Apr 17, 2015

Beyond Left and Right: Conserving White America Is Beyond Politics

via American Renaissance

Listen Now

Below is the talk Jared Taylor delivered at the National Policy Institute conference, hosted at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, February 27, 2015, followed by an audio recording.

The theme of this conference is “beyond conservatism,” and I’d like to start with a few things that are beyond both conservatism and liberalism, that is to say, some things people agree on whatever their politics. What I am thinking of is related to conservatism since it has the same root. It is the idea of conserving or conservation.

There are some things that essentially all people–no matter what their politics–are conservative about. The planet, to begin with. There are probably some misanthropes who would like to blow it up, but most folks, across the political spectrum, want to conserve it.

Most people also want to keep the planet livable so we can conserve the people who live on it. Mark Twain used to say, “Sometimes I’d like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce,” but most of the time, people don’t feel that harshly about our species.

And we want to conserve animals. We’d be sorry to see giraffes or baboons die out.

Take the case of the Cuban crocodile. He’s a relative of the American crocodile and said to be a noble beast. But the Cubans are interbreeding with the Americans and could be genetically swamped. As one scientist explains, “the two crocodile species interbreeding may pose a major threat to Cuban crocodiles. In a worst-case scenario, one crocodile lineage can cause the extinction of another.” Scientists are fretting about how to prevent this tragedy.

Cuban crocodile--not to be bred with his American counterpart.
Cuban crocodile faces genetic annihilation.

The United States government worries about conserving species you’ve never heard of–the Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle, the spruce-fir moss spider. If you buy land, and one of these guys turns up on it, you might not be able to develop it.

And most people want to conserve the different places where people live, and the different ways that people live in those places. We’re happy for Uruguay or China to remain distinctive countries. We all want different languages and cultures to flourish. In that respect we’re all conservative.

Chinese

We are sad when the last speaker of an obscure language dies out or when a distinctive way of life comes to an end. That’s why Brazil now has an official policy of leaving untouched tribes alone if that’s at all possible. People living in the stone age should have the choice of staying there if that’s what they want.

Conserving these things literally does go “beyond political conservatism.”

However, there are things you are not allowed to want to conserve. Hardly anyone will oppose you if you say that the primitive tribes of New Guinea have the right to maintain their customs and their way of life, undisturbed by outsiders. But you better not say the same thing about the French or the Swedes.

NewGuinea

If you say that the French have the right to keep their country Catholic and European, you’re not a conservationist. You’re a hatemonger. You’re not beyond conservatism, you’re beyond the pale.

According to current thinking, the French absolutely do not have the right to live undisturbed by outsiders. On the contrary, people from all over the world should be encouraged to move there.

This is astonishing, really. I can’t think of a single thing that New Guineans have contributed to the world. And yet their way of life will endure. That of the Europeans, who have immensely enriched the world, may not.

Not even conservatives argue that France is a distinctive biological and cultural entity that should be conserved. That’s not the way we are supposed to think about white countries. Korea? Yes. Ghana? Pakistan? Paraguay? Fine. Those places, like all other non-white nations, have the right to maintain their identities and ways of life.

And what about conserving white people biologically? They are a small minority of the world population–7 or 8 percent–and some of them are breeding with other groups, just like the Cuban crocodile. But anyone who says maybe we should think about the long-term prospects of white people–kind of like the way we do with the Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle–is no longer a conservationist. He’s a white supremacist.

And so there is not one politician in America–even among the ones who claim to be deeply conservative–who says he wants to conserve the founding stock of this country, who wants to conserve a majority-white United States.

The funny thing about all this is that it’s the Lefties who act as if they had the corner on conservation. They love government power, and they love to boss us around for our own good in the name of the conserving the environment. Why aren’t they all in a flutter about the prospects for white people exactly the way they are in a flutter about the ozone layer? I can see them browbeating us: “Now, you white people have to live over here, and you have to marry among yourselves.” “Remember: it’s for the children.” That’s just the busy-body sort of thing they love. Where’s Hillary when we need her?

Save the Whales

For most of the history of this country, of course, the idea of the United States as an explicitly white country was taken for granted: It was beyond debate, neither liberal nor conservative. It’s well known that the very first immigration law, passed by the very first congress that was called after the ratification of the Constitution, restricted naturalization to “free white persons.”

Until 1965, we had an immigration policy designed to keep the country European.

There is nothing about the idea of United States as a nation of Europeans that is inherently a Left-Right type of political question at all. It should be beyond politics, just like conserving the white rhino or keeping Japan Japanese.

The racial mix of the country is not logically implicated at all in the position you take on the size of the government, the welfare state, abortion, the role of women, homosexual marriage, income distribution, foreign policy, public prayer, how you interpret the Constitution, or any other political question.

You can believe in cradle-to-grave welfare or rugged individualism, but be in complete agreement on wanting to keep the country majority-white. Jack London, for example, was very active as a socialist, but was adamantly opposed to a multi-racial America.

So: Why would anyone want to conserve whites as a distinct people, and want them to remain a majority in the United States? First of all, these questions shouldn’t even have to be answered. If the Navajo were dwindling in numbers or losing their culture, no one would say they didn’t have the right to do something about it. No one would ever ask the Navajo: Why do you care about surviving as a people? Why do you need a homeland? Why not just fade away? If a white person asked those questions it would be the height of racism.

Navajo

But for white people? It’s the very opposite. The very desire to survive as a distinct people is “racist.”

Remember the Cuban crocodile: “In a worst-case scenario, one crocodile lineage can cause the extinction of another.” Well, strictly as biological artifacts, white people are at least as valuable as Cuban crocodile, if only for aesthetic reasons. And there’s a lot more than that. Europeans created the modern world. Shouldn’t they have the same rights as the tribes of New Guinea: To be left undisturbed?

These are objective questions, but, of course, there is also my own subjective view of white survival as a white person. Survival is the first law, there is no more fundamental instinct than the desire to protect one’s own kind and to want it to flourish.

That’s obvious when we are talking about any group but whites.

The number of Hispanics is growing very quickly in this country, and Hispanics are ecstatic about this. It means their language, their culture, their physical type, their heritage, their aspirations are all gaining ground and could eventually dominate the United States. Hispanics want this very much, and they consistently try to change laws and policies to increase their numbers, and benefit their people. This is considered a sign of healthy collective pride.

Hispanics

But if whites tried to delay their dispossession, if whites proposed steps to maintain their majority status, that would be hate and bigotry. Why? The processes are perfectly symmetrical. The percentage of Hispanics increases as the percentage of whites decreases. Why is it right for Hispanics to celebrate their gains but wrong for whites to regret their losses?

Let us imagine the immigration shoe on the other foot: What if whites were pouring across the border illegally into Mexico, demanding amnesty, demanding school instruction in English, demanding ballot papers in English, setting up newspapers, TV and radio stations to English rather than Spanish, complaining that they weren’t equally represented in government and all national institutions? What if so many of them were coming they were likely to outnumber the Mexicans?

The very people–white and Hispanic–who encourage the change in America’s population would rail against this as neo-colonialism and cultural imperialism. And yet when Hispanics come here with that intent and that effect–and when Muslims show up in Europe with the same intent and effect–any resistance is denounced as bigotry. Why? This question deserves an answer.

I make no secret of my view on this. My ancestors have been white for tens of thousands of years. My children are white and I want my grandchildren to be white. I like the culture of Europe, I prefer the society that whites create. What’s wrong with that?

Well, guess what? Even though they don’t admit it, almost all whites feel the same way I do.

Look at what they do, not what they say. Where do they live? Who are their friends? Who do they invite over for dinner? If you ask a white person to name a single non-white neighborhood he’d like to live in, or a single non-white school he’d want to send his children to, you get a blank.

Whites know in their bones that a non-white America is not the country they want for themselves or for their children. That is why, when the part of America in which they live becomes an outpost of Africa or Mexico, they move away–to some place where whites are still the majority. And most white people still want their children to marry other whites.

Abandoned

They wouldn’t dare say these things openly. They don’t even admit these things to themselves. But look at how they behave–and Lefties are no different from anyone else. As Joseph Sobran used to put it, “in their mating and migratory habits, you can’t tell a liberal from a Klansman.”

As the hippies used to say, white people just need to get in touch with their feelings.
Whites used to be entirely honest about their feelings, and there is no doubt that people who call themselves conservative were honest for longer than lefties were.

In the 1960s, William F. Buckley’s National Review supported apartheid in South Africa, and said that an immigration policy designed to keep the country white “requires no justification.” Preserving a white America was a goal so obviously legitimate that it didn’t have to be justified. It was “beyond conservatism” and “beyond liberalism.”

WilliamFBuckley

National Review doesn’t take that position now. It would banish anyone who did to the outer darkness of VDARE.com. And that’s just one of the countless positions that conservatism has simply abandoned.

