According to this article, the USG’s student loan portfolio is worth $1.2
billion trillion and is “the biggest pool of U.S. debt,” second only to government loans for mortgages.
The debt has soared for an obvious inflated reason: “The government writes loans for any student who enrolls in an institution eligible for federal aid.”
USG will fork over tens of thousands of dollars to the high-IQ individual accepted to Wharton as readily as it forks over tens of thousands of dollars to the low-IQ individual who demonstrates her low IQ by borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to earn an associate’s degree in Office Skills at Fly-By-Night Online College.
The outcome is predictable. The government cannot discriminate in regard to its investments and has thereby provided an amusing object lesson in the value of discrimination:
The Wharton grads are good to pay back their loans. The others are not. The Wharton grads are subsidizing those who have not paid back their loans as well as the fresh blood applying for student aid every year. Which would not be an issue if the government loan interest rates were as low as what private investors could offer. But they are not.
Chris Winiarz, a 31-year-old money manager with a Northwestern MBA, jumped at a student-loan deal of a lifetime.
A startup called SoFi offered to refinance his $45,000 in federal debt, slashing his interest rate to 2.69 percent from 6.55 percent. Winiarz will pay off his obligation three years early, saving about $9,500 and helping pay for an engagement ring for his girlfriend. The company even threw in a free bottle of artisan olive oil.
“I really should have done this a lot sooner,” said Winiarz, who helps oversee the University of California’s endowment and pension investments.
Where the government will not discriminate between borrowers, the private sector will:
In a growing refinancing boom, a new generation of private lenders — backed by hedge-fund billionaires and Silicon Valley royalty — is targeting successful graduates with professional degrees and student loans. For the borrowers, “it’s an uncashed lottery ticket,” said Brendan Coughlin, head of education finance for Citizens Financial Group Inc.
Private lenders have refinanced about $3 billion to $4 billion so far, according to Stephen Dash, chief executive officer of Credible.com, a website that compares refinancing rates.
That number is sure to rise, since better-quality borrowers have no logical reason to stay put and subsidize others, said Vince Passione, founder of Lendkey Technologies Inc., which connects students online with private student-loan lenders.
An exodus of loan-payers to private refinancing companies could leave the USG student debt portfolio with nothing but individuals who will never repay their loans.
To solve the problem, a good Keynesian would argue that the government should reduce its interest rates on the student loans. A good socialist would argue that the government should reduce the interest rates to 0%, asking nothing more of the poor decision makers than to repay the original amount of the loan over the next 60 years.
But, of course, America is a communist country, so other options are being explored:
For now, taxpayers will be funding a greater share of borrowers like Noelle Liptak, who lives near Akron, Ohio, and makes $40,000 a year as a marketing representative for a plastic-bottle manufacturer.
Liptak, 31, has almost $100,000 in federal student loans from college and an MBA from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. A government program currently lets her pay $46 a month, and her loans may be forgiven after 25 years.
“I don’t expect to ever pay them off,” Liptak said.
And from the comments to the article:
I saw what they did for my daughter, now in her early 30s. 2 BA degrees and one MA as long as she works for [a] non profit, of which she’s not making anything she can have this loan where she pays a small amount monthly for 10 year’s then the rest is “forgiven” (it’s not a small amount it’s 10 years worth of student loans).
So what have we learned here? We have learned that non-discriminatory investment should be an oxymoron, and that non-discriminatory investment by the government will lead to the good debt discriminating itself from the bad debt anyway. The government will be left only with the bad. What the government decides to do with this bad student loan debt will be an excellent test case for the AIACC thesis. If we may judge by these early indicators (which I have seen with my own academic eyes), the thesis will be proven true. The debt will be magically erased.
. . . but not forgotten, of course. Private actors who were audacious enough to make money on student loan debt or to pay off their loans will find themselves subsidizing the defaulters anyway. Some how, some way, the progressives will make sure of that. The show must go on and you’re going to pay for it, whether or not you want to see it.
The conclusions drawn in Marc Dyal’s essay on Deleuze, Guattari, and the New Right settle nicely into the neural crevices of any man who rejects the totalitarianism inherent in the ideology of imagined global collectives and who instead believes in the primacy of the individual, the family, and the organic community. The rejection of the former and the elevation of the latter, according to Dyal, depends on a reversal of the notion of difference—difference becomes not a chasm to be negotiated or tactically bridged but rather the very (non)ground from which the individual, the family, or the organic community fights against forced collectivization:
Far from vulgar liberal politics of difference, which defends the right of the minority to be included in the majority by continually reconfiguring the standards of majority inclusion, Deleuze and Guattari propose the process of becoming-minor, wherein individuals and groups actively diverge from the majority. In other words, becoming-minor involves the same active transvaluation of the bourgeois form of life that has prompted the creation of the revolutionary Right.
