[Editor's Note: This article was originally published at The Warden Post on April 18, 2021].
Well, three months into 2021 and it looks like the New Year is already promising to be a continuation of the catastrophe that was 2020. On January 6th, pro-Trump protestors occupied the U.S. Capitol building, driving the warmongering parasitic sycophants that had taken up residence there back into the deepest crannies within the halls of Congress. The backlash that emerged as a result of this “insurrection” was that Facebook and Twitter were given the causus belli that they needed to ban a sitting president of the United States from both their platforms.
Apple and Google also deplatformed the popular conservative app Parler from its stores. Parler, a Twitter alternative that prided itself on allowing its users a much larger degree of free speech on its platform, was virtually blacklisted from the internet and has been officially offline as of January 10th.
We on the Dissident Right have long known that The Great Shuttering was coming, it was just a matter of when. The asterisk presidency of Joe Biden has given the tech oligarchs, as well as the other powers that be, a moment to breathe a sigh of relief for now, and indeed, things as they stand do seem grim. Rightist politics is no longer a game for opportunists and grifters like it was in 2016, there are real consequences now if you’re involved political activism.
For example, Douglass Mackey, better known by his Twitter tag Ricky Vaughn, is facing ten-years in prison for posting memes against the Hilary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election under the pretense that his posting on social media was “a violation of the civils rights conspiracy statute.” Popular pick-up artist and AltLite darling Mike Cernovich also announced his decision to retire from posting political commentary and plans to return to writing self-help books.
To reiterate, dissident politics isn’t a game anymore. The era of the Milos and the Steven Crowders where it was cool and hip to “own the libs” is a thing of the past; there are serious repercussions for voicing the wrong opinions or for sympathizing with those who do. Being a sycophant or an opportunist looking to make money off a bunch of alienated young White men by selling them your own personal brand of radical politics isn’t a winning business strategy anymore. The system isn’t playing around; they see the threat of what a people, united by a political consciousness and oriented towards a goal, can do.
Unfortunately, as was the case with the January 6th protest, the occupiers did not possess a goal in mind in which to pursue to the bitter end. Donald Trump talked a big game on Twitter, he boasted about leading at the head of a “million MAGA march,” urged his supporters to descend on D.C. to protest the “rigged election” and when his supporters did show up, they surrounded the Capitol building in their thousands.
Shocked that so many people were willing to take a bullet for him (and one did) and possessed the absolute daring to stand up and make their voices heard in support for their duly elected president in droves, what did Donald Trump do? He turned tail and told everyone to go home. Now, without a clear goal from their Commander in Chief, what could have been a truly historic moment in American history degenerated into a gaggle of protestors aimlessly putzing around the Capitol building taking selfies. What the hell did Ashli Babbitt die for?
One month later and following in the wake of the chaos of January was the GameStop short squeeze which sent Wallstreet into a panic. Users of r/wallstreetbets from Reddit managed to pool their collective energies together and effectively bankrupt the hedge fund Melvin Capital that had been short selling GameStop stock. However, the populist high which managed to unite normies and dissidents alike from across the political spectrum against the predatory vultures of Wallstreet was short lived and, in the end, we need to ask: what did it manage to accomplish?
Sure, a hedge fund went belly up, the capitalists had their noses snubbed by Ritalin addled gambling junkies who treat the stock market as their personal casino, but in the end the only people who seemed to really benefit from the events of Gamestonk was investor and former pet food retailer CEO, Ryan Cohen. Already enormously wealthy, Cohen managed to walk away with a healthy sum of $1.4 billion dollars after the dust had finally settled. The multinational investment management company BlackRock also made a whopping $3 billion dollars from GME. No small change if you ask me.
As video blogger Keith Woods put it, any attempt at presenting this as a way of “democratizing” capitalism is farcical. To quote Keith, the idea that the differences between the Left and Right will cease to matter, and that we’ll all unite to take down the system by “buying stocks on our iPhones” is completely ridiculous. As the young Irish lad points out, more people participating in the stock market actually benefits the capitalists and the financiers, as it is much easier to dupe people who have no idea what they’re doing than freelancing entrepreneurs and investors who understand the ins-and-outs of the labyrinthine complexities of the market.
But all of this tends to underscore the exact nature of the problem that we are dealing with, namely, that the hegemony that international finance capital has over the planet is so thorough, so expansive and so complete that any possible attempt to replace it with an alternative at this point seems almost unimaginable. Indeed, liberals and conservatives, socialists and Green-progressives alike have all given up on the idea that a system outside of capitalism is anything short of fantasy.
Hard leftists and anarchists will declare that “a better world is possible,” but never go into detail of what kind of world is in fact possible, outside of making sympathetic appeals about injustice, class inequality and the need for a more open and “democratic” society. Others on the Left, such as socialists and Greens, have long given up on the idea of overthrowing the capitalist system in toto and instead seek to “reform” it through generous expansions to the welfare state and by making capitalism more “inclusive” for perceived disadvantaged social minorities.
