Arktos https://arktos.com Wed, 21 Nov 2018 14:50:01 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 White Identity Politics in Canada https://arktos.com/2018/11/21/white-identity-politics-in-canada/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/21/white-identity-politics-in-canada/#comments_reply Wed, 21 Nov 2018 13:50:42 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5217 White Identity Politics is Enshrined in Canada’s Theory of Multiculturalism and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The logical structure of this paper, stated in eight claims, is that:

  1. Canada was not a nation of immigrants but a nation built from the ground up by settlers and indigenous Euro-Canadians;
  2. The underlying principle of multiculturalism is that most humans have a very strong need to have their ethno-cultural identity recognized by the state, but in practice multiculturalism recognizes only the collective culture of minorities and immigrant groups while targeting the collective culture of Euro-Canadians;
  3. Western Nations were founded on both individual rights and kin-culture affinities;
  4. Canada was founded as an Anglo-Quebecois ethno-nation state combined with civic-liberal rights;
  5. multiculturalism as presently implemented across the West is not about the equal rights of long-established minorities but about creating a new multiracial identity through the importation of millions of foreigners with group rights;
  6. Pierre Trudeau aimed at the separation of culture and state, that is, the separation of Canada’s Anglo-Quebecois national identity from the Canadian state;
  7. the Charter of Rights is guided by human rights principles against Canadian cultural traditions while ‘protecting and enhancing’ the collective culture of minorities;
  8. since the Charter of Rights recognizes in principle the human need for a collective ethnic identity, it follows that the Charter can be used to defend white identity politics.1

1. Canada is Not a Nation of Immigrants but a Nation created by Settlers and Indigenous Euro-Canadians

The claim that ‘Canada is a nation of diverse immigrants’ amounts to a willful act of deception orchestrated by the Canadian establishment for the purpose of coercing Euro-Canadians into believing that their impending marginalization by immigrant diversification is a natural state of affairs consistent with Canada’s history. There is no historical evidence supporting this claim. Most of the men and women who built Canada were native to this nation, and the ones who came from outside were overwhelmingly French, Irish, British, Scottish and European until the 1970s.

Canada was created by native Euro-Canadians; the institutions, legal system, educational curriculum, all the cities, the entire infrastructure were created by hardworking Euro-Canadians.

The Quebecois and the Acadians were a people created through the fecundity of the women, not immigration. The Loyalists, too, were not immigrants but settlers native to the soils of British North America. Before Confederation, there were only ‘two quite limited periods’ of substantial immigration: from 1783 to 1812, and from 1830 to 1850. In these two periods, immigrants came primarily from the British Isles.

Immigration was not a major factor in population growth from 1850 to the end of the nineteenth century. In 1867, 79% percent of Canadian residents had been born in Canada. From 1871 to 1891, a high fertility rate ‘allowed the population of Canada to grow from 3.7 to 4.8 million’.

Immigration to New France, from 1608 to 1760, consisted of 10,000 settlers only, and thereafter it was ‘almost non-existent’. Immigration contributed about one seventh (1/7) to the total population growth of New France from its beginnings to its conquest in 1763.

The French-speaking population numbered about 90,000 by the 1770s, and thereafter, until the late 1800s, the population expanded rapidly, with women having 5.65 surviving children on average. The increase in population in Quebec during the 1800s was due mainly to the continuing high birth rate. By 1950, the Quebec population was almost 4 million. This increase was primarily a result of continuing high fertility rates. Only in the 1970s Montreal saw an increasing inflow of non-European immigrants.

Between 1896 and 1914, Canada did experience high immigration levels with 2.5 to 3 million arriving within this period. However, the ethnic composition of the nation remained 84 percent British and Quebecois, while the European component rose to 9 percent. Between 1941 and 1962 the population of Canada increased from 11.5 million to 18.5 million largely as a result of Canada’s ‘extremely high domestic birth rates’. It was only after the imposition of multiculturalism in 1971 that immigrants from outside the West started to arrive in large numbers.

Canada was created by native Euro-Canadians; all the institutions, legal system, educational curriculum, transformation of wilderness into productive farms, all the cities, the parliamentary traditions, the churches, the entire infrastructure of railways, ports, shipping industries, and highways, were created by hardworking Euro-Canadians.

It is also the case that almost all the men and women who came to Canada from the British Isles and elsewhere in Europe before 1914 were settlers, not immigrants, seeking to survive in a land sparsely populated and devoid of modern development. My claim here accords with all the dictionary definitions I have examined. The New Oxford English Dictionary, for example, is very clear in defining ‘immigrant’ as ‘a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country’. Settler, however, is ‘a person who settles in an area, typically with no or few previous inhabitants’. Settlers create a new society, immigrants move into one that already exists.

2. Multiculturalism Recognizes the Collective Culture of Minorities and Immigrant Groups While Targeting the Collective Culture of Euro-Canadians

The theory of multicultural citizenship advocated in the main by Will Kymlicka and Charles Taylor is stained by a double standard, in recognizing the ‘deep bond’ that minorities, as ‘human beings’, have to their culture and ethnicity, while categorizing any form of ethno-cultural identity by Euro-Canadians as racist and illiberal. Kymlicka often asserts that ‘most people have a very strong bond to their own culture’, and that forcing immigrants to ‘shed their distinctive heritage and assimilate entirely to the existing cultural norms’ would amount to the suppression of ‘a very strong’ disposition ‘in the human condition’.2

The Canadians who developed the theory of multicultural citizenship are known as ‘liberal communitarians’. I agree with liberal communitarians that individual rights presuppose the existence of a community of people and that liberalism contains within its premises the idea that humans should have a right to have their cultural identities recognized, because such recognition is essential to the self-fulfillment of the individual.

I wonder, then, why Kymlicka and Taylor care only about the cultural rights and ethnic attachments of minorities, but not about the same human need Euro-Canadians may have to fulfill themselves as individuals within their own cultural landscape? While minorities are distinguished by culture and by ethnicity, ‘the majority Anglophone culture’ is identified only through its language and certain modern amenities. English culture is portrayed as a deracinated, neutralized sphere consisting of modern conveniences – economic, educational, and social institutions – intended ‘in principle’ to serve anyone regardless of cultural background. The English are mere possessors of individual rights, whereas every other ethnic group enjoys both individual and group rights.

Whenever Kymlicka and Taylor identify the English/Europeans by history and culture, it is scornfully as ‘colonizers’ and ‘racists’. The only cultural attribute European Canadians are allowed to celebrate is multiculturalism. The words ‘pride’, ‘cultural particularity’, and ‘culturally meaningful lives’ are reserved exclusively for ethnic immigrant groups. Kymlicka explicitly says that multiculturalism cannot succeed as long as ‘native born [ethnic European] citizens with a strong sense of national identity or national pride’ are allowed a voice in the public arena, regularly labelling those who disagree with mass immigration as ‘xenophobic’ and ‘intolerant’.3

This is patently unfair. Just as minorities have been granted the collective right to be concerned with the ways in which forced assimilation may impact negatively on their cultural identity, so the Euro-Canadian majority should have a collective right to be concerned about the ways their Canadian heritage, customs, and historical affinities are being decimated by the combined effects of mass immigration and anti-white propaganda.

3. Western Nations Were Founded on Both Individual Rights and Ethnic Nationalist Affinities

It is often said that Western nations were meant to be based on an ‘inclusive’ form of civic identity defined not by culture and ethnicity but by liberal values alone, such as equality under the law, separation of church and state, and individual rights, which can be shared by any human across the world. This is not true. European nations were created on the basis of ‘a shared heritage, a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry’. This is amply supported by the foremost expert on nationalism, Anthony D. Smith, and, more recently, by Azar Gat’s book, Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism (2013). Gat goes further than Smith in employing the science of sociobiology to show that nations ‘are rooted in primordial human sentiments of kin-culture affinity, solidarity, and mutual cooperation, evolutionarily engraved in human nature’. Ethnicity is by far the ‘most important factor’ in national identity.4

History shows that those states possessing a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, where ancestors lived for generations, were the ones with the strongest liberal traits, constitutions and institutions.

History shows, in fact, that those states possessing a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, where ancestors lived for generations – England, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark – were the ones with the strongest liberal traits, constitutions and institutions. That is why minority rights became a legitimate component of these liberal nations. By contrast, those states (or empires like the Austro-Hungarian Empire) composed of multiple ethnic groups were the ones enraptured by illiberal forms of ethnic nationalism and intense rivalries over identities and political boundaries. Research papers are showing that as diversity increases in the West communities tend, in the words of Robert Putnam, to ‘distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders,’ to volunteer less in community activities, give less to charity … to vote less … and ‘to huddle unhappily in front of the television.’5

4. Canada was founded as an Anglo-Quebecois Ethno-State combined with Civic Rights

I disagree with Janet Ajzenstat’s fabrication that ‘the Fathers of Confederation … intended to give the new country … a civic identity’, that is, to ‘inculcate a sense of nationhood’ based only on equality of rights and ‘inclusive’ of all cultures and races, rather than a country ensuring British/French cultural values.6 While the British North America Act was a rejection of the subordination of French Canadians to the majority British culture, and an endorsement of the central liberal principle that the laws of the lands must apply equally to all citizens, it is incorrect to infer that the Fathers were not concerned with the cultural identity of Canada.

At the time of Confederation about 70 percent of the population spoke English and 30 percent French. The Fathers took it for granted that with language came culture, and that the French and the English were the ‘two founding races’. They understood that Francophones saw themselves as a distinct nation, a distinct collectivity of people, within Canada. While the Anglophones did not see themselves as a distinct cultural nation, they did see themselves as a people of British heritage who were creating a majority British-Canadian nation that would acknowledge the French majority in Quebec, but would see itself as an integral part of the British Empire. French Canadians would gain control of a provincial government with its own legislature, Civil Code, French as the official language in Quebec, and religious minorities enjoying the right to separate schools in all provinces. The BNA Act was a document consistent with liberal principles, while simultaneously committed to the collective well-being of Canada as an ethno-state rather than as a mere aggregation of abstract and rootless individuals.

5. Multiculturalism is Not about Minority Rights but about Erasing the Cultural Identities of Western Peoples

The theory of multicultural citizenship has been lauded as an effort to extend equality of rights to ‘previously excluded groups’ inside Western nations. The reality is that this theory is part of a radical program aimed at populating the West with millions of foreigners-turned-immigrants possessing special group rights in order to break apart the ethnic identities of Euro-Canadians. It all seems innocent enough when Kymlicka says that, just as indigenous peoples and historic minorities should be granted minority rights, so should ‘permanently settled immigrant groups’.7 But he is not talking about rights for a static group of settled immigrants. He is formulating a ‘transformative’ form of ‘multicultural citizenship’ for a new Canada dedicated to the integration of millions of new immigrants. The aim of multiculturalism, in Kymlicka’s words, is to bring about a Canada that is ‘never again’ ‘typically white and Christian.’8

This theory was not formulated for Canada only, or so-called ‘immigrant nations’ like Australia and the United States. The major theorists of multiculturalism have spent a lot of time trying to persuade Europeans that if their nations are to protect minority rights they, too, must import millions of immigrants. Kymlicka knows that ‘in most Western countries, explicit state-sponsored discrimination against ethnic, racial, or religious minorities had largely ceased by the 1960s and 1970s’.9 He knows that Western nations were already legislating, through the 70s to the 90s, a variety of laws and policies designed to afford cultural self-determination and territorial rights to minorities such as the Quebecois, Basques, Catalans, Welsh, and Aboriginals. The theory of ‘immigrant multiculturalism’ was not intended to protect the rights of established minorities but was intended to create a totally new multiracial identity across the Western world by granting minority rights to millions of foreign immigrants.

6. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau aimed at the Separation of Cultural Nationality from the Canadian State

There is nothing in the core principles of liberalism requiring Europeans to embrace immigrant diversity. To the contrary, diversification without open dialogue is an illiberal ideology rooted in cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism is an outgrowth of Marxism which focuses on radically altering the cultures and ethnicities of the West. But it cannot be denied that Western liberal states have a weak conception of their historically rooted collective identity. This made them susceptible to cultural Marxist infiltration and corruption.

Liberals have an imaginary conception of their nation states as associations created by isolated individuals reaching a contract amongst themselves in abstraction from any prior community, for the sole purpose of ensuring their natural right to life, liberty, and happiness.10 They have a predilection to whitewash the fact that their liberal states, like all states, were forcibly created by a people with a common language, heritage, racial characteristics, and a sense of territorial acquisition involving the derogation of out-groups.

This is why Canadian leaders acceded so easily to Trudeau’s multicultural programme. It is not that Canadians were devoid of any sense of collective identity. Canadians did understand that the English and the French were distinctive people. Strong immigration restrictions prevailed until the 1960s against people deemed to be members of ethnic outgroups. The weakness of liberal leaders lay in their imaginary belief that their liberal rights were the sole founding principles of Canada, which blinded them to the factual reality that their nations were created by ethnic groups against other groups with different territorial interests.

The experience of WWII intensified this imaginary belief to the point that Western leaders, the same ethnocentric nations that fought Nazism, started believing that any form of collective identity was inherently illiberal. They started believing that every nation should be bound together by transnational common values, by universal human rights. They also started believing that all humans regardless of nationality should be afforded the same rights to life, liberty, and economic well-being, as the citizens of their own nations

Pierre Trudeau’s anti-nationalism needs to be seen in the context of this intellectual climate. The conclusion Trudeau reached was that Canadian leaders ‘must separate once and for all’ the concepts of state and culture. No one ethnic group, neither the Anglo in Canada nor the Quebecois in Quebec, must lay claim over Canada’s cultural identity.11 Just as religion was separated from the state, so must culture be separated from the state. Canada must be identified as a ‘polyethnic society’ and in this way Canada would truly become a liberal-democratic society. A nation that prioritizes the ethno-culture of the majority, and thereby establishes a nationalism that elevates the interests of this majority above the interests of minorities, cannot be truly democratic. The only expectation on the part of the government would be to ensure that all Canadians learned the official languages and accepted the values of multicultural liberalism. There would be two official languages but no official culture.

The establishment is oblivious to the fact that immigrants come from collectivist cultures and that second-generation immigrants are only assimilating to a deracinated, globalist, anti-white set of nations.

