A dialogue with Alex Kurtagic

A dialogue with Alex Kurtagic

Textos » Entrevistas | 27.10.2013


Questions by Sebastián Vera. Originally published on Identitas, vol 1.

Alex Kurtagic. Photo: NPI

Considering the debate about immigration not as the defeat of a certain political faction (in our case, both Left and Right liberals), but the defeat of apolitical philosophy or worldview, do you consider easier or harder to stop the phenomenon in countries where immigration coming from more coloured countries in South America, and Africa, has grown into considerable levels just a few years ago?

Egalitarians, be it modern liberals or the Left, would like everyone to think that the colonisation of White homelands by settlers of colour is irreversible, and that this (according them) now permanent situation is a sign of ‘progress’, resulting from the technological overcoming of geographical barriers, the deprecation of ‘antiquated’ notions of identity, the destruction of traditional hierarchies, and the increasing move towards a fluid world. Yet this is vision is purely ideological: there is nothing intrinsically progressive in egalitarianism or globalisation, the latter of which is an expression of the former; they are merely the expression of an ethics that subjectively declares equality to be an absolute moral good. And herein lies the principal difficulty in the effort to instigate a change of government policy: in our age, the dominant morality in our society is an egalitarian morality, and it is this, rather than any of the contrived pseudo-economic arguments we often hear repeated in the mainstream media and liberal and Left-leaning thinktanks, that serves as the ultimate basis for justification—either for continuing the policy or for not reversing it. Most ordinary citizens in the West agree that there are too many ‘immigrants’ (settlers of colour) and would rather their governments stopped them coming and sent most of them back. They dare not say or call for this publicly, however, because they fear that desiring this makes them ‘bad people’ and would cause others to think them so too. This is why no amount of economic data, crime statistics, or racial science has any effect on policy. To see it change we will need to be able to articulate the case for change in moral terms, and I believe this cannot be achieved without attacking egalitarianism in moral terms, because it is its enshrinement of equality as a moral good that lies at the base of the modern liberal project.

Once the moral standing of egalitarianism is destabilised, and once an ethics of inequality (the moral goodness of difference, or the moral goodness of quality) is successfully articulated, then it will become a lot easier to justify a change in immigration policy throughout the West.

Of course, reversing the effects of decades of colonisation is more difficult where it has been more intensive and where the indigenous have intermarried with the settlers, but, from the perspective of physically relocating, those who immigrated can just as easily emigrate: after all, did they not emigrate from their countries of origin in the first place? It is not the migration that is difficult, even if large numbers are involved—it’s everything else.

In your opinion, if Liberalism has been the cornerstone to both Left and Right politics since eighteenth century, to which historical period of Western civilization should identitarian movements look for examples in order to create archeofuturistic propositions to face this difficult period of time to European culture, tradition and race?

We suffer from a confusion in terminology. Our political language derives from the French Revolution, the terms Left and Right reflecting the seating arrangements at the National Assembly. At that time, the Left came to mean supporters of the revolution (liberals), and the Right supporters of the ancien regime (conservatives). However, with the Leftward drift in politics, caused by the absorption by liberalism of certain Marxian positions, over time the above terms have come to mean different things. Nowadays the Left means Marxism (a critique of liberalism), the centre means modern liberalism, and the Right means classically leaning liberalism. A so-called ‘conservative’ today is a classically leaning liberal; he is not conserving tradition, but rather he wants to maintain the status quo, slow down a bit, or take a few step backs (which usually means the previous election or the last time they were in power). We will, therefore, not find any answers in modern conservatism.

Also, simply looking backwards and attempting somehow to turn back the clock will only cause us to become irrelevant, because our world is very different today and we need something that will provide solutions that are relevant and respond to our present conditions.

What to do? Alexander Dugin has, I believe, made an important contribution in this area in his book, The Fourth Political Theory. He says that there were three ideologies in modernity: liberalism, the first and oldest; Marxism, the second, which was a critique of liberalism; and fascism / National Socialism,  the third, which was a critique of both. Fascism / National Socialism was defeated in 1945 and Marxism was defeated in 1989. This left liberalism, which is now triumphant, having proven the most stable. There is a distinction that Dugin does not make in this exposition of events, however, which is that between classical liberalism and modern liberalism, but we need not focus on that now. Dugin does not provide a fourth political theory; he only suggests areas of intellectual exploration where we may find the components for such a theory, the development of which he says is a difficult, ambitious, and heroic project that will require a collective effort. Obviously, these areas of exploration are those outside of liberalism, comprising all those ideas for which liberalism had no use.

