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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

"The net effect of this new aid package for Ukraine will be to prolong the war ravaging that country, and to delay the also inevitable defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield. $61 billion can buy a lot of weaponry, but it cannot plug manpower holes that even the new conscription law that the Ukrainian government passed recently will attempt to do."

Once Ukraine runs low on warm live bodies, whether by press-ganging those in the country or deporting refugees of military age, NATO will openly and directly intervene.

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This unlikely as it’s mad.

So only unlikely.

In any case with what does NATO intervene with?

Air and Sea power are strong.

Land Forces are not as shabby as advertised, but not as strong as Russia’s.

Then there’s the nuclear problem.

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Russian dithering and indecision have caused NATO to lose all fear of Russia.

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No. Not at all.

NATO is scared of their own, never mind Russia, the Diversion that is being bungled into the main effort…

It’s nukes vs nukes with Russia

In the first last and final analysis, not to mention the Germans are already cold and eating turnips, so I think ONLY by utter accident.

Which doesn’t rule it out.

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Yet NATO ever always only doubles down, while Russia is loathe to escalate even as shells fall on Russian soil.

Stop kidding yourself.

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I’m really not kidding myself and don’t care either.

NATO is USA and some cosmetic auxiliaries.

If France or anyone else thinks we’re coming fine.

Now as it’s rather obvious you are hoping for Armageddon cheer up it’s already happening, just slowly. Not fast enough?

Well.

It’s baked in, so cheer up.

It may or may not be nuclear.

It depends on the fears of coward civilians-but I repeat myself-in a flux relationship with the military cowards we call Generals desire to live and retire in Texas or Florida. If they were brave they wouldn’t be Generals you know.

So in the end their very spineless weasel nature may save a billion or more lives, because a game of golf is spoiled in protective gear.

The civilians might give the order, they Generals are unlikely to obey it… which is slim chances either way. So whether filled with craven or suicidal nihilism one can find what one wants to see. I see… nothing… a retirement home.

There’s no NATO. There’s a dissolving Imperial Government who’s Chief General is plugged into a wall at Bethesda Hospital, whose Assistant Secretary of Defense is a woman (and so a coward) who’s hiding in her basement in Puerto Rico.

The apocalypse is a disappointment too, sorry. It’s the 21st century, reduce your expectations.

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I am not hoping for Armageddon, but I know enough not to confuse wishes with reality.

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Apr 22Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Lol no it won't. Don't be ridiculous. NATO neither has the manpower, technological edge, nor industrial capacity to wage high intensity modern warfare in Russia's backyard. And NATO planners -- the people who would be tasked with carrying out such orders -- know this. Even if all that $61 billion magically funneled troops and equipment to Ukraine tomorrow (spoiler: it won't) they would all get slaughtered within a month.

This 'aid' package is nothing more than a stipend for America's boutique weapons industry and Ukrainian oligarchs.

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So basically nobody can tell a Macron not to let his mouth write checks that his ass can't cash?

And if a NATO force would get slaughtered in a month, why are Ukrainians still there and holding out?

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The Ukrainians are gangsters pointing guns at their own, also they are defending their soil.

Finally ignoring all history since 1945 the Ukrainians trusted the USA government, something all of history going back TO THE AMERICAN FOUNDERS said IN WRITING not to do…

You can always tell an American, because no one ever was so distrustful of the American government.

DON’T TRUST THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT; It’s written 10 different ways in the Constitution, and hundreds of ways in the Federalist papers, we just can’t seem to get the point across.

Attention foreign readers ;

The Bill of Rights is 10 explicit vital matters that Americans in our fucking DNA don’t trust the government on.

As we can see we were right.

By the way, 9&10 Amendments are catch alls that say don’t trust government on anything else either.

See.

We put DON’T TRUST THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT in OUR FOUNDATION LAWS AND CONSTITUTION.

We have IN GOD WE TRUST on our money. OUR FUCKING MONEY. The implication being don’t trust anyone else…

See.

I hope that was explicit enough.

