A recent article notes that we are in the midst of a sea change not between types of politics, but between politics and realism:
It’s time we recognize that the party of Reagan was already dead â€” and that it died along with the threat of Soviet communism.
Reaganism was…a worldview, in the truest sense of the word. Its broadest ideals were also shared by anti-communist Democrats like historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Universal human rights, limited government, open trade, free elections, multiparty democracy â€” it was considered in our national interest to defend these values as strongly (and prudently) as possible.
…In his 1998 book The Great Betrayal, Buchanan wrote (foreshadowing Trump) that “while the Soviet Union had paid the ultimate price of imperial overstretch, America had also paid an immense price. We had sacrificed our national interests in the cause of allied solidarity, while Western [Europe] and Japan had made no comparable contributions and had prospered mightily at our expense.”
In other words, ideology has taken a back-seat to tribal self-interest.
This is not entirely surprising, since for 98% (or so) of its history, humanity has relied on tribalism. It rarely fails: group identity excludes outsiders and deviants, and allows for an efficient method of getting people to collaborate without having to be forced to do so.
In contrast, for the last two-and-a-half centuries, we have relied on the idea of the proposition nation, which is a nation formed of political/economic boundaries instead of a single founding ethnic group:
The February 10 issue of the New York Review of Books contains what I think may be the earliest sighting of the â€œProposition Nationâ€ chimera now in captivity.
It’s a reprint of the November 22, 1999 address given in Munich by Peter Gay, the historian, on accepting the Geschwister-Scholl Prize for the German translation of his book My German Question, about his childhood in Nazi Germany. Gay says:
In this view, a Bavarian peasant who could look back on generations of settled forebears was no more German than a Jew who did not know in which country his grandparents had lived.
The fascinating thing about this â€œidealâ€ is its utter lack of factual justification. The English, the French, the Italiansâ€”all have been formed by waves of migration, often Germanic, within recorded history. But the Germans have been stolidly on the Rhine since the time of Christ.
Yet the â€œProposition Nationâ€ myth took root and was apparently seriously entertained.
The “proposition nation” is the ultimate extension of the singular and fundamental idea of the Left, individualism, which holds that the individual is the largest unit in a society. Society exists to facilitate the individual in that view, and cannot exclude anyone from participation, which enables individuals to enjoy the benefits of society with assuming its burdens being an optional choice.
In the reasoning of individualists, society must accept the individual even if that person commits a “tragedy of the commons” style exploitation of collective resources or imposes externalized damage. From this comes the moral relativism of the Left, which is a tendency to adjust standards to fit what individuals are doing, instead of observing which standards produce the best results and then demanding that the little egotists conform to those for the betterment of all.
All of the rhetoric of the Left — liberty, equality and fraternity — comes from this simple idea, which is that society cannot exclude individuals merely because they violate its standards unless those violations are against other individuals (murder, rape, theft). Civilization does not have a voice, nor does the future or the past, because all that matters is the individual.
Naturally this makes it wholly accurate to refer to individualism as the philosophy of parasitism, and to recognize that it is illogical and suicidal. The happiness and health of people is mostly contingent upon having a functional civilization, and benefits cascade downward toward the individual by what this stability and facility enables them to do. Individualism sabotages that function in order to focus on the individual, and as a result leaves behind ruined societies where everyone is miserable or oblivious, because they must either notice the dysfunction and downward trend and thus be depressed, or go into denial and rationalize the decline as “progress.”
What this means is that to become Leftist is to enter a spiral: the individual is given power, the tragedy of the common happens, every public figure rationalizes this and those who do not fail to become public figures, which means that society enters a stage where all of its solutions are wrong because anything other than “more Leftism” was filtered out as an answer before the question even came up. The self-referential society confirms its own biases, validates untruth as truth through moral relativism, and makes its assumptions and precepts into its conclusion through this filtering process.
However, people still need to distinguish themselves socially, and so while the disaster spirals down, individuals are busy becoming socially popular and thus powerful — in an individualistic society — by further advancing this ideology. This means that over time they expand the franchise by seeking ways to abolish differences in status and wealth between individuals. This starts with class warfare, expands to sexual liberation and gender equality, and then embarks on the “internationalist” (now: “globalist”) project of abolishing borders, starting with tribes similar to the founding tribe of the society and then accelerating until it demands multiculturalism, or the presence of members of every ethnic group in the world within the society.
Individualism is thus a franchise that it ultimately extends even beyond the borders of the state. We call that the “proposition nation” because it is defined by law, rooted in the Leftist concept of individualism, and economics, which is based on the individual as a self-interested actor in response to existing economic conditions, in turn creating a need for constant growth to continue keeping individuals motivated. This contrasts conservative economics which aim for low-growth and therefore more stable conditions with less internal social conflict caused by social mobility.
