The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or by Rachel Haywire. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.
Jim: Today’s guest is Rachel Haywire. She’s a writer, entrepreneur, musician, event producer and model.
Rachel: Hi, good to be here, Jim.
Jim: Yeah, good to have you here. I did my research, as I always do, before I have a guest on the podcast, and you have an interesting and highly varied background. Rachel’s the author of The New Art Right and Acidexia, if I pronounced that correctly. And a couple of other things that she’s associated with, she’s now blogging as The Cultural Futurist at rachelhaywire.substack.com. I actually subscribed to it, looked pretty interesting to me. We don’t want the advertising-driven behemoths like Facebook to dominate our discourse, we got to be prepared to lay a few pennies out to support the interesting writers in the world. She’s also got a new event coming up called The Elixir Salon, which will be on June 27th. You can get details on elixirsalon.net.
Jim: And here’s one I was amazed, I had no idea till I started doing my digging, she ran for president of the United States, for the nomination of the Transhumanist Party. And guess what? She came in second. She got 31% of the vote. And now, here’s the real hilarious one, the person that beat her has just been expelled from the Transhumanist Party for, can you believe this? Can we top this for craziness? Claiming that he’s going to grow his own human cells for meat consumption. Yeah, he’s been kicked out of the Transhumanist Party for cannibalism, amongst other things.
Rachel: It’s too ridiculous. I had so many people that voted for me. I had a huge populist support base. I really don’t consider myself a populist in the wider political sphere; I do consider myself a populist in the transhumanist sphere, and I had so many people that were working on my campaign, but apparently some elitist oligarchs at the top, they were a little upset that I was not the right public relations person. All I can say is, I might be a little out there, but I’m not a cannibal, so I would’ve been better PR than that guy. And actually, I don’t even refer to myself as a transhumanist anymore. I call myself a futurist. I feel like transhumanism is mostly just focused on immortality, where my interest is more cybernetics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, just extending human capacity.
Rachel: And I think the life extension sector of transhumanism has become just another facet of public health, and I really don’t feel like it’s a movement that is going to grow, because they’re just trying to get into the public health community, and I’m like, “No, we should be building incredible things with technology,” so definitely a difference of vision.
Jim: Yeah, well, since you came in second, now that the cannibal has been booted, do you become the nominee?
Rachel: I don’t think that I would do anything transhumanist-related again. I’m not interested in the United States Transhumanist Party. I’m interested in building my new company, growing Elixir Salon and I like a lot of independent candidates, and I think that maybe I would help them with their campaign, and maybe run independently, or even as a libertarian in the future. So yeah, who knows what the future holds, right?
Jim: Absolutely, So you mentioned that I mentioned The Elixir Salon coming up on June 27th. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?
Rachel: So Elixir Salon is my baby. When COVID-19 hit, it seemed like socializing with people just on these Zoom calls, it really wasn’t doing anything for me. I mean, it was cool to have meetings with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, catch up, talk about COVID-19, but people really just weren’t having fun. The first time I had fun at an online event was when I started going to the Stoa, to go to those events, and I remember a talk I’d had with Alexander Bard, Peter Limberg, and Colin Zion, and we had talked about new potential for what we could do in this current time of social distancing.
Rachel: And I believe it was Peter Limberg who said, “Rachel, you should throw the online Burning Man,” and at first it was like, “No, because Burning Man isn’t what it used to be,” but the general sentiment of getting together, creative people, free thinkers, artists, and dancers, and thought philosophers, of all things, philosophy is the most important thing right now to me. I think we should do this, I think we should make it happen.
Rachel: So Peter inspired me, and I decided to throw the Elixir Salon and bring together philosophers, architects, bring some musicians on board, even poets, we have a noise artist, an industrial musician, everybody from Robin Hanson to Peter Limberg himself, we have Nina Power, she is a philosopher, I met her in the UK, Miss Metaverse, a futurist, we even have Zach Vorhies, the Google whistleblower.
Rachel: So we’ve got a really great lineup and it’s going to be happening on Saturday at 7:00 P.M., and we are accepting donations, even though the event is free, and donating 20% of our donations to MAPS, because they’re working on finding a cure for PTSD using MDMA. And as someone who knows how hard PTSD is, and someone who knows how great MDMA works for PTSD, I think it is criminal that it is illegal. So I really love the work that MAPS is doing. It’s in the direction of helping people that have trauma, making people’s lives better, and we’re really happy to be in this collaboration.
Jim: Yes, that sounds interesting. Let’s go on to the next thing, one of the articles in your new Cultural Futurist is called Pulling out of the Narrative. And it-
Rachel: That’s the term.
Jim: Talk a little bit about the crazy narrative on all sides of us, and you list a number of interesting things to do besides getting engaged. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about what you mean about “pulling out of the narrative.” What is the narrative, and why should we pull out of it?
Rachel: Well, the narrative is what some people would refer to as the matrix, the simulation, the series of news articles that keep people outraged, or simply being in the middle of a hornets’ nest. You have all of these stories coming out about everybody’s take on events that they weren’t even there for, everybody has an agenda and then people feel like they need to participate and take a position for somebody’s agenda themselves, and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense because the narrative, it’s not interested in you. The narrative isn’t interested in you. And every time that you comment on an article, every time you state your opinion about an issue, you’re just wasting your time. What you should be doing is creating things and not participating in the circus. So, the circus, the simulation, the matrix, the narrative.
Jim: Yeah, it’s certainly a bizarre, the narrative out there, and it’s a mixture of craziness, bad faith, bad information, and then sprinkled here and there are the occasional gem.
Rachel: Yeah, and the occasional gem is usually found outside of the narrative.
Jim: Yeah, at least outside of the mainstream there. Truthfully, I don’t even go on Facebook in general any more, other than some specialty groups I’m a member of, and Twitter, I have to curate my list very carefully, or you’re back in the middle of the narrative. So I understand exactly what you’re saying.
Jim: So what would you suggest people do instead? What are some other ways to spend that energy, particularly here that we’re still, a lot of us, locked up under COVID-19 lockdown?
Rachel: Well, I know that you’re big on GameB. Is that your term, by the way? Did you create the term GameB?
