The Putney Spoons Interviews: Malcom Kyeyune - Knowing Me, Knowing Kyeyune
Malcom on Prospects for US Civil Conflict, Parasitical Professional Classes, the Death of the Left, New "Old" Mass Politics, and being 100% Nordic Swedish
One of the hardest things about being an optimistic person is the consistent disappointment in people that you finally meet after hearing so many positive things about them. Malcom Kyeyune is no exception to this rule. Best known as a once self-described Marxist and leftist who wrote very interesting things on class politics, he has decayed into a gamer who tweets about Swedish cuisine.
I managed to catch Malcom just before he signed on at OANN where he will be hosting a program in which he ‘owns a new lib’ every day during the work week. He insisted to me that this is the best way to infiltrate the right and to convert them to a class-based approach to politics, but I have my doubts after seeing him wearing a “Capitalism Rocks” t-shirt that he scored from TPUSA.
Not only does he insult me in this interview, he also has the temerity to disagree with me!
My understanding is that you are a direct descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok....and not just his blood, but the blood of Freydís Eiríksdóttir, of Gunnar Hammundarson, of Eric Bloodaxe, and of Leif Erikson course through your veins. You have the iron will of Bjorn Ironside, the stoic nature of Egil Skallagrimson, the flaming red mane of Eric the Red. These were men of unobstructed determination, of strength, of power, and of fortitude. Is this why you are such a fucking asshole?
Actually, I like to think that's where the nice side of my personality comes from. My asshole side comes from my father's side of the family tree, owing to him belonging to just not an Eastern Bantu people in central Africa, but one of the most ruthless Bantu peoples around. The Vikings were in fact positively gracious neighbours to have around compared to the utter misfortune of living close to the Bantu migration, who didn't just visit you occasionally to burn down your monasteries, but who simply moved in and then killed or displaced everyone living in your town, perhaps partaking in a bit of human sacrifice to pass the time. The Baganda were, I think, the only people in all of Africa – or at least all of central Africa – who the British didn't just subjugate, but instead entered some sort of equal partnership with to avoid tangling with them. The more you know.
I had no idea that you were half-Black. Anyway……..How many times per day do you shower when the thermometer hits a sizzling 17C (63F in American) in Uppsala during the height of the 10-day summer season? Do you have fainting or dizzy spells if it reaches 19C (66F in American)? I imagine that Sweden has some sort of government service that sprays mists of water along sidewalks during these yearly heat waves. After all, Swedes sure do love Big Government and its very efficient public services.
As a certain man who went by the nickname of ‘Chateau Autiste’ said, the Nord is strong because he has the Ice Element but then a bit of fire to go with it, unlike the Yellow Man who only has the Ice Element and is thus lethargic and conformist and lacking in creativity. Last time it was that hot I actually went out to the grave mounds of ancient Viking Kings located in Old Uppsala, and drank some mead at a place called Odinsborg (”Odin's fortress”). I wish I was joking about this.
Please take this opportunity to apologize on behalf of Sweden for the terrorist known as Carl Bildt. There used to be a joke about only cockroaches and Keith Richards surviving a global nuclear conflagration, but I am certain that he would outlive them all. This cocksucker is now the WHO's "Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator". WTF is this even?
I wish I could come up with some joke here but Carl Bildt is seriously the worst thing my country has inflicted on the world since the ABBA Teens. Even Greta Thunberg sometimes manages to produce some funny meme content. Bildt is just a menace. That said, he's no longer a very hated politician in Sweden, not because he's somehow improved but because we don't see a lot of him anymore, thank God.
The cheapest joke that I can make here is about dining at IKEA where roughly 70% of all business deals are made in Sweden. This would be worse than insulting, especially when I try to insert a joke about Huvudroll being the most popular Swedish delicacy, but I am told that you instruct tourists that they cannot and should not avoid Sjörapport, insisting that it is worthy of a Michelin Star.
Listening to Sjörapporten is probably necessary if you aim to go out into the Baltic and catch some herring, and pickled herring is to the Swede what the hamburger is to the American, the source of our lifeforce and the seat of our power. I'm not even sure IKEA serves herring in the United States, and if so that's just another failure of Sweden to shoulder the white man's burden and save the half-devil, half-children Anglos from their own culinary backwardness. Thankfully, people can follow me on Twitter for this, as I try to semi-regularly post example dishes from Sweden that really illustrate just how much better we are at cooking than any other culture.
