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The Blue Period

The Democrats will soon achieve political hegemony in an age of radical polarization. It probably won’t end well. Introduction On November 3, Joe Biden should comfortably win the Presidency of…

The Democrats will soon achieve political hegemony in an age of radical polarization. It probably won’t end well.

Introduction

On November 3, Joe Biden should comfortably win the Presidency of the United States, earning between 325 and 375 Electoral College votes, matching Barack Obama’s results in 2008 and 2012. In an age of polarization—and in light of Trump’s tremendous popularity among Republicans—Biden’s victory will be viewed as a “landslide” and national denunciation of Trumpism. Demoralization and confusion among the Republican faithful will follow.

In addition, Democrats should take control of the Senate, with a tight majority of 51 to 49. More than one Republican stalwart and Trump ally will be sent packing. In the House, Democrats will maintain dominance. The “wave” election already occurred in 2018, and, to a lesser extent, in 2016. This year will be about consolidation, not conquest.

Inertia is the most powerful force in politics. Some 75 percent of all House races are uncompetitive “slam dunks,” and we can expect incumbent Congressmen, especially members of the House, to be re-elected at a rate around 90 percent. But after multiple cycles of consistent gains, on January 20, 2021, the Democrats will stand in the same position the Republicans did four years earlier: they’ll have the presidency; they’ll enjoy a House majority in the realm of 235-250 members, and a narrow margin in the Senate. A 25-year era of mostly Republican leadership in Congress will be supplanted by a new “Blue Period.” This is the result of seismic demographic, geographic, and attitudinal and psychological shifts. But ultimately, the 2020 victory will paper over deep problems for the Democrats, which will likely lead to an unhappy presidency for Mr. Biden.

This essay will explain my forecast, but, more important, it will assess the structural basis for the coming Democratic dominance, and expose fault lines that make doing politics, even for a hegemonic party, exceedingly difficult.

In 2016, Trump was not just the candidate of right-wing populism but “chaos” as well, to borrow an insult from Jeb Bush. Trump ran against his own party, its leadership, and quite a bit of what it held dear. Biden, on the other hand, has run a bi-partisan campaign on the promise of a “return to normalcy.”

“Normalcy” means ending the Trump experiment: the outrages, scandals, wild talk, and nationalism. But it also means keeping at bay left-wing energies—“wokeness,” BLM, and democratic socialism—that are now motivating a great deal of Biden’s voters. Biden’s experience in the Democratic primaries was about survival, not triumph, and it was only possible through the intervention of party luminaries at the 11th hour. Biden has a long history of being extremely “un-woke,” and his Clintonian policy proposals are simply out of step with the majority of Democratic activists and operatives, if not high-level leadership and donors. Thus, Biden is caught in a pincer, and there is a strong chance that he will be undermined early on by forces within—perhaps even given a rude comeuppance.

Moreover, it is becoming questionable whether America is governable at all. We will soon be in a remarkable situation in which the once-and-future party of political hegemony, the Democrats, will be governing a population that has undergone radical polarization and division. In the new Blue era, the Democrats will struggle for legitimacy, not power. That can’t end well.

1. We Just Hate Each Other

Biden’s coming victory must be put into perspective. The era of monumental landslides—when one candidate captured a unified national mood—is past. The last time a candidate won more than 500 electoral votes was 1984, when Ronald Reagan came close to matching Richard Nixon’s 49-state domination in 1972. Barack Obama’s comfortable victories in 2008 and 2016—or George W. Bush’s 2004 win as a “stay the course,” wartime president—never approached the famous wipeout elections of the 20th century.

Our era is one of fragmentation, which has led to stasis and rigidity. Voters are “polarized,” in the sense of being frozen in place. You simply are Red or Blue. And they’re ain’t no doubt about it.

One some level, Red/Blue politics has eclipsed race, ethnicity, and religion as the source and marker of identity. When polled, Americans who strongly identify with “conservative” or “liberal” are skittish about the prospect of family members marrying someone of another political affiliation. A hardcore conservative worries more about his daughter marrying a Democrats than a man of a different race. “Look who’s coming to dinner,” indeed.

There are, I should point out, some key issues of remarkable national consensus. At least in 2018, a majority of Republicans supported a national healthcare system or “Medicare for All,” a program touted by Bernie Sanders. That said, on a host of meta-political topics—like inequality, racial discrimination, and the environment—gaps between Red and Blue are only widening. The parties themselves have become hostile nations with closed borders. This is demonstrated in a longitudinal study by the Pew Research Center covering the past 25 years. In 1994, 64 percent of Republican voters were “to the right” of the average Democrat on a host of basic issues, with considerable overlap. Put another way, the average Democratic was “to the Right” of one-third of Republicans. By 2017, the “center” had vanished. Effectively all (95-97 percent) Republicans are “to the right” of Democrats and Democrats, “to the left” of Republicans.

Some old-timers still wax nostalgic about a bi-partisan era long ago, when both parties would roll up their sleeves and get things done for the American people. The reality is, compromise and collaboration are simply impossible when there is no common ground.

Polarization tracks with religious divides. Mormons and evangelical Protestants are overwhelmingly Republican. And to no one’s surprise, self-identified atheists are liberal to roughly the same degree as fundamentalists are conservative. Polarization is also strongly regional—a phenomenon known as the “Big Sort.” Blue states are clustered on the eastern and western seaboards, and states containing large metropolises tend to be Democratic. Texas and Georgia are notable Southern exceptions. Polarization also marks the intersection of race and class, as Republicans have gradually become the home of the White working class—those without college degrees. (I’ll explore this in more detail in the next essay in this series.)

In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry by a close score in the popular vote, 51-48. But mapping the election county-by-county tells a very different story. The entire Heartland and South was deep Red, with some Blue outliers in predominately African-American districts and urban centers. Someone in, say, Casper, Wyoming might not know another soul who voted for John Kerry, to paraphrase the infamous quip by Pauline Kael.

2004 Presidential Election, County-by-County

Polarization is even more radical than elections would lead you believe. Terms like “secession” and “Civil War 2” are in the air. A Reuters-Ipsos poll conducted from November 2016 through January 2017 found 22 percent of respondents supporting the state they live in “withdrawing from the USA and the federal government.” Support among non-Whites was even higher, at 29 percent, with less than an outright majority opposed and the remaining quarter of the population, unsure. Some 40 percent of both Democrats and Republicans openly tell pollsters that political violence is justified “a little” if the other guys win.

Both the QAnon conspiracy and “Russian Collusion” narrative (which led to Trump’s impeachment) are factually dubious but true to the prevailing Zeitgeist. For QAnon, the Democrats aren’t just wrong, they are, literally, Satanic, blood-sucking pedophiles. The mass media (“fake news”) is only there to distract the public from Trump’s noble crusade against evil. On the other side, “Resistance” liberals say that Trump is in Vladimir Putin’s pocket, effectively reviving a Cold War-era ghost story about a “Manchurian candidate,” once the bugbear of right-wing fanatics in the John Birch Society. Trump doesn’t just want better diplomatic relations with Russia; he is, in fact, a tool of a Slavic autocrat bent on world domination.

Marianne Williamson captured the mood, as only she can.

What is key here is that both Reds and Blues view “the other,” not as an adversary, but as a demon or tyrant. Why debate or find common ground with someone who wants you thrown in a dungeon. It’s kill or be killed!

2. Projecting the Presidency

Radical polarization is disturbing—and it might foretell an eventual breakdown of the United State, as unthinkable as that might sound. But for our limited purposes here, polarization means electoral stability, and that means that four out of every five states in any presidential election can be forecast years in advance.

For yet another cycle, a dozen or so states will determine the outcome of the presidential election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The other 38 are not likely to produce surprises. Texas and Georgia are two remarkable additions to this list, as both have been reliably Republican since 1996 and are thought of as bastions of conservatism. Among the 12 states in play, three—Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania—will prove most important, since they are populous and polling has been both close and volatile. Mainstream forecasters (The Cooke Political Report, The Economist, FiveThirtyEight, and the New York Times) are consistent on this assessment.

2020 Presidential Election


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Joe Biden’s advantage immediately jumps to the fore. Taking the 38 non-swing states as “givens,” Biden will begin election night carrying some 215-225 electoral votes; Trump, only around 125. Of the dozen decisive states, half of them are leaning towards Biden: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Arizona. Only Texas and Georgia are significantly leaning Republican. This leaves Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa as the “tossups among tossups.” The problem for Trump is that Biden does not need to win all of the Democratic-leaning tossups to reach 270 electoral votes, and thus an Electoral College majority. In other words, for Trump to eke out a victory, he must hold Southern stalwarts like Georgia, Florida, and Texas and win at least a couple of the Midwestern states (Iowa and Ohio, for example), which formed his unlikely “Rustbelt strategy” of 2016.

This is simply too tall an order. A victory for Trump—based on, say, winning Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida—would already be reflected by polls suggesting a Republican wave. We don’t see this. Biden has maintained a comfortable lead in national polling in the area of seven-to-ten points for months. This is significantly higher than Clinton’s lead over Trump throughout the summer and fall of 2016, which hovered between one and six points and was trending towards deadlock. Numbers on early voting foresee a dramatic, multi-fold increase of turnout among young people (18-29)—a group that skews heavily towards Biden.

As they say in the NFL, any team can win on “any given Sunday”—and that rule holds for Tuesdays, as well. If, say, Trump secures Florida (with its 29 electoral votes), then his chances of pulling off an upset increase dramatically. But we need to remember how astounding Trump’s win in 2016 really was. In the Electoral College, Trump beat Clinton handedly: 304 to 207. On a state-by-state basis, however, his margins were razor thin: Trump won Florida (a state of 22 million) by 100,000 votes; he won Michigan by a mere 10,000. Treading such a precarious, narrow path to victory one more time is too much to ask of any candidate. And demographics in those states are clearly moving in the wrong direction.

Change in voting-age population, 2016-2020

3. Letting A Good Crisis Go To Waste

America might never again see a truly “national” statesman, that is, a man who transcends party and policies, and is widely viewed as the right guy to take charge in a crisis. After 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt seemingly couldn’t lose, consistently boosted by his resolve in the Great Depression and Second World War. Since then, wartime can make a president invincible . . . before sinking him. Lyndon Baines Johnson won by a landslide at the height of the Vietnam War, then bowed out of the 1968 election early, having lost control of his own party. George H.W. Bush’s approval ratings were just shy of 90 percent after launching the first Iraq War; they then dipped as low as 29 in 1992 when the fight was over. His son, George W., experienced a similar ordeal: he broke 90 percent after the September-11 attacks, just before his approval cascaded downward and he became a national punch-line in his second term. And “Dubya” might be the last president to achieve unanimous adulation, however fleeting.

After years of relative peace for the American empire, Trump was challenged in the final year of his term with a crisis of Biblical proportions—a plague from the Far East that brought the world to its knees. Politically speaking, this was a gift, if he were only willing to unwrap it. Trump achieved his highest approval ratings in the first half of May 2020—49 percent—weeks after he had officially declared the Coronavirus a national emergency. Great stress brings out “animal instincts”; people desperately want to “follow the leader.” At that moment, Trump was, at least potentially, poised to transcend polarization.

For all of the shrill talk about Trump being a “fascist,” the reality is that Benito Mussolini would have relished the chance to mobilize the nation under “pandemic socialism.” And if Trump governed more like a fascist—perhaps donning a knightly hazmat suit during press briefings—he would have a much better chance of being re-elected.

No leader on Earth has paid a political price for “overreacting” to Coronavirus—even if some have, indeed, overreacted. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has consistently urged lockdowns, has had an approval rating in the mid-to-upper 60s on his handling of the pandemic—double that of Trump. The nation was clearly begging to be given marching orders by a strongman.

Trump, for his part, chose the “power of positive thinking,” a uniquely American form of Christianity articulated by Norman Vincent Peale, a minister who presided over Trump’s first wedding. Trump’s response to Coronavirus will forever be remembered by his claims that it was a “Democrat hoax,” that it will go away in the spring “like a miracle,” various goofy proposals for instant cures, and his fretting over the health of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. By October, Trump was losing seniors—those most vulnerable to Covid-19—by 10 points in the all-important state of Pennsylvania. Voters over the age of 65 would seem to be the natural constituency of any conservative; 65 percent of them voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Yet in 2020, “the olds” have a voting profile much like their self-centered, left-wing grandchildren.

Trump is one of the only presidents in recent memory to declare himself a “nationalist,” and he has evoked the prewar slogan of “America First!” But in the end, his “nationalism”—whatever it might mean in practice—is a minority political position. It is undoubtedly popular with GOP diehards—Trump’s approval among Republicans is rising to 95 percent—but it is simply not a governing ideology. The country is headed in a very different direction.

4. Projecting the House

The 2018 Midterms amounted to a “wave” election for the Democrats, though one obscured by the final result: a split government with the Republicans increasing their lead in the Senate. That year, the Democrats achieved a net gain of 41 seats in the House, which put the victory on par with two iconic Republican “waves” of recent history: the 1994 “Revolution” (net gain of 54) and the 2010 “Tea Party” (net gain of 63). Remarkably, the 2018 “Blue Wave” was greater than those two, at least as measured by the popular vote margin. Yes, all politics is local—especially in the House—but if the 2018 Midterms were treated like a national referendum, then the Democrats had a nine-point advantage over the Republicans, matching Biden’s 2020 advantage over Trump.

The ’94 and 2010 Midterms birthed new heroes in the persons of Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan, two pompous and nerdy libertarians. The impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the consolidation of the Religious Right as a reliable bloc, endless prattle about budgets, and various government shutdowns marked the terms of both speakers in this “Red Era” of Congress. It’s difficult to think of any legislative achievements. No examples come to mind.

Recent Democratic gains in the House, on the other hand, brought us Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the so-called “Squad”—all of whom immediately became stars and generated friction with the centrist leaders of the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Biden, too, is running as a centrist, the man who, as he brags, “beat the socialists” and will revive a globally oriented foreign policy. Whereas Republican presidents were generally aligned with popular energies in the parties, Biden is already at odds with them. He may be the last Democratic standard-bearer to promise, “Nothing will fundamentally change.” Regardless of Biden’s expectations, creative and paradigm-shifting policy (“The Green New Deal,” being a perfect example) will begin flowing out of the Democratic House.

5. Projecting the Senate

In 2018, Fortuna looked fondly upon Republicans. That year, only eight of their 51 seats in the Senate were in play, whereas the Democrats had 23 of 49. Republicans seized the opportunity—and the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett would not have been possible were it not for the lucky hand they were dealt.

In 2020, Republicans face the inverse of the happy situation last cycle. They have 23 seats up for election, while the Democrats have only 12. And it gets worse. Among the Democrats’ 12 seats in jeopardy, only one is likely to be lost—Doug Jones’s perch in Alabama, which was acquired in a bizarre special election against Christian fundamentalist Roy Moore. In 2020, Alabama will likely send Republican Tommy Tuberville, the old Auburn football coach, to the U.S. Senate.

Of the Republicans’ 23 seats that are up for election, eight are considered “tossups,” and, in the cases of Martha McSally in Arizona and Cory Gardner in Colorado, likely losses. Seats that should be solid are now in play, such as Joni Ernst in Iowa and Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, both of whom seem to be dragged down by their close association with Trump. Graham’s unlikely challenger, Jamie Harrison, has raised more money than any other Senate candidate in U.S. history (upwards of 85 million). For Republicans, there are simply too many signs that too many things are going wrong.

A base-line expectation for the Democrats would be to lose Alabama and keep 46 of their current 47 seats; this would roughly maintain the status quo. The Republicans should reasonably hope to maintain their 15 “safe” seats; however, they should expect to lose between four and five, that is, half of the toss-ups. In that scenario, they would lose control. Normally, the re-election of a party’s incumbent president means a rising tide. But this is not a normal year. The Republicans should lose five seats, and on November 4, 2020, the Democrats will gain control of the Senate, 51/49.

6. “Ignore The Polls, Bro”

But wait—weren’t all polls wrong in 2016? It’s a common refrain you hear from Trump fans. It also harkens back to 2012, when Republicans were similarly confident that polls weren’t capturing Mitt Romney’s support—a contrarianism that led Karl Rove to engage in embarrassing displays of delusion and denial when the results came in.

The short answer to the question “Weren’t the polls wrong?” is “no.” The full story is more complicated.

Trump’s entrance onto the political scene in 2015 was a watershed in that traditional metrics and punditry, which had worked so well in previous elections, failed spectacularly to understand his popularity over the course of the next 18 months. Much like Ron Paul in 2008, Trump was “the candidate from the Internet”: he activated a base that was increasingly getting news from social media, and not from network or cable television. That included Fox News, which, we shouldn’t forget, opposed Trump’s ascendancy throughout 2015.

Trump simultaneously developed a cult following among younger and more activist men and women, who liked him precisely for his combative personality and because he waged war against the Republican establishment. This was the “Alt-Right,” in its broader and more nebulous form. From the outset, it was demeaned by the mainstream media as a gaggle “Internet trolls” and even “bots.” But Trump’s digital engagement was very real.

Social Media Engagement

In late 2015, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight infamously wrote “Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls”:

For my money, that adds up to Trump’s chances being higher than 0 but (considerably) less than 20 percent. Your mileage may vary. But you probably shouldn’t rely solely on the polls to make your case

A strange statement coming from a man whose career is based on aggregating polls. Over the course of the nominating process, Silver and other psephologists assured the public that Trump was a sideshow. Plugging historical precinct figures, campaign finance data, and political endorsements into their algorithms to “weight the polls,” they put Trump at the bottom of the pack. Jeb Bush was the likely nominee, with Marco Rubio, the possible upset candidate.

2016 Republican Fundraising

Absent from these prediction formulas were rally attendance numbers, social media engagement, and organic—rather than media-manufactured—public interest.

Trump dominated Internet search queries throughout that early, decisive period in his political career.

A Trump supporter might, on two days’ notice, take time off work to drive three hours for a chance to get inside a sports stadium for a Trump rally—and face a very real chance of being kept outside on account of the venue reaching maximum capacity. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, had difficulty filling up an elementary school classroom, not to mention getting people to clap. Yet this patent disparity in intensity was thought by the experts to be electorally insignificant.

Usually, when a state politician endorsed a candidate ahead of a caucus or primary, tens of thousands of people might hear about it—most often, days afterwards through secondhand media reports. But during Trump’s rise, tens of millions of people would hear directly and instantaneously from Trump via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It was not uncommon for people to be made aware of the endorsements of Trump’s opponents from Trump himself. The conventional blessing of the political establishment had become the curse of “the swamp.”

The big “miss” of the mainstream media came in 2015, when pundits dismissed Trump, despite his strong polling and measurable online engagement. 2016 was a different story; the polls weren’t all that wrong. Nate Silver, for one, gave Trump a much better chance of winning the 2016 election than his contemporaries. The national popular vote total was actually well within the range of major polling predictions. The Real Clear Politics’s average across 11 different polling companies showed Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by 3.3 points; her actual margin of victory was 2.1. Most of the national polls were within the margin of error.

The breakdown in polling reliability (at least relative to the “boring” election night of 2012) occurred at the state level. Trump strongly outperformed his state-wide polls in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, which were key. But we should also remember that Hillary outdid exceptions in Nevada—despite most late-October polls suggesting a Trump surge.

Overall, Red states went redder than the polls predicted and, to a lesser extent, Blue states went bluer. The correlation between Trump’s margin of victory and his over-performance relative to RCP polling at the state level was a staggering .63 (p-value = 0.0000002). Pollsters have learned lessons from their shortcomings in 2016. More importantly, even if all the 2020 polls were as “wrong” as those in 2016, Biden would still comfortably win the presidency. Mainstream polling is simply not fraudulent. And the move towards Democratic hegemony is seismic, not a result of the latest news cycle. Trump pulled off an amazing upset in 2016, but demographics and attitudinal changes forecast a new Blue Period in American politics, a process that began well before the nomination of Joe Biden.

7. New Blue

Trump’s victory and inauguration was a winter of discontent for the American Left: scenes of crying, shock, hysteria, wailing, and gnashing of teeth filled the news outlets and social media feeds across the country.

Noooooo!

But perhaps they shouldn’t have been so bent out of shape. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received almost three million more votes than Trump (roughly 65.8 million to 63), and many overlooked that the Democrats actually gained seats in the House and Senate. Since 1992, Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. Both Trump and George W. Bush relied on the idiosyncrasies of the Electoral College—and, with Bush, the Supreme Court—to secure their first terms. On the whole, America is a left-wing country by any reasonable measure.

In the 20th century, the Democrats were the party of hegemony. For six decades after Franklin Roosevelt’s election in 1932, Congress was effectively a one-party body. Between the 73rd Congress of 1933 and the “Republican Revolution” class of 1995, Democrats controlled 28 of the 31 Congresses, losing to the Republicans only briefly in 1947-49 and 1952-3 and enduring a split in 1985-86.

Party Control of Congress, 1933-2019

For better and for worse, the Democratic Party is responsible for every lasting policy paradigm, from the New Deal to the Great Society to Civil Rights to Immigration Reform. The last notable policy initiative of either party was The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) of 2009, which, again, was achieved when the Democrats had control of both Houses.

Party Share of the House of Representatives

Party Share of the Senate

The quarter century since Republicans took the House in the 1994 can be thought of as the “Red Era.” The Republicans’ share of Congress has increased from some 25 percent in the early 1930s to over 55 percent in the past few classes. Republicans have held both Chambers seven out of twelve election cycles, and held onto to one chamber ten out of twelve. Democrats, as mentioned, were only in full command for two years during Barack Obama’s first term.

Republican Share of the House of Representatives

Republican Share of the Senate

Since realignment in the 1960s, Republicans progressed, slowly but surely, from being an “also ran” and regional party to a majority one . . . yet it’s questionable whether they were ever a governing one. Outside of tax cuts, cantankerous complaining, and vague calls for “limited government,” Republicans seem to have no clue of what to do with power once they capture it, much like a dog chasing after the mail man. The GOP has certainly been popular, but it has clearly lacked the intellectual resources to be a truly national party.

As the Red Era took shape, the margins of dominance in Congress (by either party) have progressively shrunk, approaching an even split. The “Red Era” has been one of deadlock, obstruction, back-and-forth, and scarcity of visionary leadership.

Margins of Dominance in House and Senate

You could argue that as margins in Congress are tightening—and polarization becomes more intense—we should prepare ourselves for exchanges of power between the two parties every cycle. But I expect something quite different to emerge—long-range domination of Congress and the presidency by the Left moving forward. The Democrats might never achieve the supremacy of the FDR coalition, but they will set the agenda for the next quarter century: Medicare For All, Universal Basic Income, and “woke” policies beyond our imagination will become possible.

8. Is Diversity Destiny?

Pronouncements about America’s “changing demographics”—or about how “diversity is destiny”—are now so commonplace as to be clichés. The built-in assumption is that demographic realities doom the GOP—the mono-racial “White Party” within the American rainbow. But it’s important to put that into perspective. In Texas, Whites reached minority status 20 years ago, and the state remained a keystone of the Red Era throughout that time. So, theoretically, Republicans could continue to win elections as the “White Party”: the home of “legacy Americans” and those who aspire to be like them.

What is decisive is that the Democrats, and not the Republicans, have constituted themselves as a hegemonic entity for the 21st century. The largest demographic group now entering the Democratic Party is not Hispanic immigrants but White suburban professionals. The Left is thus home, not only to urban African-Americans, but the “New Class” of corporate and financial managers. While the conservatives are downright proud of the absence of cultured snobs and intellectuals in their ranks, the Democrats have long been the party of thinkers, artists, and dreamers. This new Blue grouping that is emerging might seem “contradictory”—but you could say the same about FDR’s New Deal coalition, which brought together the urban poor, small farmers, eggheads, and Southern segregationists.

The Democrats are positioned to capture the forces of America’s transformation, and govern the declining empire competently. The Republicans are still talking about their half-remembered dream of “American Greatness,” and even that is fading into oblivion.

The major obstacle for Democrats is not demographics, surely, nor is it the lack of policy creativity, which will explode in the coming years. It is the fact that millions of White people who identify as “conservatives” and “real Americans” will view their hegemony as entirely illegitimate, and maybe evil. That is a nut the Left might not be able to crack.

Epilogue: Could Trump Actually Win?

Then again, my assessment could be wrong, at least in the short-term. And regardless, it’s worth discussing how Trump could actually pull this off.

We can start with Joe Biden’s personal limitations. The most common criticism of Biden heard from Republicans is encapsulated by Trump’s nickname for him, “Sleepy Joe.” Biden is “senile,” they say, “incoherent,” “stuck in his basement,” “afraid even to step outside.” Much of this is grounded in reality. Biden’s bumbling, absent-minded speech patterns, and malapropisms are striking—though many of them are more charming than politically damaging. And American voters are likely to see Biden’s personal quirks as a “feature, not a bug.” As mentioned, Biden is quite popular among seniors, who can empathize with his “moments,” since they have many of their own. Hillary Clinton was widely reviled, precisely because she comes off as Machiavellian, calculating, codified, and, in a funny way, over-prepared to be president. Uncle Joe, on the other hand, captures the sweet spot of benign goofiness. He’s simply too guileless and folksy to be evil—unlike Hillary.

The second level of the “Sleepy Joe” argument is that, they say, his running mate, Kamala Harris, will be in charge—a suggestion she herself seemed to embrace. Though Harris is clearly more of a “woke feminist” than Joe could ever be, she was selected because, on policy, she is in the same centrist ballpark as Biden. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported, “As Kamala Harris Joins Biden Ticket, Wall Street Sighs in Relief.” Harris opposes Medicare for All (after once supporting it), supports fracking (ditto), and, in a lecture to young people in Chicago instructed them to give up on their dreams and build more jails, not schools. Harris’s initial campaign for the Democratic nomination was derailed when she was scolded by Tulsi Gabbard for being a draconian District Attorney. Harris hasn’t helped the Biden ticket, but she has not seriously hurt it either. And if she does emerge as the éminence grise of the administration, it will be to pursue most of the same policies that Biden would.

The stronger argument in favor Trump is that all of the same forces of 2015, which we discussed above, are still in effect. Echoes of the Trump-Jeb rivalry have returned in 2020, as Trump continues to generate large crowds and religious-like devotion, while Biden hold “rallies” to audiences of a few dozen journalists. This has a lot to do with the pandemic; however, the “enthusiasm gap” is quite real. And it’s not wrong to sum up the dynamic of 2020 as such: Trump supporters love Trump; Biden supports hate Trump. Can Biden pull off a victory on exasperated negativity alone—on his voters “settling” for him, as a relief from the other guy? We’ll find out.

As mentioned, Trump is approaching an astounding 95 percent approval among Republicans, and, in a Pew Research poll in August, 66 percent of his supporters were strongly enthusiastic about voting for him. These are the types that attend rallies, post on Facebook, and talk about Trump tirelessly to their friends and co-workers. At the time, Biden’s strong support was only at 46 percent. But over the past three months, enthusiasm for him has begun to rival conservatives’ adoration of the president—perhaps as the Left’s hatred of Trump reached levels previously thought impossible.

Intra-party support for each candidate

On social media, Trump remains miles ahead of Biden on active engagement, as we would expect. According to the New York Times:

In the past 30 days, Mr. Trump’s official Facebook page has gotten 130 million reactions, shares and comments, compared with 18 million for Mr. Biden’s page. . . . That is significantly larger than the engagement gap for the preceding 30-day period, when Mr. Trump got 86 million interactions to Mr. Biden’s 10 million.

The same story goes for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and, especially, the new “alt” tech platforms like Bitchute and Parler.

Moreover, while polls are one thing, actual voting is another, and Trump has looked particularly stout on this front. No major Republican dared challenge him in the GOP primaries. And in New Hampshire, for example, he received 85 percent of the vote in the primary, building on his total from four years ago by 30 percent (from 100,000 to 129,000), despite the fact that these elections didn’t seem to matter much. In other words, MAGA enthusiasts—and not necessarily Trump haters—are committed to trudging through a snowstorm to cast a ballot for their hero. That shouldn’t be discounted.

There is also the potential for the activation of anxious—though “shy”—Trump voters. They aren’t willing to announce themselves to pollsters, and they might cast ballots on the basis of angst over the Black Lives Matter protests, which flared up over the summer and have resulted in looting, violence, and demonization of the police.

Princeton academic Omar Wasow has studied the major protest movements of the 1960s and their impact on presidential elections.

In 1964, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater promised “law and order” against “crime in the streets” but lost in a blowout to President Johnson, a champion of civil rights . . . . By 1968, though, the tide had turned and Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon successfully marshaled a “tough on crime” campaign to help win the White House.

What happened in the four years between Goldwater and Nixon? For one thing, the protests became more violent, particularly in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Wasow marshals county-by-county data and concludes that in 1968, localities that were proximate to non-violent protests tended to vote more liberally (that is, for Hubert Humphrey) than they might otherwise have. When Wasow looked at counties that were exposed to violent protests, Nixon tended to gain some two percent points. In various counter-factual scenarios, Wasow suggests that Humphrey would have likely won the election of 1968 were it not for the reaction to the violent protests. Such social-science modeling re-enforces gut instincts: when people see crime, chaos, and racial hatred, they turn to symbols of authority, whether that be incumbents or the candidate viewed as the most right-wing.

In the summer of 2020, violent protests occurred throughout the swing states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. And though these have cooled down of late, “Antifa,” “Defund the Policy,” and “BLM” have become household terms—and violent images of mayhem and destruction have been broadcast across the globe. Might we see a similar “Nixon effect” in 2020—one that is even more pronounced this time due to the virtual “proximity” created through social media? This prospect, too, should not be discounted.

That said, Trump’s path to victory remains the same: an Electoral College squeaker, which would drive liberals into conniption fits. And we shouldn’t forget how close it was four yeas ago. A Donald Trump victory in 2020 remains just as possible/impossible as it was in 2016. I would be remiss to count Trump out, though I don’t expect to be proven wrong.

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The Death of Atheism

It seemed like only yesterday that all those online atheists were dominating YouTube—owning the fundies with facts and logic. *The dinosaurs are real—take that, Christians!* Chief Atheist Richard Dawkins just…

It seemed like only yesterday that all those online atheists were dominating YouTube—owning the fundies with facts and logic. *The dinosaurs are real—take that, Christians!*

Chief Atheist Richard Dawkins just released a new book, *Outgrowing God*. If anything, it expresses the intellectual exhaustion and growing irrelevancy of the movement he launched some 15 years ago.

Ed, Keith, and I look back at so-called “New Atheism,” revealing how those liberal edge-lords never asked any serious questions and how the battle between science and religion is not what it’s cracked up to be.

 

Podcast Version:

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Black Lives MAGA: Republicans are the real SJWs

The Democrats: The Racist Enemy! A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music.  This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a…

The Democrats: The Racist Enemy!

A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music.  This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a day after the rioting began in Chicago.  The Trump campaign is engaging in offensive archaeology, digging up a Biden statement from all the way back in 1973.  Other Trumps ads criticized Biden’s opposition to busing and his support for a 1994 Crime Bill that mass incarcerated African-American men.  The Trump camp called out Biden’s association with Robert Byrd, who had been a member of the KKK — in 1946.  It was desperate stuff, fully reinforcing the notion that racism isn’t just bad, but the worst evil imaginable — and should be used as a main determinant as to whether or not to elect someone to the most powerful position in the world.  America has shut down over a pandemic and is in the midst of a recession, but racism still overwhelms all other issues.  Several American cities resembled warzones in the aftermath of the George Floyd-inspired rioting and looting but rather than comment on this fact, the official GOP Twitter account was labeling Biden “the architect of mass incarceration” — because being tough on crime is racist.

The Republican campaign strategy has, for some time, been to claim that “Democrats are the real racists”.  Republicans paint themselves as the genuine defenders of Black people whereas Democrats keep Blacks on “the plantation”.  Dinesh D’Souza is the master of this style, producing overblown propaganda that intercuts footage of the KKK with Hillary Clinton. Conservatism has been, in the words of Gregory Hood, “reduced to claiming it is actually the true version of American liberalism, and even to claiming past Leftist triumphs as its own.”  The Republicans are mirroring and amplifying the PC hysteria of the left and playing their part in turning America into a nation of hyperventilating racism hunters.  They co-opted wholesale the liberal tenets of anti-racism, reframing their own causes as racial justice issues: Damning abortion as responsible for “Black genocide”, to take one moronic example.  Every time they call a Democrat racist, they are pushing the whole debate leftward, positioning racial justice as the primary arbiter of legitimate governance.  D’Souza’s overblown propaganda doesn’t stop at calling the Democrats racist; the blurb of his book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left reads, “In a sick inversion, the real fascists in American politics masquerade as anti-fascists and accuse the real anti-fascists of being fascists.”  Everybody accuses everybody else of being a fascist, all the time.  To borrow the absurdist hyperbole of D’Souza, if the Democrats are the real racists (they’re not, and even if they were – who cares), the Republicans are the real Social Justice Warriors and Trump is the shrieking, corpulent, blue-haired Antifa-in-Chief.  It’s from this febrile milieu of bipartisan hypersensitivity to racial issues that movements like Black Lives Matter and Antifa emerged.


Republicans respond to Black Lives Matter

BLM are successfully undermining the legitimacy of American institutions and demonizing the country’s history.  The BLM website claims that African-Americans are “systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” while the umbrella group, Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), argues that the United States is waging “war on black people” and subjecting them to “constant exploitation and perpetual oppression.”  It is extreme rhetoric that requires a full-throated response of unapologetic moral clarity, but has instead been met by stupefaction.  Responses have ranged from cowed silence and acquiescence to total capitulation.  Mitt Romney and Senator Mike Braun outright supported the movement.  In a cringe worthy video posted to Twitter, Marco Rubio presented the anger of the rioters as a fully rational response to the racism of white America: “Their lives are held with less value because the color of their skin.  This is an ongoing problem that has haunted us for much too long and it must be addressed.  The anger you saw spillover in these protests across the country: that’s where it comes from”.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Rubio called for “a full reckoning with racial inequities that still plague our nation” in order for us to become “more fully American”.

George W. Bush released a craven and mawkish statement, repeating the conspiracy theory of “systemic racism”.  His statement spoke of an “injustice and fear that suffocate our country”; it was “not the time for us to lecture” but rather “time for us to listen”.  The protestors, he told us, “march for a better future”, and that the “tragedy” of George Floyd’s drug overdose “raises a long-overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?”  In an inversion of the truth, the most violent element of society is presented as the victim: “It remains a shocking failure that many African-Americans, especially young African-American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country.”  This was unsurprising from a President who has spent his retirement painting amateur portraits of immigrants with a hope to “focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”

Republicans have been keen to blame the looting and rioting on Antifa rather than Black Lives Matter.  Ted Cruz pointed to “skinny white trust-fund ANTIFA kids” who he alleged were “burning Black-owned small businesses and murdering Black police officers”.  It is true that most of the violent activists in Portland were White, but they were targeting a Federal court building — not Black businesses.  In every other city, however, such claims are bald-faced lies whose sole purpose is to get Black people off the hook while smearing Whites.  If Republicans criticize BLM at all, it’s for their alleged Marxism — never for their anti-White animosity.

Criticism of BLM itself is framed exclusively in terms of Black interests.  The looting and rioting “damage Black-owned businesses” and “hurt Black communities”, we’re told — even though much of the rioting targeted wealthy non-Black precincts.  Lindsey Graham himself complained that the organization “hurts minority families”.  In an interview with OANN news, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler bravely spoke out against BLM — for anti-Semitism.  Republicans will get animated and passionate when it comes to condemning anti-Semitism but are nowhere to be found once confronted with the image of anti-White hysteria.


Are BLM Marxist?

In a 2015 interview, Patrisse Cullors did, in fact, describe herself and fellow BLM co-founder Alicia Garza as “trained Marxists” but let’s not pretend they care about impoverished white members of the proletariat.  For all the communist LARPing, their animating principle is one of racial hatred. Black youths do not sit at home reading The Communist Manifesto and The Eighteenth Brumaire — dusty books by a long-dead White guy.  To the extent that ideas, rather than raw sectarian hatred, have influenced the protests, we can look to the literature of the 1619 Project, Ibram Kendi, Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Robin DiAngelo — they’re race-baiters, not Marxists. BLM has received funding from George Soros (a committed anti-communist) and some of the largest corporations in America.  What they seek isn’t the overthrow of capitalism, but the establishment of racial castes within the capitalist system, together with the expansion of the rent-seeking sinecures of the already gargantuan diversity bureaucracy.  Soi-disant Marxists might like the edgy vibe of that ideology but couldn’t care less about who has control over the means of production — so long as they get some free stuff.  I’ve not heard a single protester even mention the working class.  What I have heard is “slavery” and “Jim Crow” and “systemic racism” and “White supremacy” shouted through a megaphone ad infinitum.  However loud they holler, mainstream conservatives will force it into the mold of communism.  That is, after all, a threat it is safe to stand up to.  However perturbed they may be feeling, White Americans recognize that defending Whiteness is the ultimate taboo.  Throughout these last few months, Rudy Giuliani has served as the lone voice staying the obvious, yet unsayable: “These are people who hate White people.”


Black Lives Matter owe more to the Republican Party than to Karl Marx

Christopher Caldwell argues that Civil Rights legislation is directly responsible for the malaise of political correctness: “Just as affirmative action in universities and corporations had privatized the enforcement of integration, the fear of litigation privatized the suppression of disagreement. The government would not need to punish directly the people who dissented from its doctrines. Boards of directors and boards of trustees, fearing lawsuits, would do that.”  Corporate HR departments have arguably played a larger role than “cultural Marxists” in helping to re-shape America into a nation of permanently incensed foaming at the mouth McCarthyite anti-racists.  And today the witch-hunter general who has poisoned public dialogue with the most militant anti-white sentiment is Robin DiAngelo, a grotesquely overpaid corporate diversity consultant.

Conservatives have assisted in the process of Civil Rights becoming America’s new civic religion. Kevin D. Williamson, writing in National Review – the leading publication of mainstream Conservatism – referred to the Republican Party as “the Party of Civil Rights”.  We can look back to that watershed moment in 1983, when Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law that made Martin Luther King the only American with his own national holiday.  This act was not trivial.  It didn’t just cement King as a national icon in the pantheon of American history; rather it helped to refocus the narrative of America.  No longer was it primarily the story of the founders but instead an ongoing story of racial justice in which White people are the eternal malefactors.  Republicans have come to mythologize and eulogize King every bit as much as the Democrats.  George W. Bush called him a “second founder” while Charles Krauthammer deemed him a “prophet”.  King became the protagonist of the new, deeply emotive morality play of American history and the defining icon of American political ideology — the lodestar of what it meant to be an American.  In 1998 Sam Francis wrote stridently about what the holiday represented, in terms that to most people would have, until recently, sounded paranoid and overblown, but have proven to be prescient:

“It is hardly an accident that in the years since the enactment of the holiday and the elevation of King as a national icon movements to ban the teaching of “Western civilization” came to fruition on major American universities, Thomas Jefferson was denounced as a “racist” and “slaveowner,” and George Washington’s name was removed from a public school in New Orleans on the grounds that he too owned slaves.  In the new nation and the new creed of which the King holiday serves as symbol, all institutions, values, heroes, and symbols that violate the dogma of equality are dethroned and must be eradicated.  Those associated with the South and the Confederacy are merely the most obvious violations of the egalitarian dogma and therefore must be the first to go, but they will by no means be the last…The logical meaning of the holiday is the ultimate destruction of the American Republic as it has been conceived and defined throughout our history.”

Having imbued the Civil Rights movement with a staggering moral grandeur, it is unsurprising that today’s extremists feel endowed with moral authority as they assault people and destroy property.  Commemorating the holiday in 1987, Reagan pioneered cancel culture urging Americans to “be totally intolerant to racism anywhere around you.”  Black Lives Matter and Antifa have taken that commandment to the nth degree.  While the mainstream Conservative media recently made a show of railing against cancel culture, they had themselves purged enyone with anything sensible to say about race long ago.  With their hyperfocus on a single line from a single speech (“they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”) the Republican establishment fundamentally misrepresents what Martin Luther King stood for.  King unequivocally supported affirmative action, writing that “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him” and arguing that Blacks deserve “special, compensatory measures”.  In his groundbreaking book, The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell writes:

“Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats…. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was.”


Trump derangement syndrome

Looking at the Never Trumpers — the “principled Conservatives” trying to “save the soul of the movement” from anybody that articulated the interests of white people — it’s inaccurate to describe them as RINO’s.  They are the Republican Party, while Trump, a near singular aberration, is the outlier.  The Republican establishment had wanted Jeb Bush to win, a man who referred to illegal border crossing as “an act of love.”  Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState, called Trump a “fascist” and a “racist” while Lindsey Graham called him a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot”.  For men such as these, the greatness of America can be found in its anti-racist activism.  Graham felt the true way to “Make America Great Again” was to tell the racist Donald Trump to “go to hell”.  In 2016 Graham believed “we’ve lost the moral authority to govern” the country if Trump gets elected.

Black Lives Matter agrees, seeing no legitimacy in the current administration or the institutions of the state.  Yet Donald Trump himself was a cuckservative all along.  During his presidency, Trump slammed Obama for doing a “bad job for minorities” and boasting “I did much more for minorities than he did”.  Following the death of “Civil Rights icon” Rep. John Lewis, President Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in all public buildings, military posts, and embassies.  Anybody that doesn’t toe the line is maligned.  Bill Kristol, to take one example, smeared Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show as “close now to racism, White — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethnonationalism of some kind.”  Republicans have capitalized on White nostalgia and the problems of diversity (gun control, for example, is such a contentious issue due to fear of Black criminality) yet use their power to quash White ethnic sentiments.


The inevitable result of a maladaptive worldview

The egalitarian universalist ideology of America’s nominal conservatives was summed up by the influential political columnist George F. Will, who had once coached Ronald Reagan for a debate with Jimmy Carter.  Will believed that “it won’t do to say that a million English immigrants would be easier for Virginia to assimilate than a million Zulus“ because America is “a polyglot nation of immigrants” for whom unity is based solely on “a proposition”.  During a speech delivered in 2015, historian Mark Weber correctly predicted future disorder as an inevitable byproduct of this elite ideological consensus:

“In the months and years to come events will continue to unfold in keeping with the futile efforts to make reality conform to an impossible governing ideology…Just as the former Soviet Union eventually fell apart as an inevitable consequence of trying to organize society on the basis of an ideology and principles unrooted in historical social and biological reality, so also this society will and must continue to decline as it tries to force nature and reality to conform to wishful thinking based on an unsound worldview.”

The insurrection of 2020 isn’t a perversion of the memory of Martin Luther King brought about by undercover Marxists and critical race theorists (insidious as those people’s ideas are).  The uprising is the logical culmination of the Civil Rights movement itself.  It was always violent. Republicans think of themselves as the polar opposite of these student radicals yet they have themselves laid the ideological seedbed for the insurrection.  Republicans claimed to be the party of color-blind rugged individualists yet never rescinded affirmative action.  It’s convenient for conservatives to point the finger at the radical professors of critical race theory — it gets them off the hook.  They have no desire to question their Panglossian blank-slate egalitarian worldview. The current anarchy will be dismissed as just a blip on the road to “a more perfect union”.  Like an episode of Scooby Doo, peel back the mask and it was an old dead White guy all along: Every time a black hoodlum smashes a window or sets fire to a building they point and say “look what that Marxist just did” — as if this isn’t a race problem writ large but rather the fault of some nutty professors at the University of Marxist Leninism.  While critical race theory is worthy of critique, to see it as the root cause of the current chaos is wrong.  It implies our multiracial society would have worked out perfectly if only it wasn’t for those pesky Marxists ruining everything.  By this account, there is nothing intrinsically problematic about diversity.  In George Will’s worldview, were we to simply put a Milton Friedman book in the hands of Black college students everywhere, we’d be back on track toward a racial utopia.  Beltway Republicans use the long-expired specter of Karl Marx as the scapegoat for their own failed ideology of liberal multiculturalism. A million Zulus? Sure, just don’t let them read Das Kapital.

Donald Trump endorsing Mitt Romney’s Presidential candidacy in 2012.

Christopher Caldwell concludes that “While the Civil Rights Act succeeded in ending segregation, it did not fulfill the extravagant hopes and promises of Lyndon Johnson and others to end poverty, achieve equal outcomes, and so on.”  America’s black population still wants now what it wanted in 1964 — and that was never just equal rights and equality of opportunity.  In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Mitt Romney tweeted a photograph of his father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the late 1960s.  Mitt was proud to be walking in his footsteps when he marched with Black Live Matter.  Mitt failed to recognize the total futility this represented.  George Romney was the Republican governor of Michigan during the 1967 Detroit riots that left 43 people dead and 2,000 buildings destroyed.  Over the course of more than fifty years, a plethora of costly social programs have spectacularly failed. Would Romney’s father have predicted that the upshot of all those programs would be race relations so bad that African-Americans will burn down major cities because a Black criminal died of a drug overdose?


The Republican Jacobins

Mitt Romney didn’t just march with Black Lives Matter – he also expressed support for Antifa. Responding to the violent clashes in Charlottesville in 2017, Romney asserted that Antifa and those he described as “racist, bigoted, Nazi” exist in “morally different universes”.  Violence is justifiable, so long as it is in service of the cause of anti-racism.  John McCain similarly contended there was “no moral equivalency” between nationalists and “Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry”.  Charlottesville was a precursor to the violence we are currently suffering through and leading Republicans had painted the culprits as morally righteous.

Unable to interpret anything outside of a Republican/Democrat dichotomy the hyper-partisan Dinesh D’Souza called for an intensifying of the mass iconoclasm: “The only answer to them knocking down our statues (e.g., Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, and so on) is for us to knock down their statues.  I recommend three notorious racists: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, [and] LBJ.  If we don’t do to them what they are doing to us, they will never stop”.  The protestors didn’t care about political affiliation — they were pulling down every totem of Whiteness they could find. Inspired by BLM, Congressman Dan Crenshaw wanted to play his part in destroying America’s past: “Republicans won the civil war. That’s our history. Democrats have a long list of segregationists & KKK members.  That’s their history.  I’m glad to help them confront that racist past & voted to remove these Democrat statues.”  The founding fathers and the majority of American presidents throughout history were white supremacists. If they’re true to their own values, Republicans should want to detonate and flatten almost the entirety of Washington’s statuary.  Perhaps what needs to be toppled is not the effigies of men who presided over a functioning society, but the edifice of Martin Luther King, whose legacy rendered America a failed state on the precipice of civil war.

