As MetalGate is renewed under a flood of censorship targeting the “Alt Right,” confusion prevails as usual, this time about whether metal has any politics at all, and whether those politics support the Alt Right.
The answers will please no one. Metal is an artistic movement, not a political one. While some say “the personal is the political,” and in fact all opinions have consequences in terms of political views, artistic movements tend to notice things about reality and express values about them in the context of a philosophy or personal emotion.
If we could illustrate metal in terms from history, we might call it “Romanticist realism.” As written about in the Heavy Metal FAQ, metal follows the Romanticist pattern: idealizes the thoughtful individual above the crowd of thoughtless individuals, inspired by nature and history, thinks most people are delusional, dislikes cities or at least heavily criticizes them, views human existence through a mythological and historical angle, and reveres inner truths as opposed to outward manipulations. This is a philosophy, expressed in art, not the series of instructions and categorical delineations of reality into “issues” that is common in politics.
Metalheads have a strong anti-authoritarian streak, but this is explained more as disdain for the madding crowd and its fears and demands for safety than an opposition to authority itself. In our time, most authority is stupid and destructive, based on large groups of people condemning things like Satanism, the occult, wearing all black, mild hedonism, disobedience to blockheaded schools and jobs, disregard for middle class values regarding money and “upstanding” behavior, and other things that are essentially the visual appearance of fears of the herd, not realistic and practical motions reflecting a purpose to life, civilization and humanity.
We believe there is one authority, reality, and that this is not universally perceived with any degree of accuracy, and that in fact the herd by being obsessed by trends and appearances works against perception of reality. Metalheads revere what is real, actual and kicks ass; we love storms and wars, violence and death, chaos and darkness in part because they reflect reality and are powerful, and metal loves power because it kicks ass. We find beauty in these things because they are part of a greater whole, and we disdain the herd for lettings its fears block understanding and appreciation for this whole, which we see in the demonization of nature and independent realistic thought that the herd makes a cornerstone of its policies.
In metal, the realistic is good, and the human pretense which blocks understanding of the world as it actually is and rejects an understanding of consequences of our actions which we can understand by past actions and their results, as destructive. The realistic is separate from the term “true,” because true is a human assessment, and varies among humans. Those of us who are nihilists reject the idea that there is any universal truth, any actual communication and any innate values to life itself. These are things we unequally perceive and unequally choose, and they reflect who we are. They cannot be forced on a group, making that group “good.” As in nature, some are stronger than others, and that extends to intelligence, wisdom and goodness of people. Most of us are the kind of douchebag talking monkeys with car keys who litter, vandalize, rape, bully and tear down Confederate monuments.
Our love of nature as a pattern order makes us Darwinists, because natural selection is how nature separates the good from the douchebag oblivious idiots. This means that metal has kinship with Nietzschean striving for the Hyperborean übermensch, eugenics, misanthropy and other “anti-social” viewpoints. We think religion is “made of man,” as Hellhammer once phrased it, which does not mean that it is not real, only that it is a human construct and has varying accuracy, including how it is interpreted by people, who usually turn it into a simplistic method of control. Control is that which serves only itself; control is exclusively human, and while it may start off by trying to eliminate bad behaviors for good purposes, soon becomes self-serving, as opposed to nature, which simply keeps those who are good and kills off the rest. With nature, there is no control, but there is a bottom line, a reality. Metal likes that.
All of these put us closer to the original Right, which was in favor of strong hierarchy, intolerant of violation of cultural standards, prejudiced against humanity until individuals showed they were good, eschewed rules in favor of a case-by-case basis, and saw cities and herds as a type of apocalyptic blight. This original Right changed when they lost a big war in France in 1789, and since then they have tried to be a Left-Right hybrid, which is how you get idiots like American Republicans and neo-Nazis who think that you can make a Left-style egalitarian civilization that upholds the ideals of the Right. That obviously is nonsense, and history shows us that these groups become unstable, but that does not mean that all of what they do is wrong. The original Nazis, for example, euthanized retards and career criminals, and few metalheads would oppose that. The Republicans hit on a few cool things every now and then, but immediately embark on stupid crusades against symbolic issues.
