A review of Naturalistic Occultism by IAO131

About a year ago I became aware of the existence of a book entitled Naturalistic Occultism: An Introduction to Scientific Illuminism, which was written in 2009 by IAO131 (or Frater IAO131), a Thelemite author who produces a podcast entitled Speech in the Silence and is the creator and editor of the Journal of Thelemic Studies. The subject of the book is, as the title would suggest, is the concept of Naturalistic Occultism, the author’s formulation of a system of occult practice consistent with naturalism and skepticism based on Aleister Crowley’s framework of Scientific Illuminism, as elucidate in the first edition of The Equinox along with numerous other works of his. I have been meaning to read it, but for some reason I didn’t get around to it until the last week. The following post is my assessment of the book, or more specifically of the content of Scientific Illuminism being espoused. It should be stated for the record that the edition I have is the 2nd Edition, which was released in 2012 and apparently has some additional content not found in the original edition.

The introduction to the book gives us a pretty clear sense of where IAO131 is going with his concept of Naturalistic Occultism as well as the concept of Scientific Illuminism. Naturalistic Occultism, simply put, is a framework by which to understand occultism through modern scientific concepts, specifically within the range of what is presently accepted by the mainstream of neurology and psychology. This concept is treated within the book as interchangeable with Crowley’s concept of Scientific Illuminism, which refers here to the methodology by which Crowley espouses skepticism as a device of Thelemic spirituality and occultism as described in The Equinox. In its initial form, it’s a refreshing take on the field of occultism, going out its way to point out the trend that some of us in the LHP field have known for quite a while – namely that far too many occultists are fanciful charlatans who peddle superstition in place of organized religion, while of course setting themselves against organized religion for the thought-slavery that it imposes upon us, and the attempt to marry occultism with psychology and neurology, on the whole, is genuinely fascinating. But while it makes a fairly convincing case for taking occultism through a naturalistic lens, I do worry about some aspects of its proposal. For example, it lays a specific emphasis on “pragmatism”, which is defined in the book as the belief that truth can be determined based on what works, that a belief is true insofar as it is useful – as Crowley put it, “Maximum Convenience is our canon of Truth”. At best, it tends to be a rather shallow framework, and I say that because it simply isn’t enough to say that it works. You need to go further, and ask “but why does it work?” or “how does it work?”. At worst, however, it reminds me of when Jordan Peterson said that truth is based on survival or whether or not it “serves life”. The other problem I have is the emphasis on phenemonolgy, and the reason that worries me is because, as the book lays out, this approach spells out to us that there is no external world that exists outside of the phenomenal realm, and since IAO131 links this to consciousness, this entails that there is no world that exists outside of human cognizance, which is entirely (and normally I hate this word but) problematic because the very premise of naturalism, I would assume, demands the consideration of a world or cosmos (and processes therein) that exist independently from our cognition.

Early into the book, IAO131 compares and contrasts his doctrine with a selection of more popular occult doctrines – New Age occultism, Hermeticism, and Chaos Magick – and in it he does make some pretty good points. For example, with New Age occultism, he points out that the New Age movement is an anti-scientific movement that bases itself on pure faith that sustains itself on rampant consumerism, though I feel its analysis was lacking in detail to the point that it made me wish I was just reading Michael Parenti’s Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America instead, given that it has a section dealing in New Age religion and, from what I’ve heard about the book, attempts to deal with it in terms of ideology as part of a criticism of the broad pantheon of bourgeois ideology that serves to undergird capitalism. IAO131’s assessment of Chaos Magick was also rather enlightening, and I find the most salient criticism he gave of it as that it lacks a systematized framework and a unified language or structure, owing to its fundamentally decentralized approach. With Hermeticism, though, I was slightly disappointed, and I guess I was expecting him to go more in depth as to his issue with the actual content of its doctrine given, from what I understand, it is a fairly long-standing tradition with quite a bit of theory developed for it, but his main complaint about it seems to be more that the Hermeticist movement has this apparent sense of superiority and appeal to authority, with little attention given to its actual doctrine.

In a more general sense, one thing that often annoys me about IAO131 in the book is his constant invocation of cultural relativism, that is the way he constantly tells us that, in real terms, no system or set of values is better or worse than the other. He extrapolates this from that axiom of Crowley’s, “there is no law beyond Do what thou wilt”, saying the following:

As the Book of the Law says so succinctly, “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt”, and we have no right to insist that anyone is fundamentally wrong in pursuing their Wills, even if it does lead to ignorance, obscurity, or ineffectiveness.

In the context of this particular passage, the author intends this attitude to be a safeguard against prejudice and hubris, but the underlying lesson we get about what seems to be the ethos of Thelema is, basically, that you can’t be wrong in any of your beliefs, even if you actually are wrong – or, more accurately, it’s OK if you have erroneous and delusional beliefs, we’re not really going to do anything about that. This attitude for me is one of my major problems with what appears to be the Thelemic movement as it exists today, and it’s largely to do with the fact that it’s actually far more pervasive than Thelema. You see it in people on the online left, for instance, some of whom sincerely believe that they can commit to specifically atheistic formulations of communism and theistic religions such as Islam or Christianity at the same time, with no evident theoretical justification for such a marriage, and if you criticize them for such foolishness they simply accuse you of being a judgemental bigot. I guess it makes sense when the only thing holding your beliefs to together is your will or your desires, or when the only reason you believe in something is as some kind of emotional support.

This attitude also bleeds into the general attitude towards religion, which I worry colours his methodology. Perhaps its a consequence of how he interprets the motto of Scientific Illuminism as Crowley originally put it (“The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion”), but it reeks of typical liberal defences against atheism. He insists that, while we absolutely should oppose superstition and uphold skepticism, and to that effect we should not disregard science, we also shouldn’t disrespect religion. By the end of the book he even goes so far as to accuse atheists (and scientists) of , being just as subject to blind faith as the theists they oppose, strawmanning hard or strong atheists as being “rabid” militant atheists, which such a delicious irony for my considering, from the very start, his framework only makes sense when treated as an atheistic one! He also complains about materialism on the grounds that he considers it to be a reductive doctrine that disparages religion and spiritual pursuit, which is weird to me because if you’re basing your doctrine on naturalism you’re invariably in the business of discrediting conventional religion by taking the power away from it by explaining conventionally religious, spiritual and magical concepts in as phenomenon that can be understand entirely as natural concepts, which invariably makes them part of the material universe. The way he goes about it just sort of makes me think back to Luciferians like Ben Kadosh and Michael W. Ford, and how in their own they actually recognize the material universe as one of the key points of their ontology, albeit through symbolism. In the case of Kadosh, as I’ve discussed earlier in “The earthly light of Ben Kadosh’s Lucifer“, this is represented as the Greek god Pan, with Lucifer being the Logos of the material world, while in the case of Ford this is represented through Az (the mother of demons in Zoroastrian mythology), who for Ford not only represents the power of evolution but also connected to the material universe by virture of the fact that Az apparently corresponds with the Greek word Hyle, which refers to matter, as Ford explains in Adversarial Light: Magick of the Nephilim. But I suppose as someone who’s been a Marxist for over a year now I was going to take issue with IAO131’s treatment of materialism. It lacks imagination to me, strikes me as the mark of a man unable to find the soul of the flesh so to speak, and I believe it to be limited by what is quite obviously a liberal framework (one of the tells is how he criticizes capitalism on the subject of New Age spirituality, but ultimately declares that does not actually oppose capitalism despite that it brings him the consumerism he rightly despises). As a matter of fact, it shows when he declares on the last page before the glossay that “the truly childish attitude is to assume you are right and that anyone who disagrees must be delusional”. For some reason it reminds me of that saying, attributed to Gene Knudson Hoffman, that an enemy is just someone whose story you have not heard – to which, as Slavoj Zizek pointed out in his debate against Jordan Peterson, the obvious answer is “should we have decided that Hitler was just someone whose story we haven’t heard from?”.

The theory that he offers for various occult concepts tends to be the most interesting part, as we get to IAO131’s actual formulations of how to understand occultism through his naturalistic framework. At first I found his treatment of the concept of “as above, so below” to be a little unfair, and I would probably maintain that a concept like that can be interpreted from a somewhat pantheistic lens (after all, if the universe is God, and Mankind its most sophisticated offspring that we know of, we may find the cycles of Man and his environment reflected in the natural universe) and his own approach too phenomenological. There’s also a more social secular way of looking at it, one that presents individual ills as reflective of social ills, which the Marxist can take and shift it away from the superstructure and onto the base structure. However, after reading the book I did a little digging, and it seems the microcosm and macrocosm ideas apparently has its connections to astrology, ideas about sacred geometry, Hermeticism and alchemy (and for some reason the Wikipedia articles on them have “Family as a model for the state” listed as related articles), and it seems to me like IAO131 could have gone into more detail about that, but he didn’t. The sections on astrology, divination and gematria, however, are pretty illuminating even though they’re as short as the other sections. While they aren’t particularly detailed, they explain how a lot of these concepts arbitrarily base themselves on confirmation bias, with some pretty amusing examples (in the case of gematria, there’s an example involving Sarah Palin). The section of divination is similar, but it explains it in terms of what’s called a Barnum statement or the Barnum effect (a reference to the famous 19th century showman P. T. Barnum), which refers to ambiguous statements that are otherwise subjectively imbued with personal meaning. The section on “why magick seems to work” seems to avoid any claim to whether or not it actually works, but instead takes the concept of the placebo effect and uses it to formulate a way to understand magic as an internal process of self-improvement. However, I feel that the subject of magick and “how it works” requires a lot more depth, and once again the brevity of the content betrays the level of exposition that could be devoted to the subject, thus the theory section also, on the flipside of its fascinating content, underscores on of my major complaints about the book – namely, it’s too short, which is a real problem for me because I really want him to get into more depths with the discussion of Jungian ideas in particular.

Some sections on theory are longer than others though. These are dedicated to astral phenomenon, initiation, and the “mystic attainment”. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that I found these to be among the most fascinating. There could still be a more detailed exposition to these concepts, but there is plenty to take away from what I’ve seen. With the section on initiation for example, the relation to psychotherapy is actually a fairly interesting angle because, if done correctly, a naturalistic framework of occultism as related to psychotherapy can manifest as a way to bring the capacity of psychotherapy into the hands of the individual and the masses, allowing you to take control of that process through such a pursuit, which could have untold spiritual and cultural benefits. The section on “astral bodies” seems interesting in the sense that it attempts to tie it to a neurological concept known as the “body image”, referring to a representation of the body that is apparently generated by the brain. The concept of the “mystic attainment” is, in my view, actually a pretty good way of framing the goals of just about any spiritual let alone occult tradition, perhaps even in a conventionally LHP context in that it creates space for interpretation upon which a distinct framework can be developed.

And on that front, there are actually quite a few parts of the theory of Naturalistic Occultism that, in my view, dovetail quite nicely with Luciferian philosophy. For example, in the book’s section on “As Above, So Below”, there’s a great quote from William Blake (one of my great and foremost spiritual inspirations) which reads “men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast”, with IAO131 noting that this statement can be amended to refer to the brain instead of the breast, though I find myself questioning the way he uses it to invoke the premise that “the macrocosm is actually a reflection of the microcosm” (meaning the universe is a reflection of consciousness). In the section on initiation, the definitions of initation, framed as spiritual attainment and spiritual progress, are related to that concept of “making the unconscious conscious”, which is taken to mean the integration of unconscious material into conscious awareness. In fact the concept of initiation is a great way to make sense of Luciferianism. I see the concept of initiation discussed far more in the Luciferian tradition than in the Satanic tradition, and the book’s idea of spiritual progress, entailing self-discipline, maintenance and enhancement, is a great way to contrast it with the hedonism that is much of baseline Satanism. The section on invocation, thought in need of exposition, arguably lines up with the concept of Deific Masks in its psychologizing of the gods and its premise that invocation refers to invoking parts of yourself rather than external masters. It’s also curious to note that, as this section ends, there is a note on how the magician “”becomes” what she is invoking”, which is then psychologized in the sense of being interpreted to mean the release or access of unconscious potency. In a sense, the framing nonetheless allows to think of apotheosis from the lens of continuous transformation, becoming many gods on the way to the state of Theos Epiphanes, which may serve only to inform the Luciferian framework in a positive, emancipatory direction, might even have some radical ideas for what we consider to be the true self. The section on “mystic attainment” ends in a quote from Aleister Crowley in One Star in Sight wherein he says that what IAO131 refers to as the mystic attainment is the knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel (itself a concept that crops up in Michael W. Ford’s work as well; who knows why) of making humans “no less than the co-heirs of gods” and even refers to those who achieve this as a Lord of Light – I can’t say for definite that this is actually a reference to Lucifer, and might not be, but it does seem rather reminiscent. In the section on “astral workings and scrying”, it’s noted quite often the necessity of facing up to the “shadow” side of the psyche, that the ability to handle the adverse aspects of the self is to be taken as a sign of great spiritual strength, that there is no light side that is not accompanied by its dark side, and indeed ends with a quote from Crowley that endorses the virtue of overcoming, “strive ever to more”, all of them great points to make note of in the Luciferian framework, indeed that many Luciferians often emphasize themselves already. However, I don’t believe IAO131’s liberal morality and relativism serve the Luciferian framework well, given that he counsels us not to bash religion so much, which we Luciferians might have a problem with, given our contempt for the Abrahamic faiths.

Towards the end of the book we get a very short section on practice, where the methodology regarding certain aspects of occultism from the framework of Naturalistic Occultism is outlined. This is one area where brevity is actually somewhat merited and the instructions seem rather simple. I imagine you won’t get the technique right away, practice making perfect after all, but it seems pretty easy to follow through. Following this, we get an “inconclusive” conclusion, telling us that the book is simply a starting point for the development of Scientific Illuminism, which for all intents and purposes is accurate.

Ultimately, I will say this to conclude: the concept of Scientific Illuminism is sorely lacking in study and formulation. In fact, I think it’s somewhat telling how even within Thelema, the religion from which this framework originates, it seems to be a pretty obscure concept. Indeed it is to a point that, for the flaws in IAO131’s framework, the only serious development of Scientific Illuminism I can see in the modern day can be found in his book. That worries me, because in my view the concept deserves far more attention than it gets, and it deserves to be developed in new ways, ways that differ from the approach taken by IAO131 and even perhaps by Crowley, while, of course, remaining as respectful to much of its basic premise as possible so as to serve as having genuinely been informed by the idea in the sense of a kind of continuous tradition. Luciferianism, I believe, may have great use for such a doctrine. The mission of Scientific Illuminism, to make the practice of occultism apprehensible to reason, is perhaps an archetypal manifestation of that ancient quest to bring the divine to earth, in the hands of Man, which is, I believe, the great mission of the Morning Star and his devotees. Lucifer, after all, has almost always been recognized by occutlists as the angel of science, reason and freedom, not superstition, ignorance and the chaos and tyranny that those things stimulate.

An illustration of the Abbaye de Thélème, the “anti-monastery” described by Francois Rabelais

The “God Pill”

I have discovered a video on YouTube posted by Dave Cullen (a.k.a. Computing Forever), an Irish conservative who supports nationalism as well as free market libertarian and even anarcho-capitalist economics, in which he talks about his conversion to Christianity and promotes a concept known as the “god pill”, which can be taken as a facet of “red pill” online political culture. The video, entitled Rediscovering Faith: My Journey Back To Christianity, was so grotesque to the eye of reason, so erroneous in its premises, so self-serving in its function, and yet so enlightening as to the direction of online reactionary politics as well as Dave’s own political evolution, that I decided it was my civic duty to address it and key concepts from the video here on this blog. Please forgive me in advance for the sheer length of this post, but I must dissect these points here, for you will encounter these talking points on your own in time. Dave goes through several arguments at a time here, often in small portions but in quick succession, so addressing his major points will take up a lot of space, and the result will be probably one of my longest posts ever. If you don’t mind that (and here’s hoping you don’t), then I encourage you to read on.

Let ‘s begin by addressing the concept of the “God Pill”. Ostensibly, and for all practical purposes, the “God Pill” in the parlance of “red pill” culture is simply another way of referring to religious conversion, or rather the embrace of the belief in a God. God, for our purposes, refers to the concept of a supernatural consciousness that created and controls the universe and exercizes sovereignty over the souls of humans. However, the concept of the God Pill is also more than the simple acceptance of the belief in God, in that it is necessarily a component of the broader stages of “swallowing the red pill”. The God Pill stage is synonymous with the White Pill stage, which is suppsoed to follow the Black Pill stage, which is supposed to follow the Red Pill stage. Before we explain what exactly that means, let’s see Dave explain this process through his own words in the beginning of his video:

It seems now that a pattern is beginning to emerge among many of us who operate in this genre of red pill philosophy. When you take the metaphorical red pill, it’s just the first epiphany, the first layer. You realize how much you’ve been lied to all your life. You discover that you’ve been fed an ideology perpetuated through biased narratives and spin. You begin to discern truth from illusion, and reject the programming that they attempted to indoctrinate you with. Now if the red pill is the means by which you discover that you’ve been lied to with, the black pill is how you learn just how dangerous those lies truly were. The black pill is when you descend down the rabbit hole further and learn just how bad things have become. It’s where the consequences of evil become truly apparent. It’s also the point where you begin to experience a degree of hopelessness and despondence. This is the point of rock bottom, but luckily, from there the only way is up. Things can seem bleak, but it’s virtually impossible to stay black-pilled for long. It’s simply too difficult to entertain nihilism or despair for extended periods of time. Eventually, an appetite for hope, optimism and meaning begins to develop. The soul requires nourishment. Enter the white pill, also known as the God pill. You begin to desire action, order, purpose and a semblance of values in your life. The world may be going crazy but you’re not going to. The very values that have been stripped from Western nations by the left for the last 50 years gradually begin to make sense.

