As the disaster of liberal democracy crashes into the crater it has made for itself, human minds turn toward the question of what comes next. Our tendency is to want something “new,” but this is the type of spastic reaction that creates more of the same by avoiding the parts of the old that are still necessary.
From a computer science viewpoint, we could view modernity as a “fork” or branching of previous society which began with the introduction of egalitarianism, or the idea that all people are equal, almost a thousand years ago. This began long before the French Revolution, but picked up speed in the first half of the millennium.
Liberal democracy was well invested with these views by the time of Christopher Columbus, only to find out later that these ideas eroded any possibility of action except toward more liberation of the individual, leading to a dissolution of social order:
[T]he Europeans were bringing to the world the then-novel idea that one group of people didnâ€™t have the right to impose its will on another group.
This revolution in thinking, which ultimately undermined European imperialism, was announced by the Declaration of Independence and its assertion of the self-evident truth of human equality.
From these early assumptions came a new idea of not just what a nation was, but what civilization was. Where previously the goal had been to act in self-interest and according to internal hierarchy, in the new conception, the individual was king.
This required eliminating all forms of hierarchy — the family, culture, values, heritage, identity — and then, to establish equality, removing all differences between people as measured in outcomes, which required subsidies like welfare, entitlements, unions and eventually the socialist state.
That revolution in thought gave rise to the proposition nation, or one formed according to the idea that all humans were identically equal, and therefore that the only distinction between nation-states was found in borders, laws and economics.
The proposition nation inverted all previous ideas of what made nations and cultures unique and distinctive, and replaced those with rules and political symbolism:
It’s a clichÃ© of contemporary debate that America is a unique â€œProposition Nation,â€ not one of those nasty ethnically-specific nation-states in Europe. Anyone can become an American by subscribing to a set of abstract principles, etc. etc. Quack quack.
…[I]n fact, many European intellectuals had similar delusions of â€œUniversal Nationâ€-hood. The most obvious example: France, where assimilating Africans and Arabs to French â€œcultureâ€ was actually official policy for a while. And not without some misleading signs of success, as in the American case.
In this way, ideology replaces culture, heritage and values. Since there can be only one fundamental allegiance, it wages war against those and the institutions that support them, including normal family life, healthy masculinity and femininity, religion, history, pride in nation and identity, and finally, facts themselves. Ideology is a dark god of power that absorbs everything which might compete with it, replacing those with identical copies of itself.
It required a new mythology to explain why this process was positive, and the West found it through the writings of Karl Marx, a self-hating/deracinated Jew who turned his back on his own ancestral traditions and replaced them with a type of materialism based in economics.
Materialism in this case refers to the primacy of objects in determining outcomes. Those objects, rather than the informational or metaphysical order in which they occupy positions, interact and by this clash of their inherent properties, create the order in our world from the bottom up instead of from the top down.
Maxism provided a justification for the further incursion of equality, made a seemingly universal value by The Renaissance™ and The Enlightenment.™
Modern industry, [“The Communist Manifesto”] proclaimed, had revolutionized the world. It surpassed, in its accomplishments, all the great civilizations of the pastâ€”the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman aqueducts, the Gothic cathedrals. Its innovationsâ€”the railroad, the steamship, the telegraphâ€”had unleashed fantastic productive forces. In the name of free trade, it had knocked down national boundaries, lowered prices, made the planet interdependent and cosmopolitan. Goods and ideas now circulated everywhere.
Just as important, it swept away all the old hierarchies and mystifications. People no longer believed that ancestry or religion determined their status in life. Everyone was the same as everyone else. For the first time in history, men and women could see, without illusions, where they stood in their relations with others.
Technological development had been inevitable for centuries because technology advances exponentially once a few basics are established, then linearly until the next large conceptual breakthrough. While technology aided the rise of egalitarian thought, its inception began long before, and the writings of Marx were a post hoc explanation for that rise which rationalized a different phenomenon as their source.
This shows us what would become known as “The Leftist Method”: infiltrate an institution, inject egalitarian thought, then sabotage it so that the ruined state can be identified as the original state, and then blame that ruined wreck so that it can be argued that it must be replaced with more egalitarianism.
Marx advanced a theory designed to please egalitarianism: the lack of egalitarianism was the source of conflict in a technological world, and therefore, it needed to be displaced. More accurately, what had happened was that social order — including hierarchy, culture and heritage — had been displaced, resulting in a struggle for money as the only source of power and stability.
He advanced a vision that flattered the individualism of atomized humans by arguing that since this hierarchy of money had disadvantages, all hierarchy was bad, and the only solution was to abolish social order:
The new modes of production, communication, and distribution had also created enormous wealth. But there was a problem. The wealth was not equally distributed. Ten per cent of the population possessed virtually all of the property; the other ninety per cent owned nothing. As cities and towns industrialized, as wealth became more concentrated, and as the rich got richer, the middle class began sinking to the level of the working class.
