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The corruption of California Bribery is the only way to get things done

It was the future once (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

It was the future once (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)


March 4, 2023   8 mins

I backed into a spot where I could watch both entrances of the Papa Johns Pizza parking lot, punctual for my rendezvous. To be safe, I had first taken a slow cruise through the lot, on the lookout for the telltale signs of an unmarked police car. I was here to meet someone I knew only as Smog Lady. Adam, the night manager at Autozone had given me her telephone number. Word on the street was that Smog Lady could get me a smog certificate, and thereby cut the Gordian knot of the California Department of Motor Vehicles bureaucracy.

I grew up in California, moved away in the early Nineties, and moved back in 2019. One of the new things I noticed upon my return was small signs stuck to the side of a car, or printed on posterboard and erected on a street corner, advertising “DMV services”. After some intercourse with a few of these, always conducted in halting, heavily accented English, I came to understand that these entrepreneurs are “fixers”, a species that most Americans are unacquainted with. If you want to get something done in the developing world, you often need to engage the services of a fixer. This is someone who has connections in the bureaucracy, often by virtue of kinship. Being a naïve visitor without connections, you couldn’t possibly know whom to bribe, how to approach them, or what forms must be observed. These things must be accomplished with delicacy. You, brainwashed to believe in the Weberian version of bureaucracy as impersonal rationality, are too naive to navigate a real one in most parts of the world. Too European.

They say California is the future. However that may be, the state has become more like the rest of the world, less like the erstwhile United States. The old European ways of procedure-following are anomalous, and perhaps never made a lot of sense. Or maybe they made sense only within a framework provided by something like Calvinism, Prussian organisation, ecclesiastical administration, or some similarly ascetic institutional morality that is “no respecter of persons”. By contrast, ties of kinship are easy to grasp, more robust, and make sense to more of the world’s peoples as the ground of cooperation, particularly in societies where the clan may be as far as trust extends.

I was very happy to have found my way to Smog Lady. I spotted her 20 minutes after I arrived at the parking lot. She was making her rounds, leaning into cars through the driver’s side window. Finally she approached me: a toothless matron who spoke only Chinese beyond a few key words in English such as “odometer” and “VIN number”. I noticed she had a large wad of cash in her hand. I gave her my $200. She then got in her car and drove out of the parking lot. I had a moment of panic, thinking I had just been ripped off. But sure enough, 30 minutes later she came back with my fraudulent smog certificate.

The Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine coined the term “service nomads” for distinct peoples, typically itinerant or diaspora, who perform functions within a society that can only be done by outsiders. That is because these functions, though indispensable, are shady in one way or another and can’t be openly avowed as necessary. Things such as usury (that is, providing credit), burying the dead, magic, puppeteering, prostitution, peddling, cobbling, knife sharpening, dispute mediation and all manner of border-crossing and go-between work that allows the principals to negotiate without losing face or being compromised.

Every society has such liminal populations (gypsies, Jains, Travellers, the “overseas Chinese,” the Sheikh Mohammadi of eastern Afghanistan) who develop some kind of “transgressor expertise”. They must keep themselves apart, as integration into the bonds of reciprocity and communal honour would make their trade impossible. As Slezkine lays out: they are regarded as unclean, and in turn they guard their own purity against contamination by the host population, from intermarriage, say, or simply by accepting hospitality from them. Dietary restrictions and other taboos of self-segregation serve to keep the boundary intact. They speak their own language, and may pretend not to understand the host language.

At first blush, the providers of DMV services appear to fit Slezkine’s description of “service nomads”. But that concept only makes sense when framed against a surrounding society that is settled and cohesive, with taken-for-granted norms that secure a basic solidarity among the host population. Without such a background of belonging, and therefore communal honour to uphold, there would seem to be no need for a separate population and social type invested in transgressor expertise. California has become a polyglot of unrelated diasporas, opportunity-seekers, guest workers, tech Brahmins and multiple-passport-holding functionaries posted to the Pacific Rim economic zone. It is more like the bar scene in Star Wars than like Tolkien’s Shire. We are all wanderers.

I think Smog Lady is not to be understood as a service nomad, then. Rather, the necessity of her services may be taken as an indication of the direction that state bureaucracy takes under conditions of multiculturalism (think Brazil), particularly in the absence of partisan political competition (think Soviet Union). These two features, multiculturalism and political monopoly, interact in interesting ways.

With the collapse of the Republican Party in California, there soon emerged a political landscape resembling what the Yugoslav Communist official (turned dissident) Milovan Djilas termed the “party-state”. That is to say, there is little meaningful distinction to be made between the government and the Democratic Party. Competition for control of California takes place, not between two rival parties with different political visions and corresponding electorates in a general election, but between aspirants within the Democratic Party, under a shared political vision. In practice, this means competition for money from organised interests that fund the activist networks, which in turn translate those interests into various moralisms and thereby shape the vision of the party. The electorate largely drops out of consideration as a constituency.

Only what happens within the Party matters. In Yugoslavia in the Fifties that meant the deliberations of the “political forums”. In California, what happens within the Party is mostly determined by NGOs and foundations, public sector union leadership, expert bodies willing to generate Science in support of the Party’s program, and tech firms that are permitted unlimited capital accumulation on condition of alignment with the Party. Together these entities make up a sort of government-by-cabinet that is effectively insulated from the pressures of electoral politics. The citizenry isn’t feared.

In 2018, there was a rash of news stories about five and six hour waits at the DMV. Newspapers published DMV survival guides recommending that supplicants bring chairs, snacks and backup batteries for their devices. A state auditor’s report found a third of DMV employees not showing up for work on time. At least one data specialist slept for hours every day, year after year, without being fired, and this resulted in serious backups in the work flow.

When I returned to the state in 2019, I put off the transfer of my vehicles (I have a lot of them) and driver’s licence to California for as long as I could, knowing the rigours and uncertainties that awaited me in the attempt. Just as I was beginning the process, in March 2020, the state of California shut down.

Covid turned out to be a godsend for the DMV. On March 26, 2020 the Los Angeles Times acknowledged what those of us in bureaucratic limbo already knew: “To slow the spread of COVID-19, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has dramatically restricted customer visits to its field offices, barring people who do not have appointments and warning that no new slots to appear in person are currently available.” Now there were no lines and, more important, no embarrassing news stories about queues. Problem solved.

To the party-state, citizens with their unending needs are a nuisance. The DMV remained “open” because it is an essential service, but presumably this was less for public safety on the roads than for reasons of the sort that came to light in Knox v SEIU, a Supreme Court case which found that the public employee union (which DMV workers were required to join as a condition of employment) in California had “improperly charged increased dues that went towards political spending”. Those dues from DMV workers were the essential thing, to the party-state.

Several months later, as the pandemic meandered around the globe according to its own logic (in which the only perceptible correlation that emerged between lockdowns and Covid deaths was an embarrassing one), I succeeded in getting in the door of the DMV. To secure a California driver’s licence, I did not have to take a written exam, nor was there a driving test. The DMV had quietly waived these tests. The LA Times quoted an anonymous employee who wondered, “They’re saying we’re being kept open because we’re an essential part of the community
 How can we be essential when we’re not protecting the public? We’re putting the public in danger by doing this.” When the same employee raised concerns with her manager about granting licences to customers who’d failed their tests multiple times, she was told, “Nope, just give them their license.” One DMV employee in the San Joaquin Valley reported her office waiving about half a dozen tests in one week, including for people who had been cited for driving under the influence.

In dropping the pretence of its ostensible mission of public safety, the official DMV was perhaps just acknowledging the reality of the unofficial DMV, the one that is likely to be called “corrupt” by people clinging to first-world norms. Having now spent some time in DMV offices in the new California, my impression is that the shop floor operates along the lines of ethnic fiefdoms that overlap somewhat, and work fairly smoothly together when necessary. The Hispanic customers speak their own language with a Hispanic teller, the warm tones and easy gestures of which seem very unlike the bureaucratic mode of address that institutional English is adapted to. There are other languages spoken as well, each with its own characteristic emotional repertoire, and some of these seem better adapted to the haggle — at least to the naïve and suspicious ear of one feeling beset by a cacophonous Babel.

The occasional appearance of an unaffiliated Anglo-American such as myself is accommodated easily enough, and in such cases tellers are able to code-switch into officialese. But one does wonder if one is being offered quite the same menu of services as those who can make appeal to one of these fiefdoms. In 2021, five employees at a DMV office in the Los Angeles area pled guilty to taking weekly cash bribes to process drivers licences for unqualified drivers. According to ringleader Atanacio Villegas, a licence registration examiner in Torrance from 2010 to 2016, “a network of ‘brokers’ would contact him on behalf of drivers who could not pass their driver exams”, and then forward the drivers’ bribes to DMV employees. The scheme involved sending the drivers to the window of a participating DMV employee who had an “identifier”, such as a red hat, as reported in the Press Democrat and LA Times.

In 2022, the Department of Justice indicted 20 California DMV employees who “helped put unqualified commercial drivers who operated large commercial vehicles on highways despite the drivers not passing their written and driving tests”. Employees would accept bribes to enter fraudulent scores for those who did not pass their tests and in some cases had not even taken the test. Various trucking schools looked for DMV employees that they could bribe so students that failed or were unqualified could get their licences. According to the DOJ, “hundreds of fraudulent commercial driver license permits and licenses were issued as a part of these schemes”. Meanwhile, according to NBC, in 2018 down in Corona (near San Diego), Jose Cruz admitted to a years-long arrangement in which “he and other conspirators obtained genuine Social Security numbers of Puerto Rican residents to be sold to people wishing to obtain state identification cards and driver’s licenses, according to his plea deal”.

In a case stretching from 2013-18, various trucking schools in the Salinas area were finding their own work-arounds. “Truck school owner Pavittar Singh was sentenced to prison for paying DMV employees for fraudulent passing scores,” reported The Californian. Meanwhile, “Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh, a broker, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and identify fraud.” Here “broker” refers to a provider of DMV services.

From the perspective of the party-state, presumably the problem with allowing corruption within the bureaucracy is that the thriving business done by these operations represents a lost revenue stream for the union, that is, for the war chest of the Party. In 2014, the California DMV went on a massive hiring blitz, adding a thousand new workers for the express purpose of providing drivers licences to illegal immigrants, per state bill AB 60. “For us, it’s more of a social justice thing,” said Ted Burnett, state-wide coordinator for Service Employees International Union Local 1000.

You, tender reader, might be scandalised by the ways of California’s DMV, but such a response is a hangover from another era. Under conditions of bureaucratic dysfunction typical of a party-state, corruption isn’t a problem, it is the solution. These new populations have found ways to get things done. Bribery is more efficient (and far less crazy-making) than clinging to first-world expectations in a world that has changed. For my part, I am sincerely grateful for the services of Smog Lady. Diversity is our strength.


