the problems of prosperity

It’s amazing how many of our society’s problems are the sorts of problems one normally associates with spoilt children. We have it too easy. We enjoy a very high degree of material prosperity. Even those in our society who consider themselves to be poor enjoy a level of prosperity that was unavailable even to the aristocracy a hundred years ago. We have lots and lots of shiny gadgets. We have gadgets to help us do things that we didn’t even know we needed to do.

We have all the things that money can buy. Unfortunately we don’t have any beliefs or values. We don’t have anything that is actually worth anything. We just have lots of shiny things that cost money. And we’re miserable. The way spoilt children are miserable.

We think that we’re unhappy because we don’t have enough money but really we’re unhappy because we have too much.

We invent imaginary problems because we don’t want to face the emptiness of the lives we lead. Feminism was a prime example of a political movement established to address an imaginary problem, the non-existent oppression of rich privileged middle-class university-educated women.

We also invent imaginary illnesses. We have perfectly normal children but we decide that they’re suffering from make-believe disorders like ADHD. Unhappy women convince themselves they’re suffering from all sorts of ailments when in fact their problem is that they need to have kids.

We do have real problems (like the lack of beliefs alluded to above) but we refuse to face those problems and make up imaginary problems instead.

One can’t help feeling that if we didn’t have so much material prosperity most of our imaginary problems would disappear.

offering (or not offering) a vision for the future

In a discussion elsewhere I made the point that the weakness of the alt-right is that it doesn’t offer much in the way of a positive vision for the future. The alt-right is mostly negative and mostly focused on dislike of its political enemies. My view is that no political movement can succeed unless it does offer a positive vision of the future.

Someone else pointed out that this applies equally to the Left these days. Which I think is a valid point. There was a time when the Left articulated a very clear and reasonably coherent vision of the future. The Left had an actual program. That’s no longer the case. Social justice is a meaningless term that in practice means nothing more than handouts for victim groups and acting as a cover for vicious attacks on political enemies (especially Christians). Social justice, feminism and indeed liberalism in general are little more than rambling incoherent ideologies of hate. The Left no longer has a plan to reconstruct society. The Left has embraced capitalism. The ugliness and injustice and social unhealthiness of capitalism are now things for the Left to cover up. Social justice is a way of persuading us not to notice that the Left no longer has an actual coherent program.

The mainstream Right also offers no vision for the future, other than tax cuts for the rich.

So we’re left with nothing more than a struggle for power, and a recipe for societal disillusionment.

cultural marxism as anti-marxism

A perennial problem among dissidents today is terminology. Nobody agrees on terminology. Everybody has their own idea of what certain terms mean and as a result there are endless misunderstandings. Two terms that cause immense confusion are marxism and cultural marxism.

People who see themselves as conservatives often use the term marxism to describe any ideological position that they particularly dislike. It’s very similar to the way SJWs and liberals use the term fascist. In both cases a word with a specific meaning has become detached from that meaning and the word has become merely an all-purpose term of abuse.

To me marxism is an economic theory and an economic ideology. To me you’re not a marxist unless you’re intending to nationalise the banks, socialise the means of production, usher in the dictatorship of the proletariat, that sort of thing. Classical marxism.

Classical marxism is stone dead. It has been for decades.

When dissident rightists talk about marxism they’re often talking about cultural marxism. Now cultural marxism is a real phenomenon and it truly is evil but where we differ is that I consider that cultural marxism has nothing whatever to do with classical marxism. Cultural marxism is the negation of marxism. Cultural marxism is anti-marxist.

Cultural marxism is in fact a right-wing ideology. This is obvious if you look carefully. Consider open borders. Who benefits from open borders? Mega-corporations that want cheap labour. Who benefits from the destruction of the family? The same mega-corporations which want us reduced to mere economic units. Who benefits from the homosexual agenda? The same mega-corporations – they love homosexuals because homosexuals do nothing but consume. Who benefits from feminism? The same mega-corporations. They get cheaper and more docile labour. Who benefits from environmental hysteria? The same mega-corporations who use that hysteria to siphon taxpayers’ money into their own pockets through green subsidies. Cultural marxism is capitalist. It is supported and promoted by capitalists.

