Over the past few years, the censorship and control over the flow of information on the internet has been increasing at an accelerating rate. In many parts of the world (e.g. China and the Middle East), governments have stepped in and asserted control over some or all of the information which is made available to their people. In theory, at least, this is not an option for governments in most of Europe and the Anglosphere, due to their professed valuation of free speech. Within the modern first world, the right to freely express yourself, to bring your intellectual goods (such as they may be) to the “marketplace of ideas” is thought to be well-nigh sacrosanct by the man on the street. The United States even formally enshrines it in the Constitution via the First Amendment. The government suppressing the speech of one or a group of people which it finds offensive or unpleasant is simply against the rules!
But of course, if there’s one thing we know about people, it’s that they’re tremendously good at getting around rules they don’t like.
Many of us are familiar with the metaphor of the “cargo cult.” The term itself was coined by the famous physicist Richard Feynman (who, ironically, didn’t actually use the term the way he had described it) in a speech he gave about transparency and integrity in science. Briefly, the phenomenon of the cargo cult was observed in the South Pacific during World War II. Pacific Islanders would observe the Americans building runways and control towers, and soon after airplanes full of supplies would land and disgorge their contents of goodies. The islanders would build their own bamboo mockups – runways, towers, even bamboo headsets for the “controllers” – expecting that planes full of food and medicines would come to them as well. Of course, none ever did.
Ultimately, cargo cults rested on a form of magical thinking, on the failure to understand the fundamental reasons for why a phenomenon was taking place. This led to a miscomprehension about how one could obtained the desired benefits. It’s essentially a crude form of philosophical nominalism, where the form and appearance exist without grasping any of the underlying fundamental reality.
Politics in the United States have become an all-encompassing nightmare from which the average American cannot hope to escape. As American democracy (you know, the “freedom” form of government) expands the reach of the managerial state into every area of modern life, the stakes involved in the political process have mushroomed, with control over the lives of hundreds of millions of people hanging in the balance. It’s little surprise that each election season stretches out over a year, and (as Florida and Georgia recently showed us) doesn’t end once the voting is “officially” over.
It’s reached the point where literally everything is involved in some way with politics. Your choice of restaurant now signals your political inclinations, and thus who will harass you while eating there. Businesses themselves feel compelled to virtue signal, usually in a leftward direction, lest they bring upon themselves threats of boycott, bad publicity, or worse. It has escalated to the point where being the public face of the “wrong” side earns you harassment and menace to your physical health, as Tucker Carlson and several Republican members of Congress have found out. Expressing the “wrong” opinions in the workplace or online can get you reprimanded or fired.
Immigration has turned into a perennial thorn in the side of practically every Western nation. In nearly every case, first world nations find themselves in the unenviable position of being rich and prosperous while sitting next door to masses of poverty-stricken neighbours. Additionally, forces of globalism work to purposefully overwhelm the native populations of European and Anglo countries with indigestible masses of culturally hostile foreigners. The obvious result has been a growing populist and nationalist backlash as these native populations become more and more concerned about the detrimental effects which this mass immigration has on their societies.
As it turns out, they are entirely justified in this. Further, these fears are not the inchoate ramblings of “xenophobia,” but rather are subconscious expressions of recognition of scientifically defineable phenomena which have taken place within societies for thousands of years.
This entry is a bit outside the usual content of this blog. Essentially, it’s a tongue-in-cheek science fiction tale intended to provide a little social commentary. I began writing it back when the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh were just getting started, but had to set it aside due to some real-life time constraints. I picked it up again this week because even though the confirmation circus is now all said and all done, I still thought the story itself would be relevant. Please be warned that I make no guarantees about the quality of any fiction I write…
It was late morning of an otherwise unremarkable August day when the first press conference announcing the discovery of time travel – the real, actual, genuinely practical thing itself – was relayed to a stunned world. As may be expected, the news that time travel had been perfected was met with mixed reviews. Roughly half of the general public, which tended toward credulity, embraced the news with an ecstasy of scientific delight driven more by opinions formed from science fiction than by firm facts. The other half, who prided themselves on being astute and discerning, looked with a good deal of not-entirely-unwarranted skepticism at the revelation coming out of California.
