A Crack in the Cathedral


#1

The Dark Enlightenment of the Trump Phenomenon

A Crack in the Cathedral

Julius Roy-Davis - The Dissenting Partisan

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the glorious consequences of the Great Reckoning, it may be worth our while to reflect on the meaning of it all.

Anyone who was not living under a rock (or atop a pillar) will remember how the Cathedral media, being the major media outlets, spent an entire election cycle proclaiming that the crown belonged to Saint Clinton Herself, and if you didn’t agree, you were a racist-sexist-homophobe-Nazi-garbage-fire-of-a-human-being. Holla, Deplorables!

No doubt you, dear reader, have experienced a great deal of grief from your blue-pilled family members over the holidays. For the uninitiated, the concept of the Cathedral represents the idea that in contemporary America, real power is held by the organs of mass propaganda: the higher education system, which generates the ideas, and the mainstream media which is responsible for manufacturing consent for them.

The Cathedral media went to great lengths to generate support for Clinton and cudgel all opposition into submission.

A Crack in the Cathedral

And yet, in the crucial hour, destiny was disrupted. A fault was found in our stars.

Despite all the predictions of the polls, despite all the assurances of inevitability from the Cathedral media, despite all the shrill denunciations and hysteria from the left, the Great Reckoning arrived with all the political shock and landscape-leveling awe of a dinosaur-terminating asteroid.

Clinton lost. Trump won.

Now, we’ve had over a year since the event itself for everyone and their mother to generate explanations. An op-ed in The Guardian points the finger at naïve Millennial feminists, the perennial vast-rightwing-conspiracy, and Bernie Sanders. What a coalition! Michelle Obama told women who voted for Donald Trump that they didn’t like their own voices—they only liked “the thing you’re told to like.” Let that sink in for a moment. Appreciate the acerbic, citrus taste of irony.

Clinton Herself blamed Comey and “Russian WikiLeaks.”

Here’s a thought: what if the election was a crack in the Cathedral? On the morning of November 8, 2016, your average progressive could tell themselves some version of the popular progressive narrative:

Today we will make history by electing America’s first female president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. After thousands of years of patriarchal oppression, a woman will sit in the Oval Office. America has always been a racist-sexist-homophobic-transphobic-fatphobic hellhole, but now, after eight years of Obama, we’re poised to make history [herstory!] and secure a permanent and eternal progressive hegemony! #ImWithHer

Take a moment, dear red-pilled reader, to contemplate how very rude was the shock of the Great Reckoning. It was the shock of destiny disrupted. The organs of mass correct-opinion-making had flatlined overnight. What happened?

In the aftermath of the calamity that had befallen them, some Democrats decided to dare the unthinkable. They actually talked to voters who had flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. In so doing, they discovered a very different story. What they found was actually rather interesting. Here is an excerpt:

The poll found that Obama-Trump voters, many of whom are working-class whites and were pivotal to Trump’s victory, are economically losing ground and are skeptical of Democratic solutions to their problems. Among the findings:

50 percent of Obama-Trump voters said their
incomes are falling behind the cost of living, and another 31 percent said
their incomes are merely keeping pace with the cost of living.

A sizable chunk of Obama-Trump voters — 30 percent — said their vote for Trump was more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump. Remember, these voters backed Obama four years earlier.

42 percent of Obama-Trump voters said congressional Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy, vs. only 21 percent of them who said the same about Trump. (Forty percent say that about congressional Republicans.) A total of 77 percent of Obama-Trump voters said Trump’s policies will favor some mix of all other classes (middle class, poor, all equally), while a total of 58 percent said that about congressional Democrats.

Take a moment to appreciate this. Take a moment to think about what this actually means.

The Democrats are the party of entitlements. As I have argued before, they are the coalition of government goodies and handouts, and as such, essentially parasitic upon the productive population. How does the Democratic message -the Democratic power-strategy- work? Simple: they convince their client populations, their coalition members, to vote Democrat in exchange for a slice of redistributed pie. In a former age, they no doubt would have described this power strategy as 'we’re looking out for the little guy', but now it would be more accurate to say; _'We’re looking out for the self-defined interests of persons of various statures and genders, races and abled statuses against the cishet straight white males, and so on, and on.'

