Trump and Brexit- The Liberal Reformation: Why Right-wing Populism is Spreading like Wildfire

Ideals, principles, and convictions rest on an economic foundation. But there can be a lag in years or a couple decades between changed economic prospects, the recognition of that change, and the subsequent chance in ideals. There is also in any broad social context a fundamental gap between pronouncements of ideals and their practical application. This becomes clear to adherents of any set of ideals only when a change in economic outlook forces them to see that ideal set as transient rather than invisible, assumed, natural, universal law.

Since the rise of credit, financialization, the oil shocks, off-shoring and dismantling of union labour benefits, the death of leftist mythology and the unresolved 2008 financial crisis, this process has gradually progressed. Hillary, as representative of the establishment, is the disease (besides, she’s massively corrupt, gleeful about destroying the lives of millions of Libyans, and there is video evidence of her own racist tendencies) and Trump is the symptom. Even if Trump doesn’t win, The genie is out of the bottle. It doesn’t matter how many comfortable, educated, self-righteous middle class people cling to noble liberal ideals. Passionate support for the liberal status quo isn’t going to wash for Millions whose status quo is no fun and is laying bare systemic hypocrisy. Putin, Brexit,Tump, Erdogan’s move from westernism to islamism, Brevik, Orban, Poland’s Law & Justice, Le Pen, AfD, Pegida, the Austrian presidential election fiasco, the True Finns, far-right saturated Ukraine, Croatia’s Ustase veneration- these are all transient anomalies? Liberals have a clear understanding of the problem, how to address it and its systemic, economic roots? I’ll believe that when i see it. Seems to me more like their deeply emotionally charged identification with their ideals blinds them to contradictions and fatal flaws in their quasi-religious liberal worldview.

It’s just an observation, but the more heretics like me get demonized and belittled for pursuing facts rather than confessing undying faith to the one true Creed the more smug we become to watch it collapse, providing our observations accurate. Your ideals don’t matter, no matter how beautiful, when high finance, central banks and creditors dictate policy (read up on the Fed, ECB, IMF and TTIP), and do so to the detriment of masses who don’t feel liberalism has delivered anything to them but debt, unemployment, a worse outlook that their parents had, obscene bailouts and banker bonuses. ūüôā

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A History of Russian ‘Militarism’ in Point Form

