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Culture War Roundup for the week of October 2, 2023

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There seems to be an idea around many open discussions forums that the left has captured many cultural institutions. This perception seems so persuasive because certain leftist thinkers coined the idea.

While it’s undoubtedly true that many major institutions lean left, it’s also a convenient dodge from the right wing or conservative side in the culture war allowing them to avoid self criticism. In fact it seems that almost any time folks question why right wing values are not more represented in popular culture, the knee-jerk response by conservatives is that the left has captured institutions, so there’s no hope. When the reasonable point is asked as to why this state of affairs can’t be broken by right wing institutions or a similar capture by the right wing, I haven’t seen a good answer.

How has this state of affairs come to be the default? Why did the right lose institutions, and why is there so little discussion about how they can realistically take them back?

When the reasonable point is asked as to why this state of affairs can’t be broken by right wing institutions or a similar capture by the right wing, I haven’t seen a good answer.

Sure you have. You just reject it because it's too despairing. It can't be broken by right-wing institutions because any right-wing institution capable of doing so has already been captured. A similar capture by the right wing isn't possible because the left, having done it, is wise to it.

You just reject it because it's too despairing

Saying that your argument is good because of my emotions is bad form, and rude besides. I'm perfectly aware you think the left is impossible to beat, I simply disagree. Every regime and ideology fails over a long enough time horizon, whether now or in centuries. Besides the modern left is a new beast in many ways, and vulnerable near it's birth given that the values are still necessarily messy.

It's not so much that the left can be beaten, but it can be made less relevant by occupying a smaller share of the pie of discourse, and also reputational damage. Academic misconduct scandals (such as faked studies), fake news, cancel culture, viral videos of looting and crime and decay, CRT/wokeness in schools and universities erodes the general public's support for the left. People will tolerate some , like gay marriage, but go too far too fast and they will reject it. It was genius sorta how the left made gay marriage normal or acceptable. They are trying with the trans issue but coming up against way more forcefull resistance.

Fundamentally, conservatism and reaction are not really very appealing to intellectual and creative types. People with an inclination towards thinking, ideals, criticism, reform, improvement, progress, solving Big Problems will naturally gravitate towards a movement that embraces those things.

It's come up before here that the Right often struggles to articulate a positive vision for the future. This is, of course, true. Conservatives are not visionaries or imagineers, their goals are articulated in terms of things that actually exist and are possible. Maybe recreating the social and economic conditions of the 50s or 00s wouldn't be ideal, but at least it's something that was actually done before and could actually exist again. And to many conservatives, the lack of Big Crazy Radical ideas is precisely the appeal of the movement, though they might not phrase things in those terms.

I think suggesting that the right doesn’t attract thinkers is wrong. As I said below, I think it does. The difference between liberal and conservative thinking types is where they gravitate to. Conservative thinkers tend to end up in the business world where the ideas are built in various forms. I don’t think anyone would say someone like Elon Musk doesn’t have a Big Crazy Radical idea for the future. The reason he’s not an academic is that he’s too busy building rockets, self-driving cars, and Starlink. Hollywood left has long been criticized for reusing characters and turning famous and popular characters diverse. What they aren’t generally doing is creating new franchises they aren’t making the kind of entertainment that can stand on its own.

Which is more attractive to thinkers? Go to work in academia, make peanuts for decades write reams of journal articles that might maybe be read once or twice, write books that nobody cares about, and teach classes. Go to work for Elon Musk and build a platform that will put a man on Mars within ten years. Build AI that can solve problems, build cars that drive themselves. Build that big bright beautiful future. I just don’t see how a starry eyed thinker who wants a better future for humanity would be content simply dreaming about that future when building it is within reach. I think academia is likely to be more attractive to people who lack self confidence and confidence in their ideas simply because it’s the place where ideas go to die in a sense. It’s perfectly safe to put your dreams in a journal nobody will ever see. It’s perfectly safe to advocate for changes to society or criticize art from the safety of a job you can’t be fired from.

I think the difference is that conservatives tend to attract the doers rather than the idealistic.

As someone who is smarter than the average academic and chose to go into industry, this is how I've always thought of it. A lot of leftists have an ideological hatred of industry, or at least think of it as vulgar. So they just stay in academia forever, if they can, even if they have to accept adjunct wages.

I had the grades and test scores to get into a high-ranked PhD program, but I wanted to go into industry, partly for the money, but partly because industry is awesome. In the years since, I've gained more respect for what academia could have been, while simultaneously losing respect for what it actually is. Sometimes I wish I'd stuck around for a PhD so I could do research, but if I had, I'd be doing research in industry.

This creates a vicious cycle, where the overrepresentation of leftists in academia allows them to make it less attractive to non-leftists, which further increases their overrepresentation, and now it's become so extreme that they've been allowed to enforce ideological tests for hiring.

Conservative thought and art is rich, deep, and tragic. Any tradition that includes things as disparate as the Scottish Enlightment, the Classics, American Founding, the first fantasy novels, etc. is robust.

So it should appeal to the intellectual type. But perhaps the problem is that while there is a lot to learn there is perhaps little to say (the field is robust). So in publish or perish perhaps The incentives are against re trodding well trodded areas?

it seems like conservativism in the context of the arts is either really deep or absent, whereas liberalism in the arts is a wider spectrum of high, low and middle-brow tastes.

Fundamentally, conservatism and reaction are not really very appealing to intellectual and creative types. People with an inclination towards thinking, ideals, criticism, reform, improvement, progress, solving Big Problems will naturally gravitate towards a movement that embraces those things.

This didn't seem to be true until the modern era. I don't think it's a fundamental human trait, more that the fact that our modern mythos is one of Science and Progress, and so our stories and myths (i.e. media) attract that type of person. Stories that contradict the holy march of Progress are not as popular or accepted.

It's come up before here that the Right often struggles to articulate a positive vision for the future. This is, of course, true. Conservatives are not visionaries or imagineers, their goals are articulated in terms of things that actually exist and are possible. Maybe recreating the social and economic conditions of the 50s or 00s wouldn't be ideal, but at least it's something that was actually done before and could actually exist again. And to many conservatives, the lack of Big Crazy Radical ideas is precisely the appeal of the movement, though they might not phrase things in those terms.

I think conservatives do have a vision of the 'future', but we've come to conflate the idea of 'future' with increased technological progress. Without more and better tech, there can be no future. It's baked into the core memeplex of modernity.

This didn't seem to be true until the modern era.

Before the modern era, Westerners had a utopian vision provided to them by their religion, and most of their intellectual life centered around that. Today’s leftism has a utopian vision that’s even better because it requires less suspension of disbelief, whereas conservatism has nothing. Maybe if the right fully embraced something like National Socialism, they would be more competitive.

Striving after a sublime ideal may not be a fundamental human trait, but it may be an upper-crust European trait. I shouldn’t need to explain the concept of different selection pressures here.

Today’s leftism has a utopian vision that’s even better because it requires less suspension of disbelief, whereas conservatism has nothing.

No, it does not. Left wing utopianism is more appealing to intellectuals than right wing religious utopianism in large part because it promises a utopia without restrictions on their behavior through it's-best-not-to-ask-too-hard. Part of the appeal of blaming systemic whatever is simply that it doesn't demand a change in personal behavior. You can do drugs, have casual sex, seek pleasure, and only tip your waiter what you want to tip- it doesn't affect the systemic problem because systemic level problems require systemic level solutions.

By contrast right wing religious utopianism demands strong restrictions on personal behavior. Puritan New England is famous for its harsh and micromanagerial rule of law- yet it came much closer to being a shining city on a hill than the USSR ever did to being a worker's paradise. Religious right wingers are correct that casual sex has lots of negative and no positive externalities, but realistically it can't be stopped by getting people to decide to abstain voluntarily. And the decision to voluntarily avoid engaging in anti-social behavior is frequently hitting 'cooperate' when everyone else hits 'defect'. And notably intellectuals are almost by definition smart enough to figure that out.

Systemic this and systemic that doesn't actually demand changes to personal behavior. You might be guilty of systemic racism, but your personal obligation to fix it is to pressure someone else, which is a lot less of an ask than having to go personally do things.

It helps that the liberal intelligentsia utopia is also conceived by those very intelligentsia in which they are the self-anointed rulers of their utopia. Right-wing religious utopia always puts god on top.

