Tuesday, 10 March 2015



by Cainus Maxus

"My principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal." 
Julius Evola
Today's Art world is so far gone, so lacking in any substance, even anything naive and amusingly humanistic, that it befuddles any average person with a working sense of reality. The irony of all this is that Art is dominated by the Far Left, and the Far Left claim to idolize the working man – at least around outsiders. Instead they succeed only in alienating him, and this is no surprise because artists don’t really care about average people – but like everything else in society, they must adopt the veneer of militant humanism.

Ludicrously priced junk goes for obscene amounts, and the average working man shakes his head because he feels he’s being fooled. While he bleeds from his hands, hammering in steel at the job site, or biting his lip when his boss is verbally reaming him, he wonders how those pampered artists, with their 10 dollar soy mocha lattes are enjoying the day duct-taping a blow up doll to a chair and dumping paint on it as an expression of "feminine rage" against the always present "patriarchy."

The politics of the art world claim to have the common man’s best interests at heart – always vying for socialism, for the working class, "Equality," "Freedom" – but he knows they don’t really care. Only elite, white bourgeois liberals – the main group of people from which artists come – ever believe this, and then only half-heartedly.

It is a tired refrain that is spoken in a droll hum within the Church of Liberalism, so as to not offend the God of Equality. Artists have always loved the extreme left in the modern era, which is amusing because old fashioned Marxists most likely would have summarily executed these poor misguided souls. Stalin himself endorsed a rather conservative view of many things in society, particularly aesthetics. Reports say that when movies were screened to him, he would become enraged at nudity in them, informing his host that "This is not a brothel!" Old school Marxists viewed white bourgeois liberals with undying contempt, viewing them as ineffectual intellectuals who could not pursue real change. Their flirtation with the real left made of workers was pure masturbation. Much like the radical traditionalist views the conservative, so the working class Marxist viewed the bourgeois liberal.

“Generic Postmodern Statement”

It is art-chic to drum up Marxist references, especially to economics, but artists of today have nothing in common with the original working class Marxists. Their connection to Marxism is a superficial one, because In reality, artists hate common people. The tendency to support the working class would seem odd… until the fact is revealed that most artists are also poor and do not work real jobs is discovered. Unwilling to get day jobs much of the time, artists survive on government money to finance their endeavors whenever they are not attempting to just hustle people (we commonly hustle people- believe me, it’s how we survive).

The artist goes on about "the rich" and "corporations," but not because they hate the rich but because they envy them. Unlike traditionalists, who see the erosion of culture via globalism, they endorse a weltenshaaung of envy and spite. In essence, it is Nietzsche's slave morality, in which the slave envies the master, not the master who wishes that real authority ruled in the land.

Their disdain for the capitalists is not our disdain – not the Traditionalist’s disdain for degeneracy, it is not even the Paleomarxist's disdain for degradation of the worker's condition of subjugation, it is a state of envy – because rarely do we hear of artists turning down money of any kind, and when they get rich like Damien Hirst, do we see him helping his fellow poor countrymen? No, he builds a statue out of diamonds.

It is as Oswald Spengler remarked: "Communism is the capitalism of the lower classes." The rage at the rich comes from bourgeois aspirations of wanting success in the first place, not of despising a culture of vacuous nothingness. It is the same as a woman who says she hates her husband, but goes home to him when he speaks nice words to her. No artist turns down money and fame, and if they do, it is not en masse, it is isolated.

At the same time, artists view themselves above the average man for other reasons, because they are "enlightened" against the average, normal man's heterosexuality, spirituality, old fashioned masculine and feminine archetypes, against the "social construct" of race. Not because they are, say…. privy to ascetic paths of spirituality or higher goals, lofty pursuits and hidden wisdom, mastery of craft or so on, like artists of old aspired to, like Nietzsche or Evola’s intonations.

"LOL, I just cleaned out my 'randoms' drawer and put it a show and people thought it was art"

Society has largely affirmed the damning view I repeat here. The artist has come to be seen largely as a weirdo, a child, effeminate, naive, hiddenly selfish, yet outwardly egalitarian (in person they are some of the most authoritarian people one can encounter) and unavoidably the most bourgeois thing one can be in modern society – the epitome of that which they claim to hate. Almost all contemporary artists hate bourgeois, white, heterosexual and traditional culture, while being a prime example of the bourgeois’ failures rather than a true model for a better world. They in reality hate themselves – most artists are, after all, white.

