Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Strategy of the Mediocre

NB: a couple of weeks ago I received my first notice from google about one of my posts being barred.  I didn’t protest or anything.  The post already had its run, and was even picked up at LRC.  So, it was out there.  Strangely, a few days later, it magically re-appeared.  As of this writing, it is still up.

Why do I bring this up now?  Well, this might be number two in the series.

To Save America, Restore Our Frontier: Restoring accountability in America is the fight of our times, by Joe Lonsdale

The section I will focus on is entitled Unaccountable, Declining Institutions Prefer Wokey (link).  Lonsdale’s argument is that the woke mind virus (WMV) is “the perfect philosophy for unaccountable power.”

The WMV is the perfect nihilist philosophy for kludge and decline. It’s a circus being put on by the least accountable people and institutions on Earth.

Universities, growing on the back of guaranteed student loans, have departments in the dozens, even hundreds, working to stoke this virus.  Almost none of these people are qualified to do anything that society would pay for absent the temporarily “free” money doled out by the state.  Governments have countless tens-of-thousands of employees doing the same – and I expect the market demand for those individuals qualified to perform such WMV services also approaches zero.

But it isn’t that they aren’t qualified to even find their way out of a paper bag.  They are not even held accountable for the success or failure of the virtually useless task to which they are assigned.  Every failure is merely an opportunity for a bigger budget, a promotion, a new program.

Lonsdale notes the French radicals of the 1960s as providing philosophical cover for the WMV, but it is the unaccountable institutions that are the main driving force behind the movement in our societies.

So, “fighting wokeness” is the wrong strategy. We ought not spend time and energy fighting battles at the surface level while losing an institutional war underneath. The first step is to identify where it prospers most. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

·         Federal and state bureaucracies

·         Big Tech monopolies

·         Giant banks

·         Crony companies, like in healthcare and defense

·         Hospital monopolies

·         NGOs (often funded by government)

·         Universities

·         Museums

·         Longstanding charitable foundations

·         Public schools and other union-dominated government areas

In other words, institutions and entities that require little, if any, market-derived support; institutions that have the government and its printing press and regulatory framework on their side.  They truly are unaccountable to the market and unaccountable for success toward even their stated objectives, therefore have little need to respond to market pressure. 

I would add to the list: automotive companies and airlines.  Very few, if any, companies in these industries would survive without government support – and this has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years via bailouts and subsidies. 

I am sure the list is longer; it is mind-blowing to think how significant a percentage such companies are of the overall economy – both in terms of output and in terms of employment.

This is the key realization: the ascendance of the WMV in a weapons company is a reaction — a ploy to protect themselves from accountability and competition as they work the system for money. What all these areas have in common, whether for profit or not-for-profit, large or small, is that they are unaccountable to results, and wield power to shut others out.

What I cannot really gather from the article is any real connection to causation.  There certainly is correlation.  In addition to those unaccountable industries listed by Lonsdale as having embraced the WMV, there is the other side.  At least anecdotally it is my experience that companies and entities that derive revenue primarily from market sources are less inclined to play such games.  But this is anecdotal.

Maybe another clue can be found here: the glorification of sub-mediocrity, by el gato malo. 

one of the most ineffaceable truisms of organizational structure is this: A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s.

If you are an institution who derives revenue from basically guaranteed or otherwise protected sources, with little need to compete in a market of individuals spending their own money, why hire any A’s?  If you are an A, why would you want to work in an environment that offers no challenge, an environment where every failure is met with the reward of a bigger budget?  It seems contrary to the character of an A to do so.  Eventually, you end up with B’s at best, and C’s (or lower) to follow.

Excellence likes to surround itself with excellence; excellence wants to compete, to demonstrate or prove excellence.  Mediocrities want to ensure no one has the ability to rise above.

A’s don’t sweat this because competing is what they do. but B’s live in terror of it. and this is why the B’s and C’s love “woke”, ESG, and DEI:

these alleged philosophies of inclusion are, in fact, ideologies of exclusion.  and what they seek to exclude is excellence and meritocracy.

it’s the literal point of the practice and it’s the reason that so many weakling leaders gravitate to them: it’s job security for the unqualified wrapped up in a neat little philosophy that makes self-serving nepotism and plunder look like virtue.

Are the leaders of institutions that have embraced the WMV simply cowards, afraid of being called out by the mob?  Or are they merely Bs and Cs who have discovered that by embracing such a view they can remain on top – while, at the same time, ensuring no competition for the top jobs as no As would want to spend time in an environment where mediocrity is promoted and advanced?

el gato then cites Frederic Bastiat:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

So, for the B’s and C’s to stay on top, they have to derive a system – both legal and cultural – where it is possible, at least for a time, that mediocrity derives advancement and revenue.  el gato describes this as literally what “woke” is.

