Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Find the Symmetry

The liberal media won’t shut up about the Alt-Right. They’re even talking about Neoreaction. Apparently Trump has read Moldbug. Or at least Bannon has. The counterrevolution is happening. Or so you’d think if you believed the liberal press.

Funny thing is, the dark side of the Internet is a small, tiny little thing. Really. Neoreaction is, what, 1,000 people? Spread around the whole world. 75% in the US, maybe. And the alt-right, which has inherited much of good ol’ national-socialism, is what, 20,000 people? I love those guys, I really do. Frog Twitter is hilarious. /pol/ is very funny. But come on. Even Steve Sailer, who has been writing for decades, who is a middle-class, 50+ old, utterly middlebrow guy who writes in very accessible language, who writes about sports! Steve Sailer has 13,000 followers on Twitter. Ezra Klein has 1.6 million. Ezra Klein, that doofus-looking doofus. Even Matthew Yglesias, whose picture is in English phrasebooks to explain the phrase “his face looks like a joke”, has 270k followers. The alt-right is beyond small. Trump didn’t win because of the alt-right. He won because he got 60 million Fox News watchers to vote for him.

But, the liberal press won’t shut up about the alt-right. Why? Why aren’t they writing about the actual Trump voters? Because this is not about numbers. This is a war of ideas. And even if ideas can adapt to people, more often than not people adapt to ideas. Ideas are the stuff of humanity. The stuff of social coordination. Ideas is what we use to get together and to stuff. Schelling points, remember? Well, for the first time, the left is scared. They’re very scared. And why are they scared? The left are masters in ideas. They have come up with this steel-strong memeplex that even though it doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever, even though it wrecks every culture and civilization it touches, even though it makes men and women miserable and keep them from having babies; these guys keep winning. The left is good at ideas. And the left won’t shut up about the alt-right.

Maybe they sense something? Maybe they’re scared that they know that fascism is a good product. Not that it makes much sense. Slightly more than what the left sells, but fascism isn’t about truth and logic. Fascism is about what it has to be about; about coordination. About power. What the left is also about, if only in a more cheating and roundabout way. Maybe the left is scared because they know what happens when good ideas get out of the bottle. First some guy like Bannon reads Moldbug. Then he becomes the Chief Strategist of the POTUS. Then the guy actually manages to have political power. They’re trying hard to stop him. It’s likely that they succeed. But say they don’t. Say Trump and Bannon manage to stop the meddling of the US judiciary in the legislative process; say he purges the shuts down the CIA and consolidates the 16 intelligence agencies into a single one that actually follows orders; say he gets Paul Ryan to go home and work as a stripper for fat cougars.

If that happens, then whatever Bannon thinks will, slowly, become high-status. And then people who want a piece of that status will start to believe in the same stuff. And once some critical mass has been achieved, everybody will start believing in it. And once the ideas go mainstream, then they become a religion, a self-catalytic process where people start signaling and out-signaling each other and manipulating others into signaling too. That provided the ideas are a good sell at the beginning. Provided the ideas can get that critical mass. That means they must sound like a good deal, in abstract. But of course fascism sounds good. That’s the whole point of fascism. It’s catnip for civilized men.

Journalists are peddlers of ideological catnip. They’re drug dealers. That’s why there’s so many. It’s a nice job. I mean, it’s not, it doesn’t pay crap, but some people are irresistibly driven to it. And those guys who were driven to the Current Year Leftism, just can’t stop writing about the alt-right. Part is tribal anger, of course. But again, the tribes are incommensurably different in size. There’s no contest really. There’s a million leftist writers for every alt-right Twitter account. And yet… they can’t stop being curious. They see those Frog-Twitter kids, they see the drive, the passion, the brotherly manners. The asabiya. They know that’s how ideas get started. And once they get started, they can get big very, very quickly. And once they do, the guys doing the street violence won’t be Berkeley communists. They’ll be Berkeley nazis. The same people, perhaps. Because people are just empty vessels, looking for a kick. They don’t really care who provides it, only that it’s good.

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26 responses to “Find the Symmetry

  1. Pingback: Find the Symmetry | @the_arv

  2. Nulle Terre Sans Seigneur March 15, 2017 at 07:29

    > But of course fascism sounds good. That’s the whole point of fascism. It’s catnip for civilized men.

    “Damn, I just got around to reading Maurice Barres, Sergio Panunzio and Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. These people were visionaries!”

    There is no fascist tradition worth noting that is still alive. Further still, an American economic nationalist like Bannon being presented as a crypto-Evolian – such tactics will wear out in an age of “alternative media”.

    The best thing the liberals can hope for is an attempt for an ideological renaissance, perhaps a new Rawls. Someone to reinvigorate the think tank-press complex.

