Roger Blackstone: The Politics of Aesthetics

Blackstone speaks as if he were a god, “I’m Roger Blackstone. I have dedicated my life to advancing civilization and furthering human progress, from finding cures to deadly illnesses, to radical life extension, to building utopian cities. Imagine a world where you can get on a fast train in Miami and be in New York City in 30 minutes. Imagine an end to aging and illness. I have the power to re-write the human genome and end all human suffering. Imagine an end to all ecological degradation, preventing utter ecological catastrophe. I have the solutions to end our petroleum based economy, implementing high speed railway and monorail networks; vertical farms and renewable energy from unknown energy sources. I will help rebuild our suburban wastelands into magnificent walkable communities, accessible to mass transit and parklands; but most importantly true freedom. The freedom to live in the utopia you desire, whether it is a vertical garden-city, a neon-lit retro wonderland, or a European-style village. I’ve actually built these things and understand that true freedom will only occur when people can live in their very own utopia.” Noam’s mom scoffs, “Sounds like just another one of his commercials for his real estate developments, rather than an appeal from a public statesman. He wants to turn all of America into one giant theme park. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about ecology.” Blackstone continues, “Imagine no work! Robots will do all the work, and there will be a guaranteed basic income. People will no longer be slaves to dead end jobs and will be free to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. Imagine no ugliness! I will offer economic incentives for the most attractive women to have multiple offspring and implement an immigration policy limited to only the most attractive women; the best looking European models and economic incentives for all young blonde Israeli women to immigrate to avoid military conscription. I will further human enlightenment with the legalization of LSD and DMT. I will fix our broken economy with a repudiation of all debt, home mortgages, and student loans, and an end to all interest with nationalization of the banks. Vote for me. I will make your dreams come true!” Noam’s mom interrupts, “Faux populist fascist pig! His gaudy casinos prey on the working class, his tastes are stuck in the 80s, he objectifies women, and he has done nothing to empower women and minorities! His father Alistair wrote this bizarre creepy fascist manifesto advocating for the aristocracy to enslave the proletariat, and I know Roger is influenced by that fascist shit.”

The following is a brief set of observations on Roger and Alistair Blackstone’s political agendas in Robert Stark’s novel Journey to Vapor Island. There is also an episode of the Stark Truth that covers much of the content here.

On Alistair Blackstone’s manifesto:

“Those who were born to serve.” – bears some resemblance to notions of a natural aristocracy, see: Ralph Waldo Emerson, HL Mencken. Also, this is what Marx would have called the lumpenproletariat, and the “petite bourgeois” is actually a name that some Marxists gave to the distributist movement, but at the same time there’s some evidence that Alistair is sympathetic to distributive economic philosophies, because capitalism has this negative effect or this stultifying effect on the creative class. Later on the term “aristocratic radicalism” pops up, which I think is used to describe Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, but I don’t think Nietzsche himself came up with it.

“An immigration policy limited to only the most attractive women.” This makes humans, rather than just art and architecture, the subject of aesthetic concern.

“Conformist masses.” This is part of the idea (espoused by Crowley and others) that society is made up of loners (non-conformists) and “the herd” (conformists). Some would suggest, as per aristocratic radicalism (or Crowley’s term, “aristocratic communism”) that society ought to be geared towards empowering and emboldening those people who are naturally non-conformists, artists and intellectuals and so on, and maybe creating some more of them.

“Garden paradise.” – Environmentalism?

“A new priest class descended from a lost ancient civilization shall decide who is fit to rule.” This reminded me, although I suspect it is probably unintentional, of Roman myths about the founding of their city, i.e. there was the notion that the patrician elite were descended from the officials originally appointed by Romulus. It makes sense that this would be a concern given the references later in the book to Roman sexual mores and aesthetics.

On Roger Blackstone’s Politics:

“Advancing civilization and furthering human progress.” This implies a rejection of the NRx reading of history (inverted Whig view of history) and assumes, contra NRx, that some forms of progress are actually meaningful.

