We do Not Believe You

The below is really nothing more than a diary entry of sorts. A snapshot in time of things many around me see. If you observe the world with discernment, there is nothing here for you, just a restatement of what you know. If you are confused about the world, this article is not a polemic intended to convince you. This is just a snapshot of what I see, others too.

Yesterday, July 27, 2021, the United States Congress began hearings related to the events of January 6, 2021. The initial hearing included testimony by four, I believe four, police officers and not a small bit of crying by members of congress and the officers themselves.

January 6th (1/6 as it has been labeled to place it in a properly 'ominous' category) was an “assault on the sacred and holy institutions of Democracy” we have been told, many times. It was an “insurrection” we have been ad are increasingly told.

To a reasonable observer, we saw something in between soccer hooligans in Britain and the riots and looting in the summer of 2020, and frankly, it was objectively much closer to soccer hooligans than rioters and looters burning cities.

But those statements are polemic. There is a reason that soccer fans are so rowdy, there are reasons that people burned, looted, destroyed, and killed people in the summer of 2020 and there are reasons that the events of January 6th happened.

Don't get the next paragraph twisted alert

I am intellectually honest enough to say that the people involved in riots last year had justifications. The people that marched through the Capitol building had justifications. Not all of the justifications of either group were or are always based upon the complete truth, sometimes each group got many things very wrong. Sometimes they were deceived and spun up by grifters, agitators, and very likely by people within our own government.

I am not making an analogy between the riots and January 6th. I am saying that I am honest enough to know that even though I think almost all of the reasons that people held to be true that drove them into the streets with bricks and matches last year were perversions of something that held some truth. It is curious, and disturbing that nobody wants to give those that entered the Capitol the same benefit of the doubt.

Just this week, crowds in France surrounded their president's house and when they were not heard, brought on tractors hauling tanks of liquid excrement and sprayed his residence. Not an insurrection it seems.

In France the government stopped getting in the way of mobs that were angry, they stopped that about 1791, which did not turn out very well. The French get riled up every year and take to the streets about something. They have justification, I usually do not agree with them but the French government has come to the conclusion that they have to blow off the steam of their frustration. It is either that or kill them all, which often ends poorly.

We know what nations kill and imprison protestors and mobs of people that are angry, China. We remember Tiananmen square, they literally machine-gunned hundreds and then rewrote the history of the event. They exercised more patience with the Hong Kong protests, they simply placed people on a list and made them disappear over time. Never go full China, and yet, what are we about to do?

Therefore, some of us look at the January 6th commission and see a pretty dangerous thing occurring. We do not believe the testimony of the “brave” officers that came forward to cry. We do not believe that January 6th was more terrifying than deployment to Iraq (unless the person sat comfortably on some FOB at a desk, in a bunker).

We know there are video cameras everywhere in D.C. and that in the crowd there were thousands of more recordings of things. If this commission wanted to get to the truth of the matter, there is enough video to start that process. Why has the public not seen this video? Why does the DOJ only release small bits, often out of context with the other things going on?

The “lived experience” and testimony of four guys, most of which have said some pretty partisan things online, is not evidence, not when there is real evidence available.

We do not believe you; we do not believe you are seeking truth. We do not believe you have good intentions.

An intellectually honest and decent person can know something is both wrong, and that there are reasons that people believe it.

I think folks that want to burn, loot and kill because they believe they are oppressed are immoral. I also know there are reasons (yes, they have liars in their ears) but some of them, for reasons, (sometimes their fault sometimes not) cannot get jobs, our system is not perfect and can always be improved (the right way).

Leftists that are now salivating about the fact that those “disgusting MAGA people” are going to “get theirs” ought to try and be a little intellectually honest too. Yes, those people were told some lies and deceived….but why did they believe them, what is true that made them susceptible.

What about our system that is so corrupt, illegitimate, and flawed that makes people want to burn cities and march through the Capitol? We need a commission for that.

Curtis Yarvin

Before two days ago I had never heard of Curtis Yarvin, nor of his prior pseudonym. I have never read anything he has written. I thought that I kept up with the current flow of political ideas, undoubtedly I have run across people influenced by Yarvin (more on that below), but never him.

H/T to @realmajordan, a couple of hours on chat, dissecting Yarvin's words we were able to find them literally everywhere on 'influencer' Twitter.

It is odd then, to me at least, that I have written things that sound much like his criticism of modernity and postmodernity. A piece on Locke and one on the absurdity of western political philosophy after Kant are two examples. According to Wikipedia, Yarvin moved from paleolibertariansim and against democracy after reading Hoppe. I walked a similar path, I came out of the ‘90s as a paleoconservative and then found Hoppe and his arguments comported with my observations. However, our view essentially ends with a common criticism of what the system has become. I disagree with his solutions. (spoiler alert he has not written all of it yet, you have to read between the lines to see it, he provides numerous breadcrumbs.)

Yarvin is a gifted writer. He uses literary references to drive home points that he does not write directly. People can come away from his writing with separate meanings. There is a school of thought and a method for that, Leo Strauss taught it, Yarvin is a master. But he is more than a gifted writer, he is a genius. If the Dunning-Kruger effect is real, he is sufficiently more intelligent than me that I can spot it. He is much smarter than most of his followers and detractors too I learned over the last couple of days, many of them do not recognize it. Yarvin is not a conservative, not in the least. He is part nihilist, wholly a rightist for lack of another term, but not a conservative. He seeks to replace and build, not preserve.

Many leftists know who Yarvin is, or at least a caricature they have created and reference often in a pantheon of boogeymen that scare them. If you are such a person and have stumbled here believing you will find meat to tweet hear this. Yarvin is a natural and expected counterreaction to the absurdity, idiocy and ultimately the authoritarianism you support. I cannot help you understand that statement if you do not already, but have a go at this.

Most normal folks on the right, and apparently even people that believe they have their finger on the pulse of ideas probably do not know of him. But he is there, particularly when you look. Some of your favorite young social media influencers (Claremont Lincoln fellows) parrot his words, sometimes subtly, at other times directly. Major conservative publications echo his words, even Chronicles.