    • spandrell March 15, 2017 at 13:42

      I read all that as a teenager. You don’t need a tradition. You need a Trump to repackage it for modern TV. Alternative media is bunk, the people who vote still watch TV.

      • Vendetta March 16, 2017 at 03:51

        I’ve seen a few too many grandmas in InfoWars t-shirts at Tump rallies to completely discount alternative media.

        The margins of victory for this election ended up so close (few tens of thousands in a few key states) that there are very few groups whose efforts I would discount as having been irrelevant to Trump’s victory.

        nRx, perhaps, if only through their own lack of effort. The alt-right certainly mattered, and the alternative media even more so.

        Even if they’re delivering a combined 2% of Trump’s votes, that’s 2% he couldn’t have won without.

  3. Pingback: Find the Symmetry | Reaction Times

  4. Howard J. Harrison March 15, 2017 at 11:30

    So, Peggy Noonan is not wrong when she writes of the Alt-Right, “They’re not numerous, they’re only loud”?

    Born during the late 1960s, I do not remember the revolution of 1968, much less events that preceded it. However, I have been under the vague impression that the revolution of 1968 had been in full swing in New York’s Greenwich Village thirty or forty years earlier. The Greenwich Villagers were not numerous, they were only loud. Now, or at any rate until the recent Trumpening, the Greenwich Villagers’ ideological heirs control the Western world.

    In a way, could /pol/ be the new Greenwich Village?

    • Thales March 15, 2017 at 17:47

      If the Alt-Right is “loud” it’s only due to the Streisand Effect.

      • Howard J. Harrison March 16, 2017 at 02:28

        I like and respect Peggy Noonan (even if she would disdain to like or respect me). Admittedly, however, one finds it ironic that she who has a column in The Wall Street Journal, with a weekly audience in the hundreds of thousands, should name you and me “loud.”

        As I recall, until the advent of the Alt Right, you and I were hardly free to speak at all. Noonan, on the other hand, was writing speeches for three U.S. presidents.

        I confess that writing speeches for U.S. presidents plus, in retirement, a weekly column in The Wall Street Journal, with frequent on-air appearances on television-news discussion panels, is a good job if one can get it; nor does it make Noonan “loud.” It makes her talented and brilliantly successful, rather.

        But come. We’re loud? One gathers that Noonan more or less means, it’s a shame that you and I must be allowed to speak at all.

        Noonan’s is a common sentiment—I’ll not hold it harshly against her—but it’s not right, is it?

        • parisian March 19, 2017 at 18:46

          Yes, Noonan’s right, you’re mostly very loud (one is a very loud monster, considered to be venerable), but I read several of you and some of it is good enough to have made me vote for Trump. Mainly, there are the super-smarties like Eiricksson. I don’t regret it, but nor do I respect him. He is not doing a good job, and it has NOT been a pleasure to get this revealed so stupidly. I can see now that it was to get rid of the dead wood that had built up, and to get rid of both Bush and Clinton Machines, he also had to win, but it was the campaign and early win-months that were his, not now. It was WORTH it, no matter the idiocy that’s happened since. I haven’t seen anybody write about how that sweep through was really all that mattered, because Trump just can’t do it if he does nothing but punish and know how to be a showman. I know NRx is into that, but yes, you are very small, and leftists are not taking you that seriously. You’re much too exotic not to read, plus admittedly there are these brilliants that come in Nick’s blog like SVErshov and Wagner sometimes. My lawyer brother and I both voted for Trump because Hillary was death by Cunt Poisoning, but we are going to see if the corner has not been turned. The Trump Show is getting really bad, and he’s not smart about fixing things that wouldn’t like him ‘god-king’, like some of you want to insist he is. He and Bannon look as if drunks not yet attended to by the mortician.

    • Cavalier March 16, 2017 at 04:40

      I like this article because it strokes my ego.

      However, I am still not able to shake the feeling that, since honest-to-god democracy died circa FDR, the media is the pulpit-pounding agent of the state, not that the state is subject to the media. In other words, no real power. And if Trump becomes Trumpenkönig, it will be because he, being the reality-distortion-field Great Man gravity well that he is, reactivated the long-dormant democracy-derived power of the Presidency, power everyone thought long dead, not that the alt-right/NRwhatever flavor of iMedia was somehow responsible.

  5. Alfred Woenselaer March 15, 2017 at 13:05

    I think what the left fears most is that the ideas of NRx & the Alt-Right grant memetic immunity against the most dominant strain of leftism, progressivism. Bannon arguably being the most powerful alt-right brahmin in the world, the left better be scared.

    But what else is the alt-right selling? If it’s fascism, its a pretty shitty sale. Whenever I see Murdoch Murdoch waving the swastika flag saying ‘we have to learn the art of national socialism!’ I cringe.

