Bloody shovel

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Houellebecq on the new matriarchy

A while ago I said that France deserves to die, if only to atone for the dozens of evil intellectuals that she has inflicted on the world, from Rousseau to Derrida. That’s a bit harsh. France after all has given us Michel Houellebecq, and while he will never have 1/1000 of the influence of a crazy sodomite on drugs like Foucault, he is still the best writer in the whole world of the last 50 years, and that counts for a lot.

Apparently Monsieur Houellebecq went to Argentina to give some talks, and here’s one which got uploaded to Youtube. The talk is in French, with Spanish subtitles, both of which are quite tractable on Google translate. He talks about the current intellectual landscape of France, where everyone even half interesting is a reactionary, haunted by the left, but they don’t mind it, hold it as a badge of honor. Let me highlight the last 15 minutes.

Let me quote Tocqueville:

I want to imagine under what new features despotism could present itself to the world; I see an innumerable crowd of similar and equal men who spin around restlessly, in order to gain small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn apart, is like a stranger to the destiny of all the others; his children and his particular friends form for him the entire human species;g as for the remainder of his fellow citizens, he is next to them, but he does not see them; he touches them without feeling them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone, and if he still has a family, you can say that at least he no longer has a homeland [patrie]. 

Above those men arises an immense and tutelary power that alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyment and of looking after their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, far-sighted and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like it, it had as a goal to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary it seeks only to fix them irrevocably in childhood; it likes the citizens to enjoy themselves, provided that they think only about enjoying themselves. It works willingly for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent for it and the sole arbiter; it attends to their security, provides for their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, settles their estates, divides their inheritances; how can it not remove entirely from them the trouble to think and the difficulty of living?

This was published in 1840, in the second part of Democracy in America. I found it breathtaking. In terms of ideas, this own passage contains the whole of my work. I’d only add one thing: the individual in Toqueville at least has a friend and a family; in my universe he doesn’t anymore. So the process of atomization that he described has reached it’s final conclusion.

This passage also contains almost all of the work of Phillippe Muray. Phillippe only added one thing: that that power he described isn’t a fatherly power. He sees it as motherly power. And so the modernity announced by Muray implies the comeback of the matriarchy, in a new form, formed by the state. So the state keeps the people in a perpetual state of infancy; and the first enemy that modern society attempts to crush is virility itself.

In this sense, the evolution of France since Muray’s death [in 2006], and in particular since the socialists won the presidency, have confirmed his prophecies to an amazing degree. So much that even himself would have been surprised by, for example, the fact that France was after Sweden the second country in Europe to criminalize prostitution. I think he would have had trouble understanding it.

If I tell you my opinion, I believe that banning prostitution amounts to abolishing one of the fundamental pillars of society. It means making marriage impossible. Without prostitution as a corrective, marriage collapses, family collapses too, and then society for demographic reasons. And so banning prostitution is simply one aspect of the European suicide.

So as things stand now we can predict a great future with a rather ancient formula, which comes from the Middle Ages, the 7th century. Salafist Islam. It’s true that right now the events aren’t quite agreeing with me. But I stand by my prophecy. Because jihadism will end, people always end up tiring of carnage and suicide. The proliferation of Islam is only on its early phases, because demographics are on its side. And Europe, by not defending itself, has a suicidal attitude. And we mustn’t think it will be a slow suicide. With a fertility rate of 1.3 or 1.4, it will happen very quickly.

Given the circumstances, I think all those debates that French intellectuals are having on secularism, Islam, etc. are all completely pointless. For they ignore the only relevant factor, which is the present state of the couple and the family.

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43 responses to “Houellebecq on the new matriarchy

  1. Pingback: Houellebecq on the new matriarchy | @the_arv

  2. dnarby May 30, 2017 at 01:24

    France also gave us Frédéric Bastiat http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html without which arguably there never would have the American Revolution.

    • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 08:59

      I’ll put that in the negative category.

    • Michael Rothblatt May 30, 2017 at 10:49

      He was born in 1801, and The Law was published in 1850. How on Earth could he have had any effect on American Revolution?!
      Maybe you confused him with Baron de Montesquieu, or maybe even Cato (but Cato was two Brits, John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon).

  3. Jefferson May 30, 2017 at 01:46

    That’s a sharp blade. Land thinks that tech makes demographics secondary, which would make now the exception. Interesting times, either way.

