Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2009

I am receiving an embarrassment of wonderful comments. Thank you all, and especially Mark for his latest one. I will be back at this blog after the holiday, aiming for Friday Dec. 4 or so, but maybe with an earlier follow-up to our last discussion.

Enjoy your time with family and the sense of gratitude which is so important.


Non-Radical Revolution and Separation

November 22, 2009

Last week, I departed from my usual culture-centered article to ask the question, hardly a new one in my circles on the Internet, about what we ethno-conservatives (I’ll use that term this time around) can do, politically, to further our cause. I was honored with several wonderfully thought-provoking essays from Howard Harrison and Mark (I’ll refer to them by first names for convenience although the Heritage American likes formality). Both, if I recognize Mark rightly, are experienced commentators on our National Situation and friends of this blog. I would indeed like to post their responses separately but since that does not seem likely to clarify anything for the reader I’ll simply recommend that you please give the comments a careful reading. There remain in my mind a few principles I’d like to put on the table concerning activism (that horrible word), but that will have to wait for a subsequent entry.

The reality of the spirit of resistance

Although I am regularly discouraged by the unwaning devotion of my liberal relatives and colleagues to their accustomed political beliefs, I hold at core a firm belief that “the spirit – of nation, of freedom, of social restoration –  lives underneath” the dismal surface of our public discourse. There is much intuitive evidence for this. I am occasionally jolted by a very non-liberal outburst from the most politically correct person; and among less educated whites like the gentleman who replaced my water heater recently and reported first-hand what it is like to work in black and immigrant areas of Detroit, there is almost nothing to prevent support for an ethno-conservative position except that no one has ever presented it to them as an option. (The technician confused me by talking about someone named Bomma who wants to take away our guns, and I’m not sure if it was a deprecatory nickname or just his natural pronunciation of our president’s name.)

In the virtual world of the Internet, the ethno-conservative movement is alive and well; new blogs appear constantly, some very good, and a few organizations have come into being as well. One could spend the entire day, every day, just following news and events from that perspective. That perspective is largely unrecognized and entirely misunderstood by the mainstream media, and it still lacks real power; but no one who is acquainted with it can fail to sense its very real – dare I say it, revolutionary – potential.

Because of that I am not impressed by the writer of this article, who though he gives the Tea Party movement fair treatment seems to be engaged in wishful thinking when he considers the possibility that it is falling apart because of internal bickering. This is the shallow liberal view that holds conservatives to be motivated by petty insecurities and petty self-interest and sees them as doomed one day to fade from the scene. I have no idea whether the Tea Party movement itself will endure, but I do know that the spirit behind it comes from the heart of the people of Middle America, who are motivated by a genuine concern for the future of their country and people.

Tea Partiers Turn on Each Other

After emerging out of nowhere over the summer as a seemingly potent and growing political force, the tea party movement has become embroiled in internal feuding over philosophy, strategy and money and is at risk of losing its momentum.

The grass-roots activists driving the movement have become increasingly divided on such core questions as whether to focus their efforts on shaping policy debates or elections, work on a local, regional, state or national level or closely align themselves with the Republican Party, POLITICO found in interviews with tea party organizers in Washington and across the country.

Now the disagreements and the sense of frustration they have engendered could diminish the movement’s potential influence in state and national politics.

I think the real division in the “conservative movement” is between those who hold to certain bottom-line conservative values (those once held by 99% of the American population) and those who accept the political triumph of modern liberalism and want “conservatism” to become a more patriotic, business-friendly “brand” of liberalism. The exponents of modern liberalism would like to think conservatism is falling apart, but what is really happening is that it is rediscovering itself.

Non-radical revolution

The question that arose in the comments was whether to work within the existing power structures or whether to abandon this as hopeless and work entirely outside the system to create an alternative society, possibly one physically separated from the rest of the historical country (for us, America). Howard argues persuasively, even inspiringly, for the first option, what he calls a non-radical revolution, while Mark expresses the view, certainly one I have shared, that it may be too late for this and that we need to begin doing groundwork for an entirely separate future society.

I am moved and impressed by Howard’s proposals and ideas. He envisions a long-term Gramscian “march through the institutions” over a period of decades, and thinks, based on a spiritual sense similar to mine, that ethno-conservatism is growing and that liberalism is far weaker than it currently appears. (I would only ask that he continue inform his readers of whatever concrete signs he has discovered of change in our favor. I spend too much time in a very liberal environment and it sometimes is overwhelming.)

