Friday, September 2, 2016

If you’re gonna shaft Goodwin’s law, at least do it right

Some comments I’ve received from my Nazi loved ones (you don’t have Nazi loved ones? Let me tell you your life is so much less interesting for it) made me think my latest post on what comes after Trump’s likely defeat in November require some clarification, and being in some form of philosophical dry spell these days I can’t find anything better to do with my blogging time these days than to extend on the first unmistakable signs of our civilizations demise (as do not fool yourselves, Trump’s rise, and the unabashed totalitarianisms likely to follow in Europe are but the harbinger of the final collapse of our societies’ dominant mode until now).

Let’s start then with the clarifications. Do I think the 40-50 million Trump voters are a bunch of fascists, salivating to wear their brown shirt and parade through the national mall in Washington wearing swastikas, their right arm held high & straight while they sing “sieg heil”? Nope, I don’t think so… yet. Most of them are your average run-of-the-mill conservative, America-loving, God-fearing, reasonably libertarian in economics (ie, standing for “minimal government intervention in the economy”, or “everyone for himself, your fellow citizens be damned, especially if they are from a different race”, depending on the political persuasion from which you observe them) and reasonably traditionalist regarding the organization of the family (mildly sexist -a modest amount of gender segregation is OK, gays should not marry-or even be visible at all , divorce is bad but should be allowed, philandering by men is admissible as long as done discreetly, abortion is bad but other forms of birth control are OK -especially abstinence… you know the package). As far from identifying with the super-evil, freedom-hating, Captain-America-already-kicked-their-butt Nazis as anybody from the left, they would think insulting to be equated with such traditional baddies in countless Hollywood flicks.

Or would they? I mentioned in my post that my own reading of the mood in the alt-right was that they were mostly young trolls, in it for the LOL and to scandalize the establishment, and not very conscientious about the political implications of their positions. Something that I found echoed in this widely commented article by Milo Yiannopulos and Allum Bokhari published recently in Breitbart: Another guide to the alt-right... . You may notice the authors self-deprecatingly use their own unacceptability for more traditional fascists (one is an openly homosexual half-jew, the other from Pakistani origin) to minimize the allegedly racist nature of the “movement” (of which they both consider themselves if not leaders at least spokesmen), regardless of what Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had to say in her recent speech denouncing the ties of such movement with Trump. So should we leave it at that, and accept that, by their own admission, they are not “true Nazis” but just a bunch of good-humored youngsters getting a laugh by adopting some of the external signs of the most demonized, most vilified boogeyman of the stale left they so much deride? That they adopt those external signs but do not share the most troubling tenets of such bogeyman? What would those tenets be?

Anti-Semitism may be a good place to start, as for long it has been almost unanimously considered the most poisonous and less morally defensible aspect of the Nazi ideology (as if you take hatred of the Jews away all you are left with is Nationalism -nothing any jingoistic American could criticize in others with a straight face; and Socialism, a failed ideology that admits of infinitely many gradations that go from the merely inefficient to the murderously psychopathic… as long as you stay closer to the first there is not that much to denounce there). According to Mr. Yiannopoulos and Mr. Bokhari the most vocal group within the alt-right, what they call the “meme brigade”:

Are they actually bigots? No more than death metal devotees in the 80s were actually Satanists. For them, it’s simply a means to fluster their grandparents. 

According to the authors, the only “bigotry” within the movement is confined to a tiny minority, the “1488ers” (the true believers), who they see as not very influential and more or less disregarded by all the rest.

Although Mr. Yiannopoulos is somewhat of a Twitter celebrity (banned and afterwards readmitted by the social network, where he obviously enjoys a numerous following, after some ugly comments towards the actress Leslie Jones that could be interpreted as being racist, which he undoubtedly hurled just to épater les burgeois and without actually meaning them…) with an audience in the order of a few hundred thousands, it may be more revealing to go to one of the alt-right leading web sites, the Daily Stormer, edited by Andrew Anglin and boasting a few millions of monthly visits, who recently published his own guide to the Alt-right: A normie's guide to the alt-right (one can not but think it is very much a response to Yiannopoulos & Bokhari, who he explicitly quotes in very disparaging terms). So much for the “accusation of Anti-Semitism is unfounded” defense. Front and center, the core belief of the alt-right, according to Mr. Anglin (which I think is many light years ahead of Mr. Yiannopoulos and Mr. Bokhari regarding legitimacy within the ranks) is that Jews dominate the world and are hell bent on exterminating the White race. You don’t need to go much further then to find an easy solution for all the ills and evils of modern society: get rid of the Jews and they will all miraculously correct themselves. Once you are at it, kick all other races out of the good ‘ol USofA for good measure. But not to worry, the Stormer assuages its potentially concerned readership with the following disclaimer:

We here at the Daily Stormer are opposed to violence. We seek revolution through the education of the masses. When the information is available to the people, systemic change will be inevitable and unavoidable.

