One Year Together

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Anti-Democracy Activist. On this occasion, it is only right for me to offer some words of thanks. Thus: thanks to God Almighty, thanks to WordPress for hosting this column, thanks to my influences (past and present) and my co-conspirators in the growing Neo-Reaction (links to many of whose own homes on the internet can be found in the right sidebar), and most of all thanks to you, the readers, who are always the author’s silent partners in any writing endeavor. Without you, this project would be not so much impossible as (what is worse) pointless.

There’s a scene in the delightful early-90s movie The Commitments in which the struggling band’s saxophonist remarks to his manager that it feels much better to be an unemployed musician than an unemployed pipe fitter. Speaking personally, it feels much better for my “real” work to be that of a radical Neo-Reactionary activist than anything else. Having a secret identity and fighting for faith, tradition, decency, and justice suits me well. I highly recommend it to everybody.

One year and 65 columns on, it’s been a long, slow struggle to build audience and do some genuine good in the world – but you can all be assured that the struggle will continue unabated in the new year.

Straight ahead everybody… straight ahead!

Short Takes: Holiday Bonus Edition

Santa has come and left a bounty of Short Takes – ideas that are worth expressing, but that are pithily short enough to not require a full column to express. Let’s look under the tree and start unwrapping them, shall we?

1. I’ve long said that the Two-Minutes’ Hate sessions that the left directs at those who dare challenge its orthodoxy (see Paula Deen) would only lose some of their devastating effectiveness once a couple of people very publicly refused to back down and grovel in the face of them. First it was John Derbyshire, then Pax Dickinson, now Phil Robertson – the first few brave souls have shown that it can be done, and God bless them all for it. Derbyshire has said that when the left demands a groveling apology for some transgression against Political Correctness, the only possible reaction is to spit in their eye, and he’s quite right. The left are shameless bullies, and bullies start losing their power the second that people begin to stand up to them; when demonstrate that the bully is not as invincible or all-powerful as he makes himself out to be. Let’s hope that these are the first of a new dawn of eye-spittings, both in America and worldwide.

2. Sometimes there appears a movie or TV show that captures the imagination of the left; sometimes one that captures the imagination of the right; sometimes one that captures the imagination of libertarians. (Yes, I know that, Hollywood being what it is, one of those groups gets a lot more attention than the others, but bear with me). Sometimes, however, a movie or TV show comes along that captures the imagination of both the left and the right, who see different things in them that they identify with. The Matrix was a good example of that – praised by both Maoists and Neo-Reactionaries (no pun intended), who saw something in it they latched on to (Sometimes I even wonder if the Wachowskis would have made The Matrix at all, if they had known the galvanizing effect that its metaphors would have had on the then-nascent Neo-Reaction). In the present-day, the Hunger Games trilogy seems to be having a similar effect (though more on the mainstream of the left and right than on their alternative sides, who still tend to favor The Matrix). Liberals see in it the story of poor protagonists (led by a warrior-woman) struggling against a small class of rich, privileged, “one-percenter” economic elites. Conservatives see in it the story of largely white, rural, working-class protagonists struggling against a small class of effete, decadent cultural elites. Suzanne Collins may have written her books with precisely this effect in mind, in order to maximize appeal across the political and cultural spectrum – if she did, it was very clever of her. And it appears to be working. Expect to see mockingjay pins at both Obama rallies and Tea Party protests for some time to come.

3. It becomes more evident every day that true intellectuals – as opposed to pretentious, herd-mentality, pseudointellectual poseurs – are increasingly abandoning leftism for libertarianism or the Neo-Reaction.

4. Sometimes I really wonder what black people think that being white is like. I get the distinct impression that most of them believe that it is a ceaseless series of unearned freebies given, unsolicited dream jobs offered, unsought opportunities provided, unasked-for hands extended, and problems discreetly made to disappear. If that is what blacks think that being white is like, then no wonder they believe that they have not achieved parity or equality with whites – they see the everyday struggles that they have in their lives and believe that whites largely do not have them. But here, of course, they are wrong – especially when it comes to the experience of lower-middle and working-class whites, who struggle and suffer and frequently lose, and who feel (rightly) as if no one has handed very much “privilege” of any kind to them. No wonder there is so little meeting of the minds between these groups.

Of course, there also exists a professional race grievance industry – large and powerful – which actively tries to exacerbate these problems, and has had great success in doing so.  Yes, there’s that too.

5. It is obvious that throughout the West, big business and big government have merged into a near-seamless whole; though the question of which is the senior partner and which is the junior partner is still a bit unclear. But two things are clear. The first is that cut out of this power structure, Tom Hagen-style, are the church and the middle class. The second is that this power structure is one of the faces of the enemy.

6. You’ll notice that I tend not to use a lot of figures and statistics in this space. This is intentional. We live in the great age of fraud, and it is obvious that many of the statistics we are given by the power structure (both in its business and its government incarnations) are completely fraudulent (organizations like Shadowstats prove this as well). Do you believe that the government, and the rest of the power structure, is honest? If not, then why would you believe numbers and statistics given to you by known liars? Open your eyes and look at the world around you. What do your own observations tell you about what’s happening?

7. “I see no certain term to the continual wars of Britain but in the downfall of her paper credit”. Thomas Jefferson said that two centuries ago, and it was perfectly true, though it would take nearly a century and a half to come to pass. Today, the same sentiment is true of the nation that Jefferson helped to found. But in the latter case, the “certain term” will come after not nearly as long a wait.

8. The United States becomes every day more the image of what someone once said about Mao’s China: A place in which everything that is not forbidden is mandatory.

9. Workers of the world – but especially of the United States – the left has abandoned you. Like a middle-aged husband leaving his wife for a younger woman once her beauty has started to fade, the left has abandoned the working class and their interests in favor of its new partners: the welfare class, sexual libertines and deviants, and aggrieved race hustlers.

To be clear: I do not mean to imply here that the Republican Party (or really any big mainstream Conservative party in the west) does stand for the interests of the working class – it most certainly does not. No, what I mean to say here is that the power structure has abandoned you entirely, leaving you with no effective representation nor much of anything at all besides lip service. The fact that the American working and middle classes are slowly, steadily shrinking down to nothing is not unrelated.

10. Do I feel any discomfort or irony in using the products of overtly left-leaning technology companies like Apple and Google? Not at all – they have sold me the rope with which I will hang them.

11. Speaking of Moldbug, his native San Francisco Bay Area seems to be in the process of becoming something of a hotbed of both libertarianism and the Neo-Reaction. I wonder if the truth of San Francisco is not that it is an inherently leftist place, but instead that it is an inherently countercultural place. When the prevailing culture was conservative, it was leftist. Now they the prevailing culture is radically leftist, San Francisco and its environs begin to shake with tremors of the ideas which will challenge that culture.

Or maybe the Bay Area rumbles with these ideas for the same reason that post-Soviet Russia has become increasingly rightist: Because seeing firsthand where leftist ideas inevitably, invariably lead will cause any decent and reasonable person to rebel against them as vehemently as possible.

12. People fight hard for the things they genuinely believe in. If an individual or group is visibly not fighting very hard for something they say they genuinely believe in (see: the Republican Party on social issues, the Democratic Party on the ever-more-encroaching police state), then something is wrong with that picture. The most likely explanation is that those people do not, in fact, believe in those things anywhere near as genuinely as they claim to.

Yes, this is obvious. But you know what Orwell said about the first duty of intelligent men…

13. Lastly, in our Politically Correct, increasingly-totalitarian age, in which up is down, black is white, and day is night, we have reached the point at which simply saying “Merry Christmas” is a downright rebellious and revolutionary act.

I like rebellious and revolutionary acts. So, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

As always, I can be found on Twitter at @antidemblog – the more people follow me there, the more I’ll post.

Vox: At Your Feet Or At Your Throat

Yes, yes, I know – I said that I don’t like reposting thoughts from other authors in their entirety, and now I’m doing that twice in a row while I work on my next original work, but Vox Day stole the thunder of an upcoming piece I was going to write so thoroughly that, while I can’t let this thought go unexpressed here, I also want to give Vox credit due for beating me to this particular punch. So here’s the key passage from him, in which he speaks about the left and its sycophants and fellow-travelers:

“First, give them an inch and they will not only take a mile, but will insult you in the process. Second, there is absolutely no reasoning with these people. They are an implacable enemy and no quarter should be shown to them even when they wave the white flag and start talking about negotiating a settled peace.

