[Morgoth reviews the sci-fi series Warhammer 40K and the Horus Rising title where the worship of science and reason is ultimately not shown to be sufficient. He compares it to the anti-religious rants of the late neocon supporter Christopher Hitchens and how world views are promoted by the Orgjew system to encourage acceptance of their agendas, such as their (((forever wars))) and the “woke” SJW movement.
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Mar 11, 2021
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Published on Mar 11, 2021
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Mar 11, 2021
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Thanks to Theberton for the intros and outros
[Intro music and imagery by Theberton.]
Hello again there folks. So I’ve recently been having a whale of a time reading some of the novels of the Warhammer 40k Universe, and in particular the Horus Heresy saga. Now if all that sounds gobbledygook, like don’t worry, I’m gonna get into it a little bit. [chuckling].
But just before I get it all out, I do think there’s something to be said for reading books where they’re not, firstly they’re not these huge masterpieces. Because you don’t, if that’s all you’re reading, if all you’re reading is the Brothers Karamazov, or Moby Dick, or something like that, you don’t actually have a frame of reference, or what like a normal book is.
And in these days when the mainstream media like hates your guts and constantly bombards you with these rancid political messages, it’s nice to think that there’s actually a huge wealth of good books which you can pick up for pennies, second hand. And that’s how I approached this. I thought:
“Well I’m not going to take it too seriously. I know it’s not going to be life changing, or anything like that.”
But what you begin to see is that you can’t always just engage in political activism and you need some time out. And there’s something to be said for just sitting down with a good rip-roaring read! Especially like a pulpy science fiction novel that you’ve picked up for a few pounds.
So it was really interesting to do that. And I really enjoyed it and advise it and advise people to do that. To just like take a punt and pick up some pulp sci-fi, or horror book and you’ll find that you actually have a whale of a time.
So Horus Rising, which is the book that I’ve just finished there, it gave me a lot of food for thought, and it’s the first novel in the Horus Heresy. This vast saga which runs to about 40, or 50 books. But there’s five, or six which are key cannon.
And Horus Rising is the first one. I mean, I do think they milked it a little bit. Do they really need to make 40 odd books on this?
But, all right that’s fair enough I get it’s highly entertaining. And Horus Rising is very well written, and it’s good fun, it’s very, very masculine. It’s just completely full of war. There’s no pozz, there’s no political correctness, really at all. And it’s written by Dan Abnett. And I was really surprised at how just thoroughly enjoyable it was.
And we enter the action when the Emperor’s legions have just taken another planet and killed their fake Emperor. As they would see it. And it’s under the command of the war master, Primark who was kind of second in charge to the Emperor.
And then all in all there’s 20 Primarks waging a crusade all across the galaxy to bring humanity in as one big family under the Emperor’s control. He’s not yet the God Emperor. The events of the Horus Heresy are gonna lead to that.
But ironically at the start of it what you find out is that except for it being bringing humanity under the control of the Emperor. They’re also trying to purge the whole galaxy, or at least humanity, of aliens, which they call Zenos. And any kind of superstition, any kind of religion, any kind of mythical thinking, all of this has to be driven out completely and ruthlessly!
They want to have an empire which is based entirely on science and reason! And there will be one empire as well, which all humanity live under.
And so we enter it as one city has just been captured. And then, as the book sort of progresses there’s a lot more wars. And there’s a lot more battles.
But we begin to see some problems emerging with the crusade itself and the implications that it has. Mainly through the eyes of the sort of one of the captain, an Astarte, he’s called Loken. And he begins to question things, because first, well first things is that there’s a poet who wanders around the bombed out city near the beginning, which I thought was a really kind of good moment. And he looks up just the carnage. And he looks at the burning religious buildings. And he begins to complain about it. And he begins to think:
“Well, this is wrong! Like, why does it have to be so brutal? What is it in the end that justifies burning all of this beauty and spiritualism?”
And he gets drunk and has a rant at a tavern. And then a load of soldiers like kick them half to death for it.
But then that’s the first kind of sprinkling that something’s not quite right. But then it gets worse again, because on a mission to clear out some rebels, the Astartes begin to hear a whispering in the air, and it’s called Samus. And it doesn’t seem to make much sense. It seems very strange. They can’t see where it’s coming from. They don’t know why it’s there. But it is there.
And, of course, they have to only think of it in terms of science. But then it gets worse again, because it happens that one of the Astartes becomes then possessed and manifests as Samus, who is a sort of demon from another realm, or from hell, depending on how you look on it. And the has to be hushed up, because again they can’t explain it with just science and reason. And what would be, what we learn, is that there’s actually a place, another realm, another dimension called The Warp, which contains just chaos.
