I like Jonathan Bowden—everyone likes Jonathan Bowden. I first watched his speeches in about 2016, up in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I have an affinity with Bowden because, like him, I went to a Catholic school in Berkshire; and, like him, I excel in debate; even the school was an “oratory”—intimation of fate, I am a much better speaker than I am a writer (to speak well is to write well). It’s the Celtic blood, you see—Druidical government, no need for violence just legislate with the voice (entirely possible, entirely real—and we will return to that time). I even used to look like Bowden, rotund with red hair—yet I don’t now, I transmogrified; life is constant development, constant ascension—except some people just replay the same stale song over and over, just winnow.
So Bowden is really good at what he does—he is an orator, he speaks extemporaneously; and, in fact, I used to speak just the same—I never really prepared, I just got up and spoke. I’ve always been like that. I don’t care for rules so much—not the rules on the books, anyway. I’m more interested in the spirit of the laws. When Bowden spoke, as he would say, it was like a spirit—his daemon—dictated in his ear. The oracle speaks, everyone connects with it. So—very good.
Here is the problem with Bowden, much as I like him: the guy was a pervert. How do I know this was so? Well, I watched a eulogy for him on YouTube. Now, I’m not involved in what is called, euphemistically, “nationalist” politics (meaning, I take it, “neo-fascism” or similar), so I knew nothing about Bowden’s political wrangling in the British National Party. Anyway, it turns out Bowden was in a spat with a faction in that party and this faction sent a rumour round that Bowden had been once arrested for downloading child pornography.
This then precipitated Bowden’s descent into literal insanity—as in the type where you are sectioned and put in a secure facility—because the stress was too much; essentially, it permanently broke Bowden and he was never the same again—in fact, it probably contributed to his early death. The line taken by Bowden’s lawyer-friend eulogist was that it was all a typical political poison-pen campaign and the crux was that Bowden shared a surname with the first man to be convicted for downloading child pornography in the UK. An unfortunate coincidence used for political purposes—right…right?
Except, I happened to see another speech by Bowden where he says something to the effect, “They can come down, even when you’re on the computer, even when you’re using it, even when you don’t know, and see what’s on your hard drive.” The “they” refers to the police and/or the authorities in that sentence. The way he puts an accent on “even when you don’t know” indicates an experience he had had. In other words, he said that—gave it that emphasis—because it had happened to him; he didn’t know who was watching what went on with his hard drive—yet he knew now, boy did he know that the authorities can look at your hard drive “even when you don’t know”. So the story was true, his lawyer-friend—like all lawyers, repulsive—just found a way to cover it up with some clever argument.
Also, just use your common sense—look at Bowden. Look at him without listening to the political points he makes that you happen to agree with because he enunciates blood-borne views that are taboo and/or suppressed in the contemporary West. Look at him: he looks like a nonce—you know it. But man says nice things I agree with. Yes. Very good—just like Jimmy Savile. Jingle-jangle. There is an art film Bowden made where he stars alongside two women—two reasonably attractive women for low-rent wannabe actresses—and you can tell from the way he relates to them that there is no sexual frisson there. Because Bowden is not attracted to adult women. It’s that simple and once you see it you cannot unsee it. I mean, he wasn’t unattractive to women—despite his appearance; as you can see from the below video, the girl looks up at him adoringly as he makes his points—yet Bowden wouldn’t have been interested.
But…but…but…he’s really valuable for “our movement”. This is what “politics” is. This is what the right is meant to oppose. “Politics” is when you say, “Oh, we’ve all done things, we’re not saints; he’s our matey-matey, best buddy-buddy, a valuable guy so we’re gonna cover for him you know, I’ve got a smart lawyer and he’s got a line…people will buy it. He’s too valuable. He’s our mate.” The same as the mafia, right—cosa nostra, “our thing”. Frens. “Eh, Giulio he has certain ‘needs’ that the priest finds unnatural but he is an essential part of this organisation so we cover for him—that’s between him and God, so leave it out.” This is precisely how a political system ends up corrupted and malfunctional in the first place—lots of people “covering” for “our guy” because, supposedly, he’s indispensable. Yet that is an excuse—nobody is indispensable. People are just too lazy and corrupt to do the right thing. Yes, public speakers are rare because most people fear public embarrassment—and off-the-cuff speakers are rarer, yet not as rare as all that.
So Bowden’s wrong, then? Well, you can be good at your job and a pervert—there’s no contradiction. You can program a computer and be a pervert, you can run Top of the Pops and be a pervert, you can be a brilliant orator and be a pervert. However, given the context, you should probably cut Bowden out because he’s basically talking about how people should be governed and what justice is—and yet he was not just himself, so his perversion is relevant.