Trudeau further argued that creating a Canada without a national cultural identity would make this nation a model for the solution of ethnic strife and nationalist aggrandizement across the world. Canadian federalism would be ‘an experiment of major proportions … a brilliant prototype for the moulding of tomorrow’s civilization.’12 Accordingly, Trudeau rejected the bicultural nationalism, which was being proposed during these years by many Canadians, in favour of a multicultural identity. He tried to justify this decision saying that ‘biculturalism does not properly describe our society; multiculturalism is more accurate’.13 But Trudeau was not really describing Canada as it was in the 1970s, a nation with a population that was 96 percent Euro-Canadian. He was envisioning multiculturalism as a project for the future against the past. Canada was not going to become ‘a brilliant prototype’ merely by acknowledging its intra-European diversity or by fighting discrimination against a small number of long established minorities. Cultural nationalism was a major source of human conflict and degradation of the human rights of individuals. The way to break cultural nationalism, he concluded, was to populate the nation with different cultures. Hugh Forbes, a supporter of Trudeau’s dream, has observed that it was clear from the moment official multiculturalism was instituted in 1971 that its success would ‘obviously depend on the deliberate diversification of the Canadian population’.14

7. The Charter of Rights is Guided by Human Rights principles against Canadian Cultural Traditions while ‘protecting and enhancing’ the Collective Culture of Minorities

This multicultural agenda would be embodied in the Charter of Rights enacted in 1982. The foremost legal experts view the Charter as a ‘transformative’ constitution that elevated ‘to the status of supreme law’ the ‘traditional core values of liberal democracy, as adapted to the reality of the post-WWII … multicultural nation state’. These words come from Lorraine Weinrib, Professor at the Faculty of Law, Toronto.15 She is emphatic in viewing the Charter as a document that emerged out of the determination of Western nations, after the experiences of WWII, to ensure ‘higher law guarantees’ of the core values of liberal democracies strengthened by human rights standards. Brian Dickson, Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, also views the Charter as ‘the logical culmination of Canadian developments in the field of human rights – it builds on provincial and federal human rights codes and the Canadian Bills of Rights.’16

The novelty of the Charter, they argue, was that its ‘transformative aspirations’ were not ‘chained to Canadian legal history’ but were really ‘transnational’, the ‘hallmark of liberal democracy in the aftermath of the Second World War’ in the Western world. The ‘transformative aspiration’ was to promote diversity and human rights in Canada in contradistinction to any ‘traditional conservative moral code based on shared culture, history, religion, or ethnicity’.17 Every remnant of Canada’s British identity had to go, including the history of Canada as a nation founded by the English and the French.

The Charter, Section 15 in particular, which affirms equal rights regardless of race, religion, or sex, was said to represent ‘one of the most important and dynamic forces on the road to social justice’. By ‘dynamic’ legal experts meant that Canadians would be able to draw on equality provisions to eliminate every remaining inequality, as defined by current and future elites educated in our cultural Marxist universities. They took it as a given that Canadians are a people marching toward a future when there will be ‘equal social justice’. They never defined ‘social justice’ but simply took for granted that the equality provisions are a ‘dynamic force’ intended to ensure ‘social change’ and ‘equality’.

What about the truly dynamic and transformative force that is immigration, in bringing hundreds of thousands of individuals from collectivist cultures, creating a cultural reality that is bound to influence the meaning of Section 27, which says that the Charter ‘shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians’?18 Will Canada find itself in a situation in which semi-autonomous groups wishing to preserve their special characteristics may interpret Section 27 to mean that they have a right to preserve cultural characteristics that are deemed to be essential to the human dignity of the members of their group, even if this entails less respect for the principle of individual rights?

I understand it would be misleading to think that Section 27 grants every immigrant group the same constitutional right to survive as distinct communities as it grants to Aboriginal peoples, the national minority of Quebec, denominational communities, and English and French linguistic minorities. I understand that Section 27 has to be seen in the context of the other individual rights protected by the Charter. The Charter, however, does grant special rights to non-European cultural groups that can claim there was, and continues to be, discrimination and lack of opportunities for their cultural expression. Section 15 (2) of the Charter says that the government has the constitutional right ‘to create special programs aimed at improving the situation of individuals who are members of groups that have historically experienced discrimination in Canada’.19

Again, I understand that it would be far-fetched to take these words to mean that the Charter, in the words of the constitutional expert Joseph Magnet, grants ‘maintenance claims’ to immigrant minorities, that is, group rights to ‘maintain intact, indefinitely into the future, the distinguishing features of identity that bind them together as a distinctive society’.20

But this interpretation, on its own, is inadequate, in that it offers a strictly legalistic account of the meaning of multiculturalism and group rights, without the slightest awareness of the wider social and philosophical significance of multiculturalism, its meaning in our universities, media, minority associations, and thousands of publications. It is flawed as well in ignoring the truly ‘dynamic force’ of mass immigration and the rapidly changing ethnic balance of power in Canada. Joseph Magnet, actually, appears to be aware that the meaning of Section 27 may be open to strong collectivist interpretations in the future. Although he writes in a purely conceptual manner, he employs the concept of structural ethnicity to refer to ‘the capacity of a collectivity to perpetuate itself … resist assimilation, and propagate its beliefs and practices’. He even says that ‘to the extent the structural ethnicity principle inheres in Section 27, a dramatic impact on Canada’s Charter system results’.21

He notes that Section 27, after all, ‘fell into place at the insistence of … immigrant minorities’. Section 27 ‘must be taken [as] claims for greater power welling up from ethnic minorities unprotected by historic constitutional provisions’, about minorities looking for something closer to ‘maintenance claims’.22 He then says that immigrant minorities could well seek to limit individual rights for the sake of preserving ’the essential features’ of their cultural identity. ‘Multiculturalism in the Charter could alter the minimum standards of respect for personal liberty … in favour of the special needs of semi-autonomous groups to preserve their special characteristics.’23

It seems to me that Section 27 will be interpreted differently in the coming decades, as immigrant groups continue to grow exponentially and continue to form ethnic enclaves across Canada. The fact that no one cares to offer time-limits as to how long immigrants will require special group rights is inseparable from the more pertinent fact that no one cares to offer any limits on the number of immigrants that should come every year and on the number of years that Canada should be open to mass immigration.

We need a proper scientific analysis of ethnic group interests. Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that all living organisms survive inside in-groups in competition with out-groups. In-group cooperation and preference is an evolutionary strategy consistent with the survival, enhancement, and protection of one’s own herd, family, or people. Such altruistic dispositions as sharing, loyalty, and caring, are exhibited primarily and intensively within in-groups rather than toward a universal ‘we’ in disregard for one’s people. Conflict escalation between ethnic groups is lower when physical barriers exist between them. We all know that Europeans tend to be more individualistic, less collectivistic in their ethnic awareness, and that they have a unique capacity to think in universal moral terms, which is why they originated the Enlightenment, a rational system of law, and the method of modern science. Non-Europeans are more collective and racially aware and more inclined to practice ethnic nepotism. Whites do exhibit ethnocentrism but implicitly in their voting patterns, choice of residential areas, and schools for their children.

Liberal communitarians do not use the language of evolutionary psychology, but their view that humans have a natural need to have their cultural identity validated amounts to the same. In his discussion of multiculturalism in the Charter, Joseph Magnet actually appeals to findings in social psychology to show how important it is for individuals to belong in a group of people with a similar culture. He says that ‘social psychologists have demonstrated that the individual self is incomplete without integration into a social group’. He adds that ‘voluntary identification with an ethnic group’ ‘completes a significant aspect of personality’. ‘Attacks on cultural heritage are thus attacks on the individual selves of the ethnic group’s members.’24

One may ask: Do social psychologists have anything to say about how Anglo-Canadian individuals may feel incomplete without integration into their own cultural group? Is Anglo ethnicity a significant aspect of the personality of Anglo individuals? Are attacks on the cultural heritage of Anglos attacks on the individual members who make up the Anglo group? Magnet does not have a word to say about the majority Anglo population, or the Euro-Canadian population at large. It is assumed that they don’t have a culture but are just abstract individuals with rights and with a multicultural programme to enhance alien cultures.

8. The Charter Can Be Used to Defend Euro-Canadian Collective Cultural Identity

This double standard against Euro-Canadian identity has to be openly discussed if Euro-Canadians are going to survive as the rightful majority in Canada. The meaning of multiculturalism, and what the Charter means by multiculturalism, will be determined by the proportion of non-Europeans in Canada and the willingness of Euro-Canadians to affirm their collective identity. The current situation in which Euro-Canadians are under the obligation of reconstructing their culture according to transnational values formulated by anonymous human rights lawyers and globalist academics, while simultaneously expected to ‘understand’ the ‘human need’ minorities have to belong in a cultural group, cannot go on much longer.

If we are to overcome this double standard, Section 27 must be interpreted in a manner ‘consistent with the preservation and enhancement’ of the culture of all ethnic groups in Canada, including Euro-Canadians. The Multiculturalism Act clearly states that ‘all citizens,’ including Euro-Canadians, ‘are equal and have the freedom to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage.’25 The founding of Canada by Euro-Canadians is part of this heritage. Insomuch as multiculturalism uses the language of collective rights to guarantee the survival of ‘minority’ groups, it follows that Euro-Canadians have a group right to use multiculturalism to ‘preserve’ their identity as a group in Canada facing immigration patterns that are fast reducing them to a demonized minority.

The establishment wants to hide this constitutional reality from Euro-Canadians. Globalist conservatives want Euro-Canadians to acts as ‘individuals’ without group rights while lamely begging masses of immigrants arriving yearly to ‘embrace’ this individualism. They are oblivious to the fact that immigrants come from collectivist cultures and that second-generation immigrants are only assimilating to a deracinated, globalist, anti-white set of nations. They do not understand that current demographic trends will tilt the balance of ethnic power decisively in the favour of groups pursuing ethnic interests in competition with Euro-Canadians. As Asians, Blacks, Aboriginals, Indians, Chinese, and non-Whites generally express in full their constitutional group rights in ethnic voting patterns and through the creation of associations, clubs, and churches, Euro-Canadians will have no option but to assert their constitutional right to engage in ‘white identity politics’.

References

1This paper draws on my book, Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians (Black House Publishing Ltd, 2017).

2Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 8, 84, 90.

3Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka, ‘Canadian Multiculturalism: Global Anxieties and Local Debates,’ British Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 23, no. 1 (2010), p. 60.

4I discuss civic and ethnic nationalism in ‘The Greek-Roman Invention of Civic Identity Versus the Current Demotion of European Ethnicity.’ The Occidental Quarterly (Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall 2015).

5Cited in Michael Jonas, ‘The Downside of Diversity’ The Boston Globe (August 5, 2007. Since Putnam’s research came out in 2006, many studies have followed addressing the effects of immigration and diversity on community cohesion, trying to paint as pleasant an image of diversity as the academic establishment expects to see, but releasing data which actually show that diversity has resulted in a decline in social capital, community trust, and overall civic engagement. I offer an overview of these studies in ‘Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack on White Identitarians’, The Occidental Quarterly (Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 2018); and in ‘Diversity is Destroying the Cohesion and Social Capital of Western Nations’, in Council of European Canadians (November 10, 2017), https://www.Euro-Canadian.ca/2017/11/diversity-destroying-cohesion-social-capital-whites.html.

6Janet Ajzenstat, The Canadian Founding: John Locke and Parliament (McGill-Queen’s Press).

7Will Kymlicka, ‘Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future’ Migration Policy Institute, Reports (February 2012), https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/TCM-multiculturalism-success-failure.

8Ibid. See also Finding Our Way, Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (Oxford University Press, 1998), where he writes about a Canada that will ‘never again … be white … a British country.’ (p. 57).

9Will Kymlicka, ‘Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future’.

10I am drawing on Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism; see Ricardo Duchesne, ‘Carl Schmitt is Right: Liberal Nations Have Open Borders Because They Have No Concept of the Political’, The Occidental Quarterly (Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 2017).

11Pierre Trudeau, ‘The New Treason of the Intellectuals’. This essay, originally published in Cité Libre in 1962, is now available online, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CChvPQwRJWj02WN3nur7jKr9nwj8aBgPKzSliSIbMpY/edit?pli=1#heading=h.gwl098qh9ien.

12Ibid.

13Cited in ‘Trudeau as the First Theorist of Canadian Multiculturalism,’ in Stephen Tierney, editor, Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution (UBC Press, 2007), p. 30.

14Ibid, p. 38.

15Lorraine E. Weinrib, ‘The Canadian Charter’s Transformative Aspirations,’ in Magnet et al. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Reflections on the Charter After Twenty Years (Butterworths, 2003), p. 18.

16Brian Dickson, ‘The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Context and Evolution,’ in Beaudoin and Mendes, Eds. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Carswell, 1996), chapter 1, p.19.

17Lorraine E. Weinrib, ‘The Canadian Charter’s Transformative Aspirations’.

19Ibid.

20Joseph Eliot Magnet, ‘What Does ‘Equality Between Communities’ Mean?’ in Magnet et al. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Reflections on the Charter After Twenty Years (Butterworths, 2003), p. 282.

21Joseph Eliot Magnet, ‘Multiculturalism in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,’ in Beaudoin and Mendes, Eds. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Carswell, 1996), Chapter 18.

22Ibid.

23Ibid.

24Ibid.

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Political Justice with A. J. Illingworth https://arktos.com/2018/11/21/political-justice-with-a-j-illingworth/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/21/political-justice-with-a-j-illingworth/#comments_reply Wed, 21 Nov 2018 11:56:15 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5214 Alexander J. Illingworth joins the Arktos crew to discuss his newly published Arktos title, Political Justice, and the state of contemporary conservatism. Standing between progress and tradition, revolution and reaction, where is the true conservative to look for his guiding principles?

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Whither Europe? – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2018/11/20/whither-europe-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/20/whither-europe-part-2/#comments_reply Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:29:23 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5205 Fragment and Future

Many are the arguments brought against a ‘Europe of Nations’, particularly one devoid of any overarching, consolidated federalist government, and not all of these arguments can, or should, be easily dismissed. We limit ourselves to those few which seem to us the most incisive.

Though we have already addressed the economic question above, we do not do so without cognizance of its importance. Most especially, it is clear that the dissolution of Europe would lead to a number of extremely intricate economic questions for practically all of its member states, including the constitution of new currencies, new trade relations, new agreements on the movement of goods and persons, etc. All of this might lead in turn to great instability in these states and their rapport, which has historically made for patterns of conflict in Europe, and even, may the gods forbid it, of war.

One must wonder what would stop a fragmented Europe from becoming the stage of proxy wars to those two old rivals, America and Russia, even as the Middle East has long since become.

Indeed, the supporters of the EU do not hesitate to remind its critics that this body, for all its faults and failings, has secured almost eighty years of European peace,1 a period of warlessness which is unprecedented in the history of Europe at least since the time of Rome.2 Though one could well indicate that costs which have attended this peace, and which diminish or call into doubt its value, one should not underestimate the importance of this kind of pacifistic unity in Europe, at a time in which great geopolitical dragons stalk the world. It is inevitably true that any geographical area characterized by local instability and constant tensions between its various parts is, to say the least, a temptation to the great powers that surround it. Such was the case of Italy before its unification, of Hellenic Greece in the face of Persia, of the tribes of Africa and America against the Europeans, and of any number of other historical places and epochs. It is difficult to imagine that a strife-torn Europe would not attract the unwanted attentions at least of Russia and America. Indeed, to our estimation, even Europe in its present state of relative unity and peace already attracts too much of this kind of attention.

