We’re all Atlanteans here

 “All that is said by any of us can only be imitation and representation. For if we consider the likenesses which painters make of bodies divine and heavenly, and the different degrees of gratification with which the eye of the spectator receives them, we shall see that we are satisfied with the artist who is able in any degree to imitate the earth and its mountains, and the rivers, and the woods, and the universe, and the things that are and move therein, and further, that knowing nothing precise about such matters, we do not examine or analyze the painting; all that is required is a sort of indistinct and deceptive mode of shadowing them forth.” — Critias

“If thou dost not now recognize thine own thought-forms … the lights will daunt thee, the sounds will awe thee, and the rays will terrify thee.” — Tibetan Book of the Dead

h/t @enagurney, with the music video.

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered.
*****

Tom Bertonneau investigates the myth of Atlantis, and finds himself quite sympathetic to its expositors:

Historians have long since tidied up history and set all the dates.  The professors know what they know.

But do they really know what they know or are they merely being professional such that, like all professionals nowadays, their choler boils over preemptively concerning any idea not fully vetted by the peer-review committee of Soporifica?  Or on the other hand is there not in the imaginations of Messrs. Rudbeck, Spence, Haggard and Hyne, and their kith and kin, something like a profound intuition?

What kind of intuition?

“A great universal civilization in deep prehistory,” Michell called it, the memory of which persisted until the moment when the Enlightenment ceased to countenance anything except itself about midway through the Eighteenth Century.

I commend to you Rune Soup’s Whisky Rants, all of them. He’s like the Moldbug of chaos magic. The one on Atlantis is very interesting and asks some good questions; I’m not really convinced that the Cuban underwater city is quite worth getting excited about yet, but let’s run with it for a minute:

Atlantis has been found. If you admit that fact then the museum is in immediate need of miles and miles of redecorating. And this is just one place. The whole edifice of the western European narrative starts to slip like a clown’s face in the rain. …

There is a fucking city of step pyramids and processional streets stretching thousands of square metres at the bottom of the sea.

There are several of those, but the specific one in question does have something of an unusual story, involving a Soviet defector named Paulina Zelitsky and her Canadian husband, Paul Weinzweig. There hasn’t been a subsequent expedition since the ‘discovery’ was made in 2001, which is unfortunate but given political realities involving Cuba, not necessarily indicative of any kind of cover-up. Zelitsky more or less disappeared, with the exception of this report about her being arrested in Mexico, until about a year ago when her two-volume memoir, of sorts, came out. I haven’t read it, but the description on Amazon says:

Paulina concludes in her arguments that the main strategy of the current Russian Government is to attain global dominion, naturally prioritizing it in the Arctic which is absolutely strategically important for Russia in military and economic terms. The “sabre-rattling” strategy adopted by the current Russian government not just in Arctic but also in the Gulf of Mexico is directed toward military intimidation of their Arctic neighbors in order to maintain full military control and develop Arctic resources without interference from other Arctic neighbors. The nuclear deterrent cycle is about to repeat once again with Russian government rebuilding its previously abandoned military bases in Cuba and once again secretly sending its navy equipped with nuclear missiles to Cuba.

Sounds crazy, right? But just maybe a little prescient, given this news two weeks ago. She’s also taken up internet commenting, posting largely on Ukrainian affairs — she was educated in Odessa — and is clearly quite opposed to Russia’s new self-assertion on the world stage.

*****

Dalibor Rohac over at the Umlaut, on Europe’s hard right:

In more immediate terms, [Dugin’s] agenda consists of a wholesale rejection of modernism, with its central element of decadence, liberalism. Because Marxism and fascism failed, liberalism is now “threatening to monopolize political discourse and drown the world in a universal sameness, destroying everything that makes the various cultures and peoples unique.” That’s why we need, Dugin argues, a Fourth Political Theory, which will understand the individual primarily as part of a community, rooted in tradition, and will blend collectivism, authoritarianism, and religion. In order to achieve that, says Dugin, we need to connect “the Third Rome, the Third Reich and the Third International.”

Having taken over Russia and Hungary, neoreaction is a genuine political and ideological force to be reckoned with. And the West is not totally immune to it either—just think of Nigel Farage’s professed admiration for Vladimir Putin, Nick Griffin’s infatuation with Russia’s democracy, Austria’s FPÖ’s defense of the annexation of Crimea, or Marine Le Pen’sred-carpet treatment during her recent visit to Moscow.

This is but one piece of a trend away from what you might call the Atlanticist order; here’s a much bigger one. The eventuality that concerns the editors of the Economist, Chinese authoritarian communism coming into greater esteem — Viktor Orban mentioned it as an example of a successful non-democratic state, and Narendra Modi is often reported to admire Chinese economic success — is another. What they want the West to do is “get fit,” stabilize their deficits and generally run things more  competently. This is just supposed to happen.

