Failure Analysis: Charlottesville

Failure analysis is probably the most important component of progress in any area of human endeavor. Figuring out what went wrong, why it went wrong and then scheming how to prevent it from happening again, is how we move forward in business, science, technology and even social organization. After every election, the losing party goes through a period of self-examination in order to figure out why they lost. The old line about learning more from failure than success is true, as long as you actually learn something.

With Joe Biden launching his campaign in Charlottesville, now is a good time to examine the catastrophe of the Unite the Right rally in 2017. Now, the first thing to note that from the point of view of the Left, this was a great success. Almost two years on, it remains an emotional rallying point for all of the tribes in the fight against whiteness. It is why very old white man Joe Biden picked it for his campaign announcement. He wanted to let those tribes know that he is their man, despite his noticeable lack of vibrancy.

That is an important lesson of this event. Activism is always about rallying your side and depressing the other side. Everything else is secondary. Most of the dissident right is happy to forget about this event, while the Left has made it one of the key events in their narrative. Put the phrase “Unite the Right” into a search engine and you first get the Wikipedia page describing it as a rally by the worst people. An image search returns pics of Nazis and noble non-whites. For the Left, Charlottesville was a triumph.

That is the first lesson of the event. It was a failure. Many involved have yet to come to terms with that reality. Instead, they keep working to correct the record about what happened and who was responsible. This recent live stream by Richard Spencer is a good example. The fact that they keep thinking the facts matter says they still don’t understand what happened. To the Left, the facts are unimportant. What matters is they have martyrs and they have a bloody shirt to wave around.

Therein lies another lesson. For too many in dissident politics, this obsession with applying the blue pencil to the Left’s myth-making remains a liability. Conservatives have always fallen into this trap. While the Left is performing yet another morality tale, the Right is busy editing the script for accuracy. In politics, factual accuracy is only important if it advances the narrative. What matters, what always matters, is convincing the public that your version of reality is the most pleasing. The facts are just part of the set.

Beyond accepting that it was a disaster for our side, however you wish to define it, the question is why did it happen? Part of it was the people involved got caught up in the moment, so they stopped thinking. They really thought they were in one of those great periods of transition. Eric Striker actually makes that point in this episode of his podcast at around the 55-minute mark. Before the event, Spencer had posted his version of the Port Huron Statement. They thought the revolution was happening.

Another reason the event turned into a great piece of propaganda for the Left and a disaster for the Right is the organizers made the classic error of thinking the Left would abide by its own stated rules. This never happens, as the Left sees rules, laws and principles as conveniences that further their efforts. The laws are like the New York subway system. You get on and off as necessary. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself. For the Left, winning is always the end. They will never let the rules get in the way.

Conservatives have been making this mistake for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. American right-wingers always assume the Left has practical, tangible motivations and that they will abide by their own rules. After all, conservatives have practical goals and always play by the rules. You’ll notice that all of those Virginia democrats caught up in the black face scandal are still in their jobs. Even the serial attacker, Justin Fairfax, is still in his job. In the fight with the Left, there are no rules.

One lesson many on the alt-right have learned from the event is that all the people flying the “pro-white” banner are not the same. Those older groups, what is often called White Nationalism 1.0, are incompatible with the modern movements. Those guys remain stuck in the past, determined to remain in a sub-culture that operates on the fringes. Many of them are simply crazy or violent. There’s no need to disavow these people, but if you’re going to build something new, you have to break free from the past.

Charlottesville is a great example of why outsider movements need to first build small, in real life organizations. Holding a big public rally looks cool and gets a lot of attention, but it also draws a lot of lunatics and weirdos. In person organizing, especially in small groups, allows for careful vetting. If Jason Kessler had to apprentice in a local group for a couple of years, he never could have talked people into his venture. The goofballs with the Hitler flags could never get in front of the cameras at an alt-right event.

That’s the most important lesson of Charlottesville. Every war is a media war. This low-grade civil war in the West is about imagery and narrative. In Charlottesville, the Right allowed the Left to control the production, so they could control the narrative and the imagery. Future activism must always confound the preferred narrative, thus putting the Left on the defensive. The media organs of the Left are big and powerful, but they are not nimble or adaptive. That can be used against them with clever activism.

This AIM action over the weekend is a great example. Those aging commies in the audience were ready to celebrate their edginess until a bunch of young guys turned up to heckle and mock them. Instead of trading made up stories about their days fighting the man, they were being mocked as the man. The subsequent news stories sound like something to come from the Soviet press in the old days. The only thing missing from the reports are the words “hooliganism” and “running dog lackeys.”

In time, the tank will run dry on Charlottesville and it will cease to be a bloody shirt for the Progressive mobs. The lessons though can never be forgotten by dissidents trying to build an alternative to the current order. Mistakes have consequences. One of those consequences must be shrewder leaders and better strategies. Otherwise, the dissident right will follow the conservatives into the same dead end. The difference is there will be no cushy think tank jobs waiting for the losers of this political fight.

