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Category: America

The coming decline of globalism or: How I learned to stop worrying and love multipolarity

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…

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 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.[1] 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, [2] 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.” [3]

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.


The Internet 

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) [4] 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.


Crypto 

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. [5]

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 [6] 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.


Conclusion

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. 


References

[1] “https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/20/republicans-and-democrats-oppose-free-trade-in-2020-white-house-race.html” September 20, 2019

[2]”https://datacentrenews.eu/story/huawei-ranks-6-among-world-s-most-innovative-companies-for-2020″ July 3rd, 2020

[3]”https://financialpost.com/news/economy/with-world-trade-on-brink-of-vigilante-justice-canada-gains-new-clout” December 17, 2019

[4]”https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/15/guardian-announces-plans-to-cut-180-jobs” July 15, 2020

[5]”https://decrypt.co/34740/blueleaks-how-the-fbi-tracks-bitcoin-laundering-on-the-dark-web” July 7, 2020

[6]”https://national-justice.com/coming-challenge-almighty-dollar” May 16, 2020

1 Comment on The coming decline of globalism or: How I learned to stop worrying and love multipolarity

Authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”. Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States…

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”.


Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States faces, and highly relevant to our previous discussion of false collective fictions (https://radixjournal.com/2020/05/myth-mental-illness-and-political-extremism/), is the notion of democracy.  Democracy, which in practice operates a whole lot less like a mechanism for political efficiency and a lot more like a blunt object to be wielded against ones foes, is to a degree, predicated on stymieing the execution of political will by a central authority.  Deeper than a mere political problem, the philosophy of democratization in all spheres continues to challenge Americans on a psychological level.  This rejection of authority can be found at every level of contemporary American life to such a degree, that one wonders whether anti-authoritarianism is itself a key psychological feature of the American population.  I probably would not have given this idea very much consideration were it not for a broadcast on the NPI/RADIX YouTube channel that aired on April 8th of 2020.  In that conversation, Richard Spencer discussed the cynical (if not outright hysterical) response of many Americans toward the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Forced business closures and a federally imposed lockdown drew considerable outrage, as many Americans looked upon Trump’s response as a massive abuse of government power.  While I was not unfamiliar with anti-authoritarianism conceptually, upon looking into the literature available on the matter, I was quite surprised at the volume of writings on the subject.  Further investigation drove me to pursue this line of questioning even deeper.  While his insight did give me pause, I believe I have arrived at a different conclusion than the one proposed on his program, as it seems evident to me that reducing the psychology of the governed to either simple authoritarianism (as was done by researchers such as Theodor Adorno in the mid-twentieth century) or simple anti-authoritarianism betrays the fact that Americans struggle to find an actionable equilibrium between the two positions.

Before we analyze the psychological divide between authoritarian and anti-authoritarianism in American consciousness, it would be prudent to consult the expert opinion on the matter.  Noted authors on the subject of anti-authoritarianism including Bruce Levine, Noam Chomsky, and William Kreml, generally agree on a definition of anti-authoritarianism which rejects both anarchic anti-authoritarianism as well as the kind of authoritarian submissiveness described by the likes of Theodore Adorno, Robert Altemeyer, and Erich Fromm.  In the view of the latter (and those who accept their hypothesis), authoritarianism – meaning, the individual who is prone to fascistic sentiment, and thus will submit to authority – is defined by characteristics such as:

  1. Submission to legitimate authority, 
  2. Aggression toward minority groups, 
  3. Adherence to cultural values endorsed by authorities, 
  4. Blind allegiance to convention,
  5. A tendency toward misanthropy, 
  6. A preoccupation with violence and sex, 
  7. Feelings of inferiority,
  8. Hostility toward creativity and artistic innovation.

While the psychological measurements devised to produce such findings (in particular the F-scale and the RWA scale) have been subject to much scrutiny, the conclusions drawn from these investigations have reached a degree of cultural saturation that no longer relies on the support of the academic community.  Contempt for politically authoritarian sentiment is now commonplace – not only among those well-situated members of the American economy, but all the way down the socioeconomic ladder as well.  To Richard’s point, it would seem the battle against authoritarianism has been won.  In the intervening decades, having exhausted opportunities for experimentally measuring right-wing authoritarianism (and still reluctant to examine left-wing authoritarianism) many researchers pivoted from understanding the psychology of the authoritarian to arriving at an accurate conceptual (and ethical) model of anti-authoritarianism.

For Levine and Chomsky in particular, anti-authoritarianism is not about a predisposition against authority, but rather, an antagonism toward illegitimate authority.  To this point, I will quote both.  Chomsky has said that, 

“When you stop your five-year-old kid from trying to cross the street, that’s an authoritarian situation: it’s got to be justified. Well, in that case, I think you can give a justification.”

Levine echoes this sentiment, 

“Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.”

Levine and Chomsky both make rational arguments in support of a high-functioning and psychologically adaptive anti-authoritarianism.  Of importance is the fact that their stance directly opposes the chaotic anarchism which rejects all top-down and hierarchically organized models of authority (a position more commonly taken by communists, anti-fascists, and the anti-colonialism movement more broadly).

Less directly related (though perhaps still worth noting), are the findings of Cantoni, Yang, Yuchtman, and Zhang, who in a 2016 study set out to define the characteristics of the anti-authoritarian.  In a survey of over 1,500 university students in Hong Kong, the team found that anti-authoritarians are

“More risk-seeking, more altruistic, more reciprocal, and have a stronger preference for redistribution in a series of real-stakes dictator games.”

Furthermore, when examining the personality traits through an application of the five factor model, their investigation revealed that anti-authoritarians score higher on trait openness but lower on trait conscientiousness.  The same group scored higher on the Cognitive Reflection Test (based on the work of Shane Frederick and Daniel Kahneman, the CRT is a measurement of one’s ability to access “system 2” cognition), but also reported lower average GPA’s.  This was attributed to a pre-occupation with political movements engaged in anti-authoritarian action.  Cantoni et al also noted that,

Consistent with traditional, class-based models (e.g., Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006), students from poorer households and with lower anticipated future earnings are significantly more likely to be anti-authoritarian. Examining the demographic characteristics of students, one sees that older students are somewhat more anti-authoritarian than younger students, and that men are more anti-authoritarian than women. Interestingly, having a longer family history in Hong Kong is not strongly associated with anti-authoritarianism.”

It goes without saying that the historical, political, and biological differences that distinguish the United States from Hong Kong make any direction comparison or correlation in anti-authoritarian characteristics difficult, if not impossible, to do.  Nonetheless, it would behoove us to consider how these observations might lead to some insight as we continue our analysis in this work.  The common understanding of authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism tends to place the former in the category of the political right, while the latter is typically conceived of as a left-wing phenomenon.  In the American context, this may seem at least partly accurate, as psychometric testing has indicated that openness to experience predicts left-wing attitudes while conscientiousness predicts right-wing attitudes (Webster, 2018).  These findings have been corroborated in Europe as well, in particular Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy, and Germany (Vecchione, Schoen, Castro, Cieciuch, Pavlopolous, & Caprara, 2011).  Economically favorable attitudes toward reciprocity and redistribution have long been features of American left-wing politics, and so perhaps the findings of Cantoni et al do provide us with some corroborative evidence to confirm certain widely accepted notions of authoritarian (rightist) and anti-authoritarian (leftist) attitudes.  

Having presented these arguments, I feel it necessary to let the air out of the theoretical balloon I have just provided.  If we take the arguments I laid out in the preceding section as true (that the left-right divide is an inaccurate and misleading political construct), then perhaps the authoritarian-antiauthoritarian divide, too, is fallacious and harmful to our understanding of contemporary politics.  For example: Under Obama, the American Right decried him as an authoritarian fascist (among other things, e.g., crypto-Islamist, Communist, et cetera).  As we have seen throughout the Trump administration, the American Left has levied similar condemnations.  What does this tell us?  Are Americans hopelessly confused?  Is every political actor a fascist or a fascist-in-democratic clothing?  I believe that we can confidently say ‘Yes’ to the former, but ‘no’ to the latter.

What we have is the reality of democracy in action – one side of the political machine running roughshod over the other, at least until the temporarily dispossessed one gets their turn to abuse the governed.  More significantly, the democratic process obscures the true nature of authority, facilitating the interminable confusion in the minds of Americans as to what constitutes authority, and when precisely (if ever) it becomes ‘fascistic’.  Auctoriphobia, or the fear of authority, clearly emerges out of this confusion.  Not only does it emerge out of this confusion, but it also emerges as a result of the tragic and violent history of the preceding century; wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions, technological developments that stoked fears of ecological collapse, and the erosion of national infrastructure, to offer a view examples, have provided sufficient justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  We are now confronted with two important questions as relates to authoritarian and anti-authoritarian positions: What constitutes legitimate authority? (a question of perception), and how ought one conduct themselves in relation to authority? (a question of agency and ethics).  To orient ourselves in a healthful and psychologically adaptive way – that is to say, with clear-headedness and a maximum of free will – we must be able to understand this problem in a new way.

