Book Review: Love in the Age of Dispossession by Loretta Malakie

Love in the Age of Dispossession by Loretta Malakie

This is a deceptive book.

Oh, it delivers what it promises, and more, but in the beginning there’s a little essay about the decline of rural America, farm country (in this case, Upstate New York) and Le Grande Remplacement. Then for a while it seems to be a Generation X teen romance. A high school Goth girl is sitting on a park bench in a small town in Upstate New York:

“It’s 1993, and when a boy loved a girl he made her a mixtape.”

Catherine “Kitty” Burnes is an Irish-Catholic wannabe rebel who’s been accepted at Ivy League schools, but there’s a sense that Something Is Not Right with her world. The first part of the novel subtly hints at the coming troubles, the emptying and degradation of small town America and the great White die-off that would follow. But on first reading you might think it’s something else, an almost photo-realistic description of one young American woman’s life, upwardly mobile, out of the sticks and away from the hicks and on to New York City, the vibrancy and the multiculturalism and the thousand different ethnic restaurants. The media ecology around her, and us, relentlessly tells us this is what we want, the pinnacle: Freedom! Freedom from, from neighbors who know your business, your stupid high school friends and limits on your “self-expression” and, most of all, freedom to have sex when you want, with who you want, without pain or fear or guilt. By the time Kitty arrives to live as an adult in New York the relentless propaganda for Erica Jong’s Zipless F*** is well into its second generation. And instead of fulfillment, it delivers anomie.

The sequence of events here is a deadpan, devastating parody of what Cosmopolitan and Sex and the City and a score of network comedies have sold to rest of America as The Good Life: Kitty goes to Cornell, Kitty goes to Europe (though we read only the barest details of her time there), Kitty goes to New York City, Kitty goes to law school and clerks for a federal judge. And none of it satisfies or fulfills or brings any real happiness, because she’s detached, from her people and her nature as a woman. She knows something is wrong. Always something is missing.

It’s tribe that’s missing, the home ground, people who know you, knew you as a towheaded child and still see that sun-kissed hair when you pass them on the street as an adult, people who know what to expect from you. New York is the land of constant, wearing uncertainty, except for those for whom it is the home ground.

Ms. Malakie delivers a surprisingly complete and colorful picture of those for whom the city is home ground, especially the Orthodox Jews that Kitty ends up spending time with. She captures the essence of their comfort with each other and the city. For a time, during law school and after, Kitty associates with them almost as a substitute family, though eventually the inherently unsatisfactory nature of these relationships comes home to roost. The novel also has two vividly drawn, college-educated black New Yorkers and one black affirmative action nightmare. As unrepresentative as former may be of the average, they lend a certain verisimilitude to work life in the city.

The art of the book is in the building; building complexity as Kitty grows up, building realization of the existential crisis she and her people are facing. The last section, which could only be spoiled by any explicit description of events, builds toward Kitty’s realization of her true nature and of what can redeem her, and us.

The novel has some imperfections that a good editor would have caught. There is some rather heavy-handed foreshadowing earlier in the book that could have been cut, and also an instance of the third-person narrator being an “I.” There’s one paragraph that looks to have got mangled in processing. These imperfections are far outweighed by the skillful, gradual increase in tension and depth as the story unfolds, and a moving last section that delivers on the book’s premises and the promises the reader has come to expect from what came before.

Love in the Age of Dispossession subtly and movingly shows the pathologies of feminism, modernism and materialism. More importantly, it artfully discovers and describes the life-affirming alternative.

Love in the Age of Dispossession is available on Amazon

Loretta Malakie tweets @lorettatheprole

Neovictorian is the author of Sanity, a Novel.

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“The Powers of the Earth” by Travis J. I. Corcoran–a Review and an Appreciation

About a year ago I opined on The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction here, while I was in the middle of writing Sanity. As I wrote then:

What’s needed is an interesting story and interesting characters. What’s needed is what any good novel needs, making the reader care about what happens next…What I’ve found is that if you just write the story, there are plenty of opportunities to slip the Dark Enlightenment and the Red Pill and whatever other points you want to make in as a natural part of the narrative.

I just finished Travis J. I. Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth, and while it’s not necessarily, precisely DE/RP, it’s…a great book. It’s great as “hard” sci-fi, it’s great as satire on Political Correctness and the various idiocies of Current Year and politicians and DC and socialism. But what makes it more than good is the way these strands come together in a great, big story, a story in which the reader an hardly wait to find out what happens next.

I’ve read thousands of novels, friends. This is the Real Deal.

