Posted on

Aesthetic Justification

Culture comes from the cult, and unfortunately, we live under a cult of ugliness. “Art once made a cult of beauty,” said the late Roger Scruton. “Now we have a cult of ugliness instead. This has made art into an elaborate joke, one which by now has ceased to be funny.”

We all know modern “art” is a scam. When someone bought a banana duct-taped to a wall as “modern art” for $200,000, it barely raised eyebrows. The dirty secret of modern art is that it’s mostly a front for money laundering. Insofar as it has an aesthetic or ideological function, it’s just to tear down what better people created in the past. Rather than inspiring us, it disgusts us, and it does this deliberately.

When Notre Dame burned, even those who weren’t Roman Catholics were horrified. Yet some journalists urged completing the desecration by giving Notre Dame a “modern” look like some shopping mall.

The same principles are bleeding into personal appearances. The corporate media promotes airbrushed, artificial celebrities warped by plastic surgery. They can even insert dead actors into films through technology, which begs the question of why worthless celebrities are needed anyway.

Yet the corporate media also tells us being fat and unhealthy is great because of “body positivity.” Now, we have a society of shoggoths.

Let’s speak plainly. Obesity is a moral failure.

Barring the few that truly suffer from a medical condition, obesity is a sign that you have no self-control, no mastery over yourself. It’s immoral to tolerate it. If a man is drinking himself to death, it’s not the act of a friend to encourage it and say that no one can tell him what to do. If a man is eating himself to death, shaming him and forcing him to stop is a moral act. It’s the act of a friend.

Yet there’s something more important at stake than worrying about health. Aesthetics are deeply important. “[I]t is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified,” wrote Nietzsche. It we surround ourselves with ugly, tawdry things, our minds will be ugly and tawdry. If we surround ourselves with works of inspiration, beauty, and heroism, we will be driven to forge our own works of inspiration, beauty and heroism.

This begins with ourselves, with our own bodies. If a man is weak, fat, or both, we automatically feel disgust. We automatically know this person can’t be relied on. His opinions have little weight. After all, he can’t govern himself, so why should we listen to what has to say about anything else?

If a man is strong, and looks strong, his words have more meaning. After all, we know he can back them with furious action, if he needs to.

We only have so much free will and rationality when it comes to how we view the world. If free will is our mental software, our hardware is the judgments, assumptions, feelings, and impulses that our mind automatically impresses on us. Appearances do matter. Growing strong is important, but so is looking strong.

When we see classical sculptures of the human form, we recognize it as beautiful. Strength is beautiful and so is heroism. In great works of art, we see our Ideal, something higher that we should strive for. It lights a fire in our mind to become our own Ideal, to lift, to train, to grow strong, to accomplish great works.

For almost all human history, this was taken for granted. Kings, Emperors, Popes, and merchant princes patronized glorious works designed to inspire and elevate. Yet today, “art,” massively subsidized by governments and huge foundations, deliberately seeks to grind us down. It requires no insight, no talent, no vision. It just requires having the right political connections.

Instead of buildings that link us with a past and a people, we get soulless corporate structures that make us feel like a product.

Instead of beautiful paintings that require exquisite skill and perceptive genius, we get crude tricks, parodies, and desecrations.

Instead of sculptures that honor great men and great deeds, we get amorphous blobs on college campuses and in city parks.

It’s garbage. The people paying for it and creating it know it’s garbage. We experience deracination, depression, and alienation because we’re surrounded by these things. This is how they want us to be. Our minds are constantly driven into the mud, rather than inspired to look upward, to reach beyond ourselves, to reach for something greater than life.

Rebel against this through action. Training should be a religious act, a holy ritual. Through pain and sacrifice, you are forging yourself into something greater than you were. You are spitting in the face of death, fighting a battle that must be fought, even if the ultimate outcome is the grave. You are doing what you can to turn yourself into your own Ideal.

