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.

we need to have a conversation about class

In the Brave New World Order in which we live there are many topics that are forbidden. There are also, as Steve Sailer has been pointing out for years, many things that we are not even permitted to notice. One topic that falls into both these categories is class.
There is another obstacle to the discussion of class. Those who identify as being on the right or conservative side of politics tend to assume that if you raise the subject of class you must be a socialist or a communist or statist or a collectivist or an adherent of some other -ism of which they disapprove. So the first thing I want to make clear is that I am no socialist. I am to some degree critical of capitalism in its current form but my criticisms are coming from a traditionalist social conservative perspective rather than from a socialistic perspective.
You don’t have to be a socialist to notice that class is as relevant today as it has ever been. Or at least you would notice this except that this is very much one of the things that we are no longer permitted to notice.
If you break the rules and start to notice things you will also notice that the question of class is more complex than it used to be. It’s not just the working class who are the losers in the Brave New World Order, it’s also the lower middle class. Class is still very relevant but there has been a realignment – we’ll get to that later.
The globalist policies that have been pursued by all mainstream parties in the West, whether these parties claim to be parties of the left or of the right, have had a devastating impact on the working class. The destruction of domestic manufacturing industry has taken away the bulk of the jobs that working class people used to do. More crucially it has taken away the stable, secure, well-paid and reasonably congenial jobs that were once available to the working class. And many of these jobs really were reasonably congenial. I’ve worked in factories and I’ve worked in offices and I can tell you that the factory jobs were better-paid, more satisfying and more pleasant. These jobs have now been relocated to the Third World. This is great from the point of view of mega-corporations – they no longer have to worry about paying decent wages or providing decent working conditions. It hasn’t been so good for small and medium sized companies many of which have gone to the wall. It’s been catastrophic for working class people. The jobs that remain are menial, poorly paid and insecure.
Logically this should mean that the devastated working classes would now become formidable opponents of globalism. In fact the globalists have come up with a number of strategies to neutralise this potential political threat. First and foremost has been identity politics. The parties that once represented the interests of working class people are now focused on imaginary oppressions like sexism, homophobia and racism. The gamble was that these new imaginary oppressions would act as an effective smokescreen so that no-one would notice that the working class was being targeted for destruction. So far the gamble has paid off for the globalists. An essential part of the globalist strategy was to co-opt the left-wing media and the left-wing political parties. This was achieved with depressing ease. No-one in the left-wing media or left-wing political organisations talks about class any more. They talk about sexism, homophobia and racism.
There has been a more sinister side to the globalist strategy. It was not enough to neuter the working class politically – working class people had to be demonised. This has also largely been achieved. If the working class gets mentioned at all it is solely to assure us that they ignorant bigoted rednecks who deserve their fate. Most sinister of all is that every part of working class culture has been demonised. Everything the working classes traditionally valued – family, religion, patriotism, even their sports and pastimes – has been mocked and undermined.
This strategy has been, in my view, motivated by the globalists’ fear that the lower middle classes might realise that the Brave New World Order is not working out so well for them. Many of their jobs are being eliminated or relocated offshore. Mass immigration is taking away many of their jobs or being used to turn them into poorly paid drones. If the lower middle classes noticed this they might be tempted to ally with the working classes. To prevent that from happening it was necessary to persuade the lower middle classes to regard the working classes as being evil bigots – as being almost sub-human.
The class divide that matters now is the alliance of the super-rich (the true elites) and the upper middle classes (who think of themselves as being part of the elites) against the working class and the lower middle classes.
All of this has been made possible by the complete destruction of leftist politics as it once existed. The New Left which emerged in the late 1960s and which entirely replaced the old Left has shown great enthusiasm for the project of demonising the working classes. The New Left is of course not left at all – it serves the interests of the billionaires and the mega-corporations. Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton can serve as representative examples and the hatred and contempt they feel for working class people is savage and visceral.
Mainstream conservatives, who also coincidentally serve the interests of billionaires and mega-corporations, have of course been just as enthusiastic in their attacks on working class people.
It’s not the slightest bit coincidental that both the Establishment Left and the Establishment Right have been hysterical in their condemnation of Donald Trump – many of his supporters are those nasty little working class people.
We are constantly told that we need to have a conversation about race and gender. In fact we really need to have a conversation about class.