But that may not be enough, and one of the things they’re averse to trying, at least in America, is the sort of decentralization of power that could introduce heathier competitive incentives. Tyler Cowen, in his comments on Peter Leeson’s Anarchy Unbound, says he “would much rather have the West’s current democratic governments, for all their imperfections, than a for-profit ‘shareholder state.'” But what if the choice is between a shareholder republic or a populist dictatorship?

*****

Dalibor has observed that there is a friendliness in the American hard-right toward these people. The Hyperboreans are inside the building. Try not to panic. Let’s take a tour through the fever swamps.

The founder of that funny black-and-white Southern nationalist site seems to think that “a Southern nationalist-led free South might have a close friend in Professor Dugin’s Russia.”

To be honest, this is truly confounding — Dixie, whatever its merits, is nothing if not an Atlanticist phenomenon, crushed by egalitarian nationalism. Apparently when you take a guy’s Confederate battle flag, you get a Euro-fascist. Don’t tell me that’s worth it. Matt Heimbach’s little black hundred — whose excommunication has apparently not yet been lifted — has lifted the logo of the Eurasion Youth Union. Finally, there’s the National Policy Institute, the director of which is married to one of the people who helped translate Fourth Political Theory into English, and is partnering with Jobbik for a conference in Budapest in October (presumably with a coup shortly to follow) at which Dugin is a keynote speaker. Synchronicity is everywhere these days, isn’t it?

So the so-called Putin-loving right — as if that were even the half of it — is real, it’s just not very big, totally fucking nuts, and will be hung around the neck of any right-winger who’s not all that gung-ho about a military buildup to confront the Eurasianist menace.

It can be useful to know what influential people think of you:

… we can define the essence of intelligence work, military espionage, political lobbys, oriented towards England and USA, as the “Atlantic ideology”, the ideology of “New Carthago”- the one that is common to all “influential agents”, to all secret and occultist organizations, to all lodges and semi-closed clubs which served and serve the anglo-saxon idea in the 20th century, penetrating the network of all continental “eurasian”powers. And naturally, in the first place this immediately concerns english and american reconnaissance services  (especially the CIA), which are not simply the “sentinels of capitalism” or “americanism”, but the sentinels of “atlantism”, united by a deep-rooted and pluri-millennial super-ideology of the “oceanic” kind. It is possible to call the aggregate of all “networks” of anglo-saxon influence as the “participants of the atlantic conspiracy”, working not only in the interests of each separate country, but in the interest of a special geopolitical and, in the end, metaphysical doctrine representing an extremely multi-planed, miscellaneous and wide, but nevertheless essentially uniform worldview. So, generalizing the ideas of Mackinder, it is possible to say that there is an historical “conspiracy of the atlantists”, pursuing through the centuries the same geopolitical purposes oriented to the interest of the “maritime civilization” of neo-phoenician kind. And it is important to stress that “atlantists” can be both “left-”, and “right-wing”, both “atheists”, and “believers”, both “patriots”, and “cosmopolitans”, as the common geopolitical worldview stands behind all particular national and political differencies. Therefore we deal with the most real “occult conspiracy”, whose meaning and metaphysical intrinsic cause often remain completely obscure to its immediate participants, and even to its most key figures.

Notice, in a characterization that would be at home on Think Progress or Salon, he identifies far more specifically than they would, an idea of “anglo-saxon” dominance. A neoreactionary, who sees progressivism as a civilization-weakening cult, should probably be concerned that this right-winger is reading from the same playbook. He also advocates nationalization of property, and seems to have much less of a problem politicizing the non-political than any good reactionary should be comfortable with. Most of the neoreactionaries aren’t stupid enough to fall for this. Nick Land, who’s inveighed against “ethno-socialism” before, comments on Dalibor’s piece, predicts a schism, and notes that neocameralism is an unmistakably Atlantean form of government:

The connections it makes are frankly disturbing to this blog, whose pro-capitalist, post-libertarian, and general Atlantean sympathies have been pushed as hard as realistically possible, along with an explicit attempt at differentiation from those tendencies with an opposite — I would argue self-evidently anti-Moldbuggian — valency.

Dugin wrote a letter last year to Golden Dawn and may or may not have been fired recently, for his incendiary comments on social media calling to intensify the pro-Russian rebellion in Ukraine.