The stereotype of the dumb meathead setting off “lunk alarms” at Planet Fitness is false. “It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit,” said Socrates. “But you cannot see that, if you are careless; for it will not come of its own accord.” A strong mind in a strong body is the Ideal and it must be relentlessly pursued.

If you are old, you can still start training. If you are injured, work around it. If you are utterly crippled, read, study, and look to the heroic to transport yourself beyond your current situation.

We were not born to be fat, complacent, and lazy weaklings, our bodies fueled by high fructose corn syrup and our minds filled with some corporate anti-culture. We were meant to be heroes. We are the descendants of conquerors and champions. We should act like it.

Our art should reflect this – in music, painting, sculpture and every other field. Our rituals should fill us with sacred inspiration so we can overcome the weakness within us. Our tribe should hold us accountable, not making excuses but driving us to ever greater accomplishment.

And the first step for all of this to happen is for you to train, to pick up that barbell, select a program, and get to work. Accepting struggle is saying yes to life. Find the hero within yourself. Fight, bleed, and suffer so that you can kill what is and become what should be.

Some may say this is unrealistic. I’d ask them to look again at what art speaks to them, motivates them, or stirs something deep within them. If it’s some “modern” desecration, I have nothing to say to such people anyway.

But I suspect you reading this have the same sense of life that I do. It may be against the spirit of our times, but you should take that as confirmation your deepest feelings are right and true.

Fight back. Rebel against decline. Rage against death itself. Rally to the banner of strength and build something great in this world of decay.

Posted on

Our “Support Group” Is Strength

Not long ago, if you were a “normal” man, there were certain things you could take for granted.

You would get married and have children. You would enjoy the support of friends, family, church, and community.

You would have a social role. You knew what standards you were expected to uphold.

You would be taught certain skills to survive and prosper – hunting, fishing, fighting, construction, and craftsmanship.

You would know that you could be called to war to defend your country, but also take comfort because your nation would honor your sacrifice.

This is what it was to be a “normal” man.

These things are gone now.

Because of social media and poisonous doctrines, modern relationships can be a nightmare.

There’s no initiation into manhood.

Many young men grow up without fathers.

Many assume (and accept) they will never be married or have children. If they have no brothers or sisters, their line will end with them.

Men are told they’re “obsolete,” so they vanish into worlds of fantasy and vicarious existence. They define themselves by corporate franchises. Or they disparage manhood entirely and broadcast their weakness.

And the System pats them on the head. It wants us tamed; spaniels, not wolves.

Recently, a System mouthpiece ran a gleeful article about men forming a support group to “shrug off the armor of masculinity to get in touch with their true feelings.”

“Like a sort of anti-‘Fight Club’,” the journo smugly wrote.

The piece celebrated “a shift in attitudes and increased curiosity about what it means to be male.”

A sociologist, another mouthpiece, said it is bad when a worldview sees “every other man [as] a potential competitor.” We must look at each other as “brothers” instead of “rivals.” We will apparently bond through shared helplessness.

Of course, it’s easy to sneer and make wisecracks about “soyboys,” a term that already feels dated. But this is the wrong approach. The problem, pain, and isolation are real. It’s not enough to just roll our eyes and say, “toughen up.” There is a root cause behind this crisis of masculinity.

And, in truth, we’ve all felt it. Atomization, deracination, commodification – this is the Kali Yuga, when everything that is solid melts into dissolution. Men feel confused. We do need brothers, community, solidarity.

Yet can you bond over weakness? Failure? Shame?

The journo’s reference to Fight Club is significant, because it was a book and film that captured the way many men felt at the time – devoid of purpose, identity, and the chance for heroism. Yet in the years since, we have been told that men are not allowed to feel this longing. That longing is just proof of our “privilege.” Instead, we must strip themselves of “toxic” masculinity, hold ourselves to no standards, identify only with our flaws and weaknesses.

The intended message of Fight Club is irrelevant. What’s important is that it addressed something real. It also showed two ways of responding. In the beginning of Fight Club, the narrator finds peace by crying at support groups. But ultimately that becomes insufficient, and he derives a deeper sense of satisfaction by creating a forum for combat. What’s more, the men who attend find the greatest brotherhood by fighting each other. Solidarity is built through battle.