The God Pill, properly understood, is to be taken as an alternative name for the White Pill, which is the end of the stage a broader journey associated with the Red Pill concept. Taking the “Red Pill”, in this parlance, usually means the rejection of progressivism, liberalism, feminism and political correctness (or more or less as conservatives define it, which is basically just when you take a lefty-ish stance on social issues), and “awake” to what they believe to be the true nature of reality that is obfuscated and censored by progressives and globalist elites on a regular basis. In pick up artist parlance, where the red pill philosophy mythos originates, the “Red Pill” means “awakening” to the premise not only that society is gynocentric but chiefly that women don’t care about your personality and are only interested in promiscuous sex with young men, which given that women are also morally condemned for such a shallow mindset, even if they don’t actually have it, is pretty much unavoidably a recipe for misogyny. The opposite of the Red Pill is the “Blue Pill”, which represents ignorance of the realities of politics as well as women within red pill parlance. The “Black Pill” is a concept that Dave seems to softball for some reason. It is not simply when you learn how dangerously bad things are, but rather it refers to what happens when, some time after the premise of the Red Pill is accepted, you begin to develop a fatalistic and nihilistic outlook towards the world on the grounds that one comes to believe that the system that the adherent opposes cannot be reversed. In practice this usually means people in the new right turning to some kind of nihilistic fascism on the grounds that they now believe that the system they oppose can no longer be opposed through honorable or democratic means and that they are damned by whichever path they take, though in pick up artistry and incel culture the term simply means accepting the premise that there is nothing you can do to make yourself attractive to women if you are not conventionally attractive. The original definition of the Black Pill can be found in a post written by the Canadian anti-feminist blogger named Paragon in 2011, who defined the Black Pill as accepting the premise that there is no personal solution that can alter what pick up artists or incels or whatever they’re called nowadays consider to be a systemic trend of hypergamy that will always prevent men from having sex with desireable women. The “White Pill” in incel parlance is actually supposed to be just a generic term for the attainment of any sort of optimism and focus on self-improvement stemming from the premise of the Red Pill, but for people like Dave Cullen it seems to have taken on a distinctly religious connotation, related to religious conversion. In essence, we get a narrative which, in a sense, might give away the real goal of the strands of reactionary internet politics we see today: the end goal is to get disillusioned young people to not only reject progressivism, but also to reject any kind of liberal values, to reject the Enligthenment, to reject reason, and to reject the work of the French Revolution, and embrace Christian theism as a means of reviving the pre-Enlightenment order.

The Baptism of Christ, attributed to Sassoferrato (circa 1630-50)

It is worth noting at this point that Dave is far from the only exponent of the God Pill concept, and perhaps not the most insane of them. Rocking MrE, who considers himself to be a classical liberal and was once promoted by the EDL as such alongside Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), used to be an atheist who ascribed to a sort of “Cultural Christianity” (that is, when you don’t believe in God but you still support Christian moral doctrine and values), but converted to Christianity proper at some point in 2018, and now he not only believes in God but also denies evolution as an “occult doctrine” designed to lead people away from Christian morality. The concept of a God Pill seems to have been discussed by other right wing channels such as Blonde in the Belly of the Beast. One YouTuber, Critical Condition, credits her “God Pill” status to the lectures of Jordan Peterson, which she saw as a way of re-establishing what is apparently to be taken as a dormant sense of religiosity. The right-wing pick up artist Daryush Valizadeh (better known as Roosh V) converted to Orthodox Christianity in March this year, apparently after finally becoming dissatisfied with a life of treating women as just the object of vainglorious sexual conquest (not to mention getting high on magic mushrooms), and now promotes the concept of the God Pill on his online forum, where he describes it as the final destination of a journey that begins with the “blue pill” (ignorance of reality), then progresses with the “red pill” (awakening to reality, apparently through pursuit “materialism”, in this case meaning pick-up artistry), then the “black pill” (despair, nihilism and the resutling withdrawal from “materialist” society) and ends in the God Pill (in his words, submission to God’s Will). The transition from the Red Pill to the God Pill appears to be a general trend that has been seen by some Christian observers, who comment that the invariable destination of the red pill political subculture is the revitalization of Christian religiosity. But, I feel it is in Dave, as well as Rocking MrE, that we find something particularly poignant. Here we have people who have devoted themselves, ostensibly, to reason. To that end they have embraced some very conspiratorial worldviews relating to reactionary politics, to the point that they may as well have been wearing reason as a costume, but Dave at least seemed to consider himself to be taking after the likes of Christopher Hitchens in some of his videos. And now, here he is rejecting atheism as a childish doctrine in favour of Christian religiosity! But I suppose this all makes sense in light of the red pill pipeline being just a pathway to religion. Though, in Dave’s case, there might well be distinctly emotional motives for his transition, ones that just happen to intersect with his hardline conservative views.

Anyways, with all of that having been established, let’s move on to the next point:

I guess I considered myself an atheist since I was about 13. I rejected the religious teachings of my parents, who were both devout Catholics and quite conservative, and as I entered my teenage years I began to become more liberal and I believed that I could have all the answers, that science and secularism were adequate substitutes for religion and faith. But as I grew older, I also became more conservative, and I began to realize that the wisdom of my parents was based on something timeless, universal and tried-and-tested for thousands of years, that the teachings of Christ were a set of rules and instructions that not only made intuitve sense when carefully studied but actually had been essential in maintaining and building our Western Civilization.

This is the first part of the video where we get to one of the more absurd claims Dave makes in order to justify his position. The claim in question is that Christianity has been “tried and tested” throughout the history of the Western world, as in for thousands of years, as in, by implication, presumably long before Christianity was actually formulated, before Jesus was even born. To assert this tripe requires you to neglect the entire body of Hellenic philosophy upon which we derive many of our modern sciences, philosophical concepts, political constructs and even large parts of our mythos. I’ve covered this before in my post about Cultural Christians, but let me summarize this point by saying that large parts of Christian doctrine derive from the writings of Plato, Aristole and the Stoics, not to mention many mystery cults such as the Eleusinian Mysteries. Then there’s the fact that so many Christian holidays, myths and even saints and angels have their roots in the pagan custom of Greek, Roman and other ancient societies. I would argue that, if there really is something that is timeless, universal, and tried-and-tested for thousands of years, it’s not Christianity, considering the fact that Christianity has only really been around for two thousand years, which in the grand scheme of human history is a pretty short stretch of time.

Next, we come to his criticism of the New Atheist worldview, which he purports to have dismissed during his teenage years:

Science is the means by which we understand the physical world around us. It is not the means by which we derive our morality. For that we need philosophy, metaphysics, religion. Human beings need relatable stories, instructions, parables, in order to develop a moral and ethical framework in which to live.

Now, I will say for the record that I find what I have seen of Sam Harris’ attempts to form a morality based on the scientific worldview to be utilitarian garbage, and I find that he justifies this using many of the same arguments that Christian apologists would use (namely that if you don’t follow his morality you must be a psychopath), but to assert that you cannot divine morality through pursuit of studying physical reality to be an exercise in rejection of the physical world. If morality is a phenomenon that comes from the physical world in the sense that it emerges from human relations, and in a sense can only really be observed in the context of the physical world, then treating it as dependent on something that can only be based on something that is supposed to be categorically outside of the cosmos doesn’t make any sense, and in a sense divorces morality from reality, which in my opinion is a dangerous and irresponsible thing to do because it creates the groundwork for moral nihilism. Not to mention, he seems to speak of philosophy of somehow separate from the pursuit of science, and aligned with religion and metaphysics. The problem with this is that the pursuit of philosophy makes no sense without its object – questions surrounding the nature of reality, that is a matrix that exists outside of ourselves that we observe on a constant basis – and also the fact that even the scientific method itself bases itself upon a specific set of philosophical assumptions and doctrines, which have proven effective for their purpose – that is, the investigation of reality through empirical study and experimentation and analysis based on reason. So from there, we can already see that Dave’s argument for religion amounts to a weak-kneed cop-out.

But in a sense, it’s also here we that we also come to one of the more revealing facets of Dave’s thesis on religion, one that is also apparent from the very beginning of the video, shortly before the first quote I posted from it. He doesn’t commit himself to a rational reason for believing in a Christian God, or in accepting the Christian religion as the guiding force for society as well as himself, but because he needs the Christian religion because it provides him with a meta-narrative that allows him to make sense of the world around him, and this desire, as was already implied in the discussion of the God Pill concept and as you will further see later on, is deeply linked to his conservative politics and his opposition to just about any form of left-wing politics you can find.

For now though, we must address that age old Christian apologist talking point that just won’t die, and that Dave is apparently resurrecting here:

Science and religion are actually not in conflict, as some atheists believe. They’re not actually in competition. One is the means by which we understand the physical world around us, the other is the means by which we derive meaning and moral instruction.

The main problem with this talking point is twofold. The first problem is that it assumes that religions are not formed as means by which to understand the world around us. The reason that’s a problem is simply the fact that religions like Christianity and Islam, and their surrounding myths, as well as the myths of polytheistic religions, were in part devised quite literally as a means by which people without scientific knowledge could explain the physical world. I mean, what the hell is the idea that God created the universe and is responsible for its cycles including those that happen on Earth if not an attempt to explain the physical cosmos? Oh wait, I forgot. We’re not supposed to take that literally. The second problem is that to believe that science and religion are not in competition but instead working harmoniously with each other requires the ignorance of the history of Christian power in Europe, as well as in America, which then as now is often in conflict with scientific findings. Did we all forget about how Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church for his pantheistic beliefs which he may have drawn from his scientific pursuits? Or how Galileo Galilei was forced by the Inquistion to recant his scientific discovery of how the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around? Or how in the United States a man named John Scopes was sued by the state of Tennessee for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection? Or how for decades the evangelical lobby has fought for creationism against the scientific teachings of not only evolution but also man made climate change, and how this lobby is still an active part of the Trump administration today? Oh wait, I forgot, that’s all just progressive babble isn’t it Dave?

Christianity shown here getting along with science, like it always does. Wait a minute…

Following this, we come to a part of the video where Dave’s political direction descends further into regression, past the realm of the absurd and into the realm of the sinister, while also serving as the first exposure of just how utilitarian Dave’s embrace of Christianity really is. Here is how he segues from religion being a system of meaning and moral guidance:

This system may even be the basis of a legal system or even a constitution for a nation state to live by, but the core philosophy must be based upon something that cannot be altered or replaced by man-made ideals. It’s the idea that there is a higher power that Man is answerable to, that governments and politicians cannot challenge, that the state is beholden to the values and morals that the populace subscribe to. This is one of the primary utilities of religion in our society.

Let me spell it out for you just in case it wasn’t already obvious: he is describing the logic of a theocratic society. He is describing a system that derives its legitimacy not from the will of the people, not from a secular body of law, but from the will of God and from the edicts of a religious doctrine. What he is describing invariably entails a society which, by definition, derives its legal basis from the interpretation of the laws and commandments of God by some religious or ecclesiastical authority. I don’t see how else it would work in his society unless he thinks that either Christians will just vote their beliefs into power or that God will just sort everything out by himself. His proposal cannot be classified as anything other than the basis of a theocratic society.

But the unstated premise of this assertion is that the need for religion as the basis of a society, in conservative parlance, derives from the need for a device through which their desired economic order becomes impossible to challenge through any sort of state intervention. Think about this for a moment. The state, properly understood in a democratic context, represents the sum total of human will in its ability to direct material components of the political system and make decisions on behalf of itself as represented by the body politic. Free market capitalism, being a man-made construct, is the product of human hands and as such is subject to human hands: Man created capitalism, Man becomes a subject to capitalism, and Man can also destroy capitalism. Of course, Man can also bend market forces to his will, that is say the state can assume ownership of what was once the realm of private markets in order to direct said markets and capital in pursuit of common good. The capitalist, and the conservative, oppose this because it hinders the free flow of capitalist markets to stream capital upwards in accumulation into the hands of private elites, which, for them, represents a much more abstract notion of economic freedom (freedom for the few, of course, not for the many). If the best way to stop this is to have something in place that is higher than the state, higher than the will of Man, then what better candidate than God Almighty, an entity that cannot be challenged by the will of God according to the religions that believe in him? Now apply this to free market economics, via that popular conception of the invisible hand of the market (however true it might be to the way Adam Smith intended to espouse it). The idea that the markets direct capital, goods and services in a positive direction that benefits society without the interference of the state, can be reified as a religious concept by arguing that the invisible hand of capitalist market is, in a way, the hand of God, or more or less the will of God working through the markets. The result of this is that the free market cannot be challenged by the state on the grounds that doing so means going against the will of God. The only problem with this, of course, is that the Bible doesn’t actually support free market economics except through a selective reading of it, and in fact there is even a famous verse in the Book of Acts in which a seemingly proto-communist society appears to be endorsed as a commune of Christ’s followers.

After that little quotation, he shows a clip from an interview he did with a guy called John Waters, who is a writer for the Irish Times and not to be confused with the American film director of the same name. A self-described “neo-Luddite” who despises the internet and emails in particular, he has supported many reactionary conservative positions in his day. He supported the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s, has claimed in 2014 that depression does not exist, opposed same-sex marriage, blamed gay people for his decision to quit journalism, and is such a staunch Catholic conservative that he even denies that there is institutional pedophilia in the Catholic Church, claiming instead that the real problem is homosexuality, which he claims explains the cases of pedophilia on the grounds that homosexuality is tied to ephepophilia (which, much like the anarcho-capitalists, he treats as morally distinct from pedophilia). In the interview clip being presented, Waters states that in the preamble of the Irish constitution begins with the phrase “In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred”, which he believes is grounds to treat the Irish constitution as a kind of prayer or invocation, which he justifies simply by stating that it is a mechanism to take the fundamental rights of humans and place them out of the reach of humans – in other words, to define human rights as a law that cannot be changed by humans (even though rights as a concept originate directly from humans).

We get into another stupid claim from Dave after this wherein he cites the British author John Glubb via his book The Fate of Empires as justification for religion as an integral part of civilizational survival:

Nations and even empires that lose religion tend to collapse within a couple of generations. This is the pattern that John Glubb observed time and time again when he catalogued the rise and fall of great powers throughout history. When an age of decadence is reached in a society, an age of liberalism follows. When you take God out of the equation, Man tries to become God.

The central problem with this claim in particular is that it is not simply that it is utterly unfalsifiable, but that it is demonstrably false and incorrect. The Roman Empire, for example, can hardly be said to have “taken God out of the equation” in the years preceding its collapse. In fact, by the time the Roman Empire collapse, Rome was already dominated by the Christian church, and had been through an almost unbroken succession of Christian emperors for over a century. The idea that the Romans were trying to “become God” can from there be treated as utterly laughable. The ancient Egyptian religion was still a present element of Egyptian rule and culture during the last days of the Egyptian empire under Cleopatra, after whose death Egypt became a Roman province. The Egyptians only briefly lost their religion during the reign of Akhenaten, who tried to introduce a monotheistic cult centering around a sun god named Aten, but after his death the religion of the old priests was restored and all mention of Atenism was purged from memory. The religion of the Aztecs only really disappeared after the Spanish conquistadors arrived and forced them to convert to Catholicism on pain of torture or death. The short lived Seleucid Empire did not die because of some lack of religiosity, in fact the empire was pretty successful in establishing what we now know to be classical Hellenic culture and syncretizing it with foreign with influences such as Buddhism. Instead, it died after a period of instability generated by civil war surrounding succession that broke out after the death of Antiochus IV. China went through several imperial monarchies throughout its history, and religion is not necessarily the cause of their collapse and displacement by successive new empires. If you know just a little bit about Chinese history, you’ll know that civil war is a common feature in ancient Chinese history, cropping up frequently as a point of transition between new dynasties, the most famous examples being the Three Kingdoms Period the preceded the short lived Jin Dynasty and the Warring States period that preceded the Qin dynasty.

Furthermore, his talking about how without religion Man tries to “become God” is a particularly mystifying talking point, and it doesn’t seem to have much basis in reality. Is he talking about how, throughout history, monarchies and empires have had their populace worship the king as a god as part of their religious custom? Or is he perhaps channelling Camille Paglia’s nonsense about how accepting transgenderism precipitated the decline of the Roman Empire? The swapping of gender roles, and indeed the inversion of many Roman values, was already a feature of Roman life in one particular festival, Saturnalia, which the Christians later phased out and replaced with the celeberation of Jesus’ birthday, which we would eventually call Christmas.

“Ave, Ceasar! Io, Saturnalia!” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Oh wait, never mind, Dave’s actually talking about communism:

Communism, which is once again trying to infiltrate every facet of our culture and compromise our institutions in the form of globalism, believes that the state is God, that it can be mother and father to an infantilized, powerless and impoverished proletariat.

