Sunday, April 01, 2018

Thoughts

In case anyone is interested there is an interesting lecture given by George Hawley: Is the Alt-Right Collapsing.  Hawley's academic specialisation is in the non-mainstream Right. I've read his book, The Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism and, like his lecture, thought it a fair and balanced work.

I don't think Hawley gets everything right, but his main contention, that the Alt-Right is dying, is in my opinion correct.  Hawley lays the blame for the failure of the movement on several factors, the principle ones being its explicit white nationalism and it National Socialist "Optics" which worked to drive the normies away.

Hawley's done a fair amount of work on the Alt-Right, and though it really wasn't mentioned much at all in this talk--though he's spoken about it in other places considerably--is the explicit anti-Christian bias inherent to it. For Christian people like myself, Anti-Christian Modernism v2.0 is just as repellent as Anti-Christian Modernism v1.0.  For the Christian, there's not really much difference between being Gulaged by a Commie or Auschwitzed by a Nazi. The Alt-Right was really the same turd in a different package.

Perhaps the most depressing thing about the whole Spenceresque co-option of the non-mainstream-Right was how many non-Natsocs were sympathetic to them. I honestly felt I was a voice in the wilderness at times and it's one of the reasons I've really lost much of my urge to blog. What's the point when so many are so easily led astray.  A healthy Right would have purged Spencer and his ilk immediately on the grounds that their ideology was incompatible with that of the Right.

It has always been this blog's contention that the foundational stone of European civilisation was Christianity and any restorative movement which ignores this pillar, or one that advocates doctrines which are contrary to it, is merely another version of error. For the Rightist, the key issue is not one of Right or Left but one of right or wrong. Sure, there are contingencies such as race, geography and history which impacted upon European civilisational development but these factors on their own do not explain the European phenomenon.

That's why any movement which denies it ain't worth shit and is simply modernism or paganism in another package. The defining event which initiated European civilisational decline has been de-Christianisation.  Our secular culture is at the peak of its technical prowess and probably has the most educated population in history yet were are in a civilisational death spiral which increases in velocity in proportion to the decline of religious observance. You don't have to believe it but the correlation is very, very good.

But to be charitable to the Alt-Right--I'm Christian, remember--some of their criticisms of Christianity may have some validity. The depopulation of the Christian Churches may not just simply be due to the disobedience of an ungrateful people, rather, it could be due to the repulsion at being fed an adulterated product. The Kumbaya Christianity being fed to flock today seems a adulterated and watered down version of the faith of the past. That does not mean that return to the past is an antidote to the ills of today. After all, it was the problems of the past that gave birth to the monster of modernity. Change is not the problem, change in the wrong direction is.

If politics is downstream from culture then problem is to fix culture before you can fix politics. The American founding fathers knew that no constitution would restrain a corrupt people, virtue was needed. And you ain't going to build virtue without religion. The common man as a utilitarian philosopher is pie-in-the-sky bullshit.  Men need rules to live by.

That's why any restorative project for the West has to be based on the Christian religion.

Otherwise it's a waste of time.






19 comments:

Nulle Terre Sans Seigneur said...

I will listen to the Hawley lecture, thanks for sharing. I've actually been curious about his own political orientation for some time. His willingness to immerse himself in the alt-right, the fact that he wrote a book on the political demography of white voters in addition to his relatively disinterested portrayal of "right-wing critics of American conservatism" makes me suspect he has some crypto-Sailerist affinities. Or he's just a rare example of an old high-brow academic liberal like Nicholas Murray Butler was around the 1920s-30s.

As for the alt-right collapsing, I'm having doubts it ever rose. It feels like the whole thing was always a meme, an exercise in culture jamming that was mostly simulacrum. The moment it tried to be real with torch rallies, it only showed its underlying fiction. On the other hand, there were the more successful brawls at Berkeley, so perhaps the potential for organization was there.

Hoyos said...

That's why I'm glad as well, someone needs to be dealing with the heathen NatSocs slithering in.

Out of curiosity have you ever heard of a blogger called Cambria Will Not Yield?

Reeeactionary said...

The hostility towards Christianity is woefully misguided. People look to the pre-Christian faith of the barbarian tribes because they have gazed into the abyss for far too long and can see nothing but the influence of coin clutching merchants.

Our barbarian fore bearers were interesting and fearsome and the imagery of the ancient pagans worshiping their dark gods in the dark forests of untamed Europe has a certain sense of romanticism about it, but regressing to that state is insufficient in the quest to save ourselves. Where we became great was under the manorial system of feudal Europe: centuries of selecting people based on ability and the willingness to form families, and centuries of the hard justice of the gallows for those who broke the laws refined us. The move to egalitarianism removed the barriers preventing those who can't or won't, and now our own people are drowning under the weight of the worst of us.

We're only going to begin improving again if we recognize that the ethnocentrism of the Alt Right is only marginally better than blind egalitarianism. It fails to make distinction between the quality of individuals within our own tribes. It is not enough to simply be white. Failure to remove the worst of ourselves will ultimately bring us down, even without the presence of a hostile other.

It was under Christian Europe that we became great, and even though I don't necessarily believe in God, I believe in believing in God. If you follow me. We have a working system from the past perfectly attuned to the religious sensibilities of the majority of our people. Why attempt something new when we have something that works?

Demographi said...

Certainly the correlation between leaving religion and decline is very tight, no doubt. Couldn't agree more.

But here is the problem. Churches for whatever reason are a major force pushing the demographic destruction of Europeans. That is also undeniable.

How will people converting to Christianity help if Christianity is now bleeding out European culture and blood gleefully, by command from the Pope down to the individual churches as the Moral thing to do?

At this point all people returning to churches would do is accelerate the decline with the blessings of the churches festooned with rainbow flags and crescent moons.

Michael Rothblatt said...

Yes. Genuine religious revival would, on its own, solve so many problems even if nothing else were done. But, the prospects for that seem bleak to me. The problem is that not even self-professed 'trads' appear to be taking religion seriously is spite of all their fist-clenching at the camera. Rather than being transformative force in their own lives, it seems most view it as just a politically useful tool. I think that, back then merely a priest, Joseph Ratzinger, was onto something in his predictions for the future of Christianity ( http://aleteia.org/2016/06/13/when-cardinal-joseph-ratzinger-predicted-the-future-of-the-church/ ):

"The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain — to the renewal of the nineteenth century. But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret."

The Social Pathologist said...

@NTSS

I'd put Hawley in the "high-brow academic liberal" category. His talk, in my opinion, was reasonably objective. Interestingly, he recognises the political poison of the White Nationlist movement as it is though recognises that there are alternative strands within the movement that pose promise.

As for the alt-right collapsing, I'm having doubts it ever rose

It really means what you mean by Alt-Right. I think a Dissident Right has arisen, especially with the confluence of Neoreactionairies, religious trads and the Manosphere, but it was captured by the "Natsoc wannabes" which have caused a lot of damage. A lot of this due to Dissident Right lacking "purity tests' which enabled widespread entryism. One of the big advantages of "going Christian" is that you automatically exclude most of the idiotic Natsocs and materialists.

@Hoyos

Out of curiosity have you ever heard of a blogger called Cambria Will Not Yield?

Yes. But I've not read much of him. Too much to read at the moment and not enough time. I'll have a bit more of a look when I get the chance.

Reeeactionary

@It was under Christian Europe that we became great, and even though I don't necessarily believe in God,

Interesting. One of things I mull about constantly is the possibility of a Dissident Right with atheist/agnositic members. My opinion, at the moment, is that such a movement is possible provided there is a commitment to the truth by such persons. I've really been impressed with John Gray who, while atheist, recognises the importance of the Christianity to European civilisation. Google up his review of Pinkiers "Englightenment Now", he savages him.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Demographi

But here is the problem. Churches for whatever reason are a major force pushing the demographic destruction of Europeans. That is also undeniable.

Agree. The fact that the Crusades would now be impossible under the current Christian operating paradigm means that the understanding of the Faith has changed. As I see it, one of the reasons that Modernity has been so successful against Christianity is that it has exploited weak areas in Christian thought as avenues of advancement. The conflation of physical violence with malice is one such instance. Reading some of the latest pronouncements on war by Church's would make you think that it is pragmatically impossible to envisage any form of "Just War." Likewise the understanding of sexuality primarily through it's moral dimension tends to make sexuality a matter of choice rather than biology. Looked at it from this angle the Trads are a malign influence,responsible for keeping the breaches open by proscribing those who would block them.

Any restorative process of the West is going to have to come about through and renewal of religion first. (i.e the understanding of doctrine is going to have to change.)

@MichaelRottblatt

Rather than being transformative force in their own lives, it seems most view it as just a politically useful tool. I think that, back then merely a priest, Joseph Ratzinger, was onto something in his predictions for the future of Christianity

Yes, the fatal error that many trads make is that political power equates to spiritual power and that by compelling the flesh you can compel the soul. It just doesn't work that way.

