Of Fictions and Lies

My dog—our dog, my wife’s and mine, although he is more hers than mine—besides being a dog has the misfortune of being called Claudio (and hereinafter Claudio). As I was saying, Claudio spends about seventeen or eighteen hours a day in a lethargic state, something normal in animals of his species, and he also dreams. We know this because from time to time he starts barking in his sleep, throwing urgent but muffled, half-drowned and rather high-pitched barks while slightly moving his front legs as if he were galloping or defending himself from dreamlike enemies. Then he wakes up and the bad time passes.

What is reasonable, I think, is to think that Claudio, in his psychological, mental and cerebral condition of a canine entity, does not distinguish the world of dreams from the realm of the real; for him, passing from dream to wakefulness is an inconsequential shift, like a blink of an eye or something, without further break in the only category of the factual perceptible that he knows and distinguishes. In fact, for him, as for many people, the perception of the environment supposes everything, it is integrated into his vital experience without distinctions of rank established by situational opposition; in short, what is dreamed is as real as what is lived; what is felt and integrated into his world of sapiential references during sleep is as important as the same elements developed in the waking state. This leads to two conclusions that I find disturbing. The first one: my wife and I are a small and non-determining part of Claudio’s life; and the second one: his main nucleus of knowledge is based on the improbable and vague sphere of dreaming. Thus, I can conclude and I conclude by affirming that the good Claudio, in his transit through the real shores of existence, lives a life founded on false learning, illusory experiences and misplaced knowledge. In spite of which he loves us very much, something to be thankful for.

Naturally, if we transfer these observations to human behavior, we will reach identical conclusions. We leave aside, of course, the descriptive erudition of those anthropologists who enlighten us about lost tribes in the Amazon whose members, aborigines in an adamic state, believe that the territory of dreams is the academy of the jungle and the great temple of truth in which the gods speak to them and dictate to them about what is good and what is bad, the future that suits them, the cosmic sense of the past and the joys and sorrows of their ancestors, who contemplate the tribe’s wanderings in this world and celebrate or grieve for them, as they go. All this we take for granted. It is necessary to look for another empire of the unreal that is not the oneiric to find those spheres of the fictitious that nourish solid ideologies in so many and so many people who live like the faithful Claudio—subject to the powerful law of the imaginary, the fiction turned into obligatory dictate and in a manual of use for daily conduct. These spheres cannot but be concentrated in the immense map of ideologies, the conceptions of the world structured on granite moral conceptions or, vice versa and with equal generating force, the systematic absence of categorizations on what is ethical or convenient—some call it relativism, as others might call it, the annihilation of the sense of reality. There are people who go through life “with the upfront,” that is, with their “principles” like Attila’s horse; and others who trust everything to karma, to “I’ll be seeing you” and to sit at the door of the house to watch the corpse of the enemy pass by, etc.

Bubble makes bubble. That is the question that almost always determines our positions with respect to measurable reality based on immediate perception. The facts themselves have a minor—relative—importance; what matters is, in the first place, to what extent they fit in our emotional acceptance system; then the interpretation we make of them prevails and how they are classified in our scale of what is acceptable, from the very adequate to the extraordinarily reprehensible. This filtering of the factual concludes with the relevance of our reaction, from indifference to outburst, passing of course through the demonstrated capacity of negotiation that we are capable of maintaining with ourselves to convince ourselves of the future goodness of the present displeasure, the lesser evil and other sentimental alibis with which we human beings conform and adapt to practically everything.

Of course, if everyone does the same thing and we all establish the same system of relating to the world “outside the bubble,” then any position taken on any controversy seems legitimate. Indeed, it is. Everyone has the right to err as they please and no one is entitled to deny others their free will in this regard. What is not valid is deceit. Claudius cannot pretend to sleep and bark while pretending to sleep; it is no good to say that we dreamt that we threw ourselves off a cliff into the sea and fell into the realm of the mermaids and, therefore, in the real world we have to be named king of the mermaids. It is not worth arguing that the same deception is, in itself, an inalienable right—the right to change one’s mind. It is not a question of rights or principles but of verisimilitude—if yesterday’s certainties must be changed because circumstances have changed, then those certainties were worthless; it is logical: ideas that only serve when nothing happens are not ideas properly speaking but figurations, more or less well-intentioned, more or less interested conjectures. That is to say—a useless reverie transposed to the world of truth remains ob-scene—outside the scene—outside dream and reality, in the sterile territory soaked with the emptiness of the lie. And the lie, however it is said and however it is painted, will serve for many things but it is worthless. The theorist said that a lie is “a fiction whose verisimilitude is bankrupt and which contributes nothing to reality;” on the contrary, it debases it. And in the end, for what but to end up in nothing. For nothing.

