The Aesthetics of Leadership: A Manifesto

No successful leader of a people in human history has ever been a man possessed by a fear of power. To talk of a politics of power-renunciation is to talk of suicide or slavery, yet this is the current model (i.e. Merkel, Trudeau). Americans hold it as a sacral moral principal that our leaders be those who are pushed up onto a precarious platform of peers who can at any moment change their mind and throw him over. They throw him over not by violent revolution or ideological out-maneuvering (in the hypothetical utopia), but by simple, unthinking revilement for desired placations, unfulfilled – followed swiftly by the ballot boot.

It is this latter point which bears some consideration; the idea that a leader should serve a system or an ideology rather than a people. In America, the president does not (generally) serve the American People nor even its supreme code of laws, The Constitution, but rather the bureaucracy that interpenetrates it and the manifold moneyed interests which ensure their goodly placing (for sufficient favors of compensation, of course).

The picture of national American leadership, generally speaking, is one where the populace delights in their lords renouncing their power even as said lords continue to amass it. It is one where politicians do not jump forth to uplift, defend and lead their kith and kin, but one wherein they lust after the coinage of superPAC darkmoney groups (, i.e. AIPAC) and the societal adoration of coastal elites and international sov-corps and shell organizations (i.e. Amnesty International, Open Society Foundation, The Fahr Group LLC, ect). Whilst such groups can not always outright buy the loyalties of any given politician, they are usually more than well funded enough to rent them out from time to time.

It is for these very reasons that the prevailing model of the leading man is insufficient (hence the perpetual lib-prog outcry Trump, Pence, Bannon – authoritarians all! as they, in part, buck this model) for efficacious governance. When coupled with crippling bureaucracy and corruption the stultification becomes only more starkly apparent. This simply will not do, not in a age where nuclear arms, globalization, demographic shift, foreign meddling, internal rot and threats from desert death cults threaten the denizens of the United States at every turn. To combat these ills a new man of action, perhaps prefigured by Donald Trump himself, will need to arise. However, unlike our current leader, he should be a man of manners, a man of further reserve, not given over to fits of emotional turbulence.

He should be a “man of the people,” connected to them by a indelible bond of blood, virtues, hopes and shared spaces, but yet well above their class, showing it in his bearing (yet never beating them over the head with his status!)

He should be a man of steel and industry of energy and verve; ever ready to cast himself into the construction of a grand program of national works!

He, this future leader of men and builder of great works, must drive wholly against the grain of the prevailing system whilst working within it – like the ichneumon – to cleave aside the infernal tangle and decimate all those who had dared erect it. As war is politics by other means, our future commander, our prospective leading man, must be sanguine in engaging it. He must subvert, he must destroy. He must conquer.

His means.

Total subversion.

Total war.

His ends.

Restoration and its improvement.


To actualize such a process one needs some directionality – one needs a program for a building towards of such a man. For even those that fail to meet the whole of the measure will be invaluable for those other weighty positions beneath, without which a government cannot sustain itself, no matter how grand its leadership.

When Napoleon Bonaparte returned from his exile, he desired a bloodless coup and so marched with his thousand and so soldiers upon Grenoble which was then under the control of Louis XVIII’s new and extremely unpopular government. Government officials were given word that the dethroned emperor was to be shot on sight. A Royalist general under Louis’ command intercepted Bonaparte and his men at a pass near Laffray before he could reach Grenoble. To the great confusion of the general’s soldiers, Napoleon’s men advanced with muskets reversed. The royalist general gave the order to fire but they were so shaken by this curious display that they refused as Napoleon himself walked stoically within range of their guns, his voice ranging off the narrow pass.

‘Soldiers, I am your emperor.  Know me!  If there is one of you who would kill his Emperor, here I am’.

He threw open his travel coat as if inviting a bullet. Laying himself completely bare to the deadly soldiers before him. Not one among Louis’ men dared take up the challenge. Momentarily they tore the white royalist cockades from their garb, dashed them to the ground, abandoned their weapons and ran to embrace their kinsman, shouting, ‘Vive l’Empereur!’

If that is not the height, the very summit, of rightful leadership, such a thing does not exist in all this world.

