Sunday, October 28, 2018

Något om min framtida inriktning (OK, jag fortsätter som tidigare)

Vad kan vi vänta oss från Ashtar Command i november och december? Eventuellt (jag säger eventuellt) inlägg/recensioner om Opinionspartiet, Nya Partiet, en Lovecraft-pastisch med oväntat innehåll, och givetvis Graham Hancocks senaste bok om Atlantis. Kanske även något om antropologi, Finlands historia, svensk folktro, etc. 

Tyvärr har jag inte lika mycket fritid som jag hade under Amazon-tiden, så jag kommer nog inte att kunna posta 100 recensioner i månaden, ha ha, men åtminstone en varannan vecka låter ju rimligt. Däremot kommer det inga kanaliserade budskap, ähum, "Ashtar Command" är alltså en pseudonym... 

Och glöm inte att vrida tillbaka klockan en timme! 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Aura Rhanes has a competitor

It seems Aura Rhanes has a competitor. Some esoteric Nazis, and apparently some esoteric anti-Nazis too, believe in the existence of a gorgeously well-endowed blonde female named Maria Orsic (sometimes spelled Maria Orsitsch). In contrast to Aura, Orsic isn´t an alien but an actual human female of Aryan racial stock, an Austrian-Croatian to be exact. OK, the Croatians are Slavs, but according to the fascist Ustasha movement which controlled Croatia during World War II, Croats are “really” Aryans, so there you go. This blonde bombshell has apparently never existed, but was invented by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier in their classical book “The Morning of the Magicians”. They also invented the secret society to which Orsic supposedly belonged, the Vril Society in Third Reich Berlin.

According to the occult urban legend, Orsic channeled space aliens from Aldebaran, and these gave the Nazis incredibly detailed information about how to build interstellar spaceships. That is, UFOs. Small wonder, since the Aryans in this scenario are descendants of the Aldebaran aliens! Orsic herself disappeared mysteriously in 1945 and is believed to have left with the aliens to Aldebaran. Or maybe somewhere else, since – if I understand the legend correctly – the planets orbiting Aldebaran have been destroyed by a cosmic cataclysm.

The video clip above contains “information” about Orsic, the Vril Society and Aryan Aldebaran. The clip is amateurish, at one point calling trilobites “fish” and making various mistakes of pronunciation. It´s almost as if the clip was narrated by an alien robot! I first heard of Orsic when watching another YouTube clip, “David Wilcock on Inner Earth Beings”. Since I assume Wilcock and his associates, while raving mad, aren´t Nazis, Orsic must play a negative role in their scenario. But sure, I haven´t looked into this particular little fantasy *that* deeply. I wonder whether Orsic is supposed to have had any connection to Nikola Tesla, who was born in Croatia (albeit of Serb ethnicity).

Sounds like Hollywood have some material to work on here…

No Nibiru

The Nibiru craze continues.

The new date for the arrival of Nibiru is November 2018 (November 28 to be exact), half of the Earth will be flooded, blah blah, Kashoggi was murdered because he knew too much, NASA has supposedly issued a Red Alert. Or wait, maybe it was October 31?  Or perhaps November 26 Russian local time? But wasn´t all this supposed to have happened already back in 2012???

OK, here is my prediction. One: NOTHING will happen on November 28, except maybe some new scandal involving a certain US president. Probably linked to Twitter, LOL. Maybe he will tweet about Nibiru? Two: the Nibiru true believers (half of whom are trolls and psy-ops people anyway) will set another date as if nothing happened. Perhaps June 2019 will do? Three: Nothing will happen then either.

We all still be here in 2032, the true year of the Great Apocalypse. You know, the one that will happen because we used too much fossil fuels...

Friday, October 26, 2018

Bourgeois October

“Thesis on Bolshevism” was first published in 1934 by the Dutch GIK, a Council Communist group. Council Communism represents the more “libertarian socialist” or “anarchist” part of the Left Communist spectrum (with Bordigism being the more authoritarian and “Leninist” pole). GIK and the US-based international network International Council Correspondence regrouped well-known personages such as Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch, Otto Rühle and Paul Mattick. My edition of “Thesis on Bolshevism” was published in 1975 by Svarta Häften, probably a proto-ICC group in Sweden (ICC as in International Communist Current).

GIK had pretty much given up on the Russian revolution, and hence didn´t see it as a “proletarian” or “socialist” revolution in any sense. Rather, the October revolution was a bourgeois revolution, but a bourgeois revolution of a very special type. The bourgeoisie in Russia was too weak to carry out “its” revolution, and this task therefore fell to the petty bourgeois intelligentsia regrouped in the Bolshevik Party, which under this scenario was “Jacobin” and didn´t represent the true interests of the proletariat. The Bolsheviks used workers and peasants as battering rams to smash Czarism and feudalism, thereby paving the way to industrial development and modernization. In the peculiar conditions prevailing in Russia, only a centralized state dominated by a new bureaucracy could modernize society. Thus, GIK´s analysis of the Russian revolution is strikingly similar to how other leftist groups analyze the post-World War II revolutions in China, Cuba, Vietnam and elsewhere. Or, if you like these regimes, then you analyze Iraq, Libya or Syria in this way. The “deflected permanent revolution” also comes to mind, since the GIK argues that the Soviet social formation is state capitalist, indeed that it represents a particularly pure form of capitalism.

There is however a serious problem with GIK´s analysis: if the October revolution led to a particularly pure form of capitalism, and solved the tasks of the bourgeois revolution, shouldn´t the GIK logically *support* Bolshevism and even Stalinism? This is doubly true since the GIK claims that only the bourgeois revolution was possible in Russia in the first place, a workers´ revolution being utopian! However, GIK doesn´t seem to draw this conclusion, instead opposing Soviet Communism and its “state capitalism”. Perhaps they view the Soviet Union as a deadly enemy of the proletariat in the advanced Western nations? But what if state capitalism works there, too…

Somehow, it feels as if the GIK was trying to force its analysis of the Russian tragedy into the procrustean bed of Marxist dogmatics.

Sorelian syndicalists found?

Syndikalisternas Förbund (the League of Syndicalists) was a small left-wing radical group in Sweden. Formed during the 1950´s by Rudolf Holmö, they seem to have become dormant after his death in 1963, only to be resurrected around 1979. Their next date of expiry is unknown, but some members or perhaps ex-members of the group were still around circa 1992. I briefly corresponded with one of them. The publication of SF (or S-F) was called Våra Idéer.