Jim: No, though I was there at the founding. The person who created the term GameB was probably Jordan Hall, and the person who decided that it would be a good brand for a social movement was Thor Muller. It was part of a group of us that were meeting every six weeks face-to-face to create the future, that’s what we were doing. And those people that are interested in GameB can go to the GameB group on Facebook, where there’s a few thousand people talking about it. Definitely a happening thing, trying to get us out of the current basin of attraction where our society seems to be stuck. Not only is it stuck, but it’s on a self-terminating trajectory and it’s going to die if something isn’t done, and we’re working on what needs to be done.
Rachel: Yeah, that’s certainly one way to pull out of the narrative, to create a GameB, and if you have your own narrative going on and you’re not focused on celebrities, you’re not focused on journalist drama. I don’t care about what somebody said in the New York Times, I don’t care if it’s the left or the right complaining. I know I’m never going to get a job at the New York Times, so I don’t care what happens there. I’m not interested in things that have no relevance to my life, because, I mean, who has time for that?
Jim: Yes, absolutely. Let’s go on to three of your tweets, which I found interesting. And I think actually follow on this theme, in fact, your pinned tweet is this, find your people. Do not worry about who is the center of influence, or who is going to bring you power. Find people you connect and work well with, find people who share your visions, ignore the noise and rebuild civilization. Couldn’t have said it better myself now. Then your next one, which I like was, knew a guy who would never build anything. He was even afraid to go to the store without strategizing and accused anyone with skin in the game of being a pawn. As others build empires and towers, he build an environment of paranoia on his Discord server. And then finally, if we call everyone who takes themselves seriously a narcissist, shaming them into turning themselves into a clown, don’t we just have a village of idiots? I love it.
Rachel: Thank you, I am glad that you appreciated that.
Jim: So where are you coming from on that? What is the center of your ethos that causes you to say those three things, probably in the first 10 tweets that I came upon?
Rachel: Well, let’s start with the pinned one. When you find people that you can relate to and that you work well with, and you don’t worry about who’s in power, you’re living a life that is true to yourself. You’re not playing these games in which you’re only talking to people because of their level of power. You’re not trying to move up like a desperate kind of person in the back of a line to a concert. Meanwhile, there might be a much better concert with a much shorter line that you can get into right away, and it’ll be the best show that you’ve ever seen. So many people are focused on this centralization. They’re focused on who has the power in the center of the narrative, when meanwhile, there are people that are doing things that are so much more interesting outside of that, and if these are people that you connect with, then work with them, and build with them and create civilization with them. So that’s my pinned tweet.
Jim: Yes, then the one about the guy who can’t go to the store without strategizing, I know people like that.
Rachel: Yeah, so this is a lot of people. I am thinking of one guy specifically, and everything that he does is based on what he’s read in The Art of War and The 48 Laws of Power running, and I get that these are important books that we need to understand to survive this den of wolves called America, or the world, depending on where you’re standing, but these people often don’t do anything, and the reason that The Art of War and The 48 Laws of Power were written, not to get people to do things, but to give people advice for how to do things. But these people aren’t even doing anything, they’re just sitting around strategizing and accomplishing nothing at all.
Jim: Yes, I see that all the time. I see another variant on that. Two different variants on that. One, I call it the philosopher fallacy, that they’re going to figure it all out from the top down and deliver us a plan how to remake society. We’ve seen that playbook before, Nazism and Stalinism. I don’t think we need either of those. And our world is way too complex. My background is from complexity science, the Santa Fe Institute and elsewhere, and one of the things you learn when you study complexity science is, frankly, how little we know about predicting how a social system will unfold over time. So someone that sits on the mountaintop philosophizing for 10 years and comes down with a plan and tells us all to do it, tell them to stuff it. And then the other one, one of my current pet peeves is people who fall into too much introspection. They go down the spiritualism rabbit hole, and have fun talking to themselves, but never get around to talking to anybody else.
Rachel: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of, I guess you could call it fear, where people, they view themselves as these grand strategists who sit around and wait for other people to do things, and then kind of come in and take power, but what actually happens is they get completely left out simply because they’re just sitting around and strategizing. And what we need is people to strategize collaboratively with people who are doing things. We need strategy and we need action. We need both. And if all the people are doing is sitting around on a discord channel talking about optics, and none of these people are doing anything, how are they any different from the people they’re complaining about?
Rachel: There’s this idea in the West that I don’t like. I actually believe it’s an Eastern idea, and it’s about non-action being the dominant mode of communication, and something about non-action, I forget the exact name of the phrase, but I don’t like how America, a country that was founded on creation, that was founded… We’re frontierists and we’re builders, and for us to suddenly become just these non-doers, these non-players, NPCs, whatever the latest name is for them, I think a lot of people that only strategize that don’t do, don’t realize that they too are the NPCs. They like to think of themselves as different, and I don’t really think they are.
Jim: Yes, I agree. In fact, at least in my version of GameB… One of the things about GameB is there is no canonical GameB, there is no GameB org, there’s just various of us telling our versions of the story. In my version of the story, one of the watchwords is what I call bias for action. Everything else being equal, you can sit on your ass or you can go out and do something, and I can tell you which one I’ll bet on in terms of actually changing the world. I love that, that I saw that in you. It’s one of the reasons I reached out to you. I saw you as a person who, they don’t always succeed, but you’re always doing something, right?
Rachel: Yeah, and even if we don’t succeed the first, or the second, or hey, the third time, we’re going to learn from our failures and then we will succeed eventually if we just keep doing what we care about and we keep putting out there, things that matter to us, we learn, we become more active, we figure it out. But we are people that do things, and there are many that do not. And I just think that people have become meek and docile in America, and I don’t know if it’s this new influence of maybe more Eastern thought where it’s like you just need to sit there and wait for things to happen.
Rachel: And okay, I get that. If you want an easy life and you don’t have a lot of passion or desire in you to really effect anything, that’s just not my sail. I’m an American who likes doing things. I’m an American who likes building. I believe that ambition is good, and I don’t like that people shame each other for ambition, and that could segue into my third tweet about narcissism and shaming, and how that creates a village of idiots.