I think you underestimate the degree of hypocrisy religion involved traditionally. Not that there aren’t exceptions, there are always cults and monasteries for people with extreme propensity to self-sacrifice, but generally, wholeheartedly believing something is wrong and then doing it anyway it very easy and natural. Christianity even explicitly accounts for this with its concept of universal sin. The Christian utopia is not the shining city on a hill but the kingdom of heaven. And since the kingdom of heaven is supernatural and salvation is a gift of God, it’s even possible to be a complete antinomian without compromising on any of the metaphysical beliefs.

Moreover, is modern society less restrictive because it’s less supernaturalist or is it the other way around, or are the two developments unrelated? Seemingly anyone’s guess.

Institutions are the home of the elite. If the right wants to hold the institutions, it needs to self-consciously build a culture of elitism. Right now it's doing the opposite.

That is, it's not merely that the left has successfully expelled the right, it's that the right is messaging to ambitious young elite-to-bes that "we don't want you". E.g. both the left and the right embrace their fair share of unscientific nonsense - but the left proclaims "trust the science" while the right says "do your own research". The message from one side is elites are good, on the other it's that they can't be trusted. So if you're a status seeking institutional sort of person, which side feels the most welcoming?

It doesn't have to be this way of course. It used to be that the "old boys club" would look out for each other, turn up their noses at the unwashed masses, go to the opera, etc. Think Sir Humphrey Appleby - "This is a British democracy! Some things are too important to be left to the hands of the barbarians. Like the universities - Both of them."

Yeah I agree, the right in the US has no high culture. People can mock effete David French types (and to some extent they should), but when even patrician, well educated WASPs like Tucker Carlson are playing with some kind of folksy midwestern hunting lodge aesthetic it’s a little embarrassing.

In truth, any classical orchestral concert (except maybe video game music), any opera (even Wagner), any classical ballet or theater, almost all the audience are urban liberals. Any gallery exhibit, even the most staid, uncontroversial classical landscapes, say Constable, most attendees (certainly under the age of 65) will be urban progressives. Obviously some of that is because of the location of major galleries, concert halls etc. But also, young DR types will retweet long threads about classical art and architecture and music and theater but then not engage with the spaces that are actually keeping those traditions alive. Cons don’t become classical violinists or shakespearean actors or art historians, they don’t even recreationally see these things in many cases. How much money that the NY Phil raises in a year (from tickets or donations) is coming from conservatives? Is it any wonder these institutions are progressive as a result?

That’s the sad reality, it’s the right’s enemies that are keeping much of the heritage of western high culture alive while cons watch Nascar and Yellowstone.

any opera (even Wagner)

I went to see Das Rheingold when it was playing a few weeks ago at the Royal Opera House and yep, pretty much everyone there coded as a westernized urban progressive to me (tbf, my looks/dress probably code me as a westernized urban progressive as well so this doesn't mean they were so). It was all modern this and modern that, pretty much nobody dressed up in the ways you'd expect a conservative to do so, even though there was no strict dress code (people came in wearing jeans and t shirts, but styled in ways that strongly hinted urban liberal).

my looks/dress probably code me as a westernized urban progressive as well so this doesn't mean they were so

Can you unpack what this dichotomy between your “looks/dress” and what you actually are? Like are too a BAP/DR chud type with blue hair or something?

Don’t mean to interrogate you or anything, I’m just genuinely curious.

Oh no, not at all. My hair is natural and everything. It's more that I'm relatively slim and wear expensive completely westernized clothing (not the tacky sort where you're a walking advertisement for multiple brands, but the tasteful sort where those who know, know and everyone else just thinks you're wearing well fitting normal stuff) while being visibly non-white (the ethnicity). Also the way I speak (mannerisms, speed) is an instant giveaway too. There's just a certain aura that westernized urban progressives have about them and I would say I have it too.

My opinions I'll leave you to decide on based on my post history, but you'd be hard pressed to say they are progressive or even pro modern western beliefs.

Just imagine Gandalf the White.

Yeah I think dress codes have died in London outside of those few very old school Pall Mall members clubs that (partially) cling on. In NYC even that’s gone, the Harvard and Yale now have some vague smart casual codes but they’re not taken seriously by either of them. Crazy to think that as recently as the 50s, nice restaurants would enforce not merely a suit but black tie!

I agree with this observation, but do you have any idea why this state of affairs came to be?

I'd idly hypothesize it's something about cities attracting more liberals, and conservatives generally being poorer over the last few decades while much of this 'high art' is expensive. That and the fact that high art has become increasingly decoupled from religion.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts though?

I am a very weird person so my feelings probably don't generalize, but for as long as I've remembered I've had the feeling of getting the implicit signal that "high" art is not for me.

Specifically, I've felt that one's supposed to interact with high art with preconceived notions of what's good and what's not, with the actual act of viewing/reading/listening to something being a bit of an afterthought. You're supposed to like the things that have been declared Good and Worthy, with little room for discussion. I'll take people slinging their personal flaming uninformed opinions about the latest vidya with great fervor over that consensus-driven stagnation every day.

Incidentally, there were attempt to bring that top-down consensus "its Art and it's Good" enforcement to the world of video games, but they failed miserably. Remember The Path, Graveyard, and Bientot l'ete? The auteurs that made them eventually quit game development after having a meltdown about the uncultured gamers. Meanwhile, people like Daniel Mullins prove that you can be high-concept without ghettoizing yourself.

I don't really know why. I think the right's trend towards a low-class working man vibe and away from a distinguished-man-of-society vibe has been going on since well before I was born, so it's a little difficult to see how it started.

If I had to guess though, I would blame communism. The era when we had a conservative wealthy elite was also the era when the left wing unwashed masses were attracted to ideas about eating the rich and so forth. To fight the popular appeal of communism, the right started to emphasize the value of individualism and entrepreneurialism - embracing the values of "new money" over "old money". Efforts were made to cultivate ambition and to get people to strive for upward social mobility instead of gatekeeping the rabble out.

By the time you get to the 80s you have full blown Thatcherism dominating the right, proclaiming "there is no such thing as society". It's a formula built to appeal to small business owners and others with an image of making their own way in the world, rather than fitting into the august institutions of the past.

Is this true? I dunno. But it's the story I tell myself.

Cons will spend $600 on their family trip to an NFL game or $750 for a family of four to go to a high attendance NASCAR race lmao, by contrast (as Hoff says) ‘high culture’ stuff is cheap unless you’re in the best seats in the house (which also cost many thousands at the above) or want to join the donor class, which is unnecessary. Many galleries and museums are literally free, and orchestras, opera and ballet (almost all nonprofit) are heavily subsidized by governments (in Europe) and wealthy donors (in the US). This means most attendees will pay much less than their share of the cost.

Opera tickets in the UK are significantly cheaper than Premier League football tickets, plus you get treated a lot better at the venue too. The national gallery etc. are all free to visit too.

while much of this 'high art' is expensive

Back-section tickets for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra cost like $25 apiece. This is not some ultra-expensive, exclusive experience. If anything, I could speculate that what’s really keeping a lot of conservatives away is that these are not kid-friendly experiences. When people bring their young kids to the symphony or to the theatre, almost inevitably the kids act up out of boredom at some point and need to be taken home. Unless you can get a babysitter, these are not places you can (or should) bring young families.

You can look into the works of Heterodox Academy, which shows that there indeed is institutional capture of education by the left. The why is an exercise for the reader.

I think the right cant conpete by capturing things of their own is because the right inherently lacks creativity. They are stuck on ye good old days while the future leaves them behind. Is anyone on the right wing even doing anything about/with LLMs? The foremost technology of our times?

the right inherently lacks creativity.

This is incredibly false. The meme economy alone disproves this. Leftist memes are meandering walls of text, or straight up transcriptions from video essays. Right wing memes are much funnier and more concise. Leftist versions of, say, Stonetoss, for example, just aren't anywhere near as good.

Btw, what is the left wing version of Stonetoss anyways?

Breadpanes, which is extremely cringe. And also coincidentally and humorously also suffers from walls-o-text.

xkcd and SMBC comics.

I really wouldn't call SMBC left wing. xkcd I agree is left wing, but even he does a lot of tech/nerd stuff rather than political zingers all the time which is Stonetoss's mainstay.

SMBC increases presence women and non-whites relative to real life. What is not left-wing about SMBC?

I agree about latter point: mainly nerd/tech stuff with little politics.

SMBC leans leftwards, but not exclusively. For example, I couldn't see XKCD (or another true left cartoon) make something like determined, that lampooned a leftwing talking point.

