Dear Dark Elves, we read in an essay by Mr Curtis Yarvin recently which states that it is only possible for us hobbits to win any given culture war if we let you dark elves lead us. We object. In fact, dear dark elves, you will lose this culture war, just like you have lost all other culture wars against the high elves. Let us explain why.
First, let us thank Mr Yarvin for writing his article because in spite of our different views on elf-hobbit race relations, we believe that his essay created a debate that brought sediment up to the surface. Unlike many dwarven pundits who may sit on their hairy backs looking for an elven essay to criticize just for the sake of bashing an elf, we have an interest in dark elves being able to counter the haughty narcissism of the high elves that makes our hobbit blood boil. Let us therefore be clear that our intent with this text is not to mock neither Mr Yarvin nor dark elves in general but to move forward toward a common ground for elves and hobbits.
Let us recapture what Mr Yarvin wrote about dark elves. In his essay he identified two different types of humans: elves and hobbits. We may think dwarves and orcs should be analyzed too but he decided to stick to elves and hobbits, perhaps for the sake of simplicity. He then described a house of elves known as “dark elves” to which he belongs that are elves who oppose the stronger elf house, the high elves.
The dark elves need the help of the hobbits to overthrow the high elves. The problem, Mr Yarvin argues, is that the hobbit are at the present moment trying to overthrow the high elves by themselves, thereby sidestepping the dark elves. Mr Yarvin means that this is a dead end, because hobbits are not made to lead, but to follow. Elves, on the other hand, are natural born leaders.
Now, dear dark elves, there are three major flaws in your approach that makes your culture war unwinnable. We will describe them one by one so that when you have finished reading this text you will have a deeper understanding of what you are doing and what you should be doing.
The first flaw: the failure to understand the hobbit mindset.
Dear dark elves, you write articles about the culture war and between the lines it becomes apparent that “culture” in a dark elf sense is not so much about contemporary music, art, literature or theatre, but more about aristocratic values and traditions that will never attract any major hobbit support whatsoever.
Values and traditions are of course major parts of culture, for both elves and hobbits, but they are like everything else transmitted through the fabrics of society through music, art, literature and theatre.
So what is the medium by which you, the dark elves will transmit these values and traditions to the hobbits to release them of the dangerous grasp of the high elves?
So far it seems it is limited to Internet memes and six-thousand-word intellectual articles about the importance of waging a non-specific culture war to re-establish some form of neo-aristocracy.
Dear dark elves, if we assume that any house of elves who want to rule things must gain a substantial number of hobbit support, we can ask ourselves “how many hobbits usually enjoy ironic online memes and delve into long intellectual articles?”
Not very many perhaps, which highlights this first very obvious flaw in the entire dark elf plot.
The high elves on the other hand understood many centuries ago that in order to win the hobbit vote in the polling booth and in the supermarket they must use music, art, literature, and theatre and adapt it to a hobbit audience. They analyzed the situation and found that saying “here, eat this ice cream with Bill Gates’ face on it” is a more persuasive way to win the hobbit vote than to say “since you are too ignorant to understand, little hobbit, you better let us lead you in the right direction.”
You see, the high elves understood that hobbits have always been in power due to their strength in numbers compared to elves. They also understood that in order to gain support from the hobbits they must create division among the hobbits and attract the most dangerous hobbits to join their ranks. This is called social mobility and is one of the most important tools in the high elf toolbox.
Dear dark elves, so far I see no sign of plan for social mobility to attract hobbits to join your cause. You expect respect and trust from the hobbits but offer nothing in return. You see, hobbits value practical skill. It may be bad skills such as selling sex online or to earn enough money from drug trade to buy a fat mansion, or good skills, such as recording heterodox music without asking for too much pay because you hate usury, but all of these are practical skills nonetheless, and hobbits value practical skills.
Elves value other skills, things such as ideology, manners, and family name that sometimes are hardly even skills but more mysterious virtues that elves often find it best not to scrutinize too much.
High elves have understood that they need to create a society with a meritocratic facade where diplomas from a high elf university can open the elevator door to the Lothlorien penthouse floor for the ambitious hobbit with sufficient skills.
Dark elves however, seem to think that hobbits should be satisfied with a supportive role where only dark elves have access to the room with great view overlooking Middle Earth, even though the hobbit may be more skilled than the elf and should be rewarded with such an apartment.
To a hobbit skills, no matter how dumb they may seem, sort people. Bloodlines and virtues do not.
The second flaw: the failure to understand how to promote culture.
Dear dark elves, for every academic article written by one of your kind on the importance of waging the culture war the high elves simple release ten movies, ten thousand songs, and ten million reviews of said movies and songs. The hobbits pick the most hobbitish of pastimes and ask themselves what go best with a BBQ and a day on the beach: an action movie and some music or perhaps a long intellectual article with lots of difficult words?
