On Converts, Long Marches, and Counter-Revolution

By Nicholas Sorokin

Over the last six years, the policy prescriptions of the dissident right have slowly but surely made inroads into the spaces of mainstream conservatism. The question of demographic replacement is cautiously voiced by actors who as late as 2019 dismissed the very idea as a racist conspiracy theory. More than that, these selfsame personalities are increasingly willing to couch the immigration question as an attack on white Americans, rather than routing it through a maze of civic euphemisms until it is twisted beyond recognition. Almost every week it seems as if another Twitter personality, followers list awash with frog and anime girl profile pictures, graces Tucker Carlson’s show with a guest appearance. Whatever else may transpire, we cannot deny that at the very least, the dissident right is succeeding in blurring the lines between itself and the greater umbrella of the right wing.

Unfortunately for us, this inside baseball will alone do little to turn words into action. Outside Tucker Carlson’s viewer base, the left’s multimedia monopoly is largely uncontested. Mere days before I put these words to paper Alex Jones, owner of one of the largest alternative-media sources, was muzzled by the regime in a show trial to the tune of nearly a billion dollars. The comparatively innocuous observation that most high-profile journalists have wealthy parents and an opaque personal life earned one twitter account a ban within hours of posting his findings. In the federal government, the managerial deep state reigns supreme, as the vagaries of its bureaucracy manipulate procedural outcomes to the Cathedral’s own ends. President Trump, in spite of his best efforts, showed that a hostile executive could at most hope to be a speed bump in the path of Leviathan’s ponderous trudge leftwards; even those victories he did achieve were undone in a matter of months, if not weeks, once Trump was out of the way. The congressional bids, and, God-willing, electoral successes of JD Vance, Blake Masters, and similar candidates is no doubt a moral victory for our side, but I have doubts that their presence in the Capitol will do much more to move the needle than Trump’s in the Oval Office did; after all, the real holders of power inside the Beltway never show up on any ballot. Outside of D.C., Governor DeSantis appears to be making real headway within his peninsular fief, at least on certain issues, but only time will tell if his changes will outlast his tenure. Regardless, DeSantis being one of the right’s only success stories, as a governor, rather than as a senator, president, or congressman, itself tacitly proves the greater point: At least for now, the halls of Washington are not truly open to us.

This perennial frustration on the conventional playing fields has left most on the dissident right with a burning question: how do we gain power, if not through the ballot box? Many have attempted to answer this query over the years, to varying degrees of success. It is worthwhile in searching for the right answers to examine some of the wrong ones that have been put forward, and why they failed.

In one of the earliest attempts to guide the dissident right to sovereignty, a variety of people suggested the way forward was to quite literally use the left’s playbooks against them. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals—a how-to guide for disruptive protest and agitation—was oft-suggested in some circles as the key to a right-wing victory. After all, the left seems to get what it wants by demanding it publicly enough, loudly enough, and sometimes violently enough in the public square. Not only do they get what they want, the left’s activists are praised for steadfast bravery in the face of adversity, and typically go on to bigger and better roles. Why shouldn’t the same work for the right? The old right is stuck hopelessly clinging to principles nobody else values, the argument went, which is why they have lost power, therefore we must abandon principle as the left has in order to gain power as the left has (Incidentally, it must be said that the shock and pearl-clutching the David Frenches and Bill Krystols of the world surely had at this approach did as much if not more for its popularity than any of the fruits it promised).

The result was disastrous. Drawn in by the siren song of “peaceful protests” and “spreading awareness,” thousands were dashed against the rocks at the now-infamous Unite the Right rally. Whether they were arrested, unpersoned on social media, made unhirable, or simply ostracized by family and friends, few left Charlottesville unscathed. Even personalities who did not attend felt the repercussions; the regime’s awakened immune system was on the hunt for dissident voices, and merely expressing third-rail views was enough to associate one with the rally.

The reason for this outcome is crystal clear to anyone looking at the events of August 2017 with the benefit of hindsight, but was apparently mystifying to participants during and immediately preceding the rally; because the right is not the left, and because the left is in power, the rules will be enforced differently upon right-wing dissidents compared to left-wing pawns. The courts and the police turn a blind eye to the doings of BLM, Antifa, and similar groups because they serve the same masters, and these groups are allowed to run rampant because the chaos they sow serves a greater political purpose. Alinsky’s book has no useful instruction for the right, because the right does not have the tacit support of the Cathedral the way the left does. These are again not especially ground-breaking points, but self-evident facts of life to nearly everyone associated with the dissident right, and increasingly even with the mainstream right (as many ordinary Trump supporters learned on January 6 2021, during their own Charlottesville moment). And yet, no one who went to Charlottesville seemed to appreciate these truisms.

