NASA - Earth and Moon from Voyager
Concerning Extremism
Some Quotations From Recent Writings

” What I painfully, slowly, came to understand, via pathei-mathos, was the importance – the human necessity, the virtue – of love, and how love expresses or can express the numinous in the most sublime, the most human, way. Of how extremism (of whatever political or religious or ideological kind) places some abstraction, some ideation, some notion of duty to some ideation, before a personal love, before a knowing and an appreciation of the numinous. Thus does extremism – usurping such humanizing personal love – replace human love with an extreme, an unbalanced, an intemperate, passion for something abstract: some ideation, some ideal, some dogma, some ‘victory’, some-thing always supra-personal and always destructive of personal happiness, personal dreams, personal hopes; and always manifesting an impersonal harshness: the harshness of hatred, intolerance, certitude-of-knowing, unfairness, violence, prejudice.

Thus, instead of a natural and a human concern with what is local, personal and personally known, extremism breeds a desire to harshly interfere in the lives of others – personally unknown and personally distant – on the basis of such a hubriatic certitude-of-knowing that strife and suffering are inevitable. For there is in all extremists that stark lack of personal humility, that unbalance, that occurs when – as in all extremisms – what is masculous is emphasized and idealized and glorified to the detriment (internal, and external) of what is muliebral.” Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of My Unknowing


” It might be useful to explain how I, in the light of practical experience, understand important terms such as extremism. By extreme I mean to be harsh, so that 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. Thus 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.” Ethos of Extremism, Part 1 (1968-1973)


” For nearly four decades I placed some ideation, some ideal, some abstraction, before personal love, foolishly – inhumanly – believing that some cause, some goal, some ideology, was the most important thing and therefore that, in the interests of achieving that cause, that goal, implementing that ideology, one’s own personal life, one’s feelings, and those of others, should and must come at least second if not further down in some lifeless manufactured schemata.

My pursuit of such things – often by violent means and by incitement to violence and to disaffection – led, of course, not only to me being the cause of suffering to other human beings I did not personally know but also to being the cause of suffering to people I did know; to family, to friends, and especially to those – wives, partners, lovers – who for some reason loved me.

In effect I was selfish, obsessed, a fanatic, an extremist. Naturally, as extremists always do, I made excuses – to others, to myself – for my unfeeling, suffering-causing, intolerant, violent, behaviour and actions; always believing that ‘I could make a difference’ and always blaming some-thing else, or someone else, for the problems I alleged existed ‘in the world’ and which problems I claimed, I felt, I believed, needed to be sorted out […]

Yet the honest, the obvious, truth was that I – and people like me or those who supported, followed, or were incited, inspired, by people like me – were and are the problem. That my, that our, alleged ‘problems’ (political/religious), were phantasmagoriacal; unreal; imagined; only projections based on, caused by, invented ideas that had no basis in reality, no basis in the simple reality of human beings. For the simple reality of most human beings is the need for simple, human, things: for personal love, for friendship, for a family, for a personal freedom, a security, a stability – a home, food, playfulness, a lack of danger – and for the dignity, the self-respect, that work provides.

But instead of love we, our selfish, our obsessed, our extremist kind, engendered hate. Instead of peace, we engendered struggle, conflict, killing. Instead of tolerance we engendered intolerance. Instead fairness and equality we engendered dishonour and discrimination. Instead of security we produced, we encouraged, revolution, violence, change.

The problem, the problems, lay inside us, in our kind, not in ‘the world’, not in others. We, our kind – we the pursuers of, the inventors of, abstractions, of ideals, of ideologies; we the selfish, the arrogant, the hubriatic, the fanatics, the obsessed – were and are the main causes of hate, of conflict, of suffering, of inhumanity, of violence. Century after century, millennia after millennia.” Letter To My Undiscovered Self


” In simple terms, extremists fail to understand, to appreciate, to know, to apprehend, what is important about human beings and human living; what the simple reality, the simple nature, the real physis, of the majority of human beings and of society is and are, and thus what innocence means and implies. That is, there is a failure to know, to appreciate, what is good, and natural and numinous and innocent, in respect of human beings and of society. A failure to know, a failure to appreciate, a failure to feel what it is that empathy and pathei-mathos provide: the wisdom of our personal nature and personal needs; of our physis as rational – as balanced – human beings possessed of certain qualities, certain virtues, or capable of developing balance, capable of developing certain qualities, certain virtues, and thus having or of developing the ability to live in a certain manner: with fairness, with love, and without hatred and prejudice.

What is good, and natural – what should thus be appreciated, and respected, and not profaned by the arrogance (the hubris) of the extremist, and what empathy and pathei-mathos reveal – are the desire for personal love and the need to be loyally loved; the need for a family and the bonds of love within a family that lead to the desire to protect, care for, work for, and if necessary defend one’s loved ones. The desire for a certain security and stability and peace, manifest in a home, in sufficiency of food, in playfulness, in friends, in tolerance, in a lack of danger. The need for the dignity, the self-respect, that work, that giving love and being loved, provide.

Our societies have evolved, painfully slowly, to try and provide such simple, such human, such natural, such ineluctably personal, things; to allow opportunities for such things; and have so evolved often because of individuals naturally gifted with empathy or who were inspired by their own pathei-mathos or that of others, and often and thus also so evolved because of the culture that such societies encouraged and sometimes developed, being as such culture was – via, for example, literature, music, memoirs, poetry, Art – the recorded/aural pathei-mathos and empathic understanding of others often combined with the recorded/aural pathei-mathos and the empathic understanding of others in other societies. A pathei-mathos and an understanding that may form or in some manner express the ethos of a society, and thence become an inspiration for certain laws intended to express, in a society, what is considered to be moral and thus provide and maintain or at least aid valued human and personal qualities such as the desire for stability, peace, a loving home, sufficiency of food, and the need for the dignity of work.” Some Personal Musings On Empathy


” I believe that the genesis of extremism – of whatever outward kind – is what I have termed the-separation-of-otherness. Our tendency, as human beings, to manufacture and to believe in and to value abstractions, all of which reveal:

“…a lack of empathy, and which lack results in some distinction being made between ‘them’ and ‘us’, and thus with some living being (human or otherwise) being assigned to some abstract category, or group, and/or regarded as the genesis of or some representation of some posited existing or future ideal. Often, some abstraction – some category or some group or some ideal – is imputed to have some value, higher/lower, in relation to some other abstraction, with the result that some abstractions are considered to be ‘worth fighting/killing/dying for’, and/or regarded as ‘morally superior’ to or better than other different, or vaguely different, abstractions, even if such difference is illusory and thus only ‘in the eye of the believer’.Thus, among the profusion of abstractions are divisive concepts such as ‘race’ and nationalism; political ideologies such as communism, fascism, and National-Socialism; perceived religious differences often manifest in a division between ‘heretics’ and ‘true believers’; and concepts such as ‘a righteous caliphate’.

