It is no secret that the tables have turned, and former counterculture is now the Establishment, opposed by those who understood what the prior Establishment claimed to represent but never could quite achieve. The real question now is whether the new counterculture aims to become the next Establishment, which is any type of old dogma weakly defending itself, or to be something better.
This cycle of home team versus away team creates the sportsball nature of politics. Everyone sticks with their team because it fits their individual identities. Home team argues that they are winners, where away team portrays themselves as underdogs gunning for an upset. The people who think life is good “as is” join the home team, and people who are dissatisfied join the away team.
More than Left-versus-Right, this creates the seesaw nature of modern politics. When one side gets in power, it begins dismantling what the other side did, and then the process repeats again. Every few decades there is a fundamental power shift, usually provoked by an enemy which seems allied with either the Establishment or counterculture, and that puts the corresponding party out of favor.
In our case, the most recent enemy after the Soviets has been the globalists, who take a toxic mixture of Leftist ambitions and capitalist funding, amplify it through Keynesian tax-borrow-and-spend policies, and enforce it with the notions of “freedom,” “justice” and “equality” that sound like they should be good things, and so people are afraid to oppose them.
Domestic parties that support similar ideas, mainly the mating of egalitarian sentiments with culture-destroying international business, have suffered a bit of a hit as a result. When they were the counterculture, they promised the opposite of what now that they are finally fully in power, they have delivered.
In addition, their approach has taken on a decidedly Soviet character. Their neo-Communism consists of the same drive toward mass equality, similar attitudes toward censorship and declaring dissidents to be unperson, and a strikingly similar result: a mass culture of workers, living in small apartments, owning little and with no future prospect of escape, in this case because they are taxed to provide for a growing and hostile underclass.
Enter the Alt Right, which could be described as “traditional conservatism” in that it embraces aspects of the Right that were discarded by the mainstream Right in order to be able to compromise with the Left as it won the culture war and consequently, political dominance only occasionally interrupted by a moderate conservative like Ronald Reagan.
In particular, the Alt Right endorses nationalism, which is the recognition that diverse or multicultural nation-states lead to the destruction of the founding group, which in the case of Western Civilization is Western European people. Without this group, there cannot be Western Civilization, although mainstream conservatives would be happy with a mixed-race group upholding its Constitution, capitalism and Christianity.
The Alt Right also endorses a strong social conservatism, in defiance of the trend of the mainstream Right to be more libertarian or “classical liberal,” in response to the disaster of sexual liberation and divorce that has blighted the family and ruined the chances for happiness for many young men. It also seeks to differentiate itself from white nationalism, a movement which focused too much on race alone and ignored the bigger problem which is the real target of the Alt Right, namely the collapse of Western Civilization and our need to restore Western Civilization in order to survive.
Recognizing the success of the Left, the Alt Right sought a simpler goal than the political intrigues of the mainstream Right or underground Right like white nationalism. It sought to create a cultural wave of cynicism toward equality, and in the void created by that doubt, insert the idea of a redesigned and revitalized Western Civilization which would end white genocide and the ongoing consumption of our natural world.
Now that the Alt Right is the new counterculture, or the underdog confronting a calcified Establishment with new ideas that it claims will lead to a better way of life, it has to decide whether it will continue the cycle of in-power versus out-of-power, or if it will entirely upend the paradigm.
Upending the paradigm looks like this: we escape ideology entirely, and instead of imposing human order on the world, we study its order and learn to impose it on ourselves. Darwinistic adaptation instead of humanism. Tradition instead of individualism. In other words, we get over ourselves, transcend our fears, and accept life as not just logical but beautiful, optimal and glorious.
The Alt Right is coming to this place. It is not a political revolution, and not just a cultural one, but a philosophical upending of all that we have considered sacred for the 228 years since the French Revolution. It is the end of mass culture, mass politics and utilitarianism; it is the rise of realism, futurism and sanity.
Only one question remains: what path does the Alt Right choose toward cultural dominance?
Two options exist. First, we could follow the usual pattern and try to get as many warm bodies as possible. Second, we could aim instead for the head, and target the one-in-twenty people who are the natural leaders of humanity. These are the people in any office who always know what to do, understand the core of their tasks more than anyone else, or just can find a path where everyone else falters.
The warm bodies option appeals most to us because it was the way to succeed in the era we have just come out of, The Age of Ideology. In that time — defined by the individualism that says what a person wants is more important than culture, nature or reality — whoever accumulated the largest mass culture movement won. But faith in democracy has shifted; people want results, not the warm feeling of participation.
In our new era, The Age of Organicism, hierarchy and standards have returned. These two go hand-in-hand because standards mean that each individual meets those to a differing degree, which creates rank not based on money and popularity, but ability to fulfill the needs and goals of culture. Organicism refers to the preference for innate tendencies like ethnic, cultural and religious identity as a replacement for the ideology, or motivation of the masses, preferred during The Age of Ideology.
If the Alt Right is the new counterculture but does not want to end up being the new Establishment, it must break free from the methods of the past entirely, which corresponds to an understanding of what the famous utterance by Marshall McLuhan that “the medium is the message” means; much like understanding that demography is destiny, it apprehends that changing behavior is more important than ideology:
McLuhan tells us that a “message” is, “the change of scale or pace or pattern” that a new invention or innovation “introduces into human affairs.” (McLuhan 8) Note that it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it. Thus, the message of theatrical production is not the musical or the play being produced, but perhaps the change in tourism that the production may encourage. In the case of a specific theatrical production, its message may be a change in attitude or action on the part of the audience that results from the medium of the play itself, which is quite distinct from the medium of theatrical production in general. Similarly, the message of a newscast are not the news stories themselves, but a change in the public attitude towards crime, or the creation of a climate of fear. A McLuhan message always tells us to look beyond the obvious and seek the non-obvious changes or effects that are enabled, enhanced, accelerated or extended by the new thing.