“I have the power to re-write the human genome and end all human suffering.” Reminded me of recent developments in genetics, how one could completely re-engineer the human genome to enhance human potential, etc.

“European-style village.” New urbanism and the necessity of creating aesthetically pleasant living spaces. Also possibly reflects a kind of implicit racialism since European architecture is treated as superior or at least as the default.

“Live in their very own utopia.” Relates to the idea of simple libertarianism just not being enough and how we need people to create intentional communities for every possible group both racial/ethnic and ideological.

“LSD and DMT.” Could be related to the book The Chemical Muse about the prevalence of drugs (especially entheogens) in premodern societies, e.g. Graeco-Roman societies, the importance of drug use to a lot of artists and anticonformists, etc.

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The Stark Truth: Discussing The AltRight Implosion

Podcast is available here

Topics:

How the Alt-Right is imploding and splitting into factions
The incident with Matthew Heimbach and the disbanding of the Traditionalist Workers Party
The never ending hypocrisy of preachy Traditionalists
The implausibility of success for those re-branding as American Nationalists
The parallel SJW culture in the Alt-Right that has developed in terms of being shamed into having to publicly disavow and distance yourself from people you have disagreements with
The Class Divide on the Alt-Right
Vanguardism vs. Populism
The importance of building Alternative Institutions
How we made the right decision to move in our own directions a few years ago when we saw where the train was headed
The future of all these movements
How anonymity has largely outlived its usefulness
European Identitarianism
The Balkanization of the US; secessionist movements vs retaking America as a whole
How Trump won with economic populism and social centrism but is now basically a mainstream Republican
The Scapegoat Generation – A Half-Hearted Defense of Boomers

Robert Stark Talks to Ashley Messinger About Retro Futurism ( Part II)

Robert Stark and co-host Brandon Adamson talk to returning guest Ashley Messinger. Ashley is based in the UK and writes for Brandon’s AltLeft.com. You can also find Ashley on Twitter.

Interview can be found here.

Topics Include:

A continuation on the topic of a “Redpilled” SWPL culture and it’s viability
The implicit Whiteness of progressive causes such as Environmentalism, Effective Altruism, and Transhumanism
The importance of being technologically advanced in contrast to gun culture and “Becoming a Barbarian”
Creating City States based on shared interest
Biopunk, Biomorphism, and vertical gardens
Brandon’s interest in 70’s Retro Futurism (ex. Logan’s Run)
Steampunk, Urban fantasy literature, and the technology of Victorian England
Decopunk; the film Dark City
The lack of vision in new architecture and urbanism
Roman Archeo Futurism
80’s Retro-Futurism, Cyberpunk, and Fashwave
The Bearer of “Trad” News
Hip to the Moon: Brandon Adamson Drops Out to Conquer the Stars
Robert’s Journey to Vapor Island; Roger Blackstone’s “Neon Nationalism”
The Man in the High Castle series; the alternative society portrayed and the Retro-Futuristic architecture
Whether Fascism was anti-modern or about creating an alternative modernity
Ashley’s review of the film Call Me by Your Name
Age of Consent Laws
The film The Crush Starring Alicia Silverstone

The Bearer of “Trad” News

One of my least favorite memes/concepts employed by the alt-right is “trad” – short for “traditional” – primarily because the concept bears so little relationship or relevance to the world that we currently live in.

If you live in a technologically modern country, your way of life is overwhelmingly likely to not even remotely resemble anything that can accurately be described as “traditional”. For a way of life to be traditional, it must must follow in the footsteps of prior generations. The Amish, for example, are one of the very few subcultures within North America, who live in a truly traditional manner. They practice a low-tech agrarian mode of subsistence, in which new technologies are only adopted very selectively and only following great deliberation. Due to the exceedingly slow pace of technological change in Amish communities, sons still lead very similar lives as their fathers and grandfathers. They have the same profession (typically a farmer or artisan), practice the same religion, and participate in similar social arrangements and events. This cannot be said by over 99% of the North American or European population. If you are reading this, your way of life is likely radically different from that of your parents, whose lives were equally different from that of their parents. This can be said, at minimum, about every generation born since the earliest periods of industrialization – and possibly before that, as agrarian societies weren’t nearly as stagnant as commonly conceived of.

