Writer Philip K. Dick was a titan in the science fiction world with a slew of blockbuster movies and cult classics formulated from his books. Some of the movies adapted from his works are: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Screamers, Minority Report, and Impostor to name a few. Even the Terminator series prominently features the theme of humanoid assassination machines first portrayed in his short novel Second Variety.
More recently he is remembered for the popular streaming TV show The Man in the High Castle adapted from the novel under the same name.
Passing away in 1982 at the age of 53, Dick left many unfinished projects, one of them being his semi-autobiographical work In Pursuit of Valis: Selections from the Exegesis (posthumously released in 1991). In this unfinished work Dick describes his Fascistic conscience:
“Although appearing left wing my training is really Fascistic—not ”Fascistic” as Marxist rhetoric defines it but as Mussolini defined it: in terms of the deed & the will, with reality de-ontologized, reduced to mere stuff on which the will acts in terms of deed. Since few living people correctly understand (genuine) Fascism, my ideology has never been pejoratively stigmatized by the left, but those to whom I appeal are in essence the core-bulk of latent masses, the fascist mob.
I speak of & for the irrational & the anti-rational, a kind of dynamic nihilism in which values are generated as mere tactics. Thus my real idol is Hitler, who starting out totally disenfranchised rose to total power while scorning wealth (aristocracy) plutocracy to the end. My real enemy is plutocracy; I’ve done my (Fascistic) homework. […]
My fascistic premise is: There is no truth. We make truth; what we (first) believe becomes objectively true. Objective truth depends on what we believe, not the other way around. This is the essence of the Fascist epistemology, the perception of truth as ideology imposed on reality—mind over matter.”
4 thoughts on “Philip K. Dick on His Fascistic Training”
Excellent article. I was unaware of that about Philip K. Dick. And his reasoning is so poignant when we consider how materialistic we’ve become today.
I’m a huge fan of Philip K Dick’s writing, particularly his novel which depicts Hitler on the cover entitled We Can Build You. The cover was an exclusive UK release. Could you link the source for this article?
It’s from pg. 140 in the book “In Pursuit of Valis: Selections from the Exegesis”
I’ve always thought of him as being liberal since almost every work of his deals with a fear of authoritarianism often called Fascism by him. He was a brilliant but troubled man (drug addict.) Interesting that he had Heinlein as a patron. He also seemed a bit fashy but was ultimately liberal in a lot of his positions.
I also disagree with Dick that there is no objective truth, and that the imposition of lesser truths is Fascism. I believe in objective truth. We can see much of it in nature. Fascists don’t deny that but learn from and embrace that.
Still a very interesting find CT!
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