When you think of political dissidents, it is common for those who are reasonably well informed to think of people like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet dissident and political prisoner, or Lech Wałęsa, the Polish leader of the Solidarity (Solidarność) movement in the 80s. These were the names I grew up with, the heroic figures that stood for freedom and against the repressive tyranny of Communism. Not enough people today even know their names, something that is intentional and helps explain why so many younger people seem so enamored with the brutal system called Communism.
A lone Chinese man in standing in front of tanks to block their path during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 . Allegedly no one knows who he was or what happened after the picture was taken. It is a safe bet he was arrested and shot in short order. I am sure he never knew how iconic that photo would become.
That brings me to the world of dissident politics in America today. Most of my life there have been very few real dissidents in politics. Maybe the odd John Birch Society guy or the leftover true believer hippie Marxist with his long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail, but for the most part we lined up on either side of the fake and gay officially approved political spectrum and we did our thing. Some of us had Reagan-Bush or Dole-Kemp signs in our yard and others had Clinton-Gore or even Dukakis-Bentsen signs. We believed in the system for the most part. It was still a relatively homogeneous society and the political fights seemed like intra-family squabbles rather than existential threats, in spite of some of the doomsday rhetoric employed.
That started to change with the George W. Bush presidency but it really took off with the Obama era. Rather than being the one who would bring “healing” to America, Obama exacerbated the divisions as the first President who openly hated the country he was elected to lead and hated the people who made that country. This corresponded with white America’s decreasing percentage of the population, dropping below 65% for the first time in American history.
What this ushered in was a world where the once assumed political dichotomy of “Left vs Right”, indistinguishable from “Democrats vs Republicans”, was shattered although most Americans did not and still do not realize it. There are a lot of White working class voters who think that the Democrats still are the party of the working man and unions, when the reality is that most Democrats despise the White working class and would gladly see them dead. Likewise most rank and file Republicans think that the GOP is looking out for White, middle class, evangelical/Catholic Americans when the GOP is mostly concerned with cheap labor and tax cuts for big business and doing whatever it takes to “support” Israel.
On the dissident Left you see groups like antifa and the “Democratic Socialists” who are constantly pushing the liberal Overton Window to the extremes. Not that many years ago it would have been unthinkable to have an open socialist running for the Democrat party nomination but in 2016 and 2020 Bernie Sanders was a semi-serious contender and most of the other candidates running espoused similar positions. Many mainstream liberal commentators either refuse to condemn antifa’s political violence or even actively support it. At both the national party level, represented by Democrats, and the intellectual vanguard, the Left in America has charged far to the extreme compared to where they were as recently as the 2008 Presidential campaign. This is most clearly seen in the open and uniform anti-White animus proclaimed by every significant Democrat but also in acceptance of radical “environmentalism”, support for open borders, sweeping proposals by the Biden team to undermine the 2nd Amendment, adding every sexual deviancy under the sun to abortion as articles of faith and a wholesale embrace of identity politics.
On the political right (and as a side note, I still use terms like left and right, liberal and conservative, to represent the polar opposites of our political world even though they don’t apply anymore), conservative discourse is managed with an iron-fist by a phalanx of gatekeepers who set the boundaries and police those boundaries ruthlessly. While the Left is terrified to rein in the more radical elements, the Right has no problem doing so. People like Jonah Goldberg, David French and Ben Shapiro are at least as concerned with keeping more “extreme” elements out of their little club as they are in “owning the liberals”. People who color outside of the allowable lines on the Right are shunned by conservative gatekeepers as vigorously as they are attacked by the far left. The Trump candidacy and administration has revealed that the Quisling Conservatives such as Bill Kristol have always been a greater threat than the Left. While degenerate trannies are welcomed at CPAC, people who advocate for the bulk of conservative voters are shunned. This has been going on for decades, ever since the neocons won the conservative civil war and banished the paleocons to Outer Darkness.
In general, the Democrats are playing a completely different game with different rules while the Republicans are still trying to re-elect Ronald Reagan and pretending they live in an 80% White nation. The Left is energized by revolution, the Right is engaged by nostalgia. Even “Make America Great Again” plays to the power of nostalgia by appealing to White voters who long for the days of the high trust society that landed men on the moon and won the Cold War. That America is long gone and won’t come back without a lot of very hard times.
Many of us on the dissident Right have walked a similar path. We were generic Republicans that listened to Rush Limbaugh and read National Review who perhaps supported the Tea Party movement before growing disenchanted with the Republican party and dallying with libertarianism. 2016 proved the folly of that with the nomination of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld by the Libertarian Party and the sudden emergence of Donald Trump. Trump seemed to be something completely new and a lot of people voted for him in the secrecy of the voting booth, never thinking he would win. But he did and almost 63 million Americans suddenly realized they were not alone. Trump winning was great but the response from the Left was even better and spawned a million memes. The people who make up the silent core of America seemingly rose up and kicked the powers-that-be right in the junk and it was glorious.
