Daniel Forrest’s Suprahumanism
Daniel S. Forrest
Suprahumanism: European Man and the Regeneration of History
London: Arktos, 2014
Given my interests in topics covered in my Nietzsche’s Coming God book review, as well as my Overman High Culture essay, I thought it useful to take a look at Daniel Forrest’s new book, Suprahumanism.
The concept of Suprahumanism is defined by the author based on the following tenets: aristocratic conception of human individuals, the importance of honor, a heroic attitude toward the challenges of life, exalting this world and not some mystical afterlife or “world beyond,” strength and beauty and health, and the fusion of morality and aesthetics. The author notes that the European mind and soul is Faustian, it wants to know everything, is interested in everything, and wants to grasp the reality of everything. This contrasts to the Church’s “thou shalt not know,” the promotion of ignorance and weakness, the “lesson” that man was ejected from “paradise” for “eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge.” Thus one contrasts Suprahumanist ethics with those of Christianity. The author’s negative view of Christianity is, in my opinion, a positive. He contrasts ethnocentric Judaism and universalist Christianity:
Judaism is a religion for survival in a multicultural society. It is a religion governing the behavior of a Jewish minority in the presence of a non-Jewish majority. Christianity, on the other hand, is a religion for governing the behavior of Christians in a homogeneous society. In a multicultural society it becomes suicidal.
Perhaps, the paradigm suggested here is better explained as the attempt by Jews to construct Diaspora societal niches that they are comfortable in – multiracial, multicultural societies – that, at the same time, are destructive to White Gentiles.
The author does a good job explaining the self-sacrificial guilt complex exhibited by Whites, in that it is considered a moral good, and an alleviation of guilt, to favor alien interests over their own, while sin and guilt is exemplified by the “horror” of Whites actively pursuing White interests. The author also summarizes the Suprahumanist indictment of basic Christian doctrine: Christianity exalts weakness and abhors strength, and would advocate against the weak becoming strong: after all, the meek and weak “shall inherit the earth.” Suprahumanism, on the other hand, exalts strength and overcoming and is thus incompatible with Christianity.
There are those who insist that Christianity was not a problem for the White man until very recently, and in fact, traditional Christianity served Whites well as a foundation for Western civilization. Forrest, in contrast, argues that “traditional Christianity” was an amalgam of the original Paulian Christianity mixed with elements of paganism and infused with Germanic dynamism after the conversion of Northern Europe. This chimeric memetic construct was held together by Faith and Belief, but with the “death of God” due to Science and Rationalism, all that is left of Christianity is its secular core of egalitarianism and universalist (pathological) altruism. Thus, the West today is morally and spiritually bankrupt, the Pope promotes and celebrates the Third World invasion of the West, and Whites have no moral, memetic defenses against multiculturalism and degeneracy. Ironically, many modern trends opposed by the Church – for example, gay marriage – derive from the very egalitarianism and tolerance that forms the basis of the fundamental Christian doctrine. After all, if we are all really the same before God, then why is a male-female pair any more or less legitimate than male-male or female-female? Or we can dispense with such classifications altogether, claim that “gender is a social construct,” and celebrate ever more bizarre forms of sexual debauchery.
My view is, and has been, that those who believe that traditional Christianity can be revived and serve as a pro-White foundation need to show us that it can be done. They need to do it, they themselves. It is always curious when they assert that non-believers – secular atheists or Asatru pagans – must renounce their own beliefs to help “rebuild the faith of our forefathers.” No, my friends, if you think it is a good idea to reverse history and revive a dead Middle Eastern religion, then you, and only you, must be the ones to do it, and then demonstrate to the rest of us how so very important it all is for White survival. The rest of us have better things to do, thank you very much.
