Saint-Just and the Canadian truckers
"Revolutions, like Bourbons, are measured in proof."
“He who makes half a revolution digs his own grave,” said Saint-Just.
Well… it was a different time. We have not seen many half-revolutions (revolutions, like Bourbons, are measured in proof; a half-revolution being 100 proof) in our days. Which is good—for its maker’s grave is not the only grave a half-revolution digs.
Saint-Just’s rule says that whatever a half-revolution means, it means something like a half-and-half split between an old and new regime. The two will then fight. The new regime, being young and tender, will lose. Being big and strong, though, it can put up quite a fight in this civil war. Ergo its fall is sure to be bloody and vindictive, digging many graves including a very fancy headstone for the revolutionary founder. QED.
The proof of a revolution is the peak purity of the monopoly of power it obtains. The lower the peak, the faster it falls. While a 180-proof revolution may be fairly stable, anything under 150 proof is very likely to turn out a disaster, and 100 proof has no end but fire. Once the proof gets down to beer levels, the failure, though no less certain, becomes much less dangerous—a mere golf-cart crash.
What else is in there? The typical contaminant in a low-proof revolution is, of course, the old regime. The more residual old-regime power, the more dangerous. If the new regime, at its peak power, only has 75% of total power, it will struggle to hold that 25% diehard remnant faction down. At 50% it has no chance.
Of course, the gold standard is the 200-proof revolution. The old regime just ceases to exist, becoming one with the Medes and the Minoans. The 200-proof revolution is often associated with catastrophic military conquest—the fall of the Third Reich, the reunification of Germany, or the storming of Constantinople are 200-proof revolutions—so is the path from Versailles to the Committee of Public Safety.
Saint-Just did not end up above the ground. Saint-Just bit it aged 26. As bikers say, he couldn’t keep the rubber side down. But Saint-Just made a real 200-proof revolution. He was not a good guy, Saint-Just; still, we rent his scorn for any half-hard coup.
Caesar too made the full revolution, and Caesar was a standup guy. Napoleon must have learned a lot from Saint-Just. And we Americans can’t forget old Al Hamilton. All these engineers of state were masters; novices must always learn from masters.
In any case, it was a different time. Just because you are changing regimes, even “all the way” as teenagers say, does not mean you need to chop off anyone’s head. These things are totally unrelated—and again, the less pure the revolution, the more heads are likely to roll. When in doubt, shoot for 200 proof.
If you get it right, the old regime just shuts down, like a company going out of business—the only bloodshed is when someone trips over a bankers box as she’s cleaning out her office. Don’t worry, that little button cactus will do fine in the living room. It’s like permanent work from home—just without the work. And did she really like the work?
Saint-Just’s law is that the safety of a revolution is a hill-shaped function of its purity. A very low-proof revolution is safe because it does not do much to anger its enemies.. A very high-proof revolution is safe because it will dissolve its enemies. In between, the purer the revolution, the more energy it liberates in fire when it crashes and burns.
The extreme endpoint of Saint-Just’s law is the launch equation of a rocket. If the rocket rises two inches off the pad, it will crash and burn in a huge fireball. If it gets 99.9% of the way to orbit, it will crash and burn in a huge fireball. An empiricist would be justified in thinking of any prototype rocket as a fireball machine. The rocket is the ultimate engineering symbol of any device that is used once and must work that once.
Well—rockets are scary. So the fashion these days is for the 0.1-proof revolution—classified in most states as nonalcoholic. This near-beer coup, this kombucha-Putsch, is safe for a toddler. Trouble is that regulatory limits keep dropping, so foolish civilians keep getting busted for Clausthaler terrorism and roadside-cider insurrection.
Of course, even if a kombucha revolution is harmless, it is at least a little risky. The question is: what can it accomplish? The answer is clear: absolutely nothing. But this then raises a further question: why do they do it?
Why would men make a kombucha revolution? To penetrate this mystery, we descend into the world of the political coomer and his endless and untiring quest for cummies.
