John Hayward Profile picture
Feb 12, 2021 23 tweets 4 min read
Is it possible to fight against totalitarian statists without ever compromising conservative "principles?" Is it better to play "fair," and constantly lose? Can you grapple with monsters without becoming a monster? That's the question at the heart of the schism on the Right.
This schism long predates Trump, but it became much more heated during his 2016 campaign and presidency. It's a question asked in many ways on a variety of subjects. It launches endless accusations of hypocrisy, insincerity, opportunism, foolishness, and weakness.
One of the big problems with academic conservatism is that it acts like the great debate over how to order our society has only just begun, as if we can hold an enlightened conversation between Right and Left over how much freedom we should have and how big the State should be.
Many works of passive, academic conservatism make for stimulating reading, and they'd be great stuff to bring along if you were leading a band of refugees onto an island to build a new society from scratch. But they have little relevance to the desperate battle we're actually in.
We're up against a totalitarian ideology that has already corrupted every single institution of American society. We're not beginning a high-minded constitutional debate with the Left - we're fighting a desperate last-ditch battle to preserve what little remains of FREE SPEECH.
How do you fight back against cancel culture? Do you refuse to participate, living by your principles and giving high-minded free passes to left-wingers who commit speech crimes? Or do you insist THEY get canceled and ruined too, forcing them to play by their own rules?
During the Tea Party years, its activists were sometimes attacked as hypocrites if they used any benefits of the Leviathan State they claimed to oppose. Collect a single dollar of government benefits, and you supposedly lost the moral stature to rail against deficit spending.
From these examples and many others, conservatives must learn that we are not criticizing the system from the outside - we are within it, and must fight on the very hostile economic and political battlefield that has been created for us.
We are not at the beginning of a great drama about the relationship between people and the State - we're well past curtain call on the third act, and things are looking very grim for those who value liberty and tradition. The Right played no role in writing the script.
We are not having a spirited discussion with the Left about how to steer the ship of the State. The ship's crew is entirely against us, most of the compartments are locked, and you'll be thrown overboard if you say anything about the rapidly approaching iceberg.
We have already watched totalitarianism consume a thoroughly demoralized and destabilized American society. Now we are watching totalitarianism slide inexorably into authoritarianism, and you know what comes after that. We cannot stop that process by politely objecting to it.
It's not easy to fight a battle on those terms without losing sight of peacetime principles. For generations now, the American people have been bludgeoned into submission by Alinsky tactics that turn their lofty principles and beloved traditions against them.
The barbarians camped outside the gates sneered and said, "If you were so civilized, you wouldn't need walls and gates to keep us out." And so the gates were opened and the walls torn down... to be replaced by higher, uglier prison walls built by the victorious invaders.
We're at the point where people on the Right must think hard about both grand strategy and short-term tactics. We must change the momentum of history before it sweeps this country - and all of the civilized world - into a darkness it cannot escape without fire and bloodshed.
There is no place left for the Gentleman Losers, the directors of Failure Theater, the grifters, the arrogant "remnant" smugly convinced they can emerge from their bunkers one day to thunderous applause for having been right all along.
But there is also no room for fighting blindly, for angrily lashing out to no good purpose, for energy wasted on pointless fights, for vulgar displays that alienate the public and make our situation even worse. The Angry Loser is no more effective than the Gentleman Loser.
We're not in anything close to a fair ideological fight, and we haven't been for 30 years or more. It is beyond pointless to keep waiting for nonexistent referees to throw flags on the Left's ugly plays. Dig in, push back, and gain some yards.
But we have to move in the right direction. We have to run plays that score points. We DO have plenty of opportunities - the American people know something is hideously wrong with the world the Left has made. Even the pandemic has not completely subdued them.
How do speak to a people desperate for brave leadership, when half the words you would use to reach them have been forbidden? How do you sell liberty to people terrorized into hating each other and believing they can't get through a single day without help from the State?
It certainly is difficult. It's hard to fight an utterly unprincipled adversary without compromising a few of your own. If your end goal is liberty, it's not easy to plan ruthlessly effective strategies for gaining and using power. The State doesn't want YOU to control it.
Various elements of the Right have a lot of off-ramps for opting out of that difficult struggle - from GOP Establishment types making profitable accommodations with the Left, to preppers and revolution fantasists who assume all is lost and plan for the day after utter collapse.
If you're still in the game, if you really still believe it can be won, you must be prepared to get dirty, get roughed up, pick battles worth fighting, and accept the sad necessity of bending those principles until the day they are no longer fatal weaknesses.
But also you must not become lost in corruption. You must not become what you fight against. Never believe the instruments of utter darkness can be used for good ends in righteous hands - that's the delusion that swallowed the Left whole. It's not easy, but it's necessary. /end