McLuhan defines medium for us as well. Right at the beginning of Understanding Media, he tells us that a medium is “any extension of ourselves.” Classically, he suggests that a hammer extends our arm and that the wheel extends our legs and feet. Each enables us to do more than our bodies could do on their own. Similarly, the medium of language extends our thoughts from within our mind out to others. Indeed, since our thoughts are the result of our individual sensory experience, speech is an “outering” of our senses – we could consider it as a form of reversing senses – whereas usually our senses bring the world into our minds, speech takes our sensorially-shaped minds out to the world.
But McLuhan always thought of a medium in the sense of a growing medium, like the fertile potting soil into which a seed is planted, or the agar in a Petri dish. In other words, a medium – this extension of our body or senses or mind – is anything from which a change emerges. And since some sort of change emerges from everything we conceive or create, all of our inventions, innovations, ideas and ideals are McLuhan media.
In other words, message is change and medium is what changes behavior, usually as a labor-saving device.
For the Alt Right, the medium is politics as an expression of hierarchy; that is, we listen to what is the most accurate depiction of reality, recognizing that only the top 2-5% of our population will “get it.” This conveys the message of traditional society: social order, above all else, represented by values, customs, ethnic identity, standards, hierarchy, principles, caste and norms.
We want social order back. We want to restore Western Civilization. But we cannot do that through the medium of mass politics because mass politics inverts signal and noise by choosing popular semi-truths over unpopular complex ones, which most people cannot understand and consequently, discard because they consider it insane or stupid.
The medium distorts the message, and this was the longstanding contribution of The Age of Ideology. By translating an idea into something that a mass culture can understand, we are forced to twist it until it no longer resembles itself, but is most like everything else, because everything else is attuned to the simple fact of what the crowd can understand and what it likes to think is true (once called “pretense”).
This fits with an ancient idea, derived from Plato and represented in the Bible, that only a small number of people make all the important changes in our world, while everyone else basically creates chaos through their individualistic behavior:
As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.
…Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts. Curiously, too, he applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character â€” too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.
…In the 18th century, however, certain European philosophers spread the notion that the mass man, in his natural state, is not at all the kind of person that earlier authorities made him out to be, but on the contrary, that he is a worthy object of interest. His untowardness is the effect of environment, an effect for which “society” is somehow responsible. If only his environment permitted him to live according to his lights, he would undoubtedly show himself to be quite a fellow; and the best way to secure a more favorable environment for him would be to let him arrange it for himself. The French Revolution acted powerfully as a springboard for this idea, projecting its influence in all directions throughout Europe.
The Age of Ideology was the age of domination by the masses; The Age of Organicism will be dominated again by the Remnant through the principle of hierarchy, by which we place those who have “force of intellect” and in parallel also “force of character” above the rest, and entrust them with wealth and power, because they will conserve it — keep it out of the hands of the insane — and use it well.
From elsewhere in The Republic:
When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.
The “true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things” is what we need. Mass culture has ruined Western Civilization, even though this decline had its origins far earlier when corrupt merchants began using lesser aristocrats and fallen churchmen as a weapon against the kings. The goal was always to seize wealth and power from those who would not abuse it.
The Florida demonstration constitutes a victory for the Alt Right. The Alt Right went in saying that the masses are delusional, that they hate any ideas they cannot control, and that they are violent Communists who use diversity as a weapon to destroy white people. Antifa and other Leftists promptly showed up and proved the Alt Right correct, for the third or fourth time in a row.
America and Europe are looking at this and thinking, “Holy mackerel. We let these people — the Left — rule us?” Not surprisingly, a wave of populist victories in Britain, America, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Poland and The Czech Republic are showing us that people are in fact rejecting the Leftist idea in its ultimate form as globalism.
Globalism expresses the single idea that the Left really has — human equality, which is the individualism legitimized during The Enlightenment™ — by removing any borders and standards imposed on human behavior. It creates the one worldwide mass culture, unified by consumerism and socialism, which like the French Revolutionaries which are its ideological ancestor, demands more for the individual from society and in the name of equality.
Most people find it hard to reject the idea of equality. Like pacifism, it seems to make sense when you take it for granted that civilization will always be there, and that your immediate need to transact business and socialize is more important than goals above the individual, like values, philosophy, heritage and purpose. But when “equality” reveals itself to be a path to neo-Communism, censorship, third world levels of disorder, constant ethnic violence, corrupt governments, and racial replacement by foreign populations, people oppose it; even more, they have realized that the roots of globalism were formed of democracy and equality and proceeded inexorably from that seed, eventually flowering into its final form, which suspicious resembled Communism with consumerism.
But to the Alt Right, equality is a false god that replaces the need to strive for virtue. Egalitarians of course will insist that equality is the only virtue, which is a popular message because it is easier to be politically correct in one area than to be morally upright in every area of life.
How a message of virtue became contorted into a message of upholding only one presumed virtue shows us the medium as the message. When we simplify for the herd, corruption and inversion of the message occurs, and that always reverts to the most base instincts of humanity. Those boil down to a desire for “anarchy with grocery stores” and free stuff paid for by other people, as propelled the French Revolution.
In Florida, the Alt Right triumphed. It has revealed its enemies to be the Establishment. Its strength is rising, and at this point, the only enemy that can defeat it is the Alt Right itself, if it does not heed the lessons of history and focuses on pandering to the lowest common denominator instead of looking toward informing, inspiring and revitalizing the Remnant.
Tags: alt-right, marshall mcluhan, mass culture, the remnant, white civil rights