site banner

Culture War Roundup for the week of March 11, 2024

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

Edit: In a more succinct version of my previous post.

The idea that Jewish faults are not up to debate and non Jewish faults at expense of Jews can be overly focused upon without restraint, is absurd and is understandable why people will increasingly reject this. It is also understandable to see people react against this when such agendas relate to Noel Ignatiev type narratives and come along with increased authoritarianism.

As a movement with such ideology has itself become more influential naturally you see rising opposition. The reality is that the racism, sexism, antisemitism narratives label moderate positions as racist, promote a wildly one sided view, and the groups they favor are definitely not oppressed. Just as feminism by how it clasifies misogyny, is misandrist, same applies to the antisemitic narrative. The Jews who have been themselves very important to a Jewish supremacist movement of course are going to catch more criticism. Especially the powerful Jewish NGOs like the ADL.

Ideally, the progressive framework of sacred cows should be supplanted, with a framework of favoring more balanced, even handed treatment of different identity groups which would include both negative criticisms and and positive observations. A good way to do that would be growing intolerance towards the movement that weaponizes history to promote the wildly one sided narratives. Whether it is done by distorting reality, or by cherry picking events including attrocities and hiding inconvenient ones.

Rather than letting people like Jonathan Greenblat win by getting intimidated by words like slavery, holocaust, racism, antisemitism, we should instead see people ridicule such attempts and reject them. There is nothing inconsistent to thinking for example that the practice of slavery is abhorrent but also having no patience for those using the narrative of slavery to vilify and harm southerners, or Europeans.

This is a "why do you beat your wife" question. I have never used AI to write, or edit a post, so I have can't see how they read like it, or why.

I doubt that an AI would even succeed in writing something so politically incorrect. In fact their prompts tend to be making excuses not to address issues, and they sound more like the rhetoric one sees by the liberal side. I usually edit in real time to fix some grammatical mistakes and change parts of it. Seems like a convenient way to attack and distract with low effort so I would just ignore it except I address it just so it isn't used as an excuse for mod action.

Do you have anything of value to say about the actual issue?

Antagonistic, don't do this.

Eh. Antisemitism is spreading faster than knowledge of polygenic scores, haplogroups, or high East Asian IQ, but it's more accurate IMO to say that base-level anti-nonwhite sentiment / white nationalism is spreading faster than sophisticated 'HBD'. Openly antisemitic tweets sometimes get tens of thousands of likes. But looking at this account, which very frequently gets 20k likes and sometimes more, the focus is mostly on black people and immigrants. I wouldn't really call that antisemitism having more potency than HBD, just different variants of things spreading among smarter people and more normal people. "Black people do crime a lot and are kinda dumb" is definitely the closest thing to HBD that'll get 50k likes. Musk often interacts with the iamyesyouareno account. (glancing at his likes, musk also just liked a BAP tweet, lol, as usual the tweet's vaguely something one might agree with but literally completely wrong)

Antisemitism seems to have less potency among even what passes for 'elites' on far-right twitter recently - they'll signal towards it in an edgy way but not really endorse it - reasons I've seen from people like that are: because most smart people are very socially integrated with jews at this point, because so many influential people in the scene are part or wholly jewish, because 'wignat antisemitism', when looked at objectively, seems kinda cringe and stupid, especially if you're someone who was all in on it as a teenager, and because it doesn't seem to have a path to power anyway. And among "elites" who are clearly influenced by the far-right sphere of ideas but are nevertheless more serious and less anonymous, antisemitism has very little purchase compared to HBD.

The Jewish RW e-celebs (BAP, russiancosmist, FbF, etc.) also tend to go in the hardest on the hardcore hatred of blacks and browns, presumably to take a little heat off of themselves since they know a huge portion of their audience is Jew-hating wignats.

BAP is a mischling, the rest are making fun out of you for being 'antisemitism first' type. (pun on Ameríca First, the Fuentes organisation)

You’re sure Martin isn’t? Interesting.

I remember the moment. Basically everyone mildly thoughtful declared they're Jewish too, some Fuentards fell for it and didn't get the joke.

I think that’s probably true. Second City Bureaucrat is Jewish too, aren’t they?

I think so, but Groypers call everybody who disagrees with them Jewish, so it's kind of hard to tell sometimes.

Yes, I mean self-declared, as the others on your list are. That alone is a not insubstantial portion of the top influencers in that space, though of course that was always the case.

I don't follow any of them closely enough to know, but the only times I remember those martin, 2cb, etc claiming to be jewish it seemed obviously ironic / a way to 'own' the wignats, so idk

Well BAP at least is (23&Me results and everything), Martin tends to get really defensive around the Jews/Israel but yeah RW twitter is generally just a huge welter of "you're jewish" accusations and counteraccusations so I'm not 100%. My favorite is the absolute refusal of a large number of users to accept that self-declared mass immigration advocate and Klaus Schwab enjoyer Richard Hanania could possibly be a gentile.

Hanania’s a gentile but he’s also Palestinian so most wignats would consider him nonwhite or an edge-case at best. I think Martin is Jewish since he talks about it all the time. 2CB or fbf could be trolling, I doubt it though since they all seem to be at least loosely zionist and very much anti-Hamas in a way most gentile wignats aren’t.

Martin isn't Jewish if your standard of evidence is posting images of 23andme results not sourced from Google images (he's NW European, mostly English iirc). He's also talked about his Christian background on spaces.

Like most posters in BAP's clique, he's critical of "third-worldist" anti-Zionism and lowbrow antisemitism in general.

FBF is trolling (he’s Croatian) but 2CB is a maybe…

On the other hand as my friend said the other day “Oh a guy at a far right event at [Redacted RW event space in Manhattan] - of course he’s Jewish”!

Well BAP at least is (23&Me results and everything),

Not at all saying this happened, but I were BAP I'd absolutely fake a test showing I was jewish and post it. You can just lie on the internet!

True, but in BAP’s case The Atlantic tracked down his family when they doxxed him and essentially said (without directly declaring) that they were Jewish.

I don't think that's their reasoning. Mostly they're reacting to the Nick Fuentes strain of antisemitism which is essentially third-worldist at its core, lamenting supposed Jewish predations against hapless black and brown people, who in the Fuentes-verse imagining are just trying to live in peace, and who would surely never be coming to the West in such large numbers were it not for the wars instigated by global Jewry.

I think it’s both, one can’t deny that they’re obviously less drawn to antisemitism for transparent personal reasons, but they also correctly point out how flawed the thirdworldist “enemy of my enemy” arguments are in a way that many gentile reactionary commentators also do. It’s hard to know what Fuentes believes, he started off parroting /pol/ as a teenager, I don’t think he had time to develop ideologically before he established his particular grift, so he’s mostly just following his audience.

HBD is completely out of mainstream conception and there are nearly no analogous arguments within mainstream discourse.