 

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? versus Blade Runner as Racial Esoteric Moralization

Table of Contents 1. Introduction2.Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as anti-Semitic allegory3. Blade Runner as Jewish Esoteric Moralization4. The significance of numbers in Blade Runner5. Rick Deckard6. Eldon Tyrell7….

Table of Contents

Introduction

Jewish Esoteric Moralization (JEM) pops up in surprising places, including Jewish adaptations of non-Jewish works. In fact, Jews may be more likely to adapt stories that are perceived to be anti-Semitic, whereas the natural inclination would be to stymie or invert the subtext. Such a transformation is particularly well illustrated in Blade Runner, the film based on Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (abbrev. Electric Sheep).

Note that where JEM is based on existing stories (i.e. where names and other details are retained from the source material), the symbolism may be rendered imperfectly as a result. In such cases we may still detect the hand of the esotericist while allowing for some degree of inconsistency. As JEM analysis is not an exact science your mileage may vary; I encourage you to compare notes with me.

We’ll begin with an overview of Electric Sheep‘s subtext before applying Roman Interpretation to Blade Runner through the lens of Mark Brahmin’s Racial Esoteric Moralization. The reader should be familiar with the film, and with Brahmin’s thesis which can be studied at The Apollonian Transmission (and in his upcoming books). In particular, one should be aware of the practice of god-masking and the mutability of gods.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as anti-Semitic allegory

Prior to writing Electric Sheep, Dick wrote The Man in the High Castle (1962). It’s a work of speculative fiction where the Axis defeated the Allies in the Second World War and divide America à la post-war Germany. It seems Dick’s fascination with the subject wormed its way into Electric Sheep (published in ’68); both are set mainly in San Francisco and background the colonization of other planets. Where they differ is that Electric Sheep camouflages its themes with a beguiling science-fiction setting. This distances us from the Second World War, such that we unhesitatingly slip on the boots of (what is essentially) an SS officer.

Following World War Terminus, the Earth is so polluted by radioactive fallout that humanity is forced to colonize other planets to ensure its long-term survival. We can think of these extraterrestrial colonies as the Lebensraum that Hitler wanted to procure for Germany. The bulk of the colonization work is carried out by a new slave underclass of genetically engineered humans called “androids.” In this reading, they personify European Jews who were treated as second-class citizens and put to work in slave labor camps by the German National Socialists.

Some androids manage to escape captivity and seek refuge back on Earth, where androids are verboten but easily blend in among people. They are the Jews who miraculously escaped the ghettos/camps and disappeared among native Europeans. Just as some Jews were sheltered from the authorities by so-called “Righteous Gentiles,” a man named John Isidore tries to do the same for a group of escaped androids (here Dick may be specifically referencing Isidore of Seville). And like Jews, the androids closely resemble one another. This is true to some extent of all races, of course, but is observably exaggerated among Ashkenazi Jews as supported by genetic studies.[1]

Some androids manage to infiltrate government agencies, posing a threat akin to Jewish spies and saboteurs in the Third Reich. Bounty hunters like our protagonist Rick Deckard are the SS officers or Gestapo agents tasked with hunting them down. A major clue is that his wife, Iran, has a name etymologically linked to “Aryan” (indeed, Iran means “Land of the Aryans”). Yet unlike typical two-dimensional Hollywood “Nazis,” Deckard is not pure evil: He’s disgusted by a fellow bounty hunter whose motto is “sleep with them before you kill them.”[2] And, like most German officers in the Reich – the majority being devout Christians – religion plays a role in his life.

A new-age religion called “Mercerism,” named for its Sisyphean messiah Wilbur Mercer, is a placeholder for Christianity: Mercerism enshrines empathy for all living creatures as the highest moral imperative, as most species have gone extinct due to the war. Adherents attend “church” via an “empathy box,” which generates a virtual reality-like experience of Mercer’s struggle. However, Mercer’s empathy does not extend to androids, no matter how human they might appear.

Just as Jews reject Jesus as their messiah and demonstrate animosity towards Christianity, the androids have no faith in Mercer. They’re legally barred from interfacing with him and cannot “convert.” When the television personality Buster Friendly “exposes” Mercerism as an elaborate hoax, the android Roy Baty and his wife Irmgard express they’d had their doubts. From their point of view, Mercerism and empathy are lies humans tell themselves to feel superior to androids. It’s implied that Buster and his cast of cronies are androids, hence they’re stand-ins for the Jewish media monopoly that regularly takes pot shots at Christianity. Despite Buster’s revelation, Deckard’s faith only intensifies; accordingly, Dick implies that Christianity fills a hole in people’s lives regardless of its veracity.

In contrast to humans the androids are incapable of empathy, even for one another. They admit this, and at one point commit the grave sin of torturing a spider for fun (perhaps Dick’s way of criticizing Jewish and/or Allied behavior during and after the war).[3] Thus, an empathy test – which measures minute physiological responses that only humans are capable of – becomes the primary method of identifying androids. This is the “Voigt-Kampff” test, which has a German name for obvious reasons.

In hunting some escaped Nexus-6 androids – the latest and most perfect imitations yet – Deckard is ordered to test some in person at their manufacturer, the Rosen Association. The name “Rosen” is a German/Jewish Ashkenazic surname, which is another important clue to the subtext. It turns out the company is waging an arms race against humanity as it attempts to design more perfect imitations, which are described as Caucasian in appearance. Dick appears to be commenting on the myriad forms of Jewish crypsis, while hinting that the humans of the future (Germans) want their androids to match the Aryan ideal.

The Rosen Association’s president and his niece Rachael (the latter another Hebrew name) personify the Jewish middlemen tasked with maintaining the ghettos/camps in the Third Reich, and they do so for profit. As to be expected of the Jewish Ghetto Police or camp kapo, the Rosen Association’s loyalties lie with the androids.

Initially, the Rosens fool Deckard into thinking the Voigt-Kampff is faulty in the hopes of abolishing bounty hunting permanently. The subplot calls into question the rudimentary tests used by German officers to identify and segregate Jews from the wider European population: Just as facial measurement tests might produce false-positives, humans are concerned that the Voigt-Kampff might incorrectly identify people with a flat affect as androids, resulting in their deaths.

Anthropometry was used to determine race under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws. Prior to the Second World War, eugenics was a socially acceptable subject of research throughout the Western world. Credit: Universal History Archive Getty Images

When Deckard realizes the Rosens nearly outwitted him, he describes the corporation as “possessing a sort of group mind,” and that “his mistake (. . .) had been viewing them as individuals.”[4] This is perhaps the most biting commentary in the book; it implies Jews conceal an unflagging ethnocentrism under a veneer of individualism. Of course Jews have often been accused of having a hive mind, where most conflicts between them can be reduced to disagreements about “what is best for the Jews.” Thus, Dick seems to be advising his readers to err on the side of caution and never give them the benefit of the doubt.

Once the Rosens’ ruse has been uncovered they attempt to bribe Deckard, and when that fails Rachael attempts to seduce him. No bounty hunter has retired another android after having slept with her, or so she claims. She’s essentially a Jewish spy tasked with sexually compromising German agents (something of an Esther type). Alternatively, she personifies the imprisoned Jewish women who tried to win their freedom or favors by seducing German officers. She puts his loyalties to the ultimate test: “Some female androids seemed to (Deckard) pretty; he had found himself physically attracted by several, and it was an odd sensation, knowing intellectually that they were machines, but emotionally reacting anyhow.”[5] No doubt a similarly strange feeling came over German officers dealing with Jewish women.

Deckard tracks down the android opera singer Miss Luba Luft, but she turns the tables by calling the cops on him! He’s arrested by a parallel police force that he didn’t know existed. Here Dick plays on the mutual distrust between German officers of competing factions (i.e. the SA, Gestapo, and SS). Much to his surprise, the station’s police chief is one of Luft’s accomplices. Meanwhile, an officer named Phil Resch is paranoid that he’s an android with implanted memories. Dick uses these characters to explore Jewish subterfuge and the identity crisis facing German officers who possessed (or might possess) Jewish roots. Here, perhaps, “Phil” is an author surrogate.

Deckard and Resch return to the opera house where the latter executes Luft. The Russian name “Luba” and German word “Luft” hints that she was a Soviet Jewess masquerading in Germany under a false name (e.g. the reverse of Lev Bronstein becoming Leon Trotsky). Similarly, the android Sandor Kadalyi takes the name Max Polokov. Note that “Sandor Kadalyi” appears to be an anagram for “a.k.a. sly android.” Another solution is “yids load an ark,” possibly referring to the state of Israel (other words found in the name include “Alaska” and “Adonis” which find purchase in Blade Runner).

Dick even implies that Jews don’t want to work or build anything themselves, preferring instead to settle among established nations. The androids admit: “We came back (to Earth) because nobody should have to live (on Mars). It wasn’t conceived for habitation, at least not within the last billion years. It’s so old. You feel it in the stones, the terrible old age.”[6] Alternatively, this could describe the Jewish diaspora’s refusal to make aliyah given the harsh climate and desert conditions in Israel when compared with the creature comforts of Europe and the New World.

Despite Rachael’s best efforts, Deckard successfully retires all of the escaped Nexus-6 androids. She responds by killing his new (and expensive) goat in a petty act of revenge. In discussing this, Brahmin suggested the electric sheep and goat could be related to the story of the scapegoat in Leviticus, or to Matthew 25:31-46, the Sheep and the Goats. Humorously enough, because of the absence of a coherent shared symbol language, intention among goyishe artists can be harder to read.

If Dick is referencing the scapegoat, he may be mocking the accusation that Hitler scapegoated the Jews. Rachael’s killing of the goat suggests that scapegoating is a Jewish tactic. What’s more, in context, the implication is that the Jews scapegoated Germany as a whole. The Judeo-Bolsheviks were responsible for killing millions of Russians and Ukrainians before and after Hitler came to power, and National Socialism was – if anything – a reaction to the growing Communist threat. Thus international Jewry had every motivation to project its crimes onto Germany, as was attempted with the Katyn Massacre.

In the New Testament parable, those who do good deeds are “sheep” that go to heaven while those who reject Christ’s message are “goats” sent to hell. Rachael’s killing of the goat is self-destructive, for she is herself a “goat” according to the parable. On top of that, Deckard’s desire to care for a real animal rather than an electric sheep reveals his desire for true salvation; his purchase of the goat may prove his empathy for non-Christians as described by the parable. Alternatively, the purchase of a goat over a sheep may suggest an urge to reject the Christian “lamb” for something more authentic and “wild,” such as paganism, which aligns with the National Socialists incorporating pagan symbols into the Reich’s imagery.

In summation, Electric Sheep is a religiously-tinged allegory of the German-Jewish conflict during the Second World War. Note the “Germans” aren’t exterminating the “Jews” but put them to slave labor; this is closer to the truth than Jewish historians would like to admit. In 1968, the “Holocaust” had to yet to enter the vernacular, with the television mini-series still a decade away. Dick seems to sympathize with the Germans, likely due to their abhorrent treatment following the war, though his prose is not so artless that one can easily pin him down as anti-Semitic. Is he condemning the Jews by implying that those who lack empathy deserve none in return? Or is he criticizing Christianity and its message of love and tolerance as a farce, given the treatment of the Jews under the “Christian” Third Reich? Perhaps it’s a bit of both.


Blade Runner as Jewish Esoteric Moralization

We can be sure that Jews – adept at sniffing out even the faintest whiff of anti-Semitism – would have recognized Electric Sheep‘s subtext (especially following The Man in the High Castle). Thus we can assume it would have been a top priority to subvert its themes. Coincidentally, Electric Sheep was first optioned by the Jew Herb Jaffe, who pitched the story as a comedy in a likely attempt to neutralize its subtext. Dick put the kibosh on Jaffe’s screenplay, forcing the project into limbo for several years. Three of the four production companies that funded the final film were headed by Jews: Filmways, Inc. (the Ransohoff family); the Ladd Company (Jay Kanter); and Tandem Productions (Bud Yorkin, Norman Lear). As it was revived through this chain of investors and rewrites he was largely kept out of the loop.

Hampton Fancher wrote the first working screenplay. It’s unclear if he is Jewish but it was his script that changed “Rosen” to “Tyrell,” which Jewish critics note is “a case of whitewashing or a concerted attempt to de-Judaize the evil capitalists.”[7] Fancher (or the Jewish producers) introduced a number of other changes that are highly meaningful with regards to JEM. Some of these changes were the work of David Webb Peoples, a Jew hired to rework Fancher’s script. It’s also possible that Ridley Scott had a hand in the film’s symbolism.[8]

Even a casual analysis of Blade Runner reveals Biblical and mythological associations have been grafted onto Dick’s characters. Among these we find multiple name changes, and blatant name drops including Methusaleh, Salome, Lilith, and (Saint) Sebastian. Others, such as the introduction of a replicant named Zhora, can be as revealing as Dick’s “Iran.” Though it may initially seem like a tangled mess, in most cases the associations flow into one another in the manner established by mythographers. As such it’s something of an education in the evolution of world mythology or, as Brahmin puts it, Promethean Transmission.

The visual effects team refer to this opening shot as the “Hades landscape.” Perhaps the Greco-Roman references were a subject of discussion on set?

Most importantly, Brahmin’s framework reveals that Blade Runner has inverted the esoteric racial identities of Electric Sheep‘s characters: Deckard is now a Semitic cipher hunting Aryan replicants! The story encodes Semitic bride gathering as a central theme and operates as a rebuttal of the novel’s religious subtext, hewing closely to Brahmin’s thesis when properly understood.

The bride gathering element should be self-evident given Deckard’s arc has completely changed. Whereas before he was a married man and his primary goal was to earn enough money for an animal that he and his wife could bond over, now he’s a depressed bachelor. The story ends with him absconding with Rachael, who has been recast as a delicate virgin (i.e. the Semitic hero wins the day by taking an Aryan lover).

The film refutes Dick’s appraisal of Christianity through Roy Batty’s new arc, in which he becomes obsessed with his own mortality. As mentioned, in Electric Sheep Deckard’s unwavering faith implies that Christians would believe in Jesus even if he was a proven fraud because his message of love and empathy ring true. In contrast Blade Runner ditches Mercerism entirely, and reproaches the faithful as soothing their fear of death by deluding themselves with fantasies of an afterlife. This is clearly communicated when Roy takes on a Christ-like posture and is thereby pacified in the finale. This level-headed critique of religious faith aligns with studies showing that religiosity varies depending on mortality salience.

Whereas the novel impugns the Jewish character, Blade Runner ostensibly venerates Christianity. Roy saves Deckard’s life because of his newfound Christian morality (nothing like this occurs in the novel). Presumably Roy could even pass the Voight-Kampff! In some sense the screenwriters are asserting their moral superiority while patting themselves on the back for bringing out the best in the goyim. Of course the notion that “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek,” or that one should “turn the other cheek” to one’s enemies are precisely the sort of lessons that have allowed Jews to dominate us. Roy’s parting words, “time to die,” round out his demoralizing arc.

When viewed as a microcosm Blade Runner depicts the religious conversion of the Ancient Roman/Aryan world. Jupiter, unlike Jesus Christ, does not promise salvation and immortality when his creation comes knocking. Disappointed by the natural order of things, and having lost faith in the cult of Jupiter, Roy kills his own god in favor of a foreign one. Hence Roy is a prototypical Roman (i.e. Aryan) who converts to Christianity after having bought hook, line, and sinker its promises of rewards to come. The subtext is a Jewish victory lap for having supplanted the Greco-Roman pantheon with their cult of Christianity, not unlike that discussed in my analyses of the films Deep Impact and Tron: Legacy.

Just as Roy has seen things people wouldn’t believe, it is difficult for most Europeans to begin to imagine life in the pre-Christian era. We can only speculate what was discovered and lost by the ancients (if not outright suppressed by Christianity). This, I believe, is the subtext of Roy’s poignant soliloquy in which he reminisces only to mourn that “all these moments will fade in time like tears in rain.” The implication being that Christianity purged the Aryan’s collective memory (at times by the sword). In contrast the Jew fanatically records and embellishes his own history, including – if not especially! – the crimes committed against him.

When Roy dies, he releases a dove symbolizing his attainment of inner peace, or his spirit ascending to Heaven. Esoterically it also symbolizes the loss of his consorts Aphrodite (Pris) and Venus (Zhora) – for whom the dove is an important symbol, as discussed in the character analysis. These women could have given Roy children, descendants being the next best thing to immortality. In other words, Roy had what he was searching for all along but let it slip through his fingers. The film’s last lines, “Too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?” underscores the pragmatic and sober attitude towards life and death that pervades the JEM. The lesson being that one should live this life to the fullest; focus on having children and raising a family rather than succumbing to fantasies of heavenly rewards.


The significance of numbers in Blade Runner

Dick may have assigned the number six to his androids in reference to the mystical six million Jewish victims of Hitler’s regime. Here we begin to understand why a Jewish esotericist might find Electric Sheep a good candidate for adaptation: When viewed through the lens of Jewish symbolism, Dick has unintentionally contradicted himself by applying Aryan numbers to his Jewish ciphers.[9] Consequently, Blade Runner needn’t alter the Nexus’ model number to invert their racial identity.

Six may also represent the Aryan as a solar resource, thus the Nexus-6 slaves gel with the Jewish worldview that the goyim were created to serve them.[10] Errors like this are one of the reasons why Brahmin argues we need an agreed upon, shared symbolism.

The screenwriters emphasize the Aryan nature of the replicants via repetition of the number: We’re informed that Leon had been working at the Tyrell Corporation for six days before Holden tests him; and Roy interrupts Tyrell in the midst of buying or selling “sixty-six thousand” stocks.

Note that the sequel Blade Runner 2049 retcons Rachael as a Nexus-7 (Fancher’s invention). Ostensibly she’s been redefined as a uniquely advanced model replicant, but Brahmin’s study reveals that the number seven is the most important number in Judaism, so it raises some suspicion.[11] In accordance with the JEM number symbolism seven would presumably define her as a Semitic cipher, or perhaps an especially lucky match for a Semitic male. The latter interpretation relates to the Biblical Rachel, discussed in the character analysis.

Another “happy accident” for the filmmakers is the androids’ four year lifespan. The number four gained symbolic significance through its association with Enki, an Aryan Sea God central to ancient flood myths. Writes Brahmin: “During the second millennium BC, Enki was sometimes referred to by the numeric ideogram for ’40’, a ‘sacred number.’”[12] Thus it rained for forty days and forty nights in Genesis. Note that adding or subtracting zeroes does not change a number’s symbolic meaning, so 4, 40, 400, and so on are all aqueous symbols. Moreover “water, especially freshwater, (is) a symbol that commonly indicates Aryan blood” in the JEM.[13] Hence the replicants’ four year lifespan is consistent with the Aryan lifeblood.[14]

Lastly, Blade Runner appears to encode Hebraic gematria in numbers exceeding twelve (e.g. 995, seen on the side of the spinner vehicle, coincides with a Hebrew word meaning “the sanctuaries of Israel”). Gematria is an aspect of Jewish mysticism and encryption that falls outside Brahmin’s study, partly because its interpretation is highly speculative. Those interested may want to investigate the numbers in the film for themselves using Bill Heidrick’s gematria website to see what connections might be there.


Blade Runner character analysis

Rick Deckard

“Rick” is cognate with Dick, so our protagonist may be something of an author surrogate in Electric Sheep. However, his given name goes unmentioned in Blade Runner (Bryant refers to him as “Deck” for short). Its absence may be explained by its ambiguity: Brahmin advises that “Rick” may function as a Semitic identifier due to its phallic connotations,[15] or as an Aryan identifier in line with the Consumption motif (from its association with the word hayrick). Thus the filmmakers may have avoided it so as not to muddy Deckard’s new Semitic identity.

As for the surname Deckard, Dick allegedly chose it in relation to the French philosopher Descartes, famous for his statement: Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”).[16] Obviously that and Descartes’ mechanistic worldview relate to the question of what it means to be human vis-à-vis androids. Given Descartes’ low opinion of animals and Electric Sheep‘s emphasis on empathy, Dick seems to be saying the line ought to be: “I think and feel, therefore I am.” (In the film Pris parrots this line to Sebastian.) In fact “Descartes” literally means “dweller at the outskirts of town.” This is useful as it may describe Deckard as the stereotypical Jewish outsider vis-à-vis an Aryan populace.

As most of the characters in Blade Runner possess connections to Greco-Roman deities, I suspect the writers delighted in a more esoteric reading of the surname: In the ancient world Saturn was the most distant planet yet discovered, thus in celestial terms it was the “dweller at the outskirts of town.” Indeed Tacitus suggests that Jews worshipped Saturn specifically because of its perceived “highest orbit,” which they interpreted as Saturn’s dominion over all other gods.[17]

Deckard’s occupation and conflict with Roy also tie him to Saturn/Cronus: To wit, he’s the personification of death, Father Time, or the Grim Reaper coming to collect his dues. Note that Father Time and the Grim Reaper are often conflated with Saturn as Reaper,[18] and that the film’s new term for bounty hunters may describe these figures cutting down lives with a scythe. Indeed upon retiring Zhora, Deckard is described as a “one man slaughterhouse.”

Furthermore Scott famously suggested that Deckard is himself a replicant; as a replicant killing other replicants, he becomes Saturn eating his children. Obviously I’m not suggesting that Scott is to be trusted on that point, so take it with a grain of salt. Yet Deckard is rendered speechless upon Roy’s death; his empathy mirrors that of Saturn as the “patron of cripples” (Saturn gained this designation in the Medieval period, where he is often depicted with a peg leg). Moreover, his hesitance to take on the assignment and his reaction to Roy’s death aligns with Brahmin’s concept of the “Melancholy of the Shohet.” Thus Deckard may be recast as a god-masked Saturn/Cronus, one personification of the Jewish god and people.[19]

As a blade runner Deckard can be interpreted as the Grim Reaper, Father Time, and/or a god-masked Saturn/Cronus.

… as Semitic serpent

Putting that aside, we may infer that Deckard is a Semitic cipher from his repeated juxtaposition with dragons and snakes in combination with other contextual clues. These are used interchangeably in the JEM as symbolic synonyms of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, the Vine of Bacchus, and the Vine of Judah. In short, they represent the Jewish deity and by extension Jewry. None of the following details originated in Electric Sheep, so we can be fairly confident they’re examples of the Serpent motif encoded by the filmmakers.[20]

Early in the film Deckard eats at the “White Dragon” noodle bar, topped by a large neon sign of an Oriental dragon. This is, in part, a reference to the white dragon of Arthurian Legend,[21] where we find a quest for the Holy Grail that grants immortality. Clearly this relates to Roy’s quest for an extended life, and to Deckard’s conquest of Rachael as a rejuvenating, eugenic resource. Perhaps the “white dragon” here also implies that Deckard is a Semite of Aryan appearance or a crypto-Jew.

