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Tag Archives: trump

All Focus on 2018 Midterms

There will be periodic excitement and panic but that should not distract from the next strategic bottleneck: the 2018 midterms.  Pretty much everything going on in politics should be seen in the context of the upcoming elections.  Last year, I predicted the next major step after Trump’s victory would be to somehow bring populist candidates into congress against establishment resistance.  To my relief, we are already seeing the first challengers step up and so far the support they need seems to be there.

It is tempting to fixate on the president, but he has been mostly neutralized until he has more support from within the system.  I will assume for now he’s not going to commit obvious political suicide by signing an illegal immigrant amnesty and what we’re seeing is more showmanship to get people angry and energized.  This posturing is hurting him, but with no good moves available, he may be gambling it will hurt congress more and keep things in turmoil for everyone.

Since Trump has little actual power in the government, the most meaningful litmus test is whether he acts to increase his power.  We will know he is still serious if he fully backs GOP challengers leading up to midterms.  Failing that, we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that he has resigned himself to spending his retirement as a ceremonial figurehead.

So far, it is promising that he has steadily distanced himself from Ryan, McConnell, and the GOPe since they humiliated him on the senate floor by getting his hopes up and then immediately sinking the healthcare debate.  I have also noticed Trump has spent far less time in a White House controlled by the permanent bureaucracy and the pentagon.  It is encouraging that the frequency of leaks has dwindled ever since he started shifting his base of operations.  Now, in the coming months, he needs to endorse candidates like Kid Rock.

As the mood gets doomier and gloomier I hear more people say “we can’t vote our way out of this.”  They are right that the underlying problems are systemic but if we are persistent we will find the political process is still useful enough.  In any case, there is no reason to allow the establishment free control over any battlefield.

People tend to forget what everybody accepted as common sense just a few months ago.  This human cognitive weakness makes it easy for us to forget the strategic value of gaining every political advantage only to have nothing happen.  In less than a year, the public attitude toward government has shifted from cautious, fading reverence to outright cynicism and disgust.  Even “normies” are starting to discuss whether this democracy is still viable.  The importance of this shift should not be underestimated.  From the perspective of a dissident, discrediting the edifice of hostile rulers is nearly as good as taking over the system.

So if we are patient and can ignore distractions and drama, we keep pressing until either the populists finally gain political traction or the entire system is shown to be a sham.  Either of those outcomes is a big loss for the ruling establishment.

Update 9/17/17: I hardly wrote about Trump needing to help friendly populist candidates only to discover he’s actually attacking them by campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama!  If this nonsense persists, it will sink him as surely as an amnesty deal.
Acting directly against his own self-interest means that Trump is, for now, effectively a puppet.
Update: 9/26/17: Trump’s backing of Strange came across as rather half-hearted and he also said good things about Moore.  It looks like Trump is powerless for now but thankfully his cooperation in this seems by no wish of his own.  Bereft of any ability to affect the politics, he is now attacking the culture, which is upstream of politics, with devastating effect.  The NFL will never be the same after this.

Observations Leading Up To Bannon Resignation

I will break with my usual habit of waiting for things to settle down a bit and indulge in some speculation.  At this point, things may not settle down for quite awhile.

Over the last few weeks I have observed that Trump has been spending progressively more time away from DC operating out of Bedminster and Trump Tower instead.

My suspicion is this behavior is entirely intentional, especially since it seems to have increased the moment General Kelly was moved to the White House.  I also noticed the media is attacking Trump over the length of his absences.  Trump has pointed to convenient renovations going on in the White House as justification, assuring the public that affairs of state are proceeding as usual.

Now, this behavior pattern has continued for weeks and could become the new normal.  Once one 17 day “work vacation” ends we shouldn’t be too surprised as another excuse is contrived with Trump only commuting to DC for several hours at a time as needed.  Meanwhile, it seems as though the leaks have abruptly stopped.

With this development, it is far less surprising to me that Bannon is leaving a White House that is no longer Trump’s center of operations.  Both men have found the DC swamp to be intractable and are now trying to gain leverage from outside it.

As far as I can tell, Trump tried his utmost to work with the Republican party establishment, backing their legislative initiatives to the hilt so they could accumulate some political capital for midterms.  Over time the tone of Trump’s tweets shifted from praising Paul Ryan’s leadership to criticizing Congress for not keeping promises they had made for years.

The final break happened when McCain cast the vote to get Obamacare repeal to the debate stage in the senate.  McCain then cast the vote to kill the debate as if to say “Just kidding!”  This public humiliation on the senate floor was finally too much.  The GOPe had openly admitted they would drag their feet indefinitely in order to wreck the president.  With midterms just over a year away, there was no more time to waste.

Trump brought in an outside consultant to sack his ambassador to the GOP starting a crazy chain of events that continues to cascade.
Furious that Trump was going off script even with McMaster there to “guide” him the beltway generals made sure Kelly got moved to chief of staff for good measure so the “pentagon boarding party” could keep the White House under lock and key.

Trump reacted by starting to contrive excuses to be away most of the time where he is likely establishing his own control structures with people he trusts. 

This time, when the president broke free of the generals to make an independent statement on Charlottesville, they had no immediate way of shutting him down.  Kelly was there, but as his despondent reaction revealed, he was powerless to intervene when unmoored from his place of power. 

With the GOPe’s strong condemnation of Trump’s statements and apparent support for tearing down historical monuments, all pretense of civility has been dropped.  They have hugely overextended with their unpopular positions and have created an opening for Trump to start displacing them in the upcoming midterms.

I am seriously wondering if I now see what may effectively be the emergence of two rival executive branches.  One run by the Pentagon, political establishment, and corporations in DC and another run from New York.  Perhaps we will get to see which is Rome and which is Avignon.

Charlottesville Will Help Alt-Dissidents

Right now the dust is still settling and people are still wrought up and that is a good thing. There are lots of objections and black pills.  I will address some:

They had bad optics!
Nothing they could have done would have assuaged their opponents in the least.  This has been proven ad nauseum.  Internally discourage the worst excesses like Nazi flags, Wehrmacht helmets, or anything KKK, but otherwise let it go.  Charlottesville should be enough to bury thoughts of appeasement for good.

But they did x thing wrong!
In making a move from the internet into meatspace lots of stuff is going to go wrong.  Real life is sloppy.  Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.  Remember how many panicked said it was the end of the world when Spencer said “Hail victory, hail Trump?”  That was a mistake, but everyone learned from it quickly and used the real-life feedback to adjust their strategy.
The important fact of Charlottesville is we saw an internet-based movement make a major transition into physical space.  That’s all that will matter.  Armchair generals gonna armchair.  They will always handwring over what could have been better while others go out and do things.

Trump Didn’t Help!
Mainstream political figures can’t overtly sympathize with those on extreme ends of the spectrum.  Do we ever see someone like Hillary Clinton praising the antifas?  Of course not!
Politicians deal with extremists in their coalition by pretending they don’t exist.  Trump refused to explicitly condemn the alt-rightists and that’s all that is needed, or can be reasonably expected from him.  Just imagine what the situation would be if Hillary Clinton were in power instead?  I don’t think the public emergence of the alt-right would have been politically possible.  Had it even been attempted, the leaders would have ended up in jail.  We’d have been busy fighting to prevent Chinese-style internet censorship and thereby losing even the ethereal platform we have.
A favorable leader gives the extremists a tacit nod that they will be unopposed as long as they don’t cross certain lines.   Then it’s up to the fringe political operators to achieve their objectives with the slack they’re given.

They Were Naive! What did they think would happen!
The whole point has been to play by the letter of the rules, one rule at a time so eventually an approach of moderation and appeasement becomes totally indefensible.  In this respect, Charlottesville is a brilliant success.  No one can ever again seriously argue that being more conciliatory is a reasonable approach.  This will ultimately force many fence-sitters squarely into the radical camp.

Now the Normies Hate Us! 
The vast majority of people go along to get along so long as their bread and butter isn’t immediately threatened.  They’d rather watch netflix, have a normal social life, and feed their families.  They can be thought of as neutrons.  Maybe they collectively have a weak gravitational pull but are otherwise inert.  The interaction of the charged particles is what matters.  As the course of the mainstream changes, those who go with the flow change with it.  So long as there is at least one significant demographic that is somewhat sympathetic towards the radicals, they’ll be fine.  Comments on Breitbart and the_donald suggest to me the necessary support is there.

This Proves the Institutions Are All Against Us!
This only disillusions people even more. Charlottesville even redpills people regarding the cops.  Until now it’s been a common sentiment on the right that law-enforcement will be on their side.  This expectation has now been proven horribly wrong.  At first, many may react with despair as each established institution lets its mask slip when pressured.  In the long run, it helps destroy the legitimacy of the system as its true nature is methodically exposed in all its facets.  The vast majority will just keep going to their day jobs no matter what happens but there is a proper audience that sees what’s happening and cares.  Even if they do nothing, it is essential to have a base of sympathizers. Even making ordinary, contented people feel the system is no longer infallible or the best possible way of life is enough.

The Deaths Will Drown Out The Message!
The people who got ran over make sure the story is on the front page of every publication and everyone’s heard of it.  Hillary Clinton’s alt-right speech made normal middle class people aware of an alt-right consisting of civic-nationalist infowars and breitbart.  Now the public has been introduced to the ethnic-identitarian alt-right as a movement.  Simply entering into the mainstream consciousness is a major milestone and implicitly expands the window of political views.  Breitbart is not longer the farthest, scariest edge before you reach the KKK.
That the accident took place as someone panicked while under attack means the alt-right can’t really be blamed for it.  A deliberate attack by an alt-rightist would have been a genuine disaster and of course that’s what they were hoping for, but they didn’t get it.
They can spin it so many people, who are implacably unfavorable anyway, think nazis are out to run people over, but they can’t actually do anything to perpetuate it more than a couple news cycles or get the leverage to force Trump to denounce the alt-rightists.

Overall:
Charlottesville was a significant strategic victory for the dissidents even if some might see it as a tactical defeat.
They conclusively proved for anyone who was receptive that the established order cannot be reasoned with.  At the same time, the core groups are energized by the official beginning of white civil rights.
For everyone else, they only need to be known.  Being a household name will be all that matters in getting them future international attention and recognition.

Update 8/16/2017: Every time before the antifas have engaged in a strategic action and then immediately melted away.  This kept it so most Americans hadn’t really heard of them.   The C’ville protest has triggered them into staying out in plain sight where they are massively overextending by lashing out with no long term strategy.  This has against my wildest expectations allowed the president to publicly denounce them.  This is  a huge victory for alt-dissidents!  The establishment has either lost control of their thugs or they have been baited into revealing their true nature in front of millions.  Humiliated in 2016, they are further exposed as both weak and incompetent.

