Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

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Tom Rogers
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Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Tom Rogers » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm

I'm back because Physiocrat wanted me to clarify my view on metapolitics and I thought I would create a thread for discussion of that.

Let me start by quoting from the other thread a comment from Physiocrat that I think sums up the Johnsonian/Alt Right attitude to metapolitics. I regard this type of metapolitics as peculiar to the United States, and whatever its merits, I do not regard it as really applicable to Britain:
Physiocrat wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:21 pm
But the means and ends of civic activism are themselves underpinned by ideas. Now most of the public are unlikely to have worked through positions on the appropriate goals and means to achieve them. They will accept them or reject them on their tacit ideas. This is where culture comes in. Stories change the morality and politics on an a-rational level and provides the axioms upon which much of their theorising will be built. This is why I am so concerned with culture. For example, most of the population seem to believe that equality, generally understood is a good thing, and take this to be axiomatic so if I headed a party which advocated disenfranchisement of women, I would go nowhere. This belief in equality is built up day by day by writers and directors which lead to this tacit idea becoming functionally hegemonic. The Nazi party platform must then have been to some extent consistent with the tacit ideas of the public.

There is no point trying to convert most people to libertarianism however showing them why it would work in particular circumstances can help to reprogamme their assumptions.
My response:

Ideas are irrelevant to politics.

But I need to caveat that bold generalisation in various ways.

Ideas are relevant to me and you. That's because, at least in the broad sense of the term, we are both 'intellectuals'. But ideas are not relevant to the ordinary person. The ordinary person is non-intellectual, which is not to say he is unintelligent or stupid - I do not make that claim. The ordinary person is mostly, if not entirely, concerned with his immediate needs. He doesn't care about my and your intellectual preoccupations and concerns, which seem parochial to him, if not esoteric. White girls being 'raped' in Rotherham? So what? As difficult as that is to accept, it's just the way people are.

The ordinary man will put up with practically anything as long as his immediate needs are met. Even the white men you see at anti-jihadist demonstrations mostly don't really care about the issues at hand, they are just there for the buzz. As such, those demonstrations are just a live-action roleplay version of TV- and YouTube/web-viewing behaviour: to the public who watch news and political content online, it's just entertainment. Crucially, it's not the basis for activationism. In fact, if anything, it's the basis for inaction and political laziness. It's a soma.

Granted, libertarianism is a more intellectual position than nationalism. Libertarians are smart people - maybe too smart for their own good, and maybe that's part of your problem. Whatever is the case, we can say that ideas are very important in the libertarian sphere, but all that tells me is that the intellectuals involved in libertarianism need to up their game politically. You can't popularise libertarianism except through political measures, which requires that you reconcile a paradox: to make people freer, you first need to seize power. That can be done either by taking power directly yourselves or by influencing others who want power. As far as I can see, the actual unofficial (and perhaps, unspoken) purpose of the Mises Centre UK is the latter. As a rule, and exceptions allowing, I wouldn't expect libertarianism to have much traction on a council estate, but when put across in a certain way, these ideas might receive a favourable reception at a Conservative Association or a Whitehall think tank.

You talk about art, films and other creative endeavours, which as you rightly say, can influence politics. But a cultural struggle only works to any significant extent if there is political momentum in society. Apart from anything else, movements that control things politically can secure funding for the arts. Witness for instance the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, a brutalist architectural monstrosity. That gallery exists because the Left control local government in West Yorkshire. Without political ability, and the motive force underlying it, any ideas you have will remain at the fringes. At best, you will be what is politely known as a 'cult writer' or 'cult artist' or whatever, which are euphemisms for the focal point of a creative fad that flimsy people grow out of. The point of politics is not to be a fad or a cult figure, but to have power.

To put it bluntly: Power is everything.

