I must admit I have had problems laying out my answer. What is to be done? It is as difficult a question now as it has ever been. But perhaps the way to clarifying the answer is to lay out the problem.
Within the newborn state lie the seeds of its own destruction. Its own ideology, carried to its natural ends, must self-contradict. The more a state ages, the more it accumulates Schelling points increasingly unsuited to present conditions, while at the same time, it accelerates more and more towards the extreme of the present conditions it itself created. The long state invariably becomes a state haunted by its own contradictions.
Take, for instance, the Ottoman Empire. It was founded as a religious state, explicitly so, defender of the House of Islam, the house of peace. From the get go, this mission was… only dubiously true. Early on, less than half of the ghazis, the warriors of the faith, were Muslim. Why would they be? The Ottoman Empire was the phoenix rising from the ashes of Byzantium. A young Christian lord had a simple choice. Either stand and die for a dying empire, or turn coat and live. And so it went. Constantine XI’s nephew becomes the Grand Vizier of a great new empire.
Even in the early stages, the contradictions of a regime exist. But so long as the empire is growing and strong, the elites have no reason to question them. Instead of debating angels and pins, they are getting rich and powerful. The Ottoman Empire grows, first reclaiming its rightful core territory as inheritor of Byzantium, then going forth to seize more land. It is here that the ideological is least valued, and yet, most truly believed. For only a man who believes when it does not provide gain is a true believer. The rest are grifters and fairweather friends.
But an empire cannot grow forever. There are physical limits. And as the empire stagnates, the elites must now compete among themselves. There is the material conflict, but an empire also seeks to centralize power and bring all authority under the sovereign. Violence becomes more and more the realm of the state, starting with physical violence and seeping down to any kind of imposition of force, until the elites are totally neutered in any material sense. And the more neutered they are to wage war by other means, the more the nobles must wage war through ideology. Leftism is the extension of a regime’s ideology further towards its natural ends. Liberals become more liberal. Japanese militarists become more militarist. Islamists become more Islamist. The more you push an ideology, the further it must diverge from reality, because it becomes more and more about ideals and idealism, and less about material conditions. The end result of this must be to wildly diverge law and reality, as law is the product of the political process, and the political exists symbiotically with ideology. Thus, the law, at first fair, devolves into anarcho-tyranny, as ideological demands become totally opposed to the actual maintenance of order. Any single noble may try to stop it, but then they will be deposed by a rival outflanking them from the left. One must speak the language of power to stay in power. From the perspective of the peasant masses, it looks like the elite are coming to believe more and more insane things, a mass lunacy. The Dirt People and Cloud People can no longer understand each other.
Why does the ruler not step in? The ruler cannot move left, because then the laws and what is real will diverge even further. But if he moves right, he undermines his own legitimacy, becoming the Caliph who stands against Islam – a doomed maneuver. But this means the gaps between the Schelling points of ideology and what is on the ground soon become unspeakably large.
Near the end of the Ottomans, janissaries roamed the land, plundering the peasantry through malicious lawfare and abuse of their powers. Their actions had the weight of false legitimacy, as they were nominally servants of the national ideology and its consensus. Enter Hadji Mustafa Pasha, governor of Serbia, the “Mother of Serbs”. He was a benevolent lord, concerned with the wellbeing of his land and its people. So, like any wise ruler, he summons his ghazis to strike down the bandit-janissaries and restore the Sultan’s peace. And here he dies, and the course of history turns another corner.
Mustafa’s men and their captain are Christian. The captain writes a letter to the Sultan, asking to be recognized as the new Duke of Serbia so that he may carry out the Sultan’s will and protect his laws. A young empire could have assented. But this is no young empire, but an old and crooked thing, constrained by forgotten law. It cannot. The captain has a choice. He can die for the sake of the Sultan, for the regime, for its laws, for its ideology, and all that which he previously believed, a bright reactionary blaze. Or he can choose to live.
Awake, Serbia. History calls.
In that sense, Camp of the Saints and Submission are two sides of the same coin. In one, the heroes choose to die gloriously, submitting to the beautiful end of the reactionary death cult – a sacrifice to expiate the sins of the dead regime which recapitulates all its art and virtue, men standing against time. And in the other, the last man resigns himself to life and becomes the first man of the new order. The human sacrifice of the reactionary is the blood which permits the sun to rise on the first day of the new order.
We, as builders of the new order, must reenact the mystic secrets of the Osiris mystery. Like Isis, we shall don the seven veils, and descend through seven hells, to take the pieces of the dead man, the reactionary, and bring him back to life as the living-dead man, the soul of the old and the flesh of the new. Here is the dialectic of an ancient occultism resurfacing and its opportune time.
A perceptive soul must be appalled by all the horrors and abominations of a dying anarcho-tyranny. And so the thesis of the regime creates its own antithesis which begins to attract dissident elites. Out of this, a new synthesis must be drawn from the unity of far right and far left.
