I generally hold to the obviously heterodox view that, contextually speaking, Donald Trump is the most liberal president the USA has ever had (though Barack Obama was more liberal on some social issues like the environment and transgender rights, and Jimmy Carter was more liberal on some foreign policy issues like international human rights). It is therefore interesting that his biggest supporters would be some of the furthest right sectors of US society, such as the religious right and the racialist right. Imagine Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt running for president in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s with followers of George Wallace, Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson as their biggest backers., and you have a rough analogy to the present situation. This article by a neocon evangelical and former member of the Bush administration explains why. During the George W. Bush era, I said that Dubya did not govern any further to the right than LBJ, and Trump is much further to the left.
By Michael Gerson
ne of the most extraordinary things about our current politics—really, one of the most extraordinary developments of recent political history—is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Donald Trump. The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Maybe this is evil but I’ve always wanted to start a cult. It just seems like a fun thing to do. The robes, the guns, the girls, the mirrored aviator shades. Death squads, armed compounds, and fireside orgies. There is just something strangely romantic to me about taking over a ghost town in Wyoming, painting all the buildings blood red, and declaring war on the federal government and reality itself. The fact that it’s also a tax exempt way to get laid and loaded doesn’t exactly hurt either. Sure it usually ends badly but to go out in a blaze of glory set by the feds on live television while neck deep in barely legal pussy, oh sweet Jesus, what a way to go! So I figured, after 11 years in Catholic school and another 6 in hermetic self-isolation, why not try my hand at the game. I’m an off-puttingly charismatic and mentally ill gadfly. If Jim Jones, Osho, and Charlie Manson, then why not Comrade Hermit. It’s high time we had ourselves a genderfuck messiah. The idea is very 2019, don’t you think?
My recent interview with Kevin Barrett. This is one of the better interviews I have done. Listen here.
Keith Preston is a notable anarchist thinker and incisive critic of Secular Humanist Idiocy Tending Towards Political Correctness (SHITT-PC)*…the same hegemonic pseudo-religion Jonathan Revusky calls Anti-Religious Religious Fundamentalism (ARRF).
In this interview we discuss Keith’s recent book Thinkers Against Modernity, a concise and readable synopsis of intellectuals who have influenced the European New Right. Though it leaves out the two most important Traditionalist thinkers—René Guenon and Renée Girard—Thinkers Against Modernity does a terrific job of elucidating complex and difficult ideas, and showing why late 19th and 20th century intellectuals who questioned progressivist materialism (among other post-sacred cows) are now more relevant than ever.
Thinkers Against Modernity is cheaper than a course in 20th century intellectual history—and offers a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than is normally found in the academy. It also has the courage to ask the million dollar question: What will happen when the Western world completes the process it is now undergoing and finishes losing faith in nihilism?
Some of us, following René Guenon, have lost faith in nihilism and turned to traditional religion in general…and the best-preserved one, Islam, in particular. Others have sketched out other possible paths: Belloc and Chesterton’s Catholicism, Nietzche’s superman, Junger’s heroic individualism, or various forms of political engagement. Keith Preston’s book is a terrific introduction to some of the most significant thinkers who have seen, and struggled with, the failure of modernity.
*Don’t blame Keith for that acronym, I just made it up.
An interesting discussion between left-wing atheist activist and Sargon of Akkad.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
―Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Struggle” statue, Kalemegdan
When I was on blackout status at the treatment facility in Las Vegas, thinking I was special and therefore deserved and expected the CAs to keep an eye on my car for me, I was forced to take a loss and didn’t find out about it until it was too late. During that time I wasn’t allowed to receive any visitors for the first 45 days – except for my sponsor – an older recovering alcoholic from Texas who walks with a cane and talks about Death during breakfast; and who was diagnosed with a wicked case of malignant spinal cord tumors some years ago. Surgical strategies were successful at removing the tumors from his spine but the operation left him with permanent disabilities that wiped out any chance of walking again. The old man literally had to shit in a pan for the first 6 months and couldn’t go to sleep without going through an entire process of crawling and “transferring” into bed. After nearly 2 years of assisted shitting solutions, he was able to move one leg just enough to smash around on a cane. He continued gaining movement until he was able to shit in peace again, and then, started showering on his own. Before anyone knew it, he was somehow driving again. Then, the tumors came back. He had to go for a second surgery and although the doctors were successful at removing the tumors from his spine again, the surgery took him back to the start.
All the way back to the pan.
Todd Lewis joined by Keith Preston to discuss the Law of Moses from a socio-political point of view.
ADAM ORMES – A Hermetic Politics? speech @ Second International N-AM Conference in UK,June 23-24 2018 More info : http://www.national-anarchist.net FIND US ON FACEBOOK!
Lecture delivered by Wayne John Sturgeon at the second international conference of the National-Anarchist Movement, England, June 23, 2018.
“Isn’t the world already
At Peace and aren’t we
The only warring faction?”
Improvements made straight roads,
but the crooked roads without improvement,
are the roads of genius.
