Are “Democratic Socialists” Closet Neoreactionaries?

The fruits of neo-imperialism may just be neo-isolationism,” Pat Buchanan once facetiously suggested in a 2003 column titled “Are Bush and Rumsfeld Closet Populists?” The crux of his argument was that the Bush administration’s neoconservative foreign policy and defiant embrace of global military interventionism was so at odds with the rest of the world that it might result in the United States being alienated from the international community altogether and forced to reluctantly adopt the kind of isolationist nationalism Buchanan prefers.

The neocons have been mostly discredited and rejected by the American people since then, yet their ideology and its zealots have wormed their way so deep into the US political and media establishment, that neoconservative influence on US foreign policy remains dominant to this day. What brought Buchanan’s obscure column to mind though is the latest ideological craze, “democratic socialism.” It’s been on the rise for quite a while now, as evident by Bernie Sanders’ near win in the 2016 presidential primary. The ascent has continued with the growing popularity of podcasts like Chapo Trap House, as well as the media’s recent gush fest over political newcomers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and (former Sex and the City actress) Cynthia Nixon. The problem with democratic socialism (in the form it’s currently being presented by enthusiasts,) is that the solutions it purports to offer can’t withstand the weight of their own contradictions. Trying to be too many things to too many people in ways which inherently conflict, may put you on the fast track for electoral success and generate a lot of fawning media coverage, but then what? Where will the people that didn’t read the fine print turn when the built-in failure mechanisms are discovered during the activation process?

How can you have a federal job guarantee *and* support practically unlimited immigration from impoverished countries? And what good does it do to implement strict emission controls if you’re going to import so many people that the result will be a net increase in pollution anyway? In contemplating questions like this, one might begin to wonder (but not really) if these DSA types are “closet neoreactionaries,” in the sense that they advocate for “socialist” policies only within contexts which would guarantee said policies’ ineffectiveness (thus subsequently driving people to reluctantly embrace neo-monarchic, corporate fiefdoms.) “Free health care and college education!” but it’s going to be available to every one of the billions of humans on the planet that can manage to simply show up here in our “borderless,” undefined country that exists in name only. Oh, and we’re not allowed to significantly limit immigration from the third world in any substantial way. No physical borders, border patrol, or substantively sovereign nation states, but presumably there will be a distinguishable collective people whom we’re assured these programs are supposed to viably and sustainably benefit.

As Bret Stephens recently wrote in the New York Times:

Today’s social democracy falls apart on the contradiction between advocating nearly unlimited government largess and nearly unlimited immigration. “Abolish ICE” is a proper rallying cry for hard-core libertarians and Davos globalists, not democratic socialists or social democrats. A federal job guarantee is an intriguing idea — assuming the jobs are for some defined “us” that doesn’t include every immigrant, asylum-seeker or undocumented worker.

Trump gets this, as does the far right in Europe, which is why they attract such powerful working-class support. Want to preserve the welfare state? Build a wall — or, in Europe’s case, reinstate border controls. Want more immigrants and amnesty? Lower the minimum wage and abolish the closed shop.

But please choose. It’s one or the other.

“Socialist” ideologies which aim for the dissolution of borders and the elimination of national sovereignty in actuality weaken the federal government’s ability to administer social programs effectively. If there is no authority to differentiate between who is or isn’t a citizen (of where?) and no tangible separation of territory, just whom or what exactly is the federal government presiding over? Is it simply “residents?” One can already envision the financial insolvency and administrative nightmare of this kind of “international airport socialism,” where going to the hospital is like making a trip to a crowded, third world DMV. Such a system would be impossible to manage efficiently, due to the intrinsic lack of organization and ill-defined parameters, rendering a theoretically empowered federal government hapless and functionally impotent. Very few aspiring employees can take advantage of a $15 minimum wage if you cram so many people into a city that there are not enough jobs to go around, and the accompanying demand for housing becomes so high that skyrocketing real estate prices negate any benefits for those lucky enough to land a “living” minimum wage job. Socialists and social democrats like Bernie Sanders used to be fully aware of all this, but they are so averse to being perceived as xenophobic or anti-immigrant, that their stated positions on these issues include a lot of muddled, self-contradictory language and conflicting statements…ultimately revealing themselves to be the product of doublethink.

In such a scenario, multinational corporations become strengthened, because people will feel they have no other alternative but to sign their lives away to Yelp or Amazon or some other corporate cult, which will present as comparably functional institutions. In exchange for being granted the closest thing to stability available, they’ll be inclined to just accept shitty, high deductible health plans that can change on a whim, conditional company housing, and draconian “code of conduct” rules which dictate what employees can do, wear and say on their own time, etc.

