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"网络不是法外之地。" ["Cyberspace is not the space out of law."] -Xi Jinping
It's been quite the ride, here in America, with the swift force of the Taliban sweeping back into control over the whole of Afghanistan. And you know what? Good for them. Afghanistan could use some order, for once. It's no pre-1978 Afghanistan, but it's frankly better than nothing. So what if they banned television and pop music the last time they came to power? It's better than bacha bazi being de facto legal.
Of course, some people aren't taking too kindly to this change, namely those in charge of the Atlanticist imperium. Joe Biden has really been taking it up the ass these days for his decision. He's been betrayed by the same security apparatus that ensured him victory. This, by the way, was the same security apparatus that gave backing to Trump upon realizing that he had potential (not to imply that Clinton had no backing), but then shifted over to supporting Biden upon recognizing the changing landscape of which sectors of the elite wielded the power in American society. It turns out that the guy whom they believed was so senile that he couldn't possibly disobey orders was, in fact, too senile to even follow these orders! While I'm by no means the first to predict this (Sean McCarthy built his entire career on this genre), there's a good chance Biden will be "taken out." I'm placing my bets as we speak that we'll see yet another man in the Presidency fall victim to unfortunate circumstances.
As an aside: Kennedy was an Irish Catholic, like Biden, and Nixon was a Quaker. This is not a coincidence; not being connected with WASP elites is dangerous. Many people would argue that Obama was something of an outsider because his mixed-race status would've made him taboo among the Washington establishment. This is true, but what many people undervalue is the fact that Obama never committed the cardinal sin of not being a mainline Protestant.
Now, returning to Afghanistan, there is a question that one could ask people who have advocated for the U.S. leaving the country: "would you live there?" There's a good chance of many people in this demographic saying no. This is not a case of me passing judgement, by the way; I would also say no. So, with this established, we can then ask ourselves: "why is it that people who are perfectly fine with the Taliban taking over would not live under them?" We can even ask variants of this question, such as "why would people who would otherwise support China in the global arena not want to live there?" Let's go further, and start bringing countries that are staples of this genre, such as North Korea. What is the common feature of these countries that wards off even people who are otherwise totally content with endorsing their global presences?
I ask this question because I fall into all of these categories. I endorse Afghanistan under the Taliban, the People's Republic of China, and North Korea. I also endorse Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and so on. But, I also fully endorse the United States. I endorse France, Germany, Japan, India, and so on. I endorse Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Napoléon... but not only Napoléon, I also endorse Louis XVI. I endorse both Cyrus the Great and Ayatollah Khomeini, both Tsar Nicholas II and Stalin, and every Latin American leader who could be called a "caudillo." The one exception to this is that I do not endorse Hitler, because his greatest crime was that he was a lame nerd, controlled by forces that had more in common with British intellectual exports than with any native German movement.
And yet, I feel disconnected from all of them. There is a general sense I have, which I assume many others have, of being both historical and ahistorical. I mean this in the sense that I feel very strongly that there is a general world-historical current, which I promote as an essential part of the future. Yet, if pressed on the matter, I would freely admit that I am somewhat distant from this prospect. I can sit here in my ivory tower all day, promoting abstractions of cultural forces, while also being deathly afraid of the prospect of taking action. To call my attitude a "fin de siècle" attitude would frankly be bordering on an insult to the European fops that the term originally applied to.
Since I mentioned the fin de siècle: Max Nordau described egomania and mysticism as two fundamental traits of the degenerate psyche. Here, "egomania" means an unhealthy degree of self-absorbtion, and "mysticism" the inability to fully form new ideas from perceived phenomena. On the Internet, this description should seem all too familiar, and it is one that I will freely admit could apply to me. There is a vague concensus that there is some force making men more autistic and women more schizoaffective, which coincidentally aligns with Nordau. Whether this is physical (junk food, chemicals that turn the frogs gay, etc.) or cultural (à la Mark Fisher or Byung-Chul Han) is often argued among pseuds. On another tangent, for those that subscribe to Bayesian theories of brain function, autism and schizophrenia are closer to each other than one might expect. It has been suggested that both are different forms of the brain failing to appropriately construct internal probabilistic models of novel phenomena. Returning to Nordau, I myself don't really subscribe to his theories on degeneration, but I thought that they might be of some note. Let's move on.
So, what do these "enemy civilizations" represent for the Western world more broadly, and the United States in general? The most obvious idea that they represent is the fear of an opponent besting you in combat, which many, both in the government and on the street, fear. Though, there is a very common piece of progaganda that often strikes a chord with many: that the enemies of America want to take away your freedom. What is it that the prospect of "losing freedom" makes people fear? This is an especially important question, given that many acknowledge the fact that freedom, even in the "Land of the Free," is rapidly depleting, a phenomenon that leads anywhere from general malaise to semi-ironic Ted Kaczynski worship. Yet, there are many in this camp who will still regard the prospect of, say, a Chinese takeover of the U.S. to be a dystopian scenario. But why? Every aspect of Chinese society that is held up as a prime example of totalitarianism is not without some form of precedent. Even the dreaded Social Credit System is no more than an outgrowth of the financial infrastructure existing within any at least partly-developed country. I frankly don't see why such phenomena are suddenly seen as worse solely because the people doing it have slanted eyes.
Yet, as I mentioned earlier, I too would have some reservations at the prospect of moving to China and living my life there. I had also mentioned unease about Afghanistan and North Korea, though with both of those cases, I could easily make some excuse about standards of living. With China, it's a bit harder, because they're actually a competently-functioning country. Actually, that's precisely what scares me. I do think that China is the model society of the future, which is exactly why I'll never move there. They function so competently that someone such as myself would be actively punished. Meanwhile, the United States actively promotes my kind. "My kind" being a degenerate freak who does jack shit but go on the Internet, jerk off, watch dumb shit on an overpriced computer, ad nauseam. But, if you can still show up to work every weekday, you're good to go, but if you can't even do that, well then why don't you just kill yourself?
The thing about the Social Credit System is that it is only as demonized as it is because it was specifically the Chinese who invented it. While relatively primitive forms of it exist in any country where it can, if the United States had formally introduced it first, it would be accepted. It would not be accepted without any form of resistance, obviously, but it would not be characterized as unique to some kind of Asiatic despotism. It only makes sense; the SCS is the current height of "tough on crime" policy. It would (and likely does) have great appeal to lawmakers, even Americans.
Of course, there's an essential component to this story that I've left out up until now. This "promotion of degeneracy" I was wingeing on about earlier is not at all a separate phenomenon from, nor even the opposite of, the Social Credit System. In fact, they are the same thing.
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