June 05, 2024

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Alain Delon says that modern culture is “hideous.” Yet there is constant talk of “progress.” Progress is often defined in modern terms as the absence of authority. Yet this is a very recent idea of “freedom.” The ancient Greeks, for example saw “authoritarial” relationships as liberating. Today Western society works by having a totalitarian executive controlling media, etc., but allowing a complete confusion of free will, liberation, moral vacuity, and social chaos within “civil society.” From the fentanyl streets of Kensington, Philadelphia, to New York, to Glasgow, the state confuses a “liberal” approach on social issues with the original telos of the state—which, as Foucault noted, was one of “shepherd.” The “social contract” of Islamic states, for example, controls anarchic civil society through harsh laws for drug trafficking, child abuse, etc. Yet it is very rare for the state to interfere within families. There is a clear dividing line between state and civil society. There is far more the traditional realm of customary law and family. If a Martian were to arrive in an American inner city, he would be struggling to find any “telos” to existence whatsoever. The Martian would be like the Dutch seamen who arrived on Easter Island. The remaining inhabitants could not remember the reason for the statues. As Hegel noted, statues are merely figures from whom their souls have flown. The souls have long flown from the liberal world established in the 19th century.

Whilst the likes of Diamond and Heyerdahl put forward theories for the decline of the Easter Islanders (ecocide, rats, cannibalism), recent anthropological work has rubbished these theories. The cause of the collapse of societies is very simple. It is “Civicide.” That is a type of Spenglerian cycle of history once liberalism embeds itself in communities. It is “Civicide” that is killing the West. It entails a “forgetting” of custom and family, of the Greek “polis,” of what Patocka calls “the care for the soul.” It is no wonder that liberalism and capitalism are good bedfellows for when the market becomes the sole arbiter of justice; all aspects—education, health, community, and family—are easily dispensable, until all that remains are the little individual atoms of our society, gorging themselves on frivolities, who really believe that political participation is placing an x in a box every four years. An xbox of idiocy.

“The souls have long flown from the liberal world established in the 19th century.”

Plutarch told the story of how the young poet Philoxenus had joked about the poetry of the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysus. He was sent to the stone quarry for hard labor. The tyrant, however, reprieved him and ordered a second reading amongst his courtesans and Philoxenus. At the end of his recital, he turned, Stalin-like, to the young Philoxenus and asked of his opinion:

“Take me back to the quarries,” remarked the young upstart.

Alas such devotees of truth and good taste are extinguished by liberalism, which favors “egalitarianism,” hormone therapy for children, and what Guy Debord called “The Society of the Spectacle,” where society loses all aspects of “value” replaced by a pandemic of media triviality. Liberal intolerance is not new—it has hidden behind a veneer of human rights legalism (for the few) throughout the 20th century. Ezra Pound was locked in a metal cage by the Americans, after the war, for liking Mussolini. As Elite Theory elicited in the early 20th century (Michels, Burnham, etc.), all societies have a tendency toward the elite domination of resources and power. Nothing has changed: Once the ruling Brahmin caste takes control of the executive and media. So why the constant talk of “progress”? Again, there is a confusion in the rationalist idea of scientism (everything can be explained by materialism). The real answer is that scientific advances are Band-Aids on the destructiveness of liberalism; in environment, community, health. Liberalism is like playing football with a square ball, constant Band-Aids. Like the Easter Islanders, a square ball is used because we have forgotten the origins, the telos of a tradition—the round ball.

Yet liberal democracy is globalized; it is exported. Whilst having no other telos than financial, it becomes blurred with a colonial beneficent culture of correctness (this being a derivative of liberalism’s progenitor—Christianity). This is visible in the self-satisfied metropolitan Brahmins in elite genres—education, the E.U., the WHO—all of whom are city dwellers, immune to the real marketplace out there in the visceral working-class world of work. The elites in the civil service are Commensalists. “Commensalism” is when one animal lives in or through another. In nature it has a useful evolutionary function; it is symbiotic. It is not “extractive.” In the modern world Commensalism becomes “Toco”—the Japanese identity-crippled lunatic who spent $14,000 and lives out his life in a dog costume. Barking mad.

