How Do We Know They’re Not Lying Again?

They lied last time, and they’re not sorry about it – so how do we know it’s different this time?

In 2003, Britain teamed up with America to attack Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on false pretenses, an action that would eventually lead to over 1,000,000 preventable deaths – a war crime by any standard. 15 years later, Britain is again beating the war drums over a supposed Russian assassination of a former Russian intelligence agent on British soil. The question the rest of us have to ask is obvious: how do we know they’re not lying again?

The British Prime Minister in 2003, Tony Blair, solemnly presented to the world a “dossier of death” that supposedly detailed Hussein’s arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, ready to attack Britain within 45 minutes of the Iraqi strongman giving the orders. Even worse, the dossier claimed, Hussein had procured significant amounts of uranium from African sources, enough to build 200 nuclear bombs.

We were told all this, and then told that the international community “had no choice but to act”. It was a casus belli of such strength that it was apparent there would be no talking the Anglo-Americans out of their impending action. Iraq was, in Blair’s words, “a current and serious threat to the UK national interest”.

The trouble is, all of those claims were lies.

Hussein’s Government disintegrated at the first sight of the iron wave coming their way, and the victorious Anglo-American forces scoured every square metre of the country for the chemical and biological weapons that would have been triumphantly paraded before the world’s media. Had they been found. There were no chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

Usually when someone lies to you, and you find out about it, you don’t trust them again until you are satisfied that they have learned the value in honesty. But no contrition has been shown, ever, by any of the leaders who worked to bring about the slaughter in Iraq. Neither George W Bush nor Tony Blair have ever shown genuine regret for the invasion, or even the barest awareness that the invasion was the wrong thing to do.

Both George W Bush and Tony Blair are free men, not wanted by any Western war crimes tribunal. No Western leader openly calls for their arrest or imprisonment, despite that they murdered as many people as Pol Pot. No-one in British politics appears to be willing to commit Blair to trial for war crimes, the minimum acknowledgement necessary that the lost Iraqi lives had some value.

So why should we trust the claims of the British Government this week that the Russian state killed someone on British soil? Nothing appears to have changed since the last time they lied.

Most worryingly for New Zealand, our current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern volunteered to work for the unapologetic war criminal for two and a half years, and after the scale of the destruction wrought in Iraq was widely known, and even after the fact that the invasion was launched on false pretenses was known. This suggests that not even our Prime Minister has the moral fibre to understand that killing a million people with lies is a bad thing and that people who do it should not be supported.

The prospect for world peace is looking grimmer, but, as this newspaper has previously written about, there’s no need to worry until the television starts telling us that Russians are mistreating babies somewhere. Then it’s time to hit the bunkers.


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A Technoshamanic Update to the Perennial Philosophy

The perennial philosophy comes and goes, all throughout time and space, being a reflection of the mind of God in the Great Fractal. In every new age it updates itself, taking a form that makes sense to the people of the time, depending on the characteristics of that age. Because technological change has been so rapid over the last 150 years, the perennial philosophy has not been able to keep up. This essay makes an attempt to do so.

The metaphors of the former age were the crucifix, the fish and the crescent, just as they were the pyramid, the bull and the sacrificial brazier in the age before that. The age that we are now entering has its own zeitgeist – perhaps it is time for a technoshamanic update to the perennial philosophy?

The perennial philosophy is informational gold and is more fundamental than language and therefore cannot be described in words. However, we can predict what some of its teachings are going to be, by applying the axiom of “As below, so above” to the modern day.

In its earlier incarnations, through the writings of Hermes Trismegistus and others, the perennial philosophy explained the metaphysical world by analogy to the natural world. “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one,” reads the Emerald Tablet, “Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon.”

This remained an extremely effective metaphor, until today. The world of today is so bizarre, so surreal and impossible that distinguishing it from a dreamscape is no longer easy. Moreover, modern people are almost completely out of touch with the natural world – many of us haven’t so much as looked at the Moon in years.

We need a new metaphor for a new age, and virtual reality seems like the obvious replacement.

Following this line of reasoning, one might expect that the creation myths of the new century will be based around the same binary division as always but with a modern twist; in other words not of yang and yin, fire and water or Sun and Moon but of 1 and 0. The hardware is the brain, the software is the mind, and electricity is the Holy Ghost.

Different lives could be seen as nothing more than differing sets of sensory impressions upon consciousness. As long as these impressions could be accurately recorded and reproduced, there’s no reason why they couldn’t be accessible for any conscious person to experience at any time.

My own The Verity Key twisted the ordinary perception of consciousness through a machine that could replace the consciousness of another person with that of the operator of the eponymous device. The idea was to play on the usual belief of the reader that their consciousness was directly connected to their physical body, and could never be separated.

This played with the idea of the Great Fractal, which is conceptualised as an immense algorithm that calculates all of the possible combinations of senses that make up the illusion of the material world. This is a modern way of expressing how all things flow from one, i.e. “all created objects come from one thing, an undifferentiated primal matter”.

In other words, all of the contents of consciousness ultimately flow from consciousness itself, because nothing more than consciousness is needed to create them all – a fact known to all who have managed to purify their consciousness to the level of gold and thereby completed the Philosopher’s Stone.

Other ancient alchemical or hermetic beliefs can likewise be transliterated into a modern context.

The laws of karma can be expressed in terms of frequency, which no-one understood before the days of widespread radio, and which now everyone does. If one can imagine such a thing as a frequency of consciousness, a higher frequency would produce a more harmonious tone and joy among those who heard it, whereas a lower frequency would produce a discordant tone and fear among those who heard it.

A technoshaman might contend that, upon the expiration of one’s physical body, the frequency of consciousness that one had cultivated is the only thing that passes into the next world. They might even go as far as to contend that this frequency will attract those of a like frequency, and therefore that, post-death, one’s frequency dictates which part of the Great Fractal one’s consciousness becomes attuned to and the frequency of those who populate it (until, of course, one dies there as well).

One’s “frequency of consciousness” can here be likened to an analog television or radio signal. The more pleasurable frequencies are not necessarily the first ones discovered, or the most popular ones, and they certainly aren’t the easiest to tune into. In order to tune into higher frequencies one must know where to find them on the dial.

The alchemical quest of transforming lead into gold is a physicalist metaphor for the mystical quest that, in modern language, could be said to be about tuning a low frequency of consciousness into a higher one.


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VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger III

This reading continues on from here.

The sixth essay in Ride The Tiger is called “Active Nihilism – Nietzsche”, and continues to deal with the problem of the Death of God. Also continuing with the esoteric theme of this book, Evola appears to insist that the solution is alchemical. The negative is overwhelming and ascendant; it cannot be resisted. So the question becomes “how far the negative can be transformed into something positive.”

Here we are concerned with “the transition to the postnihilist stage.” Modern man is free, free from the strictures of Abrahamism – but free for what? We have striven against our enslavement for so long that we don’t know what to do with freedom. We invented God to assuage our existential anxiety, and, now that we are “free” from this God, that anxiety has rushed back with a vengeance. Evola cites Sartre here: “We are condemned to be free.”

Evola contends that Nietzsche’s conception of the Superman is not sufficient to avoid this nihilism. His reasoning is that the Superman theory is not sufficiently different from the other eschatologies, such as the Marxist one, and therefore cannot be more than a pseudosolution to the problem of nihilism.

As was true for Marxism, the Superman theory could potentially be used to justify all manner of horrors in the present by promising paradise in the future. However, Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence strikes much closer to what might be described as a perennial philosophy.

The seventh essay is called “Being Oneself.” It seems as if that, once the pseudosolutions and outright false philosophies are abandoned, what one is left with is oneself. This something is beyond morality (indeed, morality is considered something to be liberated from), and internal, instead of imposed from without as if by God or King.

Nietzsche comes in for some criticism here. Evola considers his attitude to the human spirit “materialistic”, but concedes that Nietzsche must have seen beyond because he is capable of distinguishing the “Self” from the “I”. Other thinkers, such as Guyau, are considered, but dismissed for not offering anything truly new, merely “restrictions that more or less return to one οf the systems οf the old morality.”

Evola concludes that the answer, as ever, is to “Know Thyself”. However, there’s a caveat. In the past, it was easier to know thyself because one was defined by strictures of class, religion, nation, caste and many other things. Modern man is free, so he cannot fall back on these now-abandoned strictures.

