Gab Interview with Lindsey Schreiner

Lindsey Schreiner is an artist that I met over Gab. She was nice enough to create my banner, and has created the book cover for my upcoming YA novel, Andy the Ninja. She was also kind enough to grant me and interview with her. She can be found online at www.kallindra.com and you can gab with her at gab.ai/Horrorqueen

  1. So tell me about your background. Where did you grow up, what was your family like, and how did that influence you into becoming the person you are today?

I grew up in a Military family, my father was enlisted in the Air Force. I was born in Montana and when I was 2 we lived in Germany until the time I was 6, my little brother was born in that time. In my childhood, I also lived in New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota and back to Montana – there are a lot of details that made me who I am.

My father’s interest in computers meant I never lived in a house without one, I started with a Commodore 64 at the age of 4 navigating DOS to start my own programs and games. My mother worked extremely hard at every turn to make sure my brother and I rarely went wanting despite the fact we were a family of 4 on an enlisted man’s salary in the 80’s and 90’s, so I had a lot of opportunity to develop my creativity and ideals.

My mother is probably the one person in my life that I could always count on. She has taught me to be strong and independent always – to think my own way and ensure the information I’m being given is based on fact, no matter who is presenting it to me, and that if I want something, the only way to get it is to work hard and get it myself.

She also taught me doing the right thing and being an adult are more important than “winning” – which has influenced how I behave online as well. Honesty and maturity are two things I try very hard to hold on to at every turn (though I’m far from perfect at times).

  1. You seem like a really creative person, what other types of creative endeavors are you interested in participating in?

I’m honestly one of those people who has a very divided focus… I love do to my graphic arts, but I also enjoy doing crafts – origami, crochet, cross stitch, sculpting, painting – and I enjoy writing and poetry as well, though I don’t practice those quite as much as I should.

I’m great at the visual side/customer use of Web design, but more people are interested in a quick drag and drop design than something custom so I don’t mention that as often as I do other things.

  1. So when did you first start getting into art? And what were your first subjects/themes you explored?

I’ve been artistically inspired most of my life. As a child I was always drawing, or working on something, trying to paint things. I’ve always been kind of a fantasy inspired person – I started playing Dungeons and Dragons at 8 – and of course I enjoyed unicorns, but I have a very huge love for dragons – all kinds. Of course I’m also inspired by most mythologies – Norse, Egyptian, and Greek most specifically. I spent most of my time in school drawing instead of taking notes.

My first time in college at 18 I would irritate the daylights out of my History professor because I would walk in, sit down, and start drawing. Once I even placed my hand down on the paper, traced it, and proceeded to fill in the details of the hand while he lectured. When it came time for midterms, I passed the test with flying colors and he added a note on my test that said “I guess you were listening”. Of course then I was also a psychology major.

  1. You have a very unique pop-ish style, who or what influenced it?

What influences my art style most is what I’m being asked for. I don’t like to consider myself in one category or another, because I’m often trying to find new methods to produce the picture that I have in my head. In the end, what comes out is usually the result of hours of fussing and fretting over exactly which pixel is where, knowing no one will ever realize that I’m fussing on such a small scale but me.

  1. What is your process like? Do you just sit down and create or do you have a kind of ritual you use to get you into the headspace necessary to create?

If I’m not working on a piece for someone else, I’ve generally started with a blank canvas and randomly doodled and messed with the canvas until an idea comes to me. Or I was running through pictures until an idea comes to me. Or I was off doing something else and something will pop into my head to try to do – there is honestly a lot of art I’ve done that’s hidden on my computer because it’s half finished, or I didn’t feel like it was good enough to be showing to other people.

  1. Are you formally trained? If so where did you learn and who were your greatest teachers? If you had it to do over again, would you make the same choice today?

Formally trained? Not really. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology with a Concentration in Web Design. I have an ACE certification in DreamWeaver, and I plan to get the same certification in Photoshop sometime soon. Honestly my greatest teachers have been trial and error, YouTube, and other artists on the internet kind enough to put their methods forth through written tutorials. My BS had a few Photoshop focused classes that helped some of my technique, but nothing overtly inspiring. There are only two choices in my life I would re-do, and none of them really have anything do with my style or education.

  1. You’re very active on Gab, were you always outgoing on social media? Have you always had a large presence or is Gab different for you because of the free speech dedication?

Gab is very different for me for a lot of reasons. The first of which is that before this I never put much of my personality out in my Social profiles – I never got into Twitter, I spent most my time on Facebook posting images and articles from other sources and being more of an observer than anything. Gab is a young program, with a lot of promise, and for the time being without preconceptions from the users. People don’t expect specific things from a user to consider them “worth” following, and I am a very strong free speech proponent – even if I disagree with you and think you’re saying something that actively lowers my IQ as it leaves your mouth, I will always acknowledge your right to say it, and equally my own right to tell you you’re an idiot. To be on a forum where I can TELL people they’re being an idiot without being censored – and if they get tired of me they can sensor me out – is an amazing thing really. I have a very strong desire to see it grow so that all people can come together and discuss. It’s a bit of a naïve hope, but I hope those on the left and those on the right fighting will help them come together more than they manage now.

  1. You also talk a lot about political and social issues on Gab. Describe how you see yourself politically? What are some of the most important issues, in your opinion, facing America and the world?

I’m a libertarian in the most correct sense of the word. To most conservatives I sound liberal, and to most liberals I sound conservative. To me the biggest issues aren’t sex, immigration, or guns, but the whole of liberty and what “We the People” means. A lot of the issues people fight about nationally were never meant to be handled on the national platform – You can’t legislate morality be it what the Left or Right consider to be moral. So much power has been removed from the hands of the people and the states and ceded to the government that it’s honestly no surprise to me that we’re in the state we’re in.

I am absolutely against the interventionalist policy that has put America where it is in the middle of all the world’s conflicts, and I don’t feel it makes us stronger being there. In fact, it makes us weaker as we spend money and send other countries billions of dollars, while at the same time let our own country create regulations and policies that only serve to bleed more money from the people… but the list of my problems with the country/world is huge.

  1. Is it hard being right of center and being an artist? Do you find yourself isolated by the leftist artistic communities in the real world and online?

Honestly, I don’t find myself isolated in any community more than any other because I’m more center than right or left. I’ve been treated equally bad by right-wing radicals as I have been left-wing, because I have a very straight down the middle point of view. I don’t think that the right’s idea of morality is completely right, nor do I believe the left’s idea is completely right – in the end I think the country was specifically built with the idea that we need room to agree to disagree and mingle with those who think similarly to how we do while setting rules for all groups to follow to interact peacefully since no single group will every have all the things they need. The idea of “equality” is supposed to apply to equal opportunity, no matter what race, religion, color, sex, or mind set. What one person believes is a mental illness is what another person needs to be happy – and this can apply to everything from sexual orientation to religion…. But again, I can go on and on with specific details and ideas.

10. What inspires you?

Everything really. Ideas, nature, TV, movies, music sound… I have more ideas trapped in my head than I can hope to ever express, but it’s fun to try.

An interview with W.O. Cassity

Today we talk with WO Cassity about his writing, his life, his faith and his politics. Cassity is the author of numerous horror short stories and a fantasy novel. He has led a fascinating life which included being a US Marine for a time, a self-taught computer expert, a homeschooling dad among many others.

You can find him on the web at http://www.wocassity.com/ on Gab @wocassity and you can find his work Heir of the Blood King here.

