Kinkade on my wall). It goes smoothly because I can collect some six thousand dollars of passive income from my investments every month, despite being in my early 20s. They pay me a reasonable amount precisely because it’s *not* an aspirational, fulfilling job. As my coworkers say, if we were having fun, we’d have to pay them. The professional work of the “creative class” may be more like fun, but it’s still WORK. It’s sitting in a cube and bathing your face in the eerie midmire blue light, day in and day out. I do this not because I love it, but because I have needs and wants that my passive income alone cannot satisfy. Like my Camry, which, foolishly, I bought at sticker price. Meanwhile, on various comment threads, I repeatedly see the insistence that more expensive Tesla’s Model 3 is a mass market car. Wha… what? What? No, it’s not!

When I buy my fucking VOSS water for $TOO MUCH, it’s not because it’s helping me be a good worker bee in the modern gig/information/UberEATS (gig-a-bite?) economy or whatever the fuck. I’M BEING AN ASSHOLE!

Good golly, my blood pressure is rising. Better take a crisp and refreshing gulp of Brisk, as sweet and airy as a summer day.

You can’t get rich through conspicuous consumption. You can’t! You just can’t! It doesn’t make any goddamn sense and it makes wonder if the whole fucking world has gone crazy. You get rich by refraining from spending. When I suggest such a thing, I am scoffed out. “You think I can afford a house by not buying avocado toast?” Har har har. That is EXACTLY how you can afford a house. That is EXACTLY how you get rich. You act like a SWPL to flaunt your affluence and social status. These SWProles have everything precisely backwards!

Of course, all that goes up must come down. Because these people are not, in fact, spectacularly rich, and they don’t actually know the COO of Kraftwerkgill, the Food/Electronica conglomerate, they must fund such a lifestyle through debt. Lots and lots and lots of consumer debt. Run up those student loans to go to a crappy state school (Yet another case of apparent conventional MC wisdom being totally bass-ackwards, since they often say more prestigious schools would be too expensive. 96% of Harvard students graduate debt-free. Even at my comparatively shitty tier 2 consolation school, the median student graduates without taking a single penny of student loans.). Get a payday loan to go on vacation (that this concept exists appalls). Work as a cabbie to chase your dreams (the Uber ads also appall me).

So we reach the next inevitable step in our downward spiral. White trash goods rebranded to have hipster/SWPL cred. We return to Brandless. Or, as my friend put it, store generics “but for hipsters.” Is Brandless actually that cheap? Their shtick is meant to suggest such – everything only $3! But I went ahead and compared their prices to Kirkland and Walmart generics. Kirkland generic products are actually of quite high quality. For instance, Kirkland wine is pretty much the same wine as the high class stuff, just put through less quality control and refinement. And I have been assured that, if you take the effort to properly age it in your own wine cellar, it really turns out top notch. Much like brewing your own booze, this seems to be a lot of effort to me, but if you already have the setup, might as well. The Brandless stuff was almost always significantly more expensive, except for chips, naturally. The SWProle is still a prole at heart.

Shorn of his wealth, with no income potential, and teetering towards bankruptcy, the SWProle must abandon Whole Foods for generics. But even there, his generics have to signal SWPL status with their elegant unbranded branding and design. And he will have to pay extra for that status.

Similarly, with no hope of affording a house on their own the proper way, the SWProle turns to a small movable abode placed on land, bought or rented, and makes do. They call them Tiny Houses. They’re trailers with hipster cred. The idea isn’t new at all, it’s just a rebranding of something poor people already do.

And we revisit Fishtown, Murray’s byword for poor America. Only now, it is being hailed as a symbol of revitalization, as artsy young white people flood in to provide artisanal services in a quirky, homey environment. Gentrification! Affluence! The only problem is that the median income isn’t budging. Brandless isn’t unbranding, despite its name. Brandless itself constitutes a brand, and thus, the act is an act of *rebranding*, not unbranding. So too, the new Fishtown isn’t an end to poverty.

Merely a rebranding.


