On January 20, “history” was made. I’m, of course, referring to President Joe Biden’s appointed Rachel Levine as his Assistant Health Secretary—the first trasngereded cabinet member to be confirmed by…
On January 20, “history” was made. I’m, of course, referring to President Joe Biden’s appointed Rachel Levine as his Assistant Health Secretary—the first trasngereded cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate . . . or at least the first one we know of.
The appointment was celebrated by the media as the next stage of progress. But few—maybe none—were willing to critically and scientifically examine the origins and nature of transsexuality. Where does it come from? What does it mean? Are transexuals, as it were, male brains or “souls” in female bodies—or something else entirely? It’s past time that we investigate this major trend.
It’s January 21, 2021, and welcome back to The Spencer Report. For more than two decades, we operated an unethical Medicare scheme in South Florida. Donald Trump went out with…
It’s January 21, 2021, and welcome back to The Spencer Report. For more than two decades, we operated an unethical Medicare scheme in South Florida.
Donald Trump went out with both a whimper and a bang. And after January 6th, the Trump brand is at the level of dog food. His once loyal allies are scattering and giving him the cold shoulder. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is at an all time high . . . for the time being. What does his myriad of actions in his first day in office say about his attempts to restore the boring Obama years—or even more boring, the 1990s. And might Sleepy Joe’s failures open up space for a populist revival?
Interracial marriage in the United States foretells, not so much a post-racial society, as the birth of new peoples. This essay is drawn from the new book Making Sense of…
Interracial marriage in the United States foretells, not so much a post-racial society, as the birth of new peoples.
This essay is drawn from the new book Making Sense of Race, which can be purchased here.
When we hear the word “ethnicity,” we tend to think of peoples, like the Irish or Han Chinese, that trace their ancestry and history back millennia. But, of course, race and ethnicity are dynamic and evolving. Ethnic groups that have a “timeless” conception of themselves have, in fact, experienced more genetic change and engaged in more interbreeding than they might want to admit. Furthermore, there is no reason why we wouldn’t expect new and different ethnicities to emerge in the future.
Race is best understood as a subspecies of mankind; and ethnicity, a kind of “sub-sub-species” or hybrid cline. In other words, sometimes an ethnicity is a subgroup of a race, which has been relatively isolated for some reason or another; other times, ethnicities emerge through the combination of two or more races. Over the past 50 years, the world, and particularly the Western world, has become increasingly multicultural and multiracial, due to immigration and the tremendous advancements in transportation and communication. This has led, unsurprisingly, to increased interbreeding between races and ethnicities—and interbreeding between groups that, before the age of globalization, would have scarce contact with one another. There comes a point at which a hybrid between two groups merits being understood as an ethnicity all of its own. This process of ethnogenesis—literally, the generation of a new ethnicity—takes centuries, but we can look at current trends in mating and dating and at least speculate about the ethnicities of the future.
The United States has emerged as a kind of laboratory in this regard. As of this writing, (non-Hispanic) Whites compose roughly 60 percent of a population of 330 million; African-Americans, 13 percent; Hispanics, 20; Asians 6; and American Indians, just over 1. According to current projections, America will become a “majority-minority” nation in the next 25 years; that is, no one race will hold sway demographically. Even in such an environment, marriages are still overwhelmingly intra-racial.1 If love were truly blind, that would not be the case. At the turn of the century, Americans were 75 percent less likely to know a person of another race “with whom they discuss important matters” than would happen by chance.2
It is important to point out, however, that the number of mixed- marriages has more than tripled since the overturning of anti- miscegenation laws in 1967. The Pew Research Center reports that, as of 2015, “intermarriage” occurred among around 17 percent of newlyweds (people married in the past year). The intermarriage rate is slightly higher in metropolitan areas, where Americans are more likely to encounter people of other races.3
Among 2015 newlyweds, White people chose a spouse of another race just over 10 percent of the time. Rates of intermarriage are significantly higher among other races: African-Americans, 18 percent; Hispanics, 27 percent; and Asians, 29 percent.4 While Asians are intermarrying slightly less often than 40 years ago (from 33 to 29 percent), the rate at which Blacks intermarry has tripled in the same period of time (from 5 to 18 percent).
Table 1: Percentage of U.S. Newlyweds Who Are Intermarried
There are significant racial and sexual differences in intermarriage. While White and Hispanic men and women intermarry at largely the same rate, Blacks and Asians do not. Twice as many Black men (24 percent) intermarry as Black women (12 percent). With Asians, something like the reverse is true: more than a third of Asian women intermarry, while 21 percent of Asian men do.
Table 2: Percentage of 2014-15 U.S. Newlyweds Who Are Intermarried, Broken Down By Sex
The most common form of intermarriage by far is between Whites and Hispanics, which makes up 42 percent of the total, followed by White and Asian partnering (15 percent) and White and Black marriages (11 percent).
Table 3: Percentage of 2014-15 Opposite-Sex Newlywed Couples
% all intermarried couples
Male and female Whites and Hispanics marry each other, more or less, at the same frequency. But from there, significant disparities emerge. As mentioned, Asians are the most likely race to “marry out,” and when they do, 75 percent of them marry Whites. The number of couples with a White husband and Asian wife is almost three times the size of a pairing of an Asian husband and White wife. Similarly, couples with a Black husband and White wife are more than twice as common as ones with a White husband and Black wife.
Table 4. Percentage of opposite-sex Newlywed Couples, Broken Down By Husband and Wife Pairing
Share of intermarried
White Husband/Hispanic Wife
Hispanic Husband/White Wife
White Husband/Asian Wife
Asian Husband/White Wife
White Husband/Black Wife
Black Husband/White Wife
Hispanic Husband/Black Wife
Black Husband/Hispanic Wife
In many ways, the Pew Research Center’s Report from a half- decade earlier provides more detail than the one which employs data from 2015.5 According to this data, in 2008, when Whites males who had married someone of a different ethnicity in the last 12 months were asked what ethnicity it was, 46.1 percent said “Hispanic” and 26.9 percent said “Asian,” the second highest category. Only 6.9 percent said “Black.” For White women, only 9.4 percent said “Asian,” whereas 51.4 percent said “Hispanic” and 20.1 percent said “Black.”
A White-Hispanic partnering, the most common intermarriage in America, does not foretell ethnogenesis. The term “Hispanic” has always been ambiguous, because it is a linguistic, not an ethnic, category. Genetically speaking, “Hispanic” connotes people of mixed European and Amerindian backgrounds—which is not being fundamentally affected through these intermarriages. Their offspring will simply be regarded as Hispanic or White, depending on the case. It’s worth pointing out, however, that this identity choice will have a small, though significant, effect on overall demographics as it is calculated by the U.S. Census.
More noteworthy is the next most common interracial pairing: Whites and Asians (again, usually East Asians), which accounts for 15 percent of the total. This is a new cline. Just as breeding between White males and Amerindian females produced Hispanics—who then went on to intermarry—there is an on-going process whereby White American males forming unions with East Asian American females might become an example of ethnogenesis.
This high rate of out-marriage among Asians likely reflects the relatively low number of Asians in the U.S.; indeed, as their population has grown, Asian “marrying out” has become slightly less common, falling by some 12 percent between 1980 and 2015. It may also reflect the way that females in particular would be predicted to wish to marry hypergamously and thus, potentially, to someone of another race, and especially to a White man, if being White is associated with status.
Consistent with this, according to 2008 data, 39.5 percent of Asian American women marry people of a different race—76 percent of these to Whites—compared to 19.5 percent of Asian American males who do so. Among African-Americans, this relationship is reversed: 22 percent of Black males marry someone of a different race (in 57 percent of cases to White women), compared to 8.9 percent of African-American women (58 percent of these cases to White men).
We see this “inequality of attraction” in dating as well. In 2009 and 2014, the popular dating site OkCupid released meta-data on race and gender generated by its tens of millions of users. It was analyzed by the site’s co-founder, Christian Rudder—who subsequently deleted his post. As New York magazine lamented, “the results did not quite suggest a colorblind utopia of post-racial love.
Most races preferred to date within their own race. Asian men and black men received fewer messages than white men, while black women received the fewest messages of all users.6
One of the most salient analyses was based on “QuickMatch” scores, in which the user is asked to rate a photo of a potential date between 1 and 5. The scores below are separated out by race and sex and show the percentage compared to the average; for example, Asian men rate Asian women 15 percent above the average woman, but rate Black women 20 percent below the average. We find that women strongly prefer men of the same race, somewhere between 18 to 24 percent above the average. The same, however, is not true for men. Both Black and White men seem to prefer Asian women slightly more than women of their own races. Black men are the least picky in terms of the race of the women they seek to date, as revealed by the small range of their responses. And overall, Black women and Asian men receive the lowest scores from other races.
Asian men rating…
Black men rating
Latino men rating…
White men rating…
Asian women rating…
Black women rating…
Latina women rating…
White women rating…
These differences would be explicable in terms of three strands of research. On the one hand, when White women are shown photos of male Black, White, and East Asian people, they tend to regard Blacks as the most attractive, probably because they are the most masculinized, and East Asian males as the least. This is reversed in White males, because East Asian females have typically ultra-feminine and neotenous features (rendering them “cute”), whereas Black females typically have the least feminine features, as researchers on race and attractiveness have pointed out.7 This would also help to explain why Black women are particularly unlikely to “marry out.” Males, as we have discussed, mainly select for youth and beauty and are less interested in status. Traditionally, being Black is regarded as low status; and, more importantly, Black females are low in neoteny.
In addition, with regard to the racial marriage patterns noted, Genetic Similarity Theory would predict that Whites and Hispanics would be attracted to each other, due to their relative genetic similarity. Finally, there is some evidence that U.S. inter-racial marriages involve a trade-off of desirable traits, especially in Black male/White female unions. In these unions, the Black male tends to be of relatively high educational status compared to the woman, meaning that the female marries hypergamously in terms of education. It is proposed that this compensates for the fact that the female is marrying hypogamously (that is, socially downwards) in terms of racial status. In other words, she has engaged in status exchange.8
Regardless, we can see that a process of ethnogenesis is occurring in the U.S., primarily based around unions between White males and East Asian females. This has long been occurring in Hawaii, due to the established Japanese minority there, and the products of these unions are known by the Hawaiian word “Hapa,” which refers to a person of mixed ethnicity. Young people throughout the U.S. who are part White and part East Asian have increasingly embraced Hapa as a marker of their identity, though some Hawaiian activists have criticized this as an example of “cultural appropriation.”9 It is worth noting that Black-White biracials in the U.S. likely have a White mother, whereas Asian-White biracials are likely to have a White father. It is possible that this may lead to some effects in terms of which traits are inherited, but with the current state of research, this can only be speculated upon. According to Pew’s research, contracting a mixed-race marriage is positively correlated with education level. This may be due to the relationship between educational attainment and intelligence, something which is in turn associated with Openness. It may also be because of “exposure”: as Blacks, in particular, become more educated, they are more likely to live in areas where there are many Whites.10 However, there remains only a very weak relationship with education level.
What is clear is that the American nation is changing dramatically. To understand this, one can look to Silicon Valley, California—America’s avant-garde region in terms of technology, culture, finance, and, increasingly, demographics. As of 2017, “Asians”—mostly from China and India—made up the largest majority (34 percent) in Silicon Valley, a collection of counties of 3.1 million. Among the share of highly skilled and educated workers, some 14 percent alone were from China, which rivaled the numbers from the state of California (17 percent) and the U.S. at large (16 percent). India outnumbered them all, making up 26 percent of high-skilled tech workers.11
A situation like this will not render race “irrelevant” so much as it will generate a new people—or, more likely, peoples. We shouldn’t expect Peoria, Illinois, to resemble Silicon Valley anytime soon; however, the dramatic transformation that America is currently undergoing will unquestionably transform its collective feeling of nationalism—and xenophobia—in the not-too-distant future.
Del Thiessen and Barbara Bregg, “Human Assortative Mating and Genetic Equilibrium: An Evolutionary Perspective,” Ethology and Sociobiology, 1 (1980): 111-140. ↩︎
Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and James M Cook, “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks,” Annual Review of Sociology, 27 (2001): 415-444. ↩︎
Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown, “Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia,” Pew Research, May 18, 2017, https://www. pewsocialtrends.org/2017/05/18/intermarriage-in-the-u-s-50-years-after-loving-v- virginia/ (accessed May 15, 2020). ↩︎
“Asian” in a U.S. context appears to refer mainly to East Asians, while in Britain it refers to South Asians. In the following discussion, I use “Asian” in the U.S. sense. ↩︎
Paul Taylor, Jeffrey Passell, Wendy Wang, et al., “Marrying Out: One-in- Seven New U.S. Marriages in Interracial or Interethnic,” Pew Research, June 4, 2010, https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2010/06/04/ marrying-out-oneinseven-new-us-marriages-is-interracial-or-interethnic (accessed May 15, 2020). ↩︎
Allison P. Davis, “New OkCupid Data on Race Is Pretty Depressing,” New York, September 11, 2014, https://www.thecut.com/2014/09/new-okcupid-data- on-race-is-pretty-depressing.html. ↩︎
Michael Lewis. “A Facial Attractiveness Account of Gender Asymmetries in Interracial Marriage,” PLoS ONE, 7 (2, 2012): e31703, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031703 (accessed May 15, 2020). ↩︎
Ameki Johnson, “Who Gets to be ‘Hapa?’” National Public Radio, August 8, 2016, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/08/08/487821049/who-gets-to-be-hapa?t=1596013424206 (accessed May 15, 2020). ↩︎
Gullickson, “Education and Black/White Interracial Marriage,” op cit.. ↩︎
Joint Venture Silicon Valley, “2019 Silicon Valley Index,” Institute for Regional Studies, https://jointventure.org/images/stories/pdf/index2019.pdf (accessed May 15, 2020). ↩︎
QAnon is a religious revival for the age of political polarization, and one which will likely outlast Donald Trump. Introduction A religious revival is sweeping the United States. It’s already…
QAnon is a religious revival for the age of political polarization, and one which will likely outlast Donald Trump.
A religious revival is sweeping the United States. It’s already expanded as far afield as Europe, and its devotees number in the millions.1 With an esoteric, and eccentric, though uniquely American creed; it is perhaps best understood as a new stage of Christianity. It revolves around nothing less than a metaphysical battle between Good and Evil, which plays out at the highest levels of government, media, and finance. The future of the country—and safety of the world’s children—is at stake. Wickedness abounds, but devotees have faith that a messiah is rising, one who will “make America great again.” This new religion is regarded as so inflammatory—and perhaps threatening to public order—that major social media companies have purged all content related to its doctrines.2
It’s called “QAnon.”
The rise of QAnon has startled and flummoxed most mainstream media commentators. They dismiss, ridicule, and denounce this online “conspiracy theory” as it continues to grow ever more popular, powerful, and influential. According to polling in October 2020, some 15 percent of President Donald Trump’s supporters are committed followers of “Q.” An additional 22 percent are “fellow travelers”: they believe some of Q’s claims but worry that the movement might “go too far.”3 A full half of Trump supporters believe that the Democrats are engaged in child-trafficking and that Trump is trying to put an end to it—an opinion clearly derived from the Q cult, as we will see. Even if we take surveys like this with a grain of salt, they reveal the intense popularity—and likely staying power—of the Q narrative within the American Right, and beyond.
This Trump-era Internet phenomenon makes a great deal of sense if we conceive of it as a religious revival, and not simply as a popular conspiracy theory (like those surrounding the JFK assassination or the moon landing). Many of the key components of a religion are obvious: Q has its “angels,” “demons,” “saviors,” and promises of “redemption.” And for its adherents, QAnon serves many other vital functions of religions of the past. Furthermore, this re-conception of Q raises some bigger questions. Why do religious revivals—periodic outbursts of intense devotion—occur in the first place? And if we accept that QAnon is a creed for our time, why has it taken this superficially bizarre guise, and shed the trappings of traditional religion?
To answer these questions, we will turn to modern history and specifically the impact it had on human evolution. The Industrial Revolution weakened Darwinian selection pressures on Western societies, leading to, among other things, a collapse in child mortality and a collapse in selection pressures for intelligence, traditional religiousness, and highly ethnocentric groups, all of which it is clear were being selected for until that point. Due to an inter-related sequence of consequences, this has resulted in an increasingly genetically diverse—and thus culturally and politically polarized—society. The bundle of inclinations that constitute “religion” have broken apart. As a result, where once a global plague might have led to a Christian revival, in 2020 it led to, or brought to prominence, two distinct quasi-religious movements: Black Lives Matter4 and QAnon. Furthermore, I will proffer that, despite QAnon’s ostensible wackiness, it is far more group-fitness promoting than BLM, not least due to its traditionally religious dimensions. And perhaps most shocking of all, there may be some kernels of truth within its most outlandish claims.
1. The Rise of Q
The exact origins of Q—as well as those behind the cult and profiting from it—are murky and disputed, and beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say, in the autumn of 2017, someone supposedly working for the National Security Administration—boasting “Q-level” clearance and calling himself “Q”—began posting on the anonymous message and image board “4chan.”5 His first missive, on October 28, 2017, announced the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton:
HRC extradition already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run. Passport approved to be flagged effective 10/30 @ 12:01am. Expect massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US to occur.6
Years have passed, and Clinton has not been locked up, but inaccurate predictions never affected the growth of Q’s prestige. In his second post, later that day, he began to outline his broader message:
Mockingbird HRC detained, not arrested (yet). […] POTUS knew removing criminal rogue elements as a first step was essential to free and pass legislation. Who has access to everything classified? Do you believe HRC, Soros, Obama etc. have more power than Trump? Fantasy. Whoever controls the office of the Presidency controls this great land. They never believed for a moment they (Democrats and Republicans) would lose control. This is not a R v D battle. Why did Soros donate all his money recently? Why would he place all his funds in a RC? Mockingbird 10.30.17 God bless fellow Patriots.7
Even at this early stage, Q’s style is established. Missives are released as a series of aphorisms and provocations, and Q asks more questions than Socrates. The cryptic, oracular suggestions nudge followers into perceiving politics in new ways. Indeed, Q’s message is highly counter-intuitive and revisionary, especially for conservatives. The NSA is not a shadow government engaged in surveillance and invasions of privacy—it’s the headquarters of the “good guys.” Donald Trump is not a buffoonish womanizer and jet-setter—he’s the enemy of the globalist class. And Robert Mueller was not investigating Trump for possible impeachment proceedings—he was working alongside him to “drain the swamp.” Nothing is as it seems. And in this topsy-turvy world, traditional political reporting must be distrusted and dismissed (“fake news”). The evocative call sign “Mockingbird,” in fact, seems to reference an alleged CIA program during the Cold War aimed at manipulating the media. Interestingly, Q’s unique brand of contrarianism can be translated for audiences outside the U.S. One German Q supporter exclaimed, regarding the American forces occupying his country, “these are troops that will free the German people from Merkel.”8
Each day, Q’s followers are tasked with exegesis and elaboration of his latest “Q drops” (anonymous posting on 4chan, certified by his handle “BQ7V3bcW”). Much like Jesus, the religion of Q was formed, not by the man himself—who always speaks elliptically and poetically—but by his devotees, who wrote the Gospels and formed the movement. Q’s crypsis re-enforces his central message: Trust the Plan. You can’t know, and maybe wouldn’t believe, what is happening behind the scenes. But you must hold fast and have faith that “good” will triumph in the end.
The Q drops birthed a Reddit community of 70,000 members at its height, and the movement gained serious attention when it was discussed by Sean Hannity, Roseanne Barr, and Alex Jones—the latter claiming to have direct contact with the man himself. Q memes were re-tweeted by Republican Party activists.9 And over the course of 2018-20, there arose what could be called “Q-adjacent” politicians, pundits, and celebrities, who might not address Q directly, and might not have any direct connection with the movement, but who speak in a language that resonated with the scene.
We’ll probably never know Q’s identity, or whether he—or she or they—desired to launch a crusade when it all first began. He might have merely been “shit posting” on 4chan, a website notorious for conspiracy theories, pornography, and outrageous right-wing opinions. But at least by 2018, Q was aware that he was part of something much bigger than himself and was consciously cultivating his movement, with heavy doses of moralizing. This impulse is apparent in his posting leading up to the 2020 election:
One party discusses God. One party discusses Darkness. One party promotes God. One party eliminates God. Symbolism will be their downfall. The Great Deceiver(s). […] Have Faith in Humanity. Have Faith in Yourself. UNITED WE STAND. GOD WINS. Q10
2. A Conspiracy So Immense . . .
Throughout the 20th century, sociologists studied the development, in America and most Western countries, of “public opinion.” This is a mostly unified understanding of important events (“the news”), as well as communally shared values, habits, and actions: “watch the news at 5,” “vote on Tuesday,” “church on Sunday,” and so on.11 “Public opinion” must be fostered and managed; it was a critical component of administering a technological, “democratic” society. Over the course of the past 25 years, such unity has been fragmenting: we don’t listen to the same music or watch the same movies and shows, nor do we consider ourselves part of a collective political community. The birth of the Web may have accelerated this trend; social networking and alternative media shifted it into overdrive.
Republicans, and especially Q followers, consider themselves “real Americans,” but in contradistinction to the “liberal elites,” who are, at best, hypocritical and selfish and, at worst, downright evil. The liberals, in turn, mirror this view: conservative Trump voters are deluded or racist reactionaries, out of touch with their country’s true national purpose. Political polarization derives from this “culture of suspicion.” Q supporters don’t merely distrust the mainstream media; they reject it because it’s the mainstream media. Authenticity and truth are to be found elsewhere. For some time, right-wing outlets such as Fox News and talk radio served this purpose, but these are quickly being replaced by websites like Breitbart, Facebook groups, “citizen journalists,” and, yes, QAnon. 4Chan itself acts as a kind of chaotic “Id” brain of the online Right. The anonymous poster possessing esoteric knowledge is the most anti-mainstream—and thus the most credible—source there is.
Q integrates a number of inter-related sets of conspiratorial beliefs. According to its gospel, throughout the 20th century, the world was gradually taken over by “wicked” people, who were prepared to do anything they could to enrich themselves and become ever-more powerful. Those who are not part of this criminal organization are, generally, “good” people, though many are turned “evil” by their evil masters. This vicious elite constitutes a shadowy “Deep State,” which runs the world behind the scenes. A criminal ruling class—which includes the Clintons, every president after Reagan, Bill Gates, and the leaders of every dimension of Western societies that have any influence—can be blamed for everything: financial collapses, pandemics, and even child-abuse rings. To turn us into cooperative drones to be exploited, they undermine the cornerstones of Western civilization, such as family and national solidarity, and direct external invasions and drug epidemics. Even childhood vaccinations are part of their dastardly scheme.
Some “good” people still hold positions of power, and they are able to use the digital footprint (emails and other communications) left by “The Cabal” to start to challenge it. These “good guys” are working for the NSA and some other branches of government. Not too long ago, they devised a plan to take the world back and eventually arrest The Cabal’s leaders and henchmen. These patriots asked Trump to run for president so that they could enact their, as it were, “counter-conspiracy.” The Cabal struck back and did all it could to overthrow Trump—but he just kept on winning.
Part of the success of QAnon is the way in which it, parsimoniously, brings together and provides an overarching rationale for so many “alternative histories” that have been popular in America for decades. For example, The Cabal killed JFK because he threatened to undermine it, and they shot Ronald Regan to dissuade him from challenging it. The 9/11 attacks were an “inside job,” at the hands of The Cabal, in order to grab power and further erode the freedoms enjoyed by good citizens. Similarly, Covid-19 is a hoax deployed by this Deep State to control the populace and render them despondent.
Relatively recent revelations about high-level sexual abusers and pedophiles, such as Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein (1953-2019)—who supposed killed himself on suicide watch before he could face trial—are drawn into the web.12 Q followers have theorized that John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his death in 1999 in order to avoid being assassinated by The Cabal. He lives on as a Trump supporter in Pennsylvania; some think he might be Q himself.13 Some QAnon supporters accept the 2016 “Pizzagate” conspiracy, where a Washington, DC pizzeria was the headquarters of this diabolical child-abuse ring, with Bill Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta, convicted sex offender and former Democrat congressman Anthony Weiner, and Hillary Clinton all being involved.
Yet another strand of QAnon thought focuses on the significance of Jewish financial interests in controlling The Cabal. According to this theory, the Satanic, child-stealing, baby-murdering Khazar Empire from Babylon was defeated by Russian Tzars and driven underground. They gradually infiltrated the world banking sector and even the British monarchy; the Rothschilds are actually Khazars, who control some of the world’s most powerful Satanists. As Q “dropped”: “Realize Soros, Clintons, Obama, Putin, etc. are all controlled by 3 families.”14 Q lists these three families in some posts: The House of Saud, George Soros himself, and the Rothschilds. In another post, Q asks: “What happened to Diana? What did she find out? Why was she running?” and invoked the idea of a secret British government, propped up by MI6.15 The rabbit hold runs deep . . .
3. That New Time Religion
What can we make of all this? America is notorious for its love of conspiracy theories, and these often seem to act much like “replacement religions.” Groups battle with each other and the victors pass on more of their genes. This is known as “group-selection.” Groups are more likely to win if they regard themselves as superior and the other group as evil. Religions tend to promote this adaptive way of thinking: We are the people of God; they worship the Devil. As a frontier and settler society at its inception, the American population has been subject to strong group-selection to be an intensely religious people, and a central aspect of religion is “over-detecting agency”—perceiving agents behind the world itself. It should thus be little surprise that in our “secular age,” America has become a land of believers in the supernatural, alien abductions, Satanic cabals, and bizarre creeds of all sorts.16 This has become particularly prominent from the 1960s onwards, as traditional religions have lost social power and prestige.17
Some Q followers have fully integrated his conspiracy theory into their religious practice; they, in fact, call themselves “Qvangelicals.”18 In this way, their daily news feed takes on religious significance. Q himself states: “We are living in Biblical times. Children of light vs children of darkness. United against the Invisible Enemy of all humanity.”19 Trump, in his way, is imagined as a fallen Messiah.
According to this strand of Q theology, the world is controlled by a Satan-worshipping pedophile ring that sexually abuses and kills children—and even drinks their blood—in order to achieve immortality. In many ways, Q followers might be compared to the Gnostics in the Early Church. This was a highly diverse movement, theologically speaking, united by core ideas. In particular, Gnostics believed that the universe was dualistic, reflecting an eternal battle between a higher god and the evil god of this world. This evil god was responsible for all of the world’s woes, and one could be “saved” by attaining direct knowledge of the higher god, knowledge which the evil god attempted to hide from you, via mystical practices.20
QAnon possesses not just a fledgling theology but an eschatology as well, a vision of the imminent End Times, both apocalyptic and triumphant. We are living through “The Awakening,” the point when the good people in government have begun communicating with and enlightening the broader public. Trump’s assumed re-election in November was said to herald “The Storm,” in which The Cabal was to be overthrown and America, restored. This November’s election has been tempestuous, indeed: both sides claimed victory; the Republicans cried “voter fraud”; and the Democrats suspected a potential coup. Q himself has gone mostly silent. On November 13—more than a week after Biden was deemed President Elect—Q announced: “Nothing can stop what is coming. Nothing!”21 But overall, Q has not given his millions of followers much guidance for how they should process what is unfolding.
Nevertheless, liberals will be disappointed if they expect that Biden’s inauguration will put a swift end to the QAnon phenomenon. The movement has deeper causes than Trump’s mercurial political career, and either outcome (a new Biden administration or Trump’s unlikely return to power) can be rationalized as The Cabal’s counter-strike or else as all part of The Plan. Put simply, QAnon and movements like it are here to stay. Remove Trump from office and watch the cult become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
4. The Times They Are A Changin’
Historically, religious revivals tend to take place during periods of dramatic change, especially during those that involve an elevated awareness of death: war, famine, plague, political instability, and the seeming end of the world.22 This makes sense because experimental research has found that individuals become more religious—more prone to strongly believing in God—in precisely these dire contexts.23 In the wake of World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic, there were notable religious revivals in eastern England and in northeast Scotland.24 After World War II and the end of post-War restrictions, there was a huge religious revival in the U.S. and in the UK led by pastor Billy Graham (1918-2018), based around emotional rallies each attended by many thousands.25
By 2020, Covid-19 burst on the scene and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world, creating a period of deep anxiety, in which it seemed very possible that the death toll could be enormous. In turn, the “lockdowns,” which governments instituted as a means of containing the plague, marked unprecedented disruptions to normal life. We have also had the sudden and heightened trauma of the Black Lives Matter Movement, resurrected in a newer, more intense form after the death of George Floyd. As I have argued, BLM can be considered a religious revival of its own.26 Regardless, the protests of this past summer eventuated in a collapse of public order in parts of the U.S. and UK: an orgy of inter-racial strife, violence, and self-righteous displays, which the political and legal Establishment was unable or unwilling to suppress. This was accompanied by the sapping of White morale through the removal of historical statues and other links with the “certainties” of the past.
With this background, we would expect there to be a religious revival in Western countries—and specifically one that might counter BLM. For various reasons, however, it could not be as overtly religious, as was Billy Graham’s movement, which developed in a context in which traditional Christianity was still dominant. Since then, we have witnessed the collapse of traditional society,27 a significant fall in the influence of Christianity, and deviations from traditional religious norms in many directions, with many people creating their own ersatz religion from various sources.28 Put simply, we’re lived through the fallout of the “death of God.”
For at least the past 100 years, a secularization thesis has informed, sometimes unconsciously, the minds of scholars, public intellectuals, and policy-makers. Briefly, people and institutions are becoming less religious; those religions that do persist are largely relegated to the private sphere: they are “tolerant” and more like lifestyles than ways of life. In reality, the situation is far more complicated. Society is increasingly divided between “Individualists” and those who are high in “Binding Values” (putting the group ahead of the individual). “Individualist” ideas have gradually become dominant across time. And extreme Individualists have ascended to the heights of the social ladder and pushed the broader society in their direction. While this has been happening, however, those who are highest in Binding Values—and especially those prone to intense religiosity—have been having the most children. The result is that America—and, in fact, nations around the world29—are undergoing radical polarization. Social trust has collapsed, as each side is increasingly alienated from the other, culturally and morally. Moreover, in “meritocratic” societies, education, IQ, and being “politically correct” are all inter-related, as we will see in more detail below. This has led to even greater social and economic distance between the two polarized groups.
It is against this background that QAnon’s rise must be understood, as the religion provides a means of making sense of a world that its adherents increasingly don’t understand. If Americans’ moral foundations veer more towards those of a traditional kind, they will be profoundly concerned with a structured and ordered society, with rescuing and promoting their group, and with destroying that which fills them with disgust—sexual disgust, in particular. QAnon is attractive to such people because it provides order out of chaos; it offers a rescue plan for the group as a whole; and it is partly focused on destroying sexual deviants and those disloyal to the group—those that want to create chaos.
There are certainly ways that the Q cult can encourage unhealthy obsessions and anti-social behavior among its believers. It’s worth remember that on December 4, 2016, a North Carolina man, brandishing a rifle, entered the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Northern Virginia and threatened employees before being arrested. He claimed to be “investigating” the Pizzagate affair, discussed above.30 It might be only a matter of time before something similar, or worse, takes place involving a deranged Q advocate.
That said, we would be remiss if we ignored the ways that the Q cult can be “adaptive,” in an evolutionary sense, and bring along many of the benefits of older religions. First, Q offers the promise that, once the evil-doers are dispatched, America will experience a revival of traditional values, which used to be central to American life (including ethnocentrism and pro-natalism). Additionally, in that Q presents itself as a moral crusade, it can also inspire self-sacrificing, group-selected, and ultimately pro-social behavior. And, as we will see as we turn to the scientific theories of religion, it is the more tightly bonded groups that tend to triumph in the end.
5. The Evolution of Religion in the 21st Century
“Religion,” in the widely accepted sense of the word, involves all of the key components of an evolutionary adaptation. It is around 0.4 genetic; traditional religiousness (specifically the collective worship of a moral god) is associated with physical and mental health, partly at the genetic level;31 it correlates with fertility; and specific parts of the brain are associated with it.32 Accordingly, religiousness was selected for under the conditions of harsh Darwinian selection that were prevalent until the breakthroughs of the Industrial Revolution.
There are likely a number of non-exclusive reasons why religiousness evolved. One is that it promoted pro-social behavior. Those who believed in a god who told them to behave in a pro-social way were less likely to be cast out or killed by the pre-historic band and were, therefore, more likely to pass on their genes. A related possibility is that it reduced stress when we, as advanced rational beings, recognized our own mortality. Those who felt that their lives had eternal meaning and that a god was constantly looking after them would be less likely to become depressed and anxious and more likely to pass on their genes.33 Consistent with this, not only do people tend to become more religious at times of stress, they are more likely to have dramatic religious experiences in which they do not merely vaguely feel that God is present but, as far as they are concerned, see Him and hear His reassuring voice.34 In general, it seems reasonable to argue that religiousness would have been selected for because it promoted mental health, with the result that mental health and religiosity have become genetically related, due to both being simultaneously selected over a lengthy period of time.35
Religion also would have been kin-selected for, too. You can pass on your genes indirectly by aiding your kin: your children share 50 percent of your genes and more distant kin, such as nephews, share 25 percent. If a person were highly religious, it would make their kin more attractive, because of the associations between religiousness, pro-social behavior, and mental stability. This would help to explain why some Islamic fundamentalists kill daughters who have dishonored the family. It is a way of signaling the family’s commitment to Islam, and thus elevating kin selection.36 An ethnic group is an extended genetic kinship group and is thus a means by which you indirectly pass on your genes.37 It has been found, using computer-modeling, that groups that are highest in positive ethnocentrism (internal cooperation) and negative ethnocentrism (external hostility) tend to dominate others in the battle of group selection.38 There is evidence implying that religiousness is genetically associated with both kinds of ethnocentrism, because a part of the brain associated with ethnocentrism is also associated with religiousness.39 And the correlation between positive ethnocentrism and religiousness would make sense because a group would be more internally cooperative if it were high in pro-social traits and low in mental instability.
This is why religion is such a prominent part of the human experience. In essence, the group that promoted the most adaptive behaviors as “God’s will” was more likely to pass on its genes, while those who did not were more likely to die off. To be religious became associated with other adaptive traits, but it also elevated group-fitness by elevating being group-selected as “divinely ordained.”
There has, however, long been variation within societies in the nature of religiousness. One reason for this is that religion is itself composed of a series of adaptive traits, which, because they were adaptive, became bundled together and selected for as a single trait—religiosity. These are, among others:
Agency Over-Detection. We have a cognitive bias towards detecting the presence of an agent behind events. This is because, following the “Smoke Detector Principle,” it is adaptive to assume the worst and get it wrong—such as to assume that that rustling noise behind the bush was a wolf rather than the wind. This helps to explain why we might see evidence of god’s agency in the world.
Pattern Over-Detection. Much as with agency, we are evolved to over-detect causation. This is adaptive because those who under-detected it would have been wiped out. Partly for this reason, we are evolved to want a world that is highly structured and that makes sense to us.
Follow the Leader. We are evolved to form strongly-bonded groups and to obey authority; as such, groups are more likely to survive in the battle of group selection.40
Religions will vary in the extent of the prominence of each of these factors. This means that, though religiousness is generally adaptive, it is quite possible for maladaptive forms of religiousness—which do not “get the balance right”—to manifest, as has been the case throughout history. Those that espoused these forms of religiousness have tended not to survive.
One of the key balances that has to be maintained in any group is that between “individualism” and “binding values,” which we briefly looked at above. Jonathan Haidt has proposed that there are “Five Moral Foundations” on which humans vary. These divide into two higher order clusters: Individualizers (who are broadly left-wing) and those who are high on Binding (we’ll call them Binders, and they tend to be right-wing). Individualizers are strongly focused on “Care” (harm avoidance) and “Fairness” (a desire for equality). Although these values may superficially appear “selfless,” they are individualist, because they are concerned with the good of the individual (harm avoidance) or how he feels (equality) about the good of the group. Individualizers have relatively little interest in “Authority,” “Loyalty,” and “Sanctity” (that some things are “pure” and others “revolting” and “reprehensible”).
Binders are roughly equally concerned about “Loyalty,” “Authority,” “Sanctity,” “Care,” and “Fairness,” though there are some “extreme Binders” who do not much care about the latter two foundations; these people tend to be “far right.” Different forms of religion are thus differentially attractive to those who are stronger or weaker in the different moral foundations. For example, early Protestantism can be regarded as, in many ways, a revolutionary left-wing movement that was very high in “Fairness” and very low in traditional “Authority.”41 Of course, there will be all kinds of individual variance in the degree of strength within these moral foundations, but, overall, this was the clustering that was found.42 The groups that were successful in the battle of group selection were the groups that attained the optimum adaptive balance between these sets of foundations.
By 1800, we would expect White Americans to be particularly religious, because the cultural core of the country was founded by Puritans, who would have passed on their intense religiosity as a genetic legacy. The heritability of extreme religiosity is around 0.7,43 and White Americans were subject to intense group selection, especially in fighting Native Americans and the demands of establishing themselves in a hostile environment to which they were not adapted. Then again, evolution never stops. So we need to look closer at what happened to that original American stock.
6. The Industrial Revolution’s Revolution
Some 200 years ago, a basic level of religiosity had been established across the White race. Indeed, it has been shown that Western Europeans became more religious, seemingly for genetic reasons, throughout the Middle Ages, often due to executing and ostracizing “heretics” (that is, those prone to religious deviation and atheism).44 At that time, in Europe, the child mortality rate was 50 percent. A further 40 percent of people either witnessed all of their offspring die young or did not marry. Thus, only 10 percent of people born actually passed on their genes, and it has been shown in other species that this is necessary for a population to remain healthy. The Industrial Revolution heralded huge improvements in medicine, inoculations, and general living standards. And currently, around 80 percent of people pass on their genes and child mortality is 1 percent.45 In other words, the Industrial Revolution sparked a genetic revolution, as well—a dramatic change in who survived and reproduced.
In 1800, White America was a small gene pool in which people were all relatively genetically similar and strongly genetically fit, because those who deviated from the optimum—due to mutant genes—were purged from the population every generation. Being strongly genetically similar, the population would tend to trust each other, cooperate, and think in the same direction. We bond with people who are more genetically similar to ourselves because this is a means of indirectly passing on more of our genes. This trend is found even when looking at relationships between siblings, whose genetic similarity level can be subtly differ. This is why husbands and wives—and even best friends—are more genetically similar than could ever come about by chance.46 With the Industrial Revolution, this happy homogeneity began to break down, because selection pressure was heavily weakened. The result is a many-fold, inter-related sequence of factors, which change the nature, cohesiveness, and worldview of the population.
The Eleven Consequence of the Industrial Revolution
1. Genetic Physical Sickness
Populations are increasingly genetically sick, as mutations are no longer purged from the population. This has been demonstrated by growing evidence of highly genetic physical disorders.
2. Genetic Mental Sickness
Populations are increasingly mentally unfit, as witnessed by a rise in mental conditions associated with low fertility, such as depression and schizophrenia.
3. Genetic Diversity and Low Trust
Even controlling for immigration, societies are increasingly genetically diverse, leading, purely for genetic reasons, to lots of differences in how people view the world and a gradual collapse in social trust.
4. Diverse and Maladaptive Worldviews
We see worldviews that were extraordinarily rare in 1800 becoming more and more commonplace. This makes sense if we understand the relatively close relationship between physical and mental traits. The brain is 84 percent of the genome. This means it is a massive target for mutation, such that the higher your general mutational load, the more likely you are to have mutations of the mind, which would have been strongly maladaptive under Darwinian conditions and which correlate with other physical and mental mutations. Under harsh conditions, we were evolved to collectively worship a moral god in order to be highly ethnocentric. We should see increasing deviation from group religiosity, and worldviews that are highly maladaptive; these should be associated with evidence of mutation.47 In line with this prediction, views associated with the Left can be regarded as clearly maladaptive or deviations from the Darwinian optimum. These include atheism (which undermines group selection), believing that life is pointless and has no eternal significance, anti-natalism, redistribution (putting other families above your own), multiculturalism (putting other ethnic groups above your own), individualism (having no concern for your group), and animal rights (putting other species above your own). These viewpoints are themselves associated with other maladaptive traits, in particular low fertility and high levels of mental illness, one strong example being depression.48 These deviations from the collective worship of a moral god are, unsurprisingly, also associated with physical evidence of mutation. In other words, you can learn a lot about someone’s psychology by assessing what they look like.