The Feedback Loop

Confirmation bias is one of those universals that effects everyone. It’s natural for people to gravitate toward that which confirms what they wish to be true. No matter how hard you try to “be objective” you naturally prefer that which fits your biases. In the sciences, there are elaborate processes to correct for this tendency. In theory, having your work reviewed by peers, especially those with different biases, will correct for bias. It does not always work that way, but that just shows how tough it is to overcome our biases.

In the realm of public policy, there is no process for overcoming bias. In theory, public debate should work like peer review, but the people allowed into the debates tend to hold the same biases as everyone else in the debate. Every debate on crime, for example, excludes the important stuff, because of reasons. The result is a debate between people, who all agree that the important stuff can never be mentioned. Therefore, the public is left to hope that the people making public policy get lucky.

In theory, even if the people in charge all share the same biases, they have to face the public, which is supposed to be the acid test of liberal democracy. If the public is unhappy with what the politicians are doing, they vote in new politicians. This fear of unemployment is supposed to keep the politicians from straying too far from the consensus. As we see throughout the West, the reality is something different. Ruling classes all over the West are wildly out of step with the public, which is the cause of these populist revolts.

Part of the reason may be a feature of the managerial state that has emerged since the end of the great industrial wars of the last century. The political class is no longer part of the feedback loop that existed between themselves and the public. Instead, they get their information about public sentiment through policy experts and polling. When an office holder wants to know where to stand on an issue, he does not canvas his district or hold a series of constituent meetings. Instead he consults his staff of experts.

The result is something you in this rather odd post at National Review. The post is a long rebuttal to the main thesis of the book Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities, by Eric Kaufmann. The main thrust of the book is that white nationalists and immigration patriots should be allowed to participate in public debate. Since immigration fanatics and non-white identity groups get to participate, whites should get the same courtesy. That this is a radical idea at National Review is topic all by itself.

A clue that you are in an emperor’s new clothes moment is when the response to a simple suggestion is a graph, followed by thousands of words of commentary. That’s what you see from the writer. His answer to the complaints by whites about immigration, for example, is to claim that whites are not really complaining about immigration. In other words, instead of addressing the main argument, he attacks the premise. In effect, his point is the immigration patriots cannot participate because they don’t exist.

Now, it has to be said that the sorts of people writing for National Review live in terror that one day the Left will put their name on the wrong list. Therefore, their every waking moment is spent confirming the current morality of the Left. At the moment that means anything with the word “white” in it is bad and opposition to the brown hordes pouring over the border is immoral. Basically National Review is going on record saying this Kaufmann fellow and his crazy ideas about debate is a very bad person with bad ideas.

Putting that aside though, consider what Verbruggen is doing. Instead of looking outside to get a sense of what’s happening in the public, he consults a Gallup study, one that confirms his bias. Of course, the only people who read National Review these days are Republican Party consultants, who will use posts like this to convince their masters that there is no need to worry about their angry voters. After all, those torch wielding mobs outside their office really don’t exist. It says so right in that Gallup poll.

Of course, there is the fact that the response by these people to public unrest about immigration, way back when they threw open the borders, was a public relations campaign to anathematize opponents. Back in the 1990’s, when it was still possible for people like Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire to post opposition to immigration on National Review, the public was comfortable being in opposition. Once opposition to open borders was declared immoral, the public stopped voicing concerns to pollsters.

In other words, the feedback loop in the managerial state now works like this. The power elite want some set of polices, so they hire top men from the managerial class to sell it to the public. Whether or not the public buys it is immaterial, they just need evidence that there is public support for it. Once they generate that, they are convinced and set about convincing policy makers to push the new policy. Of course, there is plenty of money to go around, so politicians are more than happy to believe whatever is fed them.

In the managerial state, the feedback loop is like something you would see in a business school model of a failing business. Senior management brings in a market research firm to tell them the problem is not management. Rather, it is positioning in the market place. The solution is to hire a new marketing firm to convince the market that the company’s products are the best. The same research firm then studies the results and reports back that everything is working. Meanwhile, the company sinks further into the red.

That may sound like a strange comparison, but take a look at this post in the Columbia Journalism Review about the new publisher of National Review. The collapse of National Review over the last twenty years has one direct cause, the embrace of neoconservatism and the abandonment of their core constituency. Instead of facing up to the fact that they have a bad product and a lot of bad managers, they are going to rework their website so they can create a safe space for engagement. Meanwhile, their site is a ghost town.

The apparent insularity of the political class is the result of being cut off from the normal feedback loops. When National Review had to scramble for readers, they had to know something about the public. When the political class had to canvas for votes, they met actual voters who told them about what was on their mind. Today, the entire managerial class is like a monastery, where everyone is trying to be the star of the choir or the best at illuminating manuscripts. They spend all of their time talking to themselves.

