How “no enemies to the right” perpetuates the mind trap

September 23, 2015 § 40 Comments

Liberals (which include almost all modern people) are ironically so narrow-minded that they see other kinds of liberals as the farthest pole of conceivable political opposition. Those few who manage to permit their thoughts to stray outside of the Overton window tend to do so in quite predictable ways.

We can think of modern politics as a mental prison composed of a soft chewy center, a comfortable center made of left-right faux opposition within the Overton window – differing mainly from place to place on how many and which particular unprincipled exceptions to liberalism are allowed. Surrounding this soft chewy comfortable center is a hard and impenetrable shell of Nazi just outside of the Overton window.  When someone on the right looks left, he sees the gulags.  When someone on the left looks right, he sees Auschwitz. That keeps almost everyone anchored in the comfortable middle.  Some do hang out on the outside crust; and the more disgusted and alienated people become the thicker the hard shell becomes, as the comfortable center shrinks.

Few actually escape from this prison.  And if we have no enemies to the “right”, we will never escape to the real world outside of the shell.

§ 40 Responses to How “no enemies to the right” perpetuates the mind trap

  • CJ says:

    Without (hopefully) excessive fawning, it’s good to have you back.

  • Peter Blood says:

    I admit to propagating “no enemies to the right”, usually when rightists are involved in one of their favorite activities, attacking all their enemies on the right.

  • Senghendrake says:

    For what it’s worth this is similar to what I’ve been trying to say for a long time in Reactionary circles. The irony of National Socialists (both classics and modern “neos”) is that they are still barely inside the wider Overton window, insofar as they promote highly centralized nationalism (often of a republican nature) coupled with the idea of the improvement/transcendence of human limitations (the übermensch and the “will to power”). Both of these are inherently Jacobin and, dare I say it, [classical] liberal ideals, albeit expressed in a vastly different way.

    You haven’t been fully “redpilled” (as much as I hate the term) until you drop the French Revolution (as well as preceding analogous ideologies) entirely.

    However, there’s no point going out of one’s way to attack the “TRS” types, since it’s not like the Left (IE, 99.9% of the population) are going to suddenly adore old-school reactionaries, nor should they. Trying to ingratiate oneself with liberals is a giant waste of time.

  • John K. says:

    Isn’t the problem with the Nazis that they aren’t on the right of us?

  • Zippy says:

    John K:

    Lawrence Auster and I once had a discussion about liberalism and conservatism, in which I convinced him that liberalism has a stable essence whereas conservatism does not have a stable essence. So my preferred way of thinking about modern politics is not in terms of left-right, or liberal-conservative. My preferred way of thinking about it is in terms of how deeply embedded a particular person or community is in the modernist mind trap.

    Most modern first world people are in the comfortable chewy center, where they have ordinary concerns and bend the knee to liberalism’s default lies in matters that don’t concern them directly or where they themselves want a free pass to do evil with society’s approval (e.g. no fault divorce, legalized contraception, etc).

    Some are part of the structure that makes up the hard shell, where you find communists, nazis, Planned Parenthood child cannibals for choice, and the like.

    Some are almost on the outside of the mind trap but remain stuck to it like a tar baby. Of these many get reabsorbed into the mind trap like quicksand, though a few may escape.

  • Mike T says:

    and the more disgusted and alienated people become the thicker the hard shell becomes, as the comfortable center shrinks.

    I never thought I’d see the rise of parties like Jobbik, Golden Dawn, BNP and the FNF to a point where they could actually win serious power in parliament. The comfortable center has made decisions that are almost tailor-made to justify the extreme elements. I think in our lifetimes we will see concentration camps go up in Europe again, and this time there will be no apology for them because those that will be sent to them are foreign invaders, not native, well-integrated minorities that tried to live in peace. God knows what the future holds for our country if the people keep getting betrayed by “hope and change” and the comfortable center keeps telling the people how evil they are for expecting a governing elite that cares more about America and Americans than foreigners.

    At times I feel like an outsider, watching idiots running around a gas station with torches, shrieking like madmen. I can’t even muster sympathy for the lunatics because the lunacy is the result of freely chosen and dearly-held beliefs, not a mental deficit.

  • Svar says:

    “For what it’s worth this is similar to what I’ve been trying to say for a long time in Reactionary circles. The irony of National Socialists (both classics and modern “neos”) is that they are still barely inside the wider Overton window, insofar as they promote highly centralized nationalism (often of a republican nature) coupled with the idea of the improvement/transcendence of human limitations (the übermensch and the “will to power”). Both of these are inherently Jacobin and, dare I say it, [classical] liberal ideals, albeit expressed in a vastly different way.

