Post-Irony and Post-Postmodernism

The Abstract

Postmodernism, as well as similar ideological movements such as Critical Theory, Marxism, and Cultural Marxism, appears to be generating ideological reactions from the entirety of the philosophical spectrum. Such reactions have emerged into many fields; yet more so within liberal arts (i.e. Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Art, etc.). More narrowly, these reactions are meant as movements towards some type of change, or as a response to the postmodern plateau or end of history which we find ourselves in. This essay will not be a critique of postmodernism, but rather an illustration of the linear path of “reactionary” schools of thought.

It is important to note, the definition of reaction here is not aligned with the reactionary or neoreactionary right-wing as a vessel for a return to traditionalism. Rather, in this context, reaction is a description or category of an ideology, philosophy, or any other structure of thought and action which seeks to change the cultural, political, or conceptual paradigm.

The Problem

Modern man does not do as much as he thinks about doing. He is held back by existential anxiety and an overwhelming apprehension with being wrong or failing.

Though the armchair philosopher will badger one in vague cliches to overcome these anxieties, this does not get at the root of the problem. This is not to say that some, if not many, will never overcome such anxieties, but that the paradigm in which one thinks will remain the same across his every endeavor. What use is there in shedding one’s fear of the fire if one cannot breathe through the smoke? The modern man has been conditioned to be gracious of those who shatter his will and destroy his future; as the punishment for stepping out of line to question intention leaves him with less than what little he had before. Yet there seem to be some who cross this line without actually crossing it.

Not a Solution – Not a Problem

Modern day humor seems to be a fairly accurate parallel to the manner in which this line is crossed, while maintaining the illusion that it has not been crossed. Before the vast application of postmodernism and related theories, humor was quite straightforward and could be evaluated and understood on a basic level. It was sincere and meant to be taken at face value. However, once postmodernism began to take hold of various cultural norms and societal institutions, the prevailing method of humor changed to an ironic and indirect form. Its meaning was implied, yet the implication was strong and easy to decipher.

Now a new form of humor has begun to emerge and become immensely popular, and it is principally influenced by metamodernism or post-postmodernism. The humor centers around the concept of post-irony. Within the post-ironic framework (or lack thereof) the comedy is not only aware of itself and its intentions, but is also aware of the viewer and the disorientation which the viewer experiences. Post-irony takes a ridiculous concept (often a postmodern idea applied ad absurdum) and makes it serious so that it is no longer obvious what is funny and what is not. It relies often on nihilism and dark humor in an attempt to get one thinking, to bridge the gap among shared experiences, and to expose or alleviate dread. It does seem that there most certainly is intention behind post-irony, but it is quite difficult to analyze, and that is part of its purpose. It acts as an “oscillating” reaction to modernism and postmodernism at the same time.

Two great examples of this brand of comedy are Sam Hyde and Million Dollar Extreme, as well as Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s work with Adult Swim.

This is another experimental essay, but it seemed like a good idea to parse out these ideas in this format. Part of my inspiration for this essay was from a YouTube video called “Why Is Millennial Humor So Weird?” which is in itself a response to an article on The Washington Post, thus making my response to a response part of the post-ironic maze.

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On Linguistic and Aesthetic Warfare

Social Engineering

The way in which mankind evaluates his being, his nature, his potential – and consequently, his values and his actions – could be compressed into any number of terms, but for reference and simplicity these self-reflective evaluations will be encapsulated here as the Images of Man. I have abridged this definition from the source that will be used as the foundation for the conclusions below. The Changing Images of Man is a 1982 publication procured by The Center for the Study of Social Policy and SRI [Stanford Research Institute] International, which outlines the process by which mankind’s “images” (i.e. conception of his physical self, societal formation, and metaphysical surroundings) change over time, as well as how they can be potentially steered in another direction.

I’ve often found myself, particularly in the last five or six years, fielding questions from older generations in regards to the present day culture and its inability to foster sincere and productive communication. It appears evident that The Changing Images of Man addresses many of the sources behind our cultural phenomenon, and so I will attempt to describe two of these causes to the best of my ability.

Language & Abstraction

Historically, much of mankind’s group cohesion is predicated on a limited dialectic and a common linguistic foundation in an objective truth. We can observe that groups of citizens within the most productive civilizations generally held the same worldview, and were thus able to pursue a common interest with little friction. Yet this common interest often proved far less potent in the aftermath of excessive conquest or invasion. This example is not meant to serve as an argument for cultural relativism, but rather as parallels to a “viral” model in which the spread of the very idea of radical relativism becomes a kind of disassociative to the societal union; that which is highly corrosive to interpersonal trust and accountability.

One of the most critical necessities for language arises from a need to communicate complex metaphysical and philosophical abstractions. Spreading into the West from such institutions as The Frankfurt School, the critical theorist seeks to undermine these abstractions and change their conceptions in order to erode social cohesion. Though I will not describe this much further, many of us can easily observe the effects of the changes in abstraction. For example, complex ideas like gender or race are now so diluted that one almost dare not speak of them for fear of retribution. The point here with regard to The Changing Images of Man is that the confusion over language is almost entirely intentional.

It must be noted that this is not speculative. The Changing Images of Man was written by the Urban and Social Systems Division of Stanford Research Institute and was written with the intention to provide insight into ways in which mankind’s “image” could be influenced to provide outcomes that would be desirable to whichever organization gave funding and inquiry to a study on social engineering.

 

Aesthetic Terrorism

The field of aesthetics is one which has been debated for millennia, yet more recently, has taken strange and unpredictable turns. The deconstruction of aesthetic beauty naturally follows the deconstruction of linguistic and philosophical concepts, as a sense of nihilism overtakes the artist who has denigrated reality to the point where all is meaningless and nothing is beautiful.

What follows the complete deconstruction and eventual disregard for aesthetics is the antithesis of beauty; art which, by design, is meant to conjure feelings of disgust, shock, and hopelessness in the consumer. Where before, artistic images were meant to illuminate virtue and characterize and beautify truth, now many such images only perpetuate the notion of a relative sense of artistic appreciation.

This is not to say that art is not somewhat subjective, nor is it to say that artists ought not have their own styles and influences. It is to say, however, that on the heels of a disillusion of social trust and the abolishment of objective truth and beauty, we have gone from the stoicism of The School of Athens or the kaleidoscopic magnificence in the roots of Byzantium to the nude feminist vomiting on a canvas or the piles of rusted cans that somehow represents “the hatred of the American dream.”

The function of aesthetics here serves as a literal visual representation of the effects of the corrosion of objective concepts such as truth or beauty. If within man’s image of himself he concedes his beliefs and capitulates to radical relativism, his children and his grandchildren will suffer the consequences of his cowardice.

 

Conclusion

I sincerely appreciate everyone who took the time to read this. Though this is more of an experimental essay, I will provide the link to The Changing Images of Man below.

The Changing Images of Man – Global Vision Foundation

 

The Current State of South Africa

The country of South Africa is a large state on the southernmost tip of the African continent, bordering Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Nambia. Dutch farmers began to inhabit the land in the 17th century, bringing European farming methods to an otherwise uninhabited and barren region. The Dutch largely remained separate from the various native South African people. Approximately two centuries later, the British Empire began to colonize the state. During this time, the South African Boer people – descendants of the Dutch – as well as the native African people were forced under the empire’s control. The British instituted a formal government to rule over blacks and whites in South Africa, and imposed what is now known as Apartheid in 1948. The British Empire, drained of resources from two world wars, was unable to properly control South Africa. As their influence weakened, the Boer people were democratically elected to control the government. In 1994, with mounting pressure from the world community and disenfranchised black Africans alike, the Apartheid structure was dissolved and the ANC (African National Congress) became the ruling party in the state. Since then, the ANC (with some influence from the EFF party) has remained in control of the South African government.

Currently, South Africa has the highest number of HIV infections worldwide1 and has been dubbed “the rape capital of the world,” with a staggering 1 in 4 South African men admitting to rape2.

Boers make up the vast majority of farmers in the country, and as of 2015, farm work is South Africa’s “most dangerous occupation.”3.

The 132.2 murders on farms per 100,000 people is more than double the murder rate for policeman at 54.4 per 100,000 people, the unions added, and 32.2 per 100,000 for the country’s population as a whole.

Many human rights groups are also claiming that these numbers are not likely to decline, and the levels of torture and brutality continue to increase4.