He is no more and no less a boogeyman than intellectuals on the left who argue that looting is reparations or that Marxism, if we try it just one more time, will really work out and would never result in millions of people dying like all those other times. If idiots on the left that support that outcome, it is intellectually impossible to deny that Marxism is authoritarianism, and are afraid of a counter-reaction they ought to look hard in the mirror to understand why neo-reactionism has become palatable.

Why have I written this? Am I afraid that because I have written things for years that sound like his criticisms without ever encountering him that I might be labeled a follower? No. I say and write many things that someone somewhere will not like. I am not hard to find, these are just words and ideas. Am I telling people on the right not to listen to one of the only guys offering a real solution (even if it is one I do not like?) No. I would not have told the Carlists to reject Franco in 1936, considering the Communists would otherwise kill them and they had no other options.

I suppose my point is that we really screwed things up, and some people are intent on completing the job. Absurd notions of justice without truth and equality where it does not exist in the free market, those ideas have consequences. Those ideologies are dangerous and authoritarian and they were bound to create a reaction. My grief is not just with the left, the right did its part too. Holding power so often but never conserving much of anything or ever working to enhance permanent things. There is plenty of blame to go around.

We are in the midst of a great paradigm shift. Everything is going to change whether we want it or not. The days of moderate-liberals and prissy-cons (like The American Conservative and David French) are over. The tide has shifted and poles are forming, and each extreme cries louder each day for action.

Making the Southern Tradition Relevant

Summary: There is a void in conservatism that will eventually be filled by dangerous ideologies. The Southern tradition already has the answers that the alt-right and populists seek, but we have not packaged these in a way that they can absorb and use. If we seek to preserve Southern traditions we must seize this moment to present a practical political theory for contemporary use. This will require that we change some things that we have done, that we expand our horizons, and that we start new efforts; all of that must begin by developing a comprehensive strategy that we can operationalize.

The Abbeville Institute began with a noble goal, to “preserve the history and culture of the American South. Our efforts are to view the South’s history through an academic lens to help others understand the rich traditions and culture that was born here.” Yet, if we are honest, has the organization done much more than preserve history? Is it practically anything more than a historical society? Has it preserved culture?

It does great work reaching a number of young folks each year and it provides bread and meat for a dwindling remnant, but is this alone enough?

The answer, the honest answer is that it certainly has not preserved culture in a meaningful way. In fact, it has a difficult time preserving history, its presentations are often forced to cover topics and foundational matters that ought to be common knowledge to a high school student.

These are harsh words, they ought not to be taken as coming from the wrong place. The Abbeville Institute and similar efforts are good works, engaged in by people with sincere and well-placed principles. It is work done in an environment where every possible variable is set against the effort. The criticism herein is not directed at people or previous efforts. The intent is to ask what it would mean to preserve history and culture, perhaps in such a way that our traditions and the rich intellectual heritage of Southern thinkers might offer practical solutions to contemporary problems.

If our traditions have no practical contemporary use, what good are they in preserving? We know they have practical contemporary use; therefore, we must evaluate what we are doing.

The United States now sits at the ledge of a precipice. A long train of abuses, sloth, absurdity, and ignorance have left Americans without a compass, in terms of political theory. Conservatism has conserved and preserved nothing since WWII, and many are beginning to realize this. Young folks are searching for answers, they in many ways agree with those on the radical left; neoliberalism combined with corporatism, centralization, and cronyism has utterly failed. The left seeks answers in classical and cultural Marxism. Some elements of a rising young conservative movement are seeking answers in the Fourth Way, they have found the writings of Alexander Dugin and even Theodore Kaczynski. We might assume that if they have slipped that far there is no hope of reaching them. That is a flawed assumption.

Ironically, at the base of the criticism of the new young right, we find words very similar to those written in 1930 by the “twelve Southerners”. Their reading of Kaczynski sounds true to them because they see a criticism of post-modernism that Wendell Berry and many agrarians wrote of industrialization. There is truth in the base criticism, that they have found solace in a mad man is perhaps our fault for not offering an alternative that they could understand. The same can be said of their growing admiration for Dugin, he frames the original problem in a way that is foundationally true, then presents a political theory solution that ultimately is very dangerous.

In our tradition, our thinkers warned of what would become of us if particular trends flowed to their natural conclusions. Our writers spoke out at numerous points across our history highlighting what was good and wholesome of tradition and dangerous in idealism. Our traditions are rich with warnings and prescriptions. However, we have been increasingly incapable of packaging the medicine in a way that can be easily digested.

If we want to preserve Southern tradition, culture and history we must first admit a hard truth. There is no more “South”, not in practical terms. There is no more of a South in existence today than there is a Scotland that remotely resembles the land and people my family left in 1705. We are talking more than mere subtle changes over time, everything that the South was has been paved over and replaced. Ultimately, we adopted every single tenet of the evil Yankee empire we often rail against. We are them.

One can argue with the above claim because perhaps their little pocket of the world fits with their conception of “the South” or perhaps because many of us retain some distinctive traits – those traits and peculiarities alone do not make us Southern. The entire south has gone in for commercialism, banal entertainment, and popular religion that increasingly approaches heresy. Politically we are little different than the rest of the country on things that matter, when we vote it is not for traditions or values that one might attach to the ideal of our tradition. One might try to argue that the South exists, but it is nothing more than a geographic region at this point with a few folks here and there that resemble Southerners.

Take Greenville, SC as an example. Once merely a large town, surrounded by farms and small towns, part of the textile mill boon but very Southern, there existed once even a distinct dialect amongst a certain class. Look at the area closely today. Numerous major neocalvinst, emergent, seeker-sensitive mega-churches flourish in Greenville – these teach and act in ways utterly contrary to historic Christianity, but thousands in the city attend places their ancestors would not only not recognize, but would rebuke as apostasy. Subdivisions abound, each little micro-mansion, and even less ostentatious abode, display all of the trappings of inhabitants that have sold their souls to the consumer schemes of buy, buy, buy. The frequent sightings of large trucks in driveways may give one temporary pause and the sense that real Southerners live there but that would be an illusion. Downtown Greenville has become a complete synthesis of this new hipster/bubba class, they flock there, like any major city, looking and acting only slightly different than perhaps their peers in Cincinnati, or Syracuse.