See also: heretic (anti-progressive), look-2 (pro-small town), buds (poking fun at LGBT++), pig (anti-sustainability), metrics (anti social science). etc.

EDIT: this one is too perfect to leave out, even if a comic from 2009 is too old to be relevant to the conversation. Radical is pretty perfect too.

It's extremely preoccupied with "REPRESENTATION" and general left leaning things. But I'd grant you its not infected with brainworms level of political toxoplasmosis.

Mostly just edits of Stonetoss.

I guess the blobfish comics count.

99% of memes are apolitical things like this. RW memes are funny, but RW memes are also almost all variations on one core theme (ie the smuggie). Also, plenty of RW memes (ie famous green texts; some collages) are literally walls of text and/or image.

I mean this comment rather proves his point. The vast majority of historians, sociologists, political scientists, musicians, writers, artists etc. etc. are all at least on the centre-left, but that's balanced out because the right demonstrates its sparkling creativity with... memes.

Memes are a much, much more effective way of disseminating your ideas into the population than stuffy academic papers or news articles.

You can expose people to a lot through memes sure, but when push comes to shove most people will place a lot more weight on the words of an authority figure than an anonymous internet poster.

They're good at disseminating ideas into the population, but not into the halls of power.

Memes are evidently not left. But I am not entirely sure if the right can lay claim to them, even if the left can't. Memes seem to be mostly, apolitical or reactionary (4chan), which isn't the boomer dinosaur right wing that most of the right-wing pundits are.

I think there’s an issue that the right tends to have other priorities. They don’t want to go and become a lecturer at a university simply because there are other, more practical uses of their time and talent. Especially in the humanities, there’s just nothing practical about joining an institution to study things nobody cares about to produce articles and books that will never be read. In the arts, I suppose it’s a bit different as you can make movies or something, but the time between trying to get in and being able to do something of your own is often large and the competition is stiff.

Liberals tend to not be as practical minded and might be content to take a position with no chance of a reward (phd lecturers essentially make the same wage as fast food workers with little hope of tenure, where going into the private sector can net you 100K a year for the right fields).

produce articles and books that will never be read

ok, some books are never read, but say, wikipedia articles, are read a lot and the right already lost this years ago.

My point if that if you told a conservative kid that he could make 100K a year doing computer stuff that millions of people would use and do things with, or they could stay in college, live off scholarship money and spend a decade researching stuff no one cares about and writing a book that no one will ever know exists, this isn’t something that would be appealing to people with the talent and ambition to get things done in the real world. Even the Wikipedia, I think would run down that line. Liberals don’t tend to be ambitious and therefore marching through institutions or editing Wikipedia all the time or publishing critiques of pop culture because they aren’t necessarily doing things other then politics.

It's pretty well documented that university leftists will aggressively block hires and promotions for purely ideological reasons. They gang up on the farthest right person, get rid of them, then move on to the next farthest right.

Also many on the left, even the more moderate, have a "no enemies to the left" frame of view where they see anyone farther to the left as a harmless idealist who won't be dangerous if you don't aggravate them.

Most leftists - ie. people who would generally share Rudi Dutschke's principles - would consider the "long march of the institutions" a failure; ie. socialists went to the universities and then institutions, but then the institutions considered them, leading to them implicitly or explicitly renouncing their socialist principles.

Also, one of the reasons why the left appeals to cultural producers, university workers, media types etc. is simply that the (conservative) right has been intent on turbo-shitting on these institutions for a long time. I personally know moderate or somewhat right-aligned university types who have grown to despise the right for automatically going "Oh, you're a university lecturer and thus automatically a commie, that explains it" when they disagree with the right-wingers even mildly, and journalists who got continuously flamed by antivaxx right-wing conspiracists whenever they wrote anything about Covid, even if it was neutral or lock-down critical but not in the "correct" way.

Sure, right-wingers usually reply to this by saying that the left-wingers in those institutions started first and they're just responding, but it's still always a two-way street.

Most leftists - ie. people who would generally share Rudi Dutschke's principles - would consider the "long march of the institutions" a failure; ie. socialists went to the universities and then institutions, but then the institutions considered them, leading to them implicitly or explicitly renouncing their socialist principles.

The problem with this idea is that economics is no longer the defining characteristic of being a leftist. You could be a literal Stalinist, but if you don't update your cultural ideas to the latest package, you're "far right". Sure, the left wingers that primarily cared about their economic ideas got shafted hard, and their march through the institutions failed, but the march of the cultural left has been a clear and overwhelming success.

Sure, right-wingers usually reply to this by saying that the left-wingers in those institutions started first and they're just responding, but it's still always a two-way street.

Your logic seems circular here. In order to argue that the left appeals to cultural producers, you cite cultural producers trying to appeal to the left, as they are supposedly representing the right. This might be the right way to do it, but it's predictable that it will generate a backlash, even Moldbug got shat on when he did that with his "Hobbits vs Dark Elves" thing.

The second problem is that it's not even about "they started it". If your theory was true, there'd be a symmetrical backlash of cultural producers against the left, because they also get turbo-shitted-on, whenever they mildly disagree with the leftwing zeitgeist (see: Angela Nagle, Freddie deBoer, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibi, the entirety of TERFdom).

Your logic seems circular here.

It describes a circular tendency. The cultural producers/media types and right-wingers attack each other and grow further apart from each other in a circular motion. The right-wingers just seem to almost automatically ignore their own role in this development, just pretending that their comments are harmless screaming into the void and change nothing.

(see: Angela Nagle, Freddie deBoer, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibi, the entirety of TERFdom).

All of these, expect arguably DeBoer, have moved rightwards, in large part due to attacks on them by the leftists.

It describes a circular tendency. The cultural producers/media types and right-wingers attack each other and grow further apart from each other in a circular motion. The right-wingers just seem to almost automatically ignore their own role in this development, just pretending that their comments are harmless screaming into the void and change nothing.

So let's imagine an alternative world where the right wing base smiles an nods when someone like Moldbug tells them they are just hobbits who need to be ruled over, and they need to forget about fighting for hobbit things like abortion bans. The only way this results in the views of the right wing base being better represented among cultural producers, is that the entirety of the right wing base has been moved leftward. Therefore, you cannot use this to explain why right wing views aren't represented in our cultural institutions.

All of these, expect arguably DeBoer, have moved rightwards, in large part due to attacks on them by the leftists.

If moving rightwards refers to who they're friends with, sure, if it refers to their views, I'm not sure I'm buying that. But even if you're right notice how any movement here is limited to specific individuals, while you're explaining the same mechanism being responsible for a shift of entire institutions when it's done by the right.

Therefore, you cannot use this to explain why right wing views aren't represented in our cultural institutions.

I'm not trying to say it's some sort of a complete explanation. It's just one of the things affecting the representation. I mean, it should be an obvious, uncontested point that this sort of a two-way street exists - right-wing actions also lead to a counter-reaction.

But even if you're right notice how any movement here is limited to specific individuals, while you're explaining the same mechanism being responsible for a shift of entire institutions when it's done by the right.

It was you, yourself, who chose to mention specific individuals.

Institutions consist of individuals. If enough individuals within some specific institution are pushed to some direction, that will at least put pressure on the institution to do likewise.

I'm not trying to say it's some sort of a complete explanation. It's just one of the things affecting the representation. I mean, it should be an obvious, uncontested point that this sort of a two-way street exists - right-wing actions also lead to a counter-reaction.

What's the point of posting an explanation that is so incomplete, that you can observe the same phenomenon on the left with opposite results?

It was you, yourself, who chose to mention specific individuals.

But you tried using them to make a point which is unsupportable.

Institutions consist of individuals. If enough individuals within some specific institution are pushed to some direction, that will at least put pressure on the institution to do likewise.

There's a few problems with this. One is that left wing attacks on people seem to have the effect if moving an institution even more to the left, see Evergreen. Then, even if the reaction - counterreaction mechanic had the same effect for the left and the right, not every individual has the same influence in an institution. If the people attacked by the left and move rightwards, but the people making hiring / firing decisions remain hard left, the institution will go even further left.

I mean, it should be an obvious, uncontested point that this sort of a two-way street exists - right-wing actions also lead to a counter-reaction.

It should be, but it isn't. There's little counter-reaction against the left, and nothing significant or lasting. The "counter-reaction" theory is mostly an excuse to advocate the right do nothing.

