Sanctuary of Shamelessness

The secret of a master deal-maker

I never would’ve thought Donald Trump and Mahmoud Darwish had anything much in common, but hearing Trump make his announcement this morning recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital reminded me of the same banality of holiness evoked in Darwish’s “A Soldier Dreams of White Lillies.”

Like anything—not least our 45th president—that poem has its flaws (it denies the reality of Jewish communion with the land, and suggests that a Jew disabused of vulgar nationalism can only abandon his community and quit the region.) Not incidental to those flaws, the Arab threats of violence in this matter are frivolous, narcissistic and—above all—boring, even if they’re followed through upon. 

The first Arab riots against Zionist designs on Jerusalem were sparked in 1929 by allegations that the placement of a dozen chairs and a cloth mekhitza for elderly Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall was a prelude to the destruction of the al-Aksa mosque—the rioters murdered whole families. As of 2017, fifty years of Israeli administration has entailed a great deal of covetous malfeasance, but not the slightest disrespect of the Noble Sanctuary. Yet the Muslims never tire of this pretext, and such outbreaks are veritably seasonal in Jerusalem, because—although Israel indeed steals their property and stifles their freedom to organize—the real Zionist provocation has always been assertiveness on the part of a non-Muslim minority. Political repression is par for the course in that region with or without Israel, and in almost every Muslim land, some ethnic or religious minority is constrained to know its place, and know it well.

Fortunately, Jewish non-combatants are better protected today than in 1929, because a Palestinian protest is rarely just that, and international audiences watching Israeli troops fire tear gas canisters into throngs of Arab men don’t generally realize the appetite of the Palestinian resistance for violent confrontation is not limited by scruples regarding age, gender, or non-combatant status—nor, until quite recently, has it ever been readily divisible into violent and non-violent factions.

So for Trump to be deterred by the Arab street’s predictable reaction would be pusillanimous, regardless of whether his Jerusalem decision was a wise one. But the arbitration of highly sensitive religious matters by the star of The Apprentice may not be the biggest irony here. That among all the gravely concerned world leaders opposing him in the matter (not a few of them embezzlers, inveterate liars and icky-fingered war criminals in their own right) the one whose objections carry the most moral force is the sinister pope, Francis—a gilded, pharisaical career accomplice to the foulest possible acts of sexual predation—is a commentary all its own. The conventional wisdom is that the international community indulges Israel and tolerates Palestinian suffering, but generally speaking, the extent of world outcry on the Palestinians’ behalf is greater, more sustained and less proportionate to the corollary offenses against them than any sympathy the Jews have ever managed to elicit, certainly from the Vatican, and including during the Holocaust. Massacre of Jews just feels too familiar to be condemned without nuance: a consensus that Israel ought to be prepared at all times to absorb a modicum of civilian casualties—without response, as a matter of course—exists among world bodies, governments, NGOs and news agencies that would never be so much as whispered to Muslims as a suggestion. Since the Oslo Accords went into effect not only Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP but the PLO (through its bad-cop Tanzim faction—essentially a death squad) has carried out dozens of attacks on Israeli civilians. So when PLO officials and PLO-affiliated scions of Palestinian civil society like Marwan Bishara, in his capacity as a TV host for Al Jazeera, warn that bloodshed will result from Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, they aren’t forecasting the weather—they’re making a threat. Of course they don’t mean to be understood this way by anyone but the Jews. Surely (to some degree) they don’t even understand themselves this way, because the Palestinians are always supposed, and suppose themselves, to lack agency in events. Like the dozen chairs which provoked them to a frenzy of murder of women, children and the elderly in 1929, they don’t think, they are only moved by others. Supposing we grant this premise, then when Ismail Haniyeh warns that Trump has “opened the gates of hell” with his decision: who are the demons?

But if the Muslims are evil to covet Jerusalem, the Jews are evil for clinging to it, and ought to be put in mind of an Arab proverb: “Where there is concession, there is strength.” I, for one, would take a summer night out drinking in Tel Aviv or an autumn morning strolling the hills of Haifa over an eternity ensconced in the King David Hotel presidential suite. For what is Jerusalem? It certainly isn’t worth American lives. I recall it as a dusty, mildewy disappointment, like a woman who has to be gazed at from a very peculiar angle to be thought beautiful; the Dome of the Rock as a lid rattling precariously atop a broiling, apoplectic sense of entitlement; the Holy Sepulcher as a creepy, vulgar little tourist trap akin to an amusement park haunted house. And the Western Wall? That Jews should venerate and kill and be killed for that stupid, ugly pile of bricks left behind by Herod—a sadistic Quisling—is the very definition of idolatry that Judaism once cut its teeth forbidding.

So I don’t use the word “evil” lightly. Israeli administration of Jerusalem has from the very beginning involved strategically needless property theft, selective destruction of historical sites and expulsion of innocent people from their homes. In 2007, this was ratcheted up to the worst form of desecration: the wholesale removal of medieval Muslim graves to a trash dump and their replacement by a Wiesenthal “Museum of Human Dignity” (seriously) atop the former grounds of the Mamilla Cemetery, just over the Green Line from the Old City. But Israel’s “unified eternal capital” is, indeed, an interactive museum, teetering precariously on the nape of what normal, everyday life still manages to persist there. It belongs in the same general category as Florida’s Holy Land Experience, or the Kentucky Creation Museum, but at least those institutions’ proprietorship doesn’t require recurring blood sacrifice (or grave robbery.) There is so much that is beautiful and admirable about Israel, but to the extent that the place is ugly, it’d be a lot less so without the Old City of Jerusalem and the mischief that the coveting of holy relics always inspires:

Advertisements

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. IV

harvey-weinstein-serious

Comes in handy

(Part I here, Part II here, Part III here)

One upshot to the profusion of online Hitler sympathy this past decade is that it shows how brittle American liberal indoctrination really is, despite its insidiousness. Of course, it also shows that older habits tend to die harder.

To wit: every now and again some earnest little yid blogger pokes his head up on an alt-right podcast and tries to explain that we’re not all that bad—while agreeing that indeed, we are all that bad. It’s a bit like playing dead: contrition itself is supposed to be a point in the Jews’ defense.

Now, if your experience tells you that Jews are often oily, pushy, loud, verbose, solipsistic, dissembling and cheap, well…. Join the club: so does mine (although only the first five apply to me). Perhaps you live in a community somewhere back east where the ethnic fault lines are long standing, and over the decades each of the local constituencies has made a certain impression on its neighbors. Well and good. If it’s a matter of navigating daily life and real relationships, stereotype away, for all I care. But when we refer here to anti-semitism, what we mean is the kind that’s mediated through propaganda, i.e., the full-retard pamphleteering variety:

710full-seinfeld-screenshot

Again: if experience recommends wariness of a given human group, then be wary—end of story. Self-defense, after all, is a dish best served cold, and sparingly. But for the full-retard anti-ZOG pamphleteer, there’s no adrenaline in that, no hard-on, no quasi-mystical shivers. For them, the case is so open-and-shut they can never shut up about it.

Henry Kissinger once said that a people that’s been persecuted for 2,000 years is doing something wrong. A certain Luke would beg to differ that being persecuted necessarily means you’re in the wrong, but he didn’t much like Jews, either. In any case, a people that beats those kinds of odds has also got to be doing something right.

All the same, you might think it would be worthwhile for the Jews’ own sake to at least engage with our worst critics and try to learn something from them; that conceding part of their argument signals transparency and introspection that might be reciprocated, therby mitigating anti-semitism. In certain isolated cases that may be correct. But such nuanced public hesitance to fully recognize a self-proclaimed enemy as an enemy can only play as sycophancy and, as Jabotinsky once noted, a man who’s ever-willing to turn out his pockets and consent to a search is only liable to elicit suspicion and scorn. Indeed, when you reach out to full-retard anti-semites (lots of those abroad in the world nowadays) what you’re almost invariably going to find is that the burden of proof falls exclusively upon the semite. Your every overture is taken both as subterfuge and servility. Your every word short of utter self-abnegation amounts to proof of incorrigibility, no matter what you’ve conceded—and so does self-abnegation. There is literally nothing that can be proved to these types. You may share alt-right or far-left concerns about the complicity of Jews in systems of power you oppose, but that’s never how anti-semites see you, and the only effective way to deal with execration is to be stoic, or mocking—to disregard it, or hand it right back, reheated. Because full-retard anti-semitism (right or left) is not about opposing systems of power per se; rather, it is the vocation of finding fault with yidden. It’s a manichaean template that confers total absolution from shame, and earnestness is poison when you’re dealing with a shameless interlocutor. As soon as you give him the time of day, you’re taking on all the shame in the equation.

Take, for example, the following aside (~29:00-30:00) from alt-right agitator Mike Enoch on that episode of The Daily Shoah podcast I hyperlinked above (the one with the yiddle-diddle blogger guest interviewee.) Here Enoch’s talking about the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm:

We had this conversation today where we were talking about Larry David, that fucking stupid show where he runs around being Jewish…. and someone [some fellow anti-semite] was like, ‘Oh no, but it’s hilarious because he’s so Jewish [that] he’s fucking over even other Jews.‘ And I’m like, yeah, but at some point I just want to be done with this Jewish psychological shit, I don’t want to be sucked into this world of the Jewish fucking inner turmoil, I just want to be done with it.

