The Gathering Storm, The “White Bloc”, And More

China wants the United States and North Korea to cut the crap.

In comments carried by China’s official Xinhua news agency, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “storm clouds” were gathering … “The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent,” Wang said at a news conference after a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Xinhua reported. “We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements or deeds to prevent irreversible damage to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

If they allow war to break out on the peninsula, they must bear the historical responsibility and “pay the corresponding price,” Wang warned. In the event of war, “multiple parties will lose, and no one will win,” he said.

Richard Spencer is calling for like-minded racists to organize to fight the black bloc and other antifascist movements. He wants to call it the white bloc.

Obama-era student loan protections have been thrown out the window by DeVos’ Education Department.

His desire to sit at the popular table has turned Stephen Miller into Steve Bannon’s Brutus.

The NYPD reports that general crime is at an all-time low… but incidents of hate crimes are spiking.

If you haven’t read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, this particular moment in history is a good time to start.

Butler seemed to be on the minds of many on November 8, 2016, as many watched in horror as conservative forces swept through the US electorate, taking the presidency and maintaining control of the House and Senate, with at least one Supreme Court appointment to follow. President-elect Donald Trump’s slogan, borrowed from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, mirrored that of ultra-conservative presidential hopeful Christopher Charles Morpeth Donner in Parable of the Sower: “Make America Great Again.” There are other similarities. Donner dismantles the “‘wasteful, pointless, unnecessary’ moon and Mars programs,” and abolishes “‘overly restrictive’ minimum-wage, environmental, and worker protection laws.” He gives increasing power to big business, permitting gross labour-rights violations as long as workers are provided “training and adequate room and board.”

Before you start reading Butler, however, you need to set up a VPN. It will take about 10 minutes.

Hate in the Age of Trump: a photo essay by Johnny Milano.

Unless thousands of incarcerated individuals are conspiring to keep their stories straight without being in direct contact with each other, ICE prisons are turning detainees into slaves. A federal judge recently allowed a lawsuit filed in 2014 to reach class action status.

What about whataboutism?

Praising the president for state violence is not a cycle we want to encourage.

Obamacare hasn’t been repealed, but it was just modified to the detriment of everyday people.

And now for some-things completely different:

Cassette tapes are making a comeback for some reason.

Vice on the ongoing influence of Darlene Conner.

It’s day eighty-five of year zero in Trump’s America…

Sadly, It’s Necessary To Talk About Julius Evola

If you haven’t the foggiest notion of who we’re talking about, you’re not alone. Julius Evola was an occultist and radical “traditionalist” philosopher who, for a time, was the darling of the Italian Fascists (A chapter of Mussolini’s Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought [2005] is devoted to this period of his life). Like many unapologetic villains of the twentieth century, he thought he looked like a fancy lad in a monocle.

Brushing aside his surname’s seeming similarities to hemorrhagic fever and GMO-free microwavable foods, Franco Ferraresi once labeled his philosophy “one of the most radically and consistently antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular systems in the twentieth century.” It’s part of the generic fascism pantheon, though it’s important to note Evola was not a proponent of the biological racism most famously advocated by the NSDAP, but of the palingenetic powers of “spiritual racism”. From Elementi di una educazione razziale (Elements of a Racial Education):

[R]acism invigorates and renders tangible the concept of tradition; it makes the individual get used to observing in our ancestors not just a series of the more or less illustrious “dead,” but rather the expression of something still alive in ourselves and to which we are tied in our interior.  We are the carriers of a heritage that has been transmitted to us and that we need to transmit  – and in this spirit it is something going beyond time, something indicating,  what we called elsewhere, ‘the eternal race.’ … In other words race is at a same time a heritage and a collective substrate. Irrespective of the fact that it expresses itself among all people, it is only among few that it attains its perfect realization and it is precisely there that the action and the significance of the individual and the personality can assert themselves.