Now we hear the loud objections from the house of dark elves. “We do write about culture,” you say. “Every day there are many new articles, blog posts and tweets describing in the most vivid language why those ten movies and ten thousand songs are revolting and show all the signs of a corrupt and degenerate culture.”
It sounds like a valid argument, but it is not. What the dark elves are actually doing is fighting the culture war for the high elves, not against the high elves.
Dear dark elves, we must ask ourselves one question: why do high elves, when they write reviews, always write about culture products that support high elf values and not culture products that support dark elf values? After all, they could write the same kind of reviews that dark elves do, that demonize and trash every book. and every album coming from a dark elf source?
Well, dear dark elves, the answer is quite simple: even when one trashes something in a review it makes people interested and encourages them to click whatever link there is to that revolting song or movie they are supposed to hate. High elves do not review dark eft culture simply because it would lead potential customers to the dark elves.
It is better for high elves to only review high elf culture products. It is also better for high elves if dark elves also only review high elf culture products. Both high elves and dark elves will thus work together to bring potential customers toward the high elves, while any culture product that may support any dark elf idea will receive a minimum of customers, just like the high elves want it to be.
So, dear dark elves, every time you review a high elf music video many hobbits or other dark elves who come across your review will click the link to the song. Sometimes they will despise the product and sometimes they will love it. It is therefore a high elf win either way. One new customer out of thousand readers is better than zero new customers.
You could of course change your tactics completely and revolutionize you culture war by reviewing dark elf culture instead, such as a new dark elf music album, book, theatre or movie. It would not be that hard, could it?
Well, dear dark elves, you know the answer just as we do. You are elves. You do not produce any culture, you only talk about it so there is not much dark elf culture to review. You are stuck in an endless loop of luring customers to high elf culture and make quite pointless remarks about a culture war you will never win anyway, simply because you do not find anything useful to review coming from your side in the war.
Let us for the sake of honesty stop calling it a culture war and instead call it a culture genocide to make it even more obvious what you are dealing with, because dark elves show not a single sign of actually fighting back.
The third flaw: the failure to understand the dark hobbit.
Dear dark elves, you assume that high elves produce the culture they use to fill up the hobbit mind. This is not true. High elves produce just as little culture as you do. So where is the culture produced that the high elves feed their hobbit pets? You know the answer to this one too: it is the hobbits themselves who produce it to gain entrance to the world of elves or to climb the intra-hobbital social ladder.
Yes, dear dark elves! The high elves simply channel hobbit culture though a high elf lens to see which values could be useful to herd the hobbits in a profitable direction and then feed it back to the hobbits. All that it takes for high elves is to control the cultural choke points.
So what the dark elves should do, but never will do, is to look at the abundance of culture coming from a certain house of hobbits we may call the dark hobbits who are in conflict with the rest of hobbitkind that we may call the high hobbits.
Dark hobbits are not hard to find. In fact, our own indie band Lilou & John that we hereby market without even a hint of humility, could be such a dark hobbit band. To put it in a very direct and very hobbitish way without any elf refinement: write a review about us instead of Beyoncé, cave sprite!
To lay it out in an even more explicit hobbitish manner: while you were discussing your culture war and sent customers to at least ten thousand different high elf culture producers we have released eight albums, EPs and singles in a variety of genres that have been highly praised by hobbits, dark hobbits and even high elves, despite our very deep and playful delving into the abyss of the Götterdämmerung. However, the dark elf reviews are scarce. Very scarce.
So, dear dark elves, why do you expect us to follow you when you obviously do not give a damn about us?
(This is where you may wrinkle your forehead and for the hundredth time ask yourself in a solemn voice why you still have not won the culture war. Perhaps you should talk about hiphop on your new podcast and see if it helps?)
Of course, this would mean that all you dark elves would have to accept that dark hobbits are not just foot soldiers under your command but really more of a cultural avant garde, which would spoil the entire elf-hobbit hierarchy that dark elves seem to value more than anything.
We will however treat you dark elves with slightly more respect than you have showed us. We do not believe that dark elves are just a bunch of high brow lollygaggling talkaholics with hubris and too much sparetime. We appreciate your knowledge and analytical skill but right now you are using it in support of the high elves.
Despite our hobbitish manners and lack of refinement we are the best bet you have. Like all true dark hobbit poets, singers and artists we are constantly moving between genres that will mess up the classical perfection of your Rivendell castle-by-the-waterfell but quite frankly you can choose between us and everlasting high elf dominance.
So dear dark elves, we definitely think you have a part to play in this game. We just do not think it has anything to do with culture unless you are willing to accept the reality of the culture war: 1) dark hobbits sing the song, 2) dark elves write the review, 3) dark elves win. If dark elves do not write the review or instead write a review for a high hobbit song, dark elves lose.
A culture war is a very simple war, dear dark elves, all you have to do is to see the difference between high hobbits and dark hobbits and actually start fighting back.