How, indeed, can we say this non-radical revolution cannot work when it has not really been tried? We might indeed bewail the fading away of people like Pat Buchanan, and think that if he could not succeed, the younger generation, in so many ways inferior to Buchanan’s in education and understanding, could not possibly do any better. Yet Buchanan worked in a different era, when America may have not been ready for his message, when he himself may not have fully seen where things were going. His successors may find ways to operate within the system in ways we cannot as yet imagine.

Separation

At the same time, in one way or another, spiritually, physically, or both, there will have to be some kind of white separation, as Mark points out. From the perspective of our present society this is a radical agenda indeed, and the demographic factors do result in a situation which may not be adequately addressed by the idea of a “non-radical revolution.” I have never, at the individual level, wished for complete and total separation of white Westerners from other races and ethnic groups. But the assault on our society by mass non-white immigration does force us to stand up for our racial group. Questions which one would prefer to keep in the realm of individual choice, like interracial marriage, become fraught with social and political significance, like it or not.

I thus find nothing objectionable about Mark’s statement that “The goal is a nation for my people and my people alone. We can’t share a nation with other people without this same problem eventually arising one way or another, and so every proposed solution short of separation is actually a non-solution.” I might not put it this starkly myself, but I find the truth in what he says undeniable. It is not a matter of “whiteness” being a goal or ideal in itself. Rather, it is a matter of working backwards from the question “what kind of society do I want to live in and my children to inherit?” I see no escape from the conclusion that such a society must be largely white. This is the thought we need to make it acceptable to express – among whites.

Patience, patience….

A personal admission: people who know me would probably describe me as a patient person, since I seem to be steady and deliberate in what I do, but in fact I have probably been hindered in life by my impatience, by the desire for quick results, more than anything else. I was reminded by this by a comment by Howard on my last entry, where he pointed out something indisputably true about the ethno-conservative movement: “It will take us fifteen to thirty years to build power” and “I can afford to take the long view. Can’t you?” Well, I thank him for his reminder to keep a healthy perspective, something always found in his own writing. We ought to counsel patience to ourselves every day. Howard’s estimate may even be on the short side, but he is surely right in setting fifteen years as a minimum. So let’s get to work, for that time will pass like a summer dream. Isn’t that the point? We want to be a part of something that will last a thousand years. And he who works for the future lives in it today.

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (Ps. 37)


A Type of Protest I’d Like to See

November 16, 2009

I like to think that what I write in this blog might have the effect of influencing a person or two of liberal, or mainstream conservative, persuasion by helping them to see some of the non-politically-correct truth of what is happening to their country. Yet I recognize that in reality most of my readers are already sympathetic to my perspective. Consequently, much of my writing reads like part of a conversation among like-minded people. That has its own legitimate function, of course. We traditional patriots (if I may be so daring as to apply such an epithet to such a shadowy group and further to include myself in such honorable company) need the encouragement, the intellectual stimulation, even the entertainment that largely anonymous Internet formats currently provide better than any other. And if we keep striking flint to steel we may eventually get fire. So be it. For now.

Yet my mind returns again and again to the question of what I can do to contribute to the cause of my people, or, if that sounds grandiose, to at least be part of a functioning movement. The traditionalist conservative, or ethno-conservative, or nationalist, movement has as yet no real power in our society. In America we have scarcely even begun to define ourselves as a people in any other than universalist, liberal terms. The most “conservative” among us are unable to explain why it would be wrong to reduce whites to 1% of the population, though even the most liberal of us must see that there would be something wrong with this. There seems to be no base on which to stand to fight. I myself work for a liberal bureaucratic institution and would quickly become persona non grata were my views to become known to my co-workers. (I do anticipate taking that risk when the time is right, but that does not seem to be now.) Perhaps it might be better to enter a more “conservative” field, where this would be less of a problem. But lo, I look all around and there is nothing but liberal bureaucracy in every area of society, even in the military, even in the churches – and it’s getting worse all the time. What to do? Sometimes I fantasize about getting together with some friends and forming an Amish type of community separate from the larger society. But that hardly seems practical either.

Oh, sure, I send money to a few causes, call my elected representatives once in a while, write letters, things like that. And these are worthwhile, even essential, things to do. But there is no power in them. The powers that be allow the expression of opinion. Almost on a daily basis letters to the editor appear in the local paper expressing solid, middle-American values. But this opinion is carefully filtered out from the actual decision-making bodies, leaving only lifeless printed words that are remembered by none.

And after all, expressing opinion is nothing in itself. For in truth – as some have said – what is going on is not an argument but a fight. A war, which requires the use of force. I am not talking, of course, literally about battalions of troops shooting each other, but I am talking about pressure, coercion, compulsion, strategy, propaganda, and even (as Mohammed knew well) deceit.

