The Climate in Florida
4 May 2023
There is a landmass east of Mobile and south of Atlanta where chaos reigns unfettered. Men are driven into such mad actions that it’s simpler to believe they’re committed by only one. Reptiles, unamused, or otherwise unwilling to be outdone, have entered human civilization, in the suburbs, in the streets, on pool floats, swaggering from the area’s swamps and lakes–or simply falling from the sky. Some have made peace with their neighbors, setting aside their differences to terrorize beer fridges and fast food restaurants. And much like its swamps, its beaches reek of sweat and flesh, grime and sludge for years, sickening the residents for so long that at a certain age they must bleach themselves with white pants and white shoes until death.
What causes this insanity? Is it the senility? The fraternities? The weather?–probably. Heat is, of course, a trigger for anger, and the humidity lays it on thick like whole milk cream cheese on an omelet. Its climate is a laboratory of armageddon: floods, hurricanes, wildfires, aforementioned reptile precipitation; ere long, its coastal cities will simply cease to exist (but don’t worry, everyone will just sell their homes and move). The climate of its society, too, is perpetually ripe for the conditions of chaos: All ages and faces, every different nation: Spanish, Haitian, Indian, Jamaican, Black, White, Cuban and Asian, people of all political persuasions; multiple times it has determined the course of history, and by current measures, it will continue to do so–what landmass and civilization could possibly be more deserving of each other?
This landmass is known as Florida. And climate is its word.
At all seasons, the flows and pressures of climate can be made, by some spontaneous swerve, to spin. So it seems that, just as a meteorologist can fail to predict the formation of a storm cell, social and political formations seem to spring straight from history fully formed, without need for analyzing cause. But as no storm forms without wind shear, the reactionary climate does not come from thin air. Otherwise, we would use another word. A high tower creates its own winds. A contest of mythic proportions, when the profane tower is not felled by thunderbolts, it will be shaken by the reactionary spirit from a groundswell, howling in crescendo: “from dust thou art, to dust we ought return!” If God will not strike down the hubris of man, then we cannot expect him to do all the work.
Alright, enough, enough. The tower is culture. The winds are the Right. Apparently, we are at war–we have always been at war–with culture. What’s with the Right and endless wars with nothing to be won? Culture lost. Not losing. Lost. It has been assigned the function to be a function, reproducing the world as it already is. It has therefore lost all intrinsic value. In a world rife with crises and problems, defending or reflecting the status quo is not only devoid of thought and content, but a disservice. In the modern age, to take the position of “culture bad” is the statement of an aesthetic and political truism. Culture has become regression. Culture has become barbaric.
So with no idols, who will take their place? German Academics? No! This is America, the frontier of history. The Psychologist? No! I said America, the only place that matters. The Pundit? He will eventually be washed and swept away with the rest of us, as God himself becomes an idol unfit for worship (besides, how long do you think they will be able to stand a Jew?). No, only someone as American as apple pie and baseball, untannable white, ethnicity and heritage too long gone to be an identity, an unremarkable yet prized Midwestern voice with a weatherman’s hair and disposition to match, shoved through ivy ivory twice over and christened with an officer’s insignia–America needs a Governor.
The Psychologist, The Pundit, and their like, are, born in modernity, necessarily of the same essence of that culture to which they believe themselves superior. If for them liberal society has been diagnosed with chaos and delusion, they have the remedy ready-made in hand: the myth of the status quo ante: the idea that, in the not-so-distant past, Western society was identified by strong traditions and values which were the foundation of our legal and social institutions and their evolution. Enlightenment! Civic Duty! Family! Evangel- I mean Protesta- I mean Christianity! And of course that quintessential American word, Freedom! Defiled and forgotten, it is no wonder that our structures are crumbling; but do not lose hope–as long as we have memory and tradition, it is never too late to go back.
Similia similibus curantur! One story for another! What could be a simpler, more digestible cure? What they take with one hand they grant with another, immediately presenting society with the itemized bill of its transaction–which most others seem loathe to do. There is no simpler way to combat ideology than with more ideology, and the tie goes to the critic. When crises are so materially evident, the idea that the burden of proof lies on those who question the status quo is untenable. Bourgeois common sense simply no longer holds. To this, figures like The Psychologist and The Pundit owe their success.
