- 1.Decamerone Redux: Reader’s Digest for a Postmodern Plague Season – Part 1
- 2.Decamerone Redux: Reader’s Digest for a Postmodern Plague Season – Part 2
As the West is coming face to face with the Crowned Death, it should be remembered that this particular ‘horseman’, pestilence, has three fellow-travellers: war, hunger and hell.
Quant’è bello il mondo,
il mondo dei bambini,
con tanti fiorellini
La gallina canta, canta sola sola
Non vuole andare a scuola
Il lupo è dietro la porta,
La porta casca giù, il lupo non c’è più
A terra tutti giù
‘Turn, turn around!
How beautiful is the world,
the world of the children,
with many little flowers
The chicken sings, she sings all alone
She doesn’t want to walk to school
The wolf is behind the door
The door falls down, the wolf is no more
All fall down to earth’
— Anonymous nursery rhyme and singing game
‘The Mask of the Crowned Death’1
A year passes
And it’s like nothing’s changed
We’re all still here
Warm embraces, smiling faces
But only I know the secret:
Nothing is like it used to be
— Lupa J, ‘The Secret’
It has been a long time since one of humanity’s most ancient enemies, mass death-causing plague, was last seen in the West. Ever since the war- and starvation-exacerbated epidemics that concluded the First World and Russian Civil Wars, a full century ago now, the victorious progress of (medical) science and technology and the great shield of hyper-sanitized urbanity have allowed Western man to keep the old threat of mass disease at bay: after having moved out of nature, Western man seemed to have gained a decisive victory over nature. The unprecedented hubris of Western man’s Brave New World towards nature, the natural order and Earth itself is perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the shift in his attitude towards the human part of nature: at the collective level — governance, law, ethics — he has turned away from reality-bound particularities, essences and identities and turned towards idea-bound universalities, constructs and illusions.
Collectively, Western man has abandoned the nature- and earth-bound existential modalities of his ancestors. This abandonment resulted in the collective spiritual crisis (‘survival of the fittest’ materialism, ‘death of God’ nihilism) of unparalleled depth — in what René Guénon termed the ‘Crisis of the Modern World’.2 At its most superficial level, this crisis concept refers to the existential conditioning of total (psycho-social) alienation and permanent (socio-economic) insecurity that inevitably follows from the loss of the authentic experience of well-grounded identity (being-in-time-and-place). Any such authentic experience requires a well-calibrated admixture of home community (family, lineage, people — well expressed in the German word Gemeinschaft) and home place (hearth, sheltered locality, true homeland — well expressed in the German word Heimat). The experience of well-grounded being-in-time-and-place requires access to a specific genius loci in the physical world — such access is restricted by true birthright (e.g. long-standing property rights, family names and ancestral graves) and effective presence (e.g. birthplace, participation in the natural cycle, continuous land occupation). The more ‘modern’ man — and Western man undoubtedly represents mankind’s most modern part — moves away from this double natural-cultural rootedness of his ancestors, the more he removes himself from the various protecting walls that his ancestors built up over centuries. As the physical security that comes from cohesive (extended) family life, inherited property rights, substantial self-sufficiency and true communal (ethnic and national) identity fades, so do its psychological and spiritual equivalents.
At its core, the Crisis of the Modern World — most acutely experienced in the West as the most ‘modern’ part of the world — is a crisis of identity. It leaves the modern Western ‘liberated’ individual ‘free’ only in a negative sense: he is left with a formal but fictitious ‘freedom’ — from responsibilities in the present (where his ancestors felt bound to family, community and fatherland) and from obligations to the past (where his ancestors felt bound to heritage, culture and tradition). But his ‘freedom’ from these responsibilities and duties comes at a steep price: the forfeiture of old privileges and rights. As modern Westerners increasingly reject traditional gender roles and traditional marriage structures, they also increasingly forfeit the privileges of societal harmony and conjugal exclusivity — and the rights of true fatherhood and true motherhood. In doing so, they effectively exclude themselves — most quite unwittingly — from the timeless (continuous, multi-generational) spheres of home, family and community, spheres that are indispensable for the proper public functioning, let alone the private well-being, of the large majority of humans. As modern Westerners increasingly reject traditional ethnic allegiances and traditional national identities, they also increasingly forfeit the privileges of ethnicity-based solidarity (social security, public healthcare) and nation-state protection (law and order, border protection). In doing so, they also neglect and abandon the carefully tended gardens of their ancestors, who built these long-term infrastructures and institutions based upon (relatively) ethnically homogeneous societies and historically grown nation-states. Homogeneous societies and organic states for which, one may add, their ancestors made great sacrifices over long centuries: social security, public healthcare, law and order and protected borders were all paid for — the latter often at a steep price in blood, sweat and tears. The most extreme and preventable forms of poverty, hunger, sickness, domestic lawlessness and alien invasion were carefully eliminated from the Western garden by their ancestors’ great work. By the mid-twentieth Century, these scourges had been largely banished behind the garden walls of the West — the same border walls that modern Westerners have now been neglecting for over a generation. Now, after years of systemic neglect of the walls of the West — finally followed by deliberate ‘open borders’ betrayal of the same — the ancient spectres are returning with a vengeance.
