[It occurred to the Author that regular readers had no frame of reference for the personality behind the postings. This is a slightly edited version of the Facebook Profile I use and may act as a sort of reference point.]
Existentialist, Anti-Trancendentalist Mysterian
Supermaterialist and Politically Non-Euclidean with Chaotic,
Possibilian, (cautiously) Trans-Humanist, Gothick, Nietzschean,
Antinomian, Discordian/Erisian, Zen & Tantric Tendencies. Believer
in Wu Wei and Wyrd and not much else. Looks on the species as
work-in-progress likely to take another 30,000 years to become basically
secure and so decent.
Politically into personal liberty (all
things being equal, especially in cognitive and sexual matters),
anti-bureaucratism (above all, that of the European Union which is the
'monstre sacre de nos jours'), good order mixed with compassion and
common sense (the 'way of the decent copper'), sustainability for future
generations and maintenance of the natural environment (which is not to
be confused with any support for the Greens who are as mad as hatters
or professional environmentalism which is little more than a
job-creating racket), the primacy of the young over the old who usually
are responsible for screwing things up in the first place, national
self-determination (though never ethnicist which means that Israel
worries me), against German-led Europeanism (as opposed to liking
Europeans) and American-led Atlanticism (as opposed to liking Americans
even though I go into hiding when they 'get God'), secularism (big time!
anyone who believes in fairies and is in politics is a threat to me and
mine), evidence-based policymaking, respect for difference (it is the
outliers who ensure the progress and survival of the species), kindness
to people who believe in fairies except in politics, anti-feminist,
anti-identity politics (you are a person not an hysterical attribute)
and anti-Frankfort School ideology which precisely means that I support
the rights of women to make their own choices and that I support socio-economic and
political equality, above all against the matriarchal top-down
busybodies of the Academy.
All in all, a classic pre-1970s
rational, pragmatic liberal socialist who still believes in the
democratic nation state (not that the UK is really one any more) - very
much an endangered species amidst the hysterics, posturers, hypocritical
moralists, opportunists and downright liars of modern media-driven
democracy. Not currently party-affiliated: the Labour Party is so
appallingly decadent that the Tories now look relatively competent. How
did that happen? Oh, and past contributor to Tribune, The Chartist and
Lobster and founder of www.exaronews.com over which I have no editorial control or influence whatsoever.
Instinctively polyamorous like most men if they were honest but married
to a remarkably interesting woman with two very bright and likable kids
... I really like women a lot and my sympathies are wholly with Emma
Goldman on 'feminism'. I do not like sport or engines. I rather like
fashion and art.
However, my aversion to ideology, identity
politics (which has destroyed and fragmented the intelligent
distributionist Left) and post-Frankfort School idiocy suggests that if
you are a dim-witted femi-nazi who denies men their fulfilment as
anything other than pale imitations of themselves, an ethnicist or
traditionalist or a happy-clappy rights liberal or activist, you might
be a helluva lot happier not entering into my circle..
My philosophy in life is existentialist (as if regular readers had not guessed). Life is a path that leads to
death and no other end. There is no point in believing that you will be
pulled from the pit by some great God. You climb out yourself.
The only meanings are those you make for yourself. But, actually, life
is good, very good, if you feel the fear and make it work for you. I am
passionately anti-anti-natalist and all philosophies of death and the
death instinct. I prefer Catholicism for all its evils and mistakes to a
Buddhism which negates.
Sometimes, things will go very wrong
but these can be good times in retrospect, though you may regret that
you had to learn the hard way.
But no regrets is part of the rule-book. Just live with it and move on ...
Philosophers who are admired include Heraclitus, Socrates, Kierkegaard
(without the God bit), Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein
and Foucault. I respect Wilhelm Reich and Jack Parsons not for their
thought but for their good will. I find the philosophers of the Far
Right challenging, fascinating and instructive - their critiques of
contemporary liberalism resonate even though I oppose them. There are
dangers in these thinkers and they require contesting with respect.
Philosophers who are despised include Plato, anyone deluded enough to
think that meaning subsists outside ourselves, Hegel and all Hegelians
(though with a sneaking respect for Marx's use of Hegel to create a
dynamic political movement which, though it went wrong, still gave hope
to the hopeless and still has things to say today) and guilt-ridden
post-Nazi 'liberals' like followers of Kojeve and Habermas. Zizek drives
me up the wall - did he and others not see that Tsipras was engaged in a
doomed enterprise. I have no time for German Idealism more generally,
analytics who dance on the head of a pin or who invent elaborate ethics
in order to avoid personal despair or ensure tenure. My current bug bear
is the fashion for extreme scientific speculation which is taken too
seriously - it is an enjoyable stopping off place between real
philosophy and science fiction.
Matters of the Spirit
I was never interested in the idea of some ghostly spirit, internal or
external, animating us and then merging with some abstract Great Beyond.
The mind is materially embedded in the body and the mind-body in
society and all is fundamentally matter. We are emergent from matter but
we cannot say we understand precisely what we mean by matter in this
context. Functionalist materialism is simply an interpretation of
materialism and there may be more here yet to be uncovered - or never
There remain great mysteries in the functioning
of society, about the nature of ourselves and about the workings of
minds which may as well be regarded magically as undiscovered, and
possibly undiscoverable, science. If there have to be gods, then I choose Dionysos and Aphrodite, Odin and Freyja ...