Modern man is, in fact, so free that it is as if he has been shattered to pieces. His soul “contains multitudes”. This shattering, Evola contends, can be most easily observed in remorse, which is an emotion that mostly affects divided people and which is characteristic of our time.

The eighth essay is called “The Transcendent Dimension – ‘Life’ and ‘More Than Life'”. The man who gets it, Evola contends, is one who possesses a transcendental dimension, a spiritual dimension. Here he distances himself further from Nietzsche, who for Evola was more of a vessel that history acted through than a genuine actor in his own right. Nietzsche’s great error was “confusion of the sacred with the profane”.

Evola, through quoting Nietzsche, gives us a prescription for a man of gold, although without using alchemical terms: a many who has great passions (clay), but who holds them in check (iron), and who hold them in check with apparent ease (silver) and who, last of all, does not draw any particular egoic satisfaction from doing so (gold). Here, the highest sort of man is one who overcomes great dangers, for it is only in doing so that all these qualities can be expressed.

Evola mentions the common interest in Zen philosophy among the Beat Generation that was heavily influenced by the existentialists. Here, religious belief (of any kind) is rejected as a failure of the human spirit, of the sort of person who did not have the character to survive the tension of the Age of Nihilism, and who hence surrendered to easy answers.


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Should New Zealand Legalise Cannibalism Out of Respect For Maori Culture?

In recent years, people have been asking hard questions about the effects of Western colonisation on the New World. Many moral values that were taken to be universal are now being re-evaluated in the new light of Western oppression. Eventually, New Zealand will need to ask itself: were the British wrong to abolish cannibalism?

In British culture, there is a massive taboo around cannibalism. The act is considered even lower than barbaric, more befitting of an animal than of a human being. Famous cases such as the Sawney Bean family horrify British people even to this day. The taboo can be traced back at least as far as Homer and is universal in the West.

In Maori culture, before British contact, there was no such taboo. Cannibalism was rife. The act of cannibalism was, as it has been all around the world, an extremely effective black magic ritual, in which the cannibal convinced themselves that they had absorbed the power of their victim. This ritual is effective for the simple reason that it increases the ego of the cannibal and makes them more formidable in the realm of iron magic. Moral considerations didn’t come into it.

So a couple of questions have to be asked: if cannibalism was an accepted part of Maori culture (in that it was practiced by many tribes over the whole country), did the British really have the right to suppress that particular cultural expression? And, if they didn’t have that right, are we obligated to re-legalise cannibalism out of respect for Maori culture?

After all, cannibalism may have been an effective method for keeping the tribe strong. Because it was mostly the old, children and those defeated in battle who got eaten, it could be argued that this practice served to keep the Maori genepool free of weakness. If so, who are white people to impose their own moral framework over a useful practice?

The major objection to cannibalism is that it is almost never consensual, and arguably could not ever be with someone of right mind, for the simple reason that it goes against basic self-preservation instincts. Getting cannibalised in New Zealand usually meant that one’s brains were first dashed out with a patu or taiaha, and it’s hard to legalise this for obvious reasons.

Another major objection is that many Maori tribes actually opposed the practice of cannibalism, and were happy to welcome the British settlers, who not only also opposed it but who had muskets to make their opposition count. The Ngati Porou of the author of this piece is one such example. Thus is could be argued that cannibalism was never a universal Maori practice and therefore not an integral part of the culture.

However, these objections have to be considered in the context of modern technology. As Sir Apirana Ngata said: “Ko to ringa ki ngā rakau a te Pāhekā” (“Your hands to the tools of the Pakeha”). Well, now ngā rakau a te Pāhekā include machines that can grow animal flesh in laboratories, and cheaply enough so that a lab-grown steak can be produced for $20. It won’t be long until we can cheaply grow human flesh in a lab.

If human flesh can be grown in a laboratory, this would get around the problem of people having to be killed into order for cannibalism to be possible. This would get around the moral objections so far presented against the legalisation of cannibalism. If there are then no remaining objections to legalising cannibalism, one is forced to conclude that the balance of liberty ought to fall on the side of established precedent.