We have very little force at our command except for a few fine, brave thinkers. And, on the other hand, all that remains of the spirit of our nation in the hearts of the people.

Now, our society is so rotten, so corrupt and weak in so many ways, that there ought to be numerous weaknesses that we traditionalists can exploit. The very passivity, lack of clear thinking, lack of loyalty, and venality that lead our politicians and businessmen to roll over and surrender to invaders who are largely inferior in ability to their hosts (or victims) and without exception dependent on the largesse of those hosts, ought to be exploitable by those of us who are tired of living under the conditions they set.

Yet for me, a clear path for action has yet to emerge.

One small thought I’d like to throw out today concerns the possibility of protests. Conservatives, of course, don’t much like protesting. Left-wing theatrics, George Bush paper-mache dolls on stilts, stupid chanted slogans, are embarrassing to us. Mob activity is repugnant, the antithesis of the type of politics practiced by a free people.

And yet…we have reached the point where things so outrageous and abominable as to have been inconceivable only a few years ago are being presented to us as normal and beyond question. (Read any issue of the New York Times for examples. Or, on second thought, don’t.) In some cases, I believe the supporters of these causes and activities have become careless, assuming they have already won a struggle that is still far from decided. Why not figure out some areas where selective protest might catch its targets off guard?

For instance, Gay Pride parades. These have become elevated to mainstream events in recent years. I witnessed one in Columbus, Ohio, a few years ago. At first glance, they look like a normal sort of summer festival – floats, music, a big turnout, neighbors on their porches watching the show while enjoying drinks from coolers. Then you look more closely and you see the aged transvestites, the flashes of nudity, the free packets of sexual lubricant tossed from a float, and you begin to feel ill. Then you see the small children who are being exposed to the filth and start to feel that a crime is taking place.

Then you see that Chase Bank (or some such pillar of the community) is a sponsor of the event.

Could a group of citizens not organize themselves to follow these events and, without actual violence, disrupt them? Even if the event could not actually be stopped, it would surely put a crimp on their fun, would it not? One would, of course, have to attune the signs, slogans, and actions to the values of real, average citizens. None of this “God Hates Fags” stuff which one suspects is actually planted by the opposition to convince the public that only foaming-at-the-mouth “haters” oppose these events.

Would this not possibly embarrass Chase Bank just a bit? Are the homosexualists really that powerful and do they really enjoy that much support? Or is their “pride” more like an inflated soap bubble that could be easily pricked? And, if the government or police go too far in supporting them, won’t this undermine them in the eyes of much of their constituency? Yeah, we know about free speech and all, but are you actually arresting people who don’t want this in their neighborhood?

Then there are the atrocities carried out by Muslims on U.S. soil and the craven and dead response of the media and other authorities, up to and including the current President of the United States. The demonic fiend and enemy alien who probably planned the mass slaughter of Americans in Washington and New York is going to be given a civilian trial in New York with our best lawyers arguing that evidence against him gained by “torture” cannot be admitted? Given a platform to terrorize Americans and rally the Muslim enemy through grandiose speeches given while sporting the bin Laden lookalike stinking beard and turban we’ve allowed him to assume as his “human right”? The type of non-human being who makes me realize that even my deep opposition to lynching and torture has exceptions?

Why not have a large and continually replenished group of dignified (but obtrusive) protesters with signs saying “Death to Jihadist Murderers”? Why not set up some of the same outside Fort Hood or wherever the “fair trial” of that creature is supposed to take place? There would need to be enough present for a long enough time that even if the media chose to ignore them they would be seen by thousands of people in person. Again, if such protesters are arrested or forced to move, what will that do to the credibility of the authorities?

Well, I probably should apologize for raising the grand question of What To Do and then offering just another limited, conventional sort of action, of the sort which is indeed being conducted from time to time. But my point is that we need to examine the structure of our liberal society as a whole and identify the weaknesses that might be exploited to undermine it – and the areas (for instance, at present, the Internet) that can still serve as bases for strategic actions.

Since hostile readers will have little to say on this question, I invite my friendly readers to share their insights on this question.


A Non-Liberal Thought From a Socialist….

November 9, 2009

Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool” is one of George Orwell’s great essays. As I reread it I am less able to accept his anti-religious bias; but I share his dislike of the dubious otherworldly “saintliness” that Tolstoy attempted to put into practice.

