The Counter-Currents 2023 Fundraiser
How to Win a War of Narratives
Like all journals of dissident ideas, Counter-Currents depends on the support of our readers. So far this year, we’ve raised $67,367.84 of our $300,000 goal. I want to thank everyone who has donated so far. (Please donate !) Now, Beau Albrecht will explain how crucial your support is within the larger struggle for the survival of our people — and what our overall strategy for taking back the narrative should be.
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What’s in a narrative? To make a long discussion very brief, one way of looking at it is that it’s a story told about a particular topic. It’s typically spun a certain way, portraying one side as the good guys. Memetics is a similar concept, though we’ve come to think of memes as counterpropaganda images spread online, which is only part of the picture. All this might seem rather dry, but the truth is that the implications are enormous. The upheaval our contemporary society is undergoing has much to do with a massive war of narratives.
The ideological lineup
The battle for the hearts and minds of Western civilization has been underway for a little over a century, and went into high gear during the 1960s. The stakes by now are tremendous. Following a long campaign of agitation, a broad coalition formed out of politicized factions of non-whites, white renegades, and other disaffected social groups. This is the contemporary Left in a nutshell.
What do they want? This liberal-minority coalition is vying for preferential treatment toward their constituents, and for resources — money, territory, political clout, and so forth — from their rivals (that’s us). A major tactic of theirs is to popularize certain narratives that are advantageous to them. This allows the Leftist coalition to hold together, despite being comprised of disparate groups that have little to do with each other. These are groups that would normally have their own interests and agendas. Bound together, they stay on target; we’re the target, of course. The battle of rhetoric also makes the case for why they should acquire free goodies at our expense.
Aside from that, their top priority is obviously to keep whites from standing up for themselves while they’re draining our resources and doing whatever they have planned for us. That facet of Leftist indoctrination has a biological equivalent in spider venom, which paralyzes the prey so that it won’t try to break free or fight back while its vital juices are sucked out of it. There’s a vast array of narratives that Leftists use to this end. Consider the following to be a brief summary.
For one thing, they have an arsenal of race denialist talking points, slick rhetoric crafted to reach the predetermined conclusion that race isn’t real. (After one phony argument after another has been exposed, the public should stop paying attention to anything that Leftist race denialists say.) Then there are narratives to generate white guilt. Many of these are about historical events, usually one-sided and highly exaggerated, and in some cases falling apart entirely under close examination. Some of them are intended to demonize white leaders and notables; others are to deify famous non-whites. Other narratives are about pushing the idea that it’s wrong, immoral, or evil for us to discuss race honestly, think collectively, have in-group preferences, assert our common interests, or even defend ourselves. Another category of narratives is needed to justify the double standards. A popular one lately is “whiteness” – it basically says that all races are the same, except that whites are uniquely evil; of course, they’re not really talking about white people, but it just so happens that only whites have this evil characteristic of “whiteness.” Moreover, it’s impossible for non-whites to be morally responsible for anything bad they do — which, of course, is a corollary to the “society made him do it” narrative.
What about the other side? The Right opposes the Left, of course, but it gets complicated. One problem is that the major faction — the mainstream Right, who are mostly neocons at this point — isn’t particularly helpful. Although they have their narratives, too, generally they are timid and don’t challenge core Leftist narratives. One of these is that a good constitution is what makes a country good. (Really, no matter what the founding documents say, a government is only as good as the people running it.) Another is that anyone can arrive from any far corner of the world and will culturally assimilate and fit in perfectly the moment they’ve stepped onto our soil and begun to appreciate our free way of life. Critics sometimes call that the “magic dirt” argument; moving to a different country doesn’t change someone’s allegiances, worldview, or basic nature. Weaksauce narratives such as that are obviously hardly better than Leftist drivel. The mainstream Right could even be considered as controlled opposition. It’s either that, or they simply enjoy fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.