Take Martin Luther King. In the 1960s National Review called him a “rabble-rousing demagogue.” It said that the expression “civil rights movement” was ludicrous and should instead be called “the Negro revolt.”

Now, 50 years later, conservatives quote King as if he were a moral authority. Whenever they want to argue against racial preferences for non-whites they quote King’s line about judging people on the content of their character. And yet, by the time King died he was open and explicit about wanting race preferences and quota hiring for blacks.

So, why do conservatives quote the words of a plagiarist, adulterer, communist sympathizer, whom contemporary conservatives called a “rabble rouser”?

It’s because they have completely swallowed the leftist view that whites have no racial legitimacy. Conservatives can’t just say plainly that affirmative action discriminates against whites. They have to borrow the moral authority of a black person to say that. And that’s why they quote the “content of their character” line, which King didn’t even believe.

It’s hard to think of a more contemptible mental capitulation.

Fifty years ago, National Review said that the desire to keep America white “requires no justification.” Well, whites never did come up with a justification. That’s a big part of the problem. They never articulated moral reasons to justify their own survival. For hundreds of years–thousands of years–whites, like everybody else, never had to. They just took survival for granted as a legitimate goal.

But now, it means whites have no stock of tested ideas and arguments that they can draw on to justify survival. They have a deep foreboding about what is happening, but they don’t have words to express that foreboding. Without words, without convincing moral foundations, whites cannot act.

And that is what makes whites different from everyone else and what makes them uniquely vulnerable. Non-white immigrants don’t have to justify their conquest of the United States. They don’t have to explain why they want their numbers to grow at our expense. They know instinctively that it’s good for them, and that is all they need to know.

The same is true for Third-World immigrants to Europe. They don’t have to justify conquest. No, it is Europeans who would have to justify even the most basic steps necessary to assure their survival.

It should be no more necessary to explain why whites have the right to a future than to explain why it is better to live than to die. But that is the dilemma we face. Slowly, slowly, both in America and in Europe, we are waking up to this dilemma.

Lessing’s Ideal Conservative Freemasonry

via Counter-Currents

Author’s Note: The following text is the basis of a lecture delivered in New York City on April 5, 2015 and again at The London Forum on April 11, 2015. As the recording will show, at The London Forum, I rapidly departed from the text and condensed it dramatically to leave time for Q&A. I will post the full recording when I receive it and have a chance to edit it.

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781) was a German philosopher, playwright, and essayist. He was also a Freemason. On October 14, 1771 he was initiated into Freemasonry in the Lodge of the Three Golden Roses in Hamburg. Lessing apparently had high hopes for Freemasonry, but he became rapidly disillusioned. In 1776–’77, Lessing wrote Ernst and Falk: Dialogues for Freemasons, which was dedicated to Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, one of Germany’s most illustrious Freemasons.

In the dialogues, I believe that the character of Falk expresses Lessing’s own ideal version of Freemasonry, while the experiences of Ernst represent Lessing’s disappointment with the real thing, namely its snobbishness and occultism. Falk flatly states that no good man should join a Masonic lodge. He does, however, defend a kind of Freemasonry from Ernst’s objections. But what emerges in the process is an unusual form of Freemasonry which is anti-egalitarian, politically conservative—specifically conservative of historical identities and national differences—and based on eternal principles of natural law, which can be known by reason, as opposed to a mystical tradition passed along through initiation. In short, this is not your father’s Freemasonry.

Most Rightists today regard Freemasonry as a subversive institution, opposed to Christianity, monarchy, and nationalism and promoting secularism, republicanism, and globalism. I am, however, increasingly weary of broad-brush reactionary anti-modernism. If I lived in the 18th century, I would have been a Left-wing radical. I think that the separation of Church and state, religious freedom, and political secularism are all good things. I too think absolute monarchy is a bad idea. Monarchy is just fine, though, as long as it is constitutional, i.e., bound by laws and part of a mixed regime which counterbalances it with popular and aristocratic power. I applaud Freemasonry’s contributions to those changes, which I regard as genuine improvements. Progress, if you will.

I also applaud Freemasonry’s contributions to the quest for trans-national institutions that can help mediate conflicts between different states and avoid or abbreviate the scourge of war. However, as a nationalist, I am opposed to globalization, meaning a single world government and/or economic system, because of its destructive consequences: the breakdown of borders, the homogenization of cultures, and the mixture of the races.

Thus I was delighted to discover that Lessing’s Ernst and Falk sets forth a conception of Freemasonry that explicitly rejects global government and wishes to conserve the differences between different nations and states, while remaining fully cognizant that we need institutions to prevent these differences from turning into hatred and bloodshed.

This is a conception of Freemasonry that helps to reconcile competing tendencies within the contemporary New Right, which is divided between advocates of “petty” nationalism, who envision a Europe of a hundred flags, and advocates of “grandiose” nationalism, who dream of a politically unified Europe, from Iceland to Vladivostok.

Ernst and Falk consists of five dialogues. The principal argument is found in the second one. Lessing argues that even if the single best constitution could be invented, this would not imply a single world government. Such a government would be impossible to administer. Thus power would have to devolve upon smaller units. So far, so good: this is textbook conservative political realism, not one-world utopianism.

Lessing goes on to state that the most natural political sovereign units are ethnic groups: Englishmen, Frenchmen, Swedes, Russians, Spaniards, etc. Lessing also recognizes that the differences between nations—which he thinks can in part be explained by climate—would eventually mean differences in constitutions.

Ethnonationalists can applaud this idea as well. We know that the most harmonious and well-functioning society is racially, culturally, religiously, and linguistically homogeneous. We also believe that the best constitution is not a one-size-fits all totalitarian boiler suit, but is rather a unique garment tailored to fit the distinct genius of a people.

But Lessing is also realistic about the problems with ethnonationalism. Ethnicity may unify a state, but it does so at the expense of dividing states from one another, laying the foundations for distrust and discord. We who think that Germans and Italians and Englishmen have too much in common to risk shedding one another’s blood, lament strife among Europeans and think that we need some sort of suprapolitical or transpolitical order to mediate disputes amongst us and coordinate our relations with the other racial and civilizational blocs: Islam, India, Africa, China, etc.

Lessing, furthermore, recognizes that mankind has many different religions, which are not going to disappear any time soon. Religion can unify a people, but again at the expense of dividing them from other religious communities, laying the groundwork for strife.

Finally, Lessing recognizes that within each political community, individuals are divided from one another by differences of power and wealth. Lessing flatly denies human equality. Some men will rule, and others will be ruled. Even if all property were evenly distributed, unequal men will manage their estates differently, and in a couple of generations, there would be extremes of wealth and poverty, which can also cause social strife.

As Falk puts it, “the means for uniting human beings, for assuring their happiness through association, also divide them” (p. 23).[1] A state is united by a common ethnicity, but the ethnicity that unites it also divides it from its neighbors. The religion that unites a group also divides it from followers of other faiths. A social class shared in common also divides us from other classes.

The duty of a good statesman is to protect the interests of his people. The duty of a pious believer is to protect after the interests of his religion. A dutiful father looks after the interests of his family, whether rich or poor. But when destructive conflicts between nations, religions, and social classes arise, harmony can best be preserved or restored by men who are willing to go above and beyond their more particular duties in order to serve the interests of a larger whole.

One can attain peace without rethinking one’s interests simply through conquest or exhaustion. But peace through destruction is costlier than seeking peace through reconciliation, which requires an appeal to more general interests.

Interestingly enough, both Ernst and Falk accept the modern idea that the purpose of the state is to help us achieve our individual ends. They deny the classical idea that there is a common good that individuals must subordinate their private aims to whenever they conflict. Yet it is only recourse to the idea of a higher good that one can resolve the conflicts between more particular goods.

Lessing recognizes that within every nation, religion, and social class, there have always been individuals who are not merely dutiful but narrow partisans of their particular groups. Throughout history, these individuals have gone above and beyond their particular duties because they have a sense of obligation to a greater whole.

These individuals, moreover, are not scattered, solitary, and ineffectual. They are united together in a community of their own, a community that transcends national, religious, and social divisions. This community, Lessing’s Falk claims, are Freemasons: “the Freemasons may be these very men who have taken on the job of re-establishing human solidarity, including this in their proper business.”

A concern with human solidarity is above and beyond the proper business, the particular duty, of a man just insofar as he is a Frenchman, a Catholic, and a bourgeois, for example. But it is not above and beyond the duty of a Freemason. Indeed, caring for human solidarity is the duty of a Freemason.

This is the solution to a riddle that Falk poses to Ernst at the end of the first dialogue, namely: “The true deeds of the Freemasons aim at making most of the deeds commonly called good superfluous” (p. 19). Falk also adds that the true deeds of Freemasons are good, indeed superlatively good. The “good deeds” to be made superfluous are equivalent to deeds above and beyond particular duties. They are deeds in service of the common good. Freemasonry makes going above and beyond particular duties unnecessary, by making the common good—human solidarity—the proper duty of the Freemason.

