June 21, 2018

Elites feel for 3rd world children, who seem more authentically human than their own robotic striver spawn

The absolute hysteria that the elites have shown over the past week about the Central American immigrant "kids in cages" is not the response they would show if those kids were from the first world. The profound disconnect between their response toward the children of their own nation and those of less developed nations is a sign of a broken moral compass, and none of the usual explanations for the outta-whack state of affairs seem to be correct.

A healthy moral sense devotes more attention to domains where the person or some group they belong to can make a difference. That's how we recognize the shameful deflection when the liberal elites ask why Trump is meeting with a human rights abuser like Kim Jong-un, when they do not ask why Trump met with an even worse offender like Mohammad bin Salman. Kim is not our ally, and won't change his behavior just because we pressure him to. Bin Salman is our #1 ally, and would respond to our pressure, lest he lose the material and intangible goodies we provide him with. Worrying about Trump legitimizing Kim is morally pointless, worrying about Trump legitimizing bin Salman is morally worthwhile.

Maybe you could worry about both of Trump's meetings with those leaders, but you could not worry more about the Kim meeting than about the bin Salman meeting.

Now, if the elites are so concerned over children who are in a pitiful state, why not start right here at home? It's not as though everyone's kids in this country are doing A-OK. The elites might respond that they worry more about the immigrant children because they're poor, whereas their own kids are rich, and even those of the middle-class are wealthier than the immigrant kids. But then they ignore the large swaths of American children who are not wealthier than the immigrant kids. There are plenty of places right here where rural whites and urban blacks are not exactly living in what you would call first-world comfort.

Oh sure, there's the once-a-year feature story on the lead-polluted water of Flint, Michigan, or the heat system getting shut off during winter in Baltimore public schools. Then it's right back to obsessing over immigrants for the rest of the year, which is a far more recurring topic of theirs, and one they report on with much greater emotional investment. The chronic plight of urban blacks has been totally sidelined in favor of attention to immigrants.

When they do mention Flint or Baltimore, it's more of an empty ritual -- something they know they're supposed to do, and they go through the motions, but their heart is not in it, and it's not part of a larger and longer-term vision of theirs for a better society. Their moral vision for improving the lot of the non-white people of the world is to open our borders to 10 billion foreigners, and hope that there's still enough wealth to go around for all of them. They can't have an impact at that level, so why bother? Whereas focusing on blacks in America is something they can have a huge impact on -- and yet, just half-hearted ritualistic expressions of concern.

Of course, the elites care even less about white American children who are in a pitiful state, but it is not about race. They scarcely care more about African-American children than about Euro-American children, since almost all of their effort goes to immigrant and foreign children. And some major cases are not even very non-white -- look at how apoplectic the elites go after seeing dead children in Syria, during each chemical hoax du jour. Syrians are pretty white, especially compared to African-Americans -- and yet, we don't see the elites foaming at the mouth to start another war on behalf of dead black children in America, like they do about children in Syria.

So what's going on with the outta-whack moral sense of today's elites, whether liberal or conservative?

A cynical response is that the elites are just crying crocodile tears in order to advance their globalist agenda -- whether the goal is to import hordes of cheap labor to boost corporate profits, to culturally replace what they feel is an embarrassing American culture, or whatever else.

We can reject that, as with most lazy cynical answers, since it only captures a tiny slice of the elites. A big chunk truly feel morally invested in the fate of poor Guatemalan children, while feeling almost nothing similar for poor African-American children, or poor white-American children.

And the phenomenon is broader than just trying to incorporate the Guatemalans into the American nation -- the elites feel more deeply for Guatemalan children even when they're understood to be living in Guatemala itself for the rest of their lives. And again, that's true for elites on both the left and the right, albeit with different rationalizations for their similar behavior of ignoring poor Americans in favor of poor foreigners -- alleviating global poverty for the left, saving all of God's children for the right.

Another cynical response is "virtue signaling," meaning the elites don't bother sympathizing with American children because that's easy or cheap to do, whereas sympathizing with third-world children is somehow harder or more costly to do, so that their moral posing is really a kind of status contest amongst themselves. Who can out-do the others in obsessing over the children of unfamiliar and alien cultures?

