The opening of the album is the only presence of the feminine in the entire project, save for the few brief words of a doctor announcing that SYRE has “died before”. A shallow reading would believe that SYRE is about dreams, but in fact, it is about reincarnation. Moreso, it is about surviving one’s death, and proving oneself in a world that may as well be the afterlife after the feminine oracle deserts it, abandoning SYRE to his own devices. The fact that the female voice opens the album and then vanishes is no coincidence – it is itself the story of creation, the divine logos of the gnostic Goddess Sophia who leaves SYRE, or Adam, to fend for himself in the world.
How does SYRE respond? By drumming up unfocused power, myth and fury. The second song’s hook, “I could put you on a wave” is one of the finest of the year, and evokes the ocean, the youthful SYRE riding the waves that have made the Goddess leave the world and his life. Man, in the absence of light, can only create ‘waves’. The album is about the afterlife, and successive cycles of terrestrial motion, a celebration broken by a lengthily conscious verse, a narcissistic airing of grievances, only to return once again to the booming celebration of the wave. SYRE alternates between his conscious denial of life and his unconscious love of its primeval forces.
By this point in the album, we have only covered the first two tracks. They are part of an enormous 13-minute song titled BLUE, broken into four parts while flowing continuously through as one unbroken tide of feeling. This is not a breakup album, but an album about the divorce between the prodigal son and the Mary-Sophia figure of the complete feminine. The entirety of BLUE rushes and roars between moments of utter self-affirmation, conscious reflection, melancholic regret and unmediated rage. The prodigal son stirs up motions in the sea, furious at his fallen state, yearning for the clockwork perfection of the mother. But as the clock winds down, only the fall, and absence, awaits.
It is my suspicion that Jaden Smith fought tail and nail to remain in the womb as a fetus. He is often mocked for his comments on social media, and his general air of self-created ‘wokeness’, but more than someone who likes to talk, he approaches me in SYRE as someone who believes there is too much to say, and so he says nothing. Jaden Smith is an avatar of the age – the young man born into riches and prestige, who, in conflict with the realities of the fallen world, becomes a walking contradiction. He knows this. He knows that the world is not what it should be, and yet powerless to change it, he makes music. He speaks through abstractions, and outside of that selective speaking, he falls silent.
The strength of the album is not necessarily based on what Jaden says, but on how he presents himself in the context of this grand severing of the young boy from the desired place – beside the throne of the divine feminine in the pre-fallen virgin nature that existed before cruel Yahweh parted the waters of existence and invented the ocean, from which ooze and being would soon grow, and evolve, along the serpentine tree of life, into an organism conscious of its alienation from the spiritual world – humankind.
Consciousness is exactly the problem – for us, and for Jaden Smith. Jaden, or SYRE, as the two are each other’s perennial twin, wishes to be enlightened, but the structure of everyday life rejects enlightenment. If you meet a man who claims to be enlightened, the first rule of order is to be intensely skeptical. Smith, who is wounded with an inborn craving for truth, (a consequence of the divine feminine abandoning the young prodigal son) is mocked for seeking truth. Because he ventures into territory of conspiracy and a few easily-mocked Tweets, his desire to become enlightened makes him the butt of a cultural joke. Being willingly unconscious, and foolish, is perceived as more noble and authentic than seeking ‘truth’ along faulty grounds.
To be conscious that nature is fallen is to accept a trap – I can be good, but I cannot be better than the world. Given the tendency of the world towards shadow, and the dark pit that bleeds from men’s hearts into hell itself, what can we then aspire to? To be human, as those Chinese-finger-trap philosophers, the existentialists, understood, is to lose. There is nothing more human than to lose, and SYRE has lost love itself before the album even begins.
In the bleeding-beautiful minimalism of the song Batman, Smith laments the fallen state of the material world with tragic clarity. Echoing the hook of Drake and Future’s iconic Jumpman, Smith engages repetition while destroying the myth of the vigilante vanguard: “You was protecting the bank, then you walked off with a mil.” Batman is a lamentation of the impure myth in its purest form.
Perhaps Icon is my favorite song. A wailing banger of classic proportions, the kind of beat you would expect to be killed by Jay-Z, creates a marble column of testament to the will of fallen mankind. The sheer bravado of Icon and Watch Me, following the mood of Batman, is the resurgence of the male ego against the recognition that all that is ‘male’ is now stale and old. Batman, the Romans and Yahweh himself no longer form the connective tissue of the psyche of collective humankind. Instead, Jaden Smith yearns for the transcendental, is mocked, and makes music to prove that novelty still exists.
The Passion is a song that no one could truly expect. Any rapper who happened to create it would have stumbled upon a kind of philosopher’s stone. On a wobbling beat whose rippling edges could fall off into insanity, Smith’s performance when he croons “Watch me hit them guitar notes/I just need me a model/Reincarnation’s the motto” is simply genius. You must hear the song to understand. And the hook! The otherworldly nature of the hook makes the song immense fun, until finally, it fades into a minute-long ending of the saddest low-fi piano music conceivable. In fact, Jaden begs: “SYRE, don’t do this”. Don’t go there – don’t do it to yourself. But the oscillation between inconsolable depression and the vibrant young male persona is a constant. The following song, George Jeff, well…if anyone dislikes George Jeff, they’re absolutely lost (The hardest lyric of the album is here: “I’d kill myself to resurrect”).
Lastly, consider the album art. The carefree black boy, lying on the green panorama, gazing into the pink sunset. SYRE is the incarnation of the dream – the afterlife of a boy killed by his Sophia figure. SYRE died before the album began. SYRE’s existence does not matter – SYRE is Jaden, and Jaden is Adam, and Adam is the lonely prodigal son. The intention and the beauty of SYRE is toward timelessness. Jaden Smith, this year, has voice acted in an anime, released this album, and will soon make a film about the life of SYRE. He is a polymathic talent, and aspires toward aeon.
He is “George Jefferson/the male Maleficent”. The aspiration toward the androgyne is an attempt to recreate the Sophia on fallen Earth. The male who is also female is the realization of the Holy Trinity become six – no longer Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but the three in conjunction with Mother, Daughter, Holy Soul. The Egyptians understood this, when they sculpted the sphinx, who is split between the Greek and the Egyptian as an androgyne.
SYRE is everything I could want in an album, and I look forward to the moves of Jaden Smith in the decades to come.
