Aaron Bushnell's masochistic theatre

Aaron Bushnell’s Masochistic Theatre

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When Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy to the US, my reaction was one of amusement and mockery. It was nothing more than a leftist act of ethnomasochism, though one more extreme than the usual self-destructive acts of white leftists. Being a white identitarian nationalist, I found the notion of a white man self-immolating “to raise awareness” about the plight of brown people revolting. In an ideal world, Bushnell would not have had his mind poisoned and would have been taught to love his people long before was old enough to play with matches. Our struggle, to a certain extent, involves saving white leftists from themselves. But for some strange reason, a lot of other people calling themselves nationalists decided they had nothing but praise and admiration for Aaron Bushnell’s masochistic theatre. 

I won’t waste space here explaining all the ways in which Aaron Bushnell was anti-white and not merely in the go-along-to-get-along way typical of white liberals, but rather in the rabid and extreme way typical of antifa members. Others, chief among them Thuletide, have done the difficult labour of collating his many anti-white pronouncements in a single, easy to read package. Indeed, I think that enough has been said about Bushnell. Instead, I’d like to speak about the supposed white nationalists who seem determined to turn him into some sort of unsung white hero. 

The Bushnell eulogisers try to frame the issue as him striking a blow against Zionism or Israel or something. This is often accompanied by the unfounded assumption that the primary enemy of white nationalists is Israel and the primary ideology of the enemy is Zionism. However, as I’ve said in the past, Israel could disappear overnight and it would not help our actual struggle, which is against anti-white sentiment within the West itself, whether carried by Western Jews or self-hating white people like Aaron Bushnell. The threat to the survival of white people is not a non-viable country in the Middle East, but rather, the spiritual poison of anti-white ideology. 

The test for whether someone has done good for our cause or bad for it in the negative sense (inflicting damage on the enemy) should be to test whether their actions have led to increase or decrease of anti-white rhetoric and actions, whether they’ve attacked or supported anti-white sentiment and whether they’ve called for the removal of non-whites from white nations. On all three counts, Bushnell’s little stunt fails. He has, however, virtue signalled for the benefit of browns and vast swathes of the so-called dissident right have reformed themselves into the Brown Advocacy League over the past five months.

But there’s another reason for the Bushnell love out there. See, he didn’t just call out those evil racist Jews and advocate for the browns, he self-immolated. And that, my friends, is catnip to the alienated, western dissident who in my estimation, has a very strong tendency towards admiring theatrical self-destruction. There is a tendency in that thought-space to fetishise public suicides, interpret them as grand political victories and turn the people who perform them into martyrs. 

I suppose that patient zero would be Yukio Mishima. Now, I’m certain that he wasn’t the first to commit a beautiful, choreographed and above all dramatic suicide, but Mr. Kimitake Hiraoka (Mishima’s birth name) certainly looms large in the dissident right conscience. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown: Mishima was a Japanese writer of aristocratic descent. He had political views which have variously been described as fascist, nationalist, reactionary etc. 

On November 25th, 1970, he and four members of the Tatenokai, his paramilitary organisation, took hostage the commandant of a Japanese Self-Defence Forces base, forcing him to assemble the soldiers. Mishima then gave a speech calling on the soldiers to restore the emperor and after being jeered at, committed suicide by seppuku. Later it was established that Mishima knew his so-called coup attempt would be doomed to failure and used the incident merely as a means of dramatically committing suicide. 

There are many reasons to admire Yukio Mishima. Personally, I admire him for being a great writer. Others admire him for his perseverance as an athlete and appeal to the body, described in Sun and Steel . But too many admire Mishima for his death, and the reason is very simple: they too would like to self-destroy in a spectacular manner. They admire Yukio Mishima because he managed to drag an entire military base into his own theatrical suicide, complete with helicopters hovering overhead, hostage-taking, a grand speech on a balcony and then finally, with great pomp and ceremony – the ancient ritual of seppuku. 

Bushnell was no Mishima. He lacked the latter’s talent for dramatic direction. He nevertheless managed to hit the right notes. While Mishima chose seppuku, the evisceration followed by immediate decapitation at the hands of a trusted second, Bushnell chose self-immolation, which is widely considered one of the most painful ways to die. For the venue, he chose the Israeli embassy in Washington DC. Where he had the edge over Mishima was in technology. He streamed his self-immolation to Twitch for the world to see. He shouted his defiance at the perceived enemy and set himself on fire, turning himself into a burnt offering (or in the original Greek, a holocaust) for brown people. Truly a fittingly religious end for the son of a liberal preacher who was wracked with guilt over being white and American. 