Syrian Strike, North Korea: A Formative Moment For the Alt-Sphere

For months factions have quarelled about what the alt-right is, who are its leaders, if anybody, and what it believes with only wavering ground of agreement. Then President Trump fired missiles on Syria and the reaction from these disparate groups was overwhelming.

The anti-establishment internet has come out in force against the attack, and especially against any further moves towards intervention.  For the first time, red pill PUAs, white nationalists, alt-lite civic nationalists, neo-reactionaries, alt-left former Bernie supporters find themselves all on the same page.

Meanwhile, a faction of optimate neocons begins to solidify with warhawk republicans and SJW libs alike coming out in favor of new Middle Eastern wars.  Even progressive-leaning politicians like Elizabeth Warren were agreeing something must be done about Syria.

What to think when even the president’s sworn political enemies want to “hold accountable” the leaders of far-away lands over their own domestic policy—and for no clear US gain?  Actually, the clear US gain is to simply allow Assad to finish crushing ISIS!

Even Rand Paul, a republican known for some anti-establishment leanings, seems to disapprove but draws things out and chooses his words very carefully.

While many Trump supporters are disappointed or even disillusioned by the attack, it becomes increasingly clear that no one, whatever their professed beliefs, would have brought significant change to American foreign policy.

The flimsy excuse of “chemical attacks” that’s been recycled for decades now only hammers in the point.  We have established beyond a doubt that the problem is systemic.

The best move is not to panic and run, but to stay firmly in the Trump camp for now making our presence felt.  The Syria attack may have been one of Trump’s trial balloons which may well have just been shot down with all the firepower the anti-establishment can bring to bear.

The alt-right is actually pretty small, but it’s so easy to overestimate its size because that’s where the new growth and the energy is at.  Audacious Epigone aptly describes them as the “trench warriors” who got Trump into office.

Dissidents have made unimaginable progress since the beginning of the 2016 election entering into mainstream visibility as a political force for the first time.  But now the limits of that influence become clear.

The next obvious step is the rise of politicians who don’t just smile and wink at the dissidents from time to time while “disavowing” but profess their beliefs outright.

We’ll know we’re on the right track when there are leaders who unequivocally and unreservedly denounce pointless foreign interventions, sappy globalist claptrap, and traitorous open-border cuckery while saving the majority of their energy for domestic policy.

It’s time to figure out how to make neo-populists a force in their own right if it turns out the present order is impermeable and unchangeable.

At this moment, we are seeing a new standoff over North Korea, this time possibly with Chinese cooperation.  If that’s so, Trump’s maneuvering may actually have paid off impressively.

However cleverly done, though, nuclear brinksmanship isn’t the reason people put Trump in office.  It would be a big accomplishment if North Korea comes out of this confrontation chastened, but America’s real problems right now are internal.

I understand arguments that Trump wants to reassure his allies after Obama showed weakness and that North Korea is trying to develop missiles that can reach the USA.

The problem with this policy is eventually, most nations will have their house atomics.  North Korea’s boss, China, already is a major nuclear power.  What’s next, unilaterally blowing up Iranian reactors?
It’s 1940s technology and most nations that want to will be able to eventually find the materials and expertise.  
If that’s not something humanity can cope with, perhaps we have the answer to Fermi’s paradox(not yet finding signs of other sentient life).

The alt-sphere finds itself facing its first big challenges as a visible political influence. Like all politics there is a delicate line to walk.  Too strident, you lose your place at the bargaining table.  Too docile, you get nothing anyway.  From now on it will be about finding that sweet spot.

A lot of objectives are already meeting with success:
-The TPP was killed almost immediately.
-Illegal immigration is plummeting.
-ICE has been far more active within US borders.
-Originalist Supreme Court Justice confirmed.
-Some encouraging initial reports that corporations may be returning operations to the US.

However, the re-emergence of neocon foreign policy is profoundly worrying and the rustlings and shufflings of power struggles within the administration are ominous to say the least.  

Critics like Hunter Wallace pointed out all along that a cabinet full of establishment generals, Wall Street bankers, corporate open-borders apologists, big party donors was bound to cause problems.

I guess many of us supposed Trump would somehow bend them all to his will but it seems the simple fact is, people are who they associate with the most.  So special attention must be paid to the last alt-right and nationalist figures in the cabinet.

Like elite classes throughout history, the present elite are unwilling to accept their decline.  If they back off, they will still have social status and their mansions in Potomac and Arlington for awhile living an easy life in an Edwardian twilight.  If they put all their chips down on keeping all the power they’ve got, it will start to get interesting.

Though vilified as a Nazi, Trump ran, for the most part, as a center-right moderate as he has been for most of his life.  I’ve said before:  Obama was the establishment’s last chance to fix the system.  Trump is the system’s last chance.  If this round fails to produce satisfactory solutions, it is possible that the door is opened to the spread of more radical sympathies.

Why the Attack on Syria?

I won’t mince words: Trump’s decision to launch missiles into Syria is a disaster.  In reactions across the internet I am seeing justifications but in no way do the advantages come close to outweighing the costs.
I will address a few:

Trump wanted to intimidate China and North Korea
I doubt the Chinese president is easily frightened and making Kim Jong Un too nervous or desperate could turn Seoul and then the whole Korean peninsula into a smoking crater.

Russians and Syrians had time to evacuate/runways weren’t destroyed etc.
It’s still an act of war on another nation’s territory.  You don’t get brownie points or gold star stickers for playing nice at war.  These measures prevented immediate escalation to actual war but has worsened relations that were already pretty bad for no real reason.  If the goal was to get rid of ISIS why is the US attacking the people who were successully getting rid of ISIS?

That’ll Shut Up the Media About Russian Conspiracy Theories!
This didn’t stop Trump in the election when he was far more vulnerable, it certainly wasn’t going to stop his presidency. Wiretapping ploys and Rice unmaskings were already effectively countering the fake hysteria. Nothing about this relatively small problem required a risky foreign policy move.

Trump showed those pansies he’s not another wimpy Obama!
Trump got elected in part because his opponent was openly agitating for war with Russia and Syria that no one wants.   Obama and Hillary’s disastrous Syria policy helped ISIS form in the first place! Now we’re back to square one after spending nearly two years on the election?

The Syrians were gassing their own peoplez! Look at the cute dead kidz!
We all know this was just an excuse.  It’s irrelevant whether it’s fabricated or not. Trump’s whole America First campaign was a reaction to this kind of moralistic world policing.

The most rational possible reason I can think of for this idiocy is Trump has to make some concessions to the neocons or they would have just let the democrats filibuster Gorsuch indefinitely. 

Trump’s administration desperately depends on getting new justices into the supreme court.  For millions of American voters who did not like Trump, that’s the one issue that pushed them over the edge.  Furthermore, he desperately needs to break the impasse that is preventing him from acting decisively on immigration, the single biggest issue that put him in power.

I recognize it’s a tough situation, a sacrifice of some kind may have been necessary to grease the wheels, but I do not think this sacrifice was worth it.
The optics of attacking Syria right as Hillary came out and asked for it, with all the neocons celebrating afterwards is terrible.

It has just been openly demonstrated that no matter who you vote for, you still get pointless bombs and wars in the Middle East while the same old elites pat each other on the back.
Over $100 million dollars worth of cruise missiles just got dumped on a distant land most Americans could care less about for no real gain.
These conspicuous displays of waste while dams are crumbling and highways are burning down at home starts to sound a lot like just another chorus of “let them eat cake.”

So now Gorsuch is in, a key victory for Trump.  But the meta is even more important.
Now that Americans have seen appointed federal judges can block anything they don’t like…
Now that they’ve seen you get war and bombs in the Middle East no matter who you vote for…
The whole democracy really starts to look like a thinly veiled fiction.  And if that last veil gets stripped away, judges are just silly ugly old people in robes playing make-believe and all you have left is force.

From the start of his campaign, Trump shrewdly sought to curry favor with the military.  He understood if he was going to go against the entire political establishment, he would need solid backing to stay in power against contrived coups.

Unfortunately, we might be discovering a hard truth that neo-con politicians are just the political arm of the military top brass.  

Generals tend to be establishment to the core and incestuously in bed with military industrial contractors.  So perhaps we’ve found the limits of what voting can accomplish.  
Some grudging concessions on immigration and jobs perhaps, but the flow of trillions to contractors who pretend to design fighter planes and wars in the interests of the US’ biggest arms customers must continue.

The problem is the country is being bled dry and the farce is becoming obvious to millions.  Generals can’t really seize power directly until their troops are willing to fire on fellow citizens and if they tried that, they’d find their authority doesn’t go as far outside the beltway as they think.

So Trump still has considerable bargaining power even though he’s under a lot of pressure—if he wants to use it.  In retrospect perhaps we can now see the coils tightening.  Flynn replaced with someone more in line with the innermost circles and now possibly Bannon getting edged out of favor?
At this time all we can do is wait and see what happens next.

The Trump Era And Iran

Iran hasn’t been a major expansionist power since the 17th century.  The modern state of Iran is a pale shadow compared to any of the empires across milennia based in the Persian homeland.
There frankly isn’t much reason for the United States to make Iran a top foreign policy priority.  They may eventually get nukes but Pakistan, a state infinitely worse than Iran already has nukes and the world hasn’t ended yet.

Aside from influence over Middle East client states, the US and Iran have no real conflicts of interest.  Rivalry with Iran was largely manufactured by US meddling in Iranian affairs.  For some bizarre reason the US establishment just can’t get over the fact that their Shah didn’t work out 40 years ago and that they need to move on.  It’s not unlike their inability to adjust to the fact that the USSR no longer exists.

President Trump, as of this writing, has just fired his national security advisor, Michael Flynn.  There are many flimsy-sounding official reasons for the dismissal but I suspect it is not without coincidence it comes shortly after Flynn put Iran “on notice” after the test launch of a missile.

Iran responded by launching more missiles and the US was again left looking foolish and impotent.
It looks like Trump took Flynn’s advice regarding Iran, but perhaps had his reservations because he made Flynn publicly own the announcement rather than doing it himself and taking the credit.

When Flynn’s sabre-rattling backfired, Trump may have decided to pull the plug even though he must understand that the optics are damaging to his administration.

 He acted similarly many times firing staff during his campaign with everyone saying he was finished and his organization falling apart.  These kinds of plays shouldn’t surprise us by now.

The open belligerence expressed by Flynn, when backed by no credible threat, makes no sense and makes the situation worse.  We need only reflect on how W Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ needlessly inflamed and encouraged his designated enemies.

