Saturday, February 04, 2012


Alternative Right is a favorite online destination of mine. [Update: a couple of visitors here have raised valid objections to some material on the AR site, so...as in most everything online, use discretion.] I particularly enjoy the writings of Mark Hackard, an infrequent contributor there.
His latest, Pleasure-Dome Police State is a keeper. A few selections, after quoting Plato's We should expect tyranny from democracy, the most savage subjection from an excess of liberty:


Terror and tyranny are inevitable byproducts of democracy, the one legitimate form of rule permitted by Washington to the tribes of humanity. Our struggle for the rights of man must by necessity incur some casualties, but such bloodshed waters the tree of liberty. Tabulated (or not) as collateral damage, Pashtun villagers are ripped apart by Hellfire missiles launched by drones so that one day girls from that very community may go to an NGO-run school and learn about voting and contraception. Yet when a Pakastani who has taken U.S. citizenship attempts to blow up Times Square in revenge, no one in America’s political and media establishment seems the least bit curious as to his motives. The entire affair is written off as business as usual in the Open Society--after all, it could have taken place anywhere. This regime is the culmination of liberalism’s logic; it is what U.S. forces patrolling the Hindu Kush and all other corners of the earth defend. We fight them over there to invite them over here, for peace and unity in our world must first be enforced through universal war.
....And what is the secret of democracy, this gospel to liberate and empower all mankind? It is the political expression of our modern faith, self-worship. Just below the rationalistic assertion of rights and equality is the abyss of desire, the wish to ultimately recognize no authority higher than one’s own will made divine. Faith, ethnos and culture must be annihilated by egalitarianism and market forces, thereby giving rise to the New Man. From spiritual disorder springs social anarchy. In the contemporary West, a nation is no longer itself, but a mass of atoms, sovereign in their frenzied quest for profit and pleasure, mere demographic material for the plutocrats’ global Babylon.
....Herein we discover the bankruptcy of humanism: reason works as an eloquent prostitute for passions that would enslave us all. The Pleasure Dome is a police state.When the democratic principle is exalted beyond the suitable level of local institutions, it flattens all qualitative distinctions between individuals and peoples, leaving destruction, mediocrity and token tasteless amusements in its wake. As the modern West pursues the ideals of liberty and equality to their final outcomes, it draws ever nearer to a nightmarish despotism and dissolution. Immanent universal brotherhood can only be diagnosed as the fever-dream of a diseased imagination, which in its turn is seduced by a malicious deceiving spirit....Tyranny is not democracy’s tragic demise, but the logical consummation of its progress....Life in this fallen world is struggle--toward Transcendence and eternity. Accordingly, politics must be conducted in fidelity to the moral law, whose Author is supra-natural. All power derives from God, and to Him shall it be consecrated.

This is another interesting Hackard article.

If you are on board with Hackard, you might also appreciate this.

10 comments:

modestinus said...

Are you serious? I just started going on there and I thought those guys were a few cards short of a full deck. Did I miss something?

John said...

Maybe we are all a few cards short. Can't speak to all the submissions at AR, but what is your specific objection to this piece by Hackard?

Gabriel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
modestinus said...

It's not the Hackard piece. I spent a few too many hours over the course of several days going through everything there in some attempt to get a grip on what this "New Right" movement is supposed to be about. I also downloaded a few of their podcasts. My sense was that AR -- and the "New Right" (at least its American iteration) -- is basically a repository for racialist ideologues who learned to dress-up their rhetoric a bit while jettisoning all connections to mainstream conservatism (which left that scene behind a long time ago). I know they attract a few paleos at that site as well, but they strike me as out of place -- especially if one looks at the "New Right" broadly to include their non-Anglo European brethren. That crowd has nothing but contempt for so-called "Americanism," even if they share some of the culturalist pretensions of the American gang.

That's just my impression thus far. I was sort of hoping I might be wrong about the whole thing. I'll keep poking my nose around.

John said...

