When I wrote Beatnik Fascism a year or so ago, I never anticipated that we would be organizing and participating in actual anti-war demonstrations, but here we are. The book was mostly a quirky attempt to reconcile my own peculiar affinity for 1950’s and 60’s beat culture (and the associated Hollywood caricatures of it) with seemingly paradoxical tendencies toward identitarianism and futurism. I chose to convey these thoughts meditatively through the medium of poetry rather than as academic essays or “manifestos,” because I wanted the book to be abstract and avant-garde, as opposed to yet another one of those McReactionary ebooks railing about “feminists and SJWs” that Alt-Bro hucksters are always marketing. Like most people, I cringe when Paul Joseph Watson or some right wing media figure declares “conservatives are the new punk rock!” or whatever. So, though there are similarities I did not really want to write a book that was like “neo-fascists are the new beatniks.” To do so would be to overstate the activist component of the beat generation, which was in fact minimal compared to what often amounted to vaguely philosophical travelogues, artistic memoirs documenting a lifestyle of exploration, experimentation, heightened consciousness and curiosity. The idea for “Beatnik Fascism” for me began as kind of an inside joke and only accidentally became more genuine as I began to get caught up in the fevered frenzy of late night writing (much like I am now.)
The more idiosyncratic identitarians like myself lead extremely detached lives. Most of us seek a kind of escape from what passes for everyday life for most people. We travel around to meet up with each other, often exploring the world but seeing the sights through our own radically tainted viewfinders. When Robert Stark and I met up and wandered the streets of Las Vegas, admiring broken old signs and seeing majestic beauty in what normies would write off as the dumpiest, tackiest casinos….we traversed the town not strictly as tourists to Vegas from our respective cities, but as visitors from another time and place. We might as well have been from the moon, or maybe even another dimension entirely. When some lonesome, off-color traveler hikes around no man’s land in the mountains of some third world country, vlogging about transhumanism and HBD after being inspired by the sight of some weird looking leaf, it is in this sense that you might understand how so called crypto-fascist, degenerate bards could find themselves identifying with zany yet brutally authentic characters in works like “On The Road” and even the exploitative Hollywood bastardizations of them.
There is also the irresponsibility, or to put it more accurately…the realization that what is advertised as “living responsibly” is often a scam to manipulate us away from that which we sense a greater responsibly towards. To be “responsible” both in post World War 2 America and transnational, post cold war America requires going along with a whole bunch of bullshit and living a lifestyle that for some, isn’t true to one’s self. John Updike once claimed in an interview with Penguin Classics that he wrote “Rabbit, Run” in response to Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.” Updike said:
Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” came out in 1957 and, without reading it, I resented its apparent instruction to cut loose; “Rabbit,Run” was meant to be a realistic demonstration of what happens when a young American family man goes on the road – the people left behind get hurt.
Yet, despite Updike’s intentions, while reading Rabbit,Run as a young man, I identified much more with the character of Rabbit. Sure, the people he leaves behind do get hurt, but it didn’t appear to me to be any huge loss for the world. After all, his wife was an alcoholic that made him miserable, and his girlfriend was a prostitute, not exactly the type of people you’d feel like he owes some huge commitment to. There are his young children of course (one of which dies as a result of a careless accident committed by the drunken wife.) Yet, Rabbit would have been unable to prevent this even if he hadn’t ran out. It would have probably happened anyway while he was busy at work one day, in his totally meaningless sales job that Updike implies should have been his duty to remain at. Rabbit meanwhile points out the hypocrisy in all the people who attempt to tell him how to live. “Everybody who tells you how to act has whiskey on their breath.” This is the problem with Updike’s world. He frowns upon the runners, reformers and rockers of the boat for what he perceives as the messes left behind and the plight of the abandoned, the weakening of the church…etc yet beneath the forced facade of cohesion which he insists is imperative that we maintain at all costs, those who look closely still see an outline of the same puddle of puke, obscured only by having been swept partially under the rug.
“Staying at your shitty job where you spend the last years of your youth selling meaningless gadgets that people don’t need, and staying with your wife that drinks all day and yells at you constantly are necessary to keep up the appearance of a healthy, functioning society. It’s all in your interests. Just stay put.” Well, no it isn’t, and no I won’t. One can sense when they’re living a life that isn’t in their best interests (though some lack the will or inclination to act on it.)
“Check your privilege, keep your head down and train the overseas replacement we’ve brought in to take over your job at half of what we’re paying you. You might feel boxed in, but it’s in your best interests to import people from ethnic groups that express hostility toward you and openly boast about how disenfranchised you will be once they’re fully in charge. It might cramp your style, but just sit tight.” Well gee dad, that transnational capitalist diversitopia sounds swell, but I gotta run…I’m off to find an abandoned mall to convert into a retro-futuristic identitarian living space where we conduct wild scientific experiments on ourselves, learning, loving and disinclining in peace.
Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism