Monday, October 10, 2016

Janus

An even deeper source or socialist resistance to the syncretic 'Marxist' approach to fascism proposed here may be that it implies a far closer and more uncomfortable affinity between fascism and communism in practice than most Marxists would like to acknowledge. As forms of political modernism, both offered totalising solutions to the problem posed by the decadence of liberal society, which were outstanding specimens of the application to socio-political engineering of the "historical predictions' that Karl Popper identified with his concept of 'historicism' - a curious reversal of the connotations given the term by Benjamin - and with the mainspring of totalitarianism. In both cases, time utopia of a new society was formulated by blending scientific and technocratic discourse with mythic thinking, thereby producing that characteristic ideological product of modernity, `scientism'.' Both, when implemented, spawned an elaborate 'political religion' and, in their Nazi and Stalinist versions, provided tilt rationale for mass murder on an industrial scale,

One of the reasons I'm hostile to the alt-Reich--as opposed to the Dissident Right--is because it's a false hope for the Dissident Right and which will ultimately undermine it. And the reason why it will ultimately undermine it is because the Alt-Reich's father is Marx himself. Unlike the Left, whose danger to the Right is self evident, the Alt-Reich is a much more subtle foe, masquerading as an ally when in reality it's a disguised version of the enemy. This may seem difficult to comprehend as the Alt-Reich espouses many of the ideals of the Dissident Right, such as ethnic homogeneity, sexual polarity and border control but these views arise from a totally different metaphysical system to that which "powered" the Old European Civilisation and therefore represents a break from it. Put simply, the all the versions of Fascism, from "soft" to "hard" are essentially Modernist political ideologies and therefore are the kindred spirits of Marx.

Part of the problem in understanding Fascism and its variants is due to the historical treatment the subject has received. Jewish scholars have tended to give it a Semetic spin, whilst Marxist scholars have tended to see it as a bourgeois reactionary phenomenon. The problem is that these perspectives are wrong. Spanish and Italian Fascism did really care much about the Jews whilst all the parties claimed to act in the interest of the workers and were initially largely supported by them. The bottom line is that these perspectives are wrong.

Perhaps the world's foremost academic expert on the subject of Fascism is Roger Griffin, whose academic work has changed the contemporary for understanding of Fascism. To put it briefly, Fascism is the syncretist product of "Right wing feels" and the philosophy of modernity. i.e. modernism/positivism. It's a different version of modernity to that offered by the Left but all the same, it is a rejection of the past. From Griffin's, A Fascist Century.
This is not to be taken as unqualified endorsement of the view that Hitler was a conscious moderniser, which has been argued by some scholars. His basic obsession was not with modernising Germany, but with eradicating the nexus of forces to which he attributed its collapse (Zusammenbruch) and dissolution (Zersetzung). While he admired American technology, he loathed the multi-racial liberalism and materialism it embodied, and strove to turn Germany into the heart of a European empire based on crude racist and Social Darwinist principles for the triumph of the fittest. But while Ian Kershaw is right to criticise Zitelmann's thesis it is still appropriate to see Hitler's vision as an alternative, and (no matter how perverse and unrealisable) a revolutionary version of modernity, rather than the expression of anti-modernity or 'reactionary modernism'. It is a palingenetic utopia (indissociable in retrospect from the horrendous dystopian implications of its actualisation) which reverberates in Hitler's words on the occasions where he privately gave vent to his deepest convictions; 'Those who see in National Socialism nothing more than a political movement know scarcely anything of it. It is even more than a religion: it is the will to create mankind anew'.

Hitler's project for the renewal of European civilisation - its transformation into a genuine Kultur - under German hegemony involved a wholesale rejection of many aspects of the modern (indeed when he used the term it was with negative connotations). However, not only was this project entirely reliant for its realisation on all aspects of modernisation able to be co-ordinated with Hitler's larger palingenetic aim, but the aim itself was inconceivable without such quintessentially modern forces as massification, social engineering, bureaucratisation, rationalisation, the technologisation of warfare, Social Darwinism, nationalism, racism, and charismatic power. Furthermore, its focus was the quintessentially modern form of power assumed by the nation-state. ...............At the root of the Holocaust was the state-led drive for a fully designed, fully controlled social world, of a society lovingly tended and ruthlessly pruned by the 'gardening state'. So far the forces of pluralism at work in modern society have conspired to prevent such biopolitical projects from being carried out on a grand scale. But when this countervailing moment is overridden by authoritarianism there is little to stop wholesale social engineering and the terror state this creates: the electoral victory of Nazism in 1933 ensured that its totalitarian scheme of utopian society could be implemented to a terrifying degree.
To study Nazism is, on one level, to study the awesome potential of modernisation to create ephemeral and abortive (but to their victims terrifyingly real and definitive) symbioses between the traditional and the modern, to produce a form of modernity deliberately attempting to crush the Enlightenment humanist tradition. To grasp this fact destroys any comforting equation between modernity and humanism, modernity and civilisation, modernity and progress, modernity and the good. There is a famous line at the end of Brecht The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, namely 'The womb that gave birth to Nazism is fertile still."
Griffin's proposition, is that while Fascism and Socialism are superficially distinct entities at a deeper level they're simply different variants of Modernism, both variants being profoundly anti-traditional. Any "Right wing" which aims to be a restorative force in history cannot ally itself with a movement which plans to undermine it.



