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samedi, 07 octobre 2017

Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as Anti-Semitic/Christian-Gnostic Allegory


Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as Anti-Semitic/Christian-Gnostic Allegory

Philip K. Dick’s 1968 science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is far less famous than Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie Blade Runner [2], which is loosely based on the novel. A few of the novel’s characters and dramatic situations, as well as bits of dialogue, found their way into Blade Runner, often shorn of the context in which they made sense. But the movie and novel dramatically diverge on the fundamental question of what makes human beings different from androids, and in terms of the “myths” that provide the deep structure of their stories. 

do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep.jpgIn Blade Runner, what separates androids from humans is their lack of memories, whereas in the novel it is their lack of empathy. In the novel, the underlying myth is the passion of the Christ, specifically his persecution at the hands of the Jews (both the Jews who called for his death and their present-day descendants, who continue to mock him and his followers). In Blade Runner, however, it is the rebellion of Satan against God—and this time, Satan wins by murdering God. (I will deal with Blade Runner at greater length in another essay [3].)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is set in 1992 in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a side trip to Seattle. After World War Terminus, the earth’s atmosphere is polluted by vast radioactive dust clouds. Many animal species are extinct, and the rest are extremely rare, so animals are highly valued, both for religious reasons and as status symbols, and there is brisk market in electric animals. (Hence the title.)

To escape the dust, most human beings have emigrated to off-world colonies. (Mars is mentioned specifically.) As an incentive, emigrants are given androids as servants and slave laborers. (They are called “replicants” in the movie, but not in the book.) These androids are not machines, like electric sheep. They are artificially created living human beings. They are created as full-grown humans and live only four years. Aside from their short lifespans, androids differ from human beings by lacking empathy. In essence, they are sociopaths. Androids are banned from earth, and violators are hunted down and “retired” by bounty hunters. (The phrase “blade runner” does not appear in the book.)

The novel never makes clear why androids return to earth, which is inhabited only by genetically malformed “specials” and mentally-retarded “chickenheads,” who are not allowed to emigrate, and a remnant of normal humans who refuse to emigrate and are willing to risk the dust and endure lifelessness and decay because of their attachment to the earth. Earth does make sense as a destination, however, given the androids’ status as slaves in the off-world colonies and their short lifespans, which obviates concerns about long-term damage from the dust.

I wish to argue that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can be read as a systematic Christian and anti-Semitic allegory. Naturally, I do not argue that this brief but rich and suggestive novel can be reduced entirely to this dimension. But I argue that this is the mythic backbone of the narrative and indicates that Philip K. Dick had a good deal of wisdom about Jews and the Jewish question.

Historical Christianity plays no role in the novel. The only religion mentioned is called Mercerism, which of course brings to mind “mercy.” Mercerism apparently arose after WWT, as a reaction to the mass death of human beings and animals, which led the survivors to place a high value on empathy. Given its emphasis on empathy, Mercerism is an experiential religion, facilitated by a device called the Empathy Box, which has a cathode ray tube with handles on each side. When one switches on the Empathy Box and grasps the handles, one’s consciousness is merged with other Mercerists as they experience the passion of Wilbur Mercer, an old man who trudges to the top of a hill as unseen tormentors throw stones at him. At the Golgotha-like summit, the torments intensify. Mercer then dies and descends into the underworld, from which he rises like Jesus, Osiris, Dionysus, and Adonis—and, like the latter three, brings devastated nature back to life along with him.

According to Mercer’s back story, he was found by his adoptive parents as an infant floating in a life raft (like Moses). As a young man, he had an unusual empathic connection with animals. He had the power to bring dead animals back to life (like Jesus, although Jesus did not deign to resurrect mere animals). The authorities, called the “adversaries” and “The Killers,” arrested Mercer and bombarded his brain with radioactive cobalt to destroy his ability to resurrect the dead. This plunged Mercer into the world of the dead, but at a certain point, Mercer conquered death and brought nature back to life. His passion and resurrection is somehow recapitulated in the experience of the old man struggling to the top of the hill, dying, descending into the world of the dead, and ascending again. (The incoherence of the story may partly be a commentary on religion and partly a reflection of the fact that our account of Mercerism is recollected by a mentally subnormal “chickenhead.”)

If Mercerism is about empathy towards other humans and creation as a whole, his adversaries, The Killers, are those that lack empathy and instead exploit animals and other human beings. If Mercerism is analogous to Christianity, The Killers are analogous to Jews. And, indeed, in the Old Testament, the Jews are commanded by God to exploit nature and other men.

The androids, because they lack empathy, are natural Killers. Thus bounty hunter Rick Deckard explicitly likens androids to The Killers: “For Rick Deckard, an escaped humanoid robot, which had killed its master, which had been equipped with an intelligence greater than that of many human beings, which had no regard for animals, which possessed no ability to feel empathic joy for another life form’s success or grief at its defeat—that, for him, epitomized The Killers” (Philip K. Dick, Four Novels of the 1960s, ed. Jonathan Lethem [New York: Library of America, 2007], p. 456).

Of course, although the androids epitomize The Killers, they are not the only ones who lack empathy. Earth has been devastated because human politicians and industrialists had less feeling for life than for political prestige and adding zeroes to their bank accounts. This is precisely why Mercerism puts a premium on empathy. A scene in which the androids cut off the legs of a spider just for the fun of it makes clear why they must be hunted down and killed. Mercer commands his followers “You shall kill only the killers” (ibid.). If only human Killers could be “retired” as well.

The android lack of empathy is the basis of the Voight-Kampff test, which can detect androids by measuring their weak responses to the sufferings of animals and other human beings. (The rationale for the Voight-Kampff test is completely absent from Blade Runner, in which humans and androids are differentiated in terms of memories, not empathy.)

The Killers and the androids are not, however, characterized merely by lack of empathy but also by excess of intelligence, which for the androids expresses itself in intellectual arrogance and condescension toward the chickenhead J. R. Isidore. Intellectuality combined with arrogance are, again, stereotypically Jewish traits. By contrast, Mercerism, because it is based on empathy rather than intellect, can embrace all feeling beings, even chickenheads.

The androids Deckard is hunting are manufactured by the Rosen Association in Seattle, Rosen being a stereotypically Jewish name (at least in America). (In Blade Runner, it is the Tyrell Corporation, Tyrell being an Anglo-Saxon name.) The aim of the Rosen Association is perfect crypsis: androids that cannot be distinguished from humans by any test, even though this agenda conflicts with the aims of the civil authorities to root out all android infiltrators. Deckard notes that “Androids . . . had . . . an innate desire to remain inconspicuous” (p. 529). Crypsis is, of course, an ancient Jewish art, necessary for the diaspora to blend in among their host communities. The Rosen Association obviously has higher loyalties than to the civil authorities, and Jews are notorious for protecting their own people, even criminals, from the civil authorities of their host societies.

The Rosen Association tasks an android named Rachel Rosen (a very Jewish name) to protect rogue androids by seducing bounty hunters. Apparently sex with an android creates something of an empathic bond, at least from the human point of view, which inhibits them from killing androids. Rachel thus plays the role of Queen Esther, the Jewish woman who wedded Ahasuerus, a mythical king of Persia, and used their relationship to protect her people and destroy their persecutor Haman.

androides-revent-ils-de-moutons-electriques-.jpgOne of the most surreal episodes in the novel ensues when Rick Deckard interviews android soprano Luba Luft in her dressing room at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. (In the down-market Blade Runner, she is Zhora, the stripper with the snake.) Before Deckard can complete his interview and “retire” her, Luft turns the tables by calling the police.

Deckard is promptly arrested and discovers that San Francisco has another, parallel police department staffed primarily by humans but headed by an android who, of course, watches out for the interests of his fellow androids. Granted, an entire parallel police department is a rather implausible notion. A more plausible scenario would be the infiltration of the existing police department. But the episode strictly parallels techniques of Jewish subversion in the real world. For instance, the fact that US foreign policy is more responsive to Israeli interests than American interests is clearly the result of the over-representation of ethnically-conscious Jews and their allies among American policy- and opinion-makers. Jews seek positions of power and influence in the leading institutions of their host societies, subverting them into serving Jewish interests at the expense of the host population.

When Deckard frees himself from the fake police department and tracks down Luba Luft, he notices that, although she does not come with him willingly, “she did not actively resist; seemingly she had become resigned. Rick had seen that before in androids, in crucial situations. The artificial life force that animated them seemed to fail if pressed too far . . . at least in some of them. But not all” (p. 529). This brings to mind holocaust stories of Jews allowing themselves to be passively herded en masse to their deaths. (This seems unlikely, for based on my experience, Jews do not lack self-assertion.)

The final anti-Semitic dimension of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is its treatment of the media. Only two media outlets are mentioned, one private and the other owned by the government. (Hollywood is also defunct. Dick’s ability to envision the future obviously failed him here.) The privately owned media broadcasts the same talk show, Buster Friendly and His Friendly Friends, on both radio and television 23 hours a day. How is this possible? Buster and his friends are androids, of course. But who owns Buster and his friends? The Killers, i.e., the Jews and their spiritual equivalents.

This can be inferred from the fact that Buster and his friends make a point of mocking Mercerism, just as the Jewish media mock Christianity (pp. 487–88). Killers and androids are hostile to Mercerism because their lack of empathy excludes them from the communal fusion that is the religion’s central practice. Thus Isidore concluded that “[Buster] and Wilbur Mercer are in competition. . . . Buster Friendly and Mercerism are fighting for control of our psychic souls” (pp. 488, 489). It is a struggle between empathy and cold, sociopathic intellect.

Near the end of the novel, Buster Friendly goes beyond mockery by broadcasting an exposé showing that Mercerism is a fraud. The rock-strewn slope is a sound stage, the moonlit sky a painted backdrop, and Mercer himself is just an old drunk named Al Jarry hired to act the part of the suffering savior. Mercerism, we are told, is merely a mind control device manipulated by politicians to make the public more tractable — just the opiate of the masses.

The androids are delighted, of course, because if Mercerism is a fraud, then maybe so too is empathy, the one thing that allegedly separates androids from human beings. And empathy can be fake, because in the very first chapter of the novel, we learn of the existence of a device called the Penfield Mood Organ, which can induce any mood imaginable if you just input the correct code.

The exposé is true. But none of it matters. Because the magic of Mercerism still works. J. R. Isidore has a vision of Mercer without the empathy box, and Mercer gives him the spider mutilated by the androids, miraculously restored to life. Mercer himself admits the truth of the exposé to Isidore, but still it does not matter. Then Mercer appears to Deckard and helps him kill the remaining androids. Near the end of the novel, Mercer appears to Deckard again and leads him to a toad, a species previously thought to be extinct, which deeply consoles Deckard. His wife Iran, however, discovers the toad is mechanical. The spider probably is as well. But even these fake animals do not undermine the healing magic of Mercerism.

I wish to suggest that Dick’s point is that the historical dimension of Mercerism—and, by implication, of Christianity—does not matter. It can all be fake: the incarnation, the sacrifices, even the miracles can be fake. But the magic still works. This is, in short, a version of the Gnostic doctrine of “Docetism”: the idea that the Christ is an entirely spiritual being and his outward manifestations, including the incarnation, are not metaphysically real.

This may be the sense of J. R. Isidore’s perhaps crack-brained account of a widespread view of Mercer’s nature: “. . . Mercer, he reflected, isn’t a human being; he evidently is an entity from the stars, superimposed on our culture by a cosmic template. At least that’s what I’ve heard people say . . .” (p. 484). A more likely account is that Mercer is a spiritual entity who takes on material forms imposed by our cultural template. Mercer can also employ technological fakery, such as Penfield Mood Organs, mechanical animals, and cheap cinematic tricks, to effect genuine spiritual transformations.

If this is the case, then Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can be read as offering the template of a revived Gnostic Christianity that is immune to the Jewish culture of critique [4].

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/10/philip-k-dicks-do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep-as-anti-semiticchristian-gnostic-allegory-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/DoAndroidsDream.png

[2] Blade Runner: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M4MB8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008M4MB8K&linkCode=as2&tag=thesavdevarc-20

[3] another essay: https://www.counter-currents.com/2014/04/blade-runner-2/

[4] culture of critique: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0759672229/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0759672229&linkCode=as2&tag=thesavdevarc-20&linkId=Y4UHRLOTXSJAKCVO

vendredi, 06 octobre 2017

Jean-Claude Michéa: Between Capital & Archaic Socialism


Jean-Claude Michéa: Between Capital & Archaic Socialism


Audio version: To listen in a player, click here [2]. To download the mp3, right-click here [2] and choose “save link as” or “save target as.” To subscribe to the CC podcast RSS feed, click here [3].

michea-64655164-407e2.jpgJean-Claude Michéa
Notre Ennemi, le Capital
Paris: Climats, 2016

Following the election of Donald Trump as the forty-fifth President of the United States, there was a flood of YouTube clips of Clinton supporters, mostly female, throwing tantrums of biblical proportions (the reader will know the sort of thing: he rent his garments and covered himself with sackcloth, etc.) which afforded this writer both amusement and bewilderment. The tearful outbursts of grief were without insight or intelligence of any kind, with one exception.

The exception was a young lady who, after assuring her viewers that she had “stopped crying about it,” turned her wrath on Hillary Clinton. Hillary, it seemed, had enabled “a fascist” to become President, and thereafter unfolded an attack on Clinton from one of the disappointed YouTube amazons, the first of its kind which indicated that a functioning human mind was at work. “We told you,” the lady wailed, “we warned you” (who she meant by “we” was unclear – Bernie supporters, perhaps?) “but you would not listen. We told you: don’t ignore the working man. Don’t ignore the rust belt . . . Hillary Clinton, we overlooked a lot, we overlooked the corruption, we overlooked your links to Goldman Sachs. We warned you. Hilary Clinton, oh, we kept warning you and you wouldn’t listen. You were so sure, so damn arrogant. I’m through with you. You ignored the working man. You ignored the rust belt. Now we’ve got this and it’s your fault! It’s your fault!” Amidst the wailing and petulance, this Clinton voter had made a telling point. Donald Trump won because he had not ignored the rust belt, and his opponent had.

The two seismic upsets of 2016, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, confounding both polls and media expectations, would not have come about without the common man, the rust belt, the blue-collar worker, Joe Sixpack, slipping harness and voting with “the Right.” Those who had faithfully and reliably followed the Democrat/Labour parties through one election after another, as their parents had done, and in many cases their parents’ parents, voted in opposition to the way the urban professional class voted. These events highlighted the distance between the wealthy liberal elites deciding what constituted progressive and liberal politics, and the political priorities of the indigenous low-paid classes.

The gulf between wealthy urban liberals and an ignored, socially conservative working class is the focus of a new and impassioned political essay by the French sociologist Jean-Claude Michéa called Notre Ennemi, le Capital (Our Enemy: Capital). Jean-Claude Michéa is a socialist, but his analysis of recent events is far from that of the establishment Left-wing’s alarm at the “worrying rise of populism.” His critique of the Left – he does not call himself a Left-winger and indeed makes a critical distinction between Left-wing and socialist – is the hardest a socialist could make, namely that it has abandoned a realistic or meaningful critique of capitalism. “The modern Left,” Michéa claims, “has abandoned any kind of coherent critique of capital.”

The title of Michéa’s book might arguably be Our Enemy: Liberalism, since it is against the liberalism of the affluent that his ire is directed. The word liberal has slightly different connotations in France and the Anglophone world. In France, liberalism is primarily the ideology of faith in free markets with minimal state interference, “those who lose deserve to lose, those who win deserve to win”; and secondly, the expression of an ideology of individual freedom from social constraint. Michéa distinguishes two radically different trends at the heart of socialist/emancipatory movements in history. “In fact, socialism and the Left draw on, and have done from their very beginnings, two logically distinct narratives which only in part overlap.” (p. 47) Put simply, one is the doctrine which seeks the emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the de-alienation of all who work in society, a society organized from the bottom up and based in the organic community, while the other is the Left-wing notion of progress, the ongoing struggle to free individuals from social restraint or responsibility, for minority rights and abstract issues in the name of progress, a demand from the top down. This latter kind of progressive politics, according to Michéa, is not only not opposed to global capitalism, it undermines the very kind of social solidarity which should be expected to oppose global capitalist growth.

Michéa understands the liberal element of parties of progress as being fundamentally anti-democratic, echoing here the distinction made by the French thinker, Alain de Benoist, between democracy and liberalism. Liberalism, obsessed with minorities and what another socialist, George Galloway, famously mocked as “liberal hothouse” issues, is not in principle opposed to the centralization of economic power at all, according to Michéa. Quite the contrary. It is, however, opposed to democracy, that is to say to any entitlement giving a role in the allocation of power to the majority of the people and of any entitlement to a nation to decide its own destiny. In short, liberalism extends economic sovereignty at the expense of political sovereignty.

Michéa’s argument is given credence by the actions of the leaders of the European Union, who are as enthusiastic about deregulating trade as they are unenthusiastic about allowing popular democratic decisions to be made about trade. Liberalism, according to Michéa, is a belief system operating in the cause of capital which supports a minority to oppress a majority. He notes that the very authoritarian and viscerally anti-socialist General Pinochet in Chile pursued an extremely liberal economic policy based on the free market ideas of Friedrich Hayek, who did not much care about democratic liberties so long as rulers got the economy right and followed the economic precepts of Milton Friedman, whose pupils were advisers to the government. Michéa quotes Jean-Claude Juncker (from Le Figaro, January 29, 2015) as stating that “there could be no democratic choice against the European treaties.”

The stream of venom from the rich kids of Britain which erupted, and has not ceased, since June 23, 2016 (the day the EU referendum result was announced) is another casebook example of the liberal loathing of democracy. Liberal outrage is directed at the very notion that major political or economic decisions should be made by a majority of the people, instead of by a minority of wealthy experts, in the first place. A piece that is exemplary in its anti-democratic virulence was penned by the author Julian Barnes and published in the London Review of Books (“People Will Hate Us Again [4]“) in the aftermath of the referendum result in which he described how he and his affluent London dinner-party friends discussed whom they despised most among those who were responsible for the result. (Nearly all remainers were against having a referendum at all.) Barnes’ choice alighted on Nigel Farage. Here is a taste of Julian Barnes:

Farage . . . had been poisoning the well for years, with his fake man-in-pub chaff, his white paranoia and low-to-mid-level racism (isn’t it hard to hear English spoken on a train nowadays?). But of course Nigel can’t really be a racist, can he, because he’s got a German wife? (Except that she’s now chucked him out for the Usual Reasons.) Without Farage’s covert and overt endorsement, the smothered bonfire of xenophobia would not have burst into open flame on 23 June.

flparr2176.jpgHere is what can be understood as a socialist (in Michéa’s sense of the word) comment by the Filipino writer Karlo Mikhail, discussing Barnes’ novel Flaubert’s Parrot on his blog [5]:

That novels like this have sprouted everywhere like mushrooms in recent decades is expressive of a particular socio-political condition. The persistence of a world capitalist system that prioritizes individual profit over collective need goes side by side with the elevation of a hedonistic bourgeois writer to the pedestal as the bearer of individual creativity and artistic beauty.

Interestingly, Jean-Claude Michéa picks out the very same French writer, Gustave Flaubert, as an example of an early liberal’s obsession with minorities (in Flaubert’s case, with gypsies) – a love of minority rights accompanied by disdain for collective identities and aspirations as well as the working classes. Then and now, the liberal does not greatly care for your average Joe, at least not if Joe’s face is white. As Aymeric Patricot wrote in Les Petits Blancs (Little Whites), “They are too poor to interest the Right and too white to interest the Left.”

Michéa appeals to the notion highlighted by George Orwell (whom he greatly admires) of common decency, morality, and social responsibility. But liberalism, notes Michéa, has become the philosophy of skepticism and generalized deconstruction. There is all the difference in the world between a socialism of ordinary folk and a socialism of intellectuals, the latter being nothing more than a championing of causes by a deconstructivist elite. Liberalism is the philosophy of “indifferentiation anchored in the movement of the uniformity of the market” (p. 133). It is a central thesis of the book that liberalism creates individuation in human societies so that the individual is increasingly isolated and social cohesion declines, while paradoxically and running parallel to this development, the economic structures of the world become increasingly uniform, dominated by the power of capital and concentrated in the hands of an increasingly wealthy few.

Michéa stresses that liberalism then becomes obsessed by phobias. A “phobia,” once coined by the National Socialists in occupied Europe to describe the members of the French and Serb resistance movements, he notes wryly, has been recently reappropriated, presumably unknowingly, by opponents of Brexit to describe Brexiters, namely: “europhobe.” Michéa gives a sad but well-known example of the stultifying effects of the “phobia” label: the Rotherham scandal, which erupted in 2014 after the publication of the Jay Report. The report revealed that, from 1997 to 2013, over a thousand girls between ages 11 and 16 had been kidnapped or inveigled by Pakistani gangs to go with them, who were then abused, drugged, plied with alcohol, raped, and in some cases even tortured and forced into prostitution. The town council did nothing about it for over a decade, in spite of being informed about the situation, out of fear of being found guilty of one of the liberal phobias (in this case, “Islamophobia”). For Michéa, this is an example of “common decency” being sacrificed to a liberal prejudice. The protection of the young was seen as less important than risking the allegation of “Islamophobia.” Michéa then quotes Jean-Louis Harouel: the rights of man took precedence over the rights of people.

It is the often-concealed reality of the power of capital which constitutes the fraud of liberal progressive politics, for liberalism as an ideology is increasingly understood as an ideology of the well-to-do. The notion of social justice has shifted from the belief in fair pay and fair opportunities towards hothouse issues which serve to undermine social solidarity. So it is that feminists at the BBC are more concerned about equality of pay between high-earning male and female media executives than a fairer deal for the poor, whether male or female, in society as a whole. This feminist focus on highly-paid women was also evident in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Democratic Party seemed more concerned that women in top jobs should receive the same pay as men in comparable jobs than in wishing in any way to close the gap between America’s wealthy and poor. For poor Democrat families living on $1,500 a month, the “glass ceiling’” debate and the “solidarity of sisters” must have seemed very remote from their daily concerns.

For Michéa, all this is no coincidence, since progressive politics, as he sees it, has become a contributory force to the intensification of the power of capital and a vehicle of social disintegration, serving to reinforce the ever-greater concentration of capital in the hands of the few. All prejudices are combated except one: the prejudice of fiscal power. That is to say, nobody should face any barrier other than the barrier of money; and nobody should be excluded from any club, from buying any house, from doing anything he or she wants to do, so long as they have the financial means to do it. If they do not have the financial means to join the club, then their entitlement is withdrawn. Money is everything.

michgau.jpgMichéa, like Marx, believes that development by internationalist capitalism acts as a centrifuge to separate the two extremes of those who possess capital from those who do not. Modern society offers increasingly fewer loyalties other than loyalty to the principle of individual competition in a free market. This is why all group adhesion and group loyalty, whether ethnic or geographic or of social class, is undermined or openly attacked by the proponents of progress. In the tradition of socialist conservatives going back to George Orwell, Michéa sees the simplification of language, the dumbing-down of society, and the failure of modern education as part of a pattern.

An example of this centrifugal tendency as practiced by the European Union is the new guidelines issued by the Central European Bank to national banks, which state that mortgage loans should only be granted to those who can prove that they will be able to service the debt in its entirety within the span of their working life. This astonishing provision, which has received little publicity, is purportedly a measure to prevent a repetition of the American mortgage crisis of 2008, but if Michéa is correct, it is more likely a measure aimed at depriving the working and middle classes of the opportunity to become property owners. It will effectively accelerate the widely-noted tendency in Europe to reduce the power of the middle class, which is being driven upwards or downwards towards the minority of haves or the majority of have-nots. It used to be a Marxist axiom that the middle classes would turn to fascism if deprived of their livelihoods by capitalism, as an alternative to joining the ranks of the dispossessed. Michéa does not directly reiterate this Marxist analysis but he certainly implies it; he has obviously read Marx, and if he is not a Marxist (he leans more toward the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the anarchist/socialist critic of Marx), he certainly owes a debt to the social-psychological analyses of the author of Das Kapital.

The capitalist system, to which even the Right-wing critiques of immigration are wed, necessarily strives towards growth, profit, greater efficiency, and expanding markets. All this means an ever-increasing globalization of business. There is an underlying contradiction between on the one hand an appeal to a conservative electorate fearful of job losses and distrustful of immigration, and a pursuit of growth and free trade to maximize profits on the other. Michéa identifies, rightly I believe, mass immigration as a phenomenon backed by the capitalist ruling order to ensure that full employment is never achieved, for the fear of unemployment is the best way to keep wages down. In this respect, pro-immigration anti-fascists act as security guards for high finance, terrorizing any opposition to cheap labor immigration. The contradiction between an appeal to job security and internationalization of capital and free financial markets underlies the promise to impose trade barriers and build walls while at the same time vigorously pursuing and furthering the cause of global trade and financial interdependence.

The liberalization and privatization which became fashionable in the 1980s was a response by the state to the collapse of Soviet Communism and a reaction against Keynesian solutions to stagnation and economic inertia. Michéa favors neither big government of the traditional socialist kind nor a free-market system caught, as he sees it, in a contradiction between a conservative wish to halt the free flow of individuals and its encouragement of the free flow of finance. Instead, Michéa argues for a third kind of social and economic order, one which eschews the centralization and economic top-down principles of Fordism and Leninism on the one hand and the liberal atomization of society as envisaged by progressives on the other. For Michéa, both are alienating and both destroy human communities in service to growth and the concentration of power in a political and economic center. Such centralist notions of ordering society are characterized even in post-war architecture: Michéa cites here the example of the ill-famed Pruitt-Igoe apartment complex [6], demolished in 1976, which was a monument to collectivist folly and liberal “good intentions,” and which can be summed up in the expression of all experts, in this case architectural and engineering experts: “Trust us, we know what’s best for you.”


All abstract revolutionary doctrine, whether economic or political, warns Michéa, sacrifices the people to its power-seeking goals, whether Taylorist (revolutionizing the means of production to maximum efficiency) or Leninist (revolutionizing the control of the means of production to the point of absolute central control). Michéa finishes with a dire warning that what he calls “Silicon Valley liberalism” is the new face of an old ideology whose ideals are growth and progress in a world which cannot bear much more of either, and whose victims are the great mass of human beings, whose natural ethnic, geographical, and social attachments are being destroyed by humanity’s great enemy, capital. This is what Michéa has to say about the condescending pose of modern advanced and affluent liberal thinkers:

For a growing number of people of modest means, whose daily life is hell, the words “Left-wing” mean, if they mean anything at all, at best a defense of public sector workers (which they realize is a protected corral, albeit they may have an idealized view of public employees’ working conditions), and at worst, “Left-wing” means to them the self-justification of journalists, intellectuals, and show-business stars whose imperturbable and permanently patronizing tone has become literally intolerable. (p. 300) (Emphasis Michéa’s)

So now we are back where I started. Clinton ignored the rust belt and Donald Trump won the election. But now Donald Trump seems to be more interested in what he is most skilled at: accumulating capital. Brexit spokesmen seem to be more concerned with proving that Britain’s exit from the EU will open the way for more international trade than stressing that it provides the nation with the ability to close its borders and create a fairer society.

The liberal global model is one model of society, proposed to us today by the champions of globalism and growth; the society where, as John Rawls approvingly put it, individuals can exist side by side with each other while being mutually indifferent. Michéa asks, what is the second element within socialism, distinct from liberal notions of progress and growth, that is a model of society which is socialist but not global, not top-down? It is the socialism of the living indigenous community, of those who, as he puts it, “feel solidarity from the very beginning,” and socialism will be the rebirth, in superior form, of an archaic social type. The choice, in other words, is between a true community of kindred spirits and the barbarism of global centralized power, whose aim is to reduce human society to a mass of hapless individuals easily divided and oppressed.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/09/between-capital-archaic-socialism/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/9-27-17-4.jpg

[2] here: http://cdn.counter-currents.com/radio/NamingTheEnemy.mp3

[3] here: https://www.counter-currents.com/tag/podcasts/feed/

[4] People Will Hate Us Again: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n08/julian-barnes/diary

[5] discussing Barnes’ novel Flaubert’s Parrot on his blog: https://karlomongaya.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/an-undelightful-novel-on-a-hedonist-novelist/

[6] Pruitt-Igoe apartment complex: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruitt%E2%80%93Igoe

jeudi, 28 septembre 2017

A Perfeição da Técnica: Friedrich-Georg Jünger


A Perfeição da Técnica: Friedrich-Georg Jünger

por Robert Steuckers

Ex: http://legio-victrix.blogspot.com
Nascido em 1 de setembro de 1989 em Hannover, irmão do famoso escritor alemão Ernst Jünger, Friedrich-Georg Jünger se interessou pela poesia desde uma idade muito jovem, despertando nele um forte interesse pelo classicismo alemão em um itinerário que atravessa Klopstock , Goethe e Hölderin. Graças a esta imersão precoce no trabalho de Hölderin, Friedrich-Georg Jünger é fascinado pela antiguidade clássica e percebe a essência da helenidade e da romanidade antigas como uma aproximação à natureza, como uma glorificação da elementalidade, ao mesmo tempo que é dotada de uma visão do homem que permanecerá imutável, sobrevivendo ao longo dos séculos na psique européia, às vezes visível à luz do dia, às vezes escondida. A era da técnica separou os homens dessa proximidade vivificante, elevando-o perigosamente acima do elemental. Toda a obra poética de Friedrich-Georg Jünger é um protesto veemente contra a pretensão mortífera que constitui esse distanciamento. Nosso autor permanecerá profundamente marcado pelas paisagens idílicas de sua infância, uma marca que se refletirá em seu amor incondicional pela Terra, pela flora e pela fauna (especialmente insetos: foi Friedrich-Georg quem apresentou seu irmão Ernst ao mundo da entomologia), pelos seres mais elementares da vida no planeta, pelas raízes culturais.
A Primeira Guerra Mundial acabará com essa imersão jovem na natureza. Friedrich-Georg se alistará em 1916 como aspirante a oficial. Severamente ferido no pulmão, na frente do Somme, em 1917, passa o resto do conflito em um hospital de campo. Depois de sua convalescença, se matricula em Direito, obtendo o título de doutor em 1924. Mas ele nunca seguirá a carreira de jurista, logo descobriu sua vocação como escritor político dentro do movimento nacionalista de esquerda, entre os nacional-revolucionários e o nacional-bolcheviques, unindo-se mais tarde à figura de Ernst Niekisch, editor da revista "Widerstand" (Resistência). A partir desta publicação, bem como de "Arminios" ou "Die Kommenden", os irmãos Jünger inauguraram um novo estilo que poderíamos definir como do "soldado nacionalista", expressado pelos jovens oficiais que chegaram recentemente do front e incapazes de se adaptar à vida civil . A experiência das trincheiras e o fragor dos ataques mostraram-lhes, através do suor e do sangue, que a vida não é um jogo inventado pelo cerebralismo, mas um rebuliço orgânico elemental onde, de fato, os instintos reinam. A política, em sua própria esfera, deve compreender a temperatura dessa agitação, ouvir essas pulsões, navegar em seus meandros para forjar uma força sempre jovem, nova e vivificante. Para Friedrich-Georg Jünger, a política deve ser apreendida de um ângulo cósmico, fora de todos os miasmas "burgueses, cerebrais e intelectualizantes". Paralelamente a esta tarefa de escritor político e profeta desse nacionalismo radicalmente anti-burguês, Friedrich-Georg Jünger mergulha na obra de Dostoiévski, Kant e dos grandes romancistas americanos. Junto com seu irmão Ernst, ele realiza uma série de viagens pelos países mediterrâneos: Dalmácia, Nápoles, Baleares, Sicília e as ilhas do Mar Egeu.