I think Dugin is right. However, Dugin writes from a Russian perspective, and Russia is, as he is the first to point out, fundamentally different from the West. For example, he prescribes we attack the concept of the individual, on the basis that in liberalism the individual is the measure of all things; however, individualism is a historical trait of Northern European peoples, certainly in the Anglophone world, so, to me, and considering that the problems we’re experiencing today are not so much due to individualism but to egalitarianism, we need to attack egalitarianism. Therefore, we can expect in time the emergence of different versions of any fourth political theory. It will be up to us to develop one that reflects our traditions and collective soul.

I realise this is probably not a very satisfactory answer. But the fact is that while there are many recognisable features associated with anti-liberal thought, there is an urgent need to articulate—and to do so coherently and systematically—our worldview and aspirations at the level of theory, particularly in ethics.

As you said in one of your articles, the majority of far Right activists have adopted a liberal methodology and a liberal conception of man and the world,consciously or unconsciously, therefore playing a game invented by the enemy. During your years and travels related to counter-politics, do you see a change in the strategies of these groups and movements, or they still use politicised science as a battle banner?

You have to remember that my audience is primarily the Anglo-American world, which is notoriously averse to theory. Hence, the excessive emphasis on practical and empirical arguments, the complete absence of theory and radical philosophy, and my criticisms. However, I believe there is a tendency within this movement that recognises the problem, is more oriented towards continental European philosophy, and more open to radical ideas. The late Jonathan Bowden was unusual precisely for this reason. This tendency is the most dynamic and I believe we will see more of it in future.

Can it be the lack of a solid theorical background considered as one of the main causes, or maybe the only great cause, of far Right’s incapacity to emulate successful practices?

Yes. Where fundamental change is desired, you have to start out from first principles. Everything flows out from those. Consider that every placard, every slogan, every poster, every talking point, and even the trajectory of a Molotov cocktail, ultimately rests on a body of theory. The radical who throws a Molotov cocktail knows exactly which window in which building it needs to go; millions of words have been said and written before that bottle was filled with gasoline. The radical may not understand the theoretical texts, but he understands their import, having intuited it in the mass of words around him, as well as in the feelings and attitudes inspired by them, and, unless he is engaged in random violence, he will know which window to target with his Molotov cocktail and why it must be that window in that particular building and not another.

In your words, the pursuit of equality policies is one of the features that has made Western societies different from non-Western counterparts. Should this be understood as if the application of Liberalism, or any other European philosophical principle, outside the continent or outside countries with an important or predominant European heritage, is the cause of all actual disgraces suffered by the Western world, racially and culturally speaking?

Liberalism as a political philosophy has, like Marxism, been an imperialist philosophy. Both can be understood as a secular form of monotheism. Monotheism is totalitarian by nature, so it follows that both liberalism and Marxism would also have a totalising tendency. Yet the world is more in line with the pagan outlook, which is non-dualistic, and embraces multiplicity, uniqueness, and difference. The exporting of liberalism to parts of the world whose indigenous civilisations or cultures would never have theorised it in the first place has, indeed, had very negative repercussions, both for them and for ours. Unfortunately, because the West grew very rich under the liberal regime, and because modern media has made this riches very visible around the world, peoples outside the West desire the same for themselves, and readily attempt to adopt or emulate the liberal regime, which they can only half-digest, with mixed and sometimes catastrophic results. Stability and sustainability demands autochthonous solutions, but the liberals—who are inveterate proselytists or evangelists—will not stand for that, because in many cases they find them disturbing or grotesque.

We know that the logical end product of equality is sameness and mediocrity,therefore a denial of all the things that make life good and worth living. How do you think we can make people understand that a system of beliefs that takes the joy out of life, a system of belief that is, ultimately, anti-life, cannot be considered moral?

It will take a sustained, collective, long-term effort at all levels, from the theoretical to the practical. But it begins with a man and a pen.

Do you think it’s possible to tie the pursuit of the end of the egalitarian system, with notions of social justice?

Yes. Absolutely. Egalitarianism is fundamentally unfair, because equality cannot be achieved without being unfair to someone, without privileging the undeserving, without penalising the undeserving, without an oppressive state apparatus of surveillance and regulation, and without dehumanising the individual.

