Advice for young writers to cure themselves of college brainworms.
The Weak Souls of Our Degraded Strongmen
To bring down the ruling classes, attack their spiritual weaknesses.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”—Ephesians 6:12
Two armies are gathering to fight a great spiritual war for the future of civilization. On one side stands everyone who treasures tradition, nature, and the family. On the other stand those who have fallen prey to hysteria and fear, who oppose normalcy and excellence. The Coronavirus panic of the last year and a half threw this conflict into sharp relief.
It is time to fight. Do not be naïve: This isn’t going away. No amount of homeschooling or self-segregation, religious or political, is going to save you. Our enemies have accomplished enormous victories, and they will not stop pressing for more. The first step to winning a war is to realize that you’re in one. The second is to know yourself. The third is to understand the enemy.
Who They Are
Last Spring, on Good Friday, the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, announced new restrictions on gathering in one’s own home with friends and family. The proclamation’s timing right before Easter was no coincidence. Underlying all the lockdowns, quarantines, mask mandates, contact tracing surveillance, and vaccine mandates, there is one common theme: our new “health” regime has intentionally declared war on the right of assembly and normal human interaction.
This panic-fueled “sanitary socialism” is only one facet of the leftist project currently coming to fruition. These same radicals have declared war on nature. The dramatic explosion in transgender ideology is but one example. The ability to observe and proclaim the most basic and obvious of biological realities is now profoundly controversial.
The ruling class wastes its citizens’ money and blood. It corrupts children. It hates the past. Every accusation of racism, sexism, or homophobia is designed to break the will of the nation’s heartland populace. It is designed to uproot them and erode their will to action. If a people no longer loves its ancestors, if they do not love themselves, then they will not fight back. They will be spiritually broken. And then they will be defeated.
If patriots do nothing, all of this will get worse.
But this is not, as yet, a battle of flesh and blood. This is a war for hearts and minds. It is a spiritual war. And that is where our enemy is weakest. True, our elites have great material power. They dominate the institutions. They dominate the private sector. They control the media. But spiritually and psychologically, they are weak.
Degeneracy of the soul always reveals itself. The new totalitarians cannot help but reveal themselves: they cannot help but overstep their bounds. No one can look at Bill Gates, Anthony Fauci, or Joe Biden and imagine they are facing the Red Army at Stalingrad. Our dissipated elites have the same malice toward the people and “reactionaries,” but they lack the iron discipline and bodily will.
The first dictum of victory is: attack where the enemy is vulnerable, avoid where he is strong. What this means for us, for now, is that we must pinpoint the psychological weakness of our degraded leaders. Trying to do this in D.C. or at the national level will go nowhere. Local and state-level efforts offer far more results. The further from the roving eye of Sauron in the Capital, the better.
Compare the events and fallout from January 6 to the Lansing, Michigan protests in April and May of 2020. Operation Gridlock on April 15 of last year brought traffic around the Michigan Capitol to a halt for hours. A few weeks later, armed Michiganders protested peacefully within the building itself. There were no tear gas attacks, arrests, or FBI informants successfully fomenting violence. The rally was a breaking point. Whitmer attempted more crackdowns, but to little effect. After the spring, she met increasing apathy and outright hostility.
Last Spring, for instance, the Facebook group “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine” gathered a half a million members organically before Facebook banned it. Populist resistance at the local level gets results. It forces the regime to crack down, to show its hand.
When Whitmer tried shutting down businesses again in the fall, a Jonesville restaurant owner named Mitch Spangler refused to close. The state fined him $11,000 and took his business license. Spangler hired a lawyer and reached out to his representatives. Once they started demanding answers from bureaucrats, the Whitmer regime folded immediately. Spangler got his license back and his fine reduced to $4,000.
Local police and prosecutors simply refused to arrest him and shut his business down by force.
The lesson here is invaluable: patriotic Americans are not helpless. Even in the midst of censorship and opposition from the establishment, they can win decisive victories.
Don’t Log Off
Social media provides a powerful avenue to wage spiritual insurgency. Mockery is kryptonite to our regime’s self-serious arrogance. Even gentle prodding can provoke devastating and embarrassing outbursts from our sclerotic leadership class. On July 22, for instance, I asked a two-star general on Twitter to explain his relentless pushing of COVID policies that appeared to have a profoundly negative effect on suicides and mental health among the troops.
He lashed out, tagging my college and insulting my argument without providing any real counterargument. The response was devastating. Hundreds of ordinary people retweeted the exchange, shocked by the outburst. The general locked his account as criticism poured in. The exchange became a national news story.
That moment may, in the large scheme of things, be a small one. But these tactical victories add up. Each one helps reveal the regime for what it is. Social media is the perfect battleground for waging an information insurgency against our corrupt expert class. Unlike television, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are two-way platforms. They allow direct engagement between the ruling class and their subjects.
Like moths to a flame, our media and ruling elite cannot resist the appeal of these platforms. This is why it is critically important for conservatives and patriots to stay in these places. Ghettoized platforms like Gab and Parler don’t provide the same opportunity. If you want to defeat the enemy you must take the fight to his home turf. The Right is, quite simply, more engaging, humorous, and lively than the Left. It is not subject to as many insane taboos. It still values freedom. It celebrates strength and beauty. All of these are extremely effective weapons against a regime that promotes ugliness and grotesquerie.
Keeping Up the Fight
In the long run, the American Right should aim at federal power. It should aim to reduce immigration across the board, secure the border, protect national industry from outsourcing, protect the natural family, and support small business. That will require greatness at the national stage. But no one can say exactly how and when such greatness will emerge. In the meantime, conservatives can wage effective spiritual combat at the local and state level where they can unify with real-life friends and fight on their home turf.
They can break the social conditioning of the mainstream media by effective uses of memes, mockery, and skepticism on social media. There they can gain followers, illustrate the vulnerability of the regime, and prevent the implementation of ever more radical policies. Reminding our ruling class that its rule is fragile saps its energy and degrades its ability to focus its power.
For now, the spiritual battle for the future of our country will remain an insurgency. But things change. Often quickly. Few could have predicted Trump’s rise in the spring of 2015. Another unexpected breakthrough may soon appear again.
Until then, we must set the stage and keep up the fight.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.
The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.