The rest of America’s Right has a ways to go before it catches up to the dissident California Right. We were here first and you should listen to us.
Despite appearances, the Right in California is actually the closest to offering a solution to the Left’s war on civilization. Of course, I do not mean the GOP when I say “the Right.” The GOP is more or less nonexistent in the Golden State. But perhaps this is also why almost all of the most vibrant, confident, and influential writers on the Right today are from California.
The strongest institutions on the Right, inoculated as they have been against the disease of wokeness — institutions like this magazine and the Claremont Institute — originated in California. Californian writers like Victor Davis Hanson and Angelo Codevilla were the first to describe the defining political struggle of our time between the ruling class and the country class, the great oligarchy and the plebs, the bicoastal masters and the great servant interior, as all of these national struggles were present in California decades ago. California native Michael Anton was the first to describe the actual parameters and ramifications of the 2016 presidential election. Sadly, the Californian with perhaps the most exemplary attitude towards the Left is no longer with us. Andrew Breitbart knew wokeness was best combated with confidence and laughter.
California is the capital of the new Right, and the rest of the country will have to get to where we are before anything constructive can be done. Because we don’t have to guess about how bad things can get. We know.
The rise of the rich and the midwits of the left:
The Left, no longer the party of the common man, the little man, or the forgotten man, is now a party entirely for the made man. Those already among the rich and powerful are automatically accepted, and the Left graciously allows plebs to join and minister unto them, so long as they attend the proper institutions, perform the proper induction ceremonies, and devote their lives to the bureaucracy or mechanism of the state. …
The political rule of those who critique the loudest or those who harbor the most exquisite sensitivity to slights can thrive only within the mostly talentless, enervated, and hollowed out wastelands that academia, Hollywood, and our large bureaucracies have become. Were it not for the inherent postmodern weakness of these institutions, such people would not have gained a foothold. They would have been mocked and discarded. They would have been among the unemployable. …
How to oppose them:
The woke Left does not concern itself with the interests of anyone outside its top two rungs: the “haves” and their priestly class of handmaidens that minister the massive state apparatus. … This racket has been going on in California for decades, and it is the main reason political dissidents in California are clear-eyed about the general rules of the game in post-woke America.
Compromise, moderation, coming together across the aisle, gangs of eight and all the rest might have been laudable efforts a half-century ago because the underlying assumption of such politicking was that a true statesman is able to find some common ground, some way to scratch the backs of his constituency while also giving something of value to his political opponents. Politicians in this mold could be very successful in mid-century America.
But this is all folly now. If the woke Left exists only to promote, flatter, and enrich its made men by critiquing and pulling down the institutions and leaders of the past, what can possibly be gained by compromising with it? …
The age of conservatism is over:
The reason the California Right has a hard time identifying with the word “conservative” is that there is nothing left to conserve in California.
What we have instead is an abundance of malignant nonsense to uproot and cast out. The new Left came to power convincing voters to let it run the state on behalf of multiple imagined victims and social inequities, but it has been so long since their leftist politics delivered anything of actual use to anyone that no honest person in the state can be ignorant of the actual political system and its objective anymore.
California is now composed of an enormous priestly class of state and municipal workers, together with myriad quasi-independent contractors and semi-private companies which are essentially dependent upon state government contracts and largesse for their economic survival, united with extremely profitable nonprofit activists and the already fantastically wealthy using the sympathetic story of the state’s enormous homeless, poor, and immigrant population to ensure perpetual rule for themselves. …
Those who have managed to stay in the state without the benefit of the Left’s financial or social remunerations comprise the country’s largest bloc of Trump voters, and the largest collection of radicalized political dissidents.
They know that there is no middle ground to be found with what is essentially mafia-like rule of their state. They hate the Republican party even more than the Democrats do, if only because its deception of and uselessness to the people it was supposed to represent adds a dead animal stench to what is mostly a comically inept artifice of a once-useful organization.
California’s dissident Right also knows there can be no cultural or social response to the Left other than derision and contempt. The problem with much of the American Right is that it is not yet confident enough to make fun of the ridiculous fraud that is the modern Left. Too many of us still desperately want to be the reasonable people the Left knows we can become. We remember that feeling, but we find it cringe-inducing now.
The only way forward is to engage with a near-obsessive focus on the goal, which is not nostalgia or a return to a more conservative era: it is striving for civilization, now, among the ruins of chaos, fear, selfishness, and deception that are a constant throughout human history
Political correctness versus reality:
The differences between the Right and the Left don’t have to do with race, class, or privilege. They are separated by a fundamental disagreement on reality.
One side gains power by selling a lie that life is destined to be a beautiful, organized, triumphant, and shining commune that can only be taken away by selfish, racist retrogrades. They don’t even have to deliver utopia! They just have to convince you that their political enemies have taken utopia from you.
The other side believes that civilization is incredibly difficult to achieve, perpetually fragile, and constantly threatened by various forces of chaos and disorder. This second side is now coming around to the realization that there aren’t enough fumes of Western Civilization to coast comfortably anymore. We can’t continue to cling desperately to the ashes of formerly civilized and civilizing institutions while leftists lecture us about our past injustices and further weaken our confidence.
Read it all.