Friday, April 30, 2010

A Revolutionary Theory: Filibuster for Univeral Modernity (1)

"Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement." V.I. Lenin, "D. Engels On the Importance of the Theoretical Struggle," What is to be done? BURNING QUESTIONS of our MOVEMENT. 1.

There is some nonsense squabbling going on among anti-jihadis recently, not merely the public mental illness on display by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, but further afield, among some whom I respect as writers and thinkers, not Dinesh D'Sousa or Lawrence Auster but from Andrew Bostom, Diana West, and Robert Spencer, among others. Such is the nature of political/social movements. Refer to Christianity, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, Arius and Ireneaus, as examples of sectarianism; or to Robespierre and Danton, Saint Just and Marat from the French Revolution; or Lenin and Plekhanov and Stalin and Trotsky from the Russian Revolution. Sectarian battles are the nature of our game. It's either naive or sentimental to think we have to like each other and compromise on issues of import for the sake of a unified front against our enemies. That is untrue. What matters to us as revolutionaries, for such we are, is success in our efforts. As revolutionaries we are at war, in an immediate "killing and dying" sense, against not only the jihad but against our own Left dhimmi fascist component within Modernity itself. Each day around the world we experience the murder of many at the hands of jihadis bent on Islamic domination of the world and its peoples. It has been such with Islam since Mohammed returned to Mecca in January 630, known to Muslims as Fatah-e-Mubeen or The Glorious Victory. Islam too has its internecine struggles, as we see in the murders of Ali and his family and the advent of Shi'a. There is no purity, and sentimentality does not benefit us. In a revolutionary struggle such as ours, there is victory or there is death. That is hardly an over-statement, given the obvious aggression of Islam since 623 A.D., when Mohammed and his followers, based at Yathrib, renamed Madinat un-Nabi, "City of the Prophet," began their terror campaign that continues to this day. Factionalism occurred during the days and years following Mohammed's succession; it continues to this day among Muslims; we face factionalism among ourselves. Where we fail and others have succeeded is in our lack of revolutionary theory to base a revolutionary movement of triumph for the sake of universal Modernity. Without a revolutionary theory, our revolutionary movement will not live, will not grow, will not triumph, and we and ours will die. So let the others squabble; and let us plan our revolutionary theory.

Are we revolutionaries?

Indeed we are, and the most disruptive of the world order that history and man have ever seen or dreamt. But! But we are conservators of our cultures, our lands' traditions, our social orders. Not revolutionaries, we are, if not conservatives, preservers of the norm. We wish to preserve our way of life from harm and outright destruction. No, it is they who are revolutionaries, bringers of chaotic and harmful change, and destruction. No revolutionaries, we.

We are in fact the demiurges of destruction, makers of new worlds, creators of a new life for man on Earth. What life has been for man immemorially, we have laid it waste and destroyed it worldwide. We few. We happy few.
Those few who ceased their endless round of hunting and gathering like beasts in the wild and who settled and planted are our prototypes, revolutionaries of Agriculture. They began our cities, our Polis; they began our shared living among strangers, our Civitas; they began our long march to a Communion of Equals, our Relgio. The agricultural revolution. It was nothing compared to what our recent ancestors did to the life of man. And they are nothing compared to us, we who are revolutionaries of Promethean stature. "We are now become death. We are destroyers of worlds." We are indeed revolutionaries.

Circa 1750 in the cold mists of England a new revolutionary surge began that has, over the days and weeks and years since, now evolving into centuries, transformed LIfe itself, the very living materials of being, into works of Man himself. We are destroyers; we are creators; we are demi-gods. The Triune Revolution, that of Industry which turned man's pitiful physical energies into this profound and universal mental energy that propels us to further orbits than the Earth's; the American Revolution that frees man from poverty and privilege and feudalist slavery, allowing man to become Man; and the French Revolution, that blood bath of the parasites of mankind that shows us the universality of Liberty, Brotherhood, and Equality; that Triune Revolution is still so new, so young, so feeble in its steps toward maturity that we still stumble and sometimes fall, always rising to move on further, faster, more capably, gives us a prominent place in the pantheon of Titans, of Olympians, of Gods. That pitiful and starving creature that was man, hostage to cruel yet mindless Nature and the brute force of evil men, is now free: Revolutionary!

