You need to be a Traditionalist Conservative

Introduction for the Orthosphere

I’ve been trying to perfect our basic recruitment poster. On the one hand, it’s hopelessly gauche to tell people that they ought to believe water is wet and pain hurts. On the other hand, the Rulers of the Modern World tell everybody that water is dry and that pain feels good, so somebody has to make a sales pitch for truth.

The other basic problem is that the Rulers lie about almost everything important, so it is tedious actually to correct all their lies. To keep the appeal brief enough to be appealing, I must speak in generalities.

Regular readers know that I tend to be verbose, especially on this subject. This post contains fewer than two thousand words, including these.

You need to be a Traditionalist Conservative

The modern world, the world in which you and I live, doesn’t work. It’s fundamentally broken.

To be sure, there is also much good in the world. Enough good that the world’s brokenness is often masked. But we cannot just ignore the bad. Indeed, the good serves to highlight the bad, and to serve as a hint of how we can oppose the bad.

You can sense the fundamental disorder of the world even if you cannot say in words just what is wrong. This is especially true if, like me, you are old enough to know how the world used to be ordered. Our ancestors lived under much better social orders, even though there has always been much wrong with mankind. In recent decades, though, Western Civilization has begun to unravel in a fundamental way not seen at least since the fall of the Roman Empire, and in many ways the unravelling is unprecedented. This unravelling is largely self-caused, as modern man has deliberately chosen to reject truth, goodness and beauty.

I’m not going to try to give you all the evidence it would take to convince a skeptic, because that would take a lifetime. And it would be a futile enterprise because although there is much evidence that the world is fundamentally disordered, if a man does not want to acknowledge reality, nobody can make him. I’m just saying out loud what many people know in their bones.

And there’s something worse. You are broken too. And so am I. Something is wrong with mankind. Again, there is abundant evidence to back up this claim, but I won’t go through it. Those who are sensitive to truth will acknowledge it when it is asserted and those who do not wish to acknowledge truth will find a way to deny it.

How can a man respond to the disorder in the world and in his soul? He can ignore it, or downplay its importance, or hope it will somehow go away. He can even try to convince himself that the bad is actually good. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Or he can fight it. He can oppose disorder with order.

Now we must get more specific. What is this traditionalist conservatism of which I speak? It is a form of conservatism, but the reader must understand what kind.

“Conservatism” literally means the organized effort to conserve, and the term in its general contemporary meaning arose as a description of efforts to oppose the revolutionary movements that have convulsed Western Civilization since at least the French Revolution. Those who opposed the liberals, the leftists, the progressives, the communists and so on were called “conservatives” because they wished to conserve the traditional ways of life and thought.

But all that has fundamentally changed. As the astute reader has probably noticed, the Left is in charge of Western Civilization, even if its rule is not officially acknowledged. Those who oppose the ways of the Left (abortion, mass immigration, agnosticism, homosexuality, feminism, etc.) face an uphill fight because even when the ways of the Left are not officially established, they are most definitely established, and the Establishment defends itself.

(One of the ways the Left disguises its rule is with an endless succession of campaigns to root out conservatism, i.e., the vestiges of traditional ways of thought and life. That way, it looks like the conservatives still rule and the liberals are still brave reformers. And the Left identifies all of its targets as “conservatism,” even if these targets have little to do with traditional ways. In these ways, and many more, the Left brands itself as heroes fighting a powerful entrenched anti-liberal Establishment, when in fact the Left is the Establishment.)

Therefore a literal “conservatism” will fight to conserve a leftist Establishment. But this is not the type of conservative you should be, because the leftist Establishment is actually your enemy.

Why is it your enemy? Consider the basic appeal the leftist Establishment makes, the basic reason it offers as to why you should give it your loyalty: It offers you freedom.

Freedom to be whatever you want to be. Freedom to achieve whatever you aspire to. Freedom from the “tyrannies” of tradition and authority. Freedom from discrimination and oppression. Freedom from the ignorance of the past. Freedom from the judgments of others. And so on.