What is common to most if not all abstractions is how, in varying degrees, they tend to or can dehumanize us. How they seem to possess, or come to possess, an archetypal power and thus tend to move us to believe in them rather than in human, the individual, virtues such as personal love, compassion, humility, and fairness. For in the pursuit of abstractions, or in pursuit of some assumed idealized ‘duty’ or loyalty to some abstraction, we often tend to unethically value the abstraction – or some idealized, future, imagined, hope-for realization of some abstraction – more than individuals, more than personal love, personal happiness, compassion, more than our humanity, and thus more than human life itself.”

In Reply To Some Questions (2012)


” Perhaps one of the worst consequences of the extremism of extremists – of modern hubris in general – is, or seems to me to be, the loss of what is personal, and thus what is human; the loss of the empathic, the human, scale of things; with what is personal, human, empathic, being or becoming displaced, scorned, forgotten, obscured, or a target for destruction and (often violent) replacement by something supra-personal such as some abstract political/religious notion or concept, or some ideal, or by some prejudice and some often violent intolerance regarding human beings we do not personally know because beyond the range of our empathy.

That is, the human, the personal, the empathic, the natural, the immediate, scale of things – a tolerant and a fair acceptance of what-is – is lost and replaced by an artificial scale posited by some ideology or manufactured by some τύραννος (tyrannos); a scale in which the suffering of individuals, and strife, are regarded as inevitable, even necessary, in order for ‘victory to be achieved’ or for some ideal or plan or agenda or manifesto to be implemented. Thus the good, the stability, that exists within society is ignored, with the problems of society – real, imagined, or manufactured by propaganda – trumpeted. There is then incitement to disaffection, with harshness and violent change of and within society regarded as desirable or necessary in order to achieve preset, predetermined, and always ‘urgent’ goals and aims, since slow personal reform and change in society – that which appreciates and accepts the good in an existing society and in people over and above the problems and the bad – is anathema to extremists, anathema to their harsh intolerant empathy-lacking nature and to their hubriatic striving.” Some Personal Musings On Empathy


” For an ideology to cause, provoke, or incite hatred – or which inclines people toward hatred or which of itself embodies hate – it is logical to assume that there has to be two components at work given that hatred is an intense personal emotion which can predispose a person or persons toward or cause anger and thence violence, and given that an ideology by its nature is supra-personal, that is, a coherent, organized, and distinctive set of beliefs and/or ideas or ideals.

My experience leads me to suggest that the first component is prideful identity, and that the second component is the ideal, the goal, of the ideology. For this given and accepted identity is always supra-personal and always imparts a needed sense of belonging, a meaning to life, just as the goal, the ideal, involves individuals committing themselves in a manner which vivifies, removes doubt, and imparts a sense of purpose, with the result that individuality becomes subsumed with duty and loyalty to the goal, the ideal, given a high priority in the life of the individual […]

The identity so assumed or presumed produces or can produce resentment, anger – caused by a perceived or a felt disparity between the now and the assumed ideal, past or future.

For an essential part of such ideologies is that it is believed that in the past some posited ideal community or society or people or way of life existed and that the present is a deviation from or a loss of the ‘perfection’ that then existed; a deviation or a loss that the ideology explains by the assumption of a simple cause and effect, or several simple causes and effects, a simple linearity between the now and the goal (future) and/or the idealized past. Thus the problems or the conditions of the present are assumed to have certain identifiable supra-personal causes, just as the path to the goal is regarded as requiring that those causes be dealt with. In addition, these causes are often or mostly the work of ‘others’; not our fault, but instead the result of ‘our enemies’, and/or of some opposing ideology. That is, someone, or some many, or some ‘thing’, is or are to blame.

Hence in order to return to this past perfection – or in order to create a new form of this past perfection, this past ideal, or in order to create a new perfection inspired by some past ideal – our enemies, and/or opposing ideologies and those adhering to them, must be dealt with. There must therefore be struggle; the notion of future victory; and at the very least political activity and propaganda directed toward political goals – a moving toward regaining the authority, the power, the influence which supporters of an ideology believe or assume they and their kind have lost and which they almost invariably believe are now ‘in the hands of their enemies’ and/or of traitors and ‘heretics’.

In effect, perceived enemies, those having authority/power, and those perceived as adhering to opposing or detrimental ideologies/beliefs or living in a manner seen as detrimental, become dehumanized, are judged en masse in a prejudiced manner, and become disliked, with this dislike naturally – because of the struggle for ‘victory’ – becoming intolerance, harshness, and thence, almost invariably at some time, turning to anger thence to hatred with such hatred often resulting in violence against individual ‘enemies’.

Such hatred and intolerance are the natural, the inevitable, consequence of all ideologies founded on notions of identity which glorify past glories or past perfections, which posit some abstract goal or some future ideal and which involve a struggle against enemies to achieve such a goal or such an ideal.” Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate (Part One – According to the Philosophy of The Numinous Way)


” An important and a necessary part of enantiodromia involves a discovery, a knowing, an acceptance, and – as prelude – an interior balancing within themselves, of what has hitherto been perceived and designated as the apparent opposites described by terms such as ‘muliebral’ and ‘masculous’. A perception of opposites manifested in ideations such as those concerning assumed traits of character, and assumed or ‘ideal’ rôles, behaviour, and occupations, assigned to each person, and especially historically in the prejudice of how the rôle – the duty – of men is or should be to lead, to control, to govern, to possess authority, to dominate, to be master.

The discovery of enantiodromia is of how such a designated and perceived dichotomy is but illusive, unnecessary, unhealthy, appearance, and does not therefore express either the natural, the real, nature (φύσις) of our personal character, our being, or the real nature, the Φύσις, of Being itself. In essence, this is the discovery, mentioned by Heraclitus, concerning Πόλεμος and γινόμενα πάντα κατ΄ ἔριν καὶ χρεώμενα; that all beings are naturally born – become perceived as separate beings – because of ἔρις, and their genesis (their ‘father’) is Πόλεμος.

