Putin Vs Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right

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According to Dugin, Putin is far from the image of the hardcore nationalist created by Western media propaganda. He is a man of halves: half-liberal, half-Eurasianist. He has made many steps in the right direction, but somehow he never seems to reach the end goal. Putin is essentially a realist, as defined by Machiavelli and Carl Schmitt. He has not found an ideology, but rather reacts instinctively to events and circumstances.

Despite his flaws, Putin is, according to Dugin, the best leader possible; especially when compared to the standard Western politician.

Putin Vs Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right (Alexander Dugin-Putin vs Putin_ Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right) is not a biography but a Eurasianist analysis of Putin’s reign and of the challenges to be overcome in the future. It is an excellent introduction to Russian politics, thanks to the many footnotes, which introduce the main protagonists of the Russian political scene and the many influences at work in Moscow.

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Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Libertarianism and the “Alt-Right” (PFS 2017)

A new victimology has been proclaimed and promoted. Women — and in particular single mothers — blacks, browns, Latinos, homosexuals, lesbians, bi, and transsexuals have been awarded victim status, and accorded legal privileges through nondiscrimination or affirmative action decrees as well. Most recently such privileges have been expanded also to foreign national immigrants, whether legal or illegal, insofar as they fall into one of the just mentioned categories, or are members of non-Christian religions such as Islam for instance.

Hoppe does not identify as alt-right, but runs in the same circles as prominent white nationalists. His popularity among fringe anarcho-capitalists – or ancaps – has resulted in a plethora of memes, sometimes depicting Hoppe as Pepe the Frog, and often bearing the slogan “Hippity Hoppity, Get Off My Property.” One of Hoppe’s proposals – that truly libertarian societies be able to “physically remove” Communists and other undesirables from their ranks – has become a meme on the far-right thanks to the “Crying Nazi” himself, Christopher Cantwell. His online store stocks “I ♥ Physical Removal” stickers, along with a “Right-Wing Death Squad” hat, and Radical Agenda shirts depicting a person being thrown from a helicopter – in honor of Augusto Pinochet….

Hoppe told his audience that “many of the leading lights associated with the alt-right have appeared here at our meetings in the course of the years,” including Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, Richard Lynn, Jared Taylor, John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, and Richard Spencer. And he boasted that these associations have “earned” him “several honorable mentions” by the SPLC, which he called “America’s most famous smear and defamation league.”

According to Hoppe, “many libertarians” are “plain ignorant of human psychology and sociology” and “devoid of any common sense.” He said this explains their tendency to “blindly accept, against all empirical evidence, an egalitarian, blank slate view of human nature that all people and all societies and all cultures are essentially equal and interchangeable.”

The alt-right, on the other hand, does not labor under such delusions. He described the alt-right as “united” in its “identification and diagnosis of [the West’s] social pathologies.” The alt-right is “against, and indeed it hates with a passion, the elites in control of the State, the mainstream media, and academia” because they promote “egalitarianism, affirmative action or nondiscrimination laws, multiculturalism, and free mass immigration as a means to bring about this multiculturalism.”

 

Rhizomatic Extreme-Right.

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In the context of the extreme right-wing politics in the contemporary age, groupuscules can be defined as numerically negligible political, frequently meta-political, but never party-political entities formed to pursue palingenetic ideological, organizational or activistic ends with an ultimate goal of overcoming the decadence of the liberal-democratic system. Though, they are fully formed and autonomous, they have small active memberships and minimal, if any public visibility or support, which is now inflating. Yet they acquire enhanced influence and significance through the ease with which they can be associated, even if only in the minds of political extremists, with other group lets which are sufficiently aligned ideologically and tactically to complement each other’s activities in their bid to institute a new type of society. As a result the groupuscule has Janus-headed characteristic of combining organizational autonomy with the ability to create informal linkages with, or reinforce the influence of other such formations. This enables groupuscules, when considered in terms of their aggregate impact on politics and society, to be seen as forming a non-hierarchical, leaderless and centreless, or rather polycentric movement with fluid boundaries and constantly changing components. This groupuscular right has the characteristics of a political and ideological subculture rather than a conventional political party movement, and is perfectly adapted to the task of perpetuating revolutionary extremism in an age of relative political stability.

