Like the force of gravity, the temptation is to accept the narrative and change our thinking so that everything seems like it will turn out okay. Stop resisting, stop questioning, and stop noticing; simply put your faith in the System, which is not the old mean system where Progress meant tearing down trees for factories, but the new happy System in which Progress means that everyone gets to be important as long as they keep going to work for ten hours a day.
Stop and consider instead the plague of our time: incompetence. On the surface, we live in a wonderland of products, services and institutions. Underneath, very little of this works except for the simplest possible cases, generally because it is staffed by incompetent and inattentive people. This occurs because in the postmodern West, “the job is no longer the job”; what matters most is political obedience and the nebulous but important ability to be socially acceptable to others. Those who succeed are sometimes those who exceed the norm, but more likely those who are personable, have memorable mini-biographies in their CV, and avoid stepping in any of the many pitfalls. If you cannot choose the best person, choose someone who causes no problems. The result of this regime appears in the form of people who are very good at avoiding visible mistakes but are actually not all that alert. They get ahead on their confidence that every task fits within the framework they have memorized that serves 80% of tasks but does not apply to the rest. And with society in a state of constant growth, 20% losses are insignificant so long as a new, more credulous audience keeps coming in the door. Why spend time and money on an oddball when there is easy money on a mechanical process of more of the same?
Even at the political level this manifests. Our highest echelons of leaders treat every problem as either a lack of jobs, a need to bomb, or an opportunity to create another institution of bureaucrats. None of these work very well, but the product is not the end result; it is the appearance. The voters are seemingly too perpetually clueless to notice this, but the goods paid for are delivered at the press conference and in the warm feelings that spread through the hive, and influence its buying patterns thus make it more profitable. In the same way, the goal of a product in a big-box store is to make a good presentation in the commercial, seem appealing on the shelf, and then avoid manifesting any of its more blatant problems during the warranty period. Academia and science follow a similar template, inventing “studies” and “theories” that allow people to turn to their neighbor, point at it and execute the classic see-I-told-you-so, then forget about six months later when it comes out that the data was cherry-picked. This dysfunction is universal yet is never noticed. That is: you never see mention of it in print, on the radio, on television or even among a social group. Everyone accepts it as some form of background hum that must be endured but has no particular relevance.
How did we rise to this level of incompetence? One answer is provided above: people who can tell the difference are rare, and it is easier to simply find more clueless people than to take the time and effort to address those with solid needs. In America, we began this process with the importation of non-Western Europeans and extended it through the democratization of education and “success.” This promoted people of incompetent judgment skills who were competent at another sham process, which is education, or the memorization of many “facts” and then reciting them on demand in a slightly different order. With the rise of the educated dummies, a new consumer class had been found; its members lacked the intelligence to separate a good-looking bad deal from a good deal, so they got the former and the latter, being obsolete in market terms, vanished from the earth. If you wonder why the refrigerator breaks after exactly twelve months and one day, or why most movies are pitched at the intelligence level of a retarded sloth, here is your answer. Idiots with degrees and specializations constituted a replacement middle class, and they could be counted on to buy moron products like Porsche SUVs and fridges that could tweet when you need more milk. The division between these two is illustrated in a classic work by Albert Jay Nock, in which he discusses the division between mass culture and The Remnant, or those with the capacity to create civilization and discern good from stupid:
Why, if all that were so — if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start — was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”
…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.
In other words, incompetence arises from mass taste. The Remnant are those who could create our civilization anew and who can tell the difference between quality and junk, but that makes them bad consumers, where the masses — those with no particular ability except obedience — are excellent consumers and useless at restoring civilization. Spengler would observe that most civilizations extinguish themselves by forming an internal preference for masses over Remnant, which explains why third-world nations consist of the remains of once-great empires, now staffed by people who cannot understand much less replicate what their ancestors — and higher-caste employers — once did with ease.
Charles Darwin described this progress as degeneration, which occurs when evolutionary pressures are altered to select for more generalized traits, as happens when industry needs consumers and elects to cram as many fools in the door as possible. That method of control, or of manipulating others as means to an end and not as part of the organic whole that is society, appears frequently when civilizations lose contact with their original genetic unity and become participation- or politics-based. As Darwin writes:
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected. – Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, pgs. 168 -169
In this passage, he carefully targets pity as a source of social decline. We see others struggling, and in them, see a social property for ourselves: we can feel good, and look good to others, for the simple cost of helping an incompetent. The same impulse that causes people to give money to beggars when out for a walk with the girlfriend, or to insist that everyone must get along in a class of kindergartners of uneven abilities, propels our desire for altruism or the helping of those who cannot or will not help themselves. Altruism, which is self-interest masked behind manipulating the social feelings of others, is the basis of equality (“egalitarianism” is apparently too big of a word for the internet audience). Equality in turn is the basis of accepting incompetence as equal to competence so long as the incompetence is obedient, personable, etc.
We have reached a tipping point in the West where the masses have overwhelmed the Remnant, and are now pushing hard to exterminate it. Typical masses M.O. here is to either stage a revolution and directly punish those with wealth and intelligence (but not wealth alone) or to create a completely unworkable situation politically and then expect the Remnant to rise up, volunteer to fight, and go die defending liberty for people who cannot use and will not risk themselves to achieve it. Witness the massive debacle that was the OPM hack, referred to by many as a “Cyber Pearl Harbor,” and the surprising origin for its success despite our advance warning of its inevitability through the Hollywood hack and credit card hacks of major retailers. A post-mortem reveals that its cause was mass-culture incompetence before anything else:
A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?'”
Obedient mass culture people lack the skill of judgment, which is what separates the idea of what we can do from what will achieve sensible results. That is, your average mass culture nitwit knows how to do things, and he applies those without regard to circumstance, which is why he can solve only 80% of problems and the remainder baffle him (and he screws them up). The inoffensive, personable and interesting manager simply outsources to China. Well, of course the admin passwords go too — what do you think, that he is a racist? And so insanity passes for intelligence, of all things, because the Americans are so hamstrung by social obligations to be nice, interesting and inoffensive that they ignore the actual task. Someone from the Remnant would not have screwed this up; people from the mass culture get it wrong every time.
When people like myself talk about reclaiming the West, our goal can be expressed simply: changing our society so it again rewards the Remnant over mass culture, and deposing the incompetents and the mass culture vote, consumerism and social forces that propel such people into power every time over the Remnant. This also recognizes the tendency of mass culture toward ressentiment against the Remnant, and explains its ongoing desire to pervert, corrupt, dumb down and otherwise adulterate every aspect of modern life. This also shows why, as I have been writing about for years, the real Rubicon we must cross is the idea of equality itself, and that all other problems stem from that. The point of class warfare is to overthrow the competent so the incompetent mass culture can reign; the point of immigration and diversity is to destroy the Remnant genetically. All of these things are linked to a singular tendency of incompetents, which is to be apologists for decline who “explain it away” by demanding attention to unrelated and less important issues instead. Incompetents are in a perpetual state of compensation where they cannot address the actual problems, so invent other ways to stay employed, and end up re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic until they are surprised by a sudden influx of water which, also shockingly, is deathly cold in a way their minds could never conceptualize until that moment.