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A Second Interview With Augustus Invictus

You’re using your campaign for the Toga Virilis as a rallying point to lead people in a larger culture war. First, would you consider that assessment fair, and second, how do you see that role in the culture war playing out?
That is indeed a fair assessment. I have remarked numerous times that this campaign is much larger than the mere election of Florida’s next Senator. I have also noted that this movement must be cultural in order to be effective, as a mere political election without deeper roots would be an empty, meaningless, short-term change without aim. If we want to change the political system in any real way, we must first change the culture.
As concerns the larger culture war, I would first remark that a culture war is not necessarily limited to a mere battle over art forms and literary experiments. I do see literal violence coming. As for my role in that war, it could be that the country collapses and I will be in a position to lead at that time in a way I am unable to lead now, due to so many having such faith in the System at the present time. Or it could be that I will have to push this System to collapse myself. I am prepared in my heart for either eventuality.
You focus on what some would call Libertarian-Nationalism or Anarcho-Nationalism, but you do advocate for a stronger state role in Environmental and Energy policy. So how do we advance these issues through the State and see better outcomes than previous attempts?
I do have many supporters who are anarchists, but I have never made any bones about the fact that I do believe that government has a role to play in human affairs. Neither have I ever made any secret of my environmentalism, which is central to both my religion and my politics. It seems to me that without clean air, water, and soil, none of our other freedoms matter. Of what import is my freedom to own a sailboat if the waters are black with bile and filled with garbage? What matters my freedom to go grocery shopping if all of the food is poisoned? Why should the right against search & seizure by the Government be more sacred to me than the soil I tread and the air I breathe? The Libertarians who put economic concerns above the environment absolutely baffle me. But I’m sure I baffle them as well, and as with all things in governmental affairs, different values must be balanced. In any event, I do not see any greater controversy in the state outlawing the dumping of chemicals into the water than in the state outlawing the use of child labor in coal mines. Either way, the state is outlawing a deplorable practice that has actual victims.
The Boring and Unsexy Question: The Libertarian Party has a closed convention process and more often than not forces their own candidates to run as NPA candidates. Do you see yourself being a NPA candidate endorsed by the party or the candidate of the party?
Unless someone runs against me in the primary and wins, I will be the Libertarian candidate on the ballot. The leadership and the old guard have been trying to recruit someone to run against me at least since last April, and every potential rival has fallen through. To campaign for the United States Senate requires a great expenditure of time and money. It weighs heavily on your friends and family, absolutely destroys some relationships and creates others, causes unimaginable upheaval in every aspect of your life. To think that anyone would want to do that to themselves just because they dislike me is totally unrealistic. Anyone who would challenge me in a primary and put themselves through all of this just to tear me down would have to be some kind of psychopath; and I don’t see the Party leadership pulling that sort of psychopath out of the woodwork in the next few months.

Do you believe one of the great problems of this country is we have moved away from republican virtues and towards democratic virtues? And if so how do we restore the ideas of republican virtues to the community at large?

I do, but I would go even further. I believe that an even greater problem – not just for our country but for Western Civilization as a whole – is that we have moved away from aristocratic values and toward egalitarian values. This idea that we are all special snowflakes deserving of a trophy, that we are all equal for the simple fact of being human, that we are all worthy to engage in the political process simply because we are breathing and over the age of eighteen: that is what sent the United States of America and the whole of Western Civilization to hell. And the only way to restore these values is to live them ourselves and to teach by our example.
Many look at the modern culture war being dominated by anger fueled by people who don't understand the process of cultural change going on around them. Do you plan to focus your leadership to help people understand what’s going on so they can fight it effectively?
That is a very insightful question. I have tried – and probably failed – in my speeches to address the difference between an enemy and a nuisance, to distinguish between an existential threat and a mere problem. I see my own struggle, the struggle of our country, the struggle of the West, and the struggle of all humanity as different tiers. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that they are parts of an integrated cycle. For the true war is eternal, the war of the Spirit against the material. If you look at it on this level, the true enemy is always inside of ourselves.
On another level, the true enemy is the man pulling the levers behind the curtain, the moneyed interests controlling our politicians, our public policy, our schools, and all else. These are the people setting the agenda, and these are the ones I have sought out as my enemies.
On yet another level, we see the better-known (or at least better-advertised) conflicts: Republican versus Democrat, pro-life versus pro-choice, Fascist versus Communist, Yankee versus Southerner, priest versus humanist, Christian versus Muslim. The fact that many of these conflicts are manufactured by the lever-pullers does not make them any less real, and the Democrat may well see the Republican as his true enemy just as I see the financiers, the academicians, and the heads of state as mine.
But again, the true struggle is inside of us. Daily we choose self-restraint or self-indulgence. Daily we choose between selfish comfort and selfless action. Daily we choose whether we love the Spirit and all that flows from it or the trappings of material life that keep us in chains. Recognizing that is perhaps the essence of the human experience.


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Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

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Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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