Serious Questions For a Serious Audience
Speaking of cultural protectionism, It was less than two decades ago that anti-Globalization demonstrators were smashing up the windows of McDonald's and Starbucks, demanding that local cultures be protected. Now the left is dominated by groups all-too-content with corporate sponsorship for causes that do nothing for the working class, and are little more than window dressing. Some call it 'reputational laundering'. Where does the left go from here?
The ”left” won't go anywhere. Here it is probably necessary to make a point about terminology before diving into the actual argument. Just as Americans generally don't use the term ”working class” to talk about themselves (instead everyone who's not a millionaire is some form of ”middle class”), the meaning of ”the left” is also dependent on who you are. As a general rule, if you belong to the radical left, which is what I once did, ”the left” is everything left to the social democratic parties in Europe, possibly including the left-wing of these social democratic parties. That is the definition I will be using going forward, so when I talk about ”the left”, I am generally talking about people like AOC and everyone to the left of her, and not to the democratic party in general.
The trajectory of this left is basically one that leads straight into the trash bin of history at this point. Even as late as 2019 it was still possible to imagine that this left could chart its own independent course outside of the general ambit of ”progressivism”, which includes libertarians, right-wing democrats, and centrist parties. But that dream is now completely dead, as the working classes of Europe and America have rejected these leftists completely. The more ambitious parts of this radical left that is now moribund are re-branding as bog-standard progressives (AOC, people like Paul Mason). The more dead-end people with no political relevance are eeking out shrinking fiefdoms online, where they cite long-dead theory at a dwindling circle of mentally ill trannies and marxist catboys.
The radical left as a political force took its last, best shot in 2019 and 2020 and was routed for the final time. It is quite clear at this point that the left will never again be relevant as a political force, but instead merely as a subcultural one and one active in the attention and Patreon economy on the net. But as this economy is probably not going to survive until 2030, even that part of the left can safely be ignored. The upcoming political battles will be waged between the forces of progressivism writ large and between various stripes of populism. In that context, the dependence of self-proclaimed leftists on big business and the powers that be is no longer really even a problem.
The real conflict this century will be between Globalism and National Sovereignty. Our western elites are already solidly post-nation-state, with the various satraps of the USA (The Metropole) little more than branch offices managed by people who wouldn't be out of place at Deloitte and Touche. Globalism has taken a few slaps to its face, with 2008 the best example, yet it is showing not just some resilience, but even more importantly, a devotion from its elites. This resilience is being tested by what may be a supply chain crisis thanks to COVID-19 and thanks to business concepts like JiT (Just-in-Time logistics). But what this Globalism has is a budding universalist worldview that is religious in nature, in which the individual and his or her desires are sacrosanct, provided that they conform with prevailing liberal mores. A universal regime with a universalist faith-based worldview is quite the adversary.
I don't really think it is a very imposing adversary, for the simple reason that revolution is never really a game of toppling the elite or defeating the rulers. A functioning, united elite cannot be toppled by the people under any circumstances, for the very simple reason that for an elite to be functioning and united, it essentially has to be able to secure the passive consent of the ruled.
There's a saying in the military that I often come back to, which is ”amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics”. In the age we live in, where everyone who has a public voice is almost by definition a member of this new urban ”Spreadsheet Class”, the actual art of understanding logistics in the widest possible sense – to wit, the actual workings, inputs, and processes of the societal, economic and military machines we all depend on – has basically cratered. The Spreadsheet Class looks at the prospect of, say, civil war, and all they see is a battle of ideas, a question of strategy; they never really stop to consider how many divisions you have at your disposal, what sort of inputs (food, ammo, fuel) those divisions need, how much capacity there is to sustain operations at length, and whether the people in that division are politically reliable. The material world is alien to this class of ”intellectuals”, who consider themselves such by merit of basically being stuck inside their own heads.
The upshot of this is that while the urban classes may have faith (but it remains to be see how long that faith can last in the face of real adversity), they do not really have much else if a real crisis were to erupt. The task of a real revolutionary today is not going to be to figure out how to ”defeat the globalists”. It is going to be to get organized enough in the time we have left so as to have some sort of plan and capacity to try to pick up the pieces once this current order fails under its own contradictions. The supply crisis in particular is not getting solved, basically ever. It is permanent because the dynamic behind it is what is known as a ”cascading system failure”. The only way to fix a failure cascade of the sort the logistics system is in currently is to basically ”reboot” it at a much lower level of complexity, where the rate of ongoing failure is reduced below the capacity to repair failed nodes in the system. Unfortunately – both for the globalists and the people they rule over – the purpose of the now unsustainable levels of complexity inherent to the system was to slash costs, and thus make goods more affordable to the American plebeian, among other things.
