Archive | May, 2012

Is Southern Agrarianism America’s Final Hope?

If there is any hope for the future of America, it lies in the South.

While it is duly noted that the American spirit, generally speaking, is different from that of the Old World, in that it is more libertarian, it is in the South that there is yet a semblance — though arguably an obscured one — of some form of a traditional society.  It is also where, a truly conservative “revolution,” as well as ”folk-communities” are likely to arise on the basis of the values which, though forgotten elsewhere, can still be found in the South.  In contrast, the materialistic, spiritually vapid North holds little hope of any sort of revival.

The American hope will not lie with the Washington-based regime, or with the visions of progress touted endlessly by politicians, or with visions that somehow the Federal government’s endless and wasteful wars are to bring about a Pax Americana in various distant lands.  In fact, the Washington-based regime has proven to be the worst enemy of the vast majority of Americans.

It goes without saying that since the 1960′s, America has changed profoundly.  In 1965, America was roughly 90% European and 10% African.  Today, Europeans are becoming a minority in a land that they founded, American culture has degenerated beyond recognition, and every aspect of the traditional Christian society is slowly being eroded by progressives on both the right and left.  We only need to look at places like New Orleans and Detroit to see the future of America should it continue along this same path.

Detroit: The Beginning of the End of American "civilization"

A future America which continues along this same path could more closely resemble the former nation of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but in fact, that thinking could be quite optimistic.  Zimbabwe, for all its corruption, has not squandered billions on wars abroad, and many politicians are there are not in denial about the pitiful state of their country.  Moreover, Zimbabwe faced over a decade of sanctions, which arguably damaged its economy.  America, in contrast, is the opposite: trillions — not mere billions — have been spent on wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, and trillions more have been paid out to foreign nations in the form of foreign aid.  American politicians are in denial and vigorously reject the possibility of any sort of reform.  It is arguable that America has survived only thus far because its politicians have been able to keep the illusion going for longer than the Mugabe regime.

Of course, changes will not happen overnight; Rome was not built in a day, but it was not defeated in a day, either.  Massive social changes, imposed by liberals and progressives will accompany the demographic shifts, leading to an increasingly polarized society.  On the one hand, will be neoconservatives, progressives, and liberals who clamor for a linear version of history, in which each value of the past must systematically be destroyed and consigned to the graveyard of ideas.  On the other hand, will be more traditional-minded individuals who believe in preserving what still remains, or those who wish to return to more timeless and transcendent values.

But the modern values can only be suited to a society in which quantity reigns supreme over quality, a society which at its core is mechanical, sterile, bureaucratic, and inorganic.  Thus, though attractive to the current elite, they will be of no use when American society finally breaks down.  When this happens, those regions of America (namely the South), which have preserved their values will be more likely survive, whilst those who are rootlessly anti-traditional will be more likely to fail.  Much of American society, with its anti-moral and permissive values, will quite possibly descend into a state of anarchic violence, leaving much of the Northeast United States, as well as the West Coast in a state of disrepair for decades to come.

And what of the South?  If the South could weather this storm, the “new” Southern outlook might resemble the North American analogue of Eurasianism: oriented away from the Atlanticist worldview, and towards the “heartland” of the North American continent.  Just as the next European century will be oriented Eastwards towards Russia, so too, in the 21st century, America’s future will be oriented towards Dixie.  This worldview will be, in reality, be a resurrection of their previous Agrarian worldview first exposed in the early 20th century by the Southern intellectuals such as Allen Tate, Donald Davidson, and Robert Penn Warren.

These men, collectively known as the “Southern Agrarians,” their manifesto was a critique of the rapid industrialization and urbanization during the first few decades of the 20th century in the Southern United States and elsewhere. There was no doubt that those formative years of the 20th century were times of rapid change, but the Southern Agrarians were able to see past the prevailing winds of the day, and propose an alternative to the “brave new world” which was sweeping America.  Rather than a blind faith in the memes of that era, they posited an alternative based on a return to the more traditionally rural and local/regional culture, a balance between individuality and community, and agrarian American values.  They were opposed to the then-popular “myth of progress” of the early 20th century, and made such views clear.  Today, Southern Agrarian ideas are once again encountering a resurgence in popularity, with some of their social, economic, and political ideas being discussed by Allan C. Carlson and Wendell Berry.