  1. Tell me a little about your background. Where are you from? What was your childhood like? What kinds of things were you exposed to as a young man that later influenced your development as a writer?
    My childhood was pretty rough. I’m the youngest of three children. My two sisters are 12 years and 8 years older than I. My parents divorced when I was two and my father remarried.  My father had custody of my sisters and my mother had custody of me, but he took me once when I was with him for a visit and he fled the state with his new family, myself and my siblings.  This created a lot of social anxiety issues for me and I introverted.  It was about 4 months later that I was returned to my mother.  This actually got a lot rougher from there, but these were the events that left me feeling that I didn’t have a voice.  It was later that I used writing to find my own voice and to gain an understanding of who I was and who I wanted to be.
    My first memory is a dream that I had when I was 3 years old about a T-Rex picking up my house and looking inside to see me hiding under my bed.  I could only see the eye looking through the window.  It was exactly like the scene in Jurassic Park.  From that earliest time, I had a fascinated and wanted to explore the meanings of dreams and this became one of the primary influences into writing when I was around 12 years old.
  1. Tell me about your education. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you plan on incorporating that knowledge into your writing?
    I never went to college. I really wanted to go, but with little money and little confidence in myself to earn scholarships, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. While I was in, I had an allergic reaction that resulted in a grand mal seizure and I was medically discharged.  This left me lost.
    So I turned my attention to computers as a self-study and passed my Comptia A+ certification and then later became certified for my MSCE.  I invested nearly twelve years in expanding my knowledge starting with computers when I worked at Dell Computer Corporation in early 2000.  From there I went to work at Verizon Wireless and incorporated my IT knowledge and applied it in the field of Telecommunications.  Somewhere in that time, my passion and love for computers went away, so I chose not to include this into my writing for fear of losing interest in it as well.
  1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? When did you first realize that “ah-ha there is a person who created this book I’m enjoying!”
    I think I’ve always been a writer, but never made the conscience effort to create stories until I was 12. When I was 14 years old, I began playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends in middle school and this helped me with character development and world building skills. It became a living, breathing character development exercise for me.
    I never intended to published, but dreamed of it often.  You will find a lot of that in my life.  As I mentioned earlier, I am obsessed with dreams and I actively enjoy daydreaming.  As my children grew, my oldest daughter talked to me about becoming a professional writer.  I encouraged her and lifted her up and said she could do anything she put her mind too because she’s incredibly gifted and creative.
    Then she asked me, “Why haven’t you published?”  Reluctantly, I followed my family’s urging and released my first self-published fantasy novel, “Heir of the Blood King:  Adventures of Adam Book One”.
  1. What are your main themes as a writer? What do you find yourself returning to over and over again?
    Fantasy was such a powerful influence on me due to my interest in roleplaying games. Between gaming and writing, I learned a lot about myself and discovered the idea of critical thinking. For so many years, I simply did what I was told to do and never questioned anything.  It was a struggle that I still fight against within myself today.  This is also why I consider myself a Free Speech advocate because not having a voice is the most terrifying thing in the world to me.
    Speaking of terrifying, writing horror is my passion.  I’m constantly searching for new, gripping stories to read and to explore the darkness to face the danger head on.  I guess that since I’ve been through so much in my childhood, this was one of my coping mechanisms.  What didn’t kill me most certainly made me stronger.  I never wanted to be a victim again and to be honest I wouldn’t change any of the experiences that happened to me.  Those experiences molded me and I was able to toss aside my bonds.  I’m not afraid to talk about those things, but the subject matter is too heavy for this interview.
  1. You’re very politically active on Gab, what role does politics or political philosophy play in your writing? Is it something you consciously incorporate, or something you try to stay away from?
    Oh, I would love nothing better than to never discuss politics ever again, but Free Speech is important to me because it did take me so long to find my voice. The idea that someone can suppress what I have to say and shame me into not saying it is terrifying. I will shout my opinions from a rooftop with a hundred guns trained on me.  I’d rather die than to ever be silenced again.
    So when I talk about politics, I’m looking to the future.  Not just my own, but my children as well. I put a lot of work into my kids to help them express themselves and to be open about their ideas, while at the same time arm them with critical thinking skills so they can navigate this life in their own way.
    The current political landscape puts all that I worked for and my children at risk.  I simply cannot be silent about that.
  1. How would you describe yourself politically? What are some of the most important issues facing America or the world, in your mind?
    I’ve always called myself Independant to avoid a political label. Over the last two years, I’ve identified more as an Anarchist Libertarian. I’m socially progressive because I do not believe I have a right to tell others how to live their own lives if they are not hurting anyone, but I’m also fiscally conservative.  If someone chooses to avoid responsibility and live their life and make many mistakes, it shouldn’t be assumed that I’m ok with them expecting to live off my hard earned tax money and my personal sacrifices so they get a free pass to continue to live with no responsibility due to government entitlements.  I’m not certain if I clear by what I mean on that, but well, there it is.  It makes sense to me.
  1. Do you consider yourself a person of faith or unbelief? Can you expand a little on what your beliefs mean to you and how you find them manifest in your writing?
    Without faith, I wouldn’t be here today. As I mentioned before, my parents divorced when I was 2 years old. My father was a member of the Assemblies of God and my mother was a Southern Baptist, two radically different religions at the time, but not as much so today.  So I always had questions about why one church believed one thing and the other something else.  Although I was taught not to question God’s Will, noticing the differences in these two doctrines naturally led to me questioning what I was taught.
    I remember getting baptized when I was 5 years old, but when I turned 9, I became saved and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior and was baptized again.  Looking back, those were the darkest years of my life.  One marked the beginning and the other the end.   Without faith, I honestly would have not made it past that time in my life.
    When I turned 19, I faced a new series of challenges when I left the military, calling everything I knew and believed into question once more.  All my life I was told that God had a plan for me and so I waited, always looking for a sign.  It never came.  There was a point in my life in high school that I believed I had been called into the ministry, but as I “read the signs” around me, it felt like everything worked against me and I started to believe that I was wrong and God was blocking my way.  That’s when I began to drift from being a firm believer into an agnostic.
    I’ve had a few religious awakening experiences since then and for a brief time I considered that perhaps I had become an atheist.  Reason and evidence is important to me today, but there was such a confusing and overwhelming series of events that happened in my childhood that I cannot outright dismiss that a force greater than myself was at play.  Yes, I understand it defies reason.  Yes, I understand that I was probably quite PTSD and my mind may have worked against me.  So this is the reason I do stand to support the freedom of religion.  If I’d had been an atheist as a teen, I would have just killed myself.  The only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t want to disappoint God.  But I digress.
  1. Talk a little about your #GabBookClub project, and what you hope to see it become in the future. Have you had a lot of support from the #GabWriters?
    The outpouring of support from the #GabCommunity has been amazing, especially the #GabWriters.

My idea is to collect a virtual library of stories and novels written by people who choose to stand against the wave of Regressive politics that threatens our freedom.  I still have a good number of posts to make from the information I’ve collected thus far, but what I want to do is help forge this community into supporting one another through what I’ve called the #GabMicroEconomy.  Why do we spend so much of our purchasing power on companies and individuals who want to censor or silence us?  Why would fund our own self-destruction?
For this reason, I see the #GabBookClub as an early organization technique to encourage readers to search Gab for new authors to explore before going to sites like Amazon.  If we can create the early building blocks of success there, perhaps this will motivate other talented members of the #GabFam to offer their products or services there as well.
In the future, I envision a place that is powered by its own trade and consumerism.  That’s my dream.

  1. To you what makes for a “great book” i.e. the kind of book that should be included in every high school English classroom? How do you define the word “classic?”
    I have one simple rule for me to consider a great book: The story has to show the struggle and perseverance of the human spirit to triumph over adversity. Sometimes, this may lead to the death of a beloved character, but if solution is found within that loss, it is a sacrifice worth respecting.  There may also be times where there may be a sense that there is no meaning, but if the character experiences a journey within themselves and grows an understanding about who they are or might be, that’s also enough for me as well.
    What I would consider “classic” is subjective to me.  If I’ve read it at least 3 times, it’s a classic.  I love reading something new so if I’ve gone back to a work that often, then it truly is something special to me.
  1. You seem to be interested in werewolves. Where does this interest come from, and what are some of the best werewolf stories in your opinion?
    I have an interest in all things horror. What makes werewolves interesting to me are three specific things.
    When I was around 3 years old, I remember watching “The Wolf Man” with my two older sisters. My sisters were both out of my life by the time I was seven, so it is one of the few memories I have of all three of us together.
    The second is this idea of transformation.  How someone can be so normal and transform into something powerful that is out of their control.  A hidden strength buried deep beneath the surface waiting for an opportunity to claw its way out.
    Lastly, werewolves are one of the few horror elements that I don’t consider evil because they operate on instinct not motive.  Think about it.  Does anyone think of a wolf as an evil creature?  No.  Most people view wolves as an animal following its instincts to survive.
  1. Who are some of your major influences as a writer? Whose style and themes do you emulate?
    Poe and Lovecraft are my two biggest writing influences because both of them focus on how fragile the human mind can be. The idea of losing myself to trauma or a mental illness is another disturbing thought for me.
    As far as movies go, I think John Carpenter helped me to visualize my own nightmares and this helps me to see through the darkness of my stories more clearly in order to put them down into words.
  1. A lot of horror writers seem to see a connection between horror and comedy. Do you see it? Or do you consider yourself a more pure horror/psychological horror writer?
    There is no question that comedy has a large role in the telling of a horror story. In fact, we fire off the same synapsis with each emotional response in our brains.
    I tend to lend some comedy elements in my storylines just before unveiling darker revelations about the direction I’m going with the story.
  1. What work are you most proud of and why? Can be anything from a high school essay to Heir of the Blood King.
    My poetry and prose from my early 20’s. I haven’t published any of it and perhaps I might never. I battled within myself between reason and faith.  Sometimes my faith won, other times I fell into the apathy of reason that shattered my worldview at the time.  It was therapeutic and yet so powerful in my personal transformation through discovering who I am as a person and how my experiences shaped me into someone stronger.
    Wait, I think I drifted back to the werewolf question again.  I digress.
  2. You’ve also written a number of shorter works, can you tell me what draws you to short fiction, and do you see a future for short fiction at all? Most traditional publishers are not interested in it because they think it doesn’t sell well enough to justify the resource cost. Do you agree?
    Some of my favorite works are by Edgar Allan Poe and were short stories. I do believe that short stories are making a comeback in today’s short attention span markets. My personal thoughts about releasing the short stories was to increase my body of work and something I could give away so readers could take a chance on me as an author without any risks.
  1. Can you tell me a little about your series “A Short Journey into Darkness” and your collaborators on it? Why did you go with collaborators and what was their role in your stories?
    I wanted a way to associate my short works together, so I organized them under that series name. There really isn’t anyone else involved, except for perhaps my editor.
  1. Can you tell me why you chose to go the indie self-published route instead of going for a mainstream publisher?
    I like being independent and with so many other positive things happen in my life, I also like the flexibility to publish at my own pace. Also, in my own personal opinion, traditional big publishing is dying. I see the markets giving away to smaller publishing houses and groups.  At some point I expect one to ask me to join them.  So long as I get to keep my freedom to create, I would consider that as an option.
  1. Do you see a future for self-publishing, or is it just vanity publishing? How is it changing the industry in your opinion?
    Right now everyone believes that they can write a story or book and publish it to become the next overnight sensation. Once people start to realize that the more saturated the market, the harder it will become to get noticed, people will simply stop participating.
    I think the term vanity publishing is out of date. It takes a lot of work to put something together even if it is a steaming pile.  There is a merit to creating something out of nothing and if someone finds that fulfilling, I don’t consider that to be vain by any measure of the word.  I think it was a coined phrase made by big publisher to pressure writers with potential to not stray from the traditional publishing market.
    Personally, I think self-publishing is beautiful because this will give us more works to explore and eventually we will have a system in place to help readers find the quality works that they should consider exploring.
  1. Are ebooks the wave of the future? Will paper books be relegated to expensive collectibles for hobbyists and bibliophiles?
    So long as people enjoy getting back to nature, I feel that people will want to unplug from their technological lives and loose themselves in a good old fashioned book. I don’t think it will ever go out of style.
  1. Describe your process as a writer. How do you get ready to write, what is your method like? And how has it evolved as you evolved as a writer?
    It’s simple now that I have a routine. Usually starts with a good cup of coffee and some music after spending some time with my kids.
    That’s the key. Have a routine and stick with it.
  1. What is next for you?
    Since I’ve had such a pleasant response from my horror short stories, I wanted to continue in that vein for awhile, but then I accidentally stumbled upon a stroke of inspiration. One of my short stories has now outgrown that format and I’m working on shaping it into a novel.
  1. What inspires you?
    That’s easy. My wife and children. They’re my everything and I would be nothing without them.

 

An Interview with Author and Philosopher Brett Stevens

 

So I’m starting a new feature of my site. It’s a series of interviews focusing on interesting and unique writers, artists, thinkers and whatever that I find on Gab.ai. Our first interview comes from a young Alt-Right thinker and philosopher named Brett Stevens. Brett has written a fascinating book on Nihilism called “Nihilism: A Philosophy Based on Nothingness and Eternity.”

He blogs at http://www.amerika.org/ and can be found on Gab at gab.ai/alternative_right

And with that, here we go….

  1. So tell me a little about your background. Where are you from, what is your family like, what was your youth like?

I grew up in Texas to a normal family with a strong work ethic. My youth was spent in the forest. I did not watch television or spend time on sports. I just went out and hung out with the trees, animals and plants. When I was not doing that, I read the classics of Western literature and philosophy from a relatively young age. It was pretty much a top-notch childhood.

In my early teens, I became involved in the bulletin board community, back when people called each other with dial-up modems. I began running bulletin boards myself at about that time, and moved into the hacker community, where I learned quite a bit about how people try to control each other, and how to break that control.

  1. What got you interested in philosophy? Who were some of your earliest influences, and how have they shaped your interest in philosophy today?

Since I spent most of my time outdoors, it took awhile to get into reading, but when I did it all happened very quickly. My family home had an extensive library of literary classics and philosophy, and so I stumbled across Kant and Nietzsche, but really found a voice with Plato, who remains my biggest enduring influence.

Interestingly, however, my introduction to philosophy came from two sources: the forest and a children’s book named The Wump World by Bill Peet. In the forest, all learning is motivated by the self and achieved through experimentation or deep intuitive thought, and I spent many hours just thinking about the nature of reality and being alive, using the mathematical structures I saw in nature as a guide.

Somewhere in my early years, I read the Bill Peet book, which is about a spacefaring race of people-like creatures who arrive on a beautiful green planet. In a zeal for comfort, or maybe a desire to be important, they tear the whole place down and cover it in concrete, building great cities. Then they notice it is polluted, complain a lot, and zip on to the next planet to do the same to it…

On the surface, the book is about the environment; underneath, it is about the void. Without a sense of purpose, humans become consumers who take complex structures and reduce them to one-dimensional ones, which results in “unintended consequences” like pollution and the kind of modern misery I saw when I went into the big city. This, I realized, was the same question Plato asked: how do we live without self-destructing?

This question continues to guide my life. I view it as the biggest challenge for any species: how to have intelligence and sanity as well. Currently civilization in the West is not doing so well on this front, but we are not alone in facing this. It seems to me to be why we see so few advanced civilizations on earth or among the stars.

  1. Where did you attend university and what did you major in? Were you formally trained in philosophy or were you an autodidact?

It is probably unwise of me to reveal where I went to school, but I was fortunate enough to go to a top-tier university. There I studied literature and philosophy, more of the former than the latter. Since that time, I have continued my learning in each with independent study. I was also fortunate to know a number of influential writers and thinkers when growing up, and they have guided my thinking.

  1. I love this quote from your website, “Western Civilization is dying. This death began thousands of years ago when individualism, or the idea that individual choices and desires are more important than reality, became sociallyacceptable. Since that time, individualism has morphed into equality through collectivized individualism.” Can you expand on your views on Individualism for the reader?

Humans have big brains. We use them to parse our world. However, our thoughts are more real than reality to us because thoughts are more accessible. This creates a tendency toward solipsism, where we view the world as we think it, not as it is. That in turn causes us to have a kind of backward thinking, or rationalism, which is a type of tunnel vision: we form thoughts, and then unintentionally direct our thinking to find data that confirms those thoughts.

The person who gives in to solipsism is an individualist, or someone who believes that his desires, feelings, thoughts and judgments are more important than reality. If evil is a variety of error, individualism is a variety of evil. People in the grips of individualism stop caring about what is real, and focus their attention on what “should” be, a type of Utopian thinking related to pacifism. They want an end to risk and struggle, and that requires that rules be made which mandate the inclusion of everyone, no matter how bad their behavior or how inept they are. This is the doctrine of equality.

When individuals gather in groups, they form a crowd. The goal of this crowd is collectivized individualism, or using the greater numbers of the crowd — like a cult, gang or mob — to force other people to accept individualism in the form of equality. Like all crowds, this crowd is comprised of individuals who are acting toward their own selfish ends, and hiding behind the lack of accountability via anonymity that the crowd provides. They take over any group from within, whether large like a civilization or small like a church group, cluster of friends, small business or political movement.

Crowdism — the name for this collectivized individualism — has the advantage always because it is not centralized, nor will it ever admit its actual goals. It inevitably hides its intent behind positive-sounding things like helping the poor or racial minorities, but its actual goal is to seize power so that it can remove all standards. These standards take many types: culture, heritage, values, philosophy, religion and even the family.

The ultimate goal of every individual in the crowd is to abolish any distinction between right and wrong, success and failure, and distinctions between individuals. This egalitarian mindset is designed to ensure that each individual in the crowd is accepted but also allowed to do whatever they want, like “anarchy with grocery stores.” They want the advantages of civilization but not the burden of keeping it healthy.

Every great civilization dies of Crowdism because only great civilizations are wealthy and powerful enough to have this possibility arise. Civilizations die by succeeding, because once they have succeeded, they no longer have the inherent purpose of early civilization, which is to achieve civilization in itself. In the absence of purpose, the lower levels of society by natural ability reproduce quickly because the forces of nature that keep them in check are removed by the efficiency, order and cleanliness of civilization. This creates a runaway reaction like a yeast bloom or “red tide” when algae reproduce too rapidly and suffocation all aquatic life.

Right now, the West has been in the middle of a Crowdism event for at least a thousand years. Our distant ancestors stayed mobile and low-technology perhaps to avoid this fate, but with fixed civilization and agriculture, the disease was allowed to take root. Our job is to find a substitute for Darwinism that keeps the good and ejects the bad, or we will drown in our own excess, as we can see happening around us daily.

  1. In your email to me you said Nihilism is “Conservatism without the humanism” Can you go into depth about what you meant? Can you describe your views of contemporary late 2016 conservatism?

Nihilism is extreme skepticism of human intent and human intermediates for reality. A nihilist does not believe in truth or values because these are proxies for real experience, which can be measured only by its results, not by these intermediate proxies which measure intent or obedience. Proxies rely on the idea of universalism, or all people being the same so the same rules can be used to shape each of them toward the goal of those in power, and nihilism rejects this.

Instead, nihilists affirm that individual humans are widely different, and that we act based on who we are and not what we are induced to think. This can be forced by a strong realism, which is by nature consequentialist or prone to measure its actions by results and not intent. This in turn thrusts upon us the question of what results we desire, and therefore what our purpose is, which in turn pushes us toward transcendentalism, or accepting reality as it is and finding an order within it that reveals its darkness as necessary for the ultimate end result, which is good.

I have been a declared nihilist since age fifteen when I observed that human intentions and social pretense had taken over from realistic thought, making people crazy and pathologically motivated toward things which end badly, just to uphold the image that we are all good and that we are all autonomous, thinking beings who make “rational” choices instead of the reality, which is that we act out our genetic programming and impulses.

  1. I noticed that you, like me, are Alt-Right. Where did you start at politically and how did you come to realize you were part of the altright?

My early life was shaped by people around me who were for the most part, at least in public, very Leftist in a bourgeois sense. They were not agitating in the streets, but they repeated the same theories and talking points to each other, even as those deviated from reality. So for the first half of my life, I was mostly Leftist, although I clashed with it because I observed numerous conflicts with reality as could be plainly seen.

Eventually I dug into philosophy and found myself in the same place I had been in the forest: breaking thought down to its highest abstraction layer, and trying to find an order that included all the known data points. At the same time, as I explored computers and networking more, I saw how very much our world operated logically in the sense of being like a very complex calculating machine. It was immediately clear that very few people got close to understanding the scope of its complexity, much less how it worked.

This drew me to the German idealists, mainly Kant and Schopenhauer, whose ideas in contemplation then fused with earlier radical realism from Nietzsche and the monist metaphysics and naturalism of Plato. This in turn pushed me toward the right, but the touchstone was black metal music and reading the works of Michel Houellebecq, which pointed out to me how Leftism was a system designed to breed mediocrity.

After that, my explorations continued with the system of thought I later developed: parallelism, or a theory of an idealist monism based on pattern similarity, and a knowledge of conservatism as that which conserves the best states of humanity and civilization through consequentialism and a transcendental outlook. These are still in development, but were most clearly expressed through essays from the late 1980s through 2005.

  1. Also on your website you advocate for repatriating the non-indigenous. I’m wondering, because I hear a lot on the alt-right saying this, is it realistic? How would we go about it? Some have cited cost, some have cited “meanness or Hitler” as an objection to repatriation. Is that our only hope to save the West?

If history teaches us anything, it is that time moves in cycles comprised of a period of gradual change followed by sudden directional changes. The switch to multiculturalism was radical, and the reversal of that direction will be as well, but these are hardly the most bizarre or dynamic events in history. Big changes occur all the time on a historical scale, and for that reason, repatriation will not be anomalous.

Diversity does not work. In fact, it cannot work, because each group must act in self-interest, and when those groups coexist in the same area, that self-interest — including the need for self-determination for the group, pride in identity and other intangibles — causes constant conflict. When groups are merged, an averaging of traits occurs, leaving behind people with none of the abilities of the former groups. Diversity is genocide.

For that reason, we must avoid diversity; it is simply a bad policy, like Prohibition or dumping sewage in the streets. The path to this happens through a relatively straightforward shift in policy:

  1. Removal of social welfare programs.
  2. Removal of affirmative action, civil rights and equal opportunity law.
  3. A gentle but mandatory policy of reparations with repatriation.

When sea changes occur, cultural attitudes shift; at that moment, people are unwilling to support the failed policy and agitate for something saner. People of every race, ethnicity and religion want this to happen, with more joining every day.

The part of this that gets the most negative feedback is the idea of reparations. To me, a gentleman acknowledges a mistake by making sure that all parties come out of severance without being materially harmed. With what they have learned among us, these individuals can go back to their native lands with new abilities and we should fork over a moderate amount of wealth to help them jump-start. That way, historical wounds are sealed and everyone feels good about the deal.

Another controversial area is my position on trace admixture. Western Europeans — the founding group of the United States — are genetically unique, and mixing them with Eastern and Southern/Irish Europeans will result in the genocide of the Western Europeans. For this reason, even “white” diversity must end.

This policy shift is coming more rapidly than people realize. Diversity has failed to replicate the successes of homogeneity, and has resulted in so much internal conflict and an abolition of all standards — always a Leftist favorite — that our civilization is non-functional. This is a do or die proposition, and the time is upon us.

  1. In the description of your book you say that Nihilism draws on thinkers as diverse as “William S. Burroughs, Aldous Huxley, Arthur Schopenhauer and Immanuel Kant.” What do they have in common that could unite them through Nihilism?

These thinkers would most likely not identify as nihilists, but their philosophies provided a groundwork. From Schopenhauer and Kant came the notion of idealism, which states that reality operates in a mind-correlative or idea-like manner; the pattern is more important than the material in which it is rendered, in other words. This shows us that the boundaries of our minds are less concrete than we think, and provides a basis for understanding reality through intuition, or exploration of our innermost knowledge. Huxley contributed “the perennial philosophy,” which is the basis of Traditionalism which most know through Julius Evola, which shows how every civilization has discovered eternal truths which do not change with the current year. On top of that, Burroughs revealed the psychology of human individuals in their search for power through domination of others, and how that operates in crowds, in addition to revealing the limits of psychology and rational thought in determining our actions. Together they form a powerful toolbox for understanding nihilism.

  1. What inspired you to write your book and start your site? Are you a budding academic or more of a public thinker?

For as long as I remember, I have read and written in an attempt to find more accurate depictions of this world and connected cosmos. I continue this as a writer, knowing that these topics are unlikely to find public acclaim, but can be injected into the ongoing growth of human thought through underground means. Beyond that, it is hard to tell; I am someone who takes great care to be as accurate as possible in his thought, and to convey it as much as he can to others who can understand it.

  1. Where do you see the future of the West going in the next twenty years? Some say we are destined to demographic replacement, a White Genocide, as it has been called. Is there hope or should we all pack our bags and get ready to be voted into oblivion?

We have two possible futures: Brazil or greatness. If we continue down the path of Leftism, the West will become third-world states in which white minorities retreat to the fringes and try to live independent of government as much as possible. If Leftism is rejected, we can fix our bad leadership, reconstruct our culture, and then create evolutionary pressures which bring out the best in us. The type of futurism that allows that vision recognizes how fragile our civilization is now, and how much we have to gain as individuals and groups by reversing the insanity by finding a purpose and heading in that direction instead, rather than simply rebelling in an inverse linear form against the present regime.

  1. Do you have hope for the future? If so why?

There is always hope. Humans can change themselves, or at least some can, and they tend to influence others by their natural leadership abilities. Right now, every Leftist policy is failing at once, and so history will force us to make a change. In my view, it will shift toward the vision of futurism and not the old, tired, and failed system of liberal democracy.

  1. You were recently shadow banned from Twitter. Can you talk about what led to it? Is that what led you to Gab?

The scary truth is that with a shadowban, you have no idea when it happens. You notice that fewer people are responding to your posts, and that you seem to be cut out of discussions with anyone who is not on your friend list. Then you do a little poking around and find that you have been shadowbanned. I do not know when it happened, or why, but yes, it drove me to gab.ai and other off-mainstream services. If the official services reject me, I can find more people off the beaten path, and they tend to be more aware and receptive to what must be said.

  1. What inspires you?

As Plato said it, “the good, beautiful and true,” mostly in nature and exceptional human beings. The power of choice inspires me, and the ability to do what is sensible instead of receding into our monkey-brains and acting socially or as a solipsist. The possibilities and potential of life, which fills itself up with those on an eternal cycle. The chance to explore the stars. The possibility of gods. All good things.

 

What is a “Real Author” Anyway?

In the previous post, my advice on writing, someone said it was “dishonest” to call myself an author since I self-publish, and then went on to ask if I’ve published anything since 2013. The next day on Gab a woman going by the handle @donna told me something similar. It may be my opinion of myself but that doesn’t make it true, any more than taking online courses from an Ivy makes you an Ivy Leage graduate. So I know there are people asking the question, both writers and readers, what is a real author/writer?

I’m going to try to do this without being flippant or snarky. “A writer is someone who writes… derp” Even emails? “Ok not emails but you know what I mean”

So before we can reason we must define terms. Writer can mean anyone who writes for either a living, as in a journalist on a newspaper’s payroll, or a blogger who writes without pay but who still writes. This question takes me back to the elitism of people in the MSM who dismissed bloggers as “journalists in pajamas” trying to protect their Ivory Tower of lies and narrative control.

Author is a little trickier. An author can be the author of a work of fiction, the author of a website, the author of a poem, a novel a calendar or even in a way the author of an installation of street art. For the most part when people use the word author it is referring to someone who writes books though. And for the purpose of this article I’ll be using the word author that way.

Below are a series of points (qualifications maybe) that define what it means to be an author/writer. I’ll go through and show why self-published authors qualify for them, usually.

  1. authors get paid, and usually well, for their efforts
  2. authors get published
  3. authors go through the gatekeepers of the mainstream publishing houses
  4. authors have books physical on the shelf of a major bookstore
  5. authors have a fan base

First point. I’ve gotten paid for my novels. Not a lot. I still work at my academic career in case I never write a best seller or end up with JK Rowling money. But plenty of authors are in that boat. I’ve met some who need food stamps or public assistance even though they are writing and publishing. If you want to be rich, being a novelist isn’t the best of paths. Go to medical school.

Second point. I’ve also gotten published. Most of my publishing is self-publishing. Does that make my publishing illegitimate? I don’t think so. People start somewhere, and I would very much like a deal like Hugh Howey got for his self-published novella Wool. Would you say Howey isn’t (or wasn’t) a real author until he got picked up? There is still a little stigma in some minds about self-publishing. They say it is vanity publishing. But to me the real vanity publishing today is waiting for years sometimes for an agent or editor to “discover” you.

Third point. This is a question of legitimacy and kind of ties into pint two. @donna said going through the big houses ensures quality of work. I pointed out EL James and she admitted that I was right. For most authors the mainstream publishing houses will not do much for you. They advertise their stars and put little money into someone who has yet to prove he’s a marketable author. Then comes the question of an advance. I’ve known people who get advances. Most of them are very small. Few get the celebrity sized advances you hear about from time to time. But most of all I reject the notion that an author must go through a gatekeeper. I hired a freelance editor to edit my books for me and it wasn’t too expensive. He had two MA degrees one in philosophy and one in English. He did a good job of cleaning up my first novel and then did a good job of helping me become a better writer. Would I get that from an editor at a mainstream publishing house? Doubtful. And I would still have to do my own marketing, for a lot smaller piece of pie than I get self-publishing.

