Prominent twitter personality and homosexual @tomxhart has written a generous critique of my last post, which I find myself in partial agreement with. But the extent of my agreement is directly proportional to the degree Tom wilfully misunderstands / strawmans The Plan.
Reading twitter threads is annoying and I have a residual respect for Tom, so I’ve quoted his critique in full below (minus the horrible clip art):
1. Magic, art, and politics | You can have art that has a political influence, but if you set out to do politics with art then it will not work. Why?
2. Progressive corporate ads, Christian rock, and whignat comics are all cringe. They’re cringe because they TRY. These are products that want to push Christ, progressive values, and nationalism…the medium is just a means to an end.
3. Real art is based on the image that exists for itself: the symbol. This is magic. The opposite of magic is analysis. Analysis is instrumental, mathematical, and a means to an end. It’s DEAD.
4. If contemporary art is lame, then it’s lame because it is ideological and materialistic (an investment)–i.e. it is practical and goal-orientated. “The temple is the temple because it is not for sale”. However, simply making “anti-progressive” art is not magical either…
5. The Zen master makes you shoot an arrow until you don’t care if it hits or misses–then you hit the bullseye. This is unattached action, another component of magic. If you plan or try or desire to create “anti-progressive” art you will create something just as lame.
6. Four examples of art-magic that are political without being cringe: BAP, Chapo Trap House, Synthwave art, and Pepe. These are all political, but they’re not cringe in the way conscious political art is.
7. Why? It’s because they don’t try. BAP started as a forum persona that happened to be political, aside from following the user’s other interests: you could never consciously create something like that to “radicalise the yoof” and it’s hard to imitate because it has no point.
8. Chapo Trap House, from the other political perspective, isn’t something that I have ever listened to, but it works because it took some mates chatting and joking around and then just recorded that. It’s not self-conscious, it doesn’t try, and it happens to be leftist.
9. Pepe comes from people messing around and joking about anonymously, i.e. without it mattering and pointlessly (therefore, magic). And Synthwave is a cold sound, nostalgic, and happens to go with purple (imperial colour); it is, therefore, implicitly rightist.
10. Real religion does not come from books or rituals or theology: real religion comes from within and from the observation of nature. Burn all the books–follow the guide within! Art and religion are the same, being symbolic, and the idols must be periodically smashed.
11. …because people start to think they can get something out of them. They think art is an investment or about being a “good person”, and they think the same about religion too. As with the moneylenders in the temple, they make it dead calculation.
12. The answer is simple: just be yourself. This is good advice, but people say it because few follow it. These men were just being themselves, but they were not always popular or successful and even now people do not all agree with what they did…but they were magic.
Let us now tease out some of the areas of agreement / divergence…
An excess of intentionality is a poor artistic / creative strategy — unless it’s channeled via a God-tier autistic / obsessive compulsive will-to-creative-world-building-power.
True artists are chosen conduits > conscious curators. However, artists don’t work in a vacuum — indeed to function as conduits they must be receptive to internal / external stimuli, which are recursively / cybernetically connected / networked via artist nodes.
Critically, the art movement cycle of the 20C is fundamentally dialectical / oppositional in nature. A cybernetic, auto-catalytic process of Action / Reaction. The action / thesis of Abstract Expressionism conjures + manifests it’s antithesis / reaction in Pop Art — the CIA doctrine of atomisation / self-expression + authenticity births the conditions for machinic production + multiplication / authenticity via anti-authenticity of consumer capitalism to invade the symbolic / art world discourse.
“Progressive corporate ads, Christian rock, and whignat comics are all cringe.”
This is true. These forms / examples are cringe because the medium is subordinate to the message, as opposed to being fused with the message — aka a serendipitous / inspired coincidence / molecular integration of form + content.
Moreover, in an oppositional position irreverence is necessary. Irreverence / disrespect is a symbolic-iconoclastic hammer. None of these forms are iconoclastic, yet they all attempt to lay foundations in enemy territory without first clearing / undermining its icons / recalibrating its status economy — this strategy is destined to fail making it cringe.
There are no hard boundaries between things. Concepts and tactics are things. Instrumental / terminal goals ebbe / flow / shift / change. Magic and analysis horseshoe round to meet each other. Pure math is peak analysis, which is pure magical speculation.
Magic and Analysis only appear separate because of bandwidth constraints imposed on human cognition. God-tier AI — millions of times more powerful than AlphaGO — completely dissolves the Magic / Analysis false dichotomy via analytics-as-magic.
The CAW is lame because it’s a tightly policed ideological space + the thought-reservation has become both hyper-restrictive + its coordinates are plotted based on fallacy / error.
The Plan is not merely to make anti-progressive art but to make art which is actively Heretical — ie art which exists outside the thought-reservation that is the CAW.
This is the entire point of the Deep Right — it’s a 4D idea-space which extends far beyond the spacio-tempro dimensions of the thought-reservation.
Obviously, art which falls / is located beyond the thought-reservation is implicitly anti-progressive / incidentally anti-progressive and can be framed as explicitly anti-progressive.
But it’s primary function is not merely anti-progressive profanity but anti-progressive profanity by expansion of thought / possibility space — into the 4D idea-space of the Deep Right — unplugging openminded people / elites from the Matrix via the conduit of the symbolic.
All CAW sanctioned art is either explicitly progressive (SJW / pseudo-radical art), implicitly progressive (art made by progressives for progressives safely inside the thought-reservation, although explicit politics is downplayed) or corporate / craft based apolitical (abstract corpoarte friendly art / anodyne craft with zero conceptual content), which is either already subsumed / or exists as a potentially assimilable surplus, into the WokeCapital cartel that is the CAW.
The optimal way to understand the CAW is to apply the logic of corporate WokeCapital to the contemporary art world, augmented by a separate but connected contingent of SJW / “radical” academic posturing and Neo-religious “critical” theory spinning.
The idea is NOT to make self-consciously political art — like NRx fucking Abusters — but to make art which is Heretical because it refuses to accept a life sentence on the progressive thought-reservation / concept prison.
Art which dares to deal directly with the Real. Art which destroys progressive icons because the truth cannot coexist with lies — it will not tolerate them — and must first cast them out via a period / strategy of iconoclastic symbolic destruction.
For peace to be restored in a disputed territory, war must first be won via a period of killing / raping. Contemporary art is a disputed symbolic-territory and the killing / raping takes place in the symbolic via the symbolic.
BAPs persona has ideological roots / coordinates which generate an idiosyncratic aesthetic sensibility — that is his genius. BAP is a performance artist, as well as a deeply synthetic writer / content generator. That is his genius, that is his point.
Everything is both downstream of GNON and contained — cybernetically circulating — within it. Real religion comes both from within, from observation, from experience and from codification / practice. None of which are discreet / separate entities / activities, but loops in a cybernetic circuitry of belief.
“Art and religion are the same, being symbolic, and the idols must be periodically smashed.”
Exactly. Or as I put it previously:
“A period of iconoclasm is necessary to transition from our current state of idolatry.”
Iconoclasm terraforms the symbolic territory.
Symbols imbued with Truth have a natural resonance with Truth, sending re-codification ripples through the progressive mendacity Matrix, which constitutes consensus reality.
In order to be yourself — in order to know what is possible to be — first you need to foster an awareness of what is then cultivate a position on what could be. That is the point of Parallax Optics — a change in observational position that provides a new line of sight — a blog / account originally established to engender awareness of the thought of Moldbug / Land — in particular the Neo-religious nature of progressivism, the security / propaganda mechanism of the Cathedral — and its implications for contemporary art / non-progressive infected creative production.
Be yourself is great advice for a tiny minority of brilliant people. It allows them to individuate + self-actualise. But most people are bugmen / NPCs amenable to no amount of telling them to be themselves — there is no self — they are pure receptor / response mecahnism encoded from the Outside. We all are. But the low-fi production values of these drone-like-entities make it possible to observe the glitch’s / joins in their cognitive construction in real time.
The Plan offers a Zero-to-One cartography for anyone willing to bet on Red — risk it all — and pick the low hanging fruit of terraforming the symbolic and creating a Heretical contemporary art of the Deep Right.