The idea that any system we have developed thus far as a species is going to be the one that saves us is extremely unlikely. Everywhere you turn, the current ways people think about politics, culture and biology are a wasteland of half-thoughts that land us nowhere. So, let’s locate the pulse of the problem.
The current media landscape is incredibly ‘woke’. Buzzfeed has more views than any socially liberal website could ever hope to achieve. All other players in the online publishing game follow their lead. So why, then, when leftist thinking is so read and disseminated on social media, is the American left at such a place of stagnation?
The simple fact is that capitalism is more powerful than any attempt to subvert it within its confines. Being ‘woke’, or essentially commodifying A People’s History of the United States, with an extreme shading of identity politics, has exposed America’s crimes but made them only a larger swirling chunk of garbage in the downward spiral. The ‘truth’ is just another source of profit, and websites like Mic and Fusion profit off social justice while denying their writers the right to unionize or form collective power.
The left, as it currently stands, is like a small virus that ultimately only serves to improve the immune system of capitalism. Micah White, one of the key organizers behind Occupy Wall Street, has called both Occupy and Black Lives Matter almost total failures as movements. Perhaps they got us to discuss a broader range of issues, such as class and race. Or perhaps they merely poisoned us with more bad conscience, more guilt, more sinkholes of cosmic depth with no known solutions.
It seems to me, plainly, that there are two general trends that will occur on Earth in the next hundred years. Of course, climate change and global capital will sculpt this battered planet, and we will merely fill the pockmarks left by their trails. But in the wake of advanced industrialism and globalism, we do have two choices:
Unite to form a world government,
Fracture infinitely into thousands of nations.
This tension, between the global and the local, the cosmopolitan and the rural, the global city and the town square, has been at the root of our politics for a very long time. Donald Trump postured as an icon for citizen and country over global community. It is tempting for the Trotskyite, or the left-internationalist, the multicultural cosmopolitan, to completely dismiss the concerns of the fragmented, the regional, the local.
But consider seriously what we are doing. In transforming all the world into a global city, are we not gentrifying and obliterating every last strand of culture, of human essence, that exists on this globe? I live in New York City. It is a place without identity, where old men in their dying months stagger the streets alone, where no neighborhood is yours, where there is no community, no understanding of place, only the infinite stimulation of millions of people you will never understand, who are all starving, and you, who like Donald Trump, are starving, and seek attention, and validation online.
The global diverse mega-city will be a techno-hell, the exact future we understand to exist beneath the boot of Facebook, Amazon and Google. I do not want it. I do not wish to centralize beneath the sword of algorithm. I would rather fracture. I would rather let numerous centers of power operate in isolation, to allow the United States to fracture, to break apart. You cannot seriously believe that this country has any universal unity, not any more. Let the south secede. Let California, New England, the rust belt and the Midwest all become their own nations governed as their populations see fit. The cosmopolitan liberal has nothing in common with the Pennsylvanian conservative farmer. Citizens of Paris and New York would be more successful in coming to agreement on any given issue than we ‘Americans’.
So long as corporations and nations consolidate power, they will create a world without humanity. Only fragmented sovereignty, thousands of innumerable competing interests, can destroy the single Leviathan that would make us into a new primordial ooze.
I do not wish to see mothers become artificial wombs birthing beasts with IQs of 200, born to conquer the world. I do not wish to see humanity usurped by the central systems of corporate-digital power, mausoleums of code, monuments to the evaporation of the human essence and will. I wish to preserve literature, religion, the great achievements of the past, the knowledge of Christianity, and alchemy, Hermeticism and the poetry of Sufis.
I do not wish to dissolve all in the grand cosmopolitan spirit of international capital. I do not wish to see specificity washed away by the vague. I do not wish to be Nieztsche’s ‘last man’, which we are all surely in the process of becoming.
If we are human, we must live like humans. The left doesn’t know how to do it. The right doesn’t care to examine the question. The center is content to dissolve into pus. What will we do, we humans, who stand to become machines? What will we do to prove that we were worth our own lives, to our children, if we sorry nihilistic lot ever even have them?
What will we say to justify our own births at this most crucial turning point, this international artificial intelligence that can be compared to demonic intelligence, seizing the globe?
The old ways are done. The only question remaining is the preservation and flourishing of the human spirit and dignity in the absolute grip of all-consuming capital. If we centralize power, we will be as lost souls in the hydro-fluid of the antichrist. Right now, I believe in fragmentation and many centers of sovereignty. Break up Google, break up Silicon Valley, then break up yourself and let the pieces fall where they may.
Donald Trump is a neoliberal. But since performance is more deeply valued than policy, he continues to masquerade to his supporters as a populist rebel, a force for human resurgence against the globalists. This mythic narrative is as false as could possibly be.
It is 20XX. The people of America, resurrecting the great spirit of the founding, have elected a titanic force of a man to go to war with the deep state, Wall Street, and the elite interests of the decayed and human-hating ruling class. The antidote to the decline of America, this candidate has come to resist neoliberalism…by being neoliberal.
Note that this describes both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. What Obama was in 2008 to progressives, Donald Trump is in 2017 to anti-globalist figures on the right. It is obvious that Trump rode a wave of anti-neoliberal populism into office. For a desperate population, he was the nuclear option, the red button to GET OUT of the cycle of polished public relations corporate-owned Presidents. But it was a sham. Anyone who understands the mechanisms of power would have seen that it was a sham – Trump, as an individual, is irrelevant. He could agree with Noam Chomsky on 80% of policy and still end up a neoliberal. It is the donors that talk, and the donors rallied to fill in the vacuum in Trump’s heart after his stunning victory.
In office, he has continued to hollow out the remnants of the New Deal, embodying the Thatcherite spirit of absolute establishment preference for the wealthy over the rest. He has been bloated by millions of dollars of ancient right-wing oligarch money since the election, becoming a behemoth of fragmented elite interests, the very same right-wingers who would have backed Hillary Clinton as a centrist hero if Trump really was as anti-globalist as he claimed.
Trump did a number of stunts early on to appease this anti-globalist base. He dropped the TPP, even though it is now being rewritten in the shadows, and will likely pass in new, buried forms. Like all things with Trump, the action was symbolic. It was not real. He saved 1,000 jobs at Carrier, a band-aid on a gout-infected gunshot wound, and now that same Carrier plant is bleeding jobs by the hundreds. Little surprise.
