Musings of a Biopunk

Pontificating upon the etymology or usage history of a word to bolster an argument about the concept contained therein is a tired and wankerish rhetorical strategy that demands of one no more wisdom than that needed to search Wiktionary and can, reductio ad absurdum, lead one to such revelatory insights on the human condition as equating maternality with paedophilia (from the Greek paidóphilos, literally “loving children”). The page on that site for “monarchy” does make a good starting point, though, for simply introducing the topic and for me to crystallise some thoughts on the matter. Again, from Greek, “[the] only power/authority”.

This has both theological and physical ramifications. Monarchy died with Christianity, and the two are not incidental to each other. The divine right of kings was, indeed, a given for much of history in the Occident. Yet, one struggles these days to find a single person who believes in “divine” anything. Most of the people bemoaning the loss of religion as a social force – do not. This is curious. Religion is one of those peculiar avenues of human behaviour, perhaps the most peculiar, in which the faithless will speak of wanting to believe things almost as fervently as the faithful will speak of believing them in actu. Why should it be like this?

Black Pigeon Speaks, among many, would have you believe that religion (and I think he means orthodoxical religion, which I shall touch on later) is coming back in force and that atheism is in decline. He refers to disparities in the fertility rate and “worldwide” population trends. The “worldwide” part immediately puts one in mind of Africa’s population explosion, though. Yes, that will produce lots of religious people. Does anyone really care though, honestly? If you live in Britain, or any other developed country, the triteness of this is stark. In almost twenty years, I have yet to meet a person under seventy who takes religious belief seriously. If genetics, childhood indoctrination, or both were really the decisive causative factor(s) in the prevalence of religious belief in society, how does he imagine religion began to decline in the first place? He apparently does not think it was because of atheists’ outbreeding theists. If he knows anyone who is now irreligious but began as a Christian, and had theist ancestors, he also cannot believe that childhood exposure to religion exerts some insuperable force that prevents one from leaving the faith. To the extent that religiosity is genetically inherited, it will be many genes – not an on-off switch but a bell curve of different behavioural phenotypes begotten by the different relative frequencies of the genes. There will always be a “hard core” of people far to the right of curve, but it is no more certain that their children will be thus than it is that two people with IQs of 160 will have a child with an IQ of 160, owing to regression towards the mean. So people will continue to leave the faith. This will continue for as long as we live in technologically developed societies. Religion, at least in the orthodoxical, supernaturalistic way most Westerners think of it, is a response to humans’ consciousness of their mortality. You do not need to pray for your next meal to find you – you can just go to Aldi.

The relationships between biology, culture, ideologies, and technologies are complex and not completely understood. It is best to make an analogy. Take the Industrial Revolution as your starting point. We watered the seed-laden soil of human ideation with our technology. Out of it grew many, many ideas that could not exist without the technology. Some were odious. Others were not – and that last is why I cannot get behind the NRx tendency of treating every innovation after [insert date here] as some incalculable evil. Then the plants decompose back into the earth, replenish it, and the cycle begins anew as the ideologies reinforce the technologically mediated behaviours ingrained in our biology.

Some notions were lost, too. Among them was religion, as outlined above. So, as to monarchy; I do not see how you could have a secular monarchy. Even if you could, the internet now provides a brilliantly accessible tool for political critique and subversion, as people in these circles know well, so that would have to go, too. I suppose if you wanted to be really imaginative about it, you could envision a kind of archaeofuturist society where the masses sacralise monarchs for what they perceive as magic, any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic and so on. But I do not think archaeofuturism, as cool as I happen to find the steampunk aesthetic, is actually possible, practical, or desirable. It would basically be a reduplicate of the conditions Russia was in just before communism, but with an even more glaring disparity, which did not end well.

Leftwing economists are not wrong when they say inequality was a contributing factor to the development of communism. It was one of many factors, and inequality per se is an inevitability of existence (neither good nor bad) – it is just a matter of degree. But if economic Marxism were invented today, would it catch on, even granting the nonexistence of the internet? Most people’s (exceptions duly noted) interest in such things cannot be stirred into being without massive social strife.

