Political developments

I first entered into some vague sense of political consciousness, like many in my generation, as a teenager during high school, and I started out with a heady mixture of idealism and confusion without any theoretical or ideological ground upon which to base my political assumptions, goals and ideals beyond a consistent passion for the idea of freedom. In my early years, I would oscillate frequently between an undefined anarchism and an equally vague left-liberalism, though many times I would often fall on the side of anarchism. Before that though you would probably find me supporting political candidates like Barack Obama or Nick Clegg in my early teenage years because I didn’t like the opposition or I suppose I was something of a basic liberal at the time. In the case of the anarchistic tendencies and passions, there was no real detail or ideology behind it, although I think I can say with some certainty that I was never an “anarcho-capitalist” (which I put in quotes because anarcho-capitalism even as a moniker is as much of a joke as the actual ideology appears to be). Literally, my primary reasoning was simply that the state was a bad thing, an infringement upon human liberty at its core, and alongside that I saw what I vaguely recognized as the right wing of politics, the conservative wing, as interested in the suppression of culture and the harvesting of the planet through hegemony and warfare. Back then I also used to be somewhat into the Zeitgeist films for a while, though I disagreed with what I perceived as their collectivism as well as their raging case of technophilia and utopianism, and I admired people like Bill Hicks, George Carlin and even Michael Moore, and I also had a fascination with people like Timothy Leary who were essentially free-thinking hippies for lack of a better word. So I guess you could say that I was pretty left wing at the time. This also coincided with the seeds of my interest in spirituality and to some extent the occult, as I discovered via the Internet the writings of people like Vadge Moore, Robin Artisson, and Osho.

By the time I entered college, I aligned less with anarchism or left-liberalism and drew closer to what I would call a sort of libertarian-lite sort of philosophy. Like with my anarchist phase, there was no ideological or theoretical base or praxis that I worked with, and it was still not clear if I was into left-wing libertarian ideologies or right-wing libertarian ideologies, in fact often times I would hold positions from both sides of the aisle – from the American right, for example, you’d find me with a notably strong support for gun ownership, particularly in contrast to pretty much everyone else in my college class, while on the left you’d largely find me supporting fairly socially liberal and sometimes even progressive causes. Keep that in mind, because for a long time going forward, until very recently, I had a certain personal distrust of socialism and related ideologies. It was around this time, or perhaps somewhere before that, that I became a Satanist as well. The emergent egoistic perspective, loosely borrowed from Anton LaVey and largely drawn from my obsession with the thematics of the Shin Megami Tensei series, lent itself rather nicely to the satanic libertarian phase of my life. Even after abandoning anarchism, I have often said on this blog that I would still held anarchy as an ideal of things, just non-attainable in reality. Why, I’m surprised that I never read the writings of Max Stirner at the time, because open introspection something tells me that the egoistic outlook probably lent itself at times to being something of a crypto-Stirnerite without me realizing it (although, in all fairness, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t outright embrace Stirnerite philosophy from what I’ve heard). Instead I thought of myself more in line with LaVey, and I guess Ayn Rand by proxy to some extent given how influential she was to LaVey’s philosophical outlook, as well as the ancient Chinese egoist Yang Zhu, who I even devoted a short blog post to back in 2013. Anyways, this egoistic vaguely libertarian outlook remained fairly consistent, although as time drew on I became very cynical, even to the point where I would dismiss democracy as a failed system.

However, as you may know, a lot changed back in 2016. By this time I had been vaguely aware of concepts like political correctness, and I had started seeing all manner of ludicrously illiberal proposals put forward and laws enacted by my country’s government, but eventually I would start to become more and more aware of exactly what kind of hot mess liberal society was in. In the space of two months I went from a cynical individual who didn’t care about the Brexit referendum much other than “maybe the EU will stop the Tories from making anti-porn laws” to becoming a strong and convinced Eurosceptic after realizing that my rationale for this was complete nonsense (and after seeing David Cameron, one of my most hated of politicians and then Conservative Party leader, come out in support of remaining in the European Union). As I begun to see large sections of the “left” oppose this, and in general act as antithetical to the liberty of their political opponents, I shifted right over the course of the year and began to take interest in things like populism, nationalism and “classical liberalism” (I’ll explain why that’s in quotes later on). With regards to American politics, I eventually became one of the rare Satanists to lend his support to Donald Trump, having rejected Bernie Sanders, become fed up of the Libertarians, and utterly opposed to Hillary Clinton, and because initially it looked like he might actually. Of course, we now know how that worked out.

