Category: Alessandro Marinelli

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Leftists Rage, Conservatives Waver, Americans Die


#NeverTrumps – that is, right-wing politicians, pundits, and journalists with a deep-seated, almost metabolic aversion to the president, no matter how appreciable his accomplishments are – represent a phenomenon that doesn’t cease to puzzle me.  In a country that has been experiencing a decline in every meaningful indicator of societal and cultural health – drug addiction, birth rate, family stability,  literacy and education, etc. – and that Trump is indefatigably trying to put back on track, you’d think nobody would lash out at him only over, say, a disagreement on free trade policies or because of his offhand way of talking and behaving, so different from other presidents.  In the grand scheme of things, these differences are of small account, right?

Well, no.  We are nearly two years into Trump’s presidency, but a perverse contingent of elitists with perpetually raised index fingers just cannot cope with him being the president and acting as such.  This uneasiness of spirit has sometimes bordered on the psychotic – in the aftermath of Charlottesville, for example, when Trump was not allowed to reject the narrative that the country is besieged by the Alt-Right – and has recently reached worryingly elevated peaks.  Maybe the last example in chronological order is Rod Dreher’s piece on The American Conservative about the “menace to the rule of law” Trump represents.  Dreher, a famous and esteemed Christian apologist whose book The Benedict Option is known to many Christians in North America, quotes a piece at The Atlantic by Peter Beinart:

Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point.  In the eyes of many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters.  When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he’d had affairs, he may have been violating the law.  But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies.  Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.


The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion – the corruption – of that “traditional order.”  Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.  By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law.  He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.


Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.  Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of law nine times in tweets.  Seven of them refer to illegal immigration.

Dreher’s comment:

I’m not sure that I buy that, but I can’t dismiss it outright.  I can’t find a better explanation for why so many on the Right roll over and accept anything Trump says or does, no matter what principle he violates.

So he can’t “dismiss outright” the claim that Fox News’s choice to cover the tragedy in Iowa was due to an inversion – intolerable to many viewers – of that traditional order that envisions “the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.”  It was not because an innocent American girl was brutally killed by a despicable individual who should never have been allowed to cross the border.  It was because those savage tribes of troglodytes addicted to Fox News wanted to be updated on the intruder who had the gall to put his hands on one of their young female specimens, thereby violating their first rights to territory and breeding.  This is how the most snobbish and sanctimonious media elite on the planet regards millions of fellow citizens.

Even a fake sorrow for a young life snuffed out in so preventable a way – countries are supposed to have borders for a damn good reason – is too much to ask of the sophisticates who sit on the American coastal and urban media thrones.  Their urge to paper over the uncomfortable, narrative-disrupting reality with reassuring, self-esteem-boosting prejudices is just too strong.

But no matter how repugnant and astoundingly inhuman the meta-message conveyed in Beinart’s piece is, the reaction of someone as steeped in Catholic teachings as Dreher is more than disappointing: sorry, folks, can’t rule out the deplorables foaming at the mouth over the infraction of nature-ordained hierarchies.  As if Trump weren’t all that stands between Christians like Dreher, who write ad nauseam about their projects to re-Christianize America, and a totalitarian left that will stop at nothing to root religion out of the American soil.

And what to infer from his shallow dismissal of Trump supporters as clueless chumps “rolling over and accepting anything he says or does, no matter what principle he violates”?  I am no deep connoisseur of the human spirit, but a person whose only claim to fame is the profoundness of his Christian perspective and the forward-thinking approach of his apostolate should be deeper than that.

Nobody, or at most very few, roll over Trump.  Most do not accept “anything he says” at all, because they know that words are wind.  And they do not accept “anything he does,” but judge every specific initiative and decision on their merits.  Above all, they do not rend their garments every time Trump acts unpresidentially if he’s right on the substance – for example, when he calls the NFL players out for what they indisputably are: buffoonish, hypocritical millionaires.  The examples in this regard are countless.

Again, from Dreher’s piece:

It is possible to believe that the current political and culture order has been corrupted in some fundamental way, and to believe at the same time that Donald Trump is no enemy of that corruption, but in fact is a product of it.  I think that is manifestly obvious.  The same corruption infests the Left.

No, it’s not “the same corruption.”  Trump is no saint, but he doesn’t want to reshape the whole society to his own image, dictating how we must live our lives all the way down to which bathroom people must be allowed to use, and woe to those who raise any objection.  Moreover, he’s not been elected to ascend to the heights of purity and virtue so that his light could reverberate down (that was Obama).  There are plenty of that kind of model in the empyrean of the American presidents of the past, but nobody in particular seems to care.

