Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Lamentation

A Lamentation

They were offered Infinity, and yet
They chose a cold and blackened hearth.

I pity them, for I am too scared to pity myself.

The Truth spoke to them and they answered
And their Answer danced across Terra

And now their mouths are silent
Limbs flailing blindly at the resounding blackness

Refracting shafts of broken Light
Warped mirrors of the fog-ridden Sun

Each bearing dying embers of some Fire
Felt by all, known by none

Living under shadows of the Temple
Sons of a lost inheritance

Groping for the branches of one Tree
Snarled by the roots of Another

Decrying that which is by rights theirs
Imbued self-hate, stunted souls

Living in them lies the Truth, the Howl of Beyond
Living as they do, they burn their eyes and cut their tongues

They were offered Transcendence, and yet
They chose a hole of dirt and lies.

I pity them, for I am too scared to pity myself. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Past and Future

“The past does not only draw us back to the past. There are certain memories of the past that have strong steel springs and, when we who live in the present touch them, they are suddenly stretched taut and then they propel us into the future.” 

-Yukio Mishima

Essentially a poetic description of the Neoreactionary project of necromantic history - raising long-dead ideas and concepts for application to the present. The future becomes a permutation and combination of the then and the now

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Herero and the Holocaust

One of my history professors brought up a little-known series of events in colonial history: the Herero Wars.

She then promptly connected it to the Holocaust, saying that the military culture of Imperial Germany that was developed and exhibited in SWA led directly into the ideology of complete extermination of the Jews and other groups during NSDAP rule in Germany. 

I'm not so sure about all this, and by that I mean I doubt the connections almost completely.

The military of Imperial Germany was essentially a broadened version of the Prussian military. Relevant individuals such as Lothar von Trotha were dyed-in-the-wool Prussian aristocrats - the most intransigent individuals in the resistance against NSDAP domination of the post-WWI German military and political establishment. Von Stauffenberg and his circle of anti-Hitler conservatives and reactionaries were cut from the same cloth (though von Stauffenberg was, of course, Bavarian in extraction). 

While I'm not doubting that some of the techniques and methods used in SWA emerged in NSDAP actions against Jews and Gypsies and such, the culture was one almost wholly drawn from Nazi ideology, not imperial Prussian tradition. To equate the two serves only to condemn European imperium and draw nonexistent connections between them as Cesaire did. It was the culture of imperial Prussian aristocracy that most effectively opposed Hitler and his ilk within Germany, as opposed to lending it support and legitimacy. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hong Kong, Democracy, and Bureaucracy

From this FP translation of a HK legislator's open letter on the current situation:

Hong Kong is incapable of making adjustments in the face of economic change, because it is like a car that has lost its steering wheel. Naturally, it is bumping into everything, and the further it goes, the worse it gets.

And as a car without a steering wheel, which direction the wheels turn depends on which potholes the car hits. In Hong Kong, those potholes are public sentiment. Public opinion is like the face of a toddler, constantly changing. Without a steady direction for policymaking, blindly following public opinion means that policy will constantly flip-flop.

Some in Hong Kong say that the city's economy is tepid because its government doesn't obey public opinion. But Hong Kong's prosperity has nothing to do with popular will. Did the British colonial government care about Hong Kong public opinion? Besides, the SAR government does not ignore public opinion -- like a blindfolded donkey, it allows itself to be led around the millstone of public opinion.

The bolding is my emphasis. Hong Kong's problems with public opinion are not in any way unique; indeed, they are only in the beginning stage of a phenomenon that has reached a fever pitch in Western democracies. 

Populist democratic governments are unable to form coherent and long-term policies due to constant shifts in public opinion. With the exception of some policies emerging from entrenched bureaucracies such as the EPA and DoD, it is nearly impossible for large-scale projects and policies to continue as they were envisioned from administration to administration. 

Problems commonly attributed to bloated bureaucratic organizations are, IMO, at least partly attributable to the environment which surrounds these institutions. This is not a defense of bureaucracy, but nonstop fluctuations in governing priorities from the top is a major problem that most people don't touch on. 

Folks say these days that your vote doesn't matter. I'm fairly certain it does. That's not a good thing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On Afghanistan and Civilian Governance

In reference to this article:

The civilian government does not run Afghanistan, the clans do. It will be even more so once the Americans pull out.

Afghan unity is a sham propped up by the US government. Once we lose interest, as we did in Iraq, the region-improperly-labeled-as-country will fall back into its previous state.

If only the Shahs were still around...

Abdullah and Ghani are playing to the future. There's no way these guys would get the positions they now hold if they didn't brown-nose the US, and long-term there's no way they will remain in power if they don't brown-nose the clans.

I have a feeling it won't work out for either of them, especially Ghani. The Pashtun have a history of constant power struggles that result in the untimely demise of prominent figures. Tajiks less so, but it's doubtful that Abdullah will be a player down the road. 

Either way, Afghan culture and society is ill-suited to western democracy. The tribes will take it back, be it in five years or fifty.

Friday, September 19, 2014

On Ukraine

"Ukraine" itself is an artificial country, with two very different conceptions of what nationhood entails. Such a divided nation cannot sustain itself for long. Why people insist on treating Ukraine as such an indissolvable, inviolable political unit is simply beyond my powers of comprehension. An eventual partition of the country in question along ethno-linguistic lines is going to be inevitable at some point in time, whether now at Putin’s behest or a century from now. This Progressive project of forcing varying peoples into artificial cultures is both ironic (see: Wilson and self-determination) and destined to fail. Current rhetoric from both sides is at a fever pitch and has been for some time, even since before the events of Euromaidan. Nothing short of partition will suffice to end the conflict in a cost- and life-effective manner.

Given that much of western Ukraine has little to no cultural affinity for Russia (and far more in common with Poles, Czechs, etc. than with their fellow citizens in the south and east), it is only natural that this region (Lviv, Chernovtsy, Kyiv) should form a more coherent national entity. At the same time, folks in Karkov, the Crimea, Donetsk, and so forth are for all intents and purposes Russian, and given their attitude towards Euromaidan, they'd likely be happier (and better off) being annexed by Russia than being forced to stay in a loveless union with the Ukrainians to their west.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I heard the stones cry out over the horizon.

They wake me.

Keening air runs over half-buried shack, carcass that Nature's jackals picked clean. Gray-blue wind snakes in from outside and tugs the sheet off.

Cold then heat.

Hear the stones again. See a sunset half a world away. Sky's blood-fire cauterizes wound between earth and myself.

I become whole for an instant.

Soul-embers pierce skin and fiber and meat and bone, and then more. Drink in the honey-wine, Gods-blood running from hand outstretched from stone and stream and old millhouse in woods pockmarked with unmelted snow blanketed in Dawn's dying fog. Feels like sword in the gut as it goes down but the pain is ecstasy. Sweat and tears like sun-melted glacier and dirt under fingernails like flecks of gold.

Find myself under the skein, shack-carcass left behind. Fingers of juniper brush the horizon as sun comes up out of the butte and warmth intimates vitality and dog shifts against my head. I've not died but something greater.

Born, alive, from dead womb in dead land.