The counter-argument, of course, is that this was precisely the state of Europe during World War II, and the present European unity is the consequence of nothing other than the ‘interested intervention’ of one of those powers: namely, the United States, which ‘won’ the war and immediately went about extorting the soul of Europe through the so-called ‘Marshall Plan’ along with any number of subtler and less visible economic and political manipulations. For instance, already from the time of the European Steel and Coal Commission, America did not hesitate to exert its influence, in the form of counselors, diplomats and funds, over European affairs, and to prepare the emergence of a central puppet to its global hegemony. All the more reason, then, to hope for the fall of this puppet state, to make way for the emergence of a true and truly European unity – or at least a truly European disunity, if it comes to that.

The challenge that is brought by the pro-Europeanists against the Eurosceptics must, however, be answered: How maintain the peace in Europe, without a valid supra-national order? What is to stop the European states from falling into their old bickering once more, disputing historically contested parcels of land, opposing and offending one another economically, confronting one another perhaps even violently in the raw contest for power? One might hope for the emergence of a new political or quasi-political, and at any rate internally pacifistic, order from the rubble of a fallen EU, but there is certainly no reason to believe that such would be necessary or inevitable; and indeed, it must be pointed out that the abysmal failure of the one existing order of this kind ever to exist in modern times, would certainly prejudice all attempts to construct another in its place. It seems likely, indeed, that an overriding political unity in Europe could only come, in such a case, precisely through war – through a Napoleonic attempt to force European brotherhood, so as to overcome or violently suppress European enmities. That was already difficult enough a proposition in Napoleon’s day, when Europe had naught to fear but Europe; how now, when the internal debilitation brought about by such a war would inevitably open gaping wounds in Europe for the preying of the international vultures?

But be this remote possibility as it may – much more likely, following a break-up of the European Union, would be fragmentation upon fragmentation. The initial tendency, once dissolution has begun, would be for it to continue, bursting Europe asunder into a fractal of increasingly minute parts. For if is it right for Spain, Italy, or Belgium to seek their independence on the basis of their unique languages and customs, why not also Catalonia, South Tyrol, or Flanders? Naturally, the outcome of such attempts would fall back to the will of the individual nation-states to retain their integrity; and it is hard to imagine that the internecine struggles which might arise in consequence would not be in many cases bloody, long and trying, leading to yet more instability and vulnerability in an already badly injured continent.

It is moreover natural, in any geographical space occupied by small powers, each vying against the others, that the individual contenders should seek the succour and protection of greater nations. In such a case as that which we have painted, it would be inevitable that many nations of Europe individually should do precisely what the nations of Europe collectively have done: seek support from the global superpowers. That which has ever shielded them from this necessity, ever in the service of its own interests, and led them to their present state of complacency and subjection, has been of course the United States; but there is no reason to suppose that all the individual states of a fragmented Europe should look toward the same benefactor, and indeed if any conflicts should emerge amongst them, this relatively fortuitous outcome would be impossible. Each would then seek out a different patron on the geopolitical scene, most likely dividing their courtship between America and Russia, following a larger pattern which has been all too unhappily inscribed in the granite of recent history. And once the alignments have been made, and the choices determined, one must certainly wonder what would stop Europe from becoming the stage of proxy wars to those two old rivals, even as the Middle East has long since become.

Naturally, Europe under such circumstances would take on a decidedly different aspect than the Middle East; it would hardly degenerate into the kind of anarchical and tribalistic-terroristic seeding beds that so many ‘nations’ of the Middle East have become. But such a circumstance in any case, even if this proxy war were to remain cold, and were to maintain an outward civility, manifesting primarily in purely economic or diplomatic grounds, could hardly redound to the benefit of Europe or the Europeans.

Politics versus Culture

Political union in Europe is sometimes taken as the Royal Road to European sovereignty on the global stage. This political union, however, is radically insufficient in and of itself. The simple proof of this lies in the fact that the very European Union has since the beginning of its existence aimed toward political union, has taken political union as its final goal – while one can only thank the gods that it has so far been thwarted in this ambition. It is often brought against the European Union that it has inverted the natural order of things, attempting to promote economic unity when it should have begun with political unity; but this is to forget the historical circumstances surrounding the birth of the EU as an economic order. It was clearly impossible to effect any such political order, despite the will of the founders; the economic order was a necessary compromise in the face of this impossibility – a halfway house along the road, so it was hoped, to eventual federation. Even subsequently, that dream has proven unrealizable. One has only to consider the failed attempt at passing a Constitution of Europe. But if political unity is so difficult of the achieving, even given the relatively solid basis of the extant Treaties and the considerable weight of the existing acquis, how could it reasonably be hoped that the demolition of that foundation would somehow lay bare a deeper bedrock – particularly since that foundation was built explicitly on account of the absence of such bedrock?

Without a deeper, a solider ground than the political alone, the politicization of Europe, rather than representing Europe’s salvation, will instead seal its demise.

The other side of this same problem: Were political unity to be achieved by the European Union, who among us would suppose that this should suffice to resolve the difficulties in which Europe presently finds itself? Who will forget that the European Union itself has been the major engine behind immigration, behind the erosion of European culture and European soul in favour of Americanization, homogenization, and increasingly even Chinafication, bastardization and Islamization? Who would propose that the advent of a political superstructure on this basis would somehow magically redirect the whole in a more legitimately philo-European direction?

And if Europe were finally united under a political head, where would be the locus of its power? One cannot establish a unified political order if disputes between the various parts or factions cannot be finally adjudicated by a central authority; a headless organization is dispersive in the highest degree, and would fall apart at the first true test, because it is the nature of human beings, and the states that they guide, to give their loyalties more readily to the local than to the general. In a region as diverse as Europe’s, this is bound to result in disgregation. But then one must find a nation to bear this responsibility: Which shall it be? Shall it be Germany, as is patently the case now, and has almost been the case any number of times in the past – the same Germany which has lately been the standard-bearer for the immolation of Europe on the alter of an exculpatory immigration? Or France, one of the twin historical origins of the modern liberal spirit itself, and present den of countless festering ethnic and social enmities, waiting to break out into hot rashes at any moment? Or England, on her aloof and sea-bound rock – this same England that has never been unambiguously part and parcel of Europe, and that today cannot even claim a majority percentage of her own sons in her own capital city? Yet these after all are the economic leaders of present-day Europe.

And supposing one of these were chosen, or another altogether, to be throne of a centralized European state – what to do about those others that object to such a centralization? What to do about economic unity, when there are such gross differences between North and South, East and West? When the European Union itself, which has dedicated itself with all its strength to only a corner of the ‘European Problem’, the restricted sphere of economics alone, has not succeeded in resolving even the major difficulties within this sphere, what is one to hope from a hegemonic political force, which must contend, not only with economics, but with the political, the social, the customary, the linguistic, the historical divergences of the continent known as Europe? And – worse yet – how can it seek to resolve these without attenuating precisely those differences which bring them about, without homogenizing and thus impoverishing the beautifully rich and varied European substrate, without essentially abolishing that which it seeks to preserve?

No – without a deeper, a solider ground than the political alone, the politicization of Europe, rather than representing Europe’s salvation, will instead seal its demise, in the worst way possible. Europe, as a singular entity, can only exist on the basis of a shared and common culture. This was known to the greatest theorists of European Union – most of whom predate our present Europeanist politicasters.3 Such a culture can emerge spontaneously, naturally, as happens in individual and discrete human peoples, or else as the result of political conquest, as occurred for instance in old Rome. The former is preferable to the latter, for the simple reason that it requires no bloodshed and thus tends not to establish strong opposition to its development. But such a culture, to emerge, has need of time, precious time – and time is what is most especially lacking to Europe.

May be Europa is destined to be carried away once more by some raging bull, as the myth has it; but let her at least stride forth in such beauty as to warrant those divine attentions.

Another, and deeper, problem: culture has historically been connected in many key cases, not to the development of larger political units, but rather to areas of dense and varied political loyalties. One thinks for example of Ancient Greece, of Italy during the Renaissance, of the kinds of loose and oft unstable links which constituted the old feudal orders. Though this be no law (for what laws exist in the torrent of history?), it makes a pattern, and one which the true legislator would bear well in heart. Political sovereignty requires political unity; cultural sovereignty seems to thrive off of political uncertainty and discord. Can these two things be brought together, without sacrificing the one or the other? Can a European federation arise, a Europe of the nations, which preserves both its political potency and its cultural potential?

Questions – a hundred aching questions does this Europe present! Europa has indeed been the historical womb of philosophy itself, which accounts at once for her curious internal instability and her unique artistic and intellectual fertility. If ever there were a portion of the globe in which so delicate a balance as that between politics and culture might finally be realized and manifested in this world, and a destiny so seemingly impossible rise out of the mists of merest conjecture, where else could it be, but in Europe?

Conclusions

Given these considerations, and the essentially embattled circumstances in which Europa presently lives, crushed beneath an almost foreign bureaucracy and struggling even to remember her true cultural and spiritual heritage – floating in a vague economic dream, wherein her soul threatens at last to succumb and sink – it is evident, given this essentially troubled and trying historical moment, that we philo-Europeans must do the best with what we are given, attempting to work within the European Union as much as this is possible, and all the while doing whatever may be done to structure alliances and brotherhoods between various nations of ‘populist’ or relatively ‘right-wing’ character, so that, should the Union fail, the result will not be mere chaos and confusion and a plummeting into a nightmarish Hobbesian ‘state of nature’, but rather potentially the emergence of healthy, natural collaboration between brotherly states. And, supposing this did not entail unravelling of the tapestry of Europe, it might even be hoped that this collaboration would provide a true and sounder foundation for the emergence of a genuine European regime, whatever such might finally entail.

More important even than opposition to the EU or to rank American hegemony, is therefore encouragement of the rapport one now sees developing between men like Salvini and Orbán, or on a lower level between men of various European countries of the dissident right, who, rather than challenging and undermining one another, begin to form networks of kinship and solidarity. For it will be on the shoulders of these individuals, and no others, that the architecture of unity will come crashing down, should the mere Union fail us. Key part of this, in any larger consideration, is a regularizing of relations between the Europeans and the Russians, both on the political level but also on the social plane; for Russia, despite all its own weakness, eccentricities and shortcomings, is nonetheless a thousand times saner and haler than its American nemesis. Nevertheless, to fly from the grasp of America into the embrace of Russia can only hurl Europe from the wave into the whirl. Europe must find her own kind of unity if she is to preserve herself.

Most important of all then is the birth, or the rebirth, of a specific and unashamed European pride; for without this, a direct connection to this piece of land, this geographical region, this series of traditions and this history, the Europeans are but atoms to the chaos, and can never be convinced to unite upon any basis but the most rankly economic. Whether or not one believes that European political unity is called for, the charm of the local needs to be reclaimed. And since it is clear that without a sense of kinship, the Europeans of today do not stand a chance against the terrible strength of their enemies, it is equally clear that the encouragement of an idea of the shared culture of Europe is of essential importance to the future of Europe: the extent to which Dante, Stendhal, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Goethe (to name but five names from the constellations of European greatness) do not represent merely local phenomena, but genuinely European phenomena, accessible to all Europeans, the right object of pride of all Europeans, the heritage of all Europeans.

In the last analysis, this alone and above all is to be hoped: That Europe should find her way back to her native splendour and the nobility which has historically characterized her going. May be she is destined to be carried away once more by some raging bull, as the myth has it; but let her at least stride forth in such beauty as to warrant those divine attentions. And if it has historically been true that her culture has often thrived the best in times of historical uncertainty and political fragmentation, at times when the geopolitical arena opened wide upon the nude and haunting uncertainty at the centre of man’s political existence, then it is perhaps not too much to hope that this moment, of all historical moments within the frame of recorded time, is meet to bring Europa back to the glory of her own and proper light, rather than to the ignominy of some foreign shade.

References

1 This, of course, can be debated; there have been conflicts in Europe even in that period, including for instance the inevitable troubles on Cyprus and the bloodletting of the Yugoslav Wars. What can be uncontroversially stated, however, is that the Pax Europaea has preserved the historical heart of Europe from armed conflict.

2Even then, it is debatable whether >Europe was at peace, during for instance the famous Pax Romana, given the eternal conflicts between Rome and the northern tribes. That is not a frivolous question, as it indicates the scope of the European problem – the eternal conflict, and simultaneous brotherhood, between North and South – the degree to which Europe represents unity in disunity. I fervently defer my readers to one of the finest essays ever written on this subject, which can be found in The Bow and the Club by Julius Evola: Chapter 13, ‘Romanness, Germanicness, and the “Light of the North”’; this question was also discussed on our Interregnum podcast on the European problem.

3See for instance Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Book VIII, ‘Peoples and Fatherlands’.

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Whither Europe? – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2018/11/19/whither-europe-part-1/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/19/whither-europe-part-1/#view_comments Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:33:35 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5189 The 2019 Italian budget, written by that eternally uneasy coalition of populist parties which presently form the Italian government, and which are held together by nothing more than their unified opposition to the establishment, has recently gone down in history as being the first national budget to be rejected outright by the European Commission. The critiques of it made by this latter body, which are nominally economic, are in fact transparently political, being but a pro-European pretext to reprimand the recent growth of Italian populism. Despite all European objections, the Italians have refused to settle their accounts in a manner pleasing to the lords of Brussels; should they hold fast to their refusal, as indeed they seem intent on doing, it will make for an interesting test-case in the European hierarchy of powers. As the procedures involved (anything from a prolonged dispute between the Italian and the European bureaucracies, to lengthy sanction movements on the part of the EU against the naughty nationalists) might stretch well into the next year, it is difficult to predict the long-term outcomes of present events. This much is certain: European power, as against national sovereignty, has rarely been put so stringently to the test.

All of this occurs, of course, against the background of an EU which has been shaken by Brexit – but a Brexit which even now is struggling to materialize, and which seems to have lost all clarity of vision and unity of will. Theresa May’s government, in attempting to straddle the line between English sovereignty on the one hand, and the clear benefits of participating in the common life of Europe on the other, seems incapable of settling on any solution which is not repugnant to almost all parties involved.

Given these events, it seems an auspicious moment to offer certain reflections on the European question, and the problem of the European Union in particular.

A Wider View

From the geopolitical perspective, which tends implicitly toward Realpolitik, the globe can be divided into the spheres of influence of three super-political giants, monstrous powers striving each against the others, by any and all means at their disposal, for absolute hegemony: America, Russia and China. If one extends this perspective past mere geography to embrace also the dimension of time,1 the contest most evidently stands between the first two, while the third has bided its days, growing its powers and its economy in the secrecy of its Asiatic bower, and poising itself to finally burst onto the stage of this undeclared war for supremacy in the Modern Era.2

If economic stability is to be bought at the price of Europe’s soul, then it would be a thousand times better to risk even grave economic consequences in the individual European states than to proceed with a plan that has as its end goal the eradication of what is holiest in Europe.

