NRx: What it is and Isn’t

There has been a lot of downtime for the past 24 hours…sorry for inconvenience

On developing political theory and organisations, or how to get shot in the head and chucked in a canal like Rosa Luxemberg

It’s evident RF believes Nick land is inimical to NRx, probably as part of the long-standing schism between techno-commercialism and traditionalism (or in broader philosophical terms, materialism vs. idealism), as I have discussed in the past here.

But RF’s anger possibly stems from a misunderstanding of what NRx (and its Social Mater and Hestia subsidiaries) is and isn’t.

Both fascists and communists had very clear organisations through which intellectual developments were veted, checked against theory and kept within a clear party line. They thus had organisation and were able to develop coherent (if crazy due to inhereted liberal theory) theory. Neoreaction was conceived as a laissez faire crab bucket where everything and everyone could throw in their own opinions and spontaneous order was

RH wants NRx to be a political movement – something with a ‘common cause’ that everyone rallies behind, with a formal top-down power structure and delineated set of instructions that everyone adheres to. NRx was never conceived to be a ’cause’, a political movement, or a political party but rather as a ‘think tank’ of sorts whereby contributors form a constellation united by ‘shared beliefs’. Fascism and communism are not political parties but rather are ideologies. The Frankfurt School is an example of decentralized communism. Each node represents different perspective, under the constellation of NRx. Spandrel’s perspective is different than Jim’s but are both reactionary writers.

As a think tank, the goal is to influence/nudge policy and cultural sentiment, both by providing intellectual food for thought and through cultural subversion, not by direct political activism and politics. Good ideas can be promoted and expounded up; less-right ideas can discarded, rebutted, or ignored. If someone is really off the mark, they can be excommunicated, but that is pretty much all that can be done within reason. A libertarian think tank, for example, may publish a research report advocating lower taxes, in the hope policy makers will implement it upon seeing the merits of the report. Supply-side economics was conceived in the 70′s by the Chicago School and Neo-Classical School as an alternative to Keynesianism, and then later implemented by Reagan. Or Alan Greenspan, arguably during his long tenure the most powerful policy maker alive second only to the President, was influenced by the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand.

An example of subversion is the use of ‘memetic warfare’ on sites like 4chan, which upon being picked up by the media may have help foster a generation of ‘right wing’ voters, and may have even played a major role in getting Trump elected.

But also, part of the problem and a source of frustration may be the the election of Trump, which may have made NRx too chummy with pro-Trump, pro-democracy political activists.

I discuss this in more detail in Alt Right & NRx: End Game and Action Plans

In this respect, NRx acts a ‘think tank’, influencing policy makers without having to engage in actual politics. The ‘Frankfurt School’, which gave birth to Cultural Marxism, was successfully able to subvert American culture and politics even though hardly anyone knows what the ‘Frankfurt School’ is, but its propaganda infiltrated and permeated virtually all facets of post-WW2 American culture and society, for the worse. Optimistically, NRx could act a right-wing version of this, to counteract the forces of decay from left.

Alt-Right War of Words

Not two weeks after Trump’s historic victory, which should have emboldened the alt-right, does pettiness, virtue signaling, and ego threaten to tear it apart.

It all began with some Roman salutes at an NPI conference, which got picked up by major media outlets like Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

And then began the in-fighting. Info Wars’ Paul Joseph Watson put out a widely-watched video Is The Alt-Right Dead distancing himself and Info Wars from Spencer and the alt-right, and a few others followed suit.

So now the alt-right is divided between Spencer and the ‘moderates’. Judging by comments on PJW’s YouTube video, the majority (probably 70%) side with Spencer, seeing Info War’s about-face as a sign of perfidy, and rightfully so. It would seem Info Wars was only in it for the money, riding the alt-right momentum for as long as they could profit from it and then exiting after it became ‘too extreme’ as to render further support ‘bad for bushiness’. Despite supporting Spencer, the majority also agree Nazi-larping should be avoided. The alt-Right is not Neo-Nazism, never was, nor should aspire to be. The alt-right is more about promoting nationalism and white identity, as well as raising awareness about important issues (such as immigration), than white supremacy. Others define the alt-right as any version of ‘the right’ that isn’t mainstream.