However Jews being exempted from privilege discourse was already a strange turn of events; considering all the railing against ethnostates and over-representation of groups it was exceedingly strange that they NEVER caught any flack as a result of that rhetoric. All that seems to have changed is that the magic barrier protecting them from this rhetoric appears to have fallen. Not for any logically consistent reason, mind you, simply because they made an enemy of some brown folk, who will always trump whites and white-adjacent types in the progressive hierarchy. But it is therefore easier for people who apply existing rhetoric to a "new" group than it is to accept wholly divergent facts and explanations from what they've already been told as would be necessary to accept HBD.

Well, the Jewish victimhood-industrial complex was never long-term sustainable. It’s too obvious of a lie. Black Lives Matter at least had some portion of the outcomes to back up their claims, incorrect though they may be.

Add to that that the Jewish victimhood-industrial complex just kept turning on its most reliable backers for no apparent reason. Con inc got attacked by Jewish victimhood merchants probably 1000 times before returning fire.

As for why now, well, I think it just had to percolate up after Kanye and that basketball player got the ideas into popular discussion. People took a look around, noticed that jews are not being victimized by society, they’re not about to be, they have their own country, and the Holocaust happened 80 years ago. As a general rule, people don’t want to perpetually grovel over things that happened to your grandparents.

the JQ is more complicated. One has to understand both Jews as an ethnocentric group as well as the psychology of the individual Jew. You also have to know their history and how they got to where they are today. It requires big-picture thinking. There are a lot of moving parts to the JQ, and it can be tricky to wrap your head around how all the pieces fit together.

“To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand the Jew…”

I welcome your return to the subreddit but think that you are likely to fall to the earth and get banned again for baitposting so incessantly on your first day back. It’s not that I dislike your prompts, they’re always interesting and usually relevant, but I think participating a little more each time before posting multiple top-level posts in quick succession would help you avoid the mods next time you return.

An oft-banned user who enjoying posting provocative posts, heavily reliant on quoted content, designed primarily as bait.

I don’t think the vast majority of Jews act with or have any substantial ‘anti-white’ animus; otherwise intermarriage rates with gentile whites wouldn’t be well over 50%.

I think Jews embraced liberal ideas with great zealotry on account of perceived and real prejudice toward them in many traditional European societies. This affinity for liberalism continues today.

But liberalism was invented by white gentiles, and through much of the last 200 years the majority of its destructive impact on aspects of Western societies has been imagined, implemented and supported by gentile whites, and that includes things like mass immigration to the US, championed by gentiles like Phil Hart, Ted Kennedy and so on as well as by some Jewish activists, and the sexual revolution, whose clear champion was one Hugh Hefner.

But disproportionately buying into the ideals of their host society is not a crime, and the most Jews can be accused of (as a group, I mean) is for believing too hard in the principles of the gentiles who themselves adopted the ideas of equality, universality and democracy that their own people created.

The modernity you decry is a predominantly gentile project in which Jews played a substantial-but-supporting role, in part because the goys really seemed to know what they were doing. Nobody deserves to hang for that, although it is true some people have a curious inability to look inward for the cause of their people’s misfortune instead of blaming everyone else; we’ve all been there.

Too similar to a previously banned user. Multiple top level posts, very little response. You aren't here for discussion. Permaban for now. One of the other mods might over-rule this.

Edit: post appears to have been plagiarized anyways. Ban is staying permanent.

I'm certainly not inclined to. I'm surprised it made it through the new user filter in the first place, but I suppose it could have been allowed just so the banhammer was dropped in public.

Either you yourself are Travis LeBlanc, or you have simply lifted substantial portions of this essay without crediting the author.

Yes, this is par for the course for this particular troll.

Right, I just wanted to have that formally documented for the mods to see. @cjet79 and others, if you were reconsidering the permaban, hopefully this might be useful.

Definitely not reconsidering now, thanks for pointing that out.

The 1950s and 1980s were different eras, and you haven’t argued at all why we should see them as identical to today. Americans, even the progressive ones, used to have a healthy amount of trust in white identity and white civilization. Post-2010 progressivism does not. I mean assuming we are conflating liberalism with progressivism as everyone does today, then —

Liberalism is [akin to] a hamfisted fable about Anglo-Saxons perfecting the universe by killing off fascists and commies in outer space while flying starships staffed by every race and nation in the galaxy

is incorrect. There is nothing the modern liberal hates more than the neutered ghost of WASPs and their perceived control over institutions which, statistically, does not exist. The current liberal fable is more like: Anglo-Saxons have ruined the country that black slaves mostly created, are predisposed to racism, and they will be saved by people of every race and nation unless we happen to stop liking Asians.

The new fable of the white Liberal is born from the same impulse that birthed the old ones. They just periodically update the flavor text to maintain social respectability. White liberals still believe that they are needed to save the world. The utopian ideal for a white liberal is a world ruled by POC that happens to conform to every single preference the white liberal has. They can't help it.

Anglo-Saxons have ruined the country that black slaves mostly created, are predisposed to racism, and they will be saved by people of every race and nation unless we happen to stop liking Asians.

How is this not a typical white liberal daydream? They believe they have the answer to save the world. A multi race coalition. They imagine how it will function, what race will be the captain of the ship so on.(hint: it's a black woman with vitiligo) They get deep emotional glee from imagining themselves as a slightly lower rank person within a multi racial hierarchy. An advisor who, in the coalitions time of need, is the only one the captain can trust... or something.

I don’t think this makes sense when you factor in the confession of privilege, the insulting and denigrating of the privileged, and the guilt that the white liberal possesses. If the white liberal were motivated by status seeking and dominance, they would not accept being lowered in status and denigrated for their characteristics. This literally loses them social points, opportunities, resources, accolades. You would also, then, see more men rather than women become liberal, because men more than women are motivated by the pursuit of dominance.

And the explanation also doesn’t make sense because “self-aggrandizing fantasy” applies even more so to the conservative worldview. Conservatism in America boosts white status simply by not denigrating them. The only way to salvage the argument would be to claim that the white liberal is actually competing in status against the white conservative, but this is definitely not the case on college campuses where white liberalism flourishes. They are competing, in essence, against non-white liberals.

I find a much better explanation in, “they have genuinely been conditioned to dislike themselves because of incessant repeated negative association involving their characteristics”. This also explains why the “group favorability” survey shows that white liberals rate white people lower than other races. Then it explains why Jews are resilient to this, because so much of their religion is about ethnic pride and ethnic resilience.

I dispute your first point. The white liberal is still motivated by status seeking and dominance, but within their own ingroup. They are seeking status and dominance amongst other white liberals. They're not surrounded by non-whites and they see those people as powerless, what's the loss in status? As far as they're concerned, non-whites aren't even at the table, and they don't engage with them anyway so what's the point.

