Activism and the Imperial Mindset

Michael Perilloux of Social Matter discusses the need for an Imperial Mindset:

There are many ways to deviate from the correct political mindset, but only one way to do it right. You have to actually think about what it would mean to govern an empire well. If our problem is to restore statecraft and political sanity, we need people who know how to rule properly. To know how to rule properly, you have to think from the perspective of a ruler and build out that whole worldview. Someone, ideally a thousand very competent someones, needs to put themselves into imperial mindset and start thinking about rule.

When it becomes obvious that they are not the current ruling class, those with the imperial mindset don’t slip back into anarchism or resentment politics. They think like a ruling class in exile, which believes in its own mandate and competence. They see the current occupants of the imperial seat as a ridiculous pack of monkeys who don’t take their duties seriously and aren’t organized to carry them out.

The imperial mindset is about adopting a ‘mindset’ that allows one to rule effectively. The imperial mindset is more concerned with governance than retributive, petty politics. This is in contrast to the seven other categories he lists on the article, such as the ‘Intellectual Tourist’ and the ‘Thinkfluencer’, that he deems ineffective:

The Intellectual Tourist just wants to meet like-minded people and be exposed to the most interesting ideas of the day. He wants information and ideas that he can bring up in conversation with other “interesting” people to gain social points.

The Thinkfluencer is primarily concerned with having sophisticated, true, careful analysis. He thinks if everyone just knew better, maybe if the data were better presented, things could be run better. But the gritty details of power and negotiation are not his direct interest.

In the comments, Mark Yuray writes:

I don’t know about you guys, but I am sick to the point of throwing up of more explanations and intellectual signalling about the collapse of the West. I’ve heard them all, and for years. Either we go from intellectual thinkfluence tourism to Imperial Mindset or we go home.

I too sometimes wish there was more action less philosophizing. The problem with the activist/imperialist approach is that:

We (the dissent and reactionary ‘right’) are long way from ever being in a position of power and rule. When the Frankfurt School and the post-WW2 Socialist/Communists (but also the French Marxist philosophers) infiltrated America and its institutions, ‘rule’ was the last thing on their mind, yet they become powerful and effective. All they needed to do was convert existing institutions to their own ideology, which they did masterfully.

The transition of power will likely be gradual and by replacing existing institutions, culture, and government. It probably won’t be cataclysmic like the assassination of Julius Caesar, which precipitated the transition of Rome from a republic to an empire, but instead it will be be more gradual like the spread of Christianity in Rome during the 1-3rd centuries.

Ideas are more important than absolute power, and or ideas beget power. The emergence of Christianity in Rome eventually lead to Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire, 300 years later, and in AD 391 polytheism became illegal. But this takes a long time…decades, centuries.

Understanding why activism fails is difficult, because it seems counterintuitive. People equate action (to act) with progress. Conventional wisdom says that if you’re not acting, you’re stalling or even regressing.

But activism means playing within the rules created by the opposition. That’s why ‘they’ are in power and ‘we’ aren’t. Protests, demonstrations, and politics are such rules.

Activism has a poor track record. The dissent right had a 50-year head start (two generations), and all those demonstrations, TV appearances, books, and politics (such as Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot, etc.) got them nowhere. It was only because of subversive, decentralized meme campaigns– primarily by young people–did the far-right establish a substantive presence in American politics and the Zeitgeist.

From Social Matter: Right-Wing Activism Always Fails:

There were always plenty of right-wing activist organizations. I can safely say that any single one of them were more technically correct (though possibly not as sophisticated) about major issues at any given time than the ruling governments. What is the track record of technical correctness beating state-backed incorrectness and insanity? What happened to the KKK? What happened to the John Birch Society? American Nazi Party? What happened to the National Alliance, which used to have a yearly income of $1 million? Remember when Britain’s National Front had thousands of dues-paying, marching members committed to a whites-only party and repatriation of non-whites? What happened to the Irish toughs who fought desegregation in Boston? Did boycotts and protests do anything for them, or did the police dutifully act on the state’s orders to put black kids in formerly white schools at the cost of beating white women and schoolchildren? And how is that time period presented in all official schools, universities, and media publications today?

Activism within a left-right dichotomy is easy to dismiss. Postmodernism is confusing, and such obfuscation makes it hard for people to know what is its, but also harder to dismiss based on reflexive, ingrained political prejudices/biases.

One of the biggest problems with power is that those who seek it are not always qualified to hold it. One could go further and say power attracts the incompetent, vindictive, and petty. The solution is obvious: outsource power to the divine (or some sort of higher, immutable power). Power becomes corruptible when it’s held exclusively within the hands of individuals.

The first steps are to: create our own institutions (sites such as Social Matter to compete with the left-wing media, and Counter-Fund to compete with Patreon and Kickstarter), and second, infiltrate existing left-wing institutions. We’ve already had some success: Reactionary Future (aka Absolute Reaction) got a nod by the UCLA blog Generative Anthropology in the Public Sphere, meaning that NRx ideas are at least beginning to permeate academia. This is a big deal because academics have the power to spread these ideas to millions of students every year. But as an added bonus, these students, especially from elite schools, tend to be selected for above-average IQ and thus will have more influence on society after graduating than, say, a typical mid-wit Fox News or CNN viewer. Even a MAGA rally cannot match this kind of influence. As mentioned in the post about Jordan Peterson, the influence of a single smart person is equal to 100 less intelligent people (this is an arbitrary number, but the point is, highly intelligent people are invaluable to the propagation of new ideas).

Related: Political Violence Is a Game the Right Can’t Win, But There is Hope