Radix Journal

Radix Journal

A radical journal

Tag: Capitalism

Death by Modernity: Michael Haneke’s “The Seventh Continent”

What should one do when they feel dead on the inside? When yesterday, today, and tomorrow all bleed into one another and when society ceases to provide any kind of…

What should one do when they feel dead on the inside? When yesterday, today, and tomorrow all bleed into one another and when society ceases to provide any kind of meaning?

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America: Imagine the World Without Her

With that in mind, we have to ask just how many would-be conservatives became liberals because of the seemingly willed stupidity and dorkiness of Conservatism Inc. Dinesh D’Souza’s latest documentary is another chapter in this sordid tale of political buffoonery.

How can any well-adjusted, thinking person still associate with official conservatism?

People often choose their political affiliation for social, rather than for ideological reasons. They want to align with groups that are smart and successful. With that in mind, we have to ask just how many would-be conservatives became liberals because of the seemingly willed stupidity and dorkiness of Conservatism Inc. Dinesh D’Souza’s latest documentary is another chapter in this sordid tale of political buffoonery.

America: Imagine the World Without Her has the same flavor as the latest batch of evangelical movies, and rivals them in its lack of intellectual cleanliness. It features two squishy songs (here’s one) by acoustic guitar-wielding boy-men that are more fit for a middle school revival than a documentary that attempts gravitas, and D’Souza talks about the American founding as though it were the Immaculate Conception.

But that should come as no surprise when the film sets to perpetuate the myth of America as the glorious proposition nation that has overcome the universal faults of the world. Like the Messiah, America was created to expunge the universal sins of the world and offer man the promise of living in a merchant paradise. DSouza also promotes the myth that the old-timey America can be restored and the 1950s can be carried on for all of eternityas long as we vote Republican and live up to the Constitution.

With this in mind, the only people who should enjoy this movie are over the age of 50 or diehard believers in the conservative movement. DSouza himself compounds this problem by attempting to inject himself into every scene of the movie.

Just as viewers cant escape seeing Michael Moores corpulent figure in his films, DSouzas turtle-like resemblance is nearly as aesthetically unpleasing. The close ups of his smarmy face reveal his unbearable narcissism to many viewers.  His sense of victimization and his depiction of himself as some kind of martyr for conservativism widens the problem. But the real DSouza is just an immigrant plagiarist felon with no original ideas. He even stole the opening credit scene from Conan The Barbarianparadoxically, as the films message denounces the value of conquest.

The films subtitleImagine the World Without Heris misleading as the real purpose of the film is to address leftist accusations that America was built on conquest and theft. Except for the introduction, which dramatizes George Washington being gunned down by a British sniper, we never are shown the path of what the world would be like without the United States.

Instead, the film focuses on combating five alleged charges that the left promotes against America. They are: America committed genocide against the Indians and stole their land; America waged an unjust war against Mexico and stole their land; America enslaved millions of blacks and stole their labor; America practices imperialism and has stolen resources from around the globe; and America practices capitalism, which is an unfair economic system that favors the wealthy over the poor and is theft enshrined as economics.

The heroes of the film are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and (naturally) Martin Luther King Jr. The bogeymen are Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky, and, of course, Barack Obama. This is history according to conservatives.

DSouza response to the charges postulated by Zinns A Peoples History to the United States is simplethose faults are attributable to the universal conquest ethic which America has overcome by adopting the ethic of the merchant. This is in many ways an inversion of the caricatured leftist thinking DSouza malignsthe parts of American history which violate his moral sensibilities are attributed to universal failings, while the virtues of America, however, are peculiar only to her. And he answers all charges with this mentality.

The Indians practiced conquest as well and Americans sometimes bought their land legally, thus no harm done. Mexico oppressed Texas, we answered the call to save the Southwest, and we gave back most of the country to Mexico, thus no harm done. Slavery was wrong, but blacks can now be great entrepreneurs and we sacrificed 600,000 lives to end it, thus no harm done. Our foreign wars have been on behalf of freedom and we have never exploited countries for resources, thus no harm done. Finally, capitalism is an amazing system that benefits everyone and depends on hard work, thus no harm done.

Unfortunately for DSouza, all of his rebuttals the left can easily dismiss and they glaringly overlook facts that Zinn and others use for their critical arguments of American history. But that doesnt matter since this film is an exercise in mythmaking and anything that would undermine the notion that America offers opportunity to all and was founded by entrepreneurs, rather than conquerors, is not expected to be offered.

For the main argument DSouza uses to praise America is that it took a different path from that of every other nation in human historythat it did not base itself on the conquest ethic. America, according to DSouzas, based itself on the merchant ethic instead. This ethic placed profit, security, comfort, and materialism above the martial virtues of conquest. The movie acts as an exposition in the merchant mindsetmerchant values above all others. For him, the real heroes of America are its entrepreneurs, not its warriors. To emphasize that America is on a different path, he points out that the entrepreneur was frequently far down in the caste system in every Traditionalist society and cites quotes of Traditionalist thinkers disparaging enterprise as less noble than theft to drive home his thesis. On the other hand, the businessman is the pinnacle of American society and entrepreneurship is treated as sacrosanct.

In many ways, the criticisms that Zinn makes of America as a nation based on conquest is what makes the nation worthy of any respect. A country in order to survive has to emerge out of violence and struggle. You either fight, or you die. The fact that a few frontiersmen from the British Isles were capable of taking over an entire continent is something that should be celebrated, not overlooked in favor of entrepreneurs who pushed hair care products to black women (which is one of Americas heroes). Our side probably agrees more with Zinns assessment of America rather than DSouzas, as well as the actual facts of history.

Considering DSouzas intended audience, he adds that America bases itself on low-church Protestantism and how the only cultural heritage America has is how its population was more likely go to church and provide private charity. Thus, when DSouza wants to pinpoint the quintessential American, he chooses Star Parker. Parker is a Black conservative scammer extraordinaire who racked up multiple abortions early in life while living on welfare. She then found Jesus and has become an entrepreneur in conning White conservatives out of their money by promising to do outreach to the Black community. Thats America folks.

This goes perfectly well with DSouzas celebration of America as the only true proposition nation, where even non-White plagiarists like himself can make a buck. For this argument, he doesnt use his smarmy self to make the pointhe uses a speech by U2 singer and perpetual Africa activist Bono to state the thesis instead.

 Here are some highlights from Bonos speech:

  • “America’s an idea, isn’t it? I mean Ireland’s a great country, but it’s not an idea. Great Britain’s a great country; it’s not an idea.”
  • “That’s how we see you around the world—as one of the greatest ideas in human history. Right up there with the renaissance, right up with crop rotation and the Beatles’ White Album.” 
  • “The idea is that you and me are created equal…the idea that life is not meant to be endured, but enjoyed. The idea that if we have dignity, if we have justice, then leave it to us, we’ll do the rest.”
  • “This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper.” 
  • “I know Americans say they have a bit of the world in them, and you do–the family tree has lots of branches. But the thing is, the world has a bit of America in it, too. These truths–your truths–they are self-evident in us.”

Instead of a nation united by blood, culture, and soil, were a nation bonded together by abstract principles of commerce and comfort. I cant imagine a more damning argument against the American idea.

The film concludes by focusing on Saul Alinsky and his acolytes nefarious plan to destroy these ideas and turn America into a socialist dystopia that hates the Constitution, and how Obama is now going after dissenterslike convicted campaign fraudster DSouza. Unfortunately for DSouzas intentions, Alinksy comes off as by far the coolest guy in the movie. He has gravitas, he has balls, he has ideals, and he seems to oppose all of the stupidity and childishness promoted for the past two hours. After seeing this movie, Id rather be an Alinskyite than a conservative.

The stupidity and childishness that underlies this film drives intelligent people into the arms of the Left. The movie made me want to become a liberal. He only has a place for the entrepreneur. The laborer and employee have no significance. Conquest is immoral and consumerism is awesome. Go to a mega church and make a buck off pointless products. That message makes my very being revolt in anger.

From the triumph of merchants over conquerors to the glorification of the proposition nation, Identitiarians have little in common with this films ideas. It puts into visual form the vast differences between us and our conservative peers, and dispenses with the illusion that they will ever come to radical thought with their own devices. The state and culture despise the aging Middle Americans who will take to this film, while those same audience members cling to the America that is no longer their
s. These people need to be shocked out of their stupor and wake up to the reality that this is no longer their country and the ideas promoted by schlock like America should be discarded into the dustbin of history.

They need to start imagining the world without Americabecause their world is about to get worse with her still around.

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Beauties in Beast Mode

These women are becoming more like men–physically, emotionally and in many cases, chemically. In the process, these manly women are distorting our perception of what women are, and what men should want from them. They are female fighters, lifters, soldiers, Crossfitters, bodybuilders, competitive athletes, movie stars, and the countless women who flock to trainers trying to emulate them.

Why Are So Many Men Applauding Masculine Women?

The professional feminists who scold us from the headlines of Time, Salon, Slate and The Atlantic aren’t exactly breaking gender stereotypes. They specialize in nagging, moral hygiene, and high melodrama. Feminists claim there’s a WAR against them every time they don’t get something they want, and when they’re not playing victims for sympathy or dreaming up new ways to say they’ve been raped, they’re busy gossiping about celebrities and giggling about pretty boys like Ryan Gosling. They would naturally object, but most feminists are, truly, basic bitches.

Beyond the feminist world of words and micro-aggressions, there are women–who may or may not identify themselves as feminists–who are not just verbally, but physically and aggressively challenging gender roles and overcoming sex differences.

These women are becoming more like men–physically, emotionally and in many cases, chemically. In the process, these manly women are distorting our perception of what women are, and what men should want from them. They are female fighters, lifters, soldiers, Crossfitters, bodybuilders, competitive athletes, movie stars, and the countless women who flock to trainers trying to emulate them.

Feminists will claim and celebrate the successes of these manly women, but it is often men–masculine and hierarchically-oriented men–who are coaching and pushing these women to become more masculine.

Check out the photos in this article about women and lifting from women’s blog XOVain. Notice who’s spotting her? Behind every strong woman, there’s some guy telling her she’s a strong woman.

From regular gym-bros and NRA members to prominent trainers, fitness writers, and successful athletes, the guys most likely to complain about the pussification of men consistently pole-vault over each other to promote, defend, and generally fawn over any woman willing to handle a barbell, a ball, or a rifle.

Why are so many guys who are disgusted by effeminate men so supportive of masculine women?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while–every time I see men I know share some “strong is sexy” pic of a broad shouldered woman with an 8-pack. I wonder about it every time I see them point to a woman who is obviously taking male hormones as an example of a “real woman.” And I have to peel my palm off my forehead every time some tough guy turns radfem and starts telling any man who questions this that he is just “threatened” by “strong women.”

Exactly how manly do women have to be for us to be sure men are “secure with their masculinity?”

I’ve talked about this with a bunch of guys, including some strongmen, martial artists, and powerlifters, and here are some of the reasons why I think so many masculine men are encouraging women to be more like them.

