Critically interrogating anti-identitarian discourses of both the Left and Right, William Scott finds that these discourses vehemently attack affirmations of White identity in the (covert) name of yet another identity, one that, rather curiously, defines itself as an anti-identity, an absence of identity- or more precisely, an absence of positively-definable identity as conceived in traditional, particularistic terms:

This Identity is positive in a way, but it is posited as a negation. It is the rejection of other identities, especially biological identity: race. We should say that the rejection of Ethnic Identity is the foundation of this Ideological Identity. More accurately, Universal Person is the necessary citizen of Universal Democracy. In this way ethnic or competing ideological identities are rejected all at once in order to establish the ideal democratic citizen: the atomized individual with no identity apart from self-interested participation in democratic society.

Universal Person, as the model democratic citizen, ostensibly has systematically purged himself of every particular aspect of concretely embodied being, every property by way of which a person gains concrete existence as an actually-existing particular instance of the abstract general class, Homo Sapiens Sapiens. He has thus seemingly transcended his concrete existence as a particular human being that can be distinguished from other particular human to become a disembodied abstract Idea or Platonic essence; not a particular member of Homo Sapiens, but the very species itself. In other words, he has ascended from the ontological level of the concrete-particular to the abstract-universal; he is, if you will, substance incarnated as form, the flesh made Word, and the real become Rational, not the other way around.

This superior being, then, imagines himself a disembodied entity made of pure thought, and accordingly, where he positively defines his identity at all, defines it in terms of ideology. His loyalties and allegiances lie not with other people, but exclusively to the Ideal- namely, Universal Democracy, a very jealous master that doesn’t tolerate the smallest division of loyalty in its acolytes, and demands from them a seemingly total self-deracination:

In truth if we begin to care about our families or our ethnic communities, we taint the purity of the Ideal. Universal Democracy is a memetic sickness that corrodes the natural will to bring ones genetic heritage into the future. Reproductive relationships are increasingly ad hoc arrangements that produce individuals. Strong family and kin ties are a threat to Universal Democracy. Ethnicity is a social construct that undermines the efficient social functioning of Universal Person.

Scott also draws attention to the aggressively proselytizing and indeed, totalitarian character of this remarkably ambitious enterprise:

Universal Person is the invention of White people. It is our people’s Will rarefied into a thing in itself. As such it is held as applicable to all of mankind. Indeed for the devout it must be brought to every corner of the globe. Western governments and institutions, such as the EU, UN and USA  assume all humans into this Will, or abstract Identity. Quite literally abstract; drawn out of the European. The implicit tyranny and Totalizing colonization in this paradigm  and the global policies that emerge from it are somehow unnoticed. Universalizaton is seen as an intrinsic good. While particularization, othering, is the last sin to be purged.

Scott’s overall thesis is vividly illustrated by this suggestive excerpt from a recent NYT interview with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau:

Trudeau’s most radical argument is that Canada is becoming a new kind of state, defined not by its European history but by the multiplicity of its identities from all over the world. His embrace of a pan-cultural heritage makes him an avatar of his father’s vision. “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” he claimed. “There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.” (Source: Oz Conservative. Emphasis mine).

The concept of “Universal Person”, then, seems to pick out something really fundamental to the mentality and practice of power in late-modern society, and unites a seemingly-disparate mess of facts in a parsimonious and very convenient way. “Universal Person” may, in fact, prove to be the most useful and important category of political analysis and critique since Moldbug’s “Cathedral”, which it complements, and may one day have as much widespread currency. In the interest of assisting in the development and promotion this brand-new concept, in what follows, I will take a stab at riffing on it on a bit. (I assume full responsibility in advance for any potential deviation from the intent of its originator). I will examine this phenomenon against the back-lights of (secularized) religion and above all, power.

*****

In his snooty, sneering condescension towards the identitarian, Universal Person betrays the belief that he has attained to an especially exalted and elevated spiritual state, and represents a higher form of being relative to the identitarian, who remains mired down in particularity. Since the particular, by definition, is that which is embodied, and the Universal pure form emptied of any particular substantive embodiment, Universal Person’s contempt for the particular, for identity, is strictly analogous to the contempt for the body characteristic of traditional religious asceticism.  Suggestively, religious asceticism, with its severe austerities, mortification, and discipline, sought to liberate the spirit from the fetters of mundane bodily existence, and to annihilate and dissolve the particular self into the infinite, the Divine, the Universal. Universal Person seems to strive towards much the same transcendent state, albeit by means much less rigorous and more congenial to the late-modern ethos of comfort, ease, and convenience. You don’t have to renounce all your worldly possessions, sleep on a bed of nails, live on top of a pillar for forty years, or for that matter do much of anything to attain to Universal Personhood; all that’s needed in order to lose one’s identity in the mystical unity of the secular Godhead is ostentatious public disavowal of that identity, which instantly and painlessly accomplishes what the mystical ascetics of old spent suffered their entire lives trying to achieve. This easy spiritual discipline may be termed sacramental treason, after the following characteristic and revealing slogan: “treason to Whiteness is loyalty to humanity“.