Institutions consist of individuals. If enough individuals within some specific institution are pushed to some direction, that will at least put pressure on the institution to do likewise.

Or to cut those individuals out (as indeed often happens) or force them back into the fold.

Everything has been getting so much better, for so long now, that asking ‘wait guys why are we all just getting more completely miserable?’ has the magnetic force of a skunk’s ass

Everything has been getting so much better, for so long now, that asking ‘wait guys why are we all just getting more completely miserable?’ has the magnetic force of a skunk’s ass

Everything has been getting better?

Are you sure about that? What are family formation rates looking like? Local manufacturing? Levels of societal trust? The military, media and political institutions are all hopelessly corrupt and you don't even have to be particularly smart to see that the economic strategy of the last few decades has largely consisted of kicking a can down an increasingly short length of road. The geopolitical scene is a complete disaster and has been hopelessly mismanaged to boot. Don't forget a variety of other problems lurking in the wings - climate change is already starting to have an impact, and I don't think we've even started dealing with the sheer quantities of pollution that the modern world has generated either.

Some things have gotten better - but a lot of the things which are really essential to human flourishing and living the kind of life that a lot of people want have gotten far more difficult. Ever looked at the collective measurements of women's happiness over time? There's absolutely a reason that "why are we all just getting more completely miserable" is gaining traction, and those reasons were strong enough to let Donald Trump of all people get into the presidency.

"had" I'd say -- it's hard to avoid the feeling that the walls are closing in on various interests (firearms, vaping, lightbulbs, driving cars, freedom of speech -- take your pick) these days.

While any one of these is probably not worth going to war over, every camel has his breaking point.

The economy seems perilous as well. It just sorta feels like the dam is about to break. I don’t have proof. Just a gut feeling that I think many share.

I can agree with this take, at least anecdotally. It increasingly seems like the economy is only perceived as good because of number shuffling by fancy finance grads with creative statistics. Whereas the reality on the ground for poor folks is getting worse and worse in actuality.

It would track with the increasing amount of rage coming from the right as well, which I think is generally made up of poorer people than the left.

I do well for myself. So it isn’t being poor. But my wage should go further than it does and makes me wonder how the vast majority of people who make less than me get by.

That’s what makes me think it’s a house of cards. I think people are in more hawk and once the consumer spending stops Because credit limits are hit the fall could be sudden and extreme.

It's only hard to avoid feeling that way if you are in a filter bubble that is pushing those narratives and subconsciously motivated to accept them.

Most people feel fine about those things, if they ever think about them at all. Or, more to the point, picking a few narrow interests where there have been some new regulations is a form of cherrypicking; it says little about the state of the world overall, you could find similar contemporary examples at any point in history.

If by "filter bubble" you mean "enjoyer of things some government flak wants to ban/fuck up" and by "subconsciously motivated" you mean "doesn't want things he enjoys banned/fucked up" then sure, I guess -- the point of the comment is that this tendency is spreading from niche issues (vaping lets say) to things that are less so (guns) and now seems to be at things that are decidedly non-niche. (cars, fucking up the economy)

it says little about the state of the world overall, you could find similar contemporary examples at any point in history.

Like, uh -- Prohibition, I guess? That went well.

I'm struggling to find a historical example similar to 'let's ban IC cars in five years' -- what did you have in mind?

Internal combustion cars are not going to be banned in five years. I don't where you're getting that from.

But think about McCarthyism or the Comics Code Authority, warning labels on music and stores refusing to stock albums after government investigations, etc. The government is always having a panic and going after something or other.

The point being that now they are panicing about many things at once -- which feels like walls closing in.

(Seems as though many governments are waver somewhat on their timelines, but 2030 was originally a popular date for banning sales of IC vehicles; looks like 2035 is the new 'real soon now', which is still absolutely insane and will be very unpopular to the extent that it's actually implemented. You think some Hollywood people being investigated for communism is equivalent to Greater London enforcing crippling taxes on vehicles they don't like?)

Ok, so by 'IC cars will be banned in 5 years' you meant 'several environmental agencies have suggested phasing out new sales of IC cars to consumers within the next 12 years'.

That is indeed much closer to what I expected, and pretty much demonstrates my point about filter bubbles distorting your perception of the world.

It is interesting that discovering this huge gap between what you thought was happening, and what is actually happening, does not seem to have changed your position or argument at all. I propose that it should have, and I would be interested to hear your thought process on how you reacted to learning this.

Anyway, if we're moving from 'actual laws on the book' to 'proposals by agencies for things they think we should do a decade from now', then yes, we've always had lots of crazy shit like that, and we can't remember most of it because most of it never actually happens.

No, I mean governments have committed to this and informed auto manufacturers that it will be the case. Read the fucking link man.

The UK originally said 2030; they've since slid it back to 2035 -- it's still uncomfortably close.

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No, I think that Hollywood people being investigated by the US Congress for their political beliefs and losing their jobs is worse than London taxing vehicles that are harmful to the both the local and global environments.

OK, and the Holodomor was worse than the Armenian genocide -- the Armenians were still correct to be concerned.

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The London system exempts almost every vehicle made after 2006. That’s hardly crippling, almost nobody will pay.

If almost nobody will pay, then why waste all the money putting up cameras and whatnot?

Obviously they think they stand to make a profit on the enterprise, or they wouldn't.

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The London system exempts almost every vehicle made after 2006

The average vehicle age is 9 years (making the average vehicle on the road there a 2014 model), so the people who are still driving cars made in 2006 and earlier are also obviously poorer than average, since the 200,000+ km cars that are 20 years old are currently the only thing they can even afford (not that the shutdowns over the last 2 weeks weren't hardest on the poor to begin with, through the combination of banning the businesses they work at and directly causing consumer good prices to inflate through various means).

So it's a highly regressive tax by design, levied specifically against the people who can't pay it, for the explicit purpose of taxing their private transport away (and heavily enshittifying what they even can afford in the first place).

After all, nobody needs a high-capacity assault vehicle that can travel over 500km and recharges in 5 minutes. God forbid anyone ever want to spend the extra cash not to have to wait the extra time it takes for transit to get them anywhere, that's a privilege only environmentalists and bureaucrats should be able to afford.

For now it does -- do you think that this will be a static thing?

Already a fair number of people feel strongly enough about it to go after the cameras -- so some people are expecting to pay I guess? Both of my vehicles are pre-2006, and I'm making 6 figures -- are there no working poors in the LMA?

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Ideas so unattractive we must ensure they are demonetized, deplatformed, and delisted from searches, lest someone bumps into them accidentally.

Yeah that's the great irony - it's Schrodinger's right wing. We're in furious agreement that like you're suggesting 'normal' ideas are tautologically popular. But, only 'weirdos' rock the boat. Given a choice between being unfulfilled and having to do laundry by hand...

You'd take doing laundry by hand, right? I get you are presenting a way of thinking, but presented with that choice which would you go for?

Sure, I'm laundry by hand all the way. For example, I've genuinely come around to thinking that penicillin was a mistake (because its' widespread adoption inadvertently launched a never-ending biological arms race).

But that won't stop a good chunk of people from saying they hate doing laundry already and 'fulfillment' is lame and for tryhards

Is the biological arms race not overstated? There are strains of a few diseases resistant to some common antibiotics, but there’s backup antibiotics, and backup to the backup antibiotics, and etc, and those strains are generally not dominant, anyways- they’re mostly found in hospitals(where they are indeed a problem) and the general public doesn’t have to worry about them much at all.

(because its' widespread adoption inadvertently launched a never-ending biological arms race).

I think this is in large part due to human mismanagement. If we used antibiotics sensibly and judiciously the superbug problem would not be an issue at all - but instead we decided to just dump them into all of our animal feed and hand them out like candy for incredibly trivial problems.

In an arms race, your enemy's tactics change to something more deadly, because you've left whatever Schelling point had let two sentient competitors settle on less-deadly weapons. The end state is some new equilibrium where war is more deadly to both sides.

In the evolution of antibiotic resistance, our enemies' tactics change to something equally or potentially less deadly, because optimal virulence decreases for a disease that risks eradication as soon as it's noticed and because constraining an optimization problem (especially with a constraint as extreme as "evade custom-targeted poisons and the human immune system at the same time) never makes the optimum higher. The end state is one where the very best most evolved "superbug" bacteria, the ones immune to any known antibiotic ... are thereby back to the "no antibiotics" status quo at most, not deadlier.