Quando Hitler sobe ao poder, o triunfante é um nacionalismo das massas, não aquele nacionalismo absoluto e cósmico que evocava a pequena falange (sic) "fortemente exaltada" que editou seus textos nas revistas nacional-revolucionárias. Em um poema, Der Mohn (A Papoula), Friedrich-Georg Jünger ironiza e descreve o nacional-socialismo como "a música infantil de uma embriaguez sem glória". Como resultado desses versículos sarcásticos, ele se vê envolto em uma série de problemas com a polícia, pelo que ele sai de Berlim e se instala, com Ernst, em Kirchhorst, na Baixa Saxônia.
Aposentado da política depois de ter publicado mais de uma centena de poemas na revista de Niekisch - que vê pouco a pouco o aumento das pressões da autoridade até que finalmente é preso em 1937 -, Friedrich-Georg Jünger consagra por inteiro à criação literária, publicando em 1936 um ensaio intitulado Über das Komische e terminando em 1939 a primeira versão de seu maior trabalho filosófico: Die Perfektion der Technik (A Perfeição da Técnica). Os primeiros rascunhos deste trabalho foram destruídos em 1942, durante um bombardeio aliado. Em 1944, uma primeira edição, feita a partir de uma série de novos ensaios, é novamente reduzida às cinzas devido a um ataque aéreo. Finalmente, o livro aparece em 1946, provocando um debate em torno da problemática da técnica e da natureza, prefigurando, apesar de sua orientação "conservadora", todas as reivindicações ambientais alemãs dos anos 60, 70 e 80. Durante a guerra, Friedrich-Georg Jünger publicou poemas e textos sobre a Grécia antiga e seus deuses. Com o surgimento de Die Perfektion der Technik, que verá várias edições sucessivas, os interesses de Friedrich-Georg se voltam aos temas da técnica, da natureza, do cálculo, da mecanização, da massificação e da propriedade. Recusando, em Die Perfektion der Technik, enunciar suas teses sob um esquema clássico, linear e sistemático; seus argumentos aparecem "em espiral", de maneira desordenada, esclarecendo volta após volta, capítulo aqui, capítulo lá, tal ou qual aspecto da tecnificação global. Como filigrana, percebe-se uma crítica às teses que seu irmão Ernst mantinha então em Der Arbeiter (O Trabalhador), que aceitou como inevitável a evolução da técnica moderna. Sua posição antitécnica aborda a tese de Ortega y Gasset em Meditações sobre a Técnica (1939) de Henry Miller e de Lewis Munford (que usa o termo "megamaquinismo"). Em 1949, Friedrich-Georg Jünger publicou uma obra de exegese sobre Nietzsche, onde es interrogava sobre o sentido da teoria cíclica do tempo enunciado pelo anacoreta de Sils-Maria. Friedrich-Georg Jünger contesta a utilidade de usar e problematizar uma concepção cíclica dos tempos, porque este uso e esta problematização acabarão por conferir ao tempo uma forma única e intangível que, para Nietzsche, é concebida como cíclica. O tempo cíclico, próprio da Grécia das origens e do pensamento pré-cristão, deve ser percebido a partir dos ângulos do imaginário e não da teoria, que obriga a conjugar a naturalidade a partir de um modelo único de eternidade e, assim, o instante e o fato desaparecem sob os cortes arbitrários estabelecidos pelo tempo mecânico, segmentarizados em visões lineares. A temporalidade cíclica de Nietzsche, por seus cortes em ciclos idênticos e repetitivos, preserva, pensou Friedrich-Georg Jünger, algo de mecânico, de newtoniano, pelo que, finalmente, não é uma temporalidade "grega". O tempo, para Nietzsche, é um tempo policial, sequestrado; carece de apoio, de suporte (Tragend und Haltend). Friedrich-Georg Jünger canta uma a-temporalidade que é identificada com a natureza mais elementar, o "Wildnis", a natureza de Pã, o fundo natural intacto do mundo, não manchado pela mão humana, que é, em última instância, um acesso ao divino, ao último segredo do mundo. O "Wildnis" - um conceito fundamental no poeta "pagão" que é Friedrich-Georg Jünger - é a matriz de toda a vida, o receptáculo aonde deve retornar toda vida.
Em 1970, Friedrich-Georg Jünger fundou, juntamente com Max Llimmelheber, a revista trimestral "Scheidwege", onde figuraram na lista de colaboradores os principais representantes de um pensamento ao mesmo tempo naturalista e conservador, céticos em relação a todas as formas de planificação técnico. Entre os pensadores desta inclinação conservadora-ecológica que apresentaram suas teses na publicação podemos lembrar os nomes de Jürgen Dahl, Hans Seldmayr, Friederich Wagner, Adolf Portmann, Erwin Chargaff, Walter Heiteler, Wolfgang Häedecke, etc.
Friedrich-Georg Jünger morreu em Überlingen, perto das margens do lago de Constança, em 20 de julho de 1977.
FGJ-PerfTech.jpgO germanista norte-americano Anton H. Richter, em seu trabalho sobre o pensamento de Friedrich-Georg Jünger, ressalta quatro temas essenciais em nosso autor: a antiguidade clássica, a essência cíclica da existência, a técnica e o poder de o irracional. Em seus escritos sobre antiguidade grega, Friedrich-Georg Jünger reflete sobre a dicotomia dionisíaca/titânica. Como dionisismo, abrange o apolíneo e o pânico, numa frente unida de forças organizacionais intactas contra as distorções, a fragmentação e a unidimensionalidade do titanismo e do mecanicismo de nossos tempos. A atenção de Friedrich-Georg Jünger centra-se essencialmente nos elementos ctônicos e orgânicos da antiguidade clássica. Desta perspectiva, os motivos recorrentes de seus poemas são a luz, o fogo e a água, forças elementares às quais ele homenageia profundamente. Friedrich-Georg Jünger zomba da razão calculadora, da sua ineficiência fundamental exaltando, em contraste, o poder do vinho, da exuberância do festivo, do sublime que se aninha na dança e nas forças carnavalescas. A verdadeira compreensão da realidade é alcançada pela intuição das forças, dos poderes da natureza, do ctônico, do biológico, do somático e do sangue, que são armas muito mais efetivas do que a razão, que o verbo plano e unidimensional, desmembrado, purgado, decapitado, despojado: de tudo o que torna o homem moderno um ser de esquemas incompletos. Apolo traz a ordem clara e a serenidade imutável; Dionísio traz as forças lúdicas do vinho e das frutas, entendidos como uma dádiva, um êxtase, uma embriaguez reveladora, mas nunca uma inconsciência; Pan, guardião da natureza, traz a fertilidade. Diante desses doadores generosos e desinteressados, os titãs são usurpadores, acumuladores de riqueza, guerreiros cruéis e antiéticos que enfrentam os deuses da profusão e da abundância que às vezes conseguem matá-los, lacerando seus corpos, devorando-os.
Pan é a figura central do panteão pessoal de Friedrich-Georg Jünger; Pan é o governante da "Wildnis", da natureza primordial que os titãs desejam arrasar. Friedrich-Georg Jünger se remete a Empédocles, que ensinava que ele forma um "contiuum epistemológico" com a natureza: toda a natureza está no homem e pode ser descoberta através do amor.
Simbolizado por rios e cobras, o princípio da recorrência, do retorno incessante, pelo qual todas as coisas alcançam a "Wildnis" original, é também o caminho para retornar a esse mesmo Wildnis. Friedrich-Georg Jünger canta o tempo cíclico, diferente do tempo linear-unidirecional judaico-cristão, segmentado em momentos únicos, irrepetíveeis, sobre um caminho também único que leva à Redenção. O homem moderno ocidental, alérgico aos esconderijos imponderáveis ​​onde a "Wildnis" se manifesta, optou pelo tempo contínuo e vetorial, tornando assim a sua existência um segmento entre duas eternidades atemporais (o antes do nascer e o depois da morte). Aqui se enfrentam dois tipos humanos: o homem moderno, impregnado com a visão judaico-cristã e linear do tempo, e o homem orgânico, que se reconhece inextricavelmente ligado ao cosmos e aos ritmos cósmicos.
A Perfeição da Técnica
Denúncia do titanismo mecanicista ocidental, este trabalho é a pedreira onde todos os pensadores ecológicos contemporâneos se nutriram para afinar suas críticas. Dividida em duas grandes partes e uma digressão, composta por uma multiplicidade de pequenos capítulos concisos, a obra começa com uma observação fundamental: a literatura utópica, responsável pela introdução do idealismo técnico no campo político, só provocou um desencanto da própria veia utópica. A técnica não resolve nenhum problema existencial do homem, não aumenta o gozo do tempo, não reduz o trabalho: ela tão somente desloca o manual em proveito do "organizativo". A técnica não cria novas riquezas; pelo contrário: condena a classe trabalhadora ao pauperismo físico e moral permanente. O desdobramento desenfreado da técnica é causado por uma falta geral da condição humana que a razão se esforça para sanar. Mas essa falta não desaparece com a invasão da técnica, que não é senão uma camuflagem grosseira, um remendo triste. A máquina é devoradora, aniquiladora da "substância": sua racionalidade é pura ilusão. O economista acredita, a partir de sua apreensão particular da realidade, que a técnica é uma fonte de riquezas, mas não parece observar que sua racionalidade quantitativista não é senão aparência pura e simples, que a técnica, em sua vontade de ser aperfeiçoada até o infinito, não segue senão sua própria lógica, uma lógica que não é econômica.
Uma das características do mundo moderno é o conflito tático entre o economista e o técnico: o último aspira a determinar processos de produção a favor da lucratividade, um fator que é puramente subjetivo. A técnica, quando atinge seu grau mais alto, leva a uma economia disfuncional. Essa oposição entre técnica e economia pode produzir estupor em mais de um crítico da unidimensionalidade contemporânea, acostumada a colocar hipertrofias técnicas e econômicas na mesma caixa de alfaiate. Mas Friedrich-Georg Jünger concebe a economia a partir de sua definição etimológica: como medida e norma dos "oikos", da habitação humana, bem circunscrita no tempo e no espaço. A forma atual adotada pelos "oikos" vem de uma mobilização exagerada dos recursos, assimilável ​​à economia da pilhagem e da rapina (Raubbau), de uma concepção mesquinha do lugar que se ocupa sobre a Terra, sem consideração pelas gerações passadas e futuras.


A idéia central de Friedrich-Georg Jünger sobre a técnica é a de um automatismo dominado por sua própria lógica. A partir do momento em que essa lógica se põe em marcha, ela escapa aos seus criadores. O automatismo da técnica, então, se multiplica em função exponencial: as máquinas, por si só, impõem a criação de outras máquinas, até atingir o automatismo completo, mecanizado e dinâmico, em um tempo segmentado, um tempo que não é senão um tempo morto. Este tempo morto penetra no tecido orgânico do ser humano e sujeita o homem à sua lógica letal particular. O homem é, portanto, despojado do "seu" tempo interno e biológico, mergulhado em uma adaptação ao tempo inorgânico e morto da máquina. A vida é então imersa em um grande automatismo governado pela soberania absoluta da técnica, convertida senhora e dona de seus ciclos e ritmos, de sua percepção de si e do mundo exterior. O automatismo generalizado é "a perfeição da técnica", à qual Friedrich-Georg, um pensador organicista, opõe a "maturação" (die Reife) que só pode ser alcançada por seres naturais, sem coerção ou violência. A principal característica da gigantesca organização titânica da técnica, dominante na era contemporânea, é a dominação exclusiva exercida por determinações e deduções causais, características da mentalidade e da lógica técnica. O Estado, como entidade política, pode adquirir, pelo caminho da técnica, um poder ilimitado. Mas isso não é, para o Estado, senão uma espécie de pacto com o diabo, porque os princípios inerentes à técnica acabarão por remover sua substância orgânica, substituindo-a por puro e rígido automatismo técnico.
Quem diz automatização total diz organização total, no sentido de gestão. O trabalho, na era da multiplicação exponencial de autômatos, é organizado para a perfeição, isto é, para a rentabilidade total e imediata, deixando de lado ou sem considerar a mão-de-obra ou o útil. A técnica só é capaz de avaliar a si mesma, o que implica uma automação a todo custo, o que, por sua vez, implica troca a todo custo, o que leva à normalização a todo custo, cuja conseqüência é a padronização a todo custo. Friedrich-Georg Jünger acrescenta o conceito de "partição" (Stückelung), onde "partes" não são mais "partes", mas "peças" (Stücke), reduzidas a uma função de mero aparato, uma função inorgânica.


Friedrich-Georg Jünger cita Marx para denunciar a alienação desse processo, mas se distancia dele ao ver que este considera o processo técnico como um "fatum" necessário no processo de emancipação da classe proletária. O trabalhador (Arbeiter) é precisamente "trabalhador" porque está conectado, "volens nolens", ao aparato de produção técnica. A condição proletária não depende da modéstia econômica ou do rendimento, mas dessa conexão, independentemente do salário recebido. Esta conexão despersonaliza e faz desaparecer a condição de pessoa. O trabalhador é aquele que perdeu o benefício interno que o ligava à sua atividade, um benefício que evitava sua intercambiabilidade. A alienação não é um problema induzido pela economia, como Marx pensou, mas pela técnica. A progressão geral do automatismo desvaloriza todo o trabalho que possa ser interno e espontâneo no trabalhador, ao mesmo tempo que favorece inevitavelmente o processo de destruição da natureza, o processo de "devoração" (Verzehr) dos substratos (dos recursos oferecidos pela Mãe-Natureza, generosa e esbanjadora "donatrix"). Por causa dessa alienação técnica, o trabalhador é precipitado em um mundo de exploração onde ele não possui proteção. Para beneficiar-se de uma aparência de proteção, ela deve criar organizações - sindicatos - mas com o erro de que essas organizações também estejam conectadas ao aparato técnico. A organização protetora não emancipa, enjaula. O trabalhador se defende contra a alienação e a sua transformação em peça, mas, paradoxalmente, aceita o sistema de automação total. Marx, Engels e os primeiros socialistas perceberam a alienação econômica e política, mas eram cegos para a alienação técnica, incapazes de compreender o poder destrutivo da máquina. A dialética marxista, de fato, se torna um mecanicismo estéril ao serviço de um socialismo maquinista. O socialista permanece na mesma lógica que governa a automação total sob a égide do capitalismo. Mas o pior é que o seu triunfo não terminará (a menos que abandone o marxismo) com a alienação automatista, mas será um dos fatores do movimento de aceleração, simplificação e crescimento técnico. A criação de organizações é a causa da gênese da mobilização total, que transforma tudo em celulares e em todos os lugares em oficinas ou laboratórios cheios de agitação incessante e zumbidos. Toda área social que tende a aceitar essa mobilização total favorece, queira ou não, a repressão: é a porta aberta para campos de concentração, aglomerações, deportações em massa e massacres em massa. É o reinado do gestor impávido, uma figura sinistra que pode aparecer sob mil máscaras. A técnica nunca produz harmonia, a máquina não é uma deusa dispensadora de bondades. Pelo contrário, esteriliza os substratos naturais doados, organiza a pilhagem planejada contra a "Wildnis". A máquina é devoradora e antropófaga, deve ser alimentada sem cessar e, uma vez que acumula mais do que doa, acabará um dia com todas as riquezas da Terra. As enormes forças naturais elementares são desenraizadas pela gigantesca maquinaria e retém os prisioneiros por ela e nela, o que não conduz senão a catástrofes explosivas e à necessidade de uma sobrevivência constante: outra faceta da mobilização total.
As massas se entrelaçam voluntariamente nesta automação total, ao mesmo tempo que anulam as resistências isoladas de indivíduos conscientes. As massas são levadas pelo rápido movimento da automação, a tal ponto que, em caso de quebra ou paralisação momentânea do movimento linear para a automação, elas experimentam uma sensação de vida que acham insuportável.
A guerra, também, a partir de agora, será totalmente mecanizada. Os potenciais de destruição são amplificados ao extremo. A reivindicação de uniformes, o valor mobilizador dos símbolos, a glória, desaparecem na perfeição técnica. A guerra só pode ser suportada por soldados tremendamente endurecidos e tenazes, apenas os homens que possam exterminar a piedade em seus corações poderão suportá-la.
FGJ-livre0834605-00-00.jpgA mobilidade absoluta que inaugura a automação total se volta contra tudo tudo que pode significar duração e estabilidade, especificamente contra a propriedade (Eigentum). Friedrich-Georg Jünger, ao meditar sobre essa afirmação, define a propriedade de uma maneira original e particular. A existência de máquinas depende de uma concepção exclusivamente temporal, a existência da propriedade é devida a uma concepção espacial. A propriedade implica limites, definições, cercas, paredes e paredes, "clausuras" em suma. A eliminação dessas delimitações é uma razão de ser para o coletivismo técnico. A propriedade é sinônimo de um campo de ação limitado, circunscrito, fechado em um espaço específico e preciso. Para progredir de forma vetorial, a automação precisa pular os bloqueios da propriedade, um obstáculo para a instalação de seus onipresentes meios de controle, comunicação e conexão. Uma humanidade privada de todas as formas de propriedade não pode escapar da conexão total. O socialismo, na medida em que nega a propriedade, na medida em que rejeita o mundo das "zonas enclausuradas", facilita precisamente a conexão absoluta, que é sinônimo de manipulação absoluta. Segue-se que o proprietário de máquinas não é proprietário; o capitalismo mecanicista mina a ordem das propriedades, caracterizada por duração e estabilidade, em preferência de um dinamismo omnidisolvente. A independência da pessoa é uma impossibilidade nessa conexão aos fatos e ao modo de pensar próprio do instrumentalismo e do organizacionismo técnicos.
Entre suas reflexões críticas sobre a automatização e a tecnificação totais nos tempos modernos, Friedrich-Georg Jünger apela aos grandes filósofos da tradição europeia. Descartes inaugura um idealismo que estabelece uma separação insuperável entre o corpo e o espírito, eliminando o "sistema de influências psíquicas" que interligava ambos, para eventualmente substituí-lo por uma intervenção divina pontual que faz de Deus um simples demiurgo-relojoeiro. A "res extensa" de Descartes em um conjunto de coisas mortas, explicável como um conjunto de mecanismos em que o homem, instrumento do Deus-relojoeiro, pode intervir completamente impune em todos os momentos. A "res cogitans" é instituído como mestre absoluto dos processos mecânicos que governam o Universo. O homem pode se tornar um deus: um grande relojoeiro que pode manipular todas as coisas ao seu gosto e alvedrio, sem cuidado ou respeito. O cartesianismo dá o sinal de saída da exploração tecnicista ao extremo da Terra.

Le terreau français du fascisme


Le terreau français du fascisme


Ex: http://www.europemaxima.com

Aujourd’hui caution morale de la gauche pacifiste israélienne, favorable à un compromis avec les Palestiniens, l’historien Zeev Sternhell suscita au début des années 1980 un grand émoi au sein même de l’Université française. Après l’étude de Maurice Barrès (1), puis des mouvements d’avant 1914 qu’il range dans une quatrième droite (2), d’où une forte controverse avec l’interprétation classique de René Rémond (3), il clôt sa recherche par Ni droite ni gauche. L’idéologie du fascisme en France, dans lequel Sternhell assimile peu ou prou les « non-conformistes des années 1930 » à une manifestation spécifiquement française du vaste phénomène européen, voire planétaire, que fut le fascisme.

En son temps, Armin Mohler et Robert Steuckers publièrent ensemble un opuscule critique sur cet essai d’histoire des idées politiques. Les Éditions du Lore viennent de le rééditer sous le titre de Généalogie du fascisme français. À rebours de certaines analyses contestant les conclusions de l’auteur, Armin Mohler et Robert Steuckers démontrent plutôt que si le fascisme s’est cristallisé en Italie, son équivalent existait déjà en France à la « Belle Époque ».

Des convergences nationales-révolutionnaires

Auteur d’une somme magistrale sur la Révolution conservatrice allemande, Armin Mohler rédige une longue et stimulante recension pour la revue jeune-conservatrice de Munich, Criticón. « À la suite de Gramsci (et a fortiori de l’inspirateur de ce communiste italien, Georges Sorel), relève-t-il, Sternhell se rallie à la conception historiographico-philosophique qui veut que les idées ne soient pas le reflet des réalités, mais l’inverse (p. 2). » Il en découle un net désintérêt chez Sternhell de tout fascisme non politique, exprimé par exemple en littérature par Céline et Lucien Rebatet.

Pour Robert Steuckers qui offre un remarquable compte-rendu synthétique sur cette thèse osée, « quels sont les fondements du fascisme français, quelles sont les racines, au XIXe siècle, de ces fondements ? (p. 21) » Zeev Sternhell ausculte en effet une période déterminante pour la pensée politique contemporaine française. Après un examen politico-chronologique, on en vient à distinguer « trois générations de fascistes (p. 7) » : les courants boulangiste et anti-dreyfusard; une Action française activiste et révolutionnaire et des syndicats « Jaunes » remuants avant 1914; enfin, après 1918, un fort prisme fasciste chez des « propagateurs d’idées (p. 7) ». L’approche n’est pas exhaustive, car Sternhell « ne ressent aucune envie de perdre son temps à étudier ce fascisme folklorique de quelques illuminés qui jouent aux brigands, fascisme caricatural dont les médias font leurs choux gras (p. 7) », observe Armin Mohler.


Robert Steuckers relève que de l’« aventure boulangiste, Sternhell retient surtout que les masses sont friandes de deux choses : un socialisme concret, pas trop abstrait, pas trop bavard, pas trop théorique et un nationalisme volontaire car elles savent instinctivement, qu’au fond, société et nation sont quasi identiques. Que ce sont des valeurs collectives et non individualistes. L’ennemi, pour ces masses parisiennes, c’est la classe qui a pour philosophie le libéralisme et l’individualisme, donc l’égoïsme, et qui met cette philosophie en pratique, avec, pour corollaire, les résultats sociaux désastreux dont la classe ouvrière se souvient encore (p. 22) ». Outre le rôle fondateur du boulangisme, Robert Steuckers se penche sur les autres éléments politiques constitutifs de ce « pré-fascisme » hexagonal.

Un anti-bourgeoisme assumé

Ainsi évoque-t-il l’antisémitisme de gauche et le racisme socialiste défendus par Blanqui, Toussenel, Tridon, Vacher de Lapouge, le grand attrait des œuvres de Richard Wagner, « l’impact de Gustave Le Bon (p. 30) », « l’influence prépondérante de Jules Soury (p. 32) » et l’apport fondamental d’un Hippolyte Taine qu’« on ne considère guère […] comme l’un des précurseurs du fascisme (p. 31) ». Il évoque aussi l’extrême gauche antidémocratique qui, avec Hubert Lagardelle, Roberto Michels et Georges Sorel, façonne un environnement porteur. Maurice Barrès et la frange révolutionnaire de la mouvance maurrassienne participent à l’étonnante réalisation d’une pensée politique spécifique au nouveau siècle.


« Cette gauche sociale et cette “ droite ” traditionaliste, poursuit Robert Steuckers, non indifférente à la question ouvrière, se dressent donc conjointement face aux idéologies et aux acteurs politiques qui observent, pour leur strict intérêt personnel et financier, les soi-disant lois du marché (pp. 42 – 43) ». Néanmoins, « ce qui m’a frappé aussi chez Sternhell, tempère Armin Mohler, c’est l’insistance qu’il met à montrer la relative indépendance du fascisme vis-à-vis de la conjoncture. […] Il ne croit pas que la naissance du fascisme soit due à la pression de crises économiques et, assez étonnament, estime que la Première Guerre mondiale (ou tout autre conflit) a eu peu d’influence sur l’émergence du phénomène (p. 9) ».

Par ailleurs, ni Zeev Sternhell, ni Armin Mohler, ni même Robert Steuckers n’expliquent la réussite du fascisme en Italie et son échec en France. Ce serait sortir de l’ouvrage pour de vaines spéculations uchroniques. Outre des faits politiques, économiques, démographiques et sociologiques différentes de part et d’autre des Alpes, l’échec d’un fascisme en France se comprend par le légalisme et la loyauté des catholiques. Entre 1870, année où l’armée italienne s’empare des derniers territoires des États de l’Église, et 1929, date de la signature des accords du Latran qui règlent la lancinante « question romaine », les catholiques italiens ne participent guère à la vie politique du jeune État italien. À la demande des souverains pontifes successifs, ils rechignent à s’engager pour des institutions qu’ils jugent hostiles au Saint-Siège.

Mortel Ralliement

Cette opposition n’existe plus en France depuis qu’en 1893, le pape Léon XIII ordonna le funeste « Ralliement » des fidèles catholiques à la République sans obtenir la moindre contrepartie. La loi de séparation de 1905 et la crise des inventaires (sans oublier l’affaire des fiches) suscitées par des autorités laïcardes et anticléricales n’arrêteront pas les catholiques français dans leur capitulation politique totale. Leur obéissance aveugle aboutira en août 1914 à une « Union sacrée » mortifère qui verra le hobereau légitimiste breton mourir dans les tranchées pour un drapeau tricolore honni par Henri V… Le coup de grâce viendra en décembre 1926 avec la mise à l’Index de L’Action française et des écrits de Charles Maurras. Le « catho-masochisme » n’émerge donc pas avec La Manif pour Tous et son incapacité criante à renverser le moindre pouvoir établi.

Tandis que le militant conservateur plonge dans la résignation, voire le découragement, le fasciste entend, lui, « créer un “ homme nouveau ”, explique Mohler, un homme porteur de vertus classiques antibourgeoises, des vertus héroïques, un homme à l’énergie toujours en éveil, qui a le sens du devoir et du sacrifice (p. 17) ». Tout le contraire du contre-révolutionnaire qui parie sur une transcendance politique. « La qualité suprême, pour un fasciste, ajoute Mohler, c’est d’avoir la foi dans la force de la volonté, d’une volonté capable de donner forme au monde de la matière et de briser sa résistance (p. 17). » À une certaine contemplation militante impolitique, le fasciste agit en faustien. Robert Steuckers souligne même que « la marque du socialisme révisionniste est telle qu’aucune équation entre fascisme et conservatisme ne s’avère possible (p. 58) ».

La « Droite révolutionnaire » existe belle et bien. C’est l’une des matrices du fascisme italien. Cette brochure « démontre au lecteur que le fascisme est une idéologie comme les autres et non une aberration vis-à-vis de lois de l’histoire soi-disant infaillibles (p. 66) ».

Georges Feltin-Tracol


1 : Zeev Sternhell, Maurice Barrès et le nationalisme français, Armand Colin, 1972.

2 : Zeev Sternhell, La droite révolutionnaire, 1885-1914. Les origines françaises du fascisme, Éditions du Seuil, 1978.

3 : René Rémond, Les droites en France, Aubier Montaigne, 1982.

• Armin Mohler – Robert Steuckers, Généalogie du fascisme français. Dérives autour du travail de Zeev Sternhell, Les Éditions du Lore, 2017, 62 p., 12 €.


Pour commander l'ouvrage:



mardi, 26 septembre 2017

Pierre Le Vigan: le cataclysme urbain des temps modernes


Pierre Le Vigan: le cataclysme urbain des temps modernes

par Nicolas Bonnal

Ex: https://metamag.fr

Pierre Le Vigan  vient de publier un livre intelligent, émouvant, formidablement documenté et surtout très bien écrit (les urbanistes ont souvent un beau style, comme d’ailleurs les mathématiciens).

Ma passion pour la ville et l’urbanisme m’a rendue enchantée cette lecture. Dans mon Mitterrand le grand initié, j’avais beaucoup insisté après d’autres sur la ville, les travaux, et tout le reste chez Mitterrand. Le reste du temps j’ai surtout dénoncé le monde moderne et sa laideur moderne, si éminente depuis la Renaissance (Hugo écrase génialement la Renaissance et son architecture au début de Notre-Dame). Huysmans disait que nous déclinions depuis le XIIIème siècle, comme il avait raison. Mon maître Lewis Mumford, bien cité par Pierre, évoque avec émotion notre fantastique civilisation médiévale, celle de Sienne et de Tolède, et la compare aux « détritus urbains » (Debord reprenant Mumford) qui recouvrent aujourd’hui la planète, en Chine, en Amérique, en Arabie. C’est comme ça.

Je laisse la parole à mon ami et à ses maîtres et inspirateurs, notamment le surprenant fils Thorez :

« Paul Thorez, l’un des fils du dirigeant communiste devenu travailleur social, écrivait : « J’avais une fois de plus traversé (…) l’agrégat de bric et de broc nomme Ville Nouvelle où je gagnais ma vie à la perdre au jour le jour contre un peu d’argent. (…) C’était donc cela, préfiguré par la Ville Nouvelle, le troisième millénaire en France : des blocs de béton perdus dans des terrains vagues, de faux villages en éléments préfabriqués, les restes pathétiques de quelques hameaux centenaires, vestiges d’un âge révolu – un espace glacé où l’on ne rencontrait âme qui vive entre la migration automobile et ferroviaire du matin et le retour en rangs serrés, suivi d’un véritable couvre-feu.
Étrange similitude avec l’avenir radieux, déjà lisible à l’intérieur du cercle de cent neuf kilomètres que dessine autour du Grand Moscou l’autoroute de ceinture. La même combinaison de fausse campagne et de ville supposée, le même ersatz donné pour du tissu urbain de premier choix, le même uniforme. Aux Nouveaux Horizons de Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines comme aux Novyé Tchériomouchki, « les Nouveaux Sorbiers », les planificateurs qui nous logent, nous vêtent, nous transportent, nous nourrissent, creusaient un gouffre ouvert à la névrose, à la haine du prochain, à la délinquance juvénile. »

Le Vigan cite ensuite Paul Chemetov, que je citais dans mon Mitterrand (une certaine dimension des Grands Travaux fascinait, je le reconnais). Ici c’est le crétinisme politique et l’arrogance moderniste qui sont humiliées :

« Paul Chemetov remarque à ce propos : « Soit le cliché en vogue : la banlieue doit être transformée en ville. C’est un discours fou, qui nous ramène dans une version recyclée de la démesure productiviste dont nous sortons par ailleurs. C’est oublier tout simplement que la banlieue est beaucoup plus vaste que la ville-centre. On a mis dix siècles pour faire Paris – et ce n’est pas fini. Croire qu’en deux septennats – j’allais dire deux mécénats – il est possible de régler les problèmes de ces immensités, c’est tromper les autres et soi-même. Il faut prendre la mesure de ces espaces qui, depuis fort longtemps, ont été le ban de la ville, cette partie centrifugée qui permettait au cœur d’expulser ce qui le désoccupait, ou ce qui l’occupait trop et qui lui donnait une marche, au sens ancien du terme, pour pouvoir fonctionner. »

Enfin PLV note à propos de ce monde mué en Las Vegas ou en Disneyworld :

« Elle l’est notamment au travers des grands magasins, qui consacrent à la fois le triomphe de la consommation et celui de l’individualisme narcissique. Il se manifeste ainsi une rupture avec la Renaissance : la ville moderne ne se contente plus de se représenter. Elle se donne en spectacle. A l’extrême, ce qui se profile est la
« disneylandisation » de la ville et du monde ou encore une « lasvegasisation » de l’espace urbain. La modernité urbaine, dans ses premiers moments, a représenté une transition dans laquelle coexistaient des aspects modernes et d’autres traditionnels. Ces aspects traditionnels ont duré jusque dans les années 1950. Il y a eu une longue période de recoupement, de décalage, qui a fait le charme même des villes de nos parents et grands-parents. »


Le Vigan cite deux auteures : Sylvie Brunel et La planète disneylandisée, éd. Sciences humaines, publiée en 2006 ; Elisabeth Pélegrin-Genel, Des souris dans un labyrinthe. Décrypter les ruses et manipulations de nos espaces quotidiens, La Découverte, 2010.

Le minotaure américain (utopie gnostique devenue débile) n’a pas fini de nous perdre et de nous dévorer.