The majority of animal symbiosis is mutually benefiting. Sea anemones protect clownfish at the depths of the ocean. The clownfish are immune to the sting of sea anemones. The clownfish swim deep and drag with them larger fish who are eaten by the sea anemones. But then there’s the Barnacle and the Whale. The barnacles attach themselves to the body of the whale. The barnacles have a free lunch as the whale transports them around the ocean. Barnacles benefit from new areas for plankton consumption. The whale-and-barnacle system is part of liberalism’s “Civicide.” An entire flotsam of civil servants, think tanks, NGOs, and consultancy organizations work by extraction rather than value creation. This system piggybacks on the hard endeavors of working-class people, without whom they would sink to the bottom of the ocean. No more shelf fillers at Sainsbury’s. No more miners, factory workers, taxi drivers. No more taxes paying for cushy jobs in the nomenklatura of the Civil Service.

Liberalism eats away at itself, enriching a small retinue of extractors. Yet this is not just the “Civicide” by financial capitalism. In the 19th century Marx noted extraction of a worker’s “surplus value” by the industrialist. The managerial revolution and expansion of the barnacle people has encapsulated even the realms of media, of sport, of art. These realms become monetized. The new surplus value is the utilization of workers’ taxes for the indolent managerial class. To appear virtuous, The Society of the Spectacle becomes a barnacle (or dog) and attaches itself to a grotesque industry of woke corporatism. Art, literature, every facet of society revolves around the axiom of commensalism. In reality, the soul of nations is no more. Whilst the disciples of progress are knocking down statues, they are erecting their own: Bitcoin vendors, gangster rappers, TV sports pundits à la Lineker. What they share in common is a perverse lack of value.

When the philosopher Henri Bergson gave a lecture, “Spirituality and Freedom,” in 1913, it caused the first-ever traffic jam on Broadway. Perhaps today that would be a Taylor Swift concert or people escaping a Blinken gig. Bergson was the philosopher of “Time.”

Time at the sunrise of the 20th century was de rigueur. There was Spengler showing the decline of civilization, Einstein on relativity of time, Proust writing In Remembrance of Things Past. There was Husserl and phenomenology, Heidegger. It was a time, more importantly, when an intellectual’s “political sentiment” was respected. That ended after the war when the symbiosis of Liberalism and Capital meant the closing of alternative thought. This trend has hit the snow-white peaks in all its ugly manifestations, epitomized by the Netflix “blockbuster” Bridgerton. It is perhaps apposite that Bridgerton is set in the time of the early 1800s, a time when King George III shook hands with a tree thinking it was the King of Prussia. Madness is back and visible in this Stalinist rewrite of the Georgian period. Although there is evidence George III was opposed to slavery, there certainly weren’t black people at court or holding high positions. Such is the realm of infantile education provided in England nowadays, the vast majority of U.K. people believe Bridgerton is historically accurate; and we have always been bludgeoned by the woke mallet. However, even more dangerous is how Bridgerton is an encapsulation of the perfect English woke world. All the “good” people are women (and white, middle-class), the bad are selfish male rakes. Of course, there are brilliant black people—it’s only society holding them back! Yet there is one glaring omission on Bridgerton, and this highlights the essential meaning of modern Britain. The white working class have been airbrushed from history. They say it’s almost impossible for working-class people to get into the arts these days or top universities (if there are any anymore). It resembles William Burroughs’ comment on London literary life being incestuous—middle England dressed up in the paraphernalia of dissent in suburbia. It now resembles Stalin’s admonition to authors to become “the engineers of the human soul.” “Civicide” is here, and it was foretold like the witches in Macbeth by Burroughs himself:

“England is a gloomy, cold unlighted sinking ship that will disappear with a spectral cough.”


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