I do not consider myself a part of the alt-right. There are a lot of issues where I agree with them, issues where I disagree with republicans for the most part. There are issuers where I disagree with them.
I’d like to consider myself the paragon of conservatism, but I know that I am not. My ideas are my own, they are unique to me, and there is no political philosophy that agrees with it 100% except for my own.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Trump isn’t a conservative, he isn’t a part of the alt-right, but I support him and hope he wins and hope he enacts most or all of the reforms he has talked about.
Politics is not what it seems. The word itself comes from the word in Greek for cities, which also is the root of the word “polite”. Politics is about power, state power, the power to kill and imprison and fine and such.
People sometimes equate things like power and money and such with evil. While it is true, that in virtually every instance that an individual has accumulated these things, they abuse them and turn them for evil, it is not true that these things are themselves evil, or that we should not try to obtain them. No, we all should be seeking for power and money. The question is how we should go about doing it, and what we should do with it once we have it. That, I think, is the fundamental question of politics. Again:
- How do you obtain power?
- How do you exercise it?
Without obtaining power, it is pointless to discuss how you intend to use it. In no case in the history of the world have people gladly handed over power because someone else thought they knew better how to use it. Only when people believe their ideas so strongly that they are willing to take it have they obtained it.
I don’t think it’s worth discussing how to keep power, because that is simply an exercise in continuing to accumulate power. Over time, power is lost, and if it isn’t recovered, then power will diminish.
It’s disconcerting to most to talk first about how to obtain power rather than what you intend to do with it, but that’s where the political discussion must begin.
In order to obtain power, there are a number of ways to do it. I like to classify it in these three classes:
- Bureaucracy. These people are already in power and have the stamp of approval of the existing government.
- Plutocracy. These people are wealthy and can buy pretty much anything they want, including power.
- Aristocracy. These people have certain virtues, either knowledge of the sciences or wisdom or religious authority, and so have power by force of their arguments.
Note on the last word, aristocracy: We fallaciously associate this with the corruption of the nobles in Europe. In reality, Europe survived and thrived by giving power to those who were good at what they did. Even today, in the United Kingdom, people who excel in their discipline are knighted. We made a decision as a country not to label our aristocracy with government titles, but that doesn’t mean they exist.
So political power really begins with these three groups. If you can convince them to support you, you can convince everyone else.
Once you have power, of course, there is the question of how you intend to use it. Usually, these two things go hand-in-hand. After all, the vast majority of political philosophies really never move past the first question. They accumulate power for the purpose of accumulating power.
Now, let’s talk, in that framework, about what my political philosophy is versus the alt-right’s political philosophy.
First, I believe that power should be as widely distributed as possible. The power to make a decision should rest solely on the person or people whom that decision would affect. If you are not in the circle of influence, you should not be making the choice.
In the conservative philosophy, this means giving political power to the people. People tend to like this idea, since it empowers them. But really, there are only a certain kind of people that would obtain this power and exercise it well. If you were to ask me honestly, I would say that universal suffrage, the idea that everyone should get a vote, is not a good idea. Only those people who are affected should get a vote.
For the most part, that is the landowners in the United States. That is also the citizens, the people who have not only been raised in our society, but have sworn an oath to protect and preserve it. That’s right. I believe that every voter in the United States should swear an oath that they intend to use their power to protect themselves, their family, their community, and the country. Should any citizen betray that, they should be punished, up to and including the stripping of their citizenship.
Ancient Greeks gave citizenship to a only a select few. These people were wealthy enough that they could take the time to debate the important issues and become acquainted with them. When they cast a vote, it was not done in ignorance or lightly.
But this is only the beginning. People who have money should be given power that goes along with that money, or rather, should be free to use their money as they like. This is certainly appealing to the wealthy. “Vote for me”, I’d say, “And I’ll remove every roadblock to accessing the full potential of your wealth.”
The aristocrats should also favor my political philosophy, because I would leave technical decisions for them to decide. “Vote for me,” I’d say, “And I’ll put you on committees and boards and councils to enact the policies and rules that are best for your disciplines.”
The one constituency that would never vote for me would be the bureaucrats. The problem is that the way I empower the wealthy and the educated and virtuous is I would disempower the bureaucrats. “Vote for me,” I’d say, “And you’ll have to find a different job.”
