Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Pilgrimage of St James.

I find the answer to most of life's questions by walking. Right now I am wondering what validity there is in the Dark Enlightenment worldview.

Fortunately London (and in particular St James) is the ideal place to find the answer. London is that it is the only city I know that uses dark enlightenment ideas in real life while at the same time being among the most liberal. This makes it an ideal place to compare one to the other. There are other places- such as the Vatican I suppose- that look more medieval on the surface- but none have the range of alternative institutions than does London.

The area I am exploring is quite small- a few streets only and I have provided a map here. Despite the small size it may be argued that the British Empire was run from this spot and even now it has influence that has escaped the conspiracy community. Here is a website produced by the Crown Estates as the area is indirectly owned by the royal family. Rather oddly, the website undersells the beauty of the area and gives little flavour of the place.

In my own view the most important places to see if one is to truly understand the place would be Spencer House and the London Library along with the Athenaeum Club. The Palace of St James and the Royal Academy of Arts would also be useful. When it comes to religion (historicaly of great importance in the area) we have an Anglican church and the splendidly mad Alternatives that lives within it. Each of these institutions are cogs in a machine that continues to turn to this day and may be turned to other purposes.. maybe.

Why is this area important? It became a center of political power between the 17th and 19th centuries when the aristocracy ran the country as a kind of hobby. They would descend upon London from the country for the London Season. The men would engage in politics while their wives would attend an endless succession of artistic and sporting events often based within St James itself. Most importantly of all, young women would be 'introduced to society' in the hope of marrying them off before they became an old maid and a drain on their families.

The season therefore became a centre of scheming and backroom deals where much of the real decision making was done. On the back of this the area became full of gentleman's clubs where a deal could be sealed discreetly over a glass of port and at one point (rather later) there were over two hundred of them in the area but by this time club membership brought little political influence on its own.

The area received two great blows that almost finished it as a power centre. The first world war brought an extension to the franchise to the working class (not just to women as most now believe) and this changed the class composition of the political strata. The second world war resulted in homes being used as government offices and in others being destroyed. It was followed by an aggressively socialist Labour government that taxed formerly powerful families to oblivion.

Through out the 1960's there was a war against 'the establishment' and what could be more establishment than the gentleman's club? A gradual war of attrition ensued by which some clubs were bullied into becoming mixed sex and others driven to bankruptcy. This process reached its peak in 1968 when rather strangely it ceased. Clubs that had become dowdy gradually returned to favour and by the 1990's new clubs were opening regularly. Currently the area enjoys healthy growth and greater popularity than at any time since the first world war.

One post war phenomenon that should interest the critics is the rise of the international think tank. These moved into the area on the memory of the backroom deals once done there and very probably continue much as the aristocrats of times past.

How bad was all this really? Certainly it sounds fun and it coincided with the growth of the greatest empire the world has yet seen- just as the fall of St James occurred just before the fall.

The age of St James also left a great many gifts for the present day. The architecture is spectacular and many of the institutions of the London Season remain and are open to all, rich and poor alike.

Can we (heaven forbid) even learn something from the bad old days? There is a philosophy that suggests we can and this is the Dark Enlightenment, sometimes called the Neo Reaction or NRx.

DE is all about the failings of democracy and forced equality. Some would like to abolish democracy completely and replace it with.. what? Nobody is entirely sure.

The St James district in London contains some staggeringly undemocratic and yet public facing bodies. These grew up while St James was at its peak. We might even say that these institutions have been conducting a real life experiment in DE philosophy for several hundred years. I decided to go for a stroll and see as many as I could at first hand.

My first encounter was one of those strange moments when one captures a historical moment perfectly. I was walking through Queen Anne's Gate which is a think tank land clinging to the edges of St James. I noticed security gates and concrete block everywhere. These appeared following the Manchester bombings and tend to confirm that these places are more important than they seem. In the background played a brass band from a parade which seemed more sad than triumphant from where I stood.

Look behind the row of trees. You will see Whitehall as a fairy tale castle. The mass of turrets and spires appear green like trees. This was building for a more confident age- but a more modest one too. The desire was not to dominate the landscape but to compliment it and blend with it.

Sadly the current age lacks either confidence or modesty which is a strange paring of faults.

This is the road to Buckingham Palace. Most people would say it is where the Queen of England lives and yet this is not true. It is only one of the Royal Palaces and is mainly used as a place for visiting dignitaries to drop in to for a pot of tea. We see the road is red- like a red carpet.

The Queen is popular with the people because of her Trump like vulgarity and her sense of the absurd. I hope they get together soon as I think they will have more in common than most people would expect.

The frontage we see here is actually a fake. It was put there by Queen Victoria to make it appear that she was not turning her back on the people when the real front of the palace faces the other way. In fact the entire palace is a castle of illusions. The real power lies in another palace we will visit in just a little while.