As an aside, the reason social media and website comment sections terrorize these people is it is there where the yawning gap between themselves and the public is most obvious. When National Review had a comment section, their writers saw plainly that the readers were not buying what they were selling. The solution was to get rid of the comments. On social media, the solution is to purge the platforms of anyone that upsets human resources. Our thought leaders can only take so much reality.

Sam Francis made the point decades ago that both political parties in America are far to the Left of the people who vote for them. The reason for that is the political center of the ruling class has always been to the extreme Left of the public. Cut off from the feedback loop, that center has now drifted out beyond the event horizon of most people. It’s why our rulers seem like strangers to us. It’s why writers for Conservative Inc. stagger around in a daze, years after having been jolted by their remaining connection to the feedback loop.

Server Upgrade/Open Thread

Yesterday and last night, the server was upgraded to hopefully put an end to the problems I have been having of late. Performance should be better. There is still work to be done to finish the setup, so if the site goes dark today, it is just maintenance. If you experience anything weird that is related to the site, I’m not interested in your fight with the mime at the dog park, post it up here so I can investigate. Otherwise, things should settle down today.

A Trip Through Crazy Land

I’ve been doing a lot of serious stuff lately, so this week I wanted to take a break and do some lighter material. The daily outrages you get from the news can often conceal the absurdity of the world imposed on us. The people in charge are every bit as clownish and ridiculous as we think, maybe more so. It’s not they are wrong or are mistaken. They are ridiculous people with a diminishing grasp on reality. Their ridiculousness is often amusing, so we should take some time on occasion to enjoy the freak show for what it is.

Normally, I start with the Huffington Post when looking for goofy stories. They never disappoint, but there is a whole other world out there of left-wing craziness too, so I get into some of that this week. Whenever you think the Left cannot get more ridiculous, always remember they can find another gear. Crazy has no limits. It’s also good to remember that current absurdities used to be confined to obscure websites. In other  words, today’s freak show will most likely be tomorrow’s normal.

Looking for content this week, the one thing that kept jumping out is most of it is driven by women and homosexual males. This is not a new observation, but it probably does not get enough attention, outside of some precincts in the man-o-sphere. These freaks we see are just desperate for attention and they will do anything for it. As our political class gets more feminine and gay, our politics gets more freakish and absurd. It explains why dissident politics is very male and very trad female.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: A HuffPo Appetizer (Link) (Link)
  • 12:00: Transmisogyny 101 (Link) (Link)
  • 22:00: My Favorite Weirdos (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: Xirl Science (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 42:00: Some Legacy Crazy (Link)
  • 47:00: Shallow And Stupid (Link)
  • 52:00: Magic Bust (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

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Contempt Of The People

Outside of the various hives on the modern Left, it is generally assumed that the natural progression of democracy is toward some form of dictatorship. What starts as a sensible idea by sensible people leads to an expansion of the franchise to include a majority of people, who are not sensible. This inevitably leads to instability. The system first breaks down into factionalism and then becomes both corrupt and inept. The solution is the man of will, who will cut through the process and impose order on the chaos.

This is why the Founders were steadfastly opposed to democracy. They knew their history and their political philosophy. They also understood human nature. It is also why both sides of the Progressive order have rewritten history to have the Civil War as the second founding. Ben Shapiro cannot sing the praises of democracy if the authority to which he is appealing was opposed to it and to him. It turns out that democracy not only corrupts the present it must corrupt the past in order to legitimize itself.

One the problems with social cycle theory is it seems to blinker people into thinking that history not only repeats itself, but does so exactly. In the case of modern America, people think we are far away from Caesarism, because we have yet to have a Sulla. In other words, they assume the ascent into authoritarianism will follow the exact same path as past shifts from republic to empire. If present events don’t exactly fit the old template, then American has yet to enter that cycle, so there is no fear for an America Caesar.

This is a mistake, of course, as history does not repeat itself like a reboot of an old television franchise. Instead, the general pattern is repeated, but within the context of the age, along a different timeline. In the case of America, Lincoln was the Marius phase while the New Deal was the Sulla phase. Instead of a social war between the two, one phase ran its course, setting the ground work for the other, which in turn set off the process leading to where we are now. There’s no Caesar, but we see the signs of Caesarism.

For example, look at the general uselessness of the Congress. One party, the Republicans, are the sock puppets of global interests. In theory they represent the white middle class, the only people willing to vote Republican, but they are wholly owned by global enterprise. The Democrats, on the other hand, represent the spiritual aspirations of the global class. They feed at the same trough as the Republicans, but serve the female side of the global elite. They are the yin to the GOP yang.

