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Islam-The Magian Revolution

Western academics and media-types write a lot of drivel about Islam. Part of the problem is there is a dearth of good information, and a bounty of superficial, politically self-serving…

Western academics and media-types write a lot of drivel about Islam. Part of the problem is there is a dearth of good information, and a bounty of superficial, politically self-serving garbage. But the real problem is misplaced emphasis. Western experts and commenters are used to thinking of history in Hegelian terms–as the story of human progress. The model might be a good fit for Euro-American history, it is at least workable. But the progressive model falls apart when applied to the history of Islam. Islam’s heights seem to correspond to the West’s depths, and vice-versa. The “Progress” model causes Westerners to ask the wrong questions about Islamic history. “What went wrong?” “Why has the Middle East been so beset by violence?” “When will Islam adopt modern political and ethical principles?”

This misguided criticism has two faces–liberal and reactionary. Both sides share the Hegelian view of history–that millennia-long, world-wide advance of the human spirit. But each side approaches its subject with different motives. Liberals, who dominate public discourse on the subject (surprise), assume the intrinsic goodness of all people. “Islam is peace” (eye roll). They feel good when they can cite examples of seemingly precocious modernism, such as early Muslim rulers’ tolerance (in the strictest sense) for religious minorities. It makes them feel good to contrast these anecdotes with the supposedly unrelenting fanaticism of Euro-Americans throughout the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, the 19th and 20th centuries, up to and including last week. This rosy, Islamophilic picture is not really about Islam. It is just another stick with which to beat guilt into the Euro-American historical conscience.

The liberal position, while dominant, does not go unchallenged. On the other side are the reactionaries. They are “reactionaries” because they have no real position on Islam, they only know that the liberals are wrong, and reflexively counterattack. Theirs is a form of hypercriticism, given to denying long-established facts and trends of Islamic history with little or no justification other than to refute the Islamophiles. Given the current situation in the West, their excesses are understandable. But the reactionaries’ zeal leads them to stake out indefensible positions. Many of them are have ulterior motives–some are pro-Jewish fanatics or apologists for imperialism, others are democratic ideologues. But they share a defect. They lack a healthy, Faustian drive to pursue universal Truth–whether we like its conclusions or not.

Both approaches fail for two reasons. First, neither affords its subject the proper attitude of “sympathetic criticism.” The student must devote himself to understanding a culture on its own terms–learning its languages, reading its history and literature–all the while imagining things from its perspective. Once he has done this, he can render judgement on its ethics, its cultural attainments, and its overall importance to history. This was the approach of the great orientalists of the late 19th and early 20th century. They  devoted tremendous intellectual effort to comprehending Islamic civilization, yet they were unafraid to pass judgement on its shortcomings. The liberals have no aptitude for criticism, the reactionaries have none for sympathy.

Second, the liberals and reactionaries neglect the questions of philosophical history. It is from this oversight that they fall into their assumption of perpetual historical progress. But there is a better way. One hundred years ago, Oswald Spengler reframed the discussion of history by tearing down idea of progress (at least as it is commonly understood). His “Copernican revolution” in historical thought worked wonders for the study of Classical civilization and Europe, but it would prove even more effective for understanding the meaning of Middle Eastern history. Spengler shifted the emphasis away from time and toward Cultures. Following Spengler, we can understand how meaningless most of the questions posed by conventional commenters are, and begin to see Islam for what it really is.

The Magian Reformation

Spengler rejected the conventional historical focus on religions and polities. He saw these as merely superficial expressions of something deeper–the Culture. Cultures, in Spengler’s scheme, are a complex of peoples who share a world-outlook. This outlook–the spirit of a Culture–drives it to produce or adapt a religion. “Religion” is the outward expression of the world-outlook and includes such things as prayer rituals, religious architecture, calligraphy and sculpture. For example, while Euro-Americans and Korean evangelicals may both be “Christians,” they do not belong to the same Culture, because their world-outlooks differ so drastically, despite their notionally common religion. A present-day American protestant has more in common, spiritually, with a 9th-century Norse pagan than with a modern-day Korean convert, despite professing the same doctrines. Cultures are the basic unit by which to analyze history.

Islam is part of the “Magian” Culture. In his Decline of the West, Spengler defines the Magian Culture as comprising the Muslim Arabs, but also many pre-Islamic Middle Eastern groups such as the Babylonian Jews, the Zoroastrians, the Coptic and Syriac Christians, as well as syncretic/heretical gnostic groups like the Manichaeans. It arose around the time of Christ and lasted till the 12th century, when the anti-rationalist thinker Al-Ghazali dealt the deathblow to Magian philosophical speculation. All of subsequent Magian history was, in Spengler’s view,  “civilization”–grandiose, bombastic, imperial, but sterile. No new philosophical or religious ideas could arise from the Magian world outlook. It had run its course.

So the birth of Islam does not represent the foundation of a new religion. It was, rather, a revolution in Magian religious thought. As such, it is analogous to the Reformation in Western history. Like Luther, Muhammad preached a puritanical systematization of earlier currents in the spiritual thought of his Culture. Muhammad and Luther were both anti-clerical, iconoclastic reformers who exhorted their adherents to build a more personal relationship with God. They both made the scripture accessible to the masses–Luther by translating the bible into the vernacular, Muhammad by “receiving revelations” in easily memorized rhymed prose. After their deaths, their Cultures were unified the culture by marginalizing the earlier creeds and, at the same time, quickly spawning an array of heresies. The puritanical movements unleashed a storm, driving the post-reformation Europeans and post-Islam Magians to conquer half the world in a fanatical outburst of religious fervor–compare that to the religious and colonial wars of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Both movements, to a large degree, cleansed their cultures of foreign influence. Hellenistic influence on the Middle East, while not wiped out, was severely reduced in the first centuries of Islam. The Greek language, long the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean, died out in Egypt and Syria, and later in Anatolia.  To use Spengler’s term, Islam ended the hellenistic pseudomorphosis (false-development) of early Magian Culture, allowing it to come into its own. Likewise Luther and his successors purged Northern Europe of the ill-fitting Greco-Roman influence imposed by the Catholic Church. More and more, the European cultural initiative drifted northward. The centers of art migrated from Florence and Rome to Nuremberg, Rotterdam and Weimar. The Italian composers of the baroque were, by degrees, superseded by the likes of Bach and Handel. Thus Muhammad is not an Islamic Jesus, but a Luther. His movement, Islam, is a puritanical systematization of earlier currents in the Magian spirit.

Islam needs a Reformation

All this flies in the face of the conventional wisdom. Lacking any deeper insight into the place of Islam in history, the Mass-Media has been promoting a meme, “Islam needs a Reformation” eg (WSJ., HuffPo.). It makes sense superficially. Based on the conventional historical assumptions, one would compare Muhammad to Jesus as founders of world-religions. It follows then that Islam, having gotten a late start, is due for a reformation. After all, it’s  been 14 centuries since Muhammad fled to Medina, and about the same duration separates Jesus from Martin Luther. The pre-Reformation Church superficially resembles current-day Islam.

But with a deeper understanding of history, comparing Jesus to Muhammad is preposterous. In contrasting the current state of the West and the Middle East, it would be ridiculous to set the two up as analogues. Jesus no longer matters to Faustian man. When the decadent West looks for myths and heroes, it looks for world-denying saints of Tolerance and Progress. New heros must spring up or be manufactured–MLK and Gandhi, Anne Frank and Mother Theresa. Jesus would seem to fit the mold, but he is too bound-up in the popular imagination with the distant past. And in the popular imagination, History is Progress, therefore the farther back you go, the more evil everything is. But the West has absolutely no need for heroic men-of-the-world like Luther, so his place in our history is undervalued.

Unlike the West, the Middle East is not in an age of decadence. It seems to be waking from its long hibernation. The reborn Islamic fury, much pondered in the West, is neither merely another episode in the Middle East’s supposedly non-stop violence, nor is it the necessary outcome of Islam’s doctrines. That its people are still “Muslims” is of less consequence than its stage of historical development. Islam has not been perennially aggressive, and the Middle East has not been a “region of conflict beset by ancient hatreds.” For centuries following the Crusades the Arabs and Persians no longer mattered. Islam’s last great conquests were not carried out by these “core-Magians,” but by the Berbers, Turks and Mughals. And these imperial peoples could only prolong the agony of Magian decline. From the 17th century to the 20th, Islam was dormant, because the Magian Culture was dead.

What Islamic History can teach us

Thus the Magians ahead of the West. Not only have they undergone a Reformation, but they have also gone through a Golden Age and the inevitable Age of Decadence. A few centuries after Muhammad, around the 1100s, Islam began to lose its vigour. It briefly lost some of its core territories–Syria and Palestine–to the new, energetic “Faustian” Culture. It mustered the strength to repulse the intruders, but continued losing ground on its peripheries. The Mongols almost dealt the coup de grace by sacking Baghdad in 1258. Here we find the best analogy.

The weakened Islam of the 1200s is where The West finds itself now–beset by external enemies, barely able to rally the strength to defend itself. In its last centuries, Islam still endured wars and changes of dynasty, but no revolutions of thought or spirit. From the end of the Crusades till WWI, not much happened. Classic histories of the Arabs recognized this–in over 750 pages of The History of the Arabs, the Lebanese Christian scholar Philip Hitti devoted less than 100 to anything after the 13th century.

Herein lies their value to our understanding of the West’s place in history. By examining the trajectory of their Culture, we can see the outlines of our own future. Neither the liberal nor the reactionary approach has any value as history, only as polemic.

What can we look forward to? If the post-Mongol Islamic history is any guide, it’s going to be a bit mixed. Islam seemingly regained the initiative in the 14th century–ejecting the Crusaders and launching counteroffensives on its Eastern and Western frontiers. But this revival only came about because Islam received infusions of fresh Turkish and Mongol blood. This barbarian people adapted the outward forms of Magian Culture–Islam–and revved up the Jihad, but the core-Magians wallowed in decrepitude.

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Holland, Tom. In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. New York: Doubleday, 2012.

Spengler, Oswald, and Charles Francis Atkinson. The Decline of the West: Perspectives of World-history. Vol. 2. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957.

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Beyond NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization came into being on April 4, 1949, in Washington, DC. NATO’s first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, described its purpose with rare candor: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

Today, some 67 years after the signing of the treaty and 77 years after the war that precipitated it, it is time to take a hard look at NATO and reach an inevitable conclusion—it has to go.

The geopolitical enemies that justified the creation of NATO—National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union—have long since disappeared from the world stage. They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense orientation. There is a great deal of truth to Richard Sakwa’s caustic assessment that Washington is trapped in a “fateful geographical paradox—that Nato exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”  

For the good of the United States and our allies in Europe, NATO must be dismantled and replaced with a new, updated organization prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Introduction

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization came into being on April 4, 1949, in Washington, DC. NATO’s first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, described its purpose with rare candor: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”[1]

Today, some 67 years after the signing of the treaty and 77 years after the war that precipitated it, it is time to take a hard look at NATO and reach an inevitable conclusion—it has to go.

The geopolitical enemies that justified the creation of NATO—National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union—have long since disappeared from the world stage. They have been replaced by new threats, both conventional and unconventional, that cannot be adequately faced through NATO and are, indeed, exacerbated by NATO’s antiquated defense orientation. There is a great deal of truth to Richard Sakwa’s caustic assessment that Washington is trapped in a “fateful geographical paradox—that Nato exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”[2]

For the good of the United States and our allies in Europe, NATO must be dismantled and replaced with a new, updated organization prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Origins of “Atlanticism”

NATO, like most treaties, is inescapably a product of its time. The Atlanticist school of thought was based on the idea of a strategic bond between the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.[3] But this no longer has the hard geopolitical grounding it did in the days of the Interwar and Cold War periods. There is no longer a hostile superpower on the eastern edge of the Atlantic sphere. And the familiar binary of “Freedom vs. Socialism” is no longer a useful model for describing the ideological and political divisions in today’s world.

Reality has moved on, but Atlanticism has stayed put.

1. Hitler’s Germany

Adolf Hitler’s Germany was the main threat to Atlanticist (that is, British, French, and American) power up until the end of the Second World War in 1945. Despite Germany’s leniency towards retreating British forces in the early days of the war, and its attempts at a reconciliation with London, Churchill’s Britain was fundamentally unable to accept a peace agreement.[4]

The continuation of the war required a willing ally in the United States, provided by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Lend-Lease and the Atlantic Charter of 1941 were early indications of this Atlantic alignment against continental power (centered in Berlin). The “Allies” coalition and United Nations followed, and were crystallized in postwar NATO. The Atlantic Charter was ratified by Washington and London on August 14, 1941—months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ full entrance into the war. Lend-Lease, which supplied materiel to the UK, France, China, and Soviet Union, was begun even earlier, in March of that year. While Lend-Lease demonstrated Washington’s commitment to defeating Germany, the Atlantic Charter outlined the Atlanticist vision of the world after the war: free trade, freedom of the seas, “self-determination” of individual nation-states (with echoes of The League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson), and global cooperation for social welfare and the disarmament of “aggressor states.”[5]

While the Allies were assembled primarily to defeat Germany, NATO was designed to keep it defeated. And after near-total physical destruction in 1944-45, the replacement of existing German political institutions with U.S.-created ones, and an extensive policy of “de-nazification,” West Germany became a U.S. protectorate. (An analogous process with East Germany occurred in the Soviet sphere.) Put bluntly, Germany was humiliated, divided, and neutered. And even after reunification in 1990, it has never presented a real threat to Washington’s objectives.

