Discover more from Raids on the Unspeakable
VOX POPULI, VOX DEI
Rusty writing, a tangle of threads.
If the people have a voice, then surely they also have a mind. We do not typically take this saying, the voice of the people, as entailing they are mindless—it is not usually an insult. But what sort of mind is this? We each have a mind of our own, though some philosophers may disagree on where to locate it; whether in the brain, or extended, embedded, scaffolded, etc. Spiders use their webs for external cognition, man does the same with language and other technology. There is no clear line between mind and body, for the body is but an extended mind:
For as each man has a union of the much-wandering limbs,
So is mind present to men; for it is the same thing
Which the constitution of the limbs thinks,
Both in each and every man; for the full is thought.
Language, for instance, is always embodied—even if only as abstract signs. Subvocalisation entails microscopic movements of pre-motor thought, these can be read off. Images are perhaps the most mysterious aspect of thought, the most metaphysical. But language also entails a basic imagery, if only by reference. Everywhere we find words metaphorically refer back to concrete elements of experience. These are isolated and used to identify salient aspects by virtue of bringing a certain angle or action into focus. We are never presented with the thing-in-itself, rather language brings into relief some aspect; it is not in the nature of words to be absolute.
Words, then, merely reflect the world—including, indeed especially, our bodies. And here we run into a problem, for what can words say of something as intangible as the disembodied mind of a people? We can only hope to creatively recombine the full range of metaphor at our disposal to elucidate a view of the object at hand; always partial, never the thing-in-itself. Take Yarvin, for instance, who describes a particularly prominent mass mind: that of the cathedral—that is, “journalism plus academia.” What of this makes it a mind? More it is that primary characteristic of a body, that “the whole structure moves together.” There is thus not necessarily consistency but at least a unity that at once enables and constrains activity.
The root of power is ‘to be able’—and the root of able, ‘to grab or take.’ Here again, we find a unity: that of actor and instrument. This unity enables the activity we take as expressive of power, whether physical or social. There is a basic requirement of bodily integrity for the human prototype of power as entailing life—as spark, fire, soul, etc. Power is the capacity to affect change by entering into the world, a procedural dialectic of unity and difference. This can be done with our bodies or with the word, “that hand of the mind.” We may take or present an object, whether directly by placing it into their line of sight or by communicating some image, thus placing it before their mind’s eye.
But now the world is a shell game, a virtual reality has been placed before our eyes. There is a new power, that by which the signifier has come to reign above the signified. What is this? It is the group mind. Each exists within the “mind of the people”—this is called reality. Since is determines ought, reality and morality are one. Harris and Peterson are both correct: there are moral facts and they’re all made-up. The same goes for physical facts—scientific, legal, whatever. All this is filled out by images drawn from an increasingly impoverished concrete reality, supplemented by entertainment media. Now we grasp at smoke, impotent automatons serviced by an artificial environment. And what does it demand in return? Somehow everything and nothing at once, no aspect of ourselves but our entire selves.
Time, and all included, is divided now by quantity rather than quality. What matters is not how we feel about a thing but how much we are willing to pay. Everyone has their price, even for the most sentimental of objects; everything can be bought. We even sell our time—that is, our selves. Slavery is now time-limited and, to some extent, voluntary; yet the principle remains. All serve today as slaves, cogs, as the living mud of a vast golem. This is the group mind, the mind of the people. But something is wrong, the golem has come to life; it has a mind of its own. This is, for one, the necessity of our historically-determined position. We are thrown into the world—have landed on the back of this creature, at this place and point in time. Yet today something else also moves, some alien intent animates this golem; where is it taking us, what is it building?
Steiner tells us: a temple to Ahriman—at once a ritual through which he manifests himself, the mind of the people will soon correspond to the body of Ahriman. All else must be purged. This is the future that must be fought, but how? First by crawling to get a better view, trying to secure our foothold alone; then perhaps someday we may leap off. But even now it eats up the path as it travels, consuming all the world. Will there be anywhere to go, will it simply find us there?