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Friday, March 24, 2017

Portrait of the Dark Lord

Now, this is the exact opposite of the fake reviews with which SJWs are littering Amazon. Daniel F. reviews The Collected Columns Vol. 1, Innocence & Intellect, 2001-2005, now available in a 764-page hardcover edition.


PORTRAIT OF THE DARK LORD AS A YOUNG MAN

Vox Day is a prolific author who, over the course of two decades, has covered an impressive range of topics and genres. He has been a video game reviewer, a syndicated columnist, a science fiction and fantasy novelist, the author of major works on religious and economic matters, and of course, a prominent blogger.

Over the past two years, he has also firmly established himself as perhaps the most important analyst, taxonomist, synthesizer and theorist of political philosophy writing today. Consider: In the span of little more than a year, Vox wrote and published:

SJWs Always Lie”, an indispensable analysis of, and handbook for dealing with, the totalitarian thought-police who comprise the most dangerous current of Leftism today;

Cuckservative” (co-authored with John Red Eagle), an even more valuable polemical case against modern day American conservatism that exposed Conservative Inc. as feckless enablers of progressivism; and

The 16 Points of the Alternative Right”, a taxonomy and description of what is undoubtedly the most salient political current today, and the only movement that can resist the anti-civilizational tendencies and consequences of all mainstream political thought, left and “right”.

With all of these works, Vox was ahead of the curve, both anticipating and shaping many of the nascent trends playing out today. Vox coined, or gave greater currency to, a number of concepts and terms that are crucial for understanding and discussing contemporary politics: SJW, cuckservative, Alt Right, entryism, convergence, Magic Dirt, churchian.

With the collection under review, we are now asked to reflect upon Vox’s judgment and analysis in columns he penned a decade and a half ago. There are at least three reasons why someone would want to read this collection: (1) to understand the intellectual development and evolution of an important thinker; (2) to reflect on events starting from 9/11 and see how one writer’s contemporaneous reactions stand up over time; and (3) for the philosophical and literary value inherent in the writing itself.

(1) In one of the columns collected here, Vox described himself as “a radical pro-life Austrian-school neo-capitalist Jacksonian techno-libertarian Southern Baptist Christian”. It is against that definition that we can see how his thinking has evolved over the years. For this reader, the changes in Vox’s worldview make sense in light of events and the learning he has done. To quote one of Vox’s economic nemeses, John Maynard Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

I was struck by how _little_ Vox has needed to change his mind: he remains consistent on a number of key issues, which prefigure his thinking in SJWAL, Cuckservative and the 16 Points:

On the thought police: “The solution for successfully defeating them is not to retreat and apologize, but to confront them and turn up the heat instead.”

On mainstream politics: “An analysis of the near-identical governing practices of the two parties in our two-party system would require a book—not a column—but it would show that the two are, for all practical purposes, effectively one.”

On mainstream conservatism: “Conservative proponents of government, unfortunately, have increasingly tended to mutate into the pale echoes of their socialist (liberal) counterparts.”

On globalism: “If humanity’s past record is a reasonable guide, globalism may represent the single deadliest threat to mankind in our long, murderous history.”

On Churchians: “Once a church makes the fatal decision to befriend the world and seek its approval instead of that of the God whom it is called to serve, its fate is sealed.”

In what ways, then, has Vox’s thought developed and changed? From the laundry list description of himself quoted above, the two major points of evolution relate to Austrian / capitalist economics and libertarian politics. Those philosophies are both elegant systems that value and, theoretically, promote human flourishing, and are seductive to many an intelligent, thoughtful person. Vox’s understanding of the political spectrum in these columns was based purely upon individualism versus collectivism. “There is the collective and the individual and there is totalitarianism and libertarianism—that is the true spectrum.” There are a number of interesting columns evaluating communism and Fascism and other political philosophies on these terms that are quite persuasive. His column illustrating that Nazism was essentially Communism plus anti-Semitism is both humorous and effective as political rhetoric. There are also a number of very stimulating columns on the compatibility of libertarian politics with Christianity that merit deep consideration.

Today, Vox no longer considers himself a libertarian. He grants greater weight to “irrational” phenomena and realities such as biological and tribal identity. I would argue that Carlyle’s view of Left and Right as being distinguished by chaos, leveling and egalitarianism versus order, hierarchy and anti-egalitarianism must be taken into account in understanding the political spectrum. Even if the _ideal_ society would be a libertarian or anarchist one, it may well be that the one most conducive to human flourishing, the one that best prevents conflict and war, is in fact one that values the collective, values the group and does not view the world solely in terms of atomized individuals. As Steve Sailer has written elsewhere “Libertarianism in one country!!”