In the essay, Orwell addresses Tolstoy’s violent dislike of Shakespeare, noting Tolstoy’s choice of King Lear as illustrating everything that is wrong with the poet. Tolstoy finds Lear to be

stupid, verbose, unnatural, unintelligible, bombastic, vulgar, tedious and full of incredible events, ‘wild ravings’, ‘mirthless jokes’, anachronisms, irrelevancies, obscenities, worn-out stage conventions and other faults both moral and aesthetic.

Orwell turns the tables on Tolstoy and proposes that Tolstoy dislikes the play precisely because King Lear is a figure who in strong ways resembles Tolstoy as an old man, and the play is a refutation of what Tolstoy himself tried to do – renounce all his wealth and privilege in a “huge and gratuitous act of renunciation.”

According to Tolstoy, the aim of every human being is happiness, and happiness can only be attained by doing the will of God. But doing the will of God means casting off all earthly pleasures and ambitions, and living only for others. Ultimately, therefore, Tolstoy renounced the world under the expectation that this would make him happier. But if there is one thing certain about his later years, it is that he was not happy. On the contrary, he was driven almost to the edge of madness by the behaviour of the people about him, who persecuted him precisely because of his ambition.

Putting aside Orwell’s assumption that doing the will of God must be in conflict with earthly pleasure, his thesis about Tolstoy, whose desire for mystic renunciation he contrasts with Shakespeare’s curiosity and interest in all facets of human life in this world, is compelling. Even more interesting is his summary of the meaning of King Lear:

Shakespeare starts by assuming that to make yourself powerless is to invite an attack. This does not mean that everyone will turn against you…but in all probability someone will. If you throw away your weapons, some less scrupulous person will pick them up. If you turn the other cheek, you will get a harder blow on it than you got on the first one. This does not always happen, but it is to be expected, and you ought not to complain if it does happen. The second blow is, so to speak, part of the act of turning the other cheek.

The deeper moral of the play, Orwell says, is:

‘Give away your lands if you want to, but don’t expect to gain happiness by doing so. Probably you won’t gain happiness. If you live for others, you must live for others, and not as a roundabout way of getting an advantage for yourself.’

My own turn away from liberalism came in my teens when I began to realize, from the bold statements of people like Ayn Rand, that “selflessness” and self-renunciation can actually be a great evil. People who make themselves miserable are not helping others, but merely spreading misery and evil in the world. People who allow parasites to feed on them are encouraging the growth of parasites. Orwell saw this too. I imagine that, like Rand, his negative experiences with adults who used religious platitudes as a way to control children prevented him from seeing the possibility of Christianity as compatible with worldly enjoyment and love of humanity.

Orwell’s lesson from Lear applies to nations, too. A great nation that renounces its wealth, land, power, even the dignity and well-being of its own people in the name of world peace, universal democracy, woman’s rights, free trade, anti-racism, and other liberal abstractions will certainly meet a grievous end. And the society that replaces it, being founded on plunder and looting, is guaranteed to be greatly inferior to what it replaced. Unfortunately, the person who tries to point this out today has to endure being regarded as a raving Fool – the one who spoke the truth to King Lear. Still, much vitality and spirit remains in the nations of the West, and I’m not giving up on the possibility that they will awaken to the truth.


In Search of Civilization

November 2, 2009

In search of...

American society, like other Western societies, is clearly in trouble. We see not only a decline in our physical and cultural environment, but, increasingly, the emergence of actual barbarism and savagery within our borders, as events like the gang rape that took place outside a California high school show us on almost a daily basis. But what can we do? Liberals pin their hopes on progressive social reform, carried out by the government and other institutions. Libertarians, a minority, see protecting individual freedom as key. Conservatives call for a return to traditional values and social norms. I hold that the conservative position (perhaps with certain elements of the other two) offers the only hope for saving these United States. But “traditional values” are not simply principles to be followed, voluntarily, by individuals. They must be embodied in the framework of a larger society. For Westerners, at least, that larger society is the nation, and the culture and society of that nation is its civilization.

That last sentence might sound like the sort of dull truism that schoolchildren used to be taught to write in composition class, but the shocking fact is that the idea of civilization, once taken for granted, has entirely dropped out from our discourse. This is a natural consequence of the domination of the values of equality and nondiscrimination. For the idea of civilization necessarily implies the existence of its opposite, non-civilization, the primitive, savage, or barbaric. Western men today are carefully trained to avoid judging any group or society in such terms, because this implies that some groups or societies are superior to others, and that the white Westerner making such judgments might see his own group as superior. Today, to see Western culture as superior is seen not only as morally contemptible but as nearly self-evidently false as the statement “two plus two equals five.”

