The Past… And The Future

By an unexpected turn of our history, a bit of the truth, an insignificant part of the whole, was allowed out in the open. But those same hands which once screwed tight our handcuffs now hold out their palms in reconciliation: “No, don’t! Don’t dig up the past! Dwell on the past and you’ll lose an eye.” But the proverb goes on to say: “Forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago

See Britton, South Dakota in 1938. Excellent-quality film showing life in a typical American town of its era. The musical score — Hans Zimmer’s “Time” — is perfect.

Dostoyevsky once let drop an enigmatic remark: “Beauty will save the world.” What is this? For a long time it seemed to me simply a phrase. How could this be possible? When in the bloodthirsty process of history did beauty ever save anyone, and from what? Granted, it ennobled, it elevated—but whom did it ever save?

There is, however, a particular feature in the very essence of beauty—a characteristic trait of art itself: The persuasiveness of a true work of art is completely irrefutable; it prevails even over a resisting heart. A political speech, an aggressive piece of journalism, a program for the organization of society, a philosophical system, can all be constructed—with apparent smoothness and harmony—on an error or on a lie. What is hidden and what is distorted will not be discerned right away. But then a contrary speech, journalistic piece, or program, or a differently structured philosophy, comes forth to join the argument, and everything is again just as smooth and harmonious, and again everything fits. And so they inspire trust—and distrust.

In vain does one repeat what the heart does not find sweet.

But a true work of art carries its verification within itself: Artificial and forced concepts do not survive their trial by images; both image and concept crumble and turn out feeble, pale, and unconvincing. However, works which have drawn on the truth and which have presented it to us in concentrated and vibrant form seize us, attract us to themselves powerfully, and no one ever—even centuries later—will step forth to deny them.

Solzhenitsyn, from 1970 Nobel lecture

At 2:45, did the cameraman look for the most handsome boy or did all young men look this healthy back then? Then at 3:02, a “nerd girl” of striking beauty up close.

30 thoughts on “The Past… And The Future

  1. The “nerd girl” at 3:02 is positively stunning by today’s standards.

    And leftists say that conservatives wear rose-colored glasses when they talk about the America that used to be.

    South Dakota looks like paradise in 1938. Just smiling, healthy, good looking white faces everywhere you look.

    We’ve lost that joie de vivre. The only promising news is that more and more people know (((who))) took it from us. There will be a reckoning.

  2. Don’t have to go back to 1938. It was still like this in suburban Chicago in 1968. The average young man looked handsome and the average girl looked beautiful because they were thin, were more active (even if not athletic), they didn’t have ridiculous tattoos and piercings and they dressed up when they were out and about. Even working men, while obviously not wearing Sunday best, still wore hats, overalls or uniforms depending on the job.

  3. — There will be a reckoning.

    Heh, see the comments under the Youtube video if you haven’t yet.

    — Don’t have to go back to 1938. It was still like this in suburban Chicago in 1968. 

    My earliest recollection of the United States is 1982, as almost a teenager then. It was a mid-Atlantic region suburb, a White working class neighborhood, with a mix of upwardly bound young families in their starter homes. The word “yuppies” was coined right around then.

    Life looked similar to the South Dakota video, but on a very micro scale. The key similarity between the world of 1938 and 1982: the feeling of having a future was still there. It still felt like a nation and a community.

    Biggest obvious differences between what you saw in the South Dakota video and 1982 U.S. east coast:

    – Suburban community with two big cities nearby, not rural with a nearby small town

    – Commercial pop culture in ’82, none in ’38.

    – Fewer stay-at-home moms in ’82

    – Change from a rooted community to one that had drawn educated transients to the metro region. A geographically mobile population is dispersed away from their extended family, making the parents’ job of moral child-raising more difficult.

    – Religious diversity: no one church like in vintage SC, but rather various Protestant denominations, Catholics, and non-practicing Christians. The telewitz was the cultural unifier.

    – A small handful of blacks lived there, in two-parent families and prior to HUD’s later housing policies. The black age-mates were few enough in number to not be disruptive. It was indisputably a White neighborhood, with older redneck teenagers we all looked up to ruling the streets (and ultimately deferring to the adults there).

