Beyond Liberalism: A Political New Wave.

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All hegemonic systems of value have an expiration date, and that of liberal universalism is fast approaching.

For decades the liberal crusade for equality went about deconstructing every institution with which the average person could orient their Identity, calling into question the unstated premises at the heart of these institutions, and highlighting their “myth” character, as well as the inequality masked or “naturalized” by those premises– preferring a “nurture over nature” explanation of every hierarchy existing within society.  Its late and final stage–  cultural-Marxist, millennial, “SJW”, Identity politics– brings the universalist doctrine into a totalitarianism by extending its egalitarian logic to the fullest extreme, suggesting every inequality is the result of a “social  construct”, and vowing to “deconstruct” such inequality wherever it can possibly find it. In doing so it has brought to the West a pandemic crisis of gender, sexual, racial, and national identity, responses to which we should only expect to grow more volatile and polarized.

The totalitarianism of late-stage liberalism, and its post-modern critical weaponry,  have  proved to be a double-edged sword,  however. By leaving no space outside its tight, egalitarian, logic, late-stage liberalism has certainly indoctrinated a substantial and die-hard following, but it has also created an ever-growing group who detest the world it is bringing about, and, unable to penetrate the egalitarian logic leading to its conclusions, instead dare to attack its central premise: that universal equality is, in the first place, a moral imperative. Further, this ever-growing group is armed with the very critical, weaponry that was used against it for decades; for though they may never have wanted it, the post-modern epistemological paradigm has reached them too, and just as liberal universalism fancied itself as seeing through socially constructed character of race and gender,  this group sees clearly through the socially constructed character of liberal universalism: a civilizing, and I do think overly-civilizing,  myth for a multicultural society.

This ever growing mass is a novel coalition, a set of interrelated groups who have found themselves left behind by liberal-universalist hegemony and its economic-bedfellow, global capitalism. A precariat formed as much by non-immigrants who see their economic and cultural future threatened by the global free-market, as by a set of college-age misfits who see their social and sexual futures threatened by the pseudo-utopian,  social freemarket that is late-liberal society. I am speaking of course, of that collective whose consciousness was memed out of its slumber–the “alt-right”–but also a broader, and indeed global,  groundswell of populists and social-discontents: an ice-berg of which the American alt-right is just the tip.

Much has, and could be, written about the universal alienation wrought by global capitalism, but in this blog I will focus more on liberalism: what I take to be the cultural hegemony, that, at least since the 80’s, has fallen into the service of global capitalism (the left won the culture war and the right had its way with economic policy, they say… the modern West is a product of this noxious hybrid… (what was ever more exciting, politically, than to fully revolt against the powers that be? Oh to be economically left, and socially right!)

How has contemporary liberalism failed? Like all philosophies, political or otherwise, liberalism is but a lens through which to view reality: a lens which captures some things, but leaves much out. Liberalism captures and criticizes historical systems of oppression, but in its historicizing of everything, forgets a more basic and timeless fact about human nature: the primacy of the need for man to manifest himself sexually and socially. Every man experiences this drive– this “will to power” in Nietzsche’s terms– with respect to his own life, regardless of his position of historical privilege. In its historicization of everything, however, liberalism massages this drives in everyone except the white male (or more specifically,  to everyone except the white in as far as they are white, and the male in as far as he is male). The number of things that can stymie the will to power are myriad, some of them  rootable to concrete historical occurrences (e.g. the white subalternization of blacks), and many others more clearly stemming from deeper-seated evolutionary factors (e.g. the success of taller men relative to their shorter counterparts), but in its historicization  of everything,  liberalism can only address the former, and so lacks even the vocabulary to talk about the unique struggles, and political destinies, of the groups it deems “privileged”.

With this failure, however liberalism has, to borrow from Marx, “spawned its own gravedigger”. White westerners will find empowerment, pride, and political enfranchisement by one means if not another, just as any sexual being will find one sexual outlet if not another. If the only political factions willing to offer this vital nourishment for the ego seem to be fascists, then we should not be surprised when we see a rise in fascism–if the ego is starved, the most vicious aspects of the id will thrive. Relegating the role a certain kind of person can play to “ally” will never succeed, any more than cuckoldry will ever be suitable as a lifelong sexual outlet. By nature we want to spread our ideas and our seed, and bear fruit. No rational construction of language—political and moral philosophies are nothing but—will stop us.