He wants to lower taxes on the rich while dramatically increasing military spending, a $700 billion military budget, the very shining image of globalism if there ever was one. What anti-globalist rebel builds up the empire? The contradictions cannot be ignored. They are so obvious that they merge into the absurd.
Trump is a militarist to his core, desiring an increase in drone strikes, and of course, thickening the flow of blood money into Saudi Arabia. Perhaps there is no deeper indictment of the ‘anti-globalist’ right than their utter refusal to hold Trump accountable on militarism in Saudi Arabia. He shakes hands and is cucked by the mullahs. Silence falls upon the alt-right. He continues virtually every aspect of the Obama foreign policy establishment, seeking only to blow up the budget, creating a twisted, ruddy-faced Leviathan.
What of his ‘nationalism’? He is, once again, neoliberal to the core. Puerto Rico is still destroyed, as he retracts resources, allows the Jones Act to close, and accuses them of “throwing the budget out of whack”. In raising the budget of the military and worrying about wasteful spending only when it comes to his own citizens, Trump demonstrates the very core of neoliberalism: military and profits over people.
Trump is a bore, a conservative culture warrior who will waste our entire collective December fighting with liberals about the ‘War on Christmas’. He has wasted our time with the NFL. He wastes our time with most of his actions, stealing our energy from us, as defenses of his erratic narrow-mindedness grow more and more arcane.
The Question of Globalism
‘Anti-Globalism’ is the right idea, but its current definition is too shallow to yield any returns. Is it simply limiting immigration? In that case, it is worthless. Anti-globalism is not about making your own country more white. It is about declining to accept the rule of centralized technological financial enterprises like Facebook, Google and Amazon. You can have your own ethnostate, and pay fealty to Zuck all the same.
Identity has poisoned Trump and his opponents. The true goal of anti-globalism must be self-determination and fragmentation. Infinite fragmentation, a world of communities controlling their own destiny, with no false universal of elite financial power leveled over them. Donald Trump does not desire this. He desires the same, and he will give Lloyd Blankfein what he wants, and cast his shadow over the fields, if it means power for him.
If we cannot have globalism without capitalism, then we reject globalism, to reject the depersonalizing power of capital. But right now, as since the seventies, the United States is ruled by a capitalist who has profited immensely off the slavery of the Information Age as well as global channels of profit and power, conduits of self-determination for one man and one man only. The fact that those who declare themselves ‘anti-globalist’ see anything but ruthless global power in Donald Trump is deeply troubling.
What do Left Twitter pundits believe? Taking them at their word, they tend to believe that free speech is a fascist ideal, or only fetishized by reactionaries…until they, the correct leftists, need it, that is. They have an absurdly reductive view of the First Amendment, which holds that only state censorship is meaningful, and individual institutions have the power to shut down and censor speakers…until one of their sacred cows, like the comical George Ciccariello-Maher, gets placed on academic leave. Then, the hypocrisy of the right is somehow evidence that the left was the real supporter of free speech all along. Cynical, lying opportunists abound.
In conceiving the sum total of the tree of Western life as patriarchal colonialism and nothing else, they also see fit to take an axe to the ideal of individualism. There is, as a certain strand of left ideology states, no genuine individual – there is only an oppressed monetary relation, and a need for solidarity. But there is no solidarity. Solidarity is a lie. These DSA people shitpost and call their representatives, and occasionally lobby for increased health insurance, and then malign ‘the libs’ for being too moderate? For not being revolutionary? Only Ted Kaczynski was a revolutionary. Everyone is a reformist within capitalism, but those reformists who don’t like reform have seen fit to throw away the ideals of free speech and open discourse, as if their haste should suffice for revolutionary action.
The left’s position on free speech is simply incoherent. Current Affairs, a left magazine which is a cut above the rest, agrees that Charles Murray is pretty much a white supremacist. Now, let’s take this into Ciccariello-Maher world, where punching Nazis is a moral revolutionary obligation. Follow me there, into the pit:
What is the difference between a white supremacist and a Nazi? None, right? It would be splitting hairs. It would be like saying that Milo is not a Nazi, which would get you ‘ratio’d’ (dog-piled until you look like an idiot online) by the drooling irony boys of left Twitter. So, if the free speech of Nazis is unimportant, and Charles Murray, being a white supremacist, is effectively a Nazi, then punching Charles Murray would be a revolutionary anti-racist act. Correct?
Let’s take it one further. Ben Shapiro, as a conservative who defends these ‘Nazis’, is effectively a Nazi sympathizer. Would you not punch a Nazi enabler if you would also punch a Nazi? Of course you would. In your demented world, those would be the worst people of all – those who caped and covered for Nazis while claiming that they, themselves, were not Nazis.
So, now we’ve justified silencing, punching and denying free speech to virtually every conservative in America. Who’s next? The centrists, of course.
People like Jonathan Chait, and those liberals despised by the irony-glob Dionysian chaos-slugs of left Twitter, are also defending the rights of Nazis. They are, in the final analysis, Chamberlains. Enablers. Those who refuse to go to war.
What, then, of Jordan Peterson? Clearly a Nazi, for going on Nazi shows, like Rebel Media, famously headed by Gavin McInnes. Now, the leading purveyor of the logos in the West can get punched for the revolution.
What a dead, sick enterprise this virulent sect of the left is, this repulsive left that has surfaced to decry Zaid Jilani’s uncontroversial Intercept article explaining the hypocrisy of their crowned coward limped-wristed communist warlord, George Ciccariello-Maher.
None of these people are capable of creating a new society. Imagine it, a school board meeting populated by Chapo Trap House listeners, ironic-nihilist existentialist DSA kids, wannabe-communist and relentless identitarians who will soon spit up all the white boy ‘allies’ who have thrown in their lot with the messiah complex.
Nobody who believes in collective solidarity over individual rights has a good society planned for you. None of them can even articulate what they want, not even the best of them. That’s why the 70s, and Occupy, and likely the DSA, will fail. That doesn’t mean the now is okay. That doesn’t mean that the neoliberal center, nor the conservative stagnant swamp-sitters, have a plan.
“No more performative shit!” Cries a latinx antifa woman at a white antifa man, whom she accuses of not being radical enough to punch a Nazi in the jaw. But, really, it’s all performative shit. All of it. None of you have scraped even one single filing of white off the spine of capital. The beast you declare to be a skeleton encompasses every single one of your actions, and taking out your impotent fury on middle-aged dough-faced Neo-Nazis is the only emotional catharsis you have in face of the knowledge that in all the years of leftist theory-making, not one of you fucks has found anything approximating an alternative to capital.