  • Granted independence to various nations in order to withdraw from WWI.
  • To get the vital industrial and port city of Leningrad out of artillery range of the border, Russia offered Finland a much larger territory farther North in exchange for the Karelian isthmus. Finland refused, Russia pursued its vital security interest militarily and achieved its limited goal at great, unnecessary cost to both.
  • Petitioned Britain and others¬†for mutual defense treaties when war with Germany became inevitable. Rebuffed by western powers happy to see Fascism destroy Bolshevism, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was crafted to buy as much time as possible before invasion.
  • Some time after Afghanistan’s domestically initiated and popularly unsupported communist coup unexpected by Moscow, the deranged¬†prime minister had the president killed, took over and instituted bedlam. The USSR reluctantly intervened to reestablish order and the norms of their bloc (As Vietnam did in Cambodia). Without a clear endgame and with the US and Saudis nurturing Bin Laden and his takfiri ilk¬†there, this did not end well and the fallout continues to plague us all.
  • Of all great multi-ethnic political entities which disintegrated in the twentieth century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire or¬†the British Empire and Raj particularly, The Soviet Union ended with the least use of state violence, with a few local civil wars occurring around the fringes. Members of the¬†Russian elite eager to become rich bourgeoisie rather than austere cadres took the initiative in abandoning socialism and disintegrating the union. Many smaller countries were handed their independence unprepared.
  • on March 17th¬†1991 Gorbachyov held the New Union Referendum, in which the Baltics were not included, their exit from the USSR being assumed. The results of the referendum were disregarded due to the Soviet Coup. The fact remains that the highest authorities with the support of the Soviet people were ready to respect the results of this referendum. Without the coup aftermath and the unconstitutional Belavezha Accords, the Baltics would have been let go anyway.
  • On September 6th 1991 separatists stormed the Chechen Supreme Soviet and defenestrated its chairman. War ensued, with the separatists supported by similar forces as the anti-Soviets in Afghanistan. Although a peace treaty was reached between Russia and independent Ichkeria (Chechnya), the latter invaded the Russian federal subject of Dagestan in 1999. The lawlessness of Ichkeria had cost it popular support and Russia was able to reestablish order. The conflict was incredibly brutal. Russia viewed what¬†was at stake to be the Ottomanization of the Russian Federation- a precedent, once set which could encourage other separatist groups to turn an 8th of the world’s surface into a thousand Syrias, Iraqs, Palestines, Balkans, Libyas, and Yemens.
  • Russian peacekeepers had been holding the line in Georgia from¬†the civil war at the collapse of the USSR to¬†August 2008. At that time Sakashvilli gambled that if he attacked South Ossetia, provoking a Russian reaction, NATO would come to his aid. He bet wrong. With the definitive defeat of the Georgian military by a tiny, ill-prepared fraction of the Russian armed forces which had¬†a clear march on Tbilisi, Russia kindly pulled its troops back to the breakaway republics.
  • With the Ukrainian economy in dire straits, Yanukovich refused to sign the EU agreement in Vilnius in October 2013, having received an offer with less strings attached and more funding¬†from Russia. Protests ensued. Far-right groups staged shootings of protesters, framing the¬†state¬†security services. Conceding to negotiations, Yanukovich agreed to early elections and a reduction of presidential power. Nevertheless, shortly thereafter, far right mostly western-Ukrainian groups seized¬†an opportunity to stage a coup. Two days later they cancelled a law allowing regions to¬†officiate and educate in¬†their own predominant language if not Ukrainian, in contravention of the European Convention of Human Rights. Shocked by these details and the methods employed by the far right, Donbass residents set up self-defence structures and demanded more regional autonomy, federalism and the right to use their own language. The coup-installed regime responded with an “anti-terrorist operation” during which private state-and-US-backed militias¬†targeted schools, kindergartens and hospitals. These private militias¬†were then incorporated into a new ‘national guard’ though¬†their methods changed little. Brutalized and¬†alienated, Donbass residents only then pushed for secession or incorporation into Russia. Private volunteers flooded in from Russia and beyond, including those with military training. Some argue that Russia supplied the Donbass with war materiel on credit and that command was gradually taken over by Russian security personnel in order to avoid geopolitical inexpedience. In a recent conversation with Donetsk residents while I was in Ukraine, I mentioned that the situation is portrayed as a Russian invasion in the western media. The response was, “that’s not how we see it. after all that’s happened, we can no longer bring ourselves to speak Ukrainian.” Meanwhile, US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland is on record selecting the post-coup prime minister and bragging about the 4 billion $US spent to shift Ukraine geopolitically westward. Russia opted to lose a large friendly voting bloc within Ukraine by¬†annexing Crimea with the 25000 troops already present there rather than let Crimea become an unsinkable NATO aircraft carrier on Russia’s southwest flank (not to mention the potential loss of access to the Mediterranean). Corruption and living conditions continue to worsen after Ukraine chose it’s ‘European’ path, with no reasonable hope of improvement in sight. It is to the West nothing more than an economic rape victim and a spearhead in the continued Balkanization (or, as above I prefer Ottomanization) of the former USSR. NATO is happy, overjoyed even, to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.
  • With allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it’s little wonder that US coalition ‘efforts’ to fight ISIS have met such little success. ISIS is clearly directly supported by the latter two, and ISIS actions nicely dovetail with Israeli strategist Oded Yinon’s suggested ‘strategy for Israel’- spread chaos and division rather than allow strong regional adversaries. While Chechnya for example has become an over-subsidized relatively wealthy subject of the RF, the US leaves in its wake Libyas (thanks Hillary) and Iraqs, perhaps under the delusion that liberal democracy springs inexorably from human nature, or perhaps out of sheer malice. Shed all the tears you like¬†about the purported misdeeds that the Western Media, which has never relinquished its Cold War mentality, ascribe to Assad, circumstantially a staunch ally of Iran and Russia and a foe of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Syria before the war was probably the most inclusive Arab state. There’s a reason, like it or not, and fairly reported or not, that Alawite Assad has broad popular support and the loyalty of a predominantly Sunni military. The involvement of Russian Aerospace forces¬†had a greater effect in its first two weeks on reversing gains of ISIS, Nusra, and other fictively moderate child-beheading takfiri terrorist forces, than four years of US coalition grandstanding.

 

This list excludes the Polish-Soviet war, Prague Spring and Hungarian Revolution, all of which occurred in their own way due to the flaws of¬†Marxist-Leninism¬†inapplicable¬†to current conditions. I used to¬†find it amazing how liberal westerners¬†get¬†so self-satisfied to see through the ideology and propaganda of those they see as ‘other,’ backwards and ‘bad,’ but obstinately refuse to question their own self-righteous, hypocritical worldview. But I’ve realized that they do subconsciously see their own hypocrisy, and probably subconsciously revel in the violence they inflict on those ‘beyond the limes.’ What they¬†do though, is project their¬†crimes onto their¬†designated Jungian ‘shadow,’ usually Russia and Putin personally. Deceit, meddling in other countries elections and internal affairs and outright aggression are all as American as filling an SUV with fuel bought from terrorist-funding Saudis at a gas station built on the site of a US army massacre of Native Americans. Yet they¬†subconsciously or even semi-consciously project such¬†faults onto their¬†‘shadow,’ against which they¬†cozily contrast and define themselves as righteous and wholesome. They¬†have principles, after all. In true christian tradition what does it matter if they¬†never actually follow them, as long as they¬†can plant the flag of those principles in blood of their¬†enemies? It’s the same with escapists everywhere, morons among the Russians blame the nations problems on the barbarism of Caucasian and Central Asian migrant workers, Eastern Europeans beholden to Wall Street/NATO media believe if they only cut ties with barbarous Russia a promised land of civilized progress and prosperity awaits, While in Western Europe their demons are being projected onto Muslim migrants and refugees (not to say that popular concerns about off-shoring industry¬†and resultant unemployment, arguably exacerbated by migration, aren’t real problems). It’s the same dynamic everywhere, the immature, subconsciously well-aware of their own wretchedness, seek¬†to avoid taking a long hard look at themselves by projecting their innate barbarism onto whatever otherable group fits the bill. They quixotically seek¬†to cast their own demons into the nearest ‘pack of swine’ and drive them over the nearest cliff. It’s yet¬†another symptom of the juvenile bent¬†of our bourgeois, materialist, individualist times. Everything, particularly history, is reduced to the easily quantified and digested. Nuance is an unnecessary nuisance. Anthropocentrism and the egomaniacal self-congratulation of Western Liberalism as the culmination of history and torch-bearer of ideals can no more be questioned than an infant is able to question that it is the centre of the universe¬†without intervention of¬†force majeure and an ensuing shrieking tantrum. Good luck kiddies.

