Hyper-Individualism and Alienation

The modern, uniquely Western outlook on man’s relationship to others as well as the environment around them can be summarized as an individualist one. In recent years, I have come to the realization that individualism should not be the be-all end-all for the self-actualized person. This statement might run in contrast with statements I have made in the past which, although not entirely missing the mark, take an extremely simplistic view on the way in which one ought to interact with society. That being said, I will still leave those opinions written some years ago unedited, as it seems counterproductive to retroactively change the thoughts of my former self, as we are not entirely the same person. I will therefore not be changing articles I have written in the past at any point in the future unless they contain inaccurate statistics. Lastly I would also add that the term collectivist as used in this article is not entirely in adherence to the “official definition” of the term. If we search “collectivism” on a dictionary website, it returns:

“The political principle of centralized social and economic control, especially of all means of production.”

However, I would like to make things simpler and define collectivism as something like:

“The principle by which any defined group of peoples may interact with one another for the purpose of advancing their own interests.”

I guess one could try and break this down ad infinitum and say “there’s no such thing as defined groups of people,” and that “definitions of groups are made arbitrarily.” These statements often go hand-in-hand, and we can call them out for what they are – fallacies – the continuum fallacy to be more precise. There might be jagged edges around categories, but that does not cease the categories themselves from existing. I know everyone cites this as an example, but it’s the best, so I’ll use it anyways; look at the color spectrum.

 

Colour Wheel Rainbow Spectrum Color Wheel

Maybe we don’t know precisely the point at which blue becomes green or yellow becomes red, but that doesn’t necessitate that there is no blue, green, yellow, or red.

You don’t have to “deconstruct” everything.

There is one notion that I’d like to address as a precursor to a critique of individualism. This is the notion that group cohesion (i.e. collectivism) and individualism are mutually exclusive. We have reached a point in history 28 years removed from the existence of the U.S.S.R. – what is often seen as the inevitable outcome of an embrace of collectivism in any of its forms. No, this is not an assertion that “real collectivism hasn’t been tried yet,” or even that “collectivism is good.” It is only an assertion that collectivism ≠ communism. More among older generations, but present still in many younger generations is the mutually exclusive dichotomy between capitalism and communism;  individualism and collectivism;  the Western way or the Eastern way. I dispute the merit of this dichotomy, not to be a subversive, not to make others follow a doctrine of exclusive collectivism, but rather to express that this dichotomy is outdated.

For better or worse, many Western capitalist countries are protectionist, nationalist, or prioritize the growth and happiness of their own peoples before the GDP or currency value. Does this make them wholly collectivist? Of course not. Yet the former examples (protectionism, nationalism, populism) are a sort of strain of collectivism.

The natural inclination of many is to assume that if one maintains a stake in group interests – particularly political group interests – one is a radical. This inclination is one of many which bring out some inherent issues with this sort of hyper-individualism.

I don’t believe that there is a soul on earth that thinks that all individualism is bad, so for the sake of what I’ve written, it might be easier to call this phenomenon “hyper-individualism.” Obviously individualism is a critical part of being. Man cannot be truly self-actualized if his degree of actualization is determined by the group. Put more simply, no human being is equal (naturally speaking) to another. All humans are equal before God. All citizens of a country (should) be equal before the law. Equality, however, is a false god. People are not “naturally” equal, and they never will be. The more one tries to forcefully equalize, the more harm one does. It is for this precise reason that communism or “true socialism” will never be attained. Human beings are not equal, and trying to make them equal will not turn out well.

Either way, it seems that one needs to be an individual, yes, but to coerce one away from his group is a mistake. Let’s take an example that we can see in America. I won’t be specific about it, so I hope it’ll be obvious. There are several groups, but for the purpose of this example, let’s say that Group X and Group Y are categories which easily fit over portions of the American population. Group X believes in hyper-individualism while Group Y decides that group cohesion will get them what they want. Whereas Group X may (within the group) vote for different candidates, consume different product, speak different languages, or live in geographically distant areas, Group Y does the opposite. Group Y clusters in geographical areas, they speak the same language, consume the same product, and vote for the same candidate. Group Y, as a constituency, has far more leverage over politicians, zoning, corporations, etc. precisely because they can function as a unit.

I do understand the appeal to individualism. Stop grouping together. The less you group together, the more efficiently this thing will run. If you consider yourself only a group member, you’re only an automaton. Choose your own ideas, don’t follow the herd. Generally speaking, I agree with this idea in theory. However anyone with a brain can see that this appeal simply does not work. There will always be people who will conform to a group, and that group will use their unity (or perceived unity) as leverage against you. It is useless to continue to try and convince everyone to just be an individual for one reason – nature. Human beings are tribal animals. It is in our DNA. Everything we do reflects an interest in one group over another. This cannot simply be reasoned out of people, and any attempt to will fail just as much as forced Soviet equality did.

Not to mention, what we’re beginning to see with the hyper-individualism promoted in the West is a total breakdown of community. Even the most ardent of individualists would agree that the family is the very cornerstone of a nation. Yet what has become of the family? Absent fathers, neurotic single mothers, hedonistic and self destructive daughters, and drug-abusing sons consumed by video games? How is this family supposed to work? We can take this concept to the ‘macro’ scale and see that no community exists anymore. Who even knows their neighbors now? Who’s still in a bowling league, a sewing club, or a football team? All of these things are broken, and I would wager that a lot of it has to do with an atomized populous, addicted to drugs and Netflix because no one else wants to go outside. It is not the recipe for a stable society.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of other causes of unhappiness and alienation in society. For many an explanation, I would highly recommend Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam as it utilizes statistical information and comes to reasonable, demonstrable conclusions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source:

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1920&bih=958&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNSL1DewpfHMiCugYJVKEnoXZ1GX1g%3A1568144387624&sa=1&ei=A_x3XbTaJcexggegmLXwBQ&q=alienation+in+society&oq=alienation+in+society&gs_l=img.3..0i24.17441.22478..22786…5.0..0.67.1564.28……0….1..gws-wiz-img…..0..35i39j0i67j0j0i8i30j0i10i24.AUkQ0KgV9Tk&ved=0ahUKEwj057iJgcfkAhXHmOAKHSBMDV4Q4dUDCAY&uact=5#imgrc=Y7kAtcwDNGOabM:

 

 

 

 

 

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The “Losing Right”

As an introduction to this article, I would like to state outright that within this article, I use the words conservative and conservatism a lot. I mean no direct offense to those who call themselves conservative as it should be noted that I am speaking about the average consensus within a political movement and trying to take an objective stance for analytic purposes. This is but another in a string of experimental articles, and will be edited further in the coming days.