22 comments:

Anonymous said...

To restore the traditional West, we must restore Christianity; there is no political path back until then.

The Social Pathologist said...

The Traditional West can't be restored. What needs to be built is a West in continuity with the Traditional West.

Anonymous said...

"The Traditional West can't be restored." Please explain, Slumlord. Thank you.

Ingemar said...

I can't speak for Slumlord, but I can offer my view on why the Traditional West "can't" be restored.

As much as conservatives and trads bemoan the erosion of society, morality and the Christian religion, the truth of the matter is that life for them isn't hard. Whenever pressed with an issue or an ordinance that puts their values to the test, the conservatives and trads respond with much bluster and outrage, but eventually let things pass. Why is that? Well, it's a fear of being excluded by the cool kids. And why are they afraid of that?

Because ultimately, "conservatives" and "traditionalists" identify with the cool kids, which means that "conservatives" and "traditionalists" are liberals. Period.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Ingemar and Anonymous.

It's difficult to answer this question easily. The "Traditional West" was not just a product of it's religious culture but also of its temporal material circumstances and these material circumstances have changed. I mean industrialisation, population growth, mass education and urbanisation resulted in categorical change in the mode of life which was previously agrarian and small scale.

In the village, you're known by everyone, in the city--which is not a scaled up village but a different beast altogether--you can be completely anonymous, so the social controls which helped enforce morality--shame, ridicule and reputation--have less effect.

I don't think Christianity has really caught up with these social changes or has found a way to deal with them effectively. And I think a huge part of the problem has been the "traditionalist" emphasis by the Christian Church's which have stifled any doctrinal sound type of innovation which could have better dealt with the changes. In the Catholic Church, Vatican Two was a belated recognition that things had to change, but it should of happened about 80 years earlier. It is my contention that this failure to recognise the need for change paved the way for both Fascism and Communism.

I'm currently in the process of trying to digest the thought of Blondel and Tyrrell who were both condemned as Catholic Modernists, though Blondel, by the time of Vatican 2 ended up being justified completely. I think time will vindicate Tyrrell as well. These guys recognised that there is a difference between Tradition and Antiquarianism with which it is frequently confused. These guys recognised, back in the 1900's the disaster that was to befall the Church, but they were dismissed as "enemies of the faith". Blondel was rehabilitated early on but it was too little to late.

The Christian relgion that emerges from this time of religious crisis will share a continuity with the Christianity of the past but it will also be different in some sort of way. I'm not saying that gay marriage will be made right, or that sexual ethics will change in any major way what may happen is that faith may become more private, devotional and more directed towards other facets of the Christian religion.

Interesting times.

Ingemar said...

Slumlord,

I mean industrialisation, population growth, mass education and urbanisation resulted in categorical change in the mode of life which was previously agrarian and small scale.

That was part of what I was hinting at and you certainly alluded to it during your series on Whittaker Chambers. The Industrial Revolution had its origins in the Protestant nations after the Enlightenment; whether rejecting the Catholic Church led to leaps and bounds in technology and the overall standard of living is highly debatable, but the liberals are happy to make that association for the purposes of rhetoric and self flattery.

Thus when a "conservative" makes a claim that we should return to a more sane social/moral system like that of their forefathers (and similar even to the forefathers of totally alien people), the liberals counter by accusing the conservative of being globally regressive, using technology as a rhetorical skewer. Example shown:

Conservative: People are abandoning their families and communities to seek their own benefit. I wish it was like the past, where we were more tight-knit.
Liberal: Yeah, and where you'd die at the age of 35 from measles!
Conservative: .....