As I stated at the outset, the fundamental tension in the American political mind is of that between the authoritarian impulse and the anti-authoritarian impulse.  So should it be, as the question of authority is the most important question in virtually any human endeavor.  Authority, which for all intent and purpose might as well be another way of saying agency, is a matter of ‘right’ thought and ‘right’ action implemented in the ‘right’ circumstance.  It stands to reason, then, that authority is often about having the ‘right’ person in charge.  Without oversimplifying this problem inappropriately, we might say that he who possesses the will to act makes himself the authority.  Of course, authority can be secured through other means; hereditarily, meritocratically, anti-socially, to name a few.  Already, we begin to see the perceptual problem of authority, as not all people view each method as a legitimate path to the throne.  And even when a political actor rises to a position of authority through a conventional and generally accepted means, subjective perception may still deign to invalidate him.

In the home, in the classroom, at the market, and at the ballot box, Americans have proven to struggle mightily with the question of authority.  Parents fail to exercise their rightful authority over their children; teachers do not discipline their students; hedge fund managers, investment firms, and executive boards routinely engage in unethical and illegal conduct but frequently go unpunished (often, in fact, they are rewarded); and to the degree that Americans engage in the political process (which is far less than they ‘ought’ to), we find that they support the same policies and the same actors time and time again.  This is not to put the blame squarely on individual shoulders, as in each instance we find top-down initiatives which undermine the responsible demonstration of power.  Nonetheless, the point remains.  We can therefore say, and with a great deal of recent historical proof attesting to this fact, that Americans are deep in the throes of a crisis of legitimacy.  With neither the information necessary to make a proper evaluation of authority, nor even the capacity to adjudicate existent (or potential) information, we have been cast adrift in a sea of hopelessness and despair.  What we do have, however, is fear, anxiety, and resentment – and lots of it.  Supposedly unified by our shared American values, our freedoms, and our love of democracy (though not in actuality), the line between friend and enemy grows murkier with each passing year.  Though it should be said, there are things which unite us, just not in any productive or eusocial way.  We are united by the increased feeling of unease and uncertainty we experience; not just toward our present sociopolitical circumstance, but toward our very lives.  Here we see the problem of relation to authority, as our seemingly foundational antagonism toward the will to act renders us impotent in virtually every arena of American society.  Everywhere Americans look, they see failures of authority (often enabled by the very same authorities), thus producing a conceptual collapse whereby failures of authority anywhere become failures of authority everywhere. 

It has been said of scientific experimentation, though I know not by who, that “Everyone is a conservative in the area they are most knowledgeable.”  This was meant to express the deep hesitation specialists in a given field of study have toward making grand extrapolations.  Their expansive knowledge affords that rare gift of foresight; one can only stretch a set of data so far before it reaches its natural limit.  Co-opting this statement and applying it to the realm of the political, I would add the following “…and an authoritarian in the area they are the least knowledgeable and most fearful.”  Take the issue of gun control, for example.  Well-practiced and disciplined acolytes of the pistol or the rifle generally seek to retain control of their ability to act on this privilege and to preserve the culture of liberty around firearms, while those with less experience often seek swift and decisive action to limit it.  It follows that ambiguity and uncertainty may be the centrally driving forces behind the desire for authoritarianism.  But authoritarianism is not simply an expression of powerlessness or fearfulness; it is a recognition of the need for a central force which can act judiciously, particularly (though not exclusively) in those circumstances where there is insufficient information, and thus requires cool and measured action.  Perhaps we could say that the ambiguities (which inevitably crop up around important social issues like barnacles on the side of an ocean tanker) demand a capable authority, one who will not engage in endless and doubt-filled discussion, thus problematizing necessary action and prolonging suffering.  The correct attitude towards authority is one that recognizes it as both an inevitable and necessary feature of social organization.  Authority and authoritarianism are too often used as synonyms for oppression and violence, and are therefore used to indicate the badness of a person, party, or ideology.  Rarely do we think of it as the solution to our problems.  Once more, we suffer a problem of perception.  

Let us think a little bit more about this dichotomy between conservatism and authoritarianism.  Conservatism to a great degree is an instinct toward retention, often an impotent and stationary impulse, and as Freud noted in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, possibly even an instinct toward self-annihilation, or a reaching back to a state of non-existence.  Certainly its inability to confront the problems of change and expansion indicate a death of one kind or another (something that modern conservatives are increasingly aware of).  Authoritarianism thus is progressive; it is a willful and vital stance which seeks assertion, dominance, security – yes – but more importantly a securing of desire, of some thing, be it an object or a goal.  It is not merely a means for securing one’s own welfare or the welfare of the group, rather authority is the psychosocial means by which we may express our will.  The juxtaposition of these two instincts (1) the instinct to conserve, or preserve in stasis and (2) the instinct to progress and secure desire remain a psychological and political problem that has not yet found resolution within the American mind.  Necessarily this tension produces cognitive dissonance whereby the pursuit of something as novel as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is met with an equal force of “No, not too much of any of these, please.”  A society such as ours, built on ideas like breaking from tradition, limitless expansion, and geographic conquest is itself an expression of the paradox of authority and non-authority.  Even a cursory reading of the disagreements between America’s neophyte aristocratic order reveals this fact.  A commonly understood insight of psychology is that the stand-off between two opposing impulses creates a mental fissure by which action is rendered impossible and will is denied.  Such is the circumstance with which we are presently confronted.


For now, let’s turn away from the abstract and look at the problem of anti-authoritarianism and how it is expressed differently by our two subjects, the conservative and the progressive.  A fundamental and mutual misunderstanding made by conservative and republican types as well as progressive and democrat type (who both draw their historical and philosophical worldviews from the same liberal foundation) is that – from both perspectives – the other appears as a totalitarian despot, who, being unreasonable, dishonest, and stupid, seeks the domination and eradication of the other.  Both fail to recognize, particularly as their anxieties are intensified by interested parties in the politico-media complex, that they are both the sons of the same father.  Both see undue privileges bestowed upon the other, and each seeing themselves as solely and uniquely suffering the oppressive tyranny of their oedipal persecution.  It is a sibling rivalry par excellence. 

The conservative liberal is the yin to the progressive liberal yang, not being fundamentally distinct from one another in any meaningful sense, merely separated at birth.  For the progressive, the exercise of authority (for example, in the classroom or in the bedroom), stifles and necessarily suspends the realization of identity and the pursuit of happiness.  And for the conservative, an interventionist authority (perhaps at the gun show or in the marketplace), suspends autonomy, and self-reliance, themselves necessary for the pursuit of happiness.  Both seek permissiveness in those areas where their identities find realization and their values find expression.  Government, or the father, is never seen as a wise king, instead, he is always and forever the mad tyrant.  Where the conservative and the progressive lock hands, however, is in the righteous use of authority against external opponents – the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians.  Authority expressed within the domestic boundaries is an insufferable oppression, but when directed outwardly, it is felt as a gleeful nigh-orgasmic expression of a will to life.  “Yes he may be a tyrant, but he’s our tyrant.”

Building on the ideas set forth earlier in this chapter with regard to the mythic formation of the mind, the conservative has a peculiar antagonism toward authoritarianism predicated on his own mythologized self-concept.  The conservative, ever the rugged individualist, is therefore fiercely opposed to collectivism.  Being that the conservative is fundamentally liberal in his self-concept and his relation to the world, authoritarianism represents the final result of collectivism, to which he as a liberal is fundamentally opposed.  His opposition is rooted in the fear of self-destruction, of becoming absorbed into the horde, the mass, if collectivist authoritarianism were to emerge.  The right-liberal (or conservative), who most clearly has inherited the frontier myth of the American man, is unwilling to sublimate his internal drives to an order which would threaten his petty frontier psychology.  ‘Petty frontier psychology’ in this case would be understood as having the meaning of a smaller, more individualist and self-serving ambition.  Originally, the frontier was a place of limitless expansion – a physical terrain fraught with uncertainty and great danger.  It was a real place where the true test of man’s conquering spirit could be found.  But that place no longer exists.  Still, the myth lives on.  The ideology of the conservative frontiersman, not cleanly extinguished, has been abstracted from the physical terrain and transposed into the space of concepts and intangibilities (the free market, the stock trade, et cetera).  The market is the new conservative frontier where much can be gained and much can be lost, but at a comparatively less costly expense.  No longer will the conservative lose his wife, his children, or even his own life, but rather he may lose his accumulated wealth and – should the danger prove sufficiently great – other material (his home, private property) and social (status, respectability, prestige) goods.  Though the right-liberal may tell us that collectivism and authoritarianism are morally wrong not because of an a priori philosophical justification, if we scratch the surface we find that the true cause may be found in the threat posed to his tenuous self-concept and his grandiose social ambition.  And, of course, because we cannot truly assume that the American Girondin is in fact a monolith who may be reduced to a singular motivation, we may assume other factors exist which could explain his anti-authoritarianism.  Perhaps, he shares the historical anxieties associated with authoritarianism which are more clearly typified by his Jacobin brother (as we shall see in the following paragraph).  

