Spinal Tap Politics

Fifty years ago, two things were clear to those thinking and talking about politics at the higher level, what people call meta-politics today. One was the American Left was intellectually exhausted. It no longer had anything to offer for the problems facing late industrial age society, other than partisan sloganeering. On the other hand, the creative minds were all on the newly formed Right. There you had creative thinking about the problems of the present and hard thinking about the future.

Half a century on and it is the Right that is bankrupt. All of the old theorists that made the political Right dynamic and interesting have either died or been exiled. What is left of conservatism is a collection of mediocrities wearing the old cloaks of those who built the platforms on which they stand. The closest there is to an engaging thinker in conventional conservatism is Christopher Caldwell. Douglas Murray can be insightful on occasion, but otherwise, conservatism is an intellectual desert.

The Left, on the other hand, has descended into a partisan madness. They no longer even pretend to care about the problems of the age or even about reality. The American Left is now a weird cargo cult led by senile oldsters. At the top we have detached and delusional geezers reenacting what they think were their salad days. Below them are their children and grandchildren, play acting as if this is the Days of Rage. The Left is live action role playing for people trapped in the past.

The madness of the Left gets all of the attention, but it is the intellectual bankruptcy of the Right that should get the attention. Fifty years ago, when the New Left burst onto the scene and set the political world ablaze, there was a viable and healthy Right to provide a firebreak of sorts. The madness of the 60’s and 70’s was followed by the relatively sober minded 80’s and 90’s. This was due in large part to the Right having lots of smart people thinking hard about how to set things in order.

This is not the case today. You see this in the writing of the people considered to be the bright lights of conservatism. This is a recent piece from Ross Douthat about the state of American society. The word “obtuse” was invented for this sort of post. It is mostly a grab bag of talking points from cable chat shows. He claims Charlottesville was some sort of right-wing riot. Then he follows on with all the silly whoppers the Left has been peddling about the January protests.

At the end of the piece, he lets his slip show by hailing the new regime’s plans to push through a bunch of nation wrecking polices. It is the writing of someone with nothing to say but compelled to say something. The image that emerges is of a confused and frightened man, unable to think critically about the age and terrified that the mobs may decide to come for him. It is a pre-emptive struggle session that should probably be read aloud as he sits on a stool wearing a dunce cap.

Like the Left, the Right has a cargo cult quality to it. This post by Kevin Williamson at National Review is a good example. It’s the sort of bumper sticker rhetoric Jack Kemp would have used in the 1980’s. Today, it is as relevant as leisure suits. More important, it is factually wrong. The market had zero to do with the vaccine. It was government with its promises of blanket immunity and billions in credit money. No one this stupid should be allowed to own a pencil, much less write for the public.

Even fifty years ago, you could cherry pick columns from conservatives that were stupid and ridiculous, but they were exceptions. Williamson and Douthat are considered intellectuals of the movement. These are the guys standing where Buckley, Francis, Sobran and Kirk once stood. Conservatism is now the Stonehenge scene from the movie This Is Spinal Tap. The only thing preventing people from noticing the absurdity of the Right is the over-the-top lunacy of the Left.

It is popular to compare what is happening today with what happened in the 1970’s, as many of the performers were around back then. The gerontocracy is made up of people who still have some corduroy suits in their closet. The big difference is there is no net underneath the Left this time. There is no conservative movement ready to step in and make things right. When this clown car veers off the road, there is not rescue team ready to pull it out of the ditch.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The False Choice Society

The false dichotomy, sometimes called the false choice, is one of the most popular rhetoric tricks used in liberal democracy. The point is to frame the debate in such a way as to either avoid some unpleasant topic or narrow the scope to the benefit of one party in the debate. “We either do X or we allow this terrible thing to continue” is an effective way to compel action. After all, everyone knows that doing nothing in never an acceptable action. Only monsters choose that option.

It is fair to say that our political system is built upon the false choice. Every election we are asked to choose between the two offerings put forward by the parties. In most cases, one option is ridiculous. That is why over 90% of incumbents win reelection. In races with real competition, the options put forward are nearly identical. Both parties offer up a plank of wood spouting whatever slogans are popular at the moment. The voters select between two robots programmed by the same people.

The reason this is a false choice is there is at least one other option. The voters could stage a boycott of the election. Maybe demand some reforms as a condition of rejoining the charade of democracy. Of course, the voters could riot at the polling stations, hurl the voting machines into the river and burn the ballots. They could vote for a third party candidate as a protest. Picking from one of the two options offered up from the uniparty is a false choice, because there are other options.

Of course, people do not select the other options because they are constantly reminded that those are all bad options. No rational person votes third-party. Even the most cynical critics of democracy say the third party option is a waste of time. Similarly, boycotts are dismissed as pointless. Rebellion, of course, is dismissed out of hand, despite the fact the country was literally founded on rebellion. The one thing everyone seems to agree upon is you have no choice but to pick from the two parties.

Another example of where the false choice is the foundation of liberal democracy is in the current Covid panic. The reason the rulers took a wrecking ball to society is they were sure they had just two options. It was either the wrecking ball or do nothing and we all know that doing nothing is never an option. They had to do something, and all of the choices were bad, so they happily went with the bad option. When you eliminate the best option, you are always left with the worst options.

The false choice plays out in more subtle ways too. Unwilling to leave well enough alone, the rulers are now trying to impose a vaccine passport. The idea is to require this for travel or to attend public gatherings. Given that liberal democracy looks a lot like fascism, businesses and banks are making noises about requiring the vaccine in order to have a job or use the financial system. You can get the vaccine, the choice is yours, but you may not be able live in society.

