by James Lawrence

Dissidents like to speak of three pills: the red pill, the black pill, and the white pill. Everyone wants the red pill. It means awakening, enlightenment, wisdom. But it has a nasty tendency to decay into the black pill of pessimism, hopelessness and apathy. This is where the white pill, signifying optimism or equanimity, comes into play as an antidote to the black pill. But it is not a very effective one. White pills, too, regress into black pills - which no-one wants, but everyone somehow gets.

Here's an unpopular opinion: the black pill is the only true way to the white pill, and thence to the red pill. If reality is to dawn, illusion must die. It is senseless to expect one without the other. And it is only slightly less so to think that you can step over the black pill, and get to the white pill, before the death throes of illusion have stopped.

If you wanted to be redpilled, but did not expect to be blackpilled, maybe you are entertaining more illusions than you thought. My recommendation: take more black pills. Take them until they start to turn into white pills. This doesn't entail whining like a bitch, the opposite of stoic acceptance, or mystically identifying with any form of the black pill. No-one in his right mind wants to be blackpilled. But the sooner we embrace the black pill, the sooner we will end up at its opposite. Fate leads the willing and drags the unwilling.

If you read my last post, you should already be on the descent. By restoring the ancient meaning of democracy - direct rule by a mass citizen body - we reasoned that only bureaucrats, politicians and other tax-consuming power-holders can be called true citizens, whereas the vast majority of nominal citizens are better described as subjects.

This reasoning - let's call it the perennialist theory of democracy - largely explains why Western civilisation is going to the dogs. Once you wake up from the illusion of participating in power, it becomes easy to see that Plato and Aristotle were right, and that a democratic government is just an anarchic, oversized mob. Of course, Western democracy has the popular election, and ancient Athens did not. But this system is best understood as a ritual civil war between citizens, which subjects can fight (using their votes) but only citizens can win.

In mature democracy, most citizens are concentrated in the bureaucracy. This has caused a shift in the centre of power, from the politicians and electorate to the academy and media - a.k.a the Cathedral, so called because it acts as a modern state church. But politics is still the formal, legitimate centre, which the Cathedral must control, so its power is mixed with insecurity. This is the basic driving motive behind Biological Leninism, a.k.a. kakistocracy, which subjects all of society to the social dynamics of the tyrant's court. Seeking natural dependents, the state privileges hostile cultural aliens, hetaeric women, and sexual degenerates. These are simply the modern democratic forms of mamluks, concubines, and eunuchs- but because the tyrants in democracy are legion, these natural sycophants are also overproduced, to the point of threatening the whole social order.

Most dissidents are happy to pop red pills like this, but they don't want to become blackpilled. So they choose to believe that radical rightists can "take back the country" by political activism. In my last post, the Alt-Right served as a case study for this tendency. This alone should tell you that the prognosis doesn't look good.

The notion of taking back implies the exercise of a right that has lapsed, but might once again become effective. Indeed, according to the official theory of democracy, the subjects are sovereign and the citizens are 'civil servants', 'public representatives', 'government workers', etc. But this violates immutable realities of government, such as the upward flow of tax revenue, and the downward flow of sovereign power. It is a political impossible waterfall, which cannot exist except as a mass delusion: popular sovereignty, a.k.a. the Secret King syndrome. Trying to 'restore' this delusion leads us not to any viable political order, but to pure Quixotism - the culture of radical idealism and antiquarian revivalism that has always vitalised liberal ideology.

Add to this the fact that the bureau-democracy commands far greater force than the mob, and is fast turning electoral politics into a ceremonial affair, and we begin to see why movements like the Alt-Right actually help the system instead of hurting it. They cannot take power, because they are fighting over a centre that is not actually sovereign. But they can draw crowds to a circus-arena in which rightist and leftist Quixotes can do battle, their supporters can live out the fantasy of exercising sovereignty, and the Cathedral can pick the winners. The whole spectacle of democratic politics works in much the same way as pornography, which pacifies the losers of the sexual revolution while turning them against a return to sexual order. Hence the aptness of the term thumotic porn.

