It is time to move on from mainstreaming. It is time to move on from a failed “movement.”
Her Majesty, the Imperial Milady Marine of Mainstreaming, has fallen. Will we see any honest analysis of this disaster? Doubtful, other than here at EGI Notes.
If mainstreaming worked, we would still have to debate whether the compromises and moderation is all worth it. But here’s the point: It doesn’t work. Once again, to be clear: Mainstreaming does not work.
Moderating Marine has achieved nothing more, electorally speaking, than her more radical father (who she denounced) did. So, what’s the point? Look at Austria, look at the Netherlands, look at Australia, there’s no payoff. “Where’s the beef,” so to speak? Where’s the advantage? Golden Dawn is not in power in Greece; the Front National is not in power in France. They are equally not in power. Perhaps both models need revision?
If mainstreamers justify their strategy by the possibility of electoral success, and if mainstreamers continuously fail, then why is mainstreaming still considered legitimate? Why? Yes, I can see that it may make theoretical sense, at least to those amenable to (at least temporary) compromise. But political theory must be judged, ultimately, in how it is actualized in the laboratory of real world experience. One forms a hypothesis and tests it. According to Popper, if the data show the hypothesis to be wrong, it should be abandoned. Perhaps the situation is more akin to Kuhn and paradigm shifts. Activists with an intellectual and emotional investment in mainstreaming will continue to create ad hoc explanations for its failures, and resist rejection of their theory/hypothesis. Eventually though, the sheer volume of contradictory data, combined with the rise of new activists unencumbered by adherence to failed ideas, will shift the worldview, and a realization of the emptiness of mainstreaming will occur, and a new paradigm, more hard and radical, will take its place.
Perhaps that will happen. But the time! The time! Can we waste so much time with people ignoring the facts right in front of their face?
I have previously written about the phenomenon of faux-sophistication, and we may be seeing some of that with the adherents of mainstreaming.
A clear example of this psychological flaw is seen in sports. Sportswriters and other so-called “experts” endlessly pontificate about the values and virtue of “defense” – so as to contrast their “sophisticated expertise” and “refined tastes” from the "crude" casual fans who, presumably, enjoy lots of offense, action, and scoring. Thus, the “expert” sniffs: “[fill in name of sport] is 90% defense.” Well, from a logical standpoint, that’s nonsense – games are won by the team that scores the most points, goals, runs, etc.; therefore, scoring and preventing scoring are of equal value and hence any team sport is going to be, in general, 50% offense and 50% defense. But let’s not let logic and common sense get in the way of preening expertise!
The same applies to politics. Hillary Clinton’s campaign foundered in part because of snarky millennials and their “data” and “expert” advice to concentrate on “turning out the base” –in sharp contrast to Bill Clinton’s ignored advice to throw a bone or two at the Rust Belt White working class.
Meanwhile, on the Far Right, the “experts” sniff with disdain at radicals who insist on such outdated concepts as non-negotiable fundamental principles, and instead these heroic “experts” extol the virtue of compromise and moderation. And they keep on losing, over and over and over again. But they know better you see. And by taking positions that contrast to all those knuckle-dragging radical extremists, these “experts” seem like real smart and professional and polished and all. They keep on losing, but they lose with style!
Some would argue that I’m being “premature” and we need to be patient and give mainstreaming more time to succeed. At what point does this patience move from prudent circumspection to blind adherence to a failed hypothesis? Marine Le Pen was the clearest test of mainstreaming so far, and the test was failed like all that preceded it. I’m not sure repeating the same over and over again is going to yield significantly different results. That she did better than her father with respect to percentages, but still failed – is this progress? Perhaps the assertion that the Front National has attracted more youthful supporters than before will be accredited to mainstreaming. But, putting aside that Le Pen still failed, we can ask – are youth really attracted by mainstreaming and moderation? That’s doubtful. Yes, they may want more “liberal” social mores, but the key issues of race and immigration, and sovereignty, are what motivates most Front National supporters, and with respect to those key issues I’m doubtful that high-spirited and energetic youth, some of whom are involved in the Identitiarian movement, are really looking for mainstreaming and moderation. In the end, despite whatever the youth wants, the bottom line is, again, that Le Pen failed. Mainstreaming failed (again), big time.
“Farstreaming” has in fact been more successful. Sometimes politicians can be more successful being more radical. That may be context-dependent, but it is clear that “moving to the center” simply hasn’t worked.
If we can agree on that, then we can start the process of formulating alternatives. Activists need to stop listening to memes that sound good in theory but consistently fail in practice.
A counter-argument will be that radicalism hasn’t worked either. But what kind of radicalism? Yes, Nutzi stupidities haven’t worked, I agree. Historical Nazism brought back in the post-war period hasn’t worked, warmed-over Guntherism (i.e., 99% of “movement” dogma) hasn’t worked, esoteric silliness about “Kali Yuga” and “the men who can’t tell time” hasn’t worked,” and breathless navel-gazing over cephalic indices and fractional admixture percentages hasn’t worked either.
But has anyone tried to formulate EGI/universal nationalism into practical politics? No. Has anyone tried to combine radical policy positions with rational and professional rhetoric and a polished presentation? No. It’s either been mainstreaming compromise or foaming-at-the-mouth Nutzism.
The mainstreamers can run but they can’t hide. The French election was not only a catastrophic defeat for nationalism, but it should completely undermine confidence in the mainstreaming fraud. Let’s all sit back and watch the show, the mainstreamers spinning their endless stream of defeats, rewriting history (“We always said Le Pen had no chance of winning!” or “We never were in any way invested in a Le Pen victory!” or whatever other lie), the mainstreamers moving on to the next election including the next French election (“Hey! We never said that 2017 was the last chance to save France and Europe through the electoral process!”), Der Movement giving the mainstreamers a “free pass” and forgetting their endless stream of bad advice, poor judgment, and catastrophic defeats.
Or will a miracle occur and the mainstreamers admit they are wrong and gracefully bow out and make way for others who don’t pretend they know everything and who want to take an empirical approach to determine, and then utilize, what actually works?
It is up to you, dear reader, to demand change and leave a failed “movement” in the dustbin of history, where it belongs. I take it endless failure doesn’t appeal to you?