Having sloughed off all the particularities of embodied being- race, sex, ethnicity, caste, religion, nationality, history, place, and culture- the sacred traitor is reborn as the pure Platonic essence of Man stripped of all existential accidents, a form that has no particular substantive instantiation but nonetheless exists in the real and concrete somehow. In other words, he isn’t merely loyal to humanity, he is humanity; not just one human being among others, but the very abstract-general concept of the human above and beyond any particular existential instantiation  of that concept. Universal Person therefore subsumes all people in his own being; his body is a sort of corpus mysticum that encompasses and unifies the more purely concrete and mundane bodies of others. Hence it was possible, a few decades back, for all the Universal People to sing along with a fund-raising jingle that went, “We are the world, we are the children”, etc. along those lines without irony, and without cringing with embarrassment.

Considered from the point of view of power, it isn’t hard to see that this claim to universal humanity is also a claim to rightful universal jurisdiction over humanity. It isn’t mere self-contradiction for Universal Person to tolerate and even encourage all sorts of multi-culti  expressions of identity in others while disdaining and renouncing his own, and still less is it a manifestation of self-loathing guilt, craven weakness, or nihilistic and suicidal self-abnegation, as the political Right would have it. On the contrary, sacramental treason, which is a ruling-class phenomenon and an obligatory public piety whose performance is a criterion of admission and ongoing good standing in the ranks of the ruling class, betrays an extraordinarily ambitious, almost psychotic, will to power.

Again, the sacred traitor negates his identity not out of a nihilistic desire to cease to exist altogether, but to transcend mere mundane existence, i.e. preside over it. If Universal Person alone doesn’t have any particular identifiable features or determinate attributes in a world full of people who do, that is because he aspires to the status of the principle of unity of all particular persons in their particular diversity (“we are the world”). If, with each act of sacramental treason, he strips himself one by one of every property that makes a human being a human being, it is in order to finally stand in the same relation to human beings as the protean Tao of mystical speculation to the world of particular things- viz. that which is ontologically negative and indeterminate, because it is primordial with respect to all positive and determinate being. In other words, Universal Person self-effaces in order to become ineffable. Universal Person is a nameless and anonymous entity who has no culture and no identity, and therefore subsumes all cultures and all identities in his ineffable mystical body. (Hence, according  to Prime Minister Trudeau, Canada has a “pan-cultural heritage” with “no core identity”, an Ur-culture that cannot itself be a culture, in the same way that the mystical Tao, as the font of being, cannot be said to have being or named at all).

This stance unleashes, in Universal Person, truly boundless ambitions to power. By stripping himself of every particularizing attribute (race, kinship, caste, religion, etc.) he also strips his claims to political jurisdiction and authority of every attribute by means of which power can be bounded, localized, and assigned determinate frontiers in time and space. Universal Person never rules under the style of King of Great Britain and France, le Roi très Chrétien, or anything like that, because he is a champion of Equality and the Rights of Man against all Tyrants, but above all because those impressive-sounding titles strike Universal Person as laughably parochial and humble to the point of self-abasement, inasmuch as such titles assign determinate boundaries to Sovereign power by the very fact of giving the Sovereign a title and a name that designates him as a particular person wielding power over a particular race of people in a particular place. Universal Person despises kings as despots not because their power is “absolute”, but precisely because it isn’t, and cannot possibly be; hence the invidious contrast, from roughly the Enlightenment onward, between the “arbitrary will” of the monarch and the “rule of law not men”, which designates the distinction between the local and bounded personal power of a particular man and a boundlessly totalizing universal power administered by Universal Persons who style themselves not as mere mortal men, but as ineffably transcendent pure Law.

Sovereign power, whether exercised as the personal prerogative of flesh-and-blood men, or by those who claimed to have undergone a mystical transubstantiation of their corporeal being and become pure Law, is always going to involve plenty of inscrutable fiat and discretion involved in it either way- and yet, according to Liberalism only the personal prerogative counts as “arbitrary”. Universal Person cannot exercise “arbitrary” power by definition, since he has no particular will as such. His idiosyncratic wants, desires, tastes, whims, and pet preferences of the moment are categorical imperatives binding on every conceivable individual for all time.

In other words, if Universal Person lives in a “multicultural” society that “celebrates diversity” but disdains and rejects his own cultural heritage and traditions, that is because his own beliefs and values, whatever they may be, are emanations of universal pure Reason that transcend all cultural and historical particularity, and can never be reduced to the mere customs and folkways of any particular people. Universal Person, having sloughed off all the obsolete and pernicious superstitions, errors, and prejudices of his ancestors through the discipline of sacramental treason, has attained Enlightenment; his mind is a self-created and self-sufficient space absolutely free of any formative historical or social influences.