Um…. excuse me? You guys are the ones with a three-times weekly podcast called The Daily Shoah (“shoah”=Hebrew for Holocaust) that’s going on its 200th episode at 2+ hours apiece, and in every single one, you discuss Jews at length. No schtick fatigue? I get that plutocrats and media mandarins are disproportionately Jewish, that such power ought to be accessible to satire, and I can at least respect the alt-right for its irreverence, but…. You “want to be done“? The fuck outta here. What would you even do with yourselves at that point?

Someone who claims to have caught a whiff of sulfuric old Beelzebub is liable to be reminded that whoever smelt it dealt it. Yet the self-flagellating little yid blogger guest on the podcast ends up agreeing with Enoch about yiddishkeit in showbiz: “Right, this is 2% of the population, why is this the thing that’s being constantly put in front of us?” I don’t know, why are there so goddamned many steers in Texas? In the words of the great Marshall McLuhan: if you’re seeing it, it’s for you. Someone got you straightjacketed to a theater seat? Lots of options what to watch nowadays. Last I checked, HBO is premium cable. So I’ve heard a lot of anti-semitic tropes in my day, but as these things go, “wanting to be done with the Jewish inner turmoil” that’s “sucking me in” is revealingly bizarre. Whether it’s only tortured logic, or also tortured, sub-rosa yiddishkeit, what it reveals about anti-semitism is the same. Veyizmir.

Back in the mid-aughts I was sitting around one weekend with a friend—also Jewish—smoking something stupid and watching one of the hundreds of conspiracy documentaries then mushrooming on the new-fangled YouTube. Up until that time, my conception of Jewish success was that it vaguely confirmed my far-fetched desire to believe in divine election—you know, the suspicion that there must be some truth to the stereotype about Jewish brains. But due to events like 9/11, the NSA spying scandals and the 2007 financial crisis it was starting to become painfully clear that the height of success in America is something profoundly dark, and that one’s ethnic group being disproportionately implicated in it can be a very bad thing. At one point during the documentary, my friend turned to me and asked, “How are we supposed to cope with the fact that we come from a race of deceivers?”

Privilege has always been precarious, and no clever person facing long odds is going eschew the opportunity to steel himself. Relative to the proportion of Jews who, historically, weren’t able to do so, yiddishkeit is probably an overall liability. But it’s true that a relatively high proportion of elites nowadays are Jews. Still, what evolutionary biology considers success can be very dangerous from an Epicurean standpoint. Either way, I don’t buy my friend’s supposition that Jews are exceptionally criminal, or liable for one another’s crimes.

But would you believe who might? I mean, other than the alt-right? Larry David. Here’s how David treated the Weinstein/#MeToo scandal in the opening monologue of a recent episode of Saturday Night Live he hosted (executive summary here):

What’s awkward about this performance? It isn’t the references to sex, or to genocide. It isn’t the uncouthness, or even David’s openness to discomfort. No, what’s awkward about this performance is its sincerity. It’s a public service announcement concealed behind only the most implausible veneer of comedy, because Larry David means exactly what he says: he reflexively feels that allegations against a handful of fellow Jews reflect on him, fundamentally. But what’s ironic about the tenebrous self-awareness he exemplifies is that it produces more christlike behavior than anything anti-semites exhibit.

Mihail Sebastian was a Romanian-Jewish linguist and novelist who kept a diary of life in Romania between 1935 and 1944. The manuscript was smuggled to Israel by his brother in 1961 and eventually published as a book after the Cold War. What’s interesting about it is that many fellow Romanian intellectuals whom the author maintained friendships with were vehemently pro-Nazi. According to a 2001 book review in The Irish Times, Sebastian had a remarkable tendency to make excuses for them:

Sebastian’s friend, the charismatic philosopher and teacher Nae Ionescu, who enthusiastically supported the Iron Guard, agreed to write a preface to one of Sebastian’s novels, but when he did, it turned out to be vigorously anti-Semitic.

Ionescu warned the younger man against imagining that he could become assimilated into the gentile community, asking of him “Are you . . . a human being from Braila on the Danube? No, you are a Jew from Braila on the Danube.” Sebastian, in typical fashion, continued to look upon his friend and mentor with fondness, regarding him indulgently merely as a rogue and an opportunist whose heart nevertheless was in the right place; when Ionescu died prematurely in 1940, Sebastian wept in sorrow.

He even found excuses for his friend the novelist, and fascist, Camil Petrescu. When the private houses of Jews were confiscated by order of the government, Petrescu complained to Sebastian that he would probably not be given one; Sebastian said that surely, under the circumstances, his friend would not accept a house even if it were offered to him, at which Petrescu stared at him in surprise and asked: “Why not?”

What diaspora Jew has not occasionally found himself countenancing insults in this manner and ad-libbing some conciliatory self-deprecation so as not to offend his assailants? Even Henry Kissinger (“at once an excellency and an untouchable,” in Sartre’s memorable formulation) is noted as a practitioner of this dance.

When you sell out your own kind in this manner, you mean to say, “Don’t hate me. I’m not so much like them!” but what it sounds like instead is, “I’m exactly like them, and it’s okay to hate me. I forgive you.” Kafka’s Trial is a tedious, flagellating read, but the book’s prime conceit—an inexplicable vulnerability, an affliction of inchoate guilt that can never be lived down—is the perfect encapsulation of the tortured relationship of yiddishkeit to the non-Jewish world. There has always been an uneasiness about being exposed as a Jew and, for the time being, the degrees of difference between Mihail Sebastian’s Romania and Larry David’s America can mitigate, but never extirpate it.

 

In Defense of Bowe Bergdahl

Thanksgiving turkey

(See also: “In Defense of the Westboro Baptist Church” and “American Diaper“)

“Experiences of inner emptiness, loneliness, and inauthenticity are by no means unreal or, for that matter, devoid of social content; nor do they arise from exclusively ‘middle- and upper-class living conditions.’ They arise from the warlike conditions that pervade American society.” (Christopher Lasch, American historian, 1932-1994)

For at least the duration of this week, Bowe Bergdahl will remain the most hated man in red-state America. So far, the loudest voices denouncing him are the supporters of a sitting American president who, as a draft-eligible youth during Vietnam, received four deferments and a (probably) bogus medical disqualification from military service while other, less privileged young men went to war in his stead. Most of Bergdahl’s detractors will have never served in any military or, if they did, will never have deployed to a combat zone.

An acerbic remark about the President’s draft dodging was in the news two weeks ago. It was made by an admiral’s son who graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point; who, once in theater in Southeast Asia, was promptly captured and sang, like Bergdahl, for enemy propaganda. This admiral’s son was eventually released home and a (probably) false narrative of heroism was promulgated as he rose to a seat in the US Senate, while hundreds of his fellow POWs were left behind—a disgrace he has been at the forefront of covering up for decades. Like the President, the Senator sends US servicemen to die for sordid reasons that will never be clarified to the American public. But most of Bergdahl’s detractors won’t get too animated about that.

From what can be gathered on his Wikipedia page, Bowe Bergdahl is an omega-male eccentric: homeschooled, vaguely artistic, brought up in a splinter sect church but with a fetish for Buddhism and delusions of sauntering off into the wide Mohammedan vistas of Central Asia like some kind of Great Game cartographer.

Here is what he emailed home shortly before being captured:

The future is too good to waste on lies…. In the US army you are cut down for being honest, but if you are a conceited brown nosing shit bag you will be allowed to do what ever you want, and you will be handed your higher rank… I am ashamed to be an american…. The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies…. We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running [Afghan] children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks…. I am sorry for everything. The horror that is america is disgusting.

Jaundiced, subliterate vomitus. Still, it contains little in the way of outright falsehood. But if a narcissist is someone who conceptualizes himself as the star of his own movie (“The future is too good to waste”) then the character Bergdahl is playing is Rambo with a lisp, and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Here is what his father wrote back:

OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!

Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. Dad.

¡Conscience!

Conscience? That’s the last thing you need in the army. Bergdahl the Elder (a typical exponent of the kind of hippy-confederate pretense to self-reliance so common in the late-American cycle) is essentially advising junior not to reimburse gangsters he willfully borrowed money from. Bowe’s wrong about the Ugly American, too: what’s peculiarly disgusting about Americanness is not compulsive rule-following or callous disregard for human life (those things are universal.) Rather, it’s the coquettish insistence on enjoying complicity and rebellion simultaneous.

When I was in the Israeli army I got butt-hurt about something and went AWOL for a week. I rode into Jerusalem and left my bag and rifle in a locker at a youth hostel, but I didn’t want to be there either, so I went for a jog.

It was late. It was dark. After running four or five miles, I realized that the Dome of the Rock was peering at me from an angle it never had before. I emerged out of darkness into a well-lit intersection. Packs of male teenagers were roughhousing on street corners. Cabs and delivery drivers with unfamiliar license plates were stalled up and down the curb. The smelly runoff from dumpsters and shawarma-joint mop buckets mingled in the gutters. Waddling matrons in hijabs were taking advantage of the evening reprieve from the summer heat to do their grocery shopping at vendors’ stalls. The storefronts were lit up in neon Arabic.

I had wandered, unarmed and alone, into Palestine (well, Baba Zahara, technically within Israeli jurisdiction, but still a Hamas hotbed.) A callow, bourgeois existentialist, I didn’t know who I really was, and when I did, the conviction was fleeting. But if the people on that street had noticed me—or, if I hadn’t gotten out of there swiftly in the direction from which I’d come—they’d have known perfectly well who I was, and things would have turned out very, very bad for me.

Of course, war pervades the middle east, but “war-like conditions” pervade America. What does that mean? Deception is the essence of war, but what is the essence of America? You can see it in Times Square, in a Hollywood picture, a philanthropic campaign or public apology. What characters are more quintessentially American than the huckster, the shill, the confidence man, the philandering or money grubbing preacher, the motivational charlatan, the tycoon?

The first white men who settled this continent came in search of freedom: cash crops, real estate, Montezuma’s coffers. Slaves. The freedom of finder’s keepers. The freedom to fuck, suck, eat and shit. Freedom isn’t free—it has to be strong-armed, unfortunately. If she didn’t have all that oil, we wouldn’t have needed to invade ‘er. True, many of the Indians were no better to each other; and subsequent waves of immigrants escaping to these shores came largely for prosaic reasons, if not sordid ones. What savior, what savant, what Dostoevsky Idiot can rightly demand any redress of grievances now? For example, today the curtain is being peeled back on the world of American pederasty. Bravo. But the father of American pederasty was Horatio Alger.

In summarizing the film American Beauty, a once verbally-unchastened Louis CK put it aptly:

Kevin Spacey playing the man… he’s fantasizing about fucking a cheerleader in high school, and the way they represent this, in this gay movie, this fucking bunch of cum through a projector—according to this movie, when you fantasize about a cheerleader, you lie on your back and rose petals fall all over your body. Instead of her hot, sweaty ass, and the confused look on her face as you cum in her stupid eye…. No, it’s Kevin Spacey with a sweet look on his face, and flower petals, and jazzy music.

[And at the end of the movie, the ex-Marine] is the one who’s really gay. ‘None of us are gay, it’s actually the one hetero guy, he’s the gay one.’ No one else is gay, Kevin Spacey’s not gay. He’s straight as an arrow, he lifts weights, listens to Zeppelin, drives a Firebird—and thinks about fucking rose petals. And then when he actually sees her tits he almost vomits…. He finally sees the 18 year old tits and says, what have I been doing all this time? I forgot I like men….

If the makers of American Beauty (such as Clinton confidante Harvey Weinstein, the film’s exec-producer) can glorify pederasty and drug-dealing, but can’t forgive an ex-Marine, it’s because “it belongs to human nature to hate whom we have injured.” But the consignment of combat veterans to poverty, derangement and indifference is an effect, not the cause of injury. The Bergdahl case illustrates this in ways we might not like to know.

IMG_2635.JPG

Love wins

The last American to be tried and executed for dissertation, during WWII, was found guilty of escaping from danger (near the front lines), back into safety (in a liberated area of France.) Bowe Bergdahl, on the other hand, spurned safety and traipsed off into incredible danger. To treat this extraordinary incident strictly as a commentary on the stupidity or moral turpitude of Bergdahl himself is to miss its significance entirely; rather, it’s an indication of how suffocatingly padded, litigious, infantilized and delusional American life has become. A system that automizes, “utilizes,” and pathologizes people, and measures them by “metrics,” can offer young men for fodder, but cannot let them be men. On the far-flung rugged terrain of Afghanistan this vaginized baby-sitter regime only trebles its emphasis on procedure and safety and unthinking.

But how would a green recruit know that in advance? Not only is Hollywood not gonna tell him, no one in his community will, either: scarcely 1% of Americans have or ever will serve in the US military, and if they aren’t keeping their mouths shut about it, they’re probably blowing smoke (bravely, I might add.) But if Bowe Bergdahl did just eight hours of guard duty, he did 8000% more than most any of the rest of us. Sure, he got people killed and injured looking for him; everyone else is content to let others be injured and killed in our place. Bergdahl’s crime is not being a bigger piece of shit than most other Americans, it’s being exactly as big a piece of shit, with the added feature of bad timing.

That most of his colleagues in the combat arms represent a greater or lesser exception to this goes without saying. So certainly there is a characteristically American kind of honor—there has to be, it provides fodder for the other penguins to shove into the water. But Sun Tzu was wrong when he said the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. In America, our enemies are one another, they’re everywhere, and the supreme art of war is to get them to fight your battles for you. To obfuscate, intimidate or disconcert and get something for nothing while the mark blames himself. Maybe I deserved it. Maybe I secretly wanted it. I didn’t fight hard enough. I saved my objections for the staircase. I had no choice. I’ll find a way to compensate. At least I wasn’t the only one. Conscience is freedom’s truest enemy.

The grasping protagonist of Borges’ The Immortal is a legionnaire who says “I barely glimpsed the face of Mars [and] that privation grieved me, and was perhaps why I threw myself into the quest, through vagrant and terrible deserts, for the City of the Immortals.” How much flailing braggadocio is likewise expended by American men who will never feel truly tested, vindicated or individuated? That weaselly energy has got to profit somebody in this land of second chances, where Jesus is Lord, insurance is mandatory and Budweiser urges you to drive responsibly. Where once we came fleeing persecution or poverty, today, with nowhere else to go, we try (and fail) to escape from ourselves. Profligacy, obesity, overdoses, dropouts, car crashes, rap sheets, rejection, one-night stands, bullying and being bullied, chicken-shittery of every variety. That’s not who I really am. But its perpetrators are the soldiers of the real America, where around the Thanksgiving table and in mommy’s waiting embrace, all is validated, all is tolerated, and all is forgiven. So why not Bowe Bergdahl? In the words of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in Scarface, “You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers.”

Dear Father X

Uncouth reflections

Dear Father X,

I feel that in matters of the heart, of which faith surely is one, we must be unfailingly honest. Yet I’m afraid there is nothing I could say to you with perfect honesty, because to do so would be to malign your faith, and faith of any kind is sacred, and what is sacred must be honored, even if it is only sacred to others.

But the truth is, I believe you affect a superiority to me in matters you know nothing about. No, I’m not referring to the nature of the divine. In that, each of us knows as much or as little as the other. This, perhaps, is why we are bound by simple decency to honor the other man’s faith.

Does Christianity prescribe respect for other faiths? On the contrary. To the extent this renders frankness only on my part uncouth and fruitless, I regard you quite warily. Yet to the extent your life’s enterprise involves the promulgation of beauty and compassion in this world, I consider you a kindred spirit.

My wife would like you to baptize our son. She cannot comprehend what this means for a Jew, and our common scriptures forbid me from putting a stumbling block in front of the blind. (Leviticus 19:14) Then there is the matter of the Golden Rule: how can I deny a sacrament to a believer, even if it’s a sacrilege for me? I suppose you don’t need me to tell you that ethics sometimes trump faith, and love sometimes trumps law. Christianity talks a big game on both counts. Yet I wouldn’t expect a Christian to take my feelings seriously in this matter, and my only consolation is to remind myself that in any case, no man can know the mind of God.

So it isn’t that I regard my particular faith as realer than yours or anyone’s. I’ve heard tales of miracles from adherents of every faith tradition, and it would be as easy for a man of no faith to dismiss them utterly as it is difficult for a man of true faith to dismiss any of them. If I were to remark about the uncanny reality inherent in myth, I surely wouldn’t be the first. So although each religion dismisses the other’s claims, when the simple and true believer of any tradition recounts a transcendent experience, I tend to believe it. For what if (say) God is as the Jews describe Him, yet sends miraculous signs to worthy Christians or Muslims that accord with their beliefs, out of infinite love of their devotion, regardless of its errors? Or (conversely), what if God is as the Christians or Muslims say, but sends signs to worthy Jews out of respect for their persistence, however misguided? What if we all err in roughly equal proportion, and need one other to make up the difference?

When I was a child, the Hebrew Bible seemed to speak to me directly, in secret, idiosyncratic communion. Every Saturday in shul on my grandfather’s knee; in solitude, late at night, perusing his bookshelf. Perhaps it was some antediluvian spirit that chose me to thrust itself upon: Jacob and the Angel, Joseph in Egypt, Moses and the Burning Bush, Joshua at Jericho, Samuel’s visit to Jesse, David’s flight from Saul, Solomon asking for wisdom, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Ezekiel in the Valley of the Dry Bones. These legends seemed to contain a lost key, an inkling of eternity.

So I’m not concerned here with historicity, nor to pit revelation against revelation. Rather, my concern is to salvage something from the death of god. In this, I do not deny but rather affirm that the Christian dispensation has its place. Yet you ask me, essentially, to forsake my fathers, to compromise my most fundamental integrity at the spearhead of their accumulated wisdom and experience, and exchange the flickering entrée to eternity they handed down to me for a mere sense of relief. Even if Christian theology is correct in every respect and Judaism is entirely in error—can it be possible to respect someone who asks such things of others? Even if it does not violate the letter of the First Commandment, it violates its spirit, and strikes me as perfectly analogous to Ivan Karamazov’s suggestion that the edifice of human happiness be build upon the foundation of the torture and unrequited tears of a single, innocent creature. So what Judaism forbids, above all, is flexibility of conscience.

Your scriptures claim there is neither Jew nor Greek, for we are all one in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) But if not for the distinction of family and tribe, where would we derive the very experience of solidarity that might then be applied to the stranger? (Rabbi Hillel had a pretty neat resolution for that little paradox.) And while we agree that universal reason precedes matter, (in my view, John 1:1 is the single point where Christianity really exceeds and innovates upon Judaism, even if it was cribbed from the Stoics) it seems to me unlikely such an entity could ever be satisfactorily comprehended—certainly not on another man’s terms of assurance, nor such that its constituent parts might be enumerated with the specificity that Christian theologians have always brought to the task. But again, supposing I’m in error somehow, so what? Who isn’t? The journey is more important than the destination, and Jewish dialectic tension and intellectual agonizing cannot be salved but only extinguished by Christian grace.