The progressive on the other hand – sensitive primarily to concerns regarding social welfare and guided by his self-imposed moral responsibility to those with fewer protections – regards authoritarianism as a danger for its supposed historical implications (persecution and genocide).  Authoritarianism being something that only an evil person participates in, the progressive looks to history and sees those great villains, Italy and Germany specifically, as proof of this belief.  For the progressive, authoritarianism is not a true ideology or political system, but rather a collective hysteria predicated on the irrational scapegoating of a benevolent minority.  His moral axiom (protect the little guy) thus indicates to him that authoritarianism is wrong because it is rooted in the unjust persecution of endangered minorities.  In the case of Germany, those minorities were homosexuals, gypsies, Jews, the mentally and physically infirm, while in modern America, what constitutes an endangered minority is far more expansive (women, Muslims, immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics,  et cetera).  The historical factors at play (and the veracity of said historical claims) are of little consequence, what matters, is that someone is being persecuted.  By the progressives own logic, for centralization to occur and a politic of authoritarianism to settle in, there must be a scapegoated minority, and they must be extinguished for the good of the collective.  Authoritarianism is the means by which the mad tyrant, empowered by his brainwashed thralls, exercises his deranged will.  

So while the conservative fears erasure of the self, the progressive fears erasure of the other, who owing to his otherness is ontologically ‘first’ or ‘higher’. We might observe this in a Christian way, that because the last shall be first, the authoritarian must always be denied.  The relation to the other is interesting as it clearly differs in conception between the conservative and the progressive.  A number of studies conducted in the last twenty years attests to this difference.  In 2008, Oxley et al observed differences in threat sensitivity, noting that,

In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War.”

It should be noted that the researchers did not label the collected policy positions as Conservative or Liberal due to their relatively limited testing of political ideology (for example, they did not assess for positions on economic issues).  Sinn and Hayes (2016) compared Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory against the Evolutionary-Coalitional Theory and found that the “individualizing” (harm and fairness) moral foundation of liberals was better understood as a “universalizing motive” that consisted of a “broader set of moral commitments” and a “broader sociality than ethnocentrism”, while the “binding” (authority, respect, purity) moral foundation of conservatives was better characterized as an “authoritarian motive” typified by threat-sensitivity and outgroup antagonism.  Inbar et al (2011) found a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism, which held when controlling for demographic variables as well as the “Big Five” personality traits.  And finally, in 2017, Mendez reviewed personality, evolutionary and genetic, cognitive, neuroimaging, and neurological studies, arriving at the conclusion that

“Evidence [exists] for a normal right-sided “conservative-complex” involving structures sensitive to negativity bias, threat, disgust, and avoidance.”

To the best of my understanding (and there exists a not-so-inconsequential amount of literature to the contrary), the conservative has a stronger sense of self-preservation, aversion to contamination by pathogen, and is therefore more troubled by issues potentially caused by the ‘other’ (such as immigration, diversity and inclusivity mandates, marriage equality, et cetera).  Therefore, ontologically speaking, the ‘other’ is second because the conservative must be first.  With full view of both conservative and progressive lines of reasoning, we arrive at a differing-yet-convergent psychological justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  

But is it true that Americans are genuine anti-authoritarians?  We must understand that the most important aspect of this entire phenomenon is how a liberal worldview requires compartmentalization and rationalization among its adherents; full-blown, decadent and permissive 21st century liberalism doesn’t ask the individual to sublimate himself, much less repress any aspect of himself.  All ideas are given equal weight, all values are sanctioned, all actions are laudable, all pursuits are capable of commoditization, and all modes of being are good.  Of course these cannot all be true simultaneously, nor can such a worldview be sustained indefinitely.  And thus, compartmentalization and rationalization become necessary as the limits of the natural world collide with liberal ideology.  The sociopolitical realities of war, sex, race, religion, family, history, morality, class, and their intermediated negotiations increasingly puncture the thin veil of liberal thought, especially as America – for all its technological and material splendor – diminishes in global significance.  Without the prestige and comfortable living standard afforded as a result of being the uncontested leader of the free world, the house of cards noticeably begins to lose its stability.  As these tensions emerge, neurotic and obviously contradictory justifications fill the gaps like cheap glue.  

In truth, the ‘authoritarian’ is the shadow in the soul of the American liberal (conservative and progressive, alike).  And while it may be the force that performs acts of evil, this does not preclude either type from identifying with or enacting residual or latent authoritarianism when a situation of sufficient self-servingness emerges.  As has been pointed out earlier, there are times when life demands acts of authoritative will from us.  It is an unavoidable result of living as material beings that must suffer, and toil, and strive in this world.  The solution to this severing of the conscious from the unconscious finds itself in the execution of some ego defense which resolves the dilemma.  Whether it be through denial, compartmentalization, rationalization – some technique will be applied which will soothe the pain of self-betrayal.  

There is also, of course, the fact that political and philosophical identities are no different from the mask worn by attendees of a masquerade; they are a form of role play which facilitates the navigation of social realities.  So in those circumstances where we are not talking about the true believers who have a deep psychological need to explain their inconsistencies to themselves, we see that in both the conservative and progressive type a kind of childishness – the childishness of one who has been caught in a lie or some other impropriety who, upon being discovered, merely declares “You got me!” and laughs at the silliness of having been taken seriously in the first place.  Not everyone treats the idea as an object of the real, far from it, they are regarded by many (if not, most) as a fanciful and irreverent device which is more a problem of life than a means through which will and action can find their realization.  This psychological fact complicates the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism, and in fact, fatally undermines the liberal worldview.  Taking this into account we can characterize psychological and political liberalism itself as a Kleinian phantasy, a device of the mind through which the individual can interact with the world, but always at a distance, and always with the aid of a litany of ego defenses.  

And so, once more I ask, is the average American anti-authoritarian?  The answer is that every man serves a master, even if that master resides within his own mind.  It is on irrational grounds that we choose our authorities, no matter how coherent or logical the contrivances we make may be.  America’s ongoing crisis of legitimacy has perhaps created a fair-weather anti-authoritarian sentiment, but it is with the wind to be certain.  Different American institutions have burned all their credibility in the minds of different sects of America; those institutions that manage to retain their credibility only do so, again, in compartmentalized ways.  Left-liberals revere the institution of science, but not in its entirety.  Particularly for more extreme liberals and progressives, whole disciplines (e.g., behavioral genetics) are written off entirely.  Right-liberals revere the institution of the church, but not in its entirety.  The Christ that exists in the minds of many Christians today could not be any farther from the man found in the New Testament.  There is nothing Christian about the prosperity doctrine, and yet, many right-liberals conveniently reject the anti-materialism of Christianity in favor of the abundance afforded by capitalism.  When Obama was in office, many right-liberals suddenly became cynical, data-crunching statisticians who took the government’s reports on unemployment and job growth with the tiniest grains of salt.  This was not so when Trump took office.  Many left-liberals were riotous zealots in their opposition to George W. Bush’s warmongering.  Not so, when Obama took office.  Even NPR in 2011 and The Washington Post in 2013 took notice of this fact, asking “Where did the anti-war Left go?”  Americans are not anti-authoritarian, they merely want their authorities.  Only now the country is too big, too bloated, and too divided to provide a universally legitimate authority figure.  As we have seen with the recent coronavirus pandemic, Americans may not be as comfortable with authoritarianism as say, China is, but it would be a far cry to argue that a true anti-authoritarian sentiment rests deep inside the American soul.

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The Metapolitics of America

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.

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How a society becomes extreme

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”. Extremism is a top-down phenomenon, meaning that it is something that originates among…

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”.