There's a scene in the old Jurassic Park movie that is pretty instructive here. After the hacker Dennis Nedry basically knocks out the entire computer system necessary to run the park in order to disable the security and cameras so he can steal some dinosaur DNA, the only way for the heroes of the movie to get the system back to working order is to restart it. Unfortunately, restarting the system means knocking everything offline for a very significant amount of time, including the electrical fences keeping the most dangerous dinosaurs in place. During the downtime, these dinosaurs of course escape, and start causing a lot of mischief, and then a very hungry Tyrannosaurus eats the lawyer that nobody likes.
This is basically the situation the elites of the United States find themselves in currently, though they may not have yet fully realized it. The parallel is both specific and general here. Specifically, the computer system in the movie is experiencing its own cascading system failure as a result of Nedry's actions, and the only way to fix it is to reset it with a bare minimum of functionality and then fixing the broken stuff piece by piece, which is what will happen to the logistics system as well. More generally, the process of reforming a broken system is historically by far the most dangerous place a regime can find itself in. It's when you attempt to reform what has failed catastrophically that revolutions almost always occur; it's when you shut down power to the fences that the dinosaurs escape.
Again, if you just think about these things on the level of tactics or strategy, you are a happy amateur who is probably a lot more sanguine about the political situation. At that point, it's all a contest of ideas, of historical forces, and so on. I find that world boring and inhabited by quite stupid people with needlessly expensive pieces of paper that are meant to impress on the world that they are very, very smart. In the context of Jurassic Park, where the Park Managers have ”spared no expense” to build their incredibly opulent, efficient, and wondrous dinosaur theme park, the truly smart man studies where the power keeping the dinosaur fences actually comes from, and how the fuck the people who designed the system managed to make it tie into the same code that keeps the security cameras and electronic door lock systems in the main building running. The ”globalists” you talk about quite literally have no idea about any of this stuff, and they are likely to be the last ones to get the memo when the systems they all depend on start failing catastrophically.
You and I are going to disagree on the inherent resilience or weakness of the American regime, but one thing we can agree on is the new types of creatures that occupy important roles in it. Milovan Djilas wrote "The New Class" to criticize the rise of the communist nomenklatura in Yugoslavia shortly after the end of WW2. It was that class that saw its rule last only for two generations until systemic collapse. James Burnham wrote "The Managerial Revolution" in 1941, illustrating how the future in the West would be guided by a managerial class. Today we see this class throughout the West, increasingly alienated from the people it claims to serve. It is a permanent feature of our societies, and has eroded what democracy is supposed to be.
Yes, the growth of this class is in my view the single most important factor to explain both our economic and our political woes. But just like this class expanded and expanded in the East, only to usher in a systemic and political collapse as a result, I think their cousins in the West are currently busy hurling us all down the exact same trajectory. I don't call myself a leftist anymore – nor a ”dirtbag” leftist, a ”post-leftist”, or anything to do with the left – because I share nothing with those people, perhaps aside from a sort of analytical toolbox that is today really only honoured in the breach rather than the observance anyway. The struggle that populists like me are interested in, regardless of intellectual background, is the class struggle between the great many people who keep society running, and the increasingly desperate and bellicose parasites who require that these people be constantly exploited in order to make their own unsustainable lifestyles possible. A class war is coming, and it will not be between the 99% and the 1%, but between the producers and the parasites. Then we'll see just how ”permanent” the rule of these parasites truly is.
You have written in the past about the rise of the "Grifter Class" and how they are having an increasingly outsized influence on the direction of politics and society. One cannot help but automatically think of the NGO class that manages to insert itself into all spheres of policy, both domestically and abroad, and almost always to the detriment of those places. They have created self-perpetuating machines, in a way. For fuck's sake, they were teaching Afghan tribeswomen abstract art as a form of "emancipation" while their military partners were droning weddings.
Sure, and I think it is almost impossible even for non-political people not to see just how outright predatory and useless all these organizations and systems are. An increasing amount of societal resources are now forcibly appropriated in order to maintain these people's lifestyles under the now completely ridiculous pretense that what they're somehow doing are all important jobs; and with every month and year that passes, we find that a political program that explicitly names these people and promises to take back all the resources they've stolen is an easier and easier sell to voters. The left never could promise this, because they themselves were the thieves. We will not be so shy: we will stop their thievery, and we break the backs of these looters so that they can never steal again. Of course, like a certain Alex Jones, I only mean that last part politically. ;)
Much of what you argue for is in opposition to the managers. You are aligned with the Örebro Party, which has a focus on populism and localism. Is this scalable in Sweden? What about elsewhere? Elitists will argue, to put it bluntly, that 'the people are stupid' (See: Tom Nichols), and that populism will drown itself in the inherent contradictions of popular will.
