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Thanksgiving & Politics

[1]1,353 words

I and millions of other North Americans are currently mentally preparing to meet our relatives for Thanksgiving, in addition to the heap of essential menial tasks like food preparation, cleaning, pulling out suitable clothes, and deciding whether I want to attend the high school’s football game. Raking leaves is a particularly annoying task for which I am responsible, but I intend to use it as an opportunity to clear my mind of all the political clutter. Probably like most of you, I often have to suppress my desire to make outrageous statements at family gatherings, and it helps both to have other things to talk about, and to have a calm mind beforehand. Last Thanksgiving, the subjects of Kavanaugh and the midterm elections arose, but I managed to maintain my conservative persona.

Thanksgiving 2019 falls during an interim in American political debate. The election and the infamous NPI conference were three years ago. Two years ago was during the first year of Trump’s presidency and the aftermath of Charlottesville. Even last year the subject of Charlottesville was brought up. This year, I know my older male family members will bring up the Trump impeachment inquiry, with the results of Shifty Schiff’s report to be released after the holiday. But given how boring this whole so-called impeachment process has been, what will my response even be when the subject arises? Despite the fact that I have been subsisting on an unhealthy diet of news articles over the past year, what is there to say?

The fact is that most of the observations I would make are not only completely normie-friendly, but revolve around the politics of the Left. I cannot be the only twenty-something YouTube addict who has found that, alongside the dearth of content I actually like and want to succeed, the algorithm has begun suggesting leftist content. Some of that content makes no sense; why, in the absence of Red Ice, James Allsup, Counter-Currents, and others did I gradually start watching clips from the The Michael Brooks Show, The Young Turks, and The Hill?

The fact is that a lot of “progressive” critiques of economics and GOP policies actually make sense. Yes, capitalism comes with drawbacks. Yes, there is a Democratic Party establishment that seeks to belittle dissenters like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. But even to the extent that I care about the future of the Democratic Party and what that will mean for the people, none of this content speaks to the religious energy that has always been what interested me in politics in the first place. I don’t “just want to grill.”[1] [2] I want to approach life in a completely different way from the consumerist football-watching quasi-religious mode in which the suburban white American spends all his waking hours. That is the hardest concept to articulate; a lot harder than race realism, and it is central to the psychological distinction between the average TV-worshipper and the kind of small-p “paganism” to which I feel drawn.

There is a significant minority of people on the Dissident Right who claim that their involvement does not fit on the typical political spectrum, or even that they came from Leftist beginnings. But like many, I favored the Right as a teenager for the simple reason that I just inherently liked the idea of capitalism that was presented to me. In ninth grade, I had a history teacher who told our (mostly underperforming and disinterested) class that the reason the Soviet Union failed was because people “weren’t motivated to work.”[2] [3] I can still remember him trying to explain the American policy of containment by holding up his half-empty water bottle and showing how the bottle “contains” the water inside.

The very idea of living under a system in which everyone was equal – never mind the force involved in maintaining such a system – was horrifying enough for me to develop an identity around inequality. There was a kind of logical inconsistency at work during the few years of this stage in my political development: On the one hand, “Natural law makes no false judgements,”[3] [4] and on the other, mankind has the imperative to maintain a kind of meritocratic system to make natural law do what we want. The justification for all of this was simple: The people I did not like were relatively dumb, and the people I liked were mostly smart. It was already obvious how different standards of living would end up being appropriated, and for me it was a reminder that ultimately we live in a just world. It was a religious belief for a young atheist: that material wealth would inevitably be distributed according to intelligence regardless of which career path one chose. In some ways, I still believe it.

The teenage version of me would have gladly defended parasitic practices like usury and manipulative advertising, not because they benefit society but because I understood the justification given for society which holds that it is a playing field on which men use their intellects (which are their inherent value) in order to compete for resources. On such a playing field, the powers to resist temptations and delay gratification are advantages that manifest one’s inherent value. One might as well substitute “God’s favor.” But the truth is that the power to motivate crowds through ressentiment counts as such “favor,” too. In my articles of the past couple of years in which I grumbled about the economic disadvantages faced by Millennials, I have embraced another psychological motivator: other peoples’ economic woes.

Once again, I cannot be the only one: Student debt, housing prices, wage stagnation, the lack of affordable fill-in-the-blank are addicting subjects. I really don’t think I would learn much from reading yet another article about California’ economic woes [5], but I am sure that an article on that subject will end up in my browser soon enough. I like knowing that other people are struggling to achieve the comfort enjoyed by their parents, even if I have the same problem! The perception of competition is a powerful motivator, and it is no doubt sweeping up hundreds of thousands of young politically-minded men who would otherwise be ensnared in the dark, vile corners of the Internet where the common good of our civilization is actually promoted. “Why do conservatives vote against their own interests?” I remember a female Facebook friend writing years ago. Setting aside the issues of immigration, the gay stuff, abortion, the death penalty, and tax cuts, maybe conservatives really do enjoy this simulated form of social Darwinism.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when so much ubiquitous consumerist garbage is ignored in favor of family and traditions of one’s home. They are two days out of three-hundred sixty-five, or .548 percent of the year, and those days stand out amidst long months that tend to blend together in the memory. In the end, the people with whom I spend those holidays are my people: White families spoiled by their segregation from the poverty and drabness of most of the rest of the world. I might not have a say in the demographic future of my hometown, my state, or my country, but looking around and seeing my family and our friends age, knowing that some of the kids might not end up having kids of their own, I just might have a choice in the number of grandkids my parents get to have. Trump, climate change, dwindling economic prospects: These depressing problems do not really hang over the family reunions that I know. At the end of every November, on the best holiday America has, at least, in this soon-to-be overcrowded house: This is the world I want to bring children into.

Notes

[1] [6] If you just want to grill, that’s fine by me. But one day, when White America is preserved for all time, and you’re just grilling and having a good time, I’ll find other political and religious controversies about which to agitate.

[2] [7] People don’t always seem motivated to work hard in our present economic system, either, but maybe that’s not the system’s fault.

[3] [8] From the “Preview [9]” section of Might is Right.