Fractal America, Kodokushi-6771, Prt.1

One of the most fundamental characteristics of the embedded American consciousness, is its rugged individualism, that is, the sovereign and heroic impulse to carve ones own path, to strike out on one’s own into the unknown darkness to there light a fire. Such is to be expected from a nation of wilderness conquering colonists, but sovereign individuality is, as many have rightly noted, a double edged blade which has contributed in no small part (though not in totality) to the scourge of societal atomization that now lies like a dunning pall over the star spangled banner. For most who speak of societal and political atomization, it is a apriori truth evidenced by lived experience, argued via anecdotal accounts of the particular social fabric (or lack thereof) of one’s known area. There are a lot of problems with these personal and locale-specific deductions; first and foremost, the alienated make-up of a particular town or city or even state does not necessarily hold true for any other states or towns within the (considerably expansive terrain) of the United States of America (though the title’s accuracy of late seems somewhat misplaced).

Anecdotes are useful, indeed, indispensable, but anecdotes alone lack scale and thus here it is extremely useful to turn to a more wide scale methodology – the opinion poll. One opinion, one tale or anecdote alone, even if from a trusted source, is unlikely to turn widespread popular opinion but if one sees that widespread popular opinion itself has turned against their conceptions then such conceptions begin readily falling to pieces. Societal atomization is, like most widespread social conundrums, largely, objectively traceable as is evidenced by the continuous results of the annual Harris Poll which finds that political alienation amongst Americans, nationwide, is at an all time high. The survey showed that US adults from the ages of 18 and up believe thus:

  • 82% of Americans do not believe that the people running the country care about them.
  • 78% of Americans believe that the wealth/class gap is growing and that this is bad.
  • 70% of Americans think that the majority of people in power are taking advantage of the poor/lower-class.
  • 68% of Americans believe that their voice doesn’t matter, politically speaking.
  • 40% of Americans feel as if they are “left out” of the major goings-on around them.
  • When broken up by political party, Republicans feel the most alienated, with Independents second-most alienated and Democrats, third. Individuals who obtained a college degree ranked less isolated than those with only high-school or college education, but no degrees (likely resulting from the increased social avenues afforded by good degrees).

When taken in tandem with the studies of the highly lauded and prize winning economists, Angus Deaton and Anne Case – whose worked showed the staggering amount of ever-rising American suicide, which they tied largely to both economic, social and political alienation – the collective data paints a profoundly grim picture of contemporary American life. A picture of disheveled living spaces polluted with the toxins of fast food and click-bait circle-jerking scream-sheets heralding unimaginable horrors, bottom of the barrel alcohol and mindless Hollywood entertainment surreptitiously pushing innumerable agendas which or orbitally drank in and processed without cognizance. A picture of the young moving out of the house to never speak to their parents again, or staying there and still not much talking. A picture of midlife crisis of gang violence and increasing political fragmentation along tribal lines. A picture of increasingly disenfranchised individuals, both young and old; the old, longing for a golden age that they envision incorrectly as the merry, halcyon days of their youth, whilst the young, looking for a tribe and a cause, are ceaselessly bombarded with the notion that the only cause is the eradication of cause and destruction of tribe and the ceaseless tremelling down of all variation. It is a picture of fear and trembling and, most pointedly, despair.

From the pre-abstract statement of Deaton and Case’s study:

Midlife increases in suicides and drug poisonings have been previously noted. However, that these upward trends were persistent and large enough to drive up all-cause midlife mortality has, to our knowledge, been overlooked. If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015. Concurrent declines in self-reported health, mental health, and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function all point to increasing midlife distress.

These are, of course, but paltry samples of the total academic corpus concerning this dire and fascinating question, but they show, quite convincingly, how well and reliably these questions’s roots can be traced objectively. Of course, discerning and convincing the American populace of this is but half the battle, the other half, the reformation of a healthy and unified social modality which does not lend itself to ever-increasing rates of suicide, depression and destruction of local customs and history and the bonds formed therefrom, is significantly harder. But there is one profoundly important first step: parallel institutions and a parallel culture(s). For it was, in large part, the institutions of political power (and thus the social groups who put them there), the NGOs and “our” government that are to blame for the current crisis and thus the idea of remaining complacent at their perpetuation is tantamount to insanity. No. They are rotten and when a plant is rotten to the core there is nothing to do but tear it up by the roots!

But parallel cultures and institutions require, axiomatically a very rare commodity – the parallel individual. The et ferro.


Sources:

Harris Poll: Americans’ Sense of Alienation Remains at Record High

Rising Morbidity & Morality in Midlife Among White, non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st Century.

