I made the case just a couple months back that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is a sort of fledgling Mussolini, nurturing an incipient fascist movement. As the first primaries approach, and Trump’s lead in the polls is actually widening, his development toward outright fascism is progressing faster than I feared. […] As of August, Trump had most of the ingredients for a fascist movement: the victim complex, the fervent nationalism, the obsession with national purity and cleansing purges, and the cult of personality. He was missing the organized violence, a left-wing challenge strong enough to push traditional conservative elites into his camp, support for wars of aggression, and a full-bore attack on democracy itself. He’s made much progress on all but the last one.
The last one is the only point of NRx intersection, but if he takes The White House, there’s going to be plenty of deranged: “See, this is what the Dark Enlightenment leads to!” analysis (among the upper echelons of the leftist commentariat). No, this is what democracy leads to. It’s called radical populism. (Unfortunately, that’s a message that isn’t going to be heard.)
The Left would rather hand lurid fascism the keys than stop what they’re doing (they’re already doing the non-lurid version). That would count as a perverse moral vindication — cooking up the enemy they always said they wanted to stop. Eventually, they’ll manage it. The Ancients already knew that’s how this thing ends.
It goes without saying that NRx should back away as far as possible, while scattering signs of protection (not that it will do any good).
The XS patented ‘not-getting-it’ meter just exploded:
“NRx” is shorthand for “neoreactionary,” a person who subscribes to the neoreaction, or “Dark Enlightenment,” movement. This school is far from unified, but subscribes to a loose collection of far-right ideologies: a rejection of “political correctness,” a yearning for religious and political authoritarianism, a return to medieval gender roles, and the open practice of white supremacy. […] 8chan, a message board that rose to prominence after some users dismissed 4chan as too censoring, loves NRx. Many 8channers subscribe to the NRx theory that the world is on the verge of a massive societal collapse, one that should be actively encouraged. The end game for these users is race war, revolution, and the installation of a leader like Donald Trump, whose picture appears at the bottom of every 8chan thread.
(Weirdly, the internal link goes to one of the outside analyses least conducive to this delirious incomprehension. Where are the Mouthbreathing Machiavellis when they’d really fit in?)
It’s an over-used formula, but this time it really does seem appropriate. If this analysis can be trusted — and it looks at least superficially plausible — ISIS has broken the soul of evangelical democratization. Once the Cathedral’s universalistic faith has been defeated (“the freedom agenda in the Muslim world is dead”), how long can it be before the gathering ebb tide tears apart its internal ideological structure? “This is something only for us” requires an ‘us’ — and that acknowledgement marks the cresting of a crisis that has been centuries — if not millennia — in the making.
Syria represents the culmination of this trend. The moderate rebels of 2011 stood no chance of survival against the hard liners who managed to rapidly mobilize foreign fighters and take over the majority of the insurgency. The result is that, post-Paris, Western capitals will be skeptical of regime change of any sort. It will be clear that when intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign (albeit repressive) states becomes a vehicle for democratic change, that vehicle will probably be hijacked by radical Islamists, and will arrive at a substantially worse political destination than intended.
The post-Paris war on terror will affirm the West’s commitment to fighting radical Islamic terrorism, but, in the process, it will reject the idiom of revolutionary, moralizing democratic change inherited from President Bush. Syria was the end of the line for that approach.
The revolution has come right back around to Hobbes, and thus to the systematically-cynical origin of the modern state system, the author (Emile Simpson) argues. What a long strange trip it’s been.
ADDED: “… jihadis have come to inhabit a different moral universe …” — Multiversalism it is, then.
(Open thread + links)
SP theory (1, 2, 3), nuance on the Norks, and an unwritten novel. Confucian heuristics. Parable of the termites. The neanderthal line on r/K. Anonymous letter to the French (in French). Universal values? Original Sin is to blame. Welfare doesn’t work. Propertarianism vs AnCap. The weekly round in doom.
Alinsky blow-back. Scale and scams. Commies in space. The nativists (i.e. ‘dumb hicks‘) are restless. Discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. Death spiral. SV politics. Free speech and its enemies. Against coddling (and, a little more vehemently).
Modern infertility (relevant). Hispanicization and secession. Europe’s least-liked minority. The Australian solution. Eugenic prospects.
European crisis, Islam, and migration policy are running together (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Oh hell, there’s more (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), with still more to come. Speed Jihad. Jihad in power. Houellebecq, the optimist. Narrative disorder. Dugin’s take. Things that might work. Obamaworld in flames. Destroying the grayzone. Growth of global jihad. Rough triangles stuff. Meanwhile, in Mali. A sci-fi allegory (see also). God is dead all over again.
“Unlike the law enforcement paradigm, warfare allows the state to treat the enemy considerably differently from one’s own population.”
“I must admit to now being more nervous about allowing more impatient and stupid immigrants” (see also, and especially).
Dee’s library. Islamic calligraphy.
The statistical schism. Bostrom profiled (excellently). Machine Learning Algorithms. NYC Taxi Drop-offs mapped. Genetically customized animals. An accelerator on a chip. Touched by a death god.
This is from April last year (but I’ve only just found it). It’s quite amazing how many lines intersect in it:
Both Schumacher’s and Hadid’s language propose an architecture that’s “above” trivial moral and political hand-wringing, like worker’s rights. Peggy Dreamer, in a recent CalArts panel, described Schumacher’s style as “über-form,” meaning that it takes on the aesthetic of the universal and inevitable in order to create icons of an imaginary future. And that is what China and the Emirates are buying — the Seoul Design Park, Galaxy SOHO, Guangzhou Opera House, the 2022 Qatar World Cup Stadium. These are icons of future cities, not current ones.
The reason it’s here, now, though is to add some framing for this Patrik Schumacher talk, which I was politely asked (on Twitter) to trigger a Xenosystems conversation about it. While I’m in no position to directly wire-head XS readers, it looks stimulating to me. (There isn’t much capitalistic historical materialism about.)
In the eyes of the New Right, unlike continental Europeans, Anglo-Saxon peoples fail to perceive the importance of organic community and the primacy of political over economic factors.
— In other words, the New Right is fundamentally alien (and hostile) to our thede.
This kind of thinking is still considered controversial among true believers:
People often cite the war guilt of Germans as driving their hostility to xenophobia, but it is far deeper than that. Europe’s establishment is overwhelmingly universalist, in that it believes that not only are all humans equal in dignity and rights but that we as people have no moral right to discriminate between in-groups and out-groups. This is a secular heresy of Christianity, and it is why diversity has become a sort of religion in countries populated by Europeans, especially for those who have lost their actual faith; outside of European-populated lands such an idea remains mostly alien, and totally impractical, especially in the countries from which Germany now attracts many of its migrants.
There’s a horror story I’m writing (slowly), developing from the central conceit that the ‘monster’ (Vauung) is the war. It feeds upon escalation, zig-zagging between antagonists, to extinguish any inclinations towards peace. It’s part Apocalypse Now, part Blood Meridian (“War is God”), part other stuff … It’s not going to be finished for a while.
Scott Alexander has finished something truly excellent, which isn’t fiction (exactly), but clearly tunes into Vauung-signal:
Toxoplasma is a neat little parasite that is implicated in a couple of human diseases including schizophrenia. Its life cycle goes like this: it starts in a cat. The cat poops it out. The poop and the toxoplasma get in the water supply, where they are consumed by some other animal, often a rat. The toxoplasma morphs into a rat-compatible form and starts reproducing. Once it has strength in numbers, it hijacks the rat’s brain, convincing the rat to hang out conspicuously in areas where cats can eat it. After a cat eats the rat, the toxoplasma morphs back into its cat compatible form and reproduces some more. Finally, it gets pooped back out by the cat, completing the cycle.
The kind of things 19th century English geniuses believed will set your teeth chattering:
Galton feared that the English race was degenerating, declining in both mental and physical ability. (It remains a common fear; the French thought they were degenerating, too.) Like others of his day, Galton used the term ‘race’ loosely. He referred alternately to the English race, the white race, the human race. But overall, English eugenics was less about race than class. To Galton’s mind, the filthy working poor were breeding like rabbits while the gentry were chastely dwindling. He became convinced that unless something were done, the flower of English manhood – not excluding specimens such as his cousin and, ahem, himself – would soon vanish, swamped by a massive tide of Oliver Twists and Tiny Tims.
Thank goodness that preposterous conviction has been rigorously debunked.
Apologies for the Quote note spam, but this is just too exquisite to pass over. It’s Žižek melting-down spectacularly under pressure. Quasi-random sample:
What should people in Haiti and other places with food shortages do? Do they not have the full right to violently rebel?
— Oh sure, you’ve got the solution right there.
This is the true squeal of anguish:
… corporate capitalism has triumphed worldwide. In fact, the Third World nations that embrace this world order are those now growing at a spectacular rate. The mask of cultural diversity is sustained by the actual universalism of global capital; even better if global capitalism’s political supplement relies on so-called “Asian values.” […] Global capitalism has no problem in accommodating itself to a plurality of local religions, cultures and traditions. So the irony of anti-Eurocentrism is that, on behalf of anti-colonialism, one criticizes the West at the very historical moment when global capitalism no longer needs Western cultural values in order to smoothly function. In short, one tends to reject Western cultural values at the very time when, critically reinterpreted, many of those values (egalitarianism, fundamental rights, freedom of the press, the welfare-state, etc.) can serve as a weapon against capitalist globalization. Did we already forget that the entire idea of Communist emancipation as envisaged by Marx is a thoroughly “Eurocentric” one?
“Comrades! — We’re obliterating ourselves.” Indeed, yes.
ADDED: Another piece of delicious high-IQ Leftist meltdown. Everything is there — but the equations just won’t come out
right left. “Rather more difficult is to conceptualize a radically different mode of production, and how to represent the sociopolitical transition required to take us there.” Quite.