José Vicente Pascual is a writer and novelist, living in Madrid. La Hermandad de la Nieve (Brotherhood of the Snow) is his latest work of historical narrative. This articles appears through the kind courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: Bridge in London, by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky; painted in 1908.

It is Not Change from Below, it is Revolution from Above

Less than a century ago nobody was surprised by the popular front policy adopted by the main parties of the left in Europe (France, Italy, Germany, Spain); a line of political collaboration between communists, socialists and “progressive” bourgeois factions, encouraged by Stalin and the CPSU, whose main objective was to combat “fascism” electorally. I use quotation marks because neither in France nor in Spain, from the end of the 1920s until the mid-1930s, was there a real fascism to combat; the core of those coalitions was, as always, the conquest of power and was then seen.

Of course, the bourgeoisie and the parties of the left, throughout recent history, have come together on many occasions, in conjunctural moments and in medium-term projects, not only in their electoral interests but in the prevalence of the general discourse on what is necessary for the development of the societies in which they develop their political/ideological action. There is no more powerful and undisputed discourse in Western Europe, since 1945, than anti-fascism.

The unfortunate countries that suffered the Soviet dictatorship—including Russia itself—hardly see themselves legitimized to declare anti-communism as a democratic value. In Russia, for example, it is a crime of opinion to publicly maintain, through any medium, something as obvious as that Nazism and communism were totalitarian ideologies, first cousins and equally disastrous for the countries that suffered them. Despite even the declaration of the European Parliament (September 19, 2019) on the importance of historical memory for the future of Europe, a text that condemns without palliation the crimes committed by the Nazi and Communist regimes throughout the twentieth century, maintaining an anti-communism, let’s say, as a warning, is considered in bad taste and suspected of reactionarism by the official bien-pensants.

No doubt, this curious phenomenon is due to the fact that Stalin’s Russia, that is, the Soviet Union, although it took its first steps in World War II in coalition with Hitler to invade Poland, ended up as an ally on “the side of the good guys.” Since the enemies of my enemies are my friends, Western Europe and the United States remained impassive and looked the other way, as far as the Central European regimes were concerned, during the long half century in which, after the fall of Nazism, the communist dictatorial agony in those countries was prolonged. The position of European and North American intellectuals is best left unsaid.

Once again, the coincidence of interests between the bourgeoisie and the left imposed its logic. Nothing new—“marching together to strike together” was the beginning of the agreement; “marching apart and striking together,” the ideal of the left; “March separately to the same place and move away if they get close,” that of the right-wing factions. Be that as it may, the main tie of the knot never loosened. Until today.
In spite of all this, some conservative media, some opinion makers, some propagandists of the right are surprised at the assimilation by the national and globalist oligarchies of a large part of the leftist discourse that defines the new paradigm of domesticated citizenship, as well as of social articulation around shared common principles.

They cry out: “Big business, banks, insurance companies, the media… have been influenced and “infected” by the leftist agenda, the 20/30-20/50 agendas and other communist aberrations!”

That is what they complain about—and they are wrong. The agenda of social transformations, with special incidence in the key factors of energy consumption and the new structuring of the labor force, is not an ideation of the left but a bet on the future of the most active capital and the globalist elites.

In short, because the project is more than defined, it would be a matter of gradually transforming the old and impractical “welfare society,” which the working and middle classes in the West have enjoyed since the end of World War II, to reconvert it into a globalized and precarious collectivity, where once determining factors such as roots, cultural identity, family and the possibility of personal progress are diluted for the sake of a group of people without history, without tradition or future, impoverished and whose basic needs are taken care of by the State. That is the plan.

And as the situation ,under normal conditions, would seem difficult to digest for the capricious masses, the discourse is structured around the urgent eco-environmental crisis, a fallacious but very efficient doctrine due to its rapid penetration in the collective ideology, according to which the planet is about to collapse, or worse, be devastated by climate change, which is why we all have to sacrifice, work less, consume less, spend much less, have less money and less of everything, eat insects, and similar claptrap.

And of course, the best way to alleviate the environmental deterioration that many sad economies in Asia and Africa are experiencing is to relocate huge masses of workers from those countries to Europe. The United States, Canada, Australia and other partners are not much for setting an example in this policy of civilizational transmigration, but they look favorably on Europe becoming a multiracial and multicultural wagon; that is to say: de-racialized and de-culturized, though, yes, crammed to the point of vertigo. Again, that is the plan.

