Myths Die Slowly

Back in the summer, I was riding with a friend, up the north shore of Massachusetts, and we were talking about Trump and the alt-right. My friend is not into my type of politics. He remains a generic conservative, the sort who thinks Ben Shapiro is great and Gavin McInnes is edgy. I don’t fault him for it. Most white people are in that camp, unless they are a Progressive. The Dissident Right is still small and the alt-right is even smaller. The tide is running our way, but it has a long way to go before we have big numbers.

Anyway, one of the things we discussed was what Trump could or would do regarding the big issues. My buddy truly believes that all that needs doing is to cut taxes, cut spending and crack down on illegal immigration. Then America will begin to look like the 1980’s again. He was a bit surprised when I told him that I disagreed. To be honest, I was a bit turned off by his optimism. The truth is, these guys stubbornly cling to the old ideas and old politics. We need to turn them, but it will not be easy. They won’t let go easily.

That is the biggest challenge facing the Dissident Right and it is a massive challenge for the alt-right. White people in America have been marinating, for their whole lives, in the stew of multiculturalism and the conventional conservative reaction. They still view the world through the lens of the Cold War. That means accepting the Left’s moral framework, while longing for the Right’s promised ends. The result is a collection of American myths that our people stubbornly embrace, despite the evidence.

The biggest one is probably the fetish over the Constitution. The people who love Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck are the best example. They talk about the Constitution like it is a holy relic. It is their magic talisman. They are sure that all we need is a majority of Constitutional Conservatives on the bench and more of them in Congress. When you point out that the Constitution currently requires Christian bakers to celebrate homosexual weddings, they dismiss this as if it is a lie. They just can’t let go of the dream.

These are usually the same people who go on about our Judeo-Christian principles. There is no such thing. It is just something nice white people thought was a good thing to say, so the Jews would feel included. Jews think the idea is ridiculous and very conservative Jews find it insulting. The formulation gained popularity in the Eisenhower years, probably in reaction to the Holocaust. Despite the ridiculousness of it, most constitutional conservatives are convinced America is built on Judeo-Christian values.

The great black hope is another one of those myths that conservative whites cannot let go of, even after eight years of Obama. For example, the mulatto meathead, Dwayne Johnson, was saying nice things about generic conservatives for a while last spring. This set off a round of hero worship in Conservative Inc. National Review did a special issue on him. Most whites still believe the dream of racial harmony, so gaining the approval of a guy like Sheriff Clark or a Dwayne Johnson is like being blessed by the Pope.

This is because whites largely accept the blank slate egalitarianism the Progs have been preaching for the last half century. White people are so afraid of being condemned as racist, they will believe just about anything to avoid it. The most hard boiled right-winger will break out in hives when race is mentioned. The insist that all blacks need to do is act like middle-class white people. It’s why they carry guys like Sheriff Clark and Allen West around as conquering heroes. Whites still cling to the myth of egalitarianism.

This spills over into the immigration debate. Listen to the garden variety talk radio conservative and they will fall all over themselves praising legal immigration. They completely buy in the myth of the propositional nation. They don’t always use that language, but they accept it. Whites may not think all people are the same, but they think they can be the same. Therefore, the non-whites wishing to settle in America can prove this by following the rules, like a white person would. It’s Magic Rule Theory.

Many alt-right people like to flatter themselves by insisting that the JQ is the hardest red pill to swallow, but in reality, patriotism is the toughest. People can accept that blacks are incapable of living with whites. People can even buy off on the idea that Jews have a disproportionate influence on society and maybe that’s not a good thing. The one thing you cannot get anyone to accept is that patriotism is anything but an honorable quality. If you dare question the idea, whites will condemn you as a some sort of commie.

That’s the biggest challenge for the alt-right. They don’t couch it in these terms, but theirs is a post-national movement. Their brand of identity politics puts racial identity ahead of all other group loyalties. That includes what Americans call patriotism. If the black NFL players all stand this week, hands over hearts, singing the anthem, whites around America will be sobbing and hugging one another like it is the rapture. Talking Americans out of this sort of over the top love of country is the great challenge for the alt-right.

Beliefs and customs have a way of transforming into something different when they lose their salience. Many conservative whites have started to abandon their party loyalty, realizing it was a sham. Increasing numbers of whites are coming to terms with the realities of race. Still, they do so with the hope that, with some tweaking, the republic can be set right again. Maybe that’s the process. We’re now seeing more people talk openly about ending immigration entirely. That’s a big step for white people.

The fact is, things like patriotism and a love for ordered liberty are features of white Americans, not bugs. Most whites get that and will stubbornly cling to those ideas, even when they are an impediment to preserving civilization. Sacred beliefs don’t go away without a fight. it does not happen after one speech or one good YouTube video. The great challenge for the insurgency is to re-purpose these attributes toward better ends. Appeals to people’s better natures always works better than challenging their deeply held beliefs.

The Media Wall

The “fake news” phenomenon could turn out to be the most important turn of events in the Trump era. The simple reason is it has awoken millions of normies to the realities of mass media in America. Most white conservatives accepted that the news was real, but biased in favor of one side, the Progressive side. They never stopped to think that maybe the news was not even real, that the Prog news outlets were making stuff up. Now, most white conservatives assume the news is fake.

That’s a positive development, one that our side can certainly exploit. It’s a handy tool for whenever the megaphones start blasting the latest propaganda from our rulers. Simply yelling “fake news” has become a useful way to prevent the Progs from framing the debate, at least with regards to politics. The other aspect of the fake news stuff that is useful is that the mass media is no longer capable of doing real news. Mass media is no longer a feedback loop for the ruling class. It’s just agit-prop.

