How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Seven: Responding to the Intuitive Skeptic

[Part OnePart Two.   Part ThreePart FourPart FivePart Six.]

We’ve been saying that traditionalism reconnects man with the wisdom of his ancestors, that the most important wisdom is to acknowledge God, and that intuition is the foundation of wisdom. But what about the liberal who refuses to acknowledge the order of being?

Or, more generally, what about the man who denies what intuition suggests? The most basic truths are known through intuition but since intuition sometimes seems irrational, not based on clear-cut data and sharply-defined modes of logical reasoning, the man who wants to deny an intuitive truth can easily fool himself into thinking that since “it isn’t supported by evidence” (or so he thinks), it must not be true.

Consider a simple example that is nevertheless a paradigm for all valid intuitive knowledge: The existence of your consciousness. If someone challenged you by saying “Prove to me that your consciousness exists,” how would you respond?

[And indeed some atheists take atheism to its logical conclusion and teach that your consciousness does not exist. And since your consciousness is pretty much what you are, they are saying that you do not exist.]

The challenge is, of course, fundamentally misguided. Our imaginary interlocutor is asking for proof of the existence of another consciousness, but this cannot be proved in the sense of deducing it from other, more fundamental truths. It is instead a truth that is known immediately by intuition (starting with the case of one’s own consciousness), and it is a necessary prerequisite of all coherent thought about human beings. If anyone seriously doubted the existence of other minds, it would mean that he was quite deranged.

And yet analogous misguided questions are often asked: “Prove to me that marriage cannot be between two men or two women.”  “Prove to me that children need both a father and a mother.”  “Prove to me that inviting tens of millions of foreigners into America will harm her.”  And so on.

Although the questions are absurd, they are often asked in apparent earnest, so we must be able to give answers that go beyond simply saying, as is true, “It’s self-evident.” Although the answers to the above questions can be known intuitively, intuition forms in response to evidence, and therefore the questions are to be answered by pointing to the evidence. And evidence exists aplenty. We do not pretend to be neutral, suspending our judgment until all the evidence has been found, but neither do we ignore the evidence. Instead, evidence supports intuition.

How, then, do we respond to the cynic (or the cynical part of ourself) who denies what intuition should know and says, for example, that we cannot disprove (or that we must accept) same-sex pseudo-marriage? There is no guaranteed method of refuting the cynic, for a man generally believes what he wants to believe.

None are so blind as those who will not see, that is, whose desire is not to see. For such a person, the evidence that supports the truth seems invalid, and the evidence that opposes it seems valid. For such a one, evidence against same-sex pseudo-marriage, or evidence against the joys of multiculturalism, or evidence for Christianity, are all invalid. These people invert reality.

We can show that their thinking is inverted. Consider the atheist who denies the existence of consciousness. Stripped of any pretensions, reduced to its basic elements, this atheist’s argument amounts to this:

Major premise:  If materialism is true, then consciousness is not real.

Minor premise:  Materialism is true.

Conclusion:  Therefore consciousness is not real.

Although one could quibble about exact meanings, the major premise is basically correct. If materialism is true, the non-material—including your consciousness—is not real. If so, and if the minor premise is true, so is the conclusion.

But a single inversion produces a true conclusion:

Major premise:  If materialism is true, then consciousness is not real.

Minor premise:  Consciousness is real.

Conclusion:  Therefore materialism is false.

Intuition knows that consciousness is real, and therefore that materialism is false. All that is required is a reversal. A repentance.

The only hope for the cynic is that he will begin to hear the voice of intuition. In chapter one of the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul, speaking by the inspiration of God, writes that all men have an intuitive sense of the eternal power and nature of God, that they are therefore without excuse for dishonoring Him, and that the unrighteous suppress their knowledge of God. Likewise, all men have intuitive knowledge of the basic order of being but some men suppress this knowledge. We can only oppose the cynic by reasserting the truth and praying that his intuition will begin to assert itself.

[Part eight is here.]

64 thoughts on “How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Seven: Responding to the Intuitive Skeptic

  1. Pingback: How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Seven: Responding to the Intuitive Skeptic | Reaction Times

  2. You can either accept your opponent’s premises or kill him.
    Premises must be held in common otherwise the arguments can not proceed to conclusion.

    Orthosphere has glaring weaknesses in political and economic theories. One is this assumption that all matters admit of rational resolution and brute force has no place in civilized life.

    • “brute force has no place in civilized life.”

      Please elaborate, this is incredibly vague. Of course brute force has a place in civilized life, in fact it is a CONSTANT throughout the history of the civilized world, in one form or another.

