“I have always said, the first Whig was the Devil.”
~ Samuel L. Johnson (1709-1784)
The terms Left and Right get bandied about quite a bit, and Nailing Down a meaning is no simple task. Is it just a sort of shorthand for Conservative and Liberal? Not if it has a coherent meaning; the parties can never make up their minds on what they want. Seventy years ago the Republicans were the Big Government Moral Dreamers, pro-black to their core, while the Democrats where the pro-racist-union groupies. Then Civil Rights happened, and everything turned on its head. The Democrats became the pro-black, pro-intelligentsia party, and the Republicans switched to Big Business and white aristocracy.
Hardly the first shift. The same thing happened with free trade, immigration, and pretty much any other topic you care to name.
Political Fads change like the weather and thus can be ignored; you don’t worry about rain when you’re hunting a Tsunami.
But despite their capricious ways, one senses a distinct form of Vibration, a differing flavour, some intrinsic Character to the red and the blue; and furthermore, we know that the Left always wins. Social welfare increases, Human Rights expand, and Freedom is twisted into a fractal. To a gambling man, it’s as obvious as the price of Gold.
Well, what do you expect when Continuous Revolution is the norm?
To explain the Ridiculousness of modern conservatism, one must understand what sort of society we live in. There are essentially two types: the first is Renaissance. This type of society looks towards an idealized past. The accomplishments of forefathers are celebrated and built upon, Histories are read in search of Lessons and Wisdom, and Symbolism is derived from ancient texts. There is a distinct undercurrent of rose-coloured-lenses, certainly – the more honest amongst the scholars will admit that the Romans weren’t quite perfect – but by having this semi-fictional Ideal, Great Men are driven to create Great Works.
Pay attention, and you may notice this trend throughout much of the Alt-Right Manosphere.
The other type of society is the Revolutionary Society. Within this, the past is derided as barbaric and savage; ancient norms are torn down, and Histories are dissected in search of Prevarications and Biases. There was a great oppressive evil, we are told, and it is our responsibility to combat it, both in our personal, and our professional lives. Progress towards a Utopia is the ideal – but the Utopia, like all Utopias, is never quite defined. Thanks to the Revolution, we are forever at the end of history; and yet, more progress must be made.
Ever since Marie Antoinette made her quip about cake, we’ve been living in the latter sort of world. Pray tell me, what does a Revolutionary Conservative have to be conservative about? Those days when women couldn’t vote? When the church influenced government? When society was segregated by race and class? To a Revolutionary, the Conservative is at the very least naive, but it’s more likely he’s Evil.
That is one reason that the Left always wins.
Next let us consider how the two groups approach the world. The Renaissance Men have a sort of spiritual-materialism. They master the self for the sake of self mastery, but they define it in concrete terms – the spiritual enlightenment is accomplished through great works. They live by abstract mathematics and material success, even their poets! In a modern day conservative – a pale shadow of what a True Renaissance Man would look like – you can see this manifest by their approach to the economy. Whether they’re an 19th century Protectionists, a 20th century Capitalist, or a 21st century Globalist, one thing remains consistent: they’re arguments all focus on wealth and GDP.
The Revolutionary, meanwhile, seeks to Idealize the Material. They have a vision for society (never specifically delineated), and their arguments are fundamentally moral. Income inequality, opportunity for the oppressed, fair trade – the labels are new, but the arguments are old.
Reality is Right Wing. This is because the Right focuses on reality; “This business is more successful than that, this painting is better than those; if you’re so smart, then why aren’t you rich?” Meanwhile, the Left owns the realm of emotive imagination. Dialectic is their tool. The freedom of Right Wing Reality only survives when there is no discourse; you have a choice between Nike and Reebok only because no-one is discussing it. As soon as a matter enters the Public Realm of Discourse, imagination takes over, and reality is decided upon by bureaucrats. Did our legislation fail to turn the tides? Hire a committee to study the problem; we’re just not trying hard enough.
This is the other reason that the Left always wins. Arguments from the Right are mathematically bounded; those from the Left are not.
Which finally brings us to the title of this post: the inevitability of being a Conspiracy Theorist, in a Revolutionary world.
You may remember SOPA; the Stop Online Piracy Act which was making headlines last December. I say ‘may’ because the type of Soma sold by the mainstream media tends to nullify one’s temporal sense, turning life into an eternal Present Tense. The current debates have always been the debate, the current beliefs are eternal. Trying to go back in time – politically, mentally – to 2006 is a lot like trying to remember wisps of a dream. Framing the debate in its 2011 terms strikes one as faintly quaint, reminiscent of Grandma, horse drawn carriages, and brown houses built of wood.
In January, 2012 SOPA was defeated (for now), and yet the following day Kim Dotcom, the owner of Megavideo, was arrested and extradited to the US by the New Zealand Authorities, to face up to 20 years in prison for his crimes. Megavideo – at least according to the MSM – was the reason why we needed this legislation. Kim Dotcom was stealing the works of Hollywood, and ‘reselling’ them by making an advertising profit off of his website; this is not something to be made light of, either.
Without going into a long conversation about pirating, theft, libraries, and Hollywood’s dead distribution networks, I think it’s safe to agree that Kim Dotcom was an asshole.
But that’s not the point; the point is that the majority of people who supported this legislation did it to get people like Dotcom off of our bandwidth. And yet, as we learned, this wasn’t even necessary. Even without SOPA, Dotcom will have his day in Kangaroo Court. They lied to us.
So I mentioned this on a comment thread, where members of the Video Game community were patting themselves on the back, and cheering about Democracy. I used Dotcom as an example of how standard political activism is pointless. Their response?
Now, I would like to move on to the misinformed individual calling themselves “Aurini”. I agree, that the take down of Megaupload was most likely in the pipes long before SOPA and PIPA. I also will say that they most likely had a pretty shady plan including the take down and the bills, but it isn’t that the bill was a smokescreen. They knew Megaupload was big potatoes, (if you will excuse my cliché) [Ed: note the correct usage of the accented 'e', this required him to open Character Map] so they planned to preform [sic] it’s take down after the bills passed so they could go “Hey, look at us, we took down Megaupload with our new legislation, aren’t we awesome?”
In a nutshell: I am a conspiracy theorist. Technically the Obama administration did nothing wrong here. Technically the cyber-attack on Iran wasn’t an Act of War. Technically intervention in Libya was a police action, not requiring Congressional approval. And so forth.
Now: how would this conversation have gone if SOPA and PIPA had passed?
Aurini: Those bills were never necessary to begin with, there was already work underway to have him extradited.
Political Junkie: To the misinformed individual calling themselves “Aurini”. Yes, they did have work underway, but that was prepatory. I agree the timing was no coincidence, but that’s because they wanted a solid demonstration of how necessary this legislation was. Without it, all of that prep-work would have been for nought.
There is no way to speak the Truth in this world without sounding like a Lunatic, like a Mad Man, like a Conspiracy Theorist. The control the dialectic, and dialectic are hostile to reality.
Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.
There’s a lot of wisdom in that short science-fiction novel of his. It’s getting truer by the day.