In light of the Bronze Age Pervert’s condemnation of the upcoming public Nick Fuentes Corporate Leadership Retreat, many have begun to wonder again: does this elegant and beautiful dissident writer and radio host have a political teaching or at least some kind of plan of action?
This is the same question that was raised by Michael Anton in his initial review of Bronze Age Mindset as well as in his subsequent reply to BAP’s restatement in American Mind.
Yoram Hazony took this cheap shot at BAP on Twitter: “The truth is that Nietzsche, population genetics, and laughter, taken together, are a concoction fit for a resentful, unhappy, single 20-year-old. You can’t build a thing with these ingredients, much less something solid. All you can do is undermine and destroy.”
The eternally cranky Aaron Sibarium had this to say about BAP: “The dissident Right has no idea where it’s going, but it knows it wants to get there fast.”
BAP himself, in his “America’s Delusional Elites are Done,” says that: “My response to Anton’s challenge regarding the best regime is that my book isn’t intended to provide a complete elaboration of this alternative or a philosophical treatise regarding the best form of government. I would indeed be happy with a state of things where that frank discussion could be carried out, even in private. That isn’t the America or the West of today.”
We might wonder if we are grasping at straws in trying to divine a political teaching out of BAP’s work. Nonetheless, I will argue that if we consider his book, articles, BAP-casts, and tweets, we get an outline from which we can and perhaps ought to take guidance.
BAP’s Response to the Religion of our Time
BAP says of his intention in “Delusional Elites,” that, “I will add only that Nietzsche says somewhere that it is the duty of a philosopher to promote precisely those virtues or tendencies of spirit that are most lacking in one’s own time, and even to exaggerate them in the reader, much like a pianist will practice on a piano with heavier-than-normal keys. Of course to be able to do this, you have to have the courage to stand against the religion of the time, which almost no one ever does.”
Standing against the religion of the time–equality–is no small thing.
The first, most simple, and most powerful way BAP stands against the religion of our time is by posting carefully curated pictures of beautiful men. Someone like Hazony or others think that this is merely homosexual or narcissistic. This is not at all the case. Consider the following statement from BAM: “I believe in the right of nature. I’m bored by ideology and by wordchopping. The images I post speak for themselves and point to a primal order that is felt by all in a physical sense” (#76). When we look at these images, we see and feel the vitality within them. We don’t think to ourselves: I wish there were more yeasty blob like humans instead of these well formed humans; or no one thinks: I am glad to be chunky and incapable of physical self-mastery. Only someone who is sick and resentful would think that. As BAP puts it earlier in his book: “Learn that there are two kinds of life, and yeast is different from higher life. Higher life means many fancy and mysterious things too of course but at its most basic it has to do with differentiation and structure. Yeast is an ‘amorphous blob’ that expands, whereas a higher organism has different parts with different functions, different organs, different systems within itself” (#15). Well formed bodies represent the pinnacle of nature; yeast represents the everyday, the ordinary, the small, the disgusting.
So in a sense, we get at least one political principle from BAP: promote beauty in the world. Many of the mealy mouthed today wish to say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,”–BAP thinks that most human communities across time have despised beauty, yet, he insists that we all know it if we permit ourselves to feel it. Haven’t we all found ourselves from time to time, utterly at a loss when speaking to someone beautiful? Beauty can be terrifying. And BAP suspects that in an age that makes everything small, we may yet still be attracted to that which is distinct, that which promises to call us beyond ourselves, and that which elevates everyone around it: beauty. This is a highly constructive and actionable part of his political vision that many different human types can contribute to. If you can lift weights and/or spread beautiful pictures on the internet, you are in a position to contribute.
As BAP sees it, the love of beauty is contagious in the best sense of the word. If the teaching about human life that the Left promotes is ugly and is perhaps reaching new valleys of ugliness, perhaps beauty has a chance to shine out in its full resplendence through the relief of that darkness.
What might stand in the way of a resurgence of the beautiful?
BAP’s Qualified Rejection of Rationalism and Socratism
One obstacle that may prevent us from seeing and appreciating the power of beauty is our concern with rationality or Socratism if you will. Instead of letting ourselves feel beauty, we ask: why is X beautiful? BAP says in BAM that “No great discovery has ever been made by the power of reason. Reason is a means of communicating, imperfectly, some discoveries to others, and in the case of the sciences, a method trying to render this communication certain and precise…Great mathematicians saw spatial relations, as great physicists saw and to some extent felt physical relations…All great scientific discoveries, supposedly the great works of ‘reason,’ are in fact the results of intuition and sudden grasp of ideas” (#22). Can’t we confirm this within our own experience? We read and we write, and sometimes feel devoid of insight until we are suddenly struck, as if from outside, with a spark that we excitedly try to hold on to. BAP seems to be suggesting that reason is that which we use to give shape or articulation to those important discoveries which we suddenly grasp and feel. We all have the experience of failing to communicate what we feel or have in mind. Through words, we break apart a beautiful whole that we experience all at once, and transmit it piecemeal to a friend who we wish to share our excitement with.
To briefly digress, I wonder if BAP has something like the sentiment we find in Rousseau’s Reveries of the Solitary Walker in mind. In the “Third Walk,” Rousseau gives voice to why we are often hesitant to hold views that we have acquired for ourselves: it is hard to defend one’s views against aggressive and small minded “philosophers” or sophistic disputators eager to rob others of free thought: “They had not persuaded me, but they had troubled me. Their arguments had shaken me without having ever convinced me; I found no good reply to them, but I felt there must be one. I accused myself less of error than of ineptitude, and my heart replied to them better than my reason” (Butterworth trans. pg 32). The line about the heart doing better than reason is what seems most important here. We lack the words or dialectical horsepower to defend some of our carefully considered views or convictions; but our heart lets us feel in a physical way, that there is something correct we have in mind (Rousseau is NOT suggesting a simpleminded dogmatism about whatever views we happen to arrive at with little effort). Beauty might well be something we have trouble defending with speech when a small souled and dishonest man says something like: “no, the beauty of the rare and awe-inspiring mountain in the clear cold air is just a social construction–I prefer the mole hill in the field.” At any rate, I would suggest reading the “autobiographical” portions of BAM (like #17, #21, or #24, etc, for instance) with Rousseau’s Reveries in mind.
By deceiving ourselves into relying on reason too much, we begin to distrust what our instincts tell us about beauty. One result in our time of the suspension of instinct and hypertrophic use of reason is transgender ideology (a less important but similar example would be the promotion of plus size models as if they are equally beautiful with their smaller and more well formed counterparts).
I suspect that this is why BAP appears to attack Plato in his book. As Nietzsche teaches us, the plebeian Socrates asked healthy unconscious aristocratic types like Alcibiades: why do you do what you do? Alcibiades does not know. His and others’ healthy aristocratic instincts are corrupted by this kind of questioning. In the Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche presents Hamlet as a prime exemplar of the effects of Socratism: paralysis of action. Today we think too much!
Prior to his acerbic attack on Plato, BAP offers high praise to the almost inconceivable Alcibiades and his uncanny ability to become a political force within any culture he encountered, back when cultures were genuinely different from each other. In Plato’s telling of events, Socrates plays at being Alcibiades’ lover in the Alcibiades I, and then rejects Alcibiades’ romantic designs in the Symposium. BAP revises this presentation, saying: “[Alcibiades] rejected the advances of the Pelasgian pedo-pervert Socrates, a story that Plato then inverted and twisted like the lying cunt and Phoenician ass-kisser that he was” (#50).
On the face of it, this looks like a damning indictment of Plato, essentially saying that Plato was too pathetic to admit that his hero tried to have sex with a beautiful young man. We might pause though, when someone named the Bronze Age Pervert calls Socrates a pervert. This is going too far, but one wonders if “pervert” might be a substitute for “untimely.” Anyone with untimely views will likely appear a pervert in his own time. Nonetheless, the rhetorical purpose here is clear: turn not to Plato and philosophy for guidance; turn rather to Thucydides, Plutarch and the study of political history in general.
In our historical moment, a dialectical refutation of liberalism is not what is needed. That liberalism has been a thousand times refuted is not the least of its charms. This is one reason there is “no message” or no “political philosophy” in Bronze Age Mindset. “Fools, you think I’m here to promote a ‘way of life’ or morality! No principles or ideas are of any use today…” (#54). There are plenty of good ideas out there–but not enough brave men capable of carrying them out.
“This abandon to nature and instinct–this is the Bronze Age way!” (#56).
BAP on the Importance of Friendship and Decentralization
On December 2nd, 2019, BAP tweeted: “I’ve long recommended: make strong friendships. Keep it loose and decentralized, rely on loyalty to known friends rather than ideology or central figures (including me). Succeed in normal world: business, law, etc.; don’t follow my path. Infiltrate security apparatus w your frens.”
On friendships, his book has much to say. We don’t have much direct experience when it comes to deep friendships; and when we encounter deep friendships of the past, like that of Achilles and Patroclus, we vulgarly imagine that they had to be sexual–this is due to the poverty of our imaginations. And further, “Friendship is a social relation of a kind that is beyond all ‘ethics,’ you see, and if you ever think of it in terms of ethics you misunderstand it” (#54). Real friends don’t calculate the benefits they receive. They don’t weigh up the bar tab–they understand without thinking who should pay what and why. They don’t ask: “when can we hang next?” They get together whenever its good to do so, dropping by without invitation. We always feel bolstered by the presence of a friend. Burdensome or impossible tasks become lighter or even possible. We are often suspicious of friendships we are not a part of. Friends separate off from the group while still in sight of the group. What are they are talking about?–something that is only fitting for their ears. This is why the state today puts pressure on scouting organizations and fraternities–to abolish friendship or at least to make us wary of it.
In addition, BAP’s point about decentralization here is key. As Moldbug has pointed out, liberal democracy is, on one hand, ruthlessly efficient in coordinating elite public opinion, yet, on the other hand, incredibly decentralized as it does so. That means that votes and bullets can’t change anything fundamental about the situation we find ourselves in. Winning a presidential election isn’t nothing, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of fundamentally re-orienting the Western moral outlook toward healthier prospects. Indeed, it can even help fuel the progressive’s narrative that they are somehow not ascendant or help them forget that they have won every significant engagement of the culture war. Presuming that this is 101 kind of stuff for BAP, he may think that a decentralized counter-cultural push from the inside is the best way to facilitate change. Big public rallies accomplish little and potentially endanger the chances of serious people rising to prominent positions within the security apparatus, deep state, or into other powerful positions. And notably, BAP points out that friendships are more important than “leaders” like him. Too much reliance on BAP’s leadership would render his followers weak should BAP choose to retire or be compelled to retire by the NWO.
It is an important point that BAP does not want readers to be too reliant on him. That is why his book is an exhortation. That is why he turns us toward a Bronze Age mindset. And that may be why he writes and speaks in a such a way as not to have a “political program.” By exhorting us toward a peculiar disposition or mindset, he tries to teach us to catch fish on our own so that we can eat for a lifetime.
BAP on the Way Forward
Finally: what are we supposed to take of BAP’s pronouncements about a piratical future?
On one hand, he may be entirely serious. If the liberal world order weakens–through, for example, some kind of domestic strife–we won’t see the US and other powers back up international law, and then we will return to “classical international law” wherein nations and peoples “work things out” for themselves, and establish borders consistent without the amount of territory they are able to successfully control (see Moldbug “Open Letter” ch. 5). The ensuing chaos might very well leave room for heroic piratical brotherhoods to roam. Only a rare breed of man will be successful or able to enjoy the benefits of such a brotherhood. It may be that piratical types or biologies will embrace and look forward to such a future and that the great majority of human beings will quiver in fear.
If BAP is not entirely serious about piratical brotherhoods, and is merely “pressing the piano keys too hard” to make a point, there might still be something to learn. If you form powerful networks and prepare AS IF a piratical future awaits you, you will be more prepared to face ANY political development that emerges. Your political imagination will be rich and deep enough not to be surprised by any possibility, no matter how elevated or degenerate, and you will be able to influence or accommodate yourself to events as circumstances allow.
Something else we have to bear in mind, is who BAP’s audience is: us. He warns repeatedly in the 3rd section of the book that we may find ourselves “disheartened” if we try to compare ourselves to the men of old and somewhat recent times who he admires: “they are so far from your possibilities that the example is almost depressing” (#61; see also #49). It is difficult to stress the difference between perhaps ALL of us and Alcibiades. I wonder if BAP sees the purpose of his project as an attempt to try make the psycho-physiological soil better, should some kind of new founder emerge. In other words, BAP knows that there is no need to waste time on carving out an alternative “political theory” because he knows that great men don’t need such pamphlets. He can exhort us to become better so that we can become more useful and able to serve an outstanding political man, should he arise at the right moment.
I am NOT suggesting that BAP is telling us to twiddle our thumbs waiting for a great man! Besides, we can’t count on one emerging, and we have to be careful about becoming enchanted by a charlatan. We are responsible for re-gaining and developing our inborn powers. You can live well enough to become worthy of respecting yourself. And, BAP provides plenty of suggestions in sections 73 and 74 of BAM for small yet not insubstantial ways anyone might expose the authoritarian ugliness the West has fallen into. This peaceful exposure of the truth–as well as impishly concealing the truth through the promotion of conspiracies, can help untether our elites from the small shreds of respect they still clothe themselves in.
To put all this into a vulgar formula:
- Promote beauty and become beautiful.
- Listen to and trust your instincts.
- Make deep and lasting friendships.
- Expose the truth and expose the pettiness and ugliness of our elites.