I’ll let the Author explain his own plot (from the Amazon description):

Earth in 2064 is politically corrupt and in economic decline. The Long Depression has dragged on for 56 years, and the Bureau of Sustainable Research is hard at work making sure that no new technologies disrupt the planned economy. Ten years ago a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately-developed anti-gravity drives onto rusty sea-going cargo ships, loaded them to the gills with 20th-century tunnel-boring machines and earthmoving equipment, and set sail – for the Moon.

There, they built their retreat. A lunar underground border-town, fit to rival Ayn Rand’s ‘Galt’s Gulch’, with American capitalists, Mexican hydroponic farmers, and Vietnamese space-suit mechanics – this is the city of Aristillus.

There’s a problem, though: the economic decline of Earth under a command-and-control economy is causing trouble for the political powers-that-be in Washington DC and elsewhere. To shore up their positions they need slap down the lunar expats and seize the gold they’ve been mining. The conflicts start small, but rapidly escalate.

Yes, there will be fighting.

The thing I’d point out, though, is just how vivid are the characters. They’re masterfully built up so that shortly after the first chapters I cared about them. And some of the most interesting and memorable characters are Dogs, with a capital “D”–I won’t say too much about them, except Dogs are people too…

I am a great admirer of Robert Heinlein’s work and anyone who’s read Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress will soon realize The Powers of the Earth has some interesting echos of it. Corcoran even brings them up himself, with characters discussing TMIAHM within the book. He manages to pull off exploring some of the same themes as Heinlein, giving tribute to Heinlein but taking things in new (and often surprising) directions. This is not rehashed Heinlein, nor is it really Galt’s Gulch on the Moon–though it has some elements of Atlas Shrugged, too (especially Rand’s gift for creating Bad Guys and Gals That Work for the Government).

The Powers of the Earth is a vivid, riveting page-turner that had me caring a great deal about its characters, and what’s going to happen next. And it ends on the perfect cliffhanger…luckily the second book Causes of Separation is already loaded, so I’m going to go find out.

Richard Carroll Reviews “Sanity” at Thermidor Magazine

Richard Carroll, refined literary blogger at Everything is Oll Korrectreviews Sanity in Thermidor Magazine.

At Thermidor: “Our Aesthetic is lucid madness.” Interesting how well that does fit with one of the things I was trying to do with Sanity, explore the balance of Apollo and Dionysius, reason and ecstasy, in a well-lived life.

It’s a generally favorable review, but more important to me is that Richard took the time and had the intellectual chops to understand the book and communicate that. There’s nothing a writer wants more, deep down in his soul.

A sample:

I bring this all up because preachiness was my main concern going into today’s novel, Sanity, written by Neoreactionary blogger Neovictorian. Since I only know him through his articles and am unaware of any previous experience he may have writing fiction, I feared that his book would turn out as either a political tract thinly disguised as a story or a wish-fulfilment fantasy. Though there are NRx and broader dissident Right gang signs all over the joint, they never get in the way of the narrative and the end result is, I’m happy to say, a genuinely good novel that stands well on its own as a novel.

You can follow Richard and read his most interesting takes on a universe of topics at @CheshireOcelot

Some Background on Sanity – the Novel

I’m pleased and grateful for the comments and feedback I’ve received on Sanity so far. I thought a bit of background on the origin, the sources and the writing process would be interesting to some readers. Just a taste, though. As with a woman, mystery about the thing is vital to continuing interest.

Like many of you I’ve been an avid reader from the beginning, that is from the earliest days I can remember learning to read. Anybody who has read a good book and has a spark of creativity has thought about writing one themselves, how it gets done and what it takes, the time and the struggle. I remember when I was 15 talking to a woman at our church who had published several successful “Young Adult” books: “I have so many good ideas for books!” She just smiled and said: Continue reading

Review: “A Rambling Wreck” – Book 2 of The Hidden Truth by Hans G. Schantz

I’ve had a deep fascination with “hidden truths” as long as I can remember. Conspiracies, secret societies, smoke-filled back rooms, intelligence agencies, etc., etc. I believe I was 11 when I found None Dare Call It Conspiracy in Grandpa’s bookshelf; perhaps not old enough to really understand it, but old enough to be interested and to look in the encyclopedia for the persons and entities mentioned there for follow-up research.

After that there were the spy novels of Ian Fleming and others, then I got into the JFK conspiracy books when I was 14…may adventures with that are described in my piece Occam and Me on JFK and 9/11. In conjunction with my reading on the UFO phenomenon:

It was a slow-motion mystical journey similar to the quest for the Great White Whale, a quest for the Key to Everything “they” had been withholding from “us” over the whole history of the Republic, the real meaning of the symbols on the dollar bill and the goings-on in Ivy League secret societies and the Jekyll Island Duck Hunt and, probably, the aliens on ice at Wright-Patterson.

