Author: Integral Axis

Gramsci’s Notion of Cultural Hegemony

Antonio Gramsci was an Italian communist leader and theoretician. He penned most his most important writings (‘The Prison Notebooks’) whilst imprisoned in Mussolini’s Italy. Despite being a man of the Left, we can definitely learn from his writings on – and in relation to – the concept of ‘cultural hegemony.’ It plays directly into any long-term strategic thinking on our part.

 

Cultural Hegemony

In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a society by a group* whose domination comes through control of culture – and the implicit ideology contained within that culture (with all the beliefs, values, norms, attitudes and explanations that entails.) With that, the dominant group worldview becomes the worldview of the majority; who see its values as natural and universal values which are good for all. In short, as the way things should be. The domination by one group is thus justified and legitimised.

* In classical Marxism, these are economic-defined groups (proletariat, bourgeoisie…) but in reality, they could – and do – form around any number of things: nationality, religion, purely political ideologies, etc…

 

Base and Superstructure

In Marxism, society is said to consist of two parts: the base and superstructure.

  • The base refers to the economy and the way it is structured (the so-called means, forces and relations of production.)
  • The superstructure consists of the society’s overall culture and political system (including art, family, religion, philosophy, law, media, science, education.)

Marx (as a materialist) believed that the base was the dominating factor, in so far as material factors and relations between employers and employees condition all the elements contained in the superstructure. (The superstructure in turn exerts some effect in helping maintain the status quo of the base – through its legitimisation.) But the primary mover in classical Marxism is the base.

Gramsci’s analysis inverts Marx’s understanding of the relationship between base and superstructure. Instead of the base being dominant, we have the superstructure as dominant (which conditions the former.) This opens up a much greater role for the influence of culture over the social whole, and so power is maintained more through ideology than physical means.

The graphic below I took and altered slightly. (It originally demonstrated Marx’s belief in the primacy of the base. It’s here changed slightly to reflect the dominance of the superstructure.)

Of course, the above graph – representing as it does the views of the Marxist Gramsci – is relevant primarily to Marxists. For our purposes, the relation between superstructure and base is irrelevant – we can forget the base altogether. It’s understanding the role of the superstructure in legitimising one group’s dominance over a society that we’re interested in.

More relevant is to us is Gramsci’s further division of the superstructure into two distinct parts: political society and civil society.

  • Political society consists of the government, military, police, legal system. That which rules through force.
  • Civil society refers to everything between the political world and economy. It is here in civil society that ideologic content is produced and reproduced (through the media, education system, religion, art, science, the family) which legitimises the dominance of one group over the rest in their own minds.

Political society – domination through coercion.

Civil society – domination through consent.

The superstructure therefore offers two different means of attaining and maintaining social control:

  • Coercive control: either through direct force or the implied threat thereof.
  • Consensual control: which arises when individuals voluntarily assimilate the worldview of the dominant group (i.e. hegemonic leadership.)

With any dominant group there is a kind of balance between the two. When control through consent is high, control through force is less necessary and can therefore be low; whereas when control through consent is low, control through force must be high. The latter occurs where the dominant class’s hegemony is either low or becomes threatened.

Back to the idea of cultural hegemony itself. Where hegemony results, instead of being the values of one group, it comes to be seen by everyone as values for the benefit of all (and thus helps maintain the status quo.)

Here is a basic depiction of cultural hegemony in a hypothetical society. We have three types of person which are Yellow, Blue and Green types. Each would naturally possess its own ideology or culture which is an expression of its own values and interests. However, the concept of cultural hegemony assumes it’s possible for one type to subtly impose its own ideology or culture on that of other types; so that it becomes the ‘common-sense’ worldview of all.

So below we have a hypothetical society of 24 individuals. It happens to be equally split, with 8 yellow, 8 blue and 8 green. However, the majority (79.2%) are happy adherents of the yellow type’s ideology — an ideology that originated as an expression of the values beliefs and interests of the yellows. Only 3 of the blues and 2 of the greens adhere to their own respective ideologies, and are manifestly less happy with this. The yellows definitely maintain cultural hegemony. The overall culture will reflect their values and interests. They dominate whether they have physical control or not.

And obviously, cultural hegemony can be of a majority over a minority OR of a minority over a majority.

So, any counter-hegemonic force will have to overcome the fact that the majority may well assert the values of the status quo as natural values that are good for everyone – even if it’s not in their own interest.

 

War of Position vs. War of Manoeuvre

The division of the superstructure into political and civil society presents us with two means to power. 1. Through the direct conquest of political society (which Gramsci thought was most possible in societies without a substantial civil society, such as in early 20th Century Russia.) And 2. The conquest of political society indirectly through the conquest of civil society (which Gramsci thought was necessary for societies that did contain a substantial civil society, such as the Western Europe of his time and beyond.)

Gramsci’s terms for these two strategies for control are ‘War of Manoeuvre’ and ‘War of Position.’

War of Manoeuvre: the struggle for control of the state (whether through democratic or non-democratic means.)

War of Position: an intellectual and cultural struggle. The battle of ideas.

If the war of manoeuvre can be understood as analogous to a cavalry’s charge on the enemy, then the war of position would be akin to taking up a superior position at the top of a hill before launching an attack.

The ideology that rules will inevitably be the one that maintains legitimacy. Either in the eyes of the masses, or even of an elite, such as the military.