DEI is a set of made-up, non-market driven rules to ensure that the mediocre have a place on top.  ESG is the same for industry – compete on factors other than satisfying customers, therefore, once again, the mediocre have a seat at the head of the table.

and this is how the world has become such an intolerable and increasingly dysfunctional mess. it’s rule by rube and ideological invasion and inversion of best practice and sound function.


Correlation or causation?  I am not sure; I hadn’t really thought about what is going on in our society in the terms presented in these two articles.  It certainly is clear that many things in the country (and the West) no longer “work.”  Thousands of airline cancellations a day, trains derailing, banks failing, food shortages, an ever-increasing list of wars lost, cities governed by the most woke are also the most dysfunctional.  The list is endless.

Perhaps there is something to this idea touched on in these two articles.  Let’s see what the discussion offers.


  1. It's causes all the way down. cycles of nature, boom and bust. We are drowning in mutants and midwits.
    Try to get away from the lemmings and stay back from the cliff.
    You must know these guys?

  2. The Strategy of Fabian Eugenic Social Justice Gospel

    In this Orwellian “Digital Age” all taxable merchandise in the UN Global Village’s e-commerce, including the souls of men, must be digitally marked with the identification number of Socialism’s Security System. Metaphorically engraved within their forehead’s memory and embedded within their hand-held credit card, or in their hand’s signature, is the digital name of the Marxist Beast’s antichrist spirit. No man can legally buy, sell, engage in the cashless global-e-commerce, obtain a drivers license, a bank account, a passport, a business license or be hired for employment without providing evidence of being marked with Socialism’s Security Number. From cradle to grave the digitally-marked souls of Neo-Babylonians are held captive as Orwellian wards of Socialism’s demon-cratic State. America’s socially-secured citizens corporately worship the sacred image of Freemasonry’s “Old Glory” (see Daniel 3:16), as they idolatrously pledge their heart’s patriotic allegiance to the Masonic image of the Beast’s woman rider.

    Digitally-marked human souls that are held captive within Socialism’s abominable Security System are become the Marxist Beast’s property and commercial capital. From cradle to grave these deluded human souls are become Socially-Secured dependent-wards of the Beast’s UN Global Village. Branded for life with the Beast’s SS#, they are not unlike beef cattle that bear their owner’s digital name stapled to their ear. Contently chewing their cud, these brute beasts fatten up in the comfortable ‘security’ of the slaughter-house feedlot. Oblivious to the holocaust that awaits their numbered souls, they are analogous to the Third Reich’s Jews who were corralled, numbered, showered, and thrown into Auschwitz’s ovens.

  3. Identify islands of excellence, and navigate there.

  4. This is one of those Islands for sure. At least to my self.

  5. I don't mean to be harsh, but woke institutions are also a haven for unattractive people, both physically and socially.

