Salvo 12.18.2023 8 minutes

Fractures in the Regime

White House – President & Politics

The fringes are fraying.

The late Angelo Codevilla identified the American ruling class as a wealthy oligarchy whose power depends upon its “intersectional” clients. For most of the oligarchy, the ends of rule are wealth and affirmation of superiority over the people, but the intersectionals—inspired by resentment and identity politics—are driven by hatred and fevered dreams of revenge. The oligarchs—wealthier, whiter, and older—have created a monster which they cannot, in the end, control; without their clients, however, the oligarchs’ own rule would be vulnerable to a republican counteroffensive. The waxing hate and boldness of the intersectionals threaten to push the oligarchical revolution in directions unpalatable to its Directory. “Most ruling class notables,” explained Codevilla in these pages, “would prefer to suppress the deplorables while minimizing disruption of the economy and avoiding violence…but for the intersectionals…vengeance is electoral victory’s foremost prerogative. Determined as the chiefs may be that the intersectional tail must not wag the revolutionary dog, the fact is that each and every part of the intersectional coalition sees itself as the dog.”

Codevilla, following Thucydides, was certain about the overall logic of our oligarchical revolution from above, even if he could not foresee which event would precipitate a clash between the oligarchs and their clients on the Left, on the one hand, and republicans and the Right on the other. While accurately noting the vulnerability of the oligarchs to their clients’ passions, he perhaps underestimated the potential cracks within the oligarchy itself.

It is now clear that the intersectionals have turned upon a subset of the oligarchy, and that the oligarchy is fragmenting in the face of an ancient passion—hatred of the Jewish people. This development presents an opportunity for the Right which it should not squander. While certainly not fatal to the oligarchy, rampant antisemitism on the Left—or even indifference to it—will partially delegitimize the intersectionals, disorient and unbalance the regime, and open up hitherto inaccessible resources and talented recruits for what is currently the weaker party: the republican, patriotic Right.

Since Hamas’s atrocities, the masks, such as they were, have dropped. Something new and monstrous has grown within America and now fully revealed itself. Never before, in all our foreign wars, domestic strife, and political conflicts, have Americans ever celebrated and applauded such depravity. Twentieth century American war propaganda as promulgated by the intellectual elite certainly never went to such lengths as suggesting that mutilating children, raping young girls, and kidnapping the elderly was something to applaud or take pleasure in. It is now clear that a not insignificant portion of elite American youth is thoroughly depraved, corrupted by teachers, and supported by politicians and bureaucrats of equal depravity.

And this is just the beginning. There is no logical end point to the intersectionals’ depravity and viciousness, and Jewish Americans are not their final or even primary target. Lincoln and the Republicans understood that once the principle of slavery was admitted as justifiable on any basis, then no person—of any color—could ever be safe. The same logic applies to the intersectionals and their theory of “decolonization.” If it is acceptable to rape, mutilate, kidnap, and murder women, children, and the helpless elderly because of the sins of their ancestors, then no one, anywhere in this country, will ever be safe again (including the intersectionals themselves).

By not only celebrating Hamas’s depravity in Israel but also treating American Jews as enemies, the intersectionals have clarified, despite their semantics and half-hearted dissimulations, their intentions toward their Jewish allies in both the Democratic Party and the broader Left. This was a strategic error, but unavoidable given the logic of intersectional vengeance. Any Jewish Democrat or leftist who denies the justice of the annihilation of the Jewish people in Israel will be treated by the intersectionals as an enemy and subject, depending upon the extent of intersectional power, to the same treatment. And, given how these matters invariably progress, the intersectionals won’t be satisfied with their Jewish allies’ mere silence, or apprehensive acceptance of the Left’s plans to solve the Jewish problem in Israel. To remain allies, Jewish Democrats and leftists will be coerced into positively affirming the destruction of the Jewish Israelis as a positive good. Anything less will be treated as evidence of bad faith and a lingering objection to the methods and goals of decolonization, and such Jews will be treated as enemies and traitors.