The origins of fake news lie in the New Journalism that emerged in the 1960’s. Telling a story around the facts of a news event turned out to be a good way to go from ink stained wretch to rock star. Guys like Truman Capote and Nornan Mailer were stars, because they made the news compelling. Why stick to old fashioned reporting, when telling a colorful tale, with colorful portraits of the main players, based on real events, was the road to fame and fortune? The result was New Journalism became the default.

An instructive anecdote in the book Banana Sunday, by the old Telegraph reporter Chris Munnion, is about the the new breed of reporters from America arriving in Africa. These “reporters” would show up and spend their time in the hotel bar, picking up tidbits from the real reporters, who went into the field to gather news. They would then salt their pre-written stories with these facts. As a gag once, the real reporters made up crazy tales to tell around the Americans. All of them fell for it, but they were never called on it.

That seems to have been the lesson American media people figured out over the decades. There was never going to be a penalty for faking their stories, just as long as it was not too egregious. As long as the “reporting” fit the prevailing narrative, the copy would be accepted without question. That’s how Bob Woodward allegedly interviewed Bill Casey, while Casey was in a coma. It’s why Stephen Glass was able to sell whoppers to the New Republic. It’s why Rolling Stone fell for the Virginia rape hoax.

Fake news is just one result. The other is the media no longer has the ability to do real news. From top to bottom, the business is staffed with people trained to tell stories. The “journalists” are tasked with taking what is given to them and spinning a colorful tale around it. That means cultivating cozy relationships. It’s why close to 200 journalists went to work in the Obama administration when he took office. The line between reporter and subject no longer exists. It’s just one big story factory.

A good example of this is what is happening in college sports. The Feds have arrested five coaches and half a dozen others in a bribery scandal, involving Addidas, a major sneaker company. Read the filings by the prosecutor and it is clear they have a lot more information that they are withholding. This is already a huge case involving famous people. Rick Pitino is one of the biggest names in the sport. This will probably get much bigger and alter the economics of American sports forever.

Of course, anyone the least bit familiar with college athletics has known it is dirtier than boxing and it always has been. The sneaker companies bribe youth coaches, college coaches and college administrators. The recently fired Athletic Director of Louisville had his daughter on the payroll of the sneaker company doing business with his school. At high school camps and tournaments, runners and street agents are there “advising” kids and their parents, with handfuls of cash. It is dirty from top to bottom.

This is something that everyone has known for years. Yet, the people tasked with “covering” college sports never bother to report on this stuff. The “hard hitting investigative teams” are always too busy looking for white supremacy to notice outright bribery going on in the sport. All a sports reporter had to do was hang around the AAU circuit for a summer and he could have a book’s worth of stories. But, that would mean mixing it up with the dirt people and why do that when the pay is the same for selling the narrative?

This was the situation with the steroid scandal in baseball. The beat writers for baseball spend their whole lives with the players. They travel on the road with them and they hang out with them in the locker room. The one time a reporter mentioned that Mark McGuire had androstenedione in his locker, the reporter got in trouble. It’s why sports reporters are the most oblivious people in the business. Noticing is so dangerous to a career that only the oblivious survive. The result is nothing but safe fake news.

This inability and unwillingness to do real news has been a boon to the Dissident Right. We saw that in the election. The fake news was so sure Hillary would win, they had magazine covers pre-printed and ready to go in advance. It’s why their attempt to censor alternative media has been a failure. They simply don’t understand what they are up against as they don’t know anything about us. The clever boys on social media easily subvert the narrative and turn it against the fake news media.

For a long time, the media was a weapon the ruling class could use to keep the public in line. Newspapers would sell the claims of each faction in the political class, thus defining the bounds of political discourse. Then television became the voice of the ruling class in the living room of every home. The internet was supposed to be the voice on everyone’s desktop. While that remains true, the loss of credibility and the lack of intellectual capital is now turning the mass media into an expensive wall between us and them.

That’s a useful metaphor. The media used to inform the ruling class on trends among the Dirt People. Instructions from the rulers flowed through the press to the Dirt People. The responses flowed back up through the media to the Cloud People. Now, the media is a wall between the two. The people in the media face in toward their masters, rather than looking out over the wall at the rest of us. For those involved in dissident politics, this is useful as it makes it more difficult for the people in charge to respond to the threat.

Judicial Anarchism

Russell Kirk argued that there are three cardinal ideas in Western civilization. There is the idea of justice, the idea of order, and the idea of freedom. Justice is the process that protects a man’s life, property, natural rights, status and his dignity. Order is the principle and the process to ensure that a people will have just leaders, loyal citizens, and public tranquility. Freedom is the principle that a man is made master of his own life. These three great concepts are the cement of American society.

Some nations have order without justice or freedom. China is a modern example of a tyranny where order is maintained, but there is no justice or freedom. Somalia is an example where there is freedom, but no order or justice, the libertarian ideal. There can be no justice, of course, without order and freedom, which is the point of the American experiment. Our society is a regime of ordered liberty, designed to give justice, order and freedom all their due recognition and respect.

Most everyone in the American chattering classes, takes order for granted, In fact, they never think much about it. Instead, they spend their energy fretting over liberty and justice. That has been the basis of the political divide in our ruling class since the end of World War II. The Left has largely been focused on justice, particularly the ideas of status and dignity. The Right has focused on liberty, particularly with regards to property. Both sides of the political class have always assumed order was a given.

Of course, order is not a given. The Roman Republic is a good example of what happens when order breaks down in the ruling class. The elites slowly stopped enforcing its own rules on the ruling class. Whether out of necessity or convenience, order slowly broke down. By the time Marius and Sulla came along, playing by the rules was a sucker’s game, if you were in the ruling class. That set the stage for a strong man willing and able to ignore custom and seize control of the state.