But The Governor is different in mode and mold. He is a magician practiced in both alchemy and chemistry, and alone has the power to perform the great sleight of hand that transforms the abstract into the material. Pure ideology is given form in law and becomes a historical force: it conditions the present and shapes the future, and for The Governor, enshrines the long tradition of the past which sweeps from success to success. But this history was written only yesterday! A bedtime story to soothe the mind troubled by change, skeptical that its medicine might be coated poison. But it was poison through and through: what was before were none but material conditions of blood, iron, and cotton, a history at which The Governor recoils and to which, contrary to his belief, DEI boards and culture pay no mind. Content with pure fiction, they live ahistorically.
It is astute for any political representative to defend such subjects on historical and cultural grounds. But here everything has become confused. Whereas culture would be that which in synchronous motion with history, sharpening iron with iron in critical procession, it has been replaced with an ever-expanding ideology which impresses itself downward on material conditions and history, threatening to absorb it while at the same time extricating from it its agents, real, historical individuals and groups. What the Reactionary position sees is this ballooning, obfuscatory amorphism to which all forces of destruction must be brought. As a result both history and liberal ideology are made and taken as one mechanism even though the two could not be more opposed. The victims of the so-called culture war are then those who remain as people with neither history nor culture, left only to be swept up by the wind, anonymous refugees whom The Governor has claimed as his subjects.
The Reactionary spirit thus puts its subjects in a false consciousness where they imagine themselves separate and apart from the whole detested world, and therefore claim to see it in its “true” form. Here, the self-imagined “independent truths” propagated by The Pundit and The Psychologist resonate fully as the new myths for the mind to cling to; a gnosticism which takes the immaterial past and future for the “true” houses of the mind. And what is the name of this amorphous form of the world, material slathered in messy, incoherent, ideological ick? WOKE! Everything the mind perceives is now “woke.” Film and TV? Woke! Textbooks and literature? Woke! Science? Woke! History? Woke! Beer cans? Woke! A flat ontology is created where all the world is of one disgusting essence; everything true and false, the honest blood of the living and the dead, the latest commodity and its manufacturers, is equivocated: woke! The most insipid ideological piece of crap is taken as a direct assault on the psyche: woke, woke, woke!
And Florida–is where woke comes to die! Indeed, it could not be any other way. Only among people devoid of world and identity, conscious of nothing but their own despair, unable to conceive difference, can the reactionary climate be maintained. So does the population of Florida, despite its improbable diversities, form itself, much as oranges in a bag form a bag of oranges. Having bought it with American money, The Governor intends to repay his creditors in kind by beating them over the head with it, dripping with the ectoplasm of “woke” like a warrior-king coming home from war with a blood-soaked glaive.
For this a great phantasmagoria is required. Each evening, a performance occurs where The Governor with his left hand exorcizes a spectre of “woke” from its possession in culture. On his right shoulder stands the image of an angel, barely visible, which is the character of the mythic past. Yet this is merely a product of that same spectre, filtered through a series of windows and mirrors to extract its controlling, dominative power. Meanwhile, behind and under the stage, a great bureaucracy of stagehands works tirelessly to maintain this illusion and make it so spectacular that the audience suspends their belief that this is theater, making them wonder if this performance is no illusion at all.
Each morning, The Governor exercises the power exclusive to him. In much the same way that only a Priest can invoke the transubstantiation of Christ into matter, only The Governor in persona iuris can wage the holy war on woke in the material world. The magician’s gloves come off and he goes to work for the Floridian people, in the name of the family, religion, property, and order. In the name of the family, he takes control of the schools. In the name of religion, he suspends the rights of women and confines them to the sphere of the reproduction of capital. In the name of property, he whisks away the refugees. In the name of order, he attempts to make unlawful public assembly with an eye towards undesirables. Just as he had dutifully cared for the sick, the second the cure is released, it is praised with tremendous enthusiasm, so that he can quickly pivot to make himself a champion for unrestricted industry, so that debauchery can resume unfettered, for Miami beach to once again and forever be filled with bourgeois heirs, drenched in fluids natural and unnatural–in the name of the family, and religion, and property, and order. As the remaining opposition inflates with skeptics, clearly, the spell of woke still has too much influence. Therefore the entire state must be reorganized by his hand–in the name of the family, and religion, and property, and order. Every demonstration, every business, every entity, hotels, ball parks, anything that smacks of the possession must be rebuked; he casts a threatening gaze to all minorities sexual, gender, and racial–in the name of the family, and religion, and property, and order.
