The Trouble with Being a Pundit

I follow Curtis Yarvin’s blog posts on his substack called graymirror@substack.com.  Yarvin is a neo-reactionary.  What that means is he believes democracy will be replaced by some kind of monarchy.  But the monarchy he imagines is more like a corporate state where the king is like a CEO.

Yarvin’s posts are enormously long and convoluted.  But he started his latest post with a short discussion of what he says are the three kinds of dissidents.

“There are three kinds of dissidents: (a) anons, (b) pundits who still care what people think, and (c) outsiders who DGAF. All these groups are great; real greatness can be achieved in any of them; and good friends I have in each. But each has its problems.

The problem with (c) is that it’s too hard. It takes a lot of luck to get there and stay there. It’s quite inconsistent with doing anything else with your life—and this under conditions of very mild repression, historically speaking. And the more you succeed, the more dangerous your position becomes. I would recommend the outside way to only one kind of young person: le trustafarian. And it has to really be your calling.

The problem with (a) is that it’s too easy—nothing binds you to reality. The dissident anons create the best art, yet never without some slight sense of playing tennis without the net. Yet this complete, even excessive, artistic freedom is balanced by challenges in opsec that compare only to general aviation. If you are not meticulous enough to fly a Cessna, you are not meticulous enough to shitpost.

The problem with (b) is that you are always policing yourself. Not only do your readers never really know what you really believe—you never really know yourself. In practice, it is much easier to police your own thoughts than your own words. When choosing between two ideas, the temptation to prefer the safer one is almost irresistible. This is a source of cognitive distortion which the anons and outsiders do not experience. (Though anons do suffer something of the opposite, a reflex to provoke.)”

I found this discussion of the problems with the various types of dissidents very helpful.  And it goes a long way to explaining why mainstream pundits are so careful.  There is so much fear of being canceled that they’d rather stand a hundred yards away from the edge of the Overton Window than risk being called a racist.  Surprisingly Tucker Carlson has been an exception.  He comes remarkably close to sounding like someone from the Dissident Right.

What this brings out is the fact that the pundits are aware of these lies.  They know the truth but are afraid to say it out loud.  Which is why as soon as the Overton Window shifts, as it did when Donald Trump spoke out against illegal immigration, these pundits will eventually move forward to somewhere slightly behind the edge.  And that is a cause for hope.  When a time comes when a man who is not afraid to speak the truth gets a platform that the Left can’t dynamite, we will see if the American people are ready to be led in a new direction.

Another interesting thing that Yarvin discusses is what it would take to beat the Deep State at its own game.  Being a monarchist Yarvin sees the solution as the appearance of a strongman.  He hedges a little about what that would look like.  But the names he mentions as historical examples are Cromwell, Caesar and Charlemagne.  Well, none of those names were peaceful characters who worked within the system and made small changes around the edges.  So, he’s talking revolution.  That’s bold talk.  But he says anything less will fail because the Left isn’t kidding around.  That’s something to think about.  His proof is what happened to Donald Trump.  Trump had popular support.  So, the Deep State worked around that support and used a combination of fraud and propaganda to retake the government.  It does show that it will take more than popular support to eliminate the Deep State.  It will take force.  To purge the intelligence agency will take force.  To purge the armed forces will take force.  Not violence but power politics.  You will have to buy off powerful people and then get rid of those powerful people next.  Machiavelli will be the rule book for an operation like this and plenty of people will end up in prison even if things go well.

So, do I think it will take a strongman?  Yeah, I guess I do.  Do I think it would require the end of the republic?  Currently I’m not sure.  I hope not, but I’m not sure.  If a leader arises to displace the Left, would he feel safe only leading for eight years?   Wouldn’t he fear revenge once he left office.  Is it too late for republicanism?  That’s the question.

02MAY2021 – OCF Update – A Day of Rest

Today was a day for other things.  I had chores and some outlining for a story.  But I thought it would be good to just mention what I think is the significance of the story I found most interesting this week, the Basecamp story.  The details are amusing enough but what I think is most interesting is that this is the second incident where a tech company has put an end to the woke reign of terror at their company.  First Coinbase and then Basecamp.  What seems to be happening is that CEO’s familiar with the actual ethos of the millennial generation can parse the difference between employees seeking to optimize their work environment and SJW’s working to parasitize a healthy company and suck the life out of it.

From my observation of old guard corporations they either can’t see this or are afraid of the wokesters or they think it won’t destroy their company within the time window they care about.  Perhaps it’s a matter of size.  There is a lot less margin for error in a sixty man company than there is in a sixty thousand man company.

