Let’s tour the narrative sausage factory.

We’ve all heard and seen the famous aphorism about sausages (vegans should cover their eyes): You might like the end result but you don’t want to see how sausages are made! If you’ve ever seen an uncooked sausage, you might have a clue; if that’s not enough, remove the casing but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Narratives–especially “social justice” narratives–are like sausages. The truth–like the cow or pig or fowl–gets ground up in the machine. A casing of feel- good lingo is wrapped around the mess to hold it together, and the finished product is sold to the unsuspecting carnivores public. In the coming days, we will touring the factory in all its glory, section by section, set in the glorious kapital of our nation, D.C. With that introduction, my fellow social justice warriors, let’s tour the narrative sausage factory.

Some of the narratives we will see crafted here include: inequality is bad, equity is good; inequality is de facto evidence of discrimination; diversity of color is our strength, diversity of thought is our weakness; free speech is not hate speech; attacking those who disagree with you is not tyranny, as long as you are more moral; the campus should be a totally safe space; a safe space should be a place where you are not exposed to disagreements; historical wrongs should give a people group extra rights in the present; groups matter, individuals don’t; academic freedom entails a professor teaching whatever Xe wants to; college tuition will continue to increase forever because it’s so valuable; everything is a social construct, except homosexuality #BornThisWay; anyone who disagrees with the preceding narratives is evil and deserves to be suppressed by any means, especially violence.

As you can see, this factory is never out of narratives; it runs on the ancient hydra principle: Cut off one limb, and another grows. The beauty of modern narrative sausage technology is, that we can go the hydra one better, actually many times better. Cut off one narrative, three more take its place, often at taxpayer expense! It’s a beautiful thing. The enemy also makes narratives, and I secretly filmed their factory in Philadelphia. Some of their’s include: My country ‘tis of thee; sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing; land where my fathers died; land of the Pilgrims’ pride; from every mountainside let freedom ring. What absolute garbage! At least it rhymes. The following narrative about Jane Fonda is not a digression, but you’ll have to slog your way through it to find out why it belongs here. These accounts come from the UK Daily Mail and a program, Jane Fonda in Five Acts.

For 16 years, 60’s radical icons Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda were married, had children, then split up. Of Fonda, Hayden said, “when you are internationally famous, and have Hollywood studios and public relations firms working 24 hours a day to make you larger than life, everything and everyone becomes a prop. Our bedroom was a prop, our kitchen was a prop, eventually I felt like a prop.” If this revelation was too much for him, he got his revenge. One day, at the height of her fame in the mid-70’s, Jane Fonda turned up on the doorstep of her ex-husband, Roger Vadim. She was lugging a bulging sack. Vadim’s glamorous new girlfriend let her in, thrilled to meet the movie icon at last. But her excitement soon turned to disbelief. The star of Julia, Klute and The China Syndrome had come to do her laundry. Why? Because her second husband, Tom Hayden, a Left-wing activist with a bulbous nose and acne-scarred cheeks, had forbidden her to have either a washing machine or dishwasher. Far too bourgeois. Not only that, but he’d made her sell her comfortable house in Los Angeles and buy a shabby two-bedroom shack in Santa Monica that smelled of mildew, where the couple shared a mattress on the floor. She couldn’t even wear her Cartier wristwatch any more, because Hayden disliked any show of possessions. Many of her friends looked on in disbelief as she once again subjugated herself to a man. Instead of procuring women for threesomes—as she had in her marriage to Vadim—she was now working herself to a frazzle to raise millions for her husband’s political campaigns. Hayden had a grandiose fantasy of becoming President of the United States—and Jane was determined to make him famous. To that end, stories about ‘Tom and Jane’ would appear in the Press—it was never ‘Jane and Tom’ because Hayden insisted on his name coming first.

Knowing Tom needed vast sums for his next electoral campaign, Jane looked for a way to earn more money. She launched an exercise studio called Workout in 1982 that spawned a $20 million fitness empire. More than $1 million of her profits went into his ‘war-chest’, and she poured $17 million into his Campaign for Economic Democracy, which he’d founded to promote progressive causes. In the mid-80’s, she was at her lowest ebb. Hayden had ridiculed her at a big benefit dinner and told people he resented being called Mr Jane Fonda. He was also spending a lot of time with Vicky Rideout, a sexy political speechwriter 20 years Jane’s junior. On the night his wife turned 51, Hayden told her he was in love with another woman. Jane threw him out after discovering he’d brought Rideout back to their own bedroom. Gathering all of his belongings into large plastic bags, she tossed them out of a window.

