Sunday, 13 January 2019

Satanic Inversions

If you are new to the Band, occult imagery posts are shorter looks at the background and patterns in occult images. For more posts on occult symbolism, click here. For an introduction to the Band and the Dismantling Postmodernism series, click the featured post to the right or check out the archive.

Other links: The Band on GabThe Band on Oneway

Occult posts focus on patterns of deception or wrongness - inadequate explanations, strange attitudes to animals, fake metaphysics - because occultists are unreliable even when they are trying to be honest. Misleading talk is cheap, but a track record is inescapable if you know what to look for. The Band is empirical by nature, because observation and logical analysis are the only way to build verifiable knowledge without venturing into questions of faith. One central pattern has come up so often in the occult and globalism that it deserves its own breakdown. This is the Satanic Inversionor behaving/ speaking/believing as if reality or the truth were its opposite to achieve personal desires.

Human body circumscribed by a pentagram from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Libri tres de occulta philosophia (Three Books of Occult Philosophy),  Ch. 27, Book 2, 15th century 

Reversals are common in occult symbolism because evil can't create, it can only pervert and distort. Some occult leaders are clever but their followers are by necessity cognitively limited, meaning simple twists on common symbols are most likely to be understood. 

The pentagram was a symbol for the metaphysical nature of the human body, with the mind or spirit at the top? The Satanists invert it. 

The upside-down cross speaks for itself, unless it's the "Cross of St. Peter". Only one of these two wizards heads the Catholic church.

The theology of replacing the symbol of the Redeemer with a human office is iffy, to put it mildly, and papal choices in seating have a bit of a track record. On the other hand, it is for the "youth".

The name Satanic Inversion can be confusing because it carries a rhetorical charge. An inversion is the reversal or opposite of a thing, like the yin to the yang. The adjective Satanic is not a claim that all occultists and globalists actively worship the Christian concept of the Devil. Many do, but that's beside the point. We are referring to a pattern of behavior that has many faces but the same root: a deceitful inversion of reality with no regard for the consequences for some personal gain.

James Northcote, Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, Scene 3, 1790, oil on canvas, Folger Shakespeare Library

Romeo and Juliet get caught up in a web of deception with tragic consequences. They didn't intend to deceive each other, but wound up dead all the same.

It is essential to remain aware of the difference between specific surface appearance and the structure of the larger pattern. In this case, deceitful does not necessarily mean an intent to deceive, although it can (specific case), but only an objectively false claim or set of claims (general pattern). Whether someone is deliberately lying has no relevance as to whether their fake reality is based on things that aren't true. 

Not all "gain" is the sadistic domination that comes to mind when the word Satanic is used. Falsely reclassifying the restlessness of boys as a disease created windfall for big pharma and other parasitic industries behind the mask of "objective" Science! There is no tyrant in the spotlight here. But swapping pathology for normalcy - harmfully inverts reality for profit.

The word Satanic is a metaphor because it uses the story of Satan's rebellion as a comparison for a whole universe of self-willed sociopathy. But there is more to this than just a resemblance between two things. As the Band has shown on several occasions (click for Satanic postmodernism or an occult take), Satan is the archetype or primordial example of rejecting reality for self-deluded desire.

It is easy to get caught up in the image of Satan, but this has been changing for centuries. Consider the following images from an earlier post:

Clockwise from top left:
Illustration of the devil in the Codex Gigas,  f 290 r, 13th century, from the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice, National 
Library of Sweden
Master L. Cz., The Temptation of Christ (detail), circa 1500, engraving, 22.6 x 16.9 cm
Thomas Lawrence,  Satan Summoning his Legions (detail), 1797, oil on canvas, 432 x 274 cm, Royal Academy Collection, London
Franz Stuck, Lucifer,1890, oil on canvas, 161 cm × 152.5 cm, National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia
George Frederic Watts, Satan, 1847, oil on canvas, 198.1 x 132.1 cm, Watts Gallery, Guildford

Modern Satanists even claim to be atheist and deny the existence of immaterial beings! But these are all just representations - ways to express a concept in ways that are comprehensible to the target audience. 