 

Cultural hegemony should be achieved first. Then political power.

The hegemony of the dominant group must be fought with a counter-hegemony – to displace their ideology with our own.

Although cultural hegemony must be achieved before political power can be achieved, both the war of position and war of manoeuvre must be fought alongside one another. This is because, on the one hand, the machinations of the war of manoeuvre can be seen as a litmus test of one’s success on the cultural plane; but it can also function as an extension of the war of position if used properly.

 

We’ll end with one last point. Gramsci stressed the difference between what he called the traditional intellectuals and organic intellectuals. His ‘traditional intellectuals’ are what we don’t want – they are those who see themselves as set apart from society; sat away in their ivory towers chatting amongst themselves.  What we want are a kind of ‘intellectual’ (what Gramsci labels as his organic kind) that concerns itself with actively influencing people and winning people over to the worldview. Leading the charge in the cultural war.

‘Racism’ – the first and final word

Definition: particularism – human beings are naturally a social animal, they live embedded in groups. ‘Particularism’ can be defined as preference for, or loyalty to, ones own kind – family, nation, race… (antithesis: universalism – cosmopolitanism, one-world brotherhood, globalism.)

Preference for in-group vs. Hostility towards out-group. (Commonly believed to be one and the same – or two sides of the same coin – but are in fact separate; analogous to two independent sliding scales.) As is shown in the below study:

The Psychology of Prejudice: Ingroup Love or Outgroup Hate?

Abstract:

Allport (1954) recognized that attachment to one’s ingroups does not necessarily require hostility toward outgroups. Yet the prevailing approach to the study of ethnocentrism, ingroup bias, and prejudice presumes that ingroup love and outgroup hate are reciprocally related. Findings from both cross-cultural research and laboratory experiments support the alternative view that ingroup identification is independent of negative attitudes toward outgroups and that much ingroup bias and intergroup discrimination is motivated by preferential treatment of ingroup members rather than direct hostility toward outgroup members. Thus to understand the roots of prejudice and discrimination requires first of all a better understanding of the functions that ingroup formation and identification serve for human beings. This article reviews research and theory on the motivations for maintenance of ingroup boundaries and the implications of ingroup boundary protection for intergroup relations, conflict, and conflict prevention.

 Additional studies can be read here, here, here and (to a lesser extent) here.

 

So, if we have two scales operating independently of one another – preference for in-group and hostility towards out-group – then this presents us with four possible configurations:

  1. Preference for in-group but no hostility towards out-group
  2. Preference for in-group and hostility towards out-group
  3. No Preference for in-group but hostility towards out-group
  4. No Preference for in-group or hostility towards out-group

[labelled as 1. 2. 3. and 4. below.]

The linguistic meme-concept, ‘racism’, was developed in order to blur the first three together, as if they were all one and the same – and then pit them against the supposed neutrality of number four.

^ A false dichotomy is implied therein between racism (‘hostility towards out-group’) and not racism (‘neutrality towards in-group and out-group.’)

Examples: wanting to preserve ones country as belonging to ones own nation, vs. wanting that and also disliking a people, either for no good reason, or which – for example – is trying to move in and displace your people (i.e. there are perfectly good reasons to even hate another people – for example if they are seeking to ethnically cleanse or genocide you.) vs. stabbing a black man in the head just because he’s black. <– in leftish newspeak these are all but different manifestations of the same phenomena – ‘racism.’ All are then opposed to a mythical ‘colour-blindness’ – that “race doesn’t matter.”

Of the four possible configurations, the first three are therefore dismissed as ‘racism.’ They are blurred together into one singular construct.

This – however – is only true for white people. A separate standard is deliberately applied to non-white people across all areas of life. So…

 

Two additional terms related to Racism – and used in the exact same way – are ‘Xenophobia’ and ‘Hate.’ So with the latter, for example, love of ones own kind becomes ‘hate.’

Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning. In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.

“Why do you hate?”, “All he is doing is spreading hate…” (SPLC’s ‘hate-groups.’ ‘HopeNotHate’, etc…) …

… ^ The grammar of Newspeak has two characteristics: (i) the virtual interchangeability of linguistic function (noun, verb, adverb, adjective, etc.) among the parts of speech…

 

Whenever we think about loyalty to ones racial, national or ethnic group, we can use the metaphor of the family. Everybody – barring life-events or psychopathology – has a natural preference for, and loyalty to, their own family over others. In no sense would anybody assume this necessitated a hatred of non-family members. Indeed anyone claiming that ‘love of ones own family’ is merely a thinly disguised excuse for hatred of other people’s families would rightly be viewed as someone whose head was not screwed on right. Additionally families – like nations – have fought one another throughout history, and always will; but nobody would claim that families therefore should be done away with due to their being primarily based on hate which inevitably leads to violence. (Various kinds of leftist of course do want to get rid of the family, but they don’t use this stupid logic. They reserve that for nation and race…)

Such ideologically-loaded terms as ‘racism’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘hate’ and ‘bigotry’ function as what are known as thought-terminating clichés (aka thought-stoppers.) These are words or phrases which have the effect of shutting down rational and critical thought or discussion, and of providing a simplistic answer to what are often highly complex human problems.

They can pre-empt and shut down any substantive analysis. Appearing to say something substantive about a given topic, they are often empty and say nothing of substance whatsoever.

