Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Right Club


I am not a Conservative. Sometimes I have used the term loosely, especially when I was first called to on publicly to classify myself. I have since been as circumspect as possible in using the term about myself. I say: I am a man of the Right

Whittaker Chambers.
 One of the things that became apparent in reading Weaver's, Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism, is that "membership" of the Right was predicated primarily on being in opposition to the Left. I don't want to blame Weaver too much for this approach, since it is pretty much reflects the mainstream understanding of the Left/Right dichotomy. Weaver attempts to give the division some more philosophical rigor by placing the divide along the lines of those who oppose the idea of equality--the Right--and those who embrace it, i.e. the Left.

If you think about it, there are several serious problems with this approach.

Firstly, it tends to make the Left the reference metric with regard to the determination of the Right and by definition "frames" our understanding of the Right by defining it as NOT(Left). Now the Left understands itself as the only true revolutionary force and that its all of its opponents are reactionary elements hence, anyone who rejects the Left's definition of itself is automatically a Rightist. This also includes Leftist sectarians who are "not with the Program." Stalin, for example, was intellectually consistent from a Left perspective when he claimed that Trotsky, who was not with the program, was a fascist.

Unfortunately given the Leftward drift of our societies, this view is given a lot of mainstream credence, even amongst the unthinking Right, so that anyone "who is against them is with us". Or, in other words, we don't punch to the Right--that is the Right as defined by the Left. Part of the reason why this approach works is that human psychology judges on the appearance and not the substance and as long as progressivism can be given a "Right" veneer, it will be understood by the Lumpenproletariat as "Right Wing".

Take Fascism for instance, the Left defines it as a Right wing phenomenon, and intuitively it feels so, however upon closer scrutiny, we see from a study of history is of Fascism is that it is a heresy that arose from Socialism, its bastard child, so to speak, and therefore shares the same genetics. On the other hand, throne and altar Integralism arises from a totally different intellectual lineage which is opposed to the fascists/socialist DNA. Yet under a Left mandated taxonomy it puts both of them in the same camp.

But suppose we made the reference metric Traditionalism instead of Leftism, then the worlds ideologies could be divided into those which are traditional and those which are progressive. Under this metric both Fascism and Socialism are seen as part of the same progressive grouping.

Indeed, where one sits on the political spectrum is dependent on what one uses as a measuring stick. Unfortunately, for the Right, we've been quite happy to use other peoples metrics to define ourselves and this I believe has seriously hampered our ability to fight back, since many of our percieved allies have ultimately undercut us either explicitly or by being based upon a philosophical systems which are ultimately mutually incompatible. NeoConservatism, for example, has its philosophical roots in the Left and its triumph over Paleoconservatism shifted the Conservative establishment to the Left.

Secondly, by failing to define what it means to be "Right wing" on its own terms has meant that the Right has been awful in its discrimination when it come to choosing allies with who to fight the Left.

Take for example the Spencerian Alt Right. Spencer's advocacy of ethnic nationalism appealed to many people, as it does to me to a certain degree, but underlying philosophy which motivated Spencer is opposed to any type of  Western Tradition. His advocacy of abortion, his anti-Christianity, his tolerance of sexual degeneracy and his genetic determinism are staples of progressive thought which has more in common with the Left than the Traditional Right. Should the broader Alt-Right have won any battle it soon would be in conflict with the Alt-Reich for control and the movement as a whole would self destruct. My opposition to Spencer was the he was a Leftist in Right wing clothing.

What I think is most important task for the Right, at the moment, is to define itself explicitly. I've got a couple of suggestions, but before I do that, I want to return to Weaver's understanding of the Right as being those who are opposed to equality.

Why, exactly, is the Right opposed to equality? I personally don't think that it is a result of simple value preference, rather, the empirical experience of life demonstrates the manifest fact of inequality.  In other words, the Right believes in inequality, because human inequality is a TRUTH of life.

The concept of TRUTH is the core of the Left-Right divide, both in its understanding of what constitutes the TRUTH and the willingness to bend the knee to it. Quite simply, to be a man of the Right it means to believe and bend the knee to the TRUTH. To be a man of the Right it means living as if the TRUTH matters.

Now the Philosophical treatment of the concept of the Truth is beyond the scope of this blogpost but if I had to define what it means to belong to the European Right, as understood for the last two millennia, I would say the following;

Firstly, a belief in a reality that exists outside of ones self.
Secondly, a belief that the totally of reality that is only partially perceptible (i.e a rejection of Positivism)
Thirdly, of that which is perceptible, the truth of empirical observation.
Fourthly, the validity of logic and reason.
Fifthly, a belief in a Christian God, which as a result of our limitation to fully perceive reality, has given knowledge of Himself and His wishes through the act of revelation.

European Civilization rests on these five points. Reject any one of these and you're not a man of the European Right.

14 comments:

Kebab-Right said...