The murder of farm workers was specifically categorized (each incident a case of a “farm murder”), but since 2007, the ANC has halted data collection on race related crime, as well as the criminal classification of farm murders. Sources for farm murder statistics are collected by private agencies and humanitarian organizations.

Added to this troubling evidence is that the South African governing party, the ANC, seems to be complicit in these acts of violence largely against the Boers. In 2017, the current South African president, Jacob Zuma, called for the confiscation of whites’ land without compensation5 and just the year before, the leader of the Afro-centric EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) party, Julius Malema, warned that the party is not calling for the slaughter of whites ‘for now’.6

I suppose it began on Monday the 30th of October, when a nation-wide protest called ‘Black Monday’ was undertaken against farm murders, particularly… And three days later, the minister of defense conducted an interview in which he said: “If whites should do such a thing again,” – I should point out that it was a peaceful protest, no women were raped, no buses were stoned, no municipal buildings burned to the ground, and so on and so forth, peaceful, across the country – “if whites do such a thing again, they are going to cause a civil war, and they are going to bring a genocide upon themselves.”

– Simon Roche: head of Suidlanders of South Africa, former ANC activist

In addition to the decreasing percentage of Boers represented in the country’s population, it is believed that there are upwards of 400,000 Boers living in “white squatter camps” where they are often refused electricity, water, and government aid.7

South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, resigned from office on February 14th, 2018, and his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has promised the seizure of land from whites in new changes to the constitution.8

The events currently unfolding in South Africa are quite similar to the fall of Zimbabwe – formerly, Rhodesia. Now, Zimbabwe’s currency has been valued at 35 quadrillion to $1.9

The reason why I’ve written this is because Boers currently make up around 8% of South Africa’s population, which has been in a steady decline every year.10

Whatever one may think of Apartheid, colonialism, or any of the various other injustices which have been perpetrated against native Africans in the past, we can’t let this continue to fly under the radar. I’ve plenty more sources if you’d like to know any more, but understand that I’m not writing this out of some kind of political or racial spite, but rather out of a concern for a people who are being ignored entirely.

Genocide Watch: http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html

Cape Town Could Become First Major City in World to Run Out of Water: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/cape-town-run-out-water-major-city-south-africa-90-days-drought-a8164141.html

South Africa’s Murder Rate Climbs 4.9% to 51 People Killed Every Day: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/south-africa-murder-rate-51-killed-every-day-rise-49-per-cent-a7224176.html

In the Fall

I found another poem! Keep in mind this one is not supposed to be sad or strange.

The children laugh, the children
call out to one
another. They play
the games they’ll never play
again, inside the whirling cold
of this morning’s breeze –
occasionally dancing within
the sun’s glimmer, light
and warm.

But it makes them sweat underneath
the thick wool sweater that
Mom laid out for them an hour ago.

Their innocent voices jump in pitch
for every drop of their adrenaline,
and they shut their eyes to
feel the wind brush between the few
uncovered gaps of exposed skin –
between their knuckles and their wrists,
between their ankles and their shins.

And only do they gaze out again
once they feel before them stands a friend.

and it helps me think
and it helps me think

As I wrap my palms around my head
and lie before the daylight pouring
in-
-to this wooden box where I often
sit-
-and wait.

And then the voice of one tired kid
quiets down

And then the rest become like him

I hear nothing, save the sharpened wail
of the sparrow, of the bluebird, of the crow
and the churchbell ring – an hour later now

The firey light that the sunset brings
reminds me that I’ve not left this box

because I could think
because I could think

A Brief History of Politics and Military Conflict in Afghanistan from 1900 (Parts I & II)

Here’s where the story starts to get good. I believe after reading part II, it should be a bit easier to see some modern-day parallels to this conflict. When I reach the more contemporary history of the country, I’ll begin to explain some other factors that come into play in the ME (oil, opium, minerals, geo-strategic significance, etc.). The last part will contain my sources, data, and recommendations for further research.

