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08 April 2017


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William R. Cumming

I have always feared crowds! Attended several NPD rallies on command orders in civies while stationed in FRG with U.S. Army in late 60's! On orders as a Battalion S-2!

Leni Riefenstahl movies viewed while in Law School explained Hitler in part to me.

Ishmael Zechariah

Mr. Sale,
Your exposition reminds me of Reinhold Niebuhr's 1932 book "Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics". From the introduction: "The thesis to be elaborated in these pages is that a sharp distinction must be drawn between the moral and social behavior of individuals and of social groups, national, racial, and economic; and that this distinction justifies and necessitates political policies which a purely individualistic ethic must always find embarrassing. ". IMO this is a much older thesis-similar arguments have been made by the philosophers of the Warring-States China.
What I find different today, and what you also intimate in your thesis above, is the deliberate corruption of the ethics of the individual through "education" and "news". Such corruption is not limited to the "Deplorables". The case can be made that most (all?) of the Davos elites are also venally corrupt. Ms. Hillary Clinton is a corrupt product of misguided affirmative action policies, and so is Mr. Barack H. Obama, a fully vetted member of the Chicago Machine, who played identity politcs par-excellence.
While it is easy to dismiss a stupid "Deplorable" who calls Michelle Obama, a true sycophant who liked being surrounded by the "glitterati", a she-male, what do you suggest we do about venal elites like "it was worth it"-Albright, "we came. He died, cackle"-Clinton, or "I think right now we probably have the balance (of drone assassinations) about right"-Obama, who have the blood and misery of hundreds of thousand on their hands? Is having the "correct" politics a license for murder?
Two questions:
1-Which group is more dangerous to the world in the long run?
2-Given the current state of affairs, how do you suppose the current vicious cycle can be broken? I doubt preaching will be enough.
Ishmael Zechariah


If I may submit a couple of corrections on the rise of Clinton and Obama.

Clinton was not really a beneficiary of affirmative action. She was a beneficiary of a shrewd, career-oriented marriage. According to Gail Sheehy's biography, Hilly and Billy were intellectual friends in college, not romantic. Hilly knew that Billy had a taste for flings with women who were not in her league of intelligence or drive. It was only after she saw her individual career in DC stagnating after not passing the DC bar exam that she went back to Arkansas to marry Billy, then a rising star in the Democratic Party. She knew of Billy's taste for bimbos and she accepted it for the sake of career. Billy's various sex scandals were political, not marital, crises.

There is serious irony in her talk of "that highest glass ceiling" when the thing that got her even close to it was being married to a successful male politician. She became the vicar of the Clinton health care effort not from merit, but from her position as the President's wife. That was, of course, a source of tension with White House staff. By some accounts, she was sometimes physically abusive towards Billy to get her way. She kept her temper over the bimbos, but lost it over power.

Barack Obama was something of an outsider to the Chicago machine. His first run for Congress was against machine insider Bobby Rush. It was not successful. Michelle Robinson was the scion of a well-connected family in Chicago's black establishment, to whom marriage worked to the benefit of her political outsider husband.

Peter AU

My teeth are in disrepair so perhaps I should be running with the crowd rather than reading the likes of SST, b's blog, Magnier and so forth.
Americans and their big dollar smiles.... smart people.
Sorry having a bit of a dig there. It struck me that equating beard and bad teeth with running with the crowd goes against the grain of your article. Becomes crowd think.


Elias Canetti's "Crowds and Power" is the seminal book on this subject. I recommend it


Even fundamental physics is infected: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9207


Thank you for this corrective to misguided living.
I agree with you and Mr Zechariah about the shifting of "education" and "news" from the at least multi viewpoint system it had to the uniformatarianism being promoted today. One can argue that the "hidden agendas" of both have been propagandistic in nature. However, there was a diversity of views offered. Today that system has developed stronger methods of coercion than any time in prior history. As you said, shouting louder is a basic tactic of the "crowd mind." Technology now gives us the power to shout deafeningly. It is no wonder that sages have urged that their acolytes "retire from the world" to perfect their moral faculties.
Thank you again Mr Sales, and you Colonel for promoting the "better angels of our nature."

Ishmael Zechariah

Thank you for your comments.Here are two links discussing the two points you correct:
1-On Mr. Barack H. Obama and the Chicago Machine:
2-On Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton: It might just be possible that her admission to Yale Law School was an affirmative action selection. As you noted,she did graduate but, then, failed the bar exam. Here is a link:
and a related bit of data:

Ishmael Zechariah

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think that there has been any counter example anywhere to your observation in regards to female politicians: "..the thing that got her even close to it was being married to a successful male...".

May be Golda was the sole exception.

Richard Sale

I shouldn't have mentioned the man's teeth. That was petty. I should have said that he is an ass.

Richard Sale

Richard Sale

Thank you.

Richard Sale

Niebuhr was one of my teachers.

Richard Sale

steve g

Richard Sale
re Crowds:

Might we not be headlong to not only
a national but international "Ox-bow Incident"
with corresponding catastrophic consequences?
Impeachment. Nuclear war?

Always enjoy your attempts to understand and
make sense of the human psyche.

Priam's Crazy Daughter

Recently, I have been retiring from the world myself, simply because it seems almost that the world has been going crazy. I haven't watched a news or opinion show on television since Trump began making comments about avenging the gas attack by attacking Syria in some way, without clear evidence. I felt dirty for being an American and having some of my tax money pay for that stupid move.

So, as an old-fashioned English major--in other words, not one of the ridiculous "reader response" people who think they understand some popular ideology or reader interpretation theory like Marxism, Feminism, Deconstructionism, Gay reader response--I turned to memories of some really good but almost forgotten American literature. Thoreau, Hawthorne, Emerson, Melville, Dickinson,Poe,Whitman, and Twain--for examples.

I was so ready to give up teaching in the public schools that I retired as early as possible. The students have been raised up never to sit still very long, to work only in groups, and never, ever to sit and read and think. They spend all their time staring at their cell phones and texting to keep themselves connected to the collective.

It has been too long. It's time for getting out "Walden" and reading it one more time before I die. It makes me very sad that most of today's youth couldn't sit still to read any of those writer's works for even five minutes.

I am now just trying to live "deliberatly."

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