There is one last man who self-destructed beautifully and was admired, if for a little while, by the self-immolation cult on the right. His name was Richard Russel, but you probably know him as the Sky King. He stole a Bombardier Q400 from SeaTac, flew it around Puget Sound and then crashed it into an uninhabited area of one of the islands. However, Sky King’s death, while certainly dramatic, was not quite the choreographed demise of Mishima, nor the livestreamed self-sacrifice of Bushnell. 

Russel stole the plane and flew it around not to attract attention, not to raise awareness for a cause, but because he wanted to know what it’s like to fly an airplane at least once in his life. He had resigned himself to never becoming a pilot, not in small part because he was, in his own words, “a white guy.” Before nosediving his aircraft, Russel closed off the radio channel to the air control tower. While Russel’s intention may not have been to commit an act of theatrical suicide, he nevertheless did so and the dissident right admired him for it. And so now that we’ve established the admiration that these people have for dramatic suicides, we need to go into why it happens. 

I believe that part of the dissident ideology and possibly core psychological makeup is the tendency to turn virtue into a fetish, which is to say put it on such a pedestal that it becomes a vice. This is what is behind the so-called autism of the right and it derives from a lack of capacity for nuance and no tolerance for ambiguity. When a right-winger decides that something is, then it always is, always has been, always will be and is a fixed point in space, time and thought, and of course, the causal relationships relating to it also disappear somewhat (otherwise it won’t be a fixed point). Fundamentally, I believe it comes from a quirk of the right-wing temperament which simply has no tolerance (or accurate modelling) for dynamism. For all their appeals to vitality, right-wingers, even high IQ right wingers, are remarkably dull. 

In practical terms, I believe that the right winger will first correctly identify the modern Westerner as suffering from an excess of self-indulgence. They will then once again, correctly prescribe self-sacrifice as a necessary countermeasure to this self-indulgence. The final step comes when the right-winger, constrained by his lack of tolerance or modelling for dynamic systems, will convince himself that self-sacrifice is good, always good and can be nothing but good. In this sense, he makes an idol of self-sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice is of course the sacrifice of one’s own life. Nothing can be further from self-indulgence than suicide, right? 

Just from analysing the case of Mishima, we know that his particular suicide was self-indulgence. Indeed, seeing suicide as self-indulgent, as weakness, is the default historic Western view on the matter. Personally, I do not judge suicides as weak or self-indulgent, mostly because bitter experience has taught me that sometimes men really do reach the end of their rope and their lives after that point really are nothing more than cosmic tragedies. However, I do consider the infliction of one’s suicide on the public as spectacle as a self-indulgent act, regardless of whether it hides behind a fig leaf of ideological activism. 

When the right-winger internalises the “revolt against the modern world” paradigm, the tendency towards fixation often makes them fetishise self-effacement and self-sacrifice. This, coupled with the right’s typically unsophisticated ideas about political action make it especially prone to glamourising the political suicide or the self-immolation as a means of protest. Due to its problems with processing nuance, the right-wing mind has difficulty accepting that sometimes, public suicide really is just self-indulgent drama. And that, gentlemen, is why we’ve seen so many ostensibly right wing people so excited by Aaron Bushnell’s masochistic theatre. 

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Dilettantism and intolerance are a harmful combination. We commit ourselves to stupid behaviour, glamourize it, then needlessly suffer it’s consequences. Helpful interventions can be brushed aside by saying the concerned friend lacks conviction. I am reminded of Sam Francis’ term “Beautiful Losers.” Over the last four years I have picked up the following approach: Whenever I get spun up about my own insufficiently heroic behaviour, I remind myself that I didn’t create the problems of the world and that I don’t really bear responsibility to solve them. I admit that my actions might not even matter, and maybe I’ve just been having a prolonged, impotent tantrum. I try to laugh and ease up. My tense body relaxes and my mind opens back up; soon the path is revealed and progress resumes. This easiness is a great asset. No setting ourselves on fire, chaps; neurotic penances don’t help the white race. Great article as usual, thanks.

Excellent article Nix, I really enjoyed reading it.

Banger of an article, Nix ⚡

Great article. Suicide isn’t an option for people invested in a movement greater than themselves.

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