You are the good guy in a Western movie showdown. You stand in the dusty street, facing your opponent, a black-clad gunslinger with a fearsome reputation. You have seen signs he’s lost his touch—he drinks too much, and sometimes his hands shake and his eyes turn cloudy. But you also know that he’s killed dozens of men. As you hand slides toward your gun, because it must, you wonder: which man do I face? The competent killer, or the hollow shell? We on the Right, and more broadly all Americans based in reality, ask ourselves this question as we square off against our increasingly vicious and unhinged rulers, aptly collectively called simply the Regime.
I believe that the Regime is a paper tiger, long past its expiration date and waiting only for the inevitable crisis, followed by fracture, that will destroy its power, and thereupon a replacement system of governance will rise. Yet we must avoid wish projection, and a paper tiger cannot be proven paper until it folds or burns. There is a strong element of scrying in any prediction about the political future, containing a vague feeling of imposture. Nonetheless, I will justify my position, and I will make a specific near-term prediction that can be falsified, so that I will thereby bear some prophecy risk.
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What do we mean by strength and weakness in this context? We can all agree that the Regime is currently able to inflict damage on its enemies, at least some of the time, if it puts enough effort into it. This, of itself, does not at all show strength. If you are an elderly woman terrorized by the so-called Department of Justice for praying at an abortion mill, it feels like the Regime is strong. She has no recourse and no possibility of fighting back. Actual strength, however, is the ability to withstand a crisis, not the ability to flog the powerless. And the real opposite of strength in a regime is not weakness, absence of power, as such; it is fragility, which when tested reveals weakness not otherwise apparent. This truth forms the core of today’s analysis.
We must precisely define the Regime. A “regime,” generically speaking, is any centralized governmental system operated by an elite. Any regime consists, for purposes of power, of perhaps five percent of the population, Gaetano Mosca’s “governing elite,” together with perhaps another fifteen percent of the population, the “non-governing elite.” (These rough percentages seem to recur throughout history.) The remainder of the population, those outside a regime, is not necessarily subservient or unhappy, but has little or no actual role in governance. When we speak of the Regime, our Regime, we mean these two groups of elites in our society, sometimes called for shorthand the ruling class. In our modern Western context, it includes most political figures (of both parties), those who direct large business entities, most of those who work in schools (including both universities and government primary and secondary schools, and all those who have positions of educational power), nearly all of those who work in media (hence the accurate term “Regime media” for what used to be called “the news”), and nearly all of those who work in cultural production. The Regime is therefore largely coterminous in its membership with what is sometimes called the “professional-managerial elite.”
Sometimes we focus on the nasty individual character of the substantial majority of Regime functionaries. They are usually lazy, incurious, weirdly feminized, incompetent, dependent on psychoactive drugs, obsessed with their distorted self-image, unintelligent, and uninformed, lacking all basic cultural and historical knowledge. But while it is amusing to have contempt for one’s enemies, that does not, of itself, automatically imply Regime fragility. Whatever their talents or skills, or lack thereof, those who are members of the Regime bathe daily in, and draw their physical and spiritual subsistence from, a noxious blend of self-dealing (that is, theft from the productive members of society, of which the Regime contains very few) and Left ideology. Why our Regime embraces Left ideology, rather than no ideology or a Right ideology, for both of which many historical examples exist (it is not true that history has any leftward drift) is beyond today’s topic. But nobody can deny that the binding ideology of our Regime is Left—that is, in short, it revolves ideologically around total obeisance to the twin goals of unlimited emancipation and total forced equality (the latter not to imply Regime member equality with those outside the Regime, of course). Because Left ideology denies reality, any entity that revolves around it is inherently unstable. However, this will not be a main theme of today’s discussion—but you should keep it in mind, as backdrop.
Strictly speaking, the Regime is not American, although the American ruling class is the most prominent head of the hydra. The ruling classes of other decayed Western nations, from Canada to New Zealand, are also part of the Regime, even if in most instances their writ only runs directly to their own populations, and what they impose on their populations is largely generated and promulgated by the American portion of the Regime. This transnational component led to the term “globohomo” being coined for the Regime’s ideology—sometimes said to be a contraction of “global homogenization,” but very deliberately also referring to the forced international worship of sexual perversion that is a key element, perhaps the key element, of the Regime’s Left ideology.
And while the Regime has many bodies, national and transnational, that set policy initiatives while ruling particular beliefs and practices heretical or orthodox, there is no centralized decision-making body that can be decapitated. If everyone associated with, say, the World Economic Forum, a favorite target of those who perceive central decision-making, were to become a monk in Antarctica, nothing would change with the Regime or its practices. What the Regime does in any particular circumstance is an emergent property of what it is—who composes it, what they believe, and what their incentives and disincentives are. Like the Blob, cut off only a part, and it will keep going as before.
