“Are you still ancap?”
“No. I’m not into that anymore.”
“What are you now?”
“I was looking into natsoc and nazbol, but I think I’m going tradcath.”
“I thought you were radtrad?”
“I’m honestly just tired.”
This little exchange isn’t as unlikely as one might hope. In several important enclaves of discourse, a memetic, ironic way of thinking and talking currently prevails, reducing complex political systems to mere fashions and subcultures.
In case you didn’t know, ancap = anarcho-capitalist, ecofash = eco-fascist, natsoc = national socialist, nazbol = national Bolshevist (Strasserist), tradcath = traditionalist Catholic, and radtrad = radical traditionalist (ala Evola and Guenon).
Few of the people using such abbreviations care to possess substantial knowledge or understanding of the movements they discuss. They are like emo, trap and iPhones to them; novel, shiny, exciting things; makeovers on a whim, each with its own aesthetic, lifestyle, parlance and millennium. They will be discarded in the same easy they were adopted.
Incidentally, I am not criticising any of the movements mentioned (though some obviously deserve it). I am increasingly a believer in the necessity of radical change. But I detest insincerity and unseriousness more than almost anything else. Politics I feel is degraded by this kind of consumption. (Consumption is the right word).
When one first discovers a form of political or philosophical radicalism, especially as an adolescent, there is a tendency to convert to it wholesale, with reckless zeal and little thought. A young man reads a book by some historical upstart, is hypnotised by his elegant prose and intellectual confidence, and very soon feels that his life has been given a new and coherent meaning; that there is another order, Utopian but not impossible, in which his biases can be perfectly realised. He may be right or wrong in this, but he goes badly astray if he considers only the merits and glamour of the idea.
We are entering a period of history in which society will either change radically or break down. The current order is going to be challenged, fought with, perhaps replaced. To prepare for that, it is certainly necessary to consider all possible alternatives. But ideologies are not products, and pin-balling from one to the next is a terrible way to undermine oneself.