Because cannibalism has been practiced in these isles for much longer than English has been spoken, it seems natural to conclude that it ought to take precedent over British settler values like not practicing cannibalism. Therefore, the New Zealand Government ought to take action that clearly demonstrates its respect for Maori culture, and make the practice of cannibalism legal.


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The Tyranny of Mercury is Control of Information and Free Expression

Mercury was known as the “Messenger of the Gods”, and alchemically represents the information that is immediately below transcendental

Mercury comes inbetween silver and gold in the hierarchy of alchemical substances, which is one reason why it was given the name “quicksilver”. As the tyranny of silver is control of intellectual perceptions and the tyranny of gold is control of spiritual perceptions, so is the tyranny of mercury control of information and truth perceptions. This means controlling who is allowed to say what and when.

All tyrannies have an interest in controlling information – a lesson best taught by Orwell’s 1984. As Stalin said, “Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don’t let our enemies have guns, so why would we let them have ideas?” Ideas are how people organise themselves, and without ideas they are unable to position themselves to strike against the tyrants, never mind whether they have guns.

Resistance to a tyranny must first begin with an idea, because the resistance will need to rally around an idea if they are to be coherent enough to succeed. The usual case is for that idea to be expressed in terms of information, as a memeplex, and therefore counter-resistance must first begin with denying accurate or meaningful information to the people, because otherwise the people will provide and share the necessary information to each other.

Thus, in order to control information you have to first control free expression. There are two major ways to do this.

The first is through legal consequences. This means to forbid a range of opinions or means of expression and then to punish anyone who proceeds to express them anyway. The best-known examples of these methods are the Soviet Union and East Germany. In the latter country it is believed that, at one time, one in five of the adult population were Stasi informants.

In the 21st century, tyrannical attitudes to free expression can be observed in the ever-increasing prison sentences handed down to people for what are essentially blasphemy charges – blasphemy against the religion of political correctness. This has been happening in Britain for some years already and it looks likely to get worse.

Some of the most egregious examples are the sentences for social media posts criticising Islam. Freedom to criticise religion – especially the mindless, violent, supremacist cults of Abrahamism – has been an integral part of Western culture since the Enlightenment.

This could be equated to “hard power” in the sense that transgressors run the risk of getting locked into a cage of iron by direct force. It’s essentially no different to giving someone a backhand across the mouth for saying the wrong thing. The ultimate purpose is to discourage the transgression by applying immediate physical suffering.

The second way to control free expression is through social consequences. Although this is similar to the first category in the sense that the idea is to modify behaviour by punishing that which is undesired, this method uses more subtlety – although it can be equally as brutal.

Humans have a deep, instinctual fear of being excluded from the tribe. In the biological past, getting banished from the tribe for some kind of moral transgression frequently meant death. Even though starving to death is nearly impossible in today’s age of plenty, the raw, primal fear of it remains – and can be manipulated by those who can see the wiring of the human brain.

One of the consequences of this pattern of human instinctual behaviour is that people with social influence can wield this influence as a weapon against those without it, by threatening to destroy the community reputation of those with low social capital. The way to destroy another person’s community reputation is to suggest that they are not moral on account of some belief they have or action they have taken, thus leading to distrust.

Such threats frequently evoke fear and acquiescence, and could be equated to “soft power”. This is similar to the sense that countries like Britain are believed (by some) to possess a cultural influence that goes much further than their military one. A perception exists that one risks being shunned from the clique of cool nations if one goes against them.

It can be readily observed today that the West is falling into a state where freedom of expression can no longer be taken for granted. When a tyranny begins to fail, the first thing they are tempted to do is to restrict free expression, because the free expression of a people who have been failed by their leaders will involve criticism, and this criticism threatens the continued rule of the tyrant. Understanding the tyranny of mercury gives us clues as to the tyrant’s next moves.


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It’s Not Immoral to Despise Islam – Islam is an Ideology of Hate

Rational people wouldn’t welcome neo-Nazis into their country and give them shelter and a base – so why do it for other hate ideologies?

If a person in the modern West came out and said that they despised Nazism or Communism, no-one would think anything of it. After all, everyone knows that both Nazism and Communism are hate ideologies that are responsible for an eight-figure death count. Everyone seems to be able to agree that ideologies that cause the deaths of tens of millions of people are evil.