A la Krebs, the author makes a distinction between a bad “Western” civilization and a proper “European” civilization, classifying today’s degenerate multiracial globalism as the end product of the West. I’ve never particularly liked that meme, which conflates the Faustian High Culture of the West with the Judaized multiracial nightmare of today. I see those as two very different things. However, I’ve never advocated making the same error as the Christo-Racialists and demanding a return to the dead past. Acknowledging that the West has been buried under a deluge of yarmulkes (metaphorically speaking), it’s time to look to the future, the Overman High Culture, which can be viewed as being consistent with the Suprahumanist worldview. Indeed, Forrest believes that European Man is at a crossroads, the old world that began with the Neolithic Revolution and the rise of the Indo-Europeans (however defined), and lasted until Nietzsche’s proclamation of the “death of God,” is at its end. How we deal with this “new World” will decide whether we move in the direction of the Last Man or the Overman.
Forrest views Wagner and Nietzsche as the twin pillars of Suprahumanism, these two 19th-century Germans who started as friends and allies and ended as enemies. Wagner, according to Forrest, represents the artistic pillar of Suprahumanism, and, Nietzsche, the philosophical pillar of that doctrine. The current System, according to Forrest, has no inner meaning, no overarching goal, other than its own maintenance and expansion. In this he is undoubtedly correct: the System has no positive outlook, no “Faustian goal,” no “shining city on a hill” to which is strives, but instead generates chaos, filth, and degeneracy. With respect to what should be a proper goal, the author presents a synthesis of speeches by George Bernard Shaw on the ascent to Godhood by humanity, promoting the organizing essence of the universe to fulfill a higher purpose, to dedicate oneself to this higher purpose in a truly disinterested fashion, independent of self-centered personal needs and objectives. This idea Shaw – and by extension the author – conceives as true religion, not worshipping a manufactured sky-god, but obeying the will of the universe, so to speak, by humans becoming gods themselves. This is consistent with William Pierce’s “cosmotheism” and is also consistent with my proposed Overman High Culture. Thus, the author defines history as:
. . . a battlefield on which groups of men confront one another and fight under the colours of an image/ideal they have themselves assumed, and to which they intend to conform – thus realising and overcoming themselves.
Another point: importantly, from my perspective, the author has a pan-European focus, which I approve of. For example, toward the beginning of the book, we read:
The one great goal toward which European foreign policy should strive is the development of a worldwide community – transcending present geographical nationalism – in which all men and women of European blood and culture will be part. The replacement of a parochial outlook with European world solidarity and a final elimination of fratricidal war, would count among the enormous benefits of such a development.
Quite right. I have discussed this issue many times in many different fora, and need not get into it again, other than say there are two types of activists who have problems with this ideal. The first are well-meaning folks who are well disposed to other Europeans, but fear that pan-European solidarity would somehow damage the narrow particularisms they value, and dilute the uniqueness of their specific ingroup, perhaps even leading to a destructive panmixia. These types can be reasoned with; they need to be reassured that the type of pan-Europeanism we advocate includes preservation of the ethnic and subracial types that make up the European family of peoples. The other type of activist, however, is one who either simply does not care about other Europeans in any way whatsoever, or is actually hostile to them. This latter type is part of the problem and not part of the solution, they are “them” and not “us,” and they are no more “on our side” than is the most deranged multiracialist. Forrest summarizes his views on this topic by writing a defense of a pan-European “higher patriotism” which proclaims:
“I am a European and therefore the heir of an ancient culture which has civilized the entire world.” Only then will a united Europe dominate the world, as is its birthright.
I also am glad to see that the author embraces technology and the role of science and technics, properly harnessed to European Man’s will, in helping us achieve Godhood. The author rejects the neoprimitive advocates, from both Right and Left, of “degrowth” – what I would call the cult of “living in the woods eating twigs and branches.” In this sense, the author is Futurist, rather than exhibiting the more traditionalist tendencies inherent in other parts of the book. The author also correctly notes that economic-obsessed capitalism and the free market will never properly invest in the sort of paradigm-shifting, cutting-edge basic research and “breakthrough technologies” required for “civilizational projects.” The free market is short-sighted, it is “structurally incapable” of making the grand decisions necessary to advance the human species. It cares for nothing except to increase the yield for the shareholders and enhance profits regardless of the cost to human progress. The author also pokes a hole in environmentalism and ecologicalism, for failing to accept that humans – as evolved animals – have as much right to interact with the environment as do “seals and penguins.” The author does note, however, that with our rights come responsibilities – we have the power to harm the environment; thus, we must protect it for our patrimony. Here, a properly harnessed technology will be a benefit; thus, in the long run, the solution to environmental problems is more, not less, technology; more, not less, human interaction with the natural ecology. We are, after all, a legitimate part of that ecology.
