Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders may be the greatest gifts — or the only gifts — the Left has given to the Right.
Our media myth tells us that Leftists are smart (in lieu of wise), economically savvy and future-oriented. Then we get one in office, and another in the pipeline, and they pull aside the curtain and reveal their actual agenda.
Obama can be summarized in a simple phrase: “Get back at white America.” His is the resentment presidency, tempered by his Clinton-like tendency to read the polls and do whatever he can get away with, as long as he is acting like a football coach and moving the ball further toward the other team’s goal.
Sanders on the other hand seems to have stumbled straight out of 1917. What makes him frightening is the adoring crowds of clueless people who, upon finding themselves suffering through a Leftist society, have decided that the solution is more Leftism because it promises free money and bennies. Sanders has done more to discredit democracy than anyone else except Angela Merkel.
All of the resulting social, political and economic chaos shows us the West circling the drain. Europe, overrun by violent jihadi immigrants, shrugs her shoulders and re-adjusts the tablecloth; America, staggering under a surge of invading Mexicans, preens and pronounces itself The Most Accommodating Girl of All. Obama plays clever foreign policy games in Syria and gets one-upped by the quasi-dictator of Russia, while the populations and businesses of the West — burdened by regulation and taxes — get repeated trounced by rising forces in Asia.
And from our politicians? Silence: they are not leaders; they are actors. Their goal is to appear to be doing something while doing nothing about problems which require actual risk to solve. They sell a product, and it is peace of mind. It is an illusion of course, but all good products are. If heroin really made life better, would anyone use it more than once?
On and on, South of Heaven… the upshot of all of this chaos is that it is driving together all of those who are not fully liberal. Liberalism has, at the hour of its triumph and greatest vulnerability, gone ballistic with SJWs on one end and full-on 1960s radicals pushing their ancient 1789-1917 agenda on the other. Its agenda has changed from punishing those who wrong it to eliminating any who do not agree. This has bunched together a diverse coalition of libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists and those who simply fear the big government strong ideology type of society that this path will unavoidably create.
These groups are starting to recognize that egalitarianism is the idea that consumes all other ideas. Once you declare the everyone must be equal, everything in your society becomes “democratized.” There is no longer a standard of behavior. Quality standards fall as well, with flashy chrome replacing smoothly working machines. What was originally told to us — that we should accept others, but could keep living as we had been — has been revealed as a lie. The point of egalitarianism is to use equality to force us to all be identical, at least in the important ways.
All of us are seeing the same things: a cadre of elites who lie for their own benefit, a complicit media, years of terrible policy no one can seemingly remove, and a vast herd of voters who cast their lot with greed or panic but never reasoned activity. This is how democracy was designed: to retard power so that life could be normal, but in the process, it creates a replacement leadership that does not have the best interests of citizens in mind. Instead, it treats them like raw materials for an industry of its own creation. In other words, it becomes a parasitic business working against the interests of citizens.
In fact, awareness of the parasitism caused by the State — or any form of external government — is spreading at the fringes of media:
Fortunately, for those who benefit from the status quo, and members of something called the Deep State, the trillions of new currency units delayed the liquidation. But they also ensured it will now happen on a much grander scale.
The Deep State is an extremely powerful network that controls nearly everything around you. You won’t read about it in the news because it controls the news. Politicians won’t talk about it publicly. That would be like a mobster discussing murder and robbery on the 6 o’clock news. You could say the Deep State is hidden, but it’s only hidden in plain sight.
An even simpler explanation suffices, and by Occam’s Razor, supplants this explanation: government becomes a franchise. Without a clear purpose, it starts inventing purposes for itself as it did in the US in the 1820s, and then begins to increases its power. Like a utility company, it wants to charge you the most it can without having you flee to another company. It has an additional super-ability however which is that it can make laws that force you to do what it wants. Government grows like a hemorrhoid, engorged on the blood of taxes and lucrative industries reserved to itself alone, and soon like an overbearing corporation begins to control the market itself — the voters.
What are alternatives to the State? Libertarians and mainstream conservatives favor small government, which means removing the 60% of our government that is dedicated to ideological goals like equality, ending poverty and regulating industry. That leaves government in charge of the military and NASA, which is probably enough for any group. Others from the anarchist fringe want the state removed and left gone, but something must take the role of leadership so that seems unlikely. Still others want to replace the State with actual leadership, such as monarchs or military leaders, and to downsize government to the role of leadership — not morality — alone.
Neoreaction tends to identify the “Deep State” as “the Cathedral,” which carries overtones of a deliberate attempt at control; conservatives and libertarians see this as more of a market distortion created by a company protected against monopoly yet given an exclusive role. All of us agree that the postwar order has shifted steadily left, continuing the barely interrupted pattern since 1789, and that this has enfranchised a group of Leftists who profit from continuing business as usual in our left-leaning governments in the West. Not surprisingly, our fortunes have declined in direction proportion to our increasing Leftism, and existential misery and self-destructive behavior have increased. The latest barrage of outrage is only a symptom of that underlying will to die that liberalism has inculcated in the West.
With the rise of the Leftist establishment, the excesses of the left, which is now an old and bloated empire, are serving the purposes of the Right. Each crazed Bernie fan or Obama zombie, and every abuse and failure of those administrations, accelerates the point at which the remaining effective people in our society realize how deep the root of the problem goes: Leftism is incompatible with civilization. And to remove it, they will have to fragment the West and separate the Leftists from everyone else, letting the former face the long-term fate of their irrational ideas.
I imagine that day 30 of the anarchist commune is the hardest. Everyone arrived, and set up food growth, kitchen, sleeping areas, social zones, and so on. People started doing stuff. But after a few weeks, it got harder. Some work, some don’t. Some “work” at ideology, others don’t.
At that point, the commune has to go either full-on egalitarian — everyone cleans the pig pen once a week — or admit the separation of roles. This causes some people to recognize that their labor will support others, but not themselves. They then seen the commune fill up with more people, but no one wants to clean the pig pen.
Either way they choose — egalitarian or roles — this commune now leaves the world of anarchism. There must be Authority. Even if it is enforced by guilt, which is worse because it’s purely appearance based, there is a rule and if you do not obey, consequences follow.
Conservatives recognize that this happens in every society. Civilization derives its authority from contract, not a “social contract” between government and people, but a contract between individuals. The contract is this: if we all work toward the same goals, we can have a civilization, maybe even a good one.
We offer something better than anarchy: government performs what it does well, which is defense and a few other things. Everything else is culture. It is entirely opt-in. Culture agrees on values, and you agree by joining that you want to work toward that goal. If not, time to go somewhere else.
This approach constitutes an opposite to control. Control lumps together a bunch of people and tells them what they must do or face consequences. Culture presents an opportunity and rewards those who take advantage of it. To maintain reward, rewards must go only to those who do something useful, so others must be sent on their way.
On the surface, this seems harsh. However, life deals in truth and truth is harsh when denied. Civilization needs glue to hold it together. It will either be collaboration, or control. There is no middle ground that does not collapse into one or the other.
Conservatives should move away from control. Self-policing through circular firing squads, increasingly doctrinaire speech codes, and “everyone must get along” compromise mentalities are all part of the control gambit. We can do better than that.
National-Anarchism: A Reader
edited by Troy Southgate
306 pages, Black Front Press (2012), $20
For two centuries people have looked for a way out of the political dichotomy that was created by the French Revolution, which set up the traditionalist party as a necessary opposition to the successful Revolutionaries.
The problem with this split was that it forced people to either adopt the revolutionary ideology or to pick up the mantle not of the ancient regime but of the new ancient-modern hybrid which suspiciously resembled the revolutionary ideal with more national defense and better economists. The problem with conservatism, as it became styled, is thus not that it is ancient, but that it is not ancient enough, and thus many people are trying to escape it alongside leftist.
National-Anarchism: A Reader leaps into the fray by suggesting a certain type of ancient society, namely one from before government became formalized. The National-Anarchist idea is for a society to be formed by bonds of kinship, which is nationalism, and yet to not have a formal State or laws so that it cannot go down the path that led to the French Revolution. It would be an organic society that would not become calcified like others, which become outmaneuvered the instant they formalize any relationships or values.