Enfin il cite Renaud Camus très bien inspiré dans cette page :

« Plus que de la laideur, à mon avis, le XXe siècle fut le siècle de la camelote. Et rien n’en témoigne mieux que tous ces pavillons qui éclosent le long de toutes les routes et à l’entrée de toutes les villes, petites ou grandes. Ce ne sont pas des maisons, ce sont des idées de maisons. Elles témoignent pour une civilisation qui ne croit plus à elle-même et qui sait qu’elle va mourir, puisqu’elles sont bâties pour ne pas durer, pour dépérir, au mieux pour être remplacées, comme les hommes et les femmes qui les habitent. Elles n’ont rien de ce que Bachelard pouvait célébrer dans sa poétique de la maison. Elles n’ont pas plus de fondement que de fondation. Rien dans la matière qui les constitue n’est tiré de la terre qui les porte, elles ne sont extraites de rien, elles sont comme posées là, tombées d’un ciel vide, sans accord avec le paysage, sans résonance avec ses tonalités, sans vibration sympathique dans l’air. »

C’est ça Renaud, le grand remplacement des Français a déjà eu lieu ! Les Français de souche sont des idées de Français !

Pierre Le Vigan, Métamorphoses de la ville, De Romulus à Le Corbusier, La Barque d’or.


jeudi, 21 septembre 2017

Close Encounters of the Third Rome Kind: An Interview with Fenek Solère, the Author of Rising


Close Encounters of the Third Rome Kind: An Interview with Fenek Solère, the Author of

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Moscow and Peter’s grad, the city of Constantine,
these are the capitals of the Russian kingdom.
But where is their limit? And where are their frontiers
to the north, the east, the south and the setting sun?
The Fate will reveal this to future generations.
Seven inland seas and seven great rivers
from Nile to Neva, from Elbe to China,
from Volga to the Euphrates, from Ganges to Danube.
That’s the Russian kingdom, and let it be forever, 
Just as the spirit foretold and Daniel prophesied. — Fyodor Tyutchev (1803-1873)

Greg Johnson: What led you to write your second novel Rising?

Fenek Solère: I was working in St. Petersburg and my girlfriend, a student and part-time actress, was auditioning for the role of Traudl Junge in the 2004 movie Downfall (Der Untergang). A part that was eventually taken by Alexandra Maria Lara who went on to play Annik Honore, the Ian Curtis extra-marital love interest in Control (2007) and Petra Schelm in the Baader Meinhoff Complex (2008). I was mixing with the generation that had survived the economic crisis of the nineties, the more politically literate of whom were crowding into small venues like Club DADA to see Death in June and discussing the ideological merits and electoral and legal problems faced by various nationalist fringe groupings like The Movement Against Illegal Immigration, Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party, Dugin’s Eurasian Party, The Other Russia, and the Russian Imperial Movement.

It was the same demographic that had spawned Pussy Riot, thrill seeking roof-toppers like Kirill Vselensky, and Instagram celebrities like Nastasya Samburskaya. An egotistical and yet fragile generation of young people that had learned through bitter experience not to plan too far ahead. Voting for Putin because he represented stability in the face of lawlessness and economic well-being after the calamitous extravagance of the Yeltsin years. They were in effect the party-goers who had woken up with a decades-long hangover, only to discover their country had been asset-stripped of nickel, gold, and oil deposits by so-called gladiator capitalists, who were in-fact no more than ruthless, looting, self-dealing kleptomaniacs turned oligarchs like Roman Abramovich, Pyotr Aven, Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Friedman, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Movers and shakers that wielded unimaginable power in the vacuous corridors of the pre-Putin Kremlin.

And although I had travelled widely and studied under an Emeritus Professor of Russian literature in London who had published extensively on Gogol and Dostoevsky and occasionally accompanied him to the Cathedral of the Dormition in Ennismore Gardens to celebrate Orthodox Christmas, nothing could have prepared me for the shabby sophistication of the museums, art galleries, and Italianate architecture of the Venice of the North, the granite-faced business mentality of Muscovites, or the burnt orange sunsets that gaped across the endless flat Steppe toward Omsk.

Rising attempts to capture some of the grandeur of that former Empire. It is a homage to St. Petersburg, a mist shrouded city of cobwebs that haunts you in much the same way as Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, once you have delved into its phantasmagoric underworld.

GJ: I can see it must have been a life-changing experience. Can you describe some of your activities and impressions of Russia?

FS: Russia is a land of incredible contrasts. Unimaginable wealth living side by side with extreme poverty; catastrophic rural depopulation juxtaposed with multi-billion urban construction projects like the glass towers and copper-colored shards of Moscow’s financial district; and overt commercial and governmental corruption set against acts of amazingly generous Christian piety. It is a truly exhilarating environment.

Some defining moments that I can readily recall are walking down Nevsky Prospekt and being completely overwhelmed by how homogenous the Slavic community still is in comparison to Western Europe and North America; being intellectually aware of Orthodox eschatology but still feeling surprised by the very real power and energy of resurgent religious practice; and if you will excuse my sexism, observing from a heterosexual red-blooded male perspective, the disproportionate number of attractive and slim women of child-bearing age, as they walked out of the underground stations in the cities or made their way from stall to stall in the market squares of the provincial towns and villages I occasionally visited.

Besides moshing to Arkona’s pagan riffs in concerts as far apart as Kiev and Lakewood, Ohio there were also moments of thoughtful reflection. I would stand by my friends as they filed in an orderly line to go into onion topped cathedrals, their smiling faces reflecting in the polished double-headed eagles hanging on the walls, congregating under the glistening chandeliers, crossing themselves when the chant of gospodi pomilui mixed with the crackle of wax candles and the tinkle of silver bells rose to the crescendo of ‘Vechnaia Pamiat,Vechnaia Pamiat!’ Placing flowers on the graves of the philosopher Ivan Alexandrovich Il’in and General Anton Denikin, head of the anti-Bolshevik White forces in Southern Russia during the Civil War, two figures representing the pen and sword of anti-Communism, now returned to their native soil after decades of exile. Honorable men who stood against Lenin’s doctrine of Mass Terror and the indiscriminate shooting by Cheka operatives of thousands of bourgeois hostages in the Petrograd and Kronstadt prisons; the containment of hundreds of thousands of dissidents in camps like that in Maykop, where women, children, and the elderly died of typhus, cholera, and starvation; the summary executions in Moscow, Tver, Nizhny-Novgorod, Vyatka, Perm, Tula, Odessa, Kharkov, and Kiev; the Decossakization of the Don and Kuban territories; the rounding-up of the Kulaks; and the plans to use asphyxiating gas against counter-revolutionaries in the forests around Tambov. People Lenin described as harmful insects, lice, vermin, and germs. Indicating the need to cleanse Russia of fleas, bugs, and parasites.

Inhuman crimes that continued well after the Civil War had petered out in 1921 and Lenin’s wax-like corpse lay embalmed in the Kremlin, climaxing in the extermination of the remnant of White sympathizers in the Crimea, the deliberate starving to death of at least four million Ukrainians in the Holdomor of 1932/33 under the direct supervision of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich, and the construction of the Gulag system immortalized in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In fact a body count that when you include the murderous activities of NKVD leaders like Nikolai Yezhov and Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda under the Stalin regime adds up to over 58,000,000 between 1922 and 1991. At least 100,000 of which were priests and nuns. Although still falling short of Mao Zedong’s estimated 73,000,000 victims, it makes an absolute mockery of fatuous claims by ‘court’ sponsored historians like Laurence Rees in his The Holocaust: A New History (2017) that the events in Central and Eastern Europe between 1939-45 were unprecedented and amount to the “most appalling atrocity in history.”

GJ: What are you trying to communicate about the Rightist Revolutionary demimonde?

FS: That it is we who hold the moral high ground, and we should continue to maintain that position against the lies, hypocrisy, and double-standards of the Left, liberals, and neoconservatives acting in the interests of the Robber-Baron globalist elites. It is we, not they, who are under constant attack by malign forces who are using every demographic, ethnic, financial, and politically correct artifice in their tool-box to first dispossess us of all that our civilization has accumulated over centuries and then eradicate us from our very homelands. Desperate attempts to deny individuals and groups advocating for whites and their constitutional and legal rights, efforts to disrupt funding streams to alternative media sites and the de-platforming of our spokespeople are symptomatic of the establishment’s anxiety and fear that our message is beginning to gain traction. Their response is reminiscent of the Soviet regime’s strategy to quell internal opposition in the dying days of communism. And if people think that is an exaggeration or an unfair comparison I would advise them to read Zhores Medvedev’s Ten Years After Ivan Denisovich (1973) and reflect on how different that is to the current situation in Russia. With Putin saying:

To forgive the terrorists is up to God. To send them to him is up to me!


We see that many Euro-Atlantic states have taken the way where they deny or reject their own roots, including their Christian roots, which form the basis of Western Civilization. In these countries, the moral basis and any traditional identity is being denied. There, the politicians treat families with many children as equal to a homosexual partnership; faith in God as being equal to faith in Satan. The excesses and exaggerations of political correctness in these countries leads to serious consideration for the legitimization of parties that promote the propaganda of paedophilia.

And with the Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeev adding:

The fact is, the Catholic Church in the West exists today under an information blockade, under a very hard diktat from secular society. In this case we are without question allies. We can search together for the answer to those challenges which threaten the very existence of Christianity. I call it a strategic alliance between Orthodoxy and Catholics, that is the understanding that if there are threats, then these are common threats and if there are challenges, they are also common.

Dare we speak such truths in the West, shackled as we are by political correctness? And what would the media make of such statements? President Trump was literally shouted down at a press conference for merely pointing out that the Left had behaved violently at the recent Charlottesville debacle. What a reversal of fortune between the freedom of expression in the East and West. But having said that please do not think I am naïve enough to envisage Taras Bulba’s Cossacks riding over the horizon to save White Civilization. There is far too much suspicion and misunderstanding between Slav and Saxon for that. Rather, I see Russia as part of a larger geopolitical jigsaw, playing its part to protect, preserve, and extend a global commonwealth of independent white ethno-states that also ensures the autonomy of Baltic countries like Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as part of a broader Scandinavian confederation.

GJ: You comment extensively about Alexander Dugin’s philosophy in your interview with Daniel Macek on the New European Conservative website. Have you ever met Dugin and what are your current thoughts on his brand of Eurasianism?

FS: No, I have never met Dugin. I’m afraid I do not move in such exalted circles. Most of my Russian compatriots are devotees of his and have read his works like Putin vs Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed From The Right (2014) in the original language. My Russian is too poor for that, so I am limited to the translated versions like those offered by Arktos. I see Dugin as very much part of a much longer tradition of thinkers and I would advise anyone coming to his works for the first time to familiarize themselves with L. N. Gumilev’s The Searches for an Imaginary Kingdom (The Legend of the Kingdom of Prester John) translated by R. E. F. Smith and published by Cambridge University Press (1987). A work in which the celebrated, if controversial historian, opens both the eyes and minds of the reader to the migrations and conflicts that have shaped Khazaria and the peoples and cultures living on the Eurasian steppe.

GJ: Do you in any way identify with the main character. Is the novel biographical?

FS: I think it is natural for a writer to draw to some extent on personal experience. I walked the streets, parks, and thoroughfares I write about in Rising, breathed the dry dusty air of the polluted backstreets, and drank shots of vodka in dimly lit bars listening to the dreams of young idealists. Remember what Joseph-Marie Comte de Maistre said “There is no man who desires as passionately as a Russian. If we could imprison Russian desire beneath a fortress, that fortress would explode.” I would agree. I loved every minute of it and would not change a thing. My head still spins with the excitement and hedonism, like fondly remembered moments of a misspent youth. Embracing Mokosh, the goddess of destiny and pumping my fists in the air when Masha the Scream sings “Rus Narodnyi!”

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/09/close-encounters-of-the-third-rome-kind-an-interview-with-the-author-of-rising/

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mardi, 19 septembre 2017

«Comment l’Europe devient le jouet de la politique et des services secrets»


«Comment l’Europe devient le jouet de la politique et des services secrets»

Analyse de livre

par Felix Meier*

Ex: http://www.zeit-fragen.ch/fr

Peu de personnes sont capables de présenter ouvertement et de manière critique le travail des services secrets. Initié, l’auteur et fondateur de l’Office fédéral autrichien de protection de la Constitution et de lutte contre le terrorisme nous révèle, pour la première fois, un aperçu raffiné des dessous du combat pour l’Europe. Gert R. Polli a collaboré avec tous les services secrets du monde. Il connaît les liens entre l’économie, la politique et les services de renseignements. Dans ce livre, il se penche sur la nouvelle et actuelle situation géopolitique de notre monde, entrainant pour l’Allemagne le fait d’être «prise entre deux feux». L’auteur décrit les limites diffuses entre renseignement et désinformation, défense et attaque cachée, action politique et agitation. Ce livre souhaite apporter une contribution à davantage de transparence au sein de la société démocratique et libérale.

L’Europe – et donc aussi l’UE – se trouve dans une situation sécuritaire des plus précaires. Selon l’auteur, l’Allemagne est devenu un facteur-clé pour l’existence de l’UE, telle que nous la connaissons. Pendant des décennies, un partenariat mal compris avec les Etats-Unis a mené à un contrôle et une surveillance généralisés de l’Europe et notamment de l’Allemagne. En première ligne se trouvent les services de renseignement américains et leurs informateurs. Active à l’arrière-plan, le BND [services de renseignement fédéraux allemands, ndt.], a joué un rôle très particulier. Ces informations et de nombreuses autres informations à caractère sensible ont été divulguées grâce au whistle-blower américain Edward Snowden. Les conclusions qu’il faut en tiré sont très inquiétantes pour la politique et l’économie allemande. Les analyses plutôt «amicales» faites au cours du travail de la Commission d’enquête du Bundestag au sujet de la NSA ne peuvent pas le cacher: l’Allemagne est aujourd’hui encore un pays occupé.

La politique, l’économie et les divers services secrets allemands sont, selon l’auteur, étroitement imbriqués et dépendants des services de renseignements étrangers.

Le terrorisme international, en faisant entrer la guerre au cœur de l’Europe, renforce la lutte globale pour les ressources naturelles. L’Union européenne se trouve dans la crise la plus sérieuse de son existence. Suite à l’avènement de nouveaux partis d’extrême droite, d’extrême gauche ou critiques à l’égard d’UE, on observe au sein de celle-ci, des transformations dans les structures démocratiques.

Selon Polli, il n’est plus guère possible pour les citoyens de reconnaître les acteurs se trouvant derrière ses transformations. Les services secrets sont au premier plan les forces responsables de ces transformations globales.    •

*    Felix Meier est colonel à la retraite, ancien officier supérieur du renseignement et ancien président de l’Association suisse des officiers de renseignements.

Polli, Gert R. Deutschland zwischen den Fronten. Wie Europa zum Spielball von Politik und Geheimdienst wird. Finanzbuchverlag 2017

samedi, 16 septembre 2017

Sur l'Europe: le dernier livre de Georges Feltin-Tracol


Sur l'Europe: le dernier livre de Georges Feltin-Tracol

En trois quarts de siècle, le projet européen en partie formulé par les milieux non-conformistes de l’Entre-deux-guerres est devenu un cauchemar pour les peuples du Vieux Continent. Dans le cadre d’une mondialisation désormais illimitée, les sectateurs mondialistes de l’actuelle imposture européenne ne cachent même plus leur volonté d’intégrer au plus vite cet espace dans un ensemble planétaire global.

Cette terrible désillusion favorise le souverainisme national et les
revendications régionalistes. Faut-il pour autant rejeter toute idée européenne?

Non, affirme Georges Feltin-Tracol qui en appelle à une salutaire lucidité.
Ancien animateur de la revue L’Esprit européen et collaborateur naguère à Éléments pour la civilisation européenne, ce Français d’Europe (ou Européen de France) considère que l’Europe n’est pas ouvert aux populations du monde entier, mais l’héritage des peuples boréens. Se détournant à la fois de l’État-nation dépassé, du mondialisme mortifère et d’un altermondialisme parodique, il envisage un autre défi continental, soucieux de la personnalité historique de ses cultures et susceptible d’assumer un destin de puissance géopolitique.

Contribution révolutionnaire pro-européenne à la grande guerre des idées, ce recueil d’articles, d’entretiens, de conférences et de recensions démontre la persistance d’un authentique esprit européen, surtout si de nouvelles chevaleries militantes surgies des communautés populaires enracinées relèvent le nouvel enjeu civilisationnel du XXIe siècle : maintenir la spécificité albo-européenne. Pendant que se prolonge l’éclipse de l’Europe, c’est dans la pénombre que s’esquissent quelques jalons fondamentaux d’une nouvelle Europe polaire, fière et solsticiale.

Pour commander l'ouvrage:


Né en 1970, collaborateur aux revues dissidentes Réfléchir & Agir et Synthèse nationale, rédacteur en chef et co-fondateur du site identitaire de langue française Europe Maxima, présent sur des sites Internet rebelles comme EuroLibertés, Georges Feltin-Tracol est aussi conférencier, chroniqueur radio et essayiste.
Auteur, seul ou en collaboration, d’une dizaine d’ouvrages, il a publié en 2016 aux Éditions du Lore Éléments pour une pensée extrême.

vendredi, 15 septembre 2017

Dominique Lormier déconstruit le « Mythe du Sauveur Américain »


Simulacre-USA, à l’origine : Dominique Lormier déconstruit le « Mythe du Sauveur Américain »

14 juin 2017 – Il est entendu que John “Black Jack” Pershing débarquant du bateau et posant le pied sur le sol français, et proclamant “Lafayette, We Are Here” (ce qu’il n’ jamais dit, la chose ayant été dite avant lui par Charles E. Stanton et réattribuée, mythe déjà en formation, à Pershing par un officier des RP) ; les Sammies défilant par milliers dans les villes françaises en 1917, les journaux français chantant la gloire de la bannière étoilée illustrent l’événement du début de l’hégémonie de communication des USA sur la France (sur l’Europe), qui s’illustre par l’acte décisif qui permit la victoire de 1918. Je ne discuterais pas la première proposition, mais en remplaçant le mot “hégémonie” par l’expression “simulacre d’hégémonie” ; quant à la seconde, elle est outrageusement fausse, un mythe, une idole de la nouvelle religion transatlantique à laquelle la France en premier fit acte de “servitude volontaire”.

Il est important de déconstruire cette architecture subversive de déconstruction de la vérité historique (“déconstruire une déconstruction”). Il est essentiel de savoir que les USA jouèrent un rôle opérationnel très mineur, – à peine supérieur à celui des valeureux Belges, qui sont tout de même dans une autre échelle de puissance, – dans la victoire de 1918. Au contraire, cette victoire fut assurée pour l’essentiel par une armée française irrésistible, absolument transformée, reconstituée, renée en une puissance opérationnelle, humaine et industrielle, comme la première armée du monde après la terrible année 1917 (Le Chemin des Dames suivi des mutineries) ; et l’armée française secondée dans l’irrésistible victoire stupidement sacrifiée sur l’autel d’une diplomatie où la trahison s’exprima de tous les côtés chez les Alliés, par la participation étonnante de puissance et de courage de l’armée italienne contre l’Autriche-Hongrie.


Un petit bouquin qui ne paye pas de mine vous règle tout cela, allant dans le sens que j’ai toujours eu intuitivement à partir de certains faits militaires avérés. L’intérêt du Mythe du Sauveur Américain – Essai sur une imposture historique de Dominique Lormier (*) est dans ceci qu’il nous donne une synthèse rapide du phénomène (l’imposture), charpentée sur une multitude de détails essentiels et de citations venues des archives, sur les effectifs, les matériels, la répartition des forces, les opérations et les chefs qui les dirigèrent, durant cette période décisive entre la fin du printemps 1918 (avril-mai) et l’armistice du 11 novembre. Une place essentielle est faite sur la posture des forces américaines, leurs effectifs, leurs opérations, leur comportement.

Le livre commence par un chapitre consacré aux opérations entre le 21 mars et le 1er mai 1918, ou comment l’armée française sauva l’armée britannique du désastre sans la moindre participation américaine. (Foch comme généralissime des forces alliées depuis mars joua un rôle d’influence prépondérant dans cette opération, convainquant un Pétain [commandant en chef de l’armée française] qui pensait à garder ses forces de réserve essentiellement pour couvrir Paris, d’en détacher une partie pour soutenir l’aile droite des Britanniques, avec leur VIème Armée en pleine déroute.) Le 1er mai 1918, les Français tiennent 700 des 850 kilomètres du front de l’Ouest, alignant 110 divisions, avec 12 divisions belges, 46 britanniques, 4 américaines et 2 italiennes, contre 204 divisions allemandes. Le 1er août 1918, il y a 1.300.000 soldats américains en France, mais seulement 150.000 ont été engagés dans les combats. Ce contingent a participé avec grand courage à la deuxième victoire de la Marne de juillet, la bataille décisive de la fin du conflit, alors que les Français alignent 1.100.000 combattants qui se battent non moins courageusement dans cette même bataille. Le 1er novembre 1918 sur la ligne du front de l’Ouest en France, l’armée américaine aligne 400.000 combattants, dont 200.000 considérés comme non encore aguerris, tandis que l’armée française déploie 2.600.000 combattants, l’armée britannique 1.700.000, l’armée belge 170.000 et l’armée italienne 60.000. La France dispose d’une écrasante supériorité matérielle qu’elle utilise avec une souplesse et une efficacité exceptionnelles. (Pour les chars par exemple, 2.600 suppléés par les 610 de l’armée britannique, et 250 chars français livrés aux Américains, contre 50 chars du côté allemand)



Directement derrière l’armée française, on trouve comme contributrice essentielle à la victoire générale l’armée italienne avec ses 2.204.000 combattants, qui obtient la capitulation de l’Autriche-Hongrie huit jours avant l’armistice du 11 novembre. Lormier insiste sur la façon indigne dont l’Italie fut et reste traitée dans l’historiographie de la Grande Guerre, y compris par des historiens français, et bien entendu abondamment par les historiens anglo-saxons qui limitent la vista et la puissance des forces alliées dans la Grande Guerre aux seuls Britanniques renforcés par les glorieux Américains. Il cite les observations admiratives du courage des Italiens de Pétain et de Mangin, et rapporte cette note du maréchal Hindenburg : « Beaucoup plus que l’engagement de quelques divisions américaines sur le front occidental, ce fut la défaite de notre allié austro-hongrois contre l’Italie qui nous poussa à conclure aussi rapidement un armistice avec les Alliés. La perte d’une soixantaine de divisions austro-hongroises était pour nous un désastre irrémédiable… »

A la litanie des chiffres absolument impressionnants s’ajoute celle des faiblesses de l’armée US. L’amateurisme des Américains, leur absence d’organisation, leurs difficultés à mettre en place des commandements capables de maîtriser les opérations, leurs déficiences en matériels, leurs erreurs tactiques, le peu d’attention portée aux pertes par Pershing, tout cela doit être pris en compte pour pulvériser le mythe qui a été imposé à nos mémoires, sans pour autant ignorer le courage exceptionnel que montrèrent certaines unités, notamment durant la deuxième bataille de la Marne, et le combat légendaire livré par une brigade des Marines dans la bataille du bois de Belleau.

Ainsi pulvérise-t-on le mythe simplement en découvrant ce qui, justement, a permis au mythe de s’installer, confirmant le caractère absolument inverti de la modernité et l’avantage donné au simulacre contre le modèle. Les difficultés américaines à s’adapter et à intégrer les enseignements des détachements (français) chargés de les entraîner, leur tendance à ajouter du poids là où la qualité ne s’affirme pas et à mettre l’accent sur l’abondance de la logistique pour dissimuler la faiblesse de la participation au combat, – ce qui débouche sur une armée d’un million six cent mille hommes installée en France pour 400.000 soldats déployés sur le front et en réserve opérationnelle le 11 novembre, – tout cela donne à la population et aux différents moyens de communication (presse & le reste) l’impression d’une force gigantesque installée en France, en cela véritable simulacre. Les consignes du pouvoir politique d’acclamation et de publicité exaltées de l’aide US font le reste, dans une occurrence où les chefs militaires les plus expérimentés ne sont parfois pas en reste.

(La phrase de Pétain après sa prise du commandement en chef et l’apaisement des mutineries en juin-juillet 1917 pour résumer sa stratégie, — « J’attends les chars et les Américains », – est extrêmement malheureuse, parce qu’à moitié vraie et à moitié fausse : qu’il ait attendu les chars, tout le monde le comprend et partage cette attente, d’autant que les Français produisent les meilleurs chars, très rapidement, et sont les plus habiles à en comprendre l’emploi et l’efficacité. Mais “attendre les Américains” ? A part l’apport psychologique de cette attente en 1917 où le moral français était très atteint, c’était bien inutile et l’on comprend aisément que le but prioritaire de Pershing en France était de constituer et de garder à tout pris l’autonomie de son armée de l’emprise des Alliés, pour imposer à Washington D.C. le fait accompli de l’installation d’une grande institution militaire. Pour le reste, Pershing comme Wilson était persuadé que la guerre durerait jusqu’à la fin de 1919 et consacrerait opérationnellement la prédominance institutionnelle de l’U.S. Army.)


L’entreprise de la construction du mythe de l’invincibilité de la puissance de l’américanisme (utilement complété par le “déclinisme” français débouchant sur l’auto-flagellation actuelle) qui va empoisonner tout le XXème siècle jusqu’à nous, et qui se poursuit en ce début de XXIème siècle, cette construction s’achève par la faute majeure du pouvoir politique, notamment le français qui ne semble pas avoir réalisé que la puissance française sur le terrain lui donnait la capacité d’imposer une nouvelle situation stratégique pour la victoire, qui aurait totalement modifié la suite. Les grands chefs militaires (Foch, Pétain, Mangin, Castelnau) jugèrent catastrophique que l’armistice ait empêché « la puissante offensive en Lorraine [sous les ordres de Castelnau], avec les VIIIème et Xème armées françaises, regroupant 20 divisions et 600 chars. Ce coup de grâce devant permettre d’envahir l’Allemagne, uniquement avec des unités françaises, n’aura pas lieu. [… Les chefs militaires] estiment que c’est une faute capitale d’annuler cette offensive. En effet, l’Allemagne préserve pour le moment son territoire de toute occupation étrangère, donnant ainsi le sentiment à la population et à ses militaires qu’elle n’a pas été réellement vaincue. »

Les pacifistes sont satisfaits de terminer au plus vite “la der des ders” et, quant aux autres dont nous-mêmes, nous héritâmes de Hitler & le reste en prime.

(*) Le Mythe du Sauveur Américain – Essai sur une imposture historique de Dominique Lormier, éditions Pierre de Taillac, Paris 2017.

jeudi, 14 septembre 2017

Régis Debray. ‘Civilisation. Comment nous sommes devenus américains’


Régis Debray. ‘Civilisation. Comment nous sommes devenus américains’

On aurait pu attendre des guillemets à « américains » dans le sous-titre car, Debray le sait mieux que personne, les Chiliens ou les Cubains sont aussi des Américains. On se fiche que la partie soit prise pour le tout comme dans Make America great again.

Mais ne boudons pas notre plaisir devant cette brillante démonstration selon laquelle si une « culture construit des lieux », une civilisation « construit des routes » avec un gros bâton (celui de la big stick policy), une flotte, des armées, aujourd’hui des drones.


Depuis qu’il a raflé le Texas, l’empire américain n’a gagné en surface que quelques centaines de milliers de kilomètres carrés. Alaska y compris. Mais les 2 000 implantations militaires sur les cinq continents ne seraient rien sans les 35 000 McDo. Et vice versa.

Au milieu des années soixante, j’habitais Montdidier, petite sous-préfecture balzacienne de la Somme. Á l’époque, une ville de 5 000 habitants comptait encore bon nombre de magasins de toutes sortes. Le magasin d’habits, qui ne désemplissait jamais, avait pour enseigne “ Aux surplus américains ”. Nous étions heureux de nous fournir pour pas cher dans une échoppe qui proclamait sans vergogne qu’elle nous vendait des rebuts, les franchisés profitant de notre naïveté pour nous refiler du trop-plein. La civilisation zunienne avait gagné chez Balzac : on ne savait pas d’où venaient ces frusques, dans quelles conditions elles avaient été stockées, ce qu’elles avaient coûté aux producteurs. Ces vêtements n’étaient même pas toujours ricains. C’était notre deuxième peau. Au XVIe siècle, le paysan d’Amboise, voisin de Léonard de Vinci, ne parlait pas un mot d’italien. Aujourd’hui, il écoute Beyoncé dans son tracteur climatisé.

Quand, demande Debray, l’Europe a-t-elle cessé de « faire civilisation » ? En 1919, au Congrès de Versailles. Les États-Unis n’ont pas alors pleinement conscience qu’ils vont devenir la première puissance mondiale. Mais le président exige que le traité soit également rédigé en anglais. Jusqu’alors, observe Debray, il y avait à l’ouest une civilisation européenne avec sa variante américaine. Dans les cinquante années suivantes, on aurait une civilisation américaine avec des variables d’ajustement européennes. Dans tous les domaines. Je n’entre pas dans les détails, mais même dans la natation, les catégories d’âge de nageurs qui dataient d’un siècle (poussins, minimes, cadets etc.) se sont alignées cette année sur les catégories zuniennes.

Plus graves que nos bassins chlorés, la République française, l’État français, les pouvoirs publics ont plié le cou devant les méthodes zuniennes. En 2008, sous Sarkozy, nos ministères furent inspectés, mieux : évalués, par une entreprise privée zunienne.  Comme si le corps des inspecteurs des Finances n’existait plus. L’État français fut dès lors appréhendé dans son fonctionnement à l’aune des méthodes du privé d’outre-Atlantique. Les hôpitaux (les universités, les commissariats de police etc.) furent mis en concurrence, les partis politiques devinrent des familles et cessèrent d’élaborer des programmes en se contentant de projets, on nous obligea à aimer le modèle des primaires et les candidats à la présidentielle nous proposèrent des offres.

Á Sciences-Po, « réformée » par un chairman of the board plus ricain que ricain qui mourut dans des circonstances hollywoodiennes jamais élucidées, 60% des cours sont dispensés en anglais. Et, précise Debray, le cours sur les politiques culturelles en France est dénommé « Cultural Policy and Management ».

Á bas les anciennes catégories marxisantes (bourgeoisie, classe, capitalisme) ! Ne dites plus « prolétaires » mais « milieux défavorisées » (d’ailleurs les prolétaires ne savent plus qu’ils sont prolétaires, c’est du moins ce que pensent les bobos) ; de votre langage, « bannissez » (sic) « clochards », « SDF » étant beaucoup plus indolore.  Ne dites plus « santé gratuite pour tous » mais care, « avion présidentiel » mais « Sarko One ». Et, surtout, représentez-vous Bri-Bri d’amour en termes de First Lady. Envoyez vos enfants, en bons Ricains, délirer chez les voisins avec des masques d’Halloween alors que cette fête appartient au paganisme celte. Martelez comme il convient que l’équipe de France de foot est black-blanc-beur. Forcément, puisque la quête de l’égalité a été remplacée par le mirage de la diversité et que le sociétal a étouffé le social.

easyriders-l300.jpgLa thèse fondamentale de cet essai est que l’Amérique c’est de l’espace tandis que l’Europe c’est du temps. Aux États-Unis, on part sur la Route 66 en bon Easy Rider. On conquiert un territoire – au besoin avec un colt – alors qu’en Europe on labourait un terroir (on guerroyait un peu aussi, quand même). Mais tout a changé. Il n’y a plus chez nous que des « espaces » (salle d’attente, dégustation de vin, voies piétonnières, open spaces un peu partout, surtout quand ils sont agrémentés par des open bars). Je ne te demande pas qui tu es mais où tu es grâce à ma géolocalisation à un mètre cinquante près. Dans les espaces, explique Régis Debray, pas de peuple, mais une « population », c’est-à-dire une projection préfectorale ou municipale. Un peuple, c’est autre chose : une langue, des habitus, un passé, une gastronomie, du et des liens.

Á des populations hors-temps, on peut faire gober tout ce qu’on veut. Par exemple, que les États-Unis sont la nation qui a le plus contribué à la défaite de l’Allemagne alors que les Français de 1945 pensaient que c’était l’Union Soviétique. D’ailleurs si Poutine assista au 70ème anniversaire du Débarquement en Normandie, le Young Leader Hollande ne lui rendit pas la pareille à Moscou. On peut même faire croire à tous les publics, à toutes les populations de la Terre, que Rambo a gagné la guerre.