By renouncing this, we find ourselves in subjection, without an exit strategy. But is this so-called blackpill such a downer? No - we merely came down from a false high, and landed on the level ground of sanity. We live under a permanent government; it offers us no legal path to its own overthrow; most people in society are not part of it; and bears shit in the woods. But the pill really is black, and the ground is not really level. Once you purge the Secret King delusion from your mind, you must confront its counterpart in the state, which is not just permanent but also permanently insane. And while permanent states are only permanent in theory, we have just admitted that we have no sure way to topple this one in practice.

So what is to be done? A hard question. By way of introducing a possible answer, let me give credit where credit is due for the above theory of democracy. Much of it, though not all of it, is based on the work of Curtis Yarvin - a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug.

If you've been reading this site since the old days, you probably remember Moldbug as a highbrow rival to Alt-Righters like Richard Spencer. Moldbug forfeited the popularity contest, by filling his blog with long-winded posts, and packing it up just as it began to garner media attention. But hindsight has shown that he was right on everything the Alt-Right got wrong.

Here's an example: Moldbug explained, eight years before the candidacy of Trump, why nothing much could be expected from a President like Trump. "The civil-service oligarchy will crush him like a bug." Rings a lot truer in retrospect than "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!"

Moldbug also made the point that leftist strategies - e.g. public activism, street violence, incrementalism, and terrorism - do not work for the Right, because they require established political patrons (for whom they act as a popular screening force). We saw this in real time during 2016-17, after the election of Donald Trump, when the antifa embarked on a wave of street violence and suffered little or no punishment. Then came the Alt-Right activists, to challenge these intimidation attempts by publicly demonstrating for Trump. After goring the cape - the motley bands of seroquelic street thugs - they were promptly set upon by the matador, which not only crushed their momentum but also blamed them for all the violence started by their enemies. Narrative control has airbrushed out the reason why the Alt-Right took to the streets, and produced a fairy story of dangerous wingnuts crawling out of the woodwork at Trump's direction and being heroically defeated by antifa.

And where are the master strategists of Charlottesville today? Blathering to anyone who will listen that Trump "betrayed" them, and they only failed because they had the wrong optics or strategy or leadership or whatever. In other words, they still don't get it. I'm not saying Moldbug is right about everything. On the contrary, he requires critical engagement, which he doesn't always get. But there's a creeping awareness in the dissident community that he was on to something big.

Curtis Yarvin, a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug
Even so, one wonders, why isn't it creeping faster? Why is the rump Alt-Right still spewing its foolswill in perfect confidence, without fear of intellectual invasion by triumphant Moldbuggery? Well, as I said, Moldbug deliberately limited his popularity. And he's one of (((them))), so Jew-cranks will surely discern all sorts of Qabbalic mindfucks in his simple warning not to march into a brick wall. But what really turns people off Moldbug, I think, is the nature of his plan for getting ourselves out of this mess.

I warn you, you're not going to like it. But Moldbug advises us to do nothing.

Do...nothing? Maybe I'm exaggerating. Moldbug just tells us to renounce all politics, activism, protests, popular uprisings, etc. etc. etc. Problem is, this blacklist includes every single one of the official channels to political power granted to subjects in democracy.

That's the whole idea! As we've seen, these channels are inherently democratic, and they don't work for the Right anyway because the Cathedral always backs the Left. Any reactionary idea that passes through them ends up energising the Left, while being digested into a democratic form, at which point it can only await eventual expulsion to the fringes.

But let's hear it from Moldbug himself. Here's the essay from 2009 in which he introduces his strategy of passivism:
The steel rule of passivism is absolute renunciation of official power. We note instantly that any form of resistance to sovereignty, so long as it succeeds, is a share in power itself. Thus, absolute renunciation of power over USG implies absolute submission to the [ruling government] Structure.

