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Tag: Equality

Review: “Right Wing Critics of Conservatism” by George Hawley

Western Civilization, the #TruConservatives tell us, consists of nothing more than classical liberalism. And American conservatism, insofar as we are offered a definition, is a vague belief in “limited government” and “the Constitution.” These are combined with “Judeo-Christian values,” said to be eternal but actually evolving at a stately pace a few years behind the leftist avant-garde. Knowledge is dangerous for any respectable conservative because if you explore the history of one of your heroes before 1965, you’ll find views on race and identity as bad as anything within that gross Alternative Right.

 

Western Civilization, the #TruConservatives tell us, consists of nothing more than classical liberalism. And American conservatism, insofar as we are offered a definition, is a vague belief in “limited government” and “the Constitution.” These are combined with “Judeo-Christian values,” said to be eternal but actually evolving at a stately pace a few years behind the leftist avant-garde. Knowledge is dangerous for any respectable conservative because if you explore the history of one of your heroes before 1965, you’ll find views on race and identity as bad as anything within that gross Alternative Right.

At the same time, even those on the far Right are often unwilling to identify as such. Instead, they (or we) are “beyond Left and Right” and part of some exciting new paradigm, even though we inevitably find ourselves falling back on those old labels from the French Revolution to describe the politics of today.

Do any of these labels matter anymore? And how can we examine an American conservative movement which constantly reinvents its own history and redefines its supposed “principles?”

The invaluable new book from Professor George Hawley, “Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism,” is an indispensable beginning to confronting these questions. Hawley first came to my attention with his research on voting patterns, demographics, and the impact of the immigration issue in elections. His book on the White Vote, that dominant and yet almost unexamined demographic in American elections, is a starting point for anyone interested in Identitarian politics because it provides the hard numbers behind the voting behavior of European-Americans. It also dispels many of the goofy myths propounded by GOP “strategists” entranced by visions of Detroit Republicans.

Hawley takes on a much broader topic here. In so doing, Hawley has to not only describe the history of the American conservative movement, but define what he means by “Left” and “Right.” Hawley easily dismantles classification schemes based on a person’s view of human nature or the old “individualism vs. collectivism” canard. Borrowing from Paul Gottfried, Hawley says, “The political left will be defined as containing all ideological movements that consider equality the highest political value.” In contrast, the Right is defined as: “[E]ncompassing all of those ideologies that, while not necessarily rejecting equality as a social good, do not rank at the top of the hierarchy of values. The right furthermore fights the left in all cases where the push for equality threatens some other value held in higher esteem.”

This largely fits with what I’ve argued in the past, that the Left “refers to those who hold equality as their highest value, whereas the [Right] refers to those who recognize hierarchy.” This System also avoids the trap that American conservatives are constantly stumbling into, where the Left is simply “anything I don’t like” and the Right is “whatever version of post-1965 Republican slogans won’t get me called racist.”

As Hawley notes, this means thinkers as diverse as Murray Rothbard, Wendell Berry, Pat Buchanan and Alain de Benoist can all be meaningfully characterized as on the “Right,” though they have little else in common. It also implies action – you are only on the Right if you are part of something which “fights the left.”

Though Hawley does not say this, this suggests there are many “Rights,” as each right wing movement has its vision of The Good, The Beautiful, and The True it will fight for. We can talk about the Islamic State or Polish nationalists as both being “right-wing,” even though they would gladly slaughter each other. Though every right wing movement will hold its own source of excellence or morality as supreme, in truth there are as many as there are peoples, faiths, and ideologies. The principle of hierarchy (and opposition to degeneracy, however defined) itself is the closest we can come to defining a singular, universal “Right.”

With this framework, we are able to do what “movement conservatives” can’t and see how “the conservative movement” wasn’t some primordial truth handed down from antiquity but an artificial conglomeration clumsily pieced together for temporary political needs. Hawley identifies the prewar “Old Right,” exemplified by figures such as Albert Jay Nock, H.L. Mencken, and others as libertarian, antiwar, and suspicious of egalitarianism, democracy, and Christian religious belief. In contrast, the postwar conservative movement pieced together by William F. Buckley Jr. was a creature of the Cold War, with a diverse group of thinkers lumped together to oppose international communism, even if this meant, in Buckley’s words, “[accepting] Big Government for the duration… [and] a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”

The ideological coherence (such as it is) of the conservative movement today is an effect, rather than a cause – the conservative movement was a tactical creation, something put together to oppose the Soviet threat. And the work of many of the key thinkers present at the beginning, men like Russell Kirk or Richard Weaver, has been all but ignored despite the occasional rhetorical tribute.

This is critical for the modern American Right because it implies a new crisis and could create a new realignment. It has now been almost two decades since the hammer and sickle fell and insofar as there is any wishful thinking about a global revolution led by Russia it’s one coming from the Right. Though there’s been a half-hearted attempt to substitute “Islamofascism” as a way to get the old band back together, we face utterly new challenges based on identity, not ideology. The brutal demographic realities behind the migration crisis could prove to be the key catalyst for a new movement.

Hawley tells the familiar story of the purges which have defined the American Right, a story many of you are already familiar with. The expulsion of the John Birch Society and Ayn Rand and the Objectivists both served as one-offs. However, the conservative movement’s determination to police itself over race is a continuing, and one suspects, never ending drama.

Hawley observes: “The question is why the conservative movement made this about-face on the issue of race. It is worth remembering that during the pivotal years of the civil rights movement the major voices of American conservatism – including Barry Goldwater and National Review – were openly against legislation such as the Civil Rights Act. Some of the most prominent early conservatives defended the social order of the antebellum south.” Hawley accurately characterizes the conservative acceptance of civil rights as a “surrender” and suggests the opposition to candidates such as David Duke was in many ways driven by “embarrassment.” Even National Review couldn’t find many problems in Duke’s platform, just that he used to be in the Klan.

Even after Duke faded, respectable conservatives are constantly forced to confront dissidents who become a little too vocal about racial realities. The purges of Peter Brimelow, Sam Francis, John Derbyshire, and Jason Richwine are all addressed.

Hawley also recognizes race may not be the only issue the conservative movement will retroactively interpret. He slyly observes, “It is not implausible to imagine that within a few decades the movement will try to disassociate itself from the anti-gay marriage stance it promoted during the Bush years, and perhaps even claim that acceptance of gay marriage represented a victory for conservatives.”

There’s also a great deal of attention given to a story paleoconservatives know well, but the younger Alt Right may have never heard of – the battle between Harry Jaffa and M.E. “Mel” Bradford. Hawley identifies Harry Jaffa, a student of Leo Strauss, as one of the first nominally conservative thinkers to argue “equality” itself was a conservative virtue. This is what allows conservatives today to argue with a straight face that Martin Luther King Jr. was actually a “true conservative,” even though, as Hawley accurately observes, conservatives all but unanimously opposed him while he was alive. Jaffa is thus fondly remembered at outlets like The Federalist for pushing the American Right in a pro-Lincoln direction with “all men are created equal” as the defining idea of the country. We might even call Jaffa the Founding Father of Cuckservatism.

Bradford, a Southerner, rejected Jaffa’s push to reinvent the likes of Abraham Lincoln as a conservative hero and instead attacked the “cult of equality.” Hawley writes: “Bradford was concerned with the issue of rhetoric, and he excoriated conservatives for allowing the left to define and redefine America’s most important political values. In order to remain respectability, conservatives have conceded key points to their ideological opponents.”

Plus ça change…

Bradford was famously prevented from securing a post at the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Reagan Administration, despite support from the President himself and Bradford’s hard work in the election campaign. Though Jaffa himself actually supported him, Bradford was vocally opposed by conservative commentators such as George Will (now a leading figure in the #NeverTrump movement) and was ultimately replaced with pudgy simpleton William Bennett. And these kinds of bureaucratic struggles have a huge impact. Egalitarianism and universalist posturing was boosted within the American Right, Bradford died in relative obscurity, Jaffa was lionized and Bennett gets more money to blow at the casinos. (Hopefully Trump got some of it.)

These kinds of struggles continue today. As this is written, protesters are storming the parliament in Baghdad, the latest episode of our more than decade long disaster in Mesopotamia. As Hawley notes, “The mainstream conservative movement was in nearly complete agreement with these policies [the invasion of Iraq].” Yet the “unpatriotic conservatives” who opposed it, were duly purged and were proven correct by the aftermath still struggle for access to the mainstream media and funding from major institutions. Meanwhile, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer still scream at me from the telescreen every night about what great foreign policy experts they are.

Hawley profiles a number of castaways from different schools of thought, including localists, mainstream and radical libertarians, atheists, and paleoconservatives. Identitarians and white nationalists are also analyzed, though Hawley does feel the need to virtue signal against us, presumably to avoid suffering the fate of his subjects. Overall though, Hawley is fair and informative and his book serves as an excellent introduction to the various subcultures which have ultimately created what we call the Alt Right.

He also slips through some questions which suggest he’s at least confronting the arguments rather than just pathologizing them like some shitlib at The Daily Beast. “Why, for example, is Zionism generally considered an acceptable political position, but an individual who wanted to create a republic restricted to white Christians would be barred from mainstream debates?” he asks. Why indeed.

Hawley does make some mistakes, but much of this is simply a product of when the book was written, before the Emperor descended from the Golden Throne on the escalator at Trump Tower. A typo in which “Young Americans for Liberty” should have read “Young Americans for Freedom” is actually revealing of the focus, as Hawley devotes far more coverage to libertarian and anti-state activists than nationalists. As he argues in his conclusion, “Moderate and mainstream libertarianism is the right-wing ideology most likely to enjoy greater influence in the coming decades,” citing the triumph of figures like Justin Amash. Hawley also speculates about Rand Paul securing the GOP nomination. But all it took to destroy Paul was a New York real estate developer saying he was having a “hard time tonight,” suggesting the fabled “libertarian moment” was always a pipe dream.

Donald Trump is not even mentioned in the book. But of course, before the “Mexicans are rapists” speech, why would he be?

For many on the Alt Right, libertarianism is a kind of gateway drug, a safe way of attacking egalitarianism, the establishment conservative movement, and “the System” more broadly. Most are gradually redpilled. Eventually, you move on, unless you can find a way to be paid for being part of the “liberty movement.”

Hawley writes, “(M)any, perhaps most, of the energetic young activists on the right are decidedly libertarian in their views, and today’s young activists will eventually take on prominent leadership roles in the conservative movement’s leading institutions and within the GOP.” It is more accurate to say that many energetic young activists start as libertarians, but they don’t stay there. It’s questionable whether libertarianism can ever really be a movement for itself as opposed to either a phase in a person’s ideological progression. After all, groups like Students for Liberty now proudly proclaim they don’t care about freedom of association, because homosexual rights, and fighting nationalism is the most important thing. Meanwhile, many of the same people now fantasizing about building Trump Walls and eventually reclaiming Constantinople were screaming about using shiny rocks as currency only a few years ago.

Hawley quotes SFL’s cofounder Alexander McCobin as saying: “We know what’s up for debate, and so we also know what’s not. The justifications for and limits on intellectual property? Up for debate. Racism? Not up for debate.” But as Richard Spencer argued, libertarianism itself was a kind of mask on white identity for some time. That is being abandoned as we get closer to the real thing. Those libertarians who put egalitarianism first, like Cathy Reisenwitz, eventually just become SJW’s. The majority move in our direction.

Who, after all, has a greater impact these days – Students for Liberty, with its multimillion dollar budget, or The Daily Shoah?

Hawley deserves praise for providing a useful introduction for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with Radical Traditionalism, the European New Right, or the Conservative Revolution without being completely overwhelmed with jargon and occultism. The chapters “Against Capitalism, Christianity and America” and “Voices of the Radical Right” are required reading for anyone on the Alt Right seeking to understand why American conservatism could never succeed. It’s also sobering reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of the pro-white movement. Richard Spencer and the saga of the First Identitarian Congress in Budapest are also outlined.

Still, one can’t help but wish Hawley had just waited a few more months to write this book. So many of the things he suggests as distant possibilities here are actually occurring. For example, Hawley writes, “If the mainstream conservative movement loses its status as the gatekeeper on the right, white nationalism may be among the greatest beneficiaries, though even in this case it will face serious challenges.” According to the hall monitors of the Beltway Right, that’s precisely what’s happening right now.

And ultimately, Hawley recognizes change, of some kind, is coming. He refers to the “calcified” nature of conservative thought, pointing out the rhetoric has not changed since Goldwater. “Only on the issue of race have we seen a dramatic change in the mainstream conservative movement since the 1960s, at least when it comes to public statements,” Hawley writes. Rhetorical blasts against “elites” have become so predictable and stale they no longer have any meaning. Conservatives are simply running out of things to say.

There are also broader historical patterns conservatives are confronting.