What is the concept?

Satan "rebels" against God, but God isn't a guy like a cruel overseer or corrupt ruler that can be overthrown. God is ultimate reality, the alpha and the omega, the substructure of all that can be or not be. The Satanic misconception is that their feelings define or can redefine what really is - like chalk words transmuting the substance of a blackboard. Its this elevation of raw emotional desire above reality that makes today's globalist culture Satanic, not the specific percentage of elites that actively worship demonic forces. 

Hindenburg begins to fall seconds after catching fire, May 6, 1937 

Feelings have little currency when reality bites. 

To a materialist, God and Satan are just more metaphor, but even an atheist who is intellectually honest can perceive that there is a natural order to observable reality. If your computer fails to turn on, you seek the identifiable cause. You don't assume that actions are random and you're just lucky that it worked all those other times. Mathematics and other branches of logic consistently account for object relations. Morality appears more subjective, but even this has a social reality that is bigger than the individual. 

Left uncoerced, different groups of people coalesce into different social patterns with different outcomes or mores. If organic social organization benefits the population, there is a "moral" duty to defend it from dyscivic, gain-seeking solipsists. We're seeing the alternative.

The core pattern is an inversion where the personal/subjective is elevated above the real/objective.   This is logically backwards - inverted - from the fact that we as finite beings are subsets of ultimate reality (however defined), and are therefore by necessity subordinate to it. It precedes us. Wherever we go, reality is already there. 

Josephine Wall, The Enchanted Flute
Hendrick Goltzius, Phaeton, 1588

Let's stay materialist. If it is natural for humans to procreate and self-actualize - if "rights" are inalienable - then the domination of others is a willful inversion of human nature for individual gain. Facing this, we have two options: an all-out fight for the Ring of Power where Trotsky winds up on the wrong end of an ice pick, or a collective morality that provides social checks on the dyscivic effects of Satanic ambition. 

Low trust or high trust. You can't have both for long, though Satanic types can benefit from psychopathic manipulation while hiding in plain sight in an otherwise high-trust society.

A sophisticated high-trust society needs a functioning morality. This should be obvious. Without common behavioral expectations, even the most minute activity needs to be regulated and policed. This is one reason why globalists love diversity - without the common bonds of social understanding, central control is necessary. Think how many new government entities have been willed into existence with fat budgets to deal with "immigration". It's a sub-empire.

Mary Jane Haley, Winter Morning In West Virginia, 2014

And what is public morality but generally accepted principles and attitudes? 

Religion shifts the question of authority to metaphysics and faith. This creates an "external" counterweight to the desire to bathe in dopamine hits from carnal pleasure and material profit. Secular morality pretends the same outcome can be wished into existence with something called human rights, though this has failed empirically as a path to social cohesion. The point is, putting internal desire above external reality works in the natural as well as the supernatural worlds.

The supernatural is where the inversion becomes occult. 

This pattern is easy to miss because the individual cases can be so different in their intensity. Sacrificing to Moloch or ritually binding spirits are obvious examples of trying to bend reality to your will. On the other hand, so is

There is no religious justification of this, nor is there a scientific one. 

So what are the forces at work here?

The underlying pattern is that the individual speaks reality into existence. It's magic or Magick or whatever. Returning to our pattern, God's creative act is referred to in the Bible as the Logos or Word. 

Jan Sadeler I after Crispijn van den Broeck, Creation! Separation of Light and Darkness, 1585, for de Jode’s Thesaurus sacrarum historiarum Veterus et Novi Testamenti 

Speaking reality is literally putting oneself in the place of God. This creative power has always been the explicit goal of occultists from at least the time of the Renaissance magus. This is itself a Biblical term for this sort of sinister power, though occultists like to reverse this as well. So the fellow travelers are Simon Magus and fallen Lucifer. Satanic inversions.