  6. Based on my experience as a millennial (b. 1989), if I had to choose one word to explain why so many of us turned out soft and crooked, I wouldn't hesitate to say "femininity".
    Even before "toxic masculinity" and "all men are rapists" became a mainstream thing, there was always an omnipresent sense that being nice and proper was the ticket to success. I recall this one very telling occasion... when I was 7, another boy and I agreed to "duel" in the schoolyard during break; to win, one had to throw the other to the ground. As far as schoolyard fights go, this was downright civilized. What ended up happening is that I was carted off to the director's office (after winning the fight, so there's that!) She essentially told me that I shouldn't be trying to make friends and rub shoulders and play games with the riffraff, that I was a proper respectable boy whom the teachers liked very much and this made me better than the others.
    That is an extreme example, but imagine this kind of attitude weighing on the spirits of children and teenagers everywhere. Don't make a fuss. Be obedient. Be nice. Have the people in charge on your side. Ignore those who are beneath you. Trust the system... and so on. My mother was also very much on board with that program.
    The effect of that on me was creating a lazy and entitled brat who thought that, as long as my grades were good, I could be certain that everything would work out to my advantage, and I would get anything I wanted in life. Miraculously (and probably with a good helping of teenage rebelliousness), I found the Mises Institute website and managed to reform myself somewhat.
    I mention this to establish that I know what it *feels* like, on a gut level, to be an entitled millennial. And when I see many of them around me, people of my generation or younger, it's pretty obvious that they were exposed to the same worldview. Many managed to shake it off to varying degrees, but to the extent that they did not, they are invariably convinced that competence consists *not* of figuring things out and getting things done, but rather of being a good, obedient citizen who gobbles up anything the mainstream feeds him, and wrings his hands over all the right "causes". Do this, and good things will follow - or so they believe.
    So this, in a nutshell, would be my take on how wokeness and incompetence are connected: the woke are spoiled people, who have come to believe that "society" as an abstract entity has permanently figured out all the "menial" issues of the world, such as food, water, shelter, power, automobiles, defeating Hitler, etc. Those simple and easy things can be taken for granted: somehow... somewhere... someone without a college degree will take care of them. We, the educated people, the most enlightened generation ever, are called upon to tackle the *real* issues, such as racism, xenophobia, gender, microaggressions, Trump, the office thermostat, etc.
    I'm sure I'm being guilty of many counts of "misogyny" by saying this, but everything I just described is such a stereotypically female attitude. Let the brutes go off and fight each other and do the dirty work, while we make sure everything's nice and orderly, and keep up to date on the latest gossip.
    It's comical in a way, but it has taken and corrupted a VERY substantial share of the middle class, including many who might have been perfectly happy and productive, if not the sharpest tools in the shed. It is especially tragic (and close to my heart at present) to know that this WMV has infected women worst of all, and particularly smart, "educated" women. The WMV being naturally compatible with their own psychic makeup, they embrace it more easily, and have a harder time letting go of it, particularly when they are surrounded by peers who are also woke (which is virtually inevitable in a higher "education" setting). It is destroying marriage and birth rates, and thus the future itself - to say nothing of women's emotional well-being.

    1. “Ain’t no food, Miss Scarlet. The Yankees took it all.” That was one fictional character’s “woke” moment. A similar one is coming for many of us. It may be “We ain’t got no gas lady, the truck never showed up to refill our tanks.” Or “Sir, I have no idea why the electricity is out, we have linemen checking but the generation facility doesn’t answer.” Or “Yeah, I’m open but all the fresh food is gone, I think all we got left is a few cans of anchovies and some gluten free graham crackers.” To paraphrase another fictional character, I feel right sorry for them.

  7. "Every failure is merely an opportunity for a bigger budget"

    I just had this conversation with my Mother last night. She was thinking that the drug problem (and doling out free drugs to the homeless addicts) in California was a way of killing off the homeless. My response was, "maybe, but it may be something more fundamental to any government program. It may just be that in government institutions, it pays most to let problems to get worse or to actively, if covertly, facilitate this."

    "the woke mind virus (WMV) is “the perfect philosophy for unaccountable power.”"

    This more or less explains it. It is 'equality+'. No longer are blacks and browns to be equal with whites, but superior. No longer are females to be equal with males, but superior. No longer is homosexual marriage to be equal with traditional marriage, .... and on and on. It's diversity hiring gone mad. Conservatives who use MLK to denounce this stuff just expose their ignorance. MLK would love this. If equality was an unending resource for government expansion, equality+ is even more so. It's interesting that SVB donated $70 million to BLM and related WMV entities. Maybe this is a concrete case of 'go woke, go broke'?

    "So, for the B’s and C’s to stay on top, they have to derive a system – both legal and cultural – where it is possible, at least for a time, that mediocrity derives advancement and revenue."

    This certainly lines up with my lone Substack article I wrote about Left and Right that can be found here. Mediocracy is a left-wing form of government, because the Left yearns for equality or uniformity. Excellence doesn't exist in a land of uniformity. Meritocracy is right-wing form of government, because the Right understands and accepts natural inequalities and hierarchies. But recently I've been thinking that maybe I was too hard on the Left in this article. Maybe a healthy Left does exist; we just live in a time where the Left has become so diseased that it seems to be the sole poison in our midst. But I wanted to try and define Left and Right on universal terms, as something that preceded the French Revolution. And in this I most likely failed. Pageau put out a couple of really interesting videos a while back on Left/Right and Power/Authority. See them here and here.

    Perhaps a healthy Left exists, along with a healthy Right, within Jesus Christ and His parables and sermons. Jesus teaches that the first shall be last and the last first, but probably because the 'first' of this world are often too attached to this world and not giving the next its proper due. Jesus also teaches that the meek shall inherit the earth, with meek meaning those humble before God or those who are not burdened by an overabundance of self-love. This would make sense, because Jesus is the reconciliation of opposites in nearly all things. Alpha and Omega, Servant and King. Victim and Victor. The Center and the Margin. Radical and Conservative. Left and Right.