Welcome to this first episode of SurrealPolitiks. Per our episode title, and the branding throughout, the theme of this production is, “Realpolitik in an Unreal World”.
It is the position of this show’s production team, that the politics of the United States have become bogged down in ideological nonsense. Nonsense ideologies, yes, to be sure, but beyond this, ideology as such has become an impediment to meaningful progress. We have opinions about the merits of particular ideologies, and they will become clearer in due course, but the premise on which our topic for today is based, is that the more meritorious ideological factions are actually the best example of the problem we are describing. What is needed to address this state of affairs is a Realpolitik of the Right, to counter the Surreal nightmarish policy agenda of the Left. Hence the name, SurrealPolitiks, styled with a K in politiks.
What is Realpolitik?
The answer might very well depend on who you ask. Ask ten people, you might get ten different answers.
Let us begin with the safety of the Merriam Webster Dictionary. It offers us a single definition: “politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives”.
This will suit our purposes to start, though we will be expanding on this substantially. At base, what we are talking about is goal oriented behavior. Theoretical and ethical concerns have their place, but it is our position that the theory must conform to the reality, and not the other way around. That might sound like a truism to the uninitiated, but anyone familiar with the lunacy of American politics understands that our problems largely stem from the politically active pursuing a contrary course.
They begin with a theory. They see the world does not conform to this theory. They then act politically in hopes of coercing the rest of society into such conformity.
To say this has had… mixed results… throughout the course of human events, we consider a charitable interpretation.
A less charitable interpretation would be to say that it has led to millions of deaths, and the destruction of countless millenia in man hours of prudent effort and intellectual input. Worse still, a cursory understanding of genetics reveals that it has erased from our gene pool countless geniuses, warriors, graceful women, and others whose lineage would otherwise be improving our lives today, beyond the capacity of our imaginations. Nationalists often say “never forget what they’ve taken from you”, and indeed we ought not forget, but more to the point, we are deprived of more than we can even conceive of.
The attribution to Edmund Burke is disputed, but surely you have all heard the line “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University and author of “The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke,” told Reuters “Burke was sometimes exorbitant, but he was never silly; and the thing that strikes you about this saying, on a moment’s reflection, is how little sense it makes: the silence of good men isn’t the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil. The persons advancing the evil, whether in command or the rank-and-file, must be strong and determined; and the lukewarm must be either cowed into submission or willing to go along because the evil seems to prosper.”
More to our point, evil triumphs despite the vigorous activity of good men, when said vigorous activity fails to stop evil. If good men run themselves ragged on treadmills as evil marches past them, they can hardly be accused of laziness. Cowardice, perhaps, but not inaction.
We don’t mean to diminish the value of prayer here at SurrealPolitiks, but perhaps it makes a better analogy than treadmills. An army might pray for victory in battle, and this may confer benefit thereon, it is not for us to determine. We can however say with reasonable confidence that if an army prays instead of battle, that the battle will most assuredly be lost, and that were these soldiers to meet their God subsequently, that he would not look kindly upon them.
There is quite a bit of analogous behavior in politics, we think it safe to say. Politically active people conjure in their minds dogmatic, doctrinaire ideals which they either restrain themselves with or attempt to restrain others with. The phenomenon that troubles us, is when good men restrain themselves with ideology, and evil marches on to restrain others.
The term Realpolitik was coined by a German man named Ludwig von Rochau in the mid 1800s. He wrote a a book about it which has yet to be entirely translated into English, titled, “Foundations of Realpolitik“. In Volume 2 he wrote;
The Realpolitik does not move in a foggy future, but in the present’s field of vision, it does not consider its task to consist in the realization of ideals, but in the attainment of concrete ends, and it knows, with reservations, to content itself with partial results, if their complete attainment is not achievable for the time being. Ultimately, the Realpolitik is an enemy of all kinds of self-delusion.
But Rochau was not always such a hard nosed realist. On 3 April 1833, at the age of 23, he was among a number of radicals who had attempted to storm the main guard post of the military garrison at Frankfurt, not far from the Parliament. History recorded the event as the Frankfurter Wachensturm. Their aim was to gain control of the treasury of the German Confederation, and spark revolutions across the German states. The attempt was a failure, and Rochau was among those arrested trying to flee. He was sentenced to life in prison for the uprising.
Rochau was quite fortunate to have some very dedicated friends, however, and he managed to escape to France, where he lived in exile for ten years. Fearing for his safety from Otto von Bismark, he then fled to Italy.
In 1853 he wrote Foundations of Realpolitik. By 1869 he had returned to Germany and became a deputy to the North German Reichstag. In 1871 was he elected to the German Reichstag as a member of the National Liberal Party.
I’m still reading about Rochau, so I am not going to say I agree with his entire worldview, or that this is what our show is based on. But going off this briefest of summaries, I would say the man knew a thing or two about politics, and in particular, about turning around a failed effort, a subject in which I have a very personal interest. In some ways, he reminds me of another German statesman who once found himself on the wrong side of the law, and later rose to power through a National Party, albeit one with little use for liberalism.
A man who risks his life trying to overthrow his government, and ends up in prison, can hardly be accused of lacking convictions, even if he does manage to escape. But to spend another 40 years fighting for his cause, I would say requires an altogether different sort of fortitude. That he finally managed to actually get elected after this, I’d say makes him more than worthy of our study.
Most revolutions do not end well for the people who start them. They are almost never the ones who finish them. The sort of ideological fervor that sparks revolutions typically clouds the judgement in ways that are disadvantageous in warfare.
In those instances where the government is too weak to defend itself, such as was the case when Lenin overthrew Russia’s provisional government in October 1917, that ideological fervor clouds no less the judgement of the governing authorities. In those instances, it is the people they govern, who suffer.
Rochau was clearly guided by fanaticism as he attempted to overthrow the German Confederation. Met with the harsh realities of his time, he didn’t commit suicide. He didn’t give up. He analyzed the political landscape. He protected his life and freedom by whatever means he found necessary. He developed and promoted the concept of Realpolitik, and after nearly 40 years of determined struggle, he returned to his home country, and he took his seat at the table.
I say he developed the concept of Realpolitik, but he was hardly the first to stumble upon it. One of the more famous names typically associated with the idea is Niccolò Machiavelli. Best known for his political treatise, The Prince, Machiavelli is not infrequently referred to as the father of modern political philosophy and political science.
The Prince, if you don’t know, shocks the conscience of many a reader. It describes political power to be seized and maintained by a monarch and, however useful its application today, was not written with democracy in mind. It describes political power as an exercise largely of force and deception, and accordingly has little use for ethics.