Southgate’s Reader tackles these subjects head-on and attempts to find a “third way” past the conservative-liberal divide. It does this with varied essays that, while they tackle the same two basic issues — anarchist theory and nationalism — with similar insight, do not get swallowed up by those debates like many other books do in attempting to defend them. Rather pragmatically, these essays explore implementation more than abstract theory, which takes away some of the dullness inherent to political theory, especially on ideological issues.
As you may have guessed from the brief historical introduction to this piece, dear reader, the biggest threat to a mixed ideology is that it may be swallowed up by its liberal elements, in this case anarchism. Southgate and company combat this by making a clear case for nationalism as the basis of community cooperation, or “social glue,” that would keep a society together without a government:
[T]he 1789 French Revolution transformed a nation of monarchical subjects into citizens of a new republic, but aside from the fact that the jingoistic watchwords of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ were never put into practice, it become possible for individuals to become part of the nation through citizenship alone, rather than it being the result of their French ethnicity. This subtle change has now smoothed the way for modern capitalists to bring in economic migrants from the Third World who, allegedly, are just as ‘French’, ‘English’ or ‘German’ as those of us with a blood-lineage stretching back thousands of years. The ‘nations’ of today, therefore, are completely false. By giving credence to these artificial entities, the Right actually reinforces the liberal-democratic myth. (123)
National-Anarchism: A Reader features a wide range of anarchist theory, with Southgate and Keith Preston doing the heavy lifting, but also manages to fully explain the rationale for nationalism as a positive social value. True, there is also some fear of Zionism in here, which seems to this reviewer to contradict the idea of supporting strong national cultures, which Zionism is; it’s Israeli-Jewish nationalism. However, this rhetoric is in the minority and is rational, principled and generally based in a defense of Palestinian nationalism, so it’s hard to conflate it with the rabid Jew-hating that blights both some areas of the right and left at this point.
Highlights include Keith Preston’s “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire,” which recontextualizes history in terms of human values, and Southgate’s “Revolution.” Readers of this blog may enjoy Wolf Herfurth’s
“The Traditional Left Failed.” One of the more inspiring parts of the book, although short and informal, was Andreas Faust’s “Humour as a Weapon.” While this piece reads as if it were typed up in an afternoon, a thoughtful outlook pervades it, and it’s that outlook and mood more than any specific details that are important to a reader there.
Among the passages marked for further review is this gem which shows how truly “third way” National-Anarchism is, as it levels a devastating critique at its anarchist fellow-travelers who have been assimilated by the left:
Another common these in conventional anarchist thought is an implicit reliance on archaic Marxist and Fabian social democratic economic theory, a set of ideas that have been disastrous in every nation where they have been put into practice. Marxism is a dead faith, except among Western radicals, and the elitist social democratic views advanced by the Fabians have severed to create a permanently entrenched “new class” of bureaucratic parasites that are slowly but surely driving the First World nations toward stagnation, deterioration and eventual collapse. Anarchists are typically the most zealous champions of the cultural ideals of the modern Left — feminism, environmentalism, homosexualism, anti-racism. Yet these ideas are hardly radical in the modern welfare states of the West. (85)
Like many of us, I had horrible experiences with anarchist “theory” back in the chaotic days of college. Generally, it surprised me how people with their mitts on such a radical idea could convert it into the most boring, neutered, don’t-forget-dear-wear-a-sweater type ideology on earth. People would pass around huge tomes of pablum in a competition to see who could lobotomize themselves with the largest dose of this. While I’m not going to claim the anarchist sections are my favorites, this book doesn’t fall into that pitfall, and makes anarchist theory as interesting as possible. It also makes enticing the idea of organic culture taking over where government has failed.
Where this book is essential is informing the modern Westerner of the scope of the political landscape. Like a good introductory textbook, it shows us the topography and differentiates the parts; like a good higher-level textbook, it reveals in depth the reasons for the principles of this movement, instead of baldly stating them and allowing the usual justifications to absorb them through co-opting their purpose. Engagingly written, widely diverse and full of blunt but commonsense approaches, National-Anarchism: A Reader is a good work to adorn any political science bookshelf.
So I was in this city diner, flat-footed and with nothing to do while I waited for things to happen.
This guy came in and stood in the light. The shadow fell over all of us. I didn’t move. People who come in with violence are moving quickly. People who come in to pose always think that they’ll scare you by gestures.
He sat down next to me, which was the only place away from the really old guys in the joint, and ordered himself some greasy plate. I could smell the cigarettes and Nag Champa roll off him. It’s what they burn, the hip types, to hide the smell of what might be going on, or hide that nothing is.
With his hair falling in his face, he ate without making eye contact, but he kept watching us. It wasn’t the paranoid type of watch. It was like a kid poking his Dad. Feel that yet? How about that? Mad yet?
I suppose his costume was designed to provoke unfashionable outrage. He had shoes, of the nearly invisible sandal type. A broad cloth brightly colored shirt that screamed a paraphrase of Potemkin peasant life. Jeans, with obligatory holes positioned like jaunty eyes and smile. A necklace of beads that was cleaner than anything else on him.
To him, I must have looked like an old guy. Not in my 20s, not trying to pretend that I am either. Functional clothes. No cover story, no hip lines, no paraphernalia. A human being without justification and without concealment. In a word, boring. An easy target.
Having just completed several days of negotiation on a lengthy project that involved us installing one thing to please the client, and another to please the shareholders, then billing the latter as some kind of “upgrade” to the former, I knew the value of silence. Silence is gravity. Noise interrupts gravity, makes the world flutter around the listener, and they feel safe. It’s like camouflage, hiding in the brush. Silence means you don’t know where the predator is and whether or not it has a bead on you.
Finally he broke. Explosively, he said, “Pass the salt.” This was not a query. I gave him the old guy eye, then picked up the salt and put it gently next to him. “T’n’u,” he said so quickly I thought it was a foreign language.
“Yup,” I said.
Another couple beats.
“Does it bother you that I’m here?”
“Nope,” I said. “It bothers me that you’re wrong.”
“What, that my lifestyle is bad?”
“No, just that it leads not to what you think it will.”
“That I smoke a boatload of sinsemilla?”
“No, but that you think it matters.”
“What is it then, old man? That I believe things that make you seem old and waiting to die? That you’re stuck in the past, believing in ideas as stale as history itself?”
“Whoa now,” I said. “What ideas are those?”
He gave me a list, starting with corporations and ending with gay marriage.
“Don’t forget making pot illegal,” I said. “So what do you believe?”
He gave me a list, starting with civil rights and ending with gay marriage, and legal pot.
“Oh, those new ideas,” I said. “You mean like the ones that my parents talked about from the 1960s, right? 1968 in Europe, 1965 here. All hell broke loose. They told us those ideas were new then.”
“But you know,” I said, “Those ideas weren’t new then. Even in the 1930s, there were a lot of people who felt that way.” I told him about the Cambridge Five and how trendy it was to be an intellectual Socialist back then.
“Oh, and even before then,” I said. “Around the turn of the century, you had Bohemians and artists raging all over the Continent, being different. And anarchists in the 1920s. In 1917, they took over in Russia, and they wanted all those things you do.”
I laughed. “New ideas. Shit, those ideas ain’t even close to new. Try back in 1789, when the French Revolution happened. Liberty, egalite, fraternity. No borders. Women in uniform. Support the rainbow folk, and all that. And even then it wasn’t new.”
“They were gabbing about that crap back in the Enlightenment,” I said. “They didn’t take it as far, but they hinted they could. And even before then, back when Rome fell, it was very trendy to think those things. And in cosmopolitan Greece, before they fell off the radar, they wanted every one of those things too. And in Babylon. And ancient Angkor Wat.”
“All the same,” I continued. “Because these things aren’t ideas. They’re imprints in reverse. You took what a healthy society would have, you turned it inside out, you claim it’s new and that we should do it or we’re assholes, and now you think you’ve got something on me because you believe these ‘new’ ideas.”
“Let me tell you something,” I said. “I don’t resent you. I don’t pity you, because only assholes pity people. But I know you’re wrong. Not think, know. I read history, I know human beings have never changed, and people have tried every damn thing you’re doing right now, all before. All failed. How do I know? If it worked, shoot, we’d never hear the end of it. There’d be whole Bibles, and Aeneids, and Kalevalas and Mahabaratas dedicated to your new way of doing things.”
But there ain’t, the silence said.
“So you don’t hate me?” he said.
