Haven’t posted in a while, but everything’s ok. Just been busy. Worry not, my dear readers, this blog isn’t going anywhere. I might be lazy but I’m quite resilient. And I like my blog very much, so you can expect this blog to last for as long as I have fingers to type. If I go offline I’m either dead or in some hidden CIA prison for thought criminals. I expect to have good company if either of that happens.
Speaking of crimethinkers, Anatoly Karlin had a good review of the alt-internet at his blog. The conclusion is quite clear: the old far-right is quite healthy. The alt-right, defined as Kek-worship and assorted Spencerites is very small. And NrX* is just tiny. Like really tiny.
*I’ll just stop fighting the, in my opinion, lame branding and just surrender to the fact that everybody categorizes me as NrX so I might as well own it.
I’ve said it before, and others have said it before and better than I have. But that’s how it is: there is no great media revolution. Most people still get their news from TV. To the extent people get their news from the Internet, they like their mainstream stuff first, and to the extent they like edgy stuff, they like the edgy stuff that has always been around. Stormfront is still big, fellas. Or it was until a few months ago. Think about that.
This shouldn’t be something to worry about, and it should surprise anyone. For one thing, the population is getting old. Old people don’t like to change, they have their old ideas, and they’re hanging on to them. The paleo-right was a thing, a very fine thing, and these good ol’ rednecks aren’t going to jump into Richard Spencer’s wagon. Trump didn’t change anybody’s mind. He just said what his voters had been thinking for decades.
I have a blog, so I should be sad about this. I’m supposed to want to change peoples minds through my awesome writing. And to some extent I’ve achieved that; but the amount of people who are open to persuasion by strangers over the internet is, well, tiny. As tiny as the total audience of NrX. This is fine, many of these people are the smart people who might end up having some influence in the world. Neoreaction has been cited in the press, not always negatively, way more often than its numbers would warrant.
But if we look at the facts, and if I’m coherent with my writing, well the fact is most people just aren’t open to persuasion. Because there’s no reason they should be. Ideas aren’t about logic. Ideas are badges of group membership. They are Schelling points. Ideas aren’t things we hold in our “minds”; ideas are things we say. To others. For a reason. A social reason. A Dunbar reason. If saying the same things that NrX says isn’t going to make you more friends, well you aren’t going to say it. If saying what the Alt-right says isn’t going to make you more friends, well you aren’t going to say it. Ask Pax Dickinson about that.
So if the purpose of ideas is to, broadly defined, “make more (or better) friends”, it should be obvious that old ideas have an advantage there over new ideas. The easiest way to make friends with someone is to adopt his ideas. New ideas by definition have no adopters, so it’s hard to make friends with them. Of course just adopting someone else’s ideas out of the blue is also not a very smart move. It’s quite boring, and they must suspect you wanting something out of them. The way to make friends is not to make something out of people, but to offer people to make something out of you.
So the good move here is to adopt people’s ideas, but give them a little bit of spin. By doing so, you signal yourself as something which is potentially useful; but you also give people something to fall back on. If your spin ends up not working for them; they can always fall back to their old ideas, with nobody noticing. No embarrassment, no loss of status. Nothing happened here.
Let me be more concrete here. I’m actually thinking of somebody very concrete. Who? Jordan Peterson. He has mastered the “old ideas with a bit of spin” trick. I’ve been writing of Jordan Peterson’s ideas for quite some time. Back then what I did was to take them at face value; but what I want to do here is to make a functional analysis. Or as Steve Sailer says of modern journalists, to make marketing criticism. I’ve been mildly critical of Jordan Peterson’s ideas before: there’s some logical errors and unclear philosophy in his speeches. But say what you will, he is a Genius marketer. With a capital G. The guy is good. How good? His Patreon is making 67k a month. That’s how good he is. He’s making more money than the whole alt-right and paleo-right put together. And then some.
Why is he so popular? This article gives you a hint:
Bread Pilled: Jordan Peterson turning young, Western men into Christians Again
Jordan Peterson is making a fortune (in internet politics terms) because… he’s preaching. He’s preaching the Christian gospel. And that’s a very good business, especially in North America, which has a long tradition of innovative preachers. Now I’m not dissing Dr. Peterson. He’s an insanely talented preacher. He’s the best preacher I’ve heard in my whole life, and he’s better than any of the preachers I’ve read about from the past. He is really good. He preaches Christianity with bits of HBD, of the manosphere, of evolutionary psychology and pragmatic philosophy. All great stuff. But this red-pill spin is not what is making him money. There’s plenty of people preaching the red-pill, and they’re not making a dime. It’s Christianity what’s making him the money.
And why would that be? Why would preaching be so profitable? Because Christians are a thing. There’s hundreds of millions of Christians out there. Many of them aren’t happy, they suffer from the diseases of modernity we all internet dissenters write about. The war on men. Diseases of modernity which affect organized Christianity itself. Many, I’d guess most of us here also come from Christian families; but we dropped out. However not everybody is willing to take that step, for many reasons. It’s not so easy to accept that everything your family, your schools, your friends has been telling you about is a lie. Some people may have functional Christian social circles which they can’t abandon. These people will never give money to Heartiste, even if they secretly agree with them. These people, these millions upon millions of unhappy Christians need something that gives them the red-pill but lets them keep being good Christians. Jordan Peterson sells exactly that. And he’s brilliant at it.
They money, thus, is not in good ideas per se. The money is in religion. Good religion, and bad religion, they all make good money. Why? Because religions are, sticky, heavy social matter. Religions are designed to encompass one’s social circle so that one can never leave. That keeps people civilized when the religion is good, and that makes society sick when the religion is bad, as in modern progressivism. But at any rate, the way to reach the bulk of the population is not just to sell good ideas, it’s to sell a fallback. There’s a hilarious amount of ways of saying this in Chinese, who understand the point very well. “To help them keep face”. “To give them a step so that they can come down”. “To find a slope to get down from the donkey”. Nobody wants to lose status.
Any change is welcome, as long as it doesn’t make people lose status. No change is welcome, no matter how good, if people feel the process involves them losing status, even a little, even just a tiny little slight embarrassment in the short term. These of course means there’s a limit to what one can sell; you can only deviate so much from the status quo if you want people to buy in. But the power of compound interest is vast, if the will is there to keep on pushing.