We call them "superbugs" only because the status quo where every germ was that dangerous was just that awful, not because it would somehow be even more awful for only a fraction to again be that dangerous.

For example, I've genuinely come around to thinking that penicillin was a mistake (because its' widespread adoption inadvertently launched a never-ending biological arms race).

never-ending biological arms race was already happening, penicillin give humans powerful weapon that gets less powerful but is still really powerful and unlocked entire piles of things that can be used

both me and my brother would be dead without antibiotics and thousands (millions?) of other people as well

both me and my brother would be dead without antibiotics and thousands (millions?) of other people as well

He doesn't really believe that in any way that matters. The doomerism of reactionaries that realize that their visions are never going to happen manifests in strange and heterodox ways (IE posting that you wish antibiotics were never invented)

...a similar capture by the right wing, I haven’t seen a good answer.

That's just not who they are.

You might as well ask "why doesn't the Right train union reps, journalists, and teachers to rebalance the Culture War?" The right-wing leadership would love if that happened, but the candidates are too busy being truckers, miners, and chemists to bother.

Despite the name, the right and left aren't perfect mirror images of each other. Something that works for one side doesn't necessarily work for the other even in a level playing field.

Honestly, I feel like the Right staked a claim on anti-elitism and anti-intellectualism long ago. Which is great for populist rallying of the masses, but pretty bad for running institutions where the top layers of management will pretty much always be elites and intellectuals.

I've genuinely come to believe that our society emphasizes 'reason' and 'science' or rational ways of understanding the world far too much. While it's not well articulated, I'd argue people on the right inherently value things like intuition and emotion more, they just don't have the words to explain it because, well, that's kind of the point.

I mean I think they call it things like 'faith' or 'common sense'.

Fair point!

How has this state of affairs come to be the default? Why did the right lose institutions, and why is there so little discussion about how they can realistically take them back?

It's hard to tell how exactly it happened. One of my pet ideas is we haven't really been creating history after World War II, so you're left with half-remembered culture war anecdotes. Maybe someone autistic enough will dig out an article excerpt for you. And even if history was still being written, it would have been written by the victors.

In any case my best guess as to how it happened was a combination of entryism, and conservatives being quokkas (or in my darker moments, that their establiahment is knowingly playing on the same team as progressives, but has to put on a show or their base would rebel). It stands to reason that the side using entryism would pull up the ladder behind them.

And regarding the discussion on how to take them back... Man, when someone has literally done just that, outlining essentially Ghandi tactics, maybe combined with building parallel institutions, you claimed it's calling for a civil war.

Seems like basic thrive/survive dynamics.

Conservatives are in favor when times are tough.

Liberals rule the day when the summer days are long, and people forget the cold dark winter.

The post WWII period has been 75 years of unprecedented peace, prosperity, population increase, and technological improvement. Is it any wonder that liberals are ascendant? Personally, I think too much of the seed corn is being spent, but I'm not confident in this assertion. Every foolhardy excess in the last 75 years has worked out. The current regulatory and fiscal environment seems doomed to collapse, but maybe AI will bail us out this time.

Personally, I think too much of the seed corn is being spent, but I'm not confident in this assertion.

I believe mostly the same thing - except I think the seed corn isn't being spent but rather has already been eaten, and I'm much more confident. That said I view the seed corn in this case mostly as a combination of fossil fuel energy reserves and social capital.

I'm skeptical of mundane demand-driven explanations, when I see how much effort goes into preventing non-Liberal viewpoints from ever being seen. Your explanation would make sense if you could clearly see non-leftwing communities participating on the exact same rules ase the leftwing ones, but just failing to get much attention, rather than routinely getting banned.

The right wing should do patronage of good culture and right wing culture and abandon an ethos of disengagement and libertarian ethos.

Why?

Because if you know artists, they care first and foremost about doing their things and getting money and recognition. The reason the left has been so successful its because it is willing to provide support, and to deprive them for not aligning with them.

Secondly, people who are actually on your side will also act based on incentives.

And thirdly, because the end result is desirable. A culture of just whining, about leftist cultural output is impotent. There is nothing wrong with complaining about what is bad, but you should also promote what is good. We need a society that promotes good art and and good culture. There is more to life than line going up. And if you don't try to fill that vacuum, someone else will.

What this means effectively? A right wing goverment should defund leftist artists and promote rightist artists and allow people to join the side. Soon you will discover that many artists are actually rightists who were afraid to express themselves.

It also means promoting art programs.

Also some kind of art tends to be of a more negative and leftist form like rap and modern art. Not all but more commonly.

Beyond the goverment, right wingers and not leftists should care more about networking to promote art that isn't left wing. It doesn't have to be explicitly political. Lord of the Rings for example qualifies. Just accurate adaptation of great classics of western literature without left wing ideological blinders would also qualify.

Putting regulations in place to make them illegal or underpromote far left racebending art and make them less financially viable, and giving incentives for art that respects the source material for example.

Of course, someone could object to a certain particularly aggressive moves in terms of what you promote and not promote, and in being excessively far to the right and excessively intolerant. And I could even agree with them in some cases.

However, in the current status quo, things are so lopsized in the direction of the left that it is pushing the culture landscape in a more pluralistic phase to have less race bending far left culture being promoted and more right wing.

This means that more right wing patronage of art is good even from a more neutral, pluralistic standpoint. Which is a general pattern of the culture war, even outside art. If someone is fine with leftist domination and escalation then a position in favor of an impotent disengaged right makes sense. We don't have a sufficiently neutral and moderate status quo though for defence of the status quo to be the neutral position.

Beyond the goverment, right wingers and not leftists should care more about networking to promote art that isn't left wing. It doesn't have to be explicitly political. Lord of the Rings for example qualifies. Just accurate adaptation of great classics of western literature without left wing ideological blinders would also qualify.

More focus on this part. I feel like trying to invest in rightist media creation is overlooking the low-hanging fruit of just getting people to consume existing media that more closely aligns to rightist values.

You don't even have to go full trad and RETVRN to the classical Western canon. If the right could get people to watch the original Star Trek and Star Wars instead of their new woke installments, show their children Don Bluth and Studio Ghibli instead of the latest Disney/Pixar movie with a gay couple, or read Robert Heinlein and Jerry Pournelle instead of whatever prog nonsense won the Hugo award last year, that would already be a huge improvement.

For example, the Mormons already ban R-rated movies. Would it be such a stretch for the prophet to say "no movies made after the year 2000"?

https://reasonabletheology.org/cs-lewis-on-reading-old-books/

The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books.

https://www.greaterwrong.com/posts/hQSaMafoizBSa3gFR/eutopia-is-scary

Movies that were made in say the 40s or 50s, seem much more alien—to me—than modern movies allegedly set hundreds of years in the future, or in different universes. Watch a movie from 1950 and you may see a man slapping a woman. Doesn’t happen a lot in Lord of the Rings, does it?

https://blog.reaction.la/economics/fertility-and-corporal-punishment/

From 1945 to 1963, wives in movies and on television are sometimes spanked and it is routine, respectable, and usual. For example in “I love Lucy” we are never shown a spanking on screen, but Lucy is regularly very afraid of receiving a well deserved spanking for her many amusing misdeeds.

In the Western “McLintock” the authority figure, representing virtue, middle class respectability, and normality, unambiguously endorses the husband beating the wife severely for gross misbehavior, with a small coal shovel.

From 1945 to 1963, appropriate and proportionate corporal punishment of wives is depicted as normal, proper, appropriate, expected, and respectable. As in McLintock, it is what respectable middle class husbands do ensure that their wives and families behave in a respectably middle class manner – since women, unless restrained, have a not at all middle class preference for drama.

To be fair, I don't think the original Star Wars or Star Trek are rightist. More the later fits more with the left.

From 1945 to 1963, wives in movies and on television are sometimes spanked and it is routine, respectable, and usual. For example in “I love Lucy” we are never shown a spanking on screen, but Lucy is regularly very afraid of receiving a well deserved spanking for her many amusing misdeeds.

In the Western “McLintock” the authority figure, representing virtue, middle class respectability, and normality, unambiguously endorses the husband beating the wife severely for gross misbehavior, with a small coal shovel.

From 1945 to 1963, appropriate and proportionate corporal punishment of wives is depicted as normal, proper, appropriate, expected, and respectable. As in McLintock, it is what respectable middle class husbands do ensure that their wives and families behave in a respectably middle class manner – since women, unless restrained, have a not at all middle class preference for drama.