Rachel: A lot of people are considered to be… The term that a lot of these irony bros like to throw around is, “lacking self awareness,” and they’re just really focused on how other people lack self awareness, which to me is ironic because they don’t have the self awareness that all they do is complain about other people lacking self awareness. So you’ve got these people with no self awareness complaining about how other people don’t have self awareness because they take themselves to seriously. How dare you not make an ironic joke? How dare you have a serious discussion? Why so serious? You’re not fun. So they get shamed for being narcissistic, even if they’re not. The actual definition of narcissist is being extremely fixated on oneself and one ego. Taking yourself seriously does not mean you’re a narcissist. It just means maybe you’re just different from people in this generation.
Rachel: So these people get shamed for taking themselves too seriously, they get called narcissists, and then they become clowns because they get shamed, so they start turning everything into a joke. You can see it in the Joker movie, a lot of that rhetoric is alluded to. And yeah, it creates a village of idiots and what we need is multiple villages of people who can take themselves seriously. That doesn’t mean they can’t have fun or tell jokes, but it means there should be a basic civil communication in which people can take things seriously going in and not be labeled as narcissists and shamed for it. It’s like, that the more you want to talk about a serious idea, the more likely somebody is to just shame you for it. Yeah, I don’t want to have a village of idiots.
Jim: Yes, and I’ve got to tell you, there are a lot of these people out here who, I at least, complained about their perspective as postmodernist, essentially, where ideas aren’t to be taken seriously, and everything is to be subverted. And there may be times where that kind of critique might be useful to find problems in existing structures, but it does not strike me as the way we build what comes next. You can’t make fun of everybody who’s seriously trying to build what comes next and actually get there. I will say, that’s one of the things I like a lot about our GameB community. We have many perspectives, from far right to far left, and directions that neither right nor left describes accurately, yet we’re all serious players. We all think that we’re doing something that’s important for the future of humanity, and nobody undermines anybody for engaging ideas seriously and doing serious work, and I think you’re absolutely right. So let’s move on to the next topic.
Jim: One thing I’m a little surprised, I’ve read some of your stuff from time to time, but I didn’t quite realize how deep you had gone into the neo-reactionary side of things. Here’s an actual quote from you from one of your writings: “I was an early adopter of neo-reactionary philosophy. Propelled into the discourse by accelerationist philosopher Nick Land, alongside political strategist Curtis Yarvin, my purpose for exploring, what struck me is I’ll be honest, a fringe community of dark triad lunatics was cultural. My goal was to usher in a new metaphysical current that I dubbed the Art Right.” Before you get into the details of your travels in neo-reactionary land, first I got to ask, how did a nice progressive Jewish girl like you get drawn to the right?
Rachel: Well, I’m definitely not progressive because of what progressive has turned into. Maybe I’m like a classical progressive or something like that. That is because I was interested in having real discussions. People in the Neoliberal norms of society were not able to be honest with each other, or they were just focused on PR. They didn’t see what was really on their mind. Neo-reaction for me, was just like me talking to a few people on Twitter really early on in the game. I talked about this on the Justin Murphy show. It wasn’t like I wanted to join like some far-right movement or something. It was just like, these are people that I can have honest discussions with. I like that we can be honest with each other.
Rachel: And it was a fringe community of dark triad, lunatics. I’m very fascinated with dark triad personalities, and I think there’s a lot that can be learned from dark triad personalities. And I have a few dark triad personalities myself matches majority of neo-reactionary people, which is why I publicly exited the movement. A lot of these people are just straight-up sociopaths. But, for me, this is, I guess the battle and maybe for a lot of other women who are what I would consider like dark philosophers, I call this philosopher queens.
Rachel: Now is like, how do we meet people that we can have discussions with on darker issues without running into people who don’t like us simply because we have tattoos or Jewish, or just like a little weird? How can we have discussions on dark and difficulty issues with people who are not nasty? And I’m like, “Well, I have a problem. I’m going to create a solution.” Elixir Salon is one of the solutions, just building a community of people that could have interesting discussions that I could be real with that were also not neo-reactionaries.
Rachel: So yeah, how I view neo-reaction, it’s something that I explored because I wanted interesting people to talk to, I do not endorse it. But there are some good ideas that were proposed like Exit over Voice, being a big one which is close to the GameB that you have and close to the pulling out of the narrative idea, it is simply building alternative nations, alternative societies, alternative industries. You can read on the Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. You create different even temporary autonomous zones where people can live in their own way. You have alternative competing governments to the main government. Why have one government in America when we can have 50? That 50 governments then.
Jim: I did a little bit of reading and Mencius Moldbug writings that was Curtis’s political moniker. It was intricate and well and deeply thought out at the end of the day, I said, “You know, this guy is just a monarchist, feudalist, not the kind of person that I would react to their politics correctly, not what I’m looking for, for the future.” But I will say I have interacted a bit with Curtis Yarvin in real life, in his role on the Urbit project.
Rachel: Okay, yeah, I have a few friends that work at Urbit and I also don’t agree with Yarvin’s philosophies. And even the article that you quoted from is actually me critiquing Moldbug himself, Mr. Garvin. He’s like one of those all strategy people. But, at least, he is taking action. But there were a lot of fans of his that are just about the optics chatter that don’t get anything done. I actually Curtis isn’t involved in Urbit anymore, from what I understand. I think that his problem is that he is trying to become the new Machiavelli, but he doesn’t understand that in order to have real influence, you need aesthetics, you need culture.
Rachel: So it’s kind of like, thank you, Curtis, for writing your new version of the prints. I’m excited to read it when it comes out, but nobody’s ever going to know who he is outside of these little circles because he doesn’t really engage with culture. He doesn’t really engage with the flow, the pulse of humanity. That’s not the same as the narrative, the pulse of humanity, it’s almost like an Evolian kind of it’s like the higher force, a lot of Catholics could allude to this. It’s an inner power of passionate people who have this force inside of them, you can say.
Rachel: I noticed it in people like you, This is important to have. And I think that people like Curtis don’t want it to exist because they kind of just want to control everything. So yeah, I mean, I think that having voice of power that inspires you, some might see it as like some type of divinity others might see as some type of delusion and whatever it is, we need to understand it.
Jim: But before we go on, actually I forgot to ask you this question before, my audience isn’t necessarily up on all the buzz words around this stuff. What is the dark triad? Frankly, I’m not a 100% sure myself.
