So, we’ve established that revolutions don’t do much except make things worse, unless revolutions are the blessing of an order already in place and already functioning, in which case, the overpower vanishes and there it is.
This works best, of course, in Colonial situations, though for the record, most of the anti-colonial revolutions ended disastrously. Even when the colonial power was as unorganized, hapless and… well, devil-may-care as Portugal, the result… oh, just read the recent history of Mozambique and Angola, or, better, talk to someone who was there. As for Zimbabwe, its fall from the breadbasket of Africa is… well…
Of course there are other factors for that, including but not limited to the fact that the colonial powers had infected – via their intellectuals – these poor people with Marxism, and also that the Soviet Union used them as cat’s paws to keep the US occupied, to keep its people in goods (it’s curious that while capitalism is accused of this, the communist powers are always the ones who work like ancient empires. They have to keep invading and stealing, because they simply can’t produce, having long since killed or scared away their producers.) and to kill off a lot of the young males who might otherwise cause trouble.
Leaving all that aside and since space colonies don’t seem to be forthcoming in the next 20 years or so – though I wouldn’t count them out. Like with ebooks which were talked about forever and finally dismissed as “never gonna happen” I suspect if it does happen it will be suddenly, over about five years, and probably involving some new technology or a will to use the old ones. – what do we do, those of us who don’t wish to live under the boot of a progressively (eh!) more authoritarian regime?
We dig under.
I’d like to point out the regime we are currently living out is the result of just that strategy. They occupied all the positions of power that lead to government control over about three to four generations. (It’s what “the long march” is all about.) Those of us who grew up in unstable countries know what the nexus of power a new regime absolutely must conquer to maintain its grip on the population: radio, TV, Newspapers, as much of the bureaucracy as possible, from your local DMV to whatever passes for a deliberative body – and then you can take the president, and then you’re home free.
The genius of the current take over is that they knew they couldn’t do it South American style and come in with tanks and machine guns, take over all these places by force and get away with it. That can’t be managed in the country with the best military in the world.
Instead, they went exactly for the same centers, but one by one, and with replacement strategies. In this they were helped by two of their characteristics and the characteristics of those they view as domestic enemies (No? Listen to them sometime.) and who are anyone who isn’t to the left of Lenin. For our purposes we’ll call them “conservatives” though a lot of us aren’t EXACTLY that and though at this point in time “conservative” is a misnomer for people who want to change the current form of governance.
They took over by stealthing it – that is by pretending to be “establishment” until they were secure. I actually tried to stealth it for years in publishing, and I have friends who are still trying to do it now (All the best boys and girls, you’re better than I.) I couldn’t do it for reasons that lots of other conservatives can’t do it. First, I couldn’t STEALTH well enough. We, liberty lovers tend to prize truth and it bothered me greatly to fake it, so I was never vocal about supporting stuff I, in fact, abhorred. Second, (vile) progs once in control which was well before I broke in, started demanding VOCAL adherence to their nonsense. So if you weren’t screaming about the patriarchal, capitalist regime every other line, you simply wouldn’t get the push and the promo. Or, as a friend of mine said “they watch what you laugh at, and they watch for how you respond in conversation” and since even professional meetings turn into extended political rants with quite unimaginably offensive things said about everyone not extreme left, keeping an impassive face is difficult enough, let alone faking enthusiasm.
The reverse of this is that liberty lovers have this habit of fairness (which is why it’s so hard for me to wield the troll hammer) so even if we took over, the take over would never be absolute, and it would never, ever, ever be permanent. We tend to go “Yes, he’s a communist, but that’s a stupid quirk. He’s a good worker. Look at what he did with this or that – give him the promotion. It is by this process that most conservative institutions become far left. The reverse doesn’t happen. It’s not that the left is much better at stealthing (though they are) it’s that the right is much worse at excluding ideological opponents and/or viewing them as “the enemy.” At least quase-ante, before the last few years, we tended to view them more as poor fools.
And this is how they took over all the media, all entertainment and most corporations and boards and anything that was a group of people, that needed “leadership” and that could be manipulated. It also helps they’re the side who want power over others, while we mostly want to be left alone.
So to propose that we start our own crawl through the institutions is misguided – it’s not something we can do, something we’re good at or something even particularly productive in the current state of affairs.
However, the power-lovers, no matter what the regime have one fatal flaw. They love to seize power. They’re very good at wielding it – as in pounding down all opposition – what they suck at, because their temperament makes them not empathetic at all, is figuring out how people work. And trying to rule (which is what they do) or worse, govern, without understanding people leads to disaster. It is worse if they are communists, because communism is a religion at odds with reality. They continue believing it, even as it fails, like those poor cult members whose end of the world is forever postponed one more month, and they continue doing more of what fails, which is why their utopias turn rapidly to hell on earth.
This leaves the rest of us stuck in a situation where EVEN if we could do the reverse of their strategy, even if we decided to crawl through the institutions for seventy years, we don’t have that kind of time. The people who were so hot on getting into the cockpit, are flying the plane right into the ground because their little (red) religious book tells that that’s the way to gain altitude.
We don’t have seventy years before gravity asserts itself explosively. We don’t have seventy months. Sometimes I think we’ll be lucky if we have seventy weeks, and frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if we crashed in seventy days. Sometimes I feel as if I’m locked in the painting “the scream” shrieking soundless and I can’t do anything.
Wait. Before you head out to the bathroom to slit your wrists in a warm bath – listen. I didn’t say there’s nothing we can do.
Like the left we have our own strengths and our own abilities. And they are things they not only don’t have, but they can’t fully understand.
