What You Can Do About the Election

Pray to the Saints in Purgatory for the Spirit of America; for her life as lived in us her children.

Everyone now in Purgatory is already a Saint, and is bound once his Purgation is complete for at least one of the heavens (if not perhaps many; for, to sit enthroned in a choir stall of any heaven is to reign over and within all its subsidiary worlds (a world is a heaven)); and has therefore already enormous, indeed godlike power – as being, already (on Eternity and Omniscience) reckoned one of the Great Ones, fit eventually to take his appointed place next to angels in the choir stalls of the Throne Room, and to speak with authority in the Divine Council. The Sainted Dead, even as yet constrained in and by their Purgation, have already immense influence upon all their proper subsidiary worlds.

The Sainted Dead, even in Purgatory, are to us as the gods of the pagans. Nay, far more.

Pray then to the Saints in Purgatory for the Spirit of America.

There are billions of them, after all – so may we hope. In their billions, they love their kinfolk – they love Man – and want our best.

Think of what Aragorn achieved, in summoning the Dead of but a single nation to the Battle of Pelennor Fields. The Sainted Dead can turn the tide.

Be Aragorn. Visit the Dead in their Valley of Shadow, and honor their basic commitment. Which is to us. For we are they for whom they struggled, gave, fought, died – and failed.

Would they not fight for us still, their children? They would, of course. So turn to them, our fathers and mothers.

Do not, of course, neglect first to pray for them. Be first for them, as Aragorn was. Pray for the relief of their sufferings, and offer up your own in their behalf – remembering that, in the economy of salvation as things are understood by Omniscience – as, i.e., things really are – no jot of sacrifice can be offered worthlessly, or without meet causal and soteriological effect.

In an intelligible – which is to say, intelligent – created order, nothing at all can be wasted.

Pray then to the Sainted Dead for the Spirit of America, and for their children of that land; that we may for a time at least be saved from disaster, and from the service of the Adversary.

Pray hard. Intend the Death of the Adversary and all his minions, with all your might. With all your might, pray confusion to the Enemy.

Saints and all angels, pray for us. Pray for our dear America, who did once and, howsoever beleaguered by the Enemy, would again with you serve the Most High. Deus vult. Amen, amen.

49 thoughts on “What You Can Do About the Election

  1. Pingback: What You Can Do About the Election | Reaction Times

  2. I feel kind of bad that we Protestants can’t join you in praying to the souls in Purgatory, but you’re certainly welcome to join with us in prayer and supplication to the Lord God for the salvation of the US of A.

    • Sure; of course! The saints are a force multiplier for our prayers offered up directly to YHWH. But then, last time I checked, Protestants all affirmed the Apostles Creed, and thus believe in the communion of saints both living and dead. So, no need to feel excluded.

  3. – Pray the chaplet of divine mercy daily between 3 pm and 4 pm
    – pray the rosary daily
    – fast and/or do internet fasting on wednesdays AND friday, take additional mortifications. Pray and/or read scripture in the time you would use to eat
    – abstain from making negative remarks/comments about the priests and/or the Pope either vocally or written. Pray for them instead.
    – Go to confesion, do a thorough confesion of all sins and take firm resolution to avoid them in the future

  4. Pray for the Spirit of America – that’s good advice. This election is so fraught for both sides since it seems to embody a stark choice about what the Spirit of America actually is. Part of the ritual function of a president is to embody or encode the spirit of America, to act as its self-image. And Donald Trump and Joe Biden represent deeply contrasting models for what the Spirit of America is like.

    Donald Trump expresses one legitimate facet of the American character – the gross, boorish, bullying, and fraudulent part. The ignorant part, the shortsighted part, the jingoistic part, the cruel part. The part that cares only about strength and knows nothing of justice, love, honor, beauty or caring. The proudly stupid part. And of course the racist and patriarchal part.

    Joe Biden on the other hand – I won’t say he’s a good man, I’ve never been that big fan, but in this shared collective drama he’s come to encode a simple basic human decency. That’s not because he’s especially decent, it’s just how his role in this drama is evolving. His ordinariness is elevated into something positively charismatic, just by its contrast to Trump’s comprehensive and uncanny vileness.

    Electing Trump a second time would confirm the worst image of this country; replacing him with Biden would be a signal that we still have some decency left in us.

    But I’m not here to try to sell anyone on Joe Biden, I’m trying to make a meta level point here. It’s shaping up to be a key battle in the war to define just what the Spirit of America actually is. You pray to your ancestors, I will pray to mine.

    • A.morphous, a man who endorses free abortion and “sex-reasignation surgery” to children is not decent. Period.

      Trump has a lot of flaws, indeed. However, no christian with good conscience can vote for free abortion. Trump has made an effort to end the culture of death in the US. Today, votes must be directed toward upholding life from conception till natural death. The rest is irrelevant.

      For the record, I am not an US citizen.

    • A. Morphous,

      Haven’t you noticed that Biden actually has a very similar personality to Trump when he is allowed to go off script? Like when people at town hall meetings ask insinuating questions and he calls them fat or something.

      They are both pretty boorish, Biden is simply in more of a position to listen to his handlers.

    • A.morphous, you’re thinking with caricatures. Which means you are not quite thinking. Like so many on the Left, you are emoting, and confusing that procedure with thought.

      To wit: it is just stupid to suggest that Trump is nothing but a boor, a racist, an idiot, stupid, cruel, and “knows nothing of justice, love, honor, beauty, or caring.” To believe that is to have drunk the Kool Aid; to have swallowed the Party Line, together with its hook and sinker. It is to have been taken, like a mark. You’ve been conned. What’s worse, you rather like it; you think you got a good deal out of the con.

      It is not hard to find stories of how caring, compassionate and thoughtful Trump has often been, to people who cannot be of any help to him, and in private. You just have to make a bit of an effort to look for such stories. The media don’t report on them, because, like you, they just hate the guy. Their hatred has deranged their wits.

      Likewise it is not hard to find plentiful stories – and hard evidence – of how depraved, corrupt, and condescending. And demented now, the poor fellow; so confused, so weak, so overwhelmed. You just have to make a bit of an effort to find those stories. The media won’t report on them because, like you, they just hate Trump. Their hatred has deranged their wits.

      Excursus: one aspect of Trump’s genius is that he has used the hatred that suffuses and crazes his adversaries, and the derangement of their wits, to his own advantage. The Democrats keep trying what they take to be genius moves that are *obviously* stupid, that will *obviously* fail, and that can then be used against them. And Trump lets them run with it, until the line is all paid out, the fraud and error are revealed, and his adversaries are jerked to the floor yet again. The palmary example is of course the riots of this last summer; best advertisement for the Right since Pol Pot. It is perhaps the biggest own goal since Mondale vowed to raise taxes – which, naturally, the Democrats are vowing to do again.

      Like you, they hate Trump as a human being, and – I hope unlike you – they often vehemently and publicly wish he would just die. It is no great stretch, for Trump supporters, to realize that the Leftists who wish Trump could be killed wish the same thing about them. Leftists not infrequently say so (viz., the recent statement of Keith Olbermann). It is no great stretch, for Trump supporters – indeed, for anyone who is not an ardent SJW – to figure out that if the Democrats win next month, there is a good chance that a war will ensue – against them. They feel your hate.