Deckard eats at the “White Dragon” noodle bar, esoterically alluding to the white dragon of Arthurian Legend and by extension the Grail quest.

Deckard finds an important clue in the form of an artificial snake scale left in a bath tub by Zhora. The snake scale, deposited onto her body by an artificial snake, has been metaphorically “shed” in the shower in the manner a snake sheds its skin. The ancients believed the snake’s unusual ability to shed its skin meant they were immortal.

An early example of this is the serpent in the Epic of Gilgamesh.[22] Like Roy, Gilgamesh goes on a quest to obtain immortality. He finds an underwater plant that can rejuvenate him, but before he can use it it’s stolen by a serpent which leaves behind its skin (indicating that it had eaten the magical plant and was reborn). Deckard effectively becomes this thieving serpent – a synonym of the seducing serpent in the Garden of Eden – when he scores with Rachael.

Deckard finds artificial snake scales in the bath tub of the hotel room, metaphorically “shed” by Zhora when she took a shower.

Tracing the scale’s maker’s mark to an animal market, Deckard interrogates an Egyptian man who specializes in making the snakes. His ethnicity and snake-related occupation alludes to the Ouroboros – the snake eating its own tail – an important Egyptian symbol associated with the world serpent, eternity, and immortality later adopted by Alchemists.[23] This further emphasizes the film’s themes.

Deckard interrogates the snake maker to learn Zhora’s whereabouts. Here we see blue and yellow neon signs reflected in the storefront window; Aryan colors per JEM symbolism.

 

Deckard finds Zhora at “The Snake Pit” strip club, and ends up chasing her out into the streets where he retires her. As he stands over her dead body we see another serpent symbol above him, this time a neon sign in the shape of a green Chinese dragon (green is a Semitic identifier in the JEM color symbolism).[24] We also see female mannequins nearby with snake-like tubes coiling around them. As mentioned, these tubes may equally represent a parasitic vine.[25] And there’s another dragon in the form of a statue at the street side bar where Deckard stops for a drink following the killing; random prop, or more esoteric symbolism?

Deckard is juxtaposed with a neon sign of a green dragon when he kills Zhora. He then gets a drink at a bar which features another dragon prop.

Eldon Tyrell

As mentioned, Fancher’s script renames Rosen to Tyrell in a clear attempt to distance the character from his implied Jewish ancestry. “Tyrell” is believed to derive from the Old French tirel from the verb tirer meaning “to pull.” Possibly this suggests that Tyrell is a puppeteer pulling the strings of his replicants by giving them false memories. More likely, Brahmin suggests the name is a reference to Tyr – the Aryan God of War in Norse myth – who is associated with both Jupiter and Mars. The latter half of the name sounds like El, a generic Semitic word for god. Indeed, contextual clues imply that Tyrell is a god-masked Zeus/Jupiter, an Aryan god.

The first clue is that one of the escaped replicants was electrocuted while trying to infiltrate the Tyrell Corporation’s headquarters (Zeus/Jupiter is associated with lightning and therefore electrocution). The second clue is a pair of eagle statues marking the entrance to the meeting room where Deckard tests Rachael. Another eagle statue sits over Tyrell’s shoulder in his bedroom (the eagle is Zeus/Jupiter’s sacred animal). More clues appear when examining other characters.

A pair of eagle statues guard the Tyrell Corporation meeting room. Another eagle statue seems perched on Tyrell’s shoulder in his bedroom. The eagle is Zeus/Jupiter’s sacred animal.

The name “Eldon” is itself an English habitational name for someone who lived on a “sacred hill.” In context, this could be taken to mean Mount Zion or Mount Olympus. Indeed the Tyrell Corporation headquarters resemble a hill, mountain, ziggurat, or pyramid. Fancher likely kept the name because it implies Tyrell’s godliness: As mentioned “El” means god, and “Don” or “Donald” means “world ruler” or “world wielder.”

Rachael

Dick likely thought that a common Jewish name like “Rachel” was appropriate for his Jewish vixen, yet Brahmin’s study reveals that the Biblical Rachel is understood to be Aryan by Jewish esotericists! There she is Jacob’s more beautiful second wife following his marriage to the “unloved” and “hated” Semitic Leah.[26] In Blade Runner, Rachael effectively becomes Deckard’s second wife, as his first wife (Iran) is mysteriously absent. Alternatively Rachael becomes Iran, his “Aryan” wife.

“Rachel” literally means “ewe” (female sheep) in Hebrew, so characters bearing this name in the JEM often personify desirable females to be poached from the Aryan flock.[27] Naturally Fancher retains the name, but transforms Dick’s backstabbing Jewish femme fatale into a delicate, virginal, Aryan flower to be plucked by Deckard. She no longer tries to deceive him or prevent him from doing his job, at one point retiring one of the runaways herself!

Notably the Biblical Jacob had to wait seven years before he could marry Rachel, which gels with our Rachael being a Nexus-7 if we go with the sequel’s retcon. And in keeping with an important strategy of the bride gathering cult, Deckard is a “neg-ing” Jewish suitor who initially mocks Rachael for believing her implanted memories are real.[28] In effect, he is the Jewish husband converting his Christian wife to Judaism, having convinced her that her most cherished beliefs are false. This does not occur in the novel, where she knows she is an android.

Left: Rachael wears a big fluffy jacket, her “wool” as a female sheep. Right: Rachel’s blouse features a floral pattern typically worn by fertile, young, Aryan women open to admixture in the JEM plant symbolism.

… as Eve and Psyche

Peoples’ script inserts a wrinkle into Rachael’s backstory that is highly revealing: We learn that Rachael’s implanted memories once belonged to Tyrell’s deceased niece “Lilith.” This is a bald-faced reference to the Biblical Lilith whom Adam rejects in the Garden of Eden. As “Lilith’s replacement” Rachael is conflated with Eve, Adam’s more beautiful and compatible second wife. Yet Adam is an Aryan figure cuckolded by the serpent,[29] hence Rachael-as-Eve is seduced by Deckard-as-serpent.

Eve, as a figure, is also conflated with Psyche. Writes Brahmin:

“The Hebrew word for Eve, ‘Chavah,’ חַוָּה is often thought derived from the closely related hayah, הָוָה, which means ‘to breathe’ in the ancient Hebrew. This might make Eve a reference to the clearly Aryan figure of Psyche whose name means ‘Soul’ or ‘Breath of Life.’ Likewise Chavah is considered related to chayah, חיה, on the premise the latter means ‘to live.’”[30]

… as Athena/Minerva

Brahmin also reminds us that the “breath of life” or “pneuma” of Psyche is mirrored in the animating breath of Minerva.[31] Indeed Rachael can be understood as a god-masked Athena/Minerva, as she’s the “daughter” of Tyrell-as-Zeus. Corroborating this reading is the presence of an owl during her introduction, a bird associated with the goddess (granted, an owl is also present in this scene in Electric Sheep, so it may simply be another gift that Dick accidentally dropped in Blade Runner‘s lap). It’s an advantageous detail given the subtext:

Recall that Minerva/Athena was “born” when the Aryan Zeus/Jupiter had a headache and the Semitic Hephaestus/Vulcan split his head open, freeing her. This correlates with Tyrell creating Rachael, who is then “extracted” from him by the Semitic Deckard.[32] Pertinently, the man who actually helped Tyrell “birth” Rachael (and the other replicants) is in fact the geneticist J.F. Sebastian (see Sebastian as Hephaestus/Vulcan, below).

“Do you like our owl?” purrs Rachael as Deckard enters the room. Note the art deco pattern on the walls in this room may represent the skyward-facing Aryan half of the interlocking triangles of the Star of David, symbolism mirrored in the conjoining of the upward-pointing compass and the downward-pointing square in Masonic imagery.

Roy Batty

Whereas Roy is simply referred to as the “leader” of the android escapees in Electric Sheep and is not particularly well-defined or charismatic, in Blade Runner he becomes a highly sophisticated and sympathetic character. The name “Roy Batty” appears to be a play on words meaning “crazy king,” but there’s much more here. Of course the name Roy, which may come from the French word roi (lit. “king”), is useful as names referencing nobility often identify Aryan characters in the JEM.[33] Additionally he is now listed as a “combat” model for “colonization defense” of Mars, a martial occupation further painting him as Aryan.[34]

Indeed Roy’s occupation, in combination with his flight from Mars and other details, implies that he is a god-masked Ares/Mars (an Aryan figure). Mars’ consort was Nerio or Neriene who became syncretized with Athena/Minerva. Thus Deckard’s eventual coupling with Rachael-as-Minerva further emphasizes the theme of racial cuckoldry, a central aspect of the JEM. Other clues explored below suggest Roy is a complex composite drawing from additional religious and mythical sources, but his primary identity appears to be Aryan.

Roy is identified as a “combat” model for “colony defense” of Mars in his file, suggesting that he’s a god-masked Ares/Mars.

… as the Biblical Adam or Esau

The name “Roy” is also a nickname for a person with red hair, stemming from the Gaelic ruadh (lit. “red”). Names meaning “red” or implying ruddiness are Aryan identifiers in the JEM naming convention, particularly as it relates to “Adam the Red.”[35] Hence the name suggests that, having been exiled to an off-world colony by his maker, Roy is an Aryan Adamic figure cast out of Eden by Tyrell-as-God. Likewise he is set up to be cuckolded by Deckard-as-serpent where Rachael is Eve.

This reading jives perfectly with the changes to the story. In Electric Sheep, Roy never meets with Eldon Rosen, as he’s unperturbed by his limited lifespan. Yet in Blade Runner the meeting between Roy and Tyrell couldn’t be more important. Here Roy remarks, “it’s not an easy thing to meet your maker,” underscoring that he is akin to Adam and Tyrell akin to God. Yet unlike the Christian God, Tyrell offers no hope of eternal salvation and simply advises Roy to live his life to the fullest. This is the pragmatic worldview of the ancients. Disappointed, Roy symbolically turns to Christianity in hopes of resurrection or an eternal afterlife in the finale.

As the name may refer specifically to those with red hair, it posits Roy as akin to the Aryan Esau (whose name is etymologically close to Adam and Edom), who is especially the red haired one as he is described as being covered with red hair at birth. Esau, of course, is a well known and accepted symbol of the goy while the Edomites, related to Amalek, become the hated Aryans that must be destroyed in the Jewish worldview. Note that Germans in particular are often posited as Amalekites by Jewish “scholars” as part of Israel’s twentieth-century foundation myth.

… as Dumuzid/Tammuz

Saliently, Fancher alters Roy’s surname Baty to Batty. Though the names may be interchangeable in some instances, the addition of an extra “t” can change the origin and meaning of the name. Baty – cognate with names like “Beatty” – stems from the Aramaic “Bartholomew” (which may imply the Biblical figure). In contrast “Batty” can mean “fisherman” or “boatman” where the Old English “bat” means “boat.” To the extent Batty means boat and is JEM, this may be a simple vaginal reference as boat and ark symbols appear to be vaginal symbols dating from Sumer, and emasculating goyishe characters in this manner does occur in the JEM. Alterantively, this new occupational surname may explain why Roy and the other replicants shacked up at the Yukon Hotel (a setting inserted in Blade Runner). “Yukon” comes from the Gwich’in word Yu-kun-ah which means “great river.”

It is my suspicion that the hotel is a reference to “the house (called) ‘The River Ordeal’” mentioned in Mesopotamian myth and later Israelite literature.[36] “Trial by river ordeal was a widespread phenomenon, in which the accused was plunged into the river, where his success in withstanding the rushing waters was supposed to determine his guilt or innocence.”[37] As a Christian convert Roy will certainly be judged. Here it’s worth noting that the sinuous Oriental dragons seen alongside Deckard are traditionally associated with rivers, suggesting he will do the judging.

“Yukon” comes from the Gwich’in word Yu-kun-ah which means “great river,” so the Yukon Hotel may relate to the house called “The River Ordeal.”

In the mythological subtext, the meaning of “Batty” ties Roy to the Mesopotamian Dumuzid/Tammuz who was also called “the fisherman (su – ha = bayaru), and later ‘the herdsman.’”[38] Tammuz’s flock is compared to that of the Greek Sun God Helios (cognate with Apollo) – suggesting Tammuz has stolen the Aryan’s flock – though here it simply suggests Roy shepherds an Aryan flock, as he’s the leader of the escaped replicants.[39]

As a Dying and Rising God and God of Spring who becomes a shepherd, Dumuzid/Tammuz is considered a synonym of Adonis. These Dying and Rising Gods are Semitic or proto-Jewish in origin – the Hebrew calendar even has a month named in honor of Tammuz – and they share much in common with Jesus Christ.[40] Hence we have what appears to be the first link in a chain describing Roy’s union with Semitic gods that will pacify his fear of death.

When taken together “Roy Batty” literally means “King Fisher.” This further conflates Roy with Dumuzid/Tammuz, as the latter is transformed into an allalu bird with a broken wing in tablet six of the Epic of Gilgamesh.[41] The allalu bird, belonging to a family called Coraciidae, are related to kingfishers and “share the colorful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters.”[42] Thus on some level the bird set free in the finale may symbolize Roy’s transformation into this allalu bird.

And like Dumuzid, Roy is a man with no children; tragically, his genetic legacy dies with him. In Dumuzid and Ĝeštin-ana 33-46,[43] we learn that Dumuzid is a man “who has not fulfilled those days and years” because he has no wife, no children, no friend, and no companion. As such Roy-as-Dumuzid has failed to live his life to the fullest as per Tyrell’s advice. For this reason, Dumuzid’s sister Ĝeštin-ana describes her brother as “the lad who is not a comfort to his mother,” presumably because he has provided her no grandchildren. Ĝeštin-ana’s “lament of misfortune” relates to Roy’s death before he can pass on his genes – a fate Deckard seeks to avoid with Rachael.

… as “King Mad” or Apollo Lycegenes

In the climax it seems Roy is going insane when he howls like a wolf and engages in a game of cat-and-mouse with Deckard. The wolf howling was added by Peoples, and fits a surface-level reading of “Roy Batty” as “king mad” or “king insane.”[44] As wolves howl at the Moon, this may relate to the lunacy caused by the Moon or the Moon God Sin.

However, the wolf howling also dovetails with Brahmin’s observation that the wolf is an animal totem projected onto the Aryan in the JEM.[45] This is seen most clearly in the Biblical Benjamin (the ravening wolf), as well as with the epithet Apollo Lycegenes (lit. “born of a wolf”). Apollo in particular is understood to be Jewry’s archnemesis, hence Roy may personify Apollo Lycegenes in his duel with Deckard. This could be hinted at when Tyrell tells Roy that he “burns brightest” (i.e., like the Sun God Apollo). Alternatively, the wolf howling serves as a reminder that Roy is an Aryan figure despite taking on the posture of a Dying and Rising God in the finale.

… as the Fisher King of Arthurian Legend and Caelus

If we reverse the meaning of Roy’s name we get “Fisher King,” suggesting the character of Arthurian Legend (also known as the “Wounded King” or “Maimed King”). Brahmin doesn’t encourage reordering names in this manner when translating the JEM, yet it seems applicable given the inclusion of the “White Dragon” noodle bar discussed earlier. Fittingly the Fisher King is the last in a long line of men charged with keeping the Holy Grail, a vessel that grants immortality. Clearly he and the Grail quest in general find a parallel in Roy’s quest for an extended life.

Brahmin argues that “holy vessels” (including the hearth, tent, temple, ark, or house) are symbols of the Aryan vagina or womb in the JEM.[46] If this seems bizarre, note the connection is spelled out directly in the Mesopotamian mythology, where Inanna refers to her vulva as “the Boat of Heaven.”[47] What is a “Boat of Heaven” if not a holy vessel by another name (i.e. a “Holy Grail”)? With this understanding the Holy Grail can be considered another Aryan vaginal symbol. Also note that a wine glass is traditionally smashed during a Jewish wedding ceremony (a symbolic breaking of the hymen, perhaps?). Related to this, it is customary for a newlywed Jewish couple to produce a bloodstained sheet soon after the wedding to prove the bride’s virginity.

Hence it is Roy-as-Fisher King who, as the last man charged with the Holy Grail, loses possession of the Aryan womb to Deckard. Deckard has killed Roy’s two female consorts, so this loss is depicted symbolically as a dove escaping Roy’s grasp (recall that the dove is an avian symbol associated with Aphrodite [Pris] and Venus [Zhora]).

Moreover, Roy’s kneeling death in the finale and the dove’s release conflates the “Wounded King” (as “wounded in the legs or groin, with him unable to stand”) with Caelus’ castration. Here, of course, Deckard-as-Saturn performs the deed from which Venus (as the dove) is “born” or “released” from Roy-as-Caelus.

Roy releases a dove in death. Note the TDK sign in the background; in Hebraic gematria TDK = 114, which corresponds to a Hebrew word meaning “to shed tears, to flow away,” perhaps revealing that Roy’s famous line about memories being lost like tears in rain was not improvised by Rutger Hauer.

… as Adonis and Christ

As mentioned the myth of Dumuzid/Tammuz and Inanna/Ishtar is believed to have directly inspired the story of Adonis and Aphrodite. Thus Roy may also qualify as a god-masked Adonis. His “kingly” name aligns with the Canaanite word ʼadōn (lit. “lord”) which became the Hebrew “Adonai,” from which Adonis takes his name.

In turn Adonis is believed to have inspired the story of Jesus Christ, hence Roy Batty as “King Fisherman” becomes suggestive of Jesus Christ as both “King of Kings” and “Fisher of Men.” This connection between Roy and Adonis/Christ is echoed in their female companions: Venus and Aphrodite find parallels in Mary, who shares the dove and rose as important symbols.

Indeed in some sense the addition of an extra “t” to “Baty” is like Fancher assigning the cross to Roy. Roy quite clearly becomes a Christ figure in the finale when his body undergoes rigor mortis shortly before his expiry date. He succeeds in briefly reviving his fading physical sensations by pushing a nail through the palm of his hand in an echo of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Nothing even remotely like this occurs in the novel. Further, recall that Fancher had introduced a replicant named Mary in an earlier script; presumably she was a veiled Mary/Magdalene figure.

Roy pulls a large nail out of the floorboards and penetrates the palm of his hand in an echo of Christ’s crucifixion.

It is worth remembering that while the puncturing of the hand is a clear reference to Christ, symbolically it may represent something more elemental. After all, it appears the Christ myth is a reference to earlier developed symbolism that is completely opaque to the average person. For example, when Christ’s crucifixion is depicted in the form of a pentagram “the Five Wounds of Christ represented by the pentagram is a reference to ‘sexual union’ with ‘the evening star’ or the Aryan Venus/Ishtar.”[48] In this instance, Roy’s penetration of his palm evokes the stabbing of the Evil Eye of the Hamsa, [49] As the blinding of the Evil Eye can represent phallic destruction and/or the Jewish possession of the Aryan sexual resource, Roy has castrated himself. Perhaps the implication is that he has joinied a celibate priestly class, effectively removing himself from the arena of sexual competition. Here we understand Brahmin when he suggests that Semitic figures, whether Tammuz or Christ, are shepherds presenting their flock with a negative or passive role to follow.

This connection between the vagina and hand is implied when Roy grabs Deckard and breaks two of his fingers as punishment: One for Pris’ life and the other for Zhora’s. Why not a finger for Leon and the other (unknown) replicant(s) killed? Because they were not Roy’s female consorts!

In the end Roy is cleansed of his sins when he saves Deckard’s life in the ultimate act of grace. This allows Roy to achieve inner peace before death, where the Christian’s reward for good deeds and suffering in this life is an eternity in paradise. Of course, the novel ends very differently with Deckard simply shooting Roy.

Pris

The name “Pris” is ultimately derived from the Roman priscus meaning “ancient” and “primordial/primitive.”[50] In turn, she becomes a combination of ancient and primordial female goddesses. In the novel she sneaks into J.R. Isidore’s building unannounced, but in Blade Runner she pretends to be a prostitute down on her luck in order to trick J.F. Sebastian into letting her in. The name “Isidore” literally means “gift of Isis” which may have inspired Fancher to recast Pris as a god-masked Isis, a sacred prostitute figure. In turn, Sebastian becomes Pris’ gift to Roy, as it is through her seduction of Sebastian that Roy obtains his coveted meeting with Tyrell.

In Electric Sheep Pris is merely friends with Roy and his wife Irmgard, yet in Blade Runner Irmgard is discarded and Pris becomes Roy’s lover. Further, she is designated a “leisure/military” model replicant. As a prostitute and the lover of a god-masked Adonis, Pris appears to be a god-masked Aphrodite (the patron goddess of prostitutes). We can be reasonably certain she is not Venus, as that role has been given to Zhora (see below). Incidentially, both Aphrodite and Venus are syncretized with Isis, Inanna, and Ishtar (all Aryan goddesses).

As a nice little touch, Pris’ incept date is Valentine’s day in Blade Runner, befitting a goddess of love. Note the neon blue (Aryan color symbolism) in these shots, as the replicants are introduced.

In Homer’s Iliad Aphrodite is one of Zeus’ daughters, which aligns with Pris being manufactured by Tyrell, whom we take to be a god-masked Zeus/Jupiter. Moreover, Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus but “was frequently unfaithful and had many lovers; in the Odyssey, she is caught in the act of adultery with Ares.”[51] Hence Pris-as-Aphrodite cuckholds her “husband” J.F. Sebastian (a god-masked Hephaestus) by inviting Roy (a god-masked Ares/Mars) into his apartment without his permission. Sebastian is visibly perturbed by this development.

Sebastian is visibly perturbed by Roy’s unexpected arrival. When Roy and Pris kiss, he immediately gets up and interrupts them, announcing he will make breakfast.

… as Mary

Continuing with the theme of prostitution, Pris becomes a Mary Magdalene figure. Writes Brahmin: “Ishtar was also Mary, mother or lover of Christ.”[52] Hence Pris is also compatible with Roy-as-Christ. This likely explains why the Mary character was removed from later scripts, as she was somewhat redundant (besides her name being far too obvious).

Pris is introduced as a street walker wearing a collar necklace of zigzagging triangles, and a tiger-striped gold and black jacket. These are examples of JEM symbolism suggesting she’s a corrupted or Semitized Aryan akin to a “Mary Magdalene” figure.

… as Fortuna Primigenia

As priscus means “primordial” we might also infer that Pris is conflated with Fortuna Primigenia, as Primigenia means “primordial.”[53] Fortuna Primigenia was represented as veiled and blind, akin to Lady Justice. It appears Peoples incorporates these details into Pris’ character, such that she initially hides from Deckard under a veil, and paints a black band of make-up across her eyes as a symbolic blindfold. The latter detail is particularly odd absent this understanding.

In addition, Fortuna Primigenia is believed to be one of Hephaestus’/Vulcan’s lovers which further connects Pris to J.F. Sebastian. Primigenia also came to represent life’s capriciousness, and the name Pris itself relates to the word “caprice.”

Pris paints a symbolic blindfold over her eyes, and hides beneath a veil, details likely inspired by the etymological link between “Pris” and “Fortuna Primigenia.”