We should not harbor any illusions.  The future of the Washington, D.C.-based regime is highly uncertain.  It could very well collapse within a generation, or slightly longer.  It may either Balkanized and split into several smaller nations, or merely waste away into social and financial ruin.  But there is one final hope for America: the hope that some way or another, the South might rise again.

Posted in Most Recent, Politics, Society1 Comment Remembers Julius Evola

Julius Evola, was born on this day in 1898 in Rome.  The descendant of a noble Sicilian family, he was named Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, and fought in World War I as an artillery officer on the Asiago plateau.  In his early career, he was an artist, and briefly was a member of the futurist movement of Filippo Marinetti.  In the inter-war period, he began his formal study of Oriental doctrines.  Today, he is remembered as one of the main influences on the political arm of the Traditionalist school of thought, who influenced future luminaries such as the writer Herman Hesse, and the politicians Miguel Seranno and Alain de Benoist.

For his own part, Evola was influenced by an eclectic host of ancient and modern thinkers, from Plato to Confucius, to Nietzsche to René Guénon.  There exist some similarities between Evola’s work and that of Spengler, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Arthur de Gobineau and Joseph de Maistre.  Evola regarded his stances and spiritual values as at odds with those of the post-war world.  While the rest of the world moved towards a more democratic and egalitarian worldview, Evola championed the values of the traditional hierarchy and defended the aristocracy.  Others have described Evola’s stances as being masculine, traditionalist, heroic and defiantly reactionary, in contrast to the feminine, materialistic and liberal worldview of the post-war era.

Evola, rejecting the myth of progress which was popular among the social scientists and industrialists of his day, believed that, rather than having reached its pinnacle, mankind is instead living in a Dark Age, the Kali Yuga.  Evola’s works not only expose the patterns of traditional society based on ancient texts, but they also display a great opposition to the negative aspects of the modern world, while advancing his own theories on the society from a Traditional viewpoint.

During World War II, Evola volunteered with the German war effort as a translator of Masonic documents. After the war, he continued to write about topics such as race, politics, and religion, getting arrested in 1951 for “promotion of fascism”.  His many books include, among others, Revolt Against the Modern World, Men Among the Ruins, The Hermetic Tradition, and last but not least, the book for which this site is named, Riding the Tiger.

Evola died on June 11, 1974, leaving behind his unique intellectual legacy as one of the most interesting thinkers of the 20th century.

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Against Esperanto, or Kontraŭ Esperanto

Many, many years ago, had the unique experience of learning the “international” language of Esperanto.  My school district, being located in a progressive pocket of suburban America, had somehow caught wind of this minor fad, and made the efforts to teach it to us.  In those fledgling days of the Internet, our teachers said, a universal language was inevitable, because the world was shrinking.  We were told that Esperanto was to be the language of the future which, one day, would be spoken by all educated people, and that we would be able to converse with Frenchmen and Zulus alike, over the Internet, in Esperanto.  Soon, they told us, visitors from exotic locales might very well turn up on our streets, and inquire of us directions to the post office, banks, or shopping arcades; and they would do so in Esperanto.

And thus it was, that thrice weekly, we would file into a cramped classroom adorned with green stars and cartoonish images of people from around the world holding hands, and recite things such as “mi parolas, vi parolis, li parolos”  (I speak, you spoke, he shall speak).  I learned it quickly and easily enough to earn good marks in the class, but otherwise did not care for it.  To my ears, contrasted with the melodiousness of French or Spanish, Esperanto sounded ugly, mechanical, and repetitive.  Even then, as a child, I knew that Esperanto would never produce a Shakespeare or a Cervantes; nor would it ever bring forth anything like the Popol Vuh or the Tale of Genji.

