Recipe for Reaction

Branding and Necessity

At the end of my post on disruption I put forward four theses.  Eventually I hope to defend them all, but I intend to bracket the first three (which are about the nature of rhetoric, ideology, and civilization) while I address the fourth thesis, about the structure of the Alt-Right.

The first three theses could (at least in theory) be defended without any reference to recent events, so one could conceivably accept my general theories about rhetoric, ideology, and civilization but nonetheless hold that the AltRight which exists today is a divided movement with one (or more) major defining internal fault-lines.

I will tackle the messy quasi-empirical problem of describing the structure of the AltRight first, to forestall this type of objection.  Hopefully in the process of answering the hardest question we will discover that we’re already well on our way to answering the other three.

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Not endorsed by QL!

I say quasi-empirical intentionally.  If you read QL regularly you probably know that I’m not going to write a field guide or plot your friends onto the appropriate quadrant of a political compass (or triangle).

I’m also not going to talk about political phenomena as though they were brands that people can invent, popularize, and own.  There are people who see politics as branding, and God love ‘em.  What they do — colonizing labels, profiting off labels, chasing off people who try to misuse a label — is necessary to semantic stability, but boring (to me).

Consider a vortex, or a wave.  You can formally describe a wave or a vortex without specifying whether it is traveling through water, orange juice, or maple syrup.  Empirical features of the fluid through which a particular wave travels might affect how much energy the wave carries, or how steep it can get before it collapses.  But formal features of waves are substrate-neutral.  Indeed, what a wave is “made out of” is in constant flux; as a wave travels, its formal dynamics cause new particles to adopt the wave-structure as it ejects particles it had assimilated earlier.

d327e4464c7b57cc8e692f42e78d5f93To my way of thinking, a new political phenomenon is interesting only to the extent that it corresponds to a formal structure, like a vortex or a wave, which can be described independently of its constituent parts and which uses those parts to perpetuate and propagate itself.

Another way of phrasing my point: had events gone slightly differently, and the people and factions currently associated with the Alt-Right never coalesced, different people and different factions could have been drawn into the same structural relationship to one another and given birth to the same movement under a different name.

By the way, it may well be that no label for any political movement ever makes its mark until the self-appointed guardians of the brand have slipped up enough new users learning the term for the first time no longer know that it designates a certain set of men, but only recognize a structural pattern in the recruitment of new members.  Dick Spencer has taken credit for popularizing “Alt-Right” on the strength of founding an Alternative Right website in 2010, but I wonder if it isn’t the failure of the website that was instrumental in baptizing the larger movement!  (In other words, if Alternative Right had been successful, we would use “Alt-Right” the way we currently use “NPI”/“Radix” and some other name would have crystallized.)

What A Coincidence

The Western world has been hurtling leftward for a long time, and in a worrying way.  To quote from Resisting Assimilation:

In the last two centuries elite political consensus has moved rapidly towards the Left.  The pace is only accelerating.   Radical theories go from absurdity to orthodoxy at ever-increasing speeds.  Institutions forged to hold back the left are coopted so quickly that some of them seem to have been born pozz’d.

Within this overall trend, each institution has had its own unique trajectory, slightly different from all the others.  An important part of the overall acceleration is the trend in party politics, and one half of that story is the birth of cuckservatism, ably narrated by Paul Gottfried here.  Gottfried’s list of (actual) conservatives purged from the conservative movement also functions as a reading list of witnesses to everything the twentieth-century Right was failing to conserve. (The same essay, or rather the speech on which the essay was based, also introduces the use of the term “Alternative Right”.)

Cuckservativism is self-perpetuating because every new change in public opinion can justify a new round of purges of “unacceptable” views, which destabilizes political debate and allows public opinion to drift further left.  Once cucks start the self-destructive cycle of internal purges, organized political and ideological resistance falls apart.   

The public’s leftward ideological drift could in theory have continued indefinitely because of these self-perpetuating dynamics… if leftist ideas were good.  However, most leftist ideas are wildly inaccurate, and leftist policies which do not lead to suffering immediately either erode institutions or are open to various forms of exploitation.  As a leftist society degenerates, suffering proliferates — and the sufferers rebel.

As Americans’ views on a range of issues change, leftists enact legal and institutional reforms.  Each new round of reforms leads to massive changes in multiple social spheres.  The reforms create both winners and losers but on net losers (and over time, more and more losers).  They also increase the power of the reformers, generate rent-seeking constituencies, leave the institutional framework exposed to further reforms, and create new social problems (remember all those losers!) for reformers to try to solve.

ql_ar_socialchangecausation

The ranks of the Left’s victims start to grow exponentially; so, too, does the variety of ways in which they have been victimized.  This point is worth stressing!  Sometimes, a leftist policy is so bad that the victims of that one policy, all by themselves, are numerous enough to create a political backlash.  The Left will then suffer a setback, but it can also discard isolated catastrophic policies and adapt.

More often, the victims of a single policy are too few, too dispersed, or too indirectly affected to lead an immediate backlash.  As these hard-to-resist policies accumulate, increasing numbers of people are seriously hurt by the aggregate effects of several leftist policies on different areas of their lives.  Without having any single thread which runs through all of their personal complaints, they all develop an inchoate aversion to the left at around the same time.

What a coincidence!

Reality is Ugly

Racial issues and gender issues are probably the two most significant areas where where interlocking Leftist ideology, propaganda, and social policy channel disillusionment with specific leftist policies into self-conscious resistance to the Left.  Perhaps this is not surprising; there are extensive parallels between the two areas.

  1. In both cases, people can categorize one another at a glance on the basis of a brief inspection of superficial traits, and can make inferences about non-observed individual traits on the basis of group averages.
  2. In both cases, there are real differences between average group traits caused by genetics (in races, recent shared ancestry; in men and women, chromosomal differences).
  3. In both cases, social outcomes for the group are affected by underlying biology, and so variance in different groups’ social problems may have biological explanations.
  4. In particular: in both cases, outliers may find it inconvenient to be confused with modal group-members (see #1), and may try to find ways (political or otherwise) to encourage/force strangers not to treat them like a modal member.
  5. In both cases, the pure form of Leftist ideology denies biological differences between groups, while the more moderate forms deny that biological differences should ever matter.
  6. In both cases, the Left comes up with creative fictions to explain social problems caused by group traits; inevitably these fables slide from absolving the group of responsibility for its own problems, to blaming other groups.
  7. In both cases, when reforms based on these fables fail to solve the problems, new fables with an even broader scope are concocted to explain how the scapegoat-groups sabotaged the original solution.
  8. In both cases, the categories coordinate one’s participation in a major social sphere: people self-segregate to form ethnically homogenous (and thus culturally harmonious) communities, and they pair off to form families wherein a husband and wife can each play a specialized role suited to their talents and tastes.
  9. In both cases, bizarre and constantly changing theories about how to solve “social problems” stemming from group differences (see #7) start to interfere with human flourishing within the relevant social sphere (community-formation is impeded in one case, and family-formation in the other).
  10. In both cases, the Left attempts to gain one group as a special constituency and increasingly adopts a platform of identity politics, pushing openly negative-sum policies that help the in-group only at the expense of the out-group (and in many cases do not help the group as a whole at all, but only its leaders and/or its most politically radical elements).
  11. In particular: the distribution of jobs, offices, honors and academic admissions is no longer viewed either as a private matter or as a matter of individual merit, but as political spoils for groups to fight over.
  12. In both cases, political debate and virtue-signaling increasingly come to revolve around insults (like “racist” and “sexist”) whose purpose is to create scapegoats for a group’s problems (see #7), and in particular to demean those who confuse outlier members and modal members (#4), who admit that group differences have biological roots (#2); ultimately, these labels come to refer to anyone who notices group traits at all (#1).

“Progress” in these two areas is a major contributor to the overall feedback loop which fuels leftward acceleration.  These are probably also, out of all the Left’s issues, the ones which have ultimately caused the most suffering: partly because family formation and community formation are so central to human life, partly because so many different policies are gathered together under these two rubrics.

Indeed, progressives actively work to recategorize their pet issues under “race issues” or “gender issues” precisely because racism and sexism are so central to the Left’s rhetorical strategy.  But people hate being slandered, so the very effectiveness of the rhetorical strategy is part of what makes its politically-incorrect targets notice its use and detest its users!

What’s more, race and gender are two topics where both personal experience and basic high-school biology demonstrate the absurdity of the ideology of political correctness.  Everyone knows that the Left is lying.

All the news that’s fit to print

Once you know that the Left and its minions are lying about the big picture, you start to wonder whether they’re lying about particular stories whose political relevance hinges on the race or gender of the protagonists.  And once you start to wonder…

ql_ar_confluence

The media is a funny thing.  If you choose a guy at random and ask him how he feels about newspaper coverage of a certain topic and the topic happens to be one where he is personally well-informed, where he can rely on his own experience or expertise: he’ll probably tell you journalists are ignorant and the nonsense that ends up in their articles could only be explained by laziness or brainlessness.  But if you ask him the same question about coverage of any other topic, he’ll probably be pretty satisfied with it.

This is not to say that we should all be experts about everything, or that we should only read the sort of research that experts would find intelligent and substantial.  But it does mean:

  1. Our faith in the media can only be sustained by a certain kind of thoughtlessness (a failure to extrapolate from our judgment of the journalism we have the background knowledge to evaluate).
  2. Most people accept and even appreciate articles that they would consider lazy and brainless if they tried to verify them, so you can easily use journalism as a vehicle for dishonest propaganda.
  3. If experts in each topic agree the journalists whose work they’ve reviewed are lazy and/or brainless, all journalists are; if journalists are lazy/brainless, they will make lots of mistakes; if they make lots of mistakes, anyone who starts to poke around in his favorite newspaper or magazine will be disappointed by what he finds.

So once you start to treat every article skeptically, your digging turns up so many errors, half-truths and exaggerations that your faith in the media is irrevocably lost.  Soon you are no longer asking whether the media is reliable but rather what misconceptions it is trying to spread.

tumblr_inline_neule38qfk1svqslhThis, by the way, is why Gamergate was so important.  Yes, I know: video games, uncool!  Many would prefer not to trivialize the Alt-Right by associating it with (a) petty and (b) nerdy (thus, low-status) concerns about video-game journalism.  But I have repeatedly and without irony referred to Gamergate as the Alt-Right’s Spanish Civil War, because it recapitulated the entire social conflict between the Left and its victims on a smaller scale, and magnified some of its most important dynamics (in particular, the role of journalists).