It would be too easy to point to Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches. C’mon, Donald Trump has how many properties named after him? And yet, Clinton underperformed among many of the minority groups the Democrats were counting on- and absolutely cratered among working-class whites.

I say again, What if the Great Reckoning was a crack in the Cathedral?

Could it be that voters were getting tired of an increasingly expensive and failing Obamacare, which Clinton wanted to revise and expand? There is, in fact, a case that the Obamacare price hike ahead of the election is precisely what led to the Great Reckoning.

How are we to reconcile these two threads, a poor Democratic economic message, and increasingly expensive entitlements? Is there a way to square this particular circle? It’s actually remarkably easy to account for these two themes. Hillary came off as out of touch and elite-focused at essentially the same time as the consequences of an over-expansive welfare state mounded up on the backs of the American taxpayers.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was stumping for a message of Make America Great Again. He was taking a stand for jobs over welfare, for work and responsibility over handouts and dependency, and for aggressive self-assertiveness and national pride rather than effete, politically correct leftism and globalism.

Clinton stood solidly in the leftist tradition of redistributionism, but her elitism meant that voters saw insincerity. Coupled with the sticker price shock of Obamacare, perhaps some of them saw through a crack in the Cathedral walls. Additionally, it isn’t too hard to see how Clinton’s message was inherently less appealing than Mr. Trump’s. She was correct and proper and espoused helping the usual leftist client populations while stolidly ignoring the majority of Americans. Trump was brash and unfiltered and this attitude alone became a symbol of defiance. I’ve waited until now to bring up political correctness, but I actually do think it played a role.

A Crack in the Cathedral

Recently, I listened to this conversation on the subject, involving the one and only Steven Pinker, as well as Brendan O’Neill, Wendy Kaminer, and Robby Soave. The panelists all made a variety of interesting observations and arguments, even pointing to data which suggests that disaffection with political correctness was high, and did indeed play a role in the outcome.

Here’s Soave on the subject:

There is evidence beyond just the anecdotes. A mathematician,
_Spencer Greenberg, found that people who thought we are too P.C., people who thought we are too P.C. as a country, that was the second most reliable indicator for whether you were likely to vote for Trump. The only more powerful indicator was whether you were actually Republican. It's also important to note that Trump was the candidate of resistance to political correctness, not just as a general election candidate, but as a primary candidate. He was the one who tells it like it is.

And here is Spiked Editor Brendan O’Neill:

Yeah, I still think that if you want to know why Trump won, you only have to look at the response to Trump's winning. You only have to look at the meltdown of the media, the ongoing meltdown of the media that descend into daily hysteria. They've slightly given up on the return to fascism, return of Hitler thing, which they indulged for months. They've kind of drifted away from that, but they're still staying quite hysterical. You only have to look at the Twitterati, which every day is pumping out endless hand-wringing tweets about Trump and his voters and how ridiculous they all are, or you only have to look at the constant search by Hillary, her team, and all those people who likeHillary for some neat explanation for why Americans went so mad and voted for someone so unpalatable. There's this real mystification among those who are supposed to know about politics, this real sense of confusion among those who are supposed to have their pulse on the political realm about why Trump won. I think that tells us a lot about why Trump won.

The full transcript is available here.

Pinker also makes some interesting remarks, but those warrant a future article all to themselves. Here’s the point I’d like to zero in on. At the exact same time that tens of millions of voters were feeling the pinch of the over-expansive welfare state, they were also feeling the effects of stultifying leftist political correctness. If the two themes seem unrelated, consider this hypothesis: both represent strategies for gaining power.

As a strategy for gaining power—let’s use the term power-strategy—the leftist project of the welfare state depends on net benefits-payers and net benefits-receivers, rather than mutual cooperation. One could quite fairly say, then, that it is parasitic upon a host population or host body. Similarly, the power-strategy represented by the leftist project of political correctness relies on bullying and intimidation in order to gain power within the broader culture.