Consider: the liberal Establishment tells you that nothing can be known for sure, and those who think they have the truth are dangerous “fundamentalists.” It tells you that you must be tolerant and nondiscriminating above all else, and those who prefer their own kind or the traditional ways of their people are dangerous “bigots.” It tells you that beauty is entirely in the eye of the beholder, and that any attempt to enforce or even promote standards of beauty or decency is dangerous “censorship.” And so on.

To be sure, the establishment usually does not bare its fangs by stating these principles openly. Stated bluntly, these ideas are shocking, and to state them openly would be to invite their scrutiny, leading ultimately to their rejection. So they are usually only given by implication. They are only stated clearly when the occasion requires a stiff dose of doctrine.

And the Establishment also relies heavily on the “unprincipled exception.” This is the allowance of occasional violations of liberal doctrine so that our life can remain tolerable, as, for example, when the death penalty is applied, or especially odious illegal aliens are deported. But these violations of liberalism must never explicitly be identified as such, lest the masses begin to question the rule of the Left, and therefore these exceptions are always unprincipled.

But this leftist ruling principle of Freedom is nihilism, the denial that there is any truth or any reality to which man should be loyal. And nihilism is poison, because man needs truths to guide his life. Everybody believes in some sort of truth, even the leftists who tell us to be tolerant, because man cannot live without truth to guide him.

And what could be said about truth can also be said about (moral) goodness and about beauty. Man needs them, and the liberal Establishment denies them. Therefore the leftist Establishment is your enemy.

How is a man to respond to the Left’s appeal for freedom? There are two possible ways: To embrace the nihilism because it feels good, or to recognize that the nihilism is fundamentally false and destructive of human life. The apparent third way, to ignore the appeal, is actually to join the Left, because the Left is the status quo. To do nothing is to affirm the status quo.

If you recognize that the rule of the Left is poison to mankind, how are you to oppose it? Opposing the Left makes you, by definition, a conservative, but what kind of conservative ought you to be? A traditionalist.

And this is simply because tradition is the only way for you to connect with the wisdom of the ages that you need in order to live well. “Traditionalism” might be thought of as nothing more than following a tradition, but that is not its real meaning. Anybody can follow a tradition blindly, but only by discovering the truth about the world by way of the traditions of your ancestors can you live well. You need traditionalism.

This truth is, apart from physical science, not “politically correct.” It is forbidden, if not formally then by the informal mechanisms of the contemporary world such as the mass media, the bureaucracies, the judiciary, and good old-fashioned social ostracism. The truth about man and woman, sex and marriage, nation and ethnicity, virtue and character, God and religion, is not allowed in the modern world. It can be held privately by individuals, but it must not be spoken publicly as truth that is true for all. But a truth that is not true for all is not a truth. Therefore truth is not allowed in the modern word.

What was said about truth also goes for goodness and beauty. They are not allowed. Therefore, since you need them, you must get truth, goodness and beauty somewhere else than from the official institutions of the modern world. The general name for the deposit of truth, goodness and beauty that we receive from our ancestors is “tradition.” Therefore you must be some sort of traditionalist.

If you are the sort of person who reads essays like this one, you know that ancient man (at his best, of course) was considerably tougher, smarter and more virtuous than modern man. There were ancient failures, of course, but pit the best of the past against the best of the present, and it’s no contest. Give the ancients our present inventions, or force us moderns to operate under ancient conditions, and the ancients would kick our behinds.

And that is because their traditions did not deny truth. They were not as technically sophisticated as we, but they were free from political correctness, the direct manifestation of the taboo-suppression of the modern age. They were generally free to receive and proclaim the truth if they so wished, especially the basic moral and spiritual truths of the world. Specific religious sects were sometimes suppressed, but the general ideas of God or religion were not targeted. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality were not celebrated. Mass incursions by foreigners were not welcomed by the host people. Women and “minorities” were not encouraged to be envious and angry, nor were they formally favored by law. Human activity was not suppressed in order to protect non-human entities. All of these modern phenomena, and many more in the same spirit, are fundamental perversions of basic human existence, and the way of thinking that gives rise to them is the liberalism from which you must free yourself. You need to be a traditionalist conservative.

In the next essay, I will discuss how to become a traditionalist.

