Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Anti-Western Westerner
To relieve the psychic pressure of the paradox of a Westerner who is anti-Western, a psycho-ideological mechanism is required.
That psycho-ideological mechanism is the Gnostic-Utopianist complex.
Another way to relieve the pressure is simply through persistent indulgence in the Pascalian divertissements, including various addictions. Other than the deranged logorrhea of a Hunter S. Thompson or a William S. Borroughs, or the slightly more coherent ramblings of a Charles Bukowski, this way of relieving the pressure rarely rises to the level of ideology, our main concern here; though I suppose one could argue that the amorphous prevalence of the Pascalian divertissements on a sociocultural level constitutes a kind of ideology, however ragged and incoherent it might be. If it is such, it is part of the Gnostic/Utopian complex, insofar as an escape from imperfection is cultivated on a mass scale.
The classical Gnostic relieves the existential and ontological pressure of being unable to bear being himself by succumbing to the belief in a mythology of a “true self” (the pneumatic spark) that is “trapped” inside an evil body & soul which, in turn, is trapped within an evil cosmos created by an evil demiurge—whose evil is reflected in the irredeemable corruption and evil of all social and political regimes around him, as well as of all existing religious orders. The final relief consists in the soteriology of Gnosticism, whereby a key to a secret knowledge (gnosis) is revealed which will enable the escape of the “true self” from the evil body and the evil cosmos, to his “true home” outside of the Cosmos.
The modern Westerner, beginning most massively in sociopolitical terms as well as existential terms in the 19th century, usually has not pursued the classical Gnostic release—mainly because for the modern Westerner, the sense of transcendence (the Beyond as a realm outside the Cosmos to escape to) has for the most part become unavailable, notwithstanding somewhat widespread manifestations of various flavors of groping after something vaguely resembling transcendence, available from the superficially variegated metaphysical cafeteria of New Age-ish “spirituality”.
What has instead increasingly developed is, as Eric Voegelin analyzed it, an immanentization of transcendence—that is, instead of believing in a transcendence beyond this world to escape to, the modern Gnostic tries to make this world itself, or some part of it, into salvation.
Usually, this has taken the form of some kind of utopia—whether in the form of individual cultivation of fantasy, either through art, addictions, or insanity; or some kind of cultic commune that withdraws from society and tries to achieve perfection on earth; or most grandly of all, a major sociopolitical transformation of existing structures of existence into a final, perfectly just order. This latter form erupted in the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, which incubated during the 19th century reactionism against it, only to burst out again in the 20th century with the Communist revolutions—the Russian Revolution and, in its form as the Soviet Union, its ongoing project of Revolution-by-proxy around the world, most notably in the Far East and Latin America (but also including Africa and parts of the Muslim world). The Fascist movements and German Nazism of the 20th century were also part of this constellation of Gnostic-Utopian political movements.
The latter half of the 20th century saw the prevalent and mainstream repudiation of those spectacular bouts of Gnostic-Utopian political movements, with a return to the 19th century pattern of amorphously conservative reaction against them coupled with popular indulgence in alternative pseudo-spirituality, artistic and cultural fantasy, and various chemical and lifestyle addictions.
The last time the West went through this period of relative subsidence of a major outbreak of sociopolitical pathology—viz., the 19th century culture of bourgeoisie following the late 18th and early 19th century French Revolution and its Napoleonic conclusion—it did not take long, but a few decades, for the grotesque head of the pathology to rear again, even worse. Now, since at least the 1970s, we have been in a similar phase, of a kind of super-bourgeosie of incredible material progress and indulgence in quintessentially and unprecedentedly middle-class values and prosperity; and once again, on the horizon, looms a massive and malignant ideology whose influence among the anti-Western Westerner has been slowly percolating: Islam.
This ancient form of Gnostic-Utopian ideology enjoys a peculiar position in our time, remarkably insulated from criticism by our dominant and mainstream culture of PC MC—even whitewashed and, in many respects, positively elevated to superiority over the West, both in its inaccurately articulated values and in its mendaciously revised history. Furthermore, it has the advantage of being non-Western, with an attractively oriental and ethnic aura about it, considerably augmented by being anti-Western in many, if not most, of the same ways in which the self-hating Westerner is anti-Western (even though paradoxically, and incoherently, Islam profoundly repudiates the liberal secular values of most of those same self-hating Westerners).
Will the 21st century unfold into the kinds of megalomaniac disturbances and violence the 20th century saw with Communism and Nazism—this time with increasing numbers of Westerners sympathetic to, and even joining sides with, the anti-Western animus inherent to the ideology of Islam?
If sufficient numbers of anti-Western Westerners come to find a release from their psychic pressure of self-hatred, such that they can transform their scream, of being trapped in a Western Cosmos with no escape, into the cry of joy of having found another reality, another world, a family, a home beyond the West, in Islam—indeed, another Cosmos—then our century will have moved closer to another world war. For, that other Cosmos cannot simply be escaped to: it requires allegiance to a military supremacism dedicated to fighting, and conquering, the rest of the world. The Islamic Cosmos must destroy the Western Cosmos: that is the ultimate goal of this new trans-national family which the disaffected, diseased Westerners would join when they decide to become a Muslim.
And if, beside their numbers, many more Westerners persist in maintaining the incoherently irresponsible position of being “patriotically” critical of the West while consistently sugarcoating the menace of Islam through the milder anti-Westernism of PC MC, they will end up enabling their more radical, treasonous brethren—and with this augmentation, the horrible unfolding of yet another world war will be all the more likely.
This is so because Islam by itself—without the assistance of a considerable Fifth Column within the West consisting both of PC MC idiots and the more radical Leftists—would not stand a chance to do more than mass-murder a few more thousand of us before the West would wake up to definitively shut down Islam. With the help of that Fifth Column, however, Islam will be able to wreak considerably more horrible damage, both to our lives and our infrastructure, and the cost of winning, for us, will be in such a circumstance magnified to horrendous levels.