poetix (old content)

oh build your ship of death

Generic Misanthropy (Ii)

It is unusual for the racist to loathe other races for their own sake: the mere existence of human beings he considers inferior does not in itself constitute an affront. In a properly ordered society the lawful separation of human types (this notion discriminating between both races and classes) permits a peaceful co-existence, perhaps even a relationship of benevolent condescension (programs of moral education, sterilisation etc).

What concerns the racist is everything that undermines this proper separation and balance of populations: the “demographic” menace of “unconstrained” growth in a minority population, the mixing of types through the relaxation of social boundaries and - abomination of abominations - “miscegenation”.

Lovecraft’s admirer Robert Bloch abominates jazz in much the same terms as Sayyid Qutb: it is the music of degenerates, “created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires”. Varg Vikernes says the same of rock music: its white proponents want to be black, and mimic the depraved and senseless antics of “the negro”.

Racial purism is thus immediately cultural purism, driven by a revulsion at “popular” forms which are seen as emanating from the worst elements of an already illicit and chaotic admixture of populations. White people who want to be black, what monsters! Qutb’s commination of infidel society is a teratology; everyhere the lawful scheme established for human flourishing is transgressed, everywhere there are chimerae, Things that Should Not Be.

Racist misanthropy is the hatred of generic humanity, of everything in humanity which tends towards indistinction: the sloughing off of predicates or the production of unclassifiable hybrids. It is thus, in spite of its apparent favouritism and special pleading on behalf of the “master” race, a hatred of humanity itself, not as a totality produced by adding all the races together but as the untotalisable excess of any scheme of ethnic classification.

Here we find the means to distinguish between two modernisms. The first, which is avant-gardist, seeks a new body beyond the law and assembles its cadre according to a novel and enigmatic chording of affinities. The second, which is aristocratic and reactionary, wishes to “affirm the hierarchies”, to maintain (or recover from obscurity) an eternal principle of separation between the values of the elite and those of the levelling, democratic “mass” culture.

For Houellebecq’s Lovecraft, however, this principle of separation forms the dividing line between the torturer and the victim: regnant chaos snuffs out the man of truth whose investigations draw him into its flame. Racist terror/teratology, combined with masochism, produces the fantastic dominion of Cthulhu and Azathoth “the monstrous nuclear chaos beyond angled space”. It is this masochistic projection that enables the passage from embodied and racialised loathing to existential horror and total - that is, generic or predicate-less - misanthropy.