I have always found conservatism – in the most modern sense of the word – to be a sort of reaction to the perceived infringements of a number of (primarily) economic, and (occasionally) ethical structures. Though I may address the difference at some point, it is again important to point out that the meaning of reaction should not conflated with, or muddled by the (often Marxian) concept of the reactionary. Modern-day conservatism is a constant, yet ever-changing force of reaction to the most extreme and hyper-modern social conventions that are slowly, yet deliberately nudged into the public consciousness; this primarily from far-left institutions, universities, or any other place which might incubate the production of those leftist social theories born from “analysis of power relations and hierarchy,” or some other foolishness designed to corrode the very roots of our society. These social theories like “racism, misogyny, homophobia, white privilege, transphobia, Islamophobia, bigotry,” and on and on it goes.

We find that conservatism has no offensive push for anything to the contrary, that is besides some highfalutin abstractions about how people have lost religion or the family structure is gone, along with a few other idiosyncratic phrases and mannerisms about your bootstraps. While these may actually and honestly be true, conservatism is, generally speaking, impotent in disseminating these solutions to the point by which one might actually take action, i.e. go to church, rebuild my own family, start my own business, etc. It is quite possible and indeed probable that the libertarian social element present in (particularly American) conservatism prevents these very actions. The above-mentioned obstacles, along with the cowering and grovelling at the proverbial feet of leftism to repent for transgressions, and the constant reset of the terms of victory – or acceptability for that matter – have congealed into a weak, deferent, and cowardly bastardization of a once revered movement.

For you reading who might call yourself a conservative, fret not – as I know many in my personal life, and when I define conservatism as weak and cowardly, I speak of the movement itself, not any one individual person. I would also contend that many who would dub themselves conservatives are much closer to what we would now consider a paleoconservative or perhaps a right-winger generally speaking. For example, when the term neocon or neoconservative comes up, it is received as a pejorative under almost any circumstances. Yet the distinction between a neoconservative and a conservative becomes smaller and smaller as time wears on. Lastly, this is not to say that right-wingers, generally speaking, are weak and cowardly – rather the contrary; much of the right wing is a principled and serious group. Perhaps it would be easier to explain some of these things if we’re to take them one by one, as opposed to rambling on in large blocks of text.

Socially Liberal – Fiscally Conservative

Although this claim may be the most contentious, it seems as good place to start as any. I know that many, including myself, had once referred to ourselves as socially liberal – fiscally conservative – expressed more often than not when in the public eye, or under the scrutiny of a “political enemy,” as it were. For the conservative, I would ask only this:

Are you really “socially liberal?”

For example, I know that I am most certainly not “socially liberal.” Sure, I care very little about what happens hundreds of miles away within groups that I have no relation to, but that does not mean that I find such things conducive to a properly functional society. You know the kinds of things I’m talking about – the kinds of things that a social conservative would reject; I won’t be spelling this part out. I want to be employable in the future. Being socially conservative does not make you an authoritarian. It does not make you a Fascist, or a Nazi, or any other silly label that has been given to such people by their own enemies. The goings on in other societies, in other nations, in other cultures, is not my problem – that does not mean that I will tolerate it in my own. There is not much use in continuing to delve into this question, as I have two other articles about the strangeness of the “socially liberal – fiscally conservative.”

How ‘Reaction’ as a Primary Source of Unity Sets the Terms of One’s Defeat

Dear reader, I apologize that I must be so vague.

Conservatism in the 21st century is marked by reaction after reaction after reaction. All of which have failed. The leftward trend of society begins by carefully and gradually introducing a concept into public consciousness. Such a concept is usually put forth as only a humble suggestion – just something we should think about. From there, it is picked up and dragged through the media and universities, from which it trickles down to the everyman. We can observe this in a string of related examples. In the 2000s and 2010s, one hot cultural topic of many revolved around the issue of the right for homosexuals to marry. Imagine this idea was put to a purely democratic vote in the 1960s. Would it have passed? Of course not. This is why these most deliberate suggestions for more ‘equality’ or other egalitarian measures must be, at first, voiced by the vocal few, and spoken of sparingly and in whispers. Was it solely an issue of cultural wrongdoing or other unnecessary societal violations that homosexuals were eventually allowed to marry? No. Up until only a few short decades ago, the American society was largely Christian, and generally would not accept this not for any reason of blind hatred, but for the fact that their religion – the bedrock upon which almost their whole worldview is based – did not allow it. This religion, which had been passed down specifically to them by their ancestors for millennia, made another concession. The concession is made, and one feels better; the weight imposed by reading the newspaper articles and watching the television series about how incredibly difficult it was for homosexuals to cope without a Christian marriage – the weight is gone. You are no longer held emotionally hostage for some proposition for equality that would end after your concession.

Now, you dare not refuse to bake the cake, lest you be tied up in the court system for the next seven years.

Here is where things get interesting, and the parameters of victory change. As a conservative, you say okay, things are fine here. We’re far enough. No need to go further. This is until we find yet another radically egalitarian concept to have somehow miraculously appeared – white people are inherently privileged. As a conservative, one’s natural position is to go on the defensive – to say look at all we’ve done and all the concessions we’ve made. There is no need to continue. The conservative has no outlet to express his truest opinions. He cannot be genuine, for being genuine as a STRAIGHT WHITE MALE OPPRESSOR is to be absconded for your beliefs in tradition. Let’s say, for example, a homosexual man (otherwise white and male) appears, and he says look, I’m white, I’m a man, I have no privilege that is not afforded to everyone else – this man is king. Let’s use Milo Yiannopoulos as the example here. Though short lived, he became one of the behemoths of the “slightly right of conservative,” perhaps alt-lite movement. Why was Yiannopoulos so successful at expressing his moderately right-wing (albeit not exactly ‘conservative’) views? He was successful because he is a homosexual. He is a member of a victim class that was heralded by the left just a decade earlier, and as such, he is a weapon to use against the left, as if to say do you see? This man is on your side, yet you deny him everything you deny me. He is as good a candidate as any to tell you what it is that I really want to say. And so, it is in this manner that the conservative believes the left’s own “weapon” can be used against them. Furthermore, this cycle becomes a competition to decide who is more liberal. The competition whereby a conservative might find himself defending a transgender person in a debate against a radical communist because the transgender is more conservative.

Kneel Before the Altar of Your Enemy

Following the previous section, this is what seems to be the most frustrating thing for the average conservative to see from a public figure or office holder. It begins with a statement that is, given the climate, perhaps a bit too spicy – a little bit too provocative. Leftist institutions immediately excoriate the subject in question for his racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/islamophobic/bigoted statement and relentlessly pursue an apology. This is where the mistakes are made. I would assert that when it so happens that one of these ultimatums are given, the average conservative sincerely hopes that no quarter is given to the mob of hysterical journalists and self-righteous professors commanding an apology. This is, of course, because this average conservative has seen this movie before, and knows quite well the outcome of a concession to the standards of the enemy, for as sincere such a concession may be, we all know there is no forgiveness. Nothing is forgiven, and nothing is gained. Of course, one could understand the pressure bearing down upon an individual to bend the knee, acknowledge his wrongdoing, and repent for it, as traditionally the entire point of an apology is to seek forgiveness so that one might be relieved from the constant castigation of the enemy. Yet the consequences of bending the proverbial knee are far, far worse than standing one’s ground.

