Adrian Vermeulen: “So, nu?”

Italy’s Church of Saint Ducea: The wave of the integralist future.

‘Fukuyama argues that liberalism is threatened not by a rival ideology, but by “absolutized” versions of its own principles. On the right, the promoters of neoliberal economics have turned the ideal of individual autonomy and the free market into a religion, warping the economy and leading to dangerous systemic instability. And on the left, he argues, progressives have abandoned individual autonomy and free speech in favor of claims of group rights that threaten national cohesion.’

Oh. And here’s where UD gets all excited:

He’s more scathing about the “postliberal” intellectuals of the American right, with their admiration for Hungary’s Viktor Orban, like the legal scholar Adrian Vermeule (whom he describes as having “flirted with the idea of overtly authoritarian government”) and the political scientist Patrick Deneen.

The more high-profile outing of our enemies, the better. Bravo, and keep bashing.

Orban Decay

Mr. Orban found support from Mr. Trump, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and from the Italian populist leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. But they are all gone, as Mr. Jansa is expected to be…

For UD’s completely bored take on Hungary, go here.

Oh, and note to Vermeulen and the brethren: Reserve your Budapest Baptismal Blowout today! While you still can.

“The last Hungarian of world-historical significance was Zsa Zsa Gabor.”

In the wake of Orban’s massive victory, Les UDs have been going at it hammer and goulash on whether they should give a shit. If you read UD, you know where she stands: Countries determined to shrink to nothingness should be allowed to do so. Hungary’s population can’t even manage ten million (Orban’s efforts to get Hungarians to reproduce are going nowhere — too drunk to get it up.), and many of those are actively trying to kill themselves.

The smartest have left — Hungary is brain-drain central. Maybe these people noticed that the country had one world-class university and it threw it out. To thunderous applause from its suicidal populace.

The UN estimates a population of only 6.4 million by the end of the century.

“Can you name one famous Hungarian dissident?” UD asked Mr UD – a Pole, and a political scientist extremely well-versed in the region. Long pause. “K-Konrad?” “You can’t even remember his first name?” No. “And I don’t want to upset you, but he died in 2019.”

“Hungary is becoming the center of the intellectual far-right world…”

“Oooh, scary. Karlovich, Vermeulen… the freak show freaks in Nyíregyháza!”

Mr UD looked pissed.

“Look,” said I. “The national anthem of modern Hungary is I GOTTA BE ME. Until it invades the Rhineland, Hungary, like all other countries, has a right to drill down to its essence – hyper-conservative, rabidly anti-intellectual, radically insular – and be that thing. The upside for us is that we can safely ignore it forever. Hell, it seems to be ignoring itself. If you want to visit faded post-imperialism, go to Vienna.”

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Update: Hungary is also a big loser in the kleptocracy sweepstakes, with the EU proceeding toward possibly stripping it of the billions of dollars for public works projects that Orban has long been siphoning off for his oligarchs.

Zemmour You Look, Zemmour You See.

Or aren’t allowed to see.

La vidéo – in which far-rightist Eric Zemmour announces his presidential candidacy to the French people – is burning up the airwaves; not only does the New Yorker give it a good once-over (“one of the most bizarre videos ever offered by a would-be leader to his nation”), but theocrat Adrian Vermeulen has risen to its defense as Youtube slaps an age-restriction on it.

The age-restriction is the bizarre thing; the NYer writer is wrong that the video itself is bizarre. It’s a soppy chauvinistic rendering of La France, familiar from scads of such renderings from hyper-nationalist movements around the world. There’s no dead-in-the-water patriotic trope the video doesn’t use, re-use, and then re-use one more time. The only thing mildly unusual about it is the French sourcing. France used to be so secure in its cultural superiority that it didn’t have to sink to self-pleasuring.

‘[Michel] Houellebecq is among a growing number of Western intellectuals flirting with anti-liberalism: Perhaps liberalism is not the unmitigated good most of us are raised to believe it is. In an odd way, though, liberalism’s critics end up saying more about the resilience of liberalism than its demise.’

Here’s an excellent, brief, 2018 essay about the trend – especially among a group of Catholic scholars in America – to dump liberal democracy for theocracy. Shadi Hamid’s focus is fundamentalist Islam, but his argument applies as well to the emergence, here, of intellectual briefs for what UD calls a Cathophate.