As a result, there is no company advertisement that does not use the same tiresome and tedious concepts: sustainability, respect for the environment and all the eco-friendly jingosim already known. Savers in a bank are no longer people who invest their savings in anticipation of profits, but conscientious citizens who help the social and cultural work of the financial institution; the members of a private health company are, no less, “health activists.” And so on, to the point of absurdity.
No, undoubtedly, the plan does not belong to the left. The future is pre-designed by the usual suspects—those who rule and control the economic framework. The fact that the left, for conjunctural convenience, responds marvelously to the approach and goes along with the ruse, does not mean, not by far, that they have the upper hand in this comedy.

Another thing, of course, is that the neo-progressive minds think, with more or less conviction and success, that in the troubled river of scarcity and uprooting, they will find a perfect breeding ground to postulate themselves as optimal managers of the swamp. This is another debate and another problem. The current view of the conflict, however, directs us to a minister of consumption who encourages ordinary people to feed on six-legged critters. That is the greatest achievement, in the realm of practicality, that they have achieved so far.

Since 2008, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, when the model of popular complicit capitalism, where everyone wanted to have a lot of money, all at the same time, and everyone had been convinced that this nonsense was possible, was discredited forever, the idealization of the system migrated to other paradigms. Among them, the fundamental one, leads us to societies resigned to poverty, because the alternative means the destruction of the planet. Therein lies the crux of the matter.

In future installments, we will try to unravel the various “attack” fronts of the great transformative plan orchestrated by the New Moral Order. Little by little, there is no hurry.

José Vicente Pascual is a writer and novelist, living in Madrid. La Hermandad de la Nieve (Brotherhood of the Snow) is his latest work of historical narrative. This articles appears through the kind courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, by Jan Steen; painted ca. 1677.

Eleven Reasons to Say, “No!” to the New Moral Order

(By Way of an Introduction)

1. It is not change from below, it is revolution from above. The rich and powerful of the world agreed, back in 2008, on the “refoundation of capitalism.” Their aim is to “change everything so that nothing changes.” They are succeeding, thanks, among other factors, to the enthusiastic support of the left, orphaned from a theoretical outline beyond gender ideology and the new climate religion. Nobody is surprised by the almost absolute coincidence, tactical/strategic, between the globalist oligarchy and the Western left. The only objection from this new pseudo-left to globalized capitalism is that the rich make too much money. Thus, the old social-democratic discourse and also the Leninist insurrectional discourse on the class struggle have remained: the comparative grievance, the complaint and nothing more.

2. They are not governments, they are managers of the New World Ruling Class. Democracy in the new globalized societies is a chimera. Individual liberties are a myth and the “government of the people” is almost a joke. The European Union is a more or less submissive branch, generally docile, of the great international business centers, whether they are located in America, the United Kingdom, Oceania or Asia. Those who hold “legitimate” power in the Western countries—with known exceptions—only operate with the prior consent of the owners of the huge racket. The democratic illusion died at the same time as the official theoretical and moral position of the New Order was born: that of the single thought.

3. It is not freedom; it is compliance with destitution as a natural state for the human being. The new concept of freedom implies the renunciation of freedom itself. Not to question the official dogmas, not to “offend” the collectives in permanent state of vindication, not to discuss the right of the State to interfere in each and every one of the facets of the life of the citizens—is the new paradigm of freedom. The only feeling of security and “democratic” protection, under the protection of the law, comes from renunciation: to accept intellectual and material destitution as the native and permanent state of the new deculturated citizen, domesticated and instructed in obedience. The rest are utopias. The rest, as a great rehearsal, was the pandemic of Covid 19.

4. It is not the benefit of the individual, it is the active hatching of the alienated mass. Until recently, buried in meekness and inane idleness, broad sectors of the masses have awakened to action, in the midst of an orcish nightmare. The “progressive” demagogy does not differentiate between objective and subjective rights—all are rights and what are not rights are considered unbearable obstacles to universal happiness, which has three solid pillars through which it intends to advance in history: victimhood, obedience to the one faith and poverty as the supreme virtue. That is the plan of the owners of the world, to the satisfaction of the miserly left.

5. It’s not feminism; it’s throwing women into the wolf’s den of capitalism. There should be a middle ground between the woman content in her home, in the tasks of mother and housewife, and upsetting that scenario with unusual vehemence to elbows her in and properly exploited in the labor market by giving her priority over men. For the left and toxic feminism, this point of virtue is called “empowerment,” a Darwinian ideal in which rich women and poor women are equally fulfilled because they all maintain a convulsive vigilance in their permanent competition against men; against men and not against the system that has exploited men and women for centuries. They also call that “sorority,” which means, when translated into real events, that the cleaning lady of the Santander bank must feel very happy because the owner of the Santander bank is a woman. Vice versa does not work… well, let’s face it, the owner of the Santander bank does not give a damn about the life, thoughts and feelings of the cleaning lady.