You can see this same phenomenon among Catholic flagellates who see it as a demonstration of piety and it was called out as status-seeking behavior among Jews in the Bible (Matt 6:2 - "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so they may be seen by men").

White liberals self-select. Go to any woke convention or conference and it's as white as the driven snow - this is especially ironic when comparing to the rainbow of diversity seen at /pol/ meetups.

Men more than women are motivated by the pursuit of dominance, true. But social dominance is, and has been, historically the arena of women.

To an extent, every subculture’s members compete over status and social dominance, even if they are at the lowest rung of society. Prisoners after all continue to compete over status. So while white liberals will compete amongst each other over who is more virtuous in relation to their ideology, it is still possible that the origin point of their ideology is informed more by actual belief rather than dominance. They belong to a subculture based upon a belief and “compete” over how well they measure up against each other. But what informs the belief first?

You see such a dynamic play out in the royal courts of kings. Those of lower rank compete against each other over approval by the higher rank. But they are not trying to dismantle the higher rank, and neither did they instantiate the higher rank themselves. In cases of extreme white progressivism, whites see themselves as eternally at a lower rank, similar to an ancient class system involving kings or nobles; they have internalized this, and now they compete for favorability. So they donate their money away, they will step down from their position if it means a minority can take their place (or they won’t accept it), they lobby against their own interests, they want their leaders to be non-white including in their own organizations.

As far as they're concerned, non-whites aren't even at the table

They believe that white racism needs to be over-corrected, possibly forever. Minorities at the table aren’t enough.

demonstration of piety and it was called out as status-seeking behavior

Right but for another Catholic example, the social competition in the religion is over humility re God. (“The least among you shall be the greatest.”) In antiquity, those who were considered the most humble were seen as holy and praiseworthy, and martyrs (the most self-denying of the community) were said to have a “crown of victory” and were immortalized forever. This is a good demonstration of the complexity at play in ideological belief and peer conpetition. Humans cannot help but to pursue status because it’s in their deepest evolutionary nature, but they can also adapt their status-seeking according to an ideological framework which actually denies them power. For early Christians, the highest status in the community was the least status in the “world” (power, riches in the world). For white progressives, the highest status is to be a self-denying white and to promote minorities. That earns them status in their peer group, but the ideological presuppositions are motivated via indoctrination rather than status seeking (similar to religious indoctrination, just with the rigorous conception of the Good).

As others have pointed out, depending on the author, it either tends to follow a White Man's Burden playbook or Tikkun Olam, either way it's usually pitted against some representation of the forces of Fascism, which often tends to be represented in a way that is aesthetically very compelling and resonates with the audience. This is not only sci-fi, but also comic book heroes and basically every Hollywood genre.

Classical progressivism (which encompasses both ideologies we’d consider leftist today and some most people wouldn’t, like much of the early eugenics movement) has been described as ‘white supremacist’ because it assumes that every man (and woman, to some extent) is a white man on the inside.

The third worldist movement and some decolonial / anti-colonialist movement writers have long made that assertion. But whether the assumption is racist or anti-racist is a more difficult question to answer. At times I think it has been both, and so has its inverse.

traditionally a domain of White Protestants with progressivist ideals,

looks at long list of Golden Age SF Jewish authors

Ultimately, the White Liberal perspective is fundamentally ‘supremacist.’

You're simply restating Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" and Kipling wasn't a modern liberal.

Ellison, Asimov, and...?

Not Clark or Heinlein or Howard or Le Guin or Bradbury or Dick or Vonnegut or Bradley or Zelazny or Herbert.

Hugo Gernsback was "pulp era" or "Silver Age" rather than "Golden Age", but certainly counts as "traditionally".

Alfred Bester and Cyril Kornbluth should count. Robert Silverberg and Harry Harrison may be a bit too late to qualify as "Golden Age", but by that criterion I wouldn't count Le Guin or Zelazny either.

Silverberg? Bester? Hugo Gernsback himself? Sheckley?

Yes, some of those aren't 50s writers. But if at least one of the Really Big Names is Jewish, that undercuts "SF is White Protestant writing". I think Deep Space Nine had an episode about this 😀

its a hamfisted fable about Anglo-Saxons perfecting the universe by killing off fascists and commies in outer space while flying starships staffed by every race and nation in the galaxy.

I've had an ongoing frustration with my favorite space operas about how they portray humanity relative to other species in the galaxy, until I realized, embarrassingly recently, how every single sci-fi story I enjoyed is just Americans talking about how they see their place in the world.

Berman Trek gets embarrassing about this when Sisko/Picard are drawn into helping vaguely pro democracy dissidents from the Romans and Cardassians or dealing with terrorists. Cold War never changes, I guess.

And Mass Effect is very, very early 2000s America

Except Mass Effect, where humans are the Canadians.

It is very American 😀 In Deep Space Nine, we see Sisko rejuvenating baseball, which has fallen out of favour as a national pastime. They go up against a Vulcan team (and of course beat them). Personally, I have no idea why an Irish guy like Miles O'Brien would bother with baseball, but it's an American show for majority American viewers, so we're going to see American culture represented there.

I think they might have had some self-realisation about this, with the root beer scene.

Didn't they lose and then troll the Vulcan team into oblivion anyway? I remember their victory being that they successfully pissed off a bunch of guys who aren't supposed to show emotions.

Yeah they get hammered 10-1, but "win" because Sisko realized his competitiveness was getting in the way of actually playing the game for fun which is the most important thing, and lets their worst player in (who then scores them their only run by accident), and then their celebrations annoy the Vulcans.

I'm more concerned about why O'Brien was infusing the gum with Scotch and not Irish whiskey...

they get hammered 10-1

In basketball? That's an improbably bordering on impossibly low score, even if everyone's just learning. Getting shut out except for one free throw (the only way you could get exactly one point) is particularly weird.

Baseball not basketball. So more understandable.

FarNearEverywhere’s original comment said “baseball”.

It's more the "Humanity just showed up on the scene, they barely have history relative to the other species, but are surprisingly resourceful, which is how they are making a such splash, punching above their weight. Due to that, to other species sometimes they come off as admirable, sometimes as arrogant, sometimes as dangerous" that bothered me. Star Trek, Mass Effect, Star Control... take your pick. Baseball, root beer, and other American cultural artifacts are presented as American cultural artifacts, so they don't bother me at all. Kinda implying that America represents the spirit of humanity, does.

It's more the "Humanity just showed up on the scene, they barely have history relative to the other species, but are surprisingly resourceful, which is how they are making a such splash, punching above their weight. Due to that, to other species sometimes they come off as admirable, sometimes as arrogant, sometimes as dangerous" that bothered me.

It's the approach that is the most conducive to telling a story with some action.

