Does Curtis Yarvin really want everyone to have a sparkly pony, or is he lying?

Curtis “Mencius Goldbug” Yarvin’s calls to destroy American democracy  have become an inspiration for dictatorship loving right-wingers such as J.D. Vance. (yes, the guy who thinks it’s wrong women can divorce abusive husbands). This detailed interview in Vox has me wondering what’s really going on in his head.

Yarvin makes the stunningly novel argument that democracy has failed, therefore what’s needed is a dictatorship. But a good dictatorship, an absolute monarch who looks out for all the people, not just a given political faction (I’m reminded of Vincent Price declaring in Scream and Scream Again that his creation will be “Yes, a master race, but not an evil master race!”). Such dictators is few and far between. The probability of finding one is even more remote when you consider Yarvin wants a right-wing dictatorship to break free of the left’s supposed control of culture, education and government. The Republican right wing has no interest in setting up a government that works for everyone. Their dreams of a new constitutional convention are specifically so they can impose their minority will on the rest of the country, not to form a united government where everyone has buy in. So his ideas are bullshit and snake-oil from the get-go.

One possibility is that Yarvin is lying to himself about what will happen after his fantasy revolution. The history of naive revolutionaries who thought they were bringing on a golden age is legion. The Russian Revolution. The French Revolution. Castro in Cuba. Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. All of them fought against bad regimes that deserved overthrowing, all of them fell into dictatorship. The United States didn’t, but we still founded a new nation where millions of Americans lived and died in slavery.

Another possibility is that he’s lying to us. Like the right-to-lifers who insisted women would not be prosecuted if abortion became illegal again or that Dobbs won’t be the basis for overturning the right to contraception, Yarvin’ll tell us anything he wants to to keep us from resisting (he admits he was upset the Dobbs decision mobilized the left because if we’re not meek and cowed, a smooth takeover will be impossible).

A third alternative is that his definition of a dictatorship that’s good for everyone is the lie. A lot of the misogynists covered in Jesus and John Wayne and Undead Sexist Cliches claim that male supremacy is good for women, honestly! They’ll be so much happier when they stay home, popping out babies and obeying the man who does the thinking for them. Or the ever-reliable argument we just can’t disrupt society for a few malcontents. The square pegs just gotta fit in those round holes.

As for the left’s supposed control, to the extent that it’s true it’s because we are (as one Bush II official put it), the “reality based community.” Our positions (speaking generally) are right: equality under the law is desirable, women and POC, have equal ability to white men, gay rights and gay marriage don’t destroy or hurt society, religious equality is the best approach, evolution (and more generally science) works, Christian morality is not essential to society, etc. Many of the things the right pretends it’s oppressed by, such as safe spaces, conservatives are actually fine with them — provided it’s a safe space for, say, sexual harassers, not for victims.

On top of which his proposals for Year One — replace all federal workers not loyal to Emperor Trump or whoever, nationalize all police and National Guard operations under the Executive Branch — are seriously dumbass. It doesn’t matter whether the president has absolute power, that’s simply too massive an organization to run smoothly or even keep track of what it does. Does Yarvin think for a minute that replacing all those workers with anyone competent will be that simple or not result in massive disruptions? Certainly not in a gloriously efficient, smooth-running machine.

So my guess is he’s lying to us. But liar or not, his views are just as horrible. It’s depressing we live in a country where “we should be a dictatorship” is now within the Overton Window.

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