Rogan, The Right’s Masculinity Obsession and “Muscular Christianity”

What is muscular christianity and what does it have to do with Joe Rogan? We were joined by Derek Beres & Julian Walker of the Conspirituality podcast who are working on this very issue.

Christian nationalism has always been extremely obsessed with masculinity and extremely “muscular” for over two centuries. How prevalent it is in mainstream American culture ebbs and flows as times change, but especially during periods of crises (say a pandemic) it has historically tended to reemerge as a dominant political force. A lot of folks truly want to take us back to the Dark Ages.

Joe Rogan, in all of his 5’8” glory, is apparently the archetype of the kind of figure prized by this political and cultural movement. He professes self reliance, is already extremely wealthy, juices all the supplements all wrapped up in the American flag. If Flat Tummy Tea influencers are the people who attract women to these conservative cultish ideologies, Joe Rogan and folks who model themselves after him are the male equivalent. And while he used to have more left leaning guests on, lately under Covid-19 he’s made a hard and sad right turn.

Derek Beres is a fitness and yoga instructor and author based in Los Angeles. He is the Senior Editor at Eco & co-host of the Conspirituality podcast. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/derekberes

Julian Walker has been teaching yoga in and around LA since 1994 . He is co-host of the Conspirituality Podcast. Julian also writes extensively on the intersections of cults, trauma, new ageism and yoga. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/embodiedsacred

Recorded January 02nd, 2021

How to Spot a (Potential) Fascist

An introduction to The Authoritarian Personality study.

Timestamps:

0:00 Fascisticus Potentialicus
01:51 Introduction
05:07 Defining Fascism / Ur-Fascism
07:03 Antisemitism and Ethnocentrism
11:31 Fascism, Conservatism and Religion
16:09 The Authoritarian Personality
23:18 Conclusions

This month’s episode of What the Theory? is an introduction to the Authoritarian Personality study, carried out by T.W. Adorno (a key member of the “Frankfurt School” and central force in the development of Critical Theory), Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel J. Levinson and R. Nevitt Sanford at the University of California, Berkeley in 1950.

Following the end of World War 2, these four psychologists were interested in finding out what had motivated so many supposedly ordinary citizens in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe) to participate in the awful designs of the fascist regimes that had taken hold there.

Eventually, they laid out what they called The Authoritarian Personality, a set of personality traits which they argued might make some people more susceptible to fascist ideology than others.

This is what they found out…

How to tell what the Republicans are going to do next.

Published: Nov 8, 2021

 

Question:

I’m a small-government conservative ..

How are you (a non-Republican) so good at consistently predicting what the Republicans will do next?

I’m a Republican and I can’t guess what they’re going to do next!

Could you please send me whatever method you use to make your predictions?

 

Scroll down to see video about 14 characteristics

Ur-Fascism

1 2 3 4

abc bcd cde def

Suppose there is a series of political groups in which group one is characterized by the features abc, group two by the features bcd, and so on. Group two is similar to group one since they have two features in common; for the same reasons three is similar to two and four is similar to three. Notice that three is also similar to one (they have in common the feature c). The most curious case is presented by four, obviously similar to three and two, but with no feature in common with one. However, owing to the uninterrupted series of decreasing similarities between one and four, there remains, by a sort of illusory transitivity, a family resemblance between four and one.

Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes. Add to the Italian fascism a radical anti-capitalism (which never much fascinated Mussolini) and you have Ezra Pound. Add a cult of Celtic mythology and the Grail mysticism (completely alien to official fascism) and you have one of the most respected fascist gurus, Julius Evola.

But in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counter-revolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but it was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of them indulgently accepted by the Roman Pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages—in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice”; such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and whenever they seem to say different or incompatible things it is only because all are alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements. The most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge—that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshiped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon Blood and Earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life, but it mainly concerned the rejection of the Spirit of 1789 (and of 1776, of course). The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (“When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” “universities are a nest of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the US, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such a “final solution” implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people of the world, the members of the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. Since the group is hierarchically organized (according to a military model), every subordinate leader despises his own underlings, and each of them despises his inferiors. This reinforces the sense of mass elitism.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Falangists was Viva la Muerte (in English it should be translated as “Long Live Death!”). In non-fascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons—doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view—one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. To have a good instance of qualitative populism we no longer need the Piazza Venezia in Rome or the Nuremberg Stadium. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

