During the second half of 2017, I wrote multiple articles which incrementally distanced myself from Traditionalism (i.e. the philosophy of Julius Evola et al.). This was partly caused by two altercations with “Traditionalists”: one with Amerika.org, and the other with Christians who advocated a purge of homosexuals. At that time Traditionalism seemed to be the root of all purity spiraling in the Dissident Right. In reaction to this purity spiraling, my philosophy veered towards a rather radical individualism in late 2017, but some could misconstrue what I wrote then as an advocacy of abandoning one’s ancestral nation. Eventually, as I watched and read some content by Greg Johnson, James J. O’Meara, Marcus Follin, and Thomas Rowsell discussing Traditionalism, I saw that this purity spiraling was not a necessary consequence of Traditionalism.
So, in more recent months, I have been able to take a more impartial look at Traditionalism. The most obvious difference between Traditionalism and Propertarianism (which I have recently studied) is a metaphysical one: Propertariainism is deterministic and naturalistic, whereas Traditionalism is non-deterministic and, at least appears to be, supernaturalistic. This affects the manner in which the two systems approach the matter of religion: to the Traditionalists, the polytheism of our ancestors reflects an idea of transcendent divinity which exists independent of our thoughts; monistic conceptions of divinity are also frequent. To the Traditionalists following Evola, even one’s race, or ancestral lineage, has a transcendent and spiritual dimension. However, to the Propertarians and often the neo-polytheists, the deities are either restricted to being highly particular to an ethnic group or are mere abstractions and poetic or paedagogic representations; in many neo-polytheisms it is prohibited to regard gods as manifestations of a monistic or pantheistic Whole as that idea is rejected in favor of hard polytheism. I may further add the philosophy of Cosmotheism, as articulated by William L. Pierce, for comparison: Cosmotheism considers a “Whole” to exist, but it does not explicitly ascribe to the “Whole” a characteristic of being (instead of becoming); rather it seems to describe a Whole which is subject to continuous becoming.
There are certainly metaphysical disagreements that exist among the spiritual trailblazers in the dissident right. I cannot see these being resolved without, at the very least, a great deal of time and research, assuming any resolution is possible at all. Mystics may claim to experience, among many things, the transcendent world of being, but I cannot tell if this is, in fact, the case, or if abnormal neurochemistry is the only cause of these experiences. I may refer to Traditionalism in the future, but I will not claim that I know its assumptions to be true without sufficient reason and evidence (I am still a Molyneuxian in that sense 😉 ).
Being a determiner of values is difficult and in publishing this post I take a calculated risk. I will probably be kicked out of the reactosphere (de jure, but perhaps not de facto) for what I say here. However, the reward of self-rule is great. I have consulted Machiavelli and Nietzsche before making this decision, and drawn particular inspiration from the quote on the bottom right:
Japan. Japan. Japan. When will Elfnonationalist stop being such a weeb?
Well, not right now, apparently, but Japan is an interesting country to study because of its ability to preserve its monarchy, indigenous culture, and its ethnic homogeneity up to the present day, in combination with its relative prosperity and status as a first world nation. A good reactionary should be studying Japan just like a scientist would study a species that survived a mass extinction, to figure out what it did right.
First, it should be noted that the Japanese have a clear understanding of what it means to be of the Japanese ethnicity. The term ‘Japanese’ is not understood to mean simply an abstract concept or ideology, but that one is actually of Japanese descent; in fact, those who are only half Japanese descent are referred to as hafu. This is in contrast to the modern Western notion of a nation being only an ideology or culture, which allows people of different ethnicities to ‘assimilate’ and magically become just as ‘Swedish’, for instance, as the indigenous Swedes. This problem is also quite obvious in America, where the “nation” is defined by classical liberal ideology, and the term “American” is allowed to erase all authentic ethnic demonyms. This leads away from ethnic and societal integrity, and into flimsy abstractionism and ideology.
This solid Japanese identity also relies on the very ethnic nature of Japanese culture. While the Japanese have borrowed many things from neighboring Chinese culture, such as their writing system and Confucian philosophy, the Japanese still have an ethnic religion, Shinto, and an ancient ethnic monarchy. Part of the problem with the West, especially with the United States, is that it has been dominated by religions which are non-ethnic in nature. Ethnic Europeans throughout the Western world need religious communities which reinforce notions of ethnic identity and ethnic cohesion in order to prevent ethnic annihilation.
Perhaps this is only a stereotype, or perhaps not, but it also appears that women are less of a problem in East Asian cultures compared to Western ones. Confucianism helps East Asia combat the corrosive nature of feminism by establishing patriarchy as a cultural norm. This is important as history and current events have shown women to be more likely to betray their in-group compared to their male counterparts. For many women, the concept of in-group simply does not compute; it’s not how they’re wired. Unfortunately, the exacerbation of the current demographic crisis which Western feminism has contributed to may be the only way of revealing to the masses the necessity of patriarchy.