To quote one of the more famous, though tamer passages from the book;
From this arises an argument: whether it is better to be loved than to be feared, or the contrary. The answer is that one would like to be both one and the other. But since it is difficult to be both together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved, when one of the two must be lacking. For one can generally say this about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, and greedy for gain. While you work for their benefit they are completely yours, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons, as I said above, when the need to do so is far away. But when it draws nearer to you, they turn away. The prince who relies entirely upon their words comes to ruin, finding himself stripped naked of other preparations. For friendships acquired by a price and not by greatness and nobility of spirit are purchased but are not owned, and at the proper time cannot be spent. Men are less hesitant about injuring someone who makes himself loved than one who makes himself feared, because love is held together by a chain of obligation that, since men are a wretched lot, is broken on every occasion for their own self-interest; but fear is sustained by a dread of punishment that will never abandon you.
The Prince is viewed by some as a manual for tyranny, and by others as a straightforward description of reality. Here at SurrealPolitiks, we find ourselves in the latter category.
Government is force. All governments threaten their citizens and subjects with violence, and with exceedingly few exceptions this is considered uncontroversial. Were this not the case there would be no police officers, no armies, no prisons, and no State. There would also be no economy, no civilization, no peace, and no justice. Only barbarism.
When Left wing maniacs roam the streets in packs, setting fire to buildings, looting stores, and beating or murdering anyone who might question the wisdom of such acts, they say they are advancing “social justice”. Like so much of what plagues us from the Left wing, this is not only a lie but an inversion of the truth. It is anti-social behavior taken to the utmost cartoonish heights, and the word injustice only fails to describe it in falling short of short of the mark. It is rule by criminals, and viewed in this light “defund the police” seems far more coherent a policy than most conservatives tend to give it credit for.
It is not misguided in the slightest. It is very straightforward and rational. Criminals want to commit crimes, and they view the police as an impediment to this goal. So, they want the government to stop paying them. In this sense, you could say it is itself a sort of Realpolitik.
Recognizing that civilization is made possible by fear and violence is hardly the mark of a tyrant. Order is the product of imposition, and justice the product of order. If criminals do not fear the State, then the citizenry will fear the criminals, and so fear and violence are permanent and inescapable features of the human condition. For rulers to forfeit the fear of their subjects is not to free them from fear, it is to hand that power over to whomever is bold enough to seize it for themselves.
A ruler interested in the wellbeing of his subjects must use force to protect it. Moreover, he must maintain his power at all times, and protect it with force. Since no man can be always everywhere, and no group of men will do his bidding for free, he must provide for a vast network of police, soldiers, prison guards, and above all bureaucrats, to extend his dominion over a territory that comprises defensible borders. To make this provision, he requires tremendous resources, and who else but those who benefit from this protection is to pay for them?
Shall the ruler ask politely that the people provide for their protection? Perhaps. But what if they politely decline? What if just one, politely declines, and yet enjoys this protection all the same? How long will it take for others to catch onto the incentives of such a system? Not long, we speculate.
Thus there is a tax code, and a vast army of button pushers backed up by armed men who will arrest those who do not pay, and end the lives of those who resist.
Is it worth a gun fight to collect a few dollars from a business man who resents a president he did not vote for? Arguably not.
Is it worth a gun fight to prevent society from falling apart and being ruled by uncontrolled mayhem? You better believe it, and anyone who forgets this has no right to participate in serious political discussions.
There is nothing enlightened or benevolent about pacifism. Anyone with a concern for ethics, must previously concern himself with order. To do this he must must first concern himself with power, and from then on in perpetuity he must unceasingly concern himself with the maintenance of that power. If he abandons this pursuit over ethical concerns he does not make the world a more peaceful place. He only hands the reins to whomever sees fit to take them up, and wicked men are never slow to accept such a precious gift.
But Rochau was hardly the last practitioner of Realpolitik either. There have been many, and hardly a successful statesman has not practiced it to some degree in the course of his career.
World War II provides a number of stunning examples. For all of Adolf Hitler’s entirely reasonable apprehension about communism, he did enter into a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union as the conflict was heating up. There was actually a good deal of trade between the two countries, no shortage of which were goods and materials with unambiguous military purposes. Try to imagine a world in which Stalin and Hitler were allies at the war’s conclusion, and you get an idea of the tremendous potential of Realpolitik in foreign affairs.
As you may have heard, things turned out rather differently, but not on account of any love for the Jewish people on Stalin’s part. Nor was it primarily an ethnic animus of Aryan vs. Slav.
I and no shortage of others suspect that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was more sympathetic to communism than he may have let on, but making an ally of the Soviet Union was by no means uncontroversial in the United States at the time, and the terms of that alliance were arguably more generous than those now offered to Ukraine. Roosevelt’s famous line of the man that became “Uncle Joe” that “He’s an SOB, but he’s our SOB” is Realpolitik distilled.
The details of this are fascinating but beyond the scope of our task for today. I encourage the listener to check out a book titled Stalin’s War, by Sean McMeekin. The audiobook version, I can attest, is well produced. If you have and a library card, you may be able to get it for free using the Libby app on your smartphone.
Henry Kissinger is in no small part the inspiration for this production. Your humble correspondent read three of his books in recent years, two of which tremendously influenced my thinking. On China, and World Order, are the titles of greatest interest, but his most recent book Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy is not worthless.
Kissinger’s role in American foreign policy can hardly be overstated. In our view, that is hardly any reason to hold a man in high esteem, but given the current state of world affairs, we think it important to address his dealings with China and the Soviet Union during the Nixon administration.
As National Security advisor to Richard Nixon, Kissinger was involved with establishing “back channel” communications between the United States and a number of countries around the world, not least of all Russia and China, who despite their both being communist, were at that time not on the best of terms. Nixon and Kissinger aimed to keep it that way, and established a staple of American foreign policy which would last all the way up until the Presidency of Joseph R. Biden. The idea was, in summary, never to let the Soviet Union and China develop closer ties to one another, than either had with the United States. This was no small task, given that the United States, and Nixon in particular, were no fans of communism. Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were described as a “cold war”, and Chiang Kai-Shek still held power in Taiwan.
Whatever the difficulty, Nixon viewed this as being vital to world order. If the Soviet Union and China allied themselves against the United States, nuclear war was perhaps the best case scenario, with global communism coming in a close second.
Détente (day-tont) is a French word meaning “relaxing of tensions”. In the American vocabulary, it typically refers to a specific policy of the Nixon administration, which did precisely this with the Soviet Union. The actions taken in pursuit of this relaxation ranged from using careful language, to the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 1972.
Kissinger made two trips to China in 1971, paving the way for Richard Nixon to travel there and shake hands with Mao Zedong. Kissinger helped shape the policy known as “strategic ambiguity” on the Taiwan question, in which the United States agrees that there is only one China, that Taiwan is a part of China, and that the United States will provide Taiwan with what it needs to defend itself. The ambiguities here are that there then remained, and in ever smaller circles still remains, a dispute over who is the legitimate government of that single China. Consequently there is ambiguity over just whom Taiwan would be defending itself against if not its belligerent communist neighbor and one time civil war opponent, as well as over whether the policy of the United States merely to be an arms dealer to the Taiwan government, or to actually intervene with its own troops in the event of forced reunification. The United States officially opposes forced reunification, as well as a formal declaration of independence by the Taiwan government, in keeping with the one China policy.