Thus the idea of American civilization, which once was an academic subject in itself and which formed the framework for any discussion of the history, literature, and culture of the United States, has vanished from our natural life. The defenders of that civilization withered under the sneering voices of people like Gandhi, who is supposed to have said, when asked what he thought of Western civilization, “I think it would be a good idea.”

I think that American civilization would be a very good idea and I would like us to reclaim the concept. Of course, our kindred Western nations need to do the same. We might start by fleshing out the concept of civilization a little.

My 1985 American Heritage Dictionary defines civilization as follows: “1. An advanced stage of development in the arts and sciences accompanied by corresponding social, political, and cultural complexity. 2. The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: the civilization of ancient Rome.” I suppose that the word is still used occasionally in the second sense, but probably not in the first, unless with a meaning so broad that it applies to all human societies that exist today. Somalis have SUVs, therefore they are civilized.

A complete set of the Encyclopedia Americana, 1951 edition, is one of the under-appreciated treasures of my parents’ home that I intend to claim for myself someday. It is, come to think of it, a product of American civilization. Interestingly, its article on “Civilization” is fully titled “CIVILIZATION, History of. Pre-Christian,” with no corresponding article on Christian civilization, which I suppose is covered under another heading. The article gives an impressively expansive enumeration of the components of civilization, focusing on Europe and the Near East. It includes things like: food-getting; agriculture; fire; mining; textile-making; architecture; art; music; clothing; cooking; government; commerce; transportation; science (beginning with astronomy); medicine; and literacy. Always amazing is how much people in very ancient times were able to accomplish in these areas.

What is common to these definitions of civilization is the linkage between material developments and spiritual elevation. This comes out in a careful reading of the Americana article. For example, the bow and arrow gave man “an entirely new dominance over his world and lifted his food-getting enterprises and himself above the level of the brute as no other invention had done up to that time.” With the invention of agriculture, man “had to stay in a place long enough to plant and to reap and this acquired a sense of ownership.” Also, “Without the use of fire, man could not have risen above the lowest depths of savagery and barbarism.” For “When he took the fire and put it on a crude stone hearth just within the hut, it meant a better home and the gathering about the hearth marks the beginning of the family circle with all that that has meant.” Textiles, building, music, and other arts are linked with spiritual elevation; for instance, “The wonderful sculpture which filled the Grecian world before and after B.C. 500 must have done much to awaken in the people a love of the beautiful and a distaste for whatever was ugly.”

Almost poignant, in an era when over half of marriages end in divorce, is the discussion of the family, which should give us pause to think:

No single fact has been more influential in the process of civilization than the rise of the family. Respect, consideration for one another, chastity, obedience, honor, sacrificing love, virtues altogether fundamental to civilization, are its direct product.

On government, the writer notes of the laws of Hammurabi and others:

These laws are attempts to compel a certain orderliness, and decency and honor in human activities and relationships. This growing custom of making a man face the wrong of his acts and inflicting a penalty therefore, compelled him to see the need of taking some thought as to the character and consequences of his deeds.

Of religion, the writer says that it “has played its part in helping and hindering and shaping civilization,” and interestingly gives as the first example an example of a Neanderthal youth buried with a food offering. I read a similar story as a boy. The writer sees a positive progression from primitive religions in which man “worships gods which are usually fearful and many, and believes that these gods cause all things to happen,” to Judaism and Christianity.

The civilizing value of the idea of a God as a God of Righteousness proclaimed by the Hebrew prophets has even yet not been fully realized, and when under Josiah social justice was made virtually a religion, religion was destined to play a greater part in lifting civilization to higher levels.

One does sense in the use of words like “social justice” an assumption that the goal of civilization is equality. One also senses a materialistic bias, with material developments seeming to lead to spiritual ones instead of vice-versa. Both tendencies are problematic. One lesson people living in the 21st century ought to have learned by now is that material and spiritual progress are not inevitably correlated, though it may have been possible to believe in 1951 that they were. Our material progress continues, at least in some areas, but our spiritual and social decline is striking. And, as with the recording of rapes on cell phones, technology can be used in service of outright savagery.

Still, the view of civilization presented in the Americana is helpful in reminding us of what we are trying to preserve – civilization as a “total package,” a society of people with a history and way of life that took eons to develop and needs to be maintained and protected. The value of civilization, indeed, the inseparability of our civilization from everything we love and are, was self-evident to all Westerners until recent times. Recapturing the idea can help us focus our efforts to save the thing.