In the coming months, I will be uploading a series of pieces on the landmark 1835 & 1840 works of Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. This project is a bit of a lengthy one that I’ve been ruminating on for quite some time. These works will be something of an unprofessional guidebook to help synthesize Tocqueville’s ideas and truncate his study using chapter summaries. His body of work remains fascinating both in thought and in writing style, so I highly encourage everyone to go out and read his magnum opus at some point. But for those of you who have actual lives and can’t commit to a sixteen hundred-some page long tome, there will be instead QNUW.
The study of modern political theory has seen in recent years an influx of interest by those less-academically inclined. There are a number of reasons for this. Academia has radicalized itself to the point of both irreverence and irrelevancy, becoming little more than a partisan group of institutions bent on the propagation of the politically correct. This has resulted in ever-growing numbers of college graduates that are worse educated than their mere-diploma-holding trade working peers, and even less intelligent than those young teenagers fresh out of high school. In the meantime, tuition rates have skyrocketed, leaving graduates in greater debt and with less to show for it than ever before. Under the guise of higher education, the entire system has become a Ponzi scheme to both cynically capitalize on the gullibility of the American public as well as to spread its diseased strain of correct politi-think as far and wide as it can. Granted, not every university is this bad. But those free of overt and obvious anti-Western indoctrination are by far more the exception than the rule.
As a result, the state of academic study is presently a somewhat crippled one. There are more people at work in the liberal arts than were even being educated in universities about a hundred years ago. And yet, revulsion is not an unreasonable response when confronted with writers whose names are trailed by acronyms like PhD or MA. While the learned class still has its intellectual heavyweights, all too many professors are either demonstrably bankrupt of worthwhile information or are outright Satanic in their positions and views, and neither can be taken all that seriously. The politically charged gibberish of the Critical Theory offspring—Queer Theory, Race Theory, Intersectionality, Feminist Theory, etcetera—leaves every reasonable head being scratched in ponderance of the same question: why did this drivel cost fifty thousand dollars a semester to study? Especially given that the only job that sort of rhetoric services is just another teaching position to distribute it.
People have turned instead to the democratizing force of the internet for their information. It’s faster and cheaper, costing only a computer and an internet service provider instead of five figures and a kidney every other semester, and it has acted as a leveling agent against the hierarchical caste system of victimhood that the more extreme left-wing universities pander to. There are only two significant threats to the flow of information on the internet: too much of it, and the gatekeepers who permit its proliferation. The first can be combatted by succinct and direct communication. The second is most readily combated by the creation of more gatekeepers.
In general, I’m against social leveling agents given their propensity to create something worse than what they’re used to destroy. In recent history, leveling was wielded against a hierarchical order for which virtue and holiness were the goals, and democratizing that order was done with a distinctly satanic impulse. As a result, egalitarianism—the stated goal of leveling the old order—turned out to be merely a false front. Hierarchy remained, as it will always remain; only the throne toward which it was ordered changed. As academia has proven, the throne of virtue and reason has been knocked over in favor of victimhood and white guilt, sitting atop a hierarchy of various racially-, sexually-, and economically-charged buzzwords that are largely emptied of meaning.
This is not to say that these ideologies are absent from the internet, obviously. However, these ideas are allowed to compete against their oppositions, leaving the audience to make up their own minds about who sounds more reasonable. It’s conceivable that simply being indoctrinated into the methods of comprehending the truth rather than into the methods of victimizing themselves would have saved an awful lot of people an awful lot of time, but a democratized forum—so long as it remains unhindered by ideologue gatekeepers—is the next best thing. It’s easier to attempt to cut through the veritable Everest of cat videos and BuzzFeed disinformation campaigns with competitive content than it is to try hijacking and overturning the entrenched Leftism that has rotted out entire sectors of the university system.
In any case, there remains a hole to be filled where the academy has been rotted out. The Left was able to make otherwise esoteric economic and social theories into revolutionary street-smart propaganda time and time again, typically with cultural elites spearheading the effort. I have no doubt that the Right is capable of doing the same. Part of the wave that crested with 2016’s presidential election had been building in internet communities for years, aided by the various internet personalities who have replaced the college professors that so many are leaving behind. But these personalities, at the time, often did not go far enough in terms of political theory. Many of them stuck to the more popular and easily-defensible grounds of libertarianism or classical liberalism, advocating a live and let live attitude toward the sexual revolution, a general defense of free trade and international capitalism, and maintaining mixed feelings about the United States or her constitution. On the other extreme were the older provocateurs who swung much harder to the right: the ethno-supremacists, the eugenicists, and the un-ironic neo-Fascists. If you’ve been reading QNUW for any length of time, you might recognize that both of these general categories of commentators miss the mark. The former takes for granted Man’s capacity for reason, denying the significance of the Fall and of Man’s general tendency toward self-comfort. The latter often denies free will, if not denying outright the entire Christian metaphysic. This has improved in the last four or five years, with some of those in the middle having shifted to the right while some of those on the far right have begun to find God. The slight decline in internet atheism and rise in conversationally acceptable religiosity has helped, too. Yet still, what few strong outlets of learned, knowledgeable traditionalism that exist remain somewhat hard to find.
It’s for this reason that I’ve begun work on projects like the one mentioned above. Some of the more important works of Western thought can remain impenetrable to those of us unwilling to read through thousands of pages of two-century-old text. Naturally, I do think these works are still worth reading, and I encourage everyone to read them for himself. That said, I also see the value of briefer introductions to the works, or guides, or summaries, in service to expediency and accessibility. This is also the reason I first started the QNUW Book Guide and its larger recommended reading list.
These guides will be published on this website, and I’ll also be offering them as .pdf downloads upon their completion. The .pdfs will probably be sold for a small fee for those interested in supporting QNUW financially. Additionally, as QNUW has grown a bit, I’ve added a link for donations in service to the same end. We aren’t an expensive outfit to run, but we do have our costs. So far, we’ve managed to run 100% of our project out of pocket, but if we’re to grow, that isn’t going to suffice. Monetizing the site with ad revenue has been considered, but that’s a little sleazy and we aren’t that desperate yet.
Given my own schedule, I don’t expect to be able to pump out more than one or two of these guides every year; Democracy in America isn’t exactly a short book, after all, and I expect the rest of this series of guides to include works that are just as long or more difficult. More content is coming, in addition to the regular Tuesday and Friday posts. Podcasts have been considered, as well as livestreaming and chatroom inclusivity. How soon any of that gets implemented depends on our own personal schedules, of course.
As always, feedback is encouraged. QNUW now has a registered domain. Things are starting to come together!