      That hatred is not widely reciprocated on the Right. Not yet, anyway. In my experience, people of the Right feel for their Leftist adversaries mostly pity and sorrow, more and more leavened these days with salt contempt.

      Excise the hatred first from your own heart, lest it redound to your own suffering. Only then will you be able to begin thinking clearly. Find something to love and admire in Trump – it isn’t hard, if you think about it for a couple minutes – and then love and admire it. Will his good; will his moral repair. Do the same for Biden; he needs it, certainly.

      But, first, will your own.

      • I see you missed my point, which I probably should have made more explicit. I am writing not so much about the true character of these candidates, whatever those may be, but more about what they represent in the unfolding national drama – that is, their roles. Which is roughly the same thing as a caricature, so you are right about that. But caricatures are extremely important in politics.

        I did say explicitly in the case of Biden I am not discussing his real character. In the case of Trump, the caricature does not appear to be all that different from the reality. You can read books by his intimates (his sister, his biographer) which confirm this.

        It is not hard to find stories of how caring, compassionate and thoughtful Trump has often been, to people who cannot be of any help to him, and in private.

        Uh huh. Feel free to link them. It is about a thousand times easier to find stories about him ripping off a children’s charity, or stiffing his contractors, or committing sexual assault, or funneling public money into his own pockets.

        You are right that there is alarming levels of hate on both sides of the political divide. Although I guess we would probably place the blame on different sides, in some respects that doesn’t matter. War is war no matter who started it, who gets assigned the ultimate blame by the judgement of history.

        I know many people who want Trump dead. In many cases surprising even themselves with the level of hatred he inspires. I myself don’t really engage in that sort of thing, not out of any personal regard for the sanctity of the life of Donald Trump, but because it misses the point. Trump is disturbing not for what he is in himself, which is ugly enough but ultimately not very important. It’s the movement and people around him, the rather large tribe that looks at him and says, yeah, that’s who I want as the leader of our nation. Whatever this group is, killing Donald Trump would not rid the world of it.

        It may be wrong to hate such people, but I can’t help but fear them. Their values are not my values, they are prone to violence, and they dislike people like me.

        That hatred is not widely reciprocated on the Right. Not yet, anyway. In my experience, people of the Right feel for their Leftist adversaries mostly pity and sorrow,

        You have got to be kidding me. Today’s right is almost *entirely* about hatred of the left. I can put on Tucker Carlson any given weeknight and find him concoting a story about the perfidy of the left. I can grep this blog and find dozens of posts equating the left to Satan.

        I thought you were a reactionary. Reactionaries are definitionally reacting against the left, so how do you expect me to believe all of a sudden you think they are just pitiful, not a danger?

        I can’t figure out if you really believe the nonsense you are writing. I suppose you do; there is an entire alternative universe of meaning on your side of the political divide. You have your narrative, I have mine, who am I to tell you yours is wrong?

        Trump makes these differences even starker than they were before, since he’s so comprehensively hideous to my side.

        Find something to love and admire in Trump – it isn’t hard, if you think about it for a couple minutes

        I find it odd that you keep making reference to the supposedly ample evidence for Trump’s merits, and suggesting I go track it down myself, rather than just coming out and saying straightforwardly your own opinions. What is it that you love and admire in him?

        And thanks for the advice about my soul, but I hope you can see how absurd it sounds to be given advice about the care of the soul from a follower of that empty shell of human being. Perhaps it would do you some good to look to the state of your own soul and how it has come to this state.

      • … caricatures are extremely important in politics.

        Sure, but even in politics the caricatures are not usually confused with reality. Nobody thinks that the figures in cartoon caricatures have enormous heads in real life. But more and more these days, the Left – modernists in general – seem unable to remember that their symbols are not identical with the denotations thereof, and confuse their ideological model with the reality to which it is so plainly, so obviously inadequate. The Leftist model of reality is more and more like a caricature, and less and less like a sober, considered, realistic appraisal. It is, in short, more and more insane, and at odds with itself; viz., the essential contradiction between feminism and transgenderism.

        It is about a thousand times easier to find stories about him ripping off a children’s charity, or stiffing his contractors, or committing sexual assault, or funneling public money into his own pockets.

        Yes; because 99% of the media are consumed with hatred of Trump, their wits are deranged by that hatred, and they are willing to credit – or, at least, to propagate mendaciously – all sorts of evil about him that are incoherent even prima facie. E.g., the evil that Trump is a Russian agent or pawn, when it is the Left that wants to disarm America and grovel before all other nations – including Russia – while it is Trump who has begun a massive rearmament and modernization of the military; so that if Russia were to support any candidate, it would in logic plain to any intelligent first grader be the candidate of the Left. Indeed, the media are eager to credit – or, at least, to propagate – even notions of Trump’s immense evil that are famously demonstrated to be false. E.g., the policy of separating children from the adults in whose company they came across the border illegally until their real parents can be ascertained and found, so that they can be returned safely home – which is actually rather a sane and careful policy aimed at the prevention of child abuse and slavery (despite the defects that plague *every government policy whatsoever*) *that began during the Obama Administration.* The media propagate the absurd lies of the Left (“Russia Russia Russia”) even when they have been shown to be lies, again and again and again.

        The problem is that if you found your discourse upon lies, *you are going to end up wrong about most things.* And this perhaps is why the Left keeps trying such obviously counterproductive moves as fomenting race riots *while promoting (from top to bottom, and with apparent seriousness) the elimination of the police* in the run up to a national election.

        You are right that there [are] alarming levels of hate on both sides of the political divide.

        I didn’t say that. I said and think that almost all of the hatred and violence is to be found on the Left. It ain’t conservatives who are rioting, killing people, starting fires, and looting stores. Duh. It is Trump supporters who are being assaulted on the streets for walking while wearing red hats. It is the Left that is suffused with hate, not the Right. How can I tell?

        You write:

        I know many people who want Trump dead. In many cases surprising even themselves with the level of hatred he inspires.

        Here’s the thing: I know a *lot* of people on the Right, and *none* of them want anyone on the Left dead. They just want Leftism dead. They don’t want anyone to die. They mostly just want the Left, and its organs in the state, the media, the academy, the arts, entertainment – i.e., the Establishment and its State Religion – to go away and leave them alone to live in peace.

        So, that’s a solid tell, OK? You know many people on the Left who want Trump dead. I have never heard of anyone on the Right who wants Biden dead. Sure, there must be some such out there. But I’ve never heard of them. Whereas almost everyone has heard the froth of homicidal hatred spewing from wealthy prominent Leftist maniacs like Keith Olbermann.

        Whatever this group [of deplorables] is, killing Donald Trump would not rid the world of it.

        Yes. It would take the death of millions to achieve that. Mass murder on that scale is a policy which the Left has carried into practice routinely since 1789, as a matter of principle. Viz., Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other insane ideologues of the Left. Like Keith Olbermann.

        It may be wrong to hate such people, but I can’t help but fear them. Their values are not my values, they are prone to violence, and they dislike people like me.