It is also a curious reality that the artist tends to be domineering, sex-obsessed, and when in control of money, gluttonous beyond all reason. In classrooms I have been spoken to with absolute disdain for my work, their power over me was obvious, drunk with finally being able to crush me. I have the misfortune of being a white, heterosexual, masculine (if I do dare so assert), Christian man who lifts weights. Almost immediately, when I speak with confidence in a room full of artists, whenever I have not bowed to the militant humanism, the empty aesthetics, the childish adherence to Marxist influenced ideals, I am castigated and flogged viciously until I bow to them. I was nearly kicked out of graduate school until I proclaimed myself a socialist and pretended to be asexual and sober from drink.

Artists are some of the most authoritarian and unyielding people – Stalin was a poet, and Hitler was a painter. This is no coincidence. The traditional sense of kindness, of being polite, is almost lost on most artists, sadly.

How do I know any of this? I hold a Master of Fine Arts (our terminal degree equivalent to a PHD), and have attended seven universities in the USA from the north east to the west, and the situation is the same everywhere in America. The archetype of the artist is the child who never grows up, and who demands all things be given to him. This is primarily due to their parents, the rulers of the world, the "peaceful revolutionaries of 68."

"Dammit, Bobby, stop messin' with grandma's chair! she broke a hip last time!"

How did this happen? How did artists – once the very cream of the enlightened, the pursuers of ancient knowledge, students of beauty, esteemed and respected men of the ancient world, masculine and heroic, those charged with imparting the best of society’s values to the world – become sniveling children who hated their own heritage and their own people with undying contempt?

It is because art itself has become corrupted. Not it's essence, but it is undeniable that its associated world – its microcosm, is seeping with degeneracy. The intelligentsia, the very people their Marxist heroes usually shoot first in Marxist occupied countries, have enthroned degeneracy at the most entropic point – the visual one. How did this happen?

This artist, in addition to this massive inflatable sculpture of a wholesome butt-plug-holding Santa makes chocolate edible versions of the sculpture. He’s Belgian.
The answer is that the Generation of '68 were inspired by the theory of Cultural Marxism. The schools of philosophy and art that took their inspiration from this method of thinking are those that prevail today. Where does cultural Marxism come from? Many readers in the New Right will know this term, but may not know its real origins. It comes From an Italian communist named Antonio Gramsci, a socialist and communist philosopher in Italy who was imprisoned by Mussolini when the Fascists came to power.

For the midget who happens to be a cyclops.
At Gramsci’s trial, He was considered so dangerous, the prosecutor exclaimed “We must stop this brain from thinking for twenty years!” Cultural Marxism, the philosophical theory that regards social tradition as a control-mechanism for capitalist regimes, was his contribution to the decay of modern society.

Gramsci would die in prison while Il Duce waved his arm over the legions gathered in Rome. Despite Gramsci being jailed and dying in prison, his work survived and influenced the generations to come after him. During his heyday in the 1920’s, Gramsci was not particularly well liked. Considered an extremist, he left the Italian Socialist Party (to which Mussolini himself once belonged) to form the more radical Italian Communist Party. Critical to his thought was that he blamed the "failure" of the soviet revolution to produce an actual Marxist utopia on the lack of focus in destroying traditional Russian culture. Yes, The clergy was persecuted, and yes, the Tsar was shot with his family, but Russians still sat around to sing old folk songs, women still cooked pots of borscht for the family, men still sat at the table drinking the "water of life," and old grandmothers still whispered prayers into their grand-children's ears. So what if they did not have church, they still had god. So what if they did not have a Tsar, they still had comrade Lenin or comrade Stalin. Most Russians could still live real lives – as long as they had food, work, and drink, and the wife knew her place. Their sons grew up strong, and the Russian race was preserved. And Gramsci knew this.

He was angered at the failure of "real revolution," and saddened by the rise of a neo-tsardom in Russia. Yes, the regime had changed – and now a brutal process of industrialization under Stalin had begun, but change was mostly political. Not truly cultural. Thus Gramsci developed his theory of cultural Marxism, or "Absolute historicity."