First, the Bush Administration “badly damaged the Republican Party’s brand,” and the legacy of that era is something the Beltway Right still seems utterly unwilling to confront. Hawley also brings up the scandals from the Bush years, including Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, and Tom Delay. (The book was written too early for a reference to the nightmarish case of Dennis Hastert). Bush’s failure to reform Social Security showed conservatives are incapable of meddling with the welfare programs most Americans have grown to accept and rely upon. The Iraq War also fatally discredited the GOP’s perceived foreign policy expertise in the eyes of many Americans.

Second, organized religion is declining in America. The Religious Right is discredited and leaderless. Jerry Falwell is dead and so is D. James Kenned. Ted Haggard is disgraced after a gay prostitution scandal. Homosexual marriage is a reality nationwide. Open borders shill Russell Moore is busy trying to prove Nietzsche right by pushing for more nonwhite immigration. Though Hawley doesn’t go into this, it’s striking how the once powerful Religious Right has been reduced to trying to keep trannies out of bathrooms in the South. (And failing at it.)

Third, and most importantly, is the growing nonwhite population. Hawley argues even if the GOP utterly reversed its position on immigration to try to win Latinos and Asians, “nonwhites are considerably more progressive, on average than whites… even if immigration is completely removed from the table.” Hawley says unless the GOP can create a huge shift in the voting patterns of nonwhites (unlikely given their progressive attitudes) or win a larger share of the white vote, the Republican Party will be unable to credibly contest national elections.

And this is where the Alt Right comes in. This is a reality the conservative movement cannot assimilate. It is an existential threat. The GOP can’t appeal to minorities without entirely abandoning conservative policies. And it can’t appeal to whites as whites without abandoning its universalist pretensions and infantile sloganeering. Though Hawley doesn’t say it, this fact alone is why the American Right’s future lies in Identity. All other alternatives have been exhausted except slow death. And make no mistake – running out the clock while squeezing out a few more shekels is what passes for a strategy within Conservatism Inc.

Reading and studying what Professor Hawley has written is an important first step for all of us. With the rise of Trump, the explosion of interest in the Alt Right online, and the flood of recent mainstream media coverage, there’s a real sense momentum is on our side. Yet we should not be deceived. Dissident forces on the Right have risen in the past and reached levels of power and influence far exceeding what we have today. All have been crushed.

We must understand their ideas, their history, their successes and their mistakes so we can avoid their fate. We don’t want to just end up as footnotes in some future edition.

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Subverting Thor

How can you pervert a perversion?  The Marvel version of Thor has about as much to with Germanic heathenry as the screeching crone Madonna has to do with the Theotokos.  The entire history of the character is an insult to the old European belief system, and was intended as such.  But the recent controversy over Marvel’s “Thor” being transformed into a woman shows that even bastardized Western symbols have to be subverted, as modern culture is unable to create something original and admirable. 

How can you pervert a perversion?  The Marvel version of Thor has about as much to with Germanic heathenry as the screeching crone Madonna has to do with the TheotokosThe entire history of the character is an insult to the old European belief system, and was intended as such.  But the recent controversy over Marvel’s “Thor” being transformed into a woman shows that even bastardized Western symbols have to be subverted, as modern culture is unable to create something original and admirable.

The Thor of the comics was not simply the God of Thunder put into a fictional universe so he can fight Galactus or Absorbing Man.  Thor has a dual identity within the Marvel mythos as he is sometimes Dr. Donald Blake, a physical weakling.  Odin forced Thor into this identity in order to teach him a lesson about humility and become “worthy” of wielding Mjolnir.

The latest Marvel movies, which inform how most people think of the character today, dismissed the dual identity premise.  Even when he is not wielding Mjolnir and stripped of his divine power, the movie character is still a highly effective warrior capable of, in Agent Coulson’s phrase, “making some of the most highly trained professionals in the world look like a bunch of minimum wage mall cops.”

At the same time, they have kept the larger idea of breaking the proud Thor and turning him into a soldier for egalitarianism (and mysterious multinational government agencies).  Thor’s highbrow speech and noble lineage is a punch line, and Thor only becomes “worthy” when he tells Loki to stop being like Hitler and sacrifices himself to make the world safe for Natalie Portman.

But while the movie Thor is perverted, he’s still a dull reflection of the actual Thor, a greater Western archetype of strength.  More importantly, the character always thinks of himself as Thor, even when he’s lost his supernatural powers.  The subversion is one of ideology, not identity – Thor’s strength and character is “broken,” rebuilt, and then used to save democratic man (or woman, in Portman’s case).  It’s simply the cinematic version of Seal Team Six going through hell so their daughters can be like Miley Cyrus.

In contrast, the comic book divorces Thor’s essential characteristics from the character itself.  Stan Lee pictured Thor in his true form as “looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, and battle clubs.”  But Thor’s consciousness is somewhat divided.  While “Blake” is always “Thor,” his status as one of the Aesir is something conditional, rather than something that he just is.  Thus, as recent apologists for Thor’s sex change argue, Thor in the comics is not always a mighty Norse god–sometimes he’s just a man—or even a frog.  Like the word Christ, Thor is apparently less a name than a title.

Thus, Marvel can say, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”  But it’s not really.  It’s just transferring the personification of power into a more politically correct vehicle.  In the Marvel Universe, Thor isn’t really the hero or even really Thor – Mjolnir and the power it contains is.  After all, the weapon is inscribed, “Whomsoever wields this hammer, if he [or she apparently] be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

Within Marvel’s announcement there is a representation of the “Unworthy Thor” stripped of power, who looks like some kind of archaeo-futurist barbarian borne of the collective unconscious of the New Right.  Maybe he just got tired of fighting to make the world safe for Tumblr.

As with all actions of this type, there is a financial motivation.  Marvel says it will “speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for super hero comic books in America: women and girls.”  But as Time magazine points out, even young boys don’t buy much in the way of comic books these days, let alone girls.  While there might be a slight uptick in female readers, a “gimmick” like a sex or race change  gets the niche market of comic book fans–mostly “middle-aged men”–to make sure they pick up the latest issue.

The female Thor accordingly corresponds to the cover girl aesthetics of “strong” female characters—who don’t exactly resemble female powerlifters and couldn’t put up 225 on a squat rack, let alone duel a frost giant.  Fictional portrayals of “strong” women like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Lara Croft are mostly designed to appeal to men by combining cover girl aesthetics with masculine actions.  This of course is prompting criticism that we must have feminine superheroes who defeat enemies through “feminine” abilities.  (Like what?  Posting selfies featuring handwritten slogans about tolerance?)

But there is also an ideological motivation.  Comic book heroes–especially those “born in Lower East Side at some point between 1938-1944”–have often reflected the a dual fantasy of subversion and assimilation, with Superman as the obvious example.  He is alien–yet he is also the ultimate representation of the American nation.  Yet as America herself has become passé and unacceptably tied to a European past, superheroes have had to renounce ties to the historic nation and even to their own racial identity in order to remain “heroes.”   

To facilitate this, we get the racial transformation of various characters, such as Nick Fury morphing from a World War II soldier (albeit one who led a “racially integrated elite unit”) into Samuel L. Jackson in both print and film.  Similarly, comic books today are less telling stories than about beating the correct political ideology into a dumbed down audience.  Therefore, Archie will soon die taking a bullet fir
ed by a fanatical gun rights supporter at his gay friend, who is “married” to a black man.  Soviet propaganda looks like a model of subtlety in contrast.

What never seems to catch on is the actual creation of heroes that don’t owe something either to a past White identity or Western archetype.  Those that are created come off like unintentional comedy, like “Black Panther”–and he’s probably the best of the lot.  He hails from the “technologically advanced” nation of Wakanda, menaced by the evil quasi-Afrikaner nation of Azania and its evil champions (like “Voortrekker.”)  The defining characteristics of affirmative action heroes–indeed their only characteristics–are that they are black, have a vagina, or practice one of the sexual fetishes that our society has deemed worthy of celebration.

Therefore, we are constantly hectored that existing heroes of comics and the screen must be made black–we need a black Batman or a black James Bond.  By doing this, we will somehow convince minorities of various sorts that they too can be universally appealing heroes.

After all, Black Panther represents… being black.

And, Wonder Woman represents… being a woman.

So to get around this, we’ll transform characters with greater appeal.  Archie was supposed to be about wholesome Americana… so we’ll make it about homosexuality and gun control.

Captain America represents patriotism… so we’ll make him black.

Batman represents justice… so the good Republicans at the Wall Street Journal tell us we “need” to make him black soon too.

It is a cultural form of the cargo cult role playing which has led to such historic spectacles like Faustin I of Haiti aping Napoleon by putting a cardboard crown on his head, or America collectively pretending that Maya Angelou’s sub-literate nursery rhyme at a Presidential Inaugural was really a poem.

But Thor is a special case.  The deity Thor is perhaps is most important personage of the indigenous European religious tradition, and certainly the most popular god among ordinary people of the pre-Christian age.  Rather than identifying Odin as the symbolic champion of the old ways, John Lindow in Norse Mythology notes that medieval Scandinavian sources portray “the conversion as a struggle between Thor and Christ.”  During the period of uneasy coexistence between Christians and pagans, believers in the Old Gods would wear Thor’s hammer pendants around their necks–a practice continued by heathens today (and, for that matter, some metal fans).

Therefore, Thor is culturally specific in a way that Superman or Batman isn’t.  Putting him in a comic book is bad enough, as the character is based on a deity that was once the dominant figure for Germanic civilization and who understood and pictured their gods in highly specific ways.  One imagines that the adventures of “Moses” calling on God to drown a mugger in Greenwich Village or “Muhammad” using a friendly jinn to trick Dr. Octopus might be seen as distasteful (although hilarious).

But even if the point to “lighten up” is graciously conceded, Stan Lee pictured Thor along the lines of the romanticized image we have of Vikings of the late heathen period. He wrote him as part of that.  He therefore fits in a certain context that represents a group of people that once existed.  The comic book hero’s adventures and changes have to be limited by what makes sense with the character.  The usual objection that “anything is possible” because fictional heroes are in a world of magic misses the point–the character is based in a specific cultural context and is indeed defined by it.

Moreover, even in fictional universes, magic and supernatural occurrences have rules and context.  A Song Of Ice and Fire has magic, but Ned Stark’s severed head can’t simply start flying around in the middle of the story any more than the wildlings can breach the Wall with an Abrams tank.  Even within the Marvel universe, Thor can’t be a woman and remain Thor just as Cat-Woman can’t be a man and remain Cat-Woman.

Thor’s sex change is political and is defined by its creators as such.  The reason is that to have a white (indeed Nordic) male character associated with the Germanic past and traditional masculine virtues is simply impermissible.  Even in the most bastardized, degraded, perverted form, the existence of a white male Thor in pop culture is an insult to everything our culture is telling young boys to be.  The Marvel Thor has to be a woman – and it has to be a different race next.

Political correctness can only achieve popular appeal through subverting symbols that already appeal to mass constituencies because any new symbols will appeal pathetic by comparison.  And certainly European cultural symbols, even in their most debauched form, are superior to affirmative action culture.  Most Americans, especially children, instinctively sense this.  After all, “social justice man” is hardly something to appeal to the imagination of a typical seven year old.

To be fair, shapeshifting and even gender bending is nothing new even within the lore of European religion.  Loki is, after all, the mother of Sleipnir, having transformed into a female horse as part of a ruse against a giant.  However, while the shapeshifting, androgynous Loki helps various gods (including Thor) on several adventures, he is also the father of monstrous beings who will ultimately unleash chaos and the destruction of the gods.  In this we see the understanding that perversity and chaos, even if used for temporary advantage, further a process of degeneration and final destruction.  Loki is a deeply perverted character, although not an entirely “evil” one in the Christian sense.

Interestingly, there is a story in the lore where Thor must pretend to be a woman–the Þrymskviða.  Assisted by Loki, Thor must disguise himself as Freyja and attend “her” wedding in order to reclaim his stolen hammer.  The giants recognize something is amiss (like when the “bride” eats an entire ox) but Loki comes up with one hilarious excuse after another.  One can imagine our ancestors roaring around a fire hearing this light-hearted tale.

Of course, the reason Þrymskviða is funny is because European religion and Germanic Christianity had a sense of social norms and hierarchy as serving a necessary function.  Bending gender roles on occasion could be used for humorous effect or perhaps in extraordinary occasions (like the “shield-maidens” of legend).  However, it would be absurd to take “pride” in the idea that you are subverting a norm and deriving worth from it–the louder someone boasts of their pride, often the less they have to be proud of.

But America can’t admit that.  “We are all created equal” after all.  So even gods, symbols of gods, and even the fictional heroes of less degenerate times need to be twisted in order to make people feel better about themselves.  In the end, the value of such symbols are frittered away and become objects of indifference or even scorn–arguably, what is happening to American patriotism and identity today.

What Marvel is doing to Thor is part of this.  We should be glad because even though young boys swinging a plastic Mjölnir is better than nothing, such actions ultimately postpone the inevitable.  European cultural symbols, practices, and even gods need to become the source of a vital living Tradition, not objects of exploitation used to propel the elaborate practical joke we call American culture.

