What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
– Sun Tzu
Passivism gets a lot of flak, such as in this Twitter conversation which inspired this current post and this Esoteric Trad’s post I found after I wrote most of this, from people who want to do something. A lot of this criticism seems to be because people don’t understand what passivism is and the previous explanations of it have been rather abstract and arcane, so, I’m going to explain in my continued attempt to cut to the core of neoreaction and what if offers.
First, passivism is most definitely not doing nothing. Second, if is definitely not pacifism. Passivism is simply the opposite of activism, which is left-wing political action by the people.
As Mao once said, power comes from the barrel of a gun. Power is violence. The ability to force your will on others, even if it might be concealed behind a few layers of a civilized facade. In society, many men have more violent force than any single man, now matter how strong he might be, so man’s capacity for violence comes from his authority, which is, essentially, how many armed men can a man get to follow him?
Authority comes from either illusion or legitimacy. Legitimate authority comes from men obeying you because they accept you are their rightful leader. Illusion comes from people obeying because they believe others perceive you as legitimate and are afraid of the violence they will enact should they disobey. It is necessarily tyrannical. Legitimacy lasts until it is squandered or the authority dies. Illusion and the tyranny that results lasts until someone openly disobeys without consequence and is dispelled.
Right now, the left holds power and it holds legitimacy. People believe the left should rule because they believe in equality and the rule of the people, two left-wing ideals. Cthulu continues to swim left as people hold these ideals ever stronger.
Politics is downstream of culture which is itself downstream of politics. This is confusing, so we’ll call the former politics and the latter metapolitics.
Politics is the workings of the political machine. It is voters voting, protesters protesting, activists acting, courtiers courting, judges judging, educators educating, assassins assassinating, revolters revolting, and so on. It is the sausage being made.
Culture is society: it is your language, beliefs, rituals, religion, customs, moral, etc. The culture determines what political actions are legitimate.
Metapolitics is the system itself. It is the core political beliefs and institutions that the culture works itself within. It is where real power resides. There is overlap between culture and metapolitics.
Activism is democratic politics. It is action by the people for the people to influence the people’s laws. Activism is necessarily leftist because it assumes the people should be involved in politics and in the power of the people to change politics, which are both inherently leftist concepts. In an ordered, right-wing society, the people do not engage in politics (at least, until society becomes disordered and the people throw a revolution), so there is no activism. Activism should be avoided for this reason alone.
Activism, being politics, only has authority to change things if it is viewed as legitimate by the overarching culture and metapolitics. Any action not viewed as legitimate is a crime, or, if not, is viewed as something beyond the pale that most people want to distance themselves from.
In our culture, racism is illegitimate. So a group of racist, well-behaved Tea Party protesters marching for lower taxes are extremists, while a group of blacks burning down their shopping district in support of other blacks’ right to assault police officers and asian shopkeepers with impunity are a human rights movement.
In our current culture and metapolitics, any folk activism is inherently illegitimate. Hence, why Trump is at fault for inciting riots when leftists mob his speeches and is at fault whenever one of his supporters hits someone, yet no Democrats are responsible for when left-wing activists cause riots and attack people. Trump is engaging in folk activism. Hence, why Moldbug gets banned from tech conferences by supporters of communist butchery. Hence why Piss Christ and The the Holy Virgin Mary are art and drawings of Muhammed are provocation. In the situation where anti-abortion activists go to jail for making videos and people selling baby parts do not, right-wing activism is useless. It accomplishes nothing.
Activism accomplishes nothing. Using inherently left-wing tactics to stop the left is self-defeating. Folk activism is inherently illegitimate in the West (the East is a different story) no matter what form it takes because the culture and metapolitics dictates that it is. Even if folk activism started working and started convincing people, power, ie: the cops and military, is in the hands of the left and the activists will just be arrested.
So instead of trying to engage in politics we need to go upstream. The problem is culture is a left-wing sewer becoming ever more left. Evangelicals have tried to change this and have failed miserably. Real culture has been totaled (we’re a multicultural melting pot now) and is illegitimate (old books are racist and sexist). Pop culture and left-culture are all that is left. There is no way to right culture, it is in an ever-downward spiral. Culture will remain a sewer until restoration.
Activism is pointless and self-defeating and changing culture is impossible. What can be done though, is a restoration, a complete reset of the metapolitics. Through reset, culture will be forcibly changed and legitimate politics will be inherently changed.
Restoration will not be easy. It will require a great man to make the reset and the supports necessary for the great man. (If you think activism is good, but doubt the great man, you are failing at being right-wing).
Passivism is building the supports for the great man to commit the restoration.
Instead of openly and futilely resisting the left on its home turf, democratic politics, you can fight on our turf, the family and the community. The left rules democracy as democracy is inherently left-wing, but the family, the church, the local community, are all inherently right-wing organizations.
What you need to do is build virtue in yourself, in your home, in your mannerbund, and in your community. Any activism you partake will be useless, but you can build around yourself. You can subtly alter the core polticical beliefs and institutions around you. How this will take shape depends on your particular circumstances.