    You haven’t been fully “redpilled” (as much as I hate the term) until you drop the French Revolution (as well as preceding analogous ideologies) entirely.

    However, there’s no point going out of one’s way to attack the “TRS” types, since it’s not like the Left (IE, 99.9% of the population) are going to suddenly adore old-school reactionaries, nor should they. Trying to ingratiate oneself with liberals is a giant waste of time.”

    I think this line of argument “Nazis are the REAl liberals” is a ridiculous one. First off, reactionaryism is dead and going back to revive long-dead institutions is a fool’s game. Look at the difference between Jose Antonio Primo de Riviera and Franco. The first was a revolutionary Nationalist and the second was a Reactionary who after his dead, got backstabbed by the two institutions he saved: the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish Monarchy.

    Also, nationalism is not based in Classical Liberalism but in the Romanticist movement which was opposed to Classical Liberalism, the Industrial Revolution and Reactionary Conservativism. Reactionary Conservatism does not work in a post-Industrial so that is why we must move forward and look for something new while holding to the universal higher principles as laid out by Christ from the very beginning.

    God and Country, nothing less.

  • Mike T says:

    got backstabbed by the two institutions he saved: the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish Monarchy.

    I’m wondering how the Catholic Church will fare in Europe once the migrant issue explodes. Much of the Catholic Church hierarchy has sided firmly with the Muslim migrants over the nations of Europe and the nationalists who don’t want to see their countries overrun by foreigners who have historically wanted to subjugate them.

    I suspect what will happen is that the multiculturalist clergy will claim the cross, call their position a “hard teaching” and then castigate the people accusing them of committing treason against the remains of Christendom. And as they do so, the Catholic Church will only further alienate itself from the public.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    I think this line of argument “Nazis are the REAL liberals” is a ridiculous one.

    That’s partly why I think the left-right image can be so deceptive, and even counterproductive.

    The differences between ‘mainstream’ left and right liberals have to do with accidents — with their baskets of unprincipled exceptions. It is probably valid enough to label the UE’s of the right liberals “right” and the UE’s of the left liberals “left”, but so what? They are all liberals, and in the end liberalism creates and destroys precisely what it has created and destroyed; and beyond that it involves a basic lie or self-deception.

    Likewise the differences between the Nazis and the Stalinists had more to do with their UE’s than with their basic default commitments. Sure they are different — in the same way that a red car is different from a black car.

    So an ordinary human being looks around himself and sees – as bad as things may be “here” – legitimately horrifying transcendent evil in every direction. And that Kantian chasm insures that he stays forever inside the mind trap, because moving from where he is involves (as far as he can see) adopting one transcendently evil point of view or another.

    Of course it isn’t a physical trap: it is a mind trap. So it isn’t actually necessary to pass through Auschwitz to break free from Mammon, as individuals.

    But like Mike T, I am pessimistic about the prospects of our society, or some significant splinter from it, repenting from liberalism without passing through one of the ‘hard stages’.

  • Svar says:

    “I’m wondering how the Catholic Church will fare in Europe once the migrant issue explodes. Much of the Catholic Church hierarchy has sided firmly with the Muslim migrants over the nations of Europe and the nationalists who don’t want to see their countries overrun by foreigners who have historically wanted to subjugate them.

    I suspect what will happen is that the multiculturalist clergy will claim the cross, call their position a “hard teaching” and then castigate the people accusing them of committing treason against the remains of Christendom. And as they do so, the Catholic Church will only further alienate itself from the public.”

    Mike T, I agree. I can’t trust the Church because of these sorts of things. Bringing loads of Muslim immigrants into Christian countries? How Christian.

    Covering up pedophilia and sheltering fags within the Church? Also very Christian.

    The Church will have to answer for this, both to the Nationalists (if they ever become resurgent) and to Christ once He returns.

    The vast majority of people are ignoring “Church teachings” on holding your ankles for Muslim immigrants. This is the sort of thing that will cause the Church to lose even more credibility.

  • Svar says:

    “Likewise the differences between the Nazis and the Stalinists had more to do with their UE’s than with their basic default commitments. Sure they are different — in the same way that a red car is different from a black car.”

    You are very right about that. The rise of Stalin led to the supremacy of the “One Nation, One Socialism” idea (sound familiar?) over the International Socialism ideal and in the words of Francis Parker Yockey, the rise of Stalin indicated a schism between the Soviet Union and Jewry.

    As for your concept of the Left-Right Divide being a mind-trap, I most definitely agree. What should our ideology be? Number 1: Christ Number 2: Nation and anything to serve both.

  • Svar says:

    “But like Mike T, I am pessimistic about the prospects of our society, or some significant splinter from it, repenting from liberalism without passing through one of the ‘hard stages’.”

    Most definitely. The new American Imperium will be built on a river of blood. It will get violent.

  • Senghendrake says:

    “I think this line of argument “Nazis are the REAl liberals” is a ridiculous one.”

    This is not in the least what I said, so you’ll have to go back and re-read. My point was that they have the same basic starting point, not that they’re “left wing” in the way conservakin will describe them.

  • Svar says:

    “This is not in the least what I said, so you’ll have to go back and re-read. My point was that they have the same basic starting point, not that they’re “left wing” in the way conservakin will describe them.”

    I feel that I addressed that by saying that Nazism and the other Nationalisms are not based in Classical Liberalism but in Romanticism.

  • Mike T says:

    This situation really does present a growth opportunity for the Eastern Orthodox Church. It’s amazing that they aren’t using it as a chance to win millions of converts from the Roman Catholic Church. It would be trivial for them, since they are already more national-level churches, to present themselves as the “patriotic alternative” to the Roman Catholic Church with valid sacraments for the fence sitters. I bet the Orthodox Church in America would clean up if it went public, castigating the Roman Catholic leaders who pull all of those immigration stunts as traitors to their country and poor Christian leaders.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Mike T,

    I doubt that the Orthodox Church in America would seriously “sweep” converts from Rome.

    First of all, it’s a “glass house dwellers shouldn’t throw stones” situation. American Orthodoxy is still caters largely to immigrants and their progeny, the only difference is that their pipeline of immigrants is many times smaller–and shrinking.

    Second, many Roman apostates are quitting theism altogether, not just the Roman flavor of it.

    Third, in this culture of comfort and ease, why would a Roman pick a church whose main selling point is “more fasting, less sitting?”

    Interestingly enough, the genesis of the OCA is as a more liberal offshoot of the Russian presence in America. The hardcore monarchist wing became ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) who have a very much ghetto/fortress mentality and are “Old Slavonic uber alles”.

  • Dear Zippy. ABS is drawing a blank on his name at the moment but a man writing for “The Remnant,” used to make the plea that soi disant traditionalists have no enemies on the right when the plain and simple truth is that trads can, and do, have enemies on the right.

  • G.K. Chesterton:

    “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

  • Svar says:

    Aethelfrith, is the American Orthodox Church good regarding the Jews as the RCC once was?

    I can’t speak for Mike T. but I don’t see myself going Orthodox or some sort of Lutheran/Anglo-Catholic Protestant. If push came to shove I might go to the SSPX or the Maronite/Chaldean Catholic Church. I will not leave Catholicism but I will definitely leave the Roman Church if need be.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    I don’t know what you mean “good with the Jews.”

    If you are looking to join an Eastern Catholic church just because you don’t like Francis (I know your post history), don’t bother. Full communion with the papacy is the sine qua non of being a Catholic, West or East.

  • Zippy says:

    I’d check with your bishop to be sure you can leave the Roman church – even for a different communion which is itself in union with the Supreme Pontiff – without excommunicating yourself. That other communions have valid sacraments doesn’t help you if you are excommunicated.

    Liberalism’s attempt to destroy ethnicity as anything other than a decorative accessory tends to drive reactionaries into an obsessive overemphasis of race and ethnicity. An obsessive overemphasis of race and ethnicity, often including magical beliefs about how huge an improvement it would be if the Jews would just disappear, are signs of being “stuck” in the outer crust of modernity.

    Which is on topic, as it turns out.

  • Zippy says:

    The “decorative” view of ethnicity has ironic consequences. Being born white is, to an SJW, like being born with a tattoo of the Confederate flag on your face. It takes constant obsequious pieties recited aloud to the equality god to make up for the offensiveness of being white — to reassure yourself and everyone around you that your whiteness is merely a decoration about which you had no choice, a shameful sign of the oppressive backwardness of your untermensch ancestors.

  • […] it would be if (e.g.) the Jews would just disappear, are signs of being “stuck” in the outer crust of modernity.  Reactionary views are frequently bolstered with sciency-sounding terminology like “human […]

  • Svar says:

    “I don’t know what you mean “good with the Jews.””

    I want the views on the Jews to be similar to that of Christ and the Church Fathers. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

    “I’d check with your bishop to be sure you can leave the Roman church – even for a different communion which is itself in union with the Supreme Pontiff – without excommunicating yourself. That other communions have valid sacraments doesn’t help you if you are excommunicated.”

    I’m not leaving anytime soon.