Mundane examples from everyday life include ‘it is what it is’ and ‘everything happens for a reason.’

Any word or phrase operating as a thought-terminating cliché may actually be valid in certain contexts, but it is the facility with which it is regularly used to shut down thought or debate which makes it a thought-terminating cliché.

The following words of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton – the man who popularised the term ‘thought-terminating cliché’ in his 1961 book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China – are incredibly pertinent to any thought regarding the modern Western hivemind:

“The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis”.

This is the primary function the word ‘racism’ fulfils in the modern West.

Note: thought terminating clichés are not just expressed to others in order to quell discussion or dissent, but are also often expressed internally to oneself in order to suppress cognitive dissonance and to avoid thinking about certain things.

Beyond the fact that the term ‘racism’ blurs together the aforementioned three separate phenomena, it additionally represents a false dichotomy because there are not only two factors at work – ‘preference for in-group’ and ‘hostility towards out-group.’ There is a third: hostility towards ones own in-group.

It is this third, not neutrality, which sums up white leftists. They harbour a deep-seated hostility towards their own in-group (as white people, for Europe – culturally and its civilisation – and their respective nations: white English leftists disdain England, white Swedish leftists loathe Sweden, white French leftists despise France, etc…)

Given that preference for ones own kind is the natural and default position, and hostility towards ones own kind can only develop and override the former under the influence of a neurotic psychological complex; it is very debateable whether true neutrality can even exist in these matters.

This hostility towards ones own amongst white liberals has been demonstrated in a modern study by David Pizarro – which he subsequently called the “kill whitey study.”

Summed up here:

Given the Choice, Liberals Would Rather “Kill Whitey”

Recent work by David Pizarro at Cornell is shedding light the role that race and ethics play in politics, by asking people to sacrifice the lives of either Tyrone Payton or Chip Ellsworth III.

OK, they didn’t really have to sacrifice anyone, but each participant in the study was faced with a variation of the classical ethical dilemma called the “trolley problem.” The trolley problem asks the question: Would you push someone on to the tracks (and kill them) to stop a trolley holding 100 people from crashing (and killing them all)?

The paper describes the twist that Pizarro and colleagues put on the trolley question when they asked it to California undergraduates:

Half of the participants received a version of the scenario where the agent could choose to sacrifice an individual named “Tyrone Payton” to save 100 members of the New York Philharmonic, and the other half received a version where the agent could choose to sacrifice “Chip Ellsworth III” to save 100 members of the Harlem Jazz Orchestra.

While the study didn’t specifically mention each person’s race, the researchers reasoned that “Tyrone” would be stereotyped as black, while “Chip” would be stereotyped as white. On the saving end, they assumed that the Philharmonic would be thought of as white, while the Harlem Jazz Orchestra would be assumed black.

When faced with this choice, each individual in the study group showed different reactions based on their political leanings–the liberals were more likely to sacrifice “Chip” to save the Orchestra, while conservatives were more likely to sacrifice “Tyrone” to save the Philharmonic. When describing the findings in a recent talk Pizarro explained his interpretation of the findings:

If you’re wondering whether this is just because conservatives are racist—well, it may well be that conservatives are more racist. But it appears in these studies that the effect is driven [primarily] by liberals saying that they’re more likely to agree with pushing the white man and [more likely to] disagree with pushing the black man.

And also:

But this was just college students. Perhaps they were morally mushier than most people. So the team went further afield. As Pizarro describes in the talk:

We wanted to find a sample of more sort of, you know, real people. So we went in Orange County out to a mall and we got people who are actually Republicans and actually Democrats, not wishy-washy college students. The effect just got stronger. (This time it was using a “lifeboat” dilemma where one person has to be thrown off the edge of a lifeboat in order to save everybody, again using the names “Tyrone Payton” or “Chip Ellsworth III”.) We replicated the finding, but this time it was even stronger.

Despite professing to not see race, it is in fact this attitude that typifies the average leftist. And in a leftist world it is this hatred of whiteness that is all-pervasive. The following being the exact same attitude manifesting at a more extreme level:

This hostility for ones in-group amongst leftists is definitely related to feelings of low self-worth [see: Psychology of Leftism] and resentment – it is possible that the average advocate of equality is a low self-esteem individual who has always felt undervalued by the other members of his own group, which over time results in resentment towards that in-group; and a knee-jerk tactical preference for taking the side of the other – the outsider.

This psychological mechanism is the original source of all egalitarianism. The basis of leftism. A life-strategy of the weak.

‘The Christian religion [read: egalitarianism] originated in the realization that the weak could overcome the strong when they banded together in a herd, using the weapons of guilt and conscience. In modern times this prejudice had become widespread and irresistible, not because it had been revealed as true, but because of the greater numbers of weak people.’ — Francis Fukuyama paraphrasing Friedrich Nietzsche

Is the greater propensity for modern people to disdain their own group simply due to heightened neuroticism – brought about by the increasing sensitivity and softness induced by comfortable living?

 

The End-Goal: Where leftism is taking us…

The two forms ‘diversity’ can take and their respective effects:

  1. as groups = ethnic conflict (overt decline + extraverted conflict.)
  2. as individuals = isolation (covert decline + introverted conflict.)

^ This is why our governments put so much effort into mixing everyone up as individuals with much opposition to ‘segregated communities.’ It is because on some level they understand that the decline will be so much more peaceful and easier to manage.