Note to anyone with half a brain cell that this is a total non-sequitur (there is nothing stopping a person living communally from practicing sanitation and vaccination), but 999 times out of 1000, the conservative falls for it. Why? Because the conservative likes the material goodies and lazily associates goodies with liberalism. Until the mental capitulation becomes complete and the conservative becomes a liberal.

David Foster said...

Aldous Huxley:

"In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet--the scientific poet--of a new mythology. Both are justified in their pretensions; for each applies to human situations the procedures which have proved effective in the laboratory and the ivory tower. They simplify, they abstract, they eliminate all that, for their purposes, is irrelevant and ignore whatever they choose to regard an inessential; they impose a style, they compel the facts to verify a favorite hypothesis, they consign to the waste paper basket all that, to their mind, falls short of perfection...the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence."

(from his novel, Ape and Essence)

David Foster said...

Also, here is a definition of Nazi principles written by Goebbels himself, in 1929

http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/haken32.htm

David Foster said...

SP..."In the village, you're known by everyone, in the city--which is not a scaled up village but a different beast altogether--you can be completely anonymous, so the social controls which helped enforce morality--shame, ridicule and reputation--have less effect."

Yet some of the characteristics of village life make their appearance again via social media. See my post Freedom, the Village, and the Internet:

http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/38851.html

Greg said...

"the social controls which helped enforce morality--shame, ridicule and reputation--have less effect"

There is a technological solution to that, which would mimic the village setting. Social controls can take advantage of new technology.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Ingemar

there is nothing stopping a person living communally from practicing sanitation and vaccination

But the conditions that gave rise to the knowledge of vaccination and sanitation, in addition to the dissemination of that knowledge seems to be product of a post agrarian society.

Why? Because the conservative likes the material goodies and lazily associates goodies with liberalism.

Some of the goodies associated with liberalism are, in fact, good. The advances in health care and food production have nearly all been lauded by religious leaders. Science, is a good thing. But the I think it is a mistake to assume that the current social climate is simply a product of liberalism. Classical Liberalism, in the European sense, had its LIMITS. Christianity, put the limits on liberal tolerance, it's once atheism crept in that liberalism really ran amuck.

Industrial Revolution had its origins in the Protestant nations after the Enlightenment; whether rejecting the Catholic Church led to leaps and bounds in technology and the overall standard of living is highly debatable,

I don't think its debatable, it seems to be a historical fact. This is a big topic that really deserves far more discussion, which I can't do know, but the positive correlations between Protestantism and economic success, for most of history, are really self-evident. Samuel Gregg, who looks at a lot of this stuff has noted the correlation.

@David,

Thanks for chiming in.

Re: Aldous Huxley, so true.

Nazism doesn't really fit into any coherent philosophical system because it really was a syncretic movement which combined "right wing gut instinct" of a German context, and socialism. However, it was a product which aimed to fix Germany's ills by explicitly rejecting previous traditional grievance alleviating mechanisms in preference for "modernist socialist" type solutions to the problems.

Yet some of the characteristics of village life make their appearance again via social media

True. The internet lets you live in a bigger city but without the benefits of anonymity. I truely think that it's going to be a culturally transformative phenomenon who significance cannot be determined yet. The Dissident Right pretty much owes its existence to it. It's killing the Megaphone.

@Greg See above.

Greg said...

"See above."

I was thinking of something purpose-built. Social media does achieve part of it, but the realization is that forced eponymity is necessary to replicate the village and to allow for scaling up (and down).

Hoyos said...

Said it before and I'll say it again, EVKL essentially proves the connection in Leftism Revisited. We're either talking men without God (a really leftist instinct to start with) or someone who can't make meaningful distinctions between similar things. The choices aren't globalism or nationalism (I see Hegel crashing the party), "It's as simple as that!". It's a hierarchy of values. The ethny is important, but it isn't the dominant value.

They shout virtue signaling because a) it's frequently true and b) it's projection. They're attempting to signal fortitude and/or "hard thinking". See you're too afraid of admitting that it's all the Jews. Or that "diversity doesn't work!", except for all the times it does which don't count because it didn't last forever. "It's a war on noticing!" Except when you notice something they refuse to and then you're a cuck.

MK said...

Unlike the Left, whose danger to the Right is self evident, the Alt-Reich is a much more subtle foe, masquerading as an ally

This might be true if the Alt-Reich has any power. But this "fear" is a joke. It says more about the fearful than it does about the Alt-Reich. Liberals are in charge.

