The Silence & The Howl | Part 18

§.18


The last time he saw her with clouded eyes was in front of Andy’s house. She had come over to return a sewing machine she’d borrowed for a school project. Harmon had only to meet her gaze to know she felt nothing for him. They exchanged no words. He had been waiting for something to change. For her to admit what she had done and apologize. To ask for forgiveness and swear never to betray him. To at least acknowledge the truth of the past.

She did nothing of the kind; pretending as if nothing, whatsoever, had occurred.

Do you take me for a fool, Bluebird?

His gaze hardened behind the silent question. He wished one of them perished before they’d drifted apart; in such a eventuality their love would have been immortalized; forever untainted by duplicity and betrayal.

I never lied to you.

Never betrayed you.

Never cast you aside like so much refuse. Without justification. Without explanation. Without concern.

And yet you have done as much to me. Why should I hold myself apart from your selfsame standard when doing so only puts me at a disadvantage? Why should I act like I am above my impulses? I am no more above such sordid emotions than you. Than anyone.

You were mine. Now you give your heart away as if on a whim. The actions of a vulgar whore.

You are mine and mine alone.

And mine alone you shall remain.

*

USA-Japan Nuclear Alliance — History, Importance & Prospective Policies For Technocultural Exchange

This text endeavours to lay out the history of US-Japanese nuclear relations, the geopolitical implications thereof and some tentative policy proscriptions pertaining thereto for maximally mutual advancement of both nation’s interests.

Table of contents

  • Background on US-Japanese nuclear relations
  • 2018 US-Japanese memorandum
  • Importance of the alliance
  • Reasons for the durability of success
  • Geographic particularities of the alliance
  • Tentative policy proscriptions for further US-Japanese technocultural development & geopolitical stability

Background on US-Japanese nuclear relations

Civil nuclear relations between the United States of America and Japan began with the signing of the US-Japan Nuclear Research Agreement in 1955. Japan’s first long-term atomic energy plan was deployed the following year, 1956. Throughout the 60s and 70s bilateral operations between US and Japan increased.

Nov. 1987, Japan and the United States signed a nuclear cooperation agreement: Agreement For Cooperation Between The Government of Japan & The Government of The United States Concerning Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy. The agreement went into effect a year later in 1988 and was set to expire July 2018. The deal afforded Japan the unique distinction of being the only nation without a nuclear arsenal which was allowed by the nuclear-armed powers to produce plutonium (with the stipulation that such material be produced solely for peaceful purposes), obviating a lengthy process of step-by-step verification which would otherwise be required. This allowed Tokyo to pursue nuclear recycling.

July, 2018, Agreement For Cooperation Between The Government of Japan & The Government of The United States Concerning Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy is renewed. The agreement meant that Japan could receive special nuclear material (reactors, whole or in part, fuel, etc.) from the US so long as they kept to the non-proliferation standards of Section 123 pursuant to the US Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954 which was amended to better account for nonproliferation (NNPA) in 1978.

2018 US-Japanese nuclear memorandum

A nuclear cooperation memorandum between the United States of America and the unitary, parliamentary, constitutional monarchy of Japan (which needs to import 90% of its energy requirements) was signed Nov. 13. The memorandum was signed by Japan’s METI and Ministry of Science and the US’ DOE and Department of Commerce. The purpose of the memorandum was to “promote the global leadership role” of both sovereignties in the arena of peaceful nuclear advancement.

METI stated: “With this memorandum of understanding, we will further advance cooperative relations between Japan and the United States in the field of nuclear power.”

Importance of the alliance

This is a significant partnership given that as per the WEF 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, The United States of America is the single most competitive economy in the world (85.6‡) with Japan trailing only slightly as the fifth most competitive economy in the world (82.5‡), pertinent for the obvious reason that the respective countries economic effectiveness will directly factor into their nuclear research, development and deployment (RDD). Further, as per the WEF 2018 Regional Risks Of Doing Business report the top ten risks, globally include:

1 Unemployment or underemployment
2 Failure of national governance
3 Energy price shock
4 Fiscal crises
5 Cyber-attacks
6 Profound social instability
7 Failure of financial mechanism or institution
8 Failure of critical infrastructure
9 Failure of regional and global governance
10 Terrorist attacks

… whilst the top 10 risk of doing business in East Asia & The Pacific are:

1 Cyber-attacks
2 Unemployment or underemployment
3 Asset bubble
4 Energy price shock
5 Data fraud or theft
6 Failure of national governance
7 Failure of regional and global governance
8 Fiscal crises
9 Failure of critical infrastructure
10 Manmade environmental catastrophes

Thus, the USA-Japanese alliance signals a potential, if not solution, mitigation to most of these issues in varying ways, especially as pertains to unemployment and energy price shocks (via obtaining energy independence). Further, the successful renewal and re-commitment of the Japan-US nuclear agreement is the single oldest civil nuclear alliance in the world, which serves as a example of bilateral success which other developing states and non-state actors can build upon.

