Mencius Moldbug might have hijacked a few more brains

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

When Curtis Yarvin (Mencius Moldbug) appeared on Tucker Carlson back in September, I was surprised, but I didn’t get around to watching it until recently:

It’s hard to judge these things, but I think he might have managed to hijack a few more brains.

In the interview, Carlson asks him about the origin of modern Progressive thought, and Yarvin brings up Reds, the 1981 film based on John Reed’s 1919 book Ten Days That Shook the World, which depicts a subculture with the same values as modern Hollywood, but 100 years ago:

In 1915, married journalist and suffragist Louise Bryant encounters the radical journalist John Reed for the first time at a lecture in Portland, Oregon, and is intrigued with his idealism. After meeting him for an interview on international politics that lasts an entire night, she realizes that writing has been her only escape from her frustrated existence. Inspired to leave her husband, Bryant joins Reed in Greenwich Village, New York City, and becomes acquainted with the local community of activists and artists, including anarchist and author Emma Goldman and the playwright Eugene O’Neill. Later, they move to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to concentrate on their writing, becoming involved in the local theater scene. Through her writing, Bryant becomes a feminist and radical in her own right. Reed becomes involved in labor strikes with the “Reds” of the Communist Labor Party of America. Obsessed with changing the world, he grows restless and heads for St. Louis to cover the 1916 Democratic National Convention.

During Reed’s absence, Bryant falls into a complicated affair with O’Neill. Upon his return, Reed discovers the affair and realizes he still loves Bryant. The two marry secretly and make a home together in Croton-on-Hudson, north of New York City, but still have conflicting desires. When Reed admits his own infidelities, Bryant takes a ship to Europe to work as a war correspondent. After a flare-up of a kidney disorder, Reed is warned to avoid excessive travel or stress, but he decides to take the same path. Reunited as professionals, the two find their passion rekindled as they are swept up in the fall of Russia’s Czarist regime and the events of the 1917 Revolution.

The film portrays Emma Goldman as a passionate defender of women’s rights, willing to get arrested to hand out pamphlets on contraception:

She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Frick survived the attempt on his life in 1892, and Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for “inciting to riot” and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth.

Quite a firecracker, that Emma Goldman!


  1. Ezra says:

    The grave of Emma is in the same cemetery where my father and grandparents are buried. She has a rather large and elaborate monument dedicated to her.

    How was Emma when sentenced to 22 year in prison able to commit more crime in the years that followed?

    It is often thought Emma gave the go-ahead to Czuglocz to kill McKinley.

  2. Wang Wei Lin says:

    Why is it those with such “righteous” causes are often immoral degenerates?

  3. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    “Why is it those with such ‘righteous’ causes are often immoral degenerates?”

    Smokescreen. Why would a bad man not announce to the world that he is in fact very great? It’s all just extra gravy no matter what, even if some don’t believe you. The forms of evil that are most ‘successful’ at doing evil are those forms that are most effective at spoofing recognition. And there are few things that are more convenient for justifying the acquisition of power to crush rivals you may not be otherwise capable of competing with in more adaptive ways, crush neighbors you may not be capable of working with in more adaptive ways, than anointing yourself with universal sanctions to administer cosmic justice.

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