Politics and politicummies
Men make a kombucha revolution because they are coomers. They are in it for mere stimulation—the cummies. All of right-wing media and most of left-wing media is in this lucrative retail business of political cummies, or—dare we say—politicummies.
But I see you don’t understand… the coomer, a classic 4chan meme, is the archetypal porn and/or sex addict:
(Much of the eye redness is also caused by marihuana—a recurrent coomer passion.) “Cummies,” creolizing as it does pornese and baby-talk, may be the most disgusting word in our century’s new Internet lexicon. Unfortunately it is too apposite to avoid.
The coomer, in the abstract sense, is the seeker for stimulation—the connoisseur of automatic pleasure. Scientists say that when we all have UBI, we will all be coomers. The future is a fountain of pure pleasure—of near-infinite robotic hedonic inflation. Even now there is no shortage of every kind of delightful flavored cummies.
The analogy between the stimulating powers of sex and politics is close. First, the sex drive and the power drive are intimately related—they are both critical human drives. Second, both sex and power are vulnerable to nonfertile stimulation—the application of a stimulus that produces pleasure but does not have its original functional result.
The mark of the coomer is his relentless devotion to nonfertile stimulation. Sexually, the coomer unlinks sexual orgasm from sexual reproduction, and even penetration. Politically, the coomer unlinks political participation from political authority.
While the ancient Greeks knew that politics is the highest pursuit of civic man, this applied only to actual politics—the capture and/or application of sovereign power. Aristotle would counsel anyone to avoid ineffective yet stimulating political action—politicummies. Anyone participating in coomer politics objectively serves his enemy.
Overview of coomer politics
The basic trick in coomer politics is lighting the rocket engine and lifting an inch or two off the pad. The capsule really rumbles and shakes. The passengers, strapped in, are played a video of their orbital vacation. Also, the process is normally quite safe. Although…
There are three kinds of players in coomer politics: spectators, producers and actors. The actors actually do things. The producers create content and the spectators consume it. Again all this is very reminiscent of porn.
We distinguish two types of political action in the present day: formal and informal. The traditional politics industry is formal action. The emerging, yet timeless, genre of street porn—like the 2020 Floyd riots, the January 6 demonstrations, or the Ottawa truck protest—is informal action.
Formal and informal action have two polarities: pro-government or anti-government. Pro-government action (like the Floyd riots) is out of scope in this essay. Go read, like, the newspaper or something.
Most participants in anti-government action do not understand the difference. The result is that they expect formal action to be much more effective than it is, and they expect informal action to be both much more effective and much safer than it is.
Of course, any punishment for anything but the most brazen and appalling pro-regime informal action will be a slap on the wrist. (As for the rare appalling deeds, punishing them makes great propaganda.) Strangely, the principle in which political motivation is a mitigating factor in law enforcement does not seem to apply in the case of anti-regime informal action.
The result of the asymmetry is that anti-government street porn is more dangerous than it looks—rather like a porn industry without condoms and STI tests. As in porn, this one is partly on the spectators and partly on the producers. And actors, producers and spectators alike should reflect on what they hope to accomplish here.
The Canadian trucker-cummies
As I write the stains have not yet dried from the occupation of Ottawa by Canadian truckers. This rich yet shallow vein of political cummies seems mostly tapped out for now, with lingering flurries of outrage-porn as the organizers are rounded up, relieved of savings, family and career, and assigned to transformative-justice camp in Nunavut. There they will learn to be happy productive Lyft drivers in the new, vibrant Canada.
So it may be fair to write about the truckers now. I hate to piss on anyone’s party, at least not until the pizza boxes have been stacked and the card-tables put away. But the objective historical narrative of the event now seems clear; we must not look away. There is a lesson here, I fear, for every kind of conservative.
The proof of the truck occupation can be measured by the peak power it achieved. At its peak, it was shutting down the national capital and several border crossings, which is certainly not nothing. 0.1 proof may be to low—let’s be generous and call it 0.2. That would be 1/1000 of the way to ruling Canada. Generous? Ok, it’s generous.
