Renegade Third Worlder

Dissuading the West from joining our lowly club of nations

Month: March 2017

Setting the record straight on Steve Bannon and Julius Evola

By now, no one should be surprised by the mainstream media’s transparently dishonest effort to smear Steve Bannon for daring to commend certain aspects of a controversial author’s work—even when he clearly rejects that authors’ more questionable ideas altogether.

So when I read this piece put out by The New York Times back in February, insinuating without much subtlety that Bannon’s passing reference to esoteric philosopher and Fascism fellow-traveler Julius Evola was evidence of his kookiness, I didn’t even flinch.

Neither did I start or wince when Quartz followed up declaring that Evola’s influence denoted Bannon’s and the alt-right’s ferocious misogyny; or when The Atlantic suggested that by mentioning Evola, Bannon not only proved he was a crank, but an inconsistent one at that, given Evola’s avowed hatred for Christianity.

(Also, see this, this, this, and this.)

However unsurprising, these two hit pieces are particularly offensive. Only the functionally illiterate would miss the fact, after reading what Bannon actually said, that far from unequivocally endorsing Evola’s work, he only praised one specific aspect of Traditionalism—the school of thought to which Evola belonged—namely its support for nationalism and traditional Western values. And he did this only after asserting that Traditionalism “eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism.”

Bannon referenced Evola as an intellectual influence of philosopher Aleksandr Duggin, whose work in turn inspired Vladimir Putin’s worldview, especially in geopolitical terms. Bannon also did praise the Russian president’s nationalism, intelligence, and qualities as a potential ally against radical Islam, but also in clearly partial terms, and not hesitating to characterize Putin’s regime as an aggressively expansionist, imperialist kleptocracy.

Also, I didn’t feel shocked or shaken by the misleading characterization of Traditionalism as simply “a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.” Disdainful as Traditionalism may be of the ideas of progress and equality, this aspect is a corollary to its central themes:

The Traditionalist mission rests on the belief that in some prehistoric time, a “primordial tradition” was revealed to mankind. It taught in symbols the nature of the universe and of the human being, and the way to realise our divine potential. The different religious traditions sprung like branches from the primordial trunk, each one revealed at the appropriate time and place for a certain people or region. Each one contains a facet of the “perennial philosophy,” accommodating both simple believers and those who pursue an esoteric and initiatic path. However, owing to spiritual degeneration over time, some traditions have been lost, others polluted, and false religions have sprung up in their place. The third object is to discriminate between the true and the false.

It is also important to note that Traditionalist ideas are not confined to the right of the political spectrum. Aldous Huxley, arguably one of the intellectual fathers of the counteculture of the 1960’s, is usually portrayed as a Traditionalist, especially due to his book The Perennial Philosophy.

But what did surprise me was the way in which Gary Lachman—ex-bassist for new wave band Blondie and renowned expert on the Western esoteric tradition—had to say about Bannon’s reference to Evola. Having read and enjoyed several of Lachman’s interesting and highly erudite books, I was frankly disappointed when I saw him basically regurgitate the New York Times article’s crass portrayal of Bannon as nothing less than Evola’s devotee:

John Morgan, ex Editor in Chief at Arktos Media, publisher of several of the first translations of Evola’s works into English, strongly disagreed with Lachman’s remark with a comment of his own:

To which Lachman, in turn, replied:

Note that Lachman insists that the mere fact that Bannon mentioned Evola is reason for concern. It seems extremely odd that an author who has dedicated decades of his career to disseminate the ideas of occultists and esoteric thinkers of all sorts to a wider audience, sometimes going to considerable pains to give the full historical and ideological picture where these thinkers’ ideas come from, in order to counter the knee-jerk negative reaction they usually elicit, is so quick to condemn a public figure who seems to have a fairly balanced view of one of them.

Moreover, Lachman’s condemnation of Bannon’s comments are even more disconcerting given his own assessment of Evola’s ideas. In his book Politics and the Occult, he actually seems to judge Evola’s work in similar terms to Bannons’, i.e., rescuing several aspects of his criticism of the modern world while condemning his more hateful ideas:

Clearly, for anyone who thinks life should be about something more than reality TV, celebrity gossip, and having the “F” word misspelled on your clothes, the secular Western world leaves much to be desired. I include myself in this group. Like many people, I find much about the modern world unappealing. It’s for this reason that that I find critics of it like Julius Evola and René Guénon and others of their sensibilities disturbing—not because Evola’s obvious fascist sympathies or Guénon’s elitist ethos, but because many of their criticisms hit the mark… notwithstanding Evola’s racist views, it’s not surprising that some of his readers appreciated his belief that the only thing left was to “blow up” everything. Thankfully, the majority take this as a metaphor, and I’d bet that many of us feel something similar at times, although, again thankfully, we have the presence of mind not to succumb to this “purifying” release.