*****

Part I

Afghanistan is a landlocked, hostile, and nearly inhospitable region located at the crossroads of many of the greatest empires in history. Much of its land is arid and dead, and many other regions of the country are split by mountains and other terrestrial formations, hardly making the land any more survivable. Considering the prerequisites of trade and expansion for any civilization to thrive, opposing states often attempted to claim the land in an effort to procure trade or govern its people. Empires from the middle east, the far east, and and the west have often tried to lay claim to Afghanistan, almost all of which have ended in absolute failure. For these reasons, the perilous terrain of Afghanistan has been quite accurately dubbed The Graveyard of Empires. Dominions throughout India, China, and neighboring middle Eastern countries have fiercely battled for claim of the land, but for the sake of contextualizing the West’s current involvement in the region, we’ll begin in the 19th century.

19th Century

Throughout the 19th century, two of the world’s most prolific empires – Russia and Great Britain – made many attempts to claim Afghanistan, and its borders were quite arbitrarily drawn as intermediaries between the two powers. The Russian empire began to engulf the south, and consisted of modern-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The British empire, attempting to spread to the north, held the modern-day regions of Iraq, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, as well as Oman, Yemen, and the U.A.E just across from the Gulf of Oman.

1919 & The Third Anglo-Afghan War

In 1919, a small group of Afghan soldiers attempted to invade British India, but took heavy casualties and were easily repelled by the British. Soon afterwards, the British empire captured the southernmost region of Afghanistan, cutting it off from the Arabian Sea, and seizing what would reinforce Great Britain’s naval and trade superiority. This southernmost region, currently under the domain of Pakistan, makes up the border between modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, and serves as a reminder of the armistice to end the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

The Third Anglo-Afghan war ended on August 8th, 1919 and resulted in a strategic victory for the British. After establishing the Durand line, separating Afghanistan from the British Empire, King Amanullah Khan declared Afghanistan an independent and sovereign state. Immediately following his declaration, Khan ordered an end to the country’s traditional isolationism. The king also directed the newly formed state to be modernized, leading to women’s education, compulsory elementary schooling, and the abolition of slavery in 1923. However, Khan became ardently opposed by many of the local tribes after abolishing the requirement of the traditional burqa and eliminating restrictions on women’s education. Moderate political turmoil continued and the king’s commands remained largely disregarded.

1933 – 1973

In 1933, King Amanullah Khan was assassinated and shortly thereafter, King Mohammed Zahir Shah took the throne. Shah’s reign would last from the early 1930s to 1973. Throughout his reign, King Zahir Shah modernized the country even further through establishing elections, enforcing political rights, and stressing women’s education.

In 1973, King Mohammed Zahir Shah was replaced by his cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan, in a bloodless coup. After ascending to office, Daoud Khan abolished the Afghan monarchy, declaring himself the prime minister of Afghanistan. Daoud sought a closer relationship with the USSR, and was sympathetic to the ethnic Pashtun people who’d been displaced by the establishment of the Durand line in 1919. Other ethnic groups in Afghanistan voiced their disfavor over Daoud Khan’s “Pashtun Nationalism,” and in turn, saw the constriction of their personal liberties by Daoud Khan. Massive popular disapproval of Daoud Khan and the state of affairs in Afghanistan culminated in the Saur Revolution of 1978.

Part II

Saur Revolution – 1978

The Saur Revolution, beginning in April of 1978, saw the removal of prime minister Daoud Khan and the installment of the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) led by president Nur Muhammad Taraki and funded by the USSR. With full Soviet support, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan began to push radical economic and cultural Marxist reform. The PDPA itself was not short of internal conflict, and two factions within the party would disagree over the nature of their rule. For the sake of brevity, the two main factions were the Khalq – the more dictatorial or dominant faction; and the Parcham – the more liberal or moderate faction.

It is important to note that Afghanistan is a highly diverse landmass composed of several distinct ethnic groups, many of which practice very traditional forms of Islam. These tribal ethnic groups were often separated by the mountainous terrain of the region, and would typically not interact with one another unless in opposition to an invading or occupying force. None of these ethnic groups are a majority.

The PDPA’s cultural and economic policies saw intense backlash from tribal leaders. Amin – relative to his predecessors – proved to be far less accepting of dissent, and often took to imprisoning or executing his party’s critics.

1979

In March of 1979, riots swept throughout the country in response to the PDPA’s radical policies and their treatment of dissidents.