The honeymoon was short lived. It seemed that no sooner had the words “America first” passed Trump’s lips that he jettisoned that for the same old stuff. The wall on the southern border, his signature promise, was set aside for tax cuts for the same corporations that oppose him in lockstep. A less interventionist foreign policy was hijacked by the Israel lobby and after four years we were still monkeying around in conflicts around the world and threatening to expand our involvement with a war against Iran. Gone was Steve Bannon and in his place oozed Trump’s loathsome son-in-law Jared Kushner. The wall was essentially forgotten, Trump’s supporters were systematically censored and silence, deplatformed and cut-off from the financial system and all he did was threaten to monitor the situation. He seemed more interested in buying Greenland than stemming the flow of illegals and even worse was all-in for bringing millions of low cost “skilled” workers into the country to replace Americans. While American cities burned all summer in 2020, “law and order” Trump was tweeting impotently.
Millions of us now find ourselves in the political wilderness. The mainstream Republican party hates us and wishes we would just off ourselves with opioids. The MAGA cultists flip out over anything other than obsequious affection for Trump no matter what he is doing or saying. The Left considers us no better than Nazis and speaks in ominous tones about re-education camps, show trials and even killing us. That makes those millions of people the contemporary political dissidents, without a home in either party and with essentially no representation at any level of government.
It is easy to point out that none of the power players want us but the much harder question is to ask what do we want? A lot of people have tried to answer that question and many have tried to harness this dissent and mold it into their own image. The most notable attempt at creating a new political movement went by the moniker “Alt-Right”. As the dust settled from the 2016 election, it looked briefly as if the Alt-Right would be a significant political force but that illusion was quickly shattered, starting with the cartoonish made-for-TV villain Richard Spencer being filmed shouting “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail Victory!” which was responded to by several people in the audience tossing up Nazi salutes for the conveniently present cameras, including journalists for The Atlantic who put the now infamous event on a Youtube video. Spencer, a man I have dubbed the Snidely Whiplash of the Right, had to have chosen these words intentionally and as he knew that there would be hostile journalists in attendance, shouting the words Hail Victory which is the English version of a well-known German phrase “Sieg Heil“, was intended to send a message that few outside of that room supported. Even without the clowns throwing up the Nazi salute, the media was going to pick up on his use of that phrase. Spencer might be a bored rich kid LARPing as a political dissident but he isn’t stupid. The Alt-Right might have survived Hailgate but it wasn’t going to survive Charlottesville and the Unite The Right rally. Unite the Right (UTR) was intended as a protest against the removal of Confederate statues and as a line in the sand. What happened was a coordinated effort by the government and antifa to cause violent conflict. The events were bad enough but when James Field ran into a crowd of antifa and Heather Heyer died as a result, it was like a dream come true for the Left. Suddenly the Alt-Right were violent killers. People who attacked UTR demonstrators got away scot-free and people who defended themselves were imprisoned. James Fields became a poster-boy for this supposedly violent White supremacist menace and is now in prison for life, a modern day political prisoner in the land of the free and home of the brave.
The Alt-Right died in Charlottesville. Richard Spencer did a few more public appearances at colleges doing his shtick but he has quit doing that and is now reduced to random mutterings on Twitter. The label Alt-Right is so toxic that no one serious still uses it. Even the insufferable Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, who styles himself a super-genius and intellectual, and the One True Alt-Right leader, seems to have stopped using the term, the link on his blog that leads to the 16 points of the Alt-Right now reads “NATIONALIST RIGHT: THE 16 POINTS” although the actual points are still called Alt-Right when you go to the link. He actually occasionally posts interesting stuff, if you can wade through his public masturbatory self-congratulations, his one-sided feuds with random people and the grotesque sycophants in the comment section.
Anyway, the Alt-Right “brand” is pretty much shot and almost no one uses it anymore. A new, broader consensus has coalesced around the term “Dissident Right”. The term was coined by John Derbyshire, one time National Review writer and current VDARE contributor, in a 2012 post titled: John Derbyshire: Who Are We?—The “Dissident Right”?. He writes in part:
So what do we call ourselves? I’m going to make a pitch for “Dissident Right.”
The word “dissident” has its roots in Latin dis-, meaning “apart,” and sedere, “to sit.” Dissidents sit apart from the main crowd, don’t join in the community singing, and refuse to applaud the Emperor’s new clothes.
Dissidence is a very honorable estate, made so by the brave dissidents of the great totalitarian empires.
I like that and I have always liked John, even when he was writing for National Review before being unceremoniously expelled for WrongThink and now he is forever banned from the hallowed halls of collaborationist Conservatism Inc…..
…the hushed, oak-paneled, Chambers-of-Commerce-financed precincts of Conservatism Inc., whose entrance is now barred against me by an angel with a flaming sword.