So for true neo-monarchists, the only option seems to be a straight-up returning to mediaevalism – going back not just one but many, many centuries. If that is inevitable, as some claim, we will either end up in exactly the same position we are in now given another few centuries, or if not we will remain in that state until God gets so bored with us that he just blows us the fuck away. Hell, it is probably what I would do. I am concerned with the continuation of Europeans and the European world order as a civilisational force (it is why I have chosen to study the classics), as well as all the SWPL amenities and aesthetic preferences I delight in. But I am also concerned with the long term – millions of years hence, even if it requires phenomenal optimism (which I lack) to imagine our lasting that long. Some will wonder why I do not simply jettison racialism. I do not, because racialism is not even an idea. It is not nearly as ephemeral as that. It is much older even than monarchy. Even at peak brainwashing it persists, and there are few things it does not inform in some manner – consciously and subconsciously.

But, backing up a bit, some will object to my characterisation of religion as simplistic. After all, there is abundant evidence, anecdotal and scientific, that there is more to religion than giving one a framework by means of which to avoid facing up to the Great Oblivion. For instance, it presents the society or community with a moral paradigm. It is not true that people need the threat of hell to be good; many religions do not have a concept of eternal damnation. Indeed, some of them do not even have gods. I think ignorance of this fact stems from not recognising a distinction between (broadly) most occidental religions in contrast to oriental ones. The latter tend to be orthopraxic – strictly speaking, one does not “believe” in Buddhism; one practises it. This is also why secular Buddhism sounds quite reasonable to many but “Christian atheism” sounds risible to everyone except the tiny number of people who actually call themselves that. That is the other component to religion: narratives of action. I can attest from experience that the vast majority of people (not I, but I admit to being a freak) really do need a kind of narrative to avert existential crisis. It is for precisely that reason that people have developed what some are calling “secular religions” – the religions of politics, consumption, and Evenliftingbreaux. This is why now I think I can understand what Mouthy Buddha and others were saying when they described the project of white nationalism as a kind of religious narrative or cult. The principal differences between a religion and a cult are the number of adherents and the time it has existed; the principal difference between a cult and an ideology is subject matter. Namely, the former, a cult, tends to be preoccupied with matters of the self and various stupid ways of “transcending” it (see scientology), whereas the latter is concerned with matters of the world and how to appropriately shepherd the world’s misfits and mid-wits into its standard of rectitude (see neo-progressivism, communism, and house-on-the-prairieactionaries). Some political movements really are able to incorporate all these characteristics that people find appealing, and for some white nationalism is so essential to their being that they really would not know what to do with themselves if the project were ever completed. And this is what most atheists get wrong. People do not reject religion because of its illogic. Human beings do not and never will understand logic.

Indeed, as Maria Vladimirovna observed, “A nation without a monarchy is like a body without a soul.” But the concept of the nation state is at most about three hundred and seventy years old anyway, and it has just about run its course. Some will call me a nihilist, and in a sense I am. I accept the existence of truth, beauty, and so on, but I believe their existence is predicated on the cognitions of humans, or at least the cognitions of sensate life. (I cannot say just humans. Hell, we know that some border collies can understand two-dimensional representations of real-world objects. Maybe with the intervention of some CRISPR or iterative embryo selection they will come to appreciate the Sistine Chapel as much as I.) But I do not hold these things to be God-given, and I have no confidence that people with radically different existential/philosophical opinions will ever reach compromise let alone agreement. What are the policy implications of this? I say we form the Borean Alliance or something similar to it, and allow the religification of politics to reach its conclusion: a geopolitical superblock unified by a handful of agreed-on principles, consisting of regional autonomous or partially autonomous “zones” largely free to have their own local policies. These will be the new borders: ideological, and perhaps experimental. It would also be a great opportunity to implement some Kirkegaardian evidence-based politics – scientifically testing the outcomes of policy in the field.

Ultimately, my take is biopunk rather than steampunk. Any interested community should make the effort to implement top-down eugenics programmes, thereby enhancing human potential and pushing human cognitive capacity to its limits – for a start. The trillion steps between now and then could be a subject for another essay (such as new or theoretical systems of government). As Nietzsche said, man must be overcome – we may as well do it ourselves before something else does.

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