“Prayuth, who is usually prickly with critics, smiled and said: “Anyone else want to protest? Come quickly. Then I can continue with my speech.”” – General Prayuth Prime Minister of Thailand
Fitting that a modern revolutionary faction would draw inspiration from a recent book written for young adults (which is itself a euphemism for children). Ignorance of history is the mark of a progressive and though we might regret the founding
fathers’ path they at least were not wholly ignorant. Really now, it is 2014 and there are no excuses to not know the consequences of revolutions. If you really need to catch up on a bit of history go read Radish Mag: here, here and here.
The protesters above are utilizing a gesture associated with the book/film series the Hunger Games. In case you are wondering yes they are explicitly imitating the film, this is not some self centered myopic Western interpretation of some oriental movement. They protested in front of a Theater which cancelled its showing of the third Hunger Games film.
“Dear #HungerGames. We’ve taken your sign as our own. Our struggle is non-fiction,” wrote one Twitter user.
In Thailand some protesters say the salute is also a nod to the French revolutionary motto “liberty, equality and fraternity”.
Thailand has been ruled by a military Junta since May, 2014. The Junta hasn’t deposed the King but rules in place of the formerly elected government ( “constitutional” monarchy). The protesters seek a restoration of democracy. However unlike most Western Nations, the Junta isn’t taking it. They themselves seized power after months of protests and they have deployed police to suppress any protests especially using the three fingered salute and have banned the gesture itself. I’m not an expert on Thailand so I can’t speak to the purity of motivations of the Junta. However I can say in a period of instability they have seemed to take power and are attempting to maintain order, and that is not something to scoff at.
Gen Prayut said he was not worried about the escalating student movement against him; rather he is more concerned about students breaking the law and ruining their futures.
This is a refreshingly sane response. College students are not known for violently toppling regimes. Protests and by that I mean revolutions and by that I mean angry mobs are usually successful in the face of hunger and dire poverty. It is interesting that the students apparently draw inspiration from the French Revolution. No sane person would want a repeat of those events. Only someone ignorant of history, or a true believer progressive would choose the French revolution for inspiration. Given the movement was inspired by popular culture and not “Calls for Social Justice.” we might somewhat carefully assume that it is ignorance and not faith which led to this choice. None the less revolution is a powerful concept in modern culture and even a vapid and childish film can inspire students.
Revolution is a scary word for the Reactionary. The true emperor fears no revolution, but neither does he let one boil over. As is fitting in one upstart former British Colony, revolution is a common theme in American culture. To be victorious one must not only win, but must cast oneself as the oppressed who rose up. Fail to attain victim status and you will be seen as a vicious conqueror. Sometimes even winning isn’t necessary. It is in these times that the revolutionary sparks the imagination and envy of the populace. Anyone can be a revolutionary it is the ultimate power fantasy in the democratic age. Beyond voting yourself into power the prole imagines conquering….er….freeing themselves of tyranny. Democracy is not only an endless civil war but a endless revolution. It is a narrative which touches on the soul of America. Entire movements see getting beat down by the fascist police state as a victory condition. One more picture for the New York Times eulogy of a sovereign. This the age of tyrants and demagogues, revolutionaries and terrorists. Framing is the key, and Orwell is vindicated daily in the print.To Quote Moldbug:
“I’d say a fair definition of an Orwellian government is one whose principle of public legitimacy (Mosca’s political formula, if you care) is contradicted by an accurate perception of reality. In other words, the government is existentially dependent on systematic public deception. If it fails in its mission to keep the lie alive, it at least stands some chance of falling.”
Now I would never encourage Orwellian government, that is not a proper reaction, however there are shorter timescales which when properly understood create a problem. In a reactionary state the leftist has everything to gain from anarchy. This means that revolution will increase his power greatly. It might not make him king, it might not make his life better, but it will make him more powerful. Power, even the little tidbits thrown to the shrieking sirens
of the left, is nothing to scoff at. That in the long run society and even the leftist’s life may deteriorate matters not.
What the true emperor must demonstrate is not: that the peasants have nothing to gain from revolting, because they do. He also does not have to demonstrate that in the long run they’d be better off with him in charge. Again peasants
are not known for high IQ’s or low time preference. What the true emperor must demonstrate is that any violent or non-violent conflict will end in total loss for the peasants.
“violence equals conflict plus uncertainty”
This means no concessions, none, not one ever, not even that one, or that one. An emperor can change his mind on many things he can be wrong, he can make mistakes, but never must it be even remotely interpreted that anything was done in concession to the peasants (or any other leftist). As soon as there is the slightest hope of victory, the leftists will pour on like a pack of dogs trying to pry open the door to power, throwing every last bit of entropy they can find into the system.