On economics, the devastating effects of “free trade” agreements and Ricardian free trade theory generally have led Vox away from purely capitalist / Austrian economics. Even in these columns, he recognized that part of the problem with “free trade” is that it was anything but free: “The irony of mutations like phone book-sized tomes such as NAFTA is that a real free-trade agreement only has to be about a sentence long: Congress shall pass no laws with regards to trade with (fill in the blank here).” This was a trenchant critique of “free trade” from a libertarian perspective, although Vox today no longer defends free trade even in the abstract.

What led Vox’s thought to evolve on these points? The facts have changed, and he has had to adjust his thinking rather than deny reality. “ Let reason be silent where experience gainsays its conclusions.” Libertarianism and pure classical liberal economics are elegant and seductive systems; but they did not stand up to the test of empirical evidence. So Vox has changed his mind. Vox has always been a critic of Plato and a disciple of Aristotle, so it is unsurprising that the changes in his thought with regards to economics and politics over the past 15 years could be summarized as less Platonic, more Aristotelian.

(2) As far as the strength of his judgments of events at the time, these columns stand up very well. To take one example, from his very earliest columns following 9/11, Vox correctly identified both the major threat and the major error in our response to 9/11: The threat was the use of war to justify encroachment upon our domestic liberties: “War corrodes a society by allowing centralist forces within government to excuse actions they would never be allowed to take in more peaceful times.” The major error was to fail to name the enemy and, thus, to ignore the Huntingtonian, civilizational conflict that was at the root of the problem. “Terror is a tactic, not an enemy, and the current phraseology only serves to obscure the fact that America has real enemies committed to her destruction.”

(3) While it may be fun to look back at old columns as an exercise in evaluating and revisiting old issues and judgments, a book should be read on its own merits. Samuel Johnson memorably described the duties of an author as being “to instruct and to entertain.” (Although Samuel Johnson is not a name I have ever seen Vox Day refer to, there are more than a few parallels and similarities between these two fascinating and important figures.) So, how does Vox’s writing itself hold up as instruction and entertainment?

I came away from this collection with a renewed respect for the man as a writer. The tone is generally that of the Happy Warrior, with a somewhat ironically elevated and detached manner appropriate to the columnist. Vox’s intelligence, good judgment and analytical ability, along with humor and wit, shine through. There is a great deal of wisdom and good sense throughout his writing. “Bon mots” abound in these columns on a myriad of topics:

On globalism: “The U.N. is not a debating society, it is an embryotic world government.”

On hypergamy: “The root of the problem is that the kind of man she wants is precisely the man who is smart enough to stay away from her.”

On parenthood: “Life is not only about happiness, it is about many things, sacrifice being one of them. And being a parent requires the greatest sacrifice of all, to live one’s life for the love of another.”

On capitalism: “Global corporations and free-market capitalism have about as much to do with one another as chipmunks and integrated circuit design.”

On Hillary (back in the early 2000s): “She proved to be as painfully inadequate in exercising power as she is ruthless in pursuing it.”

On American Empire: “I enjoyed reading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I’m not, however, taking much pleasure in watching the sequel unfold before my eyes.”

On entryism: “The slippery slope is not a paranoid straw man, it is the primary way in which a weak, but determined minority exerts its will on a more powerful, but less disciplined majority.”

On government: “There is no criminal gang or collection of scam artists who perpetrate even a small fraction of the crimes that the federal government commits and abets.”

On atheism: “Without God, there is only the left-hand path of the philosopher. It leads invariably to Hell, by way of the guillotine, the gulag and the gas chamber. The atheist is irrational because he has no other choice—because the rational consequences of his non-belief are simply too terrible to bear.”

For those familiar only with Vox’s more recent work, there are a number of topics in these columns that will be new to you or that are expounded on at greater length. These include: morality vs. law; jury nullification; marital relations and parenting; critiques of pragmatism and utilitarianism; Christianity; straight-up economic analysis.

I will end this review with one more quote, taken from Vox’s column of October 27, 2003. The personal nature of the column was unusual for the collection as a whole. Yet I believe this excerpt provides an accurate glimpse into the heart and soul of the Dark Lord then, and the Dark Lord today:

“The shadow is an illusion. It is like the pleasure—it passes, it waxes and wanes with time. Only that which you consider to be fairytales is the reality, it is that hope that is the truth, and only through that blinding light can the shadow be entirely banished. And if you feel that you must give in, that you are no longer strong enough to stand on your own, then surrender to the light, not to the darkness.”