The logic of the steel rule is simple. As a reactionary, you don’t believe that political power is a human right. You will never convince anyone to adopt the same attitude, without first adopting it yourself. Since you believe others should be willing to accept the rule of the New Structure, over which they wield no power, you must be the first to make the great refusal. They must submit to the New; you must submit to the Old...

As a matter of both principle and tactics, the passivist rejects any involvement with any activity whose goal is to influence, coerce, or resist the government, either directly or indirectly.... In case this isn’t crystal-clear, the steel rule precludes, in no particular order: demonstrations, press releases, suicide bombs, lawsuits, dirty bombs, Facebook campaigns, clean bombs, mimeographed leaflets, robbing banks, interning at nonprofits, assassination, “tea parties,” journalism, bribery, grantwriting, graffiti, crypto-anarchism, balaclavas, lynching, campaign contributions, revolutionary cells, new political parties, old political parties, flash mobs, botnets, sit-ins, direct mail, monkeywrenching, and any other activist technique, violent or harmless, legal or illegal, fashionable or despicable.
When I first encountered this, I assumed it was a case of thinking yourself into a corner, like Kant's argument that you should tell no lies even to a murderer at the door. And Moldbug doesn't exactly build a watertight case. He tells us that the purpose of passivism is not to do nothing, but to become worthy, accept power, rule. At first glance, this looks like a confession of total naivety on the way in which power transitions actually happen. To give just one example: when Charlemagne's ancestor, Pepin II, took power from the Merovingian dynasty, he didn't do it by standing well back and letting the Mandate of Heaven drop in his lap. He got hold of the top political office, had a long career of statesmanship, and reduced the king...to passivism.
We'll get to why this objection is wrong in a moment. Let's just say for now that Moldbug was probably aware of the problems, because his new writing goes back on certain parts of his original position. But it only goes back on the vaguely activist parts. No reference is made to the word passivism, with its connotations of political strategy. Moldbug in 2020 is selling pure political detachment, along the same lines as Evola and Jünger:
[Vaclav] Havel had the right strategy for the subjects of the total state. First, they must teach themselves to be powerless. They must fully inhabit their private irrelevance. Above all, they must stop trying to change the world...

Detachment is not dissidence. Detachment never resists. It does nothing against any person or institution, legal or illegal, violent or nonviolent. It does not even try to influence public policy or public opinion. It is never angry; it never cares; and it always obeys—both the formal laws, and the informal rules.

Detachment is a hard spiritual task in which no one can succeed perfectly. It is not a fact or even an idea. Detachment, like Zen, is a practice. And while serious Zen practice involves hours of painful sitting that can cause hemorrhoids and even nerve damage, how hard can it be to practice not giving a shit?

Achieving detachment has both individual and collective benefits. It is good for you, if you can do it. It is good for everyone, if everyone can do it.

We'll see how that works as we move forward. But Havel, ten years later, was President of Czechoslovakia. The irony of detachment: it's the first step on the one path to a different government. And while that path is long, this first step may be the hardest.
Once again, the objections write themselves. Havel? Loved his essay about the greengrocer. But he falls into a category of political thinkers - including Gandhi and Gramsci - who adopted more or less passivist strategies, but whose success owed more to one of the three great 20th-century totalitarian empires. Hitler, not Gandhi, beat the British Empire; the Red Army, not Gramsci, "liberated" Europe from fascism; and American democracy, not Havel, exerted most of the pressure that broke up the Soviet Empire. We can hardly expect such benign interference from Russia and China today! They are not strong enough, not ambitious enough, not reactionary enough, and probably wouldn't want to promote anything in the West but more democratic chaos.

That said, a revolutionary regime might always fall to Thermidor: an internal restoration of order. One basic requirement for this is a general awareness that leftism is ruining everything. And this awareness may be taking hold in the present day - not because of the strategies and agitprop of the Right, but simply as a result of its inaction.

