Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Deep State Vs The Deep Right

Under any stable regime in any time or place, from 19th-century Petersburg to 21st-century D.C., it will be found that the general population has no effective procedure, legal or illegal, by which to either control or replace the central organs of the state. 
This is normal and not weird. Autocracy is a human universal. Apparent exceptions to universals suggest sensor malfunction. 
The 19th-century Russian intelligentsia could at least dream of hurling bombs at the Czar. The modern administrative state, no less autocratic, is quite czarless. It is an oligarchy, not a monarchy. It has no one who can be effectively bombed. Final decision-making authority must exist somewhere within its Borgesian labyrinth of process. 
But for all practical revolutionary purposes, the “deep state” is as decentralized as Bitcoin, and as invulnerable—to ballots and bullets alike. It does not always get its way immediately. Politics can still frustrate it. Violence can make it angry. No force that can objectively capture, damage, even sustainably resist it exists. 
Again: this is historically normal, not historically weird. In a healthy regime, military resistance is insane and political resistance is useless. And anyone who thinks early 21st-century Washington is an unstable or dying regime should pray on their knees to never experience such a thing for real. 
Yet there is a third dimension of revolution: art. Art is the domain of the deep right—or art–right. You may not have noticed this kraken. It has noticed you. 
Alas, populists have been here before us, and soiled the place. “Politics is downstream from culture.” If culture involves wooing the masses with ham-handed propaganda—the ’30s “proletarian novel” of the Daily Worker, repeated as farce—we must quietly excuse ourselves. 
Art, if it’s art at all, aims at supreme aesthetic excellence. It does not even deign to notice its audience. If the whole world is inferior to art, art doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Art is not competing with anything but itself, the past, and the future. If it is not sub specie aeternitatis, it is not art. 
Art as Weapon 
But how can art become a weapon? Oh, art is extremely dangerous. Anything dangerous is a weapon. Let’s look at how, in the last century, one aesthetic killed hundreds of millions of people.


Anonymous said...

Whew! I'm not unfamiliar with dense texts but not much I've read recently rivals this guy for opacity. Imagine using kraken and mog within a couple paragraphs and calling up Spinoza, Pareto, and Ranke to buttress your argument. Far out, man!

The missing gorilla in this room is the equally challenging - even in his native tongue - Heidegger. BAP seems to me a fulfillment of that philosopher's vision of "the brink of profound nihilism...the purest and highest revelation of Being itself, offering a horrifying crossroads of either salvation or the end of metaphysics and modernity; rendering the West a wasteland populated by tool-using brutes, characterized by an unprecedented ignorance and barbarism in which everything is permitted...

"Living under the last mantle of one of three ideologies: Americanism, Marxism or Nazism, and an unfettered totalitarian world technology."

This epoch would be ironically celebrated as the most enlightened and glorious in human history.

Pastorius said...

BAP is big on Nietzsche.