One way to get an intuitive sense of very low-powered revolutions is to take the event itself and imagine increasing the proof. What could change?
Clearly, the truck occupation never considered a bid for absolute power. What would that have meant—Justin Trudeau would step down and hand power to Tamara Lich? Look who’s loving Nunavut now! It’s actually super nice in the summers—since the far-right won, of course, these are not transformative-justice camps, but boot camps. Crossfit! Trudeau may not need it. A lot of his friends do. He’ll see them all there…
The prospect is ridiculous. But history demonstrates that it is not ridiculous because it has to be ridiculous. It is only ridiculous because no one has made it unridiculous.
Of course, the actual goal of the trucker action was an issue—vaccine/mask mandates. An issue is the weakest kind of goal, because it does not aim at taking power, only at using it—by somehow convincing and/or coercing power to change its mind.
Suppose we confine the action to the same area, but we redesign it to take power? We would imagine creating some kind of civic tribunal, not unlike the plebeian tribunes of ancient Rome, rigged to be controlled by the populist majority rather than sneering overeducated “doctors” and “scientists”, which could act as a civil jury that could veto these kinds of intrusive (but sometimes, with a really dangerous virus, still necessary) violations of the principles of a free society…
Again the idea is ridiculous. Maybe not only because no one has made it unridiculous. When we talk about the people governing, rather than a government in the interest of the people, when we talk about true democracy—what else would we be talking about? Is this actually the right way to govern Canada? Can the principle of the populist civil jury, with veto power over the acts of the progressive bureaucracy, get anywhere?
No, probably—but one could at least imagine it as a start. In theory, given an abstract human population. But not in practice, given the actual Canadian population—unless my impression that they are no different up there is wrong.
For prospective actors, the trucker protest has two lessons. The first lesson is that any amount of informal anti-government action, regardless of its traditional practice or even apparent legality, and entirely regardless of the safety of pro-government action, is extremely unsafe and effectively illegal. If, after the action, the old regime is still around to prosecute or persecute you—it certainly will. This is the normal condition of human affairs, so try not to cry a new Mississippi about it.
The second lesson is that ultimately every action against a government is military, and every military action can be measured by a simple yardstick. The action succeeds not if it achieves its nominal mission, but if it alters the balance of power in its own favor. A step that makes you stronger and your enemies weaker is a victory. A step that makes you weaker and your enemies stronger is a defeat.
Not only is it easy to see that the trucker movement was smashed and the Canadian regime gained new, tasty emergency superpowers, as well as experience dealing with this surprising new tactic, there is an excellent yardstick for any informal action. The simple question is: did this action make it easier, or harder, to repeat the same action? If you cannot do the same thing you did last time, you must be weaker than last time. Maybe you gained somewhere else—maybe not.
Not having been born yesterday, Canadian security officials or whoever can see that, if blocking the streets of Ottawa with trucks is an effective way for these peasants to get what they want, they will get a lot of trucker roadblocks—like farmer protests or union strikes in France in the ‘70s.
Therefore it becomes especially important not only to smash this action, but to make it clear that any such future action will fail—that the action will not be repeated. Thus in one clear way the balance of power has changed in the regime’s favor—before the trucker protest, truckers could do something like the trucker protest. Now they can’t. They would just lose—so they will never even try. That’s how power works.
Everyone hates to lose, so losers always cling to the Saxon-waking theory of politics—a great idea out of Kipling:
They were not easily moved,
They were icy—willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.
Well… the Canadians must have some Saxon blood. Right? They are certainly icy. And who can question their willingness to wait?
But now the count is proved, the Saxon awakes, the corrupt, tyrannical Trudeau regime will be swept away.. the new blood is rising in the strong, independent, liberty-loving peoples of the north… in 2014 as this sort of spirit rose in the feeble, nervous, weed-loving peoples of 4chan, some wag invented an unanswerable response:
He was waiting for the Saxon to awake. Of course, the actual reason that the Canadian Royal Militia or whoever is not mustering up to march on Ottawa and restore liberty is not that the Canadian people are icy and judicious—more like, pudgy and apathetic.
Regardless of their Saxon heritage, or whatever. And if any of them do wake up, and “learn to hate”—well, that’s literally a crime in Canada. Enjoy your time in Nunavut.
Actually, in the modern world, the rebound effect of oppression is negative. The effect of a crackdown is Stockholm syndrome, not Saxon hate—the more power the state uses, the more popular it gets. As Osama bin Laden said, people like a strong horse.
There is not much to say about the audience for political porn. Their fetishes may be detailed, but they all share the same lust. They want to see winning. They want hope. Their cummies are little spurts of delicious, evanescent hope.
They have no actual hope of actual power—if they did, they would instantly change the channel on all these nonalcoholic revolutions, formal and informal alike. Mere self-abuse can rarely compete with actual penetration.
Can the audience learn to stop beating it to outrage porn? Some of them, maybe. But the right way to cure their debauched coomer ways is to give them actual hope. Porn is for the celibate—it can rarely compete with actual sex.
It is the actors who have been the victims of this show, and the producers who have profited from it. The actors should have known what they were doing—but they didn’t. But they were ordinary fools, so no one could expect them to.
The producers had the responsibility to know what they were doing—if they didn’t, they should have. The persecution of their followers is on these Pied Pipers: shame.
Respect the pornstache
Here is a timeline subset from one major producer of trucker politicummies. This producer, an attorney, actually went to the trucker protest to make video reports. He has almost 200,000 Twitter followers.
Behold this chronological stream of timely ejaculations, each delicious in its own way:
Deconstructing the trucker cummies
What is amazing about this producer—selected quite at random—is that he seems to both have a perfect understanding of what will happen, and no understanding at all. Not only does he have no clue, but he gets it completely.
What makes all the rhetoric in this remarkable month-long arc stimulating? Why does this mustache-libertarianism work so well, even as it goes from the most blustering of boasts to the most pathetic of whines?
It is easy to see why the boasts stimulate the proud ape in us. The whines stimulate them too—because of a piece of political mythology that transmutes the two. You see, out there, somewhere, the Saxon is waiting—proving his counts, or whatever.
Any time the Trudeau dictatorship regime does some awful, dictator-like thing, it looks like it makes the regime stronger. But it actually makes the regime weaker—because of the silent, invisible Saxo-Canadian, out there weighing up the evidence, ready to come to Ottawa “in the hundreds” once that count is finally proved.
True, the dictator Trudeau actually can move a few trucks. And stuff. But it’s not true that he’s winning—because of all the legitimacy his regime has lost to these crimes. Etc, etc, etc.
This whole narrative can only exist in a world of quantum superposition, in which the despot Trudeau both is and is not a dictator. In a dictatorship, resistance is obviously useless. Imagine a trucker protest against Kim Jong Un. In a democracy, however, not only is protest legal, protest works—protest is the only way to get things done.
This is why we see so many of these conservative coomer-milkers constantly declaring that today is the day that democracy has fallen. It is the only narrative note that works in the middle of their arc.
But these days have been happening for decades in this genre. Somehow, the day is forgotten by the middle of next week—and the producers keep on selling democracy as the cure for dictatorship. Which is a little like selling paper as the cure for scissors.
Trudeau, of course, is not a dictator. He is a talking head on TV—an actor. His regime is not a personal autocracy, it is a institutional oligarchy. In fact, autocracy is the only cure for oligarchy. So not only has this kind of narrative led the actors in the story into personal disaster, and the coomers in the story into unexpected detumescence—it has politically confused the poor peasant coomer into a state of complete ineffectiveness. But he did get plenty of cummies, I guess.
In fact, this narrative could not be a more powerful weapon on behalf of the regime than if it had been designed by the cruel Justin Trudeau (son of Fidel Castro, I insist). In the end, the coomer is always an incel. Sad!