For the abundance of clarity: I am not, per se, arguing against social media, articles, blogging, etc. Nor am I rubbishing those who engage in such activities, which are helpful and useful. But I am of the view that they should be a tool for and subservient to real-world activism, not become an enchanted world in themselves, full of prissy madams who think they should be immune to criticism.

Nationalists have a similar problem to libertarianism, but the other way round. I observed just now that libertarians are smart people. Nationalists are the opposite: most of us aren't very bright - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Being a dullard or simple person can be advantageous, and anyway does not equate to stupidity. Nationalism isn't really an intellectual position at its core. Nationalism is more of a 'common sense' type of position. It appeals in the main to people who look at things practically and, from experience, recognise intuitively certain realities of the human condition. There is only so much purely intellectual content a nationalist can publish before things start to seem a bit circular and déjà vu sets in. At the end of the day, this is about preserving and advancing the British nation, which is not a difficult concept for the average person to comprehend in its essential form, and almost-everybody at every level of society does, whether they agree with it or not. That being the case, issuing more pamphlets discussing the metaphysical linguistics of Evola's fascism, or nihilism in a post-Christian society, or whatever, isn't going to get us much further and will, if anything, just serve to complicate and confuse things. Nationalism is simple: and that's a good thing.

There is also the more substantive point that Nationalism, being about the interests of the national people - i.e. the indigenous (implicitly white) British - should be concerned with their interests and needs, not the interests and needs of Nationalists themselves. Apart from anything else, local, honest community engagement acts as a medium - a true meta - for the transmission of Nationalist ideas into the public consciousness. Unlike the Alt Right, it's metapolitics proper. A large part of my interests and needs revolve around intellectual-type pursuits, and as such I am probably typical of people involved in the Alt Right in some way, but that is not reflective of most people. Do we attend to our own needs or the needs of those whose support we demand and expect? Which makes more sense to you? I could write a very erudite essay advancing a thesis that the Exodus is part of a Jewish mythos of self-victimisation that continued with the Holocaust. I could participate in a podcast on the child-grooming phenomenon in Britain. But is any of that politics, or even metapolitics? I think it's just a hobby. If an old lady has her benefit cut or a young man finds himself homeless, will it be any comfort that such-and-such a blog has had a thousand hits in the last few days after the jailing of Tommy Robinson? If these people are to support us, we need to convince them that we care - and I mean genuinely care - about their troubles, issues and problems, both personal and at the community level and society-wide, and that we are competent people and can do something about them. If we can't convince them of this, then how can we hope to 'save the White Race'?

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by FvS » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:54 am

One of the problems is that it is difficult to publicly identify oneself as pro-White or even just as a simple Nationalist without one's livelihood potentially coming under attack from rabid Leftists. A successful movement should employ multiple methods to reach its goals. Real world activism, including community outreach, are very important and should not be underestimated. I guess the trick is to organize in a more optically pleasing way while maintaining the underlying strategy.
"Most whites do not have a racial identity, but they would do well to understand what race means for others. They should also ponder the consequences of being the only group for whom such an identity is forbidden and who are permitted no aspirations as a group." - Jared Taylor

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Physiocrat » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:41 am

Tom Rogers wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm
I'm back because Physiocrat wanted me to clarify my view on metapolitics and I thought I would create a thread for discussion of that.