This explains how Universal Person can characteristically preach all manner of postmodern historicism and moral relativism while practicing the most strident and radically intolerant moral absolutism himself. This isn’t mere ethical inconsistency or hypocrisy on his part. It is perfectly sincere. When Universal person says that all beliefs, moral values and truth-claims are so many man-made and culture-bound social constructs, mere clinical symptoms of bigotry and other forms of pathology that can never have objective validity- he means yoursHis beliefs and values, on the other hand, aren’t beliefs and values at all, but science. (“Science” denotes the sum total of subjective opinions, feelings, biases, partisan rhetoric, and self-serving agendas of Universal Person, accorded the status of necessary objective truths inasmuch as the person who holds them has attained to the Universal. Cf. “the rule of law”).

Universal Person, then, aspires to comprise the anonymous and impersonal universal governing class of an anonymous and impersonal universal State administering anonymous and impersonal scientific truths and categorical imperatives (e.g. “human rights”) that have the force of rational objective necessity for any thinking subject anywhere, and thus have a universal legitimacy. It should go without saying that there can be no spatial or other boundaries to the jurisdiction of this power in the form of e.g. the territorial borders of the sovereign nation-State. In this light, Rightists who diagnose the mania for “open borders” as a mere symptom of effete decadence, the atrophy and withering away of the will to exist, misdiagnose it fundamentally. No doubt, uncontrolled migration will have ( indeed, is already having) catastrophic effects on State and society in the West. But, far from representing some kind of failure of will, the dissolution of national borders is an expression of what in fact is a truly impressive, downright Nietzschean, will to power; its folly is the delirium of hubris.

If anything, as far as Universal Person is concerned it is the nation-State, as a determinate entity with determinate boundaries inhabited by a determinate people with determine national customs and traditions, that seems feeble and apathetic in its willingness to assign limits to its own power by confining its jurisdiction to a particular territory and a particular people. To his mind, the nation-State is a strictly two-bit, small-time operation whose power seems as laughably petty as the power of tribal chieftains once seemed to the territorial State, and for much the same reason.

Juridical rights, by definition, are tied to political subjection to Sovereign authority, and the so-called “human rights” touted by Universal Person are no exception to the principle. If everybody enjoys rights by virtue of being human, that is because every human being has also been deemed an a priori citizen of Universal State and therefore subject to its jurisdiction, with all the rights and privileges attending thereto, no matter the particular point in space in which they were born or reside. The spatio-territorial dimension of State sovereignty that defines the traditional nation-State is irrelevant to Universal State, which is pan-cultural and post-national, and as such cannot be assigned a determinate position in space- which means its power cannot possibly be bounded by spatial frontiers. From the point of view of Universal State, then, the question of whether or not a migrant is “documented” is moot and redundant, since the wetback was already an American citizen before he even got to the river. The other side of this coin is American criminal legislation under which anybody anywhere in the world regardless of nationality who e.g. accepts payment for the purpose of gambling from an American commits a Federal offense and is subject to being prosecuted accordingly.

The various efforts to review the legitimacy of the institutions, laws, and policies of foreign nation-States against the standard of so-called human rights and alter or destroy them by military conquest if they fail need hardly be mentioned here beyond observing that anybody who tries to point out to Universal Person the potential folly of trying to transplant Western institutions, laws, and practices to places that may not be able to sustain them, and that may reject the transplant violently, wastes his time. Universal Person, we have seen, considers himself the transcendental embodiment of the pure generic essence of Man unencumbered by the dross of historical and cultural accidentals, all particularities of time, place, and tradition, and so takes his own local and particular political and lifestyle preferences, whatever they may be, as comprising the universal intrinsic design parameters of the human species in general. It follows that, in every human being, there is a Universal Person waiting to be liberated from the ignorance, superstition, and tyranny in which he is trapped, in much the same the way that Michelangelo liberated his already-sculpted statues from blocks of marble.

To admit that various desert herdsmen and the like might respond with anything other than oblate gratitude to the destruction of their society and way of life or fail to turn into brown SWPLs on the spot would be to admit that the SWPL is not, in fact, the human essence laid bare, and that the culture of the SWPL is just that- a particular cultural tradition among others, and not an emanation of pure Reason or universal default setting of the human species. Any such admission would obviously compromise the boasts of universalism in a fatal way, and nobody should hold his breath waiting for one- no matter how many times over the effort to unleash the inner American in peoples who aren’t actually American, and don’t want to be, fails.

