Categorized | Most Recent, Politics

Democracy, Tyranny, and the Third Position

I. The Tragedy of Our Age

It is an undisputed fact that we are living in a time of extreme liberal hegemony. Liberalism, once the dominion of Jacobin revolutionaries, has become status quo. Democracy and individualism are unquestioned dogmas, held sacrosanct among the institutions that hold the reigns of society.

Such a hegemony is not only political, it is cultural. From an early age, people are socialized to believe in a certain way, to conduct themselves with certain taboos in mind, and to feel offended when confronted with that which goes against so-called “American” values. In public schools, books such as “Daddy’s Wedding,” and “After the Holocaust,” (promoted by the ADL – at this point nearly a de-facto agency of the Federal Government), shape impressionable young minds.

These days, everyone listens to pop music, rap and hip-hop. They all eat at McDonald’s and watch the same television shows and movies. Such media is saturated with heavy-handed propaganda: men are fat, hapless and weak (unless they are of a minority group), women are intelligent and capable. America is always the good guy, and everyone else are either Nazis, Communists or Terrorists; the decent Black people have to live in fear of marauding bands of White racists. Those with unpopular views are portrayed in the media as buffoonish morons, while those with the correct views are portrayed as heroic and popular.

This system of course all exists in a regime which is dedicated with the utmost fanaticism to defending it. We are told that there is a choice, that there are liberals and conservatives, when in fact the majority of conservatives who are allowed to influence public discourse at all are at best, “respectable conservatives” who are just as vested in keeping things the way that they are as liberals. Even if a conservative does not support social engineering for the sake of social engineering, he can still be convinced to support it “for economic reasons”. Furthermore, should the liberals be successful, then in 30 years, what was once liberal then becomes a conservative cause. Even the supposed “far right,” in Europe with the possible exception of Golden Dawn, are nothing more than “respectable conservatives,” with all the politically correct views on immigration, feminism, and Zionism, rather than real conservatives who are willing to change society.

obama-bush-handshake

Modern politics leaves little room for any real choices, other than those which have already been pre-selected.

The same criticisms might apply to modern society “from the left”. Although the U.S. historically took the stance of being “anti-Communist,” they have had no problem with certain “decent leftists”: Trotskyists, radical feminists and anarchists who seek regime change in “unfriendly” nations, for instance.  In many Western European countries, “Antifascist” groups receive stipends and even legal assistance from the governments they claim to oppose.  The “decent leftists” might pretend to criticize the liberal hegemony, but in reality are only pretending to offer solutions. “Bad leftists” on the other hand are anti-imperialists and people that resist Western military and cultural hegemony.

Today there is no political alternative that does not advocate a sort of egalitarian, quasi-democratic, and secular way of life. The regime is solid, and there are few true critics. Only a few of these can be considered true conservatives (not the right-liberal “conservatives” or neo-cons). Though purporting to oppose one another, the Wilderses and Chomskies of today are merely a cohort of gatekeepers who prevent any real discussion of the issues at hand. At times, they are just as much representatives of the establishment as anyone else- George Soros being a prime example of this.

The current happenings in politics have undoubtedly unsettled many, but they are in fact something that has been affecting the West for centuries.  At present, we can clearly see the signs of the system beginning to crumble, and this in and of itself means that we must begin asking ourselves difficult questions about the future of mankind.  In this article, we hope to discuss the current situation as well as the basis for a solution to that situation.

II. The Twilight of the West

Since the Middle Ages, there have been two notable transformations in the character of Western Civilization. These were the Protestant Revolution and the rise of so-called “democracy”.  Both of these had in common their antipathy to hierarchy and the tendency to produce a more “standardized” individual, devoid of any personality.  Protestantism, for instance, would increasingly be influenced by the values of the Enlightenment, and as a result became increasingly dissociated from any transcendent interest.  So too, the replacement of Monarchies, where power came from above, with democracies, with power coming from below, also marked a move away from this traditional worldview.  The combination of Protestantism with democracy and the “Anglo-Saxon work ethic” meant that Protestantism thus became — at least for Evola — “susceptible to being used to sanctify any temporal achievement to the point of generating a kind of mysticism of social service, work, ‘progress,’ and even profit.”  Evola further states:

These forms of Anglo-Saxon Protestantism were characterized by communities of believers with no leader to represent a transcendent principle of authority; thus, the ideal of the state was reduced to that of the mere “society” of “free” Christian citizens. In this type of society, profit became the sip of divine election that, once the prevalent criterion became the economic one, corresponds to wealth and to prosperity. In this we can clearly distinguish one of the aspects of the above-mentioned degrading regression: this Calvinist theory was really the materialistic and lay counterfeit of the ancient mystical doctrine of victory. For quite a long time this theory has supplied an ethical and religious justification for the rise to power of the merchant class and of the Third Estate during the cycle of the modem democracies and capitalism.