Point four. This one is a bit tricky because there are plenty of great authors, mostly from non-English speaking countries, that don’t have their books on the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble. If one choses it is possible to put books on consignment with a bookstore, but this can be time consuming. A large publisher can, if they are willing, put your book in the store, get it on end caps and even get it into the hands of people who make movies. So it’s difficult for a self-published author on this front. But then again, mainstream bookstores are in financial trouble thanks to ebooks. I wonder if in ten years B&N will go the way of Borders?

Point five. This one is tricky. Some things are popular because they are good, like medicine. Other things are popular because they are trendy, like shitty europop dance music (remember the Macarena?) I don’t think you need a lot of popularity or a huge fan base to be considered an author. There are plenty of more “literary” novels and authors with small fan bases. Are they less legitimate authors because only a few grad students in English read their books? I don’t think so. And fan bases take time to build. Stephen King and JK Rowling have enormous readership, but they’ve been doing it for years. For me, as long as someone reads my books I’m happy. And I’m an author.

So that’s my humble, slightly buzzed, and totally sincere attempt to show the world that self-publishing is not only a way to become a legitimate author, it is the wave of the future. And we’re not going anywhere.

Some Things I Know About Writing

I’m a novelist. And Friday Oct 14th is the three year anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Autumn Leaves: A Novel of Old Japan. To celebrate this I’ll be making the book free from the 14th to the 18th on Amazon and several other places. (I’ll probably do a post on where to find it). So here are some of the things I’ve learned about writing.

  1. Treat it like a career. That means be serious about your writing. Treat it like a hobby and that is all it will ever be.
  2. Do it every day. Okay you can take a break now and then, but the ones who make it have hustle. Do you have any hustle in you? I write every day, 2,000 words per day (at least) and then do my other writerly duties such as updating a website, managing my social media etc…
  3. Do it at the same time…
  4. Do it in the same place… Three and four fit together nicely because when you work 9-6pm in an office you will notice that you work in the same place and at the same time. Even self-employed people do the same place/time routine. It helps you build in someFlow. (Side note, Flow is a great book every creative person should read).
  5. Develop a method, a process. Personally I get up eat some cereal, surf the interwebs until about 10am then sit down and write out some of draft one, of one project, in longhand. Then I pick up whatever project I’m working on for draft two and type out my 2,000 words. It’s routine but it helps build Flow and it helps me stay on track as a writer.
  6. Finish the job. I’ve written probably eight scripts, fifteen short stories, four novels and a couple of academic works in my life. Most of them are not publication worthy. But some are. And only by finishing what you write will you realize what works and what doesn’t. Finish what you start unless you have a damn good reason to quit.
  7. Work at a good pace; make progress. You can start early and procrastinate until 4pm all you want, but it won’t get you any closer to finishing your work. Work at a good pace, and be honest about it when you procrastinate. So what if the muse doesn’t descend immediately. Just force the words out and I promise, in six months when you look back over your work, you won’t remember when you were inspired and when you had to force the words to come.
  8. Take pride in your work. This was hard for me. It involved re-reading my work and that made me nervous. See, I felt the flow when I wrote the initial draft of all my books, and I could not stand to see how imperfect they were. But learn from my experience, look over your work. Take pride in your work. You never know who is reading.
  9. The only way to be a writer is to keep writing. So you want to quit that soul sucking day job? Me too. Actually, I did. But the only way to be a writer is to keep writing. It may take several books for your work to take off. It may take several years. But keep writing and set for yourself a reasonable goal, “I’ll quit my job when I’m making $3,000/month”. That kind of thing. Then aim for the goal and keep at it.
  10. Conversely, to number 9, the only way to fail at this is to quit. Give up if you must. Not everyone is cut out for the life of an artist or writer. It is hard this road we travel, but the journey certainly makes it worth it. For me that is. Maybe it is not for you. Maybe you will be content with a 9-6pm job where you have a steady paycheck and a fixed income and the ability to plan your year accordingly. That’s not for me.
  11. Don’t look at the finish line, look at the next hurdle. This is self-explanatory, but it was something I discovered while working on my novel Autumn Leaves. That novel is actually two novels melded together. They are nearly 200,000 words long together. The first chapter is 45,000 words long. That’s a novella in itself. But I never would have finished had I thought about more than just the scene I was writing and what came immediately next and how it played out in the bigger picture (okay I looked at the finish line from time to time).
  12. Excellence is a habit. So is failure. Everyday you make a choice between the two. Do you want to make your word count today? Do you want to procrastinate watching cat videos on YouTube? The choice is yours. Do it every day. Do it like a career. Do your best work on every line. Do what is in your heart. Excellence is a habit.

 

I’m Making Autumn Leaves Free for a Week

I am a novelist. My first work was published on the night of October 13, 2013. So to celebrate the novel’s anniversary and fresh edit I’m giving the ebook away for free on Amazon and via Smashwords (and the stores it delivers to).

You can get the novel off Amazon by clicking here.

So what is it about you may ask?

Autumn Leaves is a story of Iga-no-Nikki, ronin, a masterless samurai, who travels to Edo (now Tokyo) to pursue a vendetta. At the time he arrives the city is plagued by arson. This is the most serious crime in early modern Edo because the city is made primarily of wood and paper. So the young fire chief, Kiru Jindo, is tasked by Prince Juzo of finding out who the arsonist is.

Nikki finds himself in Kiru’s sights as he is a new arrival to the city, and he is acting suspiciously.

Nikki spends much of his time not working towards killing the man who killed his master, but instead he is forced to defend himself from the charge of arson.

Along the way he introduces the people he meets to new ways of doing things. Nikki is a renaissance man: he can draw flowers and insects, he takes up mercenary work for a local brothel to pay the bills, and finally he finds himself in the debt of a powerful samurai, whose dying wish was for Nikki to travel to his home city and deliver the samurai’s death poem to his family.

The novel takes a turn as it goes from detective story to pastoral. Autumn Leaves follows Nikki and Kiru as they travel the length of Japan to meet his giri (his moral obligation as a samurai). Along the way Nikki and Kiru become friends and allies.

The book contains so much more than just that narrow description, and I won’t give away the ending at all. But it’s a historical romance much like Ivanhoe or L’Morte d’Arthur. There is magic, religion, science, honor, duty and love. At the heart of the novel are two love stories which challenge the mores of the time.

Normally $2.99 US for the eBook it will be free for one week starting October 13 to celebrate the third anniversary of the book.

“Why Do You Hate?” – Said Every Liberal Professor Ever

Everyone divides the world, for the sake of our little brains, into easy to process bites. For those on the right this divide comes in the form of good/evil. For those on the left it takes the embodiment of love/hate. Now this is not to say that the leftie gremlins don’t hate.

They do, as anyone who has worn a MAGA hat or a Twinks for Trump shirt through a liberal enclave can attest. It is also not to say they don’t believe there is evil in the world. They do hate: Trump supporters, anti-feminists, facts, IQ tests, fascists, Nazis, traditional wives, republicans, the 1950s, the pre-Pope Francis Catholic Church, themselves for their white privilege, history, themselves for their male privilege, the cis-gendered, people who forgot to put the Q+ in LGBTQ+, being in the majority demographically, people who don’t support NPR or TED Talks, people who didn’t attend college, blue collar voters who don’t support Hillary, anything that disrupts their cognitive dissonance, you get the point.

But to the left the only acceptable thing to hate is those whom they deem are hateful. It’s been said many times, and so I won’t rehash it here, that liberalism is about moral relativism. And that is true, but it’s not the point of this article. The point of this article is that it is okay to be deemed hateful by the left. It means you believe in objectivity and living in reality on reality’s terms. See all those things listed above have one thing in common, they burst the liberal narrative that you have to believe in to desire their utopia.

Every liberal I know loves white people stuff. But they also love “diversity.” They just don’t want to deal with the consequences of that diversity living next door to them. Or going to their kid’s private schools. The diversity can take out their trash, and cook their Ethiopian cuisine “have you eaten at the new restaurant OMG soooo gooood and soooo authentic,” but it can’t get into the fenced in neighborhood. And if you don’t belong to their tribe, they’ll hate you. And they’ll probably call you a Nazi. But that’s okay, really it is.

Because Nazi isn’t a thing anymore. See in the 21st century calling someone a Nazi* or a Fascist is a little like calling them a Whig or a Federalist. It’s just meaningless, beyond the gremlin’s own emotional understanding of the world, and their desire to see you as a monster under the bed, therefore justifying their worldview. Racist and Hate Group are terms used by the ADL and the SPLC when it’s fundraising time. And that’s what the liberal paradigm of love/hate is about, an emotional reaction to who is, and is not in their tribe.

Look, I hate stuff too. People on the right do hate, as you on the left are so often fond of saying. But we hate things that are evil. I hate things like white genocide, the Kalergi plan, feminists and … I’ll spare you the list. But the point is, that there is nothing wrong with hating things that are evil.

*Please, if you are one of those people who calls yourself a National Socialist, stop. I get it, you’re angry, you want to do something rebellious. Just dye your hair black and listen to dead metal the way we did back in the 90s.

