One review has set the political pundits on a path to BAP. This review is more than just a review as it is by a former Trump White House member with high security clearances. Michael Anton decided to review Bronze Age Mindset. Anton gets it. Anton is a Straussian. All those of the Straussian school hide a deeper meaning or give clues to their true teachings in their writing. If you read Bronze Age Mindset, the same can be said about BAP’s work. There is more to this 5,000 word book review than meets the eye.
Anton himself has written under a pseudo with the infamous Flight 93 election essay. Anton very clearly sees that something is broken, and people are hungry for something new if not just wondering what comes next. Anton gets it. Anton very clearly sees the new California as a problem, and one that should not be scaled up to apply to America. If one had to guess how aligned Anton is with our crowd, it would be safe to say 70%, but the more aggressive could say 90%. After all, the regular normiecon when presented with nationalist right ideas marketed with good language is 80% aligned. The hint here is the alignment is more than the normal normie, especially if you believe it is 90%.
Anton does not really critique BAP’s content. There are lines about odd grammar, hysterical passages, and BAP’s ability to sound learned about everything even if he may not be. Does he come out and criticize anything though? Not really. This might be the most negative section of the review.
The strongest and easiest objections to make to Bronze Age Mindset are that it is “racist,” “anti-Semitic,” “anti-democratic,” “misogynistic,” and “homophobic.” And indeed, BAP delights in generalizing. The fact that he generalizes in neutral or positive ways at least as much as in negative ones won’t matter. In the current year, saying good things about good groups is good; saying bad things about bad groups is good; saying anything else about anyone else is bad. And yet very little—if anything—BAP says is more outrageous than even the mid-level outrages of Machiavelli or Nietzsche, and most is quite a bit gentler than what one finds in Marx, Lenin, Mao, Sayyid Qutb, Guevara, Alinsky, Foucault, or any number of fanatics whose screeds are taught in elite universities.
Anton is describing the objections people will have to the book. He does not object, and he points out how nothing will prevent the commissars from having their 2 minute hate when the time is right.
Early on, there is a part that probably sailed over readers’ heads as important. Anton namedrops in a positive manner both Darren Beattie and Curtis Yarvin. Keep in mind that anytime the media mentions Beattie, it smears him with showing up at a conference that dunh-dunh-dunh Richard Spencer was once connected to >gasp<. Beattie is “evil”. A similar thing applies to Curtis “Mencius Moldbug” Yarvin. Anytime the media mentions him, out of all of the words he ever typed, which might be millions, they must bring up that he once said he was not a white nationalist but not allergic to the stuff. >Faints on couch< Anton does not caveat or condition his mention of these two figures. He is signaling that he values their opinions, their company and does not view them with the standard issue pundit lens. This is rather brave considering that Anton is not a little guy like you or me but was a White House aide with high security clearances who had to deal with the Flynn ordeal in early ’17. Think of the bunker mentality that was present in the Trump White House in ’17, and this man was there and is now going out on the limb for three wilder characters.
Anton understands owned space as a concept. Why is New England dead and has the lowest TFR of any American region? It is owned space. This is important as a heroic age is impossible inside the iron prison.
“Owned space” is the most important concept introduced in Part One and the key to understanding the rest of the “exhortation,” if not necessarily the rest of the book. BAP argues that life, fundamentally, is a “struggle for space.” All life seeks to develop its powers and master the surrounding matter and space to the maximum extent possible.
Anton writes that BAP considers life thwarted because all space is owned and mastered by others with no freedom for an individual to exert dominance. In our world of liberation, it would be easy to criticize this take by boosting liberation or self-actualization. Anton does not push back on this. Taking a deeper reading of this, he does not push back on this because he agrees and who is in control right now? Our coastal elite, the progressive mandarins, the puritanical schoolmarms, the junta that uses imported voters to rig elections to justify their rule.
Anton gets the Alcibides section. Of all passages in the book, he points you to it. He does not discuss much but tells people to read it, “In unquestionably the book’s most hilarious passage, BAP reimagines Mitt Romney as…Alcibiades. I cannot do it justice; you just have to read it. The moral is clear, however: Alcibiades and his ilk, not Socrates and his, represent the peak of antiquity and perhaps of humanity“. This passage is one of the most memorable and most illuminating. BAP does not just explain how moderns cannot compare to the ancients. He elevates Alcibides as the ideal Athenian compared to how moderns venerate Socrates. Socrates was a troll. Alcibides was always seeking to win, to break out of Athenian democracy and rule and in every manner, strove for greatness. As a reviewer a year ago, I too loved this passage. Alcibides’ struggle for greatness appealed to me as a college student. This is the feeling BAP wants you to have and the type of person BAP wants to reach. This is a 180 from all classics classes. Every classics course will clearly state how Alcibides was always changing sides for his own gain and was ostracized (literally vote into exile for a decade) from Athens.
Anton gives the basic conservative statement on the true meaning of equality, states that they tried it, it did not work, and that BAP’s message resonates with the youth. It is a rejection of the regime’s left and the regime’s right. Anton writes this but exactly what does equality mean in our current regime? How much does Anton really disagree? Anton gives a line about the imposed equality that simultaneously is “elevating and enriching a decadent, incompetent, and corrupt elite“. Who makes up this elite? It is a credentialed cadre of students from our modern monasteries who are increasingly from stocks further and further from the Founders that Anton refers to earlier in the review.
Similar to the meat of Bronze Age Mindset being later on, more interesting bits flow later in the review. Anton frames this in a manner that is like the right passing the torch. His final paragraph does not state mainstream conservatives are correct. Anton writes, “if we’re right, we’re right“. If. That signals a doubt there that no David French style zealot would ever reveal. The implications are that the right has failed, its message is rejected not just by liberals but by the new right, and BAP succeeds. BAP is the path forward spiritually and emotionally. No policy framework, but the myth and the cult like followers are in place. Policy can be left to men like Michael Anton and Tucker Carlson to cast the 21st century double headed axes for the new men exemplifying the Bronze Age spirit to wield.
The most dangerous line is the final one where Anton admits “BAPism is winning“. This is not just the here and now but all of the young readers BAP accrues as followers and adherents versus conservative inc’s fields of conservathots and empty headed Israeli fans. This is important. Even if the lords of lies attacked BAP, the consciousness is out there and expanding. Lenin had a coffee shop worth of followers at one point, and within 50 years his clique ran half the world. BAP has thousands who believe in the message of power. Wat mean? The POWER cannot be contained.