The model of the Örebro party has two parts, both of which are scalable, but different in the practical details. The first part is strategic: the party serves as a test bed for whether a sort of open and unashamed message of class struggle against the managerial classes can work. And the answer there is at this point an obvious, resounding YES. Markus Allard, the leader of the party, is at this point one of the most well-known, popular, and recognized politicians in Sweden. The party is now inundated with more applications for membership (becoming a member is actually quite hard and requires a very old fashioned multi-step process, more on that shortly) and requests for it to finally go national so that people outside the local areas where the party operates or has affiliates can finally vote for it. Moreover, the actual message here, that these managers are an enemy that needs to be fought, is popular among very broad layers of people – from lower middle class people who have historically voted for the right, to working class people who have abandoned the Social Democrats in favour of either the Sweden Democrats or political lethargy. This strategy of polarizing against managers is thus quite obviously scalable not just to Sweden as a whole but also to other countries, because it simply leans into class antagonisms that now openly exist.
The second part of the ÖP model is practical, and it has to do with the ”logistics” of politics, as it were. The reason the party focuses on populism and localism has very little to do with ideology; it is about creating a political cadre that can then actually wield power and defend the interests of our constituents. As the irish political Peter Mair has written about, political parties across the entire western world today have basically been hollowed out from the inside, and are now dependant on state subsidies or big donors for funding in order to pay what is essentially a big class of Swiss mercenaries in the form of ad men, consultants, and so on. It's not just that this situation is undesirable on some sort of moral or theoretical level, this actually makes parties quite weak in what they can do and what forms of power they can wield. Parties themselves have become completely hostage to the Spreadsheet Class, and this class increasingly doesn't know how to run a dog pound, nevermind a political movement or an international logistics system.
As such, the only way to really grow in strength as a political movement is to somehow return to that older and more powerful form of politics, one that is reliant on the political equivalent of the ”Citizen Soldier”, who like the US National Guard spend most of their time as civilians but then put on an uniform when they're called up. That is the model we are going for, and the localist strategy is about creating NCOs for that army of political ”conscripts”; about forming a cadre that can lead and train ordinary people enough to where they can be a part of a political struggle again. Germany after the treaty of Versailles was very limited how many troops they could field in the army, for example. To get around this, the German planners basically created an army made up entirely of officers, and especially of sergeants and junior officers. This allowed them to rapidly balloon their army from a couple of hundred thousand to several million without losing quality, because all those officers could then lead and instruct many times their number in conscripts, as opposed to the Soviet Union, which had massive shortages of these critical people, leading to rather terrible performance in combat, especially in the early days of WW2.
I don't want to belabour the military examples here, but the German model is basically our model. We see a return to mass politics as something fairly likely in the next two decades, given the way things are going. People care about politics if or when there's a crisis; when you have a long period of stability and prosperity they increasingly stop caring, and are happy to let professionals and managers assume the functions and power they once fought hard to attain. That's normal; but as things keep getting worse, their reasons to get back into the game they once abandoned will continue to multiply. We aim to have enough sergeants in our ranks to handle them when it happens.
As such, the Örebro party may just have the most challenging requirements for prospective members out of any party in the entire western world. To give you an idea of how it works, you need to pass multiple stages of interviews (written, oral), then attend introductory meetings and training, and still then you have to do actual party work as a prospective member for a while before you can be given full membership status. The purpose of all of this is to weed out the socially awkward, the uncommitted, and the untalented. Again, ÖP doesn't intend to rely on state or corporate subsidies to pay for a vast class of useless consultants whose conception of politics start and end at the level of creating a powerpoint presentation; it is interested in mass politics for the simple reason that the era of such politics is very likely to come back. As such, if you don't want to be a prospective sergeant, you can't join the party at all even if you want to. All the members are expected to be able to do the work of NCO leadership, to basically go to a town or a city and start, recruit for, and organize an entire party organization on their own, with only limited outside help.