I can see how this move would appeal to identities as diverse as European ethno-nationalists and Black Panthers. It is a similar philosophy to the one held by men such as Booker T. Washington, who, contra DuBois, thought it unwise to vivisect blacks onto white society through legal coercion and pressure politics. The better policy, Washington thought, was to keep the black community separate, so as to build a stronger black community on its own terms, on the fringes of white society, through industrial education and wealth accumulation. This strategy would create an educated, financially empowered black minority whose integration with the majority would not be coerced but would occur organically, slowly, as blacks demonstrated within their own communities that they were as responsible and reliable as whites. In short, the difference between black and white should be maintained, Washington contended, so as to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that black success could be achieved without white blessing and white charity. Then, and only then, might black and white meet on equal terms.
Similarly, though in a very different context, all Mencian forms of political philosophy operate upon the assumption that stark lines of difference are necessary between one social order and the next so that humanity can learn which ones fail and why, and which ones succeed and why. Social order as experimentation and refinement—but no experiment works without carefully differentiated groups. Coerced homogeneity is anathema to diversity of social orders and therefore to social experimentation and refinement.
Difference, then, is important . . . . but it becomes a problematic concept if we follow it to its philosophical core. Here is Dyal’s definition:
Difference is the ontological reality of the world – a great mass of individual specimens that resist all forms of representation and universalization – as it is sensually experienced. Deleuze insists that there is no ground, subject, or being that experiences; there is only experience that flows and becomes in each passing instant. There is no actual world that is then represented in virtual images by the privileged mind of man.
This is debatable, to put it mildly. Difference may be the ontological reality of the world . . . but it does not follow that the world cannot be adequately modeled and represented in human terms. Regardless of what Dyal says, the world does not resist representation. The images, the models that we build are of course always tentative, open to modification, but they nevertheless can model correctly (even if we are only partially aware of why they seem to be correct). For example, Lagrangian points were “represented” two centuries before man took to the skies, much less the heavens, and yet Lagrange was obviously “representing the world” in the right direction because today his model has been successfully used to plan spaceflights.
It takes a hardcore science-skeptic (on the level of Flat Earthers) to claim that mankind can never model the universe with an acceptable degree of precision. Mankind has done so, and continues to do so. The point is proven every time an airplane lifts off from a runway.
I am well aware, however, that philosophers such as Deleuze and Guattari typically have in mind social desiderata when claiming that no ground exists upon which an objective model of the world might be constructed. But even here, in the context of the social, it can be claimed that the world is not such a “mass of individual specimens” that it “resists all forms of representation and universalization.”
If we first agree—as I think we must—that acceptably accurate representations of the material world are possible, and second, if we agree that the social realm—mankind itself—is to some extent influenced by or comprised of material, then surely we must agree that the ontology of the social realm can be accurately modeled, represented, concatenated through images constructed in human terms. Isn’t this idea central to reactionary thought? Humans may be a great mass of individual specimens, but certain things about it can be represented, even universalized, through the sciences of genetics, evolutionary biology, medicine, even linguistics. Humans may be a great mass of individual specimens, but the mass as a whole is always under material pressures that are, to some extent, knowable.
In short, Dyal’s rejecting the idea that humanity can be represented or universalized entails the rejection of any science of humanity. It puts him in the same camp as the leftist creationists . . . which shouldn’t be surprising, since Deleuze and Guattari are leftists.
Rejecting any and all attempts to model humanity frees oneself from the implications of those models and leaves one free to define (and re-define) humanity according to non-rational impulses: “there is only experience that flows and becomes in each passing instant.” If that is the case, then we are free from the influence of ancestry and evolution. As Dyal puts it:
Looking ahead, it is important to know that in this conception of experience, individual humans cannot be made knowable genealogically as general or common manifestations of an Idea, but instead by understanding the processes of individuation determined by actual and specific differences, multitudinous influences, and chance interactions.
Ironically, the elevation of difference makes any science of human difference all but impossible, as Dyal himself notes.