    At broad strokes, I’d day that 1982 America was alive and well, it was a world that had adjusted to forty years of technological progress, and to the social changes of the 1960s. It was peace after the redrawing of internal borders.

    Hell made another two offensives later: in the early 90s under Clinton’s term, and then after 9/11 under the Bush-Obama four term presidency. From that, traditional America didn’t recover. We’re waiting for another redrawing of borders.

  4. Pingback: The Past… And The Future | Reaction Times

  5. America is still filled with those sorts of people. Since then it’s been how many generations.

    If that was 1938 it’s been 3.5 or 4 generations. Some amygdala shrinkage, nature and nurture both, but even so — it’s still full of those people.

    Growing up gen x, and awhile before, there was a meme that you were “lucky” to be born American. Leaving aside the 90+ per cent ‘get rates’ in the neonatal units of our doctors goy extended phenotype hospitals — leaving that aside, was it ever true that one was “lucky” to be born American?

    No. That was a stupid idea. Those people worked hard and earned their place in society. All those women would work all afternoon scrubbing the kitchen floors — for something to do. Well that was a little bit later, once electric machines had come in and freed up their afternoons.

  6. Women used to clew and sew and mend and cook, all day every day.

    Their hands would be as calloused as a construction worker’s today.

    To state the obvious, South Dakota was extremely rural. That state had the lowest population density in the whole country, along with parts of Montana.


    Those people who lived out on their homesteads, would not want to trade the lives that they had for the comfort and ease that we do now.

    The flip side of that equation, is that one farming accident and you’re crippled for life. Maybe you recover and wear your injuries well. Stoically as it were.

    There’s problems with the philosophy of stoicism btw. It’s not the answer. We are supposed to be joyous, not stoic. The Children of the Sun were not stoic.

  7. — America is still filled with those sorts of people

    That’s a very very very important point. I personally know or have come across such people. They are not extinct. What’s extinct, is social conditions that create towns and communities like Britton ’38.

    The seeds of the future lie with those people AND their social connections with like people. One degree of separation friendships, neighbors, one generation down too. Little building blocks of a healthy world once this Great Disruption gives way to newly drawn “internal borders.”

  8. +14 Chakrates

    — If that was 1938 it’s been 3.5 or 4 generations.

    For scale: the only people in the video who are possibly still alive are the little kids. They’re in their eighties now.

  9. This was at the depth of the Depression, which had been going on for 8+ years by that point. There’s optimism in those faces. It’s an assumption, but they probably thought of their county’s problems in terms of “our” and “we.” Now we are stuck with us and them.

  10. And then there’s our wonderful world of today. I think this picture does a great job of capturing the current California landscape. Our new technology overlords, everyone!

  11. DN Poolside: good point about the Great Depression and sense of common destiny.

    Peterike: thot in the center… TFW surrounded by borderline omegas who do all your heavy lifting (such that it may be) and never pester you for sex.

  12. — Turns out, they knew me by my surname, knew my dad and his whole family, knew where my uncle lived, and they drove me to his place.

    My own “countryside assistance” experience: alone in west-central Kentucky in 1994. It’s flat, farmland as far as the eye can see. My car breaks down, due to gummed-up carburetor as it later turned out. No cell phones then, no sign of any human presence except empty farmland. It’s evening and I’m planning a “what’s next.”

    The Rand McNally atlas, which was the practical literature of my twenties, shows where the nearest town is. I decide to sleep in the car and walk there in the morning, but a local man stops and asks if he can help. So I catch a ride with him to town, he drops me off at a service station, he knows the guy working there.

    I thank the gentleman who picked me up and he leaves. I hop in with the tow truck with the service station man, he tows my car back, tells me where there is a nearby motel, and the car is fixed the next day.

  13. “TFW surrounded by borderline omegas who do all your heavy lifting (such that it may be) and never pester you for sex.”

    alternate caption: TFW blew your chance to snag the man you really wanted and are left with a set of steak knives.