Extremism is a top-down phenomenon, meaning that it is something that originates among the powerful and then floats downstream through the various institutions of power and influence. It is a widely held belief that political change arises organically from the bottom, but many a great scholarly work (C.A. Bond’s ‘Nemesis’ and Christopher Caldwell’s ‘The Age of Entitlement’, for example) utterly demolish this faulty perception.  Nothing has ever occurred, whether we speak of the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, Mussolini’s or Napoleon’s rise to power, to use some recent examples, without the patronage of the upper classes.  The extremist capture of the United States is no exception.  Before we may begin, I must credit some of these insights to the work of Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Lobaczewski, who, after collecting several decade’s worth of work studying the psychology of totalitarian regimes (in particular the USSR), published them in 2006 in a book titled ‘Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes’.

In his book, Lobaczewski described a ‘hysteroidal cycle’ whereby the privileged classes transmit maladaptive attitudes and behaviors over the course of multiple generations, the final result of which is a phenomenon he termed ‘macrosocial dysfunction’.  Put succinctly, the dysfunctions of the few (the privileged classes) become the dysfunctions of the many (everyone else).  These hysteroidal cycles consist of alternating durations of ‘happy times’ and ‘unhappy times’, where, in the former, moral and psychological knowledge pertaining to issues of psychopathology is suppressed, while the latter represents an excavation and exploration of this previously forbidden trove of knowledge.  The subsequent recovery of this knowledge is then used to rectify problems created by the hoarding of this information.

Lobaczewski views social injustice as integral to the perpetuation of mass psychological dis-ease, seeing as, in his view, the upper classes necessarily exploit the lower classes in order to attain (and preserve) their wealth and good fortune (The happiness and prosperity of this first phase of the cycle itself may be predicated on the suppression and persecution of some minority group, or the under classes more broadly).  Through conversive and hysterical reasoning, these privileged classes selectively perceive information in such a way that they can more easily justify profiting from their ill gotten gains and marginalizing the moral, mental, and labor values of those they exploit.  Each subsequent generation suffers from a progressive “atrophy of natural critical faculties” (p. 170) which ultimately culminates in the censorship, persecution, and even genocide of those underprivileged classes, whose very existence challenges the pathological worldview of the privileged.

Control of the psychologically normal is achieved first by the embedding of a “pathologically hypersensitive censor” (p. 177) within the citizenry themselves.  These are in effect, ego defenses deployed by the upper classes who seek to preserve their own positive self-image.  It is these defects of the ego, in the form of “egoism, egotism, and egocentrism” (p. 177) which are the root psychological causes of what he terms characteropathic failings.  Moreover, not only will these privileged classes adopt pathological – and ultimately violent – attitudes toward those they rule, but they will even develop contempt and antagonism toward competing nations that adhere to a healthier and more psychologically integrated approach in their governance.  (We may easily look at the present day United States and see a manifestation of what Lobaczewski describes; the American upper classes regularly castigate their constituents for their moral failings, their lack of sophistication, et cetera, all the while decrying other nations which, however imperfectly they may be achieved, work far more diligently to protect and provide for their people.  Countries such as Hungary, Poland, Russia, Iran, and China come to mind immediately).

In Lobaczewski’s ponerological model, a society is comprised of two essential psychological types: The characteropathic and the normal.  Characteropaths are those individuals who suffer some biological condition (such as brain trauma) or genetic predisposition (for example, a personality disorder) and are thus given to a psychological disposition of evil.  Whether they are the progenitors of such evil or merely the lackeys who happily execute the evil will of others is of little consequence.  We may call these types maladapts.  The ‘normals’ are greater in number than the maladapts, and have an innate moral character in addition to a well-adapted psychological profile, but are often incapable of recognizing (or even properly resisting) this psychology of evil due to their naïve condition.

Any institution can find itself infiltrated by maladapts who then work to bend that institution to their will, which in turn signals a fertile ground for other maladapts and pathocrats to gain entry (pathocrats being defined as any political actor given to a psychology of evil).  It is the nature of the characteropath to exploit structural weaknesses in an organization so that he may overtake it, turning it to his own diabolical purposes.  Should he fail it would be his death; if the characteropath cannot ascend to the role of pathocrat, he would either wash out of society due to his own weakness and lack of social utility or be driven out by those members of polite society who have become wise to his game.  We may say then that subversion and domination are among the defining traits of the characteropath.  They are a biological type who cannot thrive under normal conditions – they must destroy what is good and healthy in order to live.  Fortunately for us, Lobaczewski argues that “the pathocracy’s dominance will weaken imperceptibly but steadily, finally leading to a situation where in the society of normal people reaches for power. This is a nightmare vision to the psychopaths. That the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrat, a biological necessity.” (p. 208).  The essential civilizational struggle, in Lobaczewski’s view, lies between ‘the normal people’ and the pathocrats; it is a conflict which has occurred in every civilization for as long as human societies have existed and will persist for as long as our species draws breath.

As I have noted already, Lobaczewski looks to the sciences of biology and genetics to find the origin of the characteropath.  It is of interest to note that Lobaczewski was among the last class of psychiatrists to be trained in these disciplines before the Soviets censored them and restricted the discipline to the study of Pavlovian concepts.  (Here we see a clear bit of historical proof for Lobaczewski’s argument).  While the science of psychopathology has progressed a great deal since Lobaczewki’s time as a student (and there still remains a great deal of disagreement over the proper diagnostic criteria for many of these conditions), I will reproduce his findings as he described them so that the reader may appreciate them in their full and unadulterated context.  Primarily, Lobaczewski connects the biological dimension of the characteropath’s psychopathology to a condition of schizoidia.  The schizoid is recognized by an acute hypersensitivity and characteristic distrustfulness; they are inattentive to the emotions of others, quickly adopt extreme positions, and retaliate harshly (and immediately) for perceived slights against them.  Typically eccentric, they are prone to projecting (“superimposing” in Lobaczewski’s words) “erroneous, pejorative interpretations of other people’s intentions” (p. 123).  In simpler terms, they are quick to malign others without sufficient reason for doing so.  They are drawn to moral causes, although they “actually inflict damage upon themselves and others” (p. 123).  Owing to their impoverished worldview, they are overly pessimistic and misanthropic with regards human nature.  Schizoids have a “dull pallor of emotion” and “consider themselves intellectually superior to ordinary people” (p. 124).  Interestingly, Lobaczewski points out that, demographically speaking, schizoids are represented most numerously among Jews (elsewhere, and repeatedly, Lobaczewski observes the overrepresentation of Jews among these pathocratic types).

However, we should not limit our concern to these dysfunctional individuals alone.  Exposure to these types who exhibit dysfunctional personalities can twist the minds of a normal person, capturing them in the vortex of their mental illness, not unlike a starship caught in the tractor beam of some intergalactic warmonger.  Proximity to characteropaths, then, is as great a risk to the average person as their mere existence is.  The pathocrat is a natural parasite who can only thrive in an environment that is explicitly hostile to the needs and demands of the average person.  As such, characteropaths frantically work to pervert the organizations they join by manipulating and distorting language so as to provide cover for their true intentions.  The characteropath sets himself up as an integral member of the institution, enshrining himself as a necessary priestly type who may then provide the ideological weight for the yet-to-be-adopted belief system.  Where these individuals (to use Lobaczewski’s phrase, “spellbinders”) are unable to directly influence and redirect the energies of a given organization, they will form alliances with more charismatic types who may themselves be less pathological, or simply possess an earthier charm and personal magnetism that allows them to capture the imagination of a people, even without any kind of intellectual or ideological acumen to support his campaign.

Often, these pathocrats are able to attract less dysfunctional types (Lobaczewski calls them “skirtoids”), who dutifully execute their dictates and assist in maintaining the new moral infrastructure.  These skirtoids “are vital, egotistical, and thick-skinned individuals who make good soldiers because of their endurance and psychological resistance.  In peacetime, however, they are incapable of understanding life’s subtler matters or rearing children prudently.  They are happy in primitive surroundings; a comfortable environment easily causes hysterization within them.  They are rigidly conservative in all areas and supportive of governments that rule with a heavy hand.”  (p. 136).  These psychopaths (pathocrats), often being physically incapable of enacting the methods they propagate through oral and written sophistry, are heavily reliant on these skirtoids and a third type, which he calls “jackals”.  These individuals are “hired as professional and mercenary killers by various groups and who so quickly and easily take up arms as a means of political struggle; no human feelings interfere with their nefarious plans.” (p. 136).   But Lobaczewski stops at the point of categorizing these types as fitting within either the skirtoidal or psychopathic dimensions of psychopathology, but rather suggests that “we should assume this type to be a product of a cross between lesser taints of various deviations.” (p. 136). Furthermore, he states “mate-selection psychology produces pairings which bilaterally represent various anomalies.  Carriers of two or even three lesser deviational factors should thus be more frequent.  A jackal could then be imagined as the carrier of schizoidal traits in combination with some other psychopathy, e.g. essential psychopathy or skirtoidism.” (p. 136).

