“Assabiya Wins Every Time”

I found this article originally at the American Sun. If you don’t know, a lot of the neoreactionary writers who wrote for now defunct sites or decided to shut their personal sites down now write for the American Sun. Its worth checking out and I track it with my RSS feed. Most every Friday there is a short link list that they curate and it usually has some good stuff, like the article I am re-linking here.

The medieval Arab historian Ibn Khaldun explains the dynamic in his 14th-century masterwork, Al Muqaddima. History, he shows, is a repetition of the same pattern seen throughout the ages—a group of nomadic tribesmen overturn an existing sedentary culture, a civilization that has become weak and luxurious. What drives the success of the rising tribe is its group solidarity, or assabiya. Its awareness of itself as a coherent people with a drive for primacy is frequently augmented by religious ideology. The stronger the tribe’s assabiya, the stronger the group. Assimilating the conquered by imposing its will and worldview on them, the victor lays the foundations of a new civilization. But since, as Ibn Khaldun writes, “the goal of civilization is sedentary culture and luxury,” all groups carry the seeds of their own demise.

And so the struggle begins anew.

Group solidarity honed to overturn a decaying order produces new civilizations. And that’s how you get the march of history.

the fall began during the tail end of the Bill Clinton presidency when Democratic Party strategists augured that they’d soon have a permanent hold on power thanks to urban intellectuals, young single women, racial and ethnic majorities, and the LGBT community. What is described as a coalition is in fact a mélange of clients with varying and sometimes opposing interests that can only be held together by stoking a communal hatred of the national majority—the white middle class.

It was hardly a coincidence that this demographic was the source of the wealth that the establishment was busy transferring to themselves and abroad, through initiatives like the North American Free Trade Agreement. The elites rationalized their impoverishment of the white middle class by claiming that they were dying anyway. And when the American heartland didn’t die off quickly enough, the establishment credentialed themselves as progressives by calling the people who live there racists. Being racists, they deserved all the bad things the elite had decided for them. Thus, by betting on sectarianism as the path to permanent power, American elites polarized the United States.

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