He has always had a way with words that I find delightful. Being Dissident Right covers a lot of territory. I would put many of the people on the “Gun-Right”, the 2nd Amendment absolutists, in this camp. Most of the former Alt-Right types like Greg Johnson at Counter-Currents should be included as well. VDARE would be in this category although ostensibly they are very specific on the question of “immigration patriotism” but even as such they are well outside of the mainstream and thus find themselves as dissidents on the Right. The Zman is of course Dissident Right. A lot of people on the “prepper/survivalist” side of the culture, like Western Rifle Shooters, would meet my classification of Dissident Right even if they don’t call themselves that but they also commonly link to Zman. The thing about the Dissident Right is that most people don’t consciously call themselves DR, they just kind of are and that is also nice because you don’t get into the arguments over who is or is not real Dissident Right as you often did with the Alt-Right. I think this is mostly positive because trying to define such a disparate group can be perilous. Some on the DR are into Julius Evola and Spengler and talk about very esoteric political theories, from propertarianism to neoreaction. Others just want to prevent their country from turning into the sort of places people flee from. A lot of dissidents don’t have a complex political theory they are advocating, they just want to be left alone but have come to realize that the endlessly intrusive busybodies in some corners of America can’t stand to see people happy and content without permission. But there has to be something that unites us all to stand against the prevailing orthodoxy of the mostly indistinguishable endless war, corporate-owned two party duopoly. So here is my attempt to define and distinguish what that means.
The essence of being a political dissident in 2021 and beyond is this:
We are a movement based in realism, and we respond to the world as it really is rather than reacting to the world as we wish it was.
Being a dissident means being a realist. It would be nice if the flowery rhetoric of “all men are created equal” really meant that all men were equal in every respect, rather than all men have certain rights, but my inability to dunk a basketball or do math is evidence this is not true, never has been true and furthermore never will be true.
You can’t change human nature by passing laws or tinkering with the tax code. It has been illegal to kill someone else in cold blood for most of Western history. The Hebrew scriptures contain both prohibitions against murder in the Ten Commandments and command the death penalty for murder, long before what we know as Western civilization came into existence. We have always imposed the harshest punishment on those who intentionally take the life of another. In spite of this, we still see murder committed every single day in America. There isn’t a law that will change human nature.
Part of operating in reality is biological realism and this is perhaps the most forbidden topic of all.
It isn’t just cringe libertarians being unrealistic. Too many people in the Dissident Right harbor some these ridiculous fantasies where they are going to red-pill so many normies on twitter that a mighty army of modern day crusaders is going to rise up and sweep the infidel mestizos from our land. The real situation is that for every American red-pilled, 1000 mestizos successfully cross the southern border. Most White Americans are too caught up in sportsball and who some celebrity twit is sleeping with this week to worry about what is going on. Add in jobs and family and the task of waking up a critical mass of our people is daunting. Or 2A absolutists who are seem to believe that if they hurf and blurf on social media enough, the ATF will be disbanded and the NFA repealed. It isn’t going to happen, not through the political means we traditionally relied upon.
Being A Dissident Means A Willingness To Be Unpopular
If you are looking to have lots of adoring fans on social media, being a dissident is the wrong way to go. People like comfortable, familiar notions and this is especially true of BoomerCons. They want to rant and rave about them stinkin’ lib’rals ruining the big cities and never ask why liberal run places like Vermont are still quite pleasant while inner cities are hellholes of violent crime. Go to twitter and see how many idiots with random leftie accounts have tens of thousands of followers and then see how many followers the average dissident has. It is a stark difference. Saying what is popular is easy.
Being A Dissident Means Operating Apart From And Around The Power Centers Rather Than Trying To Co-Opt Those Centers
Dissidents don’t expect to win the next election. Or the one after that. In general voting itself is pretty much fake and gay unless you are writing in Pat Buchanan or voting in Dem primaries for Bernie just to cause trouble.
At best we will see a single digit percentage of like minded people who will be even peripherally engaged in the fight. It is well documented that only around 3% of colonists fought against the British empire to wrest control of what is now the United States from the crown. While most sat on the sidelines, a noble few took up arms and often lost their lives to cast off British rule.
Insurgents understand that the rules imposed by the ruling class are designed to prevent the ruling class from being deposed.
There are radical ancaps, paleocons, race realists, non-loony libertarians, 2nd Amendment absolutists, monarchists, neo-reactionaries, nazbol/NatSoc types and everything in-between in the movement. While we share a general sense of the things that are wrong, we have very different ideas for how to move forward.
The most important thing to remember right now is that whatever eventual form it takes, a new society formed after the fall of the current society will almost certainly be better than what we have right now. For my part, I would rather we hash these things out afterwards instead of fighting over the outcome right now.
Being a political dissident above all requires a radical change to how we think. Confining our minds to the paradigms that have been created by people who hate us has led us to the brink of calamity and only by refusing to think, speak and act within the boundaries they try to force us into will see us safely through to the other side.