Keith Preston on The New Totalitarianism


by Keith Preston

Note: I’m very impressed by the work of Keith Preston. I came up with the phrase “Enemy Class” to describe the enemies of bourgeois civilisation. Our Blogmaster uses a long circumlocution. Ian B has his preferred terminology. I suggest we should adopt the Prestonism of “totalitarian humanists.” We are all talking about more or less the same group of people.

Totalitarian humanists are people whose legitimising ideology is cultural leftism, and who are imposing this via a police state at home and military force abroad. They have merged with a much older corporate elite. They have massively enlarged the military and police arms of the State. Until about 30 years ago, they were denouncing these three forces. But they have now spread their ideology to their former enemies, and thereby cleansed them of evil. They seek absolute and unaccountable power, and the consequent destruction of ancient liberties and intermediary institutions, by insisting on the absolute goodness of their legitimising ideology and the absolute evil of the various “hates” they are combating. They control business and education and the media, and politics and law and administration, and every medical bureaucracy. They are embedded in every main religion except Islam. They are absolutely supreme in every transnational bureaucracy.

As an aside, I suggest that the European Union is evil not because it is run by Frenchmen and Germans, or whatever. Let’s be reasonable – rule from Paris or Berlin would not in itself be catastrophic. It isn’t evil because our own liberal institutions are being destroyed – these have already been destroyed. It is evil because it is another place from which the totalitarian humanists can exercise absolute and unaccountable power to reshape us as they desire.

A good British example of totalitarian humanism is the Stephen Lawrence circus. Two men faced 20 years of administrative and legal harassment and media vilification. They were finally brought to trial and convicted on the basis of what looks like fabricated evidence. One of them could only be tried after the very ancient protection against double jeopardy had been stripped out of the Common Law. Had this been done to Sinn Fein/IRA terrorists, there would – rightly – have been howls of outrage. In this case, the entire ruling class set up a squeal of delight. Nothing – certainly not due process or even common decency – can be allowed to stand in the way of crushing racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, or any other excuse for not joining in the Potemkin love feast of the totalitarian humanists.

Other examples are the persecution of Emma West, the persecution of Christian hoteliers who won’t rent out rooms to homosexuals, refusal to let devout Christians foster children, denial of NHS treatment to people who live other than as directed, the attempted use of sporting associations to
brainwash the white working classes. These really are all examples of the same war against bourgeois civilisation.

I could say more. But here is the essay. Read and consider its implications for our own strategy. [SIG]

The New Totalitarianism

by Keith Preston
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/preston1.html

Regular readers of LRC are no doubt familiar with the criticisms of Marxism to be found within the classical liberal, traditional conservative and modern libertarian intellectual traditions. However, I come from another tradition that contains within itself those thinkers who were among the very first to recognize what the proponents of authoritarian, statist socialism were up to. Who would the reader suppose was the author who characterized the Jacobins, Blanquists and Marxists as those who would “…reconstruct society upon an imaginary plan, much like the astronomers who for respect for their calculations would make over the system of the universe…”?1 Ludwig von Mises? Friedrich August von Hayek? Murray Rothbard? No, it was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first thinker to ever call himself an anarchist. Who would one suspect of issuing the following critique of Marxism?

“The expression of ‘learned socialist’, ‘scientific socialism’…which continually appear in the speeches and writings of the followers of …Marx, prove that the pseudo-People’s State will be nothing but a despotic control of the population by a new and not at all numerous aristocracy of real and pseudo scientists. The ‘uneducated’ people will be totally relieved of the cares of administration and will be treated as a regimented herd. A beautiful liberation indeed!”2

This prediction of the logical outcome of state-run economies predates the “new class” theory pioneered by the likes of Max Nomad, George Orwell and James Burnham by nearly a century. Its author is the renegade Russian aristocrat and number-one rival of Karl Marx, the classical anarchist godfather Mikhail Bakunin. And nearly one hundred fifty years before the venerable Professor Hans Hermann Hoppe published his thoroughly radical and compelling critique of the modern deification of “democracy,” Proudhon said of the mindset similar to that exhibited by those whom Lew Rockwell has characterized as “red state fascists”:

“…because of this ignorance of the primitiveness of their instincts, of the urgency of their needs, of the impatience of their desires, the people show a preference toward summary forms of authority. The thing they are looking for is not legal guarantees, of which they do not have any idea and whose power they do not understand, they do not care for intricate mechanisms or for checks and balances for which, on their own account, they have no use, it is a boss in whose word they confide, a leader whose intentions are known to the people and who devotes himself to its interests, that they are seeking. This chief they provided with limitless authority and irresistible power. Inclined toward suspicion and calumny, but incapable of methodical discussion, they believe in nothing definite save the human will.”

