A Book Of Contradictions

When reading Yoram Hazony’s book, The Virtue of Nationalism, the image that keeps coming to mind is of a man working a puzzle, only to keep arriving at an unsatisfactory conclusion. There’s the period where it feels like it is all coming together, then that moment when he realizes the emerging answer is all wrong. Not factually wrong, but unacceptably wrong. After a brief moment of terror, he then throws his work into the fireplace and begins again with a fresh sheet of paper.

The point of the book is to make the case for nationalism, but not just any old form of nationalism. Hazony sets out to craft a new definition of nationalism that is essentially Zionism, without the overtly Jewish attributes. It is a nationalism that any people can embrace, but not every people can have. He then compares this form of nationalism with the alternative, making the case that this form of nationalism is superior. In the process he makes some interesting claims that are worth exploring.

The book starts with the rather interesting claim that imperialism is a political system that “seeks to bring peace and prosperity to the world by uniting mankind, as much as possible, under a single political regime.” This a curious way to describe empire that makes imperialism sound like a hippy movement from the 1960’s. While it is true that empires grow from a desire to create peace for the conqueror, the prosperity and happiness of the conquered is never a concern.

This odd way of defining imperialism is a part of his rhetorical sleight of hand. What he seeks to do is redefine imperialism away from its biological and material motivations, to something that is ideological. The empire is not about putting one tribe ahead of all others or the material benefit of the emperor. It is about imposing a politics and culture on all people. The reason this is important is it allows Harzony to claim that Nazism is imperialistic, not nationalistic, in its fundamental nature.

Few scholars of fascism would agree with this, even though they would acknowledge that Nazism was expansionist and probably necessarily so. This is the result of the geopolitics of the period, not the inherent logic of fascism. That’s not the point. What Harzony is doing is inoculating himself and Zionism against the charge that is always leveled at nationalism. That is, it the logical endpoint of it is Nazism and that inevitably leads to war, genocide and barbarism.

That is the real argument of the book. Harzony puts no effort into explaining how his conception of nationalism could be applied in Europe or America. Instead, his argument is that Zionism, Jewish nationalism, is both the pure form of nationalism and the best form of human organization. It allows a people to chart their own destiny, but also prevents one nation from meddling in the affairs of another. A world composed of naturally occurring nation-states would be peaceful and prosperous.

He is not wrong. Judaism is the purist expression of nationalism. On the one hand, you have a collection of people, who not only share a language, history and religion, they share a common ancestor, hand-picked by God. Not only that, the Lord picked a land for his chosen people. To be a Jew is to be a member of a timeless tribe with an unrivaled link to the heavens and an unrivaled claim on the land. It is a sense of nation that transcends time, place and boundaries.

This is where Hazony reaches that point where the emerging answer to the puzzle he is working terrifies him. If a nation is a people with a common language, customs, history, territory and ancestors, then how is it wrong for a nation to not accept foreigners into their ranks? If France is for the French, they should have the right to deport the non-French from their lands? More precisely, would they not have a duty to deport these people, as their patriotic duty is to preserve the nation for future generations?

To get around these obvious difficulties, Hazony compares the nation to a family with lots of adopted children. Some reviewers think this sort of equivocating is a bow to the ideological realities of this age, but a closer reading suggests he is concerned with a different part of his audience. If a nation can decide who it allows in, based on its own internal logic and customs, then there can be no moral basis for opposing racism or antisemitism, as both are just natural extensions of nationalism.

Of course, the other problem with nationalism for the Zionist is the case of the Arab minorities in the Levant. If a nation is defined as a people with a common language, history and territory, then why can’t the Palestinians have a country? Why are their claims against Israel not valid? In chapter 17 Harzony resolves this by refining his definition of nationalism to limit it only to those who can attain a nation. In other words, everyone can have a nation, if they can get it and keep it.

In chapter nine we get another one of those moments where you can imagine him pulling up short as he realizes the implication of what he is writing. He starts out making the case for the biological underpinning of human society, then realizes where that is headed and swerves into the guardrail of civic nationalism. Then in the following two chapters, he makes the dissident case against social contract theory and the case against the materialist view of society peddled by libertarians.

If you can ignore the whiplash, the book has some excellent points to make that dissidents would be wise to read. In chapter 15 he carefully explains how federalism cannot work, using the case of America leading to the Civil War. He then compares that to the internationalist dream of a world controlled by supranational bodies arbitrating disputes between states. In the following chapter, he eviscerates the arguments of Ben Shapiro, without actually naming him.

Chapter 16 is his best chapter and one of the strongest arguments for ethno-nationalism you will find, outside of dissident circles. That chapter would not look out of place in Greg Johnson’s White Nationalist Manifesto. It is both an argument against multiculturalism and an argument in favor of ethno-nationalism. He is careful to avoid directly mentioning the biological aspect of nationalism, but no rational person can read that chapter and no think Hazony assumes a biological root to nationalism.

The last section of the book, which most reviewers apparently skipped, offers some very interesting insights into Zionism. In chapter 22 he writes about the shame Jews feel over not having fought back against the Nazis and how this is integral to Jewish nationalism and national identity. Instead of Jews being a people whose men and women stood helplessly as their children were murdered by the Nazis, Israel is a nation of armed men and women defending their children.

Similarly, chapter 24 offers insight into why Jews see criticism of Israel as a form of racism and antisemitism. On the one hand, they see the West adopting the Kantian model of nations, which holds white nations to a higher standard that non-white nations, like the Arab countries surrounding Israel. That’s the racism. On the other hand, the imperialist opposition to nationalism, which is what defines the Jewish people, is a hostility only aimed at Israel. That’s the antisemitism.

As is to be expected with polemical book, The Virtue of Nationalism will drive the pedant mad at times. Hazony makes some odd claims about the Thirty Years War. His view of Catholicism is weird and comes close to bigotry. As stated at the beginning, his definition of imperialism is hard to accept. Of course, the equivocation on the biological foundations of nationalism, especially Jewish nationalism, will strike a certain type of reader as predictable. That said, it is a good read for the dissident.