The other way in which order breaks down is the example of Weimar Germany. The political class lacked the means and the moral authority to impose order. The chaos on the streets is commonly blamed for the rise of you know who. The disorder following the collapse of the Soviet union is blamed for the rise of the oligarchs. History is full of examples where the ruling class either lost control or lost the moral authority to maintain control. Every revolution in history follows this model to some degree.

What we are seeing in modern America is a strange combination of how order breaks down in a society. The American ruling class is coming to the conclusion that the rules really don’t work for them. They don’t have the will or ability to simply toss them aside and impose a new order, but they refuse to allow the old rules to limit their power. That’s what’s happening with the chaos we see in the courts. Judges, who are members of the ruling class, are willy-nilly overthrowing the constitutional order.

As Daniel Horowitz wrote last month, the Federal judiciary is claiming power for itself, that it has no constitutional basis. Judges are just making things up so they can overturn laws and thwart the constitutional power of the President. The Founders contemplated rogue judges, so there are provisions for removing a judge from the bench. That’s fine for one judge here or there, but no one has ever thought about what happens when the whole judiciary goes rogue. The remedy may be too dangerous to attempt.

Take a look at the list of suggestions in that article. Having states ignore Federal courts is not a small thing. it is a click away from secession. If a state legislature elected to go this route, they would be placing themselves in legal jeopardy. A federal judge could order the arrest of the speaker of the state house or the governor. Would the governor respond by having the judge arrested? It is not hard to see how this can get out of control, pitting the political class against itself, but also against factions in the public.

In a rational, liberal society, there should be debate and division, within the context of an agreed upon set of rules. What the court is doing in America is questioning the very idea of rules. They are claiming for themselves the right to make up whatever they feel like in the moment, in whatever incoherent fashion they choose. This is not judicial activism, so much as it is judicial anarchism. The founders never contemplated such a thing and our political class is based on the assumption that this is impossible.

Ultimately, a break down in civil order always ends the same way. Whether it is the result of civil war in the ruling class or a war between the ruling class and the people, there is a collapse in moral authority. Everyone loses respect for the old rules, which kept the old order. What comes next is also predictable. A man on a horse rides in and has the will and the means to impose order. That’s what comes next if the political class does not suppress what looks like a revolt from the bench. Otherwise, someone else will.

Clarity and the Written Record

One thing that has stuck with me from the American Renaissance conference is something Jared Taylor said in his speech to open the show. He talked about how for the longest time, he was a lonely voice in the wilderness. His events were lightly attended and ignored by the media. He was sure that he was merely keeping a record. He said this while pointing out how quickly things had changed. A few years ago his event got fifty attendees and now it had hundreds with hundreds turned away.

It resonated with me because it brought to mind the life of Cicero. Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of Rome’s greatest orators and writers. No writer in the history of the West has had greater influence. Well into the 19th century, European writers were influenced by his style. He was also an immensely important politician. He was consul during the Catilinarian conspiracy, having the conspirators executed. During the dictatorship of Julius Caesar he agitated for the return of traditional republican government.

Following Caesar’s death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony, attacking him in speeches. For his trouble, he was proscribed, as an enemy of the state, by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed in 43 BC. His severed hands and head were displayed in the Roman Forum, as a final revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarch’s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited with initiating the Renaissance and inspiring political theorists like John Locke to embrace the republican form of government.

Cicero is relevant to our age for the simple reason that he kept a record during the last days of the Roman Republic. Fifteen hundred years later, educated men in the emerging West, would be inspired by and cautioned by the writings of Cicero. There was a record of what was happening in the late stages of the Roman Republic and a record of those who tried to prevent it. Without that record, without the thoughts and words of those ancients, who fought the coming darkness, there may have never been the West.

This is why Rome was of great interest to the men of the Enlightenment. The American Founders were all students of Greece and Rome. They understood that when Rome fell, the West was plunged into an intellectual, economic and cultural darkness. These were men aware of the fact that they were coming out the other side of what happened at the close of the Republic. They naturally looked to Rome for clues as to how they could avoid the same fate, when coming up with new forms of government.

As we enter the late stages of the American Republic and the last days of what we have always known as the West, keeping a record may be the best we can accomplish. The fight will be fought, but only a delusional optimist can be blind to reality. Whether it is citizens being hunted down for heresy or weird looking foreigners demanding the disenfranchisement of natives, for the crime of hate speech, the signs are all there. The ruling elites of the West no longer have any faith in liberal democracy or the rule of law.

That may seem overly pessimistic, but just look at the immigration debate. Trump won the most improbable of victories on the promise to reverse decades of insane immigration polices. His position is actually the moderate one. A large percentage of Americans would shut down all immigration. Trump has merely promised to crack down on illegals and do something about the visa rackets. In the case of DACA, his position is to enforce the law, rather than perpetuate Obama’s policy of flouting the law.

Despite his moderation, the ruling elite is fighting him at every turn. His own party in Congress is not just blocking him on immigration reform. They are proudly attacking him over it. Politicians are cautious by nature, which means they live in fear of being on the wrong side of voters. Yet on this and other issues, they boast about giving their voters the bird. It’s tempting to say they are bought by moneyed interests, but this looks more like insanity than corruption. Our political class is suicidal.

That’s just one example. The broad appeal of populist polices on trade, taxes and social issues should have resulted in a wave of populist politicians. Trump is a terrible politician and his many quirks make him ill-suited for politics. Imagine a polished professional running on the same issues as Trump. Yet, we don’t see anyone picking up on these issues. It’s as if the entire political class has been infected with a virus that makes them act against their own interests, by alienating their own voters.