The first of the ancient spectres to start creeping back into to the West was poverty: around forty years ago it come-back was facilitated by hippie-to-yuppie boomer nihilism, rationalized in the ‘pseudo-protestant ethics’ of Thatcher-Reagan-style neoliberalism. Starting in the early ’80s, neoliberalism brought back Victorian Era social Darwinism to Western Europe and the overseas Anglosphere, destroying native industries, workers’ rights and welfare states, condemning a whole generation of working-class people, and much of the rural and small-town population, to permanent economic stagnation, steady infrastructure decline and increasing cultural impoverishment. Structural large-scale unemployment, massive drugs addiction, rampant venereal disease and soaring suicide rates ravaged a whole generation of young people, inexorably bending downward the developmental curve of the West. In early 1986, two disasters marked the ‘point of no return’ on both sides of the Iron Curtain: in hindsight, the Challenger Disaster of 28 January and the Chernobyl Disaster of 26 April are key indicators of the decline of American and Russian superpower, marking the end to the great ‘the skies are the limit’ hopes for a techno-social breakout to utopia.
By then, the second of the ancient spectres had already started to creep back into the West as well: alien invasion recommenced as neo-liberalism (big business, high finance) and Cultural Marxism (academic pseudo-intelligentsia, polcor mainstream media) effectively aligned themselves in an all-out ‘globalist’ project under the aegis of ‘free markets’, ‘open borders’ and ‘global institutions’, a project that relied not only on de-industrializing ‘outsourcing’ from First to Third World but also on massive ‘migration’ in the opposite direction. The large-scale repatriation movements that followed the gradual elimination of Europe’s colonial empires, roughly between 1945 and 1980, and the (originally temporary) guest labour influx that was triggered by Europe’s boom-time labour shortages during the second half of that period, had already created a precedent for Third World mass immigration. Even during the deep economic crisis of the ’80s, Third World mass immigration was deliberately continued: the only real adjustment was in political rhetoric, with a switch from the promotion of ‘guest labour’ to that of ‘asylum rights’. In the post-Cold War New World Order of Gordon Gecko-style neoliberalism, this mass immigration accelerated, ensuring a permanent lowering of labour costs, a structural rising of real-estate prices, a permanent emasculation of the labour movement and a permanent shift in the electoral balance — of course in favour of the neoliberal regime. The spectre of the alien invasion of the West was initially only visible in marginal and localized phenomena — ‘white flight’ from decaying inner cities, ‘ethnically biased’ petty crime, ‘free rider’ welfare fraud — but it gradually expanded in intensity and size, finally escalating into full-blown emergency: industrial-scale ‘grooming gangs’ (the single 2013-revealed ‘Rotherham’ operation alone had over 1,500 victims according to ‘official figures’), systematic ‘Islamicist’ terror (the gruesome ‘slow slicing’ details of the 2015 ‘Bataclan’ bloodbath have been effectively censored) and open breaches in the borders (the 2015 ‘Migration Crisis’ saw over a million military-age ‘refugees’ from the Asia and Africa successfully re-trace the ancient Ottoman invasion route through the Balkans and into Central Europe).
The reappearance of the spectre of alien invasion from Asia and Africa was immediately followed by the reappearance of many threats that had been almost forgotten throughout the West: the threat of pickpocket gangs came to the shopping districts, the threat of highway robbery (gun-point car-jacking) came to the roads, the threat of gratuitous ‘gangster’ violence came to neighbourhoods and schools, the threat of re-emergent primitive diseases came to the hospitals, the threat of ethnically targeted rape came to the swimming pool, the threat of ‘lover boy’ grooming operations came to the schoolyard and the threat of fanatical anti-Western terrorism came to pervade the public sphere. Not only were these threats downplayed and covered up by liberal-normativist cartel politicians and system journalists: any attempt, on the part of dissident thinkers and politicians, to truly understand and effectively combat these ‘diversity’-related phenomena was systematically repressed through (‘algorithmic’) censorship, (‘hate speech’) persecution and (‘antifa’) intimidation. But the masking strategies of the globalist hostile elite — its rigged ‘democratic mandate’ based on cartel machinations, ‘immigrant’ votes and marketing ploy, its deceptive ‘political correctness’ based on virulently anti-rational, anti-male and anti-white identity politics — are increasingly failing to keep it from being recognized for what it truly is: a pirate clique of mercenaries and traitors bent on plundering Western resources and enslaving Western peoples. Its true aim is the replacement of Western cultures and the Western peoples by globalist counter-culture and deracinated diversity. The mask of the globalist hostile elite, and its gloves, are coming off — but in a way that few could anticipate.
