Millennial Woes, Nietzsche, and depression
You have an obsession—yes, I do; it’s healthy to be obsessed (post Gigachad). Recap: a young filmmaker who holds standard progressive liberal views made a documentary about the nationalist YouTuber Millennial Woes. The narrative he put forward was that Woes slid from youthful innocence—as represented by his affection for “classic TV”, such as Doctor Who—to “twisted hate-monger” or “vile vlogger” (per British tabloid-speak).
It’s salient to consider that before he became a nationalist YouTuber, Woes spent about ten years sunk in depression and on the dole while living at home. For the filmmaker, it was implicitly better that Woes remained “good”, yet immersed in misery, rather than become “evil” and yet an autonomous person who has left home and earns his own income and is not depressed. Notably, Woes has not actually broken any law; he has merely voiced opinions that are considered outrageous in polite society (and, as discussed in other articles, I believe the filmmaker himself shares but suppresses many of these opinions—as does much of the population).
It is difficult to say what causes depression, but I would contend that a major non-biological factor is to be starved of experience—to be deprived of reality. Hence depression is associated with dishonesty; the more honest you become, the more you report your emotions and bodily sensations accurately, the less depressed you will be. Hence if you feel angry but suppress the anger to be polite—perhaps your family puts huge value on politeness and appearances—and then say “I’m not angry, I’m just upset” you will become depressed. It’s because you don’t accurately report your emotions that you become depressed—being “upset” is not the same as being “angry”.
To use a political example: imagine you have made a very firm commitment to what is called “multiculturalism”, it’s a “good thing”; it’s utterly normative to you and people who say it’s bad are “evil” and “Nazis”. You drive through an Asian ghetto and your emotional reaction is alienation and sadness—yet your moral monitor says “unacceptable view”, “unacceptable view”. So instead you say, “It’s very diverse,” to the passenger beside you; it’s a normative statement but it contains ambivalence. It’s how people end up using the word “diverse” to ironically convey disapproval, itself getting close to a psychological double-bind—“I hate you but I say I love you because I’m a good person”.
This is what it is to be starved of experience. It’s not just political, family systems can be like that too—particularly feminised family experience because women are less confrontational and so cannot express emotions directly, so they’re very likely to say “I’m upset” when they mean “I’m angry”. Men, by contrast, often clam up altogether—either giving the mother free-rein or perhaps internalising the nagging feminine monitor. It’s “the nag” inside, “the hag”, that makes people depressed—you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t, nice people don’t, good boys don’t…
In the early 2010s, Woes encountered what was known as “the reactosphere”. Reactionary views are very realistic, not totally realistic—since very little is—but very realistic. He immediately perked up. He perked up because he had been starved of experience and suddenly he was getting great dollops of reality from the Internet; real experience, not moralism. By his own account, he had been—as an art student—deep into progressive beliefs; and that means deep into “the nag”—don’t say you hate an all-Pakistani area (racist), don’t say that girl’s got big tits (anti-feminist), don’t…don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t…
“Reality makes me happy.”
Progressive viewpoints forbid you to have your experiences—as do all belief systems, from Catholicism to National Socialism. It just so happens the major belief system in our age is progressivism, so the things that are most denied “the great should nots” are race differences, sex differences, and so on—and progressivism is more divorced from reality than Catholicism and National Socialism.
Now you can go into another belief system, you might think “all black people are bad” instead of the normative “all black people are good”—that is also a trap, because if you then meet a black person you like you’ll “should” yourself not to like them, deny the experience. Closer to absolute reality would be more like: races are different and cultural differences based on race can be divided into higher and lower (Beethoven > Bob Marley); however, that doesn’t mean that when I meet an individual black person, though I accept they are different to me, I automatically regard them negatively—if I like them I like them, if I don’t I don’t (it’s based on my experience).
Note that this is not the same as liberalism, since liberalism is another belief system that distorts reality—it says “I only ever see individuals and treat people as individuals”, and that isn’t reality either; just like the critical race theorists say (though they are full of another type of bullshit) I do see your race, but I see other things too.