Why on earth would anyone want to keep their enemies “on notice?”  Why not keep them guessing about their relationship with the US and always leave room for negotiation?  I remember how neocons and cuckservatives revolted when Obama merely said he would be willing to “talk to Iran.”  What kind of national leaders could express outrage at conducting diplomacy, a basic function of state?  This is the sort of childish idiocy an adult like Trump has to tear out by the roots.

Iran is a state with paranoid tendencies as one would expect of a land that has been under the influence of foreign powers for the last 200 years and invaded from every direction by every group for thousands of years.  Their nation lies at a natural geo-political crossroads so their government naturally has a hardliner temperament somewhat similar to that of Russia.  The key distinction that the US misunderstands is their outlook is primarily defensive in nature.
Beyond a buffer client zone in the Shia regions of Iraq along with its Shia holy cities, Iran really doesn’t seem to aspire to that much at the moment.  They have proxies all over the Middle East, but more to destabilize Sunni powers they fear than anything else.

I actually think Obama had the right general policy direction even if he was forced to by circumstance.  When his pet Syrian revolutionaries blew up into ISIS he went crawling on his knees to Tehran begging for them keep an independent Iraq in existence on paper at least.  The price was that he had to make humiliating concessions.

I think he still could have done a better job of playing the situation, though, considering he was paying the Iranians to do what they desperately wanted to do anyway.  I have to give him credit though for at least opening a dialogue when no one else in the establishment would.

The Western powers can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that Iran as the central power of Shi’ite Islam with its own great share of the petroleum market is the natural enemy of Sunni powers.  The potential for playing them off against each other should be obvious.

The US had its chance to take the Sunni side of that divide when they backed Saddam Hussein as a relatively secular Arab Nationalist leader of Iraq.  Had diplomacy been conducted with a more realpolitik understanding back then, perhaps Iraq would have been allowed to absorb Kuwait as an ally’s reward after their hard-fought war with Iran.
Perhaps that extra infusion of oil money would have enabled America’s then-ally to go back and pose a greater threat.

But that’s alternate history and now it actually makes more sense to play Iran against the Sunni Middle East and thereby have some leverage over them from behind the scenes.  At the very least, it makes sense to defuse decades of pointless hostility with Iran.  
If the US had wanted to pursue that route, it already could have with a strong ally before it invaded that ally twice, deposed its ruler, and left behind a yawning power vacuum that has caused endless headaches ever since.

At present, Iran aligns with Russia to the frustration of the establishment, but this connection need not exist.  Historically, Russian and Persian powers have been bitter enemies that have fought many wars.  Their co-operation is far from inevitable.  Theirs is an alliance made necessary by American intransigence.  As the US drove the Iranians into the arms of the Soviet Union, it now pushes them towards Russia.  If it were to become a foreign policy goal to divide them, it ought not to be that difficult.  Just encourage both to have more ambitions in the Caucasus.

For the time being, Iranian-Russian cooperation has been beneficial in keeping the Middle East from descending into complete chaos while for once the US can watch from afar as someone else puts in all the blood and sweat.

US establishment rhetoric toward Iran has frustrated me for years.  Their stupid heavy-handedness in all things has destroyed their credibility until even a non-politician TV billionaire can step in and push them aside.  Some inflammatory statements about Crimea aside, I am hoping Trump has the sense not to get drawn into the cult of unilateral, irrational belligerence.

Update 2/17/17: Was the Flynn firing also a ploy to draw out and expose enemies within the state and intelligence agencies?  Very intrigued to see what happens next.  Like in the election, Trump keeps people guessing, as he should.

Trump Foreign Policy: Post-Unilateralism

Coalition, or no, whether other nations were willing or not, the brand of America has been built on unilateral foreign policy.  The world’s only superpower was also the world’s policeman.
Power, however, is a tool and as with money even great amounts of it are easily squandered without clear objectives and a sensible strategy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was seen as the ultimate legitimation of unilateral diplomacy, an eternal blank check for Wilsonian exceptional interventionism at the “end of history.”

Every president since Reagan doubled down on this nonsense until it reached a climax of absurdity under George W. Bush.  Obama finally toned it down a little bit, because he had to.  Meddling went on unabated, but with most of America’s once abundant international political capital finally frittered away there was only so much he could do.  By the end of his presidency he was a laughingstock openly mocked by the Chinese leadership, insulted by the leader of the Philippines, and regarded with thinly veiled contempt by Russia.

Trump leads a reaction to a political establishment that has been utterly discredited by its decades of relentless ineptitude and failure despite holding every possible strategic advantage.
It has been clear since Trump’s campaign he envisions a US that conducts foreign policy as a nation among nations, not as a bombastic world police that clumsily throws its weight around.

This will mean, thank goodness, far less meddling in the affairs of other nations and a restoration of balances of power.  By wielding power with a lighter hand, it will become possible to accomplish far more.

The US can begin to create a post-exceptionalist, post-unilateral world by simply withdrawing US military interference.
Having US bases while limiting the military power of the host countries has increased the burden on the US while merely infuriating neighboring powers needlessly.

If the US removes most of its troops and involvement in NATO it forces EU nations to spend far more of their wealth on defense.  If Europe insured itself against Russian aggression, Russia would possibly be more amenable to talking about its interests elsewhere…

With a stable balance of power between the EU bloc and Russia, the US could have more constructive conversations with Russia regarding its extremely long border with China.  China is the only world power with potential, besides a real United States of Europe, to be in the same league as the USA.
America and China are presently economic partners joined at the hip, but we must think towards the long game.  Even as the US-Chinese relationship exists now, why not encourage other powers to contain them, giving the US more bargaining leverage?
In light of this, the complete obsession of the USA’s establishment with the Middle East and anti-Russian sentiment is perplexing.  A major foreign policy coup of the 21st century will be to split Russia from China as Nixon once split China away from the Soviet Union.

America could also withdraw from Japan forming a new, more equal relationship and encouraging Japanese re-armament and cooperation with Taiwan to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions.
Hopefully, a post-exceptional international order would see the US and Europe able to freely operate with the emerging great power of China hampered by its nervous neighbors.  Why meddle when we need only encourage them to do what serves themselves?  The Daoist maxim to “do without doing” will be very appropriate in coming years.

Regarding Korea, it is ironic that if the US renounced its military commitments in the South, it’s possible the Chinese would become suddenly more amenable to discussing phasing out a client state of North Korea they have no special love for, but have kept around as a buffer against a clumsily over-aggressive US.  Add some diplomatic pressure from  neighboring powers, and perhaps an understanding could be arrived at where none is possible now…

Much of the benefits of a post-unilateral foreign policy come from simply undoing the heavy-handed status quo that counter-productively plays at imperialism.  From now on we may see the US doing more with less or in other words, “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

Trump vs. The Courts

They’re making the same mistake they did during the election.  Committing too much of their forces too early instead of picking their fights and keeping their powder dry for the right time.
In two weeks we’ve already seen endless protests, riots against free speech, and now political power plays from  the judiciary.  What unplayed cards will they still have up their sleeves in two months?

They can have media outrage over everything President Trump does or says.  They can try to hold up his confirmation hearings for his cabinet just ’cause.  They can have judges declare it’s unconstitutional for him to tie his own shoelaces.  They can never “normalize” him or examine the possibility that he’s anything other than Hitler or the devil incarnate.
The thing about effective use of power though is it needs to used like a tool, with precision and in the pursuit of decisive objectives.
Using a frantic scattershot approach is bound to lose.  Try winning at chess or go behaving like that!

If the opposition had chosen key times and places to block Trump spaced out over the next couple of years, they may have succeeded in sapping his momentum and the popular support he requires to stay in power when both parties hate his guts.  This indiscriminate shitshow though will backfire.  A hundred million Americans are watching this happen with shock and the quick succession of events is keeping their attention.

If the judiciary shows it is just another political body without any sense of impartiality or fair play then it loses its legitimacy.  Even if they succeeded in stopping Trump cold from now on, no one would take them seriously anymore as keepers of the law.
This corrosion would leave them vulnerable to a new wave of demagogues that would have them begging for the good old days of a center-right moderate like Trump.
Their total inability to keep the long game in mind or even to approach issues right in front of them with a coherent strategy reminds us why they are falling from power in the first place.  Their ineptitude is great enough, if Trump doesn’t clear them out, someone else far worse for them will.

Today, there will be a hearing in the 9th circuit court over a judge’s ruling that prohibits Trump to mandate the exercise of his most basic constitutional duties.  We are about to see how far they want to escalate this right now and whether they have any basic common sense.  If this goes to the Supreme Court we are entering Dredd Scott decision territory.  It wouldn’t be the first time the courts have been openly co-opted as a political weapon and once that is done, the rule of law itself is undermined.

Update 2/9/17: They really did it.  They ruled against the ban and this escalates further…

No Going Back to the 1950s – And What Lies Ahead

Some who celebrate (or mourn) Trump’s victory seem to think we will return to the 1950s status quo.
That won’t happen as never in history has any other historical period been revived despite the best efforts of thousands of years of reformers.  Erasmus always loses and even a successful Diocletian or Constantine end up creating something new rather than bringing back the old.
What we are left with is to figure out where we’re at and where the forces in play will take us.

To begin with, a majority of marriage age adults are now single and I do not foresee the trend away from matrimony will change anytime soon.  In practice a society of “free love” leaves a majority of males making free love to their hands but everyone dreams of having multiple desirable partners, the fulfillment of which always seems to be just a few clicks away.  Though most people will mathematically end up losers, the lure of being a winner is just too good to pass up.  Besides, the old system just isn’t cool.
Customs of matrimony require centuries, if not millennia of traditional reinforcement to establish and once undone require the right forces to coalesce once more.  Matrimony is reinforced by a pre-industrial world where resources are much scarcer and the long term pooling of resources between males, females, and their families is necessary for survival.  Marriage isn’t fun and it never was for fun.  It’s all about preserving resources in hard times and providing support for offspring whose survival was uncertain even with the best possible care.  So long as most people feel confident they’ll at least be able to eat and that their illegitimate kids will survive, it won’t change.  The combination of a steady basic food supply with low hopes of property acquisition, and social atomization that discourages pooling of family resources is an especially potent combination of disincentives.
Marriage will become much like it used to be, an institution that mostly serves the needs of the propertied classes.

The religion of the 1950s is not coming back either.  Even back then, it had been going steadily downhill in influence for centuries.  Christian religion requires faith in abstractions that is difficult to maintain in a world where information on every subject is abundant.  From now on, Christianity will only be useful as a value system for the prole classes, never again as the ruling ideology of a society with mass modern communications.
From now on, spiritual feeling will revolve around symbols and symbolic people that make abstract social concepts tangible.  We are seeing already a return to idolatry.  As people once imagined earthly human hierarchies in heaven and hell, they will return to a more primitive mindset of regarding earthly human hierarchies as heavenly.  Many only somewhat ironically refer to President Trump as God-Emperor.  They all know he is just a man, but they associate the idea of God-Emperor with the social and political forces he represents, just as Zeus represents lightning storms and leadership of his pantheon, or Hades stands for the land of the dead and riches mined from the earth.  
It may seem absurd at first but for human minds that cannot rightly grasp the magnitude of a million people any more than the size of a galaxy, godhood is the best concept to describe those humans whose barest whims affect the lives of millions.
The primary purpose of spirituality will not be to legitimize a moral philosophy but as in the days of cavemen to usefully describe the ethereal social sphere through concrete metaphor.