But it really doesn’t matter anyway…all of this will blow over in a few weeks. All of these sites cater to different niches, with different audiences and ideologies. Alex Jones and Info Wars will never be like Raddix, which will never be like Vox Day or Danger and Play, and so on. It’s unrealistic to expect such a diverse collection of people to agree on everything.

And however you define it, the alt-right is here to stay.

Another problem may be the tendency to ‘nitpick’ and ‘concern’ among the ‘right’, whereas on the ‘left’ there is more group-think. This is probably symptomatic of the greater intelligence, independent-mindedness, and critical thinking ability of the right compared to the conformist, low-information left. If you read comments on alt-right blogs, they are imbued with history and philosophy, as well as criticism and dissent, but left-wing comments tend to not be arguments but rather are incantations or affirmative chants such as ‘spread the wealth’, and so on [1]. Your typical berntard is way more conformist than the average alt-righter. But sometimes it can get out of hand, as I poke fun at in the post I can tolerate anything except factual inaccuracies.

Although this may be changing, slightly, as I explain in The rise of ‘concern liberalism’ and the decline of ‘identity liberalism, although thoughtful liberals on Reddit are NOT indicative of all liberals, who tend to be low-information.

Was Charles Darwin Slow-Witted?

This story went viral: The Darwinian Guide to Overachieving your IQ

Darwin, however, was not a man of pure intellect. He was not Issac Newton, or Richard Feynman, or Albert Einstein — breezing through complex mathematical physics at a young age.

Darwin and the aforementioned names were in totally different fields, Darwin being biology/anthropology and the others in physics. Whether anthropology can be considered less intellectually ‘rigorous’ than physics is subjective, because at the time both fields were quite speculative (more so than they are now). Also, it’s not like Darwin tried physics as a young adult, realized he wasn’t smart enough, and then switched to biology. Although the vast majority of physicists and mathematician have high IQs, not all high-IQ people are physicists or mathematicians. This is below logic 101…it’s just common sense. The author just pulls his reasoning out of his butt, that the intellectual worth of individual is how they measure to Einstein and Newton, disregarding intellectual accomplishments in fields as diverse as philosophy, architecture, classical composition, art, and literature, as well as other sciences and scientists.

Charlie Munger, the billionaire business partner to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, thinks Darwin would have been in the middle of the class. He had notoriously bad health and really only worked a few hours a day in the many years leading up to the Origin of Species.

What does his health have do with IQ? Ramanujan, one of the most brilliant mathematicians who ever lived, had poor health.

Yet Darwin’s “thinking work” outclassed almost everyone, even those who started with a higher IQ.

Darwin was born in 1809, well before IQ tests were invented and widely administered. Same for Newton and Einstein. The only recorded IQ is for Feynman, which was supposedly only 125, although this may be apocryphal. Again, you cannot hold them to the same intellectual ‘yardstick’, as they were different scientists in different fields, living in different times. Even nowadays it’s hard to find IQ records for people – it’s not like people just go around boasting about their IQ. But, again, there are surprisingly many high-IQ people who are not physicists, and many professions that may seem ‘unintelligent’ are actually full of geniuses…look at all those Hollywood ‘high IQ’ lists…it’s almost as if having a high IQ is a prerequisite to being in the entertainment industry.

Even without IQ tests, because of the standardized and factory-style of post-WW1 education (Prussian education system), one can estimate someone’s ‘general intelligence’ by the age they graduate high school and or finish college. The usual age range is 17-18 for the former and 21-22 for the latter. Early graduation may suggest superior intelligence. SAT scores are more accurate, but like IQ scores, can be hard to obtain. High school GPA however is useless due to grade inflation.

But what was Darwin’s IQ? It’s hard to know. Back in the 19th century, such standardization didn’t exist. Environmental factors tended to play a bigger role than they do now because, during the Victorian Era, wealthy parents had access to tutors, and poorer families had far fewer opportunities, whereas nowadays education is available to all socioeconomic levels (although quality may vary).