There are many radical professors. There is so much critical theory, critical race theory, Marxist analysis, the history of Maosim, Leninism, the Cuban revolution, the socialist anarchist movements in Spain, and yet what has it amounted to but a bunch of damn useless theory?
George Ciccariello-Maher, a Drexel professor famous for his performative woke-speech in favor of Nazi punching, has a book called Building the Commune. He has a book with this title, because he is an impotent clown, and if he actually had anything approximating an answer, he would be out there right now actually building the commune. Instead, he writes about it, because he is just alienated from the fabric of reality as the workers who mop his offices are from the means of production.
George Ciccariello-Maher inculcates a special type of sickness. He sits, in his office, on Twitter, and performs a kind of radical street-boxing approach to shutting down neo-fascism. And yet, the most obvious critique of him rings the most true: his words do not align with his actions. Will this coward himself ever actually throw a punch? Of course not. Never in his life. So what he is doing is telling other people, people with nothing left to lose, to go out there and beat up Nazis, get jailed or beat up in return, and call that a victory for the revolution, comrade, raise your fist.
He lives in the broken shells of century-old ideologies that he thinks can apply to the digital consumption of all individuality, the Geohell, that we currently live in. He is a man trapped in ‘dialectic’, like all people who are truly impotent, who worship the ‘dialectic’, the ‘synthesis’ that never comes, though they assure you that you’re merely a reactionary for noting the blatant reality that their ‘progress’ of the dialectic, the conversation between liberation and fascism, has gone fucking nowhere in 400 years.
A far nobler figure on the left is Chris Hedges. Hedges, who is an ordained minister, who holds a sublime love of non-violence and doomed causes, informed by his Christianity, is a far more honest broker than a weak man who knows he is weak but invites warfare on the streets anyway.
Those of us living in reality understand that 20,000 DSA kids versus the police state and the Oathkeepers ends in a massacre and probably the instating of a total martial law police state. In fact, such a war would be the argument of ruthless acceleration into collapse and Neo-monarchy, not the argument of a do-gooder normie-Marxist looking to liberate the working class.
George Ciccariello-Maher doesn’t wish to do good. He is a prisoner of his own theories, a warped Marxist on bath salts in Geohell, trying to punch his way out of his own skin. He claims to understand violence, then advocates for individuals to lose everything over empty acts of emotional catharsis that only prove the total futility of resisting capital.
If Twitter users asking for others to punch Nazis for them is the face of the revolution, I only laugh at how pathetic the legacy of Marx, a genuinely great thinker, has become.
Why does the emperor turn the circus against him? In conventional narratives of authoritarianism, sports are a tool of reinforcing uncritical patriotism and keeping entertainment wedded to the heights of performative nationalism. Yet Donald Trump, a man seen as representing the ruddy faces of America’s red state white male fathers, who all tune in to sports to avoid politics, has made the players of the sport a symbol of counterculture. Colin Kaepernick, now dozens of others, have made kneeling for the national anthem a symbol of the players against the masters, the black men asked to blow apart their bodies on the field instead turning toward the flag and rejecting its false promises. How did we get here?
Donald Trump, of course, rejects the idea that institutional racism exists. That is no surprise. The average black household makes only 57 dollars for every 100 dollars earned by a white household. The racial determinism of birth has not vanished, yet fantasies of unmarred opportunity are peddled to black Americans, who remain traumatized, institutionalized, by the restless limbs of poverty, and the dark face of their ancestral losses, codified in the present, pulsating beside their heads as they sleep, the idols of a misbegotten journey into America, those fearsome Medusas. Rapper Montana of 300 has called America “hell’s heaven”. Indeed, it seems right to call this place hell’s heaven. I would not want for an instant to live in a country without free speech, as the rising Chinese bulwark of Sino-futurism seems destined to blot out that sun, along with all privacy and individuality. And yet it is clear that we are still living in hell.
If you have lived for this long on Earth, and have not seen that evil is more powerful than good, and that it is not in your individual power to change that, then I do not know what to say to you. Those who have internalized this evident reality find themselves scorched by a black truth, literally a black truth, the fact of inequal circumstance and a rotten inheritance, the bag handed down for generations containing only ash and the small skull of one slain demon, slavery, and segregation, only to find that these institutions were mere formal structures given to the eternal law. That is how Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about race – as an eternal law of fallen man’s suffering. The black person, then, is the most beloved by God. In Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Fear’, the skull-shatteringly cruel voicemail at the end of the song reveals the cosmos of Job – God is only punishing you unduly because he loves you. You, who are tested the most, are promised the Kingdom of Heaven, because this Earth is hell.
It would take 228 years for the average black family to earn the same generational wealth as the average white family. In light of that fact, for a black man in professional football, having succeeded against the odds, but maintaining knowledge that he is part of a select few, and that millions of black men just like him are swatted down by the same hand of the Bodhisattva that raised him up, a bad conscience is sure to develop. In that instance, a symbolic rejection, a knee upon the field, comes when you are expected, in spite of all this, to honor the image of a sanctuary within a sanctuary.
One wonders what Donald Trump is thinking when he tests the limits of our collective patience time and time again. For a generation that coined the microaggression, we have now been punished with this eternal prodding, each day a new thing to make the ‘sane and rational center’ go absolutely mad. Perhaps that center never once existed. Donald Trump, in participating in the politicization of sports, has accelerated the demise of that center. Now, no sport is free from political structure. An eternal war is waged in all sectors of life, a cultural sickness removed from economic reality, a stupid world where Tom Brady represents white nationalism and the Atlanta Falcons were trying to overthrow white supremacy for just a brief flashing moment in February of 2016.
It is a world woven purely of symbols, where economics is pushed into the absent and impossible past. Even Donald Trump, the President himself, is impotent, flailing meaninglessly at symbols in his unfocused outrage at all that offends him. And meanwhile, beside it all, the tension of a North Korean war sinks deeper and deeper into the unconscious, sublimated away, because we know we are powerless to prevent or act upon such a situation. Perhaps this weekend’s news cycle, of September 23rd and 24th, encapsulates the image of a humanity at the brink moreso than any other moment: a society agitating for nuclear war spends its weekend waging war over symbolic protest.
