Release the Hounds…

There are heretics hiding among us, spreading corruption and blaspheming the name of our Lord. We must cleanse ourselves of this blight.

There are witches in this town, cursing us and bringing the devil into our midst! We must find these witches and purge ourselves of these elements before they cast us all into sin!

The Jews have infested every facet of our society. They are leeching resources from honest Germans. It is necessary to cure ourselves of this disease.

Our entire way of life is threatened. There are communists operating at the highest levels of the government, and we must root them out.

hunting-wacistsRacists and misogynists are just as prevalent as ever. They should be named and shamed, for there is no place for them in society today.

The principles of human behavior really aren’t that complicated. There’s really nothing within human action that deviates from a few basic precepts. The same script plays out again and again and again and again.

Pattern recognition. Half of human understanding is pattern recognition. What are we to conclude of those who lack the basic ability to see the patterns that our lives follow?

It really is difficult to see the dignity and worth of each human being when so few of them seem to have even one of those things.

The way that the strong rule over the weak never changes. The way that the smart rule over the average never changes. The way that the powerful rule over the weak never changes. The way that the rich rule over the poor never changes.

The way that the moral guardians rule over those they claim authority over never changes. It matters not whether these guardians are self-appointed or not.

Moral panics never change. Moral panics are the same everywhere, done for the same reasons by the same types of people.

The people stirring up the moral panics don’t have to be wrong. Hell, most of them get at least a few basic facts correct. There were certainly communists in Hollywood and the government in the 1950’s. There were no doubt heretics in medieval Spain. There were certainly Jews in Germany, and Jews do tend to be economically successfully wherever they go.

Sometimes the people being purged are harmless. Sometimes they’re the ones running the show. Sometimes they don’t exist. None of this is actually relevant. The purpose of the moral panic is to precipitate a moral panic. The moral panic itself is just an excuse.

Nothing like a good moral panic to rile up the herd. Gets them all spooked and afraid and desperate for a leader like you who can calm them and show them the way out of the emotional wilds into which they have been plunged. Gets you status points. Allows you to show how dedicated you are to protecting others and keeping the herd safe. Gotta cast out the bad elements, don’t you know?

What’s that? Moral panics have a nasty habit of becoming vectors for their own pandemonium? No, that can’t be it. There are racists hiding here, don’t you know? If you don’t think this is problematic enough to drop everything and start lighting torches, you might be one of them. What’s that? This is getting out of control? Now I know you’re one of them! What do you mean this is going to come back to bite me one day? Nonsense! And who is this Robespierre asshole you keep bringing up?

A good purge is such a human constant you almost get the sense that the urge to do so is written into their DNA. Come to think of it, you’d probably have a more difficult time arguing that it isn’t.

I am generally of the idea that humans are going to have a purge sooner or later. Humans need their chaotic social frenzies the same way they need sex: it’s not absolutely necessary, but they tend to go a little off if they aren’t getting it. The pressure builds and builds and it really is better if you just let it out because not everyone can handle it and very few people can properly channel it into constructive avenues.

Imagine having a pet dog that is loyal and reliable, if a little dumb. Imagine that you love this dog, but that every once in a while it goes absolutely frothing mad and starts barking at everything and clawing at the walls and attacking your neighbor’s cat.

Well, fuck your neighbor’s cat. Your neighbor’s cat is probably an asshole, and hey, maybe this world would be a better place if it was gone. That doesn’t make any of this behavior any less disruptive, though, nor any less problematic.

What could you do with such a dog?

We do not have the choice to not have this dog. We are stuck with it. What we are left with is the burden of devising a plan to channel its impulses in such a way that they are minimally destructive.

How do you make the purge an effective ritual for dissipating their emotion urges without causing collateral damage? How could you time it so that it happens at a very particular time in controlled circumstances? Better yet, how could you set up a system that neutralizes panics before they begin while still granting people the release they need?

These are but a handful of the questions that need be asked in this realm. It is exceedingly difficult to know which questions are the right ones to ask. I cannot imagine how difficult it might be to find and implement the answers.

Friday Night Fragments #21

So that is what it sounds like from the other side. I have always wondered.

This next song is really weird for me to listen to, because a girl with whom I was briefly involved actually did call me a “beautiful nightmare” once:

I’m actually half-wondering if this Skylar Grey chick gets all her material from various ex-girlfriends of mine. Let’s move on before this gets a bit too “Twilight Zone”.

Bryce doing a new drive for his revamped Patreon. If you have the cash to spare, go throw him a few bucks. It’s a contribution to the development and establishment of a new foundation for social science.

Yes, his new book is THAT ambitious. Bryce graciously extended to me the chance to read some of what he’s put together and offer my comments on it. He’s put out the first chapter for free, and I can personally attest that the chapters that follow it are equally as monumental and even more important. There is no doubt in my mind that years from now, Bryce is going to be printed in textbooks and quoted by pseudo-intellectual teenage hipsters who are trying to show off and appear intelligent.

That’s a future worth funding.

Lee Kuan Yew died this Sunday, and with his death came a flood of obituaries memorializing the man. This part of the Internet was no exception. Many of these were fawning, but some pointed out that he wasn’t some deity come to earth, and a common theme running through many of them was whether Singapore can keep its position in the world without Harry Lee at the helm.