Nur Muhammad Taraki, seeking to quell the rioting and secure his position from the more radical in his party (namely Hafizullah Amin), turned to the nearby Soviets for military aid and advisory. Nur Muhammad Taraki lost what cohesion was left between himself and the PDPA with his requests to the USSR, and was assassinated by his fellow Khalq member, Hafizullah Amin, who then ascended to the position of president.

Hafizullah Amin’s presidency weakened the government and brought further unrest upon the country, as it was now faced with an increasingly powerful public. The riots quickly grew more violent and more coordinated, and a civil war had begun before the year’s end. Fighting between the PDPA, and their new opponents, the guerrilla mujahideen was intensified.

The U.S.S.R.

The Soviet Union sought control over the situation in Afghanistan for two main reasons: to exert dominance over the region and to prevent the spread of Islam into countries to the north under Soviet control. After witnessing the Iranian Revolution, the USSR understood that, with enough pressure, any middle Eastern country in the area could experience their own Iranian Revolution, thus becoming extremely difficult to control.

The Soviets’ solution to the situation – depose Amin, dominate the region, and get its people under control. This culminated in the Soviet-Afghan War.

The U.S.A

In 1979, the United States (the only other superpower in the world) saw the instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to waste Soviet time and resources and to halt the spread of communism. Though the exact time frame is contested, the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency became active in Afghanistan during 1979. The US and Saudi Arabia supported both the mujahideen and foreign resistance fighters from Pakistan and supplied them with thousands of FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles and some (contested) billions of dollars.

Soviet-Afghan War – Soviet Invasion

In December of 1979, the USSR launched a surprise invasion of Afghanistan. Critical communications and systems of transport were seized and halted by the Red Army. In the same month, Hafizullah Amin was captured in Kabul and executed by the Soviets, who organized a replacement – Soviet loyalist Babrak Karmal of the Parcham faction.

In January of 1980, both the Islamic Conference as well as the UN General Assembly passed resolutions in protest of the Soviet invasion and demanding swift withdrawal of Soviet forces. The US and Saudi Arabia began to more seriously fund the sale of weapons to the mujahideen, the CIA began covert operations through Pakistan, and the Afghan insurgency received specialized training in Pakistan and China.

Soviet-Afghan War – The Insurgency

The Soviet Red Army operated within Afghanistan’s urban areas, which were less resistant to government control. However, the vast majority of Afghanistan is rural, and the mujahideen used this to their advantage as they operated in small groups, waging guerrilla warfare throughout the countryside.

The different tribes fighting against Soviet occupation, realizing that the Soviets would not soon leave, reinforced their concept of Jihad (“Holy War”) – this is mostly considering that the USSR was a foreign, Atheist union that sought control over the region. The mujahideen’s call for Jihad resonated with much of the Islamic world, and the movement saw foreign fighters and supporters, including Osama Bin Laden, come from abroad.

Though Soviet forces were quite effective in strategic operations, waves of mujahideen continued to pour into Afghanistan, making the war a long, grinding operation for the Soviets until 1985.

Part III

Soviet Withdrawal

As the Cold War took its toll on the USSR, a growing anti-war sentiment led to the election of Mikhail Gorbachev and eventually, a withdrawal of the Red Army. In 1987, after consulting with the Afghan government, Mikhail Gorbachev ordered this withdrawal – ultimately lasting from 1988 to 1989. A small amount of Soviet troops stayed active in the region, but were finally withdrawn in 1992 following the collapse of the USSR.

Statism & Ethics

It’s commonly hypothesized that each of us live our own lives in the pursuit of prosperity, happiness, and comfort. Most of us are striving for such pursuits while attempting to walk in accordance to our own virtue, value, and faith; straying from this idealized path as little as possible. For the sake of compression, and to avoid a repetitive nature, I will henceforth summarize these ideals – virtues, values, faith – under the umbrella of ethics.

Your ethics, whether we see it or not, are vastly different from mine. There is surely some minor deviation between the two of us that (if built upon) would rapidly and dramatically divide our worldview – depending on the subject.

I have dubbed this explication “Statism: & Ethics”, and having established a rough definition of ethics, I’ll get to the point. Here, I’m talking about highly similar, but nevertheless competing ideals. Since ethics are the very foundation of everything we do, I’ll boil (these competing ideals) down into an example.

