The Gulag, The Forest Passage, and Dissident Life

I’ve been reading the collected works of Ernst Junger recently thanks to some small publishing houses that have been publishing these out of print books. A quick regard for Mystery Grove, Rogue Scholar, Telos, and Carribbean Thule presses – Mishima’s books were priced out of the range of the lay reader and are now $15. Get the young man in your life the Mystery Grove translation of Storm of Steel, and get yourself one as well if just for the line “The deadliest place in the world is the ground where two storm trooper leaders meet. Then no mercy is asked or given.” This, and many other lines like it are missing from the Penguin translation, and elevate the work back to its original place as a description of the hell where men are forged into something stronger.

Now, Junger (also an early science fiction writer, believe it or not) wrote another book called The Forest Passage. Think of it as a bookend piece with The Gulag Archipelago, with Gulag as a warning against passivity. Passage, on the other hand, warns against Leviathan (in the Hobbesian sense) while providing a primer on how to have the mental fortitude and the thought patterns to survive in such a world, with the titular “Forest Passage” being the path through life between Leviathan and the Wild. The former representing the globohomo system that insists on drag queen story hour, dilators for castrated 11 year olds, to eat the bugs and which celebrates weakness while oppressing people under a hellish Panopticon. The Wild represents liberty, strength, and the beauty found in nature, as well as standing as a bulwark against Leviathan, as it is naturally uncontrollable.

I mention this to frame what being a dissident means nowadays, and continue with the theme of my last post: that the System is evil and ugly and worships everything evil and ugly. I mean worship in the literal sense by the way – don’t kid yourself on that. So if you’re not on board with child eunuchs twerking on Good Morning America, it hates you.

Mentally? Fortify yourself. Develop a framework, both religiously and educationally. Read old books, not the current crop of rhetorical sophistry that shifts constantly.

Physically: LIFT WEIGHTS. Xenophon was a hell of a soldier. Plato and Saint Paul wrestled. The idea that mental and physical development are two different tracks is one of the most pernicious heresies of the modern age, and limited to the modern age for a reason, because a System wanted thinkers to be weak. Being physically strong changes you mentally, both your internal and external outlook. So pick up something heavy, and lift it. “A strong body begets a strong mind” – some Greek guy or something

Socially: Toqueville pointed at the array of civic institutions as the platoons of American democracy, the fraternal organizations that populated America strengthened its system of government. While there are other reasons for thr atomization of American life (1965 Hart-Cellar Act), the slow strangulation of these organizations can be traced to the rise of Leviathan in America. So that being said, develop those social bonds. Know your neighbors, support them. Make friends with people. Rebuild those platoons – theyre invaluable when they become necessary.

This is, of course, an extremely rough primer of how to go forward if you’re a dissident, if you refuse to live in a pod and eat bugs. I’ll end with another bit of wisdom from Junger – that rebellion cannot simply be internal, that no tyranny was ever put down by a “nation of yoga studios”. The events in Texas, where people are freezing and the government is unable or unwilling to do anything, should be a wake up call. Nature and power abhors a vacuum..

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29 Responses to The Gulag, The Forest Passage, and Dissident Life

  1. Fred says:

    It would be helpful if you defined what you mean by Leviathan. Are you refering to the globalism supporting elite and those others getting richer, or hoping to, off ending national borders (surprisingly not for any non-Western country) as laid out in the recent Tablet article “The Thirty Tyrants”?

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      I specifically describe it as the Hobbesian Leviathan for a reason, based off the work of the same name.

  2. John Credulous says:

    Dear Sir,

    “the System is evil and ugly and worships everything evil and ugly. I mean worship in the literal sense”

    Is not it a complete description of the current state of affairs to say that this is deviltry ?

    What is “happening” is anti human, I.e., destructive of God’s creation – man.

    Others – Jay Dyer – have described it as an inversion : bad is good, etc.