Men are Being Solipsistic

Men are judging women as if women were men.

Guys have been taught from an early age, thanks to the scolding of feminist educators, that there are no “male” virtues, only human virtues. Men are naturally drawn to the old masculine virtues of strength, courage and mastery. They place a high value on traits and behaviors that men have always valued in each other. So, instead of letting women be women and appreciating the differences between the sexes, men are imposing their own idea of what is good on the women in their lives.

Radical feminists would, somewhat ironically, call this sexist and oppressive, because it is men telling women how to behave based on their own preferences and biases.

Why is a woman only a good woman if she acts like a man? That’s the patriarchy talking!

Men who appreciate manly excellence are doubly impressed when a female shows interest or aptitude in a manly sport or pastime. It’s not uncommon to see some alpha male type overlook 100 guys working just as hard and performing better to fawn over a female marksman, lifter or fighter because, well…“isn’t she something?”

It’s also easier to give a woman special attention, because you don’t have to deal with man drama–that whole push/pull, dick-measuring thing men do as they perpetually work out their chimpanzee hierarchies.

Men Don’t Actually Like Women

A dirty secret about men is that a lot of them don’t really like women. They like looking at women naked and they like having sex with women and they may even fall in love with women, but for the most part, they don’t really like women.

I’ve had a lot of heterosexual men tell me that they almost wish they were homosexual, because they find most women irritating and they feel like they have almost nothing in common with them. This actually seems to be the case more frequently with extremely masculine men, and it makes sense that they would have less in common with women. A male psychotherapist who works primarily with men in the military called me recently to talk about men and masculinity, and he mentioned hearing this from a lot of his clients too.

Actually, as I was writing this, a buddy of mine was texting me about this girl he was trying to talk into having sex with him. He was pretending she was interesting, but the truth is he just thought she was hot. Men do this all the time. His last text read, “I think I already hate her.” He went on a date with her later that week.

Feminists would call this “misogyny,” but I’d call it “normal.” It’s normal to want to hang out with people who are more like you, who have the same kinds of aspirations and who have similar interests. So it seems like when a lot of these guys fantasize about a perfect woman, they fantasize about some kickass chick who likes sports and guns, who won’t ask them to watch chick flicks or talk about the last episode of The Bachelor or say that everything is “amazing.”

Men Today Want “Activity Pals,” Not Girlfriends or Wives

Men and women used to understand that they were different, and that they would spend time apart doing different things. Men learned to love their women as women, and enjoyed them for who they were on their own terms, but they didn’t need or expect to have the same kinds of relationships with their wives that they had with their best pals.

Feminists have preached for decades that men and women were supposed to be “equal partners” in everything, and that seeped in and contributed to the idea that husbands and wives were supposed to want to do everything together.

But this desire for women to like and do “guy things” is as much a product of modern life as anything else–especially in America. Americans work a lot of hours, often odd hours, and it takes a lot of time and energy to maintain any kind of relationship.

Most men used to work with other men all day long, and work time has been “guy time” since men were hunting aurochs. Male friendships were forged and maintained in the process of aggressing against animals or nature or other men. As Lionel Tiger theorized in the 60s, that’s how men “bonded.” Today, most men get few if any opportunities to do “guy things” at work. Most corporate jobs are actually pretty emasculating. Most men also work with women, so work time usually isn’t “guy time.”

Because any relationship requires an investment of time and energy, it is difficult for a lot of men to maintain strong male friendships as working adults. If they want a girlfriend or a wife they’re going to have to invest a lot of their free time in building and maintaining a relationship with her, and there are only so many hours left in a week. If a man enjoys sports or working out or shooting guns, getting a woman to enjoy those things too probably means he’ll get to do them more often, and as a couple, they will likely spend more money on those activities. A lot of guys come to the conclusion, consciously or not, that if they want to do guy stuff and have a girlfriend, it would be better to find a girl who either already likes doing guy stuff or who can be encouraged to like doing guy stuff.

It’s like the dad who wants a son but ends up with a daughter, so he makes the best of it and teaches the daughter to do all of the things he wanted to teach a son to do. Some tom-boys are born, but a lot of them are made by dads in the same way that mothers sometimes make their sons into girlfriends. We’re not supposed to blame parents for this–we’re supposed to call that a myth and say “that’s just who they wanted to be”–but humans are heavily influenced by peer affirmation, and if you spend an unusual amount of time with your father or mother or boyfriend, you’re probably going to end up a little more like them.

Men want guy friends and girlfriends but girlfriends demand a lot of time, so some men end up slowly turning their girlfriends into guy friends. Women who want boyfriends who actually seem to like them and give them a lot of positive affirmation and attention end up learning to like doing things their boyfriends like doing.

I’m not looking to blame anyone for this–for the most part it just seems like modern couples are making the best of their situation.

There is a point, though, where making your girl into your bro gets out of hand. When you’re telling other dudes to “check out your wife’s sick lats” or bragging about how she could out-lift them and probably kick their asses…maybe you need some guy time before you and your wife end up shaving each others’ chests.

Unless that’s what you’re into.

Men are Fantasizing about “Shieldmaidens” and Sci-Fi Supergirls

Even as progressive Hollywood writes a tough-talking, man-tossing supermodel superhero into almost every action movie, and Marvel makes Thor a woman, much of the far right is also fapping away to fantasies of bosomy blonde Valkyries and sexy shieldmaidens. It’s difficult to tell how prominent a role women warriors played in Germanic cultures, but some scattered information is being played up to flatter women and encourage an absurdly modern feminist inclusiveness among so-called radical traditionalists. There have always been tales of female warriors, but they have generally been exceptions to the rule, and the women who fought successfully alongside men probably looked more like Brienne of Tarth than a sword-wielding succubus from a Heavy Metal magazine cover.

If men really want a co-ed warrior caste of eugenically bred, chemically enhanced, man-jawed super-persons to transcend the human condition and prepare our race for interstellar war with the Klingons, then they need to be more honest about that, and work out some of the contradictions and inconsistencies in their worldviews.

I’ll admit I’ve toyed with the seemingly eugenic notion that it would be better for everyone to be terrifyingly strong, fast, smart, and aggressive.

Leave it to a man to think up something like that.

It has some merit and appeal, but like all utopian dreams, it seems likely to decay rapidly when exposed to human nature. As with today’s military, the newspapers would get their carefully curated success stories even as internal morale and brotherhood failed, and women would hide behind sterile double-standards as they used sex to manipulate their male peers. The idea that women would be better and better off if they were encouraged to become mentally and physically more like men–but with men with shapely breasts and tight round asses–is just more sci-fi male solipsism.

Something in men tells them that might is right, and something lower tells them that women are hot, so I guess it makes sense that a lot of young men would decide that hot ‘n mighty women are the pinnacle of human perfection. I’d like to blame this on a post-feminist world of sexual confusion, or even ronery Asian animators, but Robert E. Howard was writing sword-swinging chicks into Conan stories back in the 1930s. The sexy warrior woman is an ancient archetype that’s long held a place in the pornographic pantheon of male fantasy. We’re just at a patch in history where it’s easy to lose perspective and imagine the exotic anomaly as a new norm.

Men Can’t Get Enough of the CrossFit Butt

The CrossFit butt sold more average men on weightlifting for women than a decade’s worth of oily blondes pumping iron in muscle mags.

You’ve seen the photos. You know what I’m talking about.

It makes perfect evolutionary sense for men to fixate on the rear-mount impregnation point padding of healthy young females. Some black men have a thing for gigantic Hottentot hindquarters, and I know some white guys who go for the Rubenesque Jell-O butt thing, but it makes sense for the majority of men to want that perfectly rounded, unblemished rear end that signals youthful fertility.

Women today are marrying later than their predecessors, if at all, and by the time they decide to settle down and have kids, they’re probably been sitting on their asses in some office eating those muffins from Starbucks for a decade or so. The prevailing wisdom says the only way women can keep that perky posterior is to do squats. Lots and lots of squats. When women object that grunt and thrust power moves like squatting seem a little…butch…men who normally hate feminists find themselves talking about breaking down gender boundaries and “reimagining our idea of female strength.” Because, well, “dat ass.”

Men Know Where The Money Is

Guys get into the fitness industry because they like training. Some got turned on to training when they used working out to transform themselves or to work through a rough part of their lives, but many more trainers, gym owners, writers and fitness entrepreneurs are just jocks who decided to try to do what they love doing for a living.

The bug, or the feature, depending on your perspective, is that unless you’re selling supplements or you’re a big shot with a name and a book or a new program, the real money is in marketing to women. Especially if you’re a trainer or a gym owner.

There are two obvious reasons for this.

First, the men who are most willing to give up everything and train to be elite athletes also tend to be young guys with little if any disposable income. Kids who pin their hopes on something as chancy as becoming a professional fighter or an extreme athlete often come from broken homes on the wrong side of the tracks. People with a lot of disposable income to spend on expensive gym memberships and personal training tend to be older, and most men over 30 have either figured out how stay in shape on their own or have let themselves go to focus on making money. Men are sexually objectified now more than they used to be, but plenty of wives are happy with a doughy husband as long as he brings home the dough.

Second, the body is a machine, and if a man cares about his body, he will tinker with it until he figures it out. Most men will buy books and talk to other guys at the gym and read websites and watch thousands of videos and argue furiously for endless hours with other men on the Internet about which technique or program is the best before they will pay a personal trainer to hold their hand and walk them through a basic routine. A lot of them would probably really benefit from a few sessions with a trainer, but it’s kind of like…asking for directions. Men want to figure it out themselves. Women generally prefer to be shown.

So, most male trainers end up counting reps for middle-aged women. Unless you’re at an elite level coaching professional athletes or entertainers, that’s the job. Go to any Globogym and see who is training who.

Most male trainers, no matter how jacked they are, no matter how much they can squat, no matter how much Hatebreed or Metallica or they listen to, eventually realize that they are in the female empowerment business. And to keep doing it day in and out, a lot of them probably convince themselves that’s a good thing. Who doesn’t like empowerment? It’s their job to lure cardio bunnies off their ellipticals and out of their Zumba classes. They sit through countless consultations listening to housewives tell them they’re worried about “getting too big” and masculine looking.

Of course these trainers know that noticeable hypertrophy is something they had to train for specifically, even as men, and there is no chance that a woman in her 30s, 40s or 50s will “accidentally” get yoked. With a lot of work, they might get the backs of their arms to stop jiggling and maybe even get something approaching a CrossFit butt.

These women want to look like taut TV and pop stars whose aging bodies have the support of top trainers, plastic surgery, Botox, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol, Adderall, and possibly Oxandrolone or Stanozolol–the testosterone derivatives especially popular with female bodybuilders. It’s rumored that the last two are also frequently used by female CrossFitters, and may well be responsible for many of the inspirational photos trainers use to motivate their female clients.

This leads to an important consideration. If men take female hormones to gain the characteristics of females, we call them transsexuals. If women are be told to admire women who take testosterone and testosterone derivatives to gain the characteristics of men, aren’t they being encouraged to look like borderline transsexuals? Is the fitness community’s “ideal woman” really a vascular tranny with the 6-pack, biceps, and modified rear end of an 18 year-old dude? What does that say about this brave, new post-feminist bonobo culture? Why the double standard?

