Your status in the New Normal

Picture
An estate manager and serfs, Medieval Europe.

By the late Roman period, landlords had become so wealthy and powerful that they refused to allow their workers to be recruited into the legions. Instead, they sought security from barbarian warlords.

Thus the feudal period began.

In the era of the Roman Republic, many farmers were yeoman with the rights and responsibilities of free men. They were gradually replaced by slaves conquered from foreign wars and the relative power and wealth of the aristocracy increased. By the end of the Empire, ordinary peasants had become serfs. They were forced to work for their lord and were not allowed to leave the manor. The average person never ventured more than ten kilometers or so from his village. A few managed to remake themselves by escaping to a town and learning a trade but most would not improve their station until the Black Death made labour scarce and workers in high demand.

The division of labour in society has changed several times since then and right now it is changing again.

It seems likely that instead of having a large middle class as in the post-war years, we will be divided into two new classes. These nascent castes have already begun to form and my reader probably knows which one he belongs to. It’s easy to make predictions about things that are already happening.

Case Study

At Amazon, machines are often the boss—hiring, rating and firing millions of people with little or no human oversight.

Time and again, Lira was reassured that her rating was fine. A typical email arrived on Oct. 1. “Your standing is currently great, which means you’re one of our best delivery partners,” said the message signed “Madhu S.” But the very next day, “Bhanu Prakash” emailed to say she had violated Flex’s terms of service. “As a result, you’re no longer eligible to participate in the Amazon Flex program and won’t be able to sign in to the Amazon Flex app.”

“Amazon doesn’t care,” [a] former Amazon employee said. “They know most people will get their packages and the 2 or 3 percent who don’t will get something eventually.”

I strongly recommend reading the whole article as it perfectly illustrates the New Normal: an endless supply of desperate labour is available to feed the literally inhuman gig economy.

Will you be the guy who gets his package on time, or the guy who gets fired by a robot named Bhanu for having a flat tire? Plenty of people who assumed they’d be safely in the first group ended up in the second during the upheavals of 2020 and there’s no doubt more upheaval to come.

The Lords

You can call them the Cloud People, Good Whites, elites, Blue Tribe, chardonnay socialists, the Cathedral, whatever. You know who they are.

This class will own the majority of the ‘means of production’ – assets that generate wealth. This could mean farmland as in the Middle Ages or factories as in the industrial revolution. However, our future lords will also own financial assets such as residential and commercial real estate, shares, private equity, bonds and intellectual property.

Most will work and enjoy high incomes but they won’t depend on their jobs, or anyway not for long. More on this in the discussion on class mobility.

The Lords will dominate politics through campaign funding, control of approved media and suppression of dissident outlets. This suppression will not have to reach CCP levels to be effective due to consumer inertia, to be explained on Wednesday. Elites will also control the nation’s intellectual life, for want of a more accurate term, through ideological control of education.

They will sift the Lords from the riff-raff through purity tests. Forget about remembering how to use eighteen different types of fork in fancy restaurants; the modern tests will be questions about how many genders there are and confessions of white fragility. A university degree will be required to memorize and spout this garbage correctly.

The majority of public discourse and political battles will be fought between factions of this elite. The old labour vs. capital contest has already been won by capital due to mechanization, offshoring and lockdowns

The Lords will be of various ethnicities, the largest groups being white, Jewish, East Asian and South Asian. The Talented Tenth of other races will gain entry to the club. Many will be of mixed race, mostly Eurasians or black-and-something.

The Serfs

The Red Tribe, Bad Whites, Deplorables, Dirt People, plebs.

They will be primarily distinguished by their lack of assets and dependence upon their own labour. In comparison to the 20th C., their jobs will tend to be in the service sector, especially in areas that cannot easily be automated. Pay and conditions will be poor due to abundance of cheap labour.

Continuing mechanization and offshoring will likely lead many of the Serfs to depend upon welfare in part or whole. We can already see the emergence of this pattern. It is unclear what the balance of working class to shirking class will be.

Dependence on elites for either benefits or unstable employment will repress their societal power. Those that cause trouble will have naughty points added to their immunization Q-code by an algorithm and will have their contract or welfare cancelled. This will prove an imperfect system, as it is for Amazon, but will work well enough to keep the masses in line, as it does for Amazon.

Much of this will be privatized if governments are still pretending the Constitution is in force by then. A Google bot will pass your skepticism about a CDC policy to your company’s HR bot, then an affirmative action hire forwards you the email if she remembers and has not called in black that day. In any case, your computer password will stop working, you’ll go down to tech support, security will track you there via your code and escort you from the building.

Because lockdowns work, bigot!

The Serfs, unlike the Lords, will be an extremely disunited group, lacking a common ideology like Woke to bind them. They will be made up of various groups including heritage whites, Hispanics, blacks, Muslims (especially in Europe) and various other groups who arrive on our shores.

Some of the Serfs, too, will be mixed. In the United States, segments of working class white society are already merging with Hispanics.

All ethnic groups but whites will form their own communities largely separate from the others. For whites it will be illegal to do this as they will remain the largest group, retaining a plurality, and therefore pose the greatest potential threat to the rule of Lords.

