Re-capture institutions, or secede?

29 Feb

Free Northerner believes that re-capture of institutions of power currently held by progs is possible, and that we reactionary traditionalists should strive to do so.

Rod Dreher thinks we should pursue what he calls ‘the Benedict Option‘, which seems to be a form of monastic- or Anabaptist-style retreat from society, separating ourselves physically, to some extent.

I am pessimistic about our ability to be able to accomplish the former, and find myself more sympathetic to the latter, though I’d prefer to fight for a place in the public square rather than to retreat, yet I can the value in just exiting. (Though I laugh at absurd notions like some libertarians’ “Free State Project”, as if we could get masses of people to relocate to a place, enough to affect the political scene there. Yes, that has happened in some places, but the changes didn’t happen overnight, or with intentionality on the part of everyone.)

What makes the most sense for reactionaries to do, or try to do? One, or the other, or both?


Posted by on February 29, 2016 in open thread, The Kulturkampf


17 responses to “Re-capture institutions, or secede?

  1. Axismundi

    February 29, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Leaving is the best option if it can be done. The fight is over. People who identify as left hate the right. The leftists preaching tolerance want the right gone and dead.

    So leave. Leaving would be the best to create a collapse in the system. Leaving would disconnect from the energy-draining tangle of pulling the rest of society along. Why bother?

    Going independent is the way to build a traditional society.

    To continue to fight within society does not seem a good use of energy. The left will come at whatever traditionalists do again.

    The ideal is a new nation.

  2. sigsawyer

    February 29, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Secession didn’t work for Waco. The USG is going to be incredibly hostile to any right-wing independence. It’s absolutely slavering for enemies to the right to attack.

    It’s similarly futile to try and take over institutions of power through democratic means, which are inherently leftist. A reactionary is simply not going to be able to find work in institutions of power- the media, the university, the government. You might as well tattoo 1488 on your forehead and try to get a job at the Holocaust Museum.

    The USG is simply too powerful at present to take over. My ideal method is to organize a cabal of reactionaries, a shadow government ready to go, and install it via putsch when the social fabric truly begins to collapse, even limited to a single US state. It could even exist as a legal political party simply to establish a veneer of legitimacy and a transparent alternative to the current structure. Its positions of, for example, abolishing the constitution and imposing martial law, don’t sound so crazy when the EBT cards run out and savages are rioting in the streets. When it storms the state capital and puts in a call to the police: “You can use the real guns now”, the police are going to listen.

    • electricangel

      February 29, 2016 at 9:18 am

      I work, sometimes, in one of the three areas that you mention will be very difficult to find work in as a reactionary. I regularly make this announcement: “I’m a reactionary, and a Catholic religious fanatic. If anyone has a problem with that I’m letting you know that right now.”

      People basically just let it roll over their heads and get on with the next thing that we’re going to do. Then, I apply everything I said I was going to do to them. What they find, when exposed to the truth, is that they enjoy it greatly. They very much like living in my “Benedict option” world, within the belly of the beast.

      I do think, however, that you are absolutely correct: the US government is too powerful to take over. At least, directly. No armed struggle is going to win, and anybody who decides he wants to take up arms against the federal government is either insane, or an agent provocateur. Stay away from him. But Armstrong goal is necessary to collapse the existing government. All you need to do is gradually withdraw consent. Stop feeding evil, and it starves. A properly constructed Benedict option will slowly starve the beast without bringing notice of what’s going on to the beast’s attention.

  3. electricangel

    February 29, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I think the term for Hubert Humphrey was “the Happy Warrior.” If you going to engage in the struggle for institutions, and to recapture them, you have to recognize that the battle is almost certainly not going to be won. You have to go into battle loving the joy of battle itself. I, personally, I find myself in this position. As Bobby Fischer said about why he likes playing chess, “I love to watch them squirm.” There is no more enjoyable feeling on earth than fighting for good. One understands what it must’ve been like to be in the vanguard destroying Nazi Germany. Or, in this case, progressive Soviet Russia.

    But you can’t fight forever. Intellectual war is not suited to young men, nor old men. For those times you need safe places for your training camp, and your rest area. Also, you need to save space in which you can inculcate the next group of traditionalists, men and women. So the Benedict option, or what I call the Amish option, makes a lot of sense. In fact, it makes more sense. If it is not possible to retake institutions, and those institutions that are critical to the running of a secure and healthy society in accordance with God’s law, then we need to have new foundations available to build the next civilization upon.

    In a very real sense, the people fighting the battle in the institutions create breathing room for the people building the Benedict option to go forward. If the progressives, like the Nazis in 1941, have conquered so much territory, they are vulnerable to insurgency and harassment behind the lines that they thought were safe. This will prevent them from expanding even further outward.

  4. Giovanni Dannato

    February 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I think both strategies you propose are interlinked because institutions are an outgrowth of a people. Where a people changes, institutions inevitably change.