        You are projecting again; about their being prone to violence, that is. You think that because so many of your ilk would feel OK about killing any number of mine, we reciprocate that attitude. Dude, we just don’t. Our values are not yours, and that includes the value we place on human life. Unlike the Left, *we don’t think it is OK to kill your political adversaries simply because they disagree with your values.* We think that political murder – like all other sorts of murder – is a horrible sin. Now, like you, we don’t particularly like living with people whose values are antithetical to our own. But unlike so many on the Left, we don’t want to *kill* such folks on that basis alone. We just want them to leave off telling us that we must live by their values. And we don’t want to kill them unless they are trying to kill us, because *we believe murder is evil.*

        NB: If you kill someone who is trying to kill you, you are not committing murder, and the killing is not necessarily problematic from a moral perspective – despite the moral fact, unquestioned on the Right, that killing people simpliciter is always a great and horrible evil, which ought to be avoided at almost all costs.

        Today’s right is almost *entirely* about hatred of the left.

        Again, you project. Today’s Right is almost entirely about being left the Hell alone. It’s really that simple. The Gadsden Flag says it all.

        I thought you were a reactionary. Reactionaries are definitionally reacting against the left, so how do you expect me to believe all of a sudden you think they are just pitiful, not a danger?

        A madman armed with a gun is both pitiful and dangerous. We don’t *want* to kill such a man, but sadly there is sometimes no alternative.

        … there is an entire alternative universe of meaning on your side of the political divide. You have your narrative, I have mine, who am I to tell you yours is wrong?

        Scott Adams has been saying for years that the Left and the Right are watching two different and irreconcilable movies. To their respective audiences, the Narrative of each movie is internally coherent, and cogent, despite its defects (such as inhere in any model). It is obvious that political discourse has vanished from the West. Not only are the movies irreconcilable, but the two audiences don’t even have a common life to which they can both refer in criticising the movies. More and more, they speak different and mutually incomprehensible languages.

        How to tell which movie is more correct? Neither of the movies, or therefore their devoted audiences, can correct the other.

        Fortunately, we have Gnon to help us out: Leftist policies fail everywhere except in tightly familiar societies (or sometimes their near approximations in small homogeneous nations with extremely high degrees of general conscientiousness, intelligence and social trust – wherein, e.g., no one locks their doors because there is no proximal reason to do so). The order of the world repudiates Leftism, again and again and again. Leftist policies reliably lead to social dissolution, to chaos and poverty and death. And the bioeconomic logic driving such dissolution is well understood.

        Which leads to the prediction that even in tightly familiar societies or their near approximations, Leftist policies are likely at the margin to drive eventual social dissolution. And lo, that is just what we see happening in the Scandinavian countries, quondam exemplars of Socialist success, where generously intended immigration policies have engendered rape crises, welfare disasters, and … social chaos.

        So … some movies are realist. Some are not.

        What is it that you love and admire in [Trump]?

        Even if he had not followed through on many of his campaign promises, and engendered a massive economic boom with his deregulatory policies, and begun to bring peace to the Middle East, and allowed America to achieve energy independence, and so forth and so on (through a list of roughly 150 achievements as President), and despite the fact that he often behaves rudely, crudely, and, indeed, contrary to his own interests, I would love and admire him because he doesn’t seem ever to hesitate to say exactly whatever the hell is on his mind, no matter how impolitic or impolite it might be. I love him precisely because he is a bull in a China shop. One never knows what he’ll do next, one is repeatedly surprised – indeed, taken aback or even dismayed – at what he does do, and it is just amazing how often the impolitic things he has said or done work out well for him, for his cultural party, for the American nation, for the world, and badly – o so badly – for his adversaries on the Left.

        Trump Derangement Syndrome tells us that Trump is over the target and landing numerous bombs on it. Hair’s afire on the Left because they’ve been hit with intellectual napalm. It ain’t a tidy process. It ain’t polite.

        Trump Derangement Syndrome tells us also that Leftists are living in a nightmare of their own devising. If Trump were really as evil as the Leftists say he is, he’d already have shot them; there would be no one left to manifest the Syndrome. There’d be no homicidal hate on the Left, because the Left would have been wiped out.

      • I don’t vote, but perhaps we should be rejecting the most powerful and corrupt political force that exists right now, i.e. the nearly unified Power that is able to transmute an election between two old men into a national rejection or acceptance of “decency.”

        Screw that. I abstain.

      • This is the second time you’ve mentioned Keith Olbermann, someone who hasn’t been prominent in any medium for the last ten years. I consume a ton of leftist media and his name never comes up. You need to update your bugaboos.

        I didn’t say that [there was alarming levels of hate on both sides] I said and think that almost all of the hatred and violence is to be found on the Left.

        So you did. But that is not something that a serious person would say, so I guess I unconsciously gave it a more charitable reading than it deserved.

        It is Trump supporters who are being assaulted on the streets for walking while wearing red hats. It is the Left that is suffused with hate, not the Right. How can I tell?

        Dude. There have been many many hundreds of murders by right-wing forces in the US over the last few decades. They are the ones with the guns and the militias and the president urging them to violence. They tried to kidnap and presumably murder the governor of Michigan just last week!

        And of course they are responsible for more than their fair share of street-level assault too.

        Here’s the thing: I know a *lot* of people on the Right, and *none* of them want anyone on the Left dead. They just want Leftism dead.

        We all know the methods that the right uses to achieve their goal of dead leftism.

        Scott Adams has been saying for years that the Left and the Right are watching two different and irreconcilable movies. To their respective audiences, the Narrative of each movie is internally coherent, and cogent, despite its defects (such as inhere in any model). It is obvious that political discourse has vanished from the West. Not only are the movies irreconcilable, but the two audiences don’t even have a common life to which they can both refer in criticising the movies. More and more, they speak different and mutually incomprehensible languages.

        I’m generally no fan of Scott Adams but I agree with the above. It suggests that this present dialog is futile. You have your reasons for preferring your movie, with Trump as its current leading man. I have my reasons for preferring mine. There is not the slightest chance of either of us converting the other. The movies evolve independently and battle each other when necessary, as in the coming election. Whoever wins, both movies will continue to unspool and no doubt keep fighting it out with each other.

      • This is the second time you’ve mentioned Keith Olbermann, someone who hasn’t been prominent in any medium for the last ten years. I consume a ton of leftist media and his name never comes up. You need to update your bugaboos.

        I don’t consume a ton of leftist media, yet I’ve heard of Keith Olbermann. So, he’s prominent enough to serve as a case in point. He is a man of the Left, and he has said he wants men such as I removed from society. That’s all that is needed for my argument to work. Olbermann is like your friends on the Left who want Trump dead. Any one of them would have served my argument with equal force. Olbermann is a cipher.

        Any man who hates another so much as to wish him dead renders himself a moral zero.

        Do you not understand that the fact of the matter depends not at all on exactly how prominent Keith Olbermann is or is not? The fact of the matter is that many on the Left want people like me dead. That desire is not reciprocated by many on the Right. QED.

        Dude. There have been many many hundreds of murders by right wing forces in the US over the last few decades.