Having a symmetrical face is attractive because it implies that you have low levels of mutations. It indicates that you have been able to maintain a symmetrical phenotype in the face of disease, meaning that you have an optimal immune system, good genetic health, and thus a low mutational load. A person with high mutational load, and thus poor genetic health, need to employ proportionately more of their bio-energetic resources fighting off disease, resulting in less symmetry.49 On this basis, we would predict that people who were traditionally religious or right-wing—the two measures robustly correlate50—to be judged as better looking than left-wing people and to have faces that were more symmetrical. There is evidence indicating that this is, indeed, the case.51 Left-handedness is also a sign of high mutational load, as a symmetrical brain is associated with right-handedness. Accordingly, we would predict that non-right-handedness would be correlated with atheism, and this is so.52
5. The Spread of these Maladaptive Views to the Relatively Healthy
As humans are a highly pro-social species, we evolved to be in networks of mentally healthy people, and are impacted by the nature of the people with whom we interact. For example, though depression is highly genetic, there is a significant environmental component, with people who regularly associate with depressed people being more likely to become depressed themselves.53 In the same way, those who hold maladaptive views would become an increasing presence in the population and would influence those around them to adopt these views. These influencers, who hold these views to a pronounced degree, can be termed “spiteful mutants,” as they induce those who are lower in mutational load to adopt maladaptive views.54 Traditional society has established structures—such as religiosity and child-rearing practices—which optimally elevate its group fitness. The spiteful mutant will attack and undermine these, subverting them such that they undermine the fitness of society. Only those who are, for genetic reasons, extremely fitness-oriented, such as the traditionally religious, will instinctively reject the spiteful mutants, just as, centuries ago, ideas that undermined group fitness were dismissed as “witchcraft” and “devil worship.”
Once around 20 percent of the population holds maladaptive views, studies have shown that it can be expected to turn, very quickly, towards the new “system,” as the old system will appear moribund in comparison and adaptive people seek to join the winning team.55 This change seems to have happened around the 1960s. The means by which you would gain status in the new system would be to signal how pro-equality you were, meaning that society, taken over by the new way of thinking, would overtly become ever more left-wing and, thus, ever more different from the remnant group-selected component of the population, which maintained traditional values and was relatively resistant to changes. It would also mean that regulations on issues such as sexual mortality would collapse.
6. Declining Religiousness and Rising Individualism
Due to very low mortality salience, and all else controlled for, people would be very low in religiousness and thus low in the group-fitness promoting ideas associated with religiousness, such as ethnocentrism. It has been found that religiousness promotes social trust among non-relatives, as it is an insurance policy that a stranger—believing that god will punish him for his misdeeds—can be trusted. As religion collapses, therefore, social trust collapses, as well.56 The collapse of religiously-induced ethnocentrism, combined with a drift towards individualist values, also leads to mass immigration. It has been found that multiculturalism—specifically a local neighborhood becoming ethnically diverse—reduces social trust. The natives are not only disinclined to trust foreign immigrants but other natives, as well. This happens because the natives blame their co-ethnics for allowing the multicultural situation to occur, and also because they now fear that disloyal co-ethnics might collaborate against them with the immigrants.57
7. High Fertility on the “Far Right”
The portion of the society that is utterly resistant to the new fitness-damaging system of individualist values will be predicted to have been growing due to the association between traditional religiosity and fertility. In this line, it has been found that, using Western samples, being “far right” predicts having the highest fertility while being “far left” predicts having the lowest.58
8. A Genetic Caste System
Our relatively meritocratic and mobile society has created increasing cognitive stratification, whereby intelligent people, who happen to be born into working-class families, for example, are very easily able to leave this environment, become educated, and move to other areas dominated by educated and intelligent people.59 This was not possible when society was less meritocratic, in part because it was less interested in values such as “Fairness.” The result is that people of different intelligence levels, and even of different social classes (socioeconomic status being robustly predicted by intelligence60), increasingly inhabit different worlds. And, due to the high genetic component of intelligence of around 0.8, as well as the high genetic component of the personality traits associated with high IQ,61 they will be increasingly different from each other genetically, as well. So, we would expect those at the bottom of society to decreasingly trust and admire the elite. Furthermore, intelligence is associated with realizing what the dominant set of values is, and with forcing yourself to adopt them so that you can get on better in life. This is why professional people, currently, tend to espouse leftist values.62 Those of lower socioeconomic status will be less able to do this so, in a society of cognitive stratification, and will be increasingly alienated from the elite.
9. Declining IQ and so Declining Trust
One of the correlates of intelligence is trust. People with high IQ are more trusting, possibly because if you have low IQ you are more likely to be taken advantage of, meaning that it is adaptive to trust nobody. Another result of the Industrial Revolution has been declining intelligence. Various factors have contributed to this, but the most salient is contraception—the promotion of wide scale, reliable contraception being a major innovation of the Industrial Revolution. Intelligence predicts the impulse control to use contraception and the cognitive ability to use it correctly. As a result, large families now happen by accident and are associated with low intelligence, there being a correlation of about -0.2 between IQ and how many children you have. We know this is happening for genetic reasons because the population prevalence of alleles associated with high intelligence in a Western sample has decreased across three generations, and numerous other correlates of intelligence all show the same pattern.63 This results in a society that is less trusting overall, and particularly less trusting of its elite. A lower intelligence, all else being equal, would also predict a population becoming more conservative, more religious, and more dogmatic.
10. The Mutation of Religion
The genetic diversity, and increased mutation, wrought by the Industrial Revolution means that we would expect the traditional “religious bundle” to break up in a growing number of people. Thus, you would have, in many supporters of Black Lives Matter, for example, high levels of dogmatism, intense hatred of the out-group, fervent belief in certain ideas, belief in the morality of the in-group, even collective worship of sorts, but no belief that life has eternal significance or belief in gods. This ideology is underpinned by individualistic foundations which, in some respects, it renders sacred: unquestionable dogmas, like “equality” and “social justice.”
We might also expect a similar deviation among those who have Binding values: they will semi-sanctify Binding values, meaning they will have some aspects of religiousness, but they might lack the belief in a moral god, or their belief in god will be so extreme as to be obsessive and damaging to their ability to get along with people. We can see QAnon supporters who worship Donald Trump as Messianic figure.
Such people would be high in evidence of mutation. Consistent with this prediction, it has been found that people who are high in the personality trait Neuroticism (which is associated with depression and anxiety) are generally low in religious belief. However, they go through phases of extremely intense religious belief. Suffering from manic depression or bipolar disorder, and Schizophrenia, as well, is also strongly associated with hyper-religiosity. In sum, mental illness is a marker of genetic mutation, and it seems to make one prone to an unhealthy righteousness.64
This makes sense because an aspect of schizophrenia is hyper-mentalizing, whereby schizophrenics are intensely interested in the feelings of others and external cues from them. Accordingly, they perceive evidence of “mind” everywhere, including in the world itself, making them paranoid.65 A study from Switzerland found that one third of schizophrenics are very strongly involved with their local mainstream church and that a further 10 percent are involved in New Religious Movements: small sects that tend to be fervently religious.66 All people sit on a schizotypy scale, with full schizophrenia at one extreme; the higher they are on this scale, the more attracted they are to conspiracy theories67 and unconventional and paranoid beliefs.68 So, this implies that some people on the “Right” are also manifestations of high mutational load. The “Right,” however, would be less influenced by mutational load than the Left, because the Right would be closer to the ideas that were prominent under harsh Darwinian conditions and, in line with this, being right wing lineally correlates with fertility and mental health, as noted earlier. It might also be noted that extreme Left activists have been shown to score very high in Narcissism (entitlement and desire for adulation) and Machiavellianism (desire for power), which makes sense as, in the current climate, being left wing is a means of achieving these aims. Those who are “White Identitarian” score high in psychopathology (low empathy), which makes sense because, currently, they are profound non-conformists.69 If combined with a period of high mental instability, then this could predict attraction to the “far Right,” at least when that is highly counter-cultural. These traits are expressions of developmental instability and thus, in some cases, mutational load.70
11. The Internet Echo Chamber
Finally, a clearly important factor, which indirectly emanates from the Industrial Revolution, is the technological revolution and the rise of the Internet. This has aided polarization by permitting like-minded people to easily find each other and establish online communities, which can spill over into real life. We have progressively moved from being a “mass society,” in which public opinion is managed by an elite, to a “network society” of ever fragmenting, often hermetic groups, each with its own inner-directed propaganda.71 This has permitted the proliferation of “non-mainstream” opinions, and the managing elite has, to a large extent, lost control of people’s minds. This happened previously in history, with the birth of printing, but not to this pronounced degree. Elites have attempted to deal with this reality by increasingly censoring social-media platforms, as noted above, but, in many ways, the train has left the station. The rise of the Internet—and social-media echo chambers like Q—are simply amplifying a polarizing tendency that was already under way.
The year 2020, which many saw as the end of the world, catalyzed two distinct religious revivals for our divided age: BLM and QAnon. They are godless faiths; however, they contain many of the core elements of the Christian revivals of yesteryear. Both are birthed from the evolutionary dynamics of post-Industrial society. And both, in their ways, are hysterical, schizophrenic expressions of how religiosity manifests itself in our “secular age.”
Coda: Is Q Getting At Something?
The mainstream media dismisses QAnon’s beliefs as fraudulent—ridiculous at best, dangerous at worst. We should remember that a cult like Q is unlikely to be persuasive if did not tap into some aspects of reality or contain a few kernels of truth.
Take, for instance, the belief that causes the most controversy—that Satanic pedophiles are in positions of power around the world. If we break this down, it could be argued that, in the minds of evangelicals, what “Satan” essentially preaches is individualism: wealth, power, and pleasure in the here and now, rather than sacrificing power in this world for glory in the next.72 There is a substantial body of evidence that people who tend to reach the very top of their professions, especially in business and politics, seem to combine outlier high intelligence with moderately psychopathic traits, such as moderately low altruism and moderately low impulse control. This means, for example, that not being bound by rules and conventions, they have the intelligence and traits to conceive of original ideas, and they don’t care that their original ideas may offend against vested interests.73 In the world of business, such people will come up with brilliant ideas, as they will in the arts. In the world of politics, such men will be superb at presenting themselves and persuading and manipulating their peers.
In an increasingly individualistic society, in which religious condemnation of individualistic behavior such as adultery has collapsed, such people would be more easily able to attain positions of political leadership. Sexual promiscuity is one of a number of accepted markers of psychopathic personality, alongside grandiosity and superficial charm.74 A few generations ago, revelations that a politician had had an affair, let alone fathered an illegitimate child, would be the end of his career. No longer. A key correlate of originality is testosterone, because it makes one driven, ambitious, competitive, low in impulse control, and low in altruism. It also gives you a high sex drive.75 Indeed, an analysis of a sample of extremely eminent people found them to have been high both in sexual deviance and sexual promiscuity, as well as being high in sub-clinical psychopathology. This analysis, by psychologist Felix Post (1913-2001), found that six percent of the male population in Western countries can be regarded as archetypal psychopaths, something true of none of a sample of “eminent men” whom he biographically analyzed. However, Post estimated that 10 percent of the male population were “subclinical psychopaths,” meaning psychopathic tendencies sufficiently strong to adversely impact relationships or careers. This he estimated to be true of 14 percent of eminent men, meaning subclinical psychopaths were overrepresented. Among eminent writers, subclinical psychopathology was 20 percent, while among eminent artists it was 25 percent. Among politicians it was just 11 percent, only slightly above the general male population. However, using the less severe measure of having “potentially handicapping traits” of antisocial personality disorder, Post found that this was true of 52 percent of politicians, 50 percent of artists, and 70 percent of writers. Post cautiously estimates that this level of psychopathology applies to 16 percent of the male population. Accordingly, it can be averred that moderate antisocial behavior disorder is elevated among the highly eminent.76 So, we should not be surprised that, to a greater extent than was once the case, people who are high in individualism, intelligence, and psychopathic traits should rise to the top.
Such people’s rise would be aided if they adopted the group-fitness damaging, spiteful mutant-inspired leftist ideas that are currently in vogue, so we would expect them to do that. And, with their high sex drives, and low empathy, we might even expect them to engage in sexual abuse to an elevated degree, including abuse of children because, as they are such easy prey. Approximately half of those who sexually abuse children are not exclusively attracted to children. Pedophiles, so defined, have strongly elevated levels of poor mental health (something Post also found was high among the very eminent), including mood disorders (66 percent), obsessive compulsive disorder (25 percent), and personality disorders of various kinds (61 percent), such as Psychopathic Personality.77 For this reason, evidence of the abuse, especially of young girls, by such males starts to make more sense. Pedophilia and psychopathic personality may be comorbid, because they are both manifestations of developmental instability, resulting from elevated mutational load.78 In addition, only pedophiles who are high in psychopathic personality would be likely to act on their proclivities. Those who are high in psychopathic personality are, in evolutionary terms, adapted to a chaotic, unstable environment in which cooperating with people is futile, because such acts might never be reciprocated; you must, therefore, “live fast, die young” and opt to pass on your genes as quickly as possible. This militates in favor of having as much sex as you can with as many fertile (and thus young) females as possible. This is known as a fast Life History Strategy.79 Having sex with underage, though fertile, girls—“ephebophilia”—would simply be an extreme manifestation of this sexual strategy. There is also evidence that, in such contexts of instability, males who engaged in rape were more likely to pass on their genes, and that gang rape was especially common in pre-history. As a consequence, males, even now, produce more semen during rape, as rape traditionally involved sperm competition. Men also become more aroused by, and produce more semen, when watching violent porn than “vanilla” porn. In other words, men have been selected to be aroused by violence, especially sexual violence.80 Thus, for some men who abuse underage children, it may not be that they find them attractive; they are turned on by power and dominance. This would be more likely if they were fast Life History Strategists.
In the UK, elite pedophile fascination was sparked in the wake of the death of the extremely popular and influential entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile (1926-2011). Evidencing his “Establishment” status, Savile had been given a knighthood in 1990. After Savile died, large numbers of allegations came to light that he had raped and otherwise sexually abused under-age girls throughout his long career and had even been subject to a police investigation about this shortly before his death.81 A subsequent police inquiry into historic sexual abuse, “Operation Yew Tree,” as well as concomitant investigations and publicity, led to the downfall or reassessment of many other celebrities and politicians who had received assorted honors such as CBE (Companion of the British Empire), OBE (Order of the British Empire), and knighthoods. The investigation led to the jailing of a household name, entertainer Rolf Harris, CBE (b. 1930), for sexually abusing under-age girls; the imprisonment of TV personality Stuart Hall, OBE (b. 1929), on 13 counts of indecent assault against girls aged 9 to 17 between 1967 and 1986; and two posthumous allegations of underage rape, and one of rape of a 17-year-old woman, against deceased TV personality Sir Clement Freud (1924-2009), grandson of the psychiatrist.82
So, looked at in this way, the idea that the world is run—or at least heavily influenced—by selfish, child-abusers Satanists becomes less than entirely ludicrous. And, as was noted when Jimmy Savile’s proclivities came to light, there must have been so many high-status people who, at best, turned a blind eye to what they knew he was doing and, at worst, enabled him.83 We can see how people might suspect the same to be true of Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Michael Jackson, and many others. In general, we exaggerate the extent to which members of an out-group are morally deficient, and we can see how this would become particularly pronounced at a time of extreme polarization and existential stress.84
Katrin Bennhold, “QAnon Is Thriving in Germany. The Extreme Right Is Delighted,” New York Times, October 11, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/11/world/europe/qanon-is-thriving-in-germany-the-extreme-right-is-delighted.html (accessed November 15, 2020). ↩︎
Barabara Ortutay, “YouTube Follows Twitter and Facebook with QAnon Crackdown,” AP News, October 15, 2020, https://apnews.com/article/youtube-qanon-conspiracy-theories-ef03a889e68239de6692ce42666d97d8 (accessed November 15, 2020). ↩︎
Graeme Bruce, “Half of Trump’s Supporters Think Top Democrats are Involved in Child Sex-trafficking,” YouGov, https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/10/20/half-trump-supporters-believe-qanon-theory-child-s (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Edward Dutton, “The Next Great Awakening,” Radix Journal, https://radixjournal.com/2020/06/the-next-great-awakening/ (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
For an early look at “Q”, see Paris Martineau, “The Storm Is the New Pizzagate — Only Worse,” New York, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/12/qanon-4chan-the-storm-conspiracy-explained.html (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/146981635/#147012719 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/146981635/#147012719 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Bennhold, “QAnon Is Thriving in Germany,” New York Times, op cit.↩︎
William March, “Conspiracy Theorist QAnon Promoted, Then Deleted, by Hillsborough County GOP, Tampa Bay Times, July 16, 2018, https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/07/16/conspiracy-theorist-qanon-promoted-then-deleted-by-hillsborough-county-gop/ (accessed November 15, 2020). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/146981635/#147012719 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
See Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1922); Jacques Ellul, Propaganda (Alfred A. Knopf, 1967). ↩︎
See Jasun Horsley, The Vice of Kings: How Socialism, Occultism, and the Sexual Revolution Engineered a Culture of Abuse (London, Aeon Books, 2019). ↩︎
E.J. Dickson, “QAnon Followers Think JFK Jr. Is Coming Back on the 4th of July,” Rolling Stone, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/qanon-jfk-jr-conspiracy-theory-854938/ (accessed December 10, 2020). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/147433975/#147434025 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Ling, “QAnon’s Creator Made the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory,” op cit.↩︎
Michael Barkun, A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2003). ↩︎
Peter Knight, Conspiracy Culture: From Kennedy to The X Files (London, Routledge, 2013). ↩︎
Justin Ling, “QAnon’s Creator Made the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory,” Foreign Affairs October 6, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/06/qanon-creator-ultimate-conspiracy-theory-q/ (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://qalerts.app/?q=Biblical+times (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Gerard van Grongingen. First Century Gnosticism: Its Origin and Motifs (Leiden: BRILL, 1967). ↩︎
Anonymous, BQ7V3bcW, 4chan.org/pol, https://qalerts.app/?n=4950 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
See Steve Bruce, God Is Dead: Secularization in the West (Oxford, Blackwell, 2002). ↩︎
Ara Norenzayan and Azim Shariff, “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Pro-sociality,” Science, 322 (2008): 58-62. ↩︎
Stanley C. Griffin, A Forgotten Revival: East Anglia and Northeast Scotland, 1921 (Bromley: Day One Publications, 1992). ↩︎
Callum Brown, The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation, 1800-2000 (London: Routledge, 2009). ↩︎
See Brown. The Death of Christian Britain, op cit.↩︎
See Edward Bailey. Implicit Religion: An Introduction (Hendon, Middlesex University Press, 1998). ↩︎
Eric Kaufmann, Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century (London: Profile Book, 2010). ↩︎
Faiz Siddiqui and Susan Svrluga, “N.C. Man Told Police He Went to D.C. Pizzeria With Gun to Investigate Conspiracy Theory,” Washington Post, December 5, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/12/04/d-c-police-respond-to-report-of-a-man-with-a-gun-at-comet-ping-pong-restaurant/ (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Edward Dutton, Guy Madison, and Curtis Dunkel, “The Mutant Says in His Heart, ‘There Is No God’: The Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centered Around the Worship of Moral Gods is Associated with High Mutational Load,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 4 (2018): 233-244. ↩︎
Rüdiger Vaas, “God, Gains and Genes,” in The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior, eds. Eckart Voland and Wulf Schiefenhövel (New York: Springer, 2009). ↩︎
Norenzayan and Shariff, “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Pro-sociality,” op cit.↩︎
