Arktos Journal – Arktos https://arktos.com Tue, 16 Oct 2018 18:53:33 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 An Autopsy on the Ron Paul Revolution https://arktos.com/2018/10/15/an-autopsy-on-the-ron-paul-revolution/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/15/an-autopsy-on-the-ron-paul-revolution/#view_comments Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:55:57 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4959 The Libertarian Moment

From 2008 to 2012, libertarianism came into its own. Always the nerdy kid whom nobody beat up, necessarily, but who could not achieve anything resembling popularity, suddenly, in post-9/11 America, libertarianism’s voice grew deep and authoritative, its frame filled out, and people began to notice that it had a lot of interesting things to say. The jock (neoconservatism) and the hippie (liberalism) started to seem tiresome and aggravating by comparison.

During this brief shining moment libertarianism was infinitely more radical than the American left, and infinitely more principled and disciplined than the American right. It had answers that both spoke to our instincts for ‘social justice’, and that made sense on a purely mechanical level. Multitudes of sharp young people took up the libertarian banner and the prevailing neocon/neoliberal political order found itself under perpetual siege – at least online – from countless, fanatical, freelance philosophers and economists.

The catalyst for all of this, of course, was the 2007/2008 presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Paul was like an old book picked up at a second-hand store and then never read, which is opened out of desperation one rainy day and winds up transforming your understanding of reality. The deceptively mild-mannered, then seventy-two-year-old had been around for decades, preaching his anti-war/pro-market gospel to an indifferent populace and political class. But, to an extent that astonished everyone, 9/11 and its bizarre aftermath had made a considerable contingent of Americans thirsty for what the congressman had on tap. All it took was for Paul to clearly state his stunningly rational positions in the prime-time, high-stakes setting of the Republican Party presidential debates and, all at once, the passions of an army of politically homeless activists were ignited.

Most of the groups that split from the Ron Paul movement are caught in a political twilight zone, forever pontificating about unattainable and ultimately illogical goals, unable or unwilling to ask the questions that finally, fully explain what makes society function.

Those activists were, generally speaking, people who detested the lowbrow, warmongering image that conservatism had acquired under George W. Bush, but who nonetheless wanted their guns and individual and marketplace freedoms. To these frustrated, energetic, mostly middle class, mostly young, mostly white, mostly males, Ron Paul became the living symbol of everything that could be right with America. The congressman was a one-stop shop for salvation, offering a seemingly flawless moral philosophy in libertarianism, a scientific validation of that philosophy in Austrian economics, and the chance to ram the whole thing down the throat of the vile establishment right now, via his presidential bid. It’s no wonder that, despite establishment efforts to suppress his presence and his message, Paul became a bona fide phenomenon whose popularity was sustained into the 2011/2012 election season, when he staged a sequel to his 2007/2008 extravaganza.

The end of libertarianism’s stint as the cool kid came with the demise of Paul’s presidential aspirations at the 2012 Republican National Convention. The Republican Party changed its rules mid-play to shut Paul out of the nomination process, Mitt Romney was predictably promoted and then went on to throw the election, and another term under Obama began.

With its struggle to impact actual policy at an end, the relatively large movement that libertarianism had become over the previous four years suddenly had nowhere to direct its energies, and it began to dissolve into squabbling and increasingly radical, and increasingly delusional, factions.

The Libertarian Fallacy Exposed

Ron Paul had left certain crucial pieces out of the libertarian puzzle. Paul himself is a profoundly conservative, enormously competent white male with a large family, a fine career outside of politics, and a phobia of debt in any form. What libertarianism – and in a far more complex and abstract form, Austrian economics – offers such a man is a way to strive to create a setting where he can prosper, while avoiding the thorny topic of demographics or, more basically, race. When one’s philosophy is nothing but a set of cold mathematical proofs, the question of to whom all of these moral, legal and economic calculations might pertain is easy to gloss over. Only a racist would ask which particular groups are likely to value rugged individualism and free enterprise. Those things are, Paul assured us, universal principles that can be taken up by all humans!

The fatal flaw in libertarianism became apparent between 2012 and 2015, when the movement Paul launched split into a liberal and a conservative camp, and then split, as I see it, into five subgroups which are, broadly:

  1. Perverts, crackpots and crypto-communists using libertarian talking points. This group includes Adam Kokesh, Larkin Rose, Jefferey Tucker and a number of odd characters not worth mentioning.
  2. Right-wing libertarians who became public figures or e-celebrities in the era of the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ and are now trapped in the Paulian paradigm, disgusted by the ‘libertarian’ leftists and the left generally, but afraid of the social cost of moving further right and confronting race politics. This group includes Ron Paul himself, Thomas E. Woods and many Mises Institute scholars.
  3. Those who actually believe that race is irrelevant, and imagine that an anarcho-capitalist or minarchist utopia will materialize if enough people, of any and every race, catch on to libertarian principles. These people are mostly followers of those in the previous groups.
  4. Those who try to keep their libertarian credentials while confronting human biodiversity. This group includes Hans Herman-Hoppe, Stefan Molyneux and Chase Rachels.
  5. Those who backburnered or rejected libertarianism once they began applying libertarianism’s methodical logic to the issue of race, and human group differences generally. This is the alt-right.

The last group is probably the real legacy of the Ron Paul Revolution. The other groups (with the exception of the libertarians who are actually confronting human biodiversity) are caught in a political twilight zone, forever pontificating about unattainable and ultimately illogical goals, unable or unwilling to ask the questions that finally, fully explain what makes society function. Yes, social systems and principles are important, but who builds social systems and outlines principles? People. Humans are not robots that can simply download new moral schemes or codes of conduct; we are animals, many of which cannot understand or be made to care about anything more complex than where the next emotional or sensory thrill will come from.

In the end, libertarianism fails because it is trying to answer a question of who? with a description of what. The critical factor in society and politics is not systems and principles as such; it is if and how certain systems and principles can ever be adopted – which leads inevitably to the question of what human material provides fertile ground for what systems and principles.

Libertarianism, it turns out, is simply an ‘autistic’ codifying of what most white males do, and value, without being told. Or, perhaps more accurately, libertarianism is a codifying of what most white males would do, in a world in which they were not browbeaten and fooled into endorsing Marxist egalitarianism.

It is reasonable to say that, while people from many subcultures joined the movement, and while it has attracted a wide variety of people since 2015, the alt-right is primarily an outgrowth of the liberty movement that grew up around Ron Paul’s presidential bids. Three of the four regular hosts of the seminal alt-right podcast, The Daily Shoah, as well as Richard Spencer, Christopher Cantwell and numerous other alt-right notables, started on their paths to the alt-right as guerrilla fighters in some facet of Ron Paul’s revolution.

What happened to all of these people was that they processed all of the libertarian – and probably most of the Austrian economics – theories and arguments, and could see that, if only these rock-solid principles and proven models could become the basis for personal and public policy, the world would become a utopia.

And then they discovered the Truth that trumps Truth.

Nobody cares.

The 2008 to 2012 libertarian moment demonstrated, once and for all, that the left stood for nothing but bumper-sticker humanitarianism, and the right stood for nothing whatsoever – not even enforcement of the most basic laws of the land.

Nobody agonizes over individualist ethics and the preconditions for marketplace magic, and nobody ever will, except a particular strain of nerdy white guy, and a number of Jews with questionable motives.

In fact, according to all relevant statistics, most other types of people are absolutely allergic to anything that in any way resembles systems and ideas that white guys have traditionally created and embraced.

So, a set of former ‘Paultards’ began asking different questions, delving into the issue of human group differences, and the alt-right was born.

At the same time, the four years of raucous libertarian activism had imprinted Paul’s message onto the mass culture, and helped pave the way for Trump’s populist uprising.

Beyond Libertarianism

It cannot be denied that Ron Paul’s libertarian crusade was vitally important as a paradigm-breaker. By clearly outlining the ideals that most white people profess to hold dear, Ron Paul and his acolytes demonstrated, well beyond any reasonable doubt, that mainstream politics in America had become not just a fraud, but a barefaced mockery of what our system purports to be. Can anyone who watched it unfold forget John McCain, Mitt Romney, and the other Republican presidential hopefuls, assembled on the debate stage, laughing together at Paul as the congressmen attempted to argue in favor of the Constitution? Can anyone who watched it unfold forget Paul’s dead-on prediction that the ‘revolutionary’ candidate, Barack Obama, would continue operating on all the general assumptions of the Bush II regime?

In short, the 2008 to 2012 libertarian moment demonstrated, once and for all, that the left stood for nothing but bumper-sticker humanitarianism, and the right stood for nothing whatsoever – not even enforcement of the most basic laws of the land. Ron Paul’s movement served as a litmus test, a one-time chance for Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, to put up or shut up. The leadership of the left or the right could prove, at any point, that their parties and movements were legitimate, by accepting the libertarians’ simple challenges. The right could stand on principle with regard to rule of law; the left could stand on principle with regard to war and peace.

But the leadership of the left and the right failed – and not only failed, but gloried in betrayal, and cynically derailed any discussion of principles or ideals.

That is the lasting lesson of the Ron Paul Revolution.

Unfortunately however, beyond this litmus test, libertarianism has little of practical value to offer in the present political climate. Trump built, to some extent, on what Ron Paul began, and has now remade the Republican Party so it is, or at least sincerely strives to be, anti-war and pro-markets. Trump did this, interestingly, by repackaging Paulian/libertarian principles as unsophisticated, even belligerent, patriotism.

It is all one. Trump is selling precisely what Ron Paul was selling – namely, a return to traditional white ethics – but with a much cruder, and infinitely more effective pitch. And in fact, at a strictly logical level, Trump trumps Paul because he has introduced the factor that libertarians steadfastly avoid: the eternal question of who? Trump has said, in effect, ‘We can have back all of our righteous, irreproachable Western values, my friends, but there’s one catch: we can’t save the world.’

Alt-righters, broadly speaking, are just libertarians who realized that we – that is, white people – cannot save the world. We cannot rewire the brains of black or brown people, or even Northeast Asians, so that these groups will, as groups, enthusiastically embrace Lockean property rights. It will simply never happen. A multicultural utopia – of a libertarian or any other variety – is biologically impossible. That is what libertarianism, and even Austrian economics, actually teaches. ‘Mathematically’ proving the power and validity of what have, empirically, objectively, only ever been white values and systems, winds up being a racial argument. One only needs to spend five minutes examining the matter through that lens.

Although their moment has come and gone, it can still be said that libertarians are right. But they are right in the way that the designer of a perfect video game is right. The designer has proved the sublime symmetry and effortless flow of a particular system. Within the vacuum of that system, the designer is like a god, able to see and understand all. What the designer cannot explain, however, is the far more complex issue of how his system fits into the larger world. Who is likely to play his game? Who is capable – or incapable – of even understanding its rules? Who might obsessively seek out ways to cheat and disrupt, and ruin the game for everyone? Who is likely to misuse what he has created, and turn its benefits into curses? Who would be happier if he never came into contact with his ‘perfect’ system?

These are the questions that anyone who is interested in ultimate truth, and ultimate justice, must ask about any system.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/15/an-autopsy-on-the-ron-paul-revolution/feed/ 5
Philosophia Mortis – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2018/10/12/philosophia-mortis-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/12/philosophia-mortis-part-2/#view_comments Fri, 12 Oct 2018 09:10:26 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4933 The Evolving Manichean Principle

When asked what the goal of modernity overall was and still is, sociologist Carlo Bordoni candidly replied that besides the touted aims of liberation, progress and rationalism, it is the impetus to create something new.1 He further expounds that, just as much as it was in modernity’s interest to change the minds (‘la nostra testa cambi’)2 of people at the advent of the age of reason, the present confusion is to be used for an equally daunting task.

Given the above admission from an avowedly passionate modernist, we must acknowledge that we are currently beyond the point of lamenting the general debasement of life goals as well as the disenchanting attitudes modernity brought regarding the human family. Modernity’s antagonistic stance has extended its reach beyond cultural exteriorities of structure to the endemic inner-directedness of its agents. In other words, it has succeeded in the profound reconceptualization of the human character. With the completion of this last step, the usurpation of human life for its own purposes, modernity enters the stage of its ideological completion – spiritual entropy.

The ideologues who introduced the mechanistic metaphor into philosophy and thereby equated technology with metaphysics embarked on their task with lucid awareness. They knew that in order to reformulate metaphysics, they needed to create ‘a new man’.3 But standing in their way was the medieval measuring of man by aretê, the value of moral excellence, whose spiritual unity was practised through the execution of moral conscience.

The man of aretê was the product of the heroic societies of the Norseman, of the Homeric epos, and of the aesthetics of the Renaissance. The individual of these times acquired his moral agency through the alignment of his character with actions.4 The pre-modern world internalized the fact that morality always had a social embodiment, and that its ideational reconfiguration will always be endemic, in that it will inevitably lead to the reconfiguration of the entire social environment. To be more precise, it had knowledge of the historical regularity that shows its gruesome consequences in growing extremes today: the fact that moral and spiritual atrophy precedes social decline at all times.

The spiritually bereaved human is nowadays the real carrier of modernity’s philosophy of death.

The cultivation of virtue therefore requires the conception of a particular human being as well as a particular social structure.5 The measure of how far we have expurgated ourselves from such conceptions has been sufficiently substantiated by the studies of anthropologists like Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, Margaret Mead and Geoffrey Gorer on the character of the modern man.

What we see emerging today, however, is not so much the rise of personality disorders, as their intensification and prolific spread across vast numbers of society. In other words, we are witnessing the divorce of life-encouraging from life-devouring metaphysical principles, the ultimate dichotomy of good and evil manifested in the form of human consciousness – the Manichean principle. At this point, criticism directed only at modernity’s institutionalized nature is not only inconsequential but outright dangerous in that it ignores the devastation occurring in the human spirit at large. Only a criticism that aims at a cathartic recapitulation of modernity, one that is willing to entertain a much more radical admission, will be able to avert the collective spiritual derangement we are facing, allegorically exemplified in Scripture by ‘mankind in the abyss’. What is needed is the intellectual acknowledgement that at the heart of the modern project – as in all totalitarian ideologies – lies the impetus to redefine human nature metaphysically, and to create an engineered creature that is spiritually commensurate with a deadening system and intellectually congenial to its ideological trajectories – a bestiary, a modern Homunkulus.

The Creation of the New Beast

The spiritually bereaved human is nowadays the real carrier of modernity’s philosophy of death. Man as a ‘human criterion’ has ceased to exist. The self has been ‘democratized’;6 it poses as an antagonism, an antithesis, to its own unified self. It does not take and does not identify with any position or standpoint; it can only judge and reductively negate, for it itself is ‘criterionless’.7 Due to its atrophied spiritual dynamism, it only knows how to emote but not how to discern. As it faces a plasma of other fragmented and spiritually desolate selves, it engages in manipulative role-plays that sustain the appearance of superficial civility because it does not know how to otherwise contain the subliminally felt anger and anxiety of a life that is lived exclusively on the basis of a ‘war of all-against-all’8 and unbridled competition for resources.

With the help of a process that Jacques Ellul calls ‘technical convergence’,9 man has been absorbed – just like everything else in the simulation of modern cosmology – as a functional metaphor into modernity’s grand mechanistic scheme. His spontaneity, his idiosyncrasies, and everything that expresses his uniqueness and authenticity have been eradicated. In a world in which synthetic simulacra replace the sense of aesthetics, uniqueness (Einzigartigkeit) and authenticity – the ‘singularity’ of a particular individual – is inevitably replaced by ‘singleness’ (Einzelheit)10 undifferentiated from the singleness of others. Men has thus been likened to the commodities he consumes; he has become synthetic himself.11

Debased into a ‘synthetic being’,12 he no longer exists in a singularity; his nature is conceptualized in the idea of the masses. He is a ‘man of…plurality’.13 In order to be allowed an existence in the current ‘liquid modernity’,14 human life needs to be reduced to its lowest, most instinctual, denominators. It has to undergo a process of standardization in order to conform to modernity’s mechanistic reign. Progress hereby gains a new definition: it is no longer exclusively concerned with technology, but becomes a metaphysically justified process of de-humanization.

Eliade argues that the more modern man tries to reclaim his primordial spiritual nature, the more he is drawn to look for substitutes in order to compensate for his spiritual bereavement.15 In the absence of things sacred, modern man turns to the vapid forms of undefined pleasure, regardless whether it comes from exposing oneself to mindless entertainment or engaging in any form of rape, murder or other socially aberrant behaviour.16 The value of his impulses and the forms he obtains them from have all been equalized. In his spiritual and intellectual torpor, he is pinned down by the irrefutable prosaic dictum of his existence, driven to find more excessive forms of his unclaimed desire for excitement in increasingly antisocial ways of social conduct17

The novelty in the appearance of the metaphysically engineered new bestiary is not the display of madness in its enactment of aberrant social behaviour. The novelty is that pathology is now developed under the guise of normalcy, perfectly adapted to the contingency of everyday life.

Madness is no longer allocated to the socially desolate or to a specific gender, but is represented by mankind as a whole, as a cosmological prototype.

Whereas antisocial behaviour has been regarded as a solitary phenomenon afflicting only a small percentage of the population, our times show that it has superseded the individual and risen to a collective social malaise. Rather than showing signs of a singular discontentment under the duress of civilizatory stresses,18 as in the beginning of the 20th century, today’s forms of pathology show signs of a conscientious engineering of the human spirit into its antagonistic self as a mass phenomenon.

Madness is no longer allocated to the socially desolate or to a specific gender, but is represented by mankind as a whole, as a cosmological prototype. What we are facing today is the manifestation of the eschatological Beast, Nietzsche’s last man, or Rudolf Steiner’s collectivist allegory of the ‘evil race’19. In the same way in which Scripture’s Adamic Man can be understood as the archetype of mankind living in perfect harmony with divine order and purpose, so can the New Beast be regarded as the allegorical antipode in the tradition of Biblical exegesis as the emanation of the seed of Cain. The Fall into Sin is hereby completed, history finds closure, albeit on hellish grounds.

Overcoming the Philosophy of Death

At the root of the creation of the new spiritual bestiary is Western society’s descent into metaphysical – and even more poignantly – moral illiteracy. Madness of the masses follows a similar pattern as individual pathology in that rational motivation proves inefficient to provoke erratic behaviour. In order to accomplish metaphysical engineering at a collective level, the masses therefore have to be liberated from any kind of spiritual depth and steered exclusively towards impulsive behaviour. Liberationist movements, as modernity’s operative hallmarks, facilitated such metaphysical alienation by removing religious and ethical sentiments from the collective consciousness. Where the metaphysical transformation took place, moral restriction could no longer be activated in the collective spiritual repertoire. The process of rationalization took over any remnants of such internal disputes. Despite Descartes’ contestation on methodological doubt, there is no hint to be found that scepticism is an inherent feature of the human mind.20 If resistant ideas are to be activated, they have to possess a primordial existence in the human spiritual tapestry. By reconfiguring metaphysical certainties integral to the human soul, modernity obliterated mankind’s spiritual autonomy. When a proper understanding of metaphysics is stripped away of its moral connotations, individual choice becomes obsolete. Free will, as well as man as a moral agent, ceases to exist.

The salvaging of spiritual integrity will be the first challenge that Western society would have to overcome in order to avert its cultural annihilation. Despite the profundity of metaphysical turmoil in today’s world, it is the task of critical minds to reclaim humanity’s immutable essence and lay claim to human dignity by redefining philosophy as a life-affirming science that can reconcile the metaphysical breach modernity has brought upon mankind.

In such endeavour, moral literacy will serve as a proper metaphysical grounding, and is therefore a more potent social corrective than intellectual reason. What makes a man worthy of partaking of the human experience, says C. G. Jung, is not that he is good, but that he has the freedom to choose the good in a world of negating evidence. The quality that predisposes a human being to this choice is not intellectual prowess but grace. Since grace is an attribute of a freely given love, it is also the ultimate expression of pulsating life. Any attempt to conceptualize life should therefore return to its place of metaphysical dwelling – a vitalistic philosophical abode – a philosophia vitae.

Footnotes

2Ibid.

3Here, the reference to Lenin’s Homo Sovieticus is made.

4MacIntyre, p.122.

5Ibid., 124.

6Ibid., p. 32.

7Ibid, p. 33.

8Christopher Lasch uses this term in his work The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. Interestingly, we originally find it in the eschatological description of Rudolf Steiner’s interpretation of the Apocalypse. See: Steiner, Rudolf. The Apocalypse of St. John: Lectures on the Book of Revelation. Trans. Anthroposophic Press, USA, 1993.

9Ellul, Jacques. The Technological Society. Translated by John Wilkinson. New York, Vintage Books, 1964, p. 391.

10Simmel; Georg. ‘Individuum und Gesellschaft in Lebensanschauungen des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts’. Beispiel der Philosophischen Soziologie. 1917.

11Hamilton, Monika. ‘False Complacency’. Critical Journal. Issue 1, Oct 2014.

12Hamilton, Monika. ‘The New Synthetic Man’, 2018.

13Ellul, p .391.

14Baumann, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Hoboken, Blackwell, 2000.

15Eliade, Mircea. Das Heilige und das Profane. Berlin, Rowohlt, 1957.

16Lasch, Christopher. The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. New York, Norton, p. 69.

17Ibid, p. 51.

18See for example: Freud, Sigmund. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. Berlin, Fischer, 2001.

19Steiner, The Apocalypse of St. John. 1993.

20Friedmann, Max. Über Wahnideen im Völkerleben – Grenzen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens. Heft 6–7. Wiesbaden, Bergmann, 1901, p. 304.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/12/philosophia-mortis-part-2/feed/ 2
Philosophia Mortis – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2018/10/11/philosophia-mortis-metaphysical-engineering-the-creation-of-the-new-beast/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/11/philosophia-mortis-metaphysical-engineering-the-creation-of-the-new-beast/#view_comments Thu, 11 Oct 2018 13:53:59 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4918 Among the existing surfeit of justified criticism towards modernity, there is a considerable dearth of theoretical explications concerning modernity’s ramifications on human consciousness. Besides its great propulsive force in the fields of technology and natural sciences, modernity’s main revolutionary act – that of reconceptualizing metaphysics – remains hidden, for the explanatory language necessary to describe it has been decreed as unscientific and consequently exiled into the realm of the religious and superstitious.

Critics therefore enter into an uneven playing field when they attempt to describe the present state of social and moral decline along modernity’s predefined lines of intellectual dispute. In the perpetual contestation with the unquestionable idea of progress, they place their primary focus on modernity’s exterior institutionalized achievement, and remain ignorant of the fact that, in so doing, they deprive their own taxonomy of the possibility of adequately analysing cases of metaphysical impoverishment. Spiritual exhaustion – a concept that accurately describes the present state of cultural atrophy – exists therefore entirely in a theoretical no-man’s-land. Out of fear of crossing those predetermined combat lines and exposing oneself to the haughty derision of modernity’s proponents, critics restrain their intellectual rebuttals to the trappings of a horizontal stratosphere.

Unfortunately, Western civilization has reached a point at which the exhaustion of valid arguments against modernity’s hermetically sealed system of ideas proves fatal for the future. In the wake of a steadily progressing cultural disintegration and the intensification of political atavism, a ‘philosophical bestiary’1 is created, whose silhouette is acquiring sharper contours the greater the spiritual vacuousness in the aggregate of Western society becomes. It is high time that philosophers and moral theorists alike approach their field with greater intellectual honesty by disavowing modernity’s historical culprit and seeing modern theory for what it really is – a philosophical counterfeit.

The Metaphysical Imposter

What would a proper philosophical critique, one with the potential of warding off the impending cultural decline, look like? In general, criticism can only occur on a coherent level field, on which concepts have been scrutinized for their degree of metaphysical veracity. In the case of modernity, such an endeavour proves impossible since the theory of modernity is not besieged by a lie; it is a lie. Such general terms of phrasing are required in sketching this problem on account of the role modern theory erroneously assumes in the pantheon of philosophy.

At its core, modern theory always assumed a simplistically opposing and negating role; its goal was to dismantle the metaphysical concepts of Christian-Scholastic thought, and to replace them with self-serving replica.

Modernity entered the stage on epochal terms as an emancipatory movement, professing to liberate an assumed static, superstitious, and ‘confused’2 medieval society, which was culturally and intellectually residing in stupefying darkness. As such, modern theory always defined itself as promethean in principle, standing in stark opposition to the perceived intellectual inferiority of the medieval worldview. Yet, in actual metaphysical terms, it offered Western society very little novel alternative to the supposedly indwelling darkness it claimed to be liberating Western society from. When modern theory entered into the world of ideas at the beginning of the 17th century, the world was everything but deprived of scientifically founded and cogent worldviews.3 Epistemologically, that world was a closed system, a coherent and unified cosmology of holistic concepts and principles. Despite all this, modern theory’s ideologues had little regard for the Thomistic synthesis of Greco-Roman philosophy and the burgeoning canons of Christian metaphysics. Ever greater was their readiness to use the already existing system for their own illusive ends.

From the beginnings of its theoretical inception, modern theory assumed an epistemology that was in no way metaphysically investigative4 – despite its current insistence and appearances to the contrary. At its core, it always assumed a simplistically opposing and negating role; it did not aim at investigating the essence of the first principles it found given at that time; instead, it applied the principle of ungrounded critique: its goal was to dismantle the metaphysical concepts of Christian-Scholastic thought, and to replace them with self-serving replica.

This fact becomes all the more evident with a closer look at modern theory’s inner dynamics. If we were to isolate modernity’s central operating principle, we would find the process of metaphysical fragmentation5 at its epicenter. In early classical antiquity, as well as early medieval thought, concepts we nowadays have grown accustomed to grasping exclusively in their objectified nature, existed only in the sphere of spiritual interiority; in other words, they represented inner human qualities. In the pristine understanding of classical antiquity, MacIntyre notes that morality – to take but one example – did not exist as a reified field of knowledge; it only came to be associated with a rigid dogmatic system ruling over the individual with the ascent of modern thought.6 The Greek adjective êthikos as well as the Latin adjective moralis, in contrast, etymologically encapsulated the value of human character by its inner disposition to lead a virtuous and proper life.7 In a more recent work, Peter Harrison substantiates this fact by investigating how the inner qualities of religio and scientia a medieval inner syllogism to retract moral error in one’s behaviour, were turned into the objectified fields of religion and science,8 which had nothing to do with their antecedent forms of knowledge.

One could say that modern theory is a cleverly contrived trompe d’oeil; it appears to have depth and genius, but in reality, is nothing but a mirage, ungrounded in, and disconnected from, any empirical existence.

Therefore, metaphysical fragmentation follows a three-fold process: in the tradition of radical empiricism and the hegemony of materialistic thought, metaphysical qualities are first exteriorized and fragmented into kaleidoscopic disciplines of matter. Once the fragmentation occurs, they are ‘disenchanted’, i.e. divested of their original meaning and purpose in order to be subsequently formed into mechanistic counterparts likened to a technological metaphor. Any metaphysical gradation, e.g. in the form of one discipline’s superiority over another, has either been inverted, as in the example of ethics and technology, or entirely equalized. In the splitting up of their totality, the theory of metaphysics was therefore fractured and artificially engineered so that it ceased to serve the Whole and became an instrument for modern theory’s own metaphysical legitimation.

The theoretical inauguration of modernity is characterized by an unprecedented metaphysical levelling and a thorough discharge of meaning, with an elimination of conceptual antagonisms dwelling at its core. In essence, modern theory inverted the very nomenclature and order in which philosophy is meant to operate.

With this monumental breach in metaphysical thought, philosophy itself was demoralized and divested of its original purpose and meaning. In its lieu, modern theory began to cloak itself in the garb of intelligible philosophy and relate to the subjects it professes to study as a ‘metatheory would towards a [holistically-based] object theory’.9 The problem is that it operates on this premise without having any legitimacy to do so.

Whereas the classical tradition of philosophy at all times attempted to teleologically conceive the Whole and saw philosophizing as a secondary reflective act10 to the metaphysical first principle – the prima causa, the first thought – modernity hermetically shielded itself from this reflexive thinking. Contemporary modern theorists in the tradition of sociology like Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Baumann and Ulrich Beck uphold the idea that modernity has reached its own form of self-reflexivity in recent times, when ‘late modernity’ began to supersede modern ideas of institutionalized life and evolve them into cultural process.11 Yet the reflexivity Giddens refers to is not laid out alongside the referential coordinates of a coherent metaphysical knowledge, but rather alongside the metaphysics modernity has erected in its place. In reconceptualizing truth along empiricist lines of thinking, modern theory can thus make its own metaphysical assumptions and be accountable to nothing outside of its own parameters. It thereby continues to disrupt historical continuity so that its usurped monopoly on knowledge is not seen for what it really was: a temporal phenomenon without any reference to the concept of truth. This act of theoretical protectionism not only ascends its claims to the status of totalitarian ideology by shielding it from constructive forms of criticism, but it also puts real metaphysics – especially those corroborating the veracity of moral thought – under intellectual quarantine.

Consequently, ever since modernity assumed the historic role of theory, it began to parade as the patron of the first principle, as prima philosophia. In its hubris, it anoints itself – especially in our days – with the possession of the ultimate answers to existential questions on morality and the human spirit. By stealth, it therefore claims the status also of ultima philosophia, the embodiment of a historical and intellectual finality, which – if not halted – will succeed in closing down all moral debate.

Hence, modern theory is not a philosophy at all, but a mimetic replica, a metaphysical imposter, masquerading as philosophy. It abuses the role philosophy occupies in a culture because it antagonizes the very objective it was meant to attain by disenthralling the individual from the cultivation of his immutable essences, qualities which inhere within man. Intellectually, it encourages reductionism, it fosters a unilateral approach to morality and knowledge by declaring the most self-evident of truths to be principles of falsehood itself. When it is seen for what it truly is, one could say that it is a cleverly contrived trompe d’oeil; it appears to have depth and genius, but in reality, is nothing but a mirage, ungrounded in, and disconnected from, any empirical existence.

The Rule of Negation & Metaphysical Inversion

Why do we need to engage in a debate about the existential role of philosophy if our main concern is human consciousness? Because the recourse to a morally evaluative language, released from the intellectual quarantine in which modernity has held it hostage for so long, is integral to overcoming the present state of cultural and moral decline. Western society’s challenge will be the return to the definition of philosophy held in classical antiquity: practising philosophy not for the sake of vanity in the form of a discursive debate, but as a consequential way of life. It is in the lack of such life-affirming metaphysics, where modern theory’s Achilles’ heel lies.

Since modern theory is itself a mask – a camouflage of real metaphysical principles – its tools of scientific inquiry abide in an equally debased state. Whereas Christian-Scholastic thought favoured apothatic inquiry to arrive at the true essence of things, modern theory uses categorical reductive negation. Instead of contending what a thing is not, in order to arrive at what it is, modern theory negates that it is. In and of itself, such inquiry simply solidifies the epistemic primacy of ontological matters over epistemological ones. As long as such inquiry tackles matters of a purely ontological nature existing in the material world, it can function unobstructed and is more or less effective in generating results. However, where matters of higher complexity are concerned, as in the realm of human consciousness and the dynamism of nature, such an inquiry would have to capitulate in the face of its inherent methodological inaptness. Modern theory, however, did not even think about giving up this metaphysical bastion. Instead, it foresaw a much more rigorous stratagem: where it could not negate, it equalized; where there was nothing to equalize, it practised the most debased of all arts – that of metaphysical inversion.

The Christian-Scholastic worldview placed its animating principle on the centrality of God. It revered the religious category12 of ‘the Holy’13 as a human need. To modern thought, the idea of God as the totaliter alter13 embodied the greatest antagonistic force. Since it is irreducible and exists in and out of itself, it is sui generis. As such, it positions itself per definitionem in a combative state towards the modern worldview as it always constitutes a totality and can therefore not be instrumentalized and conformed into an atomistic structure. With the ascent of rationalist thought over ecclesiastical studies at the end of the 18th century, modern theory succeeded in shattering the remaining vestiges of a theoretically harmonious notion of metaphysics.

The principle that animates modernity is thus a different one than that which animates its transcendent counterpart. It nurtures its sustenance out of the mechanistic, the entropic, e.g. the deadening force.

Yet, as much as modern theorists have attempted to negate the existence of a transcendental realm – up to this very day – they failed in the endeavour of undermining ‘the rumour of God’.15 In spite of all the convincing advances in technology as well as the achievements in the realm of the natural sciences, Robert Spaemann remarks, human suffering continues to remain the same. The growing fortitude of cognitive processes will always differ from the devouring, mind-independent quality of fear and terror. Explicating these elements of perception will always require qualitatively different epistemic values. Formulating a coherent cosmology therefore always presupposes an epistemology of man as ‘a creature of transcendence’;16 it implies the acknowledgement of man’s truthful nature as a spiritual and emotional artefact. The l’homme machine,17 which materialism promulgates and recent findings in neurobiology insist in upholding, is in light of such conclusions a reductive sketch of reality, if not an outright caricature. Since the modern world view could not negate this metaphysical truth, it sought ways to invert it.

The Rule of Spiritual Inertia

Inverting medieval metaphysics, along with the concomitant displacement of the value of meaning, was not an accidental outcome of the emergence of modern thought, but an intended attempt at engineering the conception of the living cosmos. When Plato, Aristotle, and later on Plotinus, were musing about the ‘ensouled’ physical plane by another worldly-animating force, Francis Bacon knew that his idea of the ‘breath of life’,18 ‘thriving and growing’19 through all things, was of an entirely different quality. It was mechanistic, elemental and linear; it was self-sustaining but all-devouring. The principle that animates modernity is thus a different one than that which animates its transcendent counterpart. It nurtures its sustenance out of the mechanistic, the entropic, e.g. the deadening force. Speaking in terms of Newton’s mechanics, the Christian-Scholastic worldview was a centripetal force, directing life towards a living centre. Modern metaphysics, in contrast, are centrifugal, in that they are a pseudo-force, dispersing life towards the periphery and pretending to animate outward objects by virtue of their own spiritual inertia.

Therefore, modern theory did not only invert the concept of life and the living, it redefined it. The intellectual acknowledgement of an insight that carries so much epistemological depth, inevitably begs the question of what there is to contrast life with, other than death? Death, Jeff Mason writes, is the great equalizer. It has no content and no subjective meaning, and it makes all theoretically engaging individuals encounter a metaphorical wall, a form of distinct separation.20 In other words, the insights gained from such a worldview as regards the dynamics of life will always remain static. The conclusions made about the human spirit and human autonomy can therefore only be disastrous. On his life path, man perennially chooses between life and death, writes Erich Fromm.21 With a culture that has a philosophy of death – philosophia mortis – at its conceptual core, man is utterly deprived of this choice and driven to inevitably choose his own demise.

As modern theory attempts to reconceptualize the philosophical paradox of being and not being, it contrasts this with its mimetic counterpart of quasi-being. It is the theoretical equivalent to the alchemistic objective of creating an artificial life-form, a Kabbalistic Golem, that has been created out of dead material in order to serve dead material.

Footnotes

1MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, p. 22.

2Bennet, Jane. Modernity and its Critics. Edited by Robert E. Goodin. New York: The Oxford Handbook of Political Science, 2009, p.128.

3See for example: Hannam James. God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World laid the Foundations of Modern Science. London, Icon Books, 2009; The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution. Washington D.C., Regnery Publishing, 2011.

4Ironically, we can see the first intellectual insinuation made in this direction by Leo Strauss in his later work, conceptualized in three lectures at the Hill Foundation at the University of Chicago in 1951. Conservative intellectuals, interested in keeping their distance to more radical intellectual assumptions, tend to garner their ideas from Straussian philosophy. See Strauss, Leo. “Progress or Return: The Contemporary Crisis of Western Civilization” in Modern Judaism. Vol. 1, No. 1, 1981.

5MacIntyre hinted at the implications the so-far undetected fragmentation of metaphysics has had on mankind’s spiritual tapestry. He, however, focused his analysis primarily on the effects morality and virtue have undergone in the process of fragmentation.

6MacIntyre, p. 39.

7Ibid., p. 38

8Harrison, Peter. The Territories of Science and Religion. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2015.

9Spaemann, Robert. Schritte über uns hinaus – Gesammelte Reden und Aufsätze I. Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 2010, p. 11–12.

10Ibid., p. 11.

11 Beck, Ulrich, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lasch. Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1994.

12Schleiermacher, Friedrich. Reden an die Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern (1799). Berlin, De Gruyter, 2001.

13Otto, Rudolf. Das Heilige. 4th ed. Breslau, 1920.

13Barth, Karl. Der Römerbrief (Zweite Fassung) 1922. Zürich, TVZ, 2008.

15Spaemann, Robert. Das Unsterbliche Gerücht: Die Frage nach Gott und der Aberglaube der Moderne. Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 2007.

16Rahner, Karl. Sämtliche Werke: 2 – Geist in Welt. Freiburg, Herder, 1998.

17La Mettrie, Julien Offray de, L’Homme Machine. Paris, 1865.

18van Malssen, Tom. The Political Philosophy of Francis Bacon: On the Unity of Knowledge. New York, SUNY Press, p. 172.

19Bacon, Francis. ‘The New Organon – Book One’. Selected Philosophical Works. Edited by Rose-Mary Sargent. Cambridge, Hackett Publishing, 1999, p. 113.

20Mason, Jeff. ‘Death and its Concepts’. The Philosopher’s Magazine. 31 Jan 2015, https://www.philosophersmag.com/opinion/17-death-and-its-concept.

21Fromm, Erich. Der modern Mensch und seine Zukunft: Eine sozialpsychologische Untersuchung. 3. Aufl. Frankfurt, Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1969.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/11/philosophia-mortis-metaphysical-engineering-the-creation-of-the-new-beast/feed/ 1
Not Our Catastrophe https://arktos.com/2018/10/10/not-our-catastrophe/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/10/not-our-catastrophe/#comments_reply Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:32:08 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4904 Already before the turn of the last century, one of the leading thinkers of the contemporary Right, Guillaume Faye, predicted what he called a ‘convergence of catastrophes’ in the early part of this millennium. In his Archeofuturism, Faye enunciates his idea as follows:i

Many civilisations have disappeared in the past, but these were disasters that only affected certain areas of the Earth, not the whole of humanity. Today, for the first time in history, a world civilisation — the global extension of Western civilisation — is threatened by converging lines of catastrophe produced by the implementation of its ideological plans.

These ‘converging lines of catastrophe’, according to Faye, would lead to a radical restructuring of the world’s political and social organization, and potentially open new possibilities to human societies which at present seem naught more than mere pipe dreams.

It is difficult to avoid the sense that Faye foresees the coming of such disasters with a certain relish. There is no malice in this, but rather the longing of a warrior spirit for hardier and more violently vital times.

Faye himself distinguishes between various kinds of catastrophe: broadly speaking, we might categorize them as the economic, the socio-political and the environmental (Faye includes also religious and geopolitical catastrophes in his own taxonomy; I subsume these both under the broader heading of socio-political). As examples of each: An economic break, such as occurred in 2007 and yet more spectacularly in 1929, might produce, given the present level of global economic interdependence, dire ramifications for the societies and the governments of the entire globe. On the socio-political plane, the increasing numbers of terrorist attacks in Europe and the demographic changes being wrought on the countries of all the West (with but pathetic few exceptions), could lead to widespread social decay, the fragmentation of the standing political order, and even civil or religious wars; or again, there are only so many times our governments can shatter the ‘debt ceiling’ before they find themselves floundering in the airless pockets of space, or plummeting into a default which might well be, in the case of the larger countries like the USA, globally devastating far beyond the feverish arenas of Wall Street. On the environmental level, possibilities include droughts, famines and diseases (such as will be, according to some, the nigh inevitable results of global warming), but also volcanoes, earthquakes, asteroids or somewhat more localized catastrophes, such as typhoons, hurricanes etc. etc.

It is difficult to avoid the sense that Faye foresees the coming of such disasters with a certain relish. There is no malice in this, but rather the longing of a warrior spirit for hardier and more violently vital times. There is also another element to his expectation which is somewhat more widespread among present-day nationalists or ethno-nationalists: namely, the realization that things have come to such a head in our day, and the powers against us are so ubiquitous and so firmly entrenched in the seats of political and economic control, that a catastrophe of global proportions might well be the only way of shaking them loose. More importantly, it might be the one remaining way of awakening our people to the urgency of their predicament: as Faye puts it, ‘When forced with their backs against the wall, human societies always react.’

To ignore the possibility of a catastrophe such as those which Faye indicates would be irresponsible of us in the highest degree; for Faye is absolutely right that all the signs point to the coming of at least a single disaster of this order within the century we are presently living, if not to a convergence of several. Nonetheless, the opposite tendency must be as strenuously exorcized: namely, the complacent expectancy of such an event, the resigned awaiting of some deus ex machina which shall descend of its own will to wreak havoc on the organization of our enemies and thereby to provide us a route of entry into the rubbled halls of power.

I am convinced that Faye intends his convergence of catastrophes to be the very opposite of a doctrine of complacency; it is meant as a vivifying, regulating idea, one which forces us into awareness of the radical contingency and unpredictability of the future. To the extent that we take it as such, it can do us nothing but good. At the same time, we cannot permit Faye’s idea to transform, quite against his will, into an excuse for stagnation and immobility. For the first danger to this idea is that it appears to preclude the feasibility of any present action, apart from action in the sense of generic preparations for some ill-defined and unforeseeable future event. It is alas all too easy to take it as a pretext for doing nothing. For truly, if it will require nothing less than a global catastrophe to startle our people from their slumber, what good could it possibly do for us to go about scratching at the granite borders of their complacency with essays or protests?

Two points must be considered here — two reasons that not mere waiting, but conscious and deliberate action, is absolutely incumbent upon us in the present moment.

In the first place, even supposing that the strength of our adversaries is such that we really are reduced to nothing more than expectancy and dubious hope in a coming catastrophe (I will dispute this in what follows), it is equally clear that a disaster of this magnitude can result in nothing but chaos. But then, even to confront such a whirlwind—to say nothing of riding it—we must be prepared, both in a personal and in an organizational sense. We must have in place such associations, such Männerbunden, that, even should the sky fall on us, we can support its weight. This becomes a matter of ever more pressing urgency; the efforts which have been made in this direction are to be thoroughly commended, but we must work always under the standing presupposition that whatever we have done, is not enough. For no man can measure the dire potential of the future, and it is a matter of wisdom, in uneven and fragile times like ours, to expect and prepare for the worst. Toward this end, initiatives like those we see in the Italian CasaPound are much to be lauded; these hardly limit themselves to ‘political’ agitation, but attempt to prepare human beings for a new way of living.ii

There is another and more fundamental problem, however, with this kind of philocatastrophism: It seems to presuppose that we are the only ones capable of clearly seeing the possible emergence of catastrophe. Faye indicates as much when he suggests that most of these catastrophes have been made possible precisely by modern ideology and its heedless progressivism. All contemporary liberal observers of our situation are therefore evidently blinded by their meliorism or ingenuity, and simply cannot perceive the possibility that this great Modern ship of progress we have launched might break upon any number of hidden reefs. This would put us at a great advantage, for in our realism and our clear-sighted view of the true impossibility and inner contradictions of ‘liberalism’, we could prepare ourselves for its breakdown, which will be nothing but surprising to most of those who still dwell contentedly within its borders.

But although we are the last to deny that a great many progressives in our day, including politicians, intellectuals and men of high station, do indeed suffer from such blindness, even to a criminal degree, there is yet another and far more dangerous category of men who have their eyes very open indeed. I am speaking of the globalists, the Atlanticists, the New World Orderers, or however we would like to call them — in short, the men who are pulling the invisible strings which make our politicasters dance. Whatever we are in a position to see, they are yet moreso. They are, moreover, in a much more favourable position than we to extract profit from any kind of grand economic or social or environmental upheaval.

Worse yet, there is good reason to suppose that these very individuals are in fact machinating precisely several of the catastrophes that Faye identifies. Evidence for this proposition is easily enough unearthed: suffice it to mention the constant reference the globalists make to the necessity of depopulation.iii In one very interesting video, produced by none other than the co-founder of Italy’s Five Star Movement, a Third World War, which reduces the world population to a mere billion souls, acts as a catalyst to the arising of ‘Gaia’, a futuristic technocratic one-world government in which everyone exists exclusively in and through Google.iv

More yet: we know, because we have seen time and time again, that the same individuals who press most importunously for the advent of a future single world government are also those who most like to foment revolutions and economic emergencies in nations throughout the world, both in and out of the West. The so-called colour revolutions, which Soros, to name only the most infamous example, has had his gloved hand upon on countless occasions,v are but one example; idem the economic meltdown that opened this millennium, which was produced by the very same banks that later profited handsomely from it.vi Nor is this anything new; Goldman Sachs came into its power precisely in the Great Depression, which it itself was also partially responsible for causing.vii These men are chaos feeders, who are long accustomed to earning their pilf and winnowing their power from broad regional misfortunes. If a catastrophe arises from a source which no man can predict or control (as for instance an environmental disaster), these men will be ready for it; and if it comes instead from some inner element or aspect of our societies or economies, or from, for instance, some artificial epidemic, they may well be they themselves the architects of such catastrophe, which puts them in a prime position to advance their own agenda through the confusion they themselves have sown.

It is therefore clear we cannot depend on catastrophe to save us from our plight; in certain cases, we must even do whatever we can to stave off such catastrophe, when we see that it plays directly into the hands of the men who are our most powerful and truest enemies in this world.

As but the most evident example, take the ‘migrant crisis’ presently afflicting Europe. It is no secret that men like Soros are the foremost instigators of this ‘crisis’, both insofar as they fund the ‘NGOs’ that have, until the recent interventions of Italy’s new government, dog-like fetch the teeming African and Middle Eastern masses,viii and insofar as they constantly admonish Europe and America to accept the same in ever greater numbers.ix (Soros himself has imperiously demanded a baseline of at least a million a year, the implication surely being that if the Europeans are to be good children, they will take in many more than that.) They do none of this blindly, and anyone who believes that they are merely aiming to turn a dollar, utterly heedless of the future, gravely misunderstands these men, who have ruthlessly and unswervingly pursued a single global vision for at least seventy years, since the close of the War.x

Yet it is still occasionally proposed that the European ‘migrant crisis’ is presently resulting in unintended consequences, even so far as these globalists are concerned. I dispute this fact; if there are any ‘unintended consequences’, they are none that these chaos feeders will not know how to work. There is nothing unintentional, for instance, in the fact that jihadists and Islamic revolutionaries are being systematically imported from foreign countries amidst the boatloads of supposed ‘refugees’; the terrorist attacks that these chaos agents inevitably commit provide precisely the excuse the globalists need to tighten the close net of security and to put stronger controls on our freedom of speech; the blood of every man who is cut down in the name of Allah on our shores goes first and foremost to feed the tree of the One World Order. Our politicians sometimes suffer the consequences of popular backlash against unpopular immigration policies; the globalists are more than immune.

Obviously, demographic displacement (I would prefer to call it cultural erasure, since that is the real aim; these globalists want neither our demographic nor any other to prevail in the end) has been an abiding goal of theirs since at least as far back as the Kalergi Plan.xi But beyond that, even the very real threat of the establishment of Sharia law in important centres of Europe is far from disadvantageous to them: for should this threat really come to crisis, no better excuse than this could be found to consolidate the power they have already long been gathering, to centralize more strength and unity to the super-political units they have been developing, such as the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, the International Monetary Fund etc. etc., and to construct strong legal and super-legal harnesses which can as easily be slipped around the jaws of nationalists as of religious extremists.

It is therefore clear we cannot depend on catastrophe to save us from our plight; in certain cases, we must even do whatever we can to stave off such catastrophe, when we see that it plays directly into the hands of the men who are our most powerful and truest enemies in this world. This demands a degree of awareness of our situation which is not easy to attain; and it is a constant temptation to resort to easy platitudes and to commonplace evaluations of the present state of affairs. It is easy, for instance, to turn the brunt of our animus against the hostile alien colonists (I use Faye’s apt and precise term here, rather than the more common ‘invaders’) who are now assailing our lands, and whose presence and negative influence is so much more immediate and obvious than any action taken by the occult globalists.

But this is precisely what these globalists are counting on. They have had their way now for decades precisely because they act at a level of political and social things which is so far from the common perception that the common people, and even a great many serious thinking men, never catch so much as a glimpse of it. Despite the extraordinary power they exert, most of these men are literally anonymous; any negative reference to them whatsoever on the part of this or that individual can therefore easily be dismissed by the media (over which they exert powerful influence) as ‘conspiracy theory’. We must accustom ourselves to a level of analysis which is at once uncommon and uncomfortable. This is not simply in the interest of some remote or abstract notion of truth — though there is that, as well: but this is really and fundamentally a question of our survival. If we permit our enemies to dwell and move within a sphere which is so broad and so distant that it secretly encompasses our own, our actions will redound to their benefit; we will almost certainly fail in anything we attempt to accomplish.

Where, then, does this leave us? I have already discussed one aspect of our present plight: namely, the necessity of preparing our associations for all possible vicissitudes, including a catastrophe of the order which Faye predicts. We must indeed be prepared equally both for a catastrophe which catches the whole world unawares, and for an engineered and deliberate catastrophe, though this last is much more difficult to gauge or plan against.

Archeofuturism by Guillaume Faye.

In the same Archeofuturism, Faye takes the French New Right hard to task for its ossifying into a merely intellectual position without any kind of practical manifestations. We must absolutely avoid this pitfall; whatever political action we might taken, whatever successes, even be they small, we can secure on the level of local or regional or national or international politics, must be sought after by us with all the power at our disposal. Even when these represent but half-measures or compromises to our harder and brighter worldview, nonetheless we must recognize that small gains are preferable to great losses. More than anything, we are in need of a new system of education, one which we ourselves begin to build up, which is capable of standing against the debilitating and degenerative tendencies of modern living, and of undermining the diseased academia.

One thing remains true above all others: no matter what can or cannot be accomplished on a metapolitical or political level today, no matter what possibilities are open to us or closed in the absence or the coming of catastrophe, there is a single sphere which remains radically within our control, as even the Ancients used to teach: the sphere of our personal lives, our actions, decisions, choices, and our own conscious deeds within, and upon, ourselves. It is noble of us to make attempts to change this world in which we find ourselves, quite regardless of whether or not our attempts might ever bear fruit. But we are compelled both by present necessity and by that same nobility to till a soil which we know can bear fruit: the soil of our souls. Be there storms or doldrums upon this horizon, let us forge ourselves into such men as will know to navigate them both.

Footnotes

iFaye, Archeofuturism (Arktos, 2010).

iiFor instance, La Muvra (mountain trekking and climbing organized by CasaPound to improve the health and strength of its members) and La Salamandra (early response to emergency situations by the members of CasaPound, in teaching them fearlessness and essential first-aid skills) show but the outer limit of the possibilities here, toward the end of a new form of education, a new schooling for life, independent of our by now stagnant and antiseptic academia. Surely, such initiatives can be expanded and improved upon, but the main point now is making a start, and in this CasaPound is miles ahead of most practical endeavours of the Right.

ivAbsurd and repulsive as this proposal is, I am not inventing it: and the ecstasy with which certain viewers have received is quite enough to demonstrate the extremity of our situation. The English version can be found here.

xSuffice it to make note of the Bilderberg Group, which has met annually in its highly secretive conclaves now without interruption for more than sixty years.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/10/not-our-catastrophe/feed/ 0
Understanding Geopolitics https://arktos.com/2018/10/08/understanding-geopolitics/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/08/understanding-geopolitics/#view_comments Mon, 08 Oct 2018 12:14:27 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4874 Geopolitics has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years despite the concept being around for quite some time. With events in places like Syria, Iran, Turkey and the Ukraine it has become important to discuss this topic. In order to gain a better understanding of the current events, we must first take history lesson in geopolitics.

Mackinder and the Heartland Theory

Sir Halford Mackinder (1861–1947) is considered one of the founding fathers of geopolitics. Mackinder was an English Geographer most known for his essay, The Geographical Pivot of History (1904)1 which popularized what came to be known as ‘The Heartland Theory’. Mackinder divided the world into 3 parts: ‘The World-Island’ (Europe, Asia and Africa), the ‘offshore islands’ (United Kingdom and Japan), and the ‘outlying islands’ (the Americas and Australia). ‘The Heartland’ lay at the center of the ‘World-Island’ stretching from the Volga to the Yangtze and from the Artic to the Himalayas. Essentially, ‘the heartland’ constitutes Russia and a few of the Central Asian countries. Later on, in Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919), Mackinder would summarize his ‘heartland theory’ thus:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
who rules the World-Island commands the world.

According to Mackinder, Russia is in the driver’s seat to dominate the planet.

Spykman and the Rimland Theory

Nicholas Spykman (1893–1943) was an important American political scientist who introduced classical realism into American foreign policy and is considered the ‘godfather of containment’ for his geostrategic contributions. Spykman accepts Mackinder’s division of the world into three sections with some exceptions. Spykman expands upon the concept the ‘offshore islands’. He develops what he calls ‘The Rimland’ which is made up of Western Europe, the Middle East, and the ‘Asiatic monsoon’ lands which constitute India, Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan. This ‘rimland’ forms a belt wrapping around the entire ‘heartland’. Spykman’s theory of geopolitics differs from Mackinder in that he feels that the ‘rimland’ plays a greater role in determining who dominates the planet. According to Spykman,

Who controls the rimland rules Eurasia;
Who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world.

Spykman’s Rimland Theory

Here we see what Carl Schmitt wrote about in Land and Sea: A World-Historical Meditation (1942),2 where world history is viewed as a history of the battle of sea powers against land powers and of land powers against sea powers.

Brzezinski and The Grand Chessboard

Zbigniew Brzezinski is one of the masterminds behind the American post-Cold War foreign policy. He lays out his geostrategy in his infamous work, The Grand Chessboard (1997),3 where he follows the geopolitical tradition of Mackinder and Spykman. In The Grand Chessboard, regarding the landmass of Eurasia as the center of global power, Brzezinski sets out to formulate a Eurasian geostrategy for the United States. In particular, he writes, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger should emerge capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America’s global pre-eminence. With this in mind, we can begin to try and understand the geopolitical goals of the United States in the world today.

Dugin and The Foundations of Geopolitics

While the Americans were developing their own post-Cold-War geopolitical strategy, so were the Russians. Alexander Dugin developed his own geostrategy which he laid out in The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia (1997).4 The book has had a large influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites and it has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military. In Foundations of Geopolitics, Dugin calls for the influence of the United States and Atlanticism to lose its influence in Eurasia and for Russia to rebuild its influence through annexations and alliances. Not only does Dugin believe that alliances should be formed with countries like Iran or Syria but he believes that Russia should meddle in the internal affairs of the United States as well:5

It is especially important to introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics.

With this in mind, we can begin to try and understand why Russia has formed geopolitical alliances with countries like Iran and Syria, along with the ‘Russian bot’ narrative being pushed by the mainstream media.

Conclusion

While this is far from being a complete analysis of geopolitics and all of the important thinkers and strategists throughout history, it is enough to give us an understanding of the current geopolitical environment we find ourselves in. If we want to use the chessboard analogy, the two players are the United States and Russia and all of the other countries, non-state actors, paramilitary groups, etc. are the pieces on the board. Dugin has applied the labels ‘Atlanticist’ and ‘Eurasianist’ to describe the two sides in this global struggle. Atlanticists are the USA, UK and their allies throughout the world. The Eurasianists are Russia and its allies throughout the world. As we have seen throughout the Cold War, each side will back revolutionary movements in order to one-up the other. Things have not changed since the end of the Cold War.

If you are a political dissident, you must ask yourself, whose side are you on? Are you with the United States and their Globalist-Zionist-Salafist coalition? Or are you on side the Russia and their allies Assad, Iran and Hezbollah? For some, it’s easy to be dismissive of both sides. However, if you are a realist and you wish to enact a political agenda, then you must choose. Even something as simple as advocating for a non-interventionist policy in the United States is a political action against the globalist elites in the US and in favor of Putin and Russia. As mentioned previously, both sides are known to back revolutionary political movements in order to one-up the other. Knowing this, it makes it even more important to ally yourself with one of these two sides if you are serious about gaining political power on this planet. If your movement is both anti-American and anti-Russian, then your political movement is not going to be around for long and it is certainly not going to accomplish anything meaningful. Welcome to realpolitik. It can’t be you versus the entire world.

Identitarians must make a choice if they are serious about advancing their own political agenda. Should they ally themselves with ‘The Swamp’ in Washington, DC or should they look to the Kremlin in Moscow as a potential fellow traveler? While you may not like it, sometimes the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Footnote

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/08/understanding-geopolitics/feed/ 2
Of the World https://arktos.com/2018/10/05/of-the-world/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/05/of-the-world/#view_comments Fri, 05 Oct 2018 13:20:52 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4829 Some scientists tell the story that we are all made of matter which has existed since the beginning of the universe, and which will remain after we have gone. We are literally of the world, we are the dust of the earth and we breathe in the dust of those who have been and those yet to be. This is a frightening, as well as a rather sentimental, idea. But whether it is true or mere speculation, it carries with it an important lesson: that we are all, to some extent or another, fixed. We are not just here now, but we always have been. We are part of a whole, something much bigger than ourselves.

I do not know whether what the scientists tell us is true, and I doubt that they really know either. But it is a nice idea – that we are not just in the world but are the world – and it is one that I wish to take up, to strip it of this veneer of scientific speculation and return it to the field of metaphysics where it properly belongs. We are made out of the stuff of the world. We are one with the world and not against it. We are not separated entities, or differentiated subjects, who can use the world as object. We are made up and remain of the dust of the world.

The desire for progress is exploitative. It uses up what is around us and, in taking for granted our past, it uses up our inheritance without regard for the consequences.

One of the defining characteristics of modernity is the belief that we are subjects distinct from the world. We are, according to Descartes,1 thinking subjects who are able to look outwards onto the world. We exist, as it were, in distinction to the external world. This separation is crucial for understanding modernity and its motive force, namely, the idea of progress. We exist to further ourselves, to progress and to achieve (substantially, if not entirely) human perfection. Human beings are perfectible – that is why we believe in the material basis of science – and they can attain perfection through their use of reason to manipulate the objective world. The world has particular attributes that we can recognize, catalogue and then exploit for our own purposes. The world is made up of discrete pieces that we see as objects available for our pleasure.

But this separation of ourselves from the world is dangerous. It forces us to look forwards and only forwards. We are focused on progress towards perfectibility and so we need not look backwards. We take for granted what we have now and use it to reach ever further into the future in the belief that this will make us happier, healthier or better. But the act of looking only forwards means that we deliberately limit our vision. There are things that we refuse to look at and which in time we may forget about entirely. The things lying behind us do not matter, and the fact that we cannot see them proves this. So we insist on progressing forwards, towards what we are sure is a better place.

But this reaching out, this stretching to attain what we feel is only just out of reach, might lead us to over-balance. We are so concerned with what is ahead of us that we forget what we are balancing on. We take for granted all those traditions, institutions, relationships that we need in order to stand where we are and reach out to begin with. We are so focused on the future we forget how much we depend on the past. We ignore that we are only standing where we are now because of what has gone before us and what has been expended in maintaining us.

The desire for progress is exploitative. It uses up what is around us and, in taking for granted our past, it uses up our inheritance without regard for the consequences. But as we are convinced we are always just on the threshold of some better future, why worry about the current cost? Whatever we sacrifice now can be more than made up when we have achieved our potential. After all, we must speculate to accumulate.

The problem, and hence the danger, is that progress, and the transgression it necessitates, is not temporary. It is not a short transition from one stable point to another. Instead progress becomes an end in itself. The whole purpose of modernity is the journey: progress is, in reality, nothing but flux and transgression. There is no agreed end point, no accepted notion of what human perfection would be, but merely a desire to be better, to reach the next step. But this step is merely the next point of departure.

What progress ignores is the importance of harmony, whether it is within ourselves, between ourselves, or between the world and ourselves. Progress stresses the separation, the apartness, of ourselves from the world. However, to recognize the need for harmony challenges the rush for progress. It makes us question the cost of our action, that what we do might pull and tear at our connections with others in the world. It forces us to look at what we are using, what we are stepping on and exploiting to achieve our pleasures.

Dwelling then is about balance. It is the activity that creates, maintains and sustains the permanent human presence in the world.

Harmony is a concern for balance. It is where we recognize that we cannot move without affecting everyone and everything else. We are connected and our actions are consequential. What we do impinges on others and so we should factor this into our calculations. Indeed, it makes us question the very nature of our calculations: what are we seeking; why do we act; what might we achieve, and what happens if we do not achieve it? If we move so does everything else – and do we know what the consequences will be?

Of course, we might weigh up these consequences and conclude that the benefits outweigh the costs. We might consider that a change in the balance is a price worth paying for what we hope to achieve through progress. But this would be a misunderstanding of what we mean by harmony. Harmony is not merely a matter of being aware and so perhaps taking notice of the consequences of our actions. Harmony is where we question the actual process of calculation. What matters is the balance itself and not what this means to any one part of the whole. If we are part of the world then what matters is the world as a whole and not just ourselves as part of it. In other words, harmony is an end in itself.

Harmony and balance imply that we stay in place. We do not seek to move, to progress or improve on what we now inhabit. Harmony is a concern for permanence, for settlement, for what we might call dwelling.2

To focus on dwelling allows us to focus our actions in their fullness, on their complete effect and on all the levels implicated in that activity from the very idea of human settlement to our most private inner thoughts. Dwelling focuses on our relations at all levels, with loved ones, friends, neighbours, strangers, and with the world itself. Martin Heidegger, in his essay ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’3 equates dwelling with building: for humans to dwell means they build structures for themselves. In turn, he defines building, through its etymological roots in Old English and German, as related to the verb ‘to remain’ or ‘to stay in place’. Dwelling as building is thus more than just mere shelter, but is a reference to the settlement by human beings on the Earth. Indeed for Heidegger, dwelling is humanity’s ‘being on the Earth’.

Heidegger sees dwelling as human settlement in general: it is the house, the village, the town, the city and the nation, but it is also humanity taking root in the soil and recognizing its part in the world. We are rooted, embedded and not able to fly free of the world, seeking our interests independent of it.

Dwelling then is about balance. It is the activity that creates, maintains and sustains the permanent human presence in the world. Dwelling is about the material and non-material relations that create the capacity for human continuity. Dwelling deals with the human presence it all its complexity, in that it allows us to talk about the universal and the subjectively private: human settlement and my home.

To dwell means to live on the Earth. It is to be in place. We are at home in the world. We have a place of rest and a place that makes us. Dwelling is what we do: it is human settlement in the most general sense. To dwell is to be present in the world. We show our presence through the domestication and taming of nature, and so become tamed ourselves. We dwell through the creation of permanent social and political structures and through the private space we make for ourselves. When we dwell we mark our place in the world and so are marked ourselves as worldly creatures.

Dwelling is to be in the world and to be at one with the world. Dwelling manifests our need for permanence, stability and stasis, and our wish for things to remain as they are. Dwelling is what we do as part of the world and in doing so we become one with the world. It is where ordinary quotidian habits link to mystery, where we join with something much larger than ourselves. Dwelling shows us that the ordinary and the mysterious are not distinct but are one and the same: the mundane habits of our existence are where we make use of the world and inhabit it with meaning. In doing so, we become a mere part of the world. The world does not require us to understand it.