If we are to hope to preserve the Southern tradition, we must therefore expand our reach beyond people that we believe are still actually Southerners capable of understanding our words. Just as Southern music, art, and literature impacted almost everything of what came to be called American, we should also rejoice in the fact that our traditions of political thought have also diffused far and wide. The young and restless young right would not so easily see the valid base criticisms presented by their new heroes if something of the Southern tradition had not already informed them that those criticism are true.

We have always been the true resistance to the centralizers, those that would do much harm in an effort to do a little good. None of our traditions caused any of the problems we now face; problems that cause some to look for authoritarian solutions in either Marxism or Duginism.

The Way Ahead

If we are to practically preserve Southern culture we cannot merely be about speaking to the choir. Gray-headed white men are not going to fix things. We need a new organization with a new purpose, less historical, more practical theory-oriented.

(**there is and always will be a place for a “Historical Society”, the Abbeville Institute and others can fulfill that role. But if we are frank, in its current incarnation, the AI will never reach a broad audience, it will never truly preserve our culture for any but a small remnant. It has a role in the way ahead, but the grunt work must be done by something new.)

There is a tremendous void in the populism of MAGA, it is and was rudderless, based upon words of hope but lacked principles. It lacked a conservative political theory. Also, as mentioned above, the youngsters, what some have called the alt-right (a term that is less applicable now as many more mainstream voices are finding a home there), as Paul Gottfried remarked a few years ago suffered from an ideological void. They are filling that void with dangerous thinkers.

We need to fill that void with a practical conservative political philosophy that is true to our traditions. We have men and women with the talent and credentials to do this. Our traditions and the intellectuals of our history provide a template. We need merely to put it in words and a format that can be readily consumed by those in need.

There are others, intellectuals with ideas contrary to our traditions and conceptualization of history, the founding, and of principles that see the voids I describe above. The West Coast Straussians and their numerous organizations and outlets are already courting both the populists and the alt-right. We are, as we have been for years, at a tremendous disadvantage in terms of institutional support and reach compared to the Straussians, but if we do not saddle up now, if we do not carry the banner of traditionalism into the fray, nothing of who we were or any of our ideas will have any chance. Some paleoconservatives now suggest we ally with the Straussians – but how can we ally with men that are opposed to almost everything we believe, the foundational items at least?

We Must Act

As a first step, we must conceive of strategies to enter the fray. It is not my intent here to lay out a complete plan, the problem is too complex for such in this treatment. At a minimum, we need a strategy meeting that brings together folks with multiple skills (operational design, strategy, marketing, philosophy, history, communications, to name a few). Out of such a meeting, we should arrive at a phased operational approach that consists of numerous lines of effort, all building toward an objective of presenting a practical political philosophy based upon the very best of the Southern tradition as an alternative to the trash now presented to the masses.

I call therefore upon the graybeards of our movement, to send out the call for such a meeting, not a mere lunch or dinner, this will require a few days, whiteboards, sweat, arguing, and in some cases abandonment of presuppositions. We face what we called in the Army a Wicked Problem, the solution(s) will require work, just to formulate the strategy at the beginning; and ultimately that will be the easy part.

(strategy first then operationalize the strategy – all the nasty and nitty-gritty details will emerge once lines of efforts are developed)

The Problem of Interpreting Scripture Through our Emotions

Growing up, and far into adulthood, there were several things about the Bible that I did not understand. Invariably in each instance, my confusion generally began and ended with the insertion of my emotions into my reading, my value judgments onto the text.

Post-modern pastors do this a lot from the pulpit. They often begin each little talk they give with a story about themselves, grab a verse and then invite the audience to put themselves in the verse. Us looking to Biblical stories for examples is not wrong, per se. Us completely misunderstanding that the Bible was written for us, not about us, that is a pretty big flaw.

As a child, I first encountered a problem of doubt created by inserting my emotions into the text in Sunday School. All of the Old Testament stories repeated the theme of Israel being a chosen people, and of God doing things for or speaking with ‘his people.’ My second problem centered around the Parable of the Prodigal Son; “it is not fair”! I always thought. Lastly, as a child and a large fan of stories of the old West, I had serious questions about the idea that the only way to salvation was through Jesus; how unfair to the Indians I thought.

It took me years to understand the ‘chosen people’ thing. I had to go to college, study history, and become a fan of studying civilization and culture. I finally came to understand what ‘Judeo-Christian’ heritage meant, and how that was intrinsically tied to Western civilization. If you take that out of the equation, you no longer have Western civilization as we know it; different art, architecture, laws, and history. Likewise, if you take the Judeo part of that equation out, you really can no longer have the Christian part. Jesus said that he was all in the Old Testament and that it was essentially about him. The Old Testament is referenced many times in the New. Without scribes that diligently worked to ensure that every space, period, and vowel was faithfully and accurately copied, over numerous centuries, we would not have the Old Testament. If for no other reason, God needed a people to reveal to and to transcribe and pass down the Scripture. There are other reasons, but that one is sufficient enough to answer why God needed a ‘chosen people.’

A child misunderstanding the Parable of the Prodigal Son is not uncommon; particularly for a child with siblings. The problem begins and ends when one stops listening to the story at the point where the Prodical returns and the father clothes him and feeds him. If one but reads on, it is clear that the true and faithful son was not slighted. I stopped listening for years as a child mid-way through! I let my emotions take over.

My last objection, “what of the Indians”, well that is more complex, and frankly, man does not have an answer because the Bible does not tell us everything. It does tell us of the nature of God and it does say that Jesus is the only way.

