Journalists, The Priests Of Ruin
By Operative 413
Nothing really changes.
In every society, there is the same proportion of rich and poor, rulers and ruled, masters and slaves. There has not been and never will be a society where people are equal. If somehow it existed, people would instantly destroy it and self-declared egalitarians would lead the way. The one constant of human life is the quest for hierarchy, status and power.
“Man is insatiable for power, he is infantile in his desires and, always discontented with what he has, loves only what he has not,” said Joseph de Maistre. “People complain about the despotism of princes; they ought to complain of the despotism of man. We are all born despots, from the most absolute monarch in Asia to the infant who smothers a bird with its hand for the pleasure of seeing that there exists in the world a being weaker than itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt once promised the nation “Freedom From Want.” But “wanting” ends only in death. We are never satisfied, and never can be satisfied. There’s no social order where people can just be given everything that they want from above. Anyone who promises this just wants to be above you.
Similarly, the basic structure of society never changes. While there are always rulers and ruled, there are further classifications within those distinctions. There is also a difference in purpose that must always exist.
One group must set the moral code for a society – the framework that legitimizes power, the political mythology that justifies status. Another group must fight and defend the social order. And most must work.
In Indo-European societies, there’s almost always a tripartite caste system – those who pray, those who fight, and those who work. But “pray” doesn’t simply mean “praying.” It means organizing the society.
Georges Dumézil explained: “The Indo-European vision of a smoothly functioning world required an ‘organization’ in which the representatives of the first function commanded, the second fought for and defended the community, and the third (the greatest number of them) worked and were productive. In their eyes, it was in this hierarchy that one found the harmony necessary to the proper functioning of the cosmos, as well as that of the society. It’s an Indo-European version of the ‘social contract.’”
More than this, the members of the first caste served as a combination of magicians and jurists – “ordering” both the cosmos and the community. The mythological and juridical functions were thus linked. We shouldn’t find this surprising. For most of history, “throne and altar” were linked. The question is whether anything has changed.
It hasn’t. Power still requires a mythological framework – and the same people who give us this mythology are also the ones who take it upon themselves to order society. These days, we just call it something closer to “community organizing.”
Sometimes there can be a fourth caste, of slaves, but the West hasn’t had de jure slavery in its core territory for many centuries. Of course, de facto slavery remains, and will always remain, and the proportion of “slaves” now and then is probably the same. It doesn’t much matter – the distinction between workers and slaves is just about wealth, not purpose.
What does it really mean to be a slave, or, for that matter, to be a ruler or ruled? The slave is one who trades submission for mere life and survival. The aristocrat is the one willing to sacrifice property and life for honor. Yet that’s still not real power. Real power lies in being able to define moral codes and social expectations. The warrior is not supreme. Even the man who gives the warrior his orders is not supreme. The one who is supreme is the one who shapes the warrior’s worldview. He’s the one who ultimately directs the sword. That’s why the First Caste outranks the Second when it comes to real power. By definition, the one who sets the moral framework for society is the group that rules.
In pre-Revolutionary France, there were three Estates that voted as blocs in the Estates General. The First Estate was the clergy – those who prayed. The Second Estate was the aristocracy – those who, in theory, fought. And finally, there was the Third Estate – the vast bulk of the nation. The king, in theory the top of the pyramid, was “sacred” because he needed to combine both roles in some way, or at least share the support of both.
These terms persist in modern rhetoric. Sometimes people refer to The Press as the “Fourth Estate.” On the surface, this makes sense. It is a power in itself. Its members, journalists, possess a strong class and professional consciousness. They share an identity. And the press has undeniable power.
But critics have it wrong. The press is not the Fourth Estate. It is the First. The media is those who pray – or more precisely, those who determine what is considered moral and immoral, legitimate and illegitimate in any society. And like any body of clergy, it has its own interests.
Ask yourself – who has more power to determine the moral framework of society, clergy or journalists? What are most clergy more afraid of – God or bad press? Today, it doesn’t much matter if a priest or pastor doesn’t like you – but bad press means the end of your career, your friendships, even your ability to get basic services like a bank account. Professional relationships, long-standing friendships, and even the bonds between parents and child can be instantly annihilated by one hit piece, as the well-trained denizens of modern America run for cover and plead for mercy from those who determine the Narrative.
There’s an infantile theory that in an authoritarian or premodern society, someone gives orders and everyone obeys simply out of fear. That’s never been true even in the most totalitarian dictatorship. At least some people need to believe that they should obey for some reason other than fear. Even in a totalitarian system, someone must pull triggers or crack whips to keep others in line, and he needs to think that he’s doing the right thing, or at least the necessary thing. Even in the most absolute dictatorship, a single man can easily be overpowered by a few – unless every dissident is convinced that he would be on his own if he acted. This is also the contradiction behind doxing – if everyone was doxed at once and took the mask off, there would be nothing to be afraid of.
When people talk about a system being justified by “consent,” we shouldn’t be thinking about force or compulsion. There have been very few times in history where someone has a sword or gun directly to your head. Compulsion is usually more subtle. Even the most abject repression must be accepted at some level “voluntarily.” “None are more hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free,” said Goethe. The real power in any system is those who shape the consciousness and moral codes of others – because that’s who determines what people “consent” to. If you can convince someone they are free, you can practice unlimited slavery. Rather than arguing about what kind of a system we live under, we should be thinking about who determines the moral framework we all accept.
At some level, we all understand this – but we don’t like to think about it. It raises questions about the nature of choice, of consent, of democracy – and whether most people really make up their own mind.
We’re talking about the masses, so let’s use a pop culture example the masses would understand. In the show Game of Thrones, the “Spider,” a spymaster and eunuch who excels in intrigue, tells a riddle to the dwarf who has become de facto ruler. He asks who has power in a situation where a mercenary is armed and faces a king, a priest, and a rich man. He’s ordered by each to kill the other two. Who lives or dies?
The dwarf suggests it depends on the swordsman, but the courtier responds that no one pretends swordsmen rule. Instead, he suggests power is simply a trick and it resides where men believe it resides. The show, and the books it was based on, were a deconstruction of the fantasy genre, so one can understand why people might want to believe this. Instead of a rightful king blessed by the gods saving the people, power is always a lie and the best ruler is just the best manipulator.
It’s easy to snicker at kings or gods from prior eras when you think this way – but what do we think now? Our age simultaneously tells us to be cynical and power, political rhetoric, and authority and then in the next breath tells us that democracy is something sacred and legitimate. We are told that our governments rely on the “consent of the governed” and that people “choose” their leaders. On the surface, this is absurd enough – the masses are always governed by elites. Even if the masses “want” something, in the vague and inchoate way they can “want” something, it has almost no effect on policy. However, what’s truly troubling is that most people don’t really “want” anything. They are simply told what to believe, and act accordingly. Even rebellion itself can be packaged and sold as a product.
You might think it’s naïve to believe in God – but it’s far more naïve to believe the voice of “the people” is the voice of God. “All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts,” said Carl Schmitt. A king could claim he was descended from the gods, or blessed by the gods, or even a god himself. But the modern leader says “the people” give him legitimacy. This is just a new take on a king claiming that he has a divine right to the throne because of his blood or the blessing of God. Claiming the support of the masses is a faith-based claim. It can’t be proven or disproven, only fought out.
We all know the fickleness of the masses. We know that they worship a celebrity one day and tear her down the next. We know that they vote for candidates based on height or hairstyle. We can even think of examples from fiction – like Mark Antony’s speech in Julius Caesar, where the crowd goes from scorn of the dead Ceasar to murderous fury against the “traitors” who killed him within a single oration. And yet, somehow, we continue to believe that the people make up their own minds, and that systems based on this belief constitute the only legitimate political systems. Believing in god-kings is more rational and less ridiculous than believing in voting.
The problem with “government by consent” is that consent is always dictated. We shouldn’t think “consent of the governed” establishes legitimacy. Instead, we should ask who dictates that consent. Public opinion is an outcome, not a cause. We don’t have to look far for people who understood this. “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of,” wrote Edward Bernays in Propaganda. He would know; he started out conducting successful marketing campaigns (like promoting cigarettes to women as feminist and empowering) and ended by overthrowing governments in Latin America for the CIA. The techniques in both causes are essentially the same.
Who rules? It’s not just that power resides where men believe it does. Men do what they think is right – but what they think is right is not something they came up with themselves. They are given a moral code. In previous eras, that mostly came from religion. Today, it comes from academia and media, with the latter (especially pop culture) being most important to most people. That moral code can be exploited to push certain policies. We all have base desires and primal drives – the aforementioned lust for power, or more tangible things like money, sex, or safety. But these things mean nothing outside a moral context. Who gives it to us?
Answer – journalists.
Journalists are the First Estate because they have the power to determine who is moral and immoral, respectable or extreme, just or unjust in the eyes of society. They can sell vice and call it virtue. They can appeal to our worst and make it feel like we are following the better angels of our nature. With modern technology, they have power clerics of the past can only envy.
It’s not that most journalists have a huge amount of power individually – most of them are hardly wealthy, and many have problems with substance abuse. But individual weakness actually enhances their collective power. The ability to set a terrifying machine in motion gives them a collective power far greater than any plutocrat or politician. The frenzy to tear other people down, to turn personal grievances into a collective political crusade, or to skillfully appeal to people’s lowest instincts because you yourself have no higher ones gives one the demonic energy needed to succeed today. Many have nothing to lose and nothing real to protect, so they can dedicate themselves to destruction.
No businessman or political leader can survive the hatred of the media. But many will never need to worry about it, because journos will almost always be their allies. The media almost always acts in a coordinated fashion. Joe Sobran referred to them as “The Hive” for a reason. We can argue about whether someone (such as a network owner) is simply giving orders or whether journos share ethnic, political, and professional consciousness that makes them behave in a united way. It doesn’t much matter in terms of what we must deal with. The point is that it’s a unified bloc.
There may have been dissident priests or aristocrats during the Ancien Régime but that doesn’t invalidate the Estates as a concept. The same is true of journalists. They are a bloc, they operate as a bloc, they are conscious of themselves as a bloc, and they defend themselves as bloc. Thus, they should be treated as a bloc.
The idea that journalists are “biased” should be so uncontroversial that we don’t even need to debate it. Yet we don’t need to belabor the point – it’s not very important. We don’t even need to get into the concept of “fake news.” Yes, journalists often report stories that simply didn’t happen (like the University of Virginia rape hoax that Rolling Stone had to settle after it faced ruinous lawsuits). Yes, they widely promote stories that are too good to check. The saying “shout the lie, whisper the retraction, accurately covers their conduct. But even this isn’t really critical.
What matters is the underlying Mythos that lies behind every story. Journos almost never just “report the facts” or try to reveal the truth. They provide context, framing, and selective highlights. In short, they provide a Narrative, a shorthand political and cultural message with a hero and villain.
We could even argue that “journalism” is not a profession at all, merely a tactic, a form of political activism far more effective than protests or direction action. After all, what is the point of protests and direct action other than to shape media coverage? It’s also absurd to pretend journos are cynical, hard-bitten operatives skeptical of power. They are some of the most credulous people on earth. What cynical, skeptical people would have so eagerly promoted the fake Jussie Smollett hate crime?
Every journo has an underlying, unquestioning worldview that she expresses with utter fanaticism. It is a Mythos that integrates and organizes everything that happens in the world. It is impervious to facts and can’t be changed by experience. If a story furthers its Narrative, it is eagerly promoted. If a story does not, it is suppressed, explained away, or “put into context.”
This Mythos is a remarkably crude Manichean divide between Oppressors and Oppressed. Many would say that these categories are defined by immutable identity categories of race, religion, class, and ideology. That’s certainly part of it, and it’s not even controversial to point out journos’ glee when they can find a conservative white guy to blame for something. But even that just scratches the surface.
There’s also something deeper. The weaker, more pathetic, and more cowardly Americans become, the more the media’s power grows. If there is something that allows independent existence, or enjoyment, or prosperity, it lies outside the managerial state’s system of control. Therefore, those things must be taken away. Each freedom you have is a threat to those who want to control you.
Think of what most news stories are. Generally, it consists of a journo – whose opinions on politics, culture, religion, and life are eminently predictable – finding someone or something interesting. The story is then the journo complaining about the target and demanding it be banned, censored, or both. Occasionally, some “experts” are quoted, most of whom are just journos themselves with a nominally different job title at one of the misnamed “Non-Governmental Organizations.” Just about every article is written in the “crybully” style, where performative weakness and faux outrage is used to justify authoritarian action.
H.L. Mencken famously said that Puritanism was the gnawing worry that someone, somewhere might be happy. Journalism is the gnawing worry that someone, somewhere, might be talking without supervision.
There is no greater enemy to freedom of speech than contemporary journalists. Far from serving as a check on power and conduit of information, journalists deliberately protect our rulers from criticism, hunt down dissidents, and misinform us. Over the last few years, it is the so-called “Free Press” that has led the charge to restrict free speech, eliminate online anonymity, and even challenge the First Amendment itself.
Tablet magazine, a Jewish publication that can hardly be pathologized as “far-right,” wrote in an article entitled Journalists Mobilize Against Free Speech that “today’s corporate media increasingly advances ideas that would delight would-be power trippers of any party – like establishing novel forms of government control over what you can see, read, and hear and identifying people with a broad range of unpopular or unapproved views as domestic terrorists.” Among the outlets identified by the article taking this position are CNN, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, ProPublica, and the Associated Press itself. Journalism professors Anand Giridharadas, Steve Coll, and Bill Adair, pundits like Max Boot, and officials closely connected to government like Richard Stengel and Peter Singer are also named. We also can’t leave out essayist Emily Bazelton, who was given a fawning profile in state NPR called “Unfettered Free Speech Is A Threat To Democracy, Journalist Says.”
There are countless others, which will be tracked in the days to come. What’s even more shocking than these attacks is the very idea that there’s a distinction between “journalists” and ordinary people. As said before, journalism is really just a tactic. Anyone can write; anyone can publish video footage of a newsworthy event. But professional journalists claim a special status that not only allows them to define the Narrative but even to control what others say. Few other guilds or castes were so sweeping in their claims and arrogance, and none had so little justification.
Part of this is simply institutional interest. If ordinary people are not allowed to give their opinion, or operate without some kind of official permission, that gives journos (and the government officials and NGO workers they are aligned with) almost complete power. It’s natural that people are going to argue that the thing which gives them the most wealth and power is also the only moral thing to do. It’s just nauseating when the most cynically materialist case comes coached in rhetoric about equality, weakness, humanitarianism, and “safety.”
Speaking of safety, third party “trust and safety” companies are now a massive industry. According to a new study by the Everest Group, the market will be worth $11 billion by the end of this year, and it is growing rapidly. Such companies, located formally outside the tech giants, are often used because they make censorship efforts harder to track, and because they can develop tools that can be sold to national governments.
Ultimately, the journo drive for supervision, censorship, and fact checking “misinformation” leads inevitably to a world of total supervision. No one is free to do anything without their approval – and with their ability to direct hostile coverage and moral outrage against enemies, journos as a class hold all the power. What’s worse, what the media calls misinformation is often the objective truth. There’s plenty of power in controlling who gets to tell the truth, but real power is in forcing people to believe lies.
However, it goes beyond mere self-interest. Like all things, this is a fundamentally spiritual struggle. In a media-dominated culture, achievement is actually a vulnerability. Strength is a weakness. However tough and independent you think you are, even if you can deadlift 600 pounds and have your jujitsu brown belt, if your livelihood and social life are dependent on the opinion of your transgender human resources director, you’re xir bitch.
The only proper way to view the journos’ role is as clergy. From a structural point of view, they have the traditional role of the First Caste – defining the metaphysical and political framework of a society. They also preach their values and use their power to punish dissenters. They may or may not believe in a god – but it’s just as mystical and fanciful to appeal to a gospel of universal equality, or democracy, or humanity. It’s not especially impressive or interesting that people are preaching universal equality so they can individually gain power. A priest from the Dark Ages, even the caricatured Dark Ages of falsified history, was far less hypocritical.
This is why efforts to become strong, independent, or wealthy can only go so-far unless we solve the Journo Question. Strong, accomplished men are easily destroyed if the fall under the Eye of Sauron that is the media. Other “elite” figures can get away with it, regardless of their sins.
All of us face a mortal threat from journalists. You could be an artist who wants to sell your work online. You could be a streamer who wants to speak to your audience about his ideas. You could be a musician who wants to share your work independently. You could be someone with a 9-5 who made an ill-advised post on social media years ago. You might not have even “done” something yourself, but simply know the wrong person. Your financial security, and that of your family, is now in the hands of the most resentful, hypocritical, and emotionally unstable caste that has ever existed – and these people think they can dictate morality to your entire society.
All of us, if we want “freedom” to be anything more than a cynical joke, share a vital interest in breaking media control over our ability to operate. So long as that control exists, we are just slaves, begging for permission from the weakest and most neurotic among us simply to exist. Real freedom is freedom to be strong, not freedom to be a beggar.
Pleas of weakness are a bid for superiority so long as you are holding the microphone. If someone becomes self-reliant, that decreases one’s political and cultural power. A strong person has less of a claim on society, and thus less of an ability to enforce one’s will on everyone else. In a “victimhood” culture like ours, power comes from the ability to claim oppressed status and successfully demand the resources of others as compensation.
Some have called this model of society “The Longhouse,” with people (especially men) living a kind of dull half-life under the suffocating, stultifying supervision of the weak, hysterical, and womanish. Even this may not fully grasp it. It’s the regression to the mean and the race to the bottom that grips all decaying society. On a long enough timeline, societies don’t “progress” ever upward, they race to the bottom. The petty efforts to seek status by tearing down others ultimately leads to a culture of bottom feeders, crabs in the bucket who can no longer accomplish or enjoy what their ancestors took for granted. The end state of what we call journalism is Ruin itself.
Ultimately, it is the journalists and the reporters who serve as the clergy in this new creed of decay, the Priests of Weakness who determine who is to be spared and who is to be hunted down and sacrificed. More importantly, they, in partnership with their allies in NGOs, government, and professional “activist groups,” are the ones who seek out those who are trying to build an alternative to the status quo and work to actively destroy them.
In the end, the shriveled creatures produced by post-modernity aren’t even people with identities or values of their own. They are simply content to be farmed on social networking, their views, friendships, and values utterly dependent on whatever is spat out by an algorithm. The reporters are the enforcers, weakness is the aim. In the end, we are to be reduced to simple products.
This isn’t just an abstract debate. For all their hysteria about “safety,” journalists are the ones increasing the danger against ordinary people. There is a constant threat of violence directed against European-Americans as the media constantly incites hatred against us, usually on the basis of hoaxes.
It’s important to view this as an occupation. There’s no “debate” to be had in the public square, because the object is not to solve what we would regard as problems. If you are reading this, you are the problem, part of the Oppressor class. If there is a debate, it’s just different people discussing about why you are the problem. The naïve ask questions why journos “don’t care” about the victims of street crime, or the difficulty of having a normal family, or the high rates of drug overdoses, alcoholism, and suicide. They do. Why would they be sad about proof that their program is succeeding?
A journalist, insofar as he fulfills her caste role, can’t help but be an enemy to the True, the Beautiful, and the Good. She can’t help but champion the lowest people, the lowest behavior, and the lowest values. She can’t help but make your life worse – and more likely, take active pleasure in that degradation. That’s why what we say next is nothing personal. It’s simply a recognition that such people are defined by their role.
All Journalists Are Bastards. AJAB. Don’t talk to them, to explain to them, don’t work with them, don’t respect them, don’t interact with them in any way. They are nothing less than enemies of the human race, and real people should shun them.
Because in the end, what this is really about is proving that we are, in fact, human. That we have a real identity and an existence worth fighting for, that we’re something more than another account on Netflix. That we will resist the collective downgoing of our entire species. It’s a refusal to become The Last Man, to undo the End of History, and to truly live in a world of our choosing.