Hanoi Jane was soon to undergo her third radical makeover — as a trophy wife. Yet again, she would subjugate herself to a man, but this time he was a Right-wing billionaire who would lavish on her every luxury she’d once rejected. She ended up marrying Ted Turner, and for ten years, it worked because Jane was willing to give herself up to his need for control. She said she finally realized that she was stronger and braver than he was, that he couldn’t bear to be alone. Her revelation, the reason for leaving was, as she put it, “as long as you stay, you can never be authentic.” She also admitted to having plastic surgery, while hating the fact that she couldn’t bear to have a “lived in” face like Vanessa Redgrave. Relevant to this post, she summed up her quest to know who she was: I had to find my own narrative.If you’ve been wondering, “why stick Jane Fonda into a perfectly good satirical post?”, that one sentence is why. The story of Jane is the story of how many, if not all, social justice narratives, are the product of broken, narcissistic people who need a cause to make them feel worthwhile, while in private, they trample those who love them into the dust or subjugate themselves to same. Keep that truth in mind as we tour the narrative sausage factory in the coming posts.

Anti-Narrative: Envy, the rottenness in the bones.

We start the tour of the narrative sausage factory with the emotion of envy, which is the beating heart of the following narratives: 1- inequality is bad, equity is good; 2- inequality is de facto evidence of discrimination; 3- historical wrongs should give a people group extra rights in the present; 4- groups matter, individuals don’t; 5- free speech is not hate speech; 6- attacking those who disagree with you is not tyranny, as long as you are more moral. That fact is directly evident in narratives 1-4, and indirectly in 5-6.

Welcome to the ugly world of envy, defined by philosopher Immanuel Kant as…”a propensity to view the well-being of others with distress, even though it does not detract from one’s own. [It is] a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another’s because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others. [It] aims, at least in terms of one’s wishes, at destroying other’s good fortune.

Envy is almost as old as the world itself. Cain killed Abel out of envy, that God accepted Abel’s offering but not his. Cain was angry, and The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7. Envy is clearly a manifestation of sin, which is portrayed by this passage as a stealthy predator, ready to pounce. Several thousand years ago, the tenth of the Ten Commandments warned of envy’s close relative, “coveting.” Many Biblical passages from both Old and New Testaments caution against it, including Proverbs 14:30 (“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”) and Ecclesiastes 30:24 (“Envy and wrath shorten the life”). It comes in several shades.

The less harmful version, for example, is when you count the other guy’s blessings instead of your own but try to attain them for yourself peacefully—by trade or by emulating the decisions of the successful. A more malicious type takes this form: You despise someone for who he is or what he has and take personal delight in punishing him for it in the hope that you’ll benefit in one way or another. Maybe you’ll get some of his stuff or attain power by vilifying him. The worst kind of envy shows up when you take action to make sure no one can ever possess what the successful person has because you believe equality in misery is more virtuous than inequality, period. Narrative #1, inequality is bad, equity is good is a direct manifestation, regardless of whether we are referring to inequality of wealth and income—the most common concerns—or inequality of crime. What is wrong with inequality of wealth and income? Is everyone supposed to be equally adept at creating value, thus wealth, or making the same income, regardless of their preparation, abilities or intelligence? Is everyone equally inclined to save and invest rather than spend? No one thinks that, which is where the usage of “equity” comes in. Equality means equal worth and rights, equity means equal results. What a sneaky substitute! How do you get equity, equality of outcome? Either everyone above an arbitrary line must be torn down to the line, or everyone below the line must lifted up to the line. Since the latter is not really possible, the former becomes the strategy of the “social justice warrior.” Thus, narrative #2, inequality is de facto evidence of discrimination. The purposes of this narrative are to: Induce guilt in those above the arbitrary line–other than the politicians themselves–into allowing government to level them down, while giving politicians cover for noble-sounding sausage programs (affirmative action anyone?) that purport to “level the playing field” for those below the line, while NOT teaching the behaviors that keep someone above the line (thrift and saving for instance).

What does equality of crime have to do with this? If a group of people representing a particular race, ethnicity or nationality commits more crimes in the same society than other groups—inequality of crime—and thus has more encounters with police and prison, narrative #2 is also invoked. The logical, rational person will say, “inequality in both wealth and crime is related to behavior and decisions.” That principle is true, but harder to apply for wealth. The formula for wealth, according to the Millionaire Next Door (if you haven’t read it, you need to), is spend less than you earn and invest the difference over a long period of time. You may not end up a millionaire, but you will be much better off than the spender. However, the principle is obvious in the case of crime: Don’t break the law. There’s no corollary that says, “or blame discrimination.” Why do most lawbreakers commit crimes? Envy! (I deserve what you have).