Fight Club was two decades ago – it feels like a lifetime. Today, deconstructing masculinity is a profession for some people. People with real privilege, outrageous wealth, media backing and unlimited job security screech about what we must believe. Our assigned role is to be like sinners in a church, crying about our shame and depravity.

It’s no wonder the mouthpieces love publishing stuff like this. They gain more temporal power the more we humiliate ourselves. The reason this article was even published was to push men in this direction, thus granting the priests of weakness more power over us.

Of course, there’s a big difference between a priest from a Christian church and the clerics of egalitarianism. In church, whether speaking to a priest or to your god directly, you may feel shame about your past actions. However, there’s the promise of salvation, forgiveness, and rebirth.

Egalitarian clerics don’t even offer that. You don’t get redemption from a “support group.” You’re never washed of sin through the “precious blood.” You are just told about different ways you must break yourself down even further.

Weakness can’t beget anything but further weakness. There is a better way. Culture comes from the cult. Tribe is created through shared struggle and ritual. Deed begets deed. Strength begets strength.

Does this mean we despise our brothers when we fail or fall short? No, but we don’t make excuses. If a “brother” ignores your shortcomings, explains away your flaws, or says that your weaknesses are “actually” strengths, he’s not your brother. He doesn’t love you and he doesn’t care about you.

The state of the world should make you depressed – if you’re happy about the way things are, there’s something deeply wrong with you. Events in life will hurt you emotionally and spiritually. The strongest men can be crushed by a breakup or divorce. Tragedy can break the will of would-be conquerors.

Yet does a real brother allow you to wallow in this mire of sadness and defeat? Of course not. Have we not all said or done things when we were depressed that seem embarrassing now? How much better it would have been if a brother had listened with understanding and then, physically or metaphorically, slapped us across the face and told us to get up and move forward.

More importantly, have we not all experienced tragedy and anguish from events that still tear at our hearts? Like the indecisive Hamlet, should we just be paralyzed by grief? A brother should listen with compassion, but not enable self-destructive behavior. Your brothers exist to push you over these hills, not to push you back down into the swamp of endless self-criticism.

There is no conflict between a man being your “brother” and your “rival.” They should be constantly pushing you forward, directing you higher, offering challenge after challenge, victory after victory.

Sometimes, the best expression of brotherhood is a fist to the face, followed by a hand to lift you back up.

I am in constant competition with my brothers, and they with me. And it is this continuous challenge, conflict, and competition that makes us strong and sustains an Honor Culture.

Reject what the System and its mouthpieces are telling you. Masculinity is a challenge, and it is a challenge that should be welcomed.

We face a culture that is driving men into suicide, escapism, and self-mutilation. I don’t know whether these consequences are intended or not. I do know that the Lords of Lies gain power from them, and that when they preach weakness to us, it is to enhance their own perverted form of strength.

It is the Age of Iron, and many have fallen away. Death comes, our time is short, and the certainties of the past lie in ruins. We dwell in a Hollow Empire, a mausoleum for a dead culture.

Yet in the real world, away from the blue screens, tribes are rising over ash, flame, and blood-stained altars. Conquerors will emerge from this crucible, not just through physical strength, but through spiritual, mental, and intellectual fortitude. A new culture is born, or re-born. The Age of Heroes comes again.

We reject the System’s values and the mewling of its mouthpieces. We have our own code, one our ancestors would recognize. We hail our own gods, returning in forms relevant to our own world and our own time. Our standard is raised against the world.

If you are weak, become mighty. If you are scared, become brave. If you are comfortable, seek challenge. My brothers are my rivals, my tribe is my family, and my “support group” is our strength.

And no matter how lost you are in the darkness, with the right eyes you can see the fires beckoning you, calling you to a better way.