Imperfect though it may be, this has kept the peace in the region for more than 50 years. It led to what has become known as the “opening of China” which, though it has gotten out of hand since the Clinton administration and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, did promote substantial reforms in China, and more importantly accomplished the Nixon strategy of keeping the Soviet Union and China from allying against the United States.
Whatever you think about world affairs today, it is difficult to imagine them having turned out any better had such an alliance been formed. Realpolitik, for the win.
This brings us to the current year, in which Vladimir Putin stands out as a master of the art, though you might not realize this if you were watching CNN. Putin’s move on Ukraine is largely touted in Western media as one of history’s great military blunders. If you believe the line that he thought Kiev would fall in a weekend, it makes sense to reach this conclusion, unless he had a Plan B.
Ukraine is important to the Russian Federation, but the grander prize is the World Order.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, America has enjoyed a nearly unchallenged global hegemony. America’s exorbitant privilege of issuing the world reserve currency was once the consequence of her economic and military might, which were themselves a consequence of the strength, intelligence, and virtue of her citizenry. Today, it is quite the opposite. Having forfeited her other virtues to vice, greed, and immigration, America’s economic and military power, what little remain of them, are consequences of her exorbitant monetary privilege, rather than its causes. What was acquired through brains and brawn is now sustained by borrowing, bribing, printing, and lending.
Here at SurrealPolitiks, it would be safe to say we have mixed feelings on the subject of usury, and our instincts are pro-American, but even we can see that this is getting pretty ridiculous.
And given this, we consider it obvious and by no means unreasonable, that others find it absolutely intolerable. Given American belligerence toward the Russian Federation, in particular regarding its reckless use of economic sanctions, one must consider the possibility that Putin’s target in Ukraine is actually the US dollar.
Putin had to have some idea that the United States would have something to say about his military operation. He may have over or under estimated that response, but he had to have considered it. If he bowls over Ukraine in a weekend, he gets a country. Nice prize.
Now that he finds himself in a proxy war with the Untied States, he could very well end up with something far more valuable.
The casual news consumer is well aware by now that the Nixon/Kissinger policy is out the window. Russia and China now have a “No Limits Partnership”, at least on paper.
While we remain skeptical of China’s affections for the Russian Federation, what remains beyond dispute is that the Biden administration is making that alliance the only reasonable thing for Russia to do. As China eyes Taiwan and its near monopoly on advanced semiconductors, America, fresh off a double decade quagmire in Afghanistan, is emptying her military stockpiles and treasury into the pockets of a comedian, whose comparison to Winston Churchill makes the old “Uncle Joe” line look sensible by comparison.
The idea behind economic sanctions is to isolate an opponent and deprive them of resources in order to alter their behavior. That works fairly well if the whole world would rather do business with you than the people you’re isolating. But the more people you sanction, the fewer use your currency. When the country you sanction the most happens to be the largest on Earth by territory, and a leading energy exporter, and is neighbored and allied with a country of 1.4 billion people who you outsourced your entire supply chain to, its you who ends up isolated.
We neither speak Russian, nor spend a great deal of time at the Kremlin, so we cannot know the inner thoughts of Vladimir Putin. All we can say with confidence is that he has handled himself better than Joe Biden thus far, while acknowledging that this is no high bar to set.
With that in mind, let us turn our focus to domestic politics, and In that vein, let us examine modern American conservatism, which is what tends to pass for “Right wing” in our setting.
It would be beyond the scope of our purpose today to give a thorough exploration of what this variety of conservatism is, in no small part because it is so ill defined and factionally divided, that any definition offered under book length would be credibly accused of oversimplification. What we can say about it as a general matter though, will suffice. Specifically, that conservatives are enamored with various supposed principles over which they are willing to forfeit power to anti-conservative factions of the Republican Party, and ultimately, to Democrats. In so doing, the principles over which they are forfeiting power are not carried into public policy, and the policies that are implemented actually wage war against those principles. Hence, the purported defense of principles which prompted the forfeiture, is nothing of the sort. It is a masochistic ritual sacrifice, born of ideological mysticism.
Moreover, conservatives’ opponents use the power they wield to alter the rules of the system in order to prevent conservatives from returning to power in the future, which reduces the likelihood of those principles ever being carried into execution, ultimately to zero. This is foreseeable to these conservatives, and thus further illustrates our point of the mysticism involved. Notable examples of this in action at the time of this writing include, but are not limited to, universal mail in voting, the abolition of voter signature verification, resistance to voter ID laws, open primaries, and ranked choice voting. Efforts to further this agenda include abolition of the Senate filibuster; laws and other coercive targeting of so called “hate speech” or “disinformation”; voting rights, amnesty, and citizenship for illegal immigrants; permissive legal immigration; reduction of the voting age; packing the Supreme Court; and the addition of DC and Puerto Rico as States with representation in the Senate and electoral college; to name just a few.
It is noteworthy that we see the abolition of anti-fraud measures as a tactic of the Democrat Party, who are never short of accusations against their political opponents. The observable reality is that while Democrats are quick to call Republicans fascists and tyrants crooks, they seem altogether confident that voter fraud will favor their party quite uniformly, otherwise they would be trying to stamp it out with all the vigor of their hostility towards Russia. Just like their lesser dressed counterparts in the riots calling to defund the police, Democrats are rather straightforwardly embracing their role as the criminal Party, and letting them hold power in the name of constitutional government is a rather comical idea.
Cumulatively, these threaten to cement a permanent majority for the Democrat Party in Washington. That might sound good to you if you are a Democrat, but if you understand anything about economics or genetics, you definitely do not fit that description. For those of us who do understand these things, it is clear that catastrophe will doubtless follow such a shift in the balance of power. Conservative or not, unless you are a criminal or among a small number of elites, a permanent Democrat majority is a threat to your interests which you would be a fool to abide.
Now, one should hope it would go without saying, that morals are not irrelevant. Ideology has its place in politics and in society more broadly. This, we do not dispute. We are not Nietzschean amoralists. We have opinions about right and wrong, and we will not make much effort to disguise them as the show moves forward. In fact, we are affirmatively taking the position that the first principle of any moral system ought to be that it has an obligation not to let itself be destroyed, and that, should such destruction ensue, the fact of its destruction is evidence enough of its being a false morality. Conservatives, by contrast, have famously adopted a masochistic strategy of “losing with dignity,” in which they are routinely deprived of any claim to anything resembling dignity, and are more accurately humiliated, slandered, abused, and persecuted. Their espoused morals and principles are a variety of abstraction, a purely theoretical exercise considered exempt from practical experience.
Human beings do not live in abstractions. They do not exist in theories. They exist in an earthly realm under which the laws of physics are laws in the truest sense. One cannot break such laws, they can only break themselves upon them. When ideology ceases to correspond to reality, its adherents and those under their sway can only be made to suffer and/or perish, ground up in the vicissitudes of an unforgiving and decidedly non-ideological world. Thus, those who advance these schemes are a sort of aggressor. Like a drug addict, they indulge themselves in sensations they find pleasurable, and externalize the costs of this indulgence to the detriment of others. This frivolous and doomed attempt to organize one’s affairs according to abstract theory, is what we at SurrealPolitiks view as condemnable ideological mysticism.
Factions which could be described as being to the Right of conservatism, we’ll call them nationalists, are, in this respect, not much better. While they mock conservatives with no shortage of legitimacy, they tend to fall into the same pattern of behavior, which in their own terminology, has become known as “purity spiraling”. In this spiral, factions, groups, media personalities, organizers, and individuals, try to “out radical” one another through exclusion. They engage in the same sort of ritual purges that conservatives have become famous for over the years. In their efforts to impose and maintain ideological discipline, and, not without consequence, revenue streams, they are reduced to radicalized echo chambers. Within these echo chambers, social status is conferred by familiarity with, and adherence to, doctrinaire ideological program statements, or proximity to prevalent personalities. The maintenance of this social status becomes the purpose of political activity, to the exclusion of realistic paths to power. Through such a process, they are guaranteed little more than struggle, and whatever this may do to stoically improve and strengthen the character of adherents, it renders certain that they will not achieve their purported aims. This too, is a form of ritual sacrifice, born of ideological mysticism.
With so much in common between them, it almost seems odd that conservatives and nationalists are so frequently in conflict. Sure, the conservatives have largely internalized the criticisms of the Left, and on account of this, flamboyantly attempt to outdo the opposition Party in feigning ignorance of genetics and demographic reality. Sure the nationalists have done precisely the opposite, and have proudly worn the badges affixed to them by Democrat strategists. But while they retreat to their corners and lob internecine missiles at one another, each equally certain that total Right wing victory lies just over the bodies of the rival faction, Democrats loot and burn and sexually mutilate children with state sponsorship and mass media approbation.
According to what moral philosophy is this behavior praiseworthy? Of this, all we can say for certain is, not ours. With less certainty, we might make a substantially educated guess, having read their books, that neither William F. Buckley nor Adolf Hitler, would condone it any more than we do.
This phenomenon is all the more bizarre on account of the American Right’s decidedly non-ideological approach to public policy, comparative to their Left wing counterparts, that is. For all the Left’s hysteria, no elected Republican has ever proposed a constitutional amendment to institute a Christian theocracy or a White ethnostate. While Republicans can be credibly accused of having some dissonance between the fiscal discipline of their rhetoric when out of power, and their spending habits when in power, they at least consider math and economic laws while formulating policy, even if they do so poorly. They might not articulate the determinative nature of genetics and demographics, but they at least know there are two sexes, and that aptitude is not by nature distributed evenly among a diverse population.
Their dogmatic nonsense is limited almost exclusively to matters of strategic importance. The rest of the time they are fairly hard nosed realists.
This, it may go without saying, is the polar opposite of the Left, as manifested in the apparatus of the Democrat Party. This is where the Surreal part of our name, comes into play.
Democrat policy is ideology taken to the utmost cartoonish heights of delusion. They are often and credibly accused of being a thinly veiled fundamentalist religion, which can only harm the reputation of death cults that worship space aliens and pray for the end of time. They have set themselves to the task of inverting all values, and debasing language to the point that it becomes incapable of conveying meaning, or sustaining thought. From the ritual child sacrifice they affectionately call abortion, to Xi/Xir designer pronouns, Democrats have declared that reality itself is an oppressive patriarchal relic of White supremacy, and waged war against it in the name of, anti-fascism.
They, brag, about their supposed atheism, and tell us that we must no less repent our sins, lest we be punished by the one true God, whose holy name is Climate. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and fires are not “weather” they are “climate” and “climate” is punishment for “environmental racism”. We can be cleansed of our sin by killing the unborn, by taking circumcision to the ultimate absurd extreme of vaginoplasty, by rioting, and by waging war against Christian nations, but since the nature of all animal life, including our own, is to emit carbon into the atmosphere through respiration, our very breath is sin, and thus our need to repent continues in perpetuity
Yet, for all this voluntary adoption of schizophrenic symptoms, the Democrats never allow ideology to stand in the way of power. No later than with the publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” Democrats have openly declared themselves to be moral relativists, and deemed no act done in pursuit of power to be beneath the dignity of a teammate. Media outlets as prominent as the New York Times and CNN, have forfeited their reputations to partisan interests. Manufacturing scandals against Republicans, while declaring any criticism of Democrats to be “Russian disinformation”.
When caught in their lies, the simply say “oops” and continue polishing their Pulitzers as if it had never happened.
Their readers and viewers, those who remain, anyway, don’t seem to mind. They have accepted that accurate descriptions of real events are not the purpose of their media consumption. It is simply, programming. Being ill informed is a small price to pay for abolition of economic laws and biology, after all. They want to know what to think, as opposed to what is happening, and this is a service these outlets are happy to provide.
So they live in a surreal dreamworld, akin to the first version of the Matrix. An egalitarian Utopia in which happiness and comfort are expected as guarantees. Any disruption to this vision of things is viewed as a territorial invasion by a foreign military, and all standards of conduct are set aside as occurs in any other warzone.
Racial egalitarianism gives way to anti-White race hate. Gender equality gives way to the abolition of masculinity. Anti-Capitalism gives way to dictatorial rule by bankers. Freedom of speech gives way to the promotion of pornography and the punishment of coherent anthropology.
At least on the part of the leaders, this is far from delusional. The followers might be true believers, but for the leaders it is a cold, calculating, merciless application of precisely the same facts they demand not be spoken aloud.
The Left, to put it more succinctly, are masters of Realpolitik. They get what they want, and they get it at our expense. Ethics play no role in the calculation, except to the extent they must be faked for appearances in service to the acquisition and maintenance of power.
So, we are met with this peculiar circumstance. The Right, in its policy application, is decidedly well grounded in reality, but departs on strategic matters to pursue ideological moral claims. The Left is pursuing a policy agenda that borders on supernatural, but make and act on accurate assessments of their environment in strategic matters. The result is Leftist hegemony and catastrophic policies that do not correspond to reality, thus requiring ever increasing levels of coercion just to maintain the spectacle. The principles the Right forfeits power to defend, are not defended at all, and mankind’s devolution to barbarism is all but a foregone conclusion.
We here at SurrealPolitiks, do not consider this an acceptable trade off.
Built into our assumptions thus far is a conception of a political Right and a political Left. This may not seem obvious to the uninitiated, and even to those immersed in politics these terms do not always convey identical meaning to all who hear them, so it may be prudent that we say something about this.
We prefer the terms Right and Left to what are sometimes considered more fashionable terms such as Liberal vs. Conservative or Conservative vs. Progressive.
For one, we have a rather specific thing in mind when we discuss conservatives, and they are by no means the end all be all of what it means to be Right wing. Notably we earlier mentioned some contention between conservatives and those we have termed nationalists, though we will here acknowledge that these factions could easily make use of one of Kamala Harris’s beloved Ven diagrams.
The conception of a political paradigm in which conservatives make up the rightmost edge is not an accurate description of reality. Mitch McConnell might prefer you to think so, almost as much as he would like you to think he himself is a conservative. Moreover, those most invested in this perception are anything but conservative. They are radical ideologues who not without justification view conservatives as weak opposition, and one can hardly blame them for trying to pick weak opponents when given the opportunity.
Describing the American Left as liberal is part of their quite familiar assault on language and its capacity to facilitate thought. We consider this too obvious to require much explanation, but it may suffice to say that the Party aiming to tax the weather, censor political opposition, and disarm the population is liberal with nothing but other people’s money, and as we have established there is nothing liberal about the means for collecting those resources.
Progressivism emerged not in contrast to conservatism but to revolution. It was a description not of ends but of means. While revolutionaries sought to impose Marxism on populations by force of arms, progressives sought to do so through ostensibly lawful means, gradual change, and arguably a variety of Realpolitik. To formulate our conception of politics with conservatives on one side and progressives on the other, is to ignore the armed men waiting to gun us down, and we consider this imprudent in the extreme.
Left and Right can be credibly accused of imprecision. At different times and in different places, one policy idea or another might have been espoused by those described as Left or Right wing, and at another time that same position might be held by those perceived as at the opposite end of the spectrum. Here at SurrealPolitiks, we consider this more feature than bug. Left and Right do not describe doctrinaire ideological program statements, but tendencies.
The terms, you may have heard, stem from the time of the French Revolution. In a dispute over the powers of the King, those favoring a powerful monarch just so happened to find themselves directionally to the King’s right, and those favoring more restraints on these powers found themselves directionally to his left. From here derives the Left’s association with liberalism, though the most cursory study of the French revolution will disabuse you of the notion far more thoroughly than any understanding of American politics.
The tendency emerges all throughout time and space wherever human endeavors are to be found, however. On the Right, a healthy acceptance of a social order they feel comfortable describing as natural, however much maintenance it may require, and on the Left a disdain and drive to destroy it with varying degrees of speed and violence.
The overlaps in policy positions over time and space do not diminish the usefulness of this conception, mainly because their purposes are different. This is most visible in economics. The popular idea today that the Right is for economic freedom and the Left is for economic control has little basis in history. The Left wants to upend the economic order and seeks control over the economy for this purpose. The Right exercises control over the economy to stabilize the economic order, and at different times this has required varying degrees of coercion. Their aims could not be more different, whatever the tools in their toolbox.
Also built into our assumptions is something we view as a truism, but acknowledge is not universally accepted. In both law and fact, America has a two party political system. There is a Left wing Party called the Democrat Party, and a wholly inadequate Right wing Party called the Republican Party. To stop the Left wing Party from ruining the country, and taking the rest of mankind down with it, the Right wing Party must hold power, even if only to keep the Left wing Party out of power. To be sure, it would be preferable for the Right wing Party to actually do something meaningful, but for them to do nothing is preferable to Democrat rule.
So we must here say something about political parties as a general matter.
In Parliamentary governments, there can be such a thing known as independent parties. This is because there is proportional representation in the legislature, and the members of that legislature elect the executive. In such a government, when say, 5% of the country votes for the independent Party, the Party gets 5% of the seats and can enter into a coalition government to wield power. This power can be substantial, since it may on a whim collapse the government or at least obstruct the larger coalition partner.
America does not have a Parliamentary government. In America our constitution recognized a winner take all model from the moment it replaced the Articles of Confederation, which itself was not Parliamentary. A winner take all model is inescapably a two Party system. One winner, one loser. A zero sum game with two opposing teams.
A group may call itself a political party as easily as two homosexuals can declare themselves married. They might even get officialdom to go along wit the bit, but this does not make it so. There are no third parties in serious discussions of a winner take all system.
In such a system, groups bearing the title of independent political parties are to be understood as social clubs, interest groups, debating societies, and more generally as corporate vehicles that are Parties in Name Only (which we will call PINOs, pronounced “pee-nose”). They may do good things or bad things, but in this they are no different from any other corporate shell, formed with all the difficulty of filling out an online application, and paying a nominal sum to a local registrar. To the extent they engage in political activity, their impact on the political success of one party or the other determines whether they are Republicans or Democrats. They fall into one of the two categories, whether or not they choose to admit or like this fact. This designation need not be static for such a group any more than it need be for any individual voter, but one might expect patterns to emerge which cause the designation to remain perceptually stubborn.
In a recent guest appearance, someone told your humble correspondent that “there is nothing sacrosanct about the Republican Party”.
To this we respond, “by design”. A two party system cannot have anything sacrosanct about either Party. If there is a permanent two party structure in place, which there is, then necessarily the policies espoused by the parties will change as the sands flow through the hourglass. People and ideas come and go. All that remains are the levers. It is red team blue team. If the Democrat Party were tomorrow cleared of all the crooks and degenerates we might just as easily adhere to that corporate shell instead of the other. The Party is the legal mechanism, provided by the State, for political activity. It has no principles, no inherent moral or spiritual claim to legitimacy of its own. It is a vessel filled with whatever human material happens to be controlling the levers. It has no will save for that of its members.
Those who do not like how that will is exercised have two options. They can either try to influence the Party, by being a part of it, or they can try to defeat it, by being part of the other Party. Whether they do this as committeemen, or as social media influencers, or as armed revolutionaries, they no less participate on one side or the other. It is inescapable. Attempts to operate outside of this paradigm can only result in miscalculation, because the fact of their place within it is preordained outside of their capacity to decide. To put it another way, a Right wing Party that holds itself in opposition to the Republican Party is functioning as a Democrat Party proxy, whatever their intent, and their failure, willing or unwilling, to understand this, can only result in their failure to advance the Right wing interests for which they purport to exist.
The implication of the above is that nationalists must come to grips with the mechanics of partisan politics, and the Republican Party in particular. That is, if they hope to defeat Leftist hegemony and the predictably catastrophic outcomes it means to impose through engineered demographic change. There are alternatives to this, but they do not involve the salvation of our people.
That will involve conservatives being in charge when they prevail in Primary elections and other intraparty contests, which a reasonable observer ought to expect them to do until nationalists earn their position within the Party.
To earn that seat at the table will require more effort and more prudence than nationalists have thus far proven willing or capable of summoning. Complaining that one’s faction has not dominated a country after five years of failed effort, and then abandoning the project and calling for the destruction of the system, can hardly be called an exercise in Realpolitik.