Holmö´s version of syndicalism is most similar to the revolutionary syndicalism of the CGT in France during the decades immediately preceding World War I. Holmö certainly regarded various CGT leaders as the “fathers” of syndicalism. Holmö was more critical of anarcho-syndicalism, seeing it as a breach of the “non-partisan” character of syndicalism, the “party” taking over the syndicates of course being the anarchists. To Holmö, all forms of anarchism save one were incompatible with syndicalism since they didn´t really support full socialization of the economy. The sole exception is Kropotkin´s anarcho-communism. Holmö had a special animus against those anarchists who moved “to the right” after World War II, essentially becoming a kind of Cold War liberals. Or perhaps Cold War libertarians! In Holmö´s worldview, there was no contradiction between being an “anarchist” and working for the CIA. He opposed both. The Swedish syndicalist organization, the SAC, supported the new course and expelled Holmö and the S-F leadership when their factional activities became too annoying. In 1981 (I think), SAC rescinded the expulsions – this was at a time when the organization was moving back towards more leftist positions, albeit a strong Cold Warrior faction still remained. Ironically, the S-F didn´t attract much support among the 70´s radicals who had joined the SAC. The group was seen as strange, anachronistic and cultish. It still insisted that the main inspirator of the Cold War course, Helmut Rüdiger, must of course literally have been a CIA agent…

The pamphlet I´m reviewing contains two articles, “Georges Sorel: Kort biografi” by Leif Björk and “Den syndikalistiska rörelsens historiska bakgrund” by Fritz Jonsson. My copy of the pamphlet was published in 1979, but the two articles seem to be from the 1920´s. Jonsson´s text is a history of the French CGT, showing the CGT-fixation of this group. The real blockbuster is the first article. Yes, it really is a surprisingly good exposition of Georges Sorel´s basic ideas. Indeed, this is what prompted me to procure the pamphlet in the first place. To S-F, Sorel was the leading theoretician of revolutionary syndicalism in France circa 1900-1910, but everyone who knows his intellectual history knows that Sorel, of course, was more than this. Much more. Today, Sorel is often regarded as a forerunner of fascism and Red-Brown blocs, also having strong affinities to Bolshevism, or rather the “left” Bolsheviks who were often criticized by Lenin. Philosophically, Sorel is often paired with Bergson. However, neither Holmö nor the S-F had any fascistic or vitalistic tendencies, being by all accounts a left-wing socialist group who eschewed violence in the here and now, instead concentrating on publishing rather boring theoretical texts (the only “violence” from their quarter being their often acerbic polemics). At the same time, S-F must have been aware of Sorel´s more peculiar ideas, since several of them are mentioned in Leif Björk´s article! I´m not sure how to square this little circle.

Björk´s identity is unknown to me, but based on internal evidence, the article must have been published in some Swedish syndicalist magazine during the 1920´s. The author clearly likes Sorel, at one point calling his works “EPOCHAL IN SIGNIFICANCE” (caps in original). Since Björk is a leftist, he studiously avoids Sorel´s connections to the Catholic conservatives and proto-fascists. However, he does expounds on other distinctly Sorelian notions. There is the idea that proletarian violence is good for society since it forces the bourgeoisie to abandon its pacifism and resist, the admiration of the capitalists for developing science and the productive forces, the fear of “degeneration”, and the notion that the general strike is really a “myth”. Björk does a good job explaining these peculiar notions, and I get the impression that he believes in them himself. He also ably summarizes Sorel´s more typically syndicalist ideas. Finally, he mentions Sorel´s qualified support for Lenin´s Bolsheviks after the 1917 October revolution in Russia. The really interesting question is of course how much the S-F believed of this “left Sorelianism”. It would have been piquant to discover a Swedish left-Sorelian group, but as I have already indicated, I don´t think S-F were really Sorelians at all. But if so, why on earth this pamphlet?

Another curious thing is that the pamphlet was printed by Stockholms LS, the Stockholm branch of the SAC which had expelled Holmö and the S-F leaders back in 1953! What that means, is of course an interesting question, too…

The Lenin of syndicalism

Anarchist good guy?

This is one of the most obscure products I´ve reviewed. Unless you are Swedish and very interested in the history of anarcho-syndicalism, chances are you never heard of “Förhållandet mellan syndikalism och anarkism”, with the long subtitle, or perhaps front cover slogan, “Syndikalismens förhållande till anarkismen är ett annat än de olika anarkistiska attitydernas förhållande till syndikalismen!”. First published in 1963, my copy is dated 1981.

The author, Rudolf Holmö (alias Rudolv Holmö or Rudolv Holme) had been a high-ranking syndicalist and member of the Swedish syndicalist dual union SAC during the 1910´s and 1920´s. It´s not clear to me when he left the SAC the first time, but his resurfacing during the 1950´s is said to have been a reentry into the organization. He was expelled from the SAC by its Stockholm branch (Stockholms LS) in 1953 together with some close associates. At the time, SAC had changed most of its traditional revolutionary politics in favor of a kind of Cold War liberalism, or rather ditto libertarian socialism, inspired to take this step by Helmut Rüdiger, a German exile living in Sweden. The twin disasters of Stalinist Communism and Nazism had made the SAC give up its revolutionary goals and methods, instead calling for peaceful change and decentralization through co-operative movements and businesses. Internationally, the SAC supported the West in its Cold War against the Soviets, even going so far as to support South Korea and the United States during the Korean War! Thus, Rüdiger could be seen as the libertarian socialist equivalent of Max Shachtman.

Holmö opposed Rüdiger “from the left”, calling for a return to more traditional syndicalist positions (or maybe not – see further below). His group, Syndikalisternas Förbund (the League of Syndicalists) published the magazine Våra Idéer (Our Ideas). The Rüdigerites were not amused, and unceremoniously expelled Holmö and the other S-F leaders from the SAC. However, it seems the expulsions were declared null and void by Stockholms LS in 1981 (Holmö was already dead by this point) and the S-F certainly existed within the SAC during the 1980´s. Ironically, the more leftist elements within the SAC were *not* attracted to S-F´s often curious positions and rabid polemical style, instead preferring classical anarchism or anarcho-syndicalism. Holmö´s version of syndicalism was more similar to that of the French CGT (pre-World War I), and it could be argued that he adapted himself to both Social Democracy and Communism. Above all, his version of revolutionary syndicalism was specifically anti-anarchist, and he was sometimes dubbed “the syndicalist Lenin” for this fact. The Rüdiger faction had accused him of being in cahoots with the Social Democrats, and it´s certainly interesting to note that Holmö had a prominent position in the ABF during his absence from the SAC, the ABF being a Social Democratic-dominated educational association.

“Förhållandet mellan syndikalism och anarkism” is a curious pamphlet in many ways. Logically, Holmö should attack Rüdiger for being a bourgeois liberal and Cold Warrior. He *does* imply at several points that Rüdiger must be a CIA agent, and he certainly regards him as “liberal”, this being a serious reproach in Holmö´s more classically socialist worldview. However, most of the time, Holmö accuses Rüdiger and his co-thinkers of being *anarchists*, seeing this as the main problem. To Holmö, all anarchist currents save one are inevitably hostile to the interests of the labor movement and therefore also the interests of syndicalism. The sole exception are the anarcho-communists around Peter Kropotkin, who in Holmö´s opinion always supported the revolutionary “syndicates” in an admirable fashion. All other anarchist currents are either confused (such as those upholding Bakunin) or outright reactionaries, such as those harking back to Proudhon. Holmö has a special animus against Errico Malatesta, whose “free communism” he associates with complete decentralization, societal decay and general mayhem, in plain English anarchy! Malatesta´s self-proclaimed disciple Max Nettlau is another object of venom for Holmö, and so are Rudolf Rocker and Augustin Souchy in their respective post-World War II incarnations. Rüdiger was apparently associated with all these people. In some curious way, then, Holmö connects anarchism, anarchy (in the negative sense), liberalism and – surprise – the CIA.