Among this system would be in place certain rules, the respect for basic rights. Rights would be determined based on what people should do, rather than what they want to do. Also, I would make sure rights never conflicted one with another.
A government run according to my political philosophy would look like this.
- A federal government, concerned only with interstate interactions and warfare.
- Several (numerous) state governments, probably one per million (or about 350 in today’s population), concerned with laws regulating the people in their state and taxes, if any.
- Each state government would be further broken down into independent counties and cities and towns.
Gone would be the federal government, the vast majority of it! No more pension checks, no more social security, no more medicare, no more EPA or FDA or anything like it. The only budgets in the federal government would be for national defense, immigration, and commerce.
For the most part, people would rely on themselves. There would be no social safety net except that which they provide themselves.
When it comes to international relations, the only questions we should consider is how much trade or whether we should go to war. When a country declares war on us, or behaves as if they had declared war, then we would wage a brutal and short war where we would completely destroy their economy. Afterwards, we would rebuild their economy, but they would no longer be independent of us. They would enter our country as a territory, subject to our laws and our government. When they are able to organize themselves sufficiently, and demonstrate sufficient American values, then we would consider allowing them to become (one or more) states within our boundaries.
This policy of absolute war followed by absolute submission would give every country pause before taking any aggressive stance against us. Those foolish enough to engage us in war would quickly find they regret their decision.
This brings me to a second point of my political philosophy: When it comes to our rights, there is simply no room for compromise. We must be willing to fight to the death for our rights. And by death, I don’t mean our death: I mean the death of our enemies. Those who mean us ill, they deserve no forgiveness or mercy until they submit and vow never to raise their arms against us ever again. And even then, we cannot tolerate the chance the next generation would do the same, and so we would take over the role of governing their country and ensure the next generation was raised as American.
The alt-right’s political movement isn’t based on a philosophical exercise of abstract rights and justice. Instead, they seem to play on our natural tendency to form tribes and exploit our tribal feelings to obtain power. Once they obtain power, who knows what they will do with it except persecute those who are not members of our tribe. It is sad to report that tribal politics leads to constant warfare. When we fight people because they are different from us, the fighting only ends when they are gone or they assimilate.
Playing on this emotion in our psyche is good since it brings political power, but only inasmuch as once power is obtained, it can be tempered. I don’t mind, as a conservative, using identity politics to win elections. I do mind when that becomes our only message. Why would plutocrats or aristocrats support a tribal political philosophy? To both of these groups, they will meet it with suspicion, since neither the aristocrats or plutocrats are really part of the tribe. While the bureaucrats might like it, there too they will realize that it isn’t long before the torches and pitchforks are coming for them.
At least with a philosophy based on morality and rights and justice you can argue why hanging your neck from the nearest tree isn’t morally sound or a respect of individual rights, and reflect that back on your antagonizers. To the tribally minded, all you can hope is to show them that you are one of them.
The alt-right, I believe, will never take political power because they will never get the backing of the plutocrats or the aristocrats. At best, they can hope to be used by another political philosophy to their own ends, and then hijack that once they have obtained power.
Finally, a word on Donald Trump. To me, he is really an idiot. He doesn’t seem to be educated at all on the complexities of real power. As a plutocrat, he is used to buying advisors and their advice, but when it comes to political power, you can never trust the person feeding you advice. You must be able to navigate it on your own. Donald Trump may be being played by the alt right, who knows? I doubt, however, that Trump will like it much when he realizes what has been done. Donald Trump is dangerous to any political philosophy because once he “gets it”, he is going to use his power for his own purposes.
It’s not fair to say that Donald Trump agrees with me or with the alt right or with conservatives in general.
Now, a prediction, if I may indulge: Donald Trump wins, and Donald Trump does nothing. Nothing substantial changes. The movement that propelled Donald Trump into office disappears over time. Or, if you like, Hillary Clinton wins, and she does nothing different. I believe that the state of American politics today, the bureaucracy runs the show. The aristocrats and the plutocrats are barely acknowledged. That’s not to say tomorrow will bring something new. I believe one day Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos will realize the power they hold and call the bluff of the bureaucrats. I see signs that that is in the making now. If Hillary wins, it will be because of the plutocrats, and they will hold her accountable for it and let her know it every day. And if she doesn’t act according to their wishes, you’ll find their money going elsewhere.