  14. Sorry to disagree, but by the 1980’s things really were different. Even the mid-1960’s were a world apart, essentially a time encapsulated by Norman Rockwell paintings. Around 1969 a kid could ride a bike two miles to downtown, plunk a pittance of cash on the counter and walk out of a store (unaccompanied at all points) with canon fuse and model rocket engines. A parade in a cornfield-surrounded Chicago “suburb” looked very much like that captured by this video. Still in the 1970’s a 13 year old could walk down a sem-rural road unaccompanied, carrying a rifle or a shotgun.

    This was still before fire-retardant chemicals, plastics leeching into foods, squalene and aluminum adjuvents (and chicken & monkey viruses) in vaccines, endless pharmaceuticals and ag chemicals leeching into drinking-water sources, and a culture of short attention-spans and dissatisfied restlessness cultivated to keep consumers on an endless treadmill called “the economy.” [Happy, satisfied people don’t throng off-line and on-line stores, so the “cure” is to insure people are quite LITERALLY never happy by brainwashing everyone to set their expectations above what they have.] It was before the effects of Hart-Celler truly occurred. It was before men who prefer to suck-and-swallow, and pitch-or-catch the game of penis-in-feces-land anal sex became “just the same as NORMAL PEOPLE.” [Faggot-normalizing had hit mainstream by 1980.]

    How many of the young men in this video were on troop ships five years later? Or drowning in shark-infested seas of the South Pacific? How many of their children marched, not for “equality” but for, in fact, invasion (for what is “integration” but the right of any tribe to insist its members be given open access to the children–and women–of other tribes?)

    I don’t know what went wrong. Was it as simple as a people, so besotted with their own success, grown so complacent that they came to believe their own PR, that if they could win world wars, invent microprocessors and put men on the moon that they were gods-incarnate, able to turn the evils of the world into good? Was it avarice ignored by complacency, combined with concentrated benefits among diffuse costs, so that the profit motive was given license to poison us all?

  15. Ok, to get serious on this topic. As a kid, I spent my summers in a small town in upstate New York. It was 99.9% white. That is, there was one black family. Literally one. At that time, back in the 60s-70s, there still weren’t any Latins, Chinese, etc. (they would show up later, sure enough).

    Well, I was recently reading a history of that little town, a book I’ve been carrying around for years and never read. It was written in 1960 by an old lady whose memories went back into the late 1800s, and it’s very much a social history: what people did and wore and who did what, etc. One thing that stands out is how engaged people were with one another. There were countless little clubs and community social interactions: fairs, skating on the river in the winter, baseball games, the village band (at one point a 50 piece band, in a town of about 600), basketball (boys and girls both, and not just for school kids), talent shows, lecture courses, bowling, square dances, waltzes, traveling circuses and minstrel shows, on and on. All entertainments that brought people together as a community. And of course there were outdoorsy pursuits like great hunting and fishing.

    What they didn’t have was television or even radio (even in the 1970s you couldn’t get a radio signal up there). There was nothing to keep them in their homes, alone, being fed Jewish propaganda and neurosis. But they were hardly bored. Unlike sullen modern youth who mope about with “nothing to do” while there are literally endless electronic entertainments at their fingertips (I think if I see one more four year old with their own iPad I’m going to scream).

    Life wasn’t easy, and almost nobody was wealthy. But the sense of community was palpable, crime was non-existent, and you lived, loved and played with your own tribe, though it was diverse enough: Germans, Scandinavians, Irish, English, Scottish, etc.

    America really was a magical place for a while. I’m glad I got to witness at least the tail end of it.

  16. As an addendum to my comment, I meant to mention how I think electronic media has been so incredibly detrimental to national cohesion. Radio was bad enough, but television really was a stake to the heart of the nation.

  17. All I know is that it takes two for a con game to succeed.

    If it was the utterly evil incarnation of envy we call leftism, Marxism, Fabianism, International Socialism, National Socialism, etc., etc., etc., then the USA was full of marks who were willing participants in being conned. The masses of men always, in all times, behave as a unitary organism made up of many cells, each of which exhibits zero individual-level thought. History marches up and over mountains and down into valleys because this mankind-animal, the ultimate committee, has no actual rational thought whatsoever.

