Winning Is Losing: Yarvin vs Rufo. Added: Was NatCon A Victory?

Winning Is Losing: Yarvin vs Rufo. Added: Was NatCon A Victory?

Note: See below about rulers harassing the Nat Con event in Brussels. Added after I wrote the post.

IM-1776 ran a debate between Curtis “Moldbug” Yarvin and Chris Rufo. It might be entitled Winning Is Losing.

As always, Yarvin never uses one word when he can squeeze in seven. He also boldly wanders off into Theory more than is desirable or seemly. He is brash, sarcastic, hectoring (suggesting a history between him and Rufo). Plus, I’m still disappointed in Yarvin over his girlish “Plan A” squealing during the covid panic. So much for his plans for winning.

Moldbug’s early successes in focusing rightward thought, I assume you all know. Of late, Rufo has been besting him in practical politics, turning in real successes. Which Yarvin belittles. Yarvin contents himself by waving his superior historical knowledge around and in being aggressively negative and praising losing.

Nevertheless, even with all that, Yarvin wins on the one main point. Which Rufo picked up on:

Let’s begin by clearing up some misconceptions. First, we have different objectives. Your goal seems to be accelerating the cycle of regimes from democracy to monarchy. My goal is to halt and reverse political decomposition and return to the beginnings of the republic — counter-revolution.

Yarvin also said, and it is true, “America has no manifest destiny. Her constitution was not divinely inspired. No special providence was involved in her founding, nor has she discovered any unique principle of human governance.”

In any case, Thomas Wolfe said you cannot go home again. He was right. There is no way we will ever return to the beginnings of our enumerated-only-powers Constitutional government, let alone the Articles of Confederation, all of which were, as Yarvin said, nothing new under the sun. It is not possible to go back. That which is not possible which not be pursued, for that is the Path of Madness.

The Republic died in Lincoln’s War, its corpse shaken into bones during, as Yarin says, “the informal personal monarchy of Franklin Roosevelt, [and] changed by his death into a permanent and unaccountable oligarchy”. Which is where we now stand. He nails all three key words permanent (-ish), unaccountable, and oligarchy.

Can voting save us?

The people in the States are no longer the same since before Roosevelt, since even before 1980. The number of foreign born, legal and illegal, has been growing a long time. Yes, President Eisenhower had his Operation Wetback, which deported some million people. But that was when the country was 85% white and most of the rest black—meaning the same stocks, the same Peoples. Now the suicidal left boasts “The US White Majority Will Soon Disappear Forever“. Note the word forever. In that same article they estimate there were 43 million foreign-born in the States in 2015. The number is at least millions higher now. The total is likely 15%, maybe more. Eisenhower deported some 0.5%. There will be no political will to deport even 1% (3.3 million) now. It’s doubtful it would even reach 3,000.

The point is that even if voting were wholly scrupulous and unfortified, the current and growing constituencies of different peoples guarantee a tumultuous time ahead.

Beyond that, can you—can you—imagine Congress voting to remove the Expertocracy and restore Federalism?

Can you imagine a return to this?

Voting will not save us.

Rufo’s goal is impossible. Yet it is fun watching the occasional woke flame out because of his efforts. It is somewhat less pleasurable watching the woke skirt court and bureaucratic rulings (that Rufo had a hand in creating) that make DIEing technically illegal. Florida may be the least woke state, and here Rufo also helped, but students at Florida State are still hosting a “pro-abortion” “Paint Your Orgasm event”. About the state of the rest of the country, well, you already know.

It’s rational to suppose Rufo’s victories will be fleeting, and minor. Yet maybe we are too cynical, and Rufo is right. Anyway, his efforts don’t seem to cause harm, do they? As I suggested in the Path of Decadence (blog, Substack), the insanity of the left routinely engenders mini-reactions, small upward swings towards Sanity when the left goes too far too fast. But these swings are embedded in the Slippery Slope of Doom. Paradoxically, “slight improvements cause things to grow…worse.” Because the right relaxes after it wins anything, while the left, which is everywhere in power, can never tolerate any defeat for long. Their invariable counter-reaction makes things worse. The left feeds on having enemies.

The reason for this is not far to seek. It is because all of us, conservative and woke, are Enlightened. This includes a good number of the men who founded America. But not all, as Yarvin reminds us.

Last minute addition: What seems to have been rather an ordinary event, well scheduled ahead of time, the National Conservatism conference in Brussels was harassed by police yesterday. People like Nigel Farage, Eric Zemmor (scheduled, but he missed), Vicktor Orban and even Rod Dreher (!) speaking. Not exactly dangerous sounding. Yet this practical victory panicked rulers, and they counter-reacted. But stopped short of extra-over-reaction. One of the speakers, Monika Gabriela Bartoszewicz, told me “We’re unofficially told that this is the case [that they’ll continue tomorrow]. Also, the police officers are entirely on our side. They implied this as much as they could.” I imagine Yarvin is shaking his head, and Rufo thinking “Imagine if…”

Transcendence has been drained. We are all in thrall to the three axioms of the Enlightenment: secularism, utilitarianism, and egalitarianism (blog, Substack). The woke are more honest than “conservatives” is seeing the logical deductions from these premises.