From the 20th century onwards, the Western worldview could only be characterised as a “tragic comedy of the world-improvers and freedom-teachers,” to quote Spengler.  The remaining Monarchies of Europe had become all but powerless figureheads, replaced by and plutocracies and democracies.  Such a shift constituted, even more than before, the framework from which all modern acceptable political discourse emanates today.

In some ways, the beginnings of a third “Great Transformation” can be seen in the West.  This last ideological shift began after World War II, and as its primary focus was not only a change in politics, but a change in the worldview of the West.  Whereas the Western “liberal” intellectual tradition the Enlightenment still embraced a certain amount of reason and responsibility, in the Postmodern age, reason and logic are said to be dependent on context.  In such societies, people must liberate themselves from “reactionary thinking” and the concept of “rights of the individual” is taken to its absolute conclusion.  Democratic systems became increasingly controlled by hostile minorities and special interests, who use so-called “victim” groups, under the notion that such people needed to be protected from the “reactionary” majority.

In the West, democracy as it was intended (that is to say, people of a nation-state voting for or against matters that concerned them), no longer  functions.  Popular votes can be overturned at the stroke of a pen, political parties outside the mainstream are persecuted, candidates can be barred from running, and  those who do can endlessly sputter about “hope” and “change” whilst only providing cosmetic changes.

III. Challenges to Liberalism and Their Shortfalls

It must be noted here, before continuing, that the goal of finance-capital is the displacement of traditional aristocracies.   In modern times, the aristocrats, who were traditionally and organically bound to the peoples over which they held authority, by both blood and law, had been replaced by politicians, who in turn were controlled by a despotic and hostile minorities.  The principles of egalitarianism, and universal suffrage, therefore, became the tools by which finance-capital keeps the masses in control.

Since the end of the 19th century, there have been few challenges to the rule of democracy.  The first of these was communism, and the second was fascism.  Communism attempted to solve the problem of finance-capital by addressing the issue of class, but ultimately this proved to be a failure.  Orthodox communism ultimately became too idealistic; rather than addressing the foundational errors of modernity, the Communists believed that the way to fight the finance-capitalists was to repair the materialistic system through class warfare.  Marxism, from which communism ultimately claims descent, took inspiration from the likes of Robespierre and Hegel, and as a result did not truly represent a rebellion against modernity, but rather a natural completion of it.  The Communists, with their materialistic outlook, could see no other world other than one which was cold and utilitarian, yet believed that after a brief revolution, that there lay around the corner a period of eternal peace and plenty.  Furthermore, in advocating a sort of class warfare and attempting to take among the people of a nation (rather than the parasitic, cosmopolitan elements of society), they ensured that communist nations would forever be facing internal problems.

Communism and Fascism both opposed liberal democracy, but they were not without faults of their own.

Communism and Fascism both opposed liberal democracy, but they were not without faults of their own.

The second challenge to liberalism, and one the one that followed the development of communism, in the historical context has been fascism.  In some ways, fascism attempted to oppose both capitalism and communism with a “third political form” which opposed materialism and elevated the nation state to spiritual terms in its own right.   It was recognized that because communism, at least in its original form, had severe faults.  Moreover, while communism might have worked in poor nations like Russia, it was doomed to fail in relatively prosperous Western European nations; a plan was thus undertaken to transfer communism from a purely materialistic worldview (as if this was not bad enough), and transfer it into cultural terms.  This, combined with the Western ideals of democracy and freedom, was a disaster.  Thus, while fascism is, in its own right, superior to liberal democracy, it could not serve as a means to an end in and of itself.  The fascists, particularly in Italy, ultimately failed to recognize this, and in the end, fascism ultimately became too marked by a base sort of populist nationalism, would never achieved a spiritual sanction which would have given it a transcendent character.  Any potential it had to achieve this, of course, can only be speculative given the suppression and destruction of most fascist leaning states in WWII.