This "Alt-Reich Terror" is a ghost, probably created for personal reasons (that escape me; I'm too logical to understand this sort of pathology). But I guarantee it's based in some sin or hate.

I'm personally amused at Alt-Reich. Quite quaint; zero threat and mainly tied to very low IQ. But Liberal Fascism? No fantasy. That's high IQ, very real, and I live with it every day. But the whole "Alt-Reich" meme? Makes me believe those who bring it up are merely libs trying to false-flag. I would love to see the Alt-Reich go at Libs. It would be like Stalin going after Hitler. Pass the popcorn.

MK said...

I don't think its debatable, it seems to be a historical fact. This is a big topic that really deserves far more discussion, which I can't do know, but the positive correlations between Protestantism and economic success, for most of history, are really self-evident. Samuel Gregg, who looks at a lot of this stuff has noted the correlation.

I've never thought this was anything but predictable. Western Europe under RC eliminated clan-based marriage and created a morally-based state. This led to great prosperity and selective breeding (the wealthy haveing more kids, increasing IQ, leading to more prosperity with peace through moral law).

But of course, once a certain level of wealth was reached, pagans broke free again. Who needs the moral law at an individual level when there is cultural peace? You see with with libs today. So protestantism was a first step to rejecting traditional Christianity (trying to keep the peace by not going full pagan). But prots were really just eating the seed corn of 1,000 years of Catholic Civ.

Keep in mind Western Europe under Christianity had selective breeding for a long time, with the virtuous and brainy having more kids. This created the right situation for America, England, Germany. But as protestants emerged, this reversed over time and now it's over.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Hoyos


Except when you notice something they refuse to and then you're a cuck.

So true.

@MK

I tend to be more strategic about this. For the first time in my life I'm seeing the beginnings of a serious pushback against the Left. And it's a push back that seems to be bottom, rather than top driven. What I don't want is for this pushback to be co-opted by the Left, causing the Right to turn against itself and lose.

Had the German "right" had it's shit together, Von Papen (Catholic) would never have gotten into alliance with Hitler and history would have been an altogether different outcome.

Likewise, there's good chance if the Church had not supported Murras early on, France's history in the 20'th C would have been different.

Even the notion that a fight between Left and the alt-Reich would somehow be beneficial to us is a bit naive. The pact with uncle Joe during WW2 did help the allies in the short term but it also gave birth to a monster which enslaved half of Europe and was more bestial in the end than the Natsocs.

Part of the reason the Right loses all the time is because it doesn't know what it is or what it stands for. The sole criteria for membership seems to be superficially anti-Left.

Anonymous said...

Why did you put Spain in with National Socialists? This is a gross miscategorization. General Franco was neither a Darwinist nor an occultist, but a devout Roman Catholic. He saved his country from filthy murdering red beasts. I only wish he could have caught them all and publicly executed them in the most painful and humiliating manner God's Law permits, what a delight it would be to hear those disgusting blaspheming maggots scream. At least he got some tens of thousands of the two-legged cockroaches anyhow, may God reward him, may God be praised. The policies of the Caudillo in Spain and Dr. Salazar in Portugal under his Estado Novo would do an immense amount of good today, were they to be implemented again. As for Italy the case is not so straightforward of course, but still, Il Duce did make the True Faith the State Religion and the country was in a much better condition under his rule than it was under the tyranny of the noisome Masonic lice and fleas that were his predecessors. All in all he made a much better ruler than the professional politician sacks of stinking dung we have to endure in this worthless day and age. One can't really say that he was of the same ilk as the anti-Catholic Nat'l Socialists, he did not promote apostasy or carry out Aktion Vier type programmes which murdered off the crippled and the insane. The vile communists who murdered him and disgraced his remains ought to have been shot.

Mark Citadel said...

It is blatantly obvious that National Socialism, while some of its practitioners leaned right, and it did have some generally rightist principles, it was a Modern movement. It rejected the Traditionalist elements of the German Conservative Revolution, for example.

What you find is that Nazis and Marxism were parts of Modernity that refused to move on, that refused to abandon previously held 'ideals', which were then deified. For the Nazis it was not only the superiority of the European way, tied to the 'white race', but also what was essentially a Liberal view of international relations that was again grounded in race. For the Communists, it was the promise of absolute equality.