2. Stalin’s Russia

While Germany inspired NATO’s precursors, Stalin’s Soviet Union inspired NATO itself.[6] After extensive cooperation with the Atlantic powers during the Second World War, the USSR became the chief competitor to the United States, Britain, and France immediately following 1945. In the wake of the annihilation of Hitler’s Germany, the Soviet Union became such a threat that the Allies developed a contingency plan “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.”[7] Though this plan remained unimplemented due to its low odds of success—and potentially catastrophic consequences—the geopolitical balance of power between the two superpowers (the U.S. and the USSR) was set in stone for the next four decades. The Cold War had begun.

Predictable economic, political, and moral problems eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the chaotic period of 1989-91.[8] The Russian Federation, the legal successor state to the USSR, was half the size of its predecessor in population. American interests quickly waged economic war on a weakened Russia, manipulated major elections[9], and expanded the influence of NATO and U.S.-backed organizations like the European Union, all the way into former Soviet states on Russia’s border.

In February 1990—after the Berlin Wall had been dismantled but before the Soviet Union had dissolved—Washington and Moscow negotiated the reunification process for Germany. West Germany would effectively absorb East, and the new state would enter NATO; however, James Baker (George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State) offered “ironclad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward,” according to declassified transcripts.[10]

Baker’s “Not one inch eastward” was a promise Washington was unwilling to keep. By the turn of the century, NATO membership had been offered to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, followed a few years later by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. This was accompanied by NATO’s “humanitarian” bombing campaign in Yugoslavia (a traditional Russian ally), and Washington’s attempts, in conjunction with various non-governmental organizations, to inspire changes of regime in various countries in the former Soviet sphere (the “Color Revolutions”).[11]

It is understandable that Russian foreign-policy makers view NATO, not as a “defensive” organization, but as one bent on encircling Russia, perhaps even engaging in regime change in Moscow. Moreover, despite the American and Western European media’s depiction of Russian military activity in Ukraine and Syria as “aggressive,” the geopolitical reality is that they are last-ditch attempts to prevent U.S. encroachment into Russia’s remaining circle of influence around its own borders and few foreign military bases. A Russian invasion of Western Europe, let alone the American mainland, is the stuff of a fever dream or Hollywood blockbuster.

New Enemies, New Threats

While Germany has been remade into a vassal and Russia, displaced from superpower status,[12] threats to the United States and Europe have not subsided—they’ve multiplied. The new threats do not come from traditional European great powers, however, but from a number of non-European states and unconventional non-state actors. History has not ended, as Francis Fukyama imagined in the 1990s,[13] but has taken unforeseen and unpredictable turns.

1. The Specter of Radical Islam

The morning of September 11, 2001, marked a turning point in America’s place in the world. Radical Islamic terrorism— inspired by Wahhabi Islam out of Saudi Arabia—established itself as a major threat to Western hegemony and set the stage for the next decade of American foreign policy.[14]

Islamic terrorism, as it is understood today, did not exist during the creation of NATO in 1949, and was effectively unthinkable. Arab states spent the Cold War mostly aligned with the atheist Soviet Union, and they flirted with secular pan-Arab nationalism (the Ba-ath Party, founded in 1947 and existing to this day, being a prime example). It was not until the late 1970s that the seeds of contemporary Islamic terrorism were sown, ironically, largely by the U.S. and its NATO allies.[15]

Even before the Soviet Union’s ill-advised entrance into Afghanistan in 1979, Washington had funded and trained radical Muslim insurgents in the region.[16] During the 10-year Soviet-Afghan War, the U.S. used these non-state actors (“the Mujahideen”) as pawns to be played against a greater power. It was a strategy with terrible unintended consequences, as the networks and individuals (which included none other than Osama bin Laden) would soon exchange one “Great Satan” for another.

After two major U.S. wars in the Muslim world and an international “War on Terror” that has stretched on more than a decade, radical Islamism has not been defeated; it has exploded.[17] Buoyed and supported discreetly by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Western (particularly U.S.) intelligence agencies playing fast-and-loose with Islamic proxy groups, Islamic terrorists have attained a greater position than ever before. This dangerous strategy is particularly obvious in the current Syrian war.

Their reach is evidenced by more frequent, more violent, and more brazen attacks on civilian and military targets in France, Germany, Belgium, and the U.S. mainland, such as the recent atrocities committed in Paris, Nice, and San Bernardino. NATO’s conventional military structure is ill suited for dealing with non-state threats like these, to put it mildly. Garrisons stretched across the European continent—which made NATO powerful in confronting the Soviet Union—are close to useless in addressing the challenge of Islamic terrorism.

2. Turkey—A Dangerous Ally

In 1951, Turkey joined NATO as a junior partner. Today, an increasingly Islamist and assertive Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, dreams of re-creating the Ottoman Empire.[18] Erdogan’s moves have directly supported and emboldened radical Islamic terrorist groups, destabilized the Middle East, and threatened the safety of millions of Europeans who are supposedly under U.S. protection.

Turkey’s substantial support of the Islamic State (IS) and other criminal groups in Syria is an open secret.[19] Moreover, Turkey’s complicity in the 2015-16 “refugee” crisis continues to endanger Europeans and Americans. Its control over the flow of millions of non-European migrants who want to reach Europe is an unacceptable bargaining chip that has corroded European sovereignty and security. Ankara has exploited its geographic location, promising to cut the refugee flow for billions of Euros in aid and accelerated EU membership talks.[20] Attempts by Turkey to reassert its erstwhile dominance over the Balkan Peninsula (which includes Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Greece) can be expected if NATO remains as it is.

3. Managing the Rise of China

Enmeshed in a brutal civil war until 1950, China was not an immediate threat to U.S. or European interests, despite the eventual victory of Mao Zedong’s Communist forces over the nationalist Kuomintang and the alignment of China with the Soviet Union.

China’s fortunes turned around considerably in the 1970s under the reign of Deng Xiaoping, following the death of Chairman Mao. China was on the rise as early as 1971-72, with the transfer of the permanent Chinese seat on the United Nations Security Council from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People’s Republic of China and U.S. President Richard Nixon’s famous “visit to China.”[21]

Today, with the world’s largest population, China’s economy is greater than the United States by some measures.[22] The Chinese leadership is putting its newfound might to use militarily, testing their reach in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Speculation about a Chinese superpower has not been unfounded. Though economic relations are good and military confrontation is unlikely, China’s trajectory puts it on a direct collision course with the U.S. presence in Asia, in the form of military installations in Japan and South Korea. Indeed, being that America and China have achieved such economic interdependence —a relationship commonly known as “Chimerica”–Washington should seriously consider continuing such a presence, which can only be viewed by Beijing as a threat or expression of superiority.

Chinese intelligence operations and cyber-warfare will only intensify in the United States and NATO-aligned countries as time goes on. Much as with terrorism, NATO is neither equipped nor designed to deal with this kind of threat coming from this region of the world.

4. The Collapse of Mexico

Mexico has never been a paragon of stability and security, but the total collapse of the Mexican state and surrender to narco-terrorists and drug cartels in the last 20 years is unprecedented. With a relatively unguarded 2,000-mile border with the United States, Mexico’s colossal drug trade and the associated violence have spilled over into the U.S.[23] Such chaos has rendered some areas of the United States effectively controlled by Mexican drug cartels, according to local law enforcement.[24] This violation of national sovereignty should be of paramount concern, but goes unaddressed, while Washington pursues spectacular boondoggles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The outdated, Eurasian orientation of NATO has more than a little to do with this failure of defense policy. The threat posed by non-state actors in Mexico to the United States homeland is not just outside the bounds of NATO but unrecognizable to it. Without a major change in defense and foreign policy, particularly policy regarding NATO, incursions across the U.S. border will only increase without any way for U.S. defense forces to reorient themselves away from Eurasia and towards Central America.

Replacing NATO

In the seven decades since the formation of NATO, the greatest threats to U.S. and European security have shifted from Russia and Germany to the Middle East, China, and Mexico. The dissolution of NATO would require a new treaty or set of treaties to formalize a foreign policy current with the latest geopolitical developments.

This new defense orientation would require the following three key principles.

1. Cooperation with Russia

American policy towards Russia since 1991 has consistently been one of aggression, typically cloaked under the guises of economic and political “development.” Based largely off Cold War inertia, this policy culminated in the 2013-14 U.S.-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine, which threw the country into chaos and prompted a military response from Russia.[25]

The threat of nuclear war—Russia inherited the Soviet Union’s entire arsenal—precludes an attempt to intimidate or force Russia into submission. The threats from Islamic terrorism, a rising Turkey, and an ascendant China require cooperation with the only significant power in the region with major exposure to all three—Russia.

Recognition of the changes in the security situation since 1949 requires sincere cooperation with Russia and the cession of Russia’s traditional sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. A stable power equilibrium will need to be reached to defend against external threats common to both the U.S. and Russia.

2. Reviving Western Europe

Western Europe has depended heavily on the U.S. military for defense since the end of the Second World War. Size and spending of the U.S. military dwarf those of Washington’s closest European allies and former colonial powers.[26]

With the Soviet Union broken up and Russia returned to its traditional status, it is time to also break up the unnecessary American “empire” in Europe. The dissolution of NATO must send a strong message to Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the rest of Europe that they must defend themselves.

The defense of Europe from Soviet Communism required tremendous American might and a unified military command, but the threats faced by Europe today require strong national militaries, intelligence services, and borders. Cooperation between the U.S., Europe, and Russia must be done on the basis of sovereign states with mutual interests, not clients servicing behemoths and far-off imperial capitals.

Europeans, in turn, must get tough and recognize that the American shield they have lived under for some 70 years will, eventually, vanish, due to Washington’s unwillingness to maintain Cold War-era military structures or its bankruptcy.

3. An Eye to Common Threats

The threats to Atlantic security outlined above—Islamic terrorism, Turkey, and China—also directly threaten the states of Europe and Russia. (Mexico is a North American problem.)

Europe and Russia[27] are prime targets of Islamic radicals in the Middle East, both due to interventions in the Middle East and large, troubling Muslim minorities at home that provide safe haven to terrorists. Russia’s bipolar relationship with Erdogan’s Turkey is well-known, as is Europe’s combative and losing diplomatic war against him. China, though a tentative ally of Russia, is eyeing sparsely-populated Siberia.[28] Chinese money flows freely into Europe, buying property and influence.

A post-NATO U.S. foreign policy needs to be based on countering the common threats faced by the U.S., our European allies, and the Russian Federation.

Conclusion

The change in the geopolitical situation since 1991 demands the dissolution of NATO and a common pan-European defense policy that allows the United States, Europe, and Russia to work as allies against clear and rising threats from across the globe, rather than repeat the unsustainable and outdated dynamics of the Cold War.

While the 20th century might have demanded NATO, the 21st century requires something very different. In this regard, it’s helpful to return to Lord Ismay’s famous trinity of “out,” “down,” and “in.” The U.S. needs to keep, not Russians, but Islamic radicals out of Europe. The Germans do not need to be kept down, but the Turks and Chinese most certainly do. And it’s debatable whether America needs to be in Europe at all.


  1. Jospeh Nye, The Paradox of American Power (London: Oxford University Press, 2002), 33. ↩︎
  2. Richard Sakwa, Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands (London: I.B.Tauris, 2015), 4. ↩︎
  3. Tim Dunne, “‘When the shooting starts'”: Atlanticism in British security strategy,” International Affairs, Vol. 80, October 2004, 893–909. DOI: 10.1111/j. ↩︎
  4. Benjamin Schwarz, ”Rethinking Negotiation With Hitler,” New York Times, November 24, 2000, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/25/arts/rethinking-negotiation-with-hitler.html. ↩︎
  5. Douglas Brinkley and David Facey-Crowther (Eds.), The Atlantic Charter, The World of the Roosevelts (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994). ↩︎
  6. “A Short History of NATO,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nato.int/history/nato-history.html. ↩︎
  7. David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006), 250. ↩︎
  8. Leon Aron, “Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong,” Foreign Policy, June 20, 2011, accessed October 1, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/06/20/everything-you-think-you-know-about-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-is-wrong/. ↩︎
  9. Michael Kramer, “Rescuing Boris: The Secret Story of How Four U.S. Advisors Used Polls, Focus Groups, Negative Ads and All the Other Techniques of American Campaigning to Help Boris Yeltsin Win,” Time, July 15, 1996, Vol. 148, Issue 4, accessed October 1, 2016, http://people.bu.edu/tboas/Kramer.pdf. ↩︎
  10. Mary Elise Sarotte, “Not One Inch Eastward? Bush, Baker, Kohl, Genscher, Gorbachev, and the Origin of Russian Resentment toward NATO Enlargement in February 1990,” Diplomatic History, Vo. 34, No. 1, January 2010.