Wokeism is not a perversion of liberalism, but its highest fulfillment. It is the highest stage of the capitalist, liberal republic, carrying out the work of atomization and commodification to the fullest.
What else? Last time, we discussed the construction of a political machine. A political machine allows you to build a patronage network and a power base. In a time of chaos, a political machine easily becomes a war machine. The working boys are turned into fighting men. When you own a local government, it is only a short step to go independent. The natural instinct of power is to tend to itself. As Rome falls, the city walls go up.
Behold the glory of Ali Pasha, king of Ioannina, lord of the Epirotes. Here is an elite with an independent power base. He ruled over much of Rumelia, and Rumelia, in turn, was the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Officials in Rumelia held rank and privilege over their equals elsewhere in the Empire. It would be like having a warlord ruling over New England. Here was a man of cruel and magnificent appetites. For his own sexual amusements, he had the young women of his lands thrown into lakes. And he dreamed big. He dreamed, one day, of restoring Greek culture to its rightful glory. To this end, he built his power greater and greater, holding court with some of the great Romantics of the age.
A more vigorous Empire could reabsorb an independent power base like this. But not the Ottomans, not at that point. Ali Pasha dies, but Greece springs from his blood. And when Greece goes, so goes almost 40% of the Ottoman tax base. A mortal wound. A great Alexander, Augustus, or Alexios could recover from such dire straits.
But none are coming.
The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.
So too with China in many collapses. Elites are able to construct their own power bases, and when the core shakes, the power bases can strike out on their own. Empires splinter into many pieces. Here, there is sometimes an easy path back through the marsh. If a warlord has enough personal loyalty cultivated in a large enough army, they can, like Franco, conquer the whole land themselves, and restore order. But without that personal loyalty, one cannot do this. Politics runs on loyalty. You have personal loyalty, built up through long relationships between patron and client, but to make a larger machine, you must have engineered loyalty. What is to stop multiple minions from combining to remove the master? Nothing. This infighting necessarily prevents reunification. To restore order, one must have an ideology which can generate loyalty in a new Party. Not only that, it must be a better ideology than even the regime had. The regime had the benefit of inertia, allowing it to staff itself with the pathetic and weak. The new ruler must be able to generate loyalty from the best and most talented, those whose abilities give them many abilities and thus natural independence. When you are on the rough path, many will want to retreat back to the safety of the marsh. When you are on the rough path, only the best and most skilled comrades will do. A would-be ruler must be able to drag them back forward, and if not, then clearly mark those who return to the marshes as weak and not of the Party. You need an ideology for that.
The natural instinct at this point is restoration, to end the chaos by reinstating the old order. But the material conditions which made the original regime possible no longer hold. Recall the regime is founded on its original power bases and then has to flex and bend its system as new power bases and new elites come into being – the original constitution is even less suitable than the perverted one, since it removes all the cultural adaptations. And the ideological conditions which exist are not suitable. It is attempting to return thinking to the state of the original question, when the intellectual chaos of the collapse comes from carrying ideas to their natural conclusions. And finally, the ruling clique itself is rendered unsuitable. Regimes are founded by players of naked power politics, persons of an UMC or WC background, those who can play with concrete realities. Over the course of a regime’s lifespan, the top elites transition from UMC thinking to UC thinking. Power becomes curried through court maneuver and social scheming and thin networks of charm, rather than the brute force of gold, guns, and grunts. Necessarily, this must be so, because the state must monopolize force, and therefore must prevent open conflict, causing a transition to battle by social grace. The dinosaur evolves into a chicken. The dirty business of rule is devolved to the lower aristocracy, and the dirty business of facing power to the proles, leaving these as the two classes with an understanding of what power means when the clock runs out. The middle class bureaucrat and the cloistered emperor have simply drunk too much of the koolaid to be saved. And any attempt at restoration will be full of the apparatchiks of the last regime, the eunuchs come to pick over the corpse. Cao Cao begins as the regent defending the emperor’s lawful rights, but this is a path that can only end one way. The restoration of a regime requires the same skills as founding a new one, and the last emperor is not up to the task.
Let us lay out the necessities of our new movement or any new movement which must succeed. First of all, it must be the furthest left and furthest right movement possible. If it is not, then one will be outflanked from the left or the right. One must not be overcome, but always be overcoming. Like Lenin, we must be able to attack and absorb all our rivals from the left, right, and center at the same time, attacking our enemies as cowardly Kautskyites, left-utopians, and right-opportunists without reserve and without contradiction. Secondly, the ideology must engender loyalty by creating a contradicted ruling class. A Christian class of ghazis. An aristocratic Bolshevism. A Jewish Nazism. Because we lack enough personal loyalty to rule an empire (this must always be the case, Monkeyspheres are too small), and we are moving fast, without the old regime’s structure, we must be able to manufacture loyalty from our elites en masse. There are our basic requirements.
This leaves us with the problem of building a Biostalinism. You can never turn back the clock. The horse has bolted.
The only way out is through.
A cultist for the Red Tsar who was, is, and will be,
Monsieur le Baron