The author also notes that Europeans have traditionally struck a proper balance between an individualism that allows creativity to flourish and avoids Oriental “ant-heap societies” while, at the same time, avoiding the atomization of hyper-individualism, which destroys societies, and which does not allow the full flowering of human expression possible through economies of scale and group cooperation. However, under the current System, we have the worst of both aspects – a sort of atomized conformist collectivism, in which people are “free” to indulge in any (conformist, popular, mass culture) perversion or other destructive vice, but are not free to pursue objectives — particularly racial group objectives — outside of System-approved agendas, agendas all bound together by a mercantilist economic focus. Likewise, the author contrasts the concepts of Imperium and Empire – the former, of Roman derivation, fuses imperial rule with the maintenance of ethnic particularisms and is consistent with the maintenance of aristocratic values (as Forrest suggests, true Imperium was most evident in the Roman Republic as opposed to the Empire), and the latter, more characteristic of globalist and universalist imperial societies that tend to erase important divisions that separate humans along horizontal and vertical axes of distinctiveness. The author also takes the opportunity to contrast the Roman style to the authoritarian technical dystopia of the USSR, which he equates to Egypt under the Pharaohs, and suggests a similarity between a mercantilist America and ancient Carthage. All sounds about right.
The subject of art is touched upon, including a picture of this painting (which I’m sure all the “dark enlightenment” “game” crowd will just love) representative of negative current trends in “Western” art, and, perhaps, representative of negative current trends in “Western” female phenotypes.
On a more positive note, the author presents Christopher Conte’s Chronos Version 2, which I have a high opinion of.
I suspect that this, like Bowden’s art, will be better appreciated by those with a Futurist temperament, as opposed to the more Traditionalist school, who would more likely admire Classical/Gothic/Renaissance art forms. Nevertheless, I advocate looking forward, not backwards, and Conte’s art represents that in its artistic essence. I’m not suggesting that my opinion that the Chronos image represents a positive human future be taken literally in the sense that we should become skull-faced cyborgs. By essence, I mean that the image represents a Futurist humanity, fully embracing Science and Technics, leaving behind childish invented gods, and becoming the godlike center of their own universal experience, for both “good” and “evil.”
A far as the author’s artistic discourse on “melodic” vs. “harmonic” music – that’s beyond my expertise or understanding.” The author repeatedly asserts the grand importance of Richard Wagner in the scheme of Suprahumanism; I admit to not being very familiar with the full totality of Wagner’s work, so maybe I’m missing something here. The author, echoing the thoughts of Giorgio Locchi, argues that Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibeling, together with Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, ushered in a new phase in European history, representing a “discontinuity” to the past historical tendency that led us through the Christian era. Building on Wagner/Nietzsche, the author contrasts irrationality with irrationalism. Critics of Suprahumanism accuse it of irrationality, of rejecting rationality and reason. However, Suprahumanism does not reject the instrumental use of rationality and reason to achieve objectives; after all, the author embraces Science and Technics. The point is that rationality and reason, by themselves, cannot offer the objectives to follow, and cannot serve as the foundation for goals. For that, a degree of irrationalism, “myth”-making, is required. After all, what is rational? Is Yockey’s Imperium idea purely rational? If rationality is king, maybe we should all embrace the System, become investment bankers, and reject racial nationalism (although there is the matter of genetic interest to consider). Thus, Nietzsche’s “existentialist” viewpoint does not derive historical outcomes deterministically from rationality and reason, but, rather, via irrationalism and myth, determined and actualized by human agency. And the choices that lie before humanity, to be determined by human choice, are the Overman or the Last Man, between the soul of the Master morality and that of the Slave morality.
