Things have been pretty slow lately, especially on the blog-front. If there is one thing Trump has accomplished, he has sorta unleashed a collective writer’s block on the dozen or so blogs and websites I follow, which has gotten worse over the past year especially. The updates are becoming less frequents, for many niches, not just right-wing and reactionary politics. This includes finance, investing, self-help, etc. Much of the dissident stuff has moved to YouTube and Twitter, whereas centrist, contrarian, and moderate stuff on Bloomberg, Economist, Wall St. Journal, etc., is thriving. The media , much like the rest of the US economy, is becoming increasingly dominated by a handful of successful entities. A lot of people were hoping in 2016-2017 that Trump would shake things up, but now almost three years into his administration there is scarcely any swamp draining. There is possibly a deterministic, almost defeatist, resignation that in a world ruled by capital, special interest groups, and activist judges, things are going to remain unchanged no matter who is coronated. This fatalistic determinism applies not just to culture and politics but also economics and other facets of society.
But the good news is, Fuentes’ Groyper ‘army’ is taking moderate conservatives to task, by ‘crashing’ campus speaking tours and other public events that have question and answer sessions, although many Groypers are attendees of these colleges. Instead of softball questions and ‘owning the libs’, Charlie Kirk and others are being asked difficult questions about the apparent contradiction between outwardly supporting free speech but opposing criticism of Israel, and even going so far as implying that criticism of Israel is not a protected right and that freedom of association does not apply; or why and how America giving billions of dollars of aid to Israel is a ‘conservative value’; or the contradiction of supporting Israeli ethno-nationalism but not nationalism for Americans; or supporting the right of Israel to build a contiguous border wall and heavily restrict immigration but not America; or why conservatives, rather than actually conserving, are liberals but with a 5-10 year delay, and so on.
Most of the questions concern Israel, immigration, and trend of mainstream conservatives moving leftward on culture issues, and the result is befuddlement and annoyance because these pundits cannot defer to their ‘owning the libs manual’ to answer such questions. These are not 19-year-old liberal arts majors who regurgitate Vice and Vox magazine woke platitudes , nor are they laudatory disciples of Buckley and Kristol that regurgitate Conservative inc. talking points, but rather are well-informed dissidents who have done independent research and have observed these contradictions and how mainstream conservatism conserves nothing and is even antithetical to what conservatism stands for. What good is ‘owning the libs’ when in 10 years you become those very libs.
As discussed last week, American conservatism has always been in a bind between conservation (such as preserving tradition) vs. status and upholding hierarchy. Conservatives face a dilemma between hierarchy and tradition. If the hierarchy is arranged in such a way that contradicts tradition, how do conservatives reconcile this? This is why NRO for example has moved further to the left on culture issues but has otherwise stayed firmly ‘right’ in regard to economics and foreign policy. A nihilistic society dominated by capital and quantifiable results may have no values to conserve because values are based on qualities that are harder to quantify than capital, so the result is a brand of conservationism that conserves in the context of capitalism and foreign policy but acquiesces to the left on culture stuff.
What does it mean to succeed at capital? To make money, obviously. But what about success as a culture warrior? To elicit retweets, likes, and public apologies? Outrage fades and societal mores change, but capital cannot be destroyed but rather is converted. To be a culture warrior means you hope to in some way make something as inherently fleeting as sentiment at least temporarily permanent.