As for Ratzinger's vision of the future I think it is a too pessimistic apraisal bought about by a rather "scholastic" view of the human person. (Which I think has flaws.) You see, Europe in the Ages of the Faith wasn't populated by a people who were skilled in scholastic philosophy. The simple faith of the Breton peasant's wife was not of the same kind as that of Joseph Ratzinger, with all his erudition and scholarship. Frequently, it was mixed in with all forms of superstition and "incorrect" notions which came about from a lack of any in depth theological education. It may just be that a "messy" but sincere Faith is preferable to an intellectually pure but lukewarm one.

The dumb faith of the flyover farmer may be the future of religion. The Church's doctrinal police may have to learn that they are problem and may need to learn how to tolerate the foibles of human nature. A loving Protestantism in error may be more pleasing to God than a cold, but pure, Catholicism.

MK said...

That's why any movement which denies it ain't worth shit and is simply modernism or paganism in another package. The defining event which initiated European civilisational decline has been de-Christianisation.

Christian civilization is won or lost in the family. "Movements" as such are just a considerable number of individuals willing to sacrifice their lives and comfort for the faith. No such movement exists today within Western Christianity; we can see this in the demographics alone. No children, no authentic Christian movement. Hell, we're not even willing to give up our toys or individuality, let alone face persecution. No real leadership, either. So, like under communism when the bishops have been co-opted, it's every family for themselves.

Perhaps hard times will awaken a few bishops and enough people to start something, but this probably won't happen until enough people get their ox gored somehow. I can't see it.

The alt-right has real value here in that it is both counter-cultural and unafraid. They have more balls than the bishops, who are still co-opted by the "kumbaya" feminine-centric culture. This isn't a trivial point, imo.

The Social Pathologist said...

@MK

The alt-right has real value here in that it is both counter-cultural and unafraid. They have more balls than the bishops, who are still co-opted by the "kumbaya" feminine-centric culture. This isn't a trivial point, imo.

It's not enough to have balls, you've got to have brains as well. A lot of Alt Right criticism is just liberalism dressed up for conservative types. Much of the Rightist criticism of the Church encouragement of the immigrant influx can be boiled down to the notion that the Church should change because I don't like wogs.

Intelligent identitarian criticism of current Christian theology is rare.

Anonymous said...

SP,

I was raised irreligious and never even got baptised. I investigated Catholicism for a while but found it a bit weird. I'm interested in your style of Catholicism however. Are there any authors that you'd recommend who think along similar lines to yourself? Please don't say Jordan Peterson as I've already been through all his work on the bible, which inspired me in part to actually take up religion. I'd love to convert to Catholicism, but in my city it is either extremely left wing priests or traditionalist nuts who deny evolution and believe Jesus is returning any day now. I don't feel comfortable with either of these options, and am wondering if there is a place for me in the Catholic church at all.

Jason said...

I'm glad you're back to blogging, doctor. Please don't allow your pessimism to overtake you too much - which I'm sure you won't.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon.

but in my city it is either extremely left wing priests or traditionalist nuts who deny evolution and believe Jesus is returning any day now

I understand your problem. There's a lot in the Church that repels me as well.

There's an apocryphal story about a Freemason taunting some Archbishop, claiming that his organisation will destroy the Catholic Church, the Archbishop, nonplussed,says that it isn't going to happen. How can you be so sure? Replied the Freemason. Easily, said the Archbishop. My priests have been trying to destroy the Church for nearly two thousand years and they've never been able to do it. What makes you think you'll succeed when they have so abjectly failed?

That's why you join the Catholic Church, because no matter how many morons and kuckleheads, saints and sinners fill its offices the Thing itself is sustained by a power that keeps it going. It's not the people it's the Thing that you join for.

I don't like recommending books since what worked for me may not necessarily work for you. But GK Chesterton was hugely influential in my conception of Catholicism as was James V Schall.

Yes. There is a place for you.

@Jason

Thanks.


MK said...

Anon: ...traditionalist nuts who deny evolution and believe Jesus is returning any day now

Odd combo; world-is-ending crazies is a Prot thing where I live...where do you live roughly? Btw I would recommend reading Christian history; e.g. The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function (Brown).

Ian said...

Social Pathologist,

Perhaps the most depressing thing about the whole Spenceresque co-option of the non-mainstream-Right was how many non-Natsocs were sympathetic to them.

I wasn't too surprised by how many non-Natsocs were sympathetic to them, but I was surprised at how many believing and practicing Christians were sympathetic to them, and seeing their moral and intellectual corruption was indeed depressing.

I honestly felt I was a voice in the wilderness at times and it's one of the reasons I've really lost much of my urge to blog. What's the point when so many are so easily led astray.

I've never commented here before, but I appreciated it. Even if you're not persuading anyone, it can be an encouragement to others who share your view.

