Amerika

How the Right-Wing Backlash That Elected Donald J. Trump Began

Samuel Huntington predicted back in the 1990s that liberal democracy had reached its apex, and rather than being “the end of history” or the final evolution of humankind, the idea of human equality was in decline and soon to be replaced with innate group identifiers such as “civilization,” or the mixture of race, geography, ethnicity, culture, and religion that defines an organic society.

As part of this, nationalism — the idea that a nation consists of the genetics of its founding group, and what united the Axis Powers during WWII — has come roaring back, mainly because people are realizing that ideology (ideas about how reality “should” be from a human perspective, usually based around “equality”) is not just causing constant conflict, but has changed their societies for the worst during the years following the second world war.

One of the major drivers behind this was that the forces of freedom, equality, and democracy have contradicted themselves. Freedom is OK, until it conflicts with the ideology of the State and the vast faceless herd of angry lumpenproletariat behind it. Then, it is offensive and you will be destroyed for refusing to bake that cake, sell to that nice black fellow, hire Hispanics to do the labor Americans will do, or having that flag in your yard. They will not defend you with the police your taxes paid for, nor will they prosecute those who attack you. They will slander you in public, delete your websites, get you fired from your job, and immerse you in waves of angry messages. In other words, you only have “freedom” so long as it agrees with the herd and its government; the same is true of equality: you are equal unless you are from one of those majority groups that seem to succeed despite the legal restrictions we have imposed upon them in order to make the Others equal. And also of democracy: democracy is great until it goes against the Left, at which point the herd is justified in rioting and vandalism, and the “responsible adults” (cough) will attempt to impeach a president for violations he did not commit. And so, people have concluded correctly that freedom, equality and democracy are not just dead but were either never serious, or worse, never functional, in the first place.

In my recollection, the sign of this tipping point was Obergefell vs. Hodges, the case that established that a national interest in forcing equality on an unequal population was more important than the “freedom” of any person or group to escape the hive-mind that says equality is our only value and we must destroy anyone who disagrees. At this point, government made it clear that ideological (or symbolic) objectives were more important than practical ones. Having healthy nuclear families producing K-strategic children is how you build a great nation; following the Soviets into a world where symbolism and appearance are more important than reality and consequences is how you destroy that nation. Obergefell woke up a lot of people, and they started to see that not just was government bad, but that we now have a huge underclass of minorities and failed neurotic whites (most of them ethnic minorities like the Irish, Italians, Greeks, Jews, Poles and Russians) who are banding together to overthrow any vestiges of the old Western European America. They want something more like the third-world lifestyles of Ireland or Italy where nothing really succeeds but the individual can get away with a lot more. That underclass — those who feel powerless because this society was not designed for them — is what gives government its power, thanks to the Leftist immigration acts of the 1960s which changed the composition of this nation-state.

As a result, people are suggesting that we back up and sneak away from this precipice. We realize in our guts that this is democracy’s endgame, and much like how the ideological mania of the Soviets led them over a cliff, it will lead us into the type of simultaneous crashes — social, economic, political, moral — that leave behind wastelands like Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Somalia and Libya. One path is Balkanization or secession, where groups drop out from the mainstream and have their own little communities based on the values they share, like a Western European Traditionalist community. The problem with this is that government takes money from these communities in taxes and distributes it to the underclass, much as it does in Brazil. This is why people talk about secession, so that they can conserve the money produced by their community without having government appropriate it. Mencius Moldbug approached this problem through “patchwork,” where he considered the possibility of a libertarian world government where little corporate states, like the city-states of Venice, exist where citizens pay government for services. What is that you say? He did not mention a libertarian world government? That must have been an oversight, because one of those would be required to prevent the Chinese or Russians from invading and conquering these little states in sequence. That is sort of the gap in Moldbug’s plan, and all libertarian thinking. States evolved for a reason. Naturally, what existed before them — kingdoms — worked better, but was less popular, and with humans, the weak eat the strong through the inversion magic of popularity (which Moldbug called “demotism”: democracy, consumerism and social popularity are parallels of the same idea). In the long term, secession and Balkanization will not hold up.

This led us to a simple realization: there is a totalitarian Left which wants to complete its takeover of this country and more broadly, the remains of the collapsed post-1945 West, and the only way to oppose it is to entirely reject the roots of its power, which is the assumption by most people that “equality” and “pluralism” (including diversity, which is ethno-pluralism) are in fact “good” things at all:

And then, of course, there’s a Supreme Court. You know, the more I think about it, I can’t overstate the significance of the gay marriage decision. Regardless of the merits of the issue, the question is how it was arrived at. For the courts to find a right to homosexual marriage in the Constitution—if they can do that, they can do anything. They can do anything.