  • ABS is an Irish-Algonquin Catholic and he is not too keen on what the whites in England did to his family in County Cork and County Limerick and he is not too keen on what the whites in the north did to the whites in the south in the war to prevent southern independence and he is not too keen on the white males who have ruint America legislating against the Universal Kingship of Jesus Christ.

    Written otherwise, the white race need logos and only legislation crafted that supports His Kinship is acceptable.

  • Svar says:

    ABS, I think I know you. Are you the artist formerly known as SVC?

  • […] our sociopolitical life as more of an ‘inside-outside’ thing than a ‘left-right’ thing changes our perspective significantly. Living inside or […]

  • Ian says:

    Hi Zippy,

    You write:

    Lawrence Auster and I once had a discussion about liberalism and conservatism, in which I convinced him that liberalism has a stable essence whereas conservatism does not have a stable essence.

    Any link to that discussion?

  • Zippy says:

    Ian:
    Significant parts of it were in email, but there is this thread:

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/001425.html

  • […] From How no enemies to the right perpetuates the mind trap: […]

  • […] To commit the informal fallacy of ad hominem is to infer something about the validity of a specific argument from the fact that a particular man is making that specific argument. For example “Bob is a statist, so his contention that fiat dollars are a sovereign-issued option against tax liabilities is wrong,” is an ad hominem. It may well be true that Bob believes incorrect things because he is a statist; but the most that suggests is that this particular claim might possibly be one of the things he gets wrong, and stipulating that he gets lots of things wrong doesn’t actually address the specific claim at all. It ironically suggests that we should treat Bob as a reliable truth machine by adopting the opposite of every position he holds. […]

  • Polycarp says:

    Christianity : love your enemy
    Neo-reaction : love your enemy if you have a common enemy to hate together.

    (There is place for hate in Christianity of course, Aquinas wrote an interesting essay about proper hate, but it is not the core of the matter here).

  • […] creatures embracing unreality as if it were Being, darkness as if it were light. The fact that they don’t sit next to the Great Eye in the Circle of Sodom doesn’t make them servants of the light. They are there to chew out your eyes while you […]

  • Dystopia Max says:

    Moldbug disagrees, and Moldbug is right:

    “Rightists may mistake other rightists for leftists, or even if sufficiently misguided present themselves as such. It makes no difference. Leftists do not mistake rightists for leftists – at least, not systematically. They just don’t have that ant smell.

    Right is right; left is left. The axis is real. Jonah Goldberg can call Hitler a leftist; Hitler, indeed, called Hitler a leftist, at least in the sense that he called his party a Socialist Workers’ Party. But Hitler, while a very bad rightist, was a rightist. Not to mention a lying bastard. And anyone in the ’30s with a dime’s worth of brains on a dollar knew him as such. And this includes rightists with brains, leftists with brains, and centrists with brains.

    You can change the definition of the word, of course. But the phenomenon remains recognizable. Being otherwise abstract and meaningless, the terms left and right are perfect. Why try to flip them over? No good reason, I fear.

    I see this Hitler-was-a-liberal trope catching on all over the right. Of course, it is a leftist trope – in two senses. First, the tactic of tarring all political adversaries with some abstruse connection to fascism in general, and Hitler in particular, is of course a characteristic tactic of the Left. Second, the tactic of disseminating a palpable misreading of history, for political purposes – etc.

    In other words, “No enemies to the right” is the beginning of an operating philosophy that will, in fact, put you to the right of Hitler if you’re actually practicing it, and further enable a core of allies whose success in this life mean that the condition for the next Hitler will at least have real opposition that isn’t the rest of the Weimar Republicans.

    Further on, Moldbug outlines the mind trap that’s actually relevant to our present experience:

    “I did not see a contradiction between libertarianism and democracy. I saw libertarianism as the culmination of democracy. In my imaginary future, the obviously correct ideas of libertarianism would spread, by some process, to the minds of the masses; and, for some reason, remain there. And they would elect libertarian politicians, then and forever. Who would govern libertarianly, or whatever the proper adverb is.

    I did not actually think these thoughts explicitly. Had I thought them explicitly, their aqueous character would have been apparent. I thought them implicitly, because I was a democratic libertarian. I had never reconsidered democracy. Once I reconsidered democracy, however, I could not help but notice the fundamental dependence of libertarianism on democracy. Without democracy, do we need libertarianism, per se? Would we even have thought of it?”