Between the first two stands a continent entire, which has for over a century now been by turns an emerging player in this mundane game, and one of its major pawns. That continent, ‘an Asian peninsula’,3 which can be defined a continent at all only on the basis of its native historical and ethnic roots and culture, takes on the sometimes pathetic aspect, in this decisive century, of a dithering agent, uncertain of itself and its destiny, now tending hither and now thither, and at times even tearing itself apart in its fundamental incertitude. Europe, as this continent is called, has at last settled on, not the highest, but the most convenient road toward maintaining itself, beneath the shadow of the fiercer giants astride it: it has ‘unified’ in a manner of speaking, under a primarily economic banner, and sided with the ‘West’ over the ‘East’, dwelling uneasily, but unequivocally, beneath the essentially corrosive influence of the United States.

This has led many men, as varied as Francis Parker Yockey, Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye and Norman Lowell, to insist upon the paramount importance of European political unification, as a means of protecting the native fire of Europe, and reconstructing her rubbled destiny. As Daniel Friberg has succinctly put it:

A common foreign policy, a common military, and a common will to defend the global interests of Europe is the only way in which the continent can protect itself and act politically on a worldwide scale without being a mere vassal to one of the other great powers.4

If one for a moment lays aside the Realpolitik implicit to this grand struggle — if one, without denying the real exigencies of the situation and the actual limits imposed on possibility, reclaims nonetheless a higher dimension, in which human virtue becomes an actuating concern, and not the power but the excellence of man is most to be desired — if one adds, to the elements of geography and time, the element of culture as well — then these matters take on another aspect entirely, and the historical greatness of Europe becomes the guiding light of these concerns. But that greatness is primarily of the past; in this petty and diminished present, it is a greatness on the wane, a greatness which has largely even disappeared altogether, but also a greatness which might be resurrected and reconquered.

Viewed from this perspective, the question is no longer how to transform Europe into a global superpower – by itself this would be worse than useless, as it would be an execrable travesty were this ‘Europe’ to become merely a New New World and a Second America on the global stage – but rather how to preserve, reincarnate, or recreate what is best in Europe. Toward that end is European political power of interest to us, and toward that end alone.

And by this higher view, the question emerges – what is the role and the value of the European Union toward this aim, this goal?

The Economic Challenge

Let us begin by dispensing with the primary argument which is trucked out whenever anyone dares challenge the continuation of the European Union: namely, that grave economic consequences would follow its dissolution for all those states that had been its members, and particularly those states, primarily of the south and the east, that are economically disadvantaged as compared to the centre and the north in particular.

In the first place, we might doubt whether these consequences would be as bad as suggested, given that as of yet no heavenly bolt of wrathful vengeance has struck the United Kingdom since the vote on Brexit. Naturally, the UK is but a single case, and one that is, both now and also historically, eternally ambiguous in its relations to Europe: given that the United Kingdom never was immersed in the European Union like the other member states; given that it retained its own currency, which somewhat inoculated it against Europeanization, making its departure that much smoother; given finally that Brexit has yet to actually materialize in its primary aspects and elements, to such an extent indeed that there is even some doubt as to whether it will finally occur at all – given all of this, the United Kingdom cannot be taken as a barometer for any other state’s successful departure from the EU, not to speak of the dissolution of the EU itself.

But there is another and yet more decisive consideration, and that is simply that the economic question, important though it be to the life of man, is of absolutely secondary rank with respect to the greater question of the higher destiny of Europe itself. Two points must be made here.

In the first place, if economic stability is to be bought at the price of Europe’s soul – as some Eurosceptics claim is occurring even now – then it would be a thousand times better to risk even grave economic consequences in the individual European states than to proceed with a plan that has as its end goal the eradication of what is holiest in Europe. The globalist endgame, which would culminate indeed in a global world order under the hegemony, we do not doubt, of that curious entity presently called America (or rather the globalists who own her), would barter the very spirit of Europe on a ‘growing economy’ and ‘higher standard of living’, no matter the consequences these might wreak on the culture and traditions of Europe. That is not such a trade as a man of mettle would countenance. Far be it from us to descend into the marketplace to haggle spirit for gold, as has been the way of other peoples: the future of Europe as a political and social and above all cultural entity is of infinitely higher dignity than its GDP or its share of global market profits.

Even if a simple majority of the European Parliamentarians were elected sympathetic to our cause, the most likely result would be a general paralysis of the entire European political body, or an inner war between its parts which might issue in a breakdown of the system

In the second place, it must be recalled that economic stability in times like ours is a recipe for complacency on the part of the people. The masses might sell their souls for iPhones and wide-screen televisions and healthy incomes; but ‘the very rich are not good; and if they are not good, they are not happy either.’5 The fundamental flaw in populism is in its hoping to persuade the people by truckling to them; it is the practice of liberalism itself to leverage its unwieldy weight on the masses, precisely by feeding the masses’ desires. The ‘right-wing populism’ of our days could well be, rather than the tide itself, but a single breaking wave that rises and crests and declines again; for the populist leaders, in slaking the thirsts of their constituency and curbing its discontents, might but strengthen the foundation for the ‘liberal-democratic’ order that has gained ascendency in our day and is casting its shadow upon all of us.

The European Union, as is known by its critics and supporters alike, is an economic, and not a political unity; it stands or falls by the economic question alone. Alain de Benoist has in fact identified this as one of the major mistakes of the EU from the very start:

Obsessed with the economy, the ‘founding fathers’ of the European Communities have deliberately left culture aside. … The Europe of today is first and foremost the Europe of the economy and the logic of the market, for it is the point of view of the liberal elites that it should be nothing other than a vast supermarket exclusively obeying the logic of capital.6

Precisely on account of this basic orientation, the European Union has done nothing but compromise and undermine the soul of Europe. It is clear that every man of the true Right in our time must, to some degree or other, stand against the European Union in this economical, anti-cultural incarnation. That Union is indeed the creature of everything that we combat. The question is whether we should seek its dissolution, or its transmutation: whether it is best that this sickly puppet regime, presently in the hands of American deep-state bureaucrats and the stateless plutocrats of the world, should be smashed to pieces, or rather that we like alchemists should seek to work its alteration from within, attempting to transform the lead of it into that golden Imperium Europa which not a few of the best men of recent decades have yearned for, and which indeed is nearer to the hopes of the original dreamers of European unification, than the ‘Common Market’ could ever be.

Here, then, in its simplest terms, is the alternative facing us: whether to support the transformation, or the dissolution, of the EU.

No Road Leads to Rome

It is sometimes suggested that it would be not too difficult a task to take over the European Union via its democratic elements, and press it thereby toward different ends – something like a mutiny, result of which would be a mere navigational change in direction. We ask, then, how this proposed ‘take over’ would come about – by precisely what mechanism, and through what means?

The most immediate and clearest route to perform such a ‘take over’ is also the most evidently democratic channel: through the election of the European parliamentarians.

And no doubt this would be an excellent start. The first obstacle, which is perhaps not insurmountable, is awakening the people to the importance of voting for their MEPs. The elections for these politicians are the object of a growing indifference on the part of the people; in 2014, they drew only about 42% of the voting populace, in some countries as few as 13%,7 and the numbers have been declining steadily over the past decades.8 Supposing the people could be made aware of what is at stake here, and more attention could be drawn to the representatives themselves – supposing this could become in a few major countries a truly national election, on par with the election of national parliamentarians (and this is already a most difficult task, to put the matter mildly) – it might be possible to elect sufficient numbers of the right people to form a new European political party with ideas more consonant to our own. A quantity of understandable ignorance has to be overcome here, as many Europeans do not know so much as the surnames of their MEPs, nor are even aware of the existence of the European political parties or what they variously stand for, nor have the least idea of what the rules are for their formation.9 Still less do they have a clear sense of what we stand to gain, or to lose, in the elections aforementioned.

Supposing all of this could be mitigated, the people stirred, and the European Parliament manned with a sizeable number of valid individuals – what then? One must not imagine that the result would the immediate commencement of the kind of democratic-parliamentarian wrangling that we see on the national level, in which different factions battle to get their special legislation passed, and the majority (which might be our own as well as not) wins out. No: the EU was built from the first with precisely the peril of an ‘internal take over’ of the Parliament in mind, and includes a number of very clever ‘checks and balances’ to avoid any such democratic meddling.

In the first place, the Commission of the EU, and not the Parliament, is granted legislative initiative, meaning that the Parliament cannot propose new legislation, but can only respond to the legislation proposed to it by the Commission. Moreover, essential functions which in any democratic government are generally concentrated in the work of democratically elected functionaries – such as, for instance, the forming of rules and regulations (generally assigned to the elected administrative body, or to the individuals that such a body directly appoints, who stand unequivocally beneath its power) and, above all, the regulation of national budgets (we are seeing this play out in the present situation in Italy) – are denied to the Parliament and the Council respectively, and granted instead to the Commission. Thus, even if a simple majority of the European Parliamentarians were elected sympathetic to our cause, men of good mettle and right ideas, the most likely result would be a general paralysis of the entire European political body, or an inner war between its parts which might issue in a breakdown of the system — leading, perhaps, to a necessary restructuring of its institutions.

To salvage Europe in its present state, one could hope at most for the latter; the problem, of course, is that coups of that kind are generally carried out, not by the legislative branch of government (particularly when that legislative branch is rendered essentially ineffectual and impotent by the standing laws) but by the administrative power. That power is divided between the Council and the Commission; thus, for any alteration in the direction of the EU, it is to these bodies that we must look.

The single viable way to change the direction of the European Union, is to change the spirit of the nations which compose it.

We begin then with the evident centre of gravity, and certainly the administrative heart, of the EU: the Commission, the body which is responsible for suggesting legislation, for making rules and regulations, for approving or rejecting the national budgets of the member states, for drawing up a budget for the EU, for negotiating trade relations with foreign countries, for arbitrating over the debates in the Parliament and for executing the right implementation of the Treaties. This body is presided over presently by one of the few European functionaries whose name (though probably not face) is likely to be recognized by the broad run of Europeans: Jean-Claude Juncker. What can hypothetically be done with this Commission?

Much is made these days of a ‘democratic deficit’ in the EU, which is the special bureaucratic way of admitting that the EU is evidently built to be resistant to too great a popular influence. The foremost locus of this ‘democratic deficit’ is the Commission. The Commission, which is evidently delegated the better part of the powers of the Union itself, is comprised entirely of men nominated by the Council. There is one nominee for every Member State of the Union, selected by that nation’s head of state, who is also member of the Council. It appears then that the quality of the Commission hinges decisively on the quality of the Council.

The European Council,10 being composed of the heads of the governments of the member states, along with the Presidents of the Council and the Commission respectively, can evidently be influenced most directly of all the bodies of the European Union – namely, through the election of so-called populist governments, like that of Orbán, Salvini and Kurz, the first and last of whom indeed are members of the Council.11 This throws the impetus of any change in this direction back on the shoulders of populist elections in the many diverse nations of the Union, and points to the importance of activism and guerrilla metapolitics on our part.

There is, however, a further layer of complexity. Even supposing that the Council could be for once manned with a surfeit of respectable individuals, this would not necessarily have the desired effect on the Commission; for while the members of the Council do indeed have the power to nominate the Commissioners, these Commissioners must be selected in consultation with the Commission President (currently, the ever-presentable and indisputably sober Juncker), who is not so nominated. They must moreover be confirmed by the Parliament, which means that it would be necessary to form a solid Council and Parliament to affect any real alteration in the Commission; given that either of these tasks separately is of utmost difficulty, it beggars the imagination how one might hope for both simultaneously, any time in the near future. Moreover, the Commissioners, though appointed by the Council members, are their own individuals, and swear under oath to defend the ‘Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union’; the which means that, unless we should be fomenting oath-breakers in the halls of Brussels, we must expect the Commissioners to be bound by the very documents which have made the European Union into the horrifying globalist, pro-immigration and anti-European juggernaut it presently is.

We cannot at present enter into a technical discussion of these documents, their influence, scope or aims, or the degree to which their byzantine bureaucratese is structured precisely to defend the extant powers and direction of the EU. We have lain forth these observations merely to indicate the extremely problematic, complicated, and trying nature of any internal EU ‘take-over’; it is difficult to imagine that any transformation of this kind could come about save with the passage of many decades of continual and applied work. And one is well permitted to wonder how the EU could in the meantime be checked in its worst tendencies, and if Europe has so much time left to her in this, her historical extremity, to regain control over her own institutions.

This much is clear: any attempt to alter the EU can come only via national, and indeed local, awakening. The brunt of this strategy falls squarely therefore on the transformation, not of the EU itself, but of national governments, national politicians and political parties, national figureheads and leaders: the single viable way to change the direction of the European Union, is to change the spirit of the nations which compose it.

This leads to the apparent contradiction that the EU can only be changed by temporarily orienting its constituent nations against it; the existing Union can only be saved by opposing it. That is a troubling balance, which, as we are seeing even now in the dispute over immigration, Brexit, Schengen free passage, and the Italian budget, among a great many other things, must sooner or later lead to the disequilibrium of the EU, and very possibly to its final dissolution.

Which leads us naturally to the other possibility which must be considered by any philo-European: namely, the abolition of the European Union, and the return to the pre-European status quo of a tapestry12 of individual nation-states. It is to this question we will turn in the continuation of this article.

References

1Cf. Robert Steuckers: ‘Geopolitics is a mixture of history and geography. In other words of time and space. Geopolitics is a set of disciplines (not a single discipline) leading to a good governance of time and space. Geopolitics is a mixture of history and geography. No serious power can survive without continuity, be it an institutional or historical continuity. No serious power can survive without a domination and a yielding of land and space.’ Interview with Troy Southgate, http://robertsteuckers.blogspot.com/2012/03/interview-with-robert-steuckers.html (accessed 31 October 2018).

2The problem of China in particular must be addressed elsewhere; in my opinion, it is not given half as much attention as it ought to be by our circles. This is partially because the growth of the Chinese threat is so insidious as to be practically invisible; it works through the subtle mechanisms of economy, infiltrating markets across the globe through individuals who are assumed by our Western eyes to be merely individuals, when in fact few Chinese abroad can be considered ‘individuals’, but must rather be seen as extensions of the Chinese collective. Between this and the unprecedented investments that China has been making in every corner of the world, it ought to be clear that we should take China very seriously indeed as a global player. But in the present essay we must dedicate ourselves to other concerns.

3Fernand Braudel, A History of Civilizations (trans. Richard Mayne, New York: Penguin Books, 1993), p. 304.

4Friberg, The Real Right Returns, Second Edition (Arktos, 2018), p. 29.

5Plato, Laws, Book V, 743c (trans. John M. Cooper).

6Taken from ‘“Europe a Market” or “Europe a Power”?’

7See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2014-results/en/turnout.html. Let it be noted as well that in Belgium and Luxembourg, which show remarkably high turnout numbers, the vote is compulsory. These numbers should be compared with voter turnout in national parliamentary elections, which are consistently much higher, running commonly between 70 and 80% particularly in Western European countries. Cf. https://www.idea.int/data-tools/question-countries-view/521/Europe/cnt.

8See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_to_the_European_Parliament#Voter_behaviour.

9A particular note on a difficulty here, so far as the Deep Right is concerned. The ‘right-wing’ is today universally associated with nationalism, and nationalism is obviously incompatible with the European Union. This makes for a particular difficulty in any attempt to establish a European party based on ‘right-wing’ principles, and indeed the present Europarties tend strongly toward the ‘political centre’, which we have good reason to suspect if not to detest. The two Europarties which are presently considered ‘far-right’ are, to put it lightly, underrepresented in the Union: the Alliance for Peace and Freedom has a total of four European Mps, three of whom hail from Greece (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Peace_and_Freedom); the Alliance of European National Movements has none (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_of_European_National_Movements).

10Not to be confused with the Council of Europe, which has little or nothing to do with the EU, nor with the Council of the European Union, which body shares legislative responsibility with the Parliament. The jargon of the EU is certain to confound us here — that pseudo-language which is implemented, we have no doubt, to obfuscate its true structure and aims to the uninformed.

11In the case of Italy, of course, Salvini is joint Vice-Prime Minister with Luigi Di Maio; the Prime Minister, and consequently the standing European Council Member for Italy, is Giuseppe Conte, who, however, stands squarely on the side of the ‘populist’ government he heads. The question as to which of that government’s poles he more surely tends – whether toward Salvini and the Lega or Di Maio and the Five Star Movement, is subject for another place; suffice it to say that he has done his best to maintain his neutrality in all disputes between these two allied factions, and has thus far done an admirable job of it.

12I gladly borrow here the fine metaphor of Martin Locker, who speaks with great persuasiveness and eloquence of this position in our recent Interregnum podcast on this question.

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When Logos and Pathos are Drawn into Opposition https://arktos.com/2018/11/16/when-logos-and-pathos-are-drawn-into-opposition/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/16/when-logos-and-pathos-are-drawn-into-opposition/#comments_reply Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:32:45 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5178 Aristotle divided the means of persuasion into three categories: logos (logic and reason), ethos (ethics, morality, and credibility), and pathos (emotion). The logos has come to define Western civilization and its quest for objective truth, which has impelled human progress for the last six hundred years through the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modernity. In contrast, for the ancient Greeks ethos was actually pre-eminent (Socrates was willing to die to avoid sophistry). Logos and ethos are inextricable: one’s worldview or moral code should be logically coherent and consistent, each syllogism sound and testable, like a mathematical proof. Furthermore, ethos is not ‘just’ an appeal to the audience’s sense of ethics or morals, but also involves the established credibility of the sources one uses in one’s argument and, of foremost importance for the ancient Greeks, of the credibility and character of the very individual making the argument. One does not establish credibility of character or of an argument through deception and sophistry; one does so through forthrightness, and in terms of argumentation, through empirical evidence, objective truths, and, where relevant, through a clear delineation of one’s logically substantiated morality.

The Left has positioned itself as ‘The Resistance’, diametrically opposed to all that Western civilization stands for and represents – from the race that built it, to the centrality of the logos and the quest for truth as its primary organizing feature. It is inevitable that when logos and pathos find themselves in opposition, as they must in the present paradigm, logos for the Left must yield, even become criminalized, for the survival of the logos means the survival Western civilization. Attempting to simply re-orient the West is not possible; one cannot just turn a building several degrees, let alone one hundred and eighty. Even if this were somehow physically possible, the foundation is set and the building would collapse. Thus, to extend the metaphor, in order for our adversaries to build on this particular site, nothing less than a complete demolition will do.

The European is the last among equals, a reversed King Arthur weighed down with the baggage of guilt for centuries of colonialism and (often fictitious) genocide.

The demolition takes many forms; superficially, what at first glance appears to be an over-emphasis on compassion, both real and (in most cases) manufactured, has become a kind of status marker – a cache of ‘moral rectitude’ which signals one’s belonging to an exclusive and superior group. This is designed to short-circuit any discussion, no matter how rational and factual, through its rejection of logos in favour of a by-definition irrational pathos. It also results in the warping of ethos, both in the sense of establishing credibility, and in the criteria for what constitutes credibility, as well as in the perversion of our code of ethics, which is (in a properly functioning society) also the exclusive province of reason. In such an environment of relentless virtue-signalling and status-marking, many well-intentioned people will be unconsciously pathologized into accepting not only false doctrines of equality, but even the moral imperative of their own dispossession. What would otherwise appear monstrous now takes on the patina of virtue: genocide ‘supported’ on each side by Critical Theory and post-liberalist doctrine.

The cultural default is one of universalism-with-an-asterisk – hence ‘post-liberalism’; for, as Viktor Orbán stated in a recent speech, ‘The liberal democracies are neither liberal nor democracies.’ Orwellian to be sure. But to quote Revilo P. Oliver:

The underlying thought is simply not that of Western man. It has nothing in common with the logic of Aristotle or Descartes, and if it is, as it appears to be, systematic, the system is that of a world in which, for aught we know to the contrary, the radius of a triangle may be equal to the cosine of its Electra complex. We feel ourselves confronted by the incomprehensible purposes of an alien race, and shuddering we wonder whether Martians or Neptunians, inwardly more weird than any imagined by H. G. Wells or Clark Ashton Smith, may not have already invaded our luckless planet.1

We do not see ourselves in this horrid modernity because it is not a product of our people; certainly, the levelling ideology of Bolshevism has been chained to our civilization like a lead weight. Beauty and objectivity have been cast aside in favour of all that is profane, idiotic and hideous. We live in a deranged anti-reality, where the state religion of egalitarianism preaches ‘equality with exemptions’, where all cultures are equal except our own, freighted as it is with Original Sin. The European is the last among equals, a reversed King Arthur weighed down with the baggage of guilt for centuries of colonialism and (often fictitious) genocide. As penance, we are told that European and European-settled nations must don sackcloth and ashes and, contrary to one line of Leftist propaganda that ‘Diversity Is Our Strength’, allow our homelands to be flooded with often-hostile aliens from cultures utterly unlike our own who impose a terrible price on us. As Douglas Murray explains:

And so the policies that had already made the native British a minority in their own capital city ineluctably sped up a change in the demographics of the entire continent. The ‘dark specialism’ of the French turned out to be the dark discovery of Europe. Promised throughout their lifetimes that the changes were temporary, that the changes were not real, or that the changes did not signify anything, Europeans discovered that in the lifespan of people now alive they would become minorities in their own countries. … What is more, it had all been done on the laughable presumption that while all cultures are equal, European cultures are less equal than others.2

The migrants, then, are not a cause but a symptom of both artificially induced guilt and Western ennui, affluence and apathy. The politicians who allowed this to happen have betrayed us, but it would seem that despite the continued resistance by the native populations to accelerated immigration, and many governments’ indiscriminate granting of asylum, many others simply gave up. They have stopped having children, they have internalized the postmodern guilt complex, and they have turned away from the foundational greatness of their civilization. They have sought satisfaction in fleeting pleasures and set their aspirations no higher than waist-level. To again quote Murray:

Today, if you walk through a gallery like Tate Modern in London the only thing more striking than the lack of technical skill is the lack of ambition. The bolder works may claim to tell us about death, suffering, cruelty or pain, but few have anything actually to say about these subjects other than pointing to the fact that they exist. Certainly they provide no answers to the problem they present.3

The only ‘solution’ has been to seek oblivion through hedonism, to ‘escape’ the harshness and tragedy of life through material comforts and superficialities. Better not to interrogate the essence of existence – the act of which imbued the forebears of Western civilization with the Faustian spirit that now leaves Modern Man, as Douglas Murray describes him, splayed out and badly injured, like Icarus surviving the fall. Paradoxically, for an ideology that luxuriates in temporal pleasures, indeed, has gone so far as to sanctify the profane, the body is decidedly not a temple. For William Gayley Simpson:

On our bodies is built our whole superstructure of character, intellect, spirit, and culture: when that goes, everything goes with it. … I cannot believe that you can get great wisdom and enduring culture, or even plain healthy judgement about the values of life, from a people as shot through with disease as we are.4

Simpson means ‘diseased’ in both a literal and figurative sense. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, previously eradicated and obscure exotic diseases are cropping up across the West’s major metropolises; and drug overdoses, alcoholism, obesity-related complications, and other deaths-by-despair, claim millions of Occidental lives each year.

This is a civilizational crisis, and one whose genesis, intellectually and spiritually extends well before the First World War, itself a grisly eruption of Western Man’s suicidal and nihilistic impulses. Nietzsche first presaged the death of God in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra in the 1880s; the disillusionment of the failed Revolutions of 1848 may serve an even earlier starting point; and Kierkegaard augured the day when the ease of existence in the form of technological advancements and the like would prove corrosive as early as 1846: ‘You must do something, but inasmuch as with your limited capacities it will be impossible to make anything easier than it has become, you must … undertake to make something harder.’ When one ceases to struggle, when one can be ensconced in a simulacrum of reality that is not reality itself; however, one also ceases to be subject to the ramifications of faulty premises with real-world consequences. Just as one’s body grows soft, so do one’s intellectual and logical faculties. Excessive comfort is as corrosive as anything yet encountered by man. It robs us of our very agency and makes us, in the ultimate irony, obsolete, for we are too irrational and flawed to match the speed and computational power of artificial intelligence, too weak and lazy to do the work of machines, and too stunted and numbed to be fully human. This is a living death too terrible to contemplate.

The (post)modern malaise and ennui presaged by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, respectively, had to have been present in their time, or else they would not have been able to perceive it. When, precisely, Western Man fell ill will remain an open question, but perhaps it was the French Revolution and its proto-Bolshevist blood-letting in the name of ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité that represented the first violent convulsion in the name of ‘equality’. Whereas the American Revolution marked the high point of Enlightenment thought and the institutionalization of self-government, the French Revolution provided us with the first glimpse into the communistic killing fields of the future.

Excessive comfort makes us obsolete, for we are too irrational and flawed to match the speed and computational power of artificial intelligence, too weak and lazy to do the work of machines, and too stunted and numbed to be fully human.

This Bolshevist spirit, which we would call Leftism or Cultural Marxism today, necessitates purity but only in terms of ideological purity; that is the only arena not subjected to corruption, pollution, and ‘de-construction.’ Leftism is logically self-negating in its fluid morass of relativism, selling utopian visions while trafficking purely in the temporal; but for an ideology that ignores logic, fixed binaries (including right and wrong as we understand them) and human nature itself, this is to be expected. In one of the Left’s strangest paradoxes (were one to appraise the ideology rationally), the most extreme narcissism and self-gratification is celebrated while at the same time the focus remains on the collective. The collective, however, is strictly defined by adherence to the ruling class’ ideology. Racial identity and group affiliation are encouraged for non-whites, so long as they espouse the proper set of beliefs, but it is absolutely forbidden for all whites unless they are ‘speaking on behalf of’ whites in order to denigrate or disempower said group.

With no guardian function to purge deleterious persons and concepts, and no discernable in-group identity, whites find themselves adrift in a sea of anti-white animus – much of it genocidal – and excessive, nihilistic hedonism. Is it any wonder that ugliness is such a fixture of our daily lives now? As William Gayley Simpson wrote:

Nietzsche assigned [significance] to physical beauty as an index of desirability in a mate and of health and well-constitutedness in a people. Their sense of the beautiful and of the ugly was a deposit of their ‘most fundamental self-preservation values.5

Whites, taken as a whole, have no values of self-preservation; there is only veneration of the mass of humanity, quantity over quality. Quantity and excess may take the form of the increasingly grotesque corpulent bodies we see waddling down the high street, or it may be the lifting up of the mass of humanity over and above those who are capable, beautiful, or otherwise of significant value to their people. For Simpson,

[w]e have allowed our religious superstition and our sentimental humanitarianism almost completely to frustrate the operation of natural selection. Blinded by the fact that human life is of very unequal worth, we actually sacrifice the more valuable to the less valuable. In our folly, we burden the sound and the capable among us with the support of a colossal load of human wreckage. … The cost of carrying all this load is prodigious, and it is growing. If we do not soon reverse the present process the land will at last be possessed by those unable even to take care of themselves. We are following the path of national and racial suicide.6

References

1Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline, Sussex: Historical Review Press, 2006 (re-print).

2Douglas Murray, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

3Ibid.

4William Gayley Simpson, Which Way Western Man?, National Vanguard (2nd Edition), 2003.

5Ibid.

6Ibid.

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Art School – The Fantastic Joke https://arktos.com/2018/11/14/art-school-the-fantastic-joke/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/14/art-school-the-fantastic-joke/#view_comments Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:12:48 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5170 One of the most disastrous inroads the baby boomers made into Western societal foundations was the slow but totalitarian infiltration of education. It is now completely dumbed-down and restructured around leftist principles of self-destruction – and not just in terms of art. Hordes of post-Sixties revolutionaries went into education at all levels and to this day rule emotionally and without reason over a system that recontextualizes everything around the myth of equality. Art school itself is a chaotic whimsy suitable only for the most hardened masochist, or the flabbiest intellect.

Students who manage to believe the lies and embrace Modernist art theory can excel quickly in school, providing they stay within the deceitful confines of the abstract game. They busy themselves in the task of finding deeper and deeper gimmicks, more poignant social justice narratives to apply to their heaps of garbage and monochrome canvases. When fully trained, these art elites will exude a contempt for detail, exactitude, technical skill, objectivity, spirituality or anything that reminds them of Western cultural confidence. They will exemplify outdated Freudian reasoning for which everyone around them pays a brutal psychological price. They will be the Joycean anti-hero, willingly subversive against a permanent state of imposed ‘slavery’ that is nothing more than basic reality. Eventually they might accrue enough wisdom to admit the realities of life, a rare but not impossible event. Yet this will only occur after they have spent their youth damaging the world and attacking their own culture reflexively. And so their supposed education is not just worthless, it is actually so cataclysmically detrimental it requires years or decades to recover from, if such recovery is even possible.

Art exists chiefly for beauty, even if it is a tragic beauty, or a dark and brutal beauty – not for the sake of offensiveness, debasement, intentional absurdity or self-hatred.

