Deep Ruin


@MattOlver linked this gallery of classy Detroit devastation images in Time. Visions of modernity in ruins have an intrinsic reactionary inclination, irrespective of any superficial attributions of causation. They directly subvert assumptions of relentless progress, suggest cyclic perturbations in the current of history, and evoke the tragic adjustments of fate. Ruins deride hubristic pretensions. They mark an ineluctable compliance with the Old Law of Gnon.

The Left, in its thoughtful moments, at least partially understands this. Things thought buried return, while highways of confident advance are lost in dissolution. The radical imagination is broken.

As Archdruid John Michael Greer writes, on the collapse of the great progressive narrative:

There are times when the deindustrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County. These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.

God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since. The mother of Christ murdered her son and morphed into the terrifying Bloody Mary, a nightmare being who weeps blood from eyeless sockets and seeks out children to kill them. Opposing her is a mysterious spirit from the ocean who takes the form of a blue-skinned woman, and who can protect children who know her secret name. The angels, though driven out of Heaven, haven’t given up; they carry on their fight against the demons from a hidden camp in the jungle somewhere outside Miami, guarded by friendly alligators who devour hostile intruders. The spirits of children who die in Dade County’s pervasive gang warfare can go to the camp and join the war against the demons, so long as someone who knows the stories puts a leaf on their graves.

ADDED: Thomas Fleming among the ruins.

ADDED: (via) “… reality itself is nothing more than a rotting God.”

July 4, 2014admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History , Horror

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20 Responses to this entry

  • chris b Says:

    Diversity at work. It will be interesting to see London like that.


    Posted on July 4th, 2014 at 3:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    Has anyone gathered together a list of cities likely to go full Detroit? Anywhere with similar conditions, e.g. lots of public welfare, racial diversity, imploding industries. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Atlanta, DC, certain parts of LA, London, Paris? Would also be interesting to see charts showing how much property is going unused/vacant in these cities over time.


    admin Reply:

    London and Paris are national financial centers, so they go Taxi Driver NY, rather than Detroit.


    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    That’s assuming they remain financial centers over the next few decades; also assuming being financial center implies magnitudes more ability to integrate racially and culturally diverse populations.


    admin Reply:

    Does NY do that? I think it’s more that the financial incentives for a workable solution are raised substantially — to the point that informal ethnic cleansing, profiling, etc. get green-lighted through the policy process.

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Then it seems it just depends on how optimistic you are that these practices remain politically viable.

    nydwracu Reply:

    If any of you have read Bonfire of the Vanities, you’ll know the passage I’d quote if I could find it.

    sobl Reply:

    Baltimore, Memphis and Cleveland would be my top 3. Philadelphia is not as far along as the top 3 but could plunge. St. Louis is an under the radar candidate.


    Posted on July 4th, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • Deep Ruin | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 at 7:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    I’ve seen charts informally developed which correlate percentage of non-white residency to property valuation (US only). It appears the tipping point begins around 12 – 15%, at which point all kinds of other indicators (crime, literacy, etc.) start to spin into disproportionate effect levels. Those at the coal face like first responders, real estate agents & home owners, teachers, et al start to informally spread the word. After that, the cascade collects momentum and next thing you know you’ve got a mino-run political structure, non-existent tax revenue and a 3rd world living standard supported with fedgov $.

    I’ve always thought that a fun Big Data project would be to project all this through a model and use it as a predictor for determining “community use by dates”. Of course using data that suggest deviation from acceptable outcomes is racist (note the safe trips app mini-uproar)– but it is also irresistible.


    Posted on July 4th, 2014 at 8:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    That’s a good myth. Nice to see it tracking my half-ass history of mythology.

    The Greek myths started much the same way. The gods were just over there, more or less. But myths can only sustain a certain amount of symbolic nature; eventually someone goes to Olympus and has a look to check the literal interpretation, and so the gods look for better real estate.

    Similarly, it eventually becomes obvious that the leaf is a symbol of a symbol, and any similar-meta symbol will do. Where moderns go astray is thinking the meta-symbol is unnecessary because the symbol doesn’t quite make sense to them. Again we see the poison of literalism; the leaf can’t quite escape seeming like a literal telegraph, which is obviously ridiculous.

    Yet by my count somewhat more than half of all qualia can only be explored at this symbolic or allegorical level. It’s better to lop off an arm than to reject it entirely.

