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Suburban Populism Beats Rural Traditionalism In Mass Identity Politics

Race is indeed a major dividing line between human beings and their collective interests but class and culture is often at least as important.  The dissident right’s model of reality falls short when it focuses on race while ignoring class.  

Barack Obama, for example, is anathema to working class Whites as Trump is to upper middle class Whites.  People across the political spectrum seem to focus on Obama’s Blackness even though he is only half-Black and talks and acts White much of the time.  Race is a huge factor, but at least as significant is how Obama oozes a smarmy SWPL vibe.  When you combine race and class in one man, you end up with anti-red-state personified.  When Obama said “clinging to guns and religion” that was roughly equivalent to Trump saying “not sending their best” or “grab them by the pussy.”   

The upset defeat of Roy Moore is a good example of the importance of class and culture.  The focus on bibles and cowboy hats may have appealed to the rural working classes but alienated the suburban middle classes.  This leaves Reagan era conservatism and the religious right utterly discredited as decisive political forces.  Even a lame GOP candidate should have won easily in Alabama, by far too much for ballot stuffing in the cities to make a difference.
To be successful in politics, populists and racial identitarians must be able to reach across the huge class and culture barrier or at least, not be overtly threatening to the other side.

On right wing blogs and on gab I see endless discussion about everything from being “trad” to restoring the Christianity of the crusades(Deus Vult!).  Also pretty popular is posturing about getting married to virgins somewhere in rural Montana or putting sodomites back in the closet.  These are kind of cool-sounding concepts that establish an aesthetic and a “feel.”  They’re great for memes and trolling too. The problem with all these things is some people start to forget that this stuff is fantasy.

In the real world, most of America lives in the suburban orbit of the cities and not only does a minority live in the more traditional countryside, lots of them are old people.  The city and its hinterlands is where most the action is at.  The country has the advantage of providing safer territory for right wing populists to operate in, but in any kind of electoral politics, suburbanites both middle and working class have to be the main focus.  Even people in the country can use facebook and tinder now.  Going “trad” is a recipe for failure at this point.  Nobody really can go back or even really wants to.  The real question is what replaces obsolete, dead social structures.

That’s a problem that can’t really be dealt with until more urgent matters are settled first.  What most Euro-Americans can agree on now across class lines are the principles of alt-centrist tribal populism.  Everyone younger than boomers intuitively gets that the pie is either static or shrinking for most people no matter how headlines boast about unemployment or the stock market.  Thus the fundamental question all politics must address is how to increase the security and access to resources of a given group.  First, constituents need solid proposals of how they will materially benefit. 

Talking about “heritage” is a good start to set the tone, but the looming reality is we have jobs we have to show up at, bills to pay—and that’s what informs most of our actual actions.  European roots are just an abstraction for the typical suburban White American.  The way forward is to remind them how they are living in exile and can be forced to run away again at any time, how affirmative action turns their jobs into nightmares, how immigration legal or illegal crushes their wages, how the law fails to protect them from colored criminals and punishes them more severely, how their taxes fund the very parasites they struggle to fend off…

The mistake of speaking to principles and responsibility is no one actually wants those things.  Being principled and responsible is tough and in the modern workplace these behaviors are not rewarded, or even crushed and punished instead.  Nobody cares.  Successful politics offers people something they want.  The common complaint about the left’s successes is they give out “free stuff.”  Well, that’s exactly what a successful faction is supposed to do for its people.  If you don’t get a share of the plunder, why bother?  A political movement that spouts empty platitudes about individual responsibility while leaving its ordinary backers with empty pockets has already lost.

Heritage, tradition, cohesiveness, self-improvement, and responsibility are the legitimate language of nascent neo-tribes and cells of activists for whom loyalty and cooperation matters most—but it has no place in mass politics. 
Dissident activist groups already form a sort of cultural aristocracy, a tiny handful who make international headlines every time they appear in public.  As a vanguard they have a powerful ability to nudge the ship in the direction they want it to go, but they can’t forget—they are not the ship.
Most of us are still stuck on the 20th century idea that every successful idea must become a mass movement.  In the 21st century, there is a strategy for the cultural aristocracy and a lowest-common denominator approach for people who are just worried about paying the bills.

Both the counter-cultural aristocracy and regular people alike must understand how race, class, and culture intersect.  If there is excessive focus on race, the upper classes win by simply dividing the races against each other and making them fight over the crumbs.  It blinds identitarians to important institutional divides.

A video came out recently showing a white man abjectly begging police for his life as they scream contradictory instructions at him and make him play a life-and-death game of Simon says until they have an “excuse” to pull the trigger.  The guys who shot Daniel Shaver after treating him worse than an animal were White themselves.  But anyone with common sense knows the real color of a cop’s skin is Blue.

I have wanted to vomit in my mouth a bit every time I’ve seen right-wingers heaping praise on police and the military.  I’ve been perplexed at their sense of shock every time the institutions have turned on them.  Had they understood other factors than race, they would have known the enforcers of the system are their most natural enemies.
This is in fact an area where the alt-right and black lives matter share common ground.  These groups are also natural enemies but perhaps both could set aside their differences where the police are concerned.

Successfully pursuing identitarian interests will require just this kind of diplomatic nuance.  A group with an incorrect or incomplete model of reality can easily be triggered into counter-productive and self-destructive actions.  By indulging in delusion, the establishment left has been caught in a downward spiral since Trump came down the golden escalator.  Now their energies are consumed by feminist witch hunts, race-politics in sports, and obsession with fever dreams of impeachment.  Entrapment in that blinding haze of rage, panic, and pain is a fate any faction would wish to avoid. 

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