Friday, 28 August 2015

THE CUCKSERVATIVE MYTH


In his famous novel, East of Eden, John Steinbeck wrote about the life and times of Adam Trask, a Prince Mishkin-like character, who – among other misfortunes – fell in love with a sociopathic prostitute/ blackmailer/ murderer by the name of Cathy Ames, whom he had rescued after she received a thorough beating from her fat and very angry pimp.

As he tended to her wounds, Trask became so enchanted by Cathy’s beauty (and vulnerability) that he constructed a fictional image of her inside his head, essentially turning the whore into a goddess. Adam’s brother, Charles, saw through Cathy’s facade stating to his brother that “She’s no damn good, I tell you. She’s a whore.”

Of course, Adam couldn’t see any of this, because he could only see the image of Cathy in his head, and his inability to see the actual being of flesh and blood blinded him to the dangers that his romantic delusions brought him. The irony in all this was that Charles later sleeps with Cathy, essentially cucking his own brother, and (quite possibly) fathering Cathy’s children.

Cathy Ames in the 1955 movie of East of Eden.
Shortly after their marraige, Cathy gives birth to twins, Caleb and Aron and with that burden gone, Cathy decides to conclude her relationship with Adam by putting a bullet into him and running off to the nearest whorehouse to do what she loves doing.

Now, Steinbeck’s portrayal of Adam and Cathy’s “relationship” gives an intriguing look into the complicated nature of cuckoldry, which, of course in our current context, brings up the issue of “cuckservatism.”

Despite what happened to him, Adam Trask was no weakling (he had been a highly decorated war hero), nor was he stupid (he managed to break out of jail and survive for several months as a hobo). However, despite all this, he was still powerless to see Cathy for what she truly was, and later in the novel, still wept for her after he heard that she had died.

The lesson here, I think, is that Adam was “cucked” because he loved too much and too strongly an image that existed only inside his head, and it was this delusion which nearly destroyed him. Delusion not weakness, therefore, was Adam’s folly, and a similar condition applies to people who are pejoratively called “Cuckservatives.” They are labelled as such because they pursue goals which are detrimental to their interests, and to the interest of that which they seek to preserve, which is a strong and stable country. Like Adam Trask, they are enamored with what they think exists and consequently what truly exists harms them. Such are their myths.

All peoples and persons have their myths, of course. Myths can either be simple or complex, idealistic or pragmatic, but they all have one thing in common, and that is their interpretative value. Myths explain how the world works, or even how it should work. In this sense, all myths are self-serving (including those on the Alt-Right/New-Right).

Whether it’s the “Diversity is Strength” meme of the Western World or the “Zhōngguó Mèng,” of China, social and political myths are ultimately feelgood philosophies designed to strengthen social and ethnic cohesion, offer intellectual consistency, and at the same time provide a framework for understanding the world. In this sense, there’s nothing really wrong with myths in and of themselves. It is human to create myths by which we relate to the world around us. Myths only become problematic when they divorce our perceptions and decisions from reality; making us vulnerable to forces which prey upon our hopes and fears. If myths do not correspond with existing reality then they simply turn into self-delusions.

Jeb Bush: the reality behind the delusion.
What makes cuckservatism so effective as a pejorative is that it expresses this delusional detachment from certain demographic and geopolitical trends. More importantly, however, the cuckservative meme also exposes the feelgood philosophy which exists in many mainstream conservative minds. This feelgood philosophy is rooted mainly in the desire for moral and ethical certainty, which prevents the “cuckservative” from thinking in terms of self-interests. After all, self-interest opens up the possibility for hypocricy.

In contrast to the myth of equality and global compatibility, self-interest is perceived to be petty, cynical, harsh, cold, and even inhumane. There is also the perception that self-interest is Machiavellian, and perhaps even unjust. More importantly, self-interest is nebulous, and offers no emotional reassurances or psychological protections from guilt. It only offers tangible results, and where is the mythical value in that?

Another important characteristic of the myths which exist in the cuckservative mindset is the fear that what they think may destroy what they have; that to think in terms in terms of self-interests may undermine the myth that the United States and the Western World in general have a “sacred duty,” and that to lose such things will ultimately destroy the mythical pasts and futures that exist in their dreams. Consider, for example, Trump’s remarks about China. There is the fear here that his populist protectionism could undermine the stability of the global economy or lead to economic isolation, and thus undermine Pax Americana.

Trump: killing the myth of global America?
In this sense, “cuckservative” anxieties are not just rooted in psychology or morality. They’re also rooted in the fear that too much self-interest and self-affirmation may trigger a global decoupling, and if the world decouples then it could spell the end of this particular phase in Western History, a phase that they once mythically believed would last forever, but has now played itself out.

So if we all just dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that the essence of the “cuckservative” meme goes beyond American or even perhaps Western politics, because it is essentially an attack on the mythical urges which defines our modern, globalized world: to be interdependent, and to project unto the future the dreams of the post-Second World War global dispensation.

In short, to attack the myth is to attack the system. And Cuckservatives – despite the pejorative against them – still want to protect this system even though it’s killing them, because the myth in their minds tells them that it is all the good which exists in the world.

To get back to Adam Trask, his relationship with Cathy changed several years later when he finally mustered up the courage to visit her in her brothel. There, for the first time, he saw Cathy (now “Kate”) for what she truly was, and he was able to free himself from the image in his mind.

The same thing is required for “cuckservatives” and for any people gripped by their myths, whether such myths are on the Right or on the Left. Reality – not truth (for it is too nebulous) – will set them free. However, they must first will themselves to abandon the beautiful goddess inside their heads, and instead look at the unstable world of blood, flesh, passions, tribes, self-interests, and dirt.




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