What will be interesting to see is whether any other type of company decides to try out this strategy.  I’m trying to imagine how a car company or an oil company or even a coffee company tells its employees to shut up and get to work.  I think that would be really edifying.  And hopefully it will be in a red state because I can see a blue state government stepping in and helping the feds put the screws to someone who doesn’t want to pay people to complain about social justice offenses against wokeness.

It may be that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill.  But it was one of the only promising signs I’ve seen in the corporate world in a very long time.  And for that reason it really impressed me and gave me a lift.  I’ll keep my eyes open and await the third occurrence.  After all everyone knows the third time is the charm.

This Thing Just Gets More Entertaining by the Day – Basecamp – The Prequel

While enjoying the tweets of the various Basecamp employees that were virtue signaling their resignations, I came across a tweet by someone named Casey Newton who was commiserating with the brave golden parachutists who were flouncing into unemployment.  Turns out he is a “reporter” at the The Verge and he has written a breathless tell all expose laying bare the sordid heart of “Basecamp-Gate,” as I like to call it.

And I’ve got to say the lameness of the whole thing is extraordinary.  It started back in 2009.  Now, that was back before the woke monster had terrorized all normal people into keeping their heads down and genuflecting to whatever golden idol had been thought up by the SJW’s at work.  Well, some computer geeks at Basecamp had been amusing themselves by going through the database of customers and picking out the names that were the funniest to their tenth-grade psyches.  You can only imagine the hilarity, Seymour Johnson, Dick Steele, etc.  Fast forward ten years and those employees are gone but the list surfaces and the SJW’s spring into action.  One of the geniuses points to an Anti-Defamation League incitement document that claims there is a “pyramid of hate” that provides a clear and inescapable escalation from school yard rank-out sessions all the way up to death camps.

To their surprising credit the owners of Basecamp have spent an enormous amount of energy trying to smooth over this kerfuffle.  Without dismissing the concerns of the always outraged SJW’s they have steered a middle course of acknowledging the inappropriate nature of the joke but deciding that nothing terrible happened or would happen because of this incident and attempting to move on without the necessity of firing anyone or moving heaven and earth to change human nature.

When the SJW’s would have none of it, the owners took the action they did Monday and ended the company’s involvement in social justice on the job.  And the rest is history.  From what Newton has written there were about twenty employees who were part of the DE&I council and had been politicking to expand their authority over everything from hiring to how Basecamp employees were allowed to socialize, to even which vendors the company hired.  In other words, they were the SJW rabble-rousers looking to dictate what went on at Basecamp.  And if we had the list of these twenty employees, I’ll bit it matches up almost one to one with the employees leaving the company.

So David Hansson, one of the owners, responded to the Verge post with all the details of the funny name list “investigation.”  I’ve got to say, based on their written words, these guys must be the calmest human beings alive.  Everything is so measured and rational.  Everything seems so moderate and reasonable.  Even his stance on severance packages is more than decent.  I mean these people resigning en masse is meant to be an assault on the viability of the company.  And yet he discusses it in the friendliest of terms in his post.  It’s like having Ned Flanders as your CEO.

With all the details now available it’s more than apparent that what was done by management was a bold move to save the company from a very bad situation.  When a third of the employees are attempting to subvert the CEO’s control over all the most important decision-making functions in the company, well, having them quit en masse may be the best result you could possibly hope for.

Basecamp has now provided a master class in how to rid your company of parasites.  Anyone else who has the courage and the foresight should look to their example for inspiration and details.

The Basecamp Saga Continues – The Exodus

After announcing on Monday that employees of the tech company Basecamp would no longer be allowed to post social and political material on the company’s communication channels about a third of the company’s sixty employees have said that hey will accept buyouts and leave the company.

I read through the tweets and they mostly sounded proud that they had taken the stand.  But one of them sounded suspiciously like reality.

 

This whole strategy sounds remarkably like a very clever way to have the dead wood “choose” to go away.  My guess is that for the last year the social justice wing of the company has been horrifyingly unproductive and the owners realized that banning the problematic behavior would enrage the culprits so much that they would leave on their own.

In the current environment of woke ascendancy, telling SJW’s that they have to work instead of complain about the unfairness of life is like asking them not to breath.   And offering them a six month severance package was just too tempting.  So I think “bletchley punk” is definitely on to something.  It sounds like Basecamp’s owners are saying, “Don’t go away mad, just go away.”

Maybe this could become known as the Coin/base/camp gambit, tell employees that they have to work and then hold the doors open as they leave.  You can even hand out vegan muffins to them as they leave and tell them to have a nice day.

Of course it’s also possible that the owners didn’t anticipate this much attrition.  But I think not.  Stay tuned.