Posted on

Culture Versus Commodities

Cultural Extirpation

A few months ago, Dan Carlin did a “Hardcore History” podcast on “The Celtic Holocaust” and Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. He observed that the Gauls weren’t just fighting for their families and property, but for the very existence of their culture. Defeat meant utter extirpation. Everything was on the line.

In passing, Carlin said this is something modern Americans can’t relate to because it’s something we would never face. What, after all, would our “culture” being eliminated mean? He lightly wondered whether that would mean no more blue jeans, or iPhones, or Christianity being outlawed.

Obviously, Carlin was making a tangential observation, not a serious philosophical or historical statement. Yet Carlin doesn’t need to wonder about cultural extirpation.

It’s already happened.

Do we have a “culture?” No, we have commodities. We have films, clothing, and corporate brands that are consumed the same way throughout the world. Is that a “culture” – blue jeans and iPhones? It’s more of a global consumer anticulture that everyone participates in equally.

We have fandoms. We have people who define themselves by their attachment to certain movies or television shows. It’s easy to laugh at soy boys who collect action figures or children’s toys. Yet how many men identify with “our” favorite sports team, filled with athletes that have no ties to the local community? The rise in “fantasy football” teams is a powerful indication that even franchise loyalty is fading because everyone knows that this is just a business, and players and coaches are interchangeable.

We have a country – or at least a passport. Yet does that country share a history, culture, heroes, or even a common language? Does everyone who holds citizenship feel it defines them? Perhaps it was that way once, but it’s hard to say it’s that way now.

We have religion. Yet switching faiths today is as easy as switching between Reebok and Nike. In some denominations, the clergy don’t even believe their own sacred teachings.

We have media – by far the most powerful force today. Media can tell people to believe almost everything, and though there is rising distrust of the press, most people will still believe whatever they are told.

Yet its power is brittle. It almost doesn’t matter what message is conveyed; media is so all-encompassing that people could be convinced of anything no matter how absurd. That doesn’t mean media is powerful, it just means most people are mentally and spiritually weak. If media preached different values, most people would instantly switch their “beliefs” without even noticing.

So who are we? What is our culture? How do we define ourselves? These aren’t questions for any particular group, they’re for everyone.

Recently, there was another tiresome debate about “cultural appropriation.” The specifics don’t matter, it’s just another example of people using a display of weakness to pursue power. Yet there’s a fundamental question at stake. Do certain practices, clothing, hairstyles, or whatever else belong inherently just to a certain group? And if so, does this apply to everyone?

Should I be outraged that people protesting “cultural appropriation” are speaking my language of English? Isn’t that cultural appropriation? Or is English not even my language?

After all, English itself contains Latin words that came into it following the Norman Conquest of 1066. To this day, people with Norman names in the United Kingdom (like “Percy”)  tend to be wealthier and live longer than those with common names (like “Smith”). If I’m not of Norman descent, am I internalizing oppression by speaking English? Some people thought so. There was an even an effort to get people to speak “Anglish,” a version of the language that eliminated all the borrowed Latin words. (The word “uranium” becomes “Ymirstuff”) for example.

If you want to wage war against “privilege,” you’re waging a pointless struggle because inequality is natural and inevitable under any system, even within a small group. Similarly, if you want to protest “cultural appropriation,” you’ll be reduced to tedious logic-chopping exercises about who can “authentically” claim a symbol.

Of course, those who protest “cultural appropriation” probably aren’t making a serious critique, but just want a financial payoff or Internet attention. They are using symbolic totems, not asserting something real. It’s a cargo-cult mentality.

This is also true of those who surround themselves with selected commodities to claim a certain label. It’s like proclaiming yourself a “redneck” because you listen to country music during your commute to an office job in a big city.

What we’re left with is the question of Identity. One’s Identity is defined by those things that can’t (or won’t) be reduced to a commodity. It’s a combination of those things you are born with (your background, family, birthplace) and those things you hold beyond monetary value. These are the things you would sacrifice for, work for, die for. These are the things with which you identify your Honor. The potential for danger and sacrifice is what separates LARPing from Identity.