Before I begin with the next section, I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I do not advocate that you say things that ruin your life. I would implore you, dear reader, to speak the truth at all times*, and defend what you know to be true. That being said, I will contradict myself to express what we all inherently know – sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut. There is no point in ruining your livelihood by saying something, out of the blue, that will get you fired and lose you family and friends. I’m 26 years old, which is why my articles are not adorned by graphs of what different groups do on average, and how often they do it. I don’t want to lose everything before I have anything, and I’m sure you don’t either (unless you’re retired, in which case you should be going all in).

Bending the Knee: “Please, Just Make This Go Away.”

We can begin by analyzing the process and aftermath of the plea for forgiveness. Firstly, to make an apology in the public space is (quite obviously) an admission of guilt. To make confession before your enemies is to admit not only that you are wrong, but to admit that they are, at least partially, right. Even an apology on the grounds that it could have been phrased better or my favorite, this was taken out of context is to give an inch, and we know quite well what happens when you give an inch to the mob.

So let’s say you said something and happened to offend a whole bunch of people.

niggerguysouthpark

Is it something you truly believe? Is it provocative for the sake of being provocative? If it is, who cares? Did you say anything illegal? Unless you called for violence, you probably didn’t. Did you say something defensible? Most likely.

Note – this all goes out the window if you are a European, but you guys can’t get fired for saying things on the internet unless its illegal, so I don’t want to hear it.

You can’t turn on any technology, lest you be bombarded by thousands of threats to yourself, your family, and generally anyone around you. You will be publicly doxed. Your employer will be harassed, and you will most likely be terminated. People will show up to your home, and so on and so forth.

You obviously don’t want this, so even though you said something defensible – something you believe to be true – you will back off and admit that somehow, you were wrong. What happens then? Anyone who supported you (in plentiful numbers, no doubt) in your defense against the mob will drop you like a rock. They’ll tell you that you suck, and that you should’ve defended yourself from saying what’s on everyone else’s minds. But that’s okay because the harassment will stop now. It won’t; if anything, it will only become worse. Now you have admitted yourself that you were wrong, thus accepting the premises of their worldview and as such, you must atone forever. One apology is never enough.

Defending Yourself: “**** You, I’ll Say What I Want.”

Conversely, if one refuses to make a single concession under the same circumstances, an entirely different game emerges. Of course, the barrage of attacks and threats on your person and livelihood will remain the same, at least in the beginning. But you know what you said is both true and justifiable. Upon your defense of your statement, those who supported you will rally to the cause; they will identify with you and push you to continue standing your ground. As for the harassment, it won’t stop, but it will decrease by many orders of magnitude as it is seen that you are not a pushover and do not accept the premises by which you are “the bad guy.” You will most likely be labelled as a racist/sexist/homophobe, etc. and perhaps relegated to certain corners of the internet, but you will continue to have a loyal following of those for whom you spoke.

What Does This Have To Do With Conservatism? A Whole Lot.

This is, more or less, a sort of microcosm of the modern conservative. He does not say what he means, and he speaks euphemistically. While the modern left writes articles encouraging others to reconsider allowing their children to be friends with whites, the modern conservative wouldn’t dare ask the opposite question, let alone ponder if diversity is actually our greatest strength.

It shows weakness and ineptitude to refuse to pursue the interests of one’s constituency as a public figure. This is what you were elected to do, and you can’t (or perhaps won’t) even recognize this simple fact; and you will certainly not actively pursue lawmaking in the interest of said constituency, and we all know why that is – you’re scared of being called mean words.

Putting aside the question of collusion between the parties and large donors, the “right wing” if you could even call it that, is too afraid because they operate within the premises of the enemy because looking like Randy from South Park on an episode of Jeopardy would “ruin their careers.”

Do Not Operate Within the Parameters Your Enemy Has Set for You

This is the crucial take away from everything I’ve said above. I’m not claiming to know everything, but as someone who is ostensibly right wing, I cannot express the absolute state of my disappointment in those who are elected by people just like myself all over this country. Even assuming the question of collusion between the parties and the trustworthiness of career politicians have been answered (as we believe they might be) it is difficult for me to fathom that there are virtually zero representatives who truly and staunchly go on the offensive for anything other than economics. Small government economics are great and all, but when your constituents are becoming hopelessly nihilistic suicidal heroin addicts, replaced by machines and low skilled and underpaid immigrants, something has to be done. You can’t lose your base and expect to remain in power.

That tangent aside, we mustn’t get bogged down in our fear of social ostracism. When we play board games, we don’t play by all the rules that the other guy makes up, contradicts, and addends on the fly. We play by a consistent set of rules that both parties have agreed upon before the game has begun – otherwise we would always lose.

Let’s take on the big one and make an example. Let’s say Person A is a conservative, and Person B is a leftist.

Also note that I use the word ‘leftist’ often and the word ‘liberal’ quite sparingly, as traditional liberalism, though it might be different from conservatism, maintains the same goals as conservatism, generally speaking, and there are a good many honest liberals who are good, consistent, and open minded people.

Person A believes that racism is prejudice and prejudice alone, while Person B believes that racism can only be a consequence of both prejudice and power – i.e. without power, a group cannot be racist – this does not apply to individuals. Furthermore, Person A and Person B have wildly different conceptions of what “power” is, and while Person A may believe that power can be rightly obtained through meritocratic methods (thus spread out precisely as it should be according to ability and competence), Person B believes that power is something of an inheritance that only the majority group and/or descendants of settlers can wield.

So let’s say that Person A holds a rally. The vast majority of the people at said rally are of a certain, unnameable racial group. Person B sees the overwhelming homogeneity in Person A’s rally and decides that it is more proof that Person A is indeed, a “racist.” There are a few options Person A can take to redress such a statement.

  1. Entirely ignore or deflect the claim.

This is what I believe should be done under the circumstances. Why must one defend an accusation based on a foundation that is not universally accepted? By universally accepted, it is not meant that such a thing does not exist, rather that the definition of such a thing and the requirements for violating the terms of such a thing do not exist.

2. Attempt to defend and explain yourself.

Responding in turn to a claim made by Person B, Person A might say “I’m not a racist, and here’s why…” But does this make Person A any more favorable in the eyes of Person B and Person B’s constituents? No, it does not. Person A and Person B have never agreed on a definition of what “racism” even is, and therefore Person A can try all he likes to defend himself, but he has institutional power, and because he is a member of a racial group, he is inherently privileged and is always a racist.