Socialists seeing the potential here for increased class consciousness are reminded how that’s worked out so far. See how easy it is for those with the Means of Misinformation to divide blacks from all others. They can do that for any group using pre-existing, anti-white resentment as a basis. Candace Owens is an actress.

Geography

The horizons of the Lords will be global. An elite in Singapore will seamlessly meld into the elite in Canada and visa versa.

As international travel is likely to become more expensive and difficult due to ‘new strains’, the Serfs’ world will once again shrink to their own neighbourhood. Some may have the infrequent opportunity to travel short distances, say from the US to Mexico, England to Portugal or Australia to Bali, but travelling further or living abroad will become increasingly the domain of the elite. Those Serfs who raise a ruckus about anything will be placed on no-fly lists and will struggle to make it interstate.

This is already happening. Elites can buy residency in places like Thailand or Monaco. Highly-skilled and paid professionals can access special, long-term visas pretty much anywhere in the world, including Japan. Common people currently struggle to leave and return to their own countries for a short trip, let alone stake out a new life abroad.

Class Mobility

In Coming Apart, Charles Murray describes a world in which elite universities scour the nation and the world for the most sought-after talent for the new, high-tech economy. As he himself would now agree, that’s not the whole story.

Intelligent people with the right skills from around the world have a good chance of accessing higher education and entering the ranks of the elite. We see this already. We also see that less intelligent people with mediocre skills are also able to enter the elite or demi-elite through family or ethnic connections.

Meanwhile, regional and rural whites are largely overlooked or deliberately excluded by the Lords. This is not because of ‘equity’ – one could craft whole new Woke victim categories based on class, poverty and location if one had the will – but because these Bad Whites are the main threat to elite privilege and must be stifled. By ‘threat’, I mean that they are the group most likely to usurp university places and good jobs that they want for their own children.

Emerging white-Hispanic and Eurasian groups will probably be counted as Bad Whites if they, too, appear to pose a threat. Diversity Pokemon points accrue only to groups deemed too small or harmless to challenge the status quo. High-skilled Hondurans are in, Criollo Cubans with the same skills are out. The Talented Tenth of acceptable ethnic groups will have the opportunity to ascen so long as they can parrot the correct shibboleths for entry.

Of course, there will be a faction of privileged WASPs masquerading as Bad Whites – tame Republicans and so on – but they maintain their position by steadfastly refusing to challenge the status quo or by doing so only partially, to allow the Serfs to blow off steam retweeting their gun-and-American-flag memes on Gab. See how this class already polices its ranks.

Once firmly embedded in the low-income, highly-indebted or welfare dependent Serf class, it will be nearly impossible to obtain sufficient assets to escape.

Choose a Side

For now, it is still possible for some to change sides. It seems that the middle class is currently doing so, with a few rising to become Lords and most falling to the status of Serfs.

Those who are able to work online or in ‘vital’ sectors, who avoid debt, live frugally, save and invest have a chance to join the minor elite. If you can acquire assets sufficient to provide yourself with an income and pass on intact to your children, your line has a chance of sneaking into the elite.

To escape being owned by Amazon, you must own Amazon (and the rest of the index). Because Amazon and its ilk are not going away any time soon. This will become increasingly vital as small businesses are crushed out of the market.

I estimate that the dollar amount you need in assets today to escape serfdom is about USD $1M in the West or half that to escape to the Third World.

That’s not loose change. And it might not even be enough. Double it to be sure.

Note that this is only enough to avoid becoming an indebted slave to an algorithm, not to become a member of the ruling class. There will be a large technical class in between, made up mostly of whites and Asians, which may comprise 20-30% of the population. These will be the people who do the real work plus those striving to enter the elite.

This will not be the ‘middle class’ as we knew it because it will be smaller and the gravitational pull towards the two poles will be stronger, especially the South.

The prosperous days of ‘following your dream’ are over. Tell your kids to get a good job and start stacking cash. Not only establishment positions – trades that can’t easily be automated, off-shored or immigrated out of existence will remain high-value. They’ll still hate you but you’ll be hard to cancel.

Build wealth the Asian way – live in frugal, multi-generational homes. This is the one arena where communism works.

Once you’ve got the requisite amount, holding on to it should be easy so long as the Lords continue to oppress the Serfs and their claims to better wages/conditions/government services, plus the crushing of competition from small business. Past a certain amount, wealth takes on its own momentum, just as poverty has its own inertia. The richer you are, the easier it is to legally dodge tax and take advantage of all manner of elite loopholes.

However, staying within the elite will also require theological compliance. If you live in a Blue city and wish to stay there, continued acceptance will depend upon keeping your mouth shut or even repeating elite lies upon demand.

You might become a nominal elite but you’ll be on notice. If you stick out they will attempt to crush you – easily enough done unless you are very rich indeed. We’ve already seen how casually jobs are taken, bank accounts are closed and online platforms are cleansed.

The cost of membership is high.

For those currently in the middle class who are out of work and forced to sell off assets – small business owners, hospitality workers and so on – it will be tricky at this point to escape serfdom. It will be an uphill battle to rebuild what has been destroyed, and will continue to be destroyed, by lockdowns and other restrictions.