    Joshua Shifrinson, “”Not an Inch East”: How the West Broke Its Promise to Russia,” November 3, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://russia-insider.com/en/germany_military_politics_ukraine_opinion/2014/11/05/04-31-59pm/not_inch_east_how_west_broke_its.

  11. See Andrew Korybko, “Hybrid Wars: Syria & Ukraine,” Oriental Review, March 11, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://orientalreview.org/2016/03/11/hybrid-wars-2-testing-the-theory-syria-and-ukraine/. ↩︎
  12. Ashley Wiederhold, “Russia: Not The Super Power It Once Was,” World Policy Journal, World Policy Institute, April 25, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2014/04/25/russia-not-super-power-it-once-was. ↩︎
  13. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992). ↩︎
  14. George Friedman, “9/11 and the 9-Year War,” Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly, Stratfor Enterprises, September 8, 2010, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100907_911_and_9_year_war. ↩︎
  15. Deepak Tripathi, Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamic Terrorism (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2011). ↩︎
  16. Robert Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 145-46. ↩︎
  17. Lauren B. O’Brien, “The Evolution of Terrorism Since 9/11.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 8, 2011, accessed October 1, 2016, https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/september/the-evolution-of-terrorism-since-9-11. ↩︎
  18. Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Turkey’s President Wants to Revive the Language of the Ottoman Empire,” Washington Post, December 12, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/12/why-turkeys-president-wants-to-revive-the-language-of-the-ottoman-empire/. ↩︎
  19. Nafeez Ahmed, “The elephant in NATO’s room: state-sponsorship of Daesh,” Medium, July 22, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/turkeys-secret-pact-with-islamic-state-exposed-by-operative-behind-wave-of-isis-attacks-6b35d1d29e18#.nu9tjjkv7. ↩︎
  20. “EU, Turkey: In Search of a Lasting Migrant Deal,” Stratfor, June 9, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/eu-turkey-search-lasting-migrant-deal. ↩︎
  21. Margaret MacMillan, Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2007). ↩︎
  22. Ben Carter, “Is China’s Economy Really the Largest in the World?” BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, December 16, 2014, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30483762. ↩︎
  23. Yelena Tuzova, “Cartels at war: Mexico’s drug-fueled violence and the threat to US national security,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 24, Issue 4, 2013, 769-70. ↩︎
  24. Jerry Seper and Matthew Cella, “Signs in Arizona Warn of Smuggler Dangers,” Washington Times, August 31, 2010, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/31/signs-in-arizona-warn-of-smuggler-dangers/. ↩︎
  25. Conn Hallinan, “NATO’s Dangerous Game: Bear-Baiting Russia,” Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies, May 2, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://fpif.org/natos-dangerous-game-bear-baiting-russia/. ↩︎
  26. Adam Taylor and Laris Karklis, “This Remarkable Chart Shows How U.S. Defense Spending Dwarfs the Rest of the World,” Washington Post, February 9, 2016, accessed October 1, 2016, http://fpif.org/natos-dangerous-game-bear-baiting-russia/. ↩︎
  27. Gillis, Charlie. “Unwanted Exposure.” Maclean’s 127.2 (2014): 28-29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. ↩︎
  28. Frank Jacobs, “Why China Will Reclaim Siberia,” International New York Times, January 13, 2015, accessed October 1, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/07/03/where-do-borders-need-to-be-redrawn/why-china-will-reclaim-siberia. ↩︎
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Islam: The Magian Revolution

Western academics and media-types write a lot of drivel about Islam. Part of the problem is there is a dearth of good information, and a bounty of superficial, politically self-serving…

Western academics and media-types write a lot of drivel about Islam. Part of the problem is there is a dearth of good information, and a bounty of superficial, politically self-serving garbage. But the real problem is misplaced emphasis. Western experts and commenters are used to thinking of history in simplistic terms–as the story of human progress. This model might be a good fit for Euro-American history, it is at least workable. But the progressive model falls apart when applied to the history of Islam. Islam’s heights seem to correspond to the West’s depths, and vice-versa. The “Progress” model causes Westerners to ask the wrong questions about Islamic history. “What went wrong?” “Why has the Middle East been so beset by violence?” “When will Islam adopt modern political and ethical principles?”

This misguided criticism has two faces–liberal and reactionary. Both sides share a simplistic view of history–that millennia-long, worldwide advance of the human spirit. But each side approaches its subject with different motives. Liberals, who dominate public discourse on the subject (surprise), assume the intrinsic goodness of all people. “Islam is peace” (eye roll). They feel good when they can cite examples of seemingly precocious modernism, such as early Muslim rulers’ tolerance (in the strictest sense) for religious minorities. It makes them feel good to contrast these anecdotes with the supposedly unrelenting fanaticism of Euro-Americans throughout the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, the 19th and 20th centuries, up to and including last week. This rosy, Islamophilic picture is not really about Islam. It is just another stick with which to beat guilt into the Euro-American historical conscience.

The liberal position, while dominant, does not go unchallenged. On the other side are the reactionaries. They are “reactionaries” because they have no real position on Islam, they only know that the liberals are wrong, and reflexively counterattack. Theirs is a form of hypercriticism, given to denying long-established facts and trends of Islamic history with little or no justification other than to refute the Islamophiles. Given the current situation in the West, their excesses are understandable. But the reactionaries’ zeal leads them to stake out indefensible positions. Many of them are have ulterior motives–some are pro-Jewish fanatics or apologists for imperialism, others are democratic ideologues. But they share a defect. They lack a healthy, Faustian drive to pursue universal Truth–whether we like its conclusions or not.

Both approaches fail for two reasons. First, neither affords its subject the proper attitude of “sympathetic criticism.” The student must devote himself to understanding a culture on its own terms–learning its languages, reading its history and literature–all the while imagining things from its perspective. Once he has done this, he can render judgment on its ethics, its cultural attainments, and its overall importance to history. This was the approach of the great orientalists of the late 19th and early 20th century. They devoted tremendous intellectual effort to comprehending Islamic civilization, yet they were unafraid to pass judgment on its shortcomings. The liberals have no aptitude for criticism, the reactionaries have none for sympathy.

Second, the liberals and reactionaries neglect the questions of philosophical history. It is from this oversight that they fall into their assumption of perpetual historical progress. But there is a better way. One hundred years ago, Oswald Spengler reframed the discussion of history by tearing down an idea of progress (at least as it is commonly understood). His “Copernican revolution” in historical thought worked wonders for the study of Classical civilization and Europe, but it would prove even more effective for understanding the meaning of Middle Eastern history. Spengler shifted the emphasis away from time and toward Cultures. Following Spengler, we can understand how meaningless most of the questions posed by conventional commenters are, and begin to see Islam for what it really is.

The Magian Reformation

Spengler rejected the conventional historical focus on religions and polities. He saw these as merely superficial expressions of something deeper–the Culture. Cultures, in Spengler’s scheme, are a complex of peoples who share a world-outlook. This outlook–the spirit of a Culture–drives it to produce or adapt a religion. “Religion” is the outward expression of the world-outlook and includes such things as prayer rituals, religious architecture, calligraphy, and sculpture. For example, while Euro-Americans and Korean evangelicals may both be “Christians,” they do not belong to the same Culture, because their world-outlooks differ so drastically, despite their notionally common religion. A present-day American protestant has more in common, spiritually, with a 9th-century Norse pagan than with a modern-day Korean convert, despite professing the same doctrines. Cultures are the basic unit by which to analyze history.

Islam is part of the “Magian” Culture. In his Decline of the West, Spengler defines the Magian Culture as comprising the Muslim Arabs, but also many pre-Islamic Middle Eastern groups such as the Babylonian Jews, the Zoroastrians, the Coptic and Syriac Christians, as well as syncretic/heretical groups like the Manichaeans. It arose around the time of Christ and lasted until the 12th century when the anti-rationalist thinker Al-Ghazali dealt the deathblow to Magian philosophical speculation. All of subsequent Magian history was, in Spengler’s view, “civilization”–grandiose, bombastic, imperial, but sterile. No new philosophical or religious ideas could arise from the Magian world outlook. The culture had run its course.

So the birth of Islam does not represent the foundation of a new religion. It was, rather, a revolution in Magian religious thought. As such, it is analogous to the Reformation in Western history. Like Luther, Muhammad preached a puritanical systematization of earlier currents in the spiritual thought of his Culture. Muhammad and Luther were both anti-clerical, iconoclastic reformers who exhorted their adherents to build a more personal relationship with God. They both made the scripture accessible to the masses–Luther by translating the Bible into the vernacular, Muhammad by “receiving revelations” in easily memorized rhymed prose. After their deaths, their Cultures were unified the culture by marginalizing the earlier creeds and, at the same time, quickly spawning an array of heresies. The puritanical movements unleashed a storm, driving the post-reformation Europeans and post-Islam Magians to conquer half the world in a fanatical outburst of religious fervor–compare that to the religious and colonial wars of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Both movements, to a large degree, cleansed their cultures of foreign influence. Hellenistic influence on the Middle East, while not wiped out, was severely reduced in the first centuries of Islam. The Greek language, long the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean, died out in Egypt and Syria, and later in Anatolia. To use Spengler’s term, Islam ended the Hellenistic pseudomorphosis (false-development) of early Magian Culture, allowing it to come into its own. Likewise after Luther, Northern Europe was free to work out its own cultural development. Free of Rome, the North underwent its own Renaissance. Florence and Rome were replaced by Nuremberg, Rotterdam, and Weimar. The Italian composers of the baroque were, by degrees, superseded by the likes of Bach and Handel. Thus Muhammad is not an Islamic Jesus, but a Luther. His movement, Islam, is a puritanical systematization of earlier currents in the Magian spirit.

Islam needs a Reformation

All this flies in the face of the conventional wisdom. Lacking any deeper insight into the place of Islam in history, the Mass-Media has been promoting a meme, “Islam needs a Reformation” eg: (WSJ and HuffPo). It makes sense superficially. Based on the conventional historical assumptions, one would compare Muhammad to Jesus as founders of world-religions. It follows then that Islam, having gotten a late start, is due for a reformation. After all, it’s been 14 centuries since Muhammad fled to Medina, and about the same duration separates Jesus from Martin Luther. The pre-Reformation Church superficially resembles current-day Islam.

But with a deeper understanding of history, comparing Jesus to Muhammad is preposterous. In contrasting the current state of the West and the Middle East, it would be ridiculous to set the two up as analogs. Jesus no longer matters to Faustian man. When the decadent West looks for myths and heroes, it looks for world-denying saints of Tolerance and Progress. New heroes must spring up or be manufactured–MLK and Gandhi, Anne Frank and Mother Theresa. Jesus would seem to fit the mold, but he is too bound-up in the popular imagination with the distant past. And in the popular imagination, History is Progress, therefore the farther back you go, the more evil everything is. But the West has absolutely no need for heroic men-of-the-world like Luther, so his place in our history is undervalued.

But the reborn Islamic fury, much pondered in the West, is not the necessary outcome of Islam’s doctrines. That the Middle East is still populated by “Muslims” is of less consequence than its stage of historical development. Islam is in winter. For centuries following the Crusades the Arabs and Persians were inactive. Islam’s last great conquests were not carried out by these “core-Magians,” but by the Berbers, Turks, and Mughals. And these imperial peoples could only prolong the agony of Magian decline. After c. 1500, the Magians had no meaningful history. They have endured wars and changes of dynasty, but no revolutions of thought or spirit. Classic histories of Middle East recognized this historical void–in over 750 pages of The History of the Arabs, the Lebanese Christian scholar Philip Hitti devoted less than 100 to anything after the 13th century.

What’s to be done

The liberal and reactionary views of Islam are shallow and polemic. They are worthless as history. Neither framework allows us to understand the relationship between Magian culture and ours because the Magians are actually ahead of us. Their decline did not begin in the 19th century, but in the 11th. Their reformation did not happen in the 16th century, but in the 7th.

Where are we now? Today’s situation resembles the era of the Crusades, with the roles reversed. Like Islam of the 1100s, the West has passed its peak. Our spirit is dying, our philosophy and art have ossified. We find ourselves beset by external enemies, barely able to summon the strength for our own preservation. Like Europe of the 1100s, the Middle East is the matrix of peoples–young, vigorous and aggressive.