Holmö´s alternative turns out to be a centralized form of labor organization, complete socialization of the economy (albeit under “the self-management principle”) and a strictly uniform society (he is very adamant on this point), rather than the utopian “free communism” of Malatesta, Nettlau and other Agency assets. Holmö believes that syndicalism must be strictly neutral towards all partisan parliamentary politics, and also towards religion, since the only function of a syndicalist labor union is to promote the socialization of production. Like the French CGT, Holmö never really explains how this can work in practice – the CGT, of course, was *not* neutral towards the socialist political parties but *opposed* them, the militant minority de facto acting as a quasi-political party itself (albeit an extra-parliamentary one). Holmö also explicitly states that the goal of syndicalism isn´t to abolish the state. Indeed, the state *can´t* be abolished, since all societies need a centralized organ of some kind to function properly. I get the impression that Holmö is trying to anachronistically resuscitate the “pure” syndicalism of the CGT in 1950´s Sweden, where the political lineups were very different. 

As already indicated, the Holmö group failed to attract much support or interest during the 1980´s, when they had been allowed to work freely inside the SAC. The old guard of Rüdiger must have vomited at every mention of these people, while the new style 70´s radicals considered a “syndicalist” group sounding like a blend of pseudo-Communism and pseudo-Social Democracy very, very strange. And then there was that angry polemical style – the syndicalists I knew (including the ones who were on the anarcho-syndicalist side of things) were sick and tired of the ra-ra-revolutionary sloganeering and dogmatism of the Leninist groups and didn´t react very well to the S-F version either!

Finally, I noticed something very strange about the publication history of Holmö´s pamphlet. At one occasion, it was reprinted by the Anarchist Federation in Stockholm! I´m not sure if this was some kind of bizarre trolling, or if these particular anarchists were of the nice anarcho-communist Kropotkinesque version. Also, my copy of the pamphlet, while published by the S-F, is actually printed by Stockholms LS…

What on earth for?!

Next posting: more S-F high strangeness. Stay tuned, comrades!

Surrealist International in danger?

Grandizo Munis was a Spanish Trotskyist militant who broke with the Fourth International in 1948 and formed his own little group, known as FOR (Fomento Obrero Revolucionario). From what I heard, FOR was Left Communist, but with certain tendencies towards anarchism. There is very little material on Munis available in English, at least I haven´t seen much. “Socialism on Trial” includes a criticism by Munis of the SWP´s conduct during the Minneapolis trials, penned during his Trotskyist period. Then there is the material under review here, the pamphlet “The Fourth International in Danger” published by the otherwise unknown Greenleaf Press. It contains documents from 1944-48 written by Munis and his co-worker Benjamin Péret alias Peralta, apparently one of the founders of the Surrealist movement in France. What makes the documents sensational is that Trotsky´s widow, Natalia Sedova-Trotsky, decided to support the small dissident faction, at the time based in Mexico among Spanish exiles. Two of the documents reprinted in this pamphlet were written by Natalia Sedova, and one other is co-signed by her. The pamphlet does not include her letter of resignation from the Fourth International, since she apparently resigned later than the Munis-Peralta group. Nor is it stated when the pamphlet was published. A small group of FOR supporters apparently existed in the United States around 1980.

The Munis-Peralta group, at least in their 1944-48 incarnation, still claimed to be Trotskyist and Leninist. Their criticism of the Fourth International leadership is eclectic. It blends “sectarian”, anti-Stalinist and vaguely libertarian socialist positions. The FI leadership is sharply attacked for its alleged attempts to suppress dissent within the International, the Munis group instead calling for extensive rights to form tendencies and factions. The Soviet Union should not be defended, Stalinism and its Red Army being counter-revolutionary through and through, and no different from the Western alliance. Nationalizations have become anti-proletarian, in effect expropriating the working class, and cannot therefore be supported either (presumably this refer to nationalizations carried out by capitalist or Stalinist-dominated states). A united front with Stalinists and Social Democrats is out of the question, Munis and his collaborators rejecting the slogan of the French Trotskyists for a CP-SP government. All forms of entryism into reformist or Stalinist parties is also rejected, and the Munis group actually claims at one point that the European proletariat is highly conscious and revolutionary, simply looking for a chance to support an unsullied revolutionary leadership! Eh, come again? On the “opportunist” side of things, the Munisites actually call for an alliance of all left-socialist groups which are opposed to Stalinism and Social Democracy! The group´s position on Surrealist art is never stated, though…

I think Munis and Péret must have realized at some point that their criticism of the Fourth International made little sense from within a fundamentally Trotskyist worldview. Their anti-Stalinism was of a more “democratic” nature than that of the FI, while other positions sound more ultraleftist. Also, Munis clearly had no respect for the leaders and militants of the FI majority (including the SWP), his polemic frequently being sarcastic or over-the-top. At one point, he says that the SWP might just as well support the Western side in a coming conflict with the Soviet Union, such is their political confusion! I get the impression that Munis-Peralta were already on their way out when they wrote these documents. Nor is it surprising that they eventually ended up on the anarchist-Left Communist side of the political spectrum.

The German October Legend: Lies Trotskyists tell themselves

In 1923, the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) failed to stage a socialist revolution, despite unusually favorable political conditions. Their right-wing opportunism led to the defeat of the world revolutionary wave, the isolation of the Soviet Union and the victory of Stalinism. This proves that only the leadership of the Fourth International can save humanity, etc etc etc.

Such is the usual “analysis” of the 1923 German events by the Trotskyist movement. Indeed, it´s virtually an article of faith among Trotskyists. The pamphlet under review, “1923: A Missed Opportunity? The German October Legend and the Real History of 1923” is an attempt to set the record straight. And yes, it´s fiercely partisan – the author is none other than the sell-out extraordinaire himself, August Thalheimer, who together with Heinrich Brandler formed the “right-wing” leadership of the KPD during the events of 1923. Ironically, the pamphlet isn´t a polemic against Trotskyism but rather aims at the Stalinists, who (in typical fashion) blamed the failure of the German revolution on the Brandler-Thalheimer faction, while absolving themselves (or rather the proto-Stalinist faction of 1923) of all responsibility in the matter. The original German edition of Thalheimer´s pamphlet was published in 1931. The English translation was published in 1993 by Mike Jones and Marken Press in the UK. I think it was promoted by Revolutionary History, an ecumenical Trotskyist journal with a slightly “heretical” tendency.

Thalheimer´s pamphlet speaks for itself, but only if you´re an expert on the factional fights of the early Communist movement, both Russian and German, and the events in Germany 1918-23. If you are, you will find it extremely interesting. Thalheimer patiently explains why the situation in Germany in 1923 wasn´t as ripe for revolution as it had been in Russia in 1917. Some examples: Social Democracy was still strong, no soviets existed, the army consisted of reliable right-wing and mercenary elements and hence didn´t look like the Russian conscript army, the peasants didn´t support the socialist movement, and the “bourgeoisie” was still strong or smart enough to make some concessions to the workers. The plans for a 1923 socialist revolution were drawn up six months in advance in Moscow by the Communist International. By contrast, the armed uprising in Petrograd in 1917 was decided on only days in advance by leaders actually present on the spot. Thalheimer emphasizes the political preparations necessary for any successful uprising, which include the winning over of the majority of the workers by united front tactics and partial demands. Instead, Moscow decided on a purely technical and organizational approach, playing down the political struggle against Social Democracy and other hostile elements.