Now here’s the thing. You can say if that’s another dimension in space, if you like. But you can also say that it’s hell! The point is that humans can’t understand it. And so if you are then waging this crusade, which is purely secular. But you’re coming across beings, or places, which can’t be explained by science, or by reason, then that leads to a very dark place. And this is going to go to a very dark place indeed!
There’s actually something to be said for the difference between, if it’s possible, Right-wing science fiction and Left-wing science fiction in the way that the societies are constructed. I mean, Warhammer has definitely been heavily influenced by Dune. But both of them I would definitely say our Right-wing, whereas something like Star Trek is definitely Left-wing.
But if you try and break down why that is and what it is about the world building I think it has to come down to a couple of things. One of them is the societal structure of say Warhammer, or Dune where you’ll see that in more Right-wing science fiction, or world building in general, they’ll have a more of an archaic social structure.
So they go back, they’ve kind of passed through an age of high technology, and machines, and computers. There’s usually a reason why they’ve had to destroy the artificial intelligence. And they’ve then regressed and gone back to what’s considered the human norm of kings and queens. And in Warhammer that’s their Primarks, at the head of the legions. And so you get this more traditionalist aspect to it. Whereas in something like Star Trek it’s not the case.
But more importantly again, I mean, in Star Trek you get like a sort of United Nations spreading liberalism across the galaxy. But more importantly again is the way they approach technology, where in both Dune and Warhammer you find that technology’s really been brought to heel. And there’s a good reason for that. Because in the end we ask:
“What is it that technology does? What does technology do in the world?”
Well, technology makes things easier. And the easier things get the softer people get. And the softer people get, the more liberal and progressive they become.
And so if you look at something like Star Trek there’s really no need to have any difference between men, or women, because both of them can perform exactly the same tasks. In Warhammer they’ve gone back to having swords.
I mean, they literally fight with swords. There’s a downside to that, because when I was turning the pages and getting more, and more, into it I began to realize when they were sending the Astartes and the legions onto planets, like all it would take would be to have some jet fighters with bombs to kind of wipe them out. But you’ve got to put up with that. And it’s still a lot more readable and enjoyable than whatever the hell Star Trek’s up to these days.
The Warhammer Law, and Horus Rising, and the Horus Heresy in general actually remind me quite a lot of the reign of Charlemagne. And it’s society is medieval Europe.
But when I was reading through this, when I was turning the pages and getting more, and more, into it, I realized that I was starting to get a bit of nostalgia. And it wasn’t from medieval Europe as much as it was from the 2000s. Because all of these arguments, all of these debates and discussions about the need to purge man of his primitive superstitions, and how religion is just some sort of brain cancer, and all of this, I realized that I’d heard it all before!
And a lot of these ideas smacked of the 2000s. Now Horus Rising was written in 2006. But I was also reminded of a famous speech that was given in 2006 as well:
“You who have read Freud and know what the future of an illusion really is and know that religious belief is inerradicable, as long as we remain a stupid, poorly evolved mammalian species. Think that some Canadian law is going to solve this problem? Please! No, our problem is this our prefrontal lobes are too small, and our adrenaline glands are too big, and our thumb-finger opposition isn’t all that it might be. And we’re afraid of the dark and we’re afraid to die. And we believe in the truths of holy books that are so stupid, and so fabricated, that a child can, and all children do but as you can tell by their questions, actually see through them. And I think it should be religion treated with ridicule, and hatred, and contempt! And I claim that right!”
I admit that for a few years I dabbled in new atheism in the 2000s. I was drawn into it, because they were the only people who were talking about Islam in a serious way, or in an interesting way. And my interest in Islam was strictly to do with my own country and not abroad.
But nevertheless, I still did that cringe thing. I still couldn’t wait to own elderly relatives at the Christmas table by asking about the sky fairy, or the teapot that was supposed to be orbiting Mars!
But looking back on it now you can see quite clearly how very, very easily new atheism slips over into new conservatism. And you can see the seeds of it being planted right there in Christopher Hitchens’ speech. Because all these – whatever you think about the elites and the neocons themselves, where they come from and who they are, what their real interest in the Middle East is, which is mainly Israel – you can see also that they need to have a kind of intellectual vanguard that justifies what it is they’re going to try and do.