As Churchill once said of the Hun, he is either at your feet or at your throat. We can’t leave them alone because they won’t leave us alone. We can’t tolerate them because they will not tolerate us. So, root them out of your lives, stop supporting them, stop enabling them, and stop funding their assault on your beliefs, your family, and your faith. There are no fences upon which moderates can safely sit in a cultural war…

One cannot reason with totalitarians. One can only refuse to submit to them. And sooner or later, one must fight them.”

This, right down to the Churchill quote, is precisely what I myself wished to express. And if I did not voice it first, I will at least add my humble voice to it. And with my voice, I will fight them. So consider the battle joined, Vox.

Because he is right – nobody should feel any obligation to “be reasonable” with the left. Being reasonable with people who will do nothing but use it as an opening to destroy you is just being a sucker. I see nothing in the Bible, nor in any other book worth listening to, that requires me to be a sucker. So shut them down, shut them out, shut them up. No quarter. No mercy. Their plan is Permanent Revolution, and they will eventually come for you no matter what – so give them hell!

Trading Places

Normally I wouldn’t post a long piece from another writer on my own site, as their thoughts should result in site views for them, not me. But this passage from Eugene Volokh, which I found via Moldbug, illustrates perfectly a point I’ve been making for years:

“I remember very little about my childhood in the Soviet Union; I was only seven when I left. But one memory I have is being on a bus with one of my parents, and asking something about a conversation we had had at home, in which Stalin and possibly Lenin were mentioned as examples of dictators. My parent took me off the bus at the next stop, even though it wasn’t the place we were originally going.

Perhaps I have some of the details wrong (was it just Stalin, or also Lenin?); childhood memories remembered 35 years later are like that. I’m telling this to explain why I feel so strongly about it, based on my memories; my personal account does not affect the soundness (or unsoundness) of my arguments. But my sense from all I’ve heard is that this is exactly how life was like there, and that no-one who lived there in the 1970s would think the scenario at all improbable.

What’s more, this is so even though most people, including most Communists, knew that Stalin was of course a dictator. The government itself had acknowledged as much. Even Lenin was widely understood to have been a dictator in the sense of someone who didn’t govern through democratic means.

But it’s not the sort of thing that you’d want to say in public, or even to your friends in private. Sssh! — people might hear! Those who hear might draw deeper inferences about what else you might believe. This might get back to the place you work. You might be fired, or blacklisted. By the 1970s, you probably didn’t have to worry much about being shot, or being sent to Siberia; these were not the 1930s. But lost jobs, ruined careers — sure. And a forced public apology: well, of course, that might help a bit.”

Consider that, dear reader, and tell me how it is any functionally different at all from the situation in the “free” West in the modern day? From this, or this, or this, or this? Or from innumerable other examples, all in the same mold? Here we see that the left is all fundamentally the same, and that wherever they take power, we can expect, to a somewhat greater or lesser degree, the same basic outcomes. As soon as they feel that their position is secure, all pretense of regard for freedom of speech or expression or conscience is shed. And so we arrive where we are now – with everyone knowing whom they are not allowed to offend or criticize. No, in America in 2013, you don’t have to worry about being shot or being sent to prison; but neither did one have to worry about that in the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union – a nation which operated under a system that we once said we’d obliterate the planet and annihilate the human race in a nuclear apocalypse sooner than live under.

And so we now see the truth: that in every way important to an average citizen other than perhaps the ability to produce consumer products*, the United States and the Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era have switched places. While Russia gradually recovers, re-Christianizes, drives out Cultural Marxism, and adopts rational foreign and trade policies, the United States  becomes, with every day that passes, more the image of the USSR from Volokh’s childhood memories.

We have met the enemy, and we have become him**.

(*No, present-day Americans don’t even really have that much more economic freedom than Brezhnev-era Soviets. Not in an age where the government can and does tell business owners who they must or may not voluntarily do business with, who they must or may not hire, what they must and may not compensate their employees with, and now, finally, what those employees must or cannot purchase with their paychecks. And those are just a few of the most egregious edicts – there are many more. If the government does not technically own the means of production, one could be forgiven for finding it hard to tell the difference.)

(**Yes, I agree with Moldbug that America has always been a “small-c” communist country. More on that soon. But the point is that it wasn’t nearly this bad not long ago… not even close.)