Against epistemic aestheticism and towards an empirical and statistical understanding of society

There is a spectre over the dissident right: the spectre of epistemic aestheticism. This spectre threatens to lead us down a false path backward into the ages of subhuman squalor. It is the true culmination of reaction for reaction’s sake: a complete return to prehistorical intellectual subhumanity via the rejection of truth and the restoration of will on the throne of epistemology.

While its adherents swear this idea is adverse to postmodernity, they make a crucial error: while this project is reactionary indeed, the postmodern project discriminates not between “reaction” and “progression” in themselves, despite the transformation of the meaning of “progress” into the totality of postmodern regress. In actuality, the clear trend since Nietzsche, the father of epistemic postmodernism, has been towards epistemic aestheticism, the rejection of reason in thinking and its replacement with pure, imperfect human will. How else does detritus such as Critical Theory justify itself? How do the race deniers think if not by the aesthetic of equality? The right has long been special in its masculine orientation towards the truth and its opposition to “human will as reality.” But the epistemic aestheticists, the “Postmodern” or “Art” Right threaten to subvert humanity’s last hope of setting upon the path to perfection. If they are successful, the raw, based, and unshakeable reality of the world will remain forever unknown to us, as we exterminate ourselves slowly through the worship of an imperfect flesh’s will.

The main disseminators of epistemic aestheticism are Bronze Age Pervert, Zero HP Lovecraft, and Mencius Moldbug. Each of these figures is associated with the NRx strand of the dissident right, and for each of them there are signs of astroturfing. An article in the Atlantic attempts to expose some of these signs. One: Peter Thiel is NRx or adjacent and at the least funds Moldbug’s business ventures. And Two: Moldbug “joked” that BAP is very close to Steve Bannon. At any rate, his opinionated book received a suspicious level of attention. As for Zero HP Lovecraft, his twitter is suspiciously well followed and he also oddly is allowed to post on the Claremont Institute’s, a “conservative think-tank,” magazine called The American Mind where he writes replies to Moldbug (who replies to BAP; all three are on this site!) on occasion. He’s also active in the BAP twittersphere. Furthermore, despite the relative popularity of these figures, none of them have proven themselves capable of producing work that transcends epistemic mediocrity. While at times interesting, all of their work indeed boils down to mere aesthetic, always lacking epistemic rigor. Proselytizing explicitly for epistemic aestheticism is only fitting for these three. Last but not least, all of them fail a fundamental thinker-quality litmus test: the acceptance of the idea of massive Jewish influence on society and the idea that said influence is integral to the ideological status quo (this is not to say it’s the only factor). Moldbug is confirmed to be Jewish and fails to rise to the level of men like Ron Unz, admitting he’s never read MacDonald but lazily rejecting the two ideas nonetheless. Zero HP Lovecraft lacks a fundamental understanding of the nature of zeitgeists and spreads Dawkin’s liberal meme theory, regarding “the Jews” as just a boogeyman and not an essential piece of the puzzle of postmodernity. And finally, BAP is BAP.

Knowing enough to be weary of intentions and the rigor of ideas, let us examine the doctrine of epistemic aestheticism (my naming) in their own words. I am not well read enough in BAP (nor will I ever be, unless perhaps I am sent to prison for hate speech, and I am allowed to read, and BAP is all they have. Not even then honestly) to know if, when, or where he might have exhorted epistemic aestheticism, but if I were it would be irrelevant anyway since BAP does not respect truth in any of his utterings, meaning his literal words cannot be reasoned about. Instead, BAP’s whole, singular book encapsulates epistemic aestheticism. BAP tells us on the first page that “this is not a book of philosophy. It is exhortation.” A book of science or truth is never thought of. The doctrines of wokeism and neoliberalism are furthermore said to be “filthy” and “a great ugliness” but not untrue. In these lines are the entirety of epistemic aestheticism: the truth doesn’t matter. In its place, beauty, which is ultimately just an emotional reaction of an imperfect creation, at least in the way it is meant. For I believe there is true beauty in the world, and it is tied inextricably with the true objective good, but that man, being flawed, is not entitled to feel it beyond that which reaches his hindbrain through a glass darkly. What is good and beautiful is furthermore, also true. BAP does not understand this and nor do other epistemic aestheticists, because if they did they would not have strayed by exalting their unconscious sin-drive over their God-given reason. Only dedication to truth is dedication to beauty; though BAP may not be capable of feeling it, being imperfect (nor am I necessarily any more capable of feeling it, to be clear), the one true beautiful aesthetic is the one arrived at when man and all his dirty, lying institutions is purified by truth. In essence epistemic aestheticists truly understand neither epistemology nor aesthetics nor anything at all but the ability for the low to violate the aristocratic principle and bring down the high, via the gross manipulation of lowly emotions.

Moldbug basically states this explicitly in his essay “The Deep State vs. The Deep Right:” “Art [is] a weapon. … Man invented art for one reason: to mog.” And Moldbug is happy to use this weapon wantonly. Truly, in light of the low level of epistemic rigor exhibited throughout the rest of his work, Moldbug has often be excused by followers as being “an aesthetic.” But if art is a weapon, a dangerous one at that, one that Moldbug spuriously (per usual) claims “All revolutions begin as a fundamentally aesthetic break,” who should wield such a weapon? Should it be, as Moldbug writes about Marx, Jews “whose ideas are drivel and whose writing is divine?” Obviously not. If indeed art is a great weapon, it should only be wielded by those who are firmly based. That is, those who are based in truth and reality. Not, dare I say, those who still believe in liberal theories of the zeitgeist like Dawkin’s memetics. Not those unwilling to acknowledge the influence of the Jewish tribe upon postmodernity even in pseudonymous writing. And certainly not those who openly eschew any reading at all (especially if it’s scientific) like BAP. Moldbug even “agrees” with me: “The easiest path to aesthetic dominance is mere truth. Above all, one feature makes any story ugly: lies.” But upon a deeper inspection it is revealed in his second Clear Pill essay that truth for Moldbug is just a thing, and “other qualities might also be beautiful. If they could overpower [truth], the result would be a beautiful lie.” This sentiment goes back far for Moldbug, as in an early 2007 writing titled “A Formalist Manifesto,” he plainly states “I am not a big fan of ‘empirical evidence.’” Thus it is revealed why such an intelligent man can seem so careless with his ideas: truth matters only insofar as imperfect people think it’s beautiful, so Moldbug optimizes his writings for persuasiveness or faux-beauty and not for real-beauty or truth. This is dangerous and actually ugly. Insofar as Moldbug serves as a gatekeeper of the truth and not an imperfect gateway to it, he and his ilk might be a net-negative subversionary force among the Truth-Right and the world at large.

Among the three, Zero HP Lovecraft has the best chance of being a net-positive, despite esoteric-fedposting. Sadly his head seems all twisted up in speculation (“philosophy”) and perhaps in justifying this he sings the praises of epistemic aestheticism. Responding to Moldbug’s essay on the same topic in the American Mind, Zero HP Lovecraft references a Borges story called “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.” The story has themes of epistemic relativism and subjectivism, which ZHL explains: “It begins with a small brotherhood who conspire to fabricate a history for a non-existent place …

In time, scholars and laymen alike become fascinated with the imaginary country of Uqbar in the region of Tlön, and they participate in the creation of its lore, its histories, its economies, and its fashions. The encyclopedia of Tlön is so detailed, the narrator surmises it to be the work of “astronomers, biologists, engineers, metaphysicians, poets, chemists, algebraists, moralists, painters, geometers…directed by an obscure man of genius.” As its knowledge spreads, Tlön becomes more real than what is real, and the culture of earth is supplanted by this new simulacrum, as people increasingly adopt the customs and languages of the world they have invented.

Note that this is a perfect example of what a meme theorist might consider to be a viral meme that is also a lie that is more “beautiful” than a truth. He continues expressing his goal to create such a lie and have it rule the world: “Your schools will be invaded by the language of Tlön; the teaching of its harmonious history (filled with moving episodes) will erase the one which governed in your childhood.” This is all no better than progressivism and its “beautiful” lie of equality. In fact, this is all quite weak. Those who must cope live by lies but those with strength can bask in the full penetrating glory of the truth. The only reason to create and “reside in” Tlön is precisely that the truth is not tolerable for the imperfect subject in question and the current pretty lies are not enough of a cope, for whatever reason.

Nevertheless the theme of epistemic nihilism or relativism should be addressed. We know the data but not the words published in science are safe from zeitgeist-lies because (a) scientific inventions work and (b) social science data independently converges on taboo truths like that of Jewish influence, genetic inequality, and female-femininity. History is another question. It indeed is in a much sorrier state, but there is a good reason why it’s incorrect to use encyclopedias as an historical source. In the case of Tlön being inserted into encyclopedias, it would be trivial to show that no primary sources exist that can verify the supposed history of the fake city. And I see no evidence, even anecdotal, that humans are in such a sorry state that it would be possible to systematically fabricate never-before-seen primary sources in such a way that they become universally accepted and thought to be real. Although I suppose that as sovereignty becomes more efficient a la 1984 this could change. For now though, my own research into history seems to indicate that the evidence converges onto taboo truths in many ways. All of this is to say that epistemic nihilism or relativism is just a cope.

What is to be thought of epistemic aestheticism, then? Moldbug in particular executes a delightful motte & bailey, noting (spuriously of course) that art is a weapon. I’m inclined to agree with this, where art is propaganda. The great mass lacks the capacity to fully appreciate the truth and should be guided by those who can until the time when that great mass can be improved. This is done primarily by propaganda and force. It is therefore not wrong in itself to craft an aesthetic, but it is wrong if such an aesthetic is used to turn people away from the truth. Ideally, the one who crafts the mere aesthetic for the masses is inferior to the one who discovers the truth the aesthetic uses for its scaffolding. The aestheticist must be licensed by good understanding of what is real or else he should take orders from someone with such an understanding. But what we have with the lying artist is a rebellion against natural hierarchy, something many instantly identify to be a core trait of “leftism.” It is true that since the truth is still largely unknown, the artist must lie some of the time. But a lie can point towards the truth more so than another lie. The question is: where does NRx lie along this spectrum?

2 thoughts on “Against epistemic aestheticism and towards an empirical and statistical understanding of society

  1. Sir,

    Despite your rather poor writing skills (more about which shortly), in substance you correctly imply that any Jew not named Benjamin Freedman, Gerard Menuhin, or Nathanael Kapner should be unceremoniously booted from Rightest circles. Even Unz doesn’t quite rise to the unimpeachable level of Freedman, Menuhin, or Kapner as far as having truly laid bare what Zion has long been up to.

    Now…let us move on to your essay’s MANY flaws in terms of grammar, punctuation, and style:

    I know that in your essay’s opening you are trying to be “cute” with your allusion to the opening line of Greg Johnson’s book The White Nationalist Manifesto (and of course the infamous Marxian line whence it derives). Still, if this is not a hackneyed, pretentious essay opening, then nothing is:

    “There is a spectre over the dissident right: the spectre of epistemic aestheticism. This spectre threatens to lead us down a false path backward into the ages of subhuman squalor.”

    Look, like you, I also abhor the Jewish attempt to pervert the radical right. Still and all, concerning your opening volley, I must nonetheless react as follows: BARF…just barf.

    Quite apart from your pretension, you also have too many typographical errors and/or “literacy errors” in your prose. Here is but a small sample:

    (1) “… all three ON are ON this site…”,

    (2) “IDEADS,” and

    (3) Do you not know that when one introduces (especially one’s own) neologism, it is proper to ITALICIZE it, including–and especially–when the neologism appears in the title to the essay in question? You forgot to italicize “Epistemic Aestheticism” in your title, but in the body of your work you also wrote:

    “Knowing enough to be weary of intentions and the rigor of ideas, let us examine the doctrine of epistemic aestheticism (my naming) in their own words.”

    (4) You seem not to have mastered the use of the COMMA in English:

    “Although I suppose that as sovereignty becomes more efficient a la 1984 this could change.”

    You should have typed a comma after “suppose that” and then again after “1984.”

    (5) You also have many more comma problems, including here:

    “Those who must cope live by lies but those with strength can bask in the full penetrating glory of the truth.”

    I shall let you work out where the comma(s) belong(s) in that last quoted sentence above.

    (6) Learn also when to HYPHENATE:

    “How do the race deniers think if not by the aesthetic of equality?”

    (7) Last but not least, there is this THREE-for-the-price-of-one UNGRAMMATICAL “cluster fuck”:

    “Furthermore, despite the relative popularity of these figures, none have [SIC] them have [SIC] proven themselves [SIC] capable of producing work that transcends epistemic mediocrity.”

    Look up “SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT,” “PRONOUN-VERB AGREEMENT,” and “PRONOUN-PRONOUN AGREEMENT.” You should have written it this way:

    “Furthermore, despite the relative popularity of these figures, none OF them HAS proven HIMSELF capable of producing work that transcends epistemic mediocrity.”

    In that sentence, “NONE” is a SINGULAR pronoun, NOT a plural pronoun, hence you must say “NONE HAS,” not “NONE HAVE.” Moreover, since you are talking here about individual MALES, and “NONE” is a singular pronoun in that sentence, the corresponding reflexive pronoun must be singular too, not “themselves.”

    I could go on and on citing your English usage errors, but I think that I have proven my point amply by now.

    Speaking of “mediocrity” and what to do about it, consider your own GRAMMATICAL MEDIOCRITY. I suggest investing in a copy of STRUNK & WHITE’S ELEMENTS OF STYLE since you were apparently on acid during school English classes.

    Aside from its NUMEROUS mechanical flaws, your writing is abstruse and convoluted, yet still managing somehow to be pretentiously jargon-ridden. Please learn how to write with more conciseness and clarity, but also with better style.

    [END]

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    • Thanks for the feedback. I’ve fixed the typos you pointed out. As for comma grammar, I purposely use them in that way. I find following all of the comma rules to be boring and voice-killing. Your mandate for me to italicize is similarly stuffy.
      I care more about style. Have you heard of “camp?” 70s rock is filled with it. It’s a really nice, borderline ironic aesthetic that I think is underappreciated. Furthermore the melodramatic allusion had a point: “This Is Important, like the Communist Manifesto.” I even agree in calling it pretension. The thing is that I like pretension. It’s fun and inescapable in self expression. Why should I even be posting if I don’t think I have anything valuable to say? BAP is pretension in the flesh, so surely you aren’t a BAP fan if some playful pretension means “BARF.”
      If you have any tips on what style to go for to not be bland or annoying I will listen.
      I guess you’re not a pretentious progrock fan but those who are should recognize a similar campy aesthetic is this writing. Aside from style and grammar, I think I made my point well and I made it very clearly. You had nothing to say on this other than that you agree with at least some of what I said so I’ll assume you agree with me.
      At the end of the day what I care about the most is ideological rigor and argumentation. Style is secondary to that and following strict grammar rules is tertiary. As long as what I write is readable by people of sufficient intelligence I place aesthetic critiques squarely behind critiques of the substance of the essay.

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