Liberals, at one time or another, agreed with these ideals, but by the time these movements gathered steam, Liberalism was already showing signs of its own metastasis; it was moving on. The Nazis and Communists were the girls left with broken hearts by the handsome drifter, asking with some degree of legitimacy "what about your promises!" But Liberalism makes no promises it keeps. If its promises are realized, they are revealed as toxic, and the two dissenters demonstrate this perfectly. Militarism was the death of Nazi ideology. Economic reality was the death of Communist ideology. Liberalism escaped unscathed because it changed and changed and changed again.

ashv said...

I mean industrialisation, population growth, mass education and urbanisation resulted in categorical change in the mode of life which was previously agrarian and small scale.

In the village, you're known by everyone, in the city--which is not a scaled up village but a different beast altogether--you can be completely anonymous, so the social controls which helped enforce morality--shame, ridicule and reputation--have less effect.

I don't think Christianity has really caught up with these social changes or has found a way to deal with them effectively


How true is this, really? The early church was based in cosmopolitan cities. The social forces you describe were already at work -- certainly in Rome, arguably in other population centers like Corinth and Ephesus. The identification of the church with city life was so strong that paganus came to mean "non-Christian".

I will certainly grant that much more of the population now lives in cities, and that much else has changed. But it's not clear to me that city living is a new challenge for Christian society-building.

MK said...

SP Part of the reason the Right doesn't know what it is or what it stands for. The sole criteria for membership seems to be superficially anti-Left.

Can you even define "Right"? It really doesn't exist except as opposition. Even trads can't unify on the basic moral positions that were normative 100 years ago. They just fight among each other.

I'm a realist. There is no "Right". There is no unity among those who might call themselves "Right". When persecution finally gets bad enough, the Right will finally have some unity. Mere opposition, but better than nothing. Today, the authentic Right is not political; it is having kids and building communities. Everyone else is just moving deck chairs around. Or: pondering strategy in a war that is already lost is mere wishful thinking.

The Social Pathologist said...

Apologies for the late replies gentlmen.

@Anon

Why did you put Spain in with National Socialists?

Where did I do that?

@Mark

Liberalism escaped unscathed because it changed and changed and changed again.

Mark, I think there is a fundamental difference between Modernism--and it's variants--and liberalism. Modernism is essentially a pseudo religion whereas liberalism is ideology which which defines the right and limits of both state and individual actors. Liberalism--as Europeans use the word--is "content" Lite and hence the ability of ideologies to morph within it. What happens when modernists assume control of a "liberal" society, they frequently re-write the rules to devalue the individual and exalt the state.

@Ashv

How true is this, really? The early church was based in cosmopolitan cities.

Because it could probably thrive in the anonymity afforded to it in cities. I've had a look at this wiki link which estimates urbanisation equivalent to Italy in 1800. Still very agrarian. It's not just as question of population, but also education, industrialization , and the change in weltanschuuang effected by the scientific revolution.

@MK

Can you even define "Right"? It really doesn't exist except as opposition. Even trads can't unify on the basic moral positions that were normative 100 years ago. They just fight among each other.

Right= ideology which conforms to Truth.

This means the priority of empirical evidence over previous belief. (without going into it too much, faith is a weak perceptive faculty which needs to be congruent with empirical observation. Truth is a "seamless" garment. A faith and tradition, which told us that that the sun was square in shape would be wrong)

This failure to come to a definition of what it means to be right has meant that the Right has been seriously hampered by having, as allies, people who were ultimately enemies. It's hard to fight the enemy in front of you when your ally stabs you in the back at the moment of victory, or undermines your victory from within.

Anonymous said...

You wrote that all of the variants of fascism are modernistic, in the case of German Nat'l Socialism with its Social Darwinism and pagan esotericism this is true, and sadly to a certain extent it is true of Italian fascism as well, but it is not true of General Franco or Dr. Salazar. I think that if Il Duce had refrained from allying with the Fuehrer, that he would have continued ruling Italy until his death, much as in the cases of General Franco and Dr. Salazar. Il Duce started out as a socialist, but he was so deeply changed by the time he came to govern Italy that he made Catholicism the state religion of Italy, something no Marxist would dream of doing. I think it therefore wrong to classify him and the Caudillo and the Dr. as leading political movements which were kindred spirits of Marx. In regard to Nat'l Socialism G.K. Chesterton wrote that it oddly enough owed much to Judaism with its idea of a Herrenvolk destined to rule all other races and so forth. In a way one could say that the Fuehrer tried to out-jew the Jews. Anyhow, it appears that you are right in your assessment of the "alt-right" which includes eugenicists, Social Darwinists and deviants promoting unnatural vice and so on. It is too bad most live by the senses rather than the use of reason, and are thereby easily taken in by such controlled opposition.