I was surprised to learn that the Communists entered the state governments of Saxony and Thuringia (dominated by the Social Democrats) not as an expression of united front tactics, but for purely “technical” reasons. The Communists hoped to use their official positions to obtain arms and distribute them to the workers! In front of the very nose of the prying “class traitors” and “bourgeois”? This weird combination of opportunism and adventurism has “Zinoviev” written all over it, and indeed, Zinoviev was the president of the Communist International… The Brandler-Thalheimer group eventually decided to call off the revolution made in Moscow, realizing that the KPD simply wasn´t strong enough to carry it out. After all the usual peregrinations, the Comintern (and Zinoviev) decided to replace them with a more loyal “leftist” leadership around Ruth Fischer and Arkadi Maslow. Eventually, all of these people were expelled by new top dog Stalin, with Brandler and Thalheimer forming the KPO, the “Bukharinite” or “Right Opposition” group in Germany. It was as head of the KPO that Thailheimer penned this pamphlet on the German October legend in 1931.

I think August Thailheimer is very convincing, as far as it goes. Sensationally, Mike Jones claims that Trotsky later changed his opinion on the matter, essentially agreeing with the “right wing”, this according to a report by Jakob Walcher, the leader of the “centrist” SAP, with whom Trotsky was conducting political discussions in 1933. The report has apparently never been included in any edition of Trotsky´s writings, perhaps because Trotskyists still believe in the October Legend and can´t suffer their prophet to have fallen from grace… In general, Jones (who I think is/was a former Lambertiste) believes that both Trotsky and Trotskyism are marked by a strong voluntarism and subjectivism. Personally, I think objectivism and fatalism are just as strong, but then, the two errors can be combined in various ingenious ways.

With that, I end this somewhat esoteric review.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Forbidden mountains

“The Forbidden River” is a fascinating three-part documentary about the Amur River and its tributaries. The Amur is a mighty river in East Asia. A substantial portion of it forms the literal border between Russia and China. The river basin includes Mount Paektu at the North Korean border, and parts of Mongolia. Indeed, Amur´s two main tributaries, Onon-Shilka and Kherlen-Argun, both have their sources at the same location in Mongolia: Burkhan Khaldun, the sacred mountain of the Mongols and the supposed birth place of Genghis Khan. (The documentary ends with suitably dramatic footage from this “forbidden mountain”.)

“The Forbidden River” features both animals, plants and people living in or around the Amur river system. The emphasis is on the animals and Nature itself. The fauna is strikingly similar to that of northern Sweden or European Russia, but with Asian admixtures. If you pardon my Euro-centric perspective! Wolves, boars, capercaillies, ravens and bears are part of the same wilderness as tigers, leopards and vultures. As for the humans, the river is flanked by large cities, military outposts, advanced Chinese agriculture and poor Russian pioneer settlements. The third episode takes us to Mongolia and nomadic herdsmen with goats, horses and camels.

I´m not sure if this series has any “message”, per se, but it does communicate the grandeur and sheer vastness of Nature, its cyclical character and the almost super-human strength needed to “subdue” it from humanity´s part. It´s interesting to note that two sacred mountains, Paektu and Burkhan Khaldun, play relatively prominent parts in the documentary. On one, humans try to save the leopard, while the other is off limits to most humans on a permanent basis.

It´s almost as if the mighty river is patiently awaiting the day when it can reclaim all of its former domains…

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The far side of apocalypse

A very interesting analysis from the pen (or keyboard) of John Michael Greer, apparently based on Spengler. (Click on title above to follow link.) Some comments. In his previous works, Greer has also emphasized how *both* the idea of Progress and the idea of Apocalypse are perennial memes in the cultural imagination of the West. They seem to exist in two – or perhaps three - seemingly distinct versions, which nevertheless are connected. The first is Progress-Apocalypse as a dualistic dichotomy, with Progress as Light and Apocalypse as Darkness. Apocalypse is what happens if Progress doesn´t. The curious thing is that Progress can never entirely vanquish Apocalypse – it seems the negative pole is an absolutely necessary bugaboo! This is why completely bland official optimism (“there is no crisis, what crisis, everything is fine”) sounds almost counter-cultural to many educated people, or at the very least extremely unsophisticated. It´s also why official optimism will sooner or later devolve into another form of the Progress-Apocalypse dichotomy, presumably with the “pessimists” as the bugbears…

The other form is Apocalypse-as-Progress. This is the positive apocalypse, the apocalypse dragooned into the service of the very Idea of Progress it´s usually supposed to be an antithesis to. Marxism is a good example of this, another is (probably misinterpreted) Christianity. Here, Progress takes place through the Apocalypse. Of course, not even this version can do without the negative Apocalypse, and often ends with a new dichotomy, now between positive and negative apocalypses. In the Marxist version, “Socialism or barbarism”. 

The third form is the idea that negative Apocalypse is the only thing there is. We´ll all gonna die, man! On the surface, this is a radical denial of the Western Idea of Progress, but in reality it´s still within the “Faustian” paradigm. Its proponents still assume that negative Apocalypse is the only alternative to Progress, but since they lost faith in the latter, they see no alternative to the former. They have “negated” the paradigm, but not “transcended” it (as in Aufheben). Indeed, the paradigm probably needs these people as yet another boogeyman – may I predict that Derrick Jensen (or somebody like him) will ultimately play this role in the Progressive demonology?

Greer´s (or is it Spengler´s) analysis also explains another peculiar fact: the dread of Utopia. Many people criticize Marxism due to its belief in an end-state which, while “utopian”, nevertheless seems…well, static. Since the static is unacceptable to Faustian Man, he can´t have utopia, but must progress even beyond that (at least beyond a static utopia). The ultimate “utopia” of Faustian Man is therefore Protean AI Transhumanist Singularity, or whatever it´s called this week. (The postmodern rhizome or whatever.) Is this why modernity morphs into postmodernity? Cyberpunk is the last word of Faustian Trans-Man.

Of course, he´ll never have it. And he´ll probably never get his Gretchen, either.

Högerns hemliga vapen?

Jag visste inte att Ebba Busch Thor hade ett förflutet som popsångerska...

Sverige har aldrig varit tryggare

Mitt under brinnande migrantkris (och x antal andra kriser) försäkrade Peter Wolodarski och de andra "experterna" att Sverige minsann aldrig varit tryggare. Den officiella optimismen fortsatte i oförminskad styrka...i fyra års tid.

Ända tills nu. Har ni också noterat att DN verkar ha drabbats av något slags undergångsstämning? Och nej, det beror inte på FN:s klimatrapport, styckmordet på Kashoggi eller att Kina läxat upp Jonas Sjöstedt. Det beror antagligen inte ens på att ryssarna köpt fastigheter i Stockholms skärgård. 

Undergångsstämningen vid Telefonplan (och i DN-skrapan) går i själva verket längre tillbaka. OK, några veckor längre.