This collapse of legitimacy results in a Congress that does very little. Instead, it relies on the Executive to do what it asks. The vast federal bureaucracy that Trump is struggling to operate is the real government of America. The FBI sedition scandal is a good example of the contempt with which the New Class holds the political class. They have no fear of either party in Congress, as they know they are powerless. Proof of that is the parade of people lying to Congress and never facing the consequences.

It used to be that defying the will of Congress had serious risk. Contempt of Congress was a weapon that could be used to put someone in prison. The last person that angered the Congress enough with their lying was Rita Lavelle. That was back in the 1980’s and she served six months in prison for contempt. Since then, Congress has been noticeably less willing to throw its weight around, to the point where the oligarchs feel free to lie in extravagant ways in front of House committees. They hold Congress in contempt.

What we have today is rule by a surprisingly small number of people. At the top is the global pirate class that owns the media, technology and finance. Under them are the lesser elites that rule over the academy, mass media, politics and foreign policy. This is the New Class, an elite within the bureaucracy that has a free hand in running the state, as long as they don’t anger their paymasters. At most there are a few thousand people controlling a few million person bureaucracy that runs the global empire.

Further evidence of this is what has been happening with Trump. The real power, the New Class, operating the executive bureaucracy, has no respect for him, so they happily do what they must to undermine his agenda. Instead of begging Congress to its job, he needs to figure out how to use the weapon that is the vast executive branch. Perhaps he is figuring it out, but thus far he has been unable to come to terms with this reality. The next Democrat president will not make the same mistake.

The Bolshevik Revolution was supposed to end up in a dictatorship of the proletariat, but instead resulted in a largely urban dictatorship of the nomenklatura, a term, derived from the Latin nomenclatura, meaning a list of names. The suggestion was that it was hereditary, rather than meritorious. Trotsky referred to it as a caste, rather than a class, as it looked more like the old Tsarist order, rather than something new. The managerial state described by James Burnham, has evolved into a similar sort of ruling caste.

This may be why we are now seeing similar displays of power that were seen in the old Soviet Union. The banning of books, the suppression of speech, the use of internal exile to intimidate dissidents, these are all features of the Soviet system now present in modern America. It could also be the result of minoritarianism, as both the Soviets and modern American see a disproportionate number of people in this ruling caste that are not part of the majority population. Therefore, they rule in fear of demographics.

Another point of comparison is how authoritarian rule that comes after some form of popular political system, whether communism or liberal democracy, is that it has firm control of the cities, but far less control of the hinterlands. Despite the mythology, the Soviet system was never able to fully control its territory. The Bolsheviks were reduced to weaponizing neglect, in order to keep the rural areas pacified. The American opioid epidemic is serving a similar function for the American New Class.

Again, historical analogies are never precise. The patterns we are seeing in modern America could also compare to a number of other historical examples. What matters is the macro pattern, where democracy inevitably leads to some form of authoritarian rule, based in the urban areas. That’s where we are now in modern America. The illusion of democracy has disguised the deep contempt the ruling elite has for the people, but that contempt is becoming more obvious. At some point, they will simply stop pretending.

Beyond Archeofuturism

Social cycle theory argues that stages of civilization and history generally repeat themselves in cycles. The most famous explanation of this is Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West, where he compared human civilization to an organism. There is the birth phase where society comes into being. An adult phase where is fully formed and reaches its potential and then the decline of old age and eventually death. Another way of stating it is that human civilization has seasons, spring through winter.

This way of thinking about the West has been popular with various right-wing movements ever since, as it generally fits the more realistic worldview of the Right. The Left, in contrast, has always embraced the idea that human civilization evolves toward some idealized point of existence. Progressives chose their label, because they are not only in favor of progress, but they believe it is inevitable. They are on the right side of history, because unlike their enemies, they are not standing in the way of progress.

The argument for Spengler has a lot of support in our history books, as there are plenty of civilizations that were born, lived and then died. If human history naturally progressed to some ideal form of existence, it would seem that the middle ages were a detour, which means there could be other detours. Alternatively, Africa made no meaningful progress until Europeans arrived and handed them the tools of modernity. Even so, the magic of historical progress does not appear to be working its magic on the Africans.

Closer to home, it is obvious that the West has hit some sort of wall, when it comes to inventiveness in the social sphere. Regarding political organization, not much has happened since widespread democracy was embraced a century ago. It has become more absurd and corrupt, but that hardly qualifies as progress. Culturally, the West has not produced much of anything worth commenting upon, other than popular culture, which also seems to have stalled. Pop culture today is reboots and repeats of the past.

At a more granular level, this is obvious in the political sphere. Take a look at the Democrats running for president. Bernie Sanders is a sort of weird nostalgia tour for Baby Boomer lefties and their spiritual soulmates in the younger generations. Listen to him speak and he barely makes any sense. In fact, all of them rely on emotive gibberish and their mostly concocted back stories. The gay mayor a gay who speaks in riddles. The mixed senator is Obama with a vagina. Warren is an angry old hen.

