Post-Modern Awakening

Religious awakenings or re-awakenings are common in human civilizations, particularly in the West. They manifest themselves in different ways, but the root is always a sense that society has lost its way and strayed from the moral path. When enough people come to this conclusion, a cascade preference begins and a mass movement forms to start the return to that moral path. It may be a restoration of the old faith or it can be the rise of a reform movement. Of course, it can also be the start of a new religion entirely.

Social cycle theory holds that a return to the old faith, maybe tuned for the age, is part of the end phase of society. The beliefs that were part of the young culture, but faded away in the middle age of the people, makes a comeback of sorts in the winter of the culture. It’s not nostalgia driving the revival, but a sense that the thing that inspired the best years of the people has been lost. The religious revival we have seen in the Islamic world is a good example. They are trying to recapture a lost golden age.

In the English speaking world, particularly America, another religious phenomenon has been observed. The Great Awakening was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and the colonies in the 18th century. It was the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism within the Protestant churches. While considered a singular event, historians have noted that America has undergone subsequent revivals, where a blend of strong social activism and religious revival sweep the nation.

An argument made here, from time to time, is that the spasms of Progressive activism we have seen over the last century are an extension of this cycle. The New Deal was more than just about political reform or addressing the economic crisis. After the war, a period of relative social harmony led to the great cultural upheavals of the 60’s and 70’s, which were clearly spiritual, as well as political. These were no longer explicitly Christian, but “Judeo-Christian”, reflecting the new composition of the elite.

These periods of social activism are described as revolutions, as if they are led by plucky outsiders trying to ignite change in a resistant society. In reality, these efforts, including the current spasm we are experiencing today, are top-down and within the ruling elite itself. If you look at these movements, going back to the Great Awakening, you see they are not led by outsiders. Instead, they were led by people of high status, who first sought to reform the top of society, then society as a whole.

The political face of the New Deal, for example, was the result of an intellectual competition within the ruling elite of America. It was argued between the radicals, who embraced ideas from the old world, versus those who embraced the uniquely American sense of social reform. If you go back and read the early Progressives, many salted their language with Christian references that only a believer could grasp. The Left became anti-Christian, but it has its roots in the 19th century evangelicalism.

The other side to these spasms of social reform and spiritual awakening is a militarism that sees itself as missionary work. America’s involvement in the Great War was due, in part, to Progressives like Theodore Roosevelt casting it as a moral duty. “Making the world safe for democracy” is not a practical goal. It is a religious aim. Similarly, the fight against fascism was seen and is still seen, as a moral crusade. Of course, the neoconservative effort to democratize the Muslim world was a spiritual crusade.

These spasms of religiosity, spiritualism and social activism, within the context of Christian belief, had some built in limits. Within the Christian context, utopianism could be avoided, as that contradicts Christian dogma. By the 20th century, however, American elites were losing their Christianity. The arrival of Jewish intellectuals in the early 20th accelerated the secularization of the elite. As a result, the Progressive spasm of the 60’s and the current one, was and is anti-Christian and utopian.

This lack of a limiting principle in the “new religion” of the ruling class, and that’s what multiculturalism is when you think about it, inevitably leads to excess. The 60’s ended with excessive drug taking, social unrest and pointless terrorism. This current spasm appears to be burning itself out in mindless self-destruction, assaults on reason and self-mutilation. The race to stake out the most extreme position leads to an embrace of increasingly self-destructive behaviors by the people leading the revival.

Getting back to social cycle theory, where Spengler and others may have gone wrong is in their scope. Perhaps what we are seeing in America with these revivals is the end of a cultural phase, rather than the culture as a whole. The New Deal era closed the door on the post-Civil War period. The cultural revolution of the 60’s closed the door on the New Deal consensus. This current spasm is closing the door on the New Left consensus that defined the late Cold War and post-Cold War period. This the end, not the beginning.

The question then is what comes next. There’s not much in the way of intellectual development, in terms of moral philosophy or political philosophy, on either side of the Progressive order. The liberals are mostly shrieking primitives, defending their privileges from anything they see as a threat. The conservatives are just a nostalgia cult, telling each other stories about Reagan and Bill Buckley. Their beloved principles are just a map to a room off to the side where they can reminisce about the old days.

Baring some revolution at the top, whatever comes next for America after this awakening is going to be external to it. Perhaps that is what we’re seeing with the various dissident movements percolating in the West. With the fading of the American empire, new ideas are springing up at home and abroad. At some point, a new moral framework will coalesce to challenge the brittle dying orthodoxy. Alternatively, maybe what comes next is a new dark age. Perhaps this Progressive spasm the last one before the lights go out.

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119 thoughts on “Post-Modern Awakening

  1. Reading about the end of the world is always a sunny start to a wet dreary Monday. I live about 90 miles north of Lagos and it is a lovely day!

    • LOL, sometimes I also wonder why I look forward to the daily doom and gloom so much.

      Thinking about it, I realize that I’m just grateful that there is someone else out there who is still connected to reality. Sometimes I think “am I really the only one seeing this shit?” and feel like I’m going crazy.

      Now that one has to play-act based on a phony version of the world in political life and increasingly at the office, too, it heartens me to know that there are still a few members of the Reality Club left.

      • There are tens of millions of us in the Reality Club. But we’re atomized and feckless, and our oppressors are not. We don’t speak ‘truth to power’ but they certainly speak ‘power to truth.’ And they’re winning every day, on every front, exploiting weapons and tools unavailable to 20th century tyrants, a witches’ brew of technology, social science, and massive wealth. They might be stopped – as the Martian invaders were stopped in ‘The War of the Worlds’ – by some deus ex machine like a virus, but they won’t be stopped by us.

        • This isn’t entirely true for a number of reasons but rather than go there let me say this.

          The perception of this failure is entirely our fault. Modern technology is far more democratic than you might think and most of the people on team reality are pretty smart.

          Our own social inability to obey orders outside of the police and military and barely that , feckless individualism , lack of adherence to any authority even religious and lack of any way to convince ourselves that we can make a better society dooms us

          Quoth The Big Lebowski

          Nihilists, Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

          The Right’s inability to have any ethos, its mortal terror of having and using authority and its mindless adherence to antiquated and mythical rural values is the problem

          We live in an 80% urban nation for Pete’s sake and if somehow the US went back to pre 1965 demographics, we’d probably get more urban not less . Yes more. Cheaper land and safer cities would mean more people would to them, not away.

