Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
Lately I've become obsessed with visions of a coming Dark Age, and of the kinds of men who will thrive amidst the collapse of the old order. Clearly it won't be the power-possessors of today, the technocrats, financiers and lawyers who have created this Byzantine system of soul-destroying bureaucracy from the safety of their office cubicles. No, the new bosses will be men who lead in a much more visceral way, with sword rather than pen, from the front lines of battle in accordance with the ancient barbarian's creed.
This power shift is already underway in places like Pakistan, where the Western-backed regime is in full retreat before a resurgent sword of Islam. Soon, I expect the West to follow suit, returning to barbarism out of sheer self-preservation. Sarah Palin is a leading harbinger of this trend, with her recent announcement to an excited crowd that America needs a commander-in-chief, not a lawyer. I'm reminded of the lyrics of that old song: "the first one now, will later be last, for the times they are a-changin'" — somehow though, I don't think these are the kinds of changes Bobby D had in mind.
As we begin our descent from the absurd peak of societal complexity that has brought us fuzzy toilet seat covers from China and full body scans at airports, I'd like to begin sketching the outlines of a new cultural movement — one which should grow exponentially as we enter the Great Simplification. The barriers to entry into this tribe are quite low; the only real requirement is that you lose your civilized conditioning. Are you ready to join the Neo-Barbarian horde?
Practical Tips for the Prepared Neo-Barbarian:
The prepared barbarian is proactive in his dealings with the Empire
Remember the scene in the first "Conan" movie where Conan and the Wizard fortify their lair for the arrival of Thulsa Doom’s henchmen? This is the mode you want to go into now: pure barbarian cunning and survival tactics. Here are some practical steps neo-barbarians can take right now to prepare for the coming Dark Age:
- buy a gun and ammo while it’s still legal
- buy another gun and more ammo
- buy a sword or large machete and keep it strapped to your body at all times in case bandits or Imperial thugs surprise you at close range
- dig a moat around your property and stock it with piranhas and alligators
- buy the biggest, meanest, scariest-looking dogs you can find. I'm partial to the mastiff breeds, especially Bull, French and Neopolitan.
This Bullmastiff embodies the barbarian spirit — make these dogs of war your allies!
- Buy the largest supply of non-perishable food you can afford — this, for example. Spend your fiat currency now while it’s still worth something, because, as the old Cree saying goes, "you can’t eat money!"
- Install a wood stove in your home and buy an assortment of axes. If there are no trees in your neighborhood, chop up abandoned box stores and tanning salons and convert them to firewood.
- If you can, find a cave somewhere in the wilderness and very quietly move in. Be sure to cover your tracks to make it difficult for feds and zombies to find you. If there are no caves in your area, dig one &mdash with enough hard work, you could even start a Troglodyte community that will last for centuries, like this one in northwestern Iran:
A perfectly respectable cave home in Persia that has stood for 700 years — the neo-barbarian prefers a troglodyte village to a McMansion subdivision!
The new barbarian does not engage in nuanced political discourse; he operates by instinct, threatening and attacking anyone who disagrees with him. Anyone in a suit and tie making fancy promises from faraway capitals is almost certainly a corrupt Imperial servant, and should be given the Arminius treatment if his forces come calling:
The Roman legions were peerless in the field, so the Germans attacked them in the woods. The Germans skirmished, harassed, and ambushed over three days, slowly weakening the Romans. Bad tactics, adverse weather, poor leadership, unfavorable terrain, and simple treachery undid Roman advantages in technology, training, and discipline. The Roman units maintained their cohesion but, worn down, were finally overwhelmed by superior numbers. Those taken prisoner were buried alive, crucified, or offered as live sacrifices to the German gods. Three legions disappeared in the Teutoburg forest. Arminius, the German commander, had the heads of Romans nailed to the trees as a warning to Rome. Roman power never again extended beyond the Rhine.
The perceptive neo-Barbarian knows instinctively that the reign of the soul-dead bureaucrats is ending, that this rather dreadful "revenge of the nerds" chapter of human history is coming to a close, and the next chapter will be titled: "the thugs strike back". In other words, the neo-Barbarian recognizes the coming collapse as a once-in-a-millenium opportunity to convert his animal vitality into worldly wealth and power.
The eminent socialist theorist Rosa Luxemburg once warned that "the choice before humanity is socialism or barbarism", and I couldn't agree more. I certainly know which side I'm putting my money on...
"He did not care any more... life and death... the same. Only that the crowd would be there to greet him with howls of lust and fury. He began to realize his sense of worth... he mattered. In time, his victories could not easily be counted... he was taken to the east, a great prize, where the war masters would teach him the deepest secrets. Language and writing were also made available, the poetry of Khitai, the philosophy of Sung; and he also came to know the pleasures of women, when he was bred to the finest stock. But, always, there remained the discipline of steel."
Further Reading for the Informed Neo-Barbarian:
Rich neo-barbarians preparing for financial collapse:
"The truth is Insiders in the "Happy Conspiracy" elite will follow Biggs' ultra-simple investment strategy: Make massive amounts of money fast using short-term strategies, spout lip service about the "public good." But always act in your own self-interests first, preparing for when anarchy spreads worldwide in an economic pandemic."
Excellent discussion of the military challenge of fighting modern barbarians:
Strategic thinking re: the new Dark Age — there are some serious doomers advising the U.S. government!
From The New Middle Ages To A New Dark Age: The Decline Of The State And U.S. Strategy
If Socialism Fails: The Spectre of 21st Century Barbarism
A bold manifesto for the high-tech, 21st century neo-barbarian:
New Barbarian Manifesto
A highbrow history of modern barbarism:
Great article about the coming Neomedievalism:
Good fighting, happy trails and good luck in the new Dark Age!