Rising Above The Isms

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?

George Fitzhugh

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.

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13 thoughts on “Rising Above The Isms

  1. Would you please explain the traditional order in detail? What is the traditional order for people living in the USA – or even a subset of those people – who live in a nation approaching 300 years progressive history?

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    • The simplest way to explain the tradition order, or traditional society, is the organic society, which is always (to my knowledge) characterized by hierarchical social structure. Organic implying natural growth, resistant and opposed to the Leftism virus. Perhaps Evola can say it better than I:

      “The idea of the organic State is a traditional one, and thus we can say that every true State has always had a certain organic character. A State is organic when it has a center, and this center is an idea that shapes the various domains of life in an efficacious way; it is organic when it ignores the division and autonomization of the particular [Ed: as outlined above] and when, by virtue of a system of hierarchical participation, every part within its relative autonomy performs its own function and enjoys an intimate connection with the whole. In an organic State we can speak of a ‘whole’ – namely, something integral and spiritually unitary that articulates and unfolds itself – rather than a sum of elements within an aggregate, characterized by a disorderly clash of interests.”

      Obviously each nation or thede’s organic society will look a little different. I don’t want to embarrass myself by revealing how little I know of European history by postulating on the various traditional societies that occurred there, but I think it safe to say that all or most which survived into the 18th century were traditional or organic.

      America is another matter; we here at LTC hold that the antebellum South was both organic and traditional, as it was an outgrowth from the organic societies of Europe, namely English with some Scots-Irish mixed in. To me, the old South is a very good example of a traditional society in that each class had a role and obligation, and a corresponding amount of rights and privileges, which both benefited the part and the whole. See these excerpts:
      https://losingthecreek.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/excerpt-on-antebellum-patriarchalism/
      https://losingthecreek.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/excerpt-on-the-strengths-of-a-class-society/
      Unfortunately it was forcibly done away with; who can tell how long it would have lasted, in satisfaction and contentment? I think a good long while.

      As for the North, I’m not sure they ever had a truly organic society; the peculiarities of the founding of the place (settlers mostly came from the same class, primarily religious reasons for relocating, founded on ideas rather than blood-ties, etc) dictated the strange growth of the place. Add to that the various admixture from other-than-English colonists and a never-ending stream of Old World immigrants, and we may be nearing some kind of explanation as to why New England and its compatriots became the multi-headed Leftist monster which went on the plague the rest of the world over the next 300 years.

      As for what does the traditional order look like *now*? Well, therein lies the problem for reactionaries. How to create an organic order once the growth has been tainted by Leftist ideologies? I think we in the rural South are lucky, we have been shielded from much of the damage to social ties which our urban friends have received. My take is that we should concentrate on building or facilitating the growth of a tradition-minded aristocracy, since that is the class which is most key the survival of our worldview, and the class most degraded by modernity.

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      • I think you’re correct that the first step is creating an aristocracy, but before even that, we must define that aristocracy very carefully. In my opinion, the rural south is not as resilient as it seems to you. It is easily overcome by mimicry and sentimentalism, overrun by alien for-profit corporate interests, and fatally susceptible to many debaucheries. Lacking a means of self-enforcement due to external (federal) interference with the local administration of justice and popular (much less aristocratic) will, it seems to me that #SRx is obligated to start experimenting with social forms which aren’t subject to oversight by Cathedral authority.

        Ultimately, this is the question I’m asking: what do you propose?

        I think, at this point, we’re beating a dead horse when we continue to talk about what’s gone wrong. Phalanx may be a good start, but their notion of passivism seems a path to extermination.

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        • Regarding your criticism of the rural South: you’re not wrong. Certainly those are plagues which we’ll have to deal with sooner or later. But surely they can be applied, to some extent, to every culture in the West? My experience tells me that the rural South retains a distinct and relatively strong cultural identity despite all the tumult which modernity has brought us over the last 150 years. Of all the -isms which dominate sociopolitical discourse today, few if any will be found in rural Southern areas. This tells me that we have a social model which, however flawed, works. Where there are no ills, there are no physicians.

          It sounds to me like you’re talking about alternate (or extra-“Cathedral”) power structures – indeed, I agree that it’s something we need sooner rather than later. I’ve discussed it before:
          https://losingthecreek.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/reaction-implies-action-or-imperative-build/
          https://losingthecreek.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/reviving-southern-agrarianism-pt-2/

          You’re correct about beating the dead horse. Personally, I think many of our so-called neo-Confederate or Southern Nationalist friends will be amenable to our message when and if they hear it, so I’ve tried to position myself and this blog somewhere between the Reaction and SN universes, and I write most of my posts with these groups and this goal in mind. If you’re looking for cutting-edge reactionary thinking, you’ll not find it here. I’m not really smart or original enough to pull it off. I’m more concerned with repackaging and making relevant age-old ideas and transitioning to on-the-ground networking. That said, I’m just some dude as lost in the sauce as anybody. If you have suggestions on how to accomplish the above goals, I’d love to hear them.