We must also clearly distinguish between civilizational and Regime weakness. As to the former, any well-informed, honest citizen can mark the signs of very advanced civilizational decline throughout the West. Detailing this could easily take another 5,000 words, or 50,000, and I will spare you (for now). My concern today, however, is not with civilizational failure. Yes, if the Regime disappeared tonight, our civilization would still face enormous difficulties, not all of which the Regime is directly responsible for. The Regime enhanced and accelerated the damage, and in many cases caused the damage, but our deepest civilizational challenges have been caused simply by following the dead-end path on which the Enlightenment put the West, something which long pre-dated our Regime’s rise to power (which, depending on how you look at it, was arguably sometime in the 1960s). The Regime, to be sure, makes it impossible to even place one foot on the path back to regaining our future. But civilizational decline can co-exist with Regime strength, and it is the latter that is our concern today.
Finally, before we begin discussing specifics, I note that although I am writing this piece to prove something, the burden of proof should really be on those who claim that the Regime is strong. This is because, looking backward through history, nearly every regime, and every regime that is living off the seed corn of successful predecessors, seems strong, despite whatever myriad problems and challenges it is facing, right up until it doesn’t. The best Western intelligence rated the Soviet Union as extremely strong in the late 1980s. It did not appear likely the Tsar would fall in 1917. Louis XVI did not spend his days fearing for his throne. Yet, in all cases, the end came suddenly. That people tend to think the reverse is not really surprising. All of us have normalcy bias, and quite rightly fear (probably not enough) massive political changes. Who can really imagine an America that does not wear the face of America? Still, objectively, we know for a certainty that the Regime will fall, because every regime ever has fallen, to be replaced by something different. It is only a question of when, and whether that is imminent—which can only be accurately told in hindsight, because the precipitating crisis can never be predicted.
Down to business. Of those writing on the Right, or if not Right, those outside Regime media, the majority, it seems, take the position, though with variations, that the Regime is strong and stable, and apparent weaknesses and instabilities are either overblown or irrelevant. (I should note at the outset that there are exceptions; a recent speech by David Azerad is a good example of someone who thinks more like me. I should also note that most of the people whose position I am going to critique today I regard as allies and friends.) I think it most useful to list out, and individually address, each variant of this position. My core contention is that each of these claims is false, and that all of observable symptoms, known facts, historical analogs, and simple logic point to an opposite conclusion: that the Regime is fragile and will swiftly fracture when faced with any significant crisis that directly adversely negatively affects the mass of normal Americans—those neither in the ruling class nor in the underclass.
1) The Regime is strong because the ruling class is united.
This claim is really a claim about elite behavior and its consequences. There is general agreement, best (but far from perfectly) analyzed by James Burnham in The Machiavellians, and more recently by Neema Parvini in The Populist Delusion, that every society is governed by an elite, and that the popular will is largely irrelevant, most of the time at least. Many derive from this that if a counter-elite is not visible within the current elite, the current elite will continue its dominance until a counter-elite arises.
As I have recently discussed at length, this theory confuses cause and effect—a counter-elite that replaces an existing elite typically arises spontaneously as an existing regime fractures due to forces beyond its control, rather than arising first and then acting to replace the existing elite. Aside from this, however, the claim that our Regime is strong because the ruling class is united exaggerates that unity, and to the extent there is unity, it does not matter, because a united ruling class does not make a strong ruling class.
Intra-elite competition always exists, because competition is in the nature of man, but only sometimes does it become visible to outsiders. In most normal regimes internal fault lines are largely invisible outside the regime, until very near the final fracture. The elites assuredly prefer it remain hidden; thus, intra-elite competition in earlier eras is often completely invisible to us, irrecoverable, and ongoing competition today is similarly opaque. For example, we know that the Clinton crime family competes with Obama partisans in political contests of will wholly within the Regime, in particular aiming to command to their own benefit the senile puppet Biden, but all the details are concealed from us, and probably will remain so forever. Therefore, the claim that today’s elite who comprise the Regime are united is exaggerated.
There are, however, more than a handful of historical examples where elite competition was not invisible, and arguably contributed to regime fracture. Two that spring easily to mind are the fall of the French monarchy in 1789, and the final years of Tsarist Russia. In both instances factions within the elites had worked openly for some years to destroy the nation—that is, not only to replace the regime, but to wholly remake the entire people along utopian lines into a new people. What binds together all such instances is that the internal fault lines among elites were ideological, born of Left ideology striving to inject its poison into the polity. Such fault lines must, of necessity, be visible to those outside the regime, because the ideology that drives those fault lines is so alien and contradictory to the society and nation upon which a minority would impose them. (But even here, these visible fault lines do not actually threaten the regime until very near its end; there is no linear path from intra-elite disunity to regime fracture, which derives ultimately from reasons arising outside the regime.) Competition for money and honors, more standard forms of invisible intra-elite competition, occurs mostly silently; ideological insurgency aiming at a total reworking of society requires public contention, to gain converts and to inspire them to fanatic action.