Our friends would do well to take page from Mr. Rochau.
Since Realpolitik is primarily concerned with the attainment of ends, our task necessarily begins with defining these aims.
As a thought exercise, let us say our aim is “Total Right Wing Victory”.
The goal is too ill defined. One cannot achieve concrete attainable ends if one cannot define them.
Moreover, its exceedingly broad implications are not apt for the alignment of otherwise dissimilar interests, which comprise our most notable examples of Realpolitik.
I can think of two better examples with relatively recent successes. The Tea Party, and the Right to Life Movement.
To be sure, some people who hear the sound of my voice will consider this quite tame. We’ve been talking about Putin and Machiavelli and it may seem like a change of subject to downshift to people in tricorne hats trying to save babies. But our entire political frame of reference today is shaped by these two movements, and in ways that are rarely so obvious as the overturn of Roe v. Wade. To do truly exciting things in politics requires power, and these movements are a great study in its acquisition and application. Consequently, they will be due for more thorough exploration in future episodes, but I will present brief summaries here today as a crash course.
Depending on who you spoke to within the vast array of interests that make up the Right to Life movement, they might have had any number of ultimate aims. On the fringes, some wanted to go so far as banning birth control. Some just thought abortion after 15 weeks was a barbaric procedure, and that there ought to be more reasonable restrictions at a local level. But they all set their sights on the overturn of the Supreme Court Case, Roe v. Wade. This was their North Star, if you will.
I imagine most of you already know that this was the Supreme Court precedent that purported to establish a constitutional right to abortion. If you want to learn more about the history of the case, I would encourage you to check out a book titled The Family Roe, by Joshua Prager. There is an audiobook version that is reasonably well produced with a female narrator, which you can obtain for free using the Libby app for your smartphone using a public library card, if your library has it. The decision overturning Roe v. Wade was in a case titled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, and that was an excellent read as well.
Long story short, Roe v. Wade was this really bizarre fiction. The case was brought pseudonymously, ostensibly to protect the identity of a woman named Norma McCorvey, whose life was just a complete disaster. She had already given birth twice, and the third time she got pregnant, her friends told her she should falsely claim to have been raped because at the time abortion was illegal in Texas. This did not have the desired effect, and through a convoluted process she ended up introduced to some lawyers who already had a legal strategy for bringing abortion to the Supreme Court.
Here we find the first politically interesting thing in this story. These were activist lawyers looking for a client to accomplish a political goal. Norma McCorvey wasn’t a politically interested person, she was just a trainwreck of a woman who thought, with some justification, that she was doing the world a disservice by reproducing.
Our legal system is not supposed to be a political instrument, but because it has the power to achieve political goals, it is weaponized for precisely this purpose.
So, the case is based on a lie. There is no constitutional right to abortion. Nobody ever believed there actually was one. It was a frivolous legal argument seeking politically sympathetic Judges. The woman wasn’t raped, her name wasn’t Jane Roe, she didn’t sue the government, activists did, and she actually never showed up at any of these hearings. She never got the abortion. She gave birth to the child, and put it up for adoption. She later became a pro-life activist, and shortly before her death in 2017, she told a documentary crew that she was paid for the activism and she actually supports abortion. Everything about this story is fake.
I only tell the story because overturning the case made such a great target for the alignment of diverse interests, and that is a key feature of Realpolitik. You didn’t have to care about abortion to think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. It was perfectly sufficient if you cared about the truth, or about the law. Being on the side of the truth, and of the law, while your opponent is actively against these things, is very persuasive.
I imagine some of you have heard about a group called the Federalist Society. The Federalist Society is not primarily a right to life group. It is not a primarily Christian group. It’s a bunch of lawyers. But on the basis of their devotion to the rule of law, the overturn of Roe v. Wade was a vocal part of their advocacy. When Donald Trump ran for President, he pledged to only nominate Supreme Court Justices they approved of. Wouldn’t you like to wield that kind of power?
It doesn’t hurt to have God on your side, either.
I’m not trying to make this show about me, but I’ll tell you a little personal detail, because I think it helps illustrate this broader point. I have very strong opinions about abortion for deeply personal reasons, but it has never been a religious thing for me. I always thought that making it a religious issue was actually bad politics. It would be fair to say my views on religion are more complex than my views on abortion, so it’s not by any means a natural fit to get me in league with religious groups.
But the Christian groups are the most active right to lifers, and these people really earned by admiration over the years. When I first started in politics and media I openly marketed myself as an atheist and I used to mock religion. I don’t do that anymore for a variety of reasons, but high on that list is because the Christian right to life groups influenced me during the course of our interests being aligned.
When I heard that Roe v. Wade had been overturned, I was so overwhelmed with emotion I barely knew what to do with myself. My first thought was to drop to my knees and thank God, and I had this moment of panic over that impulse. This was not something I did, it wasn’t part of my identity. So, I had this second thought that was like, if you pray to God, God will take that as mockery, and then you’ll need to ask for forgiveness, which will cause the same problem. And if you’re listening to me say this and it sounds crazy, imagine this is going on in your own head and you feel like you have no control over it. These were intrusive thoughts that I could not rid myself of.
So, I dropped to my knees, clasped my hands, and whispered “Thank you, God”. Then I got back up and tried to put it out of my head. As you may have gathered, that still hasn’t happened all these months later.
I don’t imagine I’m the only one with a similar story to tell, either. Christians set their sights on Roe v. Wade, and they got me to my knees. They could not have done that by a straightforward attempt at conversion. They wielded influence through an aligned interest.
And while I hope that example was vivid, it was hardly the most powerful impact they had. How many Republican candidates for office do you know who openly advocate for free abortion on demand without restriction or apology? Probably Zero.
The whole time these activists were out doing their marches and their silent prayer sessions and all of these flamboyant public displays, they were also showing up at Republican Party meetings and events. Becoming committee members. Setting up Super PACs and 501(c) organizations. Recruiting and screening candidates. They did it all.
Before you can overturn a Supreme Court decision, you’ve got to get a majority on the Court, and before you can do that, you’ve got to have at least 50 Senators and a President who agree with you, and you’ve got to have that infrastructure in place over the course of many years to change the Court’s makeup.
Donald Trump used to be for abortion, and I think his views sincerely changed over the years, but whatever his true thoughts, he knew that the Christian right to life groups were an important constituency in securing the Republican nomination for President. So he stated matter of factly that of course his Justices would overturn Roe v. Wade. Obviously, as if that was not controversial.
And for the Right to Life groups, who had spent 50 years seeking this goal, that was almost all they needed to hear. They were willing to overlook the inconsistencies in his views, the divorces, the affairs, the porn stars, the acceptance of gay marriage, the Access Hollywood tape, everything.
