In order to defeat the demented, anything and everything must be tried – even that which risks being dismissed by fellow travelers as ‘controlled opposition’.


There is no ‘the right’ or ‘the left’ anymore. There’s the sensible-ish, and there’s the demented – and the demented are winning.

Filled with renewed trust in institutions, the demented are organised, consider debate unnecessaryfirmly allied to the bankers whose heads they were calling for less than two decades ago (‘value congruence’) and believe that the great threats to the world involve climate catastrophe and ‘trans genocide’. They have answers for everything: failure of the ANC since liberation? Racism and white privilege. Rampant inflation? Fascist forces in western democracies sabotaging attempts to lockdown earlier in 2020. Slightly warmer-than-usual weather? That would be the combination of white supremacy and capitalism.  

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The sensible-ish are nowhere: they are despondent, increasingly daunted by the curious strength of their opponents and steadily losing hope. They look at the Church and its leaders and feel betrayed. They look at the officials they helped elect and feel scammed. They look at the outsourcing of the democratic agenda to unelected institutions and obscure committees and ask: how the hell does that happen? They are convinced their order is broken and worse, everything it was supposed to resist – legislated sexualization of children, racial quotas or reparations, degrowth or net zero, travel limitations, censorship or upwardly failing careerist politicians – exploded on their watch.

The most terminal feature of the present sensible-ish is its division. Part of the group continues to idolise the best of humanity, and prays that whenever an inquiry is launched, for example – racism in cricket – that no racism will be located, and that normal service may resume. This happened last week in England when the ‘Independent Commission of Equity in Cricket’ dropped a report accusing the sport of being sexist and prejudiced. It prompted rage from the more angry sensible-ish, but they weren’t cross with the sport being tarnished by a group of wankercrats, rather with the optimists more or less aligned to their own instincts, whom they accused of being deluded: ‘how can you hope for a different result from a commission whose predetermined outcome is revealed in its very name?’  

I know many of the angry sensible-ish. They don’t see the obvious problems that expecting young people to be capitalists without much capital brings – and they aren’t too bothered with irritations like pronouns or the Bank of England’s brilliant new idea suggesting that anyone can get pregnant. Bioweapons, mass enslavement and nuclear war are what they see as the real threats to the world.

As Glastonbury partially revealed some weeks ago, the demented are not divided. They want civilization to slide off a cliff, and they’re doing their best to push it – the only differences being marginal opinions as to whether the drop should be sheer, or slanted, with giant boulders littering the descent for us to smash into our way down.

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A way back to meaning, or unity – akin to national interest – appears difficult for the sensible-ish. Faced with fracture and suspicion, where one part sneers ‘controlled opposition’ at the other or classifies objections according to various pill colours, how do you resist the cynical impulse and rebuild trust? How do you make people feel less isolated and more optimistic? How do you emphasise that their aspiration still matters, or convince them that it’s unhealthy to always dismiss the game as rigged (and at the same time, not look at them as if they’re mad when they evidence examples)?

The Alliance of Responsible Citizenship (ARC) was conceived last year by Jordan Peterson and Baroness Philippa Stroud, previously the CEO of the respected Legatum Institute in the UK and a co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice (a concept materially different from its contemporary campus application). ARC has subsequently managed to attract some of the world’s most influential, sensible thinkers to its advisory board. From October 30 to Nov 1, ARC will be hosting its inaugural conference in London, hoping to attract 1500 delegates, roughly the same number of people who attended the very first Glastonbury. So if you want to have conversations about the environment that aren’t contaminated by the bedlam deliberately orchestrated by special interests or predatory billionaires, or if you’re looking to channel the anger instigated by the artificial grievance hierarchy imposed in 2020, or if you still believe, in spite of the surrender of the Church’s leaders, that humanity only triumphs when it exists in awareness of the transcendent, then I would encourage you to support ARC in any way you can.

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