There is no such ideological battle today within the ruling class in America, because the Left has wholly captured the Regime. Those who oppose the Regime are not ideological, much less utopian, in their opposition, but merely seek a return to reality. Still, even a return to reality in the face of ideological fanaticism itself has an ideological component, so one would expect at least some appearance of opposition within the elites, more than we see. The resolution of this missing disunity is that, paradoxically perhaps, in the present moment technology, combined with far-reaching government power, has concealed disunity among elites even more than is typical. For example, any corporate titan who privately hates the Regime knows he must keep this to himself in order to not be destroyed, because technology makes it easier to destroy him, by enhancing and speeding coordination of attacks. Witness Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, who no doubt does hate the Regime, but has not so declared, yet is already in the opening skirmishes of what will be a climactic battle that determines his fate. No man with less power dares to defy the Regime at all. But this apparent unity, born of fear, is not unity at all. True unity is provided by joint goals, usually with a transcendent component, or common loves; the Regime has none such—the supposed religion of late-stage Leftism, sometimes called wokeism, is no religion at all, and cannot provide a transcendent common goal. And the loves the Regime does have, of money and perversion, are not the type of loves that provide unity. Any unity within the Regime is therefore in part a mirage and always without deep roots.
Yet, I will grant that it probably is true in daily practice that our Regime is fairly united at this moment. This unity is the result of decades of Left indoctrination, which creates a weak form of transcendence, and the Regime’s joint looting of the rest of America for their own economic benefit, through collectively-beneficial practices such as exporting American jobs and importing tens of millions of alien and destructive immigrants. It is no coincidence that inequality has skyrocketed in the years the Regime has been coalescing, that real wages have stagnated for most Americans, and that the Regime aids and abets more than a hundred thousand Americans dying of drug overdoses every year. That these practices, and many others, continue against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans is, in fact, evidence of a non-trivial amount of Regime unity.
But such unity, whatever its exact degree, proves little. We should never forget that Communist elites were united too. Until, one day, they weren’t. Moreover, unity is worthless unless it can be used to accomplish ends. The unity of lemmings does not show strength, but weakness. Practically everything the purportedly unified Regime does is incompetent, not far off the behavior of lemmings.
Some deny this. Niccolo Soldo, who uses the term Turbo America to describe the allegedly ascendant Regime, claims that Turbo America is (foolishly and hubristically, in his view) simultaneously executing long-range and far-seeing plans to stifle both China and Russia, while continuing its ongoing schemes to dominate Europe. But this claim is actually a set of post hoc rationalizations for the flailings of the Regime. What makes this plain is that any Regime plan that is an authentic plan—that is, one announced ahead of time, with goals, metrics, and timetables—is, always, an abject failure. For example, a few weeks back it was revealed by Regime media, because it could no longer be hidden, to nobody’s real surprise, that in California’s high-speed rail project, a highly-publicized pet project of our elites, estimated costs had grown from $33 billion to hundreds of billions, if it could even be done at all, which it can’t. (The funniest fact was that the French company SNCF, a major global operator of high-speed rail, fled the project due to American elite political disunity, to instead operate in an area they found much more stable—North Africa.) I have racked my brain, and cannot think of any announced Regime plan in the past twenty years, or more, that has actually been executed successfully.
Such planning failures are true even of what should be a Regime strong suit, which requires little competence, is tolerant of gross error, and garners high returns on investment: political terror. Yet even this has been a bust; most notably, the net effect of the witch hunt that has followed the Electoral Justice Protest is highly negative to the Regime (though very damaging to many individual American men and women, whose numerous persecutors will, I hope, someday soon be called to account). And despite years in which to lay their plans and to act, access to hundreds of millions of dollars of resources usable both within the law and with impunity outside the law, benefit from billions of dollars of propaganda, and being driven by a fanatic and existential need, the Regime has shown itself completely unable to take any action to directly destroy Donald Trump that is not totally clownish and ineffectual.
It makes no sense to admit that while all actual, declared plans of the Regime are slapdash failures, which would be hilarious if they were not so destructive, other happenings with some connection to the Regime, which are not declared plans but which appear to benefit the Regime, are really intentional and exquisitely-executed successful strategies, the details of which are wholly in the shadows for some reason. To believe this is an attempt to retcon reality—to take what has happened, as the result of a multitude of factors (what was once simply called history) and to view it as the deliberate result of an unseen plan by unseen planners. Although I am a Soldo admirer, his claims are all just fantasy. The Regime has no coherent plan with respect to any of Russia, China, or Europe, and with respect to China or Europe, not even any coherent desires.
Reinforcing this conclusion is that Soldo identifies no actual individuals running this supposed Turbo America. (He speaks instead of nameless “policy planners” who slickly and seamlessly aim to “cement American rule.”) Nor could he, because they do not exist. Everything America can be said to “do” is reactive, like a headless chicken, and driven by a chaotic combination of short-term greed and ideology on autopilot, not strategic foresight.
So, for example, our Regime wants to destroy Russia, because its existence gives the lie to the supposed inevitable triumph of totalitarian globohomo. To this end, they throw many billions of our dollars at Ukraine, most of which they are fully aware ends up in Swiss bank accounts of men like Zelensky, and strip the armies of the West of hard-to-replace essential weapons systems, shipping them to be destroyed by the Russians. At the same time, the Regime supposedly carefully plans to threaten and constrict China in order to retain American strategic-economic preeminence—while severely undercutting that same plan by having very substantially weakened our military abilities with the Russian plan. No, none of this, under examination, can pass muster as a set of plans emerging from a unified elite. There may be unity in the Regime, but it is the unity of a group of retarded, sclerotic clowns mumbling nonsense in unison, not of the Three Hundred at Thermopylae. We should not blur the difference.
2) The Regime is strong behind the curtain, even though fools and nonentities are its front men.
This claim, although related to the first claim, focuses more on named individuals who are connected to the Regime. In a sense, it is directed at answering my last point above. Such a claim was recently made by the pseudonymous Astral, responding to statements I made in my discussion with Auron MacIntyre. In his reading, what all agree is insanity, such as the disgusting tranny who was recently cavorting with “President” Biden, is read as merely virtue signaling to a Left base, of no real substance and saying nothing about Regime fragility. (You could abstract this claim as saying the non-governing elite is more driven by ideology than the governing elite.) In Astral’s view (as I perceive it; we intend to have a discussion for public consumption on these topics), the positions of real power are in fact held by competent, less ideological people. Thus, Biden’s ludicrous press secretary, while very visibly wildly incompetent and stupid, has no power, nor does the cipher head of HHS, while the Secretaries of State and Treasury are competent and spend their days executing Regime plans.
This ignores that all high positions in the Regime do, in fact, have real power, including press secretary and head of HHS. The former sets messaging for the entire regime, and if incompetently done, as it is, the entire Regime suffers and has to spend vast resources repairing the damage. The latter controls a two-trillion dollar budget. If that does not offer a path to exercise power, nothing does. To suggest that the Regime does not suffer because it puts fools in charge is pretty clearly inaccurate.
Astral’s analysis also overstates the competence of the Regime members who are not obvious total jokes. I doubt very much if Anthony Blinken or Janet Yellen is actually competent; likely they are both much less intelligent than, say, me. And they are not all that important, in terms of their real power—no more important than the press secretary or the head of HHS. Neither can set the agenda for the Regime, or make or execute plans. All they do is talk, and at least in Yellen’s case, corruptly line her pockets by accepting what are in effect bribes for “speaking engagements.” Tellingly, Astral doesn’t mention the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, a sub-moron cretin, yet a man in charge of what is, on paper, the most important formal organization in the Regime. Don’t take my word for it—take a look at Biden’s entire cabinet, and you tell me without laughing that you think any of these people are competent, in the sense you would trust any of them as a middle manager at a company you owned, or even to clean your toilets adequately.
A possible response is that these people are just figureheads, and the real power, the competent people, are elsewhere—that it’s not figureheads all the way down, because somewhere invisible, competent people exist within the Regime. You might be right; that claim, being nonspecific, is hard to disprove. It is, however, Gnostic, to say always that the real power is somewhere else, and only the initiates can tell you where. More likely, there is just no there there.
There is a Deep State. But that’s just another term for the Regime, or the executive wing of the Regime. And to be sure, they do manage sometimes to execute their intentions, though always grossly inefficiently. After all, they are currently bleeding America to support the Ukrainian elites in the Russo-Ukrainian war, and that is not nothing. They also manage to sometimes stir up astroturfed trouble in places as diverse as Hungary and Iran. However, my claim is not that the Deep State does not exist, or that it can never accomplish any tasks to advance its ends. My claim is that all this is coming to an end, because what we see is more akin to the twitching of an animal shot through the head than coherent action of the Regime’s nervous system.
Astral offers the lockdowns and forced “vaccinations” that accompanied the Wuhan Plague as an example of regime strength. As I keep saying, to be weak is not to be completely unable, but to lack coherency and to be fragile, unable to withstand a crisis, and no doubt many of us were forced to dance to the Regime’s tune with respect to the Plague. But public conformance to Regime dictates during the Plague was not nearly as universal as some seem to think. In many areas, there was minimal compliance with those dictates—in most of America, geographically speaking. Regime censorship and blanketing propaganda hid much of this, but that only makes non-compliance stronger evidence of Regime inability. Moreover, most of the Regime reactions to the Wuhan Plague were not centrally and coherently imposed, part of some Regime plan being executed, but ever-changing and often contradictory demands, the result of group hysteria by feminized decision-makers exalting the false god of safety at all costs. All this is a sign of fragility, not strength, as tedious as it was for those outside the Regime.
3) The Regime is strong because liberal democracy, its supposed political philosophy, faces no coherent or viable alternatives.
We can call this the “end of history” argument. The precise claim varies somewhat, but in essence contends that Western societies, despite any minor surface problems and challenges they may evidence, have discovered a winning recipe in liberal democracy. Alternative existing regimes (usually the Chinese and Russians are offered as the possible alternatives) are far inferior and no real challenge, so we are the default hegemon, and the rest of the world is going to become more like America, forever and ever.
Every part of this idea is fatuous, as shown by that it is only ever offered as a conclusion, never with any substantive reasoning (most often, at least in my Twitter feed, by the annoying Richard Hanania, who purports to be Right, but only ever offers shallow analysis with the sole aim of discouraging the Right). Naturally, any present competitors discussed are gruesomely caricatured to the point of total falsification of reality, and all other alternatives, both historical and prospective, are totally ignored. This claim just doesn’t deserve any response. It is mere puerile wishcasting, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
It is also telling that those who praise liberal democracy are never willing to recognize that what did characterize liberal democracy—open discussion, checks and balances, constitutionalism, and an actual role for the masses in deciding who rules—has now completely disappeared, and what they worship as liberal democracy is merely Left authoritarianism wearing liberal democracy as a skin suit. The average person in the West is, overall, much less free than if he had lived under the later stages of Communism in Eastern Europe, or under nearly any Right authoritarian regime of the last century. But this is taking us afield from my main point, which again, is that the claim that the present social and political system of the West is triumphant because it is the best is offensively stupid.
4) The Regime is strong because it controls economic resources that enable its continued hegemony.
Sometimes the claim of economic strength revolves around Regime control of global finance, and sometimes around the production of actual goods and services. As to the former, we are informed that the United States dollar is still the global reserve currency, and that the dollar has remained strong, which is said to mean the Regime must be strong. But the dollar is strong only because it is regarded as the least bad alternative among hard currencies. And that the dollar is the reserve currency, while it does allow the Regime to borrow to continue its spendthrift ways, and thereby put off the inevitable end a little longer, says less than one might think, because the necessary trust on which that status is based, already eroding before 2022, was fatally damaged this year by the illegal, and worse, stupid, seizure by America (and America’s satrapies) of Russian foreign currency reserves, combined with incoherent bullying moves toward bystanders, who now have been reminded on which side their bread is buttered, and not with red, white, and blue. (No, this is not contrary to what I said above about Regime plans—all of this was kneejerk reaction, heavily laden with virtue signaling, not some clever, long-aborning set of chess moves to bring the Russians to their knees, and we know this, among other reasons, because it completely failed in its avowed purposes.)
As a result, we’ve seen a variety of tentative moves by those outside the Regime toward ending the dollar as a reserve currency. No doubt much more is discussed, and being prepared for, behind the scenes. The dropping of the dollar by the economies of the world that are not fake will come, naturally, not on some random Tuesday, but at a time of crisis, both when the United States can least afford it, and when the risk to those who would destroy the dollar’s status is smaller than the gain they can obtain. That day is not yet, but it will come, and probably soon. Thus, none of the seeming financial strength of the dollar, the primary Regime currency, shows that the Regime is not fragile; quite the contrary.
As to the productive economy, as I have discussed elsewhere, much of the supposed economic activity underlying the Regime’s GDP calculations is blatantly fake. A more sophisticated and harder-to-answer claim, however, is that America still has more manufacturing than often thought, is very agriculturally productive, and has vast natural resource reserves, not only energy but also a wide range of other crucial materials, and thus can be milked indefinitely to keep the Regime stable and strong. But that America might be able to have an economy that is much more productive of real value than it is does not prove anything about current Regime fragility—it proves the opposite, because a Regime that was not fragile, faced with the challenges we face, would be pivoting aggressively to expand the production of real value and to lay up resources for future use. Nope. Just this month, for example, the Regime further looted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, reducing it (so far) to the lowest level since 1984, just as global unsteadiness reaches heights not reached for seventy years, in exchange for the possibility of short-term political gain in the November midterm elections. The Regime actively suppresses nearly all production of real value, and, even more importantly, never works toward creating necessary infrastructure for future productivity. The relationship of the Regime to the productive economy is that they steal as much of they can of actual value produced for themselves, as in the pursuit of chimerical “green energy” and “green jobs,” which are simply organized parasitism.
