My thoughts on materializing in real world at The Witan Conference
I’ve been unusually quiet online this week because I was away attending the recent ‘‘The Witan’’ conference in England at the weekend. I had originally intended to merely be a face in the crowd to get a grasp of how the real-world scene was at the moment. However, once the insiders found out I was going I ended up being cajoled and talked into giving a talk as the ‘‘mystery speaker’’. Needless to say, I’m not exactly the most social individual in this thing of ours and this was quite the event for me. I was finally doing the ‘‘Big Reveal’’.
The theme of the conference was ‘‘Against Entropy’’ and I was slotted in second last, just before Sargon (Carl Benjamin). There were many, many speakers including Academic Agent, Auron Macintyre, and The Distributist. I was genuinely taken aback by the high intellectual bar being set and the, dare I say it ‘‘elitist’’ tone. The E-Celeb hierarchy meant speakers such as A Walrus and Johann Kurtz gave excellent talks more or less at breakfast time.
The subject of entropy naturally lends itself to a somewhat sombre and pessimistic analysis and Spengler’s glowering face seemed to be emanating from many of the speeches like a dark cloud. Eventually, having concluded the well was running dry I decided to pitch my talk for a few laughs, keep it short, and get a few good lines in. Auron’s lecture on Nick Land’s AI digital cage for eternity concept was unbeatable in terms of conceptual dystopias, and I congratulated him on it.
My own talk focused on some of my recent work such as Ruminations by a Vegetable Patch and The Great Turning Away. My aim was not so much to hobnob with my peers on the internet — though that was enjoyable — but to try to get an impression of where real-world networking was in terms of negotiating with the encroaching digital mainframe. I wasn’t disappointed, hands were shaken, and plans for infrastructural improvements and moves to make our thing more anti-fragile certainly took priority over any ideological or intellectual squabbles.
On a more personal note, given that I had never been to such an event before, and that I was thrown up on stage before Don Sargone himself, and at the end when most of the best gold on the subject had been mined, I did feel a certain degree of anxiety kicking in. However, such nervousness was eased by finally meeting in ‘‘meat space’’ some of the subscribers of my substack and YouTube platforms. These meetings were the highlight of the conference for me and I’ll say it in bold:
You’re a lovely bunch of people!
One young lad approached me to tell me how much he enjoyed such forgotten videos as my Likely Lads analysis and my video essay on the film Heat. It was to these people in the audience I pitched my talk, the people who the night before I’d spoken to in full flow over copious amounts of beer and whisky. Here, it seems fitting that I also offer once more my thanks to all the people, old and new who’ve followed me and supported me over the years and who made this possible in the first place.
In terms of the content from the event itself, I also appeared on a panel for Academic Agent’s Unpopular Opinions show live with Sargon and The Distributist. Naturally, with such events and the people involved, there’s a degree of horse-trading that goes on in terms of who gets what material. It goes without saying that whatever I am able to get will be posted here on Substack and on Subscribe Star.
All things considered then, was it worth taking the risk and sticking my head above the parapet of anonymity? I suppose the answer to that would be yes, but that is because the risk itself was minimal. Fundamentally, I’m not doing anything illegal, I’m just a fellow with a blog and some video essays. It’s quite possible my face will be online at some point and all the world will see the reality — I’m a rough-looking northern bloke in his 40s. I never claimed to be anything else.
However, what genuinely united all of the people at the conference was the tacit understanding that the current power structure has nothing but a laughably scant regard for our ‘‘rights’’. Once the fact that we live in what is essentially a totalitarian system is acknowledged men no longer need to ‘‘cope’’ by relying on rights to shield them once the bear has been kicked. The solution is not to kick the bear in the first place.
A sentiment that ran throughout all of the talks was that we are the ‘‘Children of Winter’’. Winter, or seasonal entropy, is something to be endured and overcome. However, one stands a better chance of surviving if one is aware of the available resources and networks, allies, and friends. There is a wider dispute regarding these ideas on the right which would warrant its own essay or more. The way I see it, it comes down on whether to openly defy and challenge an obviously unhinged and increasingly deranged Power, or, like the citizens of the USSR or the Fremen in Dune, to quietly and cautiously prepare in peaceful fraternities of mutual cooperation.
On a lighter note, the Unpopular Opinions Live show featured a dusting off of the pork pie jelly segment which seems to have become a meme. It is indicative of the ‘‘don’t kick the bear’’ mindset that a bunch of men dressed up in suits who gathered to discuss civilizational entropy also spared some time to set down on a spreadsheet which pork pie had the most jelly. Despite my bickering with Sargon over the meaning of the jelly, everyone instinctually understood that they should stay away from the plant-based trap that had been slipped onto the board. Perhaps if they dox me my defense should simply be ‘‘I’m just a pork pie jelly advocate’’.
We shall see what the future brings, but I could not possibly be on this journey without all your support and I was proud that I could at least thank a few of you properly.
Thanks to everyone.
And now, back to my neglected projects….