Ever since BLM started a new wave of political violence this year, the Cathedral has been up to its usual game, blaming everything on far-right wreckers and saboteurs. But the journalists have been reduced to pointing at shadows, as real Alt-Righters were not stupid enough to show up and play the villain role a second time. Narrative control cannot be projected onto a blank canvas, so public opinion has focused on BLM - which is not much progress, but is better than nothing. (Oh, and if you want a control group: thanks to the prize dunce Tommy Robinson, UK Alt-Righters did show up to confront BLM in London, and were duly scapegoated for their trouble.)

So is Moldbug being proved right again? Let me put it this way: I think he is basically right, but the common objections to his argument are not exactly wrong.

Let's start with the negative. In my estimation, Moldbug's arguments are not blackpilled enough. The residual whiff of cope allows people to dismiss them out of hand - and, paradoxically, to hold onto their activist delusions by doing so. Cope and mope are two sides of a false coin, and if you want to melt it down you must always out-blackpill the blackpillers.

The main problem with the concept of passivism, apart from the name, is that Moldbug frames it as an answer to the question of how to take power. But this question should not arise in any normal person who is politically sane. It does not arise in Moldbug - which is why he talks about renouncing and relinquishing power - but his framing allows the reader to skip over the paradox and hold onto the delusion of popular sovereignty. To paraphrase La Rochefoucauld on pride, this delusion has a thousand masks, and negativising it is not the same thing as annihilating it. Anyone who thinks he can boycott a power structure to death is just another Secret King.

The mystery of "become worthy, accept power, rule" is solved when we make a distinction between priest and warrior - or, if you prefer Vedic spice, brahmin and kshatriya. We've already seen that Moldbug refers to the academy as a Cathedral. He also refers to its scholar-elite as brahmins, and traces the origins of its progressive ideology back to Puritan religious radicalism. This Cathedral, brahminate and state religion are all hopelessly degenerate, because power has corrupted them into the worship of itself. Moldbug doesn't credit much in traditional religion, but he is evoking a traditional ideal (expressed, for example, in Dante's De Monarchia): the legitimate role of the brahmin is to seek truth, advise the state, but relinquish temporal power to the kshatriyas.

Brahmin and Kshatriya. Dress code optional.
Hence Moldbug's solution: to build up a group of dissident brahmins who avoid this corruption, by renouncing power in the short term (passivism) and relinquishing it to kshatriyas in the long term (neoreaction). In his second post on passivism, he puts a name to this alt-brahminate - the Antiversity - and explains how it will drain away the Cathedral's legitimacy by surpassing it as a truth-service. Strangely enough, after Moldbug stopped writing in the mid-2010s, his successors in neoreaction either rejected this part of his argument or else simply forgot about it. Just take a look at this typical post-Moldbug essay on passivism. After misapplying the concept to kshatriya-type ideas, like "cabals" and "Mannerbunds", it ends by calling for a huge quasi-sovereign parallel state to be built under the Cathedral's radar. It's a blueprint for a literal Secret Kingdom.

The brahmin-kshatriya distinction works well to inoculate us against such LARPing. We can distinguish two types of worthiness, only one of which can possibly be achieved by passivism (consider the connotations of the word retreat as applied to a hermit, and as applied to a soldier). We can also distinguish two types of degeneration: Puritanism in brahmin-types and intellectual culture, and Quixotism in kshatriya-types and political culture. Quixotism can be defined, very broadly, as a delusional mentality that fobs off the kshatriya-type and his natural followers so that the degenerate brahmin can hold power. These inner and outer cults of democracy work in symbiosis: a true citizen can call himself a civil servant, and keep a straight face, only because his subject believes himself to be a little king.

But let's get back to Moldbug. In a third and final post, he fast-forwards to a hypothetical point in the future, when the alt-brahminate has established itself as the accepted source of truth. The Cathedral has lost its legitimacy, but its political power must still be transferred to the Antiversity, which will then hand it to a non-democratic elective monarchy. By this time the Antiversity can direct operations as an independent power centre - so we can safely throw passivism out of the window, and canvass the electorate on a single-line manifesto to abolish democracy. No, this is not a self-contradiction on Moldbug's part. But none of it is anywhere near blackpilled enough.