 

Present societies are “intergenerationally multicultural”, in that every generation practices a different culture than the prior one. Conditions differ sufficiently between generations that each generation adapts differently to their respective circumstances. Of course, generations don’t regard each other as completely alien and unintelligible, as common practices and frames of reference do link them together. However, even shared practices differ in both subtle and dramatic ways. In North America, boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen-Zers all speak English, but they don’t exactly speak it identically. Accents differ and new slang is introduced with every generation, the latest of which tends to be inspired by memes originating on Internet discussion forums. All living generations use automobiles, but younger generations are more likely to forego car ownership and rely upon Lyft, Uber and various carsharing services. All generations consume media entertainment while looking at a screen. However, older generations are more likely to watch cable and network television, whereas the youngest generations play video games and watch five minute YouTube clips. Boomers still advise Millennial men to pursue women using courtship rituals that worked in the 1950s, but would likely get one branded an obsessive creepy stalker today. Millennials who happen to be employed often work in job categories that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Popular musical styles vary dramatically between generations – to the point where prior generations regard new music as unlistenable. Sexual mores have both loosened and tightened in different respects. There are far fewer settings where pursuit of sex or romance is considered appropriate – For example, the days of a lawyer or detective romantically pursuing and marrying his secretary seem to be over. However, due to the ubiquitous availability of Internet porn, even the most sexually conservative Millennials know the meanings of terms like “bukaake” and “double penetration”. The once predominant ideology of the U.S., namely American exceptionalism – has been dethroned within the course of my lifetime by progressivism, and yet older generations are oblivious to this transition. Right-wing Millennials are more likely to join the alt-right – a movement that’s arguably both post-American and globalist, despite calling itself “nationalist” – than to embrace the “respectable conservatism” of William F Buckley and the National Review.

In the above paragraph, I’m not conveying any information that the reader doesn’t already know, but my point is that those who deem themselves “trad” are not exempt from the aforementioned generational shifts. If you shitpost memes about “thots” and “Chads” on Twitter and 4chan, listen to synthwave or neofolk on YouTube, or participate in a Skype group with other “trad”-minded folk, there’s nothing about your way of life that even approximates anything traditional. No generation prior to yours has spent its free time in this manner. If you attempted to explain memeposting to your grandfather, it would strike him as every bit as alien as the culture of a Muslim, if not more so. Your daily activities are as much a manifestation of modernism as that of green-haired intersectional feminists who think broadcasting their politics on Tinder is a good way to attract a man. Furthermore, if you ever end up having children (like a good “trad” should), they are unlikely to mimic your idiosyncratic customs, as they will grow up under a different set of conditions and will regard your practices as irrelevant to their “lived experience”.

I’ve observed attempts at reconstructing lost traditions, most notably Asatru – or Germanic paganism. Given that most of our European ancestors converted to Christianity at various points during the Middle Ages, depending upon location, the practice of paganism amounts to a form of historical reenactment (e.g., LARPing), based upon mythological texts written after the Norse conversion to Christianity, incomplete historical accounts and archeological digs. A religious practice is not exactly “traditional” when neither your father, grandfather nor great-grandfather had any familiarity with it, much less if you have to rely upon a potentially faulty interpretation of scattered historical remnants to reconstruct it. Also, the children of those who practice Asatru are more likely to regard Asatru as a weird eccentricity of their right-wing hippie parents than to embrace it themselves, meaning it won’t likely transfer between generations.