However, my loathing of Esperanto was not the dread of foreign languages, nor was it a result of a crass attitude of the supremacy of the English language.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  I’ve always been enthusiastic about foreign languages.  Growing up, I was jealous of those who had Italian or Polish grandmothers who still knew the language of the Old Country.  During my high school years, I learned Spanish well enough to take a trip to Spain the year after I graduated, and walk the streets without a tour guide.  In college, I took a year of French and a year of Italian.  Of course, my studies in the latter did not permit me to become fluent, but nevertheless were a window into the uniqueness of those spoken languages.

It should be noted, that in historical context, the idea of a Universal language by no means began with Esperanto.  Early Kabbalists believed in the existence of an Adamic language — a language spoken in Paradise before the Fall — separate from the Ancient Hebrew of the Torah.  Gottfried Leibniz conceived of a characteristica universalis for the expression of scientific, philosophical, and mathematical thoughts.  Later inventors created more practical languages, intended for more general use, such as Volapuk, but none of these became popular.

The first and foremost problem with using Esperanto as a “world’ language is that it is undeniably and distinctively European.  But, if Esperanto is to be a European language, then something like Latin, despite its higher grammatical complexity, would be preferable due to its historical prevalence as the language of learning on that continent, and so would any of the major spoken languages of Europe.  However, within every language is a richness, a broad cultural and identitary estate, that must be kept and preserved.  At best, it might be possible to create constructed languages that incorporate the narrow families of languages (for instance, the Romance, Germanic or Slavic languages), but any hypothetical language could not proceed further than that because of cultural subtleties.

Regarding certain ethno-identitarian concerns, Esperanto, then, is probably unique among the constructed languages, for having a distinctive anti-identitarian ideology which is associated with it.  Esperanto is inherently linked to what its creator, L. L. Zamenhof, termed Homaranismo, or Humanitism.  The ideals are summed up as follows:

  1. I am a human being, and I believe that there are only human ideals and ideals linked to the country of origin; every ideal which brings hatred among peoples and entails the power of one ethnicity over another I believe it to be human egoism, which sooner or later must disappear and to which disappearance I must contribute according to my possibilities.
  2. I believe that all peoples are equally part of humankind
  3. I believe that every country does not belong to a particular group of people, but equally to every people who live in it…(T)he mixing of the country’s interests with those of one or another group of people, language or religion I regard it as reminiscence of barbarian times, when there was only the right of fist and sword.
  4. I believe that in his/her own family life each person has the natural and indisputable right to speak whatever language or dialect he/she wants and to confess whatever religion he/she wants; nevertheless, when communicating with people from other origins he/she must, when it is possible, aim to use a neutral language and to live according to neutral religious principles.

As demonstrated by the above, the very ideological framework of Esperanto is the pure embodiment of the modernistic, rootless phase of degeneration.  Esperanto, with its secularist and anti-traditional face hiding under a utopian mask, its anti-hierarchical and “anarcho-democratic” nature, is to the world of linguistic what the United States was to politics.  With regard to these ideals, Esperanto is merely a means, o­ne of the instruments to realize them, and was never meant as solely a means of facilitating communication.  By the 1960′s, in some Euro-socialist circles, the deduction that socialism definitely needed an international language became the logical precursor to the world-wide “worker’s revolution”.  Thus, the Esperantist concept of Finvenkismo (final victory) entailed not just a linguistic paradigm shift, but one in which a more extreme Homaranismo could become a dominant world ideology which would ultimately replace both Western and civilizations1.

Esperanto, thankfully, is now quickly becoming a moribund idea, just as communism was.  Few people will have heard of it in the 21st century, save for linguists and historians, and perhaps a few ideologues and confused college students who pick up the odd, dusty book in the stacks of their local libraries.  In its place, let ring the echoes of Virgil and of the Mahabarata, and the sweet strains of the Homeric Odyssey and the tales of Beowulf.  A for Esperanto, let it therefore be laid to rest in a matter so befitting to itself: in pace requiescat!