Liberals, conservatives, and libertarians deny that a problem even exists, and that even if there is a problem, the problem is with you. Don’t have enough money to start a family or send your kids to college? Should’ve worked harder. Upset about the deteriorating quality of the environment due to urban sprawl and overdevelopment and the impact it has on local wildlife? Go hug a tree, hippie!
Liberals and conservatives see capitalism as the fairest possible of all economic systems as it has allowed for more people to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle than any other system since the advent of the industrial revolution. And let’s be honest here, this is certainly true. However, one wonders whether this is because of the inherent “better-ness” of capitalism as such and not because the profit-driven nature inherent to capitalism allowed it to overcome and outcompete all other ideological doctrines of economic life by being by the only remaining system that was able to deliver goods and services in the cheapest, quickest and most profitable manner at the expense of environmental sustainability, access to property ownership and social cohesion.
And make no mistake, profit is really what’s at stake here. In an article for CounterPunch, Craig Collins writes that,
“Growth is not the primary driving force behind capitalism—profit is. When the overall economic pie is expanding, many firms find it easier to realize profits big enough to continually increase their share price. But periods of crisis and collapse can generate huge profits as well. In fact, during systemic contractions, the dog-eat-dog nature of capitalism creates lucrative opportunities for hostile takeovers, mergers and leveraged buyouts, allowing the most predatory firms to devour their competition.”
The fact of the matter is that many investors, as well as entire private equity firms, can make huge profits by effectively betting against the system. One such example is vulture capitalism, where investors buy up failing or vulnerable firms and businesses on the premise of selling them at a profit later. Such a practice was how former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was able to make bank during his time at Bain.
Another, more widely known example, is the 2008 housing crisis where mortgage lenders gave out loans to prospective home buyers knowing that they could never pay them off, ultimately looking to profit off of the debt that would have been incurred once the home buyers would have had to default on their mortgages. However, this cycle of predatory lending came to a screeching halt once it became obvious that there weren’t enough idiots down the road stupid enough to buy into an over-inflated housing market. The impending result led to an overvaluing of the price of real-estate, triggering a financial crisis that almost sent the country into an economic depression.
No empire lasts forever. And the reign of finance-capital seems to have reached a point, like all empires do, where they have overextended their borders, where it becomes ever more costly to man the frontiers. The only option is left is to retreat, to pack up whatever remains and withdraw into the territories closer to the core. For multinational corporations, this would mean that it will eventually be necessary to undertake a series of massive layoffs, at both home and abroad, to consolidate whatever gains remain and to generate potential profit. However, by that time the trend towards economic downturn would already be irreversible. Collins goes on to say that,
“Without access to the cheap, abundant energy needed to extract resources, power factories, maintain infrastructure and transport goods around the world, capitalism’s productive sector will lose its position as the most lucrative source of profit and investment. Transnational corporations will find that their giant economies of scale and global chains of production have become liabilities rather than assets. As profits dwindle, factories close, workers are laid off, benefits and wages are slashed, unions are broken and pension funds are raided – whatever it takes to remain solvent.
Declining incomes and living standards mean poorer consumers, contracting markets and shrinking tax revenues. Of course, collapse can be postponed by using debt to artificially extend the solvency of businesses, consumers and governments. But eventually, paying off debts with interest becomes futile without growth. And, when the credit bubbles burst, the defaults, foreclosures, bankruptcies and financial fiascos that follow can paralyze the economy.”
The future that Collins imagines is one where the capitalist system has effectively become catabolic. This “catabolic capitalism” represents an advanced, and possibly final, stage of capitalism. When perpetual growth no longer becomes possible, capitalism will eventually begin to feed on itself, devouring what little remains of crumbling industries and infrastructure. Social services and welfare programs will be stripped, pensions raided; food, water and gas shortages will become commonplace as shady predatory capitalists' prey upon the hapless masses of what were once thriving major cities.
The future that Collins describes certainly sounds apocalyptic to be sure, but with more and more carpetbaggers fleeing from the increasingly destitute coastal States of New York, New Jersey and California to the economically comfortable States nestled within the Rockies and further into the South, such a calamitous vision of the future does seem increasingly likely as political tensions, civil unrest, economic uncertainty and catastrophic weather patterns caused by a changing climate threaten to make the beginning of the 21st Century one of the most turbulent in recent memory.
However, it needs to be said that Craig Collins appears to be something of a Green-progressive, and therefore fears that “xenophobic demagogues” touting “nationalist authoritarianism” will form a “dark alliance” with the capitalist class, exacerbating what already appears to be a quasi-feudal technocratic corporate oligarchy in the making. While Collins certainly has profound insight in what appears to be a very probable vision of our future, this doesn’t change the fact that the Left has always been go-to buttboy for the capitalist system, providing them with the liturgical language necessary to, as Debord noted, regurgitate theory as mere commodity.
