Revisiting Nick Land 

Through VITUAL BORSCHT thru Sytheic Zero.
Nick land is an interesting character. I like him Only because of his definition of dark enlightenment on his infamous essay that I can’t seem to find a link to but it’s there. That being said, I think his character and politics is reactionary and childish, pretty much a ‘Self Half-claimed mysterious child who poses as a mature and sophisticated intellectual’.  If feel like his whole purpose in this world is to make money while inflating his thinker-ego, which is nothing new really. While his essays is interesting, it does mark a classifiable type. Remember Nine Inch Nails (great band), Insane Clown Posse (lame), White Zombie (ok) came out of the 90s.  Nick Land is a type. 

He is noted for coining the term “dark enlightenment”. I like that idea, but because I like that idea I think Nick land is caught in a enchanted fantasy. Now, I don’t mean this to discredit him or to say that he’s wrong or anything like that; this is not a point to indicate his incorrect ideas (though they are inflated; he’s a church of Nick) I say that because given the facts, the fact that I am able to understand where he is coming from, often even more than I can understand what he is saying about some world or something like that — somehow I seem to intuitively understand what he saying also — It must mean that the position from which he gains his perspective, that we might generalize  into calling “the dark enlightened state”, is itself a function of consciousness that comes about under certain conditions. Like certain Atari games of the 80s or Intelevsion, there are certain conditions that must be met in the order of thinking to thereby be able to even come upon an idea such as the dark and lighten meant, a position as well as an object of consideration. It’s like someone’s playing video game and then they happen to cook some buttons and move the joystick in a certain order in a particular part of the game and then a secret room opens up or some sort of secret message appears out of nowhere, A message or chamber that is completely irrelevant to the playing of the game itself, the kind of secret knowledge by which the rest of the game takes on a new quality, a different quality than I had before. 
The condition is not a generalized condition; it does not include all human beings in potential but is actually a particular type of understanding, what I call a particular orientation upon objects. The strange thing about it is if I’ve entered this other chamber or I have found the secret little instance of activity that allows me to get the secret message in the video game, if I go to other players then who have not encountered it and try to tell them where this instance is in the game it is very difficult for them to find that exact instance, that single bit on the screen but more than the screen, that single bit that single position in the whole map and layout of the video game where in one must also do a series of button pushes in joystick manoeuvres. In fact it is so difficult to communicate this to a person that for all purposes that are effective in our world of reality in which Nick land might be enlightened to some darkness, that we might call it incommunicatable. And this is what Nick relies upon for all the other derivatives (accelerationalism, etc..), that the secret will not be exposed. Great for religion. 

So foreign and almost impossible to re-create for another person in the game, that we got a call it a fantasy, and indeed a product of enchantment with reality. 

More later

29 thoughts on “Revisiting Nick Land 

  1. The feature of this ‘manner ‘ as I see it, is that it ‘sees thru’ facades. Badiou appropriates this manner and comes to a similar conclusion to withdraw from political action, that to withdraw from party politics of the only rational response to our situations, but is in itself a radical political act. Zizek also speaks similarly.

    So Land ‘occupies’ this ‘view-from-manner’ by rejecting democracy. It really is the same impetus. Like the Buddhist enlightenment, the 7-fold path (? 7 fold. How many folds is it? I don’t remember: I am total dork) is a kind of ‘real-recourse’ to the situation of necessary-and-cannot be-chosen withdraw. The impetus toward want to suture together two mutually exclusive orders accounts for this ‘occupation of manner’. But truth, so to speak, is a necessary-already withdrawn; so in many cases, cases that stop short, the axiomatic ‘reason’ (enlightened reason/intuition) compels one toward a ‘real’ meaning of the withdraw, that the already withdraw demands a correspondent ‘Real-act’, which is most often understood as political.

    In a way, at least philosophically, we end up with at minimum a discussion of a group of blind boddhisatvas touching an elephant, one saying reality is like an alligator, another saying, it is like a snake …but at the other end, a battle of who is most correct, and who can call forth and wield the most power to his discourse.

