Friday, December 4, 2015

Political Reaction: It's Not What You've Been Taught

Everybody knows that reactionaries are right-wing Throne and Altar types that want to keep... Er, yes, what exactly? Would it be the power of the monarch and the state church? Would it be the power of the bourgeoisie? Would it be traditional morality? Would it be white male European hegemony?

The answer is it depends. It depends on the two-minute hate that our progressive overlords are orchestrating this week.

But I want to suggest that it is the progressives who are the true reactionaries, in company with their identity group pals from feminists to Islamists.

What all these groups have in common is that they are reacting against the modern Age of Responsibility. In the modern Age of Responsibility each one of us, each individual, must accept the responsibility of making his or her own way in the world. Of course, in reality, we are not alone. The more we offer ourselves to the world, the more the world takes care of us. The situation of the modern individual was best described by Eric Hoffer who wrote that there are two options in the world of work. Either the boss tells you what to do, or you, the worker, takes that responsibility on yourself.

And this responsibility is terrifying. It just goes against every human social instinct to believe that you can wive and thrive in the world by surrendering yourself, naked, to the market and finding out by trial and error how to make your contribution to the world.

It makes sense that as soon as industrial capitalism started to turn the world upside down -- and increase per capita income by 30 times in 200 years -- that movements of rejection would rise up to stop it.

Because for anyone that hasn't tried it, the market economy of the invisible hand is obviously a complete delusion. It stands to reason that when the billionaire capitalist faces the semi-skilled worker that the worker goes to the wall, or at least to a state of starvation wages. So a big strong government is needed to stop that from happening.

The same applies to the other movements of rejection.

Feminists can't believe that women can thrive in the working world without lots of special legislation to protect them from the patriarchy.

Race identity groups can't believe that the unhampered market will give them an equal chance at prosperity; they insist on government enforcing diversity and equality.

Gays can't believe that the world will let them alone; they insist on using government to bully Christians.

And, of course, the probleme du jour, Islam. Of course the Muslims are reacting against the global attack on their tribal, paternalist society. It cannot be true that the world can work without the faithful imposing their will on the rest of the world.

But resistance is futile. We have already seen this with the most extreme reactionary movements like communism. Communism wrecked the economy and the society of Russia and of China. So in the end the Commies had to give up communism. We are seeing it in the slow-motion failure of the neo-feudal welfare state. It just doesn't work in the Age of Responsibility to recreate the feudal top-down hierarchy, where people nestle in the government's social-welfare programs for protection from the market.

In due course, the Muslims will discover that Islamism doesn't work either. But rivers of blood will have to flow before that happens. Just like with communism.

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