While I may have concluded that Lee Oswald, Lone Gunman, shot JFK, that didn’t take away from a whole lot of other interesting things. Not all the good conspiracies are true; but some of the best of them are in fiction…

Now comes Hans G. Schantz with his “The Hidden Truth” series. I mentioned it in my post The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction last summer, but at that time I hadn’t read the second volume, A Rambling Wreck. Now I’ve read it twice. And not only is it a fun and entertaining read, it’s also practical; a practical manual for flying under Big Government’s radar and infiltrating, undermining and ratfucking Social Justice Warriors. What could be more fun than that?

Since his debut in The Hidden Truth our hero Peter Burdell has grown up, a lot. Losing your parents to government assassins will do that. But Peter is also trying to ace (or at least pass) his classes in his freshman year at Georgia Tech, infiltrate the power elite (The “Civic Circle”) and the burgeoning SJW movement at Tech. Also, earn some money working in a lab. Also, possibly, meet a nice girl.

You do need to read The Hidden Truth to understand what’s up in A Rambling Wreck, but that’s a feature, not a bug. Just buy them both! Hell, at the same place you can buy Dr. Schantz’s awesome book on ultrawideband antennas.

But back to the specific book at hand, A Rambling Wreck. Why should you buy and read it?

It’s fun, it’s well written, it’s just plain good science fiction and it satisfies. Also, it’s a practical guide to understanding, infiltrating and grandly screwing with college SJWs. After you’ve read it, buy a copy (of both volumes) for your friends and children at school! Buy copies for younger kids, too. These books show how young people should conduct themselves with honor and perseverance, and not through preaching, but through example.

Anyway, as I said, our hero has grown up quite a bit in the course of the two books. There is some mild profanity and a singular use of the ‘f-word” and the sexual content is a little more advanced, but it fits with the arc of the story appropriately. In fact something I particularly like is how Peter is tepid about “Gaming” girls and leans toward finding himself a more serious, committed and deeper relationship.

One last note: There are several sections of the book with discussions of physics that are not going to be easily digested by the “casual” reader. They’re important to the plot and belong. If you can’t shut out the buzz of stupidity around you for a few minutes and buckle down to some deeper thinking, well, you haven’t Become Worthy quite yet.

Think. Deeply.

And buy and read A Rambling Wreck.

Steelmanning Liberalism (I)

I’ve loved the term “steelmanning” ever since I first read it, somewhere in Slate Star Codex. Scott Alexander seems to have used the term many, many times and I don’t know exactly in which piece I first saw it, but credit where credit is due.

I was reminded of it again a few days ago when the estimable Geoffrey Miller pointed out that Conor Frieders… okay, I don’t want to get into that, or him. Let’s just leave it that the tweet inspired me to at last begin a post I’ve been contemplating for some time:

Steelmanning Liberalism

As to what liberalism is, what it is exactly that we’re steelmanning here, let’s refer to La Wik, for its universalism (heh):

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation

I’m sure that my target demographic here experiences a certain distaste, perhaps even physical revulsion to “Liberalism” because for the discerning, the term conjures up images like this:

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Or perhaps this:slt

These are the seeming fruits of liberalism, and by their fruits ye shall know them; all of us experiencing sanity feel a natural and healthy revulsion at such things. But let’s be honest. These are the strawmen of liberalism, or, perhaps one could say, merely the products of mental illness. What are the very best arguments for liberalism? What are the Steelmen?

I identify four, in descending order of importance:

  1. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely destructive war between nation-states
  2. Liberalism prevents or makes very unlikely civil war within nation-states
  3. Liberalism in general prohibits and discourages the killing of individual humans
  4. Liberalism provides the maximum opportunity for individual humans to develop their “human potential”

Today, we focus on (1). Obviously if this were true,  it would be a powerful argument that everyone, everywhere should adopt a liberal political system. War does not further good “reactionary” values like strong families with a committed father and mother in their complementary roles, like subsidiarity, like voluntarism and local control and craftsmanship. War produces single moms and orphans, national emergency governments running roughshod over all forms of local outlook and control, the involuntary military draft and mass production of material that is not for construction and admiration but for the express purpose of destruction and dealing death.

The notion that “Democracies don’t fight each other” was expressed by George W. Bush in 2004 and by his almost equally liberal predecessor Bill Clinton in 1994, but as helpfully pointed out by the BBC:

Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, [was] published in 1795. Kant’s theory is that democratic leaders are restrained by the resistance of their people to bearing the costs and deaths of war. And a democratic culture of negotiation and conciliation, plus the hurdles to taking swift action, favours peace.