It is also interesting to note that Eurasianism’s Western converts sometimes have trouble staying Christian, and, we have seen recently, often have trouble acting that way. Now, calling this ideology a “Satanic cult” may be a bit too strong, but then again

Another of Dugin’s conceptual conflicts with Guénon is highlighted by certain essays,in which the leader of “neo-Eurasianism” positively assesses the legacy of the British occult writer and Satanist Aleister Crowley, particularly in “Uchenie Zveria” and “Chelovek ssokolinym kliuvom.” Dugin tries to legitimize placing Crowley within the larger context of Traditionalism by referring to the link between Crowley and Evola, and specifically to the fact that they had a common friend—the Italian Freemason Arturo Reghini. Guénon, by contrast, had called Crowley a “black magician” and “charlatan,” and argued that many of the organizations founded by Crowley were “counter-initiatory”—that is, anti-Traditionalist. Just by itself, Guénon’s negative attitude toward Crowley makes it difficult to consider the latter an Integral Traditionalist. As one Russian observer commented on this and related revisions by Dugin, “in terms of Guénonism, any sympathy with counter-initiation would mean the same as Christians’ sympathy with Satanism.”

Dugin’s appreciation for Crowley stems from the latter’s nonconformism, as well as from what Dugin conceives to have been the British Satanist’s political position. Dugin wrote that Crowley supported all “‘subversive’ trends in politics—Communism, Nazism,anarchism and extreme liberation nationalism (especially the Irish one).” Referring to Christian Bouchet, leader of the French radical right-wing organization Nouvelle Résistance, Dugin calls  Crowley a “Conservative Revolutionary.” In fact, Crowley’s true political views remain unclear. Insofar as his support for Irish nationalism is concerned, Crowley’s separatist guise actually helped him to win the trust of German secret service agents during World War I. For most of his life Crowley was an agent for MI-6, the British counter-intelligence service that, in Dugin’s terms, constitutes an “Atlanticist”—and thus anti-Russian—organization.

So, you see we’re dealing with some serious occult Judo here. Apparently the question of whether Dugin is an authentic traditionalist in the Evolian/Guenonian vein is a matter of controversy, largely kicked off by Mark Sedgwick here. I wonder if Land would have more to say about this.

*****

The Eurasianist/ENR right is preoccupied with action, obsessed with it, because they see themselves as besieged; libertarians, the opposite. In fact, when libertarians do get involved in political action, they tend to make a lot of moral compromises, some of which have proven to be hard to account for . They just aren’t very good at this stuff, and won’t be, God bless ’em, until starting a country becomes like starting a business. Amidst the liberty movement’s growing successes, this is sometimes easy to forget; any movement likely to drag America in a more libertarian direction is unlikely to call itself that — even the Reason polling, which assumes fiscally conservative and socially liberal people are libertarian, takes this for granted.

 The conservative movement is another possibility, but that’s my day job, so I’ll leave off that here. Another possibility comes from Norman Mailer, left-conservative, to “think in the style of Karl Marx in order to attain certain values suggested by Edmund Burke.” That’s not a terrible way to describe a lot of neoreactionary writing either, really.

Nick Land’s also on the level here:

A movement of communistic localism that successfully pursued a project of radical geopolitical autonomization would be, realistically, a more significant tactical ally than even the most ideologically-pure concrete reactionary movement which spoke a lot about comparable goals, but gave no indication it was able to practically realize them.

(He must have been reading the secession dispatches; this is sort of what I’ve taken to calling Maoist libertarianism.)

Or Patrick Deneen in First Things, who is by no means a libertarian, but this is a world a libertarian shouldn’t mind living in:

A different trajectory does not require a change of institutions; it requires a change in how we understand the human person in relationship to other persons, to nature, and the source of creation. While the Constitution consolidated a number of political activities in the center, it left considerable room for local entities. The return to a more robust form of federalism would allow for greater local autonomy in establishing and cultivating local forms of culture and self-governance.

This will provide space for the nuanced discussions between what sociologist Robert Nisbet called the “laissez-faire of social groups.” Recommending federalism always meets the response that local self-rule and culture will reinstitute local prejudices. That argument is a strained effort not to defend the great and I think irreversible achievement of Christendom’s embrace of the imago Dei, but instead to defend the state’s intervention in every sphere of life, justified on the grounds that local norms and prohibitions express bigotry and lead directly to oppression.

A wide variety of local norms and beliefs should be permitted, within limits that would exclude egregious limits upon human liberty. These authoritative norm-shaping institutions and behaviors are the only credible mechanisms for advancing the substantial withering away of the state. These local norms and beliefs would afford a different experience of liberty, one about which liberalism has been silent, one that stresses self-governance and self-limitation achieved primarily through the cultivation of practices and virtues. Such a cultivation of ordered liberty would restrain the pursuit of libertine liberty, and restrain the tendency toward the expansion of state and market, which together increasingly undermine constitutive social institutions, thereby leaving the individual “free” to be shaped by popular culture and advertising mostly aimed to encourage the appetites fed by the enticements of a globalized market.