“Left to themselves or led by their tribunes the masses never established anything. They have their face turned backwards; no tradition is formed among them; no orderly spirit, no idea which acquires the force of law. Of politics they understand nothing except the element of intrigue; of the art of governing, nothing except prodigality and force; of justice nothing but mere indictment; of liberty, nothing but the ability to set up idols which are smashed the next morning. The advent of democracy starts an era of retrogression which will ensure the death of the nation…”3

Having been an adherent of the classical anarchist outlook for nearly two decades and a participant, whether directly or peripherally, in the culture of the radical Left during that time, my own political background has given me some important insights into what is going on politically in our country and in Western civilization today.

The New Totalitarianism

Historically, classical liberals, libertarians, traditionalist conservatives, classical anarchists and, quite frequently, religious believers and even dissident socialists have fervently resisted the onslaught of the greatest evil of modernity, that of the totalitarian state. Though I am a traditional Bakuninist anarchist and most of those reading this are likely in the libertarian, paleoconservative, classical liberal or anarcho-capitalist camps, most of us would no doubt agree that the state and the concentrated power it represents is among the gravest threats to human life, liberty, culture and civilization. Therefore, we have reason to value one another. Most of us are instinctively inclined to associate the totalitarian state with the ideology of Marxism. Given that the concept of state-directed “command” economies has fallen into intellectual disrepute in recent decades, some are inclined to regard Marxism as having been relegated to the garbage heap of once prevalent but now discarded intellectual frameworks in the same manner as Zeus worship or the Ptolemaic model of the universe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Orthodox Marxists, particularly Stalinists, were in their heyday fond of referring to heretics within their own ranks as “revisionists.” Enver Hoxha’s polemics against the “de-Stalinized” Communist parties of Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s come to mind. Yet, the branch of Marxist “revisionism” that should be of the most concern to us today is that whose roots can be traced to the Frankfurt School of the 1930s and its subsequent influence on the so-called “New Left” of the 1960s. Fortunately, LRC’s own regular contributor William Lind has elsewhere summarized the foundations of this system of thought, thereby saving me the trouble of having to do so. Says Mr. Lind:

“We call it ‘Political Correctness.’ The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious. If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious. First of all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted ‘victims’ groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding – and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole…

…What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because you’re tempted to ask, “What is the theory?” The theory is to criticize. The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as we’re living under repression – the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression – we can’t even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s…

…These origins of Political Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s, which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They couldn’t just get out there and say, ‘Hell no we won’t go,’ they had to have some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested in wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light, and most of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university, Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled by the student rebellion when it breaks out there – when the student rebels come into Adorno’s classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested – Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States.”

When I first read the transcript of Mr. Lind’s lecture, I was reminded of the following passage from the autobiography of 1960s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman, describing the scene at a speech given by Herbert Marcuse during the late 1960s:

“Marcuse was, with the exception of Maslow, the teacher who had the greatest impact on me. I studied with him at Brandeis, and later attended his lectures at the University of California. In the spring of ’67, I saw him speaking-of all places-at the Fillmore East. There he was, this statuesque, white-haired seventy-year old European Marxist scholar, following the Group Image acid-rock band onto the stage, accompanied by the thunderous foot-stomping cheers of America’s most stoned-out, anti-intellectual generation….Ben Motherfucker, leader of the Lower East Side’s most nefarious street gang, spat on the floor, raised his fist, and exclaimed, “Dat cat’s duh only fuckin’ brain worth listnin’ to in de cuntree!”4

Of course, this eerie scene resembles nothing quite so much as a sixties counterculture version of the Nuremberg Rallies. The reader may be wondering what such an obscure bit of American folk history has to do with contemporary world politics. To understand the significance of what I have described here, we need to examine some further developments in American political history.