What can we look forward to? If the West follows the same trajectory as Islam did after 1100, we are doomed. While Islam expelled the Crusaders and launched counteroffensives on its Eastern and Western frontiers, it only did so because it received infusions of fresh blood semi-civilized converts. These barbarian peoples adopted the outward forms of Magian Culture–Islam–but were unable to revive its spiritual vigor.

So contrary to the common view, the West does not face an ancient religious enemy. Islam died centuries ago–any invocation of its doctrines is now entirely superficial. The Arabs have for centuries wallowed in spiritual decrepitude. The “refugees” are not driven on by religious fervor, but simple greed, lust, and envy. They are not so much religious fanatics as they are zombies. Soulless and decrepit, they swarm to history’s last civilization. Do we still have the spirit to do what needs to be done?


Holland, Tom. In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire. New York: Doubleday, 2012.

Spengler, Oswald, and Charles Francis Atkinson. The Decline of the West: Perspectives of World-history. Vol. 2. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957.

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Keep Calm and Ride the Tiger

Islamic terrorism is the mirror image of liberal Modernity. Jihad advances on the rubble of the Post-Western Experiment, and the Post-Western Experiment needs formidable enemies like radical Islam to keep everyone in line.

This morning, when I left my hip Parisian studio to go to work, there was a parcel waiting for me at the lobby.

It wasn’t ticking, and it wasn’t a surprise either. I had been waiting for it for weeks. It was Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission (Submission), which was released today. Soumission takes place in 2022 France. After Marine Le Pen’s close defeat in the 2017 presidential election, a vast coalition, including all mainstream parties, yet led by a French Muslim, Mohamed Ben Abbes, puts the last nail in Front National’s coffin. Now France’s Islamization will be allowed to proceed, unchallenged. (For once, I won’t make my usual — and yet never disproved… — point that Marine’s FN is not challenging it in any meaningful way.)

This was enough for the chattering class to complain for weeks that the book might be offensive and lack sensitivity, even if they couldn’t possibly have read it then. In our Age of Tweet, literary controversy, an old French tradition, doesn’t even require that one reads the book they criticize. One just has to comment on the book’s topic, or, in this case, title. As we know, the Arabic word for “submission” is… Islam.

I was reflecting on all that on my way to work, and I was already thinking about the mighty review I would post at Radix.

Later in the morning, one of my colleagues came to me and asked: “Have you seen what happened at Charlie Hebdo? There’s been a shooting. At least ten people have died.” The satirical weekly magazine’s headquarters being only 2,500 meters from where I work, my first reaction was one of surprise. I had been hearing no police or ambulance sirens. The neighborhood was quiet, at least as can be in Paris.

Once I realized what had happened, one of my first thoughts was that this shooting coincided with Houellebecq’s novel release. Another quick thought was that in Plateforme (Platform), published only days before 9/11, the story ended with an Islamic terrorist attack against a sex resort in Thailand. Houellebecq’s prophecy was that Islamic terrorists would make their last stand against Post-Western Modernity before the Islamic world, like Southeast Asia, would be absorbed and neutered in our Brave New World Order. Four years later, in La Possibilité d’une Île (The Possibility of an Island) Houellebecq developed this point and predicted that Islamism would be, much like the Beatnik or Hippie movements, a fad, waiting to be swallowed and reframed by Modernity.

I still believe this point to be correct, though there might be some upheavals in the meantime. And that’s what happened today at Charlie Hebdo.

And before I write negative things about this publication, I should state the obvious:

  • Yes, what happened today is atrocious; any decent Westerner should express solidarity with the twelve victims and their families;
  • Yes, Charlie Hebdo is free to criticize Islam, however it might upset the terrorists’ sensitivities;
  • Yes, said terrorists should be hunted down, shot dead, and turned into compost so they can be useful at last.

But have I said anything interesting here? Should I feel “brave” just because Charlie Hebdo‘s headquarters are only blocks away from where I live? Should I seek professional support to help me get over my grief?

When faced with such tragedies, the normal reaction should be the Walter White way. In the AMC series Breaking Bad, the chemistry teacher/methamphetamine “cook” unsuccesfully tries to call everyone to reason after the collision of two planes over Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A wrong analysis of this Breaking Bad scene would be that Walter White, being a sociopath, lacks empathy towards the victims and their loved ones. I would argue the exact reverse. The real sociopaths are the attention-seeking students and teachers who want to get the same sympathy as the plane crash casualties.

I am never comfortable with the inevitable public mourning when such tragedies happen. My feeling is that decency should force us to show restraint and discretion in front of the actual suffering of the victims’ families.

Instead, what we have is an outburst of sentimentalism that not only clouds the mind but also, in my opinion, is disrespectful to the people who died. The crocodile tears shed on Facebook and Twitter are not meant for the assasinated journalists and policemen. Rather, people who post “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) memes want others to look at them cry. Am I the only one to find this wrong?

Symetrical to this feminine self-obsessed digital weeping is the macho posturing political over-reaction. On Identitarian pages I stumbled across, there were guys, comfortably hidden behind their pseudonyms, who were already talking about civil war while the bodies were still warm. Drawing on their Carl Schmitt for Dummies quote collections, they were calling everyone to transcend their ideological differences, however fundamental, to defeat “the Enemy.” As if Schmitt’s analysis still applied to an atomized, disintegrated world where there are not two sides but, at the very least, three.

From the fact that everyone shall express solidarity towards the victims, it does not follow that we should seek an alliance with the likes of Charlie Hebdo.

— The Pope is pushing it too far! [pun intended] — — The Pope is pushing it too far! [pun intended] — “This is my body!”

For one cartoon criticizing Islam, Charlie Hebdo has been publishing dozens outright insulting Christians, Whites, conservatives, and men. It’s perfectly possible to defend Charlie Hebdo‘s right to publish such material without dreaming of a united “side” fighting against Islamic terrorism. Actually, it could even be argued that the latter is the mirror image of liberal Modernity. Jihad advances on the rubble of the Post-Western Experiment, and the Post-Western Experiment needs formidable enemies (Al-Qaeda and ISIS being more credible than the much-maligned “Far Right”) to keep everyone in line. It’s not our hill to die on, on either side of it.

Rather, what we should do is put our Julius Evola for Dummies manuals down and start applying to ourselves the slogans we drew from them. We are Men Among the Ruins who endeavor to Ride the Tiger, right? Then let’s see today’s West as it really is, i.e. a heap of rubble in the midst of which we must survive and whose dangers we need to overcome to create an alternative future for ourselves. There will be many tribes struggling for survival in these here ruins. The time for preservation and grand alliances is over.

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Who Makes History

Foley died on his knees. With his last act, he condemned his government as his “real killers,” and couldn’t even spit defiance at those about to murder him. He had to condemn the actions of his own brother. He denounced his country.

The most we can hope for is a good death. James Foley did not get a good death.

This is not a judgment on his courage. Such a verdict depends on information we will never have. Making a speech against American foreign policy and then suffering the knife may be an act of astounding bravery if the price for refusal had been the butchery of other hostages. Or his relative stoicism may have been a simple surrender to fate, like we see in the blank faces of those about to be cut apart by chainsaws or pickaxes in Mexico’s cartel wars.

Regardless of context or circumstance, Foley at least met his end with dignity, with no crying or begging for mercy as the steel bit into his throat. Put aside bravado–can you honestly say you would done better with your neck under the blade?

But none of that changes the reality that Foley died utterly defeated. And we can think of recent alternatives. In 2004, Iraqi insurgents captured one Fabrizio Quattrocchi and forced him to dig his own grave. Infuriated, he attempted to rip off his hood and screamed, “Now I’ll show you how an Italian dies!” The insurgents shot him to death in a panicky display of weakness. Quattrocchi was hailed as a hero, a man who met his end in a way the Romans would have recognized. 

In contrast, Foley died on his knees. With his last act, he condemned his government as his “real killers,” and couldn’t even spit defiance at those about to murder him. He had to condemn the actions of his own brother. He denounced his country. And he met his end with words of self-loathing on his lips, broadcast to the rest of the world.

President Barack Obama, in a statement of a few minutes before he returned to playing golf, said “one thing we can all agree on” is “there is no place in the 21st century” for the Islamic State. Of course, this is the same thing people say about the British monarchy, organized religion, or single-sex bathrooms on college campuses. It’s the simple assumption that we have seen the End of History at a student activities fair at Oberlin, and Gaza, Aleppo, and Baghdad are just playing catch up.

But the rejection of liberal modernity is precisely what ISIS is all about. And as large populations within increasingly Islamized Western nations support the Islamic State–including over a quarter of young “French people”–Obama’s passivity is hardly justified. Indeed, the man who beheaded Foley was a British subject and more British subjects fight for the Islamic State than Her Majesty. It’s a simple statement of fact to say more Muslims in Britain are willing to die for the people who beheaded Foley than to try to save him, and those who want to see a successful display of multiculturalism should look to Raqqa rather than Washington.

After all, the America of Obama or the Britain of Cameron are cultural nullities, unable to even define themselves, let alone why anyone should die for them. Indeed, even now, Obama’s statement suggested that the United States must still justify itself to the Islamic World. Before he could offer meaningless platitudes, the President ritualistically insisted that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam.

  • The main victims of the Islamic State are–wait for it–Muslims.
  • Obama says that the Islamic State may “claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors”–evidently because Muslims who war on the West directly are better somehow.
  • And the President claimed that “no faith teaches people to massacre innocents,” a statement so utterly self-refuting that it requires no further comment by me.

While progressives love to pretend that “education” is the answer to all the world’s problems, the fact is that liberal modernity and all it has to offer has been tried, tested, and found wanting by Western born mujahideen. Michael Brendan Dougherty identifies Islamic radicalism as a revolutionary creed akin to Communism and National Socialism which:

[O]ffer visions of justice that are larger and deeper than some dirty court system. And the struggle in establishing them holds out prizes that are extremely rare for men of the West: glory, martyrdom, and heroism. Revolution beats a life of traffic tickets, creditors, bosses, and — if you’re especially lucky — angst about real-estate.

But it goes deeper than seeking thrills or even fulfilling existential desire. Ultimately, the mujahideen are staking a claim to history and offering a challenge to History, carving out their names in blood and fire across the crossroads of civilization.

In contrast, President Obama says that “the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.” This is an extraordinary claim to make about someone who was essentially a spectator to his own death. It’s even more stupefying to say this of the masses who may have taken a moment to tweet #prayers with a sad emoticon and then gone back to giggling about Mariah Carey getting divorced again.

James Foley was certainly brave in his way–no physical cowards work as freelance journalists in war zones. He even returned to his work after previously being captured in Libya and living to tell the tale.

However, he had a specific agenda with his work–he was trying to expose the “atrocities” of the Assad regime and support the “democracy” movement. Foley may have been a freelancer, but his worldview was eminently predictable and pro-Establishment–trying to break down questions of race, religion, and identity into a game of good egalitarian democrats versus bad reactionaries.

Thus, he was quick to draw critical attention to incidents that the media would call Islamophobic, like when an American military officer made comments critical of Islam during a class on terrorism. He tweeted out articles that we would consider parody, asking if right wing terrorism was as big a threat as Al-Qaeda. And he aggressively, incessantly pushed for NATO intervention in Syria and arming the opposition to Bashar al-Assad–even though he also considered civilian casualties inflicted by the Israeli and American militaries to be murder.

Like so many liberals, he was embarrassed by American power but eager and dependent upon it, disgusted by militarism but anxious to find new crusades to spread Lady Gaga at the point of a gun. His condemnation of Bashar al-Assad is especially poignant given the Islamic State’s actions. As a member of a minority sect, Bashar al-Assad’s power partially rests upon his being able to protect minorities from Sunni militants. The “authoritarianism” is an admission that left to their own desires, one group will simply attempt to slaughter everyone else.

Foley was among th
ose believed that power is passé, and that Assad’s removal would somehow lead to a liberal democracy. Instead, Foley was beheaded by the very rebels he was assisting. The “good” moderate rebels of the Free Syrian Army that Americans are so desperately counting on are irrelevant as they are squeezed between Assad’s forces and those of the Islamic State. If Foley “shaped history,” it was as one of those who inadvertently paved the way for the Caliphate. 

Foley’s death has not taught anyone anything, or even made a real impact. His beheading caused less sincere outrage and righteous anger than Gavin McInnes questioning the mental health of transsexuals. One of the main responses in the aftermath was a desperate plea “not to watch,” to shy away from the reality of violence underlying all social order and pretending that it doesn’t exist. Liberals acted like ISIS was Sarah Palin–“don’t look at it, lest we give it credibility.”

