Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sorel (3)

We label and identify many ordinary things as fascist, and unless we explain why they are fascist we'll antagonize those who do not understand the meaning and concepts of fascism. Simple things like rune mythology and crystal mysticism are fascist; but that in itself does not mean that the practicioner is going to don black-shirt and jack boots to rampage in the Jewish Ghetto. Fascism is short, simple, and stupid, but it covers a wide variety of ideas and practices we all assume to be innocuous, and that likely in fact are so. But we must know what fascism is to identify it and see in our own ideas what our own fascist assumptions are, even if it's as simple as animal rights sympathies and worshipping Mother Nature. Damned near everything that we consider today as politically correct has its roots in fascism; but we won't be able to show that to be true until we go through this process of explaining the history of such proto-fascist theoreticians as Georges Sorel.

Cooking steaks in the back-yard, drinking beer after the soft-ball game, playing with the kids, these are the results we have from our revolutions. Who on Earth decided we are wrong to do these Revolutionary things? It is all the grand idiot "Myth" of the fascist dhimmi alliance with fascist Islam and the barbarians of the world that we of the West, living in a state of Modernity, are responsible for the catastrophies of primitivism. Our opponents are fascists. But what the hell is a fascist? That's what our enemies call us! They are wrong; and when we look at the texts posted on these pages the evidence is clear and provable that the Left is fascist, Islam is fascist, and that we are up to 'here' in fascism in our cultures without knowing what fascism is. We are swamped by the fascist "Myth," and since it's destroying the West and Modernity itself we'll do well to understand our predicament.

As tedious as it might well be to wade through some of the classical texts of fascism and the history of revolutionary doctrines and theories we think it is essential that it at least be in the archive for those who wish to examine in detail the proof at hand that we need to see ourselves as progressive, as GOOD.

Most readers today will have no idea who Georges Sorel was, nor the slightest idea why his work is important for us today to understand. If we place Sorel in line ahead of some of his successors we might get an indication of why he's important to us: Mircea Eliade, C.G. Jung, Julius Evola, Joseph Campbell, Martin Heidegger. The commonalities are in the elevation of irrationality and myth, but especially in the personal and professional following and promotion of political fascism. Think Jung and Campbell are swell and lovable old duffers? Think again. They were fascists. Jung was a Nazi sympathizer; Heidegger went to the grave a committed Nazi. We'll come to them in time. Let's look first at Georges Sorel.

Georges Sorel is one in a long line of radical thinkers who hate the society they live in and who argue for its destruction by any means, fair or foul. In Sorel's case he opted for Syndicalist socialism. In future posts we'll look closely at the fascist personality and there we will see the roots of Sorel's hatred of "Now," and why it shows him as a fascist, particularly in light of the fact that "Sorel supported at various times such disparate alternatives to the existing order as extreme French monarchism and the Bolshevik revolution."

There is one element of Sorel's thinking that we will see over and again in our examiniation of Left fascist dhimmitude, and that is the hatred of "Now" and the hatred of "mediocrity," hatreds that lead people into such either/or positiions that they would rather support fascist Islam than not so long as Islam is not capitalist, or whatever the prevailing "mediocrity" might be at the time, for example, State Catholicism in the time of Savanarola. In Sorel's time, and in our own, they being the same, capitalism is the ruling mediocrity. Fascism, being an irrationalist ethos, a death-worship, an ethos dedicated to the "grand gesture," is today the anti-capitalist opposition to mediocrity. Whatever the opposition, regardless of its obvious reaction and primitivism, in fact, because of its vileness, it is good in the mind of the fascist. Sorel can feel at home with French absolutism in monarchy or equally at home with Bolshevism or Italian Fascism; and our modern Left dhimmi fascists feel as welcome in the embrace of fascist Islam as they did in the loving arms of the Khemer Rouge. No matter what the opposition to capitalism is, the Left dhimmi fascist is comfortable with it so long as it is not mediocre, and so long as it is not "Now."

Keeping those ideas in mind we can look at Sorel's views on people and power, at "Violence and Force," and the idea of "Myth." At this time we'll rely on the "Letter to Daniel Halevi, 1907" for our information.

Georges Sorel and Syndicalism

The most famous and most extreme advocate of syndicalism, Georges Sorel's passion for revolutionary activity in place of rational discourse made him most influential in shaping the direction of fascism, especially in Mussolini's Italy.

Georges Sorel stated his theory of "social myths" most clearly in a letter to Daniel Halevy in 1907:

.....Men who are participating in a great social movement always picture their coming action as a battle in which their cause is certain to triumph.