Lewis Rambo. Understanding Religious Conversion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993). ↩︎
See Dutton, Madison and Dunkel, “The Mutant Says in His Heart, ‘There Is No God,’” op cit.↩︎
Yael Sela, Todd K. Shackelford, and James R. Liddle, “When Religion Makes It Worse: Religiously Motivated Violence As a Sexual Selection Weapon,” in The Attraction of Religion: A New Evolutionary Psychology of Religion, eds. D. Jason Sloane and James A. Slyke (London: Bloomsbury, 2015). ↩︎
Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration (New Brunswick, NJ: Transactions, 2006). ↩︎
Robert Axelrod and Ross A. Hammond, “The Evolution of Ethnocentric Behavior,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50 (2006): 1-11. ↩︎
Colin Holbrook, Keise Izuma, Choi Deblieck, Daniel M. Fessler, and Marco Iacoboni, “Neuromodulation of Group Prejudice and Religious Belief,” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11 (2016): 387-394. ↩︎
Pascal Boyer, Religion Explained: The Human Instincts that Fashion Gods, Spirits and Ancestors (London: Heinemann, 2001). ↩︎
G.J.R. Parry, A Protestant Vision: William Harrison and the Reformation of Elizabethan England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). ↩︎
Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt, and Brian A. Nosek, “Liberals and Conservatives Rely on Different Sets of Moral Foundations,” Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 96 (2009): 1029-1046. ↩︎
Matt Bradshaw and Christopher G. Ellison, “Do Genetic Factors Influence Religious Life? Findings from a Behavior Genetic Analysis of Twin Siblings,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 47 (2008): 529-544. ↩︎
Edward Dutton and Guy Madison, “Execution, Violent Punishment and Selection for Religiousness in Medieval England,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 4 (2018): 83-89. ↩︎
Anthony Volk, and Jeremy Atkinson, “Is Child Death the Crucible of Human Evolution?” Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2 (2008): 103-116. ↩︎
J. Philippe Rushton, “Ethic Nationalism: Evolutionary Psychology and Genetic Similarity Theory,” Nations and Nationalism, 11 (2005): 489-507. ↩︎
Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Matthew A. Sarraf, Radomir N. Pestow, and Heitor B. F. Fernandes, “Social Epistasis Amplifies the Fitness Costs of Deleterious Mutations, Engendering Rapid Fitness Decline Among Modernized Populations,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 3 (2017): 181-191. ↩︎
Emil Kirkegaard, “Mental Illness and the Left,” Mankind Quarterly, 60 (2020): 487-510. ↩︎
Michael Woodley of Menie, Heitor Fernandes, Satoshi Kanazawa, and Edward Dutton, “Sinistrality is Associated With (Slightly) Lower General Intelligence: A Data Synthesis and Consideration of Secular Trend Data in Handedness,” HOMO: Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 69 (2018): 118-126. ↩︎
Corwin Smidt and James Penning, “Religious Commitment, Political Conservatism, and Political and Social Tolerance in the United States: A Longitudinal Analysis,” Sociological Analysis, 43 (1982): 231-245. ↩︎
Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl, Panu Poutvaara, “The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Reward It,” Journal of Public Economics, 146 (2017): 79-86. ↩︎
Dutton, Madison and Dunkel, “The Mutant Says in His Heart, ‘There Is No God’”, op cit.↩︎
T.E. Joiner, “Contagious Depression: Existence, Specificity to Depressed Symptoms, and the Role of Reassurance Seeking,” Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 67 (1994): 287-296. ↩︎
Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Matthew A. Sarraf, Rodomir N. Pestow, and Heitor B. F. Fernandes, “Social Epistasis Amplifies the Fitness Costs of Deleterious Mutations, Engendering Rapid Fitness Decline Among Modernized Populations,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 3 (2017): 181-191. ↩︎
Damon Centola, Joshua Becker, Devon Brackbill, and Andrea Baronchelli, “Experimental Evidence for Tipping Points in Social Convention,” Science, 360 (2018): 1116-1119. ↩︎
See Ara Norenzayan, Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013). ↩︎
Robert Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century: The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize lecture,” Scandinavian Political Studies, 30 (2007): 137–174. ↩︎
Martin Fieder and S.usanne Huber, “Political Attitude and Fertility: Is There a Selection for the Political Extreme?” Frontiers in Psychology (2018), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02343. ↩︎
See Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Free Press, 1994). ↩︎
See Arthur Jensen. The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998). ↩︎
Richard Lynn. Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (London: Ulster Institute for Social Research, 1996). ↩︎
Michael Woodley of Menie and Curtis Dunkel, “Beyond the Cultural Mediation Hypothesis: A Reply to Dutton (2013),” Intelligence, 49 (2015): 186-191. ↩︎
See Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley of Menie. At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2018). ↩︎
Harold G. Koenig, “Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications,” ISRN Psychiatry (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/278730 (accessed December 5, 2020). ↩︎
Christopher Badcock, “Mentalism and Mechanism: Twin Modes of Human Cognition,” in Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy and Personal Decisions, eds. Charles Crawford and Catherine Salman (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2003). ↩︎
Philippe Huguelet, Sylvia Mohr, Laurence Borras, et al., “Spirituality and Religious Practices Among Outpatients With Schizophrenia and Their Clinicians,” Psychiatric Services, 57 (2006): 366–372. ↩︎
D. Barron, A. Furnham, L. Weiss, K. Morgan, T. Towell and V. Swami. “The Association Between Schizotypal Components and Conspiricist Beliefs Through Cognitive Mediators,” Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44 (2018): s368-369. ↩︎
Jo Hodgekins, “Schizotypy and Psychopathology,” in Schizoptypy: New Dimensions, eds. Oliver Mason and Gordan Claridge (London: Routledge, 2015). ↩︎
Jordan Moss and Peter O’Connor. “The Dark Triad traits Predict Authoritarian Political Correctness and Alt-Right Attitudes,” Heliyon, 6 (2020): e04453. ↩︎
Martin Lalumiere, Grant T. Harris, and Marnie Rice, “Psychopathy and Developmental Instability,” Evolution and Human Behavior, 22 (2001): 75-92. ↩︎
See Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts, Network Propaganda: Manipulations, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). ↩︎
See J.A. Peterson, “Carnal, Chthonic, and Complicated: The Matter of Modern Satanism,” in Controversial New Religions. eds. James Lewis and Jesper Peterson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). ↩︎
See, Edward Dutton and Bruce G. Charlton, The Genius Famine (Buckingham, University of Buckingham Press, 2015). ↩︎
See Edward Dutton and Richard Lynn, “Cheating in Sport and Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality,” Mankind Quarterly, 55 (2015): 325-334. ↩︎
Dimitri Van der Linden, Edward Dutton, and Guy Madison, “National-Level Indicators of Androgens are Related to the global distribution of number of scientific publications and science Nobel prizes.” Journal of Creative Behavior, 54 (2020): 134-149. ↩︎
Felix Post, “Creativity and Psychopathology,” British Journal of Psychiatry, 165 (1994): 22-34. ↩︎
Gilian Tenbergen, Matthias Wittfoth, Helge Frieling, et al., “The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, (2015): 344. ↩︎
J. Philippe Rushton, Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective (New Brusnwick, NJ, Transaction Publishing). ↩︎
Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001); Lee Ellis, Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression (New York: Hemisphere Publishing, 1989). ↩︎
Dan Davies, In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (London: Quercus Books, 2014). ↩︎
Martin Evans, “Clement Freud Accused of Raping Another Teenage Girl as Evidence Mounts That He Was a Predatory Paedophile,” Daily Telegraph (15th June 2016), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/15/clement-freud-accused-of-raping-another-teenage-girl-as-evidence/ (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt, and Brian Nosek, “The Moral Stereotypes of Liberals and Conservatives: Exaggeration of Differences across the Political Spectrum,” PLOS One (2012), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0050092 (accessed December 1, 2020). ↩︎
The Democrats will soon achieve political hegemony in an age of radical polarization. It probably won’t end well. Introduction On November 3, Joe Biden should comfortably win the Presidency of…
The Democrats will soon achieve political hegemony in an age of radical polarization. It probably won’t end well.
On November 3, Joe Biden should comfortably win the Presidency of the United States, earning between 325 and 375 Electoral College votes, matching Barack Obama’s results in 2008 and 2012. In an age of polarization—and in light of Trump’s tremendous popularity among Republicans—Biden’s victory will be viewed as a “landslide” and national denunciation of Trumpism. Demoralization and confusion among the Republican faithful will follow.
In addition, Democrats should take control of the Senate, with a tight majority of 51 to 49. More than one Republican stalwart and Trump ally will be sent packing. In the House, Democrats will maintain dominance. The “wave” election already occurred in 2018, and, to a lesser extent, in 2016. This year will be about consolidation, not conquest.
Inertia is the most powerful force in politics. Some 75 percent of all House races are uncompetitive “slam dunks,” and we can expect incumbent Congressmen, especially members of the House, to be re-elected at a rate around 90 percent. But after multiple cycles of consistent gains, on January 20, 2021, the Democrats will stand in the same position the Republicans did four years earlier: they’ll have the presidency; they’ll enjoy a House majority in the realm of 235-250 members, and a narrow margin in the Senate. A 25-year era of mostly Republican leadership in Congress will be supplanted by a new “Blue Period.” This is the result of seismic demographic, geographic, and attitudinal and psychological shifts. But ultimately, the 2020 victory will paper over deep problems for the Democrats, which will likely lead to an unhappy presidency for Mr. Biden.
This essay will explain my forecast, but, more important, it will assess the structural basis for the coming Democratic dominance, and expose fault lines that make doing politics, even for a hegemonic party, exceedingly difficult.
In 2016, Trump was not just the candidate of right-wing populism but “chaos” as well, to borrow an insult from Jeb Bush. Trump ran against his own party, its leadership, and quite a bit of what it held dear. Biden, on the other hand, has run a bi-partisan campaign on the promise of a “return to normalcy.”
“Normalcy” means ending the Trump experiment: the outrages, scandals, wild talk, and nationalism. But it also means keeping at bay left-wing energies—“wokeness,” BLM, and democratic socialism—that are now motivating a great deal of Biden’s voters. Biden’s experience in the Democratic primaries was about survival, not triumph, and it was only possible through the intervention of party luminaries at the 11th hour. Biden has a long history of being extremely “un-woke,” and his Clintonian policy proposals are simply out of step with the majority of Democratic activists and operatives, if not high-level leadership and donors. Thus, Biden is caught in a pincer, and there is a strong chance that he will be undermined early on by forces within—perhaps even given a rude comeuppance.
Moreover, it is becoming questionable whether America is governable at all. We will soon be in a remarkable situation in which the once-and-future party of political hegemony, the Democrats, will be governing a population that has undergone radical polarization and division. In the new Blue era, the Democrats will struggle for legitimacy, not power. That can’t end well.
1. We Just Hate Each Other
Biden’s coming victory must be put into perspective. The era of monumental landslides—when one candidate captured a unified national mood—is past. The last time a candidate won more than 500 electoral votes was 1984, when Ronald Reagan came close to matching Richard Nixon’s 49-state domination in 1972. Barack Obama’s comfortable victories in 2008 and 2016—or George W. Bush’s 2004 win as a “stay the course,” wartime president—never approached the famous wipeout elections of the 20th century.
Our era is one of fragmentation, which has led to stasis and rigidity. Voters are “polarized,” in the sense of being frozen in place. You simply are Red or Blue. And they’re ain’t no doubt about it.
One some level, Red/Blue politics has eclipsed race, ethnicity, and religion as the source and marker of identity. When polled, Americans who strongly identify with “conservative” or “liberal” are skittish about the prospect of family members marrying someone of another political affiliation. A hardcore conservative worries more about his daughter marrying a Democrats than a man of a different race. “Look who’s coming to dinner,” indeed.
There are, I should point out, some key issues of remarkable national consensus. At least in 2018, a majority of Republicans supported a national healthcare system or “Medicare for All,” a program touted by Bernie Sanders. That said, on a host of meta-political topics—like inequality, racial discrimination, and the environment—gaps between Red and Blue are only widening. The parties themselves have become hostile nations with closed borders. This is demonstrated in a longitudinal study by the Pew Research Center covering the past 25 years. In 1994, 64 percent of Republican voters were “to the right” of the average Democrat on a host of basic issues, with considerable overlap. Put another way, the average Democratic was “to the Right” of one-third of Republicans. By 2017, the “center” had vanished. Effectively all (95-97 percent) Republicans are “to the right” of Democrats and Democrats, “to the left” of Republicans.
Some old-timers still wax nostalgic about a bi-partisan era long ago, when both parties would roll up their sleeves and get things done for the American people. The reality is, compromise and collaboration are simply impossible when there is no common ground.
Polarization tracks with religious divides. Mormons and evangelical Protestants are overwhelmingly Republican. And to no one’s surprise, self-identified atheists are liberal to roughly the same degree as fundamentalists are conservative. Polarization is also strongly regional—a phenomenon known as the “Big Sort.” Blue states are clustered on the eastern and western seaboards, and states containing large metropolises tend to be Democratic. Texas and Georgia are notable Southern exceptions. Polarization also marks the intersection of race and class, as Republicans have gradually become the home of the White working class—those without college degrees. (I’ll explore this in more detail in the next essay in this series.)
In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry by a close score in the popular vote, 51-48. But mapping the election county-by-county tells a very different story. The entire Heartland and South was deep Red, with some Blue outliers in predominately African-American districts and urban centers. Someone in, say, Casper, Wyoming might not know another soul who voted for John Kerry, to paraphrase the infamous quip by Pauline Kael.
2004 Presidential Election, County-by-County
Polarization is even more radical than elections would lead you believe. Terms like “secession” and “Civil War 2” are in the air. A Reuters-Ipsos poll conducted from November 2016 through January 2017 found 22 percent of respondents supporting the state they live in “withdrawing from the USA and the federal government.” Support among non-Whites was even higher, at 29 percent, with less than an outright majority opposed and the remaining quarter of the population, unsure. Some 40 percent of both Democrats and Republicans openly tell pollsters that political violence is justified “a little” if the other guys win.
Both the QAnon conspiracy and “Russian Collusion” narrative (which led to Trump’s impeachment) are factually dubious but true to the prevailing Zeitgeist. For QAnon, the Democrats aren’t just wrong, they are, literally, Satanic, blood-sucking pedophiles. The mass media (“fake news”) is only there to distract the public from Trump’s noble crusade against evil. On the other side, “Resistance” liberals say that Trump is in Vladimir Putin’s pocket, effectively reviving a Cold War-era ghost story about a “Manchurian candidate,” once the bugbear of right-wing fanatics in the John Birch Society. Trump doesn’t just want better diplomatic relations with Russia; he is, in fact, a tool of a Slavic autocrat bent on world domination.
Marianne Williamson captured the mood, as only she can.
Don’t tell a black person they’re never in danger of being arrested for no reason; don’t tell a Jew they’ll never have to worry about being rounded up; and don’t tell a woman she’s never being underestimated because of her gender. We know better. Ancestors don’t lie.
What is key here is that both Reds and Blues view “the other,” not as an adversary, but as a demon or tyrant. Why debate or find common ground with someone who wants you thrown in a dungeon. It’s kill or be killed!
2. Projecting the Presidency
Radical polarization is disturbing—and it might foretell an eventual breakdown of the United State, as unthinkable as that might sound. But for our limited purposes here, polarization means electoral stability, and that means that four out of every five states in any presidential election can be forecast years in advance.
For yet another cycle, a dozen or so states will determine the outcome of the presidential election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The other 38 are not likely to produce surprises. Texas and Georgia are two remarkable additions to this list, as both have been reliably Republican since 1996 and are thought of as bastions of conservatism. Among the 12 states in play, three—Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania—will prove most important, since they are populous and polling has been both close and volatile. Mainstream forecasters (The Cooke Political Report, The Economist, FiveThirtyEight, and the New York Times) are consistent on this assessment.
Joe Biden’s advantage immediately jumps to the fore. Taking the 38 non-swing states as “givens,” Biden will begin election night carrying some 215-225 electoral votes; Trump, only around 125. Of the dozen decisive states, half of them are leaning towards Biden: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Arizona. Only Texas and Georgia are significantly leaning Republican. This leaves Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa as the “tossups among tossups.” The problem for Trump is that Biden does not need to win all of the Democratic-leaning tossups to reach 270 electoral votes, and thus an Electoral College majority. In other words, for Trump to eke out a victory, he must hold Southern stalwarts like Georgia, Florida, and Texas and win at least a couple of the Midwestern states (Iowa and Ohio, for example), which formed his unlikely “Rustbelt strategy” of 2016.
This is simply too tall an order. A victory for Trump—based on, say, winning Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida—would already be reflected by polls suggesting a Republican wave. We don’t see this. Biden has maintained a comfortable lead in national polling in the area of seven-to-ten points for months. This is significantly higher than Clinton’s lead over Trump throughout the summer and fall of 2016, which hovered between one and six points and was trending towards deadlock. Numbers on early voting foresee a dramatic, multi-fold increase of turnout among young people (18-29)—a group that skews heavily towards Biden.
As they say in the NFL, any team can win on “any given Sunday”—and that rule holds for Tuesdays, as well. If, say, Trump secures Florida (with its 29 electoral votes), then his chances of pulling off an upset increase dramatically. But we need to remember how astounding Trump’s win in 2016 really was. In the Electoral College, Trump beat Clinton handedly: 304 to 207. On a state-by-state basis, however, his margins were razor thin: Trump won Florida (a state of 22 million) by 100,000 votes; he won Michigan by a mere 10,000. Treading such a precarious, narrow path to victory one more time is too much to ask of any candidate. And demographics in those states are clearly moving in the wrong direction.
Change in voting-age population, 2016-2020
3. Letting A Good Crisis Go To Waste
America might never again see a truly “national” statesman, that is, a man who transcends party and policies, and is widely viewed as the right guy to take charge in a crisis. After 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt seemingly couldn’t lose, consistently boosted by his resolve in the Great Depression and Second World War. Since then, wartime can make a president invincible . . . before sinking him. Lyndon Baines Johnson won by a landslide at the height of the Vietnam War, then bowed out of the 1968 election early, having lost control of his own party. George H.W. Bush’s approval ratings were just shy of 90 percent after launching the first Iraq War; they then dipped as low as 29 in 1992 when the fight was over. His son, George W., experienced a similar ordeal: he broke 90 percent after the September-11 attacks, just before his approval cascaded downward and he became a national punch-line in his second term. And “Dubya” might be the last president to achieve unanimous adulation, however fleeting.
After years of relative peace for the American empire, Trump was challenged in the final year of his term with a crisis of Biblical proportions—a plague from the Far East that brought the world to its knees. Politically speaking, this was a gift, if he were only willing to unwrap it. Trump achieved his highest approval ratings in the first half of May 2020—49 percent—weeks after he had officially declared the Coronavirus a national emergency. Great stress brings out “animal instincts”; people desperately want to “follow the leader.” At that moment, Trump was, at least potentially, poised to transcend polarization.
For all of the shrill talk about Trump being a “fascist,” the reality is that Benito Mussolini would have relished the chance to mobilize the nation under “pandemic socialism.” And if Trump governed more like a fascist—perhaps donning a knightly hazmat suit during press briefings—he would have a much better chance of being re-elected.
No leader on Earth has paid a political price for “overreacting” to Coronavirus—even if some have, indeed, overreacted. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has consistently urged lockdowns, has had an approval rating in the mid-to-upper 60s on his handling of the pandemic—double that of Trump. The nation was clearly begging to be given marching orders by a strongman.
Trump, for his part, chose the “power of positive thinking,” a uniquely American form of Christianity articulated by Norman Vincent Peale, a minister who presided over Trump’s first wedding. Trump’s response to Coronavirus will forever be remembered by his claims that it was a “Democrat hoax,” that it will go away in the spring “like a miracle,” various goofy proposals for instant cures, and his fretting over the health of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. By October, Trump was losing seniors—those most vulnerable to Covid-19—by 10 points in the all-important state of Pennsylvania. Voters over the age of 65 would seem to be the natural constituency of any conservative; 65 percent of them voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Yet in 2020, “the olds” have a voting profile much like their self-centered, left-wing grandchildren.
Trump is one of the only presidents in recent memory to declare himself a “nationalist,” and he has evoked the prewar slogan of “America First!” But in the end, his “nationalism”—whatever it might mean in practice—is a minority political position. It is undoubtedly popular with GOP diehards—Trump’s approval among Republicans is rising to 95 percent—but it is simply not a governing ideology. The country is headed in a very different direction.
4. Projecting the House
The 2018 Midterms amounted to a “wave” election for the Democrats, though one obscured by the final result: a split government with the Republicans increasing their lead in the Senate. That year, the Democrats achieved a net gain of 41 seats in the House, which put the victory on par with two iconic Republican “waves” of recent history: the 1994 “Revolution” (net gain of 54) and the 2010 “Tea Party” (net gain of 63). Remarkably, the 2018 “Blue Wave” was greater than those two, at least as measured by the popular vote margin. Yes, all politics is local—especially in the House—but if the 2018 Midterms were treated like a national referendum, then the Democrats had a nine-point advantage over the Republicans, matching Biden’s 2020 advantage over Trump.
The ’94 and 2010 Midterms birthed new heroes in the persons of Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan, two pompous and nerdy libertarians. The impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the consolidation of the Religious Right as a reliable bloc, endless prattle about budgets, and various government shutdowns marked the terms of both speakers in this “Red Era” of Congress. It’s difficult to think of any legislative achievements. No examples come to mind.
Recent Democratic gains in the House, on the other hand, brought us Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the so-called “Squad”—all of whom immediately became stars and generated friction with the centrist leaders of the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Biden, too, is running as a centrist, the man who, as he brags, “beat the socialists” and will revive a globally oriented foreign policy. Whereas Republican presidents were generally aligned with popular energies in the parties, Biden is already at odds with them. He may be the last Democratic standard-bearer to promise, “Nothing will fundamentally change.” Regardless of Biden’s expectations, creative and paradigm-shifting policy (“The Green New Deal,” being a perfect example) will begin flowing out of the Democratic House.
5. Projecting the Senate
In 2018, Fortuna looked fondly upon Republicans. That year, only eight of their 51 seats in the Senate were in play, whereas the Democrats had 23 of 49. Republicans seized the opportunity—and the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett would not have been possible were it not for the lucky hand they were dealt.
In 2020, Republicans face the inverse of the happy situation last cycle. They have 23 seats up for election, while the Democrats have only 12. And it gets worse. Among the Democrats’ 12 seats in jeopardy, only one is likely to be lost—Doug Jones’s perch in Alabama, which was acquired in a bizarre special election against Christian fundamentalist Roy Moore. In 2020, Alabama will likely send Republican Tommy Tuberville, the old Auburn football coach, to the U.S. Senate.
Of the Republicans’ 23 seats that are up for election, eight are considered “tossups,” and, in the cases of Martha McSally in Arizona and Cory Gardner in Colorado, likely losses. Seats that should be solid are now in play, such as Joni Ernst in Iowa and Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, both of whom seem to be dragged down by their close association with Trump. Graham’s unlikely challenger, Jamie Harrison, has raised more money than any other Senate candidate in U.S. history (upwards of 85 million). For Republicans, there are simply too many signs that too many things are going wrong.
A base-line expectation for the Democrats would be to lose Alabama and keep 46 of their current 47 seats; this would roughly maintain the status quo. The Republicans should reasonably hope to maintain their 15 “safe” seats; however, they should expect to lose between four and five, that is, half of the toss-ups. In that scenario, they would lose control. Normally, the re-election of a party’s incumbent president means a rising tide. But this is not a normal year. The Republicans should lose five seats, and on November 4, 2020, the Democrats will gain control of the Senate, 51/49.
6. “Ignore The Polls, Bro”
But wait—weren’t all polls wrong in 2016? It’s a common refrain you hear from Trump fans. It also harkens back to 2012, when Republicans were similarly confident that polls weren’t capturing Mitt Romney’s support—a contrarianism that led Karl Rove to engage in embarrassing displays of delusion and denial when the results came in.
The short answer to the question “Weren’t the polls wrong?” is “no.” The full story is more complicated.
Trump’s entrance onto the political scene in 2015 was a watershed in that traditional metrics and punditry, which had worked so well in previous elections, failed spectacularly to understand his popularity over the course of the next 18 months. Much like Ron Paul in 2008, Trump was “the candidate from the Internet”: he activated a base that was increasingly getting news from social media, and not from network or cable television. That included Fox News, which, we shouldn’t forget, opposed Trump’s ascendancy throughout 2015.
Trump simultaneously developed a cult following among younger and more activist men and women, who liked him precisely for his combative personality and because he waged war against the Republican establishment. This was the “Alt-Right,” in its broader and more nebulous form. From the outset, it was demeaned by the mainstream media as a gaggle “Internet trolls” and even “bots.” But Trump’s digital engagement was very real.
Social Media Engagement
In late 2015, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight infamously wrote “Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls”:
For my money, that adds up to Trump’s chances being higher than 0 but (considerably) less than 20 percent. Your mileage may vary. But you probably shouldn’t rely solely on the polls to make your case
A strange statement coming from a man whose career is based on aggregating polls. Over the course of the nominating process, Silver and other psephologists assured the public that Trump was a sideshow. Plugging historical precinct figures, campaign finance data, and political endorsements into their algorithms to “weight the polls,” they put Trump at the bottom of the pack. Jeb Bush was the likely nominee, with Marco Rubio, the possible upset candidate.
2016 Republican Fundraising
Absent from these prediction formulas were rally attendance numbers, social media engagement, and organic—rather than media-manufactured—public interest.
Trump dominated Internet search queries throughout that early, decisive period in his political career.
A Trump supporter might, on two days’ notice, take time off work to drive three hours for a chance to get inside a sports stadium for a Trump rally—and face a very real chance of being kept outside on account of the venue reaching maximum capacity. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, had difficulty filling up an elementary school classroom, not to mention getting people to clap. Yet this patent disparity in intensity was thought by the experts to be electorally insignificant.
Usually, when a state politician endorsed a candidate ahead of a caucus or primary, tens of thousands of people might hear about it—most often, days afterwards through secondhand media reports. But during Trump’s rise, tens of millions of people would hear directly and instantaneously from Trump via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It was not uncommon for people to be made aware of the endorsements of Trump’s opponents from Trump himself. The conventional blessing of the political establishment had become the curse of “the swamp.”
The big “miss” of the mainstream media came in 2015, when pundits dismissed Trump, despite his strong polling and measurable online engagement. 2016 was a different story; the polls weren’t all that wrong. Nate Silver, for one, gave Trump a much better chance of winning the 2016 election than his contemporaries. The national popular vote total was actually well within the range of major polling predictions. The Real Clear Politics’s average across 11 different polling companies showed Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by 3.3 points; her actual margin of victory was 2.1. Most of the national polls were within the margin of error.
The breakdown in polling reliability (at least relative to the “boring” election night of 2012) occurred at the state level. Trump strongly outperformed his state-wide polls in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, which were key. But we should also remember that Hillary outdid exceptions in Nevada—despite most late-October polls suggesting a Trump surge.
Overall, Red states went redder than the polls predicted and, to a lesser extent, Blue states went bluer. The correlation between Trump’s margin of victory and his over-performance relative to RCP polling at the state level was a staggering .63 (p-value = 0.0000002). Pollsters have learned lessons from their shortcomings in 2016. More importantly, even if all the 2020 polls were as “wrong” as those in 2016, Biden would still comfortably win the presidency. Mainstream polling is simply not fraudulent. And the move towards Democratic hegemony is seismic, not a result of the latest news cycle. Trump pulled off an amazing upset in 2016, but demographics and attitudinal changes forecast a new Blue Period in American politics, a process that began well before the nomination of Joe Biden.
7. New Blue
Trump’s victory and inauguration was a winter of discontent for the American Left: scenes of crying, shock, hysteria, wailing, and gnashing of teeth filled the news outlets and social media feeds across the country.
But perhaps they shouldn’t have been so bent out of shape. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received almost three million more votes than Trump (roughly 65.8 million to 63), and many overlooked that the Democrats actually gained seats in the House and Senate. Since 1992, Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. Both Trump and George W. Bush relied on the idiosyncrasies of the Electoral College—and, with Bush, the Supreme Court—to secure their first terms. On the whole, America is a left-wing country by any reasonable measure.
In the 20th century, the Democrats were the party of hegemony. For six decades after Franklin Roosevelt’s election in 1932, Congress was effectively a one-party body. Between the 73rd Congress of 1933 and the “Republican Revolution” class of 1995, Democrats controlled 28 of the 31 Congresses, losing to the Republicans only briefly in 1947-49 and 1952-3 and enduring a split in 1985-86.
Party Control of Congress, 1933-2019
For better and for worse, the Democratic Party is responsible for every lasting policy paradigm, from the New Deal to the Great Society to Civil Rights to Immigration Reform. The last notable policy initiative of either party was The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) of 2009, which, again, was achieved when the Democrats had control of both Houses.
Party Share of the House of Representatives
Party Share of the Senate
The quarter century since Republicans took the House in the 1994 can be thought of as the “Red Era.” The Republicans’ share of Congress has increased from some 25 percent in the early 1930s to over 55 percent in the past few classes. Republicans have held both Chambers seven out of twelve election cycles, and held onto to one chamber ten out of twelve. Democrats, as mentioned, were only in full command for two years during Barack Obama’s first term.
Republican Share of the House of Representatives
Republican Share of the Senate
Since realignment in the 1960s, Republicans progressed, slowly but surely, from being an “also ran” and regional party to a majority one . . . yet it’s questionable whether they were ever a governing one. Outside of tax cuts, cantankerous complaining, and vague calls for “limited government,” Republicans seem to have no clue of what to do with power once they capture it, much like a dog chasing after the mail man. The GOP has certainly been popular, but it has clearly lacked the intellectual resources to be a truly national party.
As the Red Era took shape, the margins of dominance in Congress (by either party) have progressively shrunk, approaching an even split. The “Red Era” has been one of deadlock, obstruction, back-and-forth, and scarcity of visionary leadership.
Margins of Dominance in House and Senate
You could argue that as margins in Congress are tightening—and polarization becomes more intense—we should prepare ourselves for exchanges of power between the two parties every cycle. But I expect something quite different to emerge—long-range domination of Congress and the presidency by the Left moving forward. The Democrats might never achieve the supremacy of the FDR coalition, but they will set the agenda for the next quarter century: Medicare For All, Universal Basic Income, and “woke” policies beyond our imagination will become possible.
8. Is Diversity Destiny?
Pronouncements about America’s “changing demographics”—or about how “diversity is destiny”—are now so commonplace as to be clichés. The built-in assumption is that demographic realities doom the GOP—the mono-racial “White Party” within the American rainbow. But it’s important to put that into perspective. In Texas, Whites reached minority status 20 years ago, and the state remained a keystone of the Red Era throughout that time. So, theoretically, Republicans could continue to win elections as the “White Party”: the home of “legacy Americans” and those who aspire to be like them.
What is decisive is that the Democrats, and not the Republicans, have constituted themselves as a hegemonic entity for the 21st century. The largest demographic group now entering the Democratic Party is not Hispanic immigrants but White suburban professionals. The Left is thus home, not only to urban African-Americans, but the “New Class” of corporate and financial managers. While the conservatives are downright proud of the absence of cultured snobs and intellectuals in their ranks, the Democrats have long been the party of thinkers, artists, and dreamers. This new Blue grouping that is emerging might seem “contradictory”—but you could say the same about FDR’s New Deal coalition, which brought together the urban poor, small farmers, eggheads, and Southern segregationists.
The Democrats are positioned to capture the forces of America’s transformation, and govern the declining empire competently. The Republicans are still talking about their half-remembered dream of “American Greatness,” and even that is fading into oblivion.
The major obstacle for Democrats is not demographics, surely, nor is it the lack of policy creativity, which will explode in the coming years. It is the fact that millions of White people who identify as “conservatives” and “real Americans” will view their hegemony as entirely illegitimate, and maybe evil. That is a nut the Left might not be able to crack.
Epilogue: Could Trump Actually Win?
Then again, my assessment could be wrong, at least in the short-term. And regardless, it’s worth discussing how Trump could actually pull this off.
We can start with Joe Biden’s personal limitations. The most common criticism of Biden heard from Republicans is encapsulated by Trump’s nickname for him, “Sleepy Joe.” Biden is “senile,” they say, “incoherent,” “stuck in his basement,” “afraid even to step outside.” Much of this is grounded in reality. Biden’s bumbling, absent-minded speech patterns, and malapropisms are striking—though many of them are more charming than politically damaging. And American voters are likely to see Biden’s personal quirks as a “feature, not a bug.” As mentioned, Biden is quite popular among seniors, who can empathize with his “moments,” since they have many of their own. Hillary Clinton was widely reviled, precisely because she comes off as Machiavellian, calculating, codified, and, in a funny way, over-prepared to be president. Uncle Joe, on the other hand, captures the sweet spot of benign goofiness. He’s simply too guileless and folksy to be evil—unlike Hillary.
The second level of the “Sleepy Joe” argument is that, they say, his running mate, Kamala Harris, will be in charge—a suggestion she herself seemed to embrace. Though Harris is clearly more of a “woke feminist” than Joe could ever be, she was selected because, on policy, she is in the same centrist ballpark as Biden. In August, the Wall Street Journalreported, “As Kamala Harris Joins Biden Ticket, Wall Street Sighs in Relief.” Harris opposes Medicare for All (after once supporting it), supports fracking (ditto), and, in a lecture to young people in Chicago instructed them to give up on their dreams and build more jails, not schools. Harris’s initial campaign for the Democratic nomination was derailed when she was scolded by Tulsi Gabbard for being a draconian District Attorney. Harris hasn’t helped the Biden ticket, but she has not seriously hurt it either. And if she does emerge as the éminence grise of the administration, it will be to pursue most of the same policies that Biden would.
The stronger argument in favor Trump is that all of the same forces of 2015, which we discussed above, are still in effect. Echoes of the Trump-Jeb rivalry have returned in 2020, as Trump continues to generate large crowds and religious-like devotion, while Biden hold “rallies” to audiences of a few dozen journalists. This has a lot to do with the pandemic; however, the “enthusiasm gap” is quite real. And it’s not wrong to sum up the dynamic of 2020 as such: Trump supporters love Trump; Biden supports hate Trump. Can Biden pull off a victory on exasperated negativity alone—on his voters “settling” for him, as a relief from the other guy? We’ll find out.
As mentioned, Trump is approaching an astounding 95 percent approval among Republicans, and, in a Pew Research poll in August, 66 percent of his supporters were strongly enthusiastic about voting for him. These are the types that attend rallies, post on Facebook, and talk about Trump tirelessly to their friends and co-workers. At the time, Biden’s strong support was only at 46 percent. But over the past three months, enthusiasm for him has begun to rival conservatives’ adoration of the president—perhaps as the Left’s hatred of Trump reached levels previously thought impossible.
Intra-party support for each candidate
On social media, Trump remains miles ahead of Biden on active engagement, as we would expect. According to the New York Times:
In the past 30 days, Mr. Trump’s official Facebook page has gotten 130 million reactions, shares and comments, compared with 18 million for Mr. Biden’s page. . . . That is significantly larger than the engagement gap for the preceding 30-day period, when Mr. Trump got 86 million interactions to Mr. Biden’s 10 million.
The same story goes for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and, especially, the new “alt” tech platforms like Bitchute and Parler.
Moreover, while polls are one thing, actual voting is another, and Trump has looked particularly stout on this front. No major Republican dared challenge him in the GOP primaries. And in New Hampshire, for example, he received 85 percent of the vote in the primary, building on his total from four years ago by 30 percent (from 100,000 to 129,000), despite the fact that these elections didn’t seem to matter much. In other words, MAGA enthusiasts—and not necessarily Trump haters—are committed to trudging through a snowstorm to cast a ballot for their hero. That shouldn’t be discounted.
There is also the potential for the activation of anxious—though “shy”—Trump voters. They aren’t willing to announce themselves to pollsters, and they might cast ballots on the basis of angst over the Black Lives Matter protests, which flared up over the summer and have resulted in looting, violence, and demonization of the police.
Princeton academic Omar Wasow has studied the major protest movements of the 1960s and their impact on presidential elections.
In 1964, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater promised “law and order” against “crime in the streets” but lost in a blowout to President Johnson, a champion of civil rights . . . . By 1968, though, the tide had turned and Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon successfully marshaled a “tough on crime” campaign to help win the White House.
What happened in the four years between Goldwater and Nixon? For one thing, the protests became more violent, particularly in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Wasow marshals county-by-county data and concludes that in 1968, localities that were proximate to non-violent protests tended to vote more liberally (that is, for Hubert Humphrey) than they might otherwise have. When Wasow looked at counties that were exposed to violent protests, Nixon tended to gain some two percent points. In various counter-factual scenarios, Wasow suggests that Humphrey would have likely won the election of 1968 were it not for the reaction to the violent protests. Such social-science modeling re-enforces gut instincts: when people see crime, chaos, and racial hatred, they turn to symbols of authority, whether that be incumbents or the candidate viewed as the most right-wing.
In the summer of 2020, violent protests occurred throughout the swing states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. And though these have cooled down of late, “Antifa,” “Defund the Policy,” and “BLM” have become household terms—and violent images of mayhem and destruction have been broadcast across the globe. Might we see a similar “Nixon effect” in 2020—one that is even more pronounced this time due to the virtual “proximity” created through social media? This prospect, too, should not be discounted.
That said, Trump’s path to victory remains the same: an Electoral College squeaker, which would drive liberals into conniption fits. And we shouldn’t forget how close it was four yeas ago. A Donald Trump victory in 2020 remains just as possible/impossible as it was in 2016. I would be remiss to count Trump out, though I don’t expect to be proven wrong.
The Democrats: The Racist Enemy! A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music. This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a…
The Democrats: The Racist Enemy!
A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music. This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a day after the rioting began in Chicago. The Trump campaign is engaging in offensive archaeology, digging up a Biden statement from all the way back in 1973. Other Trumps ads criticized Biden’s opposition to busing and his support for a 1994 Crime Bill that mass incarcerated African-American men. The Trump camp called out Biden’s association with Robert Byrd, who had been a member of the KKK — in 1946. It was desperate stuff, fully reinforcing the notion that racism isn’t just bad, but the worst evil imaginable — and should be used as a main determinant as to whether or not to elect someone to the most powerful position in the world. America has shut down over a pandemic and is in the midst of a recession, but racism still overwhelms all other issues. Several American cities resembled warzones in the aftermath of the George Floyd-inspired rioting and looting but rather than comment on this fact, the official GOP Twitter account was labeling Biden “the architect of mass incarceration” — because being tough on crime is racist.
The Republican campaign strategy has, for some time, been to claim that “Democrats are the real racists”. Republicans paint themselves as the genuine defenders of Black people whereas Democrats keep Blacks on “the plantation”. Dinesh D’Souza is the master of this style, producing overblown propaganda that intercuts footage of the KKK with Hillary Clinton. Conservatism has been, in the words of Gregory Hood, “reduced to claiming it is actually the true version of American liberalism, and even to claiming past Leftist triumphs as its own.” The Republicans are mirroring and amplifying the PC hysteria of the left and playing their part in turning America into a nation of hyperventilating racism hunters. They co-opted wholesale the liberal tenets of anti-racism, reframing their own causes as racial justice issues: Damning abortion as responsible for “Black genocide”, to take one moronic example. Every time they call a Democrat racist, they are pushing the whole debate leftward, positioning racial justice as the primary arbiter of legitimate governance. D’Souza’s overblown propaganda doesn’t stop at calling the Democrats racist; the blurb of his book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left reads, “In a sick inversion, the real fascists in American politics masquerade as anti-fascists and accuse the real anti-fascists of being fascists.” Everybody accuses everybody else of being a fascist, all the time. To borrow the absurdist hyperbole of D’Souza, if the Democrats are the real racists (they’re not, and even if they were – who cares), the Republicans are the real Social Justice Warriors and Trump is the shrieking, corpulent, blue-haired Antifa-in-Chief. It’s from this febrile milieu of bipartisan hypersensitivity to racial issues that movements like Black Lives Matter and Antifa emerged.
Republicans respond to Black Lives Matter
BLM are successfully undermining the legitimacy of American institutions and demonizing the country’s history. The BLM website claims that African-Americans are “systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” while the umbrella group, Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), argues that the United States is waging “war on black people” and subjecting them to “constant exploitation and perpetual oppression.” It is extreme rhetoric that requires a full-throated response of unapologetic moral clarity, but has instead been met by stupefaction. Responses have ranged from cowed silence and acquiescence to total capitulation. Mitt Romney and Senator Mike Braun outright supported the movement. In a cringe worthy video posted to Twitter, Marco Rubio presented the anger of the rioters as a fully rational response to the racism of white America: “Their lives are held with less value because the color of their skin. This is an ongoing problem that has haunted us for much too long and it must be addressed. The anger you saw spillover in these protests across the country: that’s where it comes from”. In a speech on the Senate floor, Rubio called for “a full reckoning with racial inequities that still plague our nation” in order for us to become “more fully American”.