While this is framed as some kind of resistance to the propaganda of the Islamic State, it actually furthers its aims, strengthening the divide between hysterical Eloi wiling their lives away in fantasy and the hard men of the Caliphate imposing facts on the ground.

James Foley’s mother Diane said that she had “never been prouder” of her son because he gave his life trying to “expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.” However, even this is an admission of passivity–what difference does it make if “suffering” is “exposed” unless it is followed by action? The implicit premise is that when Third Worlders suffer, it is somehow Our Fault and Our Responsibility and Foley lived his life in order to awaken guilty Whites to the needs of their dusky charges.

Yet Foley’s mother went on to plead for the release of the other hostages on the grounds that, like her son, “They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.” But journalists do have control, or at least participate in the struggle for control. In Syria, Ferguson, or anywhere else, journalists advance a certain Narrative which supports specific policy aims. These policy aims, like any state aims, are imposed by force and backed with violence. What journalists seem to want is the freedom to advance an agenda while denying responsibility for its effects, to gain credit for their good intentions while avoiding any obligations for additional suffering. 

Foley’s family, the President, and the media interpreted the meaning of his life and death in light of the consequences to the Syrian people. Implicit in all of this is an admission that it is somehow illegitimate and immoral to take on the responsibility of history for your own interests. But contra the fantasies of the great and the good, it is the Islamic State that is shaping history in the Muslim world, and may someday shape Europe as well. Insofar as Foley had an impact, it was in opening the door for them. His defeat was total.

There is no escape from history. Those who shape history take upon themselves the responsibility to shed blood and have their own blood shed. Those who think they are only “bearing witness” are either deluding themselves or serving as useful idiots. And your status as a “journalist,” or “civilian” or “American” somehow exempts you does not mean that you are exempt. “There are no innocents anymore.”

But modern Westerners would rather die than accept the responsibility of being alive, or acting in a world defined by struggle rather than pretty lies. Whites who have a future must divorce themselves from the morality, values, and eventually the political systems of a dying culture, lest we share its fate. We can accept the responsibly of survival–or die on our knees, wondering why it is the people we tried to help killed us.

American Revolutionary hero Nathan Hale, quoting the play Cato, uttered the immortal words “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before he was executed. Foley’s last words, as deservedly immortal in their own way, were “I guess, all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.”

We will never know if he was sincere or if this was forced. But if his death is any kind of a commentary on what it means to be “American” today, then yeah, me too. 

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Satire as News

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) VOTES THAT JESUS CHRIST “MAY HAVE BEEN GAY AND TRANSGENDERED”

Editor’s Note: This was originally published by the race realist satire blog Diversity Chronicle. The site has managed to troll major media in the past and is an interesting venture in seeing how ridiculous our society has become that these stories are now believable news stories.

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) VOTES THAT JESUS CHRIST “MAY HAVE BEEN GAY AND TRANSGENDERED”

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in a decision that has enraged fundamentalists and those on the radical and extreme right, has voted to recognize that Jesus Christ “may have been gay and transgendered.” This decision has provoked some extremists to accuse the Presbyterian Church of blasphemy and even apostasy. The Presbyterian Church reports receiving hundreds of angry letters of homophobic hate-mail since the decision, expressing hateful, bigoted, retrograde and ignorant views against the LGBT community. Previously, the church voted to ordain openly gay clergy and to allow ministers to officiate at gay weddings, rightly earning praise from progressives.

In another decision that is only controversial among hateful and intolerant bigots, the Presbyterians have decided to begin teaching children of all ages about homosexuality and the transgendered. Experts agree that it is important to reach children at the earliest ages in order to inculcate a spirit of tolerance for alternative lifestyles. Children need to understand that all sexual orientations and lifestyles, as well as all sexual acts, are equal and morally equivalent under all circumstances. No orientation or type of sexual act is better than any other – all are equal!

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other groups, showing that homosexuals are more likely to contract AIDS or other STDs, can have no basis in fact. They are quite obviously the result of a shockingly pervasive institutional homophobia. There can be no other rational explanation. In another decision, praised by progressives, condoms will be distributed at every Sunday school class. The church has decided to give out new glow-in-the-dark condoms in an effort to get children and teens more interested in practicing safe sex.

Children will be taught reinterpreted Bible stories, which include positive LGBT role-models. Based on a literal reading of some biblical verses, like 2 Samuel 1:26, it is now widely accepted that King David, the ancient Israelite hero, was a proud homosexual. The verse reads “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” Another verse even includes a kiss between David and Jonathan! “And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.” (1 Samuel 20:41)

We even read that Jonathan stripped himself of his clothes before David! 1 Samuel 18:3-4 says “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” Although most scholars agree that the Torah does prohibit homosexuality rather explicitly (Leviticus 20:13) the Old Testament teaches that, where love is concerned, even God must bow to human feelings and abrogate His law! This might sound like God has changed His mind, which might disturb some fundamentalists, but the Bible cites other examples of this. God regretted that He had made man at one point (Genesis 6:6-7), and He regretted flooding the earth and vowed never to do it again. (Genesis 9:10-11)

LGBT and Liberation Theology Pastor Douglas Calvert observed that “There is actually a great deal of evidence that Jesus Christ was not heterosexual. According to tradition he had very long hair. He was very effeminate and soft spoken. He never married. He had no children, and he never expressed a romantic interest in the opposite sex. He did hang out with twelve guys though, and travelled with them all the time. When they were alone with nothing else to do, did they experiment with each other? Did they sleep together, or engage in orgies? We may never know for certain, but the answer is most definitely that they probably did.”

Paul Oestreicher, an Anglican chaplain at the university of Sussex, agrees. His article “Was Jesus gay? Probably” can be read here. More and more mainline protestant denominations are becoming open to the idea that Jesus Christ, whom they regard as the Son of God, and the third person of the Trinity, may have been gay. Instead of finding this as a source of shame or disconcertion, Christians should be proud and loudly proclaim the fact that Jesus Christ was gay! They should march through the streets advertising it with banners and shouting it through megaphones, loudly proclaiming “We are proud God is gay!”

Although most other prominent religious figures were married, or were polygamous, Jesus Christ never married. Many male pagan deities had wives or several wives and concubines as well. Shiva, the Hindu deity, had at least eight wives and countless concubines according to tradition. Despite Jewish tradition upholding marriage, Christ never married, nor did he own any slave girls. Curiously, the chief founder of Christianity, who sought to propagate it after Christ’s death, the Apostle Paul, also never married. Perhaps Christianity was the first world religion accepting of homosexuality.

Moses, Muhammad, and even the Buddha married and had offspring. Is it possible instead that Christ was not homosexual but perhaps was impotent? Is it possible that he had no sexual drive? Was he a sexually repressed heterosexual, who merely avoided women? Perhaps he was socially awkward with women? While these things cannot be ruled out, they seem unlikely. Some critics point to verses seemingly extolling the virtues of a eunuch’s life. (Mathew 19:12) Those verses however only serve to further reinforce the fact that Christ despised and abhorred the very idea of heterosexual sex!

Feminist Professor Claudia Jackson noted that “Jesus Christ was an early feminist; he understood that any sexual activity between a man and a woman was always rape. It is rape even if a woman expressly asked a man to have sexual relations with her. Men have always enjoyed a position of superiority over women. Thus the relationships between the sexes have always been unequal. Therefore heterosexual sexual activity always represents an indecent assault upon women.”

The Gospel of John refers to the gay lover of Jesus Christ “and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved…” (John 20:2) Before his death by crucifixion the Bible tells us, in John 19:26-27 “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” Clearly Jesus was saying something like “Mom, I’ve married a man. We are gay lovers. So, he is your son-in-law. He should live with you now, and take care of you.” This could not be more clear.

Some fundamentalist opponents of homosexuality cite verses like Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” There are several possible answers to this, besides the one mentioned earlier. The New Testament clearly teaches that God’s law was nailed to the cross and abolished on the basis of Christ’s sacrificial death. Thus God’s laws in the Old Testament are no longer binding for Christians. (Colossians 2:14) If one is Jewish, one could perhaps argue God was once homophobic but is no longer. God has reformed Himself and become more tolerant. Another retort might be that this verse, incompatible as it is with God’s love, was never inspired by God to begin with and should be dismissed as not truly of divine origin.

The particular explanation that one adopts is not important as long as we understand that homophobia is an ugly crime that we must never accept. We cannot countenance it under any circumstances. We must never allow bigotry to cloak itself in the garments of religiosity or spirituality! A homophobic religion is not worthy of tolerance, but only of hatred and contempt! To persecute such a sick and dangerous cult would not be intolerant, but virtuous and vitally necessary! Intolerance warrants no tolerance and tolerating intolerance is arguably the greatest evil of our time.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is also used by homophobes and haters to attack the LGBT community. The verses read “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Although abusers of themselves with mankind does explicitly refer to homosexual activity, and that is even more apparent in many other translations, these verses too could be rejected as incompatible with God’s love. Progressive Jews and Christians see the Bible as an evolving document. It must change and our interpretations of it must change with the times so that it remains relevant in every generation. To do otherwise would be to make ourselves prisoners beholden to an ancient literary work. Books are written by people, not by the hand of God onto stone! Good and evil or right and wrong are social constructs, evolving and changing over time.

Let us not forget, the Bible also calls shellfish unclean. Shall we all change our diets because of something that primitive nomadic, unwashed, lice-infested, neck bearded and barely literate peoples wrote several thousand years ago? Remember, these are people who owned slaves, sold their own daughters into slavery and murdered their family members and neighbours. Why? For worshipping the wrong supernatural sky buddies or picking up sticks on the wrong day. Hell, even saying that Asherah was Yahweh’s girlfriend was enough to warrant death for an Israelite! They were all, clearly, very far from perfect.

As Progressive Christians understand it, the Bible is the inspired word of God. However, it must evolve and be interpreted in light of present circumstances and conditions. It must not be rigid, unchanging, or seen as somehow inerrant. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela were inspired by God. The Bible must not be seen as an exclusive or even primary source of truth in life. To do so would be to worship a book, to fall into the sin of bibliolatry. God is love, and therefore love and its daughters, tolerance and pluralism, and not the Bible should ultimately guide us. The Bible is an important literary work, but it only has value to the extent that it affirms humanist virtues.

Although religious fundamentalist homophobes like to claim Jesus Christ was a right-wing Christian who hated gays, the truth is far from that. Jesus opposed public prayer, and prayer in school. Jesus wanted to keep prayer in the closet and out of the public sphere “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6 KJV.) Jesus said to keep prayer, and not homosexuality, in the closet, contrary to what so many bigoted and intolerant fundies proclaim!

We know that Jesus was a trained carpenter by Joseph the husband of Mary. It seems likely that along with building homes and furniture, Jesus offered decorating tips and ideas to clients. In his business, he would have had ample opportunity to discuss and explore interior decorating. No less an authority than Elton John noted that Jesus would have backed gay marriage and was gay himself.

In “The Secret Gospel of Mark” Jesus teaches a youth – who was wearing only a linen cloth over his naked body – the “Mystery of the Kingdom of God.” Obviously, Jesus was initiating him into his first homosexual activity! There can clearly be no other reasonable explanation. The Christian Church rejected this gospel as apocryphal, because of homophobia and intolerance!

Jesus Christ was a strong advocate of economic levelling and redistribution. He once told a rich man “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24) He predicted a world where the poor would one day rule and hold all property in common, while the rich one percent would come last, as punishment for their crimes. “So the last shall be first, and the first last…” (Matthew 20:16)

Jesus even drove the capitalists out of the Temple and forbade them from selling their wares there. (John 2:14-16) Jesus was also a renowned peace activist. (Matthew 5:9) Jesus said we are to be judged based on how we treat the least of his brethren. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) A rich man asks Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

Clearly Jesus was a homosexual and a progressive who favoured economic levelling, banning public prayer, and who strongly denounced the rich. The guy was a radical Jewish liberal as the Bible shows, persecuted and hated by the conservatives of his time! Those conservative leaders ultimately instigated his murder, so great was their hatred of him! It is ironic that conservatives and right-wingers claim to follow his teachings. They do so by systematically ignoring or distorting most of them!

It’s time for progressives to take Jesus back. We should not allow the radical and extreme right to hold the memory of one of our own hostage! Let us reclaim Jesus, who no doubt, if he were alive today, would proudly march with us under a rainbow flag in an LGBT parade denouncing injustice, inequality and intolerance! At LGBT parades across the nation and around the world this year, the Christian LGBT community will march with banners proudly proclaiming “God is Gay!” in his memory!

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When Starting the World Goes Wrong

It represents the faint beginnings of a cancer with the global liberal order, the playing out of internal contradictions that could ravage it from within. This discontent is borne more out of spiritual crisis than economic recession. The danger is that the Islamic State shows (with apologies to Dave Chapelle) what happens when starting the world goes wrong.

Barack Obama is now the fourth consecutive American President to order military action in Iraq. Once again, it seems we must “think of the children”–especially because this time, it seems they are decapitating them. Of course, after two decades of this, one is tempted to ask–so what else is new?

Well, what’s new is that America is not facing a “rogue state” refusing to play by the rules of George Bush I’s “New World Order.” Instead, a self-proclaimed Caliphate has arisen in the Levant, erasing boundaries between Iraq and Syria, seizing Iraq’s largest dam, and easily undoing whatever progress American forces made over the last decade holding the country together.

The breakdown of state power is startling to the Great and the Good, but not to those of us on the New Right who find both hope and dread in the warnings of William Lind and Martin van Crevald about the collapse of state power. Fourth Generation Warfare has already destroyed the Westphalian order in what is fashionably called the “birthplace of civilization.”

Indeed, it’s startling how utterly irrelevant states have become in the current wars. As Israel pulverizes Gaza, street protests are rocking the streets of Europe, as tribe fights Tribe in what is ostensibly the capital of the French. Meanwhile, the fabled “Arab street” seems largely quiet, as are Arab governments. As neoconservative Victor Davis Hanson accurately notes, many Arab states are, if anything, quiet supporters of Israel. Yet Israel still faces an existential demographic crisis that only grows worse even as it gradually strengthens its diplomatic position against former foes.

Meanwhile, while the “international community” can tweet and preen about freeing “Palestine,” far fewer seem to care when Sunni slaughters Shia, or vice versa. Tom Clancy predicted the rise of an Iranian dominated “United Islamic Republic” in Executive Orders that would drive for the Middle Eastern oil fields.  (It’s a mildly uncomfortable coincidence that a subplot in the book was an Ebola outbreak in the United States.) Clancy’s fiction errs only in that that it is the Sunnis of Iraq and Syria who have raised the black banner of Islamic unity and resistance to what they see as Alawite and Shia occupation. Ironically, it’s the forces of Hezbollah and the elite troops of the Islamic Republic of Iran that are the most active in fighting the Caliphate on the ground. A civil war within Islam akin to the Catholic/Orthodox slaughter of the Fourth Crusade is raging before our eyes.

This has led to some speculation that the “Islamic State” is actually a tool of American policy, keeping the Muslims at each other’s throats instead of Israel’s. It seems more likely that, as with Israel and Hamas, the foreign policy experts created a golem they can no longer control. Bashar al-Assad (and his lovely wife) told you so, you bloody fools.

But this goes beyond geopolitics. It represents the faint beginnings of a cancer with the global liberal order, the playing out of internal contradictions that could ravage it from within. This discontent is borne more out of spiritual crisis than economic recession. The danger is that the Islamic State shows (with apologies to Dave Chappelle) what happens when starting the world goes wrong.

It’s hard to imagine the Caliphate ever making the transition to a recognized state. However, unlike Osama bin Laden, the Islamic State has succeeded in creating a global brand that appeals to disaffected Sunnis throughout the world, including those in the West. Even women are joining the group – and we all await Jezebel to tell us what they really want is subsidized birth control and more female role models in comic books.

Of more concern, “Western” Muslims have been fighting for the Caliphate, providing propaganda for their brothers and clickbait fodder for the likes of the Daily Mail. For example, one “Abu Muslim,” a Canadian, went to fight for his god and was “martyred,” giving his Caliphate a new hero. Similarly, Muslims that outwardly resemble hipsters and used to post workout videos on YouTube now spend their days on the streets of Syria riding horses and waving scimitars. Naturally, this comes as a great surprise to all of us who know that “Islam means peace.”

What these Islamic warriors are fighting for is not just a Caliphate but something beyond what liberal democracy offers. It is the pursuit of the Greater Jihad through the Lesser Jihad. Unfortunately for us, Muslim culture offers an eternal and immediately available alternative to modernity. The great danger of non-White mass immigration–or what should be called settler colonialism–is the regression to the mean, both in intelligence and in culture. Even if a largely professional and secular Muslim goes to the West to become a wannabe SWPL, his sons will seek a return to their roots. Whether a rich Muslim turns his back on privilege or a poor one blames the kafir for his low status, the “root cause” of terrorism and extremism is something our ancestors already knew–Blood Tells.

What, after all, does the West–or modernity–offer people? While Fukuyama contends that it satisfies thymos, the desire for recognition, those who live under the postwar Western peace grow less worthy of dignity the more they talk about it. Worse, they know this. Ultimately, this leads to an internalized self-loathing, which modern man resolves in one of three ways.

  1. Pursuit of ever more elaborate forms of equality and revolt against nature (STIHIE)
  2. Consumerism, the political defense of consumerism, or a socially approved consumerist escapism (fandom, cosplay, video games, etc.)
  3. Rebellion – what Jack Donovan has called withdrawing consent in order to destroy the world modernity has created, and start a new one.  If enough people do this, it leads to what Dugin called “shov[ing] the people into the sweet process of creating history.”

What separates starting the world from LARPing? The answer is danger. To borrow from Hegel, the difference between the lord and the slave is the former risks his life and safety for the sake of honor. Modern men are slaves because they define themselves by their intense desire for safety, comfort, and self-gratification. As even movies like Wall-E point out, if human beings are simply transformed into perfectly safe consumers, they are no longer really human–and they certainly don’t have any dignity.

The result is the “elite” of modern society in culture, politics, and (with some exceptions) economics have no obvious justification for their right of lordship. Americans love to read celebrity magazines to be titillated by their betters, but no one is ennobled by them. The more degraded someone is, the more our society seems to reward them. Thus, in some ways, a culture of desperate sincerity–even a monstrous one–will always seem preferable at some level to what we have now. As South Park put it just after 9/11:

Kyle — Do you really think your civilization is better than ours?! You people play games by killing animals, and oppress women!

Afghan boy — It’s better than a civilization that spends its time watching millionaires walk down the red carpet at the Emmys!

Stan – (After a pause) …He’s got us there, dude.

Of course, liberal capitalism specializes in assimilating and commodifying rebellion. A revolt against the system usually just transforms into just another business opportunity. However, there are exceptions.

As the late Jonathan Bowden noted, the two forces completely unassimilable by modernity are the far right and religious fundamentalism. And the modern West only seems able to enthusiastically oppose political and religious extremism that is somehow identified as “pro-White” or “pro-Christian.” Militant Islam always needs to be “explained,” unlike, say, neo-fascism, which is always described as a “plague” or a “disease” that needs to be “crushed.”

Obviously, Muslim immigration into the West is more of a symptom than a cause of Western decline. In and of itself, it is powerless. But it is amazingly persistent and will move to fill a void. And the West is a spiritual void.

For proof, one only has to compare the response of Pope Urban II to Muslim aggression:

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God, a generation forsooth which has not directed its heart and has not entrusted its spirit to God, has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country, and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion…

Let the deeds of your ancestors move you and incite your minds to manly achievements; the glory and greatness of king Charles the Great, and of his son Louis, and of your other kings, who have destroyed the kingdoms of the pagans, and have extended in these lands the territory of the holy church. Let the holy sepulchre of the Lord our Saviour, which is possessed by unclean nations, especially incite you, and the holy places which are now treated with ignominy and irreverently polluted with their filthiness. Oh, most valiant soldiers and descendants of invincible ancestors, be not degenerate, but recall the valor of your progenitors.

To the pathetic, dishwatery mewlings of the current Spiritual Bolshevik-in-Chief on the extermination of Middle Eastern Christianity:

“Never war, never war,” [Pope Francis] said. “I am thinking, above all, of children who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, a future. Dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who don’t know how to smile.” This was the moment when the tears came. “Please stop,” said Francis. “I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!”

Yeah, that’ll do it. A far cry from Deus vult!

The West defines itself by tolerance, human rights, consumption, “freedom,” and phony religion that reinforces these decrepit values. It also only expresses its opposition to “militant Islam” in these terms. The result is that the West creates its own existential opposition from within.

When confronted with meaninglessness, with modernity, with either great wealth or the lack of it, there will always be temptation to assert oneself as more than a Last Man through Jihad in any place where there is a sizable Islamic population. After all, what could be more adventurous than re-establishing a Caliphate, leading the conquest of ancient cities, and creating a new world through the sword as the Companions of the Prophet did?  Better to live by the scimitar for one day, thinks the terrorist, than die slowly in a cubicle.

The fact that Islam is still seen as non-White and non-Western will always lend it that fashionable cachet forever denied to neo-fascism or Christian fundamentalism. In its way, modern Jihad is Riding the Tiger of Western decadence. And what’s more archaeo-futurist than getting likes for displaying the severed heads of your enemies on Facebook?

Moreover, while the horror of crucifixions, beheadings, and mass executions is real, Western governments have handicapped themselves in trying to muster outrage. It’s hard to act self-righteous when one only has to recall former Secretary of State Madeline Albright saying that indirectly taking the lives of half a million Iraqi children is “worth it” if it means removing Saddam Hussein. (And man, wouldn’t we love to have him back?)

Of course, at its essence, the cause of the Caliphate is despicable. What the Islamic State offers is a kind of Borg society that destroys priceless architectural treasures, subordinates real identity with a stale and abstract creed, and imposes a cultureless rule of unescapable mediocrity far worse than even that decreed by liberalism.

What is most chilling is not the beheadings or mass graves –we see that south of our own border in Mexico’s brutal drug war. What is worst are those robotic, almost blasé calls of the Takbir that accompany actions both murderous and mundane.  As Churchill said:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the
Prophet rule or live.  A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and
refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity…Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.

And the British government arrested Liberty GB leader Paul Weston for quoting it.

The fact that people are choosing this over the Lockean shopping mall bodes ill for the End of History. Someone is going to start the world. We had better make sure it’s us.

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The Last War Against the Last Man

Can we restart history after all?

Can we restart history after all?

Daniel McCarthy has written a remarkable essay in The American Conservative questioning Francis Fukuyama’s thesis of The End of History.  McCarthy challenges the assumption that the Hegelian process of History has come to an end with the worldwide triumph of liberal democracy. McCarthy contends that the so called “end of history” is simply a product of Anglo-American world hegemony–and points to the rise of anti-liberal systems such as fascism when this hegemony was challenged. He concludes:

Liberal democracy is unnatural. It is a product of power and security, not innate human sociability. It is peculiar rather than universal, accidental rather than teleologically preordained. And Americans have been shaped by its framework throughout their history; they have internalized liberalism’s habits and rationales. Not surprisingly, they have also acquired the habits and rationales of empire—and now they must understand why.

In short, “liberalism means empire.”

While Fukuyama’s work is mostly driven by ideas, McCarthy’s thesis is driven by geopolitics. McCarthy bases a large amount of his thesis on the common geopolitical assumption that land based, imperialist, militaristic powers practice a more anti-liberal form of social organization. In contrast, the offshore-balancing Atlanticist powers of Great Britain and the United States did not face the constant existential threat of invasion and therefore, were more willing and able to permit free speech and develop liberal institutions–at least most of the time. 

McCarthy’s thesis, true to what one would expect from The American Conservative, is that one of the great threats to liberalism comes from its most militant defenders–the neoconservatives. Their insistence on spreading liberal revolution by force is challenging the entire security system that guarantees liberalism by introducing catastrophic instability. McCarthy writes:

The conservative realist knows that America will not be anything other than broadly liberal and democratic for a long time to come, and liberal democracy requires a delicately balanced system of international security upheld by an empire or hegemon. This balance is apt to be upset not only by some rampaging foreign power—by a Napoleonic France or a Nazi Germany or Soviet Union—but also by our own revolution-loving, democracy-promoting liberals.

Of course, what if you don’t want to safeguard liberal democracy–and aren’t particularly happy about America being liberal and democratic either? McCarthy identifies George Kennan and Pat Buchanan as examples of anti-liberal anti imperialists. While they “are among our greatest critics, they are also among our most neglected. They preach what a liberal nation will not hear.”

Most readers will read this and come away with a greater appreciation of the fragility of the international order and the need for prudence in foreign affairs. A thinker of the New Right may accept McCarthy’s premise but come to a different conclusion. After all, we are not so much fighting Islamization, egalitarianism, or dysgenics as we are fighting that most terrible of all conjurations–the Last Man. 

Therefore, if McCarthy is correct, we should know hope–this too shall pass, and Western Man will once again have the chance to walk the upward path unrestrained by liberalism, classical or otherwise. Will liberalism fade with the end of the American Empire? We can only hope. 

The Persistence of the Last Man

But is McCarthy right? Before judging, it’s necessary to clarify that Fukuyama’s thesis has been widely misinterpreted by many commentators—who think it was “disproved” by September 11, the persistence of authoritarianism, or Islamic fundamentalism. There has also been some whining from leftists who will point to poverty or inequality as disproving what they see as American triumphalism.