It should also be noted that Japan does not possess the same sense of national guilt for its own imperialism which many Western nations do for things such as the Crusades, National Socialism, colonialism, slavery etc. Japan, like other East Asian countries, possesses a shame-honor culture rather than a guilt-innocence culture as Western countries have. A shame culture implies that one only needs to react to a wrong one has committed if society reprimands and punishes you. A guilt culture implies that one must punish one’s self for a wrong even if no one else reprimands or punishes you. Guilt culture makes it possible for Westerners to spontaneously feel guilty and punish themselves even when they are not publicly reprimanded. In contrast, a shame culture would not require this; you would not suffer any punishment unless you yourself were observed to commit a wrong. Thus Japan may feel that its recovery of a positive outward image after WWII expiated its imperialistic shame, but Germany is still wrestling with Holocaust guilt long after it has recovered its positive image to the rest of the world.
As for where guilt culture came from, most sources point to Christianity. The author Ed West, featured in The Spectator news journal, considers guilt culture to be one of the primary reasons for NW Europe’s, particularly Germany’s, openness to accepting migrants from the Middle East. He also considers this expression of guilt culture to be “the silent triumph of Christianity” (link). However, not all Christian cultures are guilt cultures, and thus Christianity alone was probably not sufficient to produce guilt culture. Rather, it was more likely the result of Christianity (collective-moralism) in combination with liberal capitalism (atomization), resulting in atomized-collective-moralism, i.e. self-inflicted punishment for having disobeyed collective morality (guilt-culture). Whether or not the West will return to a shame-honor culture is somewhat unclear, though it may be likely as ethnic Europeans across the globe become more collectivist in the face of mass immigration. A primitive shame-honor culture is already emerging in the Alt-Right with shaming words like ‘cuck’ and ‘traitor’, and terms signifying collective honor such as ‘uncucked’, ‘red-pilled’, ‘fashy’, etc. If this becomes mainstream, the West will likely return to a shame-honor culture.
Last but not least, as with all pathologies proposed on the dissident Right, there must be mention of *drumroll please* da Jooooooooooooz. Jews have had a much larger impact on Western history than East Asian history, and some will be tempted to say that Japan was saved because it had no Jews. This is an oversimplification. The thing about the Jews [the Leftist ones] is that they knew the weaknesses of Western Europeans, particularly inhabitants of the Anglosphere; the guilt culture, the reduction of “nation” to abstract ideology, the lack of ethnic religion, and the weakness of our patriarchy. In the words of Dr. Kevin MacDonald, they knew exactly “which buttons to push”. The leftist Jews were like a spark that ignited a very large and dangerous pool of gasoline. So let this be a lesson to us. Just as a human body must have a healthy immune system to prevent the spread of an infection, we must address the greater vulnerabilities in our own people to become resistant to the forces inimical to our existence.
“I have in this War a burning private grudge—which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler (for the odd thing about demonic inspiration and impetus is that it in no way enhances the purely intellectual stature: it chiefly affects the mere will). Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
I have never been all that comfortable thinking about death, but I do it a lot. In recent years most of my grandparents have died, and this has made me feel somewhat isolated and disconnected from my deeper heritage — perhaps my reactionary tendencies are partially a means of compensating for this.
About a month ago my grandmother died somewhat unexpectedly, and it threw me into an internal crisis. I came to the following conclusion:
There tend to be three popular ways of viewing death.
Most atheists and Jews believe that when you die, that is it. You’re dead. Your personality is nonexistent upon death. The end result of this belief is hedonism and base utilitarianism.
Most Muslims and perhaps the majority of conservative Christians believe that most people are tormented in hell forever, and only a few escape this grim fate through being part of the right religious persuasion. The end result of this belief is wasteful religious wars over who is and isn’t going to hell.
Many polytheists, Buddhists and a few Christians (link) believe that the soul is both eternal and that the there is no eternal torment. There may be chastisement in the afterlife followed by a more pleasant eternity, or, in certain religions, reincarnation into a bad life if one has committed moral wrongs, but the idea of eternal torment is alien. The end result usually depends on the IQ of the nation holding these beliefs. India, for instance, is poorer than Japan, but both have religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) which teach some form of reincarnation.
I am not saying the following to insult any religious opinion, but I wish to be honest: Options 1 and 2 are basically pessimistic. Option 2 is often made very pessimistic when it is combined with ideas like total depravity, and the belief I find common among ultra-conservative Christians, that the nature of man is not just sub-par or corruptible, but actually ‘evil’.
Option 3 is the only option which is actually either neutral or optimistic.