The true face of the globalist hostile elite is now visible in its handling of the latest globalist weapon of mass destruction, a weapon that is — so far — finding its most destructive demo-political application in Europe: the ‘Covid-19’ Corona Virus pandemic. Even without recourse to facile ‘conspiracy theories’ about deliberate biological warfare (which would be nothing new in world history: poisoned wells and poisoned arrows are attested even in Bronze Age cuneiform documents), and even without overdosed paranoia over the protracted non-action of Western Europe’s ‘leaders’ in response to the outbreak, it is easy to see how the arrival and spread of the Crowned Death have been facilitated by their globalism-as-usual policies — open borders above all. With very few exceptions, the ‘leaders’ of the West have not only — once again — utterly failed in their basic duties to protect and serve their peoples: they have also — once again — proven to be on the wrong side of history. Their failure to do what was, and is, humanly possible to protect those entrusted to their care in the face of life-and-death choices may very well cause a critical mass of public distrust and anger. As the line between criminal negligence and wilful destructiveness is becoming increasingly blurred, public trust in lawful authority may start to founder. Depending on the yet-to-be-determined depth and length of the present pandemic emergency, the absence of authentic higher authority — which is ultimately measured by effectively decisionist intervention in true crisis situations — may very well come to endanger law and order. Any significant failure in authority — either merely in perception or in actual effect — would at once reduce the new ‘diversified’ demo-political reality of the West to its lowest common denominators: narcocratic criminal networks, ethnicity-based social allegiances and neo-primitivist social atavism. As the West is coming face to face with the Crowned Death, it should be remembered that this particular ‘horseman’, pestilence, has three fellow-travellers that are never far off: war, hunger and hell. The West may come face to face with it and, by the grace of a Higher Power, escape this particular avenging angel and live to fight another day. But lessons should be learned and strategies should be devised to cope with the next emergency — the omen should not be ignored.
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow;
and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer
— Revelation 6:2
(Geopolitical Anamnesis — RE: Alexander Dugin3)
We can now begin the countdown to a multipolar world order — the coronavirus pandemic has buried globalization, open society and globalist capitalism. Enclaves of humanity have begun to take their isolated historical trajectories.
— Alexander Dugin, ‘Coronavirus Horizons of a Multipolar World’
* The burial of globalist mythology. The Corona Crisis has exposed the foundational fallacies of the globalist New World Order: open-border policy has accelerated the pandemic, transnational governance has utterly failed to respond to it, globalist high finance has crumbled under its impact, liberal-normativism has proven unable to match the effectiveness of the decisionist crisis management of Chinese- and Russian-style ‘illiberalism’.
* The melt-down of geopolitical unipolarity.4 The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic is a decisive moment in the downfall of the unipolar New World Order of globalist post-modernity. The decline of geopolitical unipolarity and socio-economic globalization has been noticeable since the early 2000s: it has gradually increased with the accumulation of ‘counter-current’ events and developments such as America’s ‘9/11’, China’s rise to economic superpower status, Putin’s reassertion of Russian state sovereignty, the militant Islamicist attack on hyper-liberal secularism, the national-populist rebellions of ‘Brexit’ and ‘Trump’ and discursive bankruptcy of liberal-normativism in the face of the Neo-Eurasianist and New Right metapolitical challenges.
* The event horizon of liberal-normativist ideology.5 The meltdown of globalization in the face of the Corona Crisis may hasten the end of liberal-normativism: the spell of its global hegemony as humanity’s default ideology, as summed up in Fukuyama’s 1992 announcement of the ‘end of history’ and the rise of ‘last man’, is coming to an end. The end of liberal-normativism will spell the end of the various artificial constructs that are inextricably linked to it: the absolute rule of ‘global markets’, the totalitarian model of ‘parliamentary democracy’ and the one-size-fits-all straight-jacket of ‘human rights’. What lies beyond this ‘event horizon’ remains as yet unknown: it is impossible to foresee the final outline of the future world order. True geopolitical multipolarity has never existed, and if we look for some distant analogue of it, we should not turn to the Early Modern Westphalian world order, but rather to the pre-modern era preceding the Age of Discoveries: to the pre-modern world order of multiple, truly autonomous cultural circles that lacked a single binding system of ‘universal’ exchange mechanisms, ‘international’ laws and ‘humanist’ ethics.