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          • I strongly agree with your sentiments regarding southern aristocracy. In fact, one of my own side projects has been to translate the Moldbuggian caste analysis to the South, but in a far less alien way. I do not believe that we need to reach all the way to the Vedas to find inspiration, when in many ways the old protestant denominations of the south help us to a large degree in determining these ‘castes’ or as I like to refer to them ‘estates'(There are of course interesting exceptions, Louisiana being one with its indigenous Roman Catholic population)

            Roughly though I think we can translate Moldbug’s analysis of Brahmin-Dalit along something of an Episcopal-Snake Handler like axis. Will it fitcompletely? No, but it will provide a conceptualization of caste and class for SRx that speaks to its own culture and tradition(s), that current NRx forumatlions do not.

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  2. Two points: First, there is a reason that there will always be a breach between (neo or paleo) Southern Reaction and National Socialism. Socialism is always and everywhere opposed to God, at its ideological root, and the core of Southern identity is founded in God. The Bible is the core literature of the Southern man, as many writers have acknowledged, which forms the center of the shared experience of being Southern. National Socialists are white trash, from an objective viewpoint; white trash is the wreckage which results from a Southern yeoman who has lost his culture, identity, and faith. By denying the sovereignty of Christ the King, the National Socialist has lost his Southern-ness, and can only return to his true self by repentance; like the prodigal son he must return and submit to the Father to restore his identity and find his place back in the household of Southern culture. Any real Southern politics must be Christ-centered because Southern culture is Christ-centered, and the only alternative is to fall into a white-trash, alienated, atomistic, commercialized, atheistic (ie. Yankee) society.

    Secondly, I think there is an error in your analysis of the “waves”. Both waves are successive phases of the progressive project, which can be summed up in this: the Progressive is angry at God because the world does not please him. His goal is to replace God with himself, to undo Creation, and remake it in his own image. It is not just traditional society that the Progressive needs to destroy, but reality itself. Progressive racial politics and pseudo-science form the core of their hatred of reality and need to replace it with something, like radical egalitarianism, that matches their ideology. Certainly, some people stress destruction over rebuilding or vice versa, but both phases are implicit. Bakunin stressed the violence of destruction, Lenin stressed rebuilding the “New Society and New Man.”

    I think the better division is between “liberals” who seek partial destruction of traditional society with “progressives” who seek the full destruction of traditional society. To borrow a quote, the liberal seeks to demolish half the house and life in the ruins, certain that the other half will not fall in on his head, while the progressive seeks to level the house to ashes, in the vain arrogance that he can build something better in his own image.

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    • Thanks for your comment and I agree with your critique on National Socialism. I can imagine no series of events in which that (or Fascism) would be anything near desirable for the South. It’s a European invention and it can stay in Europe for all I care. I want no part of it here.
      I admit the “waves” thing is a little simplistic and clunky, though I think the general idea holds. I’ve been toying around with a definition of Progressivism as *the* social-political manifestation of Satan, which I believe it is, but I’m afraid I lack the skill to build that argument in full.

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      • I look forward to ya’ll’s expositions regarding your god and your devil. Being atheist, these discussions and assertions that atheism means progressivism and liberalism inevitably fail to convince me. My path away from Christianity led from Baptism (& baptism) through Anglican/Episcopal association and confirmation, then straight out of christian communion when I realized I could find no christian communion not rife with apostasy. Why bother supporting communities that mock the Bible?

        Don’t misunderstand: I’m supportive of Biblical wisdom, I’ve just yet to find any christian church teaching it, or any god manifest in a burning bush or perforated savior. In the meantime, I practice what worked for my ancestry, which respect for biblical wisdom.

        As for national socialism, it always seemed to me a politics in search of god-on-earth, and southern culture bereft of aristocracy is susceptible to men claiming “just cause” and “popular will,” which such men jettison upon attaining power.

        Any aristocracy, to be effective, must bear such burdens that no man will choose to be lord, and many lords will abdicate. [Hence the real temptation of Jesus by the deceiver.] That is both the proof of your christ and falsification of your christianity about which we differ.

        But enough. I’m rambling.

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        • I don’t think anyone is saying that atheism inevitably leads to progressivism, as there are plenty of atheists who do not have the neurosis which leads them down that path, as well as plenty of (professed) Christians who throw themselves into the cause of the Enemy. The argument I would make is that first, Christianity, especially Protestantism, is a de facto element of Southern identity, in the same way that Catholicism serves that role for certain Hispanics, Poles, Spaniards, Italians, and so forth. It is more difficult to maintain Southern identity in the absence of that element.