And so, we arrive at the curious case of the DINK in the nighttime. Much as the life script dictated, they went to college, a sensible state school which would minimize their student loans, got professional white collar jobs, and waited until getting financial stability to have kids.

Only their school didn’t give them a leg up, their jobs were professional in MC minds only and didn’t pay worth a damn, and by the time they were financially secure, a truly grueling ordeal, they found out that the Obamas had to get IVF. Which they can’t afford.

DINK, but not by choice.

Even with all their decadence, I cannot truly envy the SWProle. It ends in tragedy.

Perhaps I can comfort myself with the idea that it was always so. There are some letters from the reign of Louis XIV where a lady of the court ventured to see the humble villagers, only to find a village woman in a dress that would cost about $40,000 in today’s money, and herself in rags by comparison.

In the end, will it all end by guillotine?

Dramatic in my thirst,
Monsieur le Baron

An Outline of Classes, or Slaved by the Bel

Dearest friends,

In lieu of a real blog post, I’m going to define some terms I love to use.

I’m lazy.

Classes! Social classes! Yaaaaay.

Don’t expect too much insight here. Just doing some defining. Definitions are important if people are to understand each other.

I do this because most people like to bandy around labels like upper class or lower class based on statements from journalists reading Pew or other such stuff. These definitions are usually based on income thresholds where the top quintile or anyone who makes more than 75k or double the median is upper class. The problem is that a senior truck driver or cop can easily make more.

Any definition of upper class where a truck driver is upper class is stupid and for dumbs.

When people say they love science and experts, they usually mean they love the flimsy interpretations of the abstracts of papers written by journalists. Journalists are dumb. In this field, I am objectively more of an expert than a journalist because I got a useless degree in the subject in a fancy place for smart people.

So what’s better than income metrics? Income is part of the picture, but it’s not the whole picture. You’ve got to take habitus and cultural traditions into account.

Our class system is more or less derived from the social order that formed as the Medieval era came to a close and the Early Modern era began. If you’re not familiar with these terms, then… it’s about when the Renaissance occurred and when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. A long time ago, but not that long ago.

Upper Class (UC)
~.1% of the population
Why .1%? At the top .1% of wealth, you can comfortably sustain an UMC lifestyle on purely passive income.

As a class, they’re the heirs of the high aristocracy. If you’ve played games like CK2, these are the playable characters. Basically… they’re super powerful. And very rich. They set the societal narrative. They’re also pretty secretive.

I’m not gonna speculate on their personal habits or nature. To be quite frank, I’m not upper class, so I’d make a hash of it.

People love to talk about the schemes of the rich and powerful. Ehhhh… people ascribe too much agency to the powerful. There’s a popular setting for tabletop and video games called Warhammer 40k. In it, there’s a faction called the AdMech that oversees technology, and they’re a bunch of superstitious mystics who worship technology and maintain it through the practice of elaborate rites handed down for generations. Few, if any, understand the theories governing why their technology works. Most people think this is ridiculous, that the AdMech are stupid, and this is yet another case of retarded grimdark. Based on my personal experience and family lore, at least in the West and the Communist world, the AdMech gets it right. If anything, it’s a little generous.

People are stupid and incompetent. Nobody can actually do what they should be able to do. I can’t do a deep delve on the upper class, but I’ve seen enough to know they’re human, all too human. People like to mock the yokels in the past for believing in divine right and god-rulers. But, to be quite frank, most people still believe in a deified elite. An elite capable of setting right all that is wrong using the salvific force of government for the left, and an insidious, all-seeing cabal that plots for decades for the right. The idea that we are ruled by morons, always have been, and always will be is deeply terrifying. It almost makes you want to invent a god-computer to save you from the angst.

Upper Middle Class (UMC)
~5% of the population
These are the descendants of the low nobility – the assorted gentry, barons, and knights (as a rank, not profession) bumming around the regime. If the UC is the Senatorial class, the UMC is the Curiales and Equestrians.