Moreover, all, or nearly all, of what makes us seem economically dominant on a global scale is in fact largely dependent on inputs the control of which we have allowed to slip from our grasp. Our enemies and potential enemies therefore can choke us at will, and all we get in return is that for a little while, we can buy cheaper consumer goods. The most glaring example is computer chips from China (and Taiwan), but many other examples exist, some with greater potential impact than mere economic damage—for example that China (and India) control most of the supply of crucial medicines used in America. This dependency is yet another vector of Regime fragility.
5) The Regime is strong because it will use new technology to keep troublemakers down.
This is the “digital panopticon” argument. We are told that some unspecified combination of digital information vacuuming, data processing, and artificial intelligence will allow the government to monitor all citizens for any kind of oppositional or otherwise undesirable behavior, and to take action against troublemakers, actual or potential. Often dark mutterings are heard about social credit and face recognition, or Palantir and similar corporate entities cooperating with the Regime, and how the imminent arrival of strong AI or quantum computing will hand the Regime eternal power. Not heard are admissions that every technological breakthrough we have been promised for thirty years, from virtual reality to fusion to autonomous cars, has always been a lie, and that neither actual artificial intelligence nor usable quantum computing is ever going to arrive (and most likely we have past the peak of technological accomplishment, and are now moving backward). In fact, I suspect that the real major impact of technology is that it allows troublemakers to communicate and coordinate much more securely and efficiently than they used to, something that may bear fruit in the near future—we will see.
Moreover, the Regime lacks the resources and competence to execute any such plan on any scale, whatever technology may be available. For example, America’s secret police, our Stasi, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is already at the maximum extension of their powers, between simple diminishing returns to inputs and institutionalized incompetence resulting from Left ideology (what I call the Yas Kween Shaniqua problem). The Regime can’t do much more to oppress the people, short of military action (of which more below), and technology isn’t going to make more possible. Oh, sure, they can terrorize individuals, but this is small beans, except for those individuals. We know that technology isn’t going to enhance or expand the powers of our Stasi because all the nightmare science fiction scenarios we are peddled always rely on some technology that does not exist and are set in the future. In the present, our secret police still spend their days entrapping poor stupid suckers the old-fashioned way, as in the recent creation of a fake plot against the loathsome Michigan governor, where most of the “plotters” were federal agents and informants, and the rest were regular, not-very-smart Joes led around by the nose to create propaganda for the Regime.
But, I hear someone say, what about China? Blah. I am quite sure that the actual ability and impact of China’s supposed panopticon is greatly exaggerated, to the delight and benefit of the Party, but even if not, America is not China, and never will be, so what has been done in China can’t happen here. As with the Wuhan Plague, a very healthy percentage of Americans simply won’t comply beyond a certain point (though the same in not necessarily true in other countries under the Regime, such as New Zealand—but it is America that sets the tone). And we know this is important because of the desperate, ineffective efforts of the Regime to conceal non-compliance of the populace with their Plague dictates. Yes, PayPal can cut off use of its services, and steal money from, those who counter Left dictates, and that’s annoying. But it’s not an existential problem, except in the sense that Left control of our nation is an existential problem, and both problems have the same solution.
No doubt technology has extremely significant implications for how we are ruled, and by whom we are ruled. For thoughts on this, you cannot do better than read James Poulos’s recent Human, Forever. But fear of a digital panopticon driving Regime power is created almost entirely by the movies we’ve seen, from Blade Runner to Enemy of the State, not by real life. The panopticon will never arrive.
6) The Regime is strong because America is militarily strong relative to all other nations in the world—that is, the Regime has hard power.
This claim, at first glance, actually seems to be less obviously wrong than some of the other claims I analyze above. We certainly have a large military, at least as measured by dollars spent on weapons systems (even if many of those systems are of dubious value and likely negative return on investment, such as the absurdly expensive F-35 fighter, which doesn’t seem to work too well, even when not being crashed by female pilots). But what we don’t have is a large number of men who can actually fight, and we have no experience at all in fighting a peer adversary. We actually have far fewer weapons systems than we used to, and not only because we keep giving them away. Moreover, whether we like to hear it or not, and even if we blame the politicians rather than the military, we were defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq, if achieving none of our goals and being hustled from the country is the definition of defeat, and we look likely to be defeated in our proxy war in Ukraine as well (although that may take a turn to a non-proxy war, which would provide a definitive answer to this question).