George W. Bush released a craven and mawkish statement, repeating the conspiracy theory of “systemic racism”. His statement spoke of an “injustice and fear that suffocate our country”; it was “not the time for us to lecture” but rather “time for us to listen”. The protestors, he told us, “march for a better future”, and that the “tragedy” of George Floyd’s drug overdose “raises a long-overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?” In an inversion of the truth, the most violent element of society is presented as the victim: “It remains a shocking failure that many African-Americans, especially young African-American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country.” This was unsurprising from a President who has spent his retirement painting amateur portraits of immigrants with a hope to “focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”
Republicans have been keen to blame the looting and rioting on Antifa rather than Black Lives Matter. Ted Cruz pointed to “skinny white trust-fund ANTIFA kids” who he alleged were “burning Black-owned small businesses and murdering Black police officers”. It is true that most of the violent activists in Portland were White, but they were targeting a Federal court building — not Black businesses. In every other city, however, such claims are bald-faced lies whose sole purpose is to get Black people off the hook while smearing Whites. If Republicans criticize BLM at all, it’s for their alleged Marxism — never for their anti-White animosity.
Criticism of BLM itself is framed exclusively in terms of Black interests. The looting and rioting “damage Black-owned businesses” and “hurt Black communities”, we’re told — even though much of the rioting targeted wealthy non-Black precincts. Lindsey Graham himself complained that the organization “hurts minority families”. In an interview with OANN news, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler bravely spoke out against BLM — for anti-Semitism. Republicans will get animated and passionate when it comes to condemning anti-Semitism but are nowhere to be found once confronted with the image of anti-White hysteria.
Are BLM Marxist?
In a 2015 interview, Patrisse Cullors did, in fact, describe herself and fellow BLM co-founder Alicia Garza as “trained Marxists” but let’s not pretend they care about impoverished white members of the proletariat. For all the communist LARPing, their animating principle is one of racial hatred. Black youths do not sit at home reading The Communist Manifesto and The Eighteenth Brumaire — dusty books by a long-dead White guy. To the extent that ideas, rather than raw sectarian hatred, have influenced the protests, we can look to the literature of the 1619 Project, Ibram Kendi, Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Robin DiAngelo — they’re race-baiters, not Marxists. BLM has received funding from George Soros (a committed anti-communist) and some of the largest corporations in America. What they seek isn’t the overthrow of capitalism, but the establishment of racial castes within the capitalist system, together with the expansion of the rent-seeking sinecures of the already gargantuan diversity bureaucracy. Soi-disant Marxists might like the edgy vibe of that ideology but couldn’t care less about who has control over the means of production — so long as they get some free stuff. I’ve not heard a single protester even mention the working class. What I have heard is “slavery” and “Jim Crow” and “systemic racism” and “White supremacy” shouted through a megaphone ad infinitum. However loud they holler, mainstream conservatives will force it into the mold of communism. That is, after all, a threat it is safe to stand up to. However perturbed they may be feeling, White Americans recognize that defending Whiteness is the ultimate taboo. Throughout these last few months, Rudy Giuliani has served as the lone voice staying the obvious, yet unsayable: “These are people who hate White people.”
Black Lives Matter owe more to the Republican Party than to Karl Marx
Christopher Caldwell argues that Civil Rights legislation is directly responsible for the malaise of political correctness: “Just as affirmative action in universities and corporations had privatized the enforcement of integration, the fear of litigation privatized the suppression of disagreement. The government would not need to punish directly the people who dissented from its doctrines. Boards of directors and boards of trustees, fearing lawsuits, would do that.” Corporate HR departments have arguably played a larger role than “cultural Marxists” in helping to re-shape America into a nation of permanently incensed foaming at the mouth McCarthyite anti-racists. And today the witch-hunter general who has poisoned public dialogue with the most militant anti-white sentiment is Robin DiAngelo, a grotesquely overpaid corporate diversity consultant.
Conservatives have assisted in the process of Civil Rights becoming America’s new civic religion. Kevin D. Williamson, writing in National Review – the leading publication of mainstream Conservatism – referred to the Republican Party as “the Party of Civil Rights”. We can look back to that watershed moment in 1983, when Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law that made Martin Luther King the only American with his own national holiday. This act was not trivial. It didn’t just cement King as a national icon in the pantheon of American history; rather it helped to refocus the narrative of America. No longer was it primarily the story of the founders but instead an ongoing story of racial justice in which White people are the eternal malefactors. Republicans have come to mythologize and eulogize King every bit as much as the Democrats. George W. Bush called him a “second founder” while Charles Krauthammer deemed him a “prophet”. King became the protagonist of the new, deeply emotive morality play of American history and the defining icon of American political ideology — the lodestar of what it meant to be an American. In 1998 Sam Francis wrote stridently about what the holiday represented, in terms that to most people would have, until recently, sounded paranoid and overblown, but have proven to be prescient:
“It is hardly an accident that in the years since the enactment of the holiday and the elevation of King as a national icon movements to ban the teaching of “Western civilization” came to fruition on major American universities, Thomas Jefferson was denounced as a “racist” and “slaveowner,” and George Washington’s name was removed from a public school in New Orleans on the grounds that he too owned slaves. In the new nation and the new creed of which the King holiday serves as symbol, all institutions, values, heroes, and symbols that violate the dogma of equality are dethroned and must be eradicated. Those associated with the South and the Confederacy are merely the most obvious violations of the egalitarian dogma and therefore must be the first to go, but they will by no means be the last…The logical meaning of the holiday is the ultimate destruction of the American Republic as it has been conceived and defined throughout our history.”
Having imbued the Civil Rights movement with a staggering moral grandeur, it is unsurprising that today’s extremists feel endowed with moral authority as they assault people and destroy property. Commemorating the holiday in 1987, Reagan pioneered cancel culture urging Americans to “be totally intolerant to racism anywhere around you.” Black Lives Matter and Antifa have taken that commandment to the nth degree. While the mainstream Conservative media recently made a show of railing against cancel culture, they had themselves purged enyone with anything sensible to say about race long ago. With their hyperfocus on a single line from a single speech (“they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”) the Republican establishment fundamentally misrepresents what Martin Luther King stood for. King unequivocally supported affirmative action, writing that “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him” and arguing that Blacks deserve “special, compensatory measures”. In his groundbreaking book, The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell writes:
“Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats…. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was.”
Trump derangement syndrome
Looking at the Never Trumpers — the “principled Conservatives” trying to “save the soul of the movement” from anybody that articulated the interests of white people — it’s inaccurate to describe them as RINO’s. They are the Republican Party, while Trump, a near singular aberration, is the outlier. The Republican establishment had wanted Jeb Bush to win, a man who referred to illegal border crossing as “an act of love.” Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState, called Trump a “fascist” and a “racist” while Lindsey Graham called him a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot”. For men such as these, the greatness of America can be found in its anti-racist activism. Graham felt the true way to “Make America Great Again” was to tell the racist Donald Trump to “go to hell”. In 2016 Graham believed “we’ve lost the moral authority to govern” the country if Trump gets elected.
Black Lives Matter agrees, seeing no legitimacy in the current administration or the institutions of the state. Yet Donald Trump himself was a cuckservative all along. During his presidency, Trump slammed Obama for doing a “bad job for minorities” and boasting “I did much more for minorities than he did”. Following the death of “Civil Rights icon” Rep. John Lewis, President Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in all public buildings, military posts, and embassies. Anybody that doesn’t toe the line is maligned. Bill Kristol, to take one example, smeared Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show as “close now to racism, White — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethnonationalism of some kind.” Republicans have capitalized on White nostalgia and the problems of diversity (gun control, for example, is such a contentious issue due to fear of Black criminality) yet use their power to quash White ethnic sentiments.
The inevitable result of a maladaptive worldview
The egalitarian universalist ideology of America’s nominal conservatives was summed up by the influential political columnist George F. Will, who had once coached Ronald Reagan for a debate with Jimmy Carter. Will believed that “it won’t do to say that a million English immigrants would be easier for Virginia to assimilate than a million Zulus“ because America is “apolyglot nation of immigrants” for whom unity is based solely on “a proposition”. During a speech delivered in 2015, historian Mark Weber correctly predicted future disorder as an inevitable byproduct of this elite ideological consensus:
“In the months and years to come events will continue to unfold in keeping with the futile efforts to make reality conform to an impossible governing ideology…Just as the former Soviet Union eventually fell apart as an inevitable consequence of trying to organize society on the basis of an ideology and principles unrooted in historical social and biological reality, so also this society will and must continue to decline as it tries to force nature and reality to conform to wishful thinking based on an unsound worldview.”
The insurrection of 2020 isn’t a perversion of the memory of Martin Luther King brought about by undercover Marxists and critical race theorists (insidious as those people’s ideas are). The uprising is the logical culmination of the Civil Rights movement itself. It was always violent. Republicans think of themselves as the polar opposite of these student radicals yet they have themselves laid the ideological seedbed for the insurrection. Republicans claimed to be the party of color-blind rugged individualists yet never rescinded affirmative action. It’s convenient for conservatives to point the finger at the radical professors of critical race theory — it gets them off the hook. They have no desire to question their Panglossian blank-slate egalitarian worldview. The current anarchy will be dismissed as just a blip on the road to “a more perfect union”. Like an episode of Scooby Doo, peel back the mask and it was an old dead White guy all along: Every time a black hoodlum smashes a window or sets fire to a building they point and say “look what that Marxist just did” — as if this isn’t a race problem writ large but rather the fault of some nutty professors at the University of Marxist Leninism. While critical race theory is worthy of critique, to see it as the root cause of the current chaos is wrong. It implies our multiracial society would have worked out perfectly if only it wasn’t for those pesky Marxists ruining everything. By this account, there is nothing intrinsically problematic about diversity. In George Will’s worldview, were we to simply put a Milton Friedman book in the hands of Black college students everywhere, we’d be back on track toward a racial utopia. Beltway Republicans use the long-expired specter of Karl Marx as the scapegoat for their own failed ideology of liberal multiculturalism. A million Zulus? Sure, just don’t let them read Das Kapital.
Donald Trump endorsing Mitt Romney’s Presidential candidacy in 2012.
Christopher Caldwell concludes that “While the Civil Rights Act succeeded in ending segregation, it did not fulfill the extravagant hopes and promises of Lyndon Johnson and others to end poverty, achieve equal outcomes, and so on.” America’s black population still wants now what it wanted in 1964 — and that was never just equal rights and equality of opportunity. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Mitt Romney tweeted a photograph of his father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the late 1960s. Mitt was proud to be walking in his footsteps when he marched with Black Live Matter. Mitt failed to recognize the total futility this represented. George Romney was the Republican governor of Michigan during the 1967 Detroit riots that left 43 people dead and 2,000 buildings destroyed. Over the course of more than fifty years, a plethora of costly social programs have spectacularly failed. Would Romney’s father have predicted that the upshot of all those programs would be race relations so bad that African-Americans will burn down major cities because a Black criminal died of a drug overdose?
The Republican Jacobins
Mitt Romney didn’t just march with Black Lives Matter – he also expressed support for Antifa. Responding to the violent clashes in Charlottesville in 2017, Romney asserted that Antifa and those he described as “racist, bigoted, Nazi” exist in “morally different universes”. Violence is justifiable, so long as it is in service of the cause of anti-racism. John McCain similarly contended there was “no moral equivalency” between nationalists and “Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry”. Charlottesville was a precursor to the violence we are currently suffering through and leading Republicans had painted the culprits as morally righteous.
Unable to interpret anything outside of a Republican/Democrat dichotomy the hyper-partisan Dinesh D’Souza called for an intensifying of the mass iconoclasm: “The only answer to them knocking down our statues (e.g., Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, and so on) is for us to knock down their statues. I recommend three notorious racists: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, [and] LBJ. If we don’t do to them what they are doing to us, they will never stop”. The protestors didn’t care about political affiliation — they were pulling down every totem of Whiteness they could find. Inspired by BLM, Congressman Dan Crenshaw wanted to play his part in destroying America’s past: “Republicans won the civil war. That’s our history. Democrats have a long list of segregationists & KKK members. That’s their history. I’m glad to help them confront that racist past & voted to remove these Democrat statues.” The founding fathers and the majority of American presidents throughout history were white supremacists. If they’re true to their own values, Republicans should want to detonate and flatten almost the entirety of Washington’s statuary. Perhaps what needs to be toppled is not the effigies of men who presided over a functioning society, but the edifice of Martin Luther King, whose legacy rendered America a failed state on the precipice of civil war.
Introduction As a nationalist in the west, it’s often difficult to find any reasons for optimism. A typical month may involve any combination of social media bans, deplatforming and physical…
As a nationalist in the west, it’s often difficult to find any reasons for optimism. A typical month may involve any combination of social media bans, deplatforming and physical threats from society’s dregs, and there is seemingly little to show for the sacrifice by way of tangible victories. I might be forgiven then, for finding cause for optimism in the most unlikely of places. Looking to the East, the ascendant Chinese state is removing the last vestiges of western colonial rule and expanding its own rule over Hong Kong. In many ways, Hong Kong is symbolic of the western international order, it has little identity or culture to speak of beyond being a city state ruled by financial interests for financial interests. In fact, its lack of a real identity is precisely its identity, the kind of anti-identity that characterizes the spaces where neoliberalism finds its truest expression. The reintegration of Hong Kong is a demonstration that the processes that could create a space like Hong Kong – the seemingly unstoppable wave of liberal globalization and its inevitable effect of the destruction of traditional identities – can be reversed by a people united enough to commit to a rejection of the oligarch’s utopia.
All over the world, there are signals that the world is waking up to this possibility. The move toward the open society is suddenly seeming less like the inevitable progress of history, and more like a colonial project in service of the financial interests of a few, enforced by an increasingly toothless empire. Recently, Turkey announced the reversion of the gorgeous Hagia Sophia to a Mosque. Originally built as a Christian cathedral, it was turned into a Mosque after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 but became a museum in 1934 under Turkish Republic founding father Ataturk. Some western nationalists instinctively saw the decision to reconvert it to a Mosque as a huge symbolic defeat for their cause, but as a museum the Hagia Sophia had become another neutral halfway house of conflicting visions, open to international tourists to serve as a remnant of a time when things like religion and racial identity were things our ancestors spilled blood over. Its place as a museum was a symbol of Ataturk’s vision of a secular, westernizing Turkey. Its reversion to a Mosque is a rejection of this vision, another bold assertion of a primordial national and religious identity against the infestation of the identity-less, consumer friendly spaces of neoliberalism.
There are now real signs that globalization is coming to an end, and with it the means of its conquest – liberalism, feminism, secularism and materialism – will end too. Without the force of American unipolar hegemony and the expansive dominance of rootless international finance capital, tradition and identity can again assert itself. Here are five reasons why this writer is staying cautiously optimistic about the future.
The Rise of Populism
In 1957, Karl Polanyi wrote of “The Great Transformation”. Polanyi analysed the ‘dis-embedding’ force of the free market as being in conflict with the traditional social orders from which it had sprung. Polanyi warned that this decoupling could lead to a backlash – in the form of a rise of populist politics – if it’s effects were left unchecked.
The 2016 dual victories of Donald Trump and Brexit reflected growing disenchantment among the working class in the west with the effects of globalisation and a desire to return to the “embedded liberalism” of nation states that had preceded the growth of globalism in the 1980’s. Since then, populist ideas – chief among them opposition to mass migration and free trade – have become increasingly popular. Indeed, Richard Haass, who runs the Council on Foreign Relations has made the admission that “The new bipartisanship is opposition to free trade … It will be extraordinarily hard to resurrect a consensus that could pass a trade bill.”  Backlash to the migrant crisis in Europe, itself caused by the foreign policy adventures of the liberal elite, led to the growth in popularity of anti-immigration parties like UKIP and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party, and the election of Matteo Salvini as Deputy Prime Minister of Italy. As the spoils of globalism increasingly moves eastward, and the working class in the west face increasingly bleak prospects of debt, precarious job prospects, and the transition to a rentier economy, there is little reason to imagine the populist backlash against globalization will not continue to gather pace.
The end of American Hegemony
Post World War 2 political order has been characterized by the dominance of unipolar American Empire. The distinct nature of American Empire compared to empires historically lay in its unique foundations as a liberal financial empire. As long as the US – the harbinger of the values of Zionism, liberalism and its offshoots of universalism, multiculturalism, and finance capitalism – has international hegemony, the ceiling on movements of national sovereignty and tradition is hopelessly limited. The values that have created a spiritual rot across the west are in a symbiotic relationship with American hegemony, each relies on the other for its propagation.
Nationalists and traditionalists should take solace in the realization that we are witnessing the disintegration of the Empire. Let us consider the signs pointing to this hastening decline. Before Stalingrad, the Wehrmacht seemed invincible. After the brutal conflict, they achieved few significant victories to speak of. If Stalingrad is taken as our symbol of a shift in the confidence of a formerly powerful entity, what is the Stalingrad Event for America? Whatever the Stalingrad of the United States will be remembered as, and indeed what is remembered may not be the true cause, it is likely that it has already happened. Perhaps it was as recent as the surrender to the Taliban in Afghanistan after almost two decades of conflict, the embarrassing realization against imperial hubris that the most powerful military ever assembled could not achieve an ultimate victory over Afghan peasants and backwards Islamic fundamentalists. Perhaps it will be remembered as Iraq, the conflict that first seemed like a sweeping victory for the US but descended into vicious sectarian conflict far worse than anything seen before US involvement, a conflict for which the main result seems to be a victory for Iran. Iran emerged as an arch-enemy of the American empire which, with the removal of the secular despot Saddam Hussein, won a key ally for its web of Shia influence across the Middle East. While it had seemed American foreign policy machinations were drawn inexorably to the eventual destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it seems doubtful the US, a country currently plagued by racial conflict and political polarization, would be able to muster the will to make war with a unified nation raised on a hatred of “The Great Satan”. Or perhaps The Empire’s last stand was Syria, where all the forces against the American project seemed to coalesce and deal a crushing blow to American imperialist ambitions in the Middle East. Not long ago, it seemed inevitable that whatever the future of Syria would be, it would exclude the Assad family. Now, the US has silently accepted defeat in this area as the new power brokers of Russia, Turkey and Iran negotiate the fate of this patch of the world without the direction of the US.
While these three defeats have thrown into question the ability of the US to impose its will on the Middle East, what of the Truman Doctrine of containment against Socialism arising south of the American Border? Just as worrying is that the Empire can no longer even exercise its will over a state like Venezuela and other Latin American countries, which have chosen their own brands of socialism over the demands made by American capital. The lesson of modern conflicts, whether Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or Latin America, is that an occupying empire cannot maintain control over a subject population dedicated to its independence.
Though the US still (for now) far out does every other country by the size of its military, it is easy to overestimate how much that reflects the capability of the US to do what the military is there for in the first place. Across the world, the forces of anti-Americanism have become increasingly emboldened by the realization that it is possible to give The Great Satan a bloody nose – and live to tell the tale.
The Bear and the Dragon
When it comes to the end of globalization, China is important for two reasons: the challenge it poses to American hegemony internationally, and the example its internal course of development sets. In a generation, China has risen from a poorly developed, agrarian nation to an economic behemoth that is now placed to pose a serious threat to the neoliberal order.
China has demonstrated that economic development and innovation can be achieved without democracy and liberalism. The one party state transitioned China from communism to a form of national capitalism in the late 1970’s, and has since charted a unique course of development, a course that flies in the face of the assertions of neoliberalism’s true believers. Despite the best hopes of liberal universalists, there is no sign that the Chinese people in great numbers have any desire to adopt liberalism. We have been assured that democracy and individual freedom is necessary for economic innovation, yet Chinese state-backed companies like Huawei and Alibaba not only lead the way in innovation,  but are also proving capable of outperforming their competitors on the world stage.
China’s mercantilist economic system and protectionist development policies now pose a serious challenge to the WTO based world trading system, yet there is little they can do to stop it. The CCP governs in China’s interest, and adopting free trade policies simply isn’t in China’s interest. President Trump has also sidestepped WTO rules to wage a unilateral trade war with China, as well as imposing tariffs on allies like Japan.
The World Trade Organisation was founded in 1995 with the intent of opening global markets, expanding free trade and regulating commerce. International organisations like the WTO and IMF have become synonymous with globalization, yet their legitimacy and relevance is increasingly under question. As evidenced by the admission of European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan that “The W.T.O. is facing its deepest crisis since its creation.” 
China also has the potential to offer an alternative to American led development for smaller countries, which has often come with unwanted political interference and cultural dominance. China, by contrast, seems to have little interest in the internal affairs of its trade partners. The Belt and Road initiative, which promises major infrastructural development for participating countries, is a prime example of Chinese led international development leaving US policy makers in the cold, and is the kind of bilateral regional development which could come to characterize this century.