  • "Humanity has showed up on the scene, and everyone else is still learning how to make stone tools." What's the point of doing this story in space? Set it in the Andamans.
  • "Humanity has showed up on the scene, and they are so far behind that other civilizations find them quaint and appropriate human culture in various offensive ways if they don't simply squash them like cockroaches." Cool idea, but not an action movie. Also, Liu Cixin had already written that.
  • "Humanity has showed up on the scene, and everyone else is at about the same level of development despite being spacefaring civilizations for thousands of years." Requires quite a bit of handwaving, Fifth Element was like that, but they just intoned the MST3K mantra. People who like worldbuilding will loudly complain.

Trying to come up with a counter-example I end up refuting my previous claim that this characterizes all American stories, but another one of Roddenberry's creations - Earth: The Final Conflict - has humanity in a position that gives off the same vibes living at the American periphery does. At least that's how I remember it, it's been ages since I watched it.

Also, it's not like we absolutely need to have stories where we just showed up at the scene. Set it in the year 10K like Herbert. I don't know the first thing about Warhammer, but I assume 40K also comes from the approximate date?

40k, yes, it is often referred to as the 41st Millennium for that reason.

Set it in the year 10K like Herbert.

IIRC that's 10K their calendar, something more like 20k ours.

Americans thought that America represented the spirit of humanity long before they were plausibly correct to do so. Novus Ordo Seclorum is definitely making that claim. Arguably Americans thought that America represented the spirit of humanity long before there was an America - John Winthrop's City upon a hill speech is arguably making the claim in 1630.

Well then, that does explain the kind of art they create, but as much as I can appreciate the American spirit as long as it stays in America, I resent the claim that it represents me.

Even ‘right-wing’ sci-fi has this motif. The heroes in ‘Starship Troopers’ are two White men leading the multicultural coalition of Earth against the brutalistic ‘bugs’

In the Heinlein novel, Johnny Rico is explicitly stated to have a Filipino background.

The heroes in ‘Starship Troopers’ are two White men leading the multicultural coalition of Earth against the brutalistic ‘bugs’

I read Starship Troopers. It is 100% from the point of view of the protagonist Juan Rico who is from the Philippines. He mumbles something in tagalog at one point and a non-Filipino character asks him what language that is.

At the same time, if he were John Rich from Indiana instead, would the novel be any different?

Not really. But the fact that he was, generations before it became trendy, is an interesting datapoint.

An important distinction needs to be made between the film "Starship Troopers" and the novel "Starship Troopers" that it's inspired-by/parodying. Given that the director did not actually read the novel, absolute despised fascism, and set about parodying and mocking the original story, they are clearly distinct stories in a way that most adaptations are not.

I'm assuming /u/bearmarket is referring to the film, whose main character "John Rico" is white. But if so, this undercuts his actual point, since this is a parody attempting to demonstrate how this white imperialism is BAD, not celebrating it.

I've read the book and seen the movie, and while they're very different, it's still not clear to me in which sense the Starship Troopers movie is a parody, except that the director claimed it was. It seems to me that this is just a fig leaf to justify having directed an effectively pro-fascism movie.

It's been a while since I've seen it, but I think the main clue is the over-the-top propaganda commercials in it. The tone makes it clear that the director does not intend the audience to believe it or take it seriously.

Aside from that, the horrible meat-grinder of combat and disregard for the lives of the troops makes it clear that the human army is not a desirable place to be and the higher ups do not respect their troops. Also the literal child soldiers.

If it was a pro-fascist movie, the human government would be portrayed a lot more competently.

I saw the film probably in my late pre-teens before ever being aware of the conversation around it. It struck me immediately as parody and/or satire. The opening of the film has a grinning child soldier with that old-timey propaganda feel that even a middle schooler would detect as an intentional riff on grandpappy's jingoism. Then a minute later you're watching men scream as they're haplessly ripped apart. I even had the sense that everybody in the movie was too good looking to take seriously. And I remember feeling bad for the Brain Bug when it was getting that painful looking device shoved into it at the end, and I felt instinctually that this was intended, at least in an "oh that's awful..." morbid gag kind of way. My reception of it as satire was more visceral than intellectual.

If you're looking for something in the literal text of the script to show it's hand, I'm not sure how well that would fare. To me, there's just so much artificiality in the world and people who inhabit it that it's hard for me to see it as anything other than an extended pisstake.

That makes sense, but I saw it as a teen and didn't think that the good-looking actors were any indication of satire. After all, Melrose Place, and pretty much all Hollywood movies, have ridiculously good-looking leads without being satires. And it's played straight that the bugs are, in fact, in total war with humans.

White Protestants

The two top SF authors of all time are arguably Jules Verne, Catholic-raised deist, and Isaac Asimov, Jewish-raised atheist.

two White men

Juan Rico and his girlfriend Carmen Ibanez?

Also H.G. Wells, raised by a Protestant mother and a "freethinker" father, ultimately became an atheist, with a failed attempt at playing L. Ron Hubbard in the middle. Robert Heinlein was agnostic, and also inventor of a religion. Arthur C. Clarke, gay atheist. Samuel L. Delaney, gay black atheist. Andre Norton and Ursula K. LeGuin.

Does being atheist really preclude being culturally Protestant? The momentum still carries you even if the engine has been turned off to use a metaphor, it takes a lot of work to actually change direction towards morals which are alien to the Christian.

You are correct. These men may have been atheists, but it was the Christain god they disbelieved, not any Hindu god or Allah, which are just superstitions anyway.

It's like the old Irish quip: are you Catholic or Protestant? Neither, I'm atheist. Yeah, but Catholic atheist or Protestant atheist?

Wells, at least, disbelieved in Allah as well.

Not to mention that Mormons are way overrepresented among sci-fi authors today.

And Heinlein messed with readers until the last page or two of the book, making you think Rico was Hispanic the whole time only to reveal that he's Filipino.

An obscure figure from the old Alt Right takes the Hanania Pill.

The main reason I am posting this is not that, but to highlight his insider's history of the 2015-2017 era Alt Right which makes up much of an accompanying article.

1: Hanania's apparent survival of cancellation for past extremism via telling his story and disavowing his most extreme past views may have been quietly influential. This is the 2nd guy I've seen do it without even being forced to by exposure.

2: This guy claims to have been a quietly very influential figure and tells a story where his actions had a very outsized effect on the world. Maybe truly, maybe not. But his general account of events besides his own part in them is an insider's history of that much-mythologized period of the Alt Right, which was very influential and did have have a very outsized effect on the world, and his account seems to be a reasonably well-calibrated explanation of how their influence rippled into events.

Was in agreement with the author until this:

sustained immigration of high IQ and ethnically nepotist immigrants from India into highly paid tech jobs, blocking the sons of the American middle class from the possibility of upward social advancement and leaving them stranded in five figure wagecuck hell

I am reminded of the quote misattributed to Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

We have reached the stage where right wing westerners are fighting against us after not caring about us and then laughing at us. But we are no laughing matter as the more astute westerners are now seeing. We will be taken seriously. By simple virtue of being better than them we will eventually win if given a level playing field. I agree ethnic nepotism is bad and should be discouraged, but more high IQ people is straight up good. The US can extend its worldwide hegemony by another two generations if it just replaced its immigration criteria with an IQ test where anybody IQ 125+ was welcomed.