Now look, do not take what I am about to say too far, after all, we only know what we know. But in addition to the above, we know that God gave us general revelation, built into the creation. We know he wrote natural law into our hearts, the hearts of all men. Those are facts that our faith, that the Scripture and our metaphysical view tell us. One thing that is not settled is eschatology, Christians mostly agree that so long as one’s eschatology does not produce a bad Christology, we can agree to disagree within a set of options on the end of the age of man sort of things. Some views of eschatology would perhaps have an ‘out’ for people that never heard the Word (key words there), could never know of the Revelation of Jesus but lived by the natural law; something like a second chance to choose and follow Jesus. We do not know. We only know God is just and there are many mysteries we are not provided answers to.

What all of the above does not mean is that Universalism is correct, or that once a person has access to the final revelation they can choose to ignore it and “just be a good person”. It does not mean we get to make up our own doctrines to fit our emotions because you know, God is love (and only love…).

My faith is big enough to understand that things I do not understand still make sense, my ignorance has zero effect on that fact. My discernment tells me that my emotions, my heart is very often wrong and that it is a terrible voice to ask for help understanding theology.

Principles First

On the periphery of public discourse, off in a dusty corner, in recent weeks a quiet and often ignored conversation has occurred. ‘Conversation’ is perhaps an overstatement, mostly it has been just a few of relatively close views of history discussing amongst themselves, or perhaps past one another, how to dialogue with a group that has a very different outlook. Why does this matter? Most people, even if they read the various post and articles that I am referencing, do not really understand, and if they do, they simply do not care.

It is as simple as this, there is a scramble within ‘conservatism’ to fill a massive void. What and who wins that scramble will define what opposition, insofar as it might ever again appear, exists in our solidifying uniparty oligarchical system.

Tyranny is on the menu. Most recognize the threat of Marxism, but there are other ideas in the water. A form of Maoist-capitalism is a menu option, so is a form of nationalism fascism/socialism (Duganism) – just under the surface. All three of these would serve a uniparty oligarchy well. What will oppose these ideas that are taking root in various ways? What can? Nationalist populism alone is certainly incapable. There are groups that recognize this.

Conservatism in America has failed to provide solutions to every problem since 1960, perhaps since 1929 or prior. It is inarguable that particularly over the last forty years, “conservatism” has conserved nothing, has won nothing that defended permanent things, and has stood for nothing other than flaccid resistance. I am not speaking here of individuals, or even some ideas, I rather mean the movement in the aggregate. Most that are honest see this now.

Here is the fundamental question. Can we build an oppositional philosophy based upon thinkers that believe Abraham Lincoln is a paragon of virtue?  Most Americans grew up believing Lincoln was close to sainthood, and few have ever really examined his actual words and his actions. This fundamental ignorance was by design.

In short – Lincoln started a war, not to emancipate slaves (his own words), made war on states (the right of the Federal government to do that was not held ubiquitously), suspended rights, violated the constitution, and arrested opponents in the North, and ultimately on 1 January 1863, dismantled an economic system, with no plan to address the void, that ensured a region would be impoverished for a generation, or more, and blacks would endure economic servitude for another 100 years. Lincoln began a war without a plan to put things back together, his goal, (his words) was to maintain the union (central power) regardless of the costs. There was nothing moral, rational nor reasonable about Lincoln’s actions. He is not an example for conservatives or of conservatism.

So, what of these small conversations held in dusty corners. Paul Gottfried published a piece in Chronicles recently, Clearing Up the Confusion on Leo Strauss. To the initiated, this was nothing short of an olive branch. Pedro Gonzalez, the editor of Chronicles, followed up, “Gottfried, like myself, thinks an alliance between paleos and populist-aligned Straussians is possible.” A day later, Chronicles published a review of Michael Anton’s The Stakes, going so far as to call Anton a “Paleo fellow traveller”.

It seems Gottfried and Gonzalez are in agreement with many of us, we face an existential crisis. I wrote a piece at The Calhoun Institute discussing this. The Straussians have a much bigger voice than true paleos, we do face an existential crisis, tyranny is on the rise. We need allies.

But in classic form, Brion McClanahan points out the danger of the ideology of Claremont, Hillsdale and the West Coast Strasussians (Jaffites).

“Conservatives like Anton consistently choose longtime heroes of the left, like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a calculated move, but one that will never have the desired effect. These conservatives believe that if they can somehow convince enough Americans, left and right, to view “equality as a conservative principle,” as Harry V. Jaffa wrote in 1975, or Martin Luther King, Jr. as a conservative (as Anton suggests in his book The Stakes), then Americans will come to embrace them as sober revolutionaries in a common American enlightenment.”

What Brion did not say explicitly, but has, as did those in his intellectual genealogy before have said innumerable times is this. It would be better to stand on true conservative principles, those that protect and enhance permanent things. In the times, near and far where conservatism failed to provide answers to problems, we would be better served by seeking to know where we abandoned our principles, rather than adopting and attempting to usurp men that ‘solved’ the problem in ways contrary to our principles. (read The Conservative Mind)

We cannot move forward, in this existential crisis harkening back to men that did not act from the principles we hold dear as examples. Only folly and tyranny can follow such a mistake. Indeed, which way Western man?

Postscript: Criticism of Lincoln quite often falls on deaf ears, "he ended slavery, slavery is bad and without Lincoln, there would be no United States as we know it" is the retort.

By what authority and at what cost?  These are valid questions, too complex for treatment here. Slavery being such an inefficient and nasty business, there were many in the south that would have replaced it long before 1860, if there was a workable solution, one that the banks and industrial interests in the North, that became rich off the slave trade and slave labor, were willing to consider. The question is and was much more complex than we paint it generally. But by what authority did Lincoln do what he did, to upset the economy, a region, the lives of blacks, and the very meaning of the federal compact? At what cost, surely considering the lives lost and the generations-long economic cost there were other options?  But it was never about slavery, not at least about ending it or being concerned with the welfare of former slaves - it was all about his (Lincoln's) conception of what the Federal government was, something that was at odds with men more brilliant than he before and after his term in office.