        I suppose by “right wing forces” you mean cops. If so, you have drunk the Kool Aid. You have missed the debunking that routinely follows the press brouhaha over this or that bit of police violence, when the facts of the case are calmly deliberated. You have been a credulous consumer of news; a chump, a tool, a useful idiot, an NPC.

        But, let’s say that you are right, and that cops both black and white have been persecuting blacks for the last 50 years, not because of any reality about crime and police work in the world as it is, but because – for no reason other than their own evil natures – cops both black and white are evil racists who hate blacks just because they are black. The problem then is that almost all that persecution was committed by the armed forces of *Democratic* municipal administrations. The Democrats have controlled most big American cities (and for that matter almost all big American institutions of any sort) for *decades.* It’s their cops who are doing the killing. The Democrats who run all those cities are themselves therefore either malevolent racists, or managerial bunglers who can’t control their own employees. Or both.

        They tried to kidnap and presumably murder the governor of Michigan just last week!

        It seems you have not read anywhere in the leftist main stream media of which you consume so much that the ringleader of that kidnapping attempt is an antigovernment radical – i.e., an anarchist – who wants to kill Trump, too. Imagine that. I can’t think of a reason that the main stream press might have overlooked that fact, and hid it from their credulous readers and viewers. Can you?

        And of course [right wingers] are responsible for more than their fair share of street-level assault too.

        Right! We’ve all seen *hundreds* of videos over the last few years of unprovoked red hats viciously attacking limousine liberals on Rodeo Drive, Berkeley professors of Social Grievance Studies, and harmless, mostly peaceful protesters, who were just trying to exercise their civil rights to undocumented shopping, assault, and arson. Why, look at what those bastards did to Jussie Smollett!

        Oh, wait, no; the leftist mainstream press has not been able to dig up any such videos. Still, we know it must be true, because they keep telling us it is! So … yeah!

        We all know the methods that the right uses to achieve their goal of dead leftism.

        Yes: and the point – which you have not even tried to refute – is that, in contrast to the Left, their methods *do not include murder.* You have not at all addressed the plain fact, which both Terry and I have adduced from our extensive personal experience of hundreds of right wingers, that – unlike the left wingers you personally know – right wingers *just don’t want to kill anyone.*

        What is it with you, a.morphous? Can’t you see this obvious difference between the two ends of the political spectrum? If not, what is blinding you? Is it not your desire that reality be other than what it obviously is? What weakness of mind gives in to such desires?

        When you stoop to such madness, it does your side no good. It just makes you look nuts. And pathetic; a tool; an NPC.

        I recognize that it must be hard to admit that your own side has the corner on the murderous hate, because that murderous hatred bewrays a profound moral rot over at your end of the spectrum; a predilection for evil. And to recognize that fact is to confront yourself with a painful moral choice of your own: whether to stay on the side of murderous hate, or move away from it. That’s hard.

        Truth is hard. That’s all. You can’t fight him and win. Truth always wins in the end, and destroys all his opponents, permanently – seriatim at first, but then in the end all at once, and altogether. You can’t beat him. You had better then put yourself in agreement with him, and sooner rather than later. To do otherwise is only to injure yourself needlessly, and bootlessly.

        The movies evolve independently and battle each other when necessary, as in the coming election. Whoever wins, both movies will continue to unspool and no doubt keep fighting it out with each other.

        The two narratives will no doubt continue to evolve. Only one of them will prove to be congruent with the Order of Being. The other will be destroyed. When an ideology fails in that way, it usually destroys itself. The process ends either at complete social collapse caused by policies at radical variance with reality, or at invasion by a saner, healthier, more vigorous society.

        That seems to us on the Right to be what is happening to the Left right now. The Left seems to us to be descending further and further into madness. This is in part why we pity them. They are subject to strange and horrible fantastic delusions; to purely imaginary torments. It’s sad.

        But, don’t get me wrong: madness can also be quite strong. It can do a lot of damage before it consumes itself at last. Madness might win this election. Madness might win the civil war that ensues, no matter what the electoral outcome next month. If those things happen, lots of beautiful things will be destroyed forever.

        But, so will madness, which cannot survive except as supervenient upon a prevalent social beauty. Destroying its host, madness will destroy itself.

        A.morphous, your side is doomed, in the end, no matter what happens in the battles now in the offing. Sorry.

      • Kristor wrote:

        Here’s the thing: I know a *lot* of people on the Right, and *none* of them want anyone on the Left dead. They just want Leftism dead. They don’t want anyone to die. They mostly just want the Left, and its organs in the state, the media, the academy, the arts, entertainment – i.e., the Establishment and its State Religion – to go away and leave them alone to live in peace.

        I live in arguably the most “conservative” State in the quickly fracturing Union; indeed, I live in arguably the most conservative county (one of the deep maroon counties surrounded by a sea of lighter red) in the most conservative State in the quickly fracturing Union. So I know and am acquainted with hundreds of conservatives, ranging from the average “normie-con” to hard core traditionalists like myself. And, like you, Kristor, I have never – no, not once – heard, or even heard tell of, a single one of those persons or any other conservative they know, wanting anyone on the left dead; not a single one who the likes of ditzy Joe Biden or even one of “The Squad” for that matter, “inspires a level of hatred surprising even to themselves.” And a whole bunch of these people I know are what some might call “Yahoos – just ol’ uneducated back woods ‘salt of the earth’ country boys who’ll fight you at the drop of a hat, then pick you up and dust you off, shake your hand and tell you, “good fight, brother, sorry I had to do that.”

        These same persons might well be “uneducated” and “uncultured” by comparison to a.morphous’s friends and their standards, but they are at the same time eminently sane, just, fair-minded and moral to a fault. They might kick the proverbial shit out of you for insulting them or one of theirs if after they’ve fairly warned you to shut your pie hole before you bring the worst out in them you continue with your insults, but they’ll almost never go any farther than what they need to to “shut that pie hole for you.”

        Contrast that with the psychotic people a.morphous evidently hangs with and the circles he flies in, and it’s easy to see who the good, decent, honorable, unpretentious and patriotic (also to a fault) among us are. I truly pity persons like a.morphous; they can have no appreciable idea what terms like love, honor, respect for your fellow man, common decency, generosity, compassion, patience, kindness, humility and the like even mean. They can’t possibly have any appreciable idea of what these and like terms mean because they are and have ever been surrounded by their exact opposites. Which must be a piti-ful existence in its truest sense – Hell on earth. No wonder they’re so angry.

      • Terry, don’t you know yet that you can’t believe your lying eyes, but must instead believe the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC? Your neighbours are *obviously* all evil white supremacists who want to kill all blacks and Jews, all women and homosexuals.

        I’m stunned that a man as intelligent and perceptive as you have shown yourself to be could have missed this obvious fact. The explanation must be that you yourself want to kill all blacks and Jews and women and homosexuals. That’s why you are defending those deplorable “people” who live in your benighted neck of the woods. You and everyone like you should be destroyed, before you all have a chance to put your evil conservative crimes into motion. We shall glass your county. That will purify it.

      • I suppose by “right wing forces” you mean cops.

        I did not, what an odd supposition; I meant the nongovernmental right wing terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, Dylan Roof, and many many more.

        It is true that in many places the cops are close to these groups; that’s very scary, but not what I was talking about.