Because of its qualitative populism Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments. One of the first sentences uttered by Mussolini in the Italian parliament was “I could have transformed this deaf and gloomy place into a bivouac for my maniples”—“maniples” being a subdivision of the traditional Roman legion. As a matter of fact, he immediately found better housing for his maniples, but a little later he liquidated the parliament. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in 1984, as the official language of Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

On the morning of July 27, 1943, I was told that, according to radio reports, fascism had collapsed and Mussolini was under arrest. When my mother sent me out to buy the newspaper, I saw that the papers at the nearest newsstand had different titles. Moreover, after seeing the headlines, I realized that each newspaper said different things. I bought one of them, blindly, and read a message on the first page signed by five or six political parties—among them the Democrazia Cristiana, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Partito d’Azione, and the Liberal Party.

Until then, I had believed that there was a single party in every country and that in Italy it was the Partito Nazionale Fascista. Now I was discovering that in my country several parties could exist at the same time. Since I was a clever boy, I immediately realized that so many parties could not have been born overnight, and they must have existed for some time as clandestine organizations.

The message on the front celebrated the end of the dictatorship and the return of freedom: freedom of speech, of press, of political association. These words, “freedom,” “dictatorship,” “liberty,”—I now read them for the first time in my life. I was reborn as a free Western man by virtue of these new words.

We must keep alert, so that the sense of these words will not be forgotten again. Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier, for us, if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, “I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Black Shirts to parade again in the Italian squares.” Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances—every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt’s words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: “I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.” Freedom and liberation are an unending task.

Let me finish with a poem by Franco Fortini:

Sulla spalletta del ponte
Le teste degli impiccati
Nell’acqua della fonte
La bava degli impiccati.

Sul lastrico del mercato
Le unghie dei fucilati
Sull’erba secca del prato
I denti dei fucilati.

Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
La nostra carne non è più d’uomini
Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
Il nostro cuore non è più d’uomini.

Ma noi s’è letto negli occhi dei morti
E sulla terra faremo libertà
Ma l’hanno stretta i pugni dei morti
La giustizia che si farà.

 

* * *

(On the bridge’s parapet
The heads of the hanged
In the flowing rivulet
The spittle of the hanged.On the cobbles in the market- places
The fingernails of those lined up and shot
On the dry grass in the open spaces
The broken teeth of those lined up and shot.

Biting the air, biting the stones
Our flesh is no longer human
Biting the air, biting the stones
Our hearts are no longer human.

But we have read into the eyes of the dead
And shall bring freedom on the earth
But clenched tight in the fists of the dead
Lies the justice to be served.)
poem translated by Stephen Sartarelli

Let’s talk about 14 characteristics, 10 stages, and where you are….


Published: July 1, 2019

 

1) Lawrence Britt: 14 Characteristics

2) Umberto Eco’s:  2003 article

 

