Judo with Karl

Marxism fails, we know, in large part because it sees people as nothing but producers — cells on the left side of the spreadsheet.  Marxism ignores race, culture, language, art…

A thought experiment:  What if we flipped Marx on his head?  What if, instead of a bland, deracinated slurry of producer-units, technology has made the modern proletariat into a bland, deracinated slurry of consumer-units?  Flip that one term, and doesn’t everything ol’ Karl said about The Revolution seem not just plausible, but correct?

History is just the story of the relations of the means of consumption.

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9 thoughts on “Judo with Karl

  1. Maus

    The problem with the flip is we are dealing with different categories of human experience. The Marxist prescribes “to each according to his NEEDS” without understanding that econimics is insufficient to the task. Man needs cultural and spiritual goods which the practioners of Marxist dogma either rejected or failed to take into account. On the other hand, the consumer, whose basic needs are surfeited, is driven by WANTS. Many of these are artificially induced or stimulated. Must every thirteen-year-old have an iPhone X? God forbid your child does not when all his or her peers at school do. If you define the issue as who controls the means of production, there is never a meaningful analysis of what is truly necessary to the good life. And shallow consumers are like the leeches of Proverbs, always crying “More, more!”

    1. Severian Post author

      But that’s the thing: Flip the question to “Who contols the means of consumption?,” you’ll get all sorts of interesting answers. Because it sure as hell ain’t the consumers themselves.

      Even the few honest-to-god full-retard Marxists hanging around campus agree that our economy would collapse if people stopped frantically buying stuff. I don’t have the numbers to hand, but I’d wager a very large sum that the average American’s budget looks something like this:

      Necessities (food, rent, gas): 40% of paycheck.
      Debt service: 40% of paycheck.
      iCrap: 20% of paycheck.

      Even leaving aside the fact that a lot of “necessities” are also debt service — mortgage, car loan — that indicates to me that if Americans shaved just 10% off the Mastercard bill each month, by ANY means, the entire economy would collapse. The overclass would lose their cushy lifestyle if our credit cards weren’t constantly maxed; therefore, we’ll be forced to keep our credit cards maxed. An easy example is cable tv — only Fed regulation keeps 99% of those channels in business. If we could buy tv subscriptions a la carte, there’d be about five channels. To avoid paying for ES(JW)PN, you have to “cut the cable” entirely.

      Notice how many people actually did that. Look what happened to the big media companies’ stock prices.

      The point of all this is that Our Thing desperately needs a way to get our propaganda out. We need some kind of coherent vision that actually rallies the troops (metaphorical, FBI goons, metaphorical). Why try to reinvent the wheel, when we’ve got 100+ years of the most consistently successful propaganda in human history just sitting there?

  2. rwc1963

    I love it. It’s dangerous and reminds me of previous efforts like “Buy Nothing Day” from Adbusters really got under the skin of Conservative hacks like Limbaugh. I remember listening to Limbaugh when got wind of “Buy nothing day”. To say he flipped out was putting it mildly. He devoted something like 20 minutes of air time trying disabuse his listeners from exercising purchasing restraint. Then I saw articles in newspapers attacking it as well.

    After 9/11 Bush went out and encouraged people to shop to show their patriotism. The same thing happened after the 2008 housing and stock market collapse Obama pushed his “clash for clunker” stimulus plan to keep people buy c**p they don’t need.

    The point is as you point out the system is more fragile than the economists and others are letting on. Like you say if people stopped buying crap at a frenzied pace, down goes the system cradle and all.

    A nice little pamphlet that deals with this could really be our side’s “Common Sense”. And if done right we could get buy in from a lot of Bernie Bro types as well who would love to stick it to the man. We will be able to bring down the system.

    I don’t think anything else our thought leaders are doing can come close to this.

  3. Martinian

    The problem is that these ideas don’t dumb down to a convenient affirmative message that the general public will mindlessly eat up. The message, “You have the power to NOT consume,” may be 100% true, but it runs head-first against the fact that most people want to consume, consume, consume, so 9 times out of 10 they’ll choose the message that says “Doing what you want to do makes you powerful” versus the one that says “Being able to resist doing what you want to do makes you powerful.”

    I mean, FFS, look at the increasing popularity of the POZ movement (i.e., pride in being HIV positive). I mean, the only way I can make sense of this is that it’s a direct consequence of the argument that sexual gratification is a fundamental human right. And I think if most people actually thought about it, they’d rationally come to the right conclusion about how harmful this is, maybe not to themselves, but to individuals with HIV, the people they meet, and society in general. But what does the dumbed-down version communicate? “If you oppose us, OMG you must be a total religious prude and you must h8 all sex and especially h8 teh gheyz!”

    People like sex, so they’re of course going to skew towards the side that tells them they’re good for liking sex and bad for not liking sex (i.e., considering any restraint as if not good in itself, then even at least practical).

    Besides, Power means “no consequences”, and giving your people more “power” now means finding ways to let them indulge every craving without having to pay for it.

    This is what I mean when I say we’re fighting a fundamentally asymmetrical battle. Our message is one of necessary structure/order, and that doesn’t dumb down as easily.

    If we’re going to make any headway, we need some way to make the mindlessness painful.

