Trumpist Crypto-insurrections and pet Hydras

After the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, and the consequences that will inevitably befall on those who took part in them, it seems that Internet regulation and censorship will become more explicit than ever. Nothing new here: since the 90s, the story of cyberspace has been one of normalization and control. In other words, a process of civilization, characterized by the ubiquity of ID verification, fact-checking, and other mechanisms that try to turn the virtual wildlands into a well-managed city. Following up on last week’s post: stratification of the Nomadic smooth space of on-line mythology.

It is ironic that, after four years of Trump as President, the strongest push for decentralization will be catalyzed by the Biden presidency. Twitter accounts have been purged (including The Donald’s), and Regime opponents have been doxxed and deplatformed with Big Tech’s benevolent help. Every participant on the events at Washington DC has been included in the exquisitely curated files of the security apparatus. A lot of them with the redundant, but enthusiastic collaboration of acquaintances who did not approve of said participant’s MAGA temptations.

For the normie insurrectionist, this is not as grim as it sounds. After all, the political potential of the masses has always been a myth. Faced with the slightest threat of persecution, most protestors will go back to posting pictures of barbecues and dogs on Facebook, instead of memes and rallies. Back to caring for family and friends, vacation, the good and simple things in life. The threat of the mobilized mass is always magnified: political engagement can be sustained only for so long.

For a committed minority, though, being repressed is a strong incentive, bringing forth a whole new set of opportunities. Encrypted, usable, collaborative technologies could make for well-managed insurgencies, if wannabe rebels grow out of infiltrated chat apps. Parallel funding systems, potentially clandestine logistics, and enterprise resource planning for right wing coups are all a possibility for a tech-savvy, motivated opposition. The flourishing of an encrypted productivity stack has enormous potential for insurgency.

The problem with insurgencies is that they are rarely spontaneous phenomena, due to the average person’s sanity and risk aversion. The normie is, after all, the product of welfare societies and service economies, where there is a lot to lose and not that much to win. Revolutionary soldiers are bred in the heat factories and foundries, not in the air-conditioned comfort of the suburb. Even then, these soldiers require agitation: the development of class consciousness (and its cousins: race consciousness, religious consciousness, etc.). Educated elites excel at this function, and are sometimes used by State powers to subvert rivals. After all, Lenin’s 1917 train ticket from Zurich to Petrograd was paid by the Kaiser, with the explicit purpose of getting Russia out of the Great War. Smart empires foster foreign regime change all the time.

New technologies can favor decentralized rebellion, but this decentralization has its own downsides. Like the Lernaean Hydra, networks with no discernible center can be almost impossible to destroy or fully subvert. They lack a neuralgic node that can bring down the whole structure when neutralized. This is the problem posed, for instance, by lone-wolf Jihadist attacks in Europe: due to the terrorist’s autonomy, attacks are very difficult to predict and avert. Since Jihadis are usually willing to die for the cause, security forces often can identify and bring down the attacker only when the first casualties are already bleeding on the ground.

But the question is: after dozens of attacks, are Jihadis any closer to making Europe not haram? The answer is, of course, no. Decentralized networks are extremely resilient and difficult to erradicate, but because of their very nature, they also have a hard time focusing and achieving complex objectives, other than producing chaos and mayhem. From the perspective of the EU security apparatus, then, sporadic spurts of random, brutal violence are a reasonable price to pay for solving a political problem. Allowing moderate Islamism a safe and secure structure to prosper within Europe would generate a much bigger challenge for the European globalist modus vivendi. This is precisely the dilemma depicted in Michel Houellebecq’s novel Soumission, and one of the reasons Turkish Islamism is not welcome in the EU, in spite of it being a much more benign alternative to ISIS-style DIY Jihad.

Now, let’s speculate with this possibility: that decentralized dissidence, which is a direct consequence of repression, was actually beneficial to the system as a whole, even when violent. By driving alternative discourses to the fringe of the acceptable, a low-intensity confrontation ensues, protagonized by a relatively innocuous insurgency. The NSA has an estimated 30-40,000 employees. It’s only one of 16 US Intelligence agencies. They can manage an insurrectionist MAGA movement that is not directed by any outside force.

Promoting the decentralization of dissidence makes it a chronic, bothersome, but ultimately non-life-threatening disease to the polity. Sure, some loon might run amok from time to time, but what is to be done? Kick them out so they can organize and come back with a vengeance? Let the cops handle the rebels, says the contemporary mandarin. The thin blue line is not thin at all: domestic enemies, Jihadist or Boomerwaffen, are no match for it. And anyway, in the words of London Mayor Sadiq Khan: terror attacks are ‘part and parcel of living in a big city’.

As a final note, it should be taken into account that almost no other country has the security resources of the US. The software tools of other insurrectionists world wide are universally accessible to them. State capacity, though, varies from place to place, leading to very asymmetric situations for weaker governments. Those who are hoping for a populist insurrection should expect it in the battered fringes of the Empire, and not in the mellow heart of Middle America.

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Linkstorm XIII

War in the uncanny valley, a fantastic piece at Only Forward: “(…) What would be the effect on troop psychology when faced with mines which look and move just like animals? Like children? Mines which call to them in their own language, with unique deepfake synthesized voices? (…)”

On the threat of solar terminus and meteoric devastation, at Synnefocorp: “(…) The arachnidic head which we have constructed at the top of our world requires new and better eyes. (…)”

A long-awaited new post by EvolutionistX: “(…) most people today think the Nazis were evil. Not just run of the mill evil, like shoplifters or people who kick animals, but cartoonishly, over-the-top, literal-Satan evil (…)”

Inspiration from deep into the Tundra: “(…) Cryptogram/the Abomination That Causes Desolation/Dreaming of Machines/Slow Strangulation of the Mind/Verge Patience/Imperium/The Slope Is Amortized/Prairie Serif/Taiga/Howl/Magic & Technology/The Fossilists/The Cost of Ammo (…)”

New post On insectisation from Parallax Optics: “(…)Just like the Past, the Future has, in a sense, already ‘happened’. The Future ‘emerges’ out of the Past, while the Past ‘recedes’ from the Future. (…)”

Smooth and striated space in the decline of Spain: a quasi-theory of Revolution

In 1520, Charles Habsburg inherited from his grandfather Maximilian the Holy Roman Empire, which his successors would in turn inherit until the 1700. During their rule as both Holy Roman Emperors and Kings of Spain, the Habsburgs were generally reluctant to integrate all of their possessions into a single, monolithic political entity. This means that all of their estates preserved their structures, institutions and legal codes. They held all of their many titles separately: King of Castile, King of Aragon and Sicily, King of Naples, King of the Romans, Duke of Burgundy, Duke of Brabant, Count of Barcelona, and so on.

The practical government of every region often fell on the shoulders of specially appointed Viceroys, who ruled on behalf of His Catholic Majesty. This was true especially for the overseas territories that were incorporated into the crown after 1492, and which contrary to common knowledge, were of legal status equal to their European counterparts. The name of “Spanish Empire” is, after all, a modern anachronism: the status distinction between metropolis and colony was not officially sanctioned in any way, and the massive political entity was simply known as Hispanic Monarchy to its contemporaries.

In the somewhat en vogue Deleuzo-Guattarian parlance, the Hispanic Monarchy’s vast lands in Europe were composed of mostly striated space. As explained in Chapter 14 of “A Thousand Plateaus”, striated space is made up of formed and perceived elements, hierarchical and measurable. It’s the organized space of the State, which contrasts with the smooth space of the nomad and the war machine: the realm of possibility, in contrast with striated actuality. Smooth space is occupied freely, as if by water on a surface, without regard for previous barriers and codes. Its archetypal landscapes are the desert, the steppe and the open seas: uncharted land, equally a source of potentialities and a prize ripe for conquest, like the New World discovered in 1492.

Immediately after Christopher Columbus’ finding, a single fief was created in America: the Viceroyalty of the Indies, given to him and his descendants with the adjunct title of Admiralty of the Ocean Sea. It gave the holder authority over the soon-to-be-discovered territories, which were of unproven existence and unknown extension at that point. Talk about potential. The enormity of the continent being discovered led to the addition of two more domains: the Viceroyalty of New Spain (1521), including much of North America, the Philippines and Guam; and the Viceroyalty of Peru (1542), containing most of the South American landmass.

Of course, this space was in fact occupied by indigenous civilizations, which imposed on the land their own codes and rules. The Conquistadores’ ambition, though, saw only a smooth America, and exploratory efforts flowed freely from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and then beyond, overriding Inca, Maya and Aztec concretions (deterritorialization). The smoothening process prepared the continent for a new striation: one that made it homogenous with the rest of the Hispanic Monarchy (reterritorialization).

The limes between striated Hispanic territories and smooth frontier would only disappear when the continent’s contour was fully mapped, well into the 18th century, with the Bourbons. It was replaced by a different thing altogether: a set of borders between striated structures, in a similar vein to Europe’s intricate system of feudal allegiances, inherited from the Middle Ages. The New World, loaded with possibilities, became another part of the Old World, increasingly becoming subject to its rules and forms. The disappearance of material smooth space would pave the way for a new frontier: the cultural and ideological. This was the Era of Revolution, and the mind became the new home of the Nomad.

The Pacific Northwest was one of the last regions to experience this change. The Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, a shorter sea route to Asia, became the holy grail of European sailors and explorers. A handful of Russian fur traders had crossed the Bering Strait and reached the Aleutians by the 1740s, making up the only non-indigenous population in the barren Alaskan lands. Spain had a de jure claim over the region since 1493, thanks to Pope Alexander VI’s bull Inter caetera. The claim was unenforceable due to the lack of a real presence, either civilian or military. When news came of the Russian, American and British lucrative fur trade in the area, however, Spain decided to act, quickly building a garrison and launching ships from California to assert its rights.

This action led to the Nootka crisis of 1789, an incident in which Spanish mariner José Esteban Martínez arrested the crews of three British ships trading furs with Canton. The ships had sailed under a false Portuguese flag, and were a private enterprise commanded by James Colnett, of the Royal Navy. Martínez sent Colnett to Mexico to be judged, and forced the Chinese laborers he had brought with him to build a fort in Nootka Sound. Since Colnett was, after all, a British officer, his arrest quickly ruined diplomatic relations between the two powers.

It was all a matter of optics. Britain demanded “satisfaction” for the affront to its flag, while Spain struggled to be seen still as a world power. Threats of war were exchanged, and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger’s saw his prestige increase as he probed for weaknesses in the Bourbon Family Compact, the alliance between the French and Spanish dynasties. France was at the time in full revolutionary turmoil. Louis XVI still reigned, but wasn’t ready to materialize his vocal support for the Spanish, despite the rampant Anglophobia of the Assemblée nationale.

The affair would eventually become a significant loss of face for Spain, which was forced to concede the British trading and fishing rights, never again trying to assert its sovereignty north of San Francisco. The recently founded United States, which had benefited from Bourbon help during its Revolution, also played a small role in the crisis by not supporting their former allies so as to not get entangled into an European war: a policy that would be maintained until 1918, when the meme of an isolationist America died of old age.

The crisis set a precedent for established settlement as the main source of sovereignty, in contrast to historical legal claims and rights of discovery. It also was a further proof that intra-European territorial competition had gone global in a shrinking world. The smoothness of uncharted territory progressively mutated into the striated actuality of international borders: manageable, countable and tradeable. The State slowly overtook the space of the Nomad. By 1793, the patchwork logic of Europe had been transferred overseas, and Britain and Spain were jointly declaring an ideological war against the French Republic, now completely in the hands of the radicals.

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Linkstorm XII

A mission statement from friendly blog Type Studies: “(…) a research project that explores models on life and their similarities. It focuses on types, exemplary generalizations that sacrifice precision for explanatory power (…)”

Curtis Yarvin’s sequel to Schmitt’s The Nomos of the Earth: “(…) The heart of modern international law is the right of the international community, which just happens to be shaped rather like the 200-year-old Anglo-American empire, to distinguish between ethical and unethical war, and use the former to stop the latter. (…)”

Great video account of English Civil War factions by Justine Brown: “(…) story of the splintering of the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War (or Wars of the Three Kingdoms) through the figure of General Thomas Fairfax. (…)”

Some takes on Futurist dining: “(…) Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the father of Futurism and a dedicated provocateur, would be crestfallen to discover how closely his most incendiary gastronomical pronouncement aligns with the views of today’s low-carb crusaders. (…)”

Anti-drone drones, from Russia, with love: “(…) Russia is developing a helicopter drone to assist anti-aircraft weapon systems in their counter-UAV mission. The project, accelerated shortly after the recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in mid-2020, will fill a gap in Russia’s military capabilities.(…)”

Rise and fall of Hispanity: a memetic history

The Spanish Crown was created after King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile were united in marriage in 1469. Together, the Catholic monarchs, as they were known, ended Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula. They also started the exploration and conquest of the New World, while their European policy allowed for their grandson Charles Habsburg to become not only King of Spain (as Charles I), but also Holy Roman Emperor (as Charles V). Charles V and his descendants became the rulers of the first truly global empire, appending their recently discovered ultramarine possessions to those in Europe.

The Habsburgs revitalized the meme of Universal Monarchy, styling themselves as followers of Charlemagne’s tradition of defenders of Christendom. Consequently, they fought with ardor the Protestant Reformation, favored by many of their subjects in Northwestern Europe. The Spanish campaigns in Flanders, which spanned generations, were a true Forever War that would make the USA’s Middle East engagements seem short in comparison (although this assertion may age poorly). This was the Golden Era of Hispanity, in which arts and letters flourished and the pace of European politics was set to the Spanish cadence.

The Protestant Reformation spawned as a natural (Devil-inspired?) memetic mutation of Catholic teaching. Similar things had happened before, like Catharism, Waldensianism or Neo-Adamism. This time, however, there was a new invention at play: Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press. A mechanic wonder which would enable the orchestration of the first modern memetic warfare operations.

State powers high-jacked natural memetic processes, accelerating them and turning them into a powerful new political-psychological tool. The Dutch and their English allies, as the earliest adopters of this art, completely determined the memetic framing of the conflict for centuries to come, subverting Habsburg influence through anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish propaganda. A Black Legend was born to echo through the centuries, its memes scattered like infectious droplets projected by every Anglo superspreader from Edgar Allan Poe to Monty Python.

Meanwhile, Flanders was piercing a permanent hole in the Spanish royal purse, draining the Crown’s economy from all the gold and silver mined in the Americas. By 1648, the affair had been more or less settled with the Peace of Westphalia, which is considered the basis of the international system of the following centuries, based on State sovereignty. Westphalia marked the decline of the Spanish senior branch of the Habsburgs, which disappeared after the death of Charles II in 1700, having fathered no children and triggering the Spanish War of Succession. It also signaled a change in political culture: the memetic environment in which powers operated would no more be religious universalism, but the more pragmatic raison d’État.

The War resulted in the end of the Habsburg Era for Spain: the dynasty was replaced by Philip V of Bourbon, nephew of Louis XIV the Sun King. Philip V, in very French fashion, tried to unify and centralize all his possessions to build a better, rationalized administration. The sun was setting for Spain, though, and the British Empire of the Waves was rising, fueled by the values of a nascent memeplex: Liberalism.

Spain, now aligned with France by grace of the Bourbons, tried for a century to hinder the advances of the British Crown and its plucky and voracious sailor-merchants, all the while scrambling to regain the territories lost in the War, such as Minorca and Gibraltar. As Catholic absolute monarchies, the alliance of both Bourbon branches was natural, so the Westphalian memetic shift was at first imperceptible. But when the chance came to undermine the British, previous scruples about collaborating with heretics were proved forgotten. The God-centered memetic framework of the 16th century had given place to modern State-centered justifications for foreign policy.

This effort explains the contribution of Charles III of Spain to the American Revolutionary War, which thanks to the privileged location of the Spanish West Indies was as significant and successful as it is now forgotten. The 1789 Revolution in France, however, led to the bloody overthrow of the Bourbons and a blossoming affinity between two wholly new political animals: the United States of America and the Republic of France, adding to cold raison d’État ideological coherence.

Memetic convergence between the two newborn Revolutionary Republics relegated a possible Spanish-American alliance to the dustbin of History. The initial synergies between the Hispanic and the American worlds were conveniently memory-holed by English-language historiography, along with French-Indian War grievances. France would memetically live on as Britain’s main historical rival and America’s number one ally, a link not even Napoleonic rule could sever. Spain, meanwhile, was assigned the trope of Oppressive Decadent Regime, and marked for future destruction.

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Linkstorm XI

Easy Answers, from Real Life mag:(…) doctors’ ability to easily look up medical information causes overconfidence that leads to misdiagnoses. “Self-questioning,” the authors write, “morphs from ‘What do I know?’ to ‘Where can I find it?’”

Vae victis at Gray Mirror: “(…) With Trump as his instrument, God has taught us beyond any doubt that, fucked as America may be, fucked as America is, we still have a market for dreams. (…)”

Notes on Anon Twitter, at Quartal Harmonies: “(…) The half-world is composed of people who know each other and take pleasure in knowing each other. The fully anon demimonde is ashamed that they have no real social connections to the people they think are cool online. (…)”

On Spelling, by dear friend Sonya Mann: “(…) When you habitually think in certain ways, dwell on certain topics, that changes your brain. Physically — “neural pathways” or whatever the correct jargon may be. Repeatedly evoking gratitude in yourself carves grooves of goodness through your cognition. (…)”

Bonus war anecdote via Isegoria: “(…) “(…)no war was complete unless a little fun could be had out of it(…)” (…)”

Based Poland III: another exercise in wild speculation

As we’ve seen in previous articles (here and here), Poland is a country completely split along ideological lines, each of which belonging to a different geopolitical project: Open Society, Great Reset New Normality Regime vs. Neo-Westphalian National Populism. The causes, thus, are to be found outside of its borders, and within those of the country that leads said rival projects.

Although it is certainly not the first time the US election is legally contested (look no further than George W. Bush’s victory in 2000), it is also true that the establishment’s polarization and the factionalism present, amplified by new technologies, are unprecedented. If the US suffered another 9/11, it’s unclear whether the emotional reaction to the catastrophe would be the same across the country. This cleavage becomes more apparent in the US’s vassals in Europe and elsewhere, whose elites usually favor one or the other project.

Enter Joe Biden, the Open Society candidate. He was the candidate of Germany and all the other governments more or less subscribing to EU orthodoxy: France, Spain, BeNeLux, etc. The reasons for this support were not entirely ideological, but also rooted in the hard power issues of trade and defense. Despite being systemic partners and rivals in the first question, Biden is seen as less untreatable and unpredictable than Trump, who put tariffs on products such as steel, aluminum or wine. A quick defrosting is probably wishful thinking, but the EU will be happy if no new confrontations are ignited.

Defense is a different matter. Germany, in particular, is hopeful that the plans for a draw-down of US troops stationed in its territory, initiated by the Trump administration, will be stopped under then new presidency. In general, the EU is hoping for a US government more lenient with its slacking off in NATO responsibilities, and less sympathetic to “illiberal democracies” like Poland, who try to develop their own bilateral agreements and independent military capabilities.

So what happens to Poland if the Open Societies win? Well, the most likely scenario is that it completely falls back to being a Germany’s political and cultural sidekick. Economic dependency is tough, and Poland relies way too much in its Western neighbor. A government willing to march in step with Open Society Progressives would safeguard the country’s prosperity for a while, in exchange for renouncing any hopes of a leadership role in Central and Eastern Europe.

Polish apparatchiks dominate the game of surfing political tides perfectly. Despite their fame as based conservatives, the Polish Deep State is, as all Deep States, chameleonic. It’s made up of career public servants who grew up as model young Communists, and then rode on Solidarity’s ascendance to eventually thrive during Capitalist democracy, often even rediscovering their lapsed Catholicism.

Perhaps, the operation is already underway. Recently, protests erupted after the Constitutional Court’s ruling against abortion. An unnecessary polemic at the worst possible moment, unless you want to agitate the masses, goading them into loudly proclaiming their antipathy for the government.

The feminist protests pitted Young, Educated, Progressive™ abortionists against hooligans with fashy haircuts, a precise real life reenactment of Internet memes. One element, however was notorious in the narrative. Acording to all European media, it was “a majority of Poles” who protesting against the government. Propaganda meant for Progressive audiences outside of Poland usually portrays Poles as a monolytic nation of Catholic, mysoginistic racists; it is thus meant as an aesop about the dangers of not fighting Fascism hard enough in more enlightened countries. The type of tale that sparks purity spirals and justifies purges against wrongthinkers.

Instead of fostering division through the creation of strawman Fascists, however, this time the story is trying to become a unifying factor between Poles and their fellow EU citizens. The message being sold is: “even these Polish primitives have seen the error of their ways”. Now, when the PiS falls from power in a few years, Poland will be able to brand itself as a victim country, long-oppressed by those retrograde, paranoid and chauvinistic National-Catholics. Just like everybody denies any former allegiance to the old Communist regime, they will now deny the PiS was in any way representative of society at large, and joyfully join the ranks of European conformity. And with an Open Society President on the American throne, this time, with the added benefit of Imperial approval.

For the hell of it, let’s imagine different scenarios. Maybe the US election stays contested for a long time, and the world’s most powerful country becomes trapped in a chronified identity and legitimacy crisis. Maybe the PiS fails in its intent to lose the 2023 election. In that case, Polish Nationalists will not be able to convincingly recant their recalcitrant identitarian ways. They will become an ally of a weakened American opposition, the remnants of Trumpism. This will force them to look for other powerful allies. Perhaps to the East?

Russia and Germany have a special relationship, but one that would not tolerate easily a renewed transatlantic alliance under the banner of the Great Reset. Russia starts the new decade in relatively decent shape, compared to the previous ones. Putin has done his homework and is now ready to retire, rich and shielded against prosecution. A lot of Russia’s former influence in its near-abroad has been recovered, but the country is still poor, depopulated and sorely lacking friends. Wedged between the Woke Empire of Euro-America and a West-bound China, there is a lot of potential for unlikely alliances, common interests and areas of cooperation. The liquefaction of the Arctic is also a variable that should be taken into account.

Wouldn’t it be funny? A hermitic Nationalist Poland, entrenched in the middle of Progressive Europe like a sort of Conservative Cuba. Trying to build its dreamed Intermarium, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, in reluctant, mutually suspicious cooperation with post-Putinist Russia, Islamic Turkey, and rogue US assets who use it as another piece in their homegrown intrigues. But of course, this is just speculation.

This article belongs to a 3-part of a series, which began here.

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Based Poland II: ambitious plans

In the last post, which you can find here, we talked about Poland’s political division and how it resonates with the wider world’s dilemmas. Poland’s fit in the European Union has gone from poster child of post-Eastern Bloc democracy in the early 2000s to anathematic illiberalism. There is, of course, a strategic reason for this decision. Without being present in the actual halls of power, it’s practically impossible to know what’s really going on in International Relations. Perhaps nobody knows: not even those making the decisions.

The Outpost’s wild speculation here is that Poland’s long term geopolitical bet was aimed at replacing Germany’s role as the America’s main hard power foothold in Europe. An outrageously ambitious objective, sure, but you gotta shoot for the moon to reach the stars. This was to be materialized in several ways. First, by becoming an obstacle to the EU’s political integration attempts. Second, via infrastructure projects that altered the architecture of current flows of people and goods in the continent. And third, through bilateral military cooperation, by-passing already existing NATO structures.

The EU’s political integration is complicated to achieve, due to the member states’ diversity of interests and capacities. The priorities of countries such as Ireland, Belgium, Finland and Greece simply cannot be the same. Homogenization attempts have been tried to turn different populations into shallow versions of the same decaffeinated, liberal “citizen of the world”. Things like the Erasmus university exchange program have been successful in producing these types in the younger generations, all of them unified in their consumerist and cultural habits, with minor regional variations for folkloric flavor. Hard realities are difficult to overcome, though, and things like the immigration crisis, with its linked economic and security issues, have put the EU’s seams under too much stress.

The second element of Polish geopolitical strategy was to switch from Russian gas, via the ducts coming from the East, to US-delivered Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This requires the construction of sophisticated facilities in the Baltic coast to return the gas to its natural state. Poland hoped to get ahead of competitors by becoming the European reference in gas imports, and hopefully to sell its non-used supplies to other Russian-dependent Central European states through a network of newly built ducts directed southward. A somewhat unrealistic objective, considering that LNG is 50% more expensive than its alternative. The Nord Stream 2 project, bringing Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic’s waters, is of course the main obstacle to this strategy, justifying both Poland’s and America’s opposition to it, complete with extensive lawfare operations to stall it.

Other infrastructure mega-projects with a potential game-changing effect have been attempted by Poland. One of the most notable is the Solidarity Transport Hub Poland: a huge airport which could eventually see up to 100 million passengers a year, complete with a business city around it and massive railroad connections. The airport is close to the geographic center of Europe, and would be an excellent node in the LA-Tel Aviv, Vienna-Tokyo, Shanghai-Paris and NY-Tehran air routes. This puts it in direct competition with the airports of Frankfurt (about 70 million annual passengers) and Berlin (30 million).

Another initiative with a similar aim of re-balancing logistics in Europe is Via Carpathia: a land route connecting the port of Klaipédas, in Lithuania, with Thessaloniki, in Greece. This would help to considerably develop Eastern Europe, much less interconnected than the West. It also has the potential to connect with the Chinese New Silk Road, which has already been discussed in this blog. Understandably, PO Germanophiles were less than enthusiastic about this idea, which has been on the table since 2013. Only after the rise to power of PiS did the project really take flight. Interestingly, improving communications in the Eastern Flank does not only help the development of the region, but it also exerts a gravitational pull away from European centers of power such as Berlin or Paris.

The third axis of Polish strategy was to engage in bilateral agreements with the US, so as to ensure it is the Americans most important military ally in Europe. The star project of this policy was the much discussed Fort Trump: a military complex that would serve as a deterrent, supposedly against Russian forces stationed in Kaliningrad or in Russia’s Western district, across the Belarusian territory. The Poles expected to host a whole US Army division. Although this is probably too much, an agreement was signed in August 20 by Mike Pompeo approving the redemployment of 5,500 soldiers to Poland, with a potential to make it 20,000 in the future. This was an explicit response to Germany failing to comply with NATO defense spending requirements: 6,400 troops based in Germany have been sent back to the US as part of the same agreement.

At the moment, the US leads the enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Eastern Poland for Operation Atlantic Resolve, a NATO effort conceived as a reaction against Russia’s involvement in the War on the Donbass. Since that conflict is not over, the mission’s justification remains, ensuring American presence in Polish soil. But things change in the blink of an eye: in two years time, with a new administration, the game of alliances can completely shift. Once LNG platforms in Poland and elsewhere start going operational, the US will increase its number of reasons to remain involved in Europe. Increased efficiency in communications and transportation might also change the flow of trade, creating new land-locked markets towards the East, with new shared interests in the neighborhood. One thing is certain: the post-Great Reset American Empire will look very different from 2001, and all its tributaries will feel the change one way or another.

This article is part of a series. You can find the next and final installment here.

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Linkstorm X

Thought-provoking article by Counter-engineer, Starships of future past: “(…) Here’s the thing: we couldn’t get this starship in the air and then figure out how to make it run well, no. We first constructed starships on Earth, socities that lasted long enough to propel themselves off.(…)”

Some theories and a history of QAnon, with parts 1 and 2: “(…) In other situations, Trump’s base might have protested and demonstrated against the judicial storm that was about to hit their leader. Instead, a small but significant part of that base had spent the last year raving about pedophiles and satanic dinners. (…)”

Parts 9 and 10 of J. Simpkin’s great Necroethics series are finally out: “(…)Fundamentally, removing the human body from the theatre of conflict reduces the cost of warfare to the state in terms of human life, thereby also undermining the power of anti-war protesters to make protest based on the risk presented to that life. This tendency is then compounded by the nature of the modern liberal state, which in trying to protect its citizens from harm has a natural fealty towards mechanised warfare, and ultimately totally autonomous drone warfare. (…)”

Former terrorist-hunter Andrew Knapp is making interesting developments in neofeudalist political theory: “(…) as someone who believes in the value of classical Western civilization as an explicit product of evolution, I think we can put together basic theory of politics that is a counter to the rotten orthodoxies of critical theory and liberal internationalism, while also rejecting ethnonationalist systems of thought. (…)”

On Bernie Sanders defending the Deep State, by Glenn Greenwald: “(…) It’s somewhat difficult to understand how one can wage a “revolution” against the political establishment while delegitmizing the obviously true claim that establishment news outlets disseminate fake news against establishment enemies. (…)”

Based Poland: a new set of rules

Poland, like Hungary, has been cultivating for some time a reputation as one of the EU’s baddest, meanest reactionary regimes. Liberals the world over accuse it of being an “illiberal democracy” since the ruling party, Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS), rose to power in 2015. Since then, it has enacted a series of policies and attitudes heavily criticized in Brussels: attacks on the press, on LGBT culture, on diversity. Most famously, a new set of rules which allegedly threatened the independence of the judiciary. The ruling was meant to erase the foothold its rival party, Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO), had tried to build in the Constitutional Court, prior to losing its 2007-2015 mandate. The ripples raised by the polemic have lasted until recently, and the presidential election of Summer 2020 was won again by Law and Justice’s Andrzej Duda, but by a much smaller margin and in a far more polarized society.

Interestingly, both the PiS and PO share a common origin: they are the factions that emerged after the split of a right wing democratic movement born out the Solidarity trade union, famous for its distinguished role in the fall of Communism. The story of Solidarity is deserving of its own article: for now, suffice it to say that, after a decade together, PiS and PO broke up in 2001. Since then they’ve been taking turns in power as the two most successful brands of Conservatism in a Parliament heavily tilted to the right. Although they even shared a coalition in 2005-2007, they have been bitter enemies since then.

The fact is, despite their shared origin and their meaningless characterization as “right wing”, both parties have not much in common anymore. PO is a purely liberal Open Society-type project, which strongly aligns it with the European Union. After all, Donald Tusk, former Polish PM and PO leader, was President of the European Council (2014-19) and is now the president of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest transnational party of the European Parliament. The EPP also includes other right-wing liberal forces, such as Angela Merkel’s CDU, the Spanish People’s Party, the French Republicans of Jacques Chirac, and curiously, Fidesz (the party of Viktor Orbán himself).

This suggests that PO represents in Poland the interests of the European establishment, which usually means representing the interests of Germany, specifically. The media landscape supporting PO reflects this fact: mostly foreign-owned groups, either German or American. And those who are American, such as Discovery Inc, are mostly lobbyists for the Democratic Congressional Campaign and Joe Biden’s presidential run. All of this is unsurprising, given the fact that the Polish economy is extremely dependent on Germany. About a third of its exports go there: notably, vehicle parts to be assembled in the latter’s famous factories.

Contrary to PO, the PiS boasts the approval of the Trump administration. Historically, and since its 17th century Deluge, Poland has always sought the protection of far-away foreign powers: France, Britain, the US. It has needed them against most of its neighbors, all of them seeking to correct past grievances committed during the zenith of Polish power. The nationalist, populist ethos of the PiS resonated with Trump’s rhetoric, giving place to a natural alliance. It is not a coincidence that, since around 2015, fringe right online circles began to be filled with different variants of the “Based Poland” meme. From low-brow PUA dating guides to brainy neorreactionary essays, the Polish nation’s capacity to resist Woke imperialism was praised all over the Internet.

It’s difficult to tell what will become of this Based Poland without Trump sitting in the Oval Office. The cultural and political environment that led to populist governments all over Europe was not eternal. It depended heavily on the refugee crisis, the frequent terrorist attacks in European capitals, the War in the Donbass, and the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. All of these worries have been replaced by a different breed of threat, with a completely different memetic background: Covid-19, racial conflict, Chinese spycraft, cyberpunk surveillance dystopias. It’s a brand new set of tropes for a brand new season, coming soon to a screen near you.

This article is part of a series. You can find the next installment here.

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