The Pitfalls Of Accelerationism
February 1st, 2021 | JH
In the days before the Senate run-off elections in Georgia, there was a growing movement amongst conservatives to give up on the Republican Party and not bother getting out to vote. The argument suggests the Republicans are a party of cuckservatives that don’t deserve to be supported. Even when they win, they lose. Conservatives can’t conserve anything because the nature of the system itself is progressive. So why fight it? Why not let nature take its course and concede all territory to the left? If it works, then what are we complaining about? If it doesn’t work, then it will fail and, from the ashes, our side can build something fundamentally better.
Accelerationism is the term that has been coined for this approach and, while I agree with some of the tactics, I completely disagree with the goals. Here are some reasons why…
1. Things can always get worse
Accelerationists are quite comfortable thinking about decline and collapse. From the vantage point of a functioning civilization, they think that making things worse to the point of discomfort is just the sort of wake-up call that people need in order to see the truth. Like allowing your child to make a mistake that you know will provide a hard lesson, the Accelerationists believe that society needs to learn the hard way in order to see the error of its ways.
The main problem with this is that people are dumb and often don’t learn lessons no matter how hard the way. The secondary problem is that the hard way can get infinitely harder and harder, way beyond the point anyone would want to learn lessons from in the first place.
Let’s look at Venezuela as an example. Twenty years ago, Hugo Chavez came onto the scene. Venezuela was a rich and prosperous country, but with a substantial gap between rich and poor. Chavez exploited the class difference and won an election as a left-wing populist, promising utopia with Castro-styled policies.
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Flash forward to today and Venezuela is a total nightmare. A violent and dangerous dystopia filled with violence, squalor, and despair. Refugees are crossing the borders into Brazil and nurses and teachers are prostituting themselves for groceries. Material shortages are common. Crime is rampant. People are eating pets. You can read the horror stories here, but you get the picture.
At what point over the past twenty years in Venezuela were people supposed to “wake up” and stop this from happening? How much worse does it need to get before some kind of turning point is reached? What will it take if not this? When will it stop if not now?
There is no magical moment where the powers that be suddenly become aware that everything that’s happening is bad and a completely new paradigm is needed. If anything, the failure gets more entrenched in order to protect those that benefit from it.
The average man on the street has less power than at an earlier moment in the decline, because he is now solely focused on survival rather than political change. There is so much chaos that nothing new can get organized even though the end stage of the failed state has already arrived.
If you abdicate everything then you’ll get more of what you hate by default. Or in other words… “All it takes for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
2. The pitfalls of the Benedict Option
The Benedict Option was a book written by Rob Dreher suggesting that the culture wars have been lost and Christians and Conservatives should instead drop out of the bigger fights and focus their efforts on more immediate and local concerns. He suggests acceding to the loss and operating like Benediction monks did in the dark ages and try to quietly preserve culture and traditions for future generations. His key points are things like church building and education. This is a form of Accelerationism from a Christian angle.
The critics of this method suggest that if you have an activist and hostile national government, they will not tolerate your existence as an enclave outside of progressive orthodoxy. As time moves forward, they will come for you and your church and your separate schools. As Western Civilization becomes more Soviet, it will simply be impossible to build parallel institutions like Dreher suggests.
For this very reason, people can’t fully embrace the Benedict Option as a solution to avoiding current problems. Isolationism doesn’t work, because sooner or later non-isolationists will come. The lesson that Japan learned in 1853 when the United States forcibly opened their hermit kingdom is that if you don’t engage with the world, then the world will eventually and forcibly... engage with you.
So contrary to notions Accelerationists have about “Engaging in the system indicates approval of the system!”, it’s imperative that those of us on the Right keep one foot in the battle.
Why only one foot?
Because we are not able to win yet. We don’t have the upper hand and must operate like secret dissidents using more methodical and duplicitous means. Conservatives need to move in the shadows and throw monkey wrenches into the machinery of the Woke. We must operate like an underground and function as though we’re living behind the Iron Curtain. For example…
Be careful about posting things on social media and consider deleting your social media altogether. Don’t reveal yourself at work. If you’re forced to take diversity training, do it and don’t grandstand. Never march in public for anything. Do whatever you can to irritate and annoy the woke without risking anything to your own well being.