Let’s say that I value personal liberty, as well as providing help for those in need. Now, let’s say that you also value personal liberty, as well as providing help for those in need. Does this mean we share the same ethics? No, because the degree to which each of us hold individual ideals are almost always different; and our conceptualization of these individual ideals differ as well. We are constantly seeing this in action in contemporary society, and much more so as social media evolves. So, I’m going to be specific here, but I will not use names. I don’t want to have a fight about this, I’d just like to lay some groundwork.

So You and I both hold personal liberties and help for those in need in quite a high regard. However, Candidate A comes along and offers help to those in need in the form of Naturalization, increased welfare spending, or expansion of state-funded school curriculum. Candidate A has now caused a divide between you and I, however slight it may be. Hypothetically – I cannot support Candidate A solely because they are advocating for increased taxation, which after a certain point encroaches upon my personal liberties. I may also believe that such an encroachment sets a dangerous precedent for government control. Hypothetically – You support Candidate A because you believe that they have not encroached on your personal liberties, and you believe this taxation could do wonderful things to help those in need. You may also believe that the inherent purpose of government is to work towards the greater good, and that perhaps I am fear-mongering. However, I don’t want to talk about who is “right” and who is “wrong”; it all comes down to what you know, what you think you know, what you think you know is right, or good, etc. Though it has been laid out like so, fundamentally, this is not about Liberal or Conservative, nor is it about Democrat or Republican. Unfortunately, America currently chooses between two parties, and your candidate is bound to support things which you do not support.

There are no universal ethical systems from which every human derives a purpose. So I will describe what I believe to be the three most fundamental ethical principles in order to maintain functionality.

 The Non-Aggression Principle 

While the Non-Aggression Principle is believed by many to belong exclusively to Anarcho-Capitalists, I find it to be a great point of reference for both action and inaction. The Non-Aggression Principle is none other than the Non-Initiation of force – this being any action or inaction which asserts aggression. So, in short: I cannot attack you for no reason.

Voluntarism

Voluntarism is any action in which two consenting parties, whether they are individuals, groups, businesses, or States, are engaged or have engaged in. Voluntarism strictly adheres to the Non-Aggression Principle. So, in short: We cannot trade if you do not want to trade.

Compliance With Contractual Agreements

Binding contracts are an extremely important part of present-day society, even though we may not know it. Yet often these agreements are broken. If you’re a parent, and you’ve let your twelve-year-old child watch a PG-13 movie, you’ve broken a contract with both the society and The Motion Picture Association of America (or MPAA). Contractual agreements are typically enforced as to not break the law, break ethical principles, or become an accomplice to breaking the law or ethical principles. Compliance with contractual agreements also strictly adheres to both the Non-Aggression Principle and Voluntarism. So, in short: I can’t let you jump out of this airplane if you haven’t signed this contract.

I have laid out the basic foundation above to say this:

The State is constantly initiating acts of aggression 

You might be thinking “of course they do,” and you’d be right, but it really really goes much deeper than what can only be taken at face value. I’m not going to blow anybody’s mind with this, but I would like to connect it in reference to my essay on the Charlottesville incident. No matter how much you value being “yourself,” or being “an Individual,” The State is in a constant state of gradual Collectivization. I get that we’re not the same, and I understand that many will disagree with me about the use of tax money or perhaps my ethical framework. However, I would like to make these things known, and will most likely be writing another post about Free-Market Capitalism to help explain further.

Imagine that you’ve come across a mugger in a dark alleyway. You think to yourself: “What am I doing? Why did I walk down here tonight? This is all a coincidence!”. The mugger holds you at gunpoint and tells you: “Give me your wallet, or I’ll shoot you and take it myself.” Well, he’s violated the Non-Aggression Principle, but if you’re like most people, no matter how much money you have in your wallet – you’ll give it to him. What is the worst that can come of this? You lose four-hundred dollars, your identification is taken away, he’s got your credit card too. There’s a chance that he can steal your identity to buy loads of stuff, but get to the right person on time and you’ll be just fine.

This example doesn’t take imagination. When was the last time you went shopping? Did you need gasoline to get there? Where did you come from? What was there? When have you last looked at your paycheck, and how much did they take? What happens if you don’t pay? Say you go to jail for not paying taxes. Do you really have to go? Is it mandatory? What happens if you refuse? Say the police show up when you refuse to pay your taxes. What happens if you still don’t want to go? What happens when you run away? If you do get away, how much more information about you could they possibly have? State control is nothing more than the initiation of force at gunpoint.