Rachel: Okay, so the dark triad is a three personality traits. There is Machiavellianism, there is psychopathy and there is neuroticism. And actually, I might have the third one wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve really delved into dark triad. Oh, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. So yeah, these are the three traits that apparently make you very hard to work with, something of that sort and because there’s so much volatility, there’s so much infighting. You have, “Oh, I’m the biggest God in the room. No, I’m the biggest God, I’m the ruler of hell. I’m a Monarch in a certain company here.”
Rachel: It’s actually much better to be the meanest person in the room and work with nice people that you don’t need to be worried about screwing you over, because if it’s just like a den of wolves, the wolves are going to eat each other.
Jim: And it’s just not the right way to go forward. I just had a really wonderful two podcast series with Tyson Yunkaporta recently, which we’ll have published right before this one or a couple of weeks before this one comes out. And in that, he basically said that the original sin of mankind, which he labeled, he’s an indigenous Australian person, but also a scholar of complexity science, it’s made for a fascinating conversation, that in the indigenous perspective, the downfall of mankind is narcissism. The belief that I am better than you without any reason other than I said so, and that sounds like it’s part of this dark triad.
Jim: And I got to say, I don’t think those are the kinds of people that are going to build the future. I certainly hope not. And in fact, in the other part of this dark triad thing you mentioned is sociopathy. One of our key analysis is that power attracts sociopaths and my working days, I was involved at pretty high levels in corporate America, Wall Street, I even worked in the White House for a little while. And my perspective is that at the C levels of larger American corporations, probably 10% of the people are sociopaths. And that is not good.
Jim: In our GameB world, one of the things we’re always on the lookout is how do we build in institutional structures such that sociopaths are not pulled to the levers of power and part of the way to do that is by having less levels of power, but instead are routed to where they may actually be useful. And a sociopath is probably good as a warrior. You want someone to just go out there and kill. But a sociopath as a leader, no, thank you very much. So I would say if you run into a philosophy or an organization where you’re seeing sociopath in positions of power, run, don’t walk, would be my recommendation.
Rachel: And I would also add, learn from them. And there was an article I wrote at Trigger Warning several years ago, 2016 actually, it’s called a Sociopath’s Coma. And I worked to deconstruct sociopathy for what it is. And the conclusion that I came to is that sociopaths are bound by their puppet master realities huddles. And they can’t imagine a world in which they’re not pulling the strings. So I don’t know if you know about neurolinguistics programming, I’m sure you do actually, you know about the law of requisite variety, the more options you have, the moves you can make.
Jim: I have intentionally not dug into the kind of the pop culture, linguistic programming stuff. A neuro-linguistic programming, it looked to me a little bit like a package cult kind of thing. But I do know a lot about cognitive neuroscience. So I may be able to react to some, not to the package, pop culture NLP thing.
Rachel: Okay, yeah, and then if you know a lot about cognitive neuroscience, NLP will seem like a joke to you, and to other people it’s the way of life. It’s about mirroring people, finding their dominant senses. Like if somebody says, “I see that this is something that’s really interesting,” then you want to like speak to them on visual metaphors or somebody like, “I heard you.” And then you want to respond to them in an auditory way to gain their dominant sense so you can build rapport with them or claimed however, then depending on how you want to look at it.
Rachel: But what I noticed about the law of requisite variety, which simply means that the more options you have, the more moves you can make, that this is a game that, initially, it seems rigged in favor of the sociopath, because they’re not bound by emotional reactions, they don’t have moralistic impulses, they are not stuck in this human cognition frame, they can do horrible things and not feel bad about it. And they don’t experience emotion. But then I started to think about it more. They don’t have the visceral passion that’s only possible in people who aren’t like that. So even though they can imitate emotion, they know they’re missing a human core and people can tell that they’re a bit too perfect and they don’t possess the capacity to display emotional weakness or emotional strain because they didn’t experience it.
Rachel: So this is where I say sociopaths were at a disadvantage because they don’t have the capacity to show that they are humans with emotions. The best thing they can do is mimicry, that’s all they’re capable of is mimicry. They’re trapped in a modality of superficial perfection and they also can’t build any rapport with people who recognize them for an actor. They conceal their flaws to such a point of dull emptiness that it’s just like, obviously, this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’ve often described as a highly conscientious person who is excessively civil, these are the people that we need to watch out for.
Rachel: We have the scapegoats, the designated billions, the bad guys of the world that are constantly getting articles written about how bad they are. But the worst people are the ones that pretend to be nice guys and those are the real sociopaths. So my solution about the sociopath problem is that we should have complete mastery over them. And this is back to what you were talking about, how sociopaths could be useful, that we can mimic their games of puppet mastery, we can explore the modality of sociopathy, but it’s still a coma. It’s somewhat exciting and entertaining, but it’s really debilitating in terms of emotional or moral strategy. So they lack the tools to connect with other people in a truly, meaningful way.
Rachel: So what we should do is have complete mastery over them themselves. I mean, we’re treating them how they treat others. We might as well respect it. We should view sociopaths as sociopaths view other people. Sociopaths should become our personal playthings. And this is how I see, the way to solve this is to have sociopaths as our playthings, understanding them like they understand that our humans; beat them at their own game. I mean, learn from them, learn how to be a moral, emotional person who understands how to be a sociopath when you need to, as long as you don’t hurt anybody, I guess you can call me a libertarian. I believe in NAP, non-aggression principle, as long as you don’t hurt anybody, I think what you’re doing is fine.
Rachel: So yeah, it’s important to learn from bad people, but not become like them, but understand what their tactics are. And I would say that this is the best solution that I’ve come up with. We can’t just get rid of all the sociopaths, so.
Jim: Great, could say again where that article is, because that is an article that is of interest to our people in our community, the issue of how to deal with sociopaths, where can we find that?
Rachel: You can find it on Trigger Warning. It’s down right now, I’ll type it into the chat. I mean, it’s not down, you can still read the articles on, but we’re currently on hiatus because we’re pivoting Trigger Warning into a new brand. But yeah, that is one of the articles there.
Jim: Okay, got it. If it’s available, I’ll put it up on our episode page as we will all the links of things that we talked about. Well, that’s actually a good transition to my next topic, which is you, I think, currently still position yourself as someone who’s interested in the New Art Right. You wrote a book by that title and you talk about it from time to time. What is the New Art Right? And I know it has to do with aesthetics, but why don’t you just go with that, and then I’ll get into some questions about the book itself.