    Moral philosophy ? This is the fallen world, perfection is impossible, we must work through our short comings to help our fellow man to avoid the devil’s snares.
    The devil promises utopia on earth. This is the goal of all progressives.
    Man “storms heaven”. Plays god. The weak worship the devil because he promises earth they get earthly power, however, the devil demands abasement – humiliation, disgrace .

    Don’t be fooled.

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      I nearly went off into tangent about how the current war is simply yet another stage in the battle since the beginning of known history between certain semetic demon cults and God, ranging through Minos, Carthage, and finally here, but that’s a bridge to far.

      The ability to argue buttresses the spiritual though, which is something MANY Christians have forgotten. This is why they’ve been flanked and have 0 rhetorical grounding to actually argue about the modern insanities and kind of shrug their shoulders saying “Wow, Jesus said ‘Judge not’ guess that’s all that has to be said!”.

      We live in this world – the drive for Utopia is the path of the Adversary, yes, but nearly as damning is stepping back and saying none of what happens here matters because it does.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Yes. This world is as important as any other. What we do here counts. Waiting for utopia in the next world is as much an artifice as trying to build it in this one. There is no utopia waiting. It is always at hand and it is always not at hand – it’s in your soul, which goes with you wherever you find yourself. My opinion anyhow.

        It takes a hard, yet thoughtful, man to judge what is right and what is wrong and call it out, while not becoming a hateful monster himself. Or maybe, it’s a man that loves the good so deeply and who understands the evil so well, that love demands he draw lines and stand.

        It’s not just Semitic demons. The world order also seeks to unleash low level energies worshipped by primitives such as the Aztecs, Africans and various head hunters.

  3. longarch says:

    One observes the well-known enemy position through field-glasses or periscope, and often gets a shot at a head target with the help of the latter. But caution is necessary, for the English too have sharp eyes and good glasses.

    One of a post suddenly collapses in a stream of blood, shot in the head. His fellows tear the field-dressing from his tunic and bind him up.

    ‘There’s no use in doing that now, Wilhelm.’

    ‘He’s still breathing, man.’

    Then the stretcher-bearers come and take him to the dressing-station. The stretcher bumps heavily against the corners of the fire-bays. Scarce gone . . . and all is as it was before. Somebody throws a shovelful of soil over the red patch and every one goes about his business. One has got callous. Only a new recruit leans, whitefaced, against the revetting of the trench. He is trying to see the hang of it all. It had been so sudden, such a terrible surprise, such a brutal and unspeakable assault. It can’t be possible, can’t be real. Poor fellow, there’s something quite different in store for you. . . .

    Often, too, it is quite jolly. Many of us take quite a sporting interest in the job. With a malicious satisfaction we observe the hits of our shells on the enemy trenches.
    ‘There’s a hit, my boy!’
    ‘God! See it go up!’
    ‘Poor Tommy!’
    They delight in shooting off rifle-grenades or sending light mortar bombs over, very much to the disgust of frailer spirits. ‘Leave off that nonsense, man. We get stink enough without that.’ But nevertheless these hotheads are for ever puzzling out the best possible ways of slinging over bombs with home-made catapults or of making the ground in front of the trench murderous with explosive machines. Perhaps they cut a narrow passage through the wire in front of their posts in order to entice an enemy patrol, by this bait of an easy way through, straight up to their rifles. Another time they creep out over the top and tie a bell on to the wire and this long string with which can be pulled in order to excite the English posts. Even the war is a joke to them.

    It is better written than most science fiction stories, but quite a bit less cheerful. Most sci-fi is escapism, and this is the absolute opposite of escapism.