Can this model be scaled or applied elsewhere? I would think so, given that scalability is the entire point of running a party this way. ÖP expects much, much more out of a prospective member than any other party in the country – probably more than any other party on the entire continent – but there are still far more applications coming in than can be quickly handled. And these applications aren't coming from podcasters and people in the powerpoint class, but from nurses, truck drivers, and electricians. I find it very likely that populists in other countries, such as the US, will eventually adopt at least some of ÖPs methods, because those methods are meant to break the power of ”the swamp” in a far more thorough fashion than Trump could. In politics you need an army, and the paid, professional army model has today mostly failed. The US today in fact shows us that the professional political activist class has very little contact with, or pull over the parents, pilots and truckers who are actually partaking in the big political conflicts going on.
North Americans by and large get a rather distorted picture of Sweden. Liberals view it in an almost utopian frame of left-liberal, tolerant, and social-democratic government that is a global moral leader. Right wingers will instead often see it as a country on the verge of widespread chaos due to violence from immigrants. Reality is somewhere in between: immigrant violence is inflated in western right wing press, and is highly-confined to small, specific localities. At the same time, the 'tolerance' that Sweden was once known for has receded, particularly with respect to newer immigrant populations. Middle class Swedes may still mouth the same platitudes, but they are no longer an article of faith and are now divorced from how they act in real life.
Sure. I wrote a piece on this particular issue for UnHerd recently, so I won't really repeat the argument here. In general I think Europe at large is heading for a confrontation over these immigrants, and I am increasingly sure that these progressive middle classes were basically never on the side of the immigrants in any real way at all. The US progressive caste is at this point ”locked in” when it comes to battling the growing mass of dissatisfied citizens, and try to use illegal immigration to – as Berthold Brecht put it - ”dissolve the people and elect another”. I think the European situation is a lot more muddled by comparison.
Both you and I reside in the far-flung provinces of the US Empire. Your country is largely irrelevant, mine is almost entirely irrelevant. The Metropole always influences the Satrapies, which is why it is important for us writers to closely watch what happens over there. We have the luxury (and privilege) of viewing the goings-on in the USA from a safe distance, allowing us the ability to analyze through an unobstructed pane of glass. Yet you and I disagree on the revolutionary potential of the present situation in the USA: one in which trust in institutions has plummeted, where the media is viewed as hostile, where basic competence seems to be collapsing like a landslide in California, and where everything is now hyper-partisan. For me, no revolution can happen without the defection of a certain segment of elites. I counted the elites in the run-up to the election last year in November, and this let me know that Trump was not going to be in the White House for a second term, even if he won the vote. Every elite faction sides against Trump the Populist (note: I am not implying that Trump was a revolutionary, he wasn’t). Who can he rely on beyond possibly New York City Police? Even Rupert Murdoch ditched him at the last minute on Election Night.
I think this is the most persuasive argument that can be made for ”revolutionary pessimism”, or whatever we want to call it. As in: there is simply not enough elite buy-in, now or in the near to mid future, for such a thing to succeed.
However, I don't find that argument to hold very much weight today. These things do not come down to individual character, nor ideology, nor morals. At the aggregate level, elite cohesion is all about material structures and uniformity of interests. That is a very important point to keep in mind today, because the economic pie is for all intents and purposes shrinking in the US now. Obviously, economists have about a billion different ways of presenting the numbers to argue that I'm just talking nonsense when I say that, but in practical terms – which is what actually matters to living, breathing human beings – the experience of living today is, with very few exceptions, one of increasing precariousness and difficulty, especially when it comes to affording stuff that prior generations took almost for granted. Politics in a time of shrinking pies is incredibly brutal, not just between the elite and the people, but within the elite as well; in order to keep your own situation from deteriorating, you have to increasingly steal resources from someone else.
It is a foregone conclusion at this point that some parts of the current elite will be sacrificed in order to shore up the fortunes of the rest. It's no big mystery how this will happen or under what pretext. Consider for example how outright discrimination is now ruining the chances of many young men who compete for a seat at Harvard or other prestige institutions in the US. This is not a bug, this is a necessary feature. There's only so many seats to go around, far less seats than there are rear ends hoping to park in them. But the idea that you can somehow just increasingly purge white cis males from very well-to-do families from the institutions that guarantee them a life in the upper crust while denouncing them as inherently evil, and then count on them to remain loyal to the elite that kicked them out, is folly.
Constant ”ideological” purging is built into the system at this point. Purging is necessary in order to deal with the shortage of elite seats and the overproduction of elite claimants. This is by definition a situation where elite solidarity is impossible. Moreover, the competition for resources does not end at the ivy league, but also has very serious implications for the power balance between the states and the federal government, and the resources and prerogatives available for state-level power brokers. With this in mind it’s important to remember that there's an axis of elite conflict between state capitols and Washington more or less baked into the pie at this point.
