Notes On The Politics and Ideology of Hate, Part Three

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NASA/JPL/CalTech - Messier 104

Some Notes On The Politics and Ideology of Hate, Part Three

Personal Suggestions Regarding Countering Extremism

 

Before considering some suggestions regarding countering extremism – personal suggestions born from my forty years as a practical extremist and my forty years of practical experience of extremism and extremists – I would like to briefly mention what, for me at least, is one of the most interesting and intriguing possible causes of extremism, and which particular possible cause led me to one possible solution to the problem of extremism.

This cause of extremism is what I term ‘the hubriatic ethos’ and which ethos has some similarities with the patriarchal ethos that has dominated, or tended to dominate, Western societies for millennia.

The Hubriatic Ethos

The hubriatic ethos is one where what may be described for the sake of convenience as predominately masculine traits (such as aggression, a need to be controlling and dominating, lust for change, lust for glory, and a lust for competition) are manifest, and where what may be described for the sake of convenience as predominately female traits (such as compassion, being nurturing, empathy, sensitivity) are undervalued, unappreciated, or regarded as of little importance (or even as a hindrance) ‘in the real world’.

Such a hubriatic ethos, in my experience at least, seems to form the basis – to inspire, to pervade – extremist ideologies such as fascism, radical Islam, nazism, and neo-nazism, with the result that such extremisms tend (again, in my experience) not only to attract a certain type of person but also serve to shape or influence the personalities of many recruits. Thus it is no surprise that so many extremist organizations and movements are dominated by men, tend to be led by men of a certain type, tend to have activists who are men of a certain type, and tend toward aggression, toward inciting hatred and the radical, harsh, social change and disruption of violent revolution.

The hubriatic ethos is one of extreme – unbalanced – dissatisfaction with what-is. One where kampf is regarded as natural and necessary, or as God-given; where there is a glorification of war; where there is a clear and a required division between ‘us’ and ‘them’, our enemies; where some collective – said to be embodied in some ideal, or some leader(s), or some ideology – is regarded as more important than the individual human being; and where conviction/faith/obedience are prized more than the development and the exercise of a free and unbiased individual judgement untainted by conviction/faith/ideology/dogma.

The hubriatic ethos thus manufactures – for however short or long a time – a certain type of society, or has as an ideal a certain type of society. One that favours or embodies harshness and requires or even demands obedience or where obedience is held as an ideal. One where strife with ‘enemies’ (internal and/or external) exists or is endemic. One which is militaristic. One in which men play the dominant role and occupy most positions of authority; and one where successful and/or influential women are often or mainly those who have adopted or who embody those qualities that the hubriatic ethos itself manifests and thus which hubriatic men value.

There is thus a masculine bias, resulting in an overt or a subtle unfairness in respect of women, and a lack of appreciation of and misunderstanding of women, as well as a disregard or ignorance of – if not a dislike or intolerance of – those often underdeveloped qualities and attributes in men which are muliebral [1] – manifest for example in empathy, sensitivity, and compassion – and which qualities and attributes are necessary in order to develope or to maintain a natural balance, a healthy psyche [2], and thus enable a man to avoid the error of hubris, an error that today is often manifest in extremists and by and through extremist ideologies.

This bias, as I mentioned in Part One, might therefore be a possible explanation for why extremist ideologies seem to regard pacifists, Sapphic ladies, gay men, and even sensitive artistic men who are not gay, as either ‘enemies’ or at least as somehow inferior or reprehensible human beings, with the result that many of the supporters of such ideologies dislike, are intolerant of, or even hate, such individuals and why some extremists are often violent toward such individuals.

Countering Extremism – The Axiom of Hope

My suggestions in respect of countering extremism are only my personal answers; my tentative fallible answers found after nearly two years of reflexion – of interior introspection – pondering the following question: What, or who, could or might have prevented me and others like me from causing the type of suffering I caused or contributed to during my four decade long career as an extremist of various kinds?

Thus far, I only have the following three suggestions, however impractical (or even risible, to some) one or more of them might seem, and all of which suggestions derive from my uncertainty-of-knowing that what may be important in countering extremism is the methodology of developing the personality of individuals (or encouraging such development) in a natural, individual, and a human – a positive – way by direct practical, personal, and moral experiences of an involving and an emotive kind. In essence, through humanizing personal experiences involving other human beings and not through dull ‘book-learning’ or ‘history lessons’ or lectures or moralizing speeches, however well-intentioned.

Such a methodology is, of course, based upon the axiom of hope. That human beings are, perhaps in their majority, capable of positive, ethical, change; that perhaps a majority of human beings are not by nature inclined to be bad; and that perhaps at least some of those who, for some reason, do what is wrong are or may be redeemable.

1) Knowing The Consequences of Extremism

This is the suggestion of the education of individuals by a learning of the human consequences of extremism. That is, as I mentioned in the essay Pardonance, Love, Extremism, and Reform:

“…learning, personally, from those who suffered because of, or who were affected by, such extremism. In effect, individuals being shown the personal consequences of such actions, such deeds, such violence, such hatred, such prejudice, and such terrorism… How the victims of our extremism, and their families and relatives, were affected; how they suffered; what in human terms they lost and was taken from them. A personal encounter with their grief, their sadness, their sorrow, their pain, their loss. Not some history lesson; not an impersonal reading of some books; but personal encounters with victims, with the family and the relatives of victims; or at the very least factual documentaries and recallings that tell the personal, the moving, stories of victims, of the family and the relatives of victims. A revealing thus of the terrible, the horrid, human cost of extremism.”


2) Experiencing Diversity

This is the suggestion of young people experiencing diversity in a practical and personal manner so that – and for example – those who consider themselves to be or are regarded as ‘White’/Caucasian spend time with a family of a different culture (such as a Muslim or Indian one) and vice versa, and thus (and hopefully) with such young people coming to respect, as individual human beings, those who may outwardly appear to be different from them or who live in a different way from them.

3) Experiencing Innocence

This is the suggestion of counterbalancing the masculine bias, the patriarchal ethos, that still seems prevalent in all Western societies by young men experiencing innocence in diverse others [3] and thus hopefully developing or at least coming to learn of some of those human qualities a lack of which can and often does lead to extremism and involvement with extremist ideologies.

In effect, this is an attempt to undermine, at source, the hubriatic ethos, and so counterbalance aggression, the desire to dominate and control, the lust for change, the lust for glory, the lust for competition, and the desire for or the expectation of the necessity for displays of excessive masculine pride. And this counterbalancing – this enantiodromia – through providing young men in particular with opportunities whereby they can learn to value innocence, gain a better understanding and appreciation of not only women but also of those muliebral qualities and attributes that exist within themselves.

One possible method of doing this – although possibly a currently impractical method not to mention a highly controversial one – is for young men and young womem (but especially young men) to be somehow and under the necessary supervision of women, involved with, or somehow assist with, the learning and the playtime of very young (and thus innocent) children to whom they are not in any way related. If some such children belong to families of a different culture there is then also an experience of the innocence of such diversity. There would then be, by this method, a direct, an emotional and personal, experience of what innocence is.

Another possible method of doing this – possibly a more practical if still somewhat controversial one – would be for young men and young womem (but especially young men), as part of their education, to learn by practical means caring skills such as those required to care for the sick, the very young, the infirm, the dying, and the elderly. That is, to spend time so caring for such people, again under the necessary supervision of women.

Are Extremists Redeemable?

An interesting and possibly also an important question relating to countering extremism is whether all extremists are redeemable, capable of change, capable of rejecting extremism and becoming decent, moral, compassionate human beings. That is, can they or could they all be changed by such a knowing of the human consequences of their extremism or by experiencing innocence and thus of developing or awakening certain muliebral qualities?

As I wrote in Pardonance, Love, Extremism, and Reform:

In all honesty, I have to answer no. For my personal experience over some forty years has unfortunately shown that some people (whether extremists or not) are, or appear to be, just bad, rotten, by nature and thus possibly/probably irredeemable. I could be mistaken, as I hope that there exists some means to reveal, to nurture, the humanity of such individuals, although I do not know and cannot conceive of what such means might be. What I do intimate, however, is that such irredeemable individuals are, and probably always have been, a minority.”

 

David Myatt
April 2012 ce

 

Notes

[1] Muliebral derives from the classical Latin word muliebris, and in this context refers to those positive traits, abilities, and qualities that are associated with women – as for example in the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God – and which traits, abilities, and qualities, in both Hellenic culture and pagan, pre-Christian, European cultures were often personified by female deities with such deities held in high regard and often accepted as equal to, if not sometimes superior to, male deities.

[2] In Jungian terms, acquire an individuated self. In terms of The Numinous Way, the natural balance is that of enantiodromia. See, for example, my essay Numinous Expiation, and also my forthcoming essay The Change of Enantiodromia.