As is standard practice for right-wing conspiracist content, Dave invokes the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, which tells him that everything he doesn’t like about liberalism is actually communism, despite the fact that liberalism and communism are against each other as they always have been and despite the fact that Marxists are marginalized, rather than endorsed, in academia (not to mention that the European Union and quite a few European countries ban the promotion of communism or at least ban communist symbols). But that’s not the most important part of this video – we expect his ilk to parrot the same old conspiracy theory even after it’s been debunked already. The real hot take here is that communism believes the state to be God. You know, that ideology that famously rejects God, views religion as the opiate of the masses and believes that the state is supposed to wither away as the society progresses towards commiunism – God tends not to wither away in any system that concieves of his existence you know! What were you thinking when you spouted this nonsense!? I could address everything else he said when he invokes that tired old talking point about communism impoverishing nations wherever it’s been tried, but not only do I lack the scope for such an endeavor in this post, but it’s also somewhat irrelevant when you consider that his understanding of communism here falls apart when you understand even the most basic points about its actual ideological content.

Oh but that won’t stop him. After all, he’s not basing his worldview on anything rational or anything like that, just some utilitarian goal which centers around quashing the phantom of communism and “Cultural Marxism”.

It doesn’t even matter if you believe in an afterlife or an interventionist God at all, or how the universe got started. These discussions are great fodder for theoretical debates, but they won’t build or maintain a society. They won’t protect against communism, or indeed another outside religion that seeks to dominate the West. Everything the left has done has been a gradual attempt to take people away from who and what they are and where they came from.

You know, Dave, there was a religion that came from a foreign land, or more or less based on a set of teachings that originated outside of the West, that sought to dominate the West, and ultimately succeeded in replacing the values and beliefs that had been with our ancestors for thousands of years.

What was that religion called? Christianity.

This is something that, even while I was a right-winger back in 2017, always annoyed me about proponents of this “Cultural Marxism” bullshit. They talk about the threat of their Christian religion being replaced by some outside force, and they never talk at all about the fact that it was originally the Christians who sought to replace the paganism of our ancestors, as well as the religions of any foreign people’s they came into contact with. And unlike the Hellenic Greeks before them who let the Egyptians and the Bactrians practice their religion in harmony with Hellenism, and encouraged a syncretism that was nonetheless still unique to the cultures they arrived at, the Christians in many cases simply replaced the cultures of the various peoples they encountered wherever they could, often destroying many important artefacts, such as what happened to the Mayan civilization. But they don’t like to talk about that, either because it simply doesn’t enter into their minds at all or because it’s inconvenient to the narrative they’ve weaved for themselves. Do these people have any idea what the Spanish conquests were, or what the Goa Inquistion was, or how the Christians sacked various pagan temples such as in Alexandria? Of course we can’t say the Christians completely succeeded in replacing the heritage of the West, what with the Renaissance revitalizing many Greco-Roman concepts, but it does not change that the Christians still sought the destruction of quite a bit of pre-Christian heritage, a fact that a lot of these conservative nationalists fail to account for.

Christianity celebrates the vital importance of the family unit, the most powerful defence against an authoritarian state. In Christianity, the roles of men and women are clearly defined, with great respect given to the unique roles of the mother and the father and the raising children in a set of values shared by other members of our community and tribe.

First of all, the sacralization of the family unit is not at all unique to Christianity. In fact the use of “family values” as a political device is not at all unique to Christian conservatism, and can be traced back to the Roman emperor Augustus, who believed that monogamy and chastity were ancestral values and sought to enforce piety and carnal forbearance through religious and moral law. Second, the idea that the roles of men and women are clearly defined only in Christianity is just absurd. Every society and every religion has had its own definitions of gender roles, some of them closer to our modern conceptions than others. In Roman society, for example, the role of most women was very clearly defined as the property of a man, either her father or her husband (yeah, real progressive there). Third, are we going to ignore the fact that women often played vital roles in the early Christian movement that weren’t simply reducible to home-making? Who could forget the lore surrounding Mary Magdalene, who before she was whitewashed by the Roman church was likely considered to be a leading figure among Jesus’ followers and disciples. There is even discussion about how men and women may have been treated as equals in marriage during the early church period. Fourth, where does this talking point about how the nuclear family is the best protection against authoritarianism come from? The logic of it is not adequately explained at all. In fact, it’s worth pointing out that one of the main planks of fascism as defined by Benito Mussolini has always been the preservation of the nuclear family through the means of the totalitarian state. This is not to say that family is a totalitarian or authoritarian concept, merely to say that the idea that it is the greatest bulwark of liberty is unfalsifiable. If anything, it might just be completely false. In Russia, the Orthodox Church has a lot of sway in Russian society and is closely tied to the government of Vladimir Putin, with Christian conservatism the norm in Russian society, but that hasn’t changed the rampant drug addiction and domestic violence that runs rampant in the country, and the state is far more authoritarian than many Western countries. But the people on Dave’s side of the aisle treat those who resist this state of affairs, particularly feminists (who for once actually have a good cause), as maniacal totalitarians for the high crime of fighting an authoritarian state. What a joke.

The community-building aspect of the religious service, the Mass, and the profession of faith ensure that everyone knows they are part of something bigger than themselves, that there is an authority beyond a democratically elected politician in office. This is how a nation state is maintained: by recognizing the value of the family. As you can see, it’s not hard to understand why the leftist Cultural Marxists have attacked religion and the family at every turn.

There is a tell in this part of the video that yet again reveals Daves inclinations towards theocratic authoritarianism: “that there is an authority beyond a democratically elected politician in office”. Logically there is one thing that this can entail in practice. It means that the authority of religion supercedes the will of the people, and their rights and freedoms can be superceded by ecclesiastical authority, and it entails that democratic authority can be bypassed by the authority of religion. In that sense, the only reason people like Dave have for opposing such undemocratic (nay, anti-democratic) institutions as the European Union is because these institutions represent cultural liberalism, which they mistake as being communism or socialism for some baffling reason. If the European Union were more overtly conservative and going on about how important Christianity is (like Vladimir Putin does in Russia), he would have no problem with the EU bypassing the will of democracy in order to preserve Christian power, and perhaps he be treating the Eurosceptics, rather than the Remainers, as SJW progressives.

However, as if anti-democratic theocracy wasn’t enough, Dave’s thesis takes a much darker turn, one that betrays what could be an overlap between his own political thinking and that of the racist alt-right.

In Christian nations, the origin story of our culture is the birth of Christ. Now, even if you’re not religious, even if you don’t take the stories of Jesus literally, you can probaly acknowledge that an origin story about the birth of a child and a savior, born to bring peace to the world, is a powerful message and a symbol of hope for future generations. But if people are encouraged to move away from Christianity, then they lose attachment to this story, and the origin story of who and what they are becomes rewritten. It’s replaced with a focus on the worst moments in our history. This is why in many modern liberalized Western nations nowadays the native people are being encouraged to be ashamed of their past. In social justice infested college courses in America, young Americans are brainwashed into self-loathing. They’re encouraged to feel guilty for atrocities commited by their ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The same is true of many European nations: their people are being encouraged to feel an intense sense of guilt and self-hatred for their colonial past for example. So once the story we told ourselves about where we came from spiritually was based on the hope of a young child being born who could usher in a new age of peace for all humanity. Now it’s about negativity, despair and hopelessness. You cannot build anything stable or successful on such foundations.

It might not seem obvious at first glance, but if you pay attention to channels like Dave’s, you will see an overlap between what he’s saying here and the talking points presented by alt-right YouTuber Black Pigeon Speaks in his apparently now-deleted video “Why The West HATES and is DESTROYING Itself”, which he seems to have lifted from a post from an alt-right blog called Chateau Heartiste (which seems to have been removed from WordPress). The basic angle of Black Pigeon Speak’s video is that, following the aftermath of World War 2, the West became dislodged from what he sees as its affirmative origin stories and sacred narratives, and became obsessed with generating a new sacred narrative centered around the worst atrocities in human history. If you pay attention to his video, it becomes clear that he is by and large referencing the Holocaust. He goes on about how Western nations have somehow become anti-nationalistic (yeah right) and now oppose any conception of unity, order, civilization and national (or for that matter racial) pride because of how the Nazis are to be taken as the ultimate evil, and this supposedly is tied to “the post World War 2 foundation myth”, which he directly identifies as the Holocaust (the unstated implication, of course, being that we are to believe that the Holocaust never happened or was wildly exaggerated despite all of the evidence we have to support what we know about it). This trope has another name in alt-right circles: they call it “Holocaustianity”, which they believe to be a secular religion created by the Jews to enslave the minds of the white race through psychological and moral guilt.

Scene from “The Ten Commandments” depicting the Israelites worshipping a golden calf; an apt metaphor for what the alt-right thinks the Holocaust is.

I am fairly certain that Dave seems to have derived his argument from Black Pigeon Speaks, considering he has mentioned and promoted his content in the past throughout his career, and while I doubt Dave himself denies the Holocaust, I am concerned that he appears to be promoting the ideas of actual Holocaust deniers and white supremacists in order to justify the nationalist impetus for his religious conversion, and that he is effectively soft-balling fascism. It should be especially concerning when you note that, for him, it is this trope that is responsible for the way American college students, as well as European university students, are supposedly indoctrinated by their professors to hate their past and their nation (which, if you think about it, is really just Dave being upset about the fact that Americans have to learn about slavery and colonialism, because he doesn’t like it when you learn about the parts of Western history where we end up being the bad guys). Not to mention, it’s not like people who think “Holocaustianity” is a thing limit themselves solely to discussion of the Holocaust: some alt-right commenters on Chateau Heartiste expand the concept of Holocaustianity to extend to the history of slavery in America, in order to cast serious discussion of slavery as nothing but religious self-flagellation.

But where for white nationalists and white supremacists all of this was about Jewish power and control, for Dave all of this culminates into a much more abstract narrative about the left seeking to destroy Christianity, somehow.

On the theme of the birth of a child, third wave feminism has promoted and attempted to normalize abortion, so the left has literally become like a death cult. You see, although the promotion of left-wing ideology is ultimately about power, it’s also not quite as simple as a straightforward attack on conservatism. It’s an attack on Christianity that goes back as far as the crucifixion of Christ, getting people away from their Christian heritage and values, disconnecting people from God and making them docile and compliant by promoting distractions that placate the masses: consumerism, pornography, sex, instant gratification, drugs, and materialism.

The part where he says “It’s an attack on Christianity that goes back as far as the crucifixion of Christ” alone deserves quite a bit of scrutiny. I didn’t know the “left” were attacking Christianity before the church of Christianity had even been established. Is Dave even talking about third wave feminism anymore? Just what does he mean by “the left”, if he’s even still talking about the left? And if not the left, then who? It boggles my mind, and, given how we’ve already established that Dave was basically parroting anti-semitic alt-right talking points about historical meta-narratives, I fear that Dave might be doing a dogwhistle and subtly referring to how Jews supposedly corrupt the white race. There are a few tells that suggest why this might be the case. The first of these is the idea of the attack that goes back as far as the crucifixion of Christ. The idea that there was anything that could be identifiable with the left in a modern sense is simply absurd, so it begs the question of just who Dave is referring to. The early Christian fathers have long hated the Jews, blamed them for the death of Jesus (which is funny to think about considering that Jesus’ death was supposed to happen per God’s plan to “save” humanity through the resurrection) and considered them thus the enemies of God, and this is reflected in the way medieval passion plays emphasized the negative role of Jews in the life of Jesus. In fact, such anti-semitism was so persavive in medieval Christian culture that the Catholic church only formally repudiated the idea that the Jews killed Jesus as recently as 1962, when they held the Second Vatican Council. The second tell is the way Dave describes this “attack” involving distracting the populace by promoting consumerism, drugs and pornography. For starters Dave promotes in his videos, including this one, the concept of “Cultural Marxism”, which is nothing more than a rehash of the Nazi concept of Kulturbolschewismus (or Cultural Bolshevism), which was basically a category for all manner of modern artistic and creative expression which the Nazis considered to be degenerate and corruptive to the minds of the German race. Then there’s the fact that white supremacists have long blamed Jews for a host of phenomenon they deem to be social ills, including pornography. The white nationalist James Edwards, for example, believes that the Jews use pornography as a tool to subvert the moral character of the white race as part of a broader agenda to keep them under control if not destroy them. The Jews have also long been associated with satanic influences against Christian culture in medieval folklore, and from this idea we get the blood libel trope that animates much of the whole Satanic Ritual Abuse theory and the term Judensau, which is now used as an insult by neo-Nazis. So with all that in mind, it makes me wonder: is Dave actually using Christianity as a cover for moving towards anti-semitic fascism?

After this part, he talks about how his mother died, and how this supposedly opened the way to religiosity, and from here we get a very strange interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer:

I knelt down one night and, for the first time in many years, prayed the Lord’s Prayer. I had said the Our Father many times as a child. I repeated it like a mantra, words that never truly meant anything to me. But this time, suddenly something changed when I reached the line “lead us not into temptation”. Now you can look at those words and not fully interpret their reason for being. “Lead us not into temptation”. What’s so objectively bad about temptation? Well, it’s the next line that suddenly struck a chord with me because it justifies that previous line: “but deliver us from evil”. So, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. Now, all of a sudden, for the first time, given everything I was witnessing in the world, I could understand the context of why this prayer had been written this particular way. What has the left been promoting for the past number of decades? Temptation, sin, greed, materialism, deviation from the path, a denial of nature. If you corrupt the people, promote vice and their baser animal insticts, you bring about the destruction of the nation state. Promiscuity rather than monogamy results in unplanned pregnancy, broken homes, low parental investment. Marriage is destroyed by feminism, alternative lifestyles are promoted, the act of sexual union between two people is no longer respected, pregnacy and the creation of new life becomes a nuisance. By no longer believing in a power beyond Man, the state becomes the thing that everyone relies on. From welfare to their rights, it becomes extremely powerful and soon after, authoritarian. Suddenly, in those few words of the Our Father, I had gained an insight and a truth that had been hiding in plain sight my whole life. As E. Michael Jones would call it, Logos. Saint Augustine said that a man has as many masters as he has vices, and, as E. Michael Jones has talked about, the left has sold vice as a form of liberation. In truth, we become enslaved to our base, greedy and primitive natures, and thus much easier for governments to control. The people become docile, and malleable and atomized, especially since identity politics is promoted to further divide and conquer people.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but I must say for starters that, being someone who has had his lay Christian phase when he was a child, I find myself wondering what precisly he thinks is so special about that line. I remember being a school boy in Pembroke Dock and later Carmarthen and having had the Lord’s Prayer recited collectively during regular assemblies. The line just seems to be a petition to God to protect his followers from temptations (or, perhaps, for him to not actively lead them astray), and lead them away from the clutches of evil forces or Satan. I don’t know where he got his particular interpretation from. It kind of seems to me like he thinks the Lord’s Prayer was written because of SJWs. Or Jews, maybe, given where he seems to have gone earlier on in the video.

In regards to how he applies his interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer to the left as a whole, we should take great care to note what Dave considers vice, given that he believes that the left promotes vice at every turn. Among other things we leftists generally tend to oppose the tendency of free market capitalism to accumulate capital away from the masses or the common good and towards private elites, we oppose private corporations having the power to expropriate the value of the labour of the working class while giving them pittances in return, we oppose wage slavery, we oppose war, we oppose imperialism, we oppose the imposition of cruel living conditions upon working people and their families, we oppose sexual abuse like any decent people would, we oppose the systematic waste and destruction of our planet’s resources, and we oppose the system that generates needless envy and the suffering it creates, which as Slavoj Zizek has stated is the enemy of self-love. What about this can be interpreted as promoting vice or the wanton rule of our baser instincts exactly? Well, you see, guys like Dave are mad that we also (usually) support freedom of choice when it comes to sexuality. He hates it when non-traditional, non-conservative, non-religious lifestyles and attitudes towards sex are represented in Western culture, and he hates it when liberals and leftists oppose the criminalization of abortion and pornography and support same-sex marriage, expansive sexual education programs and the freedom to be gay, bisexual, trans or whatever else. Now I don’t agree with a lot of the left, progressives or liberals about a lot of what gets promoted in regards to “gender identity”, and I insist that we should be free to say whatever we want about it even if it means offending the wrong people, but I have never opposed the right of people to claim they’re two-spirit or whatever. That’s because I believe freedom of speech and of expression are central to my political worldview. Now Dave might claim that he too supports freedom of speech and expression, and I have no reason to believe he doesn’t sincerely believe that, but I think his vision society would, in practice, run counter to such a profession on the grounds that in his society, democratic petitions and struggles for social and sexual freedom would be superceded and negated by ecclesiastical authority. Thus, I believe his claim that the left “sells slavery as freedom” is nothing but projection on his part.

His bizarre interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer is also yet another clue in just how far Dave is into the anti-semitic alt-right rabbit hole. You’re probably wondering who E. Michael Jones is. Well, he’s an American paleoconservative Christian writer and author who runs a magazine called Culture Wars and also has a YouTube channel where he talks about all manner of cultural and political issues, and also Jews for some bizarre reason. A quick search through his bilbliography leads you to some very interesting and totally not anti-semitic titles such as The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Jewish Fables: Darwinism, Materialism, and Other Jewish Fables, and if you look at his YouTube channel you will find videos titled Jewish Agents of ChaosIt’s OK to Criticize Jews, and E Michael Jones on Jewish Influence from Calvary to Trump. He’s also done interviews with the likes of Jean Francois-Gariepy, Faith Goldy, Nick Fuentes, Roosh V, Owen Benjamin, Richard Spencer, and Red Ice Radio, most of whom belong to the alt-right. All of this begs the question: why the hell is Dave promoting this guy? It strikes me as another sign of Dave’s adjacency to alt-right politics as well as a hidden anti-semitic tendency.