Transcript

well howdy there internet people let’s
bow again so tonight we’re going to talk
about 14 characteristics and ten stages
if you know where this is going to stick
around you’re gonna find out something
you don’t know at the end so I’m gonna
list 14 characteristics of a certain
kind of government give you examples of
the ones that aren’t plainly obvious and
then we’re going to talk about something
else
so those fourteen characteristics first
of which is powerful and continuing
displays of nationalism you know picture
flags on everything very patriotic
slogans Trump hugging the flag the next
is a disdain for human rights that
should be plainly obvious you know
support of torture black sites
concentration camps that sort of thing
identifying enemies and scapegoats us
and them those Muslims those those
illegals we got enough of the bad people
are right the others supremacy of the
military in these regimes even if there
are widespread problems at home the
military receives a ridiculous portion
of the budget like here rampant sexism
that one should be obvious grabber by
the she’s a good pizza yeah she was
pretty obvious the other thing that’s
interesting is that in this category
also is included discrimination against
gays and opposition to abortion seems
cooler along the nose doesn’t it just
see you know this was written in 2003
it wasn’t tailor-made for Trump it just
seems like it is control of the mass
media is really important to these kinds
of regimes maybe suggesting that there’s
a state-run news outlet to counter all
the fake news
there’s a an obsession with national
security and this is more about
governing through fear we’ve got to tell
you who to be afraid of so we can tell
you we’re gonna protect you from them
and you’ll give us your rights in order
to do that it’s what it’s about the
blending of religion and government now
this is really just innately American
there’s always been religious rhetoric
in government since very early on very
early on the one ripe I have with this
list is it says that corporate power is
protected whereas most other experts on
this subject would say that corporate
power and government are blended not
just protected and this would be you
know the privatization of government
functions like prisons detainment
facilities contracting along the border
these kinds of things and an obsession
with the corporate well-being of
entities within the country labor
suppression now that one’s a little a
little more obscure but let’s just say
in the u.s. there are two agencies that
deal with unions one regulates the
unions and make sure that they’re not
doing anything wrong the other regulates
the companies that have unions one of
these had their budgets slashed the one
that regulates the companies the other
had their budget increase the one that
regulates the unions a disdain for
intellectuals in the arts I love
uneducated voters an obsession with
crime and punishment I’ll pardon those
people that do stuff wrong because you
want to punish those you feel that are
doing something illegal and it extends
to creating a situation where the police
can get away with anything bang their
head you don’t have to treat them too
nice
Koni ISM and corruption I’m fairly
certain that nepotism would fall under
that or using government funds to go to
your own hotels and then the last one is
fraudulent elections see the most recent
Supreme Court case most of the time this
is accomplished through judicial review
and gerrymandering these are the
fourteen characteristics of fascism you
are here to those that are saying well
that doesn’t sound so bad there’s never
been a fascist regime in history that
did not go through these ten stages the
first of which is classification that’s
where you divide them up us and them
good guys and bad guys
the next is symbolization where we
define them by other terms you know not
people but illegals maybe come up with
other terms to use them for and we
create a mascot form a boogeyman to
scare everybody with like ms-13 next is
discrimination and that is where we
start to deny the rights now
historically this is done through
legislation in the u.s. we’re just
saying oh they don’t have them because
they’re illegal but they do
constitutionally that precedent has been
set for a very very very long time
the next is dehumanization and you know
that’s where they become animals and
disease carriers why we’ve got to check
them at the border right because they’re
all just dirty brown people so really on
the nose isn’t it the next stage is
organization and that’s where the
militias start to pop up and you see a
lot of replacements in government
positions shaking things up and there’s
a cuttin a lot of times it’s a
decentralized network that pulls this
stuff together
then there’s polarization and that’s
where you have hate groups start to
emerge
and become very vocal and they
mainstream these ideas
don’t worry though there’s nice people
on both sides then we get to preparation
and this is more mental preparation of
you where they start using terms like
purifying the nation mass removal well
they won’t assimilate they’re not really
part of us are a we’ve got to do
something about and then we get to
persecution and that’s concentration
camps that’s when those show up you are
here the next step the next stage is
extermination the stage after that is
denial yeah that’s that’s where crap
we’re really close and right now there’s
people saying you know we’re not going
to commit genocide that’s ridiculous
mm-hmm maybe but genocide like the term
ethnic cleansing is misunderstood in the
United States genocide doesn’t just mean
mass killings it’s not what it means
like ethnic cleansing and genocide are
not interchangeable terms
aetna cleansing could be renaming street
signs if at the end of World War two
when we had control of Berlin we renamed
all the roads after us generals that
would be ethnic cleansing that there’s
the common usage and then there’s the
legal term under the legal term of
genocide there are five components five
things that qualify one is the forcible
transfer of children to another group
that one’s already happening not just
their adoption but in a truly American
twist we’re taking them and putting them
into facilities where because of the
cronyism our friends are making money
that one’s already happening the next
one is to prevent births from that
target group because you know we got to
get rid of those anchor babies right
already happening deliberately
inflicting poor conditions on that group
and in hopes of destroying them in part
such as well you know they don’t need
soap toothbrushes or beds food already
happening doing things to intentionally
cause them physical and mental harm
child separation the conditions in these
camps already happening in fact the only
one that isn’t happening under the the
legal definition the genocide is mass
killings that’s it you are here
it’s a little sobering but it’s
something that I think we really need to
pay attention to you have all of these
these lists that have been around a long
long time and we’re matching them up
almost like we’re following them like a
blueprint and nobody wants to dare call
it what it is
I don’t normally at the end of my videos
I don’t normally say hey share this
share this one there there are people
that need to understand this they need
to understand where we’re at because
very soon they’re gonna have their have
to make a choice are they gonna double
down on their mistake or are they gonna
attempt to correct it are they gonna
speak out anyway it’s just a fault
y’all have a good night