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44 Comments:

Blogger Lovekraft March 24, 2017 5:51 AM  

I think there is a lot to say about how VoxDay broke the barrier in terms of badspeak, allowing others to be inspired to do the same. In Mala Fide, or was it The Spearhead, where I read this new commeter. Like a bolt of lightning. Woke me up, that's for sure.

Grateful to this day.

This was correlated to a rise of other free thinkers - RooshV, heartiste, Milo. And Pepe!

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable March 24, 2017 5:53 AM  

Will be on my shelf the moment I cash my tax return.

Blogger SteelPalm March 24, 2017 6:00 AM  

Wow, that's one hell of a review.

I've written hundreds upon hundreds of reviews on books, movies, and television series, some received very well and a few that I was proud of, but never anything as good as that.

Serious respect and plaudits to "Daniel F.".

Blogger Some Dude March 24, 2017 6:13 AM  

Your Vox Populi blog google preview says you're a "parasite who writes ham fisted books and shouldn't be believed" or sth like that.

Amusing. Maybe its taking text from a quote in one of your posts.

Or maybe you stirred the hornets nest.

Blogger Some Dude March 24, 2017 6:20 AM  

Well centralised makes it harder for parasites to take over the host. China won't be opening the borders or promoting magic negroes to its wives and daughters anytime this century.

Libertarianism fails because it fails to see not everyone is autistic.

Civilisations are viable when people people follow the rules without anyone watching.

But some races of man do that far better than others.

Even without the jews, the blacks woudl require an enormous police and prison complex.

Blogger Some Dude March 24, 2017 6:22 AM  

Funny you mention the UN, it seemed to have been bypassed by the globalists themselves.

Their new vehicle is simply to make America the hegemon and subsume all nation states under a meat market bazaar.

Zion will fail in its dream of world domination, for the same reason people enjoy watching the world cup - people are instinctively tribal.

Blogger VD March 24, 2017 6:30 AM  

Maybe its taking text from a quote in one of your posts.

It is. There is always weird stuff in the previews.

OpenID herenvardo March 24, 2017 6:45 AM  

That final quote reminds me of this, from the blog belonging to the wife John C Wright: how Fantasy Fiction is *more* important than real life -
http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2017/01/10/on-fairy-stories-and-why-they-matter/

Blogger Almodavar March 24, 2017 6:50 AM  

You've influenced many minds Vox, my own included.

Anonymous Philipp March 24, 2017 6:56 AM  

Excellent review!

Blogger Mark March 24, 2017 7:15 AM  

Banner review! Suitable for framing and prominent display, I'd say.

Blogger Resident Moron™ March 24, 2017 7:25 AM  

Great review. Congratulations.

Just bought the Kindle edition.

Anonymous Laz March 24, 2017 7:32 AM  

Looks like the real wikipedia page for Vox.

Anonymous Steveo March 24, 2017 7:41 AM  

Damn good.

Blogger Sam March 24, 2017 7:42 AM  

@5
Iceland from 874-1262 is the closest a human society has had to being a libertarian state. It is illuminating because it shows that for libertarianism to work you need:

-monoethnic
-low inequality
-no external enemies
-tolerance for blood feuds

In other words libertarianism works better on paper than the alternatives because dealing with those 4 are massive costs that it ignores.

Anonymous Rocklea March 24, 2017 8:10 AM  

Great review, it will be my next purchase. Vox you have influenced many. "They have to go back", has been very effective in the last couple of days. If it's as good as On War, The collected columns of William S Lind 2003 to 2009, published by Castalia House, it will be worth every penny.

OT-A progressives perspective of Lind and Trump:
https://4thgenwar.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/trump-meets-man-who-inspired-2011-terror-attack-deadlier-than-orlando-shooting/

It's actually not a bad read once you get past the ad hominem attacks.

Anonymous instasetting March 24, 2017 8:42 AM  

There's an old hymn that goes 'I need Thee every hour'. Without God, one might as well pull up the blankets over one's head, and go catatonic. Surrender to the light? Preach, brother, preach.

Anonymous Infrequent Commenter March 24, 2017 8:42 AM  

It's fascinating watching the new terms Vox creates take hold in public debate, but I'm more intrigued by his consistency over time.

Many people are good at writing clever phrases, but Vox writes what could be referred to as an "iceberg" phrase. It seems clever the first time you see it, but over time is revealed as part of a entire system of thinking. There is a journey you take from the first time you hear "Magic dirt," "UHIQ versus VHIQ," "midwit," or my favorite, "let reason be silent when experience gainsays its conclusions." It's not just repetition - as he writes new posts, he reveals more of the thinking that led to the phrase, and you then realize it's not clever writing intended to amuse and persuade. Each phrase is the endcap of a much broader explanation.