Considering your childhood in Venezuela, do you think white minorities in South American countries have a future as a totally different human group, or are they condemned to mix with the brown mob? It might be more possible for European descended people living in the southern countries of the continent, where they are more, but still a minority?

It’s difficult to say. It may be that the whites disappear where they are fewer and will survive in the southern cone. If we defeat egalitarianism, differences will likely become more pronounced, and may lead to migrations and secessions.

How has the idea of a cultural revolution been received? Are political movements adopting this strategy?

This is the overall tendency, yes.

The identitarian parties are still seeking to win elections, of course, which is really the raison d’etre of the mainstream parties. In my opinion, we should not abandon party politics, but we should remind ourselves that their aim is merely to broaden the debate and disrupt the consensus; in other words, we should remain active on this front, but with the understanding that, for now, this is not how we are going to win: we will not vote ourselves out of liberalism until the intellectual and moral bases of liberalism have been completely discredited, and it becomes acutely embarrassing for a person admit that he once believed in equality.

Which do you think is the best way for whites to change a reality that threat their existence as a self-identified human group, in countries where they are a hated minority, taking in consideration that they can’t count with the option of a mass revolution? 

Emigration or secession.

Speaking in terms of what we, as European civilization (in contrast with Western Neoliberal and Atlantist way of life), can be, ought to be, must be, what is your proposition, in terms of how whites can take the power back in their own countries, and of what will eventually come after that?

The first thing is to understand who we are. The second is to know what we want to become. Once that is clear, the rest follows as described above: the formulation of a body of theory that justifies us ontologically and teleologically, and that enables us to articulate both, proudly, openly, and publicly, in moral terms. Then translate than into strategies, which can be applied by organisers, and in turn by activists (activism can take virtually any imaginable form.) In every area of activity or creativity, anywhere and everywhere, subject egalitarianism to radical criticism, and oppose to it an ethics of difference, that puts a premium on quality rather than equality. (Quality implies uniqueness as well as superiority.) Fight egalitarianism anywhere and everywhere, in every possible form, on an issue-by-issue, form-by-form basis, always with a moral basis. Destabilise egalitarian assumptions and categories, make egalitarians soul-search and question themselves, force concessions out of them, keep them constantly under pressure.

I cannot stress enough the importance of being able to do this on a sound moral basis. Without that, it will not be possible to articulate our position loudly and proudly, as it needs to be, and we will continue to have to speak in code, in hushed tones, and in secret venues.

Of equal importance is also to enjoy the struggle. Anti-liberal commentators have a propensity to speak in apocalyptic terms, and to delight in extreme expressions of cynical pessimism. It’s all hopeless. Everything lost. We are doomed. This creates a very negative atmosphere. It also has no basis in reality, unless you’re planning on doing nothing. No culture war can be sustained for long if those involved are not enjoying themselves. It is a heroic effort, of course, but putting the enemy on the defensive, and finding ever new ways to keep them under pressure and extract concessions from them, has to be fun.

Finally, due to a personal interest in extreme music, what do you think it’s the importance of artistic expressions as music in the cultural fight for Europe? Do you think Black Metal plays as important and/or especial role in this issue? If so, why?

For me Black Metal represented an articulation, in musical form, of elitism, non-dualism, and intellectual paganism. Most people are not interested in political theory, but many are interested in music. And I think Black Metal provided a cultural space whereby individuals of a particular sensibility were able to express and realise themselves. Individuals of this sensibility were not limited to Black Metal, of course; those were not interested in the genre found other avenues, such as battle re-enactment. It goes without saying that Black Metal was never meant to be a political campaigning tool, and those who have tried to use it in this manner have caused irritation among individuals who are otherwise, by instinct or nature, of a congenial sensibility. Yet, the power of music, and art in general, particularly its popular forms, should not be underestimated, because it is capable of eliciting the most violent of emotions, in a way that few other areas of human endeavour can. And in this sense, those who share our outlook also found in Black Metal a method of articulating their utter defiance to, and disgust at, the dominant ideology of the wider society. I see Black Metal as a form of the 1990s (though it existed since the 1980s) and early 2000s. Many of those who grew up or were involved with it will continue to have a loyalty, or at least a soft spot for it, even long after they have transcended it. At the same time, new forms will emerge, and will continue, I hope, to plough the furrow ploughed by Black Metal in popular culture, making further inroads into less underground circles.

Thank you very much for your time. We expect you to continue your precious work in saving all what we consider valuable fighting for in life. We will follow very closely your intellectual fight, the most important fight of our times.

Thank you for the interview.

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