Reasons for the durability of the alliance

In 1274 Mongol Khagan Kublai launched a military campaign against the Japanese archipelago. The Mongol fleet was initially successful and conquered the Japanese settlements of Iki and Tsushima but met fierce samurai resistance at Hakata Bay and were forced to withdraw and as they did so, the fleet was struck with a kamikaze or divine wind which some believed to have been sent by the god Raijin; the fleet was decimated and most of the Mongol ships were swallowed by the sea. The Japanese then began to build high walls to prepare for future invasions. Seven years later, the Mongols returned but could not pass the walls. The invading armada stayed afloat for a long period of time before Raijin sent yet another kamikaze which destroyed the fleet. The mongols never launched another invasion of Japan.

Since this time Japan has become a formidable maritime power in contestant with China over the Indian Ocean (via their OBOR and String of Pearls initiatives), a further strain on a already sour relationship, given the historical contestation of the Senkaku islands. China/Russia and Japan/America now sit on opposite sides of a newly congealing international order with the former as a rising superpower at the head of the Eurasian Bloc and the latter at the head of the new Atlanticist Bloc (which maintains economic dominance via the encapsulation of 7 of the top 10 most competitive economies). Japan also shares numerous attributions with the United States which makes for a durable alliance; for example, both share democratic principals and both have strategic investment in the trade routes in and around the Indian Ocean. It is more than “just business,” a relationship built upon mutual understanding as opposed merely to trade is invariably more lasting, provided those values stay within a certain threshold of alignment. There is no clear indication that they will be shifting any time soon.

Thus, it makes practical sense for Japan and America to work together, given their history, amidst this turbulent and accelerating reshaping of political geography. This analysis is accurate but not sufficient, given that it does not account for the emerging synnefocracies — non-state actors which rival or surpass traditional Westphalian states — such as The Party of Davos, Amazon, Google, Facebook, The Omidyar Network and Open Society Foundations, among many others, a issue which, sooner or later, will need to be addressed with considerable resources, given the way that such organizations obviate or undermine sovereign totalities (both intentionally, in the pursuit of a new international order, and unintentionally, in the reckless deployment of resources, policies and philosophies without accounting for their attendant, spider-webing effects).

Geographic particularities of the alliance

The Indian Ocean region is of considerable strategic importance, given that its sea-lanes form the world’s single largest trade route and account for 14% of total ocean-surface, globally. As of 2018, approximately 100,000+ vessels, including oil and LNG tankers and container carriers, were active in the region. Nearly 80% of the world’s oil tankers pass through the Indian Ocean. Of relevance to these facts: Japan is a large purchaser of Iranian oil yet Iran is at cross-purposes with the USA. 2018 US President Donald J. Trump backed the Saudis against Iran, condemning the latter as the single largest state sponsor of terror, world-wide (a dubious claim). Iranian-US diplomatic disintegrations began after the overthrow of US-sympathetic Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. This transitory period beheld the rise of religious fanaticism and the re-instantiation of islamic theocracy syncretically fused with republicanism. Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, known in the western media simply as Ayatollah Khomenini, an usuli of Twelver Shia, became the country’s supreme leader. The same year the shah was overthrown Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line took control of a US embassy in Tehran, holding the 52 US workers and citizens there hostage for 444 days. Khomenini was unaware of the the student’s scheme but supported their actions once they came to light. Shortly thereafter, the US shut down all diplomatic relations with Iran. The event still resonates discordantly to this day and, when paired with religious tensions, the US-Israeli alliance, past US support of Saddam, interventionism (on both sides) and posturing, a deep-seated animosity has blossomed between Persia and the land of the free and the home of the brave. This simmering hostility requires rectification, regardless of Japan’s relationship to it or the US, if a lasting middle eastern peace is to be established. Through Japan, this is possible.

Tentative policy proscriptions for further technological development & geopolitical stability

Accounting For Global Perception

A 2018 poll aggregation by Pew Research Center showed that the US is still generally viewed favorably and, of particular importance, globally, more countries prefer the US as the world’s superpower over China. Globally, the American People are still highly respected for their accomplishments and their dedication to liberty, however, global confidence in the Trump Administration is quite low (lower than both Bush and Obama, generally). Further, there has been a long-standing trend in other countries of a perception that the US does not adequately take other countries’ interests into account when making foreign policy decisions (a perception which is obviously laced in much truth, though the same may often be made of those who leverage the accusation). The US is generally viewed very unfavorably by Western Europe and very favorably in Asia. When the polled countries were asked who they would prefer as the world leader 81% of Japanese stated they would prefer the USA, indicating a extremely positive view of the USA. Additionally, the USA also holds a favorable view of Japan; a 2018 spring survey by the Pew Research Center showed that 68% (roughly two-thirds) of US citizens polled held positive views of Japan, a view Americans have held more or less consistently since 2005. Given this favorability and the history of US-Japanese relations, both nations should move forward, together, in a re-commitment to a rules-based international order.

PG_2018.10.1_U.S.-Image_4-3.png

Japan & Iran

Given the trade and lasting 90 year diplomatic relationship between Japan and Iran and the centrality of Iran and the Shia Crescent more broadly to stability in the Middle East, it would be preferable for the US to renew its commitment to diplomacy with Tehran, if stability is desired. This will require a tempering of Israeli/Iranian proxy aggression and a mitigation of hostilities against the US and the west more broadly. This may be accomplished, slowly, by, first and foremost, ceasing all unnecessary military adventurism in the Middle East and making appeals to Khatami’s unrealized dialogue of civilizations initiative and the organizational aspects of Köchler’s dialogue entre les différentes civilisations. To this end, a inter-cultural institute, whether digital-only or both digital and brick-and-mortar, could be created as a tripartite cultural hub to advance a working knowledge and of Japanese, Iranian and US culture and history. Enlisting the aid of pro US-Japanese education, research and policy advocacy organizations such as the Sasakawa Peace Foundation may be helpful in realizing such a project if it is found to be desirable.