  4. Pat Lang says:

    Yeah. I was raised to be strong physically and perhaps in the head as well. When my dad learned that I was going to attend VMI he decided to make sure I was strong enough for that. This was a place that used to run on the “strong mind in a strong body” theme. I had worked with him for years lumbering on his place in the country in Maine but that was not good enough. He put me to digging 6X6X6 holes on the property. I would dig the hole and then I would fill the hole. Then he would designate a new hole site. When I was a cadet and then as a lieutenant of infantry the people I was with were always surprised at how strong I was. As the Red Rooster says, it was a great advantage.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      My father thought I could be a professional boxer or hockey player, as I showed a high level of talent for both early on. From age 8 or 9 I wasn’t allowed to watch TV unless I was doing doing push-ups, squat thrusts, curling dumbbells, etc. That was on top of all of the actual sports training on teams and with coaches, etc. He also demanded precise and clear thinking. He was a trial lawyer and would grill me like I was an opposing witness no matter what the topic, critiquing my responses until all irrelevance and incoherence was removed from them. He further insisted on perfect posture, demeanor and all of that. Of course complaining or insubordination were not tolerated. Really, it was like a 10 year boot camp experience. I wasn’t too happy about it at the time, but even then I could see how it served me well. I have always enjoyed a certain level of instant respect from others simply based on physical attributes.The hard headedness ability to keep going and achieve regardless of obstacles adds to the stature among others that I usually achieve. Only recently, at age 57, have I started to relax off all of that bit.

  5. BillWade says:

    An added benefit to being healthy and not overweight, add some Vit D and never get the coronka.

    John, Jay Dyer is a great guy.

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      I should probably post about supplements sometime but yeah Vitamin D ia great stuff. Take that, Zinc, and a lot of other stuff.

  6. Deap says:

    Visited the Solovetsky Islands in the Russian White Sea a few years back – a hauntingly and soberly beautiful place today. A place of pilgrimage. Graves uncovered and now memorialized.

  7. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Thank you for your posts, Red Rooster. I will keep an eye peeled for any new ones to come.

    For those interested, here is the Wiki link to their post on Ernst Jünger:

    I think that I shall have to acquaint myself with his writings, too; an impressive fellow. Unfortunately, there is much to learn from this steely-eyed assessor of his own times that may find application to our times. A man of undoubted courage, physical, moral, and intellectual, possessed of the acuity of insight and facility to communicate an integrated worldview, is someone to whom it is worthwhile to heed.

    Fare forward, voyager. Troubled seas ahead.

  8. John Merryman says:

    I think you are overlooking the reason for this particular vortex.
    Everything is quantized, monetized, atomized, digitized, sterilized to the nth degree. The dynamics driving reality are reduced to units of measurement. Then siphoned off by the financial system.
    For example, the mechanics of colonialism were to break down the native society and make it use the coin of the realm, so every action and interaction could be taxed. That is how this system functions for everyone.
    Networks matter as much as the nodes inhabiting them. Those running this system have their networks and do their best to make sure the rest of society is divided.

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      I didn’t overlook it, I just wanted to focus on a different topic.

      There are multiple reasons we are in this pickle, many of which reach back before anyone here was born. We can debate the why to death after victory, the question is how do we move forward.

      • John Merryman says:

        That might take several books.
        Though before moving forward, it might be useful to step back and look at the bigger picture. As I like pointing out, there are reasons the people running armies are called generals and specialist is about one rank above private.
        Simply patching the problems, rather than developing some idea of the causes and effects leading up to this point in history would be to waste an opportunity that won’t come around again and only kick the can a little further down the road.
        Most of us, most of the time, are part of a hive mind. Which is a very good survival mechanism for individuals, but when the herd runs off the cliff….
        The people who understand reality are those who have to deal with it up close and personal on a daily basis. Then it isn’t about right and wrong, but probabilities. Seeing as much as possible and only judging when necessary. Being constantly aware and alert and being able to change direction before the cognitive processes kick in. Yet when you are part of the group, you can’t admit being wrong, or the crowd senses weakness, so it is all about who is right, not what is right.
        The first is the basis of science, the second is the foundation of religion.
        Here is an essay I wrote, trying to dig into our relationship with reality;

  9. blue peacock says:

    I found this post by Brent Hamachek very interesting. h/t Sundance.