So, the question is, can one claim the philosophical notion of difference without accepting its core rejection of human representation? Or must neoreactionaries deny difference a foundational role in why we think social difference is important to maintain? Should our recognition of difference flow from empirical “models” of ontological reality, trusting these models despite their incomplete, tentative nature?
This blog is on record as not caring much about The Gay Problem. Of all the identity groups in the West, gays are the least problematic. A decent number seem to be natural aristocrats and right-wingers, but even if all of them were virulent leftists, they make up a tiny percentage of the population. And, honestly, what’s the worst they’re gonna do? Have a few gay weddings, prance around in chaps in a few parades, and gentrify a few ghettos? Two things they won’t be doing any time soon are setting off bombs and lowering home values.
Nevertheless, there’s a lesson about the ever-leftward zeitgeist one can learn from the recent pizza and bakery scandals: it happens in the blink of an eye.
A few months ago, to be in good standing with the Left, one needed only to agree that gays should have the full right to marry and that no state should bar them from marriage.
Today, to be in good standing with the Left, one needs to agree that all private businesses must get involved with gay weddings if called upon to do so, upon pain of mob outrage and state-levied fines.
In the blink of an eye—a couple incidents in Nowheresville—the goalposts of respectable opinion have been shifted a little further to the left. The articles of leftist faith have been expanded, and ipso facto, the realm of opinion designated “right-wing” has been expanded, as well.
Today, you can agree that gays should have full right to marry one another, but if you do not also agree that private businesses must be forced to get involved with gay weddings regardless of the owners’ religious scruples, you now have a conservative opinion. The culture has moved leftward, and if you have not moved with it, you are stuck in the reactionary shadow of that movement.
The Gay Problem demonstrates just how swiftly a society can approach a Left Singularity. Even a few years ago, the suggestion that religious people should be forced to get involved with gay weddings against their beliefs was not being floated anywhere in the media and not many places online. But all of a sudden it is an opinion that you must share if you are not to be labeled conservative by the elite progressive class.
In another year, the culture will find it odd that private business owners used to get away with refusing to involve themselves with gay weddings. How terrible! Were we that backward, once? And, of course, the culture will not have reasoned itself to this conclusion. It is pure sentiment. To some extent, it is a manufactured sentiment, but the whole Comskyan notion of “manufactured consent” is far too leftist for my tastes. The reality is that human animals are always very happy to attach their sentiment to ideals and rituals. As soon as their body chemistry has developed an emotional tolerance to a certain ideal or ritual, they will move quickly to find a new one. Perhaps leftward movement is just the consequence of a people bent on chasing its emotional high.
This thread at Sailer’s has produced some insights, among which is the following comment:
The definition of chutzpah is someone who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy because he is an orphan.
What do you call it when white people import millions of blacks in chains from Africa and then complain that America has too much diversity? On the eve of the Civil War, the population of South Carolina was 58% black. Was that too much salt in the soup and if so, who dumped all that salt in there? America lost its moral standing to exist as a whitopia a long time ago and like virginity, you can’t get it back.
An excellent point. Unlike the more recently arrived Italians, Greeks, and Irish, black Africans were here in America from her very beginning. Part of the founding stock. Only a few hundred thousand blacks were ever imported into America, of course, but that number quickly grew into a “native” African American population. Surely this population has as much a claim on the nation as the relatives of Thomas Jefferson? Isn’t it our national duty to continue working until there is parity between them and White America, whatever HBD issues may stand in the way?
I don’t bring this up as a challenge so much as an opportunity to discuss the totalizing Intersectional Left—not to be confused with the totalitarian Left. Let me explain:
In my most self-critical moments, I find myself agreeing (to an extent) with the critiques of white privilege and black oppression in America. Blacks contributed hard labor to a segment of this country and yet the country was never set up for their benefit. Obviously not! They were slaves. Even if their numbers were large in the south, across America as a whole, they never constituted more than 10-12% of the population. A minority population cannot expect a society to embody its interests and culture. However, at the very least, it can expect to gain some financial reward through its contribution to the larger society. Economically speaking, then, there is a legitimate Black American Grievance because across 200+ years of social contributions (in the form of menial labor), they never saw a financial reward in return.
Now, I would argue, as would most of you, that White America has long since paid that debt in the form of 300,000+ Union war dead, multiple Constitutional amendments, billions spent on civil rights legislation and enforcement, billions more spent on welfare programs. But insofar as these haven’t worked, and insofar as the nation will never accept HBD, I can at times admit that, when talking about Black America, the critical race theorists and social justice warriors have a point and we may as well join hands to try and lift up our black American brothers . . . after all, and as I said, they were here from the beginning, as much a part of America as the Daughters of the American Revolution. There is a certain loyalty that we should admit and act upon.