I’m not advocating anything other than understanding, nor am I bashing any ideology. If you prefer more State power, more taxes, and the continued aggression of The State, I understand. This only means we have different ethical standards.

An Essay on Charlottesville

Since Saturday the 12th, it has been greatly discouraging to see many of my friends openly engaging in discussions with one another about issues regarding American politics and race relations – yet denying me a word on the subject. So, I’m going to try and explain exactly what the hell is happening as succinctly and as logically as I can. I suspect that we have the same opinion.

Why am I doing this? 

As a person who is typically very open with strangers and friends alike, I often voice my opinion on any and all American political matters. As many of you know, I tend to lean somewhat “to the right” on issues regarding society, ethics, history, and economics. It has been made apparent to me – through the unwavering disregard for political dialogue, and perhaps a fear that my friends will wish to disavow me from their circles – that some would believe that I am a Neo-Nazi, Fascist, Eugenicist, White Supremacist, or any other ideologue who would force his opinions on others. All of these charges are false.

The Charlottesville Problem:

What happened in Charlottesville is no more than a product and representation of the categorization and collectivism that has festered within the lowest rungs of American society since the Second World War. The vast majority of us interact with hundreds if not thousands of other people on a day-to-day, momentary basis. Everything one sees, everything one hears, every tool that has been given to us to supposedly formulate our own opinions has been greatly compromised. The simplest thing to do, and what most of us are guilty of, is steadily and enduringly following narratives. Hold on, I hope I am as clear as can be in reinforcing this fact – I have never, nor have I ever had the resolution to follow my own narrative, to create my own agenda, or to cut out the influence of others entirely. You and I have an established relationship here, and I want you to know that I haven’t, for one second, believed you to be beneath me, or above me. These things are for you to decide. Your position in society is where you, yourself, end up compared to where you envision. I say all of this because it seems there is no longer an emphasis on The Individual.

The way I see things, we now have the competing ideologies:

Collectivism and Individualism.

 

Collectivism in Society:

A society which puts an emphasis on the Collective, and only the Collective, will fail. Every (institutionalized) Collectivist society on planet earth has failed, and every society that continues to follow this agenda in the future will fail. Collectivist ideologies have resulted in the fall of the Roman Empire, the collapse of the U.S.S.R., the destruction of the Third Reich, the slow sink of the Scandinavian economy, and ultimately – the deaths of hundreds of millions. 

It is absolutely crucial to note that I am not talking about this whole notion of “left vs. right”. That notion is absurd. Ideologies exist on both X and  Y axes. The X axis is most often considered to be the degree to which an ideology is socially Liberal, and the Y axis the degree to which an ideology favors State power, economic control, and Authoritarianism.

Why This Matters in Regard to Charlottesville:

Let’s try to (roughly) define a few things.

The “Alt-Right” – A crude and hateful ideology which favors Americans with a European ancestry above all else. This is Collectivism.

The New Left (AntiFa, and associated movements) – A crude and hateful ideology which assumes that the other is the reason for differences between ethnic backgrounds, economic status, and over/under-representation in the workforce. This is Collectivism.

The Belligerents and Their Backgrounds:

Competing Collectivist ideologies have existed throughout human existence. Humans, after all, are a Tribal species, and a scapegoat is absolutely crucial in upholding a Collectivist viewpoint. Having someone to blame for your problems and creating a victim narrative that suits the Collective is what keeps the Collective afloat. Early in human history, other tribes, races, or even Gods were blamed. The scapegoat, however, flows with the Zeitgeist. Without blaming Jews and “subhumans”, would Hitler have been able to maintain his “racially pure” society? Without the Aristocracy, bourgeoisie, or the middle-class to blame for the poverty of the proletariat, would Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks have been able to successfully revolt? No and no; both of these organizations were reactionary. Once one can convince any categorical population that they share a common “enemy”, such a population will use violence as a means to punish such an enemy. The Collective does not exist without a common enemy.

