Toleration requires fewer body bags than rage. — James Bovard
Beyond the Red Rage Horizon
by Analytical Engine mechanic
According to Hoyt
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Fighting Well on the Inner Front
We passed the Rage Horizon a few weeks ago.
— Ian Bruene, ATH comment, Jan. 11 2021
You just passed Beyond the Red Rage Horizon, sounds like.
So welcome to where much of the rest of America has been for months now.
— “Cecilia Gray” c/o this writer, ATH vignette, Feb. 5 2021
Once upon a time, in a far-distant world we called 1980, Frederik Pohl came out with a novel called Beyond the Blue Event Horizon as the middle book of a trilogy. (I’ve not yet read it, actually, but surely one of the catchiest book titles ever. So, stolen.)
And if, like our regular commenter and that vignette character, we think of ourselves (and our country if not our whole world) as having recently passed through some sort of political or historical event horizon (a surface which by definition can be crossed only once moving forward in time), we wouldn’t likely be far wrong.
This was true (for many of us) just about two years ago, when the fraud went from a sneaking ugly suspicion (or even an “oh crap, not again!” moment for Americans from places like Venezuela), through a slow-motion train wreck of revelations and failures, on to a vague but powerful clarity that some vital things were very rotten indeed.
(And, for anyone “just visiting” here who believes there is “no evidence of election fraud from 2020” — please, do some homework and get a clue. Jovan Hutton Pulitzer. Antrim County Michigan. The Navarro Report. The Deep Rig. Atlanta bloody Georgia. 2000 Mules the book and the movie both. On and on and on. It might take you a few weeks to work through it all, but eventually you’ll get the big picture. And finally stop being an ignorant election-fraud denier.)
It was (again for many of us) as if we’d “walked around the horses” and ended up in some bizarre alternate-world variation of the country we thought we knew. And not a good variation at all; often like one designed to provoke anger, or far worse, despair. (For anger, at least properly channeled, stored, and used, can be a wonderful fuel.)
Well, now it’s 2022 not 2020, and many ways at least it seems… here we go again!
Once things that should have been impossible have happened anyway; once things that should have been dependable or necessary or simply inevitable have not; and most especially if we’ve “taken the red pill” (in the odd but durable symbolic language of “The Matrix”), even we did it “only” one more time in one more way — we really can’t go back to being and seeing as we did before.
We’ve passed (so many of us) Beyond the Red Rage Horizon, never again to return.
Even if that’s mostly because our talent for willful self-deception can only go so far.
This guest post isn’t so much about our very real and utterly significant “fight” (or if we’re less lucky, literal fight) in the material, objective world, to save and restore our country and its governance and its political and social culture from those who want to “fortify” it into a sad, Marxo-fascistic, dysfunctional, and thus doomed travesty of itself.
It’s about the counterpart of that fight in our inner, psychological, spiritual realm.
And the reason this “inner front” is directly relevant to that “outer front” is simply, or even critically, that our outer struggle, “fight” or maybe even “war” against losing all the most important and successful things about “our” America — can be lost there. One person at a time.
That tired old sweepstakes line “you can’t win if you don’t enter” truly does apply.
The worst and most hazardous open border is between your mind and their “think.”
There’s a line from an old Scottish (and Gaelic) protest song, about people trying to recruit colonists for the British (as in Canadian) side of North America, that fits here.
Thig iad thugainn, carach, seolta, gus ar mealladh far ar n-eòlais.
They come to us, cunning, deceitful, to lead us astray from what we know.
They want to disconnect us from our own inner knowing and our own inner personal and cultural strength. They want to lead us (going back again to the song) off into a cold land gun ghual, gun mhoine, without coal and without peat; with no (apparent) means “To Build A Fire” (as Jack London once said), no warmth there for us to find or to make for ourselves, only their endless inner empty Marxlandish space-cold chill.
So we freeze ourselves in place to suit their ends; or run in queasy circles till we die.
Please do note well, here, that if they can do this to us, inwardly, or even “better” get us to do it to ourselves or each other for them, they don’t even have to bother to do any more, outwardly. Mission accomplished. With or without “gender affirming” cuts.