Dwelling is our inhabitation in the world in all its fullness. We are all one with the world; we are of the world and it is in us, and as such we act the world out and the world acts through us. How we act is determined by the world. We are not distinct from it; there is no sense of humanity being against or beside the world. Humanity is manifested as a mere part of the world. This does not, however, suggest any simple determinism, nor any prefigured pattern. We have no necessary or preordained role in the world. Instead our actions carry with them a responsibility of involvement: how we act, the decisions we take individually and collectively, can affect how the world is. Without doubt we can change the world and make it into what it currently is not. But it still remains the world, and we are still part of it. The world is changed and we are changed with it. And with change we take a risk in our lack of understanding. We throw things out of balance.

We can see the world either as a process of change or as a point of acceptance: it can be transgression or accommodation, movement or stasis, harmony or displacement. To create change is to displace, to move ourselves away from where we currently are. It is where we reject the idea of keeping ourselves in place and seek to keep moving. We forget we dwell and seek instead to transgress. We see a virtue in movement and in change and we repudiate the static point. Yet when we keep moving, when we stay in transit, we can never be sure of where we are.

But to dwell is to recognize that we are points of being rather than processes of movement. We are fixed points of the world existing within a web of relations. We are rooted and connected through well-worn ruts of meaning. And we seek to maintain these and persist with them and we do so precisely because they keep us fixed. We do not wish to be pulled away from our place, to be uprooted or to be taken out of those ruts we know so well. If we are uprooted then we become displaced and become disoriented and our connections with others become strained. So we do not seek to break new ground, but instead we relish the anchor, the foundation, the solidity of the known; we know our place and the meanings that this exerts on us are palpable and help to ground us.

The world has its limits and once they are reached the world responds inexorably. The response will be unyielding and beyond our capabilities to control or understand.

This notion of being in place is threatened by modernity and the chase for progress. As we have seen, progress insists that we set ourselves apart from the world. We seek to improve our condition and we refuse to accept what have now as anything other than transient and contingent. Nothing is therefore beyond transgression. We believe in our own perfectibility and so cannot accept the boundaries of our current life. We always want better and believe that its achievement is possible. The desire – the need – for transgression inherent in modernity prevents stability. There is no one place, but a series of temporary holdouts from where we plan our next move. What we lose in this desire for transgression is our connection with the world. We forget the closeness, the openness we have to the world and which it has for us. Our loss is one of balance, the ability to remain level with what is around us.

We should see transgression as the very opposite of stability. Modernity relishes flux and this serves to separate us from the world. We can agree here with René Guénon,4 who argues that modernity has severed our traditional connection with the world. Hence instead of progress and evolution – both peculiar to Western modernity – he sees our predicament as one of inversion, of a decline from a once enlightened golden age. The idea of progress is, for Guénon, a Western aberration: the idea that we can improve, that we are capable of moving towards a better society planned and made by ourselves, is an absurdity. We are by no means capable of perfectibility and our attempts to achieve it are both naïve and hubristic.

Progress and modernity depend on the assumption that we can control the world, and that it is there for us. It is where we assert a distinction between the world and humanity, and that the world is a resource for us to exploit and use as we see fit. But this is disharmonious and destructive: it means we cannot maintain the world as it is, or as it wishes itself to be. Instead we try to make the world in our own image. We see it as ours and as a distinct object separate from us. We feel we know it, that we own it and so can use it as a resource. To be striving for change is therefore to see ourselves outside or beyond the world. We tear ourselves from the world. We uproot ourselves and breach our connection with the world in the belief that we can remake ourselves and the world as we please and relocate ourselves to a time and place of our own choosing. In doing so we become footloose and forgetful, and lose what makes us what we are. We empty ourselves out; we become hollow shells. We become separated, displaced and anonymous to the world. We become subjects capable of transformation within an imagining of transgression. And in our imagining, in our dreams of a perfect world, we become forgetful of dwelling. In our forgetfulness we seek to mould the world in the image of our dreams of perfection. And it appears that there is little that can stop us. In the moment that is now, the time we have before us, we come to see that we can remake the world. We believe that we have the power to transform what is around us.

But this leads only to destruction. We cannot sustain what we make and remake and this is because we are not capable of understanding our actions. So what we create is disharmony. We cannot remould the world and leave it harmonious. We can only remould the world on the presumption that we are distinct from it, that we are separated from it; that we are above and beyond the world and that it is ours to control and to make and remake according to our own will.

But we are not distinct from the world: we are mere parts of it. So when we tinker with the world we tinker with ourselves. We think we are in control of what we are doing and that we will stay in control. But, in reality, we cannot be trusted and we are not in any way acting responsibly. We have power but lack authority. We cannot justify what we do in any way that goes beyond ourselves, and this is because we do not properly know either the world or ourselves. The only justification we can find is that we have, at this moment, the power to hand; that, in this moment, we see ourselves as capable of acting. But what we seek to alter is not ours to change. Others have bequeathed to us what we now have, and we are beholden to those who will follow us to hold what we have in trust for them. But also we cannot alter the world without altering ourselves. And as we are a mere part of the world, and not beyond the world, we cannot properly control that change. If we alter what we are dependent upon then we change ourselves, and we will do so in a manner that we cannot properly predict.

What allows us to maintain our hubris is the fact that, being part of the world, we are well supported. We can live well because of the fecundity, diversity and resilience of what is around us. But this is not infinite and we cannot ignore our connections indefinitely. We cannot act indefinitely without the world responding. And the world will respond because of its implacability. It cannot respect our separateness. The world does not know us as things distinct from itself. And so it is impartial in its responsiveness. The world’s response to our actions depends on its nature as world and not on the power we lay claim to hold, no matter how great that power might appear to be to us. The world has its limits and once they are reached the world responds inexorably. This means the response will be unyielding and beyond our capabilities to control or understand. We need the world to sustain us and once we separate ourselves from it we lose the connection that absorbs us. Standing out alone makes us vulnerable to the world in its implacability.

We can start to remedy this when we remember how to dwell as part of the world. We then recall that we are located beings. We realize we are not beyond the world able to look at it in its totality. We cannot transcend it. Or rather, we accept that we cannot do this without losing our hold on the world, without losing our connection to it as world-giving, and without the loss of much of ourselves as part of the world. What we must do, therefore, is to regain the sense of ourselves as being within the world. We must re-accommodate ourselves as part of the world and accept our part in its wholeness. We must reject transgression and the desire for separation from the world. If our attempts at distinction and control are destructive – of the world and ourselves – then we must accept our limits. However, in doing so, we can recognize that our limits are the world itself, and so it is our very inhabitation that provides us with these limits.

Footnotes

1 Descartes, R. (1988): Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings (London: Penguin Books).

2 For a fuller discussion of this concept see King, P (2004): Private Dwelling (London: Routlege) and King, P (2008): In Dwelling (Aldershot: Ashgate).

3 Heidegger, M. (1993): Basic Writings (London: Routledge).

4 Guénon, R. (2001): The Reign of Quantity and the Sign of the Times (Hillsdale, New York: Sophia Perennis).

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/05/of-the-world/feed/ 2
The Left, the Right, and Social Revolt – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2018/10/04/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/04/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-2/#view_comments Thu, 04 Oct 2018 13:27:57 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4811 Organic Society

Rome had its ‘corporations’, by which is meant guilds or syndicates of craftsmen, not to be confused with the present wider usage of the term to describe a business enterprise. (Hence when the Left refers to ‘corporatism’ as the capitalist form of political domination, it is another corruption and befuddling of terminology). Each craft guild had its patron god. In the West, culminating in the Gothic epoch, the guilds of craftsmen and burghers had their patron saints. Religiosity infused the guilds as it did the rest of society. We have been told since the Renaissance epoch, when the name ‘Gothic’ was coined as a pejorative for the highest epoch of the West – that this was an era of superstition, ignorance and repression, from which have been ‘progressively’ liberated by the Reformation, the Renaissance, Cromwell’s parliamentarianism, 1776, Jacobinism, ‘The Declaration on the Rights of Man and the Citizen’, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, ‘The Fourteen Points’, ‘The Atlantic Charter’, the ‘United Nations Declaration on Human Rights’, and other such excrescences, each of which has been a ‘progressive’ step away from the traditional nexus that holds an organic society together, bringing us closer to the creation of the global Homo economicus.

What the 1789 Revolution proceeded to do was abolish the guilds as an encumbrance to ‘liberty’ – the liberty of trade, the freedom of the free market; the rise of the bourgeoisie, and eventually the oligarchy. How ‘the people’ gained from this ‘democracy’ is explained by its supposedly being a stepping stone towards greater and better things (either towards communism, or towards liberal-democratic-capitalism, since both sides of the coin laud 1789 as the harbinger of their respective utopias). This ‘liberty’ destroyed the ‘fraternity’ that had been provided by the guild in practical, spiritual and cultural ways. What is now called a ‘job’, that generally pointless, time-wasting drudgery on the economic treadmill, was once a ‘calling’, and one that was divinely ordained, no less – the Western Gothic equivalent to Hindu dharma. Work was craft. The classes were not static, as they are so often accused of being in that epoch, but one could work through by one’s excellence and diligence, from apprentice to journeyman to master. The journeyman could travel throughout Europe and be welcomed as a brother in the guilds of his craft; meaning that Europe, or the Western High Culture, was considered a transcendent unity.

Free Trade capitalism is no more a legacy of the Right, at any stage of history, than Trotskyism.

Society functioned as an organism; that is, as an ‘organic’ or ‘corporative state’. Original ‘corporatism’ meant what its etymology implies: a body (corpus). Individuals are analogous to cells, the cells compose the organs such as self-governing guilds, self-governing towns, and ‘estates’; and these organs are co-ordinated by the brain: the monarch and his councils. Something of this outlook is examined in my previous article for Arktos Journal on Dante who, like his contemporaries in general, expounded on the organic social order as the application of Christianity; what was maintained as ‘Catholic social doctrine’ right up until the contamination of the Church with banal liberal ‘progressive’ social doctrines in our own time. Under an organic social order each unit (cell, organ) functioned as an indispensable part of a totality (social organism).

If we accept this analogy, we might define anything that disrupts the functioning of this social organism at any level as a social pathology. The class struggle of the Left attacks the social organism on the level of the organs (classes); the individualism of Liberalism attacks the social organism at the cellular level. Both are social cancers. Free Trade capitalism (Classical Liberalism) is no more a legacy of the Right, at any stage of history, than Trotskyism.

Evola unequivocally identified ‘corporatism’ and the organic state as the traditional forms of social organization. He devotes entire chapters to these subjects in Men Among the Ruins: Chapter 4: ‘The Organic State – Totalitarianism’; Chapter 12: ‘Economy and Politics – Corporations – Unity of Work’. Why there should be such puzzlement among the Right as to the genuine course of socio-economic doctrine is therefore itself a puzzle.

The fundamental spirit of corporativism was that of a community of work and productive solidarity, based on the principles of competence, qualification, and natural hierarchy, with the overall system characterised by a style of active impersonality, selflessness, and dignity. This was very visible in the medieval artisan corporations, guilds, and craft fraternities. … The problems of capital and the ownership of the means of production were almost never an issue, due to the natural convergence of the various elements of the productive process in view of the realisation of the common goal.1

Guilds

In 1943 Father Denis Fahey, when he was a very influential theologian, translated Professor G. Kurth’s (1847-1916) Workingmen’s Guilds of the Middle Ages. Fahey was one of the last significant exponents of traditional social doctrine in the Church, and will be recalled by some readers for his authorship of what became an Old Right classic, The Rulers of Russia. Kurth, a Belgian scholar of international repute for his works on Medieval life, wrote in the introduction that every century in Christendom other than his own had benefited from the Catholic institution of the guilds. ‘These magnificent associations were the glory and the strength of the workers of humble means, and flourished wonderfully throughout the Middle Ages’:

Every century has benefited by them, with the single exception of our own. The nineteenth century alone has seen workingmen isolated from one another, with no bond between them, reduced to the condition of grains of dust blown about by the wind, and finally falling into an undeserved state of misery and misfortune. What was the reason of this? Because the French Revolution in its furious hatred of religion wanted to destroy everything that religion had created, and the guilds were the first victims of that lust of destruction. All workingmen ought to know and detest the Chapelier Law of June 14–27, 1791, of which the first article runs as follows: ‘As one of the fundamental principles of the French Constitution is the annihilation of every kind of guild for citizens of the same status or profession, it is forbidden to re-establish them, under any pretext or in any form whatsoever.’2

What the proletariat (itself a new class of the uprooted and alienated former burghers, craftsmen and peasants, pushed into slums to work as factory fodder) got instead was class struggle and trades unionism. As Spengler stated, this Leftism was an attempt to seize capital from the new money class, to become the next owners of capital, according to Marx’s historical dialectic; not to transcend capital, which would have required a restoration of faith, village, guild and craft. Any such restoration Marx regarded with unrestrained outrage. He condemned such ‘reactionism’, in The Communist Manifesto, as a movement that had arisen as an alliance among clergymen, noblemen, and what remained of craftsmen who looked to a revival of the guilds. It was ‘reactionism’ because it threw a spanner in Marx’s dialectical ‘wheel of history.’

The French Revolution had destroyed the social foundations of craft industry and agriculture in the name of ‘the people’. Indeed, the Jacobin answer to the peasant revolt in the Vendée region was one of annihilation. Trade unionism the following century was a poor substitute, attempting to catch scraps from the table of commerce, in conflict with the class that Jacobinism and other revolts and reformations before and since, animated from the ruins of the traditional order: the bourgeoisie. Behind the class conflict stood undetected the plutocrats and oligarchs, who had more than any other been restrained by the Church with its teachings against usury. Here again, the Reformation has much for which to answer in the name of ‘freedom’: the Protestant states tended to ‘liberate’ the usurer. Protestant theology on commerce and banking undermined Catholic teaching not only against usury, but against the ‘just price’, and the labourer being ‘worthy of his hire’. Protestant clergy defended usury against the Church’s traditional teaching that ‘money should not beget money’. This was an axiom of many traditional societies across time and place.3

It was the consequences of capitalism and industrialism that prompted Pope Leo XIII to issue his encyclical Rerum novarum in 1891, and Pope Pius XI his Condition of Workers, in 1931. They urged a restoration of guilds, and brotherly regard between both the owners of capital and those who laboured without any such means. They provided the political basis for Salazar’s Portugal, Dollfuss’ Austria4 and corporatist movements and states across the world. While Fascism and other forms of ‘national syndicalism’ (as Flangism in Spain was termed) were among the most militant forms, in replying to the violence of Communism and the entrenched repression of capitalist states, these had however been predated by the Christian Democratic movement during the 19th century, of which the above-mentioned Professor Kurth was a leading ideologue, while in Britain ‘guild socialism’ arose and formed an early alliance with the Social Credit economic doctrine; itself a response to usury. Although it is now largely forgotten, during the 1930s the world ideological conflict did not just involve capitalism and socialism, but also corporatism, with corporatist movements and states arising from Hungary to Italy and Greece, from Australia to Brazil. There is nothing however about corporatism and the organic state that is discernible in present-day Christian Democracy, with the CDU in Germany for example advocating the free market, while its Weimer-era precursor, the Centre Party, advocated ‘corporatist-solidarist ideas’.5

Kurth commented on the materialist epoch, inaugurated by the Jacobin outlawing of the guilds that the Church tried to address:

It may be truthfully said that that law constituted the most abominable crime ever committed against the interests of the workingman during the nineteen hundred years of Christianity. Nearly all the misfortunes of the modern worker have arisen from the fact that, when large-scale industry took its rise, he found himself deprived of the numberless resources with which guild organization would have furnished him, to prevent economic decay.6

Kurth, writing of the guilds with the hope that they would be restored in the modern era, stated:

Most of the guilds organized a scheme of mutual assistance among their members and came actively and charitably to the aid of those who had fallen into misfortune. Oftentimes they gave a dowry to the daughters of the poorer colleagues or defrayed the expenses of the education of their orphans. Thanks to a small subscription, sick members were, during the time they were incapacitated for work, in receipt of an income that preserved them from destitution. Several guilds even found the means of assuaging the more cruel kinds of suffering outside their own ranks, and bestowed ample alms on leper-houses and hospitals.7

This mutual assistance seems very much superior to the degradation of the uprooted, city-dwelling proletariat of subsequent centuries, and perhaps one could venture to include the system of economics that prevails today. William Cobbett in his History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland recorded how much better off the workers and peasantry had been in England prior to the Reformation, in terms of diet, working hours and holidays. Today’s workforce works very much longer than their counterparts of pre-Reformation times.8

Only the Right has ever represented a resistance to money-interests, and those on the Left who have realized this have come to the Right to restore pre-capitalist organic social bonds.