We few. This freedom we have, this revolution in human relations to man and nature, is limited to a few across the world. Too few, that which is the right of every man. Those who have this precious freedom stand to lose it to those who hate the freedom of Man. they, the reactionaries who delight in the previous regime, the state of man as farm animal tended and bled for the satisfaction of the Gnostic sadist elite, for the sake of the communal cowards and masochist toadies. Not everyone loves freedom. Some hate it more than death. In fact, it is death they love, the grandness of death as spectacle of their worthless transformation into the eternal. The worm-ridden soul of the dhimmi clinging to his illusions of moralism as his high-point in life acheived in death as heroism ans validation of the rightness of his moralistic suffering, demands that all obey his dhimmitude and laud it, suffer for his moral vanity and spectacle of suffering, as if we care, as if his worthless existence is redeemed by death, as if his death after a worthless life is sacrificial and ennobling. Good bye, dhimmi. They hate our freedom, our happiness, our love of life, our lowly private selves as individuals free from their moralistic "suffering" for humanity. Free-- from them! And they fight to retain their previous status as martyrs just and true. The dhimmis demand that we applaud their deaths and dirty displays of slavery, and that we do so as underling slaves of dhimmis. They hate life, and they hate more still those of us who scoff at their "suffering" on our behalf. Who needs these fools when we have our own lives to live in freedom. It drives them to madness to be so ignored. They wish only to destroy our freedom, our Revolutions.

Until the rise of the Industrial Revolution, man was trapped by the slavery of energy: that man's energy is limited to nearly nothing, and that if man demands power, he must harness the energies of other men to become powerful. Slavery. Machines make movement possible that man alone cannot achieve no matter how enslaved he is. Machines make freedom possible through energy man can never achieve alone, no matter how many men sweat and die for it. energy is freedom. Machines provide both in abundance. It is a revolution the likes of which man could not dream till it began to unfold in Britain 250 years ago. Even then it drove men mad to see the skies turned black with smoke like Satan's mills belching across England's green and pleasant lands. That black, choking smoke was a by-product of freedom for mankind. To this day many hate it.

As men left the fields to tend machines in new-formed cities, they left the communal, the ties that bind, the fasces, as it is known in Latin, the weak bound round the strong authority of the state. Those bonds were broken by machines that free men from the fasces. Freedom for wage slavery? Give me more. I have no love of the commune, of its tender bonds of starvation and endless limitedness. But the community! We are all one! And I for one am certainly one, of myself alone, free from that. I hail the Revolution that has brought this freedom from "community." I am not a strand of the fasces any longer, bound tightly and forever to the authority of the power of the State. Me. Free.

The Left, using Islam as proxy, would destroy our freedom to regain their privilege as sadist owners of man as farm animal, powerless beast doing their work for them, they having no energy of their own. Their cries of "community" and the "sharing and caring" of the commune fall on my deaf ears. I'm too deaf to hear them from the pounding of my ploughshare into a sword. I love this revolution, and I intend to fight for its advance across the Earth into the World.

In the early decades of the nineteenth century there was, as there will be again, a movement of Manifest Destiny: that we are destined to spread our Revolution across the Earth to the World in the struggle to free all of mankind; freedom for all, a filibuster, as it was then called, an armed campaign to spread freedom everywhere to every man, a filibuster for universal Modernity. That, dear reader, is a revolutionary theory in the making.

If some squabble over the details of it, if they wish to dither and fiddle, then let them do so as is natural and right in nature. Meanwhile, let us look further at what is to be done.

To be continued.


truepeers said...

And I thought this little anti-Jihad squabble was all about the girl! But if there's one thing thing more likely to divide the gang of aging writers, it's, maybe, quoting Lenin.

Do we need a revolutionary theory? Well, on one hand, we do need some sense of where we're going. We do need to be ready to seize the day. On the other, if we can present the future as a theory, it ain't the future but simply the projection of present-day resentments. Did theory-man Lenin have a clue what he was really unleashing? Was the unsustainability of the Soviet Union, in the long run, not a sign that it was a projection of theory and not of human freedom and the kind of thinking freedom needs?

I don't think we need theory so much as imagination, in good and humble faith, of how we will begin to put things back together once the present system of welfare-state liberalism, and elitist transnational leftist bureaucracy, is completely bankrupt, as seems now inevitable. In the coming crisis, how will free people begin to do the necessary work of keeping life and limb together? We don't need a theory so much as a conversation on how we start building again. What are the new forms of trust that will allow us to get to work when the old rule sets break down? We don't need a philosophy of history so much as a conversation that teaches people that we are free and hence inherently historical beings.