The Sixty-Eighters, Totalitarian Humanism and Liberal-Nazism

The radicals of the 1960s were first and foremost proponents of a cultural revolution. Though theirs might not have been quite so brutal as the “cultural revolution” going on in China at the same time, it was a cultural revolution nevertheless. During the First Gulf War of 1990–91, I became involved with what passed for an antiwar movement at the time and I once put the question to a then–middle-aged veteran of the antiwar Left of the sixties, a former member of the Students for a Democratic Society, of what he thought his generation had actually achieved, given that the US empire and its imperialist wars seemed to still be going strong. He reflected on the question for a moment and then replied that the problem with sixties radicalism was that it was a cultural movement, primarily involved with questions of race, gender, ecology, sexuality and the like, and had achieved great victories in those areas, but had achieved virtually nothing in the realms of politics, economics or foreign policy. Therefore, the US empire that emerged during the early Cold War period remained intact and largely unscathed, in spite of the upheavals of the 1960s.

That is exactly right. The cultural left of the sixties has since gone on to become largely the status quo. Many people no doubt wonder whatever happened to the hippies, the student radicals, the antiwar protestors of that time. Where are they today? Shouldn’t they be more visible given the similarties of that time to the present time? Dr. Tomislav Sunic provides a partial answer with this description of what has since transpired:

“Back then, the 68ers had cultural power in their hands, controlling the best universities and spreading their permissive sensibility. Students were obliged to bow down to the unholy trinity of Marx, Freud, and Sartre, and the humanities curriculum showed the first signs of anti-Europeanism. Today, the 68ers (or ‘neo-liberals’ or social democrats) have grown up, and they have changed not only their name, but also their habitat and their discourse. Their time has come: Now they hold both cultural and political power. From Buenos Aires to Quai d’Orsay, from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to 10 Downing Street, they sit in air-conditioned executive offices or in ministerial cabinets, and they behave as if nothing has changed. Perfectly recycled in stylish Gucci suits, wearing expensive Bally shoes, sporting fine mascara, the 68ers pontificate about the global free market. They have embraced their former foe, capitalist entrepreneurship, and have added to it the fake humanistic facade of socialist philanthropy…

…They have drawn up a hit list, filled with the names of senile individuals from distant countries who have been accused of ‘war crimes’ and must be extradited to the 68ers’ kangaroo courts. Seldom, if ever, do they acknowledge the millions of victims of communism, documented recently by Stephane Courtois in Le livre noire du communisme. Nor do they wish to face their own role in communist genocide. And why should they? Their decades-long civil disobedience resulted in the downplaying of communist horror and legitimized the Gulag. While the 68ers did not play a direct role in Beria’s, Yagoda’s, or Tito’s ethnic cleansing, they were useful idiots. If today’s caviar left were to open the Pandora’s box of the Gulag, Augusto Pinochet would look like a naughty little scout from boot camp. The best way to cover up their own murderous past is to sing the hymns of human rights and to lecture on the metaphysics of permanent economic progress…

…The 68ers and their well-clad cronies are the financial insiders now, speculating on stocks, never hesitating to transfer megabucks to Luxembourg via the Cayman Islands or, better yet, to do some hidden wheeling and dealing on Wall Street. They no longer spout nonsense about equality and social justice for the Vietcong, Congolese, or Tibetans, nor do they indulge in academic rantings about socialist utopia. And why should they? Today, the time is ripe for their gross corruption, veiled, of course, in the incessant rhetoric of multiculturalism. The 68ers have won: The world belongs to them.

…The political power held today by the former 68ers is being institutionalized through legal restrictions on freedom of speech, of thought, and of research. Germany, Belgium, France, and other European countries have already passed strict laws forbidding young scholars to pursue open and honest research in certain touchy areas of modem history. Passages from the German Criminal Code bring to mind the Soviet comrade Vishinsky: They are not what we expect of a free and democratic country. “

By quoting these passages, what I am trying to do is illustrate my core argument. Simply put, what I am really saying is that now that the radicals of the sixties have gotten older, greyer and wealthier, they have gone on to form a new kind of cultural and intellectual establishment, largely by securing their own dominance within the worlds of academia, media and entertainment. Further, the end result of this dominance has been that this new Cultural Left Establishment has formed an alliance with the older, pre-existing political, economic and military establishment. What the proponents of the sixties cultural revolution have, in essence, done is rather than overthrow the US empire, they have seized control of that empire and are using it for their own purposes, which may or may not overlap with the interests of the older establishment. The creeping totalitarianism we see evolving today is an outgrowth of Marxism, not necessarily in the orthodox socialist sense, but in the re-application of Marxist theory to cultural matters, where the ‘official victims’ of Western civilization replace the proletariat as the focus of a dualistic struggle for political power. The emerging ideology of the Western, particularly American, ruling classes can, I believe, be described as follows:

  1. Militarism, Imperialism and Empire in the guise of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, modernity, universalism, feminism and other leftist shibboleths.
  2. Corporate Mercantilism (or ‘state-capitalism’) under the guise of ‘free trade’.
  3. In domestic policy, what I call ‘totalitarian humanism’ whereby an all-encompassing and unaccountable bureaucracy peers into every corner of society to make sure no one anywhere, anyplace, anytime ever practices ‘racism, sexism, homophobia’, smoking, ‘sex abuse’ or other such leftist sins.
  4. In the realm of law, a police state ostensibly designed to protect everyone from terrorism, crime, drugs, guns, gangs or some other bogeyman of the month.

The kind of state that proponents of this new ideology envision is one where the purpose of local government is to enforce leftist orthodoxy against competing institutions (like families, religions, businesses, unions, clubs, other associations), the purpose of national government is to enforce leftism against local communities, and the purpose of foreign policy is to enforce leftism against “backward” or “reactionary” traditional societies. If you think I’m exaggerating, check this out.

Rather than the traditional divide of Left and Right, I would regard the core aspect of contemporary political struggles to be the battle between those who support the paradigm described above (whose ranks include most liberals and leftists obviously, but also many so-called “conservatives,” “libertarians” and others as well) and those who reject this paradigm, whose ranks amount to a divergent collection of dissidents from a variety of ideologies.

It should also be pointed out that the old-guard Marxists, even the Stalinists, only took their egalitarianism so far. Their professed aims were limited to the ostensible equality of wealth among the social classes and, in some instances, political equality of racial and ethnic groups. They did not nearly go so far as to attack the long list of “isms,” “archies” and “phobias” (for instance, “looksism,” “phallocracy”” or “transphobia”) so reviled by today’s leftoids, nor did they typically advocate equality of looks, weight, ability, intelligence or even species (hence, the modern leftist infatuation with concepts ranging from “grade inflation” to virtual prohibition of so-called “fatty foods” to giving animals legal rights approximating those of humans). Nor did they advocate ending race and gender oppression by simply abolishing races and genders. Indeed, the contemporary leftist obsession with both race and health under the banner of multiculturalism and the therapeutic state calls to mind the other great totalitarian ideology of the twentieth century. One shudders to think what will happen when these elements gain control of a more fully developed genetic engineering technology and subsequently combine this with emerging surveillance technologies. An increasing popular concept in leftist academic circles is the notion of “whiteness” which, as might be expected, is typically used as a term of opprobrium. Indeed, one of the more extreme proponents of “whiteness” theory maintains a website whose masthead reads “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.” To understand the implications of this slogan, one need only remove the term “whiteness” and replace it with “Jewishness.”

Secessionism and the Breakdown of the State

Unfortunately for the cultural Marxists but quite fortunately for the rest of humanity, these new proponents of Liberal-Nazism are quite likely to fail in their endeavors to remake the world in the image of the sociology department of an American university. Martin Van Creveld’s important scholarship on the history and likely future of the state indicates that all around the world states are breaking down and the nation-state system that first arose in Europe during the High Middles Ages is reaching its geriatric years. I think the best bet for our political salvation would probably be an alliance of local and regional secession movements, with each of these maintaining various cultural, ideological, religious, ethnic or economic sub-tendencies within themselves. For instance, there can be fundamentalist Christian enclaves in South Carolina and homosexual enclaves in San Francisco, ‘militiaman’ enclaves in Texas and Nation of Islam enclaves in the large cities. The early individualist anarchist and pioneer feminist Voltairine de Cleyre regarded philosophical anarchism as the logical extension of the American tradition of Jeffersonian liberalism and decentralism. Ms. De Cleyre advocated an “anarchism without adjectives” whereby society would operate as a collection of voluntary communities independent of “one size fits all” utopian pipe dreams for the remaking of mankind. A contemporary left-anarchist, Kirkpatrick Sale, continues this tradition. Says Mr. Sale:

“I am convinced, believe it or not, that secession-by-state where the state is cohesive (the model is Vermont, where the secessionist movement is the Second Vermont Republic), or by region where that makes more sense (Southern California or Cascadia are the models here), is the most fruitful objective for our political future. Peaceful, orderly, popular, democratic, and legal secession would enable a wide variety of governments, amenable to all shades of the anti-authoritarian spectrum, to be established within a modern political context. Such a wide variety, as I see it, that if you didn’t like the place you were, you could always find a place you liked.”

It’s been amusing to observe the irrational hostility I’ve gotten from Leftists by arguing for this idea of liberty fostered by decentralized particularism. Recently, I was booted from a “libertarian” discussion list owned by a transsexual prostitute for “advocating common action with racists and reactionaries” – which, of course, amounts to Satan worship in the theology of Leftism. Within the subculture of the present day radical Left, I am widely regarded as a kind of “neo-fascist.” This is in spite of the fact that the majority of my political views are to the left of the Green Party. If Lincoln responded to the efforts of previous secessionists with an iron fist, one can only imagine the lengths the Totalitarian Humanists and Liberal-Nazis will go to in order to subjugate those who would resist being rendered to the status of pawns for their fulfillment of their psychopathic fantasies.

Notes

  1. Dolgoff, Sam. The Relevance of Anarchism to Modern Society; (Minneapolis, Soil of Liberty, 1979).
  2. Bakunin, Mikhail. Critique of the Marxist Theory of the State. Cited in “The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations,” Charles Bufe, Editor; (San Francisco: See Sharp Press, 1988), p. 56.
  3. Cited in Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik von. Liberty or Equality.
  4. Hoffman, Abbie. Soon to be a Major Motion Picture. (New York: Perigee Books, 1980), p. 84–85.

January 22, 2007

Keith Preston [send him mail] is a long-time radical writer and activist from Richmond, Virginia. See his website.

About these ads

31 responses to “Keith Preston on The New Totalitarianism

  1. I don’t really have a terminology. I have been searching for one, but have not found a good one. I am not entirely convinced that “totalitarian humanism” is the right one either; not least because humanism is a worthy tradition dating to before the Reformation, e.g. Erasmus. Good labels are slyly perjorative, I don’t think that fits the bill.

    I do not really put much faith in secessionism either. We live at a certain time within history. People of the future will see us as living through an historical process, as we see people in our own past- the Reformation, or Christianisation, or the emergence of city states. The current process is one of the construction of the first truly global human civilisation. There is nowhere to hide now; the walls are breaking down. The battle now is not to escape that, but to try to influence what its nature will be. Those of us who struggle against the tide and hope to reverse the process will seem as futile as a 1st century Roman demanding the return of Republicanism.

    Neither, to be honest, am I convinced that even if such a reversal were possible it would be desirable. I may be biased at this moment; I am reading a book on the history of war in human civilisation, and as it plods through the tribes, clans, city states, early empires, and so on, it reinforces my general view that the past was not a very nice place to live most of the time. Cities had walls for a reason. It was that fragmented humanity tend to form into groups who plunder one another.

    A libertarian global polity would be as close to the Best Possible World as might be reasonably hoped for. A liberterian polity is unique in that individuals and groups can secede as much as they like without having to leave. These feel like dark days, but our ancestors have lived through considerably darker ones. When you consider that in the hunter gatherer band societies that we lived in for all but the tiny last fraction of our history, the normal male death rate from violence (murder and war) was at least 20%- not even achieved in World War II, even in the Soviet Union- then it is possible to feel that things aren’t quite so bad after all.

  2. Yes, but…..the Political EnemyClass is using prosthetic single-issue-terror-pressure-add-ons, such as the “Greens”,and (let it be said) tendencies inside Islam, to wreak mortal damage on the very structure of civilisation too. I am worried that the global setup Ian is describing will have largely reverted, when it arrives, to something like the human pre-modern conditions he (and I) fear.