Even if this plan proves fruitful, the question will still remain as to what is to be done concerning China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Issues which should be kept in mind and integrated into further diplomatic ventures.

Indo-Pacific Strategy: Building Upon The TCTO

In 2016, during a speech in Kenya, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expounded upon a Two Oceans, Two Continents (TOTC) strategy for stability and growth in the Indo-Pacific region. Abe’s plan centered around Africa, which has tremendous potential for growth, and Japan, which had been experiencing rapid growth. It would be beneficial for the US, Africa and Japan to, at the very least, encourage this arrangement along.

Bilateral Fusion Advancement

Nuclear fusion is a extremely promising technological possibility, one which is increasingly feasible qua the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator and China’s EAST reactor. Given this, it would be reasonable to propose a joint nuclear fusion — of a breadth acceptable within the constraints of the time of initiation — R&D venture between the US & Japan as a avenue of technological collaboration outside of the parameters of the EU-hosted ITER program. Co-development of breeder reactors or SMRs may also be beneficial to increase the speed at which these technologies are developed, the venture would also allow for mutually beneficial cross-cultural exchange outside of just energy development, a exchange which could serve to further cement positive relations between both powers. As of the spring of 2018, 83% (roughly 8-in-10) Japanese held negative views of the workforce, fearing that automation would increase income inequality between rich and poor, 74% thought that ordinary Japanese will have a hard time finding jobs. Japanese’s population is in decline and expected to decrease from 127 million in 2018 to 88 million in 2065 from low-birthrates and emigration, which only contributes to anxiety surrounding automation, among other issues. Without significant immigration or a sudden and marked spike in birthrates, a employment deficit is probable. Further, though the Japanese have a favorable view of immigrants, they do not wish immigration to increase and view emigration from Japan negatively. Given these factors it is preferable for Japan to initiate a multi-pronged approach to job cultivation to inspire confidence. It is here that a international, bilateral arrangement between US and Japan could prove fruitful, not just for economic ends, but for markedly improving the lives of the forgotten citizenry of both countries and the knowledge of all mankind.

There is no purpose without power, and no power without resources. Here the alliance finds its purchase.


Numbers given are ratings based on a 0-100 scale – the USA is 14 away from 100.


Sources & further resources

  1. Paul Kerr & Mary Nikitin. (2018) Nuclear cooperation with other countries.
  2. WEF. (2018) The Global Competitiveness Report: 2018.
  3. WEF. (2018) Regional Risks Of Doing Business Report: 2018.
  4. Phyllis Yoshida. (2018) US-Japan Nuclear Cooperation: The Significant of July 2018.
  5. SPF. (2018) Policy Recommendations by Quadripartite Commission On The Indian Ocean Regional Security.
  6. SPF. (2016) Japan-Russia Relations: Implications For The US-Japan Alliance.
  7. Tomoyuki Kawai. (2017) US to renew nuclear pact with Japan.
  8. Joseph V. Micallef. (2018) The Strategic Implications Of American Energy Independence.
  9. Joseph V. Micallef. (2018) The South China Sea & US-China Trade Policy: Are They Becoming Linked?
  10. Kristen Bialik. (2018) How The World Sees The US & Trump In 9 Charts.
  11. The White House. (2018) Statement From The President Donald J. Trump On Standing With Saudi Arabia.
  12. Carol E. B. Chosky et al. (2015) The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism & Global Jihad.
  13. Kara Bombach et al. (2018) Iran Sanctions ‘Snapback’ Finalized Nov. 5th, 2018.

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Globally, 183 Nuclear Units Set To Be Decommissioned By 2020

Globally, around 76 nuclear reactors are expected to retire by 2019, followed by 183 units in the 2020s and 127 units in the 2030s. As of Sep. 2017, more than 110 commercial power reactors, 48 prototype reactors, 250 research reactors, and various fuel cycle facilities have been removed from operation. Europe has been leading the charge, specifically, France (as of 2017, nuclear was 75% of France’s total energy output, 17% of which is recycled nuclear fuel) and Germany.

Talk of a ‘Global Energiewende’ casts a shadow over the world…

This should be of particular concern to Americans given that America had, as of the end of 2017, 99 nuclear reactors at 60 power plants, more than any other country in the world. The energy produced by America’s nuclear reactors (approximately 102 gigawatts) can power 70 million residences. As of 2017, 10 nuclear reactors were decommissioned in the US, with many more slated for future obsolescence. There are numerous reasons for this which range from the fracking boom, climate hysteria driven on by groups such as the IPCC and the burgeoning modernist religion of Envirocracy, vested green-industrial-complex interests, keeping-up-with-the-jonesism, the natural gas boom and a bevvy of crippling regulations on nuclear.