Asking who politicized culture first would be a waste of time. Culture has always been political, but now for the first time this observation has ceased to be radical. The days of manufacturing consent are long behind – it is more acceptable in the mainstream to despise the President than to support him. Sports, to many, is more a field of radical politics than the actual machinations of governance. A celebrity President means exactly what it appears to mean – it is no longer possible to be ‘woke’. There is only being compassionate and wrong, or cruel and closer to an approximation of what is really going on.
There are no ‘free thoughts’. Every thought pushes back against you in its own way. You are eternally thinking against yourself, crucified in an incomplete world. What now? Is the death drive stronger than life?
I surmise you will need more than a grain of faith to survive this century.
I believe that hip hop fundamentally is an extremely capitalist and anti-socialist medium, and it is paradoxically fascinating that rap is considered the voice of the oppressed when it is so clearly in love with the oppressing influence of capital.
It is no coincidence that rap’s worship of wealth, women and success have led the medium to idolize Donald Trump right up until the moment of his Presidency. You don’t get to praise Lucifer until he achieves the throne, and then act like he’s betrayed you. Donald Trump, in the pages of hip hop lyricism, would be considered a mythical hero by an alien race observing the history of that lyricism up through the 90s.
Why? Well, because rap is in love with capitalism. Simon Reynolds wrote: “To ‘get real’ is to confront a state-of-nature where dog eats dog, where you’re either a winner or a loser, and where most will be losers”.
The relationship between rap and capital is summarized by the subtitle of Reza Negarestani’s impossible theory-fiction: ‘complicity with anonymous materials’.
Capitalism destroys blackness, and yet capital is the only path for black people to better themselves. This is the essence of Jay-Z’s 4:44, and its fixation upon black business as the salvation of black America. Yet, isn’t this just the same American Dream optimism peddled by white racist conservatives? Capital shatters the lives of all those around you, yet you alone, the rapper, The Star, are to overcome all the shattered fragments, batting aside the glass pieces with bars and verbal acuity, ascending ever upward as the community remains destroyed.
What else can be done? It is the crisis of capitalism – achieve your dream, even though millions of others will fail in theirs. How many thousands of hungry young black men die each day reading their Soundcloud analytics figures, grinding their teeth and holding back tears as they see, day after day, that the stars have not chosen them?
“Hustle, grind, never sleep”. The mottos of the rap world are identical to the most insane mottos of corporate capitalism. Rapper Cupcakke Tweets: “If you’re feet ain’t hurting, you ain’t working hard enough.” Puff Daddy Tweets: “If you’re not motivating me, praying for me, loving me, or trying to get money with me… You’re a distraction.”
Puff Daddy is the richest rapper of all time. His philosophy has worked. And yet, his philosophy is vampire capitalism. All surplus value is directed toward him – that is the law and rule of his corporeal existence.
Rapper Killer Mike poses a fascinating alternative – focus on arming black folk with firearms and investing in black banking. Create concentrated centers of black capital and thus create black power outside of white institutions. And when there is violence on the streets? Arm yourself. This essentially amounts to a black libertarianism. Black people, indeed, if they had invested in Bitcoin between 2010 and 2014, would now find themselves in a rather powerful position.
Black banking is an attempt at achieving the goals of cryptocurrency – a life boat from the sinking of the stock market and the vanishing of the Wall Street bull beneath acidic shores. Killer Mike is, for all intents and purposes, a libertarian ‘pan-Africanist gangster rapper’. His survivalism, individualism and emphasis on alternative modes of community resources strike to the heart of even such figures as Alex Jones, though clearly Mike is more serious and represents the light-version of Jones’ shadow-dweller.
Of course, Killer Mike is also a Christian. Mike, like Cornel West, like Nina Turner, is a believer in God’s grace despite the blood and soil of this world, which is the domain of Satan. Satan is the prince of this world – and yet accumulating Satanic power is the only way to break free from poverty. Wealth, capital, is the serpent – it is wise, it creates opportunity. So we chase it – knowing it will destroy most of us. We all, us dutiful slaves, believe that we will be the exception, the one who is saved, the single sperm who reaches the egg, the single thread that weaves the needle.
All those who invite violence, from antifa to white supremacists, believe the same thing – they believe that violence, the way of the serpent, can save them. It may save some. It saved Cornel West, in Charlottesville, when he directly credited antifa for saving himself and dozens of church activists from being swamped by Neo-Nazis thugs. Violence also saved the world when it destroyed the Nazis in World War II, and black titans of the intellect such as W.E.B. DuBois argued that black Americans had to swallow their concerns about racism for the time being to win the war against Nazi Germany.
Speak to the serpent – this is the motto of this world, of accruing wealth, of having a bag and being able to reach into it for self-worth and application of the individual will. It’s a compromise we must make. Each time we fill our gas tanks, purchase clothing, purchase food – you get the point. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism.
And yet, there exists nothing outside of capitalism. Though this world is of Satan, we are in this world. Can one, as Melville suggested, live ‘in’ this world without being ‘of’ it? Can one consume and be a capitalist and yet maintain the divinity beyond it all? We certainly hope so. Because in practice, we are all capitalists.
Cosmic fatalism surrounds us here, like a misty cloud, we see that there is no exit – only the promise of doing better within the brutal circle we have.
The career of Kendrick Lamar is itself a plummeting into this cosmic fatalism. On To Pimp A Butterfly, songs like “Instituionalized” lament the inability for Kendrick to uplift his friends out of their self-destructive mindsets. No matter how much jewelry and gold circles the widening gyre, they cannot change themselves. In DAMN, this feeling becomes the essence of the whole album – you cannot change who you are. Is it wickedness alone that condemns black America, a Demiurge beyond our control, or rather weakness, a simple inability to become more than we are and transcend our own nature? You may decide, but neither option leaves revolution as a tangible response. Black Americans are institutionalized by their own self-hatred, their own misbegotten lack of generational wealth, and a civilization that charges onward into digital fragmentation, unconcerned with their suffering. Nick Land wrote that the Civil Rights movement was the ‘New Testament’ of black history in America. The Old Testament was slavery, the civil war, the slave cry of ‘let my people go’. Black history, then, closely aligns to the arc of human history in frightening and sublime ways – the New Testament, the possibility of grace, has descended like the crucified savior upon a cross and crown of thorn. And yet, the possibility of grace remains unfelt, and the world remains as it was despite the empty tomb. A miracle has occurred, and yet nothing has changed. Such is the true panic and hatred of this world, the recognition that not even grace can stop the wheel and change its ways.