This raises an important point. Much of the cost of monarchy is a public show that would have to continue even if they did not exist. Buckingham Palace would continue as a museum as it does now but it would lose some of its magic and become just one more historic site to visit.

The Royal Family call the jumbo jumbo of royalty 'the firm' and regard it as a business expense. It is neither quick not comfortable to travel by horse drawn coach (for example) and the only reason to do so is to allow tourists their London photo opportunity.

I think we should do as the Queen does and separate the 'firm' from the person of the monarchy. Should the 'firm' exist? Yes. It is show that tourists love. Should the Queen have the right to dissolve parliament and veto its laws? No. The questions are quite separate.

In reality democracy might just as easily protect beauty as destroy it. Consider the architectural vandalism of the communist period in Roumania. If the despot has good taste all is well but if he loves brutalist concrete then everyone must learn to love it too.

In reality the experience of England seems to back up the Dark Enlightenment case. The architecture 'the establishment' produced was quite wonderful, as was most of the art. We have a peculiar paradox by which unaccountable elites rule humbly and do not impose their tastes upon the public while a democratic government feels entitled to spew forth ugliness.

It seems that we are not dealing with the question of elected or self appointed governments but of humility. The Soviet Union had 70 years of absolute power but offered a beautiful future and an ugly present.

Here we have St James Square. This was once the center of aristocratic political power in the UK as it was ringed by the London homes of aristocrats. Politics was then a hobby for gentlemen and from this square it was possible to walk to the Houses of Parliament and visit the fleshpots of the West End in the evening. These houses have largely been replaced by ugly corporate offices (who are just as adept at pulling strings as the aristos) but the square remains and retains a faint scent of its former power.

This is the former home of Nancy Astor in the square. She was the first female MP and is treated by the left as a woman of the people. The location of her home would suggest otherwise.

Two of the most interesting buildings in the square may be seen on the right. The London Library (a sort of intellectual club) is at the end while the blue flax is from Chatham House a think tank.

On the left we see Devonshire house, taken over by the state for D Day planning and now a soulless (but comfortable) office. The second world war killed this area both through bombing and through appropriation.

There is always a seen and an unseen politics. The politics we see on the Parliament Channel is loud and something of a Truman Show. This may appear to be more democratic and open than the country club ways but it has the effect of cementing people to fixed positions. The Dark Enlightenment alternative is the quiet word out of the public gaze. Many of the institutes that orchestrate these deals still exist in this area.

The Dark Enlightenment makes a fundamental error of confusing politics with democracy. Much of parliamentary democracy is a fraud by which people pretend to disagree when they agree and pretend to agree when they disagree but would it be any better if it were less democratic? The politics would remain. So would corruption and self interest. Indeed- they may become much worse.

Alongside the square we find St James Street and Pall Mall. Here there are far more positive examples of the Dark Enlightenment in action. This is the center of 'clubland' where the Gentleman's Clubs may still be found. Many of these are mixed sex now but the function remains the same- they are places to meet with our peers. I believe they serve the public good. They allow artists, writers or businessmen to associate with one another and so further the creative process. Even the clubs devoted to the snobbish exclusion of the plebs make the world a better place by ensuring the snobs do not bother the rest of us.

First off, the Athenaeum Club one of the rare male only clubs. Unfortunately this is not the only qualification and one must be 'clubbable' and have a wad of cash. I qualify on neither criteria.

A strange thing- clubs are generally marked only by the union flag. There is no indication of the club that resides there. The members know and this is all that matters.

At the end of Pall Mall there exists St James Palace.

This is the oldest Royal Palace and not open to the public. It seems to be mostly a repository for minor toffs who live there rent free. The Dark Enlightenment favors a natural aristocracy of talented and energetic supermen but we see nothing of the kind here. Quite frankly we should close the place down.

St James remains a diplomatic hub for historical rather than practical reasons.

We journey to Jermyn St where things look up a little. This is mainly a shopping area these days where one may kit oneself out as an English Gentleman. It is one of the very few male spaces remaining in London.

At one end exists St James Church. It points to the role in which charity is likely to play under a Dark Enlightenment. This church runs a market for trendy ethnic clothing, furnishings and Fairtrade food. Shoppers are assured they are helping the world's poor and yet they ignore the at the door beggar to get there.

The church is a fascinating example of the decline of Christianity in Britain. At one point local government was organised around Anglican parishes. Each area had its own church and was generally named after it. The church had the right to levy a tithe upon the population Catholic and Protestant alike which was not always paid but in theory should have been.

We see that the Anglican church no longer has the confidence to keep pagan symbol out of its own churches.

