Anatoly: California Isn’t the SJWtopia of Right-Wing Fantasies

In my experience, most people in California don’t care much about politics and it is not hard to live here as a right-winger if you can desist from talking politics with people who hate your politics. I find Californians remarkably tolerant and open.

Everybody I’ve met who hated California was deeply unhappy. I suspect they loathed the rampant happiness in the state.

Almost nobody in California has given me a hard time about my politics unless I provoked them first.

When you are unhappy, you see the world very differently than when you are calm. When you are angry, you see the world very differently than when you are joyful. When you are tense and insecure, you see the world very differently than when you are at ease. In different states, we are different people.

Anatoly Karlin writes:

California is liberal, sure, but it is much more heterodox/”PC-totalitarian” than New England, where the Puritans of yore have merely put on problem glasses.

California is more of a colorful playground for all sorts of eccentrics. Personally, I would characterize it as a nation-state sized coffee salon, even by American standards – just look at all the groups/personalities from all kinds of disparate spheres and ideological backgrounds that have congregated there over the decades:

Most of the core rationalist/LessWrong people
Most of the transhumanists
Half the neoreactionaries and the nationalist-populist wing of the conservative moment
Burning Man
The OG PUAs (Ross Jeffries etc.)
Last but not least, like, half the Unz Review (Ron and Steve live there, I lived there)
While Silicon Valley is famous for its technological innovations, the region is, if anything, even more impressive as a generator of social ideas and cultural counter-trends…

Kevin McDonald had a productive career as a tenured prof within the [CSU] system. Yes, somewhat shunned by his colleagues towards its tail end, from what I heard. But how long would he have lasted anywhere else, considering how “hardcore” his work was?

This is not my idiosyncratic view. My Tweet on this largely met with agreement, e.g. King Baeksu (expat to Korea): “At Berkeley and afterwards, most of my mates and acquaintances were lefties, but we often gently mocked politically correct shibboleths and argot because it was more “hip” to be urbane and knowing than slavishly doctrinaire.


* California is special – and awesome. People do seem happy there, and more independent. Its also stunningly beautiful.

* That reminds me of a podcast I listened to a few years back with Mike Enoch (Right Stuff/Daily Shoah) and Greg Johnson. Enoch introduced the topic of how unfairly maligned rednecks were by the media, and how he’s had to reconsider what he always thought, and how they’re really good people, and they have all these useful skills (hunting, handyman etc). And there’s Johnson doing his best to enthusiastically agree (because of course what else was he going to do?), but he didn’t really having anything he could add, since rednecks are about the last people on earth a homosexual intellectual like him would want anything to do with. Enoch kept on the topic for long enough that I wondered at the time if Johnson felt like he was being set up (he’s certainly suspicious enough to think something like that).

I think Johnson does outstanding work. I don’t want to speculate on the exact reasons for the numerous interpersonal spats he’s had (and which he does his own bit to drag out longer than necessary), but I would agree that he’s lacking in leadership ability. That’s a common enough failing that I can’t hold it against him. I really have to question his judgment on some of the people he has chosen to surround himself with though. That “Jeelvy” kid? I’d have serious misgivings about close collaboration with an extreme petty nationalist larper like that. Despite all this, I still give Johnson a high grade. Head and shoulders above the legions of loons who have surfaced over the decades.

* One thing that would probably surprise non-Californians is that over the last decade or two, the statewide politics and politicians here have become extremely bland and boring. Fortunately, they’re reasonably competent, or at least I think more so than most other states.

* What’s great about Cali is you have desert, mountain, pine forest, rolling hills with oak trees, and dramatic coastline, all in one place. And the light and the air have an incredible quality.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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