Why 5%? These numbers are all just rough numbers. The number of rank and file nobles will vary by time and place. In pre-revolutionary France, they were over 1% of the population. In Japan, the samurai were about 5% of the population. In China, gentry men were just under 1% of the population, and with an average family size of 5, you get to just under 5% of the population. On much of the continent, the nobility numbered between 1 and 2% and was coupled with a bourgeois with which they could intermarry, smoke doobies, and play putt putt golf. In Poland, you had over 10%. That was bad. In the CURRENT YEAR, if you add up the professions and common elite jobbies (job+hobby, because these things aren’t really work even by the loose value transference definition), you end up somewhere around 4%. In Britain, the BBC defines the elite as the top 6%. I hate non-round numbers, so I think 5% is a good estimate. If you have too few, they get all stressed and anxious by all the work they have to do (they hate that), and if you have too many, elite overproduction creates conflict and social unrest because society can only absorb so many parasites professionals.

The traditional aristocracy is the noblesse d’epee, the military aristocracy. But starting in the early modern, you see the emergency of an aristocracy that does jobs. These are the noblesse de robe. Unlike the old kind of nobles, who had gained their land by forcibly disemboweling anyone else who might want to own it, these folks went to university and got fancy pieces of paper so that they might sit in grim little cubicles mansions and do work. And play putt putt golf. As time passes, you see more and more complex professions emerge. Finance becomes respectable-ish. Medicine advances from quackery to quackery with fine robes. People shut themselves in Ivory Towers to learn and shit. Science! It began. And finally, engineering arrived. These jobs we now know as the “professions”. Their practitioners? Professionals.

How does yesterday become today?

With a bang, of course. France explodes. Then a funny Corsican man in a weird hat takes this explosion and smears the goo all over Europe. Everything changes, but nothing really changes. Even at the best of times, the baron was a pressed upon fellow. His rental income was hardly vast, and then he had to keep up appearances. He was pressed by that joyful beast, college tuition. When Louis XIV summoned the Arriere Ban, the barons arrived in a terribly shabby state. They simply didn’t have the income to manage. The Prussian Junker lives in a little box he fancies a grand castle, spends his days milking cows, and puffs up a little every time someone addresses him as Lord. Things got worse, as they often do. The nobility of the long nineteenth century was in between a rock and a harder rock. Their way of life was under threat from all sides. Rental incomes were insufficient for the age. The old order that gave them legitimacy was under threat. As the story goes, they were swept into the dustbin of history.

The story is wrong, of course. Life, like water damage, finds a way. What comes to mind immediately when thinking about the noble-bourgeois conflict? Obviously the Conflict of the Orders in Rome. The behatted patricians stood against the unhatted plebian elites, men just as powerful as they. But in the end, they came together as one elite. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. The bourgeois-noble dialectic ended in sublation, and from its synthesis was born a new class, more than the sum of its parts. What would it do? Exactly what it did before. Where? If the land could no longer sustain it, it would take to the cities. And if courtly life was now obsolete, it would forge a new life script.

Exit Court, enter Corporate.

The last image of a dying age.

A father and his son. The father stands, a proud Lord, master of all he surveys, a man of taste and leisure. His Persian rugs are immaculate, his vases Ming, his furniture well-worn by age. His son is a man of business, a managing director and company man. The tie wraps his neck like shackles. Year by year, the father’s purse grows lighter. And one day, it is all gone. And in steps his son, cash in hand.

How can a man’s dignity be bought?

Anger. Fear. Then silence.

A man called Orwell pens a book describing his youth growing up in a curious group of people, a gentry without land.

He called them the upper-middle class.*

The rest, as we say, is history.

What does the upper middle class do today? Professions (and job-hobbies). Academia, Medicine, Law, Finance, Science, Engineering.

In order of prestige, I would say Academia > Law > Finance > Medicine = Science > Engineering.

Why? Value transference.

Engineering is the lowest status because it involves a lot of stuff which can only be described as work. And worse, it’s work that very tangibly provides value. Prior to our industrial age, one could at least present the image of being a mad crank tinkering with bizarre machines. But, alas, in an age of technology, engineering clearly adds value.