Rachel: Sure, the New Art Right is the name of my book. It’s a current that I created for people to build a new aesthetic movement, quite simply the conservative mainstream riots and the alt-right are just as bad as the social justice left to me. So we need to create options where creative people are able to communicate, build and produce without being targeted by social justice mobs, and without being annoyed by bone head like ultra America first types, you know what I mean? So we needed an Art Right for the creative people that are unbound by the social justice political correct narrative. So we need to be building our own institutions, building our own theater scenes. We need to be building our own companies and doing it with our own ethos.
Rachel: And just to be clear, I’m not a traditional right-winger in any way, my social views are pretty center left, and economically, I’m a centrist at this point, if you can believe it my radical centrist. But there was like a metaphysical realm on the right that I find a lot more interesting, that’s how I got into philosophers, like Evola on Spindler and then Organon and like even more canceled philosophers like Yagi, not because I agreed with what they’re saying, but because I enjoyed exploring that current. I dubbed the term psychic fascism which is being able to explore fascism without advocating for a fascist government or being a fascist yourself, letting your mind wander.
Jim: Now, I am not sure I can get my head around that, when I think of fascist, I think of enemies of civilization.
Rachel: That’s what I mean, is like, that is exactly what they are. But if we have a more psychic form of that, where people are exploring dark areas of their mind and not hurting people. If we have people that are engaged in artistic projects like for example, a guy, he makes a painting that is extremely offensive, but it’s also beautiful and provocative, he’s not actually advocating for a fascist government, but he is displaying imagery that really breaks down borders and boundaries of people’s minds. He’s making them think in a new way. This is why I’m really big against censorship of the arts because I think people need to see it all, the good, and the bad and the ugly. And I think that the Art Right should be a community of creatives that are willing to think as extreme as they can but are also creating things, but that are not advocating for fascist government or hurting each other. So I hope that clarifies things for you.
Jim: Yeah, that helps a little bit. Let me just pushed back a little bit, I think about movements for which aesthetics were significant, some of them aren’t such good ones. You think of Nazi aesthetic. So kind of a weird mix of German romanticism, realism and Greco-Roman classicism. And you think of the Stalinist socialist realism that actually were taken quite seriously by those regimes. But then we look at other revolutions that were mostly benevolent and benign and good for society, the American Revolution and the British glorious revolution of 1688, I would say neither of those had an aesthetic component. They were essentially just continued on in the way of their societies with respect to aesthetics. So from those samplings of history, might we say that trying to combine aesthetics with revolution might not be a good thing?
Rachel: Yeah, I mean, obviously like the Hitler example is obvious. If you’ve seen the movie Max is about Hitler as an art school student and he makes very bad paintings that nobody likes and then he makes some paintings that they like and his art teacher says, “This is the most incredible work of art I’ve ever seen.” And it’s a really good movie because it shows how aesthetics and politics can get convoluted. And suddenly you have a horrific group of actual fascists.
Rachel: But you can say that you like Nazi uniforms or Nazi architecture and be really against Nazism, there’s no reason you can’t. Like Brutalist architecture, it has fascist connotations. And then you have the Italian fascist, they were futurist, first. And the Italian Futurists were an art movement of people like us who talked about difficult issues that others were afraid of addressing and they wrote. I don’t know if you’ve read the futurist manifesto, but I really, really like this kind of expression. What I don’t like is to see violence, what I don’t like is to see people get hurt, what I don’t like is to see authoritarian governments. But do I want to see brilliant people that have dark ideas collaborate artistically? Absolutely.
Jim: Okay, I guess I can go with that. But again, I would, at least, from my perspective, think that what this alt-right, in particular, is suggesting is exact the opposite of what we need for our society. On the other hand, I’m with you. I don’t have any use for the politically correct social justice warriors either. What we really need to do is create a space for sensible people to create a better future for us all. Let’s dig in a little bit into The New Art Right, the book. One of the essays I thought was interesting, I’d love to get your thoughts on what you were trying to get at here, was called fighting words, to be precise. And kind of the core of it was 10 tips for successful counter-revolution, what were you trying to get at there?
Rachel: I was making fun of listicles. At the time, there were a lot of really dumb Buzzfeed in top 10 lists coming out, and they were just so ridiculous, so I decided I was going to mock them and come up with 10 tips for the counter-revolution. It is silly. Take it with a grain of salt, This one of the less serious pieces in The New Art Right, listicles are dumb, might as well make a funny one. And that was what went into my head when I wrote that one. But then, there were a few successful tips in there, like make friends, get out of the house, don’t sit around complaining about how the left is winning, do something yourself that’s going to leave in impact, don’t be a victim, be a winner, not a whiner. If you’re just some guy complaining about white genocide, how are you different from the anti-FIAC? How are you different from the protests groups? You’re doing the same thing as them. So, yeah, it’s a satirical list but there were some nuggets of truth in there, if you know what I mean.
Jim: Yeah, what I found it was kind of interesting. I’m not sure I 100% understood it, but maybe I got a sense of it, which was except that the right-wing is the proletariat.
Rachel: Yeah, so this was written in 2014, to be clear. And it was at a time where the left, I mean, I was still pretty much leftist at the time. I mean, I’m still a leftist according to some people, but there were also people that think I’m a neo-Nazi myself, so who knows? But it was really just the realization that I had let a lot of the anti-PC left is starting to have now is that the left is the elites, not that everybody in the left is an elite, but the Democratic Party is the party of elites and the Republican Party is the beyond the [inaudible 00:41:23] masses, the right has become the new proletariat. There was no room left on the left, that is how I like to put it.
Jim: That sounds like that’s a lot of your reaction against the left which causes you to use the least right terminology, is that you don’t believe there’s room for real discourse on the left anymore.
Rachel: Yeah, there’s definitely not. Like I said, I’m not the right-winger or anything. My idea for The Art Right is kind of like to vanguard the alt-right into something that is more about creation, self-expression, just being oneself and doing cool things, essentially. And to do your own thing, you might not be able to do that and on the left anymore. So what you see is really brilliant people, philosophers, scientists, engineers, that would have been left 10 years ago.