Perhaps the worst response, similar to #2, is for Person A to level the accusation back towards Person B, perhaps claiming “your constituency is made up of almost all of one group, therefore it is you and your constituency that are racist.” In other words: I’m more liberal than you. or perhaps: I can play your game better than you can! Person B sets the rules for his game, and he’ll change them whenever he likes. You can’t beat him at his own game.

This is all to say that pejoratives such as “racist,” are nothing more than tools of political power and leverage. These words and phrases are (almost) never deployed for the betterment of society or the righting of actual wrongs. They are but metal rings, thrown around one’s neck one after another for the sole intention of drowning you faster.

Are You Free?

Anarchy – “a state of society without government or law,” “political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control,” “lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination.”

Oligarchy – “a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.”

In addition to those words defined above I had originally conceived of also illustrating the definition of power. Yet it appears to me – as of the time I write this – that there are multiple problems therein:

  1. There are a good many breeds of power.
  2. The interpretation thereof will vary wildly from reader to reader, depending on one’s present circumstances, political persuasion, or loosely-defined social/cultural explanations of power; as well as the processes by which it is secured and exerted.
  3. There should be no ambiguity regarding the purpose for which it is defined, as Marxian criticisms of power, power relations, and hierarchy – i.e. “power” in relation to the labor theory of value, for example – are not respected in the following commentary.

However, we can attempt to refine power as strictly and objectively as possible, without having to endure a lesson in philosophy. Henceforth, and for the purposes of this commentary, we can define and refer to “power” in more precise synonyms in no particular order:

  • Authority – “the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.”
  • Influence – “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.”
  • Prestige (adj) – “having or showing success, rank, wealth, etc.”
  • Hegemony – “leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation.”
  • License – “permission to do or not to do something.”

The definitions above, along with many others might coalesce into a sort of temporary definition, at the very least, for the sake of commentary. With that out of the way, we can observe some modes in which power is exerted, the pros and cons of those modes, and the processes by which they are exercised.

Until this point, the purpose of defining anarchy and oligarchy may have been of some confusion. This is because the objective of this analysis is to study the way by which anarchy and oligarchy may work in concert in order to express a highly particular, uniquely modern, and exceptionally Western form of rule; which, as unpleasant as may be, might provide some insight into the way that the system seeks to control.

By the system I mean the current organization and arrangement of (mainly) Western government and any other institution, private or public, existing within and to any extent intertwined with said government. At the risk of resembling a Boomer hippie or a first-semester-of-college millennial, I will continue to call the system precisely what it is. There is no need to call this configuration anything other than “the system.” We know what it means.

As another caveat, let us not pretend that the system has no desire to influence your thoughts and actions. By its very definition, there is no system in the world that does not seek to change the behavior of its subjects. This is not to say that every system wishes ill upon those under its governance and administration, as the ruling elite of each system influences its subjects for a purpose that (often) does not involve the complete annihilation of its own.
The Exertion of Power

Insofar as the question of how power and control are made use of, there are two main “modes” which I believe accurately encapsulate the manner by which a population is controlled – yet these modes are not mutually exclusive. A given system can dominate its subordinates in exclusively one mode and one mode only, or a combination of the two modes can be utilized. The latter often existing in the case of multiple factions within the system’s upper echelons that may conspire, or may not.

HPS

To cut to the chase, I’ll pose a question. If I mention the word tyranny, what is the first nation-state that comes to mind?

Do you think of the monarchies of old? Do you think of the British Empire? Do you think of U.S. imperialism? What else? Does North Korea come to mind? Or perhaps The Democratic People’s Republic of China? Maybe even the Russian Soviet Union?

These systems are typically the immediate response to certain keywords such as tyranny, autocracy, authoritarianism, despotism, and so on. I would argue that this response is somewhat conditioned, which is not to say that each and every one of the aforementioned systems were not tyrannical, autocratic, authoritarian, despotic, etc. It is to say that as Westerners, we have conceived of this type of power – the raw, unabashed, in-your-face power – as the ultimate expression of a distinct and uniquely evil desire for domination, oppression, brutality, and subjugation. Whether those descriptions of evil are true as they relate to any individual regime is for one to decide himself.

These sorts of systems which openly subjugate, control, and otherwise exert power over their denizens are merely one of the operational modes – one side of the coin, if you will. This sort of system we can call the Hard Power System (henceforth HPS). Though the HPS will arrest, torture, and generally make life miserable for some (such as, but not limited to political dissidents, historical “revisionists,” and religious figures) it does so in an overt and conspicuous manner. If you are arrested in The Democratic People’s Republic of China, you will be told why you were arrested.

“You are under arrest for conspiracy to commit treasonous acts against the Chinese Communist Party,” they might say. Otherwise “你因串谋对中国共产党采取叛国行为而被捕.”

The overarching system of mainland China, as an example, is not afraid to show you that they are capable of and will use force against detractors and dissidents in relation to the party. It is authority. It is – dare I say – authoritarian. However, I would regret having this go without mention:

Authoritarianism is not inherently an evil thing.

As Westerners, we tend to conceptualize authoritarianism as the most evil thing in the world. There are two reasons why the worst thing you could ever call any other citizen of a Western country a “Fascist,” a “Nazi,” or “literally Hitler,” and the denotation of such slurs is certainly one of those reasons: ‘you are a fanatic who seeks to control others and kill them if you continue believing what you believe.’

Yet I would challenge one to think about how the citizens of HPS might truly feel about their situation. Is it as bad as we think it is? While living and teaching in The Democratic People’s Republic of China, I came to know many Chinese people, most of whom were coworkers. One could imagine that in downtime, many conversations were had about the differences, both subtle and overt, negative and positive, between the respective systems under which we were born. Of course, I knew about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, which resulted in the slaughter of hundreds upon hundreds. I knew about Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, both which claimed casualties in the tens of millions. But the Chinese don’t know. They might know that the incidents exist, but they certainly don’t know the raw havoc that sent millions upon millions to an early grave. I knew of these things, yet I also knew (for the most part) almost exactly what you can and cannot say. There is a certain comfort in knowing where the boundaries lie.

Nevertheless, aside from using certain parts of the internet and speaking openly in defiance of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, I was not in danger. Conversely, I remember the expression of complete disgust and disdain returned to me when I mentioned that doctors prescribe Adderall to children, or when I mentioned that there are places where you will be fined if you do not call a man in a wig a woman, or perhaps when I mentioned that a teacher can’t give their student a pat on the head without fearing a lawsuit. The more I spoke with them, the more I realized that I am not as free in America as I would’ve had them believe. I did not understand that there was a sort of freedom in walking down an alleyway in the dead of night with the only fear that perhaps some kind Chinese person will try to strike up a friendly conversation.

This leads into the reverse side in the exertion of power.

