30 May 2013

Chances of success

What are the Reaction's chances of success? An answer given by several commenters in Foseti’s big thread is: none. The Cathedral is too strong.
“not only does the Cathedral monopolise status (whilst also being kind of grey and awful in most people’s eyes, I’d say), but things that identify as ‘right’, and overtly countenance inequality, authority, tradition etc. have been consistently losing for hundreds of years. Sensible people steer clear of loser ideologies.” — James G
“there is absolutely no way any contrarian ideas can ever be ‘made cool’ in today’s world. The Cathedral has an absolute iron monopoly on manufacturing cool, and trying to counter its propaganda machinery with your own attempts at ‘cool’ is like challenging all the demons of Hell hoping that you’ll scare them away by saying ‘boo’ loudly.” — Vladimir
“The ‘serious people’ are conditioned to run from anything that even smacks of reactionary thought. The ‘serious people’ would like nothing better than to see our ideas outlawed. There’s precious little status to be found here…” — survivingbabel
I think that assessment underestimates both the intensity of actual practical ineffectiveness of the establishment, and how recent a phenomenon that lack of effectiveness is. We hold that the underlying ideological faults in the establishment go back centuries, and the truth of that should not blind us to the fact that up until a few decades ago, it was nevertheless practically very effective.
During the time that it was, despite its philosophical flaws, able to successfully run a civilisation, it was indeed very hard to attract well-socialised people to a rival ideology. That period is over, and what was previously impossible is now becoming a realistic goal.
See, for instance, the flourishing of radical Islam within Europe. Islam is not, in fact, a progressive ideology. True, progressives are forced by their ideology into giving it more space and encouragement than they ought, but that is not the same thing as actually wanting liberal youths to convert to a political belief system that involves religious law, patriarchy, strictly enforced rules about sex, etc. etc. Islam wins by exploiting the contradictions in progressivism.
The liberal ideology is also forced to make concessions to us. They claim to believe in science, in free political debate, in respect for the individual. When they defy those principles to attack us, they weaken themselves.
And, at the same time, their failures are becoming bigger and more obvious. Take one example: at some point in our lifetime, it will become obvious to everyone that the great Global Warming scare was false. When that happens, the debates that happened, the books that were written, will still be around in memories and on bookshelves. This is a new thing — by the time that the failures of, say, female suffrage or decolonisation had become obvious, the accurate predictions made in advance had become obscure and mostly forgotten. After twenty years, the argument over AGW is still current, and in twenty years time, the scientific establishment will be completely discredited by it.
There are numerous other areas where things are not only worse than ever before, but getting worse at an increasing rate. The speed of disaster is the crucial thing: it outstrips the Cathedral’s ability to rewrite history. Given enough time between a failed policy and its results, the policy can be painted as a right-wing aberration committed against the better judgement of progressives, or else so totally established that any alternative is unthinkable, despite the failure of the chosen policy. That works over a scale of fifty years, but not over fifteen.
The only thing that can save the Cathedral is conservatism, a moderating of the headlong progressive rush that can slow the rate of failure down so that the old methods will work. That has happened before when the rate of leftward movement became dangerous to the whole structure. But, while the effectiveness of its rule has deteriorated, the ability of the left to emasculate and marginalise conservatism has increased. The chances of a Thatcher or Reagan appearing in the next decade or so to slow the rate of decline and provide a scapegoat for some of the failures looks very slim.
The worse things get, the more likely it is that some serious conservatism might appear to staunch the bleeding. If it can’t happen in ten years, maybe it will happen in twenty. But if it can happen, that means that the Cathedral’s monopoly of cool, and, more importantly, respectability, has already frayed. If a long-excluded conservatism can gain status, then so can we. And if it can’t then the decline continues to gather pace and the failings of the state continue to become more obvious.
In the end, we don’t need to beat the left. We only need to beat the right — a much easier goal. The only thing that can save The Cathedral is conservatism. We can stop it.

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