I doubt it.

235 years since we ratified our Constitution and… you… still… don’t…. Believe us…

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"why are Ukrainians still there and holding out?"

The Russkies are conducting this war very slowly and methodically, with an eye to the coming peace. Taking as many prisoners as possible, not destroying more infrastructure than strictly necessary to achieve their war aims, etc. In other words, they're still operating with a modicum of restraint. That goes out the window the second NATO forces officially deploy to the theatre. And they've warned as much.

As for Macron, well, when's the last time anyone took seriously a European leader on matters of war? (Besides Zelensky in 2022, when Boris Johnson told him he could win with NATO support)?

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We keep hearing that Russia will finally escalate, but they never do, even as NATO ignores red line after red line. This is foolish beyond words.

Anyway, reports are that French troops already are in Ukraine.

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Officially?

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Does it matter?

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Apr 22Liked by Niccolo Soldo

From a game theory perspective I think this would already have happened if it were going to happen at all.

"If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say why not today? If you say today at 5 o'clock, I say why not one o'clock?"

- John von Neumann

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Explain.

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Great issue Nic. The exhilaration over your Turbo America thesis being further proven must've put you in a good mood.

A cousin of mine was a nurse in the Twin Cities where most patients were either Scandinavian-Americans or Somali immigrants. It was a schizophrenic job, because the Scandis were Stoic--"my leg is sore" meant a 16-inch festering gash across their calf--while the Somalis seemed to overdramatize every symptom to the max.

Speaking of Fanon I recently reopened "The Wretched of the Earth" which had my marginalia from 20+ years back. Found myself not caring. The opening chapter, "Concerning Violence," is 40-50 pages that can be summarized as "We hate the colonists and want to kill them."

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The most schizophrenic opinion of the progressive West is the denounciation of speech as violence, and the adoption, at the same time, of left wing writers, who were proposer of total violence as political tool.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

The revolutionaries of the 21st century don't get their way by shedding blood, but by shedding tears.

As they are essentially children, they are masters at emotionally manipulating adults to do their bidding.

Saying "Your words are killing me!" is a great way to silence anyone who annoys you and to make your voice, and most especially your plaintive aria about your wounds and victimization, be always the loudest thing blasting out of every megaphone.

And as all children have a rich fantasy life, their fantasies of cleansing Justice-delivering bloodshed is akin to casting themselves in a Liam Neeson delicious-revenge action movie, where they are history's hero without having to get out of bed or miss a meal.

If the real ever returns in the West to replace the virtual, our new Red Guard will run behind mommy's skirts or for the nearest safe space. Life changes once you take that first punch in the nose!

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Yes and the Katherine Maher outing will not be lost on the most savvy of today's Lefty-groupthink 'opinion formers' if and when the need to do a "Yes me too, I was always agin it" rewriting of their social media posts ever comes. The sound of deletions will be deafening. Or maybe there'll be a woke-to-anti-woke quote rewriter AI app by then.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

trying to build a social order out of transgression and state-subsidized narcissism is like trying to build a house in the jungle out of ice blocks...the building is for sure coming down, just a matter of when and how.

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And preferably -Please God - before I shuffle off my mortal coil! For the grandchildren.

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One eye on the mob, one eye on the nearest exit at all times...

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Building a defective social order is bad enough but the unforgivable sin is making transgression boring and conformist. The right paved paradise to put up a parking lot, but the left took bohemia and turned it into a parade ground.

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"the unforgivable sin is making transgression boring and conformist..." !!!

god if i have to read one more tale of a POC/GBLTQ who imagines themselves an Abbie Hoffman but who is as spicy as an episode of Friends 🤮

the left took bohemia and turned it into Oceania

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Wow! A great SCR. The Yarvin/Rufo dialogue is a gem...very satisfying indeed. After reading it I am in two minds.

On balance, I'd agree with Yarvin about the utter futility of conservatism but I am also convinced of the inherent value of Rufonian activism. At a granular level we need to actively realise or defend what we believe in. Grassroots activism makes a difference....mass mobilisation even more so.