“No,” I said. “I wish I could give you what I know. Years of my life were wasted by lies of all kinds. Some lies were simple stupid ones, like ‘Buy a BMW and do a ream of cocaine, and you’ll feel like God!’ It doesn’t work that way. Others are just big lies, like the stuff they told you.”
“And look,” I said. “I was your age once. For me then ideas were conversation. Fashion. Flattery. A way to make girlies think I was more special than the other guys of average height and average prospects. Something to talk about, since we didn’t know spit about the real world and we couldn’t admit it but we knew that.”
He shrugged. “Way to make it personal, dude.”
“You’re mistaken,” I said. “It’s not personal. It’s about the universe, which is many things that it does not seem to be, and very few that it does, but it’s one thing above all else: consistent. It does the same thing each time you do the same thing.”
“This ain’t personal,” I said, getting up. “This is about one dude in a lonely existence passing on some knowledge to another. Forget me, I wasn’t even here. Remember what I said, because every bit of it cost me blood, guts, pain and tears.”
I left him with his hashbrowns and resentment. The other old guys nodded. They had a mission: be silent. Be silent as the grave. Don’t give him something to lash out at. Put him in solitary confinement with his soul, and let him figure it out.
I hope he does.
We all live in the shadow of the past because we are tied to the generation cycle. What people learn when they’re young is what twenty to forty years later they pass on.
1968 stays with us for a different reason. It is the ultimate form of the parent ideology that started in 1789 when we overthrew the kings, and figured that no matter what our competence level, as long as we are individuals we are autonomous. And if that forces society into pluralism, or a state where any outcome is tolerated because it reflects an underlying difference in opinion that must be maintained for us to be autonomous, then that social chaos is just the small price we must pay to all be free.
In 1789, the Revolutionaries in France threw out some ideas — equality, gender equality, internationalism, trade unions and subsidies — and made these the basis of a worldwide movement. Unlike previous thought, this was based in an ideal derived from what we “should” do, not a response to what is necessary.
This ideology grew over time, but it kept having to hide because each time it got power, unimaginable bloodshed and horrors resulted. The French Revolution turned into a murder fest, and thus unleashed on Europe a series of tyrants and wars. The Russian Revolution was just as bad and created instability in Europe and Asia. In the intervening century, wars followed wars as democracy tore down aristocracy.
In the 1930s, however, liberalism got its chance. The West was hopeless and miserable after the great fratricidal slaughter of WWI. People no longer believed in any of the old notions of reality. And then the great depression hit, taking a dispirited population of fatalists and giving them a material gripe. Many found meaning in the idea of fighting a great injustice, and decided socialism was the only “moral” solution.
They had to be quiet because as the true colors of Communism revealed itself, and socialist agitators blew up bridges across Europe, socialism was not popular. They had to take another route, so they adopted socialism as a social idea. It was no longer Marxism; it was a new notion of justice based on the simple idea of sharing what we had so everyone had some. This attacked the higher echelons of society where they were weak, which was in socializing with other people. These groups were generally internally-driven and thoughtful, not social.
World War II did not force their ideology underground, but mated it with patriotism. Suddenly, we were the right people because we gave everyone freedom, and we shared what we had. The Nazis were bad because they did not share, and did not support internationalism, which was basically a way of giving what we had to the former colonies. The powers that were adopted this new mantra of freedom/sharing without realizing how they were subverted.
The children of those who fought in WWII grew up in a new world. Liberal democracy was on top of the world, and yet the promises of equality were not yet being enjoyed. They went back to the 1789 template, and brought it around in new forms: civil rights, sexual liberation, drugs and acting bizarre. This made them feel like they were forcing the world into a new order.
1968 was the culmination of this wave. If you were born in 1944, you were 24 in 1968 — done with college, and not yet willing to enter a career. Entering a career meant becoming an adult, which meant accepting the waking death of life as social function in service to money. The new Socialists, who were now disguised as “progressives,” rebelled.
In doing so they created a kind of permanent ideology. Unlike others, this one is explicitly social. Are you nice? Then share the wealth. Fight for freedom. Make sure there is no social standard at all, and the exceptions become the rule, so that no individual is left out. Pluralism is the only rule, which means there is no right way and no right answers.
Almost fifty years later, we’re still living under almost this exact dogma. It has been accepted by the authorities, endorsed by the Establishment, and now is used to motivate us to do what it wants. In order to be accepted by society, we must prove we are good people, and we do that by slavishly repeating the ideology and working to make it real.
The tin drum is beat constantly even as social chaos overwhelms our institutions. Its advocates, trapped in its spell and paralyzed in the forebrain, cannot think of anything other than the post-modern equivalent to the Glorious Socialist Revolution. They repeat the message in entertainment, in news media, in the schools, through government agencies, etc. but most of all through conversation among friends.
In order to be part of society, you have to choke down this dogma and politely not notice where it conflicts with reality. The result is that as soon as you speak such an idea, you become weak because you’re endorsing non-reality. But this makes you weak like the others, so they accept you into their group. You can be weak together, and this makes you strong.
The internet meme “Overly Attached Girlfriend” (OAG) ridicules one of the artifacts of modern dating, which is that it creates conditions so desperate that people become obsessive. We find it easy to write them off as crazy because it is easier than noticing the whole process is crazy and that, by extension, we’re most likely doomed.
OAG reveals a more fundamental truth of humanity however, which is how we become obsessively joined. This can happen between individuals, or in groups. It has two components: that which wants to join destroys something that you need, and then replaces it with itself.
In the case of modern society, what is destroyed is your concept of self-worth. This takes several steps.
First: Someone makes language that tells you what is “good” and “bad,” and carefully excludes everything else by making bad into “not-good” as opposed to “the opposite of good.” My way or the highway.
Second: Someone begins doling out praise to those who are good, and does so in a way that attracts lots of people. It’s a lottery, and humans cannot resist playing. So even though these people are perhaps not society’s best and brightest, it’s hard to deny the appeal. Later they begin criticizing “bad” as well.
Third: These people agitate against all social standards, values, mores and even common sense. They do this so that one factor and one factor only determines success: how well people like you. This salesman’s paradise has a secondary effect in that now, by calling someone “bad,” you not only isolate them but make them impoverished.
What has happened is that your sense of who you are and why you’re worth having around has been replaced by obedience. Even worse, you are now addicted to the praise from your masters. Without it, you wonder if you are not indeed actually a bad person, or at least a not-good one, thus a loser.
Overly Obsessive Government is a side effect of this process. As society declines, government rises. When you no longer have social standards, you need more police and bureaucrats to make laws and pass out fines. Soon most of what you do is interact with government or the secondary authorities created by its rules.
Conservatism is not anarchistic; it is something even more radical. Ours is the notion that tradition, and abstract concepts that correspond to reality like “the good, the beautiful and the true,” are better rulers than police forces or bureaucrats. We recognize the need for some government, but not moral government and definitely not government which can invent new uses for itself, justify increasing its size, and then repeat the process ad infinitum.
The grim fact is that no society can be policed. If people are fundamentally of such selfishness and individualism that they will do what is immoral or destructive the instant they are not watched, you would require at least one infallible police officer for every citizen. You could set up a “transparent society,” but without a legion of pathologically honest angels to watch the video screens, it would be useless.
OAG is the symptom, not the cause. The cause is the Crowdist desire to replace your self-esteem with their definitions of right and wrong, thus making you their puppet. But OAG is now their tool, and it was always their intent, because a removed social order must be replaced by a strong force.
Whenever you hear political discourse, it helps to automatically re-spin it using these ideas. Do we need government in every circumstance? How will government make dishonest people into honest ones? There is no replacement for having people of quality and integrity at every level of the process, because they (and not OAG) are the backbone of a thriving society.
If you have been to college, or when you go, you will become an observer to the process of people finding political identities. In theory you go to college to learn things, but in reality, you are learning the process of learning, and that includes socialization.
When searching for a political identity, the savvy student does not spend much time researching facts and history. These are a huge burden and require many hours of contemplation to even understand the basics. It is better to simply pick something popular.
As you look out over your class, one thing becomes clear: there is actually not that much in common, besides not knowing much of anything or having any role in society. What appeals to people in that unimportant position? The idea that not having an important position is not important.
In other words, position itself is unimportant. What you do and achieve are secondary to — what can we fit in this blank? — how nice you are, and how well you socialize. We don’t need rules; we can all be friends. This sets you on a path toward increasingly permissive political views.