          You can’t flog ideas that don’t fit reality when you aren’t ion charge

          The Right claims it craves freedom but for the most part we already have that and are choking on it.

          Hell its perfectly legal in all 50 states to live as a trad con and/or take the Benedict option , porn, abortion on demand, gun carry is available in 2/3 of States, I could go on.

          There are exceptions, there are private sector consequences for questioning “The Narrative” and there is a lot of bad government policy involved with that narrative but arguably we have far more freedom than we had in 1980

          If the Right would get of its butt and admit that it wants to authority and power to build a healthy society that and this healthy society would be better for all in it they could succeed

          Instead its a giant tantrum of leave me alone and a movement of hyper individualistic political man children is not a movement at all

          A movement has to make society with government guns the way they want it or someone else will. No cucking, no opting out, no running away. Rule of be ruled,

          On those grounds, clown world, as inept as they are can actually takes power, use for various ends, often good ones and deserves to rule

          • I like Walker Percy’s resolution to the question of suicide. Hear me out on this.

            His thesis is sound. You find yourself looking at the total situation, and the idea of suicide crops up again and again, not as an emotional response to circumstances but, in fact, a rational response. We here at the Z blog celebrate rationality.

            Suicide is a logical, rational reaction to your situation. Rather than killing yourself – this is the Percy recommendation – you just declare yourself dead, and start over again. You are an ‘ex-suicide’.

            The sun shines, breakfast is good, and you are free from all those vexations that led you to kill yourself; you just happen to still be alive, even though you are dead.

            All sounds right to me.

          • That’s a lot like Stoicism 2019 edition and its the greatest life hack known for men.

            I’m imperfectly stoic myself, I do my best to mix a little Buddhism and Stoicism with Traditionalism

            The Stoic way is a very good way to live though no doubt if it became the default for productive men, consumer society would freak out harder than they already do with MGTOW

            That said I don’t feel despair about the whole thing as its not on me to solve the problems . All I can do is my part which is in my clumsy way is to tell people to do is to figure out what they truly want and build an ethos around that.

            The rest is on them.

            Also I have no wife or children nor plans for any. This disinterest kind of predates clown world and is my own fault anyway. so I have little to lose. When I’m dead my problems are over and I’m middle aged.

            Everything dies including societies and if ours can’t defend itself, can’t adapt and can’t work without its imported religion than it can join the countless others than have died before it

    • I’m 60 miles south of you and it’s pissing down,
      Closer to the Imperial Capital.

      • Gulp. Hm..stock market 500 pts down, then read Z. Hm…brittle dying orthodoxy…whatever we have is dying….new dark age….lights going out…Ebola spreading in Congo. Quiver! Mostly prepped up and ready to go. Wish we had a 1950’s truck though. Feet and bicycle have to do. Note to self: take more walks.

        Break time…See you tomorrow. Southern Utah gorgeous today…..blue sky… green mountains rising behind my house…75 degree high on flats. Packing a picnic lunch, heading up the plateau to 10,000 feet. Will look for some critters, maybe a few marmots, check out the spring bloom, enjoy Cedar Breaks, look for interesting birds, check out rocks, cook a great dinner.

        You too can get out of the swarming hives of the city. Totally rots your brain and lose touch with the Real World. Quit saying you can’t. Start planning as your future becomes now. Good people to figure this out with. You’re going to wish you had. I did it and I’m an average watt bulb.

        Can’t see what form the death spasms will take so will deal with the decline of western civilisation tomorrow, Scarlett. Just a reminder for middle aged and older folks to take good care of yourselves, rest the brain when you can as you’re going to need a functioning adrenal system with a few endorphins kicking in when shit is flying. You younger folks can ignore this.

        Let’s see…will check out the ski area up the hill for how much snow left. See if the antelope are playing near Mammoth Creek. Frisky buggers! Damned wolves a problem in Oregon/Washington but not yet in Southern Utah. Introduced by greenies couple decades ago. Wolf packs are growing, more killing frenzy behavior and not eating kill…starting to stalk humans now after pushing wolves food prey into suburbs. More difficult for ranchers(see Range Magazine article). This is why we are armed. Am in control of my world when packing. I dropped an antelope when I was 23 and meat is gamey and tough as shoe leather. Should have brined it. If I sit quietly, the antelope herd will circle around to check me out…once passing within 20 feet to stare at me. Don’t move. Yep…probably stuck eating Prairie Dog Pie in the future.

        • Range, you got to see the Heights, and may see the Fall.
          A child of the epic Golden Age!

          They will speak of us for 10,000 years.

          • Maybe. Or maybe we’ll be as forgotten as the Minoans and remembered only in myths if at all.

          • Hi Alzaebo.Had a grand day on top of the world at 10,000 ft. Conjured up 2 herds of deer, a fat waddly marmot, a pleasant mountain shower, and….my buck antelope I was hoping to see. He was so engrossed nibbling tender grass and I was so quiet, he got within 15 feet just nibbling along. I sat for 10 minutes and studied the buck guy, starting to shed, and how an antelope has thin lips and a small rapid nibble. Sweet! Damn…don’t know how to post the picture I took.
            I say all this girl nonsense and piffle to inspire the Z folks. Read Pimpkin and A.B. above thread and I get that we’re rugged individualists and we’ll need to herd up to create our brave new world. Yes….there are some big brained people here that are inspiring. And a lot of folks are like me and just explode in energy-draining brain fever watching the slow-motion car wreck of this nation. You’re going to wear out from the stress of anticipating. So start making your plans to get out. Start making a list of options. Options are everything! Options to de-stress living in the city. You won’t do anybody any good if you fall apart. Don’t let yourself get trapped. That’s when depression sets in. If nothing else, take a walk and pat a tree.

    • Dude, it’s not cricket to make a cryptic pronouncement like that and then just waltz away with no further elaboration. Some people don’t know what you’re referring to, others do but have multiple conflicting opinions of the significance. Can you tell us what you, individually, mean by this?