Matthew B Crawford writes the substack Archedelia


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Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

This is brilliant. It’s a classic example of the decay part of “Political Order and Decay” – what happens when the rule of law is weakened and meritocracy abandoned as any kind of principal.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
1 year ago

Actually, I think the article is very, very simplistic. There is undoubtedly a ‘democrat hegemony’ in California, but it is entirely due to the few big cities like the Bay Area, LA and possibly San Diego being overwhelmingly Democrat.
There is an emerging movement looking to secede ‘New California’ from the urban megapolises and that will be far, far more Republican in nature. It is rural people with nothing in common with big city woke nonsense wanting to live where they grew up, but free of the never-ending Democrat dogma in Sacramento.
I don’t know if it will ever happen, but the grass roots movement is out there.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Yes, it is painfully simplistic and also extreme. California’s admitted dysfunction is compared to one-party totalitarianism. Foreigners with their corrupt ways are said to control the bureaucratic levers.
In 35 years as a resident driver I’ve never had an California DMV or smog experience such as Crawford describes. I do not believe he was forced to go the corrupt route at all, expect perhaps for the purposes of this dystopian caricature.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I concur. Born, raised and reside in Los Angeles. You only go this route as a last resort to get your unfixable, smog-belching ride registered. If I was driving such a vehicle I wouldn’t bother with registering it at all, small chance the PoPo are going to do anything like pull you over or ticket you.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I concur. Born, raised and reside in Los Angeles. You only go this route as a last resort to get your unfixable, smog-belching ride registered. If I was driving such a vehicle I wouldn’t bother with registering it at all, small chance the PoPo are going to do anything like pull you over or ticket you.

Peter Avena
Peter Avena
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

According to Section 3 of Article IV of the US Constitution, it is prohibited to form new states from within the jurisdiction of an existing state without the consent of the state concerned as well as that of Congress. The suggestion that California could form one or more new states seems very unlikely…..

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Completely agree. I will be very surprised if any of these efforts result in new states or existing state’s borders being redrawn.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Did Virginia (Confederate) consent to the carving out of West Virginia (Federalist, being full of Scots-Irish mountain hillbillies too poor to own any slaves)? I’m genuinely curious to know.
….and (edited) here’s the answer. After a series of gerrymandered elections in Union Army-occupied north-west Virginia (which was admittedly anti-Confederate by about 65%-35%): ‘While many felt West Virginia’s admission as a state was both illegal and unconstitutional, Lincoln issued his Opinion on the Admission of West Virginia finding that “the body which consents to the admission of West Virginia is the Legislature of Virginia”, and that its admission was therefore both constitutional and expedient.’
Hey presto! The Constitution becomes no problem (you know, like Congress declaring the Egyptian military coup against President Morsi to be ‘not a coup’). President Trump, citing Lincoln, need only declare the rightful Legislature of California to be the secessionist one in, say, Mendocino and there you are: a 51st State with two new Republican Senators!

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Unlikely, yes, yet it has been done in the distant past, with the creation of Kentucky and North Carolina. And today, California is not the only state with mutually antagonistic voter groups. There are movements for secession in Oregon and Washington state as well.

John M. Kinstle
John M. Kinstle
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

We shall find out within the decade with eastern Oregon and Idaho. It is how we got West Virginia. Unlikely I agree, but much like Sadom and Gomorrah large cities are destroying states. Washington and Jefferson among others wrote of their disdain of the big cities.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Completely agree. I will be very surprised if any of these efforts result in new states or existing state’s borders being redrawn.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Did Virginia (Confederate) consent to the carving out of West Virginia (Federalist, being full of Scots-Irish mountain hillbillies too poor to own any slaves)? I’m genuinely curious to know.
….and (edited) here’s the answer. After a series of gerrymandered elections in Union Army-occupied north-west Virginia (which was admittedly anti-Confederate by about 65%-35%): ‘While many felt West Virginia’s admission as a state was both illegal and unconstitutional, Lincoln issued his Opinion on the Admission of West Virginia finding that “the body which consents to the admission of West Virginia is the Legislature of Virginia”, and that its admission was therefore both constitutional and expedient.’
Hey presto! The Constitution becomes no problem (you know, like Congress declaring the Egyptian military coup against President Morsi to be ‘not a coup’). President Trump, citing Lincoln, need only declare the rightful Legislature of California to be the secessionist one in, say, Mendocino and there you are: a 51st State with two new Republican Senators!

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

Unlikely, yes, yet it has been done in the distant past, with the creation of Kentucky and North Carolina. And today, California is not the only state with mutually antagonistic voter groups. There are movements for secession in Oregon and Washington state as well.

John M. Kinstle
John M. Kinstle
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

We shall find out within the decade with eastern Oregon and Idaho. It is how we got West Virginia. Unlikely I agree, but much like Sadom and Gomorrah large cities are destroying states. Washington and Jefferson among others wrote of their disdain of the big cities.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

There’s no procedure for it to happen, so it can’t.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

It happened for West Virginia, didn’t it?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

It happened for West Virginia, didn’t it?

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I am rooting for them. That twit Newman is a clear and present danger to everyone – yet the dumb democrat voter is unable to see that. Pelosi and the rest of the scumbags remind me of our band of thieves here in South Africa. The ANC has just become an organised mafiosi – they are ruining SA and the Democrats are no different. They should all hang their collective heads in shame.
I will never visit California again. I am waiting for sanity to return before I travel to the US again.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

I’d say the same of Britain… but I live here.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Officially it’s not Newman but Newsome; and this is frequently and fittingly pronounced Nuisance.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

I’d say the same of Britain… but I live here.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Officially it’s not Newman but Newsome; and this is frequently and fittingly pronounced Nuisance.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Yes, it is painfully simplistic and also extreme. California’s admitted dysfunction is compared to one-party totalitarianism. Foreigners with their corrupt ways are said to control the bureaucratic levers.
In 35 years as a resident driver I’ve never had an California DMV or smog experience such as Crawford describes. I do not believe he was forced to go the corrupt route at all, expect perhaps for the purposes of this dystopian caricature.

Peter Avena
Peter Avena
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

According to Section 3 of Article IV of the US Constitution, it is prohibited to form new states from within the jurisdiction of an existing state without the consent of the state concerned as well as that of Congress. The suggestion that California could form one or more new states seems very unlikely…..

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

There’s no procedure for it to happen, so it can’t.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I am rooting for them. That twit Newman is a clear and present danger to everyone – yet the dumb democrat voter is unable to see that. Pelosi and the rest of the scumbags remind me of our band of thieves here in South Africa. The ANC has just become an organised mafiosi – they are ruining SA and the Democrats are no different. They should all hang their collective heads in shame.
I will never visit California again. I am waiting for sanity to return before I travel to the US again.

Peter Avena
Peter Avena
1 year ago

It should be worth knowing that the sale of commercial driver’s licenses cost Illinois governor George Ryan his re-election to office in 2003 and eventually lead to his indictment for bribery, money laundering, tax evasion etc for which he was convicted and sentenced to over 6 years in prison.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

That is because he claimed to be a republican. IL is as blue as blue gets in the U.S. So progressive, in fact, that many are leaving for redder pastures and sanity. Calling an IL a republican means he/she is simply drinking from the other side of the trough.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Avena

That is because he claimed to be a republican. IL is as blue as blue gets in the U.S. So progressive, in fact, that many are leaving for redder pastures and sanity. Calling an IL a republican means he/she is simply drinking from the other side of the trough.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

What he is describing is the swamp Trump was taking about and totally disregarded by the MSM. It’s happening across the world where w[e] have allowed these ‘Cadre’ of the (lets face it), the communist invasion that took place right in front of o[ur] eyes and helped them by breaking down values we cherished in order to be seen to be doing the ‘correct’ thing.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Precisely.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Precisely.

Lyn N
Lyn N
1 year ago

It certainly sounds like a very grimey place.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lyn N
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Lyn N

Used to be a beautiful State. Used to be reliably Republican, too, until 1988. And Texas was reliably Democrat, until 1980.
Just compare their social and economic trajectories, since then….

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Lyn N

Used to be a beautiful State. Used to be reliably Republican, too, until 1988. And Texas was reliably Democrat, until 1980.
Just compare their social and economic trajectories, since then….

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

We had much the same experience wit the Labour dominated cities of the north, Stoke, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow…

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
23 days ago

Glasgow? Its been SNP for far too long. Bring back Labour!

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
23 days ago

Glasgow? Its been SNP for far too long. Bring back Labour!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

The author is a criminal driving a polluting car.
How can we take this rat fink seriously !

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
1 year ago

Actually, I think the article is very, very simplistic. There is undoubtedly a ‘democrat hegemony’ in California, but it is entirely due to the few big cities like the Bay Area, LA and possibly San Diego being overwhelmingly Democrat.
There is an emerging movement looking to secede ‘New California’ from the urban megapolises and that will be far, far more Republican in nature. It is rural people with nothing in common with big city woke nonsense wanting to live where they grew up, but free of the never-ending Democrat dogma in Sacramento.
I don’t know if it will ever happen, but the grass roots movement is out there.

Peter Avena
Peter Avena
1 year ago

It should be worth knowing that the sale of commercial driver’s licenses cost Illinois governor George Ryan his re-election to office in 2003 and eventually lead to his indictment for bribery, money laundering, tax evasion etc for which he was convicted and sentenced to over 6 years in prison.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

What he is describing is the swamp Trump was taking about and totally disregarded by the MSM. It’s happening across the world where w[e] have allowed these ‘Cadre’ of the (lets face it), the communist invasion that took place right in front of o[ur] eyes and helped them by breaking down values we cherished in order to be seen to be doing the ‘correct’ thing.

Lyn N
Lyn N
1 year ago

It certainly sounds like a very grimey place.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lyn N
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

We had much the same experience wit the Labour dominated cities of the north, Stoke, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow…

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

The author is a criminal driving a polluting car.
How can we take this rat fink seriously !

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

This is brilliant. It’s a classic example of the decay part of “Political Order and Decay” – what happens when the rule of law is weakened and meritocracy abandoned as any kind of principal.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
1 year ago

What an irony. California, the USA’s most progressive state, is now functioning on par with a country in the third world and, within the next twenty years, will more than likely resemble one. The “progressives’ who are captured beyond repair will continue down the same road, with every signpost, at every junction, saying virtue, all the while destroying the very society they claim to be so committed to trying to help. It’s regressive at almost every level.
The people responsible for this live in an echo chamber where cognitive consonance reinforces the madness and still, even when the evidence of their failed policies is all around them, drive on reinforcing the mayhem with even more madness.
It’s not over yet; this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

ke Cronin
ke Cronin
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

We live in a designated high-fire hazard area. There is a half-torn-down house that has been exposed to the elements for over 10 years. The neighbors have repeatedly begged local officials to do something about the structure. LA has had a surge of drug addicts who occupy the streets. I am not talking about the friendly homeless person you could waive at and chat with. We are talking about people who are not well mentally. Our neighborhood fears that someone may intentionally, or by accident, start a fire in the abandoned building. The whole canyon could go up, especially in the hot dry summer and fall months. When we bring this up to officials, who are religious adherents to the ‘Frankfurt School’ derivatives, we are met with scorn. We are to be used as ATM machines only. They are like sociopath teenagers; we are to sneered at for bourgeoise sentiments while providing the cash for their pet projects. LA is a hellhole.