The outstanding contrast between the groupuscular and party-political organization of the extreme right is that instead of being formed into a tree-like hierarchical organisms it is now rhizomatic. The use of the term was pioneered in the spirit of post-structuralist radicalism by Deleuze and Guattari to help conceptualize the social phenomena to which, metaphorically at least, the attributes of supra-personal organic life-forms can be ascribed, but which are not structured in a coherently hierarchical or systematically interconnected way which would make tree-based or dendroid metaphors appropriate. When applied to groupuscular right the concept of rhizome throws itself into relief its dynamic nature as a polycentric, leaderless movement by stressing that it does not operate like a single organism such as a tree with a tap-root, branch and canopy, and a well-defined beginning and an end. Instead, it behaves like the root-system of some species of grass or tuber, displaying multiple starts and beginnings which intertwine and connect with each other, constantly producing new shoots as others die off in an unpredictable, asymmetrical pattern of growth and decay. If a political network has a rhizomes political structure it means that it forms a cellular, capillary network with ill-defined boundaries and no formal hierarchy or internal organizational structure to give it a unified intelligence. Thanks to its rhizomic structure the groupuscular right no longer emulates a singular living organism, as the slime-mould is so mysteriously capable of doing. Nor is it to be seen as made up of countless tiny, disconnected micro-organisms. Instead, following an internal dynamic which only the most advanced life sciences can model with any clarity, the minute bursts of spontaneous creativity which produce and maintain individual groupuscules constitute nodal points in a force-field or web of radical political energy which fuels the vitality and viability of the organism as a whole. These qualities duplicate the very features of the Internet for making it impossible to shut down or wipe out the information it contains simply by knocking out any one part of it, since there is no mission control to destroy. The groupuscularity of the contemporary extreme right makes it eminently able to survive and grow even if some of the individual organizations which constitute it are banned and their websites closed down.

From Slime Mould to Rhizome

 

Ideological Morphology. Thought of the Day 105.1

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When applied to generic fascism, the combined concepts of ideal type and ideological morphology have profound implications for both the traditional liberal and Marxist definitions of fascism. For one thing it means that fascism is no longer defined in terms of style, for e.g. spectacular politics, uniformed paramilitary forces, the pervasive use of symbols like fasces and Swastika, or organizational structure, but in terms of ideology. Moreover, the ideology is not seen as essentially nihilistic or negative (anti-liberalism, anti-Marxism, resistance to transcendence etc.), or as the mystification and aestheticization of capitalist power. Instead, it is constructed in the positive, but not apologetic or revisionist terms of the fascists’ own diagnosis of society’s structural crisis and the remedies they propose to solve it, paying particular attention to the need to separate out the ineliminable, definitional conceptions from time- or place- specific adjacent or peripheral ones. However, for decades the state of fascist studies would have made Michael Freeden’s analysis well-nigh impossible to apply to generic fascism, because precisely what was lacking was any conventional wisdom embedded in common-sense usage of the term about what constituted the ineliminable cluster of concepts at its non-essentialist core. Despite a handful of attempts to establish its definitional constituents that combined deep comparative historiographical knowledge of the subject with a high degree of conceptual sophistication, there was a conspicuous lack of scholarly consensus over what constituted the fascist minimum. Whether there was such an entity as generic fascism even was a question to think through. Or whether Nazism’s eugenic racism and the euthanasia campaign it led to, combined with a policy of physically eliminating racial enemies that led to the systematic persecution and mass murder, was simply unique, and too exceptional to be located within the generic category was another question to think through. Both these positions suggest a naivety about the epistemological and ontological status of generic concepts most regrettable among professional intellectuals, since every generic entity is a utopian heuristic construct, not a real thing and every historically singularity is by definition unique no matter how many generic terms can be applied to it. Other common positions that implied considerable naivety were the ones that dismissed fascism’s ideology as too irrational or nihilistic to be part of the fascist minimum, or generalized about its generic traits by blending fascism and nazism.