A cynic might wonder if that’s the point.

The Path of Honour

Some might choose to boycott the Big Tech villains and others, seeking to live off the grid. That’s great. Just keep in mind that it won’t make any difference. The barbarians are inside the gates and it’s time we started getting used to it.

I make a nod to principle here and there, i.e. I make all my books available off Amazon. But you know what? 99% of my sales are on Amazon.

I hate Amazon and I own Amazon. I’m sure plenty of Romans weren’t too happy about the death of the Republic but nevertheless paid their dues to the Caesar.

Conclusion

When a civilization declines, luck and strategy determine who comes out on top in the successor regime. Do you think many aristocrats of the feudal ages really descended from the most distinguished families of the classical era? Most likely their ancestors were the warlords who seized and held the most land when Europe was up for grabs.

So too will the new Lords be those who take advantage of the Decline by gaining control of whatever assets are available.

There’ll be no more yeomen in the future: working men earning a decent wage, paying off their own home and saving for retirement.

There will be lords and serfs.

When I wrote this book, I assumed that anyone with a steady job stood a reasonable chance of improving his level of financial freedom because the system, while rigged in the short term, is reasonably fair and capitalistic in the long run. I still think that’s true but the situation will likely worsen given the growing political power of the elite to crush the little guy. The drawbridge is being raised.

In a decade or two, this book might be out of date. Do what you need to do while there’s still time.

19 comments

  1. Catxman · August 23

    Engrossing monograph you have written.
    There’s just one problem. If the new elite isn’t meritocratic enough, it will inevitably meet the Soviet Union’s end, which collapsed under the weight of its own lies. And the way you’re describing the Lords, it WON’T be open to purely ability, but to opportunists. It’s hard to get normal men to parrot lies for long periods of time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wolf · August 26

      Seems the big split is between people who think the dumb, regressive left is running things and driving civ back to the middle ages (dutton, jim, gariepy, spandrell) or if the smart, unbridled capitalists are taking things to the next level leaving 99% of humanity in the dust (sovietman, what’s left podcast crew, karlin, monsieurlebaron).
      Either way, things don’t look to great to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kentucky Gent · August 23

    Well, I am not young anymore, I have anywhere from 30 to 60 years left on earth if my life is not cut short unnaturally. And, I am just at the 3/4ths of a million mile stone. I have enough dividend income (and live frugally enough) that I can meet my budget requirements with a part-time job.
    And that’s what I’ve been thinking about – do I go back to work part time, or sell some shares until I can draw social security? Even if I sell some shares I think I still have just enough invested to achieve “escape velocity”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 23

      ‘Escape velocity’ is an apt term. With that much saved and compounding, you have options and can adapt to future conditions.

      Like

  3. lemmiwinks · August 23

    That was particularly dystopian, yet difficult to argue with. Not sure I should have started the day off with it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 23

      Keep in mind that I’m the internet’s most pessimistic blogger. Brighter people will spot opportunities in the new system that I’ve missed.

      Like

      • lemmiwinks · August 23

        I don’t want to be a part of that system, even though of course I already am, at least it doesn’t really feel like it at the moment. However the smart money says to suck it up and keep being a grey man. The alternative isn’t looking good as it never has, historically speaking.
        This is thought provoking to say the least:
        https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2021/08/about-taiwans-microchip-production.html
        Gives the CCP options about when/how they choose to crash what’s left of western democracy. Such irony that we engineered this for ourselves. I’m as guilty as anyone of loving cheap stuff from China.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. luisman · August 23

    If only we would be ruled by lords, who are interested to maximize the profit of their lair.

    But the last 1.5 years have proven that we’re ruled by midwits. Their only extraordinary skill is to maintain and extend their power over people. Just look at last weeks catastrophy in Talibanistan. All the so called leaders in the US bureaucracy (and all other countries who were money laundering there) were completely incompetent to organize a withdrawal. They didn’t even listen to skillfull people, because they don’t want them to wield power.

    If the midwits decide, they have to make Amazon a socialist government enterprise, there’s nothing Bezos can do about it, and the company will be in ruins soon. Striving for excellence is a sin in a midwit society. Everything will be a botched job in the near future. Running a company requires many skills and many skillfull people. Running a government by power only, requires loyal midwits only. Many people would rather be king of a dunghill, than accept a middle position in a meritocratic society, run by a real elite.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. luisman · August 23

    Reblogged this on Nicht-Linke Blogs.

    Like

  6. oldfossil · August 23

    It’s always amusing to see someone with a tenuous grasp of economics lecturing us on economics.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dickycone · August 23

    “Some of the Serfs, too, will be mixed. In the United States, segments of working class white society are already merging with Hispanics.”

    If there is hope, it must lie in the new Gringo-Latina master race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 23

      Post on that scheduled for Nov. 3.

      Like

      • dickycone · August 23

        I was hoping that little passage wasn’t it. Looking forward to it, if we still have electricity that far in the future.

        Like

    • Tim914 · August 24

      I’m certainly in favor of breeding with Hispanic women.

      Liked by 1 person

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