Finally, something that is not touched on by Hazony, but is implied in all Zionist discussions of nationalism, is this basic reality. For Israel to exist as currently constructed, it needs a robust relationship with a robust America. That America can only exist as a majority white and chauvinistically white. This inevitably puts the Zionist on the same side as the white nationalist. It turns out that the great irony of this age is that the fate of the West may ride on ancient enemies finding common ground.

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The Usurper

Origins myths are a natural element to all human organization, whether it is a great family, an enterprise or a nation. The founder of the great family is lionized as not only good at making money, but also as a great man. In fact, his great wealth is seen as a result of his great deeds. Similarly, the successful business will celebrate the founders as something more than hard working men who got lucky. Usually they are cast as plucky underdogs, who beat the odds because they were moral men.

For a people, the mythologizing gets more grandiose. The origin myths not only explain the founding of the nation, but justify the current order. The social arrangements, the type of government and the people in charge are the work of providence. The celebration of national holidays are part of reinforcing the founding myths and most especially the moral order. In America, the endless flag waving and saccharine patriotism is a daily reminder that the current order is God’s will.

The reason for these myths is that all authority comes from usurping it. The great families of a nation arose because the founders of those families knocked off the previous great families. In England, for example, many of the great families made their fortune fighting for the king in the 100 Years War. They went over to France, killed a bunch of rich people and took their wealth back home to England. For most of human history great men rose to fame by putting other great men to the sword.

The successful business is less bloody, in most cases, but the founders were still usurpers who made their name at the expense of others. Maybe their business success came at the expense of established companies in the field. Maybe they used connivance or trickery to out-compete their rivals. It does not matter as wealth does not spring from nothing. As in all competition, there are winners and losers. The great company was founded by men who usurped existing great companies.

Because all societies begin low and violent, purity and grandeur arise from distance from their origin. The rulers and the people must put distance between themselves and the origins of their people, in order to give purpose to the perpetuation of their people, but they can never be disconnected from their origins. Instead, they mythologize them in order to both disguise the reality of their beginnings, but celebrate themselves as part of the natural order. The origin myth is a pretty lie that keeps us looking forward.

The most obvious example of how this works is the Lincoln fetish we see with our ruling class in America. Both sides venerate Lincoln and the Gettysburg address, The Civil War has been cast as the second founding, a purification ritual that addressed the original sin of slavery and republicanism in the founding. Rather than being seen as a break from the founding, which is surely was, it is a continuation of it. Lincoln the usurper, is replaced with Lincoln the saint, who saved the republic.

The Gettysburg Address now holds more emotional power for our elites than the actual founding documents. At some level, Lincoln certainly knew he was a usurper and that speech is pretty good proof of it. He allegedly jotted it down without much thought, but it shows all the signs of a man who knew he destroyed the old order and was now tasked with creating a new one. Starting with a lie about his own motivations was the most obvious place to start. It was the usurper announcing his victory.

The great compromise after the Civil War was to allow the defeated to hang onto their heroes in symbolic form. In order to avoid a genocide, which is what abolitionists surely desired, the South was allowed to exist as a conquered people, but with their memories and some of their customs intact. Whether it was conscious or just an inevitable result of the war, a grand compromise evolved that allowed the South to retain its unique identity, but subsume it into the overall identity of the new nation.

Of course, this is why the current ruling class is obsessed now with erasing all traces of the South, by toppling over statues, desecrating graves and erasing images of the actual founders of the United States. These are people haunted by their own illegitimate claims on power, so they are removing anything that reminds them of a past in which they played no part. It’s also why the past is being systematically colorized to write in strangers to the family tree of America.

That’s why these acts are so compelling to the emerging multicultural ruling elites. For them, this is not about revenge or spiting people they hate. They are, in fact, a consecration of their own authority. They are symbolically giving birth to their new nation by destroying the old. For the usurper, the victim is only important in so far as he has what the usurper desires. It’s not vengeance that drives these people. It is a desire to mythologize and legitimize their own authority.

The implication here is that the die is cast. It is no longer a question of if America is taken over by the coalition of the ascendant, but rather how long this process will play out and how it will end. There is no restoration of old white America. That door closed decades ago, when the borders were flung open to the world. If this emerging ruling elite is to be toppled, their power will need to be seized by a new usurper, a group that seeks power and legitimacy by whatever means are available.

Support the media that supports you. While all of us toiling in the fields of dissident media are motivated by a sense of duty, having a place to sleep and food on the table still requires money. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Or, you can send money to me at: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. I now have a PayPal setup for those who prefer that method to donate. Thank you for your support!

The Jewish Dilemma

Like the fog, talk of nationalism is slowly starting to roll in on the intellectual and pseudo-intellectual conversations of the West. One reason for this is the rise of populist movements in Europe and America, responding to the importation of non-Western people into Western nations. Another reason for the rise in nationalism is the sense that the ruling classes of the West are no longer Western. To the typical occidental, the elites seem foreign and oriental in the language and dispositions.

The emerging debate about nationalism among the intellectual and pseudo-intellectual classes is therefore reactionary. Across the board, the debate is being picked up by people so unfamiliar with the topic, they struggle with the basics of the concept. This column by Dennis Prager in the American Zionist broadsheet The Daily Wire is a good example of the fumbling you see when these people take up the issue. He treats the word like it is on loan from a foreign race of men or possibly space aliens.

Nationalism presents a particularity difficult problem for the Jewish ruling elite, which is another thing you see in the Prager piece. The word “nationalism” is derived from the word “nation” and that comes to us from the Old French word nacion, which means birth, rank, descendants, relatives, country, homeland. The French, of course, inherited the meaning from the Latin word for “birth, origin, breed, kind, species, race of people, tribe.” The word nationalism means loyalty to a people, your people.

If the word nationalism means what it actually means, then it presents an obvious dilemma for diaspora Jews in the Occident. If Jewishness is what the religion says, then Jews are their own race of people. Jewish nationalism would therefore be to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. One cannot be equally loyal to two nations or two of anything, for that matter. Inevitably, you will have to pick between the two, thus establishing one as the primary loyalty and the other secondary.

