The State of Exception: Existential Politics, the Midterms, and a Mind Frame for the Emerging Age

The State of Exception: Existential Politics, the Midterms, and a Mind Frame for the Emerging Age

by Serge Compson


The election of Donald Trump signaled a drastic change of the main political axis of the United States away from the gay marriage and abortion issues of the aughts, away, even, from the coded policy discussions of taxes and welfare. Away into what, though? What is the new politik, and how should it be treated, by proponents and opponents alike? The traditional conservatives did speak about the old issues, and surely the old issues have value insomuch as they contribute to the rise of Weimerica, but when the would-be Trump base heard conservatives speaking on these topics, the words rang hollow.

With conservatism down the drain as a viable political track for the nation, we’ve found different reactions among our politicians. A couple have come to show colors similar to ours—Sessions, Kobach, and some others. Some, like Paul Ryan, have made only the slightest course corrections, talking the talk but only walking the walk when pragmatic for their careers. Lastly, we have McCain whose puppet strings remain clearly visible in both the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ pictures. The only category we have yet to see is the politician who brings the Republican Party to its natural evolution from the de facto to the de jure White party.

Finally, there is Trump, the herald of his own age, who began his campaign by singing all the right songs. Whatever the reader thinks of his progress, and whatever forces are pulling on his spray-tanned limbs behind the scenes, what he has done to the politics of the nation (the awakening of American identity) is irreversible. The new politics is one of immigration and nationhood itself, the most existential political issues before that of total war. This is sudden death in paradoxical slow-motion.

Following this acknowledgement must be the next one, the one that says we have lost the battle of the previous era. This is obvious, certainly, from political and cultural standpoints; our society has degraded into Weimar, and the program to replace us has been in full swing for over five decades. We have already been subverted and occupied.

Because our situation is so dire, we do not have the routes utilized by those who subverted us. While they had time on their side, we are afforded no such luxury, and cannot rely on a counter-walk through the institutions. Even in more normal circumstances, the replacement of an elite takes decades. So we are only left with the political situation at hand.

For those who thought the election of Trump was going to be the final word on their political desires, it should be clear that things aren’t so simple. The sweeping changes needed to bring us back from the brink require the wielding of much more power than we have. It is arguable that the coming midterms, assuming things break for one party or the other, are more important than the 2016 election; with a Hillary victory, we would have been staring our demons in the face. Trump’s victory, however, was only the gateway to parts two, three, four, and so on until our existence is secured. Ceding any electoral ground means certain defeat. Add to this the fact that Trump himself has gone down paths we find unpalatable, both in his pro-Israeli foreign policy and his continuing impotency on the border, and our work is cut out for us. However black this greypill is, though, the fact that we’ve gotten this far should be enough to make it worth fighting for. What other reasoning could there possibly be?

The title of this piece is a reference to a concept introduced by the German political theorist Carl Schmitt and later worked on by the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Like a state of emergency, the State of Exception implies the suspension of order, only it is different in that the declaration is made by the sovereign and not the political order itself. The power of one’s rule is defined by one’s very ability to transcend the order of everything he rules over.

While we all wish Trump would exercise more sovereignty, the title is actually addressed at you. If you wish to be the sovereign of your own destiny, you must transcend the rules of it. Get involved in ways you didn’t think you ever could. Share a hot take with a normie friend. Go to local political meetings in the evenings and put up posters at night. Write for FTN, or create communities and arts to counter what’s out there. Run for office, or just go for a run.

The powers-that-be are telling you to die off and keep quiet, that it is your destiny to disappear. The truth is that the time for living and speaking is now—these midterms, 2020, every battle in between, and every battle after that until we’ve won. If the way forward necessitates putting more Republicans in office, then that’s the step we need to take. If you still aren’t confident or connected enough to do your part, then getting there should become your ultimate goal. There is so much work to be done, and the fact that you’re here and listening proves that, beyond any veneer of antipathy you might have, you do care.

To echo Jazzhands: if not Trump, who? If not now, when? This is the last call for everything you love, so stop being a conservative. Declare the State of Exception and get serious about your destiny.

Related Posts