Avant-garde is a popular art school term used to describe new and experimental ideas and methods in art, music, or literature. It is still peddled today in art schools as the very cutting-edge, though their black turtlenecks are getting worn and their ponytails are quite grey. And their experimental ideas, which were boring and predictable then, are suicidally mind-numbing now.

Avant-garde is but another aspect of Modernism, indistinguishable philosophically, that represents the vanguard of shock theory and flabbergasting.

The Wikipedia definition of avant-garde is as follows:

The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of Modernism Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to Postmodern artists. … The avantgarde also promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning that was evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay ‘L’artiste, le savant et l’industriel’ (‘The artist, the scientist and the industrialist’, 1825), which contains the first recorded use of ‘avant-garde’ in its now customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to ‘serve as [the people’s] avant-garde’, insisting that ‘the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way’ to social, political and economic reform.

Indeed, to the avant-garde art is little more than perpetual leftist agitprop. The new purpose of overturning society as opposed to trying to uplift it has become the spearhead of the revolution of the non-creative, whose method of overturning civilization is to bore us to death. Art may seem a passing fancy, an impractical pastime in our late-stage world, but in reality it is the very vehicle of our progress, as its discarding is our undoing.

Modern art educators probably do not themselves understand that this is the heart of their schooling, that they are merely robots fulfilling their programming. Their opinions are so poor and so objectively wrong they are beyond contesting or engaging with. If asked, they will say the purpose of the avant-garde is to ‘make the viewer think’ – a facile and vapid statement that also defies refutation. No reason can permeate the bubble and they are lost on that hamster wheel. And so, no art will be created by them, nor by people they teach.

Modernists do not just rule upper-level art institutions, but all of art education from pre-school on. A child is not to be ‘limited by learning actual practical skills, and so learns nothing.

Burgeoning crops of actual artists get funnelled (increasingly) into corporate work as illustrators, animators, layout artists and graphic designers – none of which are thought of as serious careers in art and most of which are low-paid and unfulfilling. More often, these promising young people become tradesmen, which in the past was also synonymous with being an artist but is now streamlined to only utilitarian function. In all these cases, any remaining trace of art revolves around advertising; and in general, when entering the job market, it is best to be prepared to put your creative mind to rest.

With educational thought-control in place, modernist dogma successfully masquerades as the culture itself. Modernism is the establishment, perpetually pretending it is the revolution; within its framework anything is allowable except actual art. It is a blockage, sustained by education, wasting the potential of our youth, who pay for education expecting to learn real skills or find a real niche but who get only misdirection, absurdity and lies. When Modernists took over the institutions, they swiftly turned all major art education academies into abstract irony-factories. From there, they have moved to subvert other accepted truths – such as gender, for instance, currently being ridiculously redefined in education and confusing our kids even further.

Additionally, Modernism in education has gone unchallenged for so long (in elite echo chambers) that most people no longer understand what true creativity really is. People are trusting and believe what their teachers say, and so they hold that art is random expression rather than a serious study of cultural implications requiring style, structure and originality. Art exists chiefly for beauty, even if it is a tragic beauty, or a dark and brutal beauty – not for the sake of offensiveness, debasement, intentional absurdity or self-hatred.

It is austere and profound wisdom that make great painters and great sculptors; one lives all one’s life on this foundation and if it is lacking one will only be mediocre.
– J. L. Gérome

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Cultura Animae https://arktos.com/2018/11/13/cultura-animae/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/13/cultura-animae/#view_comments Tue, 13 Nov 2018 14:34:47 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5153 In the struggle which presently engages us, and upon which our very future rides, it is imperative that we keep stern vigil over our tongues – how we use our language, and, perhaps more to the point, how it uses us. The words we have at our disposal are nothing more nor less than our weapons in the metapolitical aspect of our war. And I am afraid that too often we take the vice of riding into battle wielding arms and armour that were forged long ago by our very enemies, and which they are therefore likely to employ more effectively than we shall ever know how to.

This is a wide and fertile subject. I limit myself to but an example which has long seemed to me of special importance: the use, rather say abuse, which the word culture receives in our day. This word, once a term of highest import and of noblest hue, has become as effaced as the commonest coin of our day, and passes freely from hand to hand in the most banal exchanges imaginable. Yet it is we who have been impoverished thereby.

One speaks freely of ‘popular culture,’ of ‘primitive culture,’ of ‘drug culture,’ without perceiving the gross contradiction in terms contained in such formulations.

In its present use, the term ‘culture’ is extended to every form of communal human existence. Every human group of any size, composition, condition, duration or quality (so long as it is not merely an accidental and momentary assemblage of human beings with no unifying factor adhering between them) is automatically supposed to possess its peculiar ‘culture’. A tribe of cannibals, the society of Germany in the eighteenth century or Italy in the sixteenth, the protesters moiling outside the state building, and the bar of drunkards down the road – each of these groups is understood as having its peculiar and identifying ‘culture’. One speaks freely of ‘popular culture,’ of ‘primitive culture,’ of ‘drug culture,’ and other such noxious concoctions, without perceiving for a moment the gross contradiction in terms, not to say offence against justice contained in such formulations.

Then let us reconquer our sense of perspective.

To begin with, a note on the origins. The word culture derives from the Latin; it makes its first recorded appearance in Cicero, who in his Tusculanae disputationes speaks of philosophy as a cultura animi, a culture of the soul.1 The concept of culture thus derives explicitly and directly from the philosophical tradition which originated in Ancient Greece.2 The metaphor employed by that old master of oratory is at once precise and enlightening. Culture is a means of improving the human being, not merely physically, but spiritually; it therefore signifies a process, one in which deliberation, knowledge, experience, and awareness all play fundamental part. It implies a clear sense of value, a sense of high and low, founded on a clear sense of principle, of human perfection and human imperfection. It implies effort over long periods of time – not the work of a moment, but rather of seasons, years, decades, even lifetimes. It implicates reason on the one hand (the deliberation and consciousness which is demanded in such effort) and nature on the other (the peculiar quality and kind of the soul in question). It is to be contrasted precisely with the wild, the fallow, the untended, the neglected, accidental portion of the soul which our modern term intends precisely.

Culture was historically considered to be the preserve of a few high civilizations (the fateful and dubious division between culture and civilization, as expressed most notably in the work of Spengler,3 was late born). During the Romantic period and the valorization of art which accompanied it, the word culture was extended to encompass also the artistic aspects of civilization, which indeed have since the beginning of Western culture in the cradle of Greece enjoyed a unique social role. Cultures were understood as belonging either as the noblest extinct societies of antiquity, or else the noblest extant civilizations of modernity – civilizations which existed exclusively in Europe, delimited regions of Asia, and delimited periods of the Middle East. Up until very recently indeed, to refer this term ‘culture’ to, say, Africa or Australia or pre-European America would immediately have been recognized as the absurdity it objectively is. We, alas, are not so keen of our vision; we pay the price for our blindness daily.

The reduction of the idea of culture imposes a tacit equivalency between all cultures; it represents therefore but an instance of that levelling phenomenon which we observe universally in our contemporary society. Consider for a moment the psychological effects of our present use of the word. What must it do to one’s estimation of European culture in particular, to believe that European culture is but the European version of a universally shared social quality? To see this problem more clearly, consider the sensible distinction between the words society and civilization. One might feel proud of one’s society in particular, but not of the mere fact of living in society; all men everywhere live in a kind of human society, be they the Bushmen of Africa, the Bedouin of Arabia, or the banshees of Antifadom. One can however feel proud to live in a civilization as such, for these other groups clearly all lack such, being inferior to it. ‘Culture’ is now understood as being every bit as universal as society. One cannot take any pride in the mere fact of possessing a culture, for every human being as human being possesses a culture.

The question of culture, in its highest aspects, touches directly upon the crisis of Europe; the latter cannot be addressed without addressing the former.

One can, of course, feel pride in one’s particular ‘culture’. This pride is the pride that every human being is supposed to feel toward ‘his own’, no matter its character or quality. But part and parcel of the specific culture of the West is a certain liberty of view and critical power turned against one’s own;4 to have pride in one’s culture, as a man of the West, is simultaneously to distance oneself from it. The Westerner therefore cannot limit himself to thoughtless or reflexive pride in his culture; he is in need of justification for the same. That justification can only come from an objective reckoning, which convinces him, not only that this culture is really his own, but that it is a higher culture, a better culture, a culture worthy of the preserving. One cannot even begin to think in such a way so long as one holds to the contemporary notion of culture, according to which every human group automatically possesses a culture, and each of these cultures is equal in value. The Westerner today is therefore constrained to accept his historically critical state of being, and denied the ability to affirm the same.

This makes the Westerner weak with respect to other human groups – a weakness for which we are decidedly paying the price in this present historical moment, as we are confronted by globally shifting alien communities which hold unreflectively to their native ways, even as they come to live among us. The automatic and ‘natural’ pride in one’s ‘culture’ is insufficient to Europeans in particular – and this not to mention even that other and deeper problem, that the native ‘cultures’ of Europe have in late years been eroded almost unto erasure by the worst forces of modernity, for whose existence they themselves are responsible. The question of culture, in its highest aspects, touches directly upon the crisis of Europe; the latter cannot be addressed without addressing the former.

The way was paved for our essentially egalitarian understanding of culture by early anthropology and sociology, which in its initial attempt to produce a rigorous and objective science of human societies sought to comprehend human things without making ‘value judgements’;5 this could do nothing but raze all social concepts, like culture, which are founded essentially on such judgements. In the nineteenth century a decided intellectual effort was made to resist this transformation of the idea of culture. One began to speak defensively as it were of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Matthew Arnold is perhaps the most celebrated spokesperson for this attempt; he must then be regarded as the foremost symbol of its failure. We shall not dwell on his default, informative though it be. The inconsistency and weakness of the conservatives of our era is too well known to us to occasion much surprise; nor is this the place to analyze the reasons behind it.

The problem with Arnold’s stance, and the stance indeed of most of the cultural conservatives of and since his time, can be briefly explicated. By supposing that the difference between high and low culture is the unique cultural distinction which can legitimately be made, one thereby presupposes the universality of culture: all societies possess culture; the difference between them is in the elevation, or the quality, of their respective cultures. The same logic holds for the idea of society itself, but the situation is complicated in the case of culture, on account of culture’s inherent and inseparable connection to value. For in the end, one judges a ‘culture’s’ quality on the basis of those values which one has been furnished – by one’s own ‘culture’. Each man who speaks of high culture thus demonstrates himself to be an interested party, incapable of independent and objective judgement. More often than not, one’s presumed right to adjudicate ‘cultures’ is simply the consequence of one’s ability to impose one’s ‘culture’ on other societies – the result, that is to say, not of any inherent superiority of one’s ‘culture’, but only of the greater technological, economic or military strength of one’s society, which has nothing essential to do with ‘culture’, and certainly not with ‘high culture’.6

This state of affairs has gradually undermined the arguments proposed by the defenders of ‘high culture’, until they have finally been reduced in our own day to mouthing the feeblest apologia for their merest preferences. It is no wonder they have been routed by the bolder egalitarians and nihilists at practically every turn; these latter are entirely more honest and consistent in their point of view. ‘High culture’ has thus come to mean the artistic and intellectual achievements which a given society arbitrarily believes are of particular worth or quality. The idea of ‘culture’ has in consequence been radically redefined, in such a way that it has finally grown meaningless. It has fallen prey to the creeping relativism of our times – subject which, despite its dire urgency in our day, too far outreaches our present scope for us even to touch upon it. But we should not for a moment close our eyes to what this transformation has practically meant so far as the question of culture itself goes: in rendering the word culture universal, we have robbed it of all its higher significance.

The problem can be clearly seen in a comparison of the word culture as it is used to day with its older acceptation: the word today is in fact precisely the contrary of what was originally meant by it. Today ‘culture’ is taken as a spontaneous growth of the human soul; whereas the word culture originally indicates deliberate care, conscious development, or careful preparation of the same. It is today taken as that which is given a human being, that historical and historically determined medium within which a human being dwells; when hitherto it was taken almost as the very ladder by which one might climb out of that medium, and exist at a higher and super-historical level. It is today taken as essentially arbitrary, dependent on the accidents of local usage and custom or the whims and follies of human society; whereas the word itself indicates nurture in accord with the specific nature of the crop involved – which is here to say, with the specific society or race of men in question, which nature exists despite all mere customs or whims or follies. One today takes culture as a term indicating any and all societies; but the term itself rather indicates rare societies, societies of a very peculiar warp and woof – societies, that is to say, which have progressed so far beyond the merely economic concern with survival that they can afford to embark upon the adventure of the soul.7 The word is taken today to indicate no judgement whatever; but in point of fact it is essentially a term of distinction, of elevation, of implicit and inevitable judgement and discrimination. Indeed, culture, as it was originally understood, was precisely a term of distinction, and for this could be regarded as objective: some societies possess culture, and others do not, and conflating the one category with the other is equivalent to performing an act of conceptual violation or revolution.

And here the truly horrible aspect of the problem in question: we no longer have a word to express the higher meaning which the word culture once intended. This word ‘culture’ has thus become symptomatic of the linguistic disease of modernity: a high word which has been robbed from us by overuse and by the wretched metapolitics of modern egalitarianism. It is our task to take it back.

Culture, rightly understood, is the native and natural aspect of European societies exclusively.

I could not more strongly urge my kin and comrades to restamp this word ‘culture’ with the excellence it once nobly bore, and to use it exclusively in describing the heights of principally European artistic and philosophical achievements. Indeed, from the very little that has been said here we are already in a position to set forth a bold thesis: so far from being universal, culture, rightly understood, is the native and natural aspect of European societies exclusively.

In accordance with this claim, which would amount to a reclamation of the conditions for European pride, the word culture should be used to describe, not even the achievements of a given kind of soul, but rather the cultivation of the same.

The prime difference standing between Cicero’s day and our own, is that the men of Cicero’s time could simple presuppose the prima materia, the good ethnic and human substance upon which the work of culture could rightly be undertaken. Today, this subsoil must be reconstituted, and this is perhaps the greatest task confronting the legislator today. Sadly, it is a task whose necessity is largely not even recognized. It is a task which then must be addressed first on the intellectual level, before it can be addressed on the practical level; hence, again, the metapolitical aspect of our war. But in waging this battle, in engaging in this struggle, it is a matter of course that we reawaken the slumbering European culture itself, its ties to philosophy, its rightful place of mastery within our souls. To fight on the intellectual and spiritual plane, is the first step toward revitalizing the physiological or physical plane.

It is therefore not sufficient to merely resist the erosion of our language: we must in truth renew its very foundations. This requires a double work: first, the disinterment of and older and loftier language;8 second, invention or rediscovery of language capable of substituting the low uses to which we have subjected high words. On this last point, as for the concept the word ‘culture’ is now generally used to indicate (i.e., the ways and practices of a given human group or society), there are a handful of good substitutes which are readily available to us: ‘customs,’ ‘ethos,’ ‘usages,’ even the word ‘society’ itself, all quite adequately fill the requisite definition, and can easily take the place of the abused word ‘culture’ with only a modicum of syntactical manipulations. These are indeed the very words that prior generations used to express the more general concept, which of course was hardly foreign to them. There is no need here to despoil an excellent word, to enslave it to menial work for which others are better fit. To do so is indeed to play directly into the hands of our enemies, and the general disintegration of our times.

It behooves us indeed to look more carefully at our language in general, and to engage in the kind of etymological research here suggested, toward the improvement of our tongues. Anyone who believes this work to be of secondary importance would do well to spend even half an hour researching the manipulation of language effected by the political left in the past several centuries. There can be little doubt that one of the most insidious and effective forms of egalitarian metapolitics is found in the reduction of terms of distinction to mere terms of inclusion – in the transformation of high and elect words, into broad, universal, egalitarian ones. Not only are low things thereby inflated with the semblance of an exaggerated and utterly unmerited worth, but we non-egalitarian thinkers are quite literally hobbled in our rhetoric, for this clever transformation tears from human speech the power of so much as expressing nobler ideas. We, who would reinstate the heights to human life, who would indeed build our castles at those bracing reaches, will not proceed far on those parlous paths if we must drag such low usances behind us like lead shackles. We must shed the bad linguistic habits of democratic times, and grant ourselves the free dexterity of a higher speech.

Truly, this is the first indispensable step toward a reawakening in our day of European culture, as it is rightly understood.

References

1Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes, Book II, §13: Cultura animi philosophia est.

2It is thus clear that the crisis in Western culture cannot be resolved save as the crisis in Western philosophy is resolved. This gargantuan task, which falls upon the backs of the present and uniquely unprepared generation, whether or not they be meet to its burden, demands an exacting clarity regarding at least the following, integrally related questions: 1.) To what extent do we owe the crisis in the West to Modern philosophy? 2.) To what extent is Modern philosophy the direct descendant of pre-modern or Classical philosophy, and to what extent is it a perversion of or innovation on the same? 3.) Is it possible to return to Classical philosophy to resolve this crisis, or can it be resolved through Modern philosophy, or is it necessary to hope and strive for a new philosophy, a ‘philosophy of the future’? Or, finally, does the present crisis in Western philosophy force a reappraisal and potentially an utter rejection of the same – is Western philosophy the product, as Nietzsche suggested, of decadence, but of a decadence so profound that it cannot be healed or eradicated? And if this is the case, whither then the West, and what options remain to it, within its own traditions, for an inner revitalization? And finally – is this very seeking not Western philosophy once more?

3A similar dichotomy is drawn by Thomas Mann in his Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, as literature or art versus politics. The falsity of this position seems to me to have led directly to Mann’s final obsequious and improbable capitulation to a most facile democracy. As Leo Strauss puts it, as he was ‘unpolitical in his youth’, he became ‘simplistically political’ in his middle and old age. See What Is Political Philosophy? (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959), Chapter 10, ‘Kurt Riezler’.

4Suffice it to note here that philosophy is the unique preserve of the West. This will be taken as a highly controversial statement: let those who would dispute it find me a case of a non-Western philosophical tradition which meets the fundamental prerequisites of Western philosophy, as established by the Socratic tradition: 1.) the tradition in question remained essentially sovereign with respect to all official political or religious traditions, thus establishing liberty in the face of any and all authority; 2.) the tradition in question clearly distinguished itself from custom on the one and poetry on the other. I would suggest that no Asiatic tradition has met the first condition, and no African, Middle Eastern or aboriginal tradition has met the second. The question of spirituality and its relation to philosophy is of course a complex one; to what extent can the esoteric teachings of religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam be considered identical to philosophy? To what extent is the Sophia Perennis identical to the Sophia Socratike or the Socratic Anthropine Sophia, and supposing there is a distinction between the two, how can it be characterized and understood? All of this is work for a different place; for the nonce, we can at least state this much: in no other part of the world has the philosopher sought to legislate as in the West. This alone distinguishes the West and its philosophy from every other part of the globe.

5I have levelled a partial critique at this aspect of science in my recent essay ‘Science: The Lower Sphere’.

6Anyone who believes otherwise must perforce consider the United States of America in its present incarnation as the highest culture which has ever existed. Whatever else one might say of such a proposition, it is utterly incompatible with any kind of truly aristocratic thought.

7Cf. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, ‘Economy’.

8This would be the stuff of an essay all its own. Let it suffice here to mention the two primary aspects of this: first, as indeed is in a way instinctual to us, we must begin to use a vocabulary which today might seem antiquated, not shying before words like ‘virtue’, ‘honour’, ‘nobility’, etc. Second, wherever high words have been polluted by the common use of our days (as in the case, e.g., of ‘hero’, ‘awesome’, ‘great’, etc.), we must discipline ourselves to their transvaluation, using them consciously and deliberately with their right scope, intension and extension.

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Political Justice https://arktos.com/product/political-justice/ https://arktos.com/product/political-justice/#comments_reply Sat, 10 Nov 2018 12:34:28 +0000 https://arktos.com/?post_type=product&p=5116 A Traditional Conservative Case
for an Alternative Society

Political Justice is a traditional conservative case for an alternative society, in a world which has lost its moral compass.

With a sound mixture of common sense and clear-sighted temperance, Political Justice reconstructs classical philosophy through direct dialogue with modern liberalism, dismantling the fallacies and follies of the latter brick by brick, even while rediscovering the principles of a just political order. Neglecting neither our most cherished and deeper heritage, nor the best of classical liberalism, A. J. Illingworth guides the reader step by step through a lucid investigation of the political and social structure right for European peoples, culminating in a vision of a society which is capable as much of securing us in our liberties, as encouraging us in our virtue.

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Andrew Jackson: A Historical Sketch and Its Lessons https://arktos.com/2018/11/08/andrew-jackson-a-historical-sketch-and-its-lessons/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/08/andrew-jackson-a-historical-sketch-and-its-lessons/#comments_reply Thu, 08 Nov 2018 08:42:04 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5150 Andrew Jackson (1769–1845) could at one time claim his place among the United States’ pantheon of most distinguished heroes. He held the American presidency from 1829 to 1837, following George Washington’s precedent by declining to run for more than two terms of office (despite such practice being perfectly legal at the time). One musical chorus of the 1955 classic Disney film, Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier, described him as ‘old Andrew Jackson, who everybody knows’ – yet, in the space of some sixty years that man whom everybody knew has fallen from the status of American folk hero to one of relative obscurity, and when he is mentioned, he is mentioned with scorn. Media representation in the past decade has depicted Jackson as a reckless youth who frequented brothels, stole the wife of another man,1 as well as ‘a slaver, an ethnic cleanser, and a tyrant.’2

The truth is that smearing Andrew Jackson is nothing new – it has been going on since the 1820s when he first entered politics, and many of his critics have twisted the vestiges of truth in their statements into exaggerated and out-of-place criticisms, if not bitter lies. So who was the real Andrew Jackson, and what can we learn from him today?

‘The Bank is trying to kill me’, Jackson told his Vice-President Martin Van Buren, ‘but I will kill it first.’

Born in the British colony of the Carolinas in 1767, Jackson first served as a courier for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, at the age of only thirteen. It was during this service that he received his first wound – slashed by a British officer across the left hand and face, he was left with the scars for his whole life. He tried various careers as a young man, working as a manufacturer of saddles before being admitted to the bar. He practised initially on the frontier settling land disputes between American citizens and the local Indian tribes. In 1791 he became Tennessee’s Attorney General, and in 1796 he was elected to the House of Representatives for the state, joining Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party (an agrarian, states’ rights party opposed to the Federalists, who favoured a centralized system). In 1797 he was promoted to senator, but was dissatisfied with the role and resigned to take a position in Tennessee’s Supreme Court. In 1802 he was elected Governor, a position which he held until 1809. Initially leading volunteers from his home state, he fought several campaigns against the Creek Indians in 1812, and repulsed the British invasion of New Orleans in the same year. When the wars had died down, and Jackson himself had recovered from a plethora of wounds, his attention turned to national affairs in 1822, and he set his sights on the presidency.

At this early stage in the development of the American republic, the political dichotomy between ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ or ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’ parties had not yet been established. Following the defeat of the Federalists, the Democratic-Republican Party remained the dominant force in politics. Alexander Hamilton had, in 1795, proposed and established the first US National Bank (central bank), but its charter had expired in 1811. President James Monroe had authorized a second National Bank, the charter for which began in 1817. The US faced its first peacetime financial crisis two years later in 1819, and Jackson blamed the bank, and the widespread government corruption surrounding it, for contracting credit. Indeed, after only one year of operation, in July 1818 the Bank of the United States had demand liabilities (i.e. deposits of its customers payable on demand) in excess of $22 million, whereas its specie fund (i.e. its on-site stock of real money) stood only at $2 million – a ratio of 10:1, double that of the 5:1 which had hitherto been considered the maximum sustainable difference. As Jackson criticized the Bank with a ferocious vigour, two new factions grew out of the Democratic-Republican Party: the ‘Democrats’ who rallied around Jackson, and the ‘National Republicans’ or later, ‘Whigs’ who supported what became known as the ‘American system’.

The ideology that was to become known as Jacksonian democracy in many ways represented the heritage of the Jeffersonian philosophy. Jackson advocated for the extension of suffrage to all white men, removing the wealth and taxation qualifications previously required. He also supported the establishment of new farms in the West, particularly amongst poor whites, in a move which de-populated overcrowded cities on the eastern seaboard and gave new opportunities to working-class families outside of the industrial heartland of America, although it did bring whites into conflict with the native Indians who lived there. He favoured a sensible balance between states’ rights and central governance; on the one hand, many states supported the existence of the US National Bank, but Jackson made the abolition of the Bank the forefront of his campaign for a second term in office – his first term having given him ample time to install loyal ministers in government positions. Jackson was also a passionate advocate for free trade and laissez-faire. His virulent opposition to corruption, support for popular democracy, stark honesty and hatred for bankers became the defining tenets of his philosophy. In this sense he embodied the conservative principles of the old American republic, as well as being the forefather of a kind of right-wing populism not unlike that seen in contemporary Europe. A lifelong Christian, he is quoted as having described the Bible as ‘the rock upon which our republic rests’, as well as describing banking as ‘the Devil’s enterprise’.3

Jackson’s opponents, proponents of the ‘American system’ were pro-Bank, pro-finance, pro-protectionism, supporting the industrial development of the eastern cities and the status quo on the suffrage question. The Whigs were generally more interested in the powers of federal government in offering subsidies to corporations which would build up the railways and other major industrial infrastructures. It was Jackson’s fear that, should these businessmen be given government money, they would not only ride the back of their subsidies into monopolizing American infrastructure, but monopolizing the states’ resources as well. He feared that the National Bank was being used as a resource for credit without responsibility, and indeed, powerful business interests had been using the Bank for just such a purpose under previous administrations.

The modern media’s disapproval of Andrew Jackson appears to stem from two sources: either from ignorance of the context of Jackson’s life, or from the grip of international money-power.

Jackson’s war against the Bank won him many enemies. The early traces of the shady world of what is now called ‘international money-power’ conspired against him. Even in his early years in politics, Jackson’s enemies had accused him of the same slanders that are seen in modern media (see above). ‘The Bank is trying to kill me’, he told his Vice-President Martin Van Buren, ‘but I will kill it first.’ Indeed, perhaps the Bank did try to kill him: one year after Jackson had defeated the Bank Robert Randolph, an official dismissed by Jackson for embezzlement, physically attacked Jackson, but failed to do him much harm. Then, in January 1835 a suspiciously compromised, unemployed English immigrant, Richard Lawrence, shot twice at Jackson, but both pistols misfired. In his trial, Lawrence (who was clearly mentally unstable) claimed that he had been told that ‘money would be aplenty’ if Jackson was dead, and that ‘we can only rise when the President falls’ in a clear reference to Jackson’s struggle with the Bank.

Jackson is firstly accused of having been a bigamist, and having stolen another man’s wife. In fact this is not quite the true case: Jackson’s wife Rachel had indeed been married before, unhappily, and in 1791 she married Jackson under assurances from her first husband that he was in the process of securing a divorce. It was only made clear later that he had not done so, and the couple remarried in 1794 when Rachel’s first husband presented the correct papers. Jackson was frequently charged even in his own time of being a bigamist and Rachel’s honour was also criticized – something that greatly upset Jackson, being a man known for honesty, and he frequently fought duels with men who falsely accused him of wrongdoing. Indeed, there is no hard evidence for rumours spread that Jackson was sexually dissolute as a youth, and that he had an affair with one of his black slaves: indeed, this stands totally inconsistent with his devoted expressions of love for Rachel, with whom he enjoyed a close relationship until her death from a heart attack. Rachel died only a few weeks before Jackson took office as President, killed by the emotional distress caused by Jackson’s enemies who accused her of impropriety. Jackson is known to have remarked at her funeral ‘May God Almighty forgive her murderers, for I never can.’4

Now to turn to the accusations of ‘slavery, ethnic cleansing, and tyranny’; Jackson certainly did own slaves, as many did in his time, and at least unlike Jefferson (who expressed abolitionist sympathies but did not release any of his slaves – and is known to have had illicit sexual relations with at least one of them) he expressed honesty in his belief that this was the a states’ issue, not to be encroached upon by central government. He is certainly not known to have been cruel to any of his slaves. The accusation of ethnic cleansing comes from Jackson’s first presidency, given his role in passing the Indian Removal Act. Bradley Birzer has pointed out that whilst there certainly was a death toll during relocation, and it might be considered politically immoral by our standards, this measure was in fact acting upon an idea which had been floated in the American political landscape for years beforehand.5 Many of Jackson’s Whig opponents accused him of racialism against Indians even in the late 1820s, but in fact, whilst there certainly were Indian sympathizers amongst the Whigs (Davy Crockett turned on Jackson over the issue, for example) many of Jackson’s opponents had very little affection for Indians, and would have enacted just as punitive measures upon them had they been in power; they used these events purely as an opportunity to attack Jackson. It is certainly untrue that Jackson engaged in any kind of ethnic cleansing – all of the Indian tribes affected by the Indian Removal Act still exist to this day, so if his desire was to ethnically cleanse the tribes, he did a very poor job of it.

