Moldbug, Auster and the Sword

A few weeks ago I pointed to an exchange between Larry Auster and Mencius Moldbug that illuminated certain points of interest. I printed just a brief excerpt. Here’s another, from the same post at VFR:

Auster:

So Moldbug is not grounded in anything. As I said at the start of this discussion, he’s just way out there. “Let’s be clear,” he writes. “You are not taking our pill as a public service. Rather, you are dosing up because you’d rather be high. Despite the agony of ingestion, it’s just too much fun to see your old reality from the outside. This, rather than ‘society,’ is why you will return to UR again and again.” Take away the somewhat sinister and menacing tone, but leave in place the pull of a self-destructive high, and Mencius here reminds me of a song from Jimi Hendrix’s beautiful last (and posthumous) album Cry of Love (which I last listened to maybe 25 years ago).

(The lyrics below are as I heard them on the album, not as they appear in written versions on the Web, which get some of the best lines wrong. On three or four lines I’m not sure of, I’ve followed the written versions. The second line, beginning “His mind fell out of his face,” is not something I ever heard, and it seems too strange and off-putting, and also out of place coming right before the more hopeful, “Get out there, man, and do your best.” I always thought the line was, “He was flyin’ from outer space, and the wind blew it away.” But that doesn’t make sense either; what is the “it”? So here I’m using the written version. I can’t find the recording on YouTube.)

Astro Man

A little boy inside a dream just the other day
His mind fell out of his face and the wind blew it away
A hand came out from heaven and pinned a badge on his chest
It said, “Get out there, man, and do your best”. (Yeah.)

They call him Astro man
And he’s flyin’ higher than
That old fashioned Superman 
Ever could.

Oh, they call him cosmic nut
And he’s twice as good as Donald Duck
And he’ll try his best to screw you up
The rest of your mind.

Oh, look out! my guitars.

Astro man, 
Flyin’ across the sky 
Two times higher than that old fashioned Superman 
Ever could.

There he goes, there he goes
Where he stops, no one knows
There he goes, there he goes
He’s tryin’ to, blow out the rest of your mind
He’s gonna blow out the rest of your mind
Talkin’ about living with a little peace of mind
Astro man will leave you a piece of it 
Have you put our trouble behind him
Make you fly around it in pieces
Yeah, blow out the rest of your mind
Astro man will blow out the rest of your mind
He’s gonna blow out the rest of your mind …(whoo, hoo)

Now this is one of the things to love about the late Mr. Auster. He talks of “self-destructive highs” and immediately quotes a Hendrix song. It’s a delicious juxtaposition that wouldn’t occur to many.

“In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

A year ago this spring, Auster was dying. Moldbug was moved to post The Greatness of Lawrence Auster. More than just an appreciation, there are clips inside that would bear repeating:

In case you haven’t heard, Larry is dying.  Say a prayer for him, or something.

Greatness?  I don’t know that anyone can really get away with the word in 2013.  What can greatness mean in a fourth-rate world?  In a fourth-rate world, the second-rate look great.  Worse, they feel great.  After all, they stand head and shoulders above their own age.   So why grow further?  Can we say that a Lawrence Auster saw farther, because he stood on the toes of dwarves?

Surely there’s a bit of that.  I think Auster’s work is best summarized by his statement, not a boast but merely the truth, that where the ordinary machine conservative takes a second look at our political narrative we live in, View from the Right took the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth looks.  Very well.  I think our differences are best summarized by my feeling that six looks are entirely insufficient for our exquisitely sterquiline age, thirty or forty being perhaps more like it.  Six looks are certainly not enough to understand why Henry VII is worth taking seriously.  If indeed he is.

But we did not visit VFR for a history of the past – but rather, a history of the present.  Are you by some strange chance reading this in the 22nd century?  Stranger things have happened.  Do you want to read the true story of the early 21st, wie est eigentlich gewesen?  Find the VFR archive.  It must be somewhere.  Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands – or some kind of full-search FPGA in your medulla.