All we want is the same thing that you want: better living standards for us and ours.

The US can extend its worldwide hegemony by another two generations if it just replaced its immigration criteria with an IQ test where anybody IQ 125+ was welcomed.

Remember Goodhart's law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

if given a level playing field

There are entire government agencies that exist to give preference to 'socially disadvantaged' Americans - it basically assumes everyone from Asia, Africa and Latin America is disadvantaged by default. There's a wide-ranging diversity apparatus devoted to elevating non-whites and reducing white employment in hiring and promotions.

You may not want a level playing field as much as you think.

Look at the Harvard lawsuit. AA penalized East Asians and Indians even more than whites (the men, anyway).

True. Then they (Asians) attacked that and got it formally fixed.

Meanwhile in hiring...

No of course it's not reverse discrimination we're just setting targets that people have incentives to meet if they want to maximize chances of being promoted in this huge bureaucratic organization

Or on company boards:

Or in film (OK technically film awards but my point stands):

Companies must have a woman, “underrepresented minority” or LGBTQ+ board member or report in their proxy statements or on their websites why they’re unable to comply.

Since you are not an American I cannot blame you for being unfamiliar with American HR-sprache. "Underrepresented minority" (or "URM") is code for "not white, Asian, or Indian". Nobody is going to get points for having a bunch of Tamil Brahmin guys on the board, because not only are they not underrepresented, in fact they are overrepresented, as a million WhatsApp memes will demonstrate.

Asian grifters have gotten some status in Hollywood awards due to #stopasianhate, but it's anyone's guess how long this will continue (and I doubt the Count cares about the Oscars anyway). Federal hiring is its own shit show, but it doesn't even pretend to be meritocratic, and again, I doubt that this is what the Count is talking about.

It literally says you need an underrepresented minority and defines it:

Underrepresented minorities are individuals who are “Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races or Ethnicities,” according to Nasdaq.

If you want to go deeper into the definition of Asian, I have another link:

Asian means Asian: Chinese and Indian.

In the link I posted earlier about subsidies for non-white businesses, it includes Chinese, Hong Kong, Japan, Indians...

There is the rule as written, and then there is the rule as the HR caste understands it. Simply watch and see what happens.

I am watching and seeing what happens.

The company where I work is hiring a lot of Indians for very senior management positions right now (including C-suite).

The last round of layoffs got rid of a lot of blacks, whites, and Chinese from middle management… but all the Indians got to keep their jobs.

If Indians “aren’t worth any points”, then plainly my company doesn’t care.

More comments

Trace posted this on twitter and got a bunch of comments. Although the comments mostly remind me of why I dislike twitter. Not that I'm going to stop using twitter.

+2 upvotes on TheMotte -> 4.5M views on Twitter

That's the pipeline for you. I was surprised it went quite that far, but it's a good story!

I think it's strange that people accuse Hanania of shifting his views to avoid cancellation. His views are still much more extreme and controversial than are acceptable to pretty much anybody left-of-center. In any case, what would the cancellation of Richard Hanania consist of? It's not like he's an actor or a politician or somebody. His public-facing activity consists of posting on twitter. Musk owns twitter now, and you can be a full-on Nazi on there now, let alone whatever Hanania is. The most parsimonious explanation for Hanania's shift is that his views actually changed.

On another note, I wrote the above before actually clicking the link and seeing who this guy was. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time lmao. I'll never forget his racist cover of "On The Open Road" from A Goofy Movie ("the left are the real racists, to Mexicans they lie/'cause family values cross the Rio Grande! (¡Hola!)/you'll still get on a hate list, let's go to NPI/stop burying your heads into the sand!") 2016 really was a hell of a ride.

Unfortunately Walt was a terrible singer.

EDIT: Also the "Be Prepared" parody where Scar is an Elder of Zion and the hyenas are blacks and browns ("Be prepared for the end of the white man!/Be prepared for his daughters and wealth!")

EDIT 2: now that I've actually read it, extremely funny that the primary impetus for Walt's ceasing to identify as a WN was that he moved to the midwest, and got so annoyed that midwesterners refused to be as based and redpilled as he expected that he decided they were a race of servile undermen.

His views are still much more extreme and controversial than are acceptable to pretty much anybody right-of-center.

Did you say "right" when you meant "left"? Or possibly omit a "not" or similar word?

I meant "left"

Even funnier, it reads like the real impetus was that the local girls - sorry, local quality girls - wouldn't date him and the rest of the locals weren't impressed by him being a city slicker 🤣

Can you please do some kind of summary, commentary or other type of contextualization? Why should I even care about this? I'm not saying that to be antagonistic, I would latch on to the most flimsy reason available.

Editing to add

A piece about the alt right that doesn't mention Yannapoulos, Bokhari and the wider anti-sjw sphere looks completely delusional to me. It's true that there is a real distinction between the Alt Right™, led by Richard Spencer, and the wider anti-sjw movement of the late 2010s that got lumped in as "alt right", sometimes without even being on the right. However the former was basically along for the ride, Richard Spencer was a marginal figure in his own heyday.

PS. someone referencing himself as a "young buck" is probably the cringiest thing I've seen this year so far.

In the Midwest I encountered a different kind of White person that honestly seemed quasi-Asian to me. They had no will to power. They were not Romans. They seemed more like the Chinese of the Ming era, or like modern Europeans. But there wasn’t a Faustian spirit to be found anywhere [...]

Compared to my early 20s self, I am a lot less prone to ingrouping with the kind of White people who deliberately shut themselves off from the world by retreating to the ‘burbs—people who just want to be comfortable and don’t have a burning desire to change the world. I’ve also lost any protective instinct toward people who stay in a shitty poor area with no opportunities just because they have a sentimental attachment to their podunk hometown. My experiences have taught me that these people want nothing to do with my vision for the world and aren’t my volk in any meaningful sense.

They have no destiny except under the [boot].

The Hanania pill seems to consist of arrogant shitstirrers realising that they loathe most white people just like they loathe everyone else.

They seemed more like ... modern Europeans.

God forbid.

He has no idea that those white Midwesterners have won. Why are their towns so homogeneous? Why are they all the same type of person, with the same type of culture? Why are they not Diverse?

He wants the hustle'n'bustle of the coastal cities, where he will triumph in competition as iron sharpens iron, but he also wants to be protected from competition for his labour by H1B immigrants. Well, are those Midwesterners worried about "sustained immigration of high IQ and ethnically nepotist immigrants from India into highly paid tech jobs, blocking the sons of the American middle class from the possibility of upward social advancement and leaving them stranded in five figure wagecuck hell"? I'm getting the impression that the answer there is "no".

This guy wants to be pampered, but also have the illusion that he's a rough-n-tough descendant of adventurers who dukes it out with equals and wins by virtue of his bigger brain. He has no idea where those "adventurer" ancestors come from, he doesn't want the actual adversity of fighting for a job against cheaper labour which is where the self-interest of the business owners leads them, but he still thinks that the five contradictory viewpoints he espouses can be reconciled, as long as he always comes out on top of the pile.

If a midwestern town is homogenous it's for the same reason that rural areas are homogenous anywhere in the western world: they are poor and isolated enough that migrants don't want to move there. The great cities that midwesterners built (St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago etc.) have been handed over to outsiders where they now have some of the highest murder rates in the developed world.

Yes, and in general the depiction of small town midwestern USA as some kind of paradise is ridiculous. Stripmallville with a dying main street, Applebees as the best restaurant, no organic spontaneous community because you have to drive everywhere (even to somewhere a half mile away because there’s either no sidewalk or you’re separated by an interstate that goes right through the middle of town), no beautiful architecture, and the same slowly declining social trends (birthrates, single motherhood, drug addiction) as the rest of the country, just 20 years behind is not some bucolic garden of eden.

Indeed, if one lived in the Midwest and actually wanted the kind of comfortable, pastoral, low risk existence @Walterodim described they’d be best off getting their proof of German ancestry in order, applying for a visa and moving to some little village in Bavaria or Baden Württemberg with zero immigrants; at least there the scenery is much better, the architecture is better, the schools are probably better, the buses are both more frequent and more timely and you’re actually in (or nearer to, certainly) the homeland of your ancestors.

Your portrayal of most American small towns is at least 10 years out of date.

I’ve been to many wonderful small towns in the US, but they were all in New England or in the outer suburbs of wealthy cities and the residents all had some source of external wealth, either from commuting into highly-paid PMC jobs in the nearest major city or from tourism. And again, if it’s a low variance rural lifestyle in a pretty, walkable, homogenous locale, much of Western Europe easily vastly outdoes the US and the US’ advantages (like much higher salaries) are less necessary.

Idk, what actually rural small Midwestern towns very far from the nearest major city are you thinking of? Happy to take a look on Streetview.

For nice, liveable midwestern towns I would put Madison IN, Granville OH and Bardstown KY as examples. Not saying they beat western Europe for the small town lifestyle, but I think they'd be perfectly fine places to live. The problem isn't so much that they look like Mordor it's just that they have no real economy or job opportunities beyond providing services for retirees to spend their social security on, stuff like insurance agent, nurse at the local clinic, auto mechanic etc. I assume that's probably similar in Europe but idk.

My deep experience is admittedly more in northern Appalachia than in the plains, but right off the bat:

-- Any market big enough to support an Applebee's has at least three (3) microbreweries/distilleries run by local boys. I grew up on road trips, and time was that you really did have the choice of stopping at Cracker Barrel or playing roadside diner roulette. In the age of Yelp and the Smartphone with Data Connection, you can find an interesting high-effort place to eat in some real tiny places. When I go on a trip to a tiny rust-belt town four hours from a major city and get local pickle-beer and pick from a well considered menu, it's such a sea-change from when I was a kid.

-- I drove through three towns, admittedly not that far from a major city, over the weekend where I saw ~1500sqft row homes available under $200k, reasonably walkable to a bar, a church, an elementary school, and a convenience store (in addition, of course, to many other homes). You will need a car to go to work, in all likelihood, or to most other places. You're never going to get the walkable variety you do in the big city, it's not a big city, you're going to get one bar and two churches.

-- RE: spontaneous community, I grew up in a small town exurb to a small city, geographically the very last place on the East Coast before the Midwest starts. I've since moved back after wandering around a bit. Most of my high achieving friends from the local high school couldn't wait to leave, and most of us did, some of us stayed, some of us came back. The proverb I've proved from reunions is this: only boring people are bored. The high schoolers who used to bitch about how much our town sucked and how there was nothing to do and how they couldn't wait to move to NYC/LA/Paris/Tokyo where Real Life was going on, well a lot of them moved to NYC/LA/Paris/Tokyo (or at least Chicago or Boston or SF) and now they bitch about how they can't afford to do anything and really the scene is dead for years and how the neighborhoods are either too gentrified or too dangerous or too touristy and there's nothing fun to do here anymore and the rent is too high and they work too much and they never get out and do anything. The people who used to drag me to sit on old couches and watch Noise Punk shows in the basement of a warehouse at Jeff the Pigeon's, who tried to put together abortive little local art shows and gave terrible slam poetry, who knew whenever a decent band was within an hour's drive and wanted to drive out to see it together, who threw barn parties and bonfires and smoked weed and read Ginsberg and Kerouac, who had tons of fun in our little town, some of them moved away, and some of them stayed, but they're all still doing cool things somewhere. Only boring people are bored, and only losers lack friends, wherever they are. There can be value in moving to shake up a hierarchy or to pursue a professional opportunity, but people are the same wherever you put them.

So when I read the OP article saying

But these Midwesterners aren’t descended from entrepreneurial adventurers like the rest of us. Their forebears were conflict averse and probably low testosterone German Catholics who fled Bismarck’s kulturkampf to acquire cheap land under the Homestead Act. These people mostly settled areas where aggro Scotch Irish types had driven off the Injun decades ago, so they never had to embrace the risk-tolerant, enterprising, itinerant mindset that had once fueled Manifest Destiny. Instead they produced families that became weirdly attached to their generic little plot of fungible prairie dirt, and as a result we now have huge pockets of the country full of overcivilized and effete Teutons with no conquering spirit who treat outsiders like shit.

These people think of themselves as “Real America”, but they are in fact the least American in their outlook of all the country’s regions. They are the least individualistic, the least ambitious, the most inclined to prioritize comfort and safety over everything else in life. America has left barely any mark on them—in temperament they’re just a bunch of stodgy Rhinelanders.

It's really easy to diagnose the problem: the dude sounds like a fucking asshole. Just an absolute prick, dripping with disdain and a superiority complex. He didn't make a ton of friends in the midwest, but I'd bet he wouldn't make any friends anywhere you dropped him. Who would want to be his friend? He couldn't manage to get a date in the midwest, but I doubt he's much in the city either, outside of low-commitment trickery-based hookup culture.

A lot of people dream of living in a different context, but absent a causal mechanism for why they'd be better off I tend towards: it'll be the same for you.

Indeed, if one lived in the Midwest and actually wanted the kind of comfortable, pastoral, low risk existence @Walterodim described they’d be best off getting their proof of German ancestry in order, applying for a visa and moving to some little village in Bavaria or Baden Württemberg with zero immigrants...