Nick Land said something that I thought was worth digging into a bit:

He was a Neoreactionary before anybody knew what that was, an autocratic enabler of freedom, an HBD-realist multiculturalist, a secessionist Anglospherean, and the teacher of Deng Xiaoping.

I’ll admit it: it’s the succession of paradoxes that intrigues me the most (followed closely by the idea of a Neoreactionary as being an autocratic, muticultural-even-if-they-won’t-quite-admit-it-to-themselves, secessionist Anglospherean).

Autocratic enabler of freedom

What is freedom, really? Is it the ability to act of ones own free will, unencumbered by other burdens or obstacles? How could we preserve it?

The last thing I would ever trust to protect my freedom is a government that claims that it will protect freedom, for we fetishize what we do not have, and any government established to protect freedom will do great and terrible and oppressive things in freedom’s name.

It’s a simple metric. Those who claim to protect freedom are will be your greatest oppressors. Those who claim to facilitate equality will act in most unequal fashions. Those who claim to seek justice will act in the most unjust ways that you could possibly imagine.

Be careful what you claim to idolize. Be even more careful what you profess to believe in. You might just find yourself compromising, degrading, and blaspheming your most cherished values and yet all the while praising them and invoking them ever more loudly.

An HBD-realist multicuturalist

This I understand a bit more. There’s a big difference between “people are different” and “we should exclude anybody who is different”. The sentiment that “People are different but anyone who can cut it and who behaves properly is welcome here” is, I think, a most reasonable statement. Even if most people can’t handle multiculturalism, the existence of a few places in which a high-IQ, high-conscientious, pro-capitalist population is not forbidden from allowing it to arise naturally is fine in my book.

An Anglosphere seccesionist

The Anglosphere. A great place to grow up. An important place to understand. Would you really want to live there, though? Would you trust the Anglosphere as a good place to found a familial dynasty that you intend to last for a thousand years?

All together though, does the combination of these three things (autocratic enabler of freedom, HBD-realist multiculturalist, secessionist Anglospherean) create a neoreactionary? I think the answer is “yes”. A neoreactionary will not necessarily be these things, but someone who is the things is almost certainly neoreactionary in thought.

How you deal with that observation is up to you.

Some of the most shocking (to say nothing of annoying) moments of my life come when I underestimate just how stupid and impressionable that most people are.

“What? Oh wow. That’s so impressive. I can’t believe you just flew off to another country like that. What was it like?

What was it like? Well, study abroad is a glorified excuse to get a sweet tan while breaking a bunch of local laws, taking weird foreign drugs that you can’t get in the US, and banging chicks who’ve gone three months without seeing their boyfriends and are so desperate for sexual release that you would actually feel more accomplished if you were to literally spend an afternoon shooting fish in a barrel.

The only thing that’s impressive about it is that I managed to learn anything at all.

Morocco? Where’s that? Africa?! Why didn’t you just go to London or someplace like that.

Because I was born there, you dipshit. I love going back, but why would I do it for study abroad? Might as well go back to fucking New Jersey.

Was it safe?

Says the person who comes from Chicago and has no understanding that most places on earth (even in the third world) are way safer than certain American cities.

Do they hate Americans?

I’m actually kind of surprised that they don’t. Horny, hedonistic American college students are some of the worst people on earth, and they constituted about 85% of the Americans that the locals were exposed to.

The “best” part about all of this is that now I keep getting advised to put my study abroad “experience” on my resume. Apparently it look impressive to employers and helps the job search.

It’s times like these I actually hope that this world is merely an intricate hallucination that I’m experiencing while tied to a bed and being pumped full of semi-legal drugs in some kind of mental hospital.

You guys must really like propaganda. I published this post at roughly 2:00 am on Wednesday. I went to bed, woke up several hours later, and after taking care of a few obligations, checked my blog stats. Even at 10:00 am the traffic was sizable. By 8:30 pm I had shattered my previous record in traffic (I must have crossed the threshold sometime between 7:00 and 7:30). When midnight hit, I’d blasted away my previous record in daily traffic. I would be remiss in not noting that a significant chunk of this came from Nick Land, but I also took in some decent numbers from Neorxn.com, as well as a small bit of traffic from Twitter and the Dark Enlightenment Reddit.

Bigger and better in 2015. Fun stuff.

Select Quotes from Edward Bernays’s “Propaganda”

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

So begins “Propaganda”, by Edward Bernays, a man sometimes called “The Father of Public Relations”. What’s that? You confused the above for a Moldbug quote? I don’t blame you. They sound very similar, but there’s one rather large difference. Bernays wrote this work in 1928, 80 years before Moldbug ever Moldbugged.

Bernays arguably did more to found the science of propaganda and develop the manipulation of the modern mind through mass media than anyone else. I expected that reading him would be a haunting experience. What I did not expect was that it would be so spine-tinglingly exciting.

The steam engine, the multiple press, and the public school, that trio of the industrial revolution, have taken the power away from kings and given it to the people. The people actually gained power which the king lost. For economic power tends to draw after it political power; and the history of the industrial revolution shows that power passed from the king and the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie. Universal suffrage and universal schooling reinforced this tendency, and at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people. For the masses promised to become king.

Today, however, a reaction has set in. The minority has discovered a powerful help in influencing majorities. It has been found possible so to mold the mind of the masses that they will throw their newly gained strength in the desired direction. In the present structure of society, this practice is inevitable.

Technologies like the Internet give power to the people, but they also give power over the people. Bernays understood this long before surveillance cameras, GPS trackers, and NSA wiretapping. He noted that the initially destabilizing impact of new technology disrupts old orders and put them in the grave before cementing new ones that somehow always seem to look exactly like the old orders.

In other words, any technology that gives power to the majority quite frequently becomes used by the minority to control the majority.

Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps linked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man’s rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints.

“We train our students in critical thinking so that they can develop and defend their own ideas and beliefs in order to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Page one of the New York Times on the day these paragraphs are written contains eight important news stories. Four of them, or one-half, are propaganda.

Hold on, let me check something. Let’s see…copyright 1928…first printing Novermber 1928…second printing December 1928…third printing March 1930.

The more things change, am I right?

Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea, or group.

Father of public relations, remember? Not hard to see how that came to be in light of the above passage (the emphasis was mine, by the way).

This practice of creating circumstances and of creating pictures in the minds of millions of people is now very common…sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the job.

And nowadays, many who engage in spreading propaganda are not even aware that they are doing such a thing! How far we have come over the past century. How can my fellow neoreactionaries disbelieve in progress when we have such clear evidence of it right in front of our eyes?

Formerly, the rulers were the leaders. They laid out the course of history, by the simple process of doing what they wanted. And if nowadays the successors of the rulers, those whose position or ability gives them power, can no longer do what they want without the approval of the masses, they find in propaganda a tool which is increasingly powerful in gaining that approval.

In a modern democracy, the people do not suggest to the leaders what they ought to do. They leaders suggest to the people what the people should demand the leaders do.

After reading this book, I am convinced that free will, if it exists, can be extinguished and replaced with the will of another, as if by a dark magic.

There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally known to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.

If you said that today you would be labelled a conspiracy theorist. But when it comes from the mouth of someone who was so instrumental in setting up the modern system…

The propagandist who specializes in interpreting enterprises and and ideas to the public, and in interpreting the public to promulgators of new enterprises and ideas, has come to be known by the name of “public relations counsel”.

Propaganda is business, and business is booming (emphasis mine, once again).

Is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible.

At this point, I almost expected Dr. Evil to hop off the page and ask for ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

The group mind does not think in the strictest sense of the word. In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits, and emotions.

Zing.

Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.

Which is why you have to laugh every time you see a pick-up guru or manosphere blogger claim that women are irrational creatures driven by emotion by men are totally logical and never do anything stupid the way those drunken sluts do, am I right? Hey, remember to buy my e-book on how to use Tinder to meet loose bitches but no fat chicks ‘cuz that would be gay, brah.

I believe that [business] competition in the future will not be only an advertising between individual products or big associations, but that it will in addition be a competition of propaganda.

Coke or Pepsi? Answer the question. You’ve done that? Good. Now tell me why you answered the question the way you did.

Oh wait, I just went back and read the quote right above this one. Never mind. Don’t say anything.

The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.

Recap of one of Bernays’s main points in this work: that the will of the people is whatever the propagandists want it to be.

Political campaigns today are all side shows, all honors, all bombast, glitter, and speeches. These are for the most part unrelated to the main business of studying the party scientifically, of supplying the public with party, candidate, platform, and performance, and selling the public these ideas and products.

ARE YOU READY FOR HILLARY (OR MAYBE NOT HILLARY AFTER ALL BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO MILK THE DRAMA FOR ALL IT IS WORTH) IN 2016 I HOPE YOU ARE BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BE AN EPIC SHOWDOWN WITH THIS OTHER PERSON WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED FOR YOU BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHO IT IS JUST YET TO BUILD SUSPENSE AND GET YOU RILED UP AND EXCITED TO VOTE REMEMBER THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER AND ONLY YOU HAVE THE POWER AND THE FREE WILL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The criticism is often made that propaganda tends to make the President of the United States so important that he becomes not the President but embodiment of hero worship, not to say deity worship. I quite agree that this is so, but how are you going to stop a condition which very accurately reflects the desires of a certain part of the public?

The easiest time to convince someone of anything is when they already want to be convinced of it.

(Side Note: Henry Dampier has a great piece that touches on the idea of Presidential hero-worship as a sublimated religious impulse.)

Ours must be a leadership democracy administered by the intelligent minority who know how to regiment and guide the masses. Is this government by propaganda? Call it, if you prefer, government by education.

What an odd move for someone who has just spent 104 pages explaining to me that propaganda is perfectly legitimate and is absolutely necessary for the functioning of a modern democracy, and who stated at the beginning of this book that he wished to remove the negative stigma from the word “propaganda”. Does he not trust his own efforts or does he just not believe them?

The normal school should provide for the training of the educator to make him realize that his is a two-fold job: education as a teacher and education as a propagandist.

Hang on, I think I need to read that bit again. That can’t seriously be what it says. Maybe I misread it the first time.

The normal school should provide for the training of the educator to make him realize that his is a two-fold job: education as a teacher and education as a propagandist.

Yep. He said that. He definitely said that.

I think I just figured out why I was never assigned to read this book in school.

Propaganda, by repeatedly interpreting new scientific ideas and inventions to the public, has made the public more receptive. Propaganda is accustoming the public to change and progress.

141114-shirt_726587a0e1274f7df1ed10392d8bd295

The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.

I think it’s safe to say that television and the internet have edged it out since then, but that doesn’t exactly make this any less salient of a point.

If the public becomes more intelligent in its commercial demands, commercial firms will meet the new standards. If it becomes weary of the old methods used to persuade it to accept a given idea or commodity, its leaders will present their appeals more intelligently.

An observation of the Red Queen hypothesis manifesting itself in market conditions decades before the idea was ever proposed? Check. This book just gets better and better.

It’s also a pretty ominous threat though. Catch on to our public relations techniques? We’ll just develop better ones, thank you very much.

Finally, Bernays ends his work in spectacular style:

Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which the can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos.

THE END

Well that’s certainly a note to end on.

It is at this point I must make a confession. I have been “selective” (some might say dishonest) in selecting quotes from this book, and in doing so, I have taken a tome that was written to defend propaganda as beneficial and necessary and turned it on its head. Bernays argued in this work that propaganda was only bad if used for ill purposes, and I have deliberately quoted him to make him sound sinister.

I guess all that reading on propaganda rubbed off on me after all.

Just goes to show how easily someone can be swayed, especially if you are swaying them to believe something that they want to believe and greatly desire to believe in the first place.

I can see how reading this work might strengthen one’s perception of the use of propaganda, though. That is what the book set out to do, after all, and it makes a strong case as to the necessity of propaganda in modern society. I’ll even go so far as to say that Bernays was, at least to a certain degree, absolutely correct.

It is also not difficult to see why one might believe something in the vein of Bernays’s argument. If you truly think that you are teaching people the right things, and you are guiding them in the right way, and you are looking out for their best interests, then of course you are going to rationalize it to yourself that you are not only doing the right thing, but that you are doing the world a great service. How could you not throw yourself into this task and devote your life to it? It is for the good of your fellow mankind!

Did you ever stop to wonder why you think that?

Friday Night Fragments #20

I was on the Hour of the Jackal last night, as hosted by the infamous Soapjackal. I totally recommend it. If you’re into signaling how cool you are (and you should be), hop on this bandwagon and start showing up for these things. It isn’t going to be long before everyone will be tripping over themselves to talk about how they were totally there (even if they weren’t) just to show off how they’re part of the cool kids club. You may laugh (NRx as the cool kids? lol) but I know this game and I can assure you, this is what’s going to happen with the Jackal Hours.

Besides, if you don’t show up, you’ll miss out on the creation of sweet-ass neoreactionary inside jokes (i.e. like why you should totally invite Nick B. Steves to go snorkeling with you next time you see him). It may sound silly, but what is a culture if not a series of related inside jokes? Do you really want to be shut out of the culture that’s being built?

I hope to catch you all on the Jackal Hour next time it rolls around.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I shared a personal anecdote on the Jackal Hour last night that I think would be fun to share with you all. It was mentioned that cultivating a circle of men with whom you engage in deliberate rituals is key to developing a strong tribe. To corroborate this observation, I shared an experience I had of forming a martial arts club at my university. We weren’t given permission to form an official club (due to safety concerns), so what did this small band of men do? We formed an “unofficial” martial arts club.

All the stuff we couldn’t so as an officially sanctioned club? We do it. Weapons training? Yep. Chokes, armlocks, and all kinds of violent things to knees, elbows, necks, and fingers? Yep. Muay Thai sparring? Every Saturday we strap on the gloves.

It’s a wild ride, and these guys have become some of my best friends. Based on my experience, I can honestly say that if you want to build a tribe, start by punching someone in the face.

Starbucks caused quite a stir this week when it decided to encourage customers to “Race Together” and have conversations about race. It was universally lambasted by people of all ideologies, but more importantly, it confirmed for me the proper way to walk into a Starbucks:

For what it’s worth, I too like my women like I like my coffee: hot, rich, and five or six times a day.

Someone tell Starbucks that we need to have that conversation next.

A few weeks ago, I carved out some time and read Casino Royale, the first and original James Bond novel. It’s a quick read, but a thrilling one. It’s definitely not high-brow literature, but it actually is a fantastic book, even without judging it as the light beach reading that it really is. It’s also seeded with all sorts of tidbits that would trigger the modern-day progressive, in case you need any additional reason to pick it up.

Other books I’ve read in the past few weeks: Anabasis, Collapse, and various books on sustainability that are not worth touching (I had to read them for a project I’m a part of, and I exhort you not to share my fate).

Anabasis was great. Collapse was dull, and, according to a professor I know, inaccurate on several major fronts (such as the rise and decline of Easter Island civilization). Read the former, but not the latter.

I’ve also been working my way through Napoleon: A Life, by Andrew Roberts, and I must say, it is phenomenal. Napoleon is not exactly a favorite figure among many Neoreactionary-types, but he was an amazingly gifted individual and is is absolutely thrilling to read about the things he did and how he did them.

I highly recommend this book, and there’s a quite a few of you in particular who I think would greatly enjoy it. If you think I mean you, you’re probably correct.

Many of my plans for the future are still up in the air, and they depend on various different factors beyond my control, but the common threads run deep, and as they come together and solidify, it seems more and more likely that I’ll be ending up in Washington DC for the next several years. It’s the best-case scenario for me, at the very least, and I certainly intend to make it happen.

There have been stirrings and whispers of a growing Neoreactionary community in the area, and though I personally think that’s a bit of a ways off, I know for a fact that in 2-3 years there’s going to be a strong NRx tribe there, hiding in plain sight.

During my time in DC last summer, I saw the rich potential in that city. I saw the vibrant network of fellow travelers and potential allies. I learned of the growing numbers of those that we could call friends hidden away in that great Sodom on the Potomac. The cultivation of a Neoreactionary community there would not be difficult. All the ingredients have come together and the recipe is practically making itself.

West Coast Neoreaction has been highly active in developing its own unique flair. East Coast Neoreaction has been highly remiss in doing the same thing. People near New York have the opportunity and the numbers to do so, and I hope that they will continue to work towards this development in the future.

Once I get situated, I plan on doing the same thing in DC.

Who else wants to take this thing straight to the heart of the beast?

Questions on Russia with Mitchell Laurel

Recent stirrings in Russia and Eastern Europe, coupled with the latest round of “Where in the world is Vladamir Putin?” have led me to give more thought to what will happen in that part of the world in coming times. I put together a few ideas on the matter, but in the interest of getting a second opinion, I turned to one of the best geopolitical minds in Neoreaction, Mitchell Laurel, who blogs over at A House with No Child.

I e-mailed him with my speculations, and he not only agreed to critique them, but also graciously allowed me to post our exchange here. I present to you the relevant transcript of our discussion, mildly edited for clarity:


Donovan: I’ve been thinking over potential Russian war plans (assuming such a thing will happen, which you’ve convinced me is quite likely if not certain) and was hoping to get your opinion on some of the speculations I’ve been coming up with. Would you mind if I bounced a few ideas off you?


Mitchell: Sure thing,

Ask and I’ll answer, Donovan.

D: Some of the North Sea naval mobilizations and preparations for Arctic warfare don’t make sense if the goal in only a conflict in Ukraine, but would seem to indicate potential for combat in Scandinavian countries, north Russia, or in a colder world (what are the Russian climate forecasts?). Do you think Putin is making preparations in case of a northern front being opened up or do you think he intends to do something along those lines himself?

(I suppose the flip-side of that idea is that Russia’s been training specifically in Arctic warfare over the past several years, some say as part of a plan to lay claim to Arctic territory, so this might not mean nearly as much as I’m reading into it).

Additionally, I can’t help but get the feeling that Putin expects quick gains early on before grinding down into a protracted conflict. Sounds plausible or suspect? My first intuition was that he would only try to take and hold Ukraine, settling into a defensive war, but it’s also occurred to me that he might gamble and plow ahead full-steam into Europe, taking out as many NATO countries as possible before the US steps in. I’m leaning towards the former as more likely, but it is hard to tell. The latter would certainly draw the US in, but if Putin thinks the US will step in anyway, it makes more sense.

Building off that, what if the intent was to draw the US into a protracted conflict in order to suck us into a cataclysmic financial situation that cripples us (or worse)? Russia alone couldn’t do it, but they’ve got China in their corner and the Chinese have been buying quite a bit of gold…

Anyway, what do you think? Do any of these sound plausible or am I totally off-base?


M: Good Evening Donovan,

I don’t think you have it wrong, I do think what you have is ordered incorrectly. I’ll address the points piece by piece.

For starters, conflict in the Ukraine is important, but a footnote to Russia’s larger strategy. In terms of their military prowess they are no threat. They are 20 years behind in military technology and have the morale of the Iraqi Army that defended Mosul (they ran, btw). Nor does Russia seek conflict with Scandinavia, who are no names anyways. Who cares about Sweden, after all.

But you got much closer with your interest in Russian climate forecasts. The Russians see that the coming decades are going to be characterized by more and more extreme cold, in a little ice age scenario at best, possibly a real one at worst. I don’t talk about that much on the blog or in NRx, because it’s not a popular position, but all the signs are there in the markets and in the increase of armaments among the arctic nations. The arctic will also be increasingly important for resource extraction going forward. Also a factor. It’s a great big goldmine waiting for the tech to make it commercially feasible.

Putin has no intention of declaring war on the West. That would be foolish, and in fact he is doing everything he can to avoid it. It is the Americans who pushing as hard as they can for a controlled and limited war that can justify uncontrolled and unlimited political repression and military rearmament. The Americans know they’re on the decline and want to ‘lock-in’ as much of their controlled territory as they can when the dollar goes down. If they fail to lock in the west, Europe will become its own center of influence and a competitor to American might. And if America were to lose the West (or even its East Asian allies) we would see a fall from hegemony which cannot be allowed. The hegemon will take extreme risks to preserve its position.