No, he was elected to endeavor a desperate veer off the course the country inevitably seemed – seems? – to be on: toward decline and collapse.  The American right should at least agree on giving him props for trying his best so far.  It is discouraging to still need to point this out.

The mix-up of a deranged left, now openly and unashamedly indifferent to the tragedy of Americans dying on its watch if it doesn’t fit its narrative, and the enfeebled inertness of part of the right – Dreher couldn’t bring himself to go beyond a vague “I cannot personally rule out voting for Trump in 2020” – could turn out to be lethal for the country.

#NeverTrumps – that is, right-wing politicians, pundits, and journalists with a deep-seated, almost metabolic aversion to the president, no matter how appreciable his accomplishments are – represent a phenomenon that doesn’t cease to puzzle me.  In a country that has been experiencing a decline in every meaningful indicator of societal and cultural health – drug addiction, birth rate, family stability,  literacy and education, etc. – and that Trump is indefatigably trying to put back on track, you’d think nobody would lash out at him only over, say, a disagreement on free trade policies or because of his offhand way of talking and behaving, so different from other presidents.  In the grand scheme of things, these differences are of small account, right?

Well, no.  We are nearly two years into Trump’s presidency, but a perverse contingent of elitists with perpetually raised index fingers just cannot cope with him being the president and acting as such.  This uneasiness of spirit has sometimes bordered on the psychotic – in the aftermath of Charlottesville, for example, when Trump was not allowed to reject the narrative that the country is besieged by the Alt-Right – and has recently reached worryingly elevated peaks.  Maybe the last example in chronological order is Rod Dreher’s piece on The American Conservative about the “menace to the rule of law” Trump represents.  Dreher, a famous and esteemed Christian apologist whose book The Benedict Option is known to many Christians in North America, quotes a piece at The Atlantic by Peter Beinart:

Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point.  In the eyes of many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters.  When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he’d had affairs, he may have been violating the law.  But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies.  Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.


The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion – the corruption – of that “traditional order.”  Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.  By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law.  He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.


Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.  Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of law nine times in tweets.  Seven of them refer to illegal immigration.

Dreher’s comment:

I’m not sure that I buy that, but I can’t dismiss it outright.  I can’t find a better explanation for why so many on the Right roll over and accept anything Trump says or does, no matter what principle he violates.

So he can’t “dismiss outright” the claim that Fox News’s choice to cover the tragedy in Iowa was due to an inversion – intolerable to many viewers – of that traditional order that envisions “the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.”  It was not because an innocent American girl was brutally killed by a despicable individual who should never have been allowed to cross the border.  It was because those savage tribes of troglodytes addicted to Fox News wanted to be updated on the intruder who had the gall to put his hands on one of their young female specimens, thereby violating their first rights to territory and breeding.  This is how the most snobbish and sanctimonious media elite on the planet regards millions of fellow citizens.

Even a fake sorrow for a young life snuffed out in so preventable a way – countries are supposed to have borders for a damn good reason – is too much to ask of the sophisticates who sit on the American coastal and urban media thrones.  Their urge to paper over the uncomfortable, narrative-disrupting reality with reassuring, self-esteem-boosting prejudices is just too strong.

But no matter how repugnant and astoundingly inhuman the meta-message conveyed in Beinart’s piece is, the reaction of someone as steeped in Catholic teachings as Dreher is more than disappointing: sorry, folks, can’t rule out the deplorables foaming at the mouth over the infraction of nature-ordained hierarchies.  As if Trump weren’t all that stands between Christians like Dreher, who write ad nauseam about their projects to re-Christianize America, and a totalitarian left that will stop at nothing to root religion out of the American soil.

And what to infer from his shallow dismissal of Trump supporters as clueless chumps “rolling over and accepting anything he says or does, no matter what principle he violates”?  I am no deep connoisseur of the human spirit, but a person whose only claim to fame is the profoundness of his Christian perspective and the forward-thinking approach of his apostolate should be deeper than that.

Nobody, or at most very few, roll over Trump.  Most do not accept “anything he says” at all, because they know that words are wind.  And they do not accept “anything he does,” but judge every specific initiative and decision on their merits.  Above all, they do not rend their garments every time Trump acts unpresidentially if he’s right on the substance – for example, when he calls the NFL players out for what they indisputably are: buffoonish, hypocritical millionaires.  The examples in this regard are countless.