Today, both communism and fascism have been savagely attacked by democracies and forced to the sidelines; the Western world, and the American propagandists in particular, for the most part claim that individualism is the only true “moderate” stance and frame the questions of culture and politics in such terms: the “freedom-lovers” against everyone else (i.e. the communists and the fascists).  The last remaining “true fascists” were declared defeated by the world-improvers after World War II, and communism is said to have fallen with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Ironically, the critiques of both systems from both all camps are nearly identical, and both the Left and the Right often accuse both of these alternative systems of belonging to the other side.  For instance, it has become fashionable among the “respectable Right” to decry fascism as “left-wing” because it supposedly advocated a strong central government, while the “decent Left” decries Soviet-style communism as being “far right” because it is not individualistic enough.

IV. Mankind at the Crossroads

As mentioned before, the Western world is now in the throes of a process that seeks to radically transform it.  Plato, for one notes that what follows democracy, (which is to say what happens as democracy collapses) is tyranny.  In the final stages of democracy, everyone is said to do as they please; the individual rules supreme, guided by lusts and desire.  While the new-found freedom that initially accompanies democracy makes it a possible home for all types of men, it is the same freedom that, paradoxically, requires freedom to “be protected from itself”.  These words certainly might describe the situation today in some countries, where “democracy” and “freedom of expression” must themselves be defended by limiting the people’s rights to vote through the courts and denying certain types of speech, while allowing the sort of “freedoms” that are sanctioned by the a bureaucratic, faceless “state” only.

MarcusAurelius

Marcus Aurelius – often considered by his contemporaries and by historians to be a “philosopher king”

Already, two things must be noted regarding tyranny.  First, the passage from democracy to tyranny is not the result of “reactionaries” or even “conservatives,” as most of the modern-day pundits would like us to believe.  Rather, tyranny arises as a result of the progressive mindset itself.  Secondly, we must note also that tyranny, for Plato, was not the same as hierarchy or aristocracy.  While the ideal aristocrat is a wise “philosopher-king” (φιλόσοφος, literally lover of wisdom in the original Greek), the tyrant resembles more of an “Antichrist” – promising to uphold law and order, whilst propagating evil.  Many of the leaders of the so-called “free world” certainly fit this mold.

However, despite the fact that things seem bleak at the moment, human civilization is being given a second chance by those, who, under the banner of Traditionalism, are becoming to vanguards of the next millennium.  Although the new movement has yet to be given a name, and in fact, might have many different manifestations throughout the world, there are people who are beginning to see the “writing on the wall,” so to speak, and realizing that liberalism, democracy, and egalitarianism have committed the greatest crimes against humanity in the history of the world.  Such people, rejecting the degenerate spirit of the modern world have begun to advocate a rebirth of Traditional ideas.

This approach must at once be both revolutionary and reactionary.  It must be revolutionary out of necessity – because neither democracy nor the following sort of tyranny will be defeated through slogans or through peace; it must be reactionary by choice – because it will oppose the excesses of modernity.  In terms of politics, it should view the State as the intrusion of a higher order of reality, naturalized in the social world as a power.  This is to say that the State is not a mere “proposition” or an “idea” in the Atlantic sense, nor a mere “community” of people held together by vague notions of “freedom”.  An adequate idea is needed to form the Order, the caste or sacred society, which properly embodies the state. Ideally, the Order is the meaning of the state.

V.  Concluding Remarks

Admittedly, such a movement exists only in its infancy, much as Fascism did decades ago, but at least it can be used as a starting point for a larger current which will push beyond the boundaries of the conventional left and right.  For some time, fascism did seem as if it would fill that void, but ultimately never progressed beyond the revolutionary phase.  In order to avoid the same fate today’s movements must begin to prepare for the future and become active, organizing forces that are capable of shaping the people, their culture, and planning for the legacy of a nation.

To some people, some of the preceding may seem totalitarian, but it is worth pointing out that there is a difference between a tyrant and legitimate “strongman” leader.  Returning to Plato, the tyrant is the figurative son of the democratic man.  He is the end result of a failed and degenerate society that has exhausted all its options.  More often than not, the “tyrant” is a mere puppet for a hostile and parasitic minority which is surviving the remaining life out of the already decaying society, if not being outright a member of this minority.  He is consumed by lawless desires which cause him to do many terrible things such as murdering someone unjustly.  The Traditional state, for at least for Evola, while wielding power, understands the principle of power coming from “above,” and that while authority is needed, the Traditional leader “acts out of prestige with an authority that can, of course, resort to force, but abstains from it as much as possible.”  This is not unlike the position the Catholic Church historically sanctioned as proper among the monarchs of Europe; that a monarch allowed a man to live with relative freedom in things that were truly indifferent, but that laws should be required to uphold the Divine law.