Good civilization structures itself around organizational institutions, myths, and cultural outlets which maximize cooperation between competing “wills to power”, and imbue them with a sense of purpose by applying them toward creative ends whilst sublimating their destructive side. The institutions deconstructed by liberalism existed in the first place, I argue, as responses to this forgotten understanding of human nature. Marriage and the patriarchal family, for example, was an institution in which a man could orient his Identity as a man and as a father—sublimating even his basest sexual instinct through the erotic expenditure of bearing and raising children. In the post-sexual-revolution age this kind of arrangement has become harder to come by, and male erotic energy has become an uncaged beast. Based on this, do I advocate a full-scale return to “traditional gender roles”? Not necessarily. I merely mean that we must be realistic about the purpose they served in the first place, and go about replacing them with some equivalent, social infrastructure suitably based on biological reality.

The question I leave with is: how do we re-sublimate our energies into nobler pursuits than those we see in, say,  the darkest corners of 4chan, or that came out in the worst moments of Charlottesville? How might we go about not merely criticizing liberalism, but doing the harder work of rebuilding (or replacing!) the institutions it eroded?

To take a metaphor from the history of popular music, I envision a politics that is to the Alt-Right as New Wave was to Punk: a reintroduction of harmony  after a discordant, destructive, splurge.  Remember, Johnny Rotten and Siouxsie Sioux were the first western youths to troll with Swastikas…. Joy Division’s debut EP featured member of the Hitler Youth on its sleeve, but Joy Division eventually became New Order.

A brave new political world is dawning, one that calls for brave post-liberals. We must have the political courage to think beyond the confines of liberalism, but the moral courage to sublimate the darkest elements of our thought into something positive, rather than  negative. I believe we will find our truest happiness when our politics, sexuality, spirituality, and creativity are all in harmony. This blog is a documentation of my personal search for that harmony, and I hope it has something to offer you as well.

6 comments

  1. Claire Khaw (@MinimumSt8) · April 18, 2018

    Can there be any “brave post-liberals” without the organising structure of religion when there are no brave post-liberals prepared to even discuss religion?

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    • Matthew J. Piss · April 18, 2018

      I am a Catholic, and would love to discuss religion. What we should ask ourselves is how we might convince the mass, specifically the white masses, to re-embrace religion as an organizing structure in society. The trouble is, we can’t simply gloss over the nihilism and relativism that have dominated the West since World War II– we are past the point where the general populace can be convinced to believe in mythology. What actually must happen is not glossing over nihilism, but going beyond it! Its that Kierkegaardian moment of choosing religion not because it is the capital-T truth, but for pragmatic reasons like that it is an organizing structure for society (as well as for the lives of anyone who participates in it).

      I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but merely build something new, using the wisdom of old.

      Perhaps I should have included something about religion in my initial posts, but I am aiming at as general an audience as possible, and the fact is a lot of people are allergic to religion. Their brains turn off the second they find out that that is part of your agenda. The same goes for very forthright nationalism. It’s important to meet people where they are, and I try to do that with aesthetics and post-modernism.

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  2. John Bowman · January 20

    It’s a bit depressing there isn’t a more prominent online culture for an alternative left and alternative center in the same way there is for the alt right. Do you have any ideas on how people who agree with the need for a “left-wing” alternative to the alt-right can maximize the chances that such an alternative can go viral like the alt right has?

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    • Matt P. · January 21

      We’ve been trying to think of Ideas! (Robert Stark and I, and others). I think there really is a need and a hunger for such a movement, but at this point people are divided. You have the Chapo Traphouse/ Bernie Bro crowd, who, I think, are spot on in many of their criticisms of growing economic inequality, soul-crushing work culture, environmental destruction, and the historical ruinousness of American foreign policy, and then you have certain people on the alt-right who are concerned with all of that to various degrees, but also recognize the human need for nationalism, cultural identity, etc. We believe both dissident left and dissident right should focus on pragmatic, mutual, goals, and common enemies, but the culture war is pretty vicious at this point.

      I hope pressures will eventually mount to the point that something will form. A politician like Tulsi Gabbard could possibly form a unique coalition of supporters. We will see.

      Right now my best idea is to simply try to strike the best tone. Robert Stark’s podcast was for years associated with the Alt-Right, but the AR has basically run out steam at this point. Something new could rise up that could be first and foremost populist: less explicitly “right-wing” on certain issues, and more “left-wing” on others, and all-in-all feel like something new and exciting, especially for the millennial generation. With the proper tone struck, I think it would just be a matter of us, cloutless, internet dwellers waiting for the socio-cultural tides to send new listeners/readers our way.

      Do you have any ideas?