This is the age old issue with Jews in the diaspora. For the longest time, they were accused of dual loyalty, but in reality they were accused of having no loyalty. Like so much about this topic, the facts have been corrupted to obscure the truth. In reality, the accusation was that the primary loyalty of Jews was to their people and the apparent loyalty to their host population was out of convenience and necessity. The core of Western antisemitism in the West is the claim that Jews are not us.

Jewish intellectuals have always understood this, so after the Second World War, they pounced on the opportunity to anathematize the concept of nationalism. The claim was that nationalism was the cause of the great industrial wars that reduced the West to rubble and gave rise to fascism. Therefore, to avoid a repeat of those horrors, nationalism must be stamped out. In fairness, this was not solely a Jewish project, as there were plenty of gentile communists who embraced the idea.

Still, the primary beneficiaries of anti-nationalism were Jews. In America, this allowed Jews to enter the ruling class and by extension the global ruling elite. The global power of the American Empire, now including the international financial network, gave diaspora Jews unprecedented power. Jews are now wildly over-represented in all of the positions of power and influence. While this is a popular talking point for anti-Semites, it has also been a point of pride for Jews themselves.

We see why Zionist like Denis Prager are terrified by the sudden reappearance nationalism in the West. If the people of the Occident regain their love of self, then Jews are on the horns of a dilemma. They can either assume their traditional role as guests in their host counties or they can join their neighbors in these host countries and place loyalty to their neighbors over loyalty to their ancient tribe. Judaism becomes just a remnant of who they used to be, in the same way Catholicism is for the Irish.

The third option, one you see in the Prager piece and in the Ben Shapiro book is to muddy the waters on the whole issue. For example, Prager defines good nationalism as that which is good for him, while bad nationalism is when it is bad for him. Ben Shapiro, on the other hand, tries to redefine 2,000 years of Western history to make Jews the loyal partners of Christendom. The absurd concept of Judeo-Christianity is just an effort to rewrite the past to insert his ancestors into your family tree.

Then there is the problem of Israel, which is an ethno-state, despite the humorous efforts to prove otherwise. Jews see the physical land as theirs because according to the central tenant of their faith, God gave it to them. Their loyalty to the land of Israel is an expression of their loyalty to the people of Israel, wherever they may reside. In this regard, Judaism is the most pure expression of nationalism, as it literally transcends time and physical boundaries. Israel is the symbol of that blood loyalty.

You really cannot square that reality with objections to the French demanding their country be for the French people, as defined by the French people. If what it means to be a Jew is defined by Jews, which is literally true, then what is the moral or factual objections to Germans defining what it means to be German? There is none, of course, which is why Israel has always been a problem for diaspora Jews. You can’t be a Zionist, while preaching multiculturalism and open borders.

The usual suspects assume this contradiction will inevitably lead to the age old conflict, but that is not necessarily true. Much of the history of antisemitism is apocryphal, used by Jews to gaslight themselves into remaining loyal to the tribe. In fact, Jewish identity in America is largely a negative one now as a result. To be authentically Jewish is to believe that your gentile neighbors will one day pull their khaki outfits from the back of the closet and get the trains running on time again.

The alternative is for diaspora Jews in America to come to terms with the fact they have a different history from the rest of the Tribe. They represent a fork in God’s project, creating a new tribe of Israel. This new tribe places its primary loyalty with the host country, because it cannot exist otherwise. Since Israel, as it is currently constructed, cannot exist without a powerful America as its powerful ally, American Jews serve Israel and the Jewish people as loyal allies of their fellow Americans.

It is possible that Zionist Jews hold such a conception of themselves. Whether they keep this to themselves because they distrust their gentile neighbors or they don’t trust themselves, not speaking to it is a problem only they can solve. If even Zionist Jews remain locked into an old identity, then the only way forward is to slough off that old identity and accept present reality. Regardless, the dilemma of resurgent nationalism in the West is a Jewish dilemma, not an occidental one.

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The Eternal Scold

A popular game with the old Buckley conservatives was to figure out how to blame the actions of the Left on socialism or a quest for power. Whenever the Left found some reason to attack some aspect of white culture, the National Review types would work their fingers raw trying to explain why it was either due to socialism or a quest for political power by those dastardly democrats. Sometimes, they would combine the two, so that the quest for power was to impose socialism on us.

Some elements of the dissident right have inherited this tendency to reduce all left-wing activity to simple, individual motivations. The Left does something similar, but they prefer supernatural and mystical explanations. In fact, that is probably a useful way of describing the political divide. One side relies on magic to explain the world, while the other side relies on some form of self-interest. In both cases, the preferred answer strips the humanity from the actors and reduces them to robots or pawns.

The truth is, human society has a lot of complexity, because we have a wide range of human types. For example, the scold is a feature of all white societies, regardless of political and economic makeup. These are people who take pleasure in lecturing the rest of us about our failings. Sometimes they often find a home on the Left these days, because the Left defines the civic religion of the West. In a prior age, they would have been defending order and tradition, as part of the religious community.

These people are not motivated by greed or a lust for power. Their scolding of the population may result in elevated status or a comfortable lifestyle, but that is not what motivates them to scold the rest of us. Al Gore made a lot of money off the climate change rackets, but that’s not why he does it. He was plenty rich before he got the green fever after the 2000 election. What gets him up in the morning is the need to be Gaia’s prophet, an Ezekiel warning the rest of us about the end times.

A recent example of this is the decision, by some scolds on the San Francisco board of supervisors, to ban e-cigarettes. According to the news accounts, they will ban the sale of these devises and ban the shipment of them into the city. Strangely, people will still be allowed to possess them and use them in public. Perhaps the scheme is to ban the public use of them next and then criminalize the possession of them. That’s the way they attacked the sale and use of tobacco forty years ago.

Now, the anti-smoking crusades were allegedly about public health. Smoking is not only unhealthful to the smoker, it has a societal cost. Lung cancer is a terrible way to die and an expensive one as well. Public health is often cast in emotional terms, trying to save lives, but as policy matter, it is about saving money. Either way, the cover story for the taxes on tobacco and limits on smoking was about public health. We wanted to end smoking and therefore improve the health of the people.