    • Thales May 30, 2017 at 15:11

      Tech makes demographics secondary if your last name is Zuckerberg or Bezos. A rising drone swarm only lifts all boats if you did a lot of acid back in the hippy days like Land.

  4. Garr May 30, 2017 at 02:00

    I don’t think that Europe would be Salafist-Islamic in the end; rather, Salafism would spread and grow in power, then the Rulers would go Muslim in order to maintain continuity with the ruled so as to rule them more completely and it would be more like Nasser’s Egypt except with clever West-European Rulers and a once-again-reproducing native West-European population.

    • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 09:00

      And what happened to Nasser’s Egypt?

      • Garr May 30, 2017 at 11:26

        Arabs who felt and were inferior. Frenchmen feel and are superior.

        • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 12:00

          No, Nasser’s liberal Egypt slowly went salafist.

          • Garr May 30, 2017 at 16:01

            Because it was full of Arabs who felt and were inferior. A Muslim France will not be Salafist because it is full of Frenchmen who feel and are superior.

            • Rod Horner May 30, 2017 at 16:13

              Except France is not full of Frenchmen. It is ~60% Frenchmen, if one is being generous. They will remain the largest plurality for another generation, but after that it will be majority North-African and Arab.

            • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 17:16

              The point is France will become Muslim precisely because it’s full of Arabs and not Frenchmen anymore.

              • Garr May 30, 2017 at 22:10

                But the Frenchmen will go Muslim in order to rule (if they’re rulers) or to be cool and tough and safe (if they’re not rulers). Then they’ll start reproducing. (I’m just playing with this idea — not confidently asserting.)

  5. Pingback: Houellebecq on the new matriarchy | Reaction Times

  6. Herzog May 30, 2017 at 05:02

    I greatly appreciate Houllebecq as an ally in the culture wars, but I’m not sure he’s that great a writer.

    Speaking of writers, Saul Bellow deserves to be (re)discovered in the US, and elsewhere if possible. He was a pioneer of breaking with “modernity,” and his writing is magnificent. “Mr. Sammler’s Planet” for instance is a masterpiece.

  7. thymosbookclub May 30, 2017 at 08:26

    “Because jihadism will end, people always end up tiring of carnage and suicide.” Ah, the long term. In the meantime we have 0 signs of youth bulge + Quran fueled jihadism having peaked, quite the opposite. Islam is the peace that comes after submission after war. Except if Islam youth bulges are endogenous then there really just is no end to it.

    Recent Houellebecq is too optimistic. The idea of an Islamic continuation of Rome was interesting but it ultimately seems incompatible with observable more or less extreme islamic non-islamic-past-obliterating /
    -indifferent tendencies. These tendencies seem quite dominant.

    Old Houellebecq was closer to the truth: Islam is “la religion la plus con”. Had he reiterated this in 2015 in combination with his more recent forays into explaining Gnon to the masses, the cost of putting out his message would have been too high. O how far you have strayed from your master’s insights, Michel! (Schopenhauer, Lovecraft).

    Houellebecq also has disciples, for example Aurélien Bellanger, whose latest book also contains an Islam conversion story. It seems France is spending a lot of time exploring the different psychological routes that lead to Islam.

    There is a small but determined-seeming and dynamic core of younger patriots to counterbalance this. However, I also see ambiguous signs in this young counter-movement. There are a lot of young and less young female journalists and writers who are standing first in line to defend French culture and sovereignty. The truth is that their growing influence is simply part of feminism, thus part of the problem. It is the salons of the 18th C we are descending into.

    France had some red pill moments, but they seem to be in the past. I don’t like this.

    • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 08:58

      Yes, Soumision was stupidly positive, but it was just a troll book to stick it up to feminists and show them that in the event of Islam prevailing it would be right wing whoremongers like him who would end up gaining status. I wouldn’t say he thinks it’s actually true.

      What else are you seeing out there? Muray and Dantec are dead, Macron is president, it seems like France has just increased the blue pill dosage.

      • thymosbookclub May 30, 2017 at 10:54

        > True and I enjoyed reading it as such. He has also elsewhere expressed his sentiment that things would not go down the way depicted in his book. Cf. https://sezession.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Sez_67_Lichtmesz.pdf TLDR the young catholic patriots will be a factor.