Again, from Dreher’s piece:

It is possible to believe that the current political and culture order has been corrupted in some fundamental way, and to believe at the same time that Donald Trump is no enemy of that corruption, but in fact is a product of it.  I think that is manifestly obvious.  The same corruption infests the Left.

No, it’s not “the same corruption.”  Trump is no saint, but he doesn’t want to reshape the whole society to his own image, dictating how we must live our lives all the way down to which bathroom people must be allowed to use, and woe to those who raise any objection.  Moreover, he’s not been elected to ascend to the heights of purity and virtue so that his light could reverberate down (that was Obama).  There are plenty of that kind of model in the empyrean of the American presidents of the past, but nobody in particular seems to care.

No, he was elected to endeavor a desperate veer off the course the country inevitably seemed – seems? – to be on: toward decline and collapse.  The American right should at least agree on giving him props for trying his best so far.  It is discouraging to still need to point this out.

The mix-up of a deranged left, now openly and unashamedly indifferent to the tragedy of Americans dying on its watch if it doesn’t fit its narrative, and the enfeebled inertness of part of the right – Dreher couldn’t bring himself to go beyond a vague “I cannot personally rule out voting for Trump in 2020” – could turn out to be lethal for the country.



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Brotopia: Decadence and Silicon Valley


The bombshell represented by the Harvey Weinstein scandal has stricken a mortal blow to the moral authority of the progressive intelligentsia.  We just cannot turn things around to a reality where the preachy sermonizing of figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep is taken seriously, no matter how diverse the portfolio of their progressive virtues is.

So Hollywood has fallen, and the question now is, who’s next?

Judging by the Vanity Fair anticipation of Emily Chang’s book Brotopia. Breaking up the Boy’s Club of Silicon Valley, I wouldn’t be surprised if it will soon be Silicon Valley’s turn.

The book zeroes in on the dissolute and decadent lifestyle of the tech giants’ magnates and their think-tanks.  Should even 5% of the reality Chang describes turn out to be true, the winds of the perfect media storm – sexual intimidation and harassment to women, discrimination and exploitation – are headed toward coastal California very soon.  The clouds might already have started to gather with the Mike Cagney scandal.

How that crowd has managed to earn a reputation for being the smartest, most enlightened, and longest sighted community in the Western world is puzzling.  The names of, say, Tim Cook and Bill Gates are socially revered and, especially in certain environments, even pronounced with starry-eyed awe.  They’re not only gifted wunderkinds to whom humanity should be thankful for their relentless inventing and reinventing of modern software, we are told; they are the prophets of the new world, the usherers in of the future human culture and society.

Or at least they see themselves as such.  Quoting from Chang’s book:

On the contrary, they speak proudly about how they’re overturning traditions and paradigms in their private lives, just as they do in the technology world they rule. … They believe that their entitlement to disrupt doesn’t stop at technology; it extends to society as well. … What’s making this possible is the same progressiveness and open-mindedness that allows us to be creative and disruptive about ideas.

In their enthusiastic rush to reshape our existence in their own image, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the techies and brainiacs in softwareland that societies and cultures are systems far more complex than the ones they can control through algorithms and coding.  And virtue – a concept their private lives do not seem to be particularly familiar with – is hardly susceptible to being simply installed in the societal operative system.  If those arrogant words sound familiar to you, it’s just because they are another manifestation of the undisputed protagonist of the cultural milieu we live in: ideology.  Isn’t it ironic for such brilliant minds, so projected to the future, to express themselves in a way that sounds so similar to an old-school political militant?

There’s actually much more.  Should the portrait that emerges from Brotopia correspond to the truth, the first question in order would actually be, why on Earth should such a decadent community of lost souls be expected to have any valid say in what the future will – or should – be?  After all, history teaches us that two of the quintessential characteristics of a society in decadence are self-righteousness and an unshakeable faith in its eternity.  Neither is typical traits of a forward-looking spirit.

The sad thing is that it hasn’t always been this way.  There was a time when the American scientific avant-garde was really capable of imagining and designing the future: nuclear energy in the ’40s, computer science and space exploration in the ’50s, etc.  But its members, people like Edward Teller and John Von Neumann, were fully formed adults with exceptional European educations – extremely skilled at math and science, but steeped in Western literature, art, and philosophy in the same time.  Had we asked them the best way to improve or even just imagine the future of human society, they would have likely replied to learn and seek inspiration from the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky.  Not exactly the most popular readings in 21st-century Silicon Valley, probably.

