What it means to be human, Part 3
This essay, which is long (sorry about that) and quite detailed, picks up certain themes that were first introduced at MR five years ago. It is, more or less, a summation of my present understanding, as someone pondering the crisis of identity, power, and existence which we Europeans are facing everywhere in the West today. But it is also a contribution to MR’s Ontology Project. As such, it is a modest step towards a firm proposal for a politics for the true European life.
One of the beautiful characteristics of existentialist thought is that an investigation of a specific phenomena in the mind or in the lived life can begin with anything, and profitably so. This is because relatedness is inherent to it. All things, even opposites, are related, whereas fracture is the natural estate of non-existential thought. This is a particular theme of this post, in which I am trying to cohere the freedom, unity and Life which should, in my opinion, be the very meaning of nationalism in its 21st century struggle. Let us, then, take as our beginning this idea of struggle, and work from there.
In what struggle are nationalists truly engaged? Well, yes, the struggle for the future of our people: a struggle for survival, a struggle for autonomy, a struggle for homeland, a struggle to live unburdened by the racial Other. That is clear. A process of deliverance, of salvation, then. But also deliverance and salvation from the entire political, social, and economic form of the modern world, meaning from its economism, its egalitarianism, its “liberty” and “progress”, its “tolerance” and universalism … even, for some, its democratism because that, too, is a modernist massifying ideology.
Yet nationalism’s struggle is not confined to the getting of power and the re-making of the polity, a bit like re-making a bed. It is more revolutionary and totalistic than that, requiring a change at an extra-political level that completely sweeps away the liberal order in the West, bed and all, and with it the life it generates and the very Mind in which that is even possible. Nationalism’s radicalism leaves nothing but Nature itself undisturbed. It seeks not a simple answer but a complete answer. This is so whether it is a self-exultant, heroic progressivism like the fascisms, or a reactionary, Evolian conservatism, or something more Volkish and identitarian ... or even existentialist and Heideggerian.
However, this radicalism is not perceived at all by some who regard themselves as nationalists. Partly that’s because it is not easy to conceive of a revolution that is integral to the human personality, as these vast systemic revolutions are. People see themselves as fixed identities, and, while they may be willing to countenance wholesale change elsewhere, the idea of change within, the idea that one is not as free and whole as one supposed but is, in significant respects, as weak and compromised as any modern metropolitan liberal or, heavens forbid, any Judeophile slave, is discomforting, even demeaning. But such it must be.
There is, though, another reason – far too many of us mistake the acceptance of a single element of the nationalist Weltanschauung for nationalism as a whole. For example, racialism. Nation, a term derived from the Latin natio for birth, is synonymous with the people of the land, the true folk. Nationalism is, or ought to be, synonymous with racialism. Certainly today, all genuine nationalists are racialists in a way that was not necessarily so in the past (among Italian fascists, for example). But not all racialists are genuine nationalists. There are armfuls of foundationally liberal and/or Christian people who have a crystal clear understanding of the race question. These people are not nationalists – not at this point, anyway. They may be lone, anarchic renegades or populists at all odds with what is being done in the seats of government. They may be political realists. They may have a refined feel for the opinions and instincts of our people. But our people are not their highest value. They are trapped in, indeed, they belong to the conventions of something else, something bigger than they are, be it political, religious, or philosophical. If they understand at all how very radical nationalism is, they perceive it as a threat to their values, their deity, their sense of identity, and they recoil from it. In so doing, they corral themselves into the search for simpler answers that do not challenge or disturb their values, but confirm them.
In fairness, in a “normal” age (has there ever been one?) and in a normal, ethnically homogeneous society, nationalism would be quietist - a steady pulse of collective interest in the social, political and economic life of the nation, emerging as simple patriotism and the instinct to conserve and perpetuate. It is only in extremis that it emerges as a radical force. But, of course, our age is extreme by any historical measure. It is an age for radicalism ... for critical thinking and action at the systemic level, the level of systems for world-making.