 

The following two studies on this speak for themselves:

 

1. Diversity as Mixed Groups:

Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence

We consider the conditions of peace and violence among ethnic groups, testing a theory designed to predict the locations of violence and interventions that can promote peace. Characterizing the model’s success in predicting peace requires examples where peace prevails despite diversity. Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups. Mountains and lakes are an important part of the boundaries between sharply defined linguistic areas. Political canton and circle (sub-canton) boundaries often separate religious groups. Where such boundaries do not appear to be sufficient, we find that specific aspects of the population distribution either guarantee sufficient separation or sufficient mixing [IA: see point 2 below] to inhibit intergroup violence according to the quantitative theory of conflict. In exactly one region, a porous mountain range does not adequately separate linguistic groups and violent conflict has led to the recent creation of the canton of Jura. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by physical and political boundaries. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.

 

2. Diversity as Mixed Individuals:

Robert Putnam – Diversity and trust within communities

In recent years, Putnam has been engaged in a comprehensive study of the relationship between trust within communities and their ethnic diversity. His conclusion based on over 40 cases and 30,000 people within the United States is that, other things being equal, more diversity in a community is associated with less trust both between and within ethnic groups. Although limited to American data, it puts into question both the contact hypothesis and conflict theory in inter-ethnic relations. According to conflict theory [IA: see point 1 above], distrust between the ethnic groups will rise with diversity, but not within a group. In contrast, contact theory proposes that distrust will decline as members of different ethnic groups get to know and interact with each other. Putnam describes people of all races, sex, socioeconomic statuses, and ages as “hunkering down,” avoiding engagement with their local community—both among different ethnic groups and within their own ethnic group. Even when controlling for income inequality and crime rates, two factors which conflict theory states should be the prime causal factors in declining inter-ethnic group trust, more diversity is still associated with less communal trust.

Lowered trust in areas with high diversity is also associated with:

  • Lower confidence in local government, local leaders and the local news media.
  • Lower political efficacy – that is, confidence in one’s own influence.
  • Lower frequency of registering to vote, but more interest and knowledge about politics and more participation in protest marches and social reform groups.
  • Higher political advocacy, but lower expectations that it will bring about a desirable result.
  • Less expectation that others will cooperate to solve dilemmas of collective action (e.g., voluntary conservation to ease a water or energy shortage).
  • Less likelihood of working on a community project.
  • Less likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering.
  • Fewer close friends and confidants.
  • Less happiness and lower perceived quality of life.
  • More time spent watching television and more agreement that “television is my most important form of entertainment”.

Full Study: E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century

 

What needs to be done then is to formulate each of the points made in this article in their absolute most simple, concise and easy to understand form; and then to repeat those points again and again and again, as far and as wide as possible, and also – without actually parroting one another verbatim – in as consistently similar language as possible. Simplicity and repetition are key.

Legitimacy – the Foundation of Political Power

The following constitutes the fundamental starting point. Everything to be done is to be done with this in mind.

 

What is sought is a revolution.

A revolution is primarily a mental phenomenon – it takes place in the minds of men first and foremost.

What is wanted is a long-term transfer of power out of the hands of the representatives of opposing ideologies (liberal democracy, post-Marxism, etc.), and into the hands of representatives of our ideology – that of the Right (fascism, national socialism, integralism, revolutionary conservatism, etc. – different terms for the same thing: the ideology of the Right applied within the context of technological and secular modernity.)

 

The power of whoever is in charge relies primarily on belief.

– the belief in the minds of others that their rule is good and correct. Nobody can rule without this.*

– and if that belief should erode, then their power is in jeopardy; and it may well end up being transferred over to somebody else.

* The example of a mediaeval king — he could not have simply dominated an entire population through force of physical prowess. No matter his formidability, it is an impossibility for one man to accomplish such a thing. He could only continually rule over his kingdom in so far as others believed that he is rightfully king.

 

The same principle is true whether we’re talking about the command of an individual/group OR an ideology.

 

To take a look at purely hypothetical examples; let’s imagine we have a social order inhabited by four competing political ideologies – National Socialism, Liberalism, Communism and Anarchism.

 

 

All else being equal, the ideology which has the most supporters is the one which will rule. (We’ll begin to look at in what ways these things are not always equal later…)

So here we have a National Socialist state with significant Liberal opposition (left.) A Liberal state with relatively little opposition (right)…

… a Communist state with strong liberal opposition (left.) And a state being fought over by National Socialists and Liberals (right.)

So it should be clear that at the most basic level the ultimate goal of attaining power and dominance of ones worldview boils down to a matter of winning people over to your ideology whilst also discrediting rival ideologies.

Referring back to the previous example of a mediaeval king (though the example holds true for ideologies too) – that he could not have simply dominated an entire population through physical intimidation; it being an impossibility for one man to accomplish such a thing – regardless of his personal formidability. And he could only rule continually over his kingdom in so far as others believed that he is rightfully king. Those ‘others’ will consist of either:

1) the majority of the masses

2) an elite minority which is capable of dominating the rest of the populace, either physically (i.e. the military and police) or mentally (i.e. the priesthood.)

 

Any social order – traditional or modern – can be represented by the following:

 

In terms of who dictates what beliefs regarding rightful rulership prevail, the direction of influence can flow between all three and in either direction.

Any one of the above could spearhead a revolution – particularly if the others are indifferent.

 

So a revolution will result when we win over enough of the right kinds of people to our worldview.

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is essentially two simultaneous battles:

  1. Convince people of our worldview.
  2. Discredit all rival or competing ideologies.

 

This will lead us on to the next stage, which will be looked at in separate articles, and which can be summarised by these four questions:

  1. What is our worldview? (see: 5 Principles of the Right)
  2. What is their worldview(s)?
  3. How do you win people over to a worldview?
  4. How do you discredit an opposing worldview?

 

Implications/applications.

– ‘Ballot box vs. barrel of a gun’ is a false dichotomy. There have been plenty of revolutions which took place neither through the democratic process, nor through violence. This can come about because if an ideology wins over the minds of the people, it can appear to the current ruler that the writing is on the wall, and they opt to hand over control peacefully rather than being forcibly deposed.

– There are many ways a physical revolution can take place. Some entail a protracted civil war and widespread slaughter; others are 100% peaceful. Some are enacted through voting; others require no voting at all. Some happen overnight; others are long drawn-out affairs. In short, there’s no way of knowing how the final realisation of the revolution will come about. What should be concentrated on is bringing about the required mental revolution. Once that is ensured, the rest will sort itself out.

– Successfully effecting an ideological revolution is what everything hinges upon. If things were to end in civil war – this is what furnishes one side with its soldiers, and provides the finances, resources and know-how. If it goes to the ballot box, this is will provide candidates and voters; financial and media backing. Win people over mentally, and the material resources follow.

Self-Mastery, pt. 1 – the Breath

Mental activity is inherently intertwined with the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, including respiration. The example most people being aware of being the balance between the sympathetic nervous system and arousal, on the one hand; and the parasympathetic nervous system and relaxation, on the other.

It’s not normal for the average person to have any voluntary control over their autonomic nervous system. However, every individual has conscious control over their breathing – which is both consciously and unconsciously controlled, and thus provides a link between the conscious and unconscious. Having a degree of control over the breath, it is possible for everyone to influence their inner state via control of the breath.

Here we will be using the most basic of breathing exercises – yet also the one which has the most profound and immediate effect. The purpose of this particular exercise is to impose a rhythm on the breath, which, through its influence over the rest of the nervous system, can help bring the psycho-mental flux under control. This is brought about by the two-way relationship between the breath and heart, on the one hand; and the activity of the mind, on the other.

In order to achieve this objective there must be two conditions imposed on the breath:

  1. It be rhythmic (the inhalations and exhalations are matched.)
  2. It be automatic (not under too strong a voluntary control, which can inadvertently cause problems, such as tension or hyperventilation.)

 

These are the two necessary conditions. If we have these two conditions present then all other considerations are of little significance.

 

Rhythmic

The virtue of the perfectly rhythmic breath was an important element within the tradition of yoga. It was an essential part of their discipline of pranayama – which was at once seen as a suitable practice for the average man, as well as a pre-requisite for more advanced meditative practices.

Modern science is developing its own support for this method. Namely that breathing is intimately tied up with activity of the heart – which is directly liked up to the brain via the nervous system – and as such, can be consciously manipulated as a method of controlling nervous system activity. The more rhythmic our breathing, the more stable our autonomic nervous system is. This manifests itself as increased heart rate variability; which is seen as signifying nervous system adaptability and stress resilience.

The goal is to train the breath to adopt this steady breathing pattern as its default state. The steadiness of the breath becomes a strong foundation upon which to develop the steadiness of the mind.

As a beginner, this can be practised in small 10 to 20 minute sessions, intermittently throughout the day when appropriate. Over time, the unconscious will readily adopt this as its default breathing style. It can then be left to run like clockwork in the background ensuring an ongoing state of heightened mental sureness and stability.

Choose somewhere comfortable to sit where you won’t be disturbed, and practise the breathing pattern below. A stopwatch or clock with a second-hand can be used to maintain the proper timing. Though you could also, for example, tap out a steady beat with your fingers. Reciting a mantra in the mind is sometimes suggested in traditional yoga teachings as a means of keeping time.

In actuality, any recurring rhythm could be used for the breath, but the most practical – and the one that produces the most optimal results – is probably a 2-1-2-1 ratio (inhalation-hold-exhalation-hold); or alternately a 1-1-1-1 ratio.

The actual time for each segment in the sequence doesn’t matter, as long as the proportions remain correct. The correct speed of the breath will depend a great deal on present circumstances. i.e. it would necessarily be much quicker during intense physical activity than at rest – a point more relevant for when you begin to incorporate this continuously throughout the day than in the beginning when the practice is first being learned.

The following two are just examples of timings that may be used. They would be the most practical, due to them being the ones most easily practised with the assistance of a stopwatch or clock:

4 seconds in, 2 seconds hold, 4 seconds out, 2 seconds hold. (5 breaths/minute – slow.)

2 seconds in, 1 second hold, 2 seconds out, 1 second hold. (10 breaths/minute – moderate.)

 

So, for example, you would inhale gently for four seconds. Hold the breath for two seconds. Exhale gently for four seconds. Hold the breath for two seconds. Repeat in a cyclical manner.

 

Side note: the popular notion that high arousal (adrenaline) equals stress, and that relaxation techniques which induce parasympathetic dominance are the key to a healthy mind, is pretty wide of the mark.

The mind being in a positive state – along with the corresponding physiological state – has little to do with high vs. low arousal. It instead has much to do with what some are now calling brain coherence – brainwaves, as measure by ECG, etc. manifesting a highly ordered state. This is found in conjunction with a highly rhythmic heart beat (at the same time exhibiting high variability – i.e. a steady, predictable variability; as opposed to a chaotic and unpredictable variability.)

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom line here is that a high arousal state is definitely useful if you’re also in a state of internal coherence. Conversely a low arousal (or ‘relaxed’) state will still be negative if you are in a chaotic internal state.

 

Automatic

This is the second vital consideration. It also presents something of a paradox, for the task at hand is the conscious manipulation of the pattern of the breath. However, focusing on moving the breath in and out with our conscious mind presents a significant problem. The conscious mind does not know how to breathe anything like as well as does the sub-conscious mind – whose task it usually is. Consciously manipulating our breathing in this way is very likely to lead to problems – hyperventilation, and/or tension from the forced nature of it – and will only make our situation worse. Hyperventilation deprives the brain of oxygen, hindering mental performance – even in the presence of brain coherence where the breath is properly rhythmic. None of this is what we want.

The answer is to control just the parameters of the breath; but to actually let the breathing process itself – the mechanical in and out – take care of itself. This can be developed as a skill by simply sitting and observing the breath. Notice how it feels when the breath takes care of itself, going in and out automatically. And also understand the difference between this and how the breath feels when we are actively and consciously inhaling and exhaling. There is a subtle but marked difference. Aim for the former – an automatic breath – and not the latter. The body knows how to breathe better than we do.

You want to almost keep the breath in peripheral awareness, whilst controlling the parameters – the length and timing of the inhalation, exhalation and retentions.

 

Combining the two into one (rhythmicity and automaticity together) is the whole method. When performed correctly everything will be subjectively experienced as being just right.

 

Breathe through the Heart

There is an additional, third, element that can be leveraged in this breathing exercise. This is to consciously breathe through the centre of the chest – where the mystical side of the Indian tradition held the heart chakra to be. Doing this amplifies the power of the technique. It is not necessary; as are the elements of rhythmicity and automaticity. Breathing through the heart is instead supplementary – providing an enhancing effect.

This would give us a diagrammatic representation looking something like the following:

The Logic of Modern Art

The essence of modern art is the negation of beauty. The value of beauty – along with its association with the sacred – is inverted. Ugliness and vulgarity is now put forward as ‘art.’

The method for how this is done:

Beauty has two forms: 1) beauty-without-form (generalised beauty), 2) and beauty-with-form (the beauty of particular things.) There is, additionally, the perennial connection between the aesthetic and the sacred.

This gives three means of inverting beauty:

  1. Inversion of beauty-without-form
  2. Inversion of beauty-with-form
  3. Inversion of aesthetic/sacred link

 

We will begin by looking at 1) beauty-without-form.

 

1. Inversion of Beauty-without-Form

To understand beauty-without-form we must understand the concept of entropy

For our purposes, entropy can be understood as the principle that everything in the universe tends to greater disorder over time. As time increases, so does disorder/entropy. The exception is if energy is put into something to make things move in the other direction – i.e. to increased order (lower entropy.)

This is intuitively obvious. If we put our energies into the construction of a building and then leave it to the elements, it will only deteriorate over time. The brick and mortar will crumble, glass break; the building will slowly fall apart until collapse. This is entropy. From order to disorder. Conversely a large pile bricks and materials will never spontaneously arrange itself into a house by chance.

To take another example, consider a sandcastle on a beach. But instead of thinking of it as a single object, think of it in terms of its many constituent parts – the grains of sand that it’s made up of. And along side this; consider a pile of sand consisting of a more or less identical number of grains of sand.

The sandcastle represents the grains of sand in a low entropy state (ordered.) The pile of sand represents the grains in a high entropy state (disordered.)

Entropy is a measure of how many ways we can rearrange those grains of sand without messing up the overall shape or structure. There are infinitely greater ways of doing this to the sand pile without causing any meaningful alteration to its structure. This is therefore said to possess ‘high entropy.’ Whereas, almost any rearrangement of the grains of sand in the sandcastle and it will no longer be the same thing. This means it exhibits low entropy, which represents a more highly ordered state.

And again, if left to the elements, then the winds will attack the sandcastle and it will gradually disintegrate and become less ordered.

 

A low entropy state is an aesthetic state. This is what we’re referring to as beauty-without-form; the beauty of nothing in particular. And conversely a high entropy state is an unaesthetic state.

Low entropy = High aesthetic

High entropy = Low aesthetic

 

A low entropy state is a high aesthetic state…

Beauty-without-form is the manifestation of order in the world. The aesthetic is the crystallisation of order in the world. Order can be understood as consisting of two complementary components, harmony and complexity:

ORDER = HARMONY + COMPLEXITY

(it can be understood as such – it is not a synthesis.)

If we take a look at the pictures above and below we can understand what the simple formula above really means.

 

So,

Beauty-without-Form = Harmony + Complexity

 

Therefore, beauty/order can also be negated in one of these two ways:

1) through the radical minimisation of harmony

2) through the radical minimisation of complexity

 

1) [high complexity / low harmony vs. 2) low complexity / high harmony.]

 

1) high complexity / low harmony = would give you disordered complexity

2) low complexity / high harmony = would give you hyper-simplistic harmony

 

Examples of 1) and 2) …

So this is the first means through which beauty can be negated. – the entirety of modern ‘aesthetics’ constitutes a willed negation of beauty. Modernity is entirely negationary. Modernity is a neurosis.

 

2. Inversion of Beauty-with-Form

Now we move on from the negation of beauty-without-form to the negation of beauty-with-form – that is, the standard of beauty which is particular to a thing itself.

The clearest exposition of this idea came from Plato. Though the idea itself existed long before he came along.

This idea is called Plato’s Theory of Forms. Its premise is that every object has its own ideal form or structure – which exists in the metaphysical realm; outside of space and time. So, for example, there exists the Form of a perfect circle. An individual object in the human world can be said to be a circle, or circular, only insofar as they participate in, or imitate, the perfect Form of a circle.

Every person is born with innate knowledge of the ideal form of all natural phenomena. Two pertinent examples, for our purpose, are the human face and human body. It has been found, for example, that newborn babies spend more time looking at attractive adult faces than unattractive ones – this is an innate preference. They possess an innate (though sub-conscious) conceptual model of the perfect face against which they judge the attractiveness of actual human faces.

The Marquardt Beauty Mask, developed by plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Marquardt:

 

Marquardt’s Beauty Mask overlaid over two real-world examples – one representational, one actual.

 

Two historical representations of the perfect male body – Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (left) and Myron’s Discobolus (right.)

 

So this is the second means of negating beauty: through the negation of beauty-with-form – by which we mean radically distorting an object away from its ideal Form (whilst still being recognisably of that Form.)

Examples:

 

Six pieces by Francesco Sambo:

 

3. Inversion of Aesthetic/Sacred Link

The third and final means of negating beauty is less directly to do with beauty itself. It involves a radical rejection of the traditional link between the aesthetic and the sacred.

This is accomplished through the juxtaposition of the aesthetic and/or sacred, with elements which are at the furthest possible point from the spiritual. (The lowest, basest, crudest; that which is vulgar, sordid, dirty; the most biological, animalistic and carnal aspect of human existence.)

Two well-known examples, utilising this juxtaposition in regards to that which the West has traditionally considered sacred:

 

A similar juxtaposition in the realm of the aesthetic: feminist theatre group Sirens standing on stage making male masturbatory hand motions, as part of an art piece:

 

To conclude: the practical uptake of all this is that now – equipped with the underlying logic of modern art – it should be perfectly possible for us to create our own pretend modern art, as a form of mockery; but more importantly to elucidate the principles outlined in this article, and in doing so to demonstrate the bogus nature of it all. This is surely the optimal line of attack against this stuff – a more effective strategy than simply constructing and propagating arguments against it. Thoroughly undermine its credibility. The Emperor has no clothes…

Right vs. Left – Its Validity

Here we’re going to look into the legitimacy of the Right / Left political dichotomy. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to dismiss the idea that there lies anything meaningful behind the Right/Left political axis. But we’ll conclude that it is in fact valid and useful, in so far as it is correctly understood.

The core issue these two worldviews disagree on is that of hierarchy. The Right is for it; the Left against it. The Left claims to desire ‘equality’ instead.

In this sense, we can say the Right is vertical while the Left is horizontal.

On the one hand we have the Right, whose visuo-spatial representation of politics is Up vs. Down. Life is viewed and judged against the backdrop of a hierarchy of quality – from the highest down to the lowest.

Against this, the Left arises – by way of reaction – which inverts everything the Right stands for and instead views everything in terms of Forwards vs. Backwards. The purpose of life is to escape a pervasive state of ‘oppression.’ The future will thereby be one long expansion in ‘freedom’ and ‘equality.’

This represents the core conflict between two eternally opposed worldviews.

Right Left in Spatial Terms

 

What the Right stands for is eternal Cosmic Truth. The Good, of which every of value is a manifestation of the Divine.

All of these are aspects of one and the same:

Right vs. Left 1

Right vs. Left 3

 

The Left as an Inversion of the Right – The worldview of the Right is the default one. The Left comes into being reactively by way of a complete inversion of everything the Right stands for. If the Right is the Sun, then the Left is the Shadow – the Left is a pure negation of the Right (psychologically reactive.) And the world is in a constant struggle between these two poles.

Right vs. Left 2

The Left originates in a psychological neurotic complex, which inverts every one of the Right’s core aspects and ideals, and pushes for them under the language of various pseudo-ideals: ‘equality’, ‘freedom’, ‘progress.’

 

A better spatial analogy than ‘Right’ vs. ‘Left’: Centrality vs. Dispersal

— dispersal because the left is fundamentally aversive.

In physics terms this would give us…

Centripetal (towards the centre) vs. Centrifugal (away from the centre)

Right vs. Left 5

It is vitally important in all of this, if we are to avoid confusion, that we understand what I’ve called the Schizoid nature of the Left – (using the word ‘schizoid’ loosely to mean ‘split-like.’ i.e. the Left has a ‘split-like’ nature.)

The view of politics which the average person has come to possess, delineates things primarily according to economic policies – with communists and socialists on ‘the Left’; and laissez-faire capitalists or economic liberals on ‘the Right.’ This would leave the true – historical – Right out of it altogether, or leave it with a false position vaguely off the centre. Some modern Rightists helpfully compound this problem by terming themselves ‘Third Position’, and claiming to be ‘neither Left nor Right.’