Let me start by quoting from the other thread a comment from Physiocrat that I think sums up the Johnsonian/Alt Right attitude to metapolitics. I regard this type of metapolitics as peculiar to the United States, and whatever its merits, I do not regard it as really applicable to Britain:
Could you elaborate on the difference between the USA and the UK in this respect? Is it that ideas are more important in the US because it sees itself, rightlyor wrongly, as a self-consciously created nation founded on an idea rather than an organic creation like the countries of Europe.
Tom Rogers wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm
You talk about art, films and other creative endeavours, which as you rightly say, can influence politics. But a cultural struggle only works to any significant extent if there is political momentum in society. Apart from anything else, movements that control things politically can secure funding for the arts. Witness for instance the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, a brutalist architectural monstrosity. That gallery exists because the Left control local government in West Yorkshire. Without political ability, and the motive force underlying it, any ideas you have will remain at the fringes. At best, you will be what is politely known as a 'cult writer' or 'cult artist' or whatever, which are euphemisms for the focal point of a creative fad that flimsy people grow out of. The point of politics is not to be a fad or a cult figure, but to have power.
The costs of creating and disseminating art works, stories, films etc is vastly lower than it used to be. Whilst securing government funding certainly helps it is less important than it used to be. With respect to art, I think good art is mostly non-political. The more it tends to being consciously political the more it becomes bad art which is consumed only by the already converted. This is why I think libertarianism in its thin form is not enough. Nationalism has an advantage of having a concrete vision of society whereas libertarianism is just a legal philosophy. This is why I'm increasingly interested in mixing aspects of traditional natural law theory of Aristotle and Aquinas, with anti-state radicalism and Austrian economic insights. Taken as a whole I think the worldview would be an attractive and compelling one. The more a story focuses on the pre-political the more widespread its appeal and ultimately the more influential it is. Tolkein has been an incredibly influential writer who was a promoter of romanticism, as a reaction against industrialisation. If I was suggesting writing an ancap tract in the form of a story then yes I'd end up being a cult writer at best but that isn't what I'm promoting.
Tom Rogers wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Apart from anything else, local, honest community engagement acts as a medium - a true meta - for the transmission of Nationalist ideas into the public consciousness. Unlike the Alt Right, it's metapolitics proper. A large part of my interests and needs revolve around intellectual-type pursuits, and as such I am probably typical of people involved in the Alt Right in some way, but that is not reflective of most people. Do we attend to our own needs or the needs of those whose support we demand and expect? Which makes more sense to you? I could write a very erudite essay advancing a thesis that the Exodus is part of a Jewish mythos of self-victimisation that continued with the Holocaust. I could participate in a podcast on the child-grooming phenomenon in Britain. But is any of that politics, or even metapolitics? I think it's just a hobby. If an old lady has her benefit cut or a young man finds himself homeless, will it be any comfort that such-and-such a blog has had a thousand hits in the last few days after the jailing of Tommy Robinson? If these people are to support us, we need to convince them that we care - and I mean genuinely care - about their troubles, issues and problems, both personal and at the community level and society-wide, and that we are competent people and can do something about them. If we can't convince them of this, then how can we hope to 'save the White Race'?
We certainly need to show that we can help people but if much of the electorate will just demonise these people as "racist" whilst you'll get some support you'll just be cast off as "far-right". The BBC declared the Free Tommy protesters as "Far-right". This can only be changed through ideas. It will take a long, long time in the same way egalitarian tabula rasa leftism became in vogue but it is the way of lasting change.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Tom Rogers » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:44 pm

Physiocrat wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:41 am
Tom Rogers wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm
I'm back because Physiocrat wanted me to clarify my view on metapolitics and I thought I would create a thread for discussion of that.

Let me start by quoting from the other thread a comment from Physiocrat that I think sums up the Johnsonian/Alt Right attitude to metapolitics. I regard this type of metapolitics as peculiar to the United States, and whatever its merits, I do not regard it as really applicable to Britain:
Could you elaborate on the difference between the USA and the UK in this respect? Is it that ideas are more important in the US because it sees itself, rightlyor wrongly, as a self-consciously created nation founded on an idea rather than an organic creation like the countries of Europe.
I think the biggest factor to influence 'metapolitics' in the American Alt Right is the First Amendment. Basically the First Amendment means (though does not say) that you can say what you like, as long as you do not inflict actual harm or incite violence. I realise it's not quite that simple and that people outside the United States (and also within it) tend to idealise and romanticise the First Amendment too much. It was not intended to uphold free speech and free expression, etc., as such, rather its purpose was to bar abrogations and restrictions on these by the federal legislature, and until early in the last century, that interpretation held; also, there have been important abrogations of First Amendment-equivalent rights at the state and local level. All that being said, essentially the effect of the First Amendment is that, in most ordinary situations, you can be publicly racist without fear of criminal prosecution by federal, state or local authorities. This generally encourages the discussion of ideas and perhaps has led to a focus on race and intra-movement preoccupations. Reflect for a moment that The Daily Stormer and The Daily Shoah could not exist in Britain, and any British resident appearing on those programmes while physically in Britain would potentially be at risk of criminal prosecution, Britain having nothing approaching equivalence to First Amendment protections, even with domestication of the ECHR.