Why I don’t believe in Western Liberal Democracy

When I was 17 I was practically a fanatic about the power of human reason, progress and liberty. Then I grew up and saw the world. If wisdom is recognizing how little you know (Socrates), and if a key to the good life is recognizing your own limitations (the stoics), Liberalism is quite a juvenile ethos.

I do not use ‘Liberalism’ in the shallow, narrow american sense, contrasted with conservatism and synonymous with ‘progressive.’ ¬†Rather, by liberal I mean the broader republican or parliamentarian movement that overthrew the ancien r√©gime in primarily the Dutch, Glorious, American and French revolutions. It is originally the movement of¬†nouveaux riches whose wealth came from overseas colonialism and slavery and who wanted to pursue capital accumulation and dispose of their property, particularly human chattel, without the intervention of a monarch. While using the language of universalism, Classical liberals in practice¬†promoted liberty, equality and democracy only for their small exclusive, generally¬†racist class of propertied men. These liberals commanded a slave economy, instigated New World genocide and effected Dickensian conditions in Europe.

Only maybe in very exceptional examples¬†are politics driven by principles. As a rule, it is driven by powerful groups ruthlessly pursuing their interests. While there was a moral flavour to the abolition of slavery, industrialization necessitated¬†the reserve army of labour created by the wage system, which keeps wages and production costs down. Abolition didn’t solve rights issues. Shortly after the industrial North defeated the South in the American civil war, Jim Crow came to pass, and Chinese and Indian coolies were imported to perform labour, particularly railway building, in conditions hardly better than plantation slavery. Colonial and neo-colonial exploitation continued, benefiting metropolitan elites who continued to wax lyrical about their liberal ideals.

Marx agreed that politics is driven by vested interest not morals or principles. Proudhon argued in The Philosophy of Poverty¬†that a better society should be built by appealing to peoples’ morality. Marx viciously tore this work apart in¬†The Poverty of Philosophy. He argued that the proletariat would be driven to liberate itself from exploitation simply out of rational self-interest. Proudhon’s Utopian Socialism assumes people should be moral, share and help one another. Marxist Socialism does not. Rather, its flaws are inherited directly from¬†Liberalism- faith in human reason as driving behaviour, the nobility of revolution and the belief in inevitable progress. Almost all of Marx’s work was descriptive, describing how capitalism works. A bit was predictive, flawed in the ways just mentioned, and a few sentences were prescriptive, amounting to¬†‘the bourgeois should probably be crushed with terror and their order replaced with something democratic resembling the Paris Commune.’ Take it or leave it. There are in fact thousands of small local examples of fully functional socialism around the world in the form of cooperatives, the best example being the federated Mondragon Corporation, which was successful both under Franco and the following regime.

But I digress. Liberalism has always used the language of universalism while in practice defending the interests of the privileged. The labour/feminist movement has been the only driver of progress through broad organization and being willing to fight and sacrifice. Although confused between the humane¬†democratic socialism of George Orwell or Rosa Luxemburg and the harsh rule of Marxism-Leninism, in the west, all compromises with power over expanding democracy, civil rights and social welfare were won through the fear of violent leftist overthrow on the Russian model. Ironically, without the spectre of Bolshevik terror, there is no universal suffrage or social welfare. The USSR crushed and co-opted most of the global labour movement, marginalizing real democratic socialists and used its global network of red patsies to further its geopolitical interests. Therefore, when the USSR collapsed, the confused and immasculated labour movement was easily crushed and swept away. Its ability to defend democracy, civil liberties and social welfare through organized struggle was gone, and the balance of power that created that which is disingenuously presented as the ideal-driven, shared-principle community of¬†‘progressive liberalism’ was gone. Sure, there are still good intentioned people out there, sometimes in important positions. But in the greater balance, the ruthless pursuit of vested interest by those with the most power and resources will prove definitive in shaping the world.