    Americans are big on individual rights. Our Declaration of Independence starts out with referencing our “inalienable rights.” The first ten amendments to the Constitution are called the “Bill of Rights.” It is these rights that those in support of individual liberty and free market capitalism seek to defend and preserve. These are the rights that virtually all Americans believe they possess. They must possess them. The Constitution says so.

    This is where the dissident needs to discern the difference between the “is” and the “ought.” It is black-letter clear that each and every American ought to have the same rights as every other American. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When those in control of government decide that they will not apply the laws in the same manner to all people, then some people effectively no longer have the same rights. They may retain them theoretically, but functionally those rights are gone.

    Americans often speak of “natural rights” or “rights given to us by God.” These ideas seem consistent with the “inalienable rights” mentioned in the Declaration and seem to be codified in the Bill of Rights. While most people make mention of them, few understand their actual derivations.

    Natural rights are derived from what we call “natural law.” There are really two categories of natural law theory, neither truly conflicting with the other, but also not identical. One could be the more religion-centered version held by Thomas Aquinas or William Blackstone, that there is a natural law set forth by God and that all people are capable of understanding it through their own reason and God’s grace and revelation.

    The other concept is more secular in its formation and is the sort held to by John Locke or Montesquieu, that natural law is in accordance with the laws of nature and that man’s right to be “free” is as fundamental as is any other rule of order found in nature. Most American don’t know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are an intellectual direct lift from Locke’s “life, liberty, and property.” You don’t have to believe in an unmoved mover to believe in natural law (but it probably helps).

    I’m much more aligned with the Lockean philosophy of our founding and believe that is the essence of being American. As a nation of immigrants and being a people with different beliefs, cultural heritages and even ethnicities E pluribus unum is the most appropriate motto. So, what is that shared and common value? To me it ought to be the philosophical and intellectual underpinning of our founding with Locke and Montesquieu at the center.

    My experience is that it is a fringe minority in America today that believes that ought to be our common shared value. I doubt if Jefferson, Madison or Adams could be elected today.

    My question to this Committee is, can contemporary Americans agree to a common and shared value? If so, what is that?

    • Fred says:

      “some people effectively no longer have the same rights”

      That’s been the case since Congress enabled legal discrimination via “affirmative action”.

      “As a nation of immigrants…”
      Please stop already. Where did Washington immigrate from? Lincoln? Thirteen colonies, remember them? None of them “immigrated” here. Those people created the United States; they didn’t arrive on a jet with a hotel reservaton to be greated by an NGO waiting to hand out tax dollars or an employer an H1B and preferential treatment. What we have now are too many who are here as colonists from elsewhere with “different beliefs, cultural heritages…” – and no desire to assimilate into what is culturally America.

      • blue peacock says:


        You’re being obtuse.

        George Washington and Lincoln’s ancestors did emigrate to the colonies. They wouldn’t have been born in the colonies otherwise.

        So did many English, Irish, Italians, Germans and other Europeans after the founding of the United States. Africans were brought to the colonies.

        Are you saying they’re not Americans? Who are Americans then? Only the descendants of those who were in the colonies in 1776?

        • Fred says:


          “Emmigrate” is not “immigrate”, as you know well or you wouldn’t have used the word. Tell me more about my equality as an American, other than affirmative action and legacy guilt, and why I and my children must endure continued separate and unequal treatment based upon race, American not be considered one; and remind me also why I’m to blame for that “brought to America ” but those descendants of said folks aren’t, even though they are as American as you or I and as equally removed by the centuries from the events.