“To show what actually happened.” What a simple-seeming thing, yet so fiendishly difficult in a time when the “news” is not the “first draft of history” but mostly a disgusting and lukewarm stew of fact, spin, shading, lies, obfuscation, propaganda, mind control and fnords.

Moldbug seeks to free the mind with alchemical DMT; Auster with distilled water. I myself have had both, and both have their uses.

“And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight;”

However, back to Moldbug on Auster:

The world of 2013 contains no genuine parliamentary institutions.  It contains the dried, bureaucratic husks of many – just as it contains the dried, bureaucratic husks of many old monarchies.  Before nations were ruled by a man “capable of prevailing over his rivals in single combat and face to face” with the sword of his tongue, they were ruled by the actual sword.  The king was a military leader.

Now we have no leaders of any kind.  At least, not in our political system.  Can you imagine a Barack Obama, stripped of his army of handlers, “in single combat and face to face,” in the old House of Commons or something like it, against… a Lawrence Auster?  Or even a Rush Limbaugh?  You might as well imagine Rush Limbaugh in a swordfight with Henry VII.

This is what I see when I look at Auster’s oeuvre – not just a prophet, but a leader.  A king, if you will.  A king out of water, in a dry and kingless age.  He was still born a king, or made himself one, and if you type in the right URL you can see it plain as day.

Does this have anything to do with Larry’s faith?  Of course it does.  It is impossible to imagine a king who does not serve the King of Kings.  Or rather, if we imagine one, we find ourselves looking for other words, pejorative ones – like “dictator.”  What were Hitler and Stalin, but godless kings?

More:

It is also a well-defined and cogent statement to say that Lawrence Auster is a servant of God.  One can serve without orders.  Larry doesn’t need God’s cell-phone number to serve God, and nor for that matter does the Pope.  When we say “God,” we know what we mean – it is a shorthand for the superhuman and perfect, for infinite wisdom and intelligence, just as the character of Hamlet is a shorthand for a mercurial and hesitating character.  What, pray tell me, is the Flying Spaghetti Monster a shorthand for?

At the level of evolutionary psychology, man is both a social animal and a hierarchical one.  Not only is he extremely good at defining and relating to characters, he is born with “modules” both for ruling and for serving.  Anyone living is the descendant of many kings and many, many servants.  Those kings, too, were born knowing how to serve.  Whom did they serve?  We know the answer.

Whether a man is a king, a peasant or anything in between, to ask him to be an atheist and an egalitarian is to ask him not to use the machines in his brain that he was born with.  It is to diminish him as a human being.  The capacity to personalize the superhuman, and to use this fictional anthropomorphism as a mechanism by which we may approach the superhuman, is characteristically human.  I suppose I will never be anything but a “secular humanist,” but I have learned in this way to respect, admire, and sometimes even envy my Christian friends.

 

For instance, characteristic of the enormous, and certainly regal, dignity of the man, is the strength and honor with which Auster approaches death.  Socrates was not a Christian, nor was Cato, nor were the 47 Ronin.  So atheists need not despair of these qualities.  On the other hand, neither Socrates nor Cato had to live in the same world as Beyonce.  It strikes me as quite implausible that when our dark age ends and the kings return, if ever, it will be under any banner but the Cross.

Or as Maistre put it:

Frenchmen, it was to the noise of hellish songs, the blasphemy of atheism, the cries of death, and the prolonged moans of slaughtered innocence, it was by the light of flames, on the debris of throne and altar, watered by the blood of the best of kings and an innumerable host of other victims, it was by the contempt of morality and the established faith, it was in the midst of every crime that your seducers and your tyrants founded what they callyour liberty.