What the Unite the Right rally proved is that throughout the dissident right, even among the extreme hardliners, there remains a great undercurrent of liberalism. I mean this not in the sense of conflicting loyalties, but in the sense of outlook, and metaphysical underpinnings—what Orthodox theologians would call phronema. All of us have grown up in a liberal world, taught from liberal texts, and consume liberal media. As a result, even as we reject its presuppositions, we continue view the world in many respects through a liberal lens. We are hard-pressed to even recognize this tendency in most cases. Often we do not recognize at all until after the fact, when the liberal demons are forcibly exorcised from us in a hail of fire. Charlottesville was one such exorcism. The dissident right learned, very painfully, that most of what high school civics teaches you about public demonstrations and The Process™ is not actually true. Successful protests do not, in fact, represent the masses forcing their overlords to change their minds through sign and slogan, but a very selective application of pressure by the elites that direct these crowds. It is one thing to understand these things in the mind, and quite another to live with this truth embedded in one’s heart.

Another attempt to mirror the left may be seen in the suggestion that the right should march through the institutions of power, as the left did in decades past, and slowly implement dissident-right goals piecemeal, in the same way that the left was able to slowly erode the old order and replace it with their own. While this approach deserves some praise for not being as transparently self-destructive as the previous, it too is unlikely to bear much fruit.

The largest elephant to address in this room is that the left had the foresight to close the door behind them. The open, unsuspecting halls which they marched in generations past are now lined with security cameras, armed guards, and metal detectors. Ideological purity is highly desired, to a degree not present in the revolutionary’s own time, and tests of loyalty occur with clockwork regularity. Every managerial bureau is an ideological machine aimed firmly in one direction, resisting course-changes not only through its recalcitrant employees, but through sheer procedural inertia. What this entails to any prospective reactionary subverter is at best a life in which every day is a lie, and at worst a life that is ruined through public exposure and career assassination. This fact, paired with several others to be mentioned hence, means that the costs of a long march are much higher for the right than they were for the left once upon a time. Merciless probability dictates that when costs are exorbitantly high, the men willing to pay them will be exorbitantly few, and reactionary hopefuls will never muster the numbers necessary for an ideological subversion from within.

What’s more, one cannot understate that the footsoldiers of the left are not interchangeable with those of the right. Many on the left are willing to dedicate their entire lives to revolution because they have no lives to speak of outside their cause. Estranged from their parents, unmarried, and childless, the archetypal atomized leftist has little to lose if he is made a pariah, or worse, for the cause. Men on the right by contrast are far more likely to have families. Those that don’t are likely actively seeking one, and both almost certainly have a myriad of responsibilities which they are dutybound to fulfill, which they will not and should not abandon for chasing abstract political goals.

It would be remiss also to ignore the spiritual damage living such a double life entails. For those who serve the Father of Lies, it is unremarkable to live every day as a fraud. But for the reactionary man who believes in Truth, who fights for it and wishes to see it restored to greatness, every such day is a strain on the soul, leaving fractures in its wake. Over enough time, those cracks can start to split open and break entirely—rule zero of conditioning is that if you make someone repeat the same thing enough times, they will eventually, little by little, start to believe it. Even if our erstwhile patriots are not broken entirely through this ordeal, it is more than possible that they will be sufficiently demoralized such that, even once they reach the desired position of power, they will do no more and no less than the job they are paid to do rather than enact the changes they wish to see.

Finally, an underappreciated facet of this strategizing is that there are significant, real metaphysical differences between the revolution and the counter-revolution which affect how to wage these respective battles. The revolution is by its very nature destructive. Its primary aim lies in tearing down that which has been built, in sowing chaos throughout the land. As it so happens, it matters little at what speed and in what order you tear a structure down. If you knock enough bricks out of the mortar, then eventually, the whole thing will begin to collapse. More deliberate planning may speed the process along, but it is certainly not necessary if time is not a factor. To this end, the revolutionary is uniquely poised to enact his goals piecemeal and haphazardly, just as they are in a long institutional march, because his ends suffer little from such a disorganized approach.

The counter-revolution, by contrast, is inherently constructive. A dissident right counter-revolutionary is attempting to build something back up, to restore order as it were to a chaotic world. Just as a dozen men cannot hope to build a house by tossing bricks into a common pile once every few weeks as they pass by, so too can order not hope to be restored by isolated actors seeking only to subvert the present system from within. It may be argued, perhaps, that the present system must be demolished (through completely legal means and reforms) before something new can take its place, but even here more constructive decisions have to be made—whether any part of the old institutions can be preserved, and if so, which and to what extent, for instance. In summary, because what we seek is fundamentally different from what the left seeks, our method for attaining it will also be fundamentally different.

Making sure to remain in-step with all the latest in doomer fashions on the dissident right, from Yarvin to MacIntyre, the above has little to offer optimists in its prognosis. This does however beg the question with which we opened this inquiry: if the methods described above are are not effective, what recourse do we have for seeking, and ultimately attaining, power? The question is deceptively opaque, in no small part because the contemporary right finds itself in a wholly foreign situation. Traditionally, the right has helped to defend the ruling order and the old institutions against the revolutionary intrusions of the left. Even into the 20th century, when most of these institutions were the fruits of some past revolution, this continued to be the case in some respect. It was only with the successful power play of the Civil Rights Act, and the rise of neoconservatism in the GOP, that for the first time in millennia, reactionary forces found themselves firmly outside every center of power to speak of. Vital as it may be to learn from history, one is hard-pressed to find an object lesson that best suits our present situation. Even when counter-revolutionaries found themselves on the back foot, such as during the height of the French Revolution, they were still able to circle their wagons around the old power blocs—what was left of the noble estates, the church, and so forth. It is with great difficulty that we search through the annals of history for another band of wholly sponsor-less reactionaries on the outskirts of power.

But eventually, we do find one: Christians in the Roman Empire, before the faith was legalized. Fundamentally, Christianity is nothing less than the most reactionary position one can hold (sorry, Pastor Chungus), for it represents nothing less than Truth as expressed through divine law, and a natural order for the world which the church demands every Christian impose upon it, by living his life in service to God, to His law, and through witness imposing that law onto creation. The Christians were a reactionary force, with no institutions to back them, that were eventually able to seize control of the Roman Empire, and with it the known world. What’s more, they did this while still very much a minority: When St. Constantine signed the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, Christians made up a mere 7% of the Empire’s population. It would not be wrong then to say that this takeover also represented elite theory in action. We see also in this example the rapidity with which an elite minority can normalize their position. Within 50 years, a single generation, the faith goes from being tolerated to mandatory; Emperor St. Theodosius passes the Edict of Thessalonica, making Nicene Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. It is safe to say that this law merely formalized what was already the status quo, and Christianity had by this point grown to the majority religion of the Empire.

There are a few takeaways we can bring with us from the fourth century to the twenty-first. The first is patience; there were 300 years between the Resurrection and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Dissidents must make peace with the fact that we will not always live to sit in the shade of the seeds we plant. A truism, perhaps, but nevertheless one that bears repeating, to those of us who oscillate between demanding total change this instant, and total demoralization.

What naturally follows this is asking ourselves what we should do with this patience. We can find a sample of how the early Christians lived in the words of Aristides the Athenian, who sent a description of Christians to the Emperor Hadrian:

“The Christians love one another. They never fail to help widows; they save orphans from those who would hurt them. If a man has something, he gives freely to the man who has nothing. If they see a stranger, Christians take him home and are happy, as though he were a real brother. They don’t consider themselves brothers in the usual sense, but brothers instead through the Spirit of God. And if they hear that one of them is in jail, or persecuted for professing the name of their redeemer, they all give him what he needs. If it is possible, they bail him out. If one of them is poor and there isn’t enough food to go around, they fast several days to give him the food he needs. This is really a new kind of person. There is something divine in them.”

What we see in the early Christians is, fundamentally, network-building. They sincerely lived out their beliefs living under a foreign regime, sought out others of the same persuasion, and formed tangible social bonds with them. Concurrently, the Christians did not retreat wholly from the world to live as hermits, but participated within Roman society, even if not truly a part of it. We know from the sheer number of soldier-saints in our hagiographies that many of them served in the Roman army—not merely as legionnaires, but as Centurions and officers as well. Legionnaires it must be remembered were all Roman citizens, meaning they were to varying degrees a part of society’s elite.

Outside of the military, we can see civilian Christian elite participation through the myriad Hellenic philosopher converts. Some historians have speculated that of the 7% of the Empire that was Christian, the church’s flock were disproportionately intellectuals. The first such example we see in scripture itself, when Paul the Apostle preaches at Athens, and turns St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a judge and Platonic philosopher, to the faith. The previously mentioned St. Aristides was also a philosopher by profession. So prolific was the Christian influence on Hellenic philosophy that even its non-Christian strands took on a distinctly monotheistic bent. Neoplatonism, the dominant school of Hellenistic philosophy from the third century onwards, placed the existence of The One or The Good, from which all creation flowed, at the center of its tenets. Gnosticism, an umbrella of various syncretic religious traditions that began in the second century, was also monotheistic and can be seen as a corruption of Christian teachings. In short, even before the reign of St. Constantine, most of the Empire’s intellectual sphere revolved around Christianity.

Because of Christian elite participation, by the time St. Constantine came to power, he already had a sizable cohort of parallel-elite that he could use to staff his regime. Once the Constantinian coup d’état took place, the new emperor was able to rapidly build his new government, promoting the existing Christians through the ranks into power, and in a few, strategic cases (most notably the Praetorian Guard), disbanding old institutions entirely to replace them with new ones. If the Christian pool of elites had not already existed, this mostly-peaceful coup d’état would not have been possible. Similarly, because Christians had become firmly embedded throughout the Empire’s levers of power, Julian the Apostate’s attempt to throw off Christianity and restore the old ways bore no fruit. He was not able to undo the work of his Christian predecessors, and the Christian elite under him continued the work of the church despite his protests.

Our path forwards therefore, if we are to emulate the early Christians, is clear. The dissident right must continue to strengthen connections among itself, to uplift and support fellow travelers where possible. While doing this, the elite tier of these well-connected dissidents shall enter various positions of power in furtherance of their own careers. Once there, they should strive to influence fellow elites to become more amenable to their views. Eventually, should this process continue long enough, there will be a sufficient parallel elite in place to buttress the power grab of the Caesar that is to come.

At first glance, this argument may seem self-contradictory. Was the inadequacy of a “long march” not just argued for, a few paragraphs previously? What warrants this schizophrenia?

There are a few key differences between what the long-marchers believe we should do and the Constantinian model described above. The first, and the most significant, is that the long-marchers believe dissidents should enter the halls of power with the aim of being self-made Manchurian candidates, who seek power for the sole and express purpose of using it against the regime. This is not sustainable for reasons already stated, and more saliently it is not what happened in real life. The elite Christians described above pursued these careers independently of any desire to seek power; they became soldiers and teachers and philosophers because these were worthwhile professions to pursue on their own merit, to further their own lives. Their positioning as a counter-elite was surely neither shunned nor regretted, but was largely an incidental effect of other factors.

Secondly, the advocates of the long march tend to view the long march as the principal manner through which one might attain power. It is through this incrementalist creep forward, in the long marcher’s view, that a dissident elite would slowly gather power unnoticed. However, the Caesar figure presented by St. Constantine was a vital piece in why the Christian coup of Rome was successful. Likewise a Caesar of our own will be vital to lighting the proverbial spark. In history we see that the peaceful, effective power transfers to the right are enacted by one man acting striking at an opportune moment. The alternatives to top-down coups—either waiting until the present institutions are so decayed that they become powerless, or forcibly sweeping away the old institutions in a revolution’s meatgrinder—both prove far bloodier, for different reasons. What’s more, as both these alternatives require one to build new institutions from scratch rather than appropriating existing, healthy ones, they tend to imply a painful teething period as the new constructs mature. Therefore, if only by elimination, the coup of St. Constantine provides the most desirable alternative.

After much meandering, we have reached our conclusion, as mundane as it may seem. If dissidents wish to gain power, they should spend their days building up their lives, through networking and self-improvement. They may have to do this for decades or even for centuries, but come the right time, God-willing a Caesar will appear that will use the dissidents as a springboard to throw himself into power, rearranging society from the top down. The long-suffering, like-minded dissidents will then find the cream among their crop plucked by Caesar and planted among the halls of power. The day may not come soon, but when it does the prudent will be ready for it. Stand back and stand by, patriots.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex says:

    NFTs could be the modern equivalent of relics. The relic had to either perform a miracle or be sanctioned by a religious authority figure as authentic. NFTs confer membership by association to divine order rather than all too mortal “stars.” They become a fixed point of reference based on images, gestures and sounds in time.

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    1. GDR says:

      Are you joking? NFTs are a scam. Get the fuck out of here, retard.

      Like

      1. Alex says:

        Stop acting hysterical and calm down. NFTs are no different than paying for an autographed baseball, or thousands of other things.

        Like

      2. GDR says:

        Go shill your malinvestments elsewhere, bag holder.

        Like

      3. Alex says:

        What a brave man you are, GDR. You really inspire confidence in your grandiose plans.

        Like

      4. GDR says:

        Go scam libtards if you want to help our side.

        Like

  2. GDR says:

    There are two ways to make something: build it or grow it. Our thing wasn’t built so much as evolved, and it’s incremental nature, flexibility, and robustness allowed the best adapted parts to thrive hidden in the cracks.

    A single seed of ivy can pull down a brick wall given enough time, and it doesn’t look like a threat if you don’t know it’s secrets.

    If we can’t build without the regime stealing it, then let’s try gardening instead.

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  3. jdothandle says:

    Sadly many in the dissident right are decidedly unchristian, even as Christians. They mock the celibate, when it should be seen as superior, they counter-signal women as servants to men, though the Bible shows women over men as punishment for unfaithfulness, and they attack poor, disenfranchised whites who are struggling. I see it in comments sections every other day. It’s disheartening.

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  4. GDR says:

    A variant of the march through the institutions is to build local power and become illegible to the authorities while maintaining/building new connections with other nodes. As more of our nodes replace theirs, the regime loses sensory capabilities and becomes easier to deceive. That allows us more room to expand.

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  5. Utter Contempt says:

    You either can have Caesar or Christ. Do or do not.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Like

  6. Vxxc says:

    An interesting idea if one wants to wait in slavery for 300 years.
    A perfected version of State Capitalism with Marxist security apparatus. I’m sure we can endure 300 years of kids being groomed, raped, castrated and poisoned and call it school. After all, the early Christians had to put up with worse, eh? Mother’s can tell their children it only hurts the first few times , as I suspect they do…

    I do admire the dissembling here, in particular the peaceful coup of Constantine. It wasn’t a war, it was a peaceful coup, instead of a Civil War capped by a bloody battle at a bridge.

    Then again, if Charlottesville was not only the first scrape of your life but your quite determined to make it your last, perhaps…a gentler road appeals.

    It only hurts the first few times, Lil Johnny.

    🤮

    Like

    1. GDR says:

      If you support wignat marches then you are a fed.

      Like

  7. Cato says:

    The Right does need to network within itself, on that we agree. The part where I disagree is this pacifist approach. Why take that route when we have the numbers right now?? All is not lost and we are not that far gone currently. Elections stolen by harvesting the ballots of the dis-interested, homeless and nursing home residents doesn’t count. The Left is excellent at projecting the illusion of power in order to intimidate. Don’t fall for it. They are in reality a collection of women, gender-confused, alphabet people, criminals and folks who want something for nothing. Remember the pathetic Antifa meth-heads?? THAT is their army.

    What we do need to do is organize, and take control of the local and network so that we may begin to ignore the Federal.

    Like

  8. Vxxc says:

    I agree with the noble Roman, passivity and pacifism have had their day. The State exhausted itself and its will to fight getting rid of Trump, and their related COVID shenanigans, corruption sicken even the most dour bureaucrats with badges.

    Nothing out there now but Karens and Skittles Hair meth heads.

    Moreover some of the Elites agree and have had enough. Musk is no outlier and certainly not alone, bold though he be. Musk also has a big friend, if a quiet friend- DOD.
    DOD (which is the bureaucracy not the soldiers) has had enough. They also notice the ranks are so disgusted they are leaving in droves and not being replaced. *Military service is generational, runs in families. You lose them you have no military worth mentioning.

    The Left is alone now, old, sick.
    The right is young and strong.

    No more defeatism and cowardice masquerading as cleverness, the time has come.

    Like

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