09 Dec 2021

An Unprecedented Dégringolade

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Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1833-1836, New York Historical Society.

Michael Anton contemplates gloomily what form the hell towards which we are rapidly proceeding in a handbasket is going to take.

He is ultimately unable to arrive at a conclusion, other than noting that the folly and decline of no previous known people, state, or culture has ever featured anything like the same levels of irrationality, self-hatred, and elite treason as our own.

[T]here is the endless insistence that every new dawn must begin a fresh Year Zero; we must start continually anew. What was acceptable yesterday is anathema today and will be more so tomorrow. All that came before must be swept aside and destroyed with extreme prejudice, on a rolling basis.

The most ferocious revolutionaries of yesteryear didn’t do this. The Jacobins changed the calendar and guillotined a lot of nobles but otherwise allowed France to remain French. The Bolsheviks did not touch the Russian literary or concert canons; to the contrary, they celebrated both. Mao made an attempt to start over—until the more sensible Party bosses realized that the old man (and especially his wife) had lost their minds and were destroying China, sidelined him, and quietly put an end to the Cultural Revolution four years before formally declaring mission accomplished. The Ayatollah did not ban Nowruz or other cornerstones of Persian tradition beloved by the Iranian people, but which predated his puritanical version of Islam.

Our overlords, by contrast, insist on changing everything and will not stop until everything familiar is gone. When this is pointed out, they smirk about the “slippery-slope fallacy” and gleefully lie. That will never happen, they say, until they insist on it, and, once accomplished, move on to the next target. They are cultural locusts devouring everything in their path. If the internal “logic” (if one may use that word in this context) of their passionate hatred is allowed to play out, no statue can be left standing, no traditional holiday observed, no name unchanged. If that outcome does not come to pass, it will not be because those driving toward it have a change of heart, nor is it likely to be because the Right suddenly becomes effective in opposition. It will rather be because the locusts destroy too many of the country’s remaining functioning parts too soon, causing the system to collapse before their program is complete, thereby making further “progress” impossible.

Any one of the above elements would appear to be unprecedented; just a few of them in combination surely are. All of them together?

How, therefore, can anyone be confident that he “knows” what is going to happen—whether imminent collapse, drawn-out decline, or centuries of tyranny?

The end?

If forced to bet, I would have to place my chips somewhere between imminent collapse and drawn-out decline. I occasionally read theories of triple bank-shots and four-dimensional chess—they really know what they’re doing!—only to marvel. Our regime cannot, at present, unload a cargo ship, stock a store shelf, run a clean election, handle parental complaints at a school board meeting, pass a budget bill, treat a cold variant, keep order in the streets, defeat a third world country, or even evacuate said country cleanly. And that’s to say nothing of all the things it should be doing, that all non-joke countries do, that it refuses to do. If our ruling class has a plan, it would seem to be to destroy the society and institutions from which they, at present, are the largest—one is tempted to say only—beneficiaries. Do they think they can benefit more from the wreckage? Or are they driven by hatreds that blind them to self-interest? Perhaps they’re simply insane?

Whatever the case, couple all this unprecedentedness with all this incompetence, and going long on Wokemerica seems a sucker bet. But, to end where we began, the very unprecedentedness of our situation means that all bets are off.

Be sure to RTWT

3 Feedbacks on "An Unprecedented Dégringolade"

Margot Darby

Black-pill city. “He is ultimately unable to arrive at a conclusion”—because it’s easier to be snivelly, poltroonish, pretend there’s nothing to be done. Pretend, because if you’re up-front and honest and propose actually solutions, someone might come a-knocking at your door next midnight.

That’s the real issue here.

We saw the same evasions in “The Flight 93 Election,” with Anton perfectly aware that Donald Trump was NOT a scary risk, yet framing the argument as though Trump were, so Anton could give us the lame casuistry that Trump would still be preferable, however distasteful Anton pretended to find him. (“Oh no, I’m not a Trump supporter AT ALL! Please don’t hate me, progressives!”)

He’s really scared of that midnight knock.

The comparisons to earlier revolutions are an antihistorical embarrassment. The French were allowed to remain French? HOW? How, after you’ve torn up the very foundations of the nation, in Catholicism and Christian traditions in general. Similarly with the Bolsheviks. After you’ve destroyed the fons et origen of the country, somehow having some tinkly music concertos, and old paintings in the museum, they make it all hunky-dory?

No nationalism can be based on archaeology.

En fin, things are not as bad as Anton portrays them, as he chews his fingernails with worry in his ivory tower, scanning the far horizon in hopes that his imaginary brother will come to the rescue.

Down here on the ground there are millions willing to fight, with strategies more potent than flowery, pessimistic essays.


I am worried. The older tyrants that you described were well educated people with an evil plan. The current crop prattle words which have no meaning and most certainly will be “replaced” just like the savage Bolsheviks were. I am more worried about the “beast” that will inevitably replace the current regime.

In old Soviet/Russia they either fled back to New York or died whimpering, “If only Stalin knew”. Trotsky at least was awarded the honor of the People’s Ice Ax. There is no longer a place to flee and the next “Stalin” will load them into the front cattle cars.

I am not optimistic that those destined for the ax, or the front of the train, will be targeted before they come for me and mine. They don’t seem smart enough to see what their future will be.


Civil war or revolution can only end badly. Imagine if in the mid 1930’s someone or some group were to poison or strangle Hitler and a handful of his closest supporters. Imagine that too in Russia in 1917. There are a handful of powerful people today who if they were to simply pass away tomorrow our country would be grateful and a revolution would be avoided. But I suspect those convenient deaths won’t happen so our country will devolve into some form of violence and many more deaths of people who did not cause the problem.


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