It is valid to call into question a man that 'conservatives' since WWII have championed. We need a new way forward, one that begins and ends with principles.

Which Way Western Man?

I sit, happily ensconced on my balcony overlooking my little piece of the world on a beautiful Friday morning, I am reminded of two things. Social media was a terrible mistake and enormous changes are afoot, just under the surface in terms of political alignment.

Most do not sense the developing realignment. Others know something is changing but do not understand it. Of the latter, many of those are angry, confused, and scrambling to find their people, a place to fit in. The talk of change is not new, it has been with us since Obama was elected, it did not arise as a reaction to Obama per se, but rather to the mechanism that enabled him to be elected at all. The populism that fueled MAGA and elected trump only increased these conversations. Discussions are held in the virtual dark and smokey corners of a tavern not unlike perhaps The Green Dragon of the Inklings or City Tavern in Philadelphia. We mere mortals, not invited to sit and have a stout and cigar and parley in this developing theme, can catch glimpses of the proceedings in some long-form articles and, if you are astute, in snippets on social media.

TL:DR  You on the alt-right have many valid criticisms of the system and of conservatism. Just be careful which snake-oil salesmen you buy your philosophy and ideology from. Those Straussians that court you so hard are wrong and dangerous. Look back to paleo-conservative thinkers.  

There are, of course, competing camps of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, disaffected souls now refugees from neoliberalism and neoconservatism. Many never fit into either category, sitting just outside the fire waiting for the inevitable failure of both. Of those we might call ‘rightists’ (and this term is problematic at best), we find West Coast Straussians (Jaffites), Federal Vision Reformed thinkers, a particular brand of Catholic Traditionalists, and others. These were the vanguard, those that subtly talked of a realignment, the absolute need for such, and dispensing with many of the flaws of commercialized neoconservatism. But these smokey ideas, from pompous men, were never going to appeal broadly, and perhaps they knew as much.

There was another trend on the ‘right’, it began near the end of the 1990s and accelerated after 9/11. libertarians and young paleoconservatives, disaffected by the utter routing of paleo-conservatism by the Jaffites, the rise of neoconservatives, and the wars of empire drifted off into an intellectual void. In that void they found the writings of Theodore Kaczynski and then of Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger. Eventually, they found Alexander Dugin. The alt-right, born of disaffected young traditionalists that came to disdain the government as it stood and the system that enabled it, is not and never was just childish Groypers – their memes had thought and deep meaning behind them; secret knowledge they knew was there.

The United States is ruled by an oligarchy. A partnership between corporations, political interests, and institutions (both within and outside the government). The young alt-right recognizes this, the folks above that have called for a realignment recognize it. There are groups on the ‘left’ that recognize it. The oligarchy is not per se ideological, we make a mistake assuming that. It exists for power and operates to maintain power. The ideologies that individual members and groups within that class espouse are merely designed to keep power. To appease the plebes, to secure support, and to maintain position. The intellectuals that have long called for a realignment know this, to them the alt-right is a vehicle to influence the oligarchy, to obtain a seat at the table. These intellectuals believe they are ultimately so smart they can influence the outcome and control their tools.

I watched one of the minor front-men of this school reveal parts of the realignment last evening on Tim Pool’s podcast (now deleted). It met with the expected pushback, but I suspect this is by design. Throw out the idea and let it percolate.

There are three paths forward on the table at present, none of which align with traditional left-right dichotomy. The real battle is being fought to both shape these and to present them to us for purchase.

If a traditionalist of the paleoconservative persuasion offers the black pill it is merely because the fact is of all the options on the table, none of them offer either conservatism, liberty or truly protect tradition. But this seems defeatist to those that are confused.

And many are confused at present. Many fell for the populist promises of Trump and are now realizing that none of it was true, it was never about any of the fundamental stuff promised. In the end, it was more dystopian and brought on more massive government than at most any point in our history. They resist the black pill, and by that, I mean grim reality. They acknowledge the oligarchy, that institutions are captured and complicit and that politics has simply not worked. They spent so much of last year being apologists for what they knew in their hearts was wrong. It is hard to come to terms with this. (One such chap refused to dialogue and blocked me for pointing this out.)

These are the exact sorts that the intellectual class above needs, it is to these they will offer hope in the form of solutions hitherto unimaginable. These unwitting, confused, and lost souls, when joined with the ideological fire of the alt-right and fueled by real intellectual propellant in the form of new way (fourth way) thinking as offered by Alexander Dugin has the makings of a realignment. The combined weight of affable social media personalities (many of which are constructs), midwit sycophants that follow and boost them, a detailed political philosophy, and perhaps a ‘hero-savior’ political personality is enough to carry the masses. This has the potential of a solution, a way to recapture institutions, to get corporations on board and to grab the attention of the oligarchy. It is a ‘solution’, it appears better than “defeatism” and some recommendation that we engaged in a generational struggle….but it is dangerous.


@realmajordan wisely points out that the mutations and permutations of disaffected libertarians and paleoconservatives into what has become the alt-right (a splinter, not all) was much more complex than depicted above. Indeed it was. There was the anti-war movement, Ron Paul's support, and the Tea Party. The establishment crushed or usurped those movements, but the angst of the core remained. Not the ordinary voter, but the young adult that began to see it all as rigged.

There was a divorce of sorts and some went on to support Occupy Wall Street - many that supported Ron Paul could easily get on board with that, the core principles are the same. Afterward, some of those went on to become Bernie supporters and when the establishment crushed Bernie populism twice (and Bernie took his 30 silver and said nothing) many came back to the alt-right and often brought Bernie supporters with them. Groypers welcomed them back with subtle memes.

As for the interview I mentioned above; It is not surprising that Tim Pool, a former OWS guy would host Darren Beattie, a West Coast Straussian as Beattie revealed some of the big ideas floating around to 'solve' our dilemmas. It all fits. The criticism (often valid), comes from the same place for all of the disparate groups that will soon synthesize into a fourth-way opposition. Those Straussians are a crafty lot, never willing to be left on the sidelines.