All the while, his much-maligned dystopian edifice, culture (as it is today so-called) looks down, unresponsive, unamused. It is surprised by nothing. It is a world–the only world, perhaps–in which he has no power. He can, at best, strip from under it the forces of its production, but as this would affect all industries, it goes against his interests. But the destruction of today’s so-called culture would be against his interests anyway. Without it there would be no more fetishes with which to perform the exorcism of “woke” spectres. Therefore he is more dependent on culture than even the Psychologist and the Pundit who merely share its essence; being themselves participants they will, like it or not, move with the tides of whatever cultural world might come for better or worse, and, absent the miracle of an epiphany, will at least still find plenty of work babbling on about myths of the past. The Governor has no such luxury. His existence is tied to this perfect storm of particular conditions. Despite this, or perhaps in full knowledge thereof, The Governor now exercises the means even more exclusive to him, not as a governor, but among all other governors. Among Florida’s tenants is none other than the chief executive of the culture industry itself: (his Excellency, the Esteemed,) The Rat King (peace be upon him, of magic and happiness, long may he reign, etc., etc.,), one of whose three earthly manors occupies the state’s center. Heretofore unobliged to say anything, the rat king turns to The Governor’s general direction and blithely exclaims: “GAY!" The Governor, unwilling (or unable) to take any slight, attempts to regain control of the feudal lands. He demands that the charter be rewritten. The charter is rewritten. To verify it, The Governor performs an eyre. The charter disempowers him. Ironically, it is therefore now more honest: it effectivley reads that the Rat King and his fiefdom act in service not of the people of Orlando (they never did) but of the culture industry itself, the world in which, again, The Governor has no power. The charter is torn up. But the Rat King is already opening the royal coffers to hire the best knights available, clad in the finest suits of wool armor–Italian designed, Vietnamese manufactured, altogether overpriced. Though unneeded, the mass of people, mute, and with no other recourse, have already offered prayers before the Rat King can even think to beseech them: “holy culture industry, intercede for us!”
No one would suppose that Disney is in the wrong in this case, for once. Even in a more ideal society, without lords or idols, an organization of workers would be justified in speaking their minds as an organization of workers no less than they would be individually. Of course in bourgeois society this is perverted; corporations are people and they speak in money– all the more legal ground for Disney here, then. But it is a funny thing: against a peculiar governor who has a great desire to suppress and would employ the law to do so, someone who everyone left of Pinochet, from the most quaint and darling conservative to the most fanatical communist, would perceive as a threat to democratic values, stands… history’s most powerful and conniving entertainment conglomerate? To all but right libertarians (and even this might give them pause), for whom the market is the true sphere of freedom, the fact that a large private corporation, and only a large private corporation, can maintain the freedoms granted by a republic to its people against the republic’s own representatives–who claim to act on behalf of the people themselves–compounded by the fact that this can only occur when profits are threatened, ought to convey to the American people that not only is their political power an elusive, windswept dandelion spore, it is so far remote from itsinstitutions that all apparent victories at most seem to be willed happenstance (“holy universal suffrage, intercede for us!"). Thus when it is somehow prudent or necessary that they be consorted with, they must be approached in the mind of a chessmaster.
The irony of a media conglomerate, which has exceeded in reality its own invention of cartoon villainy, maintaining our rights on its behalf is then obviously lost on no one. Yet here too it is even worse than it seems. Again, everything here is confused–in fact it has become entirely upside down! Whereas culture would be the force through which its participants critique and therefore exceed the existing order, culture has now become the wedge between the existing order (which, again, claims to be subservient to the people) with which it is compliant and the population they loom over to prevent their destruction. The great works of the American people are not a tower on which they stand triumphant but a tenuous one, creaking above them with every windstorm.