As realists, metalheads are not very PC. While we may think that our gay brothers and sisters should be left alone to do what they do, we also recognize that most people are heterosexual and are disgusted by homosexual behavior, so homosexual behavior is probably best done in private. We also affirm the right of people to call things “gay” when repulsed by them, just like we call stupid people “retarded.” No one wants a gay or retarded child. That is just how life is; it is biology. This is the opposite from those who want to round up gays and burn them, or the people who want to pretend that retarded children are “just as capable” as normal children. They are not; they are retarded. This is reality, just like hating the herd and its stupefactive judgment and control.
At the same time, our attitude is more like that of the Left, which says that we should not tolerate something just because “that’s how we have always done it,” and that we should be open to better things always, as long as they are realistic. We are not attempting, like conservatives, to conserve the best of the past, but to be realistic in all ways and to aspire to what kicks ass, which is measured in terms of eternity and not the here and now. That puts us against the Left, who tend to argue from how things are now and make them accepted just as the Right does, but with different things. The Left likes anything that gives power to the individual, but metal sees power as something the individual taps into by being realistic and aspiring to what kicks ass, not something granted by humanity. Humanity… ugh!
We have more in common with the heroes of The Odyssey, Nordic and Greek Mythology, and The Kalevala than we do with modern dogma and ideology. We find more meaning in Nietzsche, Plato and Aurelius than lengthy studies or doctrines about the equality of humankind. We are realists about the differences between people, sexes and even biological divisions in intelligence within groups. If anything, the ideals that inspire us the most are from the deep ecology camp, which argues we need to remake civilization around existential experience of goodness and balance with nature instead of consumerism, democracy and the popularity contest of trends, fads, manias and other herd stampedes. We are not individualists, but we are individuals, or people who discard the failing and suffering mass of humanity in order to aspire to what is great, and to pursue it. We do not have pity. Our goal is not to “save humanity” but to have those who are not, like most of humanity, wedged firmly in the oblivion of solipsism (colloquial: “head stuck up the ass”) and humanist personal drama, do great things and create a humanity that is naturalistic, transcendent in its outlook, beyond good and evil, and most of all, seeking and creating what kicks ass.
Metal is a worldwide movement, and in every nation, metalheads uphold what they love about their homelands, their cultures and their people. For some, this means they support customs and religions that are baffling to us in America; for others, this means endorsing ways of life that include dangerous symbols and forbidden flags. We see humanity as basically a failure, and there are only a few who rise above that standard, and they are going to find expression for that urge in adoration of parts of history that are viewed with fear and trembling by the herd. That does not bother us; we are not here to police morality. We are here only like nature, to reward that which kicks ass and to beat down the mediocre, stupid, weak, deceptive, average, typical, callow and subservient. The only sin in metaldom is to be a poseur, or someone who pretends to be something they are not, which usually involves people elevating those mediocre behaviors above that which kicks ass. All poseurs love boring music, just like most of humanity adores the boring but safe. We are the remedy for that.
With all of that in mind, it is easy to see how this answer to the question of metal and politics will please no one. Metal does not fit into your little categories; we are closer to one than the other, but have some sympathies for its basic mentality as well, but really, we are doing our own thing, and it is much older and more eternal than modern politics. We bring order by seeing the beauty in darkness and the wisdom in feared nature and natural selection, and through that, we show humanity that the way “forward” is not to change our politics, but to change ourselves. We must become more realistic and kick ass, and everything else must die in fire. This is why under the banner of SODOMIZE THE WEAK we shall conquer.
Tags: article, heavy metal philosophy, heavy metal politics, kickass, metal philosophy, metal politics, raging realism
65 thoughts on “Politics of Heavy Metal”
Metal isn’t necessarily political but it’s been politicized by the left (as you know, their orthodoxy states that everything no matter how minute is political) as a “white working class” genre–anathema to their sensibilities–for about half a century. Or at least since punk happened.