51 thoughts on “You need to be a Traditionalist Conservative

  1. Alan, you have been fooled by the Liberals. The Liberals do not stand for freedom, nor do they stand for nihilism. It’s all a lie. The best way to understand Liberalism is as a form of cultural cancer. In a healthy body, each cell has its role and its nature and respects neighboring cells. An organ in a body can be thought of like a culture, where each cell adheres to the standards required for that organ to function. What cancer does is to denature cells so that they stop conforming to the rules of their organ and they stop respecting neighboring cells. Cancer cells from different organs look similar because they are all denatured. This is the same idea as Liberal Christians, Liberal Jews, and Liberals from any other religion basically looking the same. But cancer cells are not nothingness, not nihilism. They are extremely aggressive and their major function is simply to spread at all costs. Cancer cells behave just like Liberals.

    As for freedom, just go to a Liberal forum and post your views and see how long it takes you to get banned. One of the core aspects of Liberalism is dishonesty. Virtually every attribute that they claim for themselves is a lie. They have a clear idea of their own truth. Their truth includes feminism, democracy, and hostility to tradition. Just try actively opposing feminism and you will quickly see their intolerance. Even with democracy, Liberals support it except when the results aren’t Liberal. Just look at how Liberals condemned Crimea for democratically choosing to join the Russian Federation.

    You cannot successfully oppose Liberalism unless you understand it. Once you understand that Liberalism is a dishonest cultural cancer, then the correct response becomes clear. One must form strong traditional zones (groups of people) where liberalism (denaturing) is not tolerated. These groups do not have to be big because Liberalism will eventually fail on its own, and whichever groups survive Liberalism will be contenders for the next great culture.

    • Liberals absolutely do stand for government favoring freedom and equality of rights over other conceptions of the good. Folks who fail to see that are almost always seduced into one of the different sects of liberalism that dominate the Overton window and get lost in the intramural battle of witless.

      The problem is that government just is a discriminating authority that favors a particular conception of the good over other conceptions of the good. So the liberal conception of governance is irrational at a basic level. This turns out to be a strength not a weakness, since it makes liberalism very adaptable to different conditions (via unprincipled exceptions). The only real threat to liberalism is enough people realizing this and rejecting liberalism completely and unequivocally.

      The notion that liberalism doesn’t want government favoring freedom and equality of rights is usually what one sort of liberal uses to justify his own RealTrue conception of government favoring freedom and equality of rights. In other words, the notion that liberals are insincere in their belief in freedom and equality actually helps perpetuate liberalism.

      In order to properly understand liberalism you must face the fact that most liberals hold their views sincerely. That makes liberalism more resilient and dangerous, not less.

      • I couldn’t disagree more. Do you really think feminism represents favoring freedom and equality of rights over other conceptions of the good. Of course not. Feminism is the fastest way to destroy morality by destroying the family. Liberals value anti-morality far above freedom or equality. The story that feminism is for equal rights for women is an obvious absurd lie. Just look at divorce courts. This same principle, lying in the name of freedom and equality while standing for no such thing in practice, is the standard Liberal approach.

        I realize that many here don’t like the Enlightenment, but I do. The Enlightenment was a clear product of the virtues of Protestant culture at that time. The Enlightenment could never have come from Liberalism. Liberalism has replaced the Enlightenment and is its opposite. The Enlightenment really did stand for freedom and equality. Liberalism does not. Liberalism is similar to medieval Catholicism in that it is completely intolerant of “heretical” views.

      • Hi Fanklin,

        What you’ve said here is largely correct (except for the part about me having been fooled by the liberals). But my claim was that the Establishment offers you freedom, not that it delivers on its promises. Aside from the fact that freedom is used by the most advanced and honest liberals as an excuse to tear down traditional ways rather than an honestly-held value, the absolute freedom of the liberal recruitment poster actually leads to balkanization and tyranny. But this post just offers the beginning of clear thought on the subject.

        Also, as Zippy has said, most ordinary liberals honestly believe the propaganda. Which means that at the practical level, liberalism often does stand for what I said it offers.

      • Franklin:

        Liberalism has replaced the Enlightenment and is its opposite. The Enlightenment really did stand for freedom and equality.

        Whenever I make a comment on this subject, someone always comes along and insists on demonstrating my point.