If we examine our military on a more granular level, the tea leaves give an uncertain answer. Women, gender dysphoriacs, and general reduction of standards in the military, combined with political purges and the insertion of commissars at all levels, appear to hugely weaken our forces. But perhaps there are other currents too, and maybe our military could actually fight a successful war against a nation-state peer. Or maybe our technology is still far enough ahead of our enemies and potential enemies to act as a force multiplier, such that if what I referred to recently as the Backbone of America, competent white men, are permitted to administer that technology, we could overcome the corrosive effects of these other problems, and win a war.
Still, all recent examples suggest military weakness, and therefore lack of hard power. Arguments for military strength are all theoretical, or rely on esoteric readings of events—that our defeat in Afghanistan was deliberately engineered, for example, as a lesson to the executive branch, or something. The simplest conclusion to observable facts is that our military is, like the Regime itself, mostly a paper tiger. Try something for yourself—read the just-released 2022 “National Security Strategy,” complete with a ghostwritten cover letter purportedly from Biden, with the nice touch of a forged signature, as if Biden actually read this document. You will learn all about diversity, equity, and inclusion; food insecurity; global warming; and that Vladimir Putin is Satan. You won’t learn anything much about China or actual concrete plans to do anything to shore up America’s hard power. If that doesn’t convince you I’m right, read some more Regime propaganda, an article offered recently in the Atlantic, which claims that we (and Ukraine) are stronger because women and homosexuals are flooding the ranks. This type of propaganda, convincing nobody but making its purveyors feel virtuous and good, which is the norm for our supposed masters of hard power, suggests a level of detachment from reality that makes military capability against anything but Muslim wedding parties and minivans full of children unlikely.
Occasionally, pushed to the wall, proponents of this argument will claim that even if we lack all the capabilities that might be desirable, all our possible rivals are doing worse, so we can remain the bully on the block. I doubt that, very much, and as with many of these arguments relating to Regime fragility, that the claim is always made gloriously free of any evidence suggests I’m right. It’s quite clear that Russia is doing just fine in the Russo-Ukrainian war, and that so far all our efforts to isolate and destroy Russia on the world stage have been a miserable failure. And as to China, I have been told, in the pages of the finest journals of policy and opinion across the political spectrum, for thirty years, that China’s collapse is imminent, and I am still waiting. Does anyone actually seriously think we would, or could, defend Taiwan if the Chinese decided to take it back? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
7) The Regime is strong because it controls the social narrative, internationally and domestically—that is, the Regime has soft power.
This is easy to dispose of. The United States has no soft power, internationally. As to governments, nobody who is not a satrapy of the United States cares what the United States says anymore. Witness Saudi Arabia’s recent public humiliation of Biden after he pleaded for more oil, followed by further open contempt being heaped by the Saudis on the Regime. As to foreign individuals outside the Regime, we are told that they really are desperate for more globohomo, just as they were desperate for blue jeans and rock music under Communism. Both claims are false, and undeniably so, a combination of Regime propaganda and the earnest belief of Regime functionaries that everyone must want what they want. (Meanwhile, massive anti-Regime protests in places such as France and Canada, demonstrating what the people actually want, are both ignored by Regime media and crushed with violence by a desperate Regime.) The Regime, trapped within its own fantasies and only receiving information from the small slice of those friendly to the Regime in other nations, also cannot understand that other nations do not want to become America. The citizens of other countries understand perfectly well that an effete America (and, for Regime countries, their own immediate rulers) seeks to make them reject their own history, heritage, and morality. Nobody cares anymore—in a few cases, such as Viktor Orbán, what America demands is formally rejected, to wild applause from everyone but the Regime. In the rest of the world, whenever possible, which is more and more often, the Regime is just ignored, by both governments and the people.
Moreover, the Regime doesn’t even have as much soft power domestically as is often thought. As Auron MacIntyre says, if people can see they are manipulated, the Regime is failing in its aim of control. Aside from a core of the underclass and their own members, the Regime doesn’t have much influence at all, beyond the exercise of direct power. Yes, they still buy off the underclass, and they are able to steal elections and engage in other non-kinetic acts of war against those outside the Regime. But, as Malcolm Kyeyune has explained, making an analogy to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Regime’s soft power peaked to its maximum in 2020. There are no more sources of power to gather. Furthermore, it is important to remember that Left-dominated areas, which are extremely concentrated geographically, are not monolithic, even to the extent people vote Left. There are a great number of immiserated peons, Morlocks, who may vote for the handouts, but as Tacitus said, “Good turns are pleasing only in so far as they seem repayable; much beyond that we repay with hatred, not gratitude.” The loyalty of many of those on whom the Regime counts is very suspect, which is just another way of saying that the Regime lacks real domestic soft power, when push will come to shove.