Another quote from Brotopia:

But many of the A-listers in Silicon Valley have something unique in common: a lonely adolescence devoid of contact with the opposite sex.

As stereotypical as it sounds, might this be the root cause of the issue?  Geeky, dorky nerds into math and computers, after years of shortage of romantic experiences, find themselves catapulted to glamour job positions entailing more money than they can think what to do with.  Then they go nuts and enter a vortex of unrestrained, drug-fueled sexual promiscuity to make up for the “lost time.”  Far from sounding cool, it seems deeply revealing of a state of unfinished business in the insides of these people.  Maybe they haven’t been able to get over not being attractive to the hot chicks around them in high school and college.  Consequently, they become slaves to that kind of compulsive uneasiness for which a sex marathon is the only hope of a temporary respite.  In short, it doesn’t seem like authentic, genuine behavior.  It’s as artificial as the technological devices they design – and it could actually have a negative influence on them, too.

Quoting again from from Brotopia:

Crawford and Messina have started a company together … where they are developing a non-judgmental (artificially intelligent) friend who will support your path to more self-awareness[.] … The future of relationships is not just with humans but A.I. characters.

Sure, because nobody is more self-aware and knows better about authentic human relationships than those who go to orgies in the Bay Area as “open couples” week in, week out.

Modern progressivism is a Saturn devouring his own sons.  The truth is that the behavioral pathologies Chang’s book talks about – and our “self-aware” tech giants regard as progress – have dire consequences.  For example, the undermining and destabilization of the family, the incubator of any real social advancement.  And the long-term effects, as it’s already happening, are that fewer and fewer kids will have the skills and the mental preparation for a career in math and computer science, difficult and rigorous disciplines.  At that point, the only option Facebook, Google, and the like will be left with is to hire those “nonjudgmental A.I. characters” and introduce them to the delicacies of sexual liberation.

In a recent interview with Mika Brzezinski, Emily Chang declared that a solution to this abyss of depravity is simple: to achieve the 50 percent cutoff of female workforce in Silicon Valley.  Once women have the same weight in terms of influence, number of executives in every committee, financial resources, and decisional capacity, the issue will take care of itself.  Besides the obvious objection that such a strategy would undermine what is maybe the only asset of the tech world – that is, its meritocracy – there’s no doubt that the people they hire are the best at what they do – the ridiculousness of the idea of the 50% female leadership as a moral purification stands out for another reason.  It’s just not clear why Chang seems to think that the ladies in charge would ipso facto behave differently from how the boys do.  On the ground of what – wouldn’t they take part in group sex or shoot up heroin at tech parties on a weekly basis?  Are women inherently less depraved than men, as they are less violent?  I don’t think so.  Or maybe it’s just possible to write a whole book about a social phenomenon without really understanding it.

The bombshell represented by the Harvey Weinstein scandal has stricken a mortal blow to the moral authority of the progressive intelligentsia.  We just cannot turn things around to a reality where the preachy sermonizing of figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep is taken seriously, no matter how diverse the portfolio of their progressive virtues is.

So Hollywood has fallen, and the question now is, who’s next?

Judging by the Vanity Fair anticipation of Emily Chang’s book Brotopia. Breaking up the Boy’s Club of Silicon Valley, I wouldn’t be surprised if it will soon be Silicon Valley’s turn.

The book zeroes in on the dissolute and decadent lifestyle of the tech giants’ magnates and their think-tanks.  Should even 5% of the reality Chang describes turn out to be true, the winds of the perfect media storm – sexual intimidation and harassment to women, discrimination and exploitation – are headed toward coastal California very soon.  The clouds might already have started to gather with the Mike Cagney scandal.

How that crowd has managed to earn a reputation for being the smartest, most enlightened, and longest sighted community in the Western world is puzzling.  The names of, say, Tim Cook and Bill Gates are socially revered and, especially in certain environments, even pronounced with starry-eyed awe.  They’re not only gifted wunderkinds to whom humanity should be thankful for their relentless inventing and reinventing of modern software, we are told; they are the prophets of the new world, the usherers in of the future human culture and society.

Or at least they see themselves as such.  Quoting from Chang’s book:

On the contrary, they speak proudly about how they’re overturning traditions and paradigms in their private lives, just as they do in the technology world they rule. … They believe that their entitlement to disrupt doesn’t stop at technology; it extends to society as well. … What’s making this possible is the same progressiveness and open-mindedness that allows us to be creative and disruptive about ideas.