    The left-right axis is the common sense and universal experience that we see with our eyes and comprehend with our minds even when social and intellectual pressure encourages us not to apply either deceptive or non-descriptive words to them. It is a phenomenon that does in fact arise into near-universal recognizability once humans begin to govern at a particular scale. It may be a ‘mind trap’ as you say, but ‘no enemies to the right’ will get you out of it much more cleanly and consistently (by granting you the intellectual permission to explore those who break free) than a repentance which outlines only your personal failures, and not the failures of the collective which you happen to belong to. The problem is you, but not just you, and the solution is, in fact, going to have to have a collective aspect.

  • Zippy says:

    Dystopia Max:

    It may be a ‘mind trap’ as you say, but ‘no enemies to the right’ will get you out of it much more cleanly and consistently (by granting you the intellectual permission to explore those who break free) than a repentance which outlines only your personal failures, and not the failures of the collective which you happen to belong to.

    The idea that the only path out of the mind trap is the repentance of our society from its liberalism politically and anti-realism metaphysically cannot be reduced to “a repentance which outlines only your personal failures, and not the failures of the collective which you happen to belong to”; though no doubt these things can be expressed more clearly (at least to certain audiences) than I have expressed them. In fact I’ve been beating the drum that ideas and political movements transcend the individuals who are loyal (to varying degrees) to them so consistently and for so long that it is hard to believe that anyone even marginally familiar with my writing could advance that strawman in good faith.

    I’m still baffled that so many supposed ‘reactionaries’ or what have you have turned Moldbug into some sort of intellectual leader. But then I am also baffled by how much Germans love David Hasselhoff.

  • Svar says:

    ” And this includes rightists with brains, leftists with brains, and centrists with brains.”

    I dunno, I’d say Carl Schmitt, Heidegger, Erst Junger, Friedrich Ebert, and Ludendorff had more brains than most people back then and today.

    As for leftists, they as well contributed to the Reich, mainly the Germanic non-Marxist leftists. But they, with the exception of Goebells didn’t do too well after the Night of the Long Knives.

    “Right is right; left is left. The axis is real. Jonah Goldberg can call Hitler a leftist; Hitler, indeed, called Hitler a leftist, at least in the sense that he called his party a Socialist Workers’ Party.”

    I think it’s ridiculous for Jonah Goldberg to call other people leftists since his ideology (neo-connery) is descended from the worse tradition of leftism (i.e. there is a reason why Srdja Trifkovic calls the neocons the “bastard children of Trotsky”). Atleast you can work with and be friends with the George Orwell/Huey Long/London/G.B. Shaw/Union Workers/Any Traditional Non-Marxist Leftist. Not the case with Cultural Marxists.

    Plus syncretism is a thing that many Rightists have taken up. Isn’t Moldbug a capitalist libertarian type?

    “But Hitler, while a very bad rightist, was a rightist. Not to mention a lying bastard. And anyone in the ’30s with a dime’s worth of brains on a dollar knew him as such.”

    No argument on that. If the Axis had won, you can be guaranteed that elements within the Nazi party and within the German traditional right and revolutionary right and the Wehrmacht would have rebelled. Plus Hitler was a huge fruit, he had some weird complexes and mannerisms and his veganism/meth habit led to him making insane decisions (though veganism is a decision that is insane in it of itself) like Operation Barbarossa.

    But ultimately, we need to know who are enemies are and keep in mind the Friend-Enemy Distinction. We can work with our enemies to destroy a greater enemy. The main issue are the cultural Bolsheviks (who btw were running roughshod in Weimar Germany like they are in Weimar America) and the first priority is to suppress, crush, and eventually remove them. Once that’s over, we can go back to having enemies on the Right.

    “put you to the right of Hitler if you’re actually practicing it, and further enable a core of allies whose success in this life mean that the condition for the next Hitler will at least have real opposition that isn’t the rest of the Weimar Republicans.”

    Yeah, the whole sperging out over ideology when your house is burning down isn’t helping the problems we have in the country and in the West in general.

    The reason why the Nazis rose was because of the terrible situation on the ground for Germany what with the being sucked dry by the allies and the treacherous elements within. If it weren’t for the Nazis, it would be some other nation-minded group.

    We have the same situation right now. There will be a backlash and by God it will be such a horrible backlash that Hitler will be seen as Genghis Khan or Attila, a mass murderer yes, but nothing more than an interesting part of history overshadowed by both time and the more recent atrocities.

  • […] criticized ‘no enemies to the right‘ before, and that criticism stands.  But you can certainly see its appeal to someone […]

  • […] Apparently Richard Spencer and his merry band of tens of followers managed to single handedly destroy “no enemies to the right“. […]

  • […] nepřátelé napravo“. Jak pošetilý je to princip, ukazuje neocenitelný Zippy tady a […]

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