1Footnote: Thus it should come as no surprise, as mentioned previously, that the heretical Baha’i cult became thoroughly interested in this artificial language, even forming a Baha’i-Esperanto-League with the sanction of the Universal House of Justice.

Posted in Culture, History3 Comments

In the defense of Chivalry

A number of men’s right’s activists have made it a point to decry “chivalry” in modern society.  Among their grievances are the social obligation to hold doors open for women, or to carry out certain tasks which are considered tasteful among polite society.  Such men’s rights activists reason that, since women in modern times believe themselves to be equal to men, their function and obligations should be the same.

This, however suggests an incorrect idea of the traditional chilvaric code.  Chivalry is not merely a set of mannerisms intended to be “polite,” but rather a complete way of life governing a specific caste.  While the knights of the middle ages were indeed expected to adhere to certain standards when dealing with women, it this is not all that it encompassed.  Chivalry was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code, and as such was paralleled in the East by bushido (the way of the Warrior).  Over time, this warrior code encompassed the way of life both on and off the battlefield.  Away from the battlefield, a knight was still a knight, necessitating the non-martial and civil aspects of the tradition.

As a philosophy of war, its roots are deeper though.  In the Middle Ages, the exemplification included the Nine Worthies, six of whom predate Christianity.  Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, represented the Pagan tradition, Joshua, David and Judas Maccabeus represented the Hebrew Tradition, and the King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon represented the Christian civilization.  Thus, the practice and theory of chivalry was considered something esoteric and in many ways, supra-religious.  Metaphysically, the it has its roots in the primordial sacral-royal Tradition associated with the Biblical order of Melchizedek, while embracing the Aryan worldview of the kshatriya; Evola outlines this concept in the following ways, saying that chivalry expresses itself as such:

  1. upholding the ideal of the hero rather than of the saint, and of the conqueror rather than of the martyr;
  2. regarding faithfulness and honor, rather than caritas and humbleness, as the highest virtues;
  3. regarding cowardice and dishonor, rather than sin, as the worst possible evil;
  4. ignoring…the evangelical precepts of not opposing evil and not retaliating against offenses, but rather, methodically punishing unfairness and evil;
  5. excluding from its ranks those who followed the Christian precept ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ to the letter; and
  6. refusing to love one’s enemy and instead fighting him and being magnanimous only.
As stated in the beginning, a knight’s attitudes and conduct towards women were only a small portion of his expectations.  There were certain circumscribed bounds of fidelity, and the obligation for a knight to protect his lady, but these too was reciprocated by an entirely different function on the part of the woman.  In this case, the woman achieves a certain transcendence in the loyal service towards the virile character of a knight.  The function of women was thus one which was complementary — yet separate — from that of a man.  A previous essay deals with such concepts, so they will not be repeated here.  Evola himself articulates the following:
“To realise oneself in an increasingly resolute way according to these two distinct and unmistakable directions; to reduce in a woman all that is masculine and in a man everything that is feminine; and to strive to implement the archetypes of the ‘absolute man’ and of the ‘absolute woman’ – this was the traditional law concerning the sexes according to their different planes of existence.” Revolt Against the Modern World (p. 159)
Modern men’s rights activists are perhaps correct when they say chivalry is dead.  They are also correct when they say that feminism killed chivalry.  Yet, it is quite possible to be an admirer of authentic chivalry, while decrying the so-called “advancements” of feminism, and it is necessary to repeat such a fact.  In fact, the very fact that an ideology of feminism can be allowed to exist is the root of the problem.  The fact that men must now hold doors for women, is but an inconsequential secondary symptom of the entire “illness” of  modern, gyneocratic society.  This is to say that while perhaps the peculiar social expectations of behavior may seem excessive to some, chivalry is not the problem.
Instead of calling to eliminate chivalry, we must eliminate feminism.  We must eliminate the idea that women should imitate men and vice versa,  and we must not give into the false doctrine of equality (which, it should be noted, modern feminists do not want), but revive true chivalry and true relations between the sexes.
Deus Vult!

Posted in History, Most Recent, Society3 Comments

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