Whether your first suspicions focused on race, on gender, or even on video games, once you start treating the media as unreliable you also move to a new understanding of how journalism works. 

Previously, when you noticed a pattern in all the articles a paper published on a certain topic, you took the pattern as evidence of an underlying empirical regularity.  Each additional report which fit the pattern was credible because it was consistent with the general rule; and our confidence in the rule grew stronger with each new report that confirmed it.  Likewise, when all the articles published in different news outlets about a single story were similar, you reasonably inferred that the articles were similar because they were all accurate reports of the same story.

When you realize the empirical regularity doesn’t exist, that raises a question about what does explain the consistent bias.  This gives rise to further research into the story that journalists are attempting to force on their readers: the Narrative.

It also raises questions about why journalists promote the Narrative at the expense of accurate reporting!  These explanations can get very complicated, but for most people the arc is the same: once you realize the editor isn’t going to fire a lying journalist if you can get just a few more people to sign your petition, you start to see the media organizations themselves as political enemies.

Originally you were only concerned about lies in one area where the lies struck you as particularly pointless and painful: maybe race or gender, maybe video games, maybe something else entirely.  Then you realized that journalism is lies.  Once you get to that point, you are on the verge of realizing that the media also tells you many non-obvious lies that haven’t harmed you very much (yet).

Then you’re in the Alt-Right.

hith-charge-of-the-light-brigade-british-attack-abLast Stand of the Anglo-Saxons

Besides lying about reality directly (in the media, in the schools, in pop culture), the Left also exerts whatever power it can to discourage expression of open opposition to leftist policies and ideology.  But of course, deception and suppression are two great tastes that taste great together; discussion of deceptive journalism is one of the most important targets to be suppressed.

There is a reason why 2016’s culture war was dubbed “The Revolt of the Comments Section”.  As the losers the Left’s policies create multiply and ordinary people become increasingly hostile to the media, any space where people are able to discuss and critique deceptive journalism is bound to explode sooner or later.  2016 was the explosion.

All of these revolts  (from those which took place in the comments sections of the individual articles, to social media, to the forums of long-established online communities) are interesting in their own right, as elements of the general struggle to spread accurate information in the face of a perpetual onslaught of deception.  But the explosion in repression (and in particular, repression of debates about the factual accuracy of the Narrative) also triggered a new dynamic which rapidly strengthened the Right.

American progressives inherited an Anglo-Saxon country.  They managed to get rid of most of the Anglo-Saxons, and many of its institutions, but only by paying lip service to at least some of the Anglo-Saxon principles.

Freedom of speech was an American principle which progressive have only recently felt free to dispense with.  Current university students often (typically?) use “free speech” to mean the type of speech that is free, in contrast to (for example) “hate speech”, which is forbidden and subject to severe consequences.  However, even a few years ago progressives still felt insecure enough that they needed to embrace the principle of free speech, even if they had to subvert it or pervert it to make it serve their ends. 

(They may even have encouraged extreme, pathological enthusiasm about free speech!  Certainly this enthusiasm was a rationale for the dissemination of obscene material.  Free-speech enthusiasm is also a symptom of the progressive strategy of forcing opponents to defend exaggeratedly rigorous/internally-consistent positions.)

Whatever the explanation for this last relic of Anglo-Saxon values may be, most American adults still care very deeply about free speech, and this created a final line of defense against deceptive propaganda.

ql_ar_catalysis1

Suppression of political discussion typically works by declaring some topics, claims and attitudes out-of-bounds: they are hateful, extremist, or whatever else.  Typically this tactic only succeeds if the community in question generally accepts that at least some of the claims targeted for suppression are, indeed, hateful/extremist/etc.  Defenders of free speech are willing to agree that certain claims are hateful, but nonetheless argue against banning hateful claims.

Principled believers in free speech may think that it is empirically or theoretically wrong to believe X, and that as a matter of politeness or ethics it would wrong to say X; but this is irrelevant to a question of principle.  The more claim X is suppressed, the more principled believers in free speech will stop discussing X and move to a meta-discussion about banning X.

Other principled friends of liberty may go further, and feel that the only way defend the right to say X is to actually say X.  They may do this simply in solidarity, to make suppression more difficult and damaging.  They may find it convenient to express their support as a public show of strength.  Where part of the argument is about the harm X does to the audience, repeating X anyway is a form of tit-for-tat to deter further restriction of speech.  One’s willingness to defend the right to say X in this way is likely related to the view that X is not all that hateful, and one may end up saying “X” simply to demonstrate that nothing bad will happen, that it’s not evil, and that you can reject belief in X without getting hung up on trying to stop people from saying X.

The ideological defense of speech and the expressive defense of speech are simply two different approaches to defending free speech.  In most communities where dissident opinions are being suppressed, there will be a large number of people who support free speech, most of whom would prefer not to repeat any claims they think are false and hateful.

However, when there is a concerted attempt to suppress discussion in a community which flagrantly ignores principled opponents, free-speech supporters abandon their spontaneous, piecemeal defenses of the dissidents and can collaborate on an overall strategy which will lead to victory.  And once ideological defenders are collaborating with expressive defenders and debating their overall strategy, they are likely to (a) befriend the expressive defenders, (b) realize that they aren’t actually saying hateful things because they are hateful people (remember the FAE!), and (c) start to respect the strategic logic of expressive defense.

Of course, just as ideological defenders and expressive defenders gain respect for one another once they are forced to cooperate and start to mingle, so too for expressive defenders and genuine dissidents.  From the point of view of leftist henchmen who ban anyone who says “X”, genuine dissidents and their expressive defenders look exactly the same.   However, once they are united by a shared fate, a shared strategy, and an equally low status in the eyes of anyone who trusts the Narrative, they are likely to befriend one another and start exchanging ideas about their situation.  Very quickly the expressive defenders, who had previously rejected X as an absurd belief, will be exposed to all sorts of new reasons to believe X (and will use many of them in their expressive defense of X); they may even change their mind!

This pattern, wherein concerted suppression of free speech causes ideological defenders to associate with expressive defenders and expressive defenders to associate with genuine dissidents, does not depend on what is being suppressed, where, or by whom.  However, if X really is unlikely or absurd (and if saying X really is hateful, or shameful in any other way), then this closer association is just as likely to force dissidents to consider objections which shake their faith, or expressive defenders to see the promise of a more respectful approach, as vice-versa.

When X is true, however, and the main reason most people rejected X to begin with is that inquiry into X was discouraged/stigmatized by low-level suppression, then intensifying the suppression to ban any debate about X has a catalytic effect.  Ideological defenders will start to feel the pull of the expressive defense as soon as they start to meet expressive defenders, and will never look back; expressive defenders will only learn more and more evidence in favor of X from genuine dissidents, whose views they will have no power to change.

Collaboration in defense of free speech also catalyzes belief in the forbidden claim “X” much more quickly if the defenders are already skeptical about leftist ideology, leftist rhetoric and leftist “facts” in light of previous experiences, unrelated to free speech.  They will be attuned to the possibility that the anti-X consensus was engineered, and open to evidence which confirms deception took place.

Of course it is also possible to be primed for catalysis by experiences which were related to free speech; and in particular, to different catalytic chains which overlap to create a larger reaction.  Ideological defenders of the right to say X may start out too uncertain, or simply too embarrassed, to defend the right to say Y; as they are catalyzed towards a belief in X, they also find themselves among people who will defend the right to say Y, or involved in a common strategy defending the right to say X and Y; and thus gradually they gain a new appreciation of the importance of Y, and the catalysis continues.

ql_ar_catalysis2

The only way to avoid this dynamic while suppressing free speech is to make sure that only a tiny number of people value free speech in the first place, or to suppress it so forcefully that resistance is obviously hopeless (or at least very costly) from the beginning, depriving your opponents of an occasion to come together to coordinate their collective strategy.

Recap: Genesis of a movement

  1. Progressive acceleration produces a huge pool of people who have been hurt in complicated ways by social degeneration, and thus have grievances against the Left.
  2. Those with grievances against the Left become skeptical about leftist claims in a certain issue area, and openly hostile to political correctness.
  3. Skeptics about one aspect of the Narrative start to meticulously doubt and fact-check media sources; their faith in the media plummets as they discover systematic inaccuracies, they try to reach a new understanding about what the media is and how it functions, and their skepticism spreads outside the original issue area.
  4. As skepticism spreads, suppression of all political discussion (particularly discussions concerning the reliability of media sources) becomes a major flashpoint; vestigial fondness for free speech leads to a backlash which catalyzes the views of the American mainstream.

19ce0a84cc435213090cc0fd8a9106f9In the next installment I will come to — well, let’s call it “the varieties of reactionary experience”.

Series: What is the Alt-Right?

  1. Part I (Disruption is Easy) 
  2. Part II (Recipe for Reaction) < You are here
  3. Projected: Part III (Reality and Rebirth)
  4. Projected: Part IV (The Political Onion)
  5. [TBD]

Memetic Lebensraum, Part 1 (Resisting Assimilation)

pepematrixInterpretation and Identification

In the last two centuries elite political consensus has moved rapidly towards the Left.  The pace is only accelerating.   Radical theories go from absurdity to orthodoxy at ever-increasing speeds.  Institutions forged to hold back the left are coopted so quickly that some of them seem to have been born pozz’d.

This makes us, in The Current Year, desperate to understand this irresistible force we call Leftism, Progressivism, Bolshevism, or simply Cthulhu.  To understand it means, first, to identify and describe it; or rather, to identify all of the phenomena which can be described as “leftist”, and to separate them from those that cannot.  This separation is the foundation for all our metapolitical intelligence-gathering (How does the Left work?), strategy (How and where can one attack the Left?) and hygiene (How can one avoid infection by the Left?)

The priority of identification over interpretation is really no different in any other domain of knowledge.  An entomologist must learn to spot and identify beetles before he can turn his observations into a Theory of Beetles.  Of course, a dedicated entomologist begins to get beetles on the brain.  He sees beetles in abstract geometric patterns, he sees beetles when he closes his eyes.  Sometimes he may even reflect on more abstract resemblances to beetles: while watching cable news, for example.

When identifying the essential underlying bolshevism of something, however, this hyperawareness of salient patterns poses a unique danger.  Part of the essential underlying essence of Bolshevism is the drive to assimilate everything that is non-bolshevik and absorb it into Bolshevism.