Wow! I feel better already. When these nice people finally take power (more on that later) and start rounding up blacks and kikes to send them back to other countries where they will undoubtedly be happier between their natural brethren I’m sure they will instruct the police (and the army, both will need to be fused) to be polite and exquisitely civilized. No more Kristallnacht for you, that’s just barbarous and undignified. Nothing like a bit of education of the masses to have everybody understand what their place is and accept their fate without undue resistance. By the way, it is an interesting phenomenon that Anglin also talks about the 1488 as a separate group from himself, albeit much less disparagingly than Yiannopoulos & Bokhari. You have to go even more to the right (well into Stormfront territory) to find someone actually willing to identify as one…

What I’m driving at is that for a sizeable proportion of what calls itself “alt-right” (which overlaps substantially with the neo-reaction) any semblance of what we used to think as universally acceptable political discourse has been utterly rejected and abandoned. The way the see themselves is as a bunch of (so far) leaderless, distinctly intelligent people that have, independently, come to the same conclusion: the way the mainstream media reports about reality is not only highly biased, but craftily and willingly so, to hide the true reality of a socio-racial “war” already taking place, in which the superior class/race (well-off white heterosexual men) is being taken down by an alliance of feminists, blacks, the poor, Muslims and progressives (communists), with the witless acquiescence of the liberal left and the backstage organizing prowess of Jews (some NeoReactionaries, of Jewish origin themselves, substitute a vague cabal they call the “Cathedral” for the almost omnipotent Jews). As such conclusion flies in the face of what every scholar studying how society works today and has worked for the last twenty centuries knows and taches, the only “logical” and “reasonable” conclusion is that all such scholars are in cahoots with the MSM and the cabal that orchestrates such vast conspiracy, when not active participants in the same. And so the whole ideological construct escapes any possibility of empirical verification, as befits any paranoid schema for explaining the world (where lack of evidence, instead of militating against the plausibility of the whole thing just exacerbates its certainty, by reinforcing the hallucinatory perception of the deviousness and cunning of its instigators). The other thing all those intelligent guys have converged upon, and I think the two articles I’ve linked provide enough evidence, is that Donald Trump is a wonderful candidate, the best of all potential alternatives, and sure to receive their vote on November no matter what he does or say between today and then.

So I think it is pretty safe to state that some of Trump followers perfectly fit the traditional definition of Nazi (hell, they not only blame the Jews for all of society’s evils, but openly recognize Adolf Hitler as one of their heroes, and present nineteen thirties’ Germany as a paragon of virtuous society!) How many of them? I don’t know, and for reasons I’ll expound shortly thereafter, do not much care. The number that do not recoil from such label, the unrepentant Hitler fans is probably pretty small (a few hundred thousands tops). It is the number of those that are not troubled enough by such lack of recoiling to reconsider their vote, those that think that voting alongside a Jew-hating, Swastika-bearing brownshirt is preferable to stay home or (God forbid!) vote alongside the Democrats (many of whom are of a different race, oh hum!), which worries me. Because again, I know how many of those there are: Fifty five million. To put things in perspective, in the last election in Weimar Republic the Nazis (the true ones, no discussion of proper labeling here) ended up in power with a bit more than seventeen million votes, almost 44% (but that was after Hitler had already been appointed chancellor, after the Parliament’s arson was falsely attributed to the communists and a highly charged campaign in which the NSDAP had already most of the means of state coercion at its disposal, so may be a better figure is the amount of votes they received in the previous election, arguably the last “normal” one: a little bit less than twelve million, just a 33% of the electorate). We said the current American electorate is made up of 225 million citizens, of which only 55%, or 124 million, actually vote. So the 55 million willing to vote for Trump, regardless of who they associate with, constitute a “healthy” 44%. The Nazis didn’t need more back in the day.