 

Virtucon, a large company which owns a factory that manufactures miniature models of factories

That’s the political choice we’re essentially being presented with: overpopulated, third world international airport socialism vs. multinational corporate feudalism. It is probably already too late for any other alternatives you might have in mind. It certainly seems too late for any kind of populist nationalism or to limit mass immigration in any meaningful way at the national level, though I guess pan secessionism and balkanization are distant possibilities (perhaps even inevitabilities.)

Are “democratic socialists” closet neoreactionaries? No, of course not. Are they the useful idiots of neoreaction? That sounds a bit too harsh. One could just as easily argue that many big companies are so greedy that they are actually helping to facilitate the rise of democratic socialism. The way most multinational corporations shamelessly manipulate and exploit their employees, while simultaneously displaying outright contempt for consumers…they certainly aren’t doing themselves any PR favors. Multinational corporations are portable though, and since they have no allegiance to any particular place or country, they are highly adaptable and can remain as elusive as the Black Fortress in Krull.

Ultimately, I think democratic socialists simply represent one half in the next phase of Americans having to hold their noses and choose between systems that don’t represent their interests and which promise things they can’t deliver.

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Left of the AltRight Roundtable Discussion

I almost didn’t post this, cause I’m mostly bored of talking about these kinds of subjects. It seems like kind of a waste of energy. I’d much rather focus on things I’m actually interested in, like building a futuristic mall city, or self-contained gated suburb on an island, with Chuck E Cheese tokens being the official currency. The most pressing issue for me right now is finishing projects I’m working on, which have nothing to do with politics.

Anyway, for those of you still ideologically invested in this other crap, the podcast can be found here:

http://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=7108

It features a bunch of other people and I pontificating on various things that will be of great interest to a small number of people. This is Part 2 of a previous episode. I didn’t post part one, because it wasn’t very good or structured well, and a water heater was being installed in my apartment so I had to do the entire podcast from the roof of the Fashion Square Mall parking garage. It was hotter than shitballs outside (over 110 degrees) and loud as fuck. Part II was okay though.

Robert Stark, Brandon Adamson, Ashley Messinger, and Constantin von Hoffmeister continue the discussion on the political scene known as the Alt Left, Left Wing of the Alt Right, or Alt Center.

Topics:

More on how the scene evolved, the implosion of the Alt-Right, and the need to create your own space
How the election of Trump caused friction between Robert Lindsay’s Alt-Left and the Left Wing of the Alt Right
How SJW’s have completely hijacked what remains of an Alt-Left scene
Fundamental differences between the Alt-Right and European Identitarianism
The pros and cons of America’s lack of European cultural identities
European Identitarian movements that are economically leftist but traditionalist on culture and aesthetics
The concept of degenerate art and the failure of the right to differentiate
If the Alt-Right got their hypothetical nation, would it be just another boring Red State suburb?
Reasons for right wing hostility to urbanism and modern architecture
How to create self contained city states
The proposed Crystal Island in Moscow and the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid in Tokyo
The importance of having shared aesthetic and cultural values rather than complete homogeneity
The compatibility of futurism and tradition in Russia (archeofuturism)
Russia To Welcome 15,000 South African Refugees
Having people that benefit a society is more important than their political orientations

Rational Black Pill Returns

A long time had gone by, but recently I messaged this girl Lindsay and encouraged her to start making videos again. I always enjoyed her vids because I found them to be honest, substantive and independent minded. There was nothing sexy, dramatic, cutesy or seductive about these videos. It was just a girl in plain clothes spouting her opinions for 20 minutes or so.

In her own words, she “ragequit” a while back during the “thotgate controversy”(I feel retarded even saying it.) As I wrote in Skirting the Issue With Tara McCarthy and The Outer Limits of an Ideological Future, people who didn’t want to be confined in the equivalent of an ideological padded room would start eyeballing the exits.

Having worked in shitty sales and retail jobs for much of my life as a struggling writer/artist, I’m frequently reminded of how companies annoyingly push you to sell “the package deal.” In my mind, a more effective and ethical sales approach is one that builds trust, where the salesperson asks questions (often referred to as “needs analysis” or “needs assessment”) to determine the customer/client’s needs. The salesperson subsequently proposes a solution for the customer (aka pitches them products.) A successful sale is one where the customer’s needs are identified and met. However, to most of the sales managers I’ve come across, it doesn’t matter if the customer only needs one thing and has no use for a bunch of other crap you offer, companies always push for you to sell package deals, unnecessary upgrades, irrelevant features, overpriced accessories etc. Often this sort of sale results in more short term revenue for the company, but at the expense of losing the buyer’s confidence in the value of your product advice.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, clearly Lindsay was one of those people who didn’t want to sign on to the ideological package deal the AltRight presented, and so she took the knowledge she found useful and moved on. However, she is back making videos again.

