Summary of the latest Radix Podcast:
Roman Bernard and John Morgan join Richard to discuss Christopher Nolan’s *Batman Begins* (2005) and whether, if something is falling, you should you prop it up—or give it a push!
The Radix hosts make the case for the League of Shadows as a catalyst for Nietzschean transformation and Batman as the the defender of The Last Man. Wikipedia describes the concept as follows:
The Last Men are tired of life, take no risks, and seek only comfort and security. The term is a metaphor for the last human being or beings on Earth, who deny or have been denied their innate instinctive for power, and resort to life-denial ideas, the opposite instinct of life-affirmation. The last man could only be spawn by their repression from other human cultures, and their own disregard for nature and natural selection. Unlike all mankind before him, last man would hold a willful ignorance to the reality (in the case of Nietzsche’s hypothesis) that power is life, as well as a total disregard and ignorance to the laws of nature. The last man thrives on other-worldly ideas in order to beguile his survival on this-world.
At first glance one might think the Satanist would idealize The Last Man. Seeking pleasure, comfort, and security is certainly in our interest. But we do so from a point of indulgence, not compulsion. We do so because we are life-affirming, not because external economic and consumerist mechanisms give you no other option, or spiritual dogma demands it.
Richard Spencer and John Morgan make an interesting point in defending the mobster archetype. The casual viewer might see them as the cause of decline in the city, but in fact they are the final elements of life. The real issue is deeper, as Spencer notes:
In a way, colorful mafiosos are not decadent, they almost add spice to life. I think these mobsters who are willing to face death, willing to risk things, there’s almost something truly human about them. The real decadence is that we’re no longer human beings, we’ve become mechanistic, consuming devices for pleasure, comfort, and security. We are The Last Man. It’s Ra’s al Ghul who is fighting against that state.
The hosts later comment on the changes in New York City (Gotham) between it’s vital but dangerous past and safe but shallow present.
Spencer: I don’t think anyone would say crime is good, but I think what we’re at least recognizing is that there’s a certain hollowness to this Last Man culture we’ve created. There’s something authentic about the older Gotham that is lost in this new Gotham of Starbucks, H&M, and Crate & Barrel stores everywhere. There’s something to that.
Morgan: You have to have the Shadow side as well as the Light to really be complete.
Spencer: Exactly. The bourgeois Last Man lacks that Shadow. It’s almost like Bruce Wayne is the last aristocrat with that shadows side. He has the bat inside him that wants to come out and drives him to bash people and be real again, and be an animal. The true Last Man has no Shadow. He is what he is. Just flat.
While the Satanist might take umbrage to many elements of Radical Traditionalist thought, such as immaterial transcendence and chaste morality, there’s a great deal of insight we can get from this interpretation of the Nolan Batman trilogy. We look forward to the next two.
Blessed are the victorious, for victory is the basis of right – Cursed are the vanquished,
for they shall be vassals forever!
Blessed are the iron-handed, for the unfit shall flee before them – Cursed are the poor
in spirit, for they shall be spat upon!
Blessed are the death- defiant, for their days shall be long in the land – Cursed are the
gazers toward a richer life beyond the grave, for they shall perish amidst plenty!