Submitted by Withered Rose
October has been a month of content consumption. Aside from my own consumption of Cowtails, KitKats, and hot apple cider, the right was in a consumption frenzy over Squid Game and Dune. I watched Squid Game, and I will watch Dune after I finish the book, and I understand the appeal of both. Squid Game is a softer version of Saw, but this time the dying old man running the game (who also inserts himself into the game) is not trying to reform his players, rather he is a member of the global elite who, having run out of the vanities of life, entertain themselves with gamified murder. It might be truer to say it is a much softer version of Hostel in that regard. For a crowd naturally hostile to the current elite, it makes sense that seeing a movie portraying the rich and powerful as sadistic villains would be popular. Whereas Squid Game presents a picture of the ugly world that is, Dune presents a possible archeo-future where traditional hierarchies, religion, and masculinity have returned.Put together, Squid Game and Dune are an adequate portrayal of the right’s psychology, both in terms of its hatred and its hope.
During the month of October, a friend remarked to me that it was frustrating that right-wing influencers are spending so much time-consuming content without producing any of their own. He did not mean yet another video on Julius Evola or current event commentary, but artistic creation. Taki Mag ran a piece on January 18th, 2021 titled “Whatever Happened to the “Man of the Right”? in which Marcia Christoff compares the right-wing of the 20th century to the right-wing of the 21st. In the 20th century,
“Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, T.E. Hulme, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, D.H Lawrence; the literary and art movements known as Futurism, Vorticism, and, to an extent, Expressionism… These monstres sacrés and their institutional expression raged from the margins of the general leftward drift of that totalitarian century and championed patriotism, nationalism, industry, and, via the traditionalist strain, monarchy.”
If Christoff wrote that article today, I am sure she would contrast the fine men of the 20th century to the right-wing influencers of October 2021, men who have not produced poetry, novels, plays, or film…they consume these things and talk about it on livestreams, so others can vicariously consume what the influencers have consumed. Consumption is a replacement for creation. Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that it is wrong to watch movies or participate in consumption. However, it is the duty of a cultural-political vanguard to offer a positive vision, and traditionally this has been done through art. Both the right and the left of the 20th century, both T.S Eliot and Albert Camus, both Ezra Pound and Jean-Paul Sartre, spent most of their time writing poetry, putting on plays, or other culture producing activities. Yes, they spent time analyzing the political landscape. Yes, they produced political and social theory. And yes, they reviewed works of culture. Yet, this was always secondary to their creative efforts.These men knew that people do not live and die for theory, no, people live and die for visions, hopes, and dreams. Eliot’s Four Quartets and The Cocktail Party, or Ezra Pound’s Cantos,provide such visions, hopes, and dreams that are worth living and dying for.
If the right is to be victorious in the 21st century, it can no longer pursue the Sisyphean task of getting everyone to read Evola or Spengler. Poking holes in leftist fantasy will not suffice either. This is not because there is nothing of value to reading Evola or Spengler, or that it is profitless to critique the left’s ideology, but it is the case that the majority of people simply do not care about obscure philosophy, and it is equally true that people vote with their imagination rather than their reason. While voters can give you reasons why they vote the way they do, behind these reasons is a vision of the world that precedes reason. Arguments and evidence are the stars in the night sky, beautiful rays of light that are ornaments in a much larger landscape. What the right needs is to provide a positive visionthat appeals to the heart, we need artists, poets, and musicians. Christoff concludes her piece with the following,
“Such has been the main failure of conservatism in America—the lack of appeal to Imagination and of the ability to leave behind works of lasting emotional impact. In a word, it fails because it does not have the creative courage of the mad, bad highbrow right of generations past. It is all grassroots and no bloom.”
I hope that by next October the right will be showcasing their own creations, not overindulging in consumption. Here I throw down the gauntlet, presenting one of my own poems in the hope that men with more potential than me will produce something better.
Green to orange, green to red,
All the sticky little leaves have turned up dead.
Strength sapped and brittle brought,
Life has now begun to rot.
Down to the ground, down they fall,
Turning of life apporaching each and all.
From what height they descend,
Never to grow again.
Yet, is this truly the end?
End of what? A leaf?
A leaf if you like, or the death of a friend.
Yes, the ground is a grave.
A grave is the end? Of both leaf and friend?
Leaf and friend end in the grave, as much as they begin in the nave.
Lest they rise.
Rise? They decompose, not rise.
Nay, life may just rise even if escaping our eyes.
How can it be, without ever been seen?
Seen it might, or to be seen it will…
You speak of magic, a zombie, or a fein.
No. I hope for a Sun rise to crest death’s hill.