        It seems you have not read anywhere in the leftist main stream media of which you consume so much that the ringleader of that kidnapping attempt is an antigovernment radical – i.e., an anarchist – who wants to kill Trump, too.

        It’s odd that you never supply sources for these allegations. These people seem extremely typical of violent right-wing extremists, whether or not they want to kill Trump.

        Yes: and the point – which you have not even tried to refute – is that, in contrast to the Left, their methods *do not include murder.*… I recognize that it must be hard to admit that your own side has the corner on the murderous hate

        Dude. What the f are you talking about. The facts of right-wing murder are not in dispute by any serious person; and I’ve given many examples. I’ve had entire branches of my family murdered by violent right wing regimes. I think I know what I’m talking about.

        This feels like what the kids call “gaslighting” – but you don’t seem like the type to lie deliberately, so I guess you are a victim of your own delusions.

        What is it with you, a.morphous? Can’t you see this obvious difference between the two ends of the political spectrum? If not, what is blinding you? Is it not your desire that reality be other than what it obviously is? What weakness of mind gives in to such desires?

        OK, three possibilities:
        1) I am completely delusional
        2) You are completely delusional
        3) you are trying to gaslight me

        Guess I will go with 2). But in any case we are left without a basis for dialog.

        The two narratives will no doubt continue to evolve. Only one of them will prove to be congruent with the Order of Being. The other will be destroyed.

        This is true and tautological. Any narrative or regime lasts as long as it has the power to do so, then collapses. The narratives of Pharonic Egypt lasted for several thousand years, presumably because they jibed with the Order of Being as it was in that time and place.

        A.morphous, your side is doomed, in the end, no matter what happens in the battles now in the offing. Sorry

        We’ll have to see about that. You and your party have hitched your Order of Being to a singularly vile fraud of a man who repulses anyone retaining a vestigial shred of human decency. It’s bought you some short-term power, because there is a lot of indecency in the world. But I think that the liberal virtues are stronger in the long run. Sure hope so, survival depends on it.

      • It is obvious that we are watching two utterly irreconcilable movies presented online and in the media. But that’s just two public narratives, fighting it out. So, let’s back away from the media of all sorts and rely only on our personal experience. Out of however many Leftists you know, you know of a few at least who want Trump dead. I know lots and lots of Rightists – hell, I administer what is in the evaluation of some on the Right the most radical site in the reactionary blogosphere – and I know of not one reactionary, not one conservative, not one traditionalist, and not even a single Republican civic nationalist who wants anyone dead. You can say that I’m delusional about that, or lying, or telling the truth. Trust me: I’m telling the truth.

        What do you do with these data derived from personal experience? What do they indicate about the two sides? Which of the two sides is more hateful? Honest.

      • I’ve had similar thoughts when I hear feverish talk about a right-wing conspiracy. My writing at the Orthosphere has attracted the evil eye of the left wing conspiracy, but it has not attracted the benevolent eye of any right wing conspiracy. I have some loyal readers, for whom I am very grateful, but five years of signaling my allegiance has not elicited one invitation to join the outfit, as they used to say. This could be because the outfit has higher standards, but I suspect it is because there really is no outfit, no organization. As I recently commented on Malcolm Pollock’s blog, the Right is primarily a community of sentiment–what Durkheim called mechanical solidarity–whereas the Left is an organization–what Durkheim called organic solidarity. Thus it was sheer projection when Hillary Clinton warned against a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. She knew she was part of a conspiracy, and so naturally supposed her enemies were as well.

        The paranoid fantasies of right-wing death squads are also projection on the part of people who have barely sublimated their gleeful fantasies of left-wing death squads. It is true that our side has most of the firepower, but it has very little in the way of organization and murderous zeal.

      • a.morphous wrote:

        I’ve had entire branches of my family murdered by violent right wing regimes. I think I know what I’m talking about.

        Entire branches, eh? In the plural.

        Whoa! This guy is way worse off than I had originally thought. There is a medical term for the condition that afflicts him. I have known two persons in my life who suffered from the condition. They talked crazy like that too, but of course we all knew it was all in their heads. I sincerely hope there are good people around him who can get him some much needed help. Not just for his sake either. People who talk like that and really believe what they’re saying can twist off in an instant and without warning. When Trump is re-elected in a couple of days, that could be the catalyst to push him over the edge.

      • I suppose a.morphous must have lost a lot of family to the Nazis. An experience like that has an indelible effect on a family, unto many generations. Everything is seen – and crazed – through that painful darksome glass.

        As an example, a few years ago an intelligent and well educated young Jewish woman of my acquaintance – who also learned in early childhood that wide swaths of her family had been wiped out by the Nazis – happened to express in my presence her horror and disgust at American Evangelicals, as being the next thing to Nazis, and great enemies of the Jews. She had *no idea* that American Evangelicals are perhaps the most important salient of support for Jews and Israel anywhere among the gentiles. I told her about that. She was shocked. The Leftist media had never reported it to her. She checked it out. It checked out.

        After that, the scales began to fall from her eyes, one by one. Regular exposure to me didn’t hurt! She’s now a trad Catholic – and a proud Jewess.

      • But were they *right wing* Indians? Probably so, I guess; like every other people on Earth whatsoever prior to the advent of Christians, the Indians kept slaves. So there you go.

        Wait a minute. Sudden thought: shouldn’t all those cultures that ever practiced slavery be cancelled? Mustn’t we destroy all their monuments? Shouldn’t we, that is to say, delete every memory of every nation other than that of the European Homelands and Diaspora since about 1840? I.e., latter day Christendom, such as it is?

        I never before realized how implicitly imperialist the SJW movement is.

      • “I know of not one reactionary, not one conservative, not one traditionalist, and not even a single Republican civic nationalist who wants anyone dead.”

        I saw this tweet today from P&G, perhaps the largest employer in my hometown: https://twitter.com/Tampax/status/1305952342504767491

        “Fact: Not all women have periods. Also a fact: Not all people with periods are women. Let’s celebrate the diversity of all people who bleed! Blue heartArtist palette:
        @gobeeharris #mythbusting #periodtruths #transisbeautiful”

        With apologies to Douglas Adams and Tom Baker (“Pirate Planet” reference incoming), this sort of language appeals only to the homicidal side of my nature. I confess that I really don’t want to see any one person die . . . but if a natural disaster quickly took a few billion lives of people who find this sort of idiocy inspirational, well, I would find it mighty difficult to feel sorrow.

        In all sincerity, when I read above what the commentator felt (about Trump), I found it perplexing and started to respond, but I didn’t, deferring to the ancient, wise counsel, “Don’t feed trolls.” What I started to write was my inner reaction to the latest news about the Biden family. I find it quite sad, and I genuinely mean that. Consider Hunter. With so many advantages, so many blessings (even privileges!), he still fell, perhaps crippled for life from the tragic loss of his mother and sister so early in life. God knows. What a terrible tale. I feel no hatred for the Bidens and cannot imagine why anyone would. He comes across as a poor soul from a morality play. For that matter, I felt no hatred for Obama, as irritating, shallow, and ridiculous as I find him and his class of clever, worldly ones — serious men, as Prof. Smith just wrote in another post. No animosity for old Nancy, either. (Schumer, on the other hand, well, there are dark thoughts lurking thereabout . . . but even he turns into a good guy — or at least a significantly less repellent one — when you see how he treats his staffers). When reviewing these folks at their worst, I feel alarm and disgust — as if I saw a city in the distance being overrun with the plagues of Egypt. There is miasma there as well as the suffering that comes with it, and I feel a mixture of fear, pity, hopelessness, and confusion in reaction. Mainly, I want to maximize distance and separation between the sordidly afflicted and that which (and those whom) I love.

