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.

Codevilla’s “Our Revolution’s Logic” Resonates on the Right, but is He Right?

Codevilla’s lengthy article outlining the path forward he sees for the American republic is ricocheting around the right-wing blogosphere pretty heavily.  And that makes sense.  Here is a civic nationalist of unimpeachable credentials sadly confirming what the Dissident Right has been saying for several years.  Codevilla’s thesis is that we’ve gone over the cliff and there’s no going back to a united America.

Without a doubt, the naïve belief that a third of the population can publicly foment the disenfranchisement of 60% of the population without damaging the unity and even the existence of the nation has been exploded.  But does that mean that a coalition of people (of whatever ethnicity) who would prefer to live in a country corresponding to the pre-1965 way of life can’t be cobbled together?  Of that, I’m not convinced.  The Left has appealed to all the various grievances of women, minorities and sexual deviants against the traditional society as a way to build a coalition.  But what would happen if you take away the advantage for that coalition?  What if protected status was removed from these categories so that there was no longer any advantage to uniting under the banner of victimhood?  Suddenly moslems, feminists and trans-women don’t seem to have that much in common.  Just looking at the various minority groups, it doesn’t appear that East and South Asians have very much in common with Hispanics who don’t really get along very well with black folk.  Suddenly it makes a lot more sense for all of us to play by the rules that actually protect each group from the law of the jungle.  The real losers in this type of situation would be the really weird characters in the LGBTQ camp.  It’s pretty certain that there are much worse societies to be noticeably strange than in pre-1965 America.  Just ask the queer folk in Iran (if you could find any alive that is).  And considering the recent statistics on female college degrees and employment advancement I think women are the least entitled to demand special privileges.

I think what made the social and political situation in the last couple of decades seem like a lost cause to the Right was the fact that the only Republican leaders that we had on the scene weren’t really on our side.  Even in the short time that Donald Trump has been on the scene and even hog-tied as he has been by the machinations of the Deep State it’s obvious that our ideas are not unacceptable to the American electorate.  Imagine if a relatively united Republican establishment started to actually espouse the welfare of its constituency on a consistent basis.  I think we could easily sway many of the groups that currently vote in lock step with the Democrats.  What is needed is an assertive stance in demanding the end of unconstitutional practices that disadvantage and disrespect the majority of American citizens in the name of grievances that have no basis in reality.  The American legal system provides more than sufficient protection for all law-abiding individuals and the American business climate when nurtured by a responsible government provides opportunities to thrive for anyone who wants to work.

Anyway, that’s my take on the situation.  That’s why I haven’t despaired yet for the ability of America to revive.  I’m not saying any of this will happen.  I’m speculating that it could be done.  I also freely admit that it’s a long shot.  But if recent history has shown us anything it’s that long shots do actually happen.

I’m interested in your opinions.  Do you agree with Codevilla that all that’s left is dividing up the country or that there’s still a path forward for a United States.  Feel free to leave your comments below.