By way of explaining why, let's clear up another apparent contradiction. Is the West ruled by its bureaucracy (what I would call its true democratic citizenry)? Or is it ruled by its academic-media complex, the Cathedral? Moldbug provides theory and evidence for both positions, but most of the time he tends to think of the Cathedral as the power centre ruling the rest of the government. But it would be more accurate to say that the bureau-democracy has direct power, but that it lacks a centre, and that the Cathedral directs it by serving it: providing a state religion that justifies its power, expansion and patronage. So we cannot expect this Leviathan to abolish itself, once we "replace its brain", because it would simply reject the transplant. This doesn't mean Moldbug's navigation is wrong, only that the path to Thermidor is not nearly as clear as he makes out.

This brings us to the proposal for an electoral coup. Moldbug is right to say that this must wait until we have propagated an accurate theory, and can agree on full regime change instead of this policy or that candidate. And vote against democracy in the US imperial heartland would be like Brexit on steroids: a groin kick to regime legitimacy, and a signal of mass support for Thermidor. But when we distinguish the direct rule of the citizens from the electoral ritual war system, we realise that this too would fall short of a guaranteed victory. Moldbug says that democracy is run by public opinion, but there are two public opinions - citizen opinion and subject opinion - and the bureau-democracy might always decide to do without the latter, especially as it is polarising against it. Again, the direction is right, but the path is murky and much depends on factors beyond our control.

This may be why Moldbug's new writings no longer refer to detachment as a political strategy (although they are a work in progress, so perhaps a few more of the older themes will re-emerge). But now he is selling us a premature white pill on the defensive front. He thinks that by adopting detachment and non-resistance, you can be "neither a collaborator nor a dissident". Sorry, bigot. Silence is violence, truth is trolling, property is privilege, and I'm sure some hysterical journo will soon tell us why detachment is literally terrorism. I'm exaggerating - a little - but we should at least agree that detachment is dissidence, even if political engagement is collaboration. This becomes more obvious when we remember that unlovely leftist slogan, "the personal is the political". The democratic state wants your children to become eunuchs, your home to be looted by mamluks, your wife to invoke her concubinage against you, and you can never stop tacitly resisting this unless you are a degenerate or a saint.

Is that enough blackpills for you? We've thrown quite a few objections at Moldbug. So let's get to the point of this post, and tell you why he is right about political detachment anyway.

By detachment, I mean withdrawal from all forms of democratic engagement. This is not the same thing as passivity, although it must be said that there are benefits to be gained from mere inaction. Inaction, carried far enough, would destroy the two poles of the democratic Right: Conservatism Inc. and the Alt-Right. Perhaps you think one or other of these cargo cults is doing good, though the other be "controlled opposition". On the contrary, both poles of the democratic Right are self-controlling opposition.

If you, like me, used to be part of the Alt-Right, you are already halfway to this understanding. When the Alt-Right intuitively hit on the nature of politics as porn, and came up with the cuck analogy for fake opposition, it tied a noose around Conservatism Inc.'s neck. But that noose would soon encompass its own God-Emperor, Donald Trump; and at the other end of the rope, a second noose was tied around the Alt-Right's neck, as it was not as destined for success or independent from control as it wanted us to think. When the regime lifted its hand, this double hangrope unfolded itself, and Trump and the Alt-Right have been dying on opposite ends of it ever since.

If this metaphor is too grisly, you can look at it abstractly, as a type of political horseshoe. At the conservative end is the cuck, who must survive on the fringes of the citizen-body, and tends to become a spineless eunuch. At the Alt-Right end is the thot, who must survive on the fringes of the subject society, and tends to become a performative clown (see my last post for details).

Needless to say, the positions of both types are dictated by the Cathedral. Cucks must follow in its rearguard; thots must dress up as its enemies. Cucks are allowed into office, but cannot be radical; thots can be radical, but are not allowed into office. Etc., etc. The only suspicious thing about this system is that it works so much better than everything else in democracy. But how hard can it be to control these people, when they all basically believe in democratic ideology?