At first, the proposition nation seems like a good idea to most citizens. It reduces the demands placed on them by culture, morality and society. It increases their personal chances of social mobility while allowing them to externalize more of their costs to the collective. Finally, it lessens the stress of competition for mates and friends by allowing the inclusion of people from less-developed societies, which makes having a friend or mate from the founding group more desirable. But it also causes brutal problems, namely the loss of culture and standards because these must now be adjusted — moral relativism again — to fit the newcomers. It also savages social trust and creates alienated, rootless people made miserable by the ugly, anti-heroic and valueless utilitarian boot camp in which they live.
The Left has only one gambit for protecting the proposition nation, and that is to equate enemies of Leftism with enemies of the nation, thus appealing to the labrador retriever level patriotism that most people have as a result of wanting to belong firmly to their social group. We never ask whether Hitler was making war on America, or fighting Leftism and therefore had to also fight America because America was a Leftist state at the time. But the Left assembles its enemies for their choice of pre-individualism philosophies that endorse a social unit bigger than the individual — including race, family, nation, ethne, culture, religion — and chooses to paint them all as Hitler, the KKK, King George III and the Confederacy all rolled up into one single hateful scapegoat.
For example, witness this attack on the ability to think anything remotely partial to nationalism:
“Things are getting significantly worse,” Potok says. “We are seeing a very serious rise in right-wing populism.”
The strong upward trend began with President Barack Obama’s election in 2008, Potok says, and it has worsened because of ongoing angst among members of the white middle class, who feel alienated by a society different from the one in which they grew up.
“It’s not simply that there’s a black man in the White House,” Potok says. “It’s what he represents,” which is the fact that whites are losing the demographic majority. “When Obama was elected, most of the country was celebratory … but the next day, the servers of two very major white supremacist organizations” â€” Stormfront and the Council of Conservative Citizens, which inspired the Charleston church killer Dylann Roof â€” “crashed because they were getting so much traffic.”
This article is interesting, unique and funny because it extends enemy status to those fighting for a variety of larger-than-individual causes:
The list is a virtual rainbow of hate, showcasing ideologies denouncing blacks, whites, Jews, Muslims, and the LGBT community. The seven Bay Area groups include: the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Christian Guardians, both of San Francisco; the Black Riders Liberation Party, the Nation of Islam, As-Sabiqun, and Masjid al-Islam, all of Oakland; and IslamThreat.com, based in Pleasant Hill.
Truly the ways of Kek and Gnon are wondrous to have gifted us with the supreme comedy of the phrase “a virtual rainbow of hate.” The rich irony of this time, when a rainbow nation can project itself onto an animus composed of multicolored hatred dripping with glitter, delivers the confirmation of a death spiral: this society is so drenched in Leftism that it cannot imagine that someone else would choose another path.
That inflexibility and totalitarian aspect of our contemporary Leftist society shows us the problem with ideology. Like a mental virus, ideology takes over brains, and then weaponizes the crowd as a form of permanent agitation for ever-increasing doses of Leftism, mainly because it never makes people feel contentment, only a momentary sense of superiority.
George Orwell expresses this in his 1940 review of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler:
But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches …. The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs-and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning of Hurst and Blackettâ€™s edition, which shows Hitler in his early Brownshirt days. It is a pathetic, dog-like face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs. In a rather more manly way it reproduces the expression of innumerable pictures of Christ crucified, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himself. The initial, personal cause of his grievance against the universe can only be guessed at; but at any rate the grievance is here. He is the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds. If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon. One feels, as with Napoleon, that he is fighting against destiny, that he canâ€™t win, and yet that he somehow deserves to. The attraction of such a pose is of course enormous; half the films that one sees turn upon some such theme.
Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all â€œprogressiveâ€ thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow wonâ€™t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings donâ€™t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalinâ€™s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people â€œI offer you a good time,â€ Hitler has said to them â€œI offer you struggle, danger and death,â€ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.
A society designed purely around material comfort makes people miserable. They long for quests, duties, aspirations and cooperative goals. This is why Hitler always appeals to us: he is the refutation of individualism, and says instead that meaning comes from the union — or intersection — between nature, civilization, race, God and self.
This is the shadow reason for the backlash which hides behind the obvious reason, which is that Leftism has failed. Not only has it failed, but it has failed to inspire. No one wants to live for the Utilitarian, yet egalitarianism/individualism — and they are the same — is the most Utilitarian mode of thought possible. Our souls are stolen by the “pragmatism” of systems dedicated to nonsense.
Worse than that, in this soul-stealing system, we are essentially subjugated by bullies who force us to believe obvious lies in order to affirm their domination over us. Witness this finely-honed lie that was until recently the official state religion, with all who deviated being ostracized and dying impoverished alone:
Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, has analyzed DNA from global human populations that reveal the patterns of human evolution over the past one million years. He shows that while there is plenty of genetic variation in humans, most of the variation is individual variation. While between-population variation exists, it is either too small, which is a quantitative variation, or it is not the right qualitative type of variation — it does not mark historical sublineages of humanity.