The Left wing media, oh, they didn’t like this one bit. Suddenly they found sexual morality for the limited purpose of criticizing the religious groups as hypocrites for supporting Donald Trump. They wanted so desperately for these groups to forfeit an imminent political victory over some abstract principle, but they had worked too hard, for too long, to let this go.
It shouldn’t have come as a shock to me that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. I almost cried when Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in, because I knew we at least had the math on our side at that point. But I’ve been disappointed so many times in politics that I wasn’t about to consider it a done deal. Even when I heard the decision had been leaked, that wasn’t the moment that I fell to my knees. I was hopeful, more than at any other time in my life, but whoever leaked that thing obviously wanted to influence the outcome, and I thought they might succeed.
Maybe the most beautiful thing I ever saw on television was the sight of young women celebrating the decision outside of the Supreme Court. It stood in sharp contrast to the angry feminists, who were not nearly so attractive.
It took 50 years to overturn Roe, and not 50 years of silent prayer, or simply showing up on election day. It took a lot of hard work, and we should not forget that these people were persecuted.
A lot of people on the Right get discouraged because they see themselves and their associates facing down the System and meeting undesirable outcomes, to put it mildly. They get branded terrorists, sabotaged, imprisoned, and sued, and people lose hope.
Not the right to lifers.
You might recall a few very highly publicized stories of guys who either killed abortionists or torched or vandalized clinics, many more cases of threats. Democrats tried to use these things to paint the whole movement that way, which may sound familiar to you in other contexts if you pay any attention to the news. The people from Live Action, who published the videos of Planned Parenthood ghouls selling baby parts, they got sued and prosecuted, and they did not miss a beat.
Even Supreme Court Justices weren’t safe from their malice. Who can forget the absurd spectacle they made of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination? Some maniac showed up at his house with a gun to kill him while that decision was in limbo. And to this day, the Biden Justice Department will not remove those maniacs from their front yards, despite a federal law that explicitly makes it illegal to protest a Judge with the intent of influencing a decision.
Just as importantly, the pro life movement did not simply disband when they achieved the goal that had become their central organizing principle. Now that Roe has been overturned, a new phase begins. Saving the unborn is the mission now. Whether that means lobbying for state and local laws, or seeking a personhood amendment to the constitution, I imagine there are differences of opinion on that, and won’t have nearly the coalition building power that overturning Roe did. But there’s a lot that we can learn from the Right to Life movement, and I will return to this subject.
A shorter term, and closely related study, can be found in the Tea Party movement. I was involved in the Tea Party movement back in its heyday, and you would not be listening to the sound of my voice right now had I not. Had I not been trying to outradical everybody there, you might be seeing me on TV, or in the halls of Congress.
You’ve got to have a pretty strict definition of success to say that those people were not successful. You know what made the Tea Party successful? Three words. Hands Off Healthcare. That catch phrase was something only a Democrat could hate.
For the younger members of our audience, the Tea Party movement emerged after the election of Barack Obama. If they were still teaching American history when you were propagandized as a child, you may have heard about something called the Boston Tea Party, in which a tax on tea was protested by the colonial subjects by throwing tea off the side of a boat into the harbor.
Many credit CNBC host Rick Santelli with launching the movement through an on air rant largely about taxes and and fueled in no small part by the Bush administration’s bank bailouts. But with a Democrat congress, and a Democrat President who had advocated single payer, proposing an overhaul of the healthcare system, this became the slogan everybody rallied around. Sure people had other issues, sure there were partisan overtones to the whole thing, but there were professional political strategists and organizers involved and they made a point to stay on message. Hands of Healthcare was the rallying point that nobody in the group disagreed about and the rest was just stuff to debate over beers, of which there were many.
For the people who weren’t there, it’s easy to get the idea that the Republican Party always embraced the Tea Party. But that was not the case at all when it happened. The people in charge of the Party were afraid that the crazies were going to come out of the woodwork and cost them elections, and there was no shortage of attempts to start an actual Tea Party political party. I’m not going to research it, but I’m pretty sure there were lawsuits over the name, actually.
There were several Tea Party groups in my area. The 9/12 Project, and the Campaign for Liberty stand out in my mind among the smaller groups, but the biggest group was the Conservative Society for Action, or CSA. It was run by a guy named Stephen Flanagan, and that guy knew what he was doing. He was a powerful speaker, and a competent leader and strategist.
He knew that if you were going after every right wing talking point, you’re going to fracture your coalition. He didn’t deny right to lifers or second amendment groups or anybody else a chance to speak at the meetings. He didn’t police people’s signs at the rallies, but he told everybody that Obamacare was just a foot in the door for single payer, and that single payer was the crown jewel of socialism, and if the group wanted to save the country from communism, they were going to have to stay on message.
And until the midterms came around in 2010, he tried to avoid the appearance of being a partisan organization. Hands off Healthcare, Hands off Healthcare. It worked.
When the midterm primaries came around, there was some fracturing. Perhaps most notably to this audience, though not in the grand scheme of things, I more or less got ran out of the group for running as a Libertarian and being hostile to the GOP. More relevant to the story though, is that people were backing other Republican candidates, and at some point things got pretty nasty, as these things often do. There were the so called “Dark Horse” candidates, regular people who wanted to run for office and take their country back. These were obviously opposed by Party establishment types, and there were differences of opinion on how to handle that, to say the least of it.
In the US House district I ran as a Libertarian in, the guy who won the primary was no Tea Party favorite, but others did win their primaries.
So Steve gave a real barn burner of a speech at one of the meetings, and he said that if they didn’t want all the effort they put in over the last couple of years to be wasted, they had no choice but to back whoever won their primaries. If you don’t want to give this guy or that one your time or your money, fine, but we’re not going to help you oppose them because that will help the Democrats and the Democrats are the source of this health care bill we’re trying to defeat.
And the Republican Party won a historic victory that year. Obama himself called it a “shellacking”.
More to the point, the Tea Party proved their worth to the Republican Party. In the primaries, they won some, the lost some. The tea party favorites lost a few general elections, they won a few. Some of them proved the establishment right by being crackpots, others are still serving today.
But while you don’t hear about the Tea Party much anymore, you do hear about the people who came to power during it from time to time. Rand Paul among them. What gets less attention, necessarily, is people who started all manner of political careers during that time, or people who became committee members for the GOP. I haven’t checked, but I’m willing to bet I got drunk with a lot of guys still serving in the Republican Party of Suffolk County New York. Others are working as professional campaign strategists and and with various media outfits and whatnot.
Observe the continuum. Hands off Healthcare is the narrow unifying point. Effort is invested. If you don’t want your effort wasted, help the Party. The Party wins. You get a job in the business.
By contrast, I ran a write in campaign as a Libertarian Party candidate, and I was in the habit of attacking Republicans on every stupid libertarian sticking point like legalizing drugs. The Republican in my district lost by fewer votes than I got, and the Tea Party groups understandably blamed me for it. I’d like to think I’ve done some good things since then, but it’s reasonable to think I might have had a better impact on things if I wasn’t trying to outradical everybody by proposing constitutional amendments and refusing to play ball.