Oh, so don’t have an ideology? I don’t use the term “ideology” because that itself comes from a belief system, Marxism, that holds that the beliefs we hold are always “a subjective interest generalised” (i.e. an ideology) and I don’t think that’s true. So I say “beliefs”; you can’t escape beliefs, but you can hold beliefs lightly—most people are rigid in their beliefs and will often defend them to the death; some people don’t even know they have beliefs—it’s just “how it is”, what they call “reality” (but you can tell reality because it’s dynamic, not static; real things grow).
In part, Woes was being killed by his progressive beliefs: as soon as he allowed reality in some dimension—the reactosphere—into his life he began to perk up; subsequently, he made a career out of nationalist streaming, became less depressed, left home, went abroad, and began to grow. This for the young filmmaker constitutes “evil”—for the young moralist (all young people are moralistic prigs), it would have been “good” if Woes had spent the last ten years unemployed and depressed instead (twenty years being a good boy on the dole).
This is because the unexperienced young filmmaker is himself smugly normative and conceited in his views (it must be added, he is mixed-race himself—so the belief system that Woes found crushed his experience actually supports and affirms the young filmmaker’s experience; and that’s why, in part, he can be smug—though at the same time he still feels reality’s pull, the assertion that Europeans are superior to other races).
At one point the filmmaker lingers on the fact that as Woes moved more deeply into nationalist politics that he gave up “his love of classic TV and film” and shows a clip where Woes returns home after a press-induced exile, examines his DVDs, and criticises a multicultural Doctor Who DVD cover. It’s meant to show that Woes has “lost his innocence” and become “evil” and immersed in his “hate-filled views”.
The filmmaker doesn’t get that it was MW’s very immersion in “classic TV”, itself filled with propagandistic “shoulds”, that contributed to his depression. It was the progressive brainwash that told him “you shouldn’t dislike multiracial areas”, etc—in other words, it was that very “innocent” TV that cut MW off from experience and contributed to his depression. When he revisited his old bedroom and looked at his DVDs, now as an autonomous adult not a depressed dependent recluse, that was actually healthy—the organism has grown up, grown beyond the nursery morality in Doctor Who.
You can’t say that! The more you live like that, the more you go dead. And who says I can’t say that? Who are you to tell me how I feel? I know what I feel, I know what my body feels—you don’t! It’s not respectable, you’ll cause a scene! Nobody will like you! So what? The problem is that liberalism itself channels this spirit “nobody can tell you what to think and feel” and then tells you what to think and feel. You have to cleave exactly to how you perceive things, without reference to progressivism or nationalism (even if one is more realistic than the other, it can also harden into a belief).
This is something Nietzsche was right about: you must live with the most radical honesty, particularly based in bodily reactions, if you are to genuinely grow—and that will offend and outrage the masses. It’s also not rational, yet rationalism is also moralism. The body knows, it has its own wisdom—the emotions know, the senses know. The enemy is those people who want to stop you from perceiving and experiencing—even if your experience or perception is neutral. “I don’t like or dislike them.”
Contemporary Westerners run away from this growth with displacement activities—with mass media or mass eating—that add to the problem (more media = more moralism, more “shoulds”). People eat too much because they’re angry but suppress the anger through food so as not to deal with the fallout from an expressed emotion—to get real will often mean antagonism; it hurts to grow—you have to welcome conflict to grow, life is strife.
If you actually engage with reality, engage with experiences, you begin to grow—as happened to MW—and, in another point Nietzsche was correct about, when you begin to grow other people who are just smug moralisers who agree with you but are too cowardly to say and so have a private wank over their superiority even as they secretly agree with you will call you “evil” and a “beast”. I know this myself because I was depressed for a long time and though I didn’t come out of it the way Woes did, the last vestiges were obliterated when I began to practice ruthless honesty in all dimensions of my life. The moralist wants to cripple you—and when you begin to grow they will call you “evil”.