Debating the causes of what’s happening is part of keeping a record, just as doing what can be done to arrest it. One has to have hope that the fever will break, but if it doesn’t and we continue on the current path, documenting the insanity of our age is an important part of the fight. We may lack a Cicero to shape the way in which we think of our age, but Julius Caesar and Mark Antony are not showing up either. In an age of mediocre tyrants, we’ll have mediocre chroniclers of our age. Keeping a record is all that can be done.

How To Sell Soap

Exactly no one is excited about cleaning their clothes or scrubbing a stain from the carpet. If you own a pet, you never look forward to their accidents on the rug or their decision to put their dirty paws on your best trousers. Cleaning up messes, figuring out how to get that stain off the couch cushion, getting the carpets cleaned, these are chores we all do, but we don’t look forward to them. It’s just a part of life, like cutting the grass or cleaning the gutters. No one goes on lawn care vacations or stain removal holidays.

If you are in the business of selling soap, you have to get over the fact that the mere mention of your product makes people think about a boring task or the dog leaving a pyramid on the rug.  No matter how good your product is at doing its thing, if it brings negative images to the mind of the customer, they will associate you and your product with unpleasant thoughts. It why portable toilet vendors pick cheeky names for their companies. They want you laughing when you think of them.

The infomercial guys, who sell miracle cleaners, are good examples of people who understands how this works. They are super upbeat and they do small things to flatter the viewer. “You have frequent parties and one of your guests spills red wine on your brand new carpet!” He’s saying you have good tastes and people like you, which is why everyone comes to your house to be sophisticated and cool. It’s cheesy, but flattery works for a reason. The pitchman makes his audience feel good about the sale.

These guys also know how to avoid negative associations. They love using the red wine example, even though their typical customers drink domestic beer from a can. Well, red wine is a stand-in for blood. If they used a severed hand to drip blood on the white cloth, people would be horrified and associate the product with a negative image. No one fondly remembers getting their hand caught in the snowblower. Instead, the pitchman uses wine and all the happy talk about you being the cool kid on the block with lots of parties.

The thing is, everyone has had a mishap. You’re working around the house, something goes wrong and you’re running for the first aid kit. In the process you made the hall carpet look like a crime scene. Or, you’re at work and you don’t notice the paper-cut and now you have blood on your favorite shirt. That miracle product to get the red wine stain out is just what you need, but you don’t want to be is reminded of it by the happy pitchman on television. It’s why the good pitchman avoids creating negative associations.

Even the high energy super-positive TV pitchmen runs into a problem of negative associations. That’s because Americans associate the lone pitchman with the grifter, the con artist and the guy who takes advantage of the foolish. That’s because we have a long tradition of these guys. The snake oil salesman, the patent medicine salesman, various door-to-door salesman, are all stock characters for the disreputable sharpie who blows into town and sells you a monorail.

You may be the most honest guy on earth, but as soon as you get out there to sell your soap as the fast talking pitchman, most people are going to think you are, at the minimum, a liar. It’s unfair and unjust, but you will never change that perception. You can be the most honest and forthright soap salesman on earth, but that view of you and your kind is etched into the culture. It’s why those TV guys always rely on allegedly objective authorities or unimpeachable demonstrations. They know you don’t trust them.

Life is unfair sometimes.

The point of all this is that if you want to sell a product, you have to avoid associating it with negative images held by the public. That means you are going to have to use red wine instead of a severed hand to demonstrate stain removal. No, you will not be true to your faith, but you will get customers. You also have to accept the fact that a lot of stuff happened before you came along. If you associate yourself with confidence men of the past, people are going to assume you are a con-man too. That’s reality.

Good salesmen never lose sight of reality. That’s the problem with outsider political movements. They allow themselves to be trapped in narrow ideological ruts so any sales effort, that deviates in the slightest from dogma, results in civil war. The only pitchmen the ideologues accept are the guys waving around the severed hand, talking about how their product is great at cleaning blood stains. Any concession to public sensibilities is treated like heresy. The result is a self-ghettoization of the movement.

This has always been the problem with the libertarians. You can get a large audience in favor of limiting state regulation of commerce, but you are never getting a critical mass around the idea of abandoning paper money. You can talk people into loosening up marijuana laws, but no one is signing up for legal meth sales. That’s why the limit on libertarians is to have some of their language appropriated by Buckleyites. Otherwise, they are seen as a collection of eccentric weirdos.

That’s what’s happening with the alt-right and its fellow travelers. The core believers refuse to give in on basic tactics, like banning Nazi gear or minimizing the JQ stuff. The result is anyone that tries to soften the image is attacked as a traitor. That’s what you see with the Stormies. Anglin can’t accept even the token compromises at a site like Gab, so he goes to war with it. This ensures that his followers never stray from the ghetto that he has created for them. It also means potential recruits have a reason to ignore him.

This does not mean the alt-right is condemned to having fat guys in their tighty-whities, dancing around at their events. To avoid that fate, they need to produce leaders with the credibility to swat down guys like Anglin, when he gets out of control, but also aware of the fact that growing the movement means appealing to the general public. That means softening the pitch and making some compromises. They don’t have anyone capable of doing that at he moment, but they better find some.

Absentee Strangers

Walking through the residential neighborhoods of Bethesda, where many of our managerial class luminaries live, it is common to see little brown men working the business end of a leaf blower. Over many years, I’ve never spotted a black working on one of these landscaping crews. In fact, I’ve never spotted a college boy doing this sort of work either. It is always Atahualpa and his men. Today, even the Conquistador Americans prefer to have Amerinds raking their lawns, rather than Americans.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that the housekeepers and nannies are never black or white. Instead, you see East Asian nannies and Mexican housekeepers. The housekeepers don’t look like Incas. They look like the Cholo girls, but paunchy and middle-aged. The nannies are mostly Koreans, but there is an increasing number of Chinese. The hunch here is the subconscious math of crime is at work. Asian women are considered the safest so they can be trusted with kids.