Others on the right have attempted to adopt traditions that have persisted unbroken in other cultures, most notably Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Unlike Asatru, the practice of Orthodoxy has been practiced in an unbroken lineage since the formation of the church. However, it also doesn’t strike me as particularly “traditional” for Anglo-Germanic descended white Americans to convert to a religion historically practiced by Slavs and Middle Easterners, particularly when so few of their white American coethnics living in the same community are likely to follow suit. As with the children of parents who practice Asatru, the children of Orthodox Christian converts are just as likely to become atheists or Buddhists as they are to embrace what they see as their kooky right-wing Dad’s LARPy religion. In the meantime, numerous Orthodox Slavs, Armenians and Lebanese remain “Orthodox” in name, while adopting the same modern lifestyles as any secular liberal in response to the incentives generated by the modern world.

One other possible option is to invent something completely new and turn it into a tradition. However, I see this as unlikely, given the rapid pace of technological and economic change during the era in which we live. A traditional way of life is dependent upon a “steady state economy”, in which available technology and economic demands don’t vary significantly between generations. Within an agrarian, pastoral or hunter-gatherer setting, traditions serve as useful intergenerational knowledge, freeing up each generation from having to repeat the discoveries and mistakes of their predecessors. Under such circumstances, traditions conducive to survival and reproduction tend to persist and proliferate, while those that don’t tend to be discorded – or kill off or reduce the numbers of those who practice them. In an industrial or post-industrial economy, all traditions end up discarded, as the practices useful to one generation don’t necessarily impart practices useful to the next. The demands required to make a living, find friends and attract a mate can change so rapidly that any given set of customs can be rendered obsolete within a decade. It is certainly possible that industrial society could collapse even in our lifetimes, but those born during this period will adopt a very different culture than ours. Furthermore, we will most certainly die before the world once again reaches a steady state economy that persists between generations.

If we actually were able to experience a traditional way of life in a small community under a steady state economy, what makes us so certain that we’d actually like it? We are not psychologically adapted to such an environment. Regardless of how “traditional” or “right-wing” one might think of themself as, each of us grew up in an atmosphere of material comfort, overstimulation and hedonism, and I haven’t witnessed a single person completely sever their addiction to it. We like comfort and convenience, digital entertainment, easy access to sex, urban anonymity, plentiful mood-altering substances, the ability to video chat with friends from other continents, vacations to remote locales, Lyft rides home when drunk, etc. Hedonism by itself is of course insufficient to make us feel satisfied, and when taken to excess, it can lead to self-destruction. Many people do find themselves uninspired and depressed by the softness of the modern world, but they generally respond not by abandoning it entirely, but by adopting surrogate challenges or mini-struggles to counter-balance it. They will take up rock climbing, crossfit, boxing, mountain biking, hiking, bushcrafting, etc, which allows them to experience a psychological state approximating pre-modern struggle for a brief period of time, before returning to their modern apartment – with packages just delivered from Amazon Prime waiting in a locker in the lobby (accessible by code delivered via text to their smartphone).

My intention is not to impart the message, “Change is inevitable, therefore it’s good, therefore embrace all of it in its entirety”. However, I don’t think we have any choice but to recognize that our identity is inescapably modern. Traditions don’t have much to offer us, hence why they long ceased to propagate themselves. Our way of life is new and bears little resemblance to those who preceded us. However, we must recognize that not every behavior that the modern world permits or encourages is to our advantage. It’s in our interest to engage with the modern world selectively, and we can only inform our decisions by observing the fallout of other peoples’ and our own bad decisions. While it would be more efficient to inherit the practices and customs of our predecessors, this is not an option in a world characterized by accelerated economic and technological change. Each generation must perpetually reinvent their culture, retaining only the practices of prior generations that prove themselves beneficial, while discarding the remainder and replacing them with something new. Our best option is to adopt an orientation of selective futurism, while purging the word “traditional” from our vocabulary. It doesn’t exist and will never exist in our lifetime.