Of course, that was never true. It was convenient that smoking was bad for your health, but the real motivation was the need to boss people around. The scold has to have someone they can bully. The reason is just an excuse. That’s what you see with these crusades against electronic cigarettes. There is no data suggesting they are unhealthful like cigarettes. Nicotine is not the issue with tobacco use. It is the other chemicals and the particulate matter from burning tobacco. That’s not an issue with e-cigarettes.

The funny thing about this is these electronic cigarettes are probably the best tool for quitting conventional tobacco use. They allow the user to wean themselves from the psychological habit as they wean themselves from the chemical addiction. There is some evidence suggesting the addictive power of cigarettes is not the nicotine, but the drug cocktail used to prepare the tobacco, in combination with nicotine. Therefore, this delivery system is a better way to get off the drug than other methods.

None of that matters to the crusaders. It never mattered to them when they were howling about smoking at ballparks or out of doors. What motivates these people is the need to lecture the public about morality. The scold always assumes pleasure is an indication of sin. Those hipster goofballs vaping in the coffee shop, therefore, must be doing something wrong. That’s the bat signal for the local scolds to rally and demand the activist be stopped, else the community will be at risk.

That’s the other thing about scolds. They always justify their activity by claiming they are sacrificing for the good of the community. In this case, they are looking out for the children, as if toddlers are growing beards and taking up vaping. In reality, it is just the same old people, the eternal scold, getting a rush from making other people stop doing something they enjoy. It’s not about money and it is not about power. For these scolds and busybodies, the reward is in being the scold. It’s who they are.

If you care about your community and want to support those working hard on your behalf, consider supporting my work by donating the price of a beer or a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Unlike those mega-corporations, I will not use your money to destroy your family and community. Or, you can send money to me at: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. I now have a PayPal setup for those who prefer that method to donate. Thank you for your support!

The Incoherent Right

In a democracy, all political debate is a debate over morality, as what holds democracy together is a civic religion. The people agree to a set of political arrangements because they agree those are the right way to organize society. That’s right as in morally correct, not empirically correct. Democracy has been sold as the best form of government, because it achieves the most happiness and opportunity for the most amount of people. That’s a moral argument, not an empirical one.

This is why the ruling class is endlessly talking about what is good for democracy or what is a threat to democracy. This is all code for morality. When they use the word democracy, they don’t mean the mechanics of selecting people for public office. They mean the expression of the general will, that magical force upon which modern liberal democracy is built. The general will is the expression of the general morality of the people, the framework that defines society and the lives of the citizens.

It’s why rational arguments rarely carry the day in democracy. Debate in democratic systems is about what is the right thing to do in terms of morality, rather than what is best for some practical reason. Even economics, which should focus on base concerns like making money and overall prosperity, ends up sounding like a mystery cult, where adherents worship the economy. The so-called conservatives are willing to excuse the most monstrous things, if it is good for the economy.

The moral marketplace is the only marketplace that matters in a modern liberal democracy. Even someone like Ocasio-Cortez understands this fact. She famously said in response to criticism of her many factual errors, “If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

It should be noted that the conservatives love mocking Cortez for this statement, but it is self-mockery. Unlike them, she actually understands the nature of political debate in a modern liberal democracy. Facts and reason are not all that important. If they were, the Athenians would never have agreed to attack Sicily. What matters is moral persuasion and emotional resonance. Politics in a liberal democracy is theater, not science. The fact that conservatives don’t get that helps explain their demise.

This truth about liberal democracy is why Buckley-style conservatism has been a failure since the end of the Cold War. In the one area it held the moral high ground against radicalism, the fight over communism, it was able to carry the day. The conservatives could control the moral framing with regards to the Soviets. America abandoned all of its republican ideals, becoming a global empire, in order to defeat global communism. That shows the power of morality in a liberal democracy.

In all other areas, however, the so-called conservatives were happy to give way to the radicals, allowing them to define the moral framework. This is why the Official Right has been such a failure since the 1990’s. The Left controls morality, so the Right must always find some way to fit into that morality. That either means abandoning the field by joining the libertarians on the sidelines or embracing yesterday’s radicalism as today’s timeless conservative principle. The Right is the toady of the Left.

It’s also why Buckley conservatism is in a crisis. You can see it in this Kevin Williamson piece on who are the real racists. Like David French, Williamson is one of the clown princes of modern conservatism, regularly declaring nutty things on-line to the amusement of dissidents. In this case, he is doing the old DR3 gag, claiming that those segregationist politicians from the last century were not real conservatives. After all, everyone knows that they were Democrats! That means they could not be conservatives.

Like all of today’s conservatives, Williamson believes anti-racism is the highest conservative virtue. In fact, what’s left of the Buckley crowd has embraced the egalitarianism of the Left to the point where they are to the left of the Progressive on the race issue. The modern conservative cannot hold a single position until they find a black guy to endorse it. They seem to have decided that the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance is a documentary on the lost writings of Edmund Burke.

The point of that Williamson article is not to make some factual or even moral argument against the Left. It is all about displaying the anti-racist plumage of the writer. It’s the same game you see with left-wing comedy shows. The performer shows off his moral superiority and the audience is flattered, so they cheer. It’s moral peacocking. The difference between conservatives and a peacock is that when a peacock displays his plumage, it is sign of courage. When conservatives do it, it is a sign of obedience.

This is why Buckley Conservatism is in a crisis, headed for the dustbin of history. In order to be in opposition to the ruling orthodoxy, you have to be at odds with at least some of its moral foundation. That means having an independent base of morality. In America, the Right used to rely on Christianity, tradition and America’s frontier culture, but those were abandoned as the Left anathematized each one in turn. That leaves the Right arguing from the same moral basis as the Left, which is why they are nothing but an echo now.

If you care about your community and want to support those working hard on your behalf, consider supporting my work by donating the price of a beer or a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Unlike those mega-corporations, I will not use your money to destroy your family and community. Or, you can send money to me at: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. I now have a PayPal setup for those who prefer that method to donate. Thank you for your support!

Our Interregnum

One of the most remarkable things to happen in the West since the end of the Cold War has been the rise of identity politics over the last half decade. It is remarkable for a couple of reasons. One is that it has emerged in what economists consider to be a time of unrivaled prosperity. People should be happy and content, rather than angry, with post-national liberal democracy. A central tenet of liberal democracy is that the end point of human activity is to create a world of material plenty.

The other remarkable aspect is these movements are flourishing in the face of strong moral prohibition, often backed by force. It’s literally dangerous to be an identitarian in most of the West now. America is now a land that bans books and subjects dissenters to internal banishment. The titans of industry are studying China for ways to suppress internal dissent. Despite these efforts to anathematize identity politics, white people throughout the West are embracing identity politics.

The aggressive assault on dissidents is a direct result of the unpreparedness of the ruling classes. They really were convinced they had ushered in the post-historical moment as imagined by Francis Fukuyama. The great battles of political economy in the 20th century were settled. All the “isms” had been vanquished by liberalism and there was nothing left to discuss. The sudden reappearance of old cultures and old ideas about how people should organize themselves was like seeing a ghost.

Now, this is a good time to note that the phrase “identity politics” has been kicking around American political circles for decades. In the mouths of conservatives, it was always part of the grift they have been running on white people. It looks like an attack on left-wing tactics, but in reality it is an endorsement of Progressive morality. For the Left, it was always a cover for anti-white agitation. They could not come out directly in favor of anti-white polices, but non-white camp followers were free to do it.

The success of this game of good cop – bad cop played by the American political class is another reason they remain baffled by what’s happening. This game has worked for so long, its sudden failure is like the sun rising in the west all of a sudden. Perhaps a better metaphor is it seems as if all swans are now black. Everywhere political elites turn, the world is no longer as they imagined it. All the axioms upon which they based their world view are suddenly being called into question.

It turns out that Fukuyama was sort of right after all. The West had reached an endpoint after the Cold War. It was not the end of a great ideological battle, but the end point of the great multicultural project launched by the Frankfurt School following World War II. The West, particularly America, had become fully actualized as multicultural societies. They no longer possessed a core identity, based in biology, which informed their politics or restrained their politicians. It was just one big open marketplace.

The trouble is, you cannot have a nation without a sovereign identity and there can be no sovereign identity without a nation. This is the core insight of multiculturalism, which was never intended to strengthen the West but to destroy it. To have a multicultural society is to have no culture at all. Once the people’s sense of who they are is destroyed, the nation must follow with it. That is exactly what we see in the West as political classes struggle to perform their basic duties.

The reason for this, is that the people’s sense of who they are is what animates the political institutions of the state. That shared reality of a people is the soul of every nation, just as the soul animates the body. To kill it and simply try to artificially animate the body, is to create a Frankenstein’s monster. The modern Western state is now a collection of cultural parts robbed from graves around the world. It is neither organic nor natural, so it is always at war with normal human sensibilities.

Multicultural liberal democracy, when lying on the table, is ugly in appearance, but when animated it is truly horrifying. Multiculturalism becomes a monster that attacks everything around it, because at some level, like the mythical monster, it knows it is an abomination, a sin against creation. We have quickly moved from eradicating the people’s sense of identity to systemically eradicating the people. Instead of creating a new society, superior to the old, multiculturalism has destroyed the very essence of western society.

In addition to the end of the post-war cycle, we may also be at the end of a much longer cycle that began with the Enlightenment. The thinkers and philosophers who gave us liberal democracy had a mechanistic view of nature. This led them to see society as nothing but a collection of parts, like a watch. In order to make a better watch, the watchmaker simply had to improve its parts. Make a better spring or a better crystal and snap it into place. Liberal democracy is the full expression of this belief.

It turns out that human society is nothing like a watch and the people in it are not simply automata that can be tinkered with as necessary. Human society is the expression of the shared reality of the people. That shared reality is the result of actions, experiences and mating decisions made by their ancestors. Who they are is what they are. The Frenchman is French, because his ancestors were French, not because the map maker said he was born in France. The nation is the manifestation of this reality.

The confluence of these two end cycles, plus others forces like demographics and technology has brought us to this interregnum. The reason the ruling elites helplessly lash out at the gnats whirling about them is they are built for an age that is fading into the past. Their weapons are crude and destructive, but ultimately ineffective at halting the march into the abyss. The weird nostalgia of American politics is just another aspect of that effort to halt the momentum. It’s an effort to stop the clock.

Similarly, the incoherence and confusion among dissidents is due to the inability to break free from the Enlightenment ideas of liberal democracy. Those looking for an alternative, rummage around in the past for prior rejections. First it was the neo-reaction trying to revive the age of kings. Then it was the alt-right trying to revive 20th century fascism. Like clothes from a prior era, they were a poor fit and made the wearer look odd. They are answers to questions no one remembers, not the questions of today.

That’s why the on-going efforts to put Buckley Conservatism back together will fail. It was an answer to an old question. Similarly, libertarianism is in crisis, because it was a set of tools made for a tradesman who is no longer needed. Whether it is an effort to impose the old forms on the new opposition or re-brand the old stuff as a new form of nationalism, the effort must fail as it is an artifact of the past. The emerging opposition to the prevailing orthodoxy will be rooted in a rejection of its core principles, not an embrace of them.

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Politics and Aesthetics

The Democrats are about to kick-off their fashion show for picking their next presidential candidate, so the experts are trying to set the tone for the season. The fashion show is a good analogy at this stage. Designers don’t always come up with new styles that work with the public, so they try different things, hoping for one or two that work. They hope to come up with something that catches the attention of a taste-maker, like a Hollywood starlet, then all of a sudden they have a hit with the public.

Steve Jobs figured this out the second time around with Apple. It was not about cutting edge technology or making a better product. That was a field with too many big money smart players. His game was going to be as trend setter and taste-maker. He tailored the company to be the symbol of the smart set, the people who fashion themselves a cut above the masses. These are the people who determine the latest styles. The lowly music player soon became a fashion and cultural statement.

Politics often works the same way. In 1992, Bill Clinton won the presidency largely on the cool factor. He was young, as far as Baby Boomers were concerned. He was also hip and cool. He played the sax on TV wearing sunglasses! Voting for Clinton became a fashion statement for the Left. Tony Blair played the same game in Britain with the “Cool Britannica” stuff. He was young and new and the future of Britain, despite being the man, who would usher in the end of Britain as an English country.

Politics and aesthetics are tightly wound together in any form of democracy, as selecting people for elected office is a popularity contest. The winner of the beauty pageant is not objectively better in some way than the others. She just has some way of appealing to the voters in the moment. The iPod was not some great innovation or invention. It just looked cool to the right people at the right time and became the standard for music players. Barak Obama was not a great statesman. He was just the right style at the time.

It’s not just left-wing politics in America that relies on an aesthetic to carry it forward with its supporters. In 1976 Ronald Reagan lost to the dour Gerald Ford in the Republican primary. The same Reagan won in 1980 and ushered in a great cultural revival called the Reagan Revolution. In 1976 men had sideburns and wore garish leisure suits. In 1986, men wore traditional men’s suits, bathed every day and kept themselves properly groomed. The political revolution had an aesthetic.

This has always been true in the era of liberal democracy. The two great movements of the early 20th century, fascism and Bolshevism, had distinct aesthetics. The quintessential communist a century ago was a shabby looking cosmopolitan, with round spectacles and a few too many phobias. In contrast, the quintessential fascist was the beer drinking bourgeoisie hooligan, who disdained books in favor of the Faustian existence. Both sides were fighting over an aesthetic, as much as for power.

This is an important thing to understand about politics in any age, but especially in this highly democratic age. It’s about flattery, as much as anything. The people flocking to your banner do so because it validates an opinion of themselves. This piece in the Atlantic, celebrating Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg is a good example. The intended audience for that article are the sort of people, who want to belief their politics are controlled by facts and reason, rather than superstition and emotion.

The fact that both Warren and Buttigieg are pseudo-intellectual posers is not only not a liability, but it is an asset. The people they seek to attract are themselves supercilious dilettantes and poseurs. They get their opinions from the MSNBC and NPR, while claiming to be avid readers of the New York Times. These are the people who decorate their apartments with books they never read. Around a real intellectual, they are made to feel inferior, but around Warren or Buttigieg they are validated.

The argument that the democrats are heavily reliant on the super educated is what’s called flattering the reader. Democrats rely on blacks, foreigners and white people too dumb to realize they are being destroyed. That is the base of the party now. Warren and Buttigieg know they have no shot at those voters, so they hope to win the beautiful people in the party. They may not connect with the rank and file, but they can appeal to the trend setters, who have the tools to convert that into popular appeal.

Another way to see the entanglement of politics and aesthetics is look at the street battles between the alt-right and Antifa. One side kitted themselves out as preppy suburban fascists. The other side was a comical mélange of Italian Black Shirts and skateboard park anarchists. Neither side had a coherent, positive identity, so they cherry-picked styles and symbols from past movements. They could just as easily have faced off with one side in leisure suits and the other side wearing spats.

In fact, what characterizes this period is the lack of a political aesthetic that is authentic and original. This is an interregnum, where the old order is slowly giving way, but a new order has yet to form. More precisely, the battles lines between the contestants for a new order have yet to form. Instead, it is one side protecting the status quo and one side dissatisfied with it. The former has no reason to defend the old order, other than habit, while the latter has no conception of what should come next.

If there is to be a coherent political and social movement rise out of the dissident right, it will have to be more than narrow political arguments and meta-political commentary on social media. It will need a look that signals to the curious that it is a movement with a future for itself and its adherents. Just as men in traditional suits signaled a break from the 1970’s and the radical chic of the New Left, the new aesthetic will have to signal a break from the old political paradigm and the old Progressive morality.

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The IQ

The state of Israel holds a special place in the American political consciousness for a number of reasons. One is the fact Israel puts enormous effort into lobbying the political class in Washington. They are the most effective lobbying machine on earth. The other is the phenomenon of Christian Zionists, who have created a form of Christianity that seems to venerate the modern state of Israel. Then there is the anti-Muslim aspect to the whole thing. Most Americans back Israel, because they don’t like Muslims.

It was not always this way. In the 1950’s both political parties were skeptical about Israel, but for a number of reasons the political class was convinced to back the Israelis against the Arabs. Even so, the Left remained anti-Zionist into the 1970’s, siding with the Palestinians as members of the coalition of the oppressed. There remains a whiff of this on the Left with the old guys. A guy like Bernie Sanders is comfortable being anti-Zionist, without being a self-hating Jew. He just keeps it to himself these days.

Right-wing Progressives, on the other hand, have gone completely insane with their love of Israel. They are pushing through laws in states like Florida to ban criticism of Israel or support for critics of Israel. It’s tempting to say these are unconstitutional, but the courts are so corrupt now, that’s a phrase without meaning. Still, the right-wing Progressives make a fetish of the Constitution, so for them to embrace the barbaric practice of proscribing certain topics underscores their fanaticism for Israel.

The anti-Semites, of course, look at this as part of the greater plot by those crafty Jews to destroy the West. It is certainly true that Israel is happy to support Zionist movements in the United States, as it keeps the American government on their side. The truth is, being pro-Israel is one of the few areas where Christians can participate in public life, so they do so with rabid enthusiasm. Similarly, Republicans are allowed to give it to the Left on this issue, so they go overboard on their love for Israel.

That said, Israel is happy to see it. They have become dependent on the United States in ways that get lost on this side of the world. Billions flow from America into Israel every year. The amount of private charity from Christian groups in the US exceeds the foreign aid from the US. Then there are the wealthy Jews, who are not often all that observant, but they make up for it by writing checks and getting others to writes checks to Israeli causes. Remittances means as much to Israel as they do to Mexico.

The trouble with this dynamic is it is an aging one, where the most enthusiastic supporters of Israel in America are getting old. On the Left, the younger generation sees Jews as white and white people are all bad. Instead, they side with Arabs, who are not white, so they are good. Chuck Schumer may run the Democrat party, but Ilhan Omar is the future of the party. Even if she is an exception, the brown coalition simply sees Jews as part of Team White, which makes them and their interests the enemy.

On the Right, mentally unstable left-wing Jews create more anti-Semites on a daily basis than Hitler did in a century. As the younger left-wing Jews, especially the women, try to burrow into the brown coalition, by going over the top in their anti-white rhetoric, whites young whites are reacting to this rhetoric. To say that Michelle Goldberg is bad for Jews is to say that cancer is bad for people, but so far Jews have yet to figure out how to think about addressing that problem, much less curing it.

That’s another problem for Israel, maybe the most serious one. The Michelle Goldberg type is a dying breed. Reformed and Conservative Jews in America stopped having kids, just like occidentals. They also started marrying out of the Tribe. As a result, the ratio of Jews to non-Jews in the country is half what it was at the middle of the last century. The explosion of birth rates and immigration on the Orthodox side promises to change the complexion of Jewishness. Demographics is everyone’s destiny.

To understand this dynamic and what it means for Israel, think about how the Jewish vote broke in the 2016 election. Trump won the Orthodox voters, as he is pro-Israel, but he lost the rest of the Jewish vote. The old gag was that the Jews lived like Episcopalians and voted like Puerto Ricans. Today, the non-Orthodox vote like blacks and live like homosexuals. That vital coalition for Israel is now backing anti-Israel candidates and erasing themselves from the book of life. That’s bad for Israel.

Of course, these demographic changes are driven by the same forces that are undermining occidental communities. The reason there is such a thing as alt-Jew is the same reason there is an alt-right. What it means to be Jewish in modern America is under assault by modern America. The reason the Orthodox have so many kids is they see a bright future. The reason the rest of the Diaspora in North America is not having kids is they wish they had never been born. Self-loathing is their religion.

There’s something else with Jews that is unique to them. A big part of Jewish identity is seeing themselves as the plucky underdog put upon by a hostile world. As they rose to the top of American society, they were changed by their immersion into the Progressive cultural outlook. Just as Jews were Hellenized by the Greeks, Jews in America were changed by those ruling class Protestants they found themselves competing with and working with in the high ground of American society.

There’s good reason to mock the term Judeo-Christian, but there is such a thing as Judeo-Puritan. That’s the ethos of the America ruling elite now. The almost berserk obsession with collective judgement and the need to subvert their own system in order to perpetual a state of constant revolution, draws from both traditions. The moralizing prudishness has been inverted to attack traditional morality, while the outsider instinct has been weaponized to create a perpetual state of crisis.

This warping of Jewish identity is most obvious with the neocons. Their enthusiasm for crusading around the world to spread democracy is written off by anti-Semites, as part of their plot to help Israel. In reality, it is the result of internalizing the missionary zeal and universalism of their Protestant brothers in the Judeo-Puritan orthodoxy. The Protestants send missionaries to torment the bad whites inside America, while the Jews send those bad whites out to impose liberal democracy on the rest of the world.

Overall, the dynamic in America is not a good one for Israel. The disintegrating old white America is undermining general support for Israel. It is opening the doors to left-wing anti-Zionists among the coalition of the ascendant. The Jews most supportive of Israel financially, and best able to influence government policy, are fading into a demographic oblivion. The partnership of Trump’s over-the-top civic nationalism and Netanyahu’s over-the-top Zionism is like the last concert for an old band about to retire.

For Israel, it means figuring out how to work with nationalist movements in Europe and white identity movements in the United States. Jews in the Diaspora have the luxury of railing against these movements, but Israelis are far more sober minded. They have no choice but to be pragmatic, as their survival depends upon it. What seems like an unlikely partnership today, is most likely the path forward for Israel. The world’s only ethno-state will have to support the concept of ethno-nationalism for everyone.

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What Comes Next

One of the great challenges of dissident politics is creating and articulating a vision for what comes next. A large number of people have become aware of the central issues around identity politics, so what do they do to start changing society? Is the next step public activism? Is it creating a political party? Is it taking over an existing party or backing certain candidates? People have been conditioned to think politics is about changing public opinion in order to change the laws and culture in some way.

This is the liberal model everyone reading this has been raised to accept. Our history has been rewritten to support this idea. Our modern politics is full of symbols and rituals designed to reinforce this belief. Even the economic sphere is drenched in the principles of free market idealism. Don’t like that massive tech oligopolies are stripping you of you legal right? Just go create a competitor! The liberal democratic system teaches the people that they live in a massive market place of ideas, so change is about market share.

That’s probably the hardest thing for newly minted rebels to accept about right-wing identity politics. They have been conditioned to believe they must act on their beliefs in order to get others to do the same. In reality, there is no way forward within liberal democracy to attain the goals of national populists or identitarians. The reason is the system is fully evolved to perpetuate itself. Any effort by outside elements to engage the system result in the outside influences being fully incorporated into the system.

This is something that is easily observed in Europe, where it is still possible to create new political parties and participate in electoral politics from outside the very narrow mainstream. This wonderful translation, by Christoph Nahr, of a German identitarian essay on the subject is worth a read. This is a problem that exists in America in the form of Trumpism. How do dissidents engage in politics in order to further our goals, without being absorbed into the political habitus or destroyed by it?

This is something Sam Francis observed about the conservative movement when it was reaching its peak. In order for Buckley conservatives to become an effective political force, they had to embrace the rules and customs of liberal democratic politics, as defined by the Left. The Left controlled the moral framework, so in order to participate in politics meant embracing the Progressive moral framework. In the view of Francis, it was only a matter of time before they were absorbed by it.

That is what happened with Buckley conservatism. It could remain a challenge to the Progressive order only as long as exogenous factors created tension between themselves and the Left. The threat of nuclear annihilation artificially created a debate between the two sides of the increasing narrow political space. Once that exogenous force was removed, the moral gravity drew both sides into the center like a collapsing star. The result is the political mono-space of neoliberalism.