      • Alan, I’m glad we agree after all. But I think it’s important to distinguish what something is from what it claims to be, especially when these are very far apart. Also, it would be a huge mistake for traditionalists to sell themselves on being anti-freedom. Traditionalism actually offers the most freedom of all because traditionalism allows for many different culture and traditions to maintain themselves while Liberalism homogenizes the world, thereby giving people no choice at all. Alexander Dugin makes this point very well in this interview:

      • Franklin:
        The problem is that a conception of good governance as primarily the protection of freedom and equal rights — liberalism, whether you want to label it that or not, and whether you believe that liberals who disagree with you about policy details are sincere or not — is incoherent.

        The problem isn’t that the bad people who pretend to hold the doctrine don’t really hold it, leaving an opening for “authenticity”. The problem is that liberalism is not even wrong.

      • Zippy, I agree that the idea of freedom and equal rights being primary is incoherent. But the idea of freedom and equal rights being valued, along with other things like morality, makes a lot of sense to me. Traditionalists shouldn’t let Liberals make the claim that Liberals are better for freedom and equality in practice than traditionalists are, because that simply isn’t true. America was a traditional society before modern Liberalism (which started in the late 1800s) and it was very free and had equal rights. Some traditional societies have more freedom and equality in practice than others, but all Liberal societies tend to have diminishing freedom and equality over time in practice. America since 1960 is an obvious example.

      • Franklin:
        I don’t agree that modern liberalism is a fundamental break with classical liberalism, nor that freedom and equality of rights can be in any reasonable sense a goal of governance/politics without self contradiction. In fact the concept of equal rights is itself self-contradictory, since a right just is an obligation that discriminates between different claims authoritatively. The notion of “conservatives” doing liberalism better than the liberals will never work — cannot work, because it is just another kind of liberalism founded on the same inherently self-contradictory political doctrine.

        The function of politics and governance is to assert a particular authoritative conception of the good, and to discriminate against all who object to that particular conception of the good. There is no way of getting around this and adopting a nice liberalism-lite. You can’t make diet coke from a fundamentally incoherent doctrine.

      • Zippy, I support your right to live without freedom if that is what you prefer. I support the right of people to live under whatever kind of culture they want. If you want a king, fine. If you want communism, fine. Just don’t impose your culture on me. The real difference between traditionalism and liberalism is that there are many different traditions and real traditionalism recognizes this and respects the rights of people to organize themselves around their own traditions. Liberalism is fundamentally intolerant and seeks to impose liberalism on all of humanity. So what this means is that we don’t have to argue about what is the ideal society because you can have your ideal and I can have mine. But we should be united in opposition to Liberalism which destroys all ideals except its own.

      • Franklin:
        It isn’t just my theoretical understanding of liberalism that makes “live and let live” classical liberalism (which you oddly label “traditionalism”) seem utopian and counterfactual. The actual track record of liberalism in the real world suggests otherwise too.

      • It’s true that not all traditionalists respect other traditions. Maybe Zippy is like those Christians in the Middle Ages that burned Jews alive to save their souls. I hope most here are not like that, but are more like Alexander Dugin.

      • > I hope most here are not like that, but are more like Alexander Dugin.

        This ?

        Member of the “National Bolshevik Party”, which is communist and proposes a eurasian union combining Russia, Turkey, Iran, etc???

        His ideas would lead to a mass immigration from those islamic countries, destroying Russia. Isn’t that exactly what conservatives should be fighting against?

  2. The truth about man and woman, sex and marriage, nation and ethnicity, virtue and character, God and religion, is not allowed in the modern world. It can be held privately by individuals, but it must not be spoken publicly as truth that is true for all. But a truth that is not true for all is not a truth. Therefore truth is not allowed in the modern word.

    I agree with this. How then can we live as traditionalists? It’s nearly illegal to enforce church traditions regarding sexual morality, for example, but isn’t limiting people’s freedom in some areas (such as sexual morality) an important part of tradition? I mean, we can all live our individual lives in sort of a traditional way, but the power of traditionalism is at the community level, which is precisely where we can’t have it in the modern world.

    • Hi Sunshinemary,

      (Or should I address you as Sunshine Mary? Maybe the words are only jammed together for internet purposes.)