Soon, in fact, there would be just two types of people in the world: the people who owned property and the people who sold their labor to them. As ideologies disappeared which had once made inequality appear natural and ordained, it was inevitable that workers everywhere would see the system for what it was, and would rise up and overthrow it.
This moved society from an architectonic order, where every part supports every other part and vice-versa through constant minute interaction, to a linear one, where every perceived problem is acted on with great force by a centralized authority ruling over identical humans to whom the rules apply in exactly the same way, a derivative of philosophical universalism.
With Marx, the modern state had a theory to justify its egalitarian consumption of all things outside ideology. Equality means “no rules,” with a small asterisk for avoiding the big crimes against the individual such as rape, murder and theft. Everything else can happen, because people are equal, and therefore their choices are sovereign against all other claims to social order.
This produces the modern state that we all know, which seems strong but has a fatal flaw:
From my correspondentâ€™s perspective, then, the USA looks like a very robust creation. But then, the USSR looked pretty robust for a long time. And these two nations, the USA and the USSR shared a thing in common, a thing that differentiated them from those nations like France, Iran, and Chinaâ€”nations that, at least in their own estimation, are far older. What they shared was precisely the lack of what those other nations have: a sense of old, rooted, ethnic nationhood. They were, to put it very bluntly, artificial creations, assembled around a set of abstract ideas.
This produced a revolutionary nation, or one defined in opposition to well-known methods of civilization, rather than in favor of some ideal of its own. It claimed egalitarianism as its ideal, but the concept of equality serves more as its advertising, with the real result being a concentration of power in those who can manipulate mass culture through statements which appeal to the weaknesses and fears of their audience.
That is the horror of the modern era that Western Civilization citizens have endured for the past centuries. All of our ideological conflicts, including our World Wars, have emerged from the savage imposition of this model and its desire to crush all resistance. It is a mental virus which seeks world domination and, because its actual goals are separate from its advertising, can take any form and subvert any institution.
Marx seemed to be aware of the childlike and illusory nature of this pursuit:
In a communist society, he wrote, â€œnobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes.â€ It will be possible â€œto hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner . . . without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman, or critic.â€
But he did not mention the end result, which was that equality means that social order is displaced by social control, or the use of what appeals to other people by pandering to their lowest impulses in order to create mass consensus and to remove any obstacles to ideological domination.
What is happening in the rich democracies may be not so much a war between the haves and the have-nots as a war between the socially advantaged and the left-out.
Under equality, our society has become an economy based on ideology. Those who express the ideology the best are advanced above others, and those who fail to express the ideology are driven away from wealth and power, creating a Darwinian filter that ensures an echo chamber where only the ideology is asserted.
This creates a marketplace for the same ideology applied in different formats, genres, media and concepts. This in turn creates a chorus of voices from every direction affirming the same essential ideas, resulting in a mass conformity that appears to be the opposite of conformity, in which only obedience succeeds.
The problem with this marketplace is that it is not based on results in reality, but on popularity of ideas. It manifests through different forms — voting, consumerism and social attention — but each achieves the same result. This is the core of modernity, and shows why it is difficult to displace.
As a reality-displacing form of order, it produces political thinking based on appearance. This rewards those who create socially popular images, and divides the nation against itself by encouraging people to see their political choices as a form of personal identity, which in turn makes them see any other, or competing, choices as an attack on them personally. This explains the defensive and resentful behavior of people in modern societies.
These divisions eventually tear the society apart, but because its echo chamber works to exclude any possibilities other than varieties of individualism, its people cannot stop following the path to doom. For them to do so is to admit personal failure and to cut themselves out of the wealth which is awarded to ideological conformists.
For this reason, democracies always fail:
In reality, the research summarised by Achen and Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement. We base our political decisions on who we are rather than what we think. In other words, we act politically â€“ not as individual, rational beings but as members of social groups, expressing a social identity. We seek out the political parties that seem to correspond best to our culture, with little regard to whether their policies support our interests. We remain loyal to political parties long after they have ceased to serve us.
Democracy is the political extension of equality and the foundation of Leftism, although Leftists will quickly abandon it if the results contradict the ideology, as we see with election 2016 in the United States. It produces an instability that is not passionate like those of dictatorships or monarchies, but a gradual slide into irrelevance and dysfunction.
In 2016, the holy image of democracy and equality — and their handmaidens diversity, atheism, sexual liberation and the welfare state — have died. It took centuries, but we have finally seen the end results of these ideological conquerors. Those show us a path to doom in which no one will dare speak out against the decline.
This is why the Alt Right was created. Its initial goal is the defeat of the postwar Left, but this is as a means to its longer-term goal, which is a restoration of the society against which modernity is a revolution. We can keep our technology, and use it more wisely, but live in sanity for once instead of this ideological death spiral.