        > In terms of overall impact nothing rivals Zemmour’s period of peak prog evisceration between 2006-2015. In terms of red-pilling France, nothing comes close. However, the mood has shifted. He’s now branded as “having become more/too extreme” (patently false), his influence is diminished, and his replacements are a squabbling mass of inferiors who think they have better ideas than him without having read his books. He’s not completely fringe yet, not by far, but it has clearly become more difficult to recommend his books.

        > Zemmour’s current doctrine is based on Jean-Louis Harouel’s analysis: France must get rid of the religion of Human Rights or perish. It contains an invaluable concise genealogy of the gnostic/millenarian roots of progressivism. Harouel wrote his little book right after Bataclan and it also contains a compact explanation of Islam.

        > The problem is there’s currently no good book to recommend that contains the whole package. Zemmour was solid on sex realism and good enough on race realism given the French context. He is still alone holding the line on these vital points. There are writers trying to follow in his footsteps but they can’t be credited with the same impact and their books are not that good.

        > There is too much feminism within nationalist ranks. And these women are more intellectual than the alt-right bimbos à la Laura Southern. I view this as a further sign that the Anglosphere is in relatively better shape.

        > Houellebecq has recently stated on national TV that France appears to have voted for a group psychotherapy. He knows what’s up. He had his final laugh at the expense of the feminists and seems to be doing art projects now mostly. We’ll see what his next book will be about…

  8. Dividualist May 30, 2017 at 12:10

    Banning prostitution doesn’t mean prostitution disappears any more than marijuana did, it means the thirld world gangs and their trafficked slaves who already ran a large portion of it take it completely over.

    There is an overworld and an underworld and lately that tends to highly ethnic. So the accepted procedure for buying weed in Austria is to ask a Turkish barber who will link you up with a Turkish underworld dealer. I imagine something similar happens after prostitution is banned.

    So increasingly we have a boring white-controlled overworld with schoolmarmy feminists, videogamer addicted useless boys and increasingly empty and shitty jobs. And we have a non-white controller underworld that looks increasingly cooler, with drugs and sex and rock and roll, if you ignore a lot of other unsavory aspects of it.

    Hm.

    This occured to me largely because I reread some older Cyberpunk novels which tends to narrate a huge difference between a corporate overworld and an illegal underworld of street fixers where laws are largely irrelevant. Accurate, except that the street fixer now tends to be North African and not very smart. But with these kinds of laws the underworld is more fun. Hm. Wonder where that leads.

    (Some idiot politican in the UK even wanted to, not ban but sort of discourage even gyms because roids and muh toxic masculinity. Granted in the May era that is probably not on the table.)

  9. Imperial Energy May 30, 2017 at 13:57

    Excellent quote from Tocqueville.

    What follows is a similar extract that comes by way of Bernard Bailyn’s book Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. The context is an argument over “Imperium in Imperio” and “Brutus” argues that a absolute authority would lead to despotism. That the “despotism” happened anyway proves the argument false.

    “”Brutus” wrote in two of his finest papers, empowered by the “necessary and proper” and the “supreme law of the land” clauses, “would totally destroy all the powers of the individual states,” for no “two men, or bodies of men, fcan] have unlimited power respecting the same object.” It contradicts logic, scripture, even the principles of mechanics.

    “The legislature of the United States will have a right to exhaust every source of revenue in every state, and to annul all laws of the states which may stand in the way of effecting it.” In the end, the national government, through its taxing power, “Brutus” then wrote in a florid peroration that conjures up the horrors of totalitarian states, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every corner of the city and country. It [the national government] will wait upon the ladies at their toilen, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages, nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bed-chamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop and in his work, and will haunt him in his family and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house and in the field, observe the toil of his hands and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States. To all these different classes of people and in all these circumstances in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them will be, GIVE! GIVE!

    The only solution, which was endorsed by other antifederalists, was to go back to the distinction between external and internal taxes and external and internal spheres of power, which had flourished during the Stamp Act struggle twenty-three years earlier and had been endorsed by Franklin in his testimony before Parliament, only to be repudiated in John Dickinson’s Farmer’s Letters and thereafter dropped from serious discussion.”