The latest installment of the great saga known as “American democracy” has finally come to a close. Having overcome many hardships and enemies, Brett Kavanaugh has taken his rightful place among the pantheon of America’s immortal heroes. Defeating scurrilous traitor and lascivious succubi alike, he has ascended to the pinnacle of American priesthood, ready to speak to us the pronouncements of our constitutional gods in every area of our lives.
Well, ok, maybe this all is a bit grandiose. But given the way the progressive Left has conducted itself over the past few weeks, it’s only barely so.
Quite obviously the radical Left felt that it had a lot riding on stopping Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But really, I don’t think it was so much about Kavanaugh himself. He was just the unlucky sap who was chosen to fill the vacancy on the Court. If Barrett or Pryor or any other nominally conservative jurist had been chosen, they would have faced a similar firestorm of accusations about something, anything. Maybe racism, maybe transphobia, who knows. Some spell from the Left’s grimiore would have been spoken aloud.
Within sociology, social history, and allied realms of intellectual inquiry, there are two general views of sociohistorical development. The first of these, whose origins (in the main) lie in the Enlightenment, is that of social evolution, which posits that human social development is progressing in a singular direction upward, a manifestation of the “progressive fallacy.” The other general view is the social cycle theory, which has existed in numerous patterns and forms the basis of some interesting views in sociology today. It is the latter of these two that I would like to delve into in this post, as it is the one which is both more interesting and more grounded in reality.
Social cycle theory, as a broad outline, is nothing new. Forms of it can be found in as widely divergent ancient historical writings as those of Polybius, Sima Qian, and ibn Khaldun. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, cyclical approaches to history such as those of Danilewski and Spengler carried with them overtones of social cycles in their theories which likened civilisations to organisms, rising and falling through successive courses of birth, growth, fruition, and decay. More recently, we have seem the attempt to systematically provide a mathematical basis for cyclical historical theory in the works of Peter Turchin and others in the Russian school. These attempts have developed more advanced theories and provided a more empirical and scientific pathway (over and against the merely verbal and descriptive approaches of their predecessors) toward understanding secular cycles in history, which are essentially the political-demographic cycles that form the basis of the rise and fall of polities (primarily studied in agrarian societies prior to around 1800 AD), laying the foundation for a credible science of cliodynamics.
Secular cycles, in general, posit that polities – which can range in size from small tribal chiefdoms upwards to mega-empires encompassing millions of citizens and square kilometers of land area – pass through a fairly well-defined set of stages. As a polity is formed (usually through some form of ethnogenesis), its population will grow through a logistical curve until it begins to reach the carrying capacity of the land and other resources available. As these resources become more relatively scarce, increasing competition for resources will lead to a decreasing standard of living (including famines, etc.), which eventually leads to increasing numbers of rebellions and other forms of civil strife. As this civil strife intensifies – usually accompanied by decadence and social paralysis – it leads to a demographic collapse causes by social disruption, famine, epidemics, and other ills that accompany the breakdown of civil society. This demographic collapse (and let’s rectify the names here – we’re generally talking about population die-offs) leads to fewer people and more relative abundance of resources, thus beginning the cycle anew.
Western civilisation is vulgar. By that, I don’t just mean that it is boorish, coarse, and offensive (though it certainly is these things), but rather that it is common. Plebeian, if you will. The drive to egalitarianism which has plagued the West since 1775 has created in Western man a desire to debase himself. America – founded as it is upon the spurious principle that all men are created equal – has led the pack in the decline to the bottom. It is in the United States, especially, that the lowest common denominator is exalted in every area of life – the social, the political, the religious.
Sadly, this absurd view of equality has not encouraged Americans (or other Westerners, for that matter) to better themselves or to pursue equality by raising themselves to the level at which they would become worthy of admiration and esteem. Quite the opposite has been the case, and this debasement has been coupled with any ever-present drive to expand the number of lowest common denominator people who are allowed to exercise political power through voting, which has further eroded what remained of decent civil society. Indeed, our political leaders seem to be actively abetting this degeneration of our societies by importing massive numbers of low-IQ third worlders and rushing them into political participation as quickly as possible. At exactly the time when our nations need better citizens, we are only getting more, and more active, ones.