There is evidence Einstein may have been a child prodigy, and Feynman mastered advanced math at a young ago, too. Assuming math ability is a perfect proxy for IQ (ignoring verbal and all other aspects of intelligence), then, yes, it’s reasonable to assume Darwin was less intelligent than Einstein, Newton, or Feynman. But it doesn’t matter, because we’re comparing different fields of study. It would only matter if someone with a low IQ relative to his or her peers in the same field of study was able to excel, because then it would be worthwhile to learn how this less intelligent person was able to compensate, controlling for all other variables, but otherwise it’s not a valid comparison.

1. Darwin did not think he had a quick intellect or an ability to follow long, complex, or mathematical reasoning. Darwin’s life also proves how little that trait matters if you’re aware of it and counter-weight it with other methods. Primarily, that meant developing extreme objectivity, extreme diligence, and taking time to think through his ideas. He was very intellectually humble and open to being wrong.

That doesn’t mean he didn’t have the ability to grasp complicated stuff. The author is equating humbleness with being less intelligent, when the evidence suggests smarter, more competent people tend to be more humble about their abilities (Dunning-Kruger effect).

Understanding Marx

Aaron dismisses the study of Marx as useless , but possibly falls into the the tempting trap of reductionism.

The study of Karl Marx is more than Communism, which of course is a failure, as mass deaths during communists regimes or the economic under-performance of communist countries versus capitalistic ones (North Korea v. South Korea, for example), shows. No one disputes this.

Likewise, studying Hitler doesn’t mean you legitimize Nazism. One should learn from the mistakes of history to avoid repeating them. Also, just learning about this stuff is interesting in and of itself.

Mark had some beliefs that even some on the ‘right’ can support – such as post-labor and post-scarcity societies in which technology and automation supplants the needs for work. The far-left, such as Obama, Keynes, and FDR, on the other hand, advocate ‘full employment’ even if such jobs create no economic value, are unprofitable for employers, and or are subsidized by taxpayers.

Post-scarcity economy

Karl Marx, in a section of his Grundrisse that came to be known as the “Fragment on Machines”,[22][23] argued that the transition to a post-capitalist society combined with advances in automation would allow for significant reductions in labor needed to produce necessary goods, eventually reaching a point where all people would have significant amounts of leisure time to pursue science, the arts, and creative activities; a state some commentators later labeled as “post-scarcity”.[24] Marx argued that capitalism—the dynamic of economic growth based on capital accumulation—depends on exploiting the surplus labor of workers, but a post-capitalist society would allow for:

Keynes, whose ideas are the intellectual forebear of Obama, believed full-employment at any cost was an ideal to always strive for, in contrast to Marx who rejected such idealism. But I’m not saying Marx is right about everything – Marxism is predicated on the belief workers are exploited by capitalism. I disagree, arguing that workers are NOT exploited and have a ‘good deal’. Marx also believed capitalism is self-limiting and would eventually fail, which I again disagree with.

Some of Marx’s ideas, such as Historical Materialism, which the exception of the parts about ‘revolution’, ‘liberation’, and ‘class struggle’, are not much different from introductory economics, or just plain common sense:

The basis of human society is how humans work on nature to produce the means of subsistence.

There is a division of labor into social classes (relations of production) based on property ownership where some people live from the labor of others.

The system of class division is dependent on the mode of production.

The mode of production is based on the level of the productive forces.

Society moves from stage to stage when the dominant class is displaced by a new emerging class, by overthrowing the “political shell” that enforces the old relations of production no longer corresponding to the new productive forces. This takes place in the superstructure of society, the political arena in the form of revolution, whereby the underclass “liberates” the productive forces with new relations of production, and social relations, corresponding to it.

Also, the ‘Marxian framework’ or ‘Marxian dialectic’ is an economic-centric one, referred to as ‘historical materialism’ or ‘dialectical materialism’ (the two are different in subtle ways that can be ignored for the sake of this discussion). In contrast to Weber and Hegel, Marx believed the entire world ‘revolves’ around economics – that economics, not culture or religion, is of foremost importance to all facets of human nature and society. Marx was obsessed with economics and believed it to be the driving force behind everything, and that all societal problems could be reduced to economic ones. In that regard, pretty much all economists, including even Milton Friedman, Rand, Hayek, and Rothbard, are at least tangentially intellectually related to Marx, in seeing the world from an econo-centric point of view, not a religious, cultural, or nationalistic one.