The economy of the 1950s is not coming back either.  Trump will be doing the right thing by at least removing policies that make the problem even worse and buy us some time, but no one can change the underlying forces. Human labor will be ever less in demand as world economic growth becomes static.  The seemingly endless easy gains of the industrial revolution are coming to an end and we have been entering a sort of new dark age.
I have a saying “diversity is easy in times of plenty” because once you have a pie that’s either static or actually shrinking the need to survive combined with the extreme competitive pressures in a free sexual market reduces the whole world into two categories.
-People who increase your chances of securing scarce resources and social status.
-Everybody else.

The forces in play are pushing humanity back towards tight tribal associations.  We now see widening fault lines along ethnicity and class and that will continue—but ultimately determining allegiances will be complicated.  Especially as it becomes more permissible to analyze humans by intelligence and temperament just as if they were breeds of dogs, so will humans divide up by neurotype and form the basis of the tribe-state.

The basis of sovereignty will no longer be primarily by geographical territory, but by the existence of a group, the culture it shares, the wealth it controls, the political power it wields.  In any given state or city in the West there are representatives of every type of person we can imagine.  Secession as we once would have imagined it is impossible.  What we will end up with is nation-tribes doing business, making treaties, and when that fails making war, as often by buying up real estate and businesses or setting the doctrine in schools as by outright violence.

Right now, Trump is among the first generation of leaders of the Neo-Tribal dark ages.  He rose to power on class and ethnic loyalties with a persona of stripped of pleasantries appropriate to the norms of our more barbaric times.  He gives us a template of what leaders will look like from now on.  In a dark age, people believe leaders should have the biggest winning rather than the finest principles.  So from now on the people in charge will be aggressive, generous desert sheikhs flaunting the money and harems everyone else admires.  The most honorable man will be he who has many children, has slain many men in battle, and delivered bounties of plunder to his followers.  With the old social contract shredded to pieces the people will have no more patience for staid married family men who are frightened of saying anything mean.

The tears and screaming of Hillary supporters is not irrational.  They sense in their guts, correctly, that their social universe is going through the apocalypse.  The system they have devoted their entire lives to as virtuous cooperator acolytes with all its ritual jumping through credentialist hoops and saying the right things for status is beginning to crumble all around them.  They have massive investment and sunk costs all up in flames.  They do not even know of, cannot even begin to understand anything else.  Learning in one cataclysmic event that history does not always favor “progress” is like a sheltered true believer hearing someone say “God doesn’t exist” for the first time.  It is to face a horrifying void.  Against every doctrine they were ever taught once-invincible civilization is actually regressing.

We return to primitive norms because only the extreme pressures of civilization ever made us otherwise.  This is why civilizations always change overnight the moment people have enough wealth to have any alternative whatsoever.  Civilizations persist by keeping people secure enough but at bare subsistence enough that they cannot dream too far and therein lies its fatal weakness when confronted with the slightest taste of prosperity.  The real change this time, though, is the access individuals have to information—far more agile and orders of magnitude beyond what even the printing press could offer.  Societies both primitive and civilized require most people to be ignorant so they can be indoctrinated into irrational beliefs that hurt the individual while benefiting the whole.  The result of millions empowered to advocate in their own interests is a recipe for upheaval, and so we go forward into uncertain territory.

21st Century Nationalism Is Not The Nation-State

As we witness the rise of populist-nationalist reformers all around the world, there is much confusion about what this nationalism actually means.  I get the impression that many think they are going back to the nationalism of an earlier time, but there is no resurrecting the past.

What we have called nationalism is the philosophy of the nation-state that arose in the 1860s.  Whether in Italy, Japan, or America we saw a vast expansion of state power and centralization enabled by the industrial revolution era technologies like the railroad and the telegraph.  The basic idea was that the country was divided up into departments handled by groups of bureaucrats in the capital city.
Mass public education inculcated all the nation’s children in the same values and eradicated local dialects and languages in favor of the speech of the capital province.  Germany hadn’t been united in any meaningful way for about 1000 years, Italy not since the Roman Empire. Regions had distinct cultures and often spoke tongues that were not even mutually intelligible.

All those differences had to go so humanity itself could be reduced to standardized parts in the machine.  The 20th century with radio, television and its mass mindless herd wars marked the high tide of centralization.  What people like to call “globalism” is just a worldwide version of the 19th century style nation-state.  The present nationalism is actually a reaction to what they see themselves as continuing in some way!  No wonder they are confused about their identity!

The personal computer followed by internet has decentralized networks at a furious pace.  The 21st century is about unraveling the monoculture that has grown ever more uniform and dreary over the last 150 years.
Until modern communications, large clumsy bureaucracies always won.  Maybe 2 million men died because rubber stamps were put on the wrong forms, but the other 18 million would overwhelm the enemy.  In a world of telegraph and then radio there was no real counter to this zerg swarming strategy.

Now though, it is possible for even small, poorly equipped forces to outmaneuver clumsy centralized states indefinitely while inflicting a thousand paper cuts and letting the nation-state waste its energy throwing slow, painfully telegraphed punches at gnats until it gases out.  It’s like a claymation giant monster flailing around in vain to kill the heroes or Captain Kirk vs. the Gorn.  It’s a simple concept often called 4GW(4th generation warfare) to sound hip.
By the early 2000s poor Arabs with home-made road bombs could outmaneuver the richest empire in history.  In the 2010s smartphones lead to the Arab Spring and Occupy followed by the Islamic State.

What we are seeing is an increase in the size of 4G organizations until we are looking at something on the scale of nation state with the flexibility of a small organization.  As it matures, this kind of system obsoletes the 19th century bureaucracy-bound nation-state.
The nationalist vs. globalist struggle we see across the developed world is the clash of established nation-states with 21st century decentralized networks.  As soon as we understand this it’s clear why the establishment is on the wrong side of history and why in spite of their overhwelming power they can only flap about in furious teary rage as their world falls apart.  There is a Tao of the universe and those who try to fight it, no matter how mighty, only exhaust themselves.
The election of Trump is only the beginning of their woes as his momentum carries over and they find themselves under siege in Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, France, and even Germany.

There is a new age upon us but it will not be a peaceful age.  While steadily dwindling wealth remained above a certain line and there was a USSR to scare people, unity went without serious challenge.  Since the year 2000 or so we’ve sunk towards the next dark age with rapidly shrinking wealth, low trust, low innovation, and stringent orthodox persecution of heretical ideas. Furthermore, in a nation-state that treats everyone like replaceable parts from cradle to grave no one feels like they really belong or really matter.  They plug into an economy to crank out production points for most of their waking time alive with no purpose in sight.  This purpose vacuum was waiting for something to fill it and modern communication brought down a Berlin Wall built from bricks of mechanistic nihilism.

It comes as no surprise then that the new organizations arising are very much like tribes.  What others call nationalism I call neo-tribalism.  As always some will benefit from change while others perish.  An age of tribes promises to be a savage one defined by groups fighting over scarce resources in a world where most niches are already over-saturated.

The main discussion between allied emerging tribes right now is what uniting principles will define the new nation-tribe.  Some believe it is about a civic polity, those who can participate at a net benefit for the whole.  Others believe that ethnicity will be the core.
I think both are right about some things but neither grasps the whole truth.  Disembodied communication allows humans to associate by natural predisposition and neurotype.  Some tribes will form coalitions of mutually beneficial types and in those coalitions there will be hierarchies of tribes.  In time, the tribal coalition becomes a caste system.

Above all, this means the end is coming for enlightenment philosophy that reduces all questions of society to the individual.  In the future, society will not be treated as a machine made of atoms, but as an organism made of cells. Societies themselves will finally be seen correctly as competing organisms in the wild rather than lifeless structures that interchangeable atoms happen to occupy.

A Season For Gloating

For everything there is a season.  Normally, we are magnanimous in victory knowing that we may be the defeated ones tomorrow.  But this time we are dealing with the vanguards of a decadent movement that spent over 50 years in power and did its absolute best to destroy us.  For the entire duration of the election, they were smugly secure in their imminent victory and spared their opponents no mockery or indignity.  They had no honor, they deserve none.  If any thought of mercy were to creep into our heads now that they are beaten, we need only think for one second about how they would have behaved if the tables were turned.  Since the beginning their strategy has been to guilt trip and play the victim while thinking with snide condescension what idiots we are for actually believing them.  But they’ve wasted their social capital now and no one believes anything they say anymore.  Their tears and tantrums are just a hilarious joke.  No mercy or safe spaces this time.  I don’t normally spend much time on social media.  No facebook and just recently started a twitter, but I’ve been after them on hashtags like #notmypresident slapping them around.  It’s mostly a waste of my time, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to spend hours laughing so hard that tears are about to stream down my face, while they are crying for real.  As I tweet, there’s a shit-eating grin pasted on my face.  So this is what it feels like to conquer.  What Conan said about the lamentations of the women, lol.  Now that they are broken and demoralized, the cavalry sweeps in to mop them up.

President Trump’s First Baby Steps (And the Big Picture)

Now that the election is won, there is much to do and the situation remains perilous.

Trump’s 1st and overriding priority at this moment is to have a unified party at his back. Without that, he’s a lame duck from the start.  Trump’s nightmare situation that he absolutely must avoid is establishment types going across the aisle and uniting against him.  At this moment, the GOP says they’re with him, but everyone likes to be associated with a winner.  As soon as he hits the first roadbump all their daggers come out again.  Until the jealous GOPe is gradually phased out,  Trump has to do business with them.  He only has a lead of 2 votes in the senate, so he can’t afford for more than one of them to cross over.  Fortunately he has a commanding lead in the house which should enable him to deal with a few defectors.
Trump’s only real and reliable protection is his overwhelming mandate from his base. There isn’t that much they can do about him directly while their constituents are behind him. But they can work with the democrat side of the establishment behind the scenes to gradually soften him up as a target, stall his momentum, and strike when the time is right.