Right vs. Left 6

A far more accurate way of understanding the above would be to put The True Right on one side (representing as it does; hierarchy, spirituality, organic unity…) and position both communism and laissez-faire capitalism on the other side as two different forms of the Left (valuing: equality, materialism, individualism – socialism is still essentially individualism; it is the banding together of individual egos for mutual benefit. Laissez-faire capitalism / economic liberalism literally arose out of the historical Left against the Right.)

Right vs. Left 7

This is what is being referred to by the schizoid nature of the Left. The Left arises out of an inversion of the Right, but it has at its disposal many different means of negating the ideals of the Right. These often appear to be the complete opposite of one another. Consequently many of the ideological oppositions of our time are in reality different versions of the Left squaring off against one another.

To demonstrate this using as an example the abstract ideal of Beauty; there is only one way of moving towards Beauty – towards the perfection of the Ideal of Beauty. On the other hand, there are always many varied means of negating an ideal such as Beauty. As already mentioned, these are often distilled into and expressed as two ostensibly diametrically opposed alternatives.

Centripetal Centrifugal Beauty 2

The below is a visual example of the schizoid nature of the Left’s negations as applied to Beauty. (Understand that Beauty in its purest form is essentially synonymous with maximum order – and order can itself be understood as harmonised complexity.) If we take order to be ‘harmonised complexity,’ then Beauty – being synonymous with the maximisation of order – can be negated either through the radical reduction of harmony, or the radical reduction of complexity:

Beauty Negated Two Ways.png

The same also holds true not just on the aesthetic plane, but on the political plane as well. Here the worldview of the True Right, and its ideal Social Order or State – which can be understood as a cohesive unity possessing internal differentiation (this was considered the ideal up until the modern period) – is negated by two modern leftist movements: communism/socialism and classical liberalism with its individualism and laissez-faire economics. The former achieves this inversion via the radical reduction of internal differentiation. The latter through the radical reduction of cohesive unity.

Here represented through the idea of centripetal vs. centrifugal forces – or centrality vs. dispersal.

Right vs. Left 8

Here represented more directly to the idea of the Ideal State:

Two Means Negating Ideal State

This concludes our look at this topic for now (though we may well come back to it in future.) For a more in-depth look at the contrasting principles of the Right and Left look at 5 Principles of the Right

Know Your Enemy

There’s a definite problem on the Right whereby people decide that just one category of person is the problem, and seek to use a single strategy against that one group hoping it’ll lead to victory. Things aren’t that simple. We need to appreciate the full complexity of the situation, if we’re to come up with a strategy to defeat them with.

So what I’d like to do here is analyse the tangled web of forces that makes up the Left – from its most active to its most passive actors. We can differentiate between its various threads and look at which can most effectively be combated. The next step will be to figure out how. Let’s see where the enemy is weakest, and where – if anywhere – does our greatest strength lie.

Read the list below and 1) suggest anything you think should be added or removed from the list and/or 2) offer suggestions for how best to tackle one or more of them.

  1. People with a genuine attraction to the idea of equality – Caused by status anxiety revolving around feelings of inferiority. (Equality is only an improvement if you’re below average.) Results in hostility to the idea of hierarchies based on an objective standard of quality. [See: The Psychology of Leftism]
  1. Racial, ethnic and religious minorities – side with the Left in other people’s countries – Blacks in White countries, Jews in gentile countries, Muslims in infidel countries, and Irish-Catholics in UK and America, etc.
  1. Those in it for financial gain – support modernity so as to exploit it financially via the peddling of degeneracy, the opening up of new markets, use of cheap labour, etc.
  1. Poorer people who side with the Left because it’s wealth redistributive policies will leave them materially better off. (The ‘other half’ of number 3. But I still like to keep them conceptually distinct.)
  1. Social conformity – the great bulk of people who to a greater or lesser extent are subconsciously copying what they perceive to be the norm. ‘Perceive’ being the operative word. [For example: What You Can’t Say] (Motivated by the threat of social punishments.)
  1. Status-seeking conformists – people copying what they perceive ‘educated’ opinion to be so as to appear smarter themselves. Followers of intellectual fashion. [See: Cultural Hegemony] (Motivated by the prospect of social rewards.)
  1. Familial identification – many people identify with a political party or ideology because their family supported it, despite the reasons their family did so no longer being relevant. For example, many White working-class people still identify – and thus vote – for socialist parties even though those parties are currently dedicated to ethnically-cleansing those people in their own countries, and pursuing policies which inevitably lower their quality of life. Another example is people who identify with – and thus vote for – conservative parties because their parents did, despite the fact their parents voted for those parties because of their social conservatism but they’re now supporting gay pretend-marriage, etc. This phenomenon is analogous to the way in which people usually support the sports team their parents support – albeit a much more insidious version.
  1. Misinformed – people who genuinely and honestly believe falsehoods (about history, or racial/sexual/individual differences.) because that’s what they’ve been led to believe is the truth.
  1. Psychopaths – will literally say whatever people want to hear. Fuck all can be done about these unfortunately. Other than maybe call them out as individuals. This is obviously a special case of number 6, but I feel it’s worth bearing in mind anyway.
  1. People who are literally paid money to be spokespeople, or write articles, etc. for the Left despite a complete lack of belief. It happens.

The next step will be working out the best strategy to be used against each of these.