It is easy to lose the theme, the forest, for the trees. The theme is there developed a young cohort that saw the system for what it is and tried and lost on many occasions to use the system to fix it. They are ready for something more out of the box now. They are ready for a big idea, and some people that believe themselves very smart have just such an idea.

Theonomy is Bad, Why call us all Thonomists?

Count Dooku
A joke, if you know you know

Theonomy is an error, so why does there appear to be such a concerted effort to conflate all of Christianity with 'fascist theonomy' (this is their implication)? This reminds me of a topic that has puzzled me for years. Why do polls and the media lump so many disparate groups under the term ‘evangelical’ – what exactly is a typical evangelical? More on that below, but this appears to me to have an intent, and if not an intent at least an effect.

Look at this headline, “Hobby Lobby advocates for a Christian-run government in Independence Day ads placed in many national newspapers”. I did not see all of the advertisements, but the ones I saw can be placed in many different contexts – jumping straight to ‘theonomy’ is not on the top five I came up with.

To place things in perspective, we ought to evaluate U.S. history. The United States is not and never was a Christian state. The American nation, her people, were never and are not now wholly Christian. Those statements are provably true. However, it is also true that for much of U.S. history a significant portion of the American people held to a Christian worldview, it was predominant and affected even those that did not believe. It shaped public policy, politics, and culture. Lastly, and importantly, that worldview never stopped sin, it never banished error or mistakes. It simply provided a foundation from which decisions began; what humans did with that afterward is the story of what humans always do.

So, Hobby Lobby is not incorrect, if you filter their statements through an accurate historical lens. What has changed is that the historic worldview that previously prevailed is simply not held by many. What it means for culture and politics, this change in worldview, is that no longer do we operate from our historic worldview in the public square. In the context of speaking of people, individuals that make up a nation, it is correct to say that a nation that turns from God is in danger. These are nuanced things that those seeking to simply hate Christianity refuse to see. They hate Christ and his message, they do not have to see.

Whether it was intentional to lump all of ‘evangelical’ Christianity together (the crazy, the error, the wrong, and the less wrong) and then paint it all as hateful and fascist we cannot know for certain. The fact that two of the greatest deceptions of our time heavily influenced many in this group in 2020 seems not coincidental to me. I stopped seeing much of this as random chance some time ago. Were those deceptions intended to call out the crazy, make people look foolish, and then taint all that hold to foundational Christianity? I suspect so.

This is one of the reasons I am often so confused when people write of ‘evangelicals’. I personally know one person that bought into the Q stuff, they are NAR. I am not even certain we worship the same God, yet, I bet in the big umbrella group of the media, they lump us together. I stopped attending churches that hold massive pagan flag rallies years ago – but we are in the same group I bet. I do not buy into Gary North or Rushdoony, but, it seems we have been placed in the same club. I am not Catholic, but devout haters of Christ believe they do harm to me when they destroy their icons. Do you see the pattern? They do not understand nor do they care about doctrinal differences. Their hate casts a wide net, just to make sure they get authentic, real, orthodox (small o) Christianity no matter the pew it sits in.

Pull your head out of the sand. Politics is lost, the cultural war is lost. Others with less discernment and less understanding will fight that, and in doing so further endanger us all, but the danger is coming regardless. They put us all in one box for a reason, and that is a hatred of Christ. We can forgive them for not recognizing Him from imposters that claim Him but we ought not ignore them.

A Plea to Reformed Pastors


Consider this as offered – a plea for Reformed Christian (Pastors and teachers) to read the room.

If you will not take the time to consider my entire argument then read this much:

Something significant has shifted in the world. I realize our view of eschatology, and our reliance upon an unshakable faith that God has a plan and all things happen in His time shapes much of how see the world, politics, and even history. But something has changed. The change was subtle thirty years ago and has accelerated. Preachers, teachers, and laymen owe it to others to both acknowledge this and to provide Biblical and doctrinal answers to it.

I get it. Rushdoony and North et al. really tainted the water with errors about our role in the world. Reconstructionism is dangerous and wrong. Add to that our brethren in denominations influenced by dispensationalism and raw nationalism resulting in their vocal and avid support of personalities and parties; it is unsavory to us. We also remember the foolishness that Baptists and Charismatics attempted in the 1980s-90s, their utter failure in politics, and where they are now.

I am not suggesting we enter that fray. I am not suggesting we fight the cultural war. That war is over. Read the room, look around. If you do not yet fully understand that the cultural war was lost and that we are now entering into a cultural revolution, you are not using good discernment.

I am suggesting, we have to come to terms with the world as it is and as it is about to be. The implications of the growing hatred of Christianity cannot be overstated; these cannot be ignored. We may or may not, right now, be imminently close to the eschaton but we are much nearer than we were two years ago. What was, in terms of culture and assumptions about our place in culture, no longer hold. Any honest and reasonable assessment of what is and what is to come says that things cannot go back, short of a divine act.

People see this change, people in your church see this change. A cliché related to Presbyterian ministers is that if you ask about end times topics you generally get an answer along the lines of “it is complicated” “Revelation is often overstated”, or “God Wins”. All true, and nobody suggests we channel an IFB pastor’s prophecy preaching once a month. But we need to talk about these things. We know we have been in the end times for 2000 years, and may be for another 2000, but things are getting worse and we are approaching the climax.

Failure to talk about our diminished status, the growing hate, the danger – that is foolish. Telling a man to “have no fear Christian’, is correct, failure to acknowledge that danger is afoot, borders on immoral.

I will say it plainly. You (we) do our duty related to church government and affairs, we do our familial duties, we work and provide. We believe God knows all things, that all things are according to his plan and that taken to a logical conclusion because things are foreknown, they are already determined. Yet, we do our duty in the work we have been provided. But the big things, the end of the story sort of things – just ‘too complex’, ‘too overdone’, ‘God knows and has a plan.’