On the other hand, the dissident Right certainly does challenge Leftist narratives head-on. Thus, the left must work itself up into foaming-at-the-mouth denunciations in order to protect its own rhetorical armory. The mainstream Right helps them with this ritual denunciation, in order to show what nice guys they are — not that they even get a pat on the back for their efforts. This is all quite a farce, but it would be much funnier if the fate of civilization as we know it weren’t at stake. Of all the ideological categories, the dissident Right offers the most opposition — and experiences the greatest difficulty in getting its message out.
The forces arrayed against us
What determines the outcome of a battle of narratives? To a large degree, it’s the same as in a conventional battle. There’s a maxim attributed to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate General and founder of the Tri-Kappa fraternity: “Get there firstest with the mostest.” The Left has a tremendous advantage here. From the beginning, they’ve prioritized gaining control over opinion-forming institutions. These include the following:
- The mainstream media includes six megaconglomerates that own 90% of the United States’ media outlets. Five are virulently Leftist, comprising The System’s propaganda arm. One is mainstream conservative/controlled opposition, which leaves much to be desired as an alternative.
- The university system, especially the elite schools, was one of the first institutions to be cooped by Leftists. A degree is considered a ticket to the middle class, but in most cases this includes a four-year ideological deep fry for impressionable students.
- The three major advertising firms piggyback racial demoralization propaganda into advertisements, along with other narratives in service to feminism, GLBT advocacy, etc.
- Social media companies quite often have special departments that act as ideological gatekeepers in cyberspace, sometimes assisted by sophisticated censorship algorithms that have been carefully developed by unprincipled programmers.
- “Fact checkers” are newcomers to the Ministry of Truth, attempting to pass themselves off as the arbiters of truth.
- Major corporations almost universally indulge in virtue-signaling of some sort, along with other uses for soft power.
- K-12 public schools have been politicized to a degree unimaginable in the past, largely due to top-down centralization.
- Influenced by ecumenical umbrella groups, many mainline Christian churches push ultracalvinist and social gospel messages. (Evangelicals, Mormons, and Eastern Orthodoxy are mostly exceptions.) This effectively puts a plastic halo on Leftist ideology.
- Pornographers likewise aggressively push racial demoralization propaganda, even though most of their viewers don’t want it.
There will be exceptions, of course. For example, a few school districts in Flyover Country might resist some particular propaganda initiative by the Department of Education. But that doesn’t mean all is well with the rest. Similarly, the lack of a gender studies doctorate program at Brigham Young University isn’t evidence of widespread ideological diversity in the university system.
To make all this happen, it takes more than just propaganda saturation. The Left has to stack the deck through censorship, intimidation tactics, and any other dirty tricks available to keep contradictory views from getting a fair hearing. Some people even make a career out of protecting The Narrative: mainstream media journalists, foundation staffers, Leftist professors, information goalies in cyberspace, and so on. In some cases, it’s pretty slim pickings, but they have plenty of rubes willing to do it. In the US the greatest peril is cancel culture, though countries with “hate speech” laws have criminal penalties for hurty words and Narrative Violations. In times past, there were gulags for this sort of thing.
All told, full-spectrum propaganda saturation such as this constitutes milieu control. This needs to be confronted. The stakes are higher than ever — or at least since the 1960s. With the rhetoric as shrill as it is, and the fact that the Left doesn’t know when to knock it off, this could come to a bad end. There are plenty of examples in history of what happens when those types gain unlimited power. The way some of them are talking already, it’s entirely possible that they’re not prepared to stop until they’re dancing on our graves. If it ever came to that, soon after they’ll wonder why the lights went out for good — but that’s another matter.
We’re in a war of ideas, up against the most formidable propaganda campaign ever assembled. Although dissident Rightists can see through it and reject it, The System has bamboozled a large fraction of the public. In particular, they’ve been feeding blue pills to liberals until they don’t know what’s real. Moreover, many people who should be on our side would prefer to hinder us instead. As for the effectiveness of mainstream conservatives against our common opponents, they’re the type who’d limit themselves to Marquess of Queensberry boxing rules while a mugger is fighting them to the death. It isn’t good enough. The price for losing the war of ideas will likely be dispossession, if not worse.