Kreuzigung by Peter Gertner (1537); the crucifixion was the central subject of what was known as “passion plays”, which frequently demonized Jews

Now the next part is a bit of a tangent from the overall theme of this post but it’s worth addressing anyway.

Our nations are also becoming increasingly less safe under leftist control and further destabilized, and therefore more heavily policed. The power of the state is increasing, as people surrender their freedom for more so-called security.

I am curious about which Western nations he believes are under “leftist control”. The ones that spring to my mind are Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Finland, and Greece, all of whom are currently governed by social-democrats, and with the exception of Greece most of those countries have not been social-democratic for particularly long (Denmark and Finland, for example, have only recently elected social democrats to the national government). Meanwhile, Donald Trump has been president of the United States for nearly three years and the authority of the state has only expanded under his tenure. In fact, I am still old enough to remember when we were all invoking that famous Benjamin Franklin quote about freedom and security when criticizing the government of George W. Bush, a right-wing neoconservative! So much of the authoritarianism we see in Britain that Dave (rightly, in many cases) crticizes has happened under the auspicies of right-wing rule, including the Blairites of the Labour Party. And, as we will discuss in further detail later, Poland and Hungary, under nationalistic conservative governments, stifle freedom of expression and curtail democracy while the “leftist” European Union does little to challenge them. Dave’s rests only on the fact that social democrats and progressives within the Anglosphere and elsewhere flaunt their autocratic radical-liberal performative politics, and not on the actual mechanics of the expansion of authoritarian power over the last 30 years or so, which entails right-wing governments and ideologues laying the foundation for all of this. Indeed, even all this nonsense about “hate speech” can be traced to neoliberalism, namely through the ideas of Karl Popper.

Skipping ahead just a little:

The left hates Christianity more than anything, because it can’t control people who believe in something bigger than the state. It’s now my belief that the greatest act of defiance we can make against globalism is to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ.

It seems that Dave is now chanelling a common talking point among modern conservatives: the talking point that conservatism, or Christianity, is the new counter culture. I’ve seen Dennis Prager say, essentially, that being an ordinary god-fearing Christian is actually somehow the best way to secure your individuality as a person, as opposed to, you know, defying the largest religion in America. I guess that’s what happens when you base your political worldview on a conspiracy theory where everything is under attack by “communist” globalists. Or Jews (really, guys, just be honest, half of the time when the right uses term “globalists” they just mean Jews because they can’t actually call globalism what it is because that would mean actually opposing capitalism and joining the left; why else would they be trying to push the “Cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory again?).

Still there’s something to be said about how the left supposedly hates Christianity more than anything. Really? Is that why Christian socialism has historically been such a widespread tendency in non-Marxist currents of socialism, and is still a real trend in British leftism? Or why Hugo Chavez, father of one of the few socialist revolutions alive today (deal with it comrades, the Bolivarian project is socialist in purpose), was such a devout Christian who believed that his socialism derived from liberation theology and declared that “Christ is with the revolution”? If Dave believes that Christianity is the primary subject of antagonism for the left, then it just shows further that he has no understanding of the political concepts that he is talking about.

Next, if you thought he had a bizarre treatment of the Lord’s Prayer, wait till you see what Dave does with the Sermon on the Mount (or of the Mount, as Dave put it for some reason):

On the Sermon of the Mount, Christ says “resist not evil”. Now I thought I understood this message, that this commandment made no sense. Of course we have to resist evil, otherwise it’ll win. Now, recently I heard a pretty interesting interpretation of this commandment by John Butler, which was something to the effect of “don’t justify evil by giving it your attention”. Don’t come into conflict with it because to do so is to give it power. There is only one power in the universe, one force, not two forces. Evil is only maintained so long as people stray from the path. You empower it by giving it your attention. Think of it another way: if you’re driving to a destination, and you have two possible roads before you. Once you know that you’re on the correct road, you don’t need to give any attention to the wrong road anymore. You don’t need to focus on the darkness, when you’re looking towards the light.

Now the irony of this whole statement is that is that giving attention to evil, or more or less what he considers to be evil, have been Dave’s whole schtick on YouTube for the last four years, maybe more. In fact, if you look at his channel content, most of his video content before this video consists of the same brand of content – that is, short tirades about progressive media and other conservative pet talking points. How can he complain about “empowering evil by giving it attention” when that’s all he’s been doing this entire time, and he doesn’t intend to stop? Of course, he doesn’t. He simply intends to give his channel a new focus. In fact he uses a clip from Yuri Bezemenov’s widely-trafficked 1983 lecture on psychological warfare and subversion to demonstrate his point about how, by stressing religion above the culture war is the best way to counter “Cultural Marxism”. But before you get to that part, you’re left with the impression that he seems to resgined himself to some sort of cuckoldery, not that such cuckoldery would be genuine anyway – as you’ll soon learn, there isn’t much that seems to be genuine or authentic to Dave’s newfound love of religion.

Before we move on to the next point, let’s briefly address the way Dave contradicts baseline Christian dualism. In asserting that there is only one force, rather than two vying for power, he negates the dualism that animates much of the New Testament, particularly the Book of Revelations. The conflict between God and the forces of Satan that Christians stress as central to their belief system or mythos no longer makes sense in this interpretation, and as such, we can actually question Dave’s commitment to Christian theism.

Dante’s Satan, as depicted by Gustave Dore

Anyways, moving on, skipping the Yuri Bezmenov clip he introduces for less than two minutes, we come to Dave’s assessment of Ireland, his home country:

In Ireland, many people conflate the corrupted instituion of the Catholic Church with Christianity, and because people have rejected their spiritual tradition, what has happened in Ireland? Well it’s becoming less Irish by the day. Try to think of a Western nation that’s succumbed to leftism that’s also got strong borders. When Ireland began to lose its faith, which is to say the pillar it was built on, unsurprisingly it began to slowly unravel. Now marriage has been redefined, and people have been so brainwashed that they’ve literally voted to take away rights from a portion of their own society: the unborn. And they celebrated this with tears of joy in the streets when they did so. They’ve given up on their future because the most vulnerable and precious in our society, our children, are no longer protected, and their right to life has been superceded by a woman’s right to treat that life as if it was nothing more than a piercing or a tattoo on her body.

Once again we have much to get into here. First of all, Ireland is not a country that is presently governed by leftists. The current government is dominated by the Fine Gael party, which is a liberal party that supports free market capitalism and economic liberalism with just a dash of conservatism, making them a standard liberal-conservative party, not entirely distinct from the Conservative Party here in the UK or the many center-right/”centrist” parties that dominate the European continent and the the European Parliament, though unlike our Tories these guys support the re-unification of Ireland (meaning Northern Ireland folding back into the rest of Ireland). It’s just that these guys also support Irish membership in the European Union, which I guess for Dave is just leftism (even though the European Union is nothing but a giant capitalist power bloc). Second, although Dave explicitly means Western countries, it is worth noting that, during the Cold War, none of the red bloc states had open borders, as he puts it. DDR Germany and Soviet Russia, for example, had border police. And they had secure, strong borders for one very good reason: to protect their nations from the constantly present, and constantly escalating, threat of being destroyed, within or without, by capitalist encirclement, not for the sake of same base nationalism or to keep immigration from poor non-white countries to a minimum. So this talking about how leftism means open borders in practice is simply nonsensical, no matter how much conservatives and anarchists want it to be otherwise. Third, Ireland has not lost its faith, or at least not yet. The majority of Ireland’s population is still Catholic, with 78.8% of the population affiliated with the Catholic Church, although that figure has declined from 84% as of 2011. Christianity in general is still the predominant religion of the Irish population, and any other religions or irreligious and atheistic tendencies are profoundly marginal in Irish society. The Irish Constitution also still sort of honours Christianity, and Article 44, which holds that the Irish state recognizes God as a figure of honor and reverence, is still present within the constitution. Fourth, when I first say Dave talk about how the Irish people have voted to take away the rights of a portion of their society, I erupted into laughter and curled into a ball, unable to contain myself, as I thought at first he was still talking about gay marriage. Of course, he was actually talking about abortion. Although I myself dislike abortion, I am unconvinced that criminalizing it will have any positive effect in terms of reducing abortions. In fact, while the debate around abortion cannot be reduced solely to the right of female bodily autonomy (due chiefly to the fact that, despite the feminist and libertarian slogans, it is not simply the woman’s at stake here, due to the fact of her sharing her body with a developing lifeform), it seems to me that Dave has no regard for the concerns of women who may be undertaking abortions. I mean, say a woman gets raped, and the coerced sex produces an offspring. Does he expect the woman to simply bear the child of her rapitst? Is that not simply demanding that women who were raped become the subjects of their rapists for the rest of their lives? That to me is simply an immoral position, and cannot be allowed for in a just and humane society. I completely agree that the life of the fetus should not be treated as simply an object to be dispensed with at will, on the grounds that it is a developing lifeform that, if given the chance, may eventually attain self-realization and carry out the Great Work in the name of the Luciferian path, but for me this means navigating a tight balance between the freedom to abort a fetus at the correct time (before it can be classified as a conscious being) and the right of women to make the right call. It also, most importantly, means working to eliminate the conditions that create abortion in the first place which, if anything, I would argue are partially created by both the social norms and the economic system that assholes like you support!

Of course, Dave will never concern himself with freedom, or at least not consistently, anymore. After all, as he puts it:

If you change the values of a nation’s people, you change the nation. If you distract the people with concerns about rights this and rights that, hedonism, sexuality etc., they will become focused on selfish navel-gazing and concerns that don’t matter.

In case you didn’t catch that, his position on social freedom and human rights is that it does not matter to him. The only thing that matters to him is that the body politic of a given society embodies his desired conservative social order. If that means gays don’t have the right to get married, or that women can’t have abortions, or that you can’t fight for your right to have a free, democratic, and secular society, then that’s immaterial to him, because all that matters is making sure that God is at the locus of the social and political fabric. In his worldview, rights are just a distraction that inhibits the conservative body politic: or, more aptly, the power of the nationalist state – what irony, then, that Dave whines so constantly about the need for religion in order to free humans from the state! When I first heard him explain this position, I was shocked. I was taken aback. How could someone who had once claimed to champion enlightenmentarian ideas to some extent regress in such a way? But on reflection, I now believe that this is what happens when you marinate yourself in conservative nationalism for long enough, arrive at the point where you become aware that liberalism is slowly dying, and have to make the call for how to surpass it. If you don’t have any commitment to the ideals of the Enlightenment left, having abandoned them entirely, you will end up embracing tyranny in the name of God (or perhaps race). And this embrace of tyranny is shown further by his effection for Poland:

Contrast liberal Ireland to conservative Poland. In Poland, they have Christian values and a strong sense of their identity, and a desire to maintain strong borders. Poland will therefore survive.

Um, Dave, how do you think Poland has kept to these “Christian values” you speak of? Actually, forget that for a moment. Poland is arguably not that committed to Christian values if it is indeed the fortress nation you say it is, when you consider the fact that the Bible counsels its believers to welcoming strangers, rather than rejecting them. The Book of Exodus encourages believers not to wrong strangers or foreigners on the grounds that the Israelites were once considered strangers or foreigners in Egypt, where they were enslaved. The Book of Leviticus instructs believers to treat those who sojourn into their lands as though they were fellow natives and love them as they love themselves, also referring to the Israelites being strangers in Egypt. Indeed, throughout the Bible it is stated that the sojourners, meaning people who go to another place to reside there (usually temporarily) are not to be mistreated or oppressed by the natives. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says quite plainly, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me”. All of this presents a problem for people who try to use Christianity to justify strict controls on immigration, or “sending them back” as it were, which you would think would bother Dave quite a bit. But that doesn’t stop him from embracing nationalistic chauvinsim towards refugees, and it certainly didn’t stop Christian Poland from refusing to accept refugess coming into Poland (except, of course, for Christian migrants). Christianity, therefore, seems simply to be a matter of Christian culture or “identity”. And, returning to the original question, how did Poland keep such identity, exactly? Anyone who knows just a little bit about the Polish government knows that it has laws against offending religious objects or places of worship, with offenders being punished by either fine or a 2-year sentence of imprisonment, which allows for pro-Christian activists to push for censorship of freedom of expression if they decide that they got offended. Yes, this is how Poland preserves its precious Christian identity: by curtailing liberty. What a joke Dave is.

Also, it’s worth noting just for irony that, although Poland is usually quite stringent about how many people they let in, they don’t seem to be all that bothered about how many people leave the country. Here in the UK we get several immigrants from Poland, and in August 2016 Poland overtook India as the most common country of birth for non-native citizens. This, incidentally, has also lent itself to discussion of Poles as being the victims of increased hate crimes within the last few years. Apparently Poland doesn’t mind its native population leaving because it receives billions of dollars for all the natives that leave the country and go off to other countries for work. Ironically, for a country that seems so stridently opposed to the European Union’s immigration policy, they seem OK with leeching from the union for all its worth. Yes, this is the country that Dave admires as a bastion of conservatism against liberalism and nationalism against globalism.

I look at the vandalization of our Christian heritage and see celebrations. St. Patrick’s Day is reduced to a glorified excuse for massive alcohol consumption. Easter doesn’t appear to be about the death of Christ for most people anymore. It’s become about chocolate eggs and the Easter Bunny. Likewise, Christmas is completely divorced from the birth of Christ, and it’s now become a tacky commercial holiday that begins in late September and promotes hyper-consumerism and materialism.

There are a number of problems with this analysis, chief among the fact that there are quite a few holidays from the ancient world that were connected to the cultural order of society that could easily be taken as excuses to get wasted and indulge the senses. One of them, as it happens, was Christmas: or rather one of its precdessors, Saturnalia. One of the main points of Saturnalia that connects it to the modern Christmas is that, like the modern Christmas, it involved the exchange of gifts between people. But it also involved a lot of drinking and other reckless festivities, which would have suited its overall theme of reversing the normal custom of Roman society, which theoretically stressed virtue, order and hierarchical deferrence. Alcohol consumption for celebratory reasons was also rather ubiquitous in ancient culture, with celebratory drinking being observed in Greek civilization, Egyptian civilization, the Neolithic Orkney settlements, and Anglo-Saxon Britain. Then there’s his complaint that Easter and Christmas have nothing to do with Christianity anymore, which in my experience is simply false. Yes, it is very consumerist nowadays, no one denies that, but you can also still find that the theme of Jesus’s birth and death are brought up in relation to them, and the average person will still encounter Christian themes and symbolism in the festivities, particularly if they come from an at least nominally Christian background. I, for instance, am from a Catholic family, and my family still celebrates the customs that Catholics associate with Christmas and Easter (and as you all know I don’t particularly mind that because it means enjoying a good feast). I think that Dave’s general outlook that most of these holidays are strictly Christian is mistaken, considering that, with the exception of St. Patrick’s Day, many of them developed out of pre-existing pagan festivities – in fact, even the early Christians flat out stated that their custom of Christmas was an appropriation of the festival of Sol Invictus.

People now engage in alternative, quasi-spiritual practices, trying to replace real spirituality with yoga and meditation. Now, meditation can be very useful for breathing control and quelling anxiety, and that’s fine. I’m not knocking it, but it contains no content, so therefore, it cannot be used as a substitution for a moral framework and a values system. Something more is needed.

Here we find another set of concepts that, it appears, Dave has no understanding of. Dave seems to treat meditation as a concept separate from religion. This perception is very ill-informed when you account for the fact that meditation has been a part of religious practice, often inseparably connected to it, for centuries. Hell, even Christianity embraces meditation as a means of contemplating on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but you wouldn’t know that from all the times Christian fundamentalists denounce meditation as a satanic practice designed to allow demons to get into your head. Indeed, you can find several books about meditation in the Christian context from various denominations, including Catholicism. Islam also embraces meditation. In fact, there is a type of meditation in Islam known as Salah, which is also considered a form of prayer and is mandatory for practicing Muslims. From Eastern religions to Abrahamism, meditation is a fairly universal part of religious and spiritual tradition, and indeed it is also embraced by several occult traditions. It’s almost like meditation is supposed to be part and parcel of spiritual life rather than just something you do to feel good about yourself. Yoga is also an important component of Indian religious practices, and is not to be taken as just a set of exercises you do to improve your body. In Hinduism, yoga means the practice of attaining unity with God or the Brahman, and such entails not a set of fitness exercizes but spiritual techniques aimed at attaining religious communion with the absolute. In Buddhism, yoga refers to a set methods aimed at developing a series of virtues that would allow the practitioner to more easily attain nirvana, cognizance of the true nature of reality. In Jainism, yoga refers to a set of meditative practices that cultivate austerity for the purpose of liberating the soul from the power of karma. This is not simply the realm of trendy, consumerist quasi-spirituality that Dave seems keen on talking about, but in fact the realm of actual religious concepts that have been around for centuries, and have only relatively recently been appropriated as a set of undemanding activities tailored to fit the capitalist lifestyle. Understood correctly, the point of these practices is not to serve as its own religion, as Dave seems to think is the case, but instead serve as components of existing religions.

