“But let us assume, as Yarvin supposes, that the Left manages to reveal the Right’s powerlessness on Dobbs, forcefully maneuvering around an apparently solid Supreme Court ruling . . . . Such actions by the Left would radicalize the other side [because they would see] that the system is, to quote a recent former President, rigged . . . . The specter of well-organized hobbits who no longer accept the legitimacy of the regime will strike fear into the heart of its defenders.”
Jeremy Carl, “Beyond Elves and Hobbits,” The American Mind (July 22, 2022)
The above was written in answer to Curtis Yarvin’s recent Substack essay throwing cold water on post-Dobbs euphoria. Betraying an odd understanding of the Lord of the Rings, Yarvin argued that activism by ordinary people (“hobbits”) can never achieve permanent victory against the progressive elite (“elves”) because the progressive elite has the will, the power and the superhuman cunning to turn every hobbit victory into a hobbit defeat. If there is any hope for the hobbits, Yarvin says it lies with “dark elves” like himself because “dark elves” are even more cunning than the “elves of misrule.”
There is much sound wisdom in Yarvin’s argument, although he does not seem to understand that Galadriel would not have thrown the ring into the furnace of Mount Doom because she was not free of the libido dominandi—the will to power. Only a hobbit could do it (with some help from Gollum) because a hobbit has no will to power, but only wants to get back to grilling and working in his garden. And this is why, in Yarvin’s opinion, the “hobbits” always lose. So Yarvin is not really a “dark elf.” Yarvin is a Boromir, or perhaps a Saruman.
But the fact remains that the “hobbits” of this world do always lose because they lack the libido dominandi, and therefore never secure their victory by truly seizing power and destroying their enemies. Dobbs is thus a pyrrhic victory because, having won it, the “hobbits” just fire up the grill and get back to normal “hobbit” life. Meanwhile, the bruised “elves of misrule”, instinct with cunning and the will to power, wake the next morning and set to work turning the hobbit victory into a “hobbit” defeat.
The author of my epigraph believes the insidious machinations of the “elves of misrule” must backfire because they must ultimately disillusion the trusting “hobbits,” discredit the system by exposing the fact that it is “rigged,” and thereby awaken the sleeping giant of “hobbit” outrage and indignation. I have many times said that the “sleeping giant” is in fact a comatose giant, and one reason for this is that disillusioned “hobbits” who drop out of the system have less power than “hobbits” who trust and work within the system (if such a thing can be imagined). Spreading cynicism secures elite power because dropouts are political nullities rather than political infinitesimals.
Here is what we can conclude from this discussion. The problem of power is insoluble. This is because: (1) in this world, the ring of power cannot be thrown into Mount Doom; (2) “hobbits” lack the will and intelligence to seize, hold and wield power; (3) “elves of misrule” possess not only the will and intelligence (cunning) to seize, hold and wield power, but also possess the great advantage of power itself; (4) the “dark elves” (Sarumans and Boromir’s), should their sly insurrection ever succeed, must become new “elves of misrule” because the libido dominandi that allows them to take power will always cause them to abuse the power they have taken.
What is a hobbit to do? Grill, of course. But also back the insurgents until they come to power, and then look for a new set of dark elves.