Neoreactionaries have talked about revolution, and they’ve made good arguments against it. However arguments are not for the prole. Culture is for the prole, and boy is the culture we have stacked in favor of revolution. The modern reactionary must therefore understand how to convince the prole that revolution is bad. Now he must not rely on the crutch of the people’s opinion. He must have the might to back up the regime, however he must also have a culture that promotes stability ( not starting a revolution ) because peace is a good thing. Peace promotes harmony, harmony promotes wealth and stability. Part of stability, is not only squashing leftist entropy and putting red heads on pikes (which the Crown Prince of Thailand has done,though not literally putting heads on pikes unfortunately), but also making sure that order, the right and the emperor all look awesome.
After all, to the American eye the revolutionary looks awesome. To a true reactionary society, the revolutionary should look evil and the emperor and his supporters good and epic. The reactionary might cringe at this low class culture, however the lower class must have order creating culture, otherwise they might create their own. High culture, demonstrating high values, and loquacious monologues are wonderful and have their place as well. We cannot rely on every prole to have high cultural aspirations, they are going to need their action movies and they better feature Clint Eastwood’s clone playing the bad-ass inquisition officer or a soldier in the nth crusade.
Culture has been an avenue for the left for quite some time. Maybe creativity is inherently linked to entropy. Regardless of who creates the culture, it must average a message approximating the controlled frame. Orwellian societies use propaganda to maintain a inaccurate view of reality for the public. The government, of course, creates this unreality because its very legitimacy is predicated on unreality. The reactionary state must not rely on unreality. All governments are answerable to Gnon. The greater the unreality of your legitimacy the greater temptation there capitalize on it. However there is such a thing as dangerous knowledge. For an Orwellian state this knowledge is often simply observable facts. For a reactionary state dangerous knowledge is true, but abstract concepts that are dangerous if misinterpreted or poorly understood. In an Orwellian State Hitler is the embodiment of evil because he was a nationalist particularly and ethno-nationalist. To the Orwellian it does matter if this is true, or even if it was the most defining feature, just that it is the frame presented. The average peasant may not even remember a third of that sentence about Hitler. All for the best, what is important is that they learn Hitler was evil and everyone that looks like Hitler needs to be burned at the stake. The Orwellian then capitalizes on that hatred and begins to create words to associate people with Hitler, racist, fascist etc. This is an example of taxonomic failure. In their modern usage racist and fascist are too vague to mean anything really. They lack a consistent definition. While this might seem like a tool of an Orwellian state, taxonomic failure is simply a teaching tool. We teach kids many things that aren’t true, but simply approximate the truth. We should also teach proles many things that aren’t true, but are good enough for the everyday person. For the reactionary state, leftist, communist, revolutionary and anarchist should be thrown with impunity at the enemies of the state. Such dark marks should bar one from power. Still someone must discuss the intricacies of the left. Let that be left to pontificating philosophers and abstract film makers.
The Cathedral is natural, what makes it bad is that it is Orwellian and Evil. It’s organs are amoral but functional. While a reactionary state will look very different it can’t help but look something like the Cathedral, just as it might look a bit Fascist or a bit like a Monarchy. While the Reaction is not leftist, neither is every part of the Cathedral’s institutions. On some level pieces of the Cathedral serve a functional purpose useful beyond leftism. A reactionary state will have to deal with similar trends, technology, demographics and ideology as the Cathedral. Controlling the frame, the media and the culture should be a goal for any state worthy of survival.
All governments are empires. There is no truly representative government. Even a government of a single ethny, or thede is still the Aristocracy ruling over the average. There maybe degrees of difference between the rulers and the ruled, but make no mistake they are never one and the same. The degrees of difference may matter and effect the efficacy of the ruler, but when all is said and done might, order, power all these things come before sameness. The power to keep the proles in check, is the power derived by treating things and people as they are. The proles are not the aristocracy and the aristocracy are not the proles. The version of the reality presented should be suitably complex (grey) or simple (black and white) for whom it is being shown.
On a side note the king of Thailand: Bhumibol Adulyadej (the king of Thailand), has an estimated worth of about $30 Billion. This is quite striking for a country who’s GDP is only $387.25 Billion. This is quite impressive as he owns just under 8% of the GDP. While he’s not the richest man in the world he cracks the top 20 of wealthy private individuals. This coming from a country which is 28th in GDP. To put it in perspective he’s slightly richer than either of the Google founders. The property is manage by the Crown Property Bureau “This property does not belong to the King in his private capacity, but to the Monarchy as an institution which continues from reign to reign.” from La Wik Despite the fact that the property is managed by others, I don’t think many people can manage $30 billion dollars alone. Worries that Monarchs might be poor compared to rich merchants might be overblown at least in the modern era. It is possible if not likely that a properly managed Monarchy could be quite wealthy.