Morphed Ideologies. Thought of the Day 105.0

 

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The sense of living in a post-fascist world is not shared by Marxists, of course, who ever since the first appearance of Mussolini’s virulently anti-communist squadrismo have instinctively assumed fascism to be be endemic to capitalism. No matter how much it may appear to be an autonomous force, it is for them inextricably bound up with the defensive reaction of bourgeoisie elites or big business to the attempts by revolutionary socialists to bring about the fundamental changes needed to assure social justice through a radical redistribution of wealth and power. According to which school or current of Marxism is carrying out the analysis, the precise sector or agency within capitalism that is the protagonist or backer of fascism’s elaborate pseudo-revolutionary pre-emptive strike, its degree of independence from the bourgeoisie elements who benefit from it, and the amount of genuine support it can win within the working class varies appreciably. But for all concerned, fascism is a copious taxonomic pot into which is thrown without too much intellectual agonizing over definitional or taxonomic niceties. For them, Brecht’s warning at the end of Arturo Ui has lost none of its topicality: “The womb that produced him is still fertile”.

The fact that two such conflicting perspectives can exist on the same subject can be explained as a consequence of the particular nature of all generic concepts within the human sciences. To go further into this phenomenon means entering a field of studies where philosophy of the social sciences has again proliferated conflicting positions, this time concerning the complex and largely subliminal processes involved in conceptualization and modeling in the pursuit of definite, if not definitive, knowledge. According to Max Weber, terms such as capitalism and socialism are ideal types, heuristic devices created by an act of idealizing abstraction. This cognitive process, which in good social scientific practice is carried out as consciously and scrupulously as possible, extracts a small group of salient features perceived as common to a particular generic phenomenon and assembles them into a definitional minimum which is at bottom a utopia.

The result of idealizing abstraction is a conceptually pure, artificially tidy model which does not correspond exactly to any concrete manifestation of the generic phenomenon being investigated, since in reality these are always inextricably mixed up with features, attributes, and surface details which are not considered definitional or as unique to that example of it. The dominant paradigm of the social sciences at any one time, the hegemonic political values and academic tradition prevailing in a particular geography, the political and moral values of the individual researcher all contribute to determining what common features are regarded as salient or definitional. There is no objective reality or objective definition of any aspect of it, and no simple correspondence between a word and what it means, the signifier and the signified, since it is axiomatic to Weber’s world-view that the human mind attaches significance to an essentially absurd universe and thus literally creates value and meaning, even when attempting to understand the world objectively. The basic question to be asked about any definition of fascism therefore, is not whether it is true, but whether it is heuristically useful: what can be seen or understood about concrete human phenomenon when it is applied that could not otherwise be seen, and what is obscured by it.

In his theory of ideological morphology, the British political scientist Michael Freeden has elaborated a nominalist and hence anti-essentialist approach to the definition of generic ideological terms that is deeply compatible with Weberian heuristics. He distinguishes between the ineliminable attributes or properties with which conventional usage endows them and those adjacent and peripheral to them which vary according to specific national, cultural or historical context. To cite the example he gives, liberalism can be argued to contain axiomatically, and hence at its definitional core, the idea of individual, rationally defensible liberty. however, the precise relationship of such liberty to laissez-faire capitalism, nationalism, the sanctuary, or the right of the state to override individual human rights in the defense of collective liberty or the welfare of the majority is infinitely negotiable and contestable. So are the ideal political institutions and policies that a state should adopt in order to guarantee liberty, which explains why democratic politics can never be fully consensual across a range of issues without there being something seriously wrong. It is the fact that each ideology is a cluster of concepts comprising ineliminable with eliminable ones that accounts for the way ideologies are able to evolve over time while still remaining recognizably the same and why so many variants of the same ideology can arise in different societies and historical contexts. It also explains why every concrete permutation of an ideology is simultaneously unique and the manifestation of the generic “ism”, which may assume radical morphological transformations in its outward appearance without losing its definitional ideological core.