The problems attendant to a global energiewende (German’s moniker for its energy transition plan wherein nuclear and coal plants are phased-out for solar and wind farms) are numerous. In Germany it was disastrous (though it was heralded a success!). Without getting into the intricate details, (a couple of) the principal problems are this:

  1. So-called “clean renewables” are neither “clean” (whatever that is supposed to mean) nor ceaselessly or endlessly “renewable.” Wind and solar energy harvesting systems require resources just like any other form of energy production and furthermore, create by-products. This is not to say that this is bad, but simply to note that the marketing tactics (“go green,” “renewable,” etc) don’t really mean anything. Its pure hype, untethered from factual analysis. Further, when this hyping is conjoined with morally manichean political theologies (such as the Gaia cultism of contemporary environmentalism) it becomes overwhelming anti-dialogical. Every form of energy production, biological or artificial, creates a by-product, which is generally called “pollution.” Thus, where there is no “pollution,” there is no life. Understanding this, it should be shouted from the rooftops: “Pollution is life!” The issue of central concern should not be pollution-as-such, but rather, the threshold(s) of negative pollution (obviously, no one wants to revert back to 19th Century air standards), ie. the point at which a certain amount of pollutants become intolerable to human thriving.
  2. Solar and, particularly, wind, require massive land consumption. To generate the same amount of energy as a contemporary nuclear facility, a wind farm requires 5000x the amount of land. That’s quite considerable!
  3. Wind and solar are intrinsically unreliable, meaning that the inputs (wind and the sun, respectively) cannot be controlled for, whereas, with nuclear, the inputs are completely controlled for, meaning that it is intrinsically reliable. If no wind, no sun, no energy. That’s not a concern with nuclear power.
  4. Perhaps most obscurely – but no less importantly – any significant drop in nuclear interest will see a comparable drop in research into the highly promising field of nuclear fusion. In 2016 German researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Particle Physics saw great success with their initial nuclear fusion experiments utilizing the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. The magnetic reactor was able to generate the first ever hydrogen plasma, a significant step forwards in nuclear fusion development. Unlike the atomic splitting of nuclear fission (which is used in contemporary nuclear power plants), nuclear fusion (as the name suggests) combines atoms (usually hydrogen ions) and thus generates far greater amounts of energy. It is a shame that climate and “green” (ie. primitivist) energy hysteria have so consistently overshadowed this extremely promising vector of research. For further clarity in understanding just how promising nuclear fusion is, look up at the sun.
zoom
The first plasma achieved with hydrogen within the 170+ million degrees Fahrenheit Wendelstein 7-X reactor. (Credit: IPP).

Sources

  1. https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/11/07/1647102/0/en/Global-Nuclear-Decommissioning-Market-to-2023-Increasing-Decommissioning-of-Nuclear-Power-Plants-Witnessed-in-the-United-States.html
  2. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/02/03/germanys-nuclear-fusion-experiment-marks-initial-success/#.W-gt0SOyXIV
  3. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2016/03/23/nuclear-fusion-reactor-research/#.W-gsZCOyXIV
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
  5. https://book.energytransition.org/sites/default/files/etbook/v2/en/German-Energy-Transition_en.pdf
  6. https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2018/11/Nuclear-Power-Dilemma-full-report.pdf

Spectral Horror & The Insurrectionist Charnel House

Spectral Horror & The Insurrectionist Charnel House

Eyes preoccupied with watching do not see.”  Carlo Michaelstaedter.

In the golden cage of modern society, the very notion of the application of human power and its intensification, carries with it such a stench of mental putrification, that only the most brazen noetic scavengers would dare approach it in a positive and forthright manner, even as everyone does the same (quietly, or as quietly as they can manage), for such a vector of action is perceived to be the intrinsic forerunner to jingoism and ruin; a barbaric backslidding admitting of no positive exceptions; a prospect so terrifying that it appears almost cartoonish and as a consequence, unserious. Rather, the egalitarian model holds that if the powers of Mankind are to be intensified this is only to further passivity and indirectness and thus, weakness; under this regime, paradoxically, one is to accumulate strength1 only to better allow for weakness. Worse, the retrajectorization from man-ascending (as during the Industrial Revolution) to man-balancing (with the world at large in the conception of the envirocrats, or with the whole mass of humanity, in the fever-dream of the utopians) is a phenomenon which has spread all throughout the western world, one which is increasingly standardized at every level of society; it is this reconceptualization, this largely unconscious de-vitalization, that forms the groundwork of the charnel house, the belief that one’s society is a largely unintelligable disaster of increasing magnitude in which one is wholly trapped. Society as a livestock barn aflame. The pathology of this dispensation is summed up under another name by the Italian philosopher Carlo Michelstaedter in his book, Persuasion & Rhetoric, wherein he writes,

[men] let themselves sink into words that feign communication, because none of them can make his world be the world of the others; they feign words containing the absolute world, and with words they nourish their boredom, making for themselves a poultice for the pain; with words they show what they do not know and what they need in order to soothe the pain or make themselves numb to it.”2