Which is why when a metropolitan upper-middle class leftist tries to make metal, they are inherently making metal as an OUTSIDER, with no immersion in the culture, the ethos, or overall lineage. You can always tell, the spirit just isn’t there. It’s ironic how these are the people who whine about cultural appropriation all the time, because that’s exactly what they’re doing when they touch metal.
Anyway, that’s why–to steal a Brett-ism–their “””metal””” sounds like drippy indie rock with distortion. There’s a lot of shitty NSBM, but at least far right ideology nearly guarantees a certain spirit/passion/conviction that separates the Gravelands from the Wolves in the Throne Rooms.
‘at least far right ideology nearly guarantees a certain spirit/passion/conviction that separates the Gravelands from the Wolves in the Throne Rooms’ da stimme Ich dir vollkommen zu
Especially black metal is inherently nihilistic, primal, Nietzschean (Romanticist par excellence), etc. But it comes strictly from the source, not through some rationalistic ideologies, and it is like that for different reasons than when the Left reaches for supposedly same things. As such it is just like Nietzsche himself. Properly Conservative, that is if you don’t bother with Burkean level of thought.
This is the reason why even most basic NSBM (and aliances were made early) is still more proper metal than anything from those periodic attempts to hijack it by the Left. Those things just don’t add to each other.
I think it is time to finally bury Burke. In Ireland. In servitude.
And the very concept of Conservative party.
What is objectionable in Burke? I am not all that familiar with his ideas, but I was under the impression he was highly regarded in Conservative circles.
Graveland isn’t NSBM. Rob Darken even says so himself. People accused him of being NS because of his vocal opposition to the Israeli Lobby and Zionism.
Infernum and Thor’s Hammer are, but not Graveland. Those are Capricornus’ projects and he identifies as a National Socialist.
Makes sense to just refer to it as National Realist Black Metal (NRBM).
Hmm. That’s an interesting point. I might phrase it from the other approach, which is to say that any band which embraces equality must embrace “we agree to disagree” which is then an embrace of pacifism, and pacifists make terrible metal.
Being an advocate of equality, whilst disagreeing with people’s views and opinions aren’t mutually exclusive. You surely aren’t that naive.
To me heavy metal points out the bullshit whichever side it comes from. Like Sabbath made a mockery of atheists and progressists in ‘After forever’, but also criticised conservatism in ‘Killing yourself to live’. ‘War pigs’ is as anti-war as it is anti-government.
I don’t know what the label is for that, libertarian, anarcho-capitalist or whatever. But that to me is the original metal spirit. Not the alt-right which wants to replace one tyranny with another.
Agreed, which is why the article mentioned it. However, metal is also anti-egalitarian and anti-pacifist, which excludes it from one of those sides by the nature of ideology itself, which rejects those who do not follow its core principles, and the core principle of the Left is equality.
Metal as anti-pacifist is just LARPing. No so-called or self-professing anti-pacifists actually experienced the consequences of war in reality, let alone fought in any, nor will they ever.
How foolish to sit down and write when one has not stood up to live – metal as anti-pacifist illustrates this foolery, both in the listeners who buy it and the bands who adopt the posture.
Enjoying your LARP is fine (that’s what we’re all doing anyway) but actually espousing pro-war ideals without any experience in the matter is embarrassing.
Conflict (war) is a constant as long as there is existence on this planet. This is quite a dilemma, aint it?
No, I’ve never fucked one of those.
It meanwhile occurred to me that “Most of us” probably wasn’t supposed to mean “Most of us metalheads” but “Most of us people”. If so, the wording is quite misleading.
I must also refuse to be grouped together with “other people” just because I happen to be the same kind of animal in a biological sense. The idea to do so voluntarily would never occur to me.
* if so, the reader is quite the retard
Rainier, your refusal has been duly registered in our logbook. You are hereby reassured that you are a special snowflake, quite ungroupable with other animals of the same biological type.
Do you at least realise thar you keep repeating the same nonsense over and over again, somewhat like a PRNG monad[*] with a very short cycle length, say, 0.125 or so?
