David Johnson

Western man, the most powerful on earth, is being forced to swallow his will-to-power. There is no historical precedent for such civilizational self-suicide, not even Rome’s conversion to Christianity, for this was still its will-to-power.

What we are witness to is a mind-blowing world-historical inversion of the Nietzschean will. And what is the Nietzschean scholars’ response?:

a.) Nothing

or

b.) It’s a good thing: you have a vulgar reading of Nietzsche

--

--

Outside the magic circle of the spectacle, dramatic reversals of fortune are extremely rare. Without a serious new shot of raw power (or a serious new psyop) everything stays as it is. The winner keeps winning and the loser keeps losing, forever.

--

--

The lords have a secret culture of the-winning-of-winning, of red hunting jackets and black-tie dinners, that never changes.

The secret culture of the-winning-of-winning is both an impenetrable mono-coloured wall and a psychedelic portal to that other world of absolute winning and losing (a technicolour jungle).

--

--

The-weak-in-power have always kept the strong man at bay by confusing the difference between winning and losing. They confuse the difference between winning and losing in three key ways:

a.) Metaphysical (what is winning anyway?, what is the world anyway?)

b.) Visceral (the winning that is the fruits of the earth smells kinda funny doesn’t it?)

and

c.) Surgical (We’ve eviscerated the fruits of the earth now, so why bother?)

These three methods roughly correspond with three historical eras:

a.) Christianity (Vanitas painting, world-renunciation)

b.) Modernism (The Decadent Movement, ‘unknown pleasures’)

and

c.) Postmodernism (transhumanism, deconstruction)

Clearly, looking at the direction of travel, the existential stakes get higher and higher (just as — alas! — due to the surgical psyop the stakes get lower and lower!).

--

--

People talk about operational ambiguity all the time: the fog of war, political fudge and kicking things into the long grass. But ambiguity as psyop in its own right has never been properly formulated. But it’s all here, in my book ‘The Difference Between Winning and Losing’.

Similarly, people talk about winning and losing all the time, and think they know what it means. Yet their concept of winning and losing is so confused that they will happily discuss winning and losing in war and sport as if it were the same thing. Indeed, the psyop of ambiguity deliberately confuses winning and losing, in order to deter the strong man from winning. No one has thought of separating winning and losing out, not even Nietzscheans, for fear of vulgarity. Again, it’s all here:

--

--

Warhol is the first artist to understand fame as iteration. Getting into people’s faces via numbers = fame. And fame itself is getting into people’s faces in the form of numbers via fame.

Warhol’s message is not that things are hollowed out by repetition, but that they are strengthened though it. The orthodox narrative that Warhol’s use of repetition ‘hollows out the sacred image’ subversion trope is but Warhol’s alibi.

Warhol’s model here is the movies: pure reproduction in any case. He simply transports art to the movie age and its will to power. In other words, Warhol’s mission is nothing more than to remind us of art’s eternal will to power.

--

--

The left like to cast Schmitt’s friend/enemy distinction as inherently childish (as in ‘you’re not one of us’), yet their own worldview is infinitely more infantile (no borders, not taking your own side in a fight, etc).

However, some on the left like to hedge their bets while slipping in another of their beloved tropes, that of the metaphysical evil of the right: Schmitt as Machiavellian genius with, again, a brutally simplistic paradigm to sell.

--

--