The Trouble with Being a Pundit

I follow Curtis Yarvin’s blog posts on his substack called  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.