        • So it’s mostly the 10 commandments with most of the restrictions against covetousness removed. Heh. Typical.

          No, I doubt that’s going to be the new moral framework when most Americans have no idea what the term “Noahide” even means.

          I note that the Jewish Encylopedia entry referenced in the Wiki page egregiously misrepresents the Acts 15 passage to which it refers.

        • We’ve been living in the Kol Nidre era since about oh, lets go for 1965 or so,

          (and no, they’re lying to you. It predates 1478.)

      • Original comment was just a prediction. No other alternative moral framework has more traction right now. See Noahide.org and NoahideOnline.com.

        • The overwhelming majority of people in the U.S. have no idea what the Noahide Laws are, and most won’t care in the least if it was explained to them.

        • We need a ‘new moral framework’ because the ‘old moral framework’ we inherited from our ancestors requires too much actual morality from us.

          Surely there can be some ‘constitutional convention’ of the soul – some new moral system, based, naturally, on sound science – that allows us to not lose sleep over our daily compromises with what we know to be a world of lies.

          • How about a framework not rooted in Middle Eastern thought for a change.?

            Is not a lack of moral effort anyway but using a moral code built for a past people and way of living

            We live in cities now , most of us have jack in common with the means of production and we have immediate global communication and rapid travel . Even our poor can have access to tech that provides phenomenal wealth

            We may not keep this but if we do, we can’t keep assuming old moral systems will work in that environment . They clearly do not.

            Our moral codes kind of assume a basic ignorance of the world and lack of information to contradict that which makes no damn sense in a world where everyone has at least shallow knowledge of nearly everything at the touch of a button

            Of course its not like this problem is new, We’ve had birth control for families since 1965 and for all people since 1972 and in that 47+ years have been unable to adapt the the idea that women and couples have control over fertility

            We can’t even get the idea that “babies cost more in cities and in order to keep up numbers wages need to be enough” We’d rather commit civic suicide with immigration than change our chiseling habits

            Making a rational system of morals is however not possible, morals are inherently irrational. Amoral familism ,amoral clannishness or sociopathy are rational , not morals

            Moral systems also can only be imposed of the elite live them and over the longer time decrease entropy . Our elite buy into progressive thinking well enough but in increases entropy so its failing

            This means any system created at the Con Con of the Soul will fail unless enough elite in an area practice it and are able to enforce its traditions

  2. Z man:

    I’ve always thought one of your most interesting observations is that the progressives are merely repackaged Puritans from New England. To a fairly large extent, that appears correct.

    Just a heads up, I hope you have back ups and alternative plans available given that Chateau Heartiste was just deplatformed on WordPress last week. Scary times man, make sure all your great stuff is backed up and ready to go somewhere else!

    • He has discussed this before — he uses WordPress software, but hosts his site himself, so they don’t have the ability to deplatform him.

      • Z reached out to Heartiste via Gab right after the deplatforming with sound advice on a way forward.
        Nuking the Chateau was a big tactical blunder by the TechLords & Ladies. It got a lot of attention and only proves the points that CH and Z make regularly.

        Tech has become the wicked stepmother gazing into the mirror,mirror on the wall seeing only fairness. The reality is they’re staring at Dorian Gray.

        • I don’t read his stuff but Roosh V was banned from Chase WePay, which, apparently, he used for selling tickets to his tour stops. Getting kicked off of Facebook or Twitter is one thing, not being allowed to use credit cards or accept credit cards, get a loan or have a bank account is quite another.

          FinTech is the real danger.

          • Roosh V isn’t the only one. That tactic has been used against other conservative activists and against gun dealers.

            If it goes much farther, I expect violence. Getting kicked off social media is one thing. Finding that “no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” is quite another.

          • This is why – when you hear “conservatives” say that they’re fine with the efforts to eliminate cash in favor of “electronic transactions” – they need to get a good swift kick in the nuts.

            The stupidity of some people who should know better really never ceases to amaze me.

          • “…when you hear “conservatives” say that they’re fine with the efforts to eliminate cash in favor of “electronic transactions” – they need to get a good swift kick in the nuts.”

            Don’t disagree but it means monitoring them 24/7 because “conservatives” say they’re fine with EVERYTHING.

          • Kicking them in the balls at least gives them something else to think about for a brief period of time. Do it enough – and maybe they finally get the hint and pre-emptively shut themselves up before saying stupid things and just mindlessly agreeing.

            Either way I’m a full fledged believer that the world simply does not work correctly unless pain is inflicted for stupidity.

            More to your point: It’s also a good topic to use to call out people who align themselves as conservative – while supporting everything that is not.

            Having a means of exchange that is at least somewhat immune to the predations of the government in general and the left in particular – should be cornerstone of anybody who wants to align themselves as conservative. Anybody who goes against that – should be thrown off the wagon – AND kicked in the nuts for good measure.

          • You’re right. If I can own guns and pay cash for stuff, I’m still fundamentally a free man.

    • If anyone wants to help Chateau Heartiste save his old articles, I’ve noticed that if you subscribe to the WordPress “reader” after making a creator account, that Heartiste’s posts are all still available in that internal reader at WordPress.

    • Chateau Heartiste is coming back right? He’ll get a new server? I miss it so much. He’s been radio silent on Gab

      • Per Dutch: google, oops, duckduckgo “Chesapeake” and “Lagos”, that we may find one another.

    • “I’ve always thought one of your most interesting observations is that the progressives are merely repackaged Puritans from New England.”

      That observation comes from Moldbug, not Z-man

  3. I think it’s a mistake to view the revivals as “cultural” or “political” movements primarily. Jonathan Edwards may have been an “elite”, but as far as we can tell, his motivations were genuinely religious. The revivals by and large really were authentically religious. John Wesley wasn’t an “elite” and indeed suffered for his revivalism and he’s not the only one.

    The “religious” nature of progressivism was usually the result not of a revivalist, broadly orthodox Christianity, but of FORMER revivalist, broadly orthodox Christians. It was men with Christian software, but less faith in actual Jesus Christ. Some exceptions of course (especially regarding prohibition, and Billy Sunday stands out there as well as female suffrage).

