Blogs & Articles: The Aesthetic of Reform đź”— 14 days ago

allen farrington on Medium

Beauty, Truth, and Action or Stagnation and Decline?

photo by Ian Taylor, via Unsplash

It is clear that Labour will romp to victory in the British general election, and even clearer that the result will be at least five years of further stagnation and decline. What ties together the inevitability of this outcome, the general feeling of hopelessness of ever reversing the slide into the homogeneous beige of midwit technocracy, and the aesthetic angle of attack, is the overdue realization that the “Conservatives” can only really be thought of as controlled opposition; the outside party; the leftists driving the speed limit. In fourteen years of “government” very well nothing has been conserved, and the march through the institutions of the parasite industrial complex has continued apace.

The elephant in the room is, naturally, Brexit. Contrary to the efforts of the media apparatus of the regime, Brexit was not and remains not an issue naturally placed on a spectrum of political left and right — pun intended to agitate the NPCs. Its meaning was nothing more nor less than a protest by the British people against their governance by unaccountable midwit technocrats. As a kind of Newspeak translation guide, the reader would do well to understand “populism” to mean “democracy the midwit technocrats dislike.”

Brexit is unavoidably more right-coded in the public discourse, but this is only because the midwits comprising the professional-managerial class contemporaneously dictate these terms. Brexit came amidst a decades-long backdrop of this caste entrenching its dominance by dragging “the left” kicking and screaming into gay race communism, and keeping “the right” relatively happy by deputising multinational rainbow corporations to administer this regime, all while alienating massive swathes of the population newly considered bigots on the basis of their temerity to be British, and to like it.

Don’t the plebs have any appreciation of their class interests? In fact, they do, very much so. Unfortunately for many a seething midwit, the class, or classes, in question are not the staple Bioleninist panoply of race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, age, weight, criminality, and whatnot, but much more straightforwardly: Britishness. It had already become overwhelmingly clear by the time of the Brexit vote that the UK was being culturally colonized by the American left, or perhaps that this process was complete. We are a vassal state, impotently downstream of any and every cultural stink bomb emanating from across the pond, cast to continue breaking natural social bonds, and empowering the petty, the vindictive, and the fundamentally useless to grow the midwit technocracy outside the reach of democratic oversight.

Furthermore, various accidents of history force this waft into a peculiarly British context. The “Conservatives” seem significantly more impassioned to defend the fiat banking industry almost exclusively based in London than in any semblance of free markets or free speech in the rest of the country they have ostensibly been governing. There seems to be no cultural degradation not worth tolerating to preserve the privilege to Cantillionize the real wealth created elsewhere in the United Kingdom, to skim the flows of Sterling devaluation punting toxic waste to unsuspecting savers residing in even weaker monetary regimes, and to import ever cheaper labour to displace malcontent plebs. The “Labour” party will happily back the exact same measures, even if 90% of people doing real labourare against these offensive and ruinous dictates, so long as sufficient excuse is contrived to further police everybody’s private decision-making. The Liberal Democrats, fond neither of liberalism nor democracy, are just happy to be there. The SNP are extremely unhappy to be there but seem to revel in the license they have to be even more insane than their peers.

Which brings us to Reform, which began life, of course, as The Brexit Party. While I am loathe to endorse a politician or even a party, it is clear that the only path out of stagnation and decline involves Reform making considerable strides over Labour’s inevitable term. In particular, it must mercy kill the “Conservatives” and scoop up the disillusioned working class from Labour, as well as any actual liberals and democrats still confused by the Lib Dems’ marketing. In other words, it must be true to its Brexit roots. The focus needn’t be any more than: giving people back a say in how their country is run. Midwit technocrats in a foreign country may have been an obvious starter, but midwit technocrats who are British on paper and yet despise Britain and will strip mine its culture and its institutions for personal profit are the main course.

In this article, I will not be putting forward the case for voting Reform, as such, or anything quite so crass. Instead, I will provide a handy guide to dissident political movements in the West, navigating the collapse of the Global American Empire, less than totally disillusioned with democracy itself, and hoping to end up with roughly as real a country as that with which they started.

To avoid getting one’s hopes up, let it be stated at the outset that the rot is very probably too deep and any serious “success” at “reform,” whatever one might mean by this, will probably be Truss’d. Fair enough. I am not suggesting this prescription is sufficient, but rather that it is necessary.


photo by Jasper Benning, via Unsplash

The key to this prescription is little more than properly understanding the terrain. We cannot fight stagnation and decay by optimizing marginal tax rates on a Laffer curve, by cost accounting the NHS, by nationalizing or denationalizing this or that utility, by better managing the deficit, or any number of wonk daydreams. These are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. These are the problem. This is all terribly small-minded. We aren’t trying to edge ahead in the polls, we are trying to save the country.

The true circumstances of which we must be aware are not merely political, but are technological and cultural, as follows: the regime reaction to Brexit shows its horror at the prospects of real democracy, unshackled from the technocratic management of public opinion within a centralized media apparatus. However, the regime undeniably controls this apparatus, and its grip will only tighten as the more independent-minded in their ranks jump ship to the novel free market for their talents. The more this happens the more desperate and insane they will become. This is the single most important cultural shift in our lifetimes, and it is well above the ken of the wonks who think their midwit clients need “social media strategies.”

Fully acknowledged, appreciated, and adapted to leads to the following: the regime is optimized to function in an environment in which it controls the flow of information. Furthermore, this environment no longer exists. The most impactful communication channels are now peer-to-peer. Embrace this without fear and without mercy.

Engage minimally with the apparatus, if at all. Route around it. In ever conveying a serious message, focus on Twitter, TikTok, podcasts, and Substack. Use Facebook to promote these materials. Engage furiously, and in entirely good faith, with the real people to whom these interactive tools enable access. But equally, be aware that, by opposing the regime at all — and especially if seeming to gain any traction — you will be branded far right, fascist, Nazi, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, dujourophobic meany mean mean-faces. They sling these insults primarily because they are children having a temper tantrum that their control is slipping away.

Hence, for the most part, ignore this entirely, whether in peer-to-peer interactions with NPCs or as emanates from regime channels. Do not dignify childish tantrums with reasoned responses. Only ever acknowledge in order to mock, in particular, if the original outburst is so lazy as to invite the implication that something obviously good has, this very moment, become sinful in the eyes of regime orthodoxy. Have they stumbled into insinuating that football is far-right? That manners are racist? That competence is fascist? Wonderful, let them cook.

At all times be mindful of Brandolini’s Law: that it takes an order of magnitude more energy to debunk bullshit than to generate it. Accordingly, do not ever put yourself in a position of needing to explain. Explaining that you are “not a racist” is cringe and means the regime smear has worked. Laughing in the face of your accuser, and suggesting they think this because they are ugly or retarded is significantly more effective. Make them explain; make them scramble; make them look agitated and uncomfortable. Make them cover you as news; this will drive traffic and lower your CAC. The more detached from reality it all feels, the higher your likely LTV. Force the issue that they no longer control the flow of information and do not know what to do about it.

In addressing the apparatus directly, be mindful that they are degenerate liars, doing the dirty work of the regime; they seek power, not truth; they are your enemy, not your friend; therefore, send only your very, very best, who has the eloquence and composure to embarrass them. Once this happens, meme it endlessly. Do this very rarely and make it land. Counterintuitively, perhaps, the fewer excellentexamples, the better.
The reader should be aware I have still not touched on politics. This is entirely beside the point. The politics of actual governance can be left-wing, right-wing, up, down, whatever. Political success in consolidating the Brexit vote will require compromise and coalition, no doubt. The immediate goal is to institutionally permanentize the Brexit revolt. The above is tactics. It is what to do. The remainder of what I will consider, I would argue, is even more important. It is what it should feel like. We cannot forget that, more than any particular policy, it is the feeling of decay and stagnation that must be overturned.

Aesthetics is paramount. The Overton Window must be shattered. Energy and vitality must be consistently expressed to invigorate a belief in even the possibility of eventual and meaningful political success. I suggest an emphasis on beauty, truth, and action. This is the aesthetic of reform.


photo by Colin Watts, via Unsplash

Modernity is ugly. Everybody knows this. Everybody can see it. Everybody can feel it. The war on beauty is a militaristic campaign of demoralization of enemy civilians. The regime promotes ugliness as a means of establishing fealty via intellectual blackmail. He who can be made to say that the patently ugly is beautiful can be made to say anything at all. He is pwned, and therefore he is most useful to the regime.

Nothing seems to enrage regime apparatchiks more than pointing out this absurdity and nothing seems to embarrass them more than laughing about their own susceptibility to this blackmail. Nothing terrifies them more than the pursuit of beauty, for, wherever man-made, beauty is a form of excellence. Whether in art, architecture, physique, or beyond, beauty reflects discipline, creativity, and merit: exactly the character traits the regime strains to suppress in favour of slovenliness, dullness, and mediocrity.

The easiest political win imaginable, and we may argue the very essence of taking aesthetics seriously, is to resist the crushing conformity of ugliness and promote beauty as a good in and of itself. The tangibly political forms this expression ends up taking aren’t as important as the vigour with which it is expressed. Nonetheless, consider the following examples:

Mock regime agitprop masquerading and promoted as “art.” Overtly celebrate Shakespeare, Austen, Keats, and Turner in its place (the “Turner Prize” is an excellent avenue for attack on these grounds). Wittily stigmatize victimhood gymnastics as the last resort of the talentless hack. Do not dabble with such ethereal concerns as it being “illogical per this and that doctrine of unreadable political philosophy” but rather hammer home relentlessly that it is ugly. What kind of cretins would resort to poisoning our collective consciousness with this impudent grift when The Bard is just down the shelf?

Promote physical fitness, in particular for children. Unapologetically proclaim that it is good to be fit and that it is bad to be unfit. Champion sports; the more elitist the better. The more brutal, the better. Wherever possible, highlight the sporting experience of favourable political figures and draw attention to unfavourable figures as being overweight and out of breath. Put favourable figures’ fitness front of mind for the audience by actively demonstrating it in the lifting of weights, the running of marathons, the performance of arduous manual labour, and so on.

Insist that government buildings, or any building connected with or receiving funding from the state, accord with classical standards of beauty. This one is screamingly obvious given the lingering effect of the Soviet-inspired brutalist assault on the British psyche inflicted across the latter half of the twentieth century by the ascendant caste we now seek to depose. The virulence of this sensory and spiritual blitz is all the more evident when juxtaposed with the legacy of British elegance and charm. Note, this proposal also has the additional benefit of enraging NPCs as it was earlier proposed by Orange Man Bad. Not that we should care about foreign countries — we are British, after all, and we are fighting to save Britain — so triggering invocations of He Who Shall Not Be Named is a tactical masterstroke given the only possible explanation for naming Him is in performative demonstration of the vassalage we seek to terminate.


photo by Iñaki del Olmo, via Unsplash

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, as Keats teaches us, great Briton that he was. We might suppose a corollary to be that falsehood is ugly. Some falsehoods are so egregious, and some truths so suppressed, that simply saying them out loud can catalyse a collective catharsis: a moment of serene beauty for the mind and the spirit, all the more powerful for its communitarian impulse: its realization consisting of the bonding of individuals hitherto alienated by the ugliness of lies into a commonwealth of reality.

For example, the regime reaction to COVID-19 was a technocratic dream and a humanitarian nightmare. It was functionally the greatest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in British history. There was no remotely rational case that any of the measures taken would do anything but horrendous harm to the general population. Even the dubiously credible “public health” agencies had their previous guidance across the entirety of their existence overruled in favour of mindless panic and authoritarian spasm. Anybody pointing this out, however gently, was socially destroyed. Regime control of the media apparatus and violent suppression of peer-to-peer alternatives were key to cultivating, managing, and proliferating this panic. Obvious as it was at the time to anybody paying attention, it is now proven beyond a doubt that even the self-proclaimed rationale was fraudulent at every level. To top it all off, it was carried out by a “Conservative” government. Not that we should care about any other country — we are British, after all, and we are fighting to save Britain — but we must at least acknowledge with regret and apology that Boris Johnson was the foremost global proponent of this insanity, and his sheer bumbling cowardice and stupidity effectively greenlit it across the rest of the Western world. These are all truths. People know them even if some still dare not say them, hence they should be said often and with vigour.

Similarly, “Net Zero” is an antihuman cult for atheists with God-shaped holes in their hearts, deciding to believe not in nothing, as Chesterton warned, but “capable of believing in anything.” It is complete and utter nonsense from a scientific perspective and on a human level will result in nothing whatsoever other than misery, poverty, sickness, and death. Needless to say, these things are ugly. Human flourishing is beautiful, and “net zero human flourishing” is not a bad meme, if I do say so myself. Those promoting this cult (oh look, it’s the “Conservatives” again!) are either literal scammers, aiming to launder their pilfering of public wealth through technologically embarrassing boondoggles, or authoritarian zealots, who have landed on their Science™ by working carelessly backwards from the desired conclusion of total control over the everyday behaviour of the plebs.

We could continue more or less indefinitely with the regime’s litany of marginal nanny stating, but to tie back to aesthetics, the overall point to be made here is that authoritarianism is simply not British. The political legacy of Britain is hardly “far-right fascism” or “anarcho-capitalist utopianism” as the regime will surely look to smear any mention of these truths. It is communitarian and incrementalist democracy checked by independent civic institutions, pushing politics to as local and boring a level as possible and pushing national pride to the forefront of public consciousness.

These authoritarian spasms clearly come from our unfortunate colonization by the American left but are ultimately communist in nature. Communism is ugly. Freedom is beautiful. And Britain is amazing. Contrary to how the regime would like for your children to be indoctrinated, Britain is not the most evil country in the history of the world, but is almost without doubt the best.

This is a truth not said nearly enough and often uglily lied about. Precisely one nation in history dedicated its immense commercial and military resources to stamping out the slave trade worldwide. Precisely one nation birthed the industrial revolution, from which all modern wealth and well-being flowed. We don’t care about other countries because we are British and we are fighting to save Britain, but, also, you’re all welcome.


photo by Oliver Hayes, via Unsplash

Mercy killing the “Conservatives”, gutting “Labour” of its disenfranchised, and so on, will take quite some time. But the timing is ideal, given Reform isn’t going to achieve anything at this election beyond triggering regime panic. Five years is more than enough to lean hard into this panic and employ all the tactics mentioned above to create maximum regime chaos.

As a reminder, engage minimally with the apparatus. Assert dominance with action and project vitality by ensuring the regime is always on the back foot and always responding to you. Never ever under any circumstances cede the framing. Force the apparatchiks to respond to your framing, and then ignore them and move on. Always act, never react. Try to weave the truthful and the beautiful into these parries also. The greater the aesthetic overload, the better.

The late, great Harold Bloom wryly observed, “a Shakespearean reading of postmodernism is far more interesting than a postmodernist reading of Shakespeare.” This wisdom is useful to us across multiple dimensions: on the one hand, in championing old Bill, fully expect to be subject to accusations of pickyaphobia, anyphobia. On the other, do not engage directly with any such nonsense. Rather, analyse its spouters as if they were Shakespearian villains. Hence: reject the framing out of hand, performatively celebrate Britain and Britishness, trollishly convey learnedness and intellect, champion beauty and truth, and win the memetic battle with vigour and vitality.

The power of memes in a more visceral, colloquial sense cannot be underestimated either. We all remember the cringefest of “Northern Powerhouse” and “Build Back Better.” These were camel memes designed by regime committee, whereas we have the power of peer-to-peer communication to A/B test memes and pick and choose those thoroughbred stallions that rise on merit. “Infinity immigrants” and “so-called pandemic” come to mind as potent, funny, and likely to optimally trigger NPCs. I am cautiously optimistic that the present article might plant “misery, poverty, sickness, and death” or “net zero human flourishing.”

The key to causing the desired chaos is relentless repetition on the one hand, such that the memes simply have to be addressed, but on the other maximally discordant and hence funny novel deployments to catch NPCs off-guard and trigger yet more inept and memeable responses. Mindful that I am ruining the essential surprise factor by putting forward examples in this setting, one could imagine a policy suggestion to the effect that, “okay, we can have infinity immigrants, so long as they are all women,”; that benefits claimants must pass spot fitness tests; or that commercial banks must keep a certain balance of Bitcoin in their own reserves — all of which, by the way, are solid proposals on political grounds, entirely beside the chaos they will engender and the aesthetic they will reinforce.

While the regime is perpetually scrambling to respond to this chaos — while it is forced always onto the back foot, taking orders of magnitude more energy than you explaining why the aforementioned memes are fascist — get out there and do things. Demonstrate the essential uselessness of regime apparatchiks by getting involved in the community and solving real problems for people. As Edmund Burke writes in Reflections on the Revolution in France,

“To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle … of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love of our country and to mankind.”

It is somewhat outside the scope of this article (although it would make for a good meme) to argue further that what we are really fighting is the refusal of the French Revolution to ever truly die. Suffice it to say that we must stand for bottom-up, active governance, from which and only which it is coherent to establish a love of country. The regime — its governance, its media apparatus, and its aesthetic — is a top-down catastrophe that hates its country and hates you. Act accordingly, but most importantly, act.


photo by Matt Antonioli, via Unsplash

Probably none of this will work. Britain will stagnate further. Anybody with any skill or ambition will leave to more wisely governed territories and the parasite industrial complex will continue to consume the host.

But it wouldn’t be very British to just give up, now, would it? Moreover, these proposals are targeting a certain reflexive momentum. Championing vigour and vitality is invigorating and vitalizing. If it seems to work, it is working. Even if eventual loss is inevitable, fighting along these lines will at least be more fun than sombre acceptance. Tally-ho, lads, we’re saving the country!

This aesthetic is indisputable: to come out for ugliness, lies, and impotence is to make exactly our case for us. As Samwise Gamgee says to Frodo Baggins,

“It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

This plea for truth, beauty, and action needs no further elaboration, except perhaps to add, so as to agitate the NPCs one final time, that Tolkien was really talking about Britain.

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