Medicine and Science come next. While both clearly add value and are worthwhile to society in obvious ways, they both have distancing factors. With medicine, a doctor is able to delegate the actual work to nurses, serving mostly to diagnose and analyze. And with science, it very closely resembles bookishness. And book learning is quite obviously high status, because learning is great.

Finance! You count money and move it around. People do this for fun. The value proposition is… the efficient allocation of capital? That doesn’t even sound convincing in the strong case, and most bankers underperform the market. It seems like an obviously useless ornament and thus is high status.

Law! You argue. For a living. Left to the own devices, the UMC will sit around and argue for fun, so this is not really work at all. Unfortunately, there are other things to do too, but at least you have paralegals.

The UMC spends its free time learning and arguing, and this is all academics do, so academics win. The only way to beat this is to have a job-hobby, like art. Those aren’t even real jobs.

Given it spends its time working jobs which are not really work, the UMC has plenty of free time. And it has money too! What’s one to do? Bullshit around with status, of course. The UMC can show status in several exciting ways!

Work: If you put in more hours at your job that doesn’t really do anything, you can brag about how diligent you are. People will admire your Calvinism!
Lobby about bullshit: Just come up with some fake issue like “straws are evil”. It doesn’t have to be true or even remotely plausible. The joy is the same joy as nuking a city in SimCity or shaking an ant farm. Change for change’s sake is fun. Aristocrats are natural leftists. People will admire your Calvinism progressivism!
Frugality: Steal ketchup packets. Practice a trade or other work skill because you can. Make crappy furniture yourself. Buy your furniture at IKEA. ALL OF IT. Save 90% of your income. People will admire your Calvinism sensibility!
Learning: Everyone has the potential to be brilliant, but especially you! It’s just like being at Harvard again. Read a book from the New York Times list. Then discuss it. Nod seriously at serious issues. People will admire your Calvinism intellectualism!
Épater le bourgeois: Those people are stuffy and lame. And plus? Totally stuck in the world. Say something silly like “marriage… is… bad!” and watch the gasps. Important: Do not actually practice what you preached. That would be sincere, which is middle-class, which is bad. And also, the idea is probably really stupid. And stupidity is the opposite of learning. People will admire your Calvinism detachment!
Convert to Calvinism: I think this one should be obvious.

Some people say there are two castes: Kshatriya/Optimates and Brahmin. I really don’t think so. Optimate and Brahmin are more like attitudes within the elite. Optimates, as you reactionaries know, believe in good governance, tradition, uprightness, etc etc etc blahblahblah. Really, we can divide the UMC into two kinds of people: Brahmin and suckers. Looking back at family history, being an Optimate is a great way to find an early grave. Leftism is the language of power.

Brahminland, as said before, is the All-American Town populated by Ward Cleavers that vomit apple pie. It’s unironically ironically extremely wholesome.

Most people who claim to be upper middle class are actually middle class. It is a common phenomena for people to go to college or the Big City or college then the Big City and fancy themselves elite. Unfortunately, this is like building an airstrip and expecting cargo.

Middle Class (MC)
~45% of the population
When the new conflict of the orders was resolved, the bourgeois as they knew it was dissolved into the aristocracy, giving it a tangy capitalist flavor. But if there is a top and a bottom, there must always be a middle. The old bourgeois fucked off at the first opportunity, but the old petit bourgeois stepped right in to assume its mantle. If the UMC is the modern aristocracy, a charge they occasionally cop to, then the MC upholds the legacy of the ordinary townsman, skilled laborer and tradesman. Unlike the professional organizations of the UMC, they have unions. Unions are like guilds in that they regulate the practice of the trade and also lobby for higher wages and more shit. Like the guilds of old, they have some political clout, but not an excessive amount.

Here, we find lots of concerned mothers. Concerned momma bears rove in packs, looking for soccer balls and their natural prey, the cashier. When it discovers food, it will screech its war cry, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” followed by “Can I speak to your manager?” Naturally, nobody knows who the fuck they are. Augustus used to wander around town and watch people, because he’s an aristocrat and aristocrats are autistic weirdos, and nobody would recognize him.