Take a step back and the Democrat Party is no longer a political party in the traditional sense of the concept. It has no agenda, other than a hatred of white people, but even that hatred has no point, beyond keeping the non-whites angry. The GOP had been a pointless collection of castoffs for decades until Trump came along, but even there, the MAGA stuff is just a weird echo of the Reagan years. If Sanders is a nostalgia candidate for lefty boomers, Trump is a nostalgia tour for aging Reaganites.

The near total lack of political innovation is quite startling when you read something like this, which was posted at American Conservative. The general thrust of the article is the Right needs a new Frank Meyer, who helped turn the American Right into a fusion of social conservatism, libertarian economics and hawkish anti-communism. The post reads like the pitch for rebooting an old movie franchise. Instead of fighting the Soviets, the new Conservative Man will start a Cold War with China and promise to cut the debt.

It is not just the mainstream political ideologies that are staggering around in the darkness of the past, searching for a reason to exist. The alt-right embracing fascist iconography and larping as Nazis was as much about a lack of imagination as breaking taboos. They could not think of a way forward, so they were hoping for a do-over. This surge in what is called white identity politics is mostly just a rediscovery of old ideas that lived and died a century ago. There are a lot of antiquarians in identity politics.

Francis Fukuyama famously declared the end of history, as if the West had finally reached the Promised Land. Liberal democracy triumphed over communism. He has since backed off on that a bit, but this is the end of a long super-cycle that started in the late middle ages and peaked in the Industrial Revolution. There really has not been an innovative political idea since the beginning of the last century. The expansion of liberal democracy has brought with it weird cults and heresies, but those are decoration, not innovation.

The view from the Right, properly understood, is to look at this and see the winter of Western civilization. The barbarian hordes are pouring over the border. It’s not that the West is incapable of defending itself. It’s that it lacks the youthful energy to do it. Like an old man sitting in his rocker, the Occident is simply too burdened by time to get up and defend, much less build, his civilization. In other words, we are in the same place as Rome entering the final century of the Western Roman Empire.

Another way of viewing this, however, is to be a bit less grandiose and see the West in a transition period. The period from the French Revolution through the Second World War was driven by the technological and economic changes that swept the West. The old political order, which was rooted in the feudal economics of the middle ages, slowly and often violently gave way to a new political order rooted in capital and industry. The feudal relationship does not make a lot of sense when capital is king.

Perhaps this period we are in is a transition from the industrial order to something that better fits the technological age. One reason national governments are in such shabby condition is they have lost one main reason to exist. People in Europe are no longer in competition for resources. Everyone in the West has extra of all the things that matter and extra of most of the luxury items. Organized competition for stuff is no longer a salient part of political life. Germany is not going to be invading Poland to get more farm land.

Put another way, the path forward may be exactly that, allowing the past to fade into the darkness of history, while looking for a new organizational model that fits the needs of technological, post-industrial and post-scarcity societies. A political philosophy that has the attributes of the block chain, rather than the corporation, is the future for a technological society. Instead of decorating old ideas with new trimmings, it will be the past decorating new a political philosophy, purpose built for the current age.

The Dissident Right

Labels are important in social discourse, as they are shorthand for a collection of ideas, arguments and images. It’s why the Left always makes its first assault on something by corrupting its labels. If they can anathematize the label, then they effectively discredit the people and ideas associated with it. It is a form of the aphorism often mistakenly credited to Stalin, “No man, no problem.” Similarly, social movements often first try to establish their name and symbols, before fully explaining what it is they are championing.

One reason the alt-right was easily smashed by the Progressive establishment is that they chose symbols that had already been anathematized by the Left and their team name had no intrinsic meaning. They would have been better off dressing as circus clowns, rather than prep school Nazis. They thought they could break the taboos against fascism by irreverently breaking the taboo, but instead they simply ended up playing a well-known role in the Left’s morality play. From there it became easy to demonize the name “alt-right.”

That said, if the term alt-right had a better definition, one that was both positive and intrinsically respectable, there efforts to break the fascist taboo by irreverently mocking it could have worked. The reason is the public would have identified them with a label having an established meaning that was separate from the cartoon version of fascism the Left has promoted for generations. Instead, alt-right had no obvious meaning, other than an association with Richard Spencer, who was quickly turned into the bogeyman.

It is why “dissident right” has a better chance as a label for an authentic alternative to the Progressive orthodoxy. The word “dissident” has both a literal meaning and an historic meaning. In fact, the idea of the dissident has emotional resonance in the West, as it is associated with resistance to authoritarianism. While “alt” is that key on your keyboard you use when things go wrong, a dissident is a heroic figure, stoically refusing to buckle to the authoritarian. It’s a word the Left cannot demonize without revealing themselves.