Last edited 1 year ago by ke Cronin
Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  ke Cronin

“Friendly Bum”, Now that is exactly why the place looks like that. Jeez Ke, catch a wake up.
Stop feeding the monster and get rid of the Democrats. Dump all your s**t on Peolosi and Newman’s lawns.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Newsom wants to run for President. Imagine what he’d do to that country…. something even more sick than Biden….

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

That anyone seriously thinks Newsom is a viable candidate shows how badly the concentration of the Democrats is hurting them politically. If they had any sense, they’d eliminate everyone from California, New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and DC from consideration before the primaries even start. They won’t do that of course, but they should. The last Democrat with broad national support was Bill Clinton, from Arkansas. His wife, on the other hand, abandoned Arkansas (where she probably couldn’t have gotten elected anyway), for NY, and was rejected in the most painful manner possible, by losing to Donald Trump.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Absent an even more Herculean vote-fabricating effort from the FBI’s COINTELPRO programme, that bustard child of Biden and Turdeau will go down in 2024 like George McGovern did in 1972. Like McGovern, he’d win Massachussetts and DC and that’s about it.
That’s in a straight vote, of course….

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

That anyone seriously thinks Newsom is a viable candidate shows how badly the concentration of the Democrats is hurting them politically. If they had any sense, they’d eliminate everyone from California, New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and DC from consideration before the primaries even start. They won’t do that of course, but they should. The last Democrat with broad national support was Bill Clinton, from Arkansas. His wife, on the other hand, abandoned Arkansas (where she probably couldn’t have gotten elected anyway), for NY, and was rejected in the most painful manner possible, by losing to Donald Trump.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Absent an even more Herculean vote-fabricating effort from the FBI’s COINTELPRO programme, that bustard child of Biden and Turdeau will go down in 2024 like George McGovern did in 1972. Like McGovern, he’d win Massachussetts and DC and that’s about it.
That’s in a straight vote, of course….

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Newsom wants to run for President. Imagine what he’d do to that country…. something even more sick than Biden….

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  ke Cronin

“Friendly Bum”, Now that is exactly why the place looks like that. Jeez Ke, catch a wake up.
Stop feeding the monster and get rid of the Democrats. Dump all your s**t on Peolosi and Newman’s lawns.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

The modern morality is sort of a Jesus morality on steroids. Wokeness is just an aspect of this morality. The important thing to note about it is its followers believe that morality ranks above all. This morality doesn’t care if its policies make the world go to hell in a hand basket. In fact, that’s built into the cake. All humans will live at subsistence level under this morality because of its very nature.

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

In her new book, Mary Harrington, calls this morality “sacramental liberalism”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

In her new book, Mary Harrington, calls this morality “sacramental liberalism”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Edward Seymour
Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

From what I can see parts of San Francisco – where I spent many hours enjoying the city, is a veritable pig sty.

ke Cronin
ke Cronin
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

We live in a designated high-fire hazard area. There is a half-torn-down house that has been exposed to the elements for over 10 years. The neighbors have repeatedly begged local officials to do something about the structure. LA has had a surge of drug addicts who occupy the streets. I am not talking about the friendly homeless person you could waive at and chat with. We are talking about people who are not well mentally. Our neighborhood fears that someone may intentionally, or by accident, start a fire in the abandoned building. The whole canyon could go up, especially in the hot dry summer and fall months. When we bring this up to officials, who are religious adherents to the ‘Frankfurt School’ derivatives, we are met with scorn. We are to be used as ATM machines only. They are like sociopath teenagers; we are to sneered at for bourgeoise sentiments while providing the cash for their pet projects. LA is a hellhole.

Last edited 1 year ago by ke Cronin
Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

The modern morality is sort of a Jesus morality on steroids. Wokeness is just an aspect of this morality. The important thing to note about it is its followers believe that morality ranks above all. This morality doesn’t care if its policies make the world go to hell in a hand basket. In fact, that’s built into the cake. All humans will live at subsistence level under this morality because of its very nature.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

From what I can see parts of San Francisco – where I spent many hours enjoying the city, is a veritable pig sty.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
1 year ago

What an irony. California, the USA’s most progressive state, is now functioning on par with a country in the third world and, within the next twenty years, will more than likely resemble one. The “progressives’ who are captured beyond repair will continue down the same road, with every signpost, at every junction, saying virtue, all the while destroying the very society they claim to be so committed to trying to help. It’s regressive at almost every level.
The people responsible for this live in an echo chamber where cognitive consonance reinforces the madness and still, even when the evidence of their failed policies is all around them, drive on reinforcing the mayhem with even more madness.
It’s not over yet; this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

All the author is doing really is describing the way that bureaucracies always become self-serving in the end. It’s happening here too – we are learning the ropes: how to lie in order to get a GP appointment, for example.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

The corruption of a bureaucracy captured by politicians and employees always spreads its own corruption through society I recall hearing the phase “He who doesn’t steal from the state steals from his own family” in Communist Czechoslovakia. As you say the citizens are forced to lie and bribe to maintain a tolerable life. The numbers who don’t succumb to such corruption diminishes the longer the captured bureaucracy exists. It is one of the factors that holds back so many African countries where tribal/ ethnic loyalties overlay and support the bureaucratic corruption.

Sadly so called progressives want to introduce this system here through expanding state provision and the fostering of intersectional strife.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Precisely. This is the inclusive model which inspires California and other ultra-woke party-states.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

We are seeing a bureaucratic oligarchy in action. The organisation becomes a bureaucratic oligarchy whose function is to serve those who run it. Therefore I wonder whether the Hindu concept of The Wheel of Life is needed? Do we need to breakup organisations once they are no longer useful? Do organisations need to die? Look at a forest . Trees die, collapse and their nutrients are re-cycled.
Iron law of oligarchy – Wikipedia

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Precisely. This is the inclusive model which inspires California and other ultra-woke party-states.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

We are seeing a bureaucratic oligarchy in action. The organisation becomes a bureaucratic oligarchy whose function is to serve those who run it. Therefore I wonder whether the Hindu concept of The Wheel of Life is needed? Do we need to breakup organisations once they are no longer useful? Do organisations need to die? Look at a forest . Trees die, collapse and their nutrients are re-cycled.
Iron law of oligarchy – Wikipedia

A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics
1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

The corruption of a bureaucracy captured by politicians and employees always spreads its own corruption through society I recall hearing the phase “He who doesn’t steal from the state steals from his own family” in Communist Czechoslovakia. As you say the citizens are forced to lie and bribe to maintain a tolerable life. The numbers who don’t succumb to such corruption diminishes the longer the captured bureaucracy exists. It is one of the factors that holds back so many African countries where tribal/ ethnic loyalties overlay and support the bureaucratic corruption.

Sadly so called progressives want to introduce this system here through expanding state provision and the fostering of intersectional strife.

A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics
1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

All the author is doing really is describing the way that bureaucracies always become self-serving in the end. It’s happening here too – we are learning the ropes: how to lie in order to get a GP appointment, for example.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

I find the deliberately provocative tone employed in this essay interesting.

The writer, whilst chiding the reader for their presumed naivety in being “scandalised” seems not to be using irony, but rather suggesting that somehow the growth of bureacracy-by-clan is somehow a superior – or at least more efficient – way of getting things done.

How that might play out in, for instance, an increase in road fatalities and injuries in California due to an increase in drivers without the necessary genuine qualifications to take to the road remains to be seen. Perhaps it won’t result in more ‘accidents’, or perhaps there’s an implication of indifference.

Of course, there’s another implication. For California today, read any locality with an influx of diverse ethnic groups whose previous experience has been of a similarly corrupt system. Here in the UK, we only need look at those arriving via dinghies across the Channel. I suspect this is the writer’s true intention.

What implications does acceptance of criminality, whilst smoothing the passage for individuals in getting on in life, have for our societies? “Scandalised” is the least of it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think it is ironical, even snarky. Like the sarcastic closing sentence.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

A bit late in the essay, especially in the context of the preceding three or four sentences, which seem to me unequivocal; a solution to the collapse of plurality. So, a warning then, rather than an excoriation.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes. He makes to me (a decades-long California resident) rather exaggerated and broad-brush claims about Democrats foreigners that are at least straightforward. Then he sprinkles in satirical asides or something like that in the most awkward way.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes. He makes to me (a decades-long California resident) rather exaggerated and broad-brush claims about Democrats foreigners that are at least straightforward. Then he sprinkles in satirical asides or something like that in the most awkward way.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Rome, especially the Army was very diverse but at it’s peak, standards were very high and failure was punished. Decimation meant that 1 in 10 soldiers were killed if that unit had shown cowardice. If a soldier was found to be asleep on guard duty he was stoned to death by his fellows.
The Royal Navy up to 1815 and the Chindits of the Burma Campaign were very diverse but standards were very high.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

A bit late in the essay, especially in the context of the preceding three or four sentences, which seem to me unequivocal; a solution to the collapse of plurality. So, a warning then, rather than an excoriation.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Rome, especially the Army was very diverse but at it’s peak, standards were very high and failure was punished. Decimation meant that 1 in 10 soldiers were killed if that unit had shown cowardice. If a soldier was found to be asleep on guard duty he was stoned to death by his fellows.
The Royal Navy up to 1815 and the Chindits of the Burma Campaign were very diverse but standards were very high.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Come on, his attitude was obvious from the start. He hates what’s happened and warns the reader to its causes, and to watch out for its spread.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

You got it.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

You got it.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The author is being sarcastic. The only sense in which he feels this state of affairs is “superior” is the lowest-common-denominator measure of “getting things done” by any means necessary, as opposed to getting things done legally and properly. He’s using it as a symptom of how profoundly corrupt and debased California has become under the Left’s domination.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think you missed the point. It is irony.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes, Steve. He’s taking a deliberately wry, detached, alien’s or historian’s eye view and, rather than jamming his opinion down your throat, leaving YOU to work out the implications for yourself: it’s what the best writers/ film-makers do.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

He’s deliberately avoiding using overtly racist words or phrases, leaving the reader to work out that he’s intimidated by and dislikes people who aren’t Anglo-American. A strange sort of position to take if you’re going to live in LA.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

He’s deliberately avoiding using overtly racist words or phrases, leaving the reader to work out that he’s intimidated by and dislikes people who aren’t Anglo-American. A strange sort of position to take if you’re going to live in LA.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think it is ironical, even snarky. Like the sarcastic closing sentence.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Come on, his attitude was obvious from the start. He hates what’s happened and warns the reader to its causes, and to watch out for its spread.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The author is being sarcastic. The only sense in which he feels this state of affairs is “superior” is the lowest-common-denominator measure of “getting things done” by any means necessary, as opposed to getting things done legally and properly. He’s using it as a symptom of how profoundly corrupt and debased California has become under the Left’s domination.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think you missed the point. It is irony.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes, Steve. He’s taking a deliberately wry, detached, alien’s or historian’s eye view and, rather than jamming his opinion down your throat, leaving YOU to work out the implications for yourself: it’s what the best writers/ film-makers do.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

I find the deliberately provocative tone employed in this essay interesting.

