Experienced a moment of “evil” for the first time in a while. The thrilling kind. I saw a public figure say something borderline antisemitic. That’s the only thing that can provoke that feeling. “You’re opening the gates of hell. Good!” People tend to settle for pseudo-evil. Nothing thrills ME like the ultimate evil of our time. So I want to go back to Milton’s Satan to see who he really is. Because I identify with him and yet feel that my political enemies are the real Satanic ones, and they’re what counts as “normal”.
Prometheus, whose likeness the Tsar-Reformer ordered stamped on the coinage of the realm. With that act… Russian culture was formally introduced to the idea of progress… The traditional Orthodox view of good and evil, which had the virtue of clarity, gave way to the secular Western one in which Prometheus and the Devil take turns at playing the same role.
See my previous post for reference. Satan doesn’t recognize God as God, he’s only a god to him, thus he wonders if he can be God himself. So a similar dynamic to the Olympians. Do you ever see anyone be “evil” in the way I described? It’s paradoxically a good feeling. The vicarious sensation of “hubris” can be existentially similar to a feeling of godlikeness. I think it’s also a sort of glee that is experienced when evil is done to evil. I.e. evil is good when it’s aimed at something evil. Evil rubs off on you in a sense and you feel good being evil when you kill evil. That’s why I don’t care when I kill people, because that’s what I see myself killing- some demon. The white man is the demon par excellence in our time and thus many settle for the pseudo-evil to kill, which in my mind is less thrilling. This is in accordance with people knowing “taste” only as it regards food. They only know animal joys, never true hubris, true godlikeness. If you want to miss out on that, that’s your life.
This is a sort of Straussian reading
William Blake, Robert Burns, Shelley, and other British radicals who professed to believe that Milton himself was of the Devil’s party
IS Satan the hero of his Epic?
Here are some names that might help us, from that Straussian index
Milton was born a couple generations after the Protestant revolutions, which were arguably forms of Prometheanism – maybe he took it all the way and inverted Christianity entirely?
Even if Hell is a mere parody of the order of Heaven, that’s what Heaven deserves in my opinion. The question is whether Hell is a parody of itself. And I don’t think it has to be. It could simply be there to mock Heaven, and that would be noble. Yes, you’re right, this is a “Nazi” reading of Milton.
Here is Berns
the purpose of political life, which determines the form of political life, exists outside or beyond political life
Implicit politics in Milton is portrayed theologically. We return again to this idea of “grounding”.
Can you be evil for a moment today, for me? Please? I love to see the hounds of hell being released. It’s a rare feeling unfortunately. No “knockoff evil” either you half-and-halfer. Don’t you want to thrill people? And terrify others? No, you probably don’t, and that’s why I feel like a god and see you as a parody of yourself. So many latent possibilities of “aesthetic splendor” and no one actualizes them. It’s because if you try to use evil to kill the devil you will be smothered.
They adjusted Milton to their own theological-political situation in 19th century Russia
I won’t give you the (relatable) spoiler on that poem.
At the same time, the ideas Milton had stood for in the eyes of earlier generations were – like the Old Bolsheviks themselves – either muzzled or cleverly distorted in a neo-Marxist light. Before 1917, what Milton stood for above all to the intelligentsia was freedom of intellectual inquiry.
“Vegas” is just an arcade for grown-ups. Aligning with the corporacracy is not evil in any truly thrilling sense.
Ahh… I love the classics, and I’m so happy people have written so much about them. Who doesn’t want to know more about Hell and the Devil, Dante and Milton? We have our contemporary equivalents of those that people don’t really understand. The Pale and Hitler, you hate to admit it!
Oh yeah while I’m here, that study on Virgil I drew from the other day – I later saw Bloom himself say that’s his favorite one. We can use some classics to understand evil (~evil~), and we can use others to understand how to found a new civilization, a new good.
Anyway, the ethos of the axis powers was cast out of Heaven, much like Lucifer. And now it lives in Hell. How else would you describe it, it’s a pariah in society and can’t “be itself”. At least not without suffering dire consequences.
I think many of us can relate to John Milton
Even a poet of his calibre could not persuade the government of his day. It wasn’t until 50 years later that he finally got what he wanted, and he didn’t live to see it. What we take for granted today as “freedom of the press”.
The Straussians seem to home in on this text, here is Kendall
It is a society that thinks of itself as both entitled and obligated to see to it that both ‘church and commonwealth … have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men’… Milton has an aristocratic (in the Aristotelian rather than ancestral sense), not a democratic, view of who should be exercising this liberty to seek out new truths.
So this is far from our idea of freedom of the press. People being demeaned is great, right? There’s absolutely nothing that can affect people’s souls in a negative way. Here I am again with the sarcastic axis powers ethos. We could say that evil and Satan in our time is not “antisemitism”, it’s more precisely the criticism of Jerusalemites. That’s the devil, to put any of them into question (be they Jews or spiritually Jewish), to not presuppose that they are perfect.