    We have the outlines, a beginning to be able to expose such chicanery, of both good and bad. And no one is going to like it.

  2. And when I say he sounds schizophrenic, its his haphazard way of using Deleuzian theory to move from one thing to the next, of references to people like Badiou and Debord who he obviously disagrees with, but somehow comes to completely opposite conclusions from- its bizarre. His points seem to come off as someone only partially acquainted with high theory, but also someone who is acutely schizo and a purveyor of dangerous ideas. In short, over about 30 minutes, I’ve found a new arch-nemesis, and a new intense hatred, for Mr. Land

    1. He did coin “dark enlightenment”. And from what little I’ve read of him . He seems quite ‘dark’ in his estimations. From what i gather. He was a 90s writer. Everyone loved conspiracies in the 90s. Lol. His stuff is a little too paranoid for me, yeah. Schztzo.

      His assemblage of meaning is an example of why his ‘enlightened’ thinking should only be an indication of why such base of perspective should be understood for what it is, that manner needs be described. I suppose that’s what some of my work is; such ‘enlightenment’ allows us for the first time a way to understand just what consciousness does. A part that in general those enlightened cannot see beyond. It’s a manner to be able to discuss religion in a new way. At least. That’s what I’m going with. Lol

      From my understanding, Nick was way too arrogant to do Philosophy and so never wrote a book or anything. Only wrote some essays and the went to work for some capitalist think tank in Asia.

      The Only reason I like him is because of his definition. I think he is a typical fucked up 90s schmoe. Of the kind I guess you’d have to have been there to understand. Lol.

    2. Oh. Wiki doesn’t say anything about working for an Asian think tank. Idk where I heard that. Perhaps he is making enough money being a cool dark hip dude. Lol All those categories. Accelerationism, cybernetics, and all those other attributes I’m not really into. My use for them (mostly) They function as manners to describe how religion how consciousness works.

      I don’t have a very high opinion of him. Or those who like him. 🙂

      I think also. He is another example of a person who misunderstands his own ideas; that’s how accelerationalsim is constructed: on a deliberate misapplication of a basic premise . From this mistake, consciousness is able to ‘roll with’ meaning. And due to consciousnesses ability to behave as separate from the universe, such ‘detached’ kind of meaning ‘accelerates’ itself.

      A lot going on. Too much really to get into here I suppose.

      1. Exactly I don’t think he understands the terms he’s using, I think he’s trying to sound prophetic and dark and mysterious. And btw, I read a full interview with him. He’s definitely alt-right. So if you don’t have a good estimation of him and people that like him- that was a good instinct, because he’s politically a nutter

      2. Wow. It kinda makes sense though. Huh. I think I’m gonna tell Craig Hickman over at Southern Nights and Dark Ecologies. I think he hates me. I used to follow his blog for a while. But when ever I’d comment. He’d get all upset with me. Lol. He’s how I learned of Nick Land. Hickman is pretty up an Philosophy. But he says he’s not. That he’s more of just an author. But i don’t know if Hickman is alt right. But he tends to cite Land a lot. 🙂

      3. I think maybe some people don’t realize he is, maybe its just the ideas are floating around other philosophy circles, but you never know

    3. I think I should change the summary of my book. I like the idea of ‘dark’ enlightenment because it indicates that whereas before it was out in the open, talked about and questioned into, now it resides in the shadows. Well, in the 90s and 2000s it did. Now it has so far receeded it must be propped up by propaganda, fear, the past, fixed views. One realizes that it is really bs. So it has to use tactics to stay meaningful, purposefully maintaining its relevancy though it knows it is already out; it has to milk it’s worth.
      Dark takes in a new meaning.