And to that end, i think we need to be careful how we write about history. To the extent we interpret it solely in terms of our present resentments, we turn history into a conspiracy theory and not the unpredictable assemblage of fear, cowardice, freedom, etc. that it always is looking forward.

The present regime that is crumbling was not a conspiracy of Gnostics, howevermuch they contributed to it. And it was not built up without rhetorics not entirely unlike yours. The present regime was built up in large part out of fear of what happens when millions of people leave the life of the peasant en masse and all of a sudden turn up in new cities. It's fine to embrace "wage slavery" now that we know what it entails in a technological society capable of creating wealth for all, and what we now know are the much worse alternatives. But to the average person in, say, 1920, looking out at the utter catastrophe of World War I, looking at the new cities full of peasants with all the capacity for unruliness and resentment that entailed, it is not surprising that many thought that "freedom", to avoid a direct road to a new kind of big man tyranny, would require building up a welfare state - "social democracy".

We need to confront the end - because now bankrupt - welfare state in a spirit of openess to the unpredictability of human freedom and history, as it looks to non-dogmatic people looking forward; and that means being careful of how we reduce the past to an object - to be whipped or not? We need to think about history and the future without over-theorizing it.

Dag said...

Smart and interesting as always. Thanks for the input here.

I respond with this:

"No theory" is a theory in itself, to mangle Kierkegaard. In a sense that's what makes our freedom so successful: it is not a plan set out by others that we must slavishly follow to freedom. Freedom is a not-theory. But we do need an articulation of the boundaries of that freedom so we know what we have and what freedom is not. When Fichte writes about Germanness, for example, he makes it plain in his academic German style that to be German is to be not-else, a thing in itself that grows in itself from the past course. Germanness is not Danishness because Danes are not German but a lesser thing, according to him, but a still valid point. Freedom is not the freedom to be a slave, which isn't so obvious to too many who don't have a sense of boundedness. Freedom is something in itself, which if nothing else we have to articulate and promote a clear sense of. I call it a need to theorize. Our theory of freedom is a delineation of what we are not, not so much what we must be.

One thing we must learn is the demands of debate, which I fail at due to a number of personality quirks, but that others fail at for the same reason, which is a propensity to violence in the face of contradiction, though the motive force differs in my case from tht of others generally: in my case I come from a violent life experience, which is general in the world, the norm outside our lovely lands of Modernity, in which contradiction leads often immediately to murder. Knowing that my personal experience is general, I know that we must treat others as they are, as non-Modernists, those for whom debate is a seriously dangerous undertaking. Freedom, therefore, if it is to begin, requires a Hobbesian authority to resolve conflicts at this most rudimentary level. But that learning has to be a ideal to be attained, time being necessary. Fighting over who gets the girl is often less violent that fighting over being contradicted or challenged verbally. Thus, I see the squabbles of middle-aged intellectuals as foolery. I see too the devolution of the debate into ad hominem as a betray of our principles at a profound level: that those engaged in what is a serious and potentially murderous game are unserious. In many places those involved in the "debate" would have been killed by now. Given the stakes, we have to make certain our position is worth the risk and the penalties, raising the commitment to absurd but understandable levels. Lives, if only in terms of status in the pecking order, are at stake here. Our theory, if you will for the moment at least, must be worth our investment.

Freedom cannot be collective; therefore, one must critique collectivism and explore the value of privacy, presenting both in a fair light for the masses. In a world where men will kill each other in an instant over a slight, freedom must be attractive enough to defend against those who will kill for the sake of slavery. It needs a theory, if indefinitely open, evolutionary, and ever-expanding. But it must be something concrete as theory for the needed investment to take hold. The theory need not be utopian at all, nor agonistic or misanthropic; but the theory of freedom must be something that also it is not. I like to think of freedom as an act of elenchus ending in aporia: a rigorous debate ending in a shrug and a promise to think more about it, an endless debate of incremental understanding that we don't really know much but that we can know more; that finally, there is an ultimate Truth that is our telos, if never attainable by Man, just a bit more day by day for eternity, the freedom to find it. Lenin, fool that he was, believed that he had the ultimate truth. It defeats the purpose of freedom, which was not part of his theoretical programme in any legitimate sense.

Dag said...

