The main weakness of modern self-help books, as opposed to those written in antiquity by the likes of Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, is that they begin not from truth but from the desires and aspirations of the multitude. Far from a teacher pointing the way toward virtue, the modern “self-help guru” is reduced to a servant, cannibalising certain philosophical techniques in order to help people achieve money, “success”, and heightened endorphin production more effectively. But there is at least one modern self-help book that in its essential content harks back to the older tradition, and that book is Radical Honesty, written by a Texan psychotherapist named Brad Blanton who describes himself as “white trash with a Ph.D.”.
The self-help method of Radical Honesty and its sequel Practicing Radical Honesty is simple: tell the truth, about everything, all the time, without lying or withholding anything. It is important to emphasise that Blanton does not advocate this commitment to honesty out of a moral opposition to lying. Rather, working back to traditional virtues through modern utilitarianism, he sees radical honesty as the only truly effective therapeutic path to health and happiness.
Blanton underpins his claims about the benefits of honesty with a critique of the tyranny of intellection over being in modern Western culture. In his lurid words, the human mind is a “jail built out of bullshit”, which suffocates our being in false self-images and distorts the outer world of perception with moralisms, fantasies and stale interpretations. In light of this, radical honesty is conceived as a form of “interpersonal meditation” which interrupts and breaks through the alienated contortions of the mind, reorientating the individual towards the pure experience of being and thus towards the truth.
Practicing the honesty that he preaches has made Brad Blanton a somewhat interesting character: he swears like a trooper, declares to perfect strangers that he resents them for this or that, and freely offers confessions of sexual debauchery to interviewers. He makes no attempt to conceal his loathing of organised religion (especially Catholicism), nor his New-Age-and-Naom-Chomsky metapolitics, and his second book concludes with an exhortation to secede from the various corporate-controlled countries of the world and build a universal nation. He has run for office on a platform of total honesty, offended people left and right, and lost, and claims to have no regrets.
However, although all of this might seem very daring and nonconformist from the perspective of the “mainstream”, from the vantage point of the Alt-Right it appears as relatively tame stuff – the kind of thing that might get you invited to some edgy parties, but never bring down the full repressive force of the lying, hypocritical world upon your head. When faced with Blanton’s ideas, the first question we are bound to ask is this: what happens when radical honesty clashes with the hydra of taboos, moralisms, shibboleths and prescribed opinions coiling themselves around every aspect of Western society under the names of political correctness and “social justice”? This question is not touched upon in either of the Radical Honesty books, perhaps because the author has never entertained a politically-incorrect thought in his life, but more likely because he has not carried his quest to annihilate lies as far as it is possible to go.
That said, it is not difficult to extract a devastating critique of political correctness from Blanton’s descriptions of the psychology of the chronic liar. According to Blanton, the “tyranny of the mind over the being” works through such mechanisms as the following: the “disease of moralism”; mentally contructed fantasies; false and imaginary self-images; excessive non-offensiveness and conformity; hypocritical self-matryrdom; desire to manipulate others; projection of our problems onto others; and so on. It is obvious that political correctness is a grotesque combination of all of these. Unsurprisingly enough, the chronic anger, hysteria and various mental illnesses said by Blanton to result directly from these tendencies are clearly visible in the “social justice community” as well.
These tendencies, which are akin to mental syphilis, are being aggressively propagated throughout Western society. With the ongoing movement against “offensive speech”, lying and withholding in everyday life has become a moral imperative, with no place granted even to the theoretically positive view of honesty held by religion. Mentally constructed self-images, which once remained confined to the individual mind, have now been bolstered to the point at which they are capable of demanding acceptance from the rest of society on pain of legal punishment. Verbalisation (of the dishonest kind, of course) is literally invested with the power to change objective reality; “being” itself gives way to “self-identification”; and the body, the house of being, is accordingly reduced to a despised appendage of the mind, mutilated in the case of someone who “identifies” with the opposite sex and ignored completely in the case of a Bantu who hops on a plane and “identifies” as European.
If there is one group of people in the West who exemplify the tendency to live entirely in one’s contorted, self-justifying, slowly sickening mind, then it is the progressivist movement. And if modern Western culture is built on lies, as Blanton says and I agree, then political correctness is surely the nexus of these lies: the central Citadel of the Empire of Lies.
If this is the case, then might it be possible to conceive of Alt-Right discourse as a form of radical honesty applied at the social or “macrocosmic” level, as distinguished from the personal or “microcosmic” level? And if radical honesty applied at the personal level can liberate the creativity of individuals and free them from all sorts of psychosomatic illnesses, might the same therapeutic results be claimed for a society that vanquishes the politically-correct falsehoods and hypocrisies choking off its life-force, at the cost of destroying a superficial veneer of harmony?
Of course the blue-hair-and-Seroquel brigade will tell us that only us “sad, mad little boys” on the Alt-Right are “racist”, “sexist”, and “reactionary” under the surface, and that the result of a mass conversion to radical honesty tomorrow would only be our further isolation from the majority of ordinary people.
Well, if we wanted to put that statement to a lie detector test, we might start by citing the prevalence of “white flight” from immigrant-dominated inner cities in Western societies superficially committed to “anti-racism”. Given that we do not find all of these self-segregating white people posting on Alt-Right webzines or voting for nationalist politicians, we can safely assume that a great many of them are telling a great many lies about their natural tendencies to prefer the company of their own kind. Then there is the widespread phenomenon of male acquiescence to feminist absurdities as a means of getting into young women’s underwear, a mating strategy that I don’t imagine would survive a good dose of radical honesty. Even fishier is the correlation in time between the rise of strident critiques of white, male, straight and cisgender “privilege” and the increased concentration of wealth and educational privilege in the hands of a small class of oligarchs, suggesting that political correctness itself is an outrageously dishonest and hypocritical fig-leaf for a parasitic elite.