It is critical for these pathocratic spellbinders to nudge the normal majority away from what Lobaczewski calls its “congenital instinctive infrastructure” (p. 60).  He repeatedly emphasizes the necessity for the “common sense” (p. 188) of the normal majority to prevail in order for a society to maintain its moral center and to thrive intellectually, creatively, economically, and spiritually.  To separate the majority from their common sense, the spellbinder employs the use of doubletalk as his chief strategy for nudging people away from their natural instincts.  The process of ponerization (the overcoding of a society’s moral structure from moral to immoral) necessitates a dual semantic layer, wherein the outer layer is used rhetorically against the target while the inner layer reinforces membership among those psychopaths embedded within the power structure.  In effect, these differing meanings serve to re-stratify the classes of a ponerogenic culture.  The spellbinders (and their collaborators) immediately recognize its hermeneutic meaning; it is only after prolonged exposure (and great labor on the part of the masses) that the targets of this ponerogenic speech are ever availed of its true meaning.  To put this in our current context, we may look at certain phrases (e.g., “Diversity is our strength”) and understand how the meaning differs depending on who utters it (diversity may be a strength for the spellbinder, but as Robert Putnam argued in his 2000 publication, “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” it proves to be a problem for those outside of the spellbinding class).

I have made this point already but it bears elaboration: Innately these spellbinders are people who cannot function in a healthy society, and moreover, feel wronged by it.  As part of their paranoid ideations, they perceive themselves as marginalized and persecuted (although in a certain sense they are correct, given their predilection for manipulation and harm, the natural response is one of ostracism).  The narcissism and self-absorption of the psychopath leads him to create a kind of hero myth that justifies his own actions (if not to himself than to those he seeks dominion over).  By necessity, the characteropath casts himself as a savior – as one who has graciously taken up the causes of liberation and nobility.  This approach proves advantageous for him if he operates within a society where actual injustice is present and easily identifiable (which is usually the case).  Lobaczewski points out that these types construct ideological unions which are predicated upon 1) the exaltation of a wronged other, 2) the radical redressing of that wrong, and 3) the higher values of the characteropathic individuals who have usurped the organization.

Individual psychological failings (be they psychopaths, or abnormal and deficient in some other way) are then moralized into a revolutionary credo that gives them just cause for retribution, thus providing sufficient motivation to deny any self-examination.  Were this technique not so repugnant, one could admire its ingenuity; the moral wickedness of their conduct (which would surely be apparent to any outsider, were it stripped of its romanticism and paramoralisms) is neatly excused and then expelled.  Such a practice is especially important for counteracting the functional conscience in those with a more typical psychological profile.  The fact that true injustice does exist, and that this new ideology claims to resist it means that inductees into this new culture will be more easily swayed into rationalizing the spellbinder’s doubletalk, and never question its truer esoteric meaning.  Naturally, there is more to this story – and 21st century America is very different from the Soviet Republic of the last century.  I will address these differences in a moment.  For now, let us look once more at this phenomenon of spellbinding.

For the skeptical reader, we can dispel with the fanciful terminology and simply look to the very real circumstances we observe in our current situation.  Take the language of victimization and its myriad expressions – racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, ableism, to name a few.  Let us begin with the use of the term ‘racism’: Initially, the word was used to describe an irrational and seething hatred of other races.  Those noble of heart and sensitive to the plight of, say, African-Americans, knew in their souls that they did not harbor animosity toward Blacks and therefore willingly acclimated to the changing cultural and political dialectics.  But as per the hermeneutic tradition of the spellbinder, the term came to take on a new meaning – that of power and privilege.  The eternal revolt against racial discrimination required a new meaning for a new time, against a new generation of foes.  Now, to be racist no longer means being an unsophisticated bigot, full of hatred; instead, it means to enjoy the privilege of cultural, historical, and political continuity.  To be a racist in 21st century America is to hold power, unearned power, over the dispossessed other.   In one sense, that power is one of an unbroken continuity of being – but in a more immediate and political sense it is about institutional hegemony.  Whites, being privileged, now find themselves swimming in a racist undercurrent, where every action, every errant glance, each thoughtless utterance is actually a demonstration of sinister, unjustifiable power and racial superiority that must be deconstructed.  As the usage of this term and the ability to affect political and cultural change based on the desire to annihilate racism grows, more Americans find themselves scratching their heads at the new power this term wields.  “How is that racist?  That doesn’t make sense.  I don’t hate Blacks or Hispanics.”  And likely they don’t.  Only one no longer has to hate non-Whites in order to be racist, one merely has to exist in order to be racist.  The jargon of pathocratic psychopathy has thus emerged from its cocoon different, changed, and now more powerful than when it first appeared.

Sexism worked in this way too; the willful discrimination and marginalization of women meant something far different a few decades ago.  Whereas any social role that was denied to women was understood to be sexist, now any circumstance which affects women differently is evidence of sexual discrimination and oppression.  With such an elastic definition, instances of racism and sexism now explode with regularity.  Similarly with homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and the like, the spellbinding hermeneutics of prejudice grant more power to the characteropath and further oppress the normal and the psychologically fit.  Of particular insidiousness is the use of the suffix ‘phobia’; the use of a clearly understood medical and psychiatric terminology, ‘phobia’ has been grafted to a sociopolitical system of linguistics that overcodes an entire range of cognitions and affects, reducing them to a singular phenomena – fear – the use of which now paints anyone who demonstrates anything other than unflinching support (and submission) towards an underprivileged group could be considered fearful, despotic, and mentally ill.

A new meaning for millennia old biological and evolutionary normalcy’s was created to psychologically wound average people who are not nearly as Machiavellian and sinister as those spellbinders responsible for creating this new moral-linguistic landscape.  A whole range of emotional responses (e.g., disgust, confusion, reticence, self-preservation, et cetera) are no longer legitimated for anyone outside of the spellbinding class, and especially for those unwilling to subjugate themselves to it.  It is difficult to overstate the effect this has on the mind – by constantly changing the moral language and rules of social engagement, consciousness is split, and new sub-personalities are created which now exist in a constant state of conflict.  Not only do these terms create a new moral, linguistic, and affective landscape, but they also radically redraw the sociopolitical structure, creating new castes of privileged and unprivileged members, and allotting people to these new classes based on their willingness to conform to an ever-changing set of demands.

Another example would be the constantly evolving charge of anti-Semitism.  Clearly, it was once understood that claims of anti-Semitism were intended to characterize attitudes and conduct that were explicitly (and perhaps even implicitly) discriminatory or hostile toward Jewish people.  Presently, (and much like the plastic definition of racism) it is now used to designate any othering of Jews, be it negative or positive.  And so, folded into the original meaning of these terms (hatred and fear) is any impulse toward differentiation (another ‘common sense’ instinct as Lobaczewski would say).  Interestingly, the very use of the term is curious because it creates a cleavage in the Gentiles understanding of who precisely is a Semite.  Anti-Semitism is fundamentally about anti-Jewish sentiment, but the term Semite is a cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and racial designation that encompasses a far broader grouping of peoples than simply that of the Jewish individual.  Once more we see how spellbinders use language to fracture and limit the cognitive abilities of the average person.

The originators of these spells create the circumstances by which a healthy society is carved up under the new rules of engagement.  But as I have already pointed out, their progeny merely inherit this system of rules and logic, often without any insight into its genesis.  This phenomenon is not unlike the transmission of rituals and taboos, whereby people unthinkingly inherit these dictums but are oblivious to their intention, and so merely act on them in rote, unconscious fashion.  This is how psychopathic tendencies are transmitted intergenerationally – at first as an intentional means of control, and then merely as a commonplace and thoughtless habit, not unlike how one washes up after themselves.  The situation becomes far worse for the inheritors of this system, as they merely acquire these attitudes through the mechanisms of conditioning and modeling.  They are indoctrinated into a pathological worldview which dictates every relationship they enter, every career they take up, each choice and each breath.  Children don’t just inherit the material or biological traits of their parents, but also their ideological ones (particularly the farther one goes up the socioeconomic ladder, where the stakes are higher).  Of course, these conditions are guaranteed to degenerate over time, as the inheritors of this system possess none of the insight, none of the self-awareness of their forbears, and are subsequently left with fewer psychological tools with which to manage themselves or their pathological reactions.  While they may acquire their power second-hand, it comes with a litany of irrational and hysterical impulses which can neither be contextualized nor dissipated.  Heavy indeed is the head that wears the crown.  Naturally psychopaths wound themselves with their psychological contortions, ego defenses, and general anti-social conduct.  We understand very easily as well that they wound those who are made the targets of their pathology.  But what is less well understood is how those around them, their wives, husbands, children, nieces and nephews, too, are victimized by their pathological and misanthropic outlook.  Their impoverished psychological worldview becomes a mental prison that their kin rarely, if ever, escapes.  Worse still, those that do escape become permanent outcasts, as they – not unlike cult members – have broken out of an inter-generational cycle of psychopathy only to find little in the way of community outside of it.  However, it should be said that they often end up worse than cult members.  In many cases, these individuals lose affiliations of race, religion, social class, and more personally, blood relations.  It is difficult to quantify just which is worse for such individuals – the spellbinding that keeps them in a state of conformity or the ostracism they suffer as a result of breaking free.  Each outcome is tragic in its own way.

