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.

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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?

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When The Stories About Mistreated Babies Come, War is Imminent

In the popular mind, wars are very sudden things, usually launched without warning against an unsuspecting enemy. Pearl Harbour is the most famous example, but we’ve also been conditioned to fear the possibility of an ICBM exchange, which would mean that we could potentially all be destroyed before more than a handful of us even knew what was going on. The truth is that The Powers That Be plan major wars long in advance – and their propaganda is calculated accordingly.

Even in video games like Civilization VI, it rarely happens that war is just launched out of the blue. The game mechanics incentivise a belligerent to make a denouncement before declaring war, and this is faithful to how history has transpired. There are far too many signs of impending war for this article to cover, but it will cover one sign that war has become imminent: when the mainstream propaganda organs begin to accuse a foreign enemy of mistreating babies in some manner.

In World War One, the British propagandists spread stories about the soldiers of the Huns (Germans) bayonnetting babies in their cribs when they invaded Belgium. The logic appeared to be that an enemy accused of such deeds was so evil that anyone who considered themselves a right-thinking person was morally obliged to volunteer for the armed forces so as to go and smash it.

The propaganda was effective – the British Empire recruited millions of its men to fight the Germans, and these men fought with the genuine belief that they were opposing an evil order.

When World War Two rolled around, Anglo propagandists saw no need to reinvent the wheel. And duly, we were told the same stories about Japanese soldiers bayonetting babies, this time babies of Chinese and Filipino origin. This had a similar effect on the receiving population, and millions of men signed up to fight the Imperial Japanese.

In the lead up to the Gulf War in 1990, the infamous Nayirah testimony got the American public onboard with an American invasion of Kuwait. Nayirah was purported to be a 15-year old Kuwaiti who had been present when Iraqi soldiers invaded. Her testimony involved a harrowing tale about watching helplessly on as plundering Iraqi soldiers went as far as dumping babies out of incubators in their haste to steal everything.

Neither the American public nor the media saw fit to challenge this narrative. Who could be so cruel as to ask sceptical questions when the well-being of incubator babies were on the line?

In 2018, the Eye of the Empire is turned upon North Korea. Because of their intercontinental ballistic missile program, North Korea threatens to become a brutally disruptive force in the Asia-Pacific region. They could already put a nuclear warhead on a missile and hit Japan with it, and America might well intervene before America itself comes into range.

That explains why there has been so much anti-North Korea propaganda in the mainstream media in recent months, such as this piece in Australia. The linked piece recounts another harrowing story, this time of a “hero defector” who is now informing the world that the dogs in China eat better than North Koreans.

This degree of propaganda, with phrases like “hero defector”, is worrisome, as it speaks of an effort to make North Koreans appear killworthy to Western audiences. The real cause for alarm will come if and when the Western propaganda organs start reporting stories about babies being starved to death, or being thrown into soup-pots by starving villagers.

If stories like that ever come then you will know that the war drums are beating.

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The Yin-Yang of History

Traditionally speaking, when men like this start appearing among your youth, it’s the beginning of the end

The postwar period was a good one for the West. The major Anglo powers had seen all the challengers and potential challengers to their world hegemony bombed flat – partially by them, mostly by each other. With Nazism and Communism both falling to their knees, the liberal democratic order ushered in some good times for the people of the world. Peace and prosperity reigned… but the yin-yang of history tells us that nothing lasts.

The 1990s might be seen, from the vantagepoint of history, as the apogee of these good times. The Soviet Union had fallen, and China and India were yet to rise. Those of us who knew the course of history, however, knew this: good times create weak men. Weak mean create hard times. Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times.

This is the yin-yang of history.

Good times are the equivalent of summer. Here, people don’t have to think very hard about how to survive and thrive. In the same way that it’s warm and sunny in summertime and so people don’t have to think very hard about what clothing to put on before they go outside, political conditions are favourable in the sense that the ruling class doesn’t have to think very hard about security without and solidarity within.

In the summertime of history, wealth abounds from the increased energy in the atmosphere. To most, these good times seem like they’re going to last forever. The more perceptive of people, however, even if they don’t know about the yin-yang of history, can often see the signs of collapse coming in advance.

The problem with good times, as Plato observed in The Republic, is that they create weak men. When times are good, the tendency is to let minor infractions slide, and although this can lead to an atmosphere of joy it also leads to indiscipline. This indiscipline is why the weak men are weak, and it’s this indiscipline that leads to the hard times.

It might be argued that this is the stage that the West finds itself in 2018 A.D. Our Baby Boomer leaders, who were raised with all the laxness of a generation that had got its fill of violence in World War II and had decided to bring up the Boomers with as little harshness as possible, clearly do not possess the mental discipline to educate themselves properly about the matters of the world.

In our age, it’s entirely possible to find a Western minister or higher who doesn’t know the basics about history or science. There is ample opportunity to learn about such things, of course, but our leaders would rather drink alcohol and watch television. Some, like the Belgian Minister of Health, have lost control of their weight entirely.

These weak men cast a shadow on their nations: the same as the shadows of autumn, who they represent. Their enemies observe this absence of intellectual power, and they move to take advantage.

Because the leaders have no discipline to educate themselves properly, they don’t understand what’s really happening in the world. This results in decisions getting made on the basis of how things used to be a long time ago (but no longer are), or how things might be in some idealised future world (instead of how they now are).

These poor decisions lead naturally to hard times. This stage in the cycle of history corresponds to the wintertime. Leaders lead the people in the wrong direction, causing them to dissipate their energies on follies or to spill them on battlefields for no reward. Here there is poverty – in fact, there is never enough of anything, and people learn to live with want.

Hard times can lead to bitterness, but in the same way that the bitterest cold of winter leads to a hardening in the form of ice, so too do the bitterest lows of life lead to a hardening of the heart. These hard men do not, at first, bode well for the people who they live among. To the contrary – the pitiless, ruthless nature of hard men make them natural criminals and killers.

But the hardness of hard men leads to discipline in those who come after them. This discipline – true iron discipline – is a matter of Will and therefore it is ultimately generated from within. These disciplined men are the opposite of the men we have in 2018 A.D. These disciplined men impose order upon their minds by devoting themselves to the correct course of study and behaviour.

Disciplined people who study hard represent the springtime of a people. It is for these people that VJM Publishing exists. These are the people who will rise up and make good decisions. They will come to occupy positions of leadership not because their backers paid for the best advertising, but because they are asked by their peers to occupy these positions on the basis of demonstrated wisdom.

Because of this wisdom, these leaders are not afraid to shy away from the knowledge necessary to make the correct decisions. This leads to increasing wealth and prosperity. So when the men of gold are recognised as such and are placed into positions of leadership on account of this, then the people will enter another golden age, or another age of summer.

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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).