      1. I think your definition of dark enlightenment is a reappropriation of the term. Dark Enlightenment, as Nick Land understands it, is a complete rejection of all values associated with the Enlightenment to the point of rejecting all egalitarianism. So basically, he’s not so much post-modernist as anti-modern, or really just neo-reactionary (he embraces the term neo-reactionary). He’s really all about a return to the ideals of aristocracy and basically is anti-liberal in all the wrong senses of the word. His use of postmodernism is probably the most ominous thing I’ve seen come out of all of this so far

      2. He struck me as a sort of Deluezian extrapolator philosophically. I haven’t read much of him honestly. Like those papers. I didn’t read too far into them because I could already see Kinda where he was headed (no where I’d want to go lol). I tried a couple times but some authors are just too…I don’t know …But i read enough to see… we’ll I am in process of uncovering, so to speak, this ‘philosophical -enlightenment’ Manner. Land takes it into the most fear-based ideological areas though, seems to me. Indeed, the Dark is kind of a double-entendres. Thanks for the info.

        This ‘enlightenment’ thing has brought up issues of the ‘sovereign’ (i forget who exactly) . And this aspect of this manner could elicit an attitude that would make alt right sense. So I don’t doubt what your saying.

        He’s so 90’s. I’m around his age. And he strikes me of a certain kind of 90s. So 90s. It’s like a certain scent. Or odour. 😝 to me it’s just so stuck in the past and a childish fear that has to hold on and not move cuz it’s so afraid: it casts on everyone a sort of stylized darkness, like a fashion that takes itself very seriously all the while being too cool to actually ‘admit’ that it is so serious. Lol.

        I’m crazy though. 🤖

      3. haha that is funny about the 90s odor. I kind of get that sense from him too.
        It definitely is a double entendre. Its deliberate.
        As Zizek talks about, there are always those kind of critiques of the Enlightenment that spur from a kind of Romanticism (and thus reactionary spirit)- people that adore poets and the like, and authors. Beware of those people in general I feel, because they often hold backwards political philosophies. Like the poet Friedrich Schiller Zizek talks about in his new book Disparities (which I read about 3/4 of).
        Speaking of Disparities- you should definitely write a post about this. Get all your thoughts out, because you make connections to things I don’t, when it comes to disjunctions and cool stuff like that:p

      4. Thanks. Often in order to write, I need a prompt that signals which discursive path to follow. Sometimes. Just a topic like ‘disparities’ is not enough; sometimes I need a specific situation. A motivator, so to speak..

      5. And yeah he is a Deleuzian extrapolator- a completely bonkers one, one that Zizek or Badiou would probably point at and say “I told you so! I told you Deleuze was a quasi-fascist!!!” Even though Deleuze hated capitalism, which…yeah

    4. You know, I was just thinking of the schizophrenia thing and like Delueze.

      I think the 80s and 90s and 2000‘s like this 30 year. Marks a kind of “ending” and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people started considering the end of philosophy and the end of history in such things like that recently. like Zizek’s living in the end times.

      But the schizophrenia thing: the schizophrenia I think marks a sort of Disjuncture, maybe a kind of moment where in the ideology, the functioning mythology pass to divide upon itself. Where as “before“ we could call it the dialectic, now the dialectic is being used in such a way that it hides A part of it self. Before both sides of the dialectic were a parent in sort of a kind of universal historical motion, perhaps of the Hegel type. But because of its failure, and yet it’s persistence, it had to hide. I think it is this disjuncture that reveals something significant about certain modes; in particular I would say that if we can categorize a certain instance or certain moments involving a dialectic that hides part of itself (The manner of hiding is different than what they used to talk about 100 years ago) that we can now call schizophrenic, it is because of the presumption that goes along with the very feet of schizophrenia that imposes itself upon reality in a devious manner. It cannot admit that his way is incorrect and so moves to argue a common humanity is still involved with some sort of general human being. It thereby realizes that it has a certain advantage because of its mode of manipulation, as it sees that most people do not have this kind of “alternate“ view, if there by uses discourse and meaning deceptively for a kind of “unholy“ manner. Innoway we could probably make an analogy to the housing bubble that we had like 10 years ago. It is a kind of artificial inflation of meaning.

      Just kind of going on a little thought that came to mind there.

      1. You are right there is definitely something about the manner of Land’s thought that suggests something apocalyptic. Marks a disjuncture maybe- I mean its all determined by what kind of ideologies are floating around. That’s apparently Land’s whole thing- he wants instead of Left accelerationism, Right accelerationism (which is a contradiction in terms unless you fit it in a libertarian/minarchist or most minimal state kind of person). But in any case- in Land’s mind, he sees these kind of contradictions within liberal capitalism that cannot be sustained, and he wants a return to something before democracy. He thinks democracy is the problem. If one weren’t acquainted with the nuances of Zizek’s thought, you would say “Zizek has said shit like that”. More in part 2

      2. Yeah its no longer possible to view history as this kind of dialectical movement, we know now its at best a kind of heuristic device for looking at how the pendulum swings back and forth.

        I see what you are trying to say, Land means something in the cultural milieu, in the landscape of things. I think he reads the signs on the walls so to speak, but misinterprets them. And isn’t that the definition of schizophrenia in a way? Seeing conspiracies where there are none, looking at some random pattern in the clouds and seeing a message from aliens or something. Maybe Land should stick to fiction, because it sounds like when he tries applying real concepts to the world, he ends up using too much “enchantment”. First of all, he has an idealistic view of monarchic Europe, which is funny. Second, he seems to have a fascination with HP Lovecraft. If you start analyzing the world in a way that makes sense to HP Lovecraft (who was an avid anti-Semite and conspiracy nut) you’ve probably gone wrong.
        As Zizek would say, its fantasy and ideology at its purest.
        Pt. 3 coming

      3. Pt. 3 I found out that the same philosopher we talked about earlier, the alt-right guy who believes in aliens, is Nick Land’s friend. It all made sense.
        This is how people are able to bash postmodernism, first of all, being associated with these people.
        Second, they aren’t really postmodernists as much as they are interested in things like the occult, etc. Land keeps mentioning Aleister Crowley in that interview.
        Hmmm… where have I heard that before? Idolizing pre-democratic societies? Thinking democracy is the problem? Occult beliefs?
        Oh yeah- Hitler!
        Land is a fascist, openly, I’ll get you the quote

      4. Yeah. He’s just going More and more crazy. But unfortunately, people are not keen in general. Kinda the discussion you put about common folk and philosophers theorists. And kind the Golden Bough kind of a Frazier argument that ‘prophets’ and ‘magicians’ were purposefully lying for the sake of the ignorant group. But now people just lie for the fun of manipulation.

      5. Hmmm yeah who knows? It could be manipulative. That view of religion- I should be more familiar with what Frazier says in the Golden Bough, I’ve never read the full thing. He makes a whole host of Victorian arguments about religion like that though, about how organized religious ceremonies derive how we want to explain the universe, magic -> religion -> science. Frazier probably wasn’t the first to say that, I associate that with earlier Enlightenment thinkers, I forget which one. But yeah I see what you are saying.

      6. Yes. The golden bough was crazy long. And laborious to read. So thorough in its record and reckonings. That argument was merely one a seeming multitude of things he was saying. 😜

  3. When you say Land has a particular “orientation upon objects” or that he is “enchanted” to me that’s a nice way of saying he sounds completely schizophrenic. Oh and btw, just a word of caution- this alt-right internet rabbit hole apparently goes pretty deep. Fascinating stuff, but its pretty weird…

  4. It sounds like the guy is purely a Hobbesian from what I can tell (having read the first page of Dark Enlightenment). Not very interesting to me- interesting that it exists! Reminds me of the main character in A Confederacy of Dunces, who was a medievalist who wanted the Catholic Church to rule everything again

  5. What I mean to say is- is there any difference between Nick Land’s concept and the whole neo-reactionary thing? Reading the wikipedia now, and it sounds like a whole load of shit

      1. Here’s the quote:
        Interviewer- “It reminded us of Pasolini, when he emphasized one should meet young fascists. We guess you would rather call them so-called fascists. Who is a trickster, a traitor, a fascist is open.”
        Land: “…I think it’s crazy not to be interested in that and try to find out what you can and how do these people think and where’s stuff coming from.”

        Now, this seems like he’s saying you should get out of your comfort zone and talk to actual fascists, but in reality he’s saying you have to keep an open *mind* to what they are saying, maybe they are half right, etc.

        This is really dangerous shit

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