Thus the strife, the discord, often engendered by an external and by the internal (within the individual) clash between such apparent opposites as the ‘muliebral’ and ‘masculous’ is one that has naturally arisen due to misperception, due to the separation-of-otherness, as a result of a purely causal, egoist, apprehension of ourselves and of others; an error of perception that, as previously mentioned, empathy and πάθει μάθος can correct, and which correction reveals the truth of ψυχή and a knowing of the cosmic perspective.

One practical consequence of this misapprehension, this error of ὕβρις, concerning ‘muliebral’ and ‘masculous’ has been the distaste – even the hatred – of certain ideologies and religions and individuals for those whose personal love is for someone of the same gender. Another practical consequence is and has been the error of extremism, where what is masculous is emphasized to the detriment (internal, and external) of what is muliebral, and where, for example, as in many harsh ideologies, men and women are expected, encouraged – often forced, as for example in fascism – to assume some rôle based on or deriving from some manufactured abstraction, some ideation, concerning what is assumed to be or has been posited as ‘the ideal man’ or the ‘ideal woman’ in some idealized society or in some idealized ‘nation’. ” Enantiodromia and The Reformation of The Individual


” My writings over the past few years have been personal, ‘mystical’, and philosophical, with the latter documenting the development and refinement of my ‘numinous way’ culminating in my moral philosophy of pathei-mathos which is concerned with individuals and how individuals might discover and learn to appreciate ἁρμονίη and δίκη and so move toward wisdom. So, what I wanted – rather, what I felt compelled to do following a personal tragedy – was to try and understand myself, my suffering-causing past; to try and discover what undermined ἁρμονίη and δίκη, and what ὕβρις was and what it caused and why.

One result was that I came to appreciate – philosophically, morally – the importance of empathy and hence gained a better understanding of extremism, that modern error of ὕβρις, leading me to define an extremist as,

“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: (a) the result of such harshness, and (b) the principles, the causes, the characteristics, that promote, incite, or describe the harsh action of extremists.”

An important part of harshness, it seemed to me, was the arrogance of assumptions about or concerning others. Of prejudging people based on some abstract criteria or because you had assigned them – consciously or instinctively – to some category which had been manufactured or developed by others; which category associated with those assigned to it certain qualities, or attributes, or abilities, or a lack of such things; and which category was almost invariably based on or derived from some notion of conflicting ideated opposites and which thus separated beings from Being.

One example here is categorizing a woman as being a ‘prostitute’:

“Almost always there are certain assumptions made about such a person, since the abstract category ‘prostitute’ carries various connotations, or is assumed to denote a certain type of person. Thus, instead of being regarded, and treated as, an individual human being, the woman is regarded and treated as “a prostitute” and in the process often dehumanized. All such judgement according to such an assigned abstract category is unethical because it is not based on a personal knowing of the person; it is not based on the immediacy of empathy with that person.”

It is the same in respect of the concept of race, or ‘folk’. For race is,

“a manifestation of the causal separation-of-otherness, and thus contradicts empathy and the intuitive knowing of and sympathy [συμπάθεια] with the living other that individual empathy provides or can make us aware of.

The notion of race separates, divides, human beings into manufactured lifeless categories which nullify the empathic knowing of individual human beings. Such assignment of individuals to a posited abstract category – some assumed ‘race’ or sub-race – is irrelevant, since individual human beings are or have the potential to be unique individual human beings, so that such an assignment, whatever the alleged reason, is a dehumanizing of those individuals. For our humanity is expressed by an individual and personal knowing of individuals, by a personal interaction with others on the basis of respect, tolerance, reason, and honour, and which personal knowledge of them renders their alleged or assumed ethnicity or ancestry irrelevant.” FAQ About The Numinous Way dated 9/March/2012

Thus, to view, to classify, to consider, someone in ethnic terms is a harsh, an unnecessary, thing to do. For consciously or unconsciously such separate categories denote or have come to denote certain things (often negative and prejudiced things) about those so assigned to them. The moral thing – the unharsh, the human, thing – to do is to view a person, to consider them, treat them, as they really are, which is an individual human being. Their assumed or assigned ‘race’/ethnicity serves only to perpetuate that separation-of-otherness that is or can be a cause of prejudice, discrimination, injustice, intolerance, hatred, and thus of suffering.

Similarly with the notion, the ideation, of ‘a folkish clan’ with its inclusion/exclusion, its division into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and its predetermined, non-individual, dogmatic, non-empathic, criteria of belonging and of judgement of ourselves and of others.

To abstract things out from an individual context – to generalize, to make assumptions about others which go beyond the individual, beyond a personal knowing of them, beyond our own individual living and the immediacy-of-the-moment; to assign them to some abstract category – is wrong, and appears to be or to have become a lazy, an immoral, human habit, and one which empathy can cure or prevent.

For me – and thence for the numinous way/the moral philosophy of pathei-mathos – what is important, what expresses our humanity, what is moral, is an individual knowing and an individual appreciation of the numinous and thus a knowing and appreciation of what I term ‘the natural balance’ of life. A natural balance manifest in avoidance of hubris – avoidance of the error, the harshness, the generalizations, the ideations, of extremism – and in the acceptance of the empathic (of the human, the personal) scale of things and an acceptance of our limitations (our fallible nature) as human beings. That is, in an appreciation of individuals; an appreciation of the virtue of personal love, the cultivation of empathy, humility, tolerance, and of wu-wei, and hence the inclination to live without arrogantly interfering with, or arrogantly concerning ourselves with, matters and people beyond the range of our empathy and of which and whom we have no personal knowledge of or no practical experience of.

In practical terms, this means there is no concern with and no interest in politics and political things, as well as an understanding that such ideations as race, folk, and nationalism, are unnecessary, and detrimental, harmful, to us, because beyond, and usurpacious of, that individual knowing and that individual appreciation of the numinous which manifests or which can manifest the natural, the human, balance – the harmony, the beauty, the arête – of life, and which individual knowing and individual appreciation empathy and pathei-mathos and a personal love can aid us to discover. ” In Reply To Some Questions (2012)


“Extremism – as defined and understood by the philosophy of pathei-mathos – is a modern example of the error of hubris. An outward expression – codified in an ideology – of a bad individual physis (of a bad or faulty or misguided or underdeveloped/unmatured individual nature); of a lack of inner balance in individuals; of a lack of empathy and of pathei-mathos. There is thus, in extremists, an ignorance of the true nature of Being and beings, and a lack of appreciation of or a wilful rejection of the numinous, as well as a distinct lack of or an aversion to personal humility, for it is the nature of the extremist that they are convinced and believe that ‘they know’ that the ideology/party/movement/group/faith that they accept or adhere to – or the leader that they follow – have/has the right answers, the correct solutions, to certain problems which they faithfully assert exist in society and often in human beings.” Some Personal Musings On Empathy


” I quite understand why, in the past, certain individuals disliked – even hated – me, given my decades of extremism: my advocacy of racism, fascism, holocaust denial, and National-Socialism, followed (after my conversion to Islam) by my support of bin Laden, the Taliban, and advocacy of ‘suicide attacks’.