Yes. The idea of no right wing themes and films/shows even in the more left wing film and tv industries is nonsense. There is a reason that the left has been complaining about past tv shows and films. They changed it by design to the current ideological perspective and things can change again.

For example, the Mormons already ban R-rated movies. Would it be such a stretch for the prophet to say "no movies made after the year 2000"?

It does seem that at certain point in the 2010s films and tv shows made in American industry went into a bigger left wing turn. Implicitly I follow this rule to an extend myself. I avoid watching most recent stuff and prefer older films and shows. There are more of them than someone can see in a lifetime unless they do nothing else than watching movies, so you still got a lot of options than you can choose. Being made prior to 2010s is a positive indication that you are going to get less of the cultural leftism than if you picked from the 2010s and later.

Like why not watch I Claudius instead of black tudor queen stories? Or the Japanese masterpiece Ran?

Or Ikiru which does have some conservative themes too. The protagonist finds no fulfillment in pursuing hedonism in his quest to find the meaning of (his) life.

Still, most people for the same reason that they became fat, that they follow the IseeIeat diet, are not going to do this even if they are doing things more than before due to the fact that there has been a quality in old art including music that isn't found equally today. So it matters we get new content made. It also matters because there are more worthy stories to be said.

Also, with bad remakes and sequels being made that are a net negative in the world and we should be better off without them it becomes harder for people to find the original superior material.

To be fair, I don't think the original Star Wars or Star Trek are rightist. More the later fits more with the left.

Trek was always openly and notoriously leftist. Original Trilogy Star Wars was non-leftist in a way which makes it an "old book" for the purposes we are talking about here. The snarky way of explaining this is at the level of aesthetics - the Empire was (according to Lucas, explicitly) modelled on the Soviet Union and the scene in A New Hope that is notoriously plagiarised from Triumph of the Will was the final scene where Leia gives Luke a medal while LARPing as the lawful government of the Galactic Republic. The First Order is modelled on Nazi Germany and all the scenes in The Farce Awakens which are redolent of Triumph of the Will are all First Order rallies. Meanwhile the goodies call themselves "The Resistance" and LARP as a real resistance even though they appear to be irregular forces of an actually-extant, non-LARP restored Galactic Republic. The serious way requires a level of expertise in media criticism that I don't possess. The best statement of the argument original trilogy (and prequel) Star Wars is right wing is the one made by David Brin, who thinks this is a bad thing.

To be fair, I don't think the original Star Wars or Star Trek are rightist. More the later fits more with the left.

Trek was always openly and notoriously leftist.

OG Stark Trek was explicitly anti-racist, but it was anti-racist in that colorblind, equality-of-opportunity way that is considered thoroughly and unacceptably right-wing today. You don't hear anybody on The Original Series mention microaggressions or privilege or affirmative action. The narrative doesn't hate white people the way so many modern narratives clearly do.

Other forms of leftism are notably absent. The economic leftism of The Next Generation is nowhere to be seen; Kirk talks about Scotty's pay in "The Doomsday Machine" and human merchants like Cyrano Jones exist. There is some feminism in putting women on a warship, but at least Kirk is allowed to act like a fucking man instead of a cuck. When he seduces the 19-year-old Lenore (played by a 21-year-old Barbara Anderson) in "The Conscience of the King", nobody talks about how problematic and creepy it is for a powerful older man like Kirk to hit on a college-aged girl; it's just normal.

(Of course, it would be even better if Karidian told Kirk to back the fuck off unless he was willing to put a ring on Lenore and insisted on chaperoning their dates, but again you don't have to go full trad to improve on the current situation)

Where can you easily find/access this older media? I'd imagine the majority of the reason people don't consume it is because it's much harder to seek out. Max has been pruning their selection of old movies, even. And they're seemingly the only streaming service that cares to have a lot of classics.

Yes, this is definitely part of the problem. Media comes out, stays on the shelf for a decade or two, and then vanishes, never to be seen again until its 95 years are up (if any copies even survive that long). Only a few works avoid this fate; super popular movies that are always in demand, like Jaws, or books that capture the attention of teachers and get assigned year after year to unwilling students, like To Kill a Mockingbird.

I have a theory that the REAL reason for perpetual rabid copyright expansion (of which Canada is the latest victim) is because the Cathedral doesn't want new woke media to have competition from older works.

I have a theory that the REAL reason for perpetual rabid copyright expansion (of which Canada is the latest victim) is because the Cathedral doesn't want new woke media to have competition from older works.

Eh, I'd argue it's more because creating new media better suits the capitalistic endless growth model. The more new things you have, the more products and markets you can sell, the bigger you can make numbers. That makes the alien god we have summoned and call 'market capitalism' happy with us.

The problem for right-wing art is that as far as I can tell it has no well realized vision of the future that it wants.

Left-wing art has stuff like Star Trek, at least, which in its earlier incarnations makes SJWs a bit uncomfortable because of the hiring hot actresses to wear short skirts and so on but overall still articulates a pretty attractive vision of a post-scarcity future where humans have overcome their differences and enjoy exploring the universe in their pajamas while having minor conflicts with each other that all get resolved in the same episode or maybe one episode later by everyone learning a moral lesson.

What does the right-wing have?

There is Tolkien, but from what I can tell most of his current fans are more into the movie style happy ending than into his actual relatively complex ideas of the long defeat and the inevitable failure of mortals, ideas that might be relatively unappealing as a worldview to the mover and shaker type of personality who shapes political narratives. And the fact that his stuff is set in the past of our world makes it relatively hard to build a future vision from it. And anyway, even the original texts have a clear "diverse group learns how to work together and wins against the bad guys" narrative that is antithetical to many modern right-wingers' desires.

There is also stuff like John Milius and his Apocalypse Now and Conan the Barbarian, but he himself does not self-describe as a right-winger.

And anyway, it would be hard to make Apocalypse Now into a right-wing movie in the modern sense given that it depicts how a war against communists degenerated into insanity and corruption.

As for Conan the Barbarian, the truth is that its beaten-down-guy-beats-his-oppressors narrative, with all its love of muscular masculinity, has nothing particularly right-wing about it unless you think that just getting big muscles and unashamedly being proud of it and fighting your oppressors is somehow right-wing. But to me that seems like a very niche online take. If right-wingers get roped into celebrating muscular masculinity just because a relatively small group of leftists on Twitter get triggered by muscular masculinity, I do not see that as a big win for the right or a sign that they have created their own successful art.

I must object to your reading of Milius' works.

Conan is very much a vitalist positive vision of Nietzschean self actualization, certainly one of the main intellectual factions of the right wing. And Apocalypse Now, despite its setting is explicitly not an anti-war movie but rather an exploration of how we deal with war. If anything the story revolves around how it's a doomed quagmire precisely because of ambiguous restraint, and Kurtz though he is insane, is one man who is taking it seriously.

You could very easily find a reading of both of these that motivates a futurist warlord future where the true an natural will to power is no longer restricted by artificial bureaucracies and free to express itself while still appealing to morality and heroism of the meta-modern knight.

In fact this is where the solution to the problem of the right wing lies in my opinion: a synthesis of Nietzsche and Christ has to happen. Only that can unite its disparate factions into something that can reclaim both the mantle of righteousness and the crown of power.

I don't accept your premise, but why is this a problem, exactly?

It isn't true that there is no well vision of right wingers and not leftist artists want and created.

It is true that I am calling for something broader and less totalitarian. If you pick a specific smaller rightist sphere you are going to get a more specific ideological perspective.

Well, I don't want that but I am fine with (most) of those ideological perspectives also being made.

Left-wing art has stuff like Star Trek, at least, which in its earlier incarnations makes SJWs a bit uncomfortable because of the hiring hot actresses to wear short skirts and so on but overall still articulates a pretty attractive vision of a post-scarcity future where humans have overcome their differences and enjoy exploring the universe in their pajamas while having minor conflicts with each other that all get resolved in the same episode or maybe one episode later by everyone learning a moral lesson.

If that was left wing, where did it come from and in what society it existed that told what kind of stories? I.E. It had first interracial kiss in television too. Supposedly no right wing stories existed with non progressive themes which kind of contradicts the attitute to label as racist, patriarchical, etc, etc other fiction of the time and before including films like Gone with the Wind.

This idea you are promoting that right wing stories haven't existed is completely irrational nonsense that demonstrates your close mindedness and your totalitarian mentality. Your nitpicking about lord of the rings is especially egregious.