The ultimate goal of Freemasonry, he hints, is a world in which differences of nationality, religion, and class still exist. But the conflicts between them are mediated and harmonized, for the greater good, by a transnational elite. In short, the aim of Freemasonry is not a universal homogeneous state, to borrow Alexandre Kojève’s term for the “end of history,” but a harmonious world in which real diversity flourishes, preserved by real boundaries and distinctions.

Lessing’s conservatism is also evident in his dismissive attitude toward the Freemasons of his time who were avid partisans of the American Revolution. Lessing’s goals were certainly radical and progressive for his time. He opposed absolute monarchy, religious intolerance, and all forms of narrow-minded chauvinism. But he was not a revolutionary, because he had a sense of the limits of human power to change ancient, organic institutions. In the third dialogue, Falk flatly states that mankind cannot be one, and that conflict can never be abolished but only ameliorated:

“Work against” [the unavoidable evils of human difference] may be too strong a word, if it is understood to mean “undo them.” These evils cannot be undone. It would destroy the state. They should not even be made apparent now to those who do not yet perceive them as evils. At most they can be mitigated, by distantly stirring up this perception in people, by allowing it to germinate and send out shoots, by clearing away weeds and thinning out the new plants. Now do you understand why I said that, whether or not Freemasons have always been at work, centuries may pass before one could say “That is what they wrought”? (p. 28)

In the fifth dialogue, Falk says:

The Freemason calmly waits for the sun to rise and leaves the lights on in the meantime, allowing them to shine for as long as they want to and are able. It’s not his way to snuff the candles and when they are extinguished suddenly to realize that the stubs must be relit or other light provided. (p. 40)

The dawn, of course, is the Enlightenment. The candles are the existing institutions. The revolutionary hastily snuffs the candles before the dawn, leaving us stumbling in the dark. The true Freemason has the patience to wait until new institutions emerge. And when they do emerge, there is usually no harm in leaving the old candles lit. For the tourists.

Lessing claims that his thesis is proven by the behavior of the Freemasons of his time, who seek to create a meritocratic community that transcends divisions of nationality, religion, and social class. Lessing claims that Freemasonry is an open conspiracy in terms of its means and goals. But Freemasonry distracts people from its primary project in two ways. First, to distract people from their open, secular agenda, Freemasons promote the idea that they are primarily an esoteric, initiatic religious order. Second, since most people still suspect Freemasons of a secular agenda, Freemasons counter by suggesting they are all about mutual aid and philanthropy, and drinking too much, and wearing funny hats. Lessing insists, however, that the aim of Freemasonry is entirely secular, but also lofty and of utmost seriousness.
The Freemasons’ real deeds are so great and of such long range that centuries may pass before it can be said, “This was their doing.” Yet they have done everything good in the world, note well, in the world. And they continue to work for all the good that is to be in the world, note well, in the world. (p. 19)
This lofty world-historical goal, I suggest, is the creation of a world in which diversity flourishes in harmony, rather than consumes itself in strife.

Freemasonry is an initiatic society, in which a tradition is passed from teacher to student. From the start, however, Falk rejects both initiation and tradition. He does not believe he is a Freemason simply because he has been accepted as a Freemason. Instead, he believes that he is a Freemason because he understands the nature and purposes of Freemasonry. Falk believes that he can know the nature and purpose of Freemasonry without initiation because Freemasonry is “a necessity, grounded in the nature of man and of civil society” (p. 16). If Freemasonry were not grounded in nature, it would be a “superfluity,” a mere convention that could only be acquired from other men. Thus the words, symbols, and rituals of Freemasonry, which are merely conventional, must be external to the true nature of Freemasonry.

This implies that there can be Freemasons in name only: men who have been initiated into Freemasonry but do not understand its true nature and purpose. It also implies that there can be true Freemasons who have never entered a lodge because they have learned their Freemasonry from nature herself. Falk claims the Freemasonry has the same relationship to the Lodge as Christianity to the Church, and it is clear that Falk is a Protestant or even a deist, meaning that he has access to religious truth without the mediation of religious traditions and institutions.

Lessing claims that Freemasonry is as old as human society. This is false if he is talking about historically existing Freemasonry. This makes it clear that Lessing is using “Freemasonry” as a generic term for any form of community that seeks to transcend narrow particularisms of nation, religion, and class. Falk claims that in every society, leading citizens gather together around a table with food and wine to broaden their perspectives, harmonize particular interests, and work for the common good.

Lessing does not offer specific historical examples. How could he, though, if such groups strive for secrecy? He simply deduces the existence of such bodies from their necessity. At the very least, we can say that every society that is equipped to meet the challenges of existence and to flourish must have such bodies. One could interpret the Nocturnal Council in Plato’s Laws as a kind of ideal conservative Freemasonry. But it is merely another theory, not an historical example.

The 20th-century German political theorist Carl Schmitt opposed Freemasonry, but Lessing’s ideal conservative Freemasonry overlaps significantly with Schmitt’s political theory. First, both Schmitt and Lessing recognize that human difference and thus conflict can never be abolished. They can only be ameliorated. Second, both Schmitt and Lessing recognize that the good of a political order requires someone above and beyond that order. For Schmitt, this is the Sovereign, who is empowered to decide when the existing institutions are facing a crisis they are not designed to handle. For Lessing, Freemasons stand above and beyond the existing institutions, resolving conflicts that they cannot handle on their own. This is not the full function of the sovereign, but it is an important one.

Lessing’s ideal conservative Freemasonry also overlaps with a Turkish contribution to political philosophy, the idea of the “deep state” (deren devlet). The Turkish deep state consists of a covert network centered in the military and intelligence services but extending into the judiciary and the business sector, and overlapping both with organized crime and the crypto-Jewish Dönmeh community. The purpose of the deep state is to preserve the secular Kemalist constitution against Islamism, Left-wing radicalism, and Kurdish separatism. During political crises, the deep state, acting through the military, has suspended democratic institutions to preserve the Kemalist state.

Every society ultimately has—or will acquire, under conditions of crisis—a deep state, a group standing above and beyond the official institutions, who are the system’s last line of defense. This is a kind of Freemasonry, although for Lessing, the true Freemason is not just a partisan of his own state but serves broader interests. For Lessing, the highest form of Freemasonry would function as the “deep state” of the entire world. World government may be impossible, but its desirable traits can be embodied by Freemasonry.

Lessing’s ideal conservative Freemasonry probably has little to do with historical Freemasonry. But Lessing was not trying to describe existing Freemasonry, he was trying to reshape it. So let’s set aside historical Freemasonry and simply consider Lessing’s idea.

I believe that whites need something like Lessing’s ideal conservative Freemasonry, not just for conflict resolution, but also to serve as the guardian of the laws and the guiding intelligence of our race. In order to survive, whites desperately need vision and long-term planning. We must reject populist suspicion of transnational elites. We will not survive by thinking small and being dumb. We will only survive by thinking bigger and smarter than our enemies. The best way to defeat an elite is to be a better elite. We will only defeat the enemy’s transnational elite with our own.

Lessing’s vision of a world in which diverse nations, religions, and classes flourish within real borders, harmonized through the work of a broad-minded, transnational elite who make the welfare of the whole their business just is the vision of the New Right.

If European man is to survive with our differences intact, we need a kind of Freemasonry. Indeed, the New Right already functions that way.[2] And if the world is going to survive with its differences intact—if Europe is going to live at peace with the other global civilizational blocs—the most broadminded among us must meet with the most broadminded among them.

So when do we start? If Lessing is right, whenever broadminded people gather to discuss the welfare of the world, Freemasonry is afoot. So don’t ask “When do we start?,” because we already have.

Notes

1. All quotes are from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, “Ernst and Falk: Dialogues for Freemasons,” a translation with notes by Chaninah Maschler, Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (1986): 1–50.
2. Lessing’s claim that Freemasonry is in fact an open conspiracy points to the later views of Johann-Gottfried Herder, who held that the Enlightenment “Republic of Letters” was the true embodiment of a trans-national elite, rather than a secret society. I explore the limits of the secret society model and the benefits of a non-hierarchical distributed network model in my “Metapolitics and Occult Warfare.”

Invaders Now Dictating the Narrative

via Elliot Lake News

If this is not the essence of colonialism … I don’t know what is. A bunch of non-British pontificating on what the core values of Britain are … or should be.

We have here, on a BBC programme, one of the endless series of debates on “what is Britishness” that have been part of the UK public discourse only since the arrival on these shores, of vast numbers of people belonging to the ethnic, religious and geographic groups represented by most debaters in this video.

(Note how the “proverbial elephant” in the room (RACE) …is carefully avoided by almost everybody.)


Can you imagine 60, 100, 200 years ago, people having discussions on what Britishness was?Everybody knew what it was until mass, uncontrolled immigration from the Third-World started and (has) never stopped.