For example, Hayek:

In the book’s postscript, “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” Hayek distinguished his classical liberalism from conservatism. Among his grounds for rejecting conservatism were that moral and religious ideals are not “proper objects of coercion” and that conservatism is hostile to internationalism and prone to a strident nationalism.

This is related to Historical materialism:

Central to Marx’s thought is his theory of historical materialism, which argued that human societies and their cultural institutions (like religion, law, morality, etc.) were the outgrowth of collective economic activity.

Marx’s theory was heavily influenced by Hegel’s dialectical method. But while Marx agreed with Hegel’s basic dialectical thesis of social change, he disagreed with the notion that abstract ideas were the engine. Rather, Marx turned Hegel on his head and argued that it was material, economic forces—or our relationship to the natural, biological, and physical world—that drove the dialectic of change. More specifically, the engine of history rests in the internal contradictions in the system of material production (or, the things we do in order to produce what we need for survival).

And from Wikipedia:

Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx propounded the theory of base and superstructure, asserting that the cultural and political conditions of society, as well as its notions of human nature, are largely determined by obscured economic foundations. These economic critiques would result in influential works such as Capital, Volume I (1867).

I discuss this in more detail here:

Why Progressives Lose Their Minds When They Lose Elections

The Slavoj Žižek-NRx Connection

This difference between materialists and idealists is that for the former, matter is the antecedent of spirit; for the latter, it’s reversed.

Unexpectedly though, Marx and Rand tenuously share similarities, in both advocating a ‘materialist’ view of the world:

Now we begin the process of the deconstruction of Rand’s views. The role of materialism in the philosophy of Marx and Rand can be used as a good starting point. Rand advocated in her writing as a materialist, not doing any less in that regard than Marx. The latter seems, however, by several orders of magnitude a more sophisticated philosopher, as he thoroughly knew the German philosophy, with its deep interest in the complexities of the process of cognition. The main principle of the philosophy of “objectivism” Rand formulated as: “Facts are facts and are independent of human feelings, desires, hopes or fears.” Adjacent to the other premise – a principle of the “identity” – “A is A”, meaning that “the fact is a fact” (the third part of “Atlas Shrugged” is subtitles “A is A”) strikes with primitivism, as well as her critique of Kant. Only Lenin, in his book Materialism and Empirico Criticism published in 1908, had a philosophy almost exactly like Rand’s which was formulated a half-century later: “Consciousness is the mirror image of reality.” Any further than Lenin, the layman in philosophy, though educated for those times, Rand did not go.

Whether materialism is the same as objectivism is heavily debated.

Somewhat similar to Hegel, Max Weber believed that religion underpins capitalism:

This Weber called the “spirit of capitalism”: it was the Protestant religious ideology that was behind – and inevitably led to – the capitalist economic system.[84] This theory is often viewed as a reversal of Marx’s thesis that the economic “base” of society determines all other aspects of it.[73]

The weird thing is, Weber was actually a liberal, founding the German Democratic Party in 1918, the German-equivalent of Bernie Sander’s brand of democratic socialism today, and his analysis influenced the creation of the Frankfurt School – or what some call ‘Cultural Marxism’.

Weber also made a variety of other contributions in economic history, as well as economic theory and methodology. Weber’s analysis of modernity and rationalisation significantly influenced the critical theory associated with the Frankfurt School. After the First World War, Max Weber was among the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party.

The Frankfurt School, related to post-structuralism, rejects the Marxian and positivist ideal that the complexity of society can be reduced to economics. Although it’s related to Marxism, adherents oppose the ‘Stalinesque’ centralized version of communism, in addition to rejecting democracy. Frankfurt School, despite being ‘leftist’, is critical of both mainstream liberal and conservative critiques. Mainstream liberals assume democracy and freedom will fix everything, but the Frankfurt School is critical of this reductionist view.

