Instead of an Introduction
Some biographical details about the life of the esteemed Bradley Michael Pearce
“From that moment when, at the sight of his beloved brother dying, Levin had looked at those questions of life and death for the first time through those new convictions, as he called them, which, imperceptibly, during that period from twenty to thirty-four years of age had come to replace his childhood and adolescent beliefs, he had been horrified, not so much at death as at life without the slightest knowledge of whence it came, wherefore, why, and what it was…
What amazed and upset him most of all was that the majority of people of his age and circle, who had replaced their former beliefs, as he had, with the same new beliefs he had, did not see anything wrong with it and were perfectly calm and content…
Another thing was that, after reading many books, he became convinced that those who shared the same views with him saw nothing implied in them, and without explaining anything, simply dismissed the questions which he felt he could not live without answering, and tried to resolve completely different questions, which could not be of interest to him.” - Leo Tolstoy [Anna Karenina]
Thus Tolstoy describes his life’s intellectual journey at 34, the very same age which I myself am currently. I hope you will forgive my following an obscure Dostoevsky reference with a Tolstoy quote, though this is exactly the sort of content which anyone who knows me would expect.
As was said, I am a 34 year old. I am one of those dreadful straight white males you hear about, corn-fed in rural America. A resident of the home town I hated growing up in but have grown deeply attached to as a leading local contrarian and obstreperous dissident. I hated public schools and they made me a profoundly miserable child and young adult, as I sought to understand an unjust and insane world controlled by incompetent hacks.
From a miserable childhood in those dreadful institutions called schools, I went on to have a dissolute and immoral early adulthood, which nearly destroyed me and wasted much of what some people might have referred to as my “promise”. After a few changes, I acquired a degree in literature from an unexceptional state university where I got far too much of a taste of the horrible ideas which have came to be known as “Critical Race Theory” and developed an ever-increasing disdain for modernity.
My life was saved by meeting my beautiful and amazing wife Alexis. My devotion to and love for her is one of the things which everyone knows about me. We have a young daughter to whom I intend to leave a much better world. We live in an inexpensive house which we will actually own in a reasonable amount of time and will thus be rare Americans whose personal home is not owned by moneylenders. All of these things are part of a trend whereby I have just enough Fortune to get by and never have my life fully collapse.
Most of my adult life was spent as a passionate conservative anarcho-libertarian , a devoted lover of literature, history, and really all human affairs. The beginning of the covid scam made me go entirely crazy as I watched our wealth and freedom and my daughter’s future be stolen in an ill-fated attempt to get an extra year or two out of the most elderly, death-prone members of society who in other eras would have done everything to sacrifice for the young. Alas, the Boomers are the most miserably selfish and incompetent generation in human history, and they have never seen a problem they didn’t think they could fix by borrowing, bombing, or telling younger generations to take another one for the team. It didn’t help that I felt acting crazy proved a necessary point about lockdowns and mental health, what a cycle that was.
In order to recover from the stress of government by cognitive dissonance, I unknowingly followed Livy’s sage advice when he wrote, “The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history, you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience, plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your county both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid.” [1.1]
At the beginning of 2021, out of nowhere, I began reading truly voraciously, and after re-reading the Peloponnesian War after a gap of many years, I ultimately decided to set upon a long put aside goal and study all of the ancient histories from the beginning of history to at least the fall of the Western Empire. I did as Bob Dylan wrote, “Girl’s faces formed the forward path / From phony jealousy / To memorizing politics / of ancient history.” And like Bob Dylan, as I look back at my previous confidence in my own understanding, I can’t help but think “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
Along with my historical studies I have been reading a variety of other useful material which I feel have a beneficial effect on my understanding of human affairs. I like to consider my course of study of human affairs to be categorized as covering history, political theory, military science, leadership, oratory, and virtue. Really, all the things a person needs to know to understand the world. Last year I made it from the beginnings of history to the fall of Macedon in the 2nd century BC, which is a hell of a lot of heavy reading. The entire time I have avoided all modern commentary, reading only one small piece of non-fiction newer than Burke, and I have read works in their entirety, not allowing any modern egghead to direct my beliefs about the topic matter.