I found this comment to the video on YouTube spot on: “all because you non-whites have a British accent it doesn’t make u British“.

[Those NON-whites should read this: A Sense of Belonging ]

That being born and bred in this country … does not provide a national identity, or guarantee national loyalty, as is too often wrongly accepted, is demonstrated by an Asian man in this discussion. He openly declares that he was born and educated in Britain, but nevertheless his sense of identity is precisely not having that identity; indeed he goes as far as saying that Britishness means not having an identity.
[Read: Telling IT Like IT Is]

He was also very good at tying himself in (il)logical knots when he told a Hindu woman that her way of thinking was “unBritish“. How can you define what is “unBritish” if you haven’t defined “British“, since in his opinion, that word is tantamount to nothing?

It’s disingenuous of “Professor of Poetry” Benjamin Zephaniah to say … that multiculturalism has been part of Britain since the time of the ancient Celts, Picts and Romans, although that claim is a staple of the usual pro-multi-culti argument.

What he’s referring to was not multiculturalism.

That was war of different (White) peoples against each other. The Celts were in Britain first, then they were conquered by the Romans. After the Romans eventually left, the Celts fought against the Angles and the Saxons, and finally retreated to Wales, Scotland and Cornwall. Then it was the turn of the Vikings to war with the Anglo-Saxons, and after them the Normans invaded and dominated England.
It was violence and invasion, and it was bloody.

Make no mistake. Current immigration levels and the imposition of multiculturalism are entirely new historical phenomena without any precedent, not only in the history of Britain … but also of Europe.

It is an experiment carried out on the skin of the indigenous populations. Like all experiments, it can go very badly wrong, and there are numerous signs everywhere that it is.

And, as the TV debate in the video above truthfully represents, the (real) natives are marginalised voices in this experiment, and the decisions made about it, while the ethnic (for now) minorities have a much greater weight.

This video shows the new reality of the country: invasion and colonisation. 

ELN Editor's Note: A powerful Speech by Jonathan Bowden is added to this video showing real BRITISH people as they really were (circa 1900) — and still are — once awakened to their true nationality. It’s suggested you watch this video TWICE… once for the memorable scenes, and then again, to listen to the spoken words.

The Tyranny of 'Black Lives Matter'

via Stuff Black People Don't Like

Time magazine has put "three of the most profound words to enter America's lexicon" - 'Black Lives Matter' - on its most recent cover (April 20, 2015).

If "Black Lives Matter" were true, St. Louis wouldn't need the "Put Down the Pistol" campaign to try and convince black people from shooting one another.

If "Black Lives Matter" had any veracity behind the so-called "three of the most profound words to enter America's lexicon," then the city of Cleveland, Ohio wouldn't need the anticrime group Black on Black Crime Inc. 

Every city in America with a sizable black population has a non-profit (often times more than one competing for local, state, and federal grants) dedicated to stopping the violence in the black community, but Time magazine doesn't include this in their cover story. Or this important quote from Black on Black Crime Inc. (sounds like an organization working to proliferate and profit of crime directed at blacks...) Director, Art McKoy:
The most recent FBI crime statistics list Cleveland as the 5th most dangerous city in America. 
"This is a tale of two cities. One is downtown that we love. We love it, but the other tale of the city is, the community is going down, down, down and crime is going up, up, up. There is no way, Scott Taylor, our city should be ranked at number five in the country with crime. It's a shame," said community activist Art McKoy. 
McKoy, with the group Black on Black Crime, believes City Hall has forgotten about neighborhoods. He believes this summer could be a blood bath. 
Officials at City Hall believe new FBI numbers due out later this year should improve Cleveland's status. 
"We have taken it on the chin in a few areas and rightfully so. When we see there is a flaw and there is an issue at hand, we need to address it and I think we do a very good job of that," said Dan Williams, spokesman for Mayor Frank Jackson. 
The Cleveland Police Union has one possible answer to lower neighborhood crime: Get officers back working a beat. 
"We actually have introduced some ideas to get us back in schools and back in neighborhoods but you can't do that if you are doing run to run to run," said Union president Steve Loomis.
"... believes this summer could be a blood bath." 

Not because of white cops shooting unarmed black people, but because of armed black people using guns as a means to kill and maim other black people; acts of violence working to make large parts of Cleveland uninhabitable. 

The same goes for St. Louis, where black pastors continue to tend to their violent flock by leading marches against violence:
St. Louis has seen lots of crime in the past month. From fatal shootings involving adults to even young children, no one has been exempt from the violence. 
That's why pastors and community members in West St. Louis gathered Saturday morning for a march to end gun violence. About 50 people came out for the event.
Many called it a march for peace. 
"It's a wakeup call for us to understand that it's really real out here,” said Felicia Reece who added that her two sons were robbed last year at a gas station. 
It's a big reason why she supports the movement to end the violence. 
"If we learn to work with one another, to help one another in the community, I think it will be a better place,” she said. 
It all comes on the heels of a violent week, during "Holy Week," the days leading up to Easter. 
"There was a murder in St. Louis every night. From Monday to even Saturday morning,” said Rev. Spencer Booker of St. Paul Church. 
Rev. Booker along with other pastors from African Methodist Episcopal churches throughout the community all agreed that the prayer walk is their way of putting a stop to it all. 
"We're showing we care and these are our streets and this is our neighborhoods and we plan on taking it back,” said Rev. Clinton Stancil.
"... the days leading up to Easter... There was a murder in St. Louis every night. From Monday to even Saturday morning..."

Black Lives Matter? 

Really? 

You want us to believe this? 

Because the following programs wouldn't exist if they did matter to other black people:
Newark, Camden, Nashville, Charleston, Miami, Birmingham, Detroit, and Minneapolis all have similar programs to try and stop the bloodshed and mayhem black people are creating/maintaining across America... and we are told by Time magazine "Black Lives Matter."

George Orwell's three maxims of the party controlling Oceania in 1984 are: 
War is Peace. 
Freedom is Slavery. 
Ignorance is Strength.
But these three word slogans forming the political philosophy of Orwell's nightmarish vision for the future have nothing on the tyranny of our time: "Black Lives Matter."

For these three words reinforce the notion all of America is now a Room 101 for all of those who can see.

Aristokratia III: Hellas

via Alternative Right

"For I say that there will be more accusers of you than there are now; accusers whom hitherto I have restrained: and as they are younger they will be more severe with you, and you will be more offended at them." – Socrates

Aristokratia III – Hellas is now at the printers and scheduled for release in April/May 2015

Aristokratia III: Hellas returns us to the foundation of modern politics, deep in the history of ancient Greece. From the Homeric heroes and the birth of Aristocracy through to the rise (and subsequent collapse) of Democracy, the ideas of Plato, and the military might of Sparta – Aristokratia III presents Greece to us in its days of glory – and brutally reminds us that the failures of their political system were eerily similar to our own.

Continuing through to the modern era, we are then presented by new philosophies, articles, book reviews and topics relevant to contemporary society.

Contributors include: Edwin Dyga, Mark Dyal, Alexander Jacob, Greg Johnson, Colin Liddell, Keith Preston, Brett Stevens, Conor Wrigley and Azsacra Zarathustra, amongst other spirited and talented individuals.

Content includes:

What is Best in Life? The Pursuit of Excellence & the Aristocratic Principle | The Platonic Ontology of Justice: Crafts, the Forms, and Political Leadership | Herodotus on Oracles, Dreams, and Gods | Lycurgus & the Creation of the Spartan Warrior State | Plato and the Divine | Apollonius of Tyana and the Alternative Empire | Transcendence & the Aristocratic principle: ‘Throne And Altar’ as Essential Criteria for Civilization & National Particularism; Defence against Demotic Tyranny | The Bourgeoisie, Protestantism & the Protocols: The Anti-Democratic Thought of Erik Ritter Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn & Barone Giulio Cesare Evola | Nietzsche the Visionary: A Reflection on the Nature of a Civilization Guided by Nietzschean Values | Mircea Eliade’s ‘traditionalism’: Appearance & Reality | The End of American History | The Beauty of Monarchy | The Relevance of Philosophy to Political Change | Zombies vs. Vampires: Expressions of Socio-Political Fears in Horror Film | The Great Forest of the Overman: Dismantling Illusion From Within | Freedom of the Overman: Revolutionary Language of the Overman Par Excellence…..plus book reviews.

More information to follow.

Babykillers and Bastard Factories

via Henry Dampier

There are a couple female life patterns that feed contemporary leftism in the West: that of the babykiller and the bastard factory. The babykiller lifestyle tends to be for more up-market women, whereas the bastard factory lifestyle is for the poorer and usually (marginally) more religious demographic.

Babykillers, we’re all familiar with, perhaps intimately so. They get their first birth control prescription when they’re maybe around 14, perhaps a little older — whenever their parents start to become nervous about what their daughter is up to. The usual euphemism is that it’ll help her control her acne.