* The decisionist basis of the post-globalist world order.6 Much will depend on what will defeat the corona virus: those technical, legal and disciplinary measures that prove effective will become essential components of the political and socio-economic order of the future. Thus, the temporary alienation dictated by the direct threat of contagion from abroad and the necessary alienation from transnational systems of exchange and regulation will force states into a mode of self-reliance: their priorities will be health protection, food security, minimal economic autarky and maximal political manoeuvrability. Even if elements of liberal governance and capitalist exchange are preserved, they will have to be firmly embedded in frameworks of national control, such as foreign trade monopolies and state-regulation of capital flows. Nations that are historically distant from liberal-normativist ideas and habits, particularly those with affinity to land power rather than sea power, may well move towards optimal Lebensraum realignments in terms of geopolitical security and economic autarky.
* The challenge of multipolar security in post-globalist geopolitics. Direct security interests, economic autarky demands and structural cultural-historical affinities may replace globalist attempts at enforcing artificial ‘global security’, ‘global markets’ and ‘global governance’. To the extent that the borders of nation-states and cultural circles are well-matched, isolationist policies may prevail. Previews of isolationist alternatives to the unipolar-imperialist globalism of the receding unipolar epoch are already available in recent neo-nationalist phenomena such as Trump’s cautious disengagement from American interventionism and Israel’s rigorous policies of ethnic segregation and preventive deterrence. To the extent that the boundaries of nation-states, cultural circles and economically autarkic regions significantly diverge, drastic regional realignments may be necessary. Such regional realignments, driven by the simple ‘balance of power’ calculations, will allow a reassessment of older imperial ideas and traditional supra-national state constructs, such as the older supra-national structures that aggregated around natural power poles in Ottoman Turkey (Constantinople), Safavid Persia (Isfahan) and Moghul India (Delhi). A drastic redrawing of artificial borders may be necessary to facilitate neo-isolationist as well as regional realignment policies. To the extent that they cannot be covered by legitimate supra-national ‘neo-empire’ boundaries, ethnic, linguistic and religious boundaries may need to be reasserted above the many artificial (‘Versailles Peace’, ‘Berlin Conference’, ‘ex-Soviet’) borders that still hamper harmonious international relations across much of Eurasian and African landmass today.
One should not be deceived: the world coronavirus pandemic is a turning point in world history. Not only are stock indices and oil prices collapsing, the world order itself is also falling. … Human societies will soon become free-floating: no more dogmas, no more dollar-imperialism, no more free-market spells, no more Fed dictatorship or global stock exchanges, no more subservience to the world media elite. … It is obviously impossible to say what this will look like or what it will lead to. However, it is already clear that the old world order is becoming a thing of the past, and quite distinct contours of a new reality are emerging before us. What neither ideologies, nor wars, nor fierce economic battles, nor terror, nor religious movements have been able to do, has been accomplished by an invisible, yet deadly virus. It brought with it death, pain, horror, panic, sorrow — but also the future.
— Alexander Dugin, ‘Coronavirus Horizons of a Multipolar World’
(Ethno-political Anamnesis — RE: Greg Johnson7)
Even if the Globalvirus stops today, we are looking at a world in which [the argument for] ethno-nationalism is stronger and [the argument for] anti-ethno-nationalist forces of globalism, multiculturalism, democracy and liberalism is weaker. …
Global “free trade” is bad. … Because businessmen care only about profit, not about the common good of society, and because the [Western] political class no longer puts the [Western] peoples first. [It is more concerned with protecting the economy from ‘panic’ than protecting the Western peoples from the virus itself.] The vast majority of pharmaceuticals … are manufactured in China, a [free trade] rival, [allowing it to blackmail the West]. …
“Globalism is bad. By globalism, I mean erasing national borders to ease the global movement of people and goods. It is possible to have national borders and international trade and travel, but nations need to regulate them for the common good of their peoples. … Immigration fraud, visa overstays, and other forms of bureaucratic incompetence or sabotage effectively abolish borders throughout most of the West.” …
* “Multiculturalism — open borders, diversity & anti-racism are bad. In times of plague, diversity and multiculturalism are dangerous burdens, for they decrease social trust and solidarity, which are necessary for disciplined and effective public health measures like quarantines, curfews, and testing.” “Obviously, openness is not an absolute good if it allows in a plague. Which means there is a good kind of xenophobia, namely the xenophobia that protects us against the plague. There is a good kind of racism, namely the racism that protects against the plague.”…
* Democracy is bad. Democracy encourages politicians to think only as far ahead as the next election. Since disasters happen only occasionally, every politician knows they are unlikely to happen on his watch. Since politicians — especially national leaders — have short terms of office, it makes no sense for them to use their political capital for events far into the future, especially events that may never happen. …
* Liberalism is bad. Liberalism unlocks politics from the common good — it is the politics of individualism, declaring that only the individual and his interests matter. … Liberalism slowly dissolves the social cohesion, public-spiritedness, and self-sacrifice of pre-liberal societies in the acid of individualism. … The more liberal a society is, the slower and more grudging the response. The more liberal a society, the more vulnerable it is to mass death in times of plague.