Michaelstaedter is here concerned with rhetoric and its perpetual antagonism with persuasion and dream-actualization, a dichotomy which he saw at the heart of all human action. To utilize rhetoric is to attempt to persuade first and foremost one’s self(ves) as opposed to some other(s), for even if one does not previously believe in one’s own rhetoric it were preferable (for the purposes of successful persuasion) to attempt some self-hypnosis, if for only the briefest of moments. To fall so completely into one’s dream that it becomes a extension of all further action and thus becomes of the world itself is the end goal of all rhetoric. The failure of communication, of rhetoric, that is, the inability to make one’s world another’s, forms the backbone of the move towards increasing degrees of relativism and – as we shall later see – sufficiently widespread relativism invariably gives way to the horrorism of the charnel house. Urged on by our spectral present. Historically haunted by the future’s seemingly dim horizon. Psychologically disoriented by the distance of our closeness. Shocked and confused by the ever-increasing intensification of our technological prowess which is a development that flies in the face of the lion’s shares of established neoliberal and progressive orthodoxy (humans are supposed to be equal, not powerful, given that if one affirms the mantra “diversity is our strength” then what one is really affirming is that collective fragmentation is a strength; thus, that weakness is a strength) every bit as much as it defies traditionalist expectation and so-called “natural law” and the dictates of divine providence (for man is not supposed to have so much sway over the “natural world” he is not supposed to be as a providence unto himself, for if he can actualize the power of the gods, what need have we of them?).

Due this existential confusion the denizens of the charnel house are left vulnerable to the fickle disasterism of the day (and I include myself in the critique); a celebrity makes a racial joke concerning some immigrant population: It is clear he wants to kill all minorities! Scientists have uncovered a mild semi-global warming trend: The world is going to burn! It’s Gaia’s Revenge!”3 China’s economy still exists: Its the end of the west and the rise of a totalitarian Eurasian hegemony! GMOs: Murderous eugenics program? Nuclear proliferation: Strontium in every watershed and nuclear winter! Immigration pro and con: You just hate X group of people!

One of the most bizarre manifestations of modern catastrophism comes from a article published in Scientific America, wherein Kate Marvel compared climate change to dragons (the scaly, winged, fire breathing kind). She wrote, “And so it was. The reports were hazy at first- disappearing sheep, scorch marks on the ground, huge lizard footprints in the forest. But soon it became clear. The evidence was incontrovertible. A dragon was loose in the kingdom…”.4 Of course, by “dragon” she means “climate” and by “kingdom” she means “our current civilization.” And what do dragons do? They burn everything in their path. Another example the end-of-the-world churnalism that has grown out of every new IPCC report (a group which has been saying that everyone is going to burn up in a decade for decades). Though the IPCC is widely regarded as the foremost scientific authority on climate change the organization has a long history of not auditing their own data-sets (such as the HadCRUT4, which forms the basis of many IPCC reports), which makes sense of many of their faulty past predictions. Whilst pro-IPCC organizations and individuals, such as Common Dreams, constantly state that the IPCC’s predictions are extremely conservative (meaning the state of climate is far worse than they claim) the group’s previous failed predictions are rarely ever taken into consideration, for instance, in 1989, UNEP5 (which co-created the IPPC) declared the world had witnessed a global warming tipping point which, if not checked and reversed by 2000, would cause massive sea-level rise which would wipe entire nations off the face of the earth. 2000 came and went and this scenario, obviously, did not materialize.

The aforementioned kinds of over-the-top, evidentially unfounded, proclamations instills widespread psychic trauma, desensitizaion and ultimately, despair, upon the inflicted populace who then create feedback loops with the aggregated white noise and the matrices of their promulgation, pushing the message back to the media-government-NGO complex, on all levels, demanding it receive more – not less – play. In this way, the illusion of disaster creates a real and ever-intensifying disaster (because even when the initial doomsaying is found to be unverifiable or outright fraudulent, the next new disaster is the desire for revenge against the fraudsters by the formerly naive public; ie. The proud declaration of anti-journalistic sentiment in the wake of the 2016 US presidential elections has now spiraled into outright class warfare).

Yet to draw back the smoldering shroud of this apparitional charnel house is to reveal a maze filled with a near endless number of increasingly sightless brain-mules who mouth the facile doom-saying of the criminal, the mad-artist and the revolutionary – which are, really, at base, all one and the same, for true revolution in the classical sense is itself criminal and must have some aesthetic potency with which to instantiate itself. “Everyone agrees. It’s about to explode… there is a certain pleasure in calculating the risks,” writes The Invisible Committee in their bleak, paranoically overwrought (if occasionally insightful) manifesto, The Coming Insurrection, thus, declaring that things were terrible but that this was profoundly exciting. Terror as a portal, rather than a wall: a common trope of that doomed creature, the revolutionary. If only their footsteps were followed, the path out of the maze would be hastily actualized, and damned be the consequences, because, following Che, it is, of course, an act of love6. Heart shaped truncheons and smiley-face execution pits.

Advocacy of any ideology (with few exceptions) is, at base, really just the declaration, “On average, people should be more like me. I am better than most, hence, such an eventuality were better.” Public intellectuals, often, are merely second-hand thought dealers, passing on, or playing with, the concepts and words of others, without their own thought there being critically applied – which appears as a sort of mental volleyballism (working similarly to the self-enclosed philosophy of pure textual reading without recourse to external verification) – and when such cognitive mercantilism involves itself in the bloody business of overthrowing society, the already vexed problem becomes profoundly more so and generates all manner of illusory landscapes within the ideologically captive mind; dystopias which must be overcome, lest all be lost, which are transmitted both as sincere beliefs concerning future problems and insincere or half-sincere tools for political control (to keep a population within the charnel house one must first convince them it exists).