All this is to say that I can stomach and, for the sake of argument, even agree with certain Leftist points about race and class in the context of Black America. If I imagine that every Leftist/SJW argument were made in the context of Black America—designed to analyze only the plight of black Americans—then I find myself at peace, even in agreement, because I see no reason why we shouldn’t take blacks on as a continuing project, for their betterment, and for ours. They were our slave population, we freed them, now let’s continue the work of integrating them.
The problem of course is that contemporary Leftist arguments are not made only in the context of Black America. The problem is that the Left’s goals are not only to ameliorate the plight of black Americans. The problem is that Leftism is totalizing. It is not about the plight of a specific former slave population but about the imagined plight of everyone who is not a white, heterosexual, cisgendered male. Today, the Left has taken the discourse of oppression (which, again, has a legitimacy and a power when used in the context of Black America) and applied it willy-nilly to every recently arrived immigrant group, to every sexual identity group, to every human without a penis, to everyone who is not a white, heterosexual, cisgendered male . . . that is to say, the Left has applied the discourse of oppression to well nigh 90% of the planet’s population.
This intersectional move would be legitimate if, indeed, 90% of the planet’s population were oppressed by the other 10%, that is, by the white, heterosexual, cisgendered males. If white males met in synod every month to discuss how to rape, to kill, to thieve, and to generally repress the masses, then by all means, applying the discourse of oppression to everyone who is not a white male would make a lot of sense.
If you don’t buy this conspiracy theory, however, then one can only wonder at the underlying motives behind intersectionality. One can only wonder why the Left wants to apply a very specific discourse about a very specific former slave population to Hondurans who just came to America last week. One can only wonder why the Left wants to apply discourse about a former slave population to men who like to dress up in women’s clothes.
Why does the Left totalize its critique in this way?
Power and influence, of course.
To an extent, the discourse of oppression—the Left critique in the context of Black America—has worked for Black America. They got their freedom; they got their civil rights; they get their welfare programs, their EEO law, their constant outpouring of affection from guilty whites. It is no surprise, then, that other groups have decided to latch onto this discourse, to appropriate this critique, in the hopes that they, too, can get some of that power and influence . . . and state money.
If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think recently arrived Hondurans have the same right . . . . I am not a Leftist.
If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think homosexuals or transgendered people have the same right . . . I am not a Leftist.
If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think women have that same right . . . I am not a Leftist.
In short, if I am not intersectional, I am not a Leftist. Certain economically-minded liberals have lately learned this out the hard way.
Intersectionality, I think, will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The contemporary “Left” is a coalition of utopians who think the entire planet can (and should! and has a right to!) live in post-scarcity luxury and middle-class harmony. But underneath this utopian surface are the divisions and fissures we should expect in a human collective. Intersectionality highlights these divisions. It exacerbates the differences. It forces people to declare their true motives and loyalties. Blacks or women, who’s it gonna be? Women or trannies, who’s it gonna be? Trannies or Muslims, who’s it gonna be? Muslims or Hindus, who’s it gonna be?
Put another way, intersectionality foregrounds the absurdity of the Leftist utopian project itself. For that reason, I celebrate it and welcome it, and would like some more of it, please. Once the factions have devoured one another, maybe we Americans can get back to the business of trying to help out the poor urban blacks as best we can . . .
A problem distilled by admin:
“Extend-and-pretend” — or radically finite reality denial — is an engine of catastrophe. It enables negative consequences to be accumulated through postponement . . .
Yet the accumulation is a slow one, so perhaps there is no reason to expect a singular catastrophe recognizable as such. We’re not talking about volcanoes and meteorites but large-scale economic, social, and political phenomena. In the context of such phenomena, catastrophe, in Eliot’s words, may be a slow whimper until we run out of breath rather than a cataclysmic bang with an instantaneous reckoning.
Catastrophe—finally hitting the wall of reality—may in the end be local, diffuse, an ongoing yet controllable thing. The politics of the last decade might be read not as “extend and pretend” but as “scatter the negative consequences.” Shifting the metaphor, we should not ask “When does the pressure finally explode?” but “How do governments (and their functionaries) release steam at the margins?” Of course, we can also ask, “Where does the steam escape on its own, regardless of planned release?” The Cathedral is not stupid; perhaps it doesn’t let negative consequences accumulate so much as cook the books, fudge the ledgers, and move money between accounts (shifting metaphors again). State and federal policy as an endless series of maneuvers designed to keep the Good Ship Society afloat indefinitely, water flooding in through a thousand small holes but pumped out again through a thousand more poked by the shipbuilders.
