I think libertarians (and normies of all political persuasions) need to admit to themselves that they have lost the culture wars, and that trying to refight battles over freedom of association, color-blind government and institutions, individualism not tribalism/collectivism, even the priority of objective reality over subjective “truth” is worse than pointless, it is counterproductive. We can wax nostalgic all we want for a Constitution enforced as written, etc., etc., but that’s all it is – nostalgia.
Face it: The crypto-Marxist Left’s long march through the institutions is over. They won. The commanding cultural heights belong to them – government, academia, media. The evolution of Marxism from economic class warfare to identity politics has been a smashing success, to the point where the long march has moved on from the cultural heights to the economic heights. Key infrastructure businesses are now implementing their agenda – banking, the big data and platform quasi-monopolies, ISPs, and misc. other businesses are purging dissenters not only from the public square, but from the marketplace as well. They are shooting the survivors, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it, because they have the backing (enthusiastic support?) of the administrative state and judiciary.
We aren’t going back. The cultural DNA that formed the foundation of American civil society is being eradicated from the societal gene pool. The long march has given the Left a massive indoctrination and enforcement regime. Their hold on the cultural heights is heavily fortified and self-reinforcing. You can say “oh, its just a small, noisy minority”, but look at the trends: central cultural and government institutions are now under their control, we now have unprecedented support for socialism in this country, agency after agency and business after business are now pushing the Leftist agenda, a major political party is pushing the Leftist agenda, hard, in its Presidential nomination process, and its now non-Leftists, not Leftists, who are reluctant to go public with their beliefs.
There is no marginal, gradual, incremental reform that can be brought about through rational discourse that will end Leftism. They ruthlessly police entry into their institutions, so they can’t be subverted from within or even, increasingly, communicated with. Leftist institutions will have to collapse of their own weight and inherent flaws. There is no upside, no good reason to engage with the Left and their useful idiots.
Worse, engaging with the Left only reinforces their tribalist/collectivist mindset. By engaging with them, you confirm to them that there are still dissenters, so that, in their minds, they have enemies, there is an “other” that needs opposing. This is a key component of their group and individual identities. They define themselves by who they oppose; their identity is largely negative, not positive. Engaging with Leftists leads only to escalation and reinforcement of their beliefs.
Naturally, a form of the NAP applies here. If attacked by the Left, by all means defend yourself, if the attack merits a response. If not attacked by the Left, just ignore them. Disengage.
We aren’t going to retake the commanding cultural heights until these Leftist institutions collapse on their own. Unfortunately the damage they will inflict on society when this happens cannot be avoided. I think you can see the early symptoms of this collapse, at least in academia and the media, but these are old, powerful, wealthy institutions that will persist for a long time. There’s a lot of ruin in a nation, as they say, and I fear we may just see how much ruin there is in the wealthiest, most powerful nation to ever exist.
I think non-Leftists have three tasks before them:
(1) Figure out how we lost, and how the Left won. We won’t get anywhere fighting with strategy and tactics that are proven losers.
(2) Prepare for the damage the inevitable collapse the Leftist institutions will bring. They won’t go down easy, and because the Left is inherently negative and oppositional, they will lash out. Figure out how to avoid/mitigate the damage. Disengagement, where possible, seems like a no brainer. Scrubbing your social media (if you don’t just leave), minimizing your participation in the data cattle industry, avoiding anything to do with academia all seem like good defensive measures.
Of course, the administrative state is much harder to disengage from. But make no mistake, the odds are that in most of our lifetimes, the current US government will suffer a catastrophic failure and will be, what’s the phrase? Oh, yeah, “fundamentally transformed”.
The cultural glue that held the United States together is being systematically removed, and no replacement is on offer. Why do you think there is a relentless push for a fragmented, tribalistic, “diverse”, “multicultural” country? Because the Total State will fill the vacuum left by the absence of a shared culture. The fundamental transformation may initially be “Everything for the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” But I believe their Total State is doomed, that the United States is ungovernable without a significant degree of consent from its citizens.
(3) Start developing what will replace the collapsed institutions. What stands a chance of replacing the collapsed institutions that will be more resistant to the Left’s tribalist/collectivist virus? What kind of fundamentally transformed society do you want to live in? Because you will live in one, like it or not.
As the title says, this is a pessimistic assessment, which comes easily to me. If anyone wants to put up an optimistic assessment, I would love to have my mind changed.