Likewise, the pretension to transcendent universality stripped of all historically specific contents is profoundly compromised by those fellow Whites (Universal Person, par excellence, is as White as the driven snow) who are self-aware of their particularity as  bearers of unique genetic material, historical experiences, customs and traditions, etc. and moreover gauche enough to just come out and actually say so.  This most uncouth and socially graceless species of White person is despised with especial rancour and disdain by ruling class Whites Universal Person. In the eyes of the latter, the White identitarian who abjures the sacrament of treason and stubbornly clings to his particular loyalties is derelict- an apostate, in fact. He is willfully unregenerate; he has refused Grace when the means of attaining it were made available to him, and turned his back on his own last end. It is exactly as though, by virtue of being White, he were attached to a special duty to ascend to the higher form (“treason to Whiteness is loyalty to humanity”); he is accordingly relegated to the vile and polluted status of the derelict who has sunk below his caste, i.e. an untouchable (“deplorable”), and censured, scorned, and shunned as such.

What makes the White identitarian so deplorable is that, intentionally or not, in his boorish lack of discretion he threatens to expose the whole universalist racket for the fraud that it is. It is with very good reason that current standards of polite etiquette deem it scandalously bad form to talk about White racial and cultural identity as anything other than that which has been, or is in the process of being, sloughed off and discarded in the grand historical march of Progress. The superlative pretensions of Universal Person collapse the second he can be situated in time and space and thus particularized, unveiled as just one mortal among others with a body that has identifiable physiognomic features, who was born in a definite place, and who inherited a specific culture localized in the history of that place from those who birthed and raised him, whose genes he also inherited. He would no longer be able to pretend to the status of some sort of apotheosis of humanity towering above the mortal fray in a sphere of Platonic forms, that his tastes and preferences amount to categorical imperatives for everyone to follow as opposed to comprising the idiosyncratic subculture of his social class, that his passions are Reason itself, and that totalizing global domination would mean freedom from domination for others, as long as it was exercised by him.

In other words, the White identitarian who insists that race is more than just a “social construct”, that the Enlightenment was an episode in the unique and irreproducible history of a particular people and not the irradiation, from on high, of universal Reason upon all humanity, and that the likes of universal human rights are the weaponized artifact of the power games of a particular class fraction of this same people, points out that this Emperor, who claims to be the nude and unadorned universal essence of all Mankind, is wearing clothes after all.

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14 thoughts on “Some Desultory Remarks on the Concept of “Universal Person”

  1. Ferocious! I’d be sad if I had to confess to creating a monster, but you have helped enflesh the monster of Universal Person that has come into existence over a long haul of time. He may have had his conception in Kant’s ‘Rational Being’ as you intimated (and I think I did as well).

    The grand irony being, those who accused us of the crime of particularity through the maturity of PoMo theory are in the end the most vulgar and violent particularists of all. For a Universal is just a very rarefied Particular. Especially when manifest in global social policy and as a fundamental identity.

    Dems R real Real Racists has nothing on PoMOs R real colonizers.

    Thanks, Will

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having, myself, only lately awakened from this gnostic nightmare, I stand in awe of the insights in this article. This will be copied, hard-copied, transmitted and talked over at our dinner table.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed it too; and while I appreciate the rhetorical purpose in pointing out the overweening will to power of the post-American, ultra-white, hyper-Yankee megaimperialists (hot war if that’s what it takes to poutinize the blindingly white patriarchal Putin), i think we maybe do well not to forget that they are still very capable of moments of self-loathing white guilt, i.e. the guilt of those who find themselves unmarked, hence privileged, on a scene where some other(s) is marked out as our collective victim. (As such, one needn’t even be “white” to feel “white” guilt.)

    Guilt at one’s unmarked status can drive one into the excesses of universal personhood, to the mad belief in a world beyond the limited, or sacrificial, led by a global state ruling in the (universal) name of victims. The fact that the erstwhile pale member of a party of (guilty) sacrificers need perform what you neatly call sacramental treason in the name of a post-sacrificial world that can never really be imagined because there will always be privileged to sacrifice if we’re ever going to get there…, is all a performative contradiction that ensures his hyperwhite willful anti-whiteness will be confused with self-hate, especially as he is usually a narrow-minded “atheist” with no anthropological or secular grasp on the sacred and sacrificial, and thus no way to understand his contradiction, his priestly need to sacrifice.

    In short, as much as i agree that Justin Trudeau is an egomaniac, i refuse to believe that there aren’t moments when he duly hates himself. If he were at peace with himself how can he be so full of invective for those he sees as dinosaurs, like Harper, pro-lifers, or Quebecois nationalists? Self respect? You gotta know your limits…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic as always. I agree “Universal Person” has a lot of potential. Just immediately after reading this “Universal Pogrom” came to mind. And in context I imagine that makes perfect sense to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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