Catastrophe is thus framed as a local event. Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt, the Fed prints more money. Another Detroit neighborhood loses electric power, another D.C. neighborhood gentrifies thanks to federal salaries. Or, in the social realm, a white Bosnian is killed in Ferguson, but now black Africans are “Christian terrorists.”
None of this is to say that a game of “scatter the negative consequences” can go on indefinitely, despite what its planners might think, anymore than a game of “extend and pretend” can go on indefinitely. But it is to say that the endgame exists, by design, on a much longer time scale than any of us realize.
Funny future scenario:
Sometime near the year 2114. Third world immigration has flooded first world city centers across North America and Europe. Some cities are 70+% NAM. The welfare state’s tipping point has finally been reached; austerity policies are beginning to roll back welfare programs at unprecedented rates to avoid state and federal insolvency. Widespread protests. Greece on a massive scale. At the same time, global warming has finally happened, and coastal cities are beginning to lose neighborhoods. Not a big deal for the rich whites and East Asians, but not all coastal cities are Malibu. Every month, more and more poor NAMs find themselves untethered and homeless, both within first world countries but, more devastatingly, in third world shitholes.
Those NAMs who have found themselves ensconced (though not assimilated) in Western countries start getting panicked phone calls from their cousins and uncles and grandmothers. “We coming to you for staying. No more home here. Just water.”
Now, these Western NAM immigrants—fourth, fifth generation—aren’t stupid. They know that austerity is on the horizon. If they want to stop those welfare rollbacks, the worst thing that could happen is a massive influx of more people putting themselves on the government payrolls. This is not ten thousand here or ten thousand there. We’re talking millions of displaced persons flooding into barely-solvent jurisdictions every month. The local immigrants know this great movement of peoples is the final nail on the coffin of their state handouts and privileges. Each family accepts a few of their own personal relatives moving in but vehemently opposes more distant relations or neighbors’ families jumping onto this already-sinking life raft.
Anti-refugee groups form, manned entirely by indigenous immigrant NAMs. Fourth generation welfare-addicted citizens protesting the daily arrival of flooded-out illiterate halal peddlers. A caramel-coated Tea Party is regenerated. The image of Caesar Chavez is evoked as the indigenous defenders of dying welfare programs take to the deserts to defend the borders of their Western golden geese.
As Stephen King once said: “It always comes round to the same place again.”
China has no interest in your free speech nonsense:
China’s state news agency, Xinhua, ran a commentary by its Paris bureau chief in which he said: “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation and free speech are not acceptable.”
A commentary posted on the Xinhua website also warns that we now live in “a reality that demands basic respect and prudence be exercised in mass communication so as to reduce inter-culture and inter-religion misunderstanding and distrust, which can easily be exploited by terrorists.”
Good governance and peaceful domestic relations are two things neoreactionaries are supposed to value. So what is the neoreactionary theory of free speech?
It seems to me like a binary choice, at least in terms of sound policy. Either a society embraces free speech for all (as a principle) or it rejects free speech for all. Either might work. In contrast, a speech policy based on positionality rather than principle is bound to create more resentment than one in which anyone is allowed to say anything without legal or fiscal consequence. Unfortunately, this is precisely the policy in the West: whether or not something “can be said” depends on the positions of the people speaking and of the people being spoken about. Chris Hedges and others have pointed this out. In most of Europe, it is perfectly legal to mock Mohammed but illegal to deny the Holocaust or to write Nazi tracts. I would not lose my academic job for writing about high IQs in East Asia, but I could very well lose it for writing about low IQs in Africa.
There can be no denying that the Chinese are partially right. If, as a matter of free speech, one group of people is allowed to mock and humiliate another group of people, domestic relations are assured to be turbulent, perhaps even violent. If, on the other hand, no one is allowed to mock or humiliate anyone else, on pain of imprisonment, then people will keep their opinions behind closed doors and play nice in public, thereby ensuring general domestic tranquility.
Of course, any NRx theory of free speech must take into consideration the historical contingency of this Western, secular value. Expecting all non-Western immigrants to immediately and eagerly accept this value is an exercise in progressive retardation, and it is a lesson that, unfortunately, the French writers of Charlie Hebdo had to learn the hard way.