This is a major problem because the lack of terminological precision is very much in the interests of those who currently run our world. They want us to think that they are leftists when in fact they are nothing of the kind. They want us to think that they care about the disadvantaged and the oppressed when in fact they care only about bankers and billionaires.

I don’t deny that the phenomenon that gets labelled as cultural marxism exists. I don’t deny that it is pure evil. These people exist and they intend to destroy everything that makes civilised life possible. But these people are not marxists.

This isn’t intended as a defence of marxism. Marxism is dead. And even when it was still a living ideology it had its problems, to say the least. Marxism was never a very attractive alternative. But then capitalism is if anything even less attractive, and even more destructive. We need an alternative to both marxism and capitalism. An alternative that might perhaps draw on elements of both, or it might not. An alternative that will probably draw on elements of traditional societies that both marxism and capitalism have rejected.

Either way there’s no way we are going to get an alternative until we understand that cultural marxism is merely a stalking horse for the worst kind of civilisationally destructive capitalism. We need a new name for cultural marxism. Perhaps the most accurate name would be cultural capitalism!

prosperity and decadence

It’s generally taken for granted that economic prosperity is a good thing. Like most things that are taken for granted it’s something that seems much more dubious when you actually think about it.

A certain degree of prosperity is certainly desirable. That does not mean that ever-increasing prosperity is a good thing. Too much of anything can be dangerous, and that includes material prosperity.

Prosperity seems to lead to decadence. Maybe this is not inevitable but it’s difficult to think of a prosperous society that has not to some extent been afflicted by decadence. Once prosperity increases beyond a certain point what you have is excess prosperity. Excess prosperity leads to status-signalling and status-signalling in material terms seems to lead to ideological status-signalling.

Too much prosperity gives people the opportunity to indulge in unwise and unhealthy behaviours. A struggle for existence on the other hand doesn’t offer such opportunities. Being forced to focus on survival has the advantage of keeping us out of trouble.

Excessive material prosperity also undermines religion.

Too much prosperity seems to be a problem for both individuals and societies. The idea that wealth leads inevitably to happiness is central to both liberalism and capitalism but it is at best an unproven assumption.

What does seem certain is that consumerism leads inexorably to decadence. Consumerism is the ultimate drug. As long as people still have the mot precious human right of all, the right to shop, they will accept anything. Nothing else matters.

disappointment in Sweden

The Swedish election is another disappointing result for nationalists. The Sweden Democrats seem to have gained around 17-18% of the vote. They have made gains but 17-18% is still a miserable result.

There just isn’t really any actual nationalist groundswell in western Europe. Any party that is identified primarily as a nationalist/anti-immigration party is going to see its support max out around the 15-20% mark, which means permanent political irrelevance.

Of course when there are other factors in play, such as establishment parties that have become so corrupt that the stench can no longer be disguised, then things can change. Outsider parties then have a chance. But nationalism and an anti-immigration stance are simply not going to win you an election.

People are stupid and they are short-sighted and they are selfish and they will happily vote for civilisation-destroying policies as long as they think that they personally have enough money to be sheltered from the results. Appealing to a love of one’s country or a loyalty to one’s culture or a concern for the future just doesn’t work. In a capitalist/consumerist society people just don’t care about that stuff.

This is why I believe that nationalism and anti-immigrationism have a better chance if they’re combined with some policies that ordinary people actually do want. Maybe offer people not just decently paid jobs but jobs with a future. Housing they might actually be able to afford. Genuine security for their old age. Maybe take on the predatory mega-corporations that increasingly wield not only unlimited economic power but unlimited political power.