The best thing Trump can do to advance his cause right now is absolutely to get Paul Ryan deposed as speaker of the house while his victory is fresh.  Ryan needs at least 218 votes to stay, so with 241 republican representatives we’ll get an early test of just how willing they are to back Trump.  Honestly the very idea that after this victory a fool like Ryan could become president if Trump and Pence are somehow both assassinated is horrifying.  The sooner he’s disarmed and slapped down, the better.  It will help Trump solidify his lead if he can make example of the ringleader of those who betrayed him, their own party’s presidential nominee, in the last month of a historic election.  That sort of treachery goes leagues beyond the bounds of forgiveness.

If Trump can get through these initial obstacles, a whole world of opportunity stretches out before him.  If he plays his hand right, he can grow his majority in the 2018 midterms and introduce a 1st wave of populist representatives who will be on his side.  From that point on, GOPe power steadily gets drowned out.
Congressional elections have proven the soft underbelly of democrat power because brown people and young people only vote for president.   If he doesn’t seriously screw up or become a do-nothing politician, Trump should be able to accomplish this.
Trouble is, it’s not as if the GOPe wall street “cuckservatives” are willing to stand idly by while they get co-opted.  Keeping them pinned down by their constituents may be the only way to keep them in line.  Trump’s influence over Breitbart and social media may help him single out the stubborn ones.  Trump can keep religious/social conservatives placated with culture war red meat even if it’s not really part of his own agenda.  So far his instincts on this have been excellent, even coming out against Roe vs. Wade in the election.  He needs the carrot of conservative justices always hanging in front of their noses.  Perhaps they can be persuaded to tolerate the growth of Trump’s power rather than trying to sabotage him if they are salivating over the justices they’ll be able to get confirmed with a stronger senate majority.

If all these steps can be accomplished, we’re looking at the 2020 election.  If Trump gets a second term, starts to max out a feasible lead in representatives and senators, the democrat party as we know it would be effectively dead.  All three branches of government would end up controlled by the republicans.  From that point on, the dominant coalition would inevitably split up on their disagreements and continue the bicameral system, though maybe they could even be looking at constitutional amendments before they part ways.  Minorities, progressives, single women, yuppies forming a defunct democrat coalition would have to join one party or the other.  Perhaps we’d no longer see all minorities voting on the same side!  Progressives and corporate yuppies could well be opposed!
But I’m thinking way, way too far ahead and indulging in fanciful speculation.

Right now huge anti-Trump protests have broken out in cities across the country.  This is excellent news!  Emphasizing the violence and chaos gives a president-elect who ran on law and order an enormous boost.  Even better, I suspect that a petulant Obama will miscalculate as usual and passive-aggressively ignore the commotion as a gesture of spite, or if he really screws up, even encourage them.  Perhaps they could even be baited into continuing until they’ve burnt up all their energy and social capital and the vast majority just wants them beaten and pepper sprayed.  It’s getting cold outside of warm/maritime climate areas of the country, but maybe they’ll come out in force again next summer with the right catalyst.
The agitation of the protesters for secession, burning American flags on veterans day, their resort to graffiti and violence, their refusal to accept the election results couldn’t be more damaging to their cause if Trump had written their script for them.  They are working overtime to discredit themselves as a viable movement in mainstream politics.  They are so delightfully foolish because the decades have made them soft and they take that mainstream status for granted.
Simultaneously, a black muslim is being considered as chair of the democrat party.  If they go through with that they are well on the way to destroying their party for good with 2020 the final nail in their coffin.  Right now though, they are reeling from the shock of the election so they may gather their senses before they do irreparable damage.  A subtle unobtrusive nudge might put them over the edge and get them to bite down on their folly and take it all in hook, line, and sinker.
I predicted months ago that progressive whites will be forced out of their own party by the minorities they thought they controlled and become a wing of the populist coalition, a process which began with Sanders being crushed beneath the monolith of the black vote and may now well continue with a takeover of the party leadership.  This would be the end of democrats as a serious party.  Lower IQ minorities have already terrifically overextended as they tend to do and if they keep overplaying their hand when they have already lost this round, they will eventually lose their say in the process.
As it is we’ll likely see voter ID laws that disproportionately shave off votes from low IQ groups.  Deportations, enforcement of eVerify, taxes on remittances, strategic welfare and public service cuts would all help sour the deal for them and thin the herd.  And if it gets bad enough, I could imagine more split votes like we see with Maine district 2 in Norcal, Southern Illinois, and  upstate New York.  From then on inconsolably disruptive minorities and rioting hipsters would be flailing in vain behind a soundproof plexiglass window while everyone else casually got on with their lives to the betterment of all.

The 60s Revolutionary Order Has Fallen: Now What?

It’s the point of no return.  They can still win battles but the war is lost.

It looked like a close election according to the tracking polls but the re-opening of the investigation is the final nail.
(Update 11/7:  Comey sending yet another letter about the investigation inflamed this matter still further if that were possible.  What is going on behind the scenes?)

It would never have been re-opened in a million years if their power had not finally broken.  It falls apart from here.  Every time before when the Clintons have been in trouble, they’ve been forewarned.  We know it’s different this time because Hillary was blindsided.  She got Justine Saccoed while up in the air.

At this point, even if Hillary could claim victory it would mean little.  She would enter office with no political capital, a lame duck with no mandate from day 1 hated by the majority.  While flailing impotently and dragged down by scandal, she might get to stay in power long enough to see her party get wiped out in the 2018 midterms leaving her as the final rock in a stormy sea.  Consider that’s now pretty much the best possible scenario for them.  We’re witnessing the closing moments of an era.  We have seen one overarching mentality in American politics since Kennedy took over from Eisenhower and the cultural revolution of the 1960s.  From debauched Kennedy, there was LBJ with entitlements and race laws, Carter with his weepy idealism, Reagan who thought of nations as good and evil.  And as I’ve pointed out, pretty much every president since Reagan has been a shade of Reagan.  Nixon came closest to a return to American pragmatism, but was of course sunk by scandal which made blind idealists double down even harder ever since.  A Trump victory would make him the first post-Watergate president.

More than any other person, Hillary Clinton is the Goddess of the social order born from 60s cultural revolution.  Her sickness and downward spiral of corruption tell a bigger story through metaphor.  The great social experiment has ignobly failed and is now near death.  To the extent the revolution was a byproduct of extreme forms of enlightenment thought, there is now potential for a break in continuity that echoes back to the 18th century.
Like most idealists they accomplished the opposite of their aims.  Rather than a great leap forward into eternal progress, instead they have caused a return to the pagan, tribal dark ages, conditions where they and their wishful ideas will be swept aside with a dismissive handwave from reality.

Deluded elites will be disappointed by one cold fact — It will never go back like it was no matter what happens in a mere political election.  And it looks at this point like Trump will win anyway and accelerate the path of change.  This entire cycle I have been astonished at the desperate kicking and tantrums of every established institution against Trump.  After Hillary’s 9/11 collapse and deplorables gaffe, I prematurely predicted the election was about to wind down.  I watched in amazement from that day on as politicians, officials, the media, celebrities strained with all their might to keep their goddess aloft.  I did not predict this behavior would be so extreme because it is utterly irrational.  Many of them could have pivoted into the new order if they were smart.  The election is important but not so important that it’s worth risking everything for.  The elites have proven once and for all how foolish and stupid they are by doing just that.  Because they committed fully to battle, they have made themselves vulnerable to being bottled up together and destroyed all at once like the Romans at Cannae.  Trump now has a huge mandate backed overwhelmingly by his base to clear them all out, he has only to follow up on it and he becomes a living legend and securely installed as the new top God of society’s heaven.

So what comes next then?
Firstly, restoring a workable national balance of power will be pursued by preventing outsider tribes ever again threatening to overwhelm the electorate.  This will:
-reinforce the mandate to deport illegal immigrants in large numbers.
-stop allowing anchor baby loophole.
-more limits on legal immigration (don’t take in from compromised 3rd world areas, just let in the best and most likely to be positive contributors)
-policies that favor affordable family formation for the white working and middle classes
-policies that discourage underclass reproduction or at least reduce the policies that incentivize it.
-freedom of association for the majority tribe.
The incursion of foreign groups has finally forced disparate US whites who are odd mixes of every European ethnicity to band together as a political force.  This means there will now be a clear hierarchy of tribes with the minorities made to understand quite clearly they are here as guests never to be threats to power as condition of the new social contract, and if they don’t like it can go back to their ancestral homelands.  The alternative would have eventually been outright tribal warfare.
There may be a gradual transition out of a democracy with full adult suffrage back to a republic with limited franchise, a policy direction that could end up with sufficient support if there are minority upheavals in reaction to the establishment’s downfall.
In any case, from this point on the internal politics of the USA more closely resemble those of the Austro-Hungarian empire or Yugoslavia as each ethnicity approaches the bargaining table as separate entities with a ruling ethnic group installed as arbitrator.

Secondly, with a Trump victory, clearing out the defeated losers in the establishment will do more than make him popular it gives him excuse to replace them all with his own people.  There will be a new ruling class and they will be far more pragmatic and authoritarian than before.
The discredited present elites have been far too slow to understand how the internet and smartphones have changed the game.  From now on, there will be redditors figuring out what the lobbyists are up to and letting everyone know on twitter.  The old blatant tactics requiring buddies, employees, and interns to keep their mouths shut will not work.  The new rulers will have to be smarter in order to be successful and that’s a good thing.  The biggest revelation of this entire cycle has been the consistent and astonishing stupidity at the top.  Left looking like fools they’ve lost all the credibility needed to rule.
The Trumpian elites will be smarter about horse-trading behind the scenes and will generally be acting in the broader national interest since being smarter, they’ll understand they need to pass up short term benefits to stay in power and then pass it on to their kids.

Thirdly, we’ll necessarily see a deflation of feminist power in society.  There’s an entire lost generation of millennial/GenX women on the brink of childless spinsterhood having the Wile E Coyote moment.  As the economy declines, they generally keep comfy office jobs, but the whole society is falling apart around them and becoming less safe.  Gen Z girls coming of age are starting to understand intuitively that feminism hurts the prospects of young, pretty women to give a boost to drab career women about to hit the wall.
Feminism will decrease in power, but female power won’t, at least until neo-tribal social structures emerge and strengthen.  The USA is already a de facto polygynous society with a majority of reproductive age adults unmarried.  Many of the changes wrought by the 60s revolution are irreversible.  The old traditions took centuries or even thousands of years to firmly establish, now they are gone.  The dreamers who expect a return to the 50s status quo ante will be sadly disappointed.  As ever there is environmental change, some will adapt and some will perish.

I will end here for now.  These are some social-political currents I see playing a major role as we transition into the post 1960’s Revolution period of history.

