Conservatives struggle with a fundamental problem: our ideals are perennially unpopular, at least until things get so bad that people are desperate enough for a solution that they turn to matured wisdom.
As long as the proles — the 90% of any society who belong to the category of people who need to be told what to do — have fat enough paychecks, beer, bread and circuses, they are perfectly content to ignore any long term problems. In fact, they delight in not just ignoring them but shaming anyone who notices them as a “loser,” because this makes them feel more powerful.
With the fall of Berlin, conservatism was not just marginalized by its relative unpopularity, but actively under assault for any area where its ideas overlapped with those of the National Socialists. This caused the “winners” to immediately drop those ideas, and the “losers” to hang on to them, perhaps with the disclaimer that they could be implemented differently.
Only fifteen years after the end of the second world war, America and Europe were already swinging hard to the Left, mainly because post-war prosperity guaranteed that people would be entirely unconcerned about any long-term consequences. As the saying goes, while there’s food, the peasants party, and then only worry about what to do when they wake up the next day to find themselves hungry.
Since that triumph of the Left, conservatives who speak honestly and realistically have been essentially a persecuted minority, with those who speak taboo truths finding themselves facing the terror of public opinion which seeks to deprive them of jobs, housing, friends and family:
“The thought of getting outed as ‘white supremacists’ to our employers and possibly losing our jobs is a horrifying prospect,” the user Ignatz wrote. If forced to choose between a rally, which could bring him unwanted exposure, or supporting his white family, he says he would choose the latter.
…”But, by and large, people are scared because of the exact same reasons you’d expect,” says Hankes. “It’s hard to get a job, hard to make a living, hard to have a normal social life when all your friends and family know you believe in ethnic cleansing.”
This means that we are living in a soft totalitarian state. Like regular garden-variety totalitarianism, soft totalitarian controls people by regulating what methods and ideas they can be exposed to. However, soft totalitarianism adds a wrinkle: We The People, in our endless quest for social acceptance, do the enforcing instead of government.
That extends to corporations and others who achieve their success and wealth through being popular. Consumerism, as it turns out, is a form of democracy; whatever the largest group of people purchases, wins, and so a market or competition is set up in which companies compete to be the most popular. Inevitably, that spills outward from value and quality of their products to public image, which then swings Leftward as all things do when left up to a mass of people, mainly because that mass chooses the lowest common denominator, which is always simple social sentiments instead of complex critical thinking.
In a soft totalitarian state, government uses freedom as a weapon, knowing that most people are short-term thinkers and therefore both selfish and oblivious to long-term consequences, and that in groups, people always choose a mediocre option in order to keep the group together because only a few people understand the task and have a sensible take on it, anyway. The more freedom and fewer restrictions, the more emboldened the mob becomes to engage in bad behavior, and as a result, the more it fears anyone who wants actual standards, morals, customs, values, culture, heritage, religion or purpose. The mob is the weapon.
In any democratic state, the mob takes over because it creates a market for liars. These actors go on stage, make promises they know are untrue, collect votes and then drive out anyone else. Like the Chicago “political machines” of the 19th century, they then rig the system so no one else can win. As Plato noted, they invariably import foreigners who, as people alienated from the majority, always vote for strong protectors, and so keep the actors in charge.
Their problem is that, as conductors of the masses, they must find a way to motivate an increasingly selfish and sluggish group of very distracted people, most of whom are lost in solipsistic ego-drama and attention whoring, in order to stay in power. To do this they must create vivid images like we would find in comic books of exaggerated good versus evil, with the underdog always winning because most people see themselves as an underdog, if for nothing else to justify their selfish behavior and excuse their failings, claiming oppression and therefore a “right” to take what they secretly believe is theirs, or to simply not contribute much. Politics becomes a hybrid between a circus and a football game, with constant distractions to keep the crowd interested, and then narrow characterizations to channel them into one opinion or another. This is one of the many reasons that democracy is immoral and dishonest.
Many have misunderstood this characteristic of democracy. They see how democracy acts against white people, men, Christians and intelligent people, and assume that it has singled these out for some purpose of its own. In a realistic assessment, what it is doing is forming a pretext. Democracy is the political system of equality; equality is only valuable to those who need it, which are the ones who could not succeed without it. If there are one hundred students in a class and a test comes back where grades are worse than usual, it is not the kids with As who are claiming the test was not fair. Equality creates an inherent victim narrative where those who are not successful claim to be equal, which means that the only reason they are not doing as well as the successful is that they have been victimized, oppressed or discriminated against by some force… and there is no one to blame except those who are successful. This is why all equality movements consist of taking from the successful and giving to the less successful. The war against successful groups — including white people in lands founded by white people — is a pretext for the seizure of wealth and power, followed by redistribution of the same.
You might wonder, why does this equality of power not threaten those in power? The answer is that equality is entropy. If everyone literally has the same amount of power, nothing will get done; this is why all known anarchist communes have perished, even those below Dunbar’s number, the mythical amount of people that one can personally know which allows — in theory — any political system to work. As a result, the equal crowd will always turn to a leader or protector, and who better to do this than the person who just gifted them with wealth and power taken from those who succeeded more than the herd? This creates a cycle where politicians gain power by stealing, then give it to the people, who give it back in exchange for more, and so taxes always go up, more rules are created so there can be more fines, more fees are charged to those with more wealth, and educational systems are designed to bore the intelligent and delight the idiotic.