Besides fixing my soul and mental health, this amount of reading allowed me to question and change most things I ever believed in, hence my feeling the same as Tolstoy’s Levin about the friends of my age and circle I have throughout my whole life, insofar as I don’t even think they have the right question.
Something had been nagging at me for many years, which I could not find any answers to, and which I only ever met one man with the same questions who anyhow seemed to be coming to the wrong conclusions: what if the Enlightenment was wrong? What if post-Enlightenment thought is corrupt?
This is so far out of the realm of how Americans think that they don’t even understand the question. Though it is out of fashion, our entire understanding of humanity uses classical liberalism as its main frame of reference. As I studied the literature of the ancients, I found myself increasingly adopting not just a pre-enlightenment worldview, but a pre-Christian worldview. I see now that society was never meant to be organized around fairness, that it is expected that people and groups will act for advantage, that society being organized to protect the weak is a scheme for the least just members of society to take power. Indeed, society and government thrive on internal conflict, and all góod relies on maintaining a balance of power.
It wasn’t until reading the first ten books of Livy and Machiavelli’s “Discourses on Livy” that my world view radically and permanently changed: I left libertarianism, anarchism, and Christianity [the last for the second time] all in a short period of time. I like to say that, to borrow a phrase said of Plato and Western Philosophy, “All modern political theory is a series of discourses on Livy.” This may be a bit of an overstatement, but his understanding of what liberty is and oppositional classes within a society is fundamental to everything those before us believe about man, society, and the state. Most people now just read much more recent analysts, and never learn from the source material, but instead are influenced by layers and layers of philosophy they have not been taught and don’t understand.
The fact is, libertarians are as wrong about liberty as Christ is about unconditional love for your fellow man. As the great Daniel McCarthy has said, “Liberty is a complex thing.” It is much more than “Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff.” It has limits. It is the greatest, but not only, celestial good. Liberty is not man’s natural state, Rousseau notwithstanding. Liberty is a condition which arises from living in an orderly society which protects man from violence. Hobbes is almost entirely correct that in a state of nature man is at war with every man, the only aspect which is incorrect is that it is indeed group warfare between small bands and it was never man’s natural state to be alone. The truth is, liberty and all property rights are conditional. A man alone protecting himself with his arms has no more liberty than a fugitive, and a man alone protecting his property with arms has no greater property rights than a hostage taker. Thus, libertarians are incorrect from the start. It is sad to say I spent half of my life on a fallacious ideology, but I was presented with no viable alternatives until I made my own.
Further, and crucially, protecting the poor from the depredations of the wealthy is a legitimate function of government. If we have learned anything since the oligarchy made their play in early 2020, it is that we absolutely do not want to live in a society where the corporations and moneylenders have a free hand, however, there is also a cost to everything, so the government should always use the lightest touch which it can while still accomplishing the necessary goals. [This assumes a functional government, not our corrupt beyond redemption federal government which is a wholly owned subsidiary of money-lenders and which should not do anything but dissolve.]
As you can see, I have succeeded in following the meme’s advice, and making my politics so complex and autistic that if a normie tried to dox me they couldn’t explain what I believe in or why anyone should care. But I can explain what I believe in and why people should care.
There is no word for the political ideology I am creating. The closest is a Machiavellian, but in the sense that I believe what Machiavelli did, not in the sense that I believe in the behavior described in “The Prince”. [Machiavelli was radically pro-freedom, which is why he is so maligned.] I’m also a popular party partisan. I wholly believe in taking a side and it is us vs. the oligarchy: Join or Die.