I also understand why – given my subversive agenda and my amoral willingness to use any tactic, from Occult honeytraps to terrorism, to undermine the society of the time as prelude to revolution – certain people have saught to discredit me by distributing and publishing certain allegations.

Furthermore, given my somewhat Promethean peregrinations – which included being a Catholic monk, a vagabond, a fanatical violent neo-nazi, a theoretician of terror, running a gang of thieves, studying Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism; being a nurse, a farm worker, and supporter of Jihad – I expect many or most of those interested in or curious about my ‘numinous way’ and my recent mystical writings to be naturally suspicious of or doubtful about my reformation and my rejection of extremism.

Thus I harbour no resentment against individuals, or organizations, or groups, who over the past forty or so years have publicly and/or privately made negative or derogatory comments about me or published items making claims about me. Indeed, I now find myself in the rather curious situation of not only agreeing with some of my former political opponents on many matters, but also (perhaps) of understanding (and empathizing with) their motivation; a situation which led and which leads me to appreciate even more just how lamentable my extremism was and just how arrogant, selfish, wrong, and reprehensible, I as a person was, and how in many ways many of those former opponents were and are (ex concesso) better people than I ever was or am.

Which is one reason why I have written what I have recently written about extremism and my extremist past: so that perchance someone or some many may understand extremism, and its causes, better and thus be able to avoid the mistakes I made, avoid causing the suffering I caused; or be able to in some way more effectively counter or prevent such extremism in the future. And one reason – only one – why I henceforward must live in reclusion and in silencio.”

Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of My Unknowing


” So much remorse, grief, and sorrow, within me for the unwise suffering-causing deeds of my past. Yet all I have in recompense for decades of strife, violence, selfishness, hate, are tears, the cries, alone – and words, lifeless words, such as this; words, to – perhaps, hopefully – forewarn forswear so that others, some few, hearing, reading, may possibly avoid, learn from, the errors that marked, made, and were, my hubris.” So Much Remorse


David Myatt
June 2012

Image credit: NASA – Earth and Moon as seen from the departing Voyager interplanetary spacecraft


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


Note: This text has been superseded by the pdf compilation Understanding and Rejecting Extremism


Attic Red Figure Vase c. 480 BCE, depicting Athena, in Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany
Some Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate, Part Two

A Personal Perspective – My Uncertitude of Knowing

The Bad of Extremists

For some forty years, from 1968 to around 2008, I as a fanatical idealist placed some ideal – some illusory, some believed in perfection – before people, hubristically believing (as fanatics and extremists always seem to do) that some ideology [1] and its attempted implementation was more important than personal love, than fairness, than compassion, than kindness, than tolerance, than empathy, than peace, than wu-wei.

Thus, as a fanatical idealist, I was so dissatisfied, so discontented, with the societies of the West – especially with the society I regarded as my homeland, the United Kingdom – that I actively saught to undermine and change them by political and revolutionary means, by incitement to disaffection and even by terror.

For the first thirty years of this discontent (1968-1998) my desire was to establish, in Britain, a neo-nazi – a racist – society, believing as I did in the superiority of ‘the Aryan race’ and enamoured as I was of National-Socialist Germany and of Hitler’s struggle for power between 1919 and 1933. Thus the idealized, the romanticized, National-Socialism I believed in and the historically-inaccurate NS Germany I admired were my inspiration, and with the dedication and the hardness and harshness of a fanatic, an extremist, I joined several racist, fascist, neo-nazi, and paramilitary organizations; engaged in street brawls, wrote and distributed propaganda, gave vitriolic speeches; organized demonstrations, incited hatred and violence; founded two new neo-nazi groups; was imprisoned for violence and arrested nearly a dozen times for a variety of other criminal offences.

Between 1998 and 2008 – following my conversion to Islam – my activities were directed toward undermining the societies of the West (and especially those of Britain and America) and toward aiding Muslims fighting elsewhere – undertaking Jihad – for the establishment, in their lands, of Shariah as the only law.

During these forty extremist years I ranted and I railed against what I believed were ‘the problems of the West’, the ‘decadence of the West’, and propagandistically trumpeted the ideal type of society I believed in and thus considered was better than all existing societies. During my neo-nazi years, this ideal, this idealized, society was a new National-Socialist one, an ideal that I in perhaps some small way helped create through voluminous writings written during the 1990’s with titles such as The Meaning of National-Socialism,  Why National-Socialism Is Not Racist, and The Complete Guide to the Aryan Way of Life. During my Jihadi-supporting years, this ideal, this idealized, society was one inspired by the Khilafah and was to be established in some Muslim land or lands by a return to the pure guidance of Quran and Sunnah, and by Jihad ‘against apostates, and the kuffar and their collaborators’.

The error here – the error I persisted in for some forty years – is the error of faulty, unbalanced, judgement, deriving from extremism and hubris; an error that leads to, that develops, that nurtures, bad individuals and thus leads to inhumanity, to violence, prejudice, anger, discontent, hatred, brutality, terrorism. An error caused both by the distorted view of people and of existing societies that extremist ideologies cause or at least encourage, and by some ideal, some ideology, being cherished more than human beings.

For the personal fault of extremists seems to be that of being unable and/or unwilling to view, to consider, the good that exists in people, in society, and/or of ignoring the potential for good, or change toward the good, which is within people, within society, within what-is. To prefer the dream in their head to reality; and/or to prefer the struggle, the strife, the conflict, to stability and peace; and/or to need or to desire repeated stimulation/excitement. One cause of such things could, in my view – from my experience – be the inability or the unwillingness of a person, an extremist, to develope and use their own individual judgement, as well as the inability or the unwillingness to take individual, moral, responsibility for their actions and for the effects those actions personally have upon people. Thus violence, prejudice, hatred, brutality, killing, and terror, are not judged by the moral criteria of how they affect and harm people but instead by whether they aid the goal – the implementation of the cherished ideal – or, worst of all, by whether they provide excitement and/or provide the individual with a sense of purpose, a ‘destiny’, a sense of being special, a ‘hero’ to their kindred extremists, or at least of being remembered.