Pastors need to teach the complex and intricate Reformed eschatology, and not just the literal parts in Mathew, Thessalonians and Peter. People see that the world is changing. If reformed pastors do not teach the full Word, people will look elsewhere to folks that are very happy to teach error.

“that there is nothing put forth in Scripture which it is not profitable to know.”― John Calvin, Commentaries

Some of you need to become a little uncomfortable and begin rebuking the error that flows daily in the form of churches and organizations around us. People are being led astray in flashy corporate services and Gnosticism masquerading as The Way. Many of those organizations will eventually become part of the great apostasy – what are you doing today to help the elect not be deceived? How many of you even understand the philosophical influences and sociological plans behind the megachurch movement?  Have you ever spoken out and preached against this communitarianism and worldly ideology? Are you afraid of being labeled a ‘hater’ or a square? You need speak truth, the core of this is not just church with smoke machines, it was designed for a purpose.

Those of you that do not fully believe the world has changed need to step away from your comfortable seclusion and isolation, look around, listen and learn. Get off your soft butts, make yourself uncomfortable and see the ugly truth that is becoming our reality. Find new friends if those you surround yourself with only reinforce your isolation. Preach and teach the whole Word, not just the comfortable stuff. Prepare and guard your flock by giving them full knowledge of the Word.

One day, maybe hundreds of years from now, perhaps in five years, every church that teaches the Word will be put out of business. All of the time and effort spent of church government (as necessary and important as that is) will not matter then. What will matter is the truth, that revealed in the word, and what is inculcated in the hearts of believers. Part of that happens when teachers and preachers talk of the whole Word.

Do your Job!

Pernicious Ways, Bad Ideology and Error


When a man grows older, obstinance often increases. I suppose there are reasons for this. However, experience is a great teacher. Also, perhaps the accumulated knowledge one can build over time by simply having more time to read, see and think adds to certitude. This can be perceived by those with less experience as obstinance.

In the current ideological paradigm that holds sway in the minds of many millennials ‘lived experience’ is very important, often more important than knowledge gained through study and observation. Their PowerPoint slides, articles and mantras say ‘believe lived experiences’. Many of these folks accept this, as a rule, a form of Gnostic higher knowledge.

They do not apply the same template to the experience of older folks that synthesize knowledge from observation, fact, and what folks that came before learned. All of those ‘lived experiences’ are of much less value. There is irony in this duplicity.

This is not surprising, because most of this knowledge directly opposes the ideas of young folks held captive to a belief in secret knowledge obtained through empathy, feelings, and the stories of select groups (their mystics).

It is easy to take any human, examine their life and find the flaws and then compare those flaws to words and principles they may espouse later in life. “How can this old man believe he is speaking truth now if he did not always live truth”. This is a fair objection, unless and until one accepts that all humans are flawed, even those that would teach that empathy, feelings, and secret knowledge are superior to conventional wisdom. To dismiss such a person out of hand and the conventional wisdom they proclaim is to dismiss the lived experience that is so important to the ideology that infects so many millennials – it is a paradox they cannot resolve.

Another common objection is that folks that hold to conventional wisdom ‘always want to be right.’ This is a strawman argument, but let’s take it at face value. If someone is certain that a particular path leads to a cliff face, a fall, and death, and they say this to others, with great passion, can we accuse the speaker of ‘wanting to be right’ or is it perhaps more just to say ‘they firmly believe they are right based upon knowledge they have or believe they have.’ Clearly, the latter fits best if the speaker is operating from goodwill, honesty, and firm belief, the first claim is dismissive, and frankly intellectually dishonest.

I recant nothing I have said of the Drukerite megachurch movement. It was started for a very specific sociological goal, that goal was based upon a very flawed philosophy that denies the individual and turns the focus away from God and man to a notion of a god and community (not fully now, but that is where the philosophy points). Ultimately that last statement is true and will manifest as true more and more over time. The focus on being seeker-sensitive and embracing the world, combined with the idea of ultimately finding authority and truth in ‘conversations within community’ can only lead to predictable ends. Conventional wisdom and long-accepted doctrine tell us this is so.

This movement is a harlot, and ultimately, bit by bit will lead many into confusion, darkness, and servitude. I do not want to be right about this. I did not simply come up with this on my own. These are not merely my words and thoughts. There is a greater truth that tells us that this is so, revealed in the Word if one parses is it honestly, and articulated across the centuries by men that did just that as they shaped doctrines that opposed movements and ideas of this sort many times.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound [a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4 2-4

I recant none of it. I have great sadness that I did not always live in such a way that my voice could have been stronger and more relevant when it could have made a difference. I have great anger toward the people that walked for moments in my life that aided and abetted some that I love being captured by lies and deceit. My soul is pained that I am now and perhaps always will be powerless to help those I love to escape the grasp of these terrible errors.

I did not want to be right, I am obstinate, I am hard-headed, I do speak words plainly and directly when things are important, but I certainly did not want to be right about this – but I was.

With each passing day this world becomes less my home. I do not fit in. I have but the hope of my salvation, faith in my prayers for the discernment and wisdom of those I love, a responsibility to provide and protect those that will draw near and hear sound truth, and a knowledge that what happens in this physical existence is not always understandable by us, but God has a plan.

I have spoken truth to you insofar as I am capable, from the limited understanding I have. I have prayed for you and I will do so until I draw my last breath. In times that I failed you I apologize. In times I protected you that you do not yet understand I was honored. In the times that I was too direct or pointed in my words to you, I am sorry if my method caused you hurt or confusion. But I have said you only the truth as I know it, in love and concern.

“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

To the narcissist and manipulators that run these places (you false teachers, deceivers, and charlatans), most from my generation, I say to you that you should be shamed and rebuked publically. You must repent and change your ways, and cease pretending to be ‘spiritual leaders’. You know what you do is wrong, even the lies you tell others cannot still that quiet voice in your soul that screams otherwise.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2 (ESV)

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2 (KJV)


Be wary friends. Every church that calls itself Christian has errors, churches that were built on the Drukerite model are no different. The primary difference is the Druckerite churches have a refined methodology of control and indoctrination; they will embed the error in the very fabric of your being if you submit to them. They were designed for the ideological social change they have now made part of doctrine. Stay away.

