On the Aesthetics of the Bronze Age Mindset
By Karl X Brown
Just be authentic, I say. Is that too much to ask?
This essay has been republished with the author’s permission. The original can be found here
When one is between deadlifts, and one’s heart is racing, and one’s face is reddened with blood, one’s world becomes an ocean of silence. One’s mind is now perfectly clear, virginal, and the anxiety and dread that preceded the lift are annihilated.
True living for any animal is defined thus, by intervals of clarity and carelessness punctuated by moments of terror. Otium et bellum — leisure and war. And I suppose this is why we are inclined to lift things, climb walls of rock, or fight people for sport: whoever wishes to know the force or current of the psyche must in some way resist it, by placing oneself at a point corresponding to the soul, or the Urform, even if only in simulation.
It is hard, then, to fool the man who lives in some measure according to his true nature. Every step towards hardness, every mode of mastery of the self, adds another stroke of paint to the picture of the Great Lie. Thus, he who has attained some mastery of the self, a mastery of the body, has already come to know a measure of truth that he hadn’t before. He is now more able to be both a destroyer and a creator. The one who is happy in weakness however is the one who is fine with lies, the one who lets evil into the city. He fundamentally despises the body.
When understood properly, human society is much like a body: errors in one organ of this leviathan will lead to errors in all of her organs. And this “disease” as such is unavoidable. A city built upon a lie will reflect the lie in its art and architecture, which will not honor the gods, but mock them. Citizens will wear the lie on their person, putting rings in their noses and coloring their hair. In speech, they will be demure and upward-lilting, and shrill and hysterical when their Idols are challenged.
There is no metaphysical difference between the aesthetic lie and the lie which is spoken. The main difference between those who read Bronze Age Mindset and those who read something like Vox is that the former do not in their hearts believe that error has rights. The latter do not believe that truth has rights.
“Don’t get me wrong,” wrote Tara Burton in a Vox column, “I’m not citing Bronze Age Pervert because I think his ideology deserves a platform.”
It is understandable that the new priest-class should want to suppress a book like this, because, however illiberal the discourse may be, it is consonant with the philosophy of our time. The phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” presupposes the personal God, or else it’s a philosophically baseless claim. I suppose we humans know in the blood that we have natural rights, that there is telos in the world, but none of this logically follows in the unholy worldview that has been handed to us, and which journalists dutifully enforce in whatever unethical and amoral ways are required.
Indeed then, as our author asked, “How is it possible for all to have an equal share in the state and a full demand on its resources when they in fact possess no actual physical force?”
“No real man would ever accept the legitimacy of abstract entities such as ‘human rights’ and ‘equality,’ which for all practical purposes means you must, for entirely imaginary reasons, defer to the opinions of slaves, aliens, fat childless women, and others who have no share in the actual physical power.”
This is an accurate description of “democracy” as we understand it today, rather perversely and quite far astray from its original meaning both here and abroad, as a notion that all persons have a right of participation in policy and leadership by virtue of having set foot on a plot of land and having filled out the proper paperwork. Even the old Greeks, the inventors of this plague, didn’t think native Greeks had rights as such simply because they were ethnically “Greek “— to say nothing of the preposterous situation today, in which first-generation aliens are allowed to write our laws, siphon off and re-distribute our wealth, and openly claim that the land our ancestors paid for in cash and blood is actually the spiritual property of some contrived idea of an indigenous people.
When was any of this voted for?
Now, this is all just “fascist word-salad,” and “wrong, so wrong” to liberal journalists, whose moral dinner-plate consists of pieces of Darwin and Marcuse, among others, and side of mashed potatoes in the shape of Christ, whose morality only applies as needed. As the author writes, “When they say they are atheists, I never believe them. They sneak in the soul and free will when you’re not looking.”
Given this incoherence, it is natural that in the discourses of modern liberal philosophers we see not a love of truth, but an obsession with “power,” which they fundamentally lack, and with “rights,” which they don’t have without the God whose morality they so strongly oppose. The quandary is inescapable: either he exists or he does not. Tertium non datur.
Just be authentic, I say. Is that too much to ask?
Nietzsche recognized, like so many philosophers of yore, and many emos of our time, that life is mostly suffering. For him, however, this predicament was bad because of the sheer vanity of it, and that is what he sought to change. Being a true psychologist, he wrote with an elitist aim, recognizing that only an elect few will even know what to do with this. And of course, he also wrote with an utter lack of subtlety, and not a word more than needed, much like our author:
“Modern democracy is totalitarian and vicious, and tries to subject the best to the heaps of biological refuse and most especially to the rules of those who can stir them up.”