Soft totalitarianism consists of this cycle. In the circus part of the cycle, the politicians provoke outrage in the herd about some target that can be easily destroyed. The mob, which like all groups with no individual power and full anonymity, loves to destroy, and this whets its excitement like a guillotine or race riot. Then comes the football game part of the cycle, where the crowd is encouraged to view itself as intelligent and morally upstanding for supporting blue team over red team. Finally, the politicians deliver the flashpoint: the other team victimized us, and thus we are justified in destroying them. By any means necessary. They are against our values. They threaten us. They must be destr– errr, defeated, wink wink.
We are now caught in that cycle. The Left whipped up the circus by calling the Alt Right “racists,” and there has been no greater sin according to American herd politics since 1945, so people were ready for violence. The cops created the football game by encouraging violence. Then, after one potentially mentally unstable person panicked and in trying to escape, crashed into another car which then killed one person and injured nineteen, the herd was told that it was the victim. There was the dog whistle! The crowd rushed off to smash the bad team, and the corporations, desperate for attention because it is the only thing keeping them relevant in an anarchic society with no values, used that as a pretext to wage war against the Alt Right.
In the past twenty-four hours, we have seen:
At this point, we see a fundamental problem with the internet: once entirely owned by the government, it now is mostly in the hands of private businesses, and they are prone to do whatever reduces the number of complaints coming in while also giving them headlines that appease the Left, because the Left are the primarily media consumers and especially of social media, where they are most active in both finding news and regular use:
Overall, consistent conservatives are somewhat less likely than consistent liberals to get government and political news on Facebook or Twitter, primarily because they are somewhat less likely to use the sites in the first place. About half (49%) of consistent liberals (and a similar share of those with mixed ideological views) say they got news about government and politics in the past week from Facebook, compared with 40% of consistent conservatives. And while 13% of consistent liberals say they got political news on Twitter in the past week, just 5% of consistent conservatives (and 8% of groups in between) say the same.
Rather than expand to an audience which is less interested in spending its time clicking around, perhaps because it has more important things to do, the media is doubling down on its existing audience, mainly because the fortunes of the dot-com boom are fading and since statistics count warm bodies, it is essential to these companies to get as many warm bodies in the door as possible.
This means that private companies are in control of public spaces where these private companies derive benefit from making “safe spaces,” which means removing all non-Left-wing content. That realization prompted calls to regulate social media as a public utility:
Bannon’s basic argument, as he has outlined it to people who’ve spoken with him, is that Facebook and Google have become effectively a necessity in contemporary life. Indeed, there may be something about an online social network or a search engine that lends itself to becoming a natural monopoly, much like a cable company, a water and sewer system, or a railroad. The sources recounted the conversations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give the accounts on record, and could face repercussions for doing so.
…Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission moved forward on a plan to regulate internet service providers as utilities, barring them from slowing down traffic to a site in order to pressure it into paying higher fees. The Trump administration is pushing to reverse that move, which complicates Bannon’s message.
…Silicon Valley’s liberal cultural politics puts it at odds occasionally with more conservative, rural Trump voters. Facebook was confronted by a backlash over its news curating during last year’s presidential campaign. With insiders claiming there was an anti-conservative bias, Facebook pulled its live team off the project.
If you can imagine a town where the only public spaces — churches, pubs, parks, streetcorners and any other place where more than a handful of people could gather — were owned by a company that forbade discussion of certain topics, you can see the risk in allowing private companies to control what has become a public space that has displaced other means of mass communication. This causes concern for the removal of free speech through methods that soft totalitarianism pioneered:
This brings me to the heart of my argument, today free speech no longer hinges on the government telling people it cannot say certain words. Earlier this year the Supreme Court affirmed that “hate speech” that bogeyman of inferior minds is protected speech. Rather, what’s happened is that the concept of “corporate social responsibility” a buzzword for social justice taught in business schools across the US, has been used to deplatform and deny the right the opportunity to participate in the arena of ideas simply because they control the medium, or media, through which the message must travel.
Technology has put the spirit of the First Amendment in a difficult position. Pedants all over the internet will tell you that censorship is only censorship when the government does it, private companies can censor all they want. They can refuse to do business with an individual.
Totalitarianism is a government banning ideas and behaviors; soft totalitarianism is a raging mob that destroys anything which disagrees with the idea of the mob itself, which is that everyone is accepted and wealth and power should be redistributed to them. This is what mobs have always wanted, an excuse to destroy and loot, and resembles a slow-motion riot more than intelligent political change. With social media, soft totalitarianism has found its ultimate weapon.
For the Right to survive this, it will need to create its own internet from the ground-up based on explicit principles of freedom of speech. A good start would be decentralizing, or abandoning centralized sites like Facebook and Google, to instead user a smaller network of blogs, news sites, search engines and chat rooms that are too numerous and too unknown to become targets. Eventually, the wires and servers themselves could be furnished, presenting a space of actual net neutrality not just in its mechanics but in its refusal to allow any host to prioritize traffic from any other, because that would in itself be a form of proto-censorship of this public-private space.
We are living in a soft totalitarian state. As Plato wrote, democracy always collapses this way and leaves behind tyranny. People are loathe to realize that what most of us want, in any group, is usually wrong, mainly because a mob has no accountability and people act through social behavior instead of logical thinking. If humanity is to survive into the next century, it is essential that we come to awareness that the crowd is evil and our only salvation lies in creating a hierarchy where the smartest, not the mob, are on top.