Indeed, while many liberal Jewish Americans, and particularly Jewish progressives, are shocked at the Left’s joining with the Islamists, they should not be so surprised. The totalitarian Left has a long history of this. Stalin, of course, purged his Jewish fellow party members and removed most Jews from public office—the purges were, in part but certainly not exclusively, a pogrom. After the war, the Polish and Czechoslovakian Communist parties purged high-ranking Jewish members, and also dismissed Jewish army officers and other officials, despite decades of “friendship” and ideological alliance. The reasons for these purges were complex, but no demonstration of loyalty, no prior service in peace or war, no renunciation of any identity or faith separate from the party was sufficient to save them from betrayal and expulsion.

Unaware of this history, or deluded about its implications, some Jewish intersectionals will cling ever more tightly, and commit themselves ever more fervently, to the feverish dreams of their party. Their (futile) hope is that by breaking all remaining ties, internally as well as externally, with their burdensome heritage, they will be fully accepted and safe amongst their intersectional comrades. Some Jewish Democrats, so long as they are able, will remain silent and hope that the storm clouds pass, or magically fade away. But others, in the Democratic Party and even among the intersectionals, will face the facts of life and draw the obvious conclusion: the party and the dominant intersectional factions are turning against Jewish Americans, this hostility by its very logic will intensify, and self-renunciation would be both ignoble and fail to provide any guarantee of safety. They will consider the new Democratic Party and its clients as an increasingly dangerous enemy, and act accordingly.

What of the Jewish members of the political ruling class? Aware of the hostility of their clients, some will hope for the best and continue to support the policies of the oligarchy as a whole, even as it brings them into greater danger. But others are already taking action against the intersectionals, and therefore, by definition, are beginning to oppose the logic of the ruling regime. As Curtis Yarvin, Michael Anton, and others have deduced, the oligarchical ruling class is an alliance between plutocrats and multinational corporations on the one hand, and the intellectual and bureaucratic elite in the universities, government, media, and foundations on the other. So far, the plutocrats and corporations have proven resistant to the siren call of “decolonization.” However, there is clearly a significant faction within the bureaucratic and intellectual elite which supports the decolonization of Israel (and logically, therefore, decolonization at home), and another faction which is indifferent, so long as their own interests are untouched. Just as Jewish intersectionals will come under increasing pressure, so will Jewish members of the ruling class- particularly, and increasingly, within the universities, media, and “cathedral” as a whole. And as the universities are the gateway to ruling class membership, those Jewish children of the economic and corporate elite will also come under pressure. Again, some will renounce their heritage, and others will try to adapt themselves to the new dispensation of power. But many Jewish members of the current oligarchy, and their children, will begin to see it as an enemy, and seek out new allies and new ways of thinking.

Following Gramsci, the Left has been marching through the institutions for the past 60 years. Many have been fully captured. Tactically, though, the Left’s actions are increasingly Maoist. Mao asserted that insurgents must utilize violence at every stage of the insurgency, but the violence must be carefully calibrated and appropriate to each stage. Violence and politics together open up opportunities for resource mobilization and the formation of a “counter-state,” which could eventually challenge and absorb the heretofore hostile or neutral state. Of the two, Mao believed that politics was more important than violence. Above all, the insurgency would succeed or fail depending upon the appeal of “the cause.” In fact, most insurgencies fail because their cause is not broad enough, and the insurgents begin to indulge in violence for its own sake.

What of the Right? It too has its factions. Some are the mirror image of their intersectional enemies. Not all are patriotic, and, for understandable reasons, many have lost faith in the republic. Codevilla himself—who clearly loved the republic—argued that it has been irretrievably lost, and that we must soberly consider what will come after its demise. Michael Anton has considered, without applauding, the rise of a Caesar to reimpose order on a corrupt oligarchy. The “Catholic integralists” hope for a state-imposed rebirth of virtue, such that the people might be lifted out of their corrupt lassitude. The future is opaque, but perhaps more complex, unstable, and dynamic than expected. The cracks within the oligarchy and amongst its clients portend further strife and a weaker regime, sooner than many had supposed. One point is clear: in order to exploit these weaknesses, the Right’s nationalist cause must appeal to and offer something to all Americans, rather than merely reflect the hatreds of the intersectional Left. What that cause might look like in reality is currently unclear. But once it is properly developed, it will find new opportunities for mobilizing recruits and resources against the prevailing regime.

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.

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