Are we looking at a parasite’s strategy for, in essence, gaming its host?

A Crack in the Cathedral

Observation 1: the left needs men and whites—so particularly white men—to pay the taxes to fund their war-chest-and-sacrament, the welfare state.

Observation 2: leftist Politically Correct rhetoric consistently disempowers males and whites, particularly white men as the combination of the two. Why are white men so angry, the Cathedral media rhetorically inquires? Why, because their advantages have been eroded, of course! In riposte, I refer you again, dear reader, to the advantages of net tax-paying.

It isn’t even necessary to believe that this is 1) an association that is conscious in the mind of the average leftist, or 2) the centrally-planned sinister plot of some shadowy cabal. Rather, the model of the feedback loop works quite nicely: an intolerant minority agitates for some desired change; for whatever reason or combination of reasons, they gain the support of institutions, such as the Cathedral, which amplify their concerns and encourage others to take up their cause.

Much like Darwinian evolution, selection that facilitates adaptation to an environment is all that is required to make sense of the evolved creature. It’s easy enough to observe that the triumphs of yesterday become the established mainstream of today, and will be deemed insufficiently progressive tomorrow.

Apply this to the leftist parasitic power-strategy, and one can see the pattern clearly. Obama staked his legacy on his signature law. Bernie Sanders effectively promised voters a vaporwave-themed air-castle of handouts, unsustainable even with a massively-matching price tag. Hillary Clinton staked her campaign on her ability to deliver a much more realistic -but still lavish- bundle of goodies.

Hillary Clinton also played the leftist identity politics game like a boss.

Ask yourself this: if a political movement or party relies on exploiting you in order to provide handouts to someone else, are they better off celebrating you, or convincing you that you need to do your duty in service of a greater good?

And if you are, for example, a part of a group whom they depend upon exploiting (a host group, let us say), what strategy makes more sense? Should they celebrate your group and its unique contributions, or should they convince you that you need to pay your fair share—perhaps with a significant dose of identity-based guilt? Which makes more sense? Which strategy is more likely to evolve and persist?

Let’s not stop there. Suppose you are a member of a group that the same aforementioned political party or faction has identified as a client group, a group to be won over with favors and handouts. On an individual level, are they better off selling you a message of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and celebrating your strength and ability to exercise these virtues? Or does it make more sense for them to sell you a message that they will protect you from those evil people who are trying to victimize you?

Could it be the case that many voters, facing the prospect of another four years of dreary, stultifying, dare I say vampiric political correctness, and the sticker price shock of Obamacare and the promise of more of the same economic vampirism, simply rebelled?

A Crack in the Cathedral

There are no doubt many threads which historians will seek to connect in making sense of the Trump phenomenon, including a great number which I have not engaged with here.

My own belief is that the combined effects of the wars of the Bush administration, continued at great length under the Obama administration, mass surveillance, the Great Recession, and deteriorating race relations under Obama, among others, were all factors that played a role. We should not lose sight of the central fact that the Cathedral candidate failed despite all the forces of politically correct opinion arrayed on her side. The improbable challenger, a brash, boorish, blunt-spoken showman who refused to apologize for gaffes that would have sunk any other candidate, succeeded in the teeth of all established wisdom, making an absolute mockery of all predictions.

A Crack in the Cathedral

As the histories are written, they will pick over the factors I have discussed here, others I have mentioned only in passing, and doubtless still others I have not addressed. However, they will still have to agree that what occurred was a tremendous political upset: a great many of the people did not do what they were expected to do. The forces of correct opinion and right-think were faced with abject defeat.

The host fought back against the parasite.

The impenetrable, indomitable mystique of the organs of propagandized mass opinion and manufactured consent was shattered. It was a rebellion against ever-increasing economic exactions, against smug and yet hysterical political correctness, against a spreading cancer that threatened to divide and consume the healthy tissue of the civilizational body. It was a declaration of purpose, a declaration of intent, a declaration of will to not be bound and intimidated, forced into mouthing the lines written by the dispensers of correct opinion, the pious sermonizers, and sententious censors.