The recognition of the central and constitutive role and the necessity of the varied institutions that exist between the state and the individual has been a staple observation of thinkers from Tocqueville to contemporary thinkers on both the nominal right and nominal left, such as Bertrand de Jouvenel, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Christopher Lasch, Alasdair MacIntyre, Wilson Carey McWilliams, and Jean Bethke Elshtain. As they have argued, family, citizenship, church, neighborhood, community, schools, and markets need to be drawn closer together in a more integrated whole, in every aspect ranging from the built environment to the cultivation of genuine local cultures arising from the varying circumstances of diverse places. Drawing them together requires an ethic of self-command. So long as the right tries to defend them without offering a broader ecology of a deeply integrated and formative community—something broader, for example, than the long-standing defense of “family values” that denigrates the idea that there is a relationship between the family and the village—it can offer no real alternative to liberalism.

*****

Libertarians, let me introduce you to Felix Morley, one of the greats. Based on his review of Hayek’s Law, Legislation, and Liberty, we really ought to have the thing banned:

Friedrich A. Von Hayek is currently the most original philosophic thinker of a conservative cast of mind. He may, indeed, be almost the only intellectual of our times whose name will survive as one who blazed new ground in the conservative field. …

If “ideas have consequences,” as Richard Weaver told us, then the results of Hayek’s severely unemotional thinking could be enormous. For what he is doing, at least by inference, is to undermine the brazen idol of democracy, now so thoughtlessly worshiped throughout the allegedly “free world.”

Let me put this as plainly as I can: Libertarians are exactly the monsters Mark Ames thinks they are — that Hayek’s thought amounts to, as the title of the review puts it, a “nemesis of democracy” — or Morley is wrong. Please spare me the comment telling me to read his “Why I Am Not A Conservative” essay; Hayek called himself a Burkean Whig. You are confused if you think that places him on the left side of the political spectrum today.

Morley was a very astute critic, here he is in Modern Age, 1957:

The one common denominator in all these varied assaults on the principle of federalism is Bigness. Everything must be national,” although the word is not used once in the Constitution and was regarded as dubiously as was by the Founding Fathers. The current Washington telephone directory takes ten full columns merely to list the national associations with headquarters there, running from the National Academy of Broadcasting to the National Wrecking Company.

Since our institutions are demonstrably based on home rule and local sovereignty, some formula must be found to justify the general trend towards nationalization. And that is where this weasel word “democracy” comes in. . Its general use is the more invidious because it does not mean defense of majority rule at the grass roots, where the will of the people on local problems is based on accurate knowledge. It means the creation of a vague and semi-mystical volunti generale for the nation as a whole, in fields where emotions may be strong but where understanding cannot possibly be thorough.

One could see a situation in which libertarian inattentiveness to political concerns, in the face of masses of people that are growing frustrated with democracy, abets extremism. If freedom and democracy are incompatible, like Peter Thiel thinks, it is important to articulate ways to preserve freedom.

*****

Hey, we’re all Atlanteans here.

Continued from here, on the Masonic/Jacobite history of Fredericksburg

Update: Urban Future 2.1 on the Eurasian question:

The fact that Atlantis is unmistakably sinking makes the rising wolf-howls of Eurasianism all the more penetrating. Decadence is a dilemma or a delight for those involved in it. For those looking on, it is food. Eurasianism has the initiative, while the West reacts.

The Eurasian Question, then, is not whether this ideology will shake the world. That is already baked into the cake. The open question concerns China. In a re-ignited Hyperborean/Atlantean forever war, which way does China tilt?

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8 comments

  1. This fascinating, wide-ranging article needs a thousand-word response analysis, not a blog comment…but one brief point I actually know something about. I agree with Shekhovtsov and Umland that Dugin is no Integral Traditionalist, but their own misreading or misunderstanding of Crowley calls into question their judgement. By, in their own words, naming Crowley a “British Satanist” they show a deep ignorance of their subject. I’ve read most of Crowley’s writings and much of what’s been written about him, and his “Satanism” (as the word is normally used) was non-existent, as were any definite “political positions.”

    Crowley was a modern alchemist, seeking everywhere better methods for unlocking the untapped potential minds. Of getting out of the worn channels of seeing. His “politics” was essentially the discovery of methods and means to help individuals free their minds from domination by other minds. His aim was, in a recent allegory, the “Red Pill.”

    He did agree that “modernism” only made the problem worse, for the “masses.” More sophisticated mass media conditioning, more half-asleep populations buying dreck on credit. He didn’t expect, however, that more than a tiny fraction would have the ability to wake up.

    The Dark Enlightenment of Land, or it’s companion Neoreaction do share some of these methods and aims and also the conclusion that only a few will grok.

    So it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You mean Dugin “knows how much the man is, like Carlos Casteneda, considered a harmful hack and a charlatan.”? I understand that’s what a lot of people think. But having read him, Crowley had some profound insights and mind-tech. He was certainly a weird, wild, possibly psychopathic, self-promoter. But he had some important things to signal to the future, too.

        Like

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