Britons are ontologically insular: traditionally, we value independence, autonomy and self-government; we are industrious, commercial and adventurous, but not necessarily clever; we dislike foreigners, especially Continentals; we resent technocrats and would prefer to govern ourselves according to common-sense principles; we are suspicious of intellectuals and people who are too concerned with abstractions. It's an attribute that has made us the most violent and fearsome race ever to walk the face of the Earth. In effect we were a pre-modern version of the Vikings, and more distantly before that, we were a feared people. This quality manifests itself now in the more limited form of the football hooligan and Tommy Robinson supporter. In other words, the fearsomeness and masculinity have been marginalised, and the ontology has shifted its manifestation to self-hatred and a need to 'get along' within the limited geopolitical space of a small island. The underlying currents that have led to this began many centuries ago: alongside the tradition of freedom, England also has a more stifling tradition of 'correctness', mainly coming out of religious blasphemy laws. Our natural insularity has been cleverly twisted and used against us.

Another factor to consider is the relationship between federalism, geo-demographics and politics in the USA. I thing the vestigial federalism that the United States has is of some significance because it encourages a strong provincial and conservative flavour to its politics. Instead of having just a single political identity that inevitably leans towards urban, culturally metropolitan preoccupations, as happens in Britain, in the United States you have multiple polities and greater political diversity, albeit within a two-party umbrella. The geo-demographics of whites also helps this: probably most white Americans are basically suburbanites, but many live in rural or semi-rural areas, or in the proverbial 'small town' setting. This is much more the case than in Britain; Britain was the first country to industrialise, and the first since the Greeks and Romans to urbanise, and the white Briton is an incorrigibly urban creature, even when he is veritably suburban. The other geo-demographic factor in America is the presence of blacks in large numbers and the existence of massive black-concentrated areas, a legacy of racial segregation. This has created a uniquely racial dimension to politics that does not exist in Britain. I have noticed that in the United States, a lot of mainstream political discussions are explicitly racial and there seems to be little or no embarrassment about this. That would never, or hardly ever, happen in Britain. Yes, much of British politics and civic life is implicitly racial, and we do now have heavily Pakistani-Moslem areas, a comparative problem, but we are an insular people without a First Amendment. You would hardly ever see people in a British TV studio or hear them in a radio programme talking about "blacks" or "Moslems" and "whites" as discrete, antagonistic categories - and when anything comparable to it does happen, it tends to be on a carefully-caveated premise; for instance you might see or hear British people discuss 'the underachievement of white working class boys' or 'knife crime among blacks', but it would never be set up as a 'racial' issue. It's a subtle but important difference.

