Power-Siezing Ideas vs. Governing Ideas

A recent exchange at Jim’s blog:

Stanon says:

“The most powerful ideas in history have gotten their power not from asking men to bow but to stand up. Not from subverting their natural power drive but by dovetailing with it.”

The Cominator says:

“Yes and no. Men want to have purpose and use masculine energy for that purpose, but men also want to be a part and submit to something greater than themselves.”

We need to distinguish between revolutionary ideologies and governing ideologies. Or if you like, ideologies that are useful for seizing power and ideologies that are useful for keeping power (what evil people care about) or for maintaining a well-ordered, successful nation (which is what decent people care about, but note this requires keeping power).

Marxism is the canonical example of a revolutionary/power-seizing ideology. It said, as I think revolutionary/power-seizing ideologies always do,

“Some bastards are attacking you; fight back against them!”

In Marxism the details were

“The capitalists are sucking your blood; fight back against them!”

But it could be anything. In the western world right now it’s

“White people are murdering you; fight back against them!”

Marxism is utterly brilliant as a power-seizing ideology. At communism’s height, it ruled over a third of the human race.

Of course, what works for seizing power is not necessarily what works for keeping power or creating a successful nation. Thus communism, while certainly the most successful power-seizing ideology in human history on the time scale of 75 years, didn’t get beyond 75 years. And once it started to collapse its collapse was breathtakingly fast. Boiled down to its essence, without the self-flattering bullshit, the official economic part of communist ideology (as opposed to the power-seizing part) was “We’ll grab all the capitalists’ stuff!” Obviously that’s not a recipe for long-term success.

Those of us trying to oppose the current leftist/SJW holiness spiral and replace it with something tolerable must keep the crucial distinction between revolutionary ideologies and governing ideologies in mind.

Our best revolutionary ideology is simple enough, since all we have to do is tell the truth: There is a large number of people who hate traditional western populations and are planning to get rid of us by various means.

A governing ideology must satisfy a lot of desiderata, obviously. But it cannot have “Some bastards are attacking you; fight back against them!” as a major component.* This is because it must provide a large stake in social stability to a majority of people. Fomenting civil war obviously won’t work.

* A governing ideology must explicitly warn against parasites, the power-mad, and holiness spirals. It must also explicitly warn against the “high-and-low against the middle” revolutionary strategy. But saying “Be watchful for these dangers” is not the same as saying, “We’re being attacked; start spraying bullets in the streets right now!!!”

Managing the Overton Window

Trump said something suboptimal about “Yay, legal immigration!” in his 2019 State of the Union speech. When I read it I said to myself, “That’s bad management of the Overton Window, Donald.” That may be a good way to look at it: Managing the Overton Window. No one person controls it, of course, but each person can influence it. Especially the President.

Indeed, it’s important to stretch the Overton Window in political debates, and not to try to just stay within the current Overton Window. The left won over the last half century by stretching the Overton Window, not by operating inside it. They won by saying things that seem insane today, and making them then debatable, then undeniable (e.g. if you want to keep your job) a decade later.

If we try to stay within the current Overton Window, while letting the left define the Overton Window, we will lose.

The left’s propaganda/rhetorical strategy is entirely different from ours. Ours is based on persuasion, on showing reality to people. Theirs is largely composed of various forms of compulsion. In a sense, the left doesn’t really have a propaganda strategy (other than outright lying), if by that you mean trying to convince people. Rather, they infiltrate the information-disseminating professions then start yelling in unison to indicate what the current party line is. Then they enforce it by e.g. trying to make unemployable anyone who deviates from it.

You can’t totally ignore the current Overton Window, of course: not even the left does that. But you must be mindful of the degree to which you can and must contribute to stretching it in your desired direction, as well as staying to a certain extent within it.

A major difference between us and the left, of course, is that they’re shouting insane things while we are shouting sane things.

The strategy of shouting insane things and then enforcing rhetorical compliance works well for the left because individial leftists are the kind of people who love to monitor what the herd’s leaders are saying and repeat it. They do this quite naturally. Thus NPCs, attack swarms, etc.