I won’t get into the disagreements I have with some of the arguments in her “return video,” but she makes an excellent observation in a reply to some generic trad commenter:

“The human mind continues to grow in its ability to analyze and understand the world, and thankfully this leads to new abilities. one new ability, which I’ve noticed most people still lack, is being able to completely listen to an idea without believing it, critique it without dismissing it, and accept only the parts of it that seem to be true. this ability is demonstrated most clearly in the natural sciences, and it’s almost never witnessed in the political sciences.”

Anyway, welcome back.

Robert Stark Discusses His Podcasting History

young Robert Stark

Francis Nally and Brandon Adamson join Robert Stark to discuss his podcasting history, political and cultural evolution, and where he is at now.

Podcast is available here

Topics:

The new book, The Stark Truth With Robert Stark: A Legacy 2009-2018

How for a long time Robert was known as the guy who randomly interviews people

How The Stark Truth doesn’t get the credit it deserves

The lack of substance of firebrand alt-podcasters and Youtube political celebrities

How Robert has now established his own unique “Starkian” ideology and cultural vision

New “Starkian” blog, Alt of Center | Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Beauty

How Robert’s novel Journey to Vapor Island helped brand the Starkian Identity

Robert’s adolescent traumas which provided inspiration for Journey to Vapor Island

How Robert’s experience growing up in LA and observations on society as a teen shaped his
basic cultural and political outlook

How Robert always had many of the same core principles but felt the need to belong and conform to a political tribe

Robert’s political phases including Libertarianism, Paleoconservatism, and Third Positionism

How ironically both Robert and Brandon started out on the right economically and moved closer to the left

How Robert is now at a point where he is entirely independent both politically and culturally

Robert’s podcasting history starting at Voice of Reason Radio, Counter-Currents Radio, and establishing his own podcast

Robert’s past interviews with political dissidents

Robert’s decision to focus the show on culture rather than politics

Brandon’s reference in the book to his trip to Las Vegas with Robert and the inspiration for Vapor Island

Is the future of the dissident sphere a Starkian, Alt-Center, Retro-Futurism?

The Truth About “Mystery Shoppers”

“Mystery shopper” has to be one of the scummiest occupations. The mystery shopper is basically a low level informant, spying on underpaid retail employees and helping big corporations enforce compliance with all kinds of pointless rules and tedious protocol (which smart employees often ignore to maintain efficiency and prioritize the achievement of broader goals.)

A typical mystery shopper review would consist of something along the lines of the following:

“The employee failed to give the official FashionMart 4 point company greeting when I entered the store. The associate also took a sip of water while at the counter and leaned on it as well while sipping the drink.”

First off, almost no one follows company guidelines to the letter and the only people who fetishize them are overpaid executive do-nothings whose time is spent dreaming them up and perhaps a few overzealous cultist true believers in retail management. The only other employees that blindly adhere to them are the natural slaves of retail who never question anything and are easily exploited like pawns.

What mystery shoppers and their nefarious puppeteers do not realize, is that they are not entitled to what they have decreed as the ideal shopping experience. Why? Since they are not genuine customers, mystery shoppers do not deserve to be treated like them. By misleading the employee as to their intentions and ultimately wasting everyone’s time, the mystery shopper is not acting in good faith. If the company demands employees that employees make genuine personal connections with shoppers (a demand which is inherently oxymoronic in itself,) this is not possible with the mystery shopper, because everything about the mystery shopper’s interactions is phony. The entire premise they present for their visit is a facade. They are there to spy on you, to trick you, to watch you, and ultimately to catch you in violation of some sacred creedo on a technicality.

An employee can often sense when someone is not genuinely interested and there are all kinds of reasons why they will be inclined to be less helpful. The mystery shopper may have a resting bitch face. They may appear like too much of a busybody. It may creepily show in their eyes that they are sizing the employee up and judging their every move. Truth be told, there are plenty of shoppers which give off such an annoying vibe, that an employee will prefer the customer would just go away, concluding that the person’s business just may not be worth the potential hassle of future customer service issues, inevitable returned merchandise, arguments over warranty, etc.

The worst part about being preyed upon by a mystery shopper though, is the lack of recourse. The employee has no opportunity to face his/her accuser and refute the mystery shopper’s claims. The report is filed, and management accepts the account provided by the mystery shopper uncritically. It doesn’t matter if the mystery shopper was grossly exaggerating, failed to take into consideration possible context or misperceived the entire course of events.

In conclusion, mystery shoppers are among the lowest forms of humanity, right down there with people who eat chips loudly in public places. Employees do not owe them anything but scorn. Retail employees have enough to juggle with in the form of genuinely shitty and irritating customers: middle-aged women that ask to speak to the manager, aging suburban wiggers attempting to shoplift, fat white men with neck tattoos and Star Wars t-shirts that talk shit because they don’t understand purchasing etiquette in the 21st century. The last thing the retail employee needs is a fake customer, whose sole purpose is to tattletale and document behaviors from the perspective of those with dubious motives and a limited understanding of the situation on the ground.