People are rightly upset about this turn of events. House broken conservatives are banging on about how the vaccine passport if just like when their grandparents made the Jews wear gold stars. The point of the yes/no debate on the vaccine passport is to distract from the real problem. The people in charge of public health are incompetent and have turned a minor public health problem into a disaster. Worse yet, they seem to take some pleasure in being incompetent at it.

Not so long ago, proof of vaccination was a common requirement for travel. People were given a card that showed their vaccinations. This was before computers when the people in charge were somewhat competent at their jobs. People went along with it because they understood it was for public health. They could trust the people in charge enough to go along with it. The people who cured things like polio and smallpox were proud of it and the policies that made it possible.

Today, of course, no one trusts anyone. There can be no public pride in collective accomplishment because we have accomplished nothing, other than putting men in dresses and desecrating some statues. This is why half the public is skeptical of the vaccine and the passport business. Instead of dealing with that reality, we choose to have a debate about the passport itself. The false choice here is whether to get the vaccine or not. Whether to have a proof of vaccine or not.

The promise of democracy is that public policy is no longer set according to the narrow interests of a small ruling class. Instead, the marketplace of democracy will set the priorities and select the polices based on majority will. In reality, democracy is a mass delusion where the public debates pointless issues and selects from identical options, all in order to avoid facing reality. Say what you will about aristocracy, at least everyone knows who is in charge and who is to blame.

The Covid hysteria underscores how the false choice society staggers on through inertia and dumb luck. Faced with a real crisis, the current regime would collapse in a pile, with the people bickering with one another over how best to celebrate the pile once the dust settles. The false choice society is a society built on lies the people tell one another in order to avoid reality. The trouble is reality is the thing that does not go away when you stop believing in it.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Best Laid Plans

Anyone who has had to plan a project or organize an event knows that the plans never turn out as expected. Even the most cynical veterans know their plans will run into some unexpected snafu. In fact, the word “snafu” comes from the people who spend most of the time planning things, the military. The word “snafu” comes from the acronym SNAFU, which was popularized during the Second World War. It is why we have another military saying. “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

This may be what we are about to witness with The Pretender. The people who rigged the election knew Biden was unlikely to last his entire term. He is an old man in poor health and the White House is not the place for an octogenarian. He would either drop dead, become incapacitated or, most likely, lose his marbles so bad that he would have to be removed. This is why Pelosi pushed a bill to form a 25th Amendment commission in the fall of last year. She was planning ahead.

The thing is though, the plan was for Biden to be well enough to sign off on whatever the Democrats could rush through the House and Senate. The rhythm of politics is the first year of a new administration is when things can get done. The people inside the Green Zone believe the public is as happy as they are to be rid of Trump, so they want to push through all of their schemes as fast as possible. It is why the people who really run things have had Biden sign close to 50 executive order.

They also need Biden to help sell these schemes. This was the lesson of Obama’s first term when Congress deadlocked on health care. Obama sat on the sidelines letting Pelosi run the show. The project quickly went sideways, took forever to get done and the result was an embarrassing mess. We are seeing the same thing with Biden, who is quickly becoming a vegetable. The White House is now forced to spend most of their time hiding this guy from the public because of his dementia.

Most people think the plan was to nurse Biden along for a couple of years, then use year three to remove him from office. The more cynical thought the plan was to dump him after the election and install Harris. It is hard to know, but the people around Biden seem determined to keep their man upright for as long as possible. So far, the media is going along with the scheme to shield the truth of Biden’s condition from the public, but how long the White House staff can keep this going is hard to know.

Of course, it is also possible that no one thought much about what happens after installing a dementia patient in the White House. They just hated Trump so much they did not care if Biden was a corpse. They are starting to think about it now though and that is going to be the story here in the coming months. If Biden’s own party no longer trusts him with the basics of his office, it will not be long before they start noticing that he is basically the Max Headroom presidency now.

The other part of the plan is also going sideways. The plan said that once Trump was gone, he was gone for good. The people would hold a triumph for the those who vanquished the monster and the monster would be gone. It turns out that the Left needed him more than he needed them. To continue the analogy, they continue to carry the corpse of Trump around, pretending it is still alive. Given the people involved, it is more than a bit ironic that they did not learn from Kritzinger’s story.

That’s another problem with the plan. It was always better to have Trump inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. Trump is a gifted shit-talker. It is what got him the nomination. Now he gets to be the shadow president, mocking and jeering the Biden administration and his old enemies in the tent. Trump was not very good at being president, but he will be very good at mocking Biden’s mental decline. That will make it page one news going forward.

None of this should be a surprise. The people in the Green Zone are gifted schemers with a vermin-like rapacity. They live to undermine the rules and subvert the natural order, but they have never been very good at running things. They are not very good at thinking about downstream consequences. The fact that their grand plan to “restore our democracy” has sprung so many leaks is hardly a surprise. It’s why they are obsessed with the ridiculous Q hoax.

The lesson here is that politics is never about planning. It is about opportunity. This is true regardless of the political system. Politics is about human behavior and people are too irrational to fit into a plan. Good politics is always being prepared to take a bite out of the other side and boost your side. Sometimes, that means working with people you hate, which is what the Democrats should have done with Trump. It is a lesson dissidents should keep in mind as the Biden story unfolds this summer.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Ongoing Panic

Depending upon when you mark the start of the Covid mass hysteria, we are either coming up on the one year anniversary or have just past it. Panic was setting in as early as January, but that was mostly with people who saw a profit in it. It was in February when the mass media started picking up on it. For example, no one was wearing a mask at CPAC 2020, which was in February. By March you could not buy a mask anywhere, along with toiletries and paper products.