Moreover, the guilds were self-governing. They formulated their own charters, provided their own welfare funds; they were prospering corporate entities that compared favourably to those of private or family wealth. The elders of the guilds were elected by the whole membership, usually for one term only. General voting to the local councils was exercised through guild membership; therefore it is nonsense to think that commoners were devoid of political voice. They were better enfranchized than is the case today with our nebulous democratic electorates and parliaments. Politics, like economics, was exercised at local level. It was the revolutions of ‘the people’, Jacobinism, English parliamentarianism and the Reformation, which centralized political and economic powers. Master guildsmen underwent examinations comparable to those of today’s universities or polytechnics. A master printer was examined on his knowledge of Greek and Latin. A master baker had to prepare an impressive meal to be judged by a panel of master guildsmen. The guild diplomas were as honoured as those of the humanities and sciences from the universities.

Kurth states of the situation pertaining since the French Revolution:

Since the French Revolution, owing to the decay of the sense of solidarity in the Mystical Body [of Christ] and the suppression of the guilds, men have come to think of life as a battlefield where the weak are destined to become the victims of the strong. They call this the struggle of existence. These sinister notions have nowhere wrought such havoc as in the realm of industry. Competition has there become the sole rule and every man tries to produce at the cheapest in order to sell at the cheapest: for thus all his rivals are crushed. Everybody now realizes that to achieve this happy result either the workers’ wages must be lowered or the public must be cheated in regard to the quality of the goods. In the Middle Ages people thought differently. They believed men were made for mutual assistance not for mutual cannibalism. Their first concern was that the worker might be able to live honourably on the product of his labour, and that the public might be loyally served for their money. To this end every necessary means was adopted to prevent that unbridled competition through which some become unduly rich by exploiting their fellowmen, and reducing multitudes of them to misery.9

Today competition is held to be sacrosanct. This Social Darwinism, which politically is Whig Liberalism, can readily be seen to be the same today as when it was being described by Kurth, but now this doctrine is called ‘Right-wing’. In place of what the Church called the ‘Mystical Body of Christ’ in the world, we have the mystique of ‘market forces’, which we are assured exist and in which we must have faith despite this mystical force not much being in evidence.

Free Trade Subversive

Marx correctly called Free Trade revolutionary and subversive, and stated on that basis that he backed Free Trade.10 Evola and Spengler, as we have seen, concurred, from another perspective.

Other socialists towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, recognized the inadequacy of the Left in regard to capitalism. Sorelian Syndicalists found common ground with the Catholic-royalists of Action Francaise in detesting the legacy of the 1789 Revolution, and both saw in corporatism the means of establishing the organic society. Henri De Man, the leader of the Belgian Labour party, and Marcel Déat, a leader of French socialism, were among the leaders of the Left who joined with the Right in a synthesis that aimed to transcend capitalism in all respects.11

The Right never was a manifestation of capitalism. In France the Left, led by alienated bourgeois intelligentsia and funded by oligarchs, agitated mobs to destroyed the remaining vestiges of the organic social order, and inaugurated Free Trade as a constitutional principle. Only the Right has ever represented a resistance to money-interests, and those on the Left who have realized this have come to the Right to restore pre-capitalist organic social bonds. When journalists, academics, and other mental defectives describe Liberal parties as ‘right-wing’ and even ‘extreme Right’, and governments enacting economic privatization as being ‘Right-wing’ and ‘conservative’, this is pure bunk, subverting, distorting and retarding the true Right – the only actual revolt against materialism and decay.

Footnotes

1Evola, Men Among the Ruins (op. cit.), p. 225.

2G. Kurth Workingmen’s Guilds of the Middle Ages (1943 translation)

3K. R. Bolton, Opposing the Money Lenders (London: Black House Publishing, 2016), pp. 3–4.

5Samule Gregg, Becoming Europe (New York: Encounter Books, 2013), p. 83.

6G. Kurth, op. cit.

7Ibid., Ch. II: Mutual Assistance.

8William Cobbett, op. cit.

9G. Kurth, op. cit.

10Karl Marx, Elend der Philosophie, Appendix, (1847).

11Zeev Sternhell, Neither Left Nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France (Princeton University Press, 1986). Sternhell, an Israeli scholar, provides an objective, detailed account of the crisis in Marxism in France and Belgium that saw a convergence of Socialist revisionists and Rightists. Revolutionary syndicalists and traditional corporatists were among those who found common ground in opposing liberalism and capitalism.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/04/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-2/feed/ 2
The Left, the Right, and Social Revolt – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2018/10/03/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-1/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/03/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-1/#comments_reply Wed, 03 Oct 2018 16:52:06 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4798 The philosopher-historian par excellence of Western Civilization, Oswald Spengler, noted that there is no proletarian, nor even a communist, movement that does not serve the interests of ‘money’ and ‘in the direction indicated by money’. He pointed out that this is so because ‘socialism’ of the class-struggle variety arises from the same Zeitgeist as capitalism.1 Julius Evola said much the same, and even more stridently: ‘Nothing is more evident than that modern capitalism is just as subversive as Marxism. The materialistic view of life on which both systems are based is identical; both of their ideals are qualitatively identical.’2 Marx’s correspondence with Engels and others shows how thoroughly bourgeois Marx yearned to be. The distraction of the festering boils on his groin3 and his will to destruction prevented him from attaining the good things in life – the typically bourgeois things – for himself and his wife and daughters, other than what he could bludge from Engels, or from his father or other relatives. Marx’s doctrine was a projection of himself onto society as a failed bourgeois, his hatred of ownership a reflection of his detestation of small tradesmen who expected to be paid for their goods and services. His doctrine is a mirror reflection of capitalism, and the failure of an educated man with expensive tastes to rise beyond Soho squalor.4

Socialism does not aim to transcend capitalism. Its aim is to appropriate capitalism for another class.

Socialism does not aim to transcend capitalism. Its aim is to appropriate capitalism for another class. Hence, the proletariat becomes the owner, in theory, of capital, but capital retains its power; it is not overthrown.5

From the French Revolution to Marxism there is an unbroken lineage via Blanqui, Blanc, Babeuf and others. The Masonic lodges played a role in maintaining this lineage from the Illuminati and Jacobin clubs to the International Working Men’s Association. Hatred of Western Civilization, which is to say Christendom as exemplified by the Catholic Church, is a predominate theme for this line of revolutionists. It would not be surprising if this revolutionary ferment that aimed to destroy Western (Catholic) Civilization and hatched secret societies such as Freemasonry and Illuminism had its origins in the Reformation. Is it no more than coincidence that the personal crest of Martin Luther was the Rose-Cross, which became the name of a secret society, the Fraternity of the Rosy-Cross, Rosicrucians, from whence Masonry claims a lineage? What is known of the society is that it issued various manifestos calling for a new order to replace Catholicism. Masonry also claims lineage from the Knights Templar. Regardless of whether charges of heresy against the Templars were justified, Templar and Rosicrucian influences on secret societies would have provided an impetus for the anti-Catholic sentiment that found radical expression with the Illuminati, Grand Orient Masonry, Jacobinism and the rise of Leftism culminating in Marxism. Even if it is not a conspiratorial lineage, it is a world-view capable of proceeding with a life of its own.6

It is notable is that these revolts in the name of ‘the people’ have tended to consolidate the position not of the amorphous mass, but of oligarchy. This is done in the name of ‘democracy’ because traditional regimes based on a symbiosis or a synthesis between faith and monarch get in the way of the Free Market.

Right and Left

We might trace the Western malady back to the Reformation of Henry VIII. In the name of ‘freedom from popery’, the English Reformation led to the destruction of the Catholic social order that had ensured the social well-being of the common folk; it dispossessed the Church of property for the benefit of an emerging oligarchy, and perhaps more than any other upheaval set England on the path of decay – and, considering England’s role in hatching subsequent theories, set the West itself on the path of decay.7

Their democracy is really freedom for oligarchs to expand their power and wealth without the encumbrances of a traditional social order.

The Right and the Left assumed definitive form during the English Revolution: Cavaliers versus Roundheads, Puritans, Levellers and sundry other factions. Again, in the name of ‘the people’ we see a victory of the oligarchy. The Kingdom had been brought to near-ruin by the expenditures of King James and Queen Elizabeth. Parliament refused to allow King Charles I to levy taxes. He enraged the money merchants by grabbing their gold reserves stored at the Royal Mint and he confiscated the pepper and spice inventory of the East India Company, whose monopoly was challenged when he approved the rival Courteen Association. With the backing of mercantile interests, Cromwell usurped the authority of the Throne.8

Oligarchy Marches On

Something else called a ‘revolution’, and a ‘Glorious’ one no less, brought William of Orange from the Netherlands, then the centre of the money-merchants. It was from here that Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, leader of the Amsterdam Jewish community, had petitioned Oliver Cromwell in 1655 to allow the Jews re-admittance to England on account of the international commercial relations they could provide (the precursor of ‘globalization’), on the grounds that the ‘world prefers’ the ‘profit motive’ ‘before all other things’.9 This outlook of materialism and profit justified by religion was the basis of Puritanism and its revolts, and hence of the capitalist revolution against tradition,10 in which can be included the American Revolution and the present-day neo-Puritan ‘prosperity gospel’ of the American televangelists, who have assumed a significant political role in the USA and as allies of the Israeli lobby. This revolution, or invasion, in England was yet another revolt against Catholicism, and a coup for the Whig (Liberal) party. William’s extravagant expenditure led to an act of lasting significance, the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694. The world financial centre gravitated from The Netherlands to England, and further undermined the authority of the Crown in favour of Parliament. Another ‘revolution’ in the name of resisting ‘popery’, extended the power of a Whig oligarchy. Party politics became fixed and the nexus between monarch and God, which is to say the foundation of traditional societies, was rent.11

It is a symptom of ideological befuddlement, promoted especially by the abysmal ignorance of journalists and political scientists, that today Whiggery, also called ‘Classical Liberalism’, is confused with the ‘Right’. The historical legacies of Whiggery and the Right are not only different but antithetical, as different as a fight between a Cavalier and a Roundhead.

When Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell, William of Orange, Duc d’Orleans, Jacob Schiff, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Churchill, Mandela, Bush (X 2), Clinton (X 2), Obama, et al. – the immense gaggle of liberal-leftists whoring themselves for George Soros’ money, and the neo-Trotskyists of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), shout ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, and ‘human rights’, like their ideological forefathers shouted ‘down with popery’, and ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’. Their democracy is really freedom for oligarchs to expand their power and wealth without the encumbrances of a traditional social order.12 Hence the jubilation of American banking interests when the March 1917 revolution,13 prepared since 1905 by hack journalist George Kennan, with funding from Jacob Schiff of Kuhn Loeb & Co., brought down Czarism.14

The dozens of long-planned and well-funded ‘spontaneous’ ‘colour revolutions’ throughout Central and Eastern European and North Africa are of the same order, as is the combination of social revolt and NATO bombs that gave ‘freedom’ to globalize and privatize the immense mineral wealth of Kosovo, once the mines had been ‘liberated’ from the Serbian state. When the Allies sent their go-to man, Trotsky, from New York to Russia in 1917, and the Germans sent theirs, Lenin, it was a replay of William of Orange being sent from Holland to England. When the Bolsheviks set up Ruskombank under the direction of Olof Aschberg of Nye Banken, Stockholm, it was a replay of William establishing the Bank of England.

How far back this dialectic goes – social revolt in the name of ‘the people’ for the benefit of oligarchy – is indicated by Spengler’s reference to the revolt of Tiberius Gracchus, serving as a lackey for the Equites, a former military caste that had become an oligarchy.15 When the Duc d’Orleans paid the dregs of Marseilles to act as a revolutionary mob, expecting he would become First Citizen of the Republic, he was acting as a precursor of Jacob Schiff and George Soros. What the mob overthrew in the name of ‘liberty’ and for the benefit of the bourgeoisie and later oligarchs was the final vestige of the traditional – organic – social order of Western Civilization that had been inherited from Rome and fine-tuned by the Church into a uniquely Western ‘Gothic’ form. This was ‘class struggle’, but not precisely in the order and direction assume by Marx. Rather than a lineal ‘progression’ (the ‘dialectics of history’, according to Marx16) of serfdom – capitalism/liberalism – socialism – communism, the dialectic has been of serfdom – liberalism/socialism – capitalism – oligarchy. Spengler and Brooks Adams17 were much better historians in explaining cycles of rise and fall and the role played by money. Conversely, while Francis Fukuyama and other apologists for liberalism have argued that it is capitalism that is the epitome of history, beyond which there is nothing better, Spengler, Evola and other philosopher-historians of the actual Right, contend that capitalism is the final symptom of a civilization in its death-throes, the triumph of money; while Plato in The Republic long previously saw oligarchy and then democracy as the symptoms of decay.

Continue to Part 2.

Footnotes

1Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (London: Allen and Unwin, 1972, Vol. II), p. 402.

2Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins ([1972] Inner Traditions, 2002), p. 166.

3‘Hidradenitis suppurativa’.

4On Marx see: Bolton, The Psychotic Left (London: Black House Publishing, 2013), pp. 70-100.

5Oswald Spengler, op. cit.

6Bolton, The Occult and Subversive Movements (London: Black House Publishing, 2017), passim.

7William Cobbett, The History of the Reformation in England and Ireland, (1824-1827).

8Some background on this is provided in John F. Riddick, The History of British India: A Chronology, (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006), p. 4.

9Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell. This lengthy letter, entitled ‘How Profitable the Nation of the Jews are’, reads like The Protocols of Zion, but its authenticity is not disputed. The letter was published in Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz (eds.), The Jews in the Modern World: A Documentary History (Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 9-12.

10See the famous book by the German sociologist Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905).

11E. Vallance, The Glorious Revolution: 1688 and Britain’s Fight for Liberty, (Little, Brown and Co, 2006).

12K. R. Bolton, Revolution from Above (London: Arktos Media Ltd.), passim.

13John B. Young, National City Bank, ‘Is a people’s revolution’, New York Times, 16 March, 1917.

14New York Times, 18 March 1917; and 24 March 1917, pp. 1-2. On the nexus between revolution in Russia and oligarchic interests see: Bolton, Revolution from Above. For the best scholarly documentation on the history of the Russian Revolution and its oligarchic sponsors see Dr. Richard B. Spence, Wall Street and the Russian Revolution 1905–1925 (Trine Day, 2017). Spence is a senior historian at Idaho State University, who has previously examined the enigma of Trotsky’s travel arrangements between New York and Russia.

15Spengler, Decline, op. cit., 402, 404 n1.

16Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848).

17Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilisation and Decay ([1896] London: Black House Publishing). Anyone who has Spengler’s Decline of The West, should have Adams’ book beside it. (Do not be confused by comments on Amazon by reviewers about another ‘poor quality’ edition; the BHP edition is of fine quality.)

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/03/the-left-the-right-and-social-revolt-part-1/feed/ 0
Agon and Enemy https://arktos.com/2018/10/01/agon-and-enemy/ https://arktos.com/2018/10/01/agon-and-enemy/#comments_reply Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:51:41 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4754 It is a commonplace by now (though one which occasionally receives some degree of just critique) that one of the fundamental practical differences between the right and the left in our day is the more or less monolithic quality of the latter, and the possibly inveterate tendency of the former toward infighting and fragmentation. The most notorious evidence in favour of this proposition is the simple fact that liberals and centre-leftists do not in general renounce or even resist the communists and anarchists among them, but on the contrary often enough seem to be as the streetsweepers to the advancement of their radical contingents; while the ‘conservatives’ of today climb over one another to denounce the least shadow of what is fancifully called ‘right-wing extremism.’ While intellectual liberals generally excuse communist regimes, often blaming their worst deeds on the West and especially America,1 or even talking about the ‘good intentions’ of communists living and dead, as if these latter were proposing a system which did not have a hundred million deaths on its conscience, there is literally not a single mainstream figure alive within the conventional right who would dare utter an even remotely exculpatory remark on the ‘fascist’ regimes of the past century.