Lors du vote du Traité de Maastricht, on nous a seriné que nos enfants voyageraient, séjourneraient dans le continent et apprendraient quantités de langue européennes. Le russe et l’allemand sont cinq fois moins enseignés qu’il y a cinquante ans. Arte n’a aucune émission de débats entre intellectuels franco-allemands mais consacre dix minutes à un malaise de Mrs Clinton. Les fonctionnaires de Bruxelles communiquent dans la langue d’un pays qui ne fait plus partie de l’Union européenne. Des anciens pays de l’Europe de l’Est se sont dépêchés d’admettre sur leur sol des centres secrets de torture de la CIA. Il faut désormais endurer un président pour qui « Belgium » est une ville et qui pense avoir envoyé 59 missiles vers l’Irak alors que c’était vers la Syrie. Ça tombe où ça peut, où ça doit. L’important, c’est que ça « frappe » (plus de bombardements, des frappes), que ça terrorise, quel que soit le degré d’improvisation.

Debray nous rappelle qu’en affaires l’empire est féroce, voyou. BNP a accepté de payer une amende bidon, une rançon de 8,9 milliards de dollars (vous me direz : elle les avait) sans que nos gouvernants s’émeuvent, sans que notre médiacratie s’étonne. Quant à imaginer une réciprocité… Debray cite Pierre Lellouche, homme politique bien à droite, pas vraiment hostile à l’aigle impérial : « Un obscur accord fiscal franco-américain transformera notre ministère des Finances en supplétif de l’International revenue Service. Cet accord ne fait que traduire dans le droit français une loi américaine obligeant nos institutions financières à déclarer au fisc américain tous les comptes détenus par des citoyens ou entités américains en France dès lors que leur solde est supérieur à 50 000 dollars. Mais sans réciprocité : ce que le fisc français donnera à l’IRS, le Trésor américain ne le fera pas dans l’autre sens parce que la loi américaine ne le permet pas. »

Une des dernières réflexions de l’auteur porte sur la notion de laïcité que nous, tous seuls avec nos petites mains, avons réussi à américaniser. Je vous laisse découvrir comment.

Les moins jeunes d’entre nous s’en souviennent. Ce livre, publié en octobre 1967, fut l’un des plus énormes succès de librairie en France. Certes, il bénéficia du battage hebdomadaire de L’Express, beaucoup plus prescripteur qu’aujourd’hui. Son éditeur avait prévu un tirage de 15 000 exemplaires. Il s’en vendit 2 millions en France et 10 millions dans le monde.

(*) Régis Debray. Civilisation. Comment nous sommes devenus américains. Collection Blanche, Gallimard. 2017

Source: https://blogs.mediapart.fr/bernard-gensane/blog/150617/re...

samedi, 09 septembre 2017

Eric Voegelin and the "Orient"

Review: Éric Voegelin et l’Orient: Millénarisme et religions politiques de l’Antiquité à Daech. Renaud Fabbri. Editions L’Harmattan, 2016.

EvoeBook1.jpgRenaud Fabbri is a professor of political science at l’Université de Versailles. Over the past few years he has been quietly blogging away at a post-secular age, applying the ideas of Eric Voegelin to Hinduism and Islam. Éric Voegelin et l’Orient seems to be his first book and it is a very welcome addition to Voegelinian thought indeed. Just about anyone familiar with Voegelin’s output should be able to admit that what he had to say in relation to India and Islam, two of the most important players in world history, was inattentive at best and perhaps downright woeful, Eurocentric and dismissive at worst. Voegelin was a very prolific thinker, yet one cannot do equal justice to everything one supposes. Happily, Fabbri is seeking to remedy this by charting what he sees as a decline in Hindu and Muslim luminosity into immanentism, nationalism and millenarianism in the form of contemporary phenomena such as Daesh (ISIS) and the Iranian Revolution. As one might expect a great deal of the blame for these eastern “political religions” falls squarely (and rightly) on “Gnostic” influences absorbed from the West during the colonial period: Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, “process theology”.

At 123 pages Eric Voegelin et l’Orient is a very short text. My overwhelming sense when reading it the first time was that it is simply an opening salvo for a much larger and more detailed work we can expect from Fabbri in the near future. Moreover, one can tell Fabbri is a blog writer. Even in producing a monograph he writes in linked short bursts of a few pages on certain important figures in the history of the two religions in question. However, this is not to denigrate the book; rather we should celebrate it for its adventurousness. Fabbri is an abstract and thematic thinker, like Voegelin at his most experimental. Anyone picking up this book expecting something akin to the Voegelinian-Straussian The New Political Religions, written not long after 9/11 on the pneumatopathological history of Islamic terrorism (including its eye-opening essay on the ethics of suicide bombing), is going to be more than a little surprised.[1] Fabbri leaps around, he reads between the lines and conjures up obscure thinkers, both as nodes in the history of the decline of Islamic and Hindu religious experience, and as accessories to aid him in his explorations.

The two most important accessories Fabbri uses besides Voegelin are the French thinkers René Guénon and Henry Corbin, the former of which he uses largely in his discussions on Hinduism and the latter on Islam. Many readers may not be familiar with either of these so perhaps a little explanation is in order. Guénon is the father of an esoteric movement known commonly as Traditionalism or Perennialism. He believed that for all the diversity of the world’s religions, they call contained a transcendental unity of shared truth. Ergo, Guénon was a universalist, a very unpopular opinion in our post-colonial era. However, he was a very eccentric universalist, even for the early 20th century. The basis of Guénonian history is the idea that the cosmos passes through cycles of decline, from all quality and no quantity (=God) to all quantity and no quality. This comes to a final Kali Yuga, a scientistic “reign of quantity”. Finally the world collapses into total atomisation and spiritual decay before another Golden Age begins.[2]

However, this does not tend to make Traditionalists millenarians trying to force the Golden Age to come back. There is of course the exception of far-right outliers such as Julius Evola and Russian “New Rasputin” Aleksandr Dugin, in whom there is at least as much Nietzsche as Guénon.[3] In my experience with Traditionalists (all my teachers when I was an undergrad religious studies student were Guénonians), there is a far more profound sense of a pessimistic acceptance of a pre-determined order to things. There are no “Guns, Germs and Steel”, theories about millenarian “political religions” or Heideggerian blame-Plato-for-the-reign-of-quantity in Guénon.[4] The West simply drew the short straw in a natural cosmic process. Nonetheless, in Guénon’s successor Fritjof Schuon one can certainly find the idea that the West was metaphysically broken from the start because of Greek rationalism, scepticism and materialism. To Schuon Islam and Christianity got more out of the Greeks than they got out of themselves:

“The true “Greek miracle, if a miracle there be – and in this case it would be related to the “Hindu Miracle”- is doctrinal metaphysics and methodic logic, providentially utilized by the monotheistic Semites”.[5]

The aim for the Traditionalist becomes to find what is left of an imagined universal sophia perennis of esoteric truth in Sufism, Hinduism, the Western Hermetic traditions – the part of inferno that is not inferno, so to speak. Thus, as one might imagine, Fabbri seems to believe that the Guénonian narrative of decline can be laid over the Voegelinian narrative of pneumatopathology. There are problems with this, perhaps. Compared with Voegelin’s open-ended “order in history” as the produce of human experiences of social crisis, there is very little metacritical about the deterministic Guénonian historical narrative. All of this is amusingly epitomised by the Guénonian who put me on to Fabbri and his book: “Oh Voegelin? Too historicist for my liking. But then again you have to be if you want the academy to take you seriously.” However, I think that what Fabbri has done, nonetheless, is attempt a highly original experimental dual focus using both thinkers well, yet erring on the side closer to Voegelin and historicity.

Fabbri utilises the ideas of Guénon to patch up what he sees, quite reasonably, as Voegelin’s faults in understanding India. For Voegelin India had never been the recipient of any great historical upheavals, as occurred in the Ancient Near East with the collapse of the ancient cosmological empires. Thus no one ever really had to think about rationalising an order to history. Moreover, because God/Brahman in Hinduism is always atman (the self) and never Other, this also prevented any emergence of a “differentiation in being” to take place. Voegelin writes:

“In the culture of Hinduism, historical consciousness is muted by the dominance of late-cosmological speculations on the cosmos as a “thing” with a beginning and an end, as a “thing” that is born and reborn in infinite sequence. The hypostasis of the cosmos, and the fallacious infinite of cosmological speculation, can be identified as the stratum in the Hinduist experience of reality that has not been broken by epochal events comparable to the noetic and pneumatic theophanies in Hellas and Israel. As a consequence, the Brahmanic experience of reality does not develop the self-consciousness of the Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy as a noetic science; in its self-understanding it is a darshana, a way of looking at reality from this particular thinker’s position… The most striking manifestation of this phenomenon is the nonappearance of historiography in Hindu culture.”[6]

Now, so one might think, to Voegelin all this would be a good thing – none of the dualism and millenarianism that caused the decline of Near Eastern and Western religious experience into secular political religions. However, Voegelin simply seems to snub India as something which never really went anywhere. He shows some passing interest in the Greco-Bactrian cultural exchange, but the only thinker of note is Shankara with his advaitya vedanta. This is perhaps because of similarities between the neti neti (God is not this, not this) of Shankara and the via negativa (negative theology) of the Christian Cloud of Unknowing, which Voegelin initially took to be a Gnostic text, but later came to embrace because of its refusal of “Gnosis”- ultimate positive knowledge.[7] There are other problems, small but niggling. We are never even told by Voegelin whether, as with China and its t’ien hsien (all under heaven), anyone in Indian history ever attempted to symbolise a universal “humanity”.[8] Even more invitingly, as Fabbri (p. 39) suggests, we are left wondering why Voegelin never had anything to say about the great Indian epic the Mahabharata. Let’s hope that Fabbri or someone else in the near future gets around to fixing this. I would love to read such a thing.


Fabbri attempts to turn Voegelin’s remarks on their head. From a Guénonian perspective India’s atman and lack of “historicism” makes it far more spiritually healthy. To Fabbri India represents a more complete primordial view of things, spared from the dualism inherent in monotheism that leads to obsessions with mastery over nature and the millenarian immanentisation of an alien God (pp. 40-1). This only begins to come apart with the introduction of Western ideas during the colonial period (p. 43). Fabbri’s main target of interest is Sri Aurobindo, a British-educated turn of the century figure who reshaped Hinduism towards a progressive view of history – a Hegelesque “integral” view of the world. The whole world comes to be united in a futuristic enlightened communist consciousness emanating from India and its god-man sages (pp. 49-60). Indeed Aurobindo and those like him such as the Theosophists have done a lot of damage to Indian thought. Without them there would have been none of the “New Age” millenarianism of the 60s that the West (and India) came to be soaked in. What is curious, and what Fabbri fails to mention, is that Guénon initially had some enthusiasm for Aurobindo, but eventually realised that his evolutionism was a modern corruption of the traditional Hindu cyclic view of history.[9] However, the supreme sin of Aurobindo for Fabbri is the fact that he transformed Maya, the veil of illusion separating the individuated entity from realising it is part of atman, to Lila, merely the cosmic playfulness of entities coming into being and perishing (p. 57). The phenomenal world becomes a joyous, immanentised plenitude, reminiscent of “process theology”. Such views in my experience are of course extremely prevalent in New Ageism and its gutting of Hindu thought, especially the twee Spinozism of “Deep Ecology”.

This brings us to two curious absences in Fabbri’s take on India. The first is that although he traces the influences of Aurobindo down to modern Indian nationalism and communism and New Age gurus, he does this perhaps too succinctly. For instance, he mentions Radhakrishnan only in passing (p. 48). This thinker not only actively engaged in attempting to square Hindu thought with western progress narratives, science and “process thought”, but also played an enduring part on the international stage as a representative of Indian nationalism.[10] At least something on this figure would have been welcome. The second issue is that although Fabbri (p. 41) mentions the idea of the kalki-avatara, the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, who is supposed to come at the end of this cosmic cycle to renew the world, he never queries whether even this idea might have come from the millenarianisms of the Abrahamic religions. Some thinkers have certainly asked this before, as also in regard to the closely related legend of the eschatological kalki kings and armies of Shambhala in Buddhism, for which at least some Islamic influence has been posited.[11] Nonetheless, Fabbri (p. 42) is very much right to remind us that there are thousands more years of the to go before any kalki-avatara might be expected. Anyone, especially all those dubious New Age gurus, who claim otherwise, seem testament to the idea that millenarianism should perhaps be called the opiate of the Kali Yuga. Everyone wants out but Great Disappointments keep on coming.

Fabbri then moves from India into tracing a similar history in Islam. In fact India disappears for the rest of the book. This largely seems to be because Islam is a far greater issue in relation to contemporary global politics. Fabbri’s (p. 67) understanding of Islam takes its bearings from two things. The first is the idea that Islam has always been troubled by a “noeud gordien” (Gordian Knot), wherein prophesy and empire-building have had an uneasy coexistence. He attributes the origins of this understanding to Voegelin, which does not actually seem to be the case, though the conception still seems quite valuable. Rather, if we are to look at what Voegelin has to say about Islam in The Ecumenic Age, the results are even more woeful than what he has to say about India. All we get is a couple of pages, most of which are simply block-quotes from the Koran and the declaration that Islam was little more than the combined empire-and-church approach of the Byzantine and Sassanid ecumenai. These, so Voegelin says, formed the “horizon” in which Mohammad thought:


“Mohammed conceived the new religion that would support its ecumenic ambition with the simultaneous development of imperial power. The case is of special interest as there can be no doubt that Islam was primarily an ecumenic religion and only secondarily an empire. Hence it reveals in its extreme form the danger that beset all of the religions of the Ecumenic Age, the danger of impairing their universality by letting their ecumenic mission slide over into the acquisition of world-immanent, pragmatic power over a multitude of men which, however numerous, could never be mankind past, present, and future.” [12]

Whether we are talking about “Gordian Knots” or “sliding over”, for all the briefness of Voegelin’s observations, there would certainly seem to be something profound to work with here. It seems that Islam, like Christianity with its Heavenly and Earthly City, millennium and later its “two swords” of Church and State, was troubled from the moment it began to set down concrete notions of the historical finalisation of the nature of things.

This brings us to the second basis for Fabbri’s history of Islamic spiritual decline – his reliance on the ideas of Henry Corbin (pp. 70, 83-5). Like Guénon, the name of Corbin in not well-known (except perhaps within Islamic mystical circles or in the writing of Norman O. Brown). Corbin was the first French translator of Heidegger, but his main importance comes from his enterprising work on angelology and proposed Zoroastrian influences in Shi’a Islam.[13] Corbin describes the existence of a “mundus imaginalis” (imaginal world) – a medial realm between man and God –  peopled by angelic beings. This Nâ-Kojâ-Abâd, “Country of Non-Where”, or “Eighth Clime”, is accessible only through the consciousness and is the organ for the reception of the visions and prophesies that are brought to men from God via the angels. The “imaginal” is not to be confused with modern western understandings of the “imagination”, which largely view this term to mean simply a source for entertaining aesthetic produce or downright falsity. Imagination isn’t “fantasy”. However, so I am tempted to propose, if one looks closely at the history of these two terms their confusion seems to lie in the mediaeval reception of the ideas of Avicenna in Europe. Many tangled arguments ensued over which term meant a purely receptive capacity for external images and inner divine visitations, and which the organ of active creativity from pre-received material.[14]

What both Corbin and then Fabbri do is chart the history of Islam as the history of the decay and forgetting of the angelic reality – the death of ongoing prophesy. As one might imagine Fabbri finds similarities between the medial nature of this “mundus imaginalis” and Voegelin’s metaxy or In-Between and his reading of history as the breaking down of this dynamic experiential system into dualism and then immanentism. Without a “resolving third” full of intramundane spirits and myths one’s ecumene and consciousness becomes very empty indeed. Fabbri also sees this inherent in the discarding of the cult of the gods, the Ishtadevas, in Hinduism by thinks such as Aurobindo. In a later essay I would like to return to such questions in relation to the history of the West and its own loss of angels. However, for now it is more important to emphasise that all this means that both Corbin and Fabbri come down hard on the side of Shi’a rather than Sunni Islam. The root of Islam’s issues is the “tragédie fondatrice” (founding tragedy) of the Sunni-Shi’a division (the fitna), just as much as the “Gordian Knot” of prophesy and empire mentioned above. For the Shi’a, prophesy kept on going to a certain point, depending on how many Imams each faction take to be rightfully guided, up to the Great Occultation of the mahdi – the imam in hiding. For the Sunnis, Muhammad was the “seal of the prophets” and that was that. This means that those claiming to be the recipients of new prophesies and divine knowledge have always had a strained relationship with mainstream Islamic thought.


Fabbri (pp. 74-7) lays out the history of these difficulties through figures such as Al Farabi, whose mixture of Platonism and Islamic revelation produces an image of a proto-Kantean world state ruled by “philosopher kings”. Following Corbin, Fabbri (p. 75) ponders whether Farabi was a “crypto-Shiite” trying to think beyond the Grand Occultation of the last imam. Another important thinker is the Sufi Ibn Arabi who represented the rulers from Adam to Muhammad as God’s representatives on Earth, and those thereafter as simply secular rulers. History instead is controlled from the outside by the saints and angels. As Fabbri (pp. 88-9) notes there is something strongly anti-millenarian and “realist” about this. Yet, at the same time, this descacralisation of the caliphate opens up the space for a “spiritual anarchy” where the secular rulers are unimportant compared with the Gnostic claims of holy men.

The “Gordian Knot” problem leads down to the “presque schmittienne” (almost Schmittian p. 90) political theorisations of Ibn Taymiyya. Here maintaining the sharia and the temporal rule of the Islamic states against heathens becomes the onus. So too is the cult of the saints pejorated as idolatry, leaving no intermediaries or intercessors between man and God. The genesis of Islamism then emerges in a kind of dual spiritual desperation. On the one hand there is the destruction of the Caliphate by the Mongols (and later the collapse of the Ottoman Empire). On the other there in an increasing shutting out and disappearance of prophetic claims and the intercession of saints. What then emerges is a kind of panicked assumption that if the Caliphate is restored, Islamic consciousness then too will be restored to how it was during its early period. Increased persecution of Sufis, attempts to rid foreign corruptions from an imagined pure, original Islam and abject literalism ensue through Abd al-Wahhab, Sayyid ibn Qutb and other prominent thinkers among contemporary Sunni Islamists. Fabbri (pp.91-3), in comparison with The New Political Religions, only gives these influential thinkers a couple of pages and he has nothing to say about Westernised Pan-Arabist movements like Ba’aathism. He remains far more interested in the stranger, more obviously “Gnostic” cases.

Fabbri (pp. 95-101) then descends into the influence of Western political religions on Islam during the colonial period. The most important thinker here is Muhammad Iqbal, who attempted to square Einsteinian cosmology, and the “process” thought of Whitehead and Bergson with Islam, and ends up producing a series of bizarre “Gnostic” visons about modernity. Marx becomes the angel Gabriel of the new age, feminism appears manifest as a monstrous Priestess of Mars. Reading all this strongly reminds me of the way in which in the Soviet Era the old religious and heroic oral epics of “minorities” in the USSR were secularised to replace millenarian heroes such as Geser Khan and his titanic foes with Marx, Engels and Lenin flying through the cosmos battling the fifty-headed hydra of capitalism.[15] The strange syncretism of the old religions and the political religions seems to have got into everything in the twentieth century.


Finally, Fabbri (pp. 103-11) comes to Ali Shariati, Khomeyni and the Iranian Revolution. Fabbri deftly notes the influence of a number of Western thinkers such as Sartre and Marx (“red Shi’ism”) on the formation of these ideas and the degeneration into millenarian theocracies ruled by Gnostic “philosopher kings”. Yet, there is one very obvious absence in his analysis. This is Heidegger. Fabbri mentions Heidegger numerous times throughout Eric Voegelin et l’Orient in connection with globalism, subjectivity, technology and nihilism (pp. 30, 46, 50, 58, 100). However, like his references to Leo Strauss (ie. pp. 99-100), Heidegger is always cited as a kind of minor accessory – one of the “good guys” – but not as important as Corbin, Guénon and of course Voegelin himself. Fabbri does not at all mention how the influential concept gharbzadegi (“westosis/weststruckness”- being infected with western nihilism) from the Iranian Revolution is nearly entirely down to Heidegger’s influence through Ahmad Fardid, who propagated Heidegger’s ideas about cultural “authenticity” in Iran and organised a group of “Iranian Heideggerians” in the 1970s.[16] Fabbri (p.104) in passing names Jalal al-e-Ahmad who popularised the concept, but Ahmad and his Heideggerianism is never dealt with at all.

Heidegger is a very troublesome thinker, far more than the occasional ritualistic hand-wringing about his Nazi period in contemporary continental philosophy usually conveys. Heidegger’s embrace of Nazism has its basis in the idea that the Germans had a unique primordial and “authentic” link with the Greeks and Being, which was under threat by the flattening effects of capitalist and communist nihilism.[17] There is quite a profound legacy to this idea of one’s people possessing an ancient and unique manifest destiny and identity to overcome global nihilism. Shortly after Heidegger’s infamous Rektor speech in 1933, some of the Japanese philosophers of the “Kyoto School” such as Keiji Nishitani, who studied with Heidegger, took this up, replacing Being with the Zen Void, to construct a Japanese imperial manifest destiny.[18] “Reactionary” Heidegger returns in the Iranian Revolution and more recently in the “Fourth Political Theory” of Aleksandr Dugin and his obsessions with building a Eurasian Empire to combat the “post-liberal” monster of globalised American consumer culture.[19] As Foucault said of the Iranian Revolution – it was to be the first great rebellion against the Western “world system”. Just as much as Heidegger, his reputation never managed to live this down.[20] Thus, I think that Fabbri should have expended at least some attention on dealing with the millenarian and deforming aspects of Heidegger’s ideas outside the West.

In comparison, perhaps, as Chinese Heideggerian Yuk Hui has recently shown with his book The Question Concerning Technology in China, which touched upon the uneasy Heideggerian legacy in Dugin and the “Kyoto School”, there might be some hope of using Heidegger’s later ideas to undertake culturally-specific “rememberings of Being” without it all just turning into a “metaphysical fascism”. This possibility is based around re-investigating how imported Western conceptions of technology have covered over the ongoing relationship between Qi and Tao in Chinese philosophy. Knowing the dangers of an emerging China simply repeating Western global empire building and technological nihilism seems to be the first step; to live with technology China must learn to reintegrate it, the world, life and society together into a “cosmotechnics”. One can only hope this doesn’t backfire and we end up with some sort of exceptionalist Taoism with a transhumanist immortality complex.[21] Heideggerian “traditionalism” remains a dangerous animal.

Fabbri draws his book to a close by attempting to consider how to deal with contemporary Islamism. Although one is unsure of his political leanings, he does seem very much aware of the weaknesses of the contemporary left and right in Europe (though it could be America, Australia…) in understanding Islam and its history. To the liberal left Islam is a magical victim, which must be defended at all costs, often to the point of naivety; to the increasingly reactionary right and the actively anti-religious left it is simply anathema – it has no place in Western society (p. 121). Fabbri’s (pp. 116-9) beginning of an answer to this is in the vague hope he seems to find in the figure of Tariq Ramadan, a popular Islamic public intellectual. Ramadan believes that Islam needs to reform the Sharia for the “complexities” of the modern world and understand that there is a “double revelation of God” – the koran and nature.


What is it that Fabbri finds promising about Ramadan? It simply seems to be that he is not necessarily a priori against the ideas from Sufi thinkers (p. 118). This doesn’t really sound like much. Fabbri himself recognises that Ramadan’s attitude towards the metaphysical aspects involved in the nature of modernity and Islam are gravely lacking. Moreover he admits that Ramadan is rather “naïve” in his attempts to square Islam with modern science. All in all to Fabbri (p. 116), Ramadan “illustre bien la vitalité mais aussi les limites de cette literature de résistance au fondamentalisme en terre d’Islam” (illustrates well the vitality but also the limits of this literature of resistance to fundamentalism in the Islamic world). These days there seem to be “Ramadans” everywhere, many far worse than the man himself. Some of them are atheists simply flying the identity politics flag of “cultural Islam”. They people TV talk show panels and public lectures telling everyone of the wonders of some liberal Islamic reformation, which seems to exert almost no influence outside of educated liberal Western circles. As to how the Islamic world might actually go about such a thing, and moreover, how it might do so without losing even more of its spirit than it already has done through the “Gordian knot” and Western influence, seems extremely fanciful.[22] Nonetheless, it seems difficult to consider how the Islamic world might actually go about a renewal of the spirit, and moreover, how it might do so without losing even more of its spirit than it already has done through the “Gordian knot” and Western influence.

Although things might seem rather dark, Fabbri (p. 122) ends his book with the optimistic hope for a “New Axial Age”, a renewal of Islam, Hinduism (and presumably Western traditions too) that might emerge by looking back over their histories and rediscovering the moments of luminosity that produced them. Yet because of the narratives of spiritual decline inherent in Voegelinian and Guénonian perspectives, there might seem no real exit beyond simply enduring “modernity without restraint” as best one can. In the words of Peter Sloterdijk on Voegelin, one of the few popular thinkers to engage with his ideas in recent years: “defences of philosophia perennis in the twentieth century frequently become involuntary obituaries instead.”[23] Here Sloterdijk might as well have been speaking of Guénon. The elephant in the room, however, is whether announcing a new epoch like this is not an act of millenarianism in itself. In light of this one should perhaps recall Georges Sorel’s apt observation that it is pessimist desperation that gives rise to millenarian will-to-deliverance and revolution, not optimistic images of the world.[24] Maybe the best we can do is stay positive about what remains of esoteric tradition, name the devil of millenarianism for what it is, and keep an open mind to different traditions, experiences and ecumenical histories. All in all Fabbri has written an amazing little book, as much as it cannot help but seem to be slightly tinged with obituary. I look forward to finding out more about this “New Axial Age”.


[1] Barry Cooper, The New Political Religions, or, An Analysis of Modern Terrorism, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, 2004.

[2] René Guénon, The Essential René Guénon, World Wisdom, Sophia Perennis, Bloomington, 2009.

[3] Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for Aristocrats of the Soul, trans. Jocelyn Goodwin, Inner Traditions, New York, [1961] 2003; Aleksandr Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory, Arktos, London, 2014.

[4] For an example of just how dependent upon the idea of deterministic primary causes in the narrative of the cosmos Guénonian thought is, compare Voegelin’s conceptions of order and history with this: Fritjof Schuon, The Essential Fritjof Schuon, edited by Seyyed Hussein Nasser, World Wisdom Publishers, Bloomington, Indiana, 2005,  p. 181:”…traditions having a prehistoric origin are, symbolically speaking, made for “space” and not for “time”; that is to say, they saw the light in a primordial epoch when time was still but a rhythm in a spatial and static beatitude…the historical traditions on the other hand must take the experience of “time” into account and must foresee instability and decadence, since they were born in periods when time had become like a fast-flowing river and ever more devouring, and when the spiritual outlook had to be centred on the end of the world.”

[5] Fritjof Schuon, The Essential Fritjof Schuon, p. 144. Cf. p. 138 uses the anti-philosophical arguments of the Sufis against the philosophical obsessions with laws of causation and the “outer world”. Here Schuon refers to the “best of the Greeks” as those who saw immanent Intellect at work in the world, but even here he has to emphasise that he believes the Arabic mismatch of Plato, Plotinus and Aristotle was superior because Islamic thinkers considered them holy men and used their ideas as a combined instrument to search for the truth. Also see: Ibid, Art from the Sacred to the Profane: East and West, World Wisdom Publihsers, Bloomington, Indiana, 2007, p. 48.  Perhaps an anecdote might shed some light on the occasional habit among Traditionalists to pejorate the “Western tradition” in favour of Hinduism and Islam. Many years ago when my old teacher Roger Sworder hired Harry Oldmeadow for his Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Latrobe University Bendigo, Australia he asked him one important question over the phone: “What do you think of Guénon and Schuon’s attitudes towards the Greeks?” The appropriate answer that got him the job was “They said Plato was the best the West had available. They didn’t say enough.” Sworder spent his whole life in many ways trying to redeem the Greeks (especially the Neo-Platonic tradition) from a Traditionalist perspective. See: Roger Sworder, Mining, Metallurgy and the Meaning of Life, Sophia Perennis, San Rafael CA, [1995] 2008.

[6] Eric Voegelin, Collected Works of Eric Voegelin Vol. 17: Order in History Vol IV: the Ecumenic Age, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 2000, p. 394. Cf. Idem, Anamnesis, trans. Gerhart Niemeyer, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, 1990, p. 123 on India: “but no historiography.”

[7] Idem, Collected Works of Eric Voegelin Vol. 21: History of Political Ideas Vol. III: The Later Middle Ages, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, p. 177: “the civilizational destruction perpetrated by a peasant group fighting for the perfect realm does not differ in principle from the annihilation of the world content in the…Cloud of Unknowing.” Cf. Eugene Webb, Eric Voegelin: Philosopher of History, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1981, pp. 28-9.

[8] Eric Voegelin, The Ecumenic Age, esp. pp. 375-6.

[9] Pierre Feuga, “Rene Guenon et l’Hindouisme,” http://pierrefeuga.free.fr/guenon.html#_ftnref25 last accessed: 11th July 2017. Also see: René Guénon, Studies in Hinduism, trans. Henry D. Fohr and Cecil Bethell, Sophia Perennis, Hillsdale NY, 2004, p. 168 where he quotes Aurobindo at length against the Freudian unconsciousness.

[10] See: Radhakrishnan, An Idealist View of Life, Unwin Books, London, 1970.

[11] Mahabharata Vol. II, trans. and ed. by J. A. B. van Buitenen University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1975, Book III. section 188.86-189.12. See: A. L. Basham, The Wonder that Was India, Rupa, Calcutta, 1986, p. 309 which mentions similarities with Christ’s second coming on a white horse as a similarity with Kalki; Zoroastrianism and Buddhism are mentioned as possible sources for the myth too. Wendy Doniger, The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010, pp. 486-7. On Shambhala, Kalki and Islam see: Alexander Berzin, “Holy Wars in Buddhism and Islam,” Alexander Berzin Archive:www.studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-studies/history-culture...islam last accessed: 19th June 2016; Jan Elvserskog, “Ritual Theory Across the Buddhist-Muslim Divide in Late Imperial China,” in A. Akasoy, C. Burnett and R. Yoeli-Tlalim, (eds) Islam and Tibet: Interactions Along the Musk Road, Ashgate, Farnham UK, 2011, pp. 1-16 and 293-312. On the Soviet use of the Shambhala myth to spread communism: Alexander Znamenski, Red Shambala: Magic, Prophesy and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, QuestBooks, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, 2011.

[12] Eric Voegelin, The Ecumenic Age, pp. 198. The koranic quotes are carried over onto pp. 199-201. Perhaps Voegelin didn’t like Islam very much, as is suggested in The New Science of Politics, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1952, pp. 139-42 where he uses the term “koran” pejoratively to indicate the Gnostic habit of writing heretical third testaments to biblical history.

[13] Henry Corbin, Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, trans. Ralph Manheim, Princeton University Press, Princeton N.J., 1969. Idem, “Mundus Imaginalis, or, The Imaginary and the Imaginal,” Zurich, Spring 1972, available from:  https://ia600201.us.archive.org/28/items/mundus_imaginali... last accessed: 6th July 2017.

[14] For a commensurate overview see: Dennis L. Sepper, Descartes’ Imagination: Proportions, Images and the Activity of Thinking, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1996, pp. 19-25.

[15] Jonathan Ratcliffe, “The Messianic Geser: from Religious Saviour to Communism,” Paper delivered at Geser Studies Conference, 23rd June 2016, Buryat Scientific Centre, Ulan Ude. English and Russian versions. http://anu-au.academia.edu/JonathanRatcliffe last accessed: 6th July 2017.

[16] Mohammad Rafi, “Re-Working the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger: Iran’s Revolution of 1979 and its Quest for Cultural Authenticity,” Telos Press, 19th April 2013, http://www.telospress.com/re-working-the-philosophy-of-ma... last accessed: 6th July 2017.

