The Maw of the Machine, or A Donor’s Eye View of the Base and Superstructure Dynamic of Party Patronage

Dearest friends,

Have you ever inserted money into a vending machine? I have! Where does the money go? How does it turn the dollars into chocolate? It is like magic, if magic was real and made of chocolate and also magic. Amazing! And friends, have you wondered how your dollars magically turn into social justice? I haven’t. Step into my Chocolate Factory, but please avoid Mr. Weiner or he’ll show you his Willy Wonka.

How much does it take to buy your way into a politician’s good graces? $1,000,000? $10,000,000? $1,000,000,000? If you answered $10,000, you’re closest to the money. A donor dinner is often only a thousand or couple thousand dollars. For very important people, it might be tens of thousands of dollars, or a hundred or two hundred thousand for someone like the President. These sums are, in fact, fairly small dollar. But the small proletarian donors can’t play because they’re just too small. They could aggregate their funds under a suitable figurehead like le Chapo Man or a union boss. But the boss, once elevated, soon finds his material interests differ from his former comrades. No longer a proletarian, he becomes his own player in the great game, able to independently express his will. The coordination problem prevents proletarians from pooling their resources together to fight.

So you can make contact fairly cheaply. But what about following up? How do you buy a politician with such small sums? Laundering the money through organizations. I don’t mean in the “dark money” sense. That’s childish. Instead, found a cause. A front organization. Get together a few of your friends and make a NGO focused on some political cause you have coming from some ideology you share. Call this the backers a “faction” or “ideo-tribe”. More on this later. When you look at something like urbanism, that’s obviously a front for certain elements of high finance, right? It allows you to justify further development through livability rhetoric. This new construction, preferably of something holy like public housing, creates profits for developers, real estate private equity funds (hedge funds), issuers of asset-backed bonds relating to these deals, and ultimately becomes its own power base which can feed back into the original cause. Or take the green movement. Green rhetoric allows the subsidization of green industries. Good news if you run Nikolai’s Motors or Zappy Sun Power Fun. You get you and a few of your other well-heeled friends in your faction and you each chip in, say, 10 grand. Because these are causes, and ideally, “good causes”, you can attract the donations of small donors, well-meaning progressives or conservatives who want to make change. All of that goes into your slush fund. Being the founder and a major donor, you can set the agenda, which effectively means you control all that money, which means you’ve effectively levered up your initial small dollar outlay several times over. Your initial million or whatever becomes twenty or thirty or fifty million.

And it all comes from the little people. That it comes from the retail workers and clerks and delivery boys is not a flaw but the point! These are the people who can’t fight back if they ever notice you using the organization as a front. Not that they will. How could they? What does the corrupt organization look like? One imagines no show jobs and corrupt cynicism everywhere – but that’s not necessary. Because the front organization’s cause legitimately advances the material interests of the backer, overt corruption is not needed at all. The sinecures need not look like sinecures. Sincerity does not dissolve the organization. Let in all the sunshine you want – the demon does not melt.

Best of all, it’s a tax writeoff. Isn’t that something?

Once your front organization is rolling, you can put people on the payroll. Bluechecks, writers, activists… and politicians. And once you give a politician a sweet, sweet sinecure, you buy the man. And why not? You’re supporting some nice, sweet progressive cause. Nothing corrupt about it, no sir. And even if there are people so principled they’ll never take any money at all, there’s always far more willing to be bought. Many are the activists and bluechecks waiting for their big chance to be pushed up the ladder. Push them, and they will repay you with loyalty. Why not? You made them.

Once they’re in office, they can start repaying you. And believe me, why invest in a cause if it won’t turn a profit? If you and your friends chip a total of $1mm, leverage it to $20mm, and win back a development opportunity worth $25mm, you’ve gotten a 2400% return on your own money and a 25% return on the front org’s. A profit! And you had better turn a profit. The cold logic of capital demands it. If you are not increasing the resources of your front org rather than diminishing, someone else is. There are many ways to redirect money back into your pockets. Secret information, like knowing about coronavirus beforehand so you can short it. Sinecures and created job positions at new bureaus so you can place your lackeys. Favorable laws – or unfavorable ones for your enemies. And the best part? Most of the giveaways don’t even have to look that crooked. Because the cause advances your interests, even sincere laws passed will help you. All the while, the cost is footed by public funds. The burden on the taxpayer creeps higher and higher.

Thus moves the political machine. This is the base. The action of the base is to concretely mobilize manpower, money, and mantras to serve your political empire.