So now we can say where the non-nationalist “stops”, and leave him there. Let us, then, consider the condition of the nationalist towards nationalism in such an age as ours. How well, really, does he understand its inevitable and necessary radicalism?
Of course, he will always judge grand philosophical concepts, organising principles, social changes, individual political policies, etc, by their effect upon the life and well-being of his people (since that is, as I have said, his highest value). He will understand that nation and people is the only true basis for realising good in life (however he may define that good). He will understand that liberalism, as a whole system, does not do this. He may well understand how liberalism’s reductive model of Man – the fictionality of the unfettered will - compromises it from the outset, and how its notion of equality only instaurates a new elite with an interest in divisions and conflicts it alone will mediate because that way its position is entrenched. He may understand that all this has to be swept away and a sustainable and solidising politics for his people has to be put in its place. But he will very likely look upon this as something that happens “out there”, involving electoral politics or local organisation, or some means for the communication of racialist thinking. It’s tempting. It seems obvious. But this expectation of a solution “out there” reveals his reliance on mechanically changing circumstance, in particular on the developing effects of the several pathologies with which our people are confronted. His is not only a nationalism of reaction ... a nationalism of the passive principle ... it is a nationalism wrought by a particular kind of thinking which seeks a hold on “out there” without consideration of its own methodological integrity.
The thinker and the thought
Martin Heidegger spoke of two particular qualities of thinking which he perceived. These are calculative thinking and essential thinking. Calculative thinking is the kind of thinking we ordinarily employ as we seek to negotiate life and its challenges. It is particularly given to assessment, dissection, analysis, logic, etc. Its method is to unitise everything in its purview and then draw up an account of value for the purpose of comparison and decision. But its defining feature is not that but the clean disassociation of the object of thought from the thinker. Calculative thinking is the way the mentational system functions as the seat of ordinary waking consciousness. But ordinary waking consciousness is a condition in which the subject is become unknowable to itself through the processes at hand. Heidegger spoke of the consuming nature of such thinking to explain this. I happen to prefer “immersion” as a generic explanatory term and characteristic of ordinary waking consciousness. Quite literally, the sense of identity merges into or fuses with the processes and phenomena in view, and does so not because of the nature of those but, to be absolutely precise, because in ordinary waking consciousness our attention is passive. In that respect, and regardless of intellectual capacity, we are habituated in mental sloth, and with sloth comes significant mechanicity.
So, for me, it’s a matter of the quality of consciousness, not thinking. But either way, our sense of self – a sense which, in my view, is sparked mechanically in us at all times (as, in some, is the sense of the divine) - becomes lost to or estranged from that essentiality we know instinctively by its profound familiarity, salience, detachment and naturalness, integrity, possession, authority, and authenticity.
Naturally enough, essential thinking, as Heidegger had it, is free of all such problems. It is the thinking of the meditative experience, although Heiddegger had, I think, rather a generous view of its reach (which I will try to address a little later in this essay). Its perspective is holistic, cohering and disclosing: thinker and object of thought appear together in it. In other words, there is presence and, as a consequence, the sense of ownership of the thought. Heidegger wrote, in his own unique (and uniquely trying) style:
Along similar lines the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich observed crisply in his 1952 work The Courage To Be:
Our very own Potential Frolic, who was an excellent thinker coming not from a philosophical grounding but a neurological one, put it this way in an essay on Nietzschean perspectivism:
There are two significant reservations about essential thinking and the conscious state in which it is effected as politically productive agents. The first is that in response to the question “What must be done?” essential thinking is silent. It is not purposive. It does not engage directly with the practical. Beside the muscular “relevance” of calculative thinking it appears to be weak and indifferent to the world. But that’s because essential thinking isn’t “thinking about” in any intentionalised way. It isn’t even thinking as the singular operation of the mentational system. It is, to be completely accurate, the perceptual process of the (attentive, still) man or woman in whom has occurred a separation of identity from the processes into which it had been merged, and its emergence in the witness of the organism’s function of being before the world … Dasein.