The pessimistic Kendrick, then, is the most truthful. His intimate knowledge of suffering and the stubbornness of man must make his own life something of a hell – to possess ultimate cultural power and yet zero political force is an institutionalization of its own. The paragon of the race has achieved his dream – and yet his people are not free, and may never become free.
Writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, beloved darlings of ‘neoliberal but woke’ white liberals, write about racism as if it were a torrential downpour, a force of karmic Godhood, the Godhand turned against the beings dark like the moon, and like soil. His writings amount to a great lamentation of an unstoppable force. He knows the body is fragile, and cannot protect itself, and yet there is no soul, so there is no possibility for resurrection, or hope. Coates incarnates the Old Testament wounds of the black church with none of its theology. He is the ultimate pessimist and is a voice of trauma alone.
Perhaps, in rap history, there has been no lie louder than Chance the Rapper’s bar: “I do not talk to the serpent.” This false holy boy attitude is something that Kendrick Lamar, a person who is actually wise, could never hold onto.
Chance presents naivety, Lamar presents wisdom. Lamar acknowledges that “I got dark, I got evil that rot inside my DNA”. Chance, meanwhile, makes pretense to a false nostalgia, with his baby-mumble voice and flow, the infinite childhood of a dumb young boy in awe of a church choir, who has never grown out of that joy and understood the world as it is.
Lil Yachty, likewise, was much maligned by old-head archetype Joe Budden for suggesting that he’s always happy, or that depression is never something he sees fit to put into his music. Lil Yachty’s album flopped, because of his pristine corporate image. Yachty is a perfect figure for fake-woke neoliberals – his album cover features the poor sodden masses of social justice, all the oppressed and non-conventional bodies and identities presented alongside mediocre and vanilla music, and a gentle heaping of Sprite and other corporate endorsements.
Vince Staples, perhaps the most intelligent and no-nonsense rapper in the game right now, also endorses Sprite. But Staples make no pretense to any higher goal. In all his interviews, he says that he only wants to earn money to buy his mother a house and keep his family happy and paid. Nothing more, nothing less. He is a voice of stoicism and simplicity in a time of overworked false glamour. He ‘keeps it real’. Of course, in keeping it real, he acknowledges the same cosmic fatalism that leads Kendrick Lamar to dismiss the dream of revolution. Neither men are are here to change karma. They’re just here to speak what they see.
On the contrary, Lil Uzi Vert and xxxtentacion, in the vein of Lil Yachty, present total falsehoods. Uzi, who has stapled his own head on camera and claimed to sell his soul to Lucifer, is in reality not much more than a fame-hungry nobody who bit the autone-crooning style of another rapper, Trippie Redd. Lil Uzi Vert is so popular because he is a nobody who admits he only started rapping to get popular. There is no love for the medium, there is only the craving for power and fame. He is a ruthless capitalist who steals styles and pretends to be something more original than he actually is just to cultivate a brand. Lil Uzi Vert, in his own words:
“My homie at my high school used to rap, and he got all the attention, so I’m like ‘I can rap too.'” -HOT 97 interview, February 2016
Then there is is xxxtentacion, who truly is a pathetic figure. Accused of ruthless domestic assault by his then-pregnant girlfriend, delivering levels of corn in freestyles straight out of edgelord hell, embodying a fake depth that manifests in high-school level sad poetry (if I’m being generous) and accumulating enormous hype off of lo-fi scream-punk hip hop and then releasing a trash sadboy album that is shorter than it will take most people to read this article, xxx is a total flop, a mirror reflection of the shallowness of our own ‘dark, diseased’ minds, that really have nothing inside them. Nothing profound to say, no new sound – just smoke and mirrors.
The newest and perhaps last famous Soundcloud rapper is a 16-year-old named Lil Pump, who has never spit a bar in his life, and will likely die of a lean-induced coma by age 30, leaving behind nothing but a trail of piss, sizzurp and mass delirium.
Lil Wayne, arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, in a league all his own, is 40 years old and suffering comas from his lean consumption, and unable to release his last record because he signed a deal that screwed him and chained him indefinitely to Birdman, another ruthless capitalist, but one without talent, without scruples, a scumbag of the lowest order. Wayne’s fate is in his hands, which he rubs together menacingly like the Lord of the Flies.
Is rap dead? No, but the ability to rap clearly is. Even when you have rappers who spit absolute fire, like Joyner Lucas or Montana of 300, there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing new to express. There is either tortured hyper-syllabilistic insane lyricism that ultimately says absolutely nothing, a linguistic monument to an inflated ego, or a rehashing of the misery of black poverty, gang life, the ‘real’ that sits at the foundation of racist capitalist terror.
Drake, the most popular rapper, encapsulates the mainstream of rap quite flawlessly. He is a boring individual who has put R&B and dancehall ahead of bars, slowly sublimating the genre of rap into a more melodic, boring, repetitive mode of music. That type of rap, that is more singing than rap, is only on the rise.
The stereotype is that women love it. The marketing idea is that women love the melodic music, the club songs. And yet, when it comes to misogyny, rap as a whole gets a free pass. God help you if you make a sexist film or a sexist novel – but a sexist R&B banger that calls women every name in the book and denounces them as material sluts worthy of no love? That gets the club moving.
Of course, this is bad news for the current strand of feminism, which narrow-mindedly has sought to assign all negative influence in the world to the ‘father culture’. Toxic masculinity, the way of men, is considered the root of aggression, competition, brutality and evil. And yet, rappers are some of the most sexually attractive men alive. They are open about their participation in this evil – that’s what ‘getting real’ is about: understanding that women are hoes, aren’t worth shit, and it’s time to sleep with them and leave them. Men’s rights activists are maligned, even though they share the worldview of hip-hop. They just lack the aesthetics.
These ‘problematic’ bangers go over extraordinary well with women. Why? Because these hyper-masculine traits are actually attractive. Modern feminists play a cynical game: they want all men to be meek, polite, passive gentlemen, but nobody actually values those men when it’s time to have fun. That’s when it’s time to bring out Young Thug and Lil Wayne. And Young Thug and Lil Wayne! If you think you have heard the most disgusting anatomical language about women possible, their records will utterly floor you. But women fuck it with heavy. Why? Hyper-masculinity is selected for, not against.
This is all a big problem for the narrowest version of feminism, which casts masculinity as oppressive and bad, and femininity as compassionate and good. When it comes down to it, many women are glad to have men who break the rules and are vicious hyper-realist capitalist go-getters. The contradictions amount rather obviously to anyone paying attention.