Rachel: But now, because the left has become civil leaders, then the right has become the proletariat, these people that are kind of like shoved into the right. It’s a disturbing phenomenon because I grew up pretty attached to the left, I believed in human rights and I was anti-censorship, I was anti-globalization, but now all of these things are, apparently, right-wing, so who knows? I mean, these labels are so stupid and that’s why The New Art Right is about just transcending that whole thing and subverting it and creating a GameB of my own.
Jim: Yeah, exactly, I was going to say, I think it sounds like your heart is more as a GameB person than as an alt-righter, right?
Rachel: Just to be clear, I was never an alt-righter. I was an alternative righter because I wrote full things, but no, I was never, sorry, I was never on the alt-right in any shape or form.
Jim: That’s a good pun though, I like that. An alt-writer with a W, right?
Rachel: Yeah, so I never liked people with low IQs that attack people for their appearances. These are anti-Semitic misogynistic, very mean people and there’s absolutely no reason to be associated with the alt-right at all. And if I hear somebody thinks that I’m alt-right, I just laugh because the alt-right has been so nasty to me, they’ve called me every name in the book. So, no, I’m not an alt-right. I was a target of being alt-right because I was just a weird intellectual doing my own thing.
Rachel: But I will say that I believe that a lot of the alt-right just comes from alienation from society. These people, they don’t fit in, in the mainstream, they feel unwelcome in public institutions and they feel like they just need a community, they feel like they just need a community. A lot of these people are young and they feel like they can’t discuss the real views with their peers, their parents. I mean, I had a friend of mine, a pretty so center-left friend, he told me that he was afraid of getting doxed because of his views. I’m like, “You’re a leftist, why are you afraid of getting doxed?” And he’s like, “Well, my friend just doxed and people are getting really mad because they don’t like my opinions.” I’m like, “You were the most male terrorist, if you’re afraid of getting doxed…” I think we have a climate of fear.
Jim: Yeah, and I will say, that’s just something that’s ugly in our society. And it’s why, my own view is, fuck both the right and the left. Neither of them struck me as what’s useful and they’re both turning vicious against each other. As you said, you’ve been attacked in bad ways by alt-rights and probably by some of the leftists too.
Rachel: Yeah, I’ve been attacked by the Antifas, they just thought it was funny to dox me. And they said, and I quote, “How can you say that she’s not a Nazi? She stated here that she wanted to change the alt-right into some gothic horse shit.” I think that’s the word they actually used. Something like Simon Vanguard God of horse shit and that was what they thought I though that the Art Right was no, there, Art Right is like, “Bye, bye neo-Nazis, we’re going to do her own thing here and you guys can stay over there getting arrested at marches. But we’re going to build empires of the mind because that’s what we do, we’re philosophers.”
Jim: Yes, I guess I would. Just my advice, I’d say, call it something besides the Art Right because-
Rachel: Yeah, I guess people associate that with the alt-right now, I hope they don’t though because nobody that knows me ever thought of that. They could see that it was actually an overthrow of the alt-right, but it was like, we were looking to replace the alt-right with the Art Right. We were deliberately gentrifying the alt-right. That was exactly what we wanted to do, that was the plan.
Jim: Yes, and I guess having been watching your tweets over the months, I was a little surprised to discover that you had, as I said, flirted with the neo-reaction. But now, I understand that you’re kind of a Zaikai surfer looking for interesting and peculiar things to riff off of, right?
Rachel: Yeah, also, just a fiercely independent thinker who does not believe that enforcing social norms on what you can think is a good idea.
Jim: Yes, and then of course, anyone knows me knows it’s pretty hard for anyone to get to put their social norms on me, either, right?
Rachel: Take your social norms off my body.
Jim: Exactly, another interesting essay in the book was called new institution. And you mentioned the H.L Mencken conference in Baltimore that you had attended and I had to smile and laugh. I read every book that H.L Mencken has written, including ones that are almost impossible to get your hands on. I have a library in my apartment in town.
Rachel: I’m trying to get the box set. I love that box set and I’m trying to get my hands on it.
Jim: Yes, I got mostly old antique copies of stuff from the ’30s and the ’20s. I even have his H. L Mencken Baby Book, which is-
Rachel: No way.
Jim: Yeah, where he actually, for money, wrote a book on how mothers should take care of young babies.
Rachel: So either way there you have like obscure. It’s just like having a friend about they have like a limited edition vinyl, this is great.
Jim: Exactly, these are the ancient stuff. But anyway, I thought it was an interesting point.
Rachel: I love them. Notes on Democracy was just a really good book. I just like the way that he views the world in similar to the way that I view the world and it’s more like Nietzsche or like Stirner, it’s individualist on more or even like the Yuga concept of the anarch the self-serving individual that does things for their own reasons, not for the reasons of the community, not for the reasons of the government, but just because they want to do them complete freedom of action.
Jim: You know, the one book I do not have is Mencken’s Translation of Nicha. Mencken wrote the very first Translation of Nicha into English in 1909 when he was 19 years old. And it’s very clear that Mencken is a Nicha kind of character. But yeah, there’s an awful lot of interesting stuff in Mencken. But on the other hand, he has a dark side too. I’ve also read his diaries, which were released, I don’t know, 20 years ago, excerpts from them. And they were very interesting, but it’s also pretty damn clear that he was a pretty bad anti-Semite, that’s worth knowing as well.
Rachel: I actually, I did not know that I’ve only read Notes on Democracy. I just saw as like an individualist anarchist. So I thought he was like a Nietzsche and like a Stirner type.
Jim: He is mostly, but he’s a guy from that era, from the South, more or less, Baltimore, sort of a Southern town. And so, he had that oh boy anti-Semitism in a pretty nasty fashion, but he didn’t seem to let it affect his personal life. His business partner was Jewish, his publisher was Jewish, he got along fine with Jewish people. But he does have an ugly anti-Semitic streak in that it cannot be denied, but on the other hand, he’s an interesting writer. So I would say, I’m not going to cancel, I’m not going to pull it out as statue, I’m not going to get rid of my H.L Mencken library, I’m going to acknowledge that he was one of the more brilliant thinkers of the early part of the 20th century, but he had a flaw, he was an anti-Semite, so.
