ON MORALFAGGING

 

The vast information reserves of the internet offer us paths paved with gold, fringed all around by wildernesses made of total and utter shit. Like most of us, I try to avoid wrong turnings that lead to junk content, but don't always succeed - especially when people who usually post good stuff sometimes veer off into personal ego-drama and histrionics. Lately I have been making the best of my occasional excursions into nonsense, by trying to extract some sort of useful insight from them.

So bear with me for a moment while I present a rather silly tiff between two icons of the popular non-rightist anti-Left: 'Sargon of Akkad' (Carl Benjamin) and 'Thunderf00t' (Dr. Phil Mason). All we need to know in advance about these two gentlemen is this: firstly, that they rose to prominence during #Gamergate, largely through posting video critiques of leading SJWs like Anita Sarkeesian; and secondly that Thunderf00t was initially vastly more popular than Sargon, but has lately seen his channel traffic dwindle in comparison, as Sargon has been garnering populist and Alt-Lite support for his pro-Brexit and quasi-pro-Trump videos.

Facing the prospect of being relegated to the sidelines in favour of some random guy who doesn't even have a Ph.D., Thunderf00t recently spotted an opportunity to invalidate Sargon's rising status with a classic moral signalling attack. He found a video of Sargon and some other Youtubers chuckling over the irony of a male feminist who murdered a woman, and loudly and publicly announced that he wanted nothing more to do with them, making sure to drive home the point that excess popularity (what else!) had turned Sargon into a mindless hypocrite. Having just pissed all over the popularity crown and tossed it to Sargon with an affected sneer of contempt, Thunderf00t proceeded to haemorrhage subscribers, but grinned into his webcam and told everyone that he felt "clean" - the words of a man who has snatched victory from defeat in the status war.

Sargon, for his part, had not really done anything wrong, other than fail to clutch his pearls tightly enough while others giggled over a bit of edgy gallows humour. Alas, he has a longstanding habit of talking a lot about his "high ethical and moral standards", so he couldn't just brush off Thunderf00t's attack: he seized upon the fact that Thunderf00t had spliced together different parts of footage in his video, and tried to counterattack with accusations of misrepresentation and charlatanism. Unfortunately, Thunderf00t just admitted that he edits all of his videos in the same way - which means that Sargon, who prides himself on his due diligence, has just retroactively damned as fraudulent a whole bunch of classic anti-SJW videos to which he gave the thumbs-up during the formative years of his career. This will inevitably lend new openings to the offence-bullying SJW Left, which has practically been hammered into cyberspace surrender by the successful metapolitical efforts of men like Thunderf00t and Sargon.

(My own due diligence requires me to stress that this is my own, perhaps rather cynical, interpretation of events. Original videos are here, here, here and here - but I would not recommend the expenditure of precious time for most of you.)

Thunderf00t vs. Sargon
Now, as promised, I shall extract a point from this apparently rather pointless e-drama episode. It is this: those of us who are serious about defeating the Left should root out leftist habits in our own selves, and shame them out of our associates. Foremost among these is the obnoxious practice of virtue-signalling - or, as it is often called when non-leftists do it, moralfagging.

In my view, the high status of leftist ideals in the West is a reflection of their adoption by a globalist managerial elite, which secures its power by destroying traditional institutions and 'ritually sacrificing' white interests as a gesture of goodwill to non-whites. Others put emphasis on the so-called Cathedral, centred on the universities and media, which plays the role of manufacturing and disseminating the specific leftist ideology of the day. But none can deny that leftism 'on the ground' - among people just well-off enough to devote themselves to pursuing fashion rather than surviving reality - is driven by an endless contest of moral signalling one-upmanship. If you doubt the levels of craziness to which this sort of signalling process can go under its own power, just have a look at Spandrell's excellent take on the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

To this day the Right has not figured out how to respond to the leftist virtue-signalling spiral in a unified and consistent way. There are several possibilities, some relatively smart and others very foolish, which we shall briefly explore.

The worst possible response is the most instinctive one, which has become the cuckservative stock-in-trade: assume the good intentions of the virtue-signallers, but try to slow down their holiness spiralling by droning on about factual and logical inaccuracies. To paraphrase Schopenhauer, he who tries to instruct moral zealots in matters of cold fact will be lucky if he escapes with a whole skin. Worse, the cuckservative with his fact-sheets will typically start moralfagging at the expense of people on his own side whenever he gets attacked, giving energy and legitimacy to the signalling contest without ever being able to win it.

The same dismal verdict can be passed on the 'might-is-rightists' of this world, who respond to the moral signalling contest by trying to abandon all forms of morality and regress to a state of primitive violent barbarism. It is tempting to describe this as a decadent self-indulgence by people who do not, in fact, have might on their side; however, it is also an attempt to escape from the insanity of the virtue-signalling spiral, which fails because it confuses morality per se with the status-driven practice of moral signalling. Unable to drop out, the 'might-is-rightist' rather voluntarily places himself last in the contest, which does not have the effect of discouraging others from trying to be first.

On the more effective side we have certain attempts to dispense with the moral vision assumed by leftist virtue-signallers, in favour of alternative visions of morality. The alternatives on offer are personal morality (countering the leftist tendency towards purely exteriorised and verbal hypocrisy) and tribal morality (countering the indiscriminate universalism of the Left).

To stress personal, interiorised morality is to attempt a return to the original Christian vision, in which sin is located in the physical body and must be defeated by reason, in contrast to the heretical progressivist vision in which sin is located in the social body and must be defeated by 'liberating' brute physical urges. (For the full implications of these two visions, see Paul Dachslager's Human Sin or Social Sin, which is essentially a long series of repetitions on this central point.) But with the progressivist vision dominant, it is all too easy for personal morality to slide back into verbalised leftist moralfagging ("I'm just the sort of person who doesn't marginalise black lesbian transgendered") - which may be why most modern Christians are such paragons of cuckoldry. As we have seen, Sargon's emphasis on personal morality did not protect him from Thunderf00t's signalling attack.

Tribal morality, which is the stock-in-trade of most of the Alt-Right, draws on secular traditions of within-group loyalty to oppose leftist universalism and "self-loathing". This is the only approach that has really managed to dent the holiness aura of the Left, by pointing out how sanctimonious bleeding-hearts have screwed over the people in their own countries in order to fawn on foreigners. But its proponents again tend to confuse moral status-signalling with actual morality, and go veering off to morally denounce any ideal more universalist than that of a small pagan tribe, which again just amounts to voluntarily placing oneself in a low position in the moral signalling contest.

The tribalists would have us believe that race and nation offer "natural" boundaries to moral concern, which have merely been subverted in recent years by perverse leftist social theories; but I am sceptical as to whether this is the case. Yes, egalitarian and cosmopolitan ideals are bunk that must be challenged - but how far does leftist moral signalling really depend upon them? The projection of holiness by virtue-signalling seems rather to depend on older moral ideals - generosity, open-mindedness, courtesy to women, defence of the poor and unfortunate, etc. - that may or may not be universally good and true, but are certainly rooted very deeply in our Christian and chivalric traditions. Obviously leftist virtue-signallers take these to ridiculous extremes, but outstripping the competition is the whole point of a signalling contest. This being the case, universalism can always be expected to trump nationalism for holiness brownie points, just as nationalism once trumped aristocratic family dynasties.

Thus, the best approach would be to bring a critical focus onto the practice of moral signalling itself, highlighting its hypocrisy and distance from true morality. The longstanding mockery of "slacktivists" who twitter solidarity all day while hoarding their pennies is a good start, but it does not go nearly far enough. We must found our critique in a true understanding of base and status-seeking human nature, yet this too needs an update for the society in which we now live: everyone can recognise snobbery (aristocrats), greed (bourgeoisie) and egoist brutality (proles), but the hypocritical altruism-cum-patronage of our present ruling class is still confused for genuine high virtue. To fully understand the toxicity and amorality of leftist virtue-signalling, we must refer to the theory of the managerial revolution in mass society as understood by Samuel Francis.

More parasites welcome!
Although virtue-signalling contests are certainly nothing new, the bourgeois and aristocratic societies that preceded our present managerial regime contained built-in limits on their expansion. In a society based on ownership with no concept of the welfare state, engaging in altruism to the less fortunate means purely and simply depleting what you own, trading economic power for virtue and status. By contrast, in the managerial welfare state where power is based primarily on control, "discovering" new moral outrages and then "solving" them at the taxpayer's expense is the path to riches, power and status for a lucky few - and this, in turn, creates the opportunity for others to gain social status by the time-honoured method of apeing the powerful. Moreover, older aristocratic and bourgeois elites dependent on social stability could never indulge things like feminism or transgenderism to the fullest extent - but managerial elites gain power by fomenting certain kinds of instability and manipulating social change.

On the lower side of society, once a big enough state-dependent population is created by the managerial elite, it will begin to agitate for further social engineering that will increase its number and thus its sociopolitical clout. Thus we have the intolerable phenomenon of 'parasitic altruism',  in which a leftist movement disproportionately filled with students, public-sector employees and welfare-bound ethnic minorities dares to twist the grunts and growls of its stomach into moralisms directed at hardworking and self-sufficient people. This is why it is an anachronism to associate virtue-signalling with actual virtue; this practice should instead be regarded with profound suspicion, regardless of whether those propagating it are "slacktivists" or not. Of course, some may interject here that rightist moralfagging based on conservative values is underpinned by no such managerialist motive; but my point is that all virtue-signalling exists on a single spectrum of verbalised moralism, so moralfagging by people on our side will tend to legitimise the leftist holiness spiral regardless of personal intent.

The above is for our own understanding; I do not suggest that we try to put a sock in virtue-signalling/moralfagging by regaling its proponents with elite theory. As individuals, we should instead strive to propagate a strong cultural corrective, consisting of two elements:

1) On the negative side, always mock and undermine people who engage in virtue-signalling, popularising an association between this practice and the qualities of hypocrisy and status-seeking discussed above. Perhaps we can make a start here by bringing into regular social interactions the disdain for moralfagging already present in internet culture. We should not be afraid of going too far here, and we should consider the situation very carefully before sparing a moralfag the lash.

2) On the positive side, act as virtuously as possible at a personal level (subject to due discretion of course), while strictly refusing to communicate this to anyone. (From the New Testament: "when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others....when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.") False modesty and humble-bragging will not do; active concealment of moral actions should be the base requirement for social decency, much as civilised people are expected not to flaunt their money. If someone does something you find immoral, disengage from them in good grace, without histrionics. Word of your character will leak out, of course, but this will be a purely 'organic' process.

This does not mean that we can never speak of morality or use moral language: calling progressivist elites "evil" is a good way to wake people up to their hypocrisy, and there seems to be little harm in referring to our cause as just. But at an individual level, we should reject all moral signalling whether or not it is based in reality; and we should indeed become all the more abrasive and transgressive in our speech while committing virtuous actions in reality, as this will polarise words against actions and thus drain legitimacy from political correctness.

By now, most of you have probably spotted the gaping hole in my argument: the fact that I am, if truth be told, merely out-moralfagging the moralfags here. But that is the beauty of it: taking on the role of a guerilla in the signalling war, striking and undermining everywhere while defending no fixed position, and winning the game in such a way as to wreck it for everyone else. Combined with the ongoing political movement against the Left, as well as continuing economic misery reducing public tolerance for grandiloquent displays of universalist altruism by the rich, such an ethic might just end up restoring some sort of sanity to the West.

 


Comments

  1. I wonder if a reform movement has ever succeeded in saving a society that gone as far off the tracks as ours has. Not being aware of one, I'm inclined to think that salvation will not be possible until the wheels come off completely.

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  2. We are in uncharted territory in every way. But chaos will only be part of the solution.

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  3. Good read. I'm off to change my FB avatar to prove my feels.

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  4. Credit TRS with inventing and popularizing this theory you bunch of worthless meme brigands. The English really are a nation of pirates. All they know how to do is steal.

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    Replies
    1. ...Whereas our lazier and dumber progeny apparently know only how to send for their lawyers and defame people. If you've previously read something by TRS that makes the same points as this article does (not just "virtue signalling is bad"), give me the link and I will gladly edit the article so as to credit it. If not, go and white-knight for your internet idols elsewhere.

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