This is extremely effective for the left on the time scale of decades. But: it makes them vulnerable to holiness spiralling. Every individual leftist wants to make sure that he’s a little to the left of the leftist average to stay safe, but of course that’s not possible; thus the leftward spiral. This is the failure mode of leftism; it’s a major reason that leftism didn’t take over the world millennia ago.

I’m tempted to define leftism as power-hungry people engaging in holiness spiralling.

That is consistent with the memetic drift in the left over the last century. In the early 1900s and until the collapse of the USSR, the core idea of the “left” was socialism. Accusations of e.g. “racism” were just frosting. Now the core idea of the “left” is hating white people, and socialism is merely the frosting. Notice that in the 2016 and 2020 Democrat primary contests, the mainstream left energetically attacked Bernie Sanders and “Bernie Bros,” even though they were more (overtly) socialistic than the other Democrat contenders. That would have been unthinkable 40 years earlier. I imagine Sanders was surprised to find himself no longer protected by pas d’ennemis à gauche. “But I’m to the left of you!” one imagines him crying to the mainstream Dems. “I’m allowed to attack you, but you’re not allowed to attack me!” Poor Mr. Sanders. He failed to understand that socialism is no longer the defining feature of “the left.”

Red Pill in Reality, Part 2

(Part 1 is here.)

(1) Red Pill in Reality, Nice Guys Versus Jerks edition: They met on a dating app. Then he robbed a bank on their first date and forced her to be the getaway driver.

So boss. So very, very boss.

And you thought your worst first date story was bad.

A Massachusetts woman became an unexpected getaway driver after a man she met on a dating app robbed a bank on their first date.
Christopher Castillo, the unnamed woman’s would-be Robin Hood, plead guilty this week to armed robbery and three counts of assault and battery on a police officer — all committed on their first date on December 5, 2016 — according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.
Castillo was sentenced to three years in state prison for the robbery, plus two years in the Bristol County House of Corrections for violently struggling against and spitting on police who tried to subdue him, according to the district attorney’s office.
The woman wasn’t charged — the “worst date ever” story was enough punishment.
It all started, the woman told police, when she picked up Castillo from his parents’ home in Chepachet, Rhode Island, and drove him 30 minutes east toward North Attleboro, Massachusetts. She said he drank wine in the passenger seat of her Nissan Maxima (which is also illegal, but he wasn’t charged for that one).
The two had never met in person before that fateful day in 2016, she told police. So why would she think anything was wrong when he told her to pull over as they approached a bank?
He got out of her car and left her there alone for a few minutes. Then, suddenly, he came running back, sweating with sunglasses, a hat, a gun and $1,000 cash in hand, the woman said.
“F**king go,” he told her.
She “panicked,” she told police, so she did as she was told.

(2) Red Pill in Reality, Hamster edition:

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time an attractive woman said, in all seriousness, that she was different because she was really only attracted to tall, good-looking alpha males, who had a little bit, although not too much, of an edge to them. Yeah, that’s totally different from every other woman on the planet….

LOL. In a similar spirit to this.

(3) Red Pill in Reality, Social Proof edition:

Back in the 1970s, a pair of researchers conducted an experiment to examine the importance of having a physically attractive partner. Participants evaluated men who were either the boyfriend of, or unassociated with, a female; and the female was either attractive, or unattractive. Of the four conditions, the men with an attractive girlfriend were evaluated the most favorably. The men with the unattractive girlfriend were evaluated the least favorably.

From a social proof standpoint, it’s better to be unattached than to be attached to an unattractive woman.

(4) At Alf’s blog: Leftists dude’s girlfriend wonders why their sex is bad.

Spoiler alert: Because he’s an equalist:

His girlfriend of some years, who is also an aspiring social media content creator, has published a documentary: ‘my sex is broken‘, in which she, no joke, no irony, explores the grand mystery of why sex with her boyfriend just isn’t so good… a very honest analysis about the general dissatisfaction among feminist women.

