When you are hurtling down a fast-moving river in a kayak, the one thing you don’t do is take in the scenery or contemplate the changing nature of the river. Your focus is on navigating the river, in order to avoid getting splattered on a rock. Something similar happens to people in rapidly changing times. Current events are that fast-moving river, while politics are the rucks creating the rapids. Those engaged in it are living in the never ending present, taking on each obstacle as they come.
Unlike the kayaker, people in the fast-moving currents of a rapidly changing society can stop and think about just how far down the river they have traveled. In fact, it is probably the only way to keep your head above water. It’s also useful in preparing for what is coming, as in the moment, just like the kayaker flying through the rapids, it is hard to understand what is driving events. The reason things today are as they are is people made specific decisions in the past that led to this point.
One of those things that is very different now, compared to further back in the journey, is how the Right thinks about the media. In this discussion, the Right are dissidents, not the flaks and hustlers hired by corporate interests. Not so long, the Left saw the media as mostly fair, while conservatives saw the media as biased. The complaint was the typical media person was honest, but on the Left. Today, dissidents see the media as wholly corrupt, even what passes for right-wing media.
Added to that is if you go back far enough, say the 1980’s, the Left used to complain about corporate media. The Michael Moore types would warn that corporations gobbling up local newspapers and radio stations would destroy the media. The Right mostly dismissed these concerns. After all, capitalism is always good. It turns out that those left-wing cranks were right. Astoundingly, to those of a certain age, modern dissidents sound a lot like those left-wing cranks from back then.
In the 1980’s and into the 1990’s, to be on the Left meant opposing the corporatization of America. This was mostly a carryover from the economic radicals of the prior generation, but honest liberals worried about the power of global capital. They argued against liberalization of banking and the creation of massive financial institutions that were impossible to regulate. To be on the Right back then was to dismiss these concerns as vestiges of a bygone era.
Today, dissidents are the harshest critics of corporate capital and globalization, often sounding more like Bolsheviks than right-wingers. It’s why older dissidents, like Jared Taylor, are a bit alarmed by what they hear from the younger generation of dissidents regarding economics. They hear these critiques of modern capitalism and hear the ugly echoes of Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. Of course, those younger dissidents formed their views far downstream from the prior generation.
Listen to dissidents talk about the culture, if you are of a certain age or older, and you hear the faint echoes of the hippies and beatniks of yesteryear. It was the counter-culture types that first criticized mass culture for its dehumanizing effects. They were the ones to first suggest dropping out to avoid being rubbed out. Today, it is dissidents dropping out of mass culture. Cord cutting and “not consuming product” are the modern version of “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”
This inversion of cultural reality is hard to appreciate, especially if you are a young person, as like the kayaker, the demands of the present don’t leave much time to contemplate the past. Even so, it is an important change in the culture of the country that should inform dissident politics. Maybe if more right-wingers had listened to the critics of corporate power a generation ago, we would not be dealing with the reality of a Jewish oligarch buying the White House in 2020.
It is also a good reminder that reactionaries always lose. The Right a generation ago, whatever its original aims, was transformed into a dancing partner of the Left and not the lead partner. The result was a Right that defended that which should not have been defended and blind to that which was the true threat to the nation. Conservatism in the 1980’s became nothing more than reaction to the excesses of left-wing people, rather than a response to left-wing politics.
There’s also the fact that the people manipulating events are not stupid and should never be dismissed as such. The anti-white raging we see today started a long time ago with the push for tolerance. The people pushing it knew what they were doing. When they told us to celebrate diversity, they never meant it. They always meant diversity to mean no white people. They just knew they could not say that, so they used the weight of the right-wing reactionaries against them instead.
That’s a lesson the modern dissident should try to learn from the failure of Buckley conservatism, as well as the failure of the old Left. Those people criticizing mass culture were right, but they did not win the argument. They had bad optics. The people worried about the growth of corporate power lost because they did not appreciate the power of material comfort. Simply opposing people you don’t like, almost always leads to succumbing to events you like even less.
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