Using the latest molecular biology techniques, Templeton has analyzed millions of genetic sequences found in three distinct types of human DNA and concludes that, in the scientific sense, the world is colorblind. That is, it should be.
“Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept, and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans — genetic differences,” says Templeton. “Evolutionary history is the key to understanding race, and new molecular biology techniques offer so much on recent evolutionary history. I wanted to bring some objectivity to the topic. This very objective analysis shows the outcome is not even a close call: There’s nothing even like a really distinct subdivision of humanity.”
“The world is colorblind,” repeats the State propaganda on the radio. In this case, it took nearly a decade to undo these lies. We found out that Templeton used too small of a threshold in understanding similarities, and too big of a target in establishing differences. In fact, all of his research is a fraud and a political statement with nothing to do with science, engineered to be propaganda not learning.
The fraud that was perpetrated upon us was designed to manipulate and control us so that the State — an entity disconnected from the organic and amorphous entity that is “a people” — could pacify differences between groups and (hopefully) increase its own wealth. That fraud, like the fraud of globalism, eventually failed. And so now people seek new things.
We also recognize that we were misdirected on race. The question is not whether science officially recognizes race, but that we recognize race: we can discern members of different groups, and we prefer our own group. No measurement can compete with that reality, especially when corrupt scientists like Alan R. Templeton are juggling the figures to portray reality as something other than what it is.
Ideology forced the illusion upon us. Ideology dictates what is correct, socially and politically, and this is by its very nature at odds with what is, namely the underlying mathematics of nature. As a result, ideology is forced to “correct” the error of nature by imposing human intent as reality, and in doing so, displacing actual reality and replacing it with a world of symbols, emotions and political judgments.
This sets up a struggle between realism and ideology, with realism winning because ideology has not only failed, but made us miserable, as one neoconservative writes about his self-engineered fall from grace and consequent rejection of the neoliberal/neoconservative “bipartisan” ideological ideal:
As my doubts grew about neoconservatism, I gave realism another chance. I had generally sympathized with values-based critiques of realism, assuming that balance-of-power diplomacy would inform â€œa policy of promoting â€˜stabilityâ€™ based on extended authoritarian decay.â€ I realized, however, that realism is not simply a concession to the world as it is, where religious and ethnic identities retain their stubborn holds, and where human nature resents even the most benevolent efforts to impose societal transformation.
Ideology has run us into bankruptcy. It has shattered our faith in ourselves and in our future. It has made us doubt obvious truths, and filled our heads with lies. The backlash against it is virulent because ideology misled us and destroyed so much in the name of justice, leaving behind a new world order of tedious regularity, fear and neurosis.
How vicious has it been?
Looking at the high consequential cost of ideology, we see that our governments both local and federal have gone broke pursuing the ideological quest of equality, diversity and
All of the programs and incentives put in place by the federal and state governments to induce higher levels of growth by building more infrastructure has made the city of Lafayette functionally insolvent. Lafayette has collectively made more promises than it can keep and itâ€™s not even close. If they operated on accrual accounting â€” where you account for your long term liabilities â€” instead of a cash basis â€” where you donâ€™t â€” they would have been bankrupt decades ago. This is a pattern we see in every city weâ€™ve examined. It is a byproduct of the American pattern of development we adopted everywhere after World War II.
There are two questions Iâ€™m commonly asked when I tell this story. The first is: how did this happen? The second: what do we do now?
The way this happened is pretty simple. At Strong Towns, we call it the Growth Ponzi Scheme. Through a combination of federal incentives, state programs and private capital, cities were able to rapidly grow by expanding horizontally. This provided the local government with the immediate revenues that come from new growth â€” permit fees, utility fees, property tax increases, sales tax â€” and, in exchange, the city takes on the long term responsibility of servicing and maintaining all the new infrastructure. The money comes in handy in the present while the future obligation is, well…a long time in the future.
Our society has bankrupted itself in caring for the diverse populations it has adopted. If you look at the map above, you see a functional downtown and some suburbs, and then a vast area of diverse living that essentially absorbs resources. It does so because it cannot compete with the functional parts of society, being geared toward an entirely different way of life.
The entire West will collapse because of this bankruptcy; no nations can stand that owe tons of money for social programs, which generate zero productivity, while sacrificing productivity for that ideological end.
This is the end result of ideology. A few enlightened ones™ rule over a vast mass of proletariat, aided by the sleepwalking bourgeoisie, without ever having formulated a goal of civilization in itself. Instead, the goal is to capitalize on what already is, and to divide it up without producing more. It is a religion of death translated into secular form.
As the West confronts this reality, it must decide its fate: does it continue to pursue the path of the “proposition nation” and ideology, or does it embrace realism — and real biology/genetics — and accept that people are different, and we can still work together, but without the heavy Leftist overtones that require us to be equal? Only time will tell.