Here’s the thing about the Russian military. It’s advanced, high morale, and designed specifically for defending Russia. From a military perspective Russia is pretty much impregnable to conventional forces (though vulnerable to asymmetric ones). But in terms of looking outward Russia is fairly useless. Russia doesn’t even have large ships capable of effective amphibious landings (like the Mistral). Russia has the power to knock out the Ukraine in under 24 hours, but not the strength to hold it. Never mind Poland or any nation farther West, that’s just fools talk. They simply don’t have the equipment or the resources to facilitate that kind of expansion.

Again your analytical mistake here was in the application of intentions and purposes. It’s not Putin who wants war and is trying to push into the West. It’s the West, mostly America, that wants war in order to preserve its hegemony. The dollar is going down either way. Everyone knows that. The key question American policy makers have is how can the collapse of the dollar be used to maintain and expand American hegemony? Their conclusions explain why they have been so pro-active in their aggression towards Russia via Georgia, Armenia, the Ukraine, the Baltics, and the ‘Stans.

With Russia, they have a descending set of goals: 1. Break Russia into smaller countries that can be effectively absorbed into American hegemony. 2. Should that fail, provoke and demonize Russia in order to utilize ‘Russian aggression’ to lock-in Europe and east Asia via the TTP and the transatlantic treaty. If they can lock them in American hegemony can actually be expanded despite the collapse of the dollar. The 3rd goal, and the weakest, is simply to postpone the rise of Russia and China, even should America’s hegemony be slowly eroded.

Russia is more a reactive force than a pro-active one in this whole drama. The primary objective of the Putin faction is to secure Russian longevity by eliminating the great enemy that seeks to break Russia, which is American hegemony. Not America itself, but American hegemony. That’s why they’ve made every effort to avoid open war with the Ukraine, to avoid the threat of Europe being ‘locked in’ the American hegemony. Peace plays to their strategy. With their close alliance with China economic gains are on their side and they make more friends every year as the American attempts to maintain dominance become increasingly desperate and drive allies away. In the ideal scenario America falls like the Soviet Union fell, with relatively little bloodshed no full scale war.

 
I hope that gave you more insight. It would make for a good post, I think. Remember that while American Cathedralist narratives are retarded, the American elite are not. Nor are they helpless. A lot of projects are in motion to maintain their strength. It’s the great game, after all.
 
M. Laurel

For more great insights, read Mitchell’s work at A House with No Child and follow him on Twitter.

Brothers in bondage

Ethno-nationalism has been a contentious subject in our neck of the woods as of late. The hardcore white nationalists and the national socialists have been lambasting Neoreaction and claiming that it is controlled by Jews and hates white people, while many neoreactionaries have fired back by claiming that both groups are functionally retarded, incapable of any thought more complicated than “White people good, Jews and Blacks bad”, and are merely a sink for people who think that society went wrong but who lack the brains to figure out what happened and instead gravitate towards ego-stroking safety blankets that reassure them that all their failures and insecurities are nothing more than the evil machinations of the Jews.

To say that there have been some harsh words is a bit of an understatement.

In response to this, many of the more devoted eth-nats have claimed that Neoreaction is not truly ethno-nationalist, and that Neoreactionaries look down upon and despise ethno-nationalism. A common reaction to this by many neoreactionaries is to point to the trichotomy and claim that ethno-nationalism is one of the foundational assumptions of Neoreaction.

I’m not quite going to do that here, because I think there’s something that must be kept in mind: it’s not so much ethno-nationalism that many neoreactionaries have come to despise, but ethno-nationalists.

In other words, it’s not really ideological. It’s personal. It’s totally personal.

That said, do neoreactionaries reject ethno-nationalism? Well, it’s complicated. Ask ten neoreactionaries as to whether whites ought to form some kind of white homeland and you’ll get a lot of hemming and hawing. I’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t do the same. If that’s your criterion for whether someone is an ethno-nationalist or not, then most (though not all) of us come up short.

Ask those same neoreactionaries whether you think that white people ought to be allowed to congregate and collectively pursue their own interests, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any neoreactionary who would disagree (those who would hesitate to answer the question would do some more out of an inclination to not get bogged down in racial matters, and to conclude that such a preference stems from a tacit support of “white genocide” is the mark of a feeble intellect who deserves all the disenfranchisement that could be heaped upon them).

So it seems fairly clear that neoreactionaries and pure ethno-nationalists are not talking about the same thing when they use the term “ethno-nationalism”. Nick B. Steves has argued (correctly, in my opinion) that what Neoreactionaries are attempting to describe when they use the “ethno-nationalism” term is not ethno-nationalism per se, but rather a certain “Sense of Us” that encapsulates how people connect with those who are like them. I think this is the right direction to explore.

People like to be around those who are like them. Groups of people who are similar are more likely to have strong asabiyyah. People prefer to be a part of groups that have strong asabiyyah. It is not hard to see how all these tendencies reinforce each other.