[*] Optimized couch potato: Organs necessary for receiving outside information have, over the course of a few generations of people reproducing by anal intercourse with themselves, largely gone missing as they weren’t ever being used, anyway.
he’s groupable with other autists
Dogmas for fools are written here. What´s reality? A word so abstract that can means everything, anything or even nothing. What you´re calling reality isn´t more like a personal perception.
Metal is not out of the ideoligical or philosophical frames that exist in our current times that crushed the weak past. Social darwinism and kicking ass during the whole eternity like incestous kings of the past did are dillusional, a lie, smoke in the air, acritical superstition. A masquerade used by lesser men trying to keep themselves in power.
By the way, I´m sick of these sempiternal mentions to Nietzsche. Did you ever read Stirner, motherfuckers?
That we all see reality does not mean that it is not there, and that some observations are not more accurate than others.
why should anyone read Stirner?
stirner is a spook
We need to make the world a better place to live in, and it ain’t gonna happen without the right attitude. That’s why I support ANTIFA \m/
It’s the fucking summer you idiot. Fuck you for eating extreme[?] chili in the fucking summer. The fuck is wrong with you boy
You know it’s gonna be one hell of a Ripper when he goes to the bathroom hahaha.
This is all contradictory to the point of idiocy – metal is aligned with the “old right” that predates the French Revolution, yet espouses nationalism, an invention of the French Revolution. Metal is aligned with the “old right” that is “intolerant of violation of cultural standards”, yet is blatantly transgressive against the cultural standards of the herd. Metal is against herds, yet espouses meaningless patriotisms and waves meaningless flags that represent herds and not ideas. Metalheads aren’t a moral police, but gays should stay in the closet because they’re disgusting. Metal isn’t political, but here’s an article projecting political philosophy onto metal. You should have just taken the first four paragraphs and the last one and left it at that, but even then, it paints a picture of metal that is fundamentally incomplete. Take your politics and SHOVE IT.
The dark realism and the aggression and power it takes to express it and attack the herd is one part of the equation of the metal spirit, but the other half is a deep, underlying sadness stemming from the idealism that sets metalheads apart in the first place, and this undermines any notion that metal is purely about KICKIN’ ASS (insert retarded pantera chugs here). Metal isn’t cock rock. Immolation’s masterpieces spend half their time mocking Christianity and its followers and the other half wallowing in despair over a feeling of betrayal that has left a Christ-shaped void in their hearts. Varg’s first four albums as Burzum express sadness, over and over again, about “what once was”, about feelings of alienation (don’t believe me? read the emo lyrics to Key to the Gate), and about the dark world we inhabit. Metallica’s albums – the good ones – certainly have their fair share of myth and ass-kicking, but spend equally as much time expressing outrage and sadness at the tragedy of the world.
Any attempt at describing a “metal spirit” that ignores this is revisionist and FALSE. The greatest metal embraced idealism and sadness. The banner of “Sodomize the Weak” is the banner of the mediocre, the banal, the meaningless, and the stunted in the underground metal scene. It itself is weak, and the remedy is for it to go sodomize itself.
NEIN. Nyet. Nej. ניין
Nationalism is an inherent trait of humanity; it was formalized after the French Revolution to, as Leftists always do, create an inferior version of something that means the opposite of what it originally did. You might enjoy reading more in The Nationalism FAQ. Then again, if you use a Wikipedia/High School II level interpretation of history as the above, maybe not.
Tribalism (both ethnic and non-ethnic) is an inherent trait of humanity that is a main contributor to the negative “herd” behaviors you describe. Your “nationalism” is not an inherent trait of humanity, it is a political idea, and the “nationalism” you describe on your site as a political system advocating the organization of ethnicities into self-determining nation states certainly does not predate the French Revolution even if the base idea that people have shared cultures and histories do. Is that really all you have? This is a tangent and a distraction regardless – your article is contradictory through and through, omits the idealism inherent in great metal and romantic art, and you ought to be embarrassed of it.