As personal trainers work with their clients, they help feminine women overcome their natural resistance to increasingly heavy resistance training by pointing to these strong, empowered, masculinized women as examples of a reimagined femininity. They sweet-talk their clients and make them feel good about themselves, because that’s what keeps them coming back and paying for the pleasure.

“Don’t be afraid of your own strength.”

“You’re stronger than you realize.”

“Women can be strong, too.”

And, as they shape them into fitter versions of themselves, whispering words of encouragement in moments of vulnerability, guiding their movements with a firm, caressing hand, carefully watching the form of every hip thrust, a lot of these trainers are setting up their next job perk.

Most male trainers end up banging a choice selection of their most loyal female clients. I watched one CrossFit coach take home one after another for months. I delivered fitness equipment to private gyms for years and watched the dynamic between these guys and their attentive, blushing clients. It’s become a fairly well-known phenomenon since then. It’s like bagging cougars in a zoo.

I’d bet many of the memes and slogans about women, strength, and training that “strong women” repeat and reformat and post to their Pinterest accounts and Facebook pages are the echoes of trainer game. We see this “Strong is the new skinny,” “Lift Like a Girl,” and “The myth that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights is only perpetuated by women who fear work and men who fear women” stuff over and over again because some guy, somewhere, was trying to fuck another man’s wife.

Trainers are the worst offenders, but it’s not just trainers. Almost every testosterone-fueled, hardcore, shit-talking lifting or fighting blog or site that I’ve read and enjoyed has posted some go-girl female empowerment article about “strong women” in the past year or so. They use them to drive traffic, expand their audience, avoid butthurt from a handful nagging female readers and clients, bathe in female affirmation (“likes” and “shares”), and probably to get laid. Almost none of their hero-worshipping fanboys will object, because they know they’ll be called insecure cowards, fags, micropenised misogynists, and anyway, “Look! There’s a hot girl lifting weights!”

Redefinition, Sex Roles, and The Flip Side of Feminism

The problem with this is not that some female outlier will shatter our illusions by being stronger than some men.

The differences between the sexes are on curves–they’re not mutually exclusive. The fact that strength is and has always been one of the defining virtues of masculinity does not mean that all men are stronger than all women. It just means that most men are stronger than most women, and women don’t have to be strong to be considered womanly, whereas the same is not true for men. It doesn’t matter if some atypical woman who realizes she’s not like other women decides she’d rather play with the boys. That’s probably been happening for all of human history.

The problem isn’t at the extremes, it’s about using the extremes to redefine the middle.

The strong men who stand up for their “strong women” are usually also the first guys to complain about the way American society is promoting effeminate men. They’re the first ones to mock the pajama boys and the Justin Biebers and limp-wristed hipsters. They’ll happily scoff at flamboyant feather boa-ed fruitcakes, metrosexuals, goths, and emo-kids. They’ll call other men “pussies” and “vaginas” all day long.

These guys think that men should act like men and women should act like women…until it comes time to pander to their female audience, or they need a gimmick to make a little extra money, or someone calls them sexists or misogynists–which is like being called a racist, only slightly less terrifying. Then suddenly strong is the new skinny, and no one should tell a woman where she should be or what she can do. Girl power!

Most of these jocks and tough-guys would object to being called feminists, and dismiss them as fat, ugly, whiny bitches.

But if feminism is about anything, it’s about eliminating socially prescribed sex roles. Feminists would argue that people are just people, regardless of their plumbing, and no one should tell women how to be women or men how to be men. No woman–especially women, because in feminism women are more equal than men–should be told she shouldn’t be somewhere or do something based on the fact that she’s a woman. Feminists also say they believe that feminism helps everyone, because it means men shouldn’t be told how to behave or where they should go or what they should do.

Feminists are conveniently selective about how they apply this, but we’re not talking about them right now. We’re talking about big, tough dudes who don’t think they are feminists.

The guys who I’m talking about would be the first ones to make fun of the male feminists in the “I need feminism” photos.

If it’s not OK for men to act like bitches, why is it applause-worthy when bitches act like men? Applauding masculinity in women is just the flip side of the feminist project to encourage effeminacy in men. The net effect is the same: the progressive negation of sex roles.

This glaring hypocrisy is something men need to think about honestly.

It’s not a hypocrisy of progressive men, who already call themselves feminists, and are all for Mr. Milkers and women fighting wars.

It’s a hypocrisy among otherwise socially conservative men, men of the right and far-right, men who believe that men today are by-and-large an embarrassment to their forefathers. I see it among readers of mine, who agree that the way of men is the way of the gang, who agree that masculinity is about strength, courage, mastery and honor, who rant about feminism, who are concerned about fatherlessness and a lack of male mentors, who worry that male testosterone rates are dropping globally, who are angry that there are no initiations for modern men, or men’s only clubs, or places where men aren’t constantly policed by the interests of women.

I see these same guys, guys who I generally like and agree with about most issues, turn around and cheer for female UFC fighters, for women who enter strongman competitions, for female powerlifters, for any girl who handles a gun, for sexy stock car racers, for chicks with vascular arms, 8-packs, and man shoulders. I see them encouraging every woman who enters a previously male space and simultaneously complaining that there are no places where men can be men anymore.

What, gives fellas?

Decide what you really believe.

If you believe that everyone should be manly, and unmanliness should be discouraged in men and women alike, that’s a novel position. I’d like to see a man who actually believes that work it out on paper.

If you truly believe that no one should tell a man how to be a man or a woman how to be a woman, be honest about it and stop playing both sides to look cool. Call yourself a feminist, or at least a men’s rights activist, since MRA’s believe what feminists believe, but realize that feminists aren’t being completely fair or honest.

If you believe that men should act like men and women should act like women, except when it’s convenient or profitable for you, then at least be honest with yourself. Pick up a piece of poster board and write, “I need feminism when it gets me attention, money or poon.” Then face the mirror and understand what you are.

I believe that sex differences run deeper than some obvious reproductive plumbing. Males and females have had different roles for most of human evolutionary history, and our brains, hormones, and psychologies have adapted to work differently. Different things draw our interest, different things make us happy, and we need different things from each other. I believe that gender is a total life experience, “from cradle to grave,” and that while it is possible to masculinize women and emasculate men, no normal female can ever really know what it is to be male, and no normal male can ever really know what it is to be female. It’s as degrading to females to think of them merely as handicapped males as it is to think of men as females with “testosterone poisoning.” I believe that the most feminine thing a woman can do is nurse her own baby, and the most masculine thing a man can do is face death in battle. Modern life degrades both masculinity and femininity–turning motherhood into a part-time job that women are supposed to squeeze in when they aren’t doing the “important” work of making money in some corporate career and turning masculinity into a video game that men play alone.

I’ve come to the conclusion that masculinity is the product of both nature and nurture, and that most men need to be surrounded by other men who will challenge them and hold them accountable to reach their full masculine potential. Without that brotherhood, the majority of men will become increasingly weak, effeminate, insecure, withdrawn, and apathetic.

By most accounts, that’s exactly what is happening to men in America.

I am not a feminist. I believe that sex roles generally increase human happiness, social stability, and are necessary for a thriving culture. Men should tell men how to be men and women should tell women how to be women. I think it’s great when men “police gender” and call each other pussies and push each other to be stronger, braver, and more competent.

And I am absolutely certain that the regular presence of women in male spaces short-circuits this process. The introduction of females into a group of men will always change the culture of the group, weaken male friendships, chill male speech (because men talk differently to each other than they do to women), and turn men against each other.

Encouraging a woman to do something men do and inviting her into one of the few surviving male spaces is a feminist act that is ultimately, if not immediately, harmful to men and masculinity. Men should call out men who do it, instead of congratulating them for being so “open minded” or being afraid to be called “sexists.”

There’s nothing brave about being “gender inclusive” in America. It’s like being “anti-racist.” It’s the safest, most establishment position you could possibly take. The President of the United States would pat you on the back and call you a “good boy” for doing exactly what you’ve been told to do. Anti-discrimination is fashionable, commercially viable, legally enforceable, and an easy way to get approval from women.

If you want to do something brave, try discriminating.

Try saying “no.”

Instead of jumping at the opportunity to help some tough girl live her best life and be a strong, independent woman who will brag about being manlier than men, try giving her the cold shoulder.

Then grab a brother and help him rise up.

Because men are failing.

Masculinity is failing.

If you’re angry about it, do something about it and stop playing both sides.

American women have thousands of laws, organizations, books, magazines, movies, television channels, gyms, websites and celebrities working to “empower” them. You don’t need to be Captain Save-a-Ho because American women do not need your help.

I’m not saying that women shouldn’t take care of themselves or learn self-defense skills or exercise. The historical reality is that the majority of women always worked hard. They worked in fields, milked cows, scrubbed laundry, and cleaned when cleaning was harder than running a vacuum. Women knew how to work hard without trying to be men or do everything men did. Women didn’t think “women’s work” was degrading until a bunch of bored Jewish women told them making money was more important.

If women want to stay in shape, let them Zumba. Leave them to their group exercise classes and yoga and things they actually feel drawn to and enjoy doing. Let women be women. Stop trying to redefine femininity by putting lipstick on masculinity.

I’m sure some women will read this and disagree. I’m sure it will make some women angry. Some of them will probably say they want to kick my ass. But that would just prove my point about how masculinized many American women already are.

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The Hard Road for Putin

While there are many unanswered questions about the disaster and the dishonesty and hysteria of Western propaganda goes without saying, the objective political reality remains the same. The narrative has already solidified in the West–and Putin is to blame. 

The glee with which the Washington foreign policy establishment greeted the crash of flight MH-17 is matched only by their silence about the continuing slaughter in Eastern Ukraine. Not only did they get to move the Central American invasion off the front page, the media and politicians got a chance to play their favorite sport of bear-baiting. While there are many unanswered questions about the disaster and the dishonesty and hysteria of Western propaganda goes without saying, the objective political reality remains the same. The narrative has already solidified in the West–and Putin is to blame.

Only a few weeks after being regarded by friend and foe as a master geopolitical strategist, Vladimir Putin is suddenly faced with a far more hostile Europe. In his attempt to pin the blame for the crash on Ukraine, President Putin also casually conceded that the area was Ukrainian territory. Perhaps this was his objective all along, as he has not been especially enthusiastic about aiding the “Novorossia” separatists. However, if the end result of the Ukrainian crisis is the tenuous seizure of Crimea (unrecognized by the rest of the world), the reduction of Russian influence in Ukraine and Europe, and the defeat of pro-Russian forces in the east, Putin will appear weak for the first time.

Russia is also under increasing economic attack designed to break the regime. “Capital is a coward” as they say, and the hallmark of American foreign and domestic policy is to harness corruption and degeneracy to further the country’s own ends. Russian billionaires are already feeling pressure and are being confronted with a choice of turning on Putin or jeopardizing their economic relations in the West.