Nautilus: Alienation Is Killing Americans and Japanese

Jisho

Anthropomorphization: Ward & Executioner, Prt 2

In Anthropomorphization: Ward & Executioner, Prt 1, I attempted to show how important the innate impulse to anthropomorphize non-living entities was by contrasting its best (predatory detection) and worst (blaming non-living things for the havoc of conscious malevolence and thus neglecting the true culprit) aspects. I would now like to investigate the ways in which feckless anthropomorphization influences broader social systems and how it gives rise to, and sustains, various secular orthodoxies.

It is a common misconception among Liberals, Centrists and Progressives in the west, that only religious individuals map a consciousness onto the ordering of the world to better explain its manifold aspects. However, this is quite manifestly false, as even the most “open-minded” and progressive of egalitarian secularists hold to a system of dogmas, scriptures, rituals and traditions which in its structure (though not in its explicit doctrinal values) bears striking similarities to that of the old monotheistic religions.

Take the Green Peace Movement, for example. Here is a group whose mission statement is to, “-ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its [bio]diversity.” [1] One can see the confusion inherent in the sentence nearly instantly, for what does it mean for “The Earth to nurture life?” The unconscious framing is that The Earth’s purpose or goal is to care for all its inhabitants like Mother Gaia from Captain Planet. A loving, nurturing and caring entity, Green Peace envisions Earth, not as a enormous rock spinning through space that happens to harbor a biosphere, but rather a enormous rock that intended to harbor a biosphere and that is willfully part and parcel of that very system. It is, in this fashion that Green Peace’s ethos begins to sound an awful lot like the NRx conception of Gnon (Nature’s God).

The very excellent and incisive, Kristor of the Orthosphere remarks:

“Nature is nothing without her God. By herself, she is no more than a series of adventitious events, not as a whole ordered to any purpose transcendent to herself – which is to say, not ordered. Except insofar as they are grounded in Eternity and ordered under his Law, events are just stuff happening for no reason, and cannot therefore by themselves sway us authoritatively.”

The summation seems a popular one in reactionary circles, but I find, here and there, faults with the reasoning. First and foremost is that, regardless of whether or not there is a intelligent ordering to the cosmos there are inexorable laws and there is a order to things, or rather, discernible patterns that brook no argumentation; laws which remain consistent and potent regardless of their ultimate derivation. For instance, it matters not, as regards the effecting of Man, whether or not some being causes the seas to churn or the wind to blow, they churn and blow all the same and Man is similarly effected. Also, he remarks that without a “transcendent purpose” the whole of Nature is “not ordered.” This I suppose is true in that for something to be “ordered” a conscious agent must do the ordering. But it seems to me that he is referring to consistency of structure rather than agency – if this is the case then one might simply posit that there is no reason to suppose that Eternal Laws require conscious writ. Additionally, such a universal ordering would deprive Man of the ability to direct the nature of the Cosmos insofar as he was able, such a venture would be heretical and roundly scorned as hubristic insanity – “How dare you play God!” One might well remark, “To the man that wishes for the grandest possible game, what else is there to play?”

Ultimately, GNON is simply a esoteric stepping stone that the orthodox-faithful Christians utilize in a veiled attempt to convert the questioning and opened minded. This is not to say that it is useless (indeed, it is a marked boon for the Christian Traditionalist) but for those, such as myself, who are possessed of a more terrestrially-centered and empirically demanding outlook, it rings to the tune of self-imbued anthropomorphization (contrary to the unconscious anthropomophization of the conversationalist Envirocrats).

I note these assertions and interjections to show you the congruence between the monotheistic conception of Nature and their Green Peace contemporaries. Man, within this schema, is ultimately insignificant to the vastness of space, even the meager oceans dwarf him – scale gains inordinate importance and drowns out all other attributions until it becomes something of a idee-fixe. The Cosmos is so BIG and man is so SMALL – thus he must be insignificant! Bow to the root and vine, kiss the soil and bless the sky! Thy selfsame meaning, lost therein!

I’ll none of it. This philosophy is a thief! If you think I’m waxing melodramatic then let us return to the maxim on Greenpeace‘s website:

Greenpeace will never stop fighting for a greener, healthier world for our oceans, forests, food, climate, and democracy—no matter what forces stand in our way.

As you can see they are not fighting “for you” or even for anything as abstract as “Mankind” they are fighting for oceans, for forests, for democracy (as if that were liken to the other two)! No mention of human flourishing, no mention of human control, no mention of the unique importance of conscious creatures or their singular ability to generate meaning – all for the water and the trees and thy bureaucratic injunctions!

