From time to time I encounter the slogan ‘worse is better’ within dissidents on the Right. To me this has always sounded as a rationalisation, a mantra intended by the user to help him cope with loss, defeat, inaction, and helplessness. The reason is that, for worse to really be better, there would need to be a credible alternative to the existing system already in place, needing only the critical mass that would be made available by a collapsing system. And as at present a genuine alternative exists mostly in theory, and only very incipiently in practice, with credibility outside its cultural ghetto yet to be earned, for as long as that is the case, worse for us can only mean worse.
An iteration of the ‘worse is better’ mantra was recently enunciated in connection with the United States presidential elections of 2012, which the incumbent, Barack Obama, intends to fight against an as yet unspecified Republican candidate. It was argued that, in the light of Obama’s record to date and of precedent established by previous presidential second terms, an Obama win would be immensely beneficial. The assumption is that Obama will further discredit himself with a large-enough majority of voters, and that his discredit will infect the mainstream political establishment, causing voters to seek alternatives outside of this establishment. It was further argued that a Republican win would create the illusion of progress among the ill-informed, while only delaying, and ultimately opening the way, for further evil from the hard Left.
While the latter argument is correct, the former one relies on fallacies.
Firstly, it does not necessarily follow that Obama’s discredit will mean also a discredit of the entire mainstream political establishment: when a politician becomes unpopular because he has lost his credibility, he is replaced by one that is more popular. Voters have short memories; they rely on partial, selective, carefully packaged, mediated information; they don’t generally understand information that is nuanced or complex; they are impermeable to inconvenient data, arguments, and conclusions; they have no taste for the disruption and inconvenience implied in fundamental change; and they want so badly to believe that everything will be alright, that they blind themselves to the obvious and continue to support the existing system for as long as they can sustain the illusion of hope—or at least the illusion that things will carry on more or less as they have known them, hopefully getting better in due course. This is normal and natural, particularly since most people alive today in the West have not known a major war, or suffered major disruptions to their lifestyles outside of the relatively mild ones inflicted by the economic cycle.
Secondly, it does not follow that voters’ searching outside of the options sanctioned by the mainstream political establishment will lead to their finding good ones. In the Americas, we have a relatively recent precedent of what happens when, in a two-party democratic system, both parties are discredited after ping-ponging power over successive elections: a third player does indeed come along eventually, but he turns out to be someone like Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (shown above), a communist dictator who nominally adopts democratic forms, and draws support from an illiterate majority, in order to enjoy the presidential palace for life.
You may want to argue that the United States is not some obscure Latin American country, but rather a First World country and a world superpower. That may still be so, but the fiscal situation is gradually making this illusory, while the demographic situation is increasingly making this subject to chage: Obama may turn out to be the first of many coloured heads of state; Bush may turn out to be one of the last who derived from the founding stock; and there is no guarantee that the United States will not break up into smaller sovereign states further down the line.
Absent a credible alternative, the present system is likely to endure, to continue hanging on to the seats and institutions of power as it further decays and becomes ever more reliant on the life-support of totalitarian methods. Intrinsically weak, the zombie system would eventually crumble, either on its own or through the agency of the same strongman who would have asserted himself in the wake of a spontaneous collapse. Many of the ‘worse-is-better’ camp implicitly assume that this strongman will be one of theirs. Yet, absent a credible movement of Euro regeneration, that strongman is most unlikely to be anything other than inimical. He is likely to be, in fact, a bringer of doom. Worse will be better for him. In Europe, the ‘strongman’ would most likely represent Islam.
Another thing to consider, nearer to home and within recent memory: not long after Tony Blair became British Prime Minister in 1997, a secret conspiracy was hatched inside his government to radically and permanently alter the racial composition of the United Kingdom, to multiculturalise the British isles in order to demoralise the Right and create a permanent block of support for his party. The conspiracy was uncovered in 2009. Back in 2001, before it was, but by which time Labour’s evil was perfectly evident to all but the wilfully ignorant, someone could have argued in favour of supporting a second and even a third Labour term, on the assumption that this would enrage the electorate, discredit the mainstream political parties, and cause voters to look for outsider alternatives. What happened? Labour won a second and third term, Blair and Brown became discredited, and in the 2010 general election, after thirteen miserable years that concluded with a collapsing economy, crippling debt, and a much uglier, dysfunctional, bureaucratic, and closely surveilled nation, Labour still managed to get the largest share of the vote, although not large enough to form a government. Result: a coalition with two nominally opposite but in fundamentally very similar parties, Labour’s opponents on the Right and Labour’s opponents on the Left. The main outsider party, the BNP, did very poorly. And meanwhile, the hapless beneficiaries of Labour's multicultural immigration conspiracy remain, the resulting demographic transformation a permanent legacy and feature—there is not even discussion of a reversal, only efforts to appear to slow down the flow. Worse was not better: it resulted in more of the same, except now in slow motion for a while.
As I have stated on numerous occasions, it does not all have to be this way or end in tragedy. Short of a doomsday asteroid, an apocalyptic virus, or a thermonuclear holocaust, even at this point we are only doomed if we want to. The nut can be cracked. The West can be made again. And it is entirely is up to us whether it is made or unmade, and whether this happens soon, later, or never.
Presidential elections in the United States, and general elections in the rest of the Western world, must be viewed not only in terms of the hypothetical opportunities that they may afford, but also in terms of the strategy and the tactics that they may render optimal for the ensuing period. And as has been amply discussed already, our battlefield for now is the culture, its transformation, not electoral politics, which is the last stage because it presupposes a culturally legitimised ideology. Things may change rapidly, and they did in the former Soviet block, but presently I do not anticipate any cataclysms in 2012; and whether Obama wins or loses, whether he creates opportunities or comes to represent a lost one of us, will depend on us much more than it will depend on him or them.