What I find interesting here is the contradictory multiple different gotcha narratives that are all leading in unproductive direction and have an element of prejudiced resentment to them and their unpleasantness.

Lets see:

Its all hopeless so don't even try.

Right wing patronage, it will be going too far and strays from libertarian ethos

What is art anyway

Right wing art doesn't exist and can't have a telos.

This special pleading helps to allow the left to dominate.

A couple of years ago we would also be getting the don't rock the boat, it is just a few kids at college narrative and things are sufficiently balanced.

Now, if the right wing is insufficiently right wing for your standards as a leftist or far leftist, why is that a relevant problem, to you? Genuinely so. Or a problem in general. Because it seems you are throwing shit at the wall to be a naysayer. Lets say what I promote ends up getting also fiction that isn't inherently right wing but also isn't leftist made. Is that a problem, or not? Why? Just so you can be a naysayer now against right wing art being made?

If I get more historical fiction that defies left wing prejudices and is not negative on europeans or other groups targeted by left wing prejudice, doesn't race bend, and promotes good themes including exploring the heart at war with itself, the necessity of heroism, the value of community, etc, etc, I will consider this a win.

Lets just say that there is a fundamental difference even between more left wing industries in the past, and how things have devolved. And there are fundamnetal conservative themes in fiction and art OBVIOUSLY. If you are so inclined to explore them you are welcome to read right wingers defining their ideology. Especially of non neocon variety. Even some of the anon far righter blogers would give you an insight.

The totalitarian vision of where all that is coherent and good can be found in the left is facile on its face and shows a profound lack of appreciation of much of human history and the art that has been produced. it what leads to the "burn the past" mentality, because it doesn't fit into the totalitarian constrain of the good and coherent. The need to change fiction to the left, and change historical material wouldn't be happening if there wasn't an alternative to the left.

Left-wing art has stuff like Star Trek, at least, which in its earlier incarnations makes SJWs a bit uncomfortable because of the hiring hot actresses to wear short skirts and so on but overall still articulates a pretty attractive vision of a post-scarcity future where humans have overcome their differences and enjoy exploring the universe in their pajamas while having minor conflicts with each other that all get resolved in the same episode or maybe one episode later by everyone learning a moral lesson.

The latter makes them far more uncomfortable than the former. They're progressives, they cannot have a particular goal that they'll be satisfied reaching, or they'll become conservatives. There's a reason why they reintroduced racism and economic inequality in the new iterations of Star Trek, and a reason why a lot of TNG fans aren't SJWs.

I think it can be misleading to conflate the Eternal Struggleists with the leftists, even if at the moment they are a very nearly perfect subset. My understanding is that other times and places have had plenty of space for people who were existentially offended at the idea of an attainable/attained success criterion while having ideas that our modern classification would unambiguously label "right of center". Any setting with religious crusaders comes to mind (in "Environmentalists are the new Christians" arguments, I always like raising the thought experiment of presenting Catholics with a worldly plan to discharge Original Sin once and for all).

Well I don't often say this and I don't often agree with you, but you have a point! I never saw it like that before.

Perhaps we're heading off in the wrong direction with Thomas Kikade and little cottages with docks on the lake to hang in the bathroom. Liberals are meant to be cutting edge individualists, but the telos of Conservative art is Mount Rushmore. There isn't a shortage of good small time traditionalists, making retablos and icons and Native American beadwork and oil paintings of the Grand Canyon and bronze sculptures of elk and so on. That's all fine, it has a thriving market. Now we have better and better image generation programs, and can make more attractive images than we know what to do with.

The big issue is that conservative American artists are all just doing their art alone, in their own small studios, maybe selling it at a local gallery or a craft fair or something, and it's hardly ever brought together to make something grand. Even conservatives themselves are probably too shamed to commission something like Mount Rushmore at present.

If you really want to see a political entity promoting some Conservative Art in Current Year, there's the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces (no, really, if you haven't see it, take a look https://youtube.com/watch?v=zYfdVnGHVEE ) Excellent details, craftsmanship, lighting, chanting -- very beautiful.

What would you be interested in seeing America build? We're unlikely to build a grand cathedral at this point. The Washington National Cathedral is quite nice, and I wouldn't mind more of that; is that what you're looking for? If you get a chance, go visit Saint Anthony's Monastery near Florence, Arizona. It's worth it just for the gardens, which are good conservative art in their own right. I want to work on a giant mosaic of Saint Innocent of Alaska or something. But Americans are too idiosyncratic. We end up with a bunch of eccentric individuals making little versions of House on the Rock instead.

When American conservatives are doing well, they end up with things like the Milwaukee Natural History Museum, the San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center, parks and plazas with life sized generals on horseback. Utah has good parks, museums, civic buildings, and at least a couple of pretty cool cathedral sorts of things. If I were Head Culture Commissioner of the Right, I would ask for more formal gardens with attractive shrines, and more things to be built from stone and carved from wood, with formal mosaics embedded in them, with spires and domes. I would absolutely not commission more little paintings of dockside cottages and Precious Moments figurines, the market can handle that just fine on its own.

If I were Head Culture Commissioner of the Right, I would ask for more formal gardens with attractive shrines, and more things to be built from stone and carved from wood, with formal mosaics embedded in them, with spires and domes. I would absolutely not commission more little paintings of dockside cottages and Precious Moments figurines, the market can handle that just fine on its own.

I agree with your idea here. Although I also want more grand neoclassical style paintings as well. It would lead to creation of great art if we had more people around trying to emulate Jacques-Louis David and follow in his footsteps.

What about stories, what stories would you promote?

The big issue is that conservative American artists are all just doing their art alone, in their own small studios, maybe selling it at a local gallery or a craft fair or something, and it's hardly ever brought together to make something grand. Even conservatives themselves are probably too shamed to commission something like Mount Rushmore at present.

I agree that this is a serious issue. How would you go around to changing it?

I also want more grand neoclassical style paintings as well. It would lead to creation of great art if we had more people around trying to emulate Jacques-Louis David and follow in his footsteps

Yes, I wouldn't mind seeing more of those kinds of paintings in public places.

There was an interesting conversation between Jordan Peterson (caveat: I do not endorse some of his recent move toward establishment American conservatives and selling gold... but his old Jungian lectures on The Lion King and Pinocchio are excellent) and Jonathan Pageau. Previously he had been working on carving traditional icons, and has recently started working more on retelling traditional fairy tales. I will be interested to see if anything comes of it. The best conservative storytelling of the last century is that of the Inklings, because it's legible to children, but still rich enough for adults. But I don't get the impression the current system is built to allow professors enough slack to sit around at pubs talking about their imaginary worlds for 20 years.

I'm not sure about grown up stories. I think it's more useful to think of excellent stories than right wing ones. The best American fiction is probably Faulkner, as much for his prosody as because of the stories. Or entirely for that, and his use of specifically American culture, since half the time I couldn't tell what the story was when I was reading him. Dvid Foster Wallace had so much talent, but inanition to being more left than might be ideal, I and those I know have only succeeded in reading his essays, not his stories, because they're even more convoluted than Faulkner, as far as I can tell. It's fine when someone writes nonfiction or Based on True Events pieces well, like Solzhenitsyn. I've heard good things about Tom Wolfe, though I haven't managed to read anything by him, despite trying a couple of times. Same with Flannery O'Connor; I tried, but just don't get it. A lot of intellectual conservatives including in my family think she's great, though.

So that was all the 40s and 50s, mostly. Then things have stagnated for about two generations. People have been reading terribly written self help books like "The Purpose Driven Life" and political dross like "The Democratic Party Hates America." I read Brandon Sanderson novels because at least he writes novels, and doesn't just give up half way through. It seems like the thing to do is lean into our local subcultures and inherited religions more. Unsung is lovely, if insufficiently edited, in a similar trippy way to Charles Williams. I would still recommend it to rightists of taste, regardless of differing politics, because it isn't about narrowly defined politics, but about Heaven and Hell and whether to world is made up of math or not, like all good stories. It would be great if he could find and talk with someone who could write Tom Wolfe style satire about Bay Area tech people and blockchain stuff. I'm unhappy that the current model is to dribble thoughts out on Substack, and would like more compilations and stories. I don't know how one would go about encouraging this, not being oneself able to produce anything much in writing.

I agree that this is a serious issue. How would you go around to changing it?