Mocked By Malcolm
Secession in the USA was resolved at Appomattox in 1865, though. No Empire allows itself to be cut in half unless it is undergoing a serious crisis, like Ancient Rome in AD 285 under Diocletian. I strongly disagree with the idea that the USA is undergoing any sort of existential crisis, but is rather in a transformative stage, shedding its national skin in favour of a global one. It has no enemies on its borders nor anywhere near it, and it is also rather self-sufficient.
Yeah, well, good for you. Just recently, I had a person tell me in equally strong terms that revolutions are simply not possible unless and until there exists some sort of alternative power structure ready to take over from the old, broken regime. That guy ought to simply invent some form of time travel device and travel back to the late era Soviet Union and tell the bewildered crowds the amazing news – his own theory simply rejects the possibility of what it is they're busy doing. Given that the only ”alternatives” to Gorbachev on hand in the late stage Soviet Union were insane religious cultists, criminal syndicates, and various unremarkable kleptocratic bureaucrats, the Universe might be happy to learn it simply made a mistake.
The fact that you think that the US is ”rather self-sufficient” at a point where farmers in the breadbasket are basically staring down the barrel of complete financial ruin, owing to the fact that they can't get any parts for their machines, tells me that you are very likely to end up in the same situation as that other guy – looking through the phonebook for the number to call to speak to history's manager. In my view, though the US certainly could be self-sufficient, that is dependent on it taking an entirely different industrial, economic and social path than the one it actually did. As far as not having any enemies, I fail to see how that proves the point you think it is making. France had a revolution, and it had enemies all around it; in fact it spent the next couple of decades single-handedly defeating basically every modern army on the planet. Russia had enemies, and was invaded by a multi-national force with the stated goal of removing the Bolsheviks from power, and yet the reds won in the end.
In reality, revolutions are caused by the brittleness of the social, economic, and/or political order. That brittleness grows over a long period of time, and can be exacerbated by military defeat, but military defeat is never sufficient other than as an accelerant of whatever other problems the state has. Thus Napoleon famously said of his arch-enemy, the Emperor Francis II, that the Emperor could lose ninety nine battles and only win one and still be recognized as Emperor by his subjects, while Napoleon could win ninety nine battles and only have to lose one before his regime was in danger.
The putative ”global” American skin you talk about sounds fairly interesting on the (amateur) level of strategy and tactics, but wholly confused and in fact completely unworkable on the boring but quite important level of logistics. No matter whether you style yourself a citizen of the world or an American patriot, the job of an elite is always to secure at least the passive acceptance of the subjects of the political order, whether or not those people are truly called subjects or see themselves as citizens with rights. Changing the status of your people from citizens to subjects is a very tricky process, and liable to trigger a withdrawal of passive acceptance. The US elite have at their disposal some extremely limited or downright non-functional tools of forcing compliance. They may have the ”strategy” down to pat – let's just do away with this nationality business and just become the rulers of a multi-ethnic slave society using millions of illegal immigrants to slowly replace the angry white men – but they have no goddamn clue how to organize this on the level of practical politics.
The incompetence of US forces in Afghanistan is not a valid application when it comes to an armed conflict on US soil. With Afghanistan, US forces could simply pick up and go home. In the USA they are at home. They would not be hampered by severely-restricted RoE (Rules of Engagement). The media machine would crank up the propaganda to 11, painting any and all states' rights secessionists as the second coming of both the Confederacy and the Nazis. Civil conflicts are the bloodiest because there is everything to play for.
This is actually such a fantastically unrealistic question that I at first thought it to be some sort of prank, and I must admit – no offense intended here – that I literally cannot even imagine the reasoning that leads to statements like the US army not being hampered by restrictive RoE. It's like someone telling me that I should dry out from the rain by jumping, clothes and all, into a swimming pool filled with murky water.
Why was there a restrictive RoE in Afghanistan? Well, let's go over a couple of possibilities. The first possibility is that a restrictive RoE, aiming at preventing unnecessary civilian casualties, had to do with avoiding political fallout back at home. Too many pictures of blown up children, and American politicians have a harder time getting re-elected on a pro-war platform. The second possibility is that blowing up Afghan children simply made it harder to win the war, by emboldening the Taliban and making the locals not just more likely to join them, but to provide them shelter, resources, and intel on American movements.