The writer, whilst chiding the reader for their presumed naivety in being “scandalised” seems not to be using irony, but rather suggesting that somehow the growth of bureacracy-by-clan is somehow a superior – or at least more efficient – way of getting things done.

How that might play out in, for instance, an increase in road fatalities and injuries in California due to an increase in drivers without the necessary genuine qualifications to take to the road remains to be seen. Perhaps it won’t result in more ‘accidents’, or perhaps there’s an implication of indifference.

Of course, there’s another implication. For California today, read any locality with an influx of diverse ethnic groups whose previous experience has been of a similarly corrupt system. Here in the UK, we only need look at those arriving via dinghies across the Channel. I suspect this is the writer’s true intention.

What implications does acceptance of criminality, whilst smoothing the passage for individuals in getting on in life, have for our societies? “Scandalised” is the least of it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Man….. you know the word sesquipedalian? (sesqua means one and a half and pedi is foot, so = foot and a half long word) this article is deci-sesqua, or fifteen foot long – so do not expect any surprising revelations, or in fact, truths, but lots of words. (how I write to, haha)

And so I will give the surprising Truth and actually tell you all what this story Really Means. It means the destruction of America, and thus of the West, and thus the Old World Order by Intentionally doing the death of a thousand cuts.

Global Elites are sick of Western Middle Class and Blue Collar being hard working, Moral, Honest, Productive, Patriotic, and Politically aware and well off enough that the government could not bribe them. That meant democracy flourished. Therefore to destroy Democracy so they could conquer the world they had to destroy the Middle Class and ‘Blue Collar’ (like British working class but actually have jobs). I am sure you notice how well that plan is going.

Several planed tracks were set out – all to be based on Post-Modernism, Atheism, and hatred of Western Values to destroy us.

Destruction of Family was the first and most important as all societies die when the family is destroyed – this is well in hand.

Second was to end Rule of Law, this is very well in hand. Soros funded elected DA’s (prosecutors) who would not prosecute crime was the tool – and worked fantastically well. At every point where Postmodern Liberalism spreads (and California is #1) breakdown of law and order is manipulated and increased. Schools preach situational ethics, relative morality, and victimhood. Police stop bothering to arrest because the DA will not prosecute, everyone feels helpless and alienated….The victim is made the criminal, the criminal the victim…. Social cohesion outside your clan is destroyed. Crime Skyrockets.

This is one of 5 Programs of the intentional ‘Decline and Fall of the Western Empire’ brought on us by the Global Psychopathic Elites, that they may enslave the world.

The story the writer tells – it is 100% intentional. AND it is lethal – it will destroy us. That and the other programs… you likely could name them too.

All part of the New World Order plan, and your destruction. This lawlessness is not petty – it is as destructive as the 1930s German military buildup – it is one part of ‘The Gathering Storm‘, it is engineered and intentional.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

All this reminds me of something which happened in the UK about 20+ years ago. There was an ongoing problem with soccer hooligans; every week ‘fans’ were travelling away with their teams just to fight. The hooligan gangs were infiltrated by the police and it was found that the whole thing was orchestrated by bored accountants. Then it just stopped.
Today the police are part of the problem so infiltration would not be possible. Bored, overeducated, younger people (and some older) are behind all of these things you have listed. It is ‘fun’. The politicians have fallen for it and are competing to be more and more ridiculous. Ordinary people just turn away and carry on as normal. Disaster strikes.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

“Bored, overeducated, younger people”
Watching the goings on in Hyde Park this morning and the violence between the ‘anti-fascists’ and the ‘TERFs’ I was struck by the same thought.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

“Bored, overeducated, younger people”
Watching the goings on in Hyde Park this morning and the violence between the ‘anti-fascists’ and the ‘TERFs’ I was struck by the same thought.

Aish Siva
Aish Siva
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Woah, you’re totally right but what scares me to the core is that I’m seeing this EXACT same thing happening in india. As an Indian American, I have the privilege of having a foot in each country and the description of post-modernism, destruction the family, attacks on hard work and merit and other such traditional (and good) characteristics are the same things Indian society is currently suffering from UNDER the attacks of post modernist (most of whom are situated in the US but making broad claims from both academia and journalism). (Not even going into the soros funded thing soros has openly said he wants to get rid of the democratically elected leader of the largest democracy in Asia). I’d go as far as to say they are trying to destroy traditional values in every country they can – in Americas it is western values. In india it is Hindu values (which includes plurality and fighting against injustice). Notice how they call anyone who fights against this a ‘fascist/nazi/supremacist’. I’ve heard this term used against American conservatives for years and I know many personally who are definitely not racist but are a skeptical of progressive talking points.

This is why I have a lot of respect for the middle class of which I’m a post of and the blue collar workers and don’t share any of the sneering condescension I’ve seen levied against such people in recent years. Terrifying that we’re all seeing the same things but don’t realise this is a global issue (especially within the anglosphere).

Last edited 1 year ago by Aish Siva
AG Warren
AG Warren
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Not being personally prone to the over use of big words, I thought the article is pithy. Eventually the public realizes the naked emperors are unsightly, and decide the look a lot better hanging upside down, on fire, with their entrails touching the pavement.

This method, applied outside various parliament buildings of DMV’s has for millennia caused such elites to rethink entirely their methods.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  AG Warren

I eagerly look forward to it. 120,000 of us marched pelted the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street with tennis balls in summer 2021. The lying WEF-MSM pretended it didn’t happen, but I was there and the anti-lockdown march through London stretched four miles long. Decent people are only just starting to get radicalised. Carry on on this techno-feudalist path and by the end of the decade, it’ll be petrol bombs and there won’t be nearly enough Police-Antifa-Army to save our dimwit ruling class.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  AG Warren

I eagerly look forward to it. 120,000 of us marched pelted the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street with tennis balls in summer 2021. The lying WEF-MSM pretended it didn’t happen, but I was there and the anti-lockdown march through London stretched four miles long. Decent people are only just starting to get radicalised. Carry on on this techno-feudalist path and by the end of the decade, it’ll be petrol bombs and there won’t be nearly enough Police-Antifa-Army to save our dimwit ruling class.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Spot on.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

All this reminds me of something which happened in the UK about 20+ years ago. There was an ongoing problem with soccer hooligans; every week ‘fans’ were travelling away with their teams just to fight. The hooligan gangs were infiltrated by the police and it was found that the whole thing was orchestrated by bored accountants. Then it just stopped.
Today the police are part of the problem so infiltration would not be possible. Bored, overeducated, younger people (and some older) are behind all of these things you have listed. It is ‘fun’. The politicians have fallen for it and are competing to be more and more ridiculous. Ordinary people just turn away and carry on as normal. Disaster strikes.

Aish Siva
Aish Siva
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Woah, you’re totally right but what scares me to the core is that I’m seeing this EXACT same thing happening in india. As an Indian American, I have the privilege of having a foot in each country and the description of post-modernism, destruction the family, attacks on hard work and merit and other such traditional (and good) characteristics are the same things Indian society is currently suffering from UNDER the attacks of post modernist (most of whom are situated in the US but making broad claims from both academia and journalism). (Not even going into the soros funded thing soros has openly said he wants to get rid of the democratically elected leader of the largest democracy in Asia). I’d go as far as to say they are trying to destroy traditional values in every country they can – in Americas it is western values. In india it is Hindu values (which includes plurality and fighting against injustice). Notice how they call anyone who fights against this a ‘fascist/nazi/supremacist’. I’ve heard this term used against American conservatives for years and I know many personally who are definitely not racist but are a skeptical of progressive talking points.

This is why I have a lot of respect for the middle class of which I’m a post of and the blue collar workers and don’t share any of the sneering condescension I’ve seen levied against such people in recent years. Terrifying that we’re all seeing the same things but don’t realise this is a global issue (especially within the anglosphere).

Last edited 1 year ago by Aish Siva
AG Warren
AG Warren
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Not being personally prone to the over use of big words, I thought the article is pithy. Eventually the public realizes the naked emperors are unsightly, and decide the look a lot better hanging upside down, on fire, with their entrails touching the pavement.

This method, applied outside various parliament buildings of DMV’s has for millennia caused such elites to rethink entirely their methods.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Spot on.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Man….. you know the word sesquipedalian? (sesqua means one and a half and pedi is foot, so = foot and a half long word) this article is deci-sesqua, or fifteen foot long – so do not expect any surprising revelations, or in fact, truths, but lots of words. (how I write to, haha)

And so I will give the surprising Truth and actually tell you all what this story Really Means. It means the destruction of America, and thus of the West, and thus the Old World Order by Intentionally doing the death of a thousand cuts.

Global Elites are sick of Western Middle Class and Blue Collar being hard working, Moral, Honest, Productive, Patriotic, and Politically aware and well off enough that the government could not bribe them. That meant democracy flourished. Therefore to destroy Democracy so they could conquer the world they had to destroy the Middle Class and ‘Blue Collar’ (like British working class but actually have jobs). I am sure you notice how well that plan is going.

Several planed tracks were set out – all to be based on Post-Modernism, Atheism, and hatred of Western Values to destroy us.

Destruction of Family was the first and most important as all societies die when the family is destroyed – this is well in hand.

Second was to end Rule of Law, this is very well in hand. Soros funded elected DA’s (prosecutors) who would not prosecute crime was the tool – and worked fantastically well. At every point where Postmodern Liberalism spreads (and California is #1) breakdown of law and order is manipulated and increased. Schools preach situational ethics, relative morality, and victimhood. Police stop bothering to arrest because the DA will not prosecute, everyone feels helpless and alienated….The victim is made the criminal, the criminal the victim…. Social cohesion outside your clan is destroyed. Crime Skyrockets.

This is one of 5 Programs of the intentional ‘Decline and Fall of the Western Empire’ brought on us by the Global Psychopathic Elites, that they may enslave the world.

The story the writer tells – it is 100% intentional. AND it is lethal – it will destroy us. That and the other programs… you likely could name them too.

All part of the New World Order plan, and your destruction. This lawlessness is not petty – it is as destructive as the 1930s German military buildup – it is one part of ‘The Gathering Storm‘, it is engineered and intentional.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

A brilliant article that describes the world as it is, using all the irony inherent in modern Newspeak.

Many years of doing business in Africa and Asia, not to mention Europe and Australia, have convinced me that what we call “corruption” is actually the norm and reliable, orderly, swift procedure by public authorities is an aberration. How easily it collapses under strain of regulatory complexity and staff capture.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

A brilliant article that describes the world as it is, using all the irony inherent in modern Newspeak.

