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.

Revisiting The Wicker Man

I first saw The Wicker Man about 15 years ago when I rented a VHS copy from Blockbuster Video, in the hope that it might feature some 70’s nudity. I think I ended up fast forwarding through most of it, except briefly for that Britt Ekland seduction scene which ends disappointingly. So yeah, as far as erotic horror goes, it’s no Stormswept. However, in spite of having almost no interest in the plot of The Wicker Man at the time, I could not bring myself to fast forward through the final scene, which was genuinely disturbing.

Unlike a throwaway fun flick like “The Wraith” that you that you can watch like 50 times whenever you want some background ambiance, The Wicker Man is one of those movies you regret watching, not because it’s bad, but because it files a traumatizing memory image into your brain that can’t be unseen. I would have been happy to never see or think about this film ever again, but somehow I roped myself into rewatching parts of it and decided it was worth giving a few thoughts on.

*Spoilers ahead*

The plot centers upon a Christian police sergeant who travels to a small Scottish island to investigate a case of a missing young girl. He soon discovers that the locals on the island have abandoned Christianity and are practicing a crude form of Celtic paganism. He is disturbed by their promiscuous behavior and what he perceives to be bizarre and superstitious activities (they utilize folk medicine like swallowing live toads to cure sore throats.) The people on the island make his investigation frustrating as they claim the girl he is looking for never existed. Eventually he locates the girl and saved her from a fate of being sacrificed as the “May Queen” (only she doesn’t appear to want to be saved.) The sergeant gets caught with her while trying to escape. He winds up being the sacrifice instead, and the film ends with him being burned alive in a giant Wicker Man, while the townsfolk joyously look on and sing “Sumer Is Icumen In.”

The leader of the island, “Lord Summerisle” (played by legendary actor Christopher Lee) resembles something of a neoreactionary figure. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, he manipulates the islanders into embracing traditional paganism (which he himself clearly doesn’t believe in) as a means to control them as well as to establish a harmoniously cohesive and functioning society. The island serves as a prototype for a mostly autonomous, rural “city state” which has deviated from modernity in favor of folklore and superstition. However, with people having wild orgies in graveyards, it is less prudish than the killjoy culture that “Little House on the Praireactionary” factions of neoreaction idealize. That being said, life on Pagan Island looks pretty groovy to me.

Anyway, near the end of the film when the police sergeant has been captured and is about to be sacrificed, he pleads with the villagers that their beliefs are a lie, and tries to convince them that sacrificing him to “their gods” won’t prevent the harvest from failing. The townspeople ignore his appeals to reason and gleefully carry out the sacrifice, burning him alive in a giant wicker man.

The irony is that for almost the entire duration of the event he is vocally professing the Christian afterlife beliefs, asserting that the Christian God he was brought up to believe in is the true one. As the flames slowly begin to engulf him, he desperately curses the islanders and recites Psalm 23, oblivious to the notion that his own prayers are no more or less likely to be answered.

What makes this film ultimately disturbing though is the way it mercilessly reveals the horror of being the odd man out among a mob of people swept up in groupthink. Regardless of what one believes, the viewer can relate the the movie to situations where they perceive themselves to be the rational individual caught in a world gone mad.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Is Bernie Running For Mayor of MGTOWN?

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One of the more absurd developments in what’s shaping up to be a legit shitshow of an election, was Anil Dash’s recent insinuation that Bernie Sanders supporters are “MRAs, PUAs and neoreactionaries.”

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One can imagine the exasperated look on Nick Land’s face after years of trying to purge so called ethnonationalists and pop fascists from the neoreactionary label for being “too left wing” and populist, only to see the brand associated with a bona fide, real life democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders, complete with all the progressive bells and whistles. Neoreaction is largely a hyper capitalist, techno commercialist thought enclave, not exactly the kind of treefort clubhouse in Never Never land you’d see Bernie Bros conducting their weekly “No Ma’am” meeting in. In Anil’s case, he most likely just fell for some meta-trolling by a few shitlords that decided to commandeer the #BernieBros hashtag for a hot minute.

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However, legendary feminist icon and one-time HB8 Gloria Steinem was particularly insulting when she accused young women of supporting Bernie Sanders simply as a way to meet guys.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Ms. Steinem said.

(source: NY Times)

Most passionate Bernie supporters I know are young women and are quite sincere about it. They’re the pure of heart. Many of these women are intelligent and beautiful, and I would not be surprised if they were actually attracting men to the movement rather than the other way around(I admit I myself have felt the temptation.) Absent any real evidence or data though, let’s just assume everyone is genuine.

The BernieBro slur calling Bernie supporters “misogynists” and MRAs simply for not supporting Hillary is both ludicrous and misinformed. Everyone knows that the people who support Sanders are the most committed feminists and the furthest left on every issue. It’s a stretch for people to say that voting for Bernie is somehow anti-feminist or misogynist. His ideology doesn’t even begin to approach anything in the realm of Roosh V or Mayor of MGTOWN territory. If anything he has even more credibility on these issues. While Hillary It’s like they’re trying to distract from the obvious, that people have plenty of good reasons to not support Hillary:

1. She has consistently supported interventionist foreign policy, from the war in Bosnia to the war in Iraq to more recent incursions in Libya and elsewhere while she was Secretary of State.

2. Hillary served on the board of Walmart from 1986-1992 and has always been active in promoting the interests of transnational corporations like Goldman Sachs. She has no credibility on issues related to populism. Anti-globalists and environmentally conscious whites think Walmart is a greedy corporation where fat fucks go to buy cheap junk made by proto-slaves in third world sweatshops. Walmart is a place we rarely go to and feel gross and ashamed about at those times when we do end up there. Hillary likes Walmart.

3. The best Hillary can claim on women’s issues is that she’s pro choice, but so what? So is almost everyone. She remained for all these years an apologist for her husband’s infidelities and misogyny. Worse than that she attacked all of his female accusers and stayed with him even when Bill admitted to some of the transgressions. Perhaps standing by your man isn’t a bad thing, and as a guy I can confirm most of us are pretty sleazy…including me. Yet from the perspective of young feminists today, who are typically inclined to believe any accusation made by a female that involves sexual wrongdoing, Hillary comes off as indifferent at best and hypocritical at worst.

4. When it comes down to it, Hillary is no different than a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. They all have the same donors, from the same system and can only be distinguished by subtle variations in tone and rhetoric. In terms of what an actual presidency would look like, there is very little to differentiate any of them and they are all pretty much interchangeable.

Bernie supporters(both bros and hoes) have chosen him, because his views are more representative of theirs than Hillary’s. Sanders draws support precisely because he authentically holds these views and has a record of fighting for the progressive ideas that Hillary merely pays lip service to. It’s just as simple as that.