The Adiyogi Shiva statue, located at the Isha Yoga Center in India.

With the loss of religion, we’ve also jettisoned notions of sacrifice, personal accountability, restraint, honor, and duty. These were considered virtues once.

Since we can establish quite safely that by “religion” Dave just means Christianity (indeed it may actually surprise Dave to learn that not all religions are metaphysical or mystical in nature), it is worth pointing out that the ideas he speaks of are not unique to Christian religion, and as a matter of fact were taken as high virtues in ancient Rome. Romans prized things like self-sacrifice and duty among their highest virtues, and the story of Cincinnatus – the farmer who briefly became dictator of Rome to help defend the republic from invasion and abdicated once his task was completed – was a legendary source of inspiration not only for the ancient Romans, but for the founding fathers of the United States of America, who sought to take after the Roman Republic. The Chinese had similiar ideas about virtue to the ancient Romans, which were stressed in a religious/philosophical doctrine known as Confucianism.

Now there’s another important component of this: the recognition that we are corruptible and imperfect. That we will try and often fail to be good. This is why no matter how much we mess up, no matter what we’ve said or done or not done, the challenge of redemption is always possible. The gift of forgiveness is always offered by God.

You honestly do not need Christian religion to arrive at the conclusion that we are imperfect beings. The simplest pursuit of earnest philosophy will you help you arrive at this conclusion. The simplest observations of human life and human society lead you necessarily to this conclusion. It’s such a universal wisdom that we find Greek mythology, for instance, to be resplendent with tragic heroes and morally ambiguous gods to remind us of that humans are not angels and that we are imperfect beings. Forgiveness has also been a reified concept and component of civic virtue before Christianity arrived: the Romans venerated it as the goddess Clementia (known as Eleos in Greece), and the emperor Julius Caesar was often associated with this goddess due to his willingness to forgive. The main difference as regards Christianity is that forgiveness becomes a faculty of the absolute and part and parcel of salvation – and, of course, a way for the church to overlook your crimes.

 Now, I’m not going to pontificate to you or sell you some notion of an anthropomorphic, all-powerful being in the sky. I have no idea what that force resembles. I’m also not going to tell you that the purpose of doing good is a reward in Heaven. I’m not even fully sold on the idea of an afterlife. Maybe there is something I don’t know, but that’s not why I changed. To do good, knowing there’s no reward, is to be truly noble.

Wait…what? Why the fuck are you even a Christian? What is the point of you having “taken the God Pill” if you aren’t going to try and sell the most basic parts of Christian theism to your audience? If you aren’t sold on the idea that doing good and spreading Jesus’ teachings gets you a reward in some kind of heaven, why are you a Christian? That idea is one of the central premises of the religion you are now preaching, and you’re telling me you’re not actually committed to that? You’re not even committed to explaining to us why Yahweh is a real being in the universe? This to me is the most obvious tell going from here that Christianity to him is, in large part, a tool by which to advance a conservative social order, rather than a genuine religious belief, and the reason it seems that way is because he can’t even asked to defend core epistemological concepts of Christianity!

When I prayed to God I said, “I will change even if I get no answer”, because the word of Jesus makes more sense to me now given the state of our world. So at some point I stopped believing in nothing, because there is simply too much order in the universe, too many telltale signs of purpose and intent in reality for me to ignore the possibility that some guiding hand was behind all of this.

This kind of sounds like more cuck stuff from Dave. He’ll believe in Yahweh even if Yahweh gives him no answers, which for me is among the most pathetic forms of belief. He doesn’t need any assurance in reality that Yahweh is the supreme being and his will is at work wherever you go, he just believes it is anyway, because it makes more sense to him because something something progressive communist globalist Jews. That’s all this God Pill stuff is: it’s embracing a religious narrative because it makes sense to you because in a weird way it sort of dovetails with that whole conservative narrartive that you’ve marinated yourself in for, what, five years now? That’s why Rocking MrE denies evolution now, that’s why Roosh V is an Orthodox Christian now, and that’s why Dave claims he believes in God now – the idea that Christian religion is under attack, that all the “evils” of the left go back to the conflict with Christianity, and that returning to Christianity is the only way to push back against progressivism is simply the next development of the conservative narrative, a new story that guides their politics onwards, even if it’s not necessarily reflective of even baseline Christianity.

But then there is the other aspect of that part: he believes in God because there’s too much order in the universe for there to not be a God. The first part that sticks out about that is that it’s basically a rehash of just about any creationist argument you can think back to from over ten years ago or perhaps before. You’ll see Christian creationists and apologists, for instance, make the argument that God must exist because the universe seems so perfect, so precise, almost mechanical, that for them this must be proof of intelligent design. You also see arguments like that from Islamic fundamentalists and creationists, who insist that the universe is so sophisticated that it must be the product of the will of Allah. The irony of this cannot be overstated. Again, I remember when Dave was not only an atheist, but also a part of that whole milieu of “rational skepticism” on YouTube, opposing not only religion but also feminism on the grounds of rationalistic philosophy, and now here I find he’s leading the revival of what is essentially creationism or intelligent design theory! What a bizarre turn the internet has taken. The second part of this, however, is actually something familiar to me, one that almost has me empathizing with him. I already covered this in my post entitled “Nihilism sucks“, but I too have arrived at the conclusion that the idea that there is no order or purpose to life must be an absurd premise. But, where I differ from Dave is that I reject the premise that this means accepting theism, let alone Christianity, on the grounds that I do not believe that the natural order of things is dependent on a grand designer, a demiurge or some such, especially when we consider that the laws of nature are almost entirely apprehensible through scientific means. Where Dave must derive his purpose from Yahweh because he lacks the framework that allows him to do otherwise, I derive my purpose, spiritual or otherwise, from the idea that Man can and will know the truth, that we have the ability, and the duty, to demystify the mystified universe. All I can say otherwise is that I guess I have Anton LaVey and the like to thank for this perspective, and for the fact that, even during my right-wing phase, I’ve been consistently safe from the influence of Christian conservatism.

Skipping Dave’s explanation of astronomy and atomic materialism for dummies, we come to this:

If there’s a single instruction that the divine software architect programmed into the universe from the beginning, it’s creation. Destruction is part of the cycle of creation, and the unending move towards more complexity. Animals and humans die and their bodies will decay into the earth, but other life will feed on those remains. Planets will die and solar systems will be destroyed by exploding stars, but new material will continuously be created in stellar nurseries and recycled by the cosmos. We are the universe made flesh, made aware of itself, and what we believe and how we choose to live matters.

Wait, hold on a minute, this isn’t Christian epistemology. Or at least not in any baseline sense. It’s more like pantheism, but he still believes that there’s a God that exists outside of the universe – he refers to a “divine software architect”, obviously a modern variation of the term “divine architect” or “Grand Architect”, which entails that God exists outside of the universe and fashions it as an object external to his being – so what you get is a doctrine that partially resembles pantheism and partially resembles classical theism, possibly entering the realm of panentheism (the doctrine that God and the universe are distinct, but also that God exists within the universe, or something). But in any case, it’s a doctrine that diverges than Christian theism in many ways. Its assertion that we are the universe made flesh, while definitely an interesting philosophical proposition from my perspective, is anathema to Christianity on the grounds that it asserts that Man is equal to the divine and that, as per pantheist doctrine, God is equal to the material universe rather than its father. In fact pantheism is sometimes treated as a form of atheism, not only by theists but also by atheists – Richard Dawkins famously referred to it as “sexed up atheism” and Vladimir Lenin considered pantheism to be compatible with the strictly atheist ideology of Marxism-Leninism on the grounds that it was a glorified atheistic doctrine whose materialism held God to be identical with Nature and hence the universe.

Demiurge by Vitaly Shelegin

In any case, this tells me yet again that Dave’s embrace of Christianity seems to be almost purely utilitarian, based not on the actual embrace of Christian epistemology but rather utilizing some conception of Christian values, tradition and mythos as a meta-narrative by which to justify his political ideology (rather poorly at that, too). It shows much further here:

Nations will fall, but powerful ideas will remain timeless and powerless forever. The answer is not only about rejecting destructive ideology. It’s about embracing the philosophy of creation. It’s about choosing life and not death, hope and not despair.

Christianity here is simply an expression of the “white pill”, a psychological expression of Dave’s personal desire for meaning, optimism, and hope, to dispel the despair he sometimes feels when faced with the reality of the world, or rather the reality that he himself has sort of created through his conspiracist ideology. Christianity for him is an abstraction representing philosophical goodness, life, and traditional continuity, a foundation for the order of the nation state as he imagines, and not the force of mental delusion and spiritual desertification that it actually is. If Dave lived in India, he would be embracing Hinduism as part of the goal of advancing Hindutva politics. If he lived in the Middle East, he would be embracing conservative Islam. If he lived in Japan, it would probably some weird nationalistic Shinto or Zen Buddhism like the Japanese far-right utilized in the past. If he lived in Israel, he might just be a typical Likud Zionist. In either case it would be the same thing because all it amounts to is just an expression of the desire to use a religious narrative, derived from your national cultural background, to make sense of the world and give yourself hope for the cause of conservative nationalist political activism. It’s all just the “white pill”, another step in the ascent of the modern online reactionary.

Skipping ahead just a little again, gradually approaching the end of the video, he goes on about how he probably won’t convince everyone, and tries to conclude with a nice sounding nugget of platitudes:

So I can only conclude by saying that I believe that the wisdom and lessons of our past will show us how to chart a course for a better future, that it is our duty to help those less fortunate, lest we forget the lesson, “there but for the grace of God go I”. I believe that we must also pray for our enemies, as they simply know not what they do, and we will all answer to the same authority in the end. Our enemies may hope for our destruction, but we do not pray for theirs. To do so would make us no different to them. So we pray that they can be saved from the evil they have succumbed to.

This is would be purely platitudinous in the overall, but it’s also all the stranger when you take into consideration the statement that he believes that his enemies know not what they do. This in my mind poses a problem for the genre of right-wing conspiracy theory that Dave and his ilk have been peddling for years. The unstated premise of this conspiracy theory is that the elites that they talk about consciously seek the destruction of the nation states that they subject to “globalist ideology”, because to break down these nation states is how they supposedly intend to pave the way for one world governance (that’s all this “globalism” stuff is, the old New World Order spiel all over again). The premise that they know not what they do is nonsensical in this worldview, because it undermines the whole premise of all the stuff Dave complains about being planned out from the outset, as is the case for all of these conspiracy theories surrounding “Cultural Marxism” and the like.

The video ends in what is probably the only remote link between Dave’s philosophy and baseline Christian epistemology:

I believe that those we’ve lost have never truly left us, that they have become part of something greater and more powerful than any man-made evil in our world. I believe this power is a benevolent and uniting force that governs all things in our universe, and seeks to provide us with the means to save ourselves from human frailty and damnation. I believe that within this force we will find our salvation and peace, and that if we place our faith in that power, it will lead us not into temptation, but it will deliver us from evil, forever. Amen.

You have probably noticed that, throughout this post, I don’t actually talk about God an awful lot, or make a lot of arguments against God, and the reason for that, quite simply, is that for most of the video Dave doesn’t actually discuss God, or baseline theistic concepts. Instead he just goes on about how religion, or more specifically Christian religion, is useful in promoting his desired values system. This is probably the only part of the video I can think of where Dave actively proposes a straightforward conception of a God consistent with basic Christian epistemology, but it begs so many questions. What is this force, really? Do we actually become God after we die? What does this salvation mean? How does this power, this God, “save” us? Why does it care about us enough to even want to give us the means of salvation? Salvation from what damnation? These are all questions that might emerge from Dave’s assertion, but he doesn’t go into any detail that might actually elucidate his concept of God. It’s just a generic belief in God, and at one of the few things anchoring his belief system to actual Christian epistemology.

And with that, we can conclude this post with some reflective remarks on what we’ve just seen.

It seems obvious to me that this “God Pill” development amounts to just a way of weaving Christianity into a broad desire for hope, which seems to be framed as the next step of a path of the intellectual evolution of conservatives, libertarians and assorted reactionaries who find themselves in that whole “red pill” milieu. It is a way by which people like Dave can add a spiritual and ecclesiastical dimension to their already reactionary political worldview, even if it even doesn’t entirely match up with actual Christian doctrine (for instance, on immigration and even abortion). It also seems to be a development towards increasingly authoritarian political ethos, with Dave’s proposal seemingly rejecting liberty and individual freedom as a valid concern of politics and longing for a social authority structure that can bypass democratic will. The way Dave invokes what are clearly anti-semitic tropes suggests the possibility that this “God Pill” might also be something a lubricant towards some fascist sentiment or at least anti-semitism, or if not that then rather a way of undergirding some sort of ethno-nationalist or quasi-ethno-nationalist political tendency with a much broader religious motivation – it does not surprise me at all that anti-semitism would go hand in hand with Christian reaction. We can probably establish this elsewhere in the way that Rocking MrE, another right-wing YouTuber who promotes the concept of the “God Pill”, espouses all manner of fascistic conspiracy theories (despite presumably claiming he isn’t an alt-righter) about Jews, Judaism and the Qabbalah, alongside a number of strange ideas about white genocide, Cultural Marxism, and communist subversion of, well, just about everything, even UKIP for some bizarre reason – I imagine it’s not that hard to see where this is heading. Roosh V, another “God Pill” promoter, also has something of a history of anti-semitism. In 2015, he promoted the works of Kevin McDonald, a veteran white nationalist author who is the editor of Occidental Observer, while esposuing anti-semitic conspiracy theories on Return of Kings, such as how racism was supposedly invented by Leon Trotsky. Two years later, he wrote on his own personal website about how the Jews are “masters of propaganda” who according to him created feminism, and claimed that Return of Kings is responsible for “Jew-pilling” (meaning convincing people to believe in anti-semitic conspiracy theories) thousands of men. I can’t say everyone doing the “God Pill” thing is anti-semitic, in fact it’s still a relatively new trend, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people promoting the “God Pill” either promoting anti-semitic tropes or outright being anti-semitic themselves.

Although the “God Pill” hasn’t quite exploded so far, I think it would be naive to simply overlook this development., and if Dave and Rocking MrE are any indication, more right-wing atheists will eventually follow in “taking the God Pill” and converting to Christianity following a similar logic to Dave. You may even be surprised to find Carl Benjamin, who’s been an atheist for years, join their ranks in the future. My reasoning for such speculation comes from the fact that he has, over the years, begun to soften up to Christianity. Years ago there was a time where, in addition to criticizing feminism and progressivism, he also crticized Christian conservatives like Ben Carson and commented against creationists like Ray Comfort. But increasingly, he seems to have spent less effort criticizing Christianity or Christian fundamentalism, even as it becomes all the more powerful during the Trump administration. The last time he complained about Christianity that I remember was him getting visibly annoyed and disgusted by the religiosity of Trump’s inauguration ceremony, but he seems to have gotten over that because he is now reduced to a cheerleader for the Trump administration. And now, he’s a member of UKIP, the party most prone to Christian conservative tendencies and where you will find literature about how homosexuality is a disease, and he speaks to UKIP members about “Christianphobia”, a concept that should make about as much sense as “Islamophobia” to anyone committed to opposing the Abrahamic faiths. Thankfully, however, he hasn’t quite succumbed to Christianity yet, as evidenced by his willingness to debate against Christianity during his debate tour of Gloucester, though I am left wondering how long this will last. In fact, I wonder if the “God Pill” route will end up becoming the inevitable destination for many conservative atheists as the inevitable result of their refusal to detach from the Christian ethos after rejecting belief in God. Anton LaVey certainly wouldn’t be too surprised to see such a development if he were alive today.

It would be foolish to dismiss the growth of this trend, however small it might be. We cannot rule out the possibility that the right won’t coalesce around the “God Pill” concept on a larger scale than what we’re seeing now, because if that happens we will see Christianity rehabilitated after all the effort that has put into debunking it over the years. Given the vision that Dave lays out, this will always lay the groundwork for the growth of religious and conservative authoritarian rule, and freedom will be under threat or eventually suppressed by religious reaction, and our goals will be set back significantly. We must strive to oppose this development however possible, and perhaps bolster our frameworks in the service of this effort. Otherwise, the Great Work of the Morning Star will be impeded.

Reject the “God Pill”. Reject the false song of Christian salvation. Reject the path to tyranny. Fight it in the name of freedom for humanity. In Nomine Dei Nostre Luciferi Excelsi.

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Satan Rousing the Rebel Angels by William Blake

Liberal environmentalism in Wales

A recent development and commentary surrounding it has inspired me to reflect upon how disempowering I think liberal environmentalism is. This week plans for a project known as the M4 Relief Road, which would connect the M4 motorway to Newport and theoretically relieve congestion for Newport motorists, have been scrapped by the Welsh government due to concerns about financial uncertainty and concerns about its environmental impact on the Gwent Levels, an area of wetlands stretching across the southeast of Wales and also the site of ancient human cultivation dating back to Roman times. This has generated a mixed reaction among the public, with business leaders and some commuters being disappointed with Mark Drakeford’s decision to scrap the relief road project while environmentalists praised the decision as a bold step for natural conservation. Given that the business leaders are upset, it’s tempting to think of this as something of a temporary victory against the capitalists because their interests are being interrupted, but in reality it seems to me like it kind of reveal the priorities of liberal environmentalists.