Interestingly perhaps, the Islamic texts venerate Jesus and Mary ( a Christian God), reject all forms of Milo-Spencer Homophilia and other modern degeneracy, support tribal self rule (ethno-nationalism subject to natural law constraints), tax extreme wealth (not income), and regulate female hypergamy. It is the original altRight and the Left begins to recognize it as such:


How Right-Wing Extremists and Islamists Are the Same
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-similarities-between-right-wing-extremists-and-islamists-a-832294.html

mdavid said...
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Neguy said...

Good stuff.

I'm curious about something. Why are you a Neoreactionary? A unifying element of all of the various "alt" right wings is that that they are atheist. Neoreaction is largely atheistic. Yourself and Free Northerner are the only two I know who are orthodox Christians.

If you look at Free Northerner's map of the branches of what he calls the "dark enlightenment", it's clear they are all atheists except for one group: the Christian manosphere. But you don't seem to spend much time talking about them.

By the way, you love Dalrymple, but I believe he is also an atheist. Doesn't Weaver classify him as such?

Dark Reformation said...

Thanks for your blog. I was reading a lot of your back catalogue last week. I appreciate your stuff on Burnham and Francis.

I agree with your first four points.

I considered, until two years ago, that I was left-liberal libertarian. However, two authors that moved me was Thomas Sowell and Theodore Dalyrample.

Dalyrample is an atheist. However, he said that religion is not something a conservative can oppose. I agree with him.

Sowell consider a left wing vision to be premised on a vision of unconstrained human nature and a vision of politics that can solve all human problems.

Following Sowell, this is (philosophical account) of the left.

1: Blank slate view of human nature. Humans have no nature. However, (paradoxically) humans are natural good,
2: All problems result from poor or unjust social design. Thus, the state must be centralised, captured and directed to achieve goals directly.
3: Once two is achieved, peace, equality and relationships based on cooperation and not exploitation or profit will follow.

1 is false empirically.
2 is also false. Many, though not all conflicts, result from human nature. Moldbug, however, endorses the second half of that claim, unlike other people on the right such as Sowell.
3 is not possible. It has been tried, many times, but it fails. And the attempt to do so will almost certainly be horrendous. This is derived from history, econimics, and human nature.

In short, a person of the right is a realist, a believer in order, law, liberty and truth. The right believes that people are not equal, that they are flawed, and that they need to be constrained from various social, legal and political devices.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Kebab-Right

The problem with Islam is that it gets Jesus wrong.

@Neguy,

It really depends on how you define the Alt-Right. If we think of the dissident Right, there has always been a strong Christian component there, especially the Traditionalists and the Throne and Altar types. It's true that there is a strong Atheist component in the dissident Right but I wouldn't say that the Alt_Right is atheistic.

As for the Christian Manosphere, this blog has written extensively on the subject in the past and the reason that I have not done much about this recently is that my interest at the moment has been the attempted capture by the Nazi Right of the Dissident Right. I hope to write more about the Christian Manosphere in the future since I regard the Christian treatment of sexuality as one of the weak points which was exploited by the Left for its own advantage.

As for being a Neoreactionary, I'm probably on the fringe of it. Seriously, I haven't read much of Moldbug though many of my own thoughts seem to echo his.

@Dark Reformation.

Thanks for your comments.

Agree, that the idea that human nature is unconstrained is refuted by the experience of life.

The role of the state is interesting, I'm afraid its here to stay. I think that various situation realities lead you to the conclusion that you need a state that is strong and competent within limits, but the idea that you can produce heaven on earth through better government organisation and administration is a fantasy.

I think you should spend more time considering point no. 5


The Social Pathologist said...

As for Theodore Dalrymple.

He inspired me to blog. What I like about him is his dispassionate honesty and realism. Though he is not a man of faith, I at least, am of the impression that he is a regretful atheist. Someone who would believe if there were evidence, but there is none.

Faith is doled out by God. Why he hasn't got it but I do, I cannot explain. I imagine if I did not have it, I would like think that I would be a man like him.

I sympathise a lot with atheists, I know how incredulous it is to believe when there is no evidence. But even atheists have to be honest, and many aren't. Dalrymple is honest, that's why I admire him.

Nulle Terre Sans Seigneur said...

The partial perceptibility of reality you allude to here actually reminds me of Gregory Palamas' essence-energies distinction in Eastern Orthodox theology, where the essence (nature) of God Himself is unknowable. This idea has always been controversial with Catholic scholastic theologians since to them it seems to imply a split in the indivisible Trinity.

I'm not a theologian, so I'd like to ask how your theistic critique of positivism works here.