It is not uncommon to come across people (even in the online dissident sphere) who believe that the upper classes are made up of individuals with relatively typical psychological profiles.  This is not to say that they are just like us, but it is a kind of reflexive unwillingness to entertain the possibility – neigh, the existence – of evil.  Such individuals may rationalize away the failures of leadership or even identify with their plight.  There are some who believe in the existence of a One Weird Trick For Solving Political Strife, whereby all that is required to solve the problems confronting the over-class is to provide them with a better system or a better deal.  I cannot in good conscience endorse this worldview.  We simply know too much about the nature of the psychopathy and its prevalence among the leadership classes (Robert Hare and Hervey Cleckley have both written extensively on the over-representation of psychopathy among corporate and political leadership).  All of this is not to say that every leader is a dastardly, mustache-twirling loon, or even that every psychopath presents a clear and present danger to the social order (psychopathy is defined by a variety of traits, and it is not necessarily the case that the psychopath is malevolent; often they merely lack that positive social feeling more commonly found among the normal population), but what I am saying is that these individuals are not, by and large, a class to be reasoned with.  A sober analysis (such as the one I have provided) puts us in a superior position to organize and develop effective strategies for advancing our political aims, and not the aims of those who view us with contempt.


References:

Andrzej Łobaczewski, Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, (Grande Prairie: Red Pill Press, 2006), 60, 123-124, 130, 136, 170-177, 188, 203

C.A. Bond, Nemesis, (Imperium Press, 2019)

Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (Touchstone Books: Simon & Schuster, 2001)

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“Karen” and Inner White Flight

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.

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Empire or Nationalism?

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.

Pax Americana

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.


REFERENCES

  1. Johnson, Greg. “Grandiose Nationalism”. Counter Currents. February 6, 2015. https://www.countercurrents.com/2015/02/grandiose-nationalism/.
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You Are The Enemy

A Letter To A Young Conservative, Part I Bad Man On Campus It doesn’t make sense. It seems like there are dozens of left-wing activist groups on your campus. Well,…

A Letter To A Young Conservative, Part I


Bad Man On Campus

It doesn’t make sense. It seems like there are dozens of left-wing activist groups on your campus. Well, “activist” might be the wrong word. These fanatics seem less concerned with ideology than identity. Muslims, feminists, homosexuals, Blacks, “Chicanos”—every tribe has its own organization. And even though it might seem absurd, they are all united around one principle—they hate your guts.

You’ve seen supposed feminists working with Muslims to shut down free speech on campus. You’ve seen environmentalists protest against immigration restriction; even though one would assume more people, more cars, more construction, and more consumption can’t be good for the natural world. You’ve seen Black students, who receive preferential admissions and set-asides in student government and housing, bring entire campuses to a halt because of a supposed “hate crime” you know didn’t happen. Even the left-wing political groups on campus, from the Democrats to the Maoists, seem more concerned with screaming about supposed racial and sexual injustices than debating the finer points of Marxism.

Half these groups should not be working with the other half, and it seems like many of them are acting against their own interests. But you have a vague awareness that you are the target. In fact, these forces don’t seem to have anything in common except their shared enemy.

You pride yourself on your independence and sneer at the “collectivism” of racial identity. You could even present compelling evidence why free-market policies and limited government would be better for racial and sexual minorities than any “progressive” solution. But it doesn’t seem to do any good. No matter how vehemently you protest, no matter how many arguments you win, you are just another White person who needs to check his privilege.

Besides, for people supposedly dedicated to “fighting hate,” those opposed to you seem utterly driven by a dark fury you can’t even begin to understand.

Ask yourself—when was the last time you saw conservative college students shut down a speaker? Can you imagine right-wingers burning liberal student newspapers . . . demanding organizations be banned . . . or calling for the punishment or termination of dissenting students or professors? Can you think of any progressive student who had their dorm vandalized . . . was denounced by a professor in class . . . or personally targeted by defamatory fliers?

Such attacks are so common, it’s almost superfluous to provide examples. And they aren’t even “political” in a partisan sense. They are directed at any individual, no matter how benign or non-threatening, that can be associated with the “Dead White Male,” their system of oppression and capital accumulation known as “Western Civilization,” and anyone that might be associated with them.

These attacks are always done through a dishonest, passive-aggressive style that should be self-discrediting. As this letter is written, you have screaming, cursing mobs of non-White students demanding extreme concessions from campuses and bullying White students—all because they supposedly feel “unsafe.” And you keep silent because you know if you open your mouth, you’ll be attacked by the media, sanctioned by the school, and possibly physically attacked by your fellow students.

If you’re like most, you keep your head down. Unlike the leftists, you don’t receive course credit for political activism. If you are a bit more courageous, you might get involved in “conservative” campus politics, perhaps the College Republicans or some libertarian group. But don’t try talking about something like immigration or affirmative-action—don’t try to change anything fundamental on campus—if you know what’s good for you.

Without even realizing it, you are already acting like part of a conquered population; of a subject suffering under an occupation government. You know you are part of a despised, hated class. You know if you are too vocal, you will be attacked and labeled “racist,” sexist,” or “homophobe.” Your career prospects, your ability to provide for a wife and family—your very future—is at the mercy of whatever student or journalists decides to call you. And like a religious heretic of yesteryear, the accusation is often enough to damn you. Once the Scarlet R (“Racist!”) is pinned to your chest, once those Google results with your name are tainted, you are finished. Far better to be an actual criminal—for criminals get second chances—than to be associated with “hate.”


Resistance Is Futile?

In the end, you only have two choices. The first is to do nothing and hope it will be different when you graduate. That’s what most people do. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get better—it gets much worse. When you get a job, you can be instantly destroyed if someone catches you saying the wrong thing, reading the wrong website, liking the wrong Facebook status, etc. If you’re a male, even looking at a female co-worker the wrong way—or sometimes notlooking at her—will get you sent to the Human Resources director, if not summarily fired. Again, the accusation itself is usually enough.

In corporate America, you’ll find the same sorts of activists who use their “minority” status as a way to make a living in a big institution. Even the military has turned on conservatives, as your career will go nowhere unless you mouth the required platitudes. In the words of General George Casey: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength.” He asserted this in 2009, in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre, in which a Muslim Army psychiatrist killed 13 people. The General continued: “And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” You could get a perfect score on that PFT and have straight As, but I promise you will never make bird colonel unless you grit your teeth and tell your military superiors your gung-ho about overcoming the legacy of Jim Crow. Your Whiteness, despite your supposed “privilege,” simply means you’ll always have to work twice as hard to get that promotion. And if you reach the heights, you’ll always be a target.

There is an alternative to a life on your knees. That alternative is to fight back.

You may think you are doing that right now by working for a certain candidate, signing a petition, or attending something like CPAC. But it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. And even as the other side enjoys privileges and benefits you can only dream of, you are still told that you are the bad guy, that you are the oppressor. You don’t really care about race, yet you are haughtily informed that you are a “racist” who desperately needs to “get educated.” The double standard can drive you insane.

The problem is, as a conservative, you don’t understand what it is you are fighting.

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.” Well, politics is interested in you, whether you like it or not. And you are engaged in a political struggle—an existential one—whether you like it or not.

We like to imagine political struggles through the lens of recent history. Especially as conservatives, we have a certain nostalgia for the Cold War—hard men in horn-rimmed glasses facing down the Commies across the Iron Curtain in a global battle for the fate of humanity. But you are facing a different kind of enemy. As you probably sense on your college campus, the fault lines seem to be over race and culture, not economic production. This struggle is also ideological, but to think of it in terms of “capitalism vs. socialism” is to misunderstand it entirely.

What, after all, defines and unites all those crazy campus protesters who seem to hate you so much, who seem filled with such righteous fury, who are willing to use any methods to destroy you? Only that they are united in opposition to the people, traditions, identity, history, and institutions of the European world. This is what explains alliances that would otherwise seem absurd.