And again, in his Revolutionaries of the Soul:

Ultimately, there is a real danger connected with Evola’s thinking: not his obvious Fascism or racism, but the fact that his writings are not the ravings of a lunatic. His prose is vigorous, intelligent, and often insightful, if uncongenial.

Last but not least, another thinker that openly admitted his qualified admiration for Evola’s work was Nobel Prize in Literature Herman Hesse, another author that can hardly be characterized as right-wing given his status as a countercultural icon.

Hesse called Evola “a dazzling and interesting, but very dangerous author.” Lachman knows Hesse’s work very well, so he surely is aware of this. But even more to the point, it was Lachman’s friend and intellectual mentor Colin Wilson—of whom Lachman recently wrote a biography—whose enthusiastic writings about Hesse—together with Timothy Leary’s—were credited for launching the German author’s boom in the early seventies.

In any case, Lachman is now writing a book titled “Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump,” which “will look at the influence ‘mental science’ and ‘positive thinking’ has had on Trump’s rise to power, and will explore the links between the new ‘alt-right’ movement within the political far right and the political philosophy of the Italian esotericist Julius Evola.”

Hopefully his views on these issues will have the level of nuance and balance characteristic of his previous books.

Then my disappointment would vanish as if by magick.

Economic illiteracy is not a government monopoly in Venezuela

Sure enough, the world has good reasons to be concerned about the latest lunacy of Venezuela’s socialist government, The War on Bread:

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.

The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, or pan canilla, with government-imported flour. However, in a tweet on Thursday, price control czar William Contreras said only 90 percent of baked goods had to be price-controlled products.

But sadly, crass economic illiteracy apparently isn’t confined to government officials in Venezuela:

As a price control obsessive, I always finding it disappointing when opposition politicians won’t call a spade a spade and demand they end at once. After all, price controls may well win the hotly contested battle for the title of Most Destructive Policy of Bolivarian Socialism.

But yesterday I was left in complete shock when I heard an important opposition politician call for more price controls!

In a now sadly infamous statement, José Manuel Olivares, the National Assembly member for Primero Justicia who chairs the Health Subcommittee, said the National Assembly should push for price controls over medical consultations in private health centers, adding: “it is not a regulation meant to destroy, let’s not forget that the private sector, with 8,000 beds, caters to 55% of Venezuelans.”

…we still have opposition politicians who think if your intention isn’t to destroy something, then a destructive policy won’t destroy it. ¡Por favor!

This is, of course, a perfect example of why culture matters.

In cultures where liberty is a sacred value, price controls and other crass interventions in the marketplace are anathema.

Politicians themselves are part of that culture, and are basically aware of those policies’ self-defeating consequences.

Also, the sacredness of liberty means the people are ready to rise up in arms against politicians who might happen to loose that basic awareness.

But in Venezuela, as in much of the third world, no one will be much dismayed when a politician declares that the solution to the problems created by policies that by far have created the most destruction throughout the history of mankind… is more of those very same policies!

The politically correct will never admit it. But this is a perfect example of a people who simply have not reached a level of cultural evolution that is suitable for civilization.

The lesson for America is very simple: if you let a massive inflow of people from these cultures into your country, you can very much expect them to tolerate, and eventually to demand, such policies.

It’s not like American ideals will magically enter the deep psyches of people from utterly undeveloped cultures by osmosis as soon as they cross the border.

And once they become a large enough share of the population, there surely won’t be a lack of politicians willing to offer them what they want in exchange for votes.

Failing to see that, is simply failing to see why real American conservatives who voted for Trump are damn right to build that yuuuuge, beautiful wall.

Social justice, rock and roll, and death in Argentina

Last Saturday, all hell broke loose at a rock concert by Indio Solari in Argentina:

Two people were killed and a dozen were injured on Saturday night when spectators rushed to the stage at an over-packed outdoor rock concert in eastern Argentina.

The deadly crush of fans was blamed on lack of crowd control at the concert of popular performer Indio Solari in the town of Olavarria, in Buenos Aires province.

Solari halted his performance several times, calling from the stage for security to help people who were stuck in the stampede and appeared to be fainting.

Some 350,000 fans showed up for the concert, Mayor Ezequiel Galli told a news conference. He said the event had been organized to handle less than half that number, and that it would be up to the justice system to decide who is to blame for the disaster.

“What happened was total chaos,” he said. “It just got away from us.”

“No one imagined that this many people would show up,” he added, saying that by mid-afternoon some 100,000 vehicles, or one for every city resident, had arrived for the show.