There have long been many who believe this would be for the best, but they’re rarely forthright about this conviction—they euphemize, they prevaricate, and they always seem to drag a vaguely afflicted conscience around behind their intellectual levity. Perhaps it’s better to extinguish a candle than curse the darkness. But desecration is the essence of crime, and crime is not a matter of degrees, but of intent. So please don’t pretend that I’m missing something, or presume to suggest how easy it would be for me to overlook various Christian teachings, or rely on elided interpretations of them. What kind of belief would that be, anyhow? It’s unprincipled.

But enough of ontology. Regrettably, the politics here simply cannot be avoided. When has Christianity not been implicated in politics, in the most sordid affairs of this world? The pharisees of Gospel fame are classic figments of Freudian projection. And while the Tanakh does hold that “By Me kings reign, and rulers decree justice,” (Proverbs 8:15) it also says He removes them (Daniel 2:21), presumably not by airbrushing. So it doesn’t follow that “consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place.” (Romans 13:2)

Incidentally, when Jesus tells Pilate that “the one who handed me over to you is guilty of the greater sin,” (John 19:11) it is curiously sycophantic. Love thine enemy, turn the other cheek, render unto Caesar. This isn’t morality, it’s a civics lesson.

Is it any wonder that for eighteen centuries this creed of yours unified and palliated in precisely the same proportion as it endeared coachman to duke, reduced the slave before his driver, and blessed the condemned with his executioner in the same breath? Because originally, the message of the Gospels’ Jesus to the Jews is, in large part, to cease resisting Rome. Certainly this is the only way that Luke 19 can be given a coherent reading.

But what good is it to wrestle with spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12) if only Jesus is not required to ask nicely? (Titus 3:1) And yet, no Christian people smarting under an infidel yoke has or ever will be condemned from any pulpit as graspers and sensualists simply for taking up arms in defense of their freedom to worship. Christianity has never enjoined anyone but the Jews to lay down their arms in such a predicament. Back when Christians wanted to vanquish Muslims, at least they accepted the necessity of fighting them.

Growing up Jewish, they beat you over the head so much with tales of persecution that in modern times, it all takes on an allegorical quality, or that of a horror story. Until I was an adult, anti-semitism—vehement, full-hilt anti-semitism—was something I understood only dryly. But once I’d encountered enough of it, I had to wonder what it would mean if such sentiments were pervasive, and when I asked myself that question I realized, viscerally, all of a sudden, what sheer intransigent execration—its precipitous depth—my ancestors endured, in spite of how easy it would have been for them to break and be done with it as you now enjoin me to do.

Though he was more of a christian—that is to say, a railing perfectionist—than he supposed, Nietzsche had a better rejoinder when he wrote that

Every Jew possesses in the history of his fathers and grandfathers a great fund of examples of the coldest self-possession and endurance in fearful situations, of the subtlest outwitting and exploitation of chance and misfortune; their courage beneath the cloak of miserable submission, their heroism in spernere si sperni surpasses the virtues of all the saints…. and the virtues which pertain to all who suffer have likewise never ceased to adorn them. (Dawn of Day, 205)

The irony of this—that it is the Jew in history who most conforms to the Christ archetype—ought to produce a wincing mortification in any introspective Christian. You say you wish to see the Jews perfected, but isn’t it you who seek to be perfected through us?

Can it be a coincidence that the Church has seen its sharpest decline in public prestige and moral legitimacy only since the emancipation of the Jews? So thoroughly is Christianity predicated on the negation of Judaism that any Jew’s conversion represents its ultimate legitimation. No penitent drunk or gap-toothed Papuan’s baptism could ever serve to vindicate Christianity like the chastened, exhausted collapse of a Hebrew before the smug mercy of his ancestors’ tormentors. Yet without recourse to project inner foreboding upon we recalcitrants—as if into a spittoon—St. Augustine’s advice to “seek not abroad” had finally to be taken, and we don’t much like when the abyss gazes back into us now, do we? Anyone can see how few self-supposed Christians are keen to really take up the Great Commission now that it threatens to cost them just a fraction of what it once did at Rome. More of the redeemed gave up their lives in those days than are willing to give up Instagram and a matching 401(k) in ours.

But you are someone who has taken it up—I have nothing but the deepest respect for your faith and works—and if I thought I could tell you any of what I’m writing down now, I have no doubt we would relate to one another preternaturally, you as spurned priest and I as execrated Jew, locked in antagonistic yet mutual, ascetical love and fear of the Almighty. My ultimate enemy, like yours, is Mammon and his priests, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and my own corollary impulses. Of course, a true friend will be the enemy of our enemy. So I’m not holding out for your blessing, but I wouldn’t refuse it, either.

Sincerely,

O

The Alt-Right is Peak Degeneracy

IMG_2584

Spot the non-manjaw

It seems there will never be a time when some half-educated narcissist somewhere isn’t being taken in by the Semitic prime mover theory of history. As I made clear before, when I had a bit more sympathy for its utility (and its grievances), the so-called alternative right is effectively dead, having shot its exuberant wad in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, when it entered the glorious street-fray against the semantically-woke handicapped and genderfluid. There wasn’t really anyplace else for it to go, but since, like worms settling in to dine on a corpse, its hangers-on have decided to stay awhile in the staircase, the whole issue deserves, as it were, a final nail.

Occasionally I see debate on alt-right forums about whether or not Richard Spencer is some kind of shill for hidden interests (the alt-right’s wariness is commensurate with its credulity.) The two positions taken are always as follows:

(1) Spencer is indeed some kind of shill, spook, provocateur, who is out to undermine/misdirect the alt-right; and

(2) Spencer is most likely sincere in the beliefs he espouses, and about promoting the alt-right.

I want to suggest a third possibility: that Richard Spencer is both a shill and sincere about promoting the alt-right.

Of course, “shill” is imprecise. Infotainment mercenaries are all shills to some degree, unwitting marionettes for a system that runs on hot air. But what can be ascertained with a near degree of certainty is whether or not the alt-right worldview is a realistic one. This is important for obvious reasons: rule by deceit requires deceit. But if outsourcing—i.e., enabling self-deceit—is more cost-effective than brick-and-mortar traditional media, then any online thought-trend that posits a fundamentally flawed model of reality is going to serve that purpose, with no need of machinating in high places.

In fact—either way—we know that the alt-right is serving that purpose marvelously. Alt-right meme pages on Facebook love to bitch about censorship, and it’s true that social media platforms keep up appearances with little cat-and-mouse temp bans (as they do with all kinds of other users), but does anyone seriously believe alt-right material couldn’t be gotten rid of for good if Facebook wanted it to be? It’s not as if these memers are self-censoring to avoid scrutiny, and certainly Facebook would continue to thrive without them. Yet it permits them, heaps of them, as does Twitter, along with many other platforms. There’s simply no way these users aren’t serving their hosts’ purposes—which might include anything from ad revenue generation and simple mass surveillance to monitoring of specific thought-trends, to providing a ready medium for wild rumors, or diversion of eyeballs to frivolous wedge/identity issues, and the concentration of public discourse into a single, aggregating stream. And the alt-right is indeed helping all these processes along.

Of course, in and of itself this proves nothing about the basic accuracy of the alt-right model of reality (though it is suggestive). So…. what is the alt-right model of reality?

It’s true that American civilization has reached a late-decadent phase, that self-reliance and organic community are dead and ancient traditions are gasping their last. Racial diversification is attended by crime and terrorism, and is encouraged by an intelligentsia whose oligarch patrons benefit from societal division and decay. The alt-right is correct on each of these counts. But what is its essence?

A quick thought experiment: if we could remove the Jewish Question from alt-right consideration, leaving every other alt-right conclusion intact, would the alt-right remain fundamentally unchanged?

Well, of course not. There are alt-right thinkers who concern themselves fairly narrowly with one or another issue and rarely touch the JQ. But the JQ itself is a litmus test. It’s the grossest taboo-violation of a movement whose selling point is iconoclasm. Without it, the alt-right is nothing but alt-lite—in fact, the JQ is the one critical distinction that separates alt-right from alt-lite. It’s the rug that really ties the room together. Any other racial, political or religious animus under the alt-right circus tent can be deemphasized without risk to the credibility of whoever proposes to focus elsewhere for a moment. Only the JQ is an exception to this.

But other than as a litmus test, what purpose does the JQ serve for the alt-right? Well, the alt-right conclusion with regard to the JQ is simply this: that the Jews harbor an evolved proclivity to unconsciously attack and undermine social order as a way of gaining power, and that some of them (e.g., nearly any Jew who enjoys some degree of power or publicity) also machinate consciously to effect this outcome.

Of course, the inexorable pull that novelty exerts on the human psyche, restlessness, cupidity, craving for prestige and the anxiety of uncertainty are older than the gods. As a Jew I should find it deeply flattering to be arraigned for all this, but in order to believe that the Jews are the catalyst for degeneracy, one would have to assume (with the alt-right) that a great deal of human weakness would remain latent otherwise.

Why have anti-Semites always found this assumption so satisfying and broadly applicable? Projection, plain and simple. Do you suppose anyone on the alt-right is a narrow-chested self-abuser, overweight, a hebephile, an inveterate beta male, or closet case? Do you suppose anyone in the alt-right is not where he wants to be in life, and is sufficiently devoid of education and native intellect to be easy prey for easy answers? If so, how many of these people would be smarter, happier, or more successful in a homogenous ethnostate?