(And I hear once again Capt. Mal Reynolds saying, “I aim to misbehave” instead.)
Even more importantly, human nature means we cannot refuse to participate. In an atmosphere of active psychological “influence operations” and propaganda served up as “news” or “fact checking” — or even outright dis-information designed and deployed to counter and neutralize our genuine, verifiable data, and logical conclusions that would in any normal, objective way flow from that — we either have to see through and resist this constant, dragging downhill gradient of imposed inner force… or fall prey to it.
On that inner front we will each either win or lose; there is literally no running away.
And the single most important factor in our combat effectiveness on that front, one where (again) by simple virtue of being human we are always inescapably exposed each moment of every day, is: do we know we’re in a fight here, and are we ready to go?
As (many of us here) introverts, creators, “Odds” as Sarah puts it so often, we tend to be more vulnerable in these ways; we “live closer to the unconscious” as Carl Jung used to say, being closer, indeed, to our own inner selves than many other people are.
But of course that is a source of strength too. These past few days in the immediate wake of Election Day (Week? Month?) 2022, I’ve seen so many people get carried away with the rush of events — but more importantly, carried away from themselves too.
People who ought to know better, even who most of the time do know better, but all of a sudden, in the heat of the (nasty, ugly, shocking) moment… do not.
My Republicans lost! How dare they, the losers, they were supposed to win for me, and save me and our country for me, so I didn’t have to help do it much or any myself!
They had the wrong message, the wrong strategy, not enough money, too much…
Guys, that’s all too much (don’t think of me here as a “nice guy” who will lie to you to spare your feelin’s at any cost, I’m not) like the suddenly-widowed wife of a policeman blaming her husband for not shooting the perp before he could shoot the love of her life dead on the spot. He didn’t kill himself; the bank robber pulled the gun and the trigger.
Never mind how real and searing her grief and her loss truly and genuinely are.
Valid as feelings, as emotions, yes. Very. As objective conclusions? Not so much!
Thinking with your emotions is like feeling with abstract mathematics. Right?
(And no, I’m not excusing RINOs and defeatists and collaborationists with ‘R’ after their names, no way no how. I’m asking you to ask yourselves, rather pointedly see just above, if you ought blame your allies for losing in a rigged game to a bunch of cheaters. Where, without the cheating, they most likely would have won barely or hugely big.)
So many — certainly not all — now in their grief (and it is genuine) blame their allies, or even worse, themselves; anyone but the bad guys who really brought this to pass.
Which isn’t correct, isn’t right, and for dead-certain sure is not helpful to us at all.
Don’t think, even for an instant, I’m suggesting that you “stuff” your feelings or set them aside, somehow — that’s not only not what I mean, except in the very immediate present and where vitally necessary, it’s the near-perfect opposite of what I mean.
What I am saying is that you need to be “in touch” both with your reason (and all the information it needs to work on) and with your emotions (and all the power they can, if properly “met” and felt and understood, embody and release). Intuition helps, too.
That way, your emotions do not (see above)… lead you astray. Do not lead or tempt you to “think” using your emotions — which, although it can seem natural or obvious at times, really does make about as much sense and work about as well as yelling in rage to solve a mathematical-physics problem, or “debugging” your misbehaving program by throwing its code listings across the room.
But likely even more important, that way the energy in your emotions — which in the case of fear and grief for your family, our country, for our very civilization, can be vast and deep indeed — becomes and remains available for you to actually, practically use, in specific ways that can advance your goals according to your chosen strategy.
So you don’t simply burn it off like a pile of lit gunpowder, but instead make it shove the piston down the cylinder, or even the ball down the barrel. (Speaking inwardly and metaphorically and psychologically, of course.)
Some of the left-side’s techniques, gambits, mechanisms are very powerful indeed; it’s just that they’re seldom or never very sophisticated too. That means if you can step back and look carefully at things (and here I’m talking about them trying to crawl inside your head, not the more direct real-world attacks through jobs or social life or lawfare or regulations or… all the other evil crap they’ve been up to for awhile), without getting sucked into ‘thinking’ only with your feelings (also known as not thinking), most of their ploys do tend very definitely to shrink to a manageable size or simply fall apart.
(Of course, like a lot of things, this is hardest to do just when it matters the most.)
And one of the best ways to start that analysis (‘taking things apart’) is to ask what the Romans suggested: cui bono? Who benefits, if I… blame Trump for losing, or whatever.
Who benefits, if I blame Trump for losing in 2020, “he should have done a better job of running” or whatever? Not him, not the sane and patriotic subset of the R-Party, not the cause of resisting the ever-nuttier Rodent Liberation Front squirrels with the D’s.
Who benefits, if I decide to despair that we will ever “take back” our country, or even the House or the Senate? Who benefits, if I decide “all our elections are hopelessly and permanently corrupted” and I don’t even bother to try to vote anymore? Surely not the people I used to be in league with, who now have to go on without me. (Or quit too.)
Who benefits, if despite your determination to resist the ever more overtly Marxist rot and malignancy, and starkly insane policies like “no more drilling” and “an end to coal” without any viable replacements — and to take back our schools, our culture, our way of life — your sudden, hairpin-turn policy shift is to end your relationship with the one major current political figure who has proven that he can get elected on a ‘MAGA’ agenda, fight the swamp decently (only decently) well, turn out huge crowds from both old and new constituencies within the electorate, raise and spend money in a way that end-runs the RINO-riddled Party apparatus and steers it toward supporting (mostly) solid real-conservative candidates and actually gets many elected, and even start up his own social media platform to compete with Big Tech Left? Do you know something the rest of us don’t (yet), about the New Guy Du Jour? Or perhaps instead it’s the old Never Trumper Bug, that’s (once again) going around?
And doesn’t that plan make about as much sense as shutting down all our coal plants before their nuclear (or whatever) replacements even start construction?
Who benefits, if one simple half-stolen election (this one less effectively so than last) sets those who oppose the Friends of Good Old Marksy to pointing fingers, flinging poo (figuratively), throwing shade and blame at each other? Surely not friends of liberty.
Notice that I’m really not (despite possible appearances) trying to support Donald Trump 2024, or anything like it; officially he’s not even running yet, and it was only at the very last minute I decided to go his way in 2016. (Then, he was an untested largely unknown quantity and a self-promoting reality-showman too. Now, we know more.)
Instead, I’m suggesting you think, logically and dispassionately, what am I really doing if I think and act this way I feel, or that I now feel is right? By your own lights.
Am I being a stalwart true American, here, or a careless upset super-spreader of doom?
Also note well and carefully, none of the above is aimed as any sort of criticism of anyone (sane and patriotic and civilization-affirming ones at least), here or anywhere else, for saying things over these past days since Tuesday evening. That’s not only not my purpose in writing this, there’s a deeper point that applies.
The above kind of analysis only works on and for half the functions I’ve been talking about — the half that has to do with deciding, logically, how to understand what you do know (or even what you don’t), and what you think might be best to try to do about it.
The other half is the part where you feel — what’s inside you, what it’s doing to you, what’s been done to you. All the fear, despair, rage, and everything else, must be seen.
And comments, for that matter even original posts, don’t necessarily only pertain to the “analytical” half alone — they involve the emotional half too, which (usually or even eventually) must be brought to consciousness and treated respectfully, in some way; or else bad or worse is likely to come to you in time, from your ongoing inner neglect.
Some of us would say good clear writing means you make that distinction between how you see things and how you feel about them; but of course, you have to already be clear on that, first, in order to write that way. Not all of us always are; actually, being naturally imperfect human beings, none of us always or perfectly are.
But my final point here is actually a current one. Election tampering, interference, fraud, “f*ckery” or any other name you might put to it, is by its nature also a psy-op. It isn’t only that corruption is associated with many of the D’s (Peter Schweitzer has done multiple detailed books on that, including “Profiles In Corruption”). It’s also that this kind of foolery involved in election tampering, by just about any means — buying votes or harvesting them, stuffing ballot boxes, rewriting totals through “algorithms” built to cheat, re-scanning selected ballots multiple times, creating rivers of counterfeit ballots using vote-by-mail-fraud, or whatever — has the effect of and works by corrupting the entire process. And thus also everything “downstream” from that process, too.
So it doesn’t only corrupt the official “count” of votes, as it mis-decides who “wins” and will be installed in office; it also corrupts the signals that vote count would send to the voters and the whole electorate and the public at large. It mis-states, in one or more ways, what the desires and choices of the voting public, as sampled by this election, are this time around. It’s not just, effectively, stealing a term of office by violating the trust we place in the human and inanimate “machinery” of our election; it also mis-uses that trust (as long as we still have it) to authoritatively lie to everyone about what we said in the election, collectively. Even bogus results can look legitimate because we trust them.
Typically, or at least traditionally, this sort of information closes a sort of feedback loop — candidates who do really well, even if they don’t win, tend to be back. Ones who do very badly, unless they’re from diehard fringe parties that just keep on trying, often never try again. Which means that this indirect effect, reasonable and even useful as it typically is as long as the process is honest and gets its arithmetic right, gets corrupted as well — just about exactly as badly as the fraud compromised the election itself.
This kind of corruption doesn’t only affect who wins now, it affects who runs later. It especially can affect what sort of contributions candidates might get in the future, too.
It affects the conclusions that voters and others draw about the parties, the issues, how they think and feel about those and politics itself — all based on a judicious lie.
And it (naturally, almost inevitably) affects all those things in the same direction: the way the steal and the lie were originally crafted to drive events. It substitutes not “fake news” but a “fake election” for at least part of the real one. Impersonating the truth of one of the processes that is most central, essential, and necessary for a representative, democratic republic like ours to function, or really to exist as such at all.
It steals the power of the machinery of government; then tries to gaslight one and all into believing that we not only deserve what we’re about to get, we actually asked for it.
We can’t really change or correct the results of an election; not the official totals, not who gets to be sworn in, certainly not as individuals. But what we can do, by ourselves on our inner front, is refuse to be easily or quickly duped by election “results” that look too good or too bad to be true. We don’t have to descend instantly into the kind of hard and ugly self-criticism that flows from credulously swallowing a (possible or likely) lie.
We don’t have to assume that just because previously-questionable election results, especially ones from or including those notorious “blue counties” or “fraud hotspots” investigated in previous (problematic or highly-suspect) elections, say we’ve lost big or that there was next to no “Red Wave” or that many of our fellow citizens just don’t care about America’s future or want to happily lap up the latest socialist gruel — it’s true.
We don’t have to greedily swallow “black pills” that real fraud might be setting us up to receive — we don’t even have to react to even credible election news as someone else would expect or like us to do. “Reality testing” is important, especially to more realistic people, yes; but you need to run the tests on good equipment with proper calibration.
We can wait a bit longer for the newfangled electoral “fog of war” to blow away, for instance, on the metaphorical battlefield. Last I heard (secondhand), Kari Lake, Blake Masters, and Mark Finchem in Arizona were still expecting to win, given the nature of the late votes they’re supposed to be counting. Just from this one example, that’s one set of “losses” (Governor and Senator, Secretary of State) that might really be all wins.
Of course, the fact “we’re still counting” days after the election… suggests some bad.
Finally, and most starkly unlike the outer front, in the end the only person who can actually fight for you on that inner front is — you. Surely you can have allies and friends and fellow-travellers, and some of us have spiritual support as well (perhaps amazing if maybe hard to believe, even hard to believe we deserve, support); but ultimately, it will be you who decides if you’re going to keep faith with your own inner resources, or with your family or ancestors or culture or religion or allies of any kind. Or else, instead, let others define your values, your beliefs, your way of life, or who you actually are inside; because they have their own system in mind for your world, and they’re willing and able to (if you let them) warp your inner world, by warping pieces of your outer world first.
Maybe they do have a lot of power. But maybe you’d prefer not to give them more.
Perhaps you, too, aim to misbehave; and inside your own mind most of all.
Reprinted from According to Hoyt for November 15, 2022
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