335. Revolution (VII)
The Americans have left Kabul. This is bad news for Americans, for the wider West in general, because any military defeat—especially a widely publicised withdrawal—diminishes reproductive success for the defeated party; everybody wants to reproduce with a winner and this morning Americans do not look like winners. However, the Taliban deserved to win because they were the more reality-adjusted party; if God is an extended metaphor for reality then the Taliban were with God and were, effectively, the “good guys”—if we see “good” as a shorthand for responsible action in accordance with reality.
For practical purposes, the Taliban are more potent than the world’s foremost military power; actually, this is not really so. The Americans have more resources, better technology, and, in fact, better soldiers than the Taliban—indeed, they have soldiers who know exactly what to do to defeat the Taliban. So why defeat? The answer is somewhat similar to the old Vietnam vets who complained that they fought with “one hand tied behind their back”; the same has happened again, only more so.
In Afghanistan, the question was how to put those soldiers—they really do exist—who knew how to win in command. Their techniques, admittedly, would look like the old Roman decimation, but that has been done before and there is no reason why it should not be done again; either you use the techniques necessary to win in Afghanistan or you stay out. Instead, America engaged without being prepared to do what was necessary to win—the worst option.
America’s actions in Afghanistan were imperialist and that is bad, though not in the Marxist-Leninist sense, “Down with the imperialist running dogs!” Colonialism is good. Colonialism is when you take excess population, under the command of the spare son of an aristocrat, and settle a new land under your own laws. If, say, America had transplanted 20,000 Mormons—a fertile group—to just outside Kabul in 2001 to found New Moab that would be colonialism; and they would probably live under an old and vital iteration of America’s Constitution—and would positively contribute to Afghanistan’s development. It would be a tough life, though certainly interesting.
Imperialism is reverse colonialism; and colonialism usually degenerates into imperialism. The empire seeks to administer large sections of territory without any settlement from the centre whatsoever, perhaps just a garrison and an administrator. Due to politics in the imperial centre, decadent elite groups will demand that citizenship be extended to the imperial subjects; even if they are nothing like the native citizens—although this is partly the point, they can be used to “get at” rival elites. Hence the empire is driven by irresponsible ideological projects and undertakes reverse colonialism; it brings excess population to the centre to aid inter-elite conflicts. The soldier on the ground is not there to secure territory for himself or his fellow citizens; rather, he performs a nebulous quasi-religious function—teaching Utilitarian values in late British India or girls to use OnlyFans in late NATO Afghanistan. The colonist acts under his own independent initiative, according to the situation on the ground. The imperial soldier is hectored by political demands from the decadent centre; and this became worse with the invention of the telegraph and worse still with today’s instant communication. Peripheral imperial soldiers could once go months without instruction from the centre; today, Washington’s politics can be transmitted in real-time to commanders on the ground, so blunting their ability to fight.
Yarvin observed that America is a red empire and a blue empire: the blue empire is Harvard, the bureaucracy, the media, and “educated” people; and the red empire is the tradespeople, the rural rubes, and the military. Everything that happened this week in Afghanistan was what the blue empire wanted; they saw their rivals, the military red empire, humiliated and taken down a peg. Biden is not very concerned about what happened; his real enemies in domestic imperial politics have been humiliated, and this is how empires die.