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  3. John Bowman · January 23

    I’m afraid that any ideas I have at this point are likely to be vague and half-baked. One idea I’ve had might be to somehow utilize two particular areas that various scholars have investigated and written about over the past decade or so. The first of these is psychological research that aims to elucidate the cognitive differences between various groups of voters. Perhaps this is exemplified by Jonathan Haidt’s “Moral Foundations Theory.” The second area concerns how political messaging can be crafted through the right metaphors in order to resonate with different groups. Perhaps this is exemplified by the writings of the linguist George Lakoff, who argues that people on the left and right tend to coalesce into various political tribes that are susceptible to political messages that revolve around certain key metaphors.

    It seems, then, like one basic strategy might consist of first identifying a specific dissident idea that ought to be more widely embraced by people on the other side of the political spectrum, such as the notion of accepting political incorrect scientific findings regarding gender and whatnot, as opposed to a bland neoliberal conception of humanity as a mass of interchangeable economic units, and then using theories like these in order to find ways to market this more effectively to traditionally left-leaning groups. Of course, whether it’s worth trying to operationalize this by attempting to create something that resembles an online meme culture, or whether it’s better to simply devote one’s time to working within the established political system, for instance, is another question.

    Needless to say, a potentially controversial issue is defining the actual political battlefield on which this entire political war is to be fought, and determining if there is an identifiable enemy that people should be encouraged to oppose, and if so, whether this enemy is an amorphous system, a historical force, or if it is something more concrete.

    In any case, it’s quite clear that the alternative right went much too far in constantly invoking a certain sense of misery and anger that most normal people will only find repellant. I’ve often wondered if using “weaponized objectivity,” in the vein of some of the hyper-rationalist blogs on the Internet, might be another angle from which to approach some of the issues they have raised.

    I find your idea of using postmodernism and aesthetics to be quite interesting, and hope you develop it further. I only wish I was more knowledgeable in these two areas, but I certainly look forward to listening to the Stark Truth podcasts and reading your subsequent articles on this.

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  4. Matt P. · January 25

    I think what you address in your first paragraph is the right general track. People who have more of an understanding of how metapolitics works– the tribalism inherent to it, as well as those cognitive conditions you mentioned, should craft a new, centrist/moderate political message. The more liberal version of this would involve promoting greater understanding: pushing a movement that encourages people to break out of their tribal mindset, understand their cognitive predispositions and that other people are inherently, different etc. The more pessimistic version would be simply crafting a new, dissident-centrist tribe, with intellects at the top, and less-thoughtful followers who latch on to the new current. I’m pretty resigned to the fact that politics works in the latter way.

    Certainly its a matter of identifying the key ideas. For me they are similar to what you note. 1). That neoliberal economics lead the world toward misery. I’m not even necessarily quite a socialist, but believe that the state and/or culture needs to keep a thumb pressed firmly down on the market, and 2). that liberal social views have been co-opted by these economics. That at this point their blank-slatism has fallen very much into the service of capitalism. I have critiques of liberalism that go beyond this, but the two above points I think would be agreed upon by most people on the alt-right (other than the AnCap faction, maybe) and everyone on the Chapo Traphouse Left (thought they’d probably be more careful about how they talked about the second point), and therefore are the points best to focus on.

    Yeah its hard to define that battlefield. A lot of people would here say, “its the Jews”. I have more of a “don’t hate the player, hate the game” mindset, and think that what I oppose is a much more amorphous, historical force. That said, if I had to pick an enemy I’d say its the good old 1%. I think “money-power” is the closest thing we have to a concrete enemy, and on this matter I sound much more like a leftist.

    The other idea that I thought of since I wrote that last reply is that I think it’s a matter of different “dissident left”/”dissident right”/ “dissident center” factions who are willing to work together finding each other on the internet. This, as far as I understand is how the alt-right formed. It started with a few writers and activists circulating around Taki Mag and the Ron Paul movement. It eventually snowballed bringing on a range of different elements, in peaked at the end of 2016 when you had both the extreme “shock jocks” of the TRS/Daily Stormer crowd and mainstream figure likes Steve Bannon and Milo calling themselves “alt-right”. The key ingredient was of course, Donald Trump’s campaign. In the long run the entryism of the alt-right led to its downfall– infighting, and then its winding up a younger, more tech-savvy version of White Nationalism 1.0, but I think it accomplished a lot in the meantime.

    I got excited when I saw Tulsi Gabbard was running, not because I agree with everything she says, but because I thought she could be the Donald Trump of an “alt-center” movement. We’ll see!

    Thank You. I don’t write on this blog too much, but I think there’s a lot to be said about these issues from the perspective of post-modernism.

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