[17] Martin Heidegger, “The Self-Assertion of the German University,” in Richard Wolin, The Heidegger Controversy, MIT Press, London, 1993, pp. 29-39; idem, Nature History and the State 1933-1934, trans. Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, various contributors, Bloosmbury, London, 2015.

[18] Yuk Hui, The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics, Urbanomic, Falmouth, UK, 2016, pp. 241-69.

[19] Aleksandr Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory; Alexander S. Duff, “Heidegger’s Ghosts,” The American Interest 11/5 25th February 2016, http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/02/25/heidegger... last accessed: 17th September 2016.

[20] Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005. Cf Slavoj Žižek, In Defence of Lost Causes, Verso, New York, 2008, esp. pp. 107-17.

[21] Yuk Hui never talks about transhumanism, but is very much dependent upon Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Vol II: History of Scientific Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1956.  However as noted by one of the most millenarian thinkers of the last century: Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown Connecticut, 1959, p. 311: “But Needham’s enthusiasm for Taoism as a human and organismic response to life in the world must be qualified by recognising that the Taoist perfect body is immortal: Taoism does not accept death as part of life.”

[22] Exemplary is this book: Paul Berman, The Flight of the Intellectuals, Scribe, Melbourne, 2010. This is little more than a kind of rather ineffectual beat-up about Ramadan, all based on his father’s connections with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than the thinker’s own character. The conclusions of its author were simple: replace the public intellectual Ramadan with another, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. What’s so special about Ali? She’s an ex-muslim, she loathes Islam and campaigns against it. Ergo, the only good Islam in Europe (or possibly everywhere) is no Islam.

[23] Peter Sloterdijk, In the World Interior of Capital, trans. Wieland Hoban, Polity, Cambridge UK, 2016, p. 283 n.4.

[24] Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence, trans. J. Roth and T.E. Hulme, Collier Books, New York, 1961, pp. 34-6.


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Jonathan Ratcliffe is a doctoral candidate in Asian History at the Australian National University. He is working with Chris Heggie-Brown on a history of technology and politics, provisionally titled "Voegelin Among the Machines."

vendredi, 08 septembre 2017

The 13 Books That Have Taught Me the Most About Manhood and Masculinity


The 13 Books That Have Taught Me the Most About Manhood and Masculinity


The Art of Manliness 

In every time period, and all across the world, men have been very interested in the question of what it means to be a man. Some of their answers were learned intuitively by watching their peers and mentors, while other aspects of manliness were taught to them and imparted intentionally and explicitly.

In primitive times, the “secret knowledge” of manhood was passed down from elders to boys in elaborate coming-of-age ceremonies.

In ancient times, philosophers contemplated the virtues and qualities that constituted the attainment of arete — a word meaning “excellence” that was sometimes used interchangeably with andreia or “manliness.”

In our own times, men experience few knowledge-imparting rites of passage, and the meaning of manliness is not often discussed by present-day philosophers. Most unfortunately, the chains of intuitive manhood — the mentor relationships which offer a chance to learn manhood by example — are all too often severed or nonexistent.

As a result, many men are unsure of what it means to be a man — how they’re different from women, why they sometimes act the way they do, and what kinds of virtues and behaviors they need to cultivate in their lives in order to understand who they are, fulfill their potential, and live a satisfying life.

I know when I started the Art of Manliness back in 2008, I had only the foggiest idea of what exactly manliness meant. My ideas had mostly been picked up unconsciously from various streams of popular culture and absorbed without much examination.

In the last 8 years, I’ve dived headfirst into getting an education in the meaning and nature of manhood. I’ve read dozens of books on the biology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy of masculinity, all in search of developing a multi-faceted answer to the big questions surrounding the male experience: What is manliness and where does it come from? Why is it that we associate aggression, risk-taking, and bravado with manhood? How did past cultures harness the traits of masculinity for good rather than evil?

Most of the books that I’ve read on the subject were okay, but a select few have done a masterful job of explaining the answers to these questions. Below you’ll find the ones I think are the best of the best. They’ve influenced how I approach the topic of manliness on the site immensely and have given me insights into my own life and place in the world. My series on honor, the 3 P’s of manhood, and male status relied heavily on research from these books, and they’re ones I have found myself returning to year after year — often re-reading them only to find new insights.

Some of the books focus on one aspect of manliness, like the evolutionary origins of male physical and psychological traits or how men behave in groups, while others take a big picture approach to looking at manliness as a cultural imperative or a set of virtues. I don’t agree with all the conclusions that most of the authors draw. And that’s okay. It’s good to have your ideas challenged and it’s still possible to get something out of a book even if you don’t end up agreeing with the author’s final thesis.

In a time where ideas about manliness are often fuzzy or contradictory, if they’re even discussed at all, these books give you insights into history, culture, and understanding more about who you are; they’ll help you discover a “secret knowledge” that’s largely been lost in the past several decades. If you’d like to further your understanding of what it means to be a man, give these books a read.

The Way of Men

way of men book cover jack donovan

Arguably the modern classic on masculinity. Jack Donovan works to strip away all the culturally/religiously relative definitions of manhood that exist in order to arrive at the very essentials of what makes men, men. He calls these essentials the “tactical virtues” and they include: strength, courage, mastery, and honor.

While the amoral nature of Donovan’s idea of masculinity may make some uncomfortable, that is in many ways its greatest strength. Whenever my thinking on manhood gets muddled by all the competing definitions and claims out there, I return to The Way of Men to get reacquainted with the very core of masculinity. It’s a short, accessible book, with pithy, muscular prose — there’s really no reason every man shouldn’t read it and consider its forceful and challenging ideas. Once you do, you can take Donovan’s vision of the foundation of masculinity and stop there, or you can add a moral/philosophical layer onto it. For that task, I’d recommend the next book.

Listen to my podcast interview with Jack Donovan.

The Code of Man: Love, Courage, Pride, Family, Country

code of man book cover waller newell

If the The Way of Men is the book on the biological/anthropological nature of manhood, The Code of Man is the book on the philosophical vision of manhood.

In The Code of Man, Dr. Waller R. Newell argues that modern men have lost touch with the values and virtues that have defined manliness for thousands of years. Consequently, many men (particularly young men) are lost, confused, and angry. Newell believes that the road to recovery is taken along the five paths to manliness: love, courage, pride, family, and country. Using Western writers and thinkers like Aristotle and Plato, Newell attempts to guide men down the path to achieving a “manly heart.”

Newell’s idea of honorable and virtuous manliness is aligned almost perfectly with the conception of manliness that we espouse on AoM. I’ve actually read this book again several times since my initial reading a few years ago and I still find it as stirring and as relevant as the first time I read it.

Listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Waller Newell.

Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity

manhood in the making book cover david gilmore

If you enjoyed our 3 P’s of Manhood series, then you’ll want to read the book that inspired it. Manhood in the Making is by far the most enlightening book on manhood I’ve ever read. In it, anthropologist David Gilmore shares the results of his cross-cultural study of manliness around the globe. Gilmore found that the concern for being manly and the idea of being a “real man,” is hardly a culturally-relative, social norm-based phenomenon, but instead has been shared by nearly every culture in the world, both past and present.

While every society’s idea of what constitutes a “real man” has been molded by their unique histories, environments, and dominant religious beliefs, Gilmore found that almost all them share three common imperatives or moral injunctions — what I call the 3 P’s of Manhood: a male who aspires to be a man must protect, procreate, and provide.

Despite being an academic book, Manhood in the Making is a fairly easy and enjoyable read. I couldn’t put it down after I started it and several times could sense a veritable light bulb going off above my head.

Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men

anything good about men book cover baumeister

In Is There Anything Good About Men?, eminent professor of psychology Roy F. Baumeister flips the feminist argument that it’s only women who have been oppressed and exploited from the beginning of time. Baumeister argues that, in many ways, men are the ones that society “exploits” (even if they accept their responsibilities willingly). He explores the fact that throughout history men have been seen as far more expendable than women; they’re the ones who went to war, took the dirty jobs, and sacrificed their lives to advance civilization.

That might seem like a controversial thesis to some, but Baumeister lays it out in a very sensible, straightforward, non-inflammatory, and ultimately hard-to-argue-with way. He uses studies from the growing fields of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology to explain why cultures have exploited men the way they have. And he explains how and why certain aspects of male and female behavior are hardwired and that these differences should be used to complement each other rather than as fodder in the gender wars.

The book is a really interesting read, but honestly, the article he wrote that became the book sums up his main points much more succinctly and for free!

Listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Roy R. Baumeister.

Men In Groups

men in groups book cover lionel tiger

You’ve probably heard the phrase “male bonding.” Well, this is the book where it originated from. In Men in Groups, anthropologist Lionel Tiger takes a look at the ingrained male propensity to form and act in gangs. Looking at primatology, sociobiology, and anthropology, Tiger highlights the fact that human males are very adept at forming male-only coalitions in order to dominate something — be it a competing tribe, a competing business, or even nature itself. He argues that this tendency for human males to organize in male-only coalitions is an evolved trait; similar male grouping patterns are seen in our closest primate relative, the chimpanzee. He goes on to describe how across cultures, males often bond with one another through competition amongst themselves and that this intra-group competition may be a way to prepare for inter-group competition with other teams/gangs.

Men in Groups was written in 1969 so a lot of the research in it is old and outdated. Even so, the main thesis of the book is still relevant today, and many modern sociologists and anthropologists have built on the initial work done by Tiger.

Also be sure to check out Tiger’s The Decline of Males for an interesting treatise on how the advent of birth control has impacted modern masculinity.

Listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Lionel Tiger.

Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness, and the Impersonal Good

plato and the hero book cover angela hobbs
I’m a classics guy, so the ancient Greeks and Romans inform a lot of my ideas about what manliness means, particularly how they equated manliness with living a life of virtue. One of the best books that I’ve come across on how the Greeks saw manliness as intwined with virtue is by professor of philosophy Angela Hobbs. In Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness, and the Impersonal Good, Hobbs goes into detail clarifying Greek concepts related to manliness, including andreia (courage), thumos (spiritedness), and time (honor). She hones in on Plato’s uneasiness with these wild, masculine, Homeric virtues and shows how part of his philosophy was an attempt to harness these virtues for the greater good of society.

The Professor in the Cage: Why Men Fight and Why We Like to Watch

professor in the cage book cover jonathan gottschall

Research shows that men are drawn to violence, be it the criminal or sporting kind. Why is that? In The Professor in the Cage, english professor Jonathan Gottschall takes us on a personal as well as interdisciplinary tour to answer that question.

Using his experience training to be an MMA fighter, as well as looking to research from biology, anthropology, and sociology, Gottschall argues that men are both made and conditioned to fight. We’ve got a fighting spirit inside of us that can be used for good or evil — simply depending on how this energy is directed. Gottschall does a great job tying together all the research about manhood and the male fighting instinct in an accessible, enlightening, and entertaining read. If you enjoyed our honor and manhood series, then you’ll certainly get a lot out of this book.

Listen to my podcast interview with Jonathan Gottschall. 

The Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village

poetics of manhood book cover michael herzfeld

While many of the books on this list concentrate on broad, general examinations of masculinity, The Poetics of Manhood brings the discussion down to earth and into the specifics. During the 1960s, anthropologist Michael Herzfeld lived among the people inhabiting a small, mountainous village on the island of Crete, observing their culture of masculinity. The resulting field study Herzfeld wrote up isn’t always the clearest or easiest read, but the book is chockfull of interesting tidbits on the nature of lived manhood, with insights on why men are drawn to meat, risk, competition, and improvisation. This is the book where the idea of “being a good man vs. being good at being a man” originates, though the Cretans used it in a slightly different way than it’s come to be understood in the modern manosphere.

The Hunting Hypothesis

hunting hypothesis book cover robert ardrey

In The Hunting Hypothesis, playwright and paleoanthropologist Robert Ardrey eloquently lays out the case that hunting is what made humans, humans. Not only did the meat from hunting increase the brain size of our early human ancestors, but hunting acted as a selection method for traits that we consider uniquely human. Ardrey argues that speech, large group co-operation, abstract thinking, and tool making can all trace their roots back to hunting. What’s more, he argues that men in particular were selected for hunting due to their larger stature, strength, and propensity for risk taking. While Ardrey’s theory was originally controversial when first published in 1976, it’s now accepted by many anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists.

What I love most about this book is how absolutely fun it is to read. Ardrey’s talent as a playwright and screenwriter shine through in his work and he’s able to take complex ideas like paleoanthropology and make them accessible to the layman.

Another Ardrey book to check out that’s tangentially related to The Hunting Hypothesis is The Territorial ImperativeIn that book he takes a look at the human drive toward territoriality and the implications it has on property ownership and nation building. It doesn’t really get into the topic of gender differences or why men are the way they are like The Hunting Hypothesis does, but it’s still a fascinating and worthwhile read.

Heroes, Rogues, & Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

heros rogues lovers testosterone book cover james dabs

We all know that testosterone is what makes men (generally) stronger and more aggressive than women, but how does this hormone affect other areas of a man’s life? In Heroes, Rogues, & Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior, cognitive psychologist James M. Dabbs (along with his wife Mary) highlight research showing testosterone’s effect on behavior in the workplace, in school, in the bedroom, and even in utero. This is one of the most fascinating and engaging books I’ve read. No other book out there tackles the topic of testosterone’s effect on human behavior like this one. If you want a more complete understanding of why men behave the way they do, pick up a copy.

Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness

fighting for life book cover walter ong

Walter J. Ong was a Jesuit priest who spent his career as an academic studying and writing about how humanity’s transition from an oral to written culture changed human consciousness. In Fighting for Life Ong takes a look at how competition — particularly male competition — has shaped human consciousness. He focuses on how the male drive for competition influenced philosophers and academics from ancient Greece through the Enlightenment to create a learning environment that was agonistic  and competitive. Ong argues that after the Romantic Era, education became much more “feminized” and an emphasis on co-operation rather than competition began to pervade classrooms. Fighting for Life was originally published in 1981, but the insights Ong had have later been confirmed by researchers exploring how boys and girls learn differently. For example, check out Boys Adrift by Dr. Leonard Sax which highlights research showing that boys thrive academically when there’s an element of competition in the classroom.

Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones

roman honor book cover carlin barton

Back in 2012, we published a series on the history and decline of traditional manly honor in the West. I thought I had turned over every rock when researching those posts, but a few months after we wrapped up the series, I came across Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones by Carlin Barton, a professor of ancient history at the University of Massachusetts. I wish I had known about this book when I was researching and writing my series on honor. Roman Honor is the best book I’ve read on honor — bar none. Barton masterfully explores how honor shaped the lives of ancient Rome from the early days of the Republic and all the way through the fall of the empire. She shows how small, intimate groups are vital for honor to survive and how imperialism kills it. This book is a hard read, but it’s well worth the effort. The insights are so brilliant they’re almost startling, and even the footnotes are packed with fascinating asides.

Listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Carlin Barton.

Manvotionals: Timeless Wisdom and Advice on Living the 7 Manly Virtues

manvotionals book cover manly virtues brett mckay

I promise this isn’t a shameless plug (at least not entirely!); Manvotionals is an anthology of letters, speeches, quotes, etc., from history’s eminent men, so I can’t at all take credit for the wisdom contained therein! I can only say that putting together this collection really helped refine my vision and understanding of what I consider the 7 manly virtues: manliness (it’s a distinct virtue in and of itself), courage, industry, resolution, self-reliance, discipline, and honor (integrity). This is my favorite book we’ve ever put out, and I still return to it personally in order to revitalize my vision and aim for becoming the kind of man I want to be: one who maximizes his full potential in body, mind, and soul, effectively uses his abilities to fulfill his life’s purposes, and overcomes setbacks and challenges to make a difference and leave a real and lasting legacy.


jeudi, 07 septembre 2017

Oswald Spengler y la Europa fáustica


Un libro ejemplar.

Volver a leer a Oswald Spengler.

Reseña del libro de Carlos X. Blanco Martín, Oswald Spengler y la Europa fáustica (Fides Ediciones, 2016).

Manuel F. Lorenzo

Profesor Titular de Filosofía, Universidad de Oviedo (España).

En el libro que reseñamos, el autor, después de una breve presentación del, filósofo alemán Ostwald Spengler, nos pide, ya en la Introducción, una lectura urgente y necesaria hoy de la obra spengleriana, al que considera el pensador más importante del pasado siglo XX. Afirmación polémica, esta última, que contrasta con el olvido académico de su figura a lo largo de la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Pues, durante ese tiempo se habría preferido la Filosofía materialista de la Historia del marxismo a la Filosofía de la Historia de Spengler, de carácter vitalista nietzscheano. No obstante, justo a finales del pasado siglo, con la caída del Muro de Berlín y la guerra civil que llevó a la destrucción de la antigua Yugoslavia, irrumpe con fuerza de nuevo la influencia spengleriana en los ambientes académicos de la Historia política, con el famoso artículo de Samuel Huntington, ¿Choque de civilizaciones?(1996), convertido posteriormente en libro, en el cual el autor resucita el concepto histórico de Civilización como Gran Cultura, utilizado por Spengler y otros historiadores, para interpretar dicha guerra como una guerra, no tanto de conflicto ideológico tipo capitalismo/comunismo, sino como una guerra de Choque de las Civilizaciones culturales, Cristiana Occidental, Ortodoxa Rusa e Islámica. Los atentados neoyorkinos del 11 de Septiembre, de efecto mundial, reforzarían esta interpretación del Choque de Civilizaciones.

Tiene sin embargo razón el autor cuando mantiene la persistencia del olvido de la obra de Spengler en los ambientes académico-filosóficos. De ahí creemos que viene la  presentación que Carlos X. Blanco hace del alemán como el Gran filósofo ignorado del siglo XX (p.17). Otros nombres, sin embargo, parecen hoy más merecedores de tal galardón, como Husserl, Heidegger o Wittgenstein, según preferencia de escuelas. Aunque sabemos de la relatividad de tales juicios, que precisan del paso quizás de siglos para fijar esa consistencia valorativa, nos basta con considerarlo el mejor filósofo de la Historia del siglo XX. Pues, ni Schopenhauer ni Nietzsche, padres del Vitalismo filosófico, desarrollaron sistemáticamente una Filosofia de la Historia vitalista que se pudiese contraponer a la propia de las filosofías progresistas, del positivismo y del marxismo (La teoría de los Tres Estadios de Augusto Comte o el Materialismo Histórico de Marx). Lo hizo, sin embargo, Spengler en su famoso libro La decadencia de Occidente (1918). Hoy es necesaria de nuevo su lectura como antídoto contra el dominante Multiculturalismo y relativismo cultural. Pues Spengler, aunque parte del pluralismo histórico de las grandes culturas o civilizaciones, no cree en “la porosidad y mezcla de rasgos culturales que se ve positiva en sí misma de una manera acrítica y ajena a toda evidencia empírica. El filósofo de Blanckenburg nos enseñó que, en realidad, cada cultura es un organismo único, intraducible, irrepetible” (p. 27). Tampoco cree Spengler en la Humanidad como algo realmente existente, sino como una mera Idea abstracta. En la realidad Histórica la Humanidad se dice de muchas maneras, y estas son las Civilizaciones actuales y las ya desaparecidas. No hay una Civilización como suma de Civilizaciones (La Humanidad) ni tampoco una multiplicidad equívoca de ellas (Globalización y Multiculturalismo), sino una pluralidad análoga, susceptible de desarrollar una Historia Comparada de dichas Civilizaciones, la cual permite obtener, en base a dichas analogías, unos rasgos que se repiten y permiten extraer ciertas leyes comunes de desarrollo en cuyo marco se perciben diferentes fisonomías.

De ahí su visión fisiognómica de las Civilizaciones orientada a captar intuitivamente su proceso vital, su impulso vital creador, como diría Bergson, lo que acerca la investigación histórica, según Spengler, más a la labor de un hermeneuta, que interpreta la acción creadora de un poeta, que a la de un físico que se limita a coordinar meros hechos (p. 54). Dicho Análisis Morfológico de las Civilizaciones permite, paradójicamente, que la ciencia histórica pueda hacer predicciones, como hacen las ciencias físicas, que nos permita “savoir pour prevoir, prevoir pou pouvoir”, como preconizaba el fisicalismo científico de Augusto Comte. Pues de dichos análisis Spengler diagnostica la Decadencia de Europa, no al modo de un “fatum mahometanum”, como diría Leibniz, sino más en la línea de un “fatum cristianum”, que permitiría combatir dicha decadencia para retrasarla o preparar una reestructuración anamórfica, generando una civilización superior, como ocurrió en el propio surgimiento de la Civilización Europea al final del mundo antiguo. Como escribe Carlos X. Blanco, “Spengler afirma que una filosofía a la altura de nuestro tiempo es una filosofía que pueda poner ante la mirada una morfología de la historia. Los grandes de la filosofía moderna habían ignorado o despreciado  esta ciencia: Kant, Schopenhauer. Es preciso dejar de ser moderno. La Física-matemática no es la categoría central en torno a cuyo punto de gravedad orbite la totalidad de la filosofía. Hay que hacerse cargo de la nueva ciencia de la historia, de su específica morfología. Y en esa ciencia se necesita acostumbrar la mente al método comparativo, entendiendo por comparación la búsqueda de correspondencias, homologías. Los periodos pueden corresponderse analógicamente: nuestro periodo (iniciado hace un siglo, cuando Spengler publicó LDO) se corresponde perfectamente con la Antigüedad decadente” (p. 128).

Es este diagnóstico spengleriano de la Decadencia de Occidente que nos corresponde el que mejor actualiza el autor interpretando, de un modo congenial con el gran filósofo alemán, los nuevos fenómenos a los que estamos asistiendo en Occidente del Abandono de las raíces (pg. 113 ss.), del creciente parasitismo de Estado (p. 151 ss.), la Civilización pornográfica (p. 122 ss.), el Hombre Masa (p.132 ss.), el capitalismo globalizador, deslocalizador y esclavizador (p. 163 ss.), etc. Son interesantes, asimismo, los análisis que hace Carlos X. Blanco sobre la Reconquista española, que tiene su foco originario principal en Asturias con la mítica sublevación fronteriza de Pelayo frente al Islám en Covadonga, y que el autor sitúa en el empuje fundacional de la propia Civilización Occidental, cuyo núcleo metropolitano de mayor influencia inmediata surge en la Aquisgrán de Carlomagno. La importancia, en principio menor, de la sublevación de Covadonga, no se debe, sin embargo, determinar kantianamente a priori, como se podría hacer con el foco del Sacro Imperio, el cual, aunque comienza bien a priori,  no mantuvo su unidad tras la muerte de Carlomagno. La importancia de Covadonga debe determinarse a posteriori, por sus consecuencias, que se podrán de manifiesto, como diría Eugenio Trías, por la lógica de la frontera o limes con el Islám, que los reinos ibéricos vivieron más intensamente que el resto de los europeos. Pues la España de la Reconquista, que derrota al Islám, emergerá en el Renacimiento como la gran Superpotencia europea, cuya política Contrareformista acabará provocando la división y crisis del propio Sacro Imperio.

Para finalizar esta reseña, me gustaría matizar la propia contextualización de la Decadencia que el autor hace al considerar que estamos entrando en una fase similar a lo que fue el llamado Bajo Imperio, que el propio Spengler sitúa en el siglo IV después de Cristo, con el ascenso del cristianismo apoyado por el emperador Constantino. Habría que hacer antes la matización de que Spengler profetizó la Decadencia de una Europa que sería dominada por Rusia, una nueva Roma. En esto Spengler se equivocó, como reconoce el autor, pues fueron los Norteamericanos los que acabaron asumiendo el papel de una nueva Roma en relación con Europa, tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial  y con el resto del mundo tras la desintegración de la URSS. Pero, con ello Occidente no decayó sino todo lo contrario, nunca fue más extensa su influencia y prestigio civilizatorio. Otra cosa es que estemos asistiendo hoy, tras la victoria de Trump a una fuerte crisis y división de la sociedad norteamericana a consecuencia de fenómenos característicos de la decadencia cultural, como el triunfo aplastante de la cultura de masas, los fenómenos de corrupción económica crecientes, la penetración del relativismo multiculturalista a través de las grandes ciudades, como Nueva York o San Francisco, enfrentadas a la llamada “América profunda”, etc. Pero esto podría verse como algo similar a la crisis del siglo I antes de Cristo que marcó el paso de la Republica al Imperio, el cual mantendría la política civilizadora de Roma por todo el Mediterráneo durante varios siglos más. En tal sentido, podríamos decir que, lejos de haber entrado ya en una decadencia semejante a la romana, estaríamos hoy en una crisis de la propia Democracia Americana, como la llamaba Tocqueville, que deberá adoptar otra forma política más adecuada si quiere seguir el lema de su actual presidente, Donald Trump, America first. El cual no debe ser visto como una renuncia a su influencia mundial, sino todo lo contrario, pues la propia Globalización Multiculturalista todavía dominante, podría conducir a la hegemonía mundial de China en detrimento de USA y, con ello, de Occidente. Seguramente se acabará girando en USA hacia una democracia más autoritaria y menos fundamentalista.  Pues otro de los errores de Spengler fue su creencia de que el Socialismo superaría económica y políticamente al Capitalismo. Despues de la caída del Muro de Berlín sabemos que esto no es posible. Al esclavismo romano sucedió el feudalismo, un régimen relativamente mejor, pero que nadie previó. Sencillamente resulto de los fenómenos de anamórfosis que dieron lugar al surgimiento de la Europa medieval. Por todo ello, lo único que se puede desear, a corto y medio plazo, es la evolución  de las sociedades occidentales a formas que frenen esta degeneración prematura que amenaza a Occidente como Gran Cultura,  y que se puedan hacer las reformas precisas, incluyendo la mayor influencia de esta filosofía vitalista de la Historia spengleriana, para que se mantengan vivas las  posibilidades de continuar la influencia civilizadora occidental durante un periodo tan largo como fue el que tuvo la antigua Roma, que permita el surgimiento de una futura civilización en la que surgirán, sin duda, nuevas creencias y valores más firmes, profundos y mejores que los actuales.

lundi, 04 septembre 2017

The Geopolitics of Jason Jorjani


The Geopolitics of Jason Jorjani

Jason Reza Jorjani
World State of Emergency [2]
London: Arktos Media, 2017

Dr. Yen Lo: ”You must try, Comrade Zilkov, to cultivate a sense of humor. There’s nothing like a good laugh now and then to lighten the burdens of the day. [To Raymond] Tell me, Raymond, do you remember murdering Mavole and Lembeck?”[1] [3]

If Dr. Jason Jorjani were an inanimate object, he would be an exploding cigar; or perhaps one of those cartoon guns with a barrel that twists around [4] and delivers a blast to the man behind the trigger.[2] [5] Jorjani, however, is neither a gun nor a cigar, but an author, and with his new book he delivers another kind of unexpected explosion of conventional — albeit alt-Right — expectations. Anyone possessed with the least amount of intellectual curiosity — and courage — needs to read this book; although you should keep well away from windows and beloved china, as you will likely want to hurl it away from time to time.

After the twin hammer blows of first, publishing Prometheus and Atlas (London: Arktos, 2016), and then almost immediately taking on the job of Editor-in-Chief at Arktos itself, Jorjani has symmetrically one-upped himself by almost simultaneously resigning from Arktos and unleashing a second book, World State of Emergency, the title of which represents, he tells us almost right at the start, his “concept for a state of emergency of global scope that also demands the establishment of a world state.”[3] [6]

It’s no surprise that there hasn’t been much change here, but a glance at his resignation statement — helpfully posted at his blog[4] [7] — shows that he has set his sights on new targets, and changed his focus from how we got here to where we — might? must? — be going.

In my view, the seismic political shift that we are shepherding, and the Iranian cultural revolution that underlies it, represents the best chance for the most constructive first step toward the Indo-European World Order that I conceptualize in my new book, World State of Emergency.

Another change is that unlike his previous book, where the length and variety made it a bit difficult to keep the thread of the argument before one’s mind, this work is relatively straightforward. In fact, he provides an admirably clear synopsis right at the start, and by Ahura Mazda he sticks to it.

Over the course of the next several decades, within the lifespan of a single generation, certain convergent advancements in technology will reveal something profound about human existence. Biotechnology, robotics, virtual reality, and the need to mine our Moon for energy past peak oil production, will converge in mutually reinforcing ways that shatter the fundamental framework of our societies.

It is not a question of incremental change. The technological apocalypse that we are entering is a Singularity that will bring about a qualitative transformation in our way of being. Modern socio-political systems such as universal human rights and liberal democracy are woefully inadequate for dealing with the challenges posed by these developments. The technological apocalypse represents a world state of emergency, which is my concept for a state of emergency of global scope that also demands the establishment of a world state.

An analysis of the internal incoherence of both universal human rights and liberal democracy, especially in light of the societal and geopolitical implications of these technologies, reveals that they are not proper political concepts for grounding this world state. Rather, the planetary emergency calls for worldwide socio-political unification on the basis of a deeply rooted tradition with maximal evolutionary potential. This living heritage that is to form the ethos or constitutional order of the world state is the Aryan or Indo-European tradition shared by the majority of Earth’s great nations — from Europe and the Americas, to Eurasia, Greater Iran, Hindu India, and the Buddhist East.

In reviewing Jorjani’s previous book [8], Prometheus and Atlas, I said that it could serve as a one-volume survey of the entire history of Western thought, thus obviating the need to waste time and money in one of the collegiate brainwashing institutes; I also said that “the sheer accumulation of detail on subjects like parapsychology left me with the feeling of having been hit about the head with a CD set of the archives of Coast to Coast AM.”

The new book changes its focus to technology and its geopolitical implications, but a bit of the same problem remains, on a smaller scale and, as I said, the overall structure of the argument is clear. In the first chapter, Jorjani lands us in media res: the Third World War. Unlike the last two, most people don’t even realize it’s happening, because this is a true world war, a “clash of civilizations” as Samuel Huntington has famously dubbed it.

The dominance of Western values after the Second World War was a function of the West’s overwhelming military and industrial power; the ease which that power gave to the West’s imposition of its values misled it into thinking those values were, after all, simply “universal.” With the decline of that power, challenges have emerged, principally from the Chinese and Muslim sectors.

Jorjani easily shows that the basis of the Western system — the UN and its supposed Charter of Universal Human Rights — is unable to face these challenges; it is not only inconsistent but ultimately a suicide pact: a supposed unlimited right to freedom of religion allows any other right (freedom from slavery, say, or from male oppression) to be checkmated.

Chapter Two looks at the neocon/neoliberals’ prescription for an improved world order, the universalizing of “liberal democracy.” Here again, Jorjani easily reveals this to be another self-defeating notion: liberalism and democracy are separate concepts, which history shows can readily be set to war with each other, and Moslem demographics alone predicts that universal democracy would bring about the end of liberalism (as it has wherever the neocon wars have brought “democracy”).[5] [9]

For a more accurate and useful analysis, Jorjani then pivots from these neo nostrums to the truly conservative wisdom of the alt-Right’s political guru, Carl Schmitt.

Schmitt’s concept of the state is rooted in Heraclitus: the state emerges (note the word!) not from the armchair speculations of political philosophers on supposed abstract “rights,” but from

Decisive action required by a concrete existential situation, namely the existence of a real enemy that poses a genuine threat to one’s way of life.

Thus, there cannot be a “universal” state: the state must be grounded in the ethos or way of life of a particular people, from which it emerges; and it does so in the state of emergency, when the people confronts an existential Enemy. Unless . . .

Humanity as a whole were threatened by a non-human, presumably extraterrestrial, enemy so alien that in respect to it “we” recognized that we do share a common way of life that we must collectively defense against “them.”[6] [10]


There it is — bang! Just as Jorjani found a passage in Heidegger’s seminar transcripts that he could connect to the world of the paranormal,[7] [11] he grabs hold of this almost off-hand qualification and runs for daylight with it.