Hip-hop, like all beautiful art, amounts to a sinister contradiction that appears to be the voice of an authentic oppression, and it is, and yet its lifeblood depends on complicity with that very same oppression. What is the proper response? To answer that question is the same as to ask what we should do in response to the paradox of evil in the world. it can’t be solved. It’s just worth understanding what the medium is: a lamentation of one’s own poisoned soul.
“All our problems are related” reads the Occupy Wall Street poster I have seen in a half dozen college dorm rooms. Indeed, all our problems are swirled into one massive enterprise, a beast by a thousand names, and so every strand of fur or piece of claw is an opportunity to attack the entire thing. Manspreading, private health insurance, catcalling, drone war, the toppling of confederate statues and intense poverty are all opportunities to rail against the now, to rise up, to create the revolution on the basis of any expression of inequality in any human domain at any time.
Given that, I think it’s a simple declaration of fact that the left is waging a spiritual war. The idea that every foundation of modern civilization is corrupted by the same factor – capitalism – is not a political doctrine, but a mythological one. Capital is the face of the beast of revelation, the antichrist, the traitor to humankind. How could it be anything else? It is the creator of all inequality, thus the source of all unjust suffering, thus occupying the very role of the fall from paradise in the Marxist narrative of history.
The project of the left is to create the kingdom of God on Earth, the ‘virgin nature’ that existed before the fall, before mortality, inequality, poverty and pain. Capital is the serpent’s head that surges through history, it is the evolutionary tree of life itself. It is genetics, IQ, the factors of life and wellbeing beyond our control, which doom some of us and bestow others with gifts.
This, of course, is why the left despises evolutionary psychology, or any appeal to biological human nature whatsoever. If we are a blank slate, if most of our behavior is constructed, then it can all be changed. The snake of capital can be twisted to become something else. By human hands, we can make ourselves more than capital. We make ourselves more than what we are. We can overcome our own nature, because we have no innate ‘nature’. We could be anything.
It’s inspiring, beautiful and magnificent. Making the kingdom of heaven on Earth is surely the only goal worth pursuing. And yet, is it true? Is it actually, factually, true that we can become anything and rise beyond our fallen nature?
Well, let’s look to the left. As a reader of leftist thought, it seems abundantly clear to me that this boundary line is firmly established – capital must be overthrown to create a better world. Yet, this critique, which I absolutely agree with, is the limit of leftist thought at the moment.
Mark Fisher’s book Capitalist Realism calls for a universal notion of worker solidarity, an emphasis on local control of industry, but none of these projects are contained within the mass consciousness of contemporary visible leftist thought. What you see in the mainstream left is opposition to Trump, opposition to Nazis, and the leveraging of identity politics against the very concepts of individual liberty and freedom of speech.
Highly intelligent left writers admit that they only support antifa and illiberal left movements out of desperation:
There is a crisis of imagination. And that is not good at all. Without a cogent imagination of what a world without capital, an actual paradise, would look like, we’re left clawing at the edges of our vision, hoping for a way out. The leftist is no better off than the world-weary existentialist.
Can this paradise even be created by human minds? I don’t know. I genuinely don’t know. It is, once again, as Mark Fisher wrote, “easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism.”
If capital itself is our karma, our mortality, our suffering and our status as broken human beings imbued with a shadow, demons and angels alike, then how could we possibly rid ourselves of what we are? Can a soul carve out its dormant Satan and cast it out? Can imperialism, greed, and the accumulation of capital be severed at the root? Can we change who we fundamentally are and have proven to be for 100,000 years?
If we have a human nature, and that nature is largely inscribed in our genetics, then it doesn’t look good for the left. If the best we can do is topple statues and shout down Nazis, we aren’t even within the outer limits of a better world where capital is seriously challenged.
So what now? Ever the question. Ask it young, and pursue it relentlessly for life, and maybe you’ll find out. That’s the best I’ve got.
There’s a new realignment taking place in American politics. Because of shit like this, this, this and this, being socially liberal is now the authoritarian and in-group socially policing position that being conservative once was.
The new conservative kids, if they think conservatism has any future at all, have to adopt a neutral stance toward social issues – live and let live. Trans people? Their choice. Free speech? Absolute. Abortion? Again, your choice.
Even if the conservatives aren’t here yet, this is clearly the only coherent social view remaining in America. The young right knows this. They are pouncing upon the opportunity. And here’s the problem: through the culture wars and anti-SJWism, conservatives have lied and pretended to be the ‘new punk’.
Now, being against SJWs will also involve being slipped a red pill that thinks authoritarian policing is great, universal healthcare is a joke, the flat tax is amazing, and the only function of the state is to police and wage war. This aspect of the conservative/libertarian soul is morally and spiritually corrupt.
It leads people like Ben Shapiro to make absurd arguments, like that corporations don’t influence government policy and subvert democracy through big money, that lobbying the government is no different from any private exchange of money, that socialized medicine is impossible and morally evil, and that, as I said before, the only function of the state is to wage war and beat black people with batons.
Conservatives have played a smart game. They’ve used the absurdity of the SJW and anti-individualist left to peddle supply-side economics and racist myths about crime, justifying mass incarceration and poverty as just a part of the natural dominance hierarchy.
The left is losing this culture war. Saying that the founding fathers were racist fascists, and thus individual rights are inherently racist and fascist, is like Fox News for the left. So, even though I’m screaming into the wind here, my advice for the left is simple:
Organize the working class on the basis of a better life. Don’t be anti free speech. Be culturally libertine, like the left used to be, when it was up against George W. Bush and conservatives were (and still are) the ones threatening free speech.
An enclosed and socially restrictive left will only allow conservatism to survive the generational gap and thrive 30 years from now.
But, I’m sure that will happen, and the 2020 election will be narrowed on one issue:
“We, noble Democrats, are not Nazis, and Trump is. So vote for us.”
The 2016 election will repeat, but far worse this time. Some insane illiberal tech baron who happens to be a Democrat could run against Trump, and by default, again, we’d have no choice.
“We’re not Nazis. Let’s censor these Nazis,” is the most limited and unimaginative political project possible. Destroying cultural freedom on the basis of fighting Nazis will only speed along decadence while far-right movements continue to grow, citing the left’s repressive attitudes toward speech and unwillingness to debate as their main superiority. And that message will have far more broad appeal than “White people should shut up and fuck themselves, you’re problematic, bend the knee to me.”