I would like to begin this lecture with a quote from a contemporary theologian, Alasdair Macintyre, who made the following candid observation in reference to our own times, when writing on the fall of the western Roman Empire:
A must listen. This a much needed critique of the radical left and radical right alike.
Troy Southgate’s speech about Masters of our own Destiny : anarchy beyond ressentiment@ Second International N-AM Conference in UK,June 23-24 2018 More info : http://www.national-anarchist.net
The Southern Poverty Law Center now attacks religious conservatives and mainstream political conservatives in the same way it attacks white supremacist organizations. The further leftward the wider society, government and culture drift, the more people and groups with “conservative” values will be on the receiving end of such attacks. It will be interesting to see if these groups retain their traditional patriotism the more they are regarded as outcasts, or whether they will (hopefully) embrace “anti-Americanism.”
By Carol Swain
Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and pro-family organizations have a common adversary, one that is virulent and relentless. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a powerful progressive advocacy group that says its primary mission is to fight hatred, teach tolerance, and seek justice. Despite its noble beginnings in the years following the civil rights movement, during which it fought white supremacist groups resisting social change and the rule of law, the SPLC now works to advance the agenda of the cultural left. Ironically, given the deeply Christian character of the civil rights movement, the SPLC now equates traditional Christian and pro-family organizations with hate groups such as the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis. What makes these religious groups an SPLC target? A shared biblical worldview that condemns homosexuality and transgenderism.
Liberal and left hysteria over “Chick-Fil-A” coming to town is reminiscent of the way the religious right would react to the opening of an adult bookstore or a gay bar back in the day. This article also makes an interesting point about demographics.
By Stephen Carter
The New Yorker has been taking it on the chin lately for its essay about Chick-fil-A’s “infiltration” of New York City. Although most of the piece is about the evils of fast food and the chain’s ubiquitous “Eat Mor Chikin” advertising campaign, the essay has been excoriated for its anti-Christian tone. “The brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism,” we’re told. Not just that: “Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays.” And lest we forget: “The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God.’”
What the author really seems angry about is that the company’s CEO opposes same-sex marriage. But the framing of the piece made Christianity the villain, and the headline — “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City” — was sufficiently troubling that Nate Silver quickly tweeted “This is why Trump won.” Fair point. Religious bigotry is always dangerous. But there’s a deeper problem here, a difficulty endemic to today’s secular left: an all-too-frequent weird refusal to acknowledge the demographics of Christianity. When you mock Christians, you’re not mocking who you think you are.
An interesting application of Stirnerite principles.
Instead of a Blog
I do not believe in objective standards, norms, ends, means or values; but I have a strong preference for the combination of hardass and self-indulgent traits one finds in the mercenary reaver cultures of places like medieval Burgundy. Essentially, I care about what I care about and consider anything else a means to that end. But I don’t really believe in ‘muhTroof’ or anything; I do not (for example) believe in ‘natural law’, I just believe in shooting thieves on sight. But if you can get away with stealing from defenseless peasants or the fat-asses of the power elite, good for you.
I have a lot in common with LaVeyan Satanism, but more through a sympathy of attitude than any fake-occultist stuff. I tend to favor the most extreme and materialistic aspects of civilization and barbarism, my ‘ideal society’ would be a bunch of heavily armed autistic stock jobbers who obey and disobey the law entirely based on sociopathic cost-benefit analysis.
“However unwilling a person who has a strong opinion may be to admit that his opinion might be false, he ought to be moved by this thought: however true it may be, if it isn’t fully, frequently and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma rather than as a living truth. ”
John Stuart Mill
The First Amendment guarantees that the “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble”. This provision clarifies the point that the government cannot pass a law criminalizing the act of free expression. However, certain spoken statements could constitute an act of violence, provided they can be regarded as a root cause of violence against others.
A recent interview I did with a Shia magazine.
An American political analyst has said that “the rejection of the position of the holy men undermines the structure of religious authority in general, which in turn allows extremist sects promoting twisted interpretations of Islam to proliferate.”
“The Wahhabi theological framework is such that Shia are considered to be heretics, and in the eyes of Wahhabi clerics this justifies repression against the Shia,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, said in an interview with Shia Followers.
Here’s the full transcript of the interview:
I enjoyed this.
By James S Romm
Why Seneca’s advice for living centered on dying.
The Death of Seneca, by Manuel Domínguez Sánchez, 1871. Prado Museum
Recent experiments have shown that psilocybin, a compound found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, can greatly reduce the fear of death in terminal cancer patients. The drug imparts “an understanding that in the largest frame, everything is fine,” said pharmacologist Richard Griffiths in a 2016 interview. Test subjects reported a sense of “the interconnectedness of all people and things, the awareness that we are all in this together.” Some claimed to have undergone a mock death during their psychedelic experience, to have “stared directly at death…in a kind of dress rehearsal,” as Michael Pollan wrote in a New Yorker account of these experiments. The encounter was felt to be not morbid or terrifying, but liberating and affirmative.