World of Warcraft – Legion: Is Blizzard Secretly Red Pilled? Naaa

wowdemonhunter-0-0

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since 2005. In that time I’ve learned a lot of things from my guilds and exploring the lore of the game. But having leveled two toons to 110 for Legion, and going through the Broken Isles quest chain twice, I can tell you that Blizzard’s devs may have been reading up on some alt-right philosophy. Or at the very least they are aware of the immigration problem facing America and Europe. Indeed, Legion is all about defending your homeland from evil invaders, demons called the Burning Legion, who want to destroy every aspect of your civilization. Sound familiar? It should if you keep up the news of Europe and America.

There a few other things about Legion that should be pointed out.

First, Khadgar and the other Korin Tor mages teleported the floating mage city Dalaran out of Azeroth, when the demonic invasion came too close to destroying the city. They retreated into a safer place called the Broken Isles. This parallels nicely with the desire of whites to move to more white cities, states and countries. It’s an allegory for white-flight. But the attempt to establish a society away from the invaders proves impossible. The Burning Legion has invaded the Broken Isles. Politically speaking, I believe this is Blizzard telling us that you can’t run from “Diversity” it will only move with you, because it envies what you’ve built.

Second, there are a group of people playing a new class called Demon Hunters in this expansion. They are led by former end game boss Illidan in the Black Temple, from the Burning Crusade expansion. Now, I don’t play DH but I did start one and I’m enjoying the storyline. I like the Illidari and I think they have a correlation to RL. It seems to me that we could look at them as the alt-right of Legion. New to the big scene, a lot of people are into them for their perceived power and there is a lot of debate about how to play one. Just as there is a lot of debate now (see Voxday, Richard Spencer, The Right Stuff and Greg Johnson) all attempting to define the alt-right.

Third, there is a dragon named Ysera who is known as “the awakened”. This by itself proves nothing. A big part of the Legion storyline involves dragons – some old, some young, some dragonkin just starting out in life, but so far only Neltharion aka Deathwing has shown himself to be evil. So if the dragons are “awake” perhaps that is a subtle nod to the nationalists of the world telling us where Chris Metzen’s (and possibly many people at Blizzard) sympathies lay.

Yea it’s not perfect, but it is an interesting way to look at Legion. There is a zeitgeist in the air right now regarding the invasion of the West by a barbaric civilization intent on replacing the native population. And to me, it seems that that has crept into WoW.

The Slow Red Pill: My Journey from Libertarian to Alt-Right

When I was about sixteen I was reading everything I could find that was considered “classic literature” because I was dissatisfied with the curriculum in my honors American Lit and British Lit classes. We were only reading excerpts from “great books.” In the Nicomachean Ethics I read of a concept called Eudaimonism , sometimes translated as well-being or happiness. This has been the center of my ideological life ever since and it is what has motivated my search for a political home that puts human happiness at the center of its ideology.

At about that time I found a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead at my local used bookstore. The young man stocking the shelves told me how great Rand was and how deep and philosophical Atlas Shrugged was but suggested I start with something less challenging. He ensured me that fifty years after its publication that Atlas Shrugged was still one of the great books of the twentieth century.

So like many young libertarians, Rand was my introduction to the ideas of individualism, free markets, liberty and the potential they held to bring about happiness. I was never a full blown Objectivist, even after reading and agreeing with many of her “philosophical” (I hate calling her a philosopher in retrospect) works.

At college I became even more interested in libertarianism. It was a rebellion from my leftist professors. It was edgy and cool. I was reading Reason and telling anyone who would listen how big government was suppressing them and taking away their rights and they didn’t even know it! How smart was I! Smarter than those sheeple, or so I thought.

And my classes seemed to justify my individualist take on society. I believed that everyone in my physics and math classes should be judged on their own merit. A view I still hold today, to be sure. But when the black students in my classes flunked tests and the Asian students received A’s I was left to wonder why the black students didn’t study harder or try as hard as the Asians. I worked hard, and earned B+ and A- in my classes and figured that if I could do it anyone could.

So I continued on in my undergraduate libertarianism reading about Capitalism (Freidman, Meises, and Hayek were part of my self-created curriculum) and telling young ladies at the coffee shop how great NAFTA and GATT were going to be for Americans, as we would be so happy once we were able to buy cheaper goods made in Mexico. Just think of how happy we all were in the ‘90s. There was no terrorism, the Soviets had been defeated, and there was no more crappy hair metal.

My own grades in physics and astronomy were good but not great, so I eventually switched to the more qualitative geology, gaining a specialization in geophysics. I was able to handle Snell’s Law much better than quantum mechanics and partial differential equations. I was afforded the opportunity to do undergraduate research as a McNair Scholar. I presented a co-authored poster at the Seismological Society of America, and took a number of trips to conferences with grad students and professors. But when I applied to graduate geophysics programs, I didn’t get in to the top programs.

After some soul searching and honest discussions with faculty from my undergrad, and a rediscovered love of reading, I decided to pursue graduate studies in history instead of geophysics. And you know what? I graduated with a 4.0 from my MA program and was accepted into a great PhD program. (Which I later dropped out of, then went back to, then got an MBA, then went back to the PhD program, that is its own story one largely driven by fear of the academic job market and the very real bias against right-wing academics. Check out 100 reasons not to go blog and the Frankfurt School for more on that). But most of all I became happy. I was a lot happier than I was in the sciences. Maybe my IQ wasn’t high enough to work for JPL, but my exceptional memory and understanding of human psychology and philosophy derived from my two to three book a week reading habit led me to a fulfilling study of history.

Over the years I’ve travelled all over Europe and Asia, learned to speak three languages, read books that shaped the modern world, and interrogated ideas that many of my leftist professors told me were off limits. Seeing these different cultures and people I began to understand that American/libertarian individualism is not the only solution to life’s problems. Freedom doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. Indeed some of the happiest people I’ve ever met lived in countries like Vietnam, Hungary, and China. The libertarian solution of “more liberty” is unsatisfactory for some. And I started to ask myself if liberty was the root of happiness.

Meeting those people were the first serious challenges to my libertarian world view.

In the fall of 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. I began to wonder why people turned to the government for help when private aid was available. As a libertarian I believed that it was not the federal government’s right or responsibility to help. Maybe it was the state, or maybe the city itself should help, but not FEMA.

But that isn’t the world the victims of Katrina were faced with. It’s a denial of human nature to see our fellow man suffer and not want to “do something.” In fact, it’s probably psychopathic. And while private help is important, talking to family that lived in the New Orleans area and eventually to others who suffered displacement, I began to understand that “more liberty” or blaming five decades of Democrats wasn’t the solution to their immediate problems. Their happiness at the time, and indeed years later, hinged upon things like rebuilt schools (which they’ve done a good job of), a returning tourist industry, and investors willing to take a chance on devastated communities.

Talking to victims of Katrina created the second cracks in my devotion to libertarianism.

And then there was 2012. Ron Paul was running. I was excited. I’d read his books and watched him on YouTube. He was saying things that I, and a lot of other young people, agreed with. But because the establishment preferred the patrician Mittens to the anti-establishment Paul, they worked against us at every step of the way. This culminated in Paul delegates being banned from the RNC.

I began to see that the GOP was beholden to the Neoconservatives, and as long as they held power, there would be no meaningful change in the American right. I became angry. This was my next step away from libertarianism. The libertarians in the GOP failed to take on the establishment. They were too busy arguing about esoteric policies, slippery slopes, and engaging in reductio ad absurdum arguments to challenge the status quo.

Watching the garbage fire that is Obama’s tenure as a president, seeing people around the world happy without individualism, seeing people suffer from Katrina, and after seeing the mistreatment of Ron Paul by the GOP, I realized that libertarianism was impotent. At best it was the loyal opposition, at worst it was actively enabling many of the policies I opposed. Then I began to think about why I had never been fully committed to and intellectually satisfied by, libertarian solutions to suffering and happiness. And I realized that libertarianism requires two unrealistic requirements. Libertarianism and the “more liberty” solution requires that everyone in a free group possess perfect information and perfect responsibility.

First let us talk about perfect information.

Even if we believe that people can make the best choices for themselves, and I generally agree that we can. Making those choices requires information. Making good choices, choices that lead to happiness, requires a lot of information. It requires good, honest, and reliable information. Let us take up a non-controversial subject: mandatory vaccines for children.

There are some who believe these vaccines cause Autism. I don’t believe it. But there are some that do. Do they have better information than I do? Possibly. Maybe they are right. Maybe big pharma is suppressing information. The criminalization of kratom certainly seem suspicious at the least. But in deciding whether to have your child vaccinated or not the parent must have perfect information about the vaccine. This is impossible. In the real world there isn’t enough time to acquire all available information, and if there was, few people outside physicians and pharmacologists have the expertise to analyze it in a meaningful way. And even if one possessed all these things science is subject to change. That is what makes science different from dogma: it can change.

So when faced with the decision to vaccinate what should the parents and society do? Well, the libertarian answer is that it should be the parents’ choice to vaccinate. I disagree. I believe that we should defer to the experts in the group and assume they are honest until proven otherwise. From their testimony it seems that the benefits to society outweigh the dangers to the child. And if you are a parent and choose not to vaccinate you are putting others’ children at risk. So society, the collective, the tribe, has a duty to mandate that your child be vaccinated – for the greater good.