We can see the same pattern in the purely material world as well. 

If telling the truth is the most accurate possible account of reality, falsehood is the willful inversion. Other than a small number of clinically mentally ill, people lie to benefit themselves in some way - reputation, avoidance, social benefit, etc. The point of the lie is to get people to act as if the false reality was real - literally to speak reality into existence in terms of outcome. Lets look at it graphically.

Eric Armusik, The Temptation Of Christ, 2011

It is an ironic truth that Father of Lies is a title he comes by honestly.

Once you become aware of the pattern, it's everywhere. Postmodernism - that words have no meaning, that reality is subjective, and that personal experience is relevant to factual accuracy - is the "philosophical" expression of this fundamental deceit.  Consider how globalists seek to obliterate objective difference, suppress free inquiry, and oppose any form of organic community or traditional morality. And what do they offer instead? Rigid hierarchies that regiment every aspect of life with murderous force that are built around centralized nodes of control. There is no better system for the Satanic inverter who wishes to put their will to dominate over all constraint. Totalitarian heirarchies are catnip for power-seeking psychopaths, and the bigger the system, the more psychopathic the winner. 

Rewarding feelings over reason? Immediate gratification over healthy communities? Squandering other people's money over skin in the game?

Reality can be cruel, and in the end, we all "lose" the battle in this world. But whether your priorities are focused on a different place or you see this world as all we have, the fundamental choice for civilization remains the same. Do you proceed from physical reality and human nature, or do you seek to manipulate reality to exploit others for personal gain? What's the goal?

Monday, 7 January 2019

Telling Stories: World War One and the Avant-Garde

If you are new to the Band, this post is an introduction and overview of the point of this blog. Older posts are in the archive on the right.

Other links: The Band on GabThe Band on Oneway 

Before jumping back into the avant-garde Modernism of the last post, we have to consider how the First World War shifted the direction of Western culture. And to do this, we have to take another look at how history is made. There was a string of earlier posts on historiography written from a broad theoretical perspective (links to Part 1Part 2Part 3, coda), but there are practical considerations that must be accounted for as well. The name gives it away – history is a form of storytelling. It differs from fiction in that is it supposed to be based on facts, but facts organized into a narrative structure of some sort. This means that we have to assess history on more then one level – the facts and the story.

The facts are what we can call the actual historical data. 

Vatican Secret Archives

These can be uncertain due to unreliable source material but are at least based on efforts to determine what happened and when it did. 

A history based only on facts is a chronicle, a list of dates and events. 

The story tells the meaning behind the chronicle events by narrating the connections and larger implications that tie them together. This is not inherently foolish, since events do influence each other and tracing causal chains lets you understand why things happen. But with the vast amount of facts to choose from, the historian has the ability to direct the narrative whichever way they want.

The Histomap (1931) is fascinating as an attempt to graphically illustrate the relative power of different civilizations across time. It’s an impossible task – civilizations are left out and there is no quantitative metric by which relative power is measured, so what we get is a story of change from the perspective of a mainstream British historian of the 1930’s. 

We can look at the process graphically:

Gerrit Dou, A Scholar Sharpening his Quill, 1633, 25.5 x 20.5 cm, The Leiden Collection
What you're getting isn't what happened, but it isn't exactly fiction either. You can already see the room for abuse.

Historiography fits in on the “story” level because it also has to do with how the facts are arranged. It is best described as how history is conceived - the belief system or ideology that determines the narrative direction. Marxist historiography arranges facts to tell stories that express class struggle, while nationalist historiography considers the development and achievements of peoples. But this is only the philosophical background – like the Existentialist themes in a Sartre novel. The actual story - or to be more Aristotelian, the plot - is the arrangement of facts into a recounting of what happened. For our purposes, we can any relevant historiographical issues can be taken up within the concept of story.

