Our project is statecraft. Our context is the American Empire. We need a mindset that is appropriate. I’ve written before about the need for “Golden Age Statesmen”. We should be asking ourselves, when we think and act, what would a golden-age statesman think? What would a golden age statesmen do? The mindset of a golden age statesmen is what I will call “Imperial Mindset”.
The biggest, and sometimes most elusive, part of any project, is getting your mindset right. What problem are you even trying to solve? Have you understood that at a deep enough psychological level that it actually changes how you think and behave? Often the answer to these questions is murky. Having it wrong means you are motivated by the wrong things. You are not even striking at the target.
We see this a lot on the right. There are a few common archetypes:
- The Edgelord is in “political” circles to rebel against the man, do something edgy, be where the cool kids are, and say the most extreme stuff on the internet. When effective political action deviates from what’s edgy and exciting, he stops being interested.
- The Temperamental Anarchist just wants to smash the system. He doesn’t want to be ruled, doesn’t have a well thought out view of how things should work, he just thinks we need to get rid of whoever is in there right now. He may not even want to cooperate in a disciplined political machine.
- The Revanchist has been personally offended by the losses of the 20th century, and just wants to make sure those responsible pay for their crimes. He’s not trying to be magnanimous, or to plot out a way the future could work better; he is fixated on the past.
- The Resentment Politician hates the elites and what they’ve done, and identifies as the underdog. He does not imagine himself carefully weighing political decisions and responsibly applying power to steer civilization, he just wants the boot off his neck.
- The Intellectual Tourist just wants to meet like-minded people, and be exposed to the most interesting ideas of the day. He wants information and ideas that he can bring up in conversation with other “interesting” people to gain social points.
The common thread is that these people are not thinking about how to rule. They may even think what they’re doing will save the world. But something hasn’t quite connected in their minds, maybe because the prospect of taking seriously a personal responsibility for the full consequences and scope of political action is subconsciously overpowering.
These archetypes and the people who embody them can be useful. Some more than others. But they will always be necessarily in the position of supporters or resources, rather than real members.
There are many ways to deviate from the correct political mindset, but only one way to do it right. You have to actually think about what it would mean to govern an empire well. If our problem is to restore statecraft and political sanity, we need people who know how to rule properly. To know how to rule properly, you have to think from the perspective of a ruler, and build out that whole worldview. Someone, ideally a thousand very competent someones, needs to put themselves into Imperial Mindset, and start thinking about rule.
Someone who is truly thinking about responsible approaches to solve the world’s problems, given some belief in their own ability to actually implement their ideas, is never resentful, never trying to confront power, and never talking about “how to get our country back”. Their tone of thought is “we are the ruling class. Let us think how to responsibly guide this thing in a better direction in response to these complex challenges”.
When it becomes obvious that they are not the current ruling class, they don’t slip back into anarchism or resentment politics. They think like a ruling class in exile, that believes in its own mandate and competence. They see the current occupants of the imperial seat as a ridiculous pack of monkeys who don’t take their duties seriously, and aren’t organized to carry them out; they see them as inadequate abusers of the aristocratic idea.
The imperial mindset approach to opposition politics is to develop a crushing advantage at aristocratic virtue, knowledge of the field, practical restoration program details, and organizational competence, and then, gently or otherwise, relieve the monkeys of their posts.
The image to aim for is not the democratic image of the swarm of rats overpowering the owner of house, but the aristocratic image of the gentleman owner coming home and purging the house of rats so he can begin the process of fixing it up.