Obviously, you have to pick and choose on Alternative Right. I just visited the site and the lead article was entitled "The War on Guns." Had that been at the top of the page when I wrote my post, I would have probably skipped the recommendation and gone straight to the Hackard piece. There's a Nowicki post I found to be pretty distasteful, as well. I do not consider this a "New Right" site. I put more emphasis on the "Alternative" than the "Right." But, Richard Spencer is usually good and there is Hackard. I would say that a number of the articles are intentionally confrontational, and that some of the contributors enjoy a bit of verbal bomb-throwing. Picking and choosing here--and doing the same at Front Porch Republic, American Conservative (particularly Daniel Larison), occasionally at Chronicles, and very occasionally at Taki--gives some insight into my political posture. If I am a conservative, it would not be one recognizable to most of what passes for American Conservatism these days, and would not involve voting GOP.

Anonymous said...

This is the sentiment of a number of people I know who have lived through communism and arrived in North America. I just spent some time in Cuba last week. But after some consideration of the respective merits of communism and "democracy" I can't promote either.

Here is something from St. Hilarion that I anchor myself to when I find myself in a depressed state about politics. (The "blah blah blah" as a Cuban I met called it.)

"The biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel has an extremely profound meaning. It is just before this event that the Bible relates the first successes of sinful mankind in the areas of culture and society. It was at this time that man began to build stone cities. At this point the Lord confused the languages of those living on earth so that they stopped understanding each other and were scattered over the entire earth (cf. Gen. 11:4, 7-8). In this "Babylonian tower building" we are presented with a certain general type of civil or state society based on an externally legal norm.

The Russian philosopher V. S. Soloviev defined law thus: "Law is a compulsory demand for the realization of a certain minimum of good or order which does not allow certain manifestations of evil." Even if we accepted this definition of law, it is evident that it would never correspond to Christian morals. Law touches the external aspect and by-passes the essence of man. A society created on a legal basis can never merge people into unity. Unity is destroyed through self-love and egoism, for law does not destroy egoism. On the contrary, law only affirms it, guarding it from an encroachment on the part of the egoism of others. The purpose of a state based on law consists of creating, as far as possible, such an order in which the egoism of each member can find satisfaction for itself without violating the interests of others. The only path to the creation of such an order can be to place a certain limitation on the egoism of individual members. In this we have the unsolvable contradiction of law: it affirms egoism, yet it imposes limitations upon it. Therefore, a society formed on a legal basis always carries within itself the seeds of its own decay, for it guards egoism which constantly corrodes all unity. The fate of the tower of Babylon is the fate of legal society. In such a society there must frequently occur a "confusion of tongues" when people stop understanding each other even though they speak the same language. Legal order often gives place to terrible disorder.

The Christian society - the Church - is in direct contrast to such a legal, purely temporal society. "But when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity." Christ did not create the Church as a means of guarding human egoism, but as a means of its complete destruction."

You may read the whole thing here: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/christchurchilarion.htm

Thank you for you blog.

John said...

Anon,

Thanks for this. I followed your link to +Hilarion's article. I do want to spend some time with it, and may comment later on. Generally, anything written by him is well worth reading.

Your comment on communism vs. "democracy" reminded me of the Solzhenitsyn quote I have used so many times:

"Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive."

Would love to hear more about Cuba--have wanted to go there for years.

David Dickens said...

John.

At first, when I followed your link I was very much appreciative of your reference to this website. I even subscribed in my RSS reader.

Now, I must say, I am freaking out.

There have been a few articles in the last couple of days that are deliberately evil. Worse yet, the comments (which I couldn't find until recently) are even worse.

I did a bit of research. Their about page references "The National Policy Institute" which is a white supremacist organization in Montana.

I don't like damning people via association, nor am I unaware that many people are understandably concerned about the degeneration of their traditional cultures in the face of multiculturalism..but these folks..lack such nuance.

I'll be headed back over to Front Porch Republic where I belong. That's as "alternative" as I want my "right" to be.

John said...

David, thanks and duly noted. I have now qualified my recommendation in the beginning of the post. That said, I checked the site today, and appreciated the 2 articles I read. So, let's just say their offering are "uneven," and to use an old country saying--"they will do to watch."

John said...

David,
You are also correct about the comments there. I generally do not read them.