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Sep 5, 2023Liked by Morgoth

When I was at university in the 90’s, ‘The Prince’ by Machiavelli was required reading. Machiavelli asks; how do we utilise power to do good while utilising evil to keep power. Weak leaders, in mid 15th century Italy as now, were disastrous. Supreme amongst strong leaders was Cesare Borgia (Pope Alexander VI’s son); Machiavelli charts how Cesare disguised his intentions, weakened opposing factions, broke old loyalties, enriched allies and eliminated rivals. Most of all, what impressed Machiavelli was Cesare’s readiness to do what was necessary when it was necessary. Ultimately, Machiavelli tells us that we cannot do good without power but we cannot gain power, nor retain it, without doing evil. It’s interesting to consider what Machiavelli would have made of Twitter, Musk and the ADL. Machiavelli lived his life in an age when brutality and deceit often won out - are we that much different now?

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founding
Sep 5, 2023Liked by Morgoth

A very careful analysis by one of our best. What I wonder is why the various purveyors of soft power appear to act so heavy-handed lately, which in turn would appear to be their detriment. Why did these kinds of dynamics not play out publicly in this way 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Is it due to technology (e.g. the internet) or due to an increasing lack of skill of the people involved, which could explain an unnecessary overreach? Or is there some other reason?

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Intensely amusing to see Musk musing about extracting $22 billion in damages due to lost as revenue via a lawsuit for defamation. It seems unlikely to me that he could win, but then again it also seemed unlikely he'd buy Twitter, so perhaps that's just pessimism bias. Such a lawsuit would bankrupt the ADL, and the documents that would emerge in discovery - something else Musk is musing about - would very likely damage what's left of their reputation. Musk is essentially threaten to neuter their economic and cultural power. I wonder if they'll get the message?

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Sep 5, 2023·edited Sep 5, 2023Liked by Morgoth

If the ADL thinks it is in shit street it will overlay the current narrative with another. As example, here in England, when David Amess MP was murdered, the correct focus and questioning of why a foreign moslem would commit such an act was hastily smothered with bullshit about the perils of the internet. The ADL is agile enough to make opportunity out of adversity. The truth will always be the first casualty.

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founding
Sep 5, 2023Liked by Morgoth

An excellent summary and many brilliant comments. I agree that the increasing brazenness of our leaders in what they are doing, combined with a clear degeneration in their gravitas is both worrying and encouraging. As far as the ADL goes, the more they tighten their grip, the more minds will awaken from the boomer truth and slip through their fingers. I'm certain many generations have thought this before, but it really does seem to me that humanity is on the precipes of the most challenging and potentially catastrophic decade or two in all of history.

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Their approach was stolen, lock, stock, and barrel by the likes of Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson shuffles up to Anheuser Busch and says "that's a nice business you have. Shame if something happened to it," and gets a regional distribution license for his son. Yes, the ADL too is a protection racket. Nothing more. That being stated, the solution is to deal with them in the same manner. There will be losses and this is unavoidable with such entrenched power.

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I do love that Game of Thrones discussion on power and there is a nice nugget of truth there.

However-

Every law is, when you go down the branches far enough, a layer over naked force. Every law, at it's core, is enforced by a man with a gun who will kill you or use the threat of killing you to take your freedom or your property.

The ADL doesn't have an army. It's not quite BLM or Antifa. It is all soft power, all slander, threats and influence. It doesn't have the power of law, no men in uniform show up if you tell them 'no' often enough. Thus their power is truly Vary's illusion.

Of course...illusions are still dangerous and can cause harm.

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"Theatricality and deception, powerful agents to the uninitiated" - it's true that the appearance of power goes a long way, but as with a fight real power is only revealed when the antagonists go all in. At some point you realise the big, swaggering tough guy can't really throw a punch and can't take them either. The ADL may find, to quote GoT, that what they thought of as power was merely influence.

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One thing that occurs to me in all these discussions of power is that the Right (broadly speaking) doesn't edge into making the same mistake of the Left: seeing (as with Foucault) power everywhere. One example: Camille Paglia (a writer I admire) views sex as an intrinsic power game. On one level this is quite true: sex frequently *is* a tacit struggle for domination. But this analysis completely leaves out the question of love, which has often - rightly in my view - been conceived of as the opposite of power. So, in short, the Right should be realistic about power, not afraid (as are skin-suit conservatives) to actually use it; but it should cherish and maintain the various realms in which brute power appears to have no purchase.

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I am beginning to think some of these entities we fret about are like Bill Gates. Money and connections get you far. They also give you plenty of free passes and minimal scrutiny.

But the act only really works without the scrutiny. When examined, for whatever reason, what is revealed is unimpressive.

Many worried about Gates during covid but he seems increasingly clownish. Not someone to take seriously.

So I do wonder if this kind of balancing act is just difficult to pull off. But once we peek behind the curtain all is revealed and the mystique evaporates.

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Another great article and I do enjoy your more spicy topics and old form content.

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The fusion of Keith Woods and Elon Musk is internet bizzaro world, but maybe a signal towards what post boomer truth world looks like? If so - I’ll take it.

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