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More from @Doc_0

Dec 2
Lots of responses to the electric vehicle thread yesterday! Didn't have time to read them all, but thanks as always to those who offered kind words, and a few observations about the other kind of feedback...
It was funny how almost everyone who said "don't be silly, no one is forcing people to buy electric cars, do without personal transportation, and live in cities" was followed by someone exclaiming "You're damn right we're going to force you to buy EVs and live in cities!"
It would be fun to put those two groups of EV apologists in a room and let them hash things out. Of course, I suspect the people who sneered "none of this is happening" would very, very quickly switch to "of course it's happening and it's good" in a room full of true believers.
Read 28 tweets
Dec 1
Spoiler alert: the endgame of the "electric vehicle revolution" is NOT the same number of people driving around, except using EVs instead of gas-fueled cars. The endgame is sharply restricting or eliminating personal transportation for the middle and lower classes.
Hat tip to @TXOdysseus for pointing out in this thread that there aren't enough vital minerals in the entire world to "replace" the internal combustion engine with batteries. It's an empirically demonstrable fact. Those profiting from the "EV revolution" are well aware of it.
@TXOdysseus And what of the Third World? If it's physically impossible to build enough EVs to "replace" cars on a one-to-one basis, what happens to the places that need affordable internal combustion engines to develop industry? They're being consigned to eternal pre-industrial poverty.
Read 16 tweets
Nov 29
Totalitarian ideologies are wholly incompatible with democracy, no matter how they might pretend otherwise to win a few elections. Those who believe everything should be politicized have a very different vision of representative government than the American Founders.
The whole idea behind representative government is to create a distinction between the public and private sphere - restraints on not just the power of the State, but its influence. You send representatives to Washington because it's NOT right outside your front door.
Restraining influence means there are aspects of our lives where the State has no business. It's not just a matter of restraining what the government can do, but what it should even TRY to do. That's even more important with a titanic centralized super-State like ours.
Read 10 tweets
Nov 16
The hunger for normalcy among moderate voters has been palpable since the 2020 election. That's why Jan 6 Insurrection hysteria proved to be the perfect counter against those staggering "wrong track" poll numbers in 2022. Too many candidates made themselves easy targets.
Moderates seeking a "return to normal" are not difficult to stampede back to incumbents, even if they say they hate the job the incumbents and their party are doing. Favoring the devil you know is a basic human impulse. Normal-seekers tend not to be big risk-takers.
If you're running against incumbents and a party in power with bad "wrong track" numbers, you have to persuade them you're offering the RIGHT track. That's one reason for the "you can't beat something with nothing" canard - hard to win solely by hammering opponent's negatives.
Read 16 tweets
Nov 10
The worst thing about totalitarianism is that it's very effective. Politicizing everything, blasting ideological messages 24/7/365, teaching people to see their every action as a statement (and subject to political judgement) - it WORKS, especially with the young and disaffected.
Totalitarianism preys on the natural hunger of young people for leadership and direction - they desperately want those things even as they sarcastically denounce them - and on the desire of the disaffected to feel meaningful and empowered.
Internet pioneers thought it would be an ultimate weapon against totalitarianism, because ideas would become impossible to suppress - but social media magnified the appeal of totalitarian ideology, making it easier to politicize everything and manufacture "consensus."
Read 11 tweets
Nov 9
It's one of the strangest elections on the books, as witness the shock among so many on the Democrat side that they did so well. They somehow managed to defy political gravity, despite the worst "wrong track" numbers in memory. Probably no single explanation, but a few factors...
To get the most obvious out of the way, a lot of people are yelling "fraud." Some hinky stuff happened, and apparently we'll have to put up with that forever, because the electorate does not insist on clean, efficient elections even after states like Florida prove it's possible.
Fraud doesn't explain nationwide results, though. Better to consider that Dems took advantage of the pandemic to loosen voter rules to an absolutely insane degree, and they are absolute masters at harvesting what we might politely refer to as the "indifferent" voter.
Read 32 tweets

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