But how do you coordinate and form your ideo-tribe in the first place? That’s the superstructure, the dynamics of ideology. That’s social media, that’s the blogosphere, that’s the public square, that’s Reddit and Twitter and 4chan and all those spaces. Ideology is always promulgating around the internet. One or another flavor of communist thinking or liberal thinking or conservative thought will match up with your material interests and moral sensibilities. Then you can latch on. Now you have a common thread to connect with other players in the game. It launders sordid material interest into sacred morality and ideology.

And what kind of ideology is ideal? Not orthodoxy. Orthodoxy in an ideology signifies you want to conform to something greater than yourself, which often means seeking a tribe to belong to, a protector to shield you, or a patron to employ you. No, you want heterodoxy. Drop a Marx quotation in the right places on the “Right”, and you can be ushered into a hidden circle. Those who are overcorrect in professing their ideology create a signal for wanting a party job. Profess heterodoxy, and it shows you aren’t in a position to need to parrot a party line for cash. It shows you can afford to dictate one.

You take your heterodox ideology with which you’ve bonded and you turn around and create organizations to push it. These are your front organizations. The control doesn’t have to be direct here, though it sometimes is. The point is that it pushes discourse your way. As discourse goes enough your way, your front orgs grow more and more powerful, thus moving them from the superstructure from the base. They pay off, pay you, you seize power. Your new ideology, whatever it is, Anarcho-Frontierism, Radical Recyclianism, Eco-Fascism, is now the mainstream in some way. Once upon a time, neoconservatism was a few followers of the mad Jew Strauss, and the New Left was a bunch of radical chic philanthropists and some young buck politicians with the steely ambition in their eyes.

But once it becomes the mainstream, it is no longer heterodox to profess your ideology. Professing it is now the domain of young Twitter suckups looking for a cushy media job. So the organizing ideology shifts again. Thus, the base-superstructure dynamic is always shifting the discourse window to new politics. Thus we have a continuous feedback cycle of base-superstructure ideological laundering for material interests.

And what about the employees of the front orgs? For some, fame, power, and prosperity await. They will rise high, and those that envy them will be many. Their smiles will strike fear into the hearts of their courtiers. All the riches of the empire will be splayed before their feet. But for most, the machine will consume their big city dreams. They will pen article after article chasing the big break. They will march and call and knock. Their friends will decry them as a gentrifier or the stooge of Melon Tusk or a thousand other things. And in time, they will return home, ashamed by their own brokenness. It does not matter what happens to them. The freelances are the free lances, mere disposable foot soldiers.

These are the shadow wars waged by capital from its invisible fiefdoms, their movements only betrayed by the occasional silver-steel flash in that everblack night.

Lamenting his own unread ink,
Monsieur le Baron

In a Fashion: Aesthetic, Prole Drift, and Sumptuary Laws as Sanity Preservation

Dearest frens,

henlo pals i am a frenly guy here to exposit a thing okay thanks

You ever think about like… clothes? Man, why do we even wear clothes? To cover our nudity? Man, that’s fucking stupid. This is a total grift, and, bro, bro, this is such a fucking racket! Let’s get in on it! That’s always my first instinct when I find a racket, as the good value transference parasite I am (Still the best, two millennia and counting, arguably three!)

So let’s talk about this racket. Why do people buy clothes? To cover themselves, obviously. But also, to express tribal identity, hence all the amusing novelty graphic tees. And what is the biggest racket in the market? You know what I’m going to say if you’re a regular reader of the blog, and I know there are literally dozen of you. Luxury. The attempt to signal wealth through clothing. So let’s talk about that.

Most people’s first instinct would be to aim upscale or ultra-upscale. At the highest heights, maybe you sell something for $100,000 – once. Once a year. That’s not much fodder for your business, and there is a shit load of variance. I saw a art piece that struck my fancy, but the low five figure price tag didn’t fit the budget. It’s still for sale, years later. Unless you’re one of the few that arbitrarily strikes a mood (and if you do, milk that hard), your prices can only rise so high, and your volume will be anemic. So maybe less upscale, less tailored, something more for the broad upper class. Let’s widen our market to centimillionaires and their cadet branches. There were 50,000 centimillionaires a few years back, probably quite a few more now, and there are associated families with those. We can reasonably eyeball our global upper class market as a few hundred thousand households. Now you’ve got a much larger customer base! Still, they can’t dig as deep into their pockets, right? But you can still charge them a couple hundred bucks. So you open up your store, call it Taul Spuart, and you sell 10,000 sport jackets for $300 each and make a snappy $3,000,000 and then sell 10,000 more shirts for $100 each and call it a day. Hey, that’s weird. By sliding down the class totem pole, we made more money.

Is there a pattern here? Let’s move down again. Let’s start selling to the upper middle class. Now our market is a whopping 5% of the population. Sure, maybe we have to cut the price per shirt to like, $40, but we are literally selling millions of shirts now. Profit goes up again. Incredible. But if we keep chopping prices, we’ll have no profit margin, right?

Well, that’s the magic of it. In 1980, a book came out called The Official Preppy Handbook. The retailer pimped, LL Bean, was a fairly standard retailer catering to upper middle class clientele. What happened to it? Now middle class shoppers were clamoring to buy their products. Obviously, prices had to drop to accommodate poorer customers, right? Wrong. Prices doubled, tripled, sometimes even quadrupled. A LL Bean shirt in 1980 was only twice the cost of a Sears shirt. Since then, the cost of a LL Bean shirt has far outpaced inflation. Profits went up an order of magnitude. Girbaud, an upscale jeans brand, was appropriated by blacks. Since that point, the price has doubled in inflation-adjusted terms. The pants were more expensive than commodity pants, but part of that is just the cost of materials and the cost of having a smaller market. The truth is that the upper middle class exists in an awkward valley where they are extremely stingy relative to other classes as a proportion of their income, and thus demand lower prices to buy anything. Hence, core UMC stores like Costco run on discount stores. The thrift store, when it was classy and not for bandwagon grifters, was a cheap way to pick up novelty clothing that smelled like urine, the urine smell adding a level of class by shocking prudish middle class assholes. When I shop at Amazon, I get special discounts on top of Prime thanks to Amazon’s Special Rates For Rich Assholes program. Credit card companies and banks induce their mass affluent/millionaire customers to spend more by enticing them with generous point and reward programs, while hitting the proles and middle class with intrusive credit score requirements and fees.

If you can market your product to the middle class, you take that opportunity. Now you’re selling $100 shirts again, but even more than before. And at the end of the day, it’s all the same plastic crap anyways. You’ve got plastic crap for the upper class, for the upper middle, for the middle, for the proles. The main difference is that the plastic of the very rich is made by slaves in Italy, not China. Still plastic crap. But what people buy is not the actual product, but the image of the product. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Middloids on Le Reddit insist Walmart shirts disintegrate into plastic goo within a year, when I’ve got hand-me-downs going strong for years now. For all intents and purposes, that’s perfect durability.

But wait, why would the middle class pay so much for ordinary plastic clothing? Because they believe it conveys an image of being classier than they are. After all, they can afford “designer” now. But that puts you into a bind. In order to keep selling, you have to maintain the image of being upper class or at least upper middle class while simultaneously being far more accessible and downmarketed. That’s the dance of mass fashion. Ignore morons who talk about Burberry burning coats to keep them out of the hands of hobos. The amount of coats Burberry can burn can’t possibly put a dent in global supplies – shock, they destroyed millions in merchandise! What a terrible destruction of stock for a company that pulls in billions! It’s a fraction of a WHOLE PERCENT! You lose an order of magnitude more stock to shrinkage. What it can do, however, is reinforce a narrative of exclusivity and prestige. The intended audience, who falls for it hook, line, and sinker, is the middle class, which eagerly shlicks itself to the idea of buying merchandise that can’t possibly fall into the hands of those deplorable proles, while also being able to masturbate to the feeling of virtue signalling about designer clothing for hobos. The prestige dance can be helped along by actually having genuine upper middle class products or upper class products while producing a gaudier, more expensive version for the middle class. Bigger logo, anyone? To illustrate with another kind of example, a $125 tasting menu at some celebrity chef’s shitty 1 star Michelin restaurant is a genuine upper middle class experience, the counterfeit of spending $1000 for a gold-plated steak and a selfie with a celebrity of non-chef persuasion is middle class at best. But the latter is more expensive than the former.

Marketing is fake and bullshit, so what? You’re probably rolling your eyes at these observations you already made in grade school. Well, the act of marketing itself makes an image. And that image is not a true reflection of reality, but an exaggerated distortion. Just as Instagram creates unrealistic images of female appearance, marketing creates unrealistic images of tribal identities. Take my good friend, the Iraqistani Hebroid. When inebriated, one of his favorite rant topics is about the beautiful blond goys and their exclusive fucking country clubs and their Dartmouths and their boating. This is a very insane topic of conversation. The reason why it is insane is because half the people in his rich Jewland are blond, his family has been life members in a club since the 19th century, his relatives went to said white bro Dartmouth, and he is such a boater, he only knows how to boat and can’t drive. I fucking drive him. The conscious mind recognizes that this is unreasonable. But the unconscious mind does not. What the unconscious mind sees is a lifetime growing up on LL Bean and J Crew ads showing impossibly beautiful people on boats. The unconscious mind understands that the self is not an impossibly beautiful person on a boat, and thus nurses a resentment against an image that does not exist. In fact, the image is meant to depict a tribe which he is certifiably a member of, the Judeo-Puritan ruling elite, so that the masses might admire their Calvinism. But the image is so distorted that the Funhouse mirror reflection becomes a figure of superiority to taunt him. Rich people will do a lot to self-confirm their own membership in the tribe. In the past, striver New Money Americans would invent new genealogies tying them back to European noble titles, which is why genealogical documents and Ancestry websites today are totally trustworthy and true. In the more recent past of a few years ago, autism was a physical proof of bluebloodness, so grown ass men would pay to get fake diagnoses of autism to confirm their own superiority of blood. For my part, back in university, I would Banepost with my college roommate, another aristocrat, in real meatspace. The waiters were in awe of our Calvinism, or at least they were paid enough to pretend to be.

But what if the neuroticism of the rich doesn’t bother you? It should. Here’s the moneyshot. What is the figure that all people are compared to and found wanting? Fussell famously said that every American wants to live like the upper middle class, but I’d like to add my own addendum – but they’d like to look like the white middle class while doing so. It is a fact that middle class white people are the most beautiful people, which is why they are used as the pretty person when not diversity pandering. But the fact that white middle class people are used to model all these distorted identities means that all sorts of insane tribes are ascribed onto them subconsciously. They become the targets of every status resentment, and marketing works by creating status anxiety and status resentment. In short, unrestricted capitalism, even without the woke component, creates marketing, and marketing is all implicitly anti-white by aligning the resentments of all non-white middle class people (and, for that matter, white middle class people who resent the fake marketing images of wealth) against an imagined figure that looks like… the white middle class.

Ogilvy said that the best advertisement is infotainment. How foolishly the wisdom of elders has been ignored.

A second effect is that over time, these constructed images and reality yaw farther and farther apart. The image of rich people that most people have is some kind of indifferent white Republican with boomercon views. That’s been outdated since the 1920s. They think rich people are conservative, when conservatism is indisputably low rent. I express my conservative leanings among my peers by identifying as a fucking Marxist-Leninist. That’s how you signal family values and support for Trump without getting cancelled. My image of factories is a conglomeration of media images of British satanic mills, and I worked as an engineer in a fucking modern factory. Just like with LL Bean, the image overrides the truth. People simp for tradwheats in sundresses when those thots have a high body count than Hiroshima. What kind of a woman dresses up as a tradwheat? A woman who wants to drown in male attention – a whore, in short.

The key problem is that most of us aren’t wired to handle signals and tribal outfits changing so fast. They change so fast because free societies permit cheap signals to be appropriated quickly, but any large tribe necessarily must have relatively cheap signals. Tradwheat quickly becomes a thot sign, because the form and the function are not inherently aligned. We’re looking for the old stereotypes, but the stereotypes are constantly changing in real life, helped along by marketing departments manipulating them to drive up profits. Autism is high status before, but is it high status now that low rent moms use it to excuse the behavior of their shitty children? That’s just a few years of change. Nothing sticks long enough to form coherent cultural narratives. We exist in a constant state of agitation and status anxiety, and Uncle Capital has the answer for only 20 payments of $29.99.

The most status insecure of all, the downwardly mobile middle class white, thus becomes the archetypal consoomer, filling the identity void with infinite amounts of expensive plastic crap. His race is devalued, his class is in trouble – what’s a man to do but watch MARVEL CAPESHIT KABOOM?

So what did ye olden people do? It’s like there was a problem like this in China, where names and realities went out of sync. It required a sort of rectification of names. A formal designation of things, so to speak. A formalism. That’ll work. Let’s call these sumptuary laws, dictating exactly what people of a specific caste can look like. Perfect!

One problem is that people will do what they can to circumvent those laws so they can signal higher status than they have. The second problem – how do you decide who is a noble, who is a burgher, etc? In Ancien France, they self-identified during the census. Yes, sir, I am most def a noble, pinky swear. But we can do better, right? What if we created some kind of institution of autists that screened other autists for the proper autism, and if they could successfully defend a statement of autism, then a panel of King Autists would give them the vaunted designation of PotatoHead Douchebag, and Emperor von Hipsburg could send them a letter of baronhood in the mail. Surely they would never devalue the prestige of their own name by issuing far too many degrees for short-term monetary gains, since they are institutions with centuries of history and a long and unalienable connection with noble culture. Old problems demand new solutions.

In the end, everything rots. Everything becomes…

Blurry in the USA!

Zing.

So spiritually barren he writes whole articles to set up a shitty pop culture reference,
Monsieur le Baron

dope songs there tho