Check out TOC’s brand trailer and mission statement to see what we’re all about!
Well hello yourself! Welcome to The Old Continent, the European branch of Continental Media Collective (CMC). We could, of course, explain ourselves and bore you half to death with bombastic adjectives. But we’d rather just show. We believe that notions of left vs right and liberal vs conservative are outdated and disorienting. Instead, we position ourselves in the second quadrant (Q2) of Eric Weinstein’s Four Quadrant Model. In short: we detest the political correctness and identity politics of Q1, but we refuse to accept that the alarmist boomer polemics and alt-right in Q3 are the only alternatives.
But, what do we actually do? Again, we’d rather show than tell. CMC integrates four phenomena whose overlap is already implicitly embodied by Pewds and the three J’s. If you happen to appreciate the things going on in this cluster below, then you’ve just found your new treehouse.
Our mission: Initiating a second Rennaisance through individuation and preparing the Western psyche for the final frontier once more
Nanking, China, 1405 AD. A fleet of 317 unprecedented ships, including six 400 feet long, 160 feet wide nine-masted ‘Treasure Ships’, carrying 28.000 men embarked on a series of voyages that would in 1416 land their eunuch admiral Zeng He on the East-African shores of modern-day Mombasa, Kenia. It was the moon landing of their day. In 1477 the government seized and destroyed all records of the voyages. From 1500 onwards, building a ship with more than two masts was punishable by death and in 1525 the government burned every ocean-going vessel it could find. The country turned inwards, stagnated and the by far most advanced civilisation of its age faded into obscurity. It did not merely destroy its fleet, it destroyed its human agency.
The modern West did not burn its ships yet, but they mostly seem either docked or adrift. Elon Musk is an exception, and that’s an actual problem. As Peter Thiel writes:
“Indefinite attitudes to the future explain what’s most dysfunctional in our world today. Process trumps substance: when people lack concrete plans to carry out, they use formal rules to assemble a portfolio of various options. This describes Americans today. In middle school, we’re encouraged to start hoarding “extracurricular activities.” In high school, ambitious students compete even harder to appear omnicompetent. By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse résumé to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready — for nothing in particular. A definite view, by contrast, favors firm convictions. Instead of pursuing many-sided mediocrity and calling it “well-roundedness,” a definite person determines the one best thing to do and then does it. Instead of working tirelessly to make herself indistinguishable, she strives to be great at something substantive — to be a monopoly of one. This is not what young people do today, because everyone around them has long since lost faith in a definite world.”
Regardless of what caused it, Western sense-making infrastructure, the humanities and media in particular, is now oriented more on containing and atoning for Western human agency than on cultivating it.
That sounds bad, but in reality, it presents an opportunity unique to all of human history. Western civilisation can become the first to really get it right.
One can argue that the Western cultural revolution of 1968 was largely subversive and destructive by nature and bound to overdo itself once it consolidated its ‘Long march through the institutions‘. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t achieve things of genuine merit. It obviously did.
The 2020s will become the great correction of 1968’s dysfunctionalities, whilst safeguarding its genuine emancipatory achievements.
The Intellectual Dark Web is at the forefront of this great correction, but 20 or so loosely organised public intellectuals won’t cut it. Individual commentators fighting institutions are vulnerable and their comment sections do not suffice as a home base for their supporters. Instead, CMC will be that home base.
CMC believes that the vehicle of correction will not be ideology, for the challenges now facing the West are simply too complex to be left to dogma: our crisis in communal sense-making, automation and the labour market, European Muslim minorities, ‘Gangster Islam’, the environment, the European Union implementing James Burnham’s ‘controlled democracy’, immigration, demographics, AI and so on.
CMC’s Q2 narrative is not an ideology in and of itself, it’s open-minded common sense holding the line against the ideological excess of Q1 and Q3. Instead of ideology, CMC will promote the Jungian notion of ‘individuation’, which is the never-ending individual struggle to as best as one can embody the redemptive hero archetype: An integration of truth, courage, discipline and love that throughout human history emerged as the optimal mode of being to contend with chaos, tyranny, tragedy and malevolence, resulting in the least resentful, most meaningful life.
The West needs better people, better ideas will follow.
For what it’s worth, JP seems to agree:
“Imagine that you have a problem, then imagine that you want a solution. And imagine that there’s a particular solution to that particular problem. But then imagine that you have what you might describe as a bigger problem, and that’s not the problem, it’s the fact that you have problems. And then you might say you don’t want a solution to a problem, you want a solution to the fact that you have problems. It’s a leap of abstraction.
(…) That’s where the idea of the archetypal hero emerges. And the archetypal hero is the person whose eyes are open, and whose speech is true. And who faces both the chaos of the unknown, and the tyranny of the known, and balances them. That’s the meta-solution to the meta-problem.
I was speaking in Holland about European and Dutch identity, and how to solve the conondrums associated with a multicultural world and immigration. And my suggestion was: it’s a very complex problem and there isn’t a one solution. But the solution to a very complex problem is that you should be a better person than you are, because then you’ll be better at solving complex problems, and lots of them are coming your way. So bloody well get your act together.”
Mass-individuation and correcting 1968’s dysfunctions are two complementary processes that will spiral each other upwards. The result will be a civilisation that is no longer chained by institutional self-sabotage and where individual self-actualisation defeats the ever-present temptation of ideological excess. It is within this moral fabric that around 2050, the generation born between 2020 and 2030 will unleash a second Renaissance, once more setting sail for the place where Western civilisation belongs: the very frontier of human endeavour. Mark our words.
See you soon champs.