I think the idea of ‘ethnic self-determination’ was invented by Woodrow Wilson and the ethnic cleansing necessary for lending sense to it by-and-large didn’t happen until end of the 2nd world war despite the last two European remnants of the concept of the multi-ethnic ‘universal’ empire (inherited from the Romans) were eliminated at the end of WWI.
The link on nationalism you provided is laughable, there is a plethora of academic literature on nationalism, which it does not work with in any way
The sickening sentimentality portrayed in the last two paragraphs is even more overpowering than the cringe (KICKIN’ ASS) of the original article. Your rear end must be very tender by now.
That sentimentality, even to the point of being sickening at times, is a feature of all specifically great metal bands. It does not comprise the entirety or the art would lose its vitality and be dead like the worst of dsbm and funeral doom, but a tragic idealism that interacts with and gives depth to other elements is undeniably a key component in the music and in the lyrical content of the greatest metal bands and albums. It can also lead to transcendence when it leads the artist to look beyond idealism and realism into the space neither occupy – “suddenly, life has new meaning”.
I think you and BS (ha ha) agree more than you think (see: ‘mythic imagination’) but you’re both too gay to just admit it and make out already
No don’t do that, if you expose Brett’s white-knuckled grip on his belief in the inherent value of nations then you’ll reveal his entire philosophy as inverted solipsism with a sloppily applied drizzle of that inert Machiavellianism that spurs old men to buy sports cars to disguise the fact that they can no longer achieve erections!
I think they have a pill for that
Hahaha. Fuck the week in the buttholes with Nietszchean pps
Fuck the Left AND the Right. Fuck ALL politics.
This is a moral copout. If somebody tried to set an orphanage full of children on fire for x political cause, and another group of people representing y political cause tried to stop them, would you just sit there thinking “I’m neutral on this subject. Afterall, all politics are bad”? You can’t distance yourself from politics without distancing yourself from reality.
I repeat: Fuck ALL politics.
Brett this is a long article and I know you claim to be a nihilist.
1)Are you telling me the truth?
2)Are you saying something meaningful here?
We should prioritize on fucking Brett in the ass, perhaps we may gain some level of uber Neitzschean insight that Brett has amassed throughout his meager existence.
NEETscheans cling to life like shit to a shovel, while the (true) religious cling to their illusions while accepting death. Which is more pitiful?
we get it, tough guy
Nihilism, just like Satanism is nothing but a mere facade. This also applies to the majority of metal, which need not be of the hipster kind.
Nihilism is a rejection of human control. It’s very healthy. http://www.nihil.org/
Did Nietzsche ever call himself a nihilist? Was it not his critics that called him such? Whatever the case, like with most all things, they fail to uphold in practice that which they espouse.
Nihilism is easy to uphold in practice: stop believing in universal human truths, knowledge and communication.
People commenting like Immolation and Burzum were the first Metal bands ha. I’ll give the 90s one thing, it made glorified loserdom in Metal much bigger than it ever was before, the old Metal bands never wallowed in self pity, it was always about rising above that which keeps you down, and yes kicking ass was always a MAJOR part of the equation. The embracing of posers as “Equals” which started in the 90’s is what has brought us to where we are now. Much like the underground Punk scene NEVER should have let the Green Day/Offspring MTV crowd into the party, we let hipsters, Punks, and various other non Metalheads overrun the scene (if you ever owned an album by Toxic Holocaust, it’s your fault), they now outnumber the real Metalheads, and they will now bend and mold the Genre/Scene to their own liking. The best bet we can hope for is they will eventually get bored and move on to other genres to exploit and ruin. Good article Mr Stevens, 10/10
They have already moved on from some metal sub-genres like speed metal. The Toxic Holocaust, Havok, and White Wizard type bands all died. The “old school death metal”, “war metal”, and “tree fucker” movements is dying too. Kill ‘Em All.