Now, now! I can hear my readership uncomfortably rumbling in their seats while the implications of all this sink in. Am I saying the USA is heading towards a true National Socialist dictatorship with some genocide thrown in for good measure? Absolutely not, remember I think Hillary will win (which, by the way, does not mean that I want Hil to win, more on that later on). But just for the sake of historical perspective, of the 17 million Nazi voters in 1933 I bet my own (brown) shirt that only a very small minority would have heartily endorsed building concentration camps to send all the Jewish population there for extermination, burning books, giving extraordinary (and almost unlimited) powers to a secret police under direct control of the party (with no judicial review) and prohibiting free speech and any form of association not sanctioned by the state. Probably no more than a few hundred thousands were for all that since the beginning. Most just very strongly disliked the communists and socialists, and were willing to ignore the most unsavory elements of the “movement” they were voting with (rather than for). Like many Americans today just equally strongly dislike Democrats (many of which happen to be black, or to show more understanding to Latinos) and are willing to ignore the most unsavory elements of the alt-right that happen to be willing to vote for the same candidate as them. Both the original Nazis and the followers of the Daily Stormer have made their preferences and intentions abundantly clear, so nobody should be surprised if in the future the later act as the former did once in power…

But of course power is what the American right seems far, far from ever achieving, as the coalition they have been able to put together so for is still much smaller that the left’s. Unless they succeed, that is, prying a good chunk of the white working class from the Democrats (something they are already doing) and manage to make more significant inroads into the college educated and urban whites (the missing piece in the puzzle of their potential electoral majority). Something that may never happen. But let’s delve for a moment in the dynamic that this recognition of the racial animus behind a substantial part of the electorate is wont to have. The republican voters are going to get out of this election cycle not just bruised (with their candidate soundly defeated, especially when measured in terms of electoral college votes), and despondent of their ability to ever retake the white house (for the right wing media Hillary Clinton is the weakest candidate imaginable… if they have not been able to defeat her, with all the purported flaws that their opinion makers have been insisting on and exaggerating beyond all proportion, who will they ever be able to beat?), but with serious doubts about the legitimacy of the whole process.

What "their" media will have told them (and the fact that there are entirely different media for different parts of the public is itself a big part of the problem), once and again, is that they are the real victims of a system stacked against them, run by socialists that want to redistribute their hard earned wealth to undeserving “others” (mostly black and latino). That there are many just like them that do not buy in the previous consensus of “political correctness” that is just a thinly veiled justification for preserving such patently unfair status quo. That it is OK to rebel against that status quo, a rebellion that can take many forms, from rejecting affirmative action to seizing federal property á la Clive Bundy to murdering the attendants to a Black church á la Dylan Roof… if we are in the midst of a racial war, more glory to the warriors! The guys that were outside the fringe two electoral cycles ago now are fellow republican voters. They are not some loonies and wackos, but suddenly some people they have something in common with, which simply happen to espouse some more extreme version of ideas that are already out in the open, being discussed by perfectly acceptable people in the press and in TV. Because, and THIS is the seismic chance this election has brought, those are not any more the ideas that EVERYBODY is against. From now on they are the ideas that only the “liberals”, the “progressives” (or less respectful epithets: the “lefties”, the “commies”, the “libtards”, the “kikes”) are against. And the more ardently they denounce them, the more acceptable they will look like to those instinctively, pre-rationally opposed to the progressive worldview. What the embrace of Trump’s candidacy by the alt-right (what in any other place is called the extreme right, and for a long time has been the extra-parliamentary right due to its inability to attract enough electoral support) has achieved is the obliteration of the consensus against certain positions, like racism, Anti-Semitism or the acceptability of a police state unbound by constitution or law (in certain exceptional circumstances, but we know how such “extraordinary” situations tend to perpetuate themselves and end up being too much ordinary). Not only has such consensus been obliterated, but my prediction is that some of those positions will be openly embraced by bigger and bigger parts of the electorate, and some may even become part of a winning party’s platform in an advanced economy.

Big enough to eventually succeed? Even in the face of a concerted opposition from significant parts of the society? It all depends on how the whole of the economy goes. You rob the mob of much of its rightful indignation when you can buy it with the promise of increasing wealth for its members, and it is exactly the betrayal of that promise which has caused much of the discredit of the social compact of Western democracies. As long as the middle classes see that any improvement in the ability of their nation to produce riches is entirely hijacked by the wealthiest 1% (leveraging the competition from workers in low-pay, low-social-protection countries far away) I can see an inexhaustible well of animus and resentment easy to exploit by any demagogue. Our collective hope then rests in the ability of our leaders to reignite the growth engine of our free-market, rule-of-law based economies AND to ensure the fruits of such growth are equitable shared between all classes. Something especially challenging in the face of an exhausted dominant reason that seems unable to extract the necessary additional efforts from any substantial group (see Erik Hurst’s interview The Young These Days... about how more kids just choose to play videogames instead of pursuing an education that would land them in a shitty McJob anyway), doesn’t provide enough incentive for technological innovation, heck, doesn’t provide enough incentive for just reproducing… That is, we are essentially screwed 

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