Emergent Hermit is home to a wide variety of literary endeavors. Here one will find bookstores for fiction as well as our philosophical journal, The Burning Block, the articles of which are often featured on our blog. As of now, we do not have a podcast but hope to feature one in the future.
The reoccurring topics one will find here are as follows:
The world is always changing and, thus, must always be interpreted anew. One sees patterns emerge in history which one must not ignore. We make it our duty to determine scales of gradation. How does one thing relate to another?
We are anti-ideological, if one takes ideology to mean any intellectual configuration which subordinates all other modes of being and communication to a set of dogmas. Ideologies often promise some kind of reward, whether to the worker, the race or the individual, but often at a high spiritual price. We encourage, rather, the highest level of pragmatic agency in a world of ever changing, dynamic forces. We seek to pair the vision of Heraclitus with the joy of Epicurus.
We know that truth can be violent, just as it can sound like a whisper. We don't coddle intellectual fads, nor do we make appeals to the establishment. Our distrust of society is as great as our curiosity in it. We oscillate vigorously between war and ataraxia.
Our sense of politics could be called metapolitical, in that we care more about what informs and generates political realities, rather than the ins and outs of specific cabinets, parliaments and parties.
As the essayist Bob Black put it, the Left and the Right are to the left and to the right of the same thing. These positions are both politicizations of what is, ultimately, apolitical. Each offers its own form of universalism. Leftism opts for either post-capitalist internationalism or a form of liberal democratism which always requires the appropriation of new demographics in order to utilize societal antagonism to achieve its goals. Rightism operates on the precept that it guards traditional values but is ever vulnerable to state legislation and cultural movements which promise to safeguard these very features; thus, they are often dependent on the system to defend their culture. We see very little difference between political parties and religions or religious sects or cultural movements, for that matter. Each of these serve some social function but then take on lives of their own once created, often swallowing and ever redefining their own symbols and reifying the very features they were meant to liberate.
We believe in plurality rather than polarity. Politics, in the modern world, has largely come to represent an ultimate battle between titanic ideologies which, at their core, only serve the coercively earned power of a few on either side. You could say we operate from a starting position of philosophical anarchy. However, though anarchist thought is useful to some ends, anarchism is ultimately an insufficient, untenable half-measure, in that its basic nature is a form of destructive nihilism which jealously clings to the idea that everyone can or should have equal agency.
We oppose to this the more active approach, which is autarchy, meaning: self rule. This position acknowledges that each person has more agency in particular areas of life or can attain more through various means. This would amount to people living in voluntary societies in which groups would find the communities and the equipment to best fulfill their destinies both as individuals and as part of the greater whole. One could say our ideal society might be to merge the multipolarity of Paul Émile de Puydt's Panarchy and the radical self creation of Max Stirner's Union, which by definition, cannot be a coercive nor permanent institution. One could also liken these to Hoppe's idea of the covenant community, in which a group of people form a specific social body and an adjacent living situation in order to fulfill a particular purpose. People and cultures are always in flux. There should be as wide a variety of different communities as there are visions for them and people willing to sustain them; each free to fraternize, confederate, trade or celebrate with one another as they see fit. One might, perhaps, assign us the highly awkward and unpalatable sounding position 'Ultra Center,' though this is hardly an adequate or all-defining term.
Thinkers and artists like Nietzsche, Michelstaedter, Heidegger, Kant, Rilke, Kierkegaard, Rene Girard, Rimbaud and Baudelaire ended up providing a western basis for what was essentially already worked out long ago by the likes of Lao Tzu, the Buddha, Vyasa, Heraclitus, Christ and Marcus Araleus. The vocabulary will change but the essential ontology remains underneath, ever renewing form. One will find here endless approximations between modern thought and ancient thought, even where one might appear at first to be secular in nature compared to the other.
While many exoteric manifestations of religion vary, their esoteric cores are often very much in keeping with one another. Spirituality can be a potent means of rewiring one's mind and cleansing it of excess and neurosis, whilst helping one through the active, creative project of living. Religion can also function to cultivate shared values and customs in a community. At Emergent Hermit, one will come upon criticisms of both religion and secularism, but, as stated before, it is less about religion or secularism themselves and more about their inherent ideological trappings which would seek to exist at the expense of all difference. Likewise, one will find that we often extract tenants, ideas and motifs from a variety of thinkers, both religious and secular. It is our contention that the divide between them is something of a convention.
Here, one will find literary criticism and discussions on art of all kinds. At Emergent Hermit, we see art as having a redemptive quality; something which is capable of both recognizing as well as creating meaning. Art is something which all other modes of life should aspire to; the cultivation of form and beauty.