But you cannot escape the drag of matter, of others or of your own
carcase. A Luciferian rebellion, in the end, makes it all worthwhile
because it asserts the working of your own deeper matter against the
matter worked on you by the laws of physics and by the burden of social
organisation. The imagination, a creative irrationality, is
what makes us able to move beyond being mere walking stones, shuttled
around by blind necessity and previous chance.
If I could
rebel against matter I would but I cannot, so, instead, I reserve the
right to rebel against social convention and the dead weight of history
to free the mind-body for new experiences and pleasures, for individual
psychological transcendence (not to be confused with claims about the
universal) and for the benefit of those I love.
God certainly need not
be involved. Past texts, especially those 'revealed' in the Iron Age,
are useless. As are all socially constructed abstracts ... I very much
prefer the realist Foucault to the delusional Habermas.
I used to be involved in politics a great deal. I wasted much of my
life and time on the 'official' Left. It achieved little and all I
learnt was that the few will always command the agenda of the many, not
because they are strong but because we, the many, are weak. Recent
events surrounding Jeremy Corbyn's candidature for leadership has
exposed to the gaze of all what I learned in the struggles of the 1990s -
the main Party of the British Left is deeply dysfunctional, staffed by
second and third rate minds with no strategy beyond the 'next election'.
The British Labour Party is little more than the defensive manouevre of
conservative special interest groups terrified by the onward march of
history. I may join it again if Corbyn wins even though his politics are
not mine (though I know and respect the person)
On the other
hand, anarchism tends to the naive, riddled with the naturalistic
fallacy, deviant forms of religion and hidden communitarian terrors. One
sinks back into a soft sort of left-libertarianism, a social liberalism
or libertarian socialism created out of justifiable pessimism tempered by good
will. I would prefer even Baathist order to the killing fields created
by enthusiastic and naive armchair liberal outrage, at least when push
comes to shove on taking the AK47 out of the broom cupboard.
have certainly come to dislike the self-regarding political class and
the lies of the 'international community' (aka professional fixers) but
equally those who afford them loyalty out of an ignorant tribalism,
corporatist cowardice or a refusal to think about the nature of power
and how the power of the few depends on the willing servitude of the
many at home and their disregard abroad ... evil lies so often in
obeying orders provided by those same second rate people who naturally
rise to the top of political institutions.
The foot soldiers of
domestic left-wing politics have been continually digging while in a
hole. Solidarity, once it has served its initial purpose, tends to
become slavery. The networks of people determined to collaborate to get
the cattle trucks from place to place without asking about the
destination, combined with the awful truths of social psychological
experimentation by our elites, suggested to me that evil was well
embedded in the human species by its very socialisation strategies long before we were born.
And so I am a peculiar form of pessimist of the anarcho-Left, owing
more to Rabelais, De Sade (the philosopher), Nietzsche (again), Paine,
Shelley, William Morris and the incomparable Oscar Wilde than the
current degenerate crew of rascals serving special interests, overseas
and domestic, who have passed by the moniker of 'New Labour' and who owe
more to Lloyd George than Keir Hardie.
These became mere
statist war-mongers who have run the economy into the ground for the sake of
power, and whose supporters are a rump of dangerous post-Marxist
ideologues. In the end, they rise like scum to the surface to get their
well-paid jobs in an international system that they created. In that
context, it is billionaire wealth creators who deploy capital well to
create jobs and build economies that impress me more than the
Atlanticist and European clowns who do the opposite. The real talent is at the front end of capitalism nowadays and the leaders of the people should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen.
problem may be with Parliamentary Democracy itself, with the
prerogatives of the Crown, with the dominance of Party and with
institutional special interests that stand in the way of the people's
own ability to develop their capabilities in collaboration with others. The way that the priestly class of public intellectuals and third-rate journalists dictates the terms of politics in the Atlantic system and the way modern graduates lap up the nonsense is a lot of the problem ... closed cosmopolitan (a classic contradiction) elites believing their own lies about the nature of the world and existence.
I stand against the
bureaucratic State, the Crown as State (though I quite like the Windsors out of sentiment), foreign wars, federalism of all types,
the corporate mentality (while appreciating the innovations supplied by
genuinely free Jeffersonian markets and even intelligent State
infrastructural investment), managerialism as cult, neuroscientific
manipulation and tenured technocracy.
Science, technology and
innovation are mostly very very good indeed but have to be kept out of
the hands of the fruits and the nuts. The market and the State do
inspire great works of progress as well as great evils.
Rocker, Kollontai, the Kronstadt Mutineers, Zapata, Makhno and, of
course, Goldman all had a point and the naive Jack Parsons makes that point
likeable: freedom and personal autonomy within a society of free
individuals is our highest aspiration ... but I would still trust a weak
democratic State over any number of self-righteous activist enthusiasts
who weedle their way into the bureaucratic corporatism of social
democracy under self-righteous liberal cover.