People Who Hate Each Other Against the War

The following exchange was taken from a 2002 interview with Gore Vidal on Doug Henwood’s WBAI radio show, after Henwood brought it to Vidal’s attention that Tom Metzger was offering videos of one of Vidal’s lectures for sale on his website.

Doug Henwood: There is this long-standing, kind of right-leaning nativist critique of Empire and centralizing power. What affinities or lack of affinities
do you feel in that?

Gore Vidal: Well, look at Pat Buchanan, who borrowed a great deal from me, for “A Republic, Not an Empire.” That is what I’ve been saying for half a
century, that we’re not in the Empire business, or we should not be in
the Empire business, because we’re not very good at it, and we have so
much wrong in our own country. So there is a moment, I would suspect,
that the far-right has to have something positive to talk about, instead
of worrying about getting rid of the inferior breeds, or what they think
of as the inferior breeds. So, the anti-imperial is an interesting
thing for them to take up, ’cause I’d think they’d be on the other
side. But as many people want to join that, why not?

As Trump’s schizophrenic rhetoric continues to erratically oscillate between blunt statements in support of non-interventionist principles and random threats to attack other countries under dubious pretenses, it all seems rather surreal. One begins to wonder whether it is even possible to convince our government to act in America’s interests in any meaningful capacity. Perhaps not, but who cares? We specialize in unlikely alliances and the stubborn exploration of far-fetched possibilities here, so let’s go for one more.

As Trump contemplates engaging in further military action in Syria (and who knows where else,) I would love to see a joint AltRight / far left war protest event. The sight of people who typically spend all day trashing each other on twitter (and occasionally even physically battle each other in the streets) come together for a day of solidarity against war, would send a striking message. Instead of “Unite the Right,” or “Bash the Fash,” a rally should be held called “United Against War” or maybe even “People Who Hate Each Other Against the War.”

Many on the right would reflexively point out that the anti-war left (what remains of it) despises the AltRight with such visceral ferocity, that they could never partner with them on anything, even for a moment. “Nazis” (a term which has expanded in recent years to such an extent that it could now include just about any non self-hating white person,) we are told, are to be punched, attacked, not spoken to, and certainly not courted as allies. For their part, the far right is just as much of an obstacle to any kind of cooperation, given their inability to coordinate (even with one another) except when satirizing / ironically sniping at their own movement, usually from the anonymous peanut gallery. In my observations, the far right in the US contains a significant number of people who just cannot seem to restrain themselves in any way from being aggressive assholes, even when it comes to casual conversation. It’s also worth noting in the case of Syria, much of the AltRight is less motivated by general non-interventionist ideals. Their opposition to US involvement is rooted in their admiration of Putin and Assad as leaders. They don’t wish to stay out of the war because it’s none of our business and a waste of time. Rather, they oppose it because Russia and Syria are the “good guys” fighting our enemies (ISIS, ) while Assad “protects Christians,” “is a family man,” etc. Many AltRighters would be more than eager to launch full scale Conquistadorian invasions of sovereign countries under other circumstances. The fact remains though, a lot of people who hate each other agree that we should stay out of Syria.

Given the levels of polarization among dissidents and the divergence in motivations, you might still be asking, “What’s the point in even trying to work together on this? Why bother?” Well, because in this particular instance, it would be worth it. Getting involved in another pointless and misguided war is such a terrible idea, that it is worth preventing at almost any cost. In fact, the only way supporting wars like these make any sense at all is from the accelerationist perspective, since every new catastrophic US policy blunder serves to speed up the collapse of the US from its own weight, potentially making room for something new and improved to replace it that much sooner. I won’t support the war on that basis though, even as cynical as I am. After all, this isn’t just about us. There are other countries’ fates at stake, other people’s lives being needlessly jeopardized. Instead, I’ll keep the accelerationist contingency provision in my pocket as a cheap consolation prize, a souvenir to be admired in the eventuality of yet another misadventure.

cassandrafairbanks

On a mildly encouraging note, there does appear to be an emerging market for unlikely alliances against increased intervention in Syria. Glenn Greenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson and both seemed broadly in agreement of their skepticism of the need for the US to escalate our involvement. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks seems to be firmly against beating the War drums for military action in Syria, as is his paranoid AltLite nemesis, Alex Jones. Could a genuine AltRight figure like Richard Spencer share a stage with a far left personality, even an Antifa or prominent SJW, to denounce the war, without the spectacle turning into a total shitshow? Would anyone agree to be part of any of it? Probably not. You never know though until you put the offer out there and see what happens. To borrow a quote from the Lawgiver’s scene in Battle for the Planet of the Apes: Who knows about the future of US foreign policy? Perhaps, only the dead.