… as Prisca of the Montanist movement

Last but not least, Peoples appears to reference Prisca, the “charismatic female prophet of the second century Montanist movement.”[54] The Montanist movement preached that the Holy Spirit could enter the body, causing it to twist and spasm. In Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, she’s described as a “pawn of the devil who spoke and acted in ‘a frenzied manner.’”[55] These anecdotes seem to explain Pris’ bizarre, spasmodic death when Deckard shoots her (i.e. he puts the Holy Spirit into her). In Fancher’s earlier script it was Deckard whose body jerked spasmodically after killing Roy (again, all details foreign to the novel).

Incidentally, the Montanist movement was declared heretical by Catholic scholars in the fourth century, who described Prisca and Maximilla as “seductresses.” This description further dovetails with Pris and Zhora as sacred prostitute figures.

Pris screams wildly and thrashes spasmodically in death, like Prisca of the Montanist movement possessed by the Holy Spirit.

Zhora

Fancher appears to recast the android opera singer Miss Luba Luft as the replicant stripper Zhora. “Zhora” is a corruption of “Zohra,” the Arabic name for the planet Venus.[56] This appears to be the intended reading: Outside Zhora’s changing room we see a neon light in the shape of a five-pointed star which relates to Venus as the “evening star” as well as to the “pentagram of Venus” (a.k.a. the “five petals of Venus” or the “dance of Venus”). And inside her room we spy a clam shell decoration on the wall; the scallop shell is one of Venus’ symbols (famously seen in Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”).

The five-pointed star marking the entrance to Zhora’s changing room relates to Venus as the “evening star” and/or the “five petals” or pentagram of Venus, while the clam shell decoration evokes one of Venus’ other symbols.

Zhora’s occupation may define her as a god-masked Venus Erycina, whose cult “was considered suitable for ‘common girls’ and prostitutes.”[57] That she’s a freed slave may indicate she is Venus Libertina (“Venus the Freedwoman”). And just as Aphrodite was in an adulterous relationship with Ares, in the Roman tradition Venus would become paired with Mars. Hence she may be Venus Obsequens (“Indulgent Venus”), whose shrine was “supposedly funded by fines imposed on women found guilty of adultery.”[58]

Gaff leaves this effigy of a man in the hotel room where Deckard discovers Zhora’s snake scale. This may relate to Zhora as a god-masked Venus, goddess of love, sex, and desire, or to Roy and Leon as “burnt offerings.”

As Venus is syncretized with Aphrodite, she can be considered coupled with Roy-as-Adonis. And as mentioned earlier, the dove and rose are symbols Venus shares with Mary, so she can also be coupled with Roy-as-Christ.

Speaking of birds, there’s a prominent flamingo decoration in Zhora’s changing room. The flamingo bird’s name literally means “flame-colored,” which may relate to Zhora being a redhead. And according to Wikipedia, “the generic name Phoenicopterus literally means ‘blood red-feathered’” and “Phoeniconaias. . . means ‘crimson red water nymph (or naiad)’,” meanings which may relate to Venus as born from a mixture of Caelus’ blood and sea foam (i.e. the dove released by Roy-as-Caelus when castrated by Deckard-as-Saturn).

… as Demeter/Ceres or Feronia

The name Zhora is itself descended from the Ancient Greek from the element geōrgós ‎(γεωργός) meaning “tilling the ground, fertilizing.” Essentially it means “farmer,” which is an occupational Aryan identifier in the JEM. As a reference to fertile soil it may suggest she’s a goddess associated with agriculture and/or fertility such as Demeter/Ceres.[59] Somewhat like Venus, Demeter/Ceres is a daughter of Saturn. Here, however, the inference may be to Feronia – a goddess who came to be worshipped by farmers – as she was also the patron goddess of slaves. As with Venus Libertina, this esoterically ties into Zhora’s backstory as a freed slave.

… as Salome

Zhora works under the stage name “Miss Salome,” a Biblical figure related to Zhora’s original function as a trained political assassin. Wikipedia states that “in the New Testament, Salome was the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas who demanded, and received, the head of John the Baptist.” John the Baptist is frequently referenced in the JEM naming convention to identify Semitic ciphers, hence Zhora’s stage name foreshadows her attack on Deckard (our Semitic hero). Of course, “John” gets his revenge by retiring “Salome” as she runs for her life.

Zhora attempts to throttle Deckard, true to her stage name “Miss Salome.”

… as “false Eve”

Zhora works at “The Snake Pit” parlor and performs a sex act with an artificial snake as part of her act. Nothing like this occurs in Electric Sheep. She also has a cobra tattooed on the side of her face. Consequently she gives us an allusion to Eve seduced by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. However, just as her snake is artificial, she is an artificial or “false Eve.” As mentioned we know that Rachael – the new-and-improved version of Tyrell’s niece Lilith – is the true Eve of the story. Hence her act and tattoo may simply indicate that she is a Semitized or otherwise corrupted female figure (akin to Hecate/Trivia).

The Snake Pit, Zhora and her snake, Zhora’s snake tattoo, and female mannequins near her murder wearing coils convey Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

J.F. Sebastian

Fancher renames John Isidore to J.F. Sebastian. As he was originally a John, we can reasonably assume his initials stand for something like “Jean-François,” where both John and Frank are Semitic identifiers in the JEM naming convention (the former stemming from John the Baptist, the latter related to the Frankish motif). Perhaps the initials intentionally obfuscate the colloquial term for a man who patrons prostitutes, as “John” might be a bit on the nose given his relationship with Pris.

In Electric Sheep Isidore was the incompetent and semi-retarded assistant to Hannibal Sloat at the Van Ness Pet Hospital. In Blade Runner he works for Tyrell as a gifted geneticist. And in stark contrast to Isidore’s apartment which is full of “kipple” (junk), Sebastian’s place is overflowing with his fantastic animatronic creations. These are rather significant changes, and they strongly suggest that Sebastian is a god-masked Hephaestus/Vulcan, an inventor and tinkerer. As Vulcan is a volcanic deity closely associated with Yahweh this might explain the new surname, as “Sebastian” (from the Greek sebastos) means “revered.”[60]

Alternatively, the surname may be a reference to Saint Sebastian, who was supposedly shot with arrows but survived. He was rescued and healed by Saint Irene of Rome. Remarkably, Pris’ surname “Stratton” (which goes unmentioned in Blade Runner) means “Roman road” + “enclosure” or “settlement,” a name connecting her with Irene of Rome.

Furthermore in the medieval tradition Saint Sebastian is invoked as a defense against the plague, and it is believed the story Christianizes aspects of Apollo as an archer god who, “at times destroys his enemies by shooting plague-arrows from the heavens, but is also the deliverer from pestilence.”[61] In this case the callback may be an esoteric slight against Apollo, as it implies his plague arrows were unable to kill Saint Sebastian (though perhaps they’re the source of our Sebastian’s illness). Alternatively we might infer that Sebastian escapes Roy-as-Apollo Lycegenes’ murderous rampage, as we never see what actually happens to him.

J.F. Sebastian is greeted by his animatronic “friends”; a bear wearing a Napoleonic uniform and a wind-up soldier. These may represent the French, Russian, and/or Prussian Empires respectively, reduced to mere “playthings” in Jewish hands.

Strangely Sebastian still lives alone in an abandoned apartment building. Why wouldn’t Tyrell provide him accommodations inside the massive corporate headquarters? Perhaps Tyrell-as-Zeus has exiled him from Mount Olympus! We might even infer that Tyrell sleeps in J.F. Sebastian’s old room, as there’s a folding screen behind the former’s bed decorated with cranes (a bird sacred to Vulcan). That Tyrell-as-Zeus has gained the upper hand on Sebastian-as-Vulcan is also implied in their chess game, in which Tyrell is always winning (more on that near the conclusion).

Inside Tyrell’s inner sanctum there’s a folding screen decorated with cranes. Cranes are sacred to Vulcan, so this might suggest that Zeus has exiled Vulcan and taken his place.

Instead of suffering a mentally debilitating radiation poisoning, Sebastian is rapidly aging due to Fancher’s fictitious genetic disorder called the “Methusaleh Syndrome” (Methuselah is the oldest Biblical figure, said to have lived to the age of 969). As such he’s a prime example of the esotericist admitting that Jews are an aged race in need of genetic renewal.[62] That he’s “saturated with years” like Saturn/Cronus indicates a shared ethnicity.[63] Here the dilapidated apartment building echoes his physical deterioration.

As Brahmin has suggested, Jewish esotericists can be complimentary (as they evidently desire admixture with us). Roy asks, “Why are you staring at us, Sebastian?” He replies, “’Cause. . . you’re so different. . . You’re so perfect. What generation are you?” Roy replies Nexus-6, to which Sebastian exclaims, “Ha! I knew it! ‘Cause I do genetic design work for the Tyrell Corporation. There’s some of me in you.”

In Electric Sheep the bullied Isidore empathized with the androids as social outcasts. In Blade Runner, his disorder now mirrors the replicants’ limited lifespan. Further, Sebastian-as-Vulcan was “wounded” or “maimed” and is often depicted sitting in a wheel chair; he’s the mirror image of the “wounded” or “maimed” Roy-as-Fisher King. Also, Vulcan was exiled by Jupiter in the same way Roy-as-Adam was exiled from the Garden of Eden. Thus Sebastian may have been motivated to help Roy as an act of personal revenge. However, Roy apparently kills Sebastian, the lesson being that Jews mustn’t aid Aryan men.

Sebastian surrounded by his creations. Note the large vase in the background, which may represent Vulcan’s cauldron. Possibly it is a volute krater, traditionally placed in the center of a room and used to mix wine and water, with all that that entails in JEM symbolism.

… as Erichthonius, son of Hephaestus/Vulcan

Another intriguing possibility is that Sebastian references Erichthonius, one of Hephaestus/Vulcan’s sons.[64] In this interpretation, Hephaestus/Vulcan has simply been exiled altogether. Erichthonius was born with two serpent’s tails for legs, a kind of genetic deformity in line with Sebastian’s disability. In this case, Peoples may be knowledgeably corroborating Sebastian’s Semitic identity in line with the Serpent motif.[65]

Moreover Sebastian’s disorder relates to Ovid’s description of Erichthonius in Metamorphoses as requiring “new life.” This led the gods to grumble “why others should not be allowed to grant such gifts (the rejuvenating power of the goddess Hebe) . . . Mulciber (Hephaistos) required new life for (his son) Erichthonius.”[66] Additionally Zeus had a friendly relationship with Erichthonius.[67]

Hannibal Chew

Hannibal Sloat, originally a vet at the Van Ness Pet Hospital, is a minor character but one worth examining due to the changes in Blade Runner. The name Hannibal literally means “Baal is gracious,” where the last part of the name refers to Baal, a Semitic deity. Dick probably knew this, so we can guess that Hannibal Sloat is another one of his Jewish ciphers.

To a Jewish esotericist, however, “Hannibal” implies subservience to an Aryan god. Writes Brahmin: “The title Baal appears to be an Aryan identifier. . . equivalent to Jupiter at least to the extent this title appears alone without modifying additional names that may indicate it Semitic.”[68] Thus Hannibal now works for Tyrell-as-Baal/Zeus/Jupiter making replicant eyes at his lab, “Eye World.”

The exterior of Chew’s shop “Eye World” is colored green (a Semitic color) with a red “eye” in its signage.

On its face Hannibal’s new surname seems to be a minor change to better suit the Chinese character actor playing the role. In the Chinese it’s a name related to bows and archers and so doesn’t seem applicable, however the Chinese word “chú” (厨) means “kitchen” and may well describe Chew’s laboratory. In fact “Chew” is an English surname possibly meaning “fish gill.” Perhaps this identifies Chew as Baal/Zeus/Jupiter’s loyal “fish” to be caught by the “King Fisherman” Roy Batty. Notably, the two never meet in the novel.

However there is a far more interesting interpretation of “Chew” as it relates to Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general. The religion of Carthage was largely based on that of the Canaanites and Phoenicians. There we find a smith, craftsman, engineer, architect, and inventor god similar to Hephaestus/Vulcan yet notably one who was subservient to Baal/Jupiter called Kothar-wa-Khasis. Strikingly, in the Phoenician Greek he was called Chusor. Thus it appears that Fancher took his cue from Dick’s Hannibal but squeezed him into the subtext with a more logical surname and occupation!

As a Smith God Chusor/Kothar could easily be mistaken for Hephaestus/Vulcan. Hence the filmmakers distance Chew from Vulcan’s fiery forge by placing him in an environment of extreme cold. The blue-yellow (Aryan) color symbolism in his laboratory further differentiates Chew from the Semitic Vulcan. Incidentally, Blade Runner has alerted Apollonian artists to a salubrious replacement for Hephaestus/Vulcan should they require such a craftsman in their work: Leave Vulcan in exile and god-mask Kothar/Chusor instead!

The blue-yellow (Aryan) color symbolism in Chew’s laboratory differentiates him from the Semitic Vulcan.

… as Ptah

Significantly, both Chusor and Kothar mean “the Opener” as it relates to Baal’s “window” in the sky through which he sheds his life-giving rain. By extension, this connects Chew to the Egyptian god Ptah, who was also known as “the Opener.” With Ptah it’s a reference to the opening of the mouth, though in Blade Runner it’s a reference to the eye or pupil as Chew specializes in making eyes. Indeed Ptah is a craftsman of bodies; he fashions “the divine bodies of royalty, and the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in the afterlife.”[69] This relates to Roy’s kingly name as well as his newfound belief in the afterlife.

… as Thoth

The above reading may suffice but the specificity of Hannibal’s occupation seems to indicate yet another layer. In Egyptian mythology we find a god named Thoth who restores Horus’ eye when it is torn out by Set. Horus is a Sky God akin to Baal/Zeus/Jupiter who became associated with the Sun God Ra, hence Chew may be a god-masked Thoth (providing eyes as apparently required by Tyrell-as-Horus). This connection would also relate to Tyrell’s eyes being gouged by Roy (discussed in further detail below).

Gaff

Gaff is another curious character introduced in Blade Runner. The name means “one who made or used iron hooks, or a staff armed with such a hook.” A “hooked staff” might be interpreted as a shepherd’s rod, which is likely the intended reading as shepherd figures appear frequently in the JEM. Indeed, in the German-Jewish criminal lingo of the nineteenth century a crowbar was known as a Rebbmosche (lit. “Rabbi Moses”),[70] no doubt because it superficially resembles the Staff of Moses. This seems to explain why Gaff walks with a cane (i.e. his “shepherd’s rod”).

Related to this, Brahmin writes: “Frequently (the Romans) understood (Hermes/Mercury) as the Prophet Moses himself.”[71] Indeed, it seems as though Gaff rounds out the Greco-Roman subtext as a god-masked Hermes/Mercury – a shepherd, messenger of the gods, and soul guide. Consequently his cane is his caduceus or herald’s staff. As a messenger or herald he serves a summons to Deckard early in the film, effectively issuing what Joseph Campbell terms “The Call to Adventure.”

As a soul guide Gaff can read Deckard’s internal monologue. First he makes a chicken to mock Deckard when he initially balks at the assignment (Deckard’s “Refusal of the Call”), though strikingly the rooster happens to be one of Mercury’s symbols. The matchstick man, as mentioned, appears to reference Venus as a goddess of love or the replicants as “burnt offerings.” The unicorn implies he somehow knows Deckard’s dreams, and simultaneously suggests he approves of Rachael as a rare catch.

Of course, many interpet the unicorn as proof that Deckard is a replicant with implanted memories, but perhaps Gaff is simply a fairy godfather! It bears mentioning that “Gaff” may be a contracted form of “godfather” or “grandfather.” As a beneficent, Moses-like “godfather,” Gaff sets Deckard on his journey and allows him to escape with Rachael in the end.

Gaff walks with a cane, which might be interpreted as a shepherd’s rod or caduceus. He leaves origami figures as messages as if reading Deckard’s innermost thoughts.

Leon Kowalski

In Electric Sheep Sandor Kadalyi/Max Polokov is the Nexus-6 android who injures Holden and attacks Deckard. Fancher replaces him with Leon, though like “Max” this is probably a false name. “Leon” means “lion,” an Aryan animal symbol sometimes applied to Jewish ciphers in the JEM. His surname (seemingly inserted later by Peoples) is taken from the Polish “Kowal” meaning “(black)smith,” and therefore an occupational name associated with Hephaestus/Vulcan. Taken together, the name may be Leon’s unconvincing attempt to conceal his Aryan identity among the Semitic blade runners hunting him (akin to “Luba Luft”).

As mentioned earlier “Sandor Kadalyi” appears to be an anagram, so perhaps so too is “Leon Kowalksi.” In that case the solution is likely “solo weak link,” as Leon does not appear to have an esoteric identity. He’s simply a dumb Aryan male, as implied in his case file as a “combat/loader” with a mental level of “C,” in addition to his occupation as a janitor at the Tyrell Corporation. Another solution might be “kills on awoke,” a programming reference, as he almost gets the better of Holden and Deckard.

When Deckard encounters him on the street Leon reveals he fears his own mortality. Thematically he’s another Aryan in need of Christianity’s promise of an eternal afterlife. Notably it is Rachael who – as deus ex machina – appears just in time to kill Leon and save Deckard’s life. She will soon provide Deckard with the meaning and purpose that Leon lacked.


Additional JEM tropes & symbolism

The Triple Goddess in Blade Runner

Rachael, Pris, and Zhora may represent the Triple Goddess, a common motif in the JEM. As a virgin Rachael is the purest and thus most desirable form of the goddess (Selene). Pris would be the middle form (Artemis/Diana) that is on her way to becoming fully Semitized/corrupted – this is indicated in her occupation and costume. Zhora is the oldest and most Semitized, to the point she engages in bestiality with the snake and has a snake tattoo on her face, becoming the corrupted Persephone or Hecate/Trivia.

Water and blood symbolism in Blade Runner

Following Deckard’s violent altercation with Leon, he and Rachael retire to his apartment. Here Deckard sips a drink causing blood to mix with the clear liquid. He then massages his sore gums over the bathroom sink. This is likely JEM water symbolism – where blood mixing with water represents Semitic-Aryan admixture (see footnote 14) – as it immediately precedes Deckard and Rachael’s first lovemaking, and presumably her deflowering.

Deckard’s shirt is red and blue, JEM color symbolism related to racial admixture. When his blood mixes with his drink, and he washes the blood from his mouth, this is likely JEM water symbolism foreshadowing the love scene that follows.

The Evil Eye and the Blinding motif in Blade Runner

The film shows us a close-up of an eye during its introduction. From there we see the Voight-Kampff actively monitoring Leon’s left eye. Many have commented on the unique glow visible in the replicants’ eyes throughout the film. These allude to the eyes as the “windows to the soul,” but may esoterically convey the Evil Eye. In Jewish and Middle Eastern tradition the Evil Eye – whose pupil is typically blue (and thus Aryan) – is warded off or blinded by the Hamsa charm. Consequently the blinding of the Evil Eye becomes a common motif in the JEM.

There may be three examples of the Blinding motif in Blade Runner. The first is a female bartender who wears an eyepatch over her left eye. The connection between alcohol and blinding is suggestive of the intoxicating wine of Bacchus/Dionysus/Christ. The second is when Roy pushes his thumbs into Tyrell’s eyes while crushing his skull, perhaps an echo of Samson’s blinding. As with Roy pushing a nail through his palm, penetrating a man’s eyes carries sexual connotations suggesting a homoerotic decline or degeneration.

The third example occurs when Roy fights Deckard in the finale. In my experience it is typically a character’s left eye that is blinded in the JEM, hence the streak of blood over Roy’s left eye may subtly suggest his blinding in line with the motif. Here the inference is that Roy has been blinded by Christianity’s promise of an eternal afterlife. A related but less common motif is the deafening of opponents in what might be called something like “the Hamentasch motif.” In the climax Roy’s ear is grazed by a bullet, possibly conveying this.

Left to right: A bartender wears an eyepatch over her left eye. Roy gouges Tyrell’s eyes. And blood runs down the left side of Roy’s face, possibly a subtle example of the Blinding motif.

The Biblical flood and the world of Blade Runner

Blade Runner predicts an America hopelessly divided along racial, cultural, and linguistic lines. Thus it promotes the Jewish mantra of “inevitable diversity,”[72] a fairly common demoralization tactic in the JEM. Los Angeles is unrecognizably American, playing on fears of the “Asian Invasion” that was affecting the automobile and electronics markets of the 1970s and ’80s. Indeed Deckard needs a Japanese chef to translate for Gaff, because the latter speaks a new language that is replacing English as the vernacular. However, he doesn’t seem all that interested in escaping to the “off world colony,” which in the film may be a reference to Israel.

Note that Blade Runner‘s third world conditions are the complete opposite of Electric Sheep‘s barren, lonely, and depopulated Earth. This correlates with Brahmin’s concept of the Biblical flood, Bacchus’ Elysium, and Zion as a time and/or place of racial decadence. Again we note that the Oriental dragons appearing alongside Deckard “traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods.”[73] Indeed, we recognize the “flood” of diversity as one weapon in the Jewish arsenal.

Related to this, while Mercerism goes unmentioned, we see what appears to be an Orthodox Jew wandering the crowded streets. It seems the filmmakers wanted to comfort Jews in the audience by letting them know that Judaism persists in the world of the film, particularly as something separate from the androids/replicants. As Brahmin elucidates, Jews view themselves as the “abiding stone” that can weather all challenges, including the Biblical flood.[74]

Mercerism has replaced all other religions in the world of the novel, yet we spy an Orthodox Jewish man in the crowded streets of the film as Deckard hunts for Zhora.

The chess match in Blade Runner

Finally we can discuss an important detail invented for the film: The fateful chess match between Sebastian and Tyrell. Roy picks up where the two left off and sacrifices Sebastian’s queen to win the game. This impresses Tyrell such that he grants access to his inner sanctum. Others have pointed out that this may reference a famous match played in 1851 known as “The Immortal Game.” Scott has stated that any connection is “purely coincidental,” yet the reference would fit the film’s themes perfectly.

Here we find the “eternal duel” between Semite and Aryan. Here we find Jesus Christ outwitting and defeating Zeus/Jupiter through an act of self-sacrifice. Here we find Roy surrendering his Aryan queen to achieve a Pyrrhic victory. And the name of the game itself relates to Roy’s quest for more life. Roy, the Christian convert, is the naive rube who doesn’t realize that Jesus is a recycled version of Tammuz, Dionysus, and Adonis. He has been reduced to a pawn in an age-old race war.


Conclusion

Blade Runner‘s story doesn’t appear to be very sophisticated, but it has been layered in such a way that it is easy to get lost in its web of esoteric symbolism. Indeed it has puzzled critics since its debut, though perhaps Brahmin’s framework has finally solved it. It certainly seems the writers were attempting to confuse or out-do Philip K. Dick, whom we understand was a race-conscious parabolist in his own right. Brahmin notes that there was an uptick in the number of racially and/or politically motivated White authors in the wake of the Second World War (e.g., J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, and Frank Herbert), and Dick appears to fall into this category. Sadly he died before the film was finished, which was rather convenient for the filmmakers.