Journalism was once, in principle at least, about “speaking truth to power,” but what the press really does is “alert power of truth.” Nowadays we pay journalists to defame people, drive them into financial ruin and in some cases suicide for having the wrong political opinions. This is the only possible outcome for a democracy, which, even as far back as Plato, was known to be a veil for an oligarchy of unaccountable degenerates. No one in honesty uses the term democracy today, but the term is bandied about just the same, with few people taking issue with what is so clearly a lie. Today, people don’t take issue with lying so much as denying the “facts of science.” Lying is expected. Thus, establishment journalists, who are in fact professional liars — and even corruptors of science — are not held as they would be in a better time to the flames of justice.
If a society doesn’t believe in truth, it can’t have nice things, and would scarcely know how to identify such things. In any case, ours certainly can’t demand “compassion” for people who would stand to oppose us on all fundamental and political levels. No human is illegal, you say? I say it’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs (Matthew 15:26). We haven’t seen the prophesy of Ecce Homo come to pass yet. The pot of water is just now starting to show little bubbles….
The world is not all bad, of course. The world is a theophany! The human spirit, the Urform of man, lives on; for one cannot kill what is. There are still many of us out here on the perimeter who are willing to write these songs for you, which are no more grim jeremiads as they are songs of hope and triumph; paeans to the gods themselves. But our civilization, “the West,” she is already dead, the knife stuck in and twisted long ago. It just takes a few centuries for a monster of this size to finally bleed out.
On a large scale, indeed, we have to understand that truly nothing good is happening in this world. And nothing good can happen until all of our Idols are smashed and this world is ground into dust. It has happened before.
Any keen and honest observer can see that whatever zeal and vigor had existed previously in the West has been replaced by apostasy and Acadia, a morbid obesity of the body and the spirit. Our art sucks. Our music sucks. Film and storytelling sucks. Even our science, the true Idol of our time, also sucks:
“The cleansing barbarism that I talk about here must first sweep the world: no science is possible any longer, nor anything else, in a place where all spheres of life have been submerged into the great mother of the Yeast.”
What did he mean by this?
It’s hard to believe that an “empirically oriented” civilization could be bad at science, but this is the case: at least half of all scientific literature, according to the most prominent vendors themselves, is false. Occasionally, AI-generated will slip through the peer review process. We remove Nobel-winners from polite society on nakedly ideological grounds. Philistinism of this sort is so pervasive that even “esteemed intellectuals” like Nassim Taleb refer to the most robustly validated psychometric ever devised — that is IQ, which has survived a century of ideological onslaught — as a “largely pseudoscientific swindle.” If that is true, then we should rightly cast out entire fields of “hard science” on the basis of reproducibility alone, to say nothing of “climate science,” whose forecasts have failed spectacularly for decades.
The way I see things, even if global warming is true we should welcome it: let the seas rise and swallow up all the coastal filth; let some future race, perhaps 10,000 years from now, unearth giant deposits of dildos and fleshlights that haven’t yet biodegraded.
The empirico-materialist worldview of our time is one in which nothing transcends the idiocy of this world, the “here and now,” that immanent and aggressive mediocrity which reveals itself in architecture, in background music, in film award speeches, and the aisles of ranch dressing with seed oil and corn syrup. It works to kill any sense of theophany, and causes man to abandon religious zeal for lamest principles of scientism and “reason.” After three centuries or more, in fact, we are still being sold on Enlightenment from the likes of Dawkins, Pinker, and many self-styled classical liberals, long after those dogmas were refuted by much more authentic and interesting breeds of Luciferian, chiefly Nietzsche.
Libertarians think this is 10/10
At what point will we admit that the picture we’ve painted here is the telos of reason? The rest stops. The ranch. The junk science. The lying media. Few people have the ability to understand the nature of their slavery, and perhaps there is a protective mechanism in place. Slaves in any case don’t have real thoughts, and through all the sound and fury of history nothing really changes: even Plato’s Republic recommended a diet rich in carbohydrates.