The flip side of working quietly against your opponents is to work loudly for and on yourself. Do Jordan Peterson-styled self-improvement. Develop a community. Start a family. Exploit the state for all you can without doing anything dishonest. Go to church. Read dangerous material by dangerous authors. Learn new hard skills. Become more self-sufficient. Get a passport. Buy some physical gold. Plant a garden. Invest in an RRSP so you can lower your taxes. Spend money on things that matter and avoid platforms, services and enemy funded products that don’t. Write letters of support to people doing it right. Donate to charities that aren’t leftist and volunteer for them. Vote appropriately.
" Conservatives need to move in the shadows and throw monkey wrenches into the machinery of the Woke."
There must be a halfway mark between dropping out altogether, which will consequently incite unimaginably worse outcomes overall and furiously, but futilely punching against the rising tide of a failing system of progressive madness and, consequently, making yourself a big fat target as a result.
3. Be prepared
Accelerationists also have a big problem with their end game. They seem to think that we’ll inevitably go through a fall and rise and that we’ll just have to see it through. Saying, “We’re not going to vote our way out of this,” and then sitting back and waiting for things to get bad enough for a revolution to unfold, in hopes that the aftermath will launch you to the top of the food chain just because you predicted it, isn’t a plan. Hoping for someone to “do something” isn’t admirable and likely the person that does do something will be even more contrary to your interests than what we’re dealing with now.
We must be prepared.
If small battles are to be won, we need to be ready to be organized and activated. If bigger problems do manifest down the road, then that’s all the more reason to be working proactively now. This goes back to the Neo-Reactionary idea of the three-step solution to leadership.
1. Be Worthy
2. Accept Power
That might be a little too “sword and sorcery novel” for some people’s taste, but it’s not a bad framework to contrast with the malaise of our current system. If the Accelerationists are right and the tide of progressive orthodoxy is inevitable, then we had better be ready to play our part when a moment of weakness arrives. For example…
When Chile elected its first Communist leader in 1970, the country didn’t fall apart all at once. Chilean President, Salvador Allende, attempted to pursue the Chavez model of “progress” and bring about his socialist platform step by step. Obviously, things began to get worse, just as they always do in these situations. Just as in Venezuela, democratic politics proved useless to stop the death spiral and Chile got to the point where a substantial segment (but not necessarily a majority) of the population was calling out for someone to do something.
The someone at that time was Augusto Pinochet.
Augusto Pinochet was the right man for the right time. He was coronated into his leadership position by colleagues who respected and admired him. He led a coup d’état against a democratically elected Communist President leading the country into chaos. He seized power and corrected course, bringing prosperity and order to the people of Chile.
In the years leading up to his coup d’état he worked and achieved, rising through the ranks of the army to get to the level of Commander-in-Chief. As he climbed the ranks, did he whine and lament that Chile’s military wasn’t that great so why bother? No, he got into the mix and proved himself and succeeded.
Did he shrug his shoulders and say, “What’s the point in defending a country that votes for Communism?” No, he began figuring out what he could contribute to the cause of resistance.
Did he say, “I’m going to vote for Allende in hopes that things keep getting shittier and then maybe it’ll push the whole system to the point of real revolution”? No, in fact he pre-emptively acted at a point in which things could have gotten worse, precisely to avoid a civil war that was sure to take place if someone competent didn’t make a power play.
There’s a laziness to Accelerationism that is poisonous. It’s an attitude and a spirit born out of pessimism and wishful thinking. It enables and emboldens pain and suffering simply for the pleasure of saying, “I told you so.” Right-wing dissidents need to be realistic, but not nihilistic. It is likely that the hegemony of progressivism and the systems that promote it will continue to advance, but history has shown that radical pushback can occur at anytime. History has also shown that no matter how failed and disastrous a situation may be, the situation can continue indefinitely or even worsen, if someone doesn’t come along to fix it.
Pining for a Trump (or a Pinochet) to come along and fix everything isn’t a good plan however, and it’s inconsistent with the self-starting and self-reliant nature of conservatism.
Dissidents need to read their Jordan Peterson and work on themselves and their families and their communities first and foremost. This can lead to a strengthening Benedict Option in the near term. This strengthening will be required should the opportunity for big systemic change present itself, but even if it doesn’t it’s still the better path. If there aren’t people around to assert themselves,if instead they’re just cheering on the death spiral to prove themselves correct, then we’ll be stuck living through an endless decline or living under the heavy hand of an unworthy despot.
Don’t accelerate the madness. Fight it every step of the way. Choose to be worthy and win.
© 2021 Poletical