6. It is not equality; it is precariousness. Leftism, since paleo-Marxist times, has had an obsession: equality. But not everyone can swim in abundance at the same time—I refer to history—so they have invented a radical solution: everyone is poor. Everyone, except those who manage the invention, of course.

7. It is not nationalism; it is larceny. European regional identities not only make sense, but also form the essence, the spirit of our civilization. That is why some imaginative supporters of social engineering have wanted to associate the concept of cultural identity with that of national identity. The slogan “One language, one territory, one homeland, one shared unique values” was invented a long time ago, and the great dictators of the 20th century in Europe and America were no strangers to it, including our dictator. The formula seems not to have been exhausted. Reconverting a cultural environment to transform it into a nation is the great business of our time. Polydorus of Samos had already warned: “Steal a chicken and you will be a thief. Steal a whole country and you will be an emperor.” Steal a territory and you will be honorable president, or Lehendakari, or whatever is appropriate in each case.

8. It is not taxation; it is confiscation. The vocation for poverty—that of others, it is understood—is almost an instinct in the contemporary leftist leadership. Therefore, they hate not only the rich but also those who manage, thanks to their effort, their expertise or their talent, to “get ahead in life.” Getting ahead in life, in societies governed by this miserly left, has an exorbitant cost—giving up one’s own profit along the way, in the form of taxes given to the State so that the State can grow and grow without limits; and therefore manage more efficiently the compulsory poverty of the whole population. To confiscate to increase their power, to pay for loyalty and niche-breeding of votes, is their undisguised intention. The final cost: to wipe out all wealth. The mantra “leave no one behind” means, for them, “no one can get ahead.” There are a few examples; there is no need to even point them out. The absurd myth that equality can be achieved if the rich pay a lot of taxes breaks down as soon as the rich run out. As there are few of them—the rich—this stream is immediately exhausted and the people have to continue paying until the productive lifeblood of society dries up. In the end, misery for almost everyone. Those who rule are spared.

9. It is not the public; it is the omnipotent State. The “defense of the public” is another of the fallacies of the possibilist left, founded on the ideal of precariousness as a common good. In any civilized society subject to the law, “the private sector” is conditioned by many more controls of efficiency, quality, service, prices, deontology and “good practices” than the public sector. When the current left demands more and more from the public sector, what they really mean is more and more coercive capacity, more and more control; more and more until they perpetuate themselves in power because the private sector will have disappeared and the services of the public sector will be squalid, while the starving masses will cling to them with desperation. The hunger queues to receive the thin gruel do not so much signify the failure of the system as they serve as a warning of the future that can still be avoided. In “socialist” countries like Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela, the normalized hunger lines are called by their proper name—going shopping.

10. It is not secularism; it is human faith. The globalist left hates religion because it establishes a utopian discourse that competes with it. Faith in the divine is reviled because it needs to be replaced by human faith. Faith in justice, in freedom, in equality, in the goodness of the rulers. It is only necessary to remember any staging and any speech of any “revolutionary” dictator to get an idea of the amount of human faith that is necessary to be convinced that these people are going to do—were going to do—something beneficial for their people.

11. It is not progress; it is regression. If being poor and living in squalor, surrendering life and liberty to the State, venerating the political leaders who sustain the comedy and the globalist billionaires who prop up the system… If all that is progress, then cannibalism is a picturesque form of gastronomy. It is not progress, it is the degradation of each and every one of the values on which our civilization has been based until today: individual freedom and equality before the powers of the State; cultural identity and political power, exercised through democratic channels; the right to expression, happiness and beauty; the right to memory and the recognition of tradition as the bearer of the fire that has enlightened us up to the present. Without all that, we are nothing—and globalism and its managers of the left know it perfectly well. Without all that, they make sense, even if it is the most nefarious one—as activists of annihilation, ashes and oblivion.

If the long-suffering readers of this section of Postmodernism do not object, over the next few weeks we will develop these eleven points, one by one, until we find the foundations, origins and consequences of each of the propositions enunciated. We will see you then, if you wish.

José Vicente Pascual is a writer and novelist, living in Madrid. La Hermandad de la Nieve (Brotherhood of the Snow) is his latest work of historical narrative. This articles appears through the kind courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: The Last Day in the Old Home, by Robert Braithwaite Martineau; painted in 1862.