A particular characteristic of this moment, which I believe Heidegger, with his distrust of psychology and practik, chose to ignore, but others didn’t:
… is that, in addition to mentation, the workings of at least one of the other two externally-focussed systems of perception (that is, either the emotional or motor systems, invariably the latter) is revealed in consciousness. All perception in this state is qualified by a certain observational shift in this respect. It is that which effects this supposed detachment from worldly matters.
Of course, it is not such a simple matter (for any of us) to generate this state intentionally, and herein is the second problem, politically speaking, with thinking in this state of witness. As Tillich puts it, somewhat loftily, “Knowledge of that which concerns us infinitely is possible only in an attitude of infinite concern.” An entire people cannot raise itself to this estate. There are no whole populations of mystics contemplating the absolute Being of all things. Yet, as individuals, we do all traverse the ontological path on occasion, and we do it without intent, just by accident. But, as every half-decent poet and philosopher knows, that is extremely rare and fleeting.
The rest of the time our ordinary waking consciousness is what it is, and so are we: inescapably the child of Time and Place, our passive life a mere space for the working-out of great, formative ideas (some of them, ironically, ludicrously, about “breaking all the bounds” and becoming “fully-human” while effecting a Judaic “perfection” of our racial person).
What, though, can we take from all this which would have a definite communal political application?
Human personality as the contested historical space
The real workplace of founding philosophy and its political articulation is not politics or history or even that vast and scarcely charted domain, the mind. That is only ever the recipient for convictions and faiths, and its mystique and permanence begs their passing, for they are perishable in comparison. But human personality can be shaped with prescribed conviction and faith. In its actions in the world it can be the extension and agent of higher intellectual forces. It is the unit, therefore, in which the unending process of world-making accrues.
The tragedy of nationalism and of our people right across the West is that all avenues to a world-making influence over personality have been barricaded. In consequence nationalists exist in a state of suspended political animation, and we get such mournful assessments as that of Western Spring’s Max Musson, at the opening of his essay The Path to Power:
Western Spring has an identitarian, community-building agenda, which is a noble ambition but one which might have caused Hakuin Ekaku’s right hand to beat the air in front of him.
Definitionally, personality is the expression of neurological data generated by influences external to the organism, and laid down associatively in the three perceptual systems (intellectual, emotional, motor). This data constitutes every acquired principle, ideal, belief, value, taste, attitude, ambition, prejudice, vanity, presumption, impression, impulse, accent and inflexion, action and reaction, fad and fashion … everything behavioural that is nurtured, everything that is habituated, everything that is prescribed, everything that is not native.
The human consequence is that plastic, suggestible, unruly totality into the workings of which, regardless, the most ancient facility in the brain, some kind of identity spark-plug, mechanically, stubbornly ascribes the small, mighty estate of the self … “I” … “the same as itself with itself”, as Heidegger concluded in his lecture-essay Identity & Difference. It is not a requirement that there is any truth to the event. And, indeed, on observation, the workings turn out to be a programmatic and wholly unexamined flow of body positions, movements and impulses, emotional states, and associated sequences of thoughts, the vast majority simply reactive and running without pre-selection or management. The claimant “I” … the directing, conscious agent thinking calculatively, experiencing the flow of life-events, making choices, setting and striving for goals, etc … that only arrives on the scene later as a rationalision. That’s later in cognitive time - a few hundredths of a second after initiation of the behavioural sequence. But it is enough to falsify the common understanding of who and what we are (on which the Enlightenment project entirely rests, I might add).
