Recently there’s been a controversy in Left Hand Path circles over the International Left Hand Path Consortium gathering this April. Specifically, over the presence of a man named Augustus Sol Invictus (clearly not his real name), an occultist, attorney, and politician known for some of his jarring political views and beliefs as well as one particularly bizarre activity (more on that later). He was to attend the consortium in spite of an online outcry and protests from anti-fascist groups, but was quietly uninvited in recent days – apparently not because of his questionable politics or his apparent ties to fascist politics, but rather because of a leaked statement in which he had invited protesters to stab him in the heart and kill him if they hated him so much. You can read the full statement on the International Left Hand Path Consortium site. Anyways, from what I understand, the consortium became genuinely worried that Invictus’ presence might bring violence to the event (presumably based on the possibility that someone might actually take Invictus up on the offer to try and kill him). This, combined with warnings from the Atlanta police, led to the consortium dropping Invictus from speaking at the event.
At first, I wasn’t sure whether or not the International Left Hand Path Consortium did the right thing. But after thinking about it, and discussing it, it sounds like the consortium ultimately did what came naturally. They were willing to defend his right to free speech, contrary to what Invictus would have you believe in that rant, but they would not condone the invitation of violence by Invictus. Invictus, at least from that rant, sounds like an asshole who can’t look at anyone who disagrees with him as anything other than filth, and that’s just derelict. And that rant, to my understanding, was before he got uninvited. I don’t know how he feels about being uninvited, but judging from what I’ve seen and I can’t say he’s the kind of person who takes particularly well to not getting his way. I don’t find his assumption that those who dismiss him as a fascist aren’t freethinkers because they don’t like anything about him to be very charming, or very mature. And when you have to call everyone little bitches or pigs, you’re not being the equanimous, or reasoned, or mature intellectual you think you are – you’re basically being Phil Fish.
But there is more to Invictus than that rant. Oh no, he is a whole package.
Much has been made about his ties to Nazism, or rather Neo-Nazism. A lot of this is due to the fact that, as a lawyer, he defended neo-Nazis, nationalists, and white supremacists – including the leader of a white supremacist organization known as the American Front – and as a politician and speaker he seems to have allied himself with blatant nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. He’s even set to appear in a rally with the National Socialist Movement in Rome, Georgia. Apparently, his rationale for doing so is to unify libertarians, “patriots”, and nationalists against the common enemy of federal government, and the supposed shadowy forces controlling it against our interests.
Yeah, good luck with that.
His status as a Nazi is actually dubious at best. Even the fact that defended Neo-Nazis as a lawyer is still not purely indicative of Nazism – there’s always lawyers assigned to defend people like that, that’s just part of a working legal system. He constantly cites that he’s not a racist because all four of his children are Hispanic, and according him he’s never been called out for it buy his nationalist or even Neo-Nazi allies. Honestly I don’t know what to think.
Nazi or not, however, I don’t doubt that he is a fascist. Ostensibly, he claims to be a libertarian with libertarian policies – opposition to the war on drugs, slashing government spending, dismantling federal agencies, and preserving the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Those ideals are fine and all, but it’s everything else about his politics that seems to overshadow that. First off, like it or not, he seems to call himself a fascist. He even acknowledges the likes of Ezra Pound as a “fellow American Fascist” in one of his videos. Second, just look at his campaign – he actively utilizes fascist symbols. His logo is a Nazi-esque eagle, the Roman laurel wreaths associated with emperors, and even the fasces symbol (the axe surrounded by a bundle of rods) from which the very word fascism gets its name.
Now, the word fascist does tend to be thrown around a lot, so let’s clear up the substance of the fascism of his actual ideology. In one of his papers he has actively supported the implementation of eugenics programs, and has criticized the federal government for not having eugenics in its state policy, claiming that it does so in favor of “decadent ideology that rejects the beauty of strength and demands the exponential growth of the weakest, least intelligent, and most diseased”. From what I understand, however, he does not officially support eugenics in his campaign, but has still implied that a state run by a “beneficent philosopher-king” could still implement a eugenics program, and he doesn’t seem all that negative about the idea.