Of the two, the babykiller lifestyle is the most glamorized. They’re the heroines of romantic comedies and TV shows. They fall in love, enjoy sterile sex within a succession of relationships, advance their careers, and live in cities or tony suburbs.

Bastard factories, on the other hand, tend to be objects of pity. Conservative pro-life activists tend to be somewhat mislead in that they tend to encourage pregnant single women to go and have their bastards. This may be right, writ small, but writ large, the moral acceptance provided to mothers of bastard children is completely a-historical and opposed to traditional morality. Women who go and have their babies out of wedlock will sometimes be accorded a patina of grace from both progressives and conservatives. The former, for being ‘strong single mothers,’ and the latter, for not deciding to kill their bastards in utero.

The two types of behavior result in different kinds of damage. Bastard factories create external costs for the rest of society. Bastards, like children of divorce, tend to create disproportionate amounts of public disorder. Many single mothers wind up relying on welfare to make ends meet, which necessitates higher taxes on everyone else and enormous government programs besides.

This tends to make babykillers feel morally superior to their less ‘responsible’ sisters. Why, they have real jobs, real educations, and fabulous lifestyles! Besides, they mostly just sterilize themselves chemically, only occasionally making a visit to the abortionist when something slips up. From the perspective of the government, shouldn’t more women be productive, taxpaying babykillers?

The rest of the society is not really that much better off with babykillers as compared to bastard factories. With the former, the country misses out on all the potential added productivity from children raised in a productive and intact household. One woman, like my grandmother, can put out six children, give or take a few.

While the babykillers are probably net taxpayers rather than taxeaters, the future value of their potential progeny gets gobbled up, even so much that they fail to even replace themselves. Because the most productive babykillers tend to be the most intelligent and genetically desirable of women, the lost potential from their sterility is much higher than the EBT and childcare expenses of even the most fertile bastard factory.

Sterilization culture is central to the lived reality of leftism in a way that most of the stated ideas of the left are not. Similarly, the dysfunction created by the bastards provides grist for the leftist-bureaucratic mill. Few really care about equality. Many more care about being able to fuck without planting an infant.

The Tragedy of the West: Expand and Die

via Radix

It began with the Enlightenment. The necessary social conditions may have developed over the preceding centuries, and perhaps the necessary biological conditions developed millennia before that, but our actual story, per se, begins with the Enlightenment. That is when the West was really born. True, Europe has long been a distinct culture and civilization, and even well before the Enlightenment, it did stand-out from the rest in many of the same ways as today. The Enlightenment though, was not just the beginning of a new era in the history of Western man, but in the history of the world. In a very real sense, it is the beginning of true world history. And since this beginning, fittingly, the overarching narrative, which has united world history for the first time, has been the West’s drive toward an ever more universal Universalism. Yet, as part of the effort to make universal its universal values, the West is sacrificing those same values. The Tragedy of the West is that the beginning is also the end. 

At least that is my theory. And I think I should say at the outset that this is a big-picture theory. I am not here to assess the motivations of the pre-Revolutionary Bourgeoisie or the destruction wrought by the German Idealists or to examine the devious methods of the Frankfurt School. Though those are important and worthy subjects of inquiry, ultimately, they are just details. They have influenced the particulars of our civilizational course, but they did not start the train, and they are not necessary to keep it moving. The Enlightenment itself is at the root of our current situation, and so my job here is to step-back from the particulars and draw the secular trend line from there to here. The Enlightenment is our starting-point because that is where the trend line begins.

Ever since the Enlightenment, with its meritocratic and individualistic revolt against inherited privilege, the dominant social trend has been the expansion of the “us” category to include more and more of the “other.” Initially, the “us” was white men from old families, then it was white men of means, regardless of their lineage. Then it came to include all white men. Then, it was all white men and women, and then eventually, people of any race. (Depending on your preferred metrics, you might order these last two differently.) The trend line has been the same for religious tolerance; and the gay-rights movement has followed the same path too.

The idea of acceptance for its own sake has always been there, but the prime mover has been the belief in the universality of our values. Few turn-of-the-century Europeans thought of their colonial subjects as their equals, but they did believe their imperial rule was a “civilizing mission.” In many ways, this smelled like an ad hoc justification, but it was not wholly insincere; they did impart their institutions, religion, and values on the natives.

So far, this is a reasonably commonplace scholarly opinion; the colonial empires are gone, but multiculturalism is just a new and gentler means of Imperialism. Where I break with this orthodox understanding is in my assessment of the results. A typical non-radical academic might conclude that despite—or perhaps even owing to—superficial concessions to multiculturalism, the fundamental values of the West are more ascendant than ever. And yes, overall, Egalitarian Universalism is stronger than ever, but in nearly every other way, the West is erasing itself in the name of expansion.

If we add substances a, b, and c to substance d, we will dilute substance d. That is what we did (i.e. multiculturalism/diversity), and that is what we got, but this formula is not the whole equation. If one’s goal is to achieve an equality between two unequals, the natural instinct is to tear-down the one and build-up the other—given past injustices, equality before the law is not enough. This is the essential meaning and motivation behind the institutional and cultural anti-White double-standard. And if the West needs to tear-down Whites in order to allow the integration of the rest, the West itself also needs to be torn-down, at least rhetorically. Western history is seen as a White history; Western culture is a White culture; the previously celebrated Western accomplishments of the past are seen as White accomplishments. So if belief in White supremacy is an obstacle for the Western spirit of equality and tolerance, then so is the belief in Western supremacy. (If this progression is not necessarily logical, it is at least an entirely understandable and human reaction.)

But so what? So Western history is often neglected, and/or framed as a record of oppression and exploitation; so we say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas;” so some schools in Europe have taken pork off their menus to not offend Muslims; so some schools in the American Southwest ban students from wearing the American flag to avoid offending those of Mexican ancestry; so none of the Founding Fathers have national holidays named for them, while Martin Luther King does. So what? The post-modern style cultural imperialist might still claim success: we have democracy, we have free speech, we have rationality, we have meritocracy; the Enlightenment lives on, and among more people than ever before. And so what if Westerners are made to feel alienated from their ancestors?—now they know how the descendants of slaves feel. The Enlightenment was always meant to be a brake with the past; we are creating a new man person.

And if that were the end of it, perhaps we could still count this as a triumph of a kind of inhuman Humanism, but along the way to Universalism, “diversity,” the means, became the ends. And now, even the abstract core beliefs, the “universal” Western values, are cast-aside as the West collapses on itself.

Free speech? Hate speech is not free speech, and if you are speaking against diversity, that is hate speech. Yes, we still have the first amendment in the US, but when people justify attempts to silence political enemies by protest and boycott as the exercise of their own free speech, it is obvious that the rationale behind the idea of free speech is lost on them. Which is hardly surprising, because diversity fervor has also dealt a heavy-blow to rational discourse. The notion that ideas can be, or even should be, judged in and of themselves is now considered a tool of cisgendered heterosexual white male oppression. What matters is not the idea, but the individual who has the idea; what is his motivation? And does he have the right “life experience” to have standing on this issue? If he is a white man, and the issue has anything do to with race or sex, you can safely disregard his opinion.

The principle of meritocracy also bumps up against the diversity doctrine, and once again, diversity wins. I know that claiming that affirmative action is an affront to meritocracy is a tired old argument, but that does not make it any less true. My main point here, however, is that the primary legal justification for affirmative action is not that it makes-up for past wrongs, but that it promotes diversity. Most Americans do not realize it, but for decades now, the real rationale for affirmative action has been that diversity is good.

Material comfort remains a high priority, as it is in most societies, but if we have one spiritual credo, it is that diversity is good. So is freedom, of course, but if each is done right, diversity is freedom and freedom is diversity.

The West thought it had discovered universal values, so it set about making those values universal. The result is a paradoxical Universalism of diversity that has undermined the very values that it was intended to propagate. Only the spirit of tolerance and equality remains. All the rest of the West dissolves in the mass of its newly-assimilated parts.

Do not read any more into this than what it says. While our unfolding tragedy follows naturally from the Enlightenment, it is not the inevitable result. If France and the US/UK had not emerged as dominant powers, things might have been different. If the Right had had a greater moral imagination, things might have been different. And I see no compelling evidence that Whites are “too idealistic” or “too altruistic” for Ethnonationalism. Many times in the past, whites have proven themselves to be extremely receptive to Ethnonationalism. The moral foundation for our Ethnonationalism should be idealistic and altruistic anyways—it should be enlightened.