A year on, we are getting a better picture of what happened in what may go down as one of the great mass panics in human history. Given that the panic is still with us, the picture that is emerging is blurry and incomplete. In parts of the US and Europe, Covid has turned into a weird religion. It is not just a public health issue to be managed and navigated, but a stand-in for Old Scratch. The faithful are not only vigilant, they are Covid vigilantes, minding everyone’s business about it.

One thing we are seeing is a collapse in the number of confirmed cases. This is in line with what we know about past pandemics. The number of cases is slow at first, often because we have no way of testing for the new bug. Then the number of cases rises quickly, partly due to awareness and partly due to panic. In the mass media age, the need for attention surely drove the case count. Contrary to media narratives, the drop in cases has nothing to do with government efforts.

In fact, there is no evidence that any of the measures, public or private, had any impact on the spread of Covid. The fact is the only way to slow the spread of a virus like this is what the Chinese did and that is lock everyone in their homes. Even the Chinese found this to be close to impossible. What the West could do and is doing is theater. It is about protecting the political health of the ruling class, by convincing enough people that the government is doing something about the virus.

Political theater is an essential element of liberal democracy. We live in the modern version of a Dionysian age. All public acts are public performances, and all public performances are part of the larger morality play of politics. Facts and the discourse upon facts is purely a private affair. It is why everything about Covid has been politicized and only came to our attention when it could be politicized. For a year we have been watching Covid theater, rather than a public health response.

Once the drama runs its course on the big stage, and it seems to be reaching that point now that Mumbly Joe is staggering around the White House, it will go off-Broadway and then close up shop entirely. The mass roll out of vaccines with highly questionable claims to effectiveness looks like the way out for government. Once the old people are vaccinated, they can then claim herd immunity has been reached and the rest of the public can get the jab at their leisure.

One caveat to that prediction is that the Covidians are getting worked up over the new strain of Covid. This is the super-Covid that the oracles prophesied back in the before times when this all started. This one is “armed with enhanced capabilities.” Apparently it has infrared vision and portable drones. Additionally, the Nth wave people will be with us forever, it seems. Then you have the Covid industrial complex that has invested heavily in lockdowns and all that surrounds it.

Assuming that the panic does end, and this drama moves off the stage this year, we will also start to get a sense of the degree of madness we have witnesses. For example, we are already getting a hint in the annual flu numbers. In Britain, the number of influenza cases was zero this flu season. Maybe we have witnessed a miracle or maybe Covid kills the influenza virus. Most likely, the flu numbers have been re-classed as Covid, which appears to be the case in the US.

The truth is most cases we call the flu are caused by unknown pathogens. In fact, only about 20% of flu cases treated by the medical system are known to be the flu. The rest are from something else. Since the medicines for treating the symptoms do the job, no one really cares what caused the symptoms. It is why we do not mandate testing for the flu or the common cold. Up until the past year, we just accepted the fact that people get sick in winter and sometimes need to be treated for it.

Once the dust settles and the sober minded can begin to look at the data, what we will find is that the number of deaths was wildly exaggerated. Similarly, the number of people needing hospitalization was also exaggerated. This is common to all pandemics in the modern age. Even the Spanish Flu was exaggerated. A lot of the deaths attributed to it were from other factors, like poor hospital conditions, poorly trained doctors, bad nutrition, and other pathogens.

Another lesson will be that modern government is not capable of managing a genuine crisis, even a mild one like Covid. The story emerging from New York shows that the people making the decisions not only lacked the basic skills to manage a crisis, but they were obsessed with the politics of the moment. Like everything about partisan politics, everyone chose sides. The left-wing states chose first, so the right-wing states were left with the right answer by default. That is no way to run a country.

It is not just a partisan political problem. It is a systemic one. This paper examining the political economy of this panic looks at the role of mass media. The initial reality of the virus was amplified by the mass media, which the decision makers in government rely upon as their primary information source. They acted on the exaggerated claims, which had the effect of confirming those claims to the public. This was picked up and magnified by the media and we had a vicious cycle.

The interesting bit in that paper is the parallel between how a virus spreading faster in a dense population and how panic spreads in a media dense population. Before the mass media age, most people were outside the media environment, in the same way most people were outside urban areas in agrarian times. Just as a pathogen needs a network of people, bad information needs a way to pass from person to person. Our connected age is now a breeding ground for informational pandemics.

Another aspect to this is a growing number of people seem to need the emotional energy that comes from crisis. We saw this in the early days of Covid. The auxiliary volunteer army of scolds were suddenly swarming the public square. That energy eventually transferred to fighting the virus that they call Trump supporters and insurrectionists but is now looking for a new host. They will need another panic this spring and you can be sure one will be supplied.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Carny World

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. This week I use the expression “of course” far too many times. Of course I do. There’s also new content behind the green door.  I’m watching Deep Space Nine and not liking it very much.


It is easy to forget, but one of the predictions about the post-scarcity, technological age was that it would result in a great leveling of society. Class it was argued, was the result of there never being enough for everyone. Once there was plenty, there would be no need for some to horde at the expense of others. Of course, the high-tech society would abandon the silliness of class distinctions. Everyone would wear gray Lycra jumpsuits and happily perform their roles in society.

Like so much that comes from the Utopians, the class-less society assumed things about people that could never be true. Hierarchy is an essential part of the human condition, which means signaling status is a feature, not a bug. The rich guy driving the expensive car is signally his status in the same way a chieftain would signal his status with ornamental weaponry. Even in a world where everyone can rely on having plenty of the essentials, status and status signally still matter.