You can probably tell I have a distaste for the MC. The thing is, my distaste comes from an irrational place. Fussell once said the MC represents everything bad about America. That’s not true. But it feels true. I do find the Redprole charming, with his unaffected country manner and hospitality. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the Blueprole. And for every one of me that likes Redproles, there is another (probably more than that) who despises the Redprole and likes the Blueprole. All in all, the MC is doomed to a beatdown. If the tradesmen and nobles were ever able to work together, they would have stopped the change of *their* day, the rise of absolutism. They weren’t. Obviously.

As I’ve said before, the MC are the true believers. If you have an ideology, they are the ones who uphold its doctrine. They trust in science and experts and studies. Unfortunately, a lot of studies found in the media (they’ll never read the actual study, not least of all because they lack the expensive access to professional libraries and thus must eat paywall) exist to further some ant-farm shaking bullshit agenda. Once enough foot soldiers are enlisted in some nonsense cause (MOMS DEMAND STRAW CONTROL NOW), the originator will gain social points and high-fives all around. Society will get a little worse. That’s theme 1. Morality! The MC is moral. You find the MC tuning into their favored media outlet, as they receive moral lectures and received wisdom from members of the UC and UMC who weren’t even good enough to do value transference brainwork.

The MC is conscientious. It finds pride in its work, which is tangible and meaningful. You find the MC teaching the youth, joyfully explicating every word of the textbook as it opens new vistas of learning to fresh minds. By the roads, you find them breaking stone and cracking open a cold one. In the hospitals, it is the tender touch of the nurse that restores the masses to good health. In the streets, it peddles the latest miracle cure or marvel of science from BigCorp. It is the silent watcher behind golden badges, enforcing the justice passed down from on high. And it is the legions abroad, fighting to protect freedom and the American way.

The middle class is the unappreciated hero of the American story, and if society does not collapse, it is only thanks to their tireless efforts.

The middle class is sincere. And therefore, the middle class is doomed. The UMC doesn’t actually like the MC. At all. The MC wants to keep up with the Joneses. Most of all, it wants to reach status perfection, the way of life Fussell said every American envies – the UMC way of life. Unfortunately, status is relative and the UMC really, really, really doesn’t like to be threatened by upstarts. The UMC sets the agenda for the workers. It’s “the boss class”.

You can see where this is going.

Teachers are given books written to shock the bourgeois while simultaneously padding resumes. Construction work is bogged down by endless contradictory regulations. The inventions don’t do anything and are planned to obsolete themselves regardless, so the MC is trapped in an endless cycle of buying status signals that don’t actually signal status to important people. The police are simultaneously told to beat minorities and the poor to keep them out of nice communities while also lambasted for doing the same, while the criminal scum they just put away is released so that they can hound middle class communities. And finally, their children are made into blood sacrifices to project Cathedral power across the world.

Sincerity is naive. The true believer has put his faith in one that will tell him the sacred rite is to draw an eight, then two equals signs, and then finally a capital D on his forehead. And when he finally realizes the trick, he makes what he formerly saw as a god into a demon. Here lies the origins of conspiracy theories. The true believer inverts his former beliefs and comes to see all evil in what was formerly all good. Grand proclamations about the wickedness of the capitalists or the Jews or the capitalist Jews retain the character of an all-powerful elite (the proles do not see the UC).

The most hated man in feudalism was not the king, but the local baron.

If the MC person constantly pursues status, it is because they dream. Status anxiety is the fear of losing something precious.

Where lies hope? In a dedication not to the values of a false UMC idol, but in dedication to the work for its own sake.

Lower Middle Class (LMC)
~40% of the population
Here we find the platonic proletariat. Here is the unskilled worker, fodder for machines, a walking sacrifice to Moloch. The Heart Machine must be placated. Unlike the MC, these people do not have skills. This is the half of society that works for near minimum wage, or even minimum wage. Their flesh is meat for the Heart Machine. Every hour, the Metropolis demands more power.