Of course, there are people in conservatism who are not cucks, and every incarnation of the Alt-Right has had people who are not thots. But these people - who are forever being betrayed, sidelined and disappointed - are in the most unenviable position of all. Their idealism sustains the whole arrangement, and their detachment could potentially destroy it. Take away the sincere believers from conservatism, and it becomes a toy opposition; take away the competent men from the Alt-Right, and it becomes a loony bin.

But how would this outcome help us? Let's go back to the double hangrope metaphor. As well as puppet-theatre, assisted suicide, and dependency, it evokes the idea that the regime is using the democratic Right to train itself. If you lift, bro, you will know that small increments of resistance enable a muscle to get stronger. Well, in the same way, constant limited pushback from the democratic Right makes the Cathedral stronger.

Being a leftist pro-government activist can be a lot of fun, as you basically get to LARP as a saint or hero while ruining other people's lives. But in a one-party regime, there are downsides. Everyone has a conscience, and morale starts to flag as vicious deeds mount up and utopia fails to materialise. And dissidents are visibly nowhere, but potentially everywhere, because political conflict can only take place within the ruling party. So paranoia reigns, the revolution eats its children, and today's saints and heroes fear ending up as tomorrow's heretics and villains.

Enter the two-party system and the democratic Right. Now the Left always has a visible enemy, so it has an excuse to stay on a permanent war footing and minimise its infighting. And its enemy is always trying to fake-it-till-you-make-it, rattling empty scabbards like "the silent majority", and fighting to preserve a veneer of conservative national symbolism. So leftists need never stop LARPing, need never admit that they control the state, and need never face the charge that their ideology is running the West into the ground. Even the leftists who do get purged are given a soft landing by the Right. Heaven forbid that they should become alienated from the democratic process.

Thermidor requires two things (in ascending order of importance): an atmosphere of public discontent against leftism, and capture of the ruling party by a dissident faction. The point of "free speech" and "democratic rights" is to prevent this from happening, by keeping dissenting elements in plain sight, and hiving them off into powerless political fringes that can act as lightning-rods for wider public anger. The fact that these fringes can push against the centre does not redound to our benefit. Just take the internet. Until recently, it was being quietly colonised by samizdat, and Moldbug in 2008 was talking about using it to coordinate dissent in the military. Instead it was used to troll the libs, elect a dissident POTUS who had no idea what to do (because he had no accurate theory of what he was up against), and coordinate a movement whose single greatest achievement remains a Tiki-Torch parade. Every path that opens up is rushed by children with Nerf guns, causing the Cathedral to post guards before men with real weapons can get anywhere near it.

Steve Bannon and his hanjian sugar daddy
Even the victories of the democratic Right are really victories for the Left, because they trim off its accumulated ballast. When Margaret Thatcher smashed the British trades-unions in the '80s, she merely enabled British progs to better follow the advice of Marcuse - who wrote in 1964 that white workers had become a conservative force, and that the Left should shift its allegiance to "the exploited and persecuted of other races". Achievement unlocked! Similarly, when Ronald Reagan is credited by conservatives for the defeat of the Soviet Union, we must remember that this state had long ago ceased to act as a revolutionary vanguard. Ditto for modern China, which lost the Mandate of Hell in the late '70s, but whose conquest by Western democracy is now Steve Bannon's pet project. Clearly, the Right is not just democracy's rearguard, but also its self-cleaning rear end.

So the benefits of inaction turn out to be very simple: you stop supporting the regime. Yes, it's still a far cry from overthrowing the regime. But you never win the game by going straight for the big bad; you have to clear a path by taking down his hamfisted, lunkheaded sidekick. And if this fight seems to involve more passivity than action, it's because the hamfisted lunkheaded sidekick is...you.