That’s something that would have been anathema to my libertarian brain. “The Greater Good” has been used to justify all sorts of horrible violations of individual rights. And that’s true, it has been used to violate individual rights. But I no longer believe that the individual has a right to jeopardize the survival of the group. Thus the individual without perfect information cannot be allowed to use their individual right to violate the individual right of another, or the group. Liberty for parents isn’t a viable solution when you take into account the rights of others. And maybe the parents of the forcibly vaccinated child are unhappy, but those whose children do not acquire measles will certainly be happy.

When I realized that libertarianism requires perfect information I took another step towards rejection of the ideology.

Additionally, libertarianism requires responsibility. I will not deny that the rights embodied in personal freedom are rooted in the responsibility of the free. I don’t think any serious libertarian, or conservative, would. But libertarianism requires more than personal responsibility, it requires what I’ve started to call perfect responsibility.

Perfect responsibility is the assumption of responsibility not just for the actions of the individual, but for the imperfections, and the resulting failures, of the individual. Now most people on the right generally agree that humans are imperfect and a lot of them agree that in this world we are incapable of perfection. I’m not going to get into a religious discussion here, but I do not believe that we are ultimately responsible for our imperfections which lead to our individual failures.

So where will we turn for an example? How about the libertarian favorite: drugs dude!

To take this off the table, marijuana is generally harmless to adults, and I agree that it should be legal for medial and recreational use. I don’t condone it, but neither do I condemn it or the people who use it. In practice marijuana is not that different from alcohol. If used in moderation it poses little danger to society or the individual using. But I’m not talking about weed.

So what if someone decided, as my younger brother did, to use meth? Who then should be responsible for the results of the ongoing use of a genuinely destructive narcotic? Perhaps it should be the dealer who first got my brother, at seventeen, to use? Maybe we should charge him with my brother’s legal and medical bills. Maybe my brother’s death was due to the person who got him using? Should he be charged with assisted manslaughter? Or maybe it was due to the people he used with. Maybe it was due to my mother who repeatedly gave him money for drugs after he claimed his dealers were going to kill him.

The libertarian in me believed that none other than my brother himself was responsible for his meth use. And indeed personal responsibility is a strong argument.

No one made him use initially, and he did have the opportunity to quit. My grandparents offered to pay for rehab. But he didn’t go. He kept using. And eventually, to finance his addiction, he sold some meth to an undercover police officer. At eighteen he was arrested. To me being a young libertarian I looked at this as an injustice of the state. The war on drugs had come home. I believed that if he was happy being on meth that he should be allowed to use it. I was wrong.

He did eventually kick meth, but he substituted it with alcohol. This ultimately killed him at age thirty. He drank himself to death. At the end of his life he was drinking a bottle of vodka or whiskey a day.

Was the state responsible? The war on drugs did him in, or that’s what I thought for years. But then after contemplation and some distance, I realized that I believed in, what I would ultimately call, perfect responsibility.

I had believed that if he found happiness in drugs and alcohol and that as long as he didn’t hurt anyone we shouldn’t interfere with him. He was responsible for his own actions.

But I didn’t know that he was a deeply disturbed individual. I didn’t know, until after his death, when my mother told me he talked to trees and called the cops on his Christmas ornaments, that he was schizophrenic. After years of listening to Dr. Drew and Adam I knew he was likely using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. He wasn’t happy at all. And then I began to understand the nature of responsibility and the imperfect nature of man. So who was responsible? Should society hold a schizophrenic man responsible for his imperfections? I don’t think so, anymore.

Because libertarianism turns a blind eye to the effects of individual behaviors on society, and yes it does, I find it wanting. I cannot in good conscience say that we should allow people to destroy their lives, as long as they are responsible for their own actions or not hurting others. My brother did hurt others. He hurt the people he sold to. He hurt my parents, my grandparents, and me. He hurt society with his medical bills.

And the notion that abolishing public financing of medicine will solve this is unrealistic and to me at least demonstrates how out of touch with America some libertarians are. “If only we could convince them” doesn’t cut it with me anymore. We’re not going to convince anyone to abolish Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid or any of the numerous state and local support systems that exist for publicly subsidized healthcare. We may “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but that’s not a major topic in 2016.

After taking to heart my evolving understanding of human happiness, namely that Epicureanism was not Eudaimonia , and I saw the unwillingness of libertarians to surrender the “more liberty” fetish and accept that many people are happy with limits to personal freedom and indeed sometimes those limits are necessary, I realized that I could no longer be a libertarian.

(Now to be honest, GamerGate did influence my thinking in ways I’m still not totally sure of. But GamerGate was no right-wing movement. In fact most of the people in it were liberals who simply didn’t want politics in their games. It was a consumer revolt and a rejection of the corrupt games media. I’m not exactly sure it moved me away from libertarianism, but I think it helped.)

After my departure from libertarianism I began to look for something else. And then one day circa 2014, after reading some SJW nonsense and googling for a response, I found the website VDARE.com. I stayed up all night reading articles. This led me to other sites, and authors. I didn’t know the name yet, but I had stumbled upon the alt-right.

These were people who talked about the correlation between race and success, which I had witnessed first-hand, but was afraid to speak about for fear of being labeled racist. And they were labeled racist, but they didn’t care. They fought for their beliefs in the face of overwhelming leftwing opposition. They talked not just about the threat of “radical Islam” but the threat of Islam and immigration in general. They talked about things like the Islamic invasion of Europe. And being a European/military historian, and a fan of Europe and Western Civilization in general, this greatly disturbed me. I made the connection that if the European people disappear so too will their civilization. And if the root is destroyed how can the flower (America) continue to bloom?

When I read click-bait articles about how whites are becoming a minority in America and Europe I was upset to say the least. The alt-right gave it a name, #WhiteGenocide and talked openly about how the left had planned, through immigration, to make whites minorities in their own countries. In 2015 Ann Coulter, probably not alt-right herself but certainly an ally, wrote in her book Adios America of Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act, and the left’s plan to establish a permanent majority through making whites a minority.

The alt-right was not apologizing for the fact that Western Civilization is the best civilization. I’ve made this point several times in grad seminar classes. One professor told me “I’m deeply offended by that statement.” He may have been offended, as the left often is, but he didn’t challenge it. After all, he was an immigrant from a third world country. If his civilization was so great, why not stay there? The alt-right were nationalists (often ethno-nationalists) not globalists and unapologetically proud of America and when European, their European nations.

The alt-right was actively opposed to the left. They were not just the “loyal opposition” they were the enemies of the SJWs, the cultural Marxists, the sensitivity police and the leftists who come for your job if you cross them or speak out against their crybully tactics. But they were also openly critical of the right, the neocons, and the Bush legacy. They, just like Ron Paul, were critical of war that had destabilized the Middle East in the name of a lie.

And all this resonated with me. When I read solutions some on the alt-right propose to social or individual problems, I see solutions focused on finding happiness. The alt-right incorporates individualism yes, but it also thinks of the tribe. We don’t need social engineering, or equality or liberty fetishes. We don’t need to pretend that groups, culture, heritage, and race don’t matter. And it’s blindness to pretend science and history are irrelevant in achieving a happy life. In attempting to prove that perfect liberty is the only solution to suffering and when implemented will bring about happiness, libertarians miss the point.

It’s the journey not the destination that provides fulfillment and happiness. That’s what I saw in Asia and Europe.  The “pursuit of happiness” is a fundamental thread of American life. To the libertarian that means “free minds and free markets” as Reason magazine says. But free minds and free markets are predicated upon perfect information and perfect responsibility, both of which are impossible for man to achieve.

What I’ve learned is that happiness comes from the search for happiness. It’s weird, but it’s true. If you focus on making the woman you love happy, you will be happy by making her happy. If you dedicate yourself to your children’s happiness you will be happy as well. There is no destination on the happiness train, but if you get off you will surrender to misery and suffering. And the pursuit of happiness doesn’t require unlimited personal freedom or unrestricted free markets. Indeed, policies implemented in the name of those two libertarian ideals have led to unhappiness for many in recent years including young women and blue collar workers.

So that’s my move from libertarian to alt-right. I wanted to share it because I think there are a lot of libertarians who are dissatisfied with the movement right now and are unsure of where to turn. The libertarian moment has passed. The leadership squandered the opportunity to become a major force in American politics. Currently Gary Johnson is polling at around 5-8%. He may win more than any Libertarian Party presidential candidate since the party’s founding, but as many, including Paul Joseph Watson pointed out: he’s not a libertarian. And now, neither am I.

Individualism, Collectivism and the Alt-Right

So Charlotte is burning. A black cop shot a black man with a gun and black people rioted, blocking the highway, destroying property, and hurting people. As of this writing, I do not believe anyone was gravely injured in the riots. At the heart of this is a very civil rights era American question, are we to judge an individual by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin? But what are we to say when character/behavior is dictated by the color of his skin? Is there a solution that will preserve individual judgment while taking account of the tribal nature of the riots? I believe there is. But it requires that we hold two ideas in our minds simultaneously.

These are deep questions which we will need to address in a coherent manner if the alt-right is to be taken seriously as a political force I the United States. For now I want to address two aspects of individualism and collectivism that are at the heart of much unrest: public policy and legal justice.