Admittedly I would be surprised if any of this could ever induce the placard-chewers to think twice, fundamentally divorced as they are from the truth.But we can benefit from a new understanding of Alt-Right discourse as a form of radical honesty, and political correctness and “social justice” as characterised primarily by lies. When we conceive of things in this way, we are liberated from the burden of taking the “moral principles” of our enemies seriously; and when we are liberated from this, then we are liberated from both the Scylla of constantly apologising for ourselves and the Charybdis of allowing ourselves to be driven into nihilistic and amoral theoretical positions.
Knowing that progressivists are fundamentally dishonest and deluded, we also do not have to bother trying to refute serpentine verbal constructions like “white privilege” and “intersectionality” with logical arguments, something that could be compared in its pointlessness and indignity to the act of wrestling the flatulent rear end of a pig in three feet of muck. Eschewing all artifice and play-acting, we should strive as far as possible to imbue our discourse against progressivists with a visible polarity between our simple, truthful statements and their dishonest and contorted platitudes, breaking down their claims to moral supremacy and interrogating our way into their base personal motives.
This, then, is how we should understand our instinctive desire to break down the illusory harmony of a sick, disordered and fundamentally counterfeit society. Now we must turn the discussion around, and ask whether it is necessary or advisable for individuals on the Alt-Right to practice the personal radical honesty advocated by Blanton in his self-help books.
I think that this question touches upon a vital point. The defects of habitual lying, disembodied intellectualism, and soaring idealism coupled with grubby selfishness are not confined to their progressivist exemplars but are more or less common to the whole of Western culture; and if, as Evola warned, no idealistic political programme can do much of value with a fundamentally degenerate people, it follows that we ought to build the reformation of Western society on the reformation of Western individuals. Some form of radical honesty, even if it is just honesty about our own decadence and the fact that we don’t really know what to do about it, would seem to be an obvious starting point for this process. If this road is left untrodden, there is a danger that the Alt-Right will eventually be integrated into the hegemonic system as just another “edgy lifestyle choice” with its own shibboleths, prescribed opinions and imaginary self-identifications.
This, however, is only one side of the question; and the other side, of course, is that Alt-Right speech is subject to legal punishment, corporate persecution, and harassment by pro-status quo violence groups in all or most countries of the West. For the time being we can still indulge in as much “macrocosmic” radical honesty as we like in certain areas of cyberspace, but these are overwhelmingly anonymous phantom realms, and if they are not filled with spies and agents provocateurs then our enemies are doing a very poor job indeed. Therefore, I would not advise anyone to make imprudent personal disclosures on the internet, nor give voice to forbidden truths about society and the world within controlled spaces like school and the workplace unless physically, financially and spiritually prepared for the consequences of doing so.
These considerations leave us with an obvious middle path, namely the creation of small real-life groups in which radical honesty large and small can be practiced, which can then multiply throughout society and start reclaiming spaces lost to political correctness just as colonies of termites burrow into rotten walls. Interestingly, such a vision partially resembles the real-life example of the Iron Guard movement in Romania, whose leader Corneliu Codreanu was honest enough to stroll into a police station and admit to an assassination plot. The Romanian Legionaries’ regimen of personal practice included many exercises that demanded radical honesty:
“[B]efore busying ourselves with our people’s defects, we began by looking at our own sins. We held long meetings in which each of us told the defects he observed in the rest. And we endeavoured to correct them. …
“Teach your children not to use treachery against a friend or against their greatest foe…[n]or should they use treachery against the treacherous person and his treacherous ways for if they should win, only the persons change. Treachery will remain unchanged. …
“Give free rein to your souls [in the legionary nest]. … Give everyone the chance to open up his heart, unload his difficulties, anxieties, worries, with which life has burdened him. Let him share his joys. Let your nest be a place of consolation and of sharing joys.”
These quotations are taken from Codreanu’s autobiography and manifesto, For My Legionaries.
These small real-life groups dedicated to self-reformation based on truth could later be used as a basis for wider organisation and political action, a purpose for which they would perhaps not be ill-suited. A group formed for the purpose of eradicating individual and social lies, whose members were bound to each other by shared experience of the truth, would be a considerably more durable thing than a political party organised around common assent to certain tactics and programmes: not only would its members possess a stronger sense of camaraderie, but they would also feel themselves sharply defined against the rest of the world whenever they plugged themselves back into the Matrix and went among the sleepwalkers, creating the self-consciousness of a cult, religious congregation or proto-aristocracy.
They would be motivated to action against this Matrix not by lamentations of impending civilisational doom (which inspire most people to nothing but impotent despair), but by the strong internal desire to create more and more spaces free from the burden of constant lying; and this is the very opposite of the degenerate SJW’s own powerfully motivating desire to sniff out and cover up any truths that might shatter his delusions. Splittism arising from petty infighting and egotism, which always spells death for Rightist political parties, would only work to the advantage of such groups: if one man left a group because of personal differences with its members, he would only go off and find enough people to start another group elsewhere, blowing another hole in the wall of lies and reclaiming another space.
Moreover, although I should emphasise that this is all as yet untested speculation, it may prove possible to convert some people to Alt-Right ideas by starting with radical honesty at the personal level and working up from there. It is easy enough to ignore our ideas when they manifest themselves as just another ideology, or as a futile call to self-sacrifice for a civilisation or race that makes it a point of pride to spit on its heroes; but once an individual has been brought to realise the sheer number of lies he tells every day and the personal value of getting rid of them, the annihilation of the bigger lies governing a false and superficially harmonious society presents itself as a logical conclusion. Thus, far from hampering our ability to debate, make conversions, and so on, a firm commitment to the truth might just bring all of these things in its train.