SPS

I am sure that many will guess by the acronym alone that the reverse of HPS is SPS. Whereas Hard Power Systems rely on the overt usage of control and forced compliance by the excessively ordered implementation of rules and regulations, the Soft Power System (henceforth SPS) does nearly the opposite. Soft power is that power that is set principally by non-state actors, which can make things a bit more complicated.

The SPS is just as dominant as the HPS, but it dominates by way of culture. It has no need for excessive displays of force as it is the one that sets the cultural narrative. SPS is an inherently cosmopolitan system. These rules and regulations flow outwards from primary school to university education; coming from the elite of large metropolitan areas, political parties, the media, and large corporations.

Though I feel that many will disagree with whether SPS is good or not, I think most might be able to agree that whatever the content, rules, mores, or regulations that arise from Soft Power Systems, there are Soft Power Systems, and they are extraordinarily effective.

In an HPS, we might see the system actively placating those in rural areas, people with backgrounds in the military – religious people.

On the other hand, the SPS targets the exact opposite population for placation. This is because metropolitan areas, with their abundance of human resources (pun intended), are wildly successful in quickly and memetically spreading ideology to the whole of the system’s population.

One very important note here is that those who work to actively promote the guidelines which make up the SPS are not involved in a conspiracy to change the culture. Much of what an SPS does revolves around social control – established via a loose societal consensus regarding what is acceptable and what is not. This consensus doesn’t come with a design, but is based on a solid foundation of philosophy and epistemology. The primary mechanism by which the SPS maintains its control is social pressure and ostracism. As an example, though we might think of a monarch as expressing hard power and hard power only, there was quite a lot of soft power involved in monarchy. Over generations, the population was conditioned to believe that the king was the rightful heir of the throne because it was inherited from God. These days we might find this notion ridiculous, but the SPS largely came from the Church. Go against the king, and you have made an affront towards God himself, and who among the kingdom does not believe in God? Further still, who among the kingdom will not punish you for the heretical act of defying the king, and by direct association, attacking the Holy Church itself?

Though 99% of the world does not live in a kingdom – at least a functional one – there is an overarching force of soft power which permeates all of the West. It is inescapable. In my previous article, I described the function by which society marches ever further leftward and this is enforced precisely through the SPS under which we live. Think about this:

There is a twenty-eight year old woman who harbors racial prejudice. Racial prejudice is one of the most taboo subjects within all of the West. While having a private conversation with a friend, she says a racial slur. Her friend proceeds to provoke her, and records it on video. Her friend posts the video to twitter. The prime movers of the SPS spread the video like wildfire. The woman is fired. She is not afforded social media accounts. Her family disowns her as a result of social pressure to do so. Private corporations – a large part of soft power – disallow her to fund raise on all crowd-funded websites where those who might be sympathetic could offer her money. She has effectively lost everything.

Now, let’s think about this:

There is a twenty-eight year old woman who harbors anti-Christian beliefs – or lack thereof, I suppose. Sacrilege is one of the most taboo subjects within all of the West. While having a private conversation with a friend, she states that she would kill Christ herself had he not already died. Her friend proceeds to provoke her, and remembers everything the woman said. Her friend tells the priest. The Church liturgy spread the message about her like wildfire. The woman loses all working prospects. She cannot speak in public. Her family disowns her as a result of social pressure to do so. The man who sold her potatoes and bread once a week spits on her when she tries to approach him. Her husband leaves her and removes her from the house. She has effectively lost everything.

What is the difference other than four or five hundred years?

The woman in both of the above situations was never oppressed by the state itself, but to claim the soft power expressed in the scenarios above has less effect on her than hard power could would be a mistake. This is not to say that SPS is better than HPS or that HPS is better than SPS; rather, it is a description, but I digress.

All definitions sourced from – https://www.dictionary.com/

Image sourced from – https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjMhe6Gt6vkAhWRsZ4KHd6UC58QjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sott.net%2Farticle%2F392839-Rule-of-the-few-A-brief-history-of-Oligarchy&psig=AOvVaw2pWN2sJbB8bJp2Cglwogw-&ust=1567283183918571

Online Activism and Its Consequences

Please note this article’s featured image is but a joke. It should become evident while reading.

As technology advances, the extremely online personalities of social media begin to hold a larger stake in our opinions; influencing our actions as well as the bedrock, structural beliefs by which those actions are justified. In principle, it does not seem to be a contentious argument to say that what we see online effects what we do – whether it is direct social or political action, or the simple execution of day-to-day activities.

We can follow up this point with another, although perhaps a bit more contentious. Given that much of human interaction is facilitated through web-based mediums, our level of anonymity (or at least our perception of anonymity) is heightened. This distanced and faceless interaction allows for one’s more radical opinions to take the forefront in our online persona, as opposed to a personal face-to-face interaction, which would not facilitate an expression of radical opinion. We are far more likely to express socially, culturally, economically, or politically radical opinions on the internet than we are to express them in a conversation with the people surrounding us.

It is my observation that this lack of inhibition regarding the expression of radical opinions lends itself to, and only to, the expression of more radical opinions. It is also my observation that in the socio-political landscape this promotion and expedition of ever more radical opinions occurs in a consistently leftward trend. Though the argument could be made (as many have) that all of history consists of a leftward trend. Or if that is too extreme, perhaps we can agree that on an individual basis, empires tend to start on an intensely conservative socio-political plane, and as they grow older, gradually slide into a liberal, and then ultimately degenerate and hedonistic one as they find themselves on their last legs. Though I do believe there is correlation, I am not proposing that there is a causation between the decay of conservative (religious or otherwise) morality, and the death of empires on an individual basis (Roman Empire, Weimar Republic, United States, Holy Roman Empire, British Empire, etc.).

It is becoming increasingly clear that this sort of Web 2.0 revolution, the resulting leftward trend on the extremely online user’s psyche, and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. Consider the following:

Some time within the last decade, the transgender phenomena began to step out from the shadows and within very little time was actively promoted by much of the corporate and political establishment. Contest this if you like, but I think many of us see that an agenda does exist, even without making any claims on the validity of said agenda.

corporate_logos_lgbt

The point here is not to disparage any group of people, but rather to simply state that even as recently as ten years ago, there would have been massive uproar over this kind of thing. If it’s progress, it’s progress. I’m not here to make a judgement call, but simply to state that this is a fairly new phenomena – not necessarily the acceptance of homosexuality, mind you, but of everything after the ‘B’ in LGBT.

The purpose for mentioning the LGBT community is simply to show that precisely because of those extremely online people who set the trend of the next radical opinion, the LGBT community is now wholeheartedly accepted by (not all, obviously) but many in the political establishment as well as corporations. Yes, I do understand that it is ‘pride month,’ and that in a few days all these corporate logos will return to their original state, and yes, I do understand those in the LGBT community who might say that such corporations are merely pandering to a socially liberal consumer base so that they may profit – I do not disagree, and again, am not taking a decisive side other than to lay out what I observe as a socio-politically leftward shift.

