In what is currently a two-part series in MAN’S WORLD Magazine, writer Aeneas Tacticus Minor has put forward a bold case to the dissident scene, suggesting we set aside pseudonymous online interactions in favor of stepping forward under real names and in person — specifically by starting up small local theater troupes which can build up their competence to someday produce movies and television shows which may sway the broader culture.
The suggestions he makes are well intentioned and worthy of discussion, but warrant an extremely close examination, because they are dangerous. Some will flinch at my concern here, but I want to in no way to sugarcoat the fact that such a move will have very real consequences, undoubtably resulting in cases of total career ruination, loss of friends, divorce, prosecution and maybe even suicide.
We’ve already heard this suggestion before. Everyone wants a satisfying realization of our progress, to “occupy space” as some said in the runup to Charlottesville (and we all know how that dumb stunt went…). However, to pull your hand from the pseudonymous Gom Jabbar is both to underestimate the size and proximity of the sword hanging over your head and the untapped growth potential that still remains in our sphere as it is. There are things we can do, real things, but they just don’t involve leaving ourselves wide open to avoidable destruction.
You’re Not Nearly Blackpilled Enough
The sword I speak of has many names that we already know: CIA, FBI, and ADL being just a few. It also indirectly controls the vast majority of people you see every day through its near total control of mainstream cultural distribution channels. A flip of a switch and you can find yourself an utter social exile, called out for every humiliating security screening and watchlist checkup call imaginable. And there should be zero doubt that any public in-person meetings like as described in the articles will be infiltrated. This has been happening for a very long time. It was revealed that up to 40% of Klu Klux Klan members in the 1960s were receiving FBI stipends. The enemy will be inside, accumulating volumes of raw audio and video on dissident participants, conducting bald cases of entrapment as they have done for decades now, blackmailing the susceptible and publicly destroying the rest. The audience will be similarly targeted.
The reality is that we are dissidents in the truest sense (not the manufactured CIA sort), and as such are hated. And if we aspire to sweep the cultural mind like enlightenment thinkers once did, then we must first admit that we are not yet at the stage of John Locke — whose ideology had already gained a fashionable mystique amongst broader elite culture by the time he found popularity. Rather, we are the generation of unknown tutors, hobbyist thinkers, and other assorted precursors who can lay a foundation for such a new cultural star to rise.
I’m sure Locke’s tutor would have loved a sitcom about religious tolerance too, but it is essential we do not confuse the accoutrements of victory with its actual manifestation. Elaborate stage plays are sponsored by the patron class, and for decades still to come our message will remain contrary to the patron class’s interests.
The Pseudonym Solution
The author and audience’s discomfort at adopting the mask of “anonymity” (more correctly ‘pseudonymity’ in most cases) is repeatedly referenced in the articles, but in decisions of this magnitude one’s personal discomfort should not be the primary factor. Aeneas correctly points out that no one is making great art now, and that as a society we may not even have the tools to do it — all of which I agree with. But “the Anon Problem” is largely ameliorated by the use of pseudonyms which create a functional sense of continuity and accountability. There are pitfalls, and it makes people prone to being less considered in their words, but it does provide a fig-leaf of plausible deniability and difficulty in tracking anyone to their own dissident thought and the consequences of being a heretic.
Additionally, there are a not insignificant number of figures in the scene who do put their face out there, or are doxxed to some extent (e.g., Delicious Tacos, BAP, and Dave Green just to name a few), all doing wonderful work and yet they do not seem to be causing any greater disruption to the status quo than their contemporaries who remain under pseudonyms.
The challenge in creating more complex art such as theater plays – besides the fact that theater is, arguably, in a worse position than even the novel in terms of its living relevance – is that the extensive manpower requirements necessitate doxing of non-prestigious and less “essential” personnel. Having all of your future career prospects ruined and your home mobbed by an arm of the CIA’s grungy paramilitary may be a cost of business to be a “thought leader” or niche auteur, but it is very different bargain for the dozens of people receiving a paltry few thousand dollars for a couple months of hard work as “head of lighting” or “Anna Khachiyan’s muff fluffer” on a dissident project which they would not be able to put on their public resume.
This inability to share benefits deepens the vulnerability to infiltration and blackmail amongst the tradesman cohort of this hypothetical effort, who will inevitably bear the brunt of the punishment and have no speaking tours or podcast engagements to count on after whatever project they’re on concludes.
Unify, Radicalize, and then Conquer
While we have no master artists yet, there is a lot of good work already being done. The problem is that the audience for it is still extremely limited — as a matter of perspective, even BAP, one of our scene’s most influential thinkers and creators, only has around 120k twitter followers. Obviously internet clout is a limited metric, but it shows just how far the dissident scene is from the commanding heights we could reach.
For this and the reasons I’ve already outlined, we should remain in the ‘building and correspondence phase’ for some time yet. We need to be producing books, indie games, and yes small-scale films with those willing to be doxed. But more importantly we all need to be engaging with these, critiquing them harshly, and then scraping ourselves off the ground to try again — building a hothouse of creativity. And once we have created some things we truly and deeply love, a culture we can be fanatics for, then we can proselytize the adjacent tribes. And there are many tribes we ought to unite with rather than charging headlong into public view with our pants still around our ankles. The broader dissident scene remains fragmented into Christians, libertarians, disaffected gamers, crypto-bros, aspiring Nietzschean Übermenschen, Kaczinsky-types, seed-oil health food nuts, permaculture crunchies and a dozen other micro-factions — all of which we should be part of this common cultural interchange.
That is my proposal. Stay pseudonymous, but stray from the familiar hugbox. Integrating these many viewpoints into a cohesive whole as the hand holding the sword begins to weaken its grip. The time to withdraw our own hands from the Gom Jabbar will be self-evident, but until then there will be no breaking into the mainstream, elite or otherwise, because every gate is locked and guarded. We must grow in the heath and endure the harrying of the enemy.
Aeneas argues that geniuses have to get off social media, but his only examples of success so far are people exclusively grown on social media as success stories. The only two functional growth avenues anyone has proven viable are mainstream distribution (completely enemy controlled) and social media (partially controlled), so whatever level of genius you are, you will have to work in the click-mines for the foreseeable future in order for anyone to see any signs of your genius.
And so we should double down on this success. Broader society is not waiting with open minds to receive our prepackaged beliefs, rather we can only instruct by lovingly crafting a culture they will come to desire and respect in time. This is a war of belief, and unless we are fanatics for our own culture (and intimately know its workings as rank-and-file members), then what right do we have to even offer it to outsiders, much less beg for life and death scale sacrifices from support staff for its delivery?
I realize this is not the FUN answer people want to hear. Some small part of you, of all of us, wants to be told that victory is so close that we can taste it, and that throwing ourselves against the tide will somehow yield something — anything. But not all sacrifices are made equal. The reality is that even in a state of collapsing empire we are ruled by extremely powerful, capable, and evil people, and my dear chuds — they will do everything they can to prevent you from succeeding. The time is not ripe. Not yet.