Contrary to Moldbug's terminology, all participants in democracy are collaborators. By practicing detachment, we join a miniscule - but growing - community of true Western dissidents. The impetus to collaborate stems from our desire to "do something". But this desire should not be blindly indulged, but rather scrutinised very carefully. We've just seen that actions have a very high bar to clear before they can pass the test of doing no harm. So if you still want to "do something", is it not really the feeling of doing something that you want? Recall the analogy between politics and porn. To put it bluntly: are you fucking the system, or fapping yourself?

Marching in the street and bawling slogans is a fap. Snarking about muh logical arguments while your civilisation gets fucked is a fap. Trolling the libs might be fun, but it's a fap. Telling the truth is never a fap, but propagandising and strategerising is a fap. Voting is a fap (and while it may sometimes be necessary, most of the time we can do without it). Note that in all of these examples, the feeling of significance achieved is far out of proportion to the actual significance of the action.

The analogy between politics and porn leads naturally to an analogy between detachment and the NoFap movement. And if you question the necessity of political NoFap, consider if the analogy does not also extend to the phenomenon of the impotent porn addict. Detachment from politics and activism is an unpopular position in dissident circles. But here's a popular position: detachment from marriage and family. In both cases, we kulaks are playing on hard mode, but which is more amenable to your control: a marriage, or a political order? And which is more important: building a family, or actualising an ideology? Attend to a fantasy of kingship, and you lose the basic prerogatives of a serf.

Thumos, the primal desire for self-assertion, must submit to mortification before it can deflate to a point at which it actually becomes effective. This fall from king to kulak can be pretty brutal (and the higher the fantasy, the harder the landing). At the end of it, when we are fully blackpilled, political options reappear in a drastically attenuated form. But these, at least, are real political options. This is why they cannot be standardised, and must be left to individual judgement: everyone can fap to the same porn, but not everyone can get the same girl.

Let's sketch out a few of these options, starting with Moldbug's proposals for an alt-brahminate. There are no signs that this is developing as a single institution - and this is probably a good thing, as the Cathedral is good at co-opting institutions and leeching off their credibility. Instead, what might be developing out of Moldbug's red pill is an anti-discipline: a neoreactionary school of thought, based on a perennialist political and social theory, and on the rejection of democratic scholasticism with its junk science and thought-prohibitions. Other possible developments include aesthetic schools, and even neo-traditionalist religious orders.

It should go without saying that these proposals demand political detachment. One drop of rabble-rousing propaganda will turn all the gold into shit, and no amount of erudition or intelligence will save it. The dangers are high enough as regards the school of thought, but rise to catastrophic levels when we get to the art and religion. Art with a democratic agenda can only become crude allegory, which as Schopenhauer said is a very low form of art. And if a religious reaction degenerates and is absorbed back into democracy...well, let's just say that we will only end up giving the Cathedral a deity, and in all likelihood it will be the same one that the original cathedrals stood against.

As regards the school of thought, we should not confuse detachment for the hypocritical pose of objectivity. Moldbug proposes to wield the truth as a weapon, and "attack the Cathedral by studying it". Inveterate do-somethingers will retort that we have had quite enough "mental masturbation", but they can speak for themselves. In reality, most dissidents never take the time to work out a coherent theory of what they are up against. They are content to flail against a blind men's elephant composed of corporations, Jews, bureaucrats, satanic paedophile elites, ethnomasochists, deep states, banking oligarchies, occult forces, etc. etc. Keeping it loosey-goosey allows them to attract more followers, and skirting around the central problem of democracy lets them sweeten up that bitter black pill. But no real enlightenment is going on - and so, when someone like Trump gets into a position to "do something", he has no idea what to do. Only patient distillation can produce intellectual brandy; haste, low standards and impure motives result in a slop of wine, Ribena, and sewage.