This situation is inevitable, given the amount of information surrounding an event. There are endless, cascading butterfly effects around every aspect of something like World War I. How could one possibly tell the complete story of all of it? Historians have to circumscribe their subjects to make them manageable. But it goes deeper. People expect history to unfold as a story. Why wouldn’t it? It's the account of what happened. Whether we are explaining why Genghis Khan was such an effective conqueror or how germ theory developed, we are causally linking a series of events in time like a novelist would. We even present them the same way a novelist would.

Telling stories...

In ancient times, history, mythology, and fiction can be impossible to distinguish. The Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh is the tale of a legendary hero with gods, monsters, and fantastic deeds. But people also believed that he was part of the actual line of kings. Homer’s Iliad also features gods and legendary heroes, but set in the Bronze Age Aegean. There was no distinction between what we would call the mythical and the historical, since both were considered part of the real past. If the gods are real, why wouldn’t they be part of history?

Jules Lefebvre, The Death of Priam, 1861, oil on canvas, 114 x 146 cm, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

The Greeks thought the Trojan War was based on historical events. The place names were based on the civilization of Mycenae that predated Homeric Greece.

The idea of history as strictly material human activity first appeared with the Classical Greeks, but it wasn’t until after the Enlightenment that supernatural phenomena were ruled out completely. Modern history assumes that rational observers objectively weigh material evidence. Metaphysical subjects can’t be materially verified and are restricted to histories of belief rather than things that really happened. This is what separates history and fiction as categories, even though both are presented in narrative form with a introduction, chain of events, conclusion

There is even a category called historical fiction that muddies the waters further. 

But people tend to overlook the difference between “history” as a fact-based story and what really happened. This builds the expectation that real events can be treated as if they follow the simplified structures of narrative plots. 

This story is written from an imperialist British point of view. The picture is taken from a blog written by a solipsistic globalist who uses its presentation of the facts to blather out a different story. 

Simple stories hide complex interactions and contexts behind fake clarity. This allows for easy scapegoating and misdirection.

Here's more globalist deception - the challenges of human biodiversity as something to be "fixed" with a song!?!?! But fake simplicity sticks, and children's books are particularly effective at shaping a fake world view.

Consider the First World War. One oft-told story narrates the build-up of the imperial nation-state system through the 19th century – a dangerous blend of steady industrial and empire-building competition and armed conflict with a complicated system of alliances based on balancing power. Huge military expenditures made this a powder keg that only needed a spark to set off. Once the mobilizations started, the alliances sucked everyone in and the momentum made it impossible to pull back until Germany bled out. 

Domenica del Corriere vol. XVI, no. 27, 12 July 1914 with Achille Beltrame's drawing of Gavrilo Princip shooting Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo

Traditionally, the trigger is credited to the assassination of an Austrian Arch Duke, though given the political situation, most any spark would suffice. This story is factual in that it does reflect political activity leading up to the war and it is also true that events can have a dire momentum once they get started. But look more closely at the narrative. We jump seamlessly from a highly personalized incident - the assassination - to the impersonal movements of highly abstract political forces. It's Whig and Foucauldian historiography rolled into one! 

The facts are correct, but their narrative arrangement is incoherent. Something is left out. In this case, the specific mechanisms of power needed to shift from a single shooting to a global catastrophe are obscured. Decision-makers escape blame when political events are presented as some inexorable chain that just happened. Lets look at some other facts. 

Links for casualties, other statsmap, and images

Look at these numbers. Offering something abstract like political “momentum” to account for sustained slaughter of this magnitude hides the actual reasons for this obscenity. Looking back, history may resemble the movement of inexorable forces, but that is because we are confusing historical plotting – the story – for what actually happened. In this case, momentum is another word for self-interested elites and their fake ideologies. 

Histories are not "what happened". They’re stories built on facts as we know them.

