Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Sorel on Style and Vulgarity

By ProphetBattlestone

I have begun reading Georges Sorel’s “Reflections on Violence”. Syndicalism interests me, and Sorel was referred to quite a bit by James Burnham in “The Machiavellians”. The section in quoting further down comes from the ‘Letter to Daniel Halevy’, which precedes the third edition of the work.

I very much identify with his comments , including the scarcely concealed contempt for popular writers and the norms which underlay their style. I remember giving a presentation based (in part) on the psychological ideas of Nathaniel Branden. The audience were mostly low IQ normies, and I only created the presentation because it was required for some academic reason. I was lauded for it but also criticized for not making it simple enough for the audience, although I didn’t care a whit about whether the oblivious cretins understood a word of it. I had created the best work I could based on my own standards and without reference to the fools I was forced to present it to. Lovecraft had a similar attitude, an attitude which is extremely offensive to the democratic ethos of the lowest common denominator.

One might object that creating a work one’s audience cannot understand is pointless, but those people were not my audience. As Nietzsche wrote (regarding himself, mostly), “Some men are born posthumously.” As I do not believe most people can be communicated with on anything of substance I refuse to degrade myself in the effort. I do not aim to engage or include people whose very personality and limitations make them incapable of meaningful response or utilization of the ideas I’m working with. Keeping them oblivious to it, in fact, prevents the adulteration of the subject, acts as a gatekeeping mechanism against those who I’d just as soon stayed far away. In the off chance that they understood my views they would probably form a lynch mob.

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