In a nutshell, the overarching point is that the extremely online trendsetters that I have described, are very effectively moving the Overton Window leftward, and as a result changing what is and what is not acceptable. Things that were unthinkable twenty years ago are now policy, and things what were never even spoken of are now somewhere between radical and acceptable.

overton window diagram

A perfect example of this is the very new phenomena of things like Drag Queen Story Hour, drag kids, bolstered by featured articles with headlines like ‘Children Can Handle The Kink’ of Pride Parades, Says LGBTQ Activists.

At this point, one might not like it, but this is an absolutely abhorrent and sickening form of child abuse by sexualizing children who are not old enough to know why they shouldn’t eat three bowls of ice cream at night or why the people in front of them at the pride parade are urinating on one another.

drag_kid.jpg

A large driver of the increase in radical content online is the social signal that accompanies confirmation bias or praise from others. Bear in mind that I am not using social signaling in a derogatory way here. I have signaled many times just within this article (especially in the above passage) but much of which is unintentional. What seems to be the easiest explanation for things like the above picture is still a complicated explanation nonetheless.

Trendsetters on the internet send signals to one another through social media. These trendsetters are not only groups of individuals, but would also include NGOs, government officials, as well as transnational elites and their large corporations. This does not mean that it is these groups, and these groups only, that are the drivers of social agendas, but these are some of the most frequent. From these trendsetters, the message trickles down to journalists and the media at large, as well as any extremely online individual. These extremely online individuals project the message outwards in order to signal that they not only agree with the new trend, but that they help in the setting and defense of the trend.

Journalists and television media will write articles and run segments on the morning news about the trend, exposing it to the masses in a way that they too can signal upwards that they are worthy. Finally, the message slowly trickles down to those who find themselves engaged with any of the aforementioned content or content creators, and is normally associated with positive feelings like safety or tolerance (in the case of the left) or justice and righteousness (in the case of the right).

It is in this manner that we see a mother, father, married couple, or any other kind of caregiver displaying typical symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP). As recently as ten years ago, the thought of bringing your prepubescent child to a specialized hospital to undergo hormone blocking chemical treatment, dressing your child in drag and allowing them to take photos with nude middle aged men, or assuring everyone else on Facebook that yes, your child is, in fact, transgender, and that it doesn’t matter how young they are, they can make that decision – would not have been a thought at all. Yet signals from the media tell us this is a good thing. Mothers and fathers are told implicitly and subversively that it is cool to have a homosexual or transgender child; all the while, how is a child to react when exposed to things that they shouldn’t be exposed to until a much older age: “I said I was a girl, and now mommy gives me more attention.”

The Libertarian Dilemma

In years past I often described myself as a libertarian, accompanied by the now burned out expression of “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” However, after some critical thought on libertarianism and the core philosophies beneath it, I have changed my mind, particularly within the last year or so. When reading this, please bear in mind that I am not attacking any individuals who would describe themselves as having libertarian-oriented beliefs, nor am I attacking individuals who would describe themselves as sticking to beliefs of any other political or philosophical persuasion. Much of this is an exercise, as I still hold many (albeit less) libertarian views.

A Fiscal Structure for Addressing Social Issues

Libertarianism is a system that is composed entirely of negative positions and doctrines. In this context, negative doctrines are those which do not promote doing, but instead advocate for avoiding behavior which would be detrimental to the proper functioning and execution of the system of which the doctrines comprise. In other words, negative doctrines, ideologies, systems, promote inaction as opposed to action that would aid in facilitating the end goal of the philosophy as a whole. Two good examples of negative doctrines in libertarianism include voluntarism (not forcing exchanges on others against their will – i.e. taxation), and the non-aggression principle (do not use coercion or violence on others unless in self defense).

My concerns with libertarianism have very little to do with fiscal proposals, as I mostly agree with economic conservatism; my concerns lie in the application of the aforementioned negative doctrines in relation to social issues. One of my largest concerns here is that these negative doctrines promote the idea of a moral standing where one is good enough, and as long as he abides by these negative doctrines, he is a morally good person. This is opposed to positive-oriented philosophies, which serve to help one to constantly attempt to be better than being good enough.

Within the libertarian framework of inaction regarding social issues, one should have no qualms with doing antisocial, immoral, and unnatural things, as long as he does not violate the liberty of others – this is not the way to produce and uphold a healthy and functional society. This is not to say that libertarians themselves are necessarily immoral or antisocial people, as many of them are quite the opposite. It is to say, however, that the libertarian structure itself does not discriminate between decent and indecent ways of life, and to follow and promote the social wing of libertarianism is to urge others to follow the doctrine of happiness.

One thing to note here: I do understand that for many, libertarianism is not the be-all-end-all to one’s entire philosophical worldview. Libertarianism can be an effective modifier when combined with other ideologies that do seek to explain and provide solutions to social and cultural issues, but quite often libertarianism is not accompanied by or blended with other viewpoints. As such, he who subscribes to libertarianism and little else is decidedly susceptible to nihilism, hedonism, and the orientation of one’s values such that the pursuit of pleasure is the primary goal of being.

The 1931 novel A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley provides an example of the negative doctrine taken to an absurd and dystopian extreme, where the pleasures of life become so universally acceptable that they are nearly no longer pleasurable. For example, A Brave New World shows us a society in which sexual promiscuity is rampant, so much so that it is nearly enforced, and any intention of procreation is completely removed from sexual intercourse. The novel also references the characters’ constant consumption of a happiness producing drug called soma, which is taken whenever a character experiences even the slightest bit of discomfort.

The Inevitability of the State

One of the most important pillars of libertarianism is the notion of a highly limited state government, however there seems to be a spectrum within libertarianism whereupon advocates sit regarding size and scope of government. On one end of the spectrum sit those who I would consider classical liberals (in an American context), and generally accept a larger government than other libertarians, but who still support the limiting of government to its basic functionality. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who I would consider anarcho-capitalists, and generally advocate for the abolition of government in its entirety. Anarcho-capitalists propose the replacement of essential government roles (i.e. police, firefighters, etc.) by privately owned organizations.

It seems the anarcho-capitalist form of libertarianism is not particularly viable, given the inevitability that not every person will necessarily adhere to the principles of the AnCap. However, the primary reason for its impossibility is the eternal presence of government. This may be a tragic notion to both libertarians and anarchists of all stripes, but systems of government will always arise in any society once such society becomes large enough. The State will always exist primarily because it is a highly effective way for those who fiercely desire power to be able to work their way into positions of authority. Acquiring power within a capitalist system requires work, strategy, and intelligent investment into one’s organization – not necessarily through charisma and bribery (though there are exceptions, especially in the system of faux capitalism in the U.S.). Yet, acquiring positions of authority in government is often reducible to charisma and bribery. That being said, not all people who are elected to government office have malicious intent, but most systems of government reward deceitfulness.

