The quest for equality is a trap where we are fighting on the progressives turf if we adopt their paradigm of “equity” OR “equality”. We should embrace inequality! We should not be ashamed of inequality but champion it! Just as the LGB movement embraced the pejorative term “queer” and celebrates it, we must embrace inequality and all its benefits. Inequality is where freedom and meritocracy intersect to create outstanding accomplishments in every field. I don’t want equality. I want many various ways to be unique and different from everyone else. I don’t want Tom Brady to play football as ineptly as I do. I don’t want Elon Musk to limit himself to my software programming skills. And I don’t want Melania Trump to be limited to my linguistic facility with only one language. Equality dooms us to regimented, bone-crushing mediocrity. Inequality is the ONLY road to individuality! Viva Inequality! Inequality = Individuality.

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With all the current political events going on, I decided to reread Thucydides and Tacitus over the past few weeks. Two passages seem eerily relevant to our situation today. Human nature does not change.

"So corrupted indeed and debased was that age by sycophancy, that not only the foremost citizens who were forced to save their grandeur by servility, but every ex-consul, most of the ex-praetors and a host of inferior senators would rise in eager rivalry to propose shameful and preposterous motions. Tradition says that Tiberius as often as he left the Senate-House used to exclaim in Greek, "How ready these men are to be slaves." Clearly, even he, with his dislike of public freedom, was disgusted at the abject abasement of his creatures." —Tacitus, Annals, 3.65

"The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honor with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape." —Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 3.82.8

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Apr 2, 2023·edited Apr 3, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

The foundation of modern Leftism (as Chris says, starting in pre-Revolutionary France) is a sort of fundamentalist Egalitarianism, and it is not a bug but a feature that this is unattainable. (Think about it: a movement with tangible goals has an end date, a movement based on only vague abstractions is eternal.)

The New Left and their Holy Trinity of Race/Gender/Sexuality is a moral and political crusade, but also a jobs program and a combination of Christian diocese, permanent revolution, and an industry with multiple franchises and revenue streams.

The Western Left began in direct opposition to King/Country/God, promising instead a more just society based on equality and especially Reason (they even dedicated a temple to it), engineered and overseen by enlightened philosopher-kings who read (and wrote) all the proper books.

And this remains a major dynamic and dialectic in our political life: our academic clerisy have supplanted our religious clergy and they base their right to rule on their supposed ability to rearrange society in a more equitable fashion, as opposed to the evil capitalists who they hope to overthrow from the top of the social pyramid. And this drive for "Equality" is eternal and unstoppable but appears in different guises with different reasons depending upon place and time: it used to be wages and property to be redistributed to the proletariat, now it is self-esteem and "Equity"™ for the "marginalized".

Basically Leftism is secular political theology run by and for disaffected intellectuals that combines Protestant morality with Marxist epistemology. They are sort of permanent opposition in all capitalist liberal democracies and their churches are the universities. But as w all fundamentalists, they will never be reasoned out of their positions and they will never care about any damage to our country or its citizens, because for True Believers nothing matters except the sacred cause they've dedicated their lives to.

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

When it comes to the race issue, I’m more relaxed because I can see it’s cyclical nature. CRT isn’t exactly new, it was advocated in various forms in the 60s by people like Malcom X and the Black Panthers, but petered out in the 70s. Affirmative action has never really been accepted by a majority of the American people, despite powerful forces pushing for it, and there’s a high likelihood it will be made illegal by SCOTUS.

My fear is more on the LGBT issue. Unlike African Americans, that were genuinely oppressed in the past and still have some legitimate grievances today, I see the LGBT movement as basically a victimhood construct. Also unlike on the issue of race where it ebbs and flows, it’s virtually been non-stop victory for the LGBT agenda, with ever greater public support. The complete denial of reality with transgenderism has no historical precedent and is extremely dangerous.

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Apr 2, 2023·edited Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Indeed...It is the equaling of outcomes that is beyond equality of opportunity (education systems) that is the rub and the difference between ideologies.

Libertarian conservatives are willing to live with the randomness that comes after the creating equality of opportunity. They are much better at applying their education in the real world with out a script where merit can be applied. It is these systems of production that exist outside of the theoretical realm in the marketplace that the nihilistic left do not have control of. They do not have the strength or the grit to actually do what is required to create wealth.

Progressives on the other hand need a script to control outcomes for their entire lives. Especially beyond their education. They do not have the ability to leave the realm of theory to apply their intelligence in the marketplace. This requires creativity, grit and sweat that progressives can never obtain as they sit sipping their lattes by the side of the boulevard measuring inequality on their phones.

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“...an aristocracy that took the best people from all over society who had immense talent, immense learning, immense capacity, a vision of the good, that could then serve as a leadership class.”

We already have/had that, but this “aristocracy” (technocracy) voluntarily adopted the superficial, woke, virtue signaling paradigm ($83mln in corporate donations to BLM, Blackrock, anyone?). An “aristocracy” that can be so easily captured is not reducing the dysfunction.

You are also assuming that the election process is actually legitimate enough to allow for GOP presidential/congressional wins. I am no longer sure that’s true, sadly.

I very much agree, however, that the real fight over the future will be outside of electoral politics. To paraphrase Churchill, we must fight them in academia, we must fight them in K-12 education, we must fight them in Hollywood, we must fight them in Silicon Valley, we must fight them in the sprawling halls of D.C. bureaucracy; we must never surrender!!!

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

'And so what I think will happen ultimately, if the woke revolution proceeds at any pace, you’re going to see a decay of standards, you’re going to see a rejection of merit, you’re going to see even some serious dysfunction in all of our industries and all of our companies and all of our institutions of education.'

Bingo. This is exactly what I've been telling my fellow investor friends. They don't care about product quality; or corporate earnings, etc. Just their own power, survival and "equity". Like Communism, it leads to poverty.

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

“Chris, does the woke revolution fit into this schema? Does it follow this cycle?”

Terminology: "woke revolution" is highly misleading and counter-productive.

We know who the opponents of Normal Americans are: Politically Correct Progressives, (PC-Prog).

We know that the PC-Progs' belief system is not new, it's not a "post-civil-rights revolution" nor is it a "revolution for equality" nor is it a "revolution against equality."

We know that the PC-Prog belief system is based on hatred of Normal America.

We know that PC-Progs have six core beliefs and an action corollary:

PC-Progs believe that:

America is a...






capitalist hellhole.

And it must be changed.

We know where this belief system came from, we know who/how/when/why and the strategy and tactics used in inserting it into American culture. In effect, we have the PC-Progs' playbook: www.willingaccomplices.com

Willi Muenzenberg was the German communist genius who created the strategy and tactics of covert influence the Comintern (Communist International—the Soviet organization tasked with accelerating the worldwide spread of communism) used to insert self-hatred into America’s culture.

Muenzenberg created the tactic of “front groups” with high-minded idealistic goals—stop racism, end imperialism, etc. He worked from 1918 till about 1935. His operatives, and operations, reached throughout American culture.

He targeted the “transmission belts” of American culture—the media, Hollywood, and education/academia. His influence agents, Willing Accomplices in the destruction of Normal America, were extremely effective. Their work continues to this day. CRT/BLM/ACLU/SPLC/etc are all just extensions of Muenzenberg's hate-America front organizations.

Muenzenberg's failure was only in timing. He thought his op would take 5-10 years. Instead, it took 80-90 years for the belief system and his strategies/tactics of destroying American culture to penetrate and take over our culture.

Absolute acceptance of the PC-Prog belief system is required for membership in the Democrat Party, and many

professions--academia, media, education, Hollywood.

The way that PC-Prog beliefs are implemented cause those who haven't seen their playbook to lose their way in confused discussions and reactions to "liberalism v. classical liberalism," or "defining conservative," or "identity politics," or "BLM," or "CRT," "Marxists," "communists," etc, etc.

The division is Normals vs. PC-Progs. That's it. PC-Prog is built on hatred, pure hatred. Anything Normals do/say/think/feel/believe is bad and must be changed. Change = eradication. They'll do anything to change Normal America.

They'll loot, rob, murder, destroy, burn, imprison, whatever is necessary to eradicate Normals.

Only when Normals understand that concept will we be able to counter-act PC-Progs effectively. Until then, all the debate and review of history looking for parallels just wasted energy.

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I think the desire for a "great leveling" is inherent in the political system of mass democracy. The ideal is one person, one vote, no matter who you are--everyone is the same. It's no surprise that in this system, the approximate bottom half of the population would primarily use their votes to try and "level out" the playing field. It would be strange if they did otherwise.

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Why do you think trump didn’t carry through with several of the populist policies that would have made him wildly successful (ending affirmative action, ending mass immigration, reducing size of the military, actually putting down the riots, not appointing faucci)?

Is it his personality (narcissistic personality disorder)? He seemed to abandon his base and avoid governing altogether rather than even setting up a technocratic team and just taking all the credit.

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I had an aha moment about equality on reading Francis Fukuyama's "The Origin of Political Order."

He writes that equality is only possible in "pre-state" societies where leaders don't have the power to enforce their will, and instead must negotiate with their fellow humans. In state societies with a leader, an army, and a bureaucracy, there is bound to be inequality.

That explains a lot about the failure of "equality" politics.

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"the woke revolution is for absolute leveling. They’re against any kind of aristocracy of merit because they want to have equality of outcomes."

They're not actually for leveling though. The correlation between being woke and being educated is very high, and even higher if you are educated at an elite school. Uber-educated, woke, white people may protest systemic racism in the abstract, but none of them are surrendering their Harvard and Yale slots for blacks. The police in their neighborhoods will never be defunded. Lenin's commitment to leveling was serious and dangerous; theirs is performative and cost free.

Why the performance? Because the more you talk about the bogeyman of "system racism" the less you have to talk about the real cause on unleveling in America: wealth and class. Being woke may require you to endure some stupid trainings about toxic whiteness, but since racism is systemic, you don't have to actually do anything individually to fix it other than mouth the platitudes. However, wealth and class are amenable to very direct leveling via govt policy. To the wealthy and educated, supporting bail for those who burned down (mostly minority owned) businesses in the name of racial justice is cheap. Raising marginal tax rates on the wealthy would be far more costly (to the wealthy). Being woke allows them to focus the zeitgeist's valid sense of social injustice on the former (race - performative to them) so that it will not be focused on the latter (class - dangerous to them). The more they rant about racism being endemic in America, the less likely people will notice the growing income divide and rising GINI coefficient, evidence that what's really becoming endemic in America is classism.

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“And the lesson here, I think, is that the pursuit of equality often ends with unintended consequences. And the period of chaos is then followed by a period of stabilization, retrenchment, or, in some cases, counter-revolution.”

Yes. Re Wokeism, I think we’re finally just starting to move beyond the Crazy Point. There’s still work to do, of course. We’re in a time of extremism on both sides, but I think Republicans have a real opportunity right now if they distance themselves from Trump. Dems are losing ground with non-white voters. They’ve lost touch with the working-classes.

Connected: https://michaelmohr.substack.com/p/some-surprising-data-on-black-americans

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

The counter-revolution can't come soon enough.

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Well reasoned and level-headed. Well done.

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Rufo put a lot of thought into this social analysis and I believe that history shows that the “Modernity Loop” has merit

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