De Senium Britanniae

I eschewed my usual route to university on this day and so did not go to the usual metro station. That may have been the greatest displeasure of all, to consider losing the good graces of the Wraith of the Low Morning. Daily and as regular as the metro, and presumably some time between midnight and 6 AM, he, probably a young male with an IQ south of the 20th percentile, goes to that station and impresses his artistic genius upon the pristine laboratorial white of that one wall panel in every hue of the rainbow. The paint is often still wet to the touch as I stand admiring it at 9:25 AM. By the next day there is always a new inscription, the old hidden under a new coat of paint – the work of another person (again, probably a man) to whose annoyance the Wraith’s work is continually done. Not even God knows what is going on in the Wraith’s troubled head. Maybe his only taste of self-actualisation, whatever that means, is the testosterone high he gets as he imagines himself embroiled in some titanic battle of wits with the man who erases his work. Maybe he is a smoker and cannot stand the no-smoking warning. Maybe he fancies himself the next Banksy. Maybe he likes to see his work erased so he can do something new, but there seems little variation except changes in colour. Maybe he is an idiot savant, or perhaps a savant idiot. Now I try to envision his children. And then I stop.

Almost no normal person considers the metro carriage an appropriate place for social engagement apart from drunkards. It is a place where one, in effect, shuts oneself off from communication with the outside world for the twenty minutes or however long it takes to get to your stop. It is a place to stare into space dejectedly, read, pretend to read, plan essays, and scroll through faked shark-attack videos on your phone. Passengers thus tend to look on with horrified or puzzled expressions when someone starts to act out in a strange way.

On this particular afternoon the metro was just about empty, and there would have been little to comment on were it not for a tangerine-faced chav and her black friend, he with his trousers at half mast, stepping into the carriage about halfway into my journey, so I had the chance to observe them for the next few stops. It is more accurate, though, to say that I had no choice in the matter. At moments their voices seemed nearly indistinguishable in pitch and timbre despite his being male and a foot taller than she. It is generally the case that people who truly embody this archetype, the chav, have no self-awareness or indeed self-consciousness; this girl probably behaves like this in every situation that presents itself. They were having something that sounded vaguely like an argument at first. They threw themselves at each other in strange, stereotyped motions until eventually they just ran out of energy, as well as words, and started nondescriptly grunting in each other’s faces until they reached, and almost missed, their stop. Non-white chavs are a recently divergent subspecies who seem to have developed alongside the standard variety but were not nearly so common round these parts, I am sure, until this decade. Well, they have certainly integrated – just not into anything that is actually worth it.

The female embodied this archetype astonishingly well. All of the apparent default-setting fashion choices: the skin-tight leggings (and she will still be wearing those in her forties), the dyed tar-black hair, etc. Females, for obvious reasons, want to be physically appealing, but by the time the female chav has reached late adolescence she has often destroyed herself to the point where there is little to work with, and she may already have had two or three or twenty-three children. By her late twenties she could be a grandmother. Thus, by that time she usually settles into a pattern of bizarre peacock-like ostentation: brightly coloured trainers, preposterously large (plastic, typically) jewellery, etc, which is apparently not so much supposed to be attractive as it is – well, God knows.

Once off the metro there is much to see. On the way into school I damn near had a heart attack because I had forgotten to use my alcoholic hand sanitiser. I normally use it as soon as I am out of the station because the metro is a virtual pathologist’s lab, unguarded and constantly excreting new strains of the common cold virus among other things, especially in the cold months of the year. Winter here tends to render the sky a constant, thick, overcast grey interspersed with ten-hour (or longer) periods of black. Students from warmer climes seem fairly well adjusted here, though. I see them on my way in and out of the school; the Africans, the Han Chinese nouveau riche, and the beautiful dewy-eyed Koreans girls moving in packs about 20cm below my eye level and twittering incomprehensibly to one another. That sometimes puts me dimly in mind of an oddly psychologically distorting experience I had some months back, of the two Korean girls walking in front of me with their hands entwined at the Schoenbrunn Palace, both about my age. It is interesting to see Orientals as transfixed as they were by Occidental history. More than I was, frankly – since I take pleasure in almost no activities. They looked dazed, and, I thought, a little sad. It will be sadder yet to see the condition of Vienna and other European cities at the end of this century.

