This article is pending a rewrite to be brought up to newer quality standards.
It’s common to hear people state that “labeling” and categorizing people based on politics is a bad idea. In normie politics, it’s often said that it creates “bias” or tribal mentalities, and those attributes are a negative as they harm the political endeavor of democracy by making less rational voters. At face value this is a decent argument, that is if you’re a fan of democracy (which I am not).
However, there is something to be said about labels being useful. On a certain level, yes, it does create a form of tribalistic mentality, however, if you oppose the current system, creating such a mentality may be the thing needed to unite a group in popular action. Labels are a form of rallying call and that tribal energy is necessary to create positive political action for said group. This argument is more advanced and, to some degree, appealing to those on the political outskirts. After all, when a political entity is not unified, it’s much weaker than if it were unified, and unifiers do need labels and symbols to denote their team and their allies.
Of course, then the common counter-argument is that party politics is bad, and how the founding fathers never intended for it or how party politics isn’t a “true representation” of the people. At least in the USA, I find the argument then comes down to representational verses direct democracy once it reaches a point like this, devolving away from the concept of labels and into a completely different, but tangentially related topic. The actual question of if labels are good or not, is not answered.
I find it convincing that democracy is necessarily a party-based system, with some form of identity politics at its head. The Distributist gave a good justification on why as well. So, I should agree with the sentiment that labels are good because we are in a democracy and can cause political action, and that political action is stronger when there are alliances with like-minded individuals.
However, that’s just too easy to accept and seems to assume that democracy is the way forward for political change. Often, folk on the right just assume democracy is the way to do it because it’s in front of them, and it’s what they’ve been told to do to get political power, however, like most things people have been told, it’s just absurd to assume regime change can only come through democracy.
So, I’ll focus on proving the alternative methods of gaining political power, and also why democratic struggle is unideal for those outside the political norm. Finally, we can tackle the subject of labels.
You don’t need democracy to create change
The weakness of democracy
Most people when they think of politics think of voting, and that voting is the way to create regime change in a system. Now, I don’t believe voting actually causes any substantial regime change, but we’ll get to that subject at a later time. All I wish to prove here is that there are other, alternative methods for pursuit of regime change.
First, however, we must define what a regime change is. Was Obama handing the presidency off to Trump a regime change? To most, the answer is yes, however to me, I’d say it’s only a fraction of a percentile of regime change. It’s replacing one cog in a massive machine. Now that cog is big, shiny, prestigious, and is connected to our problems, but it isn’t the problem in itself.
Unfortunately, the United States at least, is a massive machine with tens of thousands of cogs operating in it. Some cogs make up entire systems of cogs that are poorly designed. Some cogs are inside other machines that the United States machine depends on. Either way, replacing one big cog isn’t going to do much when the United States as a machine is fundamentally broken, and so are all the machines supporting it. It does not matter how expensive, well-maintained, and high quality the new big cog is, so long as the work its doing is flawed, the utility of said big cog will be moot.
To scrape the allegory away: what I am saying is that to cause regime change, you shouldn’t focus on the big and important singular roles that make up a complex system, but rather the system’s architecture itself. So long as the big presidential role is operating in a system designed by idiots, it doesn’t matter how good the new president is, he’s going to suck.
The same thing can apply to congress and the supreme court too. Even if you got the right people in there, so long as the institutions around congress that support it (such as American economic interests, the news media, foreign nations, the military, and academia) are broken, the congress won’t be able to do what’s needed to fix the system.
I believe more is wrong in this nation than just politics. Institutions are distrusted because of their ineptitude and corruption. Big tech censors, Big business oppresses the economy, academia thinks about ways to make life hell, and the media propagandizes this information to everyone. Simply put, democratic regime change is not enough to fix our long-standing issues.
Why democracy won’t work for outsiders
Now still, you may find democratic change alluring. The thought is that you can change enough of the cogs in the system to get the ball rolling. Maybe you’re a big fan of voting in a bunch of people on your team to make a difference. That’s all well and good, but you’re up against a beast, a big beast. Every system in the machine will notice what you’re doing quickly, and they won’t like it. The system is a master at using your labels that bound you together against you. The second you can be defined publically, you can be targeted publically. You’ll be barred from saying your shibboleths and recruiting new members to your team. Organizations will now be aware that when you talk about igloos, you’re talking about prepping for the fallout of government collapse. They’ll know what you mean, and they’ll paint you as dangerous, because you are.