 

Licence to Violence. Thought of the Day 101.0

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Every form of violence against fellow human beings is a problematic proposition for the overwhelming majority of people. With the exception of small minorities of individuals who are either morally indifferent to violence or categorically opposed to it, whatever the circumstances, the rest of the population operates in a context of ‘cognitive dissonance’ .

This state of mind is determined by fundamental conflicts between what is psychologically desirable, practically feasible, pragmatically expedient and morally justifiable. Violence against ‘contestant others’ may be (or may have become, depending on the circumstances) desirable to a number of people. Yet, the desirability of a life without others is usually offset by the much more profound notion of moral inadmissibility of the violent action per se, by a belief that such a prospect is impossible, by a fear of the consequences of such an action or by a combination of all these concerns.

With regard to the desirability of a violent encounter with ‘others’, nationalism, nation-statism and racialism had already made a significant contribution, accentuating the psychological distance between the national community and its particular ‘others’, often dehumanizing or delegitimizing them and fermenting negative passion against them. An act of physical elimination, however, requires much more than the mere desirability of violence or its outcomes. It is not just linked to a result but also to the action itself that involves a particular repugnant (violent) method. Therefore, authorization of violence and participation in its discharge require a negotiation of the state of cognitive dissonance, whereby desirability and expediency outweigh (even marginally or in ad hoc circumstances) the moral, legal and political impediments to violence or trivialize the problematic nature of the means used to achieve the desired goal.

The leap from abstract intention or desire to strong targeted passion and finally to concrete violent action presupposes a convincing resolution of the inner personal tension underpinning the state of cognitive dissonance. For genocide to take place, and for ordinary individuals to become active participants, this dissonance has to be first escalated by rendering the option of elimination more desirable or accessible. Then it has to be resolved one way or another by making the individual feel their actions are broadly consistent with their overall worldview. Cognitive dissonance may result either in the abandonment of the proposed action as irreconcilable with one’s ethical outlook or in the endorsement of the action through a process of changing the parameters of the dissonance itself-by endorsing new definitions of what is acceptable in the given circumstances, by ‘relativizing’ the problematic nature of the action in the light of expected outcomes or by altogether evading the dissonant mindset.

Cognitive dissonance, therefore, revolves around a tension between three main considerations: the psychological desirability, practical feasibility and moral admissibility of the action. Only a very small minority of people do not experience such tensions – either because they axiomatically reject any form of violence or because they do not see violence itself as problematic.

The majority usually find themselves pulled in different directions by each of these three considerations. They may distrust, fear or even despise ‘others’, but have fatalistically accepted the condition of coexistence, unable to conceive of a different scenario. They may long for a life without particular (or all) ‘others’, but perceive this condition as utopian, choosing instead to adapt to the awkward realities of living side by side. Alternatively, they may strongly desire the prospect of somehow ridding themselves of ‘others’, but nevertheless refrain from any violent action against them, either because they fear sanctions/reprisals or because they consider this course of action inadmissible in spite of the ostensible desirability of its effects.

In negotiating such tensions, the notion of external, authoritative licence is crucial in turning dissonance from an impediment into an incentive to unbound freedom of passion, behaviour and action. Licence is not a positive, normative freedom to act, but an ‘authorized transgression’, a special dispensation that creates a new, temporary and exceptional domain of diminished accountability. Its element of permissibility refers to particular circumstances of time and space, as well as goals and limits. Every licence redefines what is permissible in an expanded way, but it does not do so irreversibly or without caveats – conventional or new. Every new domain of licence constitutes a new moral order that is synonymous with the removal of sanctions and of accountability.

