The Lion and The Fox



Neoreactionary and related analysis of politics and meta-politics

Tomorrow, on January 6th, 2021, the world, and The United States in particular, will receive a harsh lesson on the proper use of the mob. I am referring, of course, to the “Save America Rally” in Washington D.C., and what President Trump plans to do there.

Machiavelli writes:

“You must understand that there are two ways of contending, by Law, and by force: The first is proper to men; the second to beasts; but because many times the first is insufficient, recourse must be had to the second. It belongs, therefore, to a Prince to understand both, when to make use of the rational, and when of the brutal way … it is of such importance to a Prince to take upon him the nature and disposition of a beast, of all the whole flock, he ought to imitate the Lion and the Fox; for the Lion is in danger of toils and snares, and the Fox of the Wolf: so that he must be a Fox to find out the snares, and a Lion to fright away the Wolves, but they who keep wholly to the Lion, have no true notion of themselves”

In short, political leaders must shrewdly act as both Lion and Fox, never being all one or the other, but using either when it is the appproriate form.

Pareto tells us the same, in his Residues of Class I and Class II. He writes:

“To ask whether or not force ought to be used in a society, whether the use of force is or is not beneficial, is to ask a question that has no meaning; for force is used by those who wish to preserve certain uniformities [e.g., the existing class structure of society, the status quo] and by those who wish to overstep them … The dispute is really as to the relative merits of shrewdness and force, and to decide it in the sense that never never, not even in the exceptional case, is it useful to meet wits with violence, it would be necessary first to show that the use of cunning is always, without exception, more advisable than the use of force.”

In summary, when one class of elite is attempting to overturn another, the question is not whether or not force should be used at all, but when it should be used. Particuarly, when the ruling elite is composed primarily with Class I residues, those of cunning, The Foxes – they will necessarily have the advantage in this domain, and the new elite that seeks to defeat them would be ill-advised to consign themselves purely to cunning, when it is certainly not that case that cunning would, without exception, be more advisable than force in all cases.

If President Trump represents a new class of elite that has a healthy partition of Class II residues, those of group-persistences, The Lions – then he and they will be willing to use force against the ruling elite at some point. The question is whether or not that point is sufficient for victory, and if President Trump is simply too much a Fox and not enough a Lion to act correctly in the domain of force.

The President has had, and will no doubt have again tomorrow, an ample supply of force at his disposal – both within the Red Government, but also in the mob, which is the aspect we will examine here. What ought a shrewd dissasitsfied elite do in such a circumstance?

There are four possible scenarios that can happen:

1) President Trump uses force insufficiently, and is not inaugurated for a second term.

2) President Trump uses force insufficiently, and is inaugurated for a second term.

3) President Trump uses force sufficiently, and is not inaugurated for a second term.

4) President Trump uses force sufficiently, and is inaugurated for a second term.

Scenarios 2 and 3 I deem extremely unlikely, as I do not belive that the ruling elite can be displaced by a new elite unless that new elite is willing to use force against the ruling elite, and I also believe that such use of force would wash them away utterly, and therefore the proper use of force is congruent with victory. The reasoning for this has been elaborated a bit in the preceding sentences, and my upcoming video on Burnham, Pareto, and The Circulation of the Elite will explain it further.

For now, we will focus on the more saliant scenarios of 1 and 4. Scenario 4, should it occur sometime in the coming weeks, will be self-explanatory. Reality will teach us the lesson. Scenario 1 is the most interesting one for us, because it requires theory to teach us the correct lesson.

The lesson is this: when you have the mob at your disposal, you use it for the one purpose it serves, and that is as an element of force that is personally loyal to You, the dissatisfied elite that seeks to depose the ruling elite. No law, no fox, and no combination can stand in its way.

Force and the precipice of the use of force are virtually one and the same in effect. When a Class II elite seeks to displace a Class I, it is possible that the Foxes will, merely at the credible threat of the Lions, cede territory and permit a social revolution to occur, regenerating the elite with a rapid influx of new members more like Machiavelli’s ideal Prince. This is welcome and remains possible for The United States – President Trump could lead us down this route, in the brief window of time he has remaining. Should he fail, the possibility space for this outcome narrows severely.

There may yet be chances beyond tomorrow in which President Trump can levy force against his enemies; nothing is “over” tomorrow – but, I doubt that he will have the mob at his disposal again, on such a scale and focus; and the mob is an extremely powerful weapon. The following example may be excessive or may not – only The President has suffient knowledge on this matter – but if it is appropriate to use the mob, the proper use of the mob could look something like this:

The President would give a rousing and direct speech to his supporters at the White House on his intentions to stay in office, and what his supporters ought to do in the next few hours to ensure that goal is achieved. He would then march the mob to the capitol, while the congressmen are inside the building counting electoral votes. The building would be utterly surrounded on the surface (there are underground transit systems in and out of the capitol). The mob would also be allowed inside the building, and to completely fill the observation deck and waiting space outside while the votes are being counted. I believe I have made clear what the purpose of this would be.

Only a very cunning Lion would be able to manage the mob correctly and safely. We pray that he does not fail at this, not merely because we wish to see the ruling elite replaced, but because any intelligent successor will indeed learn the lesson on the proper use of the mob, and force generally. He will not hold back, and the chances that he will show an excess of humanitarianism in his actions are slim. The significance of Trump is not merely in his opposition to The Cathedral, but that he may be on the tail end of possible circulations of the elite that appear peaceful to most people.

Finally, on the subject class, adept in the use of force, but bereft of cunning leaders (A’s are the elite in this example), Pareto writes:

“But if they chance to find leaders who have the skill – and history shows that such leadership is usually supplied by dissatisfied A’s – they have all they need for driving the A’s from power. Of just that development history affords countless examples from remotest times all the way down to the present.”

Put another way, the elite can run on for a long time, but sooner or later, history will cut them down.