Regarding religion, Émile Durkheim (considered one the l’principal architects of modern social science’, along with Marx and Weber) shared views similar to Weber and, like Marx, that capitalism gives rise to inequality:

In an advanced, industrial, capitalist society, the complex division of labor means that people are allocated in society according to merit and rewarded accordingly: social inequality reflects natural inequality, assuming that there is complete equity in the society. Durkheim argued that moral regulation was needed, as well as economic regulation, to maintain order (or organic solidarity) in society with people able to “compose their differences peaceably”.[2] In this type of society, law would be more restitutive than penal, seeking to restore rather than punish excessively.

Durkheim saw religion as the most fundamental social institution of humankind, and one that gave rise to other social forms.[60][76] It was the religion that gave humanity the strongest sense of collective consciousness.[81] Durkheim saw the religion as a force that emerged in the early hunter and gatherer societies, as the emotions collective effervescence run high in the growing groups, forcing them to act in a new ways, and giving them a sense of some hidden force driving them.[54] Over time, as emotions became symbolized and interactions ritualized, religion became more organized, giving a rise to the division between the sacred and the profane.[54] However, Durkheim also believed that religion was becoming less important, as it was being gradually superseded by science and the cult of an individual.[57][76]

This is an example of how the the political spectrum may actually be a loop or horseshoe-shaped, with the far-left and far-right meeting on certain issues.

American Libertarianism vs. European Libertarianism

Often there is confusion over American libertrianism and its lesser-known European variant. Libertarian-socialists like Noam Chomsky will give talks describing how Americans have hijacked libertarianism.

American libertarianism can be summed up succinctly as ‘maximizing individual freedom by minimizing government’. The British version/definition of libertarianism, which is related to libertarian-socialism, is more confusing and archaic, dating to Adam Smith, the intellectual forebear of ‘classical liberalism’, who advocated both free markets and government spending and welfare. European-libertarians seek to use government to maximize collective individual liberty and choice. Requiring a baker to make a same-sex wedding cake is justified if it increases ‘total liberty/freedom’, whereas such a mandate (or any mandate) is antithetical to American-libertarianism. European-libertarianism justifies inconveniencing one person (the baker) if it increases the choices of multiple people who want a same-sex cake.

‘I don’t think that candidate is who you think he is’

This meme applies to a lot of populists, non-interventionists, and fiscal hawks, who think Trump is one of them:

The tax cuts and defense spending is a shoe-in…border control, wall, deportations, and trade deal renegotiation…much less likely.

Politics is storytelling. Tell people a good story and they will vote for you.

There’s a joke…politicians are like schizophrenics – they have two personalities: one for the campaign and the other after they get into office. The voter has to hope the latter doesn’t diverge too much from the former, but it often does.

Many people think Trump is like Ron Paul – someone who wants balanced budgets, less debt, a small military, and less foreign intervention…after all, Trump was billed during the primaries as a sort of ‘anti-establishment’ figure, in contrast to neocons like G. W. Bush who embody the ‘establishment’. Lost or buried in the sea of MAGA baseball caps, private jets, enthusiasm, and speeches – was his actual plan. Trump is not Ron Paul..not even close. He’s not like Bush either…He’s something different, combining spending with nationalism. Some could call it ‘civil nationalism’ or ‘citizenism’ (or as I describe it, a right-wing FDR).

Vox Day writes:

This is good news. Even the hardcore economic-growth-at-all-costs conservatives are finally beginning to understand that their politics are a non-starter. Moore is smart enough that he’ll likely come around completely before long.

But your ‘god emperor’ wants more economic growth, and will spend to get it.

Or from Oil Price.com: Geopolitical Overhaul: What Will A Post-Obama World Look Like?

Debt reduction, stimulated domestic economic growth and employment, the visible reduction of what is seen internationally as overbearing statism in the U.S. economy, and creative attempts to build a new era of investment in the U.S. will be critical to building back long-term U.S. global capabilities. This would imply a process to reduce U.S. debt creation through the creation of Federal budget surpluses, something which several U.S. administrations until this point have felt disinclined to attempt. Deficit spending by the U.S. Government has been a short-term tool to buy votes, creating a longer-term certainty of economic self-strangulation.