If you are very gullible, you could possibly think that the first of these rationales would not apply in a domestic US situation, because ”the media” would simply blast propaganda at the population. Here the less gullible will simply ask a fairly basic question: how capable has the propaganda machine proven to be thus far? Given that the media blasted as much propaganda as they could regarding the authenticity of the 2020 election, the fact that polling shows a majority of republican voters believing the election to not be totally on the level tells us that there are very significant limits to the ability to use propaganda to achieve desired ends (in this case, the desired end was to make the American population think the election was legit). Moreover, the Fox News network experienced an exodus of viewers from Fox to OANN and Newsmax (who a friend of mine described as ”Memri TV for American boomers”), because Fox didn't take a sufficiently aggressive stance on the election. This also led to Tucker Carlson to actually have another talk show host beat him in the ratings, a feat basically considered impossible up until then.
As such, the current model for propaganda is simply not effective enough in information control, even when working with total coordination. Moreover, the pressures on the right wing of the media landscape whenever something like this happens is immense, to the point where Fox had to go back on the offensive in order to stop the bleed to Newsmax and OANN.
By all means, one shouldn't discount ”propaganda” as a political tool. It is after all a political strategy. But the nuts and bolts of how these things work, and their actual limits in how many people they reach and what they can convince them of, become exceedingly clear once one starts looking into the more boring world of ratings and polling. In the case of some sort of civil war, if you wanted people to only get approved news, you'd have to shut down Newsmax, OANN, and maybe even Fox News; the idea that the viewers of these networks would go ”oh, Kamala Harris just arrested all the journalists at the cable news station I watch, time to become Rachel Maddow's biggest fan!” is just not credible.
Still, this point about propaganda only really addresses a small part of this issue. The much, much more critical point is that the US armed forces currently recruits from lower middle and working class demographics in red states. White men are overrepresented in the US armed forces, and they are then even more overrepresented in the parts of the Army and USMC that actually hold guns, kick down doors, and carry heavy rucksacks around. There are absolutely no realistic means of changing this situation. People belonging to the powerpoint class do not join the armed forces unless they can present powerpoints, they do not become doorkickers or mortar bomb haulers. Immigrants are underrepresented and also not reliable – the less strong your connection to a country is, the less likely you are to be in any way interested in the prospect of fighting in one of its civil wars. There's not exactly a huge mercenary pool in the world today to call on if you want to fill out a couple of divisions, either.
The real reason you want to use extremely restrictive RoEs in a situation like the one you claim one wouldn't be used is that the American elite will be fighting with forces that are recruited from the very areas they are supposed to police. That means it will be their brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers in the gunsights; if you simply level half a rural town in Texas, the people who die will be related by blood or friendship to the people who load the bombs and hold the rifles. This presents two very basic challenges: number one, if you start killing civilians in these areas, your recruitment prospects will become quite catastrophic, quite quickly. Number two – and this is the big one – soldiers have historically been extremely reluctant to follow orders like this. A smart empire will therefore go to great lengths to source their soldiers from populations that do not even speak the same language as the civilians they're supposed to police; the Austrians used Croats in Italy, and Italians in Croatia…and even then the soldiers were often reluctant to stand in the way of a sufficiently motivated civilian population.
We should also be fairly clear on what ”restrictive” vs. ”non-restrictive” RoE mean in this context. Non-restrictive RoE does not mean you can simply use all the fancy pieces of equipment the air force and army have at their disposal: MRLS launchers, Apache gunships, fuel-air bombs, tanks, and so on. All of this stuff is mostly useless in situations where the enemy simply refuses to wear uniforms – this equipment is meant to be used in combat between states where both sides take great pains to actually signal which team they belong to, so that the other team knows that it's okay to shoot them. If you're fighting the Chinese, a tank is a great thing to have, because that tank will be able to fire at Chinese tanks (that look markedly different from American ones) and Chinese soldiers, who wear completely different uniforms.
If you park a tank in Anytown, Idaho, and tell it to just go hog wild on the enemy, that tank is either going to end up shooting at nothing, or simply massacre a bunch of innocent civilians. Killing innocent civilians will 1) make your own army much more likely to revolt, 2) make the actual enemy combatants much more able to recruit new militants, and so using an extremely restrictive RoE is actually the only possible way you could even hope to fight a war like this on American soil without just losing it on purpose.
