conservative delusions: politics as a subject for debate

To say that liberals treat liberalism as a religion rather than a political ideology is to state the obvious. What is perhaps less obvious is that this is not a recent development. And what it is important to emphasise is that many conservatives still do not comprehend this. Conservatives have the quaint idea that liberals see politics as something that can be debated. Liberals do not see it this way. Disagreement is not disagreement, it is heresy and it is a sign of moral wickedness. Politics is not something that is open to discussion.

The particular flavour of the Social Justice cult is also the result of a mixture of religious enthusiasm and feminisation.

If you go back to the 1960s when the Old Left started to decay and the New Left took its place the religious fervour was already there. The New Left had no interest in economics. They had sold out to capitalism. They were not interested in changing or reforming or destroying the capitalist economic system. The New Left was all about morality and emotion and power. They were on the side of moral probity. Anybody who opposed them was therefore, by definition, morally wrong.

The New Left was feminised. It attracted women, it attracted homosexual men, it attracted weak girly-men. It adopted a peculiarly feminised attitude towards dissent. If you were a dissenter you weren’t someone who disagreed with them. You were a bad person. You made them feel bad. You were immoral.

The New Left made a lot of noises about freedom and especially freedom of speech. Conservatives tended to accept these protestations at face value. Big mistake. The New Left never saw freedom of speech as anything but a weapon with which to attack their enemies. They never had the slightest intention of granting freedom of speech to their opponents. Older Australians may remember the way Australian university students shut down lectures by distinguished visiting psychologist Hans Eysenck in 1977. Eysenck was suspected of thought crime. Forty years ago the social justice warriors were already using violence and intimidation to silence anyone guilty of heresy.

The New Left saw all freedoms in this way – as potential weapons. Sexual freedom was a weapon with which to destroy the family. Feminism was promoted as an ideology that offered freedom to women. In fact of course feminists never intended that women should have actual freedom. Women were to be free to do what the feminists told them to do.

Conservatives at the time understood that the New Left agenda was dangerous but they made the mistake of seriously underestimating the extent of the danger. Or rather they wildly over-estimated society’s ability to survive the New Left’s social experiments. And they made the huge mistake of thinking that the New Left really did believe in freedom of speech.

So where do the neocons figure in all this? The New Left is right-wing on economic issues mostly because economic issues don’t affect them in a religious or emotional way so they take the line of least resistance, and as a result they get generously funded by rich capitalists. The neocons are much more excited by economic issues but what really marks them out is that they approach foreign policy as a religious issue. Anyone who opposes their foreign policy is not just mistaken, but morally wrong and a bad person.

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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.

Biological Leninism and the Coalition of the Fringes

There’s a truly excellent post at Bloody Shovel on Biological Leninism that explains, fairly convincingly, why the Left relies on women, homosexuals, sexual deviants and minorities for its power. It’s all about loyalty and building a stable ruling class. The more useless someone is as an individual the more valuable he is as a member of the ruling class – if you want reliable and loyal foot soldiers you pick people who are entirely dependent on you.

This goes far to explain why what Steve Sailer calls the Coalition of the Fringes is so powerful, and why (despite its apparent weakness) it isn’t going to break up any time soon. The fact that the various groups that comprise the Coalition of the Fringes appear to have no actual interests in common (what possible genuine community of interests can there be between blacks and homosexuals for instance) is irrelevant. They are united by one thing. They have no choice. They are entirely dependent for their livelihoods on the largesse of government and of people like George Soros. Have you ever come across a lesbian feminist or a trans-whatever or any kind of “activist” who held down a real job in the real world?

Any deviation from orthodoxy means the end of the gravy train for these people. Any threat to the Coalition of the Fringes means the danger that the gravy train will be cancelled altogether. Thus they remain loyal, because they have no other options.

There’s an interesting struggle going on at the moment between the TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and the trans activists (see feminists losing the terf war). The TERFS subscribe to the heretical belief that there’s a biological difference between men and women. This struggle can only end in one way – with the complete surrender of the TERFS. Radical feminists are not exactly people who are likely to be success stories in the real world. They have pretend jobs in academia, or pretend jobs in women’s health centres or similar sheltered workshops for women. If they refuse to recant their heresies they will be purged. Not purged in the way Stalin purged his enemies. Such methods are unnecessary in our Brave New World. They will simply be informed that if they persist in their heresy they will lose their nice safe comfy jobs. There is no doubt of the outcome. The radical feminists will confess their counter-revolutionary crimes. They will therefore keep their nice safe comfy jobs. What else can they do? In the real world they would starve.

And that’s the point. The storm troopers of the cultural left can be trusted to do what they’re told to do because without the Coalition of the Fringes they’re just unemployable low-status drones. They will do nothing to threaten that coalition, because their survival depends on it.

The optimistic belief on the right that the incoherence and contradictions of the Coalition of the Fringes will eventually destroy it is likely to turn out to be a fantasy. Once the first purges take place, once the first show trials are held, the members of that coalition will become even more fanatically loyal and even more determined to maintain that coalition.