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Mastery of Style Trumps Superiority of Argument

[1]1,203 words

Douglas Olson is also correct in pointing out in “Whites – Are We Still Worthy? [2]” that much of the reason for white inaction is the fact that, notwithstanding the decades of concessions to the Left, whites are still relatively comfortable; they are still wealthy and they are still able to find, albeit admittedly in diminishing quantities, geographical refuge and juridical sanctuary. The loss of status, wealth, and safety that entails attempting to destroy the established order are unattractive when viewed from a position of social respectability, economic comfort, and physical security. Because the short-term pay-off appears higher, therefore, mobilizing the not-very-ethnocentric whites to pursue their long term ethnic interests will necessitate first experiencing the hardships of disenfranchisement and minority status. And even then, this mobilization might not occur until there is a crisis serious enough to make life unbearable, because hard choices are rarely made unless precipitated by a crisis, and many whites will still prefer to make do and suffer in silence rather than risk even greater hardships by provoking the wrath of a non-White-dominated police and juridical apparatus. People tend to have no (or a not very strong) opinion on most important issues unless there is a crisis serious enough to catalyze the formation of strong opinion and force the choosing of sides.

There are, however, circumstances where severe conditions are not required. In fact, everyday life is replete with examples of large masses of people being mobilized into action, even when it runs counter to their long-term interests and the immediate material pay-offs are almost non-existent. In some cases, people are mobilized into giving up comfort in favor or discomfort.

Many will remember when the film ET was released. At the time I was astonished to learn how millions of people were mobilized to drop everything and watch that silly film. I remember people queuing for hours, and hearing reports of many watching the film dozens of times, some weekends several times a day, while it was still in the theatres.

Net material benefits? Zero: these people spent hours in standing position, surrounded by crowds of strangers and screaming children, spending money, eating junk food, getting headaches, and sacrificing many hours of their time that they could have spent much more productively, profitably, or comfortably elsewhere. They did not grow richer, become wiser, learn anything of vital importance, or gain any awards.

Why did they do it?

Because the film was fashionable.

It is a demonstrable fact that people care less about being right than about being in with the right crowd. Social identity theory predicts that the interaction between the innate human need to belong and the innate human need for self esteem results in individuals selecting social identities based on evaluative dimensions that validate who they are because they are likely to register a good level of performance along those dimensions. Therefore, a person with a high IQ is likely to consider IQ an important evaluative dimension and likely to find his self-esteem enhanced by, for example, making membership of a high-IQ society part of his identity. Conversely, a thoughtful person who prides himself in being moral will likely avoid memberships and affiliations that, in the eyes of his family and circle of friends, will suggest he registers poorly along the dimension of morality – even if he inwardly agrees with the people he shuns. Ultimately, individual choice has more to do with self-esteem as derived from social acceptance than with objective truths.

This problem is further compounded by the fact that that the barriers for entry into the realm of objective truth are much higher than the barriers for entry into the realm of some form of social acceptance: extricating the truth from the sea of opinion, conjecture, unverifiable claims, and disinformation that surrounds our lives is laborious, risky, and difficult, and the social rewards for doing so can often be very negative.

Those who persist in the face of social rejection typically belong, and rely, on alternative social networks that validate an identity based on opposition to the mainstream. These networks replicate the proud pariah phenomenon evident in extreme Metal music subcultures.

This means that the most vital element in any strategy aimed a selling an unconventional idea to any number of people is not so much the quality of the idea per se (or the arguments deployed to sell it) as the quality of the packaging, and the latter’s potential to enhance the consumer’s self-esteem in a social context.

In other words, rather than telling people something is good for them for x, y, z reasons, it is best to show them that what is on offer is very cool indeed, and will cause observers to exclaim “Woah! I want to be like that!”

Never mind if the majority vigorously opposes an idea: if the idea is packaged in a manner that inspires awe and envy and captures the imagination, miscreants can be dismissed as clueless, lumpen nincompoops, too stupid, too uncouth, too weak, and too craven to belong to an exclusive club of elite men and women.

Dazzling graphic design, jaw-dropping style, addictive music, well crafted prose, infectious slogans, and a distinctive look exuding quality and personality will gain converts much more rapidly and efficiently than any debate, political tract, or manifesto. Indeed, if deployed in a sufficiently dexterous manner, style-oriented tactics can even transform defiance, arrest, and even martyrdom into fashionable acts of subcultural integrity and authenticity. Militant Marxists, eco-terrorists, road protesters, and animal rights activists, have known this for a long time. The lesson of the 1960s (and indeed of the 1930s) is that style needs to be at the forefront.

Did not the Nazis’ well-formulated aesthetic – their uniforms, their flags, their anthems, their charismatic and distinctive-looking leader, and their huge motor vehicles, play as significant a part in gaining converts as did the global economic depression at that time? I doubt that without the prominent element of self-conscious, seamless, and technically proficient stylism the Nazis, or the rainbow coalitions of the 1960s and beyond, would have got as far as they did.

Note that I am not necessarily saying that the cause of European man will be won by wearing designer suits and driving Maseratis. Even if nothing succeeds like success, style must not be equated with luxury. The old Western films were highly stylized, for example, but they were also rugged.

What is important is that, whatever it is, the style projects quality, excellence, and uniqueness – qualities that confer upon the people adopting the style the sense of belonging to something special and above the norm. If the pay-off in self-esteem in a social context is sufficiently high, individuals will not mind making sacrifices.

Of course, even scintillating style without substance will be transient and short lived (see Obama, for a recent example). But style with substance is an irresistible combination. If European-descended peoples are in a predicament at present, I suggest it is because substance has been emphasized at the expense of allowing the Left to become consummate stylists, and be in a position to generate a regular supply of stylized sounds and images with which to dazzle and gain converts to their cause.