Existential Moment in our Color Revolution


Something about the Revolver News story implicating FBI involvement in the events of 1/6 in DC has troubled me deeply. Deeper than my realization last April that we were observing color revolution methodology being used on Americans inside the United States.

There is much we cannot know, we can only observe and speculate, and I will try here to merely observe and ask questions and leave out speculation. I am also not impugning either Tucker Carlson or Darren Beatle. I cannot know what I do not know about their intentions. But two significant questions immediately come to mind.

Color Revolution-  is a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests, often aligned with government officials, significantly influence a state's decision-making processes, subverting the rule of law and fundamentally altering both the balance of power and the ability of real opposition to compete politically. Propaganda, psychological operations, and controlled media are generally utilized. (more)

First, Darren Beattie was the first person I am aware of, that got traction with an audience, to come out last year with an observation that we were undergoing a color revolution. He was certainly not the first, his articles on the subject were about six months behind the first indicators, but he was the first to get national attention. He appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show and outlined his observations.

If one believes that it is true that color revolution methodology was in play, then it logically follows that the implications of that are enormous. Almost nothing else matters. A complex campaign, operating at the scale implied means state actor involvement, it means significant portions of the government are involved and major institutions (like media) are also involved in some way. If one looks at all the dots, sees the connection, and then sees the methodology being applied in almost doctrinal precision, it is impossible to come away with anything more than a sense of shock and awe. None of the small details matter beyond supporting and building the narrative that this was occurring and occurred.

Yet, soon after Beatie made the rounds and Twitter focused on the subject for a bit, with instant experts in geopolitics and color revolutions pontificating, it all went away. He essentially stopped talking about the elephant in the room. [see 1 below]

Second, and do not take me wrong I enjoy Tucker’s presentations, if we go back and survey all of the fantastical stories he has covered in the last 20 months (strange finance paths, riots, corruption, lies, fraud, etc.) and throw in the fact that Beattie was on his show last year talking about how all the dots connect (color revolution) it is more than curious that Carlson never actually makes the connection. Each night he presents a very entertaining segment that deals with one matter, one issue, he often seems shocked and aghast, and outraged. But should he be?  If one really understands the methodology of state capture, should one be shocked by the details?

So, I was particularly stunned watching Beattie and Carlson talk about 1/6 and the accusations that the FBI was doing something behind the scenes and probably had some foreknowledge. It takes active denial to not admit that the FBI has done similar things for a long time (not at this scale, but the same methods - infiltrate a group with compromised people, encourage the group to go forward with bad plans). Any honest person knows that. Carlson knows what Beattie said last year about color revolutions.

Why did these two men sit and talk, Carlson looking shocked, about 1/6 when they had both already talked about the metanarrative?  It was odd and disturbing.

To be fair, one can make the argument that Tucker has corporate masters. Beattie maybe believes the full truth is too much for ordinary Americans to swallow. You can make that argument and I cannot dispel it.

You could also make the argument that this looks a lot like a limited hangout. We cannot know the purpose, perhaps it is to release obvious information in such a way that it can be debunked, that is a traditional usage. Maybe it is intended to spin up many Americans and call them to injudicious action, an action that can be easily crushed and then used as justification for more draconian laws.

What is obvious is that Carlson’s and Beattie’s suggested solution, a Church 2.0 committee is unworkable and naive (argument here). That being said, in their defense, what other choice, short of foolish kinetics, do we have? It is a sticky problem, and there is no real solution, we are in the web, every action merely entraps us more.

Limited hangout: "spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further."

In another interview on another outlet Beattie said until this is resolved, nothing else matters, all of politics will simply be performative. In that, he is absolutely correct. If we have undergone a color revolution, if significant portions of the government played a key role and the media supported it, nothing else matters or will matter. Not elections, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions – none of it. If this happened, and if elements within the national security apparatus conspired and acted to incite violence as a culminating event to the color revolution – nothing else matters until those responsible are rooted out.

The problem is, in the consolidation phase of a color revolution, after most of the population did not even realize what was happening it is nearly impossible to turn the tide. That is the reality we face. We are in the web, we walked straight into a L-shaped ambush.

Our moment of existential choice has passed I am afraid.

[1] Let's circle back to that brief moment last year on Twitter and in the news cycle where folks talked about "color revolution".  As mentioned above it came into the conversation after Darren Beattie published a piece on Revolver and went on the talk news circuit, specifically Tucker Carlson. I recall waking up the next day to amazement that my little blog was getting so much search traffic, specifically to color revolution articles I had previously written. Prior to that, it was a mere trickle.

On Twitter, there were numerous instant 'experts', many that had never heard the term before or perhaps only in passing. Few really understood the full methodology and all the tools in the kit bag. Almost all of the folks that latched on to the subject were Trump supporters. They mistook the implications and thought this was all just about 'libs and MAGA' and some plan to 'get Trump'. Invariably, the fact-checkers soon weighed in, debunking the possibility that such a thing could be happening here "look how outrageous these Trump people are". Soon, talk of color revolutions died out, people went on to new shiny topics, abandoning the metanarrative.

Of course what happened and is still happening was never really about Trump. Either he was too incompetent to see that many of his decisions and policies enabled the event (CR), or he was part of it, there is no other reasonable explanation. He was a dupe or a tool, take your pick, but either way, the color revolution would never have succeeded without key actions by him.

This brings us to ask the question...was the public talk of a color revolution part of a limited hangout, intended to give bad meat to the masses to run with and make fools of themselves with, something later debunked by the media? There were people talking about it and highlighting the use of methodology, long before Beattie. Eventually, this truth was going to come out. Was the flash in the pan an effort to get in front of that and let it burn out in foolish misunderstanding?

I cannot say, but it seems odd, particularly considering that Beattie essentially abandoned the topic soon after.