Besides a militant labour movement, I’d argue that those societies with the highest standards of living, best functioning institutions and most generous social welfare systems benefit from unprecedented wealth. They are the countries which benefited most from early modern colonial imperialism and exploitation of the New World. No other countries enjoy such a surplus of resources save the Gulf oil states. Western Europe’s complex topography of disjointed peninsulas and islands produced various small separate states in mutual existential competition necessitating innovation in administrative, maritime and military technologies. These allowed them to subdue and exploit most of the rest of the world and accumulate unprecedented wealth.¬† As a rule politics is the balance of powerful groups¬†pursuing their own perceived interests, and wealth is the foundation of¬†power, it funds and predicates ideas, creeds and armies. A small state which commands resources garnered from whole continents finds it much easier for powerful factions¬†to come to a consensus over the distribution of wealth- everyone can be satisfied with their share of the massive pie. This allows institutions to function well without conflict over wealth distribution in the form of corruption or extra-constitutional power plays like coups. In the early twentieth century, organized, militant labour formed one powerful group in the west. It fought and gained its share of the pie, social welfare and civil liberties. Besides, Europe would not have its envied standard of living without the massive post-war influx of New-World wealth that was Marshal Aid, which was accompanied by an american project to remake Europe in its image. Elsewhere in the world, particularly in states lacking resources, those drained of resources by the west, or those that see¬†a need for massive state security expenditures, there is less wealth to distribute, consensus is harder to reach, inter-elite conflict and corruption more common. Institutions such as democratic elections and rule of law are far less likely to function under such conditions. With less funding for nuanced forms of social control, i.e. “bread and circuses,” baser, more indiscreet forms without the luxury of respect for rights and liberties are relied on. It is also a fantasy to believe that the west’s administrative techniques, developed under very specific historical and economic conditions can be exported to states experiencing¬†completely different conditions and expected to function the same, especially without the west’s cushion of extreme wealth. As non-renewable resources are consumed at an ever increasing rate, there is no guarantee that this wealth upon which western social democracy is predicated will last, especially in an economy increasingly reliant on debt and money printing.

Meanwhile, while the liberal oligarchy formally retains the civil liberties that were so prominently heralded in liberal cold war and post-cold war PR- elections, free press, tolerance of diverse identities, etc, new techniques of control and exploitation are constantly perfected. These are primarily exemplified by debt-enslavement and institutionalized financial fraud, hidden behind a curtain of pop-culture escapism, fixation on the formal though anemic liberties above, and obfuscation of simple economics behind needlessly technical language and professional mystification.

As the size of the pie decreases it becomes more vital for anyone who wants their share of it or to have their rights respected to organize, fight and be ready to sacrifice. But the disadvantaged have now no coherent narrative to inspire them to do those things. The best they can do is post on social media, wave a sign or a puppet or occupy a park. Creating a new inspiring narrative is an incredibly difficult task. In my opinion, it would have to tear down some key axioms of liberalism usually unquestioningly inherited by the left, particularly those mentioned above as their shared flaws.

First it must question the myth of progress. Racism and Nationalist ethnic cleansing are both products of the modern liberal order, one arising from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the other from the French Revolution. Cosmopolitanism is not a recent progressive invention, it was promoted by the ancient Greeks, stoics in particular. Herodotus described a tendency for ancient travelers to call the gods of other cultures by the names of their own. For example, when a Greek saw a statue of Isis he or she assumed¬†it was Aphrodite. Conflict followed contours besides ethnicity. Many ancient and medieval civilizations were chauvinistic, but a ‘barbarian’ could generally acculturate and become just as¬†accepted¬†as Greek, Chinese-Confucian or Muslim as the local elite. Besides, the idea of progress assumes that technology will eventually solve our problems. Why was this not true for¬†Babylon or the Aztecs? Historically and presently technology has been shown to cause as many problems as it solves, whether speaking of the ancient, extensive and ingenious irrigation systems which led to useless, saline farmland or the contemporary acidification and die-off of the worlds’ oceans. The myth of progress also tends to produce the argument¬†that ‘primitive’ societies were barbaric and characterized by violence, rape and a generally social-darwinist lack of law. However, those ‘primitive’ societies which Europeans met on the Northwest coast of North America, for example, were probably better at following natural law and respecting one another than the technologically advanced Europeans were. Decisions were made democratically and redistributing one’s wealth through the potlatch system was considered a mark of honour.

Second, a new narrative must question the idea that humans are driven by reason. It’s a pretty idea that sprung out of the unrestrained exuberance at the early-modern bourgeois-liberal-driven flowering of science. In certain contexts people do follow their perceived rational self-interest. Perceived. But human psychology is murky at best. People often or perhaps¬†usually¬†don’t know what their true, subconscious motivations are. Childhood experiences, neuroses, the caprice of raw human nature all play a part. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs includes love, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. These can produce seemingly¬†irrational¬†behaviour, confounding prescripts of rational self-interest, especially when mixed with eccentricities, disorders and and neuroses. Being rational, having facts on your side (whatever that means, most people confuse lack of cognitive dissonance with their subjective worldview as pure reason) and preaching scientific objectivity while ignoring the vagaries of human nature and eccentricity¬†does little to practically address the¬†problems faced by humanity and the societies they create. In fact it can create absurd, Kafkaesque problems. Human nature is flexible but it has limits which reason can only pretend to overcome. We are both greedy and cooperative, the variation based partly on the economic conditions in which we find ourselves.

