Why have you Bloomer’s and Women’s Right’s men, and strong-minded women, and Mormons, and anti-renters, and “vote myself a farm” men, Millerites, and Spiritual Rappers, and Shakers, and Widow Wakemanites, and Agrarians, and Grahamites, and a thousand other superstitious and infidel Isms at the North? Why is there faith in nothing, speculation about everything? Why is this unsettled, half demented state of the human mind co-extensive in time and space, with free society? Why is Western Europe now starving? and why has it been fighting and starving for seventy years? Why all this, except that free society is a failure?
I must confess, the recent kerfluffle between Neoreaction and National Socialism was pretty confusing to me; how can two groups with such apparently synchronized goals clash with each other so hard? It got me to thinking about the nature of modern Leftism. Who, exactly, are the Leftists?
I think all Leftists are, paradoxically, trying to reconstitute isolated and respective aspects of traditional society, while entrusting the rest to the Church of Progressivism. Each branch is concentrating on returning a portion of society to working order, which coincidentally entails solving the same problems which are created by the destruction traditional society. Leftism can be generally divided into two phases, or waves: First Wave Leftism involves the discontent with and destruction of traditional, or hierarchical, society, and Second Wave Leftism encompasses attempts to reconstitute or salvage some positive aspect of traditional society which was destroyed by the first wave. Certainly, there are defining features that both waves have in common – egalitarianism, populism, and progressivism. These ideas, inherently destructive to traditional Order, make up the religious fabric of Leftism – sooner or later, they supplant any other religious leanings which the First Wave Leftists possess.
History, when viewed from a reactionary perspective, demonstrates that traditional society works. It may not always be pretty, it certainly isn’t a Utopia, but it brings together a group of people and ensures that they stick together and reproduce, that they survive. After First Wave Leftism shows up and destroys the traditional order, the early Second Wavers are presented with a problem – how to clean up the mess that has been made, while staying true to the Leftist “vision” of Progressivism. Ideologies, or “-isms”, then spring up, each proposing an isolated solution which bears a striking resemblance to the state of things in the traditional society:
Feminism: Reconstitute protection and status for women. Under the traditional order, women were safeguarded through the concept of patriarchy, whence submission begets protection. Thus women were largely shielded from fighting wars, having to procure a livelihood, or generally possessing large burdens of responsibility. Women were given status through things like the chivalric code, which dictated respect and deference towards women.
Socialism: Reconstitute protection and safety for the poor. Under slavery in the Old South and serfdom in Europe, underclasses were provided with protection and safety; in the former, by the patriarchal concept being applied to masters, and in the latter, by tying the worker to the plot of land that he tilled. Like wards or teenagers nowadays, the governance of the working classes was entrusted to local masters or lords whom cultural pressures and domestic affections caused to be largely benevolent.
Demotism: Reconstitute restrictions on aristocratic power. The destruction of the traditional order also caused the removal of natural dams on aristocratic power; namely, kings and the Church. Once God was pronounced dead and Louis XVI guillotined, the democratic floodgates were opened. Soon all of the West clamored for representative government in order to curb the power of mostly imaginary despots.
Nationalism*: Reconstitute tribal connections between members of society. Nationalism began as a reaction to the doctrine of universalism spread by the First Wave Leftists. Prior to the 18th Century, tribal links bound societies largely organically through the traditional order; Nationalism is mostly an attempt to engineer these links artificially.
Capitalism*: Reconstitute hierarchy through laissez-faire economics. Once the traditional, organic sinews bonding the hierarchy became strained and cut through First Wave Leftism, economics is utilized to fill the vacuum, propelled by Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. This creates a hierarchy of a kind, no doubt, but cannot do other than place the different classes at war with one other, resulting in the exploitation and degradation of the working classes, and feeding Socialism.
Individualism/Collectivism: Reconstitute the worth of the individual/reconstitute the individual’s obligation to society. Under the old order, the concept of the individual did not exist, because each person was born into a specific set of obligations, and a code of conduct. These obligations served to give each person a worth, because each was measured by his ability to fulfill these obligations. These obligations, not coincidentally, also served to benefit the greater good, sometimes in hidden ways. When the traditional order broke down, the dual concepts of Individualism and Collectivism arose to counter the resultant problems.
*Now, I’m certainly not prepared to declare contemporary Nationalists and Capitalists as pure-breed Leftists – probably another dichotomy would be useful here. I do, however, mean to point out that those ideologies are modernist in that they are arose to deal with isolated problems caused by the First Wave Leftists, and thus fall short of attacking the root of the problem.
This host of “-isms,” for all intents and purposes, didn’t exist in Western Civilization, or anywhere, while the traditional, organic, order reigned. They only appeared, all together and quite suddenly, once traditional orders began crumbling in the 18th and 19th centuries. Why? These concepts weren’t necessary to solve sociopolitical ills, because the traditional order had them all solved already, as much as was possible. Once the First Wavers destroyed this order, societies scrambled to provide remedies to the problems which began cropping up in every sector. The past 200 years of history shows us, quite conclusively in my mind, that these remedies, in the form of -isms, can only ameliorate the problems for a time, at best, and will eventually cause the complete collapse of society.
Progressivism, or the idea that history is proceeding in a linear fashion towards some kind of Utopia or transcendence, is the religious fabric binding these ideologies together. While they all exist to solve isolated and particular problems caused by the destruction of the traditional order, each -ism’s adherents don’t see the other problems caused as problems, per se, but rather the natural progression of humanity. The Church of Progressivism teaches that the Old Order is gone for good, a product of a bygone time, and further, that anyone who teaches otherwise is a heretic. Hence, we see National Socialists say that they are “Rightism adapted to modernity.” Because Progressivism is itself a heresy, operating with it as your premise is a recipe for failure. This is why none of the -isms can ever fully and lastingly recreate the benefits of the traditional society. They may each succeed in benefiting their chosen part of society, for a time, but that is the most that they can hope for.
Because Leftism, and its resultant -isms, does not have a workable model on which to build society, once it gains control the leaders become lost and confused – to them, they can’t turn back the clock, even if they’d want to (they imagine that they don’t). They can see the problems springing up – degradation of women, exploitation of workers, untethering of individuals to social obligations – but their religious assumption of egalitarianism and progressivism prevents them from taking the necessary steps to solve these problems. The -isms fracture society, alternately allying and fighting with each other for supremacy, each riding the ebb and flow of random circumstance and popular opinion. Ultimately, nothing can be done except continual hacking at the sinews of society in the hopes that people will “wake up,” become “teachable,” or some other such nonsense. So society declines, breaking up into the atoms which previously comprised it like a decomposing corpse.
The only solution is to rise above the -isms by rejecting the Church of Progressivism, and all of the -isms which adhere to it. As a reactionary, I believe that the traditional Order is the only right and good sociopolitical arrangement which works for the ultimate benefit of all members of society. Southern Reaction is, in a way, a synthesis of all of the above modernist -isms, the pinnacles of which may only be secured by means of the traditional Order. This is not only attainable, but inevitable, because it is the only organic arrangement. The question is only, how long it will take, and how much damage will be caused in the meantime.