But I do not expect that the Right is going to ever turn things aroundpolitically or socially. The anomie, atomisation and social decay wrought by the regime has a long way to go. Most likely the future will be fragmented: conservative lifestyle options (stable families, economic security, a degree of protection from the grossest aspects of popular culture) will be available for the privileged but the culture and condition of the helots will embody the legacy of the dexual revolution, the counter culture and mass entertainment.

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I think Yarvins whole point, is that the energy is good but just misdirected. Ideally the two can come to some mutually beneficial collab but .. egos?

I think if Rufo just accepted the fact that Yaevin has the better long term strategic insight, then the two can become a potent combination driving the new regime .. but hubris tends to get in the way of our most beneficial futures.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

If it weren't for their hubris, the combined energy of Rufo + Yarvin may be enough to power an LED light bulb.

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I'll take it. At least it's "clean" energy, that doesn't have the dirty taint of whatever ghastly substance we are currently burning

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

The energy (such as it is) is going into reelecting Trump, who will (hopefully) make America great again.

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Yarvin is an interesting character. On the one hand, I tend to agree with his diagnosis of the problems, but I think his solution is a ridiculous fantasy. For better or worse, at the end of the day I’m probably in the Rufo camp, even if it’s doomed to failure.

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I don't really think returning the the default mode of government through almost all of human history (and still in many places today) is a ridiculous fantasy. Yarvin certainly seems to be short on ideas of how to get there though

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You don’t think your last sentence is telling?

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I think that a collapse/crisis in the west followed by the return of what are effectively monarchies (may not be billed as such) is fairly likely in the next few decades, certainly not a fantasy. Yarvin wants not just a monarchy but the right kind of monarchy (so do I), which is a much harder needle to thread

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Returning to the Dark Ages should have its benefits. Nope.

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Rufo works for the Koch Brothers and Israel. He’s a (Neo)liberal.

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Apr 22Liked by Niccolo Soldo

He's a prototypical neoconservative.

They have the patter down that sucks in Normal Americans--against the illegal immigrant invasion, against DIE, against restricting free speech....oops--what's that? Oh, against restricting free speech--unless you tell the truth about Israel. Then it's: shut up or go to jail.

And DIE sucks! Well....but their tribe should be under that umbrella of special privileges, then it'd be okay.

Same exact pattern: Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, etc, etc, etc.

Neoconservatives working for a hostile foreign power.

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Is it though? Wrt to most modern organizations, especially the effective ones are governed, I don't think it's a stretch to say that absolute monarchy is, in the very least, a competitive model.

Elon Musk and before him Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, stand in my mind as singular absolute monarchs, who have created three of the biggest businesses of the modern world. Their total value eclipse the markets of small countries.

Compared this to google. Does Sundar exert the same kind of personal authority as the three mentioned kings? If he did, then maybe the most recent Gemini disaster would not have been such a gigantic clowncar...

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It is a highly effective model if you have the right person. Unfortunately the track record on that is not great, and it is difficult to undo without extraordinary pain. It’s the equivalent of putting all your chips on red 25 and praying you made the right call.

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What are your nightmare scenarios for executive gone wild?

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Not sure what you’re asking

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Say your preferred candidate, not party, assumes the presidency. And congress and Senate did not exist. What are you afraid they might do?

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Anything that individuals with unchecked power have proven capable of doing throughout history

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Bob Iger, since you're using the corporate metaphor.

One man at the top, with a board of sycophants, has destroyed billions of dollars of shareholder value in the company he leads.

Also, if you don't think there are counter-examples to Musk and Jobs, it may be because powerful, but incompetent, CEOs at other companies ground their firms into anonymity.

The success of any monarchy depends to an extraordinary degree on the character of the monarch. America, by contrast, with all its troubles, manages to hum along with an obviously senile chief executive, as other political and regulatory institutions take up the slack.

I'm not arguing Rufo's or Yarvin's position, just answering your question.

