Art Economics Low Politics Decline Political Theology Power Geopolitics

By their Fruits ye shall know them

By their Fruits ye shall know them
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto / Unsplash

Recently the discourse in our corner of the internet has been consumed with POSIWID. This acronym, which stands for ‘The Purpose of a System Is What It Does’, comes to us from the world of engineering. In short, the idea is that regardless of the intent of the designers, a system is defined by its output. As an example, the Constitution may have been intended by its designers to insure against tyranny, but this cannot be considered its purpose. If it were its purpose, we would live in a very different world. If you want a more fleshed-out version of this argument, I suggest reading the essays by Endeavor, Moldbug, or Dave the Distributist.

However, I think that the most interesting application of this maxim is to turn it around and apply it to our circles. What does a right-wing influencer do and what does this say about our function? More simply, what is the purpose of a pundit?

The commentator is not an activist or a politician. Some men can wear both hats, like my good friend Conscious Caracal. But this is a rare combination. The activist is a direct political actor. They coordinate political pressure to alter procedural outcomes.

A pundit or political commentator is at best an indirect political actor. Their power is derived from the dialectic. The pundit may shift the discourse by inserting certain ideas into their work. Ideas flow through a commentator to their listeners but only take effect if this motivates the listener to certain actions or prejudices. This ability to alter culture or nudge this discourse is directly proportional to the influence of the audience.

This is a stumbling block for conservatives. All too often, Go-Woke-Go-Broke style commentators will rejoice when some part of the propaganda apparatus loses viewership. We saw this dynamic play out post-2020 when CNN lost a significant amount of its viewership. After the ‘heat’ of a Trump-fueled new cycle ran out, the news giant couldn't keep its eyes on the screen. Conservatives view this as a positive development because they assume that an audience for political content is the same as an audience for record sales. This is not the case.

To be blunt viewership doesn’t matter.

Well, it does matter to certain managerial types. But we are not TV executives, we are hard-nosed political realists. What matters is the influence of that audience. CNN, NPR, and the Times may indeed have numbers of readers, but the powerful still take their marching orders from these outlets. This means that these publications are influential. This means the pundits who work there have power.

Conversely, men like Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones have many many viewers but almost no power. This is because these viewers are proles. They may be virtuous and hardworking, but proles they remain.

The pundit affects power only so much as it affects the ideas and actions of an elite. In our current time the ‘game’ is to find a split in the ruling class. These divides are caused when a section of the ruling class stands to lose its power due to the actions of the regime. These elites are by definition power hungry, and looking for ways to solve this problem. We offer solutions to these problems because we are more closely aligned with reality than anything the mainstream can produce. This is the primary function of a dissident right-wing pundit to serve as ‘elite advertising.’ Access to elites is access to influence and capital. These are two vital things for any movement.

The second function of the pundit is entertainment. Speaking simply, a boring pundit is one without an audience and consequently without influence. Now entertainment is a means to an end. There is a point at which entertainment becomes the lowest common denominator slop. Hotub streams and e-debates with pornstars are very popular after all.

Entertainment is the hook that brings people in. Humans are memetic and so absorb ideas through media. Our enemies know this. Much effort has gone into maintaining hegemonic control over traditional media. This is the process by which commentators transmit ideas to their audiences.

This is especially important in the current moment. I view postmodernity as a massive selection event. A vibe check as the kids would say. This is an analogous situation to the Black Death when roughly 1/3 of genetic lines in Europe ended. In our current era, the challenge is not a physical virus but a memetic one. Progressivism is a mind virus. Unopposed it will make the host weak, unhappy, and infertile. The challenge of the age is to resist this poisonous ideology. While it is certainly possible to do so alone, the psychic benefits of hearing from other men opposing progressivism are very real.

The last purpose of a pundit is as a rallying point. We know that an organized minority will always triumph over a disorganized majority. The DR is in broad agreement about the issues facing the West. The DR is certainly a minority group. However, the fact that the DR is organized over the Internet prevents us from becoming organized in the way we need to.

Great strides have been made in terms of IRL organizing. This has been facilitated by pundits and commentators. This blog, and indeed all of my work, is downstream of a pundit organizing IRL meetups. I got started online after a basketweaving event where I met Paul Fahrenheit. However, I only heard about that server from Academic Agent, a political commentator. The reach of a pundit allows them to coordinate disparate actors. This is a vital function that cannot be ignored.

So what is the purpose of a pundit? According to our metric of POSIWID, we can look at their actions to deduce their function. Or to rephrase Matthew, by their fruit, ye shall know them. The function of a pundit is to influence opinion, entertain, and organize. Regard any commentator who has different objectives with suspicion.

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