The thing about reason is not that I’m against it, it’s just that it’s all talk. Dogma still rules, and very little dissent is actually tolerated even in scientific circles. We tolerate Christianity and Islam, for example, only insofar as those dogmas can be dovetailed with liberal ones: “God said be nice to people, ergo infinite migrants.” The bit about not sacrificing your unborn children to Moloch, however, was probably just a parable.
Today’s priest-class — the philistines of academia, the lying media and their minions — act much like the early Christians, those “bearded men in black robes” as the author writes, who stormed the pagan countryside, “smashing temples in their hysterical rages, crushing statues, burning books.” This new ecclesiastical order incites racial hatred with fables about European colonization, whose details are almost entirely false. They hire lesbians to re-interpreter Greek and Roman myths, condemning the “racism” and “misogyny” while using the sodomy and pederasty to justify moral relativism. They insert mythical blue-eyed Africans into English and even Swedish history and pass it off as science.
No one who had actually earned the power that they possess, who had actually risked their skin, who in so doing had built a culture that is theirs and theirs to hand down, would have such a contempt for culture, and for a people’s history. Surely no one likes to be colonized, even if it imparts a massive economic benefit, as it did for India, the Americas, and Haiti alike. In the end, all of those peoples still rightly rejected the white man. But, to exploit a people by risking one’s skin at least carries a sense of honor with it. For better or worse, that is the story of the world. On the other hand, to slowly erase a people’s history through film and advertising, and through the structures of academia — a Marxist brainwashing industry ironically built on debt-slavery — is worlds apart from the peccadilloes of the Dutch or the shamelessness of Cecil Rhodes. And in the course of this passive-aggressive “conquest” today, we don’t even get economic benefits: they make up a “skills shortage” and give your children’s jobs to foreigners, and then mock you when you complain about it.
This is not an error as I see it. This is Enlightenment, as Steven Pinker and Francis Fukuyama tout: tolerance, reason, science, and progress. Man is mere utility, flattened and submerged in the temporal flow posited by Galileo, Newton, Darwin and Lamarck. Once the Western mind sought out reasons for its faith, it devolved into a naïve faith in reason. It’s not just that we don’t have God and the accompanying meta-narrative. The Greeks didn’t have that God, but they still had Logos and a pantheon of heroes. We clearly believe in things just as invisible and far less probable. Darwin is the new Moses. Old creation myths involving lightning and amino acids masquerade as science. There is no stability possible in a materialist system, as seen in the rules of liberal discourse which change from year to year, or even week to week. Ours is indeed a world of total flux like the river of Heraclitus: no man steps out into the same world twice. And yet no actual progress happens, for not only is there no way to measure such a thing, there’s no reason for it.
The author has much to say about the blood, or instinct, which the modern world stamps out at every turn, as it tends to do with everything else that can’t be seen under a microscope or run through Excel. All around us, though, we can see even in these many examples that the intellect doesn’t really match what is in the blood. No one thinks they don’t have free will, nor that truth doesn’t real, nor that the world is without telos. No one really likes all the weird behaviors, the dissonance, the flabbiness, the fucking ranch. Those who cotton on to weirdness, who color their hair and put rings in their noses, are merely reflecting the ugliness which surrounds them. It is a kind of rebellion, but a fully-approved and engineered one, by the selfsame vendors of the Great Lie. And these “punk rockers”are made into the fiercest proponents of the system that causes their ennui and alienation.
In a way, you have to hand it to the people running things. Just imagine how much brain power is out there being wasted, diverted in these kinds of endeavors, into wrecking lives and undermining society. In a more virtuous time, these people would be painting and writing legendary stories, or doing real science.
The author is right to say that no real innovation or greatness of any kind is possible in this “milieu.” But it doesn’t have to be like this, and the empire of lies will self-immolate in time. What is really in the blood, and how might we discover it?
Vince Gironda ca. 1955 — transcending the Urform.
The greatest natural resource is man, and therefore man’s manipulation of other men constitutes the greatest of all possible technologies: man then is both the artisan and the artefact. The root of the problem thus is not “science” and “technology” as I see it, but socialization. Where the former two can be useful tools, socialization is like a fire blanket whose only utility is to put out the spark that exists in the human beast. It makes men limp and lame, and makes women, who in their sweet and giving nature are far more social than men, into weapons of total destruction. Science then is the perfect god for the socialized mind because, as structured today at least, science requires a consensus, the backing of “venerable institutions,” and provides the unthinking with a “source to support one’s claim.” Even weightlifters are often obsessed with using science to determine the correct number of reps to make the quad muscle grow by “13% over 6 weeks.”