  4. Martinian

    I don’t like to be the guy who keeps saying “we need to find a solution!” without actually offering a solution, so here’s my observations on successful approaches:

    * People love being seen as “good” these days. A useful dumbed-down proxy to “being good” is “not being bad”.

    Since being “good” in Our Thing requires a fair amount of onerous thinking and responsibility, along with subtleties that are easily twisted (e.g., conflating criticism of feminists with antagonism against women in general), a positive strategy of promoting our own message, however cleverly crafted, will not work.

    Consider Spectrum of Allies — too many people on the other side are Active/Passive supporters. They need to be moved to the Neutral territory before Red-pilling by a positive message can work.

    Active supporters are nuts; I think they’re beyond reach. Passive supporters, however, I think are largely motivated more by self-image and fear of being seen as bad people. They won’t be motivated by any intellectual lifting, no matter how light, no matter how clever the propaganda. What will move them is the “ick factor” of negative association. Accordingly, I would emphasize strategies that force the Active Supporters to become unpalatably demanding.

    In particular, normies nowadays want to be seen as “nice” and “fair” and “equal”. So they’ll run from anything that can be dumbed down and portrayed as “mean” or “unfair” or “unequal” .

    Case in point: The “It’s ok to be white” fliers. This operates with the same genius as the “black lives matter” phrasing, i.e., if you disagree, you automatically sound like you’re saying “black lives don’t matter” or “it’s not ok to be white”, which is just plain mean and unfair. Note: this works because people already perceive that the powers that real racial animosity against whites exists and is actually fairly dominant among the powers that be.

    As a contrast, here’s a case of close but no cigar: I just saw reports of “heterosexual pride” marches. That won’t fly because (as yet) there is no tactily acknowledged general animosity against heterosexuals. So it just looks like whining or baiting via copycat methods.

    What might work: Identify a particular aspect of the topic that the extremists must defend, but the normies would be hesitant about. Maybe a slogan like, “Children should not be sexualized!” This encompasses everything from the drag/tranny kids thing to media content to sex ed in schools to even potentially issues in adoption/upbringing of children. If someone wants to argue against it, the immediate rejoinder is, “oh, so you’re in FAVOR of sexualizing children?” The unthinking normie ick factor goes through the roof and keeps ascending as your opponent is debating the finer details of infant/toddler sexual development.

    Dumbed-down version: You’re “good” because you don’t want to sexualize children. Those other guys, you might think they’re good, but look at how they’re actually in favor of sexualizing children…or at least, when asked bluntly they don’t bluntly deny it, but hem and haw. You don’t want to be like THEM, do you?

    1. Severian Post author

      I’m with you, but that’s the beauty of “Dissident-Right-Marxism.” I’d bet you that somewhere in the neighborhood of 100% of everyone in Our Thing agrees 100% with every single barmy thing Marx, Lenin, et al ever said about the eeeeeevil capitalists. From 2019’s perspective, Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism looks like a GloboHomo how-to manual. “Capitalism” has failed so egregiously that corporations are now boycotting their own consumers, e.g. Disney’s pullout of Georgia, Gillette’s “toxic masculinity” ads, all the financial services firms that will refuse to accept your money if you’re guilty of wrongthink, etc.

      In other words, you want a truly “socially just” world? Break up the monopolies, close the banks, end the tyranny of (abnormally low) interest rates, etc. Free the debt slaves!!!

      What Leftist could possibly disagree with this? What, you want kids with $600,000 in student loan debt working part-time forever at Starbucks? It’s not that they were suckered into a useless major by illiterate Wymyn’s Studies professors; no no, they were tricked by the eeeeevil multinationals.

      I know, I know, but look at the net effect — worry about busting up Morgan Stanley first, then start ripping down the college quads and salting the earth where they stood.

      1. Martinian

        OH, I see – I was reading too deeply into your original description. But it sounds like you’re saying to actually coopt the current lingo of “social justice”. I love it!

  5. Martinian

    One last item on this: We need a way to overcome the tyranny of “nice” in order to be able to reach a broader audience. That is, as long as normies turn off immediately when they think someone is being mean or a “bully”, we’re going to be hamstrung in our efforts to propagate our own vocabulary and ideas.

    The problem is: tons of people are apparently ok with forbidding speech that’s labeled as “mean”, i.e., anything that makes protected/privileged groups uncomfortable.

    The desire to be seen as “nice” is so strong that it’s hard to think of a self-image that outweighs it. Maybe fearless or courageous? I don’t know…”People are going to think you’re mean, but you’re really being courageous” doesn’t seem to me like a winner. We need something that will say, “People are going to think you’re mean, but actually THEY’RE the ones who are mean, whereas YOU’RE being good.”

    I’m at a loss for this. Maybe we need to go up a level and attack the very notion that “nice” means “good”…maybe play up the notion that by being “nice” you’re actually doing harm, and then force the others to advocate the harm in order to draw a contrast. I dunno, it’s tough.

    1. Severian Post author

      The best pose is “pseudo-intellectual.” If you agree with what I say, you’re a genius; if you think what I say sounds mean, it’s because you just don’t get it, comrade, and here’s a little pamphlet on dialectical materialism that’ll straighten you out….

      (no, seriously — everyone on the Internet thinks he’s the world’s greatest genius. Leftism gives you permission to think that, which is why Leftism is the default setting for Internet people, children, and idiots. We need to co-opt this).

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