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.

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America 3.0, Richard Fernandez and Prophets Without Honor

Outside in pointed us to this column by Richard Fernandez (nee “Wretchard”) from the other day.

“Opportunity”:

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left. For the first time since 1917 it would be giving up its claim to guide the entire in order to settle for parts.  As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a “progressive” future by Hillary Clinton;  an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination.  Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History.  Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome.  A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a “progressive” world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again.

While this would be bad for the political ambitions of the Left, the people on the Left may actually benefit.  The alternative to the gloom doom scenario is to recognize that we may in fact be on a pathway to a new American century, a new epoch of world prosperity.  Except that it will be a different America and a different globe.

As I commented, this reminded me of the book America 3.0 by James Bennett (The Anglosphere Challenge) and Michael Lotus (aka “Lexington Green”).

I think it’s a good and informative read, but if you have no desire to get the book, the authors published an excerpt/summary at American Enterprise Institute.

America 3.0 came out over four years ago, before I was fully “NRx” but well on my way, and I think I first heard of it on Instapundit. Glenn Reynolds (who also wrote the preface) did a number of positive posts on the book. I started writing about it on a previous blog, but at the time I was puzzled at how little traction the book was getting on the “Outer Right.” I wrote, I commented, and with one or two exceptions, the reaction was, “Meh.”

I wasn’t really sure why the negative reaction, or just plain lack of it, but three guesses; 1) Too “mainstream,” doesn’t fit into Moldbug’s worldview” (I’d been reading Moldbug for a year or so by mid-2013); 2) Too optimistic, “Don’t even try to tell me that Progs aren’t going to succeed at bringing on the Gotterdammerung! What fun will the future be without some shit burning down?” and, related; 3) Too unrealistic, “DC will never, ever give up a scintilla of power over states, localities and every grain of sand, and Boomers will never, ever take a benefit cut!”

Experience of the last 100 years is, indeed, enough to make one cynical and suspicious of optimism about the evolution of government, but I think to be fair to the authors of America 3.0 we should review a few of their specifics (from the introduction and Chapter 1, much of which is available free on the Amazon “look inside”):

America 2.0 was, in many ways, great in its day. But it is over. The technological and economic changes we foresee are already happening, or about to happen. The government sector is in a state of decay reminiscent of the Brezhnev period of the Soviet Union, with apparatchiks with no new ideas repeating the same clichés and the same failed policies, seemingly unaware that their system is doomed…

We have a long way to go before we replace the twentieth century state and economy with their successors. It is too early to pick an end date for America 2.0, which will only become apparent in hindsight…

NEW MORNING

It is 2040…The Social Payments Resolution Fund is still making payments to [Boomers] , but most of them had accepted the lump-sum termination payment of 2028 during the Third Fiscal Reform…

The new manufacturing revolution has been instrumental in keeping material wants cheap…New England (minus, of course, New Hampshire) was the first to set up a multistate authority to take over their portion of the federal health care system…

As a result of the Reforms, the United States now has 71 states, none of which have more than eight million inhabitants. These have arranged themselves into a series of state compacts, and special-purpose agreements between compacts, so that the Northeast and Great Lakes areas form a network with relatively high taxes and levels of government supplied social services…

The Texases, as they are now called, since they exercised their right to divide into five states, form their own compact…

[N]umerous shareware programs are available for the standard house-printing machines…

The war on drugs is long over…

Decentralization encourages the “Big Sort” as families seek out the kind of communities they want to live in…

I think that’s enough to give you the overview without copyright violation. It is optimistic, though the authors acknowledge that pain that will happen during the transition…a transition which in 2013 they claimed had begun to stir, and which I think is farther along in some ways than they may have anticipated, just four years on.

I hope you have the time and inclination to read the book, for there is certainly a lot more to it than in my overview. It’s funny, but recently I have several times on Twitter read something that moves me to recite the words of Jesus (Mark 6:4-6):

A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

It seems to me that Bennett and Lotus haven’t gotten the long-term honor that they merit from the various flavors of the Right: Patchwork, Tech-Cap, Traditionalist communities of the like-minded; all are explicit or implicit in America 3.0 and the authors give what I think are excellent historical, practical reasons for their vision of the future.

I think the book is prophetic. Perhaps the transitions will be messier and bloodier than the authors envision, but they deserve a lot more honor on the Right than they have gotten to date.