‘Honest’ being a relative term: a woman is permanently in denial about what makes her love a man. And so it is with this documentary, which is essentially her ‘honestly’ wondering why her sex is bad, without ever getting to the crux of the question: that she doesn’t really love her boyfriend. The documentary is one big shit-test towards her boyfriend, a shit-test the boyfriend can’t pass, because being the emancipated left-wing prog that he is, he principally refuses to stop her from doing stupid shit. One can imagine their conversations: ‘babe I’m not sure this documentary is a good idea.’
‘But honey I just need to express myself! These are my feelings, I feel like I must do this. You support me right?’
‘… Right.’

Poor guy.

(5) Red Pill in Reality, Hamster Redux.

Two articles: (A) A sane one, from McCall’s magazine, 1958, “129 Ways to Get a Husband.”
(B) A lame attempt to fisk it in 2018, with wince-inducing results. Surprise! The author of this “Imma strong woman I don’t need no man!” piece writes a column for Psychology Today called Living Single, which says it all. (There’s a photo of her at the link if you’re curious. Summary: No surprises there.)

While the original article has some strange pieces of advice, most of it is reasonable.

A couple of mystifying/amusing ones:
#42, “If you’re at a resort have the bell boy page you.” What? How is that going to lead to romance? They don’t explain.
And #103: “Learn to play poker.” Um… Why?

But it’s also full of good advice to women, e.g.,
#52: “Wear high heels most of the time – they’re sexier!” Damn right! We need to pass a law about this.
And #60: “Go on a diet if you need to.” Duh.

What’s sad is the sour-grapes advice from the author of the 2018 piece. Any young woman who follows this advice is dooming herself to a life of childlessness and addiction to wine and anti-depressants.

E.g. the original article says,

18. Tell your friends that you are interested in getting married. Don’t keep it a secret.

To which the 2018 “Imma strong woman!” doofus responds,

“Tell your friends you have no interest whatsoever in getting married! Don’t keep it a secret. Tell your mother. Tell all your other relatives. Tell all the random people you meet on the street. Declare it on social media.”

The most tragic response is to this:

12. Become a nurse or airline stewardess – they have very high marriage rates.

Doofus responds,

“Become a person who thinks for herself. They have very high rates of living the life that works for them, rather than the life everyone tells them they should want.”

This is idiotic. First of all, women are not constantly told that they should get married in our culture; they’re constantly told that they should not get married, by the bitter old feminists who have taken over our popular culture.

Second, and more importantly, the advice is tragically misguided— most people, men and women, want to pair up, and in any case refusing to do something because it’s the conventional wisdom is just as stupid as doing something because it’s the conventional wisdom. They are two sides of the same idiotic coin, paying attention to the crowd.

(6) Red Pill in Reality, Electroshock Therapy for the Blue-Pilled edition.

A quarter of straight porn searches by women are for videos featuring violence against their own sex… While men still search for significantly more porn than women, search rates for these more extreme types of sexual content are at least twice as common among women than men.

Those statistics make for fairly surprising reading, but are the facts Dr Seth Stephens- Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist, discovered when he was given complete access to PornHub’s search and views data for his upcoming book. “If there is a genre of porn in which violence is perpetrated against a woman, my analysis of the data shows that it almost always appeals disproportionately to women,” he writes.

(7) Red Pill in Reality, Empathy by Brute Force edition.
(Via John C. Wright)

A woman named Ann Akana goes bi and develops sympathy for guys. My favorite part starts at the 1:45 mark: She and another “bi” chick are returning from a date and the other one says, at the door to her apartment, “Do you wanna come in and make out?” Akana says “Yes,” and they go inside and proceed to do nothing but talk for hours, to her great frustration. Why? Because each one was expecting the other one to make the first move, obviously. Based on a lifetime of habit, each one was thinking, “I’m the girl, so the other person should make the first physical move.” Neither one apparently had the wit to realize the other one was thinking the same thing. Duh! One would think this incredibly obvious, but I guess not to everyone. Akana goes home at 3:00 am, after no sexyfun.

She gets a lot of flak in the comments about other episodes she talks about, but I think it’s unwarranted. At least she’s open-minded enough to sympathize with guys when, e.g., she’s expected to pay for a date with a girl.