You may not agree with me, but I find that the “Alt-Right” and “AntiFa” are quite easy to compare in this regard. Sure, there are plenty of differences, just as there were between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, but they follow the exact same guidelines. Here is the essential difference between National Socialist Germany and The Soviet Union: Nazi Germany used race as a means of separation, and The Soviet Union used economic class as a means of separation. They’re no different! Both of these ideologies were, by their very design, constructed to separate and categorize the population to the point in which debate, reason, and Individualism are nearly impossible. Once the populous can no longer tolerate the other, violence becomes the only option.

The Alt-Right is entirely convinced that there is “an anti-white climate” in The West, which doesn’t make a morsel of sense considering that the philosophy of The West is based entirely on Individualism. While I do believe that our universities, our biased information, and media outlets often foster cultural Marxism, you cannot defeat cultural Marxism by using cultural Marxism. The Alt-Right is nothing but a shadow of “AntiFa”. Nothing institutional has changed in regards to racism recently, so if the Alt-Right would like to combat this ridiculous notion of “anti-white climate”, they should go have children and raise them like a halfway decent person. Lastly, the idea that National Socialism could function in any way in the United States, or would be welcomed by anybody except for the couple thousand of White Nationalists is laughable.

On the other hand, we have “AntiFa” which has declared that its focus is to fight Fascism and state-sponsored racism. To assume that present-day America is Fascist, or to assume that there is somehow institutionalized racism is completely and utterly absurd. America has been at the forefront of social liberties since its founding. For those who believe that there is institutionalized racism or bigotry, I urge you to search for as long as humanly possible for any law, code, or current Supreme Court ruling in which one race is not allowed the liberties of another. This also goes for the Alt-Right – you are not being discriminated against. Regardless of how you feel about it, whether you want it to be true, or not, in America we have equality before the law. I won’t go into detail about how the U.S. is not Fascist because I don’t need to; a Fascist America is so ridiculous it’s incomprehensible.

All of that being said, I see an enormous problem. How do the members of these groups turn around? Can they?

The Only Way to Fix This:

As Americans, we must emphasize a return to Individualism. We must step back from the ledge of State enforced ideologies. We must treat each other as Individuals, and not the other. We must let people speak, even if their ideas are repugnant. We must allow ideas to rise and die without interference. We must always be vigilant of National Socialism, of Fascism, of Communism, of Socialism, all of which aim to squelch human rights, but we can not use violence as a means to an end; you will not achieve that end. I am just as offended by the Hammer and Sickle as I am the Swastika, but if some degenerate wants to wear a shirt, wave a flag, or flail a sign, let them do it – better yet, make sure others are aware of what the symbol means, why it is wrong, and respect the other person’s right to make a fool of themselves in public. Once you take away their right to speak, you have set an extremely dangerous precedent, and your constitutional rights might be next; so if someone is wrong, for God’s sake, let them speak! Once we stop talking, we start killing. We need to question all beliefs, and not be blinded by preference. People’s minds can be changed.

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

– Mark Twain

Ars Poetica

To lay in the dark,

without purpose or

prospect,

is to seal one’s own will

and to welcome decay.

The burning sensation

of boredom, which

squirms and burrows

in one’s skull is the precursor

to madness.

Yet, if one stops for a moment,

he can see his

slim and pasty fingers

flick and jitter and

ache and crave

the passage of thought.

Thank You All!

I haven’t had the WordPress app installed for some reason, so I’m just now seeing how many people are liking my work. It’s not hundreds, but it’s a hell of a lot better than 2 or 3. Thanks so much to all of you who have read my work. Also, if anybody has a request for a certain topic which might also mean something to me, I can try my best with a poem or short story. I’m always down for new experiences. Thanks again for your support! You’re my inspiration to write more often!

Don’t Take This the Wrong Way.

My demons have caved and gone home.

The ghosts who pervaded my conscience

have crawled back below the starless horizon.

 

They’re tired of waiting on me.

 

How I wish there was something;

please tell me there’s something better.

Something more than this.

 

Slow bass shivers;

carnival organs and their foul accents poke me;

they make me bleed.

Once, they stopped to play a slower, sorry psalm.

 

Is the sun lonely? How could I know.

 

How I wish there was something;

please tell me there’s something better.

Why isn’t there something more than this?
This saturated solitude.