  10. grey enlightenment May 30, 2017 at 14:18

    but foucault rocked the bald turtleneck look before it became cool . and derrida rocked orange before trump made it cool . maybe we can turn to postmodernists for fashion advice but not political advice

      • Garr May 30, 2017 at 16:07

        What’s Nick Land’s style? I’m guessing David Bowie as Thin White Duke? Land’s sort of a postmodernist.

        • parisian May 31, 2017 at 03:09

          What a dumb question, like the Icelandic’s celeb “I wonder what Land eats”. Every time I’ve seen him photographed, he wears a black T-shirt (very plain) and jeans. Probably has to wear suits sometimes. Never a dandy, though.

    • Thales May 30, 2017 at 16:19

      By the time the Red Guard comes knocking on my door, I’ll be wearing a double-breasted trenchcoat and leather boots, thank you very much. I’m not going down in a slate turtleneck, FFS!

    • quaslacrimas May 31, 2017 at 00:37

      Okay, I guess then I should get ahead of the curve and start growing my fingernails out?

  11. rcglinski May 30, 2017 at 16:37

    I’ve never understood the hate for Foucault. Maybe it’s because I only ever read a few of Foucault’s books, and haven’t read any philosophy about what Foucault actually meant.

    Regardless, as a historian the guy is simply invaluable. I don’t know of any other scholar who ever bothered with a question like “hey, all these prisons, we didn’t used to have them, where’d they come from?”

    Again, maybe I just remember it fondly, but The Archaeology of Knowledge is basically a guidebook for understanding how The Cathedral imposes its version of truth on society.

    • spandrell May 30, 2017 at 17:41

      Point is he sold that as the reactionary regime of capitalism, which the 1968 commies rallied against. Which is the present Cathedral.

      I do think there’s a way of using postmodernism against the Cathedral, but the signaling vectors don’t work quite well.

    • quaslacrimas May 31, 2017 at 01:20

      You’re absolutely right. I think partly it is that he had to participate in the structuralist literary fashion of his generation, which held as a dogma that straightforward communication cannot convey new ideas as well as indirect communication. Whether you agree with that stylistic strategy or not, outside of France the structuralist *style* became associated with POZ oozing out of French literary theory, anthropology, and “psychology”; opposition to the pozzed substance became tangled up with the supposed obscurantism of the style.

      Foucault was the most intelligent of the great structuralists, and thus the most widely read in the Anglophone world, and thus the most visible symbol of the obscurantist style (despite having approximately nothing in common, substantively, with Lévi-Strauss or frauds like Kristeva).

      • parisian May 31, 2017 at 03:03

        “France after all has given us Michel Houellebecq, and while he will never have 1/1000 of the influence of a crazy sodomite on drugs like Foucault, he is still the best writer in the whole world of the last 50 years, and that counts for a lot.”

        So I’m that out of touch, am I? I’ve been so involved with Houellebecq (and a few other writers) the last 5 or 10 years, I never even think of Foucault at all. All the others too, but never think of any but Deleuze. I read Derrida as forms of arcane novels even in early 00s. So you really think Foucault is that influential? I read all of it that I know of in the 90s, I believe, and thought sometimes it had something sometimes, maybe still do, but I hadn’t thought of him a single time since you mentioned him as an ‘evil homo’, which amused me, about 3 years ago.

        • parisian May 31, 2017 at 03:05

          You still haven’t completed you Houellebecq if you haven’t read ‘The Possibility of an Island’, though. I think it’s better than ‘Elementary Particles.’

        • quaslacrimas May 31, 2017 at 05:43

          T’es parisien alors? In the English-speaking world, Foucault is assigned in all sorts of university-level courses in many different fields (mostly Surveiller & Punir, and Histoire de la Sexualité v1, but with certain of his shorter essays and Les Mots et les Choses also being quite popular). One frequently speaks of this or that academic as being “Foucauldian”…

          But if you live in France I imagine Foucault is no more or less important than any other philosopher/historian of science active in the ’60s and ’70s.