But what really sticks out is his concept of Imperium – his term for the natural order of things, not to be confused with his law firm of the same name. This concept is that of a natural/social order and inherent hierarchy where the strong are allowed to govern the weak. He claims that this also entails the responsibility of the strong to support the weak, the primacy of the individual over the herd, and the supremacy of creative essence over mundane existence, but as promising as that sounds, really? Because I think most of us are well aware that in hierarchical societies, throughout history, the individual is ultimately repressed, and the “strong” ultimately bully the “weak”. And given his comments about eugenics, I fail to see how that ultimately leads to the welfare of the “weak”. Also, who is “strong” and who is “weak”? Is it those who are physically weak or mentally weak? Or will that simply be those with physical or mental disabilities? Because those are the same people that are always targeted in eugenics, remember? Ultimately, he may not think so, but that’s what – and for all his talk about opposing what he must feel is an oppressive globalism and federal government, supporting fascism just means advocating one form of oppression over another.
At this point I’ve posted before about my views on strength, and the survival of the strong before, but never in the context of the obvious fascism that’s been advocated by Invictus, and I have never advocated social implementation of rigid hierarchy. I only think the strong of spirit, heart, mind, and will should be rewarded. And I would never think of the weak as needing to be removed from the world by”society”, as fascism entails.
You have to wonder how he manages fascist political and philosophical outlook with his apparently libertarian political views. It’s such a contradiction in the eyes of anyone who knows about the historical results of fascist politics that anyone can point it out. The head of the Libertarian Party of Floria, Adrian Wyliie, certainly did when he resigned and publicly denounced Invicitus. I can’t say I disagree with him.
I don’t quite like the rest of the schtick he’s known for. He’s an extreme pagan of Thelemite background – he was a member of Ordo Templi Orientis before being kicked out for over his infamous sacrifice of a goat and his drinking of its blood (which he actually admitted). He renounced his profession as a lawyer stating:
“I hereby renounce my licenses to practice law, my diplomas, my affiliation with Rollins, DePaul, and the University of South Florida, my United States citizenship, my membership in the Roman Catholic Church, my law firm, my publishing company & poetry journal, and all of my material possessions.
To those who believe that this great renunciation is evidence of mental illness rather than the initiation of a spiritual journey: If my example stirs nothing in you, if you can see no further than the confines of what your secular humanism & its hallowed psychiatry allow, then there is nothing I can say to you that would wake you from your slumber. You are less than the beast in man. You are fungi. Would to God that you pass quickly from this Earth.“
Just that he refers to God, in the seemingly conventional sense, is weird enough when you consider that he states that he worships the Goddess and his offering to the “god of the wilderness” (which I’ve heard refers to Pan). But his attack on secular humanism as an outlook seems jarring to me: honestly, does he think that anything humanistic, or anything other than his spiritual outlook period, is invalid? Is he just that pompous?
But I can’t overlook his apparent obsession with the prospect of a second American Civil War. Seriously, he once stated to his colleagues that prophesied that he would bear witness to a second civil war, and has stated that if he didn’t see such a war, he would lead one personally, and according to Adrian Wyliie he told him in a private meeting that “it’s my religion”. What exactly starting a new civil war has to do with paganism or Thelema I don’t get, but it seems very suggestive otherwise.
Overall, this guy reminds me of an embodiment of the more abhorrent side of the Chaos faction from the Shin Megami Tensei series, or at least how non-Chaos people see Chaos – you know, opposition to conventional moral and social values mixed with “the strong ruling the weak” and worship of the gods of old being classically associated with Chaos at least in older games. He also reminds me of Hikawa from the SMT Nocturne in the same series, because he was the heretic or a “black sheep” even in the likes of the Cult of Gaea, and also of a pagan, non-Satanic Boyd Rice (the real Boyd Rice being a “Satanist” who allied with white supremacists and founded the authoritarian thinktank known as the Abraxas Foundation). I dislike him immensely, but I don’t think he’s a very real threat because of the fact that, ultimately, he’s unelectable. And his ties to fascism will ultimately guarantee him not being too influential, especially among libertarians – the vast majority of whom, myself included, will never ally with Neo-Nazis as he hopes.
In the end, I’m sure the debacle concerning him and the International Left Hand Path Consortium will be forgotten or become meaningless in not too long. Thinking about it, it ultimately was meaningless.