For simplicity we here use “democracy” and “liberalism” interchangeably. In Current Year, all significant “liberal” regimes are democracies, whether parliamentary or American-style, and all actual “democratic” systems (those with voting and a regular, peaceful transfer of state power) are considered “liberal” under the definition above. The fact that a number ill-liberal nations hold sham elections is, in itself, significant. The fact that many “democracies” still have (powerless) monarchies is irrelevant. Luxembourg is as cute as a button; we will discuss it no further, unless it goes to war.

Now, it’s possible to dispute whether, in fact, liberal regimes or democracies have never, ever, gone to war with each other; the Guardian provides a helpful summary of possible exceptions. The best the good Professor could come up with was the (maybe, possibly) the War of 1812 and the Peloponnesian War.

Athens’s attack on Syracuse refutes the hypothesis, yet it is questionable whether the Athenians knew that Syracuse possessed a democratic polity or whether the rule of democratic peace applies to ancient warlike republics.

Color me unconvinced. One could argue that the US-Mexican War of 1846-8 qualifies, but the Mexican government in 1846 wasn’t liberal, or indeed outside of Mexico City much of anything but a mess. So I’m not buying. Some fools try to claim that Hitler was “elected” (he was appointed Chancellor). Germany was a democracy in 1933. Anyone want to make the case that it was still in 1939?

The American Civil War of 1861-5 belongs to Part II.

Liberalism has, arguably, been around as an important idea since Locke and other thinkers of the 17th century (see Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle for a great fictional treatment of the era). Modern liberal political regimes have been around since 1776. They have steadily increased in numbers since then, and they’ve not gone to war with each other. If all nation-states were liberal in construction, war would be extinct, or very, very rare.

This is the most important fruit of liberalism.

Consider it Steelmanned, Part I.

Quo Vadis, Reaction?

In the apocryphal Acts of Peter the original The Rock is said to be fleeing Rome and probable death by crucifixion when he meets Jesus on the road. Peter asks, “Quo vadis?” (Where are you going?”), to which He replies, “Romam eo iterum crucifigi” (“I am going to Rome to be crucified again.”), upon which Peter turns around goes to meet his fate.

It’s been almost three and a half years now since I started blogging here about “NeoReaction” (caps in the original) and the “Dark Enlightenment.” The story of that beginning is here. At any rate, I must say that I saw NRx then as an intellectual hobby of sorts, full of people more interesting than the political types I’d been working for, and with, since 1998. I never truly thought, then, that by whatever name, it would be a thing, written up in national magazines and talked about on the Old Media Sunday shows.

Yet, here we are.

It turned out that the label “Alt-right” would be the one that caught fire, with its hint of racist catnip that Big Media just could not resist. Hillary Clinton, in a move that did absolutely nothing to get her elected, opened her trap and gave “Alt-right” about $100 million in free publicity, Donald Trump became President of the United States (I’m still surprised, to be honest), his advisor St. Steve Bannon was/is excoriated daily as the Alt-Right éminence grise racistis (I know, I know) and in the last few days we’ve had a long Andrew Sullivan piece indeed and entire issue of New York magazine devoted to the Reaction, Alt-right and whatever other terms of opprobrium trembling Acela corridor scribes have vomited out.

Since I don’t want to get too confused, and confusing, myself, for the purposes of the rest of this I use the term Reaction as an umbrella to describe something that has surely evolved and changed from the original trichotomy, which was about Neoreaction, not “Alt-right” whatever that is. Still, I find it helpful after all these years:

trefoil2

Where Based Stick Man, Dark Triad Man and the various young blonds fall in there, I’m not sure, but let us proceed.

Where are you going, Reaction?

Breaking things down:

Facts

A list of things  I find basically indisputable (you’re welcome to dispute then, though):

