Amnestic Democracy

The Prudentialist

The Prudentialist

Observing the world from a dissident and realist perspective. Musings on culture, politics, and international relations.

As long as I can remember in the nearly 27 years of my short life, is that there has always been a push to get people excited and ready to look ahead for the next election. I distinctly remember in 2012, the call for an “autopsy” as to why the Republican Party had lost, that way it can seize the White in 2016, as well as how to capture the Congress in 2014. In 2014, the first set of elections I ever voted in, many looked to the results of the senate capture by the GOP, and tried to read the electoral tea leaves for the next presidential election.

So of course now, in the aftermath of the 2022 Midterms, the conversation has once again moved on towards the 2024 Presidential Election. You might remember of course, the weeks it took to cure ballots and to count them, so much so that Maricopa County in Arizona released data to pushback against the claim that voters weren’t being disenfranchised. However, the publishing of that data, will mean little to the voters. As for the party elite and those that want you to forget the time honored American tradition of electoral skullduggery, will use it to get you excited for the next time you partake in the holy sacraments of Democracy.

In America, our “Democracy” tends to above all make one focus on the now. Nostalgia tends to be in forms of getting people to vote, or to cast aspersions on political opponents. Whether calling back to Reagan, or even Make America Great Again, or more recently with politicians comparing our present economic strife to the times of Jimmy Carter and the 1970s. Even George W. Bush invoked Clinton when running against Al Gore in the 2000 Election. Yet this nostalgia, a political memory, is meant to get your mind focusing on the now and potential future, limiting your ability to comprehend any long term time preference.

And as Nick Land points out in the Dark Enlightenment, this is nothing new.

Civilization, as a process, is indistinguishable from diminishing time-preference (or declining concern for the present in comparison to the future). Democracy, which both in theory and evident historical fact accentuates time-preference to the point of convulsive feeding-frenzy, is thus as close to a precise negation of civilization as anything could be, short of instantaneous social collapse into murderous barbarism or zombie apocalypse (which it eventually leads to). As the democratic virus burns through society, painstakingly accumulated habits and attitudes of forward-thinking, prudential, human and industrial investment, are replaced by a sterile, orgiastic consumerism, financial incontinence, and a ‘reality television’ political circus. Tomorrow might belong to the other team, so it’s best to eat it all now.

Mass Democracy, in an age of computer mediated communication, social media, and decentralized but affiliated networks of personalities and ideologies, works effectively on the ever growing numbers of franchised individuals to get lost in the minutia and day to day theatrics of its modern political system. The procedural kabuki theater of it all, and to focus on the now. Most if not all focus of the current political machine is oriented towards power for the now, after all, the current crop of elites are still mortal. This does not mean however that long term thinking or plans is entirely gone, after all, one of the dominating eschatologies of the left right now, Climate Change, is a long term one. However, it is important to note, that even calling for action on this alleged apocalyptic issue, has seen its own time preferences shrink, just as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other progressives have note, the time to act is dwindling from decades to years to months.

Just as the saying goes, “meet the old boss, same as the old boss” it seems right to say, “here’s the new election, same as the old election.” This isn’t towards you, dear reader, who I would assume by nature of reading this is aware of the ongoing changes and differences in the political structure that you certainly can remember. However, the American electoral structure tells the “fringes”, especially on the left, to forget about their ideological objections and “vote blue no matter who.” Of course, their politics-as-consumer identity is designed that way, to make them forget that they are mouthpieces for the machinations of the USG, the Democrat Party, and the cult of civilizational suicide known as progressivism.

So as we move towards a desire to “eat it all now” in the general body politic, it comes to an important point of divergence between what fundamentally makes one more inclined to be “right wing” as it were. That is the teleological drive to leave something behind, that our purpose, either as a civilizational minded person or a strict religious adherent, is that our time preferences are a little longer than our opponents. We see this now between those with left wing and right wing views. Even I acknowledge what my long term goal would be, which is to plant the vine and fig tree my grandchildren will sit under and not be afraid, that if the world I leave behind is even a modicum better than the one I grew up in it would have all been worth it.

However, being a writer or any online pundit requires you to be in the same ecosystem that this process takes place in, where one can easily have their mind wiped, or hop onto a fad that once upon a time came and went a few years prior. Twitter, being probably the best example of this, how yesterday’s fads and content creator spats online can be rehashed months and years later, and the lessons learned from before all washed away in the desire to put a few inches on your clout-member, or to make just one more response video.

In an age where people debate over political models, “the cathedral”, “the octopus”, “the regime”, GNC, GAE, USG, or whatever three letter acronym you’d like to use, it is effective at creating a schizophrenic environment, wherein cultural and political memories are erased through the addictive algorithms of our day to day life. I use the word “amnestics” not just in reference to the SCP universe, but because whatever model or word you’d like to use for current project of modernity, it certainly administers drugs and memetic agents to make use forget the lessons we had spent years learning previously.

It ensures that a political ecosystem can return or regress back to a prior state, in the forms of release valves built into the structure. Will we see a return to 2016/2017 style of online politics, especially in the wake of banned accounts coming back, or even Elon Musk tweeting out an apustaja meme?

There is potential, I think it what might be out there for some people, to want to return to a style of politics of transgression and flexing power one does not necessarily have, in the name of taking in individuals as allies that may not have their best interests at heart. Nostalgia is powerful, and in that regard, it can be easy to forget the lessons of the past from the simple allure of a time where it felt like one was winning. This is the nature of the democratic machine, to keep you hooked back in, some new candidate, some refurbished idea, or even an old platform revamped just for you.

The question becomes, can we create an antidote, or at least take some kind of political/memetic Prevagen? Or perhaps we shouldn’t become so sucked into the machine itself that we find ourselves losing track of what we were once discussing just a few months or a few years ago. An elephant may never forget, but we’re not elephants, are we?

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