Ironically, pressure on Putin is intensifying at the very moment he is acquiescing to the West’s wishes. He has held back from invading Ukraine. Russian nationalists are no longer enjoying access to the media, and even Alexander Dugin’s star has faded within officialdom. However, even as Putin is becoming more “pragmatic,” the pressure for sanctions is increasing.

Part of Putin’s problem is that he has been too clever by half. Throughout the crisis, Russia has maintained that Ukraine is being run by “fascists” and “Nazis.” While it’s true the only overt “Nazis” that seem to be fighting in the area are fighting for Ukraine, the nationalists seem to have little power within the current Ukrainian government and are mostly being used for cannon fodder.

Unfortunately, outside Galicia, Russia’s only real friends in the West are on the right. From Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen in Europe to Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan in the United States, Putin only gets a fair hearing from what can roughly be called the Dissident Right in the West. Social democrats and neoconservatives are too busy raging against him as a “tyrant” because he doesn’t allow enough gay pride parades. Occasionally, this even leads to what can only be called coded appeals for pre-emptive war against one of the greatest powers in the world–what Steve Sailer called “World War G.”

Since the beginning of his time in office, Vladimir Putin’s number one goal has been to prevent a State Department/Soros funded color coded “revolution” on the streets of Moscow. For that reason, he has imposed restrictions on foreign “activist” organizations backed by foreign money. Even his supposed crackdown on homosexuals is a ban on homosexual “activism,” not private sexual behavior. Unlike the nations of the West, Putin’s Russia has a government that actually governs, as opposed to serving as a jobs program for various minorities.

However, in today’s world, even a mildly conservative “sovereign democracy” is enough to inspire the fanatical rage of the Washington governing class and its pet media. The American media resorted to outright falsity when portraying the conflict in South Ossetia years ago. More recently, when Russia hosted the Winter Olympics, Western newspapers were filled with taunts and stories portraying the country as a kind of Third World disaster out of Borat. Strangely, the mass riots and collapsing infrastructure of World Cup host Brazil went all but unmentioned.  When Pussy Riot disrupted a mass with an obscenity filled protest, the American Secretary of State posed with them for a picture, and National Review’s John O’Sullivan called them “virtuous” and “religious.” The liberal American media is far more hostile towards Putin’s Russia than they were to the Soviet Union, and conservatives seem excited to fight a politically correct enemy rather than more hapless brown people.

While Putin himself is usually sure footed in his responses, Russia’s larger public relations effort often seems hapless and confused. Russia Today, supposedly designed as a counter to the American media, usually appears like a kind of grab bag of left-libertarian features that wouldn’t seem out of place on Democracy Now. Though there is the occasional conservative guest who would be cut from the American mainstream media, the network keeps inviting guests who are almost guaranteed to be hostile. For example, RT invited on Jamie Kirchick—someone whose entire identity, ideology, and outlook on foreign relations revolves entirely on his predilection for sodomy—who promptly made a precious little spectacle of himself. RT also has a problem with its anchors quitting in order to receive the worshipful applause of the American press.

There is nothing Russia can do that will win over the Western press and the American government short of Putin resigning and Gazprom cutting a reparations check to GLAAD. None of the propaganda targeted at Western liberals seems to be taking. Russia is also being forced into an untenable financial position unless it caves unilaterally on all Ukrainian issues. Putin cannot do this without losing domestic support and risking Russia’s international position.

The alternative is to attack–and for Russia to support the only people inclined to support them, Traditionalists and conservatives. The West will not allow Russia to be a “normal” country while Putin is in power and while it insists on relatively conservative social stances. Therefore, Russia needs to take the cultural war into the heart of the West, where restive populations are already looking for an excuse to revolt against their political class over mass immigration, Islamization, political cor
rectness, and incompetence in foreign and domestic policy.

Let Washington, DC choke on it when Russia starts “Radio Free Amerika” to broadcast every day about how American corporations are helping the government spy on its citizens. Let RT start sending its reporters to the border to get some video of the MS-13 members the American government insists on calling “children.” Let’s see how the Huffington Post reacts to American audiences being introduced to Alexander Dugin. And let’s see what the reception will be if the People’s State of Donetsk makes like the Ukrainian forces and starts accepting foreign volunteers.

The strategic advantage has shifted to the West and stagnation is death for Russia. If the West is going to treat the Third Rome like a rogue state no matter what it does, it might as well act like one.

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The Hope of Europeanization

Imagine being a part of a political movement where Europe was a dirty word.

Imagine being a part of a political movement where Europe was a dirty word.

Where Europeanization was synonymous with socialist tyranny and thrown as an epithet at ideological foes.

Think this sounds idiotic? Welcome to American conservatism.

This is a movement that was battered around Europeanization as a slur during the Obamacare debate and used it to denote the “terror” that will arrive with government-subsidized healthcare.

Here’s Neoconservative gentile Victor Davis Hanson on the perils of Europeanization back in 2009:

I don’t know quite what the allure of Europe is for the American Left. But it seems to be that more of us will soon all be working for the government, habitually striking, hunting out that rare capitalist in hiding for a shake-down, and bitching over our weary 35 hr. work week.

Yet without hardship, challenge, and hope, the individual dies daily. Once the government ensures that all your needs will be taken care of, from your teeth and joints to job and retirement, ennui sets in, and with it the cargo we see in Europe—pacifism, cynicism, the loss of transcendence marked by atheism and childlessness, and worry about what others have rather than what you aspire to…

We can see what Europeanization leads to: you worship at the altar of the goddess Pax, but hate the United States for still having a military that saves postmodern you from premodern others…

Europeanization is so at odds with human nature that it bifurcates it—a false public face, a cynical private one…

In Hanson’s mind, modern Europe stands for “Last Man syndrome” and an unwillingness to fight wars on Tel Aviv’s behalf. America is also the modern Sparta in his mind, and Europeanization would sap our will in the same way Athenization sapped the ancient city-state’s.

Ridiculous . . . but his definition does strikes (in a contrived fashion) at the Last Man that’s created by the triumph of liberalism. It also imagines life that should be lived in struggle and overcoming. The problem is that America hasn’t stood for that for nearly a hundred years, and fighting pointless wars in the Middle East on behalf of liberal democracy doesn’t make us Nova Sparta. Nor is Last Capitalist Man more superior than Last Socialist Man just because he had to buy his own health insurance.

He also echoes Donald Rumsfeld in 2003 when the former Secretary of Defense bashed the European nations that were critical of the Iraq invasion as “Old Europe“—a set of dying nations that have lost their virtu to take down benign dictatorships that keep an unstable region relatively stable.

Since the conservative movement is not known for inventing new ideas and loves reanimating notions from their past (Reagan Forever!), the specter of Europeanization is once again arising in conservative media.

Is it because we aren’t willing to invade Iran? Is it because we want universal healthcare? Or, is it because too many Americans have become overnight soccer fans?

Well, there’s some hand-wringing about the last item, but the new concern for Europeanization is due to a worrying amount of White Americans rising up against mass non-White immigration.

In other words, it’s the leaders of conservatism bashing their own followers.

In a column for the neocon newssite Washington Free Beacon, Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti trotted out the old tropes of the feared menace of Europe (socialized healthcare, lack of desire to invade Syria, etc.) before unveiling a new parallel with the Old World that is “not a good one,” in the writer’s opinion:

There was a time when Americans could feel superior to our European allies on matters of immigration and assimilation. That time is passing. With the arrival of the Dreamers the issues of migration, border security, amnesty, and incompetence are refashioning American politics, fracturing allegiances and commitments and social bonds, exposing the contradiction between liberal humanitarianism and national identity, and forging new coalitions, with the elites of both parties on the one hand, and the fading American middle on the other.

One cannot look at the images of protests in Murrietta, California, where demonstrators waving Gadsden Flags stopped school buses carrying the sons and daughters of Guatemala and Honduras to shelters, without recalling the vitriolic debates over busing in the 1970s, without thinking of the anti-immigration marches in Western and Southern Europe today. One cannot look at the images of the children themselves, sleeping in detention, looking vacantly in the distance, lured to this country under false pretenses, desperate for food and shelter and attachment and hope, without remembering the Spanish detention camps in the Canary Islands, or the Italian “Identification and Expulsion Center” in Rome. This isn’t An American Tail. This is Children of Men.

Continetti writes of the rise of populism in Europe with a foreboding and mentions detention camps is an intentional allusion to certain other camps that were created by Europeans … He puts the anti-immigration protesters in Murietta, California, in the same category as Front National and UKIP—which for Continetti is not a comparison made in praise.

But since the Free Beacon has to appeal to the conservative base that has embraced the Murietta protesters, he has to beat around the bush and not openly condemn their actions as an unfortunate outburst of xenophobia. Instead, he appeals to the supposed all-American value of welcoming the stranger and never seeing another group of people as the Other.

Taking a different angle from the goofy Christianity of Glenn Beck (who also called Americans to open up our compassionate arms to these Mayans), this author says that compassion is one of the defining cornerstones of America. We have no defined Others because anyone can become an American. Thus, in the minds of necons like Continetti, opposing these immigrants is a definably un-American act. It is an act only Europeans would do—Whites who have organic national identities and have no problem with identifying another group as the Other.

His article is an expression of what Richard Spencer labeled the “Metapolitics of America.” America began as a project rejecting the traditions and identities of Old Europe. It based itself on the abstract values of the Enlightenment and created documents that declared all men are created equal, with the implication that all men have the ability to become Americans (even though the creators likely didn’t believe in them to their full conclusion).

If you believe in the idea of the compassionate proposition nation, how could you protest these immigrants coming here for a better life?

Of course, there’s a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance in the minds of conservative Americans who still cling to the idea of America, yet are terrified by the changing demographics of the country they love.

This is the mindset of the Murietta protesters and the militias forming to patrol the Texas border. They chant “U! S! A!” and wave the Stars and Stripes and claim authority over the real American legacy. They have no idea that the flag they wave and the country they love hates them and no longer shares the same values they cherish.

As Vice President Joe Biden pointed out, the latest push for global human rights trumps all cultures and tradition–making it clear that the America of today has fully embraced the abstract values of the Enlightenment and wants to disregard the values bequeathed to it by its European heritage. It’s more of a de-Europeanization rather than a Europeanization that’s happening to America. That is why the previous frettings of conservatives were so ridiculous—the great America of yore had a European character and defined itself as so. One example is the vast majority of America supported the Immigration Act of 1924 because it preserved the traditional, Northern European character of this nation. That’s a sign of a Europeanized America (because there’s more to Europe than socialized medicine and great unemployment benefits).

But America has lost any sense of being a White nation and has embraced the promise of becoming the continental, Lockean shopping mall. Both the right, the left, and the leaders and followers of the conservative movement subscribe to this notion and firmly reject Identitarianism. And who can blame them when the founding documents tell them to?