Before proceeding, I want to make clear that I am not wholly equating the ontology of GNONists with the ontology of Greenpeace, but one can not deny a striking number of similarities. Foremost among them – Purity of the “Natural.” For members of Greenpeace, and most other political environmental movements since the 1960s (and a few well before), for that matter, green growing things and democracy are conducive to the “healthy” state of man. Autocracy and skyscrapers are perversions, cancerous blights upon the world and not just aesthetically but in some kind of deep-seated psychologically harmful sense – a quasi-spiritual sense. Here the, what one might call for brevity’s sake, Envirocrats, have developed their own Original Sin mythos, strikingly similar to the orthodox Christian who seek to reel in the unsuspecting naturalist with their lengthy, sometimes obtuse, discourse on the essence of GNON. Both posit that the world was a healthier place before the arrival of man (at least in the Christian inspired variation of GNONism – i.e. Garden of Eden, Fall of Man – though there are exceptions), that most foul and perverted of beasts, who, through his insatiable ambitions, spread the blight of the coal factory and shopping mall far and wide and, through his thriving, spat upon the altar of the deity. Nevermind the benefits, you’ve displaced the flowers!

Though deity, here, for the GNONist, is, sometimes a literal one, sometimes a figurative placeholder, the deity for the Environmentalist is a impulsive, implicit instance of unconscious anthropomorphization. Despite the variables, the typical outcome is much the same; that being a largely non-human (and in many cases, outright anti-human) philosophy.

The truth of this assertion is well attested to by the constant mantra of the Envirocrat: “We need to lessen human impact for the good of the planet!” Carbon footprints, fuel usage, deforestation, destruction of grand geological formations for the creation of more human-friendly habitats – all such actions are, in their eyes, suicidal motions. Suicidal not to Collective Humanity but to The Earth upon which they live! Envirocrat doctrine then does not champion the control of the environment but rather a poorly defined notion of “harmony” with it. If the end goal is to “lessen” human impact as much as possible then the philosophy, when carried to its logical extremis, terminates at the formulation of a world without humanity at all.

One of my more pop-savvy readers might recall the scene in the film Watchman where Dr. Manhattan looks out across the vast and barren surface of Mars and remarks that the planet would not be be somehow improved by the addition of a shopping mall. God-like though he might be he fails horribly as some rather entry-level reasoning, namely, a planet, in no discernible wise, can want anything, not even its own improvement. A planet is a rock a big one, generally with molten core, but a rock all the same.

The GNONists are far wiser in this regard, rightly understanding that some kind of perfect “harmony” with nature is impossible. To quote the Orthosphere’s Kristor once more,

“The world is dangerous, or it is nothing.”

Quite so. Yet the GNONist still see Nature as something that should not be too much tampered with, for it is God’s garden and he who runs there afoul invokes His wrath. But if such dire invocation is the necessary price that needs be paid in the pursuit of man’s upward ascent and dispersal into the grand ambit of space and from there to other worlds and other pursuits far beyond our present understanding, I say, so be it!

The Hierarchical Heresy

Hierarchy.

The word has become something of a prelude to incantations of aspirations for lofty empire and personal mastery among the contemporary dissident-right. Discerning ears will oft hear the rightist cry of, “We need strong leadership!” Yet, seemingly invariably, once a leader steps up to the plate (or is merely proffered by others as a viable option) he will be roundly denounced for all manner of “reasons” which are all too often inherently unreasonable and, perhaps worse, unprincipled.

Consider the case of Florida attorney, Thelemite and right-wing Libertarian, Augustus Sol Invictus (Austin Gillespie) who was blithely undercut by his own party who scathingly condemned him for ostentation, wackiness, “radicalism” as well as a general lack of respectability. Nevermind that he was the most stalwartly libertarian or the most clearly transformative candidate, touting a message of political insurrection and the right of the people to defend themselves from the pestiferous tyranny of government oversight even if it meant outright war (a melodramatic but definitively Libertarian talking point – consider this not from your own political position but from that of a libertarian), nevermind also that he hit almost all the libertarian talking points, shrinking government, cutting taxes, protecting the environment, personal liberty, the NAP and so on – none of that mattered because he sacrificed a goat. Despite the fact that Invictus’ sacrifice was in no objectively measurable way different from eating some roasted goat dish at any given Mediterranean restaurant he was roundly condemned all the same. Not for leadership qualities, not for legal reasons, but because he was considered to be “too extreme.”