In my own case, I justified what I did – my extremism – by appeals to the goal I ardently believed in and ardently desired, and thus ignored or overlooked or dismissed as unimportant the many benefits that Western societies provide and have provided, concentrating instead on the faults, the problems, of such societies, or on assumed faults and problems. In addition, and most importantly, I arrogantly felt I ‘knew’, that I ‘understood’ – that I, or my cherished beliefs, my ideology, were right; correct, the solution to all problems, personal and of society, and that these problems urgently needed to be dealt with. There was, therefore, a desire in me to interfere, to act, based on this arrogant misplaced feeling of having ‘the right answers’, of being right; of having ‘seen the flaws’ in society and/or in people.

In addition, my judgement derived from, was based on, was dependant upon, The Cause, the ideology; and so was unbalanced, bad, flawed. For The Cause, the ideology, gave meaning and set the boundaries, the limits, of knowing, of doing. For example, in the case of National-Socialism, there was the boundary of duty, which was “to promote National-Socialism [and] to strive to act in accord with Nature’s will by preserving, defending and evolving one’s own folk.” [2] There was the meaning of ‘pursuing idealism/excellence/the will of Nature’ over and above ‘personal happiness’ as well as the need to ‘overthrow the existing System based on materialism’ [3]. There was the knowing that ‘race and Nature’ defined us as human beings so that our most essential knowledge was to know our kind, our ‘destiny’, and the ‘will of Nature’, a will manifest, for example, in kampf and idealized in such abstractions as ‘a new Reich’, Homo Galactica, a Galactic Imperium, and so on and so forth.

The flawed judgement, the lack of critical balance – the lack of humanity – that resulted meant that I did not take individual responsibility for the harm I caused, I inflicted, I incited. Instead, I shifted the responsibility onto the ideology, thus justifying or trying to justify the consequences of my deeds, of my incitement, by appeals to the ideology (‘the end justifies the means’) and by the belief that the ideology needed to be urgently implemented ‘for the good of the people’, with ‘the people’ of course always being viewed abstractly (as a race or folk), being idealized or romanticized and divorced from, or more usually considered as being built from, the harsh consequences of striving to implement such a harsh ideology.

Therefore, it seems to me now that a reasonable illustration of extremism might be to liken it to some contagious disease, some sickness, or some ailment. One that alters not only the behaviour of individuals but also their perception, their thinking; how they perceive the world; and one that inclines them toward being bad and toward ignoring the good that already exists in society and the credit due to society for aiding such good. A disease or an ailment or a sickness that inclines them toward acting in an unbalanced and unethical manner, disruptive to other people and disruptive to society, and careless of, or indifferent to, the harm they do, the suffering they cause.

The Good of Society

The simple truth of the present and so evident to me now – in respect of the societies of the West, and especially of societies such as those currently existing in America and Britain – is that for all their problems and all their flaws they seem to be much better than those elsewhere, and certainly better than what existed in the past. That is, that there is, within them, a certain tolerance; a certain respect for the individual; a certain duty of care; and certainly still a freedom of life, of expression, as well as a standard of living which, for perhaps the majority, is better than elsewhere in the world and most certainly better than existed there and elsewhere in the past.

In addition, there are within their structures – such as their police forces, their governments, their social and governmental institutions – people of good will, of humanity, of fairness, who strive to do what is good, right. Indeed, far more good people in such places than bad people, so that a certain balance, the balance of goodness, is maintained even though occasionally (but not for long) that balance may seem to waver somewhat.

Furthermore, many or most of the flaws, the problems, within such societies are recognized and openly discussed, with a multitude of people of good will, of humanity, of fairness, dedicating themselves to helping those affected by such flaws, such problems. In addition, there are many others trying to improve those societies, and trying to find or implement solutions to such problems, in tolerant ways which do not cause conflict or involve the harshness, the violence, the hatred, of extremism. [4]

This truth about the good [5] in our current societies, so evident now, leads me to ask how could I not have seen it before? How can extremists, in general, not see, understand, appreciate, this truth? How can they – as I once did – seek to destroy that balance; destroy all that such societies, despite their flaws and their problems, have achieved? How can they ignore the good work of the plethora of individuals seeking to change those societies for the better in a reasoned and tolerant manner?

I can only, in truth, answer for myself, based on some years of introspection. As an extremist in thrall to an ideology and thus seeking to disrupt, change, to overthrow an existing society – to incite disaffection – I had no reason, no incentive, to emphasize the good that had and has been wrought by successive governments, by the introduction of laws, and by the people, such as the police and the security services, who in their majority tried from the best of motives to do and to uphold what was good by striving to counter and bring to justice those who who were bad, those who in some way harmed or saught to harm others from whatever motive and for whatever reason.

Indeed, I was for the most part wilfully ignorant of this good, and when mention or experience of it could not be ignored for some reason, or might prove useful for propaganda purposes, what was good was almost always attributed to something which the parameters of the ideology allowed for. For instance, the good actions of an heroic policeman would be judged by the parameters of whether he was ‘Aryan’ – in which case ‘the good’ resulted from him being Aryan, having an Aryan nature – or whether those actions in some way, however small, helped ‘us’ and our Cause, as for example if the person in question had dealt with and caught ‘black people’ rioting or committing crimes. There was thus a biased, a blinkered, a prejudiced, a bigoted view of both events and people.

In my own case, and for example, I have some forty years experience of interaction with the police, from ordinary constables and detectives, to custody sergeants, to officers from specialist branches such as SO12, SO13, and crime squads. During that time, I have known far more good police officers than bad – corrupt – ones. Furthermore, I realized that most of those I came into contact with were good individuals, motivated by the best of intentions, who were trying to do their best, often under difficult circumstances, and often to help victims of dishonourable deeds, catch those responsible for such deeds, and/or prevent such deeds.

But what did I during my extremist years attribute their honourable motivation, their good character, to? Yes, of course – to them being ‘Aryans’ who just happened to be in the police force. Or, on one occasion, to having an ‘Aryan nature’ (accorded honorary Aryan status) even though the officer in question was ‘of mixed race’… Thus the ideology I adhered to, I believed in, set the parameters of my judgement; prompted the correct ideological response [6].