Rachel: Yeah, you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. And as a Jewish woman who has interacted in right wing intellectual circles, I’ve actually attempted to dissect anti-Semitism and figure out what it’s about and I would like to understand it. And one of the conclusions that I came to is that it’s about fear of the other. Also, fear of neuroticism. This is a big one. A simple distaste for people who might not have the perfect level of conscientiousness, you know what I mean? There definitely seems to be like a bit of a hatred for the other. And then the other dissection I made of the anti-Semitism was that it was just like the far rights scapegoat was the Jews. But when they really meant was the global corporations doing trade that were affecting nation’s ability to thrive but they didn’t say, that they said the Jews. Then maybe a lot of the grievances were simply like global corporations. But you see, you have a problem with global corporations, people think you’re an anti-Semite, then some people jumped how high, it’s complicated.
Jim: On the other hand, to me, it’s a signal when people start talking about the Jews to just realize that there’s something seriously wrong with their world model. I love the quote somewhere that, what is it? That “Anti-Semitism is the bigotry of idiots,” something like that. And it’s a very good warning sign for people, if you’re involved in a community where people start talking about the Jews, just head for the door and you’ll be better off for it, right?
Rachel: Yeah, I mean, there was a time when I tried to argue with them, and I said, “Well, look, there were a lot of Jews that don’t believe in global corporatism. There are a lot of Jews that have no media power.” But I realized that these people, they’re going to hate the Jews no matter what. I didn’t want to be, what was it, the shuttle of metal, there’s actually a name for the one Jew that’s accepted by the Nazis, kind of like the uncle Tom’s, there’s also the shuttle of metals. And I’m like, “I don’t want to be a shuttle of metal. I’m just an independent thinker who wants to live my own life, and build cool things, and talk to people who interest me.”
Rachel: So yeah, patriot on the other is bad and I do think that a lot of it comes from men. And like I said, a lot of it comes from a racism-related to neurobiology. There were a lot of people that think personality traits are hard-wired. You’ve got the big five personality test, and some people just happen to be a little lower in conscientiousness, a little higher on neuroticism. If you have a problem with somebody because they’re weird, which I think a lot of anti-Semitism is just like a hatred of being weird, then the problem is you, that the problem is that you are a boring person who does not understand life, and that’s their loss.
Jim: I would agree, I’d agree. Let’s go on to talk about another essay. What’s so bad about cosmopolitanism.
Rachel: Oh, yeah, the provocative title.
Jim: Yeah, what were you getting at there?
Rachel: Okay, so and the nationalist community and people scapegoat cosmopolitanism, they say there’s cosmopolitan Bohemian, Marxist [inaudible 00:53:02]. But cosmopolitanism wasn’t always a way for people to dominate you through Marxism. It was simply a way for people to explore all types of life to travel through different countries, to learn how different people lived. And cosmopolitanism was a pursuit of knowledge, it was the pursuit of culture, of learning, of experience. But now the way that people use the term or they’re talking more about, we have a certain type of Bohemian intellectual that they personally do not like. And I don’t think that’s their right way to go about it.
Rachel: I mean, first of all, if you really wanted to, you can become a cosmopolitan nationalist. There’s no reason you can’t support national borders and also like the idea of traveling and meeting new people. I mean, there’s nothing contradictory about that. I think a lot of people, they just don’t understand nuance. And to them anything cosmopolitan or anything like Marxist is bad to them, even anything creatives is bad to them, this is why the Nazis burned the books of their more interesting philosophers. And this is also why there is the Nazi purge, that the Night of the Long Knives. A lot of the early Nazis that were called Strasserist. They were considered to be like a degenerate because they were gay and creative.
Rachel: So most people don’t even know that, they think there was like only one Nazi party, they don’t even know that there was actually a split and that the more creative Nazis got killed during that historical night. But, of course, I wasn’t there. In history, we have the news and the news is just like a deep based diversion of history. So we don’t know what really happened but what I will say is that we should always question everything that we’re told and form our own conclusions.
Jim: Yeah, that’s always a good idea. You mentioned the Strasser, as you said, most people don’t know about that ancient history but Nazi was national socialists and there actually were socialists in the national socialists and the Strasser brothers were more or less the leaders of that faction. And that was another reason they were kicked out and I think one of them was killed in the Night of the Long Knives. So there were a lot of oddities in that history. So basically you come out in favor of cosmopolitan, again, I’d say that not very compatible with today’s right-wing to say the least, right?
Rachel: Yeah, and again, this is why I’m using the term Art Right because I’m saying, “You guys are doing something that I am not interested in, what I’m interested in doing is over here.”
Jim: Got it, and the final essay, I think it was actually an appendix or something, which more or less summed up where you were coming from, it was called Toward a Darker Bohemia, tell us about that.
Rachel: Yeah, so the dark Bohemian is what I envision is, in your time it’s going to be like a GameB for the New Art Right which is a world in which people can live together creatively, where people can express themselves where they can have a good time, have intellectual conversations where they can engage in theater philosophy, the arts almost like a symposium that becomes a movement that is the dark Bohemian. People exploring the darker areas of consciousness, having an experience in which they’re not confounded by reason and rationality they’re not a part of this, the opiate of the masses. The reason is an opiate of the masses but it’s still the preferred tool of control among the elite, it’s kind of like a materialist prison.
Rachel: And while we do need reason as an enlightened society, what we don’t need is reason turning into a part of this new liberal monolithic DNA culture. So what’s the answer? You create a dark Bohemia, you create a world where we have a fiery new meta political current. And we engage in everything from having fashion shows to having live bands play that have this really dark and hurtful energy. And we didn’t have to do this in a way that’s like what some people might say it’s satanic, no. It’s just exploring darker topics and learning darker ideas in a really creative way.
Rachel: Even poetry, art, even just getting on stage in a costume and giving a powerful speech that is the dark Bohemia, of people uniting to form this new game, I’ll call it game dark Bohemia. It’s a bit of a romantic essay, I’m not going to deny that. But I think it is important to understand how reason and utilitarianism. And I know Spangler talked a lot about this are being used to kind of like take the soul out of people and turn them into these non-player characters. And I think that we need to fight that by creating a resurrection of philosophy.
Jim: Yeah, I think that is a good vision. It does oftentimes feel like GameA is a flat land, has lost its soul. We’re all driven by this machine to maximize money on money return and whatever beauty and conviviality exists kind of seems to exist almost despite the behemoth itself. And if we started to think about what, as a society, look like or these kinds of aesthetic and personal, and particularly in my mind convivial, the idea of celebration with other people face to face in song and dance and drink and maybe some other crazy stuff and made that central to our society rather than money on money return we’d be heading towards on a better road for sure.