It was, perhaps, a crack in the Cathedral.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://republicstandard.com/a-crack-in-the-cathedral-the-dark-enlightenment-of-the-trump-phenomenon/

#2

The alt-right is a joke of a movement that arose as a response to identity politics. The alt-right was founded on the basis that if all other races get to play the identity politics game, then whites can too. African Americans in the United States, in my opinion, have a pretty damn valid reason to play ‘identity politics’. I mean, the civil rights movement was a massive display of ‘identity politics’. You can’t really avoid it if your political position is, for example, ‘we want equal civil rights as African Americans’.


#3

They’ve hacked us, in a way. They’ve hacked our minds, and they’re using our openness and goodness to exploit us, and that puts us in a very disadvantageous position, in a sort of game-theoretical way. Because if you’re playing poker, and you have the biggest stack of chips, but everybody else at the table has a wild card, mainly the race card, that they can play, whereas you don’t think of yourself as a member of a race, you think of yourself as an avatar of universal humanity. So if you play that game, they’re going to pull out the race card and use that wild card in hand after hand after hand. And they’re going to have a systematic advantage in every hand that you play. You might have a very big stack of chips at the beginning, but you will lose everything if you keep playing by those stacked rules, and that is basically the way that multiculturalism works.

They have the race card, they can always play it, but we can’t. And really what white identity politics is, in its starting phase, which is today, is just getting whites to recognize that the game as its constituted today in multicultural societies is rigged against them systematically. We will lose if we play this game, if we don’t take our own side, if we don’t start playing the race card and thinking about our own collective interests as a group.


#4

Trump is more than just a politician. He’s a cultural phenomenon, he represents an unexpected shift to nationalist right wing politics in an age of SJW identity politics. Trumpism is a global movement, a philosophy, a struggle against globalism. Trump is creating a global legion of followers and supporters to push back against the liberalization of culture. Culture is most important, politics really is downstream from culture.


#5

ChillChet,

Thank you for sharing your views. What parameters would you use to define a “valid reason” to “play ‘identity politics’”?

For example, could a specific group form to defend a perceived interest in not being discriminated against in federal set-asides, and with regard to preferential treatment being given to another group in hiring and college admissions decisions? Would that be a sufficient interest to play “identity politics”?

All identity politics are coalitional politics. Coalitions form around common identities and interests in order to secure particular objectives.

As per the excerpts you quoted me on, it’s relatively easy to observe that the broader leftist coalition—let’s give it a corporate, coalitional identity and call it SJW-Topia—goes to great lengths to disparage the overlapping categories whites and males, particularly the intersectional group white males.

The white males are told, in effect, that they must experience the state of guilt for various, selectively-interpreted historical grievances and their putative, often nebulously-defined contemporary effects. They must not, under any circumstances, express affirmations of either of their identities, particularly not the combination of the two. In other words, they must not experience the state of affirmation.

Deviations from the party line of SJW-Topia, the Doctrine, are punished with public campaigns of harassment, which may include shaming, doxing, and ruining careers.

At the same time, SJW-Topia functions as ideological agitprop for policies which disproportionately redistribute income from the categories of whites and males, particularly the intersectional group of white males.

Given this fact pattern, is it truly in the interests of a given white male to affiliate himself with the coalition SJW-Topia?


#6

I don’t think political identities need to be set to either left or right, or conservative or liberal. It’s kind of shameful really because it promotes such a stigma against each other.


#7

Identity may be natural in politics but that doesn’t mean identitarian politics is needed, especially in 2018. What do you mean by all identity politics being coalitional politics? Yes coalitions have been formed and that has altered a lot of things, especially for the good, identity politics following the civil rights movement allowed people of color into the ruling class but I will admit that it has been abused to make politics based around helping the working class be sidelined for a politics that is devoid of class.