See also:  Why Nepotism Is Necessary

After Trump, Clinton 2nd Debate: Non-Partisan Good Will Is Gone

I saw Trump absolutely destroy Hillary on October 9th airing out her myriad hypocrisies for all the world to see and dragging her through the mud.  But I am just one person.  Across the internet I see Hillary supporters all think Hillary won, Trump backers like me all think he demolished her.  I can find only scant patches of somewhat neutral ground(all of it slanted one way or the other).   Trump supporters like me focused on his dominant presence, the threat to jail her, her visibly rattled and frightened appearance, his unapologetic crushing of her pathetic Lincoln excuses.
But Hillary supporters weren’t seeing the same thing the same way at all.  They saw a creepy, sniffling, hulking, stalking orange man trying to intimidate Hillary while she was trying to make intelligent points about policy.
Someone from another planet would never believe that both parties had seen the same event!

Even with the first debate, I can remember Trump supporters readily admitting he went in unprepared and having good-natured discussion with the other side over what he could have done better.
The second debate is the moment that any sense magnanimity and shared purpose between factions is lost.  A new age of tribes comes into being.
As of October 9th, the last pretense of cooperation within the American republic has been cast aside.  There is now only war.  No one will ever admit their candidate lost at anything out of a sense of fair play, they will relentlessly push for whichever functionary pushes their interests best so they get their piece of a steady dwindling pie and the other guy gets left out in the rain.  The civic life becomes like those two soldiers in Saving Private Ryan fighting over that combat knife.
It’s easy for everyone to get along in times of plenty, but when the good times dry up, humans play the primal monkey game of musical chairs.  Every round someone gets left out and “voted off the island.”
After years of economic stagnation only kept under control by easy money with low interest rates, the established system steadily falls apart nonetheless.

With the polls lately, I no longer know what to think.  It’s a cliche for supporters of a losing candidate to suppose polls are rigged but when you see swings of nearly 10 points with the same polls within a few days, I’m inclined to stop paying much attention.  At that point it’s just noise.  If the overall trend they indicate is true, though, Trump likely loses this election after all.  But let’s be clear, at this point nearly every established institution has now burnt its political capital and sacrificed its credibility to try to get Hillary into the oval office.  It’s so far gone at this point that it’s not completely out of the question that even the pollsters have done the same.  Even with Real Clear Politics average I’ve noticed that with the exception of LA Times tracking poll, they may have ceased including some more favorable results for Trump such as a recent Rasmussen poll.  Everyone has a dog in this fight like I’ve never seen before.  I no longer know who to believe.  The most important thing right now may be whether Trump can assume full control of his party and keep the coalition together in the midst of GOPe defections.

Establishment supporters suppose their golden world will roll on blissfully as it was once they’ve won the election.  No, the dynamics in play have irrevocably changed.  From this point the divide only grows more wide and more bitter no matter who wins or loses.
Just as supporters of either side now back the party line completely to the hilt unwilling to make any concessions whatsoever, millions of Americans will cease to see the ruling order as legitimate.
There is now a huge demand to provide services for a completely separate new culture.  After political purges on social media, there’s now attempts to start a new twitter, a new wikipedia,  a new reddit.  While geographic secession is difficult in a nation where all groups overlap, cultural secession and fracture is well under way.

2016 Election: Why I Actually Care

Most of the time I have been politically apathetic.  In 2008 I voted for Obama since McCain was another neocon and showed no enthusiasm for ending the Iraq debacle while Obama made it a central plank of his campaign.  Making a bimbo cheerleader his VP pretty much disqualified him as well as his endless pablum about being a “war hero” when he got captured and humiliated instead. (Trump reminding us what a war hero really is was a great moment!)  As bad as Obama has been, I have a feeling if McCain had won, we’d still be there wasting trillions of dollars.  17th “surge” anyone?
My first big clue Obama wasn’t going to change much was when he made Hillary secretary of state.  Pretty much set the tone for everything else. He finally got out of Iraq and Afghanistan but took him almost his entire first term while he and Hillary ineptly destabilized much of the Islamic world.
Once it was clear Obama was slow poison as opposed to fast poison like the idiotic W Bush or McCain, I sat out the lame 2012 election with little intention of ever voting again.  Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich perfectly described it.  It was clear by the end of Obama’s 1st term he was just establishment (sort of) lite and Romney was a kleptocrat corporate robot with magic underwear.  Every time I saw Romney’s repulsive apologetic teary-eyed smile and salt and pepper leading man look, I would see in my head the scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts tells Richard Gere he has a “sharp, useless look” about him.  That summed him up pretty well.

I had no intention of paying much attention to the 2016 election but as soon as Trump got traction by saying what would get most people blacklisted, he had my undivided attention.
It doesn’t even matter if he’s completely useless once he gets into office.   I’m actually perfectly OK if he just burns it all down.  The main thing is he’s busted open that PC pinata for good.  That alone makes it worth my while.  I know all too well how his working class affectations are like nails on a chalkboard for SWPLs with all their hollow holiness signalling, so of course nothing would amuse me more than to see Trump shoved down their throats as they choke and sputter with righteous indignation.
The thing is though, I’ve watched this guy in action for a year now and he seems to have outstanding instincts.  Even where he majorly screwed up attacking voters like the Khans or Curiel, he surrounded himself with people who guided him through his natural faults, learned from his mistakes, and changed his strategies accordingly.  It’s been a delight to watch him grow.
I say this after I’ve spent my whole life watching fools like W Bush drawl on incoherently about “staying the course” or Obama/Hillary making up organic granola excuses like “human rights” to make terrible foreign policy blunders.  I’ve hardly ever actually seen leaders do anything well.  Trump shows that he’s far more adaptable and can think outside the box.  So I’m eager to give him a chance and see what he’ll do.  If he turns out to be another dud, the system won’t last that much longer anyway.

I also can see where history is pointing by now.  Just like Thatcher and Reagan were in power at the same time, we see a present trend of no nonsense populist/authoritarian reformers all over the world.  Rightward movements are ascendant in Europe.  India has Modi, the Phillipines has Duterte.  Effete elites are getting replaced with alpha workaholics who eat the polished debaters for breakfast. Population pressure is increasing worldwide and the economy isn’t as good as it used to be.  As populations feel the pinch, sharp useless types are getting forced out of power and replaced with people who just get shit done.  In the past, people were pretty easily manipulated when they were poor and desperate because it was easy to limit education and control information.  The trend of populist reformers is the result of internet as the new printing press enfranchising ordinary people.  If I were looking at a raven’s matrix of colored in shapes and had to choose what shape comes next, I’d choose Trump.  He fits nicely into the emerging zeitgeist.  The future of world politics more resembles Singapore than it does Sweden.

I care about this election because everyone bloc votes against non-elite whites, especially white males.  In a democracy, this is more or less a declaration of war.  One of the tacit rules is that one has to participate in good faith as a citizen and not as factional members out to loot and plunder everyone else for short term advantage.   Thus I am forced to respond by supporting any white party that manifests.  If there is to be war then I must fight back until sufficient security is achieved to pursue other goals.  The social contract has been broken and the balance of power has been upset.  I suspect a Trump who succeeds in deporting some millions could restore a workable balance of power, preventing a second civil war.  The first civil war was also caused by a tipping point of shifting demographics within a democracy.  A group that sees its electoral power eroding every passing year starts to behave like a cornered animal.  If the ethnic group that sees itself as dominant is challenged for its place at the head of the table, bloodshed follows.
Obama’s relentless irresponsible race-baiting has made deteriorating relations between the races even worse.  From Trayvon to Kaepernick, it’s been one long disaster.  His obsession with race has just helped to fuel the obstructionist congress he despises so much.  To be a successful president, he needed to be half-white and not bring it up.   Instead he saw fit to remind everyone every day how African he is and how diverse everything should be.  I’ve heard the “bitter mulatto with daddy issues” explanation for his neuroses and it rings true.  At this point there may well not be a peaceful end to an “Obama’s third term.”

I care because it looks like it could be a conclusive end to the Reagonian period.  Every president since Reagan has done ever dumber versions of the same stuff:
-Free trade
-Open borders
-Trickle down economics
-Financial deregulation
-Anti-union, low wages
-Runaway military spending when conventional armies just sit there and it costs millions to take out one guy on a donkey.
-A paranoid focus on singling out “evil” nations.  Self-destructive foreign policy that leads to self-fulfilling prophecies.
-Ideologically motivated foreign interventions that squander money and political capital for low value or uncertain objectives.
To name some of the major culprits.

I find myself bewildered as  a tone-deaf elite continues to stick to these failed policies.  The Soviet Union fell 30 years ago!  Didn’t anyone send them the memo?  Why do all the establishment types want a war with Russia?  It doesn’t even make sense.  Why do they want to give themselves ever more advantages until it kills the golden goose and leads to a civil war or revolution when they’re already quite comfortable?  They’re incompetent buffoons unable to successfully pursue their self-interest in even the crassest most cynical sense.  That’s why the power they love so dearly is now being ripped right out of their hands despite their furious tantrums.

Until Trump showed up, it was hard for anyone to even imagine a politician with a non-Reagonian platform being taken seriously.  And now, all of a sudden, we’re out of that miserable rut with an opportunity to try something different.  Trump seems to be a moderate but he opens the way for those who will follow him.  Everyone out there with heterodox beliefs smells blood and that’s the real appeal.  Trump is making it possible for those forced to live in the shadows to come out in the open and exert power within the normal bounds of society.  A gate has been opened into the demon realm to the horror of the denizens of the light.
The established order is tired and complacent while the shadow creatures are vigorous and hungry.  Go to the comments at any large alt right/manosphere blog right now and we hear the frenzied yips and joyous howls of thousands of coyotes closing in on their quarry.
With the last escape routes being cut off tactics of desperation become ever more apparent.  The president comes out to campaign for an absent presidential candidate.  Then the president’s wife.  Then former presidents come out of the woodwork with their endorsements.  Then former department heads and cabinet members.  And today we see actors who play superheroes revealing themselves in their desperation to move the needle somehow back in their direction.  All the while black athletes are revealing they hated whitey all along even though white society has bestowed on them its greatest rewards.  It’s unraveling quickly now.  Every empty day with Hillary barely showing her face, all the other faces of the accepted order are forced to show themselves to fill that void and we see who was who all along.  It’s like the T-1000 showing all its forms while convulsing and screeching in its death throes.  As all the gods and angels in society’s heaven strain themselves, their kingdom only tumbles earthward all the faster.  Those who seemed moments before like inapproachable deities are reduced to a swarm of ants rushing to defend a dirt mound smashed underfoot.