I don't know. If I knew I would have learned Byzantine mosaic and be working away at it already, since this is something I've been interested in for a decade. Instead, I watercolor plants in my garden and make felt quail, like everybody else. I've learned the basics of encaustic (the medium used for the Christ Pantocrator of Sinai icon), but have neither training in how to progress past embedded leaves and accretion, nor anything to do with the pieces when they're finished. My mother had a lot of artistic potential, but mostly just painted and scratched some egg art, then gave up because she didn't have anything in particular to do with them. A man came to my school district to do a workshop with the art teachers about retablo once. He was self-taught, since the art form had mostly died out in the early 20th Century, but he was motivated to work on painting cultural connections to his ancestors and religion. It was great, we all loved it, but it took over a year to set up, then we don't actually know what to do with the information afterwards.

There's a church being built in town. I should probably go there and see if there are any iconographers about. They had bells cast, and now have a bell tower set up, and have presumably trained or are training a bell ringer (https://youtube.com/watch?v=faa5TZtnfzc). Perhaps there are things going on that I could participate in? And also because I miss church, but have stopped going on account of life circumstances and changes in my favorite parish. But also, my kids are too little just now, I'll probably have more bandwidth in a few years, and can take them to learn traditional arts too.

Absolutely agree about Peterson. He's at his best when talking about Jungian stories and archetypes, and getting into the idea of perception needing a structure of value that is outside narrow scientific and 'rational' frameworks.

I've learned the basics of encaustic (the medium used for the Christ Pantocrator of Sinai icon),

That icon is beautiful, and thanks for calling out the method. My girlfriend really likes to sew and knit, do you know any icons or methods that are made in those ways?

Not iconographic, but just saw this rather impressive thread artist https://www.ceciledavidovici.com/

My girlfriend really likes to sew and knit, do you know any icons or methods that are made in those ways?

I don't know too much about it. I learned sewing and embroidery in, one might say, the British tradition, from a woman who's mother was a seamstress in England. So I hand sewed a Regency era ballgown. I haven't examined it since, because whenever I have enough time to embroider, which is rare, I just do something else instead.

The words that come up, though, are vestments and regalia, though they're more embroidered and beaded than knitted. https://www.monasteryicons.com/product/christ-the-lifegiver-vestment-emblem-559ve/165

I personally love Albanian (and Turkish) wedding dresses, which are vestment looking, and worn on holidays and anniversaries. https://static.themarthablog.com/2018/03/IMG_3432.jpg

Native American regalia is often also beautiful, and people put a lot of effort into it. There's some especially excellent beadwork involved. There was a Christian Alaskan man I met once who had made himself a deer hide jacket, and designed and painted Jesus and Christian symbols all over it in his local style, and it was really neat.

I used to have some Scottish pieces from my great grandfather's clan, featuring a clan tartan and "Dread God" brooch that I would wear sometimes, but couldn't find enough occasions, so eventually I seem to have lost it.

It seems like there's pretty strong demand for wearing special garments, hence the popularity of cosplay and reenactments. But Americans aren't really sure how to wear them seriously or liturgically. Perhaps I should make my daughters folk dresses from where their father is from and have them wear it to Pascha or something. It looks like I would have to order some special trims, but is probably feasible if they don't grow out of them before they're ready.

The pictures attached are identical prompts submitted to DALLE-2 a year ago and DALLE-3 a few days ago.

Visual art is to my great amusement in the midst of the purist communist revolution in history. In just a few short years the haves and have-nots of artistic talent will be equal in a way no living humans have ever been equal; ah, patronage, patronage . . . man, how many art schools will even exist in 20 years?

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(my politics are whomever brings the future where i can use this software's successor to make animated shows)

You don't have very long to wait, RunwayML already lets you generate videos from stills with okayish results, and given the pace of progress, something usable for practical purposes is maybe a year or two away. Then just a short wait till someone consolidates it with storyboarding, music, voice generation, an LLM to write dialogue and so on.

Most of these exist independently, already.

First, define "good art" because we've been having this conversation for centuries and nobody's got a working definition universally accepted. What is "good" art - technical merit and ability? subject matter? what the public likes versus what educated taste likes? And is "good art" art in "good taste"? What's good taste, then, precious?

Artists are about being transgressive, challenging social and cultural established values and thought, novelty, and all the rest of it. You can't pay them to produce 'conservative' art, and those who do so will be and are derided as sell-outs. Think Thomas Kinkade, who certainly had some measure of talent, deciding to make himself into a brand and churn out product on carefully selected themes that were repeated ad nauseam. "The Painter of Light" who was wildly successful with the public and made a fortune, but he's never going to get the respect of the art world.

Think of Tracey Emin versus the Stuckists.

STUCKISM Founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999, Stuckism is an art movement that is anti-conceptual and champions figurative painting.

Charles Thomson derived the name from an insult by the Young British Artist, Tracey Emin, who told her ex-lover Childish that his art was ‘stuck, stuck, stuck’.

They may have started out championing 'traditional' painting, but they've become another sub-set of the performance/protest artists of modern art.

(T)he group continues its confrontational agenda, demonstrating against events like the Turner Prize or Beck’s Futures which, the movement argues, are among a number of art world events controlled by a small number of art world insiders.

'Good art' is not going to be given that accolade unless it accedes to the values of the liberal and indeed progressive strain of cultural hegemony. "Norman Rockwell type art" is not intended as a compliment. Is Marcel Duchamp's urinal good art? I think Surrealism did produce good art and it did give a shock to the art world, which every new movement needs to do, but as tastes and values evolve, there's no going backwards.

I think for me, most of it would be down to technical skill and the ability to communicate a message to the audience (without having to explain it). What I love about the really good old classic art in various media is that it’s technically good. Old Renaissance paintings are master works that are made by people with a good understanding of how to draw, how to arrange things in the painting, light, shadow etc. old plays are well written and well placed, they show rather than tell, they communicate with their audience and so on. And I’m not against all modern art, I like some of the surrealist stuff personally. The stuff that bugs me are the technically bad, thoughtless, and often requires the artist to make up a meaningful title and backstory for their art because absolutely nothing in the piece communicates any sort of meaning.

Artists are about being transgressive, challenging social and cultural established values and thought, novelty, and all the rest of it. You can't pay them to produce 'conservative' art, and those who do so will be and are derided as sell-outs.

That seems to be implicitly conceding 'art' as a whole to the left and ignoring both contemporary conservative artists and a long history of conservative art because they don't fit into the stereotype of a starving/drug-addled/insert other caricature of left-wing artists here. I will grant that non-religious conservative art (at least in the Anglosphere) seems to be at a low point right now, but I don't think that is some timeless quality rather than a whole-hearted embrace of lowbrow anti-intellectualism (this is also why they're hard up for everything from political philosophers to bureaucratic subject matter experts).

'Good art' is not going to be given that accolade unless it accedes to the values of the liberal and indeed progressive strain of cultural hegemony. "Norman Rockwell type art" is not intended as a compliment.

You're unlikely to be celebrated by your adversaries, but that doesn't make much sense as a goal for a conservative art movement. If you can make good art, people will consume it, even people who don't otherwise agree with you. If you build it they will come, etc... Per my remark above, the problem with conservative art right now is that it is overwhelmingly bad, being too preoccupied with being conservative while relegating being art to a very distant second.

I don't think the current Right in America can make good art that will save them. The bottom line is that the old Right in America is dying. Christianity is in terminal decline and old school classical liberalism just isn't that popular anymore either. This doesn't even get into demographic change where white people (the base for the Right in America) are aging and dying while non-whites move closer every day to a majority. What art could they possibly make that inspires young people?

We are in an era of huge amounts of change, and the die has already been cast. The Right is more or less in the position that the old Pagan culture in Rome was with Christianity ascending and the old ways were hated, persecuted, and forgotten. The current Left won't always be in power, but its true challenger isn't going to come from the Republican Party, Christianity, MAGA, or libertarianism. It may not even come from America and possibly not the West

Christianity is in terminal decline

No, it isn’t. The decline of Christianity stopped with the millennials. Now zoomers are a smaller generation, so actual church membership is still declining, but it’s just not true that future generations are continuing to get less religious.

I wouldn't be surprised if Christian belief among Gen Z is 30% or lower. And by that I mean that on top of regularly attending church, they actually believe Jesus was the son of God, rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, virgin birth, etc. I don't think polls where they self identify as Christian are even remotely accurate. My theory is that there is a version of the shy Tory effect going on here in regards to religious affiliation. I think Christianity will be more or less dead in the West in 100 years, possibly much sooner.