Whether authorized from above or claimed spontaneously in the absence of authority, licence makes sense only because of the awareness of the taboo nature of what it entails. However, its nature, scope and targets are determined by the authorization or by the circumstances that generated it. Like violence, it is not blind but is linked to predispositions and specific opportunities – there and then. As a form of special dispensation – exceptional in its devices, goals and particular targets – licence involved the conditional suspension of those hindrances that usually kept the exercise of sovereign violence at bay and prevented full decontestation. By removing, cancelling out or weakening constraints, it enables individuals and groups to accept the desirability of a violent scenario – even if the latter contradicts generic cultural understandings of defensible or just behaviour.

Licence may facilitate the acceptance of a particular course of violent action against a particular ‘other’ in a particular setting by strengthening the scenario’s relative desirability and/or by reducing the force of inhibiting factors and, little by little, through precedent and repetition, it may also redefine the moral universe of an individual or community by rendering previously taboo feelings and actions less troubling and more admissible. Thus, licence can be both an ad hoc dispensation and a long-term strategy for preparing a group for a new form of moral conduct they would previously consider unacceptable or problematic.

Cthulhu Swims Left, Cthulhu Like Strauss, is not Christian

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Nevertheless, Strauss’s unhappiness with the Left in the Cold War period is not tantamount to a categorical rejection of all leftist or modern thought per se….Strauss and his students largely agree with the traditional leftist dismissal of Christianity as an irrational influence on the political philosophy of the West. This fundamental consensus between Strauss and the Left, which has been neglected in most of the literature on Strauss, gravely affects their understanding of Anglo-American political thought. For Strauss was compelled to read out of this tradition any sign of a serious indebtedness to Christianity. Unlike the anti-democratic Far Right, which often faults Christianity for its universalist morality (e.g. charity) that made modern democracy possible, Strauss is ultimately critical of Christianity as a foundation for Anglo-American democracy because it is not sufficiently universalist (that is, intelligible to all human beings): it is sheer historicism to hold up one faith as the principal foundation of the West. As as result of this hermeneutical rationale, the very tradition that Strauss and his students wish to preserve as a  repository of rational accessible “eternal principles” is reinvented as a secular liberal artifice. (Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: Grant Havers)

Neoconservative thought is ultimately based on the notion that Christianity does not matter. In fact, Strauss’s understanding of European civilisation rejects the notion, first given express formulation by Aquinas, that there is no incompatibility between the Christian faith and reason. For Strauss, faith and reason were incompatible, yet influential upon each other. Whatever Strauss’s view of religion, it is clear that he felt that it had no obligatory right on reason: it existed in a separate domain. Sure, religion may be an influence, an inspiration, a tradition, etc.,  but if reason came to a conclusion separate to religion, reason had to be given its “latitude.” At its best, Straussian Neoconservatism is a secularism that is “respectful” towards religion, at worst, it plays cynical lip service to it.

Indeed, Strauss’s separation of faith and reason is contra to the Christian understanding of the two. Strauss may not have said much against Christianity, but the system he espouses is inherently incompatible with Christianity. In fact the lip service given to Christianity by the Neoconservative moment disguises the fact that that the secular agenda is still given primacy, and while attacks by an openly hostile Left may be easy to spot, the undermining of the Right goes unnoticed by an agent which talks about the importance of  “Athens and Jerusalem”, while pushing the metaphysics of the Left.

The importance of the dualistic hermeneutic in Strauss’s thought is hard to overstate, since it makes any significant attempt to spy rationality in faith almost impossible. It also throws into question Strauss’s respect for the tradition of Anglo-American democracy, whose main defenders, mightily attempted to distinguish “true religion” from superstitious dogma. If Strauss believes that no distinction is possible, does the religious basis for this civilization fall by the wayside? And, if this is the case, does the irreligious Left score the ultimate victory over the Right?

Athenian Secularism, Jacobin Secularism, Managerial Secularism, Socialist Secularism, Natsoc Secularism, Right secularism, Left secularism…….secularist market specialisation is still secularism. Cthulhu swims left because Cthulhu is a secularist.

Cthulhu swims left, Cthulhu like Strauss, is not Christian.