Again, on the level of strategy, I'm sure the US military offers up a lot of interesting possibilities in terms of tyranny and civil war for the prospective ideas guy out there. But in terms of logistics, the US army and USMC is just a total fucking disaster, if you'll excuse my French. It has an order of magnitude – maybe even several orders of magnitude – less troops than would be necessary to perform counterinsurgency across the continental United States. The British used at most 20.000 troops in North Ireland during Operation Banner; 20.000 troops for an area less than two percent the size of Texas. The US armed forces can probably scramble at most 100.000 regulars if you put the USMC, the Army, and whatever ground elements the other branches can provide together. Texas is 100% the size of Texas last time I checked, and it also happens to be just one out of forty eight states on the continent itself. Every time the British tried to relax their punishing RoE (the British army officially reported a 10:1 casualty ratio of British soldiers compared to Provisional IRA militants during Banner!), they quickly found it to be amazingly counterproductive and a boon to the Provos. Of course, the British had a much easier time of it, because they didn't have to recruit their soldiers from Northern Ireland!
So with the army just not having enough people, it then also has to face the issue of political reliability. If you tell troops to fight on behalf of a regime with very questionable legitimacy, and those troops then have to fight their own families, you can expect massive desertions and mutiny, maybe even mutiny at the divisional level (this is much more likely to happen with Army National Guard divisions).
I could go on for ages here, but I won't belabour the point even more than I already have. Again, amateurs talk about strategy – what they plan to use the machine for – but professionals talk logistics – how the machine actually works, for how long it can be expected to work, and what sort of inputs it needs. The US elite simply hasn't taken the steps necessary today to ensure that the Army or the USMC would actually function in a counterinsurgency scenario. And in 2021 there is quite literally nothing that can be done to fix it before the current era of crisis resolves itself somehow.
Back to our Holy Continent: What does the future hold for Europe? The EU is increasingly in a situation akin to trying to herd cats. Will it be a moralizing museum of history, irrelevant on the global stage as the USA pivots to Eastern Asia? Or is there a new generation that can break free from the psychological baggage of the Second World War and chart out an independent course? Our Boomers and much of Gen X cannot fathom a Europe outside of the Atlanticist fold, unfortunately. American soft power, although eroded in some areas, continues to dominate thanks to technology that has burdened us with Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
I think the entire West is going to be roiled by chaos and political uncertainty for the next twenty years at the very least. Out of that chaos a new order will emerge, and in the case of Europe I think Europeans – lacking two outside empires to keep them under their thumb – will go back to do what Europeans do best: going to war and killing each other on a regular basis.
American ”soft power” is honestly just a joke at this point. Yes, the powerpoint people in Berlin or Stockholm are more than happy to import CRT-esque language in order to further their own class aims, but this is not really an indicator of American power, but of class struggle, to be perfectly blunt. The idea that America is something to aspire to is today solely held by people locked up in mental hospitals, or by libertarians – who should be locked up in those mental hospitals. The view from America today is just crisis, crisis, and more crisis, and then people injecting heroin on the street in broad daylight, and massive sprawling tent cities just a couple of blocks away from the headquarters of various tech companies. At this point, if you gave even a conservative European the choice between being forcibly moved to San Francisco (and not being able to leave) or Havana, most people would just quietly swallow their anticommunism and choose the less dysfunctional city out of the pair.
That being said, I do look upon America as an example to the rest of the world in a slightly different context. It is in America that the first real battles against these obsolete, parasitical managers will truly be waged, and those of us who have long prepared to fight those very same battles in our own countries will have much to learn – and hopefully also help to offer – our American brothers and sisters in the days to come. As such, our two fates – that of the Old World and that of the New – will still be intertwined for many years to come, I would think!
What should be done about the GQ (Greta Question)?
Well, I talked to Q recently, and all I can say is that you will have to trust the plan on this one for a little bit longer.
This shithead didn’t even finish the interview! He told me to go fuck myself because it was already long enough, and because he wants to go back to playing the new Call of Duty, or Detroit: Become Human, or Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest or some shit.
I mean, check out this Mel Gibson bit that I primed for him:
Mel Gibson plays a mulatto Swede who has schizophrenia and because of this is racist against himself. He teams up with Swedish hockey legend Borje Salming to coach a team of 12 year boys from Kiruna who will face off against the Swedish National Women's Hockey Team. Salming is poisoned by feminists from Stockholm minutes before the game starts which means that Gibson must coach the boys by himself. If they lose, they must immediately go on hormone treatment with sexual reassignment surgery to follow. How long of a prison sentence would you receive if you wrote, directed, and produced this tale of underdogs beating evil (Swedish women)?
Probably my best Mel Gibson fan fiction ever!
Malcom can be found respecting Anglos on Twitter @Tinkzorg, and writing at a different bunch of sites that I’m too lazy to name or hyperlink right now.