      Now, if you’re questioning how reactionaries should view violence, I did write a piece on how one should view terrorism here:

      http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.com/2014/09/terroris-political-weapon-part-ii.html

      I’m not sure this ‘civilized’ paradigm is even the best way to look at the world. If the reactionary is Traditional Man, then his enemy is naturally Modern Man, and the war he wages to dethrone modernity can be violent, intellectual, or organizational, or myriad other things. As a Christian, you are limited in what actions you take of a violent nature, but only in that you may not commit murder, you have a moral standard. I wouldn’t consider most cases of defense of the Traditional World to be ‘murder’, but rather justified self defense in response to intolerable conditions. Modernity is intolerable, and therefore the Traditional Man who reveres the Almighty is justified in defending himself.

      • I was not talking about lone-wolf terrorism. An individual can not be the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner. all rolled into one.
        Legitimate violence must further common good and must be State-directed. However, reactionaries have poor understanding of State, owing to the general influx of libertarian ideas.

        There is some legitimate spontaneous violence–rioting that is. One observes that Third World countries have low tolerance for capitalist acts when these acts promote public obscenity.

        American conservatives will die before defacing an obscene advertisement. Third World people do not have quite the same respect for private property.

      • Often what spontaneous violence in the Third World against some perceived evil being conducted by a private individual is could definitely be classed as people playing the judge, jury, and executioner. The issue is that in these countries, this often seems unnecessary as they do typically have governments capable of responding to such things. They’re not good governments at all, but at the local level are at least closer to legitimacy than western authorities.

        My point is, in the west, in the black heart of modernity, there is a very special situation at hand. There are no legitimate judges. There are no legitimate juries. There are no legitimate executioners. Legitimate violence may certainly further reaction (that is the common good) but is impossible in terms of state endorsement. The state here embodies the enemy 99% of the time. It wasn’t the corrupt people who gave the west mass abortion and sodomite marriage, it was the state, the governing structure, often actually against the will of the people themselves.

        The legitimacy of violence exclusively through the state is only applicable if the state itself is legitimate. Since no modern state is legitimate, they have no such protections. What’s more, these illegitimate states are not in some neutral mode, they have been endeavoring to destroy Traditionalism and its adherents (the reactionaries) for hundreds of years, to an insane degree right now of course.

      • The legitimacy of violence exclusively through the state is only applicable if the state itself is legitimate. Since no modern state is legitimate, they have no such protections

        Wrong, Mark. A state is legitimate if it is regarded as such by a strong majority of its citizens, and the modern states are that. No individual can pronounce a state to be illegitimate.

        Even though modern states are (for the most part) wickedly trying to erase traditional morality, religion and ways of life, they continue to perform the basic functions of a state.
        .

      • Alan,
        “A state is legitimate if it is regarded as such by a strong majority of its citizens,”

        This isn’t very reactionary of you. In fact, it seems outright liberalism.

      • Liberalism, is it? You really know how to hurt a guy 🙂

        No state can function unless it is regarded as legitimate by a strong majority of its people. Besides, in America governmental legitimacy is determined by the ballot. Since America’s political leaders were duly elected, they are legitimate.

        Not good, but legitimate.

      • Mr. Roebuck, I encourage you to read my response to Leo below in full, as it is a means of defending myself in some capacity, and perhaps clarifying my opinions.

        In response to your point, I think Vishmehr has a legitimate counterpoint here, depending on what you are actually trying to say. Does legitimacy come from the consent of the governed? This would seem to be a modernist concept, present really only after the ‘Enlightenment’. My view on legitimacy is that a society only becomes politically legitimate if it follows a Traditional structure and order, and of course only becomes theologically legitimate if its structure is Christian (important distinction). The idea that the support of a population legitimizes a government kind of removes the need for legitimacy altogether. Legitimacy is a good reason to not rebel against the state EVEN if the state is failing or has fallen victim to some corruption (Zippy Catholic often frames the Reformation in these terms, though its debatable whether he is correct to do so). If the state is only made legitimate by its own people, then mass dissatisfaction could lead to revolution at any time, and justifiable so, which to me seems antithetical to the Traditional Ideal.

        In your opinion, does a state remain legitimate if say 80% of its population supports the government in exterminating a 20% Christian population? If mass dissatisfaction the only vehicle of delegitimization?

      • Mark, I’ve read that comment, and it supplies a lot of common sense. I don’t think I disagree with your basic position.

        About “legitimacy,” see my previous comment, made in response to Vishmehr24. To summarize: My definition of “legitimate state” has nothing to do with its moral goodness, but rather with its basic functioning as a state. To call the American government “legitimate,” in my book, is not to call it