G.R.E.C.E. Undertakes the Defense of Western Culture: Good Minds Are Stirring in France

via Counter-Currents

Counter-Currents Editor's Note: Instauration has mentioned several times that France is way ahead of other Western nations in lighting the fuse of a cultural renaissance. Most of the French philosophers, anthropologists, historians and critics who are taking the lead in rescuing their nation from the throwback shamans of the liberal-minority-Marxist establishment are members of G.R.E.C.E. (Groupement de Recherche et d’Études pour la Civilisation Européenne), an intellectual community that compares to an American think tank as Plato compares to Henry Kissinger. “Because it is not a party, but a ‘laboratory of ideas,’” as stated in a newly published report of its history and growth, “G.R.E.C.E. has no fixed program and never will have. Such is not its purpose. Nevertheless, it has the duty to clarify its positions and summarize some of its ideas.” The group has therefore put out a twelve-point statement of policy, which is modestly described “as the fleeting response of its permanent reflexes.” Omitting the material that has only to do with France, we offer below a free, very free, translation of G.R.E.C.E.’s position paper in the hope of stimulating the growth of a similar organization in the U.S.

Against Equalitarianism

At the present time equalitarian dogma is the common denominator of one-world doctrines and leveling ideologies. Originally, nothing was more foreign to the European spirit than this line of thought. All the societies of antiquity were organic and viewed politics as a product of forces, the social components of which were carefully structured upon certain hierarchies that accepted individuals for what they were, that is to say, for unique persons not identical to any other human being.
Equalitarianism penetrated European culture in the beginning of the modern era through the back door of a new anthropology, of which Judaeo-Christianity was the vector. For the first time it was affirmed that the diversity of the world was secondary—that beyond each man’s peculiar set of characteristics (his qualities and his faults, his merits and his gifts) there subsisted the essential–that which in the eyes of God is supposed to render every person equal.

This equalitarian anthropology could have only sprung from theological roots—fertilized by the myth of “equality before God.” Little by little, with the advent of democracy, socialism and, finally, communism, the doctrine was secularized. Equalitarianism brought down to earth as the here and now was substituted for the beyond. Today the secularization of Christian theodicy has been entirely realized. The Church itself has come to recognize in modern equalitarianism the child that it engendered long ago.

The annihilation of the equalitarian world view must be regarded as the fundamental strategy of a war against negativism, reductionism and “massification.” It is not sufficient to deplore the symptoms of decadence. It is necessary to identify the causes of decadence. Only by attacking the causes can we substantially modify the effects.

Against Deracination

The progressive erosion of the neighborhood, the constant assault on regional and ethnic characteristics, the homogenization of the countryside and urban areas are a profound menace to physical and moral health. If he had the choice, man would prefer to live in the region or country of his birth, where he has his roots, memories and origins, instead of being exiled to regions or countries where his surroundings are no longer recognizable and to which he has no natural ties.

A particularly damaging form of deracination affects the peoples of the Third World, whose emigration to Europe is organized by veritable “slave hunters,” who are exclusively concerned with short-term profits and who find in their lucrative work a dubious substitute for economic innovation.

By imposing an alien way of life and thought on men with different values and aspirations, modern immigration policy deprives immigrants of their identity and constitutes an attack on their right to be themselves. A rational policy of aid to the developing nations should enable the immigrants’ own country to offer them at home the opportunity for work which they have been forced to seek elsewhere. At the same time the children of the immigrants should have the right to an education that respects their cultural heritage and that will facilitate, in accord with the promises so frequently made by the concerned governments, their ultimate return to their countries of origin.

Against Intellectual Terrorism

Contemporary art and culture reflect the pathology of a declining civilization. Absurd spectacles, incoherent styles, encroaching exoticism, insipid songs, obsessive eroticism, formless art, ideological drumbeating on radio and television. All these techniques of stupefaction influence modern man to abandon his sense of values and to adhere to the purely subversive principle that “everything equals everything.” If he should resist, he will find himself in a losing struggle with the all-out “intellectual terrorism” of an intelligentsia whose fantastic conception of the wishes of the citizenry provides the excuse and justification for its tyrannical hold over modern thought. The terrorism is implemented by silence, defamation, slander and by the broad dissemination of debilitating and guilt-producing myths.

Politicians are all too often quite content to smile indulgently at the aberrations of a counterculture which, unfortunately, is not a marginal phenomenon. Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, correcting Lenin on this point, has demonstrated the crucial role that cultural power plays in advanced societies. The object of cultural power is to weaken all the implicit values, the metapolitics, responsible for the social consensus without which no state could govern. Revolutions take place when this corrosive power has done its work, when the majority of society has been won over by values and doctrines to which it has not been habituated.

The reaction against the cultural power of the intelligentsia ought to be conducted on its own terrain by the formulation of a world view that links theory to practice—the only positive alternative. This calls for a series of responses dictated by a unified ideology that reaches into all the domains of culture, human knowledge, ethics and thought.

Alain de Benoist
Alain de Benoist

Against the Degradation of Teaching

The “democratization” of teaching conceals with ever greater difficulty the sad reality of a leveling of education toward the bottom and the devaluation of educational standards. Under the cover of reforms, administrations have promoted a veritable academic revolution in primary and secondary education, a revolt inspired by the equalitarian and utopian concept of man. The result has been confusion and anarchy.
Genuine popular education is incompatible with these revolutionary goals. Needed is a complete overhaul of the educational system, which must be reestablished on the foundations of a world view totally opposed to the one that now prevails.

The fundamental aim of education is not to provide “knowledge,” which is only a means of achieving a much greater objective, the shaping of character to conform to the student’s particular heritage. Knowledge has meaning only when it rests on culture—a culture founded on the past and therefore uniquely capable of building the future. In the last analysis knowledge is a political problem. The neutrality of education is a myth invented by doctrinaire equalitarians to expand and justify their ascendancy. It is not necessary to oppose their “neopedagogues” because they “make politics,” but because their politics are false, destructive and vicious.

While considering the individual as a member of a community, education ought to endow him with a feeling for the life at the center of the community, to aid him to form his character at the same time it exercises his intelligence. It should provide him not only with lessons, but with models.

A rigorous selection and diversification of study courses are indispensible to the harmonious realization of a child’s aptitudes and aspirations. The artificial barrier which separates literary from scientific studies must be removed. The “divorce of the cultures” prevents the adolescent from familiarizing himself with the real world, provokes disillusion and can easily turn brilliant students into dropouts.

Between the conservatism of some instructors, totally out of phase with the age, and the harmful utopias of the pseudomodernists, there is room for teaching self-discipline, stimulating intellectual curiosity and voluntary effort, and aiding the expansion of the student’s creativity.

Finally, it is necessary to emphasize the autonomy of universities, not only in regard to their recruiting program, but in regard to the choice or curriculum. Institutions of higher learning should be encouraged to enter into healthy competition with each other, which will have the effect of raising the level of instruction. The university will then cease to live in an ivory tower.

Against “Sexploiters” and Taboos

For many centuries a dogmatic attitude foisted on European man has made sexuality “shameful.” Antiquity exalted the body, as it exalted all worldly things. The Church, on the other hand, saw in the “flesh” the refuge of the Devil. It has long been evident that we must substitute an adult and natural sexuality for “sinful” sexuality. It is one thing to get rid of guilt. It is another to preach exhibitionism. If self-repression is a sign of psychosis, the eruption of an omnipresent sexuality is a sign of disequilibrium—all the more so if it is accompanied by perverting the sense of physical beauty which leads to the perversion of the vital sense of love.

At the urging of Wilhelm Reich, Marxists and Freudians joined in viewing social and family institutions as the major cause of “sexual misery.” In their opinion all regulatory morality is necessarily repressive. The decalog of “don’ts” has yielded to the catalog of perversions. The problem of conscience remains, but it is more concealed than ever.

The more there is of the sexuality of representation, the less the sexuality of act. We are supposed to be living in an era of sexual liberation. But never have therapists had so many “problem patients.” The truth is our “liberators” have proposed a priori that life itself is a problem. Permissive society is not a liberated society. It is a society of impotence. It has become so hypererotic it is no longer erotic. The psychiatrist has simply superseded the priest. Without provocation or false modesty, sexuality must be returned to where it belongs and erotic health no longer confused with promiscuity.

Against Merchants of Illusions

Prophets, quack doctors, shamans and visionaries are everywhere in the limelight. Every day they reap greater profits from the media-propagated taste for the “sensational.” Mystical sects of Oriental provenance, many of whose directors and “missionaries” have spent time in psychiatric wards or correctional institutions, preach a metaphysics of renunciation and guilt. A gregarious youth, worried about its future and having lost its sense of direction, provides an easy target for this propaganda.

Government authorities display an inexcusable tolerance toward this exploitation of disorder, credulity and superstition. The State has the duty to see that laws which suppress these practices are respected and reinforced, if need be, by legislation. The State also ought to reaffirm more sternly than ever that religious freedom does not authorize attacks on the moral health of its most vulnerable citizens, the manipulation of guilty consciences for presumably charitable ends or, still worse, the imposition on society of concepts and beliefs designed to shatter the people’s faith and deepest instincts.