In many future posts we will look closely at the "furturity" of fascism, both Left and Right. We'll pay close attention to Eric Hoffer, The True Believer to find the psychology of the average fascist, and we will see in other authors as well that futurity, the anti-Now, is paramount in their feelings, their irrationality, their intuitive approach to life and death. And we will see that the great enemy of the fascist is "mediocrity" as opposed to the "Great Social Movement." Not now, but later everything will be grand, not mediocre as it is today as things are in the lost paradise taken over by the mediocre who fear death.

Above we see already a picture that shows us clearly the fascist inclination of the average Moslem suicide killer: the longing for death, the longing for the paradise to come, and the hatred of Now. We see the "grand gesture" of suicide by bomb-blast, the de-personalization of the bomber in terms of his own privacy, and the worship of State, ruler, blood, and soil. Sorel continues:

These constructions, knowledge of which is so important for historians, I propose to call myths; the syndicalist "general strike" and Marx's catastrophic revolution are such myths. As remarkable examples of such myths, I have given those which were constructed by primitive Christianity, by the Reformation, by the Revolution and by the followers of Mazzini.

I now wish to show that we should not attempt to analyze such groups of images in the way that we analyze a thing into its elements, but that they must be taken as a whole, as historical forces, and that we should be especially careful not to make any comparison between accomplished fact and the picture people had formed for themselves before action.

I could have given one more example which is perhaps still more striking: Catholics have never been discouraged even in the hardest trials, because they have always pictured the history of the Church as a series of battles between Satan and the hierarchy supported by Christ; every new difficulty which arises is ****only an episode in a war which must finally end in the victory of Catholicism.

In employing the term myth I believed that I had made a happy choice, because I thus put myself in a position to refuse any discussion whatever with the people who wish to submit the idea of a general strike to a detailed criticism, and who accumulate objections against its practical possibility.

It appears, on the contrary, that I had made a most unfortunate choice, for while some told me that myths were only suitable to a primitive state of society, others imagined that I thought the modern world might be moved by illusions analogous in nature to those which Renan thought might usefully replace religion. But there has been a worse misunderstanding than this even, for it has been asserted that my theory of myths was only a kind of lawyer's plea, a falsification of the real opinions of the revolutionaries, the sophistry of an intellectual.

If this were true, I should not have been exactly fortunate, for I have always tried to escape the influence of that intellectual philosophy, which seems to me a great hindrance to the historian who allows himself to be dominated by it.

I can understand the fear that this myth of the general strike inspires in many worthy progressives, on account of its character of infinity, the world of today is very much inclined to return to the opinions of the ancients and to subordinate ethics to the smooth working of public affairs, which results in a definition of virtue as the golden mean; as long as socialism remains a doctrine expressed only in words, it is very easy to deflect it towards this doctrine of the golden mean; but this transformation is manifestly impossible when the myth of the "general strike" is introduced, as this implies an absolute revolution.

You know as well as I do that all that is best in the modern mind is derived from this "torment of the infinite"; you are not one of those people who look upon the tricks by means of which readers can be deceived by words, as happy discoveries. That is why you will not condemn me for having attached great worth to a myth which gives to socialism such high moral value and such great sincerity. It is because the theory of myths tends to produce such fine results that so many seek to refute it....

As long as there are no myths accepted by the masses, one may go on talking of revolts indefinitely, without ever provoking any revolutionary movement; this is what gives such importance to the general strike and renders it so odious to socialists who are afraid of a revolution....

The revolutionary myths which exist at the present time are almost free from any such mixture; by means of them it is possible to understand the activity, the feelings and the ideas of the masses preparing themselves to enter on a decisive struggle: the myths are not descriptions of things, but expressions of a determination to act.

A Utopia intellectual product; it is the work of theorists who, after observing and discussing the known facts, seek to establish a model to which they can compare existing society in order to estimate the amount of good and evil it contains. It is a combination of imaginary institutions having sufficient analogies to real institutions for the jurist to be able to reason about them; it is a construction which can be taken to pieces, and certain parts of it have been shaped in such a way that they fitted into approaching legislation.

While contemporary myths lead men to prepare themselves for a combat which will destroy the existing state of things, the effect of Utopias has always been to direct men's minds towards reforms which can be brought about by patching up the existing system; it is not surprising, then, that so many makers of Utopias were able to develop into able statesmen when they had acquired a greater experience of political life.