Decay blogs at https://decay123321.wordpress.com/

Hooked on Animatronics

My recent trip to The Rainforest Cafe got me to thinking about how animatronics should feature more heavily in a hypothetical society. Lacking sentience, animatronics offers humans the potential for an interactive experience with nature, yet without the elements of cruelty and exploitation commonly associated with keeping “live” animals in captivity. Imagine how parks like Sea World could flourish if they made the transition to housing mechanical dolphins and Orcas. This could even finally allow them to display versions animals like great whites, which do not seem to survive in captivity. It would also put an end to the senseless park deaths that occur (or at least further minimize them as accidents can always happen). Dinosaurs like the Wooly Mammoth could be resurrected to roam again, all without having to grapple with the ethical considerations. I suppose, if these animatronic creatures were to become high tech enough to develop something of a consciousness, that might be a game changer. It should be go without saying though that even without the ability to feel or reason, these beings should be treated with respect, empathy and decency as if they were as “real” as any other creature. You just never know, and it doesn’t hurt to be kind in this scenario.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

4 Reasons to Consider Squeezing Into a Micro Apartment

This article originally appeared in Force Fields, Feb, 19 2016

Much controversy has been generated by the recent development of micro apartments and tiny houses. These are smaller than normal living spaces, which in the case of micro apartments often means less than 300 sq ft. They have emerged as an option for environmentally conscious young professionals and students to live in parts of town where they would otherwise be unable to economically sustain themselves. The rent is just too damn high. A lot of people hate the idea of these micro flats.”How could anyone live like that?” some people wonder. “These new buildings are ruining property values!” real estate agents complain. If you have a family of 2 or require a lot of space for your hair dryer, I’m sure you’ve already concluded these little apartments are not for you. Not everyone needs or wants a lot of room though. Here are a few reasons why some of us(at least for a while) wouldn’t mind calling a micro apartment our home:

1. They’re Affordable
This is perhaps the most obvious selling point. In many thriving metropolitan cities, cost of living has long ago outpaced real wages. Places in the heart of San Francisco, Seattle and Portland are expensive and almost impossible to afford for many of the young single professionals work in the city. This tends to require people to make long commutes from far off suburbs or have to hunker down like turtles at the mercy of slumlords in nearby ghettos. That or they end up packed like sardines into an decent but “communal” apartment with bunch of random roommates of various quality and shadiness. Micro apartments allow you to sacrifice space for affordability, privacy and the chance to live in a small compartment in the best part of town.

2. Good for the Environment
No big surprise here. Micro apartment buildings are designed specifically to be energy efficient in all areas. From low-flow shower heads to compact fluorescent light bulbs, these were built for green living. The small area also requires less energy to heat, cool or light. There is so little to do in one of these apartments that unless you turn your room into a bitcoin mining outpost, it’s difficult to see how you could ever run up much of a utility bill. Also, the fact that you can live right where the action is(and likely close to work) means you’ll be using less gas and may not even need to drive an automobile at all.

micro apartment room with window

3. Minimalist Lifestyle
One might think of the idea of being cramped in a tiny apartment as being a stressful thought in and of itself. Instead of falling victim to an anxiety induced cheek bite, chew on this for a second. when I look around at all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years cluttered about, it stressed me out. Life is one’s head is complicated and heavy enough without having a ton of crap in the physical world to weigh you down(and yes I realize that thoughts themselves are technically a physical manifestation, but you know what I mean.) I have fantasies about chucking all my material possessions and going back to basics. At one time I lived for 2 years in a small studio apartment armed with nothing but a $20 cot from Target to sleep on and a Super Nintendo for recreational activity. Those were simple yet carefree times. Micro apartments allow for this kind of minimalist lifestyle. Small spaces can be liberating after all.

4. The Views
Believe it or not, many of these micro apartments come equipped with breathtaking views. The units are often situated in modernist mini high-rise buildings. One of the rare features these units have is large windows. After all, if there’s not room to do anything else your apartment, at least you can gaze outside from the 7th floor and stare at the Cascades all day.


Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism