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Some speculations on the possibility that Caesarism in the West could well be ''Classic Liberalism''.
I was recently watching a video of Brett Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, on Odysee in which they lamented the shambolic state of political discourse in America. Weinstein and his wife found themselves on the wrong side of the system’s narratives regarding the pandemic and the vaccination program and have suffered some mild censorship because of it. According to the pair everything is ‘‘FUBAR’’ to use an old American military term. The institutions are corrupt, academia is an ideological madhouse, the media is captured, the politicians are insane, the normies are all but braindead.
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Weinstein cited abortion as a perfect example of a fundamental divide, one side supports policies which are tantamount to infanticide while the other — driven by religious zeal in Weinstein’s view — would see victims of rape be forced to give birth the offspring of their rapist.
Weinstein and Heyer, one Jewish and one white, represent an upper middle class demographic of highly educated people who, in Weinstein’s view, are completely voiceless. They are then, the Classic Liberals. They concede that on extremely rare occasions an individual can be confused by their sexuality, but they oppose ‘‘gender ideology’’. They aren’t racists but think immigration should be controlled, they oppose critical race theory and generally hold what amounts to a race-blind civic nationalism. I suspect Weinstein’s background would make him wince at the thought of unfettered free speech, though they’re most certainly opposed to the blanket censorship we see today.
Weinstein can count as allies many doctors and scientists who ‘‘went rogue’’ during the pandemic and all of them seem to embody an educated 1980’s style Gen X liberalism. It is the realization that in the 2020’s every institution which enabled that liberalism has been thoroughly gutted and taken-over by ideologues which is now dawning on them.
Over on YouTube content creators earn fortunes by firing video essay torpedoes into the latest ‘‘woke’’ trash coming out of Hollywood and, once again, the sentiment is that things were just better in the 80’s and 90’s than they are now. They don’t hate women, they liked Sigourney Weaver in Alien, they aren’t racists because the cast of Predator was multi-racial, and that’s the greatest movie ever made.
Centrist Liberalism has long been perceived as the root of the ills we’re enduring in the West by the far right. It was centrist values which platformed enemies, held rights above race and freedom over cohesion and the collective. Genuine Nationalists would, if in power, deport people, silence enemies and deploy the power of the state to get shit done. Similarly, the religious right would enact laws and policy based upon its own moral values system and if you didn’t like it then, well, tough.
Centrist liberalism on the other hand has always been a bit ‘‘meh’’ a bit wishy washy and banal.
During the pandemic many liberals turned to the various rights and protections allowed to them to counter some of the more insane mandates, however what they really discovered was that the bungee cords had been snipped and they were now about to hit the granite rocks below with an almighty slap.
Fundamentally the issue is one of power and ideology being unconstrained, unfettered by the niceties and assurances of the past. We’re all trapped in the colosseum and the doors to the lion cages were just opened up.
The dynamic between the Dissident Right and power is existential in the sense that one has to destroy the other or face destruction itself —hence myriad laws and censorship policies. However, the dynamic between centrism and power is one in which power has to be constrained and limited. The centrist wants the stabilizers back on the bicycle, the loose wiring has to be earthed.
It is a freedom from power and its bastard ‘‘woke’’ off-spring more than it is an ideology itself, such has always been the liberal way, of course. Liberalism is, in actuality, a void of nothingness.
It is therefore justified to say that we arrive at something resembling the following dichotomy: Power/Politics vs Anti-Power/Politics.
Naturally, this isn’t exactly true, the centrist liberal simply holds the politics of the 80’s and 90’s as the normal state of existence. Liberalism has never been able to stand on its own merits, formerly it was given a degree of solidity by Christianity forming its ethical backbone. It then dissolved its way through this glue before then falling once more to the abysmal artificial construct of social justice and political correctness. The era which today’s Gen Xers regard with such fondness was simply the gap in which liberalism was not occupied and given substance by something else.
Nevertheless, there exists an ideal of what liberalism should be and what we suffer under today most certainly isn’t that ideal. Western Liberalism has, like the Ship of Theseus, been gradually altered over time so thoroughly we need to ask what this political philosophy actually is. A civil right here, a hate speech law there, another book banned, another historical event held beyond questioning. The title of the thing remained the same — in actual fact that’s pretty much all that remained the same.
The newer brand of liberalism, one might even call it ‘‘neoliberalism’’ is entirely the product of money and power and not in any way representative of what liberalism describes itself as. Populism in the West, which many on the right regard as incoherent and tepid, is, then, an attempt to return to a previous form of liberalism. Thus far the populace have not succeeded in any meaningful sense, the question is —what if they were given some assistance by rogue elements within the establishment, men driven by both ego and exasperation with the current order?
Typically, when speculating on the advent of Caesarism in the West, people in our circles (and certainly my audience) will think of Spengler’s Great Man arriving to put the money-power to the sword, a God-Emperor type figure not weighed down by post-modernist cynicism or blocked by the sheer magnitude of the managerial bureaucracy of the modern (American) state.
However, another Oswald of that era, Oswald Mosely, put it thus:
It is, of course, true that fascism has an historical relation to Caesarism, but the modern world differs profoundly from the forms and conditions of the ancient world. Modern organization is too vast and too complex to rest on any individual alone, however gifted. Modern Caesarism, like all things modern, is collective. The will and talent of the individual alone is replaced by the will and ability of the disciplined thousands who comprise a fascist movement. Every blackshirt is an individual cell of a collective Caesarism.