    • John Merryman says:

      Quite literally, the shared value is the dollar. That is what holds this society of workers and consumers together.
      The effectiveness of a market economy and democracy is that they function as an ecosystem, where some are rising and others are receding. Rather than trying to work as one centralized organism.
      The fallacy of capitalism is that as these linear, goal oriented creatures in this cyclical, reciprocal, feedback driven reality is that we treat money as the signal to extract and store, while markets need it to circulate. So the medium becomes the message, the tool becomes the god.
      A medium is not a store. Blood is a medium, fat is a store. Roads are a medium, parking lots are a store. Since money works as a contract, where the asset is backed by a debt, storing the asset requires generating debt, so our religion of piling up money requires an economy tooled to generate debt.
      As for democracy, remember that democracy and republicanism originated in pantheistic societies. Which was their interpretation of the multiculturalism of the heterogeneous societies of the age. The Ancients were not ignorant of monotheism, but as there was no real distinction between culture and civics, it equated with authoritarianism. As in one god, one people, one ruler. The Romans adopted Christianity to consolidate the Empire and shed any remnants of the Republic. Though vestiges of pantheism remained, with the Trinity.
      When the West went back to more populist forms of government, it required the separation of church and state, culture and civics.
      Which is a big reason why Islam and the West don’t really understand each other, as that split is incoherent to Islam. Religion is political. The governance of society.
      The fallacy of monotheism is that a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. Which is not really the fault of religion, as it is fundamentally about control, but of philosophy, for not pointing out that an ideal, which is aspirational, is not an absolute, which is elemental.
      The consequence is that many, if not most political ideologies try to frame themselves as universal and absolute, even if they make such ridiculous claims as trying to argue multiculturalism as an absolute.
      I could go on, but the cold weather has cracked my fingers.

    • Gallo Rojo says:


      Locke was a pencil necked dork who couldn’t deadlift his own weight and whose philosophy works in a narrow window. “Lockean principles of man” only works when we all agree on them versus the current paradigm of literal blood libel to distract from Globohomo Corp antics.

      “Nation of immigrants” lmao nation of settlers. Nation of pioneers. Nation of immigrants my ass.

      Cortez was kinder to the Aztecs than George Washington would be to what this country has become.

  10. Deap says:

    I like that — we are a nation of settlers. Changes the narrative entirely. Thnx, Gallo.

  11. Escarlata says:

    And for dissident women, what would be a good exercise, Gallo Rojo?

    Something to get just fit, not like an MMA fighter, of course…

    I guess you will not be thinking they will always be under men´s protection..Shit know…

    Just the other day I was reading how when Marco Aurelio, last emperor of the hispanic dinasty of The Antoninos, fell sick during campaign in Sirmium, his wife, Faustina, had to leave Rome for the front and take over…It is told that she harangued the troops as a field marshall, winning respect from the legions who named her Mater Castrorum…..

    Marco Aurelio, ¿un filósofo adorado por las legiones?

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      Ah, women. Women should lift too. I recommend women lift weights and focus on their strengths, specifically the lower body. Not saying you need to be an MMA fighter but a woman with a 405 pound squat firing a knee off into your face when you’re not expecting it is a bad day.

      Women have it memed into their head that if they touch a weight they’re going to look like they’ve been hitting trenbolone and have a voice like a cement mixer. False. Lift. Find a good jiujitsu gym. Jiujitsu is a meme in some regards but its good to know. It won’t save you from a gang rape but it’ll allow you to either break contact and run or hurt them in a way to give them something to worry about while you break contact or grab your gun.

      If you’re a woman, you should be armed nowadays. Find a caliber you like, a weapon you like. A pistol and a rifle. And above all practice with it. Get good with it. Learn to draw and fire from various positions. Git gud.

      Find good friends, find community. Hang out around people who want the same thing you do. Get involved in the church. Huge underline: Stay away from bad situations.

      A lot of people with advice for trad women say FIND A MAN TO PROTECT YOU AND GET MARRIED. Yeah, there’s something to be said for that, but otoh there’s a lot of people saying that who are Extremely Online Trads who couldn’t lead a kindergarten class, let alone be head of household to a woman who’s mentally strong enough to Reject Degeneracy and Embrace Tradition. But at the end of the day, find a good man who wants the same thing you do AND has the ability to make it happen, and can watch your back while you watch his.

      Hope that helps. If you need a more detailed lift regime, let me know.

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