But if that were true, we would see the "most obscure band / film / author" phenomenon -- the elites would resort to ever more exotic cultures to sympathize with the plight of pitiful children, just as they do in fact for the cuisine of other cultures. It's amateur to signal your knowledge and appreciation of Mexican food -- but make it Salvadorean food, and you've upped the ante.

In this framework, only a beginning poser would try to score points by sympathizing with Central American immigrants -- too geographically close to us, too familiar from their immense numbers in our country, and therefore too over-exposed in our public mind as stereotypical immigrants. But make it those Rohingya people who the media have been trying to turn into a storyline, and you'd rack up a higher score. ("Oh... you've never heard of the Rohingya...?")

And yet the elites continue to pay little attention to the Rohingya, the Tibetans, and other truly more exotic cultures than the Guatemalans or the Syrians. The "costly signaling" model does not work here.

These and other lazy cynical answers all presume that this elite behavior is part of a well-functioning machine -- that their moral obsession over third-world immigrants is somehow serving a more fundamental goal of theirs, whatever we may think about that goal. This is the fallacy of thinking that all traits are optimal for the individuals possessing them, presumably because they would otherwise be weeded out by some form of competition. On such a brief time scale as we are observing our elites, how do we know that these traits are not in fact mal-adaptive to their own goals?

Consider their slowly and hazily dawning awareness that by pushing so forcefully for open borders, they have triggered a backlash that will end up not only closing the borders, but deporting a large chunk of illegals who thought they were already in the clear. Too much immigration leads to zero immigration.

And before too long, they'll start to understand how 10 billion people living in America would wreck our welfare state worse than any Tea Party scheme. Liberals go to pains to preserve the welfare state in political contexts that do not touch on immigration.

As I said at the outset, this elite behavior is clearly a sign of their being broken, outta-whack, misaligned. It is not 3-D chess for globalists. But what precisely is the nature of this broken moral compass?

Quite simply, I think our elites don't view American children as authentic human beings, as a result of our children being micro-programmed, as though they were cutting-edge robots, in our hyper-competitive and status-striving climate. Program them to eat the right kind of organic breakfast foods, program them to play the right sports in pre-school, program them to ace the pre-pre-pre-school admissions exam, program them to play the right instruments when they get home from pre-pre-pre-school, and on and on and on.

Striver parents are terrified that their kids won't grow up to be strivers like them, so they leave nothing to chance or free will. Just program the hell out of the kids, and that's their best shot at making it in adulthood. The children's eventual social status depends entirely on the parents properly nano-tuning their programming during childhood.

If that's your conception of the parent-child relationship, then of course you won't conceive of the child as a real human being. They're not even sentient, like a pet. Sidenote: people train their children as though they were pets, and resort to owning pets to fill the void left by raising robo-kids. Their pets are treated as though they were the real children -- left alone from programming, and behaving all natural.

When these elites think of third-world cultures, they sense that there are no elites there like there are here -- sure, there are elites, but attaining that status does not come from a war of all against all, a Darwinian survival of the fittest, AKA meritocracy. They sense the elites inherit large tracts of productive land, or political office, or whatever it is. In our elites' mind, the third-world parents don't turn childrearing into micro-programming, since there is no hyper-competitive admissions process for pre-schools, colleges, internships, and professional firms.

The children from such a culture will appear to be more authentic as human beings, making them suitable targets for sympathy -- unlike the robo-kids of our society, who don't even register as sentient.

Our elites view all children from the third world this way -- naturally the children of poor foreigners, who don't go to college, but even those from relatively better-off families, who don't have to go through the dehumanizing process of striver programming. That shows that our elite's sympathy is not just about being materially poor -- you can be relatively well-off, as long as your parents didn't turn you into a robot in order to attain that comfortable status.

And our elites project their own kids' robo-traits onto those of American children writ large. After all, such a large share of kids in America go to college, and an even larger share are put through regimens to prepare them for college, even if they decide not to. The elites may assume that our education system treats every child as college material, so they must all get cranked through the striver grinder, just like the elite kids.

Whether that's true or not, doesn't matter. It's the elite's perception that matters. And they talk in such broadbrush terms about "our society" and "our children" that they wouldn't see exceptions even if they were there among urban blacks or rural whites, who may not robotize their children like the strivers in the elite zip codes do. Out of sight, out of mind for the elites.