Constructing the Alienated Masses

Lying in meekness and inane idleness until recently, broad sectors of the masses have now awakened to action in the effervescence of an orcish nightmare. The “progressive” demagogy does not differentiate between objective and subjective rights—everything are rights and what are not rights are considered unbearable obstacles to universal happiness, which has three solid moorings upon which it intends to advance in history: victimhood, obedience to the one faith and poverty accepted as supreme virtue. That is the plan of the owners of the world, to the satisfaction of the miserly left.

Until the 2008 crisis, the left was unionist and celebratory. From that date on, it became whiny, vocal and over-acting; that is to say, indignant. If there was anything positive about that debacle, which originated in the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the collapse of the real estate development model in the United States, it was to show that the renowned “welfare state,” the canonical reference for all the social democracies of the planet, was unsustainable in the context of a speculative economy.

In previous decades and up to that moment, the left and Western neo-progressive movements, once they had effectively renounced any strategic objective, installed themselves in a sort of “Pax Romana” within the capitalist system, dedicated to the transformation of daily life and customs, in accordance with the petty bourgeois ideology of the 1960s, and thus much to the taste of the French, Italian and Spanish progressives in particular. The important thing was no longer to make the revolution—an impossible one among many—but to make it look as if it had been made or was being made. Thus, the good leftist militant of the time was, simultaneously, a theoretician, attentive to urbanity and social decorum, to the obligatory use of the so-called inclusive language and to political correctness in all its facets; and he was also a discreet bon vivant, knowledgeable in gastronomy and enology, in Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar films and in detective novels, especially those of Vázquez Montalbán.

Assuming its contradictions—not very scandalous in a scandalously ungrateful world—the progressive of the 1980s and 1990s of the last century lived half-heartedly between the laughter of the Movida Madrileña, between the nearly cultured roguishness of the Ruta del Bacalao and the generosity of the cultural departments of the city councils. Spain was a party.

But all good things come to an end and that dream of restless urbanites could not be the exception. The spectacular collapse of the established welfare model led to the discrediting of social democracy—so sudden and so bitter as to be barely transitory—and to the emergence of new political formations to the left of the PSOE and the PCE that massively dragged along previously collectivized social sectors which felt marginalized—because they were—in the distribution of the system’s royalties. These first contestants had in common the bet for the all or nothing, since they had nothing to lose, and the almost absolute lack of experience and theoretical formation. With a thin dogmatism, typical of those who have few ideas and cling to them desperately, that flood of protest and intransigence gave rise to the new paradigm of neo-progressive commitment—masses of twitterers unable to read more than 140 characters in a row, toxic feminists who confuse rudeness with nonchalance and drunkenness with women’s liberation and people of that prestige; in short, people with no certain direction although very resentful against the system.

As happened four decades before, today, after those first effervescences, conformity within the system acquires its own forms of everyday life and is installed as an alternative to the impossibility of changing anything substantial, but also as a way of living as if everything were changing. The difference between the primitive leftists who recycled their revolutionary proposals to turn them into a routine experience and these latest generation of mobilized people is twofold, as I see it. The former took a shower every day and the latter take one, I estimate, every fortnight or so. And, the new anti-system types, paradoxically, coincide in their recipes to fix the world with the globalist elites who manage the deep gears of the established. Their sentimental attachment to characters like Greta Thunberg, Zuckerberg, Beyoncé or Kamala Harris, their aesthetic references compiled in the contents of TV platforms like Netflix or HBO, their ecological opinion symmetrical to the discourse of the big energy companies, their apology for public health that seems copied from an advertising brochure of some medical insurer, speak to us not so much of their theoretical weakness as of the little margin left to the traditional left to articulate alternative discourses and how deeply the good-egalitarian propaganda of the elites has penetrated among the uncritical masses—that is to say, in almost the whole world. For, in effect, the elites want us to be equal. Poor and equal, adapted to precariousness, destitute in the search for and, perhaps, the maintenance of impoverished jobs. In return, the all-powerful offer their shepherds the complete package of the new emotional well-being: the Internet at a reasonable price, social networks where everyone is someone—as much someone as they want, to convince themselves that they are someone—brilliant “anti-fascist” slogans against the discordant and ideologically impeccable contents in their favorite series.

That’s all there is, for the moment. Transcending this new moral leverage of the masses will be as difficult, or as simple, as unleveraging them from the couch and the TikTok profile. I mean it will be or it won’t be, because you never know.

José Vicente Pascual is a writer and novelist, living in Madrid. La Hermandad de la Nieve (Brotherhood of the Snow) is his latest work of historical narrative. This articles appears through the kind courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: Untitled, by Zdzisław Beksiński; painted in 1981.