You can not change the education system to stop being leftist, but you can homeschool your kids. You can’t stop the Supreme Court from driving bakeries out of business, but you can become an elder at your church and keep gay “marriage” out. You can’t change divorce laws, but you can build a working home with a good woman. You can’t stop the feminist invasion and destruction of male public spaces, but you can create your own male private spaces.
Instead of focusing on activism, which has become popular because the powers behind the left found it a useful myth to deploy, work quietly at what you can change. You can not change the world (unless you happen to be the great man) but you can set up a support system, so that when the great man appears, he has something backing him.
This is becoming worthy, this is the passivist strategy: work in the shadows to build bonds and structures. Build virtue in yourself. Build a strong family with many children and teach them your values and how to succeed. Build a religious community that holds to traditional values. Build a mannerbund of men devoted to each other and their values. Join community, religious, or fraternal organizations, then slowly capture them. Build a functional community around you that people want to join. Build bonds of virtue, loyalty, and ideology. As you build, you will naturally accrue legitimacy, authority, and power.
Keep building those structures and those bonds and wait. Build until victory is inevitable, then, when the time is right, when the great man appears, strike. At this time, the right time, there will be action, no activism, simply action. Victory will happen because you have built power behind the scenes. Your enemy will have lost his legitimacy and will be ruling through illusion. The great man will have legitimacy, authority, and power based on the bonds you and hundreds, thousands, of others like you built. He will act and shatter illusion and the restoration will commence. This is accepting power. All that’s left is to rule.
The problems with activism were amply demonstrated by General Piquemal. The former commander of the French Foreign Legion engaged in activism, he attended an anti-immigration march. This was the result (watch the video if you want):
A former general was forced to eat pavement for protesting against the Cathedral. He accomplished absolutely nothing with his activism, was hospitalized and will soon stand trial for his activism.
This man once led a renowned 7,700-man armed rapid deployment force. Until recently he was the head of the National Paratroopers’ Union. I don’t doubt he is highly respected with many connections. How much more could General Piquemal accomplish if instead of getting arrested, he quietly built up a virtuous, pro-French, anti-immigration brotherhood among all the highly organized armed men he has led and worked with. Then bided his time until the right moment real change could be accomplished. The man who could have led the future vanguard of restoration (or even been the great man himself) is now a known subversive complaining about the conditions of his cell.
This is what activism not in service to power leads to, a waste of good men, valuable resources, strategic positioning (a known subversive does not have the potential for surprise on his side), connections (as a known subversive, how many potential allies will be wary of becoming potential subversives themselves), morale, and face/respect (a general eating pavement at the hands of the cops just makes the general look weak), with no real gain.
To see the benefits of passivism, we need only to look at Golden Dawn. Look at the brief wiki synopsis of the history of Golden Dawn compared with its electoral results. The decades they engaged in political activism they had essentially no support. But when they switched to a passivist strategies of building structures and offering crime protection and social services, they became a major force. (I should note, economic woes also helped with this).
Read this study of Golden Dawn’s appeal to youth. There is nothing about marches, protests, get-out-the-vote, etc. or any other sort of activism. Instead, what they focused on was building structures. They held history courses for children, they held meetings to build bonds between young men and the party, they had camps to build young men up, they donated food to the community, etc.
Golden Dawn is the most successful extreme right-wing party in the Europe because they followed a passivist strategy. They did not engage in activism, they built structures. I think they may have struck too soon but time will tell.
Activism accomplishes nothing, wastes time and resources, and may land you up in jail, removing your ability to be useful. Instead of wasting resources attempting to fight first, then seeking victory, we need to set-up the conditions of victory, then strike.
Passivism is winning the battle before it is fought, it is creating the conditions of victory before the enemy is even aware a battle will be joined. It is building the local support structures, so that when the time is right and the great man appears, he will have the support necessary to coast to victory in such a way that historians will view his rise as inevitable.
It is tempting to want to engage in activism because the left-wing educational-media complex has spent decades indoctrinating you into thinking that writing letters, voting, marching, etc. is how things get down. For the leftists it seemingly worked, but that is only because their passivist strategies of the long march and institutional capture had already created the conditions of victory before the first hippy or civil rights marcher hit the streets yelling ‘make love not war’.
Activism works when it is service to power because the power is already there to implement the changes. It does not work when it is not serving power.. Activism worked for the left because they already controlled power and all it did was give power a veneer of democratic legitimacy. In eastern Europe activism works because there are still right-wing power centres, we do not have those in the West.
I understand the appeal of activism. It feels good. You get a dopamine hit from the (false) sense of accomplishment. You get some status among your pals for doing something. It’s fun to go out protest with the guys, stick it to the man, and maybe even beat up a few antifa. You think your accomplishing something. It feels good to be working for cause greater than yourself and losing yourself in an active organization.
But it’s like voting, it’s political masturbation. You have the illusion of power and the illusion of accomplishment without actually actually doing anything of import or bearing any real fruit. Political masturbation is not necessarily harmful, so you can do some harmless theatre for the lulz as long as you don’t convince yourself you’re exercising people power, because that is a leftist, democratic way to think.
Passivism on the other hand is real work, hard work, with no immediate sense of accomplishment. It’s a slow grinding process of building bit by bit with no visible end in site. But this work is how civilization will endure during the dark times ahead and how it will be reborn at the restoration.
So accomplish something real, be passivist.