Surely, then, no reasonable person can object to another person coming out and saying that they despise Islam and that they oppose its spread. Islam is a hate ideology in both word and deed.

As far as deed goes, if the reader is one of the elite few to have ever cracked open a history book, they will already be well aware of the bloody history of Islam. Perhaps the worst was the Islamic conquest of India, believed to have caused 80 million deaths. Taking place from the 12th to 16th centuries, Muslim invaders raped, slaughtered and pillaged their way across the subcontinent, destroying every non-Islamic religious temple or scripture they could get their hands on. Some historians consider this invasion the single bloodiest in history.

80 million deaths is a fitting apogee for a religion founded by a man who spent most of his adult life warmongering and bringing everyone he could to submission. In fact, the religion itself continued in much the same vein as Muhammad after his death: Muslims conquered 13 million sq km of territory within 130 years of being founded.

Few people are aware that Afghanistan was once a thriving and peaceful Buddhist kingdom, before Muslims turned up and trashed it. Perhaps the most glaring example of how Muslims are capable of destroying competing religious ideologies comes from the history of the Islamicisation of Persia.

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that Muhammad was another Tojo or Hitler – in every way a tyrant, and in no way a man of God.

Islam conquered 13,000,000 sq km of territory less than 130 years after its founding

As far as word goes, Islam is happy to tell you in its own holy scriptures that it’s an ideology of hate. Verse 9:29 of the Koran commands Muslims to “Fight those who do not believe in Allah” and to never relent until “they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled”.

On the face of it, it seems pretty obvious that an ideology based on a holy book that explicitly tells its followers to fight those of other religions cannot coexist peacefully with other ideologies. If Allah commands his followers specifically to attack those of other religions until they are defeated, then Islam cannot peacefully coexist with other religions.

Verse 48:29 continues the hate, declaring that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves…” In other words, Muslims are not obligated to treat non-Muslims as if they are fellow humans – it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse another human being simply on the grounds that they are non-Muslim. Solidarity is the sole province of those in the cult.

The Koran is riddled with this sort of command to shed blood. Verse 2:191 tells Muslims to “kill [unbelievers] wherever you overtake them”, Verse 47:4 tells Muslims that “when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens” and Verse 9:5 tells Muslims that “when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush”.

To rehash the logic in the opening paragraph, no-one has any problem connecting the psychopathic, us-against-the-world rhetoric of Mein Kampf or Hitlers Zweites Buch with the bloodshed and slaughter of World War II, so surely it cannot be difficult to see how the kind of rhetoric in the Koran, or the violent example set by Muhammad, has led directly to all the bloodshed and slaughter that soaks the history of Islam.

Reasonable, fair and honest people hate Islam, for all the reasons that they hate Nazism and Communism. First and foremost of these reasons is that Islam is a supremacist ideology that believes it is destined to rule the world, and therefore that non-believers must bow the knee or die. This ideological aggression naturally brings it into conflict with all other religions and ideologies as it tries to dominate them – which means every last one of us, sooner or later.

In other words, Islam is as much our enemy as Nazism was. Islam is an ideology of hate – it’s as simple as that. We should treat it accordingly.


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The Century of Psychology is Being Delayed By Politics

This might be the “Century of Psychology” – if politicians allow it to be

It could be argued that the 19th century was the century of physics, and the 20th century was the century of chemistry. Men such as Maxwell, Watt, Faraday, Tesla, Edison, Rutherford, Hoffmann, Einstein and Shulgin transformed our everyday lives. But now that we can blow up the entire planet at the press of a button, physics and chemistry seem to have hit their limits. This essay argues that psychology will be the science that transforms the 21st century, but there are numerous political obstacles in the path.

As once was true for physics and chemistry, the current popular level of understanding of psychological science is primitive. In the same way that we laugh about previous generations believing that the Moon was made of cheese, so too will future generations laugh at us for believing ridiculous things like smoking cannabis causes schizophrenia. Descriptions of the way we treat desperately mentally ill people today, such as subjecting them to involuntary electroshock treatment, will evoke horror in the future.

