One of the great challenges of dissident politics is creating and articulating a vision for what comes next. A large number of people have become aware of the central issues around identity politics, so what do they do to start changing society? Is the next step public activism? Is it creating a political party? Is it taking over an existing party or backing certain candidates? People have been conditioned to think politics is about changing public opinion in order to change the laws and culture in some way.
This is the liberal model everyone reading this has been raised to accept. Our history has been rewritten to support this idea. Our modern politics is full of symbols and rituals designed to reinforce this belief. Even the economic sphere is drenched in the principles of free market idealism. Don’t like that massive tech oligopolies are stripping you of you legal right? Just go create a competitor! The liberal democratic system teaches the people that they live in a massive market place of ideas, so change is about market share.
That’s probably the hardest thing for newly minted rebels to accept about right-wing identity politics. They have been conditioned to believe they must act on their beliefs in order to get others to do the same. In reality, there is no way forward within liberal democracy to attain the goals of national populists or identitarians. The reason is the system is fully evolved to perpetuate itself. Any effort by outside elements to engage the system result in the outside influences being fully incorporated into the system.
This is something that is easily observed in Europe, where it is still possible to create new political parties and participate in electoral politics from outside the very narrow mainstream. This wonderful translation, by Christoph Nahr, of a German identitarian essay on the subject is worth a read. This is a problem that exists in America in the form of Trumpism. How do dissidents engage in politics in order to further our goals, without being absorbed into the political habitus or destroyed by it?
This is something Sam Francis observed about the conservative movement when it was reaching its peak. In order for Buckley conservatives to become an effective political force, they had to embrace the rules and customs of liberal democratic politics, as defined by the Left. The Left controlled the moral framework, so in order to participate in politics meant embracing the Progressive moral framework. In the view of Francis, it was only a matter of time before they were absorbed by it.
That is what happened with Buckley conservatism. It could remain a challenge to the Progressive order only as long as exogenous factors created tension between themselves and the Left. The threat of nuclear annihilation artificially created a debate between the two sides of the increasing narrow political space. Once that exogenous force was removed, the moral gravity drew both sides into the center like a collapsing star. The result is the political mono-space of neoliberalism.
One way of approaching this problem is to accept the framework of liberal democracy, but focus on the people in charge. Like a church in need of reform, the Progressive clerisy can be replaced and thus reinvigorate the institution. If only the people in charge of the institutions accepted dissident ideas, then the system could be turned in the direction of dissident politics. This is essentially what Christian conservatives embraced in the 1980’s resulting in the Bush victory in 2000. It was a total failure for them.
It is this truth of liberal democracy and right-wing political philosophy that is the hardest for even the most sober minded to accept. The two are utterly incompatible. For generations, the Right has blinded itself to this reality, by fashioning itself as the defender of tradition and the restorer of community. They have seen themselves as the cleanup crew that comes in after the Progressive riot to put things back in order. For generations, the Right has been the janitorial staff of the Progressive state.
Since the core of liberal democracy is the abnegation of community, in favor of the public will, free association is impossible. The person is identified and defined by his role in the democracy. On the other hand, all forms of conservatism begin with the organic social habitus of shared history and identity. Therefore there can be no conservatism without free association. It’s not the artificial freedom of individualism, as preached by liberal democracy, but the freedom of organic communities to reach their own destiny.
That is the reality of dissident politics. It is not about “politics” in the conventional sense of the word. It is about a set of understandings with the goal of constructing organic communities that operate outside of the liberal democratic system. That means breaking the conditioning of white people, who have been raised to reject this approach, so they can focus their energy on building a counter-culture that challenges the prevailing orthodoxy on moral grounds, not factual grounds.
This is an enormous challenge, as the aesthetic for the Right, especially the bourgeois class, is as a restorer and defender. It is a backward looking mindset that not only sees solutions in the past, but sees the past as the solution. Building a counter-culture at odds with the remaining orthodoxy is the sort of stuff they associate with degenerates and communists. Yet, that is what must come next as liberal democracy winds its way to its inevitable denouement. Dissident politics is about what comes after this.
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