Thoughts out of season -- the future of traditionalism (Part Four)
By Mark Wegierski
(The earliest drafts of this essay go back to October 1985. – author's note)
The traditionalist thinker does not offer easy, facile utopias of material bliss and ease. Since it is argued in traditionalist understandings that all societies are in fact, ultimately, hierarchical or oligarchic, it is the differences between ruling philosophies and ideologies that constitute the basis for the chief differences between societies. Historically, it may be argued that the desire to overturn the "iron law of oligarchy" by the so-called Enlightenment thinkers resulted in the replacement of kings by mob-masters and tyrants; of wise men by idiots and cruel, cunning monsters; of priesthood by psychological manipulators. There is a seeming inevitability about this whole process -- the premodern systems in Europe were too closely tied to organic tradition to resist guillotines, gulags, and gas-chambers with similar methods. They were therefore effectively routed. What remains of their vaunted principles, today? Their putative opposition to technology, which might have improved their chances, doomed them utterly. The unsubtlety of their philosophical defence and their sometimes heavy-handed methods (although some scholars have calculated that Stalin's regime on average killed more people in one day than the Spanish Inquisition in its 800-year existence), sprang from the feeling that no one could really challenge that which had been upheld (more-or-less) throughout all of previous human history. Thus, they were defeated.
Now, it is those who seek to live in a context of rooted, reflective tradition, who are the real dissidents from Economic Determinist society.
Unfortunately, the totalitarian implications of high technology mean that the Left-liberal oligarchies are very secure indeed. The Inner Parties of Economic Determinist societies are afraid of nothing more than a return to genuine pluralism. They know full well that this would seriously challenge their unnatural, mechanistic systems. A real "Free Speech Movement" would be cut down quickly by media attacks and pseudo-legal judicial maneuvers, if it went beyond one individual's dissent.
To analyze late modernity in the neo-traditionalist way, it should be stressed, requires no "special insights," nor "conspiracy-theories." Anyone who is fairly well-read, and wants to open their eyes to the world around them, would probably reach similar conclusions. The goal is to see liberal society from outside the prism of liberal ideology. One of the main questions is to what extent the years of "full-spectrum" media and educational indoctrination can be overcome.
One of the gravest, if unfairest, accusations against neo-traditionalism, is the cry of "fascism" (an accusation which carries the emotive weight of being accused of being a "Nazi camp-guard and baby-killer"). Nazism, it may be observed, is actually a nihilist, hyper-irrationalist, positivist, fanatically anti-Christian, pseudo-spiritual, terrorist, and fundamentally unnatural philosophy. There are, in fact, a number of interesting convergences between it and liberalism and Marxism, such as anticlericalism, which one is usually discouraged to publicly comment on today.
At the same time, in this period of late modernity, "fascism" serves as a "devil-word.” In late-modern, Left-liberal societies, such devil-words as "racist," "sexist," and so forth, could be seen as serving a political function of fixing scapegoats and diverting people from the real problems of those societies, which are the lack of archetypal unity, meaning, and harmony. This is not to say that there are not some cases where some of these words can be honestly used.
It seems that today, every person on the planet is faced with a choice of awesome proportions. Will what can be interpreted as the real dialectic of history advance into a genuinely decent human society (thus allowing for further evolution and choices which cannot be predicted from this vantage point), or will human history end, through the imposition of sterile, so-called "utopias," or cruel, dark dystopias; or, through multifarious technological disasters? The decisive question is whether the human person will indeed be reduced to the level of a drugged zombie, a machine, deprived of history and philosophy and culture and truth and virtue -- and love?
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.