This creates an interesting dynamic in regard to the subject of nationalism, because nationalism is an modernist attempt to induce heightened asabiyyah in a target population. It has certainly proved itself to be adaptive over the past few centuries, but there is nothing anti-modernist about being nationalistic.

But what of ethno-nationalism in particular? Ancient nations prized blood to a degree that we do not today (or at least, so is claimed by the eth-nats, though I personally suspect they are more right than wrong here). Is not ethno-nationalism thus highly reactionary?

This is incorrect. Ethno-nationalism is a reactionary impulse rooted in modernist assumptions. It is not reactionary. It is reactionary modernist. There is a difference between those two things.

But ingrained ethnic interests exist, do they not? They exist and are hardwired into all human beings, are they not? I am agnostic on this front, but I suspect that the general affinity of people for those who are ethnically similar stems not from hardwired genetic impulses to help pass on the genetic similarity of your related kins (such similarity fizzles out exponentially and seems to have little impact beyond immediate family), but a calculation that people who look like us are more likely to share our norms and are more likely to act in a way that is beneficial to us.

Whom ought I to trust more: the man who shares my culture or the one who does not? If phenotype is a proxy for cultural similarity, am I not rational in assuming that the man who shares my face is more likely share my values and/or is more likely to be looking out for me than the one who does not?

The harder question is this: should I place greater trust in the man who shares my culture or the man who shares my race? Genetics and culture are surely intertwined, but try to answer the question in the manner that it was given. This is a thought experiment, after all, and I’m not sure that I have an answer. Is that not indicative of something?

So do I love my race? I am not sure how to understand that question. I don’t love it the way I love my family, for example, but I will defend it if it is attacked, though I do so because I recognize that in the treacherous arena of identity politics, an attack on a man’s race, religion, or culture is very much an attack on that man himself.

I suppose that I do have an appreciation for “white history”, for it is filled with daring adventures, grand accomplishments, and beautiful ideas, but were this not the case, I would most certainly not take note of it the way that I do, for blood alone is nothing to be cherished and is meaningless if it has done naught. If I love my race in any form, it is an apprehensive and conditional love indeed.

My respect and appreciation for “my race” is based on what they have done, as well as their culture (to a large degree), and — to whatever degree that it exists —their innate character (to a much smaller degree).

All this puts aside, of course, the simple fact that though the ethno-nationalists exhort me to proclaim that my race is white, my race is not “white”. My race is “Italian”, not white. White is not a thing that is, but a category that encompasses certain things that are. To confuse this category for a thing in the same vein as the things it describes is a categorical error.

So yes, there are several fronts on which I criticize ethno-nationalism. All this said, however, I do think that ethn-nats are correct in stating that as whites become a smaller percentage of the population in many traditionally white countries, they will feel increasingly threatened and will begin to feel a certain “white racial consciousness”. White nationalism is going to become more popular, not among anywhere near a majority of whites, but among a certain minority of them. Of more consequence, however, is the degree to which whites are going to start thinking of themselves as whites and the degree to which they come to believe that ethnic tensions are a major driver of societal trends.

And so, in the end, I cannot help but conclude that it is foolish to disregard the concept of white nationalism entirely, for many of the underlying assumptions will spread and become more prominent. Sure, we can quibble over the theory (which is fairly weak), but it is going to have a certain (if limited) practical utility in the future. It has some potential, and it could make sense if applied as one option among many in a much bigger picture. I’m willing to accept this outcome and I think Neoreaction writ large should at least be open to it as well.

Ethno-nationalism is, like all types of nationalism, not reactionary, but because it is a strain of nationalism, it does have potential utility in the modern world. But, what of other types of nationalism? What of, say, religious nationalism, which is also surely well-positioned to take advantage of certain sentiments that will become common in the future?

I will discuss that another time. There is one type of nationalism that I wish to discuss before I wrap up this post: Aristo-Nationalism.

I fully admit that I need a different (read: better) neologism, but what I am trying to get at is the tendency of the Natural Elite to associate with other members of the Natural Elite.

In many of the Natural Elite, there is an affinity for other elites that crosses all other thede boundaries. It is a fact of human nature that people like to spend time with those who are like them, and those natural elite who are gifted with very high reserves of intelligence, charisma, and ambition define themselves most by those traits and consider their peers to be those who share in them, not those with whom they share a certain religion, race, or culture.

Said persons do not necessarily want to associate with whites or blacks or jews or Asian or Catholics or any of the other categories by which “plebians” take note of, but they do wish to associate with other people of all stripes who are also intelligent and charismatic and ambitious and aristocratic.

Is this temperament influenced by ethno-centrism and theo-centrism and clannishness and a whole host of other factors? Of course, but for many in the Natural Elite, the thede with which they predominantly identify is that of the Natural Elite, not an ethnic-based or religious-based or any other based thede that most people would gravitate towards. If you try to get them to identify with an ethnic-based movement, and not one rooted in personal character and admirable qualities, you’re going to have a bad time.