Many years of doing business in Africa and Asia, not to mention Europe and Australia, have convinced me that what we call “corruption” is actually the norm and reliable, orderly, swift procedure by public authorities is an aberration. How easily it collapses under strain of regulatory complexity and staff capture.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

There are different sorts of bureaucracies. There are those that genuinely serve a purpose. In the case of the California DMV that was to keep incompetent and dangerous drivers off the street. Unfortunately institutional capture by employees or a party apparatus that no longer genuinely cares about the citizen results in the institution becoming an job creation institution which can morph into a lifestyle creation institution.

I remember the aftermath of WW2 in England where a bureaucracy had built up to distribute scarce food resources for reasons of social solidarity but which had deteriorated so that reciprocal favours or black market sales took place to supplement the inefficiencies of the bureaucracy. I remember as a child being told to hush when my mother clandestinely bought eggs from a local smallholder down the road. So the growth of corruption is connected to excessive bureaucracy and institutional capture rather than being necessarily associated with multiculturalism.

Ironically many of those seeking our shores do so to flee from the stifling corruption of everyday life in their own lands.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

If this is the comment you referred to as being held in the “Awaiting Approval” queue (it does seem worse at weekends), it’s a valuable contribution now its appeared. The point you make about the nature of bureaucracies is indeed salient to the article, but i do still wonder about how those within a pluralistic society whose upbringing hasn’t engendered a sense of fair play tend to react.
It’s British folklore that “we love a queue” (except on Unherd?) but the impatience – and sometimes complete disregard for rules – that i see daily on the roads by drivers of “certain ethnic origins” and which contribute to a rise in insurance premiums for us all, not to mention casualties, gives me greater concern.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

In a response to another comment, which has disappeared into moderation, I commented on the way that bureaucratic corruption tends in turn to corrupt the citizens. I don’t believe the habits of the other ethnics you refer to comes from anything other than the corruption in behaviour they have learnt from the societies they have come from. The lessons they learn are that you are a fool who will be exploited unless you elbow your way to the front of the queue or have some trick to get you there. It is hard to shake off such lessons.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

In a response to another comment, which has disappeared into moderation, I commented on the way that bureaucratic corruption tends in turn to corrupt the citizens. I don’t believe the habits of the other ethnics you refer to comes from anything other than the corruption in behaviour they have learnt from the societies they have come from. The lessons they learn are that you are a fool who will be exploited unless you elbow your way to the front of the queue or have some trick to get you there. It is hard to shake off such lessons.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The California DMV has long been a nightmare, to the point of being stand-up or late-night monologue fodder. This is true of other states also, across decades, under Republican and Democratic leadership.
It’s totally fair to criticize the Democratic-led mess here in California–I’m frustrated and tired of it myself–but this article uses the pretense of insider’s lens to make some huge generalizations about Democrats and foreigners. An anecdotal manifesto, with sarcasm.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yep. It’s what destroyed Prusso-German morale on the home and eventually battle front during the Great War: the ruling Junkers in pickelhaubes, stupid King Cnuts that they were, set unrealistic ‘fixed prices’ for scarce food and goods – which promptly disappeared from the legal market altogether, forcing ordinary respectable Germans either to starve, or turn criminal and pay extortionate black market prices, selling family heirlooms for pfennigs, in order to meet their basic needs. Mugabenomics, in effect (as openly advocated on BBC Radio by ‘Conservative’ Minister Naheem Zahawi in 2020, btw).

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The issue is the cover up of incompetence by bureaucracies. The Roman Army, RN and the Indian Civil Service were all bureaucracies but standards were very high and failure was punished.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

If this is the comment you referred to as being held in the “Awaiting Approval” queue (it does seem worse at weekends), it’s a valuable contribution now its appeared. The point you make about the nature of bureaucracies is indeed salient to the article, but i do still wonder about how those within a pluralistic society whose upbringing hasn’t engendered a sense of fair play tend to react.
It’s British folklore that “we love a queue” (except on Unherd?) but the impatience – and sometimes complete disregard for rules – that i see daily on the roads by drivers of “certain ethnic origins” and which contribute to a rise in insurance premiums for us all, not to mention casualties, gives me greater concern.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The California DMV has long been a nightmare, to the point of being stand-up or late-night monologue fodder. This is true of other states also, across decades, under Republican and Democratic leadership.
It’s totally fair to criticize the Democratic-led mess here in California–I’m frustrated and tired of it myself–but this article uses the pretense of insider’s lens to make some huge generalizations about Democrats and foreigners. An anecdotal manifesto, with sarcasm.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yep. It’s what destroyed Prusso-German morale on the home and eventually battle front during the Great War: the ruling Junkers in pickelhaubes, stupid King Cnuts that they were, set unrealistic ‘fixed prices’ for scarce food and goods – which promptly disappeared from the legal market altogether, forcing ordinary respectable Germans either to starve, or turn criminal and pay extortionate black market prices, selling family heirlooms for pfennigs, in order to meet their basic needs. Mugabenomics, in effect (as openly advocated on BBC Radio by ‘Conservative’ Minister Naheem Zahawi in 2020, btw).

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The issue is the cover up of incompetence by bureaucracies. The Roman Army, RN and the Indian Civil Service were all bureaucracies but standards were very high and failure was punished.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

There are different sorts of bureaucracies. There are those that genuinely serve a purpose. In the case of the California DMV that was to keep incompetent and dangerous drivers off the street. Unfortunately institutional capture by employees or a party apparatus that no longer genuinely cares about the citizen results in the institution becoming an job creation institution which can morph into a lifestyle creation institution.

I remember the aftermath of WW2 in England where a bureaucracy had built up to distribute scarce food resources for reasons of social solidarity but which had deteriorated so that reciprocal favours or black market sales took place to supplement the inefficiencies of the bureaucracy. I remember as a child being told to hush when my mother clandestinely bought eggs from a local smallholder down the road. So the growth of corruption is connected to excessive bureaucracy and institutional capture rather than being necessarily associated with multiculturalism.

Ironically many of those seeking our shores do so to flee from the stifling corruption of everyday life in their own lands.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
1 year ago

A certain someone, a nice Anglo person, once had an old car which ran well but no longer passed smog exams. This Anglo worked at a place of employment where another person, one of the ethnicities that makes California so colorful, did a certain official job but, as it turned out, was a fixer of some sort on his own and knew others from the fixer community. So the fixer advised the Anglo to go to a certain address in bucolic National City and ask for Tacho (or Nacho? not sure now) who will “help”.
Well, the Anglo guy arrived at the address and pulled into the yard of what appeared to be a car service shop with multiple service buildings, people working on cars inside and out. When the Anglo got out of his car, announcing that he was looking for Tacho, wearing his usual professional attire including a jacket and leather shoes, all work stopped and every worker that was busy on the premises retreated into the depth of the buildings.
Only after Tacho contacted Anglo’s ethically authentic friend who vouched for Anglo’s trustworthiness despite his attire suggesting otherwise, did the doors reopen and the service was agreed to be provided. The old car was driven next to a new car, some wires got run between the two cars, both were turned on, then – bada-bing, bada-boom – a smog certificate appeared in Anglo’s hand.
A detail that will raise the credibility of the article”: the fee for the fix there was also $200.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
1 year ago

A certain someone, a nice Anglo person, once had an old car which ran well but no longer passed smog exams. This Anglo worked at a place of employment where another person, one of the ethnicities that makes California so colorful, did a certain official job but, as it turned out, was a fixer of some sort on his own and knew others from the fixer community. So the fixer advised the Anglo to go to a certain address in bucolic National City and ask for Tacho (or Nacho? not sure now) who will “help”.
Well, the Anglo guy arrived at the address and pulled into the yard of what appeared to be a car service shop with multiple service buildings, people working on cars inside and out. When the Anglo got out of his car, announcing that he was looking for Tacho, wearing his usual professional attire including a jacket and leather shoes, all work stopped and every worker that was busy on the premises retreated into the depth of the buildings.
Only after Tacho contacted Anglo’s ethically authentic friend who vouched for Anglo’s trustworthiness despite his attire suggesting otherwise, did the doors reopen and the service was agreed to be provided. The old car was driven next to a new car, some wires got run between the two cars, both were turned on, then – bada-bing, bada-boom – a smog certificate appeared in Anglo’s hand.
A detail that will raise the credibility of the article”: the fee for the fix there was also $200.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

“In 2014, the California DMV went on a massive hiring blitz, adding a thousand new workers for the express purpose of providing drivers licences to illegal immigrants, per state bill AB 60.”
This is depressingly familiar – one part of government (in this case a department within a state) expressly following a policy directly in contradiction with the federal government’s national policy on immigration. It is the same with the “sanctuary cities” where city resources are directed to illegal immigrants. One wonders just how this is legal and allowed.
That’s quite apart from the obvious safety aspects of issuing driving licences without tests. You wonder when the class action lawsuit against the DMV is coming when unqualified and uninsured drivers end up killing other road users.
The other aspect to this is that the employees and managers of organisations like the DMV seem to think they are free to make up the policies (to support “social justice” in this case), rather than execute the priorities (and laws) the electorate voted for. Though it does appear in this case that California voted for this insanity.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in California and everything about this article rings true.
Aside: from briefly living in Texas 30 odd years ago, the DMV there issued a “non driving driver’s licence” for those simply needing an ID card (the drivers licence being the universal ID in the US at the time). I still have mine.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Florida will issue a state identification card for those who don’t have/want a drivers license.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The other aspect to this is that the employees and managers of organisations like the DMV seem to think they are free to make up the policies (to support “social justice” in this case), rather than execute the priorities (and laws) the electorate voted for. 
Rather like the 2020 election, in which many democrat governors and attorneys general overrode the existing law and changed procedures at the last minute for such things as the allowed dates for mail-in ballots, and the rules for verifying signatures.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Florida will issue a state identification card for those who don’t have/want a drivers license.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The other aspect to this is that the employees and managers of organisations like the DMV seem to think they are free to make up the policies (to support “social justice” in this case), rather than execute the priorities (and laws) the electorate voted for. 
Rather like the 2020 election, in which many democrat governors and attorneys general overrode the existing law and changed procedures at the last minute for such things as the allowed dates for mail-in ballots, and the rules for verifying signatures.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

“In 2014, the California DMV went on a massive hiring blitz, adding a thousand new workers for the express purpose of providing drivers licences to illegal immigrants, per state bill AB 60.”
This is depressingly familiar – one part of government (in this case a department within a state) expressly following a policy directly in contradiction with the federal government’s national policy on immigration. It is the same with the “sanctuary cities” where city resources are directed to illegal immigrants. One wonders just how this is legal and allowed.
That’s quite apart from the obvious safety aspects of issuing driving licences without tests. You wonder when the class action lawsuit against the DMV is coming when unqualified and uninsured drivers end up killing other road users.
The other aspect to this is that the employees and managers of organisations like the DMV seem to think they are free to make up the policies (to support “social justice” in this case), rather than execute the priorities (and laws) the electorate voted for. Though it does appear in this case that California voted for this insanity.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in California and everything about this article rings true.
Aside: from briefly living in Texas 30 odd years ago, the DMV there issued a “non driving driver’s licence” for those simply needing an ID card (the drivers licence being the universal ID in the US at the time). I still have mine.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Depressing stuff. Good article though. Another benefit of mass immigration. Brilliant!