You know, offer people the sorts of things that mainstream moderate left parties used to offer. It’s just a thought.

believing in inherently incompatible concepts

We live in an irrational age. We live in an age in which people seem to have surprisingly little difficulty believing in concepts that are inherently incompatible. People manage to do this by deluding themselves. They refuse to see the obvious incompatibilities.

There are for example people who consider themselves to be socialists and yet they believe in open borders. This is sheer nonsense. Open borders is death to socialism. Socialism works as a closed system with a homogeneous population. That’s the only way it can work.

There are also people who think you can have closed borders and capitalism. They’re wrong.

Maybe you can have closed borders and a system that incorporates a degree of capitalism but it can only hope to survive in the long term if capitalism is under very very tight government control (something like the present Chinese system). But you certainly cannot have free markets and controlled borders. If you want free markets you’re going to get open borders. There is simply no way to restrain the greed of capitalists for cheap labour and ever-growing markets. If you claim to believe in free markets and immigration restriction then you’re either lying or you’re severely deluded.

This of course does not mean that if you want to avoid the catastrophe of open borders you have to become a socialist. It does mean that you have to abandon free market capitalism and global capitalism. There are other alternatives. The idea that there is a continuum from communism to free market capitalism and that you have to place yourself (and your nation) somewhere on that continuum is total nonsense.

There are also people who think you can have capitalism and religion. In the long run it just doesn’t work. Capitalism will always end up destroying religion. The logic of capitalism is that money is all that matters. Anything that interferes with that must be crushed. Socialism and religion have been very uneasy bedfellows but there is no inherent conflict between the two. Certainly there is no inherent conflict between socialism and Christianity.

We live not merely in an irrational age but in an age in which people seem to genuinely think that if you just believe hard enough then the impossible will become possible. Sadly the world doesn’t work that way.

ideologies of revenge and the usefulness of fear

There was an interesting comment (by commenter Beckow) on a recent discussion on Stalin at Unz Review. The gist of it was that ideologies like Bolshevism, Maoism, national socialism and even populist fascism were revenge ideologies. The existence of such ideologies forced the ruling classes to share the wealth, at least to a limited degree. It was necessary to give the population as a whole the idea that they were going to share in the benefits of industrialism and capitalism.

When those revenge ideologies collapsed it was no longer necessary to maintain the pretence that everyone was going to get their share. Our elites are now following their natural inclinations. Capitalism is reverting to the robber baron model of the 19th century.

It seems to me that this is a very important insight. It also fits in with a belief that I have held for quite a while, that it is absolutely necessary for alternative political systems to exist. It doesn’t matter if those alternative political systems are not very efficient. It doesn’t even matter if they are not very pleasant. What matters is that they should exist.

And in our modern world it is increasingly the case that these alternatives have been shut down or neutralised or in various ways eliminated as viable possibilities. That has frightening implications, and we can see those implications when we look at the behaviour of our current elites.

Our elites are confident that there is no longer any danger that their power can be threatened in any way. There was a time when they were concerned about the possibility of too much inequality of wealth and income. They feared that this might lead to an upsurge of support for left-wing ideologies. Eventually it might lead to communist (or fascist or populist) revolution. But those left-wing ideologies no longer exist. There is no longer a political left. There are still parties and political organisations that claim to be leftist but what they all have in common is a total lack of actual leftist belief.

Identity politics is not left-wing. It is a right-wing ideology. Its purpose is to maintain the power of the elites.

Modern leftists are not going to lead a communist revolution. They are not under any circumstances going to round up capitalists and bankers and line them up against a wall and shoot them. They’re not going to do that because modern leftists are on the payroll of the capitalists and bankers.

And that’s the problem. The fact is that the only thing that will persuade capitalists to moderate their natural greed is fear. The only thing that will persuade the ruling class to behave with at least a modicum of decency is fear. In the days when alternative ideologies such as Bolshevism existed the capitalists and the ruling classes were always aware that if they behaved with too much arrogance and viciousness there was a very real chance that one day they really would be lined up against a wall and shot.