Russia’s place as a hegemon is less secure. Their economy remains smaller than Italy’s, and they have struggled to diversify away from their reliance on natural resources as the basis for their economic growth. Culturally and militarily, however, Russia has charted an independent course of action, and their realist approach to dealing with western encroachment in Eastern Europe and the Middle East has yielded highly significant victories. Russia responded with the maximum of force and decisiveness in seizing Crimea following a US backed coup in Ukraine in 2014. Its entry on the side of Bashar al-Assad in Syria decisively turned the course of the Syrian civil war dealt a blow to the Zionist-American ambition to oust the strongman and carve up Syria to their liking. Russia’s transformation from a failed state of demoralized people subjected to the worst effects of liberal governance and privatization in the early 1990’s to the independent, religious and nationalist state it is today looks like a potential best case scenario for other western countries looking to what comes after globalization.
Not long ago liberal journalists and foreign policy hawks could hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of the growth of social media, the hopeful expectation that its spread would lead to a democratization of every corner of the world. The “Arab Spring” was celebrated as the first of its kind, an organic rejection of authoritarianism, in favor of democracy and liberalism, coordinated through social media platforms like Twitter. With the increasing accessibility of smartphones, people across the world could see the wonders of western values and co-ordinate to bring their own nations out of the barbaric remnants of the old world order. In their arrogance, few of the elites predicted that the same technology could lead to an emboldening of exactly the opposite tendency, a complete rejection of Americanism and its promises of material wealth, women’s rights, democracy. If anything, the pendulum swayed in favor of barbarism. The sight of an organisation like ISIS disseminating Hollywood style propaganda videos across the internet demonstrated the capacity for the internet to be used towards anti-liberal ends. Fewer still, imagined that the expansion of the internet might eventually be used to lead a revolt against the elites in the west. But this is exactly what happened in the run up to the 2016 election cycle, with the growth of the Alt-Right and similar populist movements on the internet. Allowed anonymity, people were free to break the taboos of the politically correct west and express their real sentiment on multiculturalism, equality and the makeup of the elites that despised them. The explosion of white nationalism on the internet has shown that the liberal consensus is not as robust as our increasingly out-of-touch elite had imagined.
While the Trump victory led to a backlash of censorship, culminating recently in the removal of thousands of pro-Trump and white nationalist subreddit forums and YouTube channels (including the rather milquetoast libertarian Stefan Molyneux), it seems the cat is already out of the bag. The growth of censorship free alternative platforms like Bitchute and Telegram, and the potential for a truly decentralized internet, means that despite the best efforts of the ADL, they will never be able to fully silence voices of dissent.
What’s more, traditionally trusted sources of media are hemorrhaging profits (and staff)  as they lose their prestige and become just another voice in the public square, increasingly drowned out by more trustworthy sources.
Nationalists can continue to be optimistic about the internet, with the firm resolve that we have the truth on our side and, as has been proven again and again, in a truly open space of ideas we usually win.
It is difficult to forecast the future of crypto-currency with any certainty, but it certainly at least has the potential to do to centralized banking what the internet has done to traditional media sources. The guardians of this system are increasingly fearful of the potential of crypto privacy coins like Monero to disrupt their power. 
Alongside internet censorship, financial deplatforming dealt a crushing blow to the last iteration of resurgent nationalism. It is difficult to organize any movement against the system when you are reduced to cash donations and postal orders as a means of fundraising, while the bravery and enthusiasm of would-be dissidents inevitably wanes when they realize speaking out will likely cost them financially. Crypto has the potential to change all that. Those supportive of the cause will be able to support full time activism and content creation by dissidents in complete anonymity, and the oligarchy will lose its main means of control over people’s lives. Not only that, but the pariahs of the international order now have a means to bypass the crushing sanctions that face those who challenge neoliberal hegemony. China is currently trialing  the first state backed crypto currency, the digital yuan, which has the potential not only to relieve countries like Iran from the financial tyranny of the US, but also potentially unseat the US dollar as the global reserve currency.
These developments are of special interest to dissidents in the west. In the future, not only will their countrymen be able to easily and anonymously support their struggle against tyranny, but more powerful enemies of Western hegemony will have a means to easily support anti-war nationalist movements in the west. With the rise of China there is the potential for a “Thucydides trap”, the idea that the rise of a new great power makes inevitable an eventual conflict with the existing power. If the seemingly inevitable cold war between the US and China (or Russia) heats up, they will have the potential to seriously disrupt the plans of the oligarchs by supporting isolationist national populists in western countries with the click of a mouse. This is a prospect that should give nationalists as much cause for optimism as it terrifies the stewards of the system.
In the short-term, it is easy to see why any optimism toward the future is dim. We went from a marginal voice on the sidelines to an energized movement with our message reaching unprecedented new audiences across mainstream platforms like YouTube during 2015-17. With our acts of truth-telling evading the ability of the elites to control its dissemination, they moved to increasingly marginalize us by swift acts of deplatforming, lockouts of payment processors to financially starve us, and draconian repression in the legal arena. This grave situation we now find ourselves in has, understandably, demoralized even our most sincere and committed of activists. Given the trends we see developing among the areas we outlined above, there is a potential ground for seeding an effective political resistance. The latent decentralization of technology becoming increasingly realized, the global pushback against American unipolar hegemony, and the desire for financial freedom from the plutocrats fueling the commitment to crypto against the dollar provides us with the tools and new political conditions for charting our own course. The prospect of a new world of decentralization and anonymity has understandably excited the imaginations of libertarian and anarchist political factions. It may then seem counter-intuitive for nationalists, who have so tied their fate to that of the nation state, to be optimistic about the move to techno-anarchy. But the potential becomes clear when we realize that our political project is to restore an organic social order, and in the vacuum left by decentralization, it is ripe for localism, traditionalism and identity to flourish.
But we cannot take optimism for victory with these new developments as a given but rather as an opportunity to reorient the way in which we engage in resistance and assertion of our own interests. The idea of trying to appeal to and reorient American hegemony is not only a backward strategy that leaves us playing in an arena set by our enemies but also a poor strategy on the grounds that the world is becoming increasingly less favorable to the stability of American-Zionist Empire. We must exercise creativity by forward-thinking and flexible use of the advantages that arise within rapidly changing political conditions across all networks of social, cultural and institutional transformation both domestically and globally. To this end, we have reasons to be optimistic but with optimism for our future, comes the responsibility and steadfastness to act on and awaken the dormant potentials for our advantage. To arise and meet this challenge is a moralizing endeavor in itself.
 “https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/20/republicans-and-democrats-oppose-free-trade-in-2020-white-house-race.html” September 20, 2019
”https://datacentrenews.eu/story/huawei-ranks-6-among-world-s-most-innovative-companies-for-2020″ July 3rd, 2020
”https://financialpost.com/news/economy/with-world-trade-on-brink-of-vigilante-justice-canada-gains-new-clout” December 17, 2019
”https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/15/guardian-announces-plans-to-cut-180-jobs” July 15, 2020
”https://decrypt.co/34740/blueleaks-how-the-fbi-tracks-bitcoin-laundering-on-the-dark-web” July 7, 2020
”https://national-justice.com/coming-challenge-almighty-dollar” May 16, 2020
America and France are the twin “proposition nations” of the Western occident. (This sibling rivalry explains much about the popularity of France-bashing and _l’antiamericanisme_ in opposing countries.) Their “national” days are unique in the world in that they celebrate historical events that were cast, at their very inception, as liberal advancements for all humankind.
The Fourth of July is the centerpiece of American nationalism and identity . . . even if few remember what exactly they are celebrating.
But even in their comical ignorance, Americans seem sure that there’s an ultimate meaning to the Fourth: Freedom! . . . from . . . uhh . . . the South . . . er . . . the Nazis? . . . or whatever.
America, it is assumed, achieved independence from some sort of big, bad traditionalist oppressor.
Many nation-states celebrate “independence days,” which usually mark important or unlikely military victories over invaders or imperial powers. As memory gets mixed with myth, these events are imagined as popular liberations. Mexico’s “Cinco de Mayo,” which might soon displace the Fourth in prominence in the United States, is emblematic in this respect.
But the Fourth of July—as well as France’s Bastille Day of July 14—are holidays of an entirely different character (whatever surface similarities they might share with others).
America and France are the twin “proposition nations” of the Western occident. (This sibling rivalry explains much about the popularity of France-bashing and l’antiamericanisme in opposing countries.) Their “national” days are unique in the world in that they celebrate historical events that were cast, at their very inceptions, as liberal advancements for all humankind.
Today, of course, every nation-state on earth—from Nigeria to North Korea—mouthes some sort of “human rights” mumbo-jumbo. But the U.S. and France are exceptional in that they emerged as direct ideological expressions of the Enlightenment, and occurred at a critical moment in its history. One hundred years after the death of Spinoza, the French and American Revolutions marked the point at which Enlightenment values left the realm of philosophy (and what could be called the 17th-century “radical fringe”) and entered the realm of state-making and geopolitics. Both Revolutions would, in turn, occur some 125 years before the Great War definitively ended the Old Order. Every state thereafter would be “American,” the vestiges of aristocracy and monarchy persisting only as tourist attractions.
“The Rights of Man” . . . “the pursuit of happiness” . . . “inalienable rights . . . endowed by our Creator” . . . The great slogans and myths of 1776 and 1789 have a quaint ring to them today. They hail from an older phase of the Left, and thus have become, as it were, “conservative.”
These platitudes function like dogma and form the unexamined basis of political action and speech. This is most obvious through a familiar political shorthand; in the words of Congressman Paul Ryan, America is “more than just a place . . . America is an idea.” (As geography is thrown out the window, so is race, people, culture, history, and more.) Ryan’s meme is reiterated across the spectrum—from a rock star’s urgings that Americans be “one” with the world, to the inaugural addresses of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Much of political discourse in America involves politicians accusing rivals of not believing in the American dogma hard enough.
To be an American is to be committed to liberty, equality, and individual autonomy—perhaps even to have left one’s home and people in the name of such principles. America’s highest ideal is, in a way, an anti-ideal—that the state shall not express a people’s spirit and history, a source of wisdom or tradition, or a vision of something greater, more dominant and powerful than an individual. The character of America is imagined as an endless tabula rasa or Etch-a-Sketch; it gets written on, but always returns to zero.
The “Founding Fathers,” as they are know, are revered not so much as martial heroes but as the wise designers of the world’s greatest legal mechanism. There seems to be no parallel in other Occidental cultures to the reverence of the Supreme Court, as a set of nine Talmudic Judges who, depending on your persuasion, will either divine the Constitution’s One True Law or else view it as a living will.
Other countries might have negative national consciousnesses. Germans, for instance, have internalized de-Nazification. But Germans remain, despite it all, self-consciously German. Americans, on the contrary, are nothing . . . they’re always starting over . . . they like to tell themselves they have an unbounded future, but only at the cost of never having a past.
One can be an American and also be Roman Catholic . . . a Muslim . . . a Buddhist . . . or a trans-gendered performance artist. American society is, indeed, encouraged to fragment into as many pieces as possible. So long as no identity, ideal, or meaning predominates over others; so long as every identity ultimately wants the same.
Religion in America, particularly Protestant Christianity, has rarely opposed this anti-identity; at critical moments, it has reenforced it. There is a “storybook” history to the many fanatics, who, choosing to abandon their homes and cultures, sought to create a “new Israel” in the New World. What we call “tradition,” they called “corruption” and “poison.”
One could imagine an alternative reality in which American religious institutions had opposed the 1776 Revolution (or at least had been highly skeptical of it), urging loyalty to mother country and mother church. Instead, the 18th-century pulpit was a place of revolutionary fervor. Jefferson’s Independence Declaration had resonated with—and was, indeed, continuous with—a whole series of “compact” beginnings for Christian Americans, who in a spirit of Hebraic separatism, desired to break with Europe.
The Europeans had been Germans . . . Gauls . . . Russians . . . Lombards . . . Britons before they were Christians. In their national consciousnesses, they could remember conversion experiences. Americans, on the contrary, were Christians before they were Americans.
One could counter that the American dogma is all rhetorical—that the Founders, some of the wealthiest men on the continent at the time, sought to secure an aristocratic order, that American society has been informed by ethnic, political, and monetary agendas, etc.
But to understand America, one must understand its outcome—that there are certain impulses and implications that only become clear later on (ironically, when the entity has reached its end point). Today, the United States has achieved the most robust and most popular civic religion that explicitly denies its racial, historical, and civilizational identity. This spiritual negation is more devastating than the displacement of the founding stock through mass immigration.
Our perspective is of living in America, without being of it. As we escape America’s assumptions, we can look upon the entity objectively.
A century and a half ago, Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, was faced with the prospect of the victory or annihilation of his nation and fledgling state in what is now referred to as the American Civil War.
In his greatest address, “The Cornerstone of the Confederacy,” he did not speak (mendaciously) about “states rights” or any kind of Constitutional legality. He instead cut to the heart of the social order he was opposing. He stressed that the Confederacy was based on the conclusion that Thomas Jefferson was wrong; the “cornerstone” of the new state was the “physical, philosophical, and moral truth” of human inequality.
Ours, too, should be a declaration of difference and distance—”We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created unequal.” In the wake of the old world, this will be our proposition.
This article was originally published on July 4, 2014.
When “Karen” asks to speak to your manager, she is really lashing out at the declining standards of decency, respect, and politeness in multicultural society. She is thus expressing anxiety…
When “Karen” asks to speak to your manager, she is really lashing out at the declining standards of decency, respect, and politeness in multicultural society. She is thus expressing anxiety over is her inability to escape from manifestations of liberalism in decline. “Karen moments” ought to be understood as microcosms of psychological White Flight. They represent the petty refusal of the White woman to accept the consequences of a bargain that she consciously made.
As racialists and Third Positionists, we understand that different races are, on aggregate, not adapted nor capable of adapting to living alongside each other and by each other’s cultural standards within a pluralist assimilation. Time and again, we demonstrate that such arrangements are not sustainable and lead to unhappiness and the degeneration of the entire society. A racialist is therefore more—not less—inclined towards true empathy and understanding when non-Whites fail to conform to the cultural standards of White society, just as a racialist understands why a White person may be incapable of conforming to the cultural standards of any non-White society. Consequently, somebody who has fully internalized their racialism is less likely to lash out or experience a “Karen moment” than somebody who has been deracinated and atomized by their own liberal ontology.
What is a Karen then? A Karen is just a female “racist liberal.”
The particular manifestation of liberalism in decline that the Karen takes offense at is the inability of the non-White to live up to what used to be the cultural norm of liberal society back when it was demographically White. The Karen chastises the non-White effectively for their being insufficiently liberal, and in doing so, exposes both her own latent racial anxieties as well as her unwavering loyalty towards the liberal system. In truth, however, it is the Karen herself who is failing to adapt to the ever-changing cultural standards of liberalism. It is the behavior of the non-White that represents the new cultural norm—ascendant, empowered and favored by the current liberal system, much to Karen’s detriment.
Just as the male racist liberal lashes out in desperation for liberal society to revert to its “1950s” iteration when the White man still reigned supreme, the lashing out of the Karen represents her desperation for liberal society to reverse a transformation that she has only just begun to feel. In other words, the emergence of the Karen meme represents liberal society having surpassed peak White woman. Having spent the last 120 years gradually empowering themselves at the expense of social cohesion, sacrificing their most sacred roles as mothers and wives in exchange for a chance to climb the social ladder alone and atomized, White women are now in a state of decline. Just as liberalism betrayed White men, it has now begun to betray White women, just as it will inevitably betray the non-White coalition that it will elevate next, and so on.
White men have already been feeling liberalism’s cold shoulder for a long time, and so among many men, the Karen meme invokes sentiments of Schadenfreude— Karens everywhere are finally getting their just comeuppance! Not exactly an admirable or noble attitude towards our sisters, but understandable, especially given how eager White women were to twist the knife and express those same sentiments towards White men during our decline.
In the end, however, both White men and women made the same bargain with liberalism, trading our own atomization in exchange for material gains that were short-lived and ever fleeting from the get-go. We ought not to resent each other for this decision; however, we also ought not to play the victim, nor indulge each other’s delusions of victimhood. This was the future we chose. Every day of our lives, we made the conscious decision to remain atomized and deracinated and to buy into that system. Our inability to escape from these consequences is something that we must come to terms with, despite how terrifying it may be.
To a certain extent, we are all of us creatures of liberalism. Centuries of its dysgenic influence have changed us deeply. No amount of mollycoddling, wishful thinking, or even direct manipulation of demographics—something we collectively lack the power and will to do, anyway—is going to undo those changes. Only a revolution of our societal structure and institutions reflecting Third Position philosophy will allow us to begin the process of reversing the degeneracy of liberalism.
In strategizing over how to best ensure said revolution, I’ve seen many of my comrades discussing what ought to be our response to the Karen Question. To this I answer the following:
Should we sympathize with the Karens? Not exactly.
Should we reach out to the Karens? Yes, but not unconditionally.
As a movement, we must have standards, and we must enforce those standards universally, both inside our ranks and outside. The purpose of Third Position thinking has never been to cuddle people who remain fundamentally loyal towards liberalism. We are not here to provide people with a “safe space” to vent their racial anxieties and frustrations, while they continue to live their day-to-day lives within an ontologically liberal framework. We must constantly be challenging others to reject liberalism and challenging them to join us, if they dare, just as we must constantly be challenging ourselves to live and die by our own beliefs.
Over and over again, our impulse is to invite the “battered wives” of liberalism into our ranks, while turning a blind eye towards all the glaring signs and red flags that they remain hopeful that their abuser can be reformed and redeemed. We need to stop doing this. We must start thinking of our racial brethren as though they were drug-addicted junkies (their drug of choice: liberalism), and adjust our outreach tactics accordingly. Naturally, this applies to both men and women. We’ve had over four years to observe and reflect upon the consequences of the Alt-Right having “red-pilled” legions of cretinous racist liberals, who remain a burden on us to this day. We’ve still yet to learn from these mistakes.
Until they demonstrate commitment to Third Position beliefs, we should allow the system to attack these people with every weapon it has, to psychologically break them. Only then should we offer them our hand, so that we may then rebuild them by our own will, and if they still refuse our hand, then we have only to withdraw it and allow the system to attack further. The Karen meme itself is absolutely an invention of our enemies, it is absolutely anti-White, and it is used by our enemies to attack racist liberals. Good. Let them have at it. Let the racist liberals be broken again and again until they beg for our embrace.
We can have a certain sympathy for Karens and the dilemma they find themselves in . . . but they are not comrades, and they likely never will be. Indeed, they will likely never extract themselves from the spider’s web they’re caught in. They’ll probably never even want to.
We have become used to living under pax Americana that our analysis of almost all situations presupposes its continued existence, ironically even when such analysis calls for a new world…
We have become used to living under pax Americana that our analysis of almost all situations presupposes its continued existence, ironically even when such analysis calls for a new world order. Take as an example the proponents of ethnonationalism, in its most universalistic form, they demand that all peoples who aspire to a state of their own should be given one. Ethnonationalists argue this will prevent conflict by removing internal divisions over race and even ethnicity, to as large of a degree as possible. Furthermore, neighbouring countries will have fewer reasons to enter into conflicts, with their respective countrymen all being contained within a single state. We will have our little Flanders, little Scotland, and little Catalonia peacefully trading for their natural resources, following a global non-aggression principle. In their view there is no need for a united European state. These little statelets will form a defensive alliance that some ethnonationalists believe will be strong enough to prevent invasions from extra-European powers. But, anyone examining the historical record should find this ideology suspect. The entente powers split apart their opponents into relatively close approximations of ethnostates, compared to what came before. The fact that the greatest war in history came after this does not seem to bide well with the petty nationalist vision, perhaps real ethnonationalism has never been tried. They would reiterate that Germany started WW2 as a response to the dismemberment of their country, they would not be completely wrong. But, petty nationalists have no solution for the multiple other causes of conflict between states: to create defensible borders, to secure resources, secure captive export markets, build foreign military bases that can be used to project power, and in general to enlarge their spheres of influence. They handwave these aspects of foreign policy away, in the European context, with rather utopian sentiments of our common European brotherhood felt by today’s European nationalists, as if the feelings of people outside the halls of power will stay the same if they enter them. According to them trade will proceed as it does now, with or without the American empire; to say otherwise is to admit to chinks in their petty nationalist armour. Empire is unnecessary, “look today you can buy bananas in Moscow all the way from Central America”; what they forget is that the American post-WW2 system makes most of this unprotected global trade possible. The world that the petty nationalist desires, in fact, requires the existence of the American Empire.