We have in interplanetary conflict a threat to Earth as a whole, which according to the logic of Schmitt’s own argument ought to justify a world sovereign. This is even more true if we substitute his technological catalyst[8] [12] with the specter of convergent advancements in technology tending towards a technological singularity, innovations that do not represent merely incremental or quantitative change but qualitatively call into question the human form of life as we know it. This singularity would then have to be conceived of, in political terms, as a world state of emergency, in two senses: a state of emergency of global scope, and a world state whose constitutional order emerges from out of the sovereign decisions made therein.

After this typically Jorjanian move, we are back to the land of Prometheus and Atlas, where each chapter is a mini-seminar; Chapters Three, Four and Five are devoted to documenting this “technological singularity” that “calls into question the human form of life as we know it.”

Take biotechnology:

What is likely to emerge in an environment where neo-eugenic biotechnology is legalized but not subsidized or mandates is the transformation of accidental economic class distinctions, which is possible for enterprising individuals to transcend, into a case system based on real genetic inequality.[9] [13]

Next up, robotics, artificial intelligence, drones, and most sinister of all, virtual reality:

In some ways, the potential threat to the human form of life from Virtual Reality is both more amorphous and more profound than that posed by any other emergent technology. It could become the most addictive drug in history. The enveloping of the “real world” into the spider-web of Cyberspace could also utterly destroy privacy and personal identity, and promote a social degenerative sense of derealization.

None of this matters, however, if we cannot maintain the “development of industrial civilization” after “the imminent decline in petroleum past the global peak in oil production.” This can only be addressed by the third technological development, “a return to the Moon for the sake of Helium-3 fueled fusion power.” This will “challenge us to rethink fundamental concepts such as nationalism and international law.” Who, on the Moon, is to be sovereign?

Having softened up the reader with this barrage of terrifying facts, Jorjani is ready to spring his next trap. The task of regulating biotechnology and guiding us to the moon requires a world state; Schmitt has shown us that a state can emerge only from the ethos of a particular people.


We have also seen that a bureaucratic world state will not suffice. Certain developments in robotics mean the end of personal privacy [and] as we live ever more of our lives in cyberspace, identity theft is coming to have a much more literal meaning. All in all, the convergent technological advancements that we have looked at require a maximal trust society simply for the sake of human survival. We need a world society with total interpersonal transparency, bound together by entirely sincere good will.

And yet, even if we could create such a society, perhaps by biotechnology itself, we don’t have the time: we have at most a generation to act. Is there “an already existing ethos, a living tradition that is inter-civilizational[10] [14] and global in scope,” as well as promoting high levels of mutual trust?

That would be, of course, “the common Aryan heritage of the Indo-European civilizations.”

It’s as if Jorjani took Carl Schmitt and Kevin MacDonald[11] [15] and through some kind of genetic engineering produced a hybrid offspring: the World State.

Reeling but still upright, the Alt-Right reader at least still has this to hang onto: “good old Aryan culture!” Lulled into complacency, he doesn’t even see the next punch coming:

Iran or Iran-Shahr — literally the “Aryan Imperium” — is the quintessentially Indo-European Civilization.

Iran is not just one great civilization among a handful of others, it is that crossroads of the world that affords all of humanity the possibility for a dialogue toward the end of a new world order.

A renaissance of Greater Iran . . . will be the spearhead of the war for an Indo-European World Order.

Once the Iranian or Aryan Renaissance triumphs domestically, the Persians and Kurds in the vanguard of the battle against the nascent global Caliphate — with its fifth-column in the ghettos of the major European cities — will reconstitute Greater Iran as a citadel of Indo-European ideals at the heart of what is now the so-called “Islamic world” . . . this is going to happen.


At this point, the alt-Right reader throws up his hands and shouts “No mas! I didn’t sign up for this crusade!”

Now might be the point to bring up the general question: in what sense — if any – is Jorjani an Alt-Right writer? There is that resignation business, and what’s with all this Iranian Renaissance stuff?[12] [16]

Well, you say “Aryan,” he says “Iran.” The point is that the Aryan Imperium is explicitly White, and fulfills Greg Johnson’s principle of setting up a white hegemony where all public issues are discussed in term of “what’s good for the White race,” rather than other hot button issues like school choice, abortion, etc. Under Jorjani’s postulated “world emergency” the new Aryan overlords would be viewed as both necessary and, therefore, literally unquestionable.[13] [17]

In a way, the Aryan Imperium is even too white, hence the alt-Rightist’s discomfort. Jorjani delights in taking “conservative” ideas and taking them to their logical endpoint. Enumerating the accomplishments of the Indo-Iranians, he lists “major . . . religious traditions such as . . . Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.” As in his previous book, Jorjani goes beyond the fashionable anti-Jihadism of the Right and locates the root of the problem in the Semitic tradition as such.

This is probably not what most alt-Rightists signed on for. But then, it is they who are among “those self-styled ‘identitarians’ who want to hold on to Traditional Christianity and hole up in one of many segregated ethno-states.” Not to worry; they will “perish together with the other untermenschen” in the coming world state of emergency, which will be the “concrete historical context for the fulfillment” of Zarathustra’s prophecy of a “new species,” the Superman.

So, I guess we have that to look forward to, at least.[14] [18]

As you can see, the anti-Christian animus can claim a pedigree back to that alt-right darling, Nietzsche, although it may not be something one is supposed to mention in public. That brings us to another sense in which Jorjani is an alt-Right thinker: he draws on, and orients himself by, the alt-Right canon: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Schmitt, de Benoist, Faye, Dugin, etc.

But again, as always . . .

“I’ve tried to clear my way with logic and superior intellect. And you’ve thrown my own words right back in my face, Brandon. You were right, too. If nothing else, a man should stand by his words. But you’ve given my words a meaning that I never dreamed of! And you’ve tried to twist them into a cold, logical excuse for your [Aryan Imperium].”[15] [19]

Calm down, people! Always with a little humor, comrades, to lighten the day’s geopolitical work.

While there is a cottage industry of goodthinkers trying to find evidence — well, more evidence — of how Heidegger’s allegiance to National Socialism “twisted” his thought, Jorjani found connections with parapsychology and even the occult; it’s a toss-up which association Heidegger epigones found more infuriating.

Now, Jorjani uptilts Heidegger’s colleague and fellow party-member Carl Schmitt; did Schmitt argue that the world-state of liberal globalist dreams was logically and existentially impossible? Sure, except this place here where he grants that one would be possible and necessary — if aliens invaded.[16] [20]

As for your White Imperium, sure, we’ll have that . . . run out of Tehran![17] [21]

The alt-Right is full of titanic thinkers of the past — Heidegger, Spengler, Yockey, Benoist — and their modern epigones (fully their equals, at least in their own minds), but Jorjani is the thinker we need now: more than just a lover of wisdom, he’s a wise guy.[18] [22]

That’s how Wolfi Landstreicher describes Max Stirner, and we might compare our situation to the Left Hegelians and Die Freien who populated the Berlin beerhalls and Weinstube — the blogs of the day — in the wake of Hegel. Among them were such “serious” thinkers as Karl Marx — and we know how that turned out — and Bruno Bauer, who invented the Christ Myth theory.

But there was also an individual — a Unique One — born Caspar Schmidt, calling himself — his online handle, if you will — “Max Stirner.”

As I wrote in my review [23] of Landstreicher’s new translation of The Unique One and Its Property, Stirner was driving people nuts right from the start.


Marx famously claimed to have found Hegel standing on his head, and to have set him right-side up; in other words, he re-inverted Hegel’s already inverted idealist dialectic and made material reality the basis of ideas.

Stirner, by contrast, picked Hegel up and held him over his head, spun him around, and then pile-drove him into the mat; a philosophical Hulk Hogan.

Stirner’s magnum opus is a kind of parody of Hegelianism, in which he spends most of his time using the famous dialectic to torment Hegel’s epigones, first Feuerbach and then, at much greater length, the Whole Sick Crew of (mid-19th century Euro-)socialism.

Have you philosophers really no clue that you have been beaten with your own weapons? Only one clue. What can your common-sense reply when I dissolve dialectically what you have merely posited dialectically? You have showed me with what kind of ‘volubility’ one can turn everything to nothing and nothing to everything, black into white and white into black. What do you have against me, when I return to you your pure art?[19] [24]

Of course, unless you’re Howard Roark claiming “no tradition stands behind me,” everyone has their sources; the more creative among us are the ones who transform them, and no one’s alchemical sleight of hand is as dramatic as Jorjani’s.[20] [25] As the great Neoplatonist John Deck wrote:

Clearly, there can be no a priori demonstration that any philosophic writer is more than a syncretist: but if it is good to keep our eyes open to spot “sources,” it is even better to bear in mind that a philosopher is one who sees things, and to be ready to appreciate it when sources are handled uniquely and, in fact, transmuted.[21] [26]

As always, the Devil — or Ahriman — is in the details.[22] [27]

In reviewing his previous book, I took Jorjani to task for assuming that a particular view of Islam, the fundamentalist, was ipso facto the “true” or “original” version of the religion.

Why privilege the fundamentalist, or literalist, view? It is as if Jorjani thinks that because religion determines culture (true) it does so in a way that would allow you to read off a culture simply from a study its sacred books, especially the ethical parts.[23] [28]

But the latter is neither the same as nor a valid inference from the former. A religion does not “imply” a culture, like a logical inference. Both the Borgia’s Florence and Calvin’s Geneva are recognizably “Christian” and totally unlike any Islamic society, but also almost totally unlike each other.

By this method, one could readily predict the non-existence of lesbian rabbis, which, in fact, seem to be everywhere.

The temptation, of course, is to dismiss those outliers are “not really Islam,” in preference to one’s own, whether one is a Wahabi oneself or an observer like Jorjani insisting Wahbism is “real” Islam; but to call the moderate Islam that made Beirut “the Islamic Riviera” heretical ironically puts Jorjani and other anti-jihadis in the same boat as an Obama, who hectors terrorists about “betraying Islam” and lectures us that “Islam is a religion of peace.”[24] [29]

And yet Jorjani himself upbraids Huntington for advising Westerners to “take pride in the uniqueness of western culture, reaffirming, preserving and protecting our values from internal decay,” which he derides as “the kind of conservatism that imagines “western values” to be static.”

In the book under review here, Jorjani doubles down: Islam is still based on a book actually written by this chap Mohammed, and a reading thereof shows it to be “impervious to reform or progressive evolution.”


But to this he now adds a similar concept of Zoroastrianism, but of course given a positive spin:

A handful of ideas or ideals integral to the structure of Iranian Civilization could serve as constitutional principles for an Indo-European world order: the reverence for Wisdom; industrious innovation; ecological cultivation, desirable dominion; chivalry and tolerance.

Jorjani writes in his two, last, geopolitical chapters as if there were a discernable set of “principles” written down or carved in stone as defining Zoroastrianism, and that these principles were adhered to, unquestionably, down through Persian history, accounting for its salient features. In reality, like all religions, Zoroastrianism was in favor and out of favor, adhered to strictly and given mere lip service, and always subject to reinterpretation and syncretism with outside sources.

After flourishing early on among the Achaemenid Persians (600s to 300s BC), Zoroastrianism was suppressed under the Parthian regime (200s BC to 200s AD), only to reemerge under the Sassanid dynasty for a few final centuries before the Arab conquest imposed Islam.

Zaehner distinguished three distinct periods in the history of pre-Islamic Zoroastrianism: “primitive Zoroastrianism,” that is, the prophet’s own message and his reformed, monotheistic creed; “Catholic Zoroastrianism,” appearing already in the Yasna Haptaŋhaiti and more clearly in the Younger Avesta, which saw other divinities readmitted in the cult, a religious trend attested in the Achaemenid period, probably already under Darius I and Xerxes I, certainly from Artaxerxes I onwards as shown by the calendar reform that he dates to about 441 BCE and finally the dualist orthodoxy of Sasanian times.[25] [30]

At times Jorjani recognizes this interplay of text, interpretation, and historical necessity, at least with Christianity:

The so-called “Germanization of Christianity” would be more accurately described as an Alanization of Christianity, since Alans formed the clerical elite of Europe as this took shape.[26] [31]

Or here:

One particularly colorful practice which reveals the love of Truth in Achaemenid society is that, according to Herodotus, the Persians would never enter into debates and discussions of serious matters unless they were drunk on wine. The decisions arrived at would later be reviewed in sobriety before being executed. . . . It seems that they believed the wine would embolden them to drop all false pretenses and get to the heart of the matter.

Indeed, and rather like the Japanese salarymen as well.[27] [32] But it comports poorly with Zoroaster’s insistence on sobriety and temperance; indeed, according to Zaehner, the whole point of Zoroaster’s reforms was the recognition that the drunken, orgiastic rites of the primitive Aryans (involving the entheogen haoma, the Hindu soma) were inappropriate for peasants in a harsh mountainous terrain.[28] [33]

I have spent this time — shall we say, deconstructing — Jorjani’s account of Zoroastrian culture because it is the envelope in which he presents us with his Indo-European principles, and is therefore important; but this must not be taken to mean I object to the principles themselves. They are fine ones, but if we choose to make them the principles for our Indo-European Imperium, it will be because we do so choose them our own, not because they instantiate some hypothetical, synchronic version of Zoroastrianism which we have already persuaded ourselves must govern our choices.[29] [34]

Such great, world-creating choices require the guidance of great minds, and not just those of the past. The Great Thinkers of the past are not only Titans but dinosaurs; and racing around them is a wily newcomer, Jason Jorjani — a prophet, like Nietzsche or Lawrence, who imagines new forms of life rather than reiterating the old ones[30] [35] — to whom the archeo-future belongs.


[1] [36] The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer, 1962)

[2] [37] Surprisingly, this myth is confirmed: MythBusters Episode 214: Bullet Baloney [38] (February 22, 2014).

[3] [39] Big scope and small scope, as we used to make the distinction back in the analytic philosophy seminars. Down the hall in the English Department corridor, Joyce Carol Oates was typing away at her novel of madness in Grosse Pointe, Expensive People: “I was a child murderer. I don’t mean child-murderer, though that’s an idea. I mean child murderer, that is, a murderer who happens to be a child, or a child who happens to be a murderer. You can take your choice. When Aristotle notes that man is a rational animal one strains forward, cupping his ear, to hear which of those words is emphasized — rational animal, rational animal? Which am I? Child murderer, child murderer? . . . You would be surprised, normal as you are, to learn how many years, how many months, and how many awful minutes it has taken me just to type that first line, which you read in less than a second: I was a child murderer.” (Vanguard Press, 1968; Modern Library, 2006).

[4] [40] “My Resignation from the alt-Right,” August 15th, 2017, here [41].

[5] [42] It’s happening here as well; a commenter at Unz.com observes that [43] “That’s the thing about representative democracy with universal, birthright citizenship suffrage. You don’t need to invade to change it, just come over illegally and have children. They’ll vote their homeland and culture here.”

[6] [44] Jorjnan’s paraphrase of Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political, p. 54: “Humanity as such cannot wage war because it has no enemy, at least on this planet.

[7] [45] In Prometheus and Atlas, Jorjani discusses an imaginal exercise conducted by Heidegger himself in his Zollikon Seminars, in which participants are asked to “make present” the Zurich central train station. Heidegger insists that “such ‘making present’ directs them towards the train station itself, not towards a picture or representation of it,” his conclusion being that ‘We are, in a real sense, at the train station.” (Quoting from Zollikon Seminars: Protocols, Conversations, Letters [Northwestern, 2001], p. 70). See my review [8] for a discussion of the implications of the Japanese saying, “A man is whatever room he is in.”

[8] [46] In a late work, Theory of the Partisan, Schmitt already begins to suggest that the development of what we would now call “weapons of mass destruction” may already constitute such a planetary threat.

[9] [47] Perhaps only evaded by “a small but highly motivated and potentially wealthy anarchical elite of Transhumanists who want to push the boundaries ad infinitum.”

[10] [48] I think Jorjani reverses “civilization” and “culture” (i.e., ethos) as defined by “Quintillian” here [49] recently: “The left cunningly advances its false narrative by deliberately contributing to the confusion between two terms: culture and civilization. Simply put, a civilization is an overarching (continental) commonality of shared genetics, religious beliefs, and political, artistic, and linguistic characteristics. A civilization is generally racially identifiable: African civilization, Asian civilization, and white European civilization. A civilization can have any number of constituent cultures. The culture of the Danes and that of the Poles are very different in superficial details, but they are both immediately identifiable as belonging to the same Western civilization. Africans are similarly divided among a variety of culture and ethnicities.” But “As I [Jorjani] understand it, a civilization is a super-culture that demonstrates both an internal differentiation and an organic unity of multiple cultures around an ethno-linguistic core.” Both would agree, however, that “the Indo-Europeans originated nearly all of the exact sciences and the technological innovations based on them, the rich artistic and literary traditions of Europe, Persia and India, as well as major philosophical schools of thought and religious traditions.” (Jorjani)

[11] [50] See, for example, the discussion of trust in White societies in Greg Johnson’s interview with Kevin MacDonald, here [51].

[12] [52] Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

[13] [53] A typically subtle point: by requiring a high-trust population, Jorjani implicitly excludes Jews and other Semites. A low-trust people themselves, the Jewish plan for World Order is to encourage strife within and between societies, until the sort of managerial or administrative state Jorjani rejects is installed to maintain order, under the wise leadership of the secular rabbis.

[14] [54] “So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” Bill Murray, Caddyshack (Landis, 1980).

[15] [55] Rupert Cadell, upbraiding the crap-Nietzscheanism of his former pupils in Rope (Hitchcock, 1948). Cadell, of course, actually refers to “your ugly murder” which, the viewer knows, sets off the action of the film.

[16] [56] A not uncommon trope in science fiction, from The Day the Earth Stood Still to Childhood’s End to Independence Day; as well as a particularly desperate kind of Keynesian economic punditry: in a 2011 CNN interview video Paul Krugman proposed Space Aliens as the solution to the economic slump (see the whole clip here [57] for the full flavor).

[17] [58] I am reminded of the moment when Ahab reveals his hidden weapon against the Great White Whale: “Fedallah is the harpooner on Ahab’s boat. He is of Indian Zoroastrian (“Parsi”) descent. He is described as having lived in China. At the time when the Pequod sets sail, Fedallah is hidden on board, and he later emerges with Ahab’s boat’s crew. Fedallah is referred to in the text as Ahab’s “Dark Shadow.” Ishmael calls him a “fire worshipper,” and the crew speculates that he is a devil in man’s disguise. He is the source of a variety of prophecies regarding Ahab and his hunt for Moby Dick.” (Wikipedia [59]) For more on Moby Dick and devils, see my review of Prometheus and Atlas.

[18] [60] “You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, “You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.” You understand? We were goodfellas. Wiseguys.” Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990). Who but Jorjani would define “arya” as “‘crafty,’ and only derivatively ‘noble’ for this reason.” But then is that not precisely the Aryan culture-hero Odysseus?

[19] [61] Max Stirner,The Philosophical Reactionaries: The Modern Sophists by Kuno Fischer,reprinted in Newman, Saul (ed.), Max Stirner (Critical Explorations in Contemporary Political Thought), (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 99.

[20] [62] Given Jorjani’s love of Heraclitus, one thinks of Water Pater’s description, in Marius the Epicurean, of the Roman philosopher Aristippus of Cyrene, in whom Heraclitus’ “abstract doctrine, originally somewhat acrid, had fallen upon a rich and genial nature well fitted to transform it into a theory of practice of considerable simulative power toward a fair Life.”

[21] [63] John N. Deck, Nature, Contemplation, and the One: A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus (University of Toronto Press, 1969; Toronto Heritage series, 2017 [Kindle iOS version].

[22] [64] Including such WTF moments as Jorjani off-handedly defines “Continental Philosophy” as “largely a French reception of Heidegger.”

[23] [65] Ethical treatises, such as Leviticus, as best seen as reactions to the perceived contamination of foreign elements, rather than practical guides to conduct; Zaehner dismisses the Zoroastrian Vendidad as a list of “impossible punishments for ludicrous crimes. . . . If it had ever been put into practice, [it] would have tried the patience of even the most credulous.” R. C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, London, 1961, pp. 27, 171.

[24] [66] As one critic riposted, “Who made Obama the Pope of Islam?” Indeed, the Roman Catholic model may be the (mis-)leading model here; Islam, like Judaism, lacks any authoritative “magisterium” (from the Greek meaning “to choose”) to issue dogma and hunt down heretics. Individual imams have only their own personal charisma and scholarly chops to assert themselves, just as individual synagogues hire and fire their own rabbis, like plumbers. On Jorjani’s model, lesbian rabbis should be as scarce as unicorns, rather than being a fashionable adornment of progressive congregations.

[25] [67] Encyclopedia Iranica Online, here [68]. Quoting Zaehner, op. cit., pp. 97–153.

[26] [69] Compare, on your alt-Right bookshelf, James C. Russell: The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

[27] [70] What, by the way, happened to Japan, which in Jorjani’s first book was specially favored by its non-Abrahamic traditions and catastrophic encounter with atomic energy to lead the way into the new future?

[28] [71] Zaehner, op. cit., p. 81. In fact, Herodotus never mentions Zoroaster at all, suggesting how obscure and un-influential the cult was at that time. Rather than the modern idea of “in vino veritas,” the “wine” here, as in the symposiums of Greece, may have been “mixed wine” containing entheogenic substances. “Visionary plants are found at the heart of all Hellenistic-era religions, including Jewish and Christian, as well as in all ‘mixed wine’, and are phenomenologically described in the Bible and related writings and art.” (Michael Hoffman, “The Entheogen Theory of Religion and Ego Death,” in Salvia Divinorum, 2006.)

[29] [72] Whether it’s Cyrus or Constantine, periods of Imperium are ipso facto periods of syncretism not orthodoxy. Surely this is more in accord with the author’s notion, here and elsewhere, of truth emerging from a Heraclitean struggle?

[30] [73] “[Henry] James evidently felt confident that he could make his last fictions not as a moralist but as a prophet; or a moralist in the sense in which Nietzsche and Lawrence were prophets: imagining new forms of life rather than reinforcing old ones.” Denis Donoghue, “Introduction” to The Golden Bowl (Everyman’s Library, 1992).

dimanche, 27 août 2017

Die Entzauberung der Welt


Die Entzauberung der Welt

Stefan Martin

Ex: http://aka-blaetter.de

Immer deutlicher treten die Fehlentwicklungen der Moderne zu Tage. Werner Kunze beschäftigt sich mit der Frage, ob die Moderne noch zukunftstauglich ist. Herausgekommen ist eine brillante Analyse des herrschenden Zeitgeistes.

Das Unbehagen an der Moderne wächst. Es mehren sich die Stimmen derer, die eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme fordern. „Die herrschende Kultur des Westens ist ganz ersichtlich an immanente Grenzen gestoßen, sie ist erschöpft, wie nach einer durchtanzten Nacht, ihr Make-up rissig“ konstatiert der Bundesverfassungsrichter Udo Di Fabio in seinem 2005 erschienen Buch „Die Kultur der Freiheit“.

Die Epoche der Moderne beginnt mit der Französischen Revolution und ihrer populären Forderung nach Freiheit, Gleichheit und Brüderlichkeit. Der Königsberger Philosoph Immanuel Kant gibt den Leitspruch der Aufklärung „Sapere aude. Habe Mut, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen“ aus. Fortan soll der Mensch ein selbstbestimmtes, von allen gesellschaftlichen und religiösen Zwängen befreites Leben führen. Ratio und Vernunft stehen im Zentrum der Bewegung. Die Aufklärer glauben zutiefst an die Veränderbarkeit der politisch-sozialen Verhältnisse. Nicht wenige, wie der Franzose Auguste Comte (1798–1867) sehen in dem aufkeimenden Zeitalter der Moderne das finale, unübertreffliche Stadium der Geschichte.

Und heute, so fragt Werner Kunze: Haben sich die weitreichenden Hoffnungen und Erwartungen der Gesellschaftsingenieure von 1789 erfüllt? Zweifellos hat der wissenschaftlich-technische Fortschritt eine bewundernswerte Verbesserung unserer materiellen Lebensverhältnisse bewirkt. Wir leben gesünder, behaglicher und komfortabler als jemals zuvor. Aber sind wir auch glücklicher? Augenscheinlich ist dem nicht so. Die rapide Abnahme der Geburtenzahl in Deutschland, das Auseinanderbrechen der Familienbande – von der Politik oft verharmlosend als Patchwork-Glück dargestellt – und die drastische Zunahme psychischer Erkrankungen wie Burn-Out und Depression sprechen für sich und können, so Werner Kunze, von Menschen guten Willens nicht länger ignoriert werden. Ein ganzes Heer von Psychologen, Psychiatern und Sozialarbeitern ist mittlerweile nötig, um die psychischen Schäden in unserer Gesellschaft wenigstens oberflächlich zu behandeln.

Der Fortschritt wird’s schon richten!

Wie stellt sich die Moderne uns heutigen Zeitgenossen dar? Der Autor nähert sich der Frage aus der Vogelperspektive, um das große Ganze besser in den Blick nehmen zu können. Er hofft so, zu übergeordneten Erkenntnissen zu gelangen, denn „wer sich nur in der Froschperspektive bewegt, braucht sich nicht zu wundern, wenn er zumeist nur Schlamm und Dreck sieht“. Zu den Charakteristika der Moderne zählt Kunze die enthemmte Beschleunigung, die Ausrichtung des einzelnen an der Masse, eine nie da gewesene Konzentration auf das Materielle mit Geld als universellem Bewertungsmaßstab sowie die offenkundige Orientierungs- und Ziellosigkeit der gesellschaftlichen Eliten. Der Fortschritt wird’s schon richten!


Die Beschleunigung hat nahezu alle Lebensbereiche erfasst. Das Rad der Moderne dreht sich schneller und schneller. Wo das Ziel abhanden kommt, werden Tempo und Schnelligkeit zum Selbstzweck erhoben.  Besonders offenkundig wird dies in der Politik. Was heute noch im Brustton der Überzeugung verkündet wird (die Renten / die Banken etc. sind sicher, der Mindestlohn / die Wehrpflicht / die Atomkraft etc. stehen nicht zur Debatte), ist schon morgen Schnee von gestern.

Ein weiteres Kennzeichen der Moderne sieht Kunze in der Vermassung: Massenmedien, Massengeschmack, Massenverhalten. Niemand zwingt uns, groteske Casting-Shows anzuschauen und Dieter Bohlen dabei zu beobachten, wie er vor laufender Kamera Minderjährige bloßstellt. Auch unsere Daten im „sozialen Netzwerk“ Facebook hinterlegen wir ganz freiwillig. Der allseits propagierte Individualismus steht dabei in krassem Gegensatz zur freiwilligen Ausrichtung des Individuums an der Masse. Trashfernsehen, Facebook & Co. sind auffälliger Ausdruck dieses Zeitgeist-Phänomens.

Nicht zuletzt ist es die einseitige Betonung des Materiellen, die den Zeitgeist prägt. Mehr als 200 Jahre nach dem Beginn der Aufklärung hat die materialistische Weltanschauung, nach der nur das als existent gilt, was sich nach naturwissenschaftlichen (und damit vermeintlich objektiven) Gesetzmäßigkeiten erklären lässt, auf ganzer Linie gesiegt. Längst ist der Materialismus in den Bereich des Privaten übergeschwappt. Von der Beherrschung der Natur durch den wissenschaftlich-technischen Fortschritt ist es nur noch ein kleiner Schritt zur Beherrschung der zwischenmenschlichen Angelegenheiten. Menschliche Beziehungen werden verzweckt. Oder wie es der Soziologe Aldo Haesler jüngst in der ZEIT ausdrückte: „Heute dienen menschliche Beziehungen als Rohstoff, um einen künstlichen Mehrwert herzustellen. In unserer Vorstellung ist jede Beziehung ein potentielles Win-Win-Spiel.“ Networking nennt man das auf Neudeutsch.


Immaterielle menschliche Bedürfnisse wie Geborgenheit, Liebe, Gefühle, Ästhetik und Phantasie bleiben zunehmend auf der Strecke. Völlig zu Recht beklagt der Autor eine Halbierung des Menschen: „Heute gilt es als chic, cool zu sein, nüchtern, distanziert, emotionsfrei. Wir sprechen vom falschen Pathos, kennen aber auch kein richtiges mehr. Wir sind innerlich ärmer, weil rationaler geworden.“ Den Preis für die unser gesamtes Leben durchdringende Intellektualisierung und Rationalisierung hat Max Weber bereits 1919 benannt: Die Entzauberung der Welt. Wehmütig erinnert Kunze an die nach zwei verlorenen Weltkriegen verschüttet gegangene Tradition des deutschen Idealismus. Noch Fichte, Hölderlin, Hegel und Schelling sahen den Menschen als ganzheitliches Wesen mit einem elementaren Bedürfnis nach Sinn und Methaphysik. Besonders angetan haben es ihm die deutschen Romantiker. Hier gerät Kunze nachgerade ins Schwärmen:  „Der Romantik gebührt das Privileg, sich als erste Bewegung mit den grundsätzlichen Fragen der Moderne kritisch auseinandergesetzt zu haben. Sie behält einen Ehrenplatz als eine der schönsten und sympathischsten Blüten am prächtigen Baum der deutschen Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte“. In der romantischen Hinwendung zu Gemüt, Gefühl, Freundschaft und Liebe erblickt er einen nach wie vor existenten, heute jedoch leider fast ausgetrockneten Teil der deutschen Volksmentalität. Sehr früh habe sich die deutsche Romantik gegen den kalten Rationalismus gewandt und mit Leidenschaft versucht, der Tradition, der Gefühlsseite des Menschen, der Poesie und der Musik ihren Platz zu geben.

Wie anders die heutigen Zeiten! Von Transzendenz und Religion erwarten wir schon lange keinen Halt mehr. Das letzte soziale Band in unserer Gesellschaft scheint das Geld zu sein. Wo menschliche Nähe, Empathie und Geborgenheit zum knappen Gut verkommen und Gefühle bestenfalls als peinlich gelten, fungiert das immer unsichtbarer werdende Geld als letztes Schmiermittel im Räderwerk der modernen Gesellschaft. Man mag sich gar nicht vorstellen, was passiert, wenn sich die materiellen Lebensverhältnisse – beispielsweise in Folge einer  weiteren Eskalation an den Finanzmärkten oder der plötzlichen Verknappung fossiler Energieressourcen – merklich verschlechtern.

Zu den Paradoxien der Moderne gehört, dass sich viele der aufklärerischen Ideen in ihr Gegenteil verkehrt haben. Stichwort: freie Meinungsäußerung. Heutzutage wird jeder, der gegen die vom Zeitgeist verordneten Dogmen verstößt, an den medialen Pranger gestellt. Zu diesem Dogmenbestand zählen: Das Individuum hat Vorrang vor der Gemeinschaft, alle Menschen sind prinzipiell gleich, der Mensch ist von Natur aus gut, Prägungen durch Herkunft, Abstammung, Begabung, Vererbung existieren nicht oder sind irrelevant. Wer vom vorgegebenen Tugendpfad (Thilo Sarrazin, Eva Herman) abweicht, wird zum Abschuss freigegeben. Mit Meinungsfreiheit hat das freilich nichts mehr zu tun. Die modernen Tugendwächter, die ständig auf der Lauer liegen, um Verstöße gegen die Political Correctness aufzuspüren und anzuprangern, haben augenscheinlich ihren John Stuart Mill (1806–1874) nicht gelesen. In seiner Schrift „Über die Freiheit“ weist Mill eindringlich auf die Gefahr des Despotismus über das Individuum hin: „In der Diskussion darf keine Meinung, mag sie noch so vereinzelt sein, unterdrückt werden. Denn wie können wir sicher sein, ob die Meinung, die wir uns anschicken zu unterdrücken, eine falsche Meinung ist?“ Vor der Gefahr des „Despotismus der Gesellschaft über das Individuum“ sind auch so genannte offene Gesellschaften nicht gefeit.