To be clear, this is not my personal preference. I live in a small Midwestern city with around 250,000 people, it's 80% white but has a large university with the expected immigrant population associated with it. Having traveled in Europe, I vastly prefer living in the United States due to the much higher standard of living. Also, at the end of the day, I'm not actually a German no matter how high of a percentage my ancestry German is, and it's really obvious when I visit Germany. I'm an Amerikaner with Amerikaner preferences, which includes my distinctly non-white wife. The city I settled in offers a balance of comfortable, low-risk community with city amenities that I really do consider just about unbeatable anywhere in the world. I don't expect others to have the same preferences - that's fine!

I am a lot less prone to ingrouping with the kind of White people who deliberately shut themselves off from the world by retreating to the ‘burbs

"It turns out I was the rootless cosmopolitan all along. :'("

This thing sounds like something that could be written by a leftist, with just a few words changed. I mean, imagine something like this:

Compared to my early 20s self, I am a lot less prone to ingrouping with the kind of Liberal people who deliberately shut themselves off from the world by retreating to the ‘burbs—people who just want to be comfortable and don’t have a burning desire to change the world. I’ve also lost any protective instinct toward people who stay in a shitty poor area with no opportunities just because they have a sentimental attachment to their ghetto hometown. My experiences have taught me that these people want nothing to do with my vision for the world and aren’t my comrades in any meaningful sense.

Actually, this sounds more believable than the original text. It's certainly more likely to be somewhere in ChatGPT's training corpus.

It's no wonder this man hates the Midwest -- he's basically a progressive activist, just with one or two ideas swapped around! The actual conservatism (and the pragmatism and realism he labels as "smallmindedness") he found there is as alien to him as it is to the woke moralist, and he rejects them for the same reason. They, in turn, reject his utopian vision -- because they're stupid and reactionary and the world is going to leave them behind. They're not on the right side of history. Don't they realize how much work there's been in academia right-wing internet forums about the systemic racism against Black people White people deeply ingrained in American society? Just do another search-and-replace of "smallminded" and put in "prejudiced."

@FiveHourMarathon and I have gotten into arguments in the past about the nature of conservatism, but regardless of where one draws the line between conservative and reactionary, this guy is on the other side of it. This is not the writing of a conservative, desiring to hold on to the lasting traditions that have been gifted to him by his upbringing. This is an ideologue, a radical, someone animated by the same spirit of the age that motivates the Communist revolutionary or the social justice activist. And he has the same smug self-assurance that, if empowered, would drown his neighbors in a lake and call it baptism.

Everything this guy writes is just a massive argument for Hlynka's position -- the strong form, not the way-too-far version he started saying later on -- that white identitarians are schismatic progressives, not really conservatives. I know he made some very strong and silly claims that extrapolated too far from the connection he saw. But guys, this right here is exhibit A.

Right. I've got into arguments with people that I considered to be too conservative, on the basis that the world is changing without their permission and if they actually liked World State A then they may need to do something new in order to prevent us from moving further and further away from it. But this guy has exactly the same "the new world requires new people" energy as any Stalinist.

regardless of where one draws the line between conservative and reactionary, this guy is on the other side of it.

He's a Cecil Rhodes Imperialist, and the problem with Cecil Rhodes Imperialism is that it's all about the Empire and nothing about the homeland. It very easily devolves into this guy's brand of "I don't care about the Whiteness as such anymore, I care about the money and success" version of Empire, jeering at attachment to a local plot of land. Chesterton mocked such sentiments a lot, as in pointing out how Empire Day was the brainchild of Canadians, and it has since been watered down to Commonwealth Day as the Empire has fallen apart.

(Warning for what may be perceived as anti-Semitism)

From "Songs of Education":

Form 17955301, Sub-Section Z

The earth is a place on which England is found,
And you find it however you twirl the globe round;
For the spots are all red and the rest is all grey,
And that is the meaning of Empire Day.

Gibraltar's a rock that you see very plain,
And attached to its base is the district of Spain.
And the island of Malta is marked further on,
Where some natives were known as the Knights of St. John.

Then Cyprus, and east to the Suez Canal,
That was conquered by Dizzy and Rothschild his pal
With the Sword of the Lord in the old English way:
And that is the meaning of Empire Day.

Our principal imports come far as Cape Horn;
For necessities, cocoa; for luxuries, corn;
Thus Brahmins are born for the rice-field, and thus,
The Gods made the Greeks to grow currants for us;
Of earth's other tributes are plenty to choose,
Tobacco and petrol and Jazzing and Jews:
The Jazzing will pass but the Jews they will stay;
And that is the meaning of Empire Day.

Our principle exports, all labelled and packed,
At the ends of the earth are delivered intact:
Our soap or our salmon can travel in tins
Between the two poles and as like as two pins;
So that Lancashire merchants whenever they like
Can water the beer of a man in Klondike
Or poison the meat of a man in Bombay;
And that is the meaning of Empire Day.

The day of St. George is a musty affair
Which Russians and Greeks are permitted to share;
The day of Trafalgar is Spanish in name
And the Spaniards refuse to pronounce it the same;
But the day of the Empire from Canada came
With Morden and Borden and Beaverbrook's fame
And saintly seraphical souls such as they:
And that is the meaning of Empire Day.

Chesterton was bitter because he saw that a certain traditional Englishness was subsumed by Empire. But the joke was always on him; most of that ‘traditional Englishness’ was itself less than a century old and the product of the first age of mass media in the early 19th century, before which much of rural Britain practiced an ancient, barely-ritualized, quasi-pagan kind of Christianity about as far as its possible to get from the orthodox Roman Catholicism Chesterton ultimately adopted. The Canadians who invented Empire Day were, in large part, ethnic Britons. It was conceived by one Thomas Robinson, likely of British extraction, in Winnipeg. The Lancashire merchants were ethnic English. Chesterton’s distaste for Jews like Disraeli and the Rothschilds obscured how profitable the Suez Canal was for Britain; it was India alone that was the whetstone around the empire’s neck, and if India had been jettisoned after the mutiny the entire enterprise would have been largely self-sustaining moving forward.

A century on, we can see that his distaste for empire was flawed. In truth, Britain is no worse off than those other Northern European countries that never pursued far flung imperialism, like Sweden. England’s cultural and civilizational decline is therefore likely unrelated to empire.

Cecil Rhodes was prescient. The only hope for Britain’s economy in the long is ultimately full economic union with the United States, and this has been clear since the 1890s. Of course, the less Anglo America gets, the harder it will be to convince them to let the British in.

I assume you're referring to the mutiny of 1857-58. Why exactly would jettisoning India have been a good idea in your view? I'd guess that anything that can reasonably be called a problem stemming from holding onto India could have been averted simply by turning it into a dominion, as the independence movement leaders wanted.

I don't think that "there's two camps: people who want to change the world, and people who want to hold onto tradition" is a good criteria for classifying political ideologies, because that would cause our judgements about which ideologies are really "the same" to become too relativized to the contingent circumstances that an individual person happens to find themselves in.