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Idk if Iger is the failed monarch that you paint him out to be:

Iger was able to broaden Disney's roster of intellectual properties, expanded its presence in international markets, and oversaw an increase of the company's market capitalization from $48 billion to $257 billion during his initial 15-year stewardship of the company. He led the major acquisitions of Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, and the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox in 2019 for $71.3 billion. Iger also expanded the company's theme park resorts in East Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in 2005 and 2016, respectively. Additionally, he was also the driving force behind the reinvigoration of Walt Disney Animation Studios, the branded-release strategy of its film studio's output, and the company's increased investment in its direct-to-consumer businesses, including Disney+ and Hulu.

Btw, of these acquisitions, marvel is now worth 53 b. The rest are also massive Ws. Please try again lol.

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Caligula

Henry VIII

Louis XVI

George III

etc.

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That's your basis for supporting the conversion of the American republic to an autocracy- that someone somewhere has shown that they know how to use their money to make more money?

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Rufo completely misses the point because he believes in and loves a myth that does not love him back. You can imagine you're eating a delicious sandwich, but if all you have is imaginary food, you will starve.

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One Rufo is Doomed to failure.

1000 not so many.

10,000 would drive DEI into the catacombs.

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Yarvin may be fantastical, but Rufo is delusional.

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Feels like a distinction without a difference. Is fantasy not also delusional?

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Curtis Yarvin: we must lockdown harder but this time absolutely everyone must stay at home and have their necessities delivered.

Figures that a monarchist regards the help as not human beings in the strict sense.

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Apr 22Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Yeah, that idiocy made me unsubscribe from him and start mostly ignoring his babble.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Great post, especially the encounter between Yarvin & Rufo. And thanks for the bit on the cable repair guys.

I’m not sure there is a clear understanding, especially in light of the on-going negotiations, re the what & why of the 1st (6) months of the “SMO”. To me, a lot of it, in retrospect, doesn’t make sense (ie. why didn’t the Russians just blitzkrieg Kiev?).

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Because they didn't want to actually conquer Ukraine, and they also recognize that whatever happens they still have to live together. Russia's war aims have always been very specific. I would that America went into its imperial adventures with as clear and understanding of its objectives.

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Those cables seem ripe for sabotage, I imagine that more than a few groups have considered something.

Regarding the "pain" experienced by migrants to France, I tend to buy it - psychological stress can manifest in bizarre ways, and whatever you may think about the migrant situation it's probably fair to say that for many migration is a stressful experience. I doubt Fanon's conclusion that it's specifically caused by "colonialism", although certain cultures may well be more susceptible to their stress manifesting in this particular way.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

But would that stress be the result of the unfair treatment that migrants suffer?

Or is it the result of migrants trying to function in a French society developed by French people for French people, obviously, where many of them don't have the required traits (conscientiousness, etc...) to perform as is expected of every French citizen?

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

the fanon bit reminds me of my pinay stepmother, whose stress and anxiety manifests as periodic undefinable medical emergencies that resolve as soon as she's able to communicate her distress with a medical professional. my impression is that some non-westerners use the language and rituals of illness to describe and deal with emotional and psychological stresses, rather than the language of psychology at a remove from the first person, which more or less what he is saying i think.

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Being 86, I haven’t learned how to bring this to widespread attention. Jon.claerbout@gmail.com

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I read it, man. Totally new information to me. Thank you. This comment section isn’t a bad place to start as far as sharing it.

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Re the Yarvin/Rufo dialogue: democracy is built to have a balance between different powers. That deliberately makes it hard to make big changes. Normally that is ok: stability is an important good.

However, when things grow dysfunctional you want someone who cuts through the bureaucratic mess and imposes a new better order. A king-like figure. Modi is fulfilling that role at the moment in India. He has eliminated a lot of bureaucratic red tape. In Europe Napoleon and to a much lesser extent Hitler played a similar role.

Obviously such figures have their downsides too. So I don't think it is good to have them always. Also - when you look at absolute kingdoms in history it is obvious that most of those kings were just mediocre. At most one in five makes meaningful changes. The rest are just caretakers - just like most modern democratic leaders. They do what the situation seems to require but little more.