This is why “conservatives” always lag behind “progressives”: they all believe in the same thing, but the “conservatives” just want things to go slowly. This is also why Rufo’s victories are only delaying actions, though perhaps being useful in an accelerationist sense, and why voting won’t help.

Yarvin: “I am saying that fighting for fighting’s sake is retarded. The only reason to fight is to win. Don’t compare your victories to nothing, Chris! That’s the grifter way. Compare them to winning.”

Of course, Rufo thinks he is winning. And he does have a smattering of tactical victories. These are more like guerrilla hit-and-run skirmishes. He does not have enough men to win the way. Yarvin also fails to understand that men like Rufo will fight, and that there is no talking them out of fighting.

Yarvin instead says that his “picture of winning is very clear.” It isn’t, except for some mumbling about corporations or Presidents as Kings (not in this debate, but elsewhere).

Anyway, it’s all academic. You won’t get a king—a real one or Yarvin’s—by voting. Or by debating. We may get an increasingly imperialistic President, like China, which rules with iron and blood over the Expertocracy. Yarvin thinks such a President can be elected! He says this even after seeing what happened to Trump, who at his best is only a shadow of his imagined Strong Man.

Democracies always end badly, a truth known for thousands of years, but one which we pretend not to remember. We, embedded in an “our democracy”, are ending badly, too.

Since, as the old saying goes, that which cannot continue won’t, “our democracy” will stop, and something will come after. What? A full-on Expertocracy? It wouldn’t last. Too many Experts in service to too many thieving oligarchs, who would eventually war among themselves. The usual end of democracies, after all, is Emergency and a Man who cleans up the mess.

Parkinson summarizes the typical ending, coming after a point at which the State

acquire[s] such an accumulation of centralised power — political, economic, religious and cultural — that some of the former upper class would be goaded into revolt. Supposing the conspiracy or rising should attract any measure of support, in the name of freedom, the strongest personality in the government would make himself dictator during the emergency: thereafter, the rising crushed, he would remain dictator as a precaution against any future threat of the same kind.

Some have hopes Elon Musk will be one of these in the upper class who revolts. Maybe so. But Musk as dictator? It cannot be believed. It has to be, and will be, a man who understands and will use violence. In any case, all of this seems far off. Things have to get much worse before enough feel there is a real crisis.

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  1. bgc

    “Since, as the old saying goes, that which cannot continue won’t, “our democracy” will stop, and something will come after. What? ”

    Answer: Civilizational collapse and the death of a very large majority of the population.

    There are so many reasons why this will happen, that it seems unavoidable – even if we were trying to avoid it, when we are actually doing the opposite.

    Also, from a Christian perspective, The West *must* be stopped from implementing its totalitarian system of damnation.

    This won’t happen, but not for good reasons – but because evil feeds upon itself.

    The System is destroying itself faster than it can create the conditions to enforce pure materialism and (what the leadership intends will be) mass voluntary self-damnation.

    In terms of D&D – the architects of lawful evil (Great Reset, Agenda 2030) are already being undermined by the agents of chaotic evil (e.g. WWIII on two fronts already; destruction of the Western economy, trade, energy, law and order, health services, science and technology etc etc); and among the leadership class the defections from lawful to chaotic evil increase on a monthly basis.

  2. Johnno

    One wonders whether the American Revolution had any legitimacy at all to begin with.

    Re-reading Thomas Hutchinson’s objections to the Declaration of Independence, and comparing it with the woke revolution today, is really eye-opening… particularly these closing paragraphs:

    “They have, my Lord, in their late address to the people of Great Britain, fully avowed these principles of Independence, by declaring they will pay no obedience to the laws of the Supreme Legislature; they have also pretended, that these laws were the mandates of edicts of the Ministers, not the acts of a constitutional legislative power, and have endeavoured to persuade such as they called their British Brethren, to justify the Rebellion begun in America; and from thence they expected a general convulsion in the Kingdom, and that measures to compel a submission would in this way be obstructed. These expectations failing, after they had gone too far in acts of Rebellion to hope for impunity, they were under necessity of a separation, and of involving themselves, and all over whom they had usurped authority, in the distresses and horrors of war against that power from which they revolted, and against all who continued in their subjection and fidelity to it.

    Gratitude, I am sensible, is seldom to be found in a community, but so sudden a revolt from the rest of the Empire, which had incurred so immense a debt, and with which it remains burdened, for the protection and defence of the Colonies, and at their most importunate request, is an instance of ingratitude no where to be paralleled.