  3. David, I’m not inclined to the view that they can or will destroy civilisation. They can and perhaps will turn into something horrifying. On the other hand, this may be a passing phase. We really don’t know. You know well that I am also a pessimist. That’s why I try to stand back with this historical long view. The Thirty Years War must have looked pretty awful from inside it, but we survived that somehow. I try to get inside the minds of Catholics watching the Protestant zealots smash up their churches. That must have seemed like the end of the world, after all.

  4. Ian, the up-smashing of the churches did upset me, even as a 19-y-o-student with a motorbike who liked going round photographing the stuff, and even when I was a Protestant. I must have “done”, by my 4th year, about a quarter of the UK’s mediaeval churches; mostly in monochrome – I was poor then – but in Kodachrome-various for the stained glass, which delighted me intensely. It was a challenge, every time, to try to “get the glass properly”, whatever the lighting conditions of the day (no digicams then!) Vicars were bery obliging: they’d let anyone in on a whim.

    I do like to think that I understood the emotions of the people, long gone to dust all of them, who built those things – for what? – for Themselves! But they rationalised it as “for the Glory of God”. Most of them would have lain in the churchyards outside, where I trod to take more photos, but I metaphorically said “Hi old fella, r’you all’right?”” to each mound as I went past them, or stood my tripod on it. But they wanted to leave something.

    Ektachrome-50 was the best for glass, and very forgiving of errors in the church. (In a manner of speaking…) I still have all the stuff in the library, filed by church.

    I even splashed out and went “into the red” once in my third year, to buy a second SLR, to have Ektachrome in one and Ilford FP4 in the other. Mad, I was. And about five lenses to change as needed.

    You see, Ian, I regard these “passing phases” as COSTS. They can be averted. You and I and they cannot know what asteroid-strikes might even now be “heading straight for us” which even classical-liberal-minimalist-statist-scientific Radar has not spotted, and which could reduce us to ants or worse. There’s another 400 million years gone up the c***, by which time the Sun may be radiating too strongly for water-based life to be supported on Earth. I take this sort of threat very seriosuly, you know. The randomness with which the Universe can terminate us strikes me as a personified version of evil, and it has to be countered by reason and, if need be – by force – against these bastards who would hold us back. Do you see, now, perhaps, what is troubling me as an individual human?

    We could run out of time, and as far as we know, we are “all that there is”.

    Perhaps that’s why “there is nobody out there”. Perhaps they all made “The Wrong Call”. It therefore fall to us to be even more merciless towards those whose policies seem to trend towards “locavorism”, and all that engenders that, and all that flows from that mmindset.

  5. There’s a very small window, about 30-40 million years left, maybe less, in which we can “Get Out”.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for articulating what I am witnessing and experiencing in the contemporary American political arena — I raise my glass to you for your courage in this unflinching analysis. I am most grateful for the clear structure you provide in detailing the paradigm I have increasingly been finding myself battling. There is great power in naming the enemy. Now onward to figure out how to break through the irrational hostility . . . irrational indeed.

  7. I’d have a look at “Jennifer’s” weblink if I was you. Bits of stuff about moons waxing and waning, and breathing in and out while doing different neopastoralist tasks. I’m happy to have these people on board, aganist the GramscoStaliNazis (we must stay focussed on our targets) but only if these joss-stick-people behave themselves and don’t try to frighten the children and animals.

  8. I might give the joss-stick people 40-mm-Bofors-gun poitions to man, to test them. They’d be given radar-predicto-direction facilities, if they want it. We’ll see what they’re made of, then.

  9. Or it just might be some spam that’s got past wordpress.

  10. Sometimes I burn the sage I grow to cleanse the air (my kids can stink up a place quick) but mostly we use it to spice our food. Hoping it never comes down to having to man a gun position, but also think it wise to know how to shoot one. There’s really good stuff in what Keith Preston’s saying — made my freaking day to see these ideas that have been simmering in me articulated so clearly. There’s something afoot here for sure and it’s cool to see it being explored in so many arenas by so many disparate folks — from those of us mucking about in the dirt to those mucking about elsewhere. Gives me hope.