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Depressing stuff. Good article though. Another benefit of mass immigration. Brilliant!

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago

The ethnic fiefdoms at work within local government and other fields in multicultural societies, identified by the writer, are a particularly worrying phenomenon. A friend working in the further education sector here in the UK told me that South Asian job applicants were often concerned if there was an unfamiliar South Asian on the appointment panel: they were sure that that person would be biased in favour of a rival South Asian applicant connected with him/her. The bien pensant ‘progressive’ leaders in politics and academia have sneered at assimilation of immigrants into a central host culture, but the result is the corruption of western host nations by alien practices of which the progressives are naively unaware.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

Tribalism. Which we are progressing into.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

Tribalism. Which we are progressing into.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago

The ethnic fiefdoms at work within local government and other fields in multicultural societies, identified by the writer, are a particularly worrying phenomenon. A friend working in the further education sector here in the UK told me that South Asian job applicants were often concerned if there was an unfamiliar South Asian on the appointment panel: they were sure that that person would be biased in favour of a rival South Asian applicant connected with him/her. The bien pensant ‘progressive’ leaders in politics and academia have sneered at assimilation of immigrants into a central host culture, but the result is the corruption of western host nations by alien practices of which the progressives are naively unaware.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Do the moderators work on Saturday? An inoffensive post I wrote about how institutional and worker capture of bureaucracies is sufficient to introduce corruption even in the absence of the involvement of different cultures and cited post war experience in England got pulled and I have no idea when it will reappear. All rather unsatisfactory and the result of a “safety” bureaucracy.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Do the moderators work on Saturday? An inoffensive post I wrote about how institutional and worker capture of bureaucracies is sufficient to introduce corruption even in the absence of the involvement of different cultures and cited post war experience in England got pulled and I have no idea when it will reappear. All rather unsatisfactory and the result of a “safety” bureaucracy.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Latin countries in Europe and the Americas have this reputation for over-bureaucratization, queues and tardiness, requiring intermediaries who do little more than wait in line and hand in forms (eg gestors) with, at times, backhanders or 3%s to move things along. It happens where the bureaucrats have too much power, and too little oversight, and little chance of appeal or complaint.
For instance, if appointments are compulsory for submitting bits of paperwork, some unscrupulous intermediaries can pre-book all the available appointment slots, and then sell access since no-one else can get a slot unless you use the intermediaries services. Or you get services that are so inefficient that it takes 5-6 hours waiting in line, so its worth paying someone else to queue.
And because the functionaries or bureaucrats are so embedded, with jobs for life, there is no incentive for efficiency or improving working habits that might reduce their ability to get a ‘priority lane’ payment.
To this, they add to the burden by imposing fines on anyone for wrong paperwork or missing forms. And being the administration, they set the rules, so its more profitable to make more complex and ambiguous rules written in legalese, than creating paperwork that is minimal, clear, easy and simple.
What’s worse is that in countries without case law, you can’t even be sure if one interpretation will be the same next time around.
Look at the burdens created by GDPR or EU regulations and the whole industry of intermediaries that pops up because of the excess paperwork the rules create. When administrators profit from creating administration citizens will always suffer.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

That is why it is so disturbing to folks who enjoy ‘Anglo” culture to be called racist. What is so wrong with appreciating punctuality, proper mathematics, rules, written instructions, list prices and correct change in transactions? And why am I not allowed to appreciate these things anymore?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

That is why it is so disturbing to folks who enjoy ‘Anglo” culture to be called racist. What is so wrong with appreciating punctuality, proper mathematics, rules, written instructions, list prices and correct change in transactions? And why am I not allowed to appreciate these things anymore?

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Latin countries in Europe and the Americas have this reputation for over-bureaucratization, queues and tardiness, requiring intermediaries who do little more than wait in line and hand in forms (eg gestors) with, at times, backhanders or 3%s to move things along. It happens where the bureaucrats have too much power, and too little oversight, and little chance of appeal or complaint.
For instance, if appointments are compulsory for submitting bits of paperwork, some unscrupulous intermediaries can pre-book all the available appointment slots, and then sell access since no-one else can get a slot unless you use the intermediaries services. Or you get services that are so inefficient that it takes 5-6 hours waiting in line, so its worth paying someone else to queue.
And because the functionaries or bureaucrats are so embedded, with jobs for life, there is no incentive for efficiency or improving working habits that might reduce their ability to get a ‘priority lane’ payment.
To this, they add to the burden by imposing fines on anyone for wrong paperwork or missing forms. And being the administration, they set the rules, so its more profitable to make more complex and ambiguous rules written in legalese, than creating paperwork that is minimal, clear, easy and simple.
What’s worse is that in countries without case law, you can’t even be sure if one interpretation will be the same next time around.
Look at the burdens created by GDPR or EU regulations and the whole industry of intermediaries that pops up because of the excess paperwork the rules create. When administrators profit from creating administration citizens will always suffer.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Just another in a long list of reasons why people are fleeing that dysfunctional state.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

On the bright side, it’s going to break off and fall into the Pacific sooner or later…

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

On the bright side, it’s going to break off and fall into the Pacific sooner or later…

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Just another in a long list of reasons why people are fleeing that dysfunctional state.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
1 year ago

Joe Henrich “The WEIRDest People in the World” is about the way the West prospered as it abandoned a kin-based social world in favour of the one the writer says is now fading back into kin-based again.
The way kin networks were weakened was by the marriage rules of the Catholic Church developed over centuries. These declared all sorts of marriages between kin as “incest”. It prevented cousin marriage – even fairly remote cousins could not marry.
But Christianity is fading now and a new, older world is perhaps returning, as the writer describes.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Mott

I’m sure you’re right about the main point about Christianity being fortuitously central to western civilisation, progress and democracy. But first cousin marriage was common enough in England as late as Victorian times, particularly among country gentry and clerical families.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

“First cousin marriage was common.” Is that all?

Last edited 1 year ago by Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

“First cousin marriage was common.” Is that all?

Last edited 1 year ago by Betsy Arehart
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Mott

I’m sure you’re right about the main point about Christianity being fortuitously central to western civilisation, progress and democracy. But first cousin marriage was common enough in England as late as Victorian times, particularly among country gentry and clerical families.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
1 year ago

Joe Henrich “The WEIRDest People in the World” is about the way the West prospered as it abandoned a kin-based social world in favour of the one the writer says is now fading back into kin-based again.
The way kin networks were weakened was by the marriage rules of the Catholic Church developed over centuries. These declared all sorts of marriages between kin as “incest”. It prevented cousin marriage – even fairly remote cousins could not marry.
But Christianity is fading now and a new, older world is perhaps returning, as the writer describes.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

Gosh. A consequence of machine politics is that the machine is favoured over the electorate.
It couldn’t happen here [sarcasm].

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

Gosh. A consequence of machine politics is that the machine is favoured over the electorate.
It couldn’t happen here [sarcasm].

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago

Decades ago, there was occasional talk of California seceding from the U.S. because it was the most prosperous state and would do better on its own, unburdened by some of the underperforming others. Quite a turnaround now…

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheryl Benard

The massive tech layoffs recently involved many well educated, skilled workers and their paychecks going elsewhere. CA will lose their taxes. Many companies discovered hires who want families can’t afford to live inn CA so the companies leave as well. With no extra Fed money, CA debt position is awful and they have many homeless to support. Wonder how the long term middle class will fare as taxes must go up even more. A very bad future thanks to poor leaders at every level. A one party state finds itself pinned.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheryl Benard

The massive tech layoffs recently involved many well educated, skilled workers and their paychecks going elsewhere. CA will lose their taxes. Many companies discovered hires who want families can’t afford to live inn CA so the companies leave as well. With no extra Fed money, CA debt position is awful and they have many homeless to support. Wonder how the long term middle class will fare as taxes must go up even more. A very bad future thanks to poor leaders at every level. A one party state finds itself pinned.

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
1 year ago

Decades ago, there was occasional talk of California seceding from the U.S. because it was the most prosperous state and would do better on its own, unburdened by some of the underperforming others. Quite a turnaround now…

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

(Comment restored/removed/restored/removed…).

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I seem to be having the same problem with approvals AJ

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Nearly everything I have posted has done that again….

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I just wish I could detect a reliable pattern and “beat the system”!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

When you see the “Click here to. view comments” box under the article Ms Emery, you can guarantee that the Censorship will be absolutely dreadful, and so it has proved to be.
QED.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Thank you both, back to the censorship thing again….if you ever figure it out Mr Mac let us know 🙂

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

Thank you both, back to the censorship thing again….if you ever figure it out Mr Mac let us know 🙂

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I just wish I could detect a reliable pattern and “beat the system”!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

When you see the “Click here to. view comments” box under the article Ms Emery, you can guarantee that the Censorship will be absolutely dreadful, and so it has proved to be.
QED.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I seem to be having the same problem with approvals AJ

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Nearly everything I have posted has done that again….

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

(Comment restored/removed/restored/removed…).