          Secondly, Progressivism is at its base an egoist rebellion against reality (ontos) grounded in the desire of the individual to be like God and create reality in his own image. The root of their movement is the idea that reality is defective and needs to be “fixed” in the way they see fit. Racial reality, economic reality, political reality, et al. do not please them, so they demand reality conform to their desires. The only fool-proof vaccine against this psychological illness (and it is a form of insanity) is a world-view in which Man’s will is radically oriented toward the spiritual ground of Being (a fancy way of saying God), which accepts the dual nature of reality (simultaneously and equally materiel and spiritual), and acknowledges the materiel order to be inferior and subordinate to the spiritual order. By acknowledging a higher spiritual order above the worldly order, earthly inequalities or “injustices” which bother the progressive can be understood as insignificant details subordinate to a higher spiritual order (A “Romans 13” order) which we must conform ourselves toward.

          Frankly, if one can do this and be atheist, either through Stoicism or some other philosophy, more power to you. I don’t believe there is any substitute for true Christianity, by which I mean what the Church Fathers meant; the Christianity of today, just like in the past, is comprised of two Churches, the true Church and the Church of Satan which infiltrates and impersonates the Church. This was acknowledged as far back as St. Augustine, and even the Catholics used to believe it. The true Church is hard to find amidst the Churches of Satan, but it can be found with perseverance and wisdom.

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          • Gordon, I’ll have to be brief due to time constraints, but I hope to make my point.

            Paul begins with your thesis: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

            Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
            This is well, but thereafter the weakness of the thesis, becomes susceptible to manipulation.
            “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
            Is that, tell me, the way you describe the current rulers of our federal government? I cannot reconcile that admonition to obey authority with the will of omnipotent and omniscient deity. This is not merely a problem of evil, but a problem of justice.
            The fatal flaw of much Christian philosophy is its reliance on “hereafter” to reconcile the injustice of “here-and-now.”
            You reference Augustine, but his argument is also weak. After defining just war, he also addresses unjust war and provides this advice: [Christians] “by divine edict, have no choice but to subject themselves to their political masters and [should] seek to ensure that they execute their war-fighting duty as justly as possible.”
            This, as an atheist, is an inexcusably specious argument. By assigning to established rulers purportedly divine edict, the Christian is absolved of participation within unjust cause. While one may reasonably plead ignorance of circumstance and then repent, it is not sufficient to alleged salvation to participate with knowledge of sin. This is, fundamentally, of the same substance as original sin, that is, disobedience of deity with full knowledge of both error and consequence.
            I could go on, but will relent with this.
            Although it is good and proper to study all human wisdom to obtain full understanding, it is great error to rely upon the reconciliation of wrongs by another person, even a deity, while one retains the least portion of self-direction. Your responsibility as a man is to do what is just, to do your duty to god (if you so believe) and your kin (however far that definition of kin might extend). To do less, or worse, participate in depravity, cannot be excused by any radical orientation toward any ground, be it spiritual or otherwise.

            “…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

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          • I think the error lies in the interpretation of the words “higher powers”: The Vulgate translates this as “principes”, which could be translated as “leading men,” or “patricians.” (It only really becomes “princes” in medieval Latin). Augustine’s interpretation is only valid insofar as you identify the current crop of leaders with the “principes” of the realm and reject the idea of usurpation. In a decadent realm, however, the lowest class of men displace the better classes to seize the power of the state (See Tacitus and Juvenal). John of Salisbury’s works on tyranny describe the way to distinguish a true “princeps” from a false one, and gives a theological defense of tyrannicide.

            Back to my main point, however, the “correction of wrongs,” especially public wrongs, is certainly not the role of the individual, with a few exceptions like tyranny, which is the core of any critique of the progressives. If Joe steals from John, I have no obligation to intervene unless John is kin to me or otherwise under my protection. Now the “principes” of the county, perhaps, might have an obligation to maintain the public peace stemming from their superior position and character, but the notion that a common citizen has an obligation to correct anything he personally feels is “wrong” is pernicious and leftist.

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  3. Conservatism has long taken the word “racism” to mean “irrational discrimination on the basis of race”. I long believed that’s what it was and I contended vociferously for that definition and that I was (therefore) not a “racist”. Too bad for me, because that never was what the word meant, and it was not the way it was ever used. Tho’ Trotsky did not in fact coin the word, he deployed it purely as cudgel to pathologize normal, insufficiently revolutionary, human feelings. And that is how, and only how, the word is ever used. Period. Therefore I am a racist and you are a racist and everyone, unless one is truly insane, is a racist.

    “Nationalism” suffers a similar fate but by association. Conservatives want it to mean natural feelings of tribal or social connection. But, in the real world, that’s never been what “nationalism” meant. Nationalism arose in the early 19th century as a repudiation of the aristocratic order, fueling feelings of fervor because those feelings were useful to leftists seeking power. Conscious nationalism (qua “nationalism”) has always been revolutionary ergo leftist and usually some version of socialist.

    When reactionaries and neoreactionaries refer to natural feelings of devotion to one’s people, the word “ethno-nationalism” is an attempt to convey that, but it says too much. And it attracts, as is quite clear, the wrong sorts of people. We need a better word.

    The reactionary is quite right to be biased against any word ending with -ism.

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  4. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/03/13) | The Reactivity Place

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