In their enthusiastic rush to reshape our existence in their own image, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the techies and brainiacs in softwareland that societies and cultures are systems far more complex than the ones they can control through algorithms and coding.  And virtue – a concept their private lives do not seem to be particularly familiar with – is hardly susceptible to being simply installed in the societal operative system.  If those arrogant words sound familiar to you, it’s just because they are another manifestation of the undisputed protagonist of the cultural milieu we live in: ideology.  Isn’t it ironic for such brilliant minds, so projected to the future, to express themselves in a way that sounds so similar to an old-school political militant?

There’s actually much more.  Should the portrait that emerges from Brotopia correspond to the truth, the first question in order would actually be, why on Earth should such a decadent community of lost souls be expected to have any valid say in what the future will – or should – be?  After all, history teaches us that two of the quintessential characteristics of a society in decadence are self-righteousness and an unshakeable faith in its eternity.  Neither is typical traits of a forward-looking spirit.

The sad thing is that it hasn’t always been this way.  There was a time when the American scientific avant-garde was really capable of imagining and designing the future: nuclear energy in the ’40s, computer science and space exploration in the ’50s, etc.  But its members, people like Edward Teller and John Von Neumann, were fully formed adults with exceptional European educations – extremely skilled at math and science, but steeped in Western literature, art, and philosophy in the same time.  Had we asked them the best way to improve or even just imagine the future of human society, they would have likely replied to learn and seek inspiration from the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky.  Not exactly the most popular readings in 21st-century Silicon Valley, probably.

Another quote from Brotopia:

But many of the A-listers in Silicon Valley have something unique in common: a lonely adolescence devoid of contact with the opposite sex.

As stereotypical as it sounds, might this be the root cause of the issue?  Geeky, dorky nerds into math and computers, after years of shortage of romantic experiences, find themselves catapulted to glamour job positions entailing more money than they can think what to do with.  Then they go nuts and enter a vortex of unrestrained, drug-fueled sexual promiscuity to make up for the “lost time.”  Far from sounding cool, it seems deeply revealing of a state of unfinished business in the insides of these people.  Maybe they haven’t been able to get over not being attractive to the hot chicks around them in high school and college.  Consequently, they become slaves to that kind of compulsive uneasiness for which a sex marathon is the only hope of a temporary respite.  In short, it doesn’t seem like authentic, genuine behavior.  It’s as artificial as the technological devices they design – and it could actually have a negative influence on them, too.

Quoting again from from Brotopia:

Crawford and Messina have started a company together … where they are developing a non-judgmental (artificially intelligent) friend who will support your path to more self-awareness[.] … The future of relationships is not just with humans but A.I. characters.

Sure, because nobody is more self-aware and knows better about authentic human relationships than those who go to orgies in the Bay Area as “open couples” week in, week out.

Modern progressivism is a Saturn devouring his own sons.  The truth is that the behavioral pathologies Chang’s book talks about – and our “self-aware” tech giants regard as progress – have dire consequences.  For example, the undermining and destabilization of the family, the incubator of any real social advancement.  And the long-term effects, as it’s already happening, are that fewer and fewer kids will have the skills and the mental preparation for a career in math and computer science, difficult and rigorous disciplines.  At that point, the only option Facebook, Google, and the like will be left with is to hire those “nonjudgmental A.I. characters” and introduce them to the delicacies of sexual liberation.

In a recent interview with Mika Brzezinski, Emily Chang declared that a solution to this abyss of depravity is simple: to achieve the 50 percent cutoff of female workforce in Silicon Valley.  Once women have the same weight in terms of influence, number of executives in every committee, financial resources, and decisional capacity, the issue will take care of itself.  Besides the obvious objection that such a strategy would undermine what is maybe the only asset of the tech world – that is, its meritocracy – there’s no doubt that the people they hire are the best at what they do – the ridiculousness of the idea of the 50% female leadership as a moral purification stands out for another reason.  It’s just not clear why Chang seems to think that the ladies in charge would ipso facto behave differently from how the boys do.  On the ground of what – wouldn’t they take part in group sex or shoot up heroin at tech parties on a weekly basis?  Are women inherently less depraved than men, as they are less violent?  I don’t think so.  Or maybe it’s just possible to write a whole book about a social phenomenon without really understanding it.



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