To sell it in a sophisticated form in the Western world. Christopher Hitchens – who completely supported all of the wars in the Middle East – was entirely suited for that purpose. So you can see right there in Hitchens’ speech almost a clear justification to wage war, “forever wars” on people who were religious. And in this case – and he alludes to it in that speech – it was mainly about the Middle East and Islam.
So on the one hand you got these dog whistles that for a young man who was wondering what the hell was going on in the world and trying to figure out the multicultural project, you would be drawn into the new atheist scene. But then, because they were saying things you wanted to hear.
But then very easily you slip into justifying, or making these arguments, which in the end are in favor of the elites laying siege and carpet bombing the Middle East.
And they needed these kind of, it added a kind of sophisticated veneer to what was in the end, not just about protecting Israel, but actually about imposing a Western liberal order on the Middle East! On places like Iraq, or even Afghanistan.
And you can see not only was it catastrophic, not only was it stupid, and not only was it a bloodbath, but the very idea of it itself was completely bankrupt! Because all you’ve got to do is look at what happened in the West, or what has happened in the West since that era. If you look at the West in 2021, compared to the West of 2006, you can see quite clearly that the chaos has became completely out of hand.
We now have the banner of the rainbow and the dildo. And all of the so-called identity politics, the anti-White stuff, the woke politics! And none of this madness is actually a creation of religion! It’s endemic into the human form. Or you could even say it’s existence is a sign of a society which has lost it’s belief in god, or any kind of spiritualism.
And yet here you have Christopher Hitchens making the argument, liberal argument, which comes very close to a justification for warring on the religious. Yet just look where we are! Just look what happened in the West! Look what the legacy of liberalism is in the West. It’s completely disastrous!
But that gets back to the world of the universe of Warhammer 40k and Horus Rising. The Emperor’s role in Horus Rising is an interesting one, because as we discover the Emperor has actually retreated from the front lines of the crusade and gone back to the home planet of Terror, to construct something in secret, though we don’t yet know exactly what it is in this part of the saga.
But what it really is, is because the Emperor knows that the secular crusade based on science and reason, he knows that it’s a lie! In Warhammer 40k, … 40k is so reactionary that science and reason are just coping mechanisms to give people in a world of chaos. Science and reason are the myth, not superstition, not religion, not madness, and horrors, and demons!
So the emperor knows this and he’s gone back to try and construct something which can prevent the chaos unleashing itself upon humanity.
In the meantime, the people of the empire they are starting to figure out, especially the people on the front lines, especially the people who’ve been confronted with the realities that you can’t use science. The universe is so insane that you can’t just use these kind of pathetic little tools such as reason, and science, to understand it all, let alone conquer it all.
So that means that they begin to regress. And you begin to see them talking of the God Emperor. It’s now the God Emperor and a new religion is forming, because otherwise they’ve got nothing. Only through a religion can the madness of the world of the universe be in some way contextualized and coped with.
Meanwhile you can imagine back in the neocon wars, the people who are the cynical elites who are sitting in the Pentagon, and in various office blocks in New York, you can see too that when they were sending some money around that they would have seen a convenient intellectualism in the new atheist scene. And they would have given it funding. And they would have given the speakers platforms, given them book deals.
Because then, they too can wrap up their “imperialism”, as the Left would call it, their warmongering in the Middle East could be wrapped up in a neat little bow. A neat little, well it’s irrational liberalism and that they are liberating people from their own superstitions.
And, of course, when we look today, and we look at what “woke” politics is, essentially it’s the same elites, it’s the same elites who are now turning on the new atheist scene, and definitely on what they would say about Islam.
Christopher Hitchens would be deemed deeply politically incorrect today. And Richard Dawkins just manages to hang on there when he comes out with these things. And the reason for that is, because they’ve brought the chaos into the West. And their sort of new atheist movement was just a previous brand!
Back in Horus Rising, Horus the mightiest warrior of the Emperor’s legions falls to chaos himself. Again science and reason alone, simply can’t match the horrors of this universe, and the seeds of rebellion are being sown. This in turn results in the general population also coming to the same conclusion and realizing that to paraphrase Martin Heidegger:
“Only a god can save them now.”
And, in fact, the next book is called False Gods.
I’ll catch you later folks.
[Outro music and imagery by Theberton.]
[Readers: If you see any errors (however minor), or ways to improve things, in the transcript, please let me know in the Comment section. Also please share the link to this transcript, so others can benefit. Thanks.]
* Total words = 3,435
* Total images = 34
* Total A4 pages = xx
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Version 1: Mar 14, 2021 — Published post.