VD, I am curious as to origin of "as the ancients say, let reason be silent when experience gainsays its conclusions."

OpenID thetroll March 24, 2017 9:23 AM  

> Iceland from 874-1262 is the closest a human society has had to being a libertarian state.

Nope, that would actually be Somali Xeer. Remarkably similar, but with more competition between private courts.

And, of course, the current wreckage of Somalia from the Marxists taking over demonstrates exactly why a libertarian society will not survive a totalitarian assault so it's a practical dead end never mind arguing the theory.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr March 24, 2017 9:28 AM  

Vox, that last quote will absolutely ruin your reputation as a Dark Lord. Better sacrifice some SJWs.

Blogger Servant March 24, 2017 9:39 AM  

Leonard Ravenhill used to say "The man with an experience is never at the mercy of the man with an argument"

Blogger Shell March 24, 2017 9:47 AM  

Great review that reflects the great moments when what Vox has written poignantly shines the light on truth in an uplifting way. It has a greater impact following a previous post from today in which a fake reviewer attempts to blast Vox. You can feel the spiteful, negative energy reading the reviewers words and this is the opposite.

Blogger Cluebat Vanexodar March 24, 2017 10:05 AM  

Now that's some high-quality reviewage there.

Blogger Mountain Man March 24, 2017 10:18 AM  

"Their new vehicle is simply to make America the hegemon and subsume all nation states under a meat market bazaar.”

Thats always been the goal. The US fought WW II with the sole goal of promoting worldwide communism ( i.e. globalism) .
I also remember reading an article by Will Grigg ( a keen thinker btw) in the New American - decades ago - that basically said that the UN is is just another branch of the US State Dept. Without the US involved it would just wither on the vine.

Blogger Mountain Man March 24, 2017 10:21 AM  

Really great review. Enjoy the writings on this blog immensely. It never leaves one bored and has always challenged me to question certain long held beliefs and to constantly think. Great stuff

Anonymous #5454 March 24, 2017 10:30 AM  

Nothing has shaped my political growth and understanding like this blog and those columns going back to '97.
Thanks, Vox.

Anonymous Another March 24, 2017 10:32 AM  

You just published a sycophant's review of your own work?

What is wrong with you? How can you be this insecure?

Blogger Cluebat Vanexodar March 24, 2017 10:37 AM  

@27
The review process has been the recent theme here.

Get with the program.

Anonymous Avalanche March 24, 2017 10:45 AM  

Okay, that review did it too. Bought (and have already started reading!) "The Collected Columns Vol. 1, Innocence & Intellect, 2001-2005." (Just as well, since I just finished "Corroding Empire: after "CTRL ALT REVOLT" and the Pettibone sister's (very good) book "Hatred Day.")

Really, Castalia House is seriously interfering with my spring yard work!!

Anonymous Avalanche March 24, 2017 10:49 AM  

@15 "Iceland from 874-1262 is the closest a human society has had to being a libertarian state. It is illuminating because it shows that for libertarianism to work you need:

-monoethnic
-low inequality
-no external enemies
-tolerance for blood feuds"

You left out ocean on ALL sides (America has only two) -- and lots and lots of SNOW! Volcanoes don't hurt either in keeping folks away! (Gorgeous place, though, worth a visit!)

Blogger GracieLou March 24, 2017 11:37 AM  

@Pony: "weaponized personality disorders". That's it!!!!

This morning GNC had a male vitality commercial for their "man up America" event. "America's headed in the wrong direction with declining T" vintage footage of men doing manly work morphed into modern beefcake, "..it's time to do a 180 America!" I was shocked at my shock at the sight of it. Pajama boy just crapped his pants.

The tipping point is close, yet I grow increasingly angry. K-ification? I can't even enjoy the SJW tears anymore.

Today on Fakebook an English friend posted a meme, "this is a pic of London after an IRA bombing. We didn't throw out the Irish, we knew it was just a couple of cunts." I wrote, "but they were your cunts." And that took a lot of restraint I practically had to breathe in a paper bag. I wanted to beat her with a fish John Cleese style.

Come on!!! There's no excuse for that kind of stupidity! Maybe England wouldn't have to import 3rd world cunts if they hadn't populated At least 4 countries with the perfectly good British cunts they THREW out. Where do they think hillbillies and cowboys came from? Half my family they threw out of Scotland, then later threw out of Ireland. The other half--Quaker "cunts" they threw out. If life has become so unbearably boring for them, they could ask us back. We'll bring pistols and moonshine, make it a party (Breathes into paper bag).

Blogger Good Will March 24, 2017 11:50 AM  

I have always appreciated Vox. I don't pretend to always understand him; his knowledge is far beyond mine. But, like a buffet, the copious quantity, quality and diversity of what he produces is as pleasurable as it is nourishing to the soul.

God bless you, Vox! You have bless us all.

Blogger GracieLou March 24, 2017 12:45 PM  

Correction: that should have been, "Pajama Boy just crapped his onesie." Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous 2Bfree March 24, 2017 12:45 PM  

Reading the Review prompted a long update to my Libertarian Blog, titled:
Diversity: Where Libertarianism Goes to Die

"Diversity is Strength is a lie. There is strength in unity not diversity. The USA is a prime example, since 1965 when we abandoned protection of our culture and unity as people and embraced diversity, the USA’s strength politically, economically, educationally, has diminished. Libertarianism worked for a while for a culturally unified Protestant population. On a larger world-wide scale it is and will remain a failure. Libertarianism will only function for a culture that is willing to protect itself. Libertarians for open borders, who embrace diversity, and reject the idea that a culture has the right to protect itself from others is virtual suicide. The 16 points of the Alt-right are currently the most advance and practical reality based political ideology where libertarianism can function. Read what Alt-Right says, not how they make you feel, the Alt-Right is coming together of great philosophy with realism and human nature. You can ignore the Alt-Right, but like ignoring the ideas of radical Islamists, the reality of what they represent will change your life and eventually world view."

Blogger Le Regardeur March 24, 2017 1:08 PM  

@31 It turns out that the suspect in the London bombing was born in England to an English mother and is of 100% English ancestry on his mother's side. It seems his father is African but by the age of six his mother had remarried an English man who raised him together with his mother and his full-English half-brothers. I'm not saying that you don't have a point - and you make it very well - but the issues around terrorism in the U.K. as more about alienated young men growing up without their fathers as they are about immigration or religion.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 24, 2017 1:38 PM  

Le Regardeur wrote:but the issues around terrorism in the U.K. as more about alienated young men growing up without their fathers as they are about immigration or religion.

There are no "issues around terrorism". What a pansy-ass avoidance of thought that phrase represents! There is Islamic running amok.

Islamic terrorism is not "more about alienated young men growing up without fathers". Islamic terrorism is about alien young men who have no hope because they are Moslems.

It is exclusively immigration and Islam.

Blogger Calven March 24, 2017 2:25 PM  

When writing reviews, don't neglect the balls. Cradle them as you stroke the shaft. A little drool goes a long way.

Blogger GracieLou March 24, 2017 3:06 PM  

Re Le: my brother lost his father at age 12, becoming increasingly alienated due to fatherless-ness he drops out of school at 16 moves out and gets a job. He goes to night school. He buys a motorcycle. He and a friend spend an entire year cruising America. He stops awhile in Colorado. Smokes a lot of marijuana, thinks deep thoughts on the top of Pike's Peak. He comes home, settles down, buys a small farm, has two children. He raises organic produce and bees. He manages forest land where he has discovered an extensive collection of Native American artifacts.

What fatherless alienated Christian men of British extraction do.

Blogger Jed Mask March 24, 2017 4:18 PM  

Great work Mr. Vox. Amen.

Blogger Lazarus March 24, 2017 5:12 PM  

Le Regardeur wrote:but the issues around terrorism in the U.K. as more about alienated young men growing up without their fathers as they are about immigration or religion.

Sure....No. It is more about the fruits of immigration AND religion affecting alienated young men.

Indiscriminate immigration + poisonous ideology trumps liberal democracy. The Magic Dirt had 50 years to take effect but did not. Maybe Magic Dirt is a Myth!

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 24, 2017 8:55 PM  

Something Chesterton wrote a hundred years ago is apposite
"What the English can't seem to understand is that Irish, however much they might love the English language, however much they might admire the English, however much they might enjoy English culture and society, are not and do not want to be Englishmen."

Blogger Sagramore March 25, 2017 4:10 PM  

The big problem with NAFTA is in part due to the fact CANADA is a fake boat and more like a Schengen area. Trade deals have to have passed though our version of the Waloons.

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Blogger Jed Mask March 31, 2017 2:44 PM  

@43.

Hello, "Mrs. Olivia Smith":

I would NOT engage in wicked withcraft practices if I was you...

It's an EVIL thing to do that may bring back "bad repurcussions" to you personally and your family.

Am praying for YOU, your husband; all your family, friends and enemies.

You all need JESUS CHRIST in your lives.

Only *JESUS CHRIST* can save your marriage and anything in your life; not some wicked, damnable "spell caster". Amen.

~ Bro. Jed

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