I have this theory that some of what drives this desire for Amerind labor and Asian servants is a weird manifestation of white guilt. A crew of blacks, singing spirituals, while raking leaves would set off mass panic is a place like Bethesda. A thick black women, kitted out like Mammy, dotting on the youngins, would probably kill the typical SWPL in Cloud Country. Ruling class whites simply have no will to face up to the reality of black America, so they systematically exclude it from their lives, with the use of foreigners.

This denial of reality also would explain the lack of whites working as domestics. There are plenty of unemployed white girls who could be trained to clean houses and tend to small children. The same is true for landscaping and residential work. The presence of working class whites, however, would fill the Cloud People with angst. It would be a daily reminder that for all but the grace of the void where God used to exist, that could be the life of the lady of the house. Who needs to be reminded of class reality in their own home!

I was reminded of this when I saw this Noah Millman post on the American Conservative website. It’s a post about the death of free speech in India, of all places. The idea that speech was ever open in India, or anywhere outside the English speaking world, is ludicrous on its face. It’s just another example of the blinkered universalism that prevents our elites from understanding much about the world. The point of the post is that free speech is under assault, even in bastions of liberalism like India.

I looked for his twitter feed, but came up empty. I was going to suggest he perform the same analysis on another foreign country, by delving into the tech giant’s efforts to suppress political speech in America. While the snake charmers and call center staffers in Tamil Nadu are important, most readers of Millman care more about what’s happening in civilization. Exactly nothing changes about the world if Indians lose whatever civil liberties they enjoy at the moment. It does matter if the lights go out in the West.

It is much easier to be pious and self-righteous about the world when you focus on problems beyond the horizon. You get to fret over the state of civil liberties in a place like India, without ever being expected to do anything about it. Of course, criticizing some foreign potentate brings no risk. Millman writing a broadside against the Washington Post’s proselytizing for Progressive causes risks future employment. Going after Google for sand-boxing alt-right videos is a bit too dangerous, so he focuses on the foreign.

This deliberate self-alienation by our elites is probably what drives their zeal for open borders. Those Cloud People in their seven figure homes don’t know any working class whites. They’ve never met a man who makes a living driving a truck or running a tow motor in a warehouse. They do know Garbonzo, the guy they see cutting their grass in the summer. Their kid’s Korean nanny, whose daughter plays the flute, is someone they know and bond with across class lines. The Dirt People, on the other hand, are strangers.

This would also explain why our political class has such a tin ear about economics. The Cloud People think smoke stacks and industrial parks are ugly. They think office parks are ugly, which is why they are building their compounds to look like the college campus or the lair of a super villain. Logically, they just assume that getting rid of these hideous eyesores is what everyone wants. The fact that it results in the white working class falling to pieces goes unnoticed. It’s how this guy is considered an expert on the working class.

Our modern form of  bureaucratic capitalism, which tries to bend the marketplace to the whims of the central planners, may end up having a defect similar to what plagued English authority in Ireland. Prior to the Irish Land Acts, the bulk of Irish farmland was owned by English landlords, who did not live in Ireland. Therefore, they had no stake in the local economy, beyond what they could extract. The result was that Ireland was a net exporter of food during the Irish Famine. This system is largely blamed for The Troubles.

The BQ

We live in an age of great inequality. In fact, some economist think America may have greater inequality now than at any time in human history. Americans don’t think about it too much, as generations of indoctrination about class envy have made questioning such things seem un-American. That and the middle-class may be swamped with debt, but they have all the trappings of prosperity. Even poor people in this country are fat. People tend to worry about how much the rich man has, only when their bellies are growling.

Few people on the Dissident Right have much to say about economics. The main reason, obviously, is that demographics and multiculturalism take up most of the space. A big part of the aesthetic is ignoring the trivial things like tax policy, in order to remain focused on the bigger topics that are assiduously ignored by our rulers. That and the subject is full of libertarian hucksters, peddling apologies for globalism and the billionaire class. They have framed the topic in such a way that it is impossible to say anything meaningful.

Progressives in American and Leftists in Europe have always argued that inequality is immoral on its face. They may not use that phrasing, but that is the underlying assumption behind their arguments for taxing the rich and redistributing wealth. Perhaps that can be debated, but there’s little doubt that great inequality brings with it great social and political change. A society with relatively small differences in wealth, where there is economic equilibrium, is unlikely to lurch into unrest or reckless adventures.

When Henry VIII ascended the throne in 1509, he became king of a country that could be described as a three-legged stool. The Church held 25-30% of the land in the country and had a monopoly on moral authority. The aristocracy, including the king, held an equal amount of land, but had a monopoly on secular authority. The rest of the land was owned by the commoners and petty nobles, who had the advantage of numbers. The result was a balance of power between the three key elements of English society.

Henry is best known for his serial adultery and his habit of having wives sent to the gallows, but his biggest contribution is the destruction of the Church as a force in British political and economic life. The Acts of Supremacy, passed in 1534, recognized the King’s status as head of the church in England and, with the Act in Restraint of Appeals in 1532, abolished the right of appeal to Rome. The king had effectively assumed the moral authority that had once been the monopoly of the Catholic Church

This was made possible by the oldest of political tactics. When Henry seized Church lands, he used these to buy support from other nobles, as well as large land holders who also sat in Parliament. Naturally, Parliament was strongly in favor of not only seizing Church lands, but supporting their good friend, the King, in his efforts to assert his authority over the Church. When he seized Church lands, the crown ended the economic power of the Church and used the proceeds to assume the moral authority of the Church.