As a matter of practicality, we list a few key points to be exhibited by this Weltanschauung of the future:

  • A rejection of the materialistic way of thinking.  That is to say, an embrace of “quality” rather than quantity.  To put this succinctly, this means putting matters of the soul and of the mind first.  Leaders should create a spiritual and moral atmosphere, in which the heroic man may be born and on which he can thrive. This hero will lead our people on the road of its greatness.  While the economy will still be significant, it will not be the sole focus for the existence of government.
  • A balance of duty as well as rights.  In the modern world, the notion of “human rights” has been used to make nearly every degenerate thing permissible by law.  While a Traditional state also believes that human beings are worth treating with dignity, those rights must also come with responsibility.  The people who are outside of the cultural and traditional norms of the State need not be given sanctuary.
  • A focus on families, communities, and hierarchies.  Aldous Huxley duly noted that in the final days of democracy, in the age of standardization, As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual “freedom” tends compensatingly to increase alongside the decrease of other freedoms.  Modern society is obsessed with a breakdown of the family and community solidarity.  What we need is to the Freudo-Marxist idea and return to those which respects the traditional roles of men, women and children, as well as that which recognizes the roles of family and community within society.
  • The protection of identity and culture.  Classical liberalism says that ideas must be allowed to compete on the free market.  Its ugly cousin, Cultural Marxism deliberately co-opts culture to corrupt a people.  We must realize that culture is the birthright of a people, and that the State has the right to safeguard it.  There must be a complete opposition to all forms of degenerate and decadent art, music, fashion, literature, and architecture.
  • A rejection of the unipolar geopolitical view, particularly that which is centered along the Anglo-American/Atlanticist alignment.  For a number of reasons, America and its allies cannot be allowed to continue to hold the world ransom to their imperialist designs.  Conversely, this implies a shift towards a multipolar world, as suggested by Xi Jinping earlier this year.
  • A rejection of a majority of the “developments” from the French and American revolutions.  That is to say, in particularly a rejection of the excesses of liberalism (including a rejection of the false “libertarian” idea), as well as that of unbounded egalitarianism.  In their place, and re-enforcing anti-imperialist themes, we propose an integral and organic idea: Volksgemeinschaft, that is to say, a  hierarchy with co-operation between social classes.
  • A respect for the conservation of ecology.  Living in harmony with nature is part of a long-term survival strategy.  Furthermore, man is the master of his environment, and the guardian of this Earth.  Nature can no longer be viewed only as an inconvenience or a commodity.

In conclusion:  The situation for Mankind – particularly Western Mankind – has been in decline for decades, if not centuries.  At present, we are now at a crossroads.  One path leads down the path of the anti-spiritual, anti-heroic ‘ideals’ of materialistic tyranny;  the other path is that of Tradition, order, and hierarchy.  A political ideology and a corresponding movement that is firmly rooted in Tradition (as opposed to liberal-democracy), which respects life, and which safeguards the organic State will be absolutely crucial if there is to be a true alternative to such a tyranny.  Opposing the current regime, or preventing the next one from arising will not be easy, but it is something we must nevertheless confront before it is too late.

About William van Nostrand

William van Nostrand is a native of Chicago, Illinois and is currently the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of RidingTheTiger.org. He holds a B.A. in Economics as well as a minor in cultural anthropology. His interests are highly varied and include late medieval European architecture, German romantic classical music, and travel.
  • Marika Charalambous

    Wow that is a heavy post full of interesting ideas that are worth thinking about.

  • suz

    Oh Boy. I had to look some of these words up.
    Made me think though.

  • Wendy Bottrell

    It seems your message is an important one today! I do like your list of key points especially
    A respect for the conservation of ecology. Living in harmony with nature is part of a long-term survival strategy. Furthermore, man is the master of his environment, and the guardian of this Earth. Nature can no longer be viewed only as an inconvenience or a commodity.
    Thanks for the ideas! Best Regards, Wendy

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