In one news segment for BBC Wales, there was a discussion about how experts are trying to discourage the use of cars and other automobiles in order to mitigate environmental impact and address the issues of travel to work. To demonstrate what they mean, they brought in some guy who abandoned the use of a car in favour of bicycles and train journeys, noting that the government is apparently trying to encourage more people to follow in his example.

I have quite a few problems with this approach. I’m still struggling to get a driver’s license so that I can be able to drive a care myself, but now it seems the government is encouraging people to stop driving? For myself, and I would hope many other people who around about my age or perhaps youngers, this is rather demeaning. A car in modern society typically serves as a material symbol of social autonomy, particularly for young people in particular, and why not! With a car, going out and living your own life tends to be easier, especially if, as I do, you live in small towns and other rural areas rather than sprawling urban centers, because you can just travel whereever you like under your own capacity and traverse long distances in order to go places that you often can’t cover adequately through public transport. The only problem with this, of course, is that the car industry is something of a racket, with its propensity to get you to constantly shill out thousands just for incremental payments in order to actually own the vehicle, not to mention the impact on the environment that stems from the continued dependence on fossil fuels (although I’m told you can offset this and bypass fuel costs by stocking vegetable oil and using it as fuel, but this only works with some cars).

For me the actual solution is twofold: first, you engineer a mass transition from vehicles powered by fossil fuels to vehicles powered by electricity, with charging stations dotted everywhere in the same way regular fuel stations are now, and second of all, you make it so that these electric cars are actually quite easy to get, in that they aren’t terribly expensive for what they are and you can just buy one of them with a single payment and not have to worry about constantly having to give money to car companies. It would mean slashing our carbon footprint through a meaningful transition away from fossil fuels and it would also mean providing real financial security for the young and the old alike, knowing that getting a car doesn’t have to be as taxing as it can often be, and it would also mean addressing the problems of travel from a structural perspective rather than place the lion’s share of the burden upon the individual.

I can’t stress enough that this spiel about how we all need to replace cars with bicycles is just one more sympton of that last part: how, in response to anthropogenic climate change and the related environmental catastrophes it will produce, liberal society always, and I mean always, stresses individual action as the most important thing, and by that I mean small actions undertaken by individuals every day. The major problem with this way of thinking, besides the way that liberals accidentally end up invoking right-wing conservative arguments about social change (they tend to dismiss left-wing and even liberal arguments about social change and progress), is that the lion’s share of anthropogenic climate and its effects are not actually related to small lifestyle changes that ordinary people make, but are instead directly traceable to much larger economic forces, the productive mechanisms that produce lots of carbon emissions, the technology we use to power our everyday laws, and often the political decisions and structures in place that enable large scale environmental degradation. Need I remind you that 100 companies are responsible for the largest share of carbon emissions? If you really want to solve the problems threatening our planet and its environment, you have to address those factors instead of those small individual habits, and to that end press for large-style systemic and technological change. That’s why John McDonnell is, to his credit, talking about importing US ideas about a Green New Deal to Britain in the form of a “Green Industrial Revolution”, and I think it’s worth something that, unlike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who whines about white people growing cauliflower instead of yucca), he actually seems to be invoking, or at least paying lip service, to questions of alternative models of economic ownership. The kind of thinking I describe is what separates serious leftists and even social democrats from ecological liberals: where the former are actually concerned with the system, the latter are often trapped within the liberal lens that tells them to focus on individual action.

The Gwent Levels, which have presently been saved from being paved over.

On the European Parliament election results

While I did not participate in the European Parliament elections, the results have certainly proven to be interesting to watch. This post will be a reflection of what I have seen of the results and what they mean in a broad sense.

 

The British results

Most of the country appears to have voted for the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage’s right wing pet party, with the BXP dominating most of the twelve regions in decisive fashion. It was incredible, a mixture of awe and terror, to behold this upstart right-libertarian party just devour whole constituencies, in many cases replacing the Conservative and UKIP vote. However it would be wrong to say that the Brexit Party was the only party to be making out like bandits in the election. For the first time in ages, the Liberal Democrats, having positioned themselves as the anti-Brexit party, have surged to second place in the overall results, and they’ve managed to come first in London (which I’m sure is really no surprise because London is liberal as all hell). The Greens have also had some modest success; while they didn’t beat the Labour Party, they managed to surge past the Conservatives in fourth place. In Scotland, the SNP dominates basically all of Scotland except for the Orkney Islands (which went to the Liberal Democrats), with the Brexit Party likely to stick behind them. In Wales, Brexit Party dominates the scene, as I predicted, but with Plaid Cymru in second place, placing the traditionally dominant Labour Party in third place, a new low for the party all things considered. The Conservative Party across the country has had a horrific night, getting wiped out almost everywhere, with only 4 Tory MEPs (including arch-capitalist and arch-Brexiteer Daniel Hannan) remaining. The Labour Party, while it has managed to hold out, coming second place in North West England for instance, the general trend is a picture of defeat, with many on the liberal faction of the party calling for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour leader. The real losers, besides the Tories, might just be Change UK, having utterly failed to capitalize on the Remain vote, often falling below even UKIP (a party that has only managed to be marginalized further and had all of its MEPs wiped out, not to mention the party leader Gerard Batten losing his seat), and are now considering folding into the Liberal Democrats (where, to be honest, all of its MPs belong).

So what does all of this mean for me? What can we take from any of this? Well we can start with the obvious observation that this showing was a victory for parties that were unambigious in their stance on Brexit, whether pro-Remain or pro-Leave. The Conservative Party failed to deliver to Brexit, and have persisted in a quagmire of indecisiveness, insecurity and compromise. As such, they have paid the price for their weakness. The Labour Party too has been murky on the subject: while many in the party are in favour of remaining in the EU, Jeremy Corbyn has often held an indecisive position, and it is not clear whether he actually supports or opposes the EU – really, it’s only clear that he wants there to be a new general election. The Brexit Pary and the Liberal Democrats, by contrast, offer decisive positions – with the Brexit Party fighting to ensure that leave the EU, deal or no deal, and the Liberal Democrats fighting to try and stop Brexit entirely. The Greens too are unambiguously pro-EU, and so are the SNP and Plaid Cymru. There’s another lesson to take from this though. In the run up to the elections, many right-wing political candidates have had milkshakes thrown at them by left-leaning protesters, who have since taken to rallying behind milkshakes as a symbol of anti-fascist praxis. While it is to me hilarious and ridiculous that the right wing have decided that getting sploshed with milkshakes is a form of fascistic political violence, it once again shows how inept the left is, considering their performative antics have failed to prevent the surge of right-wing populism in the UK. The only thing they can gloat about it is the fact that Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), Markus Meechan (Count Dankula) and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) failed to win any seats, but if you believed they were going to make any serious gains in politics then you are frankly too dumb to be talking about politics. Benjamin was UKIP’s second candidate for the South West, so he had no chance of winning anyway, and Dankula was UKIP’s fourth candidate for Scotland, which means he had even less chance of winning than Benjamin, and Robinson conceded his campaign and would have been steamrolled anyway as an independent (in fact, he lost to Change UK). Progressives who take credit for “stopping hate” while their larping antics failed to defeat the Brexit Party are worthy of my contempt.

This in my mind underscores just how shallow and cynical the British media really is. In the run up to these elections, the media hyped up the UKIP candidacy of Carl Benjamin over his past trolling of Jess Philips and his aggressive conservative stance against all of the parties except UKIP, running multiple stories about his stupid comments, and Carl in turn thought he could use this to his advantage in order to get people to talk about him so that he might get elected, but it never happened because the party wasn’t going to run him as one of their top candidates. They similarly hyped up the pathetic Change UK party, who ended up doing worse than UKIP. They paid a fair bit of attention to Tommy Robinson, whose only life force in British politics comes from that money-grubbing Rebel Media boss Ezra Levant. The British media strikes me as being interminably obsessed with losers, which will probably go along way to explaining why they ultimately sympathize with the Remain faction of politics.

There is also something to take from the thorough routing of the Tories besides their indecisiveness: Nigel Farage now poses an existential threat to the Tories, at their own admittance, and this to me opens the possibility that the Conservatives might seek to rush the leadership contest so that they can usher in a hardline Brexiteer Prime Minister in order to nip him in the bud. The specter of the Brexit Party presaged the resignation of Theresa May just a few days ago, so it seems reasonable to predict that Farage’s European Parliament election victory will lend itself to a more erratic leadership contest as well, because the Tories cannot afford to waste any more time than they already have on the Brexit issue – especially if they don’t want to face the prospect of an early election.

In general, I think people are overlooking just how much of a strong right-wing victory this was for Britain. I don’t just say this because of the Brexit Party, but because the Liberal Democrats are not the champions of the left that the Remainers want them to be. Considering the fact that the Liberal Democrats support neoliberal privatization policies and signed off on Tory austerity and never looked back, whether you’re a Leaver or a Remainer, the right won big.

There are several things that bother me about some of the reactions to the results. Jeremy Corbyn remarked that the results amounted to a proxy second referendum, yet he then extrapolated from this assessment that we should be discussing a second referendum, or a general election, in the hopes of perhaps changing the outcome of our exit. Surely, if this really was a proxy referndum, the Leave side appears to have emerged triumphant through decisive Brexit Party domination. But such delusion is not confined to Jeremy Corbyn. The Remainer faction in general appears to be trying to spin the European Parliament election results in favour of a Remain outcome on the grounds that adding up all the Remain parties would lead to a mandate for the Remain parties and thus remaining in the EU. The major problem with this, besides the fact that that’s not how politics works, is that the Remain faction can’t even agree if Labour is a part of their dream coalition, especially with Corbyn’s seemingly non-comittal stance and the fact that Labour doesn’t seem to want to drop their ambiguous commitment to the referendum result. How then, does any Remain coalition pan out? It is simply nonsensical to think that you can simply merge all the Remain parties who still lost the European parliament elections in order to turn them into the winner, especially when you consider that, if you count Labour and the Conservatives on account of the fact that they want Brexit just that they want one with a deal, you ultimately get a pro-Brexit majority rather than anti-Brexit majority. It strikes me as the Remain side obsessing with the idea of minoritarian governance. In Wales, I would say the most delusional figure in politics is Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, who went air to declare victory for the Remain faction in Wales moments after the Brexit Party won that victory with 2 MEPs and 32% of the vote share. He, more than anything else, is why you will not find me supporting Plaid Cymru despite my desire for Welsh independence.

Also, the people who are clamoring for a new general election appear to be blissfully unaware of what that might mean for the Brexit Party. If we call a new election and we still haven’t left the European Union, this creates the opportunity for them to campaign on that front in order to try and repeat their success in the European Parliament elections. Nigel Farage has confirmed that the Brexit Party will fight the next general election in such circumstances, and if their recent success is any indication they could pose a real threat to other parties. The Conservatives would almost certainly lose out in such an election, they would become irrelevant, but where Labour supporters might think this presents an easy road to power, it may actually leave space for Farage’s party to gobble up the conservative vote just like it did before, presenting a real obstacle to any left-wing party hoping for the top job.

As I write this, it is worth establishing that the only thing not accounted for is the Northern Ireland results, but seeing as they are going to take forever to declare due to their stupid religious custom of not counting votes on Sundays it seems pointless to wait for them. It does appear, however, that the liberal Alliance party may be on track to win, suggesting that the Remain side will have Northern Ireland.

 

The European results

Whereas the UK paints a decisive picture, the European continent presents a much more variagated and complex picture. While the EPP (the “center-right” pro-European bloc) remains dominant in the European Parliament, it will struggle to form a coalition as the traditional parties collapse in various countries. Indeed, last night’s election results have seen a rise for the liberals, greens, and nationalists in various parts of Europe.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party (formerly known as Front National) achieved victory over Macron’s En Marche by a narrow majority, scoring 23% of the vote share (as opposed to En Marche’s 22%) and electing 15 MEPs, inspiring Le Pen to declare the results a victory for the French people and demand Macron to dissolve the French Parliament. In Italy, Lega Nord are the clear winners in about the same way the Brexit Party was here in the UK, achieving 34% of the vote share and 29 MEPs. In Belgium, two Flemish nationalist parties lead the scene, with the New Flemish Alliance leading a majority of 13.5% of the vote share and Vlaams Belang following them with 11.5%. In Hungary, Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party leads an utterly decisive majority of 52.3%, which to be fair is to be taken with a grain of salt considering Hungary is barely a democracy. In Poland, the Law and Justice Party have a majority of 45.6%. These represent major victories for the nationalist/populist right in Europe. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic are strange cases in this trend where the dominant parties, GERB and ANO 2011 respectively, are populist parties but are pro-EU, and so while they might be counted as populists they can’t be counted among the more radical, nationalist contingents of the right.

On the other hand, the trend of nationalism we are seeing is not universal. In some countries, the left-leaning bloc have made major victories. In Spain, the social-democratic PSOE won a clear majority of 32.8% of the vote share. In Portugal, the “Socialist” Party (another social-democratic party) won 33.4%. In the Netherlands, the social-democratic Labour Party won a majority of 18.9%, a victory that was accompanied with the collapse of the nationalist PVV vote. In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party won a majority of 23.6%. In Malta, the Labour Party won a decisive 54.3% share. Across Europe, however, it seems that the status quo conservative-liberalism has triumphed once more. In Finland, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Romania, Cyprus, Slovenia and Denmark, conservative-liberal “centrist” parties have retained a majority and ensured that the EPP retains dominance, albeit with a reduced majority. However, their leftward opponents have been growing. In Cyprus, it is my pleasure to note that the communists have come in second place, with the Progressive Party of Working People (who are Marxist-Leninist) took 27.5% of the vote share. In Denmark, the Social Democrats also came in second with 21.5% of the vote share. In Greece, Syriza held on in second place at 23.7%, and the Communist Party is in fourth place and is one of the only communist parties to have any seats in the European Parliament. In Germany, the Social Democrats came in third place, taking 15.8% of the vote share. In Croatia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 18.7%. In Austria, the SPO came in second with 23.4%. In Slovenia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 18.7%. In Belgium, the Social Democrats came in third place with 10.5%. In Romania, the Social Democrats are in second place with 23.4%. In Estonia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 23.3%. In Latvia, the social-democratic Harmony party came in second place with 17.5%. In Lithuania, the Social Democrats came in second place with 15.9%. In Bulgaria, the social-democratic Bulgarian Socialist Party is in second place with 24.4%.

This election is also noteworthy for the emergence of green parties, which have taken substantial shares of the vote in Parliament. In Germany, the Greens came in second place and took 20.5% . In Finland as well, the Green League came in second place, taking 16% of the vote share. In France, Europe Ecology came in third place with 13.5% of the vote share. In Denmark, the Socialist People’s Party, which is aligned with the European Green bloc, came in third place with 13.2% of the vote share. In Luxembourg, the Greens came in third place with 18.9% of the vote share. In Ireland, the Green party is in third place with 15% of the vote share. In Austria, the Greens came in fourth place with 14% of the vote share. In Sweden, the Green Party came in fourth place with 11.4% of the vote share. It is worth noting also that the Scottish Nationalist Party is aligned with the Greens in Europe bloc, which means that their dominance over Scotland during the British vote means that the green bloc can increase its hold in the European Parliament. More broadly, the growth of the Green Party in the rest of the UK, where they have won 11.1% of the vote share and a record 7 MEPs, seems to bolster perceptions of a rising “green wave” throughout Europe. Lithuania is a strange case in that their Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union is a green party but they are also a “centre-right” agrarian party and are not aligned with the European Green bloc. Nonetheless, they are notable for taking third place with 12.6% of the vote share.

However, in places where the nationalists didn’t win, they still managed to get a fairly large share of the vote. In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats came in third place with 15.4%. In Germany, the AfD are in fourth place with 11%. In Latvia the National Alliance, which is a patently alt-right party, came third place with 16.4%. In Finland, the True Finns (who came second in the general election last month) came in fourth place with 13.8%. In Cyprus, the nationalist Democratic Party came in third place with 13.8%, followed by the nationalist social-democratic Movement for Social Democracy. In Austria, the Freedom Party of Austria came in third place with 17.2% of the vote share. In Slovakia, most horrifyingly, the neo-fascist Kotleba party came in third place with about 12% of the vote share. 

So what does all of this mean? It means, quite simply, that while the establishment has secured its dominance it will have to deal with three growing currents. The social democrats present one of the larger challenges to the liberal-conservative establishment, being the second largest bloc throughout most of Europe and victorious in some major countries. The greens will likely be the subject of attempts at coalition, with major parties already courting the German greens and possibily striving to court Green party voters. This development is likely to be taken as a sign that, throughout the continent, the threat of man-made climate change has emerged as one of the primary issues of the elections, and that Europeans likely want to push for reform in the EU on this subject. The nationalists/populists may prove to be a threat with much of the Western and Eastern bloc under their influence, especially now that the Brexit Party has emerged as a big part of the movement having secured much of the British seats. This will be very important for us because it could effect how quickly we leave the European Union and whether or not we get a deal from it, and it might be important for Europe as well because, while we haven’t quite seen the tidal wave of nationalism that  I would have wanted to see two years ago, that spark of right-wing nationalism is clearly still present.