It doesn’t take any great genius to see that their movement is one great retro-antiquarian hodgepodge, American Roadshow trying to pass as Mad Men, with motorcycle goggles and leather-bound classics for decoration. When it asserts itself on the street the result is just full-contact LARPing—all its operatives really do out in public is fulminate, pull hair, physically confront lousy women, and generally activate the agents of armed babysitting so the movement’s leadership can get free publicity with which to panhandle online.

Confronted blithely with remarks like these—exposed, as it were, the alt-right die-hard will protest that he’s no worse than anyone else of his generation. But that’s exactly it. Activism, like social media, is a bourgeois substitute for decisiveness. Like the Inquisition, the ADL, or the War on Terror, the alt-right cannot conceivably survive its demands being met. Its supporters want instead to throw tantrums, to bicker and blame and shitpost Hitler sympathy unironically, only to turn around and claim their detractors are hysterical for calling them Nazis. But though they are Nazis of a sort, alt-right agitators speaking out in the wake of Charlottesville were correct: the media was wrong to treat them as a serious menace. They just aren’t serious people, and their one-off sort of danger lies not in their brittle ideas but in their equally brittle emotions.

Cowardice has a volatility all its own. What these chinless, vindictive yammerers seek is to conceal their personal mediocrity in a sweeping narrative arc: the cataclysm is immanent, the sensual negro is at the gate, the Jew is making me so dirty. The alt-right exults in every retrograde hierarchy for the same reason that 50 Shades appealed to so many capricious women.

IMG_2626

“He’s gotta be strong/and he’s gotta be fast/and he’s gotta be fresh from the fi-ight”

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. III

We are all Palestinians

(Part I here, Part II here; Part IV here)

Almost all Palestinians who fink on other Palestinians to the Israeli security services do so in a limited manner under some form of duress. At worst, they do it for money. Mosab Hassan Yousef, on the other hand, is the only Palestinian to have betrayed his people wholesale, and voluntarily. This is typical: most peoples can count their historic traitors on one hand. After all, betraying us won’t make you one of them. It only nullifies you.

Essential human qualities—those that come from before—are intractable. Others define them for us. The best we can do is to live out the verdict with dignity. Do Jews tend to manage this very well? I’d laugh, but there’s a stabbing pain in my ribcage (both sides.)

In our previous installment, we were introduced to one Henry Makow, a Jew who, though he isn’t exactly an apostate, feels anything but warm and fuzzy about his heritage. Mr. Makow runs a conspiracy webzine where he alleges that, because (1) prominent Jews and Jewish interests are complicit in a global Satanic bankers’ conspiracy, (2) conspicuous Jewish opposition to that conspiracy would conciliate anti-semitism. Leaving aside certain glaring matters of detail, for the sake of argument I’ll readily concede the first of his two contentions. What about the second one?

Well, we know for a fact that there is indeed conspicuous Jewish opposition to the planetary managerial class. There are Jewish journalists, activists and academics who denounce the powers that be, in part or in whole. There are mainstream Jewish authors and historians whose research provides excellent fodder for those on the fringes who are willing to draw bolder conclusions. There are Jewish conspiracy theorists of Makow’s ilk. There are even Jews who beat their breasts denouncing Zionism wholesale and condemning Jewishness and Judaism in all its forms but the most prophetical, pusillanimous and pacifistic.

Does any of this ameliorate anti-semitism? Of course not. Anti-semitism is the conviction that Jewishness itself is immutable and fundamentally odious. (Short of that, antipathy toward Jews is just harmless, garden-variety xenophobia.) From that perspective, Jewish opposition to any or all of the powers that be, and even to Zionism, is taken as strategic retreat, controlled opposition or ethnic obfuscation. For full-hilt anti-Semites (not a few of those abroad in the world nowadays) a Jew’s every word short of utter self-abnegation equals dissembling, or proof of incorrigibility—for chrissakes, that’s Internet 101.

In my lifetime, I’ve experienced anti-semitism mostly as a subdued curiosity, lurking in the form of the incorrigible ease with which Jewish culpability can be accepted in various quarters as sufficient explanation for complex and sundry events. But as I grew older and my own material for observation increased, I slowly began to realize that where Jews are disdained it is a continuation, a renewal, a habit, something latent, never a fresh perspective or a novel analysis of events. Granted, I’ve habituated to taking accusations of anti-semitism with a grain of salt, because the ancient prejudice appears to have been so throughly routed of late, and because many Jews can be quite oversensitive. But over the past decade and a half of palpable civilizational decline, the attendant profusion of anti-semitic sentiment has given me an inkling of what it must have been like for my people to weather this execration in overt form, day by day, generation after generation.

It had been many years since I read Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew when I saw it quoted recently in an article about the alt-right:

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past. It is not that they are afraid of being convinced. … If then, as we have been able to observe, the anti-Semite is impervious to reason and to experience, it is not because his conviction is strong. Rather his conviction is strong because he has chosen first of all to be impervious.

For a good illustration of this behavior, I’ve dug up an article from an alt-right blog called Aryan Skynet, entitled “Global Rat-Perch: Jewish Misdirection in the Work of Michel Chossudovsky.”

Chossudovsky is an academic and the editor of an anti-war, anti-neoliberal web journal called Global Research. The authors of the article first commend Chossudovsky for his anti-war reporting, but they take him to task for his analysis of Israeli culpability in Western imperialism, which they feel is overly lax toward Israel:

Chossudovsky acknowledges the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its collusion with the U.S.; but, for him, “Tel Aviv is not a prime mover” for intervention against Iran and “does not have a separate and distinct military agenda” from that of the Pentagon. Israel, for Chossudovsky, is only “part of a military alliance” – practically a pawn – that might “be used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of world opinion, a military intervention of the U.S. and NATO with a view to ‘defending Israel’, rather than attacking Iran.”

“Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without Washington’s consent. Hence the importance,” Chossudovsky avers, “of the so-called ‘Green Light’ legislation in the U.S. Congress sponsored by the Republican party under House Resolution 1553, which explicitly supports an Israeli attack on Iran.”

“In practice,” he continues, “the proposed legislation was a ‘green light’ to the White House and the Pentagon rather than to Israel” and “constitutes a rubber stamp to a U.S.-sponsored war on Iran which uses Israel as a…. pretext.”

Of course, if events ever prove this surmise correct, the gentlemen at Aryan Skynet will immediately cease scoffing and promptly develop amnesia. Of course it’s perfectly plausible that the US inner-elite has long term plans involving the removal of the present Iranian regime, that their reasons are different from Israel’s, and that Israel is the junior—and more malleable—party to the partnership. If so, then it’s obvious that Iranian aggression toward Israel will be the most likely pretext for US action. But that’s not what Chossudovsky is alleging.

The authors are correct that Chossudovsky ignores manifest Israeli interests when it comes to Iran—that’s because he doesn’t even credit the Israelis with having their own interests. When a leftist yid doesn’t recognize Jewish power, it’s because he’s not terribly interested in Jewish power. Rather, he’s mired in moralism and victimology:

The real culprits, Chossudovsky alleges, are the “Anglo-American oil giants.”

“The U.S.-led war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region consists in gaining control over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas.” The best the professor can produce in the way of evidence for his claim is a Clinton-era National Security Statement citing the strategic interest of the U.S. in ensuring the security of Middle East oil reserves.

Well, that’s not bad evidence, and if it’s all Chossudovsky cites, it doesn’t mean there’s no additional evidence of long-term US geostrategic designs on the Eurasian landmass and its natural resources, designs to which Israeli concerns would obviously be subordinate. But if the authors of this critique (of Chossudovsky) can’t recognize Gentile powers and the interests of those parties, it’s because they, too are mired in moralism and victimology:

Dr. James Petras and Muhammad Idrees Ahmad have already lain this lamestream liberal canard to rest. “Through its all-out campaign in the U.S. Congress and Administration,” Petras observes in his book The Power of Israel in the United States, “the U.S.-Jewish-Israeli lobby has created a warlike climate which now goes counter to the interests of all the world’s major oil companies including BP, the UK-based gas company, SASOL (South Africa), Royal Dutch Shell, Total of France, and others.” Chossudovsky is not unaware of the work of Dr. Petras; he is simply engaging in racial and ideological obfuscation.

The oil companies—victims of ethnic obfuscation! I guess that’s one industry not controlled by yids.

Clearly, the authors mistake the mere existence of a counter-argument for a refutation. But if they can detect a dearth of evidence behind Chossudovsky’s claims, why can’t they extend the same incredulity to Petras? Anti-semitism is a deeply cultural legacy. Is a scholar of Catholic background less subject to such biases than a Jew like Chossudovsky?

His blood be upon us and upon our children…. 

As for the putatively authoritative role of the U.S. Congress that Chossudovsky cites as evidence of Israel’s lack of agency in America’s foreign policy agenda, that is only a sickening joke in consideration of the fact that those in the know have for decades acknowledged that Israel’s U.S. lobby, AIPAC, grips the House and Senate.

Lemme get this straight: a whore can’t have more than one regular customer? But Chossudovsky doesn’t say Congress is authoritative, he says they gave a rubber stamp.