In the same sense that movement conservatives today do not understand why they failed to win "The Culture War," 1920s Communists failed to see that political change does not necessarily mean cultural change. Although the prime goal of Communists was a classless, stateless utopia, where everyone holds hands all day, smiling, and where money does not exist, they kept failing and were unable to see how they kept failing. Gramsci did see, however.

Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” one of the earliest conceptual art pieces and a fitting metaphor for most “art” of today.
Stubbornly, the way of Russian order continued – with Stalin assuming a more "Tsar than Tsar" role in Russian society and becoming ten times more reactionary in some  ways. Say what you want to about the old Communists, but they were no bleeding heart liberals – not until Gramsci arrived. So much is different today, that an old, early 20th-century Communist, militant to the extreme would shake his head in disgust at today’s world, and chamber a round in his rifle ready to fire. Such contradictions always make me smile when an artist proclaims his or herself a Marxist yet trumpets liberal, bourgeois degeneracy in their art.

"It’s like, a statement, on like, capitalism, or something, because, like, capitalism is all about utility, and since, like, this is useless, it’s anti-capitalist, dude."
Gramsci, sickened by beauty, strength, and honor, reveled in a programme based on the idea of “Historicity” the idea that History is itself invalid except as reference (something we traditionalists heartily oppose but should consider in our approach when dealing with leftists).

The execution of the old guard and a cosmetic new face on an system of autocracy was obvious. The soviet machine was not genuinely “Communist” except in rhetoric. A case could even be made that the USSR under Stalin was an atheistic, anti-nature form of National Socialism. This claim is bolstered by the example of Russian Fascist Konstantin Rodzaevsky's decision to go back to the USSR after world war two because he viewed Stalin's form of Communism as a uniquely Russian form of Fascism that had triumphed over Germany.

He turned himself over to Russian authorities in Kharbin, saying "I issued a call for an unknown leader, … capable of overturning the Jewish government and creating a new Russia. I failed to see that, by the will of fate, of his own genius, and of millions of toilers, Comrade J V Stalin, the leader of the peoples, had become this unknown leader." Stalin executed him promptly upon his return of course.

Marina Abramovic, a conceptual/performance "artist" who "performed" the "piece" titled "The Art Is Present," in which she literally sat, stared dispassionately into the eyes of people for one minute at a time, without blinking, then closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and repeated the process for what felt like 759 years.
The evolution of the USSR into neo-tsardom, into essentially a form of Russian National Socialism dismayed the culturally liberal Gramsci. Analyzing its failures, he realized that to truly accomplish change, it was vital to utilize the universities, government departments, the intelligentsia, and of course Hollywood and the Media as unknowing agents of destructive change. The prime architect of change is the popular zeitgeist, and what better an agent to deliver it than visual art?

Damien Hirst, an artist who, in common practice for his field, hires studio painters to paint his “works” under direction. He then sells them for exorbitant amounts of money to tasteless wealthy patrons. When one of his painters quit to move on to her own work, she asked if she could have one of his works. He told her to paint a new one, and he would sign it, since "That is the only thing that makes a difference between it being my piece or your piece." He is the world’s wealthiest artist.
The direct link from Gramsci to modern art is shaky, but there is no doubt that his influence spread over the west in the decades after his death. We can see this most notably in the rise of conceptual art and pop art, but we can also see it in other forms of modern and eventually post-modern art, from abstract to conceptual.

In these forms of art we see a gradual disintegration of the standards and traditions that made art and its archetypes of beauty, honor, strength, faith, and heroism so important to society. By gradually destroying these symbols in art, the inspiration to strengthen society along traditional lines is dramatically lessened. While I can make some arguments for expressionism and abstract art as a form of esoteric pursuit, I cannot defend the most inexcusably degenerate form of art, conceptual art, which has given us the worst and most pathetic replacements for art that we know today.

Wolfgang Laib "makes" his "pieces" by doing such things as pouring handfuls of bee pollen into neat little piles as some sort of Zen replacement for making actual art. I guarantee that he's rich.
The idea is simple: conceptual art is when an artist's sole job is to think up a piece of art. How he creates it is of no consequence. The results of this were obvious. Everyone became an artist. Just as democracy destroys power by allowing anyone who is popular to take power, conceptual art allows anyone who has an idea that other people merely want to see created to make it. If he can find resources or willing creators, the piece can be made easily.