Besides, Thor is a red bearded war god, not a socialist teddy bear.  The existence of Marvel’s she-Thor may make it a bit easier for Europeans to start looking into the distinctions and rediscover the living well of Tradition media companies have been leeching from for years.

Yes, it’s an insult.  But we should laugh at how utterly pathetic it is that people feel compelled to act this way in order to feel moral.

And we should remember the end of the Þrymskviða.  Thor gets his hammer back and deals with the situation as the God of Thunder usually does–by using it to slaughter all of his enemies.

There can be these games for a while, and comics’ new world begins, where nonwhites are paid for existing, and transqueers don’t pay for their sins. But as surely as Water will wet us, the sons of Europe will learn–and The Gods of the Copybook Headings, or the Gods of the North will return.

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Why Metal is Right-Wing

I can say with confidence that heavy metal music has done far more to advance authentic right wing aesthetics, values, and yes, even philosophy, than all the failed institutions of the Beltway Right put together.

 

I grew up listening to metal. I have also had more than my fair share of interactions with various manifestations of the American Right for well over a decade.

With that in mind, I can say with confidence that heavy metal music has done far more to advance authentic right wing aesthetics, values, and yes, even philosophy, than all the failed institutions of the Beltway Right put together.

Whatever the political opinions of the artists involved (if they even have any), metal belongs to the Right. From the most simplistic party sing alongs to the highly complicated creations of serious artists, metal repeatedly stresses themes of conquest, self-overcoming, strength, and conflict. If the primary value of the Left is equality, than the primary value of the true Right is hierarchy. The common thread between an anthem about drinking with girls to the heavy drone of doom meal is the rejection of egalitarianism and the pretty lies of modernity. If leftists can “Imagine” along with John Lennon a world where the Last Men loaf about all day where there is “above us only sky,” metal provides the battle songs for those things it’s still worth to “kill or die for.”

Metal is about seeking glory and excellence–Wagner for the working man. Even a leftist who tries to channel metal will find themselves presenting an image of strength, vitality, and self-glorification. Whatever the political beliefs of a left wing headbanger, the aesthetics betray them.

The same cannot be said for what passes as the conservative movement’s “aesthetics.”

Some Christian conservatives hate metal because of the anti-Christian beliefs and symbolism of certain people involved. Obviously, this paints the genre with too broad of a brush–it’s worth noting that the “Satantic” imagery of many early artists was used to symbolize evil as something real and something to be feared. This is a far more respectful treatment of Christian theology than the contemporary Christianity–which holds faith as simply a means to fit in the occasional day at an inner city homeless shelter, stripped of any divine significance. Besides, most Christian conservatives today seem more intent on competing for who can adopt the most half-starved African children to bring to their McMansion than ensuring a promising future for their own children. So we shouldn’t be too concerned with their cries about how “evil” metal is.

Even those authentically anti-Christian metalheads attack the faith from a different perspective than your usual campus leftist. Metal is filled with critiques of the Christian religion for displacing the indigenous spiritual traditions of Europe, for allegedly promoting egalitarianism, and for serving as a force of repression on extraordinary individuals. It echoes Oswald Spengler’s charge that Christianity was “the grandmother of Bolshevism.” This is hardly the same old recycled anti-Christian tripe.

Beyond the ideology and aesthetics, metal is profoundly a “localist” genre. Bands must develop a following and work their way up, rather than simply being imposed on all of us by some record producer at age 19. This goes for a lot of the “pirate radio” that first popularized the genre as well. What was best about local metal radio shows was that they were proudly local institutions. The announcers were amateurish, half the bands were unknown, you couldn’t get a decent signal once you left the confines of the city it was based out of, and it utterly lacked the gloss and professionalism of a major radio station. It was something unique, an acquired taste. You would actually find out about new bands or new songs from it–something you can hardly get from major radio today.

When conservatism was serious, local institutions were prized for their own sake, with communities serving as the proper basis for affection–the “little platoons” in Edmund Burke’s phrase. Today, conservatism is composed of 20-somethings making 20 something a year plotting to give deracinated corporations tax breaks. For me, it’s the same conflict as listening to a new band on a metal playlist or hearing the same Rihanna “song” yet again on a “professional” station. The latter can only be called “culture” by a true cynic and serves as evidence that popular choices are imposed from above rather than the spontaneous “free market” of conservative/libertarian fantasies.

Metal as a genre, even in its lowest form, relies upon musicianship. At its best, it can sublimate profound themes within complicated melodic structures. You can’t “fake” good metal. It’s no accident that many younger metalheads find that they “graduate” to classical when they get older, in the same way that the talented musicians who pioneered the genre owe a debt to the maestros of Vienna and Bayreuth.

In today’s popular music, you can substitute Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, the animated corpse of Britney Spears, and whatever else they are promoting in and out of any given melody. It’s hard to say if anyone would even notice–as long as you keep the autotune on. The themes are predictable, the melodies hackneyed, the “message” cliched–express yourself, even (especially) when you have nothing to say. Popular music is the soundtrack to American-style democracy, and I can think of no greater condemnation. If I can slightly borrow a famous phrase, when someone tells me the pop station is “culture,” I release the safety catch on my revolver.

Clearly, if conservatism is about upholding the established order, heavy metal music is hardly the kind of thing champions of the long extinguished Ancien Regime would be comfortable with. Of course, that’s sort of the point. We don’t live in a world where the “Establishment” is patriotic landed aristocrats defending the interests of Church and Crown. We live in a world where Fortune 500 companies fund groups that combat “white privilege,” where multiculturalism has joined hands with Goldman Sachs, where the justification for this System is outlined for you in your mandatory diversity training in the classroom and the corporate boardroom. It’s their system, not ours. Why do we want to make it more efficient or cut their taxes?

Who cares?

The Right can’t look to Burke in this context–they should look to Burzum. The System must be dismantled and metal is the soundtrack to that Revolution–even if the people playing it aren’t aware of it.

Want to do something that will make a difference? Save the money you were going to waste on supporting another huckster conservative politician promising to save America, and go buy some metal records instead.

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Summarizing Descent

Marxism, despite its best efforts, is a mega-structure of ‘social constructs’, it is the tenets of Communism implanted onto culture and human interaction and is the source of the modern ‘social justice’ movement prevalent among youths and in universities.