Always the revolutionary commonality: remake society by remaking the man. Homo sovieticus. Homo Americanus. Homo texticus. And so on. One can scarcely find a venture with a more spotty track-record. However, the true stuff of man’s composition – his biology – in the schema of the revolutionary, is rarely brought into question (for various reasons that are more theological than evidentuary), they are not evolutionary enough to stage a true revolt, a self-directed morphologically transformative break-with-the-past, which, of necessity, would be required for any long-term, wholesale societal reformation. Ideology is downstream from character, as politics is from culture. All are expressions of biological units interacting within an environment. Here we return to the beginning, for it is the would-be revolutionary who promulgates the aforementioned image of the maze and the haunting and the dim horizon, who lobs innumerable catastrophism upon his readership (whether real or imagined) all the better to foster the crucial moment which never comes when all the petty folk take up arms and surge out upon the streets and fill it up with the carcasses of the class-enemy and the detritus of all their machinery (which is evil, because the revolutionary does not understand how it works). Then there is the mercantile class, who are more interested in stuffing their mattresses and climbing the social ladders of their respective and ostensibly respectable milieus than they are with positive societal change and, as a consequence, repackage and peddle the revolutionary’s story to members of the population who want all the feeling of heroic struggle without any of the unpleasant business of fighting, killing, exercising or studying (charges on which we all might be brought up – we have it easy and wish to keep it so).

The revolution is spectral. The predictions of doom, often spun out of nightmare and desire. The catastrophism, even when based-upon real and present or soon-to-be present problems, is invariably overblown and societally damaging, mentally distabalizing. Things are rarely as terrible or as good as they are believed to be. When the techne of forecasting and the evidence of socioinfrastructural generation or degeneration, is shunted aside (to make way for the righteous revolutionary canon), one has only the vagaries of feelings and superstitions to rely upon, which are wholly insufficient for validly and soundly determining what is, and is not, likely to occur in the future. The question of what will happen as pertains to societal development from the post-modern, neoliberal model, what should happen and, what is happening, should not be confused, as all bear some distinct elaboration; at the very least, such a interrogation gives us a expanded roadmap and, at the most, if we are sufficiently creative, will give us precisely what we (that is the domesticated stock) need to see beyond the veiled horizon, beyond the illusory horror of the charnel house, towards a forthright contestation with all external processes which trend to human dissolution.

Sources

  1. Alex Newman. (2014) Embarrassing Predictions Haunt the Global-Warming Industry.
  2. Anthony Watts. (2018) UN Warns Climate Change Will Destroy Earth By 2005.
  3. Che Guevara. (1965) Socialism And Man In Cuba.
  4. Egil Asprem. (2014) The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse, 1900–1939.
  5. Francois Laurelle. (2010) Philosophies of Difference: A Critical Introduction to Non-philosophy.
  6. Gordon Clark. (2018) 2100, and the Fundamental Fallacy of Climate Change Predictions
  7. Hartmut Rosa. (2013) Social Acceleration: A New Theory Of Modernity.
  8. Justin Clemens. (2013) Vomit Apocalypse; or, Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude.
  9. Kate Marvel. (2018) Slaying The Climate Dragon.
  10. Michael Tennant. Climate Alarmists’ Temperature Data Erroneous and Incomplete, Says Researcher.
  11. Massimiliano Moschetta. (2007) Carlo Michelstaedter: Persuasion and Rhetoric.
  12. Peter J. Spielman. (1989) U.N. Predicts Climate Disaster If Global Warming Not Checked.
  13. Peter Stallinga. IPCC Climate Predictions Continuously Fail.
  14. Thomas J. Harrison. (1991) Carlo Michelstaedter and the Metaphysics of Will.
  15. Tomislav Sunic. (2017) Titans Are In Town: A Novella And Accompanying Essays.
  16. The Invisible Committee. (2009) The Coming Insurrection.
  17. Wouter J. Hanegraaf. (2017) The European New Right Doesn’t Get It Right: The Danger Of Manichean Historiography.
  18. Yuk Hui. (2018) On Cosmotechnics: For a Renewed Relation between Technology and Nature in the Anthropocene

1Strength and weakness are here utilized in a general capacity, encompassing the total human animal, not merely physical acts such as lifting or running.

2Carlo Michaelstaedter, Persuasion & Rhetoric, p. 68-69.

3This is not a overstatement, for in 2006 scientist, James E. Lovelock published a speculative work entitled, The Revenge of Gaia, which popularized the notion of positive feedback loops in earth’s climate system which has since formed the core of contemporary climate disasterism (ie. a run-away hothouse earth). Important to note is the distinctively anthropomorphic quality of Lovelock’s title as the tendency to treat complex non-organic systems as agents (who invariably behave very similarly to humans) is widespread amongst climate activists and ecologists and environmentalists more generally.

4Kate Marvel. (2018) Slaying The Climate Dragon.

5UNEP is the United Nations Environmental Programme.

6Che Guevara. (1965) Socialism And Man In Cuba.

The Artifice of Always

Nature never really was anything more than artifice.

This is not the accepted view.

