Beatnik Fascism is an interesting book because it is in a style that has potential to fill what has been missing from illiberal politics—by that, what is meant is art. All metapolitical movements must have a cultural and aesthetic basis, for which ideological art is also needed. This essay intends to explain why such art is needed, the value of metapolitics, and summarize Beatnik Fascism on micro- and macro-levels; thus, in so many words, I will analyze Beatnik Fascism as a whole and in part.
The title of Beatnik Fascism is a metaphor. It is reference to a Twilight Zone episode, in which an invading army of fascist aliens disguise themselves as beatniks. For identitarians, perhaps that is a fitting metaphor because we feel estranged and alienated from the world, almost like we are indeed in a twilight zone. But, further, it is like a literary representation of Revolutionary Conservatism; by which, what is meant is ideology that seeks to overturn the status quo to establish a more traditional and hierarchical political order. Beatniks are counter-cultural, but Fascism is ultra-conservative, so it is counter-cultural Conservatism. It is a revolution against bourgeois liberal Modernity in favor of something newer, better, and truer.
And yet, mere politics is petty in the sense that politics is only expressed in paradigms, in which there are presumed ideas. Ideas out of the paradigm are neither considered nor tolerated but simply rejected. In this sense, politics is a slave of metapolitics because metapolitics defines what political ideas can and can’t be considered (i.e., what is in and out of the political paradigm). By understanding metapolitics, the New Left has defeated both the Old Left and the Right. To defeat the New Left, it is essential that European Identitarianism also understand metapolitics.
Accordingly, it is also essential that European Identitarianism embrace art as part and parcel of an avant-garde Futurism in opposition to left-liberal bourgeois Modernity. As a book of poems, Beatnik Fascism is important because it focuses on the themes of Identitarianism and Futurism. In common, Beatnik Fascism has an overall sense of loathing for the present as a time of nothingness. There is also reverence for both the ancient past and whatever potential future may lie ahead. Modernity is characterized by spiritual death, an absence of beauty, lack of transcendence, and senselessness or a sense of being being-less—i.e., having no will and no power.
The writer walks through an antique shop, noting that it feels like traveling in time, but he then finds a statue of a Roman centurion. He is transported in time vis-à-vis his Romanophilia to the sack of ancient Rome. It is apparent that is a tragic poem because the writer admires Rome and sees it destroyed.
My eyes hone in on a statuette of a bronze centurion, and
suddenly I’m there watching helplessly from the vestibule,
waxing nostalgic for the old pre-christian pantheon days when
Jupiter and Mars willed us to victory, and
Cupid shot arrows of affection into our pulse pounding hearts,
drunk out of our minds off the wine of Bacchus as we
danced over the corpses of conquered foreigners
and made love with their wives, sons and daughters,
absorbing them into our growing empirical blob of a world.
Now I can only look on regrettably as
Alaric’s Visigoth army sacks Rome,
looting everything of value and
stripping away layers upon layers of civilizational achievements
that had accumulated over the centuries.
That passage creates an association of Rome with “victory,” “dancing,” and “love”; contrarily, the Visigoths “loot” and “strip away… civilizational achievements.” The writer is delving into ancient history to find civilization, so civilization is not merely the most advanced way of living, but it must also be a metaphysical condition. Simply put, the Visigoths are destruction and therefore death and the Romans are pleasure and therefore life. That juxtaposition of metaphysical death and life is also a juxtaposition of Tradition and Modernity. In Tradition, we find life because we find transcendence in a true expression of our collective spirit. In Modernity, we find death because there is only destruction for our collective spirit. Civilization, then, is not only a condition of living in an advanced way but a metaphysical condition of being.
Another poem (“Dodging the Draft”) emphasizes that personal lack of being by comparing modern life to war, but it is metaphysical war, rather than physical war. In so many words, modern life is a struggle that a person either wins or loses according to his or her will. Modern life is a prison that is characterized by misery because the people therein have lost of all sense of meaning in lieu of material things. Although Capitalism gives people so many things, people are still miserable with their lives. That seeming contradiction can be resolved in that people are lowered to be nearly slaves by Capitalism for things, which are material in nature, but such things can’t possibly make us truly happy because true happiness comes from truth. By its nature, truth must be transcendent, so happiness from material things is a lie.
Such misery is a proxy for metaphysical death because misery per se is a negative condition; that is, people are miserable because they can’t or don’t. Metaphysical death means not knowing a meaningful existence or truth. That means a person does not live and therefore is being-less in modern life. It is a personal struggle of truth against the prison of modern life. The lesson of is to emphasis the destructive nature of materialist Capitalism. Unless we escape, we will die in this metaphysical war.
Although many reactionaries see what wrong with Modernity, it is seldom that they think or articulate an alternative. Reactionaries usually want to return to some envisioned period in the past, but that devolves into LARPing because past periods can’t be recreated. Even if such periods could be recreated, doing so would be equivalent to rewinding a film; that is, it would lead to the same place, so stupid reactionary LARPing leads nowhere. An additional weakness of the reactionary view is it accepts the hypothesis of Historical Materialism, seeing history as starting at a point and progressing to a final end. The reactionary only reverses its ethical order and favors the beginning over the end. Thus, leftists and reactionaries agree that Modernity is by itself an end.
Rather, identitarians should see Modernity as a temporary condition of history, just as every other period was also a temporary condition. Modernity was necessary, but it is necessary to move beyond the period. Accordingly, identitarians must start to think and by thinking create a new future that is neither past nor present. In a short poem (“Dust on the Moon”), as such, the writer starts to envision a new future:
For those of us who prefer to seek out and
supersede the biologically imposed limits of
our understanding of the universe as organisms,
without restricting ourselves to uncritical faith in
currently unproven bronze age supernatural beliefs or
leaning on the crutch of an imagined higher power,
the future is this way.
Let those who are content on the prairie, live as
happy families in their familiar traditional communities.
We will strive to build lunar cities.
Our ashes will become moon dust.
It is ironic that the writer juxtaposes futurists with people on the prairie because exploration of the prairie embodied the same lust for the unknown as Futurism. The writer also disassociates Futurism from tradition, which is problematic. Tradition and Futurism should be joined because both are needed for identitarians to triumph. Becoming either futuristic nihilists or primitive traditionalists would be failure. To avoid that destructive cycle, Futurism must be Archeofuturism, or it will be nothing.
In spite of these criticisms, I genuinely enjoyed reading Beatnik Fascism. The title’s metaphor is fitting because Identitarianism is Revolutionary Conservatism in the sense it wants to overturn the status quo, but it also fits our psyche. We feel alienated from our societies in a way that could be present in the Twilight Zone. Further, Beatnik Fascism adds a sense of culture and metaphysics to Identitarianism. Since it is innately a metapolitical ideology, Identitarianism must have a sense of culture because it seeks to shape and reshape culture. And, lastly, Beatnik Fascism gives a helpful critique of Modernity from the point of Futurism.
Adamson, B. (2016). Beatnik Fascism. Phoenix: Briny Books.