The trouble is, the label does not have a literal definition that is known to most people who use it for themselves or the larger movement. You see that in this post over at Counter-Currents by someone using the name Eordred. He runs through the various tribes that continue to operate outside of mainstream public discourse, but he struggles to arrive at a definition. It is only at the end that he makes a passing reference to the actual source of the term, coined by John Derbyshire a couple of decades ago.

The dissident right is, to some degree, a reaction to the shift on the Right, among the Buckleyites mostly, to embrace the blank slate and egalitarianism. This was mostly due to the infestation of neoconservatives and libertarians. The neocons brought with them that old Marxist belief that society can be willed into any shape you like, regardless of the people in it. Libertarians, like Marxist, simply refuse to accept the reality of the human condition. As a result, the mainstream Right implicitly embraced the blank slate.

The dissidents were those who first dissented from the prevailing orthodoxy on human nature and human organization. Drawing on science, rather than tradition or religion, the dissidents made the correct point that human diversity is real. People, as we see them today, are not the result of historical forces, but the result of evolutionary forces. It turns out, and the evidence continues to pour in support of this, that human evolution is local, copious and recent. The observable differences are rooted in biology, not culture.

While the dissident right is, to some degree, a reaction to the drift into blank slate mysticism by the establishment Right, it is not reactionary. To be a reactionary is to be entirely controlled by the Left, which is why reaction has never been able to sustain itself as an authentic organizing philosophy. It is the cleanup crew after a spasm of radicalism has made a mess of things. The dissident right is not a reaction to radicalism. It is a promotion of biological reality. It offers an alternative foundation for political philosophy.

As far as being on the Right, it is because biological realism reaches the most of the same conclusions of the traditional Right, with regards to human nature and the human organization. The difference is that the traditional Right assumes those traditions, customs and institutions are the result of accumulated wisdom. The dissident right, in contrast, thinks of traditions, customs and institutions as evolved solutions to human organization that are peculiar to a people, because of their peculiar evolutionary arc.

In other words, go into any high school cafeteria and you will see the students self-segregating along academic class, social class, sex and race. This is not the result of accumulated wisdom in the form of custom or the result of tradition. It is not the result of mystical forces like white privilege or social constructs. It is the nature of humans to attract to those with whom they share fundamental connections, which are rooted in biology. Their hierarchical relationships are similarly rooted in their biology.

This difference in starting premise is what distinguishes the dissident right from the traditional Right and puts it at odds with some elements on the Right. Instead of defending tradition on philosophical grounds, it challenges the status quo on empirical grounds. It is why the Left is so frightened of what is coming from the human sciences. Their effort to anathematize these ideas by calling them “scientific racism” inevitably makes them look like vinegar drinking scolds, condemning Galileo in defense of superstition.

That said, this radical starting point could very well be why it cannot coexist with the traditional Right. There is a noticeable gap in perspective between those with an empirical world view versus those steeped in tradition and philosophy. When your starting point is an English biologist, rather than a German philosopher, the cultural differences are quite noticeable to both parties. The rationality of the dissident right may make it unsuited for political conflict, which is not about the right answer, but the right weapon.

The Strange Death of Neoconservatism

Political movements usually end in one of two ways. One is they achieve most of what they sought and then fade away, having lost their purpose. Alternatively, they fail to achieve their goals, perhaps having been discredited or out-competed by a rival movement, then fade into obscurity. In both cases, they will kick around for a while, going through a stage where they exist as a racket, rather than a legitimate movement. They feed on the nostalgia of people, who originally supported the cause in its better days.

An obvious example of the former is the crusade to legalize abortion. Once the Supreme Court invented a right to abortion, the point of the abortion movement should have been satisfied, but they transitioned from that to an effort to normalize it. That was largely successful by the 1990’s, but by then abortion was good business for the people in the abortion rackets. They make money on the political end, as well as on the selling of baby parts side of things. Planned Parenthood is a multi-billion dollar business now.

The other side of the coin is paleoconservatism, which flourished in the 70’s and 80’s, as a response to the infestation of the conservative movement by former Progressives, calling themselves neocons. In many respects, the paleos were not a political movement, but more like antibodies released by the Right in order to ward off a virus. That virus, in the form of guys promising to radicalize the Right, won the battle and the paleocons were slowly purged from Right and from the Republican Party.

That brings us to neoconservatism, which was spectacularly successful as a political movement. What started as dissatisfaction with their fellow leftists in the 1960’s had come to dominate the Right by the late 80’s. Domestically, they normalized unlimited immigration and the financialization of the economy. On foreign policy, they successfully pushed through their freedom agenda, which was aggressive war to impose democracy on the Middle East. It is fair to say the neocons revolutionized American politics.