But in truth they, those officers, as one of them once said to me, were guided by what ‘was laid down’ and did not presume to or tried hard not to overstep their authority; guided as they were by the law, that accumulated received wisdom of what was and is good in society; a law which (at least in Britain and so far as I know) saught to embody a respect for what was fair and which concept of fairness was and always has been (again, at least in Britain and so far as I know) untainted, uncorrupted, by any political ideology.

Now I know, I understand, I appreciate, that for that reason – of so being mindful of the limits of their authority, of being guided by what had been laid down over decades – those people, those police officers, were far better individuals than the arrogant, the hubriatic, extremist I was; an arrogant extremist who by and for himself presumed ‘to know’ what was right, who presumed to understand, who presumed he possessed the ability, the authority, and the right to judge everyone and everything, and who because of such arrogance, such hubris, most certainly continued to contribute to the cycle of suffering, ignoring thus for so long as he in his unbalance did the wisdom that Aeschylus gave to us in The Oresteia.

Balance and The Uncertitude of Knowing

One error of unbalance and of hubris – and an error which is one of the foundations of extremism – is that of allowing or of encouraging some imagined, idealized, or posited, future to affect one’s judgement, and/or to determine one’s actions, and behaviour in the present.

Thus one becomes not only dissatisfied with what-is, but concerned with – if not to some extent obsessed with – what should-be or what might-be if what should-be (the goal or ideal of the extremist ideology) is not realized or not fought for. Furthermore, this assumed what-might-be is often the result of someone making some generalization or some prediction based on some ideology and which ideology, being an ideology – an abstraction – is founded on the simplicity of linear cause-and-effect and of problems/enemies having to be dealt with in order for some perfect future or some ideal or some victory to be achieved or brought-into-being. That is, what-might-be – and extremist action and incitement based upon it – requires a certainty of knowing.

This is one error I persisted in even after – as a result of pathei-mathos – I began to fully develope my philosophy of The Numinous Way with its emphasis on empathy, compassion, humility, and personal honour. An error which, for example, led to me, for some two or more years, to ebucinnate the abstraction of ‘the clan’ as some sort of embodiment of ‘the numinous’ and of honour and as an idealized means of manufacturing a new type of society as if such a future, such an assumed, hypothesized, society might offset some of the suffering in the world.

An error which the uncertitude of empathic knowing most certainly reveals. For empathy – the living, the numinous, way to know another living being – is a sympatheia, sans all ideations, with a living being in the immediacy-of-the-moment and involves an individualized proximity, and thus discovers only the knowing of that one living being as that living being is in that one moment, or those moments, of empathy. A discovery applicable to only that specific being and a knowing which some future empathic discovery in respect of that same being might change. For living beings are subject to change; their life is a flow, possessed of an a-causal living nature; and thus another encounter with that same living being may reveal it changed, altered – perhaps better, or matured – in some manner. Certainly, in respect of human beings, pathei-mathos is or can be a vector of interior change.

Thus, the faculty of empathy – over a succession of moments linked in causal time by a duration of days, weeks, or months – may intimate to us something about the character, the nature, the physis, of another person. A subsequent meeting with that individual – months, years, later – may intimate a change in that nature, possibly as a result of pathei-mathos.

There thus arises the knowing of the wu-wei, the humanity, of empathy;  a knowing of the transient, the a-causal, nature of the living-knowing, the revealing, the a-causal knowledge, that empathy may provide, and hence the need not to judge, not to prejudge, some past or future living being (or even the same being once known) unknown to, or as yet untouched by, such empathy or by another empathic encounter. For certitude of knowing – presumed, assumed, or otherwise – is causal, fixed, or the result of some posited linear extrapolation of such a static causal knowing into the future or back into some past.

Extremism – of whatever type – depends on this certitude of knowing, past and future, and which certitude amounts to a tyranny against the flow of life; certainly there is a lack of empathy, as well as the imposition of and thence the cultivation of a rigid harshness within the psyche of the individual which at best displaces, or which can displace, the human capacity for pathei-mathos, and which at worst may remove the capacity for pathei-mathos.

The future certitude of this hubriatic knowing is the given and fixed goal or ideal; and the certitude of struggle being necessary to reach that future goal or make real that ideal. The past certitude is of a given idealized past and/or of past glories (if indeed they were glories). And the present certitude is that of identity – of ‘we’ being different from and better than ‘them’. A certitude of identity and of assumed difference that gives rise to prejudice, hatred, intolerance, and all the other characteristics of the extremist.

Thus, for a neo-nazi or a racist, ‘Aryans’ (or ‘Whites’) are regarded as superior to ‘blacks’ and Jews, and the ‘separation of the races’ is regarded as the ideal goal. This superiority is a given, an affirmed, certitude, and regarded as fixed, past, present, future, and applicable to most if not all of the ‘inferior’ group or groups. There is thus no uncertitude of knowing in the individual; no interior balance; no wu-wei; no empathic discovery of the character, the nature, the physis, of other individuals as individuals in the immediacy-of-the moment; no allowance made for change, even by pathei-mathos. There is only harshness; generalization, supposition, assumption; a rigid adherence; the arrogance of certainty, of ‘knowing’ some are superior/inferior, that there is black/white, Aryan/Jew; that separation is ‘necessary’ and desirable. A need for stasis, and/or the desire to inhumanly try to make living, changing, individual, human beings fit some static category and thence the prejudice and intolerance and hatred based on or resulting from such an assumed or idealized static category.

As I know from my own experience, the certitude of knowing and the certitude of identity that an ideology provides displaces personal love, fairness, compassion, kindness, tolerance, empathy, peace, and wu-wei; or at least assigns to them a far lower importance than hate, injustice, harshness, intolerance, prejudice, strife, and disaffection to society, to what-is. Such certitude, such a lack of the humanity of empathy, also provides us with a fixed, an  – according to my pathei-mathos, my experience –  incorrect, answer to an important question attributed to Aeschylus and asked over two thousand years ago, and which fixed incorrect answer encourages, breeds, plants, the τύραννος within us [7] – our hubris, our inner egoist – and which wrong answer encourages, which breeds, which plants, tyrannical societies as well as allowing such a τύραννος as Hitler to gain an abundance of followers obedient to his hubriatic will.

The important question is τίς οὖν ἀνάγκης ἐστὶν οἰακοστρόφος [8]. And the fixed and the incorrect answer is always the same: some leader, some τύραννος, some sovereign, some ideology, some goal, some rigid identity, is there to guide us, to provide us with meaning, to justify our actions. To explain away or justify our lack of empathy, our lack of compassion, our intolerance, our suspicion, our hatred; our lack of wu-wei; and our lack of respect of the numinous, our lack of respect for other life, for human beings different from us. A wrong answer to explain our amnesia, our forgetting or ignorance of the wisdom of the past; a wisdom embodied in what – at least according to my admittedly fallible judgement, born from my pathei-mathos – is the correct answer given to that question asked thousands of years ago and which correct answer is in my view an excellent reply to extremism. An answer which embodies that uncertitude of knowing that is the essence of balance and which uncertitude the faculty of empathy makes us aware of. For the answer to preventing the extremism of hubris, to who guides us, who steers us, to whom we should look, and whom respect, is: Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ᾽ Ἐρινύες  [9].

David Myatt
April 2012 ce



Notes

[1] I have outlined, in Part One, what I mean by terms such as ideology, society, politics, and wu-wei. As explained in several other essays – such as Ethos of Extremism – by extreme I mean to be harsh, so that 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; where harsh is understood as rough, severe, a tendency to be unfeeling, unempathic.

[2] The Meaning of National-Socialism (dated 108yf, i.e. 1997)

[3] ibid.

[4] In my essay Society, Social Reform, and The Numinous Way (dated February 2012) I briefly touched upon ‘a numinous approach’ to social change and reform. Which was the apolitical, non-violent one of personal example, and of fostering, encouraging, the natural, slow, interior and personal change of individuals. In essence, the way of wu-wei.

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

[6] It was such experiences – personal and political – which eventually, after two and half decades, prompted me in the late 1990’s to modify my ideology and thus develope what I termed non-racist ‘ethical National-Socialism’. But even that did not alter my commitment to extremism, my extremist activities, and my desire to undermine and overthrow British society.

[6] ὕβρις φυτεύει τύραννον. ‘Hubris plants the tyrant.’ Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, v. 872.

[7] “Who then compels to steer us?” Aeschylus [attributed], Prometheus Bound, 515

[8] “Trimorphed Moirai with their ever-heedful Furies!”  Aeschylus [attributed], Prometheus Bound, 516


Image credit: Attic Red Figure Vase c. 480 BCE, depicting Athena, in Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany


David Myatt
Extracts from
Part Six: 1998-2002

The Ethos of Extremism
Some Reflexions on Politics and A Fanatical Life

Introduction [From Part One]
As someone variously described – by assorted academics, authors, journalists, politicians, and others – as an extremist, a fanatic, a theoretician of terror [1], a neo-nazi thug, the man who shaped mind of a bomber, an example of the axis between right-wing extremists and Islamists [2], a man of extreme and calculated hatred [3], as someone at the forefront of extreme right-wing ideology in Britain since the mid-1960s [4], a ferocious Jihadi [5], and as an ardent defender of bin Laden [6], some personal reflexions on my forty years of extremism may be of interest to a few people, especially given that, as a result of experience, a pathei-mathos, I have come to reject racism, National-Socialism, hatred, and all forms of extremism, having developed a personal weltanschauung, a non-religious numinous way, centred around empathy, compassion, fairness, and love.

In respect of my extremist past – whatever and whenever the extremism – there has been, and there remains:

“…a deep sorrow within me; born from a knowing of inexcusable personal mistakes made, inexcusable suffering caused, of fortunities lost; a sorrow deepened by a knowing, a feeling, a learning, of how important, how human, a personal love is. Indeed, that love is the most important, the most human, the most numinous, virtue of all.” [7]

These brief reflexions are primarily concerned with past personal feelings, past political experiences, and past motivation – that is, with perhaps some of the underlying causes of extremism – and I have striven to be as honest as possible in describing these even if the result is an unfavourable impression of me or at least of the person I was. Furthermore, I will leave others to judge these former feelings, experiences, and motivations, of mine, and draw whatever conclusions, if any, they can about such extremism as I describe – be such conclusions personal, or political, or arrived at by means of some social or psychological theory applicable to subjects such as extremism and its causes.

On a more academic note, it might be useful to explain how I, in the light of practical experience, understand important terms such as extremism. By extreme I mean to be harsh, so that 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. Thus 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.

In respect of racism, I accept the standard definition, which is that racism is a prejudice and antagonism toward people regarded as belonging to another ‘race’, as well as the belief some ‘races’ are better than or superior to others, and that what is termed ‘race’ defines and explains, or can define and explain, the behaviour and the character of the people considered to belong to some postulated ‘race’.


Note: […] indicates omitted text.

Extracts from
Part Six: 1998-2002

Conversion to Islam

There was no sudden decision to convert to Islam. Rather, it was the culmination of a process that began a decade earlier with travels in the Sahara Desert. During the decade before my conversion I regularly travelled abroad, with this travel including well-over a dozen visits to Egypt and a few visits to other lands where the majority of the population were Muslim.

Egypt, especially, enchanted me; and not because of the profundity of ancient monuments. Rather because of the people, their culture, and the land itself. How life, outside of Cairo, seemed to mostly cling to the Nile – small settlements, patches and strips of verdanity, beside the flowing water and hemmed in by dry desert. I loved the silence, the solitude, the heat, of the desert; the feeling of there being precariously balanced between life and death, dependant on carried water, food; the feeling of smallness, a minute and fragile speck of life; the vast panorama of sky. There was a purity there, human life in its essence, and it was so easy, so very easy, to feel in such a stark environment that there was, must be, a God, a Creator, who could decide if one lived or died.

Once, after a long trip into the Western Desert, I returned to Cairo to stay at some small quite run-down hotel: on one side, a Mosque, while not that far away on the other side was a night-club. A strange, quixotic, juxtaposition that seemed to capture something of the real modern Egypt. Of course, very early next morning the Adhaan from the mosque woke me. I did not mind. Indeed, I found it hauntingly beautiful and, strangely, not strange at all; as if it was some long-forgotten and happy memory, from childhood perhaps.

Once, I happened to be cycling from Cairo airport to the centre of the city as dawn broke, my route taking me past several Mosques. So timeless, so beautiful, the architecture, the minarets, framed by the rising sun…

Once, and many years before my conversion, I bought from a bookshop in Cairo a copy of the Quran containing the text in Arabic with a parallel English interpretation, and would occasionally read parts of it, and although I found several passages interesting, intriguing, I then had no desire, felt no need, to study Islam further. Similarly, the many friendly conversations I had with Egyptians during such travels – about their land, their culture, and occasionally about Islam – were for me just informative, only the interest of a curious outsider, and did not engender any desire to study such matters in detail.

However, all these experiences, of a decade and more, engendered in me a feeling which seemed to grow stronger year by year with every new trip. This was the feeling that somehow in some strange haunting way I belonged there, in such places, as part of such a culture. A feeling which caused me – some time after the tragic death of Sue (aged 39) from cancer in the early 1990’s – to enrol on, and begin, an honours course in Arabic at a British university [8].

Thus, suffice to say that a decade of such travel brought a feeling of familiarity and resonance with Egypt, its people, its culture, that land, and with the Islam that suffused it, so that when in the Summer of 1998 I seriously began to study Islam, to read Ahadith, Seerah, and the whole Quran, I had at least some context from practical experience. Furthermore, the more I studied Islam in England in those Summer months the more I felt, remembered, the sound of the beautiful Adhaan; remembered the desert – that ætherial purity, that sense of God, there; and remembered that haunting feeling of perhaps already belonging to such a culture, such a way of life [9].

Hence my conversion to Islam, then, in September of that year, seemed somehow fated, wyrdful.

[…]

Supporting Al-Qaeda

In many respects my move away from a naive Muslim convert toward extremism was similar to my much earlier, previous, move from naive youthful admirer of Otto Ernst Remer to fanatical, racist, neo-nazi. That is, a gradual change; a process that involved associating with, and learning from, people who already had a particular interpretation of events, and of ‘the cause’ they believed in.

Hence it was not that I suddenly made some kind of unilateral decision of my own as a result of literature that I by myself found and read – such as printed books, or items accessed via the medium of the internet. Rather, the essence of the move to extremism was talks, discussions, with Muslims over a period of a year or more; literature, items, those brothers gave or loaned or suggested I read; and a long period of reflexion on those talks, discussions, and items accessed, read and studied.

After my conversion in 1998 I would regularly attend Namaz at my local Mosque, and had arranged time-off work in order to be able to attend Jummah Namaz. At the end of Jummah Namaz we would all form a circle and sing the beautiful nasheed Ya Nabi Salaam Alayka – something I always looked forward to – after which each one of us would greet and shake the hand of the Imaam, an elderly learned man, white of beard, and of great dignity. On several occasions I noticed one of the brothers leaving before the singing of this Nasheed. Then, one Friday, as he happened to be praying next to me and with Namaz over, I asked him if, this week, he would be staying to sing the nasheed. He did not approve of that nasheed, he said, for reasons he would be happy to explain were I to meet with him. Thus, and later on, I learned the reasons for his objection; reasons which he explained by quoting from memory, and in Arabic, various texts. Further discussions with him, and then with some other brothers elsewhere, followed.

Naively enthusiastic as I was then regarding Islam – eager to learn more about my new Way of Life – I found these and other discussions with many other Muslims interesting, intriguing, and exciting, and so enrolled on a residential course in Arabic in order to better understand the texts they referred to. And it from some brothers on that course that I came to learn about Jihad, the Khilafah, and the Palestinian problem, subjects and an issue which, hitherto, had neither interested me nor as a Muslim concerned me, although I was vaguely aware of them. The course over, more discussions with other brothers – and some travels to Muslim lands – followed, with the result I began to be aware that I, as a Muslim, had certain duties and obligations, given by Allah; that life as a Muslim meant more than praying five times a day, attending Jummah Namaz, fasting during Ramadan, avoiding alcoholic beverages, eating halal food, and – if feasible – going on pilgrimage to Makkah.

There thus slowly, gradually, developed in me a sense of duty toward the Ummah – the duty of Jihad – and a certain resentment against ‘the machinations of the kuffar’, as well as a sense of injustice in respect of the continued treatment of the Palestinians.

[…]

David Myatt
2012 ce


Ethos of Extremism, Parts One and Two



Notes

[1] Searchlight, July 2000

[2] Mark Weitzman: Antisemitismus und Holocaust-Leugnung: Permanente Elemente des globalen Rechtsextremismus, in Thomas Greven: Globalisierter Rechtsextremismus? Die extremistische Rechte in der Ära der Globalisierung. 1 Auflage. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14514-2, pp.61-64

[3] Searchlight, July 2000

[4] Sunday Mercury, July 9, 2000

[5] Martin Amis, The Second Plane. Jonathan Cape, 2008, p.157

[6] Robert S Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, Random House, 2010.

[7] David Myatt, Some Personal Perceiverations. e-text, February 2012. See also my compilation Meditations on Extremism

[8] I soon left that university however, for personal and practical reasons to do with a romantic involvement with a lady who lived hundreds of miles away.

[9] In retrospect, this feeling concerning Islam is still there within, still living in me, for being Muslim is (it seems to me) manifest in the stark simple beauty of living in the desert or passing through it alone; for there in the dangerous silence we are or can be one with ourselves, aware of the numinous sans words, sans abstractions; aware of our fragile, fallible, error-prone, nature; of our need for the humility of the numinous.

One possible explanation of this feeling that I have found is that of The Religious Society of Friends: that there is ‘that of God’ in every person, and that answering to ‘that of God’ can and has taken various forms over millennia with such forms equally deserving of respect since there is an underlying unity, the same spiritual essence beyond those different outer forms.

Thus I am still respectful of the Muslim Way of Life, of what I sense is its numinous essence. Similarly, I resonate with the numinous essence of the Christian message because of understanding, of feeling, ‘that of God’; and therefore also feel the numinous in Buddhism, in Taoism, in Judaism, and in many other Ways.


The Ethos of Extremism
Some Reflexions on Politics and A Fanatical Life


Part One: 1968-1973

Introduction
Becoming Nazi
Hatred, Love, and Violence
Conclusion (Part One)

Part Two: 1973-1975
Ultra-Violence, Covert Action, and Terror
Birth of A Theoretician of Terror

Part Three: 1979-1986
The Propaganda Years
Blood and Soil
Vindex – The Destiny of The West

Part Four: 1987-1992
Revisionist National-Socialism

Part Five: 1993-1997
Combat 18
The Strategy and Tactics of Revolution
The National-Socialist Movement

Part Six: 1998- 2002
Demise of the NSM
Conversion to Islam
Supporting Al-Qaeda

Part Seven: 2003-2006
The Question of Martyrdom Operations
Concerning Aqd Al Amaan
Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of The Numinous Way

Epilogus


Note: The full text of Ethos of Extremism is due to be published in Autumn 2013.