        That is not to say that I don’t feel political hatreds. I certainly do . . . far, far more than “normies,” whose dispassionate and forgiving constitutions continually amaze me. Perhaps, I suffer the choleric affliction for reasons similar to the commentator; the ability to hate truly and without guilt might be a special inheritance. However, these hatreds are directed to abstractions, not concrete people. It’s easy to despise the angry lesbian who champions ugliness above all things, it seems, but I don’t feel the same when I happen to stand next to a tatted, cropped, blue-haired woman in line at an ice cream parlor as we start to discuss the pros and cons of the available seasonal flavors. I might discover that this person really loves songbirds, is crazy about gentian, and has an interest in Smetana that first developed during her visits to her Czech grandmother’s house when she was a child. In other words, I discover a human being who is far more than her opinions on matters only superficially important to her. Though undoubtedly broken, scarred, and defective in so many ways, like the rest of humanity, she has fine qualities and accomplishes fine deeds in her actual life-world.

        Such mindfulness of humanity used to be a badge of honor on the American left. Alas, the worst inhumane elements have manipulated their way to power. I marvel at their myopic stupidity . . . and lament the loss of old enemies.

      • You describe a real dilemma. Like you, I always drew a hard line between the personal and the political, and tried to look for virtues and grounds for friendship in my political enemies. This was, naturally, on the condition that they draw the same hard line. Sometimes these these people could discuss politics dispassionately, and sometimes they could not. If the second sort were satisfied to leave the topic alone, that was good enough for me. But I now bear too many scars from leftist friends who betrayed me out of party loyalty. Not all leftists are rats, or even potential rats, but the rat ratio is very high on that side of the aisle. I think this comes of the fact that politics occupies such a large place in leftist identity and consciousness. They understand themselves as soldiers in a movement, whereas we are conscious of our political identity only when it is outraged, as by the P&G testimonial at the head of your comment.

        I gather you are a Smetana fan. There was a very large Czech immigration to this county in the 1870s, and so a little country hamlet called Smetana (although it is now pronounced as rhyming with banana). It is not clear whether it was named for the composer or an immigrant who shared his name, but I’ll send you some photographs of Smetana, Texas. Don’t get too excited: there is not a whole lot to it, and what there is isn’t much to write home about.

      • Kristor wrote:

        I suppose a.morphous must have lost a lot of family to the Nazis. An experience like that has an indelible effect on a family, unto many generations. Everything is seen – and crazed – through that painful darksome glass.

        I suppose so. Y’all will just have to overlook me for not necessarily taking the likes of a.morphous at his word. Personally I think he is mostly full of sh*t, but that’s just me.

        Evidently he thinks a thing that happened way before he was even thought of gives him somekind of special insight (“I think I know what I’m talking about” Yeah, I’m sure you do think so, O formless one.) the rest of us don’t and cannot possibly have. Meanwhile, I’d have to necessarily agree that the Nazis were in fact a “right wing regime,” not to mention that members of his tribe weren’t in fact writing and publishing books specifically calling for the complete genocide and annihilation of the entire German race before a single Jew was ever put into a Nazi internment camp, before I could completely rule out the possibility that the Jews weren’t in fact their own worst enemies in that situation.

        I will say unequivocally that murder is wrong, everywhere and at all times; I will say as well that if you’re openly calling for the genocide of my people while you are simultaneously doing everything in your power to turn my children into moral degenerates and ingrates and haters of their own kind, and all while holding a gun to my head, well, that’s open warfare and I didn’t start it.

        I’ll perfectly understand if you don’t approve this comment, but those are my thoughts nonetheless.

  5. a.morphous wrote:

    I know many people who want Trump dead. In many cases surprising even themselves with the level of hatred he inspires.

    I’m going to get on the wrong side of my ideological brethren on this one, but if a clown like Trump “inspires” the level of hatred in your friends your description indicates, “surprising even themselves” for goodness sakes, they have serious mental issues, man. We (well, I, more correctly – can’t speak for anyone else) used to make fun of the PESTs among us. You know, those who suffered from “Post Election Selection Trauma” following the election of GWB in 2000. I guess it should come as no surprise to us that the next generation of PESTs to come along are “inspired” by the likes of Trump to a level of hatred “surprising even themselves.” Your friends are lunatics, man. I had before given you more credit than to associate with the like.

    • They think it is Trump that inspires their hatred, but a photo of a Tuna sandwich would serve just as well if the social incentives were the same.

      • In the spirit of fairness, we should add both the incentives and the conditioning together. The wonder and diablerie of the modern system of managing the body politic is not just that it lays out incentives and punishments for actions. All systems of commonweal have done that throughout history; that’s how you have a commonweal instead of an undifferentiated rabble. The infernal genius of the modern system is that it uses myriad methods of conditioning to make the subjects internally consent to and in many cases even fail to recognize the existence of the incentive structures involved.

      • An excellent point. But then, is that not what all traditional societies do? The hard thing to remember is that liberal society is traditional like any other; it is the society that has the tradition of traducing tradition. Apart from that, it’s like any other traditional society. What makes it different from an orthogonal and orthological society – a righteous, apt, organic, and wholesome society – is not that it is not traditional, but that – as with, say, the Aztecs or the Carthaginians, or as I would say also the Mohammedans – it is vicious.

      • I disagree, or rather, I think I wasn’t exactly clear in the point I was trying to make.
        All societies have incentive structures. All vital societies have basically unquestioned incentive structures, most assuredly. The thing that sets modernity apart is its absolute insistence on the seduction of the will of the governed.
        Caesar would force you to offer a pinch of incense at his altar on pain of horrible punishment. Modernity would force you to offer a pinch of incense at its altar on pain of horrible punishment, and it wants you to think that the whole idea of offering that pinch of incense is your idea that you came up with and approve of.

      • Rhetocrates, we disagree not at all; rather, we pick out different emphases. I say that modernism is vicious; you specify one of the ways that it is vicious. There are others! But the one that you notice is clearly one of the more important.

        You write:

        The infernal genius of the modern system is that it uses myriad methods of conditioning to make the subjects internally consent to and in many cases even fail to recognize the existence of the incentive structures involved.

        I wrote to a.morphous above:

        To think that [Trump is nothing but all things evil] is to have drunk the Kool Aid; to have bought the Party Line, together with its hook and sinker. It is to have been taken, like a mark. You’ve been conned. What’s worse, you rather like it; you think you got a good deal out of the con.

        Same basic idea. Latter day modernism has mastered the trick of convincing Havel’s green grocer that he feels great about posting a placard promoting the Party Line in the window of his store.

        Marx had this nailed with his notion of false consciousness.