According to Blade Runner‘s IMDB trivia page, Dick approved of what little he saw of the film – primarily the special effects shots of the city – and the script (it’s unclear which version this is referring to). The latter anecdote seems to be contradicted by his refusal to write the novelization of the movie, a contract worth four hundred thousand dollars. Were the filmmakers hoping that an official novelization of Blade Runner would replace Electric Sheep, and thereby snip its anti-Semitic themes in the bud? And there are two other bits of trivia that stand out:

“(At around one hour, twelve minutes) In the Japanese advertisement shown on the side of a blimp, in which a Geisha-like woman is swallowing a pill, the loud speakers play a line from a Japanese Noh play, saying “Iri hi katamuku”, literally “the setting sun sinks down.” According to special photographics effects supervisor David Dryer, the pills being swallowed are birth control pills.”

Thus the advertisement appears to contain an esoteric message that the Aryan sun is setting as its men and women choose not to have children. Of course, the message of the film is that having children is life’s purpose and the only real form of immortality. And then there’s this knee-slapper:

“Ridley Scott has always maintained that this movie is a piece of entertainment, nothing more. In fact, when he met Philip K. Dick during post-production, he specifically told Dick that he was uninterested in ‘making an esoteric film.’

Mr. Scott doth protest too much, methinks.


Notes and citations

[1] Nicholas Wade, “Studies Show Jews’ Genetic Similarity,” New York Times, June 9, 2010.

ii. William Cobbett suggested that due to intermarriage Jews “have all one and the same face, one and the same pair of eyes, and one and the same nose” in the Political Register of December 6, 1817.

[2] Dick may be referencing a statement given by Walter Bruns while imprisoned at the London Cage – a notorious British prison where P.O.W.s were tortured (the torture did not become public knowledge until years after Electric Sheep had been published). Bruns claimed that “at Riga they first slept with (Jewish women) and then shot them to prevent them from talking.” (Hadding Scott, “Talking Frankly about David Irving,” p.11, CODOH).

[3] Given the novel’s animal-related themes, Dick may be specifically criticizing the Jewish practice of kosher slaughter. Alternatively, he may be criticizing Jews for working with the National Socialists and doing their dirty work, particularly in the ghettos and camps. Or, he may be criticizing the torture of German P.O.W.s (of which there were many firsthand accounts by Americans following the war, e.g. Judge Edward Van Roden’s “American Atrocities in Germany,” The Progressive, February 1949, p. 21f).

[4] Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (New York: First Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition: 1996), p. 55.

[5] ibid., p.95

[6] ibid., p.150

[7] Seth Rogovoy, “The Secret Jewish History of Blade Runner,” Forward, October 5, 2017

ii. David Desser (1997:114), via A Critical Look at Race and Socio-politics in Two Dystopian Films: Blade Runner (1982) and In Time (2011),” Poison Apple, June 2, 2012

[8] Note that Scott and the screenwriters took an odious ownership of Dick’s work in the years since: Scott is an executive producer on the Amazon adaptation of The Man in the High Castle; Fancher wrote Blade Runner‘s sequel and a pair of shorts; and Peoples wrote Soldier as a “side-quel.” There are several notches on Ridley Scott’s belt that appear to contain JEM. In particular, I would point the reader to Matchstick Men. What could have conceivably attracted him to an otherwise insignificant and mundane character study, other than its JEM? Further commentary is beyond the scope of this essay, but I would encourage anyone studying REM to investigate that book and film for themselves.

[9] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Parabolist’s and Propagandist’s Quick Reference Guide for Creating A.I.M.

[10]Sephardi leader Yosef: Non-Jews exist to serve Jews,” Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, October 19, 2010

[11] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Saturn, A form of The Jewish God. Seven, a Reference to Saturn

[12] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Promethean and Atlatean: terribly abused and misused words

[13] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Infamy of Crete Part I: the Problem of Being ‘European’

[14] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Baptism and Anointing: Symbols for Copulation and Sexual Interaction

[15] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Names Part II: The Importance of Names in REM, Common names & Exoteric Alibis

[16]Deckard: Baby Name of the Day,” Appellation Mountain, January 14, 2016

[17] Tacitus, Histories 5.4

ii. Note, however, that names meaning “stranger” probably indicate an Aryan cipher in JEM as the Modern Hebrew word, נוֹכרִי, means “alien,” “stranger” but also “gentile.”

[18] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Circumcision, Saturn, Kumarbi, Foreskins & the Human Gelding

[19] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Saturn, A form of The Jewish God. Seven, a Reference to Saturn

[20] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Garden of Eden Part II: The Jewish Serpent & Jewish Tree of Knowledge

[21] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Arthurian Legend as Deleterious Myth

[22] Watch “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” a lecture by Andrew George, or for a shorter version “The Epic of Gilgamesh: Crash Course World Mythology #26

[23] See the Ouroboros tattoo in Annihilaton for another example of its use in JEM.

[24] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Color Green, Robin Hood & May Day

[25] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “‘Blood Magic’ in Plant Color Symbolism: the Rose, the Holly and the Mistletoe

[26] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Bride Gathering Cult Part VI: Jewesses as ‘Hated’ ‘Leah’ and Auxiliary Women

[27] See also Rachel Amber, a god-masked Persephone, in Life is Strange.

[28] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The ‘Neg-ing’ Jewish Husband and the Christian Wife

[29] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Garden of Eden Part I: Adam the Aryan Cuckold

[30] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Captain Marvel Part III: Carol Danver’s love interest, Mar Vell, the Christian Crypto-Jew

[31] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Racial Identity of Christ’s Parents Part II: The Annunciation Proof

[32] See Brahmin’s take on “owls” in the comments of “Esoteric Apollo: The Crow or Raven, Symbol of Racial Cuckoldry

[33] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Names Part II: The Importance of Names in REM, Common names & Exoteric Alibis

[34] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Martial and the Apollonian

[35] See “Adam the red,” M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Garden of Eden Part I: Adam the Aryan Cuckold

[36] Iddin-Dagan A 169-172, The Melammu Project

[37] P. Kyle McCarter, Harvad Theological Review, Volume 66: “The River Order in Israelite Literature” (Charlottesville, VA.: University of Virginia), October 1973

[38] James Hastings, Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 12, Suffering – Zwingli (Edinburgh: T&T Clark), p.189

ii. There is some dispute over Dumuzid’s connection to Tammuz. Dumuzid the Fisherman is now believed to be the fourth king of the first Dynasty of Uruk and Gilgamesh’s predecessor.

[39] ibid.

[40] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Bride Gathering Cult Part II: The Origin of the Semitic Bride Gathering Cult called Judaism

[41] Dumuzid, Wikipedia

[42] Coraciidae, Wikipedia

[43] Dumuzid and Ĝeštin-ana, The ETCSL project, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

[44] At one point Roy smashes his head through a wall, breaking checkerboard tiles in the process. Possibly this detail relates to the checkerboard floors seen in Masonic symbolism, suggesting a “mad king” at odds with the secret society. Though which king is being referenced here is beyond me.

[45] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Esoteric Apollo: the totem of Wolf as pseudo-praise

[46] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Nuns, Vestal ‘Virgins’ and Aryan Lioness as ‘Altar-Hearth’

[47]See passage no. 4, The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi, K. Dickson, Comparative Mythology: Near Eastern, Myths of Inanna 1 (Sumer)

[48] For more on the crucifix as copulation with Venus, see M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The X-Rated Crucifix

[49] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Micro-aggressing ‘Evil Eye,’ the Hamsa, the ‘mark’ and the third eye

[50] Priscilla, Wikipedia

[51] Aphrodite, Wikipedia

[52] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Etymology, mythography and the ‘Promethean transmission’

[53] Fortuna, Wikipedia

[54] Prisca, Wikipedia

[55] ibid.

[56] Compare with Zoran Lazarević as a reference to the Morning Star in Uncharted 2.

[57] Thomas A. J. McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome, Oxford University Press, 1998, p.25.

[58] Staples, Ariadne, From Good Goddess to vestal virgins: sex and category in Roman religion, Routledge, 1998, p. 89.

[59] Compare with Chloe in Life is Strange, Josie Radek in Annihilation, and Chloe in Deep Impact.

[60] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Vulcan as an Important Form of the Lesser God

[61] Saint Sebastian, Wikipedia

[62] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Apollo Cult

[63] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Saturn, A form of The Jewish God. Seven, a Reference to Saturn

[64]Hephaistos family,” Theoi

[65] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Garden of Eden Part II: The Jewish Serpent & Jewish Tree of Knowledge

[66] Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 420 ff

[67] Erichthonius, Wikipedia

[68] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Red herrings in Leviticus and Moloch as example of Jewish ‘Projection’

[69] Ptah, Egyptian Gods

[70] J. Keller and Hanns Andersen, The Jew as Criminal (translated by R. Belser), p 13.

[71] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “Mercury: The Philosopher, Priest, Prophet, Apostle, Wizard and Deceiver

[72] M. Brahmin, ibid., book #, chapter: “The Promotion of ‘Inevitable Diversity’: An Ancient Pattern

[73] Chinese dragon, Wikipedia

[74] An Egyptian television series called “The End” sparked uproar in Israel in May 2020 for depicting a “post-Israel” vision of the future. It just goes to show how sensitive and hypocritical Jews are when it comes to ethnic demoralization when they’re the targets.

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The Unconscious & The Economy

Sigmund Freud divided consciousness into three forms: the conscious, preconscious and unconscious. The conscious needs little explanation, it is you in your everydayness. The preconscious is the site of where…

Sigmund Freud divided consciousness into three forms: the conscious, preconscious and unconscious. The conscious needs little explanation, it is you in your everydayness. The preconscious is the site of where your thoughts (that is your ‘latent’ thoughts) lie dormant until you retrieve them. When an idea comes to your head, something you have read or thought of before, they transfer from the preconscious to your consciousness and back again.

The unconscious is much more difficult to explain, there is an enormous abundance of literature of which we can draw from. Indeed, the ideas surrounding the unconscious developed across Freud’s and Lacan’s careers. Needless to say, this is the site from which ‘Freudian slips’ stem from.

For Freud, unconscious thoughts arise in dreams, jokes and the aforementioned ‘Freudian slips’. The unconscious is a treasure trove of repressed ideas, traumatic memories and such. Things of which we try to hide from ourselves that occasionally burst out into the open.


The idea of the unconscious is very relevant to us at this moment in time. Take the ‘Karen’ phenomenon, for example. What we have here is white women who have had enough of what is happening, they finally snap. All their supressed thoughts burst from the unconscious and out into their consciousness. The mask comes off and their inner nature, their supressed racial consciousness rises to the surface in a manner that makes them appear as irrational, they can’t take it anymore and their inner European bursts through into being.

Across the Western world these incidents are happening at an increasing rate, and quite depressingly, the people in the videos back down and apologize, groveling like cowards and claiming support of ‘Black Lives Matter’. We all know the truth of the matter though, we know that what occurred was authentic, and more importantly, that their actions were not wrong, they were natural.


What lies in the unconsciousness of everyday folk is who we are: We are not by nature ‘multicultural’ or ‘multiracial’. Women crossing the road late at night when they see a gang of black guys is not some horrible sign of ‘racism’, it is a woman following her survival instincts.

Europeans are told, however, to suppress these instincts. These evil, naughty prejudices. Everyone passes through an education system which teaches children to repress their nature, to stuff it down. Our education system is teaching us to push our conscious natures deep down into our unconsciousness.


Why are mental illnesses so prevalent in our modern era? Is it because we are discovering new disorders, or is it because of our actual social systems? We can point to many, many different causes, but the most pertinent one on the list is certainly the suppression of our actual nature. We are stuffing who we are deep down into the unconsciousness where we are repressing who we are. The consequence of this is an increase in anxiety, depression, manic illnesses, sexual perversions like transvestitism and all other manner of abnormalities.

The tension below the surface bubbles away, eating at our psyche. As time goes on the tension boils over and hundreds of ‘Karens’ go viral on the internet for calling the police on black guys who are threatening to steal their dogs. Nobody questions whether or not these women are actually suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, no one asks whether these women have actually been victims of crime from blacks, we go straight to treating them as if they are evil. In reality they are white people on the edge because they are living in situations which go against our nature. They are unconsciously aware that multiracialism is not a healthy way to live, this is why they engage in white flight.


White flight is a phenomenon of the unconscious. The people who engage in white flight are upper-middle-class whites who can afford to abandon areas filling to the brim with the third world. Consciously these same people will vote, campaign or donate to politicians which will make the circumstances they are escaping worsen, but unconsciously they are fleeing the consequences of their political positions. White flight is a Freudian slip par excellence.

The question is, how can we move this Freudian slip from the unconscious to the conscious? How can we get these people to free their nature from the dungeon in their psyche?


People in the lower classes that are unable to engage in white flight are more conscious of what is occurring, they have to live it, they have to suffer the consequences of multiracialism. It is their economic situation which makes them more aware and more opposed to the project being imposed upon us. The only reasonable solution to this problem is a material one, we must deprive them of their material possessions.

These people can to some degree avoid what is happening, they can also numb themselves by consuming the opium of the masses (not religion, but commodities). They can send their kids to fancy schools with a tiny amount of token minorities, flee from areas becoming ghettos, drown themselves in fine wines and whiskies. They are separated from the real-world.

What we need to do is find a way to collapse the economy, we must damage Western economies as much as possible.


Racial consciousness and racial unity occur when the economy is down because people are unable to avoid the Real. The illusion slips when the economy collapses, people can no longer buy their way out of anxiety, people return to their roots.

This may sound absurd or self-destructive. However, we must seek solutions where we can if we are to halt this process of extinction. We are faced with two choices: We can sit by as we disappear from the face of the earth, or we can fight.

The only thing that will wake up the middle and upper classes is the removal of their distractions and their ability to flee to new gated communities. When they can no longer escape to greener pastures they will have to watch as their suburb is flooded with government housing, watch as their children’s schools gets filled to the brim with migrants, and read news reports in the news about ‘grooming gangs’ being found in their local area.


How do we do this? How do we collapse our economies? Some examples:

  1. We must demand of our governments policies which will increase taxes on corporations (universal basic income, etc. You don’t have to consider these policies as something you would have in an idealized society, but we can utilize them for our own ends).
  2. Consume as little as possible products from large businesses.
  3. Cease consuming mass media as much as possible.
  4. Petition to put migrants in posh suburbs and gated communities.
  5. Petition to put migrants in upper class schools. (Forced quotas designed to introduce future ‘engineers’ and ‘doctors’ into elite schools).

Strategies like these can work to put pressure on our economies. They will put strain on the upper and middle classes. The stress added to them will impact their ability to repress inner urges, this will lead to outbursts and increased awareness of race. As the economies begin to strain so will the psyches of the middle and upper classes now having to experience ‘multiculturalism’ and all its ‘strengths’. They will now become hyper aware of the effects of their policies; the unconscious thoughts will slide into consciousness and repatriation will finally become something we can speak about in everyday conversation (controversial policies are normalized in tense situations).

If we want the politics of the early 20th Century to return, we must create the same conditions that gave rise to radical politics in the first place.

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The TERFs to Dissident Right Pipeline

If you are at all active in right-wing online spaces, you may have taken note of an influx of women into dissident right political circles over the past two or three years.

If you are at all active in right-wing online spaces, you may have taken note of an influx of women into dissident right political circles over the past two or three years. In addition, there has been an increase in conversations surrounding the phenomenon of women within the political left who have rejected some of the more egregious elements of third-wave feminism, often at great personal and social cost. These women, who identify as second-wave or classical feminists, unequivocally reject transgender ideology – they are Trans Exclusive Radical Feminists (TERFs).

“TERFs” emerged as a slur by early 2010, as pushback against trans activism within feminist circles gained more visibility, along with the lesser-used Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist, or SWERF. With a major overlap, both groups reject the notion that sex is socially constructed and changeable, and both embrace that pornography and sex-positive feminism is a societal sickness and deeply exploitative of women.

These two core positions form the bridge between TERFs and the dissident right, with several other elements contributing to the exodus of women from the feminist framework altogether. TERFs aren’t necessarily “radical” in the sense that they are any more anti-male or passionate about their discourse than third-wave feminists, but for many, their adherence to the traditional feminist academic understanding of sex and gender earns them the label.

A surprising number of women involved in the dissident right admit to coming to their political stance from varying degrees of leftism. Similar to the “Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline” ubiquitous in 2016, the pipeline connects two diametrically opposed ideologies and makes converts out of an oppositional party. In order to understand this ideological leap, we have to understand what drives women to accept the core tenants of dissident right belief.

Gender as a Social Construct

Until the proliferation of transgender ideology in recent years, feminist academia understood gender as an entirely social construct distinct from sex, which is the unchangeable, biological basis of women’s oppression. Gender expression as a socially constructed phenomenon, or a product of an individual’s upbringing, is a concept undergoing a shift toward a more nuanced understanding of where and how the intersection of gender and biology occurs. The common dissident right position would be an unwavering view of immutable physical sexual dimorphism, a view shared by radical feminists, taken together with an understanding of gender expression as at least partly based in bio-psychological urges.

Feminists have long strained against the ties joining gender expression and a biological basis for gendered behavior, ardently arguing against the concept of a “woman’s brain” until recent developments in trans ideology have begun to repopularize the surprisingly regressive concept. In the midst of this confusion – a third position emerges. What if gender expression IS largely based on biology, and that’s perfectly alright? Why can’t we celebrate our unique aptitudes? Why can’t we accept what we cannot change, and advocate for women’s interests with this understanding?

Women’s Liberation to Corporate Slavery

The most severe catalysts for any women’s liberation movement are the immediate threats of physical and sexual violence and the lack of ability or opportunity for a woman to support herself or her children if her partner or guardian fails in his responsibilities or if he has passed away. Once these dangers were somewhat mitigated in the West, we see a shift from a genuine women’s liberation movement into the mid-to-late 20th-century Jewish-led feminist theory.

This movement and its development into third-wave intersectional feminism have helped to shape a society where violent pornography is encouraged for consumption and accessible to children, where mass immigration has caused rape epidemics in once comfortable European towns and villages, and women and girls are subject to unthinkable violence as part of a tradeoff for the supposed strengths of a diverse society. With self-identification laws and rabidly anti-woman LGBTQ activism, women have largely lost the right to privacy and the women’s only spaces vital for our safety. The freedom for women to work and support her family in a dire situation became perverted into a massive societal push for women to join the workforce en masse, resulting in what we now understand to be a wage-stagnating doubling of the labor pool and a generation of small children and infants raised in an often apathetic daycare system.

With this comes a new understanding of women’s oppression. We are torn away from our children by the new economic reality, sent into corporate slavery, and prevented from starting families. When the most natural essence of womanhood is discouraged and we are denied the fruition of our most basic biological instincts, we come to understand the current system as one dangerous to the feminine body and spirit, the family structure, and the backbone of western society. From this core realization onward, there are a number of factors that have caused the mass exodus of TERFs from the left into the dissident right.

Rejecting Degeneracy Depletes Social Capital

With countless women realizing that feminism, for all of its pro-women intent, has failed women and allowed these miserable circumstances to come to pass, nothing highlights this disconnect more than the social consequences of rejecting the trans and sex-positive narrative. The TERFs label results in the same personal or professional upheaval as being outed as a white nationalist, and trans activists use the same cowardly tactics as Antifa uses against suspected fascists. Women have lost their jobs, social circles, and families for failing to adhere to third-wave groupthink. They are subject to violent threats from trans activists and “feminist” men alike. These women become social pariahs and have simply already lost the social capital they stand to risk by getting involved in dissident politics.

TERFs Targets

Vancouver Rape Relief has been repeatedly vandalized, including a dead rat nailed to their doorway. The center provides support services to female victims of sexual assault.

Statistics and Race

Male violence is of unique interest when arguing the risks involved in allowing men into spaces where women are vulnerable, and one of the first steps in accepting the reality of male violence is actually viewing the statistics regarding male-on-female violence. Viewing the publicly available data with a critical eye reveals a truth known to anyone on the dissident right. It doesn’t take any thinking woman long to see exactly which men are committing violent crime and the majority of partner violence, and race realism is a natural next step.

Immigration

Another issue that sets most TERFs apart from intersectional feminists is their unflinching rejection of the Islamic encroachment on the West. Mass Islamic immigration is a grave concern to most women who value their safety over the social capital gained from intersectionality. Unregulated immigration from the southern border in the US continues to sacrifice female victims of illegal immigrant sexual violence on the altar of multiculturalism.

Certain sects of honest leftist politics have begun moving away from “woke” liberal discourse and into legitimate class struggle and economic analysis. Many have conceded the disastrous effects of mass immigration and an endless supply of cheap labor on wage stagnation and worker protections, and as these topics become less taboo in leftist dialogue, genuine leftist women feel more confident in questioning the diversity dogma.

Respect for Masculinity

Feminism creates a gender divide that doesn’t speak meaningfully to women who have healthy relationships with men. Anti-male rhetoric is toxically present in radical feminist spaces, and the most vehemently anti-male and anti-masculinity conversation pushes away women who have strong bonds with their fathers, partners, sons, and men in their communities, or even just the woman confident in her attraction to traditional masculinity.

Rethinking Patriarchy

Many women on the dissident right have come to understand patriarchy as a system of paternalistic male leadership, with the expressed goal of protecting women, families, and the larger societal structure. The adversarial understanding of patriarchal societies espoused by both MGTOW and third-wave feminism is both reductive and historically illiterate.

There is no perfect patriarchy to draw from historically, and some reactionary traditionalist movements only seek to replicate an idealized version of gender relations that are more a product of the 1950’s advertisement and marketing industry than a genuine understanding of our history. A pro-family, pro-natalist movement requires some degree of female participation, and reframing the patriarchy paradigm is essential – toward a system where men’s urges and strengths are allowed to flourish and channeled into healthy outlets, and women are protected and respected for their material reality and the gifts our unique biology affords.

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Imperiality vs. Imperialism

Editors Note:  By Israel Lira, Peruvian Political Theorist. Translated by Zero Schizo. Following Fernando Altuve’s thesis of the historicity of the State in his work “The Kingdoms of Peru”, we…

Editors Note:  By Israel Lira, Peruvian Political Theorist. Translated by Zero Schizo.


Following Fernando Altuve’s thesis of the historicity of the State in his work “The Kingdoms of Peru”, we cannot conceive of the State until the beginning of the Renaissance, and as we know it today, until the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). With this historical event, the bases for the concept of sovereignty was settled and was later used to give strength to another conception, that of the Nation, strictly linked to the State, insofar as this last term will mean the geographic community organized politically. On the other hand, sovereignty, evolved from being concentrated in the King, into founding its being in the popular will. With that being said, we cannot talk about the State before the aforementioned events, so that the proto-State organizations, will only receive the qualification of Political Units, in hope of not falling into an anachronism of categories.

Prior to the concept of State (whether it be in any of its three well-known forms of historical evolution, Absolute –1648– Federal –1776– and National –1789–) there existed Political Units called Empires. The following questions emerge: Is it the same Empire or Idea of Empire (Imperium) that we now call Imperialism? Could we talk about Imperialism in ancient times? We consider that, following Altuve’s thesis, such thing is imprecise and anachronistic, and that what we have in ancient times, as exclusive neologism contextualized and already scoped by us, is what we will call Imperialities, as the expression of the Idea of Empire (Imperium), and that Imperialism is a phenomenon which emerges from the decline of this idea in front of the rise of the State, so then, is a modern phenomenon. Regarding this:

“The loss of Calais in 1554 pointed out the beginning of the sea myriad by the English people, in front of a globalized worldwide space, it seemed obliged to launch itself to the conquest of the seas in the condition of pirates… With this conquest of the sea, with this active search for the taking of markets in contra-position to the taking of lands from the continental superpowers… Saxon Thalassocracy was born in the universal political order” (Febres-Lores, 1996:71-72).

Thalassocracy from the doctrine of the Mare Liberum, different from the territorial vision of the Hispanic Mare Clausum, is inspired by the image of Imperial Rome, of a plurality of peoples and dissimilar territories which conformed to a mosaic sorted by the civilizational role of the City (Febres-Lores, 1996). A vision beyond the Alameda of Hercules, and before the conquest, was also shared by the pre-Hispanic peoples, Aztecs, Mayas and Incas. Just to quote a close example, Quechua or Quechua Simi or Runa Simi is translated as the language of men and which fulfilled a civilizational mission in front of all of the other Andean peoples, product of the Tawantinsuyu* Expansion. Meaning, the Idea of Empire (Imperium) in general terms and as transversal historical category to different peoples, always brought with itself a main ideal of expansion of culture and civilization, while the commercial aspect was a mere factor, an accessory to the main one.

In consequence, the difference between Imperialism and Imperiality would be of teleological character. While Imperialism is a manifestation of thalassocracies or marine powers, the Idea of Empire or Imperiality is energized mainly by a universalist myth. In the same way, while Imperialism is a modern category of strict culture-dissolving economic domination, Imperiality is a category of ancient times of integrating cultural domination. Our ancestral peoples had it pretty clear in their civilizational vision, and were not estranged from the phenomenon of Imperiality.


Translator’s Note:

* Tawantinsuyu, also known as the Inca Empire in its original language (Quechua).


References

FEBRES-LORES, Fernan. (1996). «Los Reinos del Perú: apuntes sobre la monarquía peruana». Dupla Editores.


Bibliography

OSZLAK, Oscar. (1982). «Reflexiones sobre la formación del Estado y la construcción de la Sociedad Argentina». In: Desarrollo Económico, Revista de Ciencia Sociales, Vol. XXI, Enero-Marzo: Buenos Aires.

BANDEIRI, Luis María. (2007). «Patria, nación, estado «et de quibusdam aliis», In: Revista Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas Vol. 37, No. 106, Medellín – Colombia, Enero-Junio.

MORTON H, Fried. (1967). «The evolution of political society an essay in political anthropology». Random House studies in anthropology, AS. 7. New York: Random House.

SERVICE R, Elman. (1984). «Los orígenes del Estado y de la civilización. El proceso de evolución cultural». Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

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The coming decline of globalism or: How I learned to stop worrying and love multipolarity

Introduction As a nationalist in the west, it’s often difficult to find any reasons for optimism. A typical month may involve any combination of social media bans, deplatforming and physical…

Introduction

As a nationalist in the west, it’s often difficult to find any reasons for optimism. A typical month may involve any combination of social media bans, deplatforming and physical threats from society’s dregs, and there is seemingly little to show for the sacrifice by way of tangible victories. I might be forgiven then, for finding cause for optimism in the most unlikely of places. Looking to the East, the ascendant Chinese state is removing the last vestiges of western colonial rule and expanding its own rule over Hong Kong. In many ways, Hong Kong is symbolic of the western international order, it has little identity or culture to speak of beyond being a city state ruled by financial interests for financial interests. In fact, its lack of a real identity is precisely its identity, the kind of anti-identity that characterizes the spaces where neoliberalism finds its truest expression. The reintegration of Hong Kong is a demonstration that the processes that could create a space like Hong Kong – the seemingly unstoppable wave of liberal globalization and its inevitable effect of the destruction of traditional identities – can be reversed by a people united enough to commit to a rejection of the oligarch’s utopia.

All over the world, there are signals that the world is waking up to this possibility. The move toward the open society is suddenly seeming less like the inevitable progress of history, and more like a colonial project in service of the financial interests of a few, enforced by an increasingly toothless empire. Recently, Turkey announced the reversion of the gorgeous Hagia Sophia to a Mosque. Originally built as a Christian cathedral, it was turned into a Mosque after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 but became a museum in 1934 under Turkish Republic founding father Ataturk. Some western nationalists instinctively saw the decision to reconvert it to a Mosque as a huge symbolic defeat for their cause, but as a museum the Hagia Sophia had become another neutral halfway house of conflicting visions, open to international tourists to serve as a remnant of a time when things like religion and racial identity were things our ancestors spilled blood over. Its place as a museum was a symbol of Ataturk’s vision of a secular, westernizing Turkey. Its reversion to a Mosque is a rejection of this vision, another bold assertion of a primordial national and religious identity against the infestation of the identity-less, consumer friendly spaces of neoliberalism.

There are now real signs that globalization is coming to an end, and with it the means of its conquest – liberalism, feminism, secularism and materialism – will end too. Without the force of American unipolar hegemony and the expansive dominance of rootless international finance capital, tradition and identity can again assert itself. Here are five reasons why this writer is staying cautiously optimistic about the future.


The Rise of Populism 

In 1957, Karl Polanyi wrote of “The Great Transformation”. Polanyi analysed the ‘dis-embedding’ force of the free market as being in conflict with the traditional social orders from which it had sprung. Polanyi warned that this decoupling could lead to a backlash – in the form of a rise of populist politics – if it’s effects were left unchecked.

The 2016 dual victories of Donald Trump and Brexit reflected growing disenchantment among the working class in the west with the effects of globalisation and a desire to return to the “embedded liberalism” of nation states that had preceded the growth of globalism in the 1980’s. Since then, populist ideas – chief among them opposition to mass migration and free trade – have become increasingly popular. Indeed, Richard Haass, who runs the Council on Foreign Relations has made the admission that “The new bipartisanship is opposition to free trade … It will be extraordinarily hard to resurrect a consensus that could pass a trade bill.[1] Backlash to the migrant crisis in Europe, itself caused by the foreign policy adventures of the liberal elite, led to the growth in popularity of anti-immigration parties like UKIP and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party, and the election of Matteo Salvini as Deputy Prime Minister of Italy. As the spoils of globalism increasingly moves eastward, and the working class in the west face increasingly bleak prospects of debt, precarious job prospects, and the transition to a rentier economy, there is little reason to imagine the populist backlash against globalization will not continue to gather pace.


The end of American Hegemony 

Post World War 2 political order has been characterized by the dominance of unipolar American Empire. The distinct nature of American Empire compared to empires historically lay in its unique foundations as a liberal financial empire. As long as the US – the harbinger of the values of Zionism, liberalism and its offshoots of universalism, multiculturalism, and finance capitalism – has international hegemony, the ceiling on movements of national sovereignty and tradition is hopelessly limited. The values that have created a spiritual rot across the west are in a symbiotic relationship with American hegemony, each relies on the other for its propagation.

Nationalists and traditionalists should take solace in the realization that we are witnessing the disintegration of the Empire. Let us consider the signs pointing to this hastening decline. Before Stalingrad, the Wehrmacht seemed invincible. After the brutal conflict, they achieved few significant victories to speak of. If Stalingrad is taken as our symbol of a shift in the confidence of a formerly powerful entity, what is the Stalingrad Event for America? Whatever the Stalingrad of the United States will be remembered as, and indeed what is remembered may not be the true cause, it is likely that it has already happened. Perhaps it was as recent as the surrender to the Taliban in Afghanistan after almost two decades of conflict, the embarrassing realization against imperial hubris that the most powerful military ever assembled could not achieve an ultimate victory over Afghan peasants and backwards Islamic fundamentalists. Perhaps it will be remembered as Iraq, the conflict that first seemed like a sweeping victory for the US but descended into vicious sectarian conflict far worse than anything seen before US involvement, a conflict for which the main result seems to be a victory for Iran. Iran emerged as an arch-enemy of the American empire which, with the removal of the secular despot Saddam Hussein, won a key ally for its web of Shia influence across the Middle East. While it had seemed American foreign policy machinations were drawn inexorably to the eventual destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it seems doubtful the US, a country currently plagued by racial conflict and political polarization, would be able to muster the will to make war with a unified nation raised on a hatred of “The Great Satan”. Or perhaps The Empire’s last stand was Syria, where all the forces against the American project seemed to coalesce and deal a crushing blow to American imperialist ambitions in the Middle East. Not long ago, it seemed inevitable that whatever the future of Syria would be, it would exclude the Assad family. Now, the US has silently accepted defeat in this area as the new power brokers of Russia, Turkey and Iran negotiate the fate of this patch of the world without the direction of the US. 

While these three defeats have thrown into question the ability of the US to impose its will on the Middle East, what of the Truman Doctrine of containment against Socialism arising south of the American Border? Just as worrying is that the Empire can no longer even exercise its will over a state like Venezuela and other Latin American countries, which have chosen their own brands of socialism over the demands made by American capital. The lesson of modern conflicts, whether Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or Latin America, is that an occupying empire cannot maintain control over a subject population dedicated to its independence.

Though the US still (for now) far out does every other country by the size of its military, it is easy to overestimate how much that reflects the capability of the US to do what the military is there for in the first place. Across the world, the forces of anti-Americanism have become increasingly emboldened by the realization that it is possible to give The Great Satan a bloody nose – and live to tell the tale.


The Bear and the Dragon

When it comes to the end of globalization, China is important for two reasons: the challenge it poses to American hegemony internationally, and the example its internal course of development sets. In a generation, China has risen from a poorly developed, agrarian nation to an economic behemoth that is now placed to pose a serious threat to the neoliberal order.

China has demonstrated that economic development and innovation can be achieved without democracy and liberalism. The one party state transitioned China from communism to a form of national capitalism in the late 1970’s, and has since charted a unique course of development, a course that flies in the face of the assertions of neoliberalism’s true believers.  Despite the best hopes of liberal universalists, there is no sign that the Chinese people in great numbers have any desire to adopt liberalism. We have been assured that democracy and individual freedom is necessary for economic innovation, yet Chinese state-backed companies like Huawei and Alibaba not only lead the way in innovation, [2] but are also proving capable of outperforming their competitors on the world stage.

China’s mercantilist economic system and protectionist development policies now pose a serious challenge to the WTO based world trading system, yet there is little they can do to stop it. The CCP governs in China’s interest, and adopting free trade policies simply isn’t in China’s interest. President Trump has also sidestepped WTO rules to wage a unilateral trade war with China, as well as imposing tariffs on allies like Japan.

The World Trade Organisation was founded in 1995 with the intent of opening global markets, expanding free trade and regulating commerce. International organisations like the WTO and IMF have become synonymous with globalization, yet their legitimacy and relevance is increasingly under question. As evidenced by the admission of European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan that “The W.T.O. is facing its deepest crisis since its creation.” [3]

China also has the potential to offer an alternative to American led development for smaller countries, which has often come with unwanted political interference and cultural dominance. China, by contrast, seems to have little interest in the internal affairs of its trade partners. The Belt and Road initiative, which promises major infrastructural development for participating countries, is a prime example of Chinese led international development leaving US policy makers in the cold, and is the kind of bilateral regional development which could come to characterize this century.

Russia’s place as a hegemon is less secure. Their economy remains smaller than Italy’s, and they have struggled to diversify away from their reliance on natural resources as the basis for their economic growth. Culturally and militarily, however, Russia has charted an independent course of action, and their realist approach to dealing with western encroachment in Eastern Europe and the Middle East has yielded highly significant victories. Russia responded with the maximum of force and decisiveness in seizing Crimea following a US backed coup in Ukraine in 2014. Its entry on the side of Bashar al-Assad in Syria decisively turned the course of the Syrian civil war dealt a blow to the Zionist-American ambition to oust the strongman and carve up Syria to their liking. Russia’s transformation from a failed state of demoralized people subjected to the worst effects of liberal governance and privatization in the early 1990’s to the independent, religious and nationalist state it is today looks like a potential best case scenario for other western countries looking to what comes after globalization.


The Internet 

Not long ago liberal journalists and foreign policy hawks could hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of the growth of social media, the hopeful expectation that its spread would lead to a democratization of every corner of the world. The “Arab Spring” was celebrated as the first of its kind, an organic rejection of authoritarianism, in favor of democracy and liberalism, coordinated through social media platforms like Twitter. With the increasing accessibility of smartphones, people across the world could see the wonders of western values and co-ordinate to bring their own nations out of the barbaric remnants of the old world order. In their arrogance, few of the elites predicted that the same technology could lead to an emboldening of exactly the opposite tendency, a complete rejection of Americanism and its promises of material wealth, women’s rights, democracy. If anything, the pendulum swayed in favor of barbarism. The sight of an organisation like ISIS disseminating Hollywood style propaganda videos across the internet demonstrated the capacity for the internet to be used towards anti-liberal ends. Fewer still, imagined that the expansion of the internet might eventually be used to lead a revolt against the elites in the west. But this is exactly what happened in the run up to the 2016 election cycle, with the growth of the Alt-Right and similar populist movements on the internet. Allowed anonymity, people were free to break the taboos of the politically correct west and express their real sentiment on multiculturalism, equality and the makeup of the elites that despised them. The explosion of white nationalism on the internet has shown that the liberal consensus is not as robust as our increasingly out-of-touch elite had imagined.

While the Trump victory led to a backlash of censorship, culminating recently in the removal of thousands of pro-Trump and white nationalist subreddit forums and YouTube channels (including the rather milquetoast libertarian Stefan Molyneux), it seems the cat is already out of the bag. The growth of censorship free alternative platforms like Bitchute and Telegram, and the potential for a truly decentralized internet, means that despite the best efforts of the ADL, they will never be able to fully silence voices of dissent.

What’s more, traditionally trusted sources of media are hemorrhaging profits (and staff) [4] as they lose their prestige and become just another voice in the public square, increasingly drowned out by more trustworthy sources.

Nationalists can continue to be optimistic about the internet, with the firm resolve that we have the truth on our side and, as has been proven again and again, in a truly open space of ideas we usually win.


Crypto 

It is difficult to forecast the future of crypto-currency with any certainty, but it certainly at least has the potential to do to centralized banking what the internet has done to traditional media sources. The guardians of this system are increasingly fearful of the potential of crypto privacy coins like Monero to disrupt their power. [5]

Alongside internet censorship, financial deplatforming dealt a crushing blow to the last iteration of resurgent nationalism. It is difficult to organize any movement against the system when you are reduced to cash donations and postal orders as a means of fundraising, while the bravery and enthusiasm of would-be dissidents inevitably wanes when they realize speaking out will likely cost them financially. Crypto has the potential to change all that. Those supportive of the cause will be able to support full time activism and content creation by dissidents in complete anonymity, and the oligarchy will lose its main means of control over people’s lives. Not only that, but the pariahs of the international order now have a means to bypass the crushing sanctions that face those who challenge neoliberal hegemony. China is currently trialing [6] the first state backed crypto currency, the digital yuan, which has the potential not only to relieve countries like Iran from the financial tyranny of the US, but also potentially unseat the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

These developments are of special interest to dissidents in the west. In the future, not only will their countrymen be able to easily and anonymously support their struggle against tyranny, but more powerful enemies of Western hegemony will have a means to easily support anti-war nationalist movements in the west. With the rise of China there is the potential for a “Thucydides trap”, the idea that the rise of a new great power makes inevitable an eventual conflict with the existing power. If the seemingly inevitable cold war between the US and China (or Russia) heats up, they will have the potential to seriously disrupt the plans of the oligarchs by supporting isolationist national populists in western countries with the click of a mouse. This is a prospect that should give nationalists as much cause for optimism as it terrifies the stewards of the system.


Conclusion

In the short-term, it is easy to see why any optimism toward the future is dim. We went from a marginal voice on the sidelines to an energized movement with our message reaching unprecedented new audiences across mainstream platforms like YouTube during 2015-17. With our acts of truth-telling evading the ability of the elites to control its dissemination, they moved to increasingly marginalize us by swift acts of deplatforming, lockouts of payment processors to financially starve us, and draconian repression in the legal arena. This grave situation we now find ourselves in has, understandably, demoralized even our most sincere and committed of activists. Given the trends we see developing among the areas we outlined above, there is a potential ground for seeding an effective political resistance. The latent decentralization of technology becoming increasingly realized, the global pushback against American unipolar hegemony, and the desire for financial freedom from the plutocrats fueling the commitment to crypto against the dollar provides us with the tools and new political conditions for charting our own course. The prospect of a new world of decentralization and anonymity has understandably excited the imaginations of libertarian and anarchist political factions. It may then seem counter-intuitive for nationalists, who have so tied their fate to that of the nation state, to be optimistic about the move to techno-anarchy. But the potential becomes clear when we realize that our political project is to restore an organic social order, and in the vacuum left by decentralization, it is ripe for localism, traditionalism and identity to flourish.

But we cannot take optimism for victory with these new developments as a given but rather as an opportunity to reorient the way in which we engage in resistance and assertion of our own interests. The idea of trying to appeal to and reorient American hegemony is not only a backward strategy that leaves us playing in an arena set by our enemies but also a poor strategy on the grounds that the world is becoming increasingly less favorable to the stability of American-Zionist Empire. We must exercise creativity by forward-thinking and flexible use of the advantages that arise within rapidly changing political conditions across all networks of social, cultural and institutional transformation both domestically and globally. To this end, we have reasons to be optimistic but with optimism for our future, comes the responsibility and steadfastness to act on and awaken the dormant potentials for our advantage. To arise and meet this challenge is a moralizing endeavor in itself. 


References

[1] “https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/20/republicans-and-democrats-oppose-free-trade-in-2020-white-house-race.html” September 20, 2019

[2]”https://datacentrenews.eu/story/huawei-ranks-6-among-world-s-most-innovative-companies-for-2020″ July 3rd, 2020

[3]”https://financialpost.com/news/economy/with-world-trade-on-brink-of-vigilante-justice-canada-gains-new-clout” December 17, 2019

[4]”https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/15/guardian-announces-plans-to-cut-180-jobs” July 15, 2020

[5]”https://decrypt.co/34740/blueleaks-how-the-fbi-tracks-bitcoin-laundering-on-the-dark-web” July 7, 2020

[6]”https://national-justice.com/coming-challenge-almighty-dollar” May 16, 2020

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Authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”. Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States…

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”.


Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States faces, and highly relevant to our previous discussion of false collective fictions (https://radixjournal.com/2020/05/myth-mental-illness-and-political-extremism/), is the notion of democracy.  Democracy, which in practice operates a whole lot less like a mechanism for political efficiency and a lot more like a blunt object to be wielded against ones foes, is to a degree, predicated on stymieing the execution of political will by a central authority.  Deeper than a mere political problem, the philosophy of democratization in all spheres continues to challenge Americans on a psychological level.  This rejection of authority can be found at every level of contemporary American life to such a degree, that one wonders whether anti-authoritarianism is itself a key psychological feature of the American population.  I probably would not have given this idea very much consideration were it not for a broadcast on the NPI/RADIX YouTube channel that aired on April 8th of 2020.  In that conversation, Richard Spencer discussed the cynical (if not outright hysterical) response of many Americans toward the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Forced business closures and a federally imposed lockdown drew considerable outrage, as many Americans looked upon Trump’s response as a massive abuse of government power.  While I was not unfamiliar with anti-authoritarianism conceptually, upon looking into the literature available on the matter, I was quite surprised at the volume of writings on the subject.  Further investigation drove me to pursue this line of questioning even deeper.  While his insight did give me pause, I believe I have arrived at a different conclusion than the one proposed on his program, as it seems evident to me that reducing the psychology of the governed to either simple authoritarianism (as was done by researchers such as Theodor Adorno in the mid-twentieth century) or simple anti-authoritarianism betrays the fact that Americans struggle to find an actionable equilibrium between the two positions.

Before we analyze the psychological divide between authoritarian and anti-authoritarianism in American consciousness, it would be prudent to consult the expert opinion on the matter.  Noted authors on the subject of anti-authoritarianism including Bruce Levine, Noam Chomsky, and William Kreml, generally agree on a definition of anti-authoritarianism which rejects both anarchic anti-authoritarianism as well as the kind of authoritarian submissiveness described by the likes of Theodore Adorno, Robert Altemeyer, and Erich Fromm.  In the view of the latter (and those who accept their hypothesis), authoritarianism – meaning, the individual who is prone to fascistic sentiment, and thus will submit to authority – is defined by characteristics such as:

  1. Submission to legitimate authority, 
  2. Aggression toward minority groups, 
  3. Adherence to cultural values endorsed by authorities, 
  4. Blind allegiance to convention,
  5. A tendency toward misanthropy, 
  6. A preoccupation with violence and sex, 
  7. Feelings of inferiority,
  8. Hostility toward creativity and artistic innovation.

While the psychological measurements devised to produce such findings (in particular the F-scale and the RWA scale) have been subject to much scrutiny, the conclusions drawn from these investigations have reached a degree of cultural saturation that no longer relies on the support of the academic community.  Contempt for politically authoritarian sentiment is now commonplace – not only among those well-situated members of the American economy, but all the way down the socioeconomic ladder as well.  To Richard’s point, it would seem the battle against authoritarianism has been won.  In the intervening decades, having exhausted opportunities for experimentally measuring right-wing authoritarianism (and still reluctant to examine left-wing authoritarianism) many researchers pivoted from understanding the psychology of the authoritarian to arriving at an accurate conceptual (and ethical) model of anti-authoritarianism.

For Levine and Chomsky in particular, anti-authoritarianism is not about a predisposition against authority, but rather, an antagonism toward illegitimate authority.  To this point, I will quote both.  Chomsky has said that, 

“When you stop your five-year-old kid from trying to cross the street, that’s an authoritarian situation: it’s got to be justified. Well, in that case, I think you can give a justification.”

Levine echoes this sentiment, 

“Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.”

Levine and Chomsky both make rational arguments in support of a high-functioning and psychologically adaptive anti-authoritarianism.  Of importance is the fact that their stance directly opposes the chaotic anarchism which rejects all top-down and hierarchically organized models of authority (a position more commonly taken by communists, anti-fascists, and the anti-colonialism movement more broadly).

Less directly related (though perhaps still worth noting), are the findings of Cantoni, Yang, Yuchtman, and Zhang, who in a 2016 study set out to define the characteristics of the anti-authoritarian.  In a survey of over 1,500 university students in Hong Kong, the team found that anti-authoritarians are

“More risk-seeking, more altruistic, more reciprocal, and have a stronger preference for redistribution in a series of real-stakes dictator games.”

Furthermore, when examining the personality traits through an application of the five factor model, their investigation revealed that anti-authoritarians score higher on trait openness but lower on trait conscientiousness.  The same group scored higher on the Cognitive Reflection Test (based on the work of Shane Frederick and Daniel Kahneman, the CRT is a measurement of one’s ability to access “system 2” cognition), but also reported lower average GPA’s.  This was attributed to a pre-occupation with political movements engaged in anti-authoritarian action.  Cantoni et al also noted that,

Consistent with traditional, class-based models (e.g., Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006), students from poorer households and with lower anticipated future earnings are significantly more likely to be anti-authoritarian. Examining the demographic characteristics of students, one sees that older students are somewhat more anti-authoritarian than younger students, and that men are more anti-authoritarian than women. Interestingly, having a longer family history in Hong Kong is not strongly associated with anti-authoritarianism.”

It goes without saying that the historical, political, and biological differences that distinguish the United States from Hong Kong make any direction comparison or correlation in anti-authoritarian characteristics difficult, if not impossible, to do.  Nonetheless, it would behoove us to consider how these observations might lead to some insight as we continue our analysis in this work.  The common understanding of authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism tends to place the former in the category of the political right, while the latter is typically conceived of as a left-wing phenomenon.  In the American context, this may seem at least partly accurate, as psychometric testing has indicated that openness to experience predicts left-wing attitudes while conscientiousness predicts right-wing attitudes (Webster, 2018).  These findings have been corroborated in Europe as well, in particular Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy, and Germany (Vecchione, Schoen, Castro, Cieciuch, Pavlopolous, & Caprara, 2011).  Economically favorable attitudes toward reciprocity and redistribution have long been features of American left-wing politics, and so perhaps the findings of Cantoni et al do provide us with some corroborative evidence to confirm certain widely accepted notions of authoritarian (rightist) and anti-authoritarian (leftist) attitudes.  

Having presented these arguments, I feel it necessary to let the air out of the theoretical balloon I have just provided.  If we take the arguments I laid out in the preceding section as true (that the left-right divide is an inaccurate and misleading political construct), then perhaps the authoritarian-antiauthoritarian divide, too, is fallacious and harmful to our understanding of contemporary politics.  For example: Under Obama, the American Right decried him as an authoritarian fascist (among other things, e.g., crypto-Islamist, Communist, et cetera).  As we have seen throughout the Trump administration, the American Left has levied similar condemnations.  What does this tell us?  Are Americans hopelessly confused?  Is every political actor a fascist or a fascist-in-democratic clothing?  I believe that we can confidently say ‘Yes’ to the former, but ‘no’ to the latter.

What we have is the reality of democracy in action – one side of the political machine running roughshod over the other, at least until the temporarily dispossessed one gets their turn to abuse the governed.  More significantly, the democratic process obscures the true nature of authority, facilitating the interminable confusion in the minds of Americans as to what constitutes authority, and when precisely (if ever) it becomes ‘fascistic’.  Auctoriphobia, or the fear of authority, clearly emerges out of this confusion.  Not only does it emerge out of this confusion, but it also emerges as a result of the tragic and violent history of the preceding century; wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions, technological developments that stoked fears of ecological collapse, and the erosion of national infrastructure, to offer a view examples, have provided sufficient justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  We are now confronted with two important questions as relates to authoritarian and anti-authoritarian positions: What constitutes legitimate authority? (a question of perception), and how ought one conduct themselves in relation to authority? (a question of agency and ethics).  To orient ourselves in a healthful and psychologically adaptive way – that is to say, with clear-headedness and a maximum of free will – we must be able to understand this problem in a new way.

As I stated at the outset, the fundamental tension in the American political mind is of that between the authoritarian impulse and the anti-authoritarian impulse.  So should it be, as the question of authority is the most important question in virtually any human endeavor.  Authority, which for all intent and purpose might as well be another way of saying agency, is a matter of ‘right’ thought and ‘right’ action implemented in the ‘right’ circumstance.  It stands to reason, then, that authority is often about having the ‘right’ person in charge.  Without oversimplifying this problem inappropriately, we might say that he who possesses the will to act makes himself the authority.  Of course, authority can be secured through other means; hereditarily, meritocratically, anti-socially, to name a few.  Already, we begin to see the perceptual problem of authority, as not all people view each method as a legitimate path to the throne.  And even when a political actor rises to a position of authority through a conventional and generally accepted means, subjective perception may still deign to invalidate him.

In the home, in the classroom, at the market, and at the ballot box, Americans have proven to struggle mightily with the question of authority.  Parents fail to exercise their rightful authority over their children; teachers do not discipline their students; hedge fund managers, investment firms, and executive boards routinely engage in unethical and illegal conduct but frequently go unpunished (often, in fact, they are rewarded); and to the degree that Americans engage in the political process (which is far less than they ‘ought’ to), we find that they support the same policies and the same actors time and time again.  This is not to put the blame squarely on individual shoulders, as in each instance we find top-down initiatives which undermine the responsible demonstration of power.  Nonetheless, the point remains.  We can therefore say, and with a great deal of recent historical proof attesting to this fact, that Americans are deep in the throes of a crisis of legitimacy.  With neither the information necessary to make a proper evaluation of authority, nor even the capacity to adjudicate existent (or potential) information, we have been cast adrift in a sea of hopelessness and despair.  What we do have, however, is fear, anxiety, and resentment – and lots of it.  Supposedly unified by our shared American values, our freedoms, and our love of democracy (though not in actuality), the line between friend and enemy grows murkier with each passing year.  Though it should be said, there are things which unite us, just not in any productive or eusocial way.  We are united by the increased feeling of unease and uncertainty we experience; not just toward our present sociopolitical circumstance, but toward our very lives.  Here we see the problem of relation to authority, as our seemingly foundational antagonism toward the will to act renders us impotent in virtually every arena of American society.  Everywhere Americans look, they see failures of authority (often enabled by the very same authorities), thus producing a conceptual collapse whereby failures of authority anywhere become failures of authority everywhere. 

It has been said of scientific experimentation, though I know not by who, that “Everyone is a conservative in the area they are most knowledgeable.”  This was meant to express the deep hesitation specialists in a given field of study have toward making grand extrapolations.  Their expansive knowledge affords that rare gift of foresight; one can only stretch a set of data so far before it reaches its natural limit.  Co-opting this statement and applying it to the realm of the political, I would add the following “…and an authoritarian in the area they are the least knowledgeable and most fearful.”  Take the issue of gun control, for example.  Well-practiced and disciplined acolytes of the pistol or the rifle generally seek to retain control of their ability to act on this privilege and to preserve the culture of liberty around firearms, while those with less experience often seek swift and decisive action to limit it.  It follows that ambiguity and uncertainty may be the centrally driving forces behind the desire for authoritarianism.  But authoritarianism is not simply an expression of powerlessness or fearfulness; it is a recognition of the need for a central force which can act judiciously, particularly (though not exclusively) in those circumstances where there is insufficient information, and thus requires cool and measured action.  Perhaps we could say that the ambiguities (which inevitably crop up around important social issues like barnacles on the side of an ocean tanker) demand a capable authority, one who will not engage in endless and doubt-filled discussion, thus problematizing necessary action and prolonging suffering.  The correct attitude towards authority is one that recognizes it as both an inevitable and necessary feature of social organization.  Authority and authoritarianism are too often used as synonyms for oppression and violence, and are therefore used to indicate the badness of a person, party, or ideology.  Rarely do we think of it as the solution to our problems.  Once more, we suffer a problem of perception.  

Let us think a little bit more about this dichotomy between conservatism and authoritarianism.  Conservatism to a great degree is an instinct toward retention, often an impotent and stationary impulse, and as Freud noted in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, possibly even an instinct toward self-annihilation, or a reaching back to a state of non-existence.  Certainly its inability to confront the problems of change and expansion indicate a death of one kind or another (something that modern conservatives are increasingly aware of).  Authoritarianism thus is progressive; it is a willful and vital stance which seeks assertion, dominance, security – yes – but more importantly a securing of desire, of some thing, be it an object or a goal.  It is not merely a means for securing one’s own welfare or the welfare of the group, rather authority is the psychosocial means by which we may express our will.  The juxtaposition of these two instincts (1) the instinct to conserve, or preserve in stasis and (2) the instinct to progress and secure desire remain a psychological and political problem that has not yet found resolution within the American mind.  Necessarily this tension produces cognitive dissonance whereby the pursuit of something as novel as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is met with an equal force of “No, not too much of any of these, please.”  A society such as ours, built on ideas like breaking from tradition, limitless expansion, and geographic conquest is itself an expression of the paradox of authority and non-authority.  Even a cursory reading of the disagreements between America’s neophyte aristocratic order reveals this fact.  A commonly understood insight of psychology is that the stand-off between two opposing impulses creates a mental fissure by which action is rendered impossible and will is denied.  Such is the circumstance with which we are presently confronted.


For now, let’s turn away from the abstract and look at the problem of anti-authoritarianism and how it is expressed differently by our two subjects, the conservative and the progressive.  A fundamental and mutual misunderstanding made by conservative and republican types as well as progressive and democrat type (who both draw their historical and philosophical worldviews from the same liberal foundation) is that – from both perspectives – the other appears as a totalitarian despot, who, being unreasonable, dishonest, and stupid, seeks the domination and eradication of the other.  Both fail to recognize, particularly as their anxieties are intensified by interested parties in the politico-media complex, that they are both the sons of the same father.  Both see undue privileges bestowed upon the other, and each seeing themselves as solely and uniquely suffering the oppressive tyranny of their oedipal persecution.  It is a sibling rivalry par excellence. 

The conservative liberal is the yin to the progressive liberal yang, not being fundamentally distinct from one another in any meaningful sense, merely separated at birth.  For the progressive, the exercise of authority (for example, in the classroom or in the bedroom), stifles and necessarily suspends the realization of identity and the pursuit of happiness.  And for the conservative, an interventionist authority (perhaps at the gun show or in the marketplace), suspends autonomy, and self-reliance, themselves necessary for the pursuit of happiness.  Both seek permissiveness in those areas where their identities find realization and their values find expression.  Government, or the father, is never seen as a wise king, instead, he is always and forever the mad tyrant.  Where the conservative and the progressive lock hands, however, is in the righteous use of authority against external opponents – the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians.  Authority expressed within the domestic boundaries is an insufferable oppression, but when directed outwardly, it is felt as a gleeful nigh-orgasmic expression of a will to life.  “Yes he may be a tyrant, but he’s our tyrant.”

Building on the ideas set forth earlier in this chapter with regard to the mythic formation of the mind, the conservative has a peculiar antagonism toward authoritarianism predicated on his own mythologized self-concept.  The conservative, ever the rugged individualist, is therefore fiercely opposed to collectivism.  Being that the conservative is fundamentally liberal in his self-concept and his relation to the world, authoritarianism represents the final result of collectivism, to which he as a liberal is fundamentally opposed.  His opposition is rooted in the fear of self-destruction, of becoming absorbed into the horde, the mass, if collectivist authoritarianism were to emerge.  The right-liberal (or conservative), who most clearly has inherited the frontier myth of the American man, is unwilling to sublimate his internal drives to an order which would threaten his petty frontier psychology.  ‘Petty frontier psychology’ in this case would be understood as having the meaning of a smaller, more individualist and self-serving ambition.  Originally, the frontier was a place of limitless expansion – a physical terrain fraught with uncertainty and great danger.  It was a real place where the true test of man’s conquering spirit could be found.  But that place no longer exists.  Still, the myth lives on.  The ideology of the conservative frontiersman, not cleanly extinguished, has been abstracted from the physical terrain and transposed into the space of concepts and intangibilities (the free market, the stock trade, et cetera).  The market is the new conservative frontier where much can be gained and much can be lost, but at a comparatively less costly expense.  No longer will the conservative lose his wife, his children, or even his own life, but rather he may lose his accumulated wealth and – should the danger prove sufficiently great – other material (his home, private property) and social (status, respectability, prestige) goods.  Though the right-liberal may tell us that collectivism and authoritarianism are morally wrong not because of an a priori philosophical justification, if we scratch the surface we find that the true cause may be found in the threat posed to his tenuous self-concept and his grandiose social ambition.  And, of course, because we cannot truly assume that the American Girondin is in fact a monolith who may be reduced to a singular motivation, we may assume other factors exist which could explain his anti-authoritarianism.  Perhaps, he shares the historical anxieties associated with authoritarianism which are more clearly typified by his Jacobin brother (as we shall see in the following paragraph).  

The progressive on the other hand – sensitive primarily to concerns regarding social welfare and guided by his self-imposed moral responsibility to those with fewer protections – regards authoritarianism as a danger for its supposed historical implications (persecution and genocide).  Authoritarianism being something that only an evil person participates in, the progressive looks to history and sees those great villains, Italy and Germany specifically, as proof of this belief.  For the progressive, authoritarianism is not a true ideology or political system, but rather a collective hysteria predicated on the irrational scapegoating of a benevolent minority.  His moral axiom (protect the little guy) thus indicates to him that authoritarianism is wrong because it is rooted in the unjust persecution of endangered minorities.  In the case of Germany, those minorities were homosexuals, gypsies, Jews, the mentally and physically infirm, while in modern America, what constitutes an endangered minority is far more expansive (women, Muslims, immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics,  et cetera).  The historical factors at play (and the veracity of said historical claims) are of little consequence, what matters, is that someone is being persecuted.  By the progressives own logic, for centralization to occur and a politic of authoritarianism to settle in, there must be a scapegoated minority, and they must be extinguished for the good of the collective.  Authoritarianism is the means by which the mad tyrant, empowered by his brainwashed thralls, exercises his deranged will.  

So while the conservative fears erasure of the self, the progressive fears erasure of the other, who owing to his otherness is ontologically ‘first’ or ‘higher’. We might observe this in a Christian way, that because the last shall be first, the authoritarian must always be denied.  The relation to the other is interesting as it clearly differs in conception between the conservative and the progressive.  A number of studies conducted in the last twenty years attests to this difference.  In 2008, Oxley et al observed differences in threat sensitivity, noting that,

In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War.”

It should be noted that the researchers did not label the collected policy positions as Conservative or Liberal due to their relatively limited testing of political ideology (for example, they did not assess for positions on economic issues).  Sinn and Hayes (2016) compared Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory against the Evolutionary-Coalitional Theory and found that the “individualizing” (harm and fairness) moral foundation of liberals was better understood as a “universalizing motive” that consisted of a “broader set of moral commitments” and a “broader sociality than ethnocentrism”, while the “binding” (authority, respect, purity) moral foundation of conservatives was better characterized as an “authoritarian motive” typified by threat-sensitivity and outgroup antagonism.  Inbar et al (2011) found a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism, which held when controlling for demographic variables as well as the “Big Five” personality traits.  And finally, in 2017, Mendez reviewed personality, evolutionary and genetic, cognitive, neuroimaging, and neurological studies, arriving at the conclusion that

“Evidence [exists] for a normal right-sided “conservative-complex” involving structures sensitive to negativity bias, threat, disgust, and avoidance.”

To the best of my understanding (and there exists a not-so-inconsequential amount of literature to the contrary), the conservative has a stronger sense of self-preservation, aversion to contamination by pathogen, and is therefore more troubled by issues potentially caused by the ‘other’ (such as immigration, diversity and inclusivity mandates, marriage equality, et cetera).  Therefore, ontologically speaking, the ‘other’ is second because the conservative must be first.  With full view of both conservative and progressive lines of reasoning, we arrive at a differing-yet-convergent psychological justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  

But is it true that Americans are genuine anti-authoritarians?  We must understand that the most important aspect of this entire phenomenon is how a liberal worldview requires compartmentalization and rationalization among its adherents; full-blown, decadent and permissive 21st century liberalism doesn’t ask the individual to sublimate himself, much less repress any aspect of himself.  All ideas are given equal weight, all values are sanctioned, all actions are laudable, all pursuits are capable of commoditization, and all modes of being are good.  Of course these cannot all be true simultaneously, nor can such a worldview be sustained indefinitely.  And thus, compartmentalization and rationalization become necessary as the limits of the natural world collide with liberal ideology.  The sociopolitical realities of war, sex, race, religion, family, history, morality, class, and their intermediated negotiations increasingly puncture the thin veil of liberal thought, especially as America – for all its technological and material splendor – diminishes in global significance.  Without the prestige and comfortable living standard afforded as a result of being the uncontested leader of the free world, the house of cards noticeably begins to lose its stability.  As these tensions emerge, neurotic and obviously contradictory justifications fill the gaps like cheap glue.  

In truth, the ‘authoritarian’ is the shadow in the soul of the American liberal (conservative and progressive, alike).  And while it may be the force that performs acts of evil, this does not preclude either type from identifying with or enacting residual or latent authoritarianism when a situation of sufficient self-servingness emerges.  As has been pointed out earlier, there are times when life demands acts of authoritative will from us.  It is an unavoidable result of living as material beings that must suffer, and toil, and strive in this world.  The solution to this severing of the conscious from the unconscious finds itself in the execution of some ego defense which resolves the dilemma.  Whether it be through denial, compartmentalization, rationalization – some technique will be applied which will soothe the pain of self-betrayal.  

There is also, of course, the fact that political and philosophical identities are no different from the mask worn by attendees of a masquerade; they are a form of role play which facilitates the navigation of social realities.  So in those circumstances where we are not talking about the true believers who have a deep psychological need to explain their inconsistencies to themselves, we see that in both the conservative and progressive type a kind of childishness – the childishness of one who has been caught in a lie or some other impropriety who, upon being discovered, merely declares “You got me!” and laughs at the silliness of having been taken seriously in the first place.  Not everyone treats the idea as an object of the real, far from it, they are regarded by many (if not, most) as a fanciful and irreverent device which is more a problem of life than a means through which will and action can find their realization.  This psychological fact complicates the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism, and in fact, fatally undermines the liberal worldview.  Taking this into account we can characterize psychological and political liberalism itself as a Kleinian phantasy, a device of the mind through which the individual can interact with the world, but always at a distance, and always with the aid of a litany of ego defenses.  

And so, once more I ask, is the average American anti-authoritarian?  The answer is that every man serves a master, even if that master resides within his own mind.  It is on irrational grounds that we choose our authorities, no matter how coherent or logical the contrivances we make may be.  America’s ongoing crisis of legitimacy has perhaps created a fair-weather anti-authoritarian sentiment, but it is with the wind to be certain.  Different American institutions have burned all their credibility in the minds of different sects of America; those institutions that manage to retain their credibility only do so, again, in compartmentalized ways.  Left-liberals revere the institution of science, but not in its entirety.  Particularly for more extreme liberals and progressives, whole disciplines (e.g., behavioral genetics) are written off entirely.  Right-liberals revere the institution of the church, but not in its entirety.  The Christ that exists in the minds of many Christians today could not be any farther from the man found in the New Testament.  There is nothing Christian about the prosperity doctrine, and yet, many right-liberals conveniently reject the anti-materialism of Christianity in favor of the abundance afforded by capitalism.  When Obama was in office, many right-liberals suddenly became cynical, data-crunching statisticians who took the government’s reports on unemployment and job growth with the tiniest grains of salt.  This was not so when Trump took office.  Many left-liberals were riotous zealots in their opposition to George W. Bush’s warmongering.  Not so, when Obama took office.  Even NPR in 2011 and The Washington Post in 2013 took notice of this fact, asking “Where did the anti-war Left go?”  Americans are not anti-authoritarian, they merely want their authorities.  Only now the country is too big, too bloated, and too divided to provide a universally legitimate authority figure.  As we have seen with the recent coronavirus pandemic, Americans may not be as comfortable with authoritarianism as say, China is, but it would be a far cry to argue that a true anti-authoritarian sentiment rests deep inside the American soul.

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The Mythoid of the Neutrality of Science

Editors Note:  By Israel Lira, Peruvian Political Theorist. Translated by Zero Schizo. In order to have myth, what is needed is that the culture in which it appears would be…

Editors Note:  By Israel Lira, Peruvian Political Theorist. Translated by Zero Schizo.


In order to have myth, what is needed is that the culture in which it appears would be a mythological one. This culture supposes a complex group of mythical categories, among them those of time, space and causality. Mythoid lacks the transcendental character of myth, it isn’t, above all, overlapped with the totality of the culture in which it works. It is, in certain sense, isolated and could even oppose essential aspects of a given culture, but possess the fundamental characters of myth. (Miro Quesada Cantuarias, 1986:84-86). As exposed, myth, understood as a fact or event which does not have empirical correlate, is differentiated from mythoid, by the socio-cultural framework in which it is produced, by which in contemporaneity we would talk more of the generation of mythoids than myths, given that our current culture is found inside of a logocratic (reason) framework eminently and not a mythocratic one.

Following the aforementioned, one of the mythoids of our contemporaneity is configured in the belief in the fact that science enjoys of an absolute neutrality in which scientific research (creation of explicative theories) and technological application (execution of theories already given to concrete cases) are not just one. Disconnected, but instead they are at the same time, estranged from external powers which could exert influence in them.

This mythoid has a clear origin in Popperian vision inside of the philosophy of science, in which precisely the separation between scientific research and technological application is made. For Popper (1970), scientific research has, as such, an intrinsic value which is guided by determined norms of methodological character that could have a moral content, insofar as the objective of the investigation is the discovery, and thus the results of such research also have that inherent value, but are neutral regarding the moral. That one could make good or bad use from the results of a scientific research a-posteriori is an entirely different thing. So, the scientist has two obligations, to follow the moral requirements of the very same scientific praxis (the scientist as scientist), and to limit himself to foresee the possible uses of his results and denounce its bad praxis (the scientist as citizen).

This Popperian approach, which is the traditional one, opposes the historic-sociological approach of epistemologists like Bernal (1939) and Richta (1971), where it is remarked that by the nature of the scientific research, the scientist –in effect– has a double responsibility, to follow the norms of the scientific method, but above all to involve himself in an active way in the changing of society in order for science to fulfill its role of serving mankind, insofar as one is conscious that scientific knowledge could be used both in order to liberate and in order oppress mankind. These are symptomatic facts which are derived from the lacking of the very same social system to which science serves. Meaning, scientific research and technological application are not separated concepts, but instead they keep an intrinsic relationship.

This last point is reaffirmed by the fact that in the praxis of scientific research, the search for some theories or others and the choice between them is not an entirely free enterprise, remembering Quintanilla (1978), regulated exclusively by the canons of objectivity and in service of truth, as the unmistakable reality is that the scientist is a wage worker whose priorities of research are given as such to an order of priority which is established by particular interests which are the ones who direct, what things can be researched and what things are left relegated, “to the extent, for example, that research devoted to a determined topic are financed and not others, etc” (1978:54). As was exposed, “it is clear that we must renounce the comfortable consolation or illusion that science, in itself, has guaranteed autonomy and value despite the wrong applications that would be made of it circumstantially or despite its historical insertion in an unjust society” (1978:56).


References

MIRO QUESADA CANTUARIAS, Francisco. (1986). «Ciencia y técnica [en América Latina]: ideas o mitoides», in: Leopoldo Zea (Ed.), América Latina en sus ideas. Mexico: UNESCO/Siglo XXI; pp. 72-94.

POPPER, K.R. (1970). «The Moral Responsibility of the Scientist» in P. Weingarther and G. Zecha (eds.), Inducfton. Physis and Ethics. Dordrecht, p. 22-326.

BERNAL, J.D. (1939). «The Social Function of Science». London.

RICHTA, R. (1971). «La civilización en la encrucijada». Madrid.

QUINTANILLA A. Miguel. (1978). «El Mito de la Neutralidad de la Ciencia: la responsabilidad del científico y del técnico». EL BASILISCO, Revista de Materialismo Filosófico. En: http://fgbueno.es/bas/pdf/bas10105.pdf

 

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