Before we start discussing the faults with petty nationalism, it is important to discuss the unprecedented effect the American Empire has had on global trade. The importance of American naval supremacy cannot be overestimated. Prior to 1945 most trade was conducted within an imperial trading block or with immediate neighbours. As ocean going trade required a large navy to convoy ships to their ports of call, this was the primary role of the Royal Navy throughout most of its history. Since European powers might be involved in conflicts with each other, trade outside of your sphere of influence was quite risky since these imports would cease during war. Trading overseas was even more risky. The American system forced states within their Atlanticist sphere to decolonize, replacing the imperial trading block, where colonial powers extracted primary resources from colonies and used them as captive export markets, with the system of global and relatively free trade. Colonies once restricted to trading with their overlord now could trade with any nation and importantly, they were now open to American corporations.
There was a pax Britannica preceding the American order and global trade under this order grew to a degree, but this growth pales in comparison to the huge increases in trade post-1945. The growth of globalization has been a manifestation of the politics of the American order, rather than an emergent trend resulting from economics and technological progress. The United States created their order as a way of securing alliances against the threat of the Soviet Union. The huge American market was opened to their European and East Asian allies, allowing those states to trade their way back to prosperity. The United States cracked open the colonial world allowing both the victors and defeated powers of WW2 access to any natural resources they required, without military expansion or colonial holdings. The United States navy, virtually unchallenged globally, was committed to the freedom of the navigation, preventing any disruption of global sea trade. Subsequently, the price of shipping decreased drastically allowing supply chains that once were dispersed throughout a single country now to be dispersed throughout the world creating the global economy we have today.
After the fall of the USSR, the United States opened this global system to practically the entire world. This brought on the biggest artificial boom in history; states that have never been wealthy in their existence can now use trade to offset serious geographic weaknesses. This has allowed global populations in agriculturally poor states, such as those in Africa and the Middle East, to explode. China and to a lesser extent India have seen a massive growth in GDP. China has progressively climbed the value-added ladder, making their economy more and more advanced all in thanks to trade with the United States. But, the underlying reason the United States created this system was not to promote order and prosperity in the 3rd world but to contain and defeat the Soviet Union. American cold war policy sought to prevent the formation of a Eurasian hegemon, which would have controlled most of the world’s oil, resources, and population. The fall of the Soviet Union undermines the American order’s reason for its own existence and has become a serious conundrum to the global order, one that has been only exacerbated by President Trump. Namely this order was created primarily for political reasons not economic ones, the economic growth was only a by-product. The reality of the demise of the USSR has finally caught up with the United States, they are asking themselves the questions of why they should support trade deals designed to buy alliances. Deals that usually were at the expense of American industry for a war that is over, why should they underwrite the defence of the NATO? This trend of shirking away from their position as leaders of the global order is only being accelerated by the shale revolution, which has now made the United States a net exporter of oil. The United States has few economic incentives to continue the global order; those who argue the United States should pay for global stability seem to be losing the debate. In fact, the American economy is the least dependent on foreign trade amongst all the major powers; this is even more apparent when you consider the largest sources of American trade is to its neighbors: Mexico and Canada. Therefore, little by little, the American order will retreat to North America, and likely continue to support a few key partners such as Britain and Australia.
Eventually, some crisis will force a state’s hand to attack a rival’s shipping, perhaps to interdict oil shipments back home. If the United States doesn’t respond this will trigger a slow return to the old norm of naval power determining the reach of a countries merchant marine. As an aside, this could be triggered by an East-Asian tanker war over diminished gulf oil exports due to a direct Saudi Arabian-Iran military conflict disrupting production. The future order the petty nationalists require may cease to exist in the coming decade. The small states of Europe will find themselves in a very different world where your next shipment of oil is no longer guaranteed, and your exports could have no buyer. Let us then return to analyzing the claims of the petty nationalists in regard to the future of Europe.
The internal cohesion of Europe is waved aside as a non-issue since most of today’s nationalists are united by the common crisis that is affecting every European ethnicity. Is that the proper basis from which a European order can be created? Greg Johnson outlines the petty nationalist position on minimizing intra-European crisis:
As for white fratricide: the best way to defuse white ethnic conflicts is not to combat “petty” nationalism but to take it to its logical conclusion. If different ethnic groups yoked to the same system are growing restive, then they should be allowed to go their own ways. Through moving borders and moving peoples, homogeneous ethnostates can be created, in which each self-conscious people can speak its own language and practice its own customs free from outside interference. Such a process could be mediated by a European treaty organization, which could insure that the process is peaceful, orderly, humane, and as fair as possible to all parties. (Johnson, 2015)
Geopolitical decisions in the petty-nationalist world are decided by morale principles rather than by cold calculations. They do not seem to consider the effects of these various decisions on the relative standing of the state in question to its competitors. Taking Quebec as a test case for these beliefs, under the petty nationalist world order Quebec would have long ago separated from the Canadian state. The Canadian state would surely be weakened by the loss of the vast natural resources of Quebec, its industrial base, and control over the St. Lawrence seaway which connects the Canadian core, Ontario, with the wider world. The fact that Quebec separatism was indulged on two separate occasions with a popular vote, and close ones at that, is indicative of the power of the American system. Losing such a large piece of territory would deprive that state of manpower, industry, resources, and provide an opportunity for rival powers to take this new state into their sphere of influence. This would only be compounded in the example of Quebec, where suddenly Canada would be cut off from its best ports in the East and from its most important trade route, the St. Lawrence. In the era preceding pax Americana, a successful separatist movement would have jeopardized the continued existence of a state by weakening its ability to defend itself. If Quebec were to have separated in the 19th or 20th century, Canada would likely have been absorbed by the United States. Today Canada could survive such an event because we are subjects of the American Empire. Today access to global resources markets and very likely the passage of goods through Quebec would be guaranteed, the United States not desiring economic chaos in its biggest trading partner. It is of no coincidence that separatism in states under the aegis of the American Empire is no longer considered a treasonous activity, unless that separatism is opposed to the American order of course. As well, it makes sense how in states outside of the American orbit, separatist regions and movements are not tolerated; examples can be seen in the Russian Federation and mainland China. The survival of these states as independent geopolitical entities means they do not have the luxury of supporting liberal moralism when it comes to the supposed right of self-determination.
Quebec Separatist protest during the 1960 Quiet Revolution
The existence of global American power and the European Union gives the illusion that small European states can adequately function as independent entities. States with indefensible borders, tiny populations, little resources, and even without any access to the sea can thrive today. There is a common line of thinking that the horrors of the two world wars have made conflict between European nations unthinkable. But, this is not due to some fundamental pacifistic enlightenment spread after the destruction of WW1 and WW2, where we eschew violence and competition with our neighbours. It is because of the once bipolar and now unipolar nature of the current era, that we exist in an imperial paradigm. In his article “Grandiose Nationalism”, Greg Johnson lauds this as the vindication of ethnonationalism, as smaller states once subject to the Soviet Empire free themselves from tyranny:
Since the fall of the Soviet Empire, the tendency in Europe has been toward ethnonationalism, either by the Czech and Slovak road of peaceful partition or Yugoslav road of war and ethnic cleansing. What is a more realistic path to peace: putting Yugoslavia back together, then Czechoslovakia back together, then unifying them both in a single state, with all the rest of Europe — or allowing peoples with long historical grudges to completely disentangle their affairs and lead their own lives? What is more likely to produce European amity: a shotgun wedding or an equitable divorce? (Johnson, 2015)
But, these new states have not become truly independent entities. They quickly joined both NATO and the European Union for access to protection and the American global trading network. The use of military force as a means of furthering foreign policy aims has become unthinkable outside of Africa and the Middle East. To even consider that European states may enter into conflicts in the future, especially in the Northern European core, seems ludicrous. Geopolitical analysis is seen as something rather funny. It’s almost provincial to be concerned about the control of resources when any input the state needs can be purchased from almost anywhere on the planet. Not only can they be purchased, but they will arrive and arrive on time. Add to these conditions the overwhelming military superiority of America, where any aggressive action that destabilizes its order is dealt with punitively, and you can begin to see where our naive thinking on geopolitics comes from.
This is why Czechoslovakia can be split in two and it has little knock-on effects for the prosperity of the two nations as a whole. The Czech state need not be concerned with access to import and export markets, or even its own security. It does not even have to negotiate trade deals with its neighbours thanks to the European Union. The benefits of Slovak industry, manpower, and resources were useful to pre-war Czechoslovakia, but today the ability to defend your borders against aggressive neighbors is unnecessary. The emergent nation states that petty-nationalists laud are products of the very system they, generally speaking, oppose. If you take away this American pre-eminence and their control of the sea, which underwrites the existence of global trade, we land in a very different world. The Utopian thinking of the petty nationalist will be fundamentally challenged by the realities that states previously had to contend with in the pre-1945 world.
There is also a general pacifism in the views of the petty nationalists. This passage by Greg Johnson displays the naivete on the topic of foreign policy that is present in the petty-nationalist sphere:
The threat of non-white blocs should not be exaggerated. France, the UK, or Russia alone are militarily strong enough to prevail against anything that Africa, India, or the Muslim world can throw at us — provided, of course, that whites are again morally strong enough to take their own side in a fight. A simple alliance of European states would be able to deter any Chinese aggression. Thus a defensive alliance between European states would be sufficient to preserve Europe from all outside forces, whether they be armed powers or stateless masses of refugees and immigrants. (Johnson, 2015)
What is most interesting about this passage is what is missing; everything is about deterrence and defensive alliances, but what about the projection of power? This is where the uni-polar world of the American Empire rubs off on us the most. It is here that there remains a large degree of liberalism in the dissident right. Europe needs only to defends its own borders; it does not to contend for the domination of Eurasia. But, that leaves Europe in a very tight spot. Europe is practically at the mercy of Russia to supply almost all of its oil and natural gas. If Europe is to be united together even in a simple defensive alliance this fact becomes very problematic. In a world where the United States has evacuated from Europe, Russia can use its near monopoly over much of Europe’s supply of oil to bring nations along its border back into its orbit. Europe as a loose alliance would practically be defenseless since its enemy controls such an important commodity, like Damocles sword handing over Europe’s head. If the tiny states of the petty-nationalist dream are to remain sovereign, they will have to at least form some alliance for the mutual extraction of resources, most importantly oil. This means they must project power into the Middle-East, North Africa, and/or West Africa to gain control over the distribution of oil, as well as protecting the convoy routes bringing it back to Europe. That fundamentally means engaging with China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, etc in a great power conflict. That brings us back to the flaws in petty-nationalist thinking, how can this assortment of sovereign states with uncoordinated militaries project power to compete with these powerful rivals?
The economies of scale required to maintain an adequate defense has been continuously increasing throughout history. Take for example the Dutch republic, which successfully defended itself against the much more powerful states of Spain and neighboring France throughout its early years. Denmark resisted various German states attempts at expansion northwards for centuries. Compare the success of these states in defending themselves a few centuries later against the Wehrmacht. What were once defensible and relatively powerful states were now defeated in a matter of days. As warfare has industrialized, larger industrial bases are required for the production of more advanced weaponry. The R&D can be spread across different states, think the Eurofighter, as we see in Europe; but still small states cannot adequately adopt the full range of technologies required for a fully functional offensive military. This goes out the window if cooperation amongst European states were to break down. Designing cutting edge military hardware has become so very expensive, especially in terms of new aircraft, the per unit cost would be unaffordable for most states if the research was done alone. To utilize the full strength of combined arms in the 21st century requires a nation on the scale of the United States, Russia, or China. The cost of employing progressively more advanced weaponry prohibits small states from having capable defensive and especially offensive forces precluding substantial support from outside sources.
Military band of the Chinese people’s Liberation Army in Jiujiang.
A European military would be able to project power outside of Europe, securing valuable resources the continent does not have. In a world with America as an absent superpower, the ability to trade globally will be determined by the strength of one’s navy and their ability to defend crucial seagoing trade routes. Major European powers such as England, France, and Germany could, after rearmament, still be able take control of West African oil reserves; but to compete with China or Russia, especially in the Middle East, will be far easier with most of Europe, especially the north, united. Furthermore, united they would be able to control far more resources and to regain control over lost territories. The vacuum created by America could allow the Chinese, Russians, or some other power to gain control over a large percentage of the Eurasian oil and strategic resources. This would force Europe to enter into a subservient relationship even without a military defeat, threatening the future prosperity of the continent. Or in another scenario where oil output dramatically decreases as various actors within the Middle East and Asia engage in conflicts prevented by American largess; for example, an Iran-Saudi war over Iraq or the Saudi Oil fields themselves.
Petty-nationalists claim that uniting much of Europe into a single state will create the intra-European conflicts that unity was meant to prevent. Deeply rooted ethnic animosities would bring this pan-European state down in its infancy. But, as of 2020 constant predictions about the imminent collapse of the European Union have not precipitated. The European Union remains a broadly popular institution across the continent. The European Union has moved to increase its power progressively over time without much resistance. At least in the present order, if the EU moved to centralize powers much further, I cannot foresee any conflicts arising from this, as long as France and Germany were cooperating. Like all states touched by the destructive effects of liberalism, the European Union has very major flaws; but these are matched and superseded by most of the member state’s national governments such as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The talking point describing the EU as the key instrument of some Kalergi plan is ludicrous as foreign immigration has clearly been spearheaded by the member states. As was mentioned previously, a Europe of sovereign states will be likely be dependent on foreign powers for its resources. Europe could be a location of proxy battles between extra-European great powers as they compete with each other for control of the Eurasian world island. A united Europe would be far less susceptible to interference by foreign states peeling off European nations into their spheres of influence.
Surely there will be conflict within a pan-European system and there will be a core population(s) which dominates the state. But, there has never existed these free and “sovereign” nations of petty nationalist dreams. Strong nations whether or not they are within a political union will come to exert large degrees of control over their weaker neighbours. In the case of pan-Europeanism, this relationship has been formalized allowing the greater integration of European militaries and economies into a global power more capable of projecting power. Poorer nations to the east and South will obviously have less of influence in the direction of such an empire compared to the wealthier Northern European states, but since the beginning of the industrial era this has clearly been the norm. The choice is not over a Europe of sovereign nation states proudly independent, but still respectful of each other, or Empire. It is between larger European nations, as they have always done, dominating the weaker states or an Empire that formalize this conflict inside its imperial system. Obviously, such a state will not be unitary but will be federal in nature; this could actually allow the partial autonomy of smaller nations like Catalonia that the petty- nationalists desire. The economy, military, science, and foreign policy would be controlled at the European wide level.
In fact, the European Union as an institution could be the fertile ground where Europe reforms itself as American power recedes. In this post-American scenario, no one state can partially monopolize the use of force to further its foreign policy objectives. In this world, the scope of useful state policies will decrease dramatically. The liberal dogmas concerning immigration and race will become impediments to national cohesiveness. The feminized society is not a society conducive to struggle. The attack on every western states core population will necessarily be stopped. The end of the prosperity and peace of the American era would likely act like Darwinism in the realm of politics. Due to the selection factors of the American order, states could follow liberalism to its ultimate logical conclusion. Prior to this order, decadent nations could not persist without reforming or falling to more virile external forces. The destructive effects of liberalism while still acting were at least held back by the necessity of national defense, that all changed in 1945 and radically accelerated after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
This Darwinism at the level of the state can be clearly viewed by comparing the early years of the Soviet Union with the Stalinist era. The Soviet Union attempted radical anti-hierarchical and feminist experiments during its inception. Many of the progressive policies of the Soviet Union were subsequently put on hold and reversed as the Soviet Union was threatened by outside powers, especially at the start of WW2. Stalin eliminated abortion as a means of increasing population growth during the great patriotic war. Many ideological leftist dogmas that threatened the state’s ability to make war were thrown aside while many of those previously associated with reaction were brought back. Russian nationalism and a subservient church were far more useful for the expansion and war making ability of the Soviet State than internationalism and radical experiments in family organization. This occurred out of necessity, either a state reforms and abandons degenerative policies or eventually it would be defeated by its rivals.
There is likely not much we can do prior to the challenging of American power by some exterior force. When that day comes the political sphere will open as some elites will search for useful ideas as to how to strengthen the ailing American state. We must be there with a coherent set of ideas that will be useful for the searching elite in the coming post-liberal era. The same will occur in Europe; there are already some stirrings in the water from President Macron about the need for a European army in a post NATO future. Macron has signaled a slight change in tack on the immigration question, perhaps it is a cynical ploy to steal attention from National Rally. Or it could be the beginnings of a European reorientation responding to the absenteeism of the American superpower. If our ideas are correct, the stop-gap benefit of mass immigration which is aimed at combating the very real problem of our aging demographics will quickly become a liability for various states survival in a more chaotic world. A distinctly possible scenario where the EU fractures as a response to the withdrawal of American support, and likely Russian interference, would lead to a far worse conflict than tensions between different constituent EU member states, which are constrained within the bureaucratic framework of the EU. Europe’s declining population is already requiring extra-European export markets for a growing percentage of industrial and luxury goods. Without the ability to sell these items abroad at competitive rates; Europe faces severe economic problems as a norm, especially combined with the ever-growing public spending associated with an aging population. This could lead more powerful states within the EU, out of economic necessity, to force neighbors into subservient relationships to create some market for their goods, acquire natural resources, and to use military technology created with the excess production. A state encompassing most of the Europe could apply these energies outside of Europe, particularly towards securing oil reserves and export markets in the Middle East and West Africa as well as containing an aggressive Russia, moving west in search of more defensible borders.
Ernst Junger, 1920
Now that we have questioned whether the world desired by universalist ethnonationalists is possible, let us ask the question, is it even desirable? If you could supply all of Europe with the resources it needs to function, ensure its defense, and prevent conflict: would it be good to carve Europe into many independent states? If your only goal was the survival of individual European ethnic groups and some sort of traditionalist cultural rejuvenation, then this position would be sufficient. Given the history of the European civilization, this does not seem to be a sufficiently lofty goal for the Faustian man. To be cocooned in our respective countries untroubled by the outer world but also not exerting our will to power upon it, is an unsatisfying future. The true universalistic ethnonationalist position resembles only a slightly altered version of Francis Fukuyama’s own prediction. A world of ethnostates, stable due to homogeneity, frozen in place due to a lack of conflict. If you followed the logic of the proponents of ethnonationalism you would find history over, completed. It is easy to choose interesting times over stability from the comfort of your own home. But, who on the right can look through history and wish there will be no more empires to rival Rome, no grand conquests, no new mythic battles like Trafalgar and Agincourt? To make sure the surely unpleasant and violent, but oftentimes heroic, side of human nature stays in the history books. We would create no men in our own times to rival Ernst Junger, a true aristocratic of the soul. We would be left with a civilization stuck in the Spenglerian “culture” phase; either reproducing the same styles of art, architecture, and music that has come before or following the rabbit hole of deconstructionism further into the abyss. Perhaps the advanced technics of such a civilization could stop external enemies from defeating it, even for centuries. Such nations would be like enclaves depicted in the film Zardoz, highly civilized but ultimately stagnant.
That is why we must support Empire over our continued obsessions with little nation states. Even if these states could survive and even thrive after the decline of the American Empire, it would only lead to our own spiritual deaths. Faustian man needs to finally embrace the Spenglerian “civilization” phase of our existence. To unite the different European peoples under one flag, giving us the power to step away from the precipice we are inching towards. Then to spread our flag to the different corners of the globe, to create an Empire worthy of those that came before. We must think on a grand scale, first to ensure our premier place on this planet, to protect its environmental viability, and to provide enough resources so we can look towards the stars. It might never be possible to economically mine distant asteroids or to create self-sufficient colonies on Mars. But, this to me seems like a much more inspiring future than to aspire to a return to the small states and the small scale thinking of a bygone era. We should strive for a future where the full range of human existence is possible, both comfort and security but also the self-actualization through combat, which Junger and others have described. Perhaps the dream of a united Europe is also not possible without American military support; that the European nations will fall into conflict as the demographic replacement leads to our civilizational eclipse. But, let us aim for a future that is grander and far more interesting with new cultures, new empires, and new horizons than mere existence, as prescribed by the petty nationalists.