It has always been this blog's contention that the foundational stone of European civilisation was Christianity and any restorative movement which ignores this pillar, or one that advocates doctrines which are contrary to it, is merely another version of error. ...

That's why any movement which denies it ain't worth shit and is simply modernism or paganism in another package.


Excellent! I find it sometimes hard to comprehend how myopic the alt-right can be: they can tolerate different views on religion - you can be Christian, atheist, pagan, whatever; they can tolerate different views on the sexual revolution - if you support sodomy or abortion, no problem; yet the one issue on which they won't brook dissent is race. Do they think that the upheaval that happened in the '60s would have been perfectly ok if only the West had held firm on the racial question? These things are all related. A more comprehensive vision is needed, one that recognizes Christianity as central.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Ian

Thanks.

but I was surprised at how many believing and practicing Christians were sympathetic to them, and seeing their moral and intellectual corruption was indeed depressing.

Unfortunately this has been a recurring aspect of "Christian" behaviour in the 20th C. Fascism is the opiate of the cognitive light Christian and I think it's a measure of just how deep the rot in Christianity is at the moment. Any Christian restoration is going to have to come about through a Christian revival.

But as I see it, this revival is going to be of a different form to the one the preceded it.

I think that Christianity, to a certain degree, has been "pozzed". Some recent Papal comments--and from others besides Francis--betray a certain rejection of human nature that is very akin to Positivist thinking. It's one thing to control the passions but another to kill them, in the name of asceticism. The Chruch may not believe in the blank slate but can behave in a way which is virtually indistinguishable from the Positivists. I think we're going to need new religious thinkers and mystics to pull out of this mess.


Do they think that the upheaval that happened in the '60s would have been perfectly ok if only the West had held firm on the racial question?

Yes.











Anonymous said...

"Hawley lays the blame for the failure of the movement on several factors, the principle ones being its explicit white nationalism and it National Socialist "Optics" which worked to drive the normies away. "

I believe fear of being doxxed, physically attacked, fired from one's job, etc. did more to derail the Alt Right than advocating White Nationalism did.
Through what looks a lot like a conspiracy between the media, academia, the state, and private leftist organizations,White Nationalist have been denied an opportunity to put their case before the people.
I suspect fear motivates this opposition as well.

"For Christian people like myself, Anti-Christian Modernism v2.0 is just as repellent as Anti-Christian Modernism v1.0. For the Christian, there's not really much difference between being Gulaged by a Commie or Auschwitzed by a Nazi. The Alt-Right was really the same turd in a different package. "

I don't know of any Alt Rightist
who has suggested imprisoning or worse for Christians,or any other groups.
Perhaps you can enlighten me?

I think Christianity is ultimately opposed to ALL forms of Nationalism.
Doesn't the Bible say that there is "neither Jew nor Greek" in Christ? This abolished ethnic/ racial identities and the loyalties that go with them, and replaces it with loyalty to God and a new community of believers.
This is anathema to any Nationalism.
This I believe is the source of the Alt Right's problem with Christianity.
They believe the existential threat to Whites is the result
of the application of this Christian ethic to immigration,integration, intermarriage etc.

"Perhaps the most depressing thing about the whole Spenceresque co-option of the non-mainstream-Right was how many non-Natsocs were sympathetic to them. I honestly felt I was a voice in the wilderness at times and it's one of the reasons I've really lost much of my urge to blog. What's the point when so many are so easily led astray. A healthy Right would have purged Spencer and his ilk immediately on the grounds that their ideology was incompatible with that of the Right."

I hope you're not making the same mistake Hawley is and equating National Socialism with White Nationalism.
Hawley apparently sees no difference between them.
To be a White Nationalist in the U.S. one need believe only that,
White Americans are a nation and
they should have their own state.
While a person can believe this and be a National Socialist, believing it doesn't make one a National Socialist.
I suspect Hawley knows this, but admitting it in Antifa territory might not have been wise.
Advocates for White Americans are rare(but their numbers seem to be growing)and many racially conscious Whites are supportive of anyone who advocates for Whites.
Often without looking to closely at the advocate.
This isn't me agreeing with you about Spencer.
I don't know much about him one way or the other.
Whether a "healthy right" would have purged him depends on how you define the Right.
Though I find myself using the term "the Right" for convenience, I don't believe a Right exist in the way that the Left does.
As a coherent ideology.
The Left has one enemy: Privilege.
One goal: Equality.
One Loyalty: Humanity
Rejection of any one of these makes one a Rightist.
However those on the Right can have different enemies, goals, and loyalties.
Not only different from the Left, but different from other Rightist!
The "Right" is to the Left, what Paganism is to Christianity.
"Right"and "Pagan" only tell us what people AREN'T.