In any case, Israel’s total GDP was $318.7 billion last year; ExxonMobile’s net worth is $486.4 billion. If the latter’s exertions in lobbying Congress (or those of the aerospace defense industry, or any of the myriad interests behind American imperialism) are less conspicuous than Israel’s, maybe it’s because there’s no ancient, international subculture of intrepid crackpots specializing in publishing salacious broadsides characterizing them as the one sinister key to understanding global politics. But speaking of “lack of agency,” if the US enjoys effective veto power over Israel’s most sensitive defense priorities, and Congress is not authoritative, then Israeli lobbying efforts in Congress indicate a rather desperate negotiating position, and the difference between US leverage over Israel (on the one hand) and Israeli influence on the US (on the other) is the difference between a nutsack and a pubic hair.

Like all hopeless ideologues, the authors of Aryan Skynet are chafing under some inchoate sense of life’s unfairness they were never fully equipped to cope with as children. But if you get your education on YouTube and are readily reeled in by morality tales and faux-esoterica, then the party misdirecting you is not the obscure likes of a Michel Chossudovsky, nor even the Atlantic or the Washington Post—it is you. Reductio ad Iudaeoram is autonomic obscurantism. If you think the JQ is the rug that really ties the room together, you’re easily impressed. And yet, as we have seen, Jews themselves are taken in by this in a remarkably replicable manner. How can yiddishkeit be untangled from its relationship of dread—from any relationship—with this sub-species of vindictive mediocrity?

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. II

Gaydar hyperdrive

(Part I here, Part III here, Part IV here)

I would like to be wealthy, and in better shape. I certainly wouldn’t want to be homeless, or obese.

There are many things that I would like to be, and many things that I would not like to be, but to the extent that there’s anything essential in a human being, something that precedes him, what I want more than anything is to be exactly what I am.

But in the meantime I want to acquaint you, if you aren’t already familiar, with one Henry Makow, the proprietor of a ranty-ravey webzine concerned with exposing the Illuminati conspiracy, particularly its Jewish elements (Mr. Makow is a deeply conflicted Jew). Here is Mr. Makow’s take on anti-semitism:

Well, you cannot be a Christian if you’re involved in a Satanic conspiracy, but we know what Makow means by “Christian”: he means Gentiles. WASPs, to be precise, and probably also some descendants of traditionally Catholic ethnic groups. Once involved in a Satanic conspiracy, these people lose their essential (or vestigial) Christianity. The same cannot be said of Jewishness, of course, because Jews are a race. But if no one accuses Makow of being anti-WASP when he condemns the Rockefellers, it’s because Makow doesn’t conclude that the prominence of WASPs in this conspiracy implicates all WASPs—nor does he seem to view anyone but Jews as having a need to redeem their national reputation by opposing this conspiracy, even though he has said that the vast majority of Jews aren’t involved in it. Is Makow at least correct in assuming that opposition to it on the part of Jews would mitigate anti-semitism? Of course he isn’t.

Perhaps another exhibit will illustrate why not.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of a high-level Hamas operative—a high-level Hamas operative who spent decades in Israeli prisons. He spent decades in Israeli prisons because his son ratted him out. You see, Mosab Hassan Yousef is best known for defecting to Israel as an informant, and later immigrating to the United States, converting to Christianity, and authoring a tell-all about his experience, which he has promoted on various television shows.

To give you a very precise idea of where Mr. Yousef stands when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict, here he is speaking before the UN Human Rights Council as they deliberate about one of their monthly or weekly resolutions condemning Israel:

Now, to the extent that I am a Zionist, I badly want to relish what Mr. Yousef is telling the committee—but I can’t.

It isn’t that what he says is not true—most of it is, and the part that is true constitutes a neglected message that needs to be heard loud and clear: the PLO is indeed a retrograde kleptocracy, thuggish even in comparison with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. But it is not “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people,” that’s ridiculous. The greatest enemy of the Palestinian people is Israel, and Mosab Hassan Yousef may be right in every single one of his criticisms of Islam, the Arabs, and the various Palestinian factions. But when all is said and done, this is a man who betrayed his people, his family, his faith, and helped their mortal national adversaries imprison his own father. And now he lets himself be used as a marionette, because there’s no other kind of existence left for him but that of a stool pigeon.

As a Zionist, am I pleased that Yousef helped the Israeli authorities prevent attacks on Jews? Of course I am. I am very pleased by it, I’m even grateful to him. Yet when I look at Mosab Hassan Yousef, I can only feel total revulsion, because what I see is a faggot—and not just because of his textbook gayface. The simple fact is, Mosab Hassan Yousef is a worm, a complete betrayer, the type for whom Dante reserved the lowest circle of hell. We’re not talking about simple political betrayal, either—he’s not a North Korean who defected to the South. This guy betrayed his own blood, not just his family or his people but himself, his heritage, and everything that’s essential about him. To the extent that I identify with Israel, I can absolutely relate to a Palestinian irredentist who’s willing to bleed me bleach-white in the name of his worthy God and his lost homeland. I can respect that, even if I can’t tolerate it. But as much as I want to like him, a Mosab Hassan Yousef is intolerable to my soul. As is a guy like Henry Makow, who is so disproportionately mortified by any misdeed committed by a fellow Jew (as if he’s such a fine specimen himself) that, with the best of intentions and no sense of irony whatsoever, he can bring himself to pen an article entitled, “Anti Semitism is Legitimate Self Defense.” Of course, the whole history of anti-Semitism is one of massacre of disarmed, enfeebled people. Would Makow like somebody to murder him, or what? Yet perspectives like his really aren’t uncommon among Jews. What could possibly explain this extraordinary masochism? Can it be cured? On to Part III….

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. I

Valerie Plame

veyizmir

(Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here)

“What have the Jews not done to prove that they do not stick together?” (Menachem Begin)

This week witnessed media coverage of author and (perhaps, former) CIA agent Valerie Plame, who provoked some controversy when she tweeted an article from Unz Review titled, “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars.” Plame subsequently apologized and resigned in disgrace from a spook-tank called Ploughshares Fund.

Uncouth though she may have been, what’s interesting about this little kerfuffle is that Plame did nothing more than express the establishment position. Of course it can be a matter of degrees, but to assert in a major publication or on a university campus that Israel and her US supporters exercise critical, undue influence on US mideast policy has been uncontroversial for quite some time. I even recall an episode of The Simpsons making a joke to this effect as long ago as the late 1990s. (If I ever find the clip, I’ll hyperlink it.)

If, on the other hand, you really want to know what the US is up to in the mideast, it isn’t all that hard to find out. So this idea that, due to Jewish pressure, an otherwise cohesive and sober American elite (or an inept, naïve one) is sticking its neck out for Zionism with no corresponding ROI is pedestrian wisdom masquerading as radical, taboo and esoteric. And the notion that the global power elite is comprised of just so many portfolios being managed out of Tel Aviv by means of seamy Polaroid floppies and Monopoly money may never lose its mystique for the great plurality of intellectual minutemen. But Israeli meddling in US domestic politics, at least, can be explained with simple common sense: i.e., in order to mitigate overbearing US meddling in their affairs, the Israelis are leveraging the labyrinthine inertia of the American system just like other foreign actors—they just require more brainpower, man-hours and connections to accomplish what others can get done less conspicuously. For instance: the US puts personnel in actual harm’s way by the tens of thousands to defend Poland, Saudia and South Korea. Yet no one ever thinks to inquire about these arrangements as if they’re particularly fishy, ulterior, or inexplicable.

In any case, US aid to Israel accounts for about 0.7% of the overall US defense budget ($5 billion versus $640 billion annually). Zionism has far less to do with America’s wars than Lutheranism. (The hyperlink is there for a reason.) The question is, why would that be so counter-intuitive for so well-informed an insider as Valerie Plame? She may only be a lackey, but she’s got to know a thing or two about how the system works.

According to her Twitter profile, “Valerie is a wife, mother of twins, author, anti-nuclear activist, and a former covert CIA ops officer.” In other words, she’s a legally blond soccer mom in the big city. But while nothing a CIA agent (former or otherwise) says can be taken at face value, it does seem as though Plame was very deliberate in tweeting the article. For one thing, she didn’t have to, and there was, apparently, personal cost involved. In tweeting her subsequent mea culpa she pled ignorance of the article’s contents:

I skimmed this piece, zeroed in on the neocon criticism, and shared it without seeing and considering the rest. I missed gross undercurrents to this article & didn’t do my homework on the platform this piece came from.

This is not only implausible, but irrelevant. I mean, “undercurrents”? The headline reads “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars.” In the same Twitter thread, Plame tweeted that, “in the past, I have also carelessly retweeted articles from this same site”—clearly she’s well aware of “the platform this piece came from.” Clearly, Plame wants (or wants others) to believe that America’s Jews are behind America’s wars. The question is, why?

Certainly Plame is no innocent lamb when it comes to America’s toxic impact in the world. You don’t even have to be a covert intel operative to know that Congress just proposed a $640 billion defense budget for 2018, a $37 billion increase over the Trump administration’s $603 billion request for the same year and a $57.3 billion increase over the Obama administration’s $582.7 billion defense budget for the prior year. America’s Jews are driving this?

If so, it hardly makes sense that Valerie Plame would condemn them for it, because she can hardly regard the US as anything but a force for good in spite of its all worts. To consider other possibilities would be to confess venality. Ms. Plame, after all, is a product and lifelong servant of the system, and it’s axiomatic that machiavellianism tends to fly under cover of sanctimony. Much more convenient—and well-precedented—to blame the Jews wholesale. But Valerie Plame—neé Plamevotski—is kinda, sorta…. Jewish (not to mention Lutheran.)