Recently, Coca-Cola has come under fire for attempting to coerce its employees to “be less White” in order to be more understanding of the attitudes of people of color as part of its employee training courses. Such a move reeks of Critical Theory and postcolonial nonsense. The fact of the matter is that postmodern deconstruction, a product of post-Marxian thinking, goes hand in hand with the capitalist impulse to reduce every tribe, nation, kindred, and culture into an amorphous mass of atomized consumers. The relationship between the Left and capitalism can be summarized best by the image of a rainbow flag slapped underneath the neck of a Coca-Cola bottle.
But this shouldn’t take anyone by surprise. What appears at first to be an ideologically contradictory, almost schizophrenic method of operation, is intrinsic to the insidious nature of capitalism itself. As Craig Collins points out at the at beginning of his article,
“Capitalism is a profit-maximizing economic machine. It is not loyal to any person, nation, corporation or ideology. It doesn’t care about the planet or believe in justice, equality, fairness, liberty, human rights, democracy, world peace or even economic growth and the “free market.” Its overriding obsession is maximizing the return on invested capital. Capitalism will pose as a loyal friend of other beliefs and values, or betray them in an instant, if it advances the drive for profit … that’s why it’s called the bottom line!”
The only thing that is needed now is a game plan for how to proceed going forward. Recently, my home State of Texas was hit by a freak series of winter storms that led to rolling blackouts and power outages across the State, the aftermath of such a bizarre meteorological event is still being felt almost everywhere as I am currently writing this article.
As to be expected, this led to mass panic even before the storms had hit the Texas Panhandle and people began to bum rush every supermarket, grocery store and gas station in their surrounding areas. This, admittedly, I was prepared for. But what I was not prepared for was how people reacted after the snow and the ice had melted.
The bitter cold had caused pipes to freeze over and burst, sparking statewide water shortages, especially in heavily populated areas. Even when water was again readily accessible, the fear of another crisis sparked yet another wave of stockpiling. Curiously, when my girlfriend and I were doing our weekend shopping, I couldn’t help but notice that meat, poultry, diary, and other perishables were among the items most hoarded while canned goods and cooking oils were left almost untouched. Given that Texas had just experienced a devastating series of blackouts that had rendered refrigerators and other electronic equipment completely useless, one wonders whether these people and their attempts at stockpiling food would do them any good.
The point of this anecdote is that, as the Federal Empire deteriorates further from interior corruption and nepotism, and the capitalist system is no longer as readily able to deliver goods and services due to the increasing costs and difficulties associated with a worsening political situation in the United States, power failures and food shortages due to crisis buying and agricultural mismanagement are going to be progressively commonplace as the century drags on.
Local communities will have to respond to their own internal needs as the difficulties associated with external reality become ever more painfully aware. By communities I’m not referring to some arbitrary notion of residential subdivisions bound together by a homeowners’ association, rather, what I am referring to are possible intentional communities made up families and groups of individuals brought together for a common purpose.
Whether they be Christian traditionalists looking to escape the degeneracy of postmodern Babylon, eco-anarchists looking to set up a solarpunk utopia, plucky entrepreneurs desiring to “go Galt,” White separatists seeking desiring to establish their own version of Orania or Black nationalists looking to kick Wakanda out of the Marvel Universe into reality, the possibilities are truly endless. But whatever these communities might be, and whomever they are made up of, one thing is for certain, namely, the political reality that we are familiar with is coming to an end.
For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then the shape of things to come will meet us face to face. The problem ahead lies in resisting the stranglehold that finance-capital has over government, private banking, and the rest of our civic institutions. The intentional communities of the future will have to be either completely or mostly self-reliant, founded on a communitarian socialism where every member of the community is regarded as an extension of one’s own extended family. This sentiment, grounded in an ethos of true reciprocity, should also be a part of a greater social nationalism which extends to one’s own home region; whether that be one’s county, one’s State or, in the best possible of all scenarios, to the post-American nation-state that one belongs to, such as a hypothetical Pacific States of America or an independent Republic of Texas, after the Federal Empire has gone its way.
Of course, I understand I am speaking hypothetically, and far be it from me to confuse real political praxis with the stuff of daydreams. Still, we need to, as I’m quite fond of saying in almost anything I write these days, be able to imagine a future after liberalism, after the reign of the financiers, and after the worst excesses of the postmodern experiment have been corrected by a new visionary project that is willing to embrace the modern belief in the need for grand narratives, that a better future is, in fact, possible; by merging them with a healthy postmodern skepticism of universalizing credos and essentialist dogmas while contradictorily rooting them in an traditionalist adherence to transcendent principles such as the sovereign reality of hierarchy, and accepting one’s place in it by becoming what one already is, and through the observance of natural law, by acknowledging that human beings are not mere things-in-themselves but are a working microcosm of different potentialities operating in tandem with one another.
The abovementioned is perhaps left the subject of further discussion for another time. Right now, though, I feel as if enough has already been said. We’re only two months into 2021, and it remains to be seen what potential disasters and catastrophes, or perhaps potential opportunities for radical change in the right direction, will both befall and open themselves up to us further down the course of the New Year.