“In the largest frame, everything is fine.” That sounds very much like the message Lucius Annaeus Seneca preached to Roman readers of the mid-first century, relying on Stoic philosophy, rather than an organic hallucinogen, as a way to glimpse that truth. “The interconnectedness of all things” was also one of his principal themes, as was the idea that one must rehearse for death throughout one’s life—for life, properly understood, is really only a journey toward death; we are dying every day, from the day we are born. In his works of ethical thought, Seneca spoke to his addressees, and through them to humankind generally, about the need to accept death, even to the point of ending one’s own life, with a candor nearly unparalleled in his time or ours.
An interesting study on global trends among the world religions, and where trends will lead in the 21st century.
By Raziye Akkoc
Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion but despite the increasing numbers, Christians will still outnumber Muslims in 2050, a new report has found.
Religion, despite its decline in the West as the map above shows, is proliferating across the world – by 2050, Muslims will make up 10 per cent of Europe‘s population. By 2100, Muslims will outnumber Christians globally, Pew believe.
“By the year 2100, about 1 per cent more of the world’s population would be Muslim (35 per cent) than Christian (34 per cent),” the authors wrote.
According to the Pew Research Centre, the religiously unaffiliated – referring to atheists, agnostics and other people who do not identify with a religion – are declining as a share of the population.
Prominent atheist scholar Richard Carrier discusses the recent dust up in the atheist milieu between left and right over Sargon’s appearance at an atheist conference. What a mess. Carrier, whose own politics appear to be a kind of pragmatic center-leftism has also had some interesting debates with both left-wing anarchists and an-caps.
By Richard Carrier
My last article on the growing irrationality of the atheist left and right covered a lot. But some things it addressed only too briefly, and need a little more attention. Not least being, everyone ignoring its message.
Not long after I wrote that article, the atheist left and anti-left did the same stupid shit all over again, abusing and damning two popular and important atheist leaders for no valid reason whatever, ironically for doing exactly the opposite things. Seth Andrews voiced pretty much the same sanity I did, that attending the same conference with an anti-feminist is not endorsing or agreeing with their anti-feminism, and then (initially) agreed to speak at the Mythicist Milwaukee conference to lend another feminist, social-justice voice to balance any perceived imbalance there may have been, and to make sure the views of that side of the ideological divide get a clear hearing. For which he was vilified and condemned and unfriended by prominent atheist leftists. Aron Ra did what I also had already written was an entirely acceptable thing to do, and bowed out of the conference in protest of the few anti-feminists empaneled at it. For which he was vilified and condemned and unfriended by prominent atheist anti-leftists.
This Smith guy sounds like a weenie and a crybaby, although I’m not a huge fan of Sargon’s centrist “conservative libertarianism,” either.
By Andy Ngo
Sparks flew at the 2017 MythCon conference on Saturday when British YouTuber and cultural critic Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad, exchanged verbal blows and jabs with his interviewer, Thomas Smith, an atheist and skeptic podcast host. The heated exchange on intersectional feminism, social justice activism and Black Lives Matter was marred by insults which frequently bled into Smith yelling at the audience. The tumultuous debate culminated in Smith storming off the stage after repeatedly accusing Sargon of holding misogynistic and racist views. Tensions continued to mount even after the conference, resulting in security removing angry attendees from the venue.
“Atheism plus” meets “atheism minus”
Held at the Pabst Theatre in downtown Milwaukee and organized by Mythicist Milwaukee, a secular and free inquiry group, the conference was surrounded in controversy weeks leading up to the event. Activists and feminists on social media took issue with the speaker lineup bringing to the forefront the growing chasm in the secular community between social justice humanism, sometimes branded as “atheism plus,” and a more libertarian or classical liberal skepticism. The event featured several atheist speakers of the latter-kind, including feminism critic Sargon and fellow video bloggers Gregory Fluhrer aka Armoured Skeptic and June Lapine aka Shoe0nHead.
Stefan Molyneux (Host, Freedomain Radio) joins Dave to discuss why he’s controversial, his views on cutting out abusive relationships and parents, the rise of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood, his concerns surrounding atheism and religion, morality and ethics, and addresses criticism of being a ‘cult.
I suspect this fellow is probably right in the sense that the West will eventually resemble China or Japan, where religion plays only a very marginal social or cultural role. I don’t think that’s good or bad, just a probability.
Religion is in decline across the Western world. Whether measured by belonging, believing, participation in services, or how important it is felt to be, religion is losing ground. Society is being transformed, and the momentum appears to be unstoppable. You might be asking yourself two questions. Is it actually true? And even if religion is currently losing ground, could things change in the future? David is a quantitative social scientist with a background in demography. He serves on the executive committee of the European Values Study and is co-director of British Religion in Numbers (www.brin.ac.uk), an online centre for British data on religion that has received recognition as a British Academy Research Project. He serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Sociology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. With Mike Brewer, David directs the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC). He is also Deputy Director of ISER.