The students who do best at this game are the ones who accept the limitations of their role. Their job is not to know things, or be in charge of things; their job is, like that of children, to take things from the parent and probe the limits of their freedom.
Only one political viewpoint really appeals, which despite its many disguised forms can be identified as “anarchy.” More than a political system, it is an attitude of hostility toward social class, political power, hierarchy and authority. It reinforces the unimportance of position.
In fact, we can play a bit with these words to show the progression of thought:
- Not having a position in society is unimportant.
- Having a position in society unimportant.
- Position itself is unimportant.
This is not the syllogistic logic you are familiar with from your classes, but deconstructive logic: reduce each thing to its simplest, least-connected form. This means removing all context, and any dependencies or consequences, for a singular idea.
In the case of anarchy, that idea is position. It does not matter what you do for a living (or for ideologues, contribute to learning, leadership or culture). It is unimportant what you own and what power you can exercise. Even character is not important. What is important is socializing well.
The essence of anarchy is found in this simple distillation. When we deconstruct every aspect of society thoroughly, we become granular particles in the slipstream of life, and what matters is that we can “get along with” the people around us.
Anarchy is the essence of the modern time. When the French Revolution deposed the monarchy in 1789, it set off a wave of similar events. Each of these expressed fundamentally the same idea, which was deconstruction of hierarchy. In practice, it meant elevating each individual to the level of a king.
The rub is that making people equal gives each more power, but reduces the pool of power so that each person has a tiny amount. Now that we are equal, we are all kings in our apartments and suburban homes, but we must rush off to jobs, wait in line at stores, put up with mediocrity of general services — in other words, we’re both kings, and slaves to the slowness, incompetence and selfishness of all the other little kings.
For this reason, it is clear that conservatives are the opposite of anarchists. The essence of conservatism is conserving the social order that is most effective, and the behaviors and hierarchy that achieve the best results. To conservatives, liberalism emphasizes the short-term view instead.
However, there is within conservatism a different type of anarchy, which is the reluctance to be held back by (a) the incompetence, slowness and selfishness of others and (b) the limits of our natural world. We want maximal individual liberty through sensible designs to society.
In other words, a conservative anarchist is willing to sacrifice some freedoms of method in order to achieve an end result of maximal freedom, meaning the ability to apply our talents and inclinations to life in such a way as to produce a fulfilling result.
These two anarchies are obvious incompatible. The left desires anarchy as a result, so demands anarchy as a cause, and gets a different result (social chaos) instead. The right desires anarchy as a result, so demands order as a cause, and as a result liberates itself from social chaos.
Now, imagine for a moment, that you produced a society solely of conservatives.
- Social Darwinism. No welfare, no entitlement state, no Nanny State, and no tags on mattresses. Instead of spending most of our government dollars and time trying to save people from themselves, the conservative society focuses on building sensible social order that, with a modicum of intelligence and time, people can utilize to their best interest. Some deaths and “tragedies” are natural selection events, and those who cannot mobilize themselves to take advantage of the basics of civilization — steady employment, social order, hygiene, etc. — meet their fate as meted out by nature.
- Shared values. Conservatives emphasize clarity in form and function by simplicity; this is the opposite of the nation-state which makes abundant rules and forces them on its citizens. Instead, conservatives favor shared values, commonly called “culture,” because culture applies social order with none of the destructive force of government. Where government acts, it introduces two problems for every one it fixes, because it must use external force to compel people to obey abstract standards they do not understand. In a cultural/organic society, the standards are understood and the sanction is social withdrawal.
- Reverence. You can either worship the self, or the totality of existence, but not both. They are opposites because one — the self — contains our own minds and our fears for our physical bodies. Under a conservative society, the goal is to understand the order of nature and to find a way of living in harmony with it. This is opposite to the sense of the self being the order we must adhere to, and thus everything else (including nature) gets forced into secondary status.
- Practical consequences. A conservative society would have fewer people, and competition based less on “hours worked” than on applied ability. It would have smaller government and employ fewer people in do-nothing make-work bureaucracy. Its cultural mandate would function better than law for restraining large companies from making scammy products. Its social sanctions would cut out the people who always manage to skirt the edge of a rule, creating destruction that is not recognized. Finally, it would emphasize a reverence for nature and some form of religious order, keeping people less panicky than our modern atheist materialist humanist types.
If you want to know why people like me become conservative, this is it: conservatism is a better strategy for finding the good life.
While we are tempted, like the college students above, to demand a result of freedom from a cause of no rules, a better study of cause->effect logic suggests that freedom needs a precursor state to protect it. This state is a strong social order and a reverence for life itself.
In this view, the only true anarchists are the conservatives. We recognize that civilization is necessary, and that social order and culture are necessary, so instead of raging against that machine, we find a way to make it constructive and (when successful) a conduit to beauty.
The other anarchists — the ones who endorse that boilerplate rambling nonsense which equates imposed freedom with liberty — are just barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps it is not freedom they want, but social success, at the expense of social order and your own freedom.
1991 was a turning point for the West: communism failed, and this forced the West to consolidate its rebels and bourgeois together into a new genre. Made of baby boomers, this “bohemian bourgeois” combined 1968 pseudo-Marxist values with pure New World consumerism.
These raging delusional cases finally got their liberal dream through Bill Clinton, and then Barack Obama, interrupted only by conservatives who attempted to reverse the decline. This culminated an effort that began in 1789 or earlier to make everyone equal.
- Liberals endorse versions of the same idea on a spectrum from anarchy to communism: the individual has the unrestricted right to do whatever he or she wants to. To protect that right, they attack some methods as immoral and demand the right to other methods. Liberals deconstruct.
- Conservatives conserve whole things. Their goal is a stable society, not unrestricted individualism. They attack liberalism by pointing out that it has confused goals and as such, regulates methods (effects) not end results (causes). Conservatives construct.
You can see why liberals and conservatives fight like dogs: they’re heading in opposite directions. Liberals want to focus on the individual and ignore consequences; conservatives want to pay attention to consequences and make the individual fit into that as a means to an end.
Claiming that a radical difference exists between Communism, Socialism, anarchism and your standard liberal democrat is fallacious. The only difference is that of degree. Anarchism is the ideal, but that doesn’t work, so liberals switch to a strong central bureaucracy to enforce that anarchy.
Liberalism has been gaining influence since before 1789 because it is a popular notion. If you think only of the individual and its rights, there is never blame for individual failings and everyone is happy. This outlook is most compatible with commerce, socialization and marketing.
The proles of the world love liberalism because it tells them it’s not their fault that they have failings in life; someone else (presumably the rich, fascists, white people or aliens) did it to them. Cognitive dissonance is what psychologists call this, but not if they want to keep their jobs.
Now that we have had 200+ years of liberalism rising, we are starting to see the consequences of its unrealistic policies. Namely, our social order has collapsed and the result is worse than what came before. And we sacrificed it all for the notion that all people are equal.
Common sense and even more, basic experience, shows us that “all people are equal” is a delusional, dysfunctional and unrealistic feeling and fashion but not a complete logical thought. It is popular among the broadest section of individuals; these also like Katy Perry records and Big Macs.
Fewer than one in ten thousand people is competent enough to be a brain surgeon, military general or brilliant innovator; leadership is even harder than those jobs, and yet we let everyone make the decisions (votes) that constitute our ersatz leadership.
Yet a certain segment of the population keeps babbling on about equality and the individual and human rights as if these things were still relevant. They aren’t. Liberalism is now the old order, and one that has failed, as it has wrecked families, nations, and all things we relied upon.
Take our Prime Minister, who is once again defrauding far too many people. He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public-school command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person. But it is all false. He has no real idea of what to do. He thinks the actual solutions to the problem are ‘fascist’. Deep down, he still wants to ‘understand’ the hoodies.
Say to him that naughty children should be smacked at home and caned in school, that the police (and responsible adults) should be free to wallop louts and vandals caught in the act, that the police should return to preventive foot patrols, that prisons should be austere places of hard work, plain food and discipline without TV sets or semi-licit drugs, and that wrongdoers should be sent to them when they first take to crime, not when they are already habitual crooks, and he will throw up his well-tailored arms in horror at your barbarity.
Say to him that divorce should be made very difficult and that the state should be energetically in favour of stable, married families with fathers (and cease forthwith to subsidise families without fathers) and he will smirk patronisingly and regard you as a pitiable lunatic.