The author then focuses on the meaning of Wagner’s Ring, the “music of the eternal recurrence” and here, I will admit, he sort of loses me; I understand the general meaning here, but it doesn’t have the same impact, for me, as does Nietzsche’s philosophy. That may be a specific issue for me – a person interested in books and ideas, not particularly interested in music, opera, etc. I’m sure others, with a more refined aesthetic taste, would find the author’s arguments in regard to Wagner more compelling. The author then ties together Wagner and Nietzsche, attempting to explain Nietzsche’s apostasy toward Wagner, and, even more to the point, dissecting the ways that Wagner and Nietzsche’s worldviews are similar, and the ways – important but perhaps not decisive – that they differ. Wagner was in the end perhaps not ready for the final break with Christianity and the old ways, believing they were salvageable if de-Judaized and re-Germanized. In contrast, Nietzsche traced the rot back to Christianity itself and not merely to a more recent Judaization of Christianity; importantly, Nietzsche believed that the current European civilization, based as it is (ultimately) on a slave morality, was beyond salvage. It must go down in ruins, we must help it go down in ruins, so that the new order can be built on the ruins of the old, the phoenix of the Overman rising from the ashes of the West. This latter idea is consistent with the views discussed in my Overman High Culture essay; the old High Culture of the West may have run out its course. In the Winter of the West, we need to look forward to the Spring of the Overman.
The author does not dwell too much on what some of us may consider the failed attempts to institute a Suprahumanist regime by the various fascist movements of the first half of the 20th century. Forrest asserts that fascism was a “precise and concluded historical phenomenon” that was a “premature and immature” attempt to actualize the Suprahumanist ethos. The author suggests that “anti-fascism” has become a core of the egalitarian post-WWII System, so much so that hysterical “anti-fascism” is one major source of legitimacy for the System, a form of “negative legitimacy” – fascism playing a role for the System as anti-matter does for matter. The System’s obsession with fascism and the ethos of Suprahumanism creates a situation in which Suprahumanism is continuously “reborn” as “potentiality” – it is a “ghost” haunting the System, which realizes that Suprahumanism is the only real alternative to the egalitarian multiracialist nightmare.
One criticism of this book that may have as much to do with my worldview as it does about the book itself, is that Suprahumanism, is too much into “traditionalism” – although the author may not himself classify it in that manner – and makes too many assertions without a solid empirical foundation. The metaphysical rambling in the “Chronospheres” section did not particularly impress me. The author did not, in my opinion, effectively explain the “three-dimensionality” of historical time and human perception, which is a key point of the book – or, to put it more accurately, he did not explain it in a manner readily digestible and understandable for those with a more directly empiricist mindset. And that is not an isolated instance; in other parts of the book, there are entire pages where I really don’t grasp what the author is trying to say, or, if the point is clear, it seems that paragraphs or pages are spent explaining ideas that could be more effectively summarized in several sentences. This is a familiar problem; when I tried to read some of Evola’s works, I just couldn’t get past one or two chapters. Opinion masquerading as fact, wild subjectivity, a lack of grounding in any materialist and empirical foundation whatsoever – I’m convinced that the gnostic-spiritual-traditionalist crowd is neurologically hard-wired differently from empiricist, scientific types, and, perhaps, traditionalists and futurists also have incompatible mentalities. While reading the book, I got the sense that Forrest was more of a “them” than an “us” with respect to these distinctive and disjunctive ways of looking at the world. Therefore, the world of racial nationalist activism can be divided up into separate mental modules, including the “traditionalist-spiritual-existentialist-gnostic-golden age to kali yuga” module (patron saint, e.g., Julius Evola) and the “empiricist-materialist-scientific-(sometimes futurist)” model (patron saint, e.g., Frank Salter). Communication between these two modules is difficult and fraught with misunderstandings. Yockey was definitely in the “spiritual-Evola” camp, but since he was essentially a man of action, a political activist with a defined ultimate objective (Western Imperium) rather than a vague “return to tradition,” Yockey has been able to appeal to the materialist camp to the extent some in that camp ignore Yockey’s pathetic ramblings on science and similar topics. As a member of the Salterian module, I am perhaps not the best judge of the value of this book, but nevertheless I did find value in it. It is possible that I have done a disservice to this book (and to Taha’s) based on this mental incompatibility; on the other hand, one can argue that the fundamental utility of a work can be judged by its broad applicability to all relevant situations, and so a top-level traditionalist work should be accessible to the materialists (and vice versa).