I worry especially for Western Europe because it is there where the left seems to be suffering. The Italian left has an abysmally weak presence in the European Parliament, which is dominated by right-wing populist parties and the liberal Democratic Party. The French left is weak, with all the real estate going to either Macron’s neoliberalism, Le Pen’s nationalism or the Greens. Here in the UK the left is weak as it is, being represented chiefly by the class collaborationist Labour Party and that having suffered considerably in the European Parliament election this weekend. The revivification of the left still seems very much distant.

Learn to hate your masters

Something unexpected and momentous happened yesterday here in the UK: Theresa May, after months, maybe years of pressure, has finally announced that she wil resign her position on June 7th, which will be followed by a leadership contest that will last until the end of July. It truly was the stuff of history, in the back of my mind it almost feels like the British equivalent of when Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency of the United States in 1974. The comparison is not a wild stretch, given both May and Nixon were embattled conservative autocrats who resigned after a period of scandal and political tribulation. But unlike Nixon, however, we’re all supposed to feel sorry for the Prime Minister.

Towards the end of her resignation speech, you could see her break into a fit of sobbing, as though ready to burst into tears if only she could evade the press. Many in the liberal establishment have taken to a flight of sympathy for the abdicating Prime Minister, and former Prime Minister and resident pig-fucker David Cameron rushed in to express how deeply sorry he was for her event. But even some Labour activists have taken to this detestable sob story about how we must feel for the very Prime Minister who actively nurtures the economic system that is hostile to the social democracy they aspire to. The British establishment seems very obsessed with this moment of “humanity”, which in reality is simply the moment she realized that her foetid dreams of unrivalled power will never come to pass.

Although I do not consider myself a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn or the Labour Party, it seems to me that the Corbynites are the only faction of British politics that I’ve seen display the right attitude. They quite rightly point out that Theresa May shed no tears for the people who burned to death in the Grenfell Tower fire, or for the people who have either died or found themselves impoverished and emaciated as a result of Tory austerity policies that she continued on, or when it was revealed that the Conservative government deported black people who were born here and told them to “act Jamaican”, or for the countless lives of people in countries like Syria or Yemen who met their end as the result of imperialist wars that her supported through arming and financially supporting Saudi Arabia. They know that Theresa May is only crying for the fact that her ambitions are at an end. Owen Jones, who I normally do not particularly care for, has been on the forefront of pointing this out in public discourse, and he has been chided for not “having a human response” on Sky News and in general he found himself being told to shut up by liberals and conservatives for the high crime of telling the truth.

And while we’re here, I’m going to give a summary of just how awful Theresa May was not only as Prime Minister but as a politican in general. As Home Secretary, she was one of the most loathsome, authoritarian conservatives you could think of. She was responsible for the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act of 2015, which allows the government to wildly abuse its power just to crush whoever it deems to be in opposition to “fundamental British values” (read: bourgeois liberal class rule). She and David Cameron called for “extremism disruption orders” that would allow the government to ban individuals who it deems as “inciting hatred” from speaking on television or in public. She has repeatedly pressed for the government to ban pornography, pushing for such legislation as the Online Safety Bill and the Investigatory Powers Act, the latter of which allows government agencies to monitor your browsing history and keep record of it for a year. She constantly pressed for measures to forcibly remove immigrants from the country, to that effect she is responsible for splitting up thousands of families for having too little money to spare. As Prime Minister, she was nothing short of rapacious in her arrogant pursuit of power. She crippled her own majority in Parliament by calling a snap election in 2017 just because she believed that she could annihilate any opposition and achieve near absolute majority. Just before that election, she declared that she would rip up any human rights legislation that would rip up any human rights legislation that stood in the way of her authoritarian counter-terrorism measures. She tried numerous times to force Parliament and her own party to agree to her inept compromise on Brexit, resulting in four defeats in Parliament and the first government in our nation’s history to be held in contempt of parliament, and all the while she begged the EU to delay the deadline for Article 50 just so she could keep on trying to get everyone to agree to her deal rather than change her mind.

She was one of the worst Prime Ministers we have ever had in this country, if not the worst Prime Minister ever, a fact that can be acknowledged whether you are on the left or the right simply because of the sheer historic failure that has been brought to our country under her tenure. Anyone telling you that you should be nice to her just because she cried crocodile tears on screen is nothing less than an utter toad undeserving of your respect. They whine about how we should be feeling something human for her. Oh we do alright: we feel human pride, joy, contemptous glee at her downfall. We also feel human anger for the damage she’s brought to the country: whether it’s the Tory austerity policies she continued, the damage to British liberty she constantly pushed for, or the damage to the cause of Brexit brought on by her incompetent ambition. How’s that for humanity?

But above all, the human feeling that should be felt the most is hate. Hate for the ruling elite and for the worms who rise up to defend them. We shouldn’t be feeling sorry for people like Theresa May. We should feel nothing but utter contempt for them, or else we’re nothing but wimps who’d gladly bend the knee to any swine who postures themselves like a ruler. We should be burying the ruling elite, not comforting them. So don’t let yourself be gaslighted by people who whine to you about empathy and compassion for people who don’t deserve it.

Don’t be fooled by crocodile tears

Discipline, freedom and pure fucking blind obedience

One of the main reasons I have often despised conservatism in my life is the perception I’ve always had that conservatives were the enemies of freedom, as was often demonstrated by how often they would line up in support of cultural authoritarian throughout the 20th century as well as the current century. However, ever since my transition to socialist political thought, I now realize that one of the most insidious things about conservatism is, in fact, the way that they pretend to be in support of freedom, they way they bastardize the meaning of freedom in a very Orwellian fashion (which is ironic, considering how much conservatives love to quote Orwell on freedom). A good example of this that I stumbled onto recently is a video by the popular conservative YouTube channel known as Prager University, which is just  organization that is not actually an accredited university but nonetheless calls itself one for some reason. The video in question was titled “Discipline = Freedom” and was narrated by a man named Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL officer who hosts a self-help podcast dealing with topics about leadership, discipline and willpower.

The video is littered all manner of fairly bog-standard standard, self-help tropes but from a conservative and disciplinarian perspective, the funny thing being that the speaker rejects motivation as fickle and unreliable while also basically employing the rhetoric of motivational self-help. What sticks out for me though is the premise laid out in the video as pertains to “extreme ownership”, which is basically just your bog standard pop spiel about self-motivation with a subtle dash of Social-Darwinism, Nietzschean master morality, and the conservative worship of authority. Let me illustrate this with a quote from the video:

Let other people blame their parents, their boss, or the system. Let weaker people complain that the world isn’t fair. You are the leader of your life: take ownership of everything in it.

The level of trickery and deception being employed here should not be lost on you. Simultaneously he is teaching you that you are the master of your life and that you have no right to question the system around you. If you entertain the idea that the system is an impedient to your freedom or your well-being in any way whatsoever, that’s supposed to be taken as weakness. If we think about it for even a minute we would consider that psychologically training ourselves to obey the status quo because we have to do so isn’t really freedom, or self-mastery, or self-ownership, you’re just letting the system take ownership of you and your mind while tricking yourself into thinking that you’re just taking in charge of your life as a free and independent agent. “Freedom” in conservative parlance only means, as one young communist remarked, the freedom to conform to society and do what you’re told when you’re told to do it. This to me becomes all the more ironic when you take into account the fact that conservatives, since about 2015 or so, have been constantly pushing themselves as the victims of a system characterized by supposed liberal or left-wing domination of the institutions, some even still trying to bill themselves as the new counterculture. If we were to apply the pseudo-Stoic logic we’re presented here to conservatives, why are they in any position to be whining about the very system that they support suddenly turning against them in the way that fickle, almost anarchic market forces tend to do under capitalism? Shouldn’t they be taking responsibility for everything, even if it’s not their fault? Aren’t they the masters of their own lives at all times and in all circumstances? It’s here that much of the self-help rhetoric employed here can be exposed as self-serving woo whose only purpose is to berate people for being sick of a system that is actively hindering their prosperity and freedom.

The Social-Darwinism is also quite noticeable, and here it ironically serves as a way of inducing conformity to the system by appealing to your sense of strength vs the supposed weakness of others. You are told not to be like those wretches who take issue with rampant inequality, unfairness and suffering much of which is actually in our power to stop, and instead to pursue strength and self-mastery by keeping your head, never questioning the system and silencing the voice in your head that tells you that something’s wrong with the world around you and that it can changed. This concept of “extreme ownership” can be framed as a reflection of the conventional understanding of master morality and slave morality as per Nietzsche’s philosophy – master morality is said to originate from the strength of the aristocratic “noble man” while slave morality is said to originate from the weakness and ressentiment of his subjects. When the speaker says, “let weaker people complain that the world isn’t fair”, he is palpably invoking the idea of ressentiment, that the “weak” only criticize the society they live in because of envy and bitterness. It is notable that such analysis invariably fails to ask the question of what create said envy and bitterness. But this is immaterial to the speaker, because it interferes with the idea that you are, at all times, the master of your life and your surroundings, even in circumstances when this is objectively not the case.

The conservative view of freedom is both inconsistent and observably a mask for the desire for unquestioning obedience to the system. I am not saying that you cannot make the argument for discipline generating mental freedom (indeed, to the videos credit, it sometimes comes close to doing so, though never surpasses the realm of idealistic self-help axioms), in fact you might apply Pierre Joseph Proudhon’s liberty-authority dialectic as per The Principle of Federation in support of such efforts. But in this proposal of “extreme ownership”, discipline is not the seed of mental and spiritual freedom, but instead the means by which to silence the voice of such freedom, the spark of doubt and critique that would lead the individual against the capitalist system and against conservative ideology and morality, which of course Prager University wouldn’t want. Since I sometimes see similar rhetoric to the speaker being spouted by Left Hand Path types, and indeed I’ve seen Michael W. Ford parrot similar rhetoric in his videos, I would advise that we be very careful, and take a critical look at any proposal that tells us that to see the world as unjust or unfair for any reason is a sign of weakness, because such talking points are not bold statements against the establishment but in fact music to the ears of the system and its ruling elites. You will not find freedom by telling yourself to keep your head down as though it’s all your fault rather than raise your voice (and, eventually, your sword) against the enemy.

Some lessons from Brexit

I’ve been meaning to get my thoughts on the Brexit situation for quite a few months now, but I wasn’t totally sure what direction I should take with it as a post. In the end, I decided to sepearate what I’ve been thinking to different sections within this post to get what I’ve been thinking down in a more organized fashion.

Here we go.

 

A No Deal Brexit is inevitable

So for the last three years we have been in a peculiar state as regards Brexit. Rather simply leave the European Union, we have been struggling to craft a deal that would allow us to leave the European Union in a formal but incomplete sense, and far from do strictly what the voters want we have been trying to craft a deal that satisfies parliament. This, combined with the chaotic political developments concerning Conservative leadership as well as the snap election from 2017, has resulted in a quagmire with ostensibly no end in sight. For the last seven months or so it has become clearer than ever that the government is incapable of coming to a compromise that would prove congenial to the goal of ultimately leaving the European Union. The British Parliament was given the opportunity to vote not only on Theresa May’s horrifically bad deal but also many other deals that either get us closer to leaving or hinder the possibility entirely, and as far as I recall parliament voted just about every proposed deal down. At that moment it struck me that, maybe, parliament is incapable of deciding on what it wants to do, it cannot agree to a deal, and if that’s the case then to me it struck me that we are probably going to leave the European Union without a deal.

Of course, while it might be the only way forward for Brexit supporters like myself, it isn’t the only option for the establishment. With most of the other deals being non-congenial to the ultimate goal, the two main options at present are to either just cut our way out of the European Union in a No Deal Brexit or to hold a second referendum in the hopes that voters will change the outcome leading to a possible cancellation of Brexit. There are those who would maintain that we can simply stop Brexit entirely, as the Liberal Democrats in particular seem to think we can and should, but in my view that would not work out. All it would do is make the country a laughing stock in the sense that it gave Brussels a giant middle finger but they can’t even commit to it. More recently, it looks likely that a second referendum might not even happen anyway since the government appears to have rejected that option entirely.

Thus to me it seems clear: if we can’t cancel Brexit, and we aren’t going to hold a second referendum, then a No Deal Brexit to me seems to be inevitable. And, to be honest, it is probably going to be the only decision that makes sense in spite of all of the uncertainties and the possible negative consequences of doing so, and in the end it will be worth it considering a break from the European Union is the only way any socialist, or even simply social-democratic, agenda is going to be implemented without constant obstruction. Left-wingers who insist that we remain in the EU are fundamentally deluded if they think the European Union will allow their ideas to fully manifest. The European Union will not allow countries to pursue large scale nationalization on the grounds that they will interpret it as distorting competition, which is just a fancy way of saying it redirects capital away from private market forces and into the hands of the public sector. And considering the fact that the EU forced the social-democratic Syriza government in Greece to implement austerity measures, despite the will of the Greek people, we can assume that the EU will not take too kindly to whatever Jeremy Corbyn has in mind, let alone any actual socialist program. So, in the long run, in order to get what we want, we’re just going to have to take the No Deal Brexit and fight it out in our own country, for it will be the only way to complete the work of British popular and democratic sovereignty.

 

Bipartisan unity is a hollow fetish

If there’s one thing we never hear enough of when it comes to Brexit, it’s this talking point of unity. Namely, how we should be find a way to unite a divided country, with the unstated implication of this being that broad cross-ideological (or bipartisan) collaboration is the way forward. I fear the dictionary lacks the verbiage that would allow me to describe how stupid I believe this is. Take stock of the history of the Brexit talks, and then consider the fact that the Tories and Labour have within the last few months sought out cross-party dialogue, only for talks to collapse. In fact, just today Theresa May offered a proposal for a second referendum that failed to impress even the advocates for a People’s Vote. If this isn’t the easiest way to prove that any talk of unity is a pile of dog shit I don’t know what is. The unity that we speak about in regards to the Brexit situation is impossible. You cannot get any agreement between the pro-EU liberals and socdems and the hardened Brexiteers poised to take over the Conservative Party, and there is no compromise that can be cooked up between their respective positions that can get anywhere. Theresa May tried to get the best of both worlds before, and it was met with rejection by just about every political party as well as the voting public, and failed to pass every time it was put to vote in parliament.

Also, am I really hearing this right? The liberal media is talking about the need to unite the country? Really? After the Remain side that they by and large supported spent the referendum attacking voters who wanted to Leave, mocking the working class for intending to reject EU membership and even resorting to anti-white racism in some cases? They helped contribute to dividing the country (which, of course they would, just as the other side would, for all sides seek to oppose one another as they should in any serious political struggle), but now they want us to talk about how best to unite the country? Are you sure? If you believe that I have some moderate rebels I can show you. The only reason this talking point of unity is leveraged is power: the establishment wants cross-ideological collaboration because it means the possibility of securing an outcome of the Brexit deal that might be more suitable for a ruling class that, by and large, is still invested in European capital.

More broadly though, what business does the Remain side have uniting with the Leave side? What business to political tribes who have no business collaborating with each other have to do so? There’s nothing more insidious to me than the idea that some can claim to be above the political dichotomies that they exist within. Say if you were a right-winger, meaning you support a capitalist economy based in free markets and their corresponding property relations, as well as maybe a few more conservative social policies and neo-imperialism in the thrid world. What business do you have to be bipartisan with me, a guy who wants a society based in the democratic ownership of the means of production as well as the workplace, not to mention production based on need instead of profit, which means surpassing capitalism and doing away with the contradictions therein? Why should I work with you other than if you’re on the same side as me as regards freedom of speech or something (which is the only subject that might, just might, hold such collaborative potential)? And we can even apply this within either wing of the spectrum, which shows the error of the cries of “left unity”: why should I ally myself with someone who supports racial identitarianism dressed as progress, why should ally myself with someone who supports nationalism disguised as socialism, why should I ally myself who opposes democracy and favours unitary state authority?

The simple truth that those who bleat about cross-ideological unity have to face is that the defining characteristic of politics, the component that contextualizes it the most, is conflict. Politics is not about bringing two sides together. It’s about one side of politics defeating the other. Politics is conflict, it is struggle, you might even say it’s war by another means. And many of the things we value the most about Western Civilization were not discussed or compromised over, but instead they were fought for. Liberals who make this mistake will continue to persist in delusion praying for the siren song of slavery that they call unity. This is not to say that unity of purpose is not a virtue, and indeed the radical left has often paid bitterly for their lack of harmony and unity of purpose. It simply says that we cannot be expected to corrall two tribes of people with fundamentally different interests and goals and expect them to be on the same side.

 

Centrism doesn’t work

One of the most striking developments of British politics this year was the emergence of two new parties: Change UK (also known as The Independent Group) on the one hand, and the Brexit Party on the other. It is the former that we will address first. Change UK is the name given to a party formed by a small group of MPs who defected from the Labour Party, as well as the Conservative Party. The ex-Labour MPs cite increasing anti-semitism in the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to handle Brexit while the ex-Conservative MPs cited that the Conservatives were poised to become the party of Brexiteers to the exclusion of its Remainers. Change UK then can be framed as a “centrist” project, uniting contingents of the two major parties in order to form a voice of moderation and progress. Of course let’s ignore the fact that the two sides that have come together were already the same anyway: both of them neoliberal supporters of the EU who are all just fine with austerity and privatization (the ex-Labour MPs consisting chiefly of pro-EU Blairites), that would be bad for their narrative.