What makes so many Jews and partial-Jews denounce their own kind like this? The Christian critique of Jewish moral turpitude has long been aped by Jews, as a way to distance themselves from their execrated identity. Certainly that doesn’t make every criticism false, and it is nowhere clear that Valerie Plame is invested with enough Jewishness to make this true in her case. The question remains, however: what makes anyone settle on clandestine Jewish machinations to explain so comprehensively such diverse and multifarious phenomena? The great, torpid ease with which this is so often done ought to offend the meagrest intelligence. (A famous maxim about old habits comes to mind.) Is there nevertheless something about Jewishness that provokes or exacerbates it, and is there a way for Jews to mitigate it, without stentorian public self-flagellation over the Palestine question, or who controls Hollywood? If not, then how should persons of Jewish provenance orient themselves to it?

Stay tuned for our next installment…..

 

 

 

Specters of the Pedantic

volvo-jean-claude-van-dam

Not good enough

“Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” T.S. Eliot, Choruses from the Rock

“To the perceptive eye the depth of their degeneration was clear enough, but to those whose judgment of true happiness is defective, they seemed, in their pursuit of unbridled ambition and power, to be at the height of their fame and fortune.” Plato, Critias

Life is short, and Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas is long. However, I did have the recent good fortune of hearing a one-hour podcast interview of Jorjani with Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice Radio, and the discussion was substantive enough to respond to.

There are three prongs to Jorjani’s thesis: a prediction about the future, a conjecture about the past, and an inference from ancient lore that kind of ties the first two together. He also makes extensive use of the term spectral to mean three things: the impending supersession of the Cartesian paradigm (and a blurring of the binary distinctions implied in it) by a more “spectral” episteme; the specter, or psychic dread, of the kind of protean trans-humanism this paradigm shift will give way to; and the daemonic forces or “specters” at the root of it all.

According to Jorjani, humanity stands on the precipice of a spectral revolution centered around ongoing scientific discoveries of clairvoyance and telekinesis. He gives an overview of the research in this area since the 19th century (by William James, the CIA, the Pentagon, Princeton’s Global Consciousness Project, and the Stanford Research Institute, among others), and poses the question of why it hasn’t already resulted in a spectral revolution.

Of course, there’s more than one possible reason, chief among them that the implications of this research aren’t all that Jorjani cracks them up to be. But the only possibility he concedes is the old Foucaultian Kool Aid, i.e., “the inextricability of systems of knowledge from structures of power.” We’re supposed to believe these spooky avenues of inquiry pursued for decades at a stretch and largely in secret by some of the most august personages and lavishly funded institutions in the country represent a threat to the powers that be. Well, so did the atom bomb, and we know who got first dibs.

Granted, the revolution Jorjani anticipates would reorder the exercise of political power as we know it, for as he explains, clairvoyance would threaten to obliterate privacy and secrecy, and the ability to foresee events would alter their manifestation. But Jorjani believes the spectral revolution will alter the order of power as well. How these capabilities will slip the grasp of present elites, who are obviously best positioned to cultivate them, he doesn’t make clear.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no extrasensory phenomena (though the production of ectoplasm Jorjani cites is real a knee-slapper, especially if you’re a South Park fan) nor that they may manifest from clairvoyant or telekinetic faculties that are latent in us, and around us. It just isn’t clear how these forces might be cultivated to the point of reliable application, benefit and malleability, without some equal and opposite pitfall arising. But if they can be, clearly the human type this will most empower is the one that is least restrained by conscience, just as psychological tactics are most effectively employed today by the least scrupulous sorts.

Jorjani is unperturbed by this, seeing his spectral revolution, essentially, as the Nietzschean becoming of who we are. He describes the world our primeval forbears experienced as one of “intrinsically meaningful things in places, rather than deconstructible objects in a grid of space-time.” But those things aren’t mutually exclusive—at least not for the minimally astute and spirited (fewer and fewer of those nowadays, I’ll admit—perhaps the category doesn’t include academics.) Besides, binary distinctions get made viscerally all the time, no abstraction required—so how would we experience meaning without them?

Jorjani references the apparent extrasensory faculties of animals and primitive man and conflates them with the psychical abilities he foresees being refined in us, describing them as technologies. This is where his term spectral may be particularly apt. Whereas technology is commonly thought to proceed from scientific theory, Jorjani sees the latter as a way of describing and rationalizing the order we already impose on the world with our technological endeavors, and he characterizes man (whose tendency is to impose this order on the natural world, augmenting his organic abilities by developing tools and techniques) as an inherently technological creature. Thus, according to Jorjani, technology itself, as something “more fundamental than science,” isn’t the real culprit in the attenuation of our primeval awareness, but the means by which this attenuation will be overcome and our latent powers of clairvoyance and telekinesis more fully actualized.

He then asserts flatly that there is no theoretical model that can accommodate the data on these phenomena, and that what this tells us is that scientific theory itself is a mere cognitive frame. Never minding the disjointedness of this construction: can either part be true in all cases? Are there no degrees? If not, what would that make the “spectral revolution” itself but theatrical, postmodern luft?

But while this line of reasoning may be high-flown, in a way it doesn’t go far enough. In other words, if scientific theory invariably represents a mere cognitive frame, what species of knowledge, perception, and interaction with nature does not? Because there’s an obvious party (famously arraigned by Nietzsche) to the attenuation of our extrasensory instincts that’s missing from his consideration, namely language—the scarcely perceptible secondary categorization of the things we perceive. The most Jorjani says in this connection is that it’s possible some black swan such as a neurologic mutation took place in the fog of prehistory to attenuate our extrasensory faculties, but this would seem to call for less, not greater certitude about who we really are. It also suggests a sharp technical/pre-technical binary, and in any case it can’t be linguistic because even primitive tribes who still possess extrasensory faculties have language. (Jorjani relates a fascinating anecdote from British explorers about the clairvoyant abilities of South Seas aboriginals that’s too long to recapitulate here; my point is, these aborigines could also talk.)

Yet the characterization of man as a technological creature would serve to qualify language as a technology the way Jorjani uses the word—the refined outgrowth of some innate faculty, which we use to reorder nature and alter perception. Again, this complicates the picture of how we arrive at the kind of advancement Jorjani is predicting, given the fact that in many ways, instinct appears to be sharpest among the least intellectually developed communities of modern people. That’s why the bourgeoisie avoids the hood, right? And the aboriginals.

Jorjani’s thesis itself is spectral as well in another way he neglects to mention. That is its congruence with the symbology of secret societies and the prognostications of tech oligarchs like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and (especially) Ray Kurzweil. Of course, there will be a who and a whom: the political power that imminent technological breakthroughs are liable to impart—whatever they turn out to be—will not be wielded fairly, nor equally by all; not even close. At least Jorjani dispenses with this pretense, for while there’s a great deal of variance to these kinds of projections, Jorjani himself claims to stand at odds with the usual ideological commitments (i.e., liberal-democratic) professed by those who tend to make them (he has actually called himself a national socialist.) So on the surface, his thesis is less depressing than theirs, devoid of paternalistic public policy pablum, appealing instead to inner, organic sources of power as opposed to strictly outward, mechanistic ones. But on reflection, the world that Jorjani anticipates is as stripped of mystery and as dreadful in its utopian hubris as The Singularity, for what they both have in common is amorality.

This brings us to Jorjani’s take on comparative religions, daemons and his “specters of the titanic.” In short, he’s both a Zoroastrian and a Luciferian, claiming that Ahura Mazda, the titan Prometheus and the snake in the Garden of Eden all represent the light of knowledge and our consequent empowerment as a species that the Olympians, the jealous Old Testament God and sticklers for the Cartesian paradigm all wish to deny us. How Zoroastrianism of all things proposes to propel us beyond binaries is beyond my meager familiarity with the subject, but the notion of ever-expanding progress and improvement sounds awfully fatiguing and looks an awful lot like self-help charlatanry—which is to say, carte blanche. He’s mistaken, as well, about the snake, which (as a creature that slithers along the ground) is symbolic of the matriarchal, earth-bound fertility cults of early agricultural societies. When man falls from Eden on account of his woman, he becomes a tiller. The Bible is suggesting that subjection to womanly wiles is a fate beneath man, not his just desserts. Thus, with his first inkling of knowledge Adam doesn’t discover fire nor invent the wheel but experiences shame—both a peculiar burden and a potent weapon of the female. The Jewish God may be highly peculiar, but he’s a virile sky deity (not a matriarchal earth deity) who opposes himself to the forces of self-abasement and cupidity. Adam’s original sin is putting hoes before bros, not knowledge before darkness.

Ironically, monotheism itself is spectral in that it obliterates sharp distinctions between spiritual forces. Sites, symbols, saints—nothing is truly sacred but the one. This conviction is at the root of Atenism, of Jewish aloofness from the classical world, of Islamic and Protestant aniconism, as well as the message that Christian missionaries imported throughout Europe in the early middle ages. To be sure, these are all legacies of intellectual repression, but also certain important advances, and the authors of the Hebrew Bible (who cherry-picked a lot from the pagan cultures around them) may not have subscribed so strictly to such a leveling ethos. Indeed, if we read a bit of tongue-in-cheek into Genesis—and recall in true pagan fashion that an act of creation is also an act of destructionGod seems to be flawed in quite the same way that man is. This is also what the snake represents in the creation story. If man is punished by God for defiance, that’s because it takes one to know one. We’re created in His image, after all, and if the snake is analogous to Prometheus, then it’s awfully strange that in the Greek version mankind is created in the latter’s image. But God’s Will is compromised in much the same way that ours is; it’s an act of negotiation with us. That’s why Abraham walks before God, and perhaps why Prometheus is able to challenge Zeus at all. So this is all far less restrictive than Jorjani’s take gives it credit for. These stories are symbols in the Greek sense, tokens, not abstractions. In other words, they aren’t vindictive admonishments, they’re take-it-or-leave-it insights into the ironclad human condition.

