Maybe We Don’t Need to Win, Just Have Our Own Vine and Fig Tree

A few days ago I made some future references, quick comments and excerpts on others’ posts and ideas that needed fleshing out. The problem is that in the meantime more ideas and posts come down the pike from the many fine bloggers and commenters around the NRx. It’s like drinking from a fire hose, eating an elephant, among other tired cliches.

Then one swallow/bite at a time. Free Northerner gave us a Winning Conservative Strategy and as a former “political professional” I very much enjoyed his ideas, and especially visualizing what they would look like in practice. The picture of a bunch of sign-waving agitators in front of some Prog CEO’s home, yelling at him every time he takes out the garbage, is rather delicious, indeed. A certain portion of the ideas in Free Northerner’s piece were put into practice by the late St. Breitbart, though sadly none of his heirs seem to have stirred up near the trouble for the Left that he did, personally.

The incisive Henry Dampier then did his own spin on what he calls FN’s “laudable goals.” Bottom line: It would probably cost a lot more than a mere $142 million to merely make the effort as outlined, and:

  • Facing an enemy with far greater material resources, it is necessary instead to use unorthodox methods rather than direct confrontation to disrupt and destroy the systempunkts within their economic machinery.
  • Direct confrontation can be easily contained by the left: it is like a frontal assault on a fixed position with a predictable result.
  • The left can trivially contain any direct attack, because it is politically well-fortified against such attacks. It is like trying to attack Rommel’s tank divisions with a bunch of drunk amateurs driving golf carts. They will break at the first sight of the Panzers, and it is not responsible to tell them that they have a chance to win against him.

Agreed. To restate it in a slightly different direction, I don’t believe it’s possible to change society (including the whole of “The West” within that) through some kind of educational, political or propaganda action, given current conditions. As long as Real Housewives, NFL football and internet porn are available for the masses, as long as the grocery stores have some reasonable levels of foodstuffs, as long as the stations have gasoline, and, especially, as long as the welfare, food stamp and unemployment EBT cards still work, there will not be the levels of general desperation in the big democracies for the kind of mass scale upheaval that would result in regime change and a reorganization on nationwide levels to some kind of fiscally conservative, soundly moral society.

Having gotten this aired, it’s actually the earlier part of Free Northerner’s post that I’d like to talk about here:

Escalation dominance essentially means the actor controlling the highest level of violence (in the book’s case, nuclear weapons) can control all lower levels of violence by threatening to escalate the conflict to a higher level of violence. By controlling the tempo and threat of escalation, this actor can steer a conflict in such ways as to win lower level conflicts even in areas where he may be weaker.

(…)

Controlling the highest level of violence in American politics means that Conservative can control the tempo of lower-violence political conflicts (voting, law-making, regulation enforcement, etc.) and control the escalation of political violence (ie: voting to voter fraud; debate to ideological firings) through the implied threat of further escalation (you witch hunt me and take my job, I witch hunt you and take your job and reputation; you escalate to assault, I escalate to shooting).

I repeat: I am not advocating shooting liberals or doing anything illegal. My strategy does not include physical violence or criminality. I am simply explaining a concept that will under-gird the strategy.

While I haven’t read the book To Win a Nuclear War that he references, Game Theory is something that I do understand, and either the authors or FN have gone wrong, somewhere. Deterrence of this type works on the principle that the stronger side is actually prepared to use its weapons, even were it to result in the destruction of both sides. So all of Free Northerner’s caveats at the end of the quote essentially invalidate the beginning. The strategy only works if you are actually ready to shoot someone, as many someones as it takes to get your point across and cow the opposition into submission. Thus, his conservative’s campaign to cow the left is built on quicksand.

I don’t want to shoot anybody either. I mean I really, really don’t want it to come to that. Exit, partition, groups of like-minded people going their own way; that’s what I’m hoping for and expecting in the coming years, rather than some actual civil war. However, the basics of deterrence and of “escalation dominance” are already in place, at least in the U.S. and to a lesser extent, Canada.

Isn’t it intriguing that gun laws are practically the only thing that hasn’t been subject to the leftward “ratchet” over the 20 years? Outside of the sinkholes of New York, California and a few other crowded East Coast states, legal concealed carry has come to most of the U.S. On the federal level, after reaching its high water mark in 1993 with the ban on scary “assault weapon” pistol grips and large-capacity mags, so-called gun control is essentially a dead issue. Obama and his minions had their chances, and they didn’t even make a real effort outside of speechifying.

Why not? Escalation dominance.

The United States is in a unique position in world history in that it has a massively armed general population (yeah, Switzerland, big deal). The reason that there has never been a real confiscation effort, no matter how much Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Barack Obama want one, is that there is near-certainty that too many people would shoot back. In addition, no one knows how many police would actually carry out the orders. In Connecticut this year, tens of thousands of firearms owners apparently refused to comply with new laws, and the State Police were forced to reassure everyone that there would be no door-to-door gun confiscations.

The Left is pretty confident that they can drain the productive economy, reward their allies in business, finance and entertainment, heap scorn on Christians and decency, and get away with it. But they piss their pants at actually going out and prying real firearms out of real people’s hands.

I believe this is why there really will be a fairly amicable parting of the ways between the Left and the Reaction. American leftoids mostly don’t have the balls to shoot and/or imprison enough people who want to separate and live in a different way. They can keep their pesthole big cities and most of the tax-consuming population. Hell, they can keep everything but a few productive, healthy city-states.

Because mostly, from the President on down, they’re keyboard warriors who can’t hit what they’re aiming at.

Henry Dampier and a Better Alternative

I have been remiss in not including everyone I should have on the blogroll. I’ll be expanding it properly over the next few days. One such is Henry Dampier; this has now been corrected.

Here’s his foundational post:

However, this blog will not be operating on the assumption that increasing the knowledge of the readership will magically halt the degenerative ratchet. We don’t put much truck in the elevating powers of education ’round these parts. There’s no halting the doom of the West. No combination of books, Youtube videos, blog posts, or sarcastic tweets will, by themselves, make exit — and the possibility of glorious rebirth — possible.

What will make that possible is the cohering of communities off of the internet capable of fending for themselves in the troubled times to come. Escaping doom is the end, and writing is only one of the means towards achieving it.

I hope that my work will be useful to you & those you care about.

Indeed it is.

His recent post is an excellent analysis of Elite Multiculturalism, sited firmly on a foundation of Moldbuggian Atheistic Protestantism, but with his own striking cultural insights; his connection of Lena Dunham with our upcoming U.S. policy “elites” is a new insight to me–and not a reassuring one.

However, reality is what’s needed now, and Dampier is a clear-eyed explorer of it. We could benefit from 100 more like him.

His conclusion:

The current system is held together by a shallow, cynical spirituality combined with terror at the lack of stable, comprehensible alternatives. Today’s leaders pay $50,000 a plate because the only credible man who can allay those fears is Barack Obama and the ochlocratic bureaucracy that he represents.

Constructing a better alternative will not be easy, but it is possible. And it must be done.