The question of solidarity in the right is of fundamental importance for any pragmatic attempt we make today, and the allegations brought against us, if true, demand of us a careful balancing of our accounts, that we might understand the roots of this problem. We propose in the present essay to make a stab in that direction, not certainly by coming to grips with the question, which would require a much deeper analysis than we can here dedicate, but rather by clarifying the true limits of the problem, so as to understand the extent to which these accusations are legitimate, and the extent to which they actually represent a superficial understanding of the political drama of our day. Finally, in that sphere in which they are legitimate, we would like to indicate a few of the reasons which might contribute to this inner conflictuality of the Right, and how we might begin, if not to cure, at least to ameliorate them.

Conflict on the ‘Right’

Any suggestion that the ‘right’ suffers from interior disunity depends on one of the common presuppositions of our time: namely, the so-called left/right political spectrum. It depends specifically on the notion that the ‘right’, just as the ‘left’, represents a unitary political continuum in itself, ranging on the right from the most moderate and centrist conservative to the extremest and most radical fascist. The necessary consequence of this view is that the centre-rightist and the extreme-rightist must have something in common, some shared agreement in axioms or principles, which permits them to be considered the elements of one half of the entire spectrum.

Conflict between the true Right and conservatism is, so far from being a sign of some inner failing of the true Right, actually a signal of its health, vitality, and proud self-consciousness:

But the left/right political spectrum is beset by insurmountable difficulties. This is not the place to discuss its failings in detail;2 we limit ourselves here to noting one consideration which speaks decisively against it: any idea of a unitary and universal political spectrum – be it on a line or a horseshoe, a circle, a spiral or a Möbius strip, in a single-dimension or a field of two dimensions or even a sphere of three – fails the simple test of continuity. Given a ‘political spectrum’ of the right, for instance, it should be possible to measure each step one might take, beginning from a conservative position and arriving at a fascist one, just as it is in fact possible to do with the political space standing between a centrist liberal and a radical communist; but in point of fact it is impossible to walk that line ‘on the right’. To take but a single but decisive example, one will never arrive at a political view which subsumes the individual in an organic hierarchy (as for instance fascism, which adores war and martiality, does) from a view which insists on the inviolable and essential integrity of the individual (as does the ‘conservatism’ of our contemporary ‘rightists’) without a rupture in one’s basic values, a fundamental shift in one’s worldview. To proceed from centrist conservatism to ‘right-wing’ fascism requires a radical break with one’s prior belief; it requires an ideological leap, a moment of conversion. What is called the ‘extreme right’ does not lie on a continuum with the centre-right at all, but represents a fundamental alternative to it.

We have taken fascism as an example only, because it is commonly regarded (in our view erroneously) as the extremity of ‘right-wing’ thought. The point here, however, does not regard fascism as such: the point is that the spectrum, no matter how it is defined or arranged, fails to cover the full range of political possibilities, but rather treats only of a fragment of them, forcing the others into artificial conformity. The political alternatives which in fact do lie on the left-right spectrum all proceed from a specific and shared set of principles, which are essentially modern in origin and in aim, and which can be traced back to the Enlightenment. Beyond the spectrum there lie any number of potential orders which were tacitly if not explicitly rejected by the founding fathers of modern thought in their attempt to establish a new political philosophy, but which were widely acknowledged as real political alternatives, in some cases eminently desirable ones, by all pre-modern thinkers.

The fact that there are today emerging any number of political visions which do not fall within the parameters lain by modern political philosophy is but the practical side of the crisis of that philosophy, and demonstrates the necessity of stepping beyond it, either by establishing a new political philosophy, or else by reinstating an older or classical political philosophy. Both the one or the other possibility must fundamentally reject the scientistic idea of a ‘political spectrum’, and must opt inside for the analysis of political regimes, both those which exist now and those which are possible but not actual, in an attempt to understand the fundamental alternatives confronting human polities. The true or Deep Right is the self-conscious expression of this attempt.

But then it would be utter folly to expect the conservatives to embrace, protect, or even proclaim a truce with the Deep Right, or vice versa: the Deep Right proposes a social order which is fundamentally incompatible with that proposed by the conservatives. Heated conflict or irreconcilable disagreement between the two is, so far from being a sign of some inner failing of the true Right, actually a signal of its health, vitality, and proud self-consciousness: one of the major points of evidence which is brought to demonstrate the infighting or fragmentary tendency of the Right, is anything but.

Yet this is but one reason to suppose such a tendency within the Right. The other reason does not touch upon the conflict between the ‘conservatives’ and the ‘far right’, but rather has to do with conflicts between persons or groups exclusively within the latter. One recalls, for instance, the strife standing between Yockey and Mosley.3 Similar examples could be dredged up from the annals of the history of the last century; in our own day, the examples are rife and growing, and it is both needless and distracting to list them here.

Some of these difficulties, to be sure, emerge on account of mere deficiencies in character or virtue on the part of specific individuals; but such cannot explain all these disputes, nor their evident frequency. What account can be given then for this behaviour?

Thumos and Soul

We have suggested an abandonment of the bipolar ‘political spectrum’, and have proposed in its place a return to classical regime analysis as the foundation, not only for a deeper investigation into the political changes of our time, but also for the preparation of a new political vision and reality. The classical explication of regime analysis, at once the most original and the greatest, is to be found in Plato’s Republic (see in particular Books VIII–IX),4 which proposes a fivefold division of the possible forms of government – to wit, and in descending order: aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. An essential part of this analysis is its firm refusal to consider the regimes of men as mere political forms, its insistency that these regimes are as much regimes of the soul as regimes of the city. The analysis of regimes therefore brings with it two related and integral questions regarding the present (rather than the past, the future or the eternal): namely, 1.) what is the regime beneath which we live? and 2.) what is the regime which governs our own souls – or, in the highest possibility, by which we govern our souls?

The political question therefore reveals itself, following the movement of the Republic itself, as a gate of entry into the personal or spiritual question. Given that the former is premised on the latter (the regime of any people tends to be or to become that which the people deserves, and all attempts to change the people exclusively through changes in standing law are doomed to hardship if not to ignominious failure), the analysis of regimes proves its worth on a higher plane, of which our impoverished and historically contingent ‘political spectrum’ does not even suspect the existence.

To keep to our theme, we may ask first and foremost: what is the political regime that most individuals on the so-called ‘far right’ most ardently desire? Given the descriptions that Socrates makes of these in his conversation with Glaucon (who himself is revealed over the course of the Republic to be a timocratic soul), it is evident that most of these men desire emphatically the timocratic regime:5

In the honour given to rulers, in the abstinence of the warrior class from agriculture, handicrafts, and trade in general, in the institution of common meals, and in the attention paid to gymnastics and military training in all these respects this State will resemble the [aristocratic regime]….

But in the fear of admitting philosophers to power, because they are no longer to be had simple and earnest, but are made up of mixed elements; and in turning from them to passionate and less complex characters, who are by nature fitted for war rather than peace; and in the value set by them upon military stratagems and contrivances, and in the waging of everlasting wars this State will be for the most part peculiar….

[T]hey have neglected her who is the true Muse, the companion of reason and philosophy, and have honoured gymnastic more than music….

[B]ut one thing, and one thing only, is predominantly seen, the spirit of contention on and ambition [Greek: φιλονικίαι καὶ φιλοτιμίαι; lit. ‘the love of victory and the love of honour’]; and these are due to the prevalence of the passionate or spirited element.

The defining feature of the timocratic regime, as the timocratic soul, is spiritedness: thumos. Thumos is a striving, a martial, an agonistic trait, which presses one toward conflict and contest, the delight in battles of all kinds, be they physical, personal or intellectual. It is related to what we scientistic moderns like, in our reductive and impoverished way, to call ‘testosterone’: it is a predominately masculine virtue. It has been a lynchpin of the re-emergence of the true Right in modernity, beginning already from Nietzsche, who could even be said to have made it the centre of gravity of his entire philosophy (the will to power might be interpreted as the metaphysical reification of thumos). Its evident lack, not to say suppression, in the modern world, both in the political and the social and the artistic realms, has led those who are naturally thumotic to an opposite excess: they place their dishonoured trait at the centre of political and social considerations, and make of it a kind of coping stone for the architecture of their beliefs. This can be seen historically in the emergence of fascism, and today most evidently in the so-called ‘Manosphere’, but it is present to no mean extent as well throughout the entirety of what is dismissively called the ‘populist right’. The visible re-emergence of the thumotic in the Right is indeed one of the most promising signs of our times, and should be duly celebrated.

But to praise a thing is not the same as wishing its apotheosis, and it must also be recognized that the thumotic part of the soul, when it is made the core and king of the same, leads without fail to a number of great difficulties, both for the individual, and for any society which he partakes in or forms.

The conflictual nature of diverse groups or movements in the contemporary Right is in many cases nothing but a sublimation of the duel.

The will to contest naturally brings with it certain concomitant tendencies: namely, the love of loyalty, courage, discipline, victory and honour. Indeed, these last in particular are taken by Socrates to be the summum bonum of the timocratic order, the highest good at which it aims, and by which it judges all things political and personal. In our own day, which has departed so far from honour that it hardly even remembers what the word could possibly mean, there is a tendency to associate the idea of honour with what are considered to be antiquated and to us inexplicably ‘barbaric’ practices like duelling. This association, though it culminates in childish and superficial judgements, is nonetheless not baseless: the decline of duelling and the decline of honour or the love of honour were indeed parallel historical processes, since neither of these things can exist without the other.

In a certain sense, the conflictual nature of diverse groups or movements in the contemporary true Right is in many cases nothing but a sublimation of the duel. It is often said that the differences between various ‘right-wing groups’ are differences of ‘philosophy’, using that term in the lax contemporary sense, meaning mere differences of opinion. But the intellectual side is ever secondary, and the proof for this is the fact, as mentioned at the beginning of this essay, that no fewer nor lesser divergences exist also between various parts of the left, but such china-like fragmentation does not there tend to arise. Relative divergences in opinion in the left are taken by leftist individuals somewhat more in stride (not always, to be sure, but generally) than they are on the Right. The reason for this is that on the Right there is an element which is largely lacking on the left: the love of honour, the love of victory.

The breaks which occur on the Right are very frequently sparked off by personal rather than intellectual disputes. It is easy to pass these off as ‘petty infighting’, and it is doubtless that in some cases this is precisely what they are. Yet for the most part, the very attribution of ‘pettiness’ to these disputes is itself a sign of a certain kind of specifically modern pettiness: when a man of honour feels himself dishonoured, so far is it from being low of him to respond with harshness and wrath, it is even noble of him to do so.6

More yet: The Right, the true Right, is necessarily and inherently agonistic. It revels in contest, competition, striving against a worthy opponent; it praises the love of victory. A man of the Right wishes to excel; he is naturally ambitious, and this ambition colours the better part of his relations. Now in general, his very sense of honour counterbalances the violence and contrariness which agonism might bring; for honour implies as well standards of fidelity, friendship, paying one’s dues, etc. But the same striving easily brings men into rivalries which, while being in general healthy, as they goad each to achieve ever greater things, can easily erupt in the heat of the contest into harsh language, overbearing attitudes, and words and deeds that easily might be interpreted as dishonouring. And from here, it is but a step the further to the kinds of disputes, vituperations, and even ruptures which we see plaguing the Right today.

It would behoove us, perhaps counter Schmitt, to give greater weight to the idea of friend than to that of the enemy.

Dishonouring: to be sure, today, we might use different terminology – we might say that a man has been insulted or offended, for instance, and leave the matter there. In truth, we lack the language to speak of these things adequately, because our higher vocabulary has fallen into desuetude through the wretched impoverishment of the contemporary soul. The question is not how to eradicate this attitude and these values from the Right: it should be clear by now that the Right would not be the Right at all, did it not enshrine these ideas near its very core. The question is rather how these things are to be tempered, by what means they might be limited to their right and healthy sphere, and how we can stop our best virtue from degenerating into the vice which might destroy us.

Friend or Foe?

In what is surely one of his most celebrated political concepts, Carl Schmitt famously located the basis of the political in the friend/enemy dichotomy in his book The Concept of the Political. This could not be more ‘of the Right’ in the sense that we have proposed above; nor, of course, was its centrality unknown to thinkers preceding Schmitt. Socrates in the Republic lays out a strikingly parallel notion when he is speaking of the guardians of the city:7

Why, a dog, whenever he sees a stranger, is angry; when an acquaintance, he welcomes him, although the one has never done him any harm, nor the other any good… [H]e distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing.

But this canine logic comes some time after Socrates had already submitted the friend/enemy distinction to critique. In the central passage of this section, Socrates recounts the following conversation with Polemarchus, whose name in Greek means ‘leader in warfare’:

By friends and enemies do we mean those who are so really, or only in seeming? [I asked.]

Surely, [Polemarchus] said, a man may be expected to love those whom he thinks good, and to hate those whom he thinks evil.

Yes, but do not persons often err about good and evil: many who are not good seem to be so, and conversely?

That is true.

Then to them the good will be enemies and the evil will be their friends ?

True.

And in that case they will be right in doing good to the evil and evil to the good ?

Clearly.

But the good are just and would not do an injustice ?

True.

Then according to your argument it is just to injure those who do no wrong?

Nay, Socrates; the doctrine is immoral.

The friend/enemy distinction, without further modification, is inadequate as the defining feature of the political: if it is to be both just and effective, it relies fundamentally on the ability of a man, not only to discriminate, but to discriminate justly. To mention only a single aspect of this problem, there is the eternal risk of entertaining facile confusions between the antagonist and the enemy. Guillaume Faye has some interesting thoughts on this matter in a geopolitical context:8

It is also worth asking ourselves whether in this context the United States still represents an enemy (as I myself once argued) – which is to say, a power posing a mortal threat – rather than a foe or economic, political and cultural rival.

It is of the essence for the guardians of the city, or for the men of the Right more generally (who are as today’s true, but hidden guardians), to recognize, not the distinction between friend and enemy, but rather between antagonist (rival) and enemy – the difference between on the one hand personal disputes, having to do with divergences in character, practice and habit, or conflicts over ‘territory’, be that territory physical or metaphorical; and on the other hand disputes of principle, which touch, not only the affairs of one or two individuals, but of the whole community.

Such confusions are inevitable when the thumotic element of the soul gains predominance. At the beginning of Plato’s Laws, an idea is introduced which is bound to be congenial to men of honour, warriors and all thumotic souls: namely, that the world is war and nothing but war, peace being a mere illusion.9 However, not the words of the dialogue, but its very development, reveals that this view is incompatible in the first place with a serene and philosophical soul, and in the second place with conversation, dialogue, the joint pursuit of truth, and friendship itself, understood as the true basis of the political order. The tremendous valorization of friendship, which Nietzsche considered to be one of the specific characteristics of the Greeks,10 could indeed be considered a countervailing aspect to their equally tremendous love of honour and victory, and it is one place where we of the Right might certainly look to find some mitigation to an overweening combativeness amongst ourselves. It would behoove us, perhaps counter Schmitt, to put greater emphasis on the idea of friend than of enemy. And friendship, while it excludes the concept of the enemy, does not exclude that of the antagonist or rival.11

Clear recognition of this difference can only come through the habit of self-consciousness, the developed awareness or knowledge of the ground upon which we stand: autognosis must be also our watchword. Only given this is it possible for us to justly distinguish between those men whom we oppose in their character, and those whom we oppose in their principle; only then does the ‘friend/enemy’ dichotomy serve us by closing our ranks, rather than undermining us by splintering them apart.