Eindrucksvoll führt Kunze dem Leser die Kollateralschäden der Moderne vor Augen. Jede dritte Ehe in Deutschland wird geschieden, in Großstädten gar jede zweite. 37 % aller erwachsenen Frauen leben als Single. Die Zahl der Patchwork-Familien steigt kontinuierlich. Logische Folge der Auflösung der Familienbande (im Zusammenspiel mit der rasenden Beschleunigung des Lebens) ist die starke Zunahme psychischer Erkrankungen wie Burn-Out und Depression, deren Behandlung 2008 Kosten von knapp 15 Milliarden Euro verursachte. Neben Managern, Sozialarbeitern und Akademikern sind in zunehmendem Maße Kinder und Jugendliche davon betroffen.


Die Bilanz der 68er „Kultur“-Revolution ist verheerend

Auch die Bevölkerungsentwicklung gibt Anlass zur Sorge: Die Geburtenrate in Deutschland ist seit der 68er-Kulturrevolution um die Hälfte (!) gesunken. Demographieforscher können die weitere Entwicklung ziemlich genau vorhersagen: In 100 Jahren werden noch ca. 25 Millionen Deutsche in unserem Land leben. Der eigentliche Skandal besteht laut Kunze darin, dass „unsere Volksvertreter mitsamt den öffentlichen Medien kein Wort des Entsetzens oder auch nur des Bedauerns über die Katastrophe verlieren, dass die jahrhundertelange Geschichte der Deutschen im 21. Jahrhundert endgültig und unwiderruflich zu Ende geht.“

Die düstere Stimmungslage in Deutschland drückt sich nicht zuletzt in der wachsenden Distanz der Menschen zur Demokratie aus. Nach einer im September 2009 veröffentlichten Umfrage sind gut zwei Drittel der Deutschen überzeugt, „von den Parteien belogen zu werden.“ Jeder dritte Deutsche hat kein Vertrauen mehr in die Demokratie.

Wie konnte es dazu kommen? Die Ursachen für die besorgniserregende Entwicklung in Deutschland sieht Kunze in der 68er Bewegung, an der er kein gutes Haar lässt. Keineswegs handele es sich dabei um eine längst vergangene Protestbewegung Flower Power bewegter Studenten, sondern um manifestierten Zeitgeist. Dieser trete als „unsichtbarer Dirigent auf, den niemand ausdrücklich gerufen hat, dem sich aber fast alle beugen.“ Als Ahnherren der 68er Bewegung macht Kunze den Philosophen Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) aus. In dessen 1755 veröffentlichter Schrift „Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Ungleichheit unter den Menschen“ stellt Rousseau die Behauptung auf, der Mensch sei von Natur aus gut und erst durch Kultur und Zivilisation verdorben worden. Anders ausgedrückt: Wenn wir den guten Menschen wieder auffinden wollen, müssen wir zur Natur zurück. Die 68er-Adepten der Frankfurter Schule um Adorno, Horkheimer und Marcuse griffen Rousseaus These vom „guten Menschen im Naturzustand“ begierig auf und verleibten sie ihrer verqueren Philosophie ein. Seither gehört es zur festen Überzeugung der 68er und ihrer Nachfahren im Geiste, den Menschen von den Zwängen und Verpflichtungen des Staates, der Arbeit, der Familie, der Gesellschaft etc. zu befreien.

Tatsächlich trifft Kunze hier einen wunden Punkt. Das Gesellschaftsbild der 68er beruht auf einem naiven und vollkommen realitätsfremden Menschenbild. Die Mär vom „edlen Wilden“ ist durch moderne Forschung längst widerlegt (selbst den Hippies ist es mit Drogenunterstützung nicht gelungen, dem paradiesischen Naturzustand näher zu kommen). In der Abrechnung mit der 68er Generation entfacht Kunze einen wilden Furor. Ihre Weigerung, die Ambivalenz des Menschen anzuerkennen, zeuge von mangelndem Realitätssinn und ideologischer Verblendung. Der Mensch sei eben nicht nur vernünftig und gut, sondern bisweilen auch egoistisch, verantwortungslos und niederträchtig. Mit Verve prangert er die Radikalität an, mit der die 68er gewachsene kulturelle Errungenschaften, angefangen von bürgerlichen Tugenden bis hin zu staatlichen Institutionen, zerstört haben.


Es gibt sie noch, die blaue Blume

Die Symptome sind damit benannt. Doch welche Therapie empfiehlt Kunze? Es geht nicht ohne die Ergänzung durch die Kant’sche Pflichtethik, insbesondere nicht ohne die Ausrichtung am Gemeinwohl. Es geht nicht ohne die Reaktivierung von bürgerlichen Tugenden wie Fleiß, Anstand, Verlässlichkeit und Verantwortungsbewusstsein. Es geht nicht ohne die Rückbesinnung auf bewährte Traditionen. Es geht zuallerletzt nicht ohne die Rückeroberung der Meinungsmacht im Lande.

Und des Autors persönlicher Wunsch? „Eine gewisse Rückbesinnung auf die Romantik. Von Zeit zu Zeit und bei passender Gelegenheit. Es gibt sie noch, die blaue Blume, sie hat sich nur vor den profanen Blicken versteckt.“

Werner Kunze: „Die Moderne. Ideologie, Nihilismus, Dekadenz”.  Bublies Verlag 2011, 336 S., 19,80 Euro.

Stefan Martin

geb. 1979, Ingenieur, VDSt Freiberg.

... alle Beiträge von diesem Autor


07:59 Publié dans Livre, Livre, Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : philosophie, livre, modernité, monde moderne, nihilisme | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

jeudi, 24 août 2017

Robert STEUCKERS, Pages celtiques



Pages celtiques

A paraître, septembre 2017

A commander :


Ce nouveau recueil de Robert Steuckers explore de multiples champs de réflexion autour de la question celtique.

Des origines de la déesse celtique Brigid devenue sainte irlandaise, en passant par la mythologie des Iles britanniques et la saga du christianisme irlando-écossais, l’étude du projet politique pan-celtique de la République d’Irlande, ou encore une causerie sur la notion de « patrie charnelle », sans oublier un vibrant hommage au nationaliste breton Olier Mordrel, cet ouvrage rassemble les attributs permettant de parfaire nos connaissances sur ce foisonnant héritage celte.



vendredi, 18 août 2017

Allemagne : le scandale Sieferle


Arne Schimmer :

Allemagne : le scandale Sieferle

« Finis Germania », le livre d’un professeur qui ébranle le politiquement correct

Comment un journaliste du « taz » a promu involontairement les ventes d’un livre, qu’il jugeait scandaleux, et a offert une notoriété immense à son auteur décédé. Rolf Peter Sieferle est ainsi devenu un auteur à succès post mortem.

Avant qu’il ne se soit donné la mort le 17 septembre 2016 à Heidelberg, le nom de Rolf Peter Sieferle n’était guère connu, sauf dans un cercle d’amis et de collègues assez restreint. Pourtant, ses collègues et ses lecteurs, peu nombreux, savaient qu’ils avaient affaire à l’un des derniers « savants universels », celui qui avait exploré jusqu’aux moindres détails l’histoire de la nature et des techniques depuis le paléolithique jusqu’à nos jours. Tout au début de l’été 2017, son nom, tout d’un coup, fait la une des journaux après que l’on a appris qu’il avait publié un petit livre auprès des éditions « Antaios », intitulé Finis Germania. Ce petit volume rassemble des textes qu’il avait laissés dans un tiroir avant de se suicider. Le livre figurait sur la liste des « ouvrages du mois » en juin. Cette liste est dressée par les critiques littéraires allemands, sous le double patronage de la radio « Norddeutscher Rundfunk » et du quotidien Süddeutsche Zeitung. Brusquement, les auteurs se sont rendus compte qu’ils avaient recommandé un ouvrage publié par une maison d’édition qu’ils estampillaient habituellement d’« extrême-droite ».


Qui donc était ce Rolf-Peter Sieferle ? Né le 5 août 1949 à Stuttgart, il étudiera ultérieurement l’histoire, les sciences politiques et la sociologie à Heidelberg et à Constance. A l’époque de ses études, Sieferle se sentait proche du mouvement de 68. En 1977, fidèle à cette option socio-politique, il rédige une thèse de doctorat intitulée Die Revolution in der Theorie von Karl Marx et la soumet à la faculté de philosophie de l’université de Constance. En 1984, toujours dans la même université, il soumet une seconde thèse de doctorat en histoire contemporaine. Deux ans auparavant, Sieferle avait publié un ouvrage qui avait immédiatement fait fureur, Der unterirdische Wald (= La forêt souterraine). Ce livre fit de lui un spécialiste incontesté d’une nouvelle discipline, l’histoire de l’environnement, l’histoire d’un point de vue écologique.


Dans ce livre, Sieferle concluait que sans l’usage intensif des énergies fossiles, en l’occurrence le charbon, la révolution industrielle aurait démarré bien plus lentement mais se serait déroulée sans les âpres luttes sociales qui sont à la base des crises des 19ème et 20ème siècles. Deux ans plus tard, l’année de son deuxième doctorat, Sieferle publie un nouvel ouvrage Fortschrittfeinde ? Opposition gegen Technik und Industrie von der Romantik bis zur Gegenwart (= Ennemis du progrès ? L’opposition à la technique et à l’industrie du romantisme à nos jours). Ce livre constitue le premier vrai travail, solidement étayé de références, sur l’histoire du mouvement de protection de la nature en Allemagne.


A partir de 1989, il obtient un poste de « Privatdozent » à l’université de Mannheim, qui devient, à partir de 1991, un professorat extraordinaire. En 1994, il se fait remarquer pour l’excellence d’un solide essai, même auprès des vertueux autoproclamés de service : Epochenwechsel : Die Deutschen an der Schwelle zum 21. Jahrhunderts (= Changement d’époque : les Allemands au seuil du 21ème siècle). Sieferle explore le « champ de bataille de l’histoire » qu’est son pays pour conclure que la situation y est toujours aussi explosive et dangereuse après la chute des régimes communistes.


Dès le milieu des années 1990, Sieferle critique l’immigration en avançant des arguments que l’on retrouvera dans les écrits posthumes qui font aujourd’hui scandale. Dans cet ouvrage d’il y a plus de vingt ans, Sieferle écrivait déjà : « Le lobby allemand pro-immigration, qui s’étend dans la société depuis le juste milieu libéral de gauche jusqu’à certains milieux liés aux églises et aux sectes radicales tiers-mondistes », crée une situation en se référant à une rhétorique sur les droits de l’homme, « tout en en ignorant les conséquences politiques de la manière la plus stupide qui soit ». Ainsi, poursuivait Sieferle dans les années 1990, « si cette immigration de masse se poursuit au même rythme, certains groupes de migrants deviendront des minorités culturelles ou nationales, avec pour corollaire logique qu’ils exigeront des droits particuliers ». L’erreur fondamental, commise par ce lobby pro-migrants, est la suivante : il part a priori du principe que les immigrants finiront par s’assimiler au modèle et aux valeurs de l’Occident, soit à l’« universalisme humanitaire », qui, lui-même, est une particularité et non un jeu de valeurs universelles, que les masses immigrantes vont finalement réduire à une position minoritaire.

Le « socialisme prussien » comme alternative

Pour les Allemands qui vivent dans leur propre pays, la situation pourra devenir dramatique dans un futur proche. Sieferle : « Pour les universalistes humanitaires, cela n’a aucune importance de savoir qui s’installe en Allemagne car, pour eux, l’Allemagne n’a plus aucune signification ». Ce mouvement en faveur de l’immigration, poursuit-il, est finalement « un facteur de dissolution de l’Etat social en tant qu’Etat national et d’autodestruction culturelle ». Car, s’aperçoit Sieferle, « une immigration de masse a pour conséquence logique qu’il y aura de moins en moins à partager ». « Le mouvement pro-immigration ne peut plus demander qu’une chose aux populations des zones où règne le bien-être matériel : exiger d’elles sur le plan éthique qu’elles partagent leurs acquis matériels, qu’elles ont accumulés en travaillant, avec les zones où règne la pauvreté, tout en s’exposant sans résistance à la concurrence des immigrés sur le marché du travail et tout en alimentant ces derniers par le biais de l’Etat social ». Ce livre de Sieferle mérite la lecture aussi parce qu’il réclame explicitement une réorientation politique générale de la République fédérale vers un modèle d’ordre politique inspiré par le « socialisme prussien ». Ce type de socialisme devait aussi aider les populations d’Allemagne, surtout d’Allemagne de l’Est, à surmonter les problèmes socio-économiques liés à la récente réunification. En effet, le chômage restait (et reste…) élevé dans les nouveaux Länder qui, jadis, faisaient partie de la RDA socialo-communiste.Il fallait nécessairement y assainir l’industrie et y construire des infrastructures nouvelles. L’élimination de tout le ballast inutile de la gestion socialo-communiste nécessitait de l’Etat un rôle plus actif que celui que préconisent les doctrines libérales en vigueur à l’Ouest.


Pour Sieferle, la réunification de 1990 postulait une « re-continentalisation » de l’Allemagne et, par voie de conséquence, la nécessité de «penser à faire coïncider deux courants », notamment « la redistribution nationale et la solidarité, d’une part, et, d’autre part, une économie marquée par un haut degré d’interventionnisme étatique ». Sieferle en arrivait à la conclusion dès le milieu des années 1990 : « La combinaison de ces deux facteurs correspond au vieux programme du socialisme prussien ou national ». Une certaine Suzanne Gaschke, journaliste à la Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reprochait à Sieferle, déjà à l’époque, « de vouloir donner le coup de grâce à l’universalisme moralisant et valétudinaire ». Fielleuse, elle ajoutait « que chaque sou donné pour l’achat de ce bouquin était un sou de trop ». Sieferle ne s’est pas laissé impressionner par les commentaires de cette journaliste hostile : au contraire, il a immédiatement décidé d’approfondir l’idée du « socialisme prussien ». En 1995, il publie une étude sur le sujet : Die konservative Revolution. Ein Essay. Ce livre est constitué d’une série de portraits : Paul Lensch, Werner Sombart, Oswald Spengler, Ernst Jünger et Hans Freyer. Dans sa conclusion, Sieferle définissait la « révolution conservatrice » comme « l’ébauche d’une alternative à la modernité ». Aussitôt, un journaliste connu, Siegfried Jäger de « l’Institut de Duisburg pour les Recherches en linguistique et en questions sociales », tout de suite après la parution du livre, devine, derrière les propos de Sieferle, posé comme « un disciple de Nolte », de « vouloir gommer l’ombre nazie qui planait sur ses auteurs préfascistes favoris ».


Ces petites attaques ponctuelles n’ont nullement nui à la carrière universitaire de Sieferle dans les années 1990. En 2000, il est nommé à la célébrissime université de Saint-Gall. En 1997, il publie un autre livre remarquable : Rückblick auf die Natur. Dans ce volume, Sieferle cherche à faire prendre conscience à ses lecteurs qu’en Amérique du Nord et en Europe un «archipel industriel » a émergé mais est exposé à subir de graves dangers du fait que les « structures techno-économiques » s’y soustraient de plus en plus à « la gouvernance assurée par les Etats nationaux ». Les brillantes analyses de Sieferle, reposant sur un savoir stupéfiant, trouvaient des lecteurs anonymes et discrets toujours plus nombreux. Mais cela restait relatif. Ses lecteurs se sont multipliés paradoxalement depuis son suicide à l’automne 2016. En 2005, Sieferle avait un article dans la revue Tumult, jadis organe de la gauche non orthodoxe. Cet article traitait de la crise des réfugiés, qui prenait des proportions de plus en plus incontrôlables. Cette immigration soudaine et massive aurait pour résultat rapide de mettre un terme au monopole de la violence, normalement détenu par l’Etat. Ce monopole s’amenuiserait graduellement pour faire place à des « droits tribaux », gérés par les multiples groupes de migrants. Inutile de préciser qu’avoir émis cette hypothèse faisait automatiquement de Sieferle un dissident, un contestataire inassimilable. Dans les écrits qu’il a laissés après sa mort, il tape encore sur le clou, notamment dans un texte intitulé Das Migrationsproblem : Über die Unvereinbarkeit von Sozialstaat und Masseneinwanderung (= Le problème de l’immigration. Du caractère irréconciliable entre l’Etat social et l’immigration de masse). Ce texte constituait le premier volume d’une série qu’entendaient publier les éditeurs de Tumult (la série « Werkreihe Tumult »). Sieferle constatait qu’il était impossible de consolider l’Etat social tout en maintenant ouvertes les frontières. Mais tout cela ne provoqua pas encore de débat sur ses travaux. Il a fallu attendre l’article d’un journaliste connu du « taz », Andreas Speit. Dans son journal, Speit exprima son indignation de voir qu’un volume des éditions « Antaios » avait été primé en 2017 par une mention dans la liste des meilleurs livre de « non fiction ». Ce volume, c’était Finis Germania. Du coup, le zèle de l’inquisition s’est mis en branle : on a cherché fébrilement à savoir quel insolent avait osé placer ce volume sur la liste des bons livres à lire. Généralement, les recommandations sont anonymes. Finalement, on a trouvé le « coupable » : c’était un rédacteur du Spiegel, Johannes Salzwedel, qui avoua que cela avait été grâce à ses voix que le livre avait été placé en neuvième position sur la liste. Mais le méchant travail des inquisiteurs eut, cette fois-ci, un effet contraire à celui qu’ils avaient escompté, suite à l’indignation du journaliste Speit. Un débat public et animé s’ensuivit, avec, pour objet, la présence de ce volume hérétique dans la liste des bons livres. Ce débat fit que le livre arriva en première place dans les ventes d’ « amazon.com », même que cette multinationale du livre avait ôté de ses stocks tous les livres de l’éditeur « Antaios », suite à une première vague d’épuration. Les chiffres mirobolants des ventes sont donc dus exclusivement aux ventes d’offreurs secondaires qui utilisent partiellement « amazon.com ». Toute la campagne des inquisiteurs eut pour effet que Sieferle a enfin trouvé post mortem le vaste public que méritaient ses publications et qu’elles n’avaient jamais trouvé de son vivant.

Le petit volume Finis Germania, publié dans la collection Kaplaken de l’éditeur « Antaios » est un concentré de l’œuvre de son auteur : il a la brièveté dense des aphorismes, il est succinct et clair, il vise l’essentiel. Les titres des chapitres résument à eux seuls déjà toute la pensée de l’auteur : « Voie allemande et perspective des vainqueurs » ; « La nouvelle religion d’Etat » ; « La logique de l’antifascisme ». Le petit volume résume bien le grand livre de Sieferle, Epochenwechsel (cf. supra) de 1994. La densité et la brièveté de ses réflexions conviennent bien à un vaste public. Ce qui me permet de terminer avec une tirade d’humour noir à l’adresse du sieur Andreas Speit : celui qui creuse la tombe de son voisin, y choit lui-même !


(article paru dans « Deutsche Stimme », août 2017).

Rolf Peter Sieferle, Finis Germania, Reihe kaplaken, Ed. Antaios, Schnellroda, 104 p., 8,50 euro.


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dimanche, 13 août 2017

«Le patriotisme économique partout en vigueur... sauf en Europe !»


«Le patriotisme économique partout en vigueur... sauf en Europe !»

Par Eric Delbecque

Ex: http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - La question du «Made in France» a été au coeur des débats des primaires, à droite et à gauche. Eric Delbecque regrette que les pays européens, au nom du libre-échange, refusent le patriotisme économique que pratiquent pourtant Washington, Pékin ou Moscou.

Eric Delbecque est président de l'Association pour la compétitivité et la sécurité économique (ACSE) et directeur du département intelligence stratégique de SIFARIS. Avec Christian Harbulot, il vient de publier L'impuissance française: une idéologie? (éd. Uppr, 2016).


En dépit du résultat du premier tour, la primaire de la gauche a de nouveau projeté de la lumière sur la thématique du patriotisme économique, en particulier à travers la promotion du «made in France» par Arnaud Montebourg. Le sujet est capital et il est essentiel d'en débattre. Toutefois, il apparaît assez clairement que l'on continue à se tromper d'approche, chez les commentateurs comme au sein de la classe politique. Nombreux sont ceux qui persistent à associer «patriotisme économique» et «protectionnisme». Cette confusion fausse l'ensemble de l'argumentation autour d'une formule globalement travestie. Le patriotisme économique n'est ni un nationalisme économique, ni un repli frileux derrière nos frontières.

Correctement entendu, il est une autre manière d'appeler à un retour du politique dans la sphère économique. Il revendique une stratégie nationale en matière de développement, une vision de notre futur industriel (travaillé en profondeur par l'ère digitale) et une implication publique intense dans la conquête de nouveaux marchés. La France et l'Europe sont loin du compte en la matière.

Il suffit d'observer la machine d'assaut économique de l'Oncle Sam pour s'en convaincre. En premier lieu, ce dernier sélectionne drastiquement ses partenaires étrangers. A cette fin, les Etats-Unis créèrent le CFIUS (Committee on foreign investment in the United States: comité pour l'investissement étranger aux Etats-Unis). Et l'administration américaine ne se prive pas de l'utiliser, ou plutôt de faire comprendre aux investisseurs étrangers que cette menace plane sur eux. Ils sont donc fortement portés à la négociation… A travers cette structure et le texte de l'Exon-Florio (amendement au Defense Production Act de 1950, adopté en 1988), Washington pratique une politique que l'Union européenne ne peut même pas envisager: imposer un certain nombre d'administrateurs de nationalité américaine ou encore exiger que le choix de la stratégie de l'entreprise rachetée échappe partiellement ou totalement aux investisseurs étrangers. D'un point de vue plus offensif, les Américains mènent une véritable diplomatie économique (depuis l'ère Clinton) visant à imposer des groupes portant la bannière étoilée dans les pays «alliés» ou «amis», ceci en utilisant toutes les ressources disponibles de l'administration, y compris des services de renseignement. La Chine fait exactement la même chose.

Notre continent, lui, joue les bons élèves de l'orthodoxie libérale (que n'aurait certainement pas validé Adam Smith). Le patriotisme économique - tel que la France peut le concevoir en restant fidèle à ses valeurs - milite pour la réciprocité dans les relations d'échange de biens et de services entre les nations. Bref, il faut se battre à armes égales, et pas avec un bras attaché dans le dos. Cette inconfortable posture résume pourtant notre situation. Alors que les Etats-Unis, la Chine ou la Russie mettent en œuvre de véritables dispositifs d'accroissement de puissance économique, nous nous accrochons à l'orthodoxie libre-échangiste. L'Hexagone, en deux décennies, n'a toujours pas réussi à construire une politique publique d'intelligence économique (c'est-à-dire de compétitivité et de sécurité économique) à la hauteur des défis qui se posent à nous.

Le problème vient du fait que l'Union européenne jouent les intégristes du droit de la concurrence, alors que les autres nations pensent d'abord à maximiser leur prospérité, même si cela implique de fouler au pied les principes de base du libéralisme. D'une certaine manière, Donald Trump explicite la philosophie des Américains, y compris celle des Démocrates: «Acheter américain, embaucher américain».


Certes, notre pays a mis en place un premier dispositif entre 2004 et 2005 afin de fournir au gouvernement l'outil juridique pour autoriser ou refuser les investissements de groupes étrangers dans la défense et quelques autres secteurs stratégiques. Il fut complété par Arnaud Montebourg avec un décret permettant d'étendre cette possibilité aux secteurs de l'énergie, des transports, de l'eau, de la santé et des télécoms. Mais c'est la volonté qui nous manque, pas les outils juridiques. De surcroît, à l'exception des louables efforts législatifs du ministre de la Justice, Jean-Jacques Urvoas (à l'origine de travaux importants sur cette question lorsqu'il présidait la Commission des lois), et de ceux - opérationnels - de Jean-Yves Le Drian, le ministre de la Défense, il faut bien constater que nos gouvernants n'ont pas la moindre petite idée de ce que signifie et implique une authentique stratégie de diplomatie économique, fondée sur une alliance étroite entre le public et le privé (au bénéfice de l'emploi, des PME, et pas exclusivement à celui des grands actionnaires).

Nos élites jugent la nation obsolète, comment pourraient-elles sérieusement concevoir une véritable doctrine en matière de patriotisme économique, et ensuite l'appliquer? Il faudrait affronter Bruxelles, remettre en cause certains dogmes de la «mondialisation heureuse», imaginer une politique économique qui ne sombre pas dans un protectionnisme idiot tout en refusant la mise à mort de nos industries, bref, il faudrait déployer une vision de l'avenir égale en créativité et courage politique à celle dont fit preuve le Général de Gaulle en son temps. Vaste programme!

samedi, 12 août 2017

Le Peuple blanc d'Arthur Machen


Le Peuple blanc d'Arthur Machen

Ex: http://www.juanasensio.com

On peut parfaitement adresser les reproches les plus durs au Matin des magiciens de Pauwels et Bergier. Tous resteront sans effet toutefois devant cette évidence : cet ouvrage bizarre et boursouflé, qualifié de «gros livre hirsute» par ses auteurs eux-mêmes (1), nous a permis de découvrir des écrivains qui, en 1960, année où il fut publié, n'intéressaient qu'une poignée de spécialistes de la littérature fantastique et amateurs de fous littéraires.

Même si cinquante années ont passé depuis la publication du livre de Pauwels et Bergier, Arthur Machen demeure l'un de ces écrivains restant encore assez méconnu des lecteurs de langue française. Le Matin des magiciens cite de larges extraits d'une des plus étranges nouvelles écrites par Machen, intitulée Le Peuple blanc dont le prologue, qui met en scène un certain Ambrose discutant avec plusieurs de ses amis, est absolument remarquable quant à la vision du Mal qu'il donne. C'est peut-être la seule chose que je retiendrai de ce livre fameux, naïf et généreux dans sa volonté de concilier une démarche scientifique (fantaisiste) avec l'exploration de territoires soi-disant peu connus : la découverte d'Arthur Machen même si c'est la sublime Cristina Campo qui je crois, dans ses Impardonnables, avait attiré ma curiosité en citant le nom de l'écrivain.

Acheter Le Peuple blanc sur Amazon.

Le Peuple blanc
(The White People), vraisemblablement écrit à la fin du 19e siècle, fut publié en 1904 dans le Horlick's Magazine puis inclus dans The House of Souls paru en 1906. Ce texte est composé de trois parties : un prologue entièrement reproduit par Pauwels et Bergier, prologue qui est une discussion sur la définition du Mal, le cœur proprement dit de la nouvelle qui s'intitule Le livre vert décrivant la découverte progressive d'une jeune femme initiée à de très anciens cultes, enfin un épilogue, où nous retrouvons Ambrose et son ami, le premier affirmant à son invité qu'il a connu la jeune femme, qui par chance s'est empoisonnée juste avant que ne lui soit révélée une vérité abominable, dont nous ne saurons bien évidemment rien.


Il est clair que Lovecraft, qui admirait Machen après l'avoir découvert en 1923, le surnommant, immédiatement, Titan (2), s'est inspiré de ce beau récit pour plusieurs de ses propres textes, puisque Le Peuple blanc peut être considéré comme un modèle du genre en matière de suggestion de l'horreur. Qui est Arthur Machen ? Si nous ne craignions point d'utiliser une de ces facilités si communes sous la plume des journalistes, nous pourrions prétendre qu'il s'agit d'une espèce d'Henry James ayant décidé de plonger résolument dans les ténèbres, bien plus avant qu'il ne le fera dans son célèbre Tour d'écrou. Peut-être l'une des plus évidentes adaptations cinématographiques de la nouvelle de Machen, très connue dans les pays anglo-saxons, est-elle Le Projet Blair Witch de Daniel Myrick et Eduardo Sánchez plutôt que Le Labyrinthe de Pan de Guillermo del Toro, tandis qu'un auteur comme T. E. D. Klein transposera Le Peuple blanc dans ses Ceremonies. La liste des influences plus ou moins directes est sans doute beaucoup plus longue.

Voyons à présent les passages que Machen consacre, dans le Prologue de notre nouvelle, à définir le Mal, passages à mon sens saisissants tant ils paraissent annoncer les textes d'un Bernanos, qui ne savait probablement rien de cet auteur.

Machen, par l'intermédiaire de l'étrange personnage dénommé Ambrose, commence par tenter d'exposer un paradoxe, seule façon, sans doute, de contourner la difficulté consistant à donner une définition strictement rationnelle (à laquelle, bien sûr, il ne prétend même pas) du Mal : «Ceux qui sont grands écrit Arthur Machen, quelle que soit leur catégorie, sont ceux qui se détournent des mauvaises copies pour aller vers les originaux parfaits. Pour moi, cela ne fait aucun doute : bien des saints les plus honorés n’ont jamais accompli ce qu’on appelle communément «une bonne action». D’autre part, il y a ceux qui ont sondé les abîmes du péché sans commettre dans toute leur vie une seule mauvaise action» (3).

Je ne sais si Machen avait lu Kierkegaard mais nous pourrions rapprocher cette idée d'une occultation du Mal véritable des termes employés par le grand Danois lorsqu'il définit le Mal réel, accompli, comme étant l'hermétisme, et le plus grand mal comme étant l'hermétisme le plus accompli : il n'y a, stricto sensu, aucune possibilité de communiquer avec Satan, l'idiot absolu, au sens étymologique premier de ce mot. Je renvoie mon lecteur, sur ce point, à ma longue étude de Monsieur Ouine auquel j'ai appliqué la catégorie kierkegaardienne du démoniaque. Paradoxe encore plutôt que contradiction, le fait que Machen prétende que la carrière la plus haute dans le Mal ne puisse être le fait de médiocres, qui se conteront de donner quelque extériorité (mensonges, larcins, viols, meurtres) au Mal dont ils ne comprennent et ne peuvent comprendre la sublime et muette grandeur. Qui ne songe, encore, aux meilleurs romans de Barbey d'Aurevilly?

Machen affirme ainsi que le geste, quel que soit son pouvoir de saisissement et d'horreur, par lequel le Mal va se répandre dans la société civile signe, à coup sûr, sa faible nocivité, sa lamentable publicité. Le Mal absolu est secret, ésotérique au sens premier du terme (4) et n'a rien de commun avec le monde quotidien, qu'il plonge dans le mutisme (songeons à l'étonnant silence de Karl Kraus aux prises, dans son immense Troisième nuit de Walpurgis, avec la résistance du langage face au nazisme) : «Nous estimons qu’un homme qui nous fait du mal et qui en fait à ses voisins est méchant, ce qui, socialement, est exact; mais ne pouvez-vous comprendre que le Mal qui a, par essence, un caractère solitaire, est une passion de l’âme prise isolément et détachée de tout ? Le meurtrier ordinaire, en sa qualité de meurtrier, n’est en aucune façon un pécheur au vrai sens du terme. C’est simplement une bête sauvage dont nous devons nous débarrasser pour mettre nos cous à l’abri de son couteau» (5).


Le meurtrier ordinaire est peut-être donc celui qui, en fin de compte, du Mal nous donne la vision la plus fausse, la plus commune en tout cas. Machen poursuit avec un nouveau paradoxe, dont les termes sont étonnamment bernanosiens : «Le mal, naturellement, est entièrement positif – mais dans le mauvais sens, c’est tout. Vous pouvez me croire : le péché au sens propre du mot est très rare; il y a eu probablement beaucoup moins de pécheurs que de saints» (6). La raison de cette rareté est toute simple : le Mal et le Bien absolus sont, par définition, des miracles de ténèbres ou de lumière qui ne sauraient trop souvent déchirer la toile grise de nos journées absolument banales car, comme Machen le précise :
« – Alors, l’essence du péché est réellement…
– Dans le fait de prendre le ciel d’assaut, il me semble, dit Ambrose. C’est tout simplement une tentative pour pénétrer d’une manière interdite dans une autre sphère plus élevée. Maintenant, vous pouvez comprendre pourquoi il est exceptionnel. Peu de gens, en vérité, éprouvent le désir de pénétrer dans d’autres sphères […]» (7). Bien peu en effet et, lorsqu'on s'intéresse aux carrières de quelques-uns des plus grands criminels de l'histoire, force est de constater que leurs plus abominables forfaits sont commis comme s'ils n'y pensaient point. La conscience dans le Mal si remarquablement illustrée par Les Fleurs du Mal de Baudelaire est un rêve d'écrivain plus qu'une réalité tangible. À moins qu'il ne nous faille postuler la conséquence logique, du moins probable, de nos précédentes affirmations : le meurtrier le plus accompli est celui que nous ne pouvons soupçonner puisque, par définition, ses crimes restent absolument secrets.