At this point, the Constitution is a shredded document used by politicians who go searching through the shreds for a fragment of a sentence that will justify whatever they want to offer to the herd, knowing that the herd votes only for more free stuff or fewer social standards, and so any legal change that combines those — welfare, Obamacare, gay marriage, transgender rights — will be a bit hit with the underclass. Smashing down the family, Confederate heritage, traditional religion including Christianity, heterosexuality, masculinity, and any other thing which is healthy and therefore sets a de facto behavioral standard, is good. They will vote for that, riot in the streets for it, engage in more silly protests with pink hats, whatever. That means the politician gets ahead, and in the Darwinistic world of politics, those who fail to get ahead are eliminated from the pool of those who will have power. You either leap forward or are destroyed. And so politicians will always drift to the Left because the Left’s one idea — “equality” — appeals to the lowest common denominator, or what is weak in all of us, and that will win any election.

We have two choices: go with the totalitarian Left to a state like the USSR, or backpedal from Leftism entirely, and choose from a range of Right-wing options (monarchism, agrarianism, traditionalism, capitalism).

The Alt Right arose to oppose both the path to Leftism doom and the “Right”-wing politicians who were going along with it, empowered by a group of angry old men who like to throw fruit at the screens of their televisions playing Fox News, and then keep on writing checks, to the National Review, conservative book clubs, talk show hosts, and others who take their money and keep them outraged so they do it again. These people sell outrage and a refusal to do anything except be the Token Bad Guy who comes in to defend big business when the Left gets too crazy with its socialist dreams. They also write lots of checks to the government, in the form of taxes, and then impotently rage about it at the local bar, then get up the next day to go to work and do it all over again, because they are proud of “working hard” and “praying hard,” and they always support business and the military. They are perfect tools, suckers and chumps, and they essentially have indulged in the image of being a counter-force to decay for seventy years while helping it along its way. This is why anyone on the Right finds the term “conservative” difficult; I choose it because the philosophy is separate from the people who have hijacked it, and since the Crowd hijacks every time, there is no point blaming the term for the people whose ideas were popular and therefore dominated it.

Following the Huntington path, the Alt Right started by affirming innate traits of the group instead of external ones like politics and economics. For this reason, the Alt Right was into Human Biodiversity (HBD) and nationalism both, but its motivation was to find a traditional method of unifying a civilization, and it found that racial and ethnic similarity was a prerequisite for a civilization to be cohesive; at least, homogeneous societies were the most cohesive over the longest period of time and with the best results. Similarly, the Alt Right affirmed other conservative ideals like the need for a strong nuclear family, traditional sexual roles, values including chastity, and some kind of existential purpose or transcendental viewpoint. It identified the wrong in modern society as individualism, or a type of atomization caused by withdrawal from a public sphere where whatever is popular wins, so only the idiotic prevails, driving people into a type of middle class obliviousness that the Left calls “bourgeois” but is in fact a response to the conditions of democracy when combined with the inherent human tendency toward hubris, or considering themselves to be the center of the world and more important than those who are naturally wiser, more talented or more capable:

De Tocqueville defines individualism as “a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself” (506), and asserts that it is an ill unknown in aristocratic countries, which have egoism, but not individualism.

Individualism and hubris come from the same root, which is placing self-interest before awareness of the greater world out there. People of lower intelligence are naturally inclined toward hubris; they believe themselves to be more intelligent, more capable and wiser than they are, and when their ideas fail, they rationalize those failures as being the fault of someone else, not their own. Civilizations die through caste revolt, and caste revolt consists of the lower castes — who are of low intelligence and thus inclined toward individualism — overthrowing their masters, usually after that higher group has suffered losses in war, disease or another calamity. In the West, we lost many of our aristocrats to the Mongol Wars and the plagues which followed, and this enabled our peasants to ally with our merchants and eventually dominate the leadership of our countries. Since that point, we have been going downhill.

As part of affirming nationalism, the Alt Right rediscovered that Western Civilization can only be formed through Western European people, and that if every other ethnic group will be given an ethnic identity and privileges, European-Descended People (EDP) deserve an identity and the ability to act in racial, ethnic and religious self-interest just like those other groups can do for themselves:

Consider: a generation of identitarian politics across the West has deliberately cultivated tribal resentments among non-whites. For decades white people have been blamed in media and academia for all the world’s ills, while aggressive immigration policies have openly sought to make them minorities in every one of their homelands (a prospect that is widely celebrated in our mainstream institutions). In colleges and universities, white applicants are disfavored for admission, while curricula feature pugnacious courses on eliminating “whiteness”. At the Academy Awards, a black actor says of his latest film “I get to kill all the white people! How great is that?”, and the audience laughs and cheers.