    We make a mistake if we view religion as “secretly” political. Religion properly speaking impacts almost incidentally, since sincere religion impacts everything.

      • That’s why actually enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy is important, of course it’s not foolproof (the Pharisees were doctrinally orthodox right up till they weren’t). But the Bible itself is clear that if some things are denied, such as the Incarnation, kick the guy out, he’s not one of you. If we just pushed out the actual, open, persistent, and confessed heretics, we’d have 80% of the problem licked. It may not be enough but it’d be a start.

    • Remember, the Bible was a secret manual for the elite. They even had to learn dead languages to read it, a winnowing process.

      Then Gutenberg invented the printing press; only then did it become the encyclopedia to create a literate civilization. The White World fireworks were lit.

      • It really wasn’t though. Translations were happening from the very beginning, originally the NT was in koine Greek, intelligible, later translated into Latin while that was the dominant language, even early Gothic translations. Not undercutting the importance of Gutenberg for widespread literacy, but reading the Bible as “secret manual for the elite” doesn’t seem accurate if I understand what you mean by it.

  4. I have always though that we were seeing a mutated great awakening in the USA. Its no mistake that this also tracks with the the spasm of religious extremism elsewhere. What comes next? Tyranny and decay. With no fresh ideals to unify the polygot mess they have created, the elites will simply exercise power and privilege while the victors of the culture war loot and rape. It will be a few generations before a fresh set of ideals arises and new coalitions form.

    • This sounds right to me. The last, dying convulsions of our post-Christian society are being controlled by morphine injections, but everyone knows the end-game is at hand. The peripheral relatives are positioning to get named in the will, steal the silverware, usw.

      It remains to be seen if America will continue as a country – a different country, certainly, but unfragmented as a political or possibly even a cultural unit. The USSR fell apart, but Russia is still there; Germany was stripped of its Baltic provinces after WW2, but it’s still there. Japan was bombed into the middle ages by US air attack, but it’s still there. France, India, Italy, China, despite what they’ve been through, are still there. These aren’t merely countries – they are ‘peoples’.

      We are on the cusp of discovering whether or not we are a people, or merely – like the old Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman Empires – a collection of undifferentiated subjects bound only by our tax collectors. They too were what Ben Shapiro or Mark Levin would call ‘proposition nations’. And the proposition was this: You pay, We rule.

  5. “Alternatively, maybe what comes next is a new dark age.”

    If we can finally upend progressivism even at the cost of deep cuts in production and consumption (a dark age and all that implies), we will have a chance to reestablish a natural archeo structure to the West.

    There is no possible path to that end that doesn’t involve violent upheaval even if North America were all white.

    Add 100 million plus non whites to this mix and Enoch’s “rivers” become inevitable.

    Any path that obliterates the current social order and gives us a chance or our descendants a chance to save the West for Western peoples is a path worth pursuing.

    Our tribe is very good at rebuilding.

    • I enjoy having plentiful food and a comfortable life but I think the dark Age is coming. My theory is caveman are conservative and everything moving forward from cavemen moves towards liberalism but the culture is what happens on the sides during those millennia but ultimately everything just gets too crazyand unstable and collapses back in on itself and then you are back to the basics. That’s how you get the Iron Age out of the destruction of the Bronze age

      • Go for robustness in your preps, not efficiency. Mid-20th century (roughly WW2 through Korea) radios, generators, welders, pumps, trucks, tools. Heavy and inefficient, but simple, totally overbuilt and understressed. No chips, no black boxes. Will typically run on poor or old fuel. Easily repairable.

  6. Very good post.

    FWIW and I know that many of your readers will disagree, the interesting stuff is happening in the Catholic Church at the moment, there is a battle between the Left and Right factions and I reckon neither side is going to win. Although it may not look like it now, a third force will emerge from it which I feel will be able to recapture the spiritual sources will give Western man a will to live.

    Otherwise it’s game over.

  7. Zman, thank you for another good essay. I’ve been thinking about your comments that Christianity, as a cultural force, tends to prevent or at least reduce purity spirals, like we are now seeing among the progs as they reach out for new levels of insanity. I think this was a particularly good insight. I agree we will never go back to the way things were – but I think what we will see in our culture over the next 40 years or so is a couple of rounds of new judeo-paganism as the answer proposed is adherence by all to the universal so-called Noahide laws. We will see a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. It will suddenly be popular to believe in God, and our elites will tell us what that means.

  8. The big difference in our current “revival” is the lack of homogeneity of the population. The Great Awakening and even the World War I utopianism occurred within a relatively homogeneous population. When you add in ethnic conflicts on top of religious fervor, with competing groups squabbling over a shrinking pie, I don’t see a happy outcome.

    • Yeah, that’s the thing that makes what comes next so unpredictable—the diversity we have. At least unpredictable in knowing how it unravels. But unravel it will, which is the predictable part.

    • Your use of the word “population” rather than “nation” is interesting. The United States has indeed become a mere “population” — a simple census count, a tabulation of a total number of certain unconnected persons who all simply happen to be standing within certain boundary lines at the moment. It is not just a “lack of homogeneity of the population” but the grafting on of an entirely new second nation within a nation — an entirely new, ad-hoc, frankly made-up identity calling itself “People of Color” which has blossomed with astonishing rapidity like a gigantic prodigious tumor within the erstwhile American body politic. (We all know of the long-standing deep-rooted bonds between the Jurchen, the Ashanti, the Turkmen and the Mayans as fellow People of Color.)

      What’s worse, the invention of this bogus identity has birthed itself under stealth Jewish moral and intellectual leadership and fostering — a framework which is deeply foreign and actively hostile, which is not merely un-American and UN-Christian but deeply and virulently anti-American and anti-Christian.

      The Judeo-POC axis is founded not on “reform”, but on an ethos of hatred, envy, jealousy and spite. There is no “homogeneity” between a tapeworm and its host — they both simply happen to be in the same place at the same time.

    • I reckon multiculturalism is the natural successor to Communism: both philosophies that go against human nature and therefore can’t work.

      Communism went against the natural instinct to property. Multiculturalism goes against the natural instinct of fellow-feeling.

      Communism killed 100 million. Multiculturalism will probably do at least as well.