Another flawed notion that the left inherited from Liberalism was glorification of revolution. The American, French and Russian revolutions all led to war and massacre. One major reason for the American revolution, behind the pretty rhetoric, was the British Empire’s limit on American expansion West at the expense of the Native Americans, whom the British considered¬†helping to establish their own state. Independence cleared the way for Amerindian genocide and avoided the rumoured approach of abolition in the British Empire. The Jacobin and Bolshevik terrors require no description. Revolution produces a power vacuum which, no matter the principles for which the revolution was ostensibly carried out, will almost inevitably be filled by the most ruthless. The question of revolution versus gradual change has been a central conflict within the western left and the this conflict remains unresolved. I argued in an earlier post that monarchy provides certain benefits relating to stability and provides what I see as a practical need for a reliable centre of loyalty. It’s not fair, but what in life is? It’s realistic and stable. A dynasty’s interests are inextricably tied to the interests of the country. There is corruption in any system; allowing an incontestable permanent arbiter of power to live in luxury is better than having a series of¬†Dick Cheneys treat their term in office as a cash & carry opportunity. George Orwell also speculated on¬†whether a democratic socialist society might require the retention of the monarchy. Controlling the sources of wealth- production and finance is more important than controlling political power. It may be wise to focus on the expansion, perfection and defense of the cooperative and credit union systems based on the Mondragon model at the expense of advanced-capitalist oligopolistic corporate structures. How exactly to do this is an open question. The main fear of pre-modern rulers¬†was not the masses of peasantry but the bourgeoisie, the merchant/banker class. In medieval Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Chinese societies usury was usually¬†banned and the bourgeoisie deeply mistrusted and kept¬†on a tight leash. Meanwhile, the land¬†was often conceived of as belonging to god or some equivalent, with the rulers its custodians rather than owners. Even in feudalism there were often democratic structures at the local level, like Russian mir or English peasant courts, as lords rarely wanted to waste time and resources administering the peasants.

Every group has dominant individuals which oversees the design (or adoption) and management of an ethos or ideology with which to bind the group and ensure loyalty. Human nature according to Jung has an inbuilt architecture of mythology or narrative; we require an ethos, an ideological framework through which to make sense of the world and find a sense of identity and belonging. The dynamic is the same whether speaking about religion, nationalism, Confucianism, Marxism-Leninism, Western Liberalism or whatever, all operate practically the same with a varying ratio of implicit and explicit ideological encoding. All are fluid, syncretic, not necessarily mutually exclusive and adapt to best re-enforce power and cohesion according to real world conditions and to the perceived collective psychological imperatives of the masses. An ethos which believes it falls outside this framework and is based rather on scientific fact, as liberalism self-exalts, is speeding headlong toward cognitive dissonance and disintegration. Ethos generally only work on those subjects for whom they are invisible. When cracks appear disintegration accelerates.

In pursuing an alternative inspirational goal, I’d advocate habits and rules found to be reliable and conducive to human nature over the¬†longue dur√©e. Rather than buying into the contemporary¬†myth of progress or idolizing¬†some arbitrary period in human history, I’d look for enduring principles which are proven to be conducive to human nature, justice and stable social organization. Cooperative resource management is a principle older than time itself. As is having a ‘chief’ or monarch in tandem with local democratic structures. As an ethos to tie society together, I’d seek something most conducive to harmony with and respect for nature, both external and human. Rather than some arbitrarily divisive socially constructed notion of identity, I’d look for something that treats humans at their most fundamental, flawed, feeling, thinking beings that fundamentally¬†just want security and love. To this end I’d personally promote the organization of society on ancient stoic principles. It’s a simple and effective ethos¬†that only fell because it was outlawed and oppressed by the incoherent and vindictive imperial Christianity of ‘St.’ Paul. It is also non-exclusive to pre-existing ethos in the myriad forms we find them in today’s world- religion, ethnicity, etc. It is conducive to the classic model of universal empire practiced by Rome, the Mongols, Manchus, Romanovs, Habsburgs and Ottomans, under which subjects are free to identify as they please as long as they remain loyal and pay their taxes.

There is nothing new under the sun. Sustainability and social justice are to be found in a fair examination of human nature- natural law expressed through principles and techniques practiced in ‘primitive,’ ancient and medieval times. Egomanaical self-righteousness over¬†our superior progressivness, powers of reason and technological development will lead to ruin and pathalogical¬†alienation from in-born natural law. We require humble reflection on what makes us human and what has been shown to be effective over millennia of social organization during¬†which human nature has remained constant.

