The Agonist Journal

The nature of comedy is transgressive. Limits and boundaries are pushed as comedians address difficult subjects that were previously viewed as taboo. It is through comedy that we confront our social demons and discomforts, even as we find relief from our anxieties. For instance, on his popular show, Dave Chappelle once played a black white supremacist who, being blind, didn’t even realize that he himself was black. In this wildly funny skit, Chappelle not only mocked the KKK; he also went after the left, implying that, like the blind black white supremacist, leftists do not see that they themselves can be racists, the very thing they most hate.

"Surrounded by Enlightenment 2.0, we vitalists swim against the current to stay true to our nature. God is dead, and what happens next may shock you."

Of course, Dave Chappelle has never been politically correct. But having made the increasingly woke left, and cancel culture in particular, an explicit target of his comedy, Chappelle is now bashed by scores of moralistic leftist critics. Rotten Tomatoes elected to give Sticks & Stones, Chappelle’s new stand-up comedy film, a 31 percent rating, even though the audience gave it a 99 percent rating. “Chappelle doubles down on misogyny and transphobia,” moans Vice, moaning being the thing it does best. Critics have accused Chappelle of courting controversy, and he has been placed on the bad list with Sarah Silverman, Bret Easton Ellis, Rosanne, and others.

Even ultra-leftist-transsexual-YouTube-star ContraPoints has been chased off of Twitter, due to some absurd pronoun war, from which she learns what it’s like to be the witch burnt at the stake. In a subculture saturated with people who define themselves as literal witches (more on that shortly), the social justice witch trials will eventually come for their own. ContraPoints and Chappelle should sit down and have a drink. 

Meanwhile, the real fascists who beg for acceptance from the 1488 crowd accuse artists and intellectuals of being degenerates, whores, kikes, and faggots. Quite a negative description! In writing The New Art Right, by contrast, my goal was to vanguard and realign the alt-right into a new faction of creators and thinkers who saw outside of the politically correct consensus. The idea was to create an art scene that expressed our vitalist instincts, because they have been cast out of modern society in the name of utilitarianism and enlightenment.

Wikipedia defines vitalism as “the belief that living organisms are fundamentally different from the non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things.” In our ever more instrumental world, art is subordinated to commerce and bureaucracy, as if scripted speeches, spreadsheets, and paperwork made life worth living. We find ourselves going against the zeitgeist as we search for solutions ranging from radical traditionalism to fully automated luxury communism to expressionist theater.

It’s hard going. Take, for example, the suppression and criticism of cinema and theater. Here you can view a list of plays that have been banned throughout history. From Oscar Wilde’s Salome to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, it’s clear that cancel culture is not a contemporary or social media phenomenon, but a historical plague. Now consider the present, when costumes are getting banned from screenings of Joker for being “disturbing.” Somehow, Joker is also taking heat for—you cannot make this up—“incel violence.” What?! Aren’t cinema and theater realms where people can express their vitalist instincts and go beyond facts and reason? Truly, these arts should have nothing to do with our tiresome culture wars. Theater, after all, was long a realm where people could do whatever they wanted with their characters and costumes—men playing women, and vice versa—and nobody turned their endeavors into a battle in a culture war. From Antonin Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty to Cirque du Soleil, reaching for a higher state of being was a visceral act of expression. Even in its most decadent form, the avant-garde was able to place itself beyond this age of limited reason so as to envision new possibilities.

A cultural rebirth of an organized artistic elite must occur. Yet where do we begin in these little corners of the vitalist universe? For anti-religion has become the new religion. Social activist groups mock and deride religion in order to get a seat at the cool kids’ table, but are happy to refer to themselves as witches while they hex Donald Trump as “an act of magical resistance.” While I am not religious myself, I see that the vitalist nature of mankind should exist in harmony with the social order. We can do better than the drab atheist dinner party to which we’ve become accustomed. In The New Art Right I call for “Dark Bohemia”: a theater, art, and music scene full of vitalist artists, occultists, and thinkers. For a higher state of consciousness is calling; a new occult paradigm is waiting to be explored.

Said Harry Hooton:

In philosophy and art, humanity is no longer worthy of our enquiry or representation. Philosophy as an attention to human problems must yield to science dealing with mechanical masses of non-human material. The philosophies and arts of one age are the exact sciences of the next. Philosophy, searching for what is true, and art, searching for what is new, may be discovered as being always out in front of society, in the vanguard.

Art and philosophy, we see here, lead to visions that create the science of every new era. Yet what is art if we cannot explore the irrational? What is creativity if it is constrained by political correctness and functionalism? It is time to forge a new path, an insurrection of the spirit. The entertainment industry, more and more biased toward identity politics and social activism, should transcend the culture wars and the utilitarian nature of economic interaction. For by engaging with the unreal or even the hyper-real, actors and other artists are able to participate in new worlds of possibility.

Like me, dissident artist Martina Markota works in the Art Right. She practices performance art of a higher occult nature, blending religious symbols and dissident aesthetics, “uniting the truth with the beautiful.” Seeing that people are focusing overmuch on political stunts and viral videos, and complaining about whatever the social justice warriors and the Democrats are doing, Markota thinks that we need to replace what we are criticizing with something better. Markota, then, is trying to transcend the politically correct world of performance art.

Tape Leak, a zine based in South Florida, also goes against political correctness, through art, writing, and counter-culture jamming. Combining a punk aesthetic with a vaporware touch, Tape Leak features artists ranging from Lady Alchemy (Markota’s performance art project) to the infamous Sabo to European-inspired Dadaist and surrealist Skinless Frank.

The Art Right is expressionist and metaphoric—a theater of the mind and soul. Surrounded by Enlightenment 2.0, we vitalists swim against the current to stay true to our nature. God is dead, and what happens next may shock you. While corporate social justice groups seek to migrate artists into the wellness industry by encouraging aspirants to put #selfcare tags on their paintings, transgressive art offers an authentic path. So peer outside the windows of political correctness and quit worshiping facts and reason, utility and commerce, as the new gospel. You can explore this exciting domain, where the gods are beauty and expression.