All told, this paints a quite gloomy picture. The enemy has the Big Megaphone. At least presently, anything we can bring to bear against it seems as outclassed as a Civil War ironclad going up against an aircraft carrier. In the meantime, there are vast numbers of our own people who aren’t even trying to save themselves. What can we do?
The problem with not having the truth on their side
The good news is the Left suffers from a major flaw resulting from their overconfidence that they’re right, no matter what the inconvenient facts are. Another factor is their desire to work things out from first principles. Specifically, they prioritize their theories over objective reality. The truth gets in the way, and contradictions will inevitably pile up. When the tires meet the trail, this causes unexpected results, none of them good. Not only do Leftists have to deny reality, they try to alter the facts (and especially the perception thereof), trying to make them accord with their defective theories. Then everything melts into subjectivist mush. Putting it another way, the Left has been peddling magic pixie dust since Rousseau, and selling it by the bushel since Marx.
Who is it that insists race is nothing more than skin color? Who declares that men and women are exactly the same except for some unimportant body parts? For that matter, who’s claiming that men can become women merely by declaring they are? Who tells us that criminals are the victims of society? On the basis of blatantly wrong dogma such as the foregoing, who keeps peddling grandiose social engineering projects that don’t work? When they fail, who refuses to imagine that the premises might be wrong, and then proposes to double down on them?
It takes much effort to sustain an ideology propped up by wishful thinking and magic pixie dust. A non-stop barrage of propaganda is needed to make any of that Leftist hogwash even remotely believable. (A little willful ignorance helps, too, which liberals are happy to supply for themselves despite any cognitive dissonance.) The Left has no choice but to keep up this degree of indoctrination. If they failed to maintain the illusion, then the spell would be broken. Sooner or later, their ideology would collapse like a house of cards. When social media censorship departments play Whack-A-Mole with the ban-stick to keep naughty Rightist ideas off of their platforms, it’s because they have to prevent the heresy from reaching the free marketplace of ideas. Although censorship makes them look like the petty tyrants they are, it’s in response to their greatest fear: that we’ll awaken the Sleeping Giant.
Here’s a fanciful physics analogy. Let’s say it requires one watt of power to tell a lie. It also takes one watt to tell the truth, which will refute the lie in a fair and open debate. Thus, the liar must turn up the dial in order to be believed in proportion to how important the lie is to maintaining the illusion that he’s telling the truth. We’ll suppose that it takes ten watts to muddy the waters enough to give the lie equal footing against one person telling the plain truth. To create a mistaken consensus, a hundred watts is needed to hoodwink most people into believing the lie, rather than the lone dissenter. A kilowatt is required to shout down the truth aggressively, making competing narratives seem like nutty fringe opinions or a “conspiracy theory.” For an utter whopper that’s self-evidently false, an entire megawatt must be expended to turn the lie into an orthodoxy that would be practically unthinkable to contradict. So there you have it: For a liar to protect a critical false narrative, it takes a metric ton of obfuscation and repression to overpower merely a small amount of counterpropaganda.
Note well: This should go without saying, but I’m not recommending lying!
The Left has the advantage of carrying the Big Megaphone, but they drastically reduce their effectiveness by lying and spin-doctoring ceaselessly. Although a good fraction of liberals will eat up the mainstream media’s fresh bullshit like it’s a steaming plate of refried beans, the rest of us aren’t so easily convinced. In fact, most people don’t care for someone pissing on their collective leg and telling them it’s raining. Meanwhile, those of us who point out that the Emperor has no clothes will do quite a bit of damage to The Narrative.
This is much like what the strategists call asymmetrical warfare. In the military context, this was a frequent staple of modern spit-in-your-eye wars from Vietnam to the Bidet junta’s badly-bungled rout in Afghanistan. The most powerful country isn’t necessarily the victor; rather, the side that holds out the longest wins. By now, we’ve moved onto fifth generation warfare, that of information and narratives, and it turns out that our side has some advantages here.