The central point about Bowden, his central weakness: he explicates other thinkers, yet he never says what he thinks himself—and this is why he could never be a great man or a great orator, he always held back; and he held back because he was political, he was a negotiator. His actual position—he was for Hitler 100%; yet even within nationalist politics that is too hardline to be popular—although, ironically, if Bowden had said what he actually thought instead of lying he would have reached his true potential; something both smaller and greater than what he actually was. But that would have been outrageous and put him beyond the fringe of the fringe…Yes—but do you want to be yourself or do you want to spend your life running to a lawyer and lying? Well, most people choose the lawyer.
This is why Bowden was only a good orator, not a great man—he never embraced his destiny. He played it safe, put forward acceptable, if fringe, views that entertained his audience; he never went right out there—he never listened to the real voice within, not the real madness. If he had gone fully into himself—into what is really the logos—and known himself, just like the oracle at Delphi said, he would have produced work that would change the world. As it stood, he only produced derivative work—he was a dilettante; he dabbled in a little painting, a little film-making, a little politics, a little novel-writing. What was he?
He was really good at oratory—yet he stayed derivative. He never said what he actually thought or felt, ironically because he didn’t want to offend anyone (within an “offensive” nationalist community). This is why most people never leave the shallows, they play it safe on the surface—playing politics with people—and never go into the reality; and, consequently, they never change the world—they are only popular.
Why was Bowden that way? Because his mother went mad when he was young and then died. So he was raised by his father, so he took on an ultra-masculine outlook on life—so he was attracted to the radical right. Further, it was a defence mechanism; he couldn’t deal with the pain from the loss of his mother so young and so he sublimated it by obliterating anything feminine within himself (any compassion or mercy)—pushing it away as “yucky”; and in the process he made himself overly hard and pitiless. He probably feared that he would himself go mad and, of course, the very fear that it would happen made it almost inevitable that it would—notably, caused by his own actions, “the hard dive”. He speaks at one point of how he was fascinated by the flames around his mother’s coffin—he was bewitched by the flames, certain to repeat the story.
The poet holds nothing back; he strips right down to the core and risks the pain that comes with exposure. Almost all people are fakes—they hide behind a constructed armour with which they prod and poke people, play games upon games that they are lost within. Bowden armoured himself to deal with his mother’s death—“Maximum harshness,” he used to say; yet Bowden himself was tubby and soft, he didn’t know anything about “maximum harshness”. When he spoke about “maximum harshness” it was just about the carapace he formed to keep out the emotions attached to his mother’s death—that was maximum harshness.
When he stood up all he was saying really was, “My mother died when I was a child and it was unfair and I’m so alone and helpless; where is my mother?”. And if he stood up and said that, he would have been a poet—though not politically valuable; i.e. really valuable. What actually came out was a desire to punish the world, “to toughen up”, to push other people down—to make them hurt like he hurt. Yet such language does not change reality because it conceals reality and does violence to it, even if it is expressed in a way many react to.
Really, he was looking for a mother’s affection in what were ultra-masculine situations (replication of his home life, father provides both roles—actually an unusual situation in the modern West where it is usually divorce with absent father, not the older, more Dickensian, orphan story). He probably developed the attitude “life’s hard—tough shit”, basically resentment, because he lost his mother (so fuck everyone else, why should I care what happens to you?). He had no religious beliefs, being a Nietzschean, so for him the end was the end—this was brutally unfair, and so he made himself into a brutally unfair person. Tant pis.
His perversion may well have been innate but insofar as it was caused it was caused by the fact he arrested his development at the age when his mother died and so he found himself attracted to people at that age. Further, since his own innocence was destroyed by his mother’s death he desired to destroy innocence in others as revenge—hence child abuse would be his natural metier.
Within the political context, Hitlerism attracted respectable middle-class people before the war, but afterwards, due to the holocaust, it especially attracted people who like to hurt helpless people (i.e. Jews in concentrations camps, children); and so it could only attract social scum and perverts—paradoxically the kind of people who the original Hitlerites would have wanted to exterminate. Yet attractive to Bowden precisely because it was an opportunity to destroy innocence in other people—as with all true desires, as with his Hitlerism, it was never fully expressed; if he had fully expressed it, the desire would have ended—and this is what Heraclitus means when he says the many are asleep, they don’t know themselves and if they found the courage to dredge up the reality they would fulfil their destiny, though not in the way they would expect…