And that is the tragic element of these protests—they’re fighting against the ideas of their own nation. Their nationalism is implicitly White, but it will never progress to White nationalism, which they view that as un-American (they still believe in the civic promise of the US of A). The problem for them is that their patriotism is now antiquated. Every major leader now subscribes to the vision of America being the great spreader of liberal virtues to the world and wants their own country to act out these values. Gay marriage has triumphed, multiculturalism is unchallenged, and immigration continues to rise. And that is what our nation is now all about.

They still cling to the jingoism that was encouraged and harvested by the neocons to drum up support for the Iraq War and is now thoroughly mocked by SWPL nationalism. Whenever the young and educated see someone wave a flag and sing “God Bless America,” they laugh and feel zero connection to it. They celebrate this country not through a genuine attachment to it, but through irony. The World Cup highlighted this as thousands poured out into SWPL hubs like DC and Seattle to cheer on their team in bald eagle shirts and tacky Old Glory shorts.

To them, patriotism is a joke. To the vast majority of young people, the patriotism of Murrieta is thoroughly passé and they have no connection to it whatsoever. Middle America doesn’t grasp that the jokes on them.

Which brings us to why we have to abandon these outdated symbols if we hope to forge an authentically right-wing, Identitarian movement in this country. Leftist writer Sinclair Lewis is attributed (wrongly though) with shrieking, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Disregarding the use of “fascism” and understanding the left uses the term to denote any right-wing movement they don’t like, it’s the opposite of the truth. If Identitarianism ever rises in America, it will not be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.

Some of you reading this might question that statement. You’re probably already saying that these symbols still carry power among the people we are trying to reach and we should re-appropriate them for our cause. We can’t alienate potential followers that would flock to our cause if we weren’t so down on the United States. There is one major flaw with that reasoning though: these symbols represent values that we are utterly opposed to. We cannot say we are opposed to egalitarianism while brandishing flags that were created by men that wrote “all men were created equal.” We cannot say we are committed to create communities based on organic identities with symbols that give off the hope that man can live in deracinated, proposition states.

If you want to know why there’s never been a strong and coherent nationalist movement in the United States, it’s because of the unwillingness to abandon the idea of America. Yes, we will alienate people in the process and limit our audience for the short-term–but we have to firmly reject the concept of this proposition nation. It is killing us and not allowing us to represent our own interests. It hates our identity and wants us to sacrifice it for the “good of humanity.” This is not our country and we have to finally accept that. We have to Europeanize ourselves—meaning we have to start seeing ourselves as children of Europe rather than Americans. We have to see ourselves as a distinct group that other groups and other individuals can never be apart of.

We have to represent the spirit that Continetti is so worried about—the willingness to stand against the Other and fight for our own interests.

Part of this process of Europeanization is the rejection of the symbols of the American state. They are not some type of ancient icons associated with our Indo-European ancestors. The Saxons were not emblazing the Stars and Stripes on their shields as they went into battle. They were created a little over 200 years ago. They are not sacred objects.

We can create symbols that will resonate with the men and women we want to attract. Namely, young people. They are the future and no successful movement has ever gone without their energy and vitality. No revolutionary movement was ever stocked full of pensioners. If we want to change the world, we have to attract the people who want to change it—not people whose primary concern is the preservation of their 401ks.

We will not reach them with Tea Party-style patriotism and trying to associate ourselves with Sarah Palin. That will only serve to alienate them from our cause, while making us look like a bunch of deluded rubes in the process. Besides, does anyone who reads Radix actually feel any real emotion during the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner”? I think not, and so we should not make disingenuous attempts trying to act like real ‘Murican patriots.

SWPL nationalism has gone a long way in cutting the ties young people have for this country—which presents an opportunity for us to finally reach people who no longer have patriotic hang-ups.

There’s also the promising trend which Murrieta is only the latest example. There are more and more cases of White Americans rising up against the state and perceiving it as a body that doesn’t represent their interests (the Bundy Ranch episode being another example). While they still embrace the America they grew up in, it is another question whether their children and grandchildren will—especially how that very same country treated them. We can only expect more incidents like to this to occur as our federal government continues to go after every single White person who goes off the reservation.

But to become that alternative, we have to first separate ourselves from the idea of American. We have to disregard the worries of yesterday’s people. It’s time to look towards tomorrow and step over Old Glory and the Constitution and prepare for the day that the spirit of Europe will arise in our people once more.

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The Fourth Estate

The concept of the “middle class” is crucial for the liberal-capitalist ideology. Although it appeared later than the Marxist theory of class struggle and the famous communist doctrine of the two antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the very meaning of the term “middle class” has a much longer history and has its roots in the period of bourgeois revolutions and the rise of the Third Estate, which claimed henceforth a monopoly in political and economic spheres. 

 

The History and Meaning of the Middle Class


Science and Ideology: A Problem of Method

None of the words we use in the course of social and political discussions and analyses is ideologically neutral. Outside of ideology entirely, such words lose their meaning. And it is not possible to determine one’s attitude toward them unambiguously, since the content of any expression is shaped by context and semantic structures, a kind of operational system. When we live in a society with an obvious ideology, openly maintained as the dominant one, things are clear enough.

The significance of words flows directly from the ideological matrix, which is instilled through upbringing, education, and instruction and is supported by the active ideological apparatus of the state. The state forms a language, defines the meaning of discourse, and sets—most often through repressive measures, broadly understood—the limits and moral tint of the basic collection of political and sociological concepts and terms.

If we lived in a society in which communist ideology dominates, concepts such as “bourgeoisie,” “fascism,” “capitalism,” “speculation,” etc. acquire not only strictly negative connotations but specific meanings, with which capitalists, fascists, and speculators would categorically disagree. The disagreement concerns not only signs, but the very significance of words. The way a communist sees a fascist, or a capitalist seems to the fascist, might seem to a different party to be little more than a caricature or a distortion. And this, of course, works the other way around: fascism seems natural to the fascist, and communism, utterly evil.

For a capitalist, communism and fascism are equally evil. The capitalist most often does not think of himself as bourgeois. Speculation is for him a form of the realization of natural economic rights, and the system he defends he usually regards as a “free” society, an “open” society. Neither the Marxist analysis of the appropriation of surplus value, nor the fascist critique of the web of interest obligations and payments, and the international financial oligarchy, which usurps power over peoples and nations, ever convince him of anything.

Ideologies are similar to religions; hence Carl Schmitt speaks of “political theology.” Each believes sacredly in his own values and ideals, and criticism of or apology for alternative values most often has no effect (except for a few cases of confessional change, which occurs in the history of religion and in the history of political teachings).

Consequently, before speaking seriously about one or another term, it is necessary to determine in which ideological context we will be considering it. Someone will surely object: science must take a neutral position. That is impossible. In this case, science would pretend to the status of a meta-ideology, i.e. a kind of “true ideology,” of which all other ideologies are relative forms. But nobody will agree with this, even it should come into someone’s head to flaunt such ambitions.

In the religious sphere, syncretic teachings periodically arise, claiming that they are the expression of “absolute truth” and that all other historical religions are its relative manifestations. But as a rule, such tendencies do not enjoy great popularity, remaining the property of rather small circles and denied by major confessions as “heresies.” Science, likewise, cannot claim the status of a meta-ideology and remain relevant. But it differs from ordinary ideology by three features:

  1. It reflects distinctly upon the structures of the ideological paradigm it considers. (Ordinary people do not even suspect that what seems to them their “personal opinion” is a secondary or even tertiary product of ideological processing, the mechanisms of which are entirely hidden from them.)
  2. In the course of analysis of ideological discourse, it uses the techniques of classical logic (Aristotle’s laws and Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason).
  3. It is able to build a comparative matrix of the correspondences between diverse ideologies, juxtaposing structures in their foundations and establishing symmetries and oppositions between separate discourses and their elements.

Thus, in considering any concept or term, it is possible to proceed in two ways: either to interpret it from the position of one or another ideology, not digging into its foundations and not comparing it with other interpretations (this is the level of propaganda and low-quality applied analysis/journalism), or to attend to the scientific method, which does not free us from adherence to an ideology, but forces us to reason, observing the three above-mentioned rules of the scientific approach (paradigm, logic, comparison).

We propose to consider the concept of the “middle class” in precisely this scientific spirit.

From Caste to Class

Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (15th century) Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (15th century)

The concept of the “middle class” is crucial for the liberal-capitalist ideology. Although it appeared later than the Marxist theory of class struggle and the famous communist doctrine of the two antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the very meaning of the term “middle class” has a much longer history and has its roots in the period of bourgeois revolutions and the rise of the Third Estate, which claimed henceforth a monopoly in political and economic spheres.

Before considering the “middle class,” let’s turn to the concept of “class” as such. Class is a concept of the social organization of modernity. Ancient orders and social-political systems were built on the caste principle. “Caste” should be understood as the doctrine that the inner nature of different people differs qualitatively: there are divine souls and earthly (feral, demonic) souls. The caste reflects precisely this nature of the soul, which man is not able to change during his life. The caste is fatal. The normal society, according to this conception, must be built so that those of a divine nature (the elite) are above, and those of an earthly (feral, demonic) nature remain below (the masses). That is how the Indian Varna system is arranged, as were ancient Jewish, Babylonian, Egyptian, and other societies.

This caste theory was replaced by a more flexible estate theory. The estate also proposes a difference in people’s natures (the existence of higher and lower), but here the fact of birth in one or another estate is not considered a final and natural factor in the determination of belonging to a certain social status. Estate can be changed if the representative of a lower estate accomplishes a great feat, demonstrates unique spiritual qualities, becomes a member of the priesthood, etc.

Here, alongside the caste principle, is the principle of meritocracy, that is, rewards for services. The meritocratic principle extends also to the descendants of the one who accomplished the feat (ennobling). Estate society was predominant in Christian civilization right to the end of the Middle Ages. In estate society, the highest estates are the priesthood (clergy) and the military (aristocracy), and the lowest is the Third Estate of peasants and craftsmen. Precisely the same way, in a caste society, priests and warriors (Brahma and Kshatriya) were highest, and lowest were peasants, artisans, and traders (Vaishya).

Modernity became the era of the overthrow of estate society. Europe’s bourgeois revolutions demanded a replacement of the estate privileges of the higher estates (the clergy and the military aristocracy, the nobility) in favor of the Third Estate. But the bearers of this ideology were not the peasants, who were connected with traditional society by the specific character of seasonal labour, religious identity, etc., but the more mobile townspeople and burghers. “Bourgeois” is itself formed from the German word “Burg” meaning “town.” Hence, modernity gave first priority to precisely the townsfolk-citizen-bourgeois as a normative unit.

The bourgeois revolutions abolished the power of the Church (clergy) and aristocracy (nobility, dynasties) and advanced the model of building society on the basis of the domination of the Third Estate, represented by the townsfolk-citizen-bourgeois. This is, essentially, capitalism. Capitalism, in its victory, replaces estate distinctions, but preserves material ones. Thus, the notion of class arises: class signifies an indicator of the measure of inequality. The bourgeoisie abolish estate inequality, but preserve material inequality. Consequently, precisely modernity’s bourgeois capitalistic society is a class society in the full sense of the word. Previously, in the Middle Ages, belonging to an estate was one’s primary social attribute. In modernity, the entire social stratification was reduced to the attribute of material riches. Class is thus a phenomenon of modernity.

