One of the stranger bits of the current year is how people all over the ideological map are claiming to be “woke”, “aware” and “red-pilled” despite believing things that directly contradict things other “woke”, “aware” and “red-pilled” people believe. The millennial Jewish girl is woke about the patriarchy, while her last boyfriend is red-pilled on the JQ, mostly from having dated her. The concept, having clarity of “what’s really going on” used to be exclusive to conspiracy theorists, but now it is common in outsider politics.
The truth is, the truly woke understand that the current crisis is not a dispute between tribes or a dispute about facts. It is a moral war where one side controls the moral paradigm and imposes their will on the rest of us, in the teeth of objective reality. The current fight is about control of public morality, not public institutions. Facts and reason only play a supporting role in this fight. Being right on the facts helps win respect, thus giving one moral capital. The point of the game being to define public morality.
A useful way of understanding this is a post on National Review about health insurance policy. Ostensibly, it is about some “conservative” solution to providing universal health insurance. It’s got all the usual stuff we have come to expect from the pseudo-experts in the commentariat. What’s not so obvious is the implied embrace of the moral orthodoxy on health care. That is, our collective moral duty is to make sure everyone, even non-Americans, has health insurance and presumably, free access to health services.
A few decades ago, exactly no one thought it was our collective moral duty to make sure everyone has health insurance and the same level of health care as everyone else. We understood that poor people had to rely on charity. In the 1970’s, the free clinic, where young doctors volunteered as part of the training, was a staple of poor neighborhoods, especially urban ghettos. No one thought they were a failure as a citizen because the blacks in the ghetto did not have access to world class health services.
Today, the political class starts with the assumption that only a thoroughly immoral person does not dream of a world where everyone gets health insurance and access to the finest medical care. Since this is impossible in a world of choice, the default assumption is that the state must take control of the health care system. That means the “far right” is debating “their friends on the Left” about what color drapes to use in the health care commissar’s offices. The Left won the moral argument and everything else follows.
It’s why the emerging resistance to the prevailing moral order has to focus on the moral side of the fight, rather than appeals to facts and reason. There are things that can be factually true, and morally abhorrent. Ethic cleaning, for example, is an effective way for one population to solve a problem of another population. As we now know, Europeans are the result of just such a process. While the efficacy of genocide, from the perspective of nature, is undeniable, we consider it to be morally repugnant and work to prevent it.
With rare exceptions, like cannibalism in times of starvation, the moral always triumphs over the factual. What we see as moral, and immoral, is determined not just by what our rulers tell us, but also by what our peers say. We naturally trust the people close to us first and then to the people who seem to share our interests and then the people who look and sound like us. It is what Steve Sailer calls the circles of trust. We will embrace the morality of our kin over the morality of strangers, even when those strangers rule over us.
Over the last several generations, the people who now rule over us have used every weapon in their arsenal to break up our circles of loyalty. The war on families, communities, schools, the sexes, are all part of an instinctive strategy to break the natural bonds of loyalty that form public morality. It’s why having the facts on our side has never meant a damn in political debates. A deracinated public, untethered from its traditions and alienated from its neighbors, inevitably accepts the morality of the ruling elites.
This is the ultimate red pill. The sermons blasting from the megaphones of the mass media may be offensive and insane, but they provide a moral framework. The lack of a credible alternative means most people just fall in line. This has the added benefit of providing social proof. It’s hard to be against what is being preached to you when no one else is speaking out against it. People naturally want to be led, but they also naturally want to be seen by their peers as moral people. Moral confirmation is very powerful magic.
This is why the challenge to the prevailing orthodoxy has to be a challenge on moral terms, not facts and reason. Appealing to people’s sense of propriety will also be more effective than appealing their reason. This only works if the people making the appeal have standing and can provide the sort of social proof people crave. It’s why Jared Taylor has worked so hard to build an organization that offers an alternative moral framework, but also an alternative community, where people can rebuild those circles of loyalty.
It is a fact of history that no revolution has succeeded when the ruling elite was unified and had moral authority. Social change, whether it is a great wave of reform or an outright revolution, blossoms in times when the elites are in conflict. The cracks arise when the people begin to doubt the moral authority of their rulers. The challenge is to create that alternative moral framework and communities that embrace it. Only then will elements of the ruling class seek to be tribunes of the people and challenge their brethren.