A full four-year term by the Trump Administration spent on achieving stable economic growth would al-most certainly guarantee Pres. Trump a second term in office, but it does not mean that such a domestic focus should represent a return to U.S. isolationism. Quite the contrary, adept management of a growing economy — even in a situation in which stimulus is created by incentivizing domestic investment and pur-chasing — can stimulate the revival of the U.S. as a net exporter of cash (investments).

Did you not read the headlines? Trump wants more spending:

Trump Says He’ll Spend More Than $500 Billion on Infrastructure

Donald Trump: we need more fighter jets, ships and soldiers

Trump calls for military spending increase

Military Experts: Trump Defense Spending Plans Would Break the Budget

I’m like only one of maybe eight people who actually reads this stuff.

Another thing that’s annoying are all these labels to describe a variation of something preexisting. It seems like every year, the ‘new right’ reemerges. How can it keep being ‘new’ every year? Or ‘The base’ vs. ‘The Establishment’. Is Trump The Establishment now that he has won?

These experts think Trump is like clay…to be molded to fit their preexisting beliefs about him, without actually understanding his objectives. It’s just funny…how pundits and experts think ‘voter ignorance’ is something that they are too smart to fall for, but they often are just as vulnerable to it.

Trump stimulus is not important

What Happens When Trump’s Populism Collides with Ryan’s Austerity?

Ryan rejects Trump’s agenda on trade, on immigration, and, not least, on infrastructure. In September, a reporter asked Ryan about Trump’s proposal to spend $550 billion on infrastructure (a more modest version of Bannon’s trillion-dollar fantasy).

The Republican Party is united in name only. In truth, there’s now a Bannon party and a Ryan party.

A battle over infrastructure could be the start of a big, bloody, intraparty war.

The Republican Party is united in name only. In truth, there’s now a Bannon party and a Ryan party. Infrastructure will be an early test of their relative strength—and, quite possibly, of just how complicated and ugly it’s going to get.

In an act of desperation, the media is trying to weave a narrative that there is division among the ‘right’ that threatens to tear apart the Trump presidency, when no so such evidence of division exists. The ‘fake news’ media has to make stuff up, because facts alone will not suffice.

This blog keeps being right over and over, for example in predicting how the purported division among the GOP over Trump during the election and primaries was contrived/manufactured and that the GOP was (and is) solidly behind Trump. [1]

Will Trump backpedal on some stuff? Probably. His ambitions are high, and it’s unlikely he will accomplish all of his campaign objectives (border and immigration control, defense spending, tax cuts, repeal of Obamacare, infrastructure stimulus, and trade deal renegotiation) during his first term.

The alarmist New Republic article makes it seem like the fate of Trump’s presidency hinges on the stimulus plan, when it’s just one objective out of many. The House may block the stimulus, but without hesitation pass the tax cuts, defense spending, and Obamacare repeal. Accomplishing three out of five of the objectives would be a huge success for Trump’s first term.

Trump knows what he’s doing. He came this far and won’t blow it. Trump will prove to be one of the smartest, hardest-working presidents, as shown by his command of the issues during the debates and determination and perseverance during the campaign.

[1]

It’s almost as if Bannon read A ROAD MAP FOR 2016: RESTORING OPTIMISM TO THE GOP, which I wrote in 2013 and advocates taking advantage of America’s reserve currency status and cheap borrowing to fund tax cuts and other pro-growth policy instead of getting bogged down worrying about the debt. I myself thought it was far-fetched, but right-wing Keynesianism may be a success (or at least more successful than left-wing Keynesianism, which never works).

If I were advising Trump I would tell him to actually postpone the infrastructure, tax cuts, and defense spending, because the economy doesn’t need stimulus, and increasing the national debt may backfire during re-election if the economy doesn’t grow fast enough. Save the stimulus as a back-up plan should the economy show signs of recession, but right now the economy doesn’t need it. Given how Bush and Obama boosted spending so much, I imagine some Trump supporters are ambivalent about more stimulus. Instead, Trump should focus on repealing Obamacare, which will reduce spending and is an objective both his voters and House Republicans can easily get behind.