Originally published at Sigurd-Strong

Liberal society strives for equality in all social and political areas, but fails itself in the economic department, though democratic governments practice welfare systems and equality in regards to work and education opportunities, it continually fails to practice true equality within economics. So although liberal society practices ‘Cultural Marxism’, it fails to put into practice the natural (historical) conclusion to the question of economic ‘equality’, which is Communism. Communism is an economic system rather than a political system – modern liberals seem to believe that economics will solve all problems within society, the redistribution of wealth, the levelling of material possession and the stripping of old concepts of (racial and social) superiority will cease conflict and ensure the abstract idea of equal human rights. It is true that communism does in fact strip the individual of his identity; it removes the natural element of competition and makes each man indistinguishable from the next, ultimately unveiling a sort of democratic totalitarianism – and if the isolated man has no rights (Rougier) until relationships are created, then the people under communism, as interchangeable outlines of men certainly have no ‘rights’. 

Marxism, despite its best efforts, is a mega-structure of ‘social constructs’, it is the tenets of Communism implanted onto culture and human interaction and is the source of the modern ‘social justice’ movement prevalent among youths and in universities. The focal points are that gender and race are constructs built to discriminatorily divide people and every person ‘deserves’ universal human rights (which contrarily is not a social construct). This process of unblinking despotism succeeds through firstly encouraging one to willingly throw off one’s oh so oppressive, presumptuous characteristics and either acquires new vetted titles or else entirely denies nationality, race, gender etc. Unfortunately these advocators are misty eyed over ‘equality’ and cannot see the ‘double-think’ for the teetering manipulation of words – “we are all the same, but different”.

So how do you convince a young person to throw off their identity? You baffle them with biased history lessons and sentimental ideas. You lead them to believe that their natural attributes are a representation of historical persecution (i.e. all white males were slave traders), so upon this illogical guilt they attempt to align themselves with the ‘persecuted’ by putting themselves in an ‘oppressed minority’ or as we’ve suggested, denying themselves, this then rids them of their guilt. ‘Oppressed minorities’ i.e. women, then convince themselves that they need to rid themselves of the memories of their collective oppression, i.e. femininity, which is a relic of the past –equally, men who’ve adopted this neurosis, rid themselves of masculinity which again is a reminder of patriarchy and the pattern continues. Their behaviour is self-destructive, akin to caged animals, performing obscenities in affront to their ‘persecutors’.

Alienating the individual is not nearly enough, however. The ‘diversity through homogeny’ stint must permeate all institutions, in every group imaginable – political, social, cultural is the apparent need for a universal attitude within (the group) regardless of its aim. It must allow representatives from every category; every gender, race, age and religion must be heard and represented. Exclusivity, pride and success are sins which create resentment, instead of dealing with conflict the natural way – division (tribal and national) or competition, we insist that that is wrong but what is more humane is making the two agitators more alike, and then surely they will cease fighting?

It’s widely believed that Judaism and its sequel Christianity are the progenitors of egalitarian thought and ‘human rights’ since ‘all men are equal under God’. The modern distaste for competition and pride, and the seemingly impossible task of accepting a plurality of truths, or rather ideas as well as the thinning integrity of borders (globalisation) is evidence enough that liberal ideas stem from the universalism of these Asiatic religions. To reverse to a time when these thought structures were not neatly entrenched, we’d end up at our pre-Christian ancestors who worshipped a pantheon of gods and spirits and competition and pride was at the centre of culture. Victory was its own justification and life was sacred for its ephemeral nature and not clung to, to the detriment of growth.

So this simplified explanation of Cultural Marxism aims to enlighten the individual, who finds the communistic ideas appealing on a superficial level, because ‘equality’ is an obvious truth in a society that revolves around money. When money and equality are synonymous, we have the growth of global trade and larger bodies of power to oversee it. We have Westerners involving themselves with ‘less’ civilised parts of the world to spread the truth (spot the Christianity again!). What is the result? Large corporations who own a complete trade where the cogs are paid little and the product is equally cheap, this causes the deterioration of local industry and ambition. This makes it increasingly difficult for people to own their own businesses, houses etc. This is where Cultural Marxism and Economic Marxism cease mirroring each other and actually meet to form all-inclusive Communism. There is no middle ground on the path we are on, because in the society that values ‘progress’ over sustenance (and tradition), there will reach a pinnacle of extremism.

Communism does not see the individual, you are interchangeable, replaceable and therefore your national identity matters little, your national identity encourages exclusivity which is detrimental to the growth of global economy. Your countrymen could be easily replaced or mixed with that of another, and the cogs would continue. There is no place for ‘aiming higher’, the schooling system and therefore public expectations are lowered to accommodate the lowest common denominator, the message is uniformity masquerading as tolerance and equality.

Your best form of defence is quite simply to value your national identity, your local community and its smaller businesses. Cultural Marxism is the process of willing Communism – so revolt against it by embracing tradition and your natural identity, changing your priorities from the materialism that sedates you to your innate spirituality. Enhance your self-esteem, not by demanding others opinions accommodate yours, but by arming yourself with intellectual and physical strength. What is popular is rarely there to inspire success, cultural Marxism is not a system of elevation but of degradation, encouraging the belief that self-destruction and lewd behaviour is ‘empowering’, in open revolt against healthy tradition.

Support true identity, not the merging and watering down of it.

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‘Rape Culture Isn’t About Sex, It’s About Power’

Rape culture is a lot like racism. Maybe they should just call it “rapism.” It’s an abstract “evil” that a certain group, in this case women, reserves the right to identify and use to manipulate another group, in this case men, into increasingly defensive and impotent positions. As long as they can keep men apologizing, they can keep controlling them.

Our forefathers understood the truth about women.

The truth is that women actually like sex. Without the coercive discipline of patriarchs, women would have sex all the time–like the frisky matriarchs of the Bonobo world.

Men have always known that women like to feel good, too.

As Nietzsche observed, man is only a means for women and the end is always a child. However, this is an ultimate, often subconscious cause. More proximate causes include pleasure and affirmation.

If females had ever really run things, I’m not sure what their version of female “honor” would be, or if there would even be one. Always and everywhere, female honor has meant chastity–and female chastity was clearly a male invention.

Before modern contraception, the control of female sexuality was necessary to maintain order between men. If men are to be expected to care for children, they want to know which kids are theirs. A woman who cheats on a man undermines him and makes him look like a fool in front of other men. The virtue of female chastity–the ridiculous idea that a woman waits for and only wants intercourse with the man she’s been courted by or assigned to–was essentially constructed to protect the honor of men. The expectation of female chastity probably kept a lot of jealous men from killing other members of their own tribes. Men have always known that they wanted to have sex with many women, but they constructed social and legal institutions that forced them to control their own sexual urges, too. To maintain order and create stability in increasingly complex societies, men around the world dreamed up different versions of monogamous, or occasionally polygamous, marriage.

Women were trained to protect their honor–their chastity–above all things. They were scolded for lustful or adulterous thoughts that, it was rightly feared, might lead to misbehavior. In rigidly religious and socially complex bourgeois societies, they were discouraged from thinking of themselves as sexual creatures at all. Sex was something women were expected to simply “grin and bear” as a punishment for being born female.

Modern contraception, industrialization, globalism, and women’s suffrage changed the whole game. The lie of female chastity was exposed, and the institutions of marriage and the nuclear family collapsed. Male investment in civilization and order continues to decrease, and women–who are far better consumers and sedentary employees–have collectively reached a position which offers them the means to exert their own influence and tell their own lies about sex.

So they tell us about “rape culture.”

The violent rape of a woman is a brutal and visceral image that fills every man who loves his mother or his sisters with vengeful rage. Men may joke darkly about rape in the abstract, just as they may joke about murder or dismemberment in the abstract, but the actuality of violent rape is infuriating and repulsive to the majority of them. Men want to conquer the hearts and minds of women, but raping a woman of your own tribe is the act of a spurned, desperate man. A rapist is something that no right-minded man wants to be.

When anti-rape activists tell men they simply want to “teach men not to rape,” that sounds reasonable enough. When they say that there is a “culture of rape” that perpetuates rape, men are hesitant to disagree because they don’t want to be regarded as forgiving of rape or accessories to rape. It is precisely because most men are already against rape that women are able to use rape as a kind of personal holocaust. Anti-“rape culture” advocates are exploiting male disgust for rape and using it as a tool to silence criticism of women and exert control over men’s sexual behavior and conceptions of their own masculinity.

The women who claim that there is a culture of rape in America, as if there are somehow more rapes and rape is somehow more acceptable today than in the past or elsewhere, are not solely interested in preventing rape.

They surely know that the most brutal rapes–the nasty, violent rapes everyone imagines when they think of rape–are for the most part perpetrated by psychopaths and serial rapists who are immune to the influence of their college campus shaming sessions. Feminists also aren’t going to prevent Steel Reserve and Hot Pocket fueled trailer park rapes or underpass Joose rapes, because they have no more influence in these derelict zones than the mores of Victorian church ladies had in the backalleys of London. Given that the well-behaved college boys who make up their captive audience and potential mate selection are already against brutal rape, the ability of educational and Twitter campaigns aimed at ending “rape culture” to actually prevent violent rape will always be relatively minimal. A few frat boys will wait to make sure they got a clear “yes,” and the smart ones will record it for their own protection. But, for the most part, they weren’t the ones giving nice girls black eyes or broken jaws to begin with.

It is when feminists are asked how to end “rape culture” that they truly tip their hand. In a widely cited article in The Nation, the number one and number two ways to “empower men and women to change the status quo” were more concerned with changing masculinity, male identity and male sexuality than they were with preventing rape.

At the top of the list, the first “real problem” identified was “violent masculinity,” which is also known as “masculinity.” Violence has been a defining part of the male sex role and masculine identity throughout human evolution and for all of recorded history. The idea that violent masculinity is somehow a novel product of American society or even Western Civilization is one of the biggest lies feminists tell. If there truly are or have been cultures–not merely priesthoods or religious sects, but whole cultures–where the majority of men were not considered more violent than women, and I have never seen convincing evidence of this, then they are or have been exceedingly rare and anomalous. Male violence is a human norm and a human universal. Male violence is a central feature of both histories and myths concerning men all around the world, and the forms of entertainment that men and even very young boys choose freely continue to feature violent fantasy or simulated tribal warfare–as with team sports.

Just as men have always known or suspected that women also experienced carnal lust, women have always known or suspected that, for men, sex and violence are linked. The rush of dominating another man, or a beast, or the forces of nature is not so far away in the mind from the rush of sexually dominating a woman. All of our language about sex hints at the connection between sex and violence. There is no escaping the reality that the physical act of intercourse itself, as it is most often performed, involves a man violently pushing himself inside a woman in a wild, heightened, animalistic state of mind he rarely achieves in civilized life.

It’s not too much to ask to require men to make sure they have permission to engage in this ancient, ecstatic power play, since both men and women are having far more casual sex with far more partners than they were 100 years ago. But you don’t have to redefine masculinity to do that, since, as we all know, rape is already taboo.

Women are not stupid. They see this primal violence in male sexuality. They perceive their role it in it and it both excites and terrifies them, because they know that the delicate spirit of “equality” is exorcised in the frenzy of fornication.

Feminists taught the slogan that “rape is not about sex, it’s about power,” but only a few of them were willing to admit that sex is almost always about power, too.

Women are uncomfortable admitting that they enjoy the violent, dominant nature of male sexuality, especially in a political context. That they enjoy being dominated by men–at least in the bedroom, if only in the bedroom–is so politically volatile that it’s become an unspeakably dirty little secret for the new church ladies.

While it is true that women enjoy sex, they are also pragmatic and especially interested in safety and security. If there has been a “war of the sexes” raging throughout human history, men have almost always been the victors, precisely because they are bigger and stronger, more willing to take risks, and more inclined to be violent. Women see the potential for violence in men and they recognize that it is the greatest threat to the new order of society–their order. A majority of women in the developed world now have more political and economic power now than they ever have in human history, and this increase in status is utterly dependent on the continued pacification of men.

So they lie. They lie about male sexuality the way men lied about female sexuality.

They’re willing to trade satisfying sex for quasi-coital man-milking if it means holding on to their newfound political and economic power. They’re willing to use the tragedy of rape as a tool to cow men morally–to make normal, decent men prostrate themselves to prove they are not rapists or enablers of rape. As with “privilege,” men will always be guilty until proven innocent, and no matter what they do, no matter how they dishonor themselves, they will never be innocent enough. To release men from guilt is to relinquish power over them, and this power has already corrupted the hearts of the women who revel in it and gain from it.

Rape culture is a lot like racism. Maybe they should just call it “rapism.” It’s an abstract “evil” that a certain group, in this case women, reserves the right to identify and use to manipulate another group, in this case men, into increasingly defensive and impotent positions. As long as they can keep men apologizing, they can keep controlling them.

The continued success of feminism requires the ongoing construction of guilt cultures designed to mould men into a safer and more passive population. Corporate and banking interests want this, because ornery, violent groups of men unsupervised by women are a threat to established interests, property and supply chains. Pacified men also make better employees and consumers.

Feminists may merely be useful idiots to these bigger interests, but they are getting what they want out of the bargain for the time being. They want, as they have wanted for decades, to eliminate proscribed female gender roles and the ability of men to limit female behavior. They want men to “reimagine” a masculinity without violence or dominance. Masculinity without themes of violence or dominance may have no precedent, no history, and it may be completely at odds with physiology and human evolution, but male pacification is the key to female political and economic power.