To add to the inevitability of the presence of government, there is also an inevitable growth of government.

The Issue of Tolerance

The pure libertarian worldview allows for (and in many respects requires) tolerance of the actions of others, so long as those actions do not infringe upon one’s own rights, or violate the non-aggression principle. A common refrain one may hear from libertarians is something to the effect of “I want gay couples guarding their marijuana crops with rifles.” Phrases like these show the libertarian’s dedication to advocate for the rights of others to do as they please, and advocate for their own rights by proxy. Leaving the question of morality or social acceptability aside, excessive tolerance will inevitably lead to the decay and weakening of a social or political movement. Seeing as libertarians and anarchists are perhaps the most tolerant of all social or political movements, it is easy to understand why they have never been a force to be contended with on the national level, and are often disregarded completely in discussions about the political future.

For a movement to become a force to be contended with, it must have some degree of intolerance toward its opponents. Bear in mind that “intolerance” does not necessarily mean prejudice towards others regarding immutable characteristics as the connotation of the word often suggests. It is important that any group, or individual for that matter, retain some sort of intolerance if such a group or individual wishes to not become easily intimidated and in a perpetual state of apology. To try and shed the connotation from the concept of intolerance, I’ll provide some examples here from both the “left” and the “right” in the United States. Note that these examples are not indictments of either political alignment, and only serve to outline the concept.

Left Wing Intolerance:

Though many would consider the left wing the epitome of tolerance, they are quite intolerant when it suits their interests, and this has proved to be invaluably effective for their cause. More specifically, take the generic left wing’s advocacy for the approval and acceptance of the homosexual community, or perhaps its support for radical egalitarianism. Those who make disparaging comments about homosexuals or perhaps make stereotypical jokes about people of other races will be swiftly and severely punished. The left’s ability to deplatform, socially isolate, and pressure employers to terminate those who make such disparaging comments or jokes showcases the effectiveness of their intolerance. Again, I am not casting judgment on the morality of this intolerance, I am simply calling it as I see it. It is my understanding that many of those on the left who practice this intolerance do so because they will not tolerate those who are intolerant of their agenda.

Right Wing Intolerance:

Though the generic right wing was once (up until the early 2000s) highly effective in asserting their intolerance of dissent, they are now almost completely ineffective at doing so, most likely because of the highly liberal climate in the West. This is not to say that there is no intolerance within the right wing – it is to say that, in the court of public opinion, nobody cares what the right wing will and will not tolerate. Yet, there have been a few occasions of right wing intolerance that have been somewhat successful in recent years. For example, it’s easy to see that the National Rifle Association believes that there is a slippery slope regarding the regulation of firearms and firearm modifications/accessories. The NRA has been (mostly) successful at pushing back against the regulation of firearms, even regulations that seem very inconsequential and minor in nature. However, their intolerance of what they believe to be infringements on the constitutional rights of their members has been effective in swaying public opinion.

The Point

There are some ideas and behaviors which (taken at face value) seem harmless and innocuous, but when tolerated for long enough, they pick up steam and become aggressive to the point of infringing on one’s personal liberties. The most obvious and most relevant example of excessive tolerance leading to the infringement of liberties is the issue of internet censorship. There are a great deal of political figures on the internet – many of whom used platforms such as YouTube as their means of income – who have recently been banned from using these platforms because of their ideologies. The libertarian might contend that social media corporations are private entities, and have the right to censor and deplatform as they wish. The libertarian might also assert that if the banned user had used a given platform as their means of income and intend to continue to rely on internet activity as their means of income in the future, that they should “build their own” platform. Personally, I would usually be inclined to agree with the sentiment, but the circumstances regarding censorship are far different than they were in the past.

The user bases of platforms such as YouTube or Twitter, as well as the public at large (including libertarians for the reasons listed above), generally tolerated the banning and deplatforming of many internet figures. Some did decide to build their own platforms, and websites such as Gab.ai, BitChute, and Hatreon were created. But it did not take long before access to online payment processing through PayPal and Stripe (together having overwhelming dominance of the payment processing market) had been revoked. The market dominance of PayPal and Stripe (which frequently operate in lock-step, nearly cornering the payment processing market) is what is important here. Though it is obviously difficult, one can create an alternative platform where they can host content for themselves and others like them; however, to ask for one to create an alternative media platform as well as a payment processing system within a market where practically no competition to the dominant companies is able to go anywhere is an absolutely absurd proposition. Tolerating the deplatforming of any person who was (within their constitutional rights) operating on platforms which are now the de facto public square is the cause of a new wave of censorship that has now targeted libertarians themselves for banning and removal from these platforms.

I understand that the above example of internet censorship is somewhat long-winded and complicated, however, I personally find it preferable to taking the heat over explaining an example like the baking of wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, or the legal requirement to refer to people by using their “preferred pronouns.”

In summation, I don’t believe that libertarianism is something that is deeply flawed, nor do I think that it is a system of political and social thinking that is without value or merit. But there is a reason why the peak success of libertarianism and ideas like it took place long ago during a time of exploration, pioneering, and occasional lawlessness. In a low density population the idea is quite good, yet with the way things are now, it is increasingly obvious that not everyone can be convinced of free market principles and the value of the individual through simple logical explanation, and those people who cannot be convinced will inevitably band together into a collective and utilize the power of the state in one way or another to infringe upon your liberties.

Royal Esoterica: Metaphysics and Archetypes in Monarchy

Monarchism and kingship are concepts that – in the current political and philosophical climate – are seemingly beyond the point of unthinkable. This is most likely due to a plethora of historical examples so archaic that monarchy is often inextricably tied to the epochs in which it existed; the implication being that, were a monarchic system to arise, it would be swiftly crushed by modernity. The unending criticism of monarchy aside, I felt that it might be interesting to explore, and it certainly has been. I am not now, nor have I ever been an advocate of monarchy or totalitarianism in any of its forms, yet I am interested in the metaphysical underpinnings of the components of monarchism. Here, I will be using Revolt Against the Modern World, published in 1934 by the Italian philosopher and esotericist, Julius Evola, as a tool for exploring these components. Though Revolt Against the Modern World is about much more than monarchy on its own, many of the other topics are not relevant to this subject specifically.

Every traditional civilization is characterized by the presence of beings who, by virtue of their innate or acquired superiority over the human condition, embody within the temporal order the living and efficacious presence of a power that comes from above

One of the first things to note about Evola’s chapter entitled “Regality” is his description of pontifex – essentially a type of being referenced in the above quote. Pontifex (traditionally identified as a king) means “‘builder of bridges’ or of ‘paths’,” bridges and paths which connect the realm of the natural to that of the supernatural. The monarchs’ connection between these two realms indicates they are the “personification of life ‘beyond ordinary life’.” The foundation of authority for these monarchs was the reality that they were imbued with transcendent and nonhuman qualities. The roots of such authority were understood to be of an inherently metaphysical character and the idea that this authority would be bestowed upon some man by a community subject to his decrees was a foreign idea in the world of monarchic tradition. On the contrary, the roots of a king’s power were of spiritual authority; that kings were of divine origin, given power to execute “law from above.”