What any activist quickly learns about the Left is they don’t actually care about the things they say they do. No campus feminist really cares about the Islamic State sexually enslaving women in the Middle East, or, for that matter, Muslim migrants rape gangs in England. No Black activist complaining about “cultural appropriation” is going to give up his iPhone anytime soon or lose a moment’s sleep over slavery that’s still occurring in Africa. Cesar Chavez is now a Hispanic hero; but when he was a union organizer, he regarded illegal immigrants as nothing better than “scabs.” Today, leftists will conveniently forget about income inequality, cheap labor, and union busting if any one of those issues conflicts with the cause of bringing in more Third World immigration.


The New Trinity

At the heart of what we call the Left are three interconnected ideals: equality, universalism, and diversity. Such terms are often the equivalent of totems or charms. They are magic words, which convey meaning and importance without having fixed definitions or referents. They gain power from their ambiguity.

In mathematics, equality is the statement that two entities are the same. Politically speaking, it has come to mean that every person in a political community—or in the full-blown “globalist” variation, that every human being on Earth—should have the same rights of opportunity, outcomes, and legal and political expressions. In its more existential sense, equality means, in the words of Adolf Bastian, “the psychic unity of mankind.” In other words, “All Men Are Created Equal.”

Universalism’s origins are theological—the idea that all humans are worthy of achieving salvation. In modern times, it means that political and social norms should be the same no matter what the circumstances. On a more visceral level, universalism is the idea that it is somehow immoral to prefer one’s own family, culture, or nation to others. And let us be honest: the struggles between individuals, communities, and nations almost never results in equal outcomes and they are often zero-sum-games—that is, there are winners and losers.

Diversity is the notion of the multiplicity of different peoples flourishing together. And as opposed to equality and universalism, diversity is about difference. Indeed, difference itself should celebrated (or at least, some differences). Diversity.com, a human resource group for hire by universities and corporations, defines it as such: “diversity and inclusive practice includes gender, religious, race, age, disability, linguistic differences, socio-economic status and cultural background.” The list could go on . . . and there’s no doubt that in the coming years it will.

The ideal of Diversity makes various demands for “inclusion,” “safe spaces,” and the like—where no one identity group, or at least no White identity group, holds sway. According to Diversity.com, “Inclusive practice is known to be attitudes, approaches and strategies taken make sure that students are not excluded from the learning environment because their differences.” Of course, you know what diversity really means when you hear it— “not White” and “not you.”

These are the core ideals of the Left—sadly, they are effectively those of the so-called Right, which only rarely questions the Left on a philosophical level. These ideals are buried so deep in political discourse and activism that we rarely scrutinize them. But under scrutiny, can we really take them seriously? Are they compatible with human nature?

Everyone is not equal. People are different—and we differ both individually and between groups. “Diversity,” at least, gets that part right. Diversity is the newest member of the trinity and perhaps the trickiest; for it contradicts the other two. When an environmentalist says that he wants to maintain “biological diversity,” he is expressly not trying to make everything in the eco-system the same, nor would he attempt to treat each eco-system like the other. Diversity is, in this way, post-civil rights, post-mass immigration, post-empire, and post-colonialism—even post-American. In other words, it specifically comes after a global recognition of non-White cultures. It implies, in its way, an incompatibility and incommensurability; two things can’t be judged by the same standard. In other words, diversity implicitly recognizes identity . . . or at least some identities. We seem to never get a seat at the table.


Cultural Marxism

On a gut level, what we call progressivism today is really just organized resentment. There’s a crazed desire to tear down every remnant of the European past and traditional American identity. And most of all, this manifests itself as a primal hatred of the people who created the West—White people. Loyalty to some abstract idea of “humanity” seems to always manifest itself as hostility to one’s own people.

Where does this come from?

The late Andrew Breitbart popularized the term “Cultural Marxism.” Cultural Marxism emerged due to the failed predictions of orthodox Marxism, namely that “Revolution” would come in the industrialized world. It also came out of an increasing dissatisfaction with the Soviet Union. For the first few decades after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Western Left defended or apologized for the socialist experiment in Eastern Europe. Even the voice of the establishment, the New York Times, ran stories about “Uncle Joe’s” new progressive Russia at the height of the mass purges.[1] It was only when the Soviet Union, ironically, became less Marxist—when it became closer to a military or even fascist dictatorship than a social revolutionary force—that the Western Left turned on its erstwhile idol. It is revealing that those stern Communists you see staring out at you from those Soviet posters look closer to right-wing propaganda than what the SJW’s churn out today.

“If you have forgotten where the borders are, we will help you to land”; 1954
Photo: Public Domain

Marxism was originally based on the idea that a worldwide worker’s revolution was not just desirable but historically inevitable. Due to impoverishment and the growth of class consciousness, workers in the industrialized parts of the world—such as New York, Paris, and London—would increasingly identify themselves as members of a class. They would seize the means of production and inaugurate a new social order. When World War I began, many socialists thought their hour had arrived. This was the catastrophe that would begin a new world.

Instead, nationalism endured. Workers identified with their countries, not with their class. A Communist Revolution did take place but in a country that was relatively “behind” economically, not one of the industrial hothouses. This led many theorists to look for an explanation. One of the most influential writers who tried to explain the twists and turns of Communism was Antonio Gramsci. He developed the theory of “cultural hegemony.” At its heart is the idea that a society’s beliefs and values, often implicit or unconscious, were as an important part of the social order as economic production or political structures. Cultural norms— “traditional values,” as you might call them—give society a sense of legitimacy, order, and hierarchy. Put in Marxist terminology, ideology maintains the ruling class.

Others went further. Pat Buchanan famously identified “The Frankfurt School” (aka Critical Theory)—a group of interwar Marxist scholars in Germany—as providing much of the intellectual heft for the radical social changes that swept through Western societies since the 1960s. It’s not that these relatively obscure philosophers came up with a program that all progressives adhere to. Nor is this some kind of conspiracy. Critical theory and Cultural Marxism are ways for everything to be regarded as political, transforming the whole of human conduct into a battlefield. This is how normal, intelligent people can enter college with a vague belief in “equality” and within a few years be posting on their Tumblr accounts about how they are oppressed because there are separate restrooms for men and women. The idea of “social construct” should also be familiar. Traditions like the family, norms of good and evil, distinctions between man and woman, all are treated as “propaganda,” as lies to be deconstructed.

via MEME

But it goes beyond that. Critical Theory and its subsequent offshoots, including Critical Race Theory, the various “waves” of Feminism, Queer Studies, and all the rest, are simply the tactics. They are the how but not the why.


Why Do They Hate Us?

The why ultimately comes down to something more primal . . . a hatred of excellence, accomplishment, power, and beauty as such. If the ultimate value of the Left is egalitarianism, its ultimate enemy is hierarchy. The White world (and not just global capitalism) are held to be oppressive. We are hated not because of our “freedom,” but because our civilization itself is seen as a kind of insult to the rest of the world and as a horrible, oppressive burden on those Whites who want to be free of it.

Many non-Whites hate us because we are perceived as benefiting from a legacy of oppression, of inheriting “privilege.” It’s worth remembering that the West was not always the pinnacle of cultural development; indeed, we can point to times in history when Europe was a relative backwater. Parts of Europe, especially in the East, suffered under the tyranny of the Ottoman Turks. The Barbary Pirates were taking Europeans as slaves well after the birth of the United States.

But from the Age of Exploration onwards, it is largely White civilization that has essentially ruled the world—politically and economically but also in terms of setting norms, standards, and tastes. As John Derbyshire put it in an article explaining what he called “hesperophobia,” or hatred of the West:

They hate us because we humiliated them, showed up the gross inferiority of their culture. To them . . . we are the other, detested and feared in a way we can barely understand. Things got really bad in the 19th century. When European society achieved industrial lift-off, Europeans were suddenly buzzing all over the world like a swarm of bees. They encountered these other cultures, that had been vegetating in a quiet conviction of their own superiority for centuries (or in the case of the Chinese, millennia). When these encounters occurred, the encountered culture collapsed in a cloud of dust . . . [2]

They hate us from wounded ethnic pride. They hate us because of our cultural superiority, which is to say, at one remove, our political superiority. The actual arguments used to justify this resentment are surprisingly weak. The supposed moral burden resulting from civilizational success is unique to Whites.

No one, for example, is offended by the memory of military adventurers such as Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, or for that matter, the Islamic prophet Muhammed. We would laugh at reports of Arabs demanding reparations from Mongolia or Greece calling for reparations from Turkey. However, we are expected to take seriously Indian demands for reparations from Great Britain.

Slavery and colonialism are universals in history, at least until they were largely ended by the West. Yet today, this is used as the rationale for justifying collective punishment against Western societies, even against nations or peoples who never had slaves or empires. More to the point, Western empires are by historical standards relatively benign and even helpful.

But though this is true, we must recognize this as a weak excuse. Which brings us to the more important reason why Whites are hated as a group, even—or perhaps especially—by Whites themselves. Whites believe mistreatment should not be downplayed because it was relatively “less bad.” Instead, many Whites hold that the West has the unique role in setting an example. We want a civilization dedicated to human rights and universal moral aspirations. We are, therefore, willing to forego a civilizational or racial identity as a kind of penance, abolishing ourselves to create a greater good.

Many non-Whites, of course, are happy to go along with this; acquiring revenge for their past civilizational defeats and reaping rewards in the present, such as job preferences, set asides in academia and government, redistribution of wealth, and cultural recognition.

And it doesn’t sound that bad does it? It seems like a reasonable compromise. This is probably what you ultimately believe, albeit you want to keep “limited government,” free market capitalism, and the institutions of the West going while giving non-Whites some moderate handouts as a kind of consolation prize.

But it’s not going to work! And more importantly, this kind of thinking makes it impossible to build any kind of a free or even functioning society. Multiculturalism and White guilt create a motivation for every non-White, both inside and outside the West, to come up with new tales of victimization and demands for inclusion.

Conservatives often say race doesn’t matter so long as people “assimilate.” But the real question is, assimilate to what? Why should anyone assimilate to a culture that is defined as oppression? More importantly, if you receive rewards for not assimilating to the default culture, you would be crazy to assimilate. It would be in your rational self-interest not to assimilate.

As you’ve probably noticed, when a non-White person accomplishes something in terms of scholarship or career success, they are often accused of “acting White.” They are told they need to express solidarity with their ethnic “community,” lest they be guilty of a kind of treason. And we see non-Whites search for ethnic “authenticity,” usually expressed through acts of hostility against Whites and mainstream American society and culture.

We are all familiar with millionaire Black celebrities lecturing working class Whites on how oppressed they are. We see non-Whites who are the sons and daughters of immigrants acting with hatred and hostility towards their adopted country, rather than with gratitude. And we have many millions of people who may live in this country and have even achieved a standard of living undreamed of by their forebears, but who still regard themselves as groaning under tyrannical White oppression.

We shouldn’t forget that Colin Kaepernick, who made waves by kneeling before the national anthem during NFL preseason games, was not only half-White himself but raised in a middle-class, loving, and “privileged” adoptive White household. He at last found Black “authenticity” by renouncing White America.

When you see non-Whites achieving the American Dream, it makes you happy and you think it’s a sign the country is coming together. That is how we view our non-White fellow citizens. But when they succeed, most of them view it quite differently. They see success as a kind of triumph over you, even though you have been cheering on their success.

Thus, Blacks tell themselves “it takes a nation of millions to hold us back” and Latinos talk about the growing strength of “La Raza,” even though you’ve never wanted anything but success for all groups and all Americans, regardless of color.

Today, assimilation, at least for non-Whites, is an impossibility. Even if non-Whites achieve economic “success” at a level impossible in their own homelands, that is no guarantee they will identify with Western culture or institutions. Indeed, it is usually a guarantee they will rebel against it, as they seek to alleviate the guilt of being “inauthentic” with acts of cultural rebellion against White civilization. And now, thanks to official multiculturalism, there are economic motivations to actively resist assimilation.

Consider the Black Studies professor you have on campus—or Chicana Studies or whatever other “Studies” is in fashion this month. Does he (or more likely she) seem proud to be an American, despite a good job and what billions of people around the world would consider practically a utopian existence?

We’ve also created a kind of motivation for Whites to essentially de-assimilate from their own culture. If White civilization is defined as a long history of oppression, why would any European-American be proud of his or her heritage? Not surprisingly, we get increasingly comical attempts at self-delusion as spiritually dispossessed Whites look for a new identity.

We even see hilarious examples of White people claiming to be non-White. For example, Rachel Dolezal was a White girl of no accomplishments or career prospects. But then she tanned her skin, changed her hair, and started calling herself African-American. She even claimed she had been the victim of White supremacist groups who had been harassing her. Suddenly, she was able to secure lucrative positions at non-profits and universities. At what other time in history can you think of people renouncing their supposedly “privileged” position to secure membership in an “oppressed” group? If we think carefully about it, she single-handedly disproved Critical Race Theory.

But can you blame her, or anyone else? The clear economic incentive structure is in place. You, as a White person, are told your ancestors are basically scum. You are taught the creation of the United States by European settlers was evil, that every White person who existed before the civil rights movement was essentially a genocidal lunatic and that as a kind of racial Original Sin, you as a White person have internalized racism and prejudice unconsciously.

Why wouldn’t people want to throw off this burden of guilt? For that matter, why wouldn’t you specifically want to throw off this cursed ancestry? And the fact that you get economic, social and career benefits if you can pull off this transition doesn’t hurt.

What you end up with is a nation that actively despises its accomplishment—unless these can be couched as a victory over Western society itself. If a non-White person does something, it is a victory over the racist Whites who were trying to prevent it. If a White person does something, it is an exercise of privilege; with possible exceptions for women, homosexuals, or some other sub-minority group.

It makes even less sense than old-school communism. At least under communism, the theory was that capitalists were holding back production out of greed and an incentive to exploit labor. Communism enters to inaugurate a fair but also technologically advanced system. This generates a new breed of person, less grasping, but healthier and more productive. It didn’t work out that way and it never can, but you can at least see why people were infatuated with such a dream.

Under Critical Theory—especially when it comes to race and gender—success is not even possible. In Cultural Marxism, there is the “oppressed” and the “oppressor,” and new varieties of these categories are being created at all the time. The goalposts are constantly shifting. And if traditional Western society is characterized by “oppression,” the solution is to constantly promote forms of identity that can break down or “deconstruct” that society.

The overcoming of the past never ends. There is no point where we are all “equal” and everyone can just start acting normal. We simply fight each other forever. And for Whites, there is no end to repentance. “Whiteness” itself is the Original Sin. And unlike Christianity, “anti-racism” is creed for a church that offers no salvation.

Admit it, you’ve seen it happen on your own campus. Gay groups get criticized for being too heavily White. New “phobias” and pathologies are created seemingly every week. Normal behavior, such as love for your country or the desire to have a family and children, is pathologized as sick or oppressive. And whereas only a few years ago, the definition of being anti-racist was treating people equally regardless of race, now not talking about race constantly is the definition of racism.

What kind of culture is created by people behaving this way? Well, at a typical college campus, you know what happens. Think of your classes, and how real knowledge (at least in the liberal arts) is downplayed in favor of an endless hunt for new forms of “oppression.” Think of aesthetics, about how the radical leftist students on your campus actively promote ugliness and degeneracy to break down “social constructs.” Think of how the accomplishments of the past, as expressed in the statues and buildings on campus, must be torn down or renamed in honor of “activists” whose only accomplishment was to demand from others what they could not build for themselves.

For most of us, life is about accomplishment. Through power, will, and dedication we create meaning by building something that goes beyond ourselves. But to the modern Left, life is about tearing down everything which surrounds them. And this is done at the same time they insist upon the benefits and standard of living created by a civilization and a people they despise and could never hope to equal.

When we come right down to it, the modern left-wing college student enjoys a subsidized existence more pampered and decadent than anything enjoyed by a member of the tsar’s court. This is especially true of non-White students who receive set asides from government and academia. And yet they LARP as grizzled revolutionaries, at war with everything around them, even as the key institutions on campus and in government take their side and defend them.

Under Cultural Marxism, there’s no way Americans of all colors can unite as a people or a nation. Instead, on the modern college campus, there is only war. And as American society increasingly resembles one giant college campus, this endless conflict between will not cease.

The outcome is predictable. European-Americans will continue to be dispossessed, despised, demoralized, and, eventually, destroyed. Whatever ideas, abstractions, or institutions you value are going to be destroyed, too. You may not be aware of yourself as a White person but that does not matter. Your values will not survive your dispossession. Look at what is happening on your own college campus to test the truth of my words.

You may not like this message but that does not matter. The only question is what you are going to do about it. Fight or surrender, conquer or cuck. The choice is yours.

But if you choose to resist, how are you to do it?


References

  1. The Pulitzer Prizes, “Statement on Walter Duranty’s 1932 Prize,” https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty (accessed April 15, 2020). ↩︎
  2. John Derbyshire, “Hesperophobia,” National Review, September 13, 2001, https://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/hesperophobia/ (accessed April 15, 2020). ↩︎
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