Ol’ UD remains truly shocked right down to the ground that respectable American academics openly argue for a future of religious tyranny in this country, of “Christian authoritarianism — muscular paternalism, with government enforcing social solidarity for religious reasons.” I mean to say that the moment I grasped what Adrian Vermeulen and Patrick Deneen and company were about, I was fucking gobsmacked, and I still am. I’m still all of a mucksweat about it. I’m like in permanent Margaret Dumont shock.

Chalk it up to UD‘s naivete + emotional instability if you like, but I actually don’t get why all sentient Americans aren’t shitting themselves over being told by Mariolatric Madoffs that they need only invest in the Edmund Waldstein Radiant Future Fund to realize Total Happiness Now and Forever. God does not want you for an Individual Liberty friend! In Bondage and Submission lies Salvation!

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Whew. Hold on. Getting a little hot here…

… Margaret Dumont only pretended to be scandalized by the twisted Marx Brothers; similarly, maybe UD‘s sublimating her actual erotic attraction to The Story of O, Saved by Flagellants… ? To the idea of a total male total priesthood running their switches over her bum… ?

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Yet. As Hamid asks, “Is a lack of meaning really worse than a lack of freedom? … What liberalism’s critics appear unable, or unwilling, to address is whether a lack of meaning is a worse problem to have than a lack of freedom.” Maybe liberalism – “the political order that privileges non-negotiable rights, personal freedoms, and individual autonomy” – issues in some degree of conceptual confusion, and maybe even in a difficulty or refusal to commit oneself to clear philosophical/theological convictions – but is this really so unbearable a position to be in that one’s only option is rule by monks who think burning heretics at the stake is key to good governance?

“Endless free choice,” as Deneen disparagingly calls it, is a dead end. Choice needs to be a means to something else, but to what? Legally based religious systems—which only Islam among the largest religions potentially offers—quite consciously seek to restrict choice in the name of virtue and salvation…

And that’s the thing. Deneen can argue all he likes about the disabling side effects of individual liberty, but what he’s really about is damnation or salvation. The Medieval Church wafts you upward; free thought’s an express train to the abyss.

As the doorbell ringers at the beginning of The Book of Mormon put it: Have fun in hell.

We have followed Adrian Vermeule on this blog for some time.

Vermeule (scroll down) is a standard-issue Trumpian who continues gassing on about election fraud. He is a theocrat – I mean, a real one, as in he wants the United States ruled by Jesus, and, if Jesus doesn’t want the job, by His designated ayatollahs. We can anticipate that these would include the much-laureled Josh Hawley, plus, well, Adrian Vermeule.

Vermeule’s one peculiar distinction is that he’s a Harvard law professor; and it turns out that more than a few of his students are now officially really really creeped out to be in the same room with the dude in various required classes. UD is all for these students complaining about him; indeed, intellectual self-respect rather demands that his students make a public statement of some sort about the odd fact of their being taught, at the nation’s greatest university, by an off-the-charts anti-democratic fanatic.

No punishment allowed, of course; Vermeulen finds himself a tenured Harvard professor and fine. But squawking about the obscenity of having to endure the presence of a freak who wants to destroy your country – excellent.

Jumpin’ Jesuits! What the hell’s the deal at Georgetown University?

You name the scandal, one of America’s most Catholic educational institutions has a high-profile entry. Georgetown had more Varsity Blues bogus students than anyone else; its longtime tennis coach is just a plain old career criminal; a half dozen priests with Georgetown associations “have [recently] been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” It took ages and lots of pressure from students for it to revoke the honorary degree it gave to super-sexed Theodore McCarrick, a regular and adored presence in Georgetown’s chapels and classrooms. And so it goes.

And I mean yeah it really goes. Like every month. This month there’s the knotty little matter of one of its football players getting arrested for first degree murder.

Clearly the Jesuits running the school are weenies. A firm hand is needed, and UD recommends as next Georgetown president Pater Edmund Waldstein, a leader of the Adrian Vermeulen-sponsored Cathophate-to-Come, who would not hesitate to burn people at the stake.

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