Those who want to turn their wine into brandy might try distilling the following: 1) a descriptive constitution of the United States and other major democratic satrapies; 2) a descriptive political map of the globe, showing the real extent of the US empire, and explaining which of its two factions (bureaucratic and military) controls each of its protectorates; 3) a full audit of the true democratic citizenry in all its political, bureaucratic, quangocratic and academic curiae; and 4) a basic codification of 'social justice' including all known crimes, common punishments, privileges of the 'oppressed', and oppressions of the 'privileged'. Attend single-mindedly to this task of description, and you will end up with all the condemnation you need. Nor will you lack an audience - for everyone needs this information, and yet who else would dare to provide it?

Kshatriya-types, as we've said, cannot become worthy through passivism, and must act while remaining detached (if this sounds contradictory, try reading the Bhagavad-Gita). Among dissident citizens inside the power structure, political struggle does not contradict political sanity: it is a fuck, not a fap. Even mass political detachment would not bring political struggle to an end. But ideally, it would cause it to flow out of the democratic Right, forcing the collapse of the two-party system and focusing all politics into a single leftist party. Crazy as this may sound, it is the proven path to Thermidor, tried and tested in France, Russia and China. The gains of the revolutionaries end up in the hands of the Thermidorians, because the latter are not self-segregating in rightist political ghettoes on the fringes of power and society.

This will initially require reaction to work under leftist brands. But this lip service is surely preferable to the deep mental contortions required for rightists to believe in democracy. Moreover, it will prevent the outer party from being revived, because leftist ideologies (minus a few exceptions, e.g. the Post-Neurotraumatic Trotskyist Front) are all about fighting over the power centre. In contrast, for all their stand-and-fight bravado, cuckservative and thot-right ideologies are all about running away. Maybe it is to an individualist fantasy of self-sufficiency, which denies the reality of the totalitarian fiat-money state. Or perhaps it is to some collectivist savage reservation or Rhodesia-in-Oregon, which would provide no real defence against the world empire. Either way, anything that does not fight for the state is a futile fantasy, and must die if anything of its intended results is to live.

Kshatriya-types among the subjects can also build ground support for Thermidor. If you want a real Mannerbund, why not join the army or police? Yes, you will be pressed very hard by the Cathedral's volunteer-commissars, and will have to forfeit the radical honesty enjoyed by reactionary brahmins. But in the event of a Thermidor, the police and military will be forcibly disenfranchising the citizenry. Unlike the bureaucracy, these institutions are ripe for infiltration, although the path will be closed off very quickly if the Nerf warriors make an appearance.

Finally, we move down to the level of ordinary people, who must learn to survive as kulaks under the arbitrary power of a totalitarian state. Do they want their nations to live on? Then they should be fruitful and multiply. Do they want to preserve some control over their lives? Then they should find like-minded friends, stick together, control their wives and children, find ways to hold onto their assets, and pay lip service to the state without falling into reliance on it. Once 'return to tradition' ceases to be a democratic political slogan, it might actually start becoming a reality. And what takes shape in the shadows today may be the bedrock of a saner society tomorrow.

But what if that tomorrow never comes? Indeed, there is no guarantee that it will. It's one thing to know that the democratic Right could win by dissolving itself. But actually expecting it to do so is quite another matter. Political masturbation is pleasurable, it is enshrined as a civic virtue, and the livelihoods of most opinion-mongers on the Right depend upon it.

Detaching people would not be impossible. The democratic Right has been exposed as a charade in the US imperial heartland, and the existing anger at "grifters", "LARPing" and "controlled opposition" may yet escape its factional fireblocks. But should your decision to adopt detachment hinge upon all these strangers changing their minds? Of course not! The best thing is to assume that in twenty years' time, the sovereign people will be engaging in the democratic process and the cultural revolution will be stronger than ever. Conservatives will be arguing that minor-attracted persons are no better than men who sleep with 18-year-old girls, and the current crop of Alt-Righters will be growing old on donation welfare and telling us that white awakening is just around the corner.

But you don't have to go along for the ride. Sanity, not victory, is the white pill. But perhaps we're not ready to take it yet. We've hardly begun to challenge the stubbornest delusions on the dissident Right.

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