Public Policy

Since MLK’s famous “I have a dream” speech America has slid leftward in its approach to public policy. From desegregation of schools to the absurd modern requirements of Title IX funding for university sports teams. (There is a reason why women’s field hockey exists yet no one attends.) It has even, under the Obama Administration, taken on the topic of rape – now called “rape culture” because the absurd “1 in 4 women will be raped on a college campus” narrative doesn’t hold up.

This is a mix of individualism and collectivism in the formation of public policy, largely along lines of “historical victimization” or to use the more academic terms hegemon (those with power) and subaltern (those without power). And simply put, our public policy is “a tangle of thorns.” So I am going to propose a solution, public policy should be made using the best available science, incorporating historical understanding, and created for a collective or tribal view of society. What does that mean in practice?

Let us look at the educational field for insight.

Currently, in the education we have many policies that were instituted to make sure minorities, specifically blacks and Hispanics, succeed just as whites and Asians succeed without the policies. We have affirmative action, “no child left behind,” head start pre-schooling, various scholarships for minorities and now some universities are even giving minorities their own housing. But isn’t this collective or tribal policy? No, I would argue that it isn’t. Indeed these policies are intended to create an equal outcome for individual minorities but were formed without the input from science and history.

I’ve been in higher education for most of my adult life, and I’ve seen the effects of these policies on the people they were intended to help. Some people, usually whites, Jews and Asians, are opposed to affirmative action because of the effects on their own admission to top universities. There is some merit to this argument, but really we have more students in higher education today than at any point in history. Universities are businesses and will make room for you and your student loan money. I promise.

I’m opposed to affirmative action because it is an individualist solution to a collective problem. It admits many unprepared individual minority students to universities they have no business attending. They can’t cut it. I’ve seen this, first hand, for over a decade. But I don’t dare bring it up to my faculty advisor or write about it in our school newspaper. I have seen many black and Hispanic students struggle at our university simply because they do not have the learned skills (from their family, culture, and heritage) for academic success at this level.

Affirmative action students are routinely put into remedial reading and math classes. They come to my class unaccustomed to the level and intensity of reading (about 75 pages a night) required for success. They lack the analytical skills acquired through high school courses designed to prepare one for university success. Though this is mostly a failure of public education, which is a similar problem. In short, I oppose the individualist approach to solving the problem of minority underperformance because the solution actually harms those individuals it was intended to help.

So what would be a collective approach to solving minority underperformance? Well, first we need to actually address the fact that black and Hispanic families do not often emphasize education to their children. (There are many on the left trying their best to disprove this, but from personal experience, it is true.)

Many minorities have told me over the years that they believe schools should prepare their children for higher education, often failing to realize that education is not something which should be confined to school. It requires homework. It requires families that can help their children learn the skills necessary to succeed at the highest levels. And from what I’ve seen from my academic career, this often does not happen. It’s cultural, and since culture is derived from heritage, it is in part racial. To ignore the notion that it is black and Hispanic students falling behind is to plug your ears and pretend we should admit these students as individuals and expect them to succeed as individuals.

Instead we should encourage the current generation of minority students to find success in fields that do not require a college degree. Many Hispanics already do this. Indeed many whites do this as well. There is no indignity in honest work. As a society we look at plumbers, electricians, welders and mechanics (to name a few), as lesser jobs, or at least less prestigious jobs. We should use high school to prepare less academically gifted (meaning average or low IQ) students for a successful life without a college degree. And there is nothing wrong with not having a college degree. Neither of my parents went to college, and both were successful for many years. (The necessity of a college degree is a topic for another post.)

So this is where the collectivist public policy prescription comes into play. IQ testing has been shown to have racial correlations. There are many science deniers who object to this, just read the article I linked (the researcher doesn’t want the research pursued), and resort to ad hominum attacks such as calling the proponents racists. But that does not negate the fact that IQ testing is a necessary factor in determining who should go to college, what colleges they should go to, and what they should major in. Indeed,many on the left are insisting on ignoring the SAT and ACT for the sake of diversity.

So I propose that we use IQ testing to determine, from perhaps first grade on, which students will be placed in rigorous classes. Yes there will be individual black and Hispanics placed in these classes. Few would doubt that Ben Carson has a very high IQ. But in truth, we would see a large portion of the black and Hispanic students put in more slowly paced classes. And in high school we should encourage students with low IQs to take classes that will prepare them for working class jobs.

This is not a bad thing. Indeed, I believe much of the anger in the black community today results from the broken promises of the left’s equality fetish. For at least fifty years blacks have been promised success on par with whites, if only blacks were given the same opportunities as whites, and have not achieved it. The left claims it is because of “systemic racism” rather than owning up to the fact that IQ and race matter. And when we as a society have a limited amount of funds available for education, we should not squander it on social justice motivated equality projects.

So this is just a look at one instance of collectivism, as embodied by IQ scores, as a public policy prescription. What then of individualism? Well I believe in individualism. Perhaps it is a hangover from my libertarian days, but I think (and I do believe I left room in my collectivist public policy above for exceptional individuals of all races) we should enforce our public policies from an individualist perspective.

Legal Justice

Legal justice is policy enforcement. At its best it is individualist, though much like contemporary American public policy, we’ve muddled individualism with collectivism in legal enforcement. For example, see the recent Brock Turner case for evidence that the legal system for some today (in this case a male) was used to punish an individual for the perceived crimes of many (other men who’ve gotten away with rape).

Many women who claimed rape at college have been shown to be liars (Duke La Crosse, UVA, mattress girl). And men are not taking it anymore. This greatly embarrasses the feminists and SJWs who push the narrative of a college rape. For them Brock Turner was the proof they’ve been looking for. If he was guilty, so also was every man accused of rape. The difference? Turner was convicted. But for the leftists, feminists, and SJWs his conviction was not enough. In their rush for collective justice they went after the judge for who did not give him a sentence worthy of a million-bajillion rapes.

I propose that for a more just and content society we should disentangle the two and rely upon individualism for the enforcement of our collectivist public policies.

Back to education for a detailed discussion. Allow me to use a personal story to illustrate my point.

From the time that I was able to read I’ve been fascinated with space and NASA. My life goal was, like many who grew up in the ‘80s, to be an astronaut. When I was in high school I took all the honors classes I could. I struggled in math and physics, but excelled in history and literature. It was enough to get me into a good (but not top) university.

I began as a physics major with a minor in astronomy. But the truth is, I only made it through about two years of this course before my grades began to suffer. I was not talented (or smart enough) for the differential equations used in quantum mechanics. I busted my ass for a B+ in Newtonian Mechanics (and I’m still proud of how hard I worked). But by the end of sophomore year I was hoping for a future at JPL (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and I intended to get my foot in the door with an undergraduate research project/internship.

But then I didn’t get it. It wasn’t because of my lack of hard work. It was because I was competing with people whose IQ’s and specific talents are more suited to physics than mine. I was competing with minds from MIT and Caltech for the precious few spots available. But I did get an internship: at an oil company. And it was interesting, and unexpected, and more suited to my mind.

So I changed my major to geophysics. As a physics major I earned two scholarships, just enough to keep me afloat financially. But as a geophysics major I earned many scholarships. So many in fact that I was able to graduate from this university debt free, despite coming from a working class family.

This brings me to one scholarship that in particular that I earned: the McNair Scholarship. At the time this was a scholarship open to any first generation university student with an excellent GPA and SAT score, and an interest in a PhD program. At the time it was open to men and women of any race and background, as long as you were a first generation college student. And it was mostly populated with whites, about three-quarters of us were male. But that’s not the case anymore. Now they take into account race and gender in determining who gets the scholarship. I disagree with collectivism in public policy enforcement.

But wait, am I not being contradictory? Above I advocated accounting for race in determining public policy. Why shouldn’t the government account for race in administering scholarships to help minority students succeed where whites and Asians already have?

Because that’s not individualism. I advocate for collectivism in the formation of public policy. We should put an IQ requirement on public scholarships. But that enforcement will not prevent high IQ individuals of any race or gender from obtaining those scholarships. Generally speaking, it may not be conducive to creating a mass of black mathematicians at NASA, but it will create a society where people succeed with their innate skills. Again, in terms of enforcing public policy I am in favor of individualism not collectivism.

So this is where we are as a society. We have an entangled mess of public policy and public policy enforcement. If we are to solve our problems, we must disentangle those twin ideas. As Americans we are often lectured about “rugged individualism” being the reason for America’s greatness, at least by conservatives and some libertarians. The problem is that this ignores emerging scientific and historical truths about groups, women and men, blacks and whites. Liberals tend to look at groups and then proceed to engineer social justice policies that will ensure the equality of the groups. This results in a regression to the lowest common denominator, punishing the exceptional individuals of any group. Neither solution is satisfactory, and neither leads to individual happiness.

The simple fact is that we must draw our public policies and legal enforcements of those policies from two different ideologies. It will be hard for some to accept this. It goes against what we are taught through the public indoctrination programs, the media, and entertainers.

But what of the alt-right and individualism? Many of the alt-right will rightly look at the collective interests of a group and understand that individuals will identify with a group/race/gender and then advocate for the interests of that group. But we, as a movement, must begin to establish a rigorous ideology that accounts for both group interests and individual exceptionally, without fetishizing either.

I will no doubt talk about this further in other posts, as individualism and education are dear to my heart. But for now this is where we start.