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An enduring question—perhaps the enduring question—of our present age is whether or not a peaceful political solution is possible to resolve our current issues. Any casual observer of national politics cannot help but notice that there is a deep division in the United States, one grounded in (at least) two fundamentally opposed philosophies.
To the dissident—that catch-all term to encompass of any number of alternative philosophies or worldviews to the prevailing “progressive-conservative” dynamic—both modern progressivism and modern conservatism are two sides of the same coin. Indeed, Buckleyite neoconservatism accepts, essentially, the basic tenants of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, ideas that serve as the foundation for modern progressivism, though the two interpret that foundation in wildly different ways.
Thus, there is a paradox: modern conservatives largely share a worldview that is incompatible with that of modern progressives’; yet, there roots originate in the same soil of the interventionist state. The difference, perhaps, is the fertilizer: the Leftist progressive overwaters with “equality” (now, increasingly, “equity”); the conservative presents a more balanced mixture of equality, liberty, justice, etc.
(Indeed, these shared roots likely date back even further, to the liberalism of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries; again, both the Left and the Right evoke the tenants of such liberalism [“all men are created equal”] while disagreeing vehemently on how those tenants should be expressed in public policy [equality for the Left means egalitarianism and equality of outcomes; equality for the right means “equality before the God and the law”].)
That might make the possibility of some reconciliation seem possible—with shared roots comes some shared values, some shared history.
That’s the most optimistic view. It’s one I do not share, but nor do I adopt the view that all is lost. I believe that a blend of hyper-federalism, radical decentralization, and institutional control by dissidents could tip the balance in a positive direction.
The problem, of course, is that none of those goals is easy to achieve; some of them are currently inconceivable. The federal government is unlikely to devolve more powers to the States (and many States probably secretly don’t want more); radical decentralization means losing out on corrupting but succulent federal largesse; and the institutions are firmly controlled by the Left—and not likely to rewrite the rules to let us challenge their supremacy.
So we come to a fundamental divide among dissidents: what Curtis Yarvin calls the divide between West Coast dissidents (that includes Yarvin) and East Coast traditionalists (like me and, I suspect, photog at Orion’s Cold Fire) in his essay “The real Great Reset.” The East Coast traditionalists believe that local control and working within the system can swing things in our favor and reverse course in the Culture Wars, what he calls voice; the West Coast dissidents believe that voice is useless at present, and instead reset—a total regime change of reset and replace is the answer.
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