      Out of respect for the Zman’s gentility (pun!) on the JQ, I shall refrain from pointing out who designed both systems.

      • The liquidation of national identity is at the heart of The Plan. To produce a worldwide paste of culturally indistinguishable producers and consumers, with a corresponding imposition of cultural homogeneity, a world of CPUs all blabbing to each other on social media in clipped and brutish English, means enormous profits well into the future for our rulers, not all of whom belong to the tribe you refer to.

        Karl Marx was right in one important way: The social struggle is vertical not horizontal; the entire panorama of human social life has been the story of the rulers, the slaves, and the middle – the clerks in one system, the bourgeoisie in another system, the priests in yet another.

        The ‘middle’ is where the action is, when it comes to the character of a society.

    • Heard this a day or two ago:

      Even among our own kind are we too atomized to balkanize?

      • Certain folks are trying to trigger another brother war with Russia.

        When outnumbered, you make your enemies kill each other.

        • I also see migrant columns from Central and South America, the Latin Spring.

          The Eurabia/Med Union will meet China’s One Belt, with the resources of the Third world, the shipping lanes of the South, and the oil depot of the Mideast. Desperate Ice People in their ruins will accept the new rule as neo-Greek slave tutors.

        • If I were Vlad the Impaler, I would declare Russia a white homeland; within ten years he’d sit atop the most dynamic economy and civilization of the 21st century. At least 25 million Americans would bolt, myself among them, to escape the coming nightmare and to enjoy the wide open spaces of the Siberian taiga.

          • Russia is heavily Muslim and Asian, it won’t work. Its also not a Western society. Its an interstitial one between West and East.

            Also running away just hands your enemy a cheap victory. They should pay for every inch

            I means seriously our culture invented nukes, modernized germ and chemical warfare , invented robotics and now we are running away from low IQ savages because we won’t accept that we need to be in charge and to make it happen.

            Stop being so atomized, learn to cooperate for group goals or your culture will die the death it deserves

          • I must stop being atomized,.. I must stop being atomized… I’m repeating this as I fall asleep, for goodness knows I don’t want my culture to die the death it deserves; no, I want the culture that has industrialized abortion, celebrates degeneracy as national policy, ignores the dignity of its citizens by opened borders, suppresses free thought, enriches the unscrupulous, etc., to prevail and to live!

            +1 for your wise correction of my bad thought.

          • You completely misunderstood my post.

            As anyone with a room temperature knows, the Conservatives have conserved nothing of much value

            Clown World thus is the replacement culture for a failed Western civilization and the natural successor for Protestantism .

            If you want a better society you, you meaning a movement here needs to figure out what worked for human well being and to sustain society for a long time , make policy accordingly and jam it down peoples throats if they won’t cooperate

            In other words, its a group activity and the value of an individual is mostly determined by their cooperation with group norms

            Though no one will like this, they should not network with anyone opposed to group norms unless related by blood

            The SJW’s are right in the way they wish to punish people who don’t cooperate with the narrative, Its the way shit gets done and what the Right should be doing if it was in power

            The problem is that the Right took the ideas of the Constitution and its overarching value on individualism which is a Leftist value and added them to its corpus

            That gradually took away their ability to enforce moral standards since there are no standards.

            In reality the reason we’d limit the States ability to restrict arms isn’t some bullshit about rights but because an armed populace is good for society reducing crime and letting us cheap out on a standing military.

            Its much the same with porn, if you don’t want porn its because its immoral and immorality is harmful. You have to use force, Otherwise people who like sex which is nearly all of them will indulge in it

            Apparently though the only issue where this is understood was abortion and while the anti abortion people didn’t have enough following to fight the Feds, they were able to shut down a lot of abortion clinics and make Clown World spend a lot of money and capital on fighting them at every level

            You can disagree with illegal methods , hell I don’t think a fetus is a person till well into pregnancy but it worked and that movement is still around , fighting what they see as the good fight

            They actually are Conservative at least in exile, fighting to conserve the unborn

            The rest of the Right though doesn’t believe in anything enough to fight for it and so an urban society slips leftward

            Believe in something bigger than you even if its a silly ideology or lose every battle to someone who does.

      • That’s funny and shrewd. Balkanization means being Bosnians, or Montenegrins, etc. We can’t even muster the energy to be Elks Club members or Rosicrucians. We ‘bowl alone’, as Robert Putnam – a lib – noted some years ago.

  9. For all the talk of religion, its important to ponder that the Left will do its best to imitate the worst of the Jacobin Club the next time they seize power. There’s widespread thinking on the left that “taxing the churches” is of second-most importance after “tax the rich”.

    Of course, what they mean is “tax the bigots”. The woke, the synagogue and the mosque will get off easy. The real church, the university, will be fattened.

    • One thing to keep in mind is that the Jacobin Club of 1789 was a totally different animal than the one in 1794. Especially in Paris. And the guys that led Thermidor were to a man Jacobins themselves. Many of the Feuillants, and all of the Girondins were Jacobins. Many of the new nobility under Robespierre had been Jacobins. Read especially about Fouche’, and Sieyes.

  10. It isnt happening fast enough, but global birthrates ARE dropping below replacement level. The exception is Africa. The African population graphs just keep going up and up past 2100. And if you think the elite will shut their door on the Black Tide; well, …. it’s unlikely.

    Their new spirituality is perfect for this new reality. It demands they exalt the most vulgar, the most sexually deviant, and the most incompetent. Which means our rulers have a strange affinity for Blacks that boggles the mind. And its contagious, even affluent minorities are developing this strange affliction. Europe has gone so far as to import their own blacks to fawn over to decimate their cities. You can see it in the music they push, the fashion they wear, the commercials they make, the history they write. Just the general culture we are berated with.

    The world is set to watch the great cities of Europe swallowed up like Lagos. So our rulers will look on in religious ecstacy as the world just slowly decays.

    • Those graphs of African population growth are just a cautionary tale, not a reliable prediction. The thing about predicting things based on current conditions continuing far into the future is that current conditions virtually never continue far into the future.

      • I pray you are right. And history backs you. Europe’s population started to get out of hand after 1200. Harvests were excellent, trade flourished, people kicked up their heels a bit. A great era of building. By some criteria the peak of western civilization. There was art, beauty, community, craftsmanship, a common faith and purpose – all that stuff now laughed at and rejected in our advanced time. And very little war.