I typically do not post in response to other posts or articles I find around the web, but today I’ll make an exception. I found this post entitled, “Masculine Pastors: The Battle They Face and Will Face Even More” over at What is Truth, a blog operated by an Independent Baptist pastor named Kent Brandenburg. My purpose isn’t to critically assess the post, mainly because I find myself in nearly complete agreement with it. Rather, I’d like to point the reader to it (RTWT) and use it as a jumping off point for some discussion of how men in our modern world can be “real men.” As such, even if the reader is not an Independent Baptist or a pastor, my hope is that both the original post and mine below will be useful.
It’s obvious to any reasonable observer that the Western world is undergoing a crisis of masculinity. Much of this is due to the constant assaults upon manhood made by feminism, especially once feminism (as part of the larger progressive Left constellation of interest groups) gained institutional acceptability and found itself in possession of managerial power (i.e. it became part of the “establishment”). Masculinity, as it has traditionally been accepted and expressed, is becoming more and more socially unacceptable, in large part due to the Cathedral’s use of the media to bring it into disrepute. This has been coupled with a legal regimen surrounding marriage, the domestic abuse industry, and divorce which assumes guilt on the part of men and generally tends to exonerate women, no matter how badly they may act. Buttressing this is a public education system that uses a largely female body of teachers to discourage “boys from being boys” through a combination of indoctrination and medication.
This is not the only area of society encouraging effeminacy. Pop culture as a whole (e.g. rock music) has encouraged men to look and act like women and to adopt an unhealthy and ungodly definition of “love.” As Western societies have become more urban and metrosexual, popular culture has channeled men in this direction. The Baptist preacher in The Waltons described by Pastor Brandenburg is an early example of this trend, a trend which reflected the increased “taming” of men that soft and effeminate modern urban life began to uphold as the ideal. Indeed, the so-called Rural Purge that occurred in American television between 1969-1975, in which a number of still-popular rural and western-themed shows were cancelled and replaced by shows dealing with “urban life,” helped to cement this direction in popular culture. Television moved away from programming that upheld traditional masculine ideals of toughness, responsibility, decisiveness, and honour (such as in many westerns) or which more generally tended to uphold and valourise country living (which, again, is disposed toward emphasising masculine traits of hard work and self-reliance) as “cleaner” and “better” than urbanity.
For the past couple of years, the climate for the free exchange of ideas on social media platforms has been cooling off tremendously. Having been angered and frightened by the ability of the broad dissident Right to use various outlets to influence the election in 2016, as well as the direction in which the Overton Window has been moving, the Left has sought to shut down the ability of the Right to use these avenues for the dissemination of their ideas. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other “mainstream” social media have been fully converged and are being used by the progressive Left to suppress the distribution of Rightist ideas. We find ourselves facing an ironic situation in which platforms originally designed and intended to facilitate the free exchange of information are now being actively used to extinguish it.
Nevertheless, attempting to retain use of these outlets is a worthwhile goal for the dissident Right, especially given the less-than-impressive success of alternative efforts such as Gab and BitChute. While there are some who mock or vilify social media as “childish” or “unserious,” the fact remains that these outlets (as well as the internet in general) have a proven track record of enabling out-of-the-mainstream knowledge and ideas to find greater circulation than they would through traditional means. Social media, when used properly, provided serious users with an extraordinary opportunity to bypass the traditional information gatekeepers (print media, television, publishing houses, etc.) and to spread ideas challenging the modernist status quo. This, of course, is exactly why the Left wants to shut down these outlets.
Thus, the Right should keep using these distribution mechanisms. This will, however, require us to adapt our strategies and tactics to get around the renewed gatekeeping efforts of the Left. As even more mainstream conservative voices find themselves censored by Silicon Valley, the Right will need to increase the sophistication with which it interacts with social media. I would suggest that a primary means by which we can do this is, perhaps ironically in the view of some, to look backwards in time to the examples set centuries ago.