But I understand the value of mixed government more than anyone and the importance of representation for for all groups in society. I spent much of my research pretending to be James Madison [to be honest, I sometimes also pretend to be Marx], and looking for everything I could about how to make a government which would work better, which would avoid these pitfalls, taking all of the best advice. Crucially, as one learns from Machiavelli, everything is a balance, nothing is perfect, and you just do a little better each time. But he has an answer for everything, and I hope to imitate his style of backing everything up with an ancient and modern example.
After much time, I did indeed break the code, and I am writing a constitution, a project for which I have been widely mocked by people who don’t seem to understand the purpose of synthesizing what you have learned into something useful [and also who want to overthrow the government with no plan for what comes next.] One purpose here with be fleshing out the ideas that I hope to one day become my own book length Republic. I will explain things over time, but suffice to say my Republic abstracts the role of the Prince in an absolutely brilliant way which discourages corruption and encourages competence. Every segment of society is beautifully balanced to protect the polity from that age old enemy of good governance and human liberty: financial interests.
The libertarians and anarchists can denigrate me as a statist as much as they want, but like Burke I love “Manly, moral, regulated liberty as much as any gentleman” and further I have given proofs of my attachment to this throughout my entire public career [if that’s what you want to call periodically failing to attain local political office.] Further, I do believe I can be the man described in Burke’s wonderful quote,
“To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power; teach obedience: and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go of the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint, in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind.” [Reflections, p. 247]
For all of this complexity, I am a proud member of the political faction I like to call “The New Right”, though I am told as Michael Malice has used this term I should find another one. The New Right, in my view, is like libertarianism except with class conflict [no simping for the oligarchy], fraternity, traditional values, and manly virtue. It is the political faction that is so based that the word based had to be made up to describe it.
That is more or less who I am and where my intellectual life is up to this point. I work as a laborer which is of little interest here, though I hope to make money off of this endeavor. I wish I would have thought of using substack as soon as it came out, as it covers the various aspects about blogging I never wanted to deal with in terms of monetizing etc.
A few other details, I suppose, which are likely to come up repeatedly: I love 20th century American and 19th century Russian literature [Faulkner is my favorite author but Dostoevsky impacted me the most]. I love travelogues and war journalism but hate travel. I’m also trying to read the great epics out loud with my wife in historical order [though we are only through The Argonautica]. My favorite contemporary journalist is Matt Taibbi because his prose is incredible, though I don’t read him as much as I should. I obsessively watch foreign mysteries on Netflix [specifically the ones where a man and woman team up to solve a crime. They are incredibly trope heavy and the fact that they’re basically all the same allows you to learn a lot about the countries they are set in]. My favorite 20th century poet is Bob Dylan and I have a remarkable command of lyrics from a huge variety of his songs. I’m an avid but poor bass fisherman and overly knowledgeable but unsuccessful gardener. I know little about music and less about sports. I don’t believe in astronomy [I acknowledge that there are stars.] Also I hate all of the institutions in our society, which is basically the defining feature of my personality. I am a savage and relentless shitposter, and genuinely believe instead of engaging people you should call them retards and move on with your day. My favorite saying is “History is a farce this time.”
I hope for this to be a quite active substack. It will depend on how it goes, if anyone reads, and if I can make any money on it. But my brain is swollen with knowledge and I haven’t written in a long time. I will practice thinking in such a way to include links, though my preference is citing historic texts. The content will mostly be whatever I want to write about, with a view to educating a generally curious person about human affairs. The truth is, there are very few people who can bring anything of value to me to the table in a conversation, and I would much rather be the educator than a conversant. I will most likely be providing periodic roundups of news articles I consider important with short commentaries, commentary on various current social and political events, education on miscellania I find interesting, the ideas for my Republic, and criticism of both non-fiction and fiction texts. The ultimate goal, is that my reader may find some sort of personal enrichment in education about these things, especially as before Jordan Peterson most of us had basically never been taught anything true or useful our entire lives, which is the explanation for his appeal and the ensuing hostility: Truth is treason in the empire of lies.
And thus begins the attainment of my lifelong goal to be able to earnestly tell people they should subscribe to my newsletter.