Because you’re so dangerous, they’ll stamp you out. Bans on accounts here, some firings there, and suddenly your movement is as attractive as bio-hazardous waste, ready to infect and destroy anything it comes into contact with. People will know about your movement, but you’re just not allowed to talk about it anymore.
This is, at its core, the issue with the situation. When you’re fighting against those who control the narrative, to change who controls the narrative, using the narrative, you’re fighting a losing battle. They have the power to tilt and contort your identity into whatever they wish, while you, who has nothing but the fringes, rots away in your own territory with little to no power once called out.
This is the doomed cycle of almost every big, populist movement. They announce themselves to the public, the media looks at them, spits on them, then they lose their members due to association being radioactive poison. Off the top of my head, this happened to gamer gate, the alt-right, and recently America First. The strategy has been tried so many times in the last decade alone that it’s shocking it’s still used.
The real, untested strategy is the back-door one. The one that nobody likes to do since it involved playing the long con. It’s the alternative roads to power…
The alternative road to power
Power, ultimately, is the ability to dictate and control an environment. Anything and everything that can take power away from one group and put it into the hands of another group would be a successful road to power. I will cover two roads to power that are worth pursuing.
Thankfully, we live in interesting times, and interconnected, times. It’s never been easier to learn about other people’s opinions. Before, you’d need to find a strange, anarchist book store to get some hot takes on society, but now, you can search through the new “old web” and substack to find some strange positions on the world. Now, not all of these works are going to be winners, but at the very least they can get you thinking.
Creating new systems of society and reviving old ones has never been easier because of the wealth of information we have. With more people with strange opinions in the world, more can be done by these people. More people against the system ideologically also means more talented people against the system. More talented people against the system means more labor and services at the disposal of those against the system. More labor and services of those against the system means more profit and power for those against the system (rather that’s through works with other system contrarians or selling labor to neutral parties).
Raw cash can be used to create a form of Agorist counter-economy. Counter-economies give people inside the counter economy a way to feed themselves without being dependent on an outside power. This makes a radical in a counter-economy a master of his own domain.
Again, the internet and computing comes into play here. The tool is often used for censorship and oppression, but it hasn’t been fully conquered yet. Tools like Monero allow the free exchange of value over the internet without middle men. Projects like OpenBazaar provide the groundwork for a possible e-Commerce decentralization. Even in the worst case scenario where you must accept credit cards and other controlled money, all it takes is a semi-skilled developer with some scripting knowledge to hook up an invoicing system to something like Stripe, and you’ll be mostly fine so long as you don’t get a target on your back.
The entrepreneurs have the ability to feed themselves and those they love. So long as they play their cards right and are capable of keeping their money out of the system’s control, they’ll be able to live comfortably and not risk hostility from organizations attempting economic control. It’s not perfect, but it’s a better use of time than spending your time campaigning for a cog change.
Art is one of the best ways to say something, and it can leave a much larger impression on an audience than other types of works. Artistic works that embody counter-culture narratives can take boring, dry articles like mine, and bring them to life in an enjoyable way. It takes some rigidity out of politics and philosophy and makes it alluring for the average person. Because of this, you can actually convince someone of something by being artistically meritful.
More people aren’t necessarily a good thing for your team, but more high quality and productive people are. Artistic expression, if sophisticated enough, may garner sympathy from various elites. It may even imprint a good idea onto a soon-to-be elite. It all depends on how high quality and poignant your work is.
While this avenue of work is much less direct than direct economic intervention and counter-culture, it is one that can contribute to those systems by aligning the population. Good art is rare these days too, so, if you make good art, you’re going to be tapping into a highly under-utilized market.
Anything to spread the independence of counter-culture from the main line culture, or system contrarians from the system, is a good thing. This independence would effectively make mostly autonomous micro-societies that exist within the grander society. These counter-societies, if they hold on long enough, can work to undermine the system as a whole and accelerating its collapse.
Perhaps, if these counter-cultural institutions become strong enough, they may conduct a cultural and economic coup and set everything right. In all likelihood they won’t be successful enough for that, however, still, they may remain as the remnants after a system’s collapse, allowing them to jump-start society again from near death, this time with better structure already built in.