Nowadays, thanks to mass education, people can get their heads around aeroplanes, photography and nuclear energy and no longer consider them sorcery. There are a number of obstacles, however, that must still be overcome before the science of psychology can have its full impact upon the world. The main one at the moment is that people tell lies because of politics, and these lies obscure the truth about humanity’s true nature.

For example, the left tells lies intended to create a perception of, and belief in, the natural equality of all people. Because their political dogma is based around the need for horizontalisation, they are loathe to concede that any two people or groups of people are different in any way that might imply that one was better than another.

Although there are no two things in Nature that are precisely equal, the fervour with which it is asserted that all human groups are precisely equal in intellectual capacity equals that of any religion. At its most ridiculous, this obsession with equality will concede that the human form has been shaped by evolution and that the differences in human phenotypes are a function of evolution, but that evolution stops at the neck.

Many people have discovered that genetic differences between groups, especially when it comes to intelligence or temperament, cannot simply be discussed openly without some leftist shrieking all manner of accusations at the participants. This has a retarding effect on the advancement of science because people become reluctant to discuss psychology honestly for fear of having “Racist!” screamed in their face.

The right, for its part, blames the poor and blacks for their state of poverty. If only they would stop doing drugs and read books, the right contends, prosperity would soon follow. They have no time for the arguments that the poor are doing drugs to medicate trauma-based mental illnesses that no other medicine can treat, or that they can’t concentrate to read books on account of being full of adrenaline all the time from the verbal and physical violence in their environment.

Not only does the right tend to blame people for the damage that has been done to them from the outside, but they give credit to people for success that is better attributable to the environment in which that person was raised and the support networks they had. This is bad because it makes it impossible to discuss the nature of society accurately and with honesty, and therefore impossible to design social policy that reduces human suffering.

Authoritarians tell a story about human nature that exaggerates our similarity with chimpanzees. This narrative emphasises the violent struggle of daily chimpanzee life and how qualities such as viciousness, paranoia, brutality and aggression serve to keep one’s enemies at bay. It represents an extreme form of verticalisation in which no-one can turn their back on anyone else for a second.

This ideology can be used to justify a wide range of cruelties, because authoritarianism is naturally terrified of chaos, and so authoritarian societies clamp down on free expression and recreational exploration of sex, drugs and music. All of these things, plus others, are regularly banned in authoritarian societies, which emphasise the usefulness of hierarchy for keeping things in their place.

The problem with this attitude is that human beings have a need for recreational activities, because boredom is literally a mental disease, and one that leads to physical diseases. People have to be allowed to enjoy themselves, because human nature needs to find a balance to the masculine working and fighting aspects of life.

Moreover, authoritarian thinking cannot handle drug use because drug use leads to free thought, and novel ways of thinking are considered security threats by control freaks, who clamp down on them. This mentality is responsible for cannabis being illegal. Pharmaceutical advances in the treatment of psychological conditions seldom happen when authoritarians are in charge.

Libertarians, on the other hand, tell a story about human nature that exaggerates our similarity with bonobos. This narrative emphasises lovemaking and peace, and maintains that all people are capable of being good if only given a chance. Although this is based in a perfectly lovely sentiment, it’s no less dangerous.

For one thing, the belief that all people are inherently good makes it harder to defend ourselves from those who are not good. Libertarian naivety about the dark rivers that run through the human heart mean that they make political decisions that expose them to that darkness. Often the mistake is not realised until it cannot be easily rectified (such as the European experience with Muslim and African immigration).

Another point is that libertarian logic denies the inherent human need for (at least a modicum of) order. It might be true that excessive legal and cultural strictures cause suffering, and that liberation from such is exhilarating, but no-one can simply dwell in a state of chaos without eventually feeling impelled to impose some order upon their surroundings.

Psychology has the potential to radically improve the standard of living of all people, especially this century as advances in brain-scanning technology herald great advances in neurochemical understanding. The biggest challenge that psychology faces, however, is that many people are motivated to deny psychological truths for the sake of political advantage. This will delay the impact of advances in psychological science on human society.


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VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger II

This reading continues on from here.

Part II of Ride the Tiger is called ‘In the World Where God is Dead’, and deals with the ever-present problem of the nihilism that arises when one abandons traditional values. This part consists of nine essays.