Themes, Rites, and Symbols of Kingship

One of the many recurring symbols in traditional monarchism is the sun, as well as solar features and associations, both visible and invisible.

In Tradition, kingship was often associated with the solar symbol. In the king, people saw the same “glory” and “victory” proper to the sun and to the light (the symbols of the superior nature), which every morning overcome darkness.

Solar symbolism is certainly not exclusive to European monarchism, as these same symbols are distinguishable in – if not essential to – ancient Egyptian, Persian, Indo-Aryan, Roman, and Zoroastrian religious and hierarchical traditions. However, the conception of solar “glory” or “victory” is not merely a symbol, but rather designated a metaphysical reality. The association with the metaphysical realm was commonly “identified with a nonhuman operating force, which the king did not possess in and by himself.” Some ancient Roman representations of kingship combined the auxiliary properties of the sun such as glory, light, and heavenly fire, with the planetary characteristic of a sphere, which denoted universal authority and dominion.

Ancient Egyptian tradition combined the aforementioned auxiliary elements of solar properties (i.e. glory, victory), with the scepter.

In the oldest texts, the scepter is portrayed as the zigzag bolt of lightning. The regal “force” thus appears as a manifestation of the dazzling, heavenly force. The combination of signs represented the concept of “life-force” (anshus), form a word for “fiery milk,” which is the nourishment of the immortals. This word is not without relation to uraeus, the divine flame, at times life-giving, at other times dangerously destructive, which crowns the head of the Egyptian king in the shape of a serpent.

Another element present in many traditional monarchies around the world is that of the “nonterrestrial power or fluid (sa).” The sa is the convergence of the solar metaphysical components into a consecrating power which “gives witness to the solar, triumphant nature of the king,” and from one king, is bestowed upon another in his ascension.

The theme of the king as the “son of heaven” is not only relegated to Europe and the Middle East, but also appears in Far Eastern tradition. Though the source of the “mandate of heaven” bestowed upon the “son of heaven” (in Far Eastern tradition) is not that of biblical authority (i.e. heaven in the biblical sense), the end results still show a plethora of similarities to Christianity and European Paganism.

This force [mandate of heaven] that comes “from heaven,” according to Lao-tzu, acts without acting (wei wu wei) through an immaterial presence, or by virtue of just being present… When this power is unleashed, the forces of common men, according to Meng-tzu, bend under it as blades of grass under the wind. Concerning wu wei, a text says:

“By its thickness and substantiality, sincerity equals earth; and by its height and splendor it equals heaven. Its extent and duration are without limit. He who possesses the sincerity, without showing himself, he will shine forth, without moving he will renovate others; without acting, he will perfect them.”

Similarly to European monarchs, the Chinese monarch also acted as the “center” between heaven and earth, through which the “mandate of heaven” could be imparted to his subjects. The concept of the monarch as the third power between heaven and earth is perhaps the most frequently recurring idea across all time and throughout all peoples, nations, and kingdoms. This role of centrality was dubbed “Immutability in the middle,” the meaning of which may imply that the middle is precisely where the virtue of heaven is manifested.

The last symbol of kingship which seems relevant to discuss here is that of the circle or wheel. In the center of this wheel is the monarch, who acts as an immovable pole that spins the worldly forces around him, yet keeps them in orbit. This, of course, is an abstraction of one of the prime functions of a king, in that all earthly things move around him, as he is the son of heaven, on earth to execute the mandate of heaven. There are two excellent examples of this to be found in history. The first example is that of the Indian Cakravartin:

We may consider the Hindu notion of the cakravartin, or “universal king.” The cakravartin may be considered the archetype of the regal function of which various kings represent more or less complete images or even particular expressions whenever they conform to the traditional principle. Cakravartin literally means “lord” or “spinner of the wheel.” This notion brings us back to the idea of a center that corresponds also to an inner state, to a way of being, or better yet, to the way of Being.

Another historical example of the archetype of the wheel is the samsara or the “stream of becoming,” which the Hellenes called the “wheel of generation” or “the wheel of fate.” The center of the wheel remains motionless, symbolic of the balance and stability of the monarch, who is not subject to samsara, and can subordinate the activities of lower natures (non-aristocratic citizens) to the higher power by which the king is imbued. Further explanation of the archetype of the wheel is found in the writings of Confucius in The Analects: “The practice of government by means of virtue may be compared to a polestar, which the multitudinous stars pay homage while it stays in its place.” That which orbits around the center of the wheel is subject to the concept of “revolution,” or “the motion occurring around an “unmoved mover”.”

The concept of the wheel is certainly similar to (and was depicted as) a copy of, or a part of the cosmic order, where a central being (the sun in the case of the universe) sits, and around this being, all things move. Some of the attributes of regality in this polar model of monarchy are glory, centrality (polarity), stability, and peace. It must be noted that the notion of peace is specifically defined by inner peace, and not by peace which one might call forced or external. Perhaps another model of the archetype of the wheel could be a “3D model” in the sense that multiple rings, as orbital paths, revolve around the center. In this case, the orbital path of a higher dimension could contain another point or pole (nevertheless subject to revolution) that represents the sacred; whereas the orbital path of the lowest dimension could contain a third point or pole also subject to revolution which would be representative of the human and earthly. Yet, this is only tangentially relevant to the subject matter at hand. In closing, here is another quote regarding Plato, and his writings on Zeus as the center of all things, as well as the cakravartin.

Plato’s reference to the place where Zeus holds counsel with the gods in order to reach a decision concerning the fate of Atlantis: “He accordingly summoned all the gods to his own most glorious abode, which stands at the center of the universe and looks out over the whole realm of change.” The abovementioned notion of cakravartin is also connected to a cycle of enigmatic traditions concerning the real existence of a “center of the world” that exercises this supreme function here on earth. Some fundamental symbols of regality had originally a close relationship with these ideas. One of these symbols was the scepter, the main function of which is analogically related to the “axis of the world.” Another symbol is the throne, an “elevated” place; sitting still on the throne evokes, in addition to the meaning of stability connected to the “pole” and to the “unmoved mover,” the corresponding inner and metaphysical meanings. Considering the correspondence that was originally believed to exist between the nature of the royal man and the nature produced by initiation, in the classical Mysteries we find a ritual consisting of sitting still on a throne.

All quotes within this essay were taken from Revolt Against the Modern World, written by Julius Evola and translated from the original Italian manuscript by Guido Stucco. This translation was published in 1995 by Inner Traditions International.

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.

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

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.