Suppose that Hlynka, a classic American liberal, finds himself transported to a Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist regime that has existed for around say, 100 years. I stipulate the timeline only so that we can see that this regime has existed long enough that its principles have become ossified as "traditional".

The question is: in this situation, is Hlynka a Red (wants to preserve tradition) or a Blue (wants to change the world)?

If Hlynka would change his ideological commitments and become a communist because "Reds uphold the social order, that's what Reds do" then I think that's simply a contingent personality trait of Hlynka's; it's not an inherent property of any particular ideology. If you just change your mind based on what everyone around you thinks, then that doesn't reveal any deep ideological commitments on your part. That's just a non-ideology.

If you try to bite the bullet and say "yes, Hlynka wants to change his society now, so he's now a Blue", then that seems to lead to a lot of problems. Is Hlynka now "the same" as the progressives and white identitarians that he spent so much time lambasting? We can also imagine that Hlynka is magically transported back and forth on a weekly basis between actual 2024 America and our hypothetical Communistan - is he "the same" as a progressive when he's in Communistan, and "not the same" as a progressive when he's in America? It's an absurd conclusion.

You could also try something like "yes, Hlynka now disagrees with the prevailing ideology of his society, but he won't actually try that hard to change it, because he knows how to make peace with the social order, and therefore he's still a Red". But again, this seems to me to be a personality trait, rather than an actual ideological principle. If you have two classical liberals, and one is really proactive about trying to take society in a more classically liberal direction and the other takes a more guarded "wait and see, everything in its time" approach, do they really have "different" ideologies now? I think we should just do the obvious thing and classify ideologies based on their stated principles, rather than the degree of ferocity with which their adherents are willing to fight for them.

TL;DR your ability to support "tradition" depends on the degree to which that tradition supports you. You could just be the kind of person who's happy anywhere. But that says more about you than it does about systems of governance.

I think this ignores the big gap between utopia and tradition. If you can point to a time when things were good, and say that you want to recreate those conditions as closely as you can, that might require considerable social change but I would still count it as 'traditional'. You can use 'reactionary' if you prefer.

Alternatively, if you have a vision for humanity that has never yet been properly realised, I think of that as being 'progressive' or 'utopian'. Utopia, of course, famously means 'nowhere'.

If you look at it like this, you have two axes: complacency vs revolutionary; and traditional vs utopian.

So I would be a revolutionary traditionalist; @2rafa's political friends would be complacent traditionalists, and Walt is a revolutionary utopian.

Conservative is non fiction, Reactionary is historical fantasy, Progressive is Science Fiction. At some level of remove, we don't really know what went on historically.

If you look at it like this, you have two axes: complacency vs revolutionary; and traditional vs utopian.

Now add the traditional left/right division as a Z-axis and you've got a cube. We can call it the Corvos Cube and develop an insular and baffling lingo surrounding it.

So I would be a revolutionary traditionalist; @2rafa's political friends would be complacent traditionalists, and Walt is a revolutionary utopian.

Entirely too legible. I'd rather say that someone is "in the upper lefthand back corner of the purple sector of the Corvos Cube."

That could certainly be an interesting thing to know about a political ideology - whether there are any actually existing historical examples of it being implemented. I'm not discounting that. But I don't think that property is relevant to establishing the identity of two ideologies (or their identity modulo one or two specific principles - the core claim I'm concerned with is "progressivism and white nationalism are just the same thing with the races switched").

One person's utopia could be fully automated luxury gay space communism with full dive VR available to everyone. Another person's utopia could be enslaving all of humanity in the service of building statues of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and outlawing anything that isn't directly relevant to achieving that goal. The fact that neither of their utopias have actually existed before is irrelevant in this case. There's no meaningful sense in which they have the same ideology. They're different.

A reactionary is just a conservative after the society they want to preserve has been destroyed.

A (constitutional) monarchist in Britain may be a conservative. A monarchist in France is a reactionary.

There are (a few)monarchists in France, but my understanding is that they’re basically all neoabsolutist fringe groups- which would also be quite reactionary in Britain or Spain or other countries where monarchism is a normal part of the center right.

I've never heard of this guy before so I can't say much. but I'm laughing my head off at his description of the Midwest:

To be sure, the Midwest met my expectations of being safer, more affordable, and less degenerate than the coastal Sun Belt. But it turns out this was a bad thing for my temperament!

It turns out safety is mostly achieved by cultivating a boring and risk-averse culture optimized to meet the needs of smallminded and gossipy people who get don’t get excited about much other than college sports and weddings. If you’re a contrarian novelty-seeker you will quickly get ostracized in an environment like this because people like you are a genuine threat to the social order. You can make friends with 95th percentile openness people who see you as a curiosity, but when push comes to shove they will never choose you over the Shire.

As someone who grew up in the Midwest, moved away, but occasionally still visits.. yes. yes to all of this. The main risk to your safety in the Midwest is suicidal levels of boredom. It's amazingly hard to get people to open up about any conversation that isn't college sports or local gossip.

It's amazingly hard to get people to open up about any conversation that isn't college sports or local gossip.

That's small town society everywhere, in Ireland it was lambasted as The Valley of the Squinting Windows. People don't talk to you about their interior lives because that's the one thing they can keep private, and besides the neighbours probably have a good guess about it anyway. When you're living in such a place, as the saying goes, they know you "seed, breed and generation" and "all belonging to you". Scandals and family history are known, even if not talked about - I remember years and years back, my mother talking about a visit with the 'old people' (elderly family members) and among those discussions of local gossip, coming to know that a certain man was not the grandson of who he thought he was, and he didn't know because his father didn't know this man was not his real father. The local squire got a tenant girl pregnant*, married her off with a share of land as her dowry, and the guy who married her raised the subsequent baby the same as his own children, so there was never any suspicion on the man's part that he wasn't the son of his reputed father.

But certain of the neighbours knew, anyway. That's why people don't open up and spill their guts; if you're local, you know all there is to know anyway, and if you don't know, it's the one scrap of privacy they can have. Very especially if you're a blow-in or incomer, you'll be a stranger pretty much all your life and they may like you, but they won't trust you with the same level of "everyone is connected" knowledge.

*Apparently he had a habit of doing this, which was one reason the estate dwindled away.

I was thinking the opposite. I don't expect them to dish up all their dirty little secrets, but they seem happy to talk about how their cousin or whatever is getting married. They just don't want to talk about anything that happens outside of town.

That's the downside, of course. Their focus is on their own little world, so what happens five miles outside the radius isn't something they pay attention to. There is a point to it; why do I care about what happens in San Francisco, when it has nothing to do with me and affects my life not at all? But at the same time, you can't just bury your head in the sand.

When you're living in such a place, as the saying goes, they know you "seed, breed and generation" and "all belonging to you"

Paddy’s Seed and Breed (formerly Seamus’s)