In fact, they probably count for more in a rich society than a poor one. A guy who is worth fifty million can do a lot of signaling. He can have a supercar, a big house in the country, expensive tastes. The billionaire can have all of those things, of course, and that is a big problem. How does the billionaire show he is a bigger fish than the guy worth fifty million? He needs to have other stuff like political access, cultural influence, and global attention. His status is measured in attention.

Attention as currency is not confined to the plutocrats. This is one distinguishing feature of the media age that arose with the American empire. Before WW2, the super-rich would build mansions and fund public projects like theaters, colleges, and museums, but this was always what the top of society did to reinforce public virtue. In the medieval period, the elite built churches, and cathedrals. In the Renaissance they supported great artists and later they supported the sciences.

The world changed after the war as material progress suddenly accelerated with the spread of American-style capitalism. Material excess first took root in America and with it the growth of the attention society. Popular culture, after all, is about getting public attention in some way. In the early phase of pop culture, people got famous through some talent for entertainment. Now people get attention by being unusually freakish, deranged, or hysterical. The crazier the better.

This is why so many people now experience the world with their mobile device held up in front of their face. They are mining their daily experience for the currency of the age, which is often a viral video or a lot of likes on the social media platform. It is also why the super-rich are fond of supporting increasingly deranged social fads. If the freak show is the cathedral of the modern age, the super-rich must show their status by building bigger and better freak shows for the people.

One result of the giant freak show is that the culture is becoming less rational as it becomes more bizarre. The governor of New York, for example, gets a pass for murdering old people through ineptitude, but he could end up in jail for upsetting a gentle lady in his employ. Of course, that gentle lady could very well have an OnlyFans account and be in favor of mutilating children, so crazy people can pretend that sex is an imaginary part of the patriarchy.

In other words, the attention seeking society is one in which you can be both a vulgar degenerate and an intolerant prude. The media is awash in messages to young women saying they can only fulfill their purpose in life by being a slut. On the other hand, if a man treats a woman like a slut, he gets chased by an angry mom of sluts. You can be certain that the women claiming Cuomo hurt their delicate feelings are mouthy advocates for every vulgar item on the feminist to do list.

Morality is the software of every human society. It is the unwritten set of rules, the habits of mind, that allow strangers to navigate their way around one another. Morality must have a point and that point is reflected in the organization of society. In a warrior society, the qualities of the warrior are the goals of society. In an aristocratic society, privilege, duty, and honor bound the moral code. The morality of this age is wrapped around the desire for public attention, usually public outrage.

Another aspect of the new morality is that it is arbitrary and random. This is true of the carny world, where stardom is usually dumb luck. The world is full of waitresses that look great and can act. Those that get their big break are those who tick the right box at the right time for some reason. This sense that life and death, success and failure are controlled by the fickle gods of fate is the carny code. It is now becoming the America creed, as we embrace the carny culture.

This is clear in the Cuomo story. The reason Andrew Cuomo is governor is he is the son of a famous mobster. He won the lucky sperm contest. The Covid panic was another big break for him. He got to carry on like a hero, despite the fact he was recklessly putting the lives of old people in jeopardy. The fates were kind to Cuomo, until another turn of the wheel brought him low. Like the tragic figures popular in the carny world, he will be ruined because he made a small mistake, not a big one.

It turns out that the post-scarcity world is like a giant carnival tent. The only thing holding people together is a desire for attention. They need the crowd in order to get the attention of the crowd. Semi-retarded basketball players become billionaires because they are the best performers in the human flea circus. Dingbat barmaids become congressmen because they are good at getting attention. Post-scarcity America is carny world, a freak show celebrating the worst humanity has to offer.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


CPAC & AFPAC

The American Conservative Union (CPAC) and America First (AFPAC) had their big annual events this weekend in Orlando Florida. Both were moved from Washington to Florida because of the Covid panic. Both are struggling to get their footing now that Trump has left office, so it makes sense for both groups to hold their event in the former president’s home state. That and Florida has become the last bastion of rational, conservative government, where the people remain free.

The interesting juxtaposition is that both events claim to be speaking for the future of the American Right. CPAC is trying to appropriate populism and make it palatable for the oligarchs. AFPAC is trying to turn over-the-top support for Trump into a youth movement that will attract oligarch support. Both sides have made clear that the other side is not on their side. One side is the old established brand with market dominance, while the other brand is the upstart trying to make a splash.

Another point of comparison worth mentioning is that AFPAC managed to pull of their event in the teeth of institutional opposition. Given the climate, no one would have faulted Nick Fuentes for cancelling the show. He not only went forward with it, but he also pulled off the biggest dissident event ever staged. To get hundreds of people in and out of a semi-secret event, attended by sitting Congressmen and political celebrities, without a hitch is a stunning achievement by Fuentes and his crew.

On the other side of things, CPAC was lightly attended compared to years past, in part because of the location change. Conservative Inc. is a creature of Washington and CPAC is like their annual awards show. Holding CPAC in Orlando is like holding the Oscars in Iowa. There is also the fact that CPAC is a legacy brand and legacy brands are out of favor on the Right. Two generations of failure have most right-wing people looking for something better than the same old offerings.

The two visions of the future of the right are interesting in that neither is all that clear about where they are going. CPAC is clearly scrambling to protect their brand by allowing some populists back into their “big tent.” It is easy to forget that they ran off the Buchanan Brigades back in the bad old days. For a long time, CPAC was about making sure Trump’s brand of politics never got a purchase in the Republican Party. Events have forced them to be nice to people they generally despise.

On the other hand, Fuentes is starting from a paleoconservative base. He has often described himself as a paleocon. His movement has been carried forward by the blustery thermals of the Trump phenomenon. Like the Trump phenomenon, the goals are not all that clear. Right now, Fuentes and his imitators on live streaming platforms are speaking to issues important to young white men. In is a genuinely populist and right-wing phenomenon, in that it is entirely reactionary.

The trouble for both sides is they are like farmers who have been suffering through a long drought. It had been so long since they felt the rain, they were not prepared for when the heavens would open and saturate the earth. Suddenly, political actors find themselves surrounded by fertile soil. In the case of the old guard, it means learning how to be farmers again. In the case of the new guard, it is coming to terms with the fact they have never been farmers.

Another problem for both sides is they lack a language geared toward the future, so they rely on the language of the past. The civic nationalist stuff from CPAC appeals to old people, but it has no answers for what is happening nor for what is coming as America becomes majority-minority. They cannot even bring themselves to oppose immigration, which would at least acknowledge reality. CPAC is, at best, a bit of escapism for people who have no future.

AFPAC, on the other hand, gets that demographics are changing, but there is still that hope it can all be fixed. The name of their movement gives it away. Putting America first only makes sense when you can define America. Granted, there is a fair bit of rhetorical sleight of hand here, in order to dodge the censors, but at some point, they must confront the fact that America looks nothing like America. What comes next will look nothing like what is in our history books.

What matters most, of course, is that CPAC is the past and AFPAC or something like it is the future. Nick Fuentes managed to do what the alt-right could never muster and that is create a legitimate political movement. Unlike the various goofballs that populated the alt-right leadership, Fuentes has proven himself to be an effective organizer and a highly effective leader. He is arguably the most talented figure to come from the populist uprising that was kicked off by the Trump presidential run.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Big Lie

An axiom from the drug game that applies equally well to the political game is “Never get high from your own supply.” Drug dealers who start using their product usually end up dead, in jail or just another client for a smarter drug dealer. In the case of politics, the product they move is propaganda and rhetoric. In office, they peddle propaganda to convince or confuse the people into going along with policy. Out of office, politicians use rhetoric to trick people into supporting them in their efforts.

The product of politics is the lie. Maybe the lie is just an exaggeration, like the old line about two cars in every garage and chicken in every pot. Sometimes the lie is a fabrication to distract from something else. The Russian collusion hoax is an example of a lie to distract from the FBI corruption. Then, of course, you have the Big Lie, the lie so colossal that no one thinks it possible to tell such a lie. The usual suspects used this against Trump, declaring him a white nationalist.

The thing is, lies are told in the moment, but they have downstream consequences because people believe the lies and act on them. The Big Lie, as you know who described it, had big consequences later on. The historian Jeffrey Herf notes that blaming nationalists for Germany’s loss in the Great War eventually led to the blossoming of antisemitism and the persecution of Jews. That is all debatable for all the obvious reasons, but it is a good example, nonetheless.

We may be seeing something similar happening in America. The Big Lie this time is that America’s problems, its very character, is the result of white nationalism. The usual suspects could not accept the results of the 2016 election, so they concocted a conspiracy theory involving outsiders, Russians, and an invisible enemy within, the white nationalists. This Big Lie quickly evolved from something popular with cranks and the mentally unstable to a full blown collective fantasy.

According to a recent survey, the number one worry for self-identified Democrats are the supporters of Donald Trump. 82% of Democrats are “extremely concerned” about the 73 million people who voted for Trump. Right behind that, 79% are extremely concerned with white nationalism. Just behind that, 77% are extremely concerned with systemic racism. You will note there is a theme to all of the top issues. These people are sure they are at war with a violent, but invisible army of bigots.

Now, if the people buying into this were an isolated subculture that was easily ignored, then no one would care. The one thing modern people have mastered about modernity is the ability to ignore the crazies. These are not isolated crazies. These are the people in control of the institutions. They are acting on their insane beliefs, waging a full-on war against white people in general and normal white people in particular. Real people are suffering real harm because these people believe the Big Lie.

One consequence of this war on white people is the growing awareness and acceptance of Jim Snow America. White people are coming to accept that there is a double standard against whites. They may not like it, but they accept it as a part of their daily reality. You can see this on the social media platforms. Gab has added tens of millions of users, despite the claims about it, and those new users are fine with talking about the new reality of race. There are lots of race realists now.

This is one of those downstream consequences of the Big Lie. Instead of white people cowering in shame, they are seeking out places where they can speak freely and talk about what is happening. The war on white people is creating a sense of white identity that never would have existed otherwise. This in turn is bringing demographic reality to the attention of white people. The tens of millions who thought they were part of the silent majority are realizing they are no longer a majority.

Another unintended consequence of the war on imaginary white nationalists is that the morality is changing. The Left is not fighting against “bad whites” but are now being seen as antiwhite. The Left used to get away with the claim that they were trying to help or protect nonwhites from the bad whites. It was always a lie and now it is an unsustainable lie. White people can now start thinking of themselves as an oppressed identity group. They can be the hero of their story.

There is another downstream consequence of the Big Lie. There is no way to reel it back in when it gets out of hand. We are seeing this with the Covid fantasy. Tens of millions have turned Covid into a religion. The usual suspects will have to come up with an even bigger lie to counter the Covid lie. That is what the survey of Democrats shows regarding the Big Lie. Their coalition of managerial class whites and nonwhites are now organized around the fight against white people. It is who they are.

The growing race consciousness of whites could be reversed if the rulers could drop the whole white nationalist thing and find a new drama to entertain their people, but that would mean admitting the white nationalist stuff was always a lie. Then there is the fact that many of the rulers believe the Big Lie. Dingbats like Ocasio-Cortez think there is an army of Nazis outside the green zone, ready to ravish her in her office. The Big Lie now has taken on a life of its own. It has escaped its handlers.

This gets back to that old axiom from the drug game. The people running the institutions are getting high off their own supply now. They are sitting in front of a big pile of white nationalism, snorting it up as they promise retribution. They have become the victims of their own trade, unable to make sound decisions. Even if it were possible to back off the antiwhite pogroms, they no longer possess the agency to do it. They are just as much a captive of their product as their former customers.

In the search for villains in the aftermath of the Great War, no one thought another industrial war was possible. They could not see what would come of the lies, especially the Big Lie, in the next decades. Similarly, we cannot know what will come from the growing racial awareness of whites. As the rulers assemble Jim Snow America, white racial awareness will evolve along with it. The one thing we know is no one learned anything from the last use of the Big Lie.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Narrative Void

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality” is a line from a T.S. Eliot poem that has always been popular on the Right. While the Left does not have a monopoly on utopian thinking, it has never embraced realism. The Right, on the other hand, has always had an element that accepts the reality of the human condition. Not everyone on the Right or even a majority. One reality of the human condition is that most people, even the sober minded, prefer the escapism of fantasy to reality.

The fantasy view of politics is most obvious on the Left, of course. Much of what constitutes our current politics would best be described as a paranoid delusion or maybe even a psychotic break. Six weeks on and official Washington is still playing the game of make-believe over the January protests. For five years they were convinced that invisible Russians using mind control rigged the 2016 election. Left-wing politics, which means mainstream politics, is just a long conspiracy theory.

Another thing that is made obvious with left-wing reality avoidance is that it is deliberate, something of a cottage industry. There are people who invest all of their time patching up the fantasies and inventing new ones. Here’s an example from the conspiracy site Vox, about how Progressives are trying to “catch-up” to right-wing media. The absurdity of the post is not rare. These fantasies are churned out like shark’s teeth in order to have a steady supply of new fantasies for the Left.

This is something most on this side of the great divide get about the Left. They need a devil to oppose in order to have a rallying point. The absurdity of claiming Trump was a secret Nazi was never noticed, because they needed him to be their devil. Since their devils are always imaginary to begin with, they need to be churning out new ones, because eventually the imaginary ones are no longer useful. Progressives have been plotting the final showdown with the Devil since the Mayflower.

The American Left is really just escapism. It always has been, but in a post scarcity world where even the poorest people are materially safe, the escapism has had to conjure increasingly bizarre rationales. Whether it is invisible Russians, invisible Nazis, invisible Klansman and now invisible insurrectionists, the fantasy requires a villain, so they will conjure one when one does not exist. The Left is Dungeon’s and Dragons for mentally unstable, upper-middle-class white people.

Escapism is not just the domain of the Left. Libertarianism is the most obvious form of it outside the Left. In fact, the escapism is so strong it is possible to place libertarians on the Left, next to the orcs and wizards of Progressivism. The political spectrum would then be realism at one pole and escapism at the other. The libertarians generally accept the reality of math, so they would be somewhere between the midpoint and the end point where we find the modern American Left.

In case it is not obvious, the escapism of libertarianism lies in the fact that you can never have a libertarian society. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has explained at length how it is impossible to go from a modern society to a libertarian one. Even if you sort that puzzle, there is no way to maintain the libertarian society within libertarian theory. Put another way, the libertarian society is like any other fantasy world. Its appeal is in its impossibility, not in its plausibility. It is escapism.

For at least half a century, the Republican Party has been built on the escapism of what we now call civic nationalism. Evangelicals, for example, unhappy with left-wing social changes, organized to get their people elected. They finally got one of their guys in the White House and he did nothing for them. The reaction to this burst of reality was the Tea Party movement, which was really just a civic nationalist reaction to the failures of the Bush administration. It too crashed on the rocks of reality.

Donald Trump was the ultimate civic nationalist and he got nothing done. Part of the anger at Trump and his voters is that they accidentally proved that civic nationalism was always a big lie. The fake anger of the Left was always about their escapism, not anything Trump actually did in office. The real venom comes from the GOP, who sense he ruined the game for them. The Trump phenomenon ruined the fantasy of civic nationalism, removing that form of escapism from the system.

This is a truth that the core of the dissident right has always grasped, but never found a way to exploit. Most people, especially people in politics or cultural movements, are not interested in reality. They want a story, a narrative, that makes them the good guy fighting the selfless fight against the bad guy. Politics in general is not about reasoning from fact to some new facts or truths. It is not about making broad generalizations based on observable truths. Politics is about storytelling.

This is the great lesson of the interwar years. The people on the winning side knew the war was a horrible blunder committed by their rulers. Because they were on the winning side, they had an easy story to explain it. The bad guys were to blame, even if their own rulers were reckless and stupid. Ultimately, the fault lay with the losers and they would be made to pay for their crimes. The losers, in contrast, had no story to explain why their rulers lied to them and “stabbed them in the back.”

Into the void raced liberalism, communism, and fascism. Liberalism could blame the old rulers, but it suffered from being a story told by the winners. Communism told a story that failed to include the facts of the war. Communism was always a story about the future, not the past. Fascism, in contrast, offered a story that included the past, the present and a future. To the modern ear, Hitler sounds like a raving lunatic, but in his time, he was a master storyteller. He made fascism a pleasant fantasy.

This is why our present is full of bizarre conspiracies and fantasies. The Left has total control of the institutions, but they keep churning out new fantasies, because they cannot square the circle of who they are. How can the underdog also possess the high ground of society? How can they have control of the institutions, yet the system still suffers from institutional unfairness? The Left is spiraling into madness because its plot has an unreconcilable contradiction at the heart of it.

We are living in an interregnum of narrative collapse. The various right-wing fantasies, like libertarianism, conservatism and civic nationalism have collapsed. Those stories no longer make any sense. Only old people cling to them. The Progressive story is in the process of narrative collapse. The explosion of conspiracy theories and subcultures is due to the hole at the middle of a politics. The future will belong to those who create a new story that adequately explains the past, present and the future.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Election Reform

Note: It seems that the comment plugin is hopelessly broken. The developer is useless, so I need to find a solution for commenting that is more reliable. For now, it is the basic comment system that comes with WordPress. This summer, I hope to move off the WordPress software (I host my own site), so I’m not going to invest time in a new commenting system for WordPress.


Most discussions about political reform are a way to avoid facing the reality of the people in charge of the system or the system itself. Often, it is a form of escapism where the proposed reform will magically make the people in charge into the sorts of honorable or virtuous people the system demands. Regardless of the political system, reform is an internal operation, performed by the people in charge for the benefit of the people in charge. The reformers always need elite support.

That said, thinking about how the system should be altered in order to serve the ends of society can get at what is wrong with the system. Take voting, for example. American elections are now hopelessly corrupt. The path forward for those not supportive of the ruling class is to protest the whole election. When the votes are rigged and the parties are decreasingly polite fictions, voting is a waste of time. Every vote cast, regardless of the candidate, is for the ruling party.

For most people concerned about this, voting reform would probably start with the companies counting the votes and the voting process. They would want open and accountable voting systems, for example. That way the vote can be compared to actual humans in the district. Maybe the voters would have to present a picture ID in order to vote, which would mean no more mail-in voting. The idea is to reduce the amount of fraud by making it more difficult for the ruling party to commit fraud.

The trouble though is all of those things are just polite ways of saying voter reform means making it harder to vote. The ruling party has always used this claim to justify smashing up the voting system. Democracy, they tell us, is about everyone participating equally in the voting process. That means the system has to be usable by the retarded, the lazy and the disinterested. The only way that can be done is to make the system easy to rig. If the retarded can vote, the imaginary can vote too.

That right there is the point of thinking about voting reform. The honest reformer here must start with the fact that too many people vote. In a democracy, the truth is decided by fifty percent plus one. Although it rarely happens, an election can be decided by one vote, which means the winner is picked by that retarded guy. In a close election, the winner is picked by a handful of the dumbest people. Put another way, in a democracy, the toughest problems are decided by the dumbest people.

Really, what voting reform is about is how to stop the stupid, the crazy and the disinterested from voting. You figure out barriers to put in the way of these people in order to discourage them from trying to vote. Voting is still open to all citizens, as long as they can navigate the voting process. The trouble with this approach is it is not honest about what it means to be a citizen. It says everyone is a citizen with a vote, but in reality, it subtly takes the vote from the undesirable.

Building a system on a lie opens the door for the sorts of people who seek to undermine order so they can plunder society. This is the story of the last century. The drive to open up voting for blacks, for example, was never about bringing blacks into the process so they could have a voice in government. Blacks and black voting were just a cat’s paw for others seeking to undermine the social order. We see the same thing happening now with giving foreigners the right to vote in our elections.

That is what modern voting reform is, when you stop and think about it. One side lies about making it easier to vote, so they can stuff the ballot box. The other side lies about making it fairer, so they can prevent fraud. This is why efforts to fix voting will only make things worse. It is a game built on a lie that encourages both sides to keep lying about their intentions. In a game that rewards the best liars, the people behind the massive election fraud have the advantage, which is why they win.

The real question of voting reform is what sort of person should be participating in the governance of society? When you start from that point, voting reform stops being about rigging the system and about defining citizenship. A citizen is someone who has a stake in the outcome of elections. They have skin in the game. The health and prosperity of society is an extension of themselves and their people. That last part is vital, as the individual can only exist in the context of his people.

The civic nationalist types used to answer this question with money, because they have been conditioned to put a price on everything. They no longer answer this question for the same reason. The trouble with a money requirement, like owning property or paying taxes, is it turns citizenship into a commodity. In theory, a foreigner who owns property in a society should have a vote, even though he really has no skin in the game. He can always sell his property and go to the next place that will have him.

The starting point, when you think about citizenship as having a stake in the outcome of society, is biology. The prerequisite of citizenship, the minimum requirement for voting, is having been born in the jurisdiction. If you were born in the place, then you can qualify for voting there. Voting where you were born would solve the problem of invaders piling into a state and changing its character at the ballot box. The state of Virginia would go back to be a normal state again.

Being born into the jurisdiction is a nice feature, but it is not the answer. Most people in jail were near home when they committed their crimes. What you want is people with a stake in the future of the society. Obviously, these are people who are parents or will be parents at some point. Rationally, the ballot should be limited to married people with kids or maybe married households over a certain age. A 30-year old couple can be assumed to want children. The old couple probably had children.

The other aspect to this thought experiment is what sort of behavior does a society want to reward? The current voting system is neutral about behavior. As long as you are probably a human and you possibly exist, you can vote. The fact that you are in jail, a foreigner or imaginary does not matter. That cheapens the value of citizenship, which in turn cheapens society. Our current voting system encourages everyone to be a rootless raider, a vulture feasting on the carcass of society.

Anchoring the vote in biology flips this around. It encourages the sorts of behavior that are required to maintain social stability. Extend this to holding office and you end up with a system rooted in the goals of the people, rather than in the goals of outsiders, which is what we see today. More important, it shifts the focus from the present, which is what we have now, to the future. This is why aristocratic systems are conservative. The king is always thinking about perpetuating his line.

The point of this sort of exercise is not to create a reform program. The ruling party has no interest in election reform, other than to cancel the next elections. The only way they agree to reform is if they are standing on the gallows. The point here is to break out of the conditioning that comes with the current voting mindset. Elections are supposed to be a tool, not a goal. Once you accept that, you can start thinking about who should be wielding the tool and why.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Modern Narodism

Note: I have a final word on car buying the financialization of the car business behind the green door. The regular Taki post is up as well. Comments about it can be made here, as Taki no longer has a comment section.


The political reactionary is an essential component of left-wing mythology, going back to the French Revolution. In fact, most reactionaries are an invention of Left, so they always have an enemy. It is why they tend to go on murder sprees once they gain control of the institutions. The hunt for counter revolutionaries and running dog reactionaries provides fuel for permanent revolution. Once the revolution runs out of enemies, the revolution loses energy and collapses in on itself.

Even though the term reactionary has been abused by the Left, used as a slur against critics and opponents, it does not mean there are no reactionaries. The Thermidorian Reaction was a real thing. The Restoration of the French monarchy was, in part, a reactionary development. The restoration of the monarchy after the death of Cromwell could be classified as a reactionary event. After all, Charles II did order the body of Cromwell to be disinterred and displayed in chains.

While the Left owns the term, political reaction is not just a right-wing phenomenon nor is it strictly political. It can be argued that socialism and communism are reactions to the Industrial Revolution. After all, it was the Marxist who popularized the term. It was an 19th century pejorative for the current state of the world at the time. Various forms of socialism were a reaction to the sudden growth of a new class, who gained their wealth and power through the acquisition of industrial capital.

Narodism, which was a socialist movement in pre-revolutionary Russia, was a reaction to both the rise of capital and tsarism. The Narodniks, as they were called at the time, were a form of agrarian socialism rooted in the idea that the wealth of Russia was in the peasantry and small craftsman in the countryside. Initially, they were a reaction to the size and scale of the tsarist system of rule. They soon evolved into a reaction to the growing power of capital, just like other socialists of the age.

The interesting thing about the Narodniks is they were more than just a political or economic movement. They were a cultural movement as well. Faced with the sheer size of the tsarist system and the rapid cultural changes promised by the growth of industry, their response was to go back to the cultural roots of the people. The term Narodism comes from the word “narod”, a word equivalent to volk, which is a term familiar to most on the dissident right.

This is something relevant to this age. The technological revolution has allowed the managerial state to grow into something inconceivably massive. We live in an age in which there is little privacy. The eyes of the system are everywhere, even in our homes and in our private conversations. There is no way to escape the unblinking eye of the surveillance state. One force behind the current unrest is the growing sense that all of us are subject to the unwanted gaze of the managerial state.

Another aspect is the rise of the new class. Like the sudden appearance of the capital class in the industrial revolution, we suddenly have a new powerful class that gained its power and wealth through the capture of information. This new class did not get rich by building a better mouse trap. They got rich capturing an information bottleneck or a monopoly of some information service. Michael Bloomberg literally got rich from a monopoly on information to the financial service sector.

Another parallel to the Narodniks we are seeing is the “back to the people” approach by the various tribes on the dissident right. The Narodniks adopted the traditional clothing of the rural people and worked hard to portray themselves as the vanguard of the authentic Russian people. We see something like that on the dissident right. There is a desire to return to a more authentic way of living, rooted in local community. Like the Narodniks, the dissident right is more cultural than political.

The thing is though, the argument in favor of the Narodniks being reactionary falls apart when you look at their overall goals. They may have wanted to “return to the people” in a cultural and spiritual sense, but they did not want to return to a past system. Their program was a departure from the past and present. A proper way to describe what they imagined was something like a return to a point in the past and a do-over back to this point, but with a different set of choices.

This is something that kicks around the dissident right. There is an understanding that there is no going back. Even if you could restore things back to some point in the past when things were better, the roots of the present lie in that past. Liberal democracy is the fruit of American history. A do-over would most likely lead us right back to where we are now. In this regard, modern dissidents are more realistic than the Narodniks in that there is no idealized past or population at the center.

In this regard, civic nationalism is closer to modern reaction. They have created an idealized and largely fictional past. It was a series of innovation by their enemy that sent the country off course. They believe that if we just return to “our constitutional principles” everything will magically get back on the righteous path. Not only do they want to rip the past seventy years from the history books, but they would also like to remove all of the history that makes their imagined past plausible.

One last note on the Narodniks relative to this age. For the most part, the movement was a failure in that it failed to achieve any of its goals, other than the assassination of the Tsar in 1881. Their effort to educate and train the peasantry into a revolutionary force was a failure. The Narodniks were mostly urban intellectuals who had no understanding of the peasants. The assassination of the Tsar lost them whatever support they had among the people.

What they did, however, is lay the groundwork for what came next. Their idea of building an alternative base of power outside the system was adopted by 20th century revolutionary movements. Their tactics also informed others. Their organizational style and use of small group tactics were also a forerunner. Their ideas on generating debate outside what was allowed was an important contribution. They understood that the people needed to be reconditioned before they could challenge the system.

This is the final parallel to modern dissidents. Much of what goes on in dissident politics is a debate about challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. While we do not have peasants in the traditional sense, we do have them in a spiritual sense. Rewiring how they think of themselves and the system that created them, the “converting normie” thing, is an important part of dissident politics. Like the Narodniks, this must happen in small groups using non-traditional tactics to work around the system.

This is why the Narodniks and modern dissidents would fall outside the traditional definition of reactionary. The initial energy is a reaction to the changes in the culture brought about by rapid innovation, but there is no desire to return to the past. Instead, these movements are pre-reactionary and proto-revolutionary, a transition phase in the response to the current age. Dissident politics is a rejection of the modern and what created it, with a vague understanding of what comes next.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


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