As far as the future is concerned I believe White Nationalism has a future in the U.S.
This may or may not be accompanied by a Christian revival.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon

I don't know of any Alt Rightist
who has suggested imprisoning or worse for Christians,or any other groups.


It doesn't start off that way but it's how it ends. There was no explicit plan for a "final solution" by the Nazi's but it ended up being the natural progression of events given its ideology and the lack of value it placed on human life.

I think Christianity is ultimately opposed to ALL forms of Nationalism.

Nope, when Europe was Christian, it had multiple identities. Christendom was composed of distinct peoples.

I hope you're not making the same mistake Hawley is and equating National Socialism with White Nationalism.

Nope.

White Nationalism and National Socialism are two distinct things. Ramz Paul is a White Nationalist, Richard Spencer is a crypto National Socialist.

Whether a "healthy right" would have purged him depends on how you define the Right.

Yep, the definition of "Right" is a huge problem.

The "Right" is to the Left, what Paganism is to Christianity.

Nope. The lack of a definitional of Right means that many people who aren't Right get lumped in with it. Being Anti Left does not make one Right. The greatest trick that the International Socialists ever pulled is convincing that everyone that their version of Socialism is the only true one. National Socialism and International Socialism are similar at their core. Nazism is Racially limited Socialism. Natsoc and Internatsoc are more like Sunni and Shia are to Christianity.

As far as the future is concerned I believe White Nationalism has a future in the U.S.

I think some kind of ethnonationalism is inevitable, the real problem is how to achieve it without murderous bloodsheed. Ideologies which place little emphasis on human life are pretty much guaranteed to cause it.




Anonymous said...

@SP:"Nope, when Europe was Christian, it had multiple identities. Christendom was composed of distinct peoples"

This is true,but this was a result of natural, organic processes ;not a consciously planned outcome.
In other words it wasn't the result of ethno- nationalist movements.
The existence of different societies ,under different political regimes (States )
was obviously accepted by Christianity.
However these societies weren't founded on an ethnic/racial idea.
While I doubt the Popes of that era would have welcomed and encouraged Islamic immigrants,or refugees to Europe, like the current pontiff, I'm sure they would have felt a Christian obligation to accept Christians fleeing persecution by Muslims,and race/ ethnicity isn't likely to have mattered,as it would to an ethno- nationalist.
To an ethno- nationalist the territory of the Nation is that people's exclusive preserve.
Those not of the Nation, even if following the same faith, are strangers in the land, and don't have a "right" to be there, except with the Nation's allowance.
Now nationalist usually are willing to accept immigrants, if they can be assimilated without fundamentally altering the traits that define the Nation,eg. language, religion, race.
For the Christian it would seem only religion matters for the purpose of community,this isn't the case for most Nationalist, and certainly not ethnoracial nationalist.
@SP:
"Nope. The lack of a definitional of Right means that many people who aren't Right get lumped in with it. Being Anti Left does not make one Right."

The terms Left and Right imply a continuum,with the extreme Left on one end and the extreme Right on the other,with every other possibility somewhere in between.
I believe this bipolar one dimensional classification
fails to capture the complexity of the situation.
Some ,like you I believe think National Socialism is of the Left.
I believe it's because you emphasize the SOCIALISM in the name, the emphasis on a Collective ,whether ethnic, racial ,or economic, rather than the individual.
Others, like myself, emphasize the NATIONAL in the name.
This is a rejection of the moral and, ultimately , political universalism I believe is central to any definition of Leftism.
National Socialism privileges one group, at least in its territory, at the expense of those not of the group.
This is typical of all nationalists, National Socialist or otherwise.
So for me National Socialism isn't of the Left.
How do we resolve this?
How would you classify those who are anti- Left, but not Right?

What principles define the Right, for you?

You seem to be saying there is the Left, the Real Right, and the Fake Right.
How do you define the Real Right?
What distinguishes it from the Fake Right?
For me not only is there no universal definition of the Right, there can't be,except as the non- Left.
Because there aren't any unifying principles that are shared by the "Right" in say Japan and the "Right" in Spain.
The "Right" in these countries would be only united by opposition to the Left.
On the other hand the Left in Japan and Spain would have many principles in common.

@SP: "I think some kind of ethnonationalism is inevitable, the real problem is how to achieve it without murderous bloodsheed. Ideologies which place little emphasis on human life are pretty much guaranteed to cause it."

ON THIS WE AGREE COMPLETELY!

Michael Rothblatt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.