The Living and the Dead

Leftist lunatics and leftist institutions have life stories: there was a before and an after. You can over-estimate how deluded a leftist is, or how converged an institution is, but the Left’s goal in such cases is to delude or to converge an unwilling target, not to convince you, the observer, that the attempt was successful.

This is true when the target is among the living, at any rate.  There is one sure defense against conversion by leftists, namely death (or for institutions, destruction).  Death puts a man forever beyond the reach of pharisees and commissars.  The saints can no more be infected by bolshevism than by influenza.

Yet the dead are not irrelevant to Bolshevism’s broader drive to assimilate.  Their invulnerability to conversion merely forces the Left to abandon conversion-tactics.  Where conversion is still possible, forcing someone to become a man of the Left wholly eclipses creating the impression that he is of the Left.  Where it is not, they rearrange their strategic priorities.

Why, you might ask, would the bolsheviks care to create such an impression?  Could it be more than a matter of empty pride, the spiritual equivalent of We wuz kangz?  (“We wuz commissars…”)

When bolsheviks successfully convert a still-living man (or a still-operating institution) to their cause, they have a new tool.  Each new convert strengthens the Left and puts more power at its disposal.  Giving observers the impression a conversion attempt succeeded also gives them a certain impression about the collective power and unity of the Left.  (The impression that a coalition has the power to attain its ends attracts allies and calms latent tensions.)

Yet since dead leftists can no longer be used as tools, the impression that the dead were leftists creates neither power nor the illusion of power.  What purpose, then, could the assimilation of the dead serve?

I hesitate to discuss the ways in which re-baptizing the dead serves the bolshevik cause. I am not even sure the bolsheviks’ drive to assimilate the past is explained by a deliberate instrumental plan; the reverse may very well be closer to the truth.  That is, the blind drive to assimilate may be their fundamental character, and its contribution to the fitness of their memeplex a secondary fact with a teleofunctional explanation.  But the question deserves an answer, so…

6467202353_07b8df37fd_zBeyond Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil

The worldview of the Left is Manichean: Left-Right, Progressive-Regressive, Bolshevism-Fascism.  This worldview is the root of all moral authority the Left wields.  As the Left’s worldview spreads, its moral authority increases, giving leftists the power they need to propagate the worldview.

I have previously written that leftists struggle with logical thought and like to replace discussion with emotion-talk.  These are two small aspects of  an over-arching shift from evaluating someone’s beliefs and actions on the basis of his reasons, to evaluating them on the basis of his motives.  C.S. Lewis apparently called this shift Bulverism; Paul Ricœur’s “hermeneutics of suspicion” is a related but perhaps broader category.

A speaker’s motives are never irrelevant; they give his words a salience that invites closer scrutiny. Even if two speakers trust trust each other unreservedly, they will frequently find it impossible to interpret each others’ words without knowing the intention behind them.

If “I have to work tonight” can mean I will not be at the party  when someone’s intention is to satisfy your curiosity about whether he will attend, it can also mean I do not have to work, but I want you to think I do  when his intention is to give an excuse for his absence.

Someone’s concrete goal in a situation may lead us to suspect that he would say X to accomplish his goal whether or not X is true; but this only means that we should ask him to substantiate his claim.  Talk is cheap, but evidence is not.  Someone may lie about evidence, or even fabricate it, but past a certain point we become confident that (a) the difficulty of his (hypothetical) deception or (b) the risks it would pose to his reputation for honesty and good judgment outweigh what he could stands to gain from trickery.

trust-but-verify-e1389107073481Of course, this only means that when the stakes for the speaker are high or our personal ties to him are weak, we scrutinize everything he says more closely.  (Higher stakes justify the difficulty of more elaborate deceptions, and weak ties make it easier to run away from an unsavory reputation.)

Problems only arise after one shifts from assigning speakers concrete motives (skipping a party, selling a product, winning a game) towards classifying their motives as good or evil.  The peculiarity of the bolshevik’s worldview lies in this: rather than flagging the most suspicious claims and demanding further substantiation of them, a bolshevik suspects anyone who provides supporting evidence to substantiate a claim, if proving the claim frustrates the goals of Bolshevism.

In other words, in an ordinary debate if you make a claim that just seems too convenient I may doubt it, and reply: “Now where did you hear that?”  But once you reply “The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database 2013, Table 10b,” my suspicions can only extend as far as checking Table 10b myself.  When I’ve seen it with my own eyes, you have substantiated your original claim (and shown my suspicions were unwarranted).

Anyone who has had a conversation with a progressive in the last, oh, ten years or so knows that their reactions are quite different.  “How did you know that?” they will say. “That’s exactly what I would expect a racist to say.”  The substantiation itself is proof that you are not to be trusted; the more elaborate and well-researched your substantiation, the more loudly you accuse yourself!

One way to understand the bolsheviks’ fascination with motives is that they behave as though they were at war.  In a war, all the normal considerations governing honesty and deceit are thrown out the window.

  • (a) Soldiers can only expect death and destruction if their side loses, so they are highly motivated to do their part and collectively overcome the enemy.
  • (b) They have no ties to their enemies; with their brothers-in-arms, they have bonds forged in suffering and boredom; and the civilians they are ultimately protecting are their kinsmen and their neighbors.

Far from gaining a reputation for dishonesty, a soldier who manages to deceive and slaughter his enemies will be toasted as a hero by those whom he cares about.

Bolsheviks are only keyboard commandos.  They have no trenches to defend.  They have thick social, professional and family ties to non-bolsheviks they treat as enemies. They will not be gunned down in no-man’s-land if it turns out their political rivals’ claims about crime statistics are accurate.  (In fact, more often than not everyone would benefit if either side were to base its policies on accurate beliefs about cause-and-effect.)  So neither stark differences in the fates the two sides face, nor the personal stakes of a political argument, nor a vagabond indifference to reputation can explain bolsheviks’ Manichaean bellicosity.  What does?

hidden_mickey_mouse_09
Leftism: slimy yet satisfying!

Let’s call the view that what something is or whether it exists may hinge on a claim’s practical relevance to a decision we face “ontological pragmatism”.  An entomologist who wishes to persuade us a certain critter is a beetle, or that the order Coleoptera must be distinguished from Hemiptera, may get a tough reception if we are starving and scavenging for food under a rotting log.  Here the practical question is What are we to eat? and the entomologist must establish his bona fides by assuring us that the entomology lesson will culminate in a delicious snack.

The progressive is certain his goal can be described as progress and any criticism of a reform he supports only matters if framed it in terms of how to make progress.  If you frame your objections correctly, the progressive will thank you, as a fellow progressive, for showing him the error of his ways!  Otherwise your feedback is only a distraction from what really matters, namely making progress.  Your indifference to progress marks you as an opponent.  Mutatis mutandis for other -isms: capitalism, racism, anti-semitism, male chauvinism, environmentalism…

Of course, if you appease the progressive and start to translate all your objections into the language of progress (or class-struggle, or anti-racism) you will only reinforce his belief that all political and social matters can be reduced to a progressive/regressive axis. Your audience will draw the same lesson.  After enough practice pitching your ideas to leftists in this way, you may start to forget that reality can’t be reduced to this axis.  You will start to feel stronger temptations to draw on the moral authority of the Left to discomfit your opponents, or to whip up public opinion against them.  The Left will lend you as much moral authority as you need, and you will pay it back with interest.

The Manichaean worldview is not a corrosive effect of lifelong allegiance to the Left.  It is the first symptom of infection.  Once someone sees all possible political stances and objectives squeezed onto a spectrum, he has already been assimilated.  He may not vote for a leftist party (maybe he never will), but he knows that some political motives are evil and some day he will simply get tired of being called a “transphobe” or a “pedophobe”…

Did you know that Mencius Moldbug once hypothesized that good and evil, as moral poles orthogonal to lawful and unlawful, are illusions?  As a claim about the way the world really is, I have reservations about this “linear model”.  (The world is a complicated place.)  As spiritual guidance, I am torn.  (Deeply complicated.)  But as a toy model for explaining what we observe in the social world, Moldbug’s linear model is very powerful.

>There are people who actively pursue evil — psychopaths — but psychopaths… act alone. Most people spend most of their time pursuing good, and all large organizations are organized around some concept of good.

>Since most of the large-scale phenomena in recent history which most of us would consider “evil” have been the result of actions of people acting within organizations, “evil” must be the result of actions which someone considered “good.”

>By conflating evil with malevolence, planarism [the illusion that law↔chaos and good↔evil are orthogonal moral dimensions -ed.] derives the logical result that evil can be extinguished by eradicating malevolence. So planarists strive everywhere and at all times to think good thoughts, and to persuade others to do the same.

>When planarists read and write history, they spend far too much time on the landscape of emotional attachments and airy mystical beliefs, and not enough on practical cause and effect. As in the case of religion, our sense of classification is being fed superfluous information which is meaningless and disorienting…

Our immediate goal is to identify leftists, leftism, and the Left so that we can study them, understand them, and defeat them.  But our ultimate goal is to escape from the Good/Evil illusion entirely.

degenerateheresycodexGrimdark

Is politics war?  Does it need to be?  This is a complicated question.  But the political strategy of Bolshevism is to treat politics as war, to treat an enemy as someone working towards the ultimate evil, to treat a friend as someone who must be spurred on to ever greater contributions to the cause.

This technique effectively mobilizes bolsheviks in the same way an army mobilizes conscripts for war.  It helps them win victories, convert opponents, strengthen the prestige and moral authority of bolshevik principles, and infect ever-more people with the worldview which allows the mobilization.

This puts anyone on the Right in a difficult position.  Unilateral disarmament is no more an option in domestic politics than in war.  If they treat us as “the enemy,” we must respond in kind; if quasi-military tactics are making the bolshevik juggernaut unstoppable we must study these tactics and adopt them.  But the Manichaean worldview is itself the main vector for infection by leftism, and by organizing for self-defense we play exactly the role it has assigned to us.

This is why the assimilation of the dead into the Left matters so much.  From a leftist perspective, the more people see human history as a story about progress (and at least implicitly, as a struggle between progressives and their ruling-class opponents), the more whole-heartedly they conform to the Manichaean worldview and the more derisively they dismiss the thought-crimes of evil people who oppose progress, in its various forms.

To assimilate the past into Bolshevism, bolsheviks do not need to portray every historical figure as a bolshevik!  A thrilling story needs both a protagonist and an antagonist, a Beowulf and a Grendel.  The bolsheviks are writing a script where a proto-leftist saves the day (or dies trying) but they have plenty of speaking parts the “ruling class” can audition for.  Not only can they serve their goal goal by casting a historical figure as a leftist or a rightist; sometimes they can spice up the story by cutting the scenes where an awkward figure appears; and by recasting actual right-wingers as progressives, and vice-versa!  As I wrote in my post Physical Anthropology in 1950:

[One] major purpose of bolshevik agitprop has always been to encourage this fallacy wherever they can: to get the herd to see everything through the lens of left/right, progress/regress, us/them.  Not until I read Races did I grasp how well demonizing defeated opponents serves this rhetorical strategy.  Demonization encourages conflation of different types of opponents, and this conflation can include not only people who were your enemies for different reasons (fairly obvious) but also people who were not strictly speaking your enemies at all (that is to say, people on the other side with whom you shared some goals, to some degree).

Peering ahead into the grim darkness of the coming decades, you may see nothing but war. So be it.  But do not let this insight about political strategy in the twenty-first century blind you to the nature of things.  In 2017 you are on duty, and you must keep an eye on your forward lines.  In 1617 you are on leave, and you are free to stretch out your muscles in a conceptual landscape unimpeded by the narrow limits which Bolshevism imposes on society reality.

This freedom extends to facts, human beings, institutions, social dynamics, identities, ideas, and events.  In the present any of these things can align along the Left/Right axis, can be controlled by leftists or rightists, can be objectively favorable to the Left or the Right.  In the past, not so.  To recognize “essential underlying bolshevism” you must first recall the slow development of the Left, and trace this process of becoming back to its birth.  Before there was a Left, there was no Left/Right axis to politics, and a Manichaean worldview was a temporary expedient in times of war.

Rehabilitating people whose legacies have been assimilated into Bolshevism is an important step towards resisting assimilation, and it has served as an instructive example because of the sharp contrast between living people (whom bolsheviks can actually convert) and the dead.  But concepts are much more important, although the sense in which they can be “converted” or “conquered” is much more abstract.  Concepts that were manufactured from scratch by bolsheviks inside institutions wholly under their control are almost certainly toxic.  But those which they have merely seized and twisted to their own ends, we can liberate.

ahistoryofviolenceA History of Progress

Bolshevism’s “long march” through American academia is only just now reaching its conclusion, as death claims the survivors of a conservative rearguard within the universities that had checked the excesses of their junior colleagues.  What the Cathedral produces in TCY is thoroughly and irredeemably pozz’d, but even twenty years ago dissident professors did not have to endure struggle sessions with their most ignorant students, and leftist professors were strongly influenced by teachers and critics who challenged their leftist views.  Much of it is valuable and even what is poz is educational wherever it fails to line up neatly with the bolshevik orthodoxies of TCY.

The contemporary Left/Right party-system was still evolving in Western countries as recently as the 1930s.  Progressivism only definitively assumed the form of Bolshevism after 1917; strictly speaking Bolshevism dates back to 1903, and was a branch of an international conspiracy which had existed in organized form only since September 18, 1864.  The First International (a.k.a. International Workingmen’s Association) was an umbrella organization for every strain of revolutionary radicalism: Owenites, anarchists, syndicalists, communists and republicans came together to plot and blaspheme.  Each strain of this sinister virus, the Left, undoubtedly imagined itself as master of all the others.  We, who know how the story ends, ought not to fall into the trap of assuming every strain of radicalism which was of the Left in the beginning possessed all the characteristic traits of the most virulent strain (Bolshevism) from the outset.

But the historical roots of the concept Left itself are ultimately rather shallow.  In 1791, the 745 members of France’s Assemblée legislative sat next to their friends and political allies: constitutionalists to the right, republicans who saw the new constitution as a temporary expedient to the left.  In 1789, in the Assemblée nationale constituante, the supporters of Louis XVI  sat to the right-hand side of the podium, and his opponents to the left.  Before that, nothing.

We cannot, of course, imagine that anyone in history who supported a king was of the Right and anyone who opposed a king was of the Left.  Nor should we scour history for those who sought to preserve republican constitutions and those who treated them as guidelines.  Kings and constitutions are not of themselves Left or Right.  Rather, it is the project of the Left in the broadest sense to mash up historical reality like cud and pass it through the eight stomachs of bolshevik ideology in order to produce something soft and malleable, something that can be forced to take on “progressive tendencies” or “regressive tendencies”.  Tens of thousands of pages of vivid history, processed down into bullshit.

ql_parallelsI don’t want to exaggerate. 1789 was not a unique event, other than with respect to the appearance of a persistent Left/Right. Trends similar to the fateful dynamics of Bourbon France were occurring and had been occurring in other countries; there, they led to parallel political crises, parallel factional rivalries, parallel resolutions. But parallels will only get you so far!  Four things can all be parallel to one another without all four of them being parallel in the same way.

If you insist on treating the English Civil War, for example, as a struggle between leftist Roundheads and right-wing Royalists, well: fine!  What can I do to stop you?  Everyone does it.  The English Civil War does greatly resemble the French Revolution… as viewed through a kaleidoscope.

(If an object looks the same to you whether viewed through a kaleidoscope or not, I have bad news for you: you may have ingested a mind-altering substance!)

But at 1618 you really must stop.  If you tell me you’re suspicious of all the anticipations and progressive tendencies you detect in the work of that arch-revolutionary propagandist, John Milton, I will not agree with you but I will humor you.  Before this date, the mere fact that an idea is new really cannot possibly have anything to do with whether or not it is a mirage fabricated by leftists.  Your conviction that it might be is itself the mirage, and when you can free yourself from the mirage and see the past as it really was, you are finally resisting assimilation.

Series: Memetic Lebensraum

  1. Part I (Resisting Assimilation) < You are here
  2. Part II (Conquest)
  3. Projected: Part III (Envoi)

Disruption is Easy

150px-yoke_and_arrows-svgAfter I pointed out the relevance of the posts on political ecology and political parties to the latest doxxing (protect yourself! please!) and the resulting controversy and infighting, a friend asked me what I thought of Vox Day’s proposed division of the AltRight into the AltWhite and the AltWest. To quote Vox’s own words:

>Nevertheless, it is clear that there is an intrinsic tension within the Alt-Right, which is not necessarily a bad thing. On the one side is the Alt-White, which is pure white nationalist and predominantly pagan or atheist. This could be thought of as the NPI or Spencerian Alt-Right. On the other is the Alt-West, which is omni-nationalist and pro-Christian. I suspect Jared Taylor and RamZPaul are more of this persuasion, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it is the branch in which I would place myself.

Criticizing Vox Day… well, I hesitate because he is so often right.  He’s not only a smart guy, but original and thought-provoking as well.  His thoughts on the relationship between international trade and immigration, in particular, sent me down a path that radically changed how I think about not only trade, but economics as a whole.

Two’s company

My respect for Vox notwithstanding, the AltWhite/AltWest doctrine is misguided.  This distinction would have been not-quite-right even if Vox had only mentioned it as a hypothesis.  We all need to spitball ideas; a mistaken assertion that stimulates discussion is not itself a mistake.  “AltWhite/AltWest” only became truly unfortunate as Vox Day (and others who picked up the meme) went on to treat it as an established taxonomy of the AltRight’s factional politics.

The distinction is not entirely unwarranted.  There are valuable perspectives and useful facts lurking in the vicinity of “AltWhite/AltWest” and to the extent that Vox Day’s intention only to excavate these, it would be easier for me to defend his intention than to attack his error.  The AltRight truly is composed of a variety of factions with distinct but overlapping attitudes, principles, goals, abilities, and demographics.  Understanding the inner richness of our movement and its political ecology makes us strong.

Further, the fate of the white race in Europe and the settler nations and the fate of Western Civilization are two distinct topics — just as a projectile’s mass and its velocity are distinct topics.  The two fates are inextricable, as are the political fortunes of any factions which care about either the race or the civilization, but as phenomena they are distinct.  Avoid conflating the race and its civilization, and you will have a sharper understanding of both.

Even if Vox Day’s intention was only that his readers grope towards these insights, reducing the intricate complexity of the AltRight’s constituencies to a fundamental division into two poles with different goals was a mistake.  Whenever you have any kind of coalition assembled (even if it isn’t a particularly complex one), you do not want to take any steps to persuade the coalition that it is effectively bipolar and that each hemisphere of the coalition has its own interests.

This point may be a little slippery to grasp, so rather than doing an extremely precise dissection of what it means to persuade your coalition to think of itself as X or as Y, I want to start with a cute little example to illustrate the converse: whenever there is any kind of coalition assembled against you, do whatever you can to persuade your enemies they are two discrete groups with distinct interests!

transeThe truth about Muslims and Poz

Every so often some pundit will observe that feminism is incompatible with Islam, and then right-wingers will gripe about it.  After talking to a few people, I think I finally understand why.  The subtext: they assume that to turn two allies against each other, you have to offer one of them a better deal.  So their concern is that any rhetoric urging the incompatibility of feminism and Islam must perforce carry the implication that Christianity is compatible with feminism. 

This is a misunderstanding.  Convincing people their allies don’t have their best interests in mind tears apart alliances even when their enemies are no better.  Just as one can refute an argument by demonstrating the inconsistency of its premises even if one denies the premises in the first place, one can fracture a coalition with divisive rhetoric without embracing the principles of either side.

Consider a hypothetical society.  Its electorate is divided into three factions and needs to decide two issues.  The issues are Muslim immigration (Muslims or no Muslims) and poz (poz or no poz).  The three factions, each of which contains 1/3 of the voters, are the fascists, the anti-whites, and the degenerates.

The anti-whites do not particularly care for poz but they are fervent advocates of Muslim immigration, a combination of preferences we will abbreviate as (M, ~P).  The degenerates do not have any special desire to import Muslims, but they are eager to live in a completely pozz’d society (~M, P).  The fascists dislike both Muslims and poz (~M, ~P).

We will say that the anti-whites and the degenerates are, at the beginning of the scenario, firmly united in the PozzyMuzzy Party.  The PMP instructs its members to vote for more Muslim immigration and more poz.  The outcome (M, P) is not the real top preference of any PozzyMuzzy voter, but no matter.  When the electorate votes the anti-whites and the degenerates vote for their party’s (M, P) platform, the fascists vote for (~M, ~P), and on both issues the fascists are outvoted 2/3 to 1/3.  Thus the anti-whites get their preferred outcome on immigration and the degenerates get their preferred outcome on poz; if these are the issues they care most about, they are all satisfied and continue to remain loyal to their PMP.