For an Organic Society

Equalitarian thought is necessarily reductionist. If everyone were really identical, everyone would also be interchangeable. It follows that a society composed entirely of interchangeable individuals would be nothing more than the sum of its parts. It would therefore rest on a social physics and its social bonds would be essentially mechanical. The fact is that society is a living whole, whose parts are necessarily unequal, and draws its identity from what is added to this whole by the addition of these different and unequal parts. Society does not derive from physics (essentially dependent on analysis), but from physiology, morphology and sociobiology (essentially dependent on synthesis). The social bonds holding all this together, if the whole is to be orderly and harmonious, must be organic.

Since the triumph of equalitarian thought in Europe, especially in the last two centuries, the mechanical has been taking precedence over the organic at the core of society. This evolution corresponds, as Spengler has stated, to the “materialization” or “petrification” of human relations—a clear symptom of culture in decline.

More proof that the organic is giving way to the mechanical is that society is slowly losing all its previous moorings. Life, as stated previously, is becoming problematical. Neighbors find themselves total strangers. The social order is fragmenting into factions, parties and mutually antagonistic unions—all working to advance their own special interests. The term community has become almost incomprehensible. All the hierarchies are threatened as an exacerbated individualism produces its reciprocal—totalitarianism and “massification.”

For the current idea of society it is time once again to substitute the idea of community, to revive the natural and organic links that should exist between the organs of a viable social order, to reestablish the harmony and the complementarily that have been supplanted by antagonism and division. This complex task is the sine qua non of every national undertaking. Above everything, it calls for a strenuous battle against equalitarianism in all its forms.

For a Genuine Science of Man

Scientific research lacks funds, yet it tolerates an enormous waste of energy. There is a dramatic contrast between the results obtained in physics, chemistry and biology laboratories and the relative unproductivity of the “social sciences.” This situation is due largely to the fact that man and the society he created are not “reducible” by a purely empirical and analytical process. Too often the social sciences are only scientific in their pretension to become a science. Should they succeed, they would then become the science not of the living but of the dead (when they do not serve, purely and simply, as alibis for sundry equalitarian and universalist dogmas).

As an antidote to the specialization brought about by the development of technology, a synthetic process involving several disciplines is needed to make full use of our capability to catalog and disseminate the special branches of knowledge. A genuine science of man defines the parameters of what is specifically human and calls for a systematic comparison of human society with other living systems and a strong emphasis on such new disciplines as sociobiology.

The all-too-evident proposition that the wisest of men, like everyone else, are influenced by the doctrines and thought of their time does not mean that the experimental method is dead. What happened a long time ago in , as well as in the Lysenko era in the U.S.S.R., has amply demonstrated the contempt of totalitarianism for facts. For ideological reasons many researchers do not hesitate to “black out” certain areas of study to minimize “irksome” findings. They tend to evaluate their work in progress according to its “dogmatic desirability.”

For the Renewal of Tradition

A rational approach to the human spirit shows that it is ruled by more than reason, which is only one among many cerebral functions. Just as the soul needs spiritual nourishment, the mind needs psychological nourishment (including the implicit recognition that it aspires toward a much greater quality of life). As part of this latter nourishment, myths formed and kept alive by history comprise one of the most powerful factors in inspiring motivation and outlining objectives.

Experience demonstrates that societies wishing to deny the spiritual and mythical dimensions of the human spirit, notably by a forced deracination of regional and national attitudes, often come to a sudden end.

Traditions, in effect, are nothing but molds in which innovations are born and formed. From one end of the year to the other, from birth until death, they provide the rhythm of existence—the eternal return of the seasons and of the generations of man.

Instauration, June 1979, pp. 8, 27–28.