There is little joy in this labor. It is undignified and mechanical, a glassy-eyed slog.

The core value is survival. It’s not literal survival, because America is so wealthy that even the poor are fat and have cable. Rather, it is the protection and the development of the ego in a world that does not feed it.

The middle class dreams of finally catching up with the Jones. The LMC just wants to escape its plight. Some of them do so sensibly, by planning to acquire skills and so increase the value of their labor. But much dreaming here is wild fantasy. Lotto wins, pro sports, inheritance from unknown relatives.

In a world where everything is valued, to be LMC is to be someone placed in the clearance bin. At Kmart.

Soccer moms yell at you. People use you as a warning for their kids. Who can really appreciate anything about who are you? Being LMC is going to the big city with a college degree and a pile of debt only to become a barista, then raging against the machine, then dreaming of Revolution, and finally abandoning even that, left only with the cold revelation that the future your MC worked so hard to give you was hollow and that you have nothing left. Being LMC is being born in the ghetto but not in the talented tenth. It’s not having a way out no matter how hard you try. It’s bashing your head against the wall over and over again until you finally realize you were given a bum hand. And that’s just the luck of the draw. It’s looking for a good man but never finding one because there are no good men where you are. It’s chasing high after high, material, chemical, emotional, just to free yourself from the ennui of life. One day after another.


It’s a terrible thing to be below average.

Walking, talking, genetic load.

In this class, it really is better to be a simpleton. At least then, you can throw yourself into house and block parties with wild abandon. Simple work and idle pleasures, that’s the name of the game. If one can avoid despair, then one can realize that even in low status, as painful as it is for human brains to stomach, there is a lot to be enjoyed in modern America. The streets are paved with gold. Metaphorically.

~10% of the population
Uhhhh… assholes. If the UC is the top-out-of-sight, the underclass (also inconveniently UC) is the bottom-out-of-sight.

Bam. Class or something.

Too lazy for a signoff,
Monsieur le Baron

*I have found earlier mentions, but they don’t really bother describing the meaning of the term. I suppose this is natural – most of our terminology today goes completely unexplained and will probably baffle future readers. Given the term “upper middle class” in those texts is used to describe a family of minor French nobility and Italian patricians respectively, I think we can surmise they used in a way similar to Orwell.

Magnanimous Signalling, or the Classic Rhyme of Cuck Cuck Juice

Dearest friends,

It is always annoying to run into a white man that loudly protests his own privilege. Such fellows think that, just because they are white, they are your equal. Worse still is that odious breed that thinks it makes him superior, worthy of producing constant preening condescension that would make even the mightiest Emperor blush at its boldness.

I mean, hell. Let’s just compare.

Listens attentively to manure shovelers (lol) KNOWS MINORITIES SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD.
Thinks he’s rich because he’s king. Has to wear hand-me-downs from maids. KNOWS HE’S RICH BECAUSE HE’S WHITE. SPENDS WHITE PRIVILEGE ON GUCCI AND NEW ADIDAS.
Has to blow out candles to avoid wasting them. KEEPS LIGHTS ON BECAUSE THEY’RE ECO-BULBS
Wears heels. What is he, gay? SECURELY GENDERQUEER
Thinks you’re worth his time KNOWS HIS TIME IS MORE VALUABLE

Of course, the most popular books about social power advocate staying aloof, being hard to reach, and disdaining lots of things. I DISDAIN THAT. AND THAT. AND THIS. GRRRRR. SO CONTEMPTUOUS.

Before we move on, I’d like to warn any middle-class readers: you cannot pay for things with white privilege. If you attempt to rent a home using “white privilege” or your “whiteness” as payment, I will not be amused, and I dare say that my counterparts will be equally unamused. And while I can’t guarantee this, despite what your mooney professors may have said about redlining, you cannot waltz into a bank and have them hand over piles of money. Generally speaking, the best way to get a loan is to show that you have enough cash to cover the obligation in its entirety. The middle class among you may wonder why even bother with the loan then – why not pay cash? That’s a matter for another time… personal finance with Monsieur le Baron?