It’s actually a very good thing for elites to live in fear. It’s healthy. Kings always lived in fear. They knew that if they lost the support of the people they would be deposed and that generally meant being killed. They had a strong incentive not to rule like tyrants. Up until a few decades ago western elites lived in fear. They knew what had happened to earlier elites that had failed to deliver at least a degree of fairness and hope. They knew the fate of those earlier elites in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, etc.

It is always a good thing for elites to have such things in the back of their minds. When the elites no longer fear the people you have tyranny. That’s why it’s a good thing to have Bolsheviks around. Their existence has a most salutary effect on the elites.

extended families and fertility

A commenter elsewhere suggested that once the extended family disappeared fertility was doomed. The idea being that the costs of motherhood are so high that women will not accept those costs for more than one or at the most two children unless they have a strong support network.

This does sound like a plausible argument.

Perhaps humans have to have extended families in order to breed. Perhaps the nuclear family is a toxic idea.

If you want extended families there are several other things you need. Obviously you need stay-at-home mothers. You need stable decently paid employment for men, stable being the more important factor by far. And you need social stability. You need tight-knit organic communities of people who know and trust each other and those communities need to remain intact. Social mobility was one of the major factors that destroyed the extended family. People need to be able to find jobs in their own communities.

The Industrial Revolution undoubtedly played a rôle in disrupting established communities but the urban working classes managed to create new communities that were actually quite healthy. Those communities thrived until our leaders (encouraged by the corporate sector) decided to declare war on the working class.

Conservatives like to blame the welfare state for most social ills. In fact the wholesale destruction of manufacturing industry and the destruction of rural communities have been far more disastrous.

Of course the decline of religion and the growth of feminism have contributed to the demise of the extended family but the big factor is the breaking up of communities when children move to other cities to pursue their careers, or when family members are forced to leave established communities because they cannot find work.

The corporate sector loves the idea of a “flexible” workforce. In practice that means a demoralised workforce and a loss of community. These are both bonuses as far as the corporate sector is concerned. The corporate sector does not like extended families – people might start to think there was more to life than being a docile worker and a compliant consumer.

In fact if we are ever to rebuild real communities we need to realise that there really is more to life than working and consuming.

Real communities and extended families have other benefits aside from increased fertility. They provide an alternative to hedonism and degeneracy and they also provide some protection from evils such as feminism.

Of course it’s understandable that our politicians didn’t think of any of this. Who would ever have imagined that tight-knit communities might turn out to be essential for a healthy society?

the new class struggle – the same but different

I’m going to start this post with a quote from a couple of feminists.

“Feminists Teresa Amott and Hester Eisenstein, writing separate studies, both came to the conclusion that feminism is largely a means for corporate America to ‘remain competitive’ by lowering labor costs. Further, Eisenstein adds that the weakening of unions was a part of this. Male-dominated unions both kept wages high and controlled the labor pool for an industry. Breaking the unions meant that more part-time and new female workers (let alone immigrants) can move into an industry, drastically cutting labor costs. It was a diabolically brilliant idea that was based on crass self-interest while able to pose as the most selfless of idealisms. 

Teresa Amott notes: Hiring women was a central part of the corporate strategy to restore profitability because women were not only cheaper than men, but were also less likely to be organized into unions and more willing to accept temporary work and no benefits.”

It’s amazing how the actions of the elites often seem incomprehensible and even self-defeating until you start to consider the part played by class interests. Then it all becomes crystal clear.

Now don’t panic, I’m not going to start recycling tired old Marxist arguments. Marx was wrong about almost everything. On the other hand, Marx’s errors notwithstanding, class struggle is a very real thing. It’s just that class warfare isn’t capitalists versus workers. It’s more complicated than that.

In fact even at the time Marx was writing, in England, there was a different kind of class warfare happening. It was a struggle between the old elite, with wealth based on land, and the new industrial elites whose wealth was based on money. And another intra-elite class struggle would soon develop, between the industrial capitalists and the financial capitalists.