The Retro Future

via The Archdruid Report

Is it just me, or has the United States taken yet another great leap forward into the surreal over the last few days? Glancing through the news, I find another round of articles babbling about how fracking has guaranteed America a gaudy future as a petroleum and natural gas exporter. Somehow none of these articles get around to mentioning that the United States is a major net importer of both commodities, that most of the big-name firms in the fracking industry have been losing money at a rate of billions a year since the boom began, and that the pileup of bad loans to fracking firms is pushing the US banking industry into a significant credit crunch, but that’s just par for the course nowadays.
Then there’s the current tempest in the media’s teapot, Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. I’ve come to think of Clinton as the Khloe Kardashian of American politics, since she owed her original fame to the mere fact that she’s related to someone else who once caught the public eye. Since then she’s cycled through various roles because, basically, that’s what Famous People do, and the US presidency is just the next reality-TV gig on her bucket list. I grant that there’s a certain wry amusement to be gained from watching this child of privilege, with the help of her multimillionaire friends, posturing as a champion of the downtrodden, but I trust that none of my readers are under the illusion that this rhetoric will amount to anything more than all that chatter about hope and change eight years ago.
Let us please be real: whoever mumbles the oath of office up there on the podium in 2017, whether it’s Clinton or the interchangeably Bozoesque figures currently piling one by one out of the GOP’s clown car to contend with her, we can count on more of the same: more futile wars, more giveaways to the rich at everyone else’s expense, more erosion of civil liberties, more of all the other things Obama’s cheerleaders insisted back in 2008 he would stop as soon as he got into office.  As Arnold Toynbee pointed out a good many years ago, one of the hallmarks of a nation in decline is that the dominant elite sinks into senility, becoming so heavily invested in failed policies and so insulated from the results of its own actions that nothing short of total disaster will break its deathgrip on the body politic.
While we wait for the disaster in question, though, those of us who aren’t part of the dominant elite and aren’t bamboozled by the spectacle du jour might reasonably consider what we might do about it all. By that, of course, I don’t mean that it’s still possible to save industrial civilization in general, and the United States in particular, from the consequences of their history. That possibility went whistling down the wind a long time ago. Back in 2005, the Hirsch Report showed that any attempt to deal with the impending collision with the hard ecological limits of a finite planet had to get under way at least twenty years before the peak of global conventional petroleum reserves, if there was to be any chance of avoiding massive disruptions. As it happens, 2005 also marked the peak of conventional petroleum production worldwide, which may give you some sense of the scale of the current mess.
Consider, though, what happened in the wake of that announcement. Instead of dealing with the hard realities of our predicament, the industrial world panicked and ran the other way, with the United States well in the lead. Strident claims that ethanol—er, solar—um, biodiesel—okay, wind—well, fracking, then—would provide a cornucopia of cheap energy to replace the world’s rapidly depleting reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas took the place of a serious energy policy, while conservation, the one thing that might have made a difference, was as welcome as garlic aioli at a convention of vampires.
That stunningly self-defeating response had a straightforward cause, which was that everyone except a few of us on the fringes treated the whole matter as though the issue was how the privileged classes of the industrial world could maintain their current lifestyles on some other resource base.  Since that question has no meaningful answer, questions that could have been answered—for example, how do we get through the impending mess with at least some of the achievements of the last three centuries intact?—never got asked at all. At this point, as a result, ten more years have been wasted trying to come up with answers to the wrong question, and most of the  doors that were still open in 2005 have been slammed shut by events since that time.
Fortunately, there are still a few possibilities for constructive action open even this late in the game. More fortunate still, the ones that will likely matter most don’t require Hillary Clinton, or any other member of America’s serenely clueless ruling elite, to do something useful for a change. They depend, rather, on personal action, beginning with individuals, families, and local communities and spiraling outward from there to shape the future on wider and wider scales.
I’ve talked about two of these possibilities at some length in posts here. The first can be summed up simply enough in a cheery sentence:  “Collapse now and avoid the rush!”  In an age of economic contraction—and behind the current facade of hallucinatory paper wealth, we’re already in such an age—nothing is quite so deadly as the attempt to prop up extravagant lifestyles that the real economy of goods and services will no longer support. Those who thrive in such times are those who downshift ahead of the economy, take the resources that would otherwise be wasted on attempts to sustain the unsustainable, and apply them to the costs of transition to less absurd ways of living. The acronym L.E.S.S.—“Less Energy, Stuff, and Stimulation”—provides a good first approximation of the direction in which such efforts at controlled collapse might usefully move.
The point of this project isn’t limited to its advantages on the personal scale, though these are fairly substantial. It’s been demonstrated over and over again that personal example is far more effective than verbal rhetoric at laying the groundwork for collective change. A great deal of what keeps so many people pinned in the increasingly unsatisfying and unproductive lifestyles sold to them by the media is simply that they can’t imagine a better alternative. Those people who collapse ahead of the rush and demonstrate that it’s entirely possible to have a humane and decent life on a small fraction of the usual American resource footprint are already functioning as early adopters; with every month that passes, I hear from more people—especially young people in their teens and twenties—who are joining them, and helping to build a bridgehead to a world on the far side of the impending crisis.
The second possibility is considerably more complex, and resists summing up so neatly. In a series of posts here  in 2010 and 2011, and then in my book Green Wizardry, I sketched out the toolkit of concepts and approaches that were central to the appropriate technology movement back in the 1970s, where I had my original education in the subjects central to this blog. I argued then, and still believe now, that by whatever combination of genius and sheer dumb luck, the pioneers of that movement managed to stumble across a set of approaches to the work of sustainability that are better suited to the needs of our time than anything that’s been proposed since then.
Among the most important features of what I’ve called the “green wizardry” of appropriate tech is the fact that those who want to put it to work don’t have to wait for the Hillary Clintons of the world to lift a finger. Millions of dollars in government grants and investment funds aren’t necessary, or even particularly useful. From its roots in the Sixties counterculture, the appropriate tech scene inherited a focus on do-it-yourself projects that could be done with hand tools, hard work, and not much money. In an age of economic contraction, that makes even more sense than it did back in the day, and the ability to keep yourself and others warm, dry, fed, and provided with many of the other needs of life without potentially lethal dependencies on today’s baroque technostructures has much to recommend it.
Nor, it has to be said, is appropriate tech limited to those who can afford a farm in the country; many of the most ingenious and useful appropriate tech projects were developed by and for people living in ordinary homes and apartments, with a small backyard or no soil at all available for gardening. The most important feature of appropriate tech, though, is that the core elements of its toolkit—intensive organic gardening and small-scale animal husbandry, homescale solar thermal technologies, energy conservation, and the like—are all things that will still make sense long after the current age of fossil fuel extraction has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Getting these techniques into as many hands as possible now is thus not just a matter of cushioning the impacts of the impending era of crisis; it’s also a way to start building the sustainable world of the future right now.
Those two strategies, collapsing ahead of the rush and exploring the green wizardry of appropriate technology, have been core themes of this blog for quite a while now. There’s a third project, though, that I’ve been exploring in a more abstract context here for a while now, and it’s time to talk about how it can be applied to some of the most critical needs of our time. 
In the early days of this blog, I pointed out that technological progress has a feature that’s not always grasped by its critics, much less by those who’ve turned faith in progress into the established religion of our time. Very few new technologies actually meet human needs that weren’t already being met, and so the arrival of a new technology generally leads to the abandonment of an older technology that did the same thing. The difficulty here is that new technologies nowadays are inevitably more dependent on global technostructures, and the increasingly brittle and destructive economic systems that support them, than the technologies they replace. New technologies look more efficient than old ones because more of the work is being done somewhere else, and can therefore be ignored—for now.
This is the basis for what I’ve called the externality trap. As technologies get more complex, that complexity allows more of their costs to be externalized—that is to say, pushed onto someone other than the makers or users of the technology. The pressures of a market economy guarantee that those economic actors who externalize more of their costs will prosper at the expense of those who externalize less. The costs thus externalized, though, don’t go away; they get passed from hand to hand like hot potatoes and finally pile up in the whole systems—the economy, the society, the biosphere itself—that have no voice in economic decisions, but are essential to the prosperity and survival of every economic actor, and sooner or later those whole systems will break down under the burden.  Unlimited technological progress in a market economy thus guarantees the economic, social, and/or environmental destruction of the society that fosters it.
The externality trap isn’t just a theoretical possibility. It’s an everyday reality, especially but not only in the United States and other industrial societies. There are plenty of forces driving the rising spiral of economic, social, and environmental disruption that’s shaking the industrial world right down to its foundations, but among the most important is precisely the unacknowledged impact of externalized costs on the whole systems that support the industrial economy. It’s fashionable these days to insist that increasing technological complexity and integration will somehow tame that rising spiral of crisis, but the externality trap suggests that exactly the opposite is the case—that the more complex and integrated technologies become, the more externalities they will generate. It’s precisely because technological complexity makes it easy to ignore externalized costs that progress becomes its own nemesis.
Yes, I know, suggesting that progress isn’t infallibly beneficent is heresy, and suggesting that progress will necessarily terminate itself with extreme prejudice is heresy twice over. I can’t help that; it so happens that in most declining civilizations, ours included, the things that most need to be said are the things that, by and large, nobody wants to hear. That being the case, I might as well make it three for three and point out that the externality trap is a problem rather than a predicament. The difference, as longtime readers know, is that problems can be solved, while predicaments can only be faced. We don’t have to keep loading an ever-increasing burden of externalized costs on the whole systems that support us—which is to say, we don’t have to keep increasing the complexity and integration of the technologies that we use in our daily lives. We can stop adding to the burden; we can even go the other way.
Now of course suggesting that, even thinking it, is heresy on the grand scale. I’m reminded of a bit of technofluff in the Canadian media a week or so back that claimed to present a radically pessimistic view of the next ten years. Of course it had as much in common with actual pessimism as lite beer has with a pint of good brown ale; the worst thing the author, one Douglas Coupland, is apparently able to imagine is that industrial society will keep on doing what it’s doing now—though the fact that more of what’s happening now apparently counts as radical pessimism these days is an interesting point, and one that deserves further discussion.
The detail of this particular Dystopia Lite that deserves attention here, though, is Coupland’s dogmatic insistence that “you can never go backward to a lessened state of connectedness.” That’s a common bit of rhetoric out of the mouths of tech geeks these days, to be sure, but it isn’t even remotely true. I know quite a few people who used to be active on social media and have dropped the habit. I know others who used to have allegedly smart phones and went back to ordinary cell phones, or even to a plain land line, because they found that the costs of excess connectedness outweighed the benefits. Technological downshifting is already a rising trend, and there are very good reasons for that fact.
Most people find out at some point in adolescence that there really is such a thing as drinking too much beer. I think a lot of people are slowly realizing that the same thing is true of connectedness, and of the other prominent features of today’s fashionable technologies. One of the data points that gives me confidence in that analysis is the way that people like Coupland angrily dismiss the possibility. Part of his display of soi-disant pessimism is the insistence that within a decade, people who don’t adopt the latest technologies will be dismissed as passive-aggressive control freaks. Now of course that label could be turned the other way just as easily, but the point I want to make here is that nobody gets that bent out of shape about behaviors that are mere theoretical possibilities. Clearly, Coupland and his geek friends are already contending with people who aren’t interested in conforming to the technosphere.
It’s not just geek technologies that are coming in for that kind of rejection, either. These days, in the town where I live, teenagers whose older siblings used to go hotdogging around in cars ten years ago are doing the same thing on bicycles today. Granted, I live in a down-at-the-heels old mill town in the north central Appalachians, but there’s more to it than that. For a lot of these kids, the costs of owning a car outweigh the benefits so drastically that cars aren’t cool any more. One consequence of that shift in cultural fashion is that these same kids aren’t contributing anything like so much to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or to the other externalized costs generated by car ownership.
I’ve written here already about deliberate technological regression as a matter of public policy. Over the last few months, though, it’s become increasingly clear to me that deliberate technological regression as a matter of personal choice is also worth pursuing. Partly this is because the deathgrip of failed policies on the political and economic order of the industrial world, as mentioned earlier, is tight enough that any significant change these days has to start down here at the grassroots level, with individuals, families, and communities, if it’s going to get anywhere at all; partly, it’s because technological regression, like anything else that flies in the face of the media stereotypes of our time, needs the support of personal example in order to get a foothold; partly, it’s because older technologies, being less vulnerable to the impacts of whole-system disruptions, will still be there meeting human needs when the grid goes down, the economy freezes up, or something really does break the internet, and many of them will still be viable when the fossil fuel age is a matter for the history books.
Still, there’s another aspect, and it’s one that the essay by Douglas Coupland mentioned above managed to hit squarely: the high-tech utopia ballyhooed by the first generation or so of internet junkies has turned out in practice to be a good deal less idyllic, and in fact a good deal more dystopian, than its promoters claimed. All the wonderful things we were supposedly going to be able to do turned out in practice to consist of staring at little pictures on glass screens and pushing buttons, and these are not exactly the most interesting activities in the world, you know. The people who are dropping out of social media and ditching their allegedly smart phones for a less connected lifestyle have noticed this.
What’s more, a great many more people—the kids hotdogging on bikes here in Cumberland are among them—are weighing  the costs and benefits of complex technologies with cold eyes, and deciding that an older, simpler technology less dependent on global technosystems is not just more practical, but also, and importantly, more fun. True believers in the transhumanist cyberfuture will doubtless object to that last point, but the deathgrip of failed ideas on societies in decline isn’t limited to the senile elites mentioned toward the beginning of this post; it can also afflict the fashionable intellectuals of the day, and make them proclaim the imminent arrival of the future’s rising waters when the tide’s already turned and is flowing back out to sea.
I’d like to suggest, in fact, that it’s entirely possible that we could be heading toward a future in which people will roll their eyes when they think of Twitter, texting, 24/7 connectivity, and the rest of today’s overblown technofetishism—like, dude, all that stuff is so twenty-teens! Meanwhile, those of us who adopt the technologies and habits of earlier eras, whether that adoption is motivated by mere boredom with little glass screens or by some more serious set of motives, may actually be on the cutting edge: the early adopters of the Retro Future. We’ll talk about that more in the weeks ahead.