A dozen people were hospitalized after being injured in the crush. Witnesses said the lack of control was such that organizers neglected to collect tickets at the large field where the concert was held, letting anyone through the gates.

The local bus system collapsed after the tragedy, stranding thousands of fans in Olavarria.

As expected, most English-language mainstream media outlets are failing to address the root cause of the catastrophe.

Because that, of course, would require turning a critical eye on the ideology the media champions, and that pervades modern pop culture.

However, to their credit, Argentine media have been more perceptive.

Journalist Jonatan Viale was particularly assertive incalling out the ideological elephant in the room (my translation):

Does Indio Solari give a damn about all this?

Didn’t this Che Guevara with a private jet realize what was going on?

At some point we must have a serious discussion about what’s going on with this shoddy lefty rock bands whose lyrics sell revolution, chaos, anarchy, destruction, an apology of drugs and violence… and after causing the death of two people lock themselves up in their 5-star hotels, or run away in their private jets, to show up again only during the next concert to collect several millions more.

A self-professed social justice warrior, Solari started the show with openly political remarks, criticizing Mauricio Macri’s government for a recent proposal to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 14 (currently set at 16).

But where his SJW credentials really shine through, is in his express policy of simply letting in every single fan who shows up to his concerts, regardless of whether they have paid for a ticket or not.

From each according to his ability to pay, to every other of his millions of fans according to their histerical desire to see one of Solari’s rare live performances.

It’s like a for-profit-with-redistribution revival of the Woodstock myth. So it was just a matter of time for the Altamont-like consequences to occur.

Clearly, the “lack of control” shown by organizers who neglected to collect tickets, letting anyone through the gates, was a feature, not a bug, of the show.

Actually, it’s a recognized tradition among his fans

At Indio Solari’s concert, two old traditions were fulfilled: the majority of the public traveled without tickets, and the people at the gates in charge of security let people in without checking that they had their entrance tickets.

I’ve been going to Indio’s shows for 25 years… with rare exceptions, where security and operations were properly carried out, neglect was the rule.

“For my audience there is no such thing as “sold out,” they go the same way,” Indio said in an interview a few months ago. The bands that travel all over the country following Solari’s “masses” of Solari know that they will be able to get in, whether they have tickets or not. This explains why tens of thousands of people invaded the city of Olavarría since last week.

Espionage firm behind Trump “dirty dossier” hired by Chavista cronies to whitewash massive looting of public funds in Venezuela

Fusion GPS’s shenanigans are most definitely not limited to aiding Planned Parenthood and attacking Mitt Romney’s friends.

London-based, Venezuelan investigative journalist Alek Boyd explains:

Well, if attempting to destroy Republican donors -or its perceived GOP enemies– doesn’t work, there’s always a gig to be had with the Democrats. It does crack me up however, to read, in The Guardian no less, stuff like: “Fusion GPS, led by former journalists skilled in digging up secrets on public figures.” Skilled?

I know better. Fusion GPS were (may still be?) in the employ of Derwick Associates, without a shred of a doubt one of the most corrupt group of thugs ever to have come out of Venezuela. The sort of “businessmen” that have no qualms in stealing over one billion USD from an almost destitute country. Fusion’s “former journalists”, of course, don’t have a problem with corruption, so long as billable hours keep adding up.

Glenn Simpson managed to get a few quid from the Derwick thugs. He dispatched his sidekick Peter Fritsch to Caracas once upon a time, along with another equally contemptible and disgusting former “prosecutor”, basically to impede journalists from carrying on with, erm, corruption reporting.

Fusion GPS’s Peter Fritsch’s record of visit to Hotel Lido in Caracas in July 2014.

I happen to know one of the “skilled” journalists at Fusion GPS, Tom Catan. He covered Venezuela’s 2006 presidential race for The Times of London, and as I was shadowing the opposition candidate, I was asked to organise an interview. We met a few years later, in Spain, when, again, I helped with another interview. I invited the guy to my house for dinner, we broke bread together, talked, had a few drinks with my family… He seemed, then, a decent enough person. Imagine my surprise when I found out that his firm was retained to destroy me on behalf of Derwick Associates. I confronted him with the kind of tactics they so readily employ with their targets. His reply dispelled my doubts as to his integrity.

But then, Derwick thugs decided to crank it up a little. My family was the subject of illegal surveillance in London. We were photographed going about our daily affairs for months. The operation culminated with a break into my flat, theft of my laptops, and threats of sexual abuse against my daughters. Now that I read about Simpson’s connection to a former British MI6 agent, I wonder: did Fusion GPS participated in the attack against my family? Did it subcontract former British intelligence officers to track me down in London?

How on earth this hasn’t been covered by the likes of is absolutely beyond me.