Why should I write about my distant Internet friends who believe themselves to be royalty? Well, why shouldn’t I? I could make some argument that it’s relevant to Game of Thrones, which is in turn relevant to our contemporary society because of its increased feudal-esque brutality as well as the rise of a new enchantedness to life as the blooming of the Internet creates a new world of imaginativeness and creativity across society. Or I could just paraphrase Nietzsche that no artist ever tolerates reality, and while I don’t pretend to be an artist, perhaps I am one of those troublesome individuals of artistic temperament.
Without further ado, House Vincent.
How should I address you?
Duke Vincent: Grand Duke and Duchess. Historically the title of King could only be granted by a high religious authority, as Kingdoms could only be created with the permission of God’s servants on Earth.
What is House Vincent? What lands does House Vincent hold?
DV: We claim overlordship from the tallest mount to the final shore.
How does House Vincent function? What would the rule of the Vincents look like in politico-economic terms?
DV: Anyone who fights to overthrow the masters will receive a parcel of their conquered land to administer in common. We’re basically Nestor Makhno in that the army is the state and the state is the army. Royal communism is underrated.
When did House Vincent begin?
So like most developments in history the ‘duchy’ thing started as a joke after I introduced some friends to Dune. At the scene where Paul Atreides dons his father’s ring and announces himself as Duke of Arrakis de jure to his fanatical Fremen zealots, everyone looked at me like “that’s Tyler.” So Duke became one of my nicknames, with my buds becoming my sworn swords. That also developed from (what I thought) were my ancestral ties to Lithuania, once a Grand Duchy. Duchies, unlike Kingdoms, were usually de facto warlord territories that strongarmed the Catholics into recognizing their legal overlordship, circumventing the usual King nonsense.
Dukes also hold more theoretical control over those sworn to them; each individual Count, Baron, and Lord swears fealty to them, without a duchal middle man between.
Lady Vincent: And following suit with his title, I earned mine when we started courting. As a whole, I prefer the Duke/Duchess to King/Queen pairing more seeing as I personally prefer to be second in command. Leave the blame to fall to the head of the empire, leave me as first to be promoted once they’re beheaded.
Greatness is as greatness does, truly. On these notes, (1) care to describe your sworn swords? (2) Over what lands does House Vincent claim dominion?
DV: 1. We create friendships based on a system of merit. The only brand of loyalty we’re interested in is unconditional. We don’t fool around with people whose self-interest comes into natural conflict with our own, and we only put our trust into people who have a vested interest in permanent bonds. So the sworn swords are any of those who, if society collapses, we will call upon to defend the House.
- Part of the original plan was to purchase land in Scotland and start a commune there. Landowners in Scotland are technically nobility according to Scottish law and custom, and can assume the legal title of Laird. It’s a silly money grabbing scheme, but getting out of the country and becoming communal laird and ladies was the hope.
LV: Still is the hope. Lexington is our current domain, but other places of possible conquest include Seattle, Canada, North Ireland, and Scotland.
DV: But the wider idea is to simply claim whatever land we are standing on, and everyone with it. Our philosophy is to immediately establish ourselves as the dominant social force in every situation, with the same goals and interests, and to subsume everyone else into our schemes. Generally we consider everyone else to be prone to weakness and without direction, and need our benevolence to guide them to a higher purpose.
Truly it is so.
So the concept of the House is really as a philosophy: the strong lead the weak. In a monarchy, in a democracy, in communism, whoever shows up to do the work is the leader.
This is slightly even more unsettling than our usual sinister air. How long ago did House Vincent begin?
DV: The moment we met. It was in a silly chatroom we were passing time in. I opened a new chatroom and invited her in because I recognized she had assimilated her own darkness. We started courting – it was really old fashioned, actually, love letters and poetry and all thanks to the distance – and our relationship was founded on our mutual feeling of isolation/boredom.
How long ago exactly was that?
DV: Three years ago.
Lady Vincent, what was the moment which caused you to decide, this is the young man for me?
LV: He sent me a lot of poetry. And there was this one particular one that’s probably long lost to the void now that spoke of a world where chaos reigned alongside us. It was probably the thing that triggered the realization that he actually understood what I was talking about the entire time and the things I wanted. Doubtful that the poem was written with us in mind, but the fact that it existed because of him was enough to prove that he knew about the trapdoors. There were a lot of long nights in The Bastille.
Pardon me, the trapdoors? [shudders]
Sort of an inside joke. Around the time we met I was really into absurdist theatre, and my favorite piece was “Jacques ou la Soumission” by Eugene Ionesco. It’s the coming of age story of a man born into a world he knows is wrong for him, but has learned how to manipulate it well enough to get by. And once he tires of the game he realizes that others have finally caught on to his scheme, and trap him in a family and marriage and all these things. And upon rejecting the woman who is supposed to be his beloved Roberta, a homely girl with not enough noses, she tells him of her dreams of fire scorched towns and clay brick roads on the other side of the world. He, in turn, admits he never felt right in the world and that he’s been trapped his entire life, and all the ways he used to escape from his reality have been taken away spare one remaining trapdoor in the cellar. The Trapdoor in the cellar is how Roberta got into his life, and when it comes to light, he realizes that she will be his greatest escape from reality. The trapdoors I mentioned are just a symbol of the things he and I need to believe in in order to continue on in this hellscape.