  11. David was at university in the 60s; he thus has a quite understandable terror of hippies.

    (Thanks, Ian – you got me out of a hole there! It appears Jennifer is a real person, and I apologise if I ov=ffended her…)

  12. Ian B – I am warming to the phrase “totalitarian humanism.” Denouncing our enemies as “lefties” doesn’t work nowadays. On the one hand, there are undoubted lefties who don’t want to hammer every intermediary institution flat at home and bomb foreign countries into a better appreciation of gender equality. On the other hand, there are many self-defined Tories who do go along with this core agenda, but believe in privatisation and flat taxes.

    Just calling them “statists” doesn’t work, as there are many other groups who want to use the power of the state to impose very different ideas of the good life – Moslems, national socialists, certain kinds of Christian, old-fashioned Fabian technocrats, and so on and so forth. They are all statists, but only one particular kind of statist seems willing and able to rip up all existing civilisation and start again. Also, applying one word to so many different ideological traditions impoverishes the language of politics.

    The phrase “totalitarian humanist” works because it does describe the ideological facts on the ground. A totalitarian humanist is a cultural leftist who wants to use the power of the state at home and abroad to impose his idea of utopia, and who has made an alliance with corporate big business.

    That describes the leadership of all three main parties, regardless of second order differences like how to run the NHS or whether to join the Euro. Cultural leftists who don’t want to use the power of the State may or may not be useful idiots – and these may include many libertarians. Non cultural leftists who like state power may be allies of the totalitarian humanists – the oil companies, for example, or genocidal greens. Or they may be open to recruitment into a coalition of dissenters – Moslems, some black and some white nationalists, some greens, and so on and so forth.

    I appreciate your liking for the word “humanist.” However, it was so thoroughly co-opted by the Marxists that I’m not sure what it means nowadays. It’s a good phrase. It’s a bit of a mouthful. On the other hand, it does describe the kind of people we’ve spent most of our lives hating and not knowing what to call.

    As for your point about secession, dethroning a global government doesn’t necessarily mean withdrawing from global civilisation.

  13. Sorry Jennifer, didn’t mean to upset you, if that was what I did. Ian has it right about me!

  14. I begin to agree with Sean about “Totalitarian Humanists”. It describes what these people are and partly refers to what they think they are, which is useful. “GramscoFabiaNazi” and my other derivatives of this are useful, but may sometimes make it look as if we are name-calling like a street-mob would. (However, perhaps we need to.)

    The problem with T-H though is that it’s not catchy enough. It sounds rather academic, and sometimes we’ll need to descend to the street. Any thoughts?

  15. “GramscoFabiaNazi is also accurate, but doesn’t sound quite respectable. Also, I doubt anyone outside our own immediate circle would understand what it was getting at. TH, on the other hand, is somethingg anyone with a decent education can work out for himself. Its only defect is that it’s a right mouthful. It doesn’t roll off the tongue like “scumbag leftie” and other terms of unendearment I so fondly recall from my youth.

    Going back to what I said earlier, we can’t go on using old words to describe a new enemy. These people aren’t communists or socialists or fascists or nazis. They are something else. I remember once going through a first edition of James Mackintosh’s Vindiciae Gallicae, which is a whiggish reply from 1791 to Burke’s Reflections. I read it because Macaulay liked the author, but it was a dreary read. What I found most enlightening about it was the Errata page. Every time Mackintosh had written the word “Jacobin,” a probably elderly and possibly drunken typesetter had corrected it to “Jacobite.” Like him, we are living in a new age where old words no longer work. We shouldn’t be repeating his class of mistake.

  16. The label is clumsy and lacks the element of hatred and/or contempt such a term needs. As interesting as the discussion has been the purpose of such nouns is not taxonomic but to mark these scum for damnation.

  17. The problem with T-H though is that it’s not catchy enough.

    I rather like “moralitarians”. It’s quite catchy and rather descriptive. It’s not my neologism, I think I first saw it at That Other Blog used by a commenter and instantly liked it. It at least comprises words that the general public know the meaning of. They know “totalitarian”, but I doubt many of them are au fait with “humanist”; except for some on the American Christian Right, who use “secular humanist” a lot as a perjorative to describe anyone less devout than they.