Say to him that mass immigration should be stopped and reversed, and that those who refuse any of the huge number of jobs which are then available should be denied benefits of any kind, and he will gibber in shock.
Yet he is ready to authorise the use of water cannon and plastic bullets on our streets (quite useless, as it happens, against this sort of outbreak) as if we were a Third World despotism. – The Daily Mail
Since 1789, leftists have been fighting to bury their misdeeds under the rug. They “intend” well, but the results are never so good. Whether it was the mass slaughter of French people upon hearsay in the French revolution, the vast purges of Soviet Russia, or the ongoing failure of leftist programs in the US and UK, liberals are trying to hide these consequences.
Liberalism and leftism are the same thing, and part of their goal is to deny consequences so that the individual has maximum freedom and equality.
However, doubts spread. We’ve been on on this increasing equality jihad since at least WWII, and the crusade for universal freedom and equality has run into a stopping point — the actual inequality of people. The leftist answer is that we can “educate” (propagandize) them with central authority.
However, nature matters more than our fond notions of what propaganda can do. From a recent update:
A landmark article went online a few days ago in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The study was prepared by a team of 32 researchers headed by the University of Edinburgh’s Gail Davies and entitled “Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic.” The study’s methods do not lend themselves to easy explanation unless you’re at home with SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and inverse variance weighted models used to capture “the variance in the trait that is due to linkage disequilibrium between genotyped SNPs and unknown causal variants.” But the bottom line of the article is reasonably simple. Using nothing but genetic information, the team of researchers was able to establish that the narrow heritability of crystallized intelligence (the kind that can be more easily affected by education) is at least 40 percent. The narrow heritability of fluid intelligence (the kind that involves pure problem-solving ability, independently of acquired knowledge) is at least 51 percent. Note the at least. The study’s authors explicitly state that these estimates are lower bounds.
Shelves of books and articles denying or minimizing the heritability of IQ have suddenly become obsolete. – The American
As that writer doubtless knows, this is a problem for leftists, because it disproves equality. If intelligence is mostly heritable, education is irrelevant — people either have the ability to process the information, or not. You cannot educate into someone a series of ideas they lack the biological capacity to understand.
As Stephen Pinker wrote in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, modernism (a form of liberalism) denies that we are inequal. Instead, it believes that we are equal beings who just await the right programming to be made into perfect citizens. However, biology is far more complex, but a general capacity for processing (called g for “general intelligence”) determines not only what we can understand, but what jobs we are capable of doing and how competent we will be at them.
G even correlates highly with health. It’s almost like an evolution index, which since intelligence is most of what separates us from our simian ancestors it most likely is. The changes in our physiology probably occurred after our intelligence rose, and enabled us to evolve further.
In fact, scientists are discovering a lot about the brain, especially what makes people with higher intelligence radically different:
Here’s an interesting fact: Smart people have faster impulses in the brain than less intelligent people. That’s all according to one Cambridge professor by the name of Ed Bullmore. But as far as getting any smarter, tough luck. British scientists made a convincing case for why our brains have reached full capacity: Human brains would consume too much energy.
Simon Laughlin, professor of neurobiology, at Cambridge University told The Sunday Times: ‘We have demonstrated that brains must consume energy to function and that these requirements are sufficiently demanding to limit our performance and determine design.”
Also, in the The Sunday Times story, the researchers say there’s a link between how connected different brain areas are and IQ. However, there isn’t enough energy to keep up with any increase in brain power. – SmartPlanet
The brain is wired to move faster and with greater complexity in smarter people.
No matter what they preach about equality, we will always want smart leaders and professionals. Who do you want doing your open-heart surgery, or taxes, or defending you in court — the 100 IQ “equal person” or someone with an IQ of 120 or above?
Go ahead, tell us why you want the equal low-IQ type. That’s propaganda too and most people will obediently bleat out the equality doctrine: it doesn’t matter as long as he works hard, if he’s nice it’s OK, the judge will understand, etc. But in real life they’d pick the smarter candidate every time.
Liberalism/leftism is failing for two reasons: (a) its policies are not succeeding despite trillions of dollars and relentless effort because its founding idea of equality is an insane notion and (b) science, experience, history and common sense show that liberalism has negative consequences.
Like a new dawn, people are gaining the emotional strength to bear social disapproval and criticize liberalism.
This reminds me of the early years after the Carter presidency (Carter is an example of how liberalism turns honorable men into popularity-whoring nitwits). People were so brainwashed into the warm-fuzzy, happy-feelings, compassionate-pacifism of those years it took them months or years to shake free.
When they did however, they found that conservatism offered something different — a whole society. Instead of a lot of dogma to explain away failures, there were practical and straight-forward plans for not only fixing problems, but rising above them.
Across the globe, favored populations with higher IQs are starting to snap out of their socially-induced stupor and notice that liberalism has failed, despite for too long holding the competent but few in the thrall of the incompetent but numerous.
Let me make a hypothesis here: if you want to be an ueber-tyrant, the best way is to get your citizens involved in some drama unrelated to the actual question of how you will rule the nation.
For example, you can set up a government that makes rules, and then rule through media opinion; or you can set up a media that bloviates irrelevantly, and a government that regulates some things, and rule behind the scenes by what companies you buy and what they do. There are infinite ways.
I don’t consider this conspiracy thinking because it’s common sense. Once you see that power is having the ability to make a bunch of monkeys do the same thing at the same time, you can see infinite conduits to it. Money. Status. Memetics. Police states. Bribes. Heck, you could probably run a tidy tyranny with just a really good coupon program.
Most conspiracy thinkers worry about a shadow government. Most historians realize that instead there’s likely to be a shifting population with enough money to get their changes into the mainstream. They don’t conspire, and that’s the problem. They survive off of society but have no interest in redirecting it from ruin; after all, they’ll be fine, and they have money and like most people, they don’t think past next week much less next generation.
The way most people approach politics reminds me of how the USA approached the Vietnam war: we were trained to face a big industrialized Army that charged at us with all that it had; instead, we were fighting a disorganized but well-trained army with grenades and AK-47s. Your planes designed to eliminate factories don’t work well against places where ten guys in a cave are making the ammunition for each local region.
We look for organization and ideology in politics, but really, there’s neither. The unasked question is “toward what end do we rule?” and those who rule by money don’t want us to ask that. Instead, they want us to accept that there is some goal, and start fighting amongst ourselves. Why? So they can conduct business as usual, because to a businessperson, government and ideology invariably screw things up. And unlike government, business is constant and cleanly logical: make money / feed family.
Most civilizations in the latter halves of their lives loop through a cycle that gains intensity as it repeats: it’s the freedom-order cycle. The people want more freedom, which in turn empowers insane, stupid and criminal people to create more socialized costs (costs passed on to everyone) and to fragment any direction the society had, which in turn causes the remaining responsible people to demand protection. So it becomes a class war, with a huge mass of irresponsible people opposing the responsible people who have money, and the society beats itself to death in a futile, all-encompassing, pointless war.
The presumption of ideology derives from this conflict. The masses always have ideology that disguises self-interest; the responsible bourgeois, middle class, etc. don’t need it and don’t have it. “Be responsible” isn’t an ideology, it’s an ethos. In the view of the middle classes, ideology is what you invent to justify having failed at life. In the view of the masses, not having an ideology means you just don’t care about fellow human beings. This division enables the society to never focus on the actual issue, which is designing itself as an organism that thrives.
In exploring their environment, ants create huge trail systems like motorway networks. Many researchers have remarked that we may have much to learn from the way ant traffic flows along these trails which seem to be free of the jams that plague our roads.
[T]he average speed of the ants remains constant, regardless of the density of the traffic. There is no transition to a nonlinear flow, at least not in the conditions that this group studied.
Let’s put that in perspective. Ant traffic flow is like rush hour traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike travelling bumper-to bumper at the 55 mph.
So what’s the secret? John and his mates aren’t entirely sure but they’ve found a pretty good clue: ants never overtake. Not ever. Instead they form into platoons in which all the ants move at the same speed. Increase the density of ant traffic and the platoons simply join together to form larger groups. This is how the velocity remains the same while the density increases. That makes ant traffic significantly different from other types of traffic in which congestion occurs, such as road traffic and internet packet traffic.