      Yes, it’s true that placing limits upon freedom is necessary for man to live well. And it’s also true that man lives best as part of a community that could be called traditionalist. (“Traditionalist”=”acknowledging reality.”)

      And therefore, yes, living correctly is not currently allowed. It’s politically incorrect.

      But individuals can score small victories in their everyday lives. They can refuse to agree with what they know is wrong. They can act rightly in their own lives or, when forced by overwhelming power to act wrongly, they can do so minimally, under protest. Perhaps we should open a new thread where people are invited to share the ways they resist the current order, act rightly, and maintain their sanity.

      We must not lose heart because our ideals have been declared thoughtcrime. Current conditions will not last.

    • The Amish manage. They will only manage until the state decides to genocide them, but they’ll manage right up until that point. If the state falls apart before it gets around to genociding them, then they win (that race, at least).

      • (Readers viewing DrBill’s comment must remember that genocide comes by many means, not always overt violence, but ends with the same result.)

      • > The Amish manage

        Yes, but it comes at the price of giving up tecnology … if the muslims can be conservative without giving up tecnology, why Christians fail here? Pretty much no other group other than the Amish are being successful at resisting modernity among Christians… for me personally giving up tecnology is a very high price …

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  4. An admirable attempt thus far; however, my favorite ‘argument for sanity’ produced by the Orthosphere remains Bonald’s “The Conservative Vision of Authority.” Those who haven’t yet read it (very few here, I imagine) definitely should.

  5. It is the Conservative who is the chief opponent of the Traditionalism. He is for (undefined) freedom above all. Only by making unprincipled exceptions, he manages to hold on to scraps of sexual morality. He seeks to build the Crystal Palace, where man shall live by pure reason (naturally under the guidance of experts).

    Just read today’s article at First Things website “The Conservative Road to Serfdom”

    “George Will argues that American politics is divided between conservatives, “who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom” and progressives “whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.” For Will, real conservatives favor an activist judiciary that will aggressively defend our “capacious, indeed indefinite realm of freedom” from the majority.”


    Here, I believe, the Progressive position is similar to Zippy’s while the conservative position is the liberal (as used by OP).

    • I think these distinctions are meaningless. The meaningful distinction is between the universalist who wants to shove one idea down the throats of all of humanity versus the localist/tribalist who believes that groups of people should be allowed to organize themselves based on the their own ideas and traditions. Alexander Dugin’s point is that all in the West have become universalists, so the entire West is the enemy of traditional cultures. I agree with this, and it seems from this thread that most Western Christians are also the enemy of most traditional cultures. It makes no difference whether it is Liberalism, Conservatism, Progressivism, Christianity, or Islam that the universalists want to force on humanity, the end result is the same.

      • Franklin,

        I share your abhorrence of universalisms that wipe out distinct local cultures. In my opinion the force more responsible for this than any other is capitalism.

        But on the other hand I don’t think we necessarily have to have pit localism vs. universalism as such a stark dichotomy. A proper universalism can guide and rightly inform localism and vice versa, both can and ought to contribute to human flourishing.

      • Ita Scripta Est,

        Thanks, I am glad you share my view. Yes, a tolerant universalism that allows for local culture is fine.

        I think it’s more important to agree on what one is for than what one is against. I support anyone who supports local traditional cultures regardless of who they blame for the problems, whether that is individualism, capitalism, or whatever. It seems to me that capitalism has changed quite a bit from the capitalism described in Max Weber’s “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” so I have a hard time pinning the blame there. Personally, I blame Plato, but that’s a long story.

        Those who support traditional culture should support religion. Not just their own religion, but religion in general. Religion is the backbone of traditional culture.

  6. From Lawrence Auster- The Path to National Suicide
    “No belief could come closer to the heart of liberalism than the recognition of individual worth as
    distinct from the group one happens to belong to.”

    Thus, liberalism is a denial of the particularity, It denies that nations exist, that nations are.
    But the nation itself must not be reduced to the tribal idea. The nation is the shared object of love, a mystical concept (GK Chesterton).

  7. Freedom and ‘rights’ are incompatible. In traditional governance, the state allowed people to do what they liked in most situations, but made laws to prohibit certain things. Once rights legislation began, there was a reversal with the state now telling you what you should do, which is the beginning of tyranny and ultimately leads to the end of freedom.