Rachel: I would like to see that. And I don’t think money is the problem that a lot of people on the left do, I mean, a lot of these anti-capitalists are kind of, they don’t understand that the core issue is the utilitarian lack of interest in things that really blow people’s minds. It’s more of an interest in just sticking to what they consider to be the most efficient thing, but what they do when they do that is they lock out new possibilities and they actually become less efficient as a result because they cut out anything on the margins that might like temporarily creates a bit too much entropy. But if all they’re doing is weeding out entropy then they’re basically weeding out growth.
Rachel: And it’s not that entropy is good, but entropy is real, entropy exists. And maybe instead of like weeding out entropy, we should find out how to scale it properly. I have a model, I call it scaling volatility, where if you scale volatility positively, then you have vitality. But if you scale volatility negatively and then you have decline. It’s important to understand that entropy is a force that you don’t just have to run away from, you can learn the edges of it. You can explore entropy and figure out the way to make it work best for you. But unfortunately, the majority of people are just like, “Oh, no entropy.” And then they think that they’re making progress when they’re actually holding back the evolution of the species and of civilization.
Jim: Got it, That’s interesting vision. Let’s see, what else we got here. A few things left to go, you’ve talked about from time to time about anarchy. What are your thoughts on anarchy as an alternative?
Rachel: Well, I always considered myself an anarchist because I didn’t believe in authoritarian rule. And I believed in the sovereignty of the individual. But a lot of anarchists, they’ve called me, well, some not nice names. I found myself more like in the Stirner individualist anarchist side of things. I remember taking a lot of flack because I worked for an anti PC anarchist site, I called Attack the System which, I mean, I don’t even know if I would be an anarchist according to the terms of what anarchy means now. For me, it was always about self-sovereignty, suddenly then the people like, “Oh, see where the libertarian.” I’ve made the joke that a libertarian is just an anarchist that gets wise to success. So yeah, that’s how I feel about that.
Jim: Alrighty, as a strong woman who sailed in many different seas, I’d love to get your thoughts on sex, gender and all that.
Rachel: I think that sex and gender are talked about too much. And there’s a big over-importance placed on them whether we’re talking about sexual adventures that people have on their blogs. I don’t want to read about it, sorry, I want to do it with my girlfriends and I don’t want to read these vice articles about somebody’s sexual stray. I think that there’s too much information out about it. I find it to be a kind of, I don’t want to say degenerate, but classless, it’s a vulgar. So yeah, have the best sex that you can but do you really have to announce it all the time? And then still complaining about how you can’t have sex or a sex worker talking about how sex work is the best thing in the world or just some horny guy who’s talking about how many times he got laid.
Rachel: It’s like, “Aren’t you guys going to talk about something more interesting than sex?” I’m sure sex is sacred, to me sex is sacred and it should be kept private. So that is my view on sex. My view on gender is that I really do not care. I am bisexual, so I like men, I like women. I like who I like, I don’t really care about all the gender wars. I don’t have a problem with trans people. The trans friends that I have, have told me they have a problem with the weaponizing of transgenderism as like a political cause. And they don’t support canceling people for using the wrong pronouns, they think that’s stupid. They say fuck pronouns and these are trans friends of mine.
Rachel: So I think a lot of it is overblown in the media, what happens is people that they magnify the really deranged pronoun police and they make you think that like all trans people are like that when they’re not. And I also just think that there are more important issues. I don’t care if somebody is trans, it doesn’t matter to me, I just don’t care. Sure I’d like to see an end to pronoun policing, it goes overboard when you have a poor white working-class construction worker who just uses the wrong pronoun and suddenly he lost his job because he didn’t have the education to know what the pronoun was, it’s a horrible thing when that happens. But there’s just no reason not to be respectful to other people and referred to them as their preferred pronouns, I just don’t care so much, to me this is like really mundane, to be honest.
Jim: Got you, all right, I understand where you’re coming from there. And finally, something you tweeted about recently, or retweeted I think actually, the recent Slate Star Codex controversy, where, for those folks who aren’t following this, this is a blog and that we call it the rationalist tradition. In fact, I believe the author originally started writing on LessWrong, which is one of the core rationalist blogs. And he was being interviewed by the New York Times. And the New York Times was going to publish a story but insisted on using his real name. And for various reasons, he thought he could be a victim of the online mobs and said that if they went ahead and did that he’d take his blog down and he did.
Rachel: Yeah, I guess it’s the same. Scott’s a prolific blogger and doxing people is horrible, you should never do that. I mean, the thing is, he is actually a good guy. When I was going through some serious trauma, he referred me to a professional. Scott is a pillar in the rationalist community, he has never said or done anything racist. He even wrote an anti-neoreactionary FAQ, he does not agree with any of that stuff. I have no idea. I’m not like a rationalist insider, I have rationalist friends but I like to explore rationality as an artist. I don’t know if the New York Times article is even going to come out and I’m like, we were talking about earlier about, I don’t care about the New York Times, I’m never going to get a job there.
Rachel: So I don’t know, I mean, journalists are bullies, and that they do go after easy targets. It’s possible that Scott is autistic and maybe didn’t realize that something in his blog that he said to be interpreted as racist. I really don’t know, I hate these witch hunts, I hate the way these journalists do this. And it’s because they’re not going after the real bad guys. They’re not going after the true evil people, like the wolves in sheep’s clothing who pretend to be saints. That the most evil in the world are not going to act like the villains but instead these activists and journalists, they go after innocent people who were actually pillars of our communities. And I think they should stop and hopefully they get pushed back from this whole incident.
Jim: Yes, I think I would agree with you on that. Well, Rachel, I think this has been a very interesting conversation. We’ve covered all kinds of ground, I learned a bunch of things while I was doing the research for it. I really like to thank you for coming on the show.
Rachel: Yeah, it was fun, I’m happy to talk on the future, and yeah, I hope to see you at the Elixir Salon.
Jim: Well, we’ll see if we can make it. Well, thanks again, Rachel, very good.
Rachel: Awesome, take care.
Production services and audio editing by Jared Janes Consulting, music by Tom Mueller at modernspacemusic.com