There exists a widespread belief that at some point in human history Man and Nature separated from each other; that they are things of intrinsically different quality and that this is very bad. The general sentiment holds that a beaver’s dam is natural but a house is unnatural. A wasp nest is natural but a computer is unnatural. And natural things are better, more pure. For a random example, we can look to the article The Separation Between Man and Nature by Julie Bentley from Odyssey wherein the author writes, “Technology is the ultimate separation between man and nature. We would rather get to the top of a mountain and text the first person we know about it than to sit down and admire the majesty and the vastness of the mountaintop. Think about how many things we have missed passing in the car because we’re on our phone.”

The first and most obvious question this raises is what makes human technology fundamentally unnatural since given the title itself she clearly doesn’t believe humans themselves are unnatural (as her utilization of “separation” implies there was a point of cleavage between what was once a wholesome union). The second pertinent question is: is the information contained within the phone more important than the information which could be garnered from gazing out a window at any given point in time? The answer is highly dependent upon the context of a given car-ride, clearly if one is the driver and their phone is not voice-operated then it is unwise to utilize it whilst driving given the increased risk of a crash, yet this has nothing to do with being natural or unnatural (which is really just to say, common or uncommon), but rather, risk-mitigation from two “unnatural” pieces of human artifice: a car and a phone. Further, one can easily reverse the ending cry of dismay and say quite reasonably instead: “How many things we have missed on our phones because we’re gazing idly out the window of a car.”

Now, without a proper definition of what “Nature” is, this delineation makes no sense. So let us concretely define our terms via The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th Edition), which defines nature as:

  • n. The material world and its phenomena.

  • n. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.

  • n. The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.

  • n. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn’t tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.

  • n. (Theology) Humankind’s natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.

  • n. A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.

  • n. The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: “She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble” ( Gertrude Stein).

  • n. The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: “Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill” ( Percy Bysshe Shelley).

  • n. The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See Synonyms at disposition.

  • n. The processes and functions of the body.

When one shores away all of those definitions of the word which pertain to character, disposition and those which are further clarifications of previously mentioned descriptions, one is left with only three principal definitions:

  • (1) The material world and its phenomena.
  • (2) Humankind’s natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
  • (3) A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality.

Definition 2 is a neurological phenomena and thus, too particular to be useful (it is also not typically what people mean when they refer to “nature” either casually or academically). However, definitions 1 and 3 demand some deliberation as they are both plausible and the two most commonly used. The problem is that definition 1 obviates 3, because 1 covers the whole of the material world it would — of necessity — include human beings, whereas definition 3 does not and in fact, mandates the exclusion of human beings from the natural order. One might be tempted to say that definition 3 only mandates exclusion of human civilization and artifice, and that would be fine insofar as civilization were concerned, but the whole of human existence is predicated upon artifice, as even something as simple as crafting a wooden spear or flint-kindling a campfire is still “artifice” no matter how primitive, as is the crafting of fur clothing and cave painting and so on and so forth. Thus, the two definitions are at loggerheads! However, the linguistic problem goes even further for just as all human artifice is a necessary product of bio-chemical action, so to might we also say that those bio-chemical actions themselves are natural artifice. This is to say that there is really nothing but artifice all the way down, the only meaningful distinction is between kinds of artifice – that is to say – between the various different forms of emergence, dissolution, recombination and reemergence.

To assert that the principal distinction between human artifice and non-human artifice is conscious direction — and to therefore imbue in human thought some cosmic separateness — is to affirm that there is nothing at the base of action which moves it or to assert some ghost-essence (the principal conceptual limiter in questions of “free” will); that your neurological impulses are not controlling for what makes you you, but that the conceptual you is controlling the neurological impulses. Humans do not require, as a matter of base principal, a understanding of the intricate operations of the brain and central nervous system, of the heart and lungs, we just needed to know (as we still do) that we are separate enough from the system which created us so as not to be killed by it.

This is all that lies at the base of identity.

Separation from the artifice of always is the necessary generative nexus for life itself.

 

Writing Prompt 9/29/18 – Innovation

#1

“Political power is fundamentally escalatory, my friend, and thus, subservient to innovation. The strong rule the weak but the clever rule the strong.”

#2

Malitz smiled and danced with delight as he finished out the equation. They said it couldn’t be done – the cure for aging, here at last!

#3

She watched the birds skate upon the shaded winds of the might towers and thought of what had born them up from their inky prisons in the depths of the earth.


If you use our prompts for one of your own stories, tag us at @KaiterEnless on Twitter.

Riddick, Patriarchy & Modern Masculinity

[Contains spoilers]

From his very first scene in Pitch Black one understands Riddick as a feral, disturbed individual. Animalistic in his lust for both sex and blood. Ruthless in his dispatchment of anyone who would seek to impede him from whatever it is he pleases to do. In the beginning narration of Pitch Black‘s sequel, Chronicles of Riddick, we are explicitly told that Riddick isn’t just bad, but evil; what the character tells us himself through his own inner monologue seems to fall in line with the presupposition that he isn’t exactly fond of humanity.

[upon being forced to return to civilization]

“So now it’s back to the brightness… and everything I hate.” 

Implying of course that he hates civilization. In the third installment of the film series, simply titled, Riddick, our titular protagonist/antagonist says,

Somewhere along the way, I lost a step. I got sloppy. Dulled my own edge. Maybe I went and did the worst crime of all… I got civilized.