American children as synthetic, third-world children as natural -- that's what's behind this whole warped morality phenomenon. And it's a sign of something wrong, namely the degree to which today's parents treat childrearing as though it were engineering a machine to optimally compete in Battle Bots, as all of society tunes in to watch their performance -- the machine's performance, and by extension the engineer's.

This likely applies more broadly than just children, too. Even adults in America are perceived by our elites to not really be human, given the dehumanizing system they are all a part of in our hyper-competitive climate. But adults from poor third-world cultures? Our elites doubt that their way of life is as dehumanizing as ours, so they must be more wholly human than American adults, and hence more suitable as targets for sympathy.

It's not really a Noble Savage worldview, since the poor immigrants are not hunter-gatherers. They come from cultures with a government, sedentary residence, agricultural economies perhaps with some of our off-shored manufacturing plants, permanent elites, religious hierarchies, and other elements of complex societies.

It's more about our hyper-competitive, credentialist, groping for a post-industrial utopia whose outcome feels increasingly uncertain. The third-world cultures certainly don't have that going on.

What is the solution? It is to channel our awareness of the broken moral compass into changing the underlying problem. First, by drawing the elite's attention to their outta-whack priorities -- they should be more concerned with struggling Americans than struggling Guatemalans, since we control America but do not control Guatemala. Then, by pointing out the root cause of the elite's misaligned priorities -- seeing their fellow Americans as not really human, due to being cogs in a dehumanizing machine, which they assume does not apply in Guatemala.

Finally, to make that the central task -- to dial down the psychotic levels of competitiveness in our society. If it keeps going any further, it will blow up the society in a civil war. And even if that were to be avoided, it is still producing more dehumanized people on the other side of the striver grinder, and that in turn makes it easier for our elites to treat them callously rather than charitably.

We have to unseat the reigning ethos of anti-social ambition, and replace it with pro-social restraint. And we must replace the warped focus on fixing the whole world with fixing America -- where we can actually succeed.


  1. umm, what about elites simply doing whatever is most offensive to working class natives?

    Looking at how decadent and globalist elites have become over the last 40 years, it should come as no surprise that they hate those with whom they most disagree (working class natives, especially in the West who are perceived to be ungrateful and backward untermensch). This hatred manifests in enthusiasm for generous immigration policies.

    In addition, there's the fury that built up among the elite from the 1930's-1970's from not being able to get their way (largely) and having to meet the working class at least half-way, if not further. Since the 1970's, there's been less and less effort put into earnest measures to better working class natives, as a way to make up for lost time (frustration over wholesome populism after circa 1970 was, by Silents and Boomers, then retroactively applied to the 1930's-1960's, as part of a narrative that evil welfare statists have always been heroically resisted by brave individualists).

  2. Wrong. It's not hatred, but callousness, at the general level. Maybe they hate poor whites, but they don't hate working-class blacks -- who are natives, and who are decimated by immigration (lowering wages, raising urban housing prices).

    The liberal elites at least profess, and in non-immigration contexts actually work toward protecting and bettering the lives of working-class blacks. Clearly not hatred, but a sign of the misalignment of their two positions, due to not seeing black children as fully human like the immigrant children -- and not because they hate blacks or are resentful toward blacks or anything like that. Certainly not for the liberal Democrats who treat them callously.

    Rather, their brains have short-circuited to focus more on immigrant children than black or poor white children. You're making the 3-D chess fallacy -- looking at who is hardest hit by the behavior, and assuming that they were the intended targets, and that the perpetrators must therefore hate hate hate the targets.

    Perhaps sometimes -- but not when we know from other contexts that the perps go out of their way to protect and better the group that is hit hardest by the policy in question.

    At any rate, children are not responsible for whatever the elites don't like about white people or conservative people or whatever else. And on the flipside, children are not responsible for whatever aspects of the society the elites are pleased with. They're just kids, not blameworthy or praiseworthy for anything going on in grown-up land.

    If that were the motive, only adults would be targeted. Instead, their callousness vs. sympathy is focused on kids.

    Also, "hatred" is more directed at their rivals within the elite stratum -- conservatives hating liberals and vice versa, both sides engaging in a mostly white-on-white hate-fest.

    And if it were resentment over the large welfare state of the Great Compression, then why are liberal elites as well as conservative elites callous toward poor natives? It's not just neoliberals either -- progressives, even far-leftists, who want a much greater welfare state, or outright communism, are consistently more concerned with immigrant children than poor children right here in America.

    Solving this problem requires a cold hard look at it, not just using it as another occasion to air grievances against political enemies.

  3. This explains why Asians don't elicit sympathy from our elites -- too robotic. Their parents, like ours, put them through the striver grinder from an early age. And whether our elites know it or not, China invented competitive entrance exams for its elites, thousands of years ago.

    Again, it's not because Asians are wealthier than other non-white foreign countries. There are more than enough poor Asians if our elites wanted to worry about them. They don't want the wealthy Asians either -- see the recent findings on how the top US colleges penalize Asian applicants for non-academic qualities.

    Asians have more muted emotional and social signals -- facial expression, body language, etc. Appearing more robotic makes them seem less authentically human or even sentient, and therefore less of a target for sympathy. And our elites may really want to feel sympathy for Asians -- but when they run into that muted of a social-emotional response, they can't exactly force themselves to feel sympathy. It has to come from the gut.

    Our elites, looking to the third world for authentic children to tug at their heartstrings like real children ought to, come up empty-handed when they try to engage Asians. Like all parents, even pseudo-parents, they want children who socially interact and who are emotionally invested in the parent-child relationship.

    Ditto for pets at the shelter -- no one wants an aloof pet, but rather the one that comes over to the visitors and makes sad yet entreating faces, vocalizes in a heartstring-tugging way, and shows affectionate body language like pawing and nose-kissing the visitors.

    Another blow to the lazy cynical theory that the elites are primarily trying to benefit non-white people, since Asians aren't white. Or that they're trying they're damnedest to globally integrate and replace the American people / culture, since Asians are very different as people and cultures, not to mention there are over a billion of them to import, which would speed up the replacement of Americans.

    It's more about how the elites view the children in the same way they would view pets at an adoption shelter -- since today's pets are like what children are supposed to be. Rather than fill the void left from raising robo-kids by adopting a pet, the elites want to adopt foreigners instead -- but only if they meet certain emotional and social tests that would elicit deep sympathy.

    Too heavy of a striver culture is going to dehumanize kids, and make them less likely to meet those social-emotional tests if they're at the adoption shelter when the elite visitors drop to browse the selection.

  4. Asian aren't hapless, either. Europeans and Asians elicit far less knee-jerk sympathy from ur bleeding hearts since, on average, they live in far more orderly and peaceful societies than do the mass of brown and black hordes that once were kept out of most of Europe and Asia. These hordes show varying degrees of ineptitude at managing their affairs, and indeed they tend to have "warmer" personalities than whites and Asians (well, ok, Mestizos don't do so hot on that count).

    US Conservatives historically have favored Mexicans and Asians (Sailer has mentioned John Wayne as a Mexiphile) for their stoic work ethic and disinterest in radical politics, and disinclination towards creativity ,as we saw in the 1970's and 80's when Mexicans and Asian boat people arrived in droves to the glee of the (then) very conservative US SW elite.

    Liberals on the other hand prefer hot-headed trouble makers (ethnic groups native to the Africa and the Middle East, while East Coast Irish and Southern Scots-Irish used to be very Democratic before the Civil Rights era), who are perceived to be "vibrant" and "soulful".

    "They don't want the wealthy Asians either -- see the recent findings on how the top US colleges penalize Asian applicants for non-academic qualities."

    The now heavily Jewish elite (by cultural osmosis if not genetics) leans heavily towards the verbal, and don't want the Western collegial tradition of "holistic" breeding disrupted by pragmatic no-nonsense Asians. It's "supposed" to be an environment for the chattering classes to "enrich" each other, right? Now I don't necessarily think the traditional Western concept of university is such a bad thing, but at this point it's blatantly obvious that it's become a means thru which mediocrity and corruption promoting nepotism and cronyism is amplified. Not to mention that college donors are clearly bribing schools for a lot of things that aren't doing us much good.

  5. "Maybe they hate poor whites, but they don't hate working-class blacks -- who are natives, and who are decimated by immigration (lowering wages, raising urban housing prices).

    The liberal elites at least profess, and in non-immigration contexts actually work toward protecting and bettering the lives of working-class blacks."

    How so? The World Socialist website et al (real Leftists, not corporate whores or shameless status seekers) have documented ad nauseum that nearly every social and economic trend of the last 40 years has been detrimental to every ethnic group on the whole. Blacks (and whites!) can no longer be night sticked for mischief like they once could. We've erected a structure of "civil rights" that's succeeded at protecting criminals and racial/sexual minorities from being treated like lepers, and is still humming along, but actual interest in passing legislation to benefit the masses of poor and working class (no matter their race) has been declining for over 40 years.

    Leftism in the late 60's and 70's was beginning to question whether to emphasize newfound rights for ID and behavioral minorities or to maintain, and perhaps expand, measures of economic fairness for the masses. The late 60's and early 70's saw both ideas surging, then in the late 70's the traditional economic Leftist approach started to be battered by all kinds of forces, including a new class of young Leftists who increasingly did not see elite material gain as being out of step with "progress".

    I would argue that on some measures blacks would've been better off under GOP rule; as Steve Sailer often points out, the military and Scots-Irish seem to have a gift when it comes to blacks: shape up, or you're not welcome 'round here. The Civil Rights revolution (and subsequent abandonment of notions of communal cameraderie and investment beginning in the late 70's) have been on the whole an utter disaster for blacks, and have also been terrible for all races, really (record high levels of incarceration, pop culture that glorifies vulgarity and irreverence, high levels of alienation/boredom/anxiety, high levels of political and financial corruption, etc.). Dare I suggest that simultaneously encouraging elite arrogance while bending over backwards to make deviants and minorities feel more comfy is precisely why the West fubared itself under the aegis of an indecisive and lazy generation (Silents) and one shit for brains generation (Boomers)?

  6. Related trend: gay BFFs as surrogate kids for childless women. They don't strike "adopters" as dull-emotion robots, but as hyperactive playful little boys. Indeed, the defining trait of male homosexuals is pedomorphy, or resembling pre-adolescent children ("ewww, girls are yucky").


    "Having observed countless fag hags and their gay BFFs during college and within the past several years, I now see that the female is indulging her maternal instinct with her Peter Pan friend. Aside from those mini-doggies that such women also choose as surrogate babies, you couldn't ask for a more childish grown-up for the woman to treat in a motherly, or at least big sisterly way. Your garden variety man-child today would be an inferior choice, since he's pretty lethargic and plugged into video games all day long, more like an adolescent, whereas the queer skips, claps his hands, and is generally more hyperactive, like a real child."

    We can tell it's not about marginalized communities, wrongly stigmatized sexual identities, or any of that other BS -- otherwise there would be a parallel explosion of lesbians as sought-after friends and acquaintances.

    But lesbos are less animated, less interactive, and more mature than male homos -- not what you're looking for when you're browsing around for a child-like thing to tug at your maternal nurturing heartstrings.

    Lesbians are the Asians of queer-world.

    Liberals really want to like them, and have been eager to adopt them -- but there's just so little social-emotional response from them, that libs end up shrugging their shoulders in return, and adopt the hyperactive uber-expressive gay pet instead.

    No one wants to adopt trannies either, albeit for different reasons -- way too creepy out of the box. Same with even more sexually deviant types -- zoophiles, pedophiles, etc.

    The only sexually deviant type who gets adopted is the one who makes the woman feel like a mother to a small child, or a big sister to a kid brother.

  7. I'd amend that old post to say it's not so much childlessness that drives women to seek out gay BFF pseudo-children.

    Certainly the childless woman is the most likely, but even if a woman has kids of her own, they are still going to remind her more of robots, as she feeds them through the striver grinder. She still feels a void in her maternal nurturing center.

    So first she seeks out pets whom she treats like real children. But she's also looking for human surrogate children -- actual children from Central America or the Middle East, or gay BFFs who are nominally adults from her own country.

  8. There’s so much fake crying on TV that i first thought Kim Jong-un died!

  9. They'll use American children if they see an angle for it. The March for Our Lives and all the associated "dead children" framing was only three months ago.

    Hell, I'd bet we would see child-focused sob stories about trade tariffs if there was a convincing angle there.

  10. American children only get trotted out once in awhile, though. Flint water, Baltimore school heating, Parkland shooting, any mass school shooting.

    Really, the elites only want to protect American kids in the school setting -- the main site of feeding them through the striver grinder, with surrogate parent-engineers taking over for the micro-programming while Mom and Dad are busy striving for pay.

    The elites can only conceive of "harm to children" to the extent that something disrupts the day-in and day-out micro-programming of their robo-kids.

    They couldn't care less what's affecting kids outside of the cram school context. Even if it's not on the school site, it's still about how it affects striving -- are kids getting enough sleep to achieve their class participation points? What's the optimal diet to follow during the week before the SAT? Can hugging your baby too much or too little diminish their chances of getting into a good college later in life?

    They don't care about the disintegration of the nuclear and extended family during the neoliberal era, allowing the tech sector to feed teenagers porn on demand in the home, plummeting birth rates as nobody can afford to raise families anymore due to the soaring costs of striving and no opportunities to pay it off, and so on and so forth.

    So I don't think the elites are being cynical and calculating when they get all sobby over the third-world children. They're talking about kinship relations per se -- "separating children from parents" or "breaking up families," etc.

    Just because they don't talk about that topic regarding American children doesn't mean they're just being cynical hypocrites -- it means they don't conceive of American kids as authentically human, hence not belonging to kinship networks that could be torn apart.

    Rather, they conceive of American kids just as most of their parents do (certainly among their own elite social stratum) -- a bunch of robots to be programmed by teams of engineers, where the parent is only the project manager for the business of properly programming their kid, delegating out much of the nitty-gritty to sub-contracting specialists -- teachers and tutors, sports coaches, music instructors, employers of unpaid interns, etc.

    It's not hard to see how that approach to child-rearing is going to make most of the elites numb or callous to the dehumanized kids that result from it, while feeling spontaneous sympathy for the kids from cultures that don't dehumanize their kids that severely.

  11. Ever heard of poor Todd Marinovich, the Robo-QB? His late Silent dad became a fitness guru, and when his wife got pregnant in 1968, he decided that his kid would grow up in the "ideal environment", beginning in pregnancy with a mother who didn't eat sugar or salt. The physical and mental conditioning to be a winner was constant when he was a kid; by the time he was in High School he had more freedom yet still felt the strain of competitiveness, and he developed a growing use of drugs to help him escape and relax. He was able to play well in high school and in his freshmen year of college, but got busted for drugs shortly thereafter and his troubles would continue, giving him a short and forgettable pro career. He's since been arrested and in and out of rehab on many occasions.

    No wonder Gen X-ers and subsequent generations are so fed up with how Silents and Boomers squandered so many gifts. The status insecurities of these generations, and there relentless competitiveness, know no boundaries.

    I've tried to tell people born before the late 60's just how grim it is to spend your whole life in a hyper-competitive atmosphere, how it drives anxiety, depression, and alienation. And guys like Marinovich have so often driven their angst and aggression inwards, as they've been conditioned to social norms of status climbing yet feel unclean about the whole process, which they then take out on themselves instead of the primarily older assholes who created these high stakes games in the first place.

    I suspect that these issues are strongest in later 70's and early 80's born people, who had to deal with Boomer parents in the late 80's and 90's stressing them out over expectations that they not be "losers".

    I'm also reminded of how Neil Howe talks about the younger generations of the Civil War era, who hated the guts of preachy and headstrong elders who drove us into a bloody conflict. He said that subsequent to the Civil War those born after John Brown's generation became very bitter and withdrawn, as they felt as if older generations had not left any room for a different set of mores and temperaments, or goals and priorities. T

  12. Yes, the elites/media are pushing hard to put ex-criminals back to work. Obama tried to pass some legislation, or succeeded in doing so, that would make it easier for ex-cons to find employment; and today on "Sunday Morning" I saw a program advocating for similar legislation.

    Not sure if this has more to do with cocooning or status-striving.


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