Whither, American Futurism?

This essay is part of the new material written for John Chapman’s collection of essays Cultured Grugs, available now from Antelope Hill Publishing.

Back to blood. Blood in, blood out, that’s the only way being an American will ever matter again. America, as it is, is an economic zone. The amalgamated stock of its founding peoples and European newcomers scarcely know what they are, but they believe that the American government was good to them and so they should be good to it. They believe that loyalty to traitors should count for something, even as they pay for it with blood, treasure, and children. What they believe are their symbols they find they must share or rent. Flags and totems on lease from entities that own the rights and want to see them doped and dropped These are sentiments that will not do. These are not beliefs that will last. It is time to push forward.

Americanism is dead, but American Futurism can win. American Futurism will win, but not without its people. I come not to praise Trump, but to bury him. I come not to go back, but to go forward. I
come not to save America, but to create her. There is nothing you should not be willing to cast aside or destroy in order to take that essential first step.

The name may be confusing. Futurism was best known as a 20th century artistic movement, popular in Italy (almost non-existent in America save for the Italian immigrant artist Joseph Stella). It most famously prefigured the Italian Fascist movement (with some of Mussolini’s most infamous architecture being influenced by it). The writer of the Futurism Manifesto, Filippo Marinetti, also co-wrote the Fascist Manifesto, although Marinetti’s very modernist and progressive views put him at frequent odds with the reactionary wing of the Italian fascists. This original Futurism found itself perpetually in conflict with the past, seeing an extinguished creativity and no ability to press forward within its mournful sighs of what has been. Worshiping the past was clasping a corpse; the deed was done, and people could look wide-eyed in horror at what they’ve done like Ilya Repin’s Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan or they could leave the wake and face the sun. “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)

Whatever Futurism could be said to be, it sought a necessary vitalism as ancestor worship without transformation is worship of grave sites. Its first maxim was “We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.” It ends:

Your objections? All right! I know them! Of course! We know just what our beautiful false intelligence affirms: “We are only the sum and the prolongation of our ancestors,” it says. Perhaps! All right! What does it matter? But we will not listen! Take care not to repeat those infamous words! Instead, lift up your head!

Standing on the world’s summit we launch once again our insolent challenge to the stars!

The tragic irony of America is that it has wanted nothing to do with Europe since its inception, but in order to understand itself it has always needed Europe. Perversely in its darkest of hearts it also meant it would need to enslave Europe. D.H. Lawrence saw it himself when he penned these words from Studies in Classic American Literature in 1923:

For the American spiritually stayed at home in Europe. The spiritual home of America was and still is Europe. This is the galling bondage, in spite of several billions of heaped-up gold. Your heaps of gold are only so many muck-heaps, America, and will remain so till you become a reality to yourselves.

The miracle of America in the 19th century, prophesied by Benjamin Franklin and seen so clearly by Lawrence, was its engine of production. Whatever one might say about Christian America, deeper there in the country were the eyes of machine rationality and the Puritan’s cleansing fire of spirit. Calvinists of America asked for a spiritual shredder and got it. They and their subdividing kin gathered up colored savages to lead them on tragic, doomed quests to complete America. All that was left in that religious flotsam was the chief business of America: business. Knut Hamsun, in his disastrous American adventure, was horrified at how America chewed up and degraded its white children, the Old World’s progeny. America starts and ends for most citizens on July 4th for a reason.

The best attempts to revitalize the 20th century away from liberalism’s corpulence came from avant-garde artists with sharp politics. It wasn’t enough to win. Now 100 years later who can even speak of art when the Spectacle is everything and irony’s slave coping reigns supreme? Something must push things forward. Something must form. Something must become truly American and not beat a sad, tattered war drum for victories that mean nothing to its drummers. The future must be ours, by hook or by crook. All else is death.

We need a return of frontiers in the 21st century, and it will happen. Not the same way as before, as the maps are already drawn. The maximal war of all against all was already declared. Better to know it now than have to catch up. And though the borders to the wild frontier feel like they were closed before we were born, new spaces will be born outside the Empire. Our goal, our American Futurism, is to have our minds and souls ready for this new reality. The war is maximal because the enemy works from inside.

The enemy holds up the past like some kind of medieval folk monster wearing the bloody skinned face of your grandfather.

You have to look into that face.

Know it isn’t anything but a flesh marionette and destroy it.

This is the emotional hurdle and it’s there for a reason.

The Lost Cause is a noble one and they are numerous. I do not begrudge anyone who retains attachments to them. Our ancestors fight valiantly and our ancestors fight honorably. Our ancestors also die. They die like men, and death is as noble as poverty. Death is as noble as the state of America. I don’t begrudge the Lost Causer and those that mourn. But if we become the Lost Cause then we are done. It’s over.

This is not an easy topic since it’s not easy to see any path forward in the American ideological desert. It is pretty clear what needs to be thrown out, which is nearly everything. Doesn’t matter which president you like or how you feel about the founders. The house is burning and you can
pick through the rubble later if you want. The fundamental truth is many that came before might have walked in some step with us, but they aren’t us. They were men, men with their own dead ideologies and selfish motives. There is no anger here and they are not betrayers. Anger is for men in tears who beat the futile ground with fists.

What are our symbols? We’ll create them.

Who are our people? We’ll create them.

What is our credo? We’ll live it.

Even if a year zero is necessary, then so be it. No shackles. No looking back. Theatre politics are not going to be good for us. There is a strand that places way too much value on symbolism and appearances, which is a losing formula in America. These sentiments are not connected to an actual power struggle. As tempting as it is to cherish symbolic victories, and I am certainly guilty of this several times over, we should not believe in them. Only real victories, however they look.

Those who are inclined to think of themselves as American Futurists have a long road ahead of them, a long road filled with obstacles, sinkholes, and dead-end detours everywhere. But it’s the only road. Cop cults and its various expressions (ironic given the very ethnic origins for why cops even needed to be a thing) will stay as long as the rest of the foundations of American myths do. Perhaps they’ll be revised, but until the average American actually understands they’re living under an occupation government, it will stay. There will be little bits of progress here and there towards deflating the myth, since at the end of the day, myths don’t put bread on the table. That’s how things can happen real quick. Things do turn on a dime, despite how the small and slow death might feel.

Certain people carved space on the North American continent for the white man. Then a bunch of bad things happened and now here we are. Now weirdos make up new myths because America is the world empire and people want in on that hobo pie. Simple tragedy happened here, though maybe it’s not so simple because everything is complicated now. America is money-power. For now.

It is ironic now that the Bidenist Imperial Order is in fact nominally Irish Catholic (though you probably wouldn’t know it or realize it unless someone else told you). Then you have many of the remnant descendants of those original Anglo elites, those with ancestors whose views would
have passed from suspicion of the Papists seamlessly into white racialist sentiments or even Nordicism, endorsing the rotting neoliberal Jewish-oriented imperium with an ethnic Catholic as its puppet emperor. What even is this? America? Whither, America?

Doesn’t really matter which of the European blood ended up here though. They’re here. And these mixed up identities, what are they? They’re nothing. I could crunch the numbers and tell my son that he’s something like 33% Irish, 12.5% Russian, 25% French, and fractions of other identities that I have the genealogical roots for and so on and so forth. What good does that do him? He’ll be white, and that will be real and true, but for him white will not be enough. Not that white isn’t enough for other people to pass their muster, but white simply isn’t enough for him. He deserves more. He deserves to be American, and that’s an identity that must matter. That is why I’m an American Futurist.

I’ve been known to say that whatever America once was, it died at Appomattox Court House. So many descendants of those original settlers bled out on the fields, hills, and mountains, and already the plan was set for new immigrants to bury those corpses and take their place. The next fifty years left Americans with trying to solve its questions of blacks and Indians and what it meant for them to be American with the different European newcomers. It seemed like something was beginning to form, but the Second World War rendered that moot as liberalism and money-power triumphed, and for a pretty penny the American was endlessly deconstructed and reinterpreted until emerging into its current form. Despite its dying, nature abhors a vacuum. Something will need to rise up out of its corpulent husk.

I don’t have a plan or manifesto that sets the American Futurist agenda. That can only be determined by the men who create the future. It’s a monumental task, but America has never been an easy land. It was always a frontier, and despite attempts to touch the stars, America is the final frontier. Its children have nowhere else to go.

It’s not enough that the future belongs to those who show up. The future belongs to those who take it and create it.

One Comment Add yours

  1. nc says:

    Anything ending with “ism ” can’t be good!


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