One way of approaching this problem is to accept the framework of liberal democracy, but focus on the people in charge. Like a church in need of reform, the Progressive clerisy can be replaced and thus reinvigorate the institution. If only the people in charge of the institutions accepted dissident ideas, then the system could be turned in the direction of dissident politics. This is essentially what Christian conservatives embraced in the 1980’s resulting in the Bush victory in 2000. It was a total failure for them.

It is this truth of liberal democracy and right-wing political philosophy that is the hardest for even the most sober minded to accept. The two are utterly incompatible. For generations, the Right has blinded itself to this reality, by fashioning itself as the defender of tradition and the restorer of community. They have seen themselves as the cleanup crew that comes in after the Progressive riot to put things back in order. For generations, the Right has been the janitorial staff of the Progressive state.

Since the core of liberal democracy is the abnegation of community, in favor of the public will, free association is impossible. The person is identified and defined by his role in the democracy. On the other hand, all forms of conservatism begin with the organic social habitus of shared history and identity. Therefore there can be no conservatism without free association. It’s not the artificial freedom of individualism, as preached by liberal democracy, but the freedom of organic communities to reach their own destiny.

That is the reality of dissident politics. It is not about “politics” in the conventional sense of the word. It is about a set of understandings with the goal of constructing organic communities that operate outside of the liberal democratic system. That means breaking the conditioning of white people, who have been raised to reject this approach, so they can focus their energy on building a counter-culture that challenges the prevailing orthodoxy on moral grounds, not factual grounds.

This is an enormous challenge, as the aesthetic for the Right, especially the bourgeois class, is as a restorer and defender. It is a backward looking mindset that not only sees solutions in the past, but sees the past as the solution. Building a counter-culture at odds with the remaining orthodoxy is the sort of stuff they associate with degenerates and communists. Yet, that is what must come next as liberal democracy winds its way to its inevitable denouement. Dissident politics is about what comes after this.

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Of Two Minds

Probably the only thing that everyone agrees upon in modern America is that the ideological divide has grown wider over the last few decades. This divide becomes even starker when one redefines the Right to be the center of dissident opinion, rather than conventional conservatism. While the Buckley crowd runs faster after the radicals as they plunge into the darkness, the dissidents are pretty much where the Buckley Right was at the start of the cultural revolution in the 1960’s.

In fairness, the dissident right has moved further into the biological realism camp in the last ten years or so. If we define Left and Right as one pole being the blank slate and the other being biological reality, the Right has now moved further toward the later pole, as the Left has raced toward the other. This is explains why the great compromisers, the Buckley Conservatives, have been pulled apart over the last two decades. It is no longer possible to ignore these poles and no longer possible to bridge them.

One thing that everyone outside the radical Left seems to accept is the Left has become far more emotional and emotionally unstable over the last few decades. The Left, of course, would dispute this, if they bothered to address it, but even the most cowardly of Buckley Conservatives agrees with this assessment. The Left is now defined by its emotional outbursts and demands to shut down anyone that dares question the tenets of their faith. The waves of censorship are a direct result of these demands.

A good example of this institutional hysteria is the recent book by Hindu nationalist Angela Saini, which purports to show that biology is a social construct. This is a woman, who for very personal reasons, has to claim that race and ethnicity are figments of our imagination, but writes books celebrating her people. Saini is a great example of the internally conflicted and perpetually panicked Left. Her latest book is an effort to use cherry picked science to anathematize the human sciences, in defense of ideology.

The fevered tone, however, is self-defeating, as it further isolates the blank slate crowd as a ghetto culture of radicals. When an algorithm can create your face just from your voice, the notion that we are not what of biology dictates is preposterous. When ancestry companies are relying upon cheek swabs to tell people their race, ethnicity and the origin of their people, Angela Saini sounds like a mad woman. This is what the Left appears to be today. A collection of emotionally overwrought primitives.

The question is why the Left appears to be going mad. David Aurini has a go at it looking at the Big Five Personality Traits. The radical Left is high in Agreeableness and Neuroticism, while being very low in Conscientiousness. As a result, they panic when they perceive any threat and demand everyone get along – or else. They are also more intensely on-line (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), which tends to amplify their sense of being surrounded by threats, thus elevating their level of panic.

Of course, another way to looking at this great divide is along sexual lines. The Left is clearly more feminine today than at any time. The people on the Left assailing biological reality are people like Angela Saini, Amy Harmon and Cordelia Fine. They write books claiming biology is a social construct. While there are some thirsty betas on the Left nodding along with these sorts of women, the point of the spear in the war against the human sciences is mainly populated with the daughters of Mars.

Another aspect to this is the browning of the Left in America. The Left is not only being feminized, it is being tribalized by people like Angela Saini. She can never be occidental and is therefore condemned to live outside the Western tradition. Because she can never be fully part of the West, but is detached from her people’s past, she has to work toward creating a new reality that can include the immigrant reality. While in the past, Left and Right existed within Western identity, the Left is slowly detaching from it.

This is probably the key reason the Left now feels so alien to even the milquetoast members of the Buckley Right. People like David French desperately try to keep pace with the Left as it rockets away from the core of Western identity, but he remains tethered to Western tradition. There’s simply no way to fit the shared reality of strangers, who immigrated to the West, into the shared reality of the natives. Their realities are too different and largely at odds. The Left is now defined by its degree of separation.

Just as important, this new identity evolving on the Left is a negative one. It is defined by its hostility to the core Western man. The attempts by those in the remnant of the Buckley Right to find common ground with the new Left is seen as an assault. Any effort to incorporate the identity of the new comers into the Western tradition is viewed as cultural appropriation, another way of saying an assault on their identity. As a result, it appears the West is at war with itself as the distance between the poles widen.

To some degree, the West has been at war with itself for a long time. One side has always thought the importation of strangers was suicide. The other side came to believe it was vital. There’s no bridging the gap between these two opinions. It turns out that the former was always correct. The new political divide, therefore, will be between those alien infiltrators, and their native collaborators, hostile to the heritage identity, and the natives, who remain in the core Western tradition and identity.

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