The goods on display embody a peculiar 'inclusive exclusiveness'. The quality is superior to any designer brand and yet the prices are far lower. Generally these retailers do not advertise. Knowing about them means that one is a member of an elite of sorts even if one has no money. We have the peculiar paradox that snobbery can become a leveling factor in society so that a poor person can disdain a rich person for spending more money than them in the wrong places.

Out the front of Princes Arcade and we find Burlington House. A splendid Dark Reaction achievement. It contains artistic and scientific institutions and was built on the charity of a cultured elite. These men (mostly men) built what they considered to be beautiful or useful. They did not consult the poor while doing so because the poor were largely ignorant and surrounded by ugliness. How could the poor know what they needed? The fact that they remained poor proved that they did not!
This attitude is the core of the Dark Enlightenment. Those who know the way must lead and they must have the confidence to ignore those who do not.

There is always a free exhibition and one for the members. The freeloaders (like me) use the back entrance but I have the satisfaction of knowing that the taxpayer has paid for none of it.

Across the road- Fortnum and Mason. Probably the worlds most beautiful supermarket. Look at the expression of the man on the left. He is revisiting childhood Christmas.

Fortnum uses the symbols of the Dark Enlightenment but is actually an aggressive free market operator that exists by selling a piece of Old England. It may be Royal this and Royal that but the common man is king here.

Many Dark Enlightenment criticisms of democracy are entirely correct. DE is also correct in pointing out that genius is rare and will never win a majority vote. London has been served well by both systems. 
I come back to Winston Churchill's comment that democracy is the worst imaginable system- apart for all the others that have been tried.

What we need is a plurality of systems. We need public provision and private charity, we need to open gates to the common people and yet respect those who have risen above the average.

In other words, the Dark Enlightenment is both completely right and completely wrong.

I think I will call this viewpoint Complimentary Darkness.


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Thursday, 30 March 2017

A prototype holiday.

Over at the London Money blog I have a something I call the Cash Back Holiday. It should last three days, be pleasurable and result in some or all of the money I spend coming back to me.

These last few days have been a kind of prototype- and also the first step to a minimalist lifestyle.

I decided that I would spend the first holiday at home.

My task was to drastically reduce the clutter in my flat and to see if the atmosphere becomes more free as a result- a neat combination of housework and parapsychology!

The first day was spent throwing things out. This is a far more difficult task than one would think and it tends to produce an emotional exhaustion that can only be cured by a pot of tea and some cake. This mental expenditure is repaid many times over as space is cleared and the atmosphere becomes lighter.

The Chinese tend to think of this as stagnant energy and so I opened all my windows and allowed air to pass through the flat. I am told feng shui translates as 'like wind, like water' and the window trick seemed to work at least to some degree.

The second day was spent on other crank projects such as changing my diet to a largely fruit based one and sleeping with the windows open to enjoy an imaginary connection with nature.

On the third day I awoke wonderfully relaxed in a way that is quite different to the emotional exhaustion of a cluttered environment. This was probably a combination of fresh air, healthy food and green tea but it proves I am on the right track. I think I have earned myself a day in the library uncluttering this blog.

Monday, 20 March 2017

How to be the gray man.

The intelligence services teach field agents the art of 'going gray'. The grey man is hard to notice and easy to forget. He can move through a city in plain sight and yet memory of him is erased the moment he passes from view.

Why is this desirable? It is desirable because we have become a very conformist society. There are acceptable opinions and opinions it is better to keep to oneself. Violent leftist gangs such as Black Lives Matter or Antifa will beat anyone who is found in the wrong location with the wrong skin pigmentation. It is better to go unnoticed.

Fortunately nature is kind to the older man in this respect. We are not seen as sexy or dangerous and so we are often not seen at all. Going grey builds on this foundation.
I have bought a comfortable yet nondescript outfit. Scuffed Doc Martins,(plain clothed police cannot help polishing theirs to a mirror finish) baggy jeans - but not so baggy it appears I am mocking a certain kind of black man. I have a Doc Martin belt that is made of the same bulletproof leather they use for the boots. I avoid the temptation to hang 'prepper' gear from it. A muted work jacket completes the look.

The aim is to be comfortable. anonymous and warm. I do not wish to appear to be too rich, I would far rather people thought I worked in a manual occupation and knew how to defend myself but I do not wish to broadcast this too obviously or it may be taken as a challenge.


I am introducing a kind of loyalty scheme to this blog. I have a research budget that is linked to the number of followers I have. At present the number is seven which translates to £7 a month.

Not much.

I hope to create a virtuous circle out of this. More followers will result in more research which will result in better articles which will result in more followers.. and so on. Please click on the Google plus button.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Fruit juice saves time and money.

I bought myself some cold pressed fruit juice at ALDI a while back and was won over. I now carry a bottle with me everywhere. If I am hungry, I drink. If I am thirsty, I drink.

Cold pressed juice is the healthiest juice so I save time, save money and live longer too. Yay!