        Conditions changed in the 1300s, the Plague attacked, and the result was that Europe probably had fewer people in 1400 than it had had in 1300. To paraphrase Ninotchka from my favorite Ernst Lubitsch film – there were fewer but better Europeans.

        A massive die-off in Africa could be the start of a new age for them: Fewer but better Africans.

        A film worth checking out is ‘Empire of Dust’, which shows how frustrating these people are, to unsentimental Chinese contractors:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a-QpyF7rNc

        • I fear that the new spirituality of our elites is the pretext of war. Imagine it, the Chinese move in to make something out of the Africans and the Western Elite decide to protect their morality totems.

          We already feed the continent with foreign aid. We cure their diseases, like Ebola vaccines. Why wouldn’t we get dragged into a Great Crusade to save them from racist Chinese? After all, those Chinese are so racist, just like Hitler and they keep competing with Jewish power, just like Hitler. It’s only logical.

  11. In trying to explain this to my high school aged daughters keep ending up with the “Cargo Cult” illustration to explain what is happening on both the left and right. Each (their older brothers too) finds the assertions of racism puzzling since both have grown up in a world where the observable preferences–scholarships, college admittances with lower standards are all given to the very people screaming loudest about “structural racism”. Nobody is getting a hickory shampoo for drinking at the wrong water fountain. But the problem, sometimes, with getting what you thought you wanted simply means hordes of fatherless black teens murdering each other and their brighter peers finding themselves at Penn Law competing against kids with 300 LSAT and 25 IQ point advantages. Externalizing is always easier than self examination so Nate Forrest needs to be found under every bed and the old rituals that gave meaning during the 50s and 60s have to be revived. The Reagan Cult is no different. What I’m trying to do is help them find a new path. Hard, because, frankly, I’m struggling to figure out what it is too.

    • Yep, many young whites are noticing the inconsistencies. Pointing out affirmative action to college works well because it’s something they understand and care about. It’s that first crack to showing them the world of lies that they’ve been fed since birth.

      Many are smart enough to keep their mouths shut but their eyes open. All the brainwashing in the world isn’t enough to over reality.

      • Reminds me of the experience of one of my sons, who is studying engineering. For a design project that required designing and building a solution for an external client, a xirl of color was assigned to their team. She was perfectly nice, but while completely useless, spent most of her time reminding the rest of the team that she was part of the special honors program as though it was somehow a talisman against a complete inability to do CAD work, machine or fabricate parts, do basic line drawing or write up a design memo. Clearly she was way in over her head, but no one had ever been honest with her.

        • I had a friend 25 years ago back in Lagos (Baltimore) who worked as an electrical engineer on various defense department projects. They would constantly send his team these interns who all seemed to be black girls who were, like the ones your sons found, nice but useless. It makes sense when you realize how many young black men in the mid-Atlantic states are attending Felony University or dead. What’s left at the college level are the girls.

          Affirmative Action back then was almost entirely about blacks and the quotas reflected it with about 10% of spots reserved for them. The problem is that the Left has decided that because 10% AA didn’t cause total social collapse they can extend the quota systems to include a 50% female requirement in STEM fields, 30% hispanic, etc… This is analogous to reasoning that because you were able to run your car on 90% gas and 10% water, you can reverse the ratios and keep it running.

        • There is quite a bit of this going on in engineering programs. The xirl on your son’s team sounds like a prospective sales engineer and project manager.

          • Indeed. One of the ploys at my old university was a program in “engineering management”, populated by minorities. One ostensibly gets an engineering degree without the qualifications/requirements of an engineering degree—like higher order math. Problem is, as my son (in the field) has pointed out is when they are hired and assume they can direct “real” engineers. My take was that the “smart” ones learn quickly to become gray men in the organization and collect their check without creating waves.

    • SA,
      I’m a few years behind you as a father but I, too, haven’t landed on anything solid. For my kids, and my wife, I’ve had to sprinkle red pill dust on things for about 6 months now. It’s getting through based on conversations but I know I’ve got a long way to go.
      My wish, and prayer recently, is meat space discussions. That’s what I would like to see solved first. Vetted local connections. Just getting this out of my head would be helpful. When I poke around, I’ve yet to see anyone show up on my finely tuned radar. That’s both good and bad, of course.

      • Well, am about as deep in enemy territory as you can get and am continually surprised how many of us there are. With kids you have to let them figure out a lot on their own. For one of my daughters helping her re-learn much of her junior AP US History curriculum was the entree. What is interesting about this generation is they were largely raised with none of the real life civil rights issues people of my age were. So unless indoctrinated otherwise are largely guiltless as a starting point. I slip up and say “Jap” (which was common in my childhood) and they are all over me. Locally, you have to look for fellow travelers, do the secret handshake and reach out.

    • Top colleges and the professions are the water fountains of the new racial America.

  12. Don’t actually disagree with anything in the post. However, it seems that an assumption underlying the post is that things will proceed in a deliberative ideational process: our orthodoxy is dying, therefore we will formulate a new orthodoxy and new politics, or perhaps just lapse into chaos.

    There is, however, another possibility: the orthodoxy loses its legitimacy, but then the people brought into power with that orthodoxy hold power by raw force.

    “Don’t talk to me about Communism; what we have, we hold.”
    (Apocryphally attributed to Krushchev, if I recall.)

    Then, of course, it’s gulag time.

    Just today, police were going door-to-door in New Zealand asking people whether they have right-wing political beliefs. Gulags in New Zealand, who would’ve thunk it?

    https://summit.news/2019/05/13/new-zealand-citizens-receiving-home-visits-from-political-police/

    • Watched the videos at the link you posted , that’s really something – especially the police refusing to speak on camera.

    • I don’t particularly like it either, but I must note that I’m not positive we don’t have such here and it’s spreading. Most of the States with those anti gun laws allowing “temporary” impoundment seem to promote such visits. How many YT videos are there of FBI questioning/investigating folk for their social media postings? How common are the commercials touting; “see something, say something”?

    • Expletive!!
      That’s it, I’m putting the dogs in barkas- burqas for dogs. Maybe they’ll see that and pass me by.

      Unofficially mandatory for public women in NZ, now, so it’s good enough for Bowser. Bloody hell, my grandfather was from NZ.

  13. This idea of competing moral frameworks, and the emergence of new rival moralities in our own society, is one of your most interesting ongoing themes, Zman. Please continue developing it.

    Coincidentally, this very morning I wrote a comment on Steve Sailer’s blog about the issue–citing this forum, of course. Here’s the link, if anyone’s interested (currently comment #24 on Steve’s post, “Moderation or Monomania?”):

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/moderation/#comments

    • I am not sure how any sort of a moral framework survives or thrives when our overlords operate in an amoral/immoral fashion. Geographic distance used to give moral alternatives room to thrive. There is no longer any real distance from the centers of power, they have seen to that.

  14. “Alternatively, maybe what comes next is a new dark age. Perhaps this Progressive spasm the last one before the lights go out.”

    Spengler doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He called it correctly, in the Booby’s view.

    By 1945 Europe no longer existed. That’s right. It was divided between the Soviets and the Americans, two cultures most educated Europeans would have regarded as barbaric and beneath the quality and scope of European civilization.

    Now you can certainly make the claim that the USA is an extension of Western Civilization, hell the USSR was Communist, a philosophy based on the writings of a German, Karl Marx, who studied in the Hegelian school, so it’s not too much of a stretch to include the USSR in the “Western” world, kinda sorta.

    Nonetheless, Spengler didn’t say the West was about to collapse, but that it is in decline. Seeing the cradle of Western Civilization (ie. Europe) carved between two invaders that were Western-esque, but comparatively barbarian regardless, is a strong symptom of decline.

    The Americans and Russians may be thought of as preserving or honouring aspects of Western Civilization much like the Romans preserved and honoured aspects of Greek Civilization, long after Greece had ceased to be a relevant force in the world.

    I suspect that the decline of the West will result in the US dong something incredibly stupid, like try to make itself great again by picking a war against an underestimated opponent, like China or Russia, or by starting too many small wars against weak but determined opponents, like Iraq or Iran.

    If that happens a dark age could truly result.

    • I expect a new cold war with Russia and/or China fought by proxy in the middle east and Africa.

    • I repeat: a Brother War. They must keep the White World from reuniting. Russia was, is, European.

      With China and Islam as the go-to guys to enforce “order”, and africans as the excuse.

  15. Uhh the New Deal was born partly out of fear. The ruling class saw how Huey Long could leverage the frustration of the destitute lower classes. They also saw Communists making inroads and the very fact you had tens of millions of working ago men(potential revolutionaries) just sitting and stewing in their own juices was a potential time bomb. FDR had to do something.

    It sure wasn’t out of kindness. Our ruling class even back then didn’t give a shit about the lower class whites. After all these were the people who sent National Guardsmen and Pinkerton men to shoot dead striking workers and beat striking females bloody for asking for a raise.

    These rulers weren’t enlightened, they were hard asses despots who only backed off when we fought for our rights.

    • Look at the example of the Bonus Marchers. Two divisions worth of ex-soldiers marching on Washington scared the crap out of the plutocrats. If I recall correctly some of the employment programs FDR recommended stemmed directly from the desire not to repeat Hoover’s mistake and the fear that after the way the first was put down a second would come fully armed.

        • The interesting thing was they did everything possible to avoid the second Bonus March. There were serious concerns that the Army would not follow those orders a second time and even MacArthur was having second thoughts. It was a near thing.

    • Yep. A government that is unable or unwilling to help its starving population is in more danger of falling than one at war.

      Despite what Economic Liberals say about the Great Depression , there was a ecological collapse in the form of the dust bowl combined with an economic disaster and it was not something private charity could handle

      There was outright hunger and deprivation enough that the US, a highly religious nation with no birth control dropped well below replacement in fertility and I’m pretty sure everyone saw the bread lines

      Now sure Treasury Secretary Mellon was correct is saying that they needed to purge the rottenness out of the system but that could take 3 years and they didn’t have that long before the US went Communist or Nazi or some faction tried another Business Plot to go fascist and it succeeded

      Also note our ruling class tried to preclude arms in a very broad way with the GCA 1934 this making handguns unavailable to basically anyone and Roosevelt would have gladly stacked the courts to make it happen.

      Virtually every nation in the developed world had gone down the authoritarian or totalitarian route already as a consequences of industrialism. That type of system looked like the winning horse

      We got off fairly lightly for what was essentially a Roosevelt dictatorship, probably because FDR, a resolved the hunger issue to a pretty high degree and second, knew when to back off a bit.

      Maybe we should have purged our elite and their institutions, they were rotten than and are more rotten now but power abhors a vacuum and even a bad and/or foreign elite will defeat a leaderless mob.

      Complex and especially modern societies require leaders, no way around it

  16. Well, it will be external to the current crop of elite. Whether it is external to America as a whole remains to be seen.

  17. “This current spasm appears to be burning itself out in mindless self-destruction, assaults on reason and self-mutilation. The race to stake out the most extreme position leads to an embrace of increasingly self-destructive behaviors by the people leading the revival.”

    The antics of the economic/cultural Marxists certainly are mindless and fanatical. But is the insanity really burning itself out? It used to be that every time I read of the latest malign absurdity I would think: okay, that’s it, we’ve reached peak lunacy, and everyone with a whiff of traditionalism or common sense in their character is going to start pushing back. That happened somewhat in the 1970s.

    But while there’s plenty of griping, only a few individuals seem to be taking a serious and principled stand against the Zeitgeist.

    I’m happy to help the elite along the path to their self-destruction, and I do what little I can, but only a mass revulsion against our overlords in Congress, the courts, the media, and the bureaucracy will clinch the change. I’m watching.

    • A #ShowerThought from @HappyHectares:

      “How hard would it be to convince progs that “fighting fascism” requires them to cut their junk off?”

  18. As the Zman notes regularly, there’s no limiting principle to progressive salvation. There’s always more diversity to be obtained. You can always hate whitey a little more. There’s always more reparations to be made. It’s a purity spiral.

    The prog train is powered by the fiat dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. Witness AOC openly advocating modern monetary theory to support her insane New Green Deal. This train doesn’t stop until the dollar loses its status as reserve currency, at which point the economic glue that holds the US together will cease to exist. With some luck a peaceful separation can be negotated.

    • I’m saved! Ta, Heartiste, but there is still Goad and Taki. Thanks!

      (The Week That Perished and Taki’s High Life, cutural caviar.)

  19. Another sobering post, Z.

    Regarding the Christian roots of Progressivism and the long development of Progressive ideas in America, I can’t think of a better resource than Christopher Lasch’s “The True and Only Heaven”. Lasch was a Leftish Liberal of the older type I would trade a thousand modern day university “intellectuals” and every civic nationalist to see again. The combination of meticulous scholarship and eloquent writing will make you long for the era when our institutions of higher learning were elitist, white and male. I can’t recommend this last book of his too much; it’s a tour de force.

    Here’s a nice article about it, but read the book – the quality of the writing itself is a treat, and the breadth of sources are mind-boggling.

    https://isi.org/intercollegiate-review/the-true-and-only-laschbr-on-ithe-true-and-only-heaven-i-25-years-later/

    • Professor Lasch was a national treasure. If anything he was our Orwell. Everything he wrote, ending with ‘The Revolt of the Elites’ (1996), written while dying of cancer, and of course starting with ‘The Culture of Narcissism’ (1979) – his best-known book – should be read, or at least on the bookshelf, of any self-respecting dissident.

  20. Religion as we understand it began with the most necessary and urgent question.

    This solar system travels in a relatively rubble-free bubble.
    Every few thousand years, our orbit intersects with that of the Taurid asteroid swarm.

    Sometimes that rubble hits us, as it did in 13000, 12000, and 4200 BC.

    Our most urgent question, the basis of our religious query:
    “Why? Why are the sky people trying to kill us?!”

    • (Oops- last 2500-2200 BC, sorry

      Shoulda read the article before all my reply comments.
      Good stuff, a pozitive note?)

  21. John McWhorter’s 2015 Daily Breast piece “Anti-Racism: Our Flawed New Religion” was surprisingly based considering the venue. The successive replacement of Christianity with the Judeo and wholly secularized new faiths is the arc of our decline. I’ve wrestled with the idea of somehow revitalizing the old time religion but at the risk of sounding like JBP, I agree with Jung’s century-old take that Christianity as an animating mythology died in Jung’s father’s generation (thus Nietzsche’s famous obit). However, Carl cannot be the prophet of any new age where his remedy for God’s absence in men’s hearts was the hopelessly Enlightenment/Jewish project called “psychoanalysis.” His personal writings show he was a man forever cut off from genuine faith, unable to bring himself to believe in the spiritual significance of paranormal events he himself witnessed. The Straussian approach he “preached” – to believe these events had psychological but not external reality and significance, is spiritually unsatisfying if not entirely barren. The problem of how to achieve real faith in the age of Science! is one of our biggest hurdles. Z is spot on when he warns against simply reaching back into a past we cannot replicate or revive.

    • You might usefully look at some of Jordan Peterson’s pieces on religion on youtube.

  22. A bit OT but tangential to a few points discussed above and, in light of the Chateau getting shitcanned, I wonder if this could help us.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-02-20/russia-must-build-own-internet-in-case-of-foreign-disruption-putin

    I don’t know if it’s serious or, if it is serious, how far it has been progressed but I doubt that the Ruskies would shitcan anyone for misgendering a tranny or form any partnerships with the ADL.

  23. The American Civil War moved politics and culture left. The suffrage movement moved them farther left. New Deal, still farther left. Civil Rights, way more left. Intersectionality, even more left.

    What makes you think that the next “revolution” or “awakening” won’t be so incomprehensibly far left that we can’t even imagine its scope? Imagine telling a 1920s man what society is like today.

    • The left/right paradigm has been obsolete for a while , From Lincoln on it’s been entirely about how quickly the fist tightens,

      “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.”
      Ayn Rand

      That was half a century ago.

  24. I suspect a Great Nothingness is what follows. Not much of note happens over the next 25 years until the Boomers die off in large numbers. Nobody, in any country, is going to much want a big expensive war where a lot of people die to claim territory they neither want nor need. Buying what you need is much cheaper and carries fewer risks to the power structure.

    So, we just sorta roll along aimlessly until the Great Die Off. At this point, things will get noticeably better for many people as the open space around the world will expand. We don’t need to replace all those people thanks to automation. The Great Die Off will precede another religious awakening as people look for something to help them cope with the finality of all the death going on around them. Today’s current Gen “Z” and later generations will see a lot of resources (currently tied up in Baby Boomer and Gen X’er retirement accounts and property values) freed up, as well as less public sector obligations for “entitlements”. This will lead to interesting new economic booms.

    Generally speaking, people will continue to grow stupid, wealthy, and lazy as leisure activities dominate the marketplace and few things actually need to be “known” (thanks, again, to automation). This will lead to additional mysticism as people generally will have no idea how or why things work – they just do – and humans 100 years from now wind up worshipping robots who by that point will have figured out how to keep the humans happy. And so the next wave of religion is born…which will work out great for the robots in charge.

  25. I read this post sort of as an exploration of how far ideological theories and explanations for what is happening in the West, can take us. Whether that’s a misreading of this post, I certainly think there’s a limit to how far ideological explainations can take us.

    The post itself mentions ‘cycles of history’. There are some relatively new theories that try to look at biology to explain what is happening. I must have mentioned them before also here. There are at least three; r/K and political views, by ‘Anonymous Conservative’, a researcher who works in academia (there’s a good to stay anonymous lol). Biohistory by some Australian guy, Jim Penman I think. And, those PUA guys who try, maybe w varying success, to apply what they learn about human mating instincts, in what they call ‘the field’, to politics. Cheateau Heartiste and Roosh are probably the most famous doing this but there are others.

    But in any case, I think we need to go deeper than ‘ideology’. The instinctive dislike, between left- and right-leaning ppl, it goes far deeper than learned or acquired beliefs. It really feels instinctive and deep-seated.

  26. There’s one ready to go from the Propertarian Institute. It’s good for what ails us.

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