Certainly the nationalisms and populisms that we are now seeing are closer to classical conservatism than is the liberal neoconservatism that has long been the norm in America. It is interesting that, so far as I know, except for Jordan Peterson, nobody in The Intellectual Dark Web has had a good word to say about classical conservatism. But Peterson, for all the use he makes of Christians Fyodor Dostoevsky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and of Christianity itself, is a classical liberal in politics. And yet, as many people have pointed out, Peterson, who so emphasizes the values of hierarchy and order, is essentially conservative in his thinking. Now surely it is a problem for a man who values these things that he is committed to the very theory that undermines them. Nor is Peterson a practicing Christian, so despite his appreciation for the religion and all the wisdom he derives from it, it is fair to ask just what Christianity can really provide for him and the non-Christians he wishes to guide. Peterson’s debt to Nietzsche is clear: “Dare to be dangerous.” But Nietzsche would have found Peterson another George Eliot: someone who vainly wants to preserve an intellectualized and humanistic cultural practice without the metaphysical justification on which it depends. Indeed, in this respect Peterson is not so different from a leftist such as Richard Rorty.
I began clawing at large clues as to what Ballardianism entailed. Dislocated, disenfranchised, derealized, disassociated and disconnected, everything Ballardian is unhinged and rides on a possibility. Sure, I don’t have a toaster that can play pornography, but the fact there almost certainly is one that can is rather Ballardian. Using the term ‘Ballardianism’ reeks of pomposity, and yet I feel that unlike Kafka-esque, Pynchonian, Foucauldian or Derridean the term Ballardian wouldn’t be taken as seriously at any literary convention, and yet also wouldn’t be taken seriously by those who are knee-deep in Ballard’s prophecies, namely the populous.
Patchwork, as a system, requires a right of exit that goes all the way down. It is a radical rejection of the consolidatory tendencies that cause so much trauma, not just geopolitically but also subjectivity.
The nation-state and the individual self are, via patchwork, likewise understood as mythological fantasies that we have nonetheless pursued at all costs. Embrace the anxiety of not being a single being, of not being a single subject, and fragment accordingly. And then, worry not: putting the other first, both internally and externally, is always already an(-)ethics.