A myth cannot be refuted, since it is, at bottom, identical with the conviction of a group, being the expression of these convictions in the language of movement; and it is, in consequence, unanalyzable into parts which could be placed on the plane of historical descriptions.

A Utopia, on the other hand, can be discussed like any other social constitution; the spontaneous movements it presupposes can be compared with the movements actually observed in the course of history, and we can in this way evaluate its verisimilitude; it is possible to refute Utopias by showing that the economic system on which they have been made to rest is incompatible with the necessary conditions of modern production.

[T]he myth of the "general strike" has become popular, and is now firmly established in the minds of the workers; we possess ideas about violence that it would have been difficult for him [Marx] to have formed; we can then complete his doctrine, instead of making commentaries on his text, as his unfortunate disciples have done for so long. [Cf Eduord Bernstein.]

People who are living in this world of "myths" are secure from all refutation; this has led many to assert that Socialism is a kind of religion. For a long time people have been struck by the fact that religious convictions are unaffected by criticism, and from that they have concluded that everything which claims to be beyond science must be a religion.

[B]y the side of Utopias there have always been myths capable of urging on the workers to revolt. For a long time these myths were founded on the legends of the Revolution, and they preserved all their value as long as these legends remained unshaken. Today the confidence of the Socialists is greater than ever since the myth of the general strike dominates all of the truly working-class movement. No failure proves anything against Socialism since the latter has become a work of preparation (for revolution); if they are checked, it merely proves that the faith has been insufficient; they must set to work again with more courage, persistence, and confidence than before; their experience of labour has taught workmen that it is by means of patient apprenticeship that a man may become a true comrade, and it is also the only way of becoming a true revolutionary. (July 15, 1907)

[B]y the side of Utopias there have always been myths capable of urging on the Muslims to shahadah. For a long time these myths were founded on the legends of the Rightly Guided Caliphs' Revolution, and they preserved all their value as long as these legends remained unshaken. Today the confidence of the Muslims is greater than ever since the myth of the Caliphate dominates all the truly Islamic movement. No failure proves anything against Islam since the latter has become a work of preparation (for the shari'a revolution); if they are checked, it merely proves that the faith has been insufficient; they must set to work again with more courage, persistence, and confidence than before; their experience of terrorism has taught Muslims that it is by means of patient apprenticeship that a man may become a true believer, and it is also the only way of becoming a true Muslim. (July 15, 1907)

Of course, some joker could easily rewrite Sorel's final passage by substituting Islam, Muslims, et cet., for Left dhimmis and fascism, et cet.; but who would be so cruel?

What is the myth of today? It is that Modernity is evil; and we being Modernists and revolutionary progressivists are evil ourselves. Many of us believe that our own modernity is responsible for the ruin of the primitives. The fascists drill it into us via the meme, as Dawkins writes, or, as Sorelians put it, in terms of "Myth."

Without thinking it through, many of us accept that our culture is evil: we love Mother Nature, protect animal rights, cherish Amazonian rainforests, hate multi-national corporations who rob and destroy "traditional peoples" in our imperialist quest for more and greedier profits from the destruction of natural habitats, The Land. We destroy the ozone layer. We wage unjust war on pastoralists who lived in harmony with nature until we invaded them and destroyed their prior idyllic lives, and by impoverishing them turned them into refugees and terrorists against our arrogance. We Modernist revolutionaries colonized the noble savages and corrupted their purity. We drive big cars. We grow grains that strip the Earth of its goodness so we can take that grain from the now starving vegetarian peoples of the world and instead feed its non-sustainable growth to polluting cattle so McDonald's can feed us junk food. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're the bad guys. Or so the fascist myth tells us.

And those of us who aren't evil? Well, we would be those who are multi-cultural, inclusive, passive in the face of aggression against us for fear of social exclusion. And on that goes, another idiot "Myth" of Left fascism.

We face fascism, believing that it's a good thing when in fact we don't recognize it as fascism because we confuse fascism with concentration camps, swastikas, and burning Crosses. Fascism is more insidious than we know, and in coming posts we'll examine it more closely so we do know. We must know our enemies, and we must know if we are them. Maybe we are. Or maybe there are aspects of fascism that we like. We must know.

Our greatest myth today is the myth of "Anti-Americanism." The real myth is broader: it is anti-Westernism, and it is essentially anti-Modernism. Maybe that's a good position to take. We'll look at it. If we think afterward that we are not in favor of fascism we'll know what our enemies are about, and from that we'll know clearly "What is to be Done?"

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