In the 20th century yet another would-be elite start jockeying for power and influence, a class of intellectuals, journalists, media moguls, career politicians and senior bureaucrats. And more recently we have seen the emergence of another elite, the Silicon Valley elite.

There is however one thing that unites and always has united all these elites – they all hate and fear the non-elites. They hate the poor and what remains of the working class of course, but they also hate and fear the moderately affluent lower middle classes. They hate and fear everybody who does not belong to the elite. As far as the elites are concerned the only reason for non-elite people to exist is to prove cheap labour and docile consumers. They need the non-elites but they are determined to keep them in their place. The soft totalitarianism of modern society, feminism, identity politics, mass immigration – these are all ways to achieve that aim of keeping the non-elites powerless, divided and demoralised.

Once a society abandons traditional values and traditional ways of life and embraces liberalism then class warfare becomes a permanent feature of the landscape. The intra-elite class struggles can be fairly vicious but the class war of the elites against the non-elites will always be merciless.

Christianity and capitalism

Of all the enemies that have combined to bring about the downfall of Christianity in the West none has been more deadly or more relentless than capitalism. The fact is that it is impossible to imagine two systems more completely incompatible than Christianity and capitalism.

Capitalism is the most thoroughly materialistic ideology that can be conceived of. Capitalism is interested only in things that can be objectively measured, and in the capitalist system there is only one standard of measurement – money. More money is good. Less money is bad. This standard applies to people as well as things. A person’s success in life is measured by how much money he has. Nothing else is relevant.

The incompatibility between Christianity and capitalism should have been obvious from the start. And it was obvious to some Christians. Unfortunately most Christians chose to shut their eyes to the contradictions. Even worse, many American Christians convinced themselves that capitalism was Christian. This is why American Christianity has failed so spectacularly. American Christians have embraced an ideology that was always inevitably going to destroy them.

There is no room for morality in capitalism. You can’t measure morality in monetary terms so therefore morality has no validity. More seriously, morality interferes with profits. Profits are good. Therefore morality is bad.

The big mistake Christians (especially in the US) made in the culture wars was to think that they could fight moral issues as individual battles. They focused on specific attacks on Christian morality, such as abortion and homosexuality. They were certainly correct in seeing abortion and homosexuality as evils, but they failed to see the big picture. They failed to see that they weren’t dealing with isolated attacks on Christian sexual morality. They were dealing with a system, capitalism, that was hostile to all Christian morality and all Christian values. And they were dealing with a system that was not going to compromise. This became (or should have become) clear with the emergence of globalist capitalism. The globalist capitalists intended to remove every obstacle in their path.

A major potential obstacle was Christianity. The idea that money is the measure of the good was obviously in pretty serious conflict with Christian teachings. The idea that the only motivations anyone should have were the accumulation and spending of money was not exactly in harmony with Christianity.

Global capitalists today are intensely hostile to Christianity but even without this overt hostility capitalism would still have the effect of undermining and eventually destroying Christianity. It’s simply in the nature of capitalism.

American Christians made another catastrophic mistake. Back in the 50s they convinced themselves that the real enemy was communism. They became obsessed with the communist threat. This led them to a tragically mistaken conclusion. Since communism was bad, capitalism must be good. Since communism was ungodly, capitalism must be godly.

Communism was a threat, but it was never anywhere near as serious a threat as capitalism.

Christianity can survive under communism. Communists might not approve of Christianity but they have no absolute need to destroy it. It’s not really particularly incompatible with communism. On the other hand Christianity cannot survive under capitalism.

Unfortunately Christians have made yet another strategic error, getting distracted by the social justice nonsense. Again they’re wasting their energies and failing to see the big picture. They’re putting themselves in a no-win situation. If they oppose the SJWs they’ll be painted by the media as nasty meanies. If they support the SJWs they’ll simply look weak and pathetic, and showing weakness to SJWs is a fatal mistake. Christians should focus on the real enemy, the globalist capitalists. Defeat them and the social justice nonsense will simply evaporate.