This is more than I can say for the Chinese students here. They were in British universities in great numbers, so I am told, as far back as the early 2000s, and their proficiency in English seems not to have improved any. Their mother country has a lot more to be hopeful about than we have at this point, but I do not think their parents are going to see much return on their investment when they go home.

Then there was my class. The classmates are a strange lot, which I like. Twelve persons in total; there used to be thirteen. All white, which is unsurprising given the subject matter. Eleven Britons and one non-Briton. Eight extraverts, three introverts, one schizoid personality. I determined that, crudely I admit, by checking who was and was not talking in the corridor before class. Of those not talking, only the foreign girl was not looking at her phone. I do not know which iteration of the iPhone everybody is on, but smartphone upgrades seem about the only tangible technological innovation in the Occident at this moment. Certainly it is the only innovation most people care about. Only two individuals with northern accents, which seems a recurring pattern, surprisingly. So far there have been none of the ubiquitous (and tedious) jousting matches people have about regional accents in England, such as hotly debating where to draw a line on a map dividing north from south. There were also two nose piercings, one exposed midriff (bearing in mind it was 5°C outside), a girl with teal hair, and a girl with rose-pink hair. Seven females and five males – all of the males seem to be in the lower two quartiles of height. I am 172cm tall (about 26th percentile for a male), but I was not the shortest among them. It is probably these people to whom I should feel the strongest cultural affinity; the SWPLs of Britain’s young middle class. Yet, you would not know it if you saw how I (do not) interact with them. Maybe I could deal with them as long as politics was off the table? This time someone was talking about trans awareness week in the corridor. Every week now seems to require a similar “awareness” from you. This is the girl who ended up in the basement at 6 PM one day because she could not find the exit of the building.

Not much to report about that class per se – at least nothing that I can remember.

Once it was over, I cogitated on some of these things as I made my way towards the library to wait for the second class of the day. By this time it was dark.

A small percentage of men and a smaller percentage of women engage with politics beyond trivia such as voting. Among these, reproductive concern is, as everywhere, in play. In general, women want to be protected and provided for and will cling to anything that offers that promise, such as feminism (or whatever else). Men want to climb the male reproductive success hierarchy and will gravitate towards that wherever they find it. Additionally, Jonathan Haidt’s neuropolitics is at work: neurological liberals and neurological conservatives. The extent to which reproductive concerns motivate a person is a matter of degree, I think; it depends on the individual’s temperament and, probably above all else, intelligence. But I am not quite sure where “trans awareness week” figures into all that. Maybe it should be obvious to me. Someone really ought to find a way to incorporate philosophical or mathematical concepts into the morphology of a language – something that would allow you to plug many explanatory factors into a cohesive multivariate structure (in the manner of a statistical analysis) without the endless repetitions, reframing, and blether that come when you attempt it in English. Ithkuil? We are the wrong species for such a project right now, however, and Mira est Lingua Latina sed mortua. I once joked about forcing everyone in the northern hemisphere to learn multiple European languages as well as Ithkuil, and perhaps I can make that my job if I someday ascend to posthuman godhood. But I doubt it.

Some appreciation for high culture is here. Not too far from the library I heard a Chopin nocturne being played a few weeks back. Stravinsky would have been more exciting, but it nevertheless felt noteworthy. It is a point of contrast to what many of my young compatriots have plugged into their ears as they sit in the library; the nu metal, and the indie, which ought to be called “post-indie” at this stage, every song being a pastiche of familiar indie clichés both lyrically and structurally, which seems rather self-defeating.

The old buildings here are so unkempt. Fungal spores cover the windowpanes. That makes a good half-arse of a metaphor for the landscape that surrounds me. What was once Britain’s industrial heartland, where valorous and beautiful men toiled sleeplessly in the mines, the shipyards, the fields, the factories, where the nation’s productive class reached its apogee, is now a shadow of a shadow of what it was. My brothers will leave for Australia at some point, I think. Although I do not blame them, I am not sure what solace they will find there either.

Back on the metro, and this time I made sure to scrub my hands with unusual vigour.


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.