What if instead of basing our society around uniform density, we based it around uniform velocity? Meaning that we ensure that everyone is moving in roughly the same direction at roughly the same speed, and for it sacrifice equality of distribution of energy — density.
What if instead of basing our society around the regulation of density in a static context, we based our society around having a goal and moving toward it together? That way, we would escape this endless thrashing between wealth redistribution and wealth retribution.
We could do this, and, as Plato points out, it’s how civilizations in their early stages operate. Pick a working values system, religion, heritage and language, and develop it over time. That’s how culture both changes radically and stays the same. And it would be relatively easy to get back to this stage. Specifically, our society is getting exhausted by the constant thrashing, and people are ready to split it up.
If we broke it into states with more power than they have now, they could define themselves, and whichever prospered would rule the new land. Technology is the wild card here, as it could make some areas disproportionately prosperous and so make the choice for us. However, that’s not a show-stopper, just something to be aware of.
If not, we’ll never be able to face issues like this one:
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has told delegates at the 5th World Water Forum (WWF) in Istanbul, Turkey, that, “those who are committed to the privatization of water, making it a commodity like oil, are denying people a human right as basic as the air we breathe.”
In a speech delivered by his senior advisor on water Maude Barlow, UN president Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann said, “We must work quickly to guarantee that access to drinking water constitutes a fundamental right of all peoples…”
Here we are at the haves versus have-nots again. The have-nots want equality; the haves want to defend themselves against this. (As you know from the civilization cycle, when a society grants too much power to the people, the have-nots assault the haves who then defend themselves, in a perpetual cycle where battle lines are defined more by responsibility to reality than any ideological or wealth-oriented attributes.)
Of course, the water should be viewed as a nihilist would view it: structurally. Water maintains ecosystems; it is a vital part of the landscape; humans use it too, but that usage must be in balance with the rest in proportion to the importance of humans. I rank humans pretty highly, as a species, but we need to ask ourselves whether unfettered human growth produces new heights for humanity, and then see if we want to sacrifice our environment for said unfettered human growth.
Another source shows us this conflict in bare terms:
Liberalism that was built into our Constitution, insuring that the state solely preserve our natural rights to life, liberty and property against the aggression of other individuals, and moreover against the tyranny of the majority. It was this system of government with limited powers, in which people could choose their own form of morality over that imposed by the force of the state. This choice of what was moral could be made at one’s own peril: people could choose to accumulate as much wealth as possible or sacrifice all of their wealth to charity; businessesmen could operate for consumers at a profit or for the “public good” at a loss; soul-searchers could choose to live good Christian lives or become pot-smoking hippies or dwell in hedonistic communes.
The point is that people had choice, and they were responsible for their choices and protected from harmful choices of others by the rule of law.
The American right is drugged on fear of socialism. Don’t let that put you off, because every society is somewhat socialistic since it shares infrastructure in common. What American conservatives would say if they had balls is that they want natural selection to return, and in order to do that, they cannot be obligated to support other people. They are cool with providing public services and infrastructure, but in any case where these are measured by equality of people, what happens is a subsidizing of those below the average which results in everyone else waiting on them. That’s obviously a bad practice.
Unfortunately, American conservatives and Ayn Rand junkies and Ludwig von Mises types are all in denial of one basic fact: we are in a civilization, and civilizations are by their nature collectivist, which means that we must lead others to get things done and that we suffer the consequences of others. Natural selection is a broken model in this context. It only works on a pioneer, frontier basis. This is why people have not flocked to the anarchistic libertarian strain, nor have they returned to the American conservative parties. The idea of suspending social rule is not appealing to most intelligent people.
It’s possible to take a middle path: we want everyone moving in the same direction, and to exile those who are not cool with that, and in the meantime, we will take care of everyone who is helping us move toward that direction. This requires us to have a goal; a goal requires a consensus about what is important; a consensus requires that individuals set aside their pretenses and selfishness for long enough to come together in agreement.
That’s our only hurdle, and while it’s a small one, in the fears of the underconfident, it is taller than Everest. Humanity either beats this issue or begins the long, slow, lugubrious walk down the evolutionary ladder to a comfortable existence as talking monkeys.
Any time that people start talking about “good” and “evil,” the context of topic has become personal. They are talking about personal fears as if they were absolutes, like the concept that god himself will disappear when an individual dies; this is the solipsism forced on those who cannot or are afraid to look at the bigger picture. Personal thinking of this type denies the world as whole, including its intricate mechanisms that we see as an ecosystem but are unaware include us, “from within,” as they are based on external forces that influence our survival.
There’s a lot in this paragraph, so let’s break it down: good/evil morality is personal because it reflects personal fears, that is, “I might be killed,” therefore make killing a taboo – then the individual feels safe, even though if someone simply breaks that taboo, the individual is still dead. The order of the world will always support killing because it can happen; morality is an attempt to deny that it can, like a nervous truth enacted between gangs. It makes us feel better to think that killing “should not” occur, but it still does, so we act with increasingly retribution against those who do kill. This goes on to the point where we’re willing to kill, and since this offends our psychology, we invent elaborate justifications for when killing should occur (right-wing) or become pacifistic, denying the obvious need of self-defense and thus becoming passive and forever angry at the world for putting us in that state (left-wing).
That every society on earth so far has divided itself roughly into these states, the liberals who focus more on the sanctity of individual life to justify passivity against the conservatives who focus more on ritual removal of the Other, should show us how this path is not only human but endemic to any group of thinking, autonomous beings; it is one of the fundamental choices about how one orders a civilization, uniting individual perspectives/lives into a collective force. If pressed, even your most extreme liberal will admit there are times when force is needed: an invader, a rapist, a truck dumping toxic waste in a river. We respect Gandhi because he entirely denied this and suggested an ultra-passivity, or commitment to non-violence, but this is useless in a practical sense: our inner animal wisdom does not respect a person who watches his or her family get raped, a country that does not repel invaders, or those who would not shoot accurately to stop irrevocable poisoning of a river.
However, any time we consider force in the abstract, our personal fears crop up: what if it’s applied to me? If we have nothing to live for except the individual, this is the greatest sadness to us, like the death of God; our entire worlds will go away and since we see the world only through the individual, to us it is as if the world itself has died. Those who have wit enough to live for more than the self can content themselves with the thought of family, great art, or natural landscapes surviving, but they are in the minority. This is the difference between seeing the world-as-individual, and seeing world-as-whole. In the latter state, we don’t think only of ourselves, but see ourselves as the result of an ongoing process of life that can be taken as a whole. Something caused the universe to start, even if internal, and its has natural laws that continue the process of life beyond even human beings. When we see the world not as a city, or social group, or even planet, but as a cosmic order, we finally have the scope of perspective to see where we – tiny chunks of talking meat – fit in.
From this fear, and not from a sense of designing a plausible place for ourselves in a cosmic order, we create the absolutes we call morality, which we guise as “helping others” to disguise our inner selfishness and insecurity. As soon as this becomes common practice, the surrounding civilization enters its final age, when big impractical concepts like “freedom” (wage slavery), “free speech” (except what offends), “happiness” (empty pursuit of wealth) and “luxury” (ability to gain better goods and services than please mass taste) start getting bandied about in the same tone of voice reserved for morality. Society has at that point begun misleading itself for the purposes of the selfish not few, but mass – most people begin to think selfishly, and acting together, they create a degenerate empire that is at its core parasitic. There is no evil right-wing, Jewish, Masonic or corporate conspiracy, but those evils arise because of the openings created by the degeneration of society as a whole.
Such is the nature of disunity, that it starts with personal instability and rises to a religious level of dogma; people cease to pay attention to the task of survival, and focus entirely on their own wants, which most commonly don’t jive with the best interests of society and the cosmic order (“personal” wants, by their very nature, are things forbidden to most for reasons of excess or destructivity). People are no longer looking at what is right, but what is “right” according to their own personal mysticism, and as a result, all the finer things of civilization – art, philosophy, architecture – degenerate into functionalism, because there is no concern for what is good in an overall sense; there is only concern with personal importance and profit. Interestingly, both right- and left-wing thinkers agree that excessive concern with wealth and individuality cause a depilation of all collective and environmental concerns. Yet both have their hands tied, as a founding part of their philosophies involves this sense of personal identity-as-world.