  • Muslims will continue to out-breed everyone else in Western Europe. The conflicts there will simply ratchet up, a little at a time, until we get Soumission. I don’t think there is any amount of persuasion, demotic politics, blog posts and/or Tweets that can change this. Therefor, Traditional Europeans are going to have to form enclaves and possess the real weapons needed to protect them, or…mass deportation sparking civil war as the only real alternatives to converting. This comes to a head within 8-10 years. No Pan-European Right Wing Savior is going to be sent by history to recapitulate the Gates of Vienna. Suck it up for the long haul Europeans–and have as many children as you can, even if it’s just as a big Middle Finger to your would-be conquerors.
  • Eastern Europe is generally going the opposite direction, and will resist Brussels pressure even unto leaving the EU. They actually seem to understand in Warsaw and Budapest that survival is more important than marginal lifestyle gains from trade! Americans and West Europeans will be migrating there in greater and greater numbers over the next decade. Especially men, for the obvious reasons. How long until we read a piece by some freaked-out feminist that advocates immigration laws stopping Western bros from moving over there and mating with the slim, young, pretty homemaking E. Euro girls? Maybe it’s already out there; if not, remember me when you see the first one.
  • For the United States, let’s lay out some more hatefacts: Black people are not going away, they’re going to be basic thread in the fabric for the long term, so don’t write posts that fantasize about how Awesome things would be if they went somewhere else. America is going to be a multi-racial society for our lifetime and more. As in Europe there is going to be more and more movement toward enclaves of the like-minded, both physical and Phyle or Order types, as in The Diamond Age novel that inspired the background and basis of this blog. I posted about this a good while ago, and stand by what I wrote then.

Trump

  • The sharpest minds in the field, like Moldbug and Land, have consistently warned that democracy was the problem, thus amelioration could never be found by Electing the Right People ; none the less, almost all our friends hoped in their hearts of hearts for a Trump victory, as a way to slow the Decline, a breathing space, and in some maybe just a secret tiny hope that he would Drain the Swamp and found the House of Mar a Lago, or whatnot. Sorry, we’re not getting a National Monarchy in the States anytime soon (some good fiction may disagree) and Trump v. Deep State has been one-sided so far…how does one root out the Deep State in the U.S.? American Reaction can only route around it, and is actually doing a fair job of that. If all you do is read the online Reactosphere you wouldn’t know how much is going on behind the scenes and “IRL” – it’s considerable.
  • Any attempt to remove Trump through impeachment or the 25th Amendment route would precipitate considerable pushback by the Deplorables and probably act as an enzyme to rapidly speed up the American societal changes described above. So it is to be hoped for–and the smarter Democrats seem to realize this and are backing off the impeachment talk. Trump will serve his term.
  • Even given that, just keep going to the shooting range on a regular basis and keep restocking your ammo. Seems probable to me that in the next 0.1 to 10 years there’s going to be city-level terrorist act in the U.S. It won’t directly affect 99% of the country, but the supply chain and utilities disruptions and consequent urban riots will.

The Rectification of Names

  • #AltRight – Brett Stevens did an excellent summary piece on the term “Alternative Right” last August. In a previous post he had written: “[T]he Alternative Right is an alternative to white nationalism as much as the Republicans. The goal of the Alternative Right is to establish principles by which civilizations thrive, in contrast to the dying principles upon which we base our current time.”
  • Which to me sounds a great deal like how Neoreaction (#NRx) was defined by some, sometimes. The difference, well summarized in 2015 by Butch Leghorn channeling the dear departed Bryce Laliberte is that Neoreaction is a culture. #AltRight is not a culture. Leghorn also identified, in the broadest sense, #NRx with Land’s Cult of Gnon: Gnon is no less than reality, whatever else is believed. Whatever is suspended now, without delay, is Gnon. Whatever cannot be decided yet, even as reality happens, is Gnon. If there is a God, Gnon nicknames him. If not, Gnon designates whatever the ‘not’ is. Gnon is the Vast Abrupt, and the crossing. Gnon is the Great Propeller.
  • This far, far different than Stevens’ Alt Right. In my Rectification of Names, Land’s Dark Enlightenment is the Base of all the rest, of “Reaction,” #NRx, #AltRight, Human Biodiversity, European New Right, “White Nationalism” (however defined), Archeofuturism and various other people and things in their Infinite Variety.
  • One must first be Darkly Enlightened to understand any of the rest of it. It’s not necessary that one read Land’s series; people had managed to Darkly Enlighten themselves and each other long before that.
omega

Mysterious Awakening Image

By whatever name(s), this phenomenon only began and could only have grown and risen higher after the internet and the rapid memetic mutation it enabled. That’s why it’s so hard to categorize and control. Like water, the harder you try and grasp it, the more it slips through your fingers. But like water, it can gradually erode and even destroy the foundations of a…Cathedral. And it will go where Gnon wills it.

All we as individuals can really do is train. Lifting, shooting, unarmed martial arts, and especially mental training. Conscious control of brain states, logic, memory. Teaching our children and other young people we are in a position to influence All of the Above. “Luck is the residue of design.” Strong individuals are the only strength of the Reactionary Collective Unconscious.

That’s where I’m going. I can feel, I can sense, I know that you’re coming with me, because there is no alternative but surrender.

And that’s not you.