But then, a few of the fascists actually talk to Muslims (unlikely that such bigots would broaden their horizons, I know! but bear with me) and discover that Muslims really hate poz.  So it’s inevitable that if Muslim immigration continues indefinitely and Muslim voters eventually reach 50% of the population, they will vote against poz and from then on (M, ~P) will always have an absolute majority. 

Now all the fascists have to do is convince the degenerates that Muslims really hate poz.  A degenerate may not believe the fascist at first, because back in college she met this really cool trans Muslim slam poet who was totally intersectional; plus she knows all fascists are liars. (Of coursh.)

But if the fascists do succeed in showing the degenerates the truth about Muslims, the degenerates are now confused about their alliance with the anti-whites.  The degenerates, who have always accepted everything their PMP told them about politics, aren’t anti-anti-white (it’s not like they’re racist or anything) but they also only really work with the anti-whites so they can enjoy their poz.  So at PMP headquarters, the degenerates go to the anti-whites, share their concern that Muslims might be a little uncool about poz, and point out that to achieve PMP’s goals they’ll either need to put a hard cap on Muslim immigration, or slow it down considerably, or freeze it immediately so they can further investigate the likely attitudes of new Muslim voters.

But the anti-whites have a symmetrical attitude towards the degenerates.  Their only interest in poz was that it kept the degenerates voting for more immigration.  Poz and Muslims are the only things either side can offer.  The anti-whites have zero interest in changing PMP’s immigration platform to ~M; if the degenerates managed to change it without their consent, they would have no further interest in voting PMP.

PozzyMuzzy polticians can try all sorts of different tricks to keep their party going, but when degenerates are truly convinced that if (M, P) continues to win in every election eventually immigration will bring about a permanent end to cooperation, and the two factions have nothing to offer each other but their votes on these two issues, the PMP is doomed.  Some of the degenerates will start voting (~M, P) immediately, irritated by the indifference of the anti-whites, and more and more will join them over time. Some anti-whites, frustrated by the “treachery” or “racism” of these defectors, will start voting (M, ~P) just to spite the degenerates, or because they can see the PMP is going to fall apart soon anyway.  Each wave of additional defections causes more retaliation and resignation, and soon PozzyMuzzy joins Guelph, Frondeur, and Whig in historical glossaries of defunct political labels.

After this cycle of defection reaches its ultimate conclusion, everyone who files into the voting booth will vote their own personal convictions.  The degenerates and the fascists outvote the anti-whites on immigration; the anti-whites and the fascists outvote the degenerates on poz; the overall electoral result is (~M, ~P).

The fascists now have absolutely everything they wanted. The anti-whites and degenerates each get their preference on one of the issues, albeit not the one they care most about.  Best of all, the fascists didn’t have to promise anything to either of the two other factions.  Nor did they have to hide their intention to vote (~M, ~P); they only had to tell the truth about Islam.

How many levels of “It’s time for some game theory” are you on?

The PozzyMuzzy Party gives us a quick-and-dirty model of a situation where two factions could cooperate, but are not necessarily able to find any way to strike a stable bargain.  Admittedly, the model involved some hand-waving.  If you are the kind of person who enjoys this stuff, there are several ways to beef up the model to formalize the results.  You could try any combination of the following:

  1. model PMP voters’ behavior as an iterated prisoner’s dilemma between the two factions, where (M, P) is equivalent to cooperate, and stipulated that the interaction ends after period k. [In an iterated prisoner’s dilemma, if both players know when the final round will be in the first round, it can be proved by backwards induction that the dominant strategy for both is to defect on the first round, and every round thereafter.]
  2. quantify the “pay-off” each of the three factions receives from each of the four overall outcomes: (M, P), (M, ~P), (~M, P) and (~M, ~P).
  3. turn each issue into a continuous variable which can range from 0 to 1, and give each faction a utility function of the form U(M, P). [A continuous outcome makes it easier for PMP members to start “shirking”, making small deviations from the PMP platform that grow in each period.]
  4. give the factions a two-period utility function where there is some probability π that the Muslims will be a majority in the second period [in which case (M, ~P) is automatically selected for the second period] if policy M is selected in the first period.
  5. give the factions intertemporal utility functions that discount future utility by a factor of ∂ per period.
  6. model additional Muslims entering the electorate after each round where M is selected (as a forth faction, or as members of a growing anti-white faction).

I leave the extensions of the model as an exercise for the reader.  I don’t want to scare people away, so I am not going to go into that kind of detail.  Any of them can be used to show that as the degenerate faction’s opinions about immigration change (how likely a Muslim takeover is, when it will happen, and what policies Muslims will implement), they lose the ability to cooperate with the anti-white faction.

For all its informality, this model demonstrates the basic point that you don’t need to make concessions to opponents or embrace their principles in order to break up their coalitions.  Politics is a war of all against all!  Arranging and sustaining cooperation is difficult.  Unity is the exception; division is the rule.  Remind one PMP faction how much its interests diverge from the other’s, and the whole rickety structure may come crashing down.

But even if you’ll overlook its informality, the simplicity of the model might create confusion on one point.  In this model, the unstable party really does have two discrete factions with opposed interests.  Even if you understand (a) why it would be ideal for PMP to find some way to strike any sort of stable deal with each other rather than succumbing to fascist rule and (b) why there is no way for them to arrange this, you might still think in some sense it isn’t “really” in the degenerates’ “true” interests to import Muslims.  You may even go further, and maintain that in some vague sense their interests are “really” more closely aligned with the fascists here.

But the nice, sharp contrast between the preferred policies of the anti-whites and the degenerates in our toy model isn’t critical to the conclusion we drew from it.  Even if a party’s platform covers many issues and each member’s personal preference overlaps with the platform on most but not all issues, cooperation can be difficult and rhetoric portraying the party as polarized can lead to actual fractures.  In fact, even if an alliance forms on a single issue, and all its members share the same position on that issue, the alliance can still suffer tensions around the members’ individual contributions to the group’s collective success.

If you want a fuller theoretical explanation of these tensions, I encourage you to read Winning and its complications, where I explained why victorious coalitions suddenly experience new tensions despite having (a) high morale and (b) spoils of war.  Any rhetoric that makes the possibility of post-victory infighting highly salient encourages allies to treat the infighting as a foregone conclusion, and start preparing for it immediately; those preparations provoke counter-preparations and the whole cycle of escalation can easily provoke low-level infighting while the conflict is still ongoing.

It is extremely undesirable for a coalition to collapse in the middle of a conflict even when it really does have two fairly discrete factions — but when it has a veritable bird’s nest of tangled, interwoven ideologies, goals and loyalties, the collapse (and subsequent defeat) would be a irredeemable nightmare for all involved.

Beyond wishful thinking

I hope I’ve convinced you that when people try to persuade members of an alliance that the alliance is bipolar and its segments have clashing goals, that has bad consequences for the alliance.  Persuading your enemies that their coalition is polarized will inhibit their unity and aid in their defeat.  Persuading your allies that your own coalition is polarized will aid in your defeat.

This may sound like I’m advocating wishful thinking or willful lying.  I’m not.  You want to understand your coalition’s internal structure accurately, so you know what problems to expect and how to react or, better yet, how to preempt them.  However, I want to propose four theses:

(a) Rhetoric and Trust.  Outside of game theory people don’t obey cute mathematical rules, so whether certain possibilities are salient may matter much more than how probable they are. (To that extent, the informal PozzyMuzzy model I sketched out above, where I stressed the salience Muslim takeover had for the degenerates, may be more accurate than the formal extensions I suggested.)  Rhetoric is like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope: each new twist makes some colorful possibilities loom large, while causing others to disappear into specks.  An objective description of an alliance can still be phrased in ways that will frame the alliance as invincible or as fragmented; it is not the structure that makes one interpretation or the other accurate, but the skill with which each side works to inspire its friends and demoralize its foes.

(b) Ideology and Partisanship.  Rhetoric can go beyond painting alliances in vibrant color, to helping permanently shape how allies think about themselves, their principles, and the projects they cooperate on.  By calling attention to some relationships and tidying away others, by emphasizing certain reliable signals and investing objects with symbolic value, rhetoric can help coordinate a group by describing patterns that it wants to call into being.  I’ve mentioned this kind of ideology before in the context of how confusing the behavior it creates can be; and I introduced the self-sustaining patterns of cooperation these ideologies can create in my post on political ecology.

(c) Race and Civilization.  Further, I maintain the ideological tendencies within the AltRight which Vox Day labelled “AltWhite” and “AltWest” aren’t usefully thought of as factions or poles within the coalition at all; and finally…

(d) The Structure of the AltRight.  …there is a great deal you can say about the internal structure of the AltRight that illuminates what it is and what its core strengths are, and this structure is not bifurcated or polar.

I will not address these topics today!  (And probably not next week either.)  But I will defend these theses in later installments of this series.  Yes!  That’s right: I tricked you into reading Part I of the series: What is the AltRight?

Series: What is the Alt-Right?

  1. Part I (Disruption is Easy) < You are here
  2. Part II (Recipe for Reaction)
  3. Projected: Part III (Reality and Rebirth)
  4. Projected: Part IV (The Political Onion)
  5. [TBD]

Loving the Sinner, part 3: Political Ecology

siena5
Political cooperation?

In Part 1 we covered guilt and punishment, but not sin.  In Part 2 we finally got to sin, but without discovering the latent meaning of sin for political cooperation.  In today’s installment we will tackle political cooperation, but the sinister influence of sin will temporarily recede into the background.  As we place the final pieces into the political-cooperation puzzle in Part 4, suddenly we will see sin lurking all around us.  Then I’ll conclude by quickly addressing miscellaneous issues in Part 5.

 

Uniformity

My mantra on political cooperation within the AltRight has always been: “Combined arms!” But the message never seems to get across.  Everywhere I turn, I see more demands for purity, demands for the Right to function as a monolithic, homogenous mass.

tumblr_ldx4twzokf1qz7lxdo1_500_largeTo some extent, I understand.  Coalitions are dynamic, for one thing, which is a delicate way of saying “unstable”.  From the perspective of an outsider, any coalition looks like a disaster in motion.  If an alliance’s different factions manage to coordinate at all the result usually looks a little strange, and if these factions’ common enemy doesn’t manage to shatter their coalition, they’ll do it themselves after the victory parade. 