The sad truth of human psychology is that we cannot discover more of it by looking inward, but by looking outward: our psychology is entirely shaped by the broadest type of experience, that of being born an autonomous being that must adapt to its environment. All of our impulses, including our ingrained spiritual outlook, are adaptations which when properly interpreted make sense. Of course, since a society of the ego perverts these, most of us have not seen them in a sensible form during our lifetimes, except in brief glimpses into the biographies of famous artists. Since the disease has run so deep, it has broken people down to the point where they do not even consider themselves with reverence, but devote their entire attention to cheap tangibles, such as money and popularity and novelty, as well as the age-old pursuit of manipulating others to avoid being bored.
Why do we care if our civilization, or our race, or even our species, flounders? After all, we’ll probably live comfortable lives and then it’s someone else’s problem. My answer to this is twofold: we enjoy living, and thus damage ourselves when we act against the greater force of life and recess into ourselves, and further, if we believe all is lost for the future, there is nothing to live for except transient desires which ultimately won’t keep us fascinated for long. We will be like the spectral residents of nursing homes, besotted with television and alcohol, drenched in the luxury of a life’s wealth accumulation, and yet completely without any longstanding meaning in their lives. This premature aging can already be seen in our youth, who live for brief excess and then settle down to a beaten impotence, mourning days past yet dutifully trudging toward an existence in which they do not believe.
Charles Darwin, in formulating his nascent theory of evolution, observed how external forces (much as influence our psychology, inherently) shaped species by eliminating unfavorable traits and promoting positive ones, much as we do by inclusion or exclusion of individuals in our own friend groups. He soft-toed the question of applying this theory to humanity, which occurs on two levels. First, the quality of our population is determined by the actions we reward; when we give best prize to those who greedily make the most money, we create a society of sneaky, aggressive parasites. Second, our own civilization is judged by its fitness, and when easy wealth such as is offered by oil resources vanishes, the competition will eliminate those civilizations which cannot stand on their own. A disunified society full of idiots, no matter how great its warriors, will collapse when attacked because of internal chaos as people thinking only of their own imminent death freak out and run around screaming, counteracting any attempt at counteracting the attack. This is why all great civilizations die from within. Some extend this to race, but I would like to extend it further: to interplanetary concerns.
While our science has not yet detected alien life, to look at the situation mathematically is to see that it is not only possible that other planets have life, but almost certain. The same external forces that pressure the development of multiple competing species on earth will apply to the cosmos in general; while the distances are vast, and we can barely see past our own front porch, it is most likely that other species are developing in parallel to our own. Much as there are basic “tests” for any species on earth, like its ability to find food and mates, and there are similar “tests” for civilizations, like the ability to preserve unity in war and peace alike, there is a test for humanity, and it is whether we destroy ourselves through disunity before we make it to the stars, and whether we are of sufficient intellectual quality once we do to hold our own with the competition. I haven’t seen any UFOs yet, nor do I necessarily believe they have visited, but I am certain, looking at the mathematics of nature and the stars, that civilizations capable of building something like them are out there, and if they mature and have their act together more than we do, in the future humanity will be subjugated if not eliminated.
Perhaps it is part of nature’s order that things going wrong synergize one another, creating something more like a landslide than the orderly procession of rocks in sequence down a mountain (some would say humans think of things as sequential because individuals are sequential: one is either one, or another, but two never have the same mind except in cases of transcendent love). It does make some sense; the end of the Kali-Yuga, or age of Iron, is one in which humanity gets too powerful for itself and loses control, consuming itself through selfishness. Simultaneously, the changed climate, coinciding with natural variation in cycle, becomes inhospitable, and most being disorganized and existing in a frenzy of envy and hatred and revenge for one another perish. Those few who survive make it to a safe but uncomfortable place, and because they believe in life, they tough it out for millennia, being shaped by the natural selection of a harsher climate. Presumably, those who remain behind degenerate further until they’re little more than half-removed from chimpanzees, creating an anti-civilization which survives merely through animal will.
The hyperborean mythos suggests that something such as this happened long ago. Before our modern races and religions and countries, there was an ice age, and a small group trekked to the north to escape the chaos brought on by collapsing civilizations. Their thought was simple: because the cold is feared, we rush into the cold, so that those who would otherwise overthrow us with their greater numbers are left behind. The small group struggled at first, but eventually found ways to prosper, not in the least because natural selection made them smarter, taller, of denser muscle and faster nerves. Their eyes got better and their digestion optimized for living with primitive technologies such as domesticated animals and milled grain. They accumulated learning, in part to take advantage of shorter growing seasons and in part to pass the time during long winters. From this came a race of superhumans who, without the pretense of moral fear or distraction by wealth, came out of the north as it thawed and spread their knowledge and genetics around the world, creating our modern races out of hybrids of hyperboreans and those-left-behind.
A future hyperborean migration is possible because, if humanity encounters crisis, it’s unlikely that all of us will die at once. Small groups will recognize the reality of the situation faster than their fellow distracted and delusional citizens, and will give up their wealth and social status in order to survive in the rough. The disease, famine, warfare and internal strife that will shatter even the most formidable civilization will not touch such a group, in part because they will be occupying land that does not offer any immediate promise of easily-obtained resources. Far from gold, oil and precious gems, they will forge a civilization based on a will to survive, and to reach higher. Several things will shape them via natural selection: the necessity of adapting to cold and lack of abundant food; the need to live cautiously and inventively; denial of personal comfort (those who need comfort to live will perish); a long-term spiritual vision based on denial of tangible things in favor of long-term tangible goals; a need for fewer people to get along more efficiently and do the work that would otherwise required many more. Their societies will be more spread out, less sociable, and more introspective, and these people will emerge after thousands of years with much higher IQs and more importantly, greater focus to their personalities and an inherent cosmic spirituality which accepts that life is worth living no matter what short-term or tangible factors seem to contradict that.
This winnowing and upbreeding process could happen a group of Africans, a group of Jews, or a group of Germans, but it is not a moral decision by nature: the cosmic order is a dumb process, one that works by repetition and not consideration. Over time, through natural selection, whatever group manages to escape will be altered to have higher capacities, becoming a more proficient and smarter version of itself by degrees until it ultimately resembles the original hyperborean race. The same factors that selected hyperboreans will still be in effect, and much as humans evolved from primitive mammals, these factors of natural selection will refine slovenly modern humans into superhumans. The less capable the starting group, or the more mixed the group’s genetic character, the longer this process will take.
In this new race, an aristocracy will arise, because sensible survival-oriented beings pick those among them that are most capable of leadership, and follow their wisdom through strife and good times alike. They will carry with them a uniform spirituality, a singular will, and roughly similar customs and personal appearances and behaviors, although within their minds there will be a great diversity of perception and character. Outwardly, — well, they will not be fascinated by outward appearances of the ego, as modern people are. They will be focused on the areas where one can truly prove uniqueness, like personality and learning and the overcoming of fears. Who can deny that this new race will be superior to modern humanity, even if we are many and have pretty technologies and wealth? And yes, in time, they will discover the same sequence of inventions we have, or one closely related, and develop the ability to reach out to the cosmos through interplanetary travel.
All of this will take a hundred thousand years or more, but much as every error in life costs us time, every screwup in civilization delays us by what is not long to natural process but is many lifetimes for us puny mortals. Oh well – the next time someone says that stupid people and Crowdists don’t harm you, remember the idea of your descendants waiting two thousand lifetimes to undo the damage that herds do! Joke’s on you, of course. Maybe you could abandon some of your own selfish habits and work with others toward a human-oriented natural selection and leadership process that undoes this great error before it occurs, but maybe it’s too late. See what’s on TV.
When you look toward the new year, think about everything unnecessary that you can give up and all the things you can do to work toward a future in which a slimming of the human population according to a long-term goal of better humans and a less selfish future. We can do it, if we choose, before nature sees fit to simply terminate most of us and renew the natural selection process. If we do, we will reclaim and restart all that has been wonderful among our peoples and civilizations.
Celtic Frost and Metallica
I have come to distrust people who read only a certain genre of book, because that makes it clear that whatever the genre, they’re reading for entertainment. They have found something they like and wish to repeat the experience. Of course, this is lessened when they read only literature or only philosophy, but even so, those habits can quickly become self-gratifying as well. There is a difference between entertainment, and art or learning; the latter division will bring something of the world to you, where the former will dress up the same old habits and ideas as something “novel,” or superficially new, so that you can entertain yourself and avoid reality. While there’s nothing wrong with some avoidance of reality, those who need “entertaining” are really little black holes of will that cannot generate their own path in life and thus like to be distracted.