It is that success that has discredited the movement and its leaders. So much so, in fact, that one of the founders of the movement is now abandoning his creation. Norman Podhoretz, one of the godfathers of the movement, has announced that he is re-branding himself as a paleo-neoconservative. He not only confessed to supporting Trump, but now agrees with his old nemesis, Peter Brimelow, on the immigration issue. He still defends the Iraq war, mostly out of vanity, but he is now a war skeptic in the Trump mold.

Now, this does not mean the rest of the neocons are about to become Trump supporters or demand the rehabilitation of Pat Buchanan. Like a drug resistant virus, people like Bill Kristol, Max Boot and the other Trump-haters will still be with us. It’s just that their movement and its primary issues are on their way to the ash heap of history. Outside of the cheap labor lobbies, immigration has lost its appeal. A re-thinking of global capitalism is happening across the West and the freedom agenda is thoroughly discredited.

There are a lot of explanations for why the neoconservative agenda has crashed into ignominy. Some argue that the failure on the foreign policy front was due to an inability of neoconservatives to appreciate the cultural conditions required for democracy. Others, like Darren Beattie, take this beyond the foreign policy issue, and blame the neocons embrace of the blank slate. Like Marxists, they simply thought people were interchangeable, because they could be molded into whatever society needed.

A better answer lies in the words of Norman Podhoretz in that interview with the Claremont Review of Books. In it he says, “But in the army I got to know people from all over the country and I fell in love with Americans—they were just great! These guys were unlike anybody I had ever met in New York or in England or France.” That’s an odd thing for someone to say about his fellow citizens. It’s the sort of thing a foreigner says about his new neighbors. It also seems a bit forced, as if he feels like is required to say it.

Explaining his change of heart on Trump, Podhoretz says, “I said to my wife: “This guy [Trump] is Buchanan without the anti-Semitism, because he was a protectionist, a nativist, and an isolationist. How did I know he wasn’t an anti-Semite? I don’t know—I just knew.” Later he goes out of his way to make that point again, that his quarrel with Buchanan was mostly about his alleged antisemitism. Therefore, he can change his mind on the entire neocon agenda, just as long as no anti-Semites are involved.

It is a strange confession from someone whose life’s work has been a multi-generational lecture about first principles. It is this flexibility on their core beliefs that is the clue about why neoconservatism has fallen into disrepute. They were never really motivated by anything other than tribal animosity toward the people they sought to replace. Podhoretz back-stabbed people like Brimelow and John O’Sullivan, marginalizing them within conservative circles, for no other reason than tribal animosity.

Another example of this is later in the interview, where Podhoretz relates an anecdote about the writer Henry James, who was no fan of Jewish immigration. Upon visiting the Jewish ghetto in New York, James allegedly said “Well, if these people stay, whatever language they speak, we shall not know it for English.” Podhoretz then says, with noticeable glee, that “the only people who are reading Henry James and indeed writing doctoral dissertations on him are the grandchildren of those people.”

Taken together, it reveals that neoconservatism was never a political movement centered on a native patriotism. It was a purpose built weapon for people who saw themselves as strangers at war with people they saw as hostile to their tribe. This not only allowed them to sideline critics by calling them anti-Semitic, it was an energy source to motivate the adherents to stick together and fight. Even today, as people like Bill Kristol descend into madness, the neocons hang together in their fight against Trump. They stick together.

Ultimately, it was not the tribal hostility that was their undoing. It was their unfamiliarity with the people over whom they sought to rule. It’s easy to think one group of strangers are the same as the other group of strangers. That’s why open borders made sense to the neocons. Guys like Podhoretz could learn to love Americans, but he could probably learn to love Guatemalans too. Similarly, the auctioning off of the industrial base made perfect sense, as the neocons knew nothing about the people losing their jobs.

Finally, the collapse of the neocons seems to comport with the theory of Ed Dutton, regarding the decline in general intelligence. The generation of Norman Podhoretz had a lot of smart Jews, who were motivated to climb to the top of society. Their children and grandchildren, in contrast, are like the ne’er-do-well heirs to a fortune. John Podhoretz and Bill Kristol are quite stupid compared to their parents. This decline in Jewish talent not only pulled down neoconservatism, but may be signaling the end of the Jewish century.

 

Happy Homelands

I was on with Frodi Midjord, RamZPaul and Tiina Wiik to discuss dissident politics on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as organizing for our future efforts. We had some technical issues with Google, so we went off-line for a while and then started over. Paul broke up the video into three parts and re-published them. The live stream service from Google seems like it has trouble every time I do one of these things. Maybe I give up some form of bad mojo that causes havoc on their servers.