Let us turn our attention to another more stark example within the Libertarian Party, that of the presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico. One of the central tenets of the current iteration of Libertarianism within the United States is that the government should not have any say in what a given individual does outside of enforcing the law (sometimes with minor exceptions in relation to transitory processes leading out of existing ‘tyrannical’ government intrusion). Gary Johnson, however, believed that the government was perfectly within its rights to intervene in privately owned business affairs – specifically in regards to upholding “civil rights.” This issue came to the fore during one of the rather amusingly theatrical Libertarian Presidential debates hosted by John Stossel, the be-mustached token-atheist and doctrinal Libertarian host of FOX New’s Stossel.

During the debate the relatively unknown but extremely popular (within Libertarian circles) candidate, Austin Petersen declared that Johnson wasn’t a true Libertarian because, were he elected, he would utilize the government to ensure that businesses weren’t discriminating against their customers for religious reasons. Johnson attempted to respond, stating that, “Discrimination on the basis of religion is a Black Hole!” but was curtly cut-off by Peterson who demanded an answer to the question, “Should Jewish bakers be legally forced to bake Nazi wedding cakes?” Johnson responded with an emphatic, “Yes,” and shortly thereafter went on to win the Libertarian Party nomination for the Presidential Race which everyone knew he would most certainly lose (just in case you have taken up residence upon the seabed – he did).

Now, what to make of all this? Well, the first thing that needs be noted is that regardless of your opinions regarding Libertarianism (mine are admittedly low) or the Libertarian Party, Austin Petersen was perfectly correct when he said that Johnson was not a true Libertarian, if True Libertarian means one who holds to every major precept of party doctrine. However, his civil rights policy of legal enforcement as regards “discrimination prevention” the candidate was in flagrant violation of party policy. Johnson was effectively a nominal Democrat who loved the idea of mass migration and hasheesh. Never you mind the other failings of the candidate, such as his ignorance of the situation in Aleppo, his strange outbursts of rage (specifically in regards to any who dared use the phrase “illegal immigrant”) or his inability to name even a single foreign political leader.

Any of the other candidates were better for the party by the party’s own standards and yet they chose Johnson. One might rightly ask why bother maintaining party policy if it is not adhered to? All of this reveals a fundamental inversion of hierarchy within the Libertarian Party. Perceived affability, eccentricity and marijuana-affinity are deemed qualifying leadership qualities – a drive towards marketability rather than character. Instability is mistaken for righteous indignation. Dizzying ignorance is mistaken for “being one of the people – just a regular Joe.” He doesn’t have time to study stuffy nonsense like general geography – he’s got doobies to burn and Coors to swill! Don’t be so hard on him, he might not be able to point out Aleppo on a map or name a single foreign leader but he’s one of us – the people.

The latter remark is one of the most telling and is a virus which permeates throughout the whole of America’s cultural politik – the idea that what is most desirable in any given candidate is that they be plebeian. This is an understandable notion (though not a desirable one), after all, what rightly vigorous, self-respecting and upright man really wants to admit that one’s leaders are above him in any capacity. Man’s ego recoils at the very notion! Its the cranial whispering of the aspiring alpha – that is, most men – “Dash the throne til I sit upon it!” Here it is instructive to cast the cry back into that great and whispering dark, “But what if the crown doesn’t fit?!”

Naturally, the crown rarely fits as a quick cast-back through the caverns of one’s memory palace will assuredly reveal. After all, when one seeks out a car mechanic one is, by the very action itself, admitting in no uncertain terms that as regards mechanical repair the seeker is second rate – else ways one would fix one’s own car. This is axiomatic. As has been previously noted this is primarily (though not solely) due to ego’s interference in the logical faculties – the cult of individualism is also here at play. There is then a great and pressing need for a return to “knowing’s one’s place,” a cruel sounding edict but one which is essential to a properly ordered and highly functioning grouping. If you are incapable of rallying your brethren and your neighbor isn’t then, in terms of leadership, he is manifestly and objectively better than you just as a Democratic candidate who advocates for Monarchy is a manifestly and objectively poor Democrat or how a Libertarian who adheres to government coercion is manifestly more poorly qualified than one who does not.

One should not be afraid to say, “He is better than thee,” so long as one is humble enough to say, “He is better than me.”