But Lenin, in spite of his passion for power and status was a clever thinker we can learn much from in our pursuit of freedom. Lenin, as a theorist, is not useful to us. No Cathar Perfect is going to have a good vision, it being Gnostic from the get-go, abstracted from personal resentments of the moment, I grant, eternalised for the sake of ones gnosis, status, and as payoff for ones investment. Defeating Lenin in a world of brutes requires, even in pursuit of open-ended freedom, a Leninist theorisation of freedom and the goal-orientation of fanatics in its realization over time. Hence I argue in favour of school teachers with gun, bakcing up freedom for those who would learn freedom, saving them from those who would kill to prevent contradiction. Taht conversation about freedom requires an armed guard and a goal of aporia, a theory about "nothing."

A theory of aporia as telos is one we can learn in time, given the chance to speak without being killed for it. It is a theory itself about the fundamental unknowability of Truth. That makes history not a matter of what happened but of what we make daily in pursuit of tomorrow's bafflement. Because there is no "answer" there cannot be a conspiracy of ideas and those who contradict.

Those who have a perfect vision of the future for all time will devolve into violent fanatics like Lenin. To combt such I think we need men like Lenin to prevent his supremacy, if limited in time till another controller tries again. For a freedom Leninist to work, we must have a theory worth fighting for, showing the mass of individuals what they believe to be the good, i.e. freedom, and how that is not unlimited but social and interdependent. It needs a clear articulation so we do not get a however limited paternalism of frightened overseers acting in our own best interests. No one, even the finest paternalist, knows much about our individual needs, even if such needs are self-destructive. Therefore we need a general understanding of what our freedom is, a theory, I say, that defines to a fair extent what it is and what it is not, to such a degree that people will fight for it rather than not, not knowing what they could fight for in spite of the violence they will probably face in the doing so.

All of which makes me the more disgusted when I see our intelligentsia wallowing in pettiness over who owns what and who came up with this or that brilliant idea. It's a private matter to bitch about, not something to vitiate our struggle with in public and at the risk of violence, trivialised in the doing so. Shame on these fools. Freedom is serious business that requires sacrifice, even of blood and life. We will figh if we know what that freedom is and why it's better. Thus, theory.

truepeers said...

I have no major quibbles with your argument. It's close to the mark and when I have more time I will return to it to see what I can add when in more lucid frame of mind.

One immediate doubt is whether "freedom" is really the best concept for you to be highlighting. Broadly, it seems to me you are trying to distinguish free market-oriented societies from big-man and gangster societies. But even in the latter there are degrees of freedom - nothing human is conceivable without some degree of freedom. And so, maybe you should be thinking less about this ever-present (in degrees) human quality and more about particular forms of freedom - civil society, free markets, etc. Whatever your background and rough experiences, it seems clear to me that you are looking for a form of thought appropriate to developing civil societies. Now that form of thought will need to be at times specifically anthropological and so it will perforce be concerned with the general truth that the human is not conceivable without freedom; but when it comes to more frankly political thinking there needs to be a way to develop more particular concepts.

I think you are right that we can't just take people who have been living under big man or gangster rule, people for whom contradiction is a deadly matter, and overnight turn them into people capable of sharing in our "theory" (of civil or free market society) using our terms. Yet surely, in this nuclear-tipped age we can no longer put up with thug societies with missiles, and must put all before a horizon of transition towards civil societies and free markets. However, in the meantime, there are certain ways of thinking about freedom that are just not applicable to societies that have yet to develop sufficient degrees of freedom internally. THere's little point trying to interpret or develop policies for Saudi Arabia, today, as if free market concepts were appropriate there.

It is important to spend time setting up the intended audience and target of our arguments. There is no "theory" that is appropriate in all places in this world. So we need to decide just who we are and to whom we are talking. The problem i have with "schoolteachers with guns" is that it's not clear how you solve the dilemma of people needing to know just on whose side of things they are. A schoolteacher with gun strikes me as someone who is neither here nor there. If he is there, a colonizing/settler force, how do you stop him from going native? and if he is here, how do you get the natives to stop resisting him and only building up their local big men to this task?

Anyway, as i say I need more time to dwell on this. As for the Geller-Spencer-Bostom dynamic, it may be for the best that it is breaking up. Ever since I saw the video of them at CPAC (part 1 here) I have had the sense that that was not a serious group. They are there on stage competing for attention and adoration, rather self-absorbed notwithstanding the topic of discussion - Rifqa Bary. At least I am old-fashoined enough to find it most disconcerting to watch people who are addressing a large audience indulge themselves eating candy as if they are congratulating and rewarding themselves for their brilliant perfomance and if this candy is part of that performance too. We need some old-fashioned manners (e.g. about public eating between meal times) to come back again in our "revolution".