Given the sense that the US is stuck it is no coincidence that someone like Trump appears. Even in his first term - when he faced a lot of obstruction - he changed the course of the country in some ways (for example regarding China and industrial policy).

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Yes, these figures are needed at the RIGHT TIME, to the extent that designers of political systems have explicitly recognized this authority and incorporated them into their political/legal systems. Ie. For the Romans, a dictator isn't a prejorative but it is a legal definition of complete and arbitrary executive authority invested in one man, that transcends the normal functioning of the 2x counsel system, given to people in times of war or crisis, when the impetus to act and act quickly is everything

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Yarvin for years has backed off saying Monarch and shifted to a strong “start up” President like FDR. Or Trump as President and a number 2 who executes an Executive Branch driven revamp of the government. He’s not insisting on a King (if given his Casuistry ever was).

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The technical term in law/politics for an individual rectifying things by fiat is 'dictator' but given the emotional quality of debate and opinion Yarvin clearly thought it best to use less triggering lingo. Can't say that I blame him.

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The last paragraph of that Ukraine article is wrong:

- There was no "intense pressure" on Yanukovych" not to sign an agreement with the EU in 2013. Putin just showed him the fine points of the treaty and explained how that would work out: the Ukrainian industry would be destroyed by more competitive European colleagues while the treaty put restrictions on Ukrainian exports in areas where it was competitive, like grain and chicken. After that he made Yanukovych a better offer.

- already on the eve of the war Putin made it clear that he was open to Ukrainian EU membership. In the months before the war he sounded increasingly desperate to avoid an Ukrainian NATO membership at any price.

I found this stress on security guarantees puzzling. What Russia wanted was a "Finlandization" of Ukraine. Finland had no guarantees in that time. It looks like the Zelensky regime had read too much NATO propaganda.

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Did anyone actually read up on that Samuels v. Samuels debate? Thoughts? Any avid homework doers out there?

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

The issue with Yarvinism (as I see it with my tiny brain) is we're basically already in that system. The first half of "concentration of power in a tiny circle answerable to an absolutist monarch" is roughly where we are at via court system in Canada, and the EU as far as I can tell (note: tiny brain). Unfortunately, it's exactly as "fake and gey" as you'd expect.

You can run, but you can't hide - you have to fight somewhere or you can surrender, or you can run for now and defer that choice to later. Rufoism - fight now, publicly - seems to be the only chance-of-winning non-surrender option.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Yes.

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Apr 21Liked by Niccolo Soldo

Americans are not at the stage of leaving it to people willing to use violence.

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They may not get a say, let the violent choose violence they’re not asking permission.

And Americans are sheep.

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What have Americans seen in terms of violence?

A few nutters trying to spark a race war. They keep failing.

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Well I mean. This system is highly dependent on "who" the monarch is. Imagine. If we swapped out Justin. For like. Idk. Someone better (can the real Canadian sovereign please stand up?)

And I think you have to also. Contextualize Yarvins preferences. As a replacement for a system thats gone highly corrupt and ineffecient. Rather than suggesting that monarchy is the be all end all, the most idealized form.of govt (although he wud probably say, that in terms of real world track record in organizational structures, it tends to come out on top of other models, empirically; too small brained to exhaustively list all examples and counter examples but track, from how I understand institutions)

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How about we swap out Justin for no one in particular?

Internet monarchists are welcome to relocate to Saudi Arabia to sate their fantasies. Leave Canada to Canadians who respect individual rights.

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The Common sense solution to Ukraine came during a midterm election and the Swag $ was too much to say yes to peace.

Yesterday the bill for $61B passed, I have read mostly to (necessarily) rebuild our antiquated and far too small munitions base - and yes it is indeed far too small. So Ukraine will get $14B to keep the lights on through November elections.

I’m less than pleased at all this, if the acid dripping from my words isn’t obvious.

I’ll console myself that we can never have enough ammo.

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