Shotgun vs. the Yang Gang…

yanggang

“Are you a capitalist or a socialist?” 

I’m often asked this. It’s not a fair question and the truth is, I don’t know nor do I really care. I don’t know because I’m convinced that the majority of such words (especially ones that end in “ism”) are utterly meaningless. They have little intellectual import and serve only to stoke the emotions of whomever hears them, in either a passionate fervor for or against.

So while I’m not an outright “capitalist”, I do find myself having many disagreements with those in the Alt. Right who are passionate “socialists”. They’re so passionate, in fact, they’re actually advocating for “universal basic income”, hopping on the bandwagon of the radical socialist democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang. These misguided Alt. Right lads are, perhaps rightly so, burnt out on Trump and all his false promises, so they see a guiding light in Yang who may have more of a chance to usher in the socialist state they desire.

But despite how many of these Alt. Right guys claim to be “former libertarians” or former “free market conservatives”, they seem to accept these socialist ideas at face-value…as if they’ve either forgotten all the free-market criticisms of such positions, or, more likely, as if they never understood them to begin with. Government-school kids, after all, run after trends and aesthetics rather than any legitimate policy convictions.

The level of double-think is amazing. Richard Spencer, for instance, can proclaim, in the same podcast, that the more of a product is supplied, the less demand there will be for it, while, a few minutes later, seriously advocate for universal basic income. One-thousand dollars a month for all? Even the most average Rush-Limbaugh-listening conservative knows this will dramatically reduce the spending power of money while, on the “back-end” as it were, remove more income from tax-paying workers, robbing us of our ability to spend and invest according to our perceived interests.

“Well, I would have hired an extra worker and/or given my existing employees a raise, but now that extra cash is being taken by the state to fund the universal basic income and my workers will have to make due without a pay-raise, despite the rising cost of living.” 

It’s absurd! What socialists always want on the front end, they end up destroying on the back end. And the average socialist is, usually, (and I’m speaking anecdotally) some sort of ivory-tower, or at least, arm-chair, intellectual with very little knowledge of how to manage his own money, let alone that of all his neighbors.

Another similarity these Alt. Right kids share with Yang is their unfettered faith in the demigods “science” and “progress.” On this view, we’re just a few decades away from Kurzweil’s transhumanist “singularity” where artificial intelligence and machines will either take over life as we know it, or merge with humanity to create a new evolutionary species – onwards and upwards we’ll go into the universe, unharried by death, decay, or…common-sense.

On this view, “machines” will replace labor, and, as socialists are always ostensibly the friends of “labor”, wish to institute economic or social reforms to avoid the poor worker having to lose his job to a machine. Self-driving big-rigs are alluded to as the case-in-point here – a technology that will inevitably put thousands of dejected truckers out of work. But, as usual, their proposed resolutions will, inevitably, cause more heartache and trouble to the truckers than any self-driving big-rig (and, without doxxing myself, I’ll add that this is a subject matter I have some level of professional expertise in). 

Unfortunately, the heartless free-market advocates, genuinely heartless in this instance, reply with the whole “learn to code” meme, implying the age-old capitalist talking-point that whenever a new technology renders some career-field obsolete, those involved in the career, after being fired, will eventually find new employment in the ever-expanding market. In this case: they could “learn to code”. This emphasis on market forces at the very-real expense of workers in a certain industry is a problem with “capitalism” when “capitalism” becomes a philosophy instead of merely a tool for analyzing markets.

Still, what of the socialist conviction that “machines” will destroy countless jobs? It’s completely false. Emphatically false!

Consider the classic essay “I, Pencil” in free-market literature. The essay outlines the massive labor force required to generate one, humble, pencil. The rubber factories for the erasers, the lumber mills for the wood, the graphite production, not to mention all the highways and transportation industries required to facilitate the production. Each of these supporting industries, themselves, require massive infrastructure. Likewise, consider a cotton-picking tractor. Did this replace all the slave labor in the old South? Hardly, when we consider the massive labor market required to maintain the tractor (fossil-fuels, alone, require thousands of man hours to produce).

Machines never *replace* labor, they only ever *reallocate* it.

Still…a Christian government (as opposed to a soulless capitalist market) would have mercy on those being “reallocated”. In fact, the malicious reallocation of labor in today’s markets is a major source of outright attack on white working-class people. It’s bad enough to have to retire early or learn a new trade late in life, but when the new labor created by the new technology is “reallocated” to non-whites or those not even citizens of the nation, it becomes a very real problem indeed.

In fact, this is *the* problem that free-market advocates in pro-white circles need to address in my humble opinion. My solution is radical, but I’ve said it publicly in many venues: we ought to seriously reconsider the merits of a decentralized, privately-owned, slave-labor market. Given technology today, we could even avoid having to live near the slave class – having plantations in South America or Africa, for example.

For anyone recoiling in horror, know that we already have a system like this in place, but the slavery is not formally recognized as such, nor is it presided over by individual, Christian, owners of capital. Far better individual Christian aristocrats, than faceless, international billionaires with no emotional connection to those slaving away on their plantations.

…more on the particulars of this in a future post. Suffice it to say, for now, the naive “Yang Gang” advocates in the Alt. Right would do well to dust off the old free-market literature they claimed to have mastered so long ago, and allow it to restrain their unfettered passion for the building of impersonal, economic, machines.

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7 Responses to Shotgun vs. the Yang Gang…

  1. Joe Putnam says:

    Hey Shotgun,
    I haven’t been online for 48 hours, and just read your post this morning. I like it. I agree that Yang Gang is not the answer. And, I would add, Yang Gang and UBI presupposes two things: (1) that FRNs are real money (tangible, moral, and not subject to inflation) and (2) that the industrial economy is a good thing and bound to continue forever.
    Further, someone wanting to pursue a small-scale agrarian life as Texan Michael Bunker and the Amish sects do, and as our Southern ancestors did, is neither capitalist nor communist, and not desiring a big government capable of sending them a grand in FRNs every month. You and I are two of the *very few* in the Alt-Right who seem to have read Fitzhugh and liked it…

  2. Stephen Clay McGehee says:

    Great post, Shotgun. I would have missed it, had Joe Putnam not put a link and recommendation on Gab. The Alt-Right fascination with socialism (which I strongly oppose without any reservation) is what prompted me to abandon and repudiate the Alt-Right, even though I agree with most of the points. Being lumped together under a label that includes socialism is something I cannot allow, so I “invented” my own label – the Civil Right – and articulated the key points on http://thecivilright.org/ .

    While I’m at it, let me again thank you for being an early Confederate Colonel supporter. I deeply regret having abandoned it rather than simply ignoring the fools. That was a painful lesson learned for me. The domain and the entire contents is now owned and controlled by someone in China, using it to sell “pharmaceuticals”.

    I’ll have to wait until I see your follow-up with the slavery idea before commenting on that. From anyone else, I would simply dismiss it as nonsense, but I’m confident that you are proposing something fundamentally different from what we now think of as “slavery”.

  3. Pingback: A Statement on Yang, UBI, and Ideology – God, Kin, and Soil

  4. Faust says:

    The whole Yang thing is insane.

  5. greyham9 says:

    Note that most Yang Gang stuff is by accelerationists, who think Yang will destroy the economy and thus bring us to the inevitable conflict sooner than later.

    Do you know much about distributivism and social credit theory? They’re ideals rooted in christian thought and often overtly Christian. They’re not far off, though not entirely the same as what you talked about the decentralized slave-economy.

    The biggest problem of today is lack of things for the skilled labor class of people to do. Where do they fit in the antebellum economy?

  6. I considered myself a “distributist” for a long time – allowing it to temper the austrian economic proclivities I had cultivated, and yet, over time, I realized the neo-distributists (those writing in defense of the school today) were repulsive egalitarians and had cringe-worthy ideas about how to re-distribute wealth.

    The ideas, of course, sound great in principle: making men independent so they can better participate in a democracy. Every man’s house, his kingdom…etc. And yet, upon analysis, as with all things socialist in nature, it turns out that what is tossed about on the “front-end” is always taken away on the “back end” (economically speaking). I was hoping for some economically savvy distributist to present critiques of austrian economic theories (the business cycle, etc) that would make sense, and present good counter proposals – but I’ve yet to see them. On that note, I think Tom Woods has written a good book outlining a “free market” critique of Distributism. As a Catholic, he’s uniquely suited for the job.

    Also, it doesn’t seem very Christian to me to want to make the economy dramatically less efficient, just so my way of life (whatever it may be) is artificially maintained. That would be to promote myself (using the power of the state as well as moralizing arguments to shame my neighbors) at the expense of everyone else.

    —-

    As to the lack of employment – in his book, Yang talks about the looming crisis for both skilled and unskilled laborers. Robots (or, that is: computer aided automation) is set to wipe out a majority of the “routine” jobs in the market, both blue and white collar. But the democrats, at least in recent memory, have always tried running on some looming crisis (like global warming). I highly doubt the “technological singularity” is as close upon us as Yang predicts. I also highly doubt it will be as pervasive and devastating to the job market as he’s predicting.

    Still – why not hedge our bets by engaging in a series of agrarian-minded micro-secessions, one of which would be to invest in automation-resistant capital, like apartments, trailer parks, storage units, etc.? The goal is to build up a capital base (a “plantation”) that will generate income for our children and their children, and so-on, for generations.

    • greyham9 says:

      ” I realized the neo-distributists (those writing in defense of the school today) were repulsive egalitarians and had cringe-worthy ideas about how to re-distribute wealth. ”

      Touchet. I’ve mostly read stuff from pre 1950s, especially ChesterBelloc and Canadian stuff like Bible Bill.

      In ever case I’ve taken the prefix ‘neo’ to mean ‘a flagrant corruption of’ or at best ‘the basic idea without any of the heart’. Neo-Pagans, Neo-Conservatives, and Neo-Nazis all fit that bill. I don’t know enough Neo-confederates to know if that applies to that moniker as well. But you get my jist.

      For quick answers. The Austrian business cycle can’t exist in a society without usury. The elimination of usery itself eliminates many of the needs for usuery; it allows for a more stable currency not as subject to constant inflation nor very subject to rapid deflation. That allows for no interest government-backed loans for citizens purchasing land. That should be the only place such a government-backed loan exists. It also allows private companies to offer no interest financing on large purchases without being liable for losses due to inflation over time. Large ticket item businesses will do this just to make sales. Even in the current economy large ticket item sellers are often willing to shoulder the risk of inflation with low or zero interest loans.

      The heart of distributive is always being more efficient. Thats why no one likes it. Distributivism is too efficient to support massive bureaucratic and financial and political classes. It’s usually too efficient to support large swaths of middle-management. But there is a radical difference in what defines efficiency in distributive and Austrian schools. To the Austrian it’s producing as much as possible and engaging in commercial transactions as much as possible. To the Distributive it’s producing as close to need as possible (with slight surplus for emergencies) and delivering goods to people as efficiently as possible. One seeks to produce more and the other seeks to provide more.

      So the question is, is the production or the distribution the definition of economic efficiency?

      Because in the free market school such as the Austrian school the cost of an item doens’t really drop until there is a surplus, thus in order to make a product widely accessible you must over-produce it, usually by a wide margin.

      I don’t think that’s real efficiency. The premise of Chestertons ideas about small being better is that organizations larger than they need to be are grossly inefficient. These large organizations leave large margins for error, and they use them.

      The modern free market system only looks efficient because it exists in a technological age where technology backs massive production capabilities the likes not seen sine Le-Mu. It looks efficient because it exists in an age where real efficiency matters less than ever.

      ________

      I’m not supporting Yang myself, I only meant to note that the intent of most of the Yang Gang was accelerationism. Building on what you said I don’t think the system is poised to collapse as accelerationists seem to think it is. Like you said the looming threats arn’t as close as fearmongers make them out to be.

      ______

      Why not? Because any fixed base we make will be a stationary target. And soon whatever wealth we have will be subject to control by our enemies simply by denying us access to the modern economic system.

      Whatever resistance we put up will have to be mobile and flexible. We must be like the Scythian and Viking that is our ancestor, not like the urbanites they conquered. Disrupt and dissapear. Raze and retreat. Conquer and move on taking only what we need.

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