Is it any wonder, then, that in this toxic climate, many white people are developing a sense of identitarianism themselves? This is not “supremacy”; it is nothing more than an perfectly natural (and, therefore, easily predictable) sense of unity and belonging, in an explicitly and increasingly hostile environment.

Equality programs can only work one way. Those who are not successful cannot be improved in ability, which per Darwin reflects our genetics and not our intentions. The only way to achieve equality, then, is to penalize those who are successful, so that those who are not successful are at the same level as the successful ones. This is why Civil Rights programs acted to penalize whites in order to advance others, and, in doing so, created negative conditions for whites, and despite conservatives ignoring this for decades, it has now become threatening enough that white response is to demand the removal of Civil Rights laws that penalize whites. These rules manifest in many ways: baking a gay cake, gay marriage, affirmative action, demands for quotas of women in leadership positions, and the like. All of these are necessary consequences of the idea of equality, since equality without exception requires penalizing the successful to subsidize the less successful.

This backlash has brought mainstream conservatives closer to the underground Right, which was always nationalist, because now the white ethnic groups in the United States and Europe see themselves as being penalized by government for actions out of their control, at a time when minorities are becoming the majority and have more legal protection than whites do:

“I distinguish it from white supremacy because the people who were involved [in the white nationalism movement] were more intellectual,” said Swain, a graduate of Yale Law School. “They were not espousing racial violence or using epithets, but they had grievances. They felt that white people’s rights were being trampled on and no one was speaking up or listening to their grievances.”

…Swain said the white nationalism movement took off — long before Trump took office — because whites were being marginalized and disenfranchised after decades of affirmative action and other government programs designed to benefit minorities.

…“At the time, when [whites] were stressing about the racial double standards, I saw the potential for the argument to resonate among young people,” she recalled. “The white community has its own problems. I knew the movement would grow unless we started addressing the issues.”

This event creates a psychological backlash where people see that whatever is being forced on them is unjust, and therefore they do the opposite, which causes them to adopt a bias. When gay marriage becomes something forced on us, and diversity becomes the law, people rebel against it, and that can lead them to something more important: recognizing that diversity can never work, and that gay marriage is an attack on the family, and through that, to recognize at some level that Leftism and its philosophy, equality, are in fact destructive and not constructive.

American and European Civil Rights policy has failed because the method of creating equality, namely destructive of what which is above equal, causes an equal and opposite reaction which affirms inequality, and through that, hierarchy and a strong sense of social order:

It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better. Firms have long relied on diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing managers’ thoughts and actions. Yet laboratory studies show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias rather than stamp it out. As social scientists have found, people often rebel against rules to assert their autonomy. Try to coerce me to do X, Y, or Z, and I’ll do the opposite just to prove that I’m my own person.

This cultural longing for strong social order — referred to as a “fashwave” — comes from the recognition that dysfunctional ideas of equality are being forced on us because they are not realistic but symbolic, and therefore, forcing them on us destroys us and allows others to conquer us and rule us for their own purposes. Any idea which does not actually function is being used as a means to an end, and as always with equality-based ideologies, it seems to end up at a Communist-style totalitarian government. Our government, despite its Constitution and many smart people in our nation-state, has ended up at this stage through “soft totalitarianism,” in which the mob destroys those who deviate from the official ideology. The recognition of this soft totalitarianism enabled a coalition of different groups to come together and oppose it.

For this reason, it is not sensible to refer to either the Alt Right or Trump’s base as “racist,” because many are simply reacting to the failure of the Clinton-Bush-Obama years, and are only incidentally discovering the problem of diversity because it has been forced upon them. We can see this coalition through the types of people who voted for Trump, and recognize the same patterns in the Alt Right:

One group of Trump backers, whom I call American Preservationists, comprise Trump’s core base of supporters who propelled him through the primaries. They have lower incomes and education and are underemployed. Nearly half of those working age are on Medicaid. Out of step with Republican orthodoxy, Preservationists favor tax hikes on the wealthy, are deeply skeptical of immigration — both legal and illegal — and overwhelmingly support a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. They also feel less favorable toward immigrants and racial minorities, and nearly half think being of European descent is important for being truly American.

Free Marketeers are 25 percent of Trump’s backers and they are the mirror image of American Preservationists, having the highest incomes and education levels. They are most skeptical of Trump, with most saying they voted against Hillary Clinton rather than for Trump. In contrast to the Preservationists, these are small government fiscal conservatives who embrace free trade. At the same time, they are as likely as Democrats to have warm feelings toward immigrants and racial minorities, and to support making legal immigration easier.