Revisiting Thomas Hobbes

I have no political affiliation or convictions. I think policy is contingent on circumstance, environment, economics, security. I don’t think that people can re-make society any way they want and I don’t believe that political economic systems that have been shown to work in one place will work elsewhere. I think that more idealism and sound institutions are possible in the west than elsewhere because of extremely disproportionate prosperity from the New World and the colonial legacy. Maybe western liberal democracy is the best possible system, but that doesn’t mean it’s sustainable. I believe like Prof. Hansen that the future of the global economy is not bright. If China’s 1.5 billion rose to the living standards of an average OECD country, a wide array of non-renewable resources would be expended within 40 years. There is accelerating climate change and mass oceanic die-off (due to acidification, plastic gyres, heavy metals and other industrial waste, Fukushima radiation and so on). The Liberal order is not progressing to greater liberty, it’s stumbling from Berlusconi to Assange to Manning to Snowden to Orban to Erdogan, to Trump/Hillary (same shit) and ever higher personal and sovereign debt. Liberalism by itself led to Dickensian conditions. Ironically the perverted Bolshevik revolution lent legitimacy to western social democratic demands to concede social welfare concessions or face violent leftist overthrow. This, contingent on the foundation of colonial prosperity, is why up to now these have been comfortable places to live. Once the USSR fell, this legitimate threat also fell, and the roll-back of social welfare concessionss began and continues. Again, as Hansen points out, many of them are objectively no longer affordable anyway. If you are less pessemistic and think that “liberal ideals” are being pursued and are achievable, good luck. I think geopolitical goals and reduction of limitations on capital accumulation are being pursued. I’m really bored with this obsession with parliamentary elections, there are countless possible legitimate forms of democracy, many developed by traditional societies in dialogue with their own local conditions and environment. Diversity is robust; monoculture, liberal or otherwise, is a liability when crisis hits. Never mind the criticisms of liberal society offered by the Prussian Conservative Revolutionaries, Frankfurt School, Heidegger, Jung, and Marx’s theories of alienation. Why and how should liberals expect that countries can transition to western-style liberal institutions within a few years with no cultural foundation and in disregard for local social and economic conditions? If these liberal crusaders insist on remaking the world in their image, maybe they should be thinking of a multi-generational roadmap. Establish stability and consensus of elites, a unifying ethos, sovereignty guarantees etc, etc first. Maybe promoting liberal democratic reforms prematurely has a counter-effect. For example, I think Russians often become homophobic just to resist western cultural imperiousness. Maybe promoting liberal reforms prematurely makes authoritarian regimes (which, however ugly, are indeed warding off war and chaos) feel insecure and leads to reactionary retrenchment. Maybe liberal crusaders should value the role of the regime in a long arduous process, while promoting non-threatening, mainly economic reforms, biding their time, promoting security of elites, education, etc. No one wants the results of Gorbachyov’s hasty, idealistic reforms- disintegration, apocalyptic living coditions and war. Maybe there are foundational conditions that should be painstakingly built before democratization. It’s nice to sit in a resource rich, only-recently-intensively-exploited, temperate, continental country with impecable security sandwiched between two oceans and say that non-gradual change will definitely work out great. I doubt this kind of optimism will survive the global financial crisis Hansen expects, but good luck!

Spiralling Toward Humanity

Progress, unqualified liberty and equality are pillars of liberal ideology. Liberalism is the ideology of bourgeoisie power, established at the expense of the ancien regime; it is republicanism, parliamentary democracy, ‘private property √ľber alles,’ industrialization, commercialization, bureaucratization, nihilism, quantification and commodification of all things. Its intellectual handmaidens are positivism, scientism, instrumental rationality, analytical philosophy, cognitive behavioural psychology, and postmodernism.

Liberalism overthrew the Hobbesian order thanks to the enormous bourgeois wealth brought by commercial colonial empire, the conquering of ‘virgin’ continents and particularly the flow of precious metals from the New World to Europe. Liberalism and the enlightenment are built on post-columbian prosperity in the same way the Renaissance was built on the rape and pillage of Byzantium. Liberal democracy thrives really only in those countries that profit(ed) most from colonial conquests, and those counrtries that the colonists powers choose to let thrive, via the Marshall Plan, for example. Democracy, rule of law, low corruption and sound institutions do not produce prosperity, they are a luxury built upon a foundation of (neo) colonial prosperity. Therefore the Liberal powers are obscenely disingenuous in pointing fingers at others for not following their norms, while extracting from them the wealth necessary to maintain those norms exclusively.

Despite being born in slavery and genocide from America to Africa to India, liberalism must constantly reaffirm its progressive and emancipatory credentials ad absurdum. For example, by promoting the idea of gender equality ‚Äď actually a totally meaningless concept. On average, women necessarily have much harder lives than men and no amount of ‘equality’ on paper is going to change that. The best society wouldn’t be a feminist one, it would be a female supremacist one, in that men should find joy through fulfilling their duty to try to make women’s lives easier, more secure, and happier while infringements on women’s well-being should be punished disproportionately, indeed with the wrath of god. A healthy society would share decision-making between the genders, as Turkey’s HDP party promotes. A good argument could even be made for giving women precidence in decision making.