Generally speaking, there is usually a speck of truth in things that people say. Rare is the person who fabricates things whole cloth, and those usually go to prison. Being an aloof, contemptuous dickhead works as a status signal on an animal level.

Once upon a time, Roman elites, from the humble curiale to even the mightiest clārissimus were obliged to make vast contributions to all sorts of public goods. These contributions could be so large they were impoverishing. French aristocrats made loans to peasants that probably wouldn’t be repaid. One noble lady was dismayed to find a peasant woman she had lent a substantial sum of money to had spent it all on a fancy dress. These same aristocrats then proceeded to snoop around looking for events with free food. Whenever you find economically irrational behavior, you find the game of status. Magnanimity is a classic status signal because it shows you have so much that you can give plenty away. It raises the esteem of others while also proving your own power. Why do elites feel compelled to give PUBLICLY? Why do they need to put on charity galas (which eat a lot of the donated money)? Don’t they understand that prayer and charity are two things you shouldn’t be *caught* dead doing? Of course they do. But the point is not to do good (that’s a convenient side effect).

What does this have to do with belief in white privilege?

Believing in white privilege seems like a strongly disadvantageous meme for its carrier. Does it make anyone more positively disposed towards them? NAMs won’t be very impressed by this wite boi who is just as poor as they lecturing them with silly social justice things in a condescending tone of voice. The powerful will sneer at someone so uppity they are deluded into thinking they are one of the elites and not one of the goyim (a delightfully evocative word, more evidence of the Jewish talent for language), simply because they have the right skin color. Perhaps the Cathedral, but they won’t exactly be showering the believer in cash and prizes. At best, they might get one of the crummy jobs I see floating on job boards from time to time. An interviewer will be impressed with their devotion to the cause and give them the opportunity to shill on the internet for $15/hr! Joy. You’d have to be mentally ill to be thrilled by such a prospect. Though I suppose it’s not very different from email processing scams, which proles love. And the Cathedral’s money is most definitely real.

So what’s the deal then?

A belief in white privilege allows its holder to reposition themselves as being POWERFUL. Being innately powerful, they are now free to make gestures of charity (acknowledging their own white privilege), and do so in the same tone and mindset of someone in the upper middle class donating a big check to charity. It enables them to engage in magnanimous signalling, thus raising their own status. Unfortunately, this is a cheap signal. Whitesplaining doesn’t cost a dime. And as we know, cheap signals are all but worthless. The thing is, the dopamine reward for signalling doesn’t care if the signal is actually effective. How could it? It would require the brain to calculate all the groups of society and figure out their responses and whether it raised or lowered their esteem. Instead, it must depend on whether the holder believes in their own signal. And they do. So bam, dopamine. It’s like expensive clothing with big brand names splashed gaudily on the front. It doesn’t signal high socioeconomic status, but the buyers believe it does, so they feel good anyways.

The same holds true of white nationalism. White nationalists and social justice warriors are two sides of the same coin – both believe in the inherent superiority and mastery of white people, of which they are a prime example. And just as social justice warriors are so generous as to check their own privilege, so too do white nationalists glory in and fetishize the restraint of the white man, which permits the lesser races to do whatever it is they’re doing. And equally gratifying is the power fantasy such a narrative presents – when the white man loses his patience, he will throw off his self-imposed bonds and utterly crush everything in his way. The Day of the Rope. The Storm. The white man finally chimping out. Ha! Like the Cathedral, they blindly seek to immanetize the eschaton. Their paradise just has different paint.

The problem with both narratives is that those who could unleash a lot of force, the powerful, don’t see things the same way. Just because they’re also white doesn’t mean they feel any sense of real kinship. The masses are the goyim. Fuck ’em.

But I’m probably just a crank standing in the way of change.

Upset his token negro escaped the dungeon,
Monsieur le Baron