        The difference then – along this particular dimension – between modernity and all previous cults is that, with modernity, the elites propagating the Narrative know perfectly well that it is false; they engage in what Sartre called bad faith; whereas in previous traditional cultures, the priesthood was generally honest, and honestly participant, in the cult.

      • …and it wants you to think that the whole idea of offering that pinch of incense is your idea that you came up with and approve of.

        Exactly. And what you and I are saying is that it wasn’t our idea, we didn’t come up with it, we don’t approve; and, most importantly, we’re not going to lend those falsehoods the appearance of credibility by participating in the sham elections.

  6. “THOUGH good men are often taken away from the evil to come; though some in evil days have been glad that they were old, nor long to behold the iniquities of a wicked world, or judgments threatened by them; yet is it no small satisfaction unto honest minds, to leave the world in virtuous well-temper’d times, under a prospect of good to come, and continuation of worthy ways acceptable unto God and man. Men who die in deplorable days, which they regretfully behold, have not their eyes closed with the like content; while they cannot avoid the thoughts of proceeding or growing enormities, displeasing unto that Spirit unto whom they are then going, whose honour they desire in all times and throughout all generations. If Lucifer could be freed from his dismal place, he would little care though the rest were left behind. Too many there may be of Nero’s mind, who, if their own turn were served, would not regard what became of others; and, when they die themselves, care not if all perish. But good men’s wishes extend beyond their lives, for the happiness of times to come, and never to be known unto them. And, therefore, while so many question prayers for the dead, they charitably pray for those who are not yet alive; they are not so enviously ambitious to go to heaven by themselves: they cannot but humbly wish, that the little flock might be greater, the narrow gate wider, and that, as many are called, so not a few might be chosen. ”

    Thomas Browne, Christian Morality

  7. I get the impression that some, though not all, of the writers and commenters here do not vote in mass participation elections. I do not either, but do not talk to anyone about it (besides my wife, who does vote), mainly because I’m not confident in my reasons for refraining. This is a topic that I would have liked to hear more from Zippy, God rest his soul, before he passed. His reasons for not voting, while no doubt solid, were very complex it seemed to me, and difficult to distill down to easily understood and independent points. The best reason I can come up with, if I were to defend my decision, is that in every other voting situation, when no choices presented are acceptable, it is acceptable to abstain. So why should a national, state, or even local election be any different? At any rate I wonder whether others here have some thoughts on this.

    • Hear hear!

      I, too, had my eyes opened on the subject by Zippy. I don’t claim my views are congruent or even compatible with his; though I think they largely are, that’s irrelevant for the discussion at hand. I also understand you weren’t asking for my reasons, but they’re the ones I have to hand for opening the discussion.

      Instead I will attempt to sketch my reasons for not voting in any governmental elections. These are only a sketch, not an argument for the validity of my ideas, because for that I’d have to start my own blog and attract my own readership and so forth.

      First, I trust everyone should be familiar with the basic distinction between ideological vs practical reasons for action, viz. practical reasons involve a plausible hope of a change in objective outcome due to your action, whereas ideological reasons for action do not.

      Second, I take as an axiom that remote material cooperation with evil for prudential (read: practical) reasons is at least sometimes OK, but ideological cooperation with evil is not.

      Third, I regard it as sufficiently proven that there are no practical reasons to cast a vote in an election of more than about ten thousand voters. (I would personally put the number lower, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to people shooting for low-percentage effects.)

      Fourth, I state that, as a simple fact, there are no politicians whatsoever running for any office in the United States in an election decided by 10k or more voters that a Catholic could ideologically support in good conscience. If I’m wrong about that, and your local city alderman wants to found a Most Christian Kingdom on the bones of his office, good. Vote for him, maybe.

      So far, I have left the door open to the possibility that there are some elections, in the current system, I might vote in. However, I have further, ideological objections to voting in our current system per se.

      In a liberal regime like ours (NB: I don’t mean as opposed to conservative, I mean as opposed to not philosophically founded on the tenets of liberalism), the primary purpose of voting as a mechanism is to lend your voice to the legitimacy of the system itself, regardless of your purposes in voting or the outcome of the vote. In other words, the primary purpose of voting is to manufacture the consent of the governed, not necessarily for the men governing, but for the philosophical tenets of government.

      The philosophical tenets of our government (viz. liberalism) are evil to their core. They are wrong, bad, explicitly condemned by the Church, against both natural and Divine law. By intentionally not voting I condemn those tenets.

      My problem is not with the mechanism of voting itself, which would be absurd. Thus in a small enough setting (my electricity co-op, what a group of friends should have for dinner, what course of action the Council should adopt for recommendation to the King, etc.) that does not tie in to the validation of liberal tenets of governance, I may and often do vote. But in anything that touches our broader government whatsoever I abstain.

      • Thank you Rhetocrates – I think your reasons line up well with Zippy’s from my memory.

        It is not clear to me how you overcome the obstacle of the manifestly obvious effect of many, many people doing what I do, abstaining. When enough people do it in a large election, the effect is the same as one person’s abstaining in a much smaller election. This is where I usually stumble in trying to explain to my wife. In her mind, there is a reasonable possibility of affecting the outcome when you put yourself in the aggregate with many others who are voting just like you. To simply leave it to others to do seems to her like an offense against the good kind of solidarity, or something like that. If enough people did as I do, it would affect the outcome in a way that would be worse than if I we all in solidarity voted for the better candidate.

      • I have come to suspect that voting can be successful at manufacturing consent only among a people otherwise loyal to each other culturally. When voting works, it does so because in voting the voters all agree implicitly to respect the opinions of their fellow citizens. It is a sign and gesture of mutual loyalty and friendship; which is to say, of social trust.

        Voting works in high trust societies. It works best in small groups of fairly intimate personal acquaintances (this is why, in my conjectural preconstruction of the subsidiaritan feudal stack of sovereign corporations, the council of electors at each level of the hierarchy consists of no more than 24 members). It works OK in homogeneous nations like that of Sweden circa 1960.

        The greater and more various a population, the harder it becomes to maintain the necessary degree of mutual loyalty. Since 2000, voting has manufactured consent among American Leftists only when they won. Its success at manufacturing consent under all outcomes has persisted only among those of the Right, who are still mostly coterminous with Heritage America, with healthy admixtures from Southern and Eastern Europe. Until the last few months, the Right mostly thought that the Left was with them in that basic loyalty to the American system.

        That is changing. In the last few years, the Left has taken off its mask of civic loyalty, and revealed more and more forthrightly that it is at war with traditional American culture. Now it has announced openly that it wants to change the system so that it is guaranteed always to win elections, and to persecute those anywise at odds with the Leftist Establishment, or who fails to pass the test of its capricious shibboleth of the day.

        The Right having been disabused of its fond notions of civic loyalty among its liberal adversaries, it can henceforth have no particular reason of its own to abide by the electoral process.

        So, this may be the last American election that might count for anything. One way or another, it looks like we are probably headed for an autocracy of some sort.

      • It is not clear to me how you overcome the obstacle of the manifestly obvious effect of many, many people doing what I do, abstaining. When enough people do it in a large election, the effect is the same as one person’s abstaining in a much smaller election.

