Now to throw a bottle of 1811 Château d’Yquem against the prow of our new, our courageous HMS CaD, letting it sail right on past the bowsprit to smash across the bare breasts of her maiden figurehead. Salute as the great vessel slips sideward down the slipway and crashes into the water, a first mighty jab at Ocean’s chin. May she sail straight and true thru the darkest and most tempest-tost of waters.
This inaugural voyage owes its provenance to certain waves currently rippling through the Western body politic. Or, is it the Western mind politic? Perhaps we can say it is a new Crisis of the Mind of a type Paul Valéry may have recognized in the competing visions, the competing ideas all struggling to the fore in (his) postwar Europe. The friction of many ideas and mental adventurisms brought heat and light, but not the sort that illuminates.
“The physicists tell us that if the eye could survive in an oven fired to the point of incandescence, it would see . . . nothing. There would be no unequal intensities of light left to mark off points in space. That formidable contained energy would produce invisibility, indistinct equality. Now, equality of that kind is nothing else than a perfect state of disorder.”
We will not do Valéry the disservice of laying out a long pedigree of ideas, nor compare, by begets, a lineage starting from philosophers. Here are some plein air conceits:
What are these latter-day competing visions?
- In the first case, that liberal democracy is possible and a self-evident Good in the long term versus the idea that enfranchising every man and woman, landed or not, of any special talent or not, intelligent or wise or prudent or reserved in action or not will, when the Nots are totted up, eventually lead to decline and decay.
- That J.S. Mill-type liberalism can exist in a vast plurality versus the idea that it can exist only in small, highly literate communities. Small, mostly homogenous communities with a high degree of trust can support the idea that the other fellow can tell any truth he wants because I know he ultimately wants to cover my back rather than to slit my throat.
- That “whites” can never stop repaying the world for what they allegedly did to it versus the notion that, where they were wrong, they have mostly made amends and where they weren’t, the world profited marvelously by it.
- That “Equality” is an achievable ought rather than an impossible goal one gets revolutionaries to rally around, good in the midterm but murderous when followed to extremes (as has been often tried on the Left in the last three centuries and which they are trying again as I type). Equality is something that doesn’t exist in fickle nature. “Equality” is the thing those evil Kulaks don’t want us to have. Those nasty Boers. The horrible Rhodesians. Those kings of France. The Plantagenets. George III.
We shall be taking the later position on each of these points and more.
These convulsions have set not a few ships like this one sailing, as if the spectre of a crumbling West were some dark-veiled Helen calling out. The ships are of varying quality, of course, not only in form but in the excellencies of their captaincy and crews. Those who have intellectually preceded CaD are John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, Mencius Moldbug, to name a few. Others have added wind to her sails. Razib Khan, Spandrell, Anatoly Karlin, Ron Unz, etc.
As to her Captain? As an authority, he isn’t one except in this little ship; he’ll try to tend her well and keep her sails full. When not plying and plowing dark waters, he resides somewhere in Asia and has a wife and daughter there; this will seem suspiciously typical of the Richard Spencer set, of which he is not, and the John Derbyshire set, of which he is. A Jared Taylor he is also not, but neither is he allergic to Mr. Taylor’s type.
He was born and raised in America. He speaks not a few languages with proficiency, and spent his twenties reading literature and being something of a leftist before he’d got enough history and human nature ingested to come to his senses. He was a military man, a student of philosophy in university, and lived through riot and revolution in Africa and Asia Minor. He has spent time among the Chinese and Japanese, as among the Muslims. He has lived in France and toured the great cities of Europe.
Thanks to the good Captain’s early intellectual life, below decks a darkened library blooms from the bulkheads like black fungus. It is of ample ambition but irregularly provisioned, so that it leans heavily upon the fin de siècle in Europe, primarily in literature. Henry James or Paul Valéry or Flaubert are likely to be called forth and abused for our author’s grim purposes. Shakespeare may appear, or the Bible of course. The Quran will be expected to answer or to answer for itself, on occasion. Perhaps Sir Thomas Browne, or Pope, or Jeremy Taylor, god knows. Indeed there will be histories from its beginning to its leading edge; philosophy, too, in spadefuls.
And what is it all for? For the purpose of ridiculing or contradicting foolhardy Progressivism, which would very much like to give it all away, every ounce of civilization stored up in the coffers of the several continents on which it has flourished thanks very much to the light of Europe and Europe’s children. The good ship CaD aims to aim broadside at the Left and Whig history, at least in this little portion of the big pond, and loose her fourteeners in service of the Good Old Way.
(Did you know, dear reader, that a cannon and a sonnet are both called fourteeners? There’s something to it, I’m sure).
There will be much discussion of things one isn’t meant to discuss:
- Revisionist history, for one, to include a reappraisal of some of the colonial record. The 64-or-so countries of the world that are former colonies interest your Captain immensely; the tale of colonialism is often told as an evil FULL STOP, despite the evidence of our eyes. Eyes being trustworthy only so far, we’ll examine whether we’re fools to believe them or fools not to. We’ll examine the difference between extractive colonial policies and those that built the engines of our current world; and we’ll look into where decolonization was a stupid enterprise that cost the lives of millions.
- Human biodiversity, as we are of the camp who understands what it means that selective pressures work on the human brain as well as on physiognomy; as on the fish and fowl and the other upright apes who are our cousins.
- We shall recognize group difference and call attention to it. No single group will be treated with kid gloves.
- Immigration is on the table, and we’d like to take it off. Anything up to a moratorium is up for discussion, but we’ll accept a trickle.
- We will constantly berate Noam Chomsky. Moldbug made Chomsky a whipping boy as well, but Yr. Captain knew full well to loathe that charlatan before discovering Moldbug and will not be shamed as some deriviste. Chomsky is a running gag from day 1. Moldbug’s rule, and one that will be adopted here, is that in order to better understand the world one may safely take the opposite position to anything Chomsky has ever written or said.
- Generally, feminism, transgenderism, the 白左 (baizuo), “equality”, identity politics, the various gender questions, and other forms of Leftism will be open to ridicule. And liberal democracy, too. (Where people are right, of course, they are right, and we shall try to remain clear-headed about science, which might very well show us a “trans” neuro-anatomy, for instance. Furthermore, any idea that is sensible even if it’s Left-sensible will achieve its own amnesty. It’s the excesses of Lefty idealism we shall deign to hate).
- As for identity politics, one supposes they must be practised, now, in a reactionary way by the Right as well. It’s a sad concession to the state we find ourselves in. Particularly in light of recent events, White identity is salient again.
There, now. Our ship is sailing out the harbor and around the bend, and she’ll soon be beyond the cape.
Welcome, dear reader. And godspeed.