Another more specific problem is that as a (in my opinion) traditionalist type, the author doesn’t have an up-to-date grasp on science and population genetics. While the overall thrust of the “History and Genes” section of the book is sound, and the statements about the overall genetic homogeneity of Europeans essentially accurate, NRY haplotypes really have nothing to do with it, and the idea that 90% of Europeans are, essentially, directly derived (unmixed) from Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherers is inaccurate. Just like I am not the best person to evaluate the work of, say, Evola, traditionalist types sometimes have the tendency to muck up the science, or, at least, be 10 years behind the times. The author’s invocation of the China-worshipping HBDer Richard Lynn is also not viewed favorably at this blog, there are others who can speak better in favor of eugenics. Also disappointing was no mention of Salter’s work, which is essential. The author does productively quote Will Durant, in that the three major biological lessons of history are: competition, selection, and the requirement for breeding (i.e., fertility) – today’s European world seems bereft of all three. And while the author dwells to an extreme degree on Nietzsche and, especially, Richard Wagner, Francis Parker Yockey is only mentioned in passing, a regrettable omission for a book with a focus on the future of European Man. The author does however have some favorable words to say about Norman Lowell’s Imperium ideas.
I would now like to take this opportunity to promote some of my own ideas on down-to-earth strategy. I very strongly argue that the future we want will never be actualized with the “movement” as it exists, and that something radically different is required. I have outlined the fundamental principles of what I believe a new Movement should exhibit. This is of course mostly directly at elites. Eventually, the masses need to be brought on board, to the extent that they are capable of understanding (or to the extent that they care). Presently, the masses may need to go through stages of enlightenment: race realism, ethnonationalism, traditional Christianity. But, even so, we need to absolutely insist that the race realism be based on genetic kinship, and not a Jew/Asian friendly HBD-Asperger obsession with IQ; the ethnonationalism needs to be defensive in nature and open to collaboration with other Euro-ethnonationalisms, and the “traditional” Christianity needs to be, at minimum, race-neutral, if not in fact actually race-aware. In the long run, however, the fundamentals listed in the link must be lived by the elites and preached to the masses. The old days have been tried and have failed, repeatedly, for decades. It’s time for a change. Spurahumanism will not be possible otherwise. After all, let us not forget Revilo Oliver, a member of the Old Movement, recognized its record of unremitting failure, speaking about 50 years of failure in a speech given nearly 50 years ago!
Getting close to the end of this review, I would like to cite a José Ortega y Gasset quote reproduced in this book:
Europeans do not know how to live unless they are engaged in some great enterprise. When this is lacking, they grow petty and feeble and their souls disintegrate.
Indeed. Look around you.
In summary, yes, one can find some faults in this work, just as one can in the writings of Salter and Yockey. It’s more important, however, to look at the big picture, to have a “large canvas” view of the issue. In this light, this book is vitally important, and is one of the first significant steps along the path to the Overman High Culture. We need more works such as this, and less obsessive nitpicking over gene frequencies, cephalic indices, and dueling interpretations of racial history. This work walks along the path to the Overman from the aesthetic-artistic-philosophical perspective; in addition to more such works, we also need the Overman pathway to be illuminated by works focused on the scientific-empiricist-political perspective as well.
We have to move forward, if we attempt to “stop and rest” or, worse, move backward, we’re finished. It’s time to grow up as a people (and a “movement”) and face the future. Better yet: make the future.
It is at this point appropriate to end this review by quoting Forrest’s end of his book:
Nietzsche prophesied that the Earth will eventually belong to either the last man or the superman. There will be no other alternatives.
Magna Europa est Patria Nostra.
1. Of course, Shaw was a nitwit about certain thing; e.g., see this.
2. For another take on issue, see the sixth paragraph here.