By Steven Yates
The Case for Creative Withdrawal
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” –C.S. Lewis
In Parts 1 and 2 (and more recently) we saw:
- Evidence of the biggest election fraud in U.S. history—possibly ever. Contrary to Corporate Media, Big Tech, and Swamp servants such as former Atty. Gen. William Barr, we have Absolute Proof. We have the forensic digital footprints of votes stolen from Trump, all the way down to the IP addresses of tecomputers used (roughly two thirds were in China!).
- How it won’t matter, for as I’ve said repeatedly, we now inhabit a culture where truth does not matter, only approved narratives. Thus we have an exact inversion where lies pass for truth and the truth is called the Big Lie. Evidence of the steal is being ruthlessly suppressed — not just by Big Tech platforms but to the point where (e.g., in Michigan—1:29 – 1:38 in the above) attorneys bringing lawsuits challenging election results are threatened with disbarment and even state legislators are threatened with prosecution. In other words, the U.S. is now a banana republic. It is a first world country in appearance only.
- Both the urgency and the benefits of self-control, despite all of the above about which we can do nothing. I would add that it is grade-A stupid to threaten political figures, especially someone like AOC who is in the limelight. Ignore the blowhards. Getting our own house in order should keep us sufficiently busy that we won’t have time.
- The abundant theological and philosophical roots for this sort of stance — some from thinkers whose situations were vastly worse than ours (Seneca, the Stoic philosopher of 1st century Rome, is an example; in a future installment I will discuss the late Vice-Admiral James Stockdale). Such ideas offer anchor-point soutside mainstream America as it tilts ever further left and authoritarianism increases riding waves of anti white racism (e.g., the “white fragility” movement).
There is no longer any wisdom in trying to change the system from within. But a dilemma comes up at once (a reader beat me to it): the choice between standing and fighting and creative withdrawal (I will call it).
The argument for standing and fighting is worth a look. It’s based on the idea that there is nowhere to go. Tyranny is on the move everywhere, in various forms and degrees. Google has every inch of the planet mapped, moreover. “You can’t run, and you can’t hide.” Well, there’s Antarctica. Sooner or later, the globalist Establishment is going to control everyone and everything, everywhere — unless we stop them now.
I get it. But if this is your view, how do you propose to go about it?
“Democratic” elections are futile. This should now be obvious. Democracy is a myth. All modern elections have been scripted theater designed to convince us peasants that we have substantive choices. But as George Carlin opined in one of his best known routines, “You have no choice! You have owners! They own you!… It’s a Big Club! And you ain’t in it! You and I are not in the Big Club!”
As Carroll Quigley observed somewhat less passionately over 50 years ago:
“The chief problem of American political life for a long time has been how to make the two Congressional parties more national and international. The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right, and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy…. [E]ither party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigor less. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World In Our Time, pp. 1,247-48.
The sole exception was Donald John Trump’s 2016 upset. He was not in the Big Club. He was the first outsider to circumvent the Big Club’s vetting and parry its attacks. Not only that, his media savvy enabled him to use the Big Club’s own weapons against it. Hence the blistering hatred, beyond anything directed at a U.S. president in our lifetimes.
Like many observers back then I feared a cult of personality that would burn out, but then Trump delivered such golden lines as “we do not have time to be politically correct”; and American foreign is “a complete and total disaster.” His supporters loved him. They turned out in droves despite the risk, which accelerated all that year, of being set upon and beaten up by leftist mobs.
Trump’s victory was helped by Hillary’s and her party’s breathtaking blunders: the DNC brazenly stealing her nomination from Bernie Sanders with “super delegates” alienating his supporters; and her writing off states she needed to win by stupidly calling them “baskets of deplorables.”
For four years we watched a low level insurgency against the Trump administration, be it the Russiagate hoax or a fifth-rate actress holding up an object in the shape and color of Trump’s decapitated head. This, of course, was not condemned as violence anywhere in Corporate Media, any more than Antifa and BLM violence last year was condemned.
If Trump excelled at anything, it was tricking the Big Club into displaying its own hatred and absence of any moral center. This he did over and over again.
When all is said and done, he / his supporters do not control big media, the technology landscape, academia, or the legal system — or the many points where these intersect.
Hence the Big Club is back in power with the biggest show of force of our lifetimes in “our” Capitol, pulling no punches telling us peasants, we own this country, and we own you!
What then? Revolution? I’ve argued previously that revolutions are a bad idea. Usually they fail. Once, long ago, failed revolutionists were shot for treason. Today they’d be thrown into the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” the ADX Florence Supermax prison in Colorado where the Unibomber is housed. When they succeed, revolutions always make things worse. It is much easier to bring down a society than to build one up. And the temptations of power are great — even for conservatives! We are all sinners and vulnerable to corruption, even those of us who can imagine overturning what is taking hold in the District of Corruption.
Loyal opposition? This is the role mainstream Republicans have been playing for the past 50 years. Where has it gotten them? Cushy careers and safe coasts into retirement, perchance? “Movement conservatives” are a joke! Invariably they go along with the left out of abject fear of being called racists. Example: the first George Bush signing the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Back then, opposition was at least possible. Today we see the Twitter mob savaging the Josh Hawleys of the country, and “movement conservatives” are more likely to join in, in their never-Trumper, scared-of-their-shadow way.
Creative withdrawal is not only the best option, at the moment it is the only option.
Accepting what we cannot change and acting accordingly is the only rational strategy. I am not introducing it as a permanent condition, and it does not mean doing nothing. It is not “giving up.” It is going back to basics — of thought and planning, building skills and resilience for a future with no guarantees except failure and freedom’s possible extinction if we continue playing the games we’ve played up till now.
We have at least one ace in the hole, moreover. I will come to it in due course later in this series.
So what does this come down to?
Separation. We’ve seen how to do it spiritually and psychologically. Turn the Big Club off by turning off the instruments it uses to reach you. Get rid of cable news! Get off Twitter! Among the things you can control is where to spend your time and money, and not use it to support the Big Club.
You must also close off its access to your children.
One of the things you must do immediately (assuming you haven’t already) is get your children out of government (“public”) schools. This is a drum I’ve beaten many times past. Get Ron Paul’s homeschooling curriculum. If your children are in government (“public”) schools, you’ve put them in hands of your enemies and shouldn’t be surprised if they graduate as “woke” zombies.
Homeschool! Or join with others and pay a private teacher.I am not talking about Zoom meetings. If it’s online, it can be monitored. I am talking about reinventing the one-room schoolhouse or its equivalent, which needs to happen in hundreds of places across the land. This is the key to educational withdrawal.
Economic/financial withdrawal is going to be the most difficult, because most people need to work at jobs. Even if you own your own business you need customers or clients.
But you can take baby steps toward independence. You can do budget-cutting. Distinguishing needs from wants will control expenses. If your life, the roof over your head, and keeping the lights on depend on it, it’s a need (clean water, healthy food, basic utilities). Toiletries and preparedness items like emergency medicines. Everything else is a want (video games, flat-screen TV, Netflix, the latest Stephen King book).
Pay ruthless attention to where your money is going, and although the specifics go outside the scope if this article, this is something you can control with a system telling you what is coming in versus what is going out. Then reduce what is going out wherever possible. Get out of debt. The key here is living beneath your means. Read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. You don’t have to aspire to millionaire status to benefit. It is one of the best books in print on frugality.
For a withdrawal mindset, control over your time and attention is essential. What time to you get up in the morning? Do you realize that by getting up just one hour earlier each day, you gain 30 or 31 hours per month to work on a pet project that will increase your independence, autonomy, and resilience—whatever it may be?
We live in an attention economy. Hundreds of marketers, advertisers, etc., are competing for your attention all the time, especially online. I’ve commented on the importance of focus, which can be best maintained by turning off television (obviously) and most electronics: your smartphone and the Internet itself when not in use for a specific task. The Internet used to be the best repository of information imaginable. It has become a digital junkyard of marketing gimmicks, an aggregator of information about users (that would be you), and a minefield of false rabbit trails (think QAnon which led many well-meaning people nowhere).
Having shut off distractions, create new habits by making changes in your immediate surroundings that encourage and enhance them until they become routine. For example, if you want a health habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, set the glass at the sink (or in some equally strategic spot) where you will see it first thing in the morning.
To build healthy nutritional habits, get rid of all the junk and put healthy foods (apples, oranges, broccoli spears, corn cobs, etc.) in places where you will see them at mealtime.
This can be done with exercising, learning new skills, or anything else.
Action steps towards withdrawal and independence may seem overwhelming. Some may be thinking, Where do I even begin? From where you are now. Read the C.S. Lewis quote above, in light of what we said about the Stoics in Part 2. You can’t go back and change the beginning. But you can have a say in your End Game by taking actions now.
Don’t do this alone. Track down like minded others, get to know them, compare notes for compatibility of worldview, coordinate with them if all goes well. Develop systems of accountability. What I am talking about is not for private individuals running around on their own. While private individuals may be able to accomplish some of these goals, it portends a lonely existence — for you and your family if you have one. Your goal is the eventual formation of communities grounded on conservative beliefs and practices, where you can enjoy the company of like-minded others as a integral part of enjoying life generally.
If I can believe what a handful of readers have sent me, this is already taking place — it began years ago. Some of us saw the handwriting on the wall and moved to other countries, although that is a less-than-perfect solution, and anyway not a live option for many people. There are remote locations away from big cities on U.S. soil; there are communities like these guys. I’ve learned of others but hesitate to link to their sites because they want to keep their heads down. Some do not even have websites because websites are visible — unless they’re on the Dark Web which I don’t recommend. They are hunkering down where they are and following steps akin to the above to withdraw from a hostile system which is manifestly too big to fight.
I hope and pray that conservative minded people can somehow network, organize, and form broader coalitions. Our tendencies toward individualism work against us. We need some unity (if I dare use that word) because that’s what we’re up against, and without its resources and cultural power.
Do not fight openly. Remember your aim: to be free of the Big Club and independent of the herd that’s swinging left! You can’t do it overnight. Don’t let that be a deterrent. There’s the old line about Rome not being built in a day. What matters are small steps that move the needle — based on acceptance of what is, control of emotions, making choices that shut off propaganda spigots, separating from institutions such as “public” schools that serve the enemy, and learning whatever you need to learn to build resilience skills conservative communities of the future will need.
In Part 4, we will expand on these themes, and draw on more recent information.
© 2021 Steven Yates – All Rights Reserved
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Steven Yates’s latest book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory will be published this year by Wipf and Stock.