Being & Becoming

I was listening to a Red Ice Radio podcast when I heard something so elegant in its simplicity, and so compelling that I couldn’t stop mulling it over for days after.  The best characterization of Red Ice that I can give is to describe it as a platform for far/alternative right and reactionary thinkers and thought—a hodgepodge of traditionalism, individualism, ethnocentrism, race consciousness, and nationalism.  Red Ice’s content appeal to me stems precisely from its resistance to the ascendant liberalism of the day which advocates a kind of shapeless and atomistic global citizenship in the context of a relentless modernity.  In some way, I think, the alt-right recognizes that humans are essentially tribal, and promotes identity politics coalescing around principles of racial preservation, nation, family, and faith with the aim of stimulating productivity and strength as a rejoinder to the identity politics of the present day which organizes itself around principles of collectivism, decadence, and resentment.

The podcast’s title was “Surviving the Global Monoculture,” an interesting discussion with Richard Spencer about the prevailing multicultural “one world” attitude of the times and the ways in which it works to deracinate individuals while encouraging greater identification with a generic world culture.  This is done to facilitate the top down imposition of an elitist, globalist control agenda.  At one point in the interview, Spencer mentioned Indian reservations and observed how horrible the conditions were, in spite of the fact that the reservations enjoy a degree of autonomy and decent revenues generated by casinos.  He noted that the native American residents have internalized the worst aspects of modernity and as a result, have succumbed to all manner of ills: alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, etc. He expressed pity saying: “I wish that they could discover themselves—rediscover themselves—and become Indians.”

I was struck by this, mostly because advocacy for this sort of renewed racial consciousness almost never comes from a traditionalist/rightist orientation.  The current mainstream discourse encourages heightened racial consciousness not for the reasons that the right encourages it (that is, to fortify the individuals within the group and to serve as a buffer against the most destructive anti-values of modern society), but rather as a vector for these anti-values to enervate the individuals within groups by discouraging personal responsibility, stoking the fires of envy and hatred, and encouraging the internalization of the most dissolute aspects of society.  I was struck by the idea of “becoming” anything.  Becoming the truest form of oneself by rediscovering and returning to one’s roots.  ‘Becoming’ through the veneration of tradition and the understanding of what it means to be a part of a culture.  The modern world puts so much emphasis on “being” that it overlooks the “becoming;” people no longer have an understanding that it isn’t enough to be a thing—you only earn the right to be something after passing through the fire to become that thing. The becoming is as important, if not more so than the being.

Actualization through tradition.

The conversation made me reflect upon blackness and the current state of affairs within the black community.  Like the Native Americans on the reservation, black communities across the diaspora have yielded to many of the same decadent forces unleashed upon the world by liberalism.  The rampant illegitimacy, the drug and alcohol abuse, the underachievement, the broken homes, the hollowed out communities, and the rest of it.  To “be black” seems to be simply existing, to drift from degeneracy to degeneracy without roots to anything.  A large part of me wonders if this is the destiny of a people who have been cut off from their culture.  We are trying to be without actually becoming and the results have been disastrous.

What is blackness?  What does it mean to “become black,” and what forms could this becoming take?  Becoming is both static and dynamic, in that we must reach a stable valence, but we also must continue to transcend.  I think that we must rediscover purely African traditions, not the syncretic traditions that have evolved across the diaspora, but the animistic ones that predated them and the philosophy that evolved from it.  We must rediscover and then internalize these values surrounding family and community from a voluntary perspective that eschews forced collectivism.  We must reconnect to a common history and celebrate the achievements of our people while planning for the future, perhaps one that involves the creation of an autonomous nation.  I will try to develop these thoughts further.

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