Bronze Age Mindset tells of many historical men, giants of the spirit, whose exploits are truly captivating. Horrific at times, sure, but interesting. Surely this spirit exists in us today, and need not manifest in spilled blood, but it hardly manifests at all, even as it did fifty years ago in men like Vince Gironda.
Gironda gave nary a shit what conventional wisdom said about eating nothing but steak and eggs for years on end. There was no abundance of junk research to cloud the mind back then like there is today. Like all early bodybuilders, he just intuited what was correct, both nutritionally and in the gym, and just did it. He knew in his blood that man is at root a carnivore, that he was a son of the monsters of the Eurasian steppe. He hated steroids, thought squats were ghey, and did almost everything against the orthodoxy of the time.
Brash and hyper-masculine even by the standards of fifity years ago — the world was normal then — Gironda was so unfazed by the presence of Arnold that upon meeting him and hearing of his many titles he just shrugged and called him a fat fuck, and then taught him how to cut properly.
This is divine carelessness as the author puts it; this is barbarism. It does not appear in people today. I don’t find it useful or productive to argue with today’s morons that toxic masculinity doesn’t exist; I say it is non-negotiable. This type is where storytelling comes from. Had he lived during the Bronze Age, there is no doubting that Gironda would have been driven to levels of carnality and decadence that we couldn’t even work into a believable movie script. True storytelling, real characters — these do not come from a script run past market research and coked-up producers, and then line-edited by the Pentagon. The heroic personality is not really allowable anymore. It wasn’t long ago, however, that we had vigilantes and bank robbers as folk heroes. The folk heroes of today are people who get shot for running away from cops, or for being actors in a hate-hoax. We look back on the exploits of Vlad the Impailer and Genghis Khan and other villains of history with macabre affection once time has passed and Earth has renewed the reddened soil these men left in their wake. The fact that Trump, a man completely anodyne by comparison, is seen by so many as Nero himself only shows that people kind of want a tyrant.
The “art of not giving fuck” or the “art of manliness” cannot be written by some self-help bugman with low-T and a sponsored blog. If you really “give no fucks,” most of the world will despise you, but the few who don’t will fall on a petard for you. The art of such things is written here, it’s seen in the men of the past, in the rare few who walk among us today, and it lives in the blood. It is not an art at all, nor any other mode of intellect; it is pure instinct.
In the end, bodybuilding in some form is non-optional. As the author writes: “Only physical beauty is the foundation for a higher culture of the mind and spirit as well. Only sun and steel will show you the path.” Mastery of the body lays the foundation for self-control, and all wisdom and beauty flows from there. There is a reason, too, that ascetics have always touted fasting, and even Socrates supported physical fitness in spite of his own slovenly appearance. The wisdom is already known to us; it is written in the pages of history and in the blood.
More honestly and purely speaks the healthy body. And it speaks of the meaning of the Earth.
For all the apparent change in history, and time and place, nothing really changes at the metaphysical level of things. In modern times, many ancient pathologies and philosophical problems bear themselves out quite naturally, only in different ways than before. The oldest problem in philosophy is that of the one and the many. This is the progenitor of a thousand pyramids and untold millions of human sacrifices: innocent souls who sprang onto the scene and so quickly returned to Earth’s womb, nameless and forgotten. Planned Parenthood is more or less analogically the same as these ancient rituals of sacrifice. Transhumanism and transgenderism in turn are rational progressions of the old pagan presupposition that underlies modern atheism.
In man, there is a built-in religious impulse and a built-in resentment of being, or limitation, and expressions of man’s metaphysical problem is evident everywhere today: in the transgendered, in the SJW who hates the meaning of words, and in the transhumanist who wants to upload his consciousness to a machine. In all cases, the man is grappling with the impossibility of his own existence and his yen for meaning in a universe that he “knows” is meaningless. There is no use trying to reason with these people, or fighting “socialism,” or debating leftists. It’s not possible to argue with someone who has abandoned truth. Today’s pathologies are inevitable and will continue to propagate for as long as the empire stands, because these pathologies are useful. The enemy is the one who looks, as Percy Shelley wrote, ‘round the decay of this colossal wreck, and still says “yes” to life, and who lives for the beautiful and the true. He is the law breaker, and he is the future. The path of truth is uphill and upwind; it’s not for everyone. Thus it always has been and always will be.