I am touched to the quick. How should aristocracy conduct itself in matters of etiquette, pastime, way of life, and general bearing?
DV: The first task of the aristocracy, of course, is to abolish itself.
The siege mentality of class division weighs heavily on those of high breeding and forces them into conflict with those whose labor they exploit. Their precarious position also forces them into conflict with other sections of their own peers, to further cement their position and keep from falling down into the lower class. Or be destroyed.
Of those with a merely aristocratic worldview, or with a self-aware position in a great game, this is also true. Being better is useless if great works can’t be achieved for want of a great society. Creating more nobles from peasants and raising them to higher things ultimately eases the emotional toil of the superior.
So the aristocracy, in bearing, should pursue whatever seems proper, or good, or heroic, or virtuous. And it should make it easier for others to do the same.
Stirring. A matter of procedure — may I use dignified images of the Duke and Duchess in the article resulting from this dialogue? I’ll fetch the appropriate ones…
What would be the fate of the capitalists under the rule of House Vincent?
LV: Let the fires consume everything.
DV: Bourgeois institutions are inherently parasitic and hold the toiling classes from rising from alienation. So I concur with my Lady.
Is your monarchy the rock of stability upon which the future revolutionary society’s viability rests?
DV: As for stability, we predicate our sovereignty on the dynamics of crisis. Chaos to the fly, order to the spider, etc.
What are the Duke and Duchess’ feelings toward immigrants?
LV: So long as you’re loyal to the House and don’t work as an active force against it. Let them come.
DV: It is not possible to immigrate into a universal sovereignty. We claim dominion over all who dwell between the waves and there is no distinction between them.
Permit an admirer to ramble: For a long time many weirdos on the Left like myself have longed for a Left with aesthetics and an ethos that are more hardcore than the usual hippie and hipster variety. People influenced by black metal, for example, with its whole associational axis of Satanism, Odinism, fascism, and general brutality. What is House Vincent’s relationship to this yearning? What should we do about it generally?
DV: You said once upon a time that radical socialism appeals to the entire spectrum of human emotion. We are not the spiritual starvelings who step over their own apologies when faced with the option of heroism or greatness.
We both know that we are very dark creatures. We delight in awful things. We look up to awful people. We recognize that the entirety of human history has predicated itself on carving a bloody path through the nightmare of survival. When the light of the campire has expanded so far that people no longer fear the edge of the forest, they still fear the darkness itself. We assimilated our fears into our desire. Pain is an expression of crisis, and crisis is the engine driving the entire human narrative.
We also feel that leftism lacks the desire for strength, power, and darkness, and because of this it attracts of the most craven soldiers to its banners. Accepting that many people feel a compulsion toward domination is a prerequisite for channeling that compulsion into subjugating the bourgeois antagonist. Order demands violence.
Tl;dr: Bird-boned, noodle-armed hipsters armed with weed, trigger warnings and warped acoustic guitars are no match for cyberpunk dystopia.
LV: Basically, we feel nothing will be won with words and complaints alone. We need blood to the horses brow to take what is ours and nothing less should be tolerated.
DV: Woe to those who cannot swim.
What should I do about the West Philadelphian punks and metalheads who don’t mosh?
DV: Well, you can’t just start a new scene. And moshing by yourself wouldn’t be enough momentum to form a pit if too few others are down. Loudly state “this fucking scene needs a pit” and see if someone agrees? I don’t know, Lexington never had that problem in the local metal scene.
LV: If not, Valar morghulis.
I have much to consider.
Many reactionary societies/ideologies, like Julius Evola (Evola on regality) drew an analogy between Platonic Idealism (concept descends into matter), or perhaps God’s creation of the world from his own conception, with the top-down nature of the feudal hierarchy. This is counterposed to the Marxian idea of concepts arising from material conditions, which in turn perhaps correlates to a bottom-up political worldview. So the model goes, philosophical orientation matches political orientation.
Do you subscribe to this analogy? How does it affect the House Vincent concept?
DV: It’s difficult to articulate my thoughts on idealism, personally, other than to identify it as a primal feeling rather than philosophical stance. We do believe that concepts are primarily borne from circumstance, but that ultimately the material world is only understood through the distorted lens of the individual experience. We do not believe in ghostly Ideas that guide the world, but we do believe that nature of crisis (and moment-living) means that purely material calculations are only hypothetical.
I’ve not read Evola, only about him, and when it comes to Idealism I have to say I find the entire concept pretty absurd on its own. I also come from a primarily Marxian background philosophically, and am not well read on the Idealism vs. Materialism debate.
Are either of you familiar with neoreaction? What do you think of it?