#8

I’m not sure what this means. If something is political, then when we consider politics we must consider it. If you’re saying that the problems that identity politics points to are solved now, that’s simply not true, and most of the point of identity politics and intersectionality is to analyze and understand the ways in which the problems of identity are not yet solved…and of course, to solve a political thing would require political action.

Identity politics make no claims about class and are just as relevant in a classless society as in a one with class. Getting people of different identity into the ruling class is a tenet of liberal democracy itself, so I’m not sure it’s fair to say that this is a product of identity recognition and even if it is, it only shows how identity politics function in a class society, leaving out the really important parts.


#9

ChillChet,

It might be worthwhile to define “identitarian” politics. In my experience, this term generally denotes racial/ethnic identitarianism. People who decry “identitarian” politics sometimes propose subsuming “identitarian” categories into a larger whole, i.e. a single category Human Race (caps intentional) to replace the discrete categories White Race, Black Race, etc. The general idea seems to be some version of “We shouldn’t identify with race/ethnic group; we should consider all people in all groups equally” (feel free to correct me if you feel I have gone astray in my characterizations here).

Let’s take a step up the socio-political organizational ladder for a moment. Couldn’t we describe different nations as “identitarian”? Isn’t “China” every bit as much an identitarian construct as American racial groups? If the identitarian categories White America and Black America should not be identitarian, why not the categories Chinese Nation and Vietnamese Nation?

We can try this in the other direction, too. Most people live in families, and these families have identities and tend to prioritize in-group members over out-groups. Should they abjure their identitarian tendencies? Why or why not?


#10

Voidfires,

What alternate schema would you propose?


#11

ChilChet,

My bad, I did not answer your query. I believe all politics constitutes coalitional politics. Any time you have politics, you have an attempt, successful or not, to mobilize a group of people to defend some common interest(s). This is, simply put, a coalition.

Courtly factions in the courts of the historic Valois, Habsburgs, Bourbons, Hohenzollerns, etc. were generally based on some mixture of personal ties, patronage networks, and kin and affinal ties, which provided them with some degree of collective identity and purpose. For that matter, the courtly political machines run by the aforementioned dynasties could themselves be viewed as coalitions (granted, not always particularly functional ones).

One could also look at the various Germanic tribes opposite the frontiers of the Roman Empire, across the Rhine and Danube. They formed tribal kingdoms because of push and pull factors provided by the Romans, coalitions which were better able to provide for collective defense, engage in collective plundering, and defend collective trading rights with the Roman world.

The differences between these coalitions and contemporary coalitions of progressives, conservatives, libertarians, socialists, etc. can be conceived as more a matter of degree than of kind. All are coalitional efforts to gain power and resources.

The Civil Rights movement is indeed a good example of this. It’s interesting to note that a movement ostensibly organized to address discrimination was able to produce, in such short order, new forms of institutional discrimination in favor of the movement’s key group.

This video struck me as very informative:


#12

The civil rights movement was an attempt to bring law in line with the ‘equal protection’ clause of the US constitution. Identity politics attempts to subjugate one group in favor of another. Their is no way that this country gets past ‘racism’ for instance when it is socially acceptable for one race (any race) to openly oppose the other with respect to ‘equal protection under the law’. Their is no way that this country gets past racism when the norms of a 100 years ago are used to punish a population of today and I can guarantee you that just like the feminist movement that has absolutely no desire in seeking ‘equality’ of the sexes, any race that is allowed to be openly hostile to another, will fuel yet another round of racial tension. Progressives use racism and sexism as a tool… it has nothing to do with creating an open society that can seek equal protection under the law because when you force them into a corner over the definition of racism, they will just throw up another social justice banner by saying that being your best and competing for accolades and wealth is racist… how ridiculous…


#13

Well as we have seen with so many whites who appear from a distance to be rather self loathing is individuals and have been convinced that they are to be loathed as a race, they THINK that, to use a common jargon, ‘suck up’ to or even head a SJ program will somehow wash their sins in the eyes of those ‘oppressed’ groups that they pompom wave for… But in the end, just like pandering to Islam, they will find that their only survival will be on a prayer rug facing Mecca 5 times a day


#14

Consequences…