Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with John Austin, particularly if you took any classes on political or legal philosophy in college or post-graduate classes. For those who are less familiar with him, he is regarded as really the founder of legal positivism, though much of his theory was modified and ‘modernized’ by H.L.A. Hart in the 1950’s. Little is discussed in most academia about Austin and Hart, but these are perhaps the two most influential legal theorists to current US jurisprudence today. The utilitarian school of jurisprudence they developed has largely dominated law schools for the last three or four decades in the majority of the country. Austin represented a seismic shift away from the 18th century jurisprudence of Blackstone and other legal philosophers by rejecting the practical idea of natural law theory. He was contemporaries with Jeremy Betham, John Stuart Mill and his father, and Thomas Carlyle. Those familiar with Carlyle, particularly his Heroes, in my opinion will find him echoed in Yockey. Like Carlyle, Austin was influenced by the German school of philosophy, yet another victim to the fusion of Roman imperialism and Hegelian monistic thought. Austin really represented the legal application of utilitarianism, with minor differences. Bentham and others developed a philosophical framework which Austin subsequently developed a jurisprudential approach to. While not entirely misguided, his analytical approach and desire for internal consistency of codified law is admirable, his positivism approach to law leaves much to be desired. Bentham in particular seems to be the closest ideologically to Austin, the moral compass of both being the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ principle. Couched within this context is Austin’s most recognized principle, that of the sovereign. Below is included a relevant definition of sovereign in the context of what we now call command theory.
“If a determinate human superior not in a habit of obedience to a like superior receives habitual obedience from the bulk of a given society, that determinate superior is sovereign in that society…” John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence, Lecture VI p. 226
Austin has a flawed view of what law should strive to be, but he is correct about the actual implementation of it. The reality of whether a law is just or not does not change whether it is enforced by the sovereign. His purpose and implementation of the law is wrong, but the realpolitik aspect of his theory is correct. While discussing Austin and Bentham with a friend, a thought occurred to me that a vast majority of the US population has cultural as well as political sovereigns. The political sovereigns are quite evident to all, whether using Austin’s definition or Mao’s. Generally, the people who will send men with guns to come kill or imprison you if you don’t do what they say. Austin’s definition of habitual obedience without obedience to another can also be applied in a cultural sense. While soft power, there is little doubt that the Fourth Estate exerts sovereignty over a large percentage of the population. Similarly, the entertainment industry and the supporting industry exert massive cultural control. In Austin’s sense of the word, many of these are sovereigns and nearly all can be classified in Hart’s more broad definition of a sovereign by proxy.
Andrew Breitbart famously stated that ‘politics is downstream of culture.’ The homosexual meme created in the 90s was given an enormous megaphone by the cultural sovereigns and bore fruit. The most over the top estimate of homosexuals in the US is 8% by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and the more accurate estimate is around 3%. That fraction of the US population did not manage to organically turn our view of it as an acceptable lifestyle from 38% in 1992 to 51% in 2002. Gallup did a poll in which American’s overestimated the homosexual population by a factor of nearly seven. Such a feat did not happen without massive inundation by popular media, sitcoms, movies, news media and advertisements ranging from beer ads, to Pepsi to phone companies. The point here is that a minority opinion was changed into a majority through propaganda in a decade. We are seeing an identical process repeated with transgender people, who comprise an even smaller fraction of the US at an estimated .3-.6%. Regardless of your stance on the issue, it illustrates the influence of the cultural sovereigns.
Those failing basic comprehension will be saying ‘I don’t believe none o dat propaganda, ain’t no tellin me what to do!’ Using Austin’s rubric of habitual obedience by the bulk of society, they are exactly that…sovereigns. The operative word here is bulk of society. The venom directed at the alt-right by the cultural sovereigns can be contributed to the cultural regicide they are engaged in. The power that the word racist exerted over Baby Boomers and Gen Xers has diminished considerably. The ‘fake news’ meme has directly attacked any credibility and relevance to current events the media once had. The gravitas of Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw lying to our faces with somber expressions and expensive suits has become the equivalent of a muzzleloader in the cultural arms race. It’s worth noting that just as the next generation of warfare has favored smaller, pseudo-independent guerrillas, so has the cultural war. For those of you who remember the influence of SNL in the 70’s, consider that 4chan and /pol with no budget have driven the modern political discourse far more than an iconic show on a major multi-billion dollar network.
The culture war has continued to rage, Berkley and Auburn the opening skirmishes of what may very well turn into a hot conflict. The legacy media has taken serious body blows in the last year, but continues to command obedience from a significant minority, possibly a majority of the population. We need to have the situational awareness to understand even conservatives still remain hooked to their respective sovereign, notably Fox News. We must not make the mistake of projecting our mindset onto others, and realize many still consider information emanating from the TV to still be somewhat trustworthy. The entertainment industry is faring considerably better than the legacy news media, and continues to inundate the willing with messages directly contravening reality and freedom. Conservatives may never turn on MSNBC or read HuffPo, but have no problem taking their child to Zootopia, a movie with blatantly communist subtext. The sovereign states that we must subject ourselves to this sports program or that movie or this music to be relevant and belong. Our obedience to that is what grants them the status of sovereign, and the majority of the time we go so far as to pay for a hostile entity to come into our home and exert their influence.
Knowledge of the problem is half the battle, one many of us have been cognizant of for many years. The other half of the battle is actually committing cultural regicide. Mockery, skepticism and satire are powerful weapons and one needs only to look at the Shia LaBeouf ‘He will not divide us’ debacle to see how effective it is. We all have coworkers, family and friends who may very well be allies and totally ignorant to the fact that the battle is not simply a political one. In our interactions we need to be actively seeking to undermine, discredit and ridicule the cultural sovereigns. The power they exert is consensual in nature and can be mollified far easier than the state’s hard power. Additionally, we cannot simply leave a cultural power vacuum. It does no good to destroy without a plan to replace what has been destroyed. Yet another reason why developing a viable community and counter-culture is important. Save the negativity and biting commentary for those actually destroying the country and our people. The outcome of this cultural war will likely determine whether freedom and those willing to defend it to the fullest measure have a base of popular support. Political and physical retribution will come, and now is an excellent time to degrade your enemies ability to demonize and marginalize you. Every one of us enjoys the ability to communicate with more people than our ancestors every had. Let’s make the best of it and dethrone every last one of the kings of culture.