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Bravo! Now I know why the DMV sent me a new DL in the mail. The party state, yep, that is California through and through and this is really the first article I have read that delineates the reality for the suckers who think their votes count, including me. Victor Davis Hanson has addressed the steady decline of California education, government services, unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats, and fascist policies (read covid regs) by uncaring commissars. However, I don’t think the DMV is the only California Governmental agency that can be sourced by the fixers, I imagine any local or state agency has folks who can be bribed to receive the requisite form fairly easily.
“Eat the Rich” and “Revolution is the only Solution” signs and bumper stickers are beginning to multiply in the SF Bay area. I have much sympathy for the idea behind these actions as California will slowly descend into an awful 3rd world country and revolutions and Gullitones seem to be the only solution to throw off the Party State. We will see.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Bravo! Now I know why the DMV sent me a new DL in the mail. The party state, yep, that is California through and through and this is really the first article I have read that delineates the reality for the suckers who think their votes count, including me. Victor Davis Hanson has addressed the steady decline of California education, government services, unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats, and fascist policies (read covid regs) by uncaring commissars. However, I don’t think the DMV is the only California Governmental agency that can be sourced by the fixers, I imagine any local or state agency has folks who can be bribed to receive the requisite form fairly easily.
“Eat the Rich” and “Revolution is the only Solution” signs and bumper stickers are beginning to multiply in the SF Bay area. I have much sympathy for the idea behind these actions as California will slowly descend into an awful 3rd world country and revolutions and Gullitones seem to be the only solution to throw off the Party State. We will see.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

I am in no way shocked.
People need to get things done and they need practical solutions to get there.
California has gone off the rails in so many ways and it got there by being a state that has single party rule that responds only to special interest groups.
The result is a nasty, dirty state that is incapable of rejuvenating itself.
I have almost no doubt that 30 yrs from now we are going to be looking at CA as a failed state that may well need some form of federal takeover.
What is really scary is that CA has so much political influence at the federal level. The democrats from CA bring with them to DC the same political culture and expectations.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

I am in no way shocked.
People need to get things done and they need practical solutions to get there.
California has gone off the rails in so many ways and it got there by being a state that has single party rule that responds only to special interest groups.
The result is a nasty, dirty state that is incapable of rejuvenating itself.
I have almost no doubt that 30 yrs from now we are going to be looking at CA as a failed state that may well need some form of federal takeover.
What is really scary is that CA has so much political influence at the federal level. The democrats from CA bring with them to DC the same political culture and expectations.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 year ago

A shocking and important article. The great Theodore Dalrymple wrote an essay a number of years ago with a title such as “In Praise of Corruption” in which he compared how victims of bureaucracy in Italy have a chance to get things done, while those in Britain cannot. You may guess the solution. The classicist Ramsay MacDonald has written about corruption (ancient and modern). It seems to me a reasonable (or at least expected) response to a government that looks after its own interests rather than those of the governed. Or perhaps I should say, rather than those of its subjects.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 year ago

A shocking and important article. The great Theodore Dalrymple wrote an essay a number of years ago with a title such as “In Praise of Corruption” in which he compared how victims of bureaucracy in Italy have a chance to get things done, while those in Britain cannot. You may guess the solution. The classicist Ramsay MacDonald has written about corruption (ancient and modern). It seems to me a reasonable (or at least expected) response to a government that looks after its own interests rather than those of the governed. Or perhaps I should say, rather than those of its subjects.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
1 year ago

California Delenda Est

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

“Sine Missione”.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

“Sine Missione”.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
1 year ago

California Delenda Est

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

I remember an escapee from Communist Rumania telling me in 1976 that bribery was the only way to get (nominally underpaid) officials to do their job. And further, given the plethora of mutually contradictory rules, their mind-boggling minutiae and necessarily capricious application, bribery was the only thing that made the system liveable.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Yep: welcome to the USSA. Bureaucratic, depressed, unproductive, addiction-raddled, culturally stagnant, corrupt, surveilled and censored, ruled by gerontocrats and feather-bedded cultural kommissars, impoverished by arms spending and a failed Afghan war, driven by a righteous, millenarian, Godless internationalist quasi-religion: it’s ‘the west’ that is Communist now.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Yep: welcome to the USSA. Bureaucratic, depressed, unproductive, addiction-raddled, culturally stagnant, corrupt, surveilled and censored, ruled by gerontocrats and feather-bedded cultural kommissars, impoverished by arms spending and a failed Afghan war, driven by a righteous, millenarian, Godless internationalist quasi-religion: it’s ‘the west’ that is Communist now.

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

I remember an escapee from Communist Rumania telling me in 1976 that bribery was the only way to get (nominally underpaid) officials to do their job. And further, given the plethora of mutually contradictory rules, their mind-boggling minutiae and necessarily capricious application, bribery was the only thing that made the system liveable.

Daniel Britten
Daniel Britten
1 year ago

Even if it’s exaggerated, as one comment suggests, this is a brilliant description of our world. The centre cannot hold. Things fall apart. The diabolical combination of corporate greed, multiculturalism and postmodernism are, sometimes with the best of intentions, creating a political vacuum which is increasingly filled by corruption and fanaticism. One does wonder whether the whole thing has been orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party, or the FSB, or both.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Britten

Nothing to do with the Chinese or Russians, Daniel. They have their own fish to fry. Look no further than Wall Street, Aspen, DC, Langley, Palo Alto, Hollywood and, of course, their great annual global WEF meeting in Davos. These are the oligarchies that have done this to us.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Britten

Nothing to do with the Chinese or Russians, Daniel. They have their own fish to fry. Look no further than Wall Street, Aspen, DC, Langley, Palo Alto, Hollywood and, of course, their great annual global WEF meeting in Davos. These are the oligarchies that have done this to us.

Daniel Britten
Daniel Britten
1 year ago

Even if it’s exaggerated, as one comment suggests, this is a brilliant description of our world. The centre cannot hold. Things fall apart. The diabolical combination of corporate greed, multiculturalism and postmodernism are, sometimes with the best of intentions, creating a political vacuum which is increasingly filled by corruption and fanaticism. One does wonder whether the whole thing has been orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party, or the FSB, or both.

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago

How on earth does the writer fit the Jains into the group of ‘liminals’?Or is he thinking of some other bunch of people? Or got his spelling wrong?

John Snowball
John Snowball
1 year ago
Reply to  michael harris

Yes, exactly. I can only assume he was thinking of some other group. Jains are Hindus with very strict dietary and social rules but are otherwise part of the social mainstream.

John Snowball
John Snowball
1 year ago
Reply to  michael harris

Yes, exactly. I can only assume he was thinking of some other group. Jains are Hindus with very strict dietary and social rules but are otherwise part of the social mainstream.

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago

How on earth does the writer fit the Jains into the group of ‘liminals’?Or is he thinking of some other bunch of people? Or got his spelling wrong?

Timothy Mitchell
Timothy Mitchell
1 year ago

One begins to think of Gormemghast…

Timothy Mitchell
Timothy Mitchell
1 year ago

One begins to think of Gormemghast…

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

This is a small part of the reason people are leaving California in droves. In the 2020 census, for the first time in its history, California lost a seat in the House of Representatives, not because their population fell. It didn’t, but rather it grew much more slowly than other places such as Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, etc. Such little growth there was can be attributed mostly to immigration. At the state level, it is basically a one party state. In the places that are not Democrat, there is a constant push/pull between state and local authorities similar to what occurs between states and our Federal government, and the results of such conflict create still more situations like the author describes, where civil authority breaks down and locals simply bypass the government using whatever methods available to get things done. Further, the damage is not at all limited to California. While California, and other places on the east and west coast become one party states, they make the party increasingly unpalatable for everyone else, leaving large swaths of the country entirely to the other side, creating yet more one party states. Most of America outside the major metros is deep red, and getting redder. This is a worse problem for Democrats, because the most successful Democrats are coming increasingly from the few geographic strongholds, and it is creating a problem when it comes to national candidates. There’s a reason that the nearly 80 year old Biden was chosen as the best chance to oust Trump in 2020, and its the same reason they’ll probably be forced to run him again in 2024. There are increasingly few Democrats from states and areas outside the strongholds of the east and west coasts and those few have comparatively little influence because of the relative fragility of their Congressional seats. The coasts and the metros are very much politically despised by the country folk and vice versa. It is likely that a coastal Democrat will have a hard time winning any state between Colorado and Pennsylvania, with Illinois (read Chicago) being the only exception. That Gavin Newsom is even considered by anyone to be a viable candidate for President shows how bad this is. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of America, not just California. As the country tilts more towards one-party states of one flavor or another, it will become increasingly difficult (read impossible) to govern effectively at the federal level. People will lose respect for government in general and the federal government in particular. America has gotten as far as it has largely because people respected the law and government. Absent such respect, Americans are no less ungovernable than Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, or anybody else, and unlike in many places, totalitarianism is not really viable here. It would require, at the very least, tearing up the Constitution, and that would surely never occur without violence, and nobody, not the people, nor the elites, nor the military, nor anyone outside China and Russia, would have any interest in seeing the US descend into anarchy. More likely, what will happen is a de facto decentralization of government. States will ignore or even defy federal laws that are unpopular with the state party. Localities will ignore state laws for the same reason. The people will turn to extralegal means to get things done outside the law just as this author has, and they’ll largely get away with it because fear of outright rebellion and the accompanying economic upheaval will prevent the actual enforcement of laws that are broadly unpopular in a particular area. Kentucky and California will have their own policies on polarized issues like immigration or emissions standards for vehicles or whatever else. The federal government will lean on their alliances with multinational corporations to enforce their will through controlling production and industrial standards, but that only works to a point, and only on certain things where barriers to entry are high and demand is inelastic. However, people will find ways to bypass such policies. You can still buy Ipads in sanctioned Russia, and as the author demonstrates, you can get your smog-belching gas guzzler licensed in California. In economics, every barrier is surmountable and all supplies and demands are perfectly elastic over a sufficient period of time. In the final stages, America will cease to be one nation in any meaningful sense. It will become a state increasingly defined by and dependent entirely upon the last unifying force left standing, the military and its accompanying industrial complex that maintain that military. It’s already happening. Build back better, the social spending bill, much loved by the globalist crowd, died an ignoble death even with Democrats controlling both Congress and the White House. They were barely able to pass a fairly pedestrian not particularly ambitious pork filled infrastructure bill. Yet the CHIPS act, an economic warfare bill aimed squarely at China and backed by the military industrial complex, sailed through with broad bipartisan support. In my view, this is basically inevitable. The only question in my mind is how much damage the people in power will be willing to inflict on us trying to stop it. I doubt they’re dumb enough to trigger an actual civil war, as the losses would far outweigh anything gained in even the rosiest scenario. Still, I’ve been wrong before .