The first of these (the third essay in the book), ‘European Nihilism – the Dissolution of Morals’, sets the tone for this section. The subject matter will be familiar to any reader of Nietzsche, and indeed Nietzsche is mentioned in the first paragraph. This essay also mentions Doestoevsky, in the context of “If God is dead, everything is permitted.” It promises to be heavy stuff!

“Rational”, or atheistic morality, has no firm basis, Evola contends. Without an appeal to a higher power, any moral philosophy will eventually be chipped away at by critics until it disintegrates. Moral taboos cannot be justified, and therefore we can’t move past “everything is permitted”.

Perhaps more worryingly, it’s possible that, even if God did exist and inform us all, nothing would really change.

The fourth essay is ‘From the Precursors of Nihilism to the “Lost Youth” and the Protest Movement’. Existence has become absurd, Evola contends, because there are no longer any restraints. Here he traces the advancement of nihilism in the years post-Nietzsche. As Nietzsche predicted, the problem of nihilism only intensified as we entered the 20th century.

Movements such as punks and beatniks are drawn under the wider rubric of nihilists. The counter-culture becomes, for Evola, a “destructive, voiceless rage”. It’s isn’t necessarily that things are bad in and of themselves, but that a quiet, peaceful, mediocre life evokes this rage. Natural man feels little difference between the modern cornucopia of manufactured goods and slavery.

Citing Paul van den Bosch when he wrote that “When we were born, the gold was already transmuted into lead,” Evola makes another appeal to the perennial philosophy and its esoteric nature. This is necessary because the left-wing revolution has “betrayed its origins” with “a new conformism” – a statement that echoes in 2018.

The fifth essay is ‘Disguises of European Nihilism – The Socioeconomic Myth and the Protest Movement’. To Evola’s mind, there are two great socioeconomic myths of our time: the myth of Western prosperity, and the Marxist-communist myth of oppressor versus oppressed. Both myths are predicated on the same falsehood, namely that the signs and markers of the dissolution of society represent “progress”.

One severe problem exists with both of these myths: neither has any room for any conception of a higher world – the realm of gold in alchemism – and so both myths, while they solve the problem of nihilism, introduce unacceptable problems of their own. Both ideologies are predicated on a gross, fundamental error: that solving questions of material suffering will also solve questions of existential suffering.

Perhaps the last words here are “there is no correlation between material and spiritual misery.” This lays out the futility of trying to find absolution through materialist avenues. One is left with the impression, in Evola’s words, that “The time is near of the most despicable οf men, who can nο longer despise himself.”

Are we now in the time of the Man of Clay?


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The Palestinian Paradox

The more a person knows about certain political issues, the less likely they are to present information about those issues in an honest manner

When listening to people talk about the Israel-Palestine Conflict, it’s possible to observe the following pattern. The more knowledge a person has about the conflict, they less likely they are to present that knowledge objectively to a listener. This presents us with a curious paradox that makes it necessary to unlearn some of our educational conditioning.

In the educational system, it’s rare that a student considers the possibility that their teacher is lying to them. In the vast majority of cases they don’t need to do so, and paranoia about the teacher is not optimal from the perspective of learning efficiency, because the most efficient learning method is to accept everything unquestioningly.

The political world, however, is infinitely more cutthroat than any educational system could ever be, and one result of this is people constantly lying. The average politician will lie about absolutely anything if they perceive that it is somehow to their advantage to do so. Truth is not a goal in the way it is for an academic. To the average politician, honesty is a slave morality, fit only for simple-minded suckers.

In the political world, people don’t become experts, because that implies an honest effort to communicate truth. Politicians merely become effective manipulators of truth-like statements. Information is not learned because it has truth value; information is learned because data can be used to manipulate listeners into obeying one’s directives and working for one’s agendas.

The Palestianian Paradox arises in the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict, where there are rarely neutral observers for the reason that almost everyone hates at least one of either Jews or Arabs. The result of this is that people are usually only interested in learning about the history of the conflict in the first place if they have already committed to one side or the other.

Many people hate Jews and this leads to them learning about the conflict from a perspective that emphasises Palestinian rhetoric; many people hate Muslims and this leads to them learning about the conflict from a perspective that emphasises Israeli rhetoric. Indeed, the very choice of descriptor for the disputed area in question gives away a bias (I have chosen “Palestinian Paradox” for the sake of alliteration).