Other badges of emancipation of which liberals love to boast, like LGBT rights are little more than that; something in which they can find self-affirmation while, for example, the material prosperity of their society, including that of its sexual minorities (though all major studies show that fluidity of sexual orientation is fundamental in the human individual; sexual tribalism is a social construct), is predicated on the wage-slave labour of millions of largely teenage girls in Asia. Giving them rights would actually cost us access to cheap goods, esablishing gay rights doesn’t really cost anything. It just makes us feel liberal.

As the post-Columbian wealth and hydrocarbon reserves are dissipated, the world will return to the mean in socio-political order, something resembling the Hobbesian/Confucian state, guided by stability and harmony rather than progress and ill-defined liberty. Liberalism and the 20th century reactions to it ask ‘what is the best way to engineer society (and everythnig else)?’ A better question might be, where is unqualified liberty on the hienarchy of needs really ? How rational and capable of engieering our environment, society and selves are we? How do the demands and limitations of human nature determine social organization? Human nature doesn’t progress, and technology will save us neither from fundamental resource exhaustion nor from our own caprice and hubris. Please, read some Dostoevsky.

Liberals’ self-righteous and totalitarian insistance that all must subscribe to their view is the very rot from within by which their stale mythology will collapse. They are barely aware that intelligent criticism of their worldview exists, let alone who composed it or what they wrote. Hyper-critical of all those who don’t subscribe to liberal hypocrisy, in contrast to whom they self-affirm and self-define, liberals are completely incapable of self-criticism, of questioning their childish idealism. They are tiresome.

This documentary describes how the mania for ‘progress’ has debased art.

Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters

The Roots of Western Nihilism [Julius Evola]

The Revenge of the Sacred [Leszek Kolakowski]

Sketch of A Brief History of Modernity

The mainstream western liberal narrative today, the dominant narrative, is one of equal citizenry on a path of inevitable progress and liberation guided by a set of shared principles. We seem to believe we function under scientific truth and empirical fact, ideology is a thing of the barbaric past or of the ‘other.’ But as with any grand narrative, this one is also the stuff of ideology, with it’s attendant web of communal identity and power relations. But where does this ideology, this ethos come from and whom does it serve?


In the age of colonial empire the merchant banker class became rich on mercantilist trade and usurped power from the ancien r√©gime in a series of revolutions starting with the Dutch, Glorious, American and French Revolutions. Besides a tendency toward quantification and commodification of all things, the new dominant class benefited from rationalized systems, the development of science, technology and bureaucracy, and the removal of all cultural, religious, moral or circumstantial impediments to capital accumulation. Meanwhile, having been considered a dangerous amoral class best kept on a tight leash by nearly every pre-modern civilizations, whether Christian, Buddhist, Indian or Chinese, they required a new way of cementing popular loyalty to their rule. The French revolution proved the effectiveness of the nation-state model, and nationalism therefore replaced dynastic or religious loyalty as the dominant centre of loyalty and identity. Intellectual elites, ‘national entrepreneurs’ got busy selecting or concocting myths and narratives, standardized languages and national poets around which to construct national identity. Then of course came the myriad forms of ethnic cleansing which imposed these collective fantasies upon reality and continue today.

Left to itself, liberalism thrived on pure slavery, wage slavery and mass resource exploitation- Dickensian conditions. It took movements from below to make it humane. Armed and organized labour was able to force concessions from the elite. Occasionally these concessions were awarded by conservatives like Bismarck in Germany and Baldwin in Britain. Until the Bolshevik revolution there was no moral argument against socialism; it was accepted as an inevitability at various ends of the political world. The Bolsheviks, however, were characterized first and foremost by a martial ethos- when it became clear that the collapse of capitalism in the most advanced countries and subsequent socialist revolution were not imminent, they kept the language of socialism, but turned their martial ethos from class war to perpetual war to maintain sovereignty over their empire. They faced of real threats from the more advanced countries to turn the former Russian empire into a resource extraction colony like South America, and from the masses, particularly the peasants. They responded to the latter with starvation; having just created the Ukraine¬†and greatly expanding its territory through annexing New Russia to it, the Bolsheviks didn’t particularly¬†target Ukraine, incidentally a largely peasant land, rather their intention was to brutally discipline the pan-Soviet peasantry and requisition agricultural output for export to fund military industrial development in time for the next, much expected war. When it came, they tried to form treaties with, for example, Britain¬†and¬†Finland, the latter to move the border out of artillery range of Leningrad in exchange for a much larger but less developed tract of land in the North. Western countries’¬†refusal to cooperate led the Soviet leadership to pursue the less desirable Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Winter War. The western powers only agreed to a second front after their hoped-for annihilation of the USSR by Hitler’s troops failed to occur and a Soviet victory was inevitable.