So from the perspective of an insider, factions are anxiety-inducing.  The collapse of one’s coalition or its diversion in a new direction by internal politics would be equally upsetting outcomes.  Very unlucky coalitions see both in quick succession!  First internal politics steers the coalition on a course for disaster, and soon after comes the final ka-boom.  If you could only purge one or two factions the rump would have fewer disagreements, less conflict, and fewer untenable compromises.  (Or so the thinking goes.)

Sometimes there are tactical benefits to presenting yourself to the world as a monolithic front, too.  There is a time and a place for uniformity: that is what Fashy v. Twiggy was about.

But those situations are few and far between.  Please join me in the following thought experiment.  Imagine, for a moment, that you had your way.  Imagine you have your very own political movement, with whatever assets and audiences you think approximates the actual reach of the AltRight today, but run by a hard core of 100 or so operatives who are exactly like you.  These 100 clone-operatives are your eyes and ears; and hands, feet, and mouth… or if this metaphor is getting a little too Hobbesian for you, let’s say these operatives are your tools, their loyalty is your most valuable asset, and deciding how to allocate their manpower is the most important decision you face.

leviathanYour movement – let’s call it the Gr8Right – will exist in the same kind of political/cultural ecosystem that the AltRight exists in today.  For your movement to live up to its gr8 potential, you need to assign your loyal operatives to the same kinds of tasks the AltRight zealots(entryists) are working on today.  Some of them will need to go on TV. Others will lead little street protests and go face-to-face with antifa.  You might want some of you operatives to tour college campuses; some will play at e-book merchant/publicist/huckster; some will infiltrate mainstream political parties.  Would you set a few of your soldiers to work writing essays?  Recording music, podcasts, and other propaganda?  Heck, maybe the Gr8Right needs one dude who just devotes all his time to stand-up comedy.  In addition, you’ll need to assign at least a few to attend to logistics and mundane organizational details.

We’re only scratching the surface of the vibrant ecosystem that would surround the Gr8Right, and all the roles in that ecosystem you need your operatives to fill.  But we can already see a problem: you can’t do all these things.  Not because there are only 24 hours in a day (you have 100 clone-operatives, remember) but because each role calls for someone with certain skills, certain personality traits, and certain ways of thinking about the world.  No two roles are exactly the same, and some are quite different. You may be extraordinarily talented, my dear reader, but even you have limits!  If you’re good for writing essays and auditing tax returns, you’ve never been in a fight in your life.  If you’re an imposing presence in a street demonstration and an explosive, fiery speaker, maybe you don’t have the patience to be an infiltrator. 

Where does that leave the Gr8Right?  You can go back to the drawing board, start the thought experiment a second time, and stipulate that your 100 operatives are no longer just like you, but are instead exactly identical to a hero of your choice.  They still have the same problem.  Anyone you’d care to name would be lousy in many roles; for most people, there would be some role that they (quite literally) couldn’t do at all.

So much for uniformity.

Articulation

Excelsior, excelsior!  Now we’re on Gr8Right Mk. III: this time let’s imagine your operatives as just like you in their political principles, but each of them has a unique psyche, education, and personal background.  Let’s bracket, for now, the question of whether ideological uniformity in such a varied group is possible; for the sake of argument I’ll grant you that a man’s ideology is like the color of a car, and the dealer can get you any model in any color you want.  And we’ll also bracket an even more important question, namely how the Gr8Right’s operatives keep their political principles synchronized over time.  (Who will meme the memeticists?) 

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#Teamwork

Gr8Right mk III is doing much better.  We’ve given it operatives who can throw a fun party, others who can throw off a tail, and at least a few who can throw out refutations of whatever intellectual attacks the Gr8Right attracts.  These operatives aren’t nearly as dysfunctional as they were in Mk. I and Mk. II.  Allocating manpower to different tasks would be much more satisfying. 

But you still have a problem: what if different roles in the ecosystem call for different political principles, too?

Take your infiltrators as an example.  In Mk. I, I pointed out that spontaneity (or to give it a different name, impatience) might be a hindrance if you’re trying to infiltrate a rival political party.  Patience is important for an infiltrator because it’s hard to pretend to be a normie Republican or a normie Democrat if you aren’t one.  You have to remember to do all the things the normie would do, and not do anything the normie wouldn’t do, and keep doing that for years on end.

You could argue the perfect infiltrator would not be part of the Gr8Right at all, but a staunch GOP globalist or a staunch shitlib Democrat.  He can do a brilliant job infiltrating the party!  He can give all of his colleagues the impression he’s a globalist or a shitlib for years on end, totally effortlessly (because he really is one).

The only wrinkle is that once a staunch Republicrat has “infiltrated” his party and risen to a high rank, his political principles tell him to… advance the agenda of the Republicrat Party as best he can.  So maybe the Eternal Normie isn’t exactly infiltrator-material.

But that doesn’t mean that genuine sympathy with a group’s principles doesn’t make it easier to infiltrate them.  If all your operatives have identical political principles, then your patient/discreet operatives are going to have the easiest time infiltrating whichever established organization is closest to your group’s principles.  All the other orgs require more make-believe, dissimulation, and secrecy.  As they get ideologically remote from your actual principles they get increasingly hard for your team to infiltrate.  It would be a lot easier if you had a little bit of dissent in your ranks, and all your operatives had a few oddball opinions!  In that case you would just tell each infiltrator to join the org he was closest to, and which he could most easily subvert.

The pattern is clearest for infiltration (which is why I used it as an example, it’s not like we’re trying to infiltrate anyone else, haha) but the insight is general.  Each role in the Gr8Right ecosystem requires not only skills, but an operative who can easily feign certain ideological stances.  The operatives who will do the most convincing job are the ones who actually believe what they have to appear to believe. 

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That guy threatening the Lügenpresse with show trials will do a better job intimidating them if he actually believes in summary executions for subversives.  Whoever you send off on a campus tour to demand free speech for conservative students, well: it would be awfully convenient if he really did cherish the marketplace of ideas.

Even for tasks like video-production with fairly generic, apolitical skillsets, each producer will create videos that appeal most to viewers who share his ideas.  The more ideologically uniform your army of videographers is, the smaller their potential audience.  If you cast a wider net, you catch more fish.

What are we up to now? Mk. IV?

colorful-coral-reef-824x0_q71_crop-scalePolitical Ecosystems

Even our little “Gr8Right” thought experiment hasn’t quite captured what I mean by combined arms.  The way I described the political ecosystem in the thought experiment makes each role sound like a different slot on HR’s org-chart: different job description, different qualifications, maybe a different set of co-workers you need to get along with.  That’s not wrong, but it doesn’t sound very much like an ecosystem

What characterizes an ecosystem is feedback cycles between ecological niches.  Abstractly, think of each niche as a node in a network.  Whether a creature can survive and thrive in its niche is determined by the environmental selection pressures it experiences there. Many of these pressures are exerted by populations occupying other niches in the same ecosystem, and the occupants of the original niche exert reciprocal pressure back on these, if not directly then through their effects on nearby populations.

Take the cycles in Canadian mammal populations (allegedly) observed by the Hudson Bay Company’s fur traders as far back as the 18th century. Lynxes hunt hares.  When lynx populations are low, dumb bunnies survive and breed.  Soon there are lots of hares, which means even feeble lynxes catch a few hares.  These lynxes survive and breed, selection pressure on hares intensifies, hare population collapses, vice versa for lynxes: and we’re back to square one.

littlebluestemIn this case, reciprocal pressure between the size of predator population and the prey population keep both in check.  But if we look at the ecosystem from the grass’s point of view, it’s the hares who are the predators!  The lynx, a valuable ally, exerts an indirect selection pressure by culling the hares that nibble the grass.  Some of these alliances are so powerful one species actually evolves traits that boost the population of the other.  This coevolution can continue to the point that symbiotic pairs of organisms require one another to function.

chinese-mountains-with-poem-in-ink-brush-calligraphy-of-love-poem-peter-v-quenterIn some ecosystems the environment of each niche is so completely determined by feedback from other niches that the entire ecosystem collapses if a distortions in a few feedback relationships send the key nodes into a negative feedback loop.  Mencius observed that mountain summits which support thick forests before they have been logged become barren rock afterwards, barely able to support any plant life. Some rainforest ecosystems are fragile in the same way.  The forest canopy shelters the soil from erosion; tree roots (and those of other plants) hold soil in place; the soil in turn absorbs water, sustaining root-systems and preventing erosive runoff.  With the soil stable, the plant life it sustains create dead organic matter that microbes and fungi will decompose into new soil.  Ecosystems as vibrant as coral reefs and as unvarying as semi-arid grasslands provide examples of equally powerful feedback loops.

“Fine,” you say, “ecosystem implies, not just a variety of niches which reward different strengths, but a system of inter-reliant niches.  But what’s your point?  We’re not rabbits. We’re not rhizomes.  This has nothing to do with the political ecosystem of the Right, much less sin, unless you’re trying to suggest that we eat Cernovich’s brains or something.”

Analogies only go so far.  The nodes and networks in a coral reef might help you picture how feedback loops generated by different political niches allow their occupants to function as a team, but we don’t need to feast on each other to recycle nutrients.  Any cannibalism should remain strictly metaphorical.

Series: Loving the Sinner

  1. Part I (Introduction) 
  2. Part II (Sin)
  3. Part III (Ecology) < You are here
  4. Part IV (Parties)
  5. Part V (Postscript)

Attrition in the meme war

My original post on how to identify leftist thought processes was, I keep reiterating, not intended as scientific investigation of the leftist worldview or as a way to develop refutations of leftists errors.  Same for the recent post on the functions of emotion.  The intention of that post was not for you to try to defend or explain the psychological correlates of your political judgments.  Both posts fold into a broader strategic principle of recognizing futile exchanges.

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Im  Netzen nichts neues

“Conversations” with strangers are rarely intellectually enriching dialogues.  It’s better not to think of them as discussions at all; think of them as skirmishes in the meme war.  You don’t get to choose whether your interlocutors are philosophers or fools.  You only get to choose whether you approach the meme war like Ulysses S. Grant or like Hans Guderian.  Grant has never been considered a brilliant or inspiring general.  He was, however, a very good general.  He was able to look at his capabilities and his enemies’ capabilities and determine that if he were simply able to maintain continual pressure on the Confederate armies, throwing his own troops into an endless meat-grinder in order to bleed the enemy dry, Lee would run out of men and materiel before he did.  And Grant was right.  The fact that Grant was only rarely able to get 1:1 exchanges (with more and better-armed troops!) reflects poorly on him and his subordinates; but the fact that he didn’t care, and continued to engage the rebels wherever possible and as often as possible, even at loss ratios of 2:1 or worse, reflects a broader genius of strategic vision (which Lincoln recognized and rewarded).