Both capitalists and anti-capitalists frequently accuse capitalism of being a system driven by selfishness and greed. Capitalism’s defenders sometimes say: “By nature, man is selfish, which is why socialism will never work. Capitalism better reflects the fundamental characteristics of human nature.” Anti-capitalists claim that capitalism promotes the worst characteristics in man, especially greed. But are greed and unbridled selfishness really the driving forces of capitalism? Human self-interest is one—not the only—driving force of all human action. But this has nothing to do with a particular economic system. Rather, it is a human nature constant. In capitalism, however, this self-interest is curbed by the fact that only the entrepreneur who prioritizes other people’s needs can be successful. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that empathy, rather than greed, is the true driving force of capitalism. Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand another person’s feelings and motives, and this is the most important characteristic of successful entrepreneurs.

Take Steve Jobs as an example. He came up with the iPhone and other products because he understood modern consumers’ needs and desires better than most. For many years, the Albrecht brothers were the richest people in Germany. They earned their fortunes from the food discounter Aldi, which was founded on the principle of offering good quality products at very reasonable prices. This was the same recipe for success followed by Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, who was consistently one of the richest people in the United States. Consumers’ purchasing decisions confirm that Jobs, the Albrecht brothers, and Sam Walton had correctly understood their customers’ desires, needs, and emotions. Like most successful entrepreneurs, it was consumers who made Steve Jobs and the Walton family so rich.

In socialist/communist systems, on the other hand, consumers are powerless and at the mercy of state-owned companies. If a state enterprise acts with no regard for the needs of consumers, they have no alternative under socialism because there is no competition. Under capitalism, consumers can (and do) punish companies that behave selfishly and lose sight of the needs of their customers. Every day, customers vote on the company with their wallets—by buying its products or not. Monopolies under capitalism are a temporary phenomenon. Even companies that appeared omnipotent were eventually ousted by new competitors as soon as they overreached their power and lost sight of their customers’ needs.

But suppose you despise and seek to punish an entire class of people because they’re rich or successful. Is that bigotry, or is that the foundation of a political campaign? Sadly, it’s both. Frequently. Second only to Donald Trump—a specific individual whose sins and virtues we can largely identify and hold him responsible for—the number one punching bag every political season is “the rich.” They are monotonously demonized by candidates who vie for your vote and affection and count on your ignorance and myopia. We will tour the other sections of the narrative sausage factory in subsequent posts.

Climate change infidels: The children shall not lead us.

When I am not reading Takimag.com, writing my own satire, binge-watching Monty Python Flying Circus 6 seasons worth of sketches on Netflix or all 1,001 episodes of Seinfeld on Hulu, mainlining Farside cartoons, or amusing myself with Babylon Bee headlines and their fake photos, I am reading my favorite satirist, James Lileks, who has a column in National Review and the Minneapolis, Star-Tribune. He coined the phrase “climate infidel” and writes about the youth “leadership” of the international climate change feeding frenzy. I need to explain about the BB’s fake photos. They so ridiculous that those who think some of their headlines are real instead of satire (either a commentary on how ridiculous reality has become, or how gullible some people are, or both) can be disabused on that notion.

Lileks to the youth: “Even though you say the world is ending, you will go to college and try to find your way in the world. If you were truly, honestly fearful, you wouldn’t worry about college debt any more than someone strolling to the electric chair is concerned about the interest rate on this credit card for which he was just approved. We worry that the worst of you will go into politics, and the rest will vote for them because they care, and then you’ll be shocked when you’re standing in line with a meat-ration coupon. Like, the coupon should be in an app or something?

“We wish you well. We wish you a society so prosperous that you can spend your idle hours berating people who do not shave the cotton off their Q-tips and recycle the paper stem. But we do not wish to take orders from dour children whose Save the Earth poster occupies a space that had pictures of Pokémon two years ago. This may sound like the meanest, worst thing you’ve ever heard, and it’s going to go contrary to everything you believe, and I am truly sorry to break the news, but it needs to be said.”

Is this not true? Is it not a testament to the dearth of adult leadership in the world? This saying is generally attributed to Winston Churchill and usually quoted as, “If you are not liberal at 20, you have no heart and if you are not conservative at 40 you have no brain.” This aphorism doesn’t apply to “the worst of those” who go into politics and remain at 40. Those who still appear as liberals have a vested interest in doing so. May they all lose.