Being on the right hasn’t actually been that easy on me, and it’s more often than not been a source of conflict on my part. On the one hand, being a Satanist, I could justify sympathizing with the right through the sort of socially Darwinist perspective that you find in Satanism and that I stressed as separating Satanism from simply being humanism. On the other hand, the tendency towards traditionalism or just cultural conservatism makes them annoying from time to time, and trying to deal with some people who went on and on about Christian culture whilst being a Satanist who supported secularism has been frustrating. Even on economics I was never such an absolutist as many libertarian capitalists are. Looking back, I wonder how many people on the right managed to reconcile economic libertarianism with the desire for the nation state to maintain control of its borders considering that full on economic libertarian logic inevitably leads to the conclusion that borders violate the non-aggression principle (an argument that I oppose), as well as, as I will go on to mention, the fact that capitalism cannot stay nationally grassroots because it must transgress borders in order to sustain itself. And then there’s the alt-right, who I never supported but always had to deal with the fact that they were on the radical end on the right.

In addition to this, I had noticed quite a few dubious things. The first, and this is honestly where I get into repudiation territory here, when you look into it, what the right calls “Cultural Marxism” is largely a myth. It has nothing to do with Marxist economics, and the way they use it is simply a stand-in for what would otherwise be called postmodernism or simply liberal political correctness. The only reason I used the phrase at the time was because I didn’t know shit about Marxism at the time, and I wanted nothing to do with the left so I distanced myself from them too much to learn about it until recently. I will leave a video below from a channel named Comrade Pierre Tru-Dank which I think explains the myth quite well, and I highly recommend you check out his other content as well.

Of course what my man Pierre doesn’t mention is that the term “Cultural Marxism” originated by critics of the Frankfurt School, such as Trent Schroyer, before becoming distorted by people like Pat Buchanan and William Lind into the “Cultural Marxism” meme we know today so that they could wage culture war against socially progressive, hell even just plain liberal causes, under the guise of fighting communism after the fall of the Soviet Union. I don’t think I can say I was a total believer, in fact it was often when I saw it applied to religion that I often saw glimpses of the theory’s weaknesses (seriously, Christianity is not dying because of “Cultural Marxism”, it’s dying because it is an increasingly irrelevant religion, impotent before the dawn of consumerism and the death of Yahweh), but I was simply aware of the term being paraded by “classical liberals” and thought of it as just another way of referring to the particular ideology that we kept seeing from campus ideologues and their progressive apologists. I think it’s fair to say that many people who found themselves opposed to the modern, authoritarian culture warrior breed of the left ended up getting duped by this trope and its proponents, and sadly I think many of them will not realize the same thing as I did before they become further entrenched into the right than I was.

Another thing I began to realize is how many on the right will often lay claim to a principle, such as opposition to political correctness, and then violate it for tactical reasons, or sometimes out of pure idiocy and hypocrisy. We saw this with Laura Loomer and Jack Posobiec gatecrashing last year’s Shakespeare In The Park rendition of Julius Ceasar and having it shut down because they seemingly believed that the play was endorsing violence against the president, which anyone with two brain cells would have interpreted as utterly nonsensical. You can also see this with how many on the right will claim to hate Saul Alinsky and his tactics because of his communist political leanings, and condemn Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for allegedly using their tactics, only to cite the very same Alinskyite tactics as a rationale for condemning someone as having offended them, as was the case when a Twitter personality named psychicpebbles uploaded a caricature of Ajit Pai to express disapproval of the repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections. Both of those things they will rationalize with some unprincipled tripe about how it is the only way to teach SJWs the errors of their tactics, when in reality all it does is showcase the idiocy of the people who play them and their willingness to violate the ideals they claim to stand for just to compete with, let’s face it, blindingly insane college liberals who have no real politics beyond the realm of outrage culture and a kind of selfish intersectionalist metaphysics. That leads us nicely into another thing: as time went on I noticed that the whole social justice thing had petered out and slowly become irrelevant, but the right on the other hand keeps wanting to milk the whole thing for what it’s worth, and all the while you’ve got plenty of right wing snowflakes out there. In fact, just this week I have noticed that a high school teacher in California was fired over a rant he made just shy of two months ago where he basically dissed the military, and not only that but the student who got him fired said he was happy to get a man fired over his speech. Yes, there’s people on the right who believe that mere offensive speech constitutes bullying, the same side that rallied in support of Jordan Peterson for refusing to say whatever pronoun Canada asks him to, and almost no one was calling this out. And it’s all a product of the culture war which we’ve allowed ourselves to think is another other than bullshit that distracts us from the real problem.

What real problem you might ask? The short answer, frankly, is capitalism. The long answer is multi-faceted, but I’ll do my best to explain. For starters, you may remember a series of events concerning social media and censorship, in particular pertaining to YouTube. I have covered YouTube’s path towards authoritarianism and retardation many times, including that time Jeremy Crow found himself the subject of demonetization. Also, as it turns out, it’s not just edgy right-wingers who get subject to the limited state feature. Even communists are subject to it. Even liberal SJW apologists are subject to it. I’ve even seen channels like ReviewTechUSA get a video put into limited state at one point. Once you discover this, the idea that Google is solely attacking right-wingers or Nazis falls apart, and what you instead see is that this is probably the product of the particular algorithm that YouTube has. But, that’s not my main point. My main point is that companies like Google and YouTube are simply doing this in order to secure advertisers on their platform, and you can also see Twitter banning far-righters and collecting data on what website you go on in order to curtail “hate speech” as simply a reaction to their decline in the market and the perception that it this is caused by an online harassment problem. Thus, the erosion of freedom of speech on social media is directly caused by capitalistic incentives via the profit motive: or, in other words, you. Not to mention, we all know that many of these companies also sell your data and information and have been doing so for years for much the same reason: to make a profit off of it. This on its own should be a refutation of the axiom of “the freer the markets, the freer the people”. But more than this, it is a manifestation of the capitalist, even liberal, idea that freedom is all tied in with property, meaning that, if you are a subject of that property, the property owner takes away your freedom of speech. See, many critics of the actions of these social media websites I’ve seen will question the private company argument because they rightly think that you should not be suppressed arbitrarily by these companies, but in every other instance they will ultimately use the propertarian lens to support the very same political and economic system that has made these problems manifest to begin with.

Then you have the looming automation crisis, which I have discussed before. I have always been worried about the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, and the effects that it will have on humanity and society at large. What I never realized though is that this is another reason to reject capitalism. Think about it: you’re going to see millions of people economically displaced, they’re not going to be able to get employment because they’re not needed anymore for the most part, and universal basic income will not help because you’re going to run out of money to support it because no one is going to get any income because they can’t get jobs. And if that’s not enough, . Not to mention, the only reason we have things like planned obsolesence is because companies like Apple know that they can make an extra buck by shortening the life span of their products, forcing customers to buy more. Oh, and if political correctness and feminism bother you, take a look at the kind of people who sponsor it. Then there’s mass immigration in regards to the current migration crisis, which, as it turns out, can be explained largely by decades of American destabilization of the Middle East coupled with the capitalistic interest in cheap labour. Hell, what I recognize as globalism is nothing more than the product neoliberal capitalism inevitably transgresses the borders of the nation state because, as a system built on profit, growth and consumption, it must access new markets by any means or it will stagnate and die. Not to mention, pretty much everyone who can accurately be pointed to as one of the globalists is also a died in the wool member of the capitalist class (just look at the American Deep State, the European Union, or the IMF and you’ll see what I mean). Then there is simply the fact the consumer culture that I have long hated can easily be traced to the mass industrialization of culture that the capitalist mode of production has generated.

I mean there are so many capitalistic interests underpinning what I’ve been opposing the entire time that I’m starting to think the only reason the right is so autistic about Marxism is because they don’t want to oppose capitalism despite it being the logical conclusion of some of their grievances. Only by replacing the current economic system with a system that isn’t based off of profit and consumption, and is instead based on putting economic power into the hands of the people rather than corporations or the state, are you going to get rid of the incentives that drive all of the woes I speak of, but I guess they’re not smart enough to realize it. And we’re going to need to do it pretty soon before either automation robs us all of jobs or we run out of the resources needed to make even tiny little computer chips within a century. Not to mention, when the next economic crisis arrives, which it is predicted to do so within relatively short order, people are going radicalize in response to the material conditions and turn away from liberal capitalism. At that point, the two options most people will pick will be either socialism or fascism. And I really, really, really would not like to see the return of fascism. I’ve even discussed this before when writing about Edward Bernays, just from the libertarian and anti-socialist perspective that I once had. Mark my words, we have seen fascism arise , it will happen again.

In many ways I am starting to think that I was right-wing for the following reasons: (1) I sympathized with libertarians on wedge issues, (2) I simply reacted to the left at the time, and without any understanding of the actual ideas of the left I could not criticize the actions of people like Antifa from a left position, and (3) because at the time I began to think that supporting some form of national populism was the logical means of rebelling against the establishment. But if I think about it, the position I was in really ultimately supports the system more than it opposes it. The only area in which that isn’t the case is in the culture war and the whole globalism thing, and even then, unless it goes outside of and opposes capitalism in meaningful way, all it’s going to do is support the status quo that generates my woes to begin with. All I did was dislike the way some of the left was acting, and then I found myself in a position that really isn’t going to do much in the long run, and is based simply on reaction. It was, I guess for all intents and purposes, a reactionary phase.

That, in one long rant, encompasses my political journey, and the realizations that I have made along the way. I hope it wasn’t too boring. I won’t be deleting any of my posts from my prior political phase simply because there is no point in trying to scrub that out of my blog’s history.

Liberty and lawlessness

Minerva repulsing Discord, as depicted in a Medal of Honour

About twelve days ago, I was chatting with Tadashi about a possible Latin motto, a translation of “in the bountiful freedom of chaos, I will create my own order”. Along the way, he mentions that he saw glimpses of such “anarchy” and said that, while he’s all for bending the rules, there’s nothing good that can come from shattering them all. For a long time I thought about that and eventually I finally started to drift away from political anarchism.

I used to identify as an anarchist when I was around 16 years old, though I would also identify as a libertarian. Over the past 4 or so years I began to be much more vague about the term anarchist, perhaps from various ideas and revelations from various places, though I still held anarchistic sentiments. But after my conversation with Tadashi, I finally decided three things:

  1. That anarchism is naive
  2. That anarchy is incapable of preserving liberty and justice
  3. I’ve been overlooking history

Just imagine a place where there is nothing protecting those who can’t protect themselves or are just concerned with going on with their lives, where the people cause the most violent mayhem are allowed to go unchecked, where families can abuse their own kind, where people can get into mobs and beat up or kill people for smoking joints or being gay or being a different race, where theft and rape may go unpunished, and where there is nothing to stop corporations from going too far and getting away with all kinds of crap. Of course eye for an eye may apply, but there’s no guarantee of justice since you never know when it will end. Even if anarchy and the absence of a criminal justice system doesn’t automatically mean an eruption of violent mayhem, there’s nothing stopping anything from escalating into that, or preventing thugs from effectively establishing a rule of fear. And even if none of this is true, people would want to create organization anyway, and people would accept it out of the natural desire for it. The only difference is what that organization is based on. And then there’s the forms of anarchism that wind up being either communism or a land where there’s no stopping corporations from going too far, and like communism they fundamentally underestimate human nature (which is capable of exploitation and savagery just as much as it is capable kindness or reasonable conduct, not to mean everything in between). Even if an anarchist society might start out just fine, I can imagine something sooner or later going wrong and then it’s all undone.

Let’s face it, in the natural state of things you may technically have freedom in the sense everyone may be free to do whatever they want, but that freedom is constantly vulnerable because there’s nothing guaranteeing you protection of your freedom or your rights, nothing protecting the individual from coercion, nothing that would guarantee justice, let alone no forms of organization. Since none of these things are guaranteed, all of these things have to be created by people.

I personally would want a social organization that is based on freedom, individualism, and justice, and I still strongly support absolute freedom of speech, religion, lifestyle, and belief, the right of responsible individuals to bear arms, and in general the freedom to anything that does not infringe on other people’s rights or constitute abuse, harm, or crime. I still heavily believe freedom, justice, and individualism, but now I am finally convinced that anarchy will not facilitate these effectively. So the answer would be any kind of government that creates laws based on freedom and justice, any form of social organization that protects civil liberty and delivers justice.

Liberty and justice for all!  😉

I don’t care how it might be done, though I still have my doubts regarding democracy. One the one hand, democracy (or at least democracy on its own) is weak and easily corruptible, open to tyranny of the majority, can suffer from a collectivist vibe, and it feels like it won’t make a difference who you vote for, but on the other hand I feel a democracy might actually be fine if the rights of the minority were still protected, and it might be worth noting that a real democracy would depend on people. Overall, I just don;t care so long as we have a society based on liberty and justice.

I still feel you should fight for your freedom too. Let’s face it, politicians can be corrupt, and so can the government. It happens. This is why we need people aware enough to keep their government on their toes, to remind them of its purpose.: not to enslave, but to protect and serve.  To be honest though, I would still want a government that consists solely of people disciplined enough to do their job, that way there would be less corruption.

Finally, I still feel that you shouldn’t have any blind faith in the government, for you as an individual would risk giving in to the same slave mentality on which authoritarian governments sustain themselves. Don’t obey the laws out of a blind sheep mentality, but rather observe them as long as they are reasonable, and protest anything that threatens liberty and justice, or is just plain nonsense. And don’t serve the army out of any sense of duty, service, or obedience, but rather out of an individual sense that you are fighting and risking your life for something you believe.

All in all, what I believe is the same as it’s always been, except that I feel anarchy is not the answer, not any more for me.

The false image of Guy Fawkes

Ever since the movie V for Vendetta was released, anarchists and Anonymous have picked up on the mask worn by V, the protagonist, and the 17th century English bomb-plotter Guy Fawkes (upon which the character V is supposed to be based on) as a symbol of revolution, freedom, rebellion, fighting against government and Internet control, and fighting against religious oppression and theocracy. If only this were true.

In reality, the historical Guy Fawkes was not a freedom fighter, and while he may certainly have entered Parliament with honest intentions, those intentions were not good, honorable, or noble. He was a Catholic terrorist who plotted to blow up the Parliament building in London so that he could replace the Protestant government of 1605 with Catholic rule. See, he was on the side of the Jesuits, who were a Catholic organization, and they didn’t like the fact that they were ruled by Protestant kings, or Parliamentary government, and wanted to hand control of Britain back to the Catholic Church and the Pope.

The actual gunpowder plotters, who as you can see bear no resemblance to comic book anti-heroes.

Now, let me ask you this: if you really loved freedom, why would you celebrate the image of a dead Catholic terrorist whose plan was to coerce Britain into being Catholic, blow up Parliament, and give the country back the Pope? What kind of believer in freedom does that?

Doesn’t it seem odd or even just ironic that Guy Fawkes, a man who was basically just another religious terrorist, not too different from your average Islamic extremist in modern society, has come to represent the opposition of state authority and religious oppression? Don’t you find it strange that Anonymous uses the image of a religious terrorist to fight the oppression of a religious organization (namely Scientology)? Keep in mind, all this comes from a graphic novel/movie and its influence on anarchism, protest, and modern culture, but I find it very strange that Alan Moore has turned a religious terrorist has been turned into a heroic anarchist, and actually supports the use of Guy Fawkes masks to represent the fight for freedom and individualism.

Through all this I’m simply reminding the Internet that Guy Fawkes was a terrorist. Not a hero, not a freedom fighter, not an anarchist, but a terrorist, no different to any religious terrorist in modern times. And in glamorizing the image of Guy Fawkes, we are glamorizing religious terrorism. Any anarchist worth his salt should reject Guy Fawkes as a symbol, because if he represents anything, it’s religious terrorism designed to create a theocratic state, not freedom or revolution against authority.