Pacifism is not about giving up or conceding – it’s about perspective, in picking and choosing your battles wisely, as well as maximizing one’s present situation with the resources at his or her disposal. The failure of conservatism over the past 40 years to halt–let alone reverse–leftism, is evidence of the failure of activism as a means for effecting change. Activism plays into the hands of our foes. This doesn’t mean pacifism is the best approach, but it’s better than what has already been done. Marx, who didn’t do anything anything besides create the intellectual groundwork for an ideology that proved so maleficent that even Satan was probably impressed, is evidence of the power of ideas over action. It can be hard to accept pacifism, because of how history is conventionally portrayed (in school, TV, books, and media), in that that battles and other pivotal events are led by ‘great men’ (such as George Washington), who get all the attention, in a vacuum separate from the underling philosophies that motivate such action and ‘greatness’.
A couple months ago, Nick explored the possibility of two revolutions:
(1) Techno-economic self-propelling change obsolesces ever wider swathes of humanity on a steepening curve. Capital (i.e. techno-commercial synthesis) tendentially autonomizes. For humans, there are ever more intriguing opportunities for synergistic attachment, on new terms, but the trend is — to put it very mildly — ‘challenging’.
(2) Jacobin political violence, modeled on the French Revolution, provides the basis for demands aimed at a redistribution of the (capitalist) productive spoils through explicit extortion. All socio-political history in the modern epoch falls into compliance with this pattern. It coincides quite exactly with ‘democracy’ in its modernist usage. Universal Basic Income is its natural telos.
Maybe there are two ‘Cathedrals’ – the social justice/democracy kind (liberalism) and the technological/capitalist kind. The former is obviously bad, and the latter maybe not so much but still at odds with some aspects of nationalism and tradition, in their support of free markets, technological modernity, and globalization. But the latter also don’t like the former, as in the case of Peter Thiel backing the lawsuit against Gawker. NRx can tolerate the latter to some degree…NRx appreciates the outreach (like in the case of Peter Thiel) but is not completely sold on their techno-libertarian ideals.
‘Gnon insurance’ could be a way of profiting from the success and inevitability of the second cathedral, by buying and holding shares of companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, in the possibility that should the second cathedral accede to power that shareholders of aforementioned companies will have some power, be deemed ‘worthy’, or at least more power than those who do not own shares or resist techno-commercialism. Apple, Microsoft, and Google already hold 23% of all U.S. corporate cash, low-IQ sectors like energy and commodities are struggling, and boring retail companies like Target, Walmart, Costco, and Starbucks – while very big – do not have worldly aspirations of power beyond just selling as much merchandise as possible, so that leaves tech companies as the likely rulers of some sort of corporatocracy. Of course, this is very speculative. And corporatocracy run by the best and brightest will be better than the system we have now, but it may not be what we want entirely – maybe only 50% of goals can be met, but I suppose that’s better than 10% or zero. A Facebook or Tesla government may be deaf to concepts like nationalism, but it probably still beats the inefficient, SJW-infected system we have now.
Passivism now seems obviously correct. Passivism is harmless, yes, but it is also deadly. As for how to take power, well, the passivist does not take power, he accepts it. And to accept power, he must first become worthy of power.
Passivism is the official political methodology of this blog. It’s why we try to avoid current events, don’t talk about what the government should do, and constrain our prescriptions to just what we can do for ourselves and our immediate communities.
Warg is probably the most ‘pacifist’ of all NRx bloggers, going so far as disengaging from current events or government policy. This tendency to ‘tuning out’ the world is also observed bloggers such as Altucher, who doesn’t vote or read the news, and Steve Pavlina, who offers his own take on pacifism:
It’s unfortunate to find yourself in a situation where you have limited authority but still must deal with the consequences of decisions made by others. In truth that doesn’t change even after you become an adult, so you might as well get used to it. We must all deal with the consequences of actions taken by others. It’s part of being a member of the human race.
If you deny the reality of your situation, you become truly powerless. Only by acknowledging and accepting your situation without resistance can you summon the power to deal with it appropriately. As tempting as it may seem in the moment, don’t allow yourself to go dark. Keep your eyes open.
Why get worked up over things you cannot control; instead, learn how to improve your own life and those around you, in the process ‘becoming worthy’. ‘Understanding‘ is half, if not more, of the battle.