        The glib answer, but still true, is that I am not many, many people; I am one person. However, I think you deserve a fuller answer than that.

        First, if the election is small enough that the abstinence of one person from the voting public is likely to be felt, the arguments against practical effects of voting do not apply, and if your cooperation with evil is sufficiently remote in this election, perhaps you should vote.

        Perhaps you shouldn’t vote, however. If one of the primary purposes of your vote is to legitimize the underlying theories of government, and your abstinence is important enough to be felt, and you strongly disagree with these underlying theories of government, not voting is going to be even more effective than if the same motivations hold in a much larger election.

        The same holds true of sufficiently large masses of people. If, through some unspecified manner, you have influence over a large enough section of the American electorate that its abstinence from voting is likely to be felt, good! Don’t vote! Those relying on the electoral system will notice.

        This goes further into what the purpose of voting is, which is not just to cause ‘buy-in’ among the electorate, but to canalize political action along acceptable paths. Rejecting the action of voting opens the mind and makes you realize how wide the scope of political action really is. If you somehow control, say, fifteen million votes – a back-of-the-envelope estimate of acceptably-large influence in the election – there is so much more you can do than simply pull a lever in a ballot box. Leverage your power bloc: form a cultural and political ghetto, create your own political structures subservient to but separate from the State (cf. the early Christian churches), start foundations or other subscriptions for political change, raise an army and march on the capitol, or whatever. In fact, various practically effective political actions exist beyond voting even if you don’t control any one’s vote – such as discussing the political and philosophical effects of voting with strangers on the Internet. Not voting is not a surrender of real political power, but instead a rejection of the lie that robs you thereof, by convincing you that an act with no practical effects on anyone other than yourself is instead the highest possible expression of political action.

        I have come to suspect that voting can be successful at manufacturing consent only among a people otherwise loyal to each other culturally. When voting works, it does so because in voting the voters all agree implicitly to respect the opinions of their fellow citizens. It is a sign and gesture of mutual loyalty and friendship; which is to say, of social trust.

        I think you are largely correct, but perhaps you state things too strongly. It was very, very important in the Warsaw Pact countries to manufacture consent through voting. It is still very, very important in modern Russia or Belarus or Mexico to manufacture consent through voting. The fact that people see through these efforts is a serious problem for these regimes, much like it is becoming a serious problem for this one.

        Since 2000, voting has manufactured consent among American Leftists only when they won.

        I think this is incorrect. Losing the vote tally has not convinced the Left that liberal conceptions of governance are wrong. You can see this by their proposed solutions to the problem, which are not to abolish voting and the idea of democracy, but rather to shape the electorate and the votary process in such a way as to guarantee people vote the right way.

        The American Left has not consented to the men who won the election, but they have been among the most strident supporters of liberal governance.

        Further, I don’t think your distinction between the American Leftists and Heritage Americans is germane to the conversation. We are all liberals now; those who would welcome the instauration of an American monarch are a vanishingly small minority.

      • Rhetocrates, it turns out again that we agree, and have differed only as to emphases or interpretation.

        It was very, very important in the Warsaw Pact countries to manufacture consent through voting. It is still very, very important in modern Russia or Belarus or Mexico to manufacture consent through voting. The fact that people see through these efforts is a serious problem for these regimes, much like it is becoming a serious problem for this one.

        That was exactly in line with the point I was trying to make. But you put it better. Manufacturing consent is one – but not the only – purpose of voting. In different ways, we both have said that voting cannot meet that purpose *when there is in fact already no true consent.* In other words, voting simply *cannot* manufacture consent. So it can succeed to its other purposes only as supervenient on a prior general and prevalent consent.

        The consent to participate society subvenes all social procedures whatever.

        Losing the vote tally has not convinced the Left that liberal conceptions of governance are wrong.

        Correct. I meant only that losing the vote has convinced the Left that the lost election was rigged, not that it has convinced them that popular elections per se are a stupid way to choose governors. They have a fortiori not yet connected the dots that lead from the failure of liberal governance to autocracy. But they are getting there, fast. And so, therefore, in reaction – that lovely word – the American Right is beginning to do so as well. Thus the fantastic period of American liberal government seems to be in the latter stages of failing in just the way that men go bankrupt: slowly at first, then all at once.

        The question at this moment in American life then is, since democracy has failed the Democrats – and in consequence, therefore also the Republicans and all their fellow travelers – and seems likely soon to disappear one way or another, which sort of autocracy are we then going to have? Is it going to be Communist or (as would be the case if we were to arrive at Government by Google & al.) Fascist? Or is it going to be something or other from the opposite end of the spectrum of alternatives on offer (that avoids outraging American sensibilities by avoiding the name of monarchy)?

      • Apparently I missed the end of a blockquote tag. My apologies, and I can only hope the moderator might correct my deficiencies.

      • Rhetocrates, it turns out again that we agree, and have differed only as to emphases or interpretation.

        It is always a pleasure to be in good company. I do also largely agree that, to paraphrase, voting is a bad method of manufacturing consent. The primary consent that it manufactures, it seems to me, is not the consent of the governed, but the consent to govern.

        However, I do want to point out the very real effect large vote tallies and large to-dos about voting have on the consciousness of the dissident, even when everyone quietly agrees that the game is rigged, the tallies are false, and Khruschev is not the beloved hero of Mother Russia, and that is the same effect that the greengrocer’s poster has. It may not manufacture consent, but by appearing as a Schelling point for mass coordination, it suppresses actual dissent and delays or avoids dissolution of the regime.

      • Agreed, totally. It is only when the greengrocer says, “Oh, f**k this stupid s**t” and throws the Party placard in the gutter that the regime is suddenly done. We’ve seen that happen, in 1989. It can happen again.

        That suggests a title for a future Orthosphere post: All Modern Emperors are Always Naked. All it takes to reveal their absurdity is one little boy, or one greengrocer who has had it up to here with all the virtue signalling nonsense.

      • Not voting is not a surrender of real political power, but instead a rejection of the lie that robs you thereof, by convincing you that an act with no practical effects on anyone other than yourself is instead the highest possible expression of political action.

        This is well-said – I intuit this but haven’t been able to express it as you have. The idea of “manufacture of consent” is very helpful as well. It helps me understand how Google or Lady Gaga want to appear to be telling me to vote whatever is my will, but (obviously) would hinder me from voting if they could, unless I vote for the right person.

  8. @Rhetocrates

    First, if the election is small enough that the abstinence of one person from the voting public is likely to be felt, the arguments against practical effects of voting do not apply, and if your cooperation with evil is sufficiently remote in this election, perhaps you should vote.

    Perhaps you shouldn’t vote, however. If one of the primary purposes of your vote is to legitimize the underlying theories of government, and your abstinence is important enough to be felt, and you strongly disagree with these underlying theories of government, not voting is going to be even more effective than if the same motivations hold in a much larger election.

    I think what you are saying here is the argument for solidarity cuts both ways. If I am one among (who knows how) many who vote with the intention of seeing a particular candidate win, it is at least as valid to be one among (who knows how) many who don’t vote in order to demonstrate that there’s no desirable candidate to vote for.

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