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The Calm Before She Sinks

It’s that perfect point in time to savor, a moment frozen in crystal before the outcomes click into place.  The last sunny fall day of safe normality.  It’s the moment just as people begin to grasp the new reality.
What has been increasingly strident contempt and dismissal has finally given way to open panic and desperation.
Perhaps many thought the fall of Hillary would somehow go unnoticed but I’ve watched her polls plummet a half point per day since 9/11 and the videos have racked up millions of views.
Even going with the kindest, most official accounts, it’s lose/lose for her.  She’s already admitted she’s lied about her health claims of “overheating” and “allergies” only after being left with no avenue to evade.  Everyone knows the coverup would have been successful if not for a private citizen or two with smartphones.  If it was contagious pneumonia all along why was she out shaking hands and hugging kids?  In even the best possible case for her, ignoring everything else, she’s still a compulsive liar who has no qualms about getting other people sick to further her aims.  Appearing weak at the memorial of a time Americans craved strong leadership, the abject humiliation of being dragged around by mere peasant guards like a sack of potatoes, remains devastating.
That’s before we even consider anything else.  Let’s for a moment still put aside all the theories of her long term maladies and simplify this.  The fact is she spent all of August with low key campaign events, her only rallies being tightly controlled and scripted with small audiences.
Once her lead started to melt with her near absence of campaigning it became less and less plausible she was just letting the clock run out.
Tellingly, she only surfaced into sight for major holidays and memorials when she absolutely had to and still struggled with the best medicine in the world to prop her up.  Even the bare minimum was too much.  She was like a whale followed by a whaling vessel getting speared every time she came up for breath, each harpoon with an airbladder tied to it to make staying submerged progressively more difficult.
Keeping this as simple as possible, I went to the website for each candidate to look at their scheduled events.  Trump of course, is doing 3 events in 3 states per day.
Hillary had 1 more rally in North Carolina with only luncheons and other small events as far as I could tell for the rest of her campaign.  Even with these, Hillary appeared to be doing less than 1 event per day while her VP, her campaign manager, and even her daughter are doing 90% of the actual campaigning.  It now appears even Obama, a sitting president, is campaigning for Hillary, a presidential candidate, instead of doing his job.  Now this is what desperation looks like.
9/15/2016 in Greensboro, NC was Hillary’s final test, her absolute last chance.  The obvious thing she needed to do was give an hours-long speech worthy of Fidel Castro in front of a real audience.  Nope.  Another scripted lifeless “event” in a small auditorium that barely lasted 20 minutes.  That she did not do the obvious thing leads to the inescapable conclusion that she cannot.  The reason does not even matter.  As of this writing there’s still about 9 days until the 1st debate.  9 endless days of a ship adrift getting pounded with relentless broadsides.  Today is the day of parity with both coalitions looking each other right in the eyes before one passes the other up forever and we see just who is on the wrong side of history.  As of this moment, if we add CO, IA, NE, NC, NV, OH, FL to Trump’s electoral map based newly favorable polling, he’s already won.  If any of MI, VA, PA, WI, NH, OR flip before election day it starts to move into landslide territory.
By the first debate, if it even happens at this point, Trump will probably already be ahead
(Update 9/25: Appears I was wrong about this part, 2 NBC Polls and McClatchy have gangraped the numbers to 2.5 in Hillary’s favor although state polls continue to drift Trumpwards.  Also the POTUS, FLOTUS, former politicians and former cabinet members, lots of celebrities have started actively campaigning for absentee Hillary which seems to have genuinely helped a bit.  However, I was stunned to see this kind of immense political capital squandered in a single flash in the pan.  Celebs like Kardashian are already learning from their mistakes and shifting to a more neutral stance.  Damn, they are burning through their reserves over a month too early!)and the delicious panic, tears, and despairing wails at a climax.  The inability to campaign alone would have sunk Hillary by election day.  A politician who can’t campaign is like a musician without fingers.  Her “basket of deplorables” disaster, plus the 9/11 collapse are just bonus points.  I have written plenty on human nature on this blog and one of the constants is that people despise weakness.  It’s an instinctual directive that comes eons before mere party loyalties and let’s face it, most people just go to their day job not caring about politics and end up voting for the stronger force, whatever it may be.

In my head I get images of winning a war of attrition in Civilization 4.  The enemy’s armies cluster in their cities watching helplessly as their roads, mines, and cottages get leveled back into the stone age and my coffers fill with plunder, each turn sealing their fate more tightly than the last.  Brahm’s 1st Hungarian dance from the game’s soundtrack plays as the death spiral winds down, and another road gets demolished with a crisp slapping sound, their last trade route cut off.
I’ve spent happy hours on twitter, politico, huffington post, r/political discussion, r/politics savoring their screams like Lord Yabu from Sho-Gun.  Actually, their jedi backflips of rationalization and denial might be even better. “But FDR hid an illness too!”  “But HW Bush threw up!” “But Romney in 2012!”  The very best treat was the comments on New York Times opinion pieces.  Lots of snobby upper middle class douchebags who have enough smarts and education to understand the social order they knew is collapsing and what it means for them.  As much as I like tantrums fueled by pure emotion, it’s more delicious still to witness the paroxysms of those who lucidly perceive impending apocalypse.

As for Hillary, the situation remains indescribably poetic.  She is at the end of her life watching her world begin to fall apart all around her.  The beautiful irony is that most of it was her own making.  At this very moment, Europe is slipping away to the right largely because of the human waves sent over by her disastrous bungling in the Middle East and North Africa.  Her selfishness in running while sick is about to destroy her party’s credibility with everything it’s worked for soon to be dismantled by her rival.  In the end, she’s been the best friend ever to radicals who would have passed their days skulking in the shadows if not for her.  Images from great revenge stories pop into my head.  I think of Titus Andronicus—truly in the end, she’s being fed her own children baked into a pie.  I think of the Punisher movie with evil Travolta told “Made you kill your wife.  Made you kill your best friend” before he’s dragged behind a car through a lot full of exploding cars.
One final set of images:   Back in the primary I always envisioned Trump’s rivals having this moment, especially Jeb.  In underwater movies, it’s the cracks that appear in the window before the cockpit implodes from water pressure(The Abyss provides a great example).  In space operas, it’s the sparks and shit that fly around, giving the pilot a warning they’re about to blow up.  The character gets those last couple of seconds to have a horrific realization and flail around impotently—that’s Hillary and her supporters at this moment.

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The Future of Alt-Right Populism?

Let’s face it: Trump is behind.  I’ve waited for the nonsense after the conventions to die down but it seems like the race has stabilized at a 5-6 point gap.  I’ve heard all the typical complaints that polls are skewed but look where that got the wishful thinkers who wanted Romney to win.  I’m inclined to believe the average of the data that’s out there.  It’s easy to project one’s views onto other people but many Americans remain bewildered and horrified by the rise of Trump.  It’s possible a majority see him as a “racist,” an accusation that is steadily fading in power, but remains the modern equivalent of being called a “commie.”
Hillary has a coalition of single/professional white women, all minorities voting as a bloc, white male professionals, and a majority of college degree holders.  The reality is that this group is big enough to win and that the 2008 and 2012 elections conclusively demonstrate that “real Amurica” can no longer carry elections alone.  There are still enough Americans who have comfortable lives but are afraid of losing what they’ve got.  So their strategy is to turtle.  Those who are invested will double down on the status quo instead of supporting an upstart.
This race is by no means over, I suspect the debates will decide this contest—but if there isn’t a big change it looks as though Trump will lose.

A personality like Trump was necessary to tear down the increasingly out-of-touch opposition party but he might not end up being the one to rebuild it.  So I’ve been putting some thought into what a successful populist coalition would look like.
The core democrat constituency is obviously minorities and white yuppies, no use trying to convert large numbers of them.  The last desperate attempt of establishment republicans to be viable in a presidential election was to reach out to “natural conservatives” in the Hispanic population but all they accomplished was to alienate their base.

The most obvious low hanging fruit to grow a populist coalition are the discontented members of the alt-left.  Trump has focused his campaign rightly on the ills of blue collar Americans but I am surprised he hasn’t done more to exploit the opportunity revealed by Bernie Sanders’ unexpected popularity.  While successful professional whites may be core democrats, there are millions of frustrated educated whites who can’t get ahead.  They are the product of the last few decades of elite overproduction.  Just mentioning college loan forgiveness and restrictions on H1B visas would be a huge draw.  They’re already unhappy with the deal they’ve gotten from society but also feel that associating themselves with a blue collar movement will destroy whatever remaining chances they had of getting that lucky break into office cubicle wonderland.  To consider defection, they need reason to believe they’ll get a better deal than they’re getting now and that’s a pretty low bar.

The next group to focus on for defection might be those we call “model minorities.”  The new populist party is an explicitly white movement but like any non-majority political faction it needs to form coalitions with other groups to achieve common goals.  Ironically when the aspect of racial identity and racial interests is out in the open, rather than concealed and hinted at with “dog whistles” it will be more accepted.   Model minorities’ interests align better with working whites than they do with Blacks and Latin Americans.  This reality doesn’t seem to have dawned on them yet, they are still reacting to culture wars era paranoia.  The facts though, have a way of catching up.  Asians, Indians, other successful ethnic groups already occupy an awkward place in the democrat coalition, reminded of their “privilege” just like whites and blocked and discouraged from taking full advantage of affirmative action policies.  They are already told they aren’t “real” minorities.  They already suffer the same problems as whites when high crime groups move into their suburbs and devalue the property.  Model minorities are the ones who own most of the small businesses in dysfunctional neighborhoods.  The Sikh family that owns the corner store and the Koreans who run the liquor store can’t indulge in the same ivory tower thinking that predominates in yuppie land.

Beyond trying to grow a populist coalition, time is in its favor.  As the system continues to stagnate more will be disaffected enough to split away from the old system.  Every year, there’s fewer people living comfortable middle class lives.   The sprawling system of universities continues to exacerbate elite overproduction with every graduating class.  Even white professionals will begin to change their minds when they can no longer just shove all their problems on those who can’t afford to live in gated communities and shop at whole foods.  Right now the upper middle classes and their masters quite cynically use minorities to promote their interests over the working and lower middle classes.  They know there’s far too few of them to win elections in a democratic system so giving the “real” minorities unlimited bread and circuses gets them the votes they need.  However, the complete rejection of Bernie Sanders by the monolithic Black vote is a sign of things to come.  For the first time, a lot of democrat whites recoiled in shock as their preferences were flatly vetoed by those they had looked down on as loyal pets.  As minorities get more powerful their handlers will find themselves less able to control them.  When they finally lose control they will be forced to reconsider their alignment.

There is of course the possibility that no constructive political solution will be arrived at.  We stand at a crossroads.  The next few years will decide whether present issues can be resolved within the system or whether conflict will simply escalate.  In the case of a Hillary presidency, the status quo could be sustainable if she, like Obama, mostly limited her antagonism of red America to “clinging to guns and religion” mockery.  But looking back on her poor judgment and reckless belligerence as secretary of state, I have a feeling she will overextend. Furthermore, even were she as benevolent as can be hoped for, the laws that ban free association for whites while allowing it for everyone else and legal disincentives for healthy family formation will continue to chip away at the legitimacy of the social contract.  If Trump wins this, there will be nearly half the country that sees him as an illegitimate autocrat.  There will be an ugly struggle for power no matter who prevails in November.