Den går dessutom att datera väldigt exakt. 

Den officiella optimismen ("vi har aldrig haft det bättre här vid Telefonplan") förbyttes i existensiell apokalyptisk ångest på valdagen. Närmare bestämt när det avslöjades att SD fått 17% av rösterna.

Inte 19%, som de skulle få enligt opinionsmätningarna. Inte 30%, som de trodde själva. Utan 17%. Lägg också märke till att det parlamentariska läget är bokstavligt talat *exakt likadant* som de senaste fyra åren. 

Ändå uppför sig Telefonplans-liberalerna som om världen stod på randen av sammanbrott. Om det är så här de reagerar när SD gör fiasko i riksdagsvalet, så undrar jag hur de kommer att reagera när partiet faktiskt får 19% i ett eventuellt nyval. 

Vem vet, Grönköping kanske går mot ljusare tider trots allt... :P 

Donald Trump was right, or the perils of identity politix

I don´t usually stan this right-wing hippe with a faux militia flag and Theosophical serpent on his wall, but he has a point here, I think.

Of course Elizabeth Warren isn´t Cherokee. I wonder if globalist-liberal Swedish daily DN, who supported Warren´s DNA claims, will disavow? Of course they won´t, too busy covering up the real news, LOL. 

A moderately sunken continent

Lewis Spence was a Scottish scholar of mythology and folklore with occult sympathies. I´m not sure if he was a Theosophist or a Golden Dawn supporter. He was definitely interested in Atlantis, penning several books on the subject. “The History of Atlantis” was published in 1926. While Spence´s speculations about Atlantis are considered pseudo-science or at least “on the fringe” by mainstream archeologists (if they ever heard of them), he is actually situated on the more moderate part of the Atlantomaniac spectrum. So am I! Spence´s Atlantis has no connection to aliens or fusion technology, and at least in this book, not even to occultism per se. Rather, he sees it as an advanced Stone Age civilization, presumably a somewhat grander version of the megalithic cultures of the European mainland, which eventually developed into a Bronze Age culture before disappearing. The book was written before the theory of continental drift became accepted, and the only way to explain similarities between animal or plant life at continents far apart was to postulate the existence of ancient land bridges. In other words, “sunken continents”. To Spence, Atlantis was a large island in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning the area from the Canary Islands all the way to the Sargasso Sea. Thus, his speculations were at least borderline orthodox as far as the geology is concerned.

Spence believes that humans in Europe during the Paleolithic were fairly advanced, as seen in their cave art, burial practices and something the author sees as a primordial writing system. Spence further holds that mummification and hence a belief in resurrection comes from Atlantis, and that the Cro Magnon culture had such beliefs. Later, they show up in both the Americas and Egypt, a sign of Atlantean cultural influence. The Druids (who, however, didn´t mummify their dead) are also connected to Atlantis in this scenario. Various mystery religions are postulated to have emerged on the lost continent. So is the cult of the Titans. To some extent, Spence uses Atlantis as a kind of “deux ex machina” which explains the origins of every archeological anomaly. He is actually forced to change Plato´s chronology, placing the demise of Atlantis much later in order to use it as a proto-Egyptian, proto-Minoan and proto-Mesoamerican founder culture (today, other Atlantis researchers do the opposite: they assume that the civilization of Egypt emerged much earlier than the so-called Bronze Age, thus aligning it more closely with Plato´s original dates).

Spence also speculates that Atlantis was invaded, perhaps several times, by cultures emerging in Northwest Africa. One such invasion was Berber in character, and the Guanches of the Canary Islands were its descendants. So was the Azilian culture of Mesolithic Spain. Atlantis, or perhaps its colonies in Morrocco, was also attacked by Amazons! Spence essentially attempts to harmonize various Greek legends about the Atlas region in Northwest Africa, trying to place them into a meaningful chronological sequence. This is logical if you believe that myth is a garbled form of real history, less logical otherwise. Inevitably, Britain is seen as important, with the author expressing considerable interests in Welsh legends about sunken continents in the Atlantic. Occultism is mentioned only in passing, as when Spence admonishes the Theosophists to study Western traditions rather than “Oriental” or Egyptian ones, which the author believes are merely derivative. Atlantis, the Druids and the Arthurian romances are said to express pure occultism…

I haven´t read the other books about Atlantis by the same author, but I´m sure they are just as interesting and could function as an antidote to the more outlandish speculations about the lost land. While I´m not willing to support every single one of Lewis Spence´s ideas, I do believe the Lost Civilization crowd is on to something, perhaps something huge, and I´m therefore relatively positive to this material.

Friday, October 19, 2018


The Russian Orthodox Church has broken off all relations with, wait for it, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople! 


And now....what? 

How Earl Sinclair didn´t reach America

Due to technical errors (or a vast Illuminati conspiracy?), this review was never posted by Amazon on either of their websites. 

This issue of “New Orkney Antiquarian Journal” (Vol 2, 2002) contains an article by Brian Smith titled “Earl Henry Sinclair´s fictitious trip to America”. Henry Sinclair was a 14th century Scottish nobleman who doubled as Norwegian earl of the Orkney Island. According to alt-history claims, Sinclair discovered (or reached) America almost 100 years before Columbus together with two Venetian navigators, the Zeno brothers. I think Smith´s article does a good job debunking this claim. The Sinclair pseudo-saga has been combined with other, even wilder, alt-history claims about secret bloodlines, the Holy Grail, Gnostic Templar heretics, and what not. (I´m still waiting for the Twelve Tribes of Israel to show up, so can somebody please tell the local neighborhood Gnostics about British Israelism and Herbert W Armstrong?) These wilder claims are only briefly addressed in the article. A piquant detail is that Brian Smith is a friend of Niven Sinclair, who (I think) believes that his illustrious ancestor really did reach America!

I, Schizo

Yet another forgotten Amazon review, seriously how many of them are there??? 

“Tulpamancers” is a small and slightly bizarre subculture of mostly young people who believe they can create their very own imaginary friends using the powers of the mind. The imaginary friend is called a “tulpa” (a Tibetan term popular among Theosophists and other occultists). The tulpa lives inside the mind of the person who created it, but has a distinct individuality and can sometimes act independently of its creator. It can even be projected on the outside world, and then looks exactly like a real person (although invisible to everyone except its host or creator). Once a tulpa is created, it will never go away by its own volition. Sometimes, the tulpa can even create a tulpa of its own! They can also possess the body of their creators, a process known as “switching”.

There are certain similarities between tulpamancers and the various Otherkin subcultures, mentioned in books such as “A field guide to Otherkin” by Lupa and “Earth Angel Realms” by Doreen Virtue. However, Otherkin often don´t believe they are human at all. I suppose you could say Otherkin think they are the tulpas! A more obvious similarity is with so-called Multiple Systems or Headmates. The main difference seems to be that the tulpamancer starts out “normal” and then gradually induces his mind into thinking that another individual resides there besides himself. The Multiple System is born that way, or becomes multiple spontaneously or by some outside pressure.

If you think this is perilously close to a certain psychological condition, you are probably right. Yes, it´s schizophrenia. In the case of the tulpamancer, it seems to be something as weird as schizophrenia voluntarily induced!

“Tulpa Creation Guide” is a short e-book explaining tulpamancy basics to beginners (and lurking skeptics such as yours truly). The tulpas are “created” by various meditation and visualization techniques, and the process is an extended one. It probably takes months, maybe years, to complete. The author doesn´t explain how tulpas can be made to dissolve, if you get tired of them. She claims that tulpamancy is 100% harmless, which (of course) is hard to believe – especially since the e-book claims that tulpas have a mind of their own once conjured into existence. The pamphlet warns prospective tulpamancers that they might get incarcerated at a mental hospital if they talk too much about their strange activities. For this reason, tulpamancy is best kept secret from family and friends, unless they are *very* tolerant. Also, it struck me when reading this guide that the very same methods could presumably be used to “create” evil entities. What if I want to conjure the Slender Man and unleash him on an unsuspecting outside world?

I´m not sure how to rate this product, and I admit that I found the topic absurd (or even somewhat sinister). However, since this booklet is better written than “The Tulpamancer´s Toolbox” (by the same author), I hereby visualize it to get three stars!

Made in Manama

Another forgotten Amazon review. 

I have some of these! Not exactly a forgery, but not exactly “real” either. Manama is the name of Bahrain´s capital, but this is a *different* Manama, a small dependency of Ajman, one of the United Arab Emirates. Very small, actually. Essentially, Manama is just a village with an even smaller post office. (A photo of said post office can be found at Wiki. Or maybe a later one, since it looks pretty modern!) The enterprising philatelist Finbar Kenny (made in the USA) had struck a deal with Ajman and produced a large number of stamps for the collectors´ market with all the usual irrelevant motives showing European art, space travel, dinosaurs, winter sports and so on. Good for your private collection of borderline “cinderellas” (or was it “dunes”).

Among kings and necromancers

Another Amazon review I forgot to post here...until now!

This is a slightly bizarre book, only available in Swedish, about the occult pursuits of a group of aristocrats in late 18th century Sweden. Their leader was Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, who was de facto ruler of Sweden for a few years after the assassination of King Gustav III. The group also included Duke Karl, who later became King of Sweden under the name Karl XIII. For a short period, Gustav III was also interested in matters occult. I knew that King Gustav and Duke Karl had been Freemasons, but clearly, I didn´t know half of it!

Those familiar with the confusing world of “Scottish” Masonry, Rosicrucians, alchemists, Mesmerists and magicians, will feel right at home in this material, which until recently was kept in the secret archives of the Swedish Masonic Order. Christian heresy-hunters and anti-Masonic conspiracy theorists will also have a field day, since many of the rituals described in this volume have a “Satanist” flare. That upper class people dabbled in what can only be described as black magic could be seen as slightly problematic even from a purely skeptic angle.

Duke Karl and Reuterholm seem to have been interested in all aspects of the occult: Hermetic and Cabbalistic speculations, the mysticism of Jacob Böhme, “Templar” Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, alchemic experiments, treasure-hunting, animal magnetism and hands-on divination, including tasseomancy. Many aristocrats (including Gustav III) consulted a “wise woman”, Ulrika Arfvidsson, who lived in a small hut in the poorer part of Stockholm and divined with the help of coffee grounds. I admit I was surprised by this mixture of sophisticated esotericism and a more folkish version. The two main preoccupations of the Reuterholm circle were attempts to contact the angels through ritual magic, and necromancy. It´s the latter activity that make the activities of Reuterholm and his associates seem downright sinister. The necromantic work was carried out at cemeteries, and involved actual human remains procured specially for the occasion. According to the documents collected in this volume, the skull and wishbone of a 12-year old boy child should be used for the best effect, and apparently *were* used, which raises the question whose grave the aristocratic magicians had desecrated! Contact with “angels” involved animal sacrifice (of doves) or blood-letting from the magician himself.

The main purpose of these rituals was, as already noted, divination. Reuterholm claimed to hail from a family with prophetic abilities, who had supposedly predicted Swedish history correctly until the year 1720. His private reflections contain many references to precognitive dreams (alongside poltergeists, meetings with nature spirits, etc). Reuterholm, a notoriously vain man, also believed himself to be destined to greatness, a belief with apparent occult undertones. On this point, at any rate, he was to be sorely disappointed. When Gustav III´s son became king under the name Gustav IV Adolf, Reuterholm fell from favor and in 1799, he went into voluntary exile. He died at the estate of Danish prince Carl af Hessen, an esoteric Freemason who also protected the famed Count de St Germain. During his last years, Reuterholm used the telling pseudonym “Tempelkreutz”. A portrait painting shows him standing in full Templar (or pseudo-Templar) regalia alongside the symbolic coffin of Jacques de Molay!

Reuterholm´s erstwhile ally Duke Karl continued with occult pursuits alongside his wife Charlotta and the Rosicrucian Karl Adolf Boheman. Their initiation ritual included laying on top of a painting of a nude woman, symbolizing Nature. When Gustav IV Adolf (by all accounts a somewhat fanatical Lutheran) heard about the occult goings-on, at the Royal Palace no less, he had Boheman banished from the country and forced Karl and Charlotta to shut down their operations. It seems they were never taken up again, not even when Gustav Adolf was overthrown and banished, replaced by none other than Karl at the royal throne.

As for Reuterholm, his magical writings met with a varied fate after his death, a substantial portion eventually ending up in the hands of the Swedish Freemasons, which promptly decided to place them under lock and key…until now, when the non-Masonic part (ironically, the most sensational part) has been published in this volume, under the title “Gustaviansk mystik” (The Mysticism of the Gustavian Age).

Since this work is currently unavailable from Amazon, it might be of interest to know that the publisher, Vertigo Förlag, has a website…

Friday, October 12, 2018

On the unreliability of folklore

“Kungar, krig och katastrofer” (Kings, wars and disasters) is a book by Swedish folklorist Ebbe Schön. As behooves an expert on folklore, yes, Ebbe Schön really does look like a cross between Santa Claus and a gnome! His book, only available in Swedish, deals with how Swedish history (principally kings and wars) is reflected in peasant folklore. Schön makes several interesting points. Thus, in most cases this kind of lore can only be traced back to the early 16th century. That is, to the Reformation and the time of Gustav Vasa, the first king of “modern” Sweden. Little or no contemporary lore about Catholic or Viking kings seem to exist. The lore dealing with kings is often influenced by, or completely based on, written sources produced at government level. In other words, it reflects the diffusion of royal propaganda among the peasantry. While there is local lore about mythological kings (a kind of “pre-Viking” petty rulers), I wonder how ancient it really is? Perhaps it simply reflects the spread of national romanticism (17th to 19th century) among peasants?

It´s also interesting to note that the telling and retelling of folkloric stories was officially encouraged by the Swedish officer brass, being one of the few forms of entertainment available to soldiers at war. Since soldiers lucky enough to return home presumably shared the stories they heard in the military with their kin, this ensured the speedy diffusion of folklore between various parts of Sweden. I wonder whether it may also have made the folklore more uniform and standardized? How do we even know if a motif is truly local, or simply imported from outside? Homecoming soldiers were often employed as teachers…

It´s also interesting to note how selective folk memory is. Schön mentions several examples of military battles which have been completely forgotten in the local tradition, despite creating havoc in the immediate neighborhood, while “everyone” knows that of course a certain stone slab in a certain field is connected to a purely mythological battle taking place thousands of years ago! This raises a lot of awkward questions about the general reliability of folk tradition. Folk etymologies are another example of how recent much folklore must be – if it had been very ancient, it would have remembered the true etymology of various peculiar place-names.

After these methodological remarks, Schön plunges into a treasure-trove of more or less believable stories about heroic kings, brave soldiers, evil Danes and Russians, ordinary peasants who outsmart the enemy, and even “ancient” Swedish Amazons and giants. Magic is often part of the picture, more or less black in nature. Several famous generals were said to posses the ability to conjure up soldiers by magical means, and the good luck of enemy troops were often attributed to literal witches in their midst. Unsurprisingly, warrior-king Karl XII (Charles XII) is depicted as a virtual Übermensch with an almost paranormal strength. Also unsurprisingly, given the sexist prejudices at the time, Queen Kristina is said to have been an extremely loose woman with a sexual appetite above the usual (ironically, some historians suspect that she was lesbian – something completely missed in the folklore, which paints her as heterosexual). The most well-known stories are about Gustav Vasa´s daring escape from the clutches of Danish king Christian “the Tyrant”, and how he was hiding among the common folk in rural Dalecarlia. As already pointed out, these tales (or perhaps tall tales) are really literary fictions created by government propagandists. Yet, they seem to have been traduced as “local tradition” by many peasants in Dalecarlia and elsewhere. An interesting fact mentioned by Schön is that most lore about the Snapphanar in Scania are fiercely negative, despite the fact that Snapphanarna were a resistance movement against Swedish occupation (Scania was originally a Danish province). His interpretation is that Swedish nationalist indoctrination apparently succeeded, but also that peasants don´t like armed bands hiding in the forest regardless of their political persuasion, since such bands invariably demand food and shelter (and womenfolk?) from the locals. The last chapter of “Kungar, krig och katastrofer” deals with Gothicism, the idea that Sweden is the oldest kingdom in the world and that all Germanic peoples, most notably the Goths, come from its distant shores. Funny, I thought that was a true story…cough cough, Scandza, cough cough…

Schön´s book is well worth reading (if you understand Swedish, at least) and could almost be seen as an entertaining introduction to the actual history of Sweden.

The cross and the crescent

“Korset och halvmånen” (The Cross and the Crescent) is a book by Ingmar Karlsson, unfortunately only available in Swedish. Karlsson has worked as a diplomat in both Syria and Turkey. I haven´t seen the new edition of his book, but the original 1991 version is widely available in public libraries all over Sweden. It seems to be the only popularized introduction in the Swedish language to the thorny issue of religious minorities in the Middle East. It deals extensively with the Monophysite and Nestorian Christians, the Druze and with several “Ghulat” groups within Shia Islam. Karlsson valiantly tries to describe the esoteric messages of the Ismailites, Alawites and Druze (or what little was known about them in 1991), and he treats the various Christological controversies within the early Church with equal erudition. The most fascinating chapter deals with the Kurdish Yazidis, who have often been accused of “Devil-worship” (and therefore viciously attacked by the ISIS terrorists – a Yazidi recently got the Nobel Peace Prize). The weakest chapter in my opinion is the one about the Samaritans. But then, perhaps information about them was difficult to get by when the book was written? One thing that struck me when reading “Korset och halvmånen” is that many of the “minorities” mentioned are large enough to play important political roles – or at least well-placed enough to do so. Thus, Syria is controlled by a small clan of Alawis, while the Druze had a significant role in the Lebanese civil war. Today, many Yazidis have joined the leftist guerillas in northern Syria, while the Christian Question looms large all over the Middle East. I somehow suspect that Karlsson, or his publishers, will have to update this book again at some point in the near future…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Only in America, right?

The first part of a documentary about Otherkin. Presented here for entertainment purposes only. You will have to find the other parts yourself on YouTube! 

Hysterical petty bourgeois...or just hysterically funny?

I don´t know who wrote this, but it´s damn funny. Yes, there are many crazy "Communists" on Twitter and on YouTube, my favorite being Communist Furries (yes, Furries), apparently also with a slightly pro-Stalinist tinge. Or is it tail? Their main activity are dog fights against Nazi Furries. Or so I´ve heard. I also wonder what the hell "Communists" (that´s freaking Communists, for crying out loud) are doing on Twitter...

I laugh every time I see Communists on Twitter. Seriously, wazza up?

Is this how you organize the proletariat, the people´s front, the red labor opposition or whatever?


When I was your age, Communists worked in labor unions (if possible), stood on street corners selling their paper, etc.

They also organized protest marches around real issues, you know, like solidarity with Nicaragua and so on.

You´re spending most of your time on Twitter, a forum 100% middle class.

That´s because you are middle class yourselves, the most atomized and decadent part, presumably.

Have you ever worked for real? I mean, even in services or education (that´s not proletarian, of course)?

Also, everyone can see you on Twitter. The NSA already has a list of all Tankies and Antifas on Twitter.

Wanna bet?

Don´t even get me started on the “Communists” who are “trans-people” or whatever.

Modern Communism is a movement of privileged middle class freaks who meme each other on Twitter. Ha ha ha.

Come back when you convinced Trump´s working class base in the Midwest to support your labor organizations!


...aaaaaaaand she´s a liberal. OK, next question! 

Stump for Trump

It seems I forgot to post this Amazon review…

Phyllis Schlafly, the unofficial doyenne of the US conservative movement, passed away the day before this book was published. In it, Schlafly and her co-authors Ed Martin and Brett Decker stumps for Donald Trump, the controversial Republican nominee. But then, Schlafly was never a stranger to controversy herself! At least according to political legend, she was behind both the Goldwater campaign and the defeat of the ERA (for which feminists and other liberals still hate her). During the GOP primaries, Schlafly´s organization, the Eagle Forum, split due to the leader´s support for Trump. A dissident faction wanted to support Ted Cruz instead.

“The Conservative Case for Trump” is a somewhat peculiar book. For starters, Donald Trump himself is a de facto co-author, since half of the book contains speeches by Trump or interviews with him. Second, Schlafly never really argues her case, except in passing. Rather, the book simply repeats Trump´s talking points, sometimes verbatim. It´s as if The Donald himself was speaking. I had expected a more sustained, ideological argument for why traditional conservatives, despite obvious differences with Trump, should vote for him anyway. I was only half-joking when I called Trump “a liberal Democrat who sounds like Pat Buchanan” in another review…

In order to adapt to Trump´s program, Schlafly takes several unexpected positions. Perhaps she always had these positions. However, they do sound unusual for an American conservative. Schlafly expresses support for Social Security, but perhaps it´s easier for a conservative to support a system based on payroll taxes than “pure” welfare where the recipients haven´t paid anything in advance. Even so, Social Security is an enormous federal program. Schlafly also supports Trump´s economic protectionism, while simultaneously calling for more free market solutions and less regulations domestically. This is a contradiction I´ve seen before among some US conservatives. Another contradiction, found in both Trump and Schlafly, concerns foreign policy. Despite constant calls to put “America First”, neither sounds truly isolationist. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks can only be smashed by global engagement and alliance-making. The calls to put pressure on China don´t sound particularly isolationist either.

One difference between Schlafly and Trump is that the latter consciously avoids “culture war” issues, while Schlafly doesn´t entirely do so. However, even she plays down the “culture war” (at least compared to how virtually all conservative factions have sounded hitherto) to the point of reprinting Trump speeches in which the Republican nominee calls for LGBT rights! While I don´t think anyone can confuse the Eagle Forum with the gay movement, it *does* look a bit weird... Another difference is that Schlafly wants confrontation with Russia as well as China, but this could be taken from Trump´s own book “Crippled America”. In his speeches (including one reprinted in this volume), Trump rather calls for a thaw in Western-Russian relations.

Incidentally, this isn´t intended as “criticism” of Schlafly´s book (although I´m closer to Lincoln, FDR and ERA than the Eagle Forum), but as an honest assessment. I was intrigued by this work! I admit that it´s better written than Trump´s semi-official campaign book “Crippled America” (now rebranded “Great Again”).

The major similarity between Trump and Schlafly is the immigration issue, which is argued in some detail in the book. It´s interesting to note that Schlafly references Pat Buchanan, interesting since Paleo-Pat´s populist-isolationist-protectionist brand of conservatism is somewhat closer to Trump´s moonshine version than to mainstream US free market/minimal government conservatism. I also noted that Schlafly constantly compares Trump to Ronald Reagan, something Trump is occasionally doing himself, although he mostly leaves the comparisons to his admirers. I understand that Reagan´s name still has powerful symbolic resonance on the American right. This is somewhat ironic, given that the Reagan years led to huge deficits, more big government and the arming of one Osama bin-Laden. Schlafly is appealing to the Reagan myth rather than the reality.

I have noted that Phyllis Schlafly and her organization have inserted themselves into the political plot. It was the Eagle Forum which aided Trump in finding and assessing Supreme Court nominees. Schlafly introduced Trump at a rally in her home state of Missouri, and the Republican nominee was at her funeral. This may or may not explain the true believer “Trumpista” character of “The Conservative Case for Trump”.

Ultimately, I believe Schlafly and her co-authors boarded the Trump Train for two reasons. First, Trump´s opposition to immigration and globalism makes him closer to the Old Right than any other established candidate for decades, despite his views on other issues. Second, Hillary Clinton represents the last push of the “liberal” elites to completely transform the United States in their likeness, through mass immigration, executive orders and SCOTUS activism. (Interestingly, Schlafly opposes a constitutional convention, fearing it will be dominated by the liberal Democrats!) The GOP establishment´s surrender to Clinton makes Trump the only possible choice for those who want to turn the tide.

With that, I end my review of Phyllis Schlafly´s case for Donald Trump.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

My new guru

The guy interviewing Graham Hancock is a nut case, but many of Hancock´s ideas are interesting. I think he´s right about Göbekli Tepe. Debunk that, Randi my dear!  

Strange socialists I have known

“Recent Changes in the Socialist Labor Party of America” is an internal document published by the Socialist Labor Party of Canada (now defunct). The document is probably unavailable at the present time, unless you happen to be on a very friendly basis with some elderly ex-member of the SLP. I recently found it in my private stash in perfect Xeroxed condition. It comes with a warning label not to spread it outside the ranks of the SLP, well, clearly somebody broke that promise. (I´m not sure if I got the copy from the De Leonist Society of Canada or the Discussion Bulletin.)

The SLP is a small left-wing group in the United States, and used to have an even smaller subsidiary in Canada. From 1914 to 1969, a man named Arnold Petersen was the SLP´s National Secretary. Indeed, he dominated the party until his death in 1976. During Petersen´s almost impossibly long tenure as party leader (yes, you read that right – 1914 to 1969), the SLP was a strongly sectarian organization the sole activity of which was abstract propaganda for socialism. Even this wasn´t carried out in a very flexible or clever way – quite the contrary. SLP members weren´t allowed to join unions, except when their jobs depended on it, and they were prohibited from holding even lowly union positions. Unions were “capitalist” in Petersen´s estimation. All minimum reform demands were rejected, “socialism” being the only demand of the SLP. The party also stayed away from “free universities” and similar New Left forums where they could have easily spread their propaganda. Nor did they participate in protest marches, except to leaflet them with SLP propaganda, and even this was often made impossible by the inflexible party rules – the party members were to avoid the staging areas, making it difficult to see how they could possibly have leafleted the march participants? Often, they simply stayed away completely. In effect, the Petersenite SLP boycotted most of the important venues for left-wing politics during the 1960´s: the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the New Left, and so on. SLP´s newspaper, the Weekly People, was filled with long excerpts from Daniel De Leon´s articles on various subjects (De Leon, who died in 1914, had been the party´s foremost theoretician) and ditto from Petersen´s own pamphlets. Not to be too polite, the SLP was a kind of “Jehovah´s Witnesses of the left”, but apparently without the promotional acumen of the Watchtower Society…

After Petersen´s death, his erstwhile protégé Nathan Karp tried to change the policy of the party, making it more similar to a normal left-wing group. This was opposed by the Petersenite old guard, which apparently controlled the small SLP franchise in Canada. “Recent Changes in the Socialist Labor Party” documents Karp´s changes and argues against them in favor of the super-sectarian verities of yesteryear. The material is extremely tedious and only of interest to SLP-watchers (I was one back in the 1990´s). It was interesting to read Petersen´s internal letters to various party dissidents – they are just as dogmatic, unyielding and frankly insulting as the man´s public pronouncements. It´s also intriguing that the far-reaching changes in SLP´s tactics, and in some cases actual political positions, happened so fast after the old man´s death – it´s almost as if the other party leaders had waited for Petersen to die, then launched their coup immediately after the funeral! I also wonder what kind of people the super-orthodox super-socialist SLP really attracted. Thus, Petersen´s National Office had to issue instructions that, of course, no SLP member can be a volunteer soldier in the US military, or serve as a police officer at an industrial plant! Apparently, some SLP members had applied for such positions?! It´s almost as if SLP´s strong sectarianism made them attractive only to confused people with a very low level of political consciousness… People with solid leftist sympathies went to the regular leftists.

 As far as I understand, Karp expelled the old guard when they refused to bow to the new order. Ironically, however, he then began to backslide and once again turned the SLP into a small and sectarian group at the outskirts of the left. I´m not sure why – maybe he feared that there wasn´t much political space for a “soft” version of the SLP on the American left, that space already being filled by the DSA, the libertarian socialists or even the “softer” Trotskyists. The only way to keep the little apparat going was to retreat once more into sectarian isolation. The Petersenites regrouped in two “De Leonist Societies”, one in Canada and the other one (I think) in New York City. They only published Xeroxed bulletins, but where kind enough to copy some Petersen pamphlets for me when politely asked. After a quixotic split (I think the American society had revised De Leon´s program on a single point – whether or not the future socialist society should have industrial constituencies only, or also territorial constituencies), it seems both societies disappeared around 2000. I think their members were by then over 90 years old!

With this, I close my little review of this very, very obscure publication.