But The Governor still has different plans. He has already created the conditions that will allow him to make an exit. His bet is that even in the worst case he will have garnered enough support and force for the winds to carry him away from Florida to sweep across the nation with legendary tales of his success. In fact, he is already doing so–across the world, even. His full success is indeterminate. But it is a fair gambit–when huge sums of money are involved in the legal system, a great bureaucracy is summoned to make processes as long and bleeding painful as possible. As knights in the Middle Ages were far from chivalrous paragons but rather callous and self-interested ruffians with regard for no code, so today’s corporate lawyers have no incentive to resolve things efficiently for their unimaginably wealthy benefactors, who effectively sign their paychecks–and God knows Disney has so much money that they’ll hardly notice the cost before the legal firms they hire become fortune 500 companies themselves. For whatever result comes of this fiasco The Governor is prepared for the corresponding action to which he is compelled, whether it is an improbable victory lap, or a final bone-chilling rallying cry of “This is the complete and final triumph of woke!” (“C’est le triomphe complet et definitif du socialisme!"), he will regardless be shaking his fists in the humid air of the long hot summer of 2024.
How much this gambit will pay out remains to be seen. Just like anyone else he must win over a sufficient quantity of Americans who are much unlike Floridians, and even more unlike his Floridians, who constitute a nondescript and indeterminate class of people. That the United States is a country which still believes itself divided more by ideology than material and social interest works to his benefit, but only as it does for any reactionary, and America is no longer a stranger to reactionary oranges. But it also remains unclear if he will maintain a sufficient amount of Floridians. The Governor’s gambit is also that he ultimately no longer needs Florida, and therefore goes against conventional American political wisdom: do not forsake the home which you have built, and which has built you! Of course, as we have seen, The Governor has taken measures to shape the landmass of Florida in not the party’s, but his image. And he celebrates nearly a 20% margin! It’s now regardless quite probable that Florida will become a fair shade of red for the next decade to come. As for how The Governor’s particular legacy will be remembered when he needs to call upon it again remains to be seen.
But The Governor ought to take heart, as he is already a true world-historical person, if anyone would see past his own ideological personality. The landmass of Florida has had its formless chaos become form proper. Being the first to properly grip the panhandle of Florida, The Governor has whipped up a stack of fluffy white elephant-shaped pancakes to be devoured by bullies and rodents. Of course the residents will supply the ingredients, and will be regularly shaken down to maintain the purity of the recipe. Because of The Governor’s antics, in his wake the Floridian taxpayer is squeezed for further surplus value, woes which will somehow be made the fault of the “woke” phantasmagoria that The Governor himself conjured. But in the long run this excuse will be forgotten. Between the retirees who pay no mind, the multiplicity of minorities unable to move elsewhere, and the middle-aged republican bourgeoisie there who cannot object in the name of so-called “freedom,” these tributes will for at least the next decade feed and sustain a bloodied red beast who will be dragged from ballot to ballot as an exhibition of the party’s menagerie.
We wish it a happy journey.
If it was always our fate that today’s so-called “culture” would be a condition which allows for the creation of a reactionary storm, the time to revisit it is the constant present it reflects as good in itself. It must be confronted as the political form The Governor takes it to be in order for it to truly be that form in a critical capacity. In this way it is distinguished from pure ideology, such as capitalism’s “historic” flavor of the month, and takes its shape in forms truly dangerous to the status quo and those powers that be. What the reactionary spirit fears is not any spectre but history itself. It haunts the minds possessed by the mythic past because it abolishes its image. The same motion which uncovers it also at once pulls the curtain back and the rug out from under the performance as the whole thing comes tumbling down. We must not fear idols. We must smash them. If monuments are unwilling to be felled by human hands but are insisted to instead be painted over or be anonymously anonymized away by means of various papers, then no sooner will their collapse come to pass by any means means than them devoured by the kudzu vine and drowned underwater. And by then no one will have any need for Florida or culture at all.