The largest Trump voter group is the Staunch Conservatives. They are 31 percent of his support and were the group that combined with the American Preservationists to give Trump the Republican nomination. They are loyal Republicans with conventionally conservative positions on social and economic issues. They also have warm feelings toward racial minorities in the U.S. However, although not as hardline as the Preservationists, they too are skeptical of immigration and strongly support a temporary travel ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S.

Had Anti-Elites, 19 percent of his voters, not turned against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump may have lost the presidency. About half had positive views toward Clinton just four years ago. They support a more progressive tax code, a plurality support a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, and they are as favorable toward racial minorities as non-Trump voters. Why aren’t the Anti-Elites Democrats? In addition to sharing Trump’s disdain for elites, they soured significantly on Hillary between 2012 and 2016 and are more cautious of immigration than Clinton.

Finally, the Disengaged (5 percent) is a small Trump voter group. They don’t know much about politics but what they do know is they are skeptical of immigration and believe the system is rigged against them.

Breaking this down, we can see how these groups correlate to Alt Right support bases:

  • Preservationists = Nationalists
  • Marketeers = Libertarians
  • Conservatives = Republicans and Paleoconservatives
  • Anti-Elites = former Leftists
  • Disengaged = Traditionalists, Reactionaries, National Socialists, neo-Nazis/White Supremacists and Neoreactionaries

We can see how this began long before Trump, and how Obergefell motivated quite a bit of it. Preservationists see that their nation has been altered at a fundamental level, both demographic and political, and realize that this clashes with the values they need in order to function in their physical or real-world occupations. Libertarians see how the financial model of this country has been contorted to support the underclass, resulting in conditions that will reduce our economy to a low-performance level. Conservatives oppose the general shift from “social order” to “equality” that has made this country neo-Communist. Anti-Elites, who believe fundamentally in equality, did not understand that equality would have to be imposed, and now are regretting the damage done in that name. The disengaged are those who took one long hard look at the toxic brew of equality, pluralism and tolerance that arose from “legal equality” and recognized immediately that any options on the democratic path would lead to failure.

The end result of this is that battle lines are drawn. You can be one of these two, but not both:

  1. Leftist. You agree with the direction that the country is headed, generally, because you believe in equality.
  2. Everyone else. You disagree with the direction the country is headed, and realize that “equality” always leads to this direction.

Those who have defected from equality find themselves also rejecting related ideas like democracy and civil rights:

Only a third of US millennials see civil rights as “absolutely essential” in a democracy, compared to 40% of older citizens. Poll results are slightly higher, but similar, in Europe.

Likewise, only 20% of millennials agreed to the statement “a military takeover is not legitimate in a democracy”. A full 25% of American millennials said that democracy is a “bad” or “very bad” way to run a country, up 10% from 20 years ago, and double the rate at which European millennials responded in the same way.

…These millennials can only remember a time after Francis Fukuyama declared the “End of History” and the triumph of Western Liberal Democratic Capitalism. To some extent, they may take the social order for granted and not see much of an issue with reduced liberties, having no memory of the great totalitarian regimes of the past.

In addition, they have lost trust in institutions and recognize on some level that democracy produces bad behavior which manifests in helpless people and dysfunctional government, leading to a distrust of the ideas behind democracy or the theory of democracy, and through it equality, itself. People are starting to see the voters as the bad guys for always choosing the most simplistic, short-sighted, short-term, destructive and illusory options. These sensations motivated many of them to support Trump against those who, like Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders, proposed increasing equality through more civil rights and socialist policies. (Some) people are experiencing existential misery at the hands of those programs and policies, and they realize that adopting more of the same will make the problem worse, not better as their parents and grandparents presupposed.

The result is that we are in Civil War conditions. Right now it is a cold civil war, but eventually it will heat up, because it must. There is no reconciling the two groups, the ones who will do anything for equality and the ones who want anything else, and the different ethnic groups who are each vying with all others for dominance, even if only in local communities. The American Experiment™ has ended in confusion, disorder, enmity, violence, disorganization and corruption, and this is why we are heading for a big split which our leaders are powerless to stop:

What has changed since 1965?

It is not history. There have been no great new discoveries about Lee.

What has changed is America herself. She is not the same country. We have passed through a great social, cultural and moral revolution that has left us irretrievably divided on separate shores.

And the politicians are in panic.

For those who were wondering in the 1820s, 1860s, 1930s, 1960s and 1990s whether those new changes would have profound long-term effects, they now have their answer: they destroy society. And for those of us born among the ruins, the only option is to oppose all previous failed methods, and to look toward something both old and new that can send us in a direction away from the death that previously we chose for ourselves.

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