    As individual cells within this larger body, we do not determine the direction of the march. Our ancestors marched out of the valley of hardship and somewhere on the march over the mountain they chose the path back into the valley of hardship. Because we of Nock’s Remnant are the few who attempt to answer for ourselves, “How should I live,” we are among the few who can actually SEE into the dim mists ahead that hardship awaits us.

    Knowledge may be power, but it is a burden; the fool experiences hardship when he face-plants and afterward, but the wise—dragged along by surrounding fools—experience the undefined hardship long ahead of time, so that the sum of all hardship experienced is larger for the wise than for the fools.

    This appears to be among humanity’s paradoxes. Creation laughs at us.

  18. Around here in the wintertime we had Skating Rinks. Typically a playground would have TWO skating rinks, one for hockey and the other for the girls. And a warming house. And most of them the rinks would be lit. These same ice rinks are still around and maintained, and they get some use, but …

    It’s not like it used to be! not like it used to be! not like it used to be!
    (many long years ago)

    The kids would come out as if they received a signal from on high, and clear the snow off the PONDS and work on their skills there, on those nights when for some reason the couldn’t get on the hockey rink because it was too full of big boys and their dads.

    Talk about a Christmas past.

    To engage is some Championism, these very ice rinks and ponds were feeders for the best teams, and this very hs won the most state championships in that most Whitest sport. I wasn’t on the team, you had to have considerable natural talent and work hard to develop it in order to make the team

    Every neighborhood had its two rinks and warming house and astronomical overhead lights. The ambition and the resources that were allotted to that. Those Russians didn’t have a thing on us, or so we thought. We did win the big Match in 1980. Maybe that was the high point. How jewed is that movie? To the locals around here who were connected to that scene, what did they say about that movie; I don’t know the answer to that.

  19. That old folk song, which is accredited as American, would have been sung back in the day. It’s a great manosphere lyric,

    The old grey mare
    She’s not like she used to be
    not like she used to be
    not like she used

    The old grey mare
    She’s not like she used to be
    Many long years ago


    But there’s a fractal phenomenon therein, in how we are always looking back, and but when we look back, they were doing the same thing then, of looking back to a prior time and saying the same thing!

    Woody Allen, whom I will opine and even defend as having NOT molested any 15 year old girls [16 is an entirely different question] made a fairly good movie on that theme. It’s set in Europe and the title eludes.

    These characters in the movie are East Coast high-end UMC’s doing the UMC Europe thing and part of that is romanticizing the past, Paris in their particular case. And then through a warp in the space time continuum they find themselves back in 20s in a parlor listening to Cole Porter at the piano and lo! people are having the same discussion and feeling about how things were … not like they used to be.

    Cue old timey songs, which style old gay Cole would have been intimately familiar with but perhaps we can suspect not deigned to play in.

  20. That lyric though, is loving in its recollection of the old grey mare.

    The people would have known about horses and how they grow old and die, and it’s sad, but we sing and celebrate all the same.

    Or at least we used to. The old timey music groups, that song was a number one hit. It’s that old chord progression of E minor to B major 7, which is a twist on the harmonic minor. And syncopated. It features briefly in The Last Waltz.

  21. — As a kid, I spent my summers in a small town in upstate New York. It was 99.9% white. That is, there was one black family. Literally one. (Peterike)

    Anyone else noticed this? This “99%” no longer feels great, it irritates that this 1% is there. Or even less that one percent, it being exactly one black household. Once you attune to the host-parasite nature of these things, and once you understand that the the more you give, the more they regress to savagery — until, if allowed, they regress all the way to African cannibalism, you loathe that stock phrase “99% White.” Anything less than full and absolute 100% is an unacceptable compromise with evil.