Reading Thomas Gabriel Fischer’s “Are You Morbid? Inside the Pandemonium of Celtic Frost” (Sanctuary Publishing, 2000, London, 339 pages), I was struck by how much the story of humanity is acted out in microcosm through metal music. In creating a metal band, the same boundaries of logic exist that face an organism: it must find sustenance, defend predators and procreate (the wicked). Much as a civilization faces an uncertain landscape and the possibility of being overwhelmed, a metal band is also like a small society: four or five guys who work together not on completing a predefined task, but on pouring inspiration and feeling into a musical work so that it meets their own standards. Fischer’s book details his strategies and experience in going from clueless teenager to world-renowned metal musician.
First, some on the book itself: according to Fischer, an American editor helped out, which suggests that this book needed a higher budget, as plenty of slang like “kicks butt” and “to the max” occurs, followed up by repeated use of phrases and often rambling discursive passages when summaries would have sufficed. It could easily be cut by a hundred pages to make room for more stories and footnotes, in which some of the meatiest and most revelatory details are encoded. Where it succeeds is relating the raw information through the perspective of metal heads who avoided the excess of drugs and (mostly) drink, so what we have is a clear narrative that is fortunately too wise to try to explain it all to us. Despite some editorializing by Fischer, what we get is mostly a factual narrative that isn’t tied together except by the reality-based dimensions of the story. No metaphor, no religion, no theory.
Although the book is apologetic, in that Fischer bemoans his errors too much and tries to explain away past failings, it is formidable in knowledge because of that same apologetic tendency, as Fischer avoids celebrating a past without reservation, and acknowledges the steady process of Celtic Frost’s decline from seminal material into the excremental heap known as “Cold Lake,” and uses the culmination of that descent to explain his exit: when the inspiration and ability to create great works had departed, Fischer lost interest in what was otherwise a grueling, brutal process that rewarded morons over geniuses. When that inspiration was there, he had no problem suffering the rigors of a metal musician’s life, but as soon as that transcendent goal departed, he was without will to continue. The section of the book that explains this decision is astutely candid.
Fischer details the errors made by himself and other members of the band, and makes repeated references to industry and fans, but would be better served by segregation into topics after the narrative has concluded, even if these rehash the path described by the rest of the book. It’s almost too much to interleave analysis of industry with the history of the band because it is not mentioned frequently enough to qualify as a thread; it’s more like a periodic aside interrupted by a story. The book would be better served by truncating some of its less relevant stories, focusing more on the type of revealing anecdotes at which Fischer obviously excels (and which propel the first part of the book). It could benefit from above all else more of his lucid analysis of what fans reward with their dollars, and the mechanics of popularity in a relatively closed system genre such as heavy metal.
This leads us to the crowning achievement of the book, which is essentially Fischer’s introspection regarding his behavior and how it translated into music, both sucessfully and — well, if you’ve heard “Cold Lake,” you know the agonizing sounds of Celtic Frost failing. Reading carefully, one can find a short list of how Tom G. Warrior thinks bands succeed:
1. Practice daily: hard work and familiarity with the material is key to success.
2. Walk/bike/take a train to practices: meditative introductions to work.
3. Avoid luxury and drama: the more external forces distracted, with pleasure or pain, the less successful the band were.
4. Be focused on the end product as itself: when Celtic Frost made great material, it was because the musicians were caught up in an impetus to make great art for its own sake, like a transcendent experience for the listener that the musicians as listeners would like to have. During times of success, they saw the art as a task in itself, not as a task that was a means/tool toward the end of greater wealth or popularity. Music is its own goal, and to make excellent music, one must focus on the end product as a desirable experience and not an audience manipulation for an end other than enlightenment and sharpened awareness through music.
It is this final point that, through the melancholic shades of nostalgia and retrospect, Fischer reveals to us like a spiritual manifesto of Celtic Frost: the experience itself must be worthy, because the tangible rewards pass too quickly and are meaningless to a mind geared toward larger concepts or consciousness. At these moments of discussion, he ceases to be a musician past his prime and becomes a larger-than-life neo-philosophic figure who reveals to us, through the metaphor of the experience of a heavy metal band, a trenchant analysis of the modern time. We have become focused on the tangible, and have forgotten the experiential, and thus tend toward luxury and distraction and a lack of hard work, as if we have become focused more on ourselves than on what we share with the world, or the art of living.
He isn’t the only one to undergo this process, although he might have learned more than Metallica, who seem to be awash in the same currents without Fischer’s inner lighthouse to even looking back make clarity of the madness. Metallica started as a hungry, ambitious band whose goal at first was to make the coolest ass-kicking metal they could envision, but over time, have become bloated Hollywood shipwrecks who live in luxury and try to falsify the anger and lust for life they felt once long ago and expressed successfully in a core of seminal albums. Much as Celtic Frost did on “Cold Lake,” after “…And Justice for All,” Metallica have focused on their art as a means to the ends of popularity and thus wealth. Unlike Fischer, Metallica were from California, and thus have been naturals at image manipulation and have succeeded wildly where Fischer left off, although he will be remembered more fondly at his funeral.
Conflicted musicians, after they lose impetus, never regain that momentum that allowed them to be greats earlier in their lives, and while they may live in more luxury, they feel as if a part of their soul is missing. They’re correct. What was once an inspirational process, a pure pouring of life-spirit into artistic form, has now become a job like anything else: a task to be completed for tangible ends. Long-suppressed personal failings are given air by popularity, and the pursuit of a lifestyle to work around these failings creates further hypocrisy. They become exhausted, not in a physical sense, but a metaphysical one. Most immediately blame the aging process, but Fischer is still smart as a whip and clearly spirited; what he hints at, deftly, among the pages of “Are You Morbid?” is that it is not youth, but spirit, that determines the quality of work: the body will rot, but the mind can keep together if unified by a belief in the task as itself, or, in making art for no purpose other than making a greater artistic experience. It’s tautological, but to make metal music for any purpose other than making great metal music results in a broken musician, and Fischer also hints that we can apply this to other areas of our lives.
This looking at experience as a thing-in-itself which can be separated from the mechanisms used to foist it upon the world and by which reward is gained is reminiscent of an awkward scene from V. P. Rozan’s short play, “The Entitlement of Epiphanus”:
Marcusian: Don’t say that – it is vile.
Thelemanus: Don’t tell me what to say.
Romanus: Ha, don’t you see? You’re both telling each other what to do!
Rebellion is the same action as that which it claims is oppression. What must be found is proof in action, simply creating a better example of what existence can be through experience, and through it making an uplifting or transcendent experience. Celtic Frost may have been moribund, violent and aggressive, but it conveyed a sense of power in living through which one overcame death by giving it context, and then turned death around and used it as one of the colors in an artist’s palette, as if affirming its necessary place in life as a step toward reaching other places. You cannot fight things that suck in life as political bands do, but you must create better prototypes of existence (experience), art that rises above and uplifts, no matter what its topic area – this is what we learn from Thomas Gabriel Fischer and, in contrast, the continued dismal artistic failure inversely related to vast commercial success of Metallica.
Evolution, of individuals or civilizations or species, is a similar process. One cannot base it upon rebellion against certain issues or facts, but can only do it successfully by reaching for something higher, even if expressed in subarticulate terms like “that would kick ass” or inspire; what makes life more intense and more organized is the goal, as that leads to a greater experience, even if most people would rather simply be entertained (much like most now prefer watching TV to doing anything of note, or even, anything). Most people will grasp the tangible, and see life as a means to a tangible end, but as we learn from metal musicians, life is intangible and can only be used as an end to itself. Tautological? The ancients knew this argument and expressed it as eimi, or “I am what I am.” The goal of existence is itself; the goal of any being or civilization or species is its own survival.
When we look at the human present, and the human future, it is important to remember that we have lost sight of this truth and are slowly regaining it, but we cannot solely do it prescriptively, and we cannot do it from the self-righteous principle of utilizing experience as a way of making our public selves glow brighter. We must rediscover what inspires us and use this transcendent experience as a means of motivating us toward creating more intense forms of existence, including evolutionary success on a personal and planetary level. Only in this have we found a larger order than that of the individual, and something that will outlast us at our funerals.