Change UK has been, right from the get go, an unbelievable disaster. They are doing exceptionally poorly in polls, never getting any higher than 4% in voting intention, and to that effect they are second only to UKIP in terms of nationwide unpopularity. They seem reticent to give us a clear idea about what sort of policies they want, with one member Anna Soubry repeatedly dodging questions about policy by insisting that that’s not what their party is about, and they’ve even gone so far as to refuse to stand in by-elections because they consider them a threat to democracy. But more tellingly, for a party that was started in party as a reaction to bigotry within the Labour Party (which, while I don’t believe the party is institutionally anti-semitic like its opponents claim, we may have reason to believe Corbyn himself just might be), within hours of its launch the party was under fire for racist statements made by its members. Angela Smith referred to non-whites as “funny tinged” on national television, while Ali Sadjady had to resign because of comments about “Romanian pickpockets”, and Joseph Russo resigned after racist comments about black women. It’s little wonder that people don’t take them seriously. How can you take them seriously when they appear to be such rank hypocrites whose only purpose is to announce to the world their utter bourgeois class character.

But even if it weren’t for they brazen bigotry, there is no reason to assume their brand of ill-defined, feel-good liberalism was going to work in the current climate. Theresa May, the compromiser-in-chief, is a national failure, with her government being the first government in British history to be held in contempt of parliament. Hillary Clinton, the avatar of Third Way of neoliberalism in the 2016 US presidential election, failed to defeat Donald Trump. Matteo Renzi was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Italy following a constitutional referendum. Emmanuel Macron, who won the French elections in 2017, is now deeply unpopular in France in part because of his handling of the Yellow Vests. The liberal project commonly referred to as “centrism” is ill-equipped to face up to the deteriorating conditions and unravelling contradictions of contemporary capitalism – to be able to fight it would require a wholesale re-evaluation, nay, rejection of neoliberal ideology and a transcendence of the liberal framework, a task that Change UK simply aren’t up to.

Beyond that, however, the real reason for the failure of “centrism” is that the premise that we call centrism is an almost complete myth. The concept of centrism only makes sense within the liberal framework of politics, that of bourgeois democracy, that is to say wherein the lines of division are not based on class interest but instead on how different sectors of the bourgeoisie or petit-bourgeoisie believe capitalism should operate in confluence with an array of transient social issues. This framework is why many people still believe liberalism to be a left-wing ideology, even though it isn’t. The “left” and the “right” in this framework represent two shades of modern liberal hegemony, with the “left” representing moderate neoliberalism, social liberalism and liberal-progressivism and the right representing a conservatism that is itself based on neoliberalism and/or classical liberalism, all of which represent capitalist ideologies and operate within a capitalist framework. Centrism, therefore, can be reduced entirely to another form of liberalism, as is rather apparent when you examine the talking points of “centrists” to find that a large number of them support much of liberalism, but with a stronger . In addition to this centrism cannot be counted as a coherent political tradition on the grounds that it has no theoretical tradition that it springs from. Liberalism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that dates back to thinkers like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and others. Socialism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that be traced not only to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but also to utopians like Henri du Saint-Simon and anarchists like Pierre Joseph Proudhon. Social democracy would be the tradition that emerges after the fact, stemming the ideas of thinkers like Ferninand Lassalle. Even conservatism (which I consider to be loose and incoherent) can be traced to some intellectual tradition, chiefly to the High Tories of old or to men like Edmund Burke. Centrism, however, does not have this. It’s just a generic term for liberals who aren’t social liberals or liberal-progressives but don’t commit to conservatism or to parties that called themselves “centre” parties. If you try to search for an theoretical work that has served to develop centrism as a political theory, you will find nothing. It is a rootless ideology of it even exists as such.

 

Nigel Farage is an opportunist

From the very beginnings of the Brexit saga, Nigel Farage has proven himself to be an exclusively self-serving weasel less interested in political struggle and more interested in the spectacle. Right after we voted Leave, Nigel Farage left UKIP whining about he wanted his life back, leaving UKIP leadership in a perpetual state of chaos. After Farage’s resignation, Dianne James was elected the leader of UKIP…for 18 days, then she unexpectedly resigned as leader and later quit the party and became an indepenent. Following this, another leadership contest was held in which the terminally insane Paul Nuttall emerged as the victor. After the snap general election in June 2017, in which UKIP was almost entirely annihiliated, Nuttall stepped down as leader, and then another leadership contest took place 3 months later in which Henry Bolton won. And then Henry Bolton had to resign after only 5 months in office because he kept seeing his then new girlfriend Jo Marney, who repeatedly made racist comments about Meghan Markle, immigrants and the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, despite proclaiming that he stopped seeing her once these comments became public knowledge. After this, he was replaced the current leader Gerard Batten, who is expected to resign his position after the European parliamentary elections taking place this week. To put it quite simply: after Farage left UKIP, the party constantly shifted from one transient leadership to the next. In addition to this, it’s worth noting that some of the failed leaders and leadership candidates in UKIP have gone on to form their own political parties – Henry Bolton formed the Our Nation Party, and Anne-Marie Waters (who lost the 2017 leadership contest) formed the For Britain party.

Of course, while Farage’s reasons for leaving were patently self-centered and naive, believing that he can just get on with his life, confident that the Brexit situation would somehow resolve itself without him, he has maintained since about 2017 that his real concern is that UKIP is becoming a more extremist and radical party than he’d like it to be: citing the attempted candidacy of Anne-Marie Waters, an outspoken critic of Islam, and Tommy Robinson’s appointment by Gerard Batten as his “grooming gangs advisor” as evidence of the shift towards the far-right with a specific focus on the anti-Islam angle. The irony, of course, is twofold. First of all, Farage has a reputation of drumming up similar rhetoric about Islamic immigration during his time in UKIP: he’s said in the past that most of the refugees coming into Britain harbored ISIS militants, and has even gone so far as to say that Enoch Powell was essentially correct about immigration. There was also that notorious “Breaking Point” poster that UKIP released in the run up to the Brexit referendum, which suggested that immigrants were marching the UK in order to overrun the native population (not to mention inadvertendly resembling a Nazi propaganda film with a similar albeit more extreme message). So for Farage to whine about the party suddenly doing more anti-Islamic rhetoric in order to move away from being a single-issue party (you know, doing nothing but whine about Brexit) comes off as hypocritical. Secondly, he didn’t seem to mind when he was taking over the Brexit Party from Catherine Blaiklock, who was forced to resign after saying that black men are genetically pre-disposed to commit crime and has a reputation for anti-Islamic agitation, not to mention that under his watch the party has had to remove a guy for bigoted comments about the Grenfell Tower survivors as well as accusing Ed Miliband and Peter Mandelson of being “rootless”. Not to mention, some of the people Farage has taken on board for his Brexit Party campaign are arguably much worse than many of than the people he whines about for “Islamophobia”. Claire Fox, for example, believes that you should be allowed to watch child pornography, was a Trotskyist (take it from me, Trots are some of the worst people in the radical left and they’re despised not only by me but also anarchists and most Marxist-Leninists) who like other ex-Trots ended up writing for Spiked, and at one point supported the IRA, who didn’t even try to avoid murdering civilians in their struggle against the unionists, specifically defending the bomb attack they carried out at Warrington in 1993. Another member, the arch-Tory Anne Widdecombe, is on record for her support of gay conversion therapy and whining about “the homosexual lobby”, asserting that homosexuality was immoral and campaigning against gay rights at every turn, and defending the government’s policy during the 1990s of shackling pregnant female prisoners while they were receiving pre-natal care on the grounds that they might escape somehow. Farage has no problem with people like that in his party, but for some reason he doesn’t like it when UKIP want to be more than just garden variety free market conservatives complaining that Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Oh, and are we forgetting the times where he travelled to the European continent in order to coordinate with parties like Alternative für Deustchland, who are frequently in trouble for possibly flirting with neo-Nazism. Somehow Farage has a problem with garden variety anti-Islamic conservatives leading UKIP, but he doesn’t have a problem touring with (not to mention hiring) people who are easily more reactionary than them.

When the snap election in 2017 happened, Farage made a bold statement about how he would return to politics if Brexit was in danger of not happening. He would not do so until March 22nd of this year, when the Brexit Party’s campaign for the European Parliament elections was launched. In between that time, however, he’s been busy talking to Americans as their self-appointed ambassdor for UKIP and the populist right. To that effect he’s made numerous appearances on Fox News in order to talk about various pet political issues in the UK, to the point when I see Farage I have sometimes jokingly said “hey it’s that guy British guy on Fox News”. Fox News in turn tends to gush over him, treating him as the leader of the Brexit campaign and at one point even advertised him as the leader of the opposition even though his then-party was and still is a marginal force in government. He also joined Donald Trump at a campaign rally in 2016 in Jackson, Missouri, to vocally support him, and has since been a consistent advocate and defender of Trump. He has consistently spoken at the Conservative Political Action Committee since 2015, and has been guest speaker at Prager “University” to talk about the European Union. Until he announced that the Brexit Party would be campaigning, you would think this guy’s whole job was just circlejerking with American conservatives (with whom he seems to be very much at home ideologically) about how great America is and how the UK is teetering off the edge to statism and socialism. You might just say he’s more interested in given pompous, charismatic speeches than he is in actually he is in helping us to leave the EU, only rejoining that front when shit’s just about to hit the fan rather than stay on and fight for the thing he helped work for. This combined with some of his positions on foreign policy (he thinks the US should invade Iran for example) lead me to think of him as just another garden variety shill, with no real loyalty to the cause he attached himself to. I guess we can expect that much from someone who used to be a banker.

 

Boycott the European Parliament elections

There are many Leave supporters who are quite eager to support the Brexit Party, even among leftists such as George Galloway, on the grounds that their victory in the European Parliament might bring us closer to ending the delays to our departure from the European Union. It certainly looks like they might gain significant electoral traction, particularly in Wales. But I, however, cannot support them. For starters I have already explained why its leader, Nigel Farage is a charlatanous weasel, opportunist and hypocrite. For me to support him would him would be fundamentally dishonorable on that dimension alone. But beyond that, his support for leaving the European Union would be the only thing I have in common with him; the rest of the Brexit Party’s politics is almost entirely aligned against my own. Besides the already mentioned fact of the party’s willingness to incorporate the most groteque reactionaries in British politics, the Brexit Party also seems to be staunchly in the territory of right-wing libertarian fantasy land when it comes to the economic system. Farage has stated openly that he wants to abolish the NHS, which for all its problems is the main reason this country has managed to survive its post-war conditions, with a system based on private insurance. In essence, he wants to regress our country’s healthcare system to something resembling the horrific ponzi scheme known as the American healthcare system. Not even UKIP supports that and they’re supposed be the far-right party in this country! In fact, for a far-right party, UKIP, to their credit, supports some nationalization of industry at least according to their manifesto. If you’re a leftist and you want to throw your weight behind the Brexit Party just on the chance that we might Leave the European Union, you’re selling your principles and values down the river for the sake of opportunism and I cannot and will not do anything but reject you for it. The left must fight for Brexit, yes, but it must do so on its own front, without right-wing capitalists entering into the picture.

Sadly, however, if you want me to tell you who to vote for instead, I don’t think I can help you. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about what to do in these elections, and I have concluded that I don’t believe the European Parliament elections will be useful for my goals. I have tried to find a credible left-wing Eurosceptic movement who might be closely aligned with my goals that I can vote for in Wales, and I have failed. There aren’t even any old school communist parties, who are traditionally anti-EU as well as anti-NATO, that might force me to swallow my displeasure for their tankie tendencies in pursuit of the greater good. There’s just Labour and Plaid Cymru, and both of them are entrenchedly pro-EU. If I support Labour, I’d end up supporting all the shitty candidates they have here in Wales, if I support Plaid Cymru, I might have someone lobby for Welsh independence but they’re going to just beg for us to stay in the EU, and to support the right-wing Brexit Party would mean helping them lay the groundwork for taking over the national government in order to turn Britian into even more of a shithole country than it is now. The only answer for me is to boycott for the European Parliament elections, and I suggest that other serious leftists do so as well.

Lucifer the light-bearer

Although this article is from the Gnostic perspective, it is an excellent refutation of the popular idea that the Gnostics revered Lucifer, which is also the same popular idea that drives Gnostic interpretations of Satanism and Luciferianism.

Gnostic Sophistries...

I FORM THE LIGHT AND CREATE DARKNESS…”

One of the favorite rumors that fundamentalist Christians like to spread about the Gnostics is that they worship Lucifer the light-bearer. Supposedly the Gnostics worship this secret fallen angel of light who also challenged Jehovah in the form of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. To add fuel to the fire, there are some modern self-proclaimed “Gnostics” today who choose to embrace “Lucifer” and revel gleefully in the scandal. But whether there really is a connection between Gnosticism and Lucifer is another matter. To get to the truth behind the rumors we must look at the historical record.

Let’s begin with some basic academic facts: Lucifer was originally the name of a god in ancient Roman mythology. Lucifer was the son of the dawn goddess named Aurora; and the Romans named the planet we call “Venus” after him. He…

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Nothing but schadenfreude

I remember back when I was an art student in college, specifically at around 2012-13, and during one of our classes we were discussing a rumour that Jeremy Kyle, host of the widely syndicated The Jeremy Kyle Show in which all manner of the poor and destitute are trotted out to exploit their miserable situations through what can only be described as a modern day freak show, had been diagnosed with cancer, and at that time I drew controversy to myself in the classroom by saying that this was a positive thing and that I hoped that Jeremy Kyle died of cancer. The other students were kind of shocked to hear me say such things, either because a few of them I think liked his show (which is quite sad to be honest) or just their general alienness to the thought that anyone could wish a guy dead if he thought he was a scumbag.

The reason I bring this up is because that memory was, in a sense, reawakened by recent news. It seems The Jeremy Kyle Show is to be suspended indefinitely, apparently removed from ITV and ITV On Demand entirely, following news that a recent guest died a week after the filming of the show. In addition to this development, the episode in question will be subject to review on account of the death of the guest.

Now, I don’t really care about this isssue, other than the fact that the show is fairly obvious exploitation of the poor and their ignorance and as such a means of the capitalist superstructure to perpetuate its societal norms, but seeing the event brought back the memories of those days in college, where I would stand out for my politically incorrect, or perhaps simply insensitive, tendencies as regards certain subjects. And the fact is I don’t see myself having changed on the subject. In fact, I’m mildly pleased to find people on social media reacting this news in much the same way I reacted to the rumours of Jeremy Kyle having contracted cancer back during my college days. People are taking an interest in the exploitative nature of the show, and one guy’s even coming out of the woodwork to say he used to work on the show and suggests that much worse practices occur on a regular basis unbenownst to the public. I feel nothing but schandenfreude from all of this, and I say good riddance to this crap.

I support an independent Wales

I have today received some exciting breaking news concerning local politics. Just this afternoon in Cardiff, there was a major rally for Welsh independence that caught the attention of the media British. It was organized by a group called All Under One Banner Cymru, which seems to be the Welsh branch of a Scottish group called All Under One Banner, which campaigns for Scottish independence, and attendants apparently numbered in the thousands. In addition to this, of the thousands of people who attended the rally, hundreds of them consisted of people from North Wales who drove all the way to Cardiff just to be there.

I have to say, this was a surprising and impressive development. Mind you, I have been hearing murmurs about the subject of Welsh independence for quite some time now, I sometimes hear about it in news stories about local politics. But this rally and the attention its getting tells me that we could be seeing from real momentum for the cause of Welsh independence. And let me be among the first to say that I proudly support the cause of Welsh independence. I believe in the general principle of national independence, sovereignty and liberation as an extension of the broader principle of political liberty, and the fight for freedom is an important existential, evolutionary struggle in the hierarchy of struggles that we observe. What we forget about the class struggle, for instance, is that it is, within bourgeois society, the primary expression of this ancient struggle. And when you consider the fact that the British national government was at one point planning on dumping their toxic waste beneath our cities, I think the case can be made that the national government doesn’t have much regard for our land.

The only forebearance I may feel towards this whole thing is the fact that the momentum for Welsh independence movement will likely be seized by Plaid Cymru, a liberal party of about the same stripe as the SNP. Like their Scottish counterpart, they are sheepish supporters of the European Union and will use our break from the British union as a vehicle by which to attempt to repatriate with Brussels, a move that I doubt would be supported by the European Union. I want Wales to be independent for the UK if that is what we desire, but I also want us to be apart from the decrepit, bourgeois European Union. We won’t quite be sovereign unless that is the case. And besides, I doubt that Wales will be free to go in a more leftward direction transcend Labour’s brand of class-collaborationist social democracy if we remain in the European Union.

Wales has always been more amenable to at least a somewhat leftward direction that much of the country, and although it is debatabely whether any socialist class consciousness has emerged successfully here, socialism has been a part of the country’s history in some imperfect form or another since the late 19th century. There are some British socialists who believe that talk about Welsh independence is counterproductive to the cause or working class politics, and that instead we should instead pursue unionist (as in the British national union, not as in trade unions or syndicates) praxis instead of secessionism. An example of this sentiment can be found in the Proletarian CPGB-ML Party, who by an astonishing coinicidence are also big fans of Nigel Farage. But we don’t live in opportune circumstances where we can just wait for everyone to become radical so we can do the British equivalent of the SFRY. It’s better then that we should just seize the moment and lead by example instead.