I admit I have often been frightened by options 1 and 2. The idea that we die and that’s it (option 1) means that if you lived an incomplete life, you will never have a chance to live a full one, and you will also never be reunited with those you love who have perished.
If option 2 is true than anyone you loved who was not part of the right religion is burning in hell forever and you better figure out which religion is the correct one and become obedient to it, or you will be joining them in eternal torment.
Being somewhat of an empiricist, I consider option 1 more likely than option 2. [Sorry, weird Youtube videos by people claiming to have been in hell don’t count as science]
Nietzsche and Heidegger would likely say that I am staring into the abyss. It takes a lot of courage to stare into the abyss, and it is certainly something I would rather not be doing. In this sense, staring into the abyss, even reaching the point of nihilism, is ascetical and can provide a kind of catharsis, but it is a horrifying catharsis that many, perhaps most people try their best to avoid and that I myself wish to exit.
My sincerest hope is that option 3 is true, although it is something of a conundrum of how to harmonize an afterlife with Nietzscheanism. In order to do this, the concept of the afterlife cannot teach that this life is to be denied in favor of the next. Rather, one would need to either assume that any life after the present one is like the life we live now (reincarnation, perhaps eternal recurrence), or that the rewards of an afterlife depend not upon looking forward to that afterlife, but engaging in this life in a highly world-accepting, life-affirming manner. One version of this is the Norse Valhalla, a reward for valiant fighting in a war, an earthly endeavor with an earthly purpose. One might also consider reincarnation itself to be life-affirming in that it encourages one to build or maintain an earthly civilization which one can both reap the fruits of in this life, and return to in a future life — the mindset here is not escapism but is indeed life-affirming, and world-accepting.
Anthropomorphic deities in any religion often serve as a model by which humans shape their lives, and order their actions. Christians sometimes ask what would Jesus do? and such things as this. In the ancient Hellenic world, a warrior might ask what would Ares do? or a ruler might ask what would Zeus do? In a strictly, perhaps fanatically monotheistic system, because there is only one unique divinity, everyone strives to have all the same virtues, often embodied in that divinity, and all the same qualities; ethics are universalized. In the enlightenment, this manifested itself in the ethics of Kant and the destruction of aristocracy; and in more modern times it is manifested through the destruction of traditional gender roles.
In a polytheistic system, however, different gods act as a role model for certain vocations. Zeus (and similar deities such as Odin and Varuna) is a role model for judges, and people for whom wisdom and justice are necessary virtues, Ares is the role model for the warrior, Apollo for the young man, student or athlete, Rhea for the mother, and there are many others. If one takes a broader view of Indo-European religion, one will find that the various deities usually act as archetypes corresponding to the various “three estates”: the oratores, bellatores, and laboratores (priests, aristocrats, and commoners). Research Georges Dumezil’s Trifunctional Hypothesis to find out more about this. Polytheism, for our ancestors, was not just some silly idea of Zeus throwing thunderbolts at people he was angry at (you can also find many such instances of so-called ‘silliness’ coming from the monotheistic deity of the Pentateuch). For them, polytheism was a cosmic blueprint for how society was supposed to be run. Not everyone worshiped the same gods nor was everyone expected to live up to the same virtues. The hierarchy among the gods, and their various duties in keeping cosmic order was the model for a hierarchy among humans and their various roles in a complete society. The different virtues of different gods marked the virtues different virtues different people were supposed to aim for depending on who they were, whether a priest, king, warrior, or farmer. Polytheism is probably the most reliable way to avoid Kantian categorical imperative ethics because it destroys the notion that all maxims by which individuals act must become universal law. It does this through the multiplicity of archetypes, showing that there are inevitably different types of humans with different virtues to be exercised.
Catholicism and Orthodoxy kept a quasi-polytheistic tradition going through a hierarchy of saints and angels, whom devotees would look up to in iconography. A warrior might look up to St. George, a mother to St. Mary, etc. The patron deities which set the virtues for various vocations were replaced by patron saints which served the same function. However, once all vestiges of polytheism were lost through radical Protestantism, we lost our blueprint for an orderly society where each person fulfilled his or her role according to his or her inherent virtue(s); humans became ‘equivalent’ understood as interchangeable units, leading to utilitarianism, democracy, Marxism, ‘gender studies’, and globalism.
So if any religious revival is to take place in the West, polytheism, or a similar system such as the veneration of saints found in Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism, must be present in some form or another. We cannot build a new West on the foundations of evangelicalism, Puritanism, or any other form of radical Protestantism. We must have anthropomorphic ideals and archetypes in place to encourage mothers to be caring for their young, warriors to be courageous and fierce, rulers to be just, and so forth. Otherwise, we will just end up back where we started.