Since the 20th century, Jackson has been accused of being a murderer on account of a man he killed during a duel, and furthermore, of having broken the rules of duelling by firing twice.6 This could not be further from the truth. Charles Dickinson was a political enemy of Jackson’s, and had accused Rachel Jackson of being a bigamist. Jackson, as he was wont, challenged him to a duel. Dickinson was known to be a good shot, and shooting first he wounded Jackson, the bullet lodging just inches from his heart, something which later caused the President no end of health problems. Perceiving that Dickinson had shot to kill, Jackson bided his time, and took careful aim. Jackson’s pistol did not fire on the first attempt (a common problem with flintlock pistols), and according to the strict rules of duelling, not only was Jackson permitted to re-cock the weapon and attempt a second shot, but Dickinson was obliged to stand still. He did so and Jackson shot him dead. It seemed barbaric to many at the time, and may well to us today, but to enter into a duel in the late 18th and early 19th century was to fully accept the possibility of death, particularly if one was known to be a duellist who shot to kill. Amongst duellists themselves, this was nothing less than the continuation of an ancient code of settling disputes among men, one that entailed accepting the consequences.

Jackson’s virulent opposition to corruption, support for popular democracy, stark honesty and hatred for bankers became the defining tenets of his philosophy.

Andrew Jackson was no angel perhaps, but the epithet of ‘angel’ rarely accompanies that of ‘politician’. His enemies also accused him of what became known as the spoils scheme – appointing friends and allies to top positions, but frankly the game of politics affords such results. It would be incomprehensible for a modern president to not appoint allies to political positions – imagine if Trump were to refrain from doing so today – and it remains the empty criticism of bitter political losers. What is most remarkable about Andrew Jackson was the resoluteness with which he moved past the personal attacks of his enemies and, miraculously, beat the Bank. He vetoed Congress’ attempt to re-charter the Bank of the United States in 1832, and in the presidential election of that year he won 54% of the popular vote. A year later he began removing federal deposits from the Bank, and firing officials who refused to do their part. The Bank’s executive, Nicholas Biddle, responded by stockpiling the Bank’s reserves and contracting credit once again, thereby precipitating another financial crisis; Jackson, in a move of political genius, referred all monetary complaints to Biddle, noting that it was he, not the President, who controlled the money. The result was a sharp rise in anti-Bank sentiment, as Biddle’s manoeuvres backfired and the Bank, not Jackson, was blamed for the crisis. Congress voted not to re-charter the Bank and its deposits were not renewed. The result was an economic boom, and on the first day of 1835, Jackson paid off the entirety of the US national debt, a feat which has not been repeated since. In 1836, he issued the Specie Circular, which mandated that all payments for government land had to be made in gold and silver, and formally discouraged the general use of bank notes.

The modern media’s disapproval of Andrew Jackson appears to stem from two sources: either from ignorance of the context of Jackson’s life, or from the grip of international money-power which would rather not see a Jacksonian figure claim victory in yet another Bank War. The truth is that, yes, whilst a modern Jackson would of course not be a slaver, or relocate Indians, a modern Jackson is intensely needed. A modern Jackson who recognizes that the true freedom of the ‘American Dream’ comes in freedom from the talons of international money-power, from the central banks; who recognizes that a truly democratic America owes more to the Roman Republic of the Cincinnati and Gracchi than to the liberal democracy of the Obamas and the Clintons; and whose honest moral values appeal to a people seeking to plug the moral vale of tears of their own time. The Jacksonian mix of economic liberty (that is to say – freedom from the exploitation of money-power, not post-Thatcherite ‘economic liberalism’), a sensible conservatism which focuses on the unifying power of classical republican values, and a populist attempt to distribute opportunity equally in the cities and in the countryside is a political theory which has been forgotten for far too long.

What is perhaps the greatest insult of all is this: the Vox article cited at the beginning of this article declared that ‘[Andrew Jackson] deserves no place on our money’. And indeed he does not. Jackson would have shuddered to see his face printed so nonchalantly on a twenty-dollar bill – a bank note valued and printed by the Federal Reserve, a National Bank of the United States and victory of the same money-power which he successfully opposed. Jackson’s policies defined a generation and protected the New Roman Republic on the Potomac from the influence of Babylonic corruption for nearly a century; Jackson recognized the fundamental truth: that if the power to create money, contract credit, and store up wealth at the public expense is transferred to a corporation, then there has been a transfer of sovereignty away from the nation, and away from the people. So at the next available opportunity, Americans should seize the chance to throw their worthless paper bills, and the Bank of Slavery which prints them, onto the fire.

Below is included a selection of Jackson’s finest criticisms of the Bank of the United States, which one hopes may serve as a popular message against corruption and financial slavery in politics for those seeking political office, now and in the future.

Congress have established a mint to coin money and passed laws to regulate the value thereof…but if they have other power to regulate the currency, it was conferred to be exercised by themselves, and not to be transferred to a corporation. If the bank be established for that purpose, with a charter unalterable without its consent, Congress have parted with their power. …

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions … but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions … to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society … have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.— Message regarding his veto of the Bank of the United States

I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, I will rout you out!— Minutes of the Philadelphia Committee which met with Jackson concerning the Bank

References

3 Attributed to Jackson on his deathbed. The latter is likely an apocryphal invention based on his earlier criticisms of the US National Bank.

4 As quoted in P. Boller, Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush (OUP, 2004), p. 46.

6 It is telling that ‘Conservapedia’, the foremost database of boomer conservatism, propagates this (and others) critical myth about Jackson: https://www.conservapedia.com/Andrew_Jackson.

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Propaganda and Subversion https://arktos.com/2018/11/07/propaganda-and-subversion/ https://arktos.com/2018/11/07/propaganda-and-subversion/#view_comments Wed, 07 Nov 2018 13:50:16 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5142 For the more spirited man in modernity, perhaps nothing characterizes the present epoch more than an overwhelming sense of distaste. This distaste is best epitomized by the advertisement and propaganda levelled at us in every direction. Whichever way an individual may look, in the public sphere he will see, disguised or blatant, a worrying infusion of propaganda as entertainment. This propaganda is not limited to advertisement but is manifested as well in all forms of the media and arts, wherein it culminates in a piercing array of images and language. From the magazines sold to young women and children which showcases whichever value is designated most fit for espousal, to the historical television programme that has had its cast filled with diversity quotas by executives who foresee positive ratings, to the bolder ‘for sale’ signs which one finds draped above various products in a store – all roads in modernity lead to a form of subversive advertisement and propaganda caused by the chaos of the free market and the individuation of economic and moral liberalism. Dastardly is the cultural landscape of our world, steeped in these insurgent properties and caught in a process of financial acceleration and value destruction, the outcome of which sends maddening those who are willing to rail against it – or at the very least, those who cannot help but observe it, sometimes with unwilling eyes.

For those who lack the correct alignment and disposition necessary to overcome their own base receptivity, propaganda everywhere reinforces the existing social structure of liberal capitalism.

And how can we not rail against this subversive force, those of us who are familiar with or desire that archaic realm which remains inaccessible to us – the material formation of which, if it did exist, we could not even experience? That ‘golden age’, which stood in complete opposition to everything which we must overcome today. At every turn the modern world seems well equipped to divide us from it.

The propaganda of today is already stark to those who perceive it, but for those who lack the correct alignment and disposition necessary to overcome their own base receptivity, propaganda everywhere reinforces the existing social structure of liberal capitalism, which subconsciously manufactures a desire to uphold and participate in values which have been deemed ‘correct’ by the pleasures and comforts of entertainment and information; juxtaposed against the more brutal, but by no means less effective form of control devised under organized totalitarianism, the system of propaganda featured in democratic capitalism emerges as a more insidious threat, since it is correlated with decay, the slow decline of natural values, and a society suspended over the void, upheld by nothing but an intangible market.

So we must look with disgust, and a form of nausea, upon the commercials, and magazine covers with their needlessly displayed human sexuality, insipid design and symbolic warfare; we must in a certain sense preserve this disgust, lest these things corrode our minds, as they have corroded the minds of the common individual – the masses – who harbour no spell against them, and are unable to shield themselves from the devastating effects of material propaganda, but rather become its foremost victims.

In the 20th century, sociology attempted to analyze the way in which propaganda functioned; various theories were developed in Europe, seeking to explain what exactly made the human being so subject to propaganda, and how it could most effectively be spread. The Jewish-Hungarian sociologist George Gerbner studied the effects of television upon the mind, in a theory which became known as the ‘Cultivation Theory’1. This theory, brought to life in the United States, posited that due to the ease of access of television and lack of a requirement for literacy, the potential to subvert and alter ways of thinking was dramatically enhanced in the mid-1900s. Viewers would passively begin to build up a view of life which existed exclusively in accordance with the ‘television world’, the world of the media, and would became blind to or reject what we will call here the ‘reality of life’. Today, this mutation more evident than ever: everyone seems to attempt to live life as informed by television and the internet, replicating thoughts suggested by these pseudo-realities with a dizzying speed; one wonders if the world of the internet and television has not already supplanted our material reality, infused as it is by constant bombardment of connectedness with these realms. Though dehumanizing, this is where the ‘NPC’ meme popular today pangs with chimes of truth: slaves to propaganda seem to draw from a well of encoded information, implanted by media, without stopping to consider the origins of their thoughts or their ramifications.

In a similar model of communication theory, dubbed ‘The Hypodermic Needle’, researchers encouraged the idea that the media directly ‘injected’ the masses with a form of propaganda, to which they became beholden. Whether this model accurately describes the process by which the media (and government) tamper with the minds of the citizen, the result remains the same: propaganda subverts, and it is particularly good at it. Today, we are witness to a transformation in these stratagems: propaganda takes on a subtle, semiotic tone – brands and concepts are so deftly interwoven with public consciousness and unconsciousness that one need only mention the term ‘McDonalds’ and immediately one visualizes that horrifying golden arch, under whose shadow the world lives in a twisted form of psychological oppression.

When determining how this process occurs, we can distinguish and refine the lack of a centralization of the ‘state’ as a defining factor, at least today. As the capitalist market wills it, interest groups and corporations are free to compete with one another in dealing out excessive doses of subversion, whether as a deliberate force, or as a reaction to the success of previous endeavours in the field of advertisement; for there are minimal regulations being enforced, and the propensity for corporations to sell to consumers is nearly entirely unhindered, due in large part to the advent of the internet. For example, when the public is no longer outraged by what once would have been a shocking or alluring image of sex, something new is sure to be forged in the fires of decadence, so that the product or idea might be sold, catering to public zeitgeist and interest; not only is there no brake on the production of such images, but they are actively encouraged by the system presently in place.

‘Consumer culture’ disintegrates the actual culture and life of a people into slavish atoms, ready for manipulation and coercion from every direction.

As the aforementioned ‘state’ in its ability to alter and transform cultures in a more precise and radical fashion stands in opposition to this, we must recognize it as the foremost antidote to the corrosive poison described. From a mere overview of history, we can attest to the characteristically strengthening force of positive state propaganda; within the state lies the power to implement values organically, to blot out and destroy all precedents which might be considered ‘negative’ traits, and to formulate a transformation of the character of a people or civilization with an almost divine mandate – as opposed to the impotence of the liberal doctrine, which has resulted in a power vacuum filled by interest groups, financiers and corporations who act according to nothing but the chaotic reward of the market and positive feedback loops.

Democracy, with all its inherently inefficient and tyrannical programs, opens the road for what has been called, in clear and concise terms, ‘consumer culture’ – a force which disintegrates the actual culture and life of a people into slavish atoms, ready for manipulation and coercion from every direction. The fight against consumerism, against product-entertainment, against the destruction of authentic forms of art and against materialism begins and ends with statism. It is perhaps unpopular to claim, but even the Soviet Union, a regime with murderous result facilitated the artistic world, financing large operas and ballets, and sought to create a unified, homogeneous ‘Russian Culture’, even if this existed under the guise of Communism. We must also not discount the efforts made by the German Reich to depict family life, rural living and production as holistic, healthy modes of existence; indeed, it seems that throughout history, any time that a powerful state has emerged, culture has often emerged as a defining trait of that civilization’s greatness. Today, all the state offers is complacency – a status quo, a middling existence, devoid of any spirit, which is compromised daily by advances in internet technology and advertisement, propelled in turn by mechanized interest groups. Art as a cultural platform today is debased, propelled by a demand from rootless cosmopolitan elites, which routinely autoinvigorates itself with boundary-pushing agendas. Therefore the role of culture in today’s society is relegated to a source of amusement for the bourgeoisie, stripped of intrinsic soul and significance, sunken to the same level as recognizable brands whose value is determined entirely by an artificial supply and demand. Works of culture and art financed by governments today are often debaucherous, outright malignant and inconsequential to the legitimate struggles which man (in particular, European man) faces today, as the dissolution of any sacred or traditional order becomes the primary focus of groups and currents whose ostensible aim is the establishment of a ‘global village’.

Still, one question remains: how does the average man or woman escape this nightmarish relationship between consumer and product? The answer is that it is incredibly difficult, and only becoming moreso at a rate which would seem to mirror the wildest flights of science fiction. The obvious solution on a daily level is to avoid, as best as one can, brand items or any form of mass media or entertainment. The mental imprint left behind by logo and advertisement no doubt performs some sort of undesirable trick upon our brains, wherein they make room for the recall of visual and semiotic cues, perhaps at the cost of excluding other information. The visual and audio attack to which one is subject on a near daily basis – on the internet, too; let us not forget the staying power of memes – is sure to cause psychological and spiritual decay. If there is to be any sort of legitimate struggle against the implicit and psychologically subversive ‘ordinary’ propaganda that one encounters daily (for instance, shopping at a supermarket), then a future state mandating the removal of competing products into a unified system of packaging would be a step in the right direction. If there is room for a future state to accommodate for it, then to have every man growing his own produce for consumption and trade in a local market would no doubt reduce the capacity for man to become host to consumerist tendencies. Even as things stand today, the importance of local firsthand trade should not be understated. In the end, the complete abolishment of company slogan, clickbait, neon-lit ‘for sale’ signs, and the removal of any interest group or organization not subsumed into or dependent on the state as a unified organism, is the primary long-term solution which we should begin shaping ourselves towards. In the face of such incredible adversity from capitalist markets, we would do well to not ignore the potential use of other modern economic systems such as distributism, corporatism2 and hard collectivism.

Lest we stray too far into the economic, let us offer a final warning regarding our current world: The soul of modern man is under enormous pressure, and soon will find itself dissipated and eventually obliterated by the consuming megalomania of liberal globalism, should this reactionary-revolutionary3 transformation not take place. Indeed, in its absence, the average man will be left feeling dazed and confused, rendered useless in any fight against this system should there be any, and the more distinguished and organised man feeling disdain, and disgust, as a vacuous hole opens up within the earth, and he, unable to prevent it, so too finds himself swallowed up within its depths.

References

1 For those interested in media theory, consider reading ‘Television and Its Viewers’ by James Shanahan. Alternatively, any collection of writing by Gerbner himself.

2 Referring to the form of corporatism practiced under Italian Fascism, not the ‘corporatism’ that is the target of much polemic from the left.

3 We use this term to designate the combined efforts of reactionary and revolutionary modes in overthrowing liberal capitalism.

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