[3] My usage of the term innocent is explained in the Appendix.


Appendix
Usage of Terms


To avoid confusion, I outline here how I, often from practical experience, understand and use certain terms. My usage may thus sometimes differ from how such terms are commonly used or how they have been previously defined and used in some academic and other works relating to extremism.

Extremist/Extremism

By extreme I mean to be harsh, so that my understanding of an extremist is a person who tends toward harshness, or who is harsh, or who supports/incites harshness, in pursuit of some objective, usually of a political or a religious nature. Here, harsh is: rough, severe, a tendency to be unfeeling, unempathic.

Hence extremism is considered to be: (1) the result of such harshness, and (2) the principles, the causes, the characteristics, that promote, incite, or describe the harsh action of extremists. In addition, a fanatic is considered to be someone with a surfeit of zeal or whose enthusiasm for some objective, or for some cause, is intemperate.

Thus, and I believe quite correctly, I have described myself as an extremist, as a promoter of extremism, both during my neo-nazi years and during my years propagating a harsh interpretation of Islam, an interpretation which included supporting bin Laden and the Taliban, supporting and promoting ‘martyrdom operations’ and thus supporting and promoting attacks on, and the killing of, non-combatants.

In the philosophical terms of my weltanschauung, The Numinous Way, an extremist is someone who commits the error of hubris; and error which enantiodromia can sometimes correct or forestall.

Ideology

By the term ideology is meant a coherent, organized, and distinctive set of beliefs and/or ideas or ideals, and which beliefs and/or ideas and/or ideals pertain to governance, and/or to society, and/or to matters of a philosophical or a spiritual nature.

Incitement

Incitement is used in the sense of ‘to instigate’ or to provoke or to cause or to ‘urge others to’.

Innocence

In general, innocence is regarded as the attribute of those who, being personally unknown to us, are unjudged us by and who thus are given the benefit of the doubt. For this presumption of innocence – until personal experience and individual knowing of them prove otherwise – is the fair, the moral thing, to do.

In specific instances, such as quite young children, innocence implies actions are blameless, without harmful intent, and thus should be understood as causing no harm.

Politics

By the term politics is meant both of the following, according to context. (i) The theory and practice of governance, with governance itself founded on two fundamental assumptions; that of some minority – a government (elected or unelected), some military authority, some oligarchy, some ruling elite, some tyrannos, or some leader – having or assuming authority (and thus power and influence) over others, and with that authority being exercised over a specific geographic area or territory. (ii) The activities of those individuals or groups whose aim or whose intent is to obtain and exercise some authority or some control over – or to influence – a society or sections of a society by means which are organized and directed toward changing/reforming that society or sections of a society in accordance with a particular ideology.

Radical Islam

By radical Islam is meant a particular modern harsh interpretation of Deen al-Islam. This is the belief that practical Jihad against ‘the enemies of Islam’ and the occupiers of Muslim lands is an individual duty incumbent upon every able-bodied Muslim; that Muslims should live among Muslims under the guidance of Shariah; that Muslims should return to the pure guidance of Quran and Sunnah and distance themselves from the ways and the influence of the kuffar.

Many though not all radical Muslims also support the restoration of the Khilafah; are intolerant of those Muslims they consider have allied themselves with the kuffar; and believe that ‘martyrdom operations’ against enemies are permissible according to Quran, Sunnah, and Ijmah. In addition, many supporters of such operations also believe that the deaths of non-combatants in some or all such operations are permissible according to the aforementioned criteria.

Society

By the term society is meant a collection of people who live in a specific geographic area or areas and whose association or interaction is mostly determined by a shared set of guidelines or principles or beliefs, irrespective of whether these are written or unwritten, and irrespective of whether such guidelines/principles/beliefs are willingly accepted or accepted on the basis of acquiescence.

Terrorism

A useful definition of terrorism is that it is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of an ideology or of goals that are generally considered to be political, religious, or ideological.


The Good

The good is considered to be what is fair; what alleviates or does not cause suffering; what is compassionate; what empathy by its revealing inclines us to do.

Thus the bad – what is wrong, immoral – is what is unfair; what is harsh and unfeeling; what intentionally causes or contributes to suffering.

Violence

By the term violence is meant the use – by a person or persons and in pursuit of an ideology or of goals that are generally considered to be political, religious, or ideological – of physical force sufficient to cause bodily harm or injury to a person or persons.


Image credit: NASA/JPL/CalTech – Messier 104