8) Even if the Regime is not as strong as it once was, “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation,” as Adam Smith said.
Smith was speaking about economics (even though the quote itself is in the context of General Burgoyne’s 1777 defeat at Saratoga), in a world where all economic value was observable and real, and gold was the coin of the realm. He would probably flee to the South Seas, immediately, if he returned today. Despite the pithiness of this quote, that we’ve somehow survived this long under the Regime’s mismanagement does not prove anything about the future. Ernest Hemingway’s perhaps-overused quote, from one of his characters in The Sun Also Rises, about how he went bankrupt, fits nations as well as people—“gradually, then suddenly.”
9) It does not matter if the Regime is strong, because Americans are fat, lazy, and adequately content, so regardless of how strong the Regime is, nobody is going to complain enough to curb, much less end, the Regime.
It is true, as Carl Schmitt said, that “Without wanting to decide the question of the nature of man one may say in general that as long as man is well off or willing to put up with things, he prefers the illusion of an undisturbed calm and does not endure pessimists.” This truth, however, is different than the claim that Americans have become so fat and lazy, enervated by food, porn, weed, and computer games, that they will endure anything. It is impossible to prove, and perhaps undercut by the fairly passive performance of many Westerners under the bizarre theatric tyranny of the Regime during the Wuhan Plague, but I’m quite sure that enough Americans are neither too fat nor too lazy to accomplish the overthrow of the Regime, if they believe they can thereby change their circumstances in a way that matters to them—for example, when they need to feed their children. Moreover, there is a good chance that those who appear enervated will throw off their lethargy when they hear the right call, not only when they are driven by desperation. Young men, in particular, are entirely capable of transforming themselves overnight when given the right psychological incentives. We will see.
That’s it, then—a definitive response to every claim of Regime strength. Well, then, you may say, what’s going to happen, smarty pants? The people tend to demand, or at least like, prognostication. And if I’m right, I can dine out on my prophecy for a good long time. On the other hand, it is also true that a great deal about the Regime is, quite literally, unprecedented, as Michael Anton outlined in a recent brilliant piece of the same name, which makes prediction even harder than usual.
One key insight around which the future revolves is that only for a resilient system is fracture not a step function. Fragility results in a failure cascade when the crisis comes; of this, there can be no doubt, even if you disagree with my claims that the Regime is fragile. But as with the stock market’s random walk, when that cascade will occur cannot be predicted by events that precede it. That does not mean, however, that it is not imminent. You can predict broadly that it will happen, and there are plenty of indicators, several of them mentioned above. And anyone well-read in history will feel in his bones that the end is near.
It is true enough that no organized opposition to the Regime exists. I oppose the Regime, but that is meaningless; I’m just some guy. (Sorry to break it to my fans, but I am not the secret head of a shadowy conspiracy to overthrow the Regime. Today, at least.) But as Vladimir Lenin said, there are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen. It is a historical myth that regime fracture is the result of patient work by sappers; such men may exist, but their work is incidental to the larger currents of history, and usually they are crushed in the fall, although some (such as Lenin) by luck manage to rise to the top.
OK, so what’s my prediction? The November elections are around the corner. A non-ideological competent regime, if it receives a stinging electoral defeat, can course correct to maintain power. But a key debility of our Regime is their slavish devotion to their Left ideology, a crucial tenet of which is that any backsliding can never be allowed, for it disproves that history has an arrow. Thus, everywhere and always, any perceived gain of actual power by those who oppose the Left, if they are expected to use the power (unlike the so-called Right in America ever), is an automatic trigger for violence. Therefore, if the Republicans have a blowout victory in November—say retaking the House by a very large margin, as well as the Senate with fifty-four or fifty-five seats, including truly new voices willing to call for the actual use of power, such as Blake Masters and J. D. Vance—I predict the Regime will engage in significant violence. This might be a repeat of the Floyd Riots; it might also be targeted violence against individuals. Both have ample recent precedent as tools in the Left arsenal. It might be something new. (It will probably not be a military coup led by the disgusting people at the top of our military; that would be reserved for a Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis victory in 2024, and was dry-run in 2020.) Such violence itself would not prove Regime fragility, though it would prove that violence by the Left is inevitable, but I also predict that such violence will indeed reveal great fragility, in ways that are difficult to predict, but might include pushback from normal Americans, revealing a Regime incapable of then responding in an effective manner. If, on the other hand, we see no such signs of fragility, I will admit, perhaps not that I am wrong about fragility, but that I have overestimated its degree.
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