A murderer, a (suggested, though never stated) rapist, a misanthropist and stalwart enemy of all that is orderly and lawful. Clearly, Riddick is not a particularly amiable individual. But even despite these flaws the character is widely beloved, particularly by men – how can this be?

To answer the question we must turn our attention to the way that men are treated in modern day civilization (here we will confine our attention to the primary audience of the films – the Western industrialized nations). With the rise of numerous factors, including feminism and critical theory, a general idea has pervaded the western nations, chiefly that since men are the primary drivers of political conflict (which is true), they should be denatured, that is, stripped of any and all masculine attributes. Not only that, but additionally, men – those damnable patriarchs – must, wholesale, give up their place at the head of the table of civilization and cede all hitherto obtained status and characteristics to women. In this way, the beast that resides within the souls of Man is caged and glorious and caring Woman takes the helm to right the sinking ship. This is bad for two primary reasons (though many more as well), namely: 1. women and men willfully weakening the character and even the very spiritual nature of their male kith and kin will, if successful, leave them horribly vulnerable to those other nations and countries who have maintained their warrior ethos and their, dare I say, patriarch structures. 2. Perhaps even more fundamentally, it is psychologically – and thus, physically – damaging for young men to be, at every turn, denied both accept and outlet for their masculine natures.

Naturally, it should not be assumed that this is problem which all men face – one should not allow one’s self to descend into hysterical hyperbole on these matters like many segments of the MGTOW movement – and doubtless, many young men get along just fine, able to resist the increasingly shrill daggering of the matriarchal pulpit-pounders and genderqueer crusaders. That being said, for those whom it does effect, it imparts a soul-crushing malaise.

The Riddick series, and the character himself, it is my contention, achieved their popularity because they maintain and uphold the tradition of the warrior ethos, that is, the man who, rather than fleeing from his selfsame masculinity embraces it in a attempt to harness its effervescent energy. He is a man who will go to any length to protect both himself and all those whom he holds dear. He is also a conqueror and leader of men who agrees with the ethic of the Necromongers, the theocratic, galaxy conquering, principal antagonists of Chronicles, “You keep what you kill.” At the end of Chronicles Riddick himself ascends to the throne of the Necromongers and becomes their equivalent of Caesar, The Grand Marshal.

Just like other popular characters, such as James Bond, Riddick is also quite popular with the ladies (whether or not they, themselves, admit it – they usually don’t). In the films, his effectiveness with the opposite sex comes – in both friendship and sex – comes from both his domineering, take-charge attitude (which most women find, to some degree extremely appealing; especially given such behaviors increasing rarity) as well as his extremely protective nature (when one of his female compatriots is imprisoned, in the second film in the series, he travels across the galaxy to break her out of a massive underground prison-complex on a planet that is so hot that, even should a prisoner escape the complex, he or she would be evaporated upon reaching the surface – now that’s dedication!). In the third film in the series, Riddick, such a show is made of Riddick’s sexual prowess that he even manages to woo a gruff-yet-beautiful no-nonsense lesbian whose personal creedo is, “I don’t fuck men. I fuck them up occasionally if they need it.” It is a rather silly convention but the lack of heavy-handed sexual politics within the franchise was imminently refreshing, especially since nearly every major film features some kind of Mary Sue.

Riddick’s antisocial nature and odd, glowing eyes (which allow him to see perfectly in the dark) offers wide appeal to those men who feel socially isolated and unable to actuate their own potential. Riddick is a survivalist who is so self-sufficient that he (generally) does not even require the slightest modicum of help to achieve his ends. He braves a frozen world so far-flung that it receives only a numerical designation (you can always tell in sci-fi films whether or not a planet is important to the plot by whether or not it is named – if it just has a bunch of numbers in place of name one knows instantly it isn’t very important), with nothing but a pair of knives, the clothes on his back and his googles, he survives a desert planet teeming with ferocious, venomous monsters; he escapes from every cell into which he is thrown and pays back his captors, two-fold. It would seem that there is no corner of the universe and no threat, he will not fling himself unto with steely abandon. Indeed, such are his virtues that, were Riddick a more sociable and less wrathful and petulant individual, he might well have become a great leader of men (if he were a man – he is member of an ancient, alien species called Furyans).

Such a archetype (similar to, say, the Punisher or, The Man With No Name) allows a outlet for pent-up male frustration – what virile young man, after all, would not wish to be able to sally forth around the galaxy, would not wish to be able to effortlessly live off the land of even the most dead and hostile of plants, would not wish to be able to be so alluring in their patriarchal splendor that even the most ardent of lesbians want to share their bed? Very few. Hence the popularity among men. The characters popularity among women can be found in simply revisiting what I previously wrote; for most women, whatever they might say, are looking for a man who will take charge, take control and who will expend every last ounce of energy and power to look after and protect her (as was the case with the character of Kyra from the first and second films in the franchise).

Despite what the characters in the film series say, Riddick is not evil as he does not seek to cause needless suffering. He is merely a man, ruthless and powerful, who has absolutely no respect for weakness, a man who understands, to perfection, the natural and inescapable laws of human order – that women need men like men need women; that violence is inevitable and best prepared for; that the strong may rule the weak, but that the clever rule the strong.

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.