We Americans sense that we live in an empire of lies. We want to understand the people and systems which control our country and society. At a minimum, we want to know how and by whom we are ruled, and what that means for both the present and the future. But we can trust no source of information, because we know every channel of knowledge has been corrupted. Thus, inquiry usually ends in frustration, in obvious falsehoods peddled to us, or in esoteric conjectures which seem the more popular the more unlikely they are.
I suspect not one in a thousand Americans could locate Galicia, a historically-important area spanning what is now southeastern Poland and western Ukraine, on a map. To be fair, Galicia is today not on most maps, since it’s not a country, and never has been. It is, or was, a land of many ethnic groups, ruled by the Austrians from the 1700s until 1918, and before that by the Poles. In the middle of Galicia lies Przemyśl, now a Polish town near the Ukrainian border. During the early days of World War I, Przemyśl was repeatedly the scene of ferocious battles, which are the topic of Alexander Watson’s The Fortress. The history offered here is vivid and compelling, and it also usefully illuminates today’s Russo-Ukraine War.
Christopher Rufo has earned a stellar reputation as both analyst of, and strategist against, the poison of “critical theory.” In America’s Cultural Revolution, with verve, precision, and clarity, he explains what critical theory is, where it came from, and how, over the past fifty years, it was used by the Left to conquer America. His real target, however, is much older, because critical theory is merely the latest iteration of Left ideology, inevitably corrosive and parasitical, conceived in the Enlightenment and birthed in 1789. And, no surprise, the fruit of the Left’s latest conquest has been the same as always—the extreme degradation of a decent, productive society. Rufo’s explicit purpose is to inspire a counter-revolution. This is a tall order. After all, despite successes Rufo and his allies have had in several quarters, the Left today utterly dominates all areas of American life, not only all levels of government, directly or indirectly, but also private enterprise, education, media, culture, the military, and religious institutions. That this has led America to a dead end is irrelevant …
Vladimir Lenin taught that “he who says A must say B.” He was correct, but Patrick Deneen has not listened. Deneen says A, that our Regime, our ruling class, is destructive and evil. But he then refuses to say B, that the Regime is therefore wholly odious and illegitimate, and before any new system is possible, it must be destroyed. Instead, Deneen’s response to A is magical thinking. When the people peacefully complain enough, you see, the Regime will dismantle itself voluntarily and hand over power to a new ruling class, which will hold and implement opposite views on every matter under the sun. This absurd fantasy, even when cushioned within much fancy philosophy, harms rather than advances the postliberal project.
It is frequently said, and it is entirely true, that the Regime which rules us is illegitimate. But what does that precisely mean? No surprise, Carl Schmitt lights the way to an answer, in one of his lesser-known works, Legality and Legitimacy. This book should be more talked about—it was published in Berlin in 1932, when and where everyone knew that matters could not continue as they were, and that dramatic change was sure to come. As with the Germans of 1932, so with the Americans of 2023. Thus, studying and reflecting on this work is worth the effort.
As our ruling class drives the West into the ditch, from which a reborn society will probably emerge, but they and their rule will certainly not, it is natural for us to focus on elite theory—that is, who rules? This is an ancient question, although how the question is analyzed has changed with the rise of modern industrial societies. Unsurprisingly, much ink, from James Burnham to Neema Parvini, has been spilled on this important topic. Martin Gurri’s The Revolt of the Public continues the analysis, but he asks not who rules, rather how they maintain their rule, and if those mechanisms will continue.
Ernst von Salomon’s Der Fragebogen is unique, a product of the refiner’s fire, a work forged in the cataclysm of mid-twentieth-century Europe. But this once-famous, now-obscure book, published only one time in English, and that seventy years ago, still holds within its pages knowledge about both the past and the future. As to the past, from this book we can learn something completely missing from modern discourse—the complex views of 1930s and 1940s German patriots. As to the future, we can learn something more practical—methods to, in a future dispensation, help us flush Left poison completely and permanently from our body politic.
Now available is my recent discussion on The Pete Quinones Show! This was pretty spicy. We discuss the Russo-Ukraine War (including that it’s time to give Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia back to Hungary), race in America, Abraham Lincoln, and my thoughts on (No) Enemies to the Right. You can find the episode here in audio, or on other podcast platforms, or in video). You can follow Pete on his website, or on Odysee and on Twitter. You can support him here, as well.
In September, I sat down for a talk with Tucker Carlson, on Tucker Carlson Today. This is the complete video. We talk about a great deal, from Foundationalism to farming, and whether I am related to the Communist Big Bill Haywood. You can find the audio version here, or on standard podcast platforms. Audio and video versions also embedded below.
Now available is my discussion with Auron MacIntyre about victory over the Left. We talk about permanent success in building a Left-free society, about “no enemies to the right,” about technology, and much more. You can find the episode here in video on YouTube, or here in audio on Apple Podcasts, or on all the usual podcast platforms. You can follow Auron on his very popular YouTube channel, at his Substack, or on Twitter and Gab. You can support his work on Subscribestar, as well.