Leftists can afford to approach the meme war like Grant.  The idle ghetto vote bank has nothing better to do than call you rayciss.  The idle student cadres have nothing better to do than smoke marijuana and call you totally, like, problematic.  The mentally ill sexual fetishists who turn to the internet for the company of like-minded deviants who will indulge the fantasy that their illness is normal… well, lying on the internet is more of a lifestyle for them than a hobby, and besides, there is no quicker way to win the approval of their fellow sufferers.  And one doesn’t need to be downright mentally ill to find that psychotic, lying behavior improves his social status, if his behavior aids the left: this is the “strange new respect” phenomenon.  The general status of integrity in the age of anarcho-tyranny is that the more dishonest, cruel, and petty you are in the promotion of leftwing ideology (whether on the internet or elsewhere), the more you are insulated from punishment for your a priori sins: -isms, -phobias, “implicit bias”.

The left can afford to fight its memetic Cold Harbors and Ypres’s because they have more idlers, because their time is worth less, and because, far from risking their social status when they sink time into memetic warfare, they fortify it.  If you don’t have an EBT card, you can’t afford to fight like you have an EBT card.  And — listen carefully! — even if you do have an EBT card, you still can’t afford to fritter away those leisure hours like a leftist, because collectively, the left has more minutes than we do, so even if you have a hundred hours a week to waste on human-wave tactics, the left will be able to match your spamming minute-for-minute, and at the end you will be exhausted and the leftists will still have unlimited supplies of manpower.  We cannot win this thing of ours unless we use our minutes more effectively than they use theirs.

What’s worse is that the left has a specific structural advantage in this war of attrition: they’re wrong and we’re right.  It might seem odd to frame this as a leftist advantage, but the difficult position of defending rank nonsense and ignorance, which would be a serious liability in an honest intellectual exchange, becomes a valuable asset in an unscrupulous war of attrition.

Anyone with a bit of imagination can make up ten false claims about any subject you name within a minute, or two minutes at the outside.  Refuting those claims with the thoroughness of a diligent scholar will take, at the very least, a few minutes each, and possibly several hours.

scholar The most basic problem is that when someone knowledgeable hears something implausible, he does not simply respond to it intuitively and poetically; he pauses, closes his eyes, and reviews his memory.  First he makes sure the preposterous lie isn’t something simple that he has forgotten, then continues to review with more care to see if he is overlooking some information that could confirm the lie indirectly; finally he tries to pile up all the evidence against the nonsensical claim.  Remember this claim may have been invented in as little as a few seconds!

But what is more insidious is that the very fact that the the invented claim is not only wrong, but completely preposterous means that it is that much more difficult to find evidence that touches directly on it.  Some invented claims are ill-born and can be refuted easily and immediately (although always with more effort, and longer elaboration, than went into their creation), but other claims are lucky enough to be so quirky and unexpected that no one has bothered to gather together the information needed for direct refutation.  Any monograph on a given topic will present far more evidence against a now-unfashionable theory from the last generation of scholarship (a theory that is, in all likelihood, the second-most likely of all the alternatives!) than against any of the huge number of alternative theories that are prima facie implausible.

This imbalance creates a terrible dynamic. Even to give a cursory rejection, a knowledgeable man needs more time to reflect than the ignorant man needed to invent; but if an ignorant claimant demands exacting proof of all the objections made to his inventions (and to his rebuttals to his opponents’s objections, and to his rejoinders…), this proof will typically be far harder to gather than the opposite.  And the more incompetent (or dishonest) the ignorant man is, the more research one would need to refute him.

(Let’s say your opponent cites statistics for “value-added per manufacturing job” for various sectors, and after a little poking you determine the numbers he gives are [total sales volume for the sector]/[total employment for the sector].  That’s an obvious blunder, and when you can show that’s where his statistics came from and why that’s an incorrect way to calculate “value-added”, you have adequately demonstrated that no one should listen to him.  But what if instead of generating his statistics in a dubious way, he just made up numbers out of thin air?  How many different industrial statistics and arithmetic combinations thereof would you have to go through, trying to figure out where he went wrong, without ever finding the smoking gun?  What could you say to criticize his nonsense numbers that would possibly be as damning as what you would say about the comparatively sensible [sales]/[employment] blunder?)

This means that you cannot expect to be able to resolve your disagreements rationally, and you will be least able to resolve your arguments rationally when you are in the right!  You should be prepared for this.  When you encounter leftists who are wrong in whimsical ways about simple facts, don’t try to correct them.  Ninety percent of the time, ignoring them is the highest-yield move.  Sometimes shaming or ridiculing them for their ignorance makes sense, particularly if the leftist seems clever and prideful.  Agree-&-amplify is always a potent choice.  If you want to get into a real argument about something simple fact, make sure you are dealing with someone whose time is more important than yours, and whose emotional investment in looking good also appears to be quite high.  (If the emotional investment is high enough — for example, if a high-profile leftist is trying to whip up a mob of supporters to harass you on social media — then it is worth it to stay completely serious and sober in order to get a shot at provoking the leftist into a regrettable mistake.)

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They have Moldbug and the neoreactionaries — so let them hear them.

If you want to refute a view in its general form, it is best to work it up as an essay, a FAQ, a dialogue, or whatever suits your intellectual style.  And further, your greatest contribution to the intellectual power of the right may not be in the fields that you have mastered, but the areas where your conventional Weimerican beliefs are still intact, and you are willing to defend them.  Save your most vigorous statements of Cathedral doctrine for e-mail, DMs, /pol/, and other low-profile situations where there is no risk of triggering the eldritch spiral of virtue-signaling that creates cuckservative castrati; but do make those statements, and make them vigorously.  Offering yourself as a punching bag allows experts to perfect their understanding by testing their theories, arguments, and evidence against the objections of an opponent with integrity and a sincere interest in the truth.  (Sincere opponents are, sad to say, rarer than wise allies, and thus more valuable.)  Whether your role is as the hammer or the anvil, a single unusually clear, lucid, deep, exhaustive, amusing, or catchy version of an argument will in time convince vastly more people than hundred of reiterations of the same ideas in a one-on-one format.

There are other counter-intuitive implications of viewing political squabbles as a war of attrition against a fleshy bot-net.  For example, rather than debating most forcefully where you are most certain that your views are accurate, why not try the reverse?  Ignore the googles who don’t know what per capita means; focus on defending something really wacky that will drive SWPLs insane, like the  Solutrean hypothesis or the dangers of fluoridated water.  (And yes, my dear friends, this means that the schizoids fanning the flames of Pizzagate have a better understanding of trench warfare than you or I do.)

CYOD

After posting my original warnings about staying safe online I started to write a witty “Choose Your Own Adventure” game about internet privacy: no matter who you decided to trust, you ended up doxxed and/or v&.  Subtle, huh?  In the process of making this conceptual joke a reality I realized the potential humor was meager relative to the required busy-work.  So let me just offer a direct plea for sanity instead.

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Howdy-doo, fellow ethnonationalists

Anyone who is continually, strongly encouraging violence or illegal actions is an agent provocateur.  No exceptions.  If he is encouraging you to break the law without saying so directly, through insinuation or other implicit modes of expression, he’s a Fed.  Don’t trust him, because any information he gets about you is going straight into some seedy Stasi database.  Seeing whether you can be pushed to agree to break a law without any explicit requests or encouragement is the main job of an undercover agent.  That’s the primary reason LEAs work to infiltrate dissident groups: to find ways short of entrapment to encourage members to break laws, so they can be jailed.  Now, any fellow dissident who encourages you to break a law explicitly is putting himself in grave danger, since incitement to commit a crime is itself a crime.  Why would someone do something so risky?  One extenuation would be if the provocateur knew he was in no danger of going to jail.  When LEAs are instructed to create controlled opposition instead of simply entrapping as many dissidents as they can manage to frame, they take full advantage of the fact that undercover agents are never at any risk of punishment.  The infiltrators are sent to join a dissident group; they seem to be able to devote more time and effort to the group’s agenda than any of its other members, without demanding any compensation in return (because the infiltrator’s real compensation is ZOGbux); they are willing to go deeper into any purity spiral and give riskier evidence of chris-hansonpurity/radicalism than any other dissident (because they have full immunity); and hopefully, after this apparently counter-productive gambit, the infiltrator ends up as one of the most respected members of the group and can put all of his insider knowledge and influence at ZOG’s disposal.  On the other hand, if a provocateur does explicitly incite illegal acts, but doesn’t ever seem to do much to help the movement he’s infiltrating, he probably is associated with an NGO.  NGOs can attempt to enrage and radicalize dissidents and goad them into illegal actions using tactics that would count as entrapment if an LEA had used them, and then take their dossier of not-quite-entrapment to LEAs and have them take the next step.

 

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#UndercoverMindset

So don’t trust violent people.  Even if you yourself are not violent, not stupid, not a nog, not a criminal, and at no risk of being  entrapped, those people almost certainly would like to make your life miserable and will give any information they get about you to people who want to make your life miserable.

 

If someone is over-the-top, cartoonishly extreme in his political rhetoric/emotions but never actually seems to be inciting anything, then can you trust him? No, of course not.  If he talks in an extreme way because of his total commitment to his political principles, he may well be an honorable guy and level-headed guy, but he’s a perfect target for the kind of entrapment tactics I was just talking about.  It is incredibly likely that someone in this position will be baited into doing something that gets him in legal trouble, and then anything he knows about you will probably end up in the confession.  It’s inevitable that when LEAs are monitoring and persecuting dissidents that they’ll manage to nab some of them for something.  Remember that Dick Spencer went to jail for organizing a dinner for nationalists.  Weev went to jail, for years, for publishing URLs online.  When they don’t like you, you need to keep your hands clean, and anyone who might have trouble with that should not have any of your personal information.  — That goes double for cartoonishly-extreme guys who don’t actually seem to be devoted to their principles, but are just psychologically prone to histrionics for one reason or another.  Whatever explains the histrionics, it makes them unreliable with your secrets.  People who are asocial and unethical will commit non-political crimes for purely selfish reasons, and then

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Do Magyars dream of implicitly-white cocktail parties?

rat you out.  Neurotics, who profess extremism as a sort of extended temper tantrum, will eventually decide they aren’t getting enough attention from our movement and convert to a rival group, at which point they will use anything they know about you to lash out.  Narcissists and sociopaths whose every move is calculated for personal benefit aren’t loose cannons; you can trust them to only use your personal info to ruin your life in a deliberate, calculated way for your own personal benefit.

 

Anyone who isn’t extreme, on the other hand, isn’t trustworthy just because it’s so easy to fake a moderately-extreme dissident opinion, or even to mistake your own views for something more extreme than they really are.  Giving private data to people with quasi-normie views is like randomly giving out copies of your house keys to all your neighbors; none of them look like thieves or serial killers, but it’s not as though they would be going out of their way to let you know if they were.  And once you hand over the keys, it’s out of your hands.

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Hwat did you say about her fashy braid?

You may think that people you’ve met online would never betray you because they’re your friends.  Let me not to the bromance of true minds admit impediments, but try to think critically about this.  How serious is this friendship?  If it’s a casual camaraderie, you are almost certainly overestimating its stability while also projecting your loyalty onto a pseudonymous stranger.  If you expect that he can’t turn on you because you have mutual internet friends, let me ask you to imagine a scenario in which drama within that clique is exactly the reason this “friend” gets mad-on-the-internet and lashes out at you by any means at his disposal. — If the friendship seems intense, too intense to possibly fade away… well, first of all, who makes intense friendship with strangers on the internet?  You, of course, and you’re perfectly normal, but you’re the exception.  The overwhelming majority of people who form intense friendships over the internet are people who are too mentally ill to make/keep friends in real life, and mentally ill people are not people you should trust with your info.  Even when they mean well, they don’t do well; and sometimes they don’t mean well.  This close friend of yours seems spontaneous and free-spirited now, but when he can doxx you completely he’ll seem like an erratic spaz. — And if by “intense” we mean internet-girlfriend, well, lasciate ogne speranza.  I probably can’t talk you out of this ridiculous and tragic mistake, and if I can’t talk you out of the mistake I probably can’t convince you act as though it were a mistake, either.  But perhaps I can ask you to look at other people with internet-relationships, and the depressing, grim endings of so many of those freakshows, and get you to accept that maybe other people’s internet girlfriends are a mistake, and other people shouldn’t be so careless with what information they give to qts on the interweb, and that to set a good example for these poor, unhappy other people you should act as though eventually your internet-girlfriend will turn on you in the most spectacular manner possible.  Even though she won’t. Obviously.

 

Reflect on HBD.  The whole  point of HBD is that there is variation in biological traits.  Even within a relatively homogenous population, any two people are likely to be quite different with respect to at least one trait.  It may be unthinkable that anyone would pay a large enough bribe to get someone else to rat you out.  But you probably are good at avoiding desperate situations; there are people out there who are dead broke and will do surprising things for $50.  And you probably aren’t very vindictive; you can’t imagine paying very much to doxx someone you think is an asshole, but you’re average, and the asshole who is vindictive enough to pay to doxx is an outlier.  It may be unthinkable that anyone would pore through the internet search results for every single American citizen with your name

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Exploring the whiteness of the #woke man

until they’ve found data that matches what they know about you, but you’re probably not very obsessive; you’re probably gainful employed; you probably get bored with pointless, routine tasks easily.  Even the thought of intentionally getting someone fired over a political disagreement may make you feel nauseous, sad, guilty; but you’re probably a person with a healthy sense of empathy, a respect for norms, and/or a good old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon love of liberty.  The person who doxxes you will not be as empathetic as you, as fair-minded as you, or as familiar with the works of J.S. Mill.  Do not trust people simply because you like them and want to project your own traits onto them.  Some people are genuinely similar to you, but the ones who lash out at you in ways you find absurd and inexplicable? You won’t find out how dissimilar they are until it’s already too late.

 

The NatSocratic Method (or: How to act confused about the Holocaust)

Our text for the day is from the Gospel of Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send ye forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

I.

SWPLs virtue-signal about the Holocaust. We counter-signal. Whether the Holocaust happened doesn’t matter. What “the Holocaust” means doesn’t matter. Even if the Holocaust happened and lots people died and it was really really sad, counter-signaling would still be the way to break the SWPLs of their habit of virtue-signaling.  But we should note three kinds of counter-signals. 1/We counter-signal in anonymous forums against cucks and Israel-firsters to communicate our contempt for them and their position, to demoralize our opponents, and to uncuck the right. 2/We counter-signal for one another, partly for fun, partly for practice, but largely because it’s a shibboleth of the alt-right. (And it’s a shibboleth for good reason. May say more some other day.) 3/We counter-signal in front of friends, family, and colleagues, because these are the people who put most stock in our positions.

Counter-signaling against opponents in anonymous forums is all well and good (although perhaps some people use poor judgment: there is a time for trolling and a time for planting seeds). Counter-signaling amongst ourselves is our greatest source of amusement (well, that and purges). It’s counter-signaling with people we know that presents problems.  These are people we have real ability to influence.  But we have this influence because of trust built up between us which we need for the ordinary business of life: parties, chess, tennis, babysitting each others’ children. Virtue-signals are not intrinsically bad.  Swapping virtue signals is an efficient way to build and maintain the high levels of trust that make a high-IQ society work.

Sowing doubts about the Holocaust is not so important you should invite your social circle to shun you over it. You need your community to flourish as a human being. (Is there anything we teach people on the alt-right, if not “no man is an island, entire of himself”?) And if you are going to use your social ties to save Western Civilization, there will be far more valuable opportunities to cash them in.  But if you just go around virtue-signaling like a cuck, you’re no better than a cuck. Therein lies a problem.

The solution is to throw sand in the gears.  Act dumb.  Be the confusion you want to see in the world. This disrupts the mechanism of the symbolic handshake by which the virtue-signal works; at the very least, the message that the virtue of their signal has not been recognized discourages your acquaintances from sending more signals on the same topic.

II

Even if you know nothing else about the Holocaust, the Holocaust industry, or research into the historical facts of the Holocaust, you can employ the NatSocratic method to raise doubts. The underlying logic of the NatSocratic method is that most people know nothing about anything; anything they have to say about any topic is a greasy film of blather on the surface of a deep sea of ignorance. If you ask them any questions about anything they have said, it makes them acutely uncomfortable, even nervous.  “What the devil is he driving at?”, they think. “Is he hinting that I said something wrong? Am I making a fool of myself?”

PepeStoa

 It is very difficult to convince a fool he is dead wrong about something by directly contradicting him.  Once you contradict him, his silliness is laid bare to the jeers of a cruel world, and he has no better option than to stand firm and defend his honor. But if you ask a fool to clarify some point, to expand on some claim, or even just to repeat himself, watch how he wriggles! Watch him consider retreat, watch his statements get progressively vaguer…

The basic fact to recognize about your friends’ virtue-signals is that all virtue-signaling is chatter.  Chatter takes place within a realm of shared common assumptions where the precise meaning and truth of the statements matters very little, because the function of the statements is not to communicate facts, but something else (for example, establishing a shared mood or building trust).  As a result, it is very easy to disrupt people’s beliefs during a chatter-session simply by treating them as experts on the subject; discovering that the shared assumption wasn’t shared surprises them, and they get the impression they played a clumsy move in the chatter-game.  The more you elevate their position as the local expert, the more insecure they become on the topic you were discussing.

Just simple questions work fine. Pretend you’re a martian anthropologist who knows nothing about the fabulous misadventures of the jews. “Six million, you say?” Now he’s worried — what’s wrong? Is it too high or too low? “They were cremated? All of them?” It had never occurred to him that there was more than one symbolic jew pushed into one symbolic oven; he may not even know that there is a party line to remember, let alone which one it is.  Ask, ask, ask. Stay confused. Don’t be afraid to seem dumb! Seeming dumb terrifies most people, but improves the results immensely.  Confusion is like yawning: infectious.  It both makes your target more liable to confusion, as he tries to understand your impenetrable, confused thinking, and makes him less afraid to admit his own ignorance.

III.

But if you know a few hate-facts about the Holocaust, you can dig the knife in much, much deeper.  This is the kind of stupidity that is truly inspired, and it takes both a decent amount of background knowledge and quick thinking to pull it off.  It will take a little bit of practice to get the hang of it.  But it is very, very fun.  It takes the basic form of Given that we know X, isn’t it also true that Y? Some examples:

Given that there were 1.1M Holocaust survivors alive in 2003, and given that the youngest person to be born in a German concentration camp would have been 58 in 2003, doesn’t that imply that historians are conspiring to conceal the absolutely enormous scale of these murder camps? If 1.1M survivors were still alive in 2003, there must have originally been hundreds of millions of people in the camps. Why are historians conspiring to minimize the extent of the Holocaust?

Given that the Germans were able to completely incinerate millions of bodies (including the teeth!) without coal or wood using a technique developed by a camp commandant in a previous posting at a Brandenburg insane asylum, shouldn’t we be researching his technique to use it for green energy purposes?  Doesn’t this mean the fat of a small mammal, when used correctly, contains as much energy as 100-200kg of firewood or 50-100kg of coal? (Item.)

Given that we would know nearly nothing about the planning of the Holocaust without the incentives provided by judicial torture, threat of summary execution, and other innovations of Soviet-style jurisprudence, what great historical crimes remain unresolved because we are too indifferent to justice to torture their perpetrators into revealing the truth? Which great criminals remain unpunished because our torture-free justice system has no respect for the lessons of the Shoah?

…and so on.  For every hate-fact, work out the implication if you accepted the available evidence against the Narrative but accepted the Narrative anyway.  Remember, when they appear skeptical or express doubts about the conclusions you are drawing, to accuse them of denying the Holocaust.

IV.

Jews are not that important in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes trolling jews works bizarrely well; sometimes it is a terrible waste of time.  This little guide for how to switch between Holocaust-denial and Holocaust-confusion is only worth your time because it is a general template for how to start to introduce your friends to hate-facts.  You don’t need to choose between virtue-signaling like a cuck and raging like an Old Testament prophet.  Just dumb it down and spread confusion.  The NatSocratic method works for gender and race too.  Confusion is not, in itself, the red pill –– but it might just be your white rabbit.