    Suffer me, my Lord, before I close this Letter, to observe, that though the professed reason for publishing the Declaration was a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, yet the real design was to reconcile the people of America to that Independence, which always before, they had been made to believe was not intended. This design has too well succeeded. The people have not observed the fallacy in reasoning from the whole to part; nor the absurdity of making the governed to be governors. From a disposition to receive willingly complaints against Rulers, facts misrepresented have passed without examining. Discerning men have concealed their sentiments, because under the present free government in America, no man may, by writing or speaking, contradict any part of this Declaration, without being deemed an enemy to his country, and exposed to the rage and fury of the populace.”

  3. Tars Tarkus

    Musk as dictator? That’s a good laugh. Every year he would announce the communists will be round up and tossed into a prison or something in the next 18 months.

    We’re so desperate for representation in the elite that we will cling to anything or anyone on the slightest pretense. Musk will be lucky if he avoids jail in the next 5 years. He is definitely not our guy.

  4. Cary D Cotterman

    What did those 1940s people call those beautiful classic cars?


  5. “Beyond that, can you—can you—imagine Congress voting to remove the Expertocracy and restore Federalism?”

    Yes, I can.

    Of course Americans would have to force them to do it – and the complete inaction by those most affected so far is very discouraging. Still.. imagine if the movement I laid out (see paul530 on substack) took off..

  6. Johnno

    Utterly fascinating! American Wokeness has ancestors!

    “The Wide Awakes were a youth organization and later a paramilitary organization cultivated by the Republican Party during the 1860 presidential election in the United States. Using popular social events, an ethos of competitive fraternity, and even promotional comic books, the organization introduced many to political participation and proclaimed itself as the newfound voice of younger voters. The structured militant Wide Awakes appealed to a generation which had been profoundly shaken by the partisan instability in the 1850s, and offered young northerners a much-needed political identity.

    In early March 1860, Abraham Lincoln spoke in Hartford, Connecticut, against the spread of slavery and for the right of workers to strike. Five store clerks, who had started a Republican group called the Wide Awakes, decided to join a parade for Lincoln, who delighted in the torchlight escort back to his hotel provided for him after his speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the Lincoln campaign made plans to develop Wide Awakes throughout the country and to use them to spearhead large voter registration drives, since they knew that new voters and young voters tend to embrace new and young parties.

    Members of the Wide Awakes were described by The New York Times as “young men of character and energy, earnest in their Republican convictions and enthusiastic in prosecuting the canvass on which we have entered.” In Chicago, on October 3, 1860, 10,000 Wide Awakes marched in a three-mile procession. The story on that rally occupied eight columns of the Chicago Tribune. In Indiana, one historian reported:

    “1860 was the most colorful in the memory of the Hoosier electorate. “Speeches, day and night, torch-light processions, and all kinds of noise and confusion are the go, with all parties,” commented the “independent” Indianapolis Locomotive. Congressman Julian too was impressed by the “contrivance and spectacular display” which prevailed in the current canvass. Each party took unusual pains to mobilize its followers in disciplined political clubs, but the most remarkable of these were the Lincoln “Rail Maulers” and “Wide Awakes,” whose organizations extended throughout the state. Clad in gaudy uniforms the members of these quasi-military bands participated in all Republican demonstrations. The “Wide Awakes” in particular were well drilled and served as political police in escorting party speakers and in preserving order at public meetings. Party emulation made every political rally the occasion for carefully arranged parades through banner-bedecked streets, torchlight processions, elaborate floats and transparencies, blaring bands, and fireworks.”

    By the middle of the 1860 campaign, Republicans bragged that they had Wide Awake chapters in every county of every northern (free) state. On the day of Lincoln’s election as president, Wide Awakes had grown to 500,000 members. The group remained active for several decades.

    History certainly does rhyme!

  7. C-Marie

    “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.” Daniel.

    However things look, God is in charge. He calls peoples and nations for a length of time regarding their sins, and then after much warning regarding their non receiving of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and God, and concerning other sins not repented of, God declares judgment. And that is where we are now. Sin without repentance is increasing, and our time is upon us. There will be a few years where things seem better, but the reality of America’s turning from God, will take precedence, and war and more will be upon us. Turn now to Jesus Christ, and receive our Father’s love for you, that you may stand strong in Him during the perilous times coming.

    God bless, C-Marie

  8. When boredom (due to fruits of innovation) can no longer be outwitted by distraction (e.g. Tinseltown, brainwashing, monetarisation of indulgences, etc.), then any/every cultural/civilizational experiment is over. Next stop: Mao 2.0 …

  9. It’s not a question if so-called civilization collapses it’s a question of when. The plutocrats have their bunkers and hardened military complexes and continuity of government schemes, they’ll be OK. I don’t doubt they’re aiming for the Georgia Guidestones vision and are crazy enough to believe AI puts in within their grasp and they’ll be able to live forever uploaded to computer heaven to boot.

  10. BigOboe

    Thank you. I started reading UR, which I missed when it first came out. Yarvin’s writing is dense, sometimes moving, sometimes convincing, but I had no idea about the Medium article. That is disappointing.

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