And then, they’ll sneak neoliberalism into the pudding, and the fake ‘center’ will continue to truck on, making money and locking people up, but at least we’ll feel good if a few Nazis feel bad…
It is no secret now that the United States is accelerating toward the dissolution of its founding principles. The contradictions, so blatantly obvious at the moment the foundation was set, have failed to resolve.
I, like, many others, dismissed the battle between Antifa and the alt-right as a kind of cosplay, a fake politics conducted outside of the traditional political sphere, in a new and illusory world of glory, righteous power, and the victory and spoils of war. This sphere of blood-in-the-streets activism is still Hell on Earth. It still moves us not one inch forward to a world worth living in.
I have responded initially to the murder of Heather Heyer in the way that was right in that moment. But now, I only want to understand what will follow. The act of writing, in the end, can only serve as a tool of the faithful witness to understand. Writing can change nothing. It can only clarify what is.
The left, in the wake of this, has been emboldened beyond belief. Many are the thousands who announce victory is now a necessity that a comrade has died at the hands of fascism. Consequently, the left will accelerate a crystallized version of its ideology that it has been approaching for the longest time now: the idea that freedom of speech is just covering up for fascism.
Already, the left has turned against the ACLU. Good people like Jordan Peterson will also no doubt be lumped in with the alt-right and Neo-Nazis, and shutting down his lectures will be a paramount duty of obligation to the revolution. Every syllable, word, thought and synapse snap not directed toward overthrowing racism and capitalism will be seen by the left as a betrayal. If you have any response to August 13th other than: “Smash them, comrades, the hour of victory is nigh, no blood and no glory is wasted”, then you are on the wrong side. You are on the side of the Neo-Nazis. I don’t believe this, but I am only trying to articulate what it is to come.
The debate over freedom of speech in the United States has come to a head here, in the destruction of all language, in the affirmation that politics can only take place as bloodied struggle against the oppressors. What would Angra Mainyu, the materialist, the prince of this world, do right now? Surely he would aggressively recruit cops and veterans to the revolution, he would be a Bolshevik, he would aim for the tipping point of that 10% revolutionary body to overthrow the American government, and he would be a he because this goal is the ultimate expression of masculine outrage and despair. He would build a private leftist militant body like the Oathkeepers, that would descend upon these real-life culture wars armed to the teeth and ready for war.
This contradiction will also eat leftists, who are simultaneously in favor of revolution but against the Second Amendment, against hyper-masculine military culture, and against cops. It wants to escalate, but it clearly lacks the mindset and tools to escalate.
And what would follow this kind of military escalation, if it were to take place? The death of bad people. In our lowest hell, the suppression and destruction of the bad people is considered equivalent to political victory.
The left, now, will support hate speech laws, because freedom of speech is just the freedom to commit hate speech, and hate speech is just the fuel of Nazi murder. The left, which has already abandoned economics and ran for the campus, will only become more a crystal of cultural issues and escape any systemic analysis of capitalism or authoritarianism. Hence, firing and censoring bad people will become a permanent replacement for legislative victory. The left will continue digging the grave of its own ambitions.
It is harder to predict what the alt-right will do now. The category is utterly meaningless. What do Jordan Peterson, Alex Jones, and Richard Spencer have in common? The designation of alt-right. What do they share amongst them? At root, very little. Neo-Nazis and Spencer have been around far longer than November of 2016, and they will continue to be a scourge. Anyone opposing government control of speech will become utterly lumped in with these Neo-Nazis. The authoritarians and anti-authoritarians alike will be seen as obstacles to the left. The left will no longer seek to recruit – it will only seek to smash anyone not standing shoulder-to-shoulder with its worst ideas.
The right, born and persisting in tacit racism, is off-limits. There is no reaching out to anybody on the basis of common economic goals. So, then, like Twitter itself as a platform, the left caps its recruitment, closes rank, and goes to war with a body ill-fit for war.
The more public face of the alt-right will hopefully collapse. 4chan users present at the Unite the Right rally have been doxed. If someone as lukewarm as James Damore was fired, certainly these odious racists and actual Neo-Nazis will be fired. But it will not end there. The Nazis are the red tips of the fingers that end in the arm and root of capitalism.
Anyone living in this root, living within capitalism, who is standing for speech, debate and discussion over violent clashes will be seen as rejecting the pure materialist struggle, rejecting the necessity to bleed out Nazis in the streets, rejecting the hour of virtue. From Samuel Sinyangwe, and his useful idiot strand of neoliberals, all the way to myopic and evil Twitter communists who have hated freedom of speech for years now, the entire left will mobilize as a beast, a mass of tendon and meat lurching toward aimless war.
There is only one side. You are with us or against us. You are a Nazi or you will support the outlawing of hate speech, and the shutting down of hate wherever it is detected. Anyone who complains or dissents in the slightest will be purged. I will list plenty of interesting and great leftists who have already or will be purged: Freddie deBoer, Michael Tracey, Lee Fang, Zaid Jilani, Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU. The left will consume its own until only the ugly meme-spewing life-resenting bitter violent strand of Marxists will remain. On the left, publishers like Zero Books and The Intercept remain committed to balance and speech at their own peril.
Lastly, Heather Heyer was murdered by a fascist in an event that was an evil act of white supremacist violence. So many at the Unite the Right march were Nazis, and that will continue to bleed politics into the streets, a swirl of the politically impotent against the politically impotent with the only goal remaining to hold the bloody flag high.
The United States is becoming the kind of country it has spent a century building its decadence upon. All the terror we have stoked in the Middle East, in Latin America, all of this was the shadow of the country reaching out and ruining the world, and now the actions of the shadow are damaging and destroying the constitution of the body.
We reap what we sow, and we receive the outcomes that we ask for. Anybody who claims to know what to do right now is lying. The only thing we can do is continue to work and speak (I lied). The center, which is nothing more than the center of democracy itself, must hold, but I see no way it can hold. Surely, if you feel you are in danger, the Second Amendment exists for purposes of self-defense.
We will go down with the ship no matter what. Choose where you stand carefully, because someone will come for you. In the end, this is the spiritual task of being born upon this Earth. Just as God is crucified in the world, the ideals of democracy and human dignity are crucified inside the structures of capitalism. However, as Mark Fisher once wrote, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Thus, it is easier to imagine the apocalypse of Revelation than the slow work of pulling the splinters of a broken cross out of the wounded hand of God.