The basement of the Ipatiev house where the Tsar Nicholas V and the Romanov family was killed, circa 1918-1919

Of course, blaming the war on nationalism also served globalist goals, as did the opportunity to replace a Christian Tsar with Bolshevism.

So how are facts spun into a fake story? Historiographic slant is part of it, but narrative conventions are at least as important. Think about the stories of World War One and ask who are the characters?

Russian 1914 poster. The upper inscription reads "concord". Shown are the female personifications of France, Russia, and Britain, the "Triple Entente" allies in the first World War

Accounts of the War often present combatant countries as if they were individual characters in a story. France did this, then Germany did this, because Austria wanted this, and so forth. This way, the patriotism of the individual soldiers can be combined with the agendas of the elite as if they were the same. Britannia is the tell. They aren’t. 

This is the lie of the nation-state in visible form - a false conflation of an elitist political system and a people.

We saw in an earlier post that the imperial nation-states of the 19th century created the illusion of organic unity with personifications that masked real divisions within the polity. This included fake gods like Britannia and more folksy creations like Uncle Sam - but the purpose was the same. Presenting highly motivated elite political and economic decisions as some abstract will of the people creates the impression that the elites and people share the same aims. It can even trick the people into taking up dyscivic elite causes as their own. 

Another post looked at the division hidden by the fiction of the nation-state: a globalist elite ruling over a national group by fiat. But here we focused on the similarity between the older aristocratic elites and the new money of the Industrial Revolution as a detached, self-serving oligarchy. There are also differences between imperial rule by hereditary monarchs and aristocrats and the one-world vision of the newer globalists. We can use the facts to tell a different story about World War One - one that looks a lot more like a bloodsoaked elite power shift than any sort of expression of national will.

John Bull and Uncle Sam, words by Wm. Allen, music by J.B. Herbert, published 1898

Fake mythology creates the illusion of unity between nations and their rulers. This is the myth of the nation-state, a meaningless composite something like classifying dogs by 'kennel-breed'. 

This is how we get "England" and "America" as characters in simplistic historical stories. 

But there is no sign of popular interest in war. Even the powder-keg igniting assassination of Franz Ferdinand was followed by a month of increasingly bellicose posturing in the imperial capitals. We also know that there were all out campaign of lies to push the war on every rhetorical level from the outset. The following are public domain World War One propaganda posters pulled from a duckduckgo search. 

Fake Nationalism?

The appeal to pure unthinking patriotic allegiance to the nation state. Consider the raw demonic inhumanity needed to turn nationalist sentiment into bait for a meat grinder.

Sometimes the rhetoric is especially transparent - the elites don't always express the connection between their monstrous apatite for slaughter and the symbols of fake national identity so openly. 

And look at the picture - a steadfast figure in a crisp uniform guarding a pleasant field from an approaching shadow. Nothing in this picture foreshadows the horrors of trench warfare or the deaths of millions.

A personal appeal?

More unintentional honesty: to the sociopathic global elites, the diverse people of a nation are fungible units to be marched to the abattoir on a whim.

Tugging the emotional heart strings?

Fight because Columbia is fainting, or daddy, or Belgium...

...or even ginned up imaginary threats if that's what's called for.

Kill monsters or improve your life skills

The appeals are endless. 

Just keep stuffing bodies into the thresher.

The correct answer for "Australia" would be what happened to the previous 50,000?

The only thing English or American or Australian about this conflict is the visual language of the deception.

We also know that the lies and misinformation extended to the real world. Details surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania show a pattern of elite duplicity and manipulation to expand the war. 

Winston Churchill (left), First Lord of the Admiralty and Lord Fisher (right) after a meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1913

Churchill was ruthless in advancing the war, and the British strategy rather than German savagery the most likely cause of the Lusitania tragedy. 

That a man of his obvious intelligence could so thoroughly detach great power games from the deaths of millions shows how separate the worlds of the elite and the nation really were. 

Of course the propagandists presented it differently. Nothing like a false flag to juice the fake nationalism.

Not that any of this was new...

Victor Gillam, Remember the Maine! And Don't Forget the Starving Cubans!, pub. in Judge, May 7, 1898, vol. 34, p. . 312, Historical Society of Pennsylvania

It's actually remarkable how consistent globalist false flags and emotionally manipulative propaganda can be. Murky but convenient tragedies and the decontextualized suffering of foreign children remain central to the no borders playbook.

Given the popular disinterest in war leading up to 1914, the complete lack of social benefit for the combatant nations, and the efforts made by the elites to drive the mind-blowing slaughter to its extremity rule out simple stories with nation-state characters. Historical narratives can be assessed empirically like any case - by their fruits. Who actually benefited from this?

Some advantages are obvious. 

Domenico Tojeti, Progress of America, 1875, Oakland Museum of California

Remember the fundamental lie of Progress is that we can maintain steady or even increasing growth in a finite system. 

But all the fake mythology in the world can't change mathematics.

Progress had to be an absolute to sell the endless growth required by the modern industrial system. But if we can see that it is fake, the actual elite narrative engineers can too. How does one maintain the illusion as the early promise of the Industrial Revolution devolved into societal upheaval, unprecedented income stratification and urban poverty, and Gilded Age oligarchy? War provides a way of “resetting” by ginning up social cohesion, burning off surplus young men, and creating enormous demand for materials and reconstruction. If Progress is a house of cards, intermittent war keeps knocking parts of it down, ensuring that you never reach the point where further progress runs into material limits. Without MAD, another such reset would have already happened.

Udo J. Keppler, Next! 1904, photomechanical print, Published J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg., New York, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC

It's not as if the growing power of the industrial elites was unnoticed. But behind them were the bankers and financiers - the Morgans, Rothschilds, and the like. 

Financial power came into the open with the creation of the Federal Reserve by Congress to manage interbank transfers and monetary policy. The ownership of the Fed is surprisingly murky, but the reality is that it was the initiative of the banking elites and remains privately held. This site includes charts documenting the the complex webs connecting finance and government at the highest levels. These are the same global financial elites that kept the money flowing to both sides of the war while funding the Bolsheviks

Meanwhile, it was the patriotic duty of American parents to take money away from their children and it them to fund a meat grinder to save said children from imaginary danger. Lives were still being shoveled into the furnace in 1918 to improve bargaining position at the armistice talks!

Remember the reality of the war - elite great game posturing fueled by endless reservoirs of Industrial Revolution capital masking historic slaughter beneath a web of propaganda. There is no deception that the elites will not stoop to to manufacture opinion - even lying outright when all else fails. 

This hasn't changed.

American civic nationalism is an illusory land of opportunity over a reality of global elite rulership. The difference between the WWI era and today is that the twentieth century ramped up the narrative control with centralized communications and easy transportation.

So the first part of our story is that World War I was the product of murderously disconnected elites and not imaginary nation-state "actors". But the deception inherent in simplified narratives is present here too, because the War also cemented a change in the nature of the European elite. This can be assessed empirically as well.

Consider the larger picture: financiers kept the money flowing, the political elites cashed in every appeal they had to nation and heroism, and millions kept dying. Millions kept dying. There is no appeal to webs of alliances or momentum of events that can normalize that atrocity. So who gets the blame, the money men, or "patriotic" liars?

Charles Ernest Butler, Blood and Iron, 1916, oil on canvas, 191 x 144.2 cm, Imperial War Museum London

This is effective rhetoric, but unfairly ascribes blame to Germany alone for the apocalyptic destruction. Fake realities yield dyscivic outcomes that propagandists manipulate. The empirical way to assess the War is by observing the consequences.