The paradox, then, is the more a person knows about the Israel-Palestine conflict the less likely they are to be motivated to tell the truth about it, because only a person with an established bias would be motivated to learn about the conflict in the first place.

If a person knows a lot about the history of the conflict and the major names involved, they are more likely to selectively omit some of this information when telling you about the conflict for the sake of supporting the objectives of their side. Finding a truly neutral observer is extremely difficult, which makes learning about the conflict difficult, because the more someone is an expert the more likely they are to be biased.

This is also true of many (if not most) other conflicts throughout the history of the world.

In terms of elementalism, the distinction described here corresponds to the distinction between the realm of gold and the realm of silver. In the realm of gold, truth is appreciated for its own value and is recognised as valuable in its own right. In the realm of silver, it is the appearance of truth that matters. The actual truth is hidden away behind the glare of the appearance of truth.

This reflects the distinction between the gold of honest truth-seeking for its own ideal reasons and the silver of educating oneself so that one might use one’s knowledge as a weapon to further material objectives.


If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger I

Having chosen a left-wing work (The Interregnum) for our previous reading, we now go to the right again and have a look at Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger. Subtitled “A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul”, it’s based on the premise that the fight against modernity has been lost and the only thing a thinking man can do is ride the tiger of modernity until it’s time to rebuild on the other side.

Part I of the eight parts of this book is called “Orientations” and divides into two essays.

The first of these is called ‘The Modern World and Traditional Man’. This opens outright with a declaration that this text isn’t for everyone. Like The Satanic Bible, Evola is explicit in that his book is only for a particular kind of person. Ride the Tiger is written for the outsider.

Evola’s style seems timeless in the sense that his complaints about the nature of society apply just as well to 2018 as they did to his time, and probably apply well to many times in the past. Things are collapsing, certainly in social terms if not yet physical ones, and so Evola advocates a return to traditional values.

These traditional values are not bourgeoisie ones, Evola is at pains to point out, but in fact “the very antithesis of them.” Indeed, he hints at evoking the perennial philosophy, such as when he writes “It is good to sever every link with all that which is destined sooner or later to collapse. The problem will then be to maintain one’s essential direction without leaning οn any given or transmitted form.”

Psychonauts such as the readership of VJM Publishing will commiserate with this feeling, as it’s a handy description of the ego death experience that comes with the peak of a psychedelic trip. One loses all touch with and memory of the fleeting forms of energy that make up the material world, and resides solely in pure consciousness, and thereby reunites with God.

Fittingly, then, Evola states that the Tradition that inspires him has “the character of an esoteric doctrine.”

The second essay, ‘The End of a Cycle – “Ride the Tiger”‘, continues in the same vein. Evola explains that the expression “to ride the tiger” is from the Far East and refers to the idea that it’s safer to ride on the tiger’s back than to try and flee and get pounced on, for the tiger will eventually tire out and then one can make an escape.

Essentially, the idea expressed here is this: great and terrible changes are sweeping the world, and will continue to do so. They will destroy much, if not all, of the existing order, regardless of whether this order is good or bad. There is no hope of resisting this process.

All of this sounds terribly pessimistic and nihilistic on the surface, but it’s clear that, like Nietzsche before him, Evola has anticipated the nihilism that follows the destruction of the incumbent value system, and is speaking of what must come beyond that. He writes of the “Four Ages” system famililar to readers of Plato’s Republic as well as to Hindus.

The warning of this chapter is that the forces of destruction and degeneracy are too powerful to be overcome; resisting them is as futile as resisting the tide. But in this there is still a message of hope: those destructive forces are too mindless, stupid and disorderly to hold sway for very long and so, like the storm, they will pass, and leave an opportunity to rebuild order in their wake.

And so, Evola mocks the “progressive” and “advanced” thinking of the West as little more than symptoms of a disease of the soul. This is apparently the context in which the book ought to be read.

The object of the book is summed up in the final paragraph of this essay: “defining the attitude to be taken toward certain experiences and processes of today”. In other words, how do we deal with the fact that everything’s falling to bits?


If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).