But when man works to restore order he associates himself with the author of order; he is favored by nature, that is to say, by ensemble of secondary forces that are the agents of the Divinity.  His action partakes of the divine; it becomes both gentle and imperious, forcing nothing yet not resisted by anything.  His arrangements restore health.  As he acts, he calms disquiet and the painful agitation that is the effect and symptom of disorder.  In the same way, the hands of a skilful surgeon bring the cessation of pain that proves the dislocated joint has been put right.

When I look at VFR, especially when I look at the thanks and well wishes of Larry’s readers, this is what I see – a small area of order, in the hands of a skilful surgeon.  Who will not be with us much longer.  But humanity abides, and other surgeons will come.  They will need not a scalpel, but a sword.  Let us pray they are no less skilful.

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

There is all sorts of opinion about whether Neoreaction is, and is becoming; critical analysis, a diagnosis of ills, a prescription for cure? Many believe in quietism, in wu wei. I am, myself, a big believer in what I call “creative inaction.”

Most problems in life, left alone, resolve themselves. Our frenetic and stressful efforts to “solve” them sometimes do so, sometimes make them worse, sometimes have no visible effect.

The degradation of society and the West through the tender mercies of progressivism is proceeding apace. There is time and room for debate about how long to let it burn.

But we’d best not let it burn to long, and we’d best prepare to take up the sword at any time.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” 

We’d better keep our eyes open, friends.

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Briefly, Humor

Even the most hardened Neoreactionary street fighter living in the sewers of a Great American City does not live by the Red Pill alone.

Thus, this post.

greyskull

(Image, h/t Vulture of Critique)

 

bingo-night-just-got-real

 

 

 

 

 

Thug Life has reached The Heartland in a most disturbing way, plus BOYZ, TELL GRANNY TO KEEP HER FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL SHE’S READY TO CAP SOMEONE! (Image, h/t some random gif site)

 

 

 

Amusing Proto-Neoreactionary Thoughts from 2006

I wrote this bit back in 2006–over eight years ago. Recently ran across it and it was amusing; I was just playing around, but perhaps the germ of future NRx can be discerned here? Or perhaps the germ of a paranoid whackjob. YOU be the judge!

(Unedited except to protect the guilty: May, 2006. Not all links come with a money-back guarantee!)

I’m currently on vacation in Arizona and reading Jim Marrs’s Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids, which is a pretty even-handed look at the connections between secret societies, the ‘money power,’ Big Business, Big Government and the space aliens (okay that’s a joke…that was a different book by Marrs).

While it makes for a fun poolside read for a guy like me, who can’t go in for bestselling novels without falling asleep, I don’t take it all too seriously; except–

Why would supposedly ‘populist’ politicians in the United States Senate ignore the overwhelming poll numbers and communications from their constituents in favor ‘border enforcement,’ and continue down the path of amnesty (don’t call it that!)?

Why would a President whose poll numbers are alarmingly low not do likewise? For that matter, why were both major candidates for President in 2004 members of Skull and Bones, a Yale ‘fraternity’ that only taps 15 new members a year?

Why was a little-known governor chosen to be a member of the Trilateral Commission in 1973 and why and how did he become the ‘shocking’ winner of the Presidency in 1976?

Does it really matter who we elect to office or is it just a show for the rubes to keep ’em happy while the decisions are made for them by a technocratic elite?

For that matter, does this ‘elite’ actually know best and is doing all this hard and dirty work behind the scenes to guide humanity to a better future than it could ever have through so-called ‘democracy?’

Is Instapundit their agent? Is Kos?

Just think for yourself and don’t take anything for granted, all right?

The Servile Mind

Today’s quick note–I came across this book and thought it so right up the NRx alley I was surprised I’d never heard of it before, that I can remember. The late author seems to have been quite a wonderful character:

Minogue wrote academic essays and books on a great range of problems in political theory. His 1963 book The Liberal Mind, about the perversion of the liberal label by radical leftists became popular internationally. Minogue argued that genuine liberalism rests on the tradition of thinkers like Adam SmithBenjamin ConstantAdam FergusonAlexis de TocquevilleJohn Stuart Mill et al., who built the foundation for a conservative perspective. Minogue defended civility, decency, and moderation against globalists and leftists, and advocated an honest and transparent public sphere where individuals can freely pursue their own ideas of happiness.