Bringing all this back to the subject of nationalism, I shall reiterate and clarify certain thoughts. Nationalism is neither reactionary nor traditionalist, but modernist, though this does not mean it is without potential utility. This utility stems from the degree to which nationalism is capable of cultivating asabiyyah and in-group solidarity. Insofar that Neoreaction seeks to grapple with issues of nationalism, we should take great care not to put any particular type of nationalism on a pedestal, but to recognize when applying it is useful in a certain context and when it is not. Neoreaction should have no love for nationalism in and of itself — and should focus instead on better understanding the cultivation of asabiyyah — but it is also a mistake to scorn nationalism entirely and unconditionally, for there are limited circumstances in which nationalism can be used as a means to in order to achieve a higher level of asabiyyah.

I hope further debate on the matter does not fail to bear this in mind.

Friday Night Fragments #19

Feminists say that the patriarchy hurts men too, but this is merely reflective of a lack of nuance. Patriarchy does not hurt men. Patriarchy is an admission that for society to work, men must hurt. Patriarchy is a mechanism designed to make men hurt themselves in the way they need to to make life bearable for everyone else.

It’s understandable that a society that fears pain and sacrifice would turn from this path, but those who are made of stronger, better stuff must not shy from carrying this burden. If you are a man, you must walk the path of pain. Do not run from it. Do not despise it. Embrace, for you are man; born of pain and carved by it to bring about a world in which some might find reprieve from it for a time.

What is pain? Pain is our curse. Pain is our burden. Paint is our duty. Patriarchy is our best mechanism for dealing with this pain and making it worth not only our while, but also for everyone else.

I’ve been talking with a few of my good friends (as well as a few family friends) on the other side of the pond in recent days (for my European readers, I refer, of course, to you wankers on the wrong side of the Atlantic). What has surprised me about all of them has been a certain sentiment that they have all shared: London is not an English city anymore.

I heard this from my friends on the right. I heard this from my friends on the left. I heard this from my friends who were young. I heard this from family friends who were old.

To say that it was an unexpected consensus would perhaps be a bit of an understatement.

On a more personal note, that last time I was in London I saw almost as many headscarves as when I was in Morocco, so while I don’t live in that wonderful city, I can attest that my personal experience seems to corroborate with this assessment.

Funny how that works out.

Speaking of England, I was musing on how amusing it was that the English decided to put the universal time zone in England when they were given the chance. Anyone, of course, would have done the same thing (in their own country, mind you), if they’d been given the chance, but England got it in the end, and their universal time (as opposed to previous attempts) won out in the end.

Ruling the world has its perks, and those perks continue until long after you’ve stopped ruling. Not a bad deal, huh?

But really, who ends up ruling the world? For a long time now, it’s been those who could be described as Atlanticists, those seafaring, maritime civilizations who’ve used their immense naval power to drive trade, shipping, and commerce.

On a planet that is almost 70% water, how can those who command the seas not rise to such heights? Water matters on this world of ours, and the more that water matters, the greater the advantage held by the Atlanticists in the eternal game.

A globalized world is one in which trade, shipping, and commerce are absolutely foundational, and our modern world is one defined by global connections. How could the Atlanticists not rise to power in such a world? They were better positioned for it than anyone else.

This, of course, leads us to an interesting question: technology is breaking down the barriers to geographical separation and making it so that people across the world can connect, trade, and interact in various ways. Does this not provide more advantage to the cosmopolitans and internationalists of the world than it does to those who recognize that the most sensible recourse for their thede is a more parochial one?

The western Atlanticists are likely to see a significant decrease in their power over the next few years, tied up as it is with the US-UN-EU axis, but the sons of the sea will always be with us, and it might actually be impossible to eliminate these descendents of adventurers, explorers, and conquerors.

The spawn of the Leviathan and the brood of the Behemoth, locked together sometimes in friendship, sometimes in competition, eternal rivals intertwined by fate, on and on together until the end of time. There’s something very poetic about it.

It’s easy to write this question off by saying that even in a highly-connected age, people will prefer to stick within their small sphere, but we all know that no matter how many people use technology to insulate themselves and pleasure themselves with groupthink, there will still be those who seek to branch out, to spread themselves and their ideas across the world, and who are driven to weave webs that encompass every corner of the globe.

I suppose the argument could be made that such technologies, in reducing our reliance on the sea, thus reduce the power of the Atlanticists, but this is overly literal thinking. The US does not rule because it has a large navy, but the reason it rules and the reason it has a large navy both derive from certain underlying factors.

The power of the Atlanticists will take a hit in the years to come, but is it wise to count them out? I am not so certain. The rise of cities like Hong Kong and Singapore portend an assertion of Atlanticist principles in a less imperialist form that the great progressive empires of the past few centuries have expressed.

The West may be Atlanticist, but Atlanticism is not just the West, and I actually do believe that going forward we’ll be seeing a variant that plays more nicely with others (with the caveat, of course, that the US-UN-EU version will become increasingly nasty, vicious, and contentious).

I look forward to the rise of that strain, for I know my calling when I hear it. Is it my choice, though, or is it a choice thrust upon me by blood or fate or any of the other powers that guide our steps? I do not know.

I only know that flag under which I fly.

800px-Flag_of_the_British_East_India_Company_(1801).svg