The French Utopian Socialist Proudhon argued for an appeal to morality to build socialism in his book The Philosophy of Poverty. Marx tore this work to shreds in his book The Poverty of Philosophy, arguing that workers would find the abolition of private property to be in their rational self-interest. Nevertheless, after about 1922, although finding its support base in the working class, the Soviet authorities pursued state ownership and ‘socialism in one country,’ meaning defense of their sovereignty over their ’empire.’¬†The Soviet Union identified itself as socialist in order to lend an air of legitimacy to its permanent-war-cabinet style of administration. Meanwhile, the west also eagerly identified the Soviet Union as socialist in order to discredit the left at home. This was easy as the left itself muddled fantasies of emancipation with Soviet Power, and was indeed internationally largely bought out and co-opted by that power. Nevertheless, the constant threat of Bolshevik-style violent overthrow spreading to other countries left the western merchant/banker elite scared enough to build and maintain a social welfare state, a system of concessions to the masses to preempt any revolution. After the war, having targeted the German population rather than military industrial capability and defeating a mere fraction of the German military compared with the USSR, the US realized¬†that the original plan of¬†turning Germany into a weak agrarian country would be counter-productive. Instead, it was necessary to spend unheard of sums of money via Marshal Aid to revive the heart of the European economy, reinforce the western bulwark against the Soviet bloc, and create growth and competition for the global capitalist system to avoid a return to the great depression. Meanwhile, The US organized mass population transfers to turn the rich ethnic tapestry of Europe into a patchwork of liberal roughly homogenous nation-states, though economic necessity soon brought in migrant workers.

Meanwhile, FDR met King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia in 1945 and came to an agreement, protection for oil. Saudi Arabia’s response to western modernity, Wahhabism, incorrectly labeled a conservative interpretation of Islam,¬†became a protectorate of the liberal west and an instrument of the cold war. While Saudi money and ideology helped in Afghanistan and other anti-communist struggles around the world, the west is hostage to their global sponsorship of Islamic terrorism.

The USSR was a product of such a strange and unlikely series of circumstances it’s amazing it existed at all, let alone lasted as long as it did. Nevertheless, it’s demise took the teeth out of the international left. The system of compromise between capital and labour began to unwind. Liberal ‘principles’ were proven to be largely instruments of anti-communist information warfare. Austerity, the dismantling of social welfare provisions became de rigeur. Terrorism became an excuse to remove civil liberties and privacy. Mass media is concentrated in few hands. Corporations, whose organizational model closely resembles that of the CPSU, gathered power.¬†Under TTIP they have the right to sue governments for legislation which hinders their profits. Debt is used as a primary weapon of control, with IMF conditions dictating policy and forcing the sale of assets to the west at discount prices. An economic system which requires constant growth, constant input of resources and markets is prone to inevitable crises. These are staved off by quantitative easing, flushing the economy with freshly printed money, which creates inflation, stealing the value out of your money even while it safely sits in the bank. The most important policies, monetary and budgetary, are decided increasingly undemocratically. The elites are not stupid; they have a century of expertise in mass psychology, public relations and perception management to call on. They are masters of hidden ideology, as today myths only work when they are invisible. The passions of the masses are always exploited by some elite¬†for their own ends, whether they be nationalistic, revolutionary, both, or whatever.

Emancipatory Monarchy

Monarchy offends ideas of equality and progress. But it offers stability, continuity and ideally, exclusion of the cash & carry set¬†from power. There is no social order¬†free from corruption, but maintaining a dynasty whose fate and luxury are inextricably bound to the long-term welfare of the state is preferable to the short-sighted power of the strictly self-serving. As a enduring and proven centre of loyalty, dynastic monarchy also fends off destabilizing abstract centres of loyalty- ideals or tribalisms which either melt into air, lead to ethnic cleansing, or become simply fig leaves for private interest. Throughout history it has generally been the middle strata of society that has oppressed the masses most- the landlords, property owners and money lenders. The skill set which guarantees success for this ilk- traders, bankers and financiers is sociopathy; letting nothing, no principle nor¬†anything sacred stand between oneself and profit. A martial nobility at least traditionally kept a code of honour. Radical emancipatory theories, whether communist, anarchist or libertarian run up against the problem that some segments of society will always express the otherwise latent human will to power; if a power vacuum or ‚Äėcompletely horizontal power structure‚Äô is created, mafia organizations will inevitably form and establish control by force. Monarchism is a way of managing this impulse, which is innate to and inextricable from human nature. It remains possible and necessary to pursue social justice within this constraint.
George Orwell:
‚ÄúThe function of the King in promoting stability and acting as a sort of keystone in a non-democratic society is, of course, obvious. But he also has, or can have, the function of acting as an escape-valve for dangerous emotions. A French journalist said to me once that the monarchy was one of the things that have saved Britain from Fascism. What he meant was that modern people can‚Äôt, apparently, get along without drums, flags and loyalty parades, and that it is better that they should tie their leader-worship onto some figure who has no real power. In a dictatorship the power and the glory belong to the same person. In England the real power belongs to unprepossessing men in bowler hats: the creature who rides in a gilded coach behind soldiers in steel breast-plates is really a waxwork. It is at any rate possible that while this division of function exists a Hitler or a Stalin cannot come to power. On the whole the European countries which have most successfully avoided Fascism have been constitutional monarchies.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúBut the affection shown for George V at the Silver Jubilee was obviously genuine, and it was even possible to see in it the survival, or recrudescence, of an idea almost as old as history, the idea of the King and the common people being in a sort of alliance against the upper classes‚Ķ‚ÄĚ