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Metal and science fiction as conservative

Metal and science fiction as conservative
May 31, 2009, 07:29:30 AM
Although I don't think modern conservatives have many answers, I find "primal conservatism," or a sense of individuality-based realism, to be a powerful philosophy. It's the opposite of individualism -- in it, we don't create justifications for ourselves, but are judged by how well we uphold adaptation to reality. It's realism, but it's a realism that notes quality of individual and clarity of thinking is more important than governmental systems, which is how peasants/Revolutionaries/urbanites govern themselves.

Recently, I've been reading some of the greats of science fiction: Philip K. Dick. Jerry Pournelle. Orson Scott Card. Larry Niven. Interestingly, these guys are very metal. They write from the epic, historical perspective, in which realpolitik and battle are facts of life. There's no humanist mishmash. People are unequal, species are unequal, groups are unequal, and individuals are unequal, and all are locked in a deadly struggle for life through dominance of others, which is essential in order to survive those others -- even if they don't realize it.

In many ways, metal and science fiction -- or at least the best of both of those genres -- are this kind of primal conservative. They acknowledge reality; they look beyond the individual and the present tense; yet, paradoxically, they affirm that only individuals having their act together can save us, because as in nature, having more individuals who are better adapted is what determines whether any species can survive. It's a refreshing break from the faux literature of the last 70 years; literature before that, of course, affirmed the same primal conservatism as our science fiction and heavy metal do today.