I also don't regard ethnic nationalism to be particularly compatible with the "Christendom as driving force of European civilization" view, i.e. throne-and-altar conservatism. Louis de Bonald spoke out against it. Nationalism in all its forms basically shuns authority, duty and organic social order in the name of "self-determination". The revolutionary ideology of Lajos Kossuth and Giuseppe Mazzini that overthrew the Holy Alliance is leftist and subversive to its core. That the volkisch nationalists add anti-globalist and exclusionist rhetoric to it doesn't alter the substance.

Neguy said...

Thanks. There are a lot of people who recognize the value of religion even if they don't personally believe: Mark Steyn (appears to be at best a nominal believer), Charles Murray, etc.

Here's the map I was referring to: http://neorxn.com/introduction/

If you look at it, other than the Christian Traditionalists, the vast majority of these folks are atheists (and not infrequently Nietzscheans).

I've read your entire archives - a lot of great stuff, incidentally, maybe the best blog in this space - and have you seen interact with the Christian manosphere guys (and also describe neoreaction as the solution, which is why I bucketed you with them).

Who are these "throne and altar" guys you were referring to? I haven't seen that tribe.

In short, I agree with you that the 'sphere is doing some of the better analysis out there, but without Christianity it leads to a bad end (the alt-reich among others). The next problem, as you note, is the church. In my view, contenting for the truth within the church is the most foundational step. Right now the American church at least is running in the wrong direction.

I have some endeavors in this area. I'm looking to connect with like minded people. I don't see a way to contact you, but if you're up for it, I'm at newhack@yahoo.com. I'm happy to tell you more about me offline.

Greg said...

You mentioned Dalrymple recently, and I thought you might be interested in someone who is rather similar in outlook: Dr. Jordan Peterson (http://jordanbpeterson.com/)

Here's an interview he did recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04wyGK6k6HE

The Social Pathologist said...

@NTSS

Firstly, with regard to my critique of Positivism, there is nothing theological about it.

Positivism asserts that the only elements of reality that exist are those which are perceptible by the senses. In other words, stuff that we can't directly or indirectly sense doesn't exist.

There is a logical problem with this argument which is essentially circular. i.e everything in the universe is sensible because there is nothing in the universe that is not. When asked to prove the assertion, the proof is in the fact that objects which aren't sensible don't exist.

A really good way of thinking about the Positivist problem is to consider the case of a visually blind person. How do they prove the existence of colours? Well they can't therefore from the point of view of a blind positivist, colours don't exist. Now, who is to say that are other modalities of existence in the universe which are inaccessible to our senses. I'm not talking about angels or flying spaghetti monsters, but other types of physical phenomenon which are simply beyond our sensory grasp?

As for nationalism, the old arguments don't apply anymore. Firstly, there is the problem of Mass. The huge increase in population is, itself, a transformative factor in societal operation. Secondly, our working model of the human person is flawed. Cognitive science shows that we by and large operate in a pseudorational manner and rationality is the exception rather than the norm. What this means is that our human nature--inbuilt operating system--pushes us to seek our own, especially in mass urban environments. The core problem is our inbuilt propensity for homophily. Most of us are born to hang out with our own.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Neguy.

Agree. The honest positivists can see the utility of religion without actually believing in it. Interesting, Charles Murrass of Action Francaise, personally hated Christianity but saw its social use.

"Throne and Altar guys" represent a school of thought call Integralism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integralism

It serious poison which Trads are particularly prone to succumb to. Franco, instituted an Integralist state which, in the long term, killed the faith in Spain.

I don't think the Land has been a positive influence in NRx pushing it more towards "hyprerintellectual for the sake of being intellectual" techy movement. Hence the atheist bent.

As for the Church, it is the reactor core of Western Civilisation and that's where the real problems lay. Personally, and I know this will be heresy to many, I think that Francis is actually trying to right some of the problems, though I don't think he has the intellectual acumen to accomplish the task properly. If anything, there needs to be a sort of Christian Reaction within the Church, since it has not been able to successfully deal with the problem of Modernism.

As I see it, the Church is going the wrong way in TWO directions. Firstly, Liberalism has obviously destroyed a lot, but its toxicity is plain to see to anyone who can synapse two neurons together. The real danger, because it is so subtle, lays with the Trads. The problem with the Trads is that they prioritise Tradition OVER the Truth. True, there is an intersection between the two, but they have closed the door to any further relevation of the Faith, unless it is approved by them first. There is a very strong Pharasiacal element about them.

@Greg

Thanks, I'll have a look at it.

TSP's . said...
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The Social Pathologist said...


@Greg


Thanks. That last hour was unbelievable.

He gets it. He truly gets it.

If anyone wants to know what this blog is about they need to see that video.

Nick said...

There's plenty of evidence. I think that's harmful and disingenuous to say. For starters, if one is skeptical but curious, there's the whole field of apologetics to delve into. If the Christian faith is True (it is) then there will be nothing to disprove it. There might be evidence against it but not proof. There is most certainly evidence for Christianity being objectively True.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/evidence

God is not falsifiable. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is.