    The friendly alligators needs work. That’s the just world fallacy at play. Fun, but you have to ask what’s in it for the alligators. Though here’s something: I like justice. Do you like justice? Then all we need is to become alligators instead of stopping at pointlessly bitching about it.

    But yeah, duh, of course God is MIA. Of course demons are ascendent. I’ll probably be disappointed, but hopefully someone will eventually accuse Sophistry theory of being manichean. Of course parents are not only derelict in their duty, but seem to have downright predatory attitudes toward children.

    But it’s not just that, you know? The whole point of putting it in myth form is neither those kids nor I can fully articulate what’s actually going on. The myth shows you where to look, so you can see it too, even if you can’t say how or why.


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 12:28 am Reply | Quote
  • Antisthenes Says:

    Positively Borgesian.


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 1:07 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    I just finished two long drives around the northern and southern US. My list of cities:

    Hagarstown Md: Train wreck.
    York PA: Train wreck.
    Toledo, OH: Train wreck.
    Upper Midwest: Pretty nice in a lot of places (Madison WI, Duluth MN)
    Pittsburgh: Pretty good
    Mobile AL: Pretty good
    Charleston, SC: Quite nice;
    Savannah, GA: Grungry but salvageable.
    New Orleans, NO: Real question mark. BIG city … lot of good, lot of bad.
    Houston, TX: Okay, I think.
    Naples, FL: Great.
    St Pete, FL: Getting much better.
    Miami, FL: No thanks. May work out, may not … but not for me.


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 3:16 am Reply | Quote
  • S.C. Hickman Says:

    Of course at the same time that the old Fordist era of Detroit is crushed under there is China investing in its downtown and surrounding infrastructure real estate:

    As I was studying the recent history of Shanghai from the 30’s onward it too went through a period of creative destruction which obviously hurt certain peoples and opened it up for others… interesting article on creative destruction:


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 6:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Imperfect Humanoid Says:

    ‘Eliot and Pound, flawed and broken as they were, provide a mirror for us to look in as we try to acknowledge who and what we are’ – Flemming

    Yep, we have been so deeply screwed for such a long time that we almost forget it, and sometimes need a good article like this to re-acknowledge that it is not only Detroit that is run down, but this whole culture from the ground up. Some of the more essential pessimistic insights include:

    ‘If the great leftist delusion is that man by his nature creates problems that only a global government can solve, the conservative delusion is that self-interested individualists can find their way out of any mess that other selfish individualists have created.’

    A cul-de-sac at both ends of the road… also:

    ‘Like an extermination squad, the leftists have gone from block to block, from generation to generation, chivvying the squatters from ruined churches and blowing up every little bit of shelter, from classical studies to marriage to the very nature and identity of the human race. Eliot drew a sort of weary strength from the bits of Latin, Italian, and Sanskrit he inserted into The Waste Land: “These fragments I have shored against my ruins,” but nearly a century later our schools and universities have dumped those fragments into the trash.’

    What more can be said?


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 6:42 am Reply | Quote
  • S.C. Hickman Says:

    sorry the last on rebuilding babel not the right link…


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 6:45 am Reply | Quote
  • JPOutlook Says:

    If all else fails you can team up with the pagan negro children… Which is why I don’t really get the non-Christians, or anti-Christians bemoaning the state of meaningless consumerism in culture. There is almost always going to be a spiritual safety net, if you’re keen to empty your pockets of all materialism and fall down far enough.



    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    the shock jock Anthony Cumio fired today by sirius for tweets about being attacked by blacks in times square


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 10:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    I have read that Greer piece three times and finally decided it was brilliant (even if the guy is a Peak Oil fanatic). The piece also helps explain for me a question that has been dogging me for several years now: What’s up with all these goddamn tattoos everywhere? In Greer’s model, tattoos would be analogous to the adoption of Christianity by the oppressed masses in Roman times: They are a story that makes sense for an underclass that no longer sees any point in modeling itself on the practices and beliefs of the elites.

    Of course, the problem Greer diagnoses only gets worse as the underclass comes to LOOK less and less like the elites due to immigration and dysgenic reproduction.


    admin Reply:

    Yes, it’s utterly fascinating to me how much he gets right despite his monomaniac peak oil obsession. He’s Rx rather than NRx, I guess (pure cyclical time), but he seems far more rigorous and practical in his approach than the reactionary romantic fringe. One thing which deserves to be learned from, he goes deeply dire without getting (entirely) lost in self-indulgent moralistic whining.


    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 2:41 pm Reply | Quote

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