  8. “Live and let live” is a fine sentiment for neighbors. It is the opposite of a philosophy of governance, however, and when treated as a philosophy of governance it inevitably becomes tyranny.

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  11. I’m not going to bother pointing out all the things said about liberalism above that are false and/or ridiculous (unless someone wants me to, which seems unlikely). Let me just ask you: what do you think motivates liberals?

    But this leftist ruling principle of Freedom is nihilism, the denial that there is any truth or any reality to which man should be loyal. …And what could be said about truth can also be said about (moral) goodness and about beauty. Man needs them, and the liberal Establishment denies them. Therefore the leftist Establishment is your enemy.

    I suppose since you could just say they are satanic and doing evil for its own sake. But it seems like an awful lot of bother to gain control of the world and force it to adhere to these toxic principles without some kind of concrete objective.

    Or to put it another way, you can be a nihilist, or you can be in charge of the world, but it is hard to imagine doing both at once.

    • “What do you think motivates liberals?”

      Liberals have various motives, and most probably sincerely believe that by pushing for more tolerance, nonjudgmentalism and inclusion, we are building a more perfect union.

      But ideas have consequences that are often not anticipated. As Thomas Sowell has said, people are often carriers of ideas that they themselves don’t fully understand. Liberalism talks a good game, but it leads to nihilism, which leads to social derangement.

      Some liberals are motivated by hate, and they find that their hate is regarded as a virtue when it serves the liberal goal of tearing down the unjust structures that are traditional society.

      There is also the fact that under liberalism, nobody is allowed to rule openly and unambiguously, which means that a lot of damage is done by people who must be “tolerated.”

    • “what do you think motivates liberals?”

      Ego and base instincts, rationalized by reason. Liberals believe they are doing good, but since they are ignorant of history, they have no idea what has worked to produce good in the past. So instead of basing their idea of the good on knowledge, they simply “feel” what they think is good, which turns out to be nothing but base instincts, and then rationalize this with reason.

    • what do you think motivates liberals?

      The liberal project is the destruction of white, Christian civilization. It is, therefore, an alliance among people who hate whites, people who hate Christians, people who hate civilization, people who perceive personal benefit from the orgy of vandalism and looting which occur along the way, and useful idiots, of course, though their “motives” don’t count.

      What is interesting vis a vis its objectives is that liberalism creaks on, zombified, after its goal is already achieved. How much longer will it do so? Hard to say. When I go to hockey games, the marks still look misty-eyed as they put their hands over their hearts to listen to the National Anthem. Most US whites look upon serving in the military or the police as some kind of virtuous activity. Most US whites still have this goofy, cooperative, “can-do” attitude as they serve the beast which seeks to destroy them. So, I’d guess the zombie still has a lot of stagger left in it.

      You’re right, though. The vandals do, eventually, have to come up with something. Some point. Some real objective. Something a decent, sane person could, in good conscience, sign up for. Otherwise, they will be playing Brezhnev to some eventual Gorbachev.

  12. No belief could come closer to the heart of liberalism than the recognition of individual worth as distinct from the group one happens to belong to.

    This is where I tend to wander off from the conversations here, I suspect because of how one defines “group”.

    For instance, if you are a devout practicing Christian, does that group membership take precedence over your family of origin?

    Consider carefully the words of Christ before you answer.

    • A worthy objection. The answer lies in discriminating between natural rights and political rights.

      All people have right to live but not all have right to live in your house.

    • If you are a devout practicing Christian, there is no possibility of your Christianness ever conflicting with your love and devotion to your family. To ask this question betrays a complete lack of understanding, and I venture to say probably a willful dishonesty, regarding what it means to be a “devout practicing Christian”.

      • No, I understand quite well. But your objection to the way I worded my query is duly noted. It was poorly expressed.

      • I think that there is a lot of conflict between Christianism and ethnicity nowadays. Just take a random group of white christians and ask them: Should active work be done to preserve the white race? (like deporting non-whites). The vast majority will answer no.

        But not that long ago the vast majority would have answered yes … for example the UK expelled mulatoes in 1945.