LV: No Comment
DV: The Lady doesn’t concern herself with the Dark Enlightenment. I think it’s a cute little club, kind of an analog to the left’s hyper-edgy tankies who dress up like Soviet commissars at pride parades. They put stock into long-failed, long obsolete social systems purely because they believe those systems were driven by ruthless, aristocratic pragmatism, and not simply the product of the times.
I have more to say about it but I don’t want to masturbate the topic when Aubree’ has so little interest in it.
LV: Feel free, love.
DV: I guess I’ll just say that I see neoreactionaries as feudalism-fetishists who have no concept of how often the peasants would erupt into massive murderfests against the aristocracy. Any ruling class that doesn’t ultimately wish to abolish itself is ultimately doomed to be abolished from the outside.
Verily, all that exists deserves to perish. Lady Vincent, what is your favorite ficton/fantasy/insanity in which to dwell?
LV: This one.
DV: Tell him about Apocrypha.
LV: Or AMOR
DV: Lol, AMOR is probably more fitting, honestly.
LV: It’s wildly more fitting. But I don’t know how much I’m allowed to disclose, considering the nature.
DV: I mean, go for it.
LV: A Madame Of Rome is a novel(la?) he’s writing that started out as an erotica. It’s House Vincent in all it’s glory, running an intricate red light district in Italia. It’s power and lust and violence and everything the House was built on if only we had the means to execute it the way we wanted.
How far have you gotten?
LV: Not far enough.
DV: I think I recently breached 60,000 words. I have no idea how many chapters. It started as a gift for Aubree’, a guilty pleasure erotica full of corruption, decadence, and rape. It’s blossoming into something between House of Cards and Game of Thrones and set in the twilight years of the Roman Empire.
LV: In all honesty, if you wanted a perfect picture of us as who we see each other as, you should read that. Though it’s not the prettiest picture.
DV: I perhaps wouldn’t go that far. It’s who we are when we go to our dark places, without any restraint or regard for the wellbeing of our enemies or even those who have proven their worth. It’s pure Sith.
LV: It’s beautiful.
What have the Duke and Duchess been listening to lately?
DV: Lorde, Lana del Rey, Caro Emerald.
LV: Lorde has been a recent addition to the line up. Lana Del Rey, Caro Emerald
DV: The Lady drew our House’s name from St. Vincent.
LV: St Vincent has been on the backburner only because I can’t access her new album.
DV: Vincentine anthem lol, thank you Tears For Fears
Any magickal workings of late at which one is at liberty to speak?
LV: What do you consider ‘magickal’?
Something specifically intended as magickal as opposed to just, stuff you normally do with the consciousness of your essence running through it. Feel free to correct my criterion.
LV: Apocrypha Tarot cards, Bleeding Candles, Amber Runes, and a newfound interest in witchy cocktails.
DV: While she submerges herself into tarot, I’ve been essentially channeling my inner class hatred into rising through the ranks at work. I’ve gone into trances ruminating over castings of the futhark and ordering my will to align for the long game. It’s been really illuminating.
LV: Without a witch on call anymore, I’ve felt the need to take on a bit of the responsibility.
What is Apocrypha?
DV: Our Terabithia, in a sense. We keep it mostly to ourselves. Apocrypha is a world based on three assumptions:
- Victorian inspired steampunk is the playground of pussies
Thank god, it seemed so effete. I speak as an outsider.
DV: 2. pretty ladies in dresses can have people drowned in blood just as well as hyper masculine dudes
and 3. in a world where magic exists, its primary function would be to dominate others
Are we going to get into Kentucky leftist politics or is that a no-fun harumph fuggeddaboutit zone at the moment?
DV: There is a Kentucky left in the same sense there is an American left.
DV: It’s all the same shit. I do think that our biggest games – Louisville Socialists and Kentucky Workers League – are better than any of the national cliques besides maybe SAlt. But experiences with the local left soured Aubree’ so hard on Marxism that I basically had to let her pull out, where before I was pushing her to keep on it.
LV: It’s so weak and full of filthy people who just want to not look like assholes so they don’t get anything done.
DV: They’re fine being assholes to white Appalachians, of course. And whites in general. The usual shit. Lots of egotistical posturing and apologism.
LV: It’s horrible to be around. People are dying and being crushed anyway. Do what you need to do now to get to the top so you can pull them up with you as soon as you’ve beheaded and bled the overlords.
At this very moment my heart brims with devotion to House Vincent, aye, it threatens overflowing. What should I do?
DV: We’ll have to meet up so we can knight you into the Order of Apocryphars
LV: We have prophets of Vincent all over the country.
DV: The Order of Apocryphars is a chivalric/zealous order in Apocrypha
Last question: what is House Vincent’s next move?
DV: Every move we make right now is aimed at ensuring our own stability. Anyway we’re raising money to maybe start a business to raise money and start investing in real power plays.
LV: Maybe start a business. We’re pretty content with making up jobs for ourselves.
DV: We’re extremely low on the wage worker scale of poverty. We’re in the pre-Gaul phase of Caesar’s rise to power.
Any parting words?
DV: “If you must break the law, do so to seize power; in all other instances, observe it.”