    First a group culturally secedes and if they reach critical mass in numbers and influence, they acheive their goals as a matter of course. Until then, they practice their ways within the protection of their own tight-knit group.
    By the same token, trying to force change on institutions before they are ready can backfire.

    Here’s a post I did on cultural secession:
    Then as the seceders become

    • electricangel

      February 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Are you the guy who wrote the article about how women’s provocative dress is an insult and a taunt to the low-status men to whom they are not advertising, Giovanni? I’m honored to be on the same comment thread with you.

  5. Different T

    February 29, 2016 at 10:10 am

    The USG is going to be incredibly hostile to any right-wing independence. It’s absolutely slavering for enemies to the right to attack.

    You can wiki or google “American Colonization Society” for a somewhat applicable model of historical “exit.” Especially look at the reasoning of the slavers who supported it. Some are applicable (“infecting” the other slaves) while others clearly are not (some slavers finding the morality of slavery as less than desirable). And the ACS still massively interfered in Liberia which is obviously undesirable.

  6. Giovanni Dannato

    February 29, 2016 at 10:36 am

    @Electricangel. Wow, you remember that? I wrote that about 6 years ago for In Mala Fide, when Forney was still Bardamu.
    The discourse has developed a lot since those days, even the most moderate MRAs were still considered pervs back then. It was easy to kick the hornets’ nest and smile at the resulting chaos.
    I don’t do gender trolling often since that’s an oversaturated category but I also did a few pieces for Return of Kings.

  7. electricangel

    February 29, 2016 at 11:52 am


    I didn’t recognize it as gender trolling. It was a brilliant, simple, straightforward idea, and I think fundamentally true. The wolf whistle is a defense mechanism against assault/teasing. I went to look for it and found it in a few places, and read some of the reactions you got to it. From the squealing of stuck pigs I knew: you drew blood. Well done, sir; I doubt you’re as aged as this Patriactionary, but I wish I had had that sort of insight and wisdom as a younger man.

  8. Giovanni Dannato

    February 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    @Electricangel. Everything I wrote, I sincerely believed. But it was trollish in the sense that I wrote it very deliberately in a way that would piss off feminists. I calculated correctly that comparing low cleavage on display at the office to bringing cookies to grade school and not sharing with everyone would send them into fits.
    I was in my mid 20s at the time and have learned a lot of hard life lessons since then! Thanks for your input, I’m glad to learn I reached people in a positive way as well.

  9. electricangel

    February 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm


    We selected your quote under the category of “Payback” in the ever-growing Devil’s Dictionary of Patriactionary Quotes, here. It’s a nice overview of pithy maxims.

  10. john smith

    March 3, 2016 at 8:16 am

    The cops will gladly kill you if you openly challenge their overlords. I have been in the crosshairs of the police and it is scary business. Going ghost is the only option.

  11. dave1941

    March 4, 2016 at 12:10 am

    The biggest army in the world plus nuclear weapons plus total gun control plus an unrestrained secret police plus ownership of one-sixth of Earth’s dry land and everything on it couldn’t save the Soviet Union from economic collapse and political dissolution. So don’t fight the beast or try to change it. Just stop feeding it, lie low, and let it die.

  12. Phileas Frogg

    March 4, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Best option: Be prepared for either and neither. We have to be ready to move at the drop of a hat, and who can say under what conditions we will be conducting ourselves? We don’t have influence over positions where decision’s that could make any sort of impact are made, but we know the enemy and can roughly guess. Every man needs to assess his own circumstances, and do as his conscience dictates.

    Personally: I advocate a strategic retreat. I have a family and my circumstances make such an option more viable than the alternative. The whole house is coming down and there’s nothing but it’s own weight that could possibly accomplish such a task at this point. Let the beast consume itself, we’ll remove ourselves from ground zero and do what we do best: rebuild.

    • electricangel

      March 4, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Personally: I advocate a strategic retreat. I have a family and my circumstances make such an option more viable than the alternative. The whole house is coming down and there’s nothing but it’s own weight that could possibly accomplish such a task at this point. Let the beast consume itself, we’ll remove ourselves from ground zero and do what we do best: rebuild.

      Yep, collapsing enough to remove the overburden of centralized government, but not so much that you go Dark Age. The book that’s relevant here is Mohammed and Charlemagne, Revisited. Turns out that Western Yurrup was doing fine after the “collapse” of the Roman Empire, and improving on several accounts, including population growth, trade with the East, and craftsmanship (the Book of Kells, e.g.) What killed the economy of the West was Mohammedans cutting off trade with the East. One interesting anecdote: the records of the Merovingian kings were kept on papyrus, but after the Arab conquest of Egypt, no more papyrus was available. This caused a collapse in easy, cheap bookkeeping for businesses, and might have contributed to the end of intra-regional trade.

      I would hope you have a group of like-minded families, Phileas, like Orthodox Jews or Amish.


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