(I touched on these issues and this book in the early days of this blog in On Implementation and Possible NRx Territories: Alaska. I think those pieces have held up pretty well, despite being positively ancient in Internet Time.)

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.

Sanity: A Change in Title and Direction

As of today, the blog is retitled “Sanity in the Diamond Age.” While I still have a distinct fondness for the term, and the ideas, of “Neoreaction” and “NRx” I don’t find myself so interested in writing about them at present.

Continue reading

The Nine Laws, by Ivan Throne – A Review

The Nine Laws by Ivan Throne. Castalia House, 2016

UP FRONT: This is not a detached, completely objective review of something in which I have no personal stake, like Michael Howard’s The Franco-Prussian War or Phillip Wylie’s Generation of Vipers (both of which are superb; you should read them). Instead this review is from someone invested in the book in question, not monetarily but philosophically.

Think for yourself.

I first saw the work of Ivan Throne around the beginning of 2016, and I wrote about his blog in April. Two weeks ago he published his full-length book The Nine Laws.

In brief, The Nine Laws has four main parts: 1) The revelation and explication of the Nine Laws, and a detailed essay on each; 2) The Dark World and [what is?] the Dark Triad Man; 3) Training, and; 4) The Arena of Blood and War (that is, the world of today). But before any further detailed description of the main text, we consider the foundational preface, which was posted in full by Vox Day upon the release of the book. Since it’s also available in the “Look Inside” free access portion of the book on Amazon, see it below. Read and mentally enfold. It will avoid the necessity of my providing any detailed introduction: Continue reading

Fisking Michelle Goldberg, or: The Sorry, Sorry Tears of Progressive Doom-Casters

For those youngsters out there who don’t remember the beautiful, carefree internet days of the early 20’oughts, “Fisking” (or, through long use, “fisking”) is a point-by-point refutation and/or analysis of some piece of writing that, in the view of the fisker, is so inaccurate or outrageous that they just can’t let it go. The eponymous Robert Fisk gave us the verb in a rather roundabout way; in 2003 David Pryce-Jones wrote in The Spectator that

‘fisking’, mean[s] the selection of evidence solely in order to bolster preconceptions and prejudices. Just as cardigans or mackintoshes are named after an inventive individual, so fisking derives from the work of Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent of the Independent, stationed these many years in Beirut.

Shortly thereafter, though, “fisking” came to mean the line-by-line analysis, criticism and refutation of a piece of “journalism” full of “preconceptions and prejudices” as exemplified by Mr. Fisk. It was often a tool of bloggers on the right as they made their ways and reputations pushing back against the narrative that the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were failing, but really it was an equal opportunity pastime, for those with the gumption to hack through dense terrain.

This all came to mind  when I read Michelle Goldberg’s Fear, Anxiety, and Depression in the Age of Trump. Continue reading

Matthew Crawford, Philosopher for the Dark Enlightenment

I’ve been reading Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head and am stunned by the relevance and application of his insights to Neoreaction, or, more specifically, the “Dark Enlightenment.”

Crawford is a kind of Mike Rowe with a Ph.D., mca guy who left a think tank to restore and repair motorcycles. I had enjoyed his previous book Shop Class as Soulcraft and several times reading it thought “that point is positively reactionary.” But in World Beyond Your Head he has expanded his net to embrace the whole picture of modern Western WoMan and what ails Hir, and his most withering fire is focused on the “Enlightenment” ideas of radical autonomy and individuality that have produced the atomized consumption culture that the NRx critiques. Crawford is not just pointing out the symptoms here, he eruditely traces the root causes of our ailments back to their intellectual sources; not surprisingly, these sources include some named by Moldbug and Carlyle.

I haven’t even finished the book yet, but it got me excited enough to post this, hoping some of you will want to read the book and discuss it, or promote it to the DE community. Crawford gave an excellent interview last year about his ideas, with a plethora of quotables that will give you a flavor:

INTERVIEWER: Tracing the philosophical roots of our fractured mental lives to the Enlightenment and the modern liberal project, Crawford suggests that our very ability to become individuals is under threat — and likewise the possibility for genuine human flourishing. The World Beyond Your Head is a work of philosophy, and of urgency. Pay attention.
(…)
This comes down to a question of how useful the history of philosophy is for understanding the present. It is generally thought to be in bad taste — too idealistic — to assert anything like a necessary connection between the history of ideas and cultural developments. And indeed there are so many determinants of culture that pure intellectual history misses: natural resources, demographics, sheer dumb accident, etc. But I think it is fair to ask how the fate of Enlightenment ideas in the wider society, where they have trickled down and become cultural reflexes, reflects back on the moment of their original articulation. Viewing the Enlightenment retrospectively in this way, we can discern the seeds of who we have become. We may then develop a fresh take on those thinkers, and new reasons to quarrel with them, ultimately for the sake of self-criticism.
My critique of the anthropology we have inherited from early modern thought has a couple of dimensions. The first is sociological, simply noticing how autonomy-talk is pretty much the only idiom that is available to us for articulating our self-understanding, and how inadequate it is for capturing lived experience. It is the idiom of commencement speeches, of daytime talk shows, and also of marketing: You’re In Charge, as the message on the handrail of the escalator at O’Hare puts it. Living in a culture saturated with vulgar freedomism, you may develop a jaundiced view of the whole project of liberation inaugurated by Descartes and Locke. If you then revisit those thinkers, I think your irritation prepares you to see things you would otherwise miss. You are bringing a prejudice with you, but sometimes a prejudice sharpens your vision. Sensitivity to the present, and giving credit to your own human reactions to it, can bring a new urgency to the history of philosophy. What stands out for me, and for other writers I have learned from, is that the assertions those enlighteners make about how the mind works, and about the nature of the human being, are intimately tied to their political project to liberate us from the authority of kings and priests. In other words, it is epistemology with an axe to grind, polemical at its very root. Yet this original argumentative setting has been forgotten.

This is important, because Enlightenment anthropology continues to inform wide swaths of the human sciences, including cognitive science, despite that discipline’s ritualized, superficial ridicule of Descartes. We need to be more self-aware about the polemical origins of the human sciences, because those old battles bear little resemblance to the ones we need to fight. In particular, it is very difficult to make sense of the experience of attending to something in the world when everything located beyond the boundary of your skull is regarded as a potential source of unfreedom. This is, precisely, the premise behind Kant’s ideal of autonomy: The will must not be “conditioned” by anything external to it. Today we get our Kant from children’s television, and from the corporate messaging of Silicon Valley. Certain features of our contemporary landscape make more sense when you find their antecedents in serious thought, because the tacit assumptions that underlie them were originally explicit assertions.

According to the prevailing notion, freedom manifests as “preference-satisfying behavior.” About the preferences themselves we are to maintain a principled silence, out of deference to the autonomy of the individual. They are said to express the authentic core of the self, and are for that reason unavailable for rational scrutiny. But this logic would seem to break down when our preferences are the object of massive social engineering, conducted not by government “nudgers” but by those who want to monetize our attention. My point in that passage is that liberal/libertarian agnosticism about the human good disarms the critical faculties we need even just to see certain developments in the culture and economy. Any substantive notion of what a good life requires will be contestable. But such a contest is ruled out if we dogmatically insist that even to raise questions about the good life is to identify oneself as a would-be theocrat. To Capital, our democratic squeamishness – our egalitarian pride in being “nonjudgmental” — smells like opportunity.

And this gets back to what I was saying earlier, about how our thinking is captured by obsolete polemics from hundreds of years ago. Subjectivism — the idea that what makes something good is how I feel about it — was pushed most aggressively by Thomas Hobbes, as a remedy for civil and religious war: Everyone should chill the hell out. Live and let live. It made sense at the time. This required discrediting all those who claim to know what is best. But Hobbes went further, denying the very possibility of having a better or worse understanding of such things as virtue and vice. In our time, this same posture of value skepticism lays the public square bare to a culture industry that is not at all shy about sculpting souls – through manufactured experiences, engineered to appeal to our most reliable impulses.

th

Philosophical facilitator of “Black Lives Matter”

The ongoing “creative destruction” of capitalism celebrated on the Right clears away settled forms of social life. Cultural progressives find their work made easier by this; they get to re-engineer the human landscape with less interference. They do this by moving the threshold of offense ever lower, creating new sensitivities and then policing them. The institutions of civil society (universities, corporations, etc.) then scramble to catch up with the new dispensation and demonstrate their allegiance to it — by expanding their administrative reach into ever more intimate corners of the psyche. This dynamic has given us a stunning expansion of coercive power over the individual, but it has nothing to with “the government.”
That should be enough to whet your appetite for the whole meal. I think Crawford deserves much more attention from the whole spectrum of Dark Enlightenment thinkers, and this post is my bid for him to begin to get it.