There’s subjectivity here, because some might be willing to make almost everything in their life a commodity. They’ll sell out anything and everything for convenience, comfort, or media approval. Such people are not really people at all but simply commodities of another kind. “Free” social networking programs and apps have revealed a terrible truth – we aren’t buying a product, we are the product, and our behavior, interests, and data are bought and sold.

It’s not surprising that in this kind of climate we’re seeing new “communities” and “identities” multiply online with no end in sight. Much of it seems artificial, but the subconscious yearning expressed is all too real. People want something essential, something that isn’t a commodity.

Yet the only way most people can fulfill that yearning is by using the very means – the Internet, social networking, pop culture – that has stripped them of Identity and meaning. The only way most think they can create a community is by defending the same decrepit values – universalism, egalitarianism, victimhood – that have destroyed real communities.

What’s the answer? To return to basics. First, real community is not found online. If you have a Facebook group or a Discord, that’s not a “tribe,” that’s a computer game. You must step forward. You must build something real.

Second, study your Tradition. Look to your ancestry, your history, and your roots and find what is relevant to you. This isn’t a question of “picking” something like choosing one brand or another at a supermarket. Don’t try to be something you are not.

Finally, see what the Tradition means in this time, in this place, in this world. This can only be done through experience. Identity is not something that is entirely self-created but nor is it simply assigned or accepted. It is discovered through ritual, sacrifice, and tribe.

“Your” sacred symbols and traditions mean nothing until you have experienced them and made them your own. A living culture is connected from the beginning until now by shared symbols and traditions that embody eternal truths that are experienced differently by each generation. Without that experience, without that blood-and-flesh reality, you’re just dressing up in a costume.

Your culture isn’t blue jeans or iPhones made by Chinese slave labor. Your Identity isn’t by a passport or a jersey with some dude’s name on it. It’s defined by roots, community, and honor. What is that which you value beyond money? What do you have which can’t be reduced to a commodity?

Once you know the answers to those questions, you’ll know who you are. You’ll know what you must defend. And you’ll know what you must do next.

Posted on

Weakness Is A Will To Power

Always show strength, even in defeat

As above, so below, as within, so without. The eternal battle between Order and Chaos, Form and Entropy, takes place within our own bodies. At death, everything that makes us who we are disintegrates, becoming amorphous corruption.

You are most who you are when you are strong. When you fall apart, when the body fails and the mind follows, identity fragments. That’s why we sadly say an elderly person lost to dementia is “already gone.”

“No matter how long and intense the training,” said Yukio Mishima, “our body, deep down, is progressing little by little towards decadence.” That thought so tortured the Japanese author that he committed ritualistic suicide rather than face aging.

As we’ve discussed before, many cultures and religions believe the dead somehow live on “in their prime,” either as proud warriors or in perfected bodies. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs about the afterlife or lack thereof. But when it comes to our physical bodies, we all know we’re born into a losing struggle.

We age. We sicken. We die. The only question is how we respond.

There are two alternatives. You can rage against it, while acknowledging its inevitability. You can build power, seek adventure, create legends. Demand the impossible. Become your true self, your highest self, your greatest self. And live a Myth that will last forever.

The alternative is to preach decline, weakness, and death. It’s to define yourself by your flaws and sicknesses. More than that, it’s to use your weaknesses as a weapon against others. This is the Victim Culture that reigns today.

Morality, after all, is a Will to Power. Morality is the after-the-fact justification rulers use to defend concrete interests. The various “-isms” people fight against are just ideological constructs. If you go along with their morality, you’re giving them license to your money, your time, your life.

The newest “-ism” is “Ableism.”

Obviously, if someone is sick or hurt, it’s reasonable for society to accommodate them. It’s cruel to mock or stigmatize people for poor health. Even those who are strong can be instantly struck down by illness or injury. We should always be conscious that we can’t take health for granted.

Thousands of young Americans have lost limbs or suffered terrible brain injuries after fighting in the Middle East. Mocking such people, instead of honoring them, is perverse.