The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life

 

“News”, the Great Distractor

Hipster Racist has one of the most amusing blog names around, writes a lot of 50 Shades of Gray-esque porn and believes 9/11 was an inside job. Or says he does. He also presents a series of posts full of facts about how the USG, CIA and a cast of thousands experimented with drugs, hypnosis and other mind control techniques for decades. This part of the presentation is so well-documented elsewhere, so old-news and so, well, mainstreamed, that we don’t think about it too much these days. I mean, all that LSD dosing is just historical, now. Our government, under the control of good liberals like Barack Obama (and George Bush and Bill Clinton) would never continue to experiment with mind control, in these enlightened days. That went out with the Cold War.

I’m sure.

The thing about the internet is that beside its utilitarian goodness it’s also the ideal platform for any number of elaborate shaggy dog stories. Or trolls inside of trolls. Just as “to cross again is not to cross,” the web facilitates the presentation of reality in such a way as to make said reality seem fantastic and unbelievable; but by adding an additional layer, the reality can be presented as only seeming fantastic and unbelievable because “They” have tried to suppress it. This is like catnip to a certain subset of high-IQ people, who are, or believe they are, the only ones who “get the joke.”

I am one such myself, so I would know.

Wag the Dog I:

If you follow The Daily Outrage, and if you look for trends based on what is in the media, you miss actual macro trends and instead are following a narrative, one that is constructed for you. Some of the events may be “real” but many are “staged.” When you watch TV, whether or not it’s “news” or “fiction” – that is what you are doing. Watching a video. You rarely know much about the context except what you are told.

Continue reading

Robert Heinlein, The Man Who Learned Better

Not completely off the topic of this blog: The second and final volume of the late William Patterson’s biography of Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Learned Better, is out today.

That subtitle is significant. I won’t have the book in hand for a few more days, but “The Man Who Learned Better” was Heinlein’s description of one of the main plots in fiction. I’m sure you can come up with examples. Heinlein himself, a Navy officer in the 1920s and 30s, whose career was cut short by tuberculosis, was an All-American patriot and (self-described) libertarian, but also very much a liberal-progressive and World Government advocate (to control nuclear weapons), until a trip around the world, the actions of the “liberated” colonies and the behavior of the Soviet Union came together in 1950s to impel him toward what might be called a more reactionary position, at least on some issues.

By the time he published the classic Starship Troopers in 1959 he was being called a “fascist” by some on the Left. From progressive to “fascist” in a matter of a few years; The Man Who Learned Better, indeed. Anyway, what Heinlein was, always, was an individualist. He was never a man who would stand still to be pigeonholed.

Also, you might find this intriguing: Mencius Moldbug to Larry Auster

[B]asically, where I’m coming from is that I grew up reading a lot of science fiction. Which except for (a very significant exception) Robert A. Heinlein, was of a generally liberal flavor. Also, I was a Foreign Service brat and lived overseas a lot.

So I was never much of a believer in the American nationalist mythology. I was a believer in the American liberal mythology. Thus I fell out of the latter not into the former, but into (as you put it) nothing at all. Of course, I would say I identify more with European civilization as a whole, but this is not really a living tradition. The only significant living traditions are American nationalism and American liberalism. While I prefer the former, you are correct that I don’t identify with it.

I of course understand and am sympathetic to your point that no politically significant population will ever adopt an “Astro Man” perspective. Even libertarianism is far more accessible than reactionary neo-Jacobitism, or whatever. However, since I’m not a believer in democracy, this doesn’t really bother me. In the long run, power is held by elites. In the short run, I think people read UR not because they think they’re participating in a plot to take over the world and restore the Stuarts, but because it’s always refreshing and entertaining, and hopefully a little liberating as well, to think this far outside the box.