See Also:  Trump and Sanders Are Part of the Same Political Movement
See Also:  Smart Racial Realism

 

Hillary’s Alt-Right Speech Is A Major Breakthrough

I mentioned in my last post that in less than a decade internet dissenters who would have been considered on a level with child molesters have gained influence in national politics.  Just a few days after this post Hillary Clinton to my complete astonishment and delight directly devoted an entire speech to the “alt-right.”  I would have thought this some /pol/ish wet dream if it hadn’t actually happened.
This speech is one of the biggest triumphs ever for internet dissidents.  Hillary has unwittingly ushered in a new age where anti-orthodox internet culture is openly acknowledged as real opposition to the establishment when but a few short years ago it was no more than the whispers of a ghost within the mainstream.  The term “alt-right” itself is only directly adopted by a narrow slice but a huge spectrum of internet personalities holding underground opinions have been suddenly given official recognition by one of the most famous and powerful people on earth.  Hillary is a living symbol of the orthodoxy, representing at once the apotheosis of 60s wishful equalism and the disastrous economics and blindly ideological foreign policy that’s held sway ever since Reagan.  In the social cosmology, she lives in the top rank of the heavens as a goddess so any being she sees fit to address must in the public eye be at least a minor god in its own right.   As someone who has spent decades in the business of social perceptions she should know better!
The speech itself was highly effective.  It was well-tailored to its target demographics of white women and establishment republicans while reassuring her base.  Bringing the alt-right into play may have been an effective rhetorical device but for a possible short term gain in one election, she opened a portal into a “dark” dimension.  She and others like her will come to regret it.

It is truly remarkable in that a prominent politician in a national election would address something that’s not a movement or even a political party—just a vast milling about of unsatisfied souls.
This sort of loose structure is not only proving successful in modern warfare but increasingly so in politics and culture.  I first wondered at this phenomenon in 2011 as the Arab Spring swept the world and almost simultaneously riots and protests rose across the globe.  I was especially intrigued by Occupy Wall Street.  I noticed that OWS marked a transition from 60s-style activism headed by traditional hierarchies and concrete agendas to decentralized movements of dissenters swimming in schools to enjoy safety in numbers but often cooperating little more than that:

For a few hundred years now, elites have had their own version of Anonymous that has helped them to accomplish their goals. It’s called a corporation.
Shareholders come together to in order to mitigate risk and allow them do things that would ordinarily be too risky. By acting collectively, they can do away with individual accountability.
These elites failed to understand what would happen if technology sufficiently improved the ability of the peasantry to communicate and coordinate their actions.
The result is effectively a counter-corporation.

In just a couple months most of this agitation had fizzled out.  I had thought at the time it would go further and looked at where I went wrong in my understanding of the situation.  I thought about demographics and realized that the older generations, especially boomers were still too prominent to be seriously challenged.  In 2011 there were still just too many adults who read newspapers instead of surfing the internet.  But at the time, the first of them were hitting retirement age and I realized by 2015 there would be a generation coming of age that couldn’t remember the 90s, had only ever known corruption and catastrophe, and had access to high speed internet their whole lives.  For them, I realized, a functional America would be something from a history book or an 80s movie.  I made a guess that around this period the time would finally be ripe for dissident ideologies to begin gaining a serious hold.  My guess didn’t require this new generation to be especially radical as a whole, but only that it would have no attachment to the old order and thereby bring the potential for real change.
Things have begun to change right on schedule, though ironically because even a large cohort of boomers has become disenfranchised enough to turn against the Old Regime.  Some of the same elders who were screaming at millenials to “occupy a job” are themselves mourning the lack of good jobs.  Also, the smartphones and social media that made the unrest of 2011 possible have greatly matured and become an established part of the culture.  Presently, with defectors peeling off from the older generations, millennials as disaffected and uninvested as ever, with a new generation hitting adulthood who’ve never known the old prosperity, there’s finally enough mass built up to challenge the established order on a larger scale.  The emergence of Trump and Sanders in 2015 was like the busting of a dam and by giving a speech on the Alt-Right, Hillary has given dissident internet-dwellers more direct recognition than her opponents ever have.  I cannot help but suspect that this huge miscalculation comes from being disconnected from the culture.  She and her advisors may simply not understand what they do.

See Also:  Anonymous and Occupy:  The Emergence of Counter-Corporations (2011 archives)

Politics is Changing Because of Internet and Social Media

It has been a delicious spectacle to watch new competitors not only messily shit all over business as usual in politics, but actually take over the existing party machinery for themselves.  There’s something poetic about that since the established parties protected their mediocrity by rigging the system against competitors.  It ends with their own weaponry turned against them.
I have been typically apathetic towards politics, but it has been a particular fixation of mine to watch the consensus that has existed all my life begin to finally burn down.

There’s a lot of talk as to why this movement is finally happening now even though people have complained about “choosing the lesser evil” for decades.
It’s simple.
a) enough people are getting desperate enough.
b) more importantly, the internet is maturing as a technology and we are beginning to feel its true impact.

The internet is the new printing press. It changes society by dramatically increasing people’s access to information. The original printing press set up the right circumstances for the emergence of mass literacy. The trouble with mass literacy was that traditional monarchy, religion, and social mores were predicated on most people having very little access to information.
The change was slow but steady and sure. Over a few centuries, more abundant information made kingdoms and empires non-viable. In the age of the railroad and telegraph, nation-states began to replace the old kingdoms in earnest and WW1 settled the matter.
The emergence of radio and television provided more access to information but ended up bolstering the power of nation-state because both mediums were very easily controlled from tiny centralized sources.
The internet as a decentralized medium was always going to be a challenge to the order of nations.
It was already beginning to destabilize things as a minority of curious people browsed nerdy websites on their PCs. This was the printing press. Then “mass literacy” began to take hold with the advent of social media that involved ordinary people in online discourse. In 2008, Barack Obama soared to victory as the candidate of the internet. Around 2011-2012 we saw twitter riots in Tunisia and Egypt spread to the Western World as Occupy Wall Street. This spate of activity was startling but not enough to upend business as usual. One more development was needed. The spread of smartphones has finally sealed the deal. No longer can “soundbites” on TV and radio, or “experts” in the newspapers decisively control public opinion.
It took over 300 years for the implications of the printing press to be felt in full. The internet in 30 years is making an impact much faster since it is
a) orders of magnitude beyond previous breakthroughs—even the printing press at first just gave people access to the bible, a few classics, and public posters and pamphlets.
b) starting off with a society that already has orders of magnitude more information and wealth than was available in 15th century Europe.

Even so, we are just beginning to understand how big the implications are. I’ve already guessed that nation-states and their political systems will be replaced altogether by more cohesive “tribe-states” steadily over time just as a literate public inevitably led to empires being replaced by nation-states. Each increase in access to information has made possible finer gradations of mass political organization:
Empires – Political associations decided by force of arms.
Kingdoms – Association often decided by some precedent of cultural cohesion at least in a core region, with subjugated peoples surrounding.
Nation-states – Association decided by common language, culture, and in varying degrees, ethnicity.
Tribe-states – Affiliation by one’s natural proclivities and values within a larger population. Ordinary people with incredible logistical capabilities and access to information allows cohesive bands to avoid being subjugated by massive bureaucracy-bound states. The development of politics goes full circle from small tribes that were subjugated by empires based in the first cities.

Politics has always been about “choosing the lesser evil.”
Empires/Kingdoms – The ruler taxes people to bare subsistence, but if you don’t back him, his competitors’ armies will destroy what little you have.
Nation States – Any sort of republic leaves most people mostly unsatisfied but properly implemented can maintain a tepid status-quo.
Tribe States – Most people get the society they want; that’s what defines this type of association.

Each upgrade in access to information enables people to pursue their interests more effectively. This is why the ruling classes have always wanted the masses to remain hobbled by ignorance but once a major new advance spreads, they can only struggle to contain it until they finally cease to be relevant.

There has been a growing inability of US political factions to reach compromises as each insists on fully realizing its agenda. When representatives have tried to behave more moderately, their constituents have denounced and abandoned them.
Not only is a shrinking pie making people more urgent, fewer are satisfied with getting only a part of their demands met. The masses begin to intuitively sense that it is now viable to associate more finely to more effectively get what they want. There’s no more Soviet Union, nukes make conventional wars unlikely, and internet allows people to associate with those most like them and pursue their shared objectives.
From now on, the alignment of tribes, not of entrenched parties will be the shaping force in the politics of nations.

Trump and Sanders Are Part of the Same Political Movement

Trump and Sanders are poles of a new political strain.  Trump populism appeals to the working class.  Sanders populism offers programs that appeal to the middle and upper middle classes.  Together, these form a complete platform.  Illegal immigration reform and trade tariffs for blue collar.  Regulations on the finance industry, legal immigration reform, and college loan forgiveness for SWPLs.  I could easily see such a cohesive platform as a solid base for the new opposition—21st century populists replacing republicans as the original republicans replaced the whigs with a new, more viable coalition.

Class warfare, however, still presents a significant obstacle to forming this coaliton. The “real Americans” look down on SWPLs as effete twats. The middle class whites look down on working class whites as biblethumping trailer trash. Members of both communities signal status by disdaining the other and have competed against one another for political influence.
However, more are realizing as they feel the pinch that pro-life doesn’t put bread on the table and blank slate doesn’t pay the bills.
Working whites will be forced to work together like other ethnic groups do. The blue collar guy votes for the populist because of illegal Mexicans, the white collar guy will vote Populist because of H-1B visas. When common interests are strong enough, people start to overlook the window dressing that once seemed so important to them. That’s why “values/single issue” republicanism is dying alongside “social justice” democratism. People can no longer afford these luxury boutique issues. That’s why I see tidal forces pushing these factions together as both discover that neither can carry elections alone.
The white republican base has already discovered it no longer calls the shots. Now democrat whites are making a huge discovery as the bloc of the black vote sinks their favorite candidate in favor of a discredited party hack. They will be forced to admit they are no longer enough to carry their own party and must join a coalition that better reflects their interests.
It’s just a matter of time.
The old consensus is fading right on schedule as Boomers start to retire and die and a new generation comes of voting age that can’t even remember the 90s. All they’ve ever known is incompetence and decline. For them the America of optimism and meritocracy is something out of a history book. They won’t have time for the ideological issues that obsessed Boomers and Xers with secure careers.
The pie is shrinking and ranks will close as each group gathers to fight for the crumbs.

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