Friday, March 01, 2013

Orwell was an optimist

The Canuckistan Supreme Court has opined that just because a statement is true is no excuse if it's used to support "hate speech" that makes "vulnerable minorities" feel "vulnerable." And at Roman Catholic (Veneered) DePaul University, the speech code is determined by the "Diversity Council" to make sure that the Eurocentric notion of free speech does not silence vulnerable people of color by exposing them to ideas that make them uncomfortable. Canadian lawyer Alan Shanoff asks, "What is a constitutionally protected right of freedom of speech if it does not encompass the ability to speak the truth?" Welcome to crazyland.

The list has been growing for fifty years and shows no signs of slowing down.

I read through the ending of HA Covington's final novel in his Northwest Quintet, Freedom's Sons. These five books are political pedagogy and propaganda for his project of an all-White country separated from a United States which has developed its multicultural, feminist and redistributionist pieties into an irredeemably evil Federal system of tyranny against the White minority. (And a minority we will be within a few decades.) A lot of the situations he describes seem, from today, ludicrously extreme. But ask someone living in 1960 to imagine American life 50 years in the future, our now. Makes ya think.

To say that the novels are offensive to current sensibilities would be a gross understatement. I doubt many people could get through part of one of them. The language alone would cause heads to explode. The Bad Guys are the Jews, the Coloreds, the Gays and those Whites who ally with them. Characters in these categories are drawn, but never developed, and exhibit no redeeming qualities. But then neither to do the Bad Guys in any apocalyptic genre, like the Book of Revelation. As I mentioned before, if you deem your people in a situation of life or death survival, no grey areas, then nuance is dangerous and there is no room for exceptions. How the Bad Guys are portrayed is ugly. How they are treated is very ugly. But, as Covington writes this future, it is payback for what they have become and for the ugliness they have wrought on his people.

Although some of the ugliest moments describe this treatment with either satisfaction or pleasure, a frequent theme is that, once the war is over, those who carried out these acts, even in defense of their threatened racial tribe, no longer glorify them. They name them for the atrocities they are and say only that they were regretfully necessary, but not glorious, and hope that they will eventually be forgotten and never have to be repeated. By eliminating the Bad Guys from your territory --preferably by voluntary migration but ultimately by killing if they do not get the message-- you eliminate the need to mistreat them anymore.

Interestingly, the Good Guys, racially conscious Whites, are not cartoons of virtue. Heroes (and heroines) there are aplenty, but these Whites as a group are written as deeply flawed in character, capable of greatness and also full of vices. When they finally do achieve their independent country, inter-group and personal power struggles continue unabated --chiefly over religion --and are contained only with great difficulty. Sectarian tensions between the Christians and the Norse pagans, and among the various Christian factions often cast the non-religious National Socialists as mediators of compromise. Even Covington notes, through one of his NS characters, how crazy things must be if the Nazis are the voice of reason!

He paints the new country as eventually a model of human flourishing, a technological boom town,  but never as a human utopia. From his lifelong experience with deeply dysfunctional White nationalism, Covington makes frequent reference to the acronym GUBU as a regular feature of it: "grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre, and unprecedented." He writes himself into the story as The Old Man, a stubborn but quirky and eventually pathetic figure, who both heralded the war and was eventually sidelined and silenced by its new regime when political pragmatism overruled revolutionary virtue. Pretty realistic reading of how revolutions operate.

The books' strengths lie in their complex plots --Covington has written a lot of fiction before them--, the fascinating detail of how a small guerilla group, modeled on the IRA, could defeat an imperial power --bleed the treasury even more than the military--,some of the characters, and the fleshed-out imagination of a new country. Leaving aside the often gleeful gruesomeness, their weakness is a result of their visionary and pedagogical genre: the dialogue is often a lecture on history, tactics or ideology, and there's a technological deus ex machina which turns the tide.

I find the constitutional structure of the Northwest American Republic quite unique in combining parliamentary, socialist, statist, republican, free market and libertarian elements.

An attribute of some artists is prescience. They can sometimes divine the future shape of things long before others. Take Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, a description of how a love of equality turns into a nightmare of oppression. Written in 1961. Painfully recognizable now. Or Orwell. When I read, over and over again for several years now, how all sorts of apparently nice and decent-sounding ideas have morphed into minority-driven tyrannies, I cannot help but think that Covington's vision of an ugly future, at least the ugly part, might be the way things actually do unfold.


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