So what has resulted? Tons and tons and tons of junk. When you combine this with "performance art," the process becomes even worse. Anything one does on a stage is a "performance" as long as it is being viewed. Famously, Andre Breton stated that "The purest surrealist act is walking into a crowd with a loaded gun and firing into it randomly."

Breton was emphasizing that the denial of reality and human morality was itself an absurdity, one which should help us see the absolute absurdity of the acts of violence which people perpetrate in the service of certain "ideals." At least that's the optimistic explanation, although, you never know, he could have meant it seriously, in which case the extreme sense of nihilism helps to define the very absurdity of the nature of artistic thinking in the modern era.

But at least Breton still created things with his hands. Performance "art" is generally nonsense "performed" by people who have obvious mental health issues. If the Marina Abromovic "piece" above did not make this concrete enough, just stop reading my rant now.

When one tries to argue against these forms of "art," its proponents lead one down the path of twisting trick questions to tongue tie people into affirming what they know in their heart isn't art. Rhetorical cunning can also trick one into believing something is art.

Artists have concocted a brilliant and seemingly unassailable theory that allows anything and all things to be art. The process stems from Michel Foucault, who characterized modern existence as "schizophrenic." While he is onto something, his followers have used this idea to emphasize that this is an era in which actual "creation" is over, and thus we can only explore, satirize, or revisit previous eras of art. We cannot actually create anything new, and thus we are forced to work with pastiche and irony.

What inevitably follows is a descent into a level of absurdity and boredom that makes Breton's proposal seem exciting. At least during a shooting of innocents, emotion, tragedy, pain, and horror happen – which at least makes the mind think. But for artists of today, creating things is so passe.

Tilda Swinton, an actress who is relatively good at acting, took a break from her busy schedule shooting movies to "perform" some "art." In this "piece" she takes a nap. In front of a crowd of spectators. In a box. And no, that really is all she did. I’m not joking. This really happened. And she got paid for it.
To make things even worse, the enablers in this process are the new critics, who, on Marxist and anti-capitalist grounds, refuse to critique work and instead just describe the work. They prevent making a value judgement because this would inherently put a level of "worth" on a piece, allowing it to be appraised or devalued, thereby unwittingly aiding the capitalizing and commodification of art and artists. Naturally, instead of leading to a socialist utopia, which allows artists to flourish, all that happens is that genuine values becomes trans-valued – meaning lost. Worth becomes arbitrary, and anything can become a sensation.

In the 1960s Gramsci's work found new favor amongst intellectuals, and he inspired the Marxist influenced Postmodernists. The most notable of these minds with a direct link to Marxism, and most likely Gramsci's work, are Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard, but it is obvious that Gramsci’s ideas gave birth to the line of thinking that birthed conceptual art and postmodern art. It simply fits with Gramsci's ideas of tearing down social control by attacking the modes of cultural control that keep the status quo in line.

On one hand this theory bodes well for us in that we can see a country like Russia reclaiming and re-nationalizing itself gradually, but on the other we can see what happens when this theory is utilized to disrupt the foundations of a society. Look at America for an example – and when we examine Baudrillard and Foucault, these are the prime places we can see derivatives of Gramsci’s theories at work.

Donald Judd was so good at bullshitting he convinced people that this kind of "work" had some kind of meaning behind it. This is conceptual/minimalist "art." A bunch of blocks.
To give these minds their due, it would take pages and pages, but Buadrillard's work is, to my mind, the way to truly understand the nature of contemporary art today. Baudrillard’s prime ideas of "Simulacra" and the "Hyperreal" are key. "Simulacra" is the idea that simulation can replace reality, and the "Hyperreal" is the reality that this creates. He also defined "historicity" as history itself ending. What is happening now is not "history" but instead the simulation (simulacra) of history. It is obvious that this is Gramsci-influenced to some degree.