This had a radical effect on the politics and culture of England. Hilaire Belloc argued in The Servile State that it was this reorganization of capital in England that gave birth to capitalism. In this case, capital was land. When land was distributed between the people, the state and the church, the concentrated use of capital was impossible. Once the crown and nobility seized the property of the Church, capital was for the first time concentrated in a small number of hands. This allowed the propertied class to dominate English society.

This was clear after Henry VIII died. A dozen years of turmoil followed his death. Edward VI never made it to adulthood. Lady Jane Grey was queen for nine days until Mary I, with support of the nobles, deposed her. Bloody Mary made it five years before dying and then began the reign of Elizabeth I. This also corresponded with the birth of the British Empire. Whether or not any of this would have happened if Henry had not sacked the Church is debatable, but it is clear that the change in English economic order was an inflection point.

Another example is what happened to the Roman Republic after the defeat of Corinth and Carthage. The Republic had been at war with both city-states, off and on, for over a century. In 146 BC, the Romans finally defeated and destroyed Carthage and then provoked a war with the Greeks. They defeated the Greeks at Corinth, destroying the city and its population. The male population was killed and the females and children were sold into slavery. Rome was the undisputed power in the Mediterranean.

Something else happened. Those slaves that poured into the Republic from the conquered lands first ended up in the hands of the wealthiest landowners. This influx of cheap labor allowed the large land holders to replace their native labor, which flowed into the cities, not having anywhere else to go. The small landowners suddenly found themselves at a disadvantage, as the larger landowners had an army of slaves to work their land. The result was a great economic re-ordering of the Roman Republic.

It is not an accident that this sudden change in political and economic of fortune changed the nature of the Republic. The constant campaigning created a class of soldier that was more loyal to his general than to the Republic. The turning over of large tracts of land to slave farming resulted in a new problem, slave revolts. The Servile Wars, the Social War and two civil wars dominated the Late Republic. It has this title because the Republic came to an end with Julius Caesar and the founding of the Roman Empire under Octavian.

The relevance of all this to our age should be obvious to those who have been following what is going on with our tech oligarchs. A generation ago, Progressive arguments about taxing the rich had no salience, because no one had any real fear of the rich. That and they were not so rich as to feel alien to the rest of us. Today, the billionaire class feels like they are from another planet and more important, they are a real threat. They are advocating for policies that promise to dissolve the ties that bind the nation together.

A popular issue on the Dissident Right is that the old framing of politics, based on the blank slate and egalitarianism, is no longer relevant. Race and demographics are what will define politics going forward. That’s true, but none of that will matter if the West is going to succumb to what amounts to techno-feudalism, where a relatively small number of oligarchs control not only capital, but information. Addressing the threat to free speech means addressing what may be the ultimate red pill, the Billionaire Question.

In order to address the BQ, the Dissident Right is going to have to break free from the old moral paradigm with regards to class, inequality and economics. The fact is, no one will care if Mark Zuckerberg drowns in his bathtub, other than his mail order wife. The same is true of Jeff Bezos. The things that the vast bulk of Americans care about don’t depend on getting cheap stuff on-line at Amazon. The billionaire class is no more essential to society than any other luxury good. They are tolerable unless they become a burden.

That’s going to be hard for our side and it is going to be even more difficult for the sort of people attracted to the Oaf Keepers or the PoofBerries. That’s the effect of a few generations of telling people that it is un-American to think ill of the rich. Even so, part of breaking free from the old thinking will be adopting a new brand of economics, along with tackling the realities of demographics. You can be pro-white all you like, but that’s of no use if you’re a serf living on the modern version of a feudal estate, run by an oligarch.

The Nazi Tar Baby

35 years ago, or so, I sat in history class, as one of my coevals told Father O’Connell that Hitler must have been a liberal because he was a socialist. The old man smiled and said, “Then that would mean Teddy Roosevelt was an actual moose.” It took a minute, but eventually we got the joke and laughed. You can call yourself a leprechaun, but that does not make you a leprechaun. It simply means you are a liar or a lunatic. Politics, and therefore politicians, come in both categories, often simultaneously.

Where to put fascism, especially Nazism, on the political spectrum is a big topic due to the use of Nazi iconography by some dissident movements and the publication of Dinesh D’Souza’s book that claims Hitler was Nancy Pelosi’s grandfather. It’s also important because our Prog masters are making the claim that any resistance to their nation wrecking program is automatically fascism. Everyone is now required to have an opinion about a political movement that stopped being relevant close to 80 years ago.

The first thing to note is that relying on a two-dimensional political spectrum cooked up by 18th century French radicals is not a good way to understand the world. Even the updated Cold War version that places internationalism at one end and nationalism at the other is of little value to our current age. Embracing the ahistorical Progressives worldview that insists history started when American Progressives synthesized their brand of universalism with Cultural Marxism is equally foolish. It leads to nothing but error.

There’s also the problem with the fact that there are no Nazis or fascists today. These movements were outliers that existed in the narrow space book-ended by the Great War on one end and the Second World War on the other. The late historian Ernst Nolte argued that fascism, broadly defined, was a reaction to the violence and mayhem created by the Russian Revolution and the spread of Bolshevism.  It should be noted that Bolshevism was also an outlier movement that has long since died off.

This is a point that Paul Gottfied makes in his book on the history of fascism as a political concept. Note the difference between concept and ideology. An ideology has a tight, well defined set of rules, while a concept is amorphous and changing. Progressive took the dead ideology of fascism and turned into a political concept to include the set of people who oppose the Progressive project. As the opposition adjusted, the definition adjusted to meet the new threat. As a result, fascism is as meaningless as it is non-existent.

