Critique of the Post-Modern Rightist

Panama Hat

Panama Hat

Essays on reactionary philosophy, poetry, literature and art.

On the most recent Cigar Stream (#137: Key Concepts for the Right in 2022) Academic Agent pointed out a well known problem in regards to dissident right circles, though it is actually prevalent in most forms of modern discourse, particularly online.

He phrased it as the “football team problem”, in which people coat themselves in the aesthetics, trappings, talking-points and buzzwords of a particular ideology without ever really grounding themselves in it. This lack of attachment is made clear when they flit from one label to the other on a practically weekly basis. This ability to simply choose ideology as one chooses a tie in the morning indicates two things in those that possess it: lack of education and a thoroughly post-modern outlook.

Because so many of us come from completely deracinated, soulless and “normal” (modern) upbringings, we are left with the curse of having to “choose” our paths in the ruins. For some people this means choosing entire systems of thought, entire religions, entire ways of life – this explains the sporadic enthusiasm for Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, or the so-called “pagan” ways. Some of us are not born to tradition, so are forced to somehow find one. This explains the entire personalities that have been founded on certain modes of economics, or types of anti-modern thinker. The rush to clothe oneself in the harsh wind leads to a surplus of bad clothing, too thin to be of any use. The obvious issue here is that if you’ve chosen your entire creed before, what stops you from choosing it again? A red-stripe tie on Monday, a polka-dot blue on Friday. In most cases, people need to be initiated at birth, or be in some way born to a tradition to feel at home in it, save a few obvious examples.

The grander problem here is that an overwhelming amount of people (perhaps all but a bare dozen) in our circles are seriously under-educated and lacking in both understanding and scholarly habits. This is of course a hallmark of the modern education systems to which most of us have unfortunately been subjected, but since we want to create a genuine revolt against such things, we have no excuse for harebrainedness in our own ranks.

On the dissident right we lack discipline and hierarchy when it comes to comment and understanding. As an example, let us use the works of Julius Evola. I imagine everyone on the dissident right has at least heard of him; a decent number will own a copy of Revolt, and a few will have read it, or attempted to read it. But very few people will actually understand the ideas within, not because they are as fiercely radical, mystical and obscure as everyone claims, but because Evola quite reasonably wrote his books for people with at least a basic philosophical education. His writings pose no challenge to understanding when one has a familiarity with the major Greek thinkers, the Scholastics, and various latter-day thinkers, and among our ranks there is even less familiarity with them, especially the former two, than there is with Il Barone. Worse still, every one of those neophytes mentioned above, regardless of their level of understanding, feels the need to pontificate upon Evola’s ideas – this is how thinkers like him become memes – false cardboard impressions of themselves that allow certain swinish types to believe they are experts.

In a more general sense, we remain so critically under-read that it severely damages our credibility both inwardly and outwardly. We must read more broadly if we want to gain a better understanding of the worlds we come from and the one in which we live. Obsessing over various strands of theory or remaining on one hill, as it were, is a self-defeating way. Ideas developed in a vacuum always become ingrown, especially in the heads of young men, and without a steady diet of, for example, art, theology, poetry, politics, humour, opposing philosophy, concordant philosophy, history, good novels, bad novels, plays and texts of all kinds, the intelligent mind does not bloom, or at least not to the level I think is required of our top strata.

The relevance of all this to the “football team problem” lies in the fact that whilst people lack any deep understanding of the concepts and names they dress up in, such things lack any meaning beyond the superficial, hence how easy it is for them to cast the trappings aside and pick up another set. With a proper grounding in philosophical ideas, it becomes much more difficult to simply jump from thinker to thinker, from name to name; at least for honest minds. The kind of novelty-driven name-buzzed enthusiasm for “new” ideas and material we currently maintain is tantamount to intellectual fraud, as far as I am concerned. What is the orthodoxy? Where is the creed? Will we drift endlessly into the open seas or will we cast down upon a shore and establish an order of our own?

Certainly, we must start separating out those with a serious capacity to understand the ideas at hand, and those fit only to bleat memetic slogans and name-drop. The endless spewing of commentary and opinion from those so obviously unready to give it must be ignored or in some way filtered out. Our discourse is the blood that moves through our system, and we cannot afford to clog it up with plaque.