Hitler hated modern art so much he decided to showcase the work he hated in an exhibition in 1937 called "Degenerate Art." If Hitler were alive today, he would be rounding up gallery directors instead of Jews and wishing that modern art like this was still around.
Baudrillard did not intend for these ideas to be applied literally in art, but to be used as ways of deconstructing how we view the political world, to help demystify it. They are often applied to geopolitical events and politics in general, which was their main purpose, but they have been re-purposed by artists to produce ever more increasingly banal work.

A hyper-realist sculpture. While the artist has incredible skill, this seems to be all he has.

Gramsci's ideas have not led to a more "equal" world in the Marxist sense, but, they have done a good job of almost destroying traditional culture and its control on society as we know it in the West, by finding their way into influential minds that have taken capitalism and melded it with Marxist cultural ideals (Generation 68).

Just as Gramsci's ideas never led to the intended result, and Lenin's revolution did not produce genuine Communism (an utter abstraction anyway), Baudrillard’s work did not usher in a new realm of people re-examining the political sphere. (The revolutions created by Gramsci and Lenin seem to have had entirely opposite effects. In the Gramscian world, economic justice was lost and social standards undermined. In Leninist Russia, by contrast, greater economic equality was achieved, while culturally society remained far more traditional.)

A hyperrealist painting, simulating reality. As deep as a kiddie pool.
In yet another shitty form of "art" that owes its origins in Marxism, artists began to apply Baudrillard’s "Hyperreal" idea in art with photo-realism and then hyper-realism, both essentially nihilistic forms of art because they destroy the essential function of the artist's "hand," which is indicative of style, individuality, and soul. A specific hyper-realist I interviewed, personally claimed to me that she was proud of having no discernible style, and this was a mark of excellence among hyper-realist painters. They do their best to create sterile, emotionless works that are little different from photographs. If this is not the prime example of Nietzsche’s claim that "nihilism is not just the belief that all should perish, it is when one puts one;s shoulder into the plough," I don’t know what is.

A Hyperrealist painting by Chuck Close. Aside from the fact that something about this picture is obviously unnerving and the artist most likely has Autism or Asperger’s, one asks one’s self, why not just take a picture?
Most without a formal appreciation of art history will say "WOW!" and ogle these works, and thus the artists can survive by selling them to rich simpletons. Just as Andy Warhol's worship and fetishism of consumerist culture contained no obvious critique of it, thus allowing all manner of people to appreciate or argue over his work due to its lack of voice, hyper-realism can be appreciated by everybody from eggheads, who refuse to actually critique bad work, to normal people, who don't appreciate the distinctive marks of a painter as something beautiful. To make matters more revolting to Traditionalists, these works almost always feature banal subject matter of no discernible importance.

However, there is a wonderful and unintended consequence of Gramsci and Baudrillard; they can ironically be used to examine the prevailing liberal hegemony that has taken over Western culture, by letting us examine how abstract ideals such as "equality" have become mainstays in culture, and how ideologues of the leftist elite have created a "Hyperreal" of a culture by utilizing abstract ideals such as "multiculturalism," "diversity," "equality," and "LGBT" rights to create an ideology that is itself a simulation of "progress" gleaned from abstraction.

Leftists posit that we can have countries with many different races and sexual preferences, and work towards a perfect future, where no one is poor, all by the proper government policy. One thing is for sure, these policies will dramatically change society, but as we are seeing, not for the better.

By examining the Hyperreal that art and ideology has become and their unintended consequences, we can see two things. The first is that Gramsci was correct in that control of society and culture can be dictated and drastically changed without violence or revolution, and, secondly, being too idealistic will lead to disillusion or destruction because it is emulating abstraction or the unattainable.

When we understand how leftists think – we can approach them with the facts of the situation: how sexual promiscuity has forced men to learn "game" and adopt a near sociopathic approach to women at times; how "gay rights" is normalizing the behavior of a small group of people and leading to a growing change in societal standards for identity; how multiculturalism encourages sectarianism and turmoil; how "diversity" creates resentment and backlash; and how artists and critics are destroying the very fabric of beauty itself.

The greatest friend to Traditionalists is history. Both learning from it and focusing on positive aspects from it. Sometimes the way "back" is by examining the thought process of those who want to move us forward.

Originally published at High Right 
Edited for Alternative Right by Colin Liddell

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