Post-war liberalism nested itself in the ruins of Fascism and defined itself as being foundationally and morally in opposition to it. This, then, is the liberalism of centrists today. It is the liberalism of Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson and a huge swathe of Centre-Right political sentiment which, ironically, are now themselves being designated as Fascists by the latest incarnation of liberalism.
So-called ‘‘woke’’ politics along with sensitivity and censorship in regards to racial issues and Civic Rights in general, are exceptions to the liberal ideal made throughout the post-war era. Like a parasite outgrowing its host, these exceptions are now at odds with its own foundations and in danger of overwhelming it.
What I find interesting about all of this in terms if Caesarism and civilizational cycles is when we consider the pervading mood of the mass-man in the winter of civilization. It can be summed up in one word — exhaustion.
It is a weariness with politics and the ‘‘experts’’ and a fatigue with consumerism and materialism. A spiritual depletion and an aching nostalgia for the old days and ways. The incessant demands of the ‘‘elite’’ and an inability to escape the all encompassing diktats of the megalopolis. It is this, fundamentally, which Caesarism uses as its justification. It is, by definition, non-radical but conservative. When Elon Musk ascended to the throne of Twitter he annoyed both left and right by declaring they would both be equally silenced by his censorship policies.
Here we see the ‘‘benevolent despotism’’ of Plato, the ‘‘enlightened absolutism’’ of old reemerging in the digital realm, not from the far right, but from a pragmatic centrist. Of course, Tony Blair claims to be a pragmatic centrist too, but he does so based on the premise that elites and their whims form that centre, not public sentiment.
Consider this tweet from Musk:
Vox Populi, Vox Dei or ‘‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’’. Here, Classic Liberalism emerges as the legitimating force on behalf of the public will, in direct opposition to the ADL, the money-power and the international technocrat class (to which Musk belongs).
Enlightened Absolutism within this context really just comes down to papering over the old paradoxes within liberalism with pragmatism. Thus, abortions will not be banned, but not made easy, non-whites will not be deported, but neither will they be reified. Transexualism will not be outlawed, but it’s propagandizing will, and so on.
Similarly, Holocaust denial will probably not be allowed on Musk’s Twitter, but neither will pedophilia. Musk’s capture of Twitter is in one sense a simulacra of a postmodern Centrist Caesarism, but also perhaps a foreshadowing of what is to come. In the end, however, it will rely on sovereign power in a real political sense making the decisions and deciding what is or what is not in the public (and their own) interest.
It is, admittedly, a rather bleak outlook but then again winter always is. Centrist Caesarism is, in my view, infinitely more preferable than the Davos transhuman progressivism of our current trajectory, but far less preferable than a Nationalist revival. However, it is the excesses and sheer madness of the current ruling class which gives rise to an all pervasive sentiment of ‘‘just make it stop, somebody just make it all go away!’’.
Bob Moran, the British satirist and cartoonist, encapsulates the zeitgeist perfectly:
The running theme of Moran’s work is a degree of powerlessness to which white people are unaccustomed. The institutions and technological apparatus of the West has been weaponized against the core population to degrees unthinkable just a generation or two in the past.
In a recent article on Covid lockdowns Gio’s content corner put it thus:
It was the banishment of the non-jabbed from within the state, denied the right of voluntary exile via travel restrictions. A stark real-world application of Agamben's theory of bare life, the Homo Sacer who is “abandoned to the law”. Paradoxically outside of the juridical rights of the system, yet still within the system on a liminal basis, in order to justify the existence of the perpetual state of exception itself. A non-entity within the regime who can be persecuted freely and without consequence. How many chanted such free and casual punishments via exclusion, such as the denial of healthcare to the un-jabbed.
In an age in which meetings featuring prominent technocrats and ‘‘Global Leaders’’ are openly advocating restricting movement based on vaccination status and digital surveillance at both the micro and macro scale we must ask ourselves — from where will the oppositional force to this dystopia emerge? When looked at objectively it will be whoever pledges to hold the tyranny at bay. It will inevitably be people who believe in ‘‘rights’’ and the norms of Western Liberalism, whether the Dissident Right likes it or not.
And thus, the scene is set for the final confrontation against the Money-Power and politics itself. Fundamentally, Caesarism is a negotiation with decline. Lacking either the dynamism of Nationalism or the twisted blank-slate utopianism of progressivism, a pragmatic centrism will offer only a degree of stability backed-up by force. It will live with its internal paradoxes and hypocrisies as the long stagnation sets-in.
In February of this year I wrote an article called ‘‘America’s Toxic Rebrand’’ in which I discussed how much more appealing Americanism was prior to the age of the rainbow flag and critical race theory. Here once more the question arises — what would a restoration of Americanism actually be? An increased sense of racial interests among the white population is surely to be welcomed, as is a renewed religiosity. However, both found form within the template of Constitutional Liberalism which is at the heart of America.
And here we arrive once more at a reified America, the little towns in Gremlins or Groundhog Day, Cowboys, Sweet Home Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd singing Free Bird at a very Aryan looking concert in California. This is not to fall once again into nostalgia, but simply to state that there is an ideal to be drawn upon in abstract form which can be used to guide decision making. Metapolitically speaking such forms play to the centre, or rather, the centre as it should have been.
To return to Oswald Mosely’s point, the oligarch brings with him his own army of technicians and managers, scientists and PR wonks, they can of course be of the political hue recently cleared out of Twitter, or simply reflective of the whims and wishes of their master, and so the pieces of the chess board fall into place.
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