    • spandrell March 15, 2017 at 13:32

      Fascism is plenty cool. But you need the whole package. Cool uniforms, mass rallies, manly songs.

      • Thales March 15, 2017 at 18:01

        No doubt part of what keeps the whole package from gaining traction is that the US uniformed services have captured that niche — it has actual state-of-the-art weapons and LARPs that it’s not a complete tool of the Cathedral.

        • Howard J. Harrison March 16, 2017 at 12:21

          @Thales: Interesting point. One suspects that you may be right, but how do the US uniformed services of today differ from the German Wehrmacht of the 1930s in respect to your observation?

          One difference—indeed, a significant difference—is that the German Wehrmacht was shackled by the Versailles Treaty. Versailles permitted the Germans to enlist only 100,000 men.

          Another difference was that Versailles prevented the Germans from flying an air force or (if I recall) floating more than a toy navy. Even under Stresemann, 1923, it seems (according to Shirer) that Germany was using the Freikorps as active irregular reserve units on the eastern frontiers, in contradiction of Versailles. Okay, so there were differences.

          Still, even in the Weimar Republic, did not the army alone enjoy the best equipment, the most splendid uniform, and the highest prestige to train, confirm and display the warrior’s valor? That is, even in Weimar, did the army not own your niche?

          Hitler apparently thought that the army owned it. He felt so strongly about this that he murdered his own SA leader, Ernst Röhm, to confirm the point.

      • parisian March 19, 2017 at 18:55

        I’m supposed to be the Nazi faggot, not you. Anyway, yes, for high status broads to fuck you while married. like that English Minor Royal Princess Michael, she’s born Nazi, and you just have to be tall enough. I heard her speak twice at art lectures, she is as outrageously ‘our Val’ as the queen says she is, but she’d go along with any of it, was already like that, her father. She likes men 15 years or so younger, and one Russian was killed back in 2012 that she was fucking, but she was so courageous she didn’t go to his funeral, since there was the Chelsea Flower Show, and she knows what counts. Very intelligent, though, that’s why I went, wanted to see an English royal actually do something, and she was smart as a whip but frivolous, silly beyond belief, and did nothing but talk about whores, after which she’s swish her own tail.

  6. rcglinski March 15, 2017 at 16:05

    Did you read any of Nicolas Taleb’s stuff on antifragility? The few thousand people who make up the alt right constantly talk about making the movement antifragile. If they’re right and effective, the mainstream criticism is making them stronger.

    Two more thoughts:

    If you add up creativity and raw brain power the few thousand of the alt right are in the same weight class as the legacy media legion.

    Steve Bannon seems a bit too in love with female politicians to make all that effective of a fascist.

  7. Karl March 15, 2017 at 20:05

    Well, progressives need an ideological enemy. They define themselves as being antiracist, antifascist, antiright. So if there is a real opposition to progressivism, they attack it. If there is not, they choose the least progressive from their midst and attack him as a racist, fascist, homophobe. It has happened before, repeatedly.

    So I don’t think much can be read from progressives writing about the alt-right, except maybe that the alt-right has been noticed. Most of them are probably happy that there is the alt-right because It means that they are now save from being prosecuted by their fellow progressives for being racist, fascist, homophobes.

  8. spottedtoad March 16, 2017 at 18:52

    Good post. I’d add that center-left media has to fixate on the alt-right and NRX because they are mostly anti-democratic, and because the Trump wave was so (small-d) democratic. Because Current Year Yglesias/Klein neoliberalism is fundamentally an anti-democratic, technocratic ideology that claims to democratic legitimacy (despite Current Year Dems’ mixed success in Presidential general elections and disastrous recent record in state and local and midterm races, Dems can always point to surveys of non-voters which show them doing great), it’s critical to focus attention away from the democratic appeal of the other side.

  9. Joshua Sinistar March 18, 2017 at 04:20

    You got this ass backwards man. WE ARE LEGION, they are a few thousand insider pinheads that crowd the dead air networks and censor everyone else out to create a false consensus. When they had all the channels, they could get away with it, but now with the Cyberspace connections where small and previously unconnected users could have a say, they have to hire dozens of pansies in Mommies’ basements running bots just to keep up. Moral Majority or Silent Majority was what smart people who saw the real numbers of US and the tiny numbers of Them and put two and two together on this scam back in the bad old days of censored fake lugenpresse always said. In Real Life, WE ARE LEGION and they are a couple thousand byline poison pens with dickless cucks, fags and enemy playing the fakeout of false consensus. When the unreality is controlled, some people can ignore what their eyes say every day. But with the millions of unpaid people commenting now, the jig is up.

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