Looking at my bookshelves, I can see the contours of a sort of time capsule. The kinds of books I’ve read up through the years have changed somewhat. A decade ago I was really into atheism, but since then I haven’t bought or read anything about the subject. Then I was in an economics/libertarianism phase and read a lot of books on this subject. That gave way to a men’s rights/issues period, then various novels and so on. Continuing to step on this path, with the Trump campaign and eventual presidency, the contents of my shelves changed yet again. Now the topics of immigration, demographics, New and Alt-Right have made serious inroads as well as more esoteric books through the periscope videos of Mike Cernovich.
Why is this important or interesting to you, the reader of this post? The study of my behavior here is characteristic of the rise and fall of different ideologies. I here use the term ideologies very loosely to also include atheism for lack of a better term. Many of the points on this timeline are connected. That atheism lost its topicality and relevance to me personally and the rise of new groupings on the right celebrating traditionalism and Christian morality is important. The truth value of atheism, libertarianism and so on remains unimpeached to me, but their relevance to the current political landscape has faded significantly.
Context is key here. Atheism in many ways succumbed to the entryism of the social justice warrior phenomenon. This is clear from the abomination known as “Atheism+”. Feminism and other social justice cretins infiltrated and took over many leading positions and institutions (especially conferences) within the atheist movement. Taking the focus away from criticizing the overreaches of religion killed the relevance and impact of the movement. I believe this is strongly linked with the ease that Islam has enjoyed in its journey into the West. Not only was atheism “neutered” in its critique of religion, its coopting by leftist ideologues transformed it into a vehicle for attacking Christianity almost exclusively and the political right by proxy. Atheism serves as a case study of the dangers of politicisation or an institution which should have remained neutral and open for all.
I would assert that libertarians have “always” been bad at outreach. This saddens me to say, as at heart I remain loyal to the values and ideals of libertarianism. Even after exposure to many different value sets and ideologies, libertarianism remains supreme for me. There are also many prominent libertarians that I personally like and respect. Many of them are genuinely nice people. All these points only serve to amplify the hurt and disappointment that comes from their total lack of ability to influence public discourse. The libertarian political party that has existed the longest, the American Libertarian Party has an abysmal track record. Not only have they shown themselves willing to sell out their principles at the first hint of even the slightest chance of political power through the selection of their presidential candidates in the last decade, they can’t show any actual accomplishments. I believe that all metapolitical gains have been at the hands of other actors within the movement, not bickering infighting sell-outs.
Back when I first gained an interest in politics I was really into the libertarian Free State Project. It is a project based on the idea of creating libertarian political and social change in New Hampshire by having 20 000 like-minded people move there. Back during the mid to late 2000’s I consumed a lot of media by participants chronicling their activism. Last I heard about the Free State Project they were struggling with their public image, suffering backlash and shrinking community support from some of the more “out there” activism done by some members. For me at the time, I really believed that this was the end all be all of political activism and the best solution for rolling back state power and intrusion into our lives.
The me from ten years ago would recognize the contours of the beliefs and interests I hold today. Although much has remained somewhat stable, a lot has changed as well. Approaching new ideas today, I’m more aware of the limitations contained within and the importance of impact and spreading ideas around. If there is a lesson I wish to impart to others, it would be that impact and actually getting concrete results can’t be dismissed by those sitting on a white horse on the hill known as the moral high ground. Retreating there will only surrender the political battlefield to one’s enemies, making the path to one’s desired goal even steeper than before.