Any effort to connect modern political movements to fascism, therefore, is nothing more than rhetoric or cynicism. The conditions in which both fascism and Bolshevism were born no longer exist and are unlikely to exist again. To Western Europeans of the age, the excesses of communism were frightening. It’s eastern origins appeared sinister. The ad-hoc and incoherent response called fascism, to what appeared to many people as a foreign conspiracy to bring down the West, was, in context, quite sensible.

Putting fascism on the “right” end of your antiquated political scale probably makes sense, as it was opposed to what is on the “left” end of that scale. That means, of course, you are embracing a base assumption of Progressives. They argue, as a matter of core morality, that all opposition to them is reactionary and incoherent. Therefore, nothing on the Right can exist in isolation. It can only exists in opposition to the Left. In that regard, they are correct about fascism. It was a devil with an expiry date that has long past.

A more reasonable argument, with regards to fascism and the Western Right, is that fascism was a rearguard action. It was a final last desperate gasp of the old culture before it was destroyed by liberalism. Fascism therefore is a grab bag of items from the ancien regime, bolted onto some modern industrial economics and sold to the public with modern public relations techniques. That would put fascism on the Right, but only when it is defined on a spectrum that has not had relevance for close to a century now.

The fact is, debating the place of fascism and the relevance of Nazism to our current age is a pointless waste of time. It lets grifters like Dinesh D’Souza peddle books to well-meaning normies and it lets internet pranksters generate some laughs, but otherwise, fascism, as a political force, has no relevance in our age. It’s as salient as free silver or calls to restore the king of France. There will always be people clinging to the detritus of past failures, but there are people that believe they are space aliens too.

The great divide today is not over economics. It is biological. The cultural struggle that is developing, therefore, will be how our people will thrive in a world of modern challenges and modern threats. What will drive politics in the West, in the coming decades, is what Steve Sailer calls the world’s most important graph. How to survive as a people in a world dominated by races unable to escape the neolithic without white people, is not something contemplated by Bolsheviks or fascists. Therefore, they offer us nothing of use today.

The debate itself underscores the fact that we are at the end of a cultural cycle, one born in the Great War, defined by the Second World War and formalized during the Cold War. Modernism as a cultural force has come to an end. Those in charge of the brittle husk that is the prevailing orthodoxy keep reaching into their past for villains to maintain support among the faithful. Those in opposition find themselves without fully formed alternatives in the present, so they are rummaging around in the past for whatever they can find.

Regardless, the place of fascism on the political spectrum then or now is as irrelevant as the spectrum itself. The arguments putting the fascists on the Right only make sense in the context of the long gone era in which they were born. Putting them on the Left only makes sense in the context of the dying era, if you are hoping to squeeze a few more bucks out of the Baby Boomer generation. Hitler is irrelevant to the current age and will have no more bearing on what comes next than Genghis Khan or Henry VIII.

The Provacateur

Way back, before the olden thymes, there was a guy calling himself Ken Kesey. He is famous with Baby Boomers for having led the Merry Pranksters, a group of hippies and degenerates, that scandalized American society in the 1960’s. He and his crew drove a psychedelic school bus across country, hosting parties and handing out LSD. Tom Wolfe wrote about their early escapades in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Most people no longer recall that Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

That last fact is important. The movie version of his book is a classic that transcends generations. The movie was released 42 years ago and people still reference it today, even when they don’t know it. It’s like The Godfather or Gone With The Wind. Despite its status, Kesey is best remembered for a bus trip a half century ago. That’s because his provocative hi-jinks came to represent a key element of the counter-culture movement we associate with the 1960’s and the baby Boomer culture that arose from it.

The provocateur has always had a role in human affairs. The court jester, in many respects, was the formalization of this role. The jester was the one person who could mock public piety – to a point. Eventually, the role of the formal jester was replaced by theater and then comedians and writers. The pranksters and now the internet provocateur are an extension of this, and to some degree a revival of the classic jester. Kesey was jester for his age. Today, an Andrew Anglin is the jester of the modern information age.

For those unfamiliar with Anglin, he is the guy behind the infamous website The Daily Stormer, which has been shutdown on numerous occasions. Whether or not it was actually shut down by his registrar is hard to know, but most people believe it and that’s what is important. If it was shut down because it was outlandishly offensive, or he cooked up the story as a prank, is not important. Whether it was provocation or a prank, it has put the spotlight on the very real fact that on-line speech is now controlled by an oligopoly.

That is precisely the role of the provocateur. What Anglin is doing, by running around breaking every conceivable taboo, is forcing a debate on the topic of speech. How much speech will be permitted and who will set and enforce the limits are fundamental questions that determine the arc of a society. In America, it has long been understood that the limits are immediate public safety and they are set after long public deliberation and due process. Everyone is taught the famous line about burning theaters for that reason.

Americans have also just assumed that free expression is to sacred that no one would dare violate it, but that is not where we find ourselves today. The people in charge believe they have found a loophole. They have outsourced policing speech to private companies, who can claim to be enforcing terms of service as private companies. Under the current arrangements, FaceBorg can ban any mention of the country Niger, even though it is perfectly legal to yell “Niger!” in a crowded theater.

That’s the value of an Andrew Anglin. Yes, his pint-sized Nazi routine is tiresome and stupid to most people. His followers on-line are embarrassing to those involved in dissident politics. This was true of hippies and the Merry Pranksters too. Read a guy like David Horowitz and you’ll learn that people in the New Left worried greatly about the loose cannons and provocateurs. In the end they figured out it was best to just let those guys do their thing and not comment on the acts, but focus on the larger moral issues they raised.