Cette autre sphère, parce qu'elle est invisible, est plus réelle que celle dans laquelle nous vivons et nous débattons, selon la vieille vérité mille fois illustrée par les histoires d'épouvante. Qui voudrait tenter d'y pénétrer ou bien fixer ce qui en vient, monstre sur le point de franchir le seuil ou bien Horla invisible vidant les bouteilles de lait gardées au frais ?

Arthur Machen continue à exposer ses étonnantes vues sur le Mal radical, rattachant le comportement du pécheur au Péché, l'acte mauvais étant par essence une incessante réactualisation, une permanente réinvention du premier Péché. Évoquons de nouveau Kierkegaard, qui, s'attardant sur l'exemple de Macbeth, écrit : «[...] être à demeure dans le péché est ce qui, tout au fond de sa chute, le soutient encore, par le diabolique renfort de la conséquence; ce n'est pas le péché nouveau, distinct qui (oui, démence horrible !) l'aide; le péché nouveau, distinct, n'exprime que la continuité dans le péché et c'est là, proprement, le péché» (8).

Machen poursuit sa belle démonstration, avec une idée (bien plus vieille que la traduction qu'en donnera Shakespeare dans ce même Macbeth) qui sera illustrée de façon admirable dans une nouvelle saisissante, La terreur, où la nature se rebelle contre les hommes qui ont déchu de leur grandeur :
« – Voulez-vous dire, poursuit l'ami de notre étrange Ambrose, qu’il y a quelque chose de foncièrement contraire à la nature dans le péché ?
– Exactement. La sainteté exige un effort aussi important – ou presque. Mais elle s’exerce dans des directions qui furent autrefois celles de la nature. Elle tend à retrouver l’extase qui existait avant la Chute. Le péché, lui, tend à parvenir à l’extase et à la connaissance qui n’appartiennent qu’aux anges; et en accomplissant cet effort, l’homme devient démon. […] Le saint s’efforce de recouvrer un don qu’il a perdu; le pécheur tente d’obtenir une chose qu’il n’a jamais eue. Bref, il répète la Chute» (9).


Nous ne nous poserons point la question de savoir si la suite de l'histoire, servant, selon Ambrose, de meilleur exemple à ses étonnantes vues, histoire intitulée je l'ai dit Le livre vert, n'est point quelque peu en dessous de la remarquable exposition que l'auteur, dans son Prologue, nous livre sur le monde du Mal.
Puis-je, à mon tour, exposer une illustration de cette très poétique et fascinante plongée dans le Mal ? Mon propre exemple est celui de Judas, dont l'insigne trahison, que l'on pourrait raisonnablement caractériser comme une vulgaire et coupable publicité d'un mal que la société aura vite fait de juguler ou tenter d'expliquer comme le fait Pierre-Emmanuel Dauzat dans son larmoyant ouvrage, n'est sans doute absolument rien si on s'avisait de la comparer au Mal réel, proprement intérieur, qui ronge et dévore l'apôtre. La Chanson d'amour de Judas Iscariote est, avec un peu de chance, beaucoup de choses, bonnes ou mauvaises qu'importe, mais il est, en premier lieu, une méditation sur l'état de damnation, l'hermétisme démoniaque.

(1) Louis Pauwels et Jacques Bergier, Le matin des magiciens (Gallimard, coll. Folio, 1972), p. 594.
(2) Lovecraft plaçait Le Peuple blanc en deuxième position des plus grands textes fantastiques, derrière Les Saules d'Algernon Blackwood (texte publié en 1916 et recueilli dans Élève de quatrième... dimension édité dans la célèbre collection Présence du futur de Denoël). D'Arthur Machen, il faut absolument lire (puis relire, afin d'en saisir les subtilités narratives) le somptueux et ténébreux roman, composé de nouvelles qui s'imbriquent entre elles à la façon du Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse et des Nouvelles Mille et une nuits de Stevenson, intitulé Les Trois imposteurs aux éditions Terre de Brume, que j'évoquerai dans une note ultérieure. Comme toujours avec cette maison qui semble ne jamais relire les textes qu'elle publie, le livre est truffé de fautes et de bizarreries typographiques mais enfin, le noir génie de Machen, le livre qui en est sorti, n'en sont même pas gâtés.
(3) Arthur Machen, Le peuple blanc et autres récits de terreur (préface et traduction de Jacques Parsons, Bibliothèque Marabout, coll. Fantastique, 1974), p. 16.
(4) «– Donc, pour en revenir à votre sujet favori, vous estimez que le péché a quelque chose d’ésotérique, d’occulte ?
– Oui. Il est le miracle infernal comme la sainteté est le miracle céleste. Parfois, il est élevé à une telle hauteur que nous ne pouvons absolument pas soupçonner son existence; ainsi, la note des grands tuyaux de l’orgue est si grave que nous ne saurions l’entendre», ibid., p. 23.
(5) Ibid., p. 17.
(6) Ibid., id.
(7) Ibid., p. 19.
(8) Dans son Traité du désespoir datant de 1848 (Gallimard, coll. Folio, 1999), p. 213.
(9) Ibid., p. 20.

mardi, 08 août 2017

Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics


Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics


Jonathan Bowden

Edited by Greg Johnson
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017
220 pages

Hardcover: $35

Paperback: $20 

Kindle E-book: $4.99

To order: https://www.counter-currents.com/extremists-studies-in-metapolitics/


Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics collects transcripts of nine of Jonathan Bowden’s most compelling orations: on Thomas Carlyle, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Charles Maurras, Martin Heidegger, Julius Evola, Savitri Devi, Yukio Mishima, and Maurice Cowling, as well as his speech “Vanguardism: Hope for the Future.” These speeches do not just explore the lives and thoughts of creative and exemplary individuals, they also illustrate three cardinal principles that Bowden repeatedly emphasized: First, political change depends upon metapolitical conditions. Second, cultural and political innovations take place on the extremes. Third, metapolitical extremists must think of themselves as vanguardists who lead the public mind to truth, not cater to illusions and folly.


Editor’s Preface

1. Vanguardism: Hope for the Future
2. Thomas Carlyle: The Sage of Chelsea
3. Gabriele D’Annunzio
4. Charles Maurras & Action Franҫaise
5. Martin Heidegger
6. Savitri Devi
7. Julius Evola
8. Yukio Mishima
9. Maurice Cowling


About the Author

Praise for Extremists:

“Jonathan Bowden died in 2012, just short of his fiftieth birthday. But vanguardist that he was, he continues to lead us today, through his recordings, videos, and books like the one before you, always out there on the extremes, not gone—just gone before.”

—Greg Johnson, from the Editor’s Preface

“Jonathan Bowden was the most inspiring and entertaining speaker to emerge on the British Right in the last half-century. A protean, demi-divine improvisatory power was set free in his oratory and transcended the oft sorely unsatisfactory circumstances of his life. Extremists collects nine of his best orations. Even on the printed page, the power of his voice resonates, drawing us to the words he has left behind.”

—Stead Steadman, Organizer of the Jonathan Bowden Dinner

“Jonathan Bowden was arguably the greatest orator of his generation. Part of what elevated Jonathan’s oratory was his encyclopedic knowledge of politics, philosophy, history, literature, and the arts, and his ability to verbally regurgitate vast tranches of that knowledge at will—from memory—delivering names, dates, and other details with machine-gun rapidity. Jonathan could speak for an hour and a half without notes, skillfully knitting together one pertinent argument or analysis after another in a logical sequence that would keep his audience spellbound. Another factor that elevated Jonathan’s oratory was his keen sense of the dramatic. He had the rare gift of being able to express heroic sentiments in a way that was inspirational, compelling, and infectious. Strangely, Jonathan always claimed that he never knew what he was going to say until he stood up and opened his mouth. At that moment of truth, he was transformed from a modest and affable intellectual into a bravura performer at the lectern. Although Jonathan’s voice is stilled on the printed page, volumes like Extremists allow us to pause over and ponder his words, to better appreciate and share in the ideas he so urgently wished to communicate.”

—Max Musson, Western Spring


“This new collection of Jonathan Bowden’s speeches displays the broad-minded zest for life and infectious enthusiasm for knowledge and for wisdom that would have made him an ideal private tutor to a Prince. There was nothing at all of the pedantic pedagogue about him.  Where others failed—Plato with Dionysius of Syracuse and Seneca with Nero—Bowden I’m sure would have excelled. To describe the man is difficult, so we need a new word: ‘Bowdenesque.’ ‘Bowdenesque: a larger-than-life and warmer-than-life raconteur, conversationalist, and orator with a far-ranging and surprisingly eclectic erudition; a Brahmin with bonhomie; a Falstaff without the failings; an elitist not because he hates the masses, but because he loves them and wants what is best for his people, his culture, and indeed all peoples and cultures; a bon vivant who relishes all the good things in life, but especially culture and company; a calm, self-assured, self-contained cat that is intensely interested in and curious about literally everything and everyone, and eager to listen and learn, and, if requested, teach; a learned intellect with no illusions or limits, who knows the price of nothing, but the potential value of everything and everyone.’”

—Jez Turner, The London Forum, winner of the 2017 Jonathan Bowden Prize for Oratory

The Author

Jonathan Bowden (1962–2012) was a British novelist, playwright, essayist, painter, actor, and orator, and a leading thinker and spokesman of the British New Right. He was the author of some forty books—novels, short stories, stage and screen plays, philosophical dialogues and essays, and literary and cultural criticism—including Pulp Fascism: Right-Wing Themes in Comics, Graphic Novels, and Popular Literature, ed. Greg Johnson (Counter-Currents, 2013) and Western Civilization Bites Back, ed. Greg Johnson (Counter-Currents, 2014).

dimanche, 06 août 2017

Dr. Gert R. Polli : l’Allemagne entre les fronts


Bernd Kallina

Dr. Gert R. Polli : l’Allemagne entre les fronts

« De facto, l’Allemagne est un pays occupé » - Bilan critique de l’architecture sécuritaire de l’Allemagne

Le moment où est paru ce livre du Dr. Polli ne pouvait être meilleur. Son titre est déjà révélateur : « Deutschland zwischen den Fronten – Wie Europa zum Spielball von Politik und Geheimdiensten wird » (= L’Allemagne entre les fronts – Comment l’Europe est devenue le jouet du monde politique et des services secrets »). Cet ouvrage récent est dû à la plume du Dr. Gert R. Polli, ancien chef du Bureau fédéral autrichien pour la protection de la constitution et pour la lutte contre le terrorisme (le « BTV »). Déjà le titre fait allusion à un vieux problème, celui de la politique de sécurité nationale en Allemagne. Ce pays se trouve au beau milieu de l’Europe, ce qui rend l’organisation de sa sécurité plus difficile qu’ailleurs, soit dans les pays qui bénéficient d’une situation géographique plus favorable.

Cependant, on peut imaginer qu’une situation plus précaire, comme celle de l’Allemagne en matière de sécurité nationale, puisse être compensée par le recrutement d’un personnel professionnel et très qualifié dans la sphère politique et dans l’appareil d’Etat garantissant la sécurité du pays. Du moins si la volonté et la capacité y sont. L’auteur tire toutefois un bilan négatif dans son analyse très minutieuse du problème que pose la sécurité nationale allemande. Ce bilan fera grincer des dents. Car la thèse principale de Polli, dans ce livre, est la suivante : « L’Allemagne, aujourd’hui encore, demeure de facto un pays occupé ».


Ce sont effectivement les retombées de l’histoire de l’occupation du territoire allemand par les Alliés occidentaux qui sont à l’origine de la situation insolite de l’Allemagne en matière de sécurité nationale. C’est là aussi, ajoute Polli, le noyau des faiblesses que présente aujourd’hui l’appareil sécuritaire allemand. Cette situation a fait que les responsables de la sécurité nationale allemande ont toujours été inconditionnellement atlantistes. Les politiques allemands ont été séduits par l’américano-atlantisme pendant des générations ; ils ont fermé les yeux sur l’évidence, sur le fait que ce partenariat atlantiste en matière de sécurité a été utilisé et exploité à fond par les Etats-Unis pour espionner et contrôler l’Allemagne de fond en comble. Si l’on met cette dépendance en relation avec l’espionnage économique, dont l’Allemagne est victime depuis des décennies à cause des menées des services américains et britanniques, les dommages encourus par le pays sont de l’ordre de 50 milliards d’euro par an !

Cette situation aberrante et scandaleuse, Polli la décrit avec minutie d’autant plus qu’il ressort de cette description les mécanismes de coopération entre la NSA et les autorités allemandes, où ces dernières sont techniquement incapables de repérer cet espionnage économique. Elles n’ont pas davantage la volonté de se défendre. Dans un entretien accordé à la Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung de Hambourg, Polli déclare : « C’est ainsi que l’on peut expliquer que pendant plus d’une décennie les moteurs de recherches américains ont pu introduire des mots-clés dans le système du Bundesnarichtendienst (BND – Service fédéral du renseignement) qui, ultérieurement, se sont montrés très nocifs pour les intérêts allemands ».

On ne s’étonnera pas dès lors que, pour des motifs bassement électoralistes, le gouvernement de Madame Merkel a tout tenté pour occulter les faits révélés par Polli avant les élections de septembre 2017. En effet, les reproches que l’on peut adresser à ce gouvernement (et à ses prédécesseurs) ne sont nullement réfutables : les élites politiques en place ont négligé, pendant des décennies, de lutter contre l’espionnage systématique qui frappait le pays en prenant des mesures adéquates et efficaces.

En conclusion : si le gouvernement fédéral allemand garde le silence sur la situation décrite par Polli, pour ne pas être mis sur la sellette ou être cloué au pilori, à cause de ses négligences et de ses erreurs, ce ne doit pas être une raison pour l’opposition de se taire. Au contraire : le livre de Polli devrait être un manuel pour l’opposition nationale au gouvernement de la coalition entre chrétiens-démocrates et sociaux-démocrates de Berlin. Il devrait permettre aux opposants constructifs de poser des questions embarrassantes avant même qu’ils n’accèdent à la nouvelle Diète fédérale. Si cette opposition nationale n’en prend pas l’initiative, qui donc la prendra ?


(article paru dans « zur Zeit », Vienne, n°29-30, 2017 – http://www.zurzeit.at ).

dimanche, 30 juillet 2017

Les idées politiques d'Henry de Monfreid...


Les idées politiques d'Henry de Monfreid...

Les éditions du Lore viennent de publier un essai de Jean-Louis Lenclos intitulé Les idées politiques d'Henry de Monfreid. Une façon de redécouvrir sous un angle nouveau l’œuvre de l'auteur des Secrets de la Mer rouge , de La croisière du hachich ou de Mes vies d'aventure.

Pour commander l'ouvrage:


Cet ouvrage inédit présente le mémoire universitaire de droit soutenu par Jean-Louis Lenclos en octobre 1977, sous la direction du Professeur De Lacharrière, à l’université de Parix X- Nanterre.

Lorsqu’on consultait les proches d’Henry de Monfreid, ils répondaient invariablement : « il n’avait pas d’idées politiques, cela ne l’intéressait pas ; c’était un Aventurier ! »

Contrairement à divers fantasmes colportés, Henry de Monfreid ne fut à aucun moment cet individu louche, dénué de sens moral et de scrupules que recouvre habituellement ce terme d’aventurier.

En se penchant méticuleusement sur son œuvre littéraire prolifique, ce livre explore les idées politiques bien tranchées d’Henry de Monfreid.

Certaines de ses idées sont à rapprocher des penseurs traditionalistes tels que Louis de Bonald ou Joseph de Maistre, mais aussi Nietzsche par certains aspects.

Par ailleurs, Henry de Monfreid semble acquis à l’idée de hiérarchisation des races humaines. Plus surprenant, il vécut une extase quasi-religieuse en la présence de Mussolini…

Cette étude très bien documentée vous fera découvrir les grandes lignes politiques d’un homme qui considérait l’homme comme une créature foncièrement mauvaise et qui n’eut de cesse de s’affranchir des servitudes humaines. "

vendredi, 14 juillet 2017

The Silk Roads of Faith

Frankopan begins his journey not with trade in goods but trade in faith.  Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity (of more than one flavor), and eventually Islam (of more than one flavor) all come into play in this journey, and not always in a peaceful way.

As early as the third century B.C, Buddhist principles could be found as far to the east as Syria, with a Jewish sect in Alexandria, Egypt known as Therapeutai bearing unmistakable similarities to Buddhism.  In central Asia, forty Buddhist monasteries ringed Kabul.  Noted a visitor:

“The pavement was made of onyx, the walls of pure marble; the door was made from moulded gold, while the floor was solid silver; stars were represented everywhere one looked…in the hallway, there was a golden idol as beautiful as the moon, seated on a magnificent bejeweled throne.”

The first four centuries of the first millennium saw the explosion of Christianity and “a maelstrom of faith wars.”  Persia, the leading power during the rise of the Sasanian dynasty, was Zoroastrian, persecuting other religions and sects.

The story of the spread of Christianity from Palestine to the west is well known; the spread of Christianity to the east was far more remarkable and extensive.  Christianity was brought in through the trade routes, as well as through the deportations of Christians from Syria.  It was a Christianity with a communion different than that to be found in Rome.  This difference would prove to play a key role in the not too distant future. 


Evangelists reached north into Georgia, reaching a large community of Jews who converted.  There were dozens of Christian communities along the Persian Gulf and as far to the east as today’s Afghanistan.  As the influence of Christianity increased, the persecution by the Zoroastrian Persians followed suit.  For the leaders of the non-Persian minorities, Christianity was seen as a way to break free of the empire.  It was seen this way by the Persians as well.

Precisely how and when rulers in the Caucasus adopted Christianity is not clear.  One example regarding this should suffice, regarding the conversion of the Armenian King Tiridates III at the start of the fourth century:

…according to tradition, Tiridates converted after turning into a pig and roaming naked in the fields before being healed by St. Gregory, who had been thrown into a snake infested pit for refusing to worship an Armenian goddess.  Gregory healed Tiridates by causing his snout, tusks and skin to fall off before baptizing the grateful monarch in the Euphrates.

Way better than the story of Constantine, who looked up in the sky and saw a cross-shaped light.

Constantine’s conversion was a blessing to Christians of the west; it led to a disaster for Christians in the east.  While Christianity was not made a state religion, Constantine did declare himself the protector of Christians wherever they lived – even outside of the Roman Empire.

To the Persians, he presented himself as speaking on behalf of these eastern Christians.  From here on, every conversion was seen as an act of war.  In order to protect these eastern Christians, Constantine planned his attack on Persia; he was going to bring about God’s kingdom on earth.  As noted Aphrahat, head of a key monastery near Mosul, “Goodness has come to the people of God…the beast will be killed at its preordained time.”

Apparently this wasn’t the preordained time.  Unfortunately for these Christians, Constantine fell ill and died; Shapur II proceeded to unleash hell on the local Christian populations as payback for Constantine’s aggressions.  The list of martyrs was long.  It truly was a disaster for Christianity in the east.

Eventually the conflicts between Rome and the Persians settled down; the Persians secured key points on the routes of trade and communication.  Half of Armenia was annexed.  Both powers were faced with a new enemy coming from the steppes of Asia.


Driven by famine attributed by the author to catastrophic climate change (too many cows?  Volkswagen diesels?), the tribes of the steppes were driven westward.  They drove refugees in front of them, clear to the Danube.  Persia was not spared this invasion, with attacks along the major cities of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  This drove Persia and Rome into a previously unlikely alliance.

A massive fortification was built by the Persians along a 125 mile stretch between the Caspian and Black Seas.  Thirty forts spanned this expanse; a canal fifteen feet deep protected the wall; 30,000 troops manned this barrier.  Rome made regular financial contributions in support of this fortification; further, they supplied a regular contingent of soldiers to defend it.

As far as Rome itself was concerned, it all came too late; in 410, the city was sacked.  The city that controlled the Sea which was considered to be the center of the world was conquered.  To the Christian men of Rome, this was God handing out punishment for man’s sinful ways; to others, it was a result of Rome’s turn to Christianity and away from its pagan roots.

This was a benefit to Christians in the east; Rome was no longer seen as a threat to Persia.  Constantinople had its own defenses from these hordes to worry about, so there was little threat from this quarter either.

This relative calm allowed for the various Christian sects, east and west, to work out the doctrine – turning the Gospels and letters into consistent practice, belief, action and governance; the perfect opportunity to turn Christianity into a unified church.

It didn’t work out this way.  Bishops against bishops, sects against sects, unsettled debates at the various councils, power politics, and excommunication freely offered.  To offer any meaningful detail would only make my head hurt.

While the church in the west was busy rooting out deviant views, the church in the east went on a missionary outreach to rival any other.  From the tip of Yemen to Sri Lanka, Christian communities could be found headed by clergy appointed from Persia.  The author suggests that even during the Middle Ages there were more Christians in Asia than in Europe.


This outreach was made possible due to the tolerance shown by the Sasanian rulers of Persia – you might consider these the Constantines of the east.  The clergy would pray for the Shah’s health; the Shah would organize elections for the clergy.

It might be generally said that religious tolerance was shown throughout the region.  In Bamiyan, within today’s Afghanistan, two immense statues of Buddha stood – one as high as 180 feet.  Carved in the fifth century, they were left intact under later Muslim rule for 1200 years, ending only under the Taliban in 2001.

Others did not show as much tolerance.  While the Palestinian Talmud refers lightly to Jesus and His followers, the Babylonian Talmud takes a “violent and scathing position on Christianity.”  Converts to Judaism, according to one prominent rabbi, still had the evil in them until twenty-four generations have passed.

In the kingdom of Himyar, in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Jewish communities became increasingly prominent.  Judaism was adopted as the state religion; Christians faced martyrdom for their beliefs, after being condemned by a council of rabbis.

In any case, by around the middle of the seventh century, Christianity was generally on the march east, at the expense of Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Buddhism.

This period was to quickly come to an end.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

mercredi, 12 juillet 2017

Animal Farm: Beware of the Language of Equality


Animal Farm: Beware of the Language of Equality

by Charles Johnson
Ex: http://www.eurocanadian.ca

The impulse for writing this brief essay comes from teaching the book for several years abroad. In my simple observations about the work, I've employed a medical analogy, whereby, Old Major is a social physician; his patient is the ailing, but equally oblivious, population of farm animals, and the illness is the daily life on that farm, owned by Mr. Jones. This analysis of Animal Farm follows a therapeutic progression: from a diagnosis, to a prescribed therapy, and ending finally in a description of a state of health that should result if the treatment is followed. In contrast to the usual interpretation of Animal Farm which highlights Orwell's famous quote that "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others," the message of this medical analogy is that those who control language control politics and power.

In this respect, I'm aware of how Orwell uses Old Major to dramatize Karl Marx's critique of the struggle between owners and workers. But Orwell goes further, with important insights for the Alt Right. Aware that "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies," Orwell puts aside whatever his sympathies with the workers might be; he challenges the idea that "All animals are equal." First, he shows the failure of this idea by focusing on who controls language, and then he presents reasons why equality among all the animals might not be all that desirable. In doing this, Orwell went against the egalitarian impulses of his day, displaying an intellectual originality that is rightly admired but perhaps all too seldom imitated.

I. Diagnosis—Medical Analogy

What Old Major offers the other animals is a diagnosis of the exploitation and unfairness that infects daily life on the farm. He states:
We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.
Old Major educates the farm animals, making them aware that this is unhealthy. The animals "are forced to work," doing the most burdensome work to exhaustion, and in return, they only receive "just so much food as will keep the breath" in them — so that they can continue to work. As Old Major understands life on the farm, work is a major measure of value for most animals, and "the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered." Even at the end of a life-time of loyal labour on Manor Farm, animals don't get to enjoy retirement. Instead, they are mercilessly eliminated. Old Major assures Boxer that no animal is immune to this outcome: "the very day those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones [...] will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds." As with any good doctor, Old Major knows that it isn't enough to diagnose correctly the patient. The treatment must cure the illness.


II. Treatment

To treat the pandemic injustices of Manor Farm, Old Major prescribes the therapy of rebellion. Speaking to the animals gathered in the barn, Old Major says:
[W]ork night and day, body and soul, for the over throw of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!
A reader might ask: Why do the ills of Manor Farm have to be treated by the harsh remedy of rebellion? Any increase in animal rights is a decrease in Jones' control. Any further sharing out of resources diminishes profit for Jones. Moreover, not yet unified with the other animals by hunger, the individual animal poses no threat to Jones. The lone animal can't stand against the immediate punishment of a beating or starvation. Divided, the animals don't have power. Without power, negotiation is impossible. Jones doesn't need to compromise, so why would he? People in power rarely like to share it. The only recourse the animals have, therefore, is to take and redistribute power through violent revolution. Old Major believes that this forceful redistribution of power on the farm will be the end of inequality and making of a society based on harmonious relations without exploitation.

III. State of Health

But having always experienced inequality, the animals don't know what equality is, so Old Major has to show them. He does so in two ways: he addresses all the animals by the revolutionary sobriquet of "Comrade." All the animals are "comrades." Therefore, according to Old Major, "all animals are equal." Old Major further shows this to be true with the power of the vote. Each animal has a vote. The donkey's vote is no less a vote than the horse's vote. A pig's vote is no more a vote than a sheep's vote. Simply put, a vote is a vote is a vote. All votes are equal; consequently, all animals are equal. Yet readers must acknowledge this animal egalitarianism is only Old Major's hope for the future and not quite the reality, especially under the rule of the pigs.

IV. Language as a Measure of Power—Breakdown of Egalitarianism

Language is a measure of power on the Animal Farm. The pigs give the sheep their slogans "Four legs good, two legs bad," and "Four legs good, two legs better." The sheep are incapable of coming up with their own slogans. They're illiterate and under the control of the pigs. The sheep mindlessly memorize and repeat slogans at the pigs' behest. If Wittgenstein is right when he claims, "The limits of my language are the limits of my world," then clearly the sheep have a small world. But even more revealing might be the application of Wittgenstein's idea to describe the relationships of power on the Animal Farm: the limits of language are the limits of power. It is, therefore, no accident that the sheep have the least language and the least amount of power while the pigs have the most language, and the most power. The pigs, after all, write and revise the rules that govern life on the farm for all the animals. However, language alone doesn't separate the pigs from the others.


V. Leisure

Snowball is able to become the hero of the Battle of the Cowshed not only because of language but because of leisure. Orwell describes an ordinary day on the farm shortly after the rebellion:
The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership.
The pigs do have language ability to a high degree above the other animals. This "superior knowledge" of language is what makes it "natural that they should assume the leadership." Of course, later Snowball clearly makes use of this "superior knowledge" of language by reading about the campaigns of Julius Caesar. Snowball 's learning allows him to organize and direct the animals to defend themselves against the attacking humans; however, without leisure, even the most useful books remain unread. Therefore, it is not insignificant that the "pigs did not actually work;" un-tired at night, the pigs are holed up in the harness-room, studying "from books." There's an undeniably intimate connection between leisure and learning that enables Snowball to be heroic. Even the modern story-tellers of Hollywood can't ignore this fact. That is why the bat-suited hero of Gotham is the leisured Bruce Wayne during the day. Moreover, the iron-clad Tony Stark is equally free from draining daily work when he's not putting in a shift as Iron Man. In understanding Animal Farm, we shouldn't overlook the importance of leisure. Orwell and Hollywood might agree at least on this point: leisure doesn't make a person heroic, but it is awfully difficult to be heroic without leisure. But leisure isn't the only resource where the animals are found to be unequal.

VI. Food

Food not only is the product of the farm, but it is also proof that the egalitarian revolution of Animalism has failed. When the animals returned from a long day's work in the fields, they realized that "the milk had disappeared." If life on Animal Farm were truly egalitarian, wouldn't each animal get a portion of milk? Of course they would. But that doesn't happen. As Napoleon said, "Never mind the milk, comrades!" This inequality with food resources continues throughout the novel. Though the "animals had assumed" that the windfall apples "would be shared out equally," they soon learned that "all the windfalls were [...] for the use of the pigs." And even as the farm faces the winter hardship of food shortages, not all animals make equal sacrifices: "[A]ll rations were reduced, except those of the pigs and dogs." There are many examples of inequality on the Animal Farm that result from power, greed and the pigs' preference for pigs over other animals on the farm. But the most formidable and unyielding source of inequality might be Nature itself.

VII. Nature Isn't Egalitarian

Maybe we would like to believe that the failure of animal egalitarianism wasn't inevitable. But the truth, however, might be that it truly was never possible. The pigs have a natural advantage the other farm animals lack. Orwell writes that the pigs "had taught themselves to read and write." This auto-didactic aptitude for reading and writing reveals more than a few not insignificant natural abilities that the pigs have. The pigs have a passion for learning, for teaching themselves new abilities without being prompted to do so by others; moreover, what the pigs teach themselves is equally important because "to read and write" is to have power over others on the farm. The other farm animals are aware that the pigs are "manifestly cleverer" and therefore, "should decide the questions of farm policy." Nature has made the pigs different. And as Freud observes:
[N]ature, by endowing individuals with extremely unequal [...] mental capacities, has introduced injustices against which there is no remedy.
Nature isn't egalitarian, and clearly the pigs have benefited in part from the lottery of chance. Their leadership is the reward for being "superior" to the other animals. Nature and the effort of the pigs have made the animals unequal. Nonetheless, the "remedy" of enforced equality under Napoleon's dictatorship may be far worse than the disease of Nature's "injustices."


VIII. Undesired Outcomes of Egalitarianism

The dream of Old Major's egalitarianism turns into a nightmare under Napoleon's rule, and disagreement is outlawed through violence. One of Boxer's favorite slogans is "Napoleon is always right." He speaks more truth than he understands. Napoleon is always right. If he isn't, he exiles you or kills you. All animals are equal under Napoleon because they're all unable to dissent. Conformity is the unwritten law of Animal Farm. And its immediate consequences can't be ignored: countless deaths and tyranny; however, its unseen insidious effects are more dangerous. Maybe the windmill really fell because Benjamin refused to speak up. Since he "could read as well as any pig," who is to say that he didn't recognize the windmill's flaw of thin walls. If he realized the flaw, could it be that he chose to remain silent out of self-preservation? The silence of conformity comes at a cost: progress. As William Blake writes, "Without contraries is no progression." Doubtless, dissent is essential for progress and a healthy society. Silence puts an end to progress, and the tyranny of Napoleon turns even language into a weapon against the unsuspecting animals.

IX. Language as a Tool of Control

If you can say it, you can think it; you can do it. For this very reason, Napoleon bans "Beasts of England." Having witnessed the execution of their comrades by Napoleon's dogs, the farm animals retreat to the knoll and sing the song as an act of solace. Shortly afterwards, Squealer arrives. Orwell writes:
He announced that, by a special decree of Comrade Napoleon, 'Beasts of England' had been abolished. From now onwards it was forbidden to sing it.
The root of resistance is language; rebellion can't flower without it. "Beasts of England" is a song of rebellion, but now that Napoleon is in control, he doesn't want rebellion. The language of rebellion makes rebellion possible. Language comes first; the idea exists in language and only then is action possible. However, Squealer assures the animals that rebellion is "No longer needed" because, of course, Napoleon doesn't want it. To kill the flower, Napoleon tears out the root. It's not that "the Rebellion is now completed," as Squealer states, but rather that Napoleon has simply made rebellion impossible by eliminating its language. When the language of freedom disappears, slavery will be inescapable.

Orwell's work is rare in the world of books, and we do him the honor he deserves by reading it and reading it again. In Animal Farm, while sympathizing with the exploited and the urge for equality, he warned against the manipulation of those in control of the language of egalitarianism, the naive denial of the inescapable reality that animals and humans are not naturally equal, and that we must be wary of those who will manipulate us with words to believe we can be equal while not allowing open discussion about nature's inequalities.

dimanche, 09 juillet 2017

Troy Southgate: Spengler's "Der Mensch und die Technik"


Spengler's "Der Mensch Und Die Technik"

Troy Southgate (First N-AM International Conference,Madrid)