American hegemony or some kind of democratic utopia wasn’t what Fukuyama was defending. He simply stated that liberal democracy represented a universal ideal that most governments feel the need to pay lip service to and that provides a rhetorical framework for people to express their yearning for dignity as a human being. Whatever authoritarian holdouts remain, this thesis remains essentially true in 2014, as even countries like Belarus, Iran, and China use democratic trappings to justify their system.  

Though Islamic fundamentalism and the yearning for a caliphate is a theoretical rival, in practice such an opinion is relegated to the fringe of the Islamic world, as even most “fundamentalists” mobilize via political parties that participate in elections, a la the Muslim Brotherhood. The new “Caliphate” of ISIS has its fiercest rival in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The fact that stating “I am a man” or “We are human beings” is considered some kind of compelling political statement shows the power of Fukuyama’s argument. 

However, though Fukuyama generally supports democracy, he had the integrity to say that there was the possibility of a challenge. Interestingly, Fukuyama held that the most compelling challenge to the worldwide system of liberal democracy could only come from the Nietzschean Right. The Last Man–the men without chests who prize safety, comfort, and consumption–are contemptible creatures, and the “dignity” they secure through democracy may not seem enough to some individuals.  Fukuyama writes that the striving for megalothymia is the great danger to liberal democracies, and it requires safe outlets.  Interestingly, he notes that “for most of post-historical Europe, the World Cup has replaced military competition as the chief outlet for nationalist strivings to be number one.” 

More importantly, Fukuyama recognizes that “liberal democracies… are not self-sufficient; the community life on which they depend must ultimately come from a source different than liberalism itself.” Citizens need an irrational pride in their own institutions in order for the largely rationalistic ends those institutions serve to be fulfilled. Absent that pride, the institutions cannot be maintained and Fukuyama has since written about the tendency of democracies, including the United States, to fall into “political decay.”

Nevertheless, Fukuyama wrote this year that:

No one living in an established democracy should be complacent about its survival. But despite the short-term ebb and flow of world politics, the power of the democratic ideal remains immense. We see it in the mass protests that continue to erupt unexpectedly from Tunis to Kiev to Istanbul, where ordinary people demand governments that recognize their equal dignity as human beings. We also see it in the millions of poor people desperate to move each year from places like Guatemala City or Karachi to Los Angeles or London.

Even as we raise questions about how soon everyone will get there, we should have no doubt as to what kind of society lies at the end of History.

It hurts to say it, but from the standpoint of 2014, Fukuyama is right. The eternal temptation any commentator is to confuse what we hope to be the case with what is the case. I hope Fukuyama is
wrong.  I fear that he is right. 

McCarthy suggests that all of this is less the working out of some grand historical pattern than an accident of history. If societies are under threat, the premises that underlie liberal democracy will be abandoned and societies will (presumably) return to more traditional arrangements where social choice is limited in order to safeguard the existence of the state. 

However, since 1989, the “men without chests” have only grown in number. While Fukuyama lightly says that nature itself will impose limits on egalitarianism, we now live in a society where “fat shaming” and pregnant men are part of the daily conversation.  Although the tendency to megalothymia is still a driving force in our culture (for God’s sake, witness Kanye West), liberal democracy has been remarkably adept at assimilating every attempt at social rebellion or self-expression into simply another form of consumerism. This is less a function of collective security than individuals taking the ideological premises of liberal democracy to their logical conclusions.

More importantly, if McCarthy is right, threats to security would prompt illiberal tendencies in American life. Yet the response of the West to 9/11, terrorist bombings in England and Spain, and demographic transformation of host populations has been an even greater emphasis on tolerance and multiculturalism. Though government surveillance has grown, none of it is being directed towards the maintenance of traditional Western identity or the restoration of Authority. Instead, it’s being targeted at those reactionary elements of the population who insist on maintaining their national identities. As Mark Steyn put it, “Just as the AIDS pandemic greatly facilitated societal surrender to the gay agenda, so 9/11 is greatly facilitating our surrender to the most extreme aspects of the multicultural agenda.” For most people in the West, the literal replacement of entire national populations with the debris of the Third World is either not worthy of notice, or is actually a cause for celebration.

This does not mean we are living in a classical liberal paradise. On the contrary, the state controls more of our lives than ever before, and even a casual glance through the morning paper makes one pine for the return of George III or even Nero.  Yet in the kinds of freedoms ordinary Westerners favor–consumption, obscenity, entertainment, and sex–Western Man is “free.” The prominence of homosexual and other movements of sexual “liberation” indicates that sexual freedom is now the only freedom that seems to matter. Liberal democracy has triumphed because it provides limited government for the things modern people care about–the freedom to intoxicate, rut, and consume their way into a meaningless oblivion.

Though McCarthy references the “Red Scare” as an example of how even liberal America can abandon liberalism when under foreign threat, he does not bring up the never ending “Brown Scare” raging throughout the West, where physical attacks, workplace discrimination, and even blunt government repression are all justified in the name of fighting racism. 

In this never ending climate of hysteria, we see the one thing Fukuyama got wrong–it is not “community” that is the illiberal value on which democracy relies.  It is a constant war footing against fascism, Traditionalism, and racism as expressed in law codes throughout the West and organized anti-White hysteria in the Third World. Liberalism relies upon whipping up continuous hatred against prospective anti-liberals. The rights of church or family are swiftly abandoned if government repression is performed in the sacred name of “anti-fascism.” And although some of it may just be acquiescence due to fear, the fact remains that more people believe in anti-racism in the West than sincerely believe in God–and those that believe in God probably believe He and anti-racism are the same thing. Indeed, we may have something worse than the Last Man—the Proud Cuckold who is willing to fight, but only in defense of his own degradation. 

Is there an Asian exception? Asia will be the powerhouse of the global economy in the next century, and Asians have not fallen for the poison of mass immigration or national self-loathing–yet.  However, Japanese and South Korean culture can hardly be called more edifying than the pop culture of the West.  Nor is there a real ideological alternative to liberal democracy taking shape in the Asian Tigers or even in China.  While there may not be the same kind of racial replacement taking place, the Asian nations are slowly transforming into economic administrative units just like the nations of the West. 

The Return of History

Can the Last Man be killed off?

Radical Traditionalists believe in the cyclical nature of history and that an age of decadence and collapse is necessary before a purging fire and rebirth. Civilizations become decadent and are overwhelmed by stronger and culturally healthier outsiders, like the Germanic barbarians that sacked degenerate Rome. McCarthy’s thesis ultimately depends on the existence of external blocs that will eventually displace the American Empire.

Unfortunately, this theory presupposes civilizations, states, or nations are still in competition. To those that rule Europe, it really does not make a difference if national populations are replaced or traditional cultures annihilated. To paraphrase Sam Francis, most elites in history have had a stake in the survival of the society and were therefore conservative, but the new managerial elite actually depends upon social deconstruction as the basis of its power. Absent sweeping revolution, the end of the military hegemony of the United States or even the end of Western Civilization doesn’t really challenge the position of the financial interests that are increasingly functioning as part of one global unit. 

Many of the great security problems of the past seem unlikely to return, even if America disappeared altogether. With the creation of the common market, who can imagine France once again warring with Germany? At the same time, the very same leaders that seem most enthusiastic about the American Empire and its ability to make war, like Senators McCain and Graham, are the also the most indifferent about violations of sovereignty that would have had a Bismarck or even a Metternich mobilizing the troops. The interest of “empire”–as defined as the security arrangement that underlies the global economy–is not the same as the interest of America, even to American government officials. 

Empire, as McCarthy noted, is valuable because it facilitates systems of global trade. Is American hegemony really necessary to maintain that system? While the relative decline of the West compared to Asia will change the makeup of the international financial elite, there’s nothing to suggest than an international financial system ca
n’t facilitate that transformation peacefully. More importantly, there’s nothing to suggest that Western populations would even resist large scale displacement, provided they were still given an outlet for consumption and sex. America may go away–but the Empire that sustains liberalism is now international in scope, and it is based out of banks and media outlets, not airstrips or barracks.

I see nothing inevitable about the end of the End of History. In fact, I think it can stumble on all but indefinitely.  As Fukuyama posits, even in the face of incredible disaster or the fabled “collapse,” people would hasten to reconstruct it. We have an elite that is fueled by the monetization of humankind’s basest instincts–and those are not going away anytime soon. 

The Ride Never Ends” – Unless We End It

Is there hope? As Fukuyama suggests, it is the Right–those who actually wish for the destruction of global liberalism–that can offer the only challenge. This cannot be primarily an economic challenge, but a challenge of spirit, a contention that the life liberal democracy offers us is simply not good enough.   

What the collapse of American Empire would offer is only an opportunity. It might open up a vacuum that would give competing creeds, power centers, and systems opposed to classical liberalism an opportunity to offer their alternatives. But even if America somehow collapsed tomorrow with its media, educational system, and law enforcement, there’s no reason to suggest that the leaderless masses would do anything other than try to build it back up again. And there’s no guarantee that the Empire would even be interrupted in its repression against the authentic Right–it would simply change how anarcho-tyranny is administered. 

Still, I hope Dan McCarthy is right. His pessimism is actually optimism to a Man Against Time.  But the lesson to be learned is not to wait for the collapse. It’s to live our lives in accordance with the principles that we wish to see in the world. It’s to build the alternative in the real world with every action we take. And it’s to wage a war by any means necessary from within the core of the democratic world itself against the Last Man and all he represents, holding before us the distant hope of that victory which can start the world again.  

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A Reflection on Freedom

Americans are told that they must forfeit their freedoms, the same ones the terrorists supposedly wish to destroy, in order be kept safe from the terrorists that the U.S. openly funds and arms. This state of affairs is telling both about oligarch-run Washington, which cynically creates both the problem and then offers a “solution”, laughing all the way to the bank, and the American people, who have become the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling pot.

Originally published at Soul of the East

The Fourth of July holiday (decreasingly referred to as Independence Day) is an opportunity for countless Americans to have a day off to gorge themselves on food and beer, watch fireworks, and utter a few superficial platitudes about freedom. Minimal thought is given to these assumed freedoms, and even less to the founding myth that lays behind them. As long as homosexuals can “marry,” everyone can fornicate in the manner of barnyard animals, and Wal-Mart remains stocked with cheap Chinese-made trinkets, the masses are content to believe they are free.

That this Independence Day takes place in the growing shadow of the violently rising “Caliphate” (an offshoot of al-Qaeda) in Syria and Iraq passes without notice by the proletariat, who would rather be entertained with televised sports. One can hardly fault them for this; the intricacies of Middle Eastern sectarian politics are in and of themselves irrelevant to their lives.

What is actually ominous is the genesis of this self-proclaimed Caliphate. The Caliphate and the resurgent jihadist movement that preceded it have been cited by the U.S. government as an immediate terrorist threat to the “Homeland”. Indeed, the “terrorist threat” has been continuously used by the elites to perpetuate and expand the surveillance state and peddle for more war in the Middle East, with the ever-lovable former Vice President Dick Cheney spouting that if America fails to reinvade Iraq, then the United States would suffer an attack at the hands of terrorists to dwarf the 9-11 operation of 2001. Thus our ruling elites assure us that we need more domestic control and more foreign interventions to keep us safe, what the late Gore Vidal termed perpetual war for perpetual peace.

That the same terrorists who now supposedly threaten our lives and our “freedom” have been sponsored and armed by the American government shows the level of willful ignorance that most of our citizenry is happy to live with.

Americans are told that they must forfeit their freedoms, the same ones the terrorists supposedly wish to destroy, in order be kept safe from the terrorists that the U.S. openly funds and arms. This state of affairs is telling both about oligarch-run Washington, which cynically creates both the problem and then offers a “solution”, laughing all the way to the bank, and the American people, who have become the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling pot.

For a people whose common perception of freedom is that it consists of self-gratification, such a program of elite manipulation is not only expected, but perhaps even deserved. But manipulative, technocratic elites and passive, subservient populations are not the final word. And while America’s Independence Day may be more myth than reality, there is indeed a true, spiritual freedom to be sought out and achieved.

The twentieth century Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev proclaimedsuch a freedom. A freedom, in his words, that “presupposes the existence of truth, of meaning, of God.” He knew that “Truth and meaning liberate, and liberation leads to truth and meaning.” And that true freedom “must also be love, and love must be free.”

Unless and until Americans forsake mindless consumerism, nihilistic self-gratification, and allowing the corporate media to do their thinking for them, they will never attain to the true freedom spoken of by Berdyaev. Americans must realize that their true enemies are neither manufactured terrorists nor a revived Russia, but their own amoral, decadent elites, and even more so their own complacency and sloth.

Yet there is always hope that the people will awake from their spiritual slumber. May we lay claim to a true spiritual freedom and nobility that will shake the thrones of the parasitic elites and lead to the creation of a healthy, godly society.