        So who is right? Christians from year 0 to year 1945 who had no problem deporting agressive groups, or post-modern Christians who think that ethnic substitution by continuous waves of non-white immigrants is a good thing and that biblically nothing can be done to stop this, as it would be un-christian?

      • A good question, Felipe, and one muddied by the fact that you now have hordes of ‘whites’ who are ‘mixed’ to some degree.

        While I am not race-focused (some reactionaries are), I do recognize the fact that folk belong with folk. I have no animosity towards other races whatsoever, in fact I encourage them to install reactionary governance as well, but in an ideal situation the ethnicities would be geographically separated, not excluding cooperation, but excluding intermingling.

        Like I said though, this has been complicated some.

  13. Alan Roebuck,
    Do you seek Traditionalism in economics too or is Traditionalism to be sought in the realm of sexual ethics alone?

    What is the traditionalist critique of 21C Capitalism?

    • In so far as economics has to do with the morality of our actions, it falls within the “jurisdiction” of traditionalism. The basic problem with advocating for a specific type of economic system is that it is not possible to coordinate favorable economic outcomes or to foresee which economic system will work best. It is better, I think, to focus on justice (including justice in human economic interaction) than on specific economic theories. Justice basically means allowing people to act within wide limits (not burdening them with excessive government interference) and permitting those who injure others to be prosecuted.

      Modern man thinks of economics as a science, where we can discover laws that rule economic activity and use this knowledge to maximize economic benefit and value. But the focus of traditionalism is on knowing and doing one’s duty, because it is doubtful that economic activity can be understood scientifically and even if it were, justice is more important than technique.

      By the way, traditionalism is not just about sexual ethics. Sexual ethics are very important because they govern much of our family life, and the family is the foundation of the nation, but traditionalism goes beyond sex. It has to do with a man recognizing the God-given order of the world, and seeking to identify with it and live according to it.

  14. With the greatest respect for Mr. Roebuck, with whose intention I fully agree, this post is completely wrong and is a prime example of what is wrong with the writing on this blog, which claims by its title to represent Orthodoxy.

    As soon as you start talking about what “works”, you’ve resigned the argument, because you have accepted the liberal worldview.

    Of course this world is fundamentally broken. The reason for this is Original Sin, and it is only through God’s grace/Christ’s sacrifice that this insurmountable rift in reality can be bridged. Liberalism isn’t the cause of this brokenness, it’s a result of it. In the words of Voegelin, “Don’t immanentize the eschaton.” Traditional Conservatism is not a means to fix a broken world; it is a recognition that suffering the world’s brokenness is necessary and that only through God can it be fixed.

    • This is true. But my essay was a “recruiting poster,” designed to get the attention of the man who does not yet understand these realities.

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  16. Find poets who nourish your own soul and who also help one to stay fresh rather than bogging down in repetitive denunciations. I suggest Ruth Pitter. You can get virtually all of her poetry in one book:

    (Btw, publication of her first books was helped along by Hilaire Belloc.)

    Her work is the real thing, poetry, not just verse, and certainly it won’t yield up its everything at a glance the way scanning a blog entry will. But then cultivation of different habits of mental activity (not just different things to think about, but different mental activity) is needed. I wish I could give copies to all interested people.

    Pitter’s letters have just been published, edited by Don King, author of a good biography.

    Get your library to buy her poems, the letters, and the biography, Hunting the Unicorn, also.

    Pitter wrote that she discerned “a genuine decadence of unprecedented rapidity, strange and awful enough to be counted as one of the Last Things” (Letters, p. 359), but she also wrote (NB) “Let us remember that no decline, no fall which is inherent in the rhythms of civilization can be arrested by reactionary activity” (p. 79). The context was the writing of poetry, but one could do well to consider wider applications.

    • Ruth Pitter was a good friend of C. S. Lewis, by the way. He once said that, if he were a marrying kind of man, he’d ask her to marry him (something like that). Of course Lewis did eventually marry, but that’s another story.

      Lewis knew several other poets whose work might interest Orthospherically inclined readers. I will just give a link here for something on Martyn Skinner (he’s really good, people). Some of you will read The Return of Arthur and then ask: “How could I not have known of this? Why did nobody tell me?”

  17. Pingback: How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part One | The Orthosphere


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