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Brilliant but depressing.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Brilliant but depressing.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

This is a small part of the reason people are leaving California in droves. In the 2020 census, for the first time in its history, California lost a seat in the House of Representatives, not because their population fell. It didn’t, but rather it grew much more slowly than other places such as Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, etc. Such little growth there was can be attributed mostly to immigration. At the state level, it is basically a one party state. In the places that are not Democrat, there is a constant push/pull between state and local authorities similar to what occurs between states and our Federal government, and the results of such conflict create still more situations like the author describes, where civil authority breaks down and locals simply bypass the government using whatever methods available to get things done. Further, the damage is not at all limited to California. While California, and other places on the east and west coast become one party states, they make the party increasingly unpalatable for everyone else, leaving large swaths of the country entirely to the other side, creating yet more one party states. Most of America outside the major metros is deep red, and getting redder. This is a worse problem for Democrats, because the most successful Democrats are coming increasingly from the few geographic strongholds, and it is creating a problem when it comes to national candidates. There’s a reason that the nearly 80 year old Biden was chosen as the best chance to oust Trump in 2020, and its the same reason they’ll probably be forced to run him again in 2024. There are increasingly few Democrats from states and areas outside the strongholds of the east and west coasts and those few have comparatively little influence because of the relative fragility of their Congressional seats. The coasts and the metros are very much politically despised by the country folk and vice versa. It is likely that a coastal Democrat will have a hard time winning any state between Colorado and Pennsylvania, with Illinois (read Chicago) being the only exception. That Gavin Newsom is even considered by anyone to be a viable candidate for President shows how bad this is. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of America, not just California. As the country tilts more towards one-party states of one flavor or another, it will become increasingly difficult (read impossible) to govern effectively at the federal level. People will lose respect for government in general and the federal government in particular. America has gotten as far as it has largely because people respected the law and government. Absent such respect, Americans are no less ungovernable than Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, or anybody else, and unlike in many places, totalitarianism is not really viable here. It would require, at the very least, tearing up the Constitution, and that would surely never occur without violence, and nobody, not the people, nor the elites, nor the military, nor anyone outside China and Russia, would have any interest in seeing the US descend into anarchy. More likely, what will happen is a de facto decentralization of government. States will ignore or even defy federal laws that are unpopular with the state party. Localities will ignore state laws for the same reason. The people will turn to extralegal means to get things done outside the law just as this author has, and they’ll largely get away with it because fear of outright rebellion and the accompanying economic upheaval will prevent the actual enforcement of laws that are broadly unpopular in a particular area. Kentucky and California will have their own policies on polarized issues like immigration or emissions standards for vehicles or whatever else. The federal government will lean on their alliances with multinational corporations to enforce their will through controlling production and industrial standards, but that only works to a point, and only on certain things where barriers to entry are high and demand is inelastic. However, people will find ways to bypass such policies. You can still buy Ipads in sanctioned Russia, and as the author demonstrates, you can get your smog-belching gas guzzler licensed in California. In economics, every barrier is surmountable and all supplies and demands are perfectly elastic over a sufficient period of time. In the final stages, America will cease to be one nation in any meaningful sense. It will become a state increasingly defined by and dependent entirely upon the last unifying force left standing, the military and its accompanying industrial complex that maintain that military. It’s already happening. Build back better, the social spending bill, much loved by the globalist crowd, died an ignoble death even with Democrats controlling both Congress and the White House. They were barely able to pass a fairly pedestrian not particularly ambitious pork filled infrastructure bill. Yet the CHIPS act, an economic warfare bill aimed squarely at China and backed by the military industrial complex, sailed through with broad bipartisan support. In my view, this is basically inevitable. The only question in my mind is how much damage the people in power will be willing to inflict on us trying to stop it. I doubt they’re dumb enough to trigger an actual civil war, as the losses would far outweigh anything gained in even the rosiest scenario. Still, I’ve been wrong before .

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Welcome to the USSA and today’s ‘West’ in general: bureaucratic, stifled, depressed, unproductive, addiction-raddled, culturally stagnant, corrupt, surveilled and censored, ruled by doddering gerontocrats and feather-bedded cultural kommissars, impoverished by arms spending and a failed Afghan war and motivated by a righteous, millenarian, Godless internationalist quasi-religion: it’s ‘the west’ that is Communist now.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Welcome to the USSA and today’s ‘West’ in general: bureaucratic, stifled, depressed, unproductive, addiction-raddled, culturally stagnant, corrupt, surveilled and censored, ruled by doddering gerontocrats and feather-bedded cultural kommissars, impoverished by arms spending and a failed Afghan war and motivated by a righteous, millenarian, Godless internationalist quasi-religion: it’s ‘the west’ that is Communist now.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Rose Evers
Rose Evers
1 year ago

Why did you need a fake smog certificate? Your cars can’t pass inspection?

Rose Evers
Rose Evers
1 year ago

Why did you need a fake smog certificate? Your cars can’t pass inspection?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Similarities between Rome of late 4th Century and California and most large cities are rather worrying.
One Roman said words to the effect ” Our temples are our road, bridges and aquaducts “. Once the Equine Class, the Middle Class of Rome stopped producing technically skilled, fit and courageous officers and engineers, it declined rapidly.
The massive slave worked estates of the Senatorial Class meant the Plebians, who were the farmers who worked the land and provided the soldiers, could not produce food which could not compete on price. Many Plebians became indebted, gave up their land and migrated to Rome where they were kept alive with the Dole and entertained with the Games. Slum conditions produced weak men who could not cope with the rigour of being a soldier.
The Equine Class declined to fight on the borders, becoming churchmern and bureaucrats instead; while the Plebians were too feeble to do so, resulting in the once invincible Roman Army being run largely by barbarians such as The Goths. The Sack of Rome in 410 AD and final collapse in 476 AD was quick.
On the article about health and fitness, though gym work may produce sculptured physiques, it does not produce people with the minds and bodies tempered by and tested by adversity which are needed to make good fighters.
Human nature has not changed much in the last 5,000 years during which we have created civilisation.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Similarities between Rome of late 4th Century and California and most large cities are rather worrying.
One Roman said words to the effect ” Our temples are our road, bridges and aquaducts “. Once the Equine Class, the Middle Class of Rome stopped producing technically skilled, fit and courageous officers and engineers, it declined rapidly.
The massive slave worked estates of the Senatorial Class meant the Plebians, who were the farmers who worked the land and provided the soldiers, could not produce food which could not compete on price. Many Plebians became indebted, gave up their land and migrated to Rome where they were kept alive with the Dole and entertained with the Games. Slum conditions produced weak men who could not cope with the rigour of being a soldier.
The Equine Class declined to fight on the borders, becoming churchmern and bureaucrats instead; while the Plebians were too feeble to do so, resulting in the once invincible Roman Army being run largely by barbarians such as The Goths. The Sack of Rome in 410 AD and final collapse in 476 AD was quick.
On the article about health and fitness, though gym work may produce sculptured physiques, it does not produce people with the minds and bodies tempered by and tested by adversity which are needed to make good fighters.
Human nature has not changed much in the last 5,000 years during which we have created civilisation.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Impossible to comment due to draconian censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Impossible to comment due to draconian censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

The underlying problem is the growth of the bureaucratic state, which is its own constituency furthering its own growth. If California is now a terminally (blue) uni-party state, that is the reason.
Is certification best done by the state at all? Kashrut certification runs perfectly well with an array of private supervising organisations, which know that they live or die by their reputation. Could not the various DMV functions be privatised to a variety of certifying organisations similarly dependent on good reputation for their existence?
For example, driver competence could be certified privately. Insurers would only accept drivers whose certifier had a reliable reputation.

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

The underlying problem is the growth of the bureaucratic state, which is its own constituency furthering its own growth. If California is now a terminally (blue) uni-party state, that is the reason.
Is certification best done by the state at all? Kashrut certification runs perfectly well with an array of private supervising organisations, which know that they live or die by their reputation. Could not the various DMV functions be privatised to a variety of certifying organisations similarly dependent on good reputation for their existence?
For example, driver competence could be certified privately. Insurers would only accept drivers whose certifier had a reliable reputation.

Kevin R
Kevin R
1 year ago

With the collapse of the Republican Party in California, there soon emerged a political landscape resembling what the Yugoslav Communist official (turned dissident) Milovan Djilas termed the “party-state”. That is to say, there is little meaningful distinction to be made between the government and the Democratic Party. Competition for control of California takes place, not between two rival parties with different political visions and corresponding electorates in a general election, but between aspirants within the Democratic Party, under a shared political vision. In practice, this means competition for money from organised interests that fund the activist networks, which in turn translate those interests into various moralisms and thereby shape the vision of the party. The electorate largely drops out of consideration as a constituency.”
Students of Public Choice theory will have found much to enjoy in this article, for example the last two sentences of the above quote.
Interesting overview here:
https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/PublicChoiceTheory.html

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin R
Kevin R
Kevin R
1 year ago

With the collapse of the Republican Party in California, there soon emerged a political landscape resembling what the Yugoslav Communist official (turned dissident) Milovan Djilas termed the “party-state”. That is to say, there is little meaningful distinction to be made between the government and the Democratic Party. Competition for control of California takes place, not between two rival parties with different political visions and corresponding electorates in a general election, but between aspirants within the Democratic Party, under a shared political vision. In practice, this means competition for money from organised interests that fund the activist networks, which in turn translate those interests into various moralisms and thereby shape the vision of the party. The electorate largely drops out of consideration as a constituency.”
Students of Public Choice theory will have found much to enjoy in this article, for example the last two sentences of the above quote.
Interesting overview here:
https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/PublicChoiceTheory.html

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin R
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Quite the ironic tone. A lot of insinuation or satire mixed into this account.
Plenty of corruption here in California and bureaucratic barriers at the DMV, true. Is this untrue of other states? I’ve been to the DMV twice since covid hit. The first time was at the height of the pandemic and it took awhile, about an hour, because no appointments were allowed and few could enter the building at one time. The second time was several months ago and took about 15 minutes, without an appointment. I’ve been to the DMV dozens of times and had many smog checks here in California. Plenty of waiting and bureaucracy but no bribes solicited or given, ever. Just some more anecdotal info into the mix.
California is certainly not being run well but I don’t think the direct “party-state” connection to foreign-born or homegrown corruption is well-established in this piece at all. Were things going so smoothly under Schwarzenegger? Pete Wilson? Ronald Reagan was Governor of California during an insane and volatile period (1967-1975). Was the counterculture his fault (or credit, depending on your outlook) or the rise of the Black Panthers? I wish Crawford would make a discernible argument instead of easy or unserious claims like the attempted Yugoslavia comparison. His cherrypicked look at the DMV black market is interesting and alarming enough, but not strong enough to support the snarky closing sentence, Orwellian in context: “Diversity is our strength”.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
ke Cronin
ke Cronin
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t think he is saying that the corruption is due to foreign-born. It is due to being a one-party state that is most assuredly run by many privileged white people and those with the correct educational background. In fact, the worst condescending individuals have been old hippy men. I swear to God they are going to pat me on my head when I point out the obvious crime or that women have varying opinions because – well women vary in shapes and sizes and thoughts. What is true is that foreign-born are usually more adept at working around corruption. We, the second or third-generation middle class and above, who expect a functioning government are ill-equipped to function in this environment. We are like elephants chained to the ground. We provide the financial means to fund the circus but don’t connect that ability to the power of voting to throw these people out. Neighbors continue to vote Dem because, well… that is what they are supposed to do.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  ke Cronin

I get what he’s getting at. But he won’t express his convenient generalizations directly, which at least you have done. Like women, the groups you’ve tarred or brushed off with a broad brush–privileged whites, foreigners, your neighbors(!), even Democrats and old hippy dudes–come in varying shapes, sizes, and thoughts too. I hope it’s not condescending to insist on that.
San Jose just elected a Democrat mayor who talks a lot like a moderate Republican: fiscal responsibility, tough on crime, tough (love) on homeless. We’ll see how that goes. I’m rooting for him.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  ke Cronin

He is saying that the corruption is largely due to the corrupt cultures in these “fiefdoms” of foreign “service nomads”, as if there wasn’t backscratching and various corruptions as well as greater discrimination against cultural outsiders in the “erstwhile America” he idealizes, supposedly run “within a framework provided by something like Calvinism, Prussian organisation, ecclesiastical administration, or some similarly ascetic institutional morality that is ‘no respecter of persons'”. This is runaway nostalgia, at best. In my view the article is dystopian, oversimplified, and reactionary.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago