This will require some quite excessive excerpting, for which I make no apology. I consider this dastardly breach of all standards of blogospheric courtesy and propriety to be well worth it. Trust me, so will you.
In recent days, the phrase ”Let’s go Brandon!” has taken on a life of its own. At one point, four out of ten songs on the Spotify top 10 list were called ”Let’s go Brandon”. People are saying it as a form of greeting, or wearing it on t-shirts. For some, this is just a funny gag. For others, it is a source of significant and growing dread; dread about what is happening politically in the United States, and what the future now looks to have in store for them.
For those of you who don’t know the context: at a recent NASCAR event in New Jersey, the crowd could be heard chanting ”Fuck Joe Biden!” after the race. During an interview with the winner of the race – a man named Brandon Brown – the flustered reporter, hearing the chant, then says on camera that the crowd must be very enthused for Brandon, as they’re all chanting ”Let’s go Brandon!” in his honor. Of course, they crowd is doing no such thing, and she and everyone else knows it. This little episode, on its own, is hardly very remarkable or significant. Others slowly pick up on the story and mock the journalist involved. But at this point, it is merely just another day of ”fake news”, another day of the liberal media being the liberal media.
However, like a dangerous respiratory virus, this little ”Brandon incident” then incubates for a week or two, before blossoming out into something far more serious, into a true social event. People start saying ”Let’s go Brandon!” at random, both as a mockery of the sitting president, but also as a way to mock the now increasingly toothless media apparatus, who fewer and fewer seem to take seriously at all. And this is where things become truly interesting: as at least one pilot then tells his passengers ”Let’s go Brandon!” before takeoff, liberal America starts to actually freak out. At this point, think pieces are produced by NPR and others claiming that there’s a new form of conspiratorial ”code speak” that ”racists” are now using to note their displeasure with the sitting president. Others demand the offending pilot be fired, as it is obvious that he isn’t really saying ”Let’s go Brandon!”, he’s actually saying ”Fuck Joe Biden!”. The irony here should be quite obvious, as liberals are now decrying people for playing along with the very same cover story they invented out of thin air to cover up what is clearly growing dissatisfaction with president Biden.
Some have taken this to be just another funny episode of ”internet humor” leaking into the real world. But this is, to put it frankly, the delusions of an intellectual class who themselves enjoy being ironic on the internet, and who then quite myopically assume that everyone else must think and act the way they do. Middle aged female nurses, as a rule, do not use 4chan, nor are they versed in, or at all interested in, the finer points of ironic ”internet humor”. Political humor, coming from normal, working class people, might superficially resemble that of irony-poisoned college graduates. But in reality, they have very little in common.
Moreover, there’s a very large, very obvious flaw in this explanation of events. Again, the crowds at that NASCAR race weren’t chanting ”Let’s go Brandon!” they were chanting ”Fuck Joe Biden!”, and by all accounts, they certainly weren’t being ironic about that. No coded language was intented, no mental jiu-jitsu performed. Only when the media tried to use its incredibly hollow and thoroughly unimpressive powers of ”mind control” did people start with ironic mockery, and that mockery was aimed both at the president as well as the clear powerlessness of the chattering classes to control the narrative or get people to believe them. And so, perhaps unsurprisingly, when airplane passenger hear the phrase ”Let’s go Brandon!” spoken over the intercom, they don’t necessarily hear just a joke, but also a reminder that a political conflict they had tried to suppress is very much still real.
But even with all this said, many a reader will probably want to ask a simple question: why does any of this matter? Though I would argue that the sudden explosion of ”Let’s go Brandon!” in American culture actually means a very great deal, to truly explain why this joke is so funny to some, and so unnerving to others, we have to do so by way of a metaphor. To truly understand why many liberals are so scared of what others consider to still be merely a harmless joke, we have to talk a bit about a concept known as Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval war doctrine during World War II. Do not worry, the relevance of this concept to today’s America will hopefully become clear as we go along.
Having been an avid student of history, military history in particular, since my pre-teen years, I have been aware of Kantai Kessen, known in the West as Decisive Battle Doctrine, for most of my life. But somehow, the idea that it might be usefully applied to our current national nightmare had escaped me completely. The post, which I absolutely, positively implore you to read in its entirety, proceeds from there to explain DBD in depth, focusing on its relevance as the primary motivation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
In brief, the proponents of DBD hold that the only way a nation-state may hope to prevail over an adversary that greatly outnumbers them in terms of military manpower, materiel, land mass, and resources lies in the smaller, weaker nation-state on bringing their opponent to battle on a field of the weaker nation’s choosing, on the weaker nation’s own terms, making best use of whatever advantages the weaker nation-state enjoys. If they can somehow contrive to force this One Decisive Battle, little David might just be able to defeat the mighty Goliath once more.
There were many advocates for DBD in the prewar Japanese military, as well as some prominent opposition too. Foremost among the opposition was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who said after Pearl Harbor:
A lot of people are feeling relieved, or saying they’re ‘grateful to Admiral Yamamoto’ because there hasn’t been a single air raid. They’re very wrong: the fact that the enemy hasn’t come is no thanks to Admiral Yamamoto, but to the enemy himself. So if they want to express gratitude to somebody, I wish they’d express it to America. If the latter really made up its mind to wade in on us, there’d be no way of defending a city like Tokyo.”
The Pearl Harbor sneak attack proved to be a brilliant success for the Japanese in the tactical sense, but a strategic catastrophe in the long run. After his strenuous objections to the attack had been overruled by his more hawkish colleagues and superiors, the apprehensive, almost dejected Yamamoto issued the prophetic warning for which he will forever be remembered: “I fear that all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
Which is where our contemporaneous conflict rears its ugly head—the historical parallels brought into focus, the enormity of their power, glory, and sweep revealed for all with eyes to see:
Unfortunately for the Japanese, Kantai Kessen quickly fails. The attack on Pearl Harbor itself goes swimmingly, and the Americans are indeed incredibly angry as a result. After that, however, things begin to go catastrophically awry. Roosevelt goes on radio and predictably promises the Japanese pain and suffering, and then…then nothing happens. The Americans are furious, yes, but they don’t seek the quick and decisive battle the Japanese are hoping for. Instead they simply wait, and wait, and wait, focusing on the land war in Europe while building ships and preparing plans for when they will eventually take the war to Japan. And this is of course precisely the scenario in which the Japanese simply cannot win. If the Americans make this war about production and manpower, Japan will crumble; it is only a matter of time. The Imperial Japanese Navy isn’t defeated at Midway – it has in fact already lost the war the second the Americans refuse to follow the script the Japanese had – quite naively – laid out for them.
Now, consider the political situation in the United States in 2021, and what has transpired during the last twelve months. In a way, we have all been witnessing the execution of a modern political form of the Kantai Kessen, a decisive shock-and-awe campaign that is now clearly starting to run out of steam. To quickly recap the lead up to the current moment: in 2015, the Republican party was all about ”business as usual”, and the primary lineup was hailed as the most impressive crop of politicians on stage since those halcyon days of Ronald Reagan. Then, Trump descended that escalator, and he quickly upended the stable order of things completely. The impressive candidates were defeated quickly, almost effortlessly, by a notorious showman and an army made up of the angry, forgotten people of middle America.
At first, the democrats cheered, seeing this orange clown as easy prey for their putatively ”impressive” candidate, Hillary Clinton. But then Clinton lost, and this unlikely orange tribune of the deplorables became the most powerful person in the world. Large parts of the republican establishment refused to accept what had happened; the credentialed classes of America, almost to the last genderfluid xhe/xhim, violently refused to accept it. From day one, the election was widely seen as illegitimate, a result of ”Russian interference”, and at every turn, the Trump administration was met with bitter resistance from all corners of the media, the deep state, and the NGO world.
By mid-2020, it was clear that no one in America’s ”email job caste” would accept Trump winning another election. And from the death of George Floyd, until the aftermath of January the 6th, the email job caste of America put their own doctrine of Kantai Kessen into action. They gathered their strength and prepared for a mighty showdown, looking to strike such a ringing blow against the intruding plebeians and flyover deplorables that they would simply never be able to even think of fighting back again.
The George Floyd riots were famously hailed as ”fiery but mostly peaceful” by reporters standing in front of burned and destroyed buildings. And here, like a Japanese carrier group preparing to strike Pearl Harbor, all elements of the liberal ”woke” battle line now came together: they controlled the universities, they controlled the media, they controlled the NGOs, the upper echelons of big business, the tech companies, and command great majorities in such important professions such as judges, doctors, and teachers. In the runup to the elections, all elements of this war machine came toghether to make sure – by fair means or foul – that the election simply could not be won by Trump. Huge sums of NGO money flowed into various activist organizations, and the CEOs of some of the largest American companies eagerly lent their aid and economic clout to the war effort itself.
And just like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, they succeeded. The overwhelming power behind this mighty fusion of media power, corporate buy-in, limitless NGO money, radical activists taking the battle to the streets, and constant political backup from the Democratic party and various state legislatures, city mayors and state governors was laid bare for the entire world to see. The social media companies banned the sitting president from having a platform, and censored stories (such as the Hunter Biden laptop) that were potentially harmful to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ chances.
Every sector of America’s ”knowledge worker” caste came together from the middle of 2020 up to the election and into its aftermath. Every single one. And it worked, in fact it worked perfectly – Joe Biden was, after a few interrupted vote counts here and there, hailed as the single most popular president in American history. Nobody could dispute this, and the sorry people who did (if they could even be called ”people” at all) were swiftly denounced as terrorists and traitors to the nation. The vote totals spoke for themselves, after all! In other words, the ”woke” really did it; they scored a perfect victory, just as the Japanese scored a perfect victory at Pearl Harbor. In 2016, the ”forgotten people” of America had, incredibly, used the power of their votes to narrowly push Trump over the finish line. In 2020, the very much not forgotten people of America’s urban cores and prestige institutions gathered all their might and routed the deplorables from the field.
Or so they hoped. It turns out that the liberal Kantai Kessen suffered from the same fatal flaw as the Japanese one: it is all well and good to sink all the ships in Pearl Harbor, but what do you do if the enemy then refuses to concede defeat?
Well, you lose, that’s what, provided your enemy can hold onto his patience, his resolve, and his nerve long enough.
History, it turns out, isn’t some dry, dead subject of interest only to dreary old nebbishes who smell of coooked cabbage, mildew, and dust. Neither is it a thing which exists only in the yellowed pages of books read by nobody who matters, whose sole impact or influence is on the slowly sagging shelves upon which they sit, tended by withered, lonely old fussbudgets long since abandoned by modernity. History is actually an implacable, ever-present tide into which each and every living soul is pulled to churn and roll, a tide that sweeps all else away with it into the memory of the wisest among all who come after us. Perhaps the most towering irony of life on this here planet is that the most forward-thinking and sagacious men are careful to look back and pay close heed to history; fools ignore it, whereby their ordained doom of repeating it is consummated.
We now arrive at the most powerful, most encouraging part of this inspiring piece, the part that brings all the puzzle-pieces together to create the Big Picture.
And here we come to the real imbalance in the class war that currently rages in America, because it is now clearly very much a war between a great many people who have ”email jobs”, and the people who have jobs that keep the lights on, the garbage from piling up, that make sure that the fires are extinguished and the planes are flown. This imbalance of power is in some sense even more crippling than the one between Japan and America in World War 2, and one only needs to look at the growing number of empty shelves in America’s supermarkets, the stranded planes in her airports, and the growing mountains of garbage piling up on the streets of New York to see why.
In the conflict between the ”woke” and the ”deplorables”, the latter by and large work the kind of jobs where if people walk off the job, it takes days or even hours before one or more critical parts of modern society starts shutting down. If pilots call in sick, planes simply do not get flown. If truckers quit their jobs, every facet of the entire productive economy – from the smallest bakery to the biggest car manufacturer – will quickly become paralyzed and then starts to suffocate. If firemen refuse to go to work, the cities will quite literally burn down in short order.
But what happens if people at the average NGO stop showing up to work? What happens if an university professor in critical gender studies refuses to come into the office until this or that issue is solved? How many months or years will it take for the average citizen in flyover America to notice that this person is missing? And when they finally do notice that some gender commissar is refusing to show up at work, will they even care?
Here, the average member of America’s credentialed classes might point out how ridiculous such an argument is, that only a philistine, a luddite or a white supremacist would consider their jobs within academia, the media, and middle management to be useless. These jobs are really completely vital to a modern economy, and the fact that I even dare to question their necessity makes me a racist, a nazi, and a white supremacist. And maybe this is all true, but it actually doesn’t matter. I could be be the mongolian reincarnation of Adolf Hitler himself, but this will not change the fact that the guy who handles garbage collection is simply much, much more willing and able to go for long stretches without the oh-so-necessary Critical Race Theory commissars, than these commissar are able or willing to go without any garbage pickup. The HR manager might be ”just as important” as the truck driver on the level of platonic forms, but the truck driver is still willing and able to carry on forever without the HR manager showing up to work, while the HR manager will quite literally start starving to death in short order if the trucker doesn’t do his job. No moral hectoring or impotent crying about racism and white supremacy will ever change that basic imbalance between these two groups.
And BANG, ZOOM, there it all is. Real Americans have for years allowed themselves to be coerced, to be bamboozled, to be ridden like rented mules in the service of the most contemptible, cowardly, and peurile among us entirely because of a clever deception: the forces of darkness somehow contrived to convince us that they, who hold no actual power whatsoever, are in fact all-powerful, and that we, who hold ALL of the power, are helpless as newborn infants. That—unless we consent to being watched over by those who pay no attention to us; cared for by those who care not a whit about us; organized and managed by those who couldn’t manage to organize a circle-jerk in a Tijuana whorehouse—these useless parasites are indispensable to our very survival.
Reality says very, very much otherwise; in fact, it tells us, unequivocally, that the exact opposite is true. It’s time and long past time for us to listen, and to put these weak, conniving scoundrels in their place. No stratagem, tactic, or tool should be considered off the table in the doing of it, either. NONE.
I repeat: you absolutely, positively MUST read all of this truly stellar piece, people. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did.
(Via Renegade Bob)