Many of you may have noticed Matt Parrott’s Counter-Currents essay, “Epistemology, Race, and the Bazaar,” in response to my “Epistemology and the New Right”. Considering his pedigree as a materialist/racialist, his essay was quite flattering and respectful of the “problem of knowledge” that I identified in North American New Right thought. However, there are numerous comments attached to both articles, his and my own, that demonstrate how difficult it is for the American mind to contextualize what it does. It is, in essence, like asking a fish to see the water in which it swims. Nonetheless, the intellectuals among us seem to have answered the call.
I am currently writing something quite different with Nick Fiorello, a Nietzschean colleague in Atlanta. The essay is still untitled, but deals with individual fitness, epigenetics, and the Organic State. It combines Nietzsche, Sparta’s Lycurgus, and Sorel with fascist ideas of the state and the physiology of exercise. Where it gets interesting, though, is in discussing the links between bodily and conceptual vitality. We explain that harshness, strength, and contempt for weakness have immediate effects on both body and mind. However, we also explain that strength and vitality improve the fitness of transmitted genetic material. For racialists, the latter point will be of grave importance, for the race is only as healthy as its individual manifestations. Look for it soon on Counter-Currents.
3 thoughts on “Matt Parrott Responds, and New Work in Progress”
I just finished reading your essay on epistemology and was very impressed with the wide range of sources you drew upon (especially using Derrida, who is often portrayed quite negatively on New Right sites). I found your argument compelling and take no issue with it. After glancing through Matt Parrott’s rebuttal I noticed that the argument was being framed within the context of ‘epistemology vs. materialism’ and couldn’t help but recalling Baudrillard’s famous critique of Marx’s use-value vs. commodity-value, i.e. the assumed primacy of ‘use-value’ is an ideological crutch or alibi –so-called ‘use-value’ is just as much a fabrication as the commodity value. The comparison even bears a remote resemblance to Heidegger’s analysis of The Eternal Return of the Same, when he discusses that the ‘barrel song’ which tritely communicates the eternal return in a thoughtless way, is in fact a necessary counterpart to the actual ‘thought of thoughts’.
Obviously this analysis puts the ball back in the court of epistemology, since we essentially have to think our way through such arguments and comparisons… Hence, I enjoyed the article.
One other part of the essay struck me and that was the distinction made between communism and fascism and the devaluation of heroism which goes along with communism. Zizek has spent a lot of time trying to combat this assumption and I was just wondering what your thoughts were on his work in this regard.
Thanks for writing and appreciating my work. I am totally unfamiliar with Zizek. Does he address the heroism of those who fight for Communism or the space for heroism in the Communist/socialist/liberal (i.e.. economic determinism ) conception of man?
Zizek is fascinating, I kind of consider him to be a “Harry Houdini of totalitarianism”. I believe there were a lot of hints he dropped early on, one of which is an extra on the ‘Zizek’ DVD where he is being interviewed and he describes the two choices a parent faces when he has to force his child to do something. In the first example, the (modern) father uses reverse psychology and compels the child through a sort of forced empathy. The other way is where the father, with no slight of mind, commands what must be done. This is the technique Zizek favors and throughout his work we can see that this is how he imagines an ideal government to operate.
It wasn’t until “In Defense of Lost Causes” that he came right out and defended the ‘humanizing’ effect of Stalinism (as opposed to Trotsky and Mao’s Biocosmism) and called for a reappraisal of Stalinist art -in the context that it had been stolen by Fascism and Nazism and that there is nothing inherently evil about naturalist, ennobling art.
So yeah, he does address not only the heroism of those who fight for communism but the heroism contained within the communist aesthetic. He’s also drawn a lot of ire for constantly attacking Israel…
On a side note, have you written more extensively on Giovanni Gentile? The only thing I’ve read is A. James Gregor’s biography, which was pretty good, but it would be nice to see more (unbiased) writing on the origins of fascism.