— Greg Johnson, ‘How Coronavirus Will Change the World’8
Johnson’s diagnostics of the current ‘Globalvirus’ crisis confirm a number of the New Right’s long-standing theses; these may now be assumed to have been proven true beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt. Now it is time to consider what will follow the utter ruin of globalism — what will follow the end of what has now been proven to be bad in globalism: global free trade, open borders, multiculturalism, diversity, anti-racism, democracy, liberalism. Some questions need to be considered in this regard. Is the New Right ready to step in — to replace the globalist hostile elite? Is it ready to move beyond the demolition phase — to move on and proceed to the (re)construction phase? Is it ready to rise to the occasion — to take hold of the fleeting moment of opportunity that may come when globalism simply collapses and vanishes from history? Is it ready to step in, walk through the vacated corridors of power into the long-deserted throne room? Is it ready to move in, if need be at a moment’s notice, to replace the wrong concepts, structures and people with the right concepts, structures and people? Or will it leave these opportunities and challenges to lesser and lower but faster and stronger competitors? If the Corona Crisis has something to teach the New Right it is this: that these questions need to be asked and addressed sooner rather than later — that they need to be asked and addressed now. Because it may come to pass that, after all hope has deserted us and all expectation has failed us, by the grace of a Higher Power, globalism expires by the force of totally unforeseen circumstances. That our mighty, seemingly unconquerable enemy suddenly drops dead right before us
dead, slain, after all man’s devices had failed,
by the humblest things that God, in His wisdom, has put upon this earth.
— Herbert George Wells, The War of the Worlds
1 Skewed reference to the 1842 plague-themed short story ‘The Mask of the Red Death’ by American novelist Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849).
2 For the author’s cultural-historical application of this concept, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, The Sunset of Tradition and the Origins of the Great War (Cambridge Scholars: Newcastle upon Tyne, 2017).
3 Freely inspired by, with paraphrases from, Alexander Dugin, ‘Coronavirus and the Horizons of a Multipolar World: the Geopolitical Possibilities of Epidemic’. Geopolitica.ru, 17 March 2020.
4 For a sketch of the (Neo-)Eurasianist ‘multipolar’ alternative to globalist ‘unipolarity’, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, ‘Le Rouge et le Noir: An Introduction to Eurasianism’. Geopolitica.ru, 15 November 2018.
6 For a structural analysis of the opposition between modern normativism and traditional decisionism, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, ‘From the Arsenal of Hephaestus’. Geopolitica.ru, 10 January 2019.
8 The author has here altered Greg Johnson’s words by adding the qualifying phrase the argument for because even if the Corona Crisis leaves the arguments for ethno-nationalism and globalism, respectively, stronger and weaker, it is not by any argument that the power struggle between the two will be decided. The author deems it necessary to specifically draw the reader’s attention to one of the critical comments that Johnson’s article attracted:
[T]he problem with optimism is the same as [with] pessimism: it pre-commits you to a conclusion. In order to see how corona will change the world, we should look at what [MSM and social media] ‘influencers’ say: (*) airport testing, not closed borders; (*) testing: …[t]hey want everyone tracked; … a hint of authoritarianism; (*) nationalized healthcare; (*) remov[al] of the [crisis-discredited] Republican Party [and] Trump; (*) globalism… is inevitable: [the corona crisis] is not proof that globalism failed – it is proof that global governance is needed to handle ‘global threats’; (*) ‘virus borders’ can be [independent] of national borders, as done [with]in China: [t]he need for ‘virus borders’ does not imply nationalism, [but] could [be made to] happen [by] a one-world government (‘Sutter’, 19 March 2020).
It should be noted that ‘Sutter’s’ critical comments emphasizes some ‘dangers’ that are particularly American: from a European New Right perspective, authoritarian action, large-scale tracking and nationalized healthcare would be desirable rather than ‘dangerous’.