As for “the unruly totality”, be it a mere detail or its entirety, that is what we think of as me and mine ... the history man ... the memory man with his reassuringly static name, appearance, behaviour, and a life familiar to and beloved by him. And that is also the “child of Time and Place and the dominant part of what “is” in the ordinary, all-too-human condition. It is the mechanism which is personality. It is false Dasein, itself a sensing process (as are so many actions of the mind) as well as a brilliantly persuasive story. The mechanical giving of self-hood and the sensing of it distinct from the world is the first function of Mind. But our suggestibility, our endless capacity for trust in the story woven out of the neurological data, has another point of arising in the ancient history of the human brain. This is the sleep state, from which suggestibility leaks into ordinary waking consciousness through the all-too-sympatico sharing of unsecured, passive attention. As a result, we don’t just accept the reality we are given as we do while dreaming, we are, as personality, melded with and molded by it. Every preacher, philosopher, political thinker, every culture warrior, every agenda-pusher, indeed every skilled salesman, advertiser, fashion-setter has always relied upon that peculiar flaw.
(Self-evidently, this totalistic state of deception does not much compromise the viability of the organism in its evolutionary function. At every living moment, in small matters or great, the organism must propend for the adaptive, and three billion years of evolution has equipped it to function accordingly. The brain itself, in all its complexity, exists only because it is evolutionarily fit for the organism to regulate its systems and to represent to itself and discriminate between the things of the world beyond. Likewise, it is advantageous for the organism to possess a sense of self, which it executes mechanically regardless of whether there is anything real, any real presence to being, in process. It remains to be explained from the evolutionary perspective why there is such amplitude in waking consciousness – something I have noted many times at MR. It might have something to do with economy of energy or with some structural effect of the development of the mentational system. In any case, the fact is that the propensity for the adaptive obtains across the full range – though, and this is important, the more sunk in absence and mechanicity personality is, the more suggestible to external influence and open to error it is too.)
There is, of course, the other part of us, the part which is beyond the power of mere politics or grand ideas, and even faith. This is Nature in Man. All the mind’s biologically-derived capacities, traits, instincts, drives, etc - the skeleton of the psyche, so to speak, that it is so necessary for bad philosophy to deny – are givens and are permanent. But though they may never be made or re-made, yet the action of some may be deferred for a time, or suppressed, misappropriated, or distorted as a result of something, some wrinkle or glitch in personality. Healthy sexual function is commonly forfeit in this respect. But it is emotional function which usually bears the scars. Even the deepest and most instinctively flowing emotions, such as ethnocentric feeling, can be damned up or drained off into some fetid swamp.
These eventualities have public as well as private causes. The cultural assault on white male hegemony, and the Jewish tribal project in general, generate such pathologies on an industrial scale. Then there is Christianity, which is really just the Jewish project for the gentile regurgitated as a faithful self-“perfecting” for the Age of Mossiach, with all the re-configuration of common morality which that demands to accommodate the falsehoods of sin and salvation. Then there is the allied thought-system of liberalism, with its vestigially Judaic massifying of petty, self-absorbed, deracinated individuals. Then there are the grand questions of modernity’s conflict with Man’s naturality – the urbanism, economism, technology, the power of the moving image, the materialism, the drug infestation, the forgetting of tradition, the relinquishment of feeling for place, etc. Then there is the terrible and little-considered, indeed, wilfully ignored alienation and culture shock inflicted by the Afro-Asianisation of our ancestral lands.
All these factors bear in some way on the point of intrusion of Nature into the lived life. At the very least, they effect a masking of the former while impoverishing, estranging, inauthenticising the latter. It is a very dark picture indeed. But, obviously, it isn’t enough to rail at the world and its pathologies, as reactionaries like us are far too apt to do. On its own, that critique lacks political traction. To re-make the world, nationalist philosophy has to be effective at the contestable, human core of the issue: personality and its penetration by Nature, offering no New Man, no warmed over Homo americanus, no Homo heroicas. We must ask the very question of philosophy itself – what is good for Man? - as understood by evolutionary theory, when good is defined in Salterian terms or even just as selection for fitness. And what we must ask what has to put into the thought-world in terms of creative thinking, to concretise our answer?