  18. I’m sorry to keep picking at a thread on a good article, but the more I think about it the less I can see any justification for “humanist”. I’ve mentioned the original meaning of the word, apparently it currently means people like this mob-

    The British Humanist Association

    -who seem to think it is a synonym for atheism. Yet as I’ve said many times, Anglo-Socialism has a strong religious (Evangelical Protestant) history and continuing component. Think of the oleaginous religiosity of the Blair/Broon years. Or, talking oily, think of Simon Hughes, who is Enemy Class personified. They just don’t seem to fit very well. The Enemy Class go out of their way to ooze platitudes about faith. Indeed, they are determined that “faiths” should play a central role in the new world order, so long as those faiths are all singing from the same ecumenical, politically correct, hymn book.

    My own analysis is that moralism is the central defining chraracteristic of the Enemy. They differ to some degree among themselves about precise details; what they agree is that said morality should be absolute, should be decided upon by themselves, and should be imposed by unrestrained State action. The morality itself has divers origins; puritanism, marxism, romanticism. The technic has as we know a large component derived from Marxists in the 20th century. But to describe all this, I just don’t think “humanist” is the right word.

  19. David, not offended in the least — the irrational hostility to which I was referring was that identified by Preston. I am, rather, quite amused at this discourse — what fun to have come across Adam in the Garden in the act of naming everything! My two cents — Ian is right, TH will never stick. Moralitarians has the right tongue roll, and I like the echo of authoritarian in the word, but it’s not quite right either. I want to hold onto morality for some other things, but I am willing to title this cohort perhaps something like Moralcodetarians — I want the codifying aspect so central to their operation to be in there. In any case, thanks for being here; I have much back reading to do.

  20. I’ve done a bit of Googling on “moralitarian” and found that it predates Guy Herbert at Samizdata (where I picked it up). It seems to have a minor heritage of considerable antiquity as a term used to refer to excessively zealous moralists; the examples I found were of the type of prune-faced presbyterian Scots who supported Temperance and so on (i.e. first wave moralist progressivism) so it seems that it couldn’t be more apt.

    Jennifer, I think there’s a distinction between morals and moralism. Every community has morals. Moralism is the over-extension of that; there is a well attested use of the word to mean basically interfering busybodies.

  21. Ian B – No need to refer to Samizdata as “That Other Blog” unless you particularly want to. There is a ban there on mentioning us – indeed, Alex Singleton had a post about me taken down and wiped last November. But we have made no reciprocal ban. You may have noticed that some devotees of the cult even post here from time to time.

  22. Very well. If it isn’t to be TH, we do need a word that describes an essentially new kind of enemy. Even if it’s to be my own phrase “Enemy Class,” it would be helpful to have some descriptive term.

  23. Perhaps another way to look at this thing is to note that The Enemy have any number of words for us, of varying perjorativeness, and aimed at different groups of “us” and our friends. I don’t think there is one word for Them, other than very general things like “the Enemy” or “Twats”. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to concentrate on ourselves not using words which may have lost their utility, or are inapprorpiate, like “Leftie” when describing formations that include people considered by themselves and/or others on the “Right”. TH might be appropriate in some discourses, Moralitarians in others. And so on. I personally think Leftie has lost most of its power; I try to avoid using it and think up something better at the time, though I sometimes fail.

  24. Has anybody asked a captive TH, over some hard but rather exciting inter-rogation, what these people actually call themselves, in private, when discussing us? I’m certain that a little pressure would get one of them to talk.

  25. My guess would be “The Elect Of God”.

  26. Pingback: Attack the System » Blog Archive » Discussion of Totalitarian Humanism on the Libertarian Alliance blog

  27. “Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”
    ― Simone Weil

  28. Humanism:

    Free Inquiry
    Separation of Church and State
    The Ideal of Freedom
    Ethics Based on Critical Intelligence
    Moral Education
    Religious Skepticism
    Reason
    Science and Technology
    Evolution
    Education

    The more the merrier!

    Tony

  29. Pingback: Mucking About « harvestliberty

  30. Pingback: Discussion of Totalitarian Humanism on the Libertarian Alliance blog « Attack the System

  31. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!