That’s how a guy like Andrew Anglin should be treated. You don’t want to be seen standing next to him at a public event, but you do want to be seen supporting his right to attend public events. You don’t want to be paling around with him on-line or posting links to his stuff, but you do want to be the guy defending his right to be a Nazi asshole on the internet. When his antics threaten your assets, you want to be the guy who crushes him like a bug. The jester must always serve at the pleasure of the king.

That’s what some of the important figures in this thing have to learn. Anglin causing trouble on Gab, for example, is fine up to the point where he puts the enterprise in jeopardy. At that point, the owner needs to quietly step on him. Similarly, alt-right big shots would be wise to comment about Anglin and his antics, but not get in bed with him. Anglin is a pyromaniac who can just as easily burn down your house as someone else’s house, so you don’t invite him to stay in your basement, where you keep the flammables.

The thing to remember is provocateurs and jesters are important tools in modern political discourse. The key to victory is to destroy the other side’s moral authority. The most effective way to do that is to mock their piety and taunt them into revealing the face behind the mask they present to the public. When someone loses their marbles over being mocked by an Andrew Anglin, they inevitably say and do things that reduce their status in the eyes of the public. Don’t be that guy and don’t be the guy standing next to Anglin.

Lessons From The Bear

For the last few years, the American ruling class has been obsessed with Russia. The Bear Scare in DC over Trump’s alleged ties to Putin is just one ridiculous element to the obsession.  At some level, even the dullards in the media know it is nonsense, but the Cloud People are convinced that the public shares their hatred of the Russians. China and Israel are much more involved in our elections, but they are not suitable bogeymen, in the minds of our betters. To them, the Russians are the scariest of scary monsters.

The Russia-Trump story is just a sideshow, of course. The neocon insistence that we start World War 3 over Ukraine is much more representative of the ruling elite’s hatred for the Russians. Steve Sailer has done yeoman’s work documenting the neocon warmonger’s efforts to stoke the fires of Russophobia. It’s not just the neocons. The Left has gone down a similar path, accusing Putin of being the new Hitler and claiming he has plans to invade Europe. The public face of the ruling elite is sure that Putin is very bad.

Of course, this enmity toward Putin has had the strange effect of endearing him to many nationalists in America, especially the younger ones. Their minds are not tainted by memories of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Putin just looks like a strong leader, who embodies many of the qualities the alt-right types admire. Then you have old paleocons like Pat Buchanan defending Putin, mostly because of old scars from warring with the neocons in the olden thymes. This just encourages the neocons to hate Putin even more.

Guys like Steve Sailer try to pin the cause of this irrational hatred for Putin and the Russians on ancient ethnic grudges. It is true that all of the high profile Putin haters fit a certain ethnic profile. They also look a lot like the crew that tumbles out of the anti-Trump clown car whenever is screeches to a halt. It is not unfair to accuse these folks of being haunted by the hoof beats of Tzar Alexander’s men. The neocons were, after all, the ideological force behind the Right’s Cold War strategy for a reason.

That makes for a fun narrative and good way to taunt some of the more unhinged types like Bill Kristol and Max Boot, but it does not explain why the political class is uniformly anti-Russian. John McCain is nuts, but he is not looking under his bed for Cossacks at night. The same goes for most of the permanent war party in Washington. They would much prefer to be killing Muslims, but they have found it necessary to spend a lot of time going on about the threat of Putin and the Russian menace.

Another possibility is a much less mystical one. Instead of epigenetic fear of a pogrom, perhaps the source of this great fear is much higher, in the billionaire class that rules the nation through the political parties. After the fall of the Soviet Empire, Western bankers rushed in to loot Russia and her former client states. Eventually, the locals rallied and a class of oligarchs rose up to seize control the assets and build their own power bases outside the state. Then Putin came along and broke the backs of the oligarchs.

If you are a Sergey Brin, for example, the one thing that keeps you up at night is the thought of the state reasserting its authority over the oligarchs. Not that Trump is going to throw Mark Zuckerberg into prison or have Tim Cook sent to Siberia. The possibility of a modern Teddy Roosevelt, riding a populist message, promising to bring the billionaires to heel, is a realistic threat. Incentivizing the political class to demonize such talk is one way to hedge against that possibility. In that regard, Russian makes for a useful enemy.

It also makes Putin, and to a lesser degree the Visegrad Group, dangerous example. It’s not just their nationalism that bugs our oligarchs. Its that these countries cling to the outdated notion of state power being supreme. Our oligarchs, as we see with Big Tech’s efforts to subvert free speech, think the idea of the state is outdated. Instead, the new managerial state is supranational and subordinate to the people who finance it. The managerial state is to serve the oligarchs, not the people over whom it rules.

It’s probably why the political class made such a huge deal out of Putin cracking down on homosexual agitators and feminist nutters. They were looking for a way to undermine his moral authority. In a better age, politicians would accuse enemies of preferring the company of men. In this degraded age, politicians accuse their enemies of being sexually normal. Regardless, the point is to make the bad guys appear villainous and outside the bounds of human decency. Our politicians are the model our rulers prefer.

The least talked about aspect to all of this is that the West, particularly America, is probable less internally stable than Russian and the Visegrad Group. You don’t hear about widespread protests or dissident movements in Russia. The people of the Visegrad are pretty happy with their nationalistic politicians. They like having a patriotic ruling class. It is the West where we see the increasing use of coercion and top-down subversion, in the form of immigration, in order to keep the plates spinning.

The trouble for our oligarchs is that people will be loyal to a man or a cause. They will not be loyal to a committee. That’s why there are no monuments to committees. There are plenty of statues of great men and shrines to the gods. That’s the lesson the old eastern bloc countries learned. They were ruled by committees for a long time. To maintain order, it required men with guns and willingness to use them. The people of the East learned that a man on horse is a better choice than ten men behind desks.

That’s a lesson we’re about to learn in the West.