A tragic hero is one whose personality ends up engineering his downfall. Eg, Orestes who kills his mother Clytamnestra (and her lover) to avenge the murder of his father Agamemmnon. That’s inherently a ‘sad’ story and there’s no place in it where one of the acting characters could just have “kicked ass harder!” to ensure a happy ending.
‘Wallowing in self-pity’ is the boon companion of ‘the teenage neurosis’, a pretty recent, US invention. If that’s a problem for you, you should try to overcome it, not project it onto others.
Metal is not inherently nationalistic or racist, but it is conducive toward racism because of its affinity for brutal, uncomfortable truths, and toward racism because of its romantic, mythological spirit.
Conducive toward nationalism* because of its affinity…
Excuse me, lads
Metal is not inherently nationalistic or racist, but it is conducive toward racism because of its affinity for brutal, uncomfortable truths, and toward nationalism because of its romantic, mythological spirit.
A lot of crybabies getting their panties in a bunch around here. Metal is ultimately about war, heritage/history and the undeniable elitism of nature itself. It represents the intuitive realisation that reality itself is a never ending battle and ultimately being at peace with that.
Thus metal — either implicitly or explicitly — deals with the real highs and the real lows of embracing the dark facts of existence (all life ends/only death is real), yet going forth in accordance with the old saying:
“Cattle die, and kinsmen die,
And so one dies one’s self;
One thing now that never dies,
The fame of a dead man’s deeds.”
HAIL AND KILL!
fame dies too, eh?
“so homosexual behavior is probably best done in private”
Shit stains will stink outside of a bedroom too.
Been familiar with your work for quite some time, heard your interview with James Stillwell (Power-Nihilism). I’m a lifelong metalhead. And politically I call myself a Right-Anarcho-Individualist and a Right-Anarcho-Nihilist. I say “anarchism” from a right wing perspective (I have an AnCap Streak as well) as I do nihilism, and am coming at these terms from the perspective of “Might is Right” by Ragnar Redbeard, as well as being influenced by Nietzsche, Stirner, Schopenhauer, Kant, Spencer, Thoreau, Spooner, Emerson, and others.
1) Would “conservative nihilism” or “nihilistic conservatism” be good terms to describe a summation of your overall views? Nihilism, as Ivan Turgenev said in his novel “Fathers and Sons” a nihilist is someone who doesn’t bow down to any authority, and does not accept any principle on faith, no matter how much that principle may be revered. In other words, the nihilist will reject someone asserting that something is an innate value. Many will say that “you can’t be a conservative nihilist because you have conservative VALUES” but I find the idea of “nihilistic conservatism” an intriguing one.
The nihilist knows that there is no inherent value to anything and that there are no objective moral values or universal moral truths. People simply subjectively value things, so in my view someone can be conservative and a nihilist. Conservatives may want to “conserve” society whereas a nihilist may want to destroy it, especially if they are of the active “anarcho-nihilist” variety. But the thing is, if a conservative found themselves in the type of society that leftists want to build, and the left succeeded in doing so, then the conservative would want to, in a nihilistic manner, burn that society to the ground, and grin with pleasure while doing it, at least in my view.
This leftist society is based on morals, left wing values that are nothing but baseless assumptions, built upon assumptions, and leftists seem to think that their morals are somehow objective and binding, that there is some ultimate divine knowledge that they think they have. The conservative nihilist would want to see the institutions that leftist values built destroyed. Dethroned, conquered, and forgotten. Because the conservative nihilist doesn’t value the same thing the leftist does, and that leftist society does not work for them, as that society would be built on false pretenses and not any realism.
Does this concept of a “nihilistic conservative” sound plausible in your view and could that term be used to describe your overall views?
So metal is above politics. One can’t say there’s a political model specific to it.
Metal is a kind of philosophy or even religion (a fraction of Indo-european paganism, basically) – which means it’s on a higher level of abstraction than politics.
If metal were a dominating religion, various political models could have been derived from it, depending on the context and on what would work best in that context.
What’s the politics of Buddhism? Judaism? I bet there are no such things.
I agree. That higher level of abstraction is the noble goal of transcendence which all art should strive towards.
Comments are closed.