But does anyone actually do this? What problem is “ableism” supposed to solve?

Today, it seems “ableism” is a celebration of disability rather than a justified request for dignity. Just a few days ago, #YouMightBeAbleistIf trended on Twitter. Many of the complaints focused on the “ableism” of people who encourage weightlifting, losing weight, or bodybuilding.

It’s “ableist” for fictional characters to have a handicap removed.

It’s “ableist” to develop technology that will allow those crippled by sickness to walk.

It’s “ableist” to hope your newborn child is healthy.

It’s “ableist” to tell fat people to lose weight – in fact, to end “fatphobia” we need to end Western Civilization itself.

This isn’t compassion. It’s fetishizing weakness and ugliness. Most people who are hurt or ill want to get better, not be congratulated that they are part of the “oppressed” class. If being sick or suffering is inherently good, it would mean that we should stop practicing medicine or studying diseases, lest we “stigmatize” or “erase” those we can’t immediately cure.

Helping those who are hurt and tolerating destructive habits are two different things. Someone who is fat because they lack self-control doesn’t deserve praise, but tough love or shame. Acknowledging problems, weaknesses, and failures should never cross over into accepting them, much less praising them.

So many of those who criticize “ableism” are acting in bad faith. Affluent and powerful writers proudly recite their supposed “mental disorders” as if it exempts them from criticism. This isn’t a rebellion against oppression. It’s a weaponized morality they are using to protect their elite status.

“Only the inferior strive for equality- those seeking to make more of themselves are not interested in the concept of egalitarianism or ‘fairness,’ and reject that as a childish notion,” wrote Paul Waggener. “In this life, we will have either what we can attain and hold for ourselves, or what those stronger than we are decide to allow us.” The worst part about our present condition is that those who have power over us justify it by claiming weakness.

But weakness is more than a political pose. It’s a brutal, crushing reality we all confront as we age. Yet the reality of weakness and death doesn’t negate the value of strength and life. A healthy (unless that word too is “ableist”) society values beauty, creation, and production. Ugliness, destruction, and decay exist, but to praise these forces is to deny life.

This isn’t do say that pain can’t have value. Nietzsche suffered from debilitating headaches from the time he was a child. Obviously, if there was a cure, he probably would have taken it. Yet without that pain and that experience, he may not have been driven to philosophize with a hammer.

Those who are chronically ill or dying can still serve life. There’s something heroic about those who risk dangerous treatments to provide information that will help others. Yet even this is an act of defiance against death. Pain is justified if it is a spur to accomplishment.

Even in defeat, we recognize strength and dignity. Think of sculptures like “The Dying Gaul” or “The Lion Monument” to the Swiss Guard. Contrast that to the “art” of today that serves to deconstruct the very idea of beauty, like a banana duct-taped to a wall that recently sold for $120,000. The former achievements will last forever. The latter will simply be a historical footnote about an embarrassing age of decline.

Strength, power, accomplishment – these things outlast any individual’s life. Weakness, defeat, petty scheming – these are rightfully forgotten.

In a larger sense, it’s the awareness of oncoming death that drives us all forward to greatness, to grow strong while we still can, to seek beauty while we have the chance, to risk death when we still have life. As countless books, films and poems have pointed out, if we had bodily immorality, we might even yearn for death simply out of boredom.

Perhaps one day our descendants will confront that problem. But we won’t. Death is coming for you, inevitable and inexorable. Your body is decaying, your cells collapsing into entropy. How will you respond? Not even today is guaranteed.

Don’t beg for “equality” – in the physical sense, we’ll all be equal when we’re dead. You’ll get your egalitarianism soon enough. What will do you to serve life? What will you do to build something beyond yourself?

In creation, in combat, at the gym… defy pain, sickness, and ugliness. Fight with every ounce of strength against entropy and despair. Endure. Be remembered as a hero, not as an object of pity. And when King Death comes for you, sneer in triumph because you built something beautiful that outlasts even Him.