This is the fourth post in my oversocialization series. Read the introduction here.
The day has come. I have discussed “Blue Empire” repeatedly in the past, but it is not a mere pejorative. It is a particular term that I use to refer to where the real nexus of power lies in today’s society: the ideological coalition that determines what you see, what you hear, and what you’re allowed to speak about.
Blue Empire is the coherent coalition that dominates the institutions responsible for socialization, along with its financing and foot soldiers. To understand how Blue Empire operates, we have to return to earlier discussions on networks/institutions and more wholly flesh out our notions of Truth. We must also understand the material changes that explain how/why these institutions were able to displace the previous center of power in government.
Networks, Institutions, and Truth
A recap from my primer on alternative institutions:
At its most basic, an institution is a formalized network with assets (usually some amount of human, financial, physical, and social) consciously directed towards a goal.
It is important to understand the distinction between an institution and a network.
Networks arise “organically”. A bunch of people in a localized geographic area (or a connected virtual “area”) will begin to generate networks almost immediately. Trade, friendships, etc. These networks may be entirely transactional, or possess a deeper core to them (like a friendship). These networks are not consciously organized; they arise due to factors related to connectivity.
Institutions on the other hand, do not arise organically. They arise consciously. Institutions arise with a goal. Within the network, a group of people may wish to spread the word about some topic. They organize: they become a formally recognized network both internally and, hopefully for them, externally as well.
Institutions become powerful generally by maximizing as much of their capital as they can, whether that be human, financial, physical, and/or social.
Now, it is important to understand that networks aren’t comprised of equal, interchangeable nodes. There are hierarchies within all networks. Some people within the network have greater power (for whatever physical, social, or economic reason). There are power imbalances. It is why I have said that any notion of “freedom” must focus on material power dynamics, not formal limitations on solely the State.
‘Truth’ and Influence
As I said yesterday, inside of our minds we build ‘maps’ of the World:
Inside of our heads, we assimilate (or reject) information into our mental model of the world. Each one of us does this. We construct a mental map of how the World truly is, and we then judge further experiences based on that mental map.
The map is obviously a distortion, but we can’t directly conceptualize the territory. We can only conceptualize the territory, the World, through a map. Our respective personal biases mean my map is not the same as your map, etc.
One might say that our map of the World interfaces with our map of moral space. We understand the world through narrative, motivation, values, and norms. But it would be unfair to say that our map of moral space is “superimposed” onto our map of the World. They are an irreducible union.
The oversocialized, with their moral map determined by elevating the internalized goods of the socialization process to be their highest goods (or perhaps having no other goods at all on their map), are the least capable of changing their map of the World. For these two maps are irreducible in the psyche of a human. We can discuss them as distinct entities, but we experience them together.
What defines an institution’s influence is its ability to reach out and affect the lives of others. This can mean brute material force (warlords and their gangs have influence by physically terrorizing those who oppose them within their territory). Or, in the case of agents of socialization, it can mean two things:
Having a major effect on the maps of moral space and the World of people in the same networks as the institution
Gatekeeping parts of the networks they are involved in, only allowing access for those it deems “worthy”
As I’ve said before, we have very little idea what is going on in most of the world. And all we have are narratives. These narratives act as ‘Truth’. Those who buy in to this narrative build their mental maps of the World based around the guidance of the institution. One does not need to be a member of the institution (or even be outwardly loyal to them) in order to be under the influence of that institution.
Now, this is not to say there is no actual Truth. Relativism (both epistemological and, if you’ll believe me, moral) is false. There is a Territory, a Truth. There is a way the World is. Delusion can only go so far. Eventually, our maps become so distorted that we fall off a cliff.
When I discuss socialization, it is CRITICAL to understand that our moral values are not entirely defined by the socialization process. To accept that would mean that there would be no social change at all (and would beg the question of where the values of the founders of the socialization institutions came from). So this is no call to fatalism. You can change people’s minds. You can build alternative institutions. Implicit in this piece (and explicit in later pieces) is a call to action. But action must be informed, lest it fall pray to the wrong power centers co-opting it for their own purposes.
The Velocity of Information, Socialization, and the Spectacle
Technology changes don’t necessitate shifts in network dynamics/power distribution. Pre-existing power centers can readily adapt to new technology. But, new technology shifts the boundaries of possibility space: it provides new opportunities (and obstacles).
Today, networks are more interconnected then ever: they are “closer” in information space (even as they become more distant in physical space). Information travels from node to node (or, really, is broadcasted by a central institution to an ever increasing number of nodes) faster and faster. Information spreads along these networks at almost unimaginable speeds. Memes, even ‘Truths’, are born and propagate in the blink of an eye. This all means those who control the central narrative-producing/propagating institutions (i.e. the dominant socialization institutions) have immense power to shape the Spectacle we all live in.
But that power is not total (even if it seems that way). No System is omnipresent. As technology may define the boundaries of possibility space, what occurs within those boundaries comes down to the values, beliefs, and actions of individuals, networks, and institutions. I already discussed above how one is defined by more than the socialization process. And I have discussed in previous posts how the Great Man thesis of history rears its ugly head with figures like FDR seizing power from the parties and unilaterally shifting the nexus of power in American politics. In spite of the fact the parties had readily adopted the new technology already and kept their grip on power, FDR saw an opportunity with the technology and seized it. And American politics fundamentally changed.
What that means for today is that there is an opening. We have technology that can allow for greater impacts, but we need institutions and individuals to take advantage of this. There is an opportunity, but only if we seize it. There will be no “ever increasing contradictions”. There is only a possibility space.
But who are we seizing it from? The background is complete, so now on to the meat:
Who is Blue Empire?
As I stated before, Blue Empire is the coherent coalition that dominates the institutions responsible for socialization, along with its financing and foot soldiers. The foot soldiers (activists, NGOs, etc.) are everywhere, but I want to look at the institutions that generate these foot soldiers. In this manner we can derive two main parts of Blue Empire:
The Dominant Institutional Agents of Socialization
The Signalling Sociopaths of the Workplace
(A Note: The Deep State tends to have its own self-interest. While it is currently aligned with Blue Empire (imo), I consider it distinct - I may discuss it in the future, but this piece will go on FAR too long)
After looking at these, I will explain the ideology of Blue Empire: Rainbow Neoliberalism.
The Dominant Institutional Agents of Socialization
Our education system is dominated by a single ideological bent: Left-Liberal. We’ve known this for years. And the shifts are only intensifying in recent years. Peter Wood has discussed how the only empirically-supported theory as to why Ph.D.’s are even more liberal than the rest of academia is due to self-selection. But he notes that self-selection does not preclude bias:
"The most effective way to keep out a whole class of people who are unwelcome isn’t to bar entry, but to make sure that very few in that class will want to enter."
We see this in teachers unions donations:
Just this year they backed Biden vs Trump, 6-1.
Furthermore, most “Leftists” are just radical autonomy worshippers. Economic progressivism only matters insofar as it is a means for the end of greater autonomy. If it doesn’t boost their autonomy (or their perceived autonomy), it doesn’t matter.
Considering this, the monolithic ideological bent of our education system becomes even more obvious. The “Long March Through the Institutions” was completed by Liberals, not Marxists.
2. Mass Media/Big Tech
Of course the problem is that as the major sources of news/information have shifted online, Big Tech (with their now-allies in the Mainstream Media) have continuously been working to censor opposing viewpoints on major platforms. And so the dominance of the Spectacle that Blue Empire generates continues.
“The media represents [a] world that is more real than [the] reality that we can experience. People lose the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. They also begin to engage with the fantasy without realizing what it really is.
They seek happiness and fulfillment through the simulacra of reality, e.g. media and avoid the contact/interaction with the real world.”
-Jean Baudrillard (Simulacra and Simulacrum)
Memory-hole-ing old events and fabricating narratives ex nihilo become the tools of choice.
The Signaling Sociopaths: Woke Capital and the Workplace
Woke Capital continues to grow and spread. I will simply link @wokecapital since there are far too many examples to pick out just one or two.
Of course, these institutions tend to be cynical signalers. They just want to keep the Public on their side so they won’t receive backlash and people will keep using their goods/services. That may be changing as people are continuously socialized, but it is best to understand the revealed preferences of these people as cynical signalers, given their actions in other parts of the world where there are fewer eyes.
But this goes further in that the backlash almost always comes from one side. I have discussed this before:
A rhetorical victory is NOT a material victory.
Your memes mean nothing as your colleagues get fired for wrongthink and your friends get censored for expressing something Blue Empire doesn’t like. Your attempts at shaming for hypocrisy or appealing to some kind of “norms” are completely useless. Nobody cares.
You want to oppose Blue Empire? Dunking on people on Twitter does literally nothing. Nothing at all. It is the equivalent of an impotent protest. It makes you feel good. It changes nothing. You have descended to the level of a common lib. Congratulations.
Perhaps it is because so many libertarians and conservatives enjoy being in chains. There is an allure of persecution. The smug moral superiority of being oppressed with the abdication of any responsibility for improving oneself or the world around you.
Cynical signalers (so far as they still exist) will pick the path of least resistance. Which is ALWAYS to give in to the woke mob, since conservatives tend to do nothing besides whine online. Of course, this only makes it harder for the conservatives in these institutions to have their voice heard by the cynical signalers. Whatever true believers in the institutions use the backlash to show they are the majority and should be listened to. It happens every. single. time.
And Blue Empire continues to entrench itself every time you decide not to fight back.
The Ideological Nexus of Blue Empire: Rainbow Neoliberalism
It should be noted, first off, that not every member or component institution of Blue Empire espouses Rainbow Neoliberalism; however, this is where the coalition settles. It is their compromise platform.
So what is Rainbow Neoliberalism? To give it a simple definition:
Cosmopolitan globalism alongside economic policies which are used as a means in service of ever increasing autonomy.
This is the ideological nexus of Blue Empire. This is what Blue Empire, regardless of their individual disagreements, espouses and propagates. It is the ideology of the dominant set of institutions.
And yet, you’ll notice that we don’t live in a very economically progressive country, even though I said earlier many use economic progressivism as a means to greater autonomy. Of course, this is because the only organized resistance to Blue Empire comes from the Corporate Bootlickers that run the GOP and own most of the “Right”. Which is why you get cosmopolitan globalism alongside stagnant economic policy that is always too little, too late. Our entire elite, on “both” sides, supports cosmopolitan globalism; of course, economic progressivism gets shafted.
A New Hope
One may look at this and perceive family as the “last bastion” of sanity in our society. But this is not enough. The family cannot hold. It is not strong enough. Families are far too small and too easy to isolate from the rest of the network.
What must be done, is the construction of alternative institutions to guide the establishment of new networks, outside the purview of Blue Empire (and their half-allied Corporate Bootlicker opposition). I have discussed the importance of building these correctly and having the proper structure in doing so.
Blue Empire, for now, lacks the will to deploy significant material/military power. What they have (and are 100% willing to deploy) is organized social and financial power. This kind of power can be resisted. Before we look at that (which is the next series), I will spend the next 1-2 weeks publishing another 5-6 pieces on the mechanisms by which oversocialization takes place.
Do not give in to blackpills my friends. There is much worth saving in this world.
There is no despair. There is only the work that must be done. Godspeed to us all.