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Why the Conservative Movement Needs Dugin

What is needed is an enemy that the Beltway Right can portray as fascist–preferably White–so that the Left won’t be able to deploy their usual taunts about “bombing brown people,” and an entity that doesn’t threaten the corporate interests that own the conservative movement.  Putin’s Russia fits all of these characteristics. 

Russia, the Necessary Enemy

American conservatism is a scam.  The “movement” exists to exploit the symbols, institutions, and figures associated with White America in order to get those same people to support an agenda that displaces and destroys them. The various elites governing the Hollow Empire based in Washington get to use the power of the United States to destroy their own enemies and the rent-seekers in the Beltway Right get to play the game, feel important, and make a living.  Nothing positive is ever accomplished, but then, that is the point.

It’s a delicate balance, as White Americans have to be fed enough nationalism to be willing to fight for Old Glory, but not enough so that they actually have a sense of themselves as a people with authentic traditions or collective interests.  The scam breaks down if White Americans are ever offered an alternative that allows them, for once, to fight in their own self-interest.  Therefore, much of the resources of the Beltway Right are dedicated to stamping out anything that can’t be fully controlled and reframing it as a deadly threat to right thinking conservatives.  Usually this takes the form of calling it “fascist” somehow.  There’s Eco-fascism, Islamo-fascism, and of course, liberal fascism.

Of course, the best solution is a foreign enemy.  Unfortunately for the noodle armed field marshals of American conservatism, credible enemies are getting harder and harder to find these days.  True, Sunni Muslims under the banner of ISIS are carving out a mini-Caliphate in the area we were supposed to have “liberated.”  But if the United States does anything about this, it will mean aligning with Iran, which Americans have been told for the last decade or so was the next Nazi Germany.  Not surprisingly, most Americans are more disgusted with our own blundering leadership than outraged at the chaos in Iraq.

China is increasingly aggressive in the Pacific, but the same American business interests that own the conservative movement are not likely to welcome a Cold War with the country that makes all of their crappy products.  Armed Mexican troops habitually cross into American territory but for obvious reasons, American conservatives don’t want to create a scenario that would create pressure to actually solve the immigration crisis by locking down the border Israeli style.

What is needed is an enemy that the Beltway Right can portray as fascist–preferably White–so that the Left won’t be able to deploy their usual taunts about “bombing brown people,” and an entity that doesn’t threaten the corporate interests that own the conservative movement.  Putin’s Russia fits all of these characteristics.  Glenn Beck can giggle about opposing “hetero-fascism.”  Conservatives can flatter themselves that they are fighting a conventional White army, thus re-enacting the eternal drama of the “Good War” against the “tyranny” of militaristic Europeans wearing scary uniforms.  And perhaps best of all, Russia’s reliance on energy supplies and consolidation of its assets under Gazprom means that American corporations actually can point to something they don’t control.  If Putin’s Russia can be broken, American companies actually have something to gain.

If Putin’s Russia did not exist, the Beltway Right would have had to create it.  The only thing that is missing is the ideological dimension.  Russell Kirk famously defined conservatism as the “negation of ideology,” but American conservatives have largely ignored his teachings in practice.  (After all, it’s not like they followed his endorsement of Pat Buchanan and his warning about Israeli influence.)  Instead, the American Right has built a movement around a series of abstractions, “values” that can be professed as timeless while actually being readjusted to accommodate each new left wing cultural victory.

Similarly, enemies must also be defined in grand, sweeping terms and defined by ideological abstraction.  After all, national interests and Realpolitik would concede that the American nation and identity is concrete and limited rather than abstract and open to everyone who shares in its universal values of freedom, liberty, and democracy.  Therefore, we don’t just need an enemy, we need a creed to rally against.  And it must be defined as absolute evil.

This is difficult to do.  Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party lacks a systematic ideology, with the catchall of “sovereign democracy” losing prominence in recent years.  Instead, Putin is falling back on traditional Russian patriotism and the desire of the Russian people to once again have a strong voice in international affairs.  While Russian society has a certain degree of intellectual freedom compared to Europe when it comes to discussing issues of Tradition, Islamization, and White identity, the government persecutes dedicated White nationalists just as fanatically as any Belgian human rights council.   Opposition to “fascism” is the stated justification given to Russia’s intervention in its near abroad.  It’s hard to see Putin’s rule, characterized by an alliance with major business interests in the country as some kind of revolutionary nationalist regime.  Instead, it is an autocracy far more mild than the regimes of Pinochet or Franco (both supported by American conservatives in their day) designed to provide stability, economic growth, and a vague, non-ideological patriotism.

Fortunately for the Beltway Right, they discovered Alexander Dugin.  Dugin is one of the most important thinkers confronted by the American Dissident Right, and his complex and innovative theories are a constant source for inspiration and furious debate among English speaking traditionalists.  While holding to a somewhat caricatured view of Americans and our political tradition, his Fourth Political Theory provides a framework for Americans to work out the flaws in our own overarching liberal tradition, and his Eurasianism speaks to the most important geopolitical issues of the day.  Even those who radically disagree with him can help but rejoice to see serious ideas about Conservative Revolution entertained by men with institutional backing.

This is a threat to Conservatism Inc. which after a generation of repeating nonsense slogans has produced hacks who know nothing else.  After all, as Jonah Goldberg (who passes for an intellectual in the Beltway Right) says, both the American Right and Left are part of the “tribe of liberty” constantly fighti
ng to expand the “universality of human rights.”   The scam is up if Americans figure out “conservatism” might mean something more than Big Gulps and Enlightenment slogans that were nothing but half-baked dribble when first penned.  Therefore, when confronted with an alternative ideology of the Right, American conservatives react with far more frenzy and hostility than they can summon towards their supposed enemies on the Left.

So Much for Respectability

The job of stamping out Dugin’s influence among the Beltway Right has mostly (but not solely) fallen to Robert Zubrin at National Review.  Zubrin is known as one of the more influential proponents of Mars colonization and was a 2012 campaign footnote in influencing Newt Gingrich towards his politically disastrous musings on moon bases.  However, whereas Richard Spencer preaches space exploration as a kind of Faustian attempt to fulfill the Occidental imperative to be ever rising, Zubrin wants to do it to spread egalitarian humanism.  In space, no one can hear you scream – especially if it’s something undemocratic.

Zubrin also writes on energy policy, urging the United States to mandate flex-fuled vehicles and reduce American dependence on oil exports.  Obviously, this kind of approach is also eagerly embraced by conservatives angry at Putin’s ownership of gas and oil reserves and who want him to be enslaved to the financial establishment of London and New York.

He’s a ferocious opponent of environmentalism, placing an almost unlimited faith in human beings to overcome natural limits and population increase.  He believes in global warming but calls it a “good thing” that will make the Earth “more fertile.”  Of course, environmentalism also allows him to riff on the evils of immigration control, the Third Reich, and the why conservatives should welcome a Third World increase in population.

Naturally, like all good Beltway conservatives, Zubrin evidently believes that “freedom” resides in the dirt of North America (or, evidently, Mars) and therefore we can simply replace the American population with immigrants who will be taught to believe in whatever National Review comes up with this week.

In short, Zubrin is one of those cranks who enjoys the benefits of major media promoting his half-assed and superficial ideas about environmentalism, energy, and foreign policy because it serves the established order.  Unlike those who shriek about peak oil, chemtrails, or the Illuminati, everything Zubrin writes perfectly fits into the concrete interests of the American conservative movement.  The logical conclusion of what he writes is that we should continue to bring in as much cheap labor as possible, not worry about pollution, and basically assume everything will work out for the best.  When he confronts something that challenges this, like Dugin’s ideology, he becomes hysterical and we realize how utterly unhinged he and his sponsors really are, channeling science fiction more than anything that exists in this reality.

In S.M Stirling’s alternate history The Pershawar Lancers, the entire Northern Hemisphere is all but destroyed by an ecological disaster.  The British Empire relocates its capital to India and France shifts to Africa.  However, in Tsarist Russia, things take a darker turn.  Russia relocates to Samarkand, forming a dark empire based on mystical visions and human sacrifice that renounces the “Traitor Christ,” worships the pagan death god Chernobog, and seeks to bring about the end of the world.

Apparently, this is what Zubrin thinks is happening in Russia right now.  The magazine of the “respectable right” allowed him to argue that “[T]his time, our cold-war opponents will not be secular Communists, but true believers of a death-worshipping cult that would like to bring about the end of the world.”  Zubrin calls Dugin a “mad philosopher” whose work is marked by an association with “various Thule Society-like organizations,” the “anti-democratic European Nouvelle Droite,” and “Nazi theorists.”  In Zubrin’s eyes, Dugin’s philosophy is a combination of the anti-liberal creeds of Communism, Traditionalism (which is designed to eliminate free thought), and “demagogic” Ecologism.  “All the rest is straight out of Nazism.”

In fairness, Zubrin does accurately write that Dugin identifies the central enemy as the American, Atlanticist liberal world order which undermines more conservative forms of social organization.  However, instead of giving us a reason why people on the Right should militantly defend liberalism (classical or otherwise), Zubrin just keeps calling Dugin a Nazi.  When Dugin indulges in mysticism about the end of the age and the coming of new heroes, Zubrin says that this is an expression of Dugin’s willingness to literally end the world and kill us all.

But the piece de resistance is Zubrin’s identification of the Eurasianist symbol as the “eight pointed star of chaos.”  Evidently pivoting from The Pershawar Lancers to Warhammer 40K, Zubrin speaks of “Dugin’s worship of Chaos, and the adoption of the occult symbol of the eight-pointed ‘Star of Chaos’ as the emblem (and, when inscribed in gold on a black background, the flag) of the Eurasianist movement.”  In short, says, Zubrin, “Dugin’s Eurasianism is a satanic cult.”  In a triumphant conclusion, Zubrin successfully triggers “Godwin’s law,” comparing Dugin to Hitler.

Of course, back in the real world, it is Vladimir Putin who actually defended the Christian character of Europe and some pretense of traditional morality.  Dugin is not a worshipper of Nurgle, Lord of Decay or one of the other gods of Chaos that Zubrin picked up from his space fantasies — Dugin is an Old Believer in the Orthodox Christian tradition.  The Eurasianist logo is centered more on the idea of spatial expansion according to the laws of Geopolitics, not an occult sign of devotion to the dark gods.  And when Putin speaks on international relations, it tends to be the same disappointing liberal pap and World War II agitprop everyone else offers, not a cry of “Blood for the Blood God!  Skulls for the Skull Throne!

But let us be fair.  Zubrin is mostly quoting from a book hilariously entitled, “The American Empire Should Be Destroyed: Alexander Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology”  (The American conservative movement continues to use the same crappy slogans even after fifty years of overuse).   The author is one James Heiser who is on the Board of Directors of the Mars Society (the “link,” as the SPLC would say).&nbs
p; He is also a Evangelical Lutheran Bishop – and, interestingly, one of the
featured speakers for the John Birch Society.  This is the same John Birch Society that National Review can’t stop bragging about “excommunicating.” 

Zubrin isn’t scared of conspiracy theories.  He has some of his own.  He accuses President Putin of being the “prime suspect” behind the death of 42 pro-Russian activists in Ukraine.  This is not a conspiracy theory akin to 9/11 Trutherism, Zubrin says, because the FSB (Russian intelligence) exists to “oppress” Russians.  In contrast, our own military-intelligence and police agencies exist to “protect” us.  After all, if an open-borders National Review contributor is telling us that the Washington regime has Middle America’s best interests at heart, that’s good enough for me

The Eternal Enemy to the Right

When it comes to policing the right, anything is permitted to Conservatism Inc.  National Review would never dream of calling Barack Obama “Satanic” or “evil” as he protects abortion, aggressively pushes homosexuality into public institutions, and does his best to ensure that Christians throughout the Middle East are purged from their historic communities.  However, these labels are gleefully deployed if they are directed against perhaps the leading Christian statesman in the world today, even if they are offered by cranks who seemingly base their work on Dungeons and Dragons.  The respectable Right would never quote the likes of the John Birch Society or various eschatological speculations to attack the American Left – but when it comes to someone on the Right, the gloves are off.  Anything is justified to make sure that White American Christians are convinced they are fighting the Antichrist instead of understanding that they have more in common with the Russian government than the one that rules the United States.   

But conservatism is a scam and Zubrin is one of those quacks that found a way to profit off it.  And the sad spectacle of degraded American patriotism, sophomoric phony theology, and egalitarian religion is proof enough that the scam is on its last legs.  That is a hopeful sign to be taken from this unedifying spectacle.  American conservatism can’t even fake an attraction for intelligent people anymore.  And the long overdue end to this pathetic huckstering might not just open up room for a “Fourth Political Theory.” It could open up a Second Political Alternative in the United States to that tired Enlightenment liberalism that the conservative movement has been protecting for so long.

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