Returning to the earlier naval analogy, the effect of the truth being on our side is like the ironclad being equipped with armor-piercing rounds, while the aircraft carrier is firing birdshot. Put more plainly, the war of ideas will be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Also, the Left can’t meme. They’ve lost their sense of humor, too. This puts them at a disadvantage before the public. They’re easy to ridicule, and all they can do in response is to be crabby and pout. Finally, The System’s information blockade just isn’t what it used to be in earlier times when it was nearly total. For that matter, although the legacy mainstream media still has a powerful impact, it has been struggling to remain economically viable for a while now.
The mainstream media can be thought of as a gigawatt propaganda transmitter, and the other opinion-forming institutions that have been seized by the Left are likewise powerful signal-boosters as well. Even so, they presently have their hands full pushing the Party Line loudly enough to dominate public discourse while shouting down dissenters. The combined Leftist propaganda front is currently on the defensive, even though they’re cheating by resorting to censorship. If the number of dissenters increased greatly, and/or their capability to deliver their messages expands, then the battle of narratives would become a rout! We still have much work to do, but the good news is that you can help.
What can be done?
In normal circumstances, a nation’s government should be looking out for the public, but we know quite well where their priorities are. This means that we no longer have the luxury of regarding national self-preservation as somebody else’s job. For now, educating the public remains the most important effort. Obviously we’ll need to do many more things than that in the future, but first things first. There’s a lot of work to do in the battle for hearts and minds, and we need all hands on deck. We’ve recently made some important headway in the present war of narratives, so let’s keep it up. Once the Sleeping Giant is awakened, the possibilities will be endless. Let’s make it happen!
Individually, we’ll have to decide on our own level of commitment. Surely we would all rather live in a decent, sane society ruled by a government that puts our people’s interests first and ensures that we have a future. Ask yourself this: How much do you want it? Let that be your guide to the amount of effort you should put into making it happen. Again, we can’t afford to think of this as someone else’s job. It’s time to consider the many ways that you can take constructive action.
For starters, there are those who say that our side is preaching to the choir. I’ve heard this now and then; it’s a fair observation. The good news is that there’s an easy fix for that. It’s as simple as reaching for the “share” button, or e-mailing your friends when you’ve found something informative. You can do your part to make it happen. Problem solved!
Other than that, there’s much opportunity in face-to-face outreach. The Tech Tyrants, even with all their billions of dollars and their censorship departments, can’t do squat about two people having a conversation in the real world. This isn’t to say one should be the loudmouthed uncle who always brings politics to the Thanksgiving table. Neither should one take unnecessary risks, such as at work. Those matters aside, judiciously conducted personal networking can be effective. Keep in mind that it takes a while for messages to sink in, so don’t expect results overnight.
Note also that most people “go with the flow” and take their social cues from what other people are doing. Bold defiance of political correctness on your part will therefore help inspire boldness in others. Although there’s little that a single individual can do, mass action can awaken the Sleeping Giant. Until then, even a shopping trip offers opportunities for starting conversations — such as remarking on how much prices have gone up thanks to mismanagement by the senile girl-sniffer whose party stuffed the ballot box. Also, Leftists can get quite snotty when they’re entirely among themselves — but when someone interrupts the consensus in one of their echo chambers, it can take some of the piss and vinegar out of them.
If you don’t have a lot of time for personal networking, or if you wish to do more than that, then you can donate to your favorite cause. How about us? Counter-Currents publishes many high-quality articles and podcasts a month, sometimes over 100. We’d appreciate it if you pitch in for our operating expenses, and we’ll do the rest to get the message out. (If your budget is tight, just drop the cable TV bill; you’ll feel better without all their demoralization propaganda, anyway!) It will take action and resources to win the war of narratives, which is the first step to returning society to a healthy and normal condition.
Once again: How much do you want it?
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