To wit, the reason we tend to be really bad at politics is that there are things that are more important to us. A lot of people have complained that people aren’t focusing on the politics because they’re busy making a living, raising a family, figuring out how to survive.
But, listen, that’s a strength, too.
See, the reason that they’re self-devouring is that they see politics before merit. It’s never “we’ll promote him even though he’s a political idiot because OMG, he can write.” It’s always “She can write all right, but she’s not “one of the good people” so we’ll not only do nothing but thwart her if we can.”
Over time this allows them to take over ideologically. And it makes them REALLY dumb about anything else.
Here we have to go back to the publishing industry. Because ideology was more important than anything else (though they promoted some books with no overt ideological tinge, because the author – they were satisfied – was one of them. They tolerated these books more anywhere else rather than sf, which is why sf crashed harder and faster, except obviously at Baen. Because SF is the projection of the present into the future, no “incorrect” politics would be allowed.) they needed to control not just what got published, but what got distributed and what got push. This meant not only taking over the bookstores, (ideologically, not the publishers) but setting up a system which was determined by pull, not push. By the end of their reign and just before ebooks hit, they could “publish” a book and make sure it sold nothing (it was never on shelves. EVEN if people asked for it) and thereby end the career of anyone whom they’d found out was ideologically different – or suspect. At the same time, of course, someone on the “right” (left) side got push, even if the work was otherwise undistinguished.
This worked to an extent – the reading public simply assumed ALL authors were leftist, and read the least offensive ones. However, as the houses lost feedback (because this was all push, no pull) they lost track of “what the market will bear.” Printruns were shrinking every year (the excuse being “people don’t read anymore.”) and they were starting to feel the pinch. The bookstores, in particular (their fault for buying into “to the net” and the publishers’ push model) were caught in the middle and imploding.
All it took was the emergence of a free market in electronic books to send the whole thing into a tail spin. (Most of the houses are dead, just still – somehow – walking.)
The houses reaction to ebooks was classic too – they reacted just like cultists whose UFO/prophet failed to bring about the end of the world on the appointed date: cover up, ignore, and hope the whole thing goes away.
Well – this is basically what we’re seeing in government, in finance, and anywhere that the left has got its big foot in, including “big science.”
They have been promoting people on the basis of faith, not intelligence for years. And that’s no way to run a civilization (the problem goes beyond the USA, though I suppose, as usual, it will be left for us to solve.)
So – you want your second American revolution and your second American republic? Fine. Start building a structure that works, behind, beside and beneath the official one.
In some cases this will be very very difficult. For us writers, for instance, it’s almost impossible to work for anything but US dollars. (Though, who knows, that might change. Will for sure if the crash comes. I will of course work for gold, if anyone wants to cover me in a pile of it!)
On the other hand, we’re going around the publishing establishment, more and more so, yay us. I’d advise every liberty-minded writer, even the traditionally published ones, to look into indie. At best you can use it to support and promote your published work (I have brought a lot of people to the Darkship Thieves universe through the short stories.) At worst, if something happens to your publisher (No, I don’t expect anything to happen to Baen, but a lot of it rests on ONE WOMAN’s shoulders, and while she’s younger than I and I hope she outlives me, sh*t happens. To everyone.) you have a fallback and something to build from.
At the same time, I urge artists to find other ways to market their art. Both of these will take stepping outside your “validation” comfort zone, but a lot of us had to do that with politics anyway, and it’s not that different.
If you’re not there – I urge you, urge you – to use your skills to advance the building of a parallel structure. If you’re a computer maven, build a game engine that will allow indie game writers to compete with the big houses. If you’re a computer maven, again, think about animation tools and others that allow indie movies to do what the big guys do for one percent of the price. If you’re a teacher or interested in teaching, study how to do it on line.
We have it worse than they did. We can’t just take over a few strategic points and hope the whole thing keeps running but now under us. They’re destroying everything because of their anti-reality beliefs. We have to take over everything just to prevent a terminal collapse.
Fortunately, most of us are “people who do things.” I urge you to do things. I have a friend who is studying brewing and welding, in case that’s all he can contribute. In fact, I’d urge all of us to do that if we can. Even if you’re a writer an artist or a scientist, if you have a hobby that can be turned into a part time job – growing vegetables, refinishing furniture, cooking, cleaning, sewing, brewing, etc – and bring in some money, do so.
I knew a family in Portugal who were educated and well to do, but when everything went upside down, they arranged with a textile firm to get the scraps of material that would (otherwise) have been burned at the end of the day. The wife and daughters then fired up the sewing machines and started making pot holders, placemats and aprons (fewer aprons, most pieces were tiny.) They sold these at the fairs which are at best gray market (the stalls require a license, so you have to declare some income. But most of the business is done in cash. You do the math.) By the time things stabilized, they were living better than ever.
I don’t think that in most places the system will collapse that completely. I DO think that things like making a living on line – provided you’re either selling something useful or something people find entertaining – will work for most of us. But if your area goes bad, that second skill will help.
And meanwhile – hat tip to Dave Freer – network. Network with those in your area, and network with those out of it who can help you on line. Build connections with like minded people.
Yes, this means we will ALL have to work our tails off for the next – if we’re lucky – seventy weeks. But work is what we do. Building is what we do.
You see the current society is like a beautiful building that has termites in the support beams. We’re working very fast to put up new support beams along side them and to encase the current support beams in strong concrete.
The goal is that when they give out and turn to powder, there is a shhh sound and then, nothing, because our support structures step in place and keep things going.
And THEN we can argue whether the bit on the roof should be round or square and – hopefully – termite-proof the new structure.
But first, it has to be in place. So go forth and build.