The transit as the roadmap of a nationalist revolution
On and off over the last six years I have endeavoured to interest grown-up, thinking people in just these questions. As intellectual ventures go, one would not necessarily identify MR’s ontology project with political struggle as such. It is not immediately nationalism’s “struggle for the future of our people: a struggle for survival, a struggle for autonomy, a struggle for homeland, a struggle to live unburdened by the racial Other.” Nor, in itself, is it a reaction to the liberal worldview and “its economism, its egalitarianism, its [claimed] liberty, progress, tolerance and universalism.” It is not reaction at all. It is not a product of calculative thinking about anything already in the political world.
Rather, it is musings about the grounding of a wider essential thought-project in which the quite unforced and natural turn to our existential truth does service as the creative or world-making element. I only say the turn towards “”what is” ... towards our reality and presence. I do not say experience of the real and present itself, which only concerns the individual. He or she has practical possibilities extending to the full range of the ontological transit - which, if arranged in the form of the natural, contrary dynamics of ordinary waking consciousness and the human real, we might represent as:
absence habituality (mechanicity) immersion negation reverie sloth passivity intent attention stillness detachment affirmation appropriation presence non-ascription of identity self-annihilation Being
… where intent attention stillness stand for Heidegger’s step-back from representational thinking about “being as beings”, and where personality – the sum of the acquired – quantifies to the left of self-appropriation.
Now, if standing on the sacred edge of the transit, within “what is”, constitutes the ne plus ultra of the individual’s perception and experience, a general re-orientation towards it … a discrimination for its truth, in the midden of nihilism, de-moralisation, anomie, and self-estrangement which, in our time, has shaped personality (Heidegger would have said European being), mirrors that at the communal level. Within its (obviously truncated) practical range, this is still the turn to light and to our earthy, ineffable, already known, always present truth, as well as a radical politics of European people’s health of mind, freedom, unity, and collective will. Under its revolutionary influence, the thought-world would become ideologically unsecured and, so, open and receptive. The systemic revolution would begin here. Liberalism’s two unreconciled and, ultimately, unanswerable driving questions, “What do I want” and “Is this fair”, would lose their currency. The conflict and confusion of identity which, historically, have always been generated by Jewish thinking about the destiny of the gentile, and which are inherent to both wings of the liberal project, could have no point of purchase. Ditto the pathological failure to recognise value in our kind even to the point of chronic ethno-masochism. Ditto the related cultic, left-liberal fawning over non-whites. Jewish thought itself, with its imaging of the raceless, compliant gentile in the end days, would lose all its formative capacity.
It is also worth noting here that the turn to our truth alone, and not the utterances of some Nietzschean charismatic on a podium, could ever beget the noble and great in the communal life. Nobility and greatness cannot be prescribed directly. They are not available to the ambition. Attempts to grasp them with both hands inevitably turn instead to a confected self-aggrandisement that, ultimately, deceives. Properly speaking, they are judgements of history which may or may not be attendant upon our truth. My strong belief is that they would be. But they would be entirely incidental. The active politics, the real force at work here, would be a self-expressive, existential freedom and rootedness which, by their emergent, factually hard nature, perpetually imbue the moment, breaking with all pathology to recreate the thought-world and re-found the personality. Or, at least, that is the theory. That is what I understand to be the minimum that is necessary, and also something near, or near enough, to the realisation of Heidegger’s own political intent for human Being.
It would perhaps also draw Heideggerian phenomenological and Salterian material values close to reconciliation, even if their respective essential and calculative modes of thinking remain. And now we have one answer, at least, to philosophy’s question: the good is that which tends to authenticity in the collective as well as the individual life, on which all vivifying outcomes depend; and there is no good which is not this.
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White Genocide Project
Also see trash folder.
(Entries from the original Majority Report home page have been archived below.)
Two critical questions that remain unanswered:
1) How does one come to identify with a group?
2) What are the environmental triggers of oxytocin?
“Ethnic identity” predicts experimental pain sensitivity. Make that racial differences.
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Nationalist Political Parties
Whites in Africa