    — Sorry to disagree, but by the 1980’s things really were different. (Deter Naturalist)

    Objectively, you’re right, and you have a decade’s or more perspective over mine. At twelve (in my adult hindsight) 1982 was a good place. I’m looking at it as a frozen moment, ignoring the momentum that has been set in motion much earlier than even 1938. I’m inclined to view our people as capable of adaptation at wherever the so-called boundaries are redrawn and a new peace settlement lets us breathe free. The Eighties, and even subsequent decades, and in some ways even now, have those islands of life where, given …. a champion up high as Trump may or may not be him… create conditions under which we take the whole damn thing back.

    The creative race always has this edge over the parasitic races, both high- and low-functioning ones.

    — It’s in E major. E major to B7. Then the chorus goes E to A and A minor. (Suburban_elk)

    There are two kinds of people in the world: those who understand that and those who don’t. I am no musician but I proudly say that I get it. Inspired by this comment, earlier I strummed the intro verse chords to the great Rammstein song “Ohne Dich” on my guitar.

    The first couplet tells the whole story: Dm Am / Gm F Am

    Very slowly:

    Ich werde in die Tannen gehen,
    Dahin wo ich sie zuletzt gesehen

    (“I’m going into the fir forest / where I last saw her”)

    — They moved from Kenya to Utah to start a gym (Camlost)

    Correction, from Utah to Kenya. Nice video. They moved there with their three children. Sort of remind me of those naifs who rode their bicycles through central Asia. It’s worth some thought: what is the difference between Adventurous and Eloi? I have an adventurous streak, had much more than a mere “streak” in my twenties. But I’m “No Thanks” to doing anything that signals SWPL-approved childlike trust of the savage world outside.

  22. @ PA – have you ever done a post on the 90’s political correctness “flare-up” that you and I have discussed in passing many times? Are we the only two people in the Alt-right that understand what happened then? “Those folks” made their ploy to install Political Correctness and academic leftism as the state religion but they got put on hold due to Bill Clinton’s misdeeds and 9/11 – then they reemerged in full force after Obama was safely elected.

    Is this as bizarre to you as it is to me? No one seems to be cognizant of what happened!!

    I’ve been around a few other alt-right sites lately and no one else can relate except for you.

    Or am I overstating this?

    It’s somewhat similar to my ashonishment at how many self-identifying altright types of today don’t understand the significance of the prophetic work of Pat Buchanan back in the 80’s and early 90’s.

  23. Camlost, yes, I went into that here:

    The post doesn’t dig into specific events like ones that gave me a WTF feeling at the time they happened, notably the Shannon Faulkner case at The Citadel. It does, however, track the political climate from Reagan to early Trump, including analysis similar to want you say here:

    their ploy to install Political Correctness and academic leftism as the state religion but they got put on hold due to Bill Clinton’s misdeeds and 9/11 – then they reemerged in full force after Obama was safely elected.

    You’re definitely not overstating anything. I was unsettled by all of these strange cultural changes at the time they happened, right after Reagan left office.

    Elk had gone into it as well, including the silent build up in the 80s. I quote him at length here:

    — My professor had a Muslim come to class and hold a prayer session with us.

    There was a juggernaut of post-9/11 media messaging about how patriotism = America is diverse. There were ads on Fox News with a succession of brown faces, all of which struck me as inbred in look, saying in heavily accepted English “I am an American,” with those cow eyes looking into the camera. That toxic payload was blended with equally heavy image bombardment of US flags everywhere.

  24. Nerd girl’s neck veins are visible. I’ve had a thing for that for so long. Demonstrates a naturally athletic physicality.

  25. Regarding helper communities: when I was 5 or 6 in the late 70s, living in an all-White (except for its Chinatown and supporting suburbs) major West Coast city , I used to walk to school in the morning and take the city bus (!) after school each day, with nary a fear.

    One day I was 10 seconds too late to catch the bus and I watched it pull away from me as I ran after it. At that tender age, I had no idea what to do, so I stood by the side of the road and stuck my thumb out until someone stopped to pick up the youngest hitch-hiker he’d ever met.

    He drove me to his nearby business, where other staff joined in to determine who I was, where I lived, etc. Eventually I was driven safely home, with not a single horrific detail to report.

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