These women are willing to do whatever they have to do to retain and gain that power, even if it means exploiting victims of rape to do it.

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Planet of the Apes

There is another type of monkey-rage that could be triggered by this unfair treatment. The white students, who are to receive harsher punishments for the same misbehaviour, might not see how this will benefit them in the long run. In their short-sighted adolescent minds, these youngsters will think they’re being picked on and will revert to some backward state of furious, hateful monkeydom. 

The frenzy for equality is motivated by a very primitive urge, so primitive in fact that even monkeys have it. You may have seen this video of an angry monkey on the Internet. Liberals watch this monkey and see him as proof that equality reflects an incontestable principle which is fundamental to human nature. “Even our primitive simian cousins can understand it, but those dumb conservatives can’t!

I can sympathise with our genetic relatives from further down the evolutionary scale, and with the monkeys, too. When my housemate leaves me to clean up his mess, rather than responding like a mature adult human, I grit my teeth, shake my monkey fists, and am overcome by that primitive state of monkey-rage that is aroused in those who sense injustice. I’m not proud of it, but I recognise that this impulse is in me, and it’s in other people, too.

A good manager understands that he should make his staff feel like they are being fairly treated and that this has a lot more to do with feelings than with objective reality. When your people feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick, they can descend into monkey-rage and that’s never productive. But modern politicians very rarely make good managers, a fact that will probably lead to some unfortunate consequences for the American education system.

In 2012, Barack Obama called for race-based discipline filters to be applied as part of his African-American Education Initiative. Such measures have already been enforced in a few districts, including Washington, DC, and will continue to expand. This means that teachers will be expected to enforce different standards of discipline depending on the race of the students. The “thinking” behind such lunacy is rooted in a monkey-rage response to the fact that Black students are statistically more likely to be disciplined by teachers than white students are. Compensatory measures are thus taken to soothe the seething mass monkey-rage of the nation’s liberals.

Even the mainstream media have criticised Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Attorney General Eric Holder and Barack Obama for what are essentially racial quotas in school discipline. It might be argued that this is a new type of unfairness, that African-American students will no longer get their fair share of educational discipline and that this will lead to new levels of inequality. Inequality means monkey-rage and no one wants to see that.

But there is another type of monkey-rage that could be triggered by this unfair treatment. The White students, who are to receive harsher punishments for the same misbehaviour, might not see how this will benefit them in the long run. In their short-sighted adolescent minds, these youngsters will think they’re being picked on and will revert to some backward state of furious, hateful monkeydom.

Is Obama trying to make a monkey out of America? If unfair treatment leads to monkey-rage, then treating unfair outcomes of authoritative discipline (both in and out of schools) with unfair legislation intended to redress the racial balance, will surely lead to more monkey-rage. The monkey in the experiment is sated when he sees that he gets the same piece of fruit as the other monkey. I finally overcame my rage when my housemate agreed to do his share of the chores. But will the metaphorical monkey cage of America ever know such peace? Surely equal treatment under the eyes of the law, from cradle to grave, from school to prison, is as close as we can get to fairness? Any measures taken as compensation for perceived unfairness are rendered valid only by existing perceptions of fairness, but these measures become unfair themselves when perceptions change. This isn’t really fair, it’s just monkey business. Monkeying around with the way teachers exact discipline on students throws a monkey wrench in the works of the educational system. Race is already a divisive issue in the USA, and this will only get worse while young people are made to feel painfully aware of how differently teachers treat them. If teachers can’t treat kids the same regardless of their race, then how can we expect them to treat each other fairly? After all, monkey see, monkey do.

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Re: Rainbow Nation

If the American experiment was doomed to failure because of the Founders’ materialistic and rationalistic professed ideals, then why couldn’t it be argued that in the same manner, Christianity’s universal outlook enabled later heresies like the People’s Temple?”

I enjoyed reading Andrew Rurikson’s recent article, which describes Jim Jones’s People’s Temple 1978 mass suicide in Guyana as an allegory of the liberal West’s own disintegration. Jim Jones is an embarrassing figure for the liberal Left, indeed.

Though Jones has conveniently been requalified as a “religious extremist” after the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan, he had somehow embodied the multicultural experiment when he was officiating in the United States. At a time when many churches were still racially separated, Jim Jones gained some fame for racially integrating his church and drawing a predominantly Black following.

A superficial examination — which happens to be the official one — would be that the People’s Temple started drifting towards a totalitarian sect because of Jones’s personal failings, chiefly his fantasy that he was some kind of messiah.

Thus, Andrew’s piece was spot on in stating that far from being an “accident,” the Jonestown massacre, during which 913 followers were forced to drink lethally poisoned Kool-Aid, was the logical conclusion of Jones’s fanatical inclusivism.

Any ideology or religion that negates the necessity for it to be rooted in a particular people and a genuine tradition will, sooner or later, devolve in an oppressive cult, since only coercion can make different people keep being part of the same religion, nation or civilization. Western liberalism, which was intended as a a liberating doctrine for the ascendant bourgeoisie — and only for it — became a totalitarian ideology once its proponents had deplored that men being born unequal, freedom had paradoxically to be equally enforced on societies so that everyone could become equally “free” at last.

This seeming paradox—the transformation of a supposdely liberating doctrine, classical liberalism into a totalitarian ideology, modern liberalism—was noted by James Burnham in his prophetic essay Suicide of the West.

Burnham convincingly argued that this transformation of liberalism—which explains why the word “liberalism” has a more modern meaning in the Anglo-Saxon world than in continental Europe, where it retains a more classical sense—was inevitable because of the antagonistic nature of liberty and equality. A society, Burnham argues, cannot be free for all; either it renounces equality, or liberty. Though he failed to recognize the devastating effects of liberty itself, Burnham provided a compelling case for radicals who want to understand why what happened had to happen because of structural flaws.

Which brings me to a minor problem I see in Andrew’s article. If we are to believe that only a bad tree can bear bad fruits, according to the Biblical parabola, how can a Christian explain why Jim Jones, who started as a Christian priest, became a self-proclaimed atheist and Marxist who ended up founding a religion dedicated to himself and comitted to a multiracial worldview? If the American experiment was doomed to failure because of the Founders’ materialistic and rationalistic professed ideals, then why couldn’t it be argued that in the same manner, Christianity’s universal outlook enabled later heresies like the People’s Temple? This question is opened and, at this point, I do not have a definitive answer to it, so I would like to leave it open for Andrew and our readers.

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