Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nick Land's "Hell-Baked"

Originally posted here

Just recycling it because I enjoyed it that much. 

Hell-Baked, by Nick Land: 

There’s a potential prologue to this post that I’m reluctant to be distracted by. It’s introvertedly about NRx, as a cultural mutation, and the way this is defined by a strategic — or merely ornery — indifference to deeply-settled modes of ethico-political condemnation. Terms designed as pathblockers — ‘fascist’ or ‘racist’ most obviously — are stepped over, perhaps laughed at, but in any case, and most importantly, exposed as bearers of a religious terror. They are signs of a control regime, marking the unthinkable wastes where be dragons, effective precisely insofar as they cannot be entertained. ‘Satanic’ was once such a word (before it became a joke). These words cannot be understood except as invocations of the sacred, in its negative, or limitative role.

Is NRx in fact fascist? Not remotely. It is probably, in reality rather than self-estimation, theleast fascistic current of political philosophy presently in existence, although this requires a minimal comprehension of what fascism actually is, which the word itself in its contemporary usage is designed to obstruct. Is NRx racist? Probably. The term is so entirely plastic in the service of those who utilize it that it is difficult, with any real clarity, to say.
What NRx most definitely is, at least in the firm opinion of this blog, is Social Darwinist. When this term is hurled at NRx as a negative epithet, it is nor a cause for stoic resignation, stiffened by humor, but rather for grim delight. Of course, this term is culturally processed —thought through — no more competently than those previously noted. It is our task to do this.

If ‘Social Darwinism’ is in any way an unfortunate term, it is only because it is merely Darwinism, and more exactly consistent Darwinism. It is equivalent to the proposition that Darwinian processes have no limits relevant to us. Darwinism is something we are inside. No part of what it is to be human can ever judge its Darwinian inheritance from a position of transcendent leverage, as if accessing principles of moral estimation with some alternative genesis, or criterion.

This is easy to say. As far as this blog is concerned, it is also — beyond all reasonable question — true. While very far from a dominant global opinion, it is not uncommonly held — if only nominally — by a considerable fraction of those among the educated segment of the world’s high-IQ populations. It is also, however, scarcely bearable to think.
The logical consequence of Social Darwinism is that everything of value has been built in Hell.

It is only due to a predominance of influences that are not only entirely morally indifferent, but indeed — from a human perspective — indescribably cruel, that nature has been capable of constructive action. Specifically, it is solely by way of the relentless, brutal culling of populations that any complex or adaptive traits have been sieved — with torturous inefficiency — from the chaos of natural existence. All health, beauty, intelligence, and social grace has been teased from a vast butcher’s yard of unbounded carnage, requiring incalculable eons of massacre to draw forth even the subtlest of advantages. This is not only a matter of the bloody grinding mills of selection, either, but also of the innumerable mutational abominations thrown up by the madness of chance, as it pursues its directionless path to some negligible preservable trait, and then — still further — of the unavowable horrors that ‘fitness’ (or sheer survival) itself predominantly entails. We are a minuscule sample of agonized matter, comprising genetic survival monsters, fished from a cosmic ocean of vile mutants, by a pitiless killing machine of infinite appetite. (This is still, perhaps, to put an irresponsibly positive spin on the story, but it should suffice for our purposes here.)
Crucially, any attempt to escape this fatality — or, more realistically, any mere accidental and temporary reprieve from it — leads inexorably to the undoing of its work. Malthusian relaxation is the whole of mercy, and it is the greatest engine of destruction our universe is able to bring about. To the precise extent that we are spared, even for a moment, we degenerate — and this Iron Law applies to every dimension and scale of existence: phylogenetic and ontogenetic, individual, social, and institutional, genomic, cellular, organic, and cultural. There is no machinery extant, or even rigorously imaginable, that can sustain a single iota of attained value outside the forges of Hell.

What is it that Neoreaction — perhaps I should say The Dark Enlightenment — has to offer the world, if all goes optimally (which, of course, it won’t)? Really, the honest answer to this question is: Eternal Hell. It’s not an easy marketing brief. We could perhaps try: But it could be worse (and almost certainly will be).

No comments:

Post a Comment