          • parisian May 31, 2017 at 06:44

            I said I read his things. No, Manhattanite, I lived in Paris for a year. I think that I read some of the NRx blogs without being one, and must be right-wing enough, at least for my own tastes, i.e., I can no longer read the left-wing blogs, but do keep up with msm daily. Yes, I’ve read Surveiller & Punir and Histoire de la Sexualite (all of it), thought they were sometimes brilliant, but still for me he disappeared and his alter ego Deleuze didn’t. Once read a bio in which he was always talking about Sade, to the point where his acid-partner even thought it was absurd. Mention that because at his funeral were Signoret, Boulez, all the French artistic elite. I just didn’t know that the ‘Foulcauldian’ was still so important, so I’ve obviously just found that I don’t pay any attention to some things, but then find out they’re still taken very seriously. I’m sure in France more than anywhere else therefore.

            • quaslacrimas May 31, 2017 at 07:58

              And now why do you think Deleuze stayed around? I had Deleuze-obsessed friends in college but it always seemed batty to me – I only last month decided I should read him, partly because of the influence of right-wing Deleuzians who emphasize (what I think of as) his memetic ideas.

              • parisian May 31, 2017 at 15:47

                I was just speaking for myself: In Deleuze and Guattari immediately seemed to have life right in it that would inspire you to actually do things. Not just elegant gestures even if those were original and innovative. Intellectual but not effete. But my case is not important, just because I was surprised. I was obviously just not paying any more attention to academics, and thought everybody would be concentrating on Houellebecq and Knausgaard, but I just had obviously stopped reading all of those Continental philosophers, and shouldn’t have been surprised actually, that many of them were as powerfully influential as ever. I’m done with them, I think, would never touch Derrida in particular, find it barren and I guess since times have changed so, I don’t see how anybody could take him seriously. I read about 6 of the Derridas, and can think of little more irrelevant. I was wrong therefore–other people still do.

  12. iNdependent(aka Troll) June 7, 2017 at 10:19

    while he will never have 1/1000 of the influence of a crazy sodomite on drugs like Foucault, he is still the best writer in the whole world of the last 50 years, and that counts for a lot.

    It’s strange to be crazy and super-influential at once… is it not?

    As far as I know, crazy is he/they/the idea/the system of ideas that loses the war for influence/power.
    That’s the only thing crazy has ever meant, to mankind.

    • iNdependent (aka Troll) June 7, 2017 at 10:22

      On second thought…

      there is another meaning of crazyin human speak: it is what they do not understand (and secretly feel threatened by, or inferior to).

      Houellebecq is easy to understand for everyone. Foucault, a gapingly superior thinker as to insight, is much less easy.

      • parisian June 7, 2017 at 18:59

        No, Houellebecq is not easy to understand for everyone. Amused by ‘gapingly superior thinker’, reminds me of critics who write ‘achingly beautiful’ or ‘what went so very, very wrong…’. But there’s much that I thought good in Foucault, and very useful–I think I just must be spared what goes on in academia and hadn’t even seen convos, etc. about him on the net. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have read so much of it in the past. It’s almost as though there just hadn’t been time to think about Foucault anymore for me, although apparently everybody else was doing it. I definitely am more interested in Deleuze, in that he ‘stayed alive in my mind’ without my even making any effort or reading any more, but I do remember some of Foucault I thought had a rather ravishing style even in translation, and the volume about the Romans was esp. interesting, I remember their ‘respect for their wives’. Come to think of it, what he wrote about Plutarch was brand-new to me (certainly self-defeating in his case–but he didn’t seem to object to ‘gracelessness’ in several ways), and it’s because of him that I read several of Plutarch’s ‘Lives’, which are indescribably necessary, of course. That bio does prove his insanity as a person in some cases though–it’s not sure he didn’t carelessly spread his known hiv, because the author kept saying “I’m not saying that”, but kept suggesting it (Rudolph Nureyev definitely did some of that.) I think that writer was James Miller, but it was dully and poorly written. He did keep going on about ‘the great pleasure’ that could be had with bloody kinds of S&M, and presenting it as kind of ‘obvious good’, but even if it exists as such for some, none of it was very interesting, but had a self-importance (both writer and subject) which I’ve always found stupidly snooty. And his split with Deleuze was his fault; he probably thought Deleuze should be calling on him.

        Sorry for the length, Spandrell, I thought this was fairly important.

        • parisian June 7, 2017 at 22:38

          Damn, had forgotten about the iGuy, shouldn’t have answered. Then saw remarks on ‘intermittent lesbian cooperation’ and remembered. Delete long remark if you want, trying to behave at least halfway.

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