The MSM is ‘fake news’

The past month has been a roller coaster. A lot of stuff happened, that to ‘the experts’ was inconceivable or improbable:

By election night, Trump’s odds were only 10-35% (depending on your source), and he won. Remember this:

Or how about the New York Times, which throughout the entire campaign put Hillary’s odds at no lower than 85%. The actual probability: 0.

Or how about those idiot bookies, who keep being wrong again and again – first with Brexit and now Trump. Paddy Power was so certain Hillary would win, in early October they paid out Hillary bets early. Whoops.

The bookmaker said it believes “it’s a done deal that Hillary is a nailed-on certainty to occupy the Oval Office”.

Or how about the David Brooks, departing from his nuanced tone to viciously lash out at Trump in an October piece Donald Trump’s Sad, Lonely Life, and concluding with ‘On Nov. 9, the day after Trump loses, there won’t be solidarity and howls of outrage. Everyone will just walk away.’

And then in a Nov 22nd column, Fellow Trump Critics, Maybe Try a Little Listening, Mr. Brooks tries to save face, writing:

Thinking about this best voter has helped me take an emotional pause. Many of my fellow Trump critics are expressing outrage, depression, bewilderment or disgust. They’re marching or writing essays: Should we normalize Trump or fight the normalizers?

From calling Trump a sad, narcissistic loner and now, only a month later, seeking reconciliation as if he doesn’t expect anyone to notice what we wrote on October. This is why the New York Times, as well as the rest of the print media, is losing to social media and online journalism.

The biggest winners are Mike Cernovich, who predicted Trump’s win and launched a hugely successful media and publishing business from it. And Scott Adams, who metamorphosed from a cartoonist to one of the most important political pundits alive, also predicted Trump’s win. And also, the other Scott, whose ‘Crying Wolf’ article went viral after being tweeted by Ann Coulter.

Overton Bubble

The Overton Bubble

If two factions won’t talk, war is inevitable. If the elite mainstream won’t open to dialogue and understanding with the outside, and the outside doesn’t make good-faith attempts to engage with the intellectual mainstream, the intellectual-political landscape will divide, and we will get civil war.

The conclusion of Warg’s article may not follow or lend itself from the premise.

Insular bubbles are not new, and both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ have them, but bubbles and division do not a revolution/crisis make. I discuss why revolution/crisis is unlikely in America in more detail here. If both sides don’t talk then gridlock results, and the private sectors wins, as was the case for much of 2009-2014. The strength of the US private sector, which is unrivaled in the developed world, infrastructure, as well as small and local governments, helps mitigate the consequences of national political tension. Even if the elite in Washington are paralyzed and divided, the rest of the country carries on.

For example, the assassination of JFK, in which in the aftermath the US economy was more or less unscathed despite the gravity of the situation. This is because there is a lot of redundancy and fail-safe procedures that keep everything running even in the event of severe disruption to one of the components, in the case of JFK, the executive branch. Republics may be more stable (at the cost of efficiency) because less power hinges on a single individual, and there is more redundancy. The hypothetical reactionary monarchy would need such systems in place in the event of crisis such as the monarch becoming incapacitated.

On the other extreme, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria caused WW1 – and through a chain of events that includes the rise of Nazi Germany, the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, and even the creation of Israel – may have been the single most pivotal event in modern history.

The Civil War may be an outlier, an example of where irreconcilable political division leads to literal war, but it’s only a single data point in the 240-year history of the United States. Perhaps it’s kinda remarkable that despite America’s long-standing cultural and political divides, civil war hasn’t happened again.

The problem with political philosophy is that it’s all hypothetical…none of this stuff will ever happen. Political systems tend to be set in stone and take decades, possibly centuries, if ever, to change. Libertarianism, for example, has spurred endless debate and research over the past fifty years despite the fact nothing close to resembling a libertarian or minarchist ‘state’ has ever been achieved in practice. At best, we can draw parallels by observing how ‘one state/country is more libertarian than another,’ but any similarities are coincidental – no government actively seeks to emulate libertarian principles. A hard science, on the other hand, produces actual results that can used for both commercial and theoretical purposes.

Democracy deprives the elite of the formal power to efficiently use official propaganda, the legal system, and security forces directly against their opposition, or in service of their own power.