The old Imperial aristocratic elites took a blow that they would never recover from. The German, Russian, and Ottoman Empires had been replaced with an impoverished, directionless, debauched "republic" overrun with Marxists, a massive totalitarian supporter of continuous anti-Western psychological pressure, and the first "secular" Muslim state. England, France, Italy, and the other nations were battered and depleted. Within the elite worlds of culture, nationalism became the scapegoat, for reasons that should have been predictable. 

The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854, photogravure after Caton Woodville, pub. Henry Greaves and Co, London, 1895

The imperial nation-state of the 19th century was driven by the false belief in Progress. War was needed to sustain the illusion with mini-resets to burn off surplus men, stimulate the economy, and secure resources. 

All to benefit the elite. Fake nationalism - the whole self-contradictory identity of the nation-state - was the way of selling this to the people. Here's a selection of 19th century wars in Europe and in the wider world.

Paul Nash, The Menin Road, 1919, oil on canvas, 317.5 x 182.8 cm, Imperial War Museum, London

Sell a fake bill of goods and you get the blame. The reality was so utterly different that the pre-War system was discredited. Nationalism had been falsely chained to the nation-state, and got thrown out with the bathwater. 

Looking at the aftermath, we see a spent, battered Europe with the old aristocracy swept away and social upheaval and disillusionment everywhere. Various metastases of Marxist “radicalism” sprung up like mushrooms as the answer. 

The Frankfurt School or Institute for Social Research was set up by a well-funded Marxist and accredited by the state university system. Elites literally weaponized education against national culture.

Binary thinking leads to false dichotomies. Marx’ intellectual limitations are evident in his misconception of society as divisible into two classes – itself a variation on the cognitive ceiling indicated by belief in Hagel’s dialectic as historically meaningful – but an idea doesn’t have to be smart to be compelling. The binary simplicity is inane, but like a biological virus, simplicity is also advantageous for survival. Marxist groups were well organized and supported, so when the Industrial Revolution nation state-altered, they could step up with the alternative. Of course it was a false one, but post-war upheaval followed by Depression was the vector for the “socialism” that late 20th century Europe pretended was a natural trait. 

That's the second part of our story. The War was an elite creation that baptized a change in the elite order. A blood sacrifice, metaphorically speaking of course... This is just a story - a generalization based on an overview. But consider today's unholy alliance of Luciferian power-seeking globalists, no-borders socialists, and quisling politicians against the West:

So what about the Arts?

The short answer is that the trauma of the war intensified what was already an anti-Western, tendency in the European avant-garde. Opposing the old order wasn't just keeping up with the times or championing Enlightenment abstractions, it was a pressing moral imperative. After all, nation-states and nationalism and aristocrats had killed millions. The avant-garde already tended to be "Bohemian" radicals who reveled in their place outside polite society - now they could use their dyscivic positions to virtue signal. 

The reaction to the War took two main political directions that both rejected traditional realism - intense Marxist social politics and complete disinterest in representation at all.The Dada movement that emerged in Weimar Germany is the best-known example of the former. This group interpreted the industrial slaughter as an indictment of the “old order” – whatever that means – and embraced deliberate absurdity as an alternative to the now-discredited Enlightenment faith in reason.

Grand opening of the first Dada exhibition, Berlin, 5 June 1920, from Richard Huelsenbeck, Dada Almanach, Berlin: Erich Reiss Verlag, 1920.
Left to right: Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch (sitting), Otto Burchard, Johannes Baader, Wieland Herzfelde, Margarete Herzfelde, dr. Oz (Otto Schmalhausen), George Grosz and John Heartfield.

Note the German officer with the pig's head hanging in effigy.

The name Dada was chosen because it is meaningless - repeated syllables meant to recall a baby's babbling. The called themselves anti-Art, meaning that they opposed the 19th century Western concept of Art promoted through prestigious academies, well-heeled dealers, and aristocratic-minded collectors. But "popular" art - what Marxists dismissed as kitsch in the last post - was also rejected on the grounds that its traditional styles and cultural themes were reflections of false consciousness.  

Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q, Mona Lisa with moustache, 1919, pencil, ready-made, 19.7 x 12.4 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

French Dadaist Duchamp's version of anti-art was the "ready-made" - found objects placed in museums and other high culture venues to demonstrate the emptiness of Art as a category. Here, he scribbled a little beard and goatee on a commercial print of the Mona Lisa. The subject is a Renaissance masterpiece, the "work" a kitschy print, and the gesture an absurd childish doodle. It is clever in mocking Art as a concept, talent as a measure of quality, and traditional aesthetic values in a single image.

The title L.H.O.O.Q. is an abbreviation for a French colloquialism that translates to "she has a hot ass". More mockery and debasement of cultural values. Sound familiar?

The Dadaists were very good at self-promotion. Here's a cheap, easily disseminated Dada manifesto using Duchamp's piece as a symbolic icon.

Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q., signed, titled and numbered '21/35 Marcel Duchamp L.H.O.O.Q.', graphite and gouache on color reproduction, 30.2 x 22.9 cm, 1964

In 2010, one of a set of thirty-five prints made after the original in 1964 sold in auction for $452,500. Anti-art or elite tool? 

The avant-garde didn't "destroy" Art, they took it over and transformed it into a globalist weapon while moving huge sums of money.

Hannah Höch, Marlene, 1930, photomontage, 36.7 x 24.2 cm, Collection Dakis Joannou, Athens

Wiemar Germany is an excellent study in extreme income polarization, social trauma, and lack of moral and social boundaries proving untenable. The celebration of debasement is particularly relevant to the Postmodern West. 

German Dadaist Höch used photomontage to make "statements" about culture. This is usually interpreted as a proto-feminist critique of objectivized femininity in mass media. But it works even better as a vision of Modernity where the Classical tradition is replaced with a cheap, ephemeral mass-marketed parody of sex. 

The alternative path was the one eventually championed by Clement Greenberg and other formalist critics – doubling down on the notion of artistic autonomy to the point where representation itself is rejected. This is superficially opposite political avant-garde movements like Dadaism, but turning away from politics, nationalism, ideology, etc. was made more appealing by the trauma and fake narrative of the war. 

Piet Mondrian, Composition A1920, oil on canvas, 90 x 91 cm, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome

This is the "essence" of Art version of Modernism that we looked at over the last few posts. On the theoretical level, the stripping Art down to its essentials is the opposite of Dada's anti-art. But ignore the squid ink and look at the fruits. Both visions are uncompromisingly hostile to the Western tradition, but willing to hijack its cultural institutions for globalist ends. 

Greenberg and most of the other art critics were cultural Marxists and every bit as “political” as the radicals. The difference is that their politics were veiled and subversive – the subtle destruction of Western culture in the guise of rationalism. This is the context for the Rockefeller' establishment of the Museum of Modern Art in New York covered in an earlier post.

Richard Morris Hunt, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Main Wing (entrance façade, entrance hall and grand stairway), completed 1902, New York, shown here under construction in 1902.

Remember, the Gilded Age elites were internationalist, but still conceived of culture in terms of the Western tradition.

Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, Museum of Modern Art, opened 1939, renovated 1997 by Yoshio Taniguchi, New York

That wasn't the case with the post-War globalist elites.

Walter Gropius, Bauhaus Building, 1925-26, Dessau, Germany

This is the world of architectural Modernism. Architects had to produce functional products which ruled out Dada-style atavism. But formal purity was still on the table. Some "publicly" funded essence for a tradition-free future! 

The thing about stories is that they wrap up. It seems like we are positioned jump back into Modern architecture and look at the anti-Western trajectory of post-War culture. 

But stories aren't what actually happened and "the Western tradition" isn't a character...

John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, Chicago Tribune Tower, 1923-25, Chicago

...and things were different in America

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