The attempt to arrive at self-consciousness, if it be carried out in a sincere and devoted manner, demands self-overcoming of us, and indeed an alteration in our inner regime. Thumotic men of honour, on account of their love of strife, tend to put an enormous premium on the virtue of courage, and it is not rare for them to consider it the paramount virtue, the ‘first part of virtue’ rather than ‘the fourth part’, as the Platonic Athenian stranger calls it.12 In the Platonic dialogue on courage, the Laches, the fundamental contradiction in this virtue is clearly identified: courage is evidently greater when coupled with ignorance. A man who knows he will survive and win a battle and fights valiantly is obviously less courageous than one who does not know if he will survive or win, but fights valiantly all the same. Yet courage is considered by all13 a good thing, while ignorance is considered by all a bad thing; how resolve this contradiction?

The answer to this riddle, as is shown by the progress of the Laches itself, is philosophy: courage is the simultaneous recognition of and confrontation of Socratic ignorance; in its highest form, it is the virtue of a man who fearlessly pursues the truth, though he does not and cannot know what that quest might mean for him, or whither it might lead.14 But the courageous pursuit of the truth requires that one be capable of laying aside the love of victory, of subsuming it, at least momentarily, beneath the love of truth: philosophy is the mastery of thumos.15

In the Socratic analysis, the unbridled love of honour, in part on account of its connection to the love of victory, leads imperceptibly but necessarily to the love of money, which brings the emergence of oligarchy out of timocracy, and the oligarchic soul out of the timocratic. ‘Wouldn’t [the timocratic soul] despise money when he’s young but love it more and more as he grows older, because he shares in the money-loving nature and isn’t pure in his attitude to virtue?’16 This is the downward gravity which has swallowed not a few Right-inclining movements in the last century, and has indeed led to the degeneracy of our European nations themselves. As Socrates himself foretold,17 there is and can be only a single cure for such a disease, a single cure which can permit us also to overcome the dangers inherent in our agonistic drive, and to tame our wilder thumos. It is simultaneously the single valid response to the age-old problem, quis custodiet ipsos custodes?: Philosophy, in its highest and most uncompromising sense.

Footnotes

1 Cf. for example the apologia of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman for the Khmer Rouge: ‘Distortions at Fourth Hand’, The Nation, June 6, 1977 http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19770625.htm.

2For a general critique, see my recent essay for Arktos Journal, ‘What is the Deep Right?’ as well as Charles Lyon’s ‘Shifting the Left/Right Paradigm’ and also his more recent ‘Usurocracy Delenda Est’.

3For a full and fair account of this particular dispute, see Kerry Bolton, Yockey: A Fascist Odyssey (Arktos Media Ltd., 2018), pp. 91–104 and 447–449.

4For classical alternatives to or modifications of these scheme, see Aristotle, Politics, esp. Book IV, and the fragments that have come down to us of Cicero, De re publica, Book III, XXXI–XXXV.

5Plato’s Republic, Book VIII, 547d–548c. All excerpts are taken from the translation of the honourable Benjamin Jowett.

6It is not superfluous to note that, precisely on account of the nature of honour, such conflict is hotter when it stands between two men who are considered honourable, rather than between an honourable man and some random fellow of little note. Thus we see that conflicts of this kind are more likely to arise between the foremost figures of the Right, than between a key figure and some lesser one.

7 Plato’s Republic, 376a–b.

8Archeofuturism (Arktos Media Ltd., 2010), p. 77.

9See Laws, the very opening discussion of the entire dialogue, 626a–632d. Cf. Heraclitus, Fragment 53; also Nietzsche, The Gay Science, §92 and Genealogy of Morals, Second Essay, §6.

10‘“[Y]our jealous soul shall love no one, unless it be the friend”—that made the soul of the Greek quiver; thus he walked the path of his greatness.’ Thus Spoke Zarathustra (New York: The Modern Library, 1995), First Part, ‘On the Thousand and One Goals’.

11The recognition of this distinction is essential, not only for the growth and solidarity of the Right, but also for that of the West itself; it applies as much to geopolitics as to politics and metapolitics, as indeed Faye clearly sees: his very discussion of the difference between rival and enemy arises in his analysis of the United States — a regime which is presently dangerous to Europe, but not essentially or necessarily so. Plato in his very consideration of warfare in The Republic, makes parallel reference to the state of the Hellenes, in what must be certainly a lesson also for us:

‘Do you think it right that Hellenes should enslave Hellenic States, or allow others to enslave them, if they can help? Should not their custom be to spare them, considering the danger which there is that the whole race may one day fall under the yoke of the barbarians?’

Book V, 469b–c; consider also the passage that follows until 471c.

12Laws, Book II, 667a.

13At least in noble antiquity. But consider Hobbes, Leviathan, Chapter XXI: ‘When armies fight, there is on one side, or both, a running away; yet when they do it not out of treachery, but fear, they are not esteemed to do it unjustly, but dishonourably. For the same reason, to avoid battle is not injustice, but cowardice.’

14See Laches, considering the entire dialogue, but in particular the passage leading up to and following the Socratic turn at 193e; cf. the very heart of the Meno, 86b–c.

15We mention but another advantage which might accrue to us if we are vigilant here. That rather tendentious accusation which is often brought against the ‘far right’ really has an element of truth: we of the Right really are in danger of finding ourselves today in a kind of ‘echo chamber’, marginalized from any kind of real criticism and surrounded by like-thinking men who but repeat our ideas back at us. This has the inevitable consequence of leading to a certain shallowness or limitedness of perspective on certain questions. We would add to this criticism only that the ‘mainstream’ itself has operated in a similar ‘echo chamber’ now for at least a hundred years, if not since the beginning of modernity. Yet there is a fundamental difference between us and the ‘mainstream’: We have the cure to this illness in us, in our thumotic spirits, our will to confront one another and to challenge one another on the justice or validity of our ideas. But this can only be of aid to us only insofar as we are able to replace the love of victory, the love of mere honour, with the love of truth; otherwise, it is certain to degenerate into the kinds of petty bickering and childish personal attacks that we too often see weakening us and compromising our ranks, which will bring about nothing if not a fragmentation of the echo chamber into so many echo cubicles.

17Book VII, 549b; cf. 409a and 378b-c.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/10/01/agon-and-enemy/feed/ 0
Usurocracy Delenda Est https://arktos.com/2018/09/28/usurocracy-delenda-est/ https://arktos.com/2018/09/28/usurocracy-delenda-est/#view_comments Fri, 28 Sep 2018 13:26:37 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=4739 In the postmodern world, we find ourselves living in the age of Money-Power. With the exception of a few rogue nation-states or sectarian groups, there are no ‘fascist’ or ‘Communist’ Bogeymen lurking in the shadows. The current left vs. right paradigm we see played out in the political circus is nothing more than a dog and pony show. Instead, we are beginning to see the rise of a new paradigm in the West: the people vs. the elites.

Invoking the term ‘the elites’ is typically reserved for the tin-foil hat crowd tuning into Alex Jones – or at least it used to be. Understanding who ‘the elites’ are is extremely important. However, even more important than knowing who they are is understanding their power structure. Even your average partisan hack will call out the meddling of folks like George Soros or the Koch Brothers. Populists like Steve Bannon or Michael Anton will refer to the elites as the ‘Davosie’1 which is getting much closer to understanding the full scale of the problem.

Liberalism breeds useless men. It is thanks to useless men that we find ourselves in a situation where we are dominated by Money-Power.

The problem is nothing other than the very ideological foundation of the West. Liberalism – the triumph of individualism, egalitarianism, human rights, democracy, free markets – has paved the way for the ascendancy of usurers and merchants of the highest order. The Political has been usurped by the Economic. What is ‘The Political’ or what is politics? Politics, or The Political, is activity in relation to power.2 The Political divides the world into friend and enemy,3 whereas The Economic divides the world into consumer and producer. According to the foundational principles of Liberalism, the state is theoretically reduced to a watchman for fear that a state exercising authority may become authoritarian, thus potentially violating individual liberty or human rights. Of course, it is merely a theoretical concept that the watchman state will not exercise power. The watchman state is entirely capable of exercising power, and if ‘the people’ are unwilling to utilize the power of the state, then other actors will. According to Spengler, ‘it must be concluded that democracy and plutocracy are the same thing under the two aspects of wish and actuality, theory and practice, knowing and doing.’4 What we find is that the contemporary Conservative has no understanding of The Political. The Conservative is ideologically shackled by his very own principles, his belief in Liberal ideals such as limited government and the free market. His impotence is derived from his own ideological beliefs. As a political actor, he is entirely useless. Liberalism breeds useless men. It is thanks to useless men that we find ourselves in a situation where we are dominated by Money-Power.

When I speak of Money-Power, I speak of banks, markets, corporations, speculators, international finance, the corporate media etc. These various institutions form the organs of the current capitalist system. In order to change the system, all-out war against these institutions will be required. The capitalism-reformers who wish to rein in the excesses of capitalism are naively wrong because they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the beast they wish to wrangle. To quote Alain de Benoist,

This is a double error, first, because it is precisely the impotence of the politicians to face the problems inherent in deregulated financial markets that has opened the way for the total liberalisation of the financial system. Second, and above all, because to is to ignore the fact that the very nature of capitalism makes it a system alien to every moral consideration. ‘Capital resents every limit as a fetter’, said Karl Marx. The logic of accumulation of capital is a lack of limitation, the rejection of every limit, the rule of the world by the logic of the market and the transformation of all values into goods, the Ge-stell of which Heidegger spoke.5

It is here we see that Money-Power run amok gives birth to the abstract horror of Globalism. We see its tentacles reach all across the globe, de-territorializing it, deracinating it, exploiting it, atomizing it. Only once it has paved over the planet in concrete and turned it into a giant strip mall will the process of total commoditization6 be complete. Concepts such as identity impose a limitation upon the global-capitalist system. Hence, the beast must either commoditize identity or destroy it.

Homo economicus displays sociopathic behaviors which allow him to thrive in this atomized, managerial system.

The economic system has mechanisms in place for breaking down barriers in order to continue its expansion. These various mechanisms affect us culturally, socially and psychologically. Money-Power has created a new man, Homo economicus, to serve as its subjects in the new world order. Per Samuel Francis, ‘the managerial state also is fused with and relies on the mass organizations of culture and communication for the legitimization of its social engineering.’7 Through currency manipulation, therapeutic managerialism, mass media, and corporate advertising, Homo economicus is born. According to Ron Paul,

The Fed encourages irresponsible accumulation of personal debt. People live beyond their means with the help of an expansionistic monetary policy. They trade in their futures for the present. They neglect the need to save in order to consume more and more. In this sense, the Fed is the ultimate promoter of consumerism and living for the present. This amounts to a terrible cultural distortion in which short-term thinking wins out over long-term planning.8

By means of currency manipulation alone, they are able to fundamentally alter the actions of society on an individual level. Through this cultural distortion, we see that the elites have altered the psychology of the individual to abandon long-term planning in favor of ‘living in the now’. An individual who lives ‘in the now’ is less likely to invest the time and resources in family and children. He is more concerned with the immediate gratification that has been internalized by market pressures, which are influenced in turn by monetary policy. These pscyhological internalizations are reinforced by a managerial therapeutic state which uses advertising, education, and propaganda to socially engineer the individual to become an ideal citizen in this new economic order. We see this on a daily basis throughout the West, for example with various media outlets telling us the benefits of not having children. People who are more concerned with ‘living in the now’ certainly do not care for the future of their progeny, and we can infer that they are more likely to disregard their history as well. This is compounded by Liberal individualism and capitalist alienation of the worker. We see the rise of an individual who has become totally atomized. He lacks any sense of belonging to a real community because he has been ‘emancipated’ from ‘archaic’ and ‘taboo’ communities and institutions, only to finally realize that he cannot find peace along this road.

This begins to describe what Christopher Lasch talked about in his book, The Culture of Narcissism, where he describes the development of a societal pathological narcissism that began to appear beginning back in the late 19th century, and which has only intensified as we have seen the progress of capitalism. Here, Lasch describes the inherent narcissism present in Homo economicus:

In the last twenty-five years, the borderline patient, who confronts the psychiatrist not with well-defined symptoms but with a diffuse dissatisfactions, has become increasingly common. He does not suffer from debilitating fixations or phobias or from the conversion of repressed sexual energy into nervous ailments; instead he complains ‘of vague, diffuse dissatisfactions with life’ and feels his ‘amorphous existence to be futile and purposeless’. He describes ‘subtly experienced yet pervasive feelings of emptiness and depression’, ‘violent oscillations of self-esteem’, and ‘a general inability to get along’.9

Lasch goes on to further describe how the narcissist becomes an ideal phenotype for working in business corporations, political organizations and government bureaucracies. Lasch adds, ‘for all his inner suffering, the narcissist has many traits that make for success in bureaucratic institutions, which put a premium on the manipulation of interpersonal relations, discourage the formation of deep personal attachments, and at the same time provide the narcissist with the approval he needs in order to validate his self-esteem.’10 Homo economicus displays sociopathic behaviors which allow him to thrive in this atomized, managerial system. The capitalist managerial state benefits from social engineering individuals with a narcissistic personality. As mentioned previously, their sociopathic tendency to view human relationships in a purely transactional sense makes them ideal cogs in a managerial bureaucracy.

Capitalism knows no other pluralism than the multitude of products, which is only the appearance of diversity.

Not only that, but the narcissist makes an ideal consumer as well. Given his vague dissatisfaction with life in general combined with his short-sighted behaviour, he is more likely to consume goods and services, often times recklessly. The consumption of goods provides them with a brief period of happiness in their otherwise empty-feeling lives. As one could imagine, this pathological narcissism, which is present throughout society, impacts other aspects of the human experience, such as relations between the sexes. One need only visit the average ‘manosphere’ website or read F. Roger Devlin’s Sexual Utopia in Power to get a larger picture of the current relations that exist between men and women in the postmodern world.

As one can see from this brief examination into the psychology of the average individual, the tentacles of Money-Power reach well beyond the economic realm and have a firm grasp on psychology, culture, sociology, etc. Through social engineering mechanisms we see the constant push towards cultural homogenization and the promotion of consumerism, with the end goal of creating the abstract ideal of ‘man’ as a consumer. Capitalism knows no other pluralism than the multitude of products, which is only the appearance of diversity. It aspires to a vast, homogeneous market where men can compete for the same possessions.11

What is to be done? Reformism is simply not an option given the degree of corruption that exists within society. Today it is capitalism and the market society on the economic level, liberalism on the political level, individualism on the philosophical level, the managerial-bourgeoisie on the social, and the United States on the geopolitical level12 – these are the enemies. A total comprehensive approach will be necessary in order to combat each of these on their planes of existence. The old saying is that politics makes for strange bedfellows and the same holds true here as unconventional alliances will have to be formed to oppose these enemies. In the mean time, as conflict against the system escalates, we may witness the transformation of this soft totalitarian regime into a hard totalitarian regime; this will become more and more necessary for it if it is to retain its power. We are already beginning to see this with tactics such as deplatforming, censorship, lawfare, and intimidation from the ruling class. If – or better yet, when – such a transformation takes place, you can expect many more people to be ‘awaken’ from their stupor, and for conflict to escalate even further.

The real question is: what will be left of the West when this final conflict is resolved? Only time will tell.

References

1Davosie was a term coined by Michael Anton in his essay The Flight 93 Election. It is a reference to the gathering of corporate, financial and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

2Yockey, Francis Parker. Imperium (Wermod & Wermod), p. 167.

3Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political (University of Chicago Press), p. 26.

4Spengler, Oswald. The Decline of The West, Volume II. (Borzoi Books), p. 401.

5de Benoist, Alain. On the Brink of the Abyss (Arktos Media), p. 18.

6Commoditization is the process by which all aspects of human existence have been diluted down to their economic value and nothing more.

7Francis, Samuel. Leviathan & Its Enemies (Washington Summit Publishers), p. 109.

8Paul, Ron. End the Fed (Grand Central Publishing). p. 151.

9Lasch, Christopher. The Culture of Narcissism (W. W. Norton & Company), p. 37.

10Ibid. p. 43–44.

11de Benoist, Alain. On the Brink of the Abyss (Arktos Media), p. 161.

12Ibid. p. 184.

]]>
https://arktos.com/2018/09/28/usurocracy-delenda-est/feed/ 1