I don't believe mass gun ownership is much of a factor in things in the Alt Right's metapolitics, beyond perhaps assisting a general bias towards political conservatism. I take a quite heterodox view on gun ownership in that I think depriving a population of its guns could, if anything, make ordinary people more not less dangerous to the government. Having relatively easy access to guns may have lulled ordinary white Americans into complacency. Those guns look rusty to me. Contrary to what many think, gun ownership is permitted in Britain and is not all that difficult; the lack of guns is more down to a lack of interest in them and has at its root the different political climate in Britain early in the 20th. century. Parliament was only able to start banning guns in (I think) the 1920s because people were willing to voluntarily give them up, as they weren't needed. We still have a mostly unarmed police force, and at that time, had a homogeneous population and not much crime. Anyway, none of this precludes the possibility of obtaining guns illegally or of fashioning other weapons. Constitutionally even in Britain, the reserve power to overthrow government through 'lawful rebellion' is still in the hands of the people, and in that sense, Englishmen remain theoretically 'free'. (I don't refer here to the pseudo-legal movement that abuses that phrase). Nevertheless, the simple fact that ordinary people in the United States are permitted ownership of quite powerful guns without much bureaucratic ado, and the fact that the Supreme Court consistently upholds a populist interpretation of the Second Amendment as a basic constitutional right, does give ordinary Americans a reserve power of practical effect that could be used quickly and brutally against authority. That's why, on the pragmatic principle of 'use it or lose it', I fully support gun ownership: even of the passive and slightly cowardly American variety. It's just that any liberal right can quickly degrade into something plastic and insubstantial unless those who would avail themselves of the right are prepared to signal their will.

It's surprising that Americans still have this freedom. Looking at things from the outside, America does seem to be losing its distinct provincial and conservative character. I think a large part of this can be explained by the structural weakness of the political system. If anything, federalism and libertarianism have come into conflict in the United States: state governments can be very 'statist' and interventionist. Paradoxically, if you wanted more political freedom in America in today's climate, you would need to revert to some sort of Hamiltonian system, with a strong federal government that reigned state and local government in, asset-stripped their bureaucracies and put a stop to their social-democratic inclinations. Maybe that's Trump's tacit agenda?

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Merlin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:56 pm

Tom Rogers wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:44 pm
Paradoxically, if you wanted more political freedom in America in today's climate, you would need to revert to some sort of Hamiltonian system, with a strong federal government that reigned state and local government in, asset-stripped their bureaucracies and put a stop to their social-democratic inclinations. Maybe that's Trump's tacit agenda?
The issue with taking that road is that today’s federal government may be a tad more liberal, but tomorrow’s may not be. Heck, it will not be. If given further powers at the expense of states, who knows what these newfound powers shall be used for in the future?

If that is indeed Trump's agenda, then the usual suspects would do well do leave him alone for two full terms, after which he would have handed them a centralised behemoth for them to abuse at their pleasure. Only Nixon could go to China and all that.

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Tom Rogers » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:39 pm

Merlin wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:56 pm
Tom Rogers wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:44 pm
Paradoxically, if you wanted more political freedom in America in today's climate, you would need to revert to some sort of Hamiltonian system, with a strong federal government that reigned state and local government in, asset-stripped their bureaucracies and put a stop to their social-democratic inclinations. Maybe that's Trump's tacit agenda?
The issue with taking that road is that today’s federal government may be a tad more liberal, but tomorrow’s may not be. Heck, it will not be. If given further powers at the expense of states, who knows what these newfound powers shall be used for in the future?

If that is indeed Trump's agenda, then the usual suspects would do well do leave him alone for two full terms, after which he would have handed them a centralised behemoth for them to abuse at their pleasure. Only Nixon could go to China and all that.
I've started a new thread on that subject, so as not to divert this thread. Thanks.

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Re: Real Metapolitics Versus Fake Metapolitics

Post by Tom Rogers » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:08 pm

The below video clips shows what I consider to be an example of an authentic metapolitical discussion. We're used to issues like housing being discussed in a 'neutralised' manner, by which I mean that debate, or what passes for it, tends to revolve around relatively inoffensive interests: in the case of housing, it's usually NIMBYs versus commercial builders.

But here the real interests come to the fore. In one corner, we have a white woman who wants to protect the Green Belt and objects to the paradigmic assumption of population growth through mass immigration, and in the other corner, we have a non-white woman who wants more housing built and wants to brand as a 'xenophobe' anybody who objects to governing values.


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