Exactly. The first two (propaganda and legal system) are iffy, but physical force is how power is wielded.

Dissident opposition groups (BLM for example) are problematic to any republic, and although absolute monarchy would fix all of this (although Warg doesn’t explicitly mention monarchy, it seems implied that this is where he’s getting at), staying grounded to reality here, not wishful thinking, dissident groups tend to be very small despite being very vocal. It’s not enough to topple a government, infrastructure, and security network as powerful USA, and governments, not surprisingly, tend to take these matters very seriously (hence all the homeland sec. and anti-terrorism spending).

With two viable intellectual-political coalitions with no moderating ties to each other, the low-level conflict inherent in democracy can get much closer to total war.

But the prevailing consensus (or what everyone seem to complain about) is that the two parties are too similar.

Hail to the easily offended

There is concern by Vox and Mike about Richard Spencer being ‘controlled opposition’:

Controlled opposition or media indiscipline?

But I have to admit, it was somewhat fortuitous that I didn’t go given the manufactured media coverage of a minor incident towards the end, when apparently some idiots in the crowd began throwing Roman salutes on camera, and Richard decided it would be a great idea to throw the media some red meat by shouting “Hail Victory and Hail Trump.” Mike Cernovich put out a widely watched Periscope calling this “utter stupidity” and “controlled opposition”, and thereby sparked a bit of outrage among Richard’s fans.

Related: Is Richard Spencer controlled opposition?

A Note On Spencer + Hysterics

Richard Spencer and the alt-right shouldn’t worry too much about ‘looking bad’ in front of the media. The media and their multi-billion dollar budgets tried to besmirch Trump and failed. Ideas and messages are what matter more: If the alt-right can continue to win the hearts and minds of Americans, as they have done successfully in 2015 and 2016, the media will be powerless to stop it. If the alt-right fails, it won’t be because of the media.

Here is the video in question:

And Mike’s response

Out of the large audience, only maybe four attendees made the salute, which is a Roman salute, and any connection with Nazism is coincidental. The word ‘hail’ means to cheer, salute, greet, or approve enthusiastically. For example, ‘hail to the king’ or ‘hail to the chief’. Spencer didn’t say ‘sieg heil’, which has a totally different pronunciation.

Are we going to start banning words now, because people get easily offended or don’t know the difference between ‘hail’ and ‘heil’. Maybe it was a joke to trigger the liberal media, in which he succeeded. Also, Mr. Spencer has little control over what everyone in his audience does. I can understand lefties being easily offended but not Mike and Vox.

An NPI gathering is more civil and less racialist than a typical BLM or anti-Trump protest, that’s for sure. If other races and ethnic groups can have pride, why can’t whites, too. Politicians talk constantly about the importance of strong African, Asian, and Hispanic communities, but the concept and discussion of strong White/European communities is somehow forbidden in public discourse.

Also, there seems to be some terminology confusion over controlled opposition, vs. an undercover informant. Controlled opposition are shills that infiltrate or create opposition movements, and then steer them in counter-productive directions.

Informants are more stealthy, and try to extract incriminatory evidence to be passed on to law enforcement. An informant, upon gaining trust, may converse one-on-one to extract this information, or will log visitor information from a website. Mike is correct about being careful when posting online, but there is no need to drag Richard Spencer in the mud on this issue given there is no definitive evidence he is an informant, as anyone can be technically be an informant. We’re all adults here and are aware, and take responsibility, of the consequences of our actions…we don’t need your concern over looking bad in the eyes of the media or getting arrested.

Additionally, the alt-right is bigger than Spencer, although perhaps he is the most prominent spokesperson, along with Milo (who recently rejected being identified as alt-right). If others don’t like Spencer’s approach, they can (and already have) create their own sub-divisions and variants of the alt-right (it doesn’t even have to be called ‘alt-right’), which through the ‘marketplace of ideas’ may eventually rise to greater prominence and supplant Spencer. Even if these variants differ on aesthetic and motif, their similarities outweigh their differences. Regardless of what you call it or who the ‘leader’ is, the power of the alt-right lies in its ability to change the course of national politics (as well as public discourse), which the election of Trump is evidence it already has, and that’s really what matters.