It’s nearly impossible to neatly summarize Evola’s “spiritual racism”, so if you really want to wade through the pedantic muck of his belief system, follow this link and go to 3: Esoteric-traditionalist Racism and Eugenics: Julius Evola. The point is that his Weltanschauung had both an immediate impact and a lasting legacy. In 1942, a version these views was officially adopted as part of Italian Fascism’s platform. In the 1960s and 1970s, far-right Italian terrorists were so inspired by him that they called themselves Children of the Sun after the “Solar Civilization” he envisioned.

And today, Evola is still celebrated by those whose who find inspiration in a bundle of rods, from the “race realists” at Stormfront and Occidental Observer to Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik and Russia’s Aleksander Dugin. Dugin, whose own influential mystic-fascistic worldview we plan to expound upon greatly in the near future, describes Evola as “one of the leading antiegalitarian philosophers of the twentieth century.”

He’s also found his way into Great Manipulator Steve Bannon and punching bag Richard Spencer’s intellectual milieu. Bannon in particular seems to have developed his own mystic-fascistic belief system based on the idea of “The Fourth Turning” around which his ideas about racial supremacy and the war for the spiritual survival of the West orbit. It makes perverse sense that he would have taken succor in Evola’s byzantine, Hyperborean gobbledygook during his mazeway resynthesis.  Nor should it shock us that the professionally detestable Spencer is ecstatic about the Chief Strategist’s esoteric reading list:

Mr. Spencer said “it means a tremendous amount” that Mr. Bannon was aware of Evola and other Traditionalist thinkers. “Even if he hasn’t fully imbibed them and been changed by them, he is at least open to them,” he said. “He at least recognizes that they are there. That is a stark difference to the American conservative movement that either was ignorant of them or attempted to suppress them.”

While you won’t find this on Facebook’s Trending Topics or as The Huffington Post’s Big Dumb Headline, let’s just say it’s a big deal that Julius Evola impressed the Devil who whispers in the president’s ear enough for him to have cited him in public. This is not typically done in the open. Richard Spencer is right to differentiate between the typical (if authoritarian-leaning) intellectual throughlines of establishment conservatism and the far more extreme “traditionalist” ideas nested inside Trump’s Movement. More’s the pity that Evola and other nasty viruses are spreading through the halls of power at a fantastic speed.

(Year Zero/Day Twenty-Three)

Our Shifting Landscape

As is often the case during the first 100 days of a new administration, observing the rapid changes can feel akin to discovering the solid ground you thought you stepped onto is actually quicksand.

quicksand

There are awful but politically predictable moves, such as Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, as well as (depending on who you ask) theoretically beneficial actions like his abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership/pending executive order to renegotiate NAFTA.

Then there are news items that should be reassuring but aren’t: Trump’s “rocky first weekend” is troubling even to his aides. “Maybe this job will be too much for The Donald to do much damage,” you secretly hope to yourself before remembering that Warlord Pence and his cadre of christian supremacists are one resignation away from absolute power.

But what is fermenting beneath the surface should cause the greatest concern about the direction we seem to be heading. Many of the 230 protesters arrested during Inauguration Day face felony rioting charges that could bring prohibitive fines and up to 10 years in prison. This is a highly unusual step, but adheres to the administrations views on dissent and amped-up police state rhetoric.

In the House of Representatives, H.R. 193 – American Sovereignty Act of 2017 is worming its way through the Foreign Affairs committee. If passed and signed into law, the United States would withdraw from the United Nations.

Richard Spencer, the actual Nazi with the best Backpfeifengesicht since Ted Cruz, is calling for the formation of an alt-right vigilante force. Nice brownshirt… er, coat there, Richard.

Returning to yesterday’s theme of the concerted effort to make fantasy and reality liminal, conspiracymonger Alex Jones is bragging that Donald Trump told him his show is “the main operating system of the rebirth of the American republic.” But Jones is only one solider in a shadow army of sycophants waging psychological warfare on reporters – and by extension, those who depend on their accurate assessment of the situation.

It’s day four of year zero in Trump’s America…