I thought it was a good discussion. Frodi is a great guy, who has done great work in the Scandinavian countries. We need more sensible people out front talking about these issues. I think he made some good points, especially about people’s risk tolerance. If you think your people are worth preserving you do what it takes to accomplish it. On the other hand, I don’t think they have the challenges we have here in America with people being fired from their jobs for holding unpopular opinions. I could be wrong.

Otherwise, I think I did better on this than I normally do on these sorts of things. There is a skill to being a live streamer or a guest on these shows. I just don’t do it enough to be comfortable with it. Paul and Tiina do these shows all the time, so they make it look easy, but there is a talent to make it look natural. It’s why I have avoided getting into the video stuff to this point. I’d end up spending countless hours trying to figure out how to look normal rather than like I was making a hostage video.

Anyway, here is the show in three parts.

https://youtu.be/p-2U14sycdY

https://youtu.be/bjjC57AnFDA

https://youtu.be/mJXOyqbic8o

 

Battling The Lotus Eaters

Those who have tried to engage with hardcore civic nationalists or evangelical patriots will have experienced a strange phenomenon where they appear to be strangely blind to certain topics. For example, the story about the black seeking out and throwing a white child over a third floor railing at the Mall of America. These super-normies respond to it by blaming communism or democrats. It’s as if the facts cause their code to reboot and they start repeating whatever they saw on Sean Hannity the prior evening.

If you press them on the obvious racial angle, they get flustered and either change the subject or break into a different chant about how America is an idea. It’s an odd thing that suggests these people have some sort of shunt in their consciousness that prevents them from seeing certain aspects of life. It’s not just a matter of self-censorship in order to avoid taboo subjects. Something seems to have been altered in their brains that prevents them from seeing anything that contradicts the colorblind fantasy.

It is an important fact for dissidents to accept. A lifetime of conditioning, perhaps generations of conditioning, have made it impossible for some people to ever look up and see the great divide, much less cross over to this side. Part of it is the normal desire of most humans to belong to the pack. To stand outside the main, with regards to biology, is a dangerous place. It is a form of self-exile. Naturally, most people would not choose it, even if it meant degrading themselves by repeating what they know to be untrue.

For others, the blank slate, egalitarian creed is a religion now. It is what defines them, which is why Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson can have cult-like followings. There’s plenty of evidence that both know what they are telling their followers is false, but it provides them with a lifestyle they believe they deserve. That and the normal confirmation that comes from getting famous and building an audience begins to work its magic on them as well. They are now getting high off their own supply.

Outside of the grifters and hard cases, the inability to break free from the conditioning is something you see all over the legacy Right. Browse through the fashionably intellectual site Quillette and you see the same phenomenon. If you want to get a sense of what it was like for alchemists trying to turn base metals into gold, read some of the people from the intellectual dark web. They are working their fingers raw trying to create an alternative to Progressivism that accepts all of the left-wing assumptions about the human condition.

This post is representative. The writer starts off by analyzing a report from a left-wing outfit calling itself Data and Society. The writer, someone calling xerself Terry Newman, is baffled by the errors, but unable to come to the obvious conclusion that those errors are intentional. In other words, the fact that the Left does not argue in good faith and is willing to lie in order to further an agenda is beyond her event horizon. Read through her post and you keep waiting for her to notice the obvious, but that never happens.

Instead, just as one would expect her to exclaim, “Wait a second. I think these people are lying and doing so deliberately”, she veers off into some weird masturbatory guilt trip about how all sides are guilty of self-delusion. Her own thesis adviser calls her immoral for liking Joe Rogan and she cannot bring herself to return the favor. Instead, she apologizes for him and then spends the rest of the post trying to explain why these otherwise good people keep trying to destroy people like her. Battered women have more self-regard.

This inability to cope with reality shows up throughout the post as she, on the one hand, attempts to defend free expression, but then enthusiastically agrees that people like Richard Spencer are dangerous and should be silenced. Again, this is the bizarre habit of these people of fully embracing the principles of the Left, while trying to achieve non-liberal or conservative ends. She is like an old alchemist driven mad trying to turn lead into gold, not understanding that the rules in which she is working prevent such a thing.

The question, of course, is whether a site like Quillette is just a bunch of people blind to the reality of this life or is it a golden cage designed to keep people from waking up to reality. Mx. Newman gets published and gets the narcotic rush that comes from it, rather than peering out from the bars into the surrounding reality. These sites function as islands, tempting the intellectually curious to come along and partake of the lotus fruit. Rather than confront the harsh seas of reality, they can remain in the stupor of universal equality.

It’s why all successful revolutions offer an alternative to these islands, rather than simply an assault on them. Given the choice between the soothing answers of the lotus eaters and some hair on fire fanatic, most people will choose the former. In a way, the revolutionary is like a drug dealer, showing up with a better product. The choice on offer is not between reality and fantasy, but between an old fantasy that no longer works and new fantasy than has the kick the addict recalls from the beginning.