So the message of Genesis is not that exertion of the will or the pursuit of knowledge are wicked, but that they’re tempered by nature, because the ineluctable pull that novelty exerts on the human psyche lends itself to hubris and destruction. If Eden is not suited to our inclinations, neither is Babel hospitable to our constitution. One can even argue that the Bible is in favor of the cultivation of human intellectual capabilities, to which its God gives His blessing. Again, if we avoid reading Genesis too literally, we can see that Jacob, as Prometheus was to the Greeks, is the archetype of foresight, which Genesis portrays as key to human striving (as Jacob strives with an Angel and extracts a blessing) and a fundamental element that distinguishes reflective man from reflexive brute as represented by the archetype of Esau (and from sheer control-freak avarice as represented by Laban in the same several chapters of Genesis.)

Jorjani, on the other hand, holds up Drs. Faustus and Frankenstein as representative of the Promethean struggle for enlightenment. Once this struggle is won, then what? Wasn’t it Goethe himself who said that happiness consists in facing and overcoming difficulties? In any case, this would be an odd kind of enlightenment to extol, because Faust loses his mind and then tries to repent (at least in Marlowe’s version), while Dr. Frankenstein’s creation is repulsively deformed. It will be interesting to find out whether Jorjani addresses these inconsistencies in his book, but in the podcast they seem to elude his awareness.

Those who cast doubt on the possibility of knowledge due to its alleged inextricability from power dynamics seem to always view those dynamics as fixed, the antagonists perennial. For the postmodern left, this means the forces of goyische Ward Cleaver and Cecil Rhodes arrayed against hapless Emmett Till and Lenny Bruce (or something.) Jorjani inverts this dominant paradigm—pointing to the fact that Prometheus was chained by Zeus to a Caucasus mountain—to make his case that Prometheus is the god of the Caucasians, i.e., the Nordic races most in need (due to environmental exigencies) of fire, who’ve made the greatest intellectual and technological leaps lo these past several millennia. Of course, Greece, Italy and Persia aren’t the snowiest lands, and while the suggestion that the disproportionately Semitic forces of ressentiment and priestliness represent the perennial adversary of enlightenment is certainly truer to Nietzsche than the postmodern left, it’s equally oversimplified, and woefully….. binary. The formalist, the nihilist, the post-structuralist, etc. is never sincerely denying that higher truths exist and can be known—these theories simply exist as a pretext for the authority of arbiters and mandarins and know-it-alls. Hitler, for example, once posed the question of why man ought to be less brutal than nature, but it’s telling that (so far as we know) he farted through silk sheets for most of his time as chancellor, and was a vegetarian. So he wasn’t really speaking in general terms. He meant, why shouldn’t I be maximally brutal with my adversaries?

Ironically (for someone so power hungry), Jorjani, a self-proclaimed national socialist, looks as though he’s never been punched, but sounds like he needs to be, his lithe, Dennis the Menace countenance emitting a nasally voice with a smarmy, pedantic inflection. I don’t say this to be mean spirited (not that Mr. Jorjani’s philosophical outlook would deny me that indulgence) but in the spirit of Tyler Durden. That a wheezy, narrow-chested academic with a balled-up sphincter would be an incubator of the Nietzschean actually makes perfect sense. Brilliant though he was, when reading Nietzsche it gives crucial context to recall that the man was a sexually maladjusted autist. Someone strong and self-assured could never call man “a laughingstock and a painful embarrassment,” but neither do school-shooter types and conniving corporate managers revel in themselves, they only anticipate doing so. But I’m not interested in “becoming who I am,” I’m interested in being who I am. If as a species we’re well on our way to anything like Jorjani’s spectral revolution, it’s because the vindictive fantasies of software developer nebbishes and pencil-necked money shufflers are precisely the architecture of our post-meta-narrative, post-binary, peeping Tom corporatocracy. At least the Nazis put real skin in the game.

Jumping the Great Whitegeist: the Alt-Right Viewed from the Right

34651npi-richard-henrik-lana-mike

“You guys feel like going for frozen yogurt?”

“The goyim know?” Bitch, please. Naming is the origin of all particular things, the medium is the message, and—as yours truly predicted—the alt-right is looking a little overcooked nowadays. Thought trends may have a protean life of their own, but brands are destined for tombstones. The conviction that bloviating is tantamount to action is a peculiar, late-20th century misapprehension, precisely the plush-doll American dream that Occupy Bernie and the alt-right both thought they were rejecting.

Don’t get me wrong—Richard Spencer’s incisive, he’s got pluck, and neofascism is an overdue rejoinder to the empiricist hubris, intellectual courtesanship and mercenary behaviorism of TED Talk America. But while I’m all for realism (and vigilantism) in the face of swarthy Idiocracy, the alt-right ain’t it:

I asked [Spencer] whether I, as someone who is half-Chinese but had a classical Western education, would fit within his group… “I’m a generous guy,” he told me. “If you truly identify with our people, I would not have any problem with that.” But there were genetic deal breakers. “A full-blooded African, no matter how wonderful he might be—I’m not sure that would really work.” (Graeme Wood, Atlantic Monthly, June 2017)

How’s that for “freedom of association“? The pompousness here is far worse than the bigotry. It may be half-joking, but it can never be more than half-serious.

Still, to its credit, until just before the election the alt-right was the last bastion of real, uncöopted social satire left in this country. I mean, what’s less relevant today than SNL? Lately the dominant, left-liberal paradigm begets only humorless ideological directives and “validation” of skin-crawling peccadillos. Like aging pop-stars, Saudi oil-wells and boomer entitlements, the brick-and-mortar media is an obsolete investment being defended with increasing shamelessness:

6_major_corporations_own_90_communications

Even its Silicon Valley supersessionist heirs (whom you’d think would display more independence of thought, Lord knows they’ve got the requisite leverage) cling to its mid-20th century CFR ideological commitments, such that criminal syndicates that reject the premise get more leeway than political opponents who accept it:

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-5-58-10-pm

Under the spreading chestnut tree….

Speaking of Vice, myriad popular online outlets affect a cutting-edge veneer these days, but a good general rule is that the more lurid and higher-budget the content, the more wholly owned are its producers by the planetary managerial class. The biggest backers of Vice, for instance, are BofA, Disney, George Soros and Rupert Murdoch. This brackish scene deserves the vilest ridicule, the most acerbic satirization, but there’d be no funding for that, for the same reason nobody ever invades Switzerland. The powerless don’t leverage power—it leverages them, and all the penny-ante social media antics in the world won’t get the alt-right’s fingers unstuck from the pearly gates of the Big Time.

Which (if you like violence) is too bad. A lot of NPI and Radix Journal materials were deliciously subversive circa pre-Trump, when the point was to express these ideas, not just expand the audience for them. Now that the antiseptic media klieg lights have warmed the alt-right’s obligingly exposed butt cheeks, the fact can’t be concealed that vindictive, half-witted, pathos-laden language (not to mention dry, committee-meeting type knit-picking about activist strategies and doctrinal purity) is rife on Counter-Currents, Radix, TRS, Red Ice and Occidental, and this click-hungry humorlessness has diffused throughout the alt-right punchbowl as the imperative to justify itself to outsiders eclipses insider ribaldry. And so, my alt-right friends, what portends the Kali Yuga is not Jews or loose women, it is you, e.g., the inexorable pull that novelty and the allure of power exert upon the human psyche, which is why Evola’s advice was to ride the tiger, not stick your head in its mouth. (But how many alt-right personalities have really read all the authors they like to block-quote on social media?)

How sad to be peddling an ethos of order, hierarchy and opposition to commercial vulgarity in the .25 cents’ admission Imagination Land of new media, only to get mere first world pushback as they traffic in ideologies that really punished thought-crime. Now that they’ve had their fifteen minutes, the little grandeur-deluded leadership will spend the rest of their lives panhandling like a one-hit wonder performing at an Indian casino: “Remember me? Just ten grand more to meet our goals this season.” Even Milo was writing interesting columns as recently as 2015, before the Twitter ban and his election-year transition to full-time attention-whoring. Spencer’s criticisms of him are apt, and blissfully un-self-conscious.

So the problem with the 2016 NPI conference wasn’t the menace or poor taste of the coy sieg heiling, it was the quivering bunghole that compliments the kind of toast Spencer delivered. I mean, “Children of the Sun”? That’s what the Times was calling a Nuremberg rally? Sounds more like a Maya Angelou quote over a stock photo. Children of the fucking sun, why not “God’s Chosen People”?

large_image

“Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail victory!”

The fact that the bourgeois American WASP is an over-socialized, emotionally sterile cardboard cutout who masochistically enjoyed deferring this past seventy years to comparatively dysfunctional cultures that have a little more cut-loose panache than his own is as little discussed on the alt-right as Germany’s no-go zones are on MSNBC. But to suppose Trump will arrest these developments significantly is pitifully gullible optimism. As Spencer told some pie-faced yenta at Rolling Stone, “I think we’ve leveraged ourselves in an incredible way, but at some point we need to cross the Rubicon and have a footprint.” Translation: OMG, this might even lead to an internship. In a duck costume. At a mall kiosk. For (in the words of the great Marshall McLuhan) when you gaze long into the Facebook, the Facebook gazes also into you.