There’s a lot of Trump guys in the GOP right now. I can’t say how many of them got their start with the Tea Party, but I imagine many did. Wherever they started, they’re there now. Trump’s prospects are uncertain, but these guys are in there doing their jobs. Climbing the ladders. They didn’t do this without resistance. The Bush, Romney, McCain crowd, they held power within the Party, and they did not want to be dislodged. They viciously resisted Trump’s movement. They won some, they lost some. Them’s the breaks.
But I imagine Ludwig von Rochau would envy the ease with which they found their influence.
There is a really great scene from the HBO Original Series, Game of Thrones. I’m tempted to play the audio, but I’m trying to be very cautious with intellectual property in this production, so I’ll tel you the video is on YouTube with the title Tyrion & Varys Discuss Power, and recite the idea here.
Varys, the eunuch, poses to Tyrion, the Dwarf, a riddle.
Varys – “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Are you fond of riddles?”
Tyrion – “Why? Am I about to hear one?”
Varys – “Three great men sit in a room, a king, a priest and the rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword kill the other two. Who lives? Who dies?”
Tyrion – “Depends on the sellsword”
Varys – “Does it? He has not the crown, no gold, no favor with the gods”
Tyrion – “He’s got the sword, the power of life and death”
Varys – “But if the swordsman’s who rule, why do we pretend kings hold all the power? When Ned Stark lost his head, who was truly responsible: Joffrey, the executioner, or something else?”
Tyrion – “I have decided I don’t like riddles”
Varys – “Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall, and a very small man, can cast a very large shadow.”
Ideas are cool, but power is cooler. Ideology is impotent without power, and the most ideological people in this country know this all too well.
I am sick and tired of getting kicked around by Left wing maniacs who would burn this country for a chance to rule the ashes. More than this I am sick of seeing it happen to people far less deserving than your humble correspondent.
I dread their vision for the world. It is a Hobbesian hellscape, red in tooth, claw, and ideology. It is a world in which you don’t know what the law is, or who is in charge, or what is socially acceptable, because words have no meaning, and thought is impossible.
The prudent man, ideologue or no, must view this as an unacceptable political framework. To prevent it, he must understand and engage with the world as it is, and on the terms set by those who came before him. Only in this way, can he alter those terms. If he rejects the rules of the game, he does not win by creative means, he forfeits.
So before we go, I should say something about political violence, which I suspect is thinly veiled in a great deal of losing political strategy.
There is such a thing as “accelerationism” on the Right, in which the goal becomes to hasten the collapse of the system, on the suspect notion that things have to get worse before they can get better. Malcontents of various stripes are sick and tired of being able to safely go to the store with kids in the car. They desire above all the chance to die violently and in the company of their fellow Photoshop amateurs, as the world descends into a chaotic state resembling an unmoderated Telegram chat.
Or at least, this is what they tell themselves until the police show up and they become paid informants.
It is far easier to wreck things than to build them. This not only makes the goal easier to accomplish, it makes recruitment a very simple matter. You don’t need geniuses or prudent people or hard workers. Just people who see no hope in the future, an army of which the Democrat Party is training in our public schools. They don’t even need to be Right wing. The Reds are doing a fine job of tearing the country apart. To break a sweat over this is just conflict seeking.
More to the point, “destroying the system” is a pretty abstract concept, don’t you think? What “system”? The United States constitution? The current administration? Capitalism? This sounds an awful lot like fighting institutional racism or climate change, if you ask me.
Doctrinaire ideological mysticism is what it is.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s just say you are the guy who sent the tweet that brought down this “system”. You tap send, and boom. Total system failure. Pretty cool, eh?
OK. Now what?
The people of this country, they’re just going to turn around and be like “Hey, you over there, could you rule my country now, please?”
You couldn’t win an election when you actually were the good guy. Now you’re the bad guy.
You couldn’t maintain order at a rally in the Virginia suburbs while Donald Trump was President of the United States. You think you’re going to walk out into the street, when there ain’t no President, and tell the looters “Stop right there! I have cooler political ideas than you!”.
One of the most insightful things I ever read was written by a man named David Hines at a site which is sadly no longer online. Fortunately, I archived it, because it is just that important. The title of the piece was “Political Violence is a Game the Right Can’t Win” and it shattered many of the myths that lead people down these paths. The whole thing is worth reading, no less than twice, but I’ll quote a short passage which is apt for our purposes and not necessarily exclusive to violence.
When it comes to political violence, everybody imagines themselves piloting the helicopters; nobody imagines themselves clinging desperately to the skids.
There’s a famous cartoon by Sidney Harris that shows a couple of researchers at a blackboard, on which is a series of complicated mathematical equations. In the middle of the blackboard are the words “then a miracle occurs.” The cartoon’s caption, dialogue from one of the researchers to the other: “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”
“And then a miracle occurs” is a long-standing fringe-right temptation. You see it in all sorts of places: in Ayn Rand’s hugely influential Atlas Shrugged, once a lone scientist moves to Galt’s Gulch and doesn’t have to worry about the leeches, he literally cures cancer. In the much less influential wish-fulfillment novels by literal Nazi Harold Covington, his Mary Sue goes from poverty-stricken and railing into the ether to the inspiring force behind a mass white nationalist movement because, for no reason, white people suddenly start listening to his screeds and mailing him five-figure checks. Bluntly put: “and then a miracle occurs” is the equivalent of “I don’t have to change or put forth any effort; someday I will be great and people will like me for who I am.” As Righties know, this is something lazy and inadequate people say.
The temptation toward “destroying the system” is not in its boldness, but in its laziness. There’s no appointment to be on time for. Ain’t no dress code. No cover charge. Nobody whose approval you need to seek. If you do nothing, if you break the law, if you spend all day talking nonsense on the Internet, if you sell drugs and pimp women and drink yourself to death, if your kids find you dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound, you can call it revolutionary activity, and tell yourself that you are securing your place in history.
But you’re not…
There is no system, friend. There’s just people doing stuff, and I got news for you: With any luck, people are going to be doing stuff until long after you’re dead, and if you want them to do the kind of stuff you think they should be doing, then you are going to have to get up off your, chair, and persuade them.
This being Episode 1 of the show, I hope you’ll pardon me for not spelling out a simple path to total Right wing victory. There isn’t one, and you should treat with scepticism claims to the contrary.
I do hope I have given you a satisfying introduction to Realpolitik, and to this production. Fanaticism is easier to make entertainment fodder out of than practical politics, as I know from a degree of experience, but I would encourage the fanatics among us to take a hint from Van Jones, who said “I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”
I have high ambitions for the future of this production. To achieve them, I will need to devote my life to the project. I believe it is in your interests that I do this, and so I would ask you to pay me for the service. There are a number of ways for you to do this, I try to make it very easy.
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- Christopher Cantwell
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