Class War

Georg Grosz, Eclipse of the Sun (1926) Georg Grosz, Eclipse of the Sun (1926)

The class character of bourgeois society, however, was perceived most distinctly not by the ideology of the bourgeoisie, but by Marx. He elaborated his revolutionary teaching on the basis of the concept of class. At its foundation was the idea that class society and the material inequality characteristic of it, elevated to the highest criterion, exposes the essence of the nature of society, man, and history. In Marx’s class picture, there are always rich and poor, and the rich always get richer, and the poor, poorer. Consequently, there are two classes, the bourgeoisie and proletariat, and their struggle is the motor and meaning of history.

All of Marxism is built on this idea: when we speak of classes, we speak of two antagonistic classes, the difference between which is not relative but absolute, since each embodies in itself two irreconcilable worlds: the world of Exploitation and the world of (honest) Labor. There are two classes: the class of Labor (the proletariat) and the class of Exploitation (the bourgeoisie). In the capitalist system, the class of Exploitation dominates. The class of Labor must become conscious of itself, arise, and overthrow the class of Exploiters. They must create, at first, the Government of Labor—socialism. Then, after the last remnants of bourgeois society have been destroyed, communist society will appear, now fully classless. According to Marx, a classlessness is possible only after the victory of the proletariat and the radical destruction of the bourgeoisie.

For Marx, a “middle class” simply cannot exist. This concept has no independent semantics in Marxist ideology, since everything that is between the bourgeoisie and proletariat (for instance, the petty bourgeoisie or prosperous peasantry) relates essentially either to the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. For Marxists, the “middle class” is a fiction. It doesn’t exist, and the concept itself is nothing but an instrument of the ideological propaganda of capitalists, trying to fool the proletariat, promising a future integration into the class of the bourgeoisie (which, according to Marx, cannot happen, since the appropriation of surplus value prevents the proletariat’s enrichment).

We can draw the following conclusion: the term “middle class” is a fiction for Marxists, an artificial figure of bourgeois ideology, called upon to conceal the real picture of society and the processes occurring in it. At the same time, Marxists admit the fact of a transition from estate society to class society and, consequently, agree with the bourgeoisie that a society of material inequalities (class society) is “more progressive” than a society of estate inequality; they disagree with the bourgeoisie in that, for communists, this is not the “end of history,” but only the beginning of a full-fledged revolutionary struggle. Liberals, on the other hand, insist that material inequality is entirely moral and justified and maintain that the communists’ striving for material equality is, by contrast, amoral and pathological. For liberals, “the end of history” begins when everyone becomes “middle class.” For communists, it begins when the proletariat finally destroy the bourgeoisie and build a communist society of total equality.

The Middle Class within Liberalism

The concept of a middle class is implicitly present in liberal ideology from the very beginning. That said, it only receives full implementation in the course of the establishment of sociology, which endeavors to combine many avant-garde theses of Marxism (in particular, the centrality of the concept of class) and bourgeois conditions. Sociology is thus a hybrid form: ideologically, it is between communism and liberalism; methodologically, it emphasizes a scientific, analytic approach. We can distinguish two poles in sociology, the social (the school of Durkheim, the theories of Sorokin, etc.) and the liberal (Weber, the Chicago and “Austrian” Schools in the United States, etc.)

In any case, the specific character of the liberal understanding of class is the conviction that, in the standard bourgeois society, there is only one class, and all differences between the depths and the heights are relative and conditional. If, for Marx, there are always two classes, and they exist in implacable enmity, for liberals (Adam Smith, for instance) there is always ultimately one class—the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie nominally embraces the entire capitalist society. The poorest layers of this society are, as it were, incompletely bourgeois. The richest, on the other hand, area super-bourgeois. But the social nature of all people is qualitatively identical: all are given equal starting opportunities, setting out from which the bourgeois can either reach a certain level of success, or fail to reach it and tumble down into the incompletely bourgeois.

Hence, Adam Smith takes as a standard situation the following classical liberal narrative:

The baker hires a worker, who has recently come to the city for work. After working as an assistant to the owner, the hired worker learns to bake bread and observes the organization of processes of interaction with suppliers and customers. After some time, the hired worker borrows credit and opens a bakery. After first working independently, he eventually hires a helper, who has come to the city for work, and the cycle repeats itself.

In this model, we see the following. Not only is society thought of as middle class, but there exists the already-middle-class and the not-yet-middle-class. In this picture, the hired worker does not form a peculiar type, but represents the potentially bourgeois, while the ready baker is actually bourgeois (though even he, coming to ruin, can theoretically be in the position again of the hired worker, the not-yet-bourgeois).

According to Marx, the quantity of riches in society is a fixed quantity, and the presence of two classes is based on precisely this: those who have riches will never share them with the poor, since life in capitalist society is a zero-sum game. For Smith, on the other hand, riches constantly increase. As a result, the boundaries of the middle class continuously expand. Capitalism is based on the presumption of the constant growth of riches for all members of society; ideally, all humanity must become middle class.

At the same time, there are two approaches to the middle class in liberal ideology. The first corresponds to left liberals: they demand that the super-bourgeois (the big capitalists) consciously share a part of the profits with the middle class and petty bourgeoisie, since this will lead to the stability of the system and to an acceleration of the growth of the middle class globally.

The second approach is characteristic of right liberals: they object to the burden placed on the super-bourgeoisie by taxation and welfare projects; they believe these contradicts the spirit of “free enterprise” and slows the dynamics of the development of the capitalist system, since the super-bourgeoisie stimulates the growth of the middle-bourgeoisie, which, in turn, urges on the petty bourgeoisie and the not-yet-bourgeoisie.

Accordingly, the concept of the middle class becomes, for left liberals, a moral value and ideological slogan (as in, “We must build a stronger middle class!”). For right liberals, on the other hand, the growth of the middle class is a natural consequence of the development of the capitalist system and does not demand special attention or elevation to a value.

Class as Social Strata in Sociology

In sociology, this basic ideological attitude of liberalism concerning the primacy of the middle class manifests itself in the relativization of the model of stratification. Sociology divides society into three classes: upper, middle, and lower (to this is sometimes added the underclass of pure marginals and social deviants). These classes are not identical to Marxist, nor to strictly liberal class concepts (since liberalism knows only one class, the middle class, while the others are thought of as its variations). This division fixes the dimension of individuals along four indicators: material sufficiency, level of fame, position in administrative hierarchy, and level of education. On the basis of strictly qualitative criteria, any person can be related to one of three social strata.

Here, the concept of class does not have a direct ideological content, but, as a rule, it is applied to bourgeois society, where sociology as a science appeared. This sociological classes, identified with social strata, should be distinguished from Marxist classes and from standard liberal conceptions about the middle class as the universal and single class.

In this case, in a bourgeois framework, the struggle for the rights of the underclass or support of the lower class (in a sociological sense) can be thought of as a left continuation of the liberal approach: attention to the lower layer of bourgeois society stipulates striving to facilitate its integration into the middle class, i.e. to pull them up the level of the bourgeois. For right liberals, such an effort is “amoral,” since it contradicts the main principle of social freedom: initiative and honest competition (the strong win, the weak lose, but such are the rules of the game; all should endeavor to become strong). The extreme version of right or even far-right liberalism is the “objectivism” of Ayn Rand.

The Middle Class and Nationalism

Thomas Hart Benton, Steel in America Today (1930) Thomas Hart Benton, Steel in America Today (1930)

There is one other ideological system of modernity, which we have yet to consider—nationalism. Nationalism is a variation of bourgeois ideology, which insists that the standard horizon of bourgeois society should not be humanity (the “cosmopolitanism” and “globalism” of classical liberals) but society as defined by the borders of a nation-state. The nation or people is taken as the maximal unit of integration. The market is open within the boundaries of the nation. But in the inter-state system, economic activity transitions to the level of the state, not private actors. From here, there arises the legitimization of such instruments as tariffs, protectionism, etc.

Nationalism thinks of the middle class not abstractly but concretely, as the middle class of a given national formation of the state. Nationalism also, like liberalism, accepts as a standard figure of society the townsperson-citizen-bourgeois, but puts the accent precisely on citizen, and what’s more, the citizen of a given national state.

The “nation” as a political formation becomes a synonym of bourgeois society. For nationalists, beyond this society, there exists only a zone of national and social risk. The nation is thought of here as a community of the middle class. And the task consists in integrating the lower layers into the national whole, often with the help of welfare measures. That is why nationalism can possess numerous socialist features, though the ideological basis here is different: pulling the economically weak to the level of the middle class is a task of national integration, not a consequence of orientation towards justice and material equality. We see something similar with left liberals, who consider integrating the under-class into broader society as a condition for the stability of the development of the capitalist system.

Nationalism, as a rule, relates negatively to national minorities and especially to immigrants. This is connected with the fact that in the eyes of nationalists, these elements disturb the homogeneity of the national middle class. Moreover, some national minorities are blamed for concentrating in their hands too much material wealth, in other words, those who challenge the national middle class “from above.” Nationalist feelings of injustice are expressed in antagonism towards “oligarchs” and, often times, as “economic anti-semitism,” a sentiment that was not foreign to Marx himself. In turn, other non-nationals (usually immigrants) are blamed for increasing the numbers of the lower strata and underclass, the integration of which is complicated by national differences. A variant of anti-immigrant nationalism consists in the charge that the increase of cheap labor slows the process of enriching the “native” population and the “harmonious” (for nationalists) growth of the middle class.

The Problem of the Middle Class in Contemporary Russia

After making these necessary methodological refinements, we can finally raise the question: what is the middle class for Russia? What are its prospects? Is it important for us or, on the contrary, are discussions about it optional and secondary?

It is impossible to answer this without turning to one of the three classical ideologies (including the versions contained in each through the polarities of left and right).

If we take the position of right liberalism, the answer is this: we should not pay attention to the middle class; the most important thing is to secure maximum economic freedom (that is, complete removal of government from business, taxes approximating zero, etc.), and everything will fall into place. Right liberals and consistent globalists are convinced that the growth of the middle class in Russia is not the goal; it is a consequence of the nation’s integration into the global economy, the opening of internal markets for external competition, and the prompt dismantling of an overbearing state.

If we take the position of left liberalism, then our attitude changes substantially. The broadening of the middle class is the number one task for our society, since the successful establishment of capitalism in Russia depends on precisely this, as does its integration into the international community. A small and weak middle class facilitates the degradation of society into “lumpens” and “oligarchs” and indirectly helps nationalistic and socialistic anti-liberal tendencies capture the minds of the population. Social injustice and inequality, the volume of the underclass, and the slow growth of the middle class demand special attention and the execution of goal-directed policies, since the fate of capitalism in Russia is at stake. Again, the struggle for the middle class is a slogan of left liberals. And they are the ones who would most likely focus this topic, since it is the core of their ideological positions.

If we are contemporary Marxists by inertia or conscious choice, then any mention of a middle class must evoke our rage, since this is the ideological platform of the sworn enemies of communism—bourgeois liberals. For communists, the following is correct: the narrower the middle class, the sharper the social contradictions and the more acute the imperative of the class struggle of proletariat against bourgeoisie. Thus, the communist perceives a large lower social strata and underclass against the background of prospering oligarchs as the ideal social picture. For communists, the middle class is a lie, an evil, and its absence or underdevelopment is a chance and window of opportunity for revolution. If some “communist” thinks otherwise, then he is not a communist, but a revisionist and compromiser with the bourgeoisie.

If we are nationalists, then the middle class acquires for us an additional dimension. It is thought of as the skeleton of national society in opposition to the “immigrant underclass” and “foreign-born oligarchy.” This is the peculiar notion of the middle class in the nationalist framework. And the cutting edges of this conception of the middle class are directed against oligarchs (the upper class) and immigrants (the lower class and underclass); the middle class itself is regarded as the national class, i.e. as the Russian class, which includes Russian entrepreneurs, Russian proprietors, the Russian bourgeoisie, etc.

It is impossible to speak of the middle class as such, without adhering (consciously or not) to an ideological position. But since in Russia, according to the constitution, there is no state ideology, theoretically we can interpret the middle class however we want. The fact that this concept has become the center of discussions attests to the fact that in contemporary Russia, by the inertia of the ‘90s and early 2000s, a liberal paradigm prevails. In the absence of a state ideology, liberals nevertheless strive to impose on us their paradigm as dominant.

Let’s conduct a thought experiment: a discussion about the middle class is taking place in a socially significant platform, for instance on one of Russia’s major television stations. Representatives of all possible ideologies of modernity are participating: Russian liberals, Russian communists, and Russian nationalists.

The first, a Russian liberals, would say:

The growth of the middle class and elevation of the level of wealth for the citizens of Russia is the main task of our society and government.

The second, a Russian communist:

Illegal privatization in the ‘90s put national property in the hands of oligarchs; look how our people live in the provinces in poverty and squalor!

The third, aRussian nationalists:

Illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Russians, and they’re all led by Jewish and Caucasian oligarchs. That is a catastrophe for the Russian middle class!

Despite the fact that the viewers might like all three positions, the jury and “respected experts” will, undoubtedly, grant victory to the liberals. For ultimately, we still find ourselves in the condition of the ideological dictatorship of liberalism. This would happen despite the fact that society, recognizing the right of liberal discourse, fully and persistently denies its supremacy and absolute right. (In contrast, for the political elite, liberal dogmas remain sacred and unshakeable.)

From this, we can draw a conclusion: the middle class and discussion about it reflect the ideological order of liberals among Russia’s political and economic elite. If we do not share liberal axioms, then we might not consider this topic at all, or else offer an interpretation (Marxist, nationalistic, etc.) that liberals will vigorously reject.

The Fourth Political Theory: Beyond Class

In conclusion, we can conduct an analysis of the middle class in the context of the Fourth Political Theory. This theory is built on the imperative of overcoming modernity and all three political ideologies in order (the order has tremendous significance): (1) liberalism, (2) communism, (3) nationalism (fascism). The subject of this theory, in its simple version, is the concept “narod,”roughly, “Volk” or “people,” in the sense of “peoplehood” and “peoples,” not “masses.”

In its complex version, the subject of this theory is Heidegger’s category of Dasein. We can say, as an approximation, that narod must be thought of existentially, as the living, organic, historical presence of Russians in a qualitative spatial landscape, in the expanses of Great Russia. But if the subject is the narod and not the individual (as in liberalism), not two antagonistic classes (as in Marxism), and not the political nation (as in nationalism), then all the obligatory elements of the modern picture of the world change. There is no longer materialism, economism, recognition of the fatefulness and universality of the bourgeois revolutions, linear time, Western civilization as a universal standard, secularism, human rights, civil society, democracy, the market, or any other axioms and buzzwords of modernity. The Fourth Political Theory proposes solutions and horizons knowingly excluded by liberalism, communism, and nationalism. (More on this is found in my book The Fourth Political Theory and my new book The Fourth Way.)

On the whole, The Fourth Political Theory, when applied to the problem of the “middle class” says the following:

The transition from caste to estate and from estate to class is not a universal law. This process can occur as it did in modern Western Europe, or it can fail to occur or occur partially, as is happening today in non-Western societies. Hence, the very concept of class as applied to society has a limited applicability. Class and classes can be identified in modern Western European societies, but whether they can replace the caste inequality of the soul and human nature is not at all obvious. Western societies themselves are confident that classes do so. But an existential approach to this problematic can call this into question.

The most important thing is how the human relates to death. There are those who can look it in the face, and those who always have their backs turned to it. But the origins of the social hierarchy, the fundamental distinction between people and the superiority of some to others consists in precisely this. Material conditions are not decisive here. Hegel’s interpretation of Master and Slave is based on this criterion. Hegel thinks that the Master is the one who challenges death, who steps out to encounter it. Acting in this way, he does not acquire immortality, but he acquires a Slave, one who runs from death, lacking the courage to look it in the eye. The Master rules in societies where death stands at the center of attention. The Slave acquires political rights only where death is bracketed and removed to the periphery. So long as death remains in society’s field of vision, we are dealing with rule by the wise and heroic, philosophers and warriors. This is caste society or estate society. But not class society. Where class begins, life ends, and the alienated strategies of reification, objectivation, and mediation prevail.

Hence, the Fourth Political Theory thinks that the construction of society on the basis of the criterion of property is a pathology. The fate of man and narod is history and geography—but in no way economics, the market, or competition.

The Fourth Political Theory rejects class as a concept and denies its relevance for the creation of a political system based on the existential understanding of the narod. Even more so does it reject the concept of the “middle class,” which reflects the very essence of the class approach. The middle class, like the middle (that is, average) person, is a social figure situated at the point of maximal social illusion, at the epicenter of slumber. The representative of the middle class corresponds to Heidegger’s figure of das Man, the generalized bearer of “common sense,” which is subject to no verification or examination. (Das Man is often translated into English as “The They,” in the sense of “They say so-and-so will win the election this year…) Das Man is the greatest of illusions.

The middle, average person is not at all the same as the normal person. “Norm” is a synonym for “ideal,” that to which one should strive, that which one should become. The middle person is a person in the least degree, the most ex-individual of individuals, the most null and barren quality. The middle person isn’t a person at all; he is a parody of a person. He is Nietzsche’s “Last Man.” And he is deeply abnormal, since for a normal person, it is natural to experience horror, to think about death, to acutely experience the finitude of being, to call into question—sometimes tragically insoluble—the external world, society, and relations to another.

The middle class doesn’t think; it consumes. It doesn’t live; it seeks security and comfort. It doesn’t die, it blows out like a car tire (it emits its spirit, as Baudrillard wrote in Symbolic Exchange and Death). The middle class is the most stupid, submissive, predictable, cowardly, and pathetic of all classes. It is equally far from the blazing elements of poverty and the perverted poison of incalculable wealth, which is even closer to hell than extreme poverty. The middle class has no ontological foundation for existing at all, and if it does, then only somewhere far below, beneath the rule of the philosopher-kings and warrior-heroes. It is the Third Estate, imagining about itself that it is the one and only. This is an unwarranted pretension. Modernity and capitalism (in the sense of the universality of the middle class) is nothing more than a temporary aberration. The time of this historical misunderstanding is coming to an end.

Thus, today, when the agony of this worst of possible social arrangements still continues, you must look beyond capitalism. At the same time, we must value and take interest in both what preceded it, the Middle Ages, and in that which will come after it and that which we must create—a New Middle Ages.


Translated by Michael Millerman


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STIHIE: Gay Love Travels in the Name of Consumerism

Marriott is going all out for its new LGBT marketing campaign #Love Travels to show that even international hotel chains care about promoting the new morality.

Marriott is going all out for its new LGBT marketing campaign #Love Travels to show that even international hotel chains care about promoting the new morality.

We’re just going to let this article on the campaign speak for itself:

The social, print, out-of-home and digital effort — themed #LoveTravels — focuses on self-identity, pride, love of travel, sense of home and comfort, and Marriott properties as the place to experience all of it.

The effort involves a partnership with photographer Braden Summers, and features his portraits both of well-known gay and transgender Americans and regular real-life couples.

In the former category are Jason Collins, professional basketball player who came out last year, thus becoming the first out pro athlete in one of the four major sports; Geena Rocero, a transgender Filipina fashion model and social advocate who made waves revealing her birth gender and speaking out at events like TED; and Talisha Padgett-Matthews, a Marriott associate. The photos also feature several premiere Marriott hotel properties in New York and Miami.

“We wanted to make a bold statement,” says Kristine Friend, senior director, segment marketing at Marriott International. “We are tripling the investment. In the past, for example, we hadn’t done any mobile or tablet advertising, and we also hadn’t had this degree of print or display advertising. And we’re doing a ton of out-of-home.”

Friend tells Marketing Daily that the program, running through Nov. 30 with digital running through year’s end, reflects what’s happening demographically and socially.

“We are increasing our commitment to reflect what the world looks like,” she says. “We wanted to do something different to illustrate a wider sense of belonging.”

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The Real May Day

Today we witness the ancient holiday of May Day. On this occasion, I think it is appropriate to recall what May Day is, what it means, and why we need to keep it. 

May Day is traditionally the dead-center of Spring, and it is also the day we celebrate the impending arrival of Summer. It is a joyous time, and the festivities throughout Europe (for this is a celebration particular to the Northern Hemisphere) during the Middle Ages were famed for their gaiety, their special carols, and the general attitude of good will. 

Today we witness the ancient holiday of May Day. On this occasion, I think it is appropriate to recall what May Day is, what it means, and why we need to keep it.

May Day is traditionally the dead-center of Spring, and it is also the day we celebrate the impending arrival of Summer. It is a joyous time, and the festivities throughout Europe (for this is a celebration particular to the Northern Hemisphere) during the Middle Ages were famed for their gaiety, their special carols, and the general attitude of good will.

May Day is commonly known to have something to do with a Pole, the May Pole. People dance around it, and many believe it to be a phallic symbol. Which it is, but more than this, it is a symbol of the Center, like the lingam of Shiva. In Bulgaria, May Day is called Irminden. Irmin comes from the name of an ancient Germanic deity, whose shrine at the Externsteine in Germany was destroyed by Charlemagne. His symbol was a great pole or Tree, bifurcating at the top, with branches curling toward the heavens. This symbol may still be seen in ancient and medieval art, and at the Exernsteine itself. This tree is Irminsul, and it represented the World Tree, the Norse Yggdrasil, which sat in the Polar North and revolved the Nine Worlds. Thus, this God is really a Titan, for it is Atlas who bore and revolved the World.

May Day was not well-digested by Christianity, and remained a kind of Pagan festival, with songs often being sung to honor various goddesses like “The Queen of May”—sometimes associated, as in the famous Huntingdonshire May Carol, with the Virgin Mary. Let’s take a look at the language of that song.

God Bless Aunt Mary Moses,
in all her Power, and Might-o
And send us peace to England,
both now and ever more-o.

This is a very strange invocation in the midst of the pagan revelry that occupies the rest of the song, with its crown of horns (“have no scorn”), a reference to the ancient horned gods like Pan and various Celtic deities, and the obsession with death and resurrection, a theme the Medievals would have just celebrated at Easter. But the appetite of our ancestors for feasts, dances, and merriment knew no bounds—in fact we even took our parties to the heavens. Not only were the Gods of Olympus perpetually engaged in feasting and carnal pleasures, but the Norse concept of Valhalla featured a perpetual and highly symbolic feasting on a Boar that was resurrected every night—a fascinating myth. To quote the favorite song of the great Pagan Englishman, D.H. Lawrence “There’s red wine, and feast for heros. And harping too.”

But back to the subject of Aunt Mary Moses. “Aunt” is merely a Cornish honorific for a respected lady. Mary refers to the Virgin. It is now widely understood that the Virgin Mary, at least in the form we know her, is a survival from an era long before Christ. In her blue garments, her maternal and matrimonial relationship to God, even in those places where she is or was at one time patroness, she mimics the attributes of the Goddess Isis. The cult of Isis is known to have spread all throughout Europe during Roman times, and as a mystery religion, it was greatly in vogue with women. We see blatant marks of this today: Paris comes from Iseos, the grove of Isis, and, indeed, the Virgin was patroness of Paris during the Early Middle Ages. There are also in Europe numerous shrines to the “Black Virgin.” I will pass over the disgraceful (not to say blasphemous) theories about a sub-Saharan origin for this, and point out that this also has its roots in the cult of Isis, who was depicted as Black, though with Aryan features; black, like the rich soil of Egypt (before the encroachment of the desert); black, like the seemingly endless night of the furthest Polar North. I should not neglect to point out that the parallels between Mary and Isis do not preclude her taking the aspects of many other local pagan goddesses. This is clearly the case in the Celtic countries, for instance.

“Moses” is stranger, harder to explain. Some speculate that this is included because it is common surname in Cornwall, or that it is code for the exiled King Charles, but this begs the question. Others claim that the name comes from a misunderstanding of the Bible dating to the attempts of early missionaries to depict Christianity as a warrior religion (which is what it became, regardless of the intentions of Christ, which were ambiguous at best). These missionaries might have spoken of a great Moses dynasty from which sprang a great line of Kings, Virgil’s famous “lineage of gold,” the last and greatest of which would be Jesus, the Kristos, the “Anointed One.” This is a very interesting theory, and should not be discounted entirely.

I submit a new theory. One of the famous “translation errors” in the Vulgate is the description of Moses as having horns. This is the Moses we recognize in Medieval Art, right on down to the sculpture of Michelangelo. I think that this is not an error so much as the possession of St. Jerome by an archetype, a heritage of his Mediterranean blood. Moses is, for the medieval, the image of the Great God Pan. He is Cernunnos, perhaps he is the Shiva of Mohenjo Daro. It really does not matter that he bears little in common with these deities upon close examination. He was an image, a symbol of something greater, something that came before. Like the Green Men that populate the Cathedrals of Europe, the Horned Moses lent to the younger religion an air of authority, mystery, and hidden power. Mary Moses would thus be referent to that, and to those legends. And it is not amiss to note that Mary Moses connotes a conjugal relationship, of the Virgin possessed by the God, a perennial Archetype.

May Day is an inescapable part of our illustrious past, a glorious time. It should not surprise us then that it is fading away so rapidly. Who among us has danced around a May Pole? Who has left flowers and gifts in secret on a neighbor’s doorstep? Fewer and fewer. May Day was first subvert by communists for their “International Worker’s Day.” Shamefully, in many countries, the celebration of atheistic, subversive Communism, which does nothing but uproot and destroy Tradition and put up barriers between men of common blood and destiny, is more prominent than traditional festivals. In other countries, the failure of the demon of Capital to adequately monetize and quantify the celebrations resolved them to merely ignore them and deemphasize their importance.

Today, May Day celebrations are not promoted publicly with a few very slight exceptions, most of which are tainted by the pathetic spirit of “historical reenactment,” a wretched term, as we ought to “reenact” or better “re-live” our history every day of our lives, not only as part of ridiculous costume parties at prescribed times and places. It is up to us to keep up these traditions, and to further them, and to conquer again the psycho-spiritual space of our people, the first and foremost Lebensraum.

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To Survive—One Hour Longer Than the Machine

The crisis that began in 2008 with the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble is no ordinary downturn. All observers understood this intuitively. Something has gone wrong with our world, something lying at the very foundation of our way of living, producing, and consuming—and even of our way of thinking.

This something that has just been broken is our faith in the millenarian mechanism of Progress.  

The following is the Foreword to the French edition of Survive—The Economic Collapse.


The crisis that began in 2008 with the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble is no ordinary downturn. All observers understood this intuitively. Something has gone wrong with our world, something lying at the very foundation of our way of living, producing, and consuming—and even of our way of thinking.
This something that has just been broken is our faith in the millenarian mechanism of Progress.

For three centuries, Western man has had the idea that he does not need God, since he is his own savior. Humanity is the messiah of humanity: thus proclaimed the new religion. A religion that entered into Catholicism on tiptoes with Descartes. A religion, also, that ended up substituting itself everywhere in the place of the ancient faith.

People sometimes laugh at Juche, that ridiculous North Korean ideology whose only article states that man can transform nature indefinitely. Wrongly. In more sophisticated forms, all contemporary systems rest upon the postulate of human omnipotence. China has razed the house of Confucius and frenetically converted to the religion of growth. Eternal India—yes, even India—has set itself to conceiving the future as a rising curve.

All mankind has gradually entered into the naïve communion of the new religion, much less rational than it seems: technology to perform miracles, banks to serve as temples of the monetary idol. Monetarist neoliberalism—the last ideology, standing victorious upon the corpses of Jacobinism, classical liberalism, social democracy, communism, and fascism—would lead man to the millennium, the long-lost terrestrial paradise soon to be regained.

It was a false promise and a trap. We ought to have been suspicious. For the past few decades, the facade of the progressivist temple has begun to crack. . .

Since the 1970s, various Cassandras have been warning us: a project of indefinite growth cannot be carried out in a finite world. Their arguments have been swept under the rug as “not taking account of scientific perspectives.”

In the 1980s, the collapse of the USSR following the Chernobyl catastrophe provided food for thought for anyone willing to think: “so, an extremely large, over-integrated system can collapse suddenly, once a certain threshold of fragility is reached?” Here again, we have refused to draw the lessons from the event, preferring to blame the collapse on communist ideology without posing the question of over-concentration and over-integration as such.

During the 1990s, the West was giddy with triumph. Those were the mad years of the Internet bubble. “Who cares that the material world is finite: capitalism will invade virtual worlds of its own construction!” But the dream ended abruptly when the model of the new economy revealed its real nature—it was a mirage, an illusion. If there was a dizzying fall at the turn of the millennium, it was not that of the Twin Towers, but the collapse of hopes placed in virtual reality, the escape hatch through which were pushed the ever more insurmountable internal contradictions of a capitalist system driven mad by the permanent confusion between the monetary map and the economic landscape.
Once again, people decided to see nothing, to learn nothing. In order to maintain at all costs the illusion that the millenarian utopia could construct the meaning of history, the financial oligarchy put the economic system on life support, giving the American economy fix after fix of debt. It was an absurd effort that, besides, pointed out the absurdity of neoliberal monetarist semantics.

This absurdity could only endure for so long. In the fall of 2008, its time was up.

A great shiver ran down the spine of the hundred-thousand-headed beast—the ruling class. Amidst the crash, still more dollars were injected into the system, like so many symbols that concealed nothing, but which once more, for a few years, perhaps, allowed the neoliberal propaganda machine to keep grinding away at all costs.

These were just the last, dilatory maneuvers that will not change anything in the end: it is all an illusion. It hardly matters that financial indices are artificially maintained by lowering interest rates to zero. Breaking the thermometer never cured a fever.

Economic rationality alone is not able to provide the meaning of history. Technology cannot accomplish everything. A project of infinite development cannot be conducted on a finite planet. Man cannot have everything he wants; he must want what he is able to get.

We are faced with a return to limits.
Mankind will not be its own messiah—the humanist religion is a failure.

The beast with a hundred thousand heads is, indeed, behaving like a beast—in particular, it is as dangerous as a wounded animal that feels its hour has struck. Back from the failure of the credit system that served as an ideological shelter for their power, the elites and their trustees are now struggling to save their power, to preserve the messianic fiction, while gradually restricting it to themselves. On the one hand, a superior humanity that wants to be a messiah for itself and itself alone; on the other, an inferior humanity sent back into the symbolic shadows of thought’s absence, the non- existence of meaning—in fact, into the negation of its status as an autonomous subject, where it is forbidden to define a mental space free of the constraints placed upon it. A humanity skinned of its spirit.
Such is the generative schema of the next decades. The future is menacing. We might as well understand this. The humanist religion is going to transform itself into an anti-human ideology.
This turnabout, the creating of a monster by those who sought to make an angel, has been underway since the 1970s. But the 2010s will mark a perceptible acceleration in this process. And life, in consequence, will soon be very difficult for many of us.
In this context, the stakes of the game, for true men, will soon be to survive. That’s all—to survive.

Going back to the ranks of the powerful madmen is not an option. You might obtain the intoxicating illusion of superiority, and certainly easier living conditions, but only at the price of your soul. Resigning yourself to vegetating among the mass of the ruled is hardly less depressing. (And amidst that oppressed and impoverished body, violence will be the norm.) Our contemporaries have too deeply assimilated the perverse logic of the consumer society to convert suddenly to the voluntary simplicity that might save them.

Survival will almost certainly play itself out away from today’s bustle, in refuges we must know how to create and defend. Physical survival, yes; but also psychological and spiritual survival.

Of course, this is no exalted ideal. But at this stage, resisting the inhuman machine will often mean passing by it unnoticed, and above all, being able to do without it.

A modest struggle, but hardly a contemptible one.

For one day, when that machine has exhausted all the possibilities of its original élan, it will totter and fall. Then, for us, it will be enough to be numerous, to maintain solidarity, so as collectively to regain control of our Earth after we have fiercely defended our few areas of retreat. It is in order to be there, at that decisive moment, that we must survive now. So do not be ashamed: let us build our refuges! Remember that a rebel wins if he can hold out one hour longer than his adversary. Let us organize ourselves to do so.

So, my friend . . . wipe away that sad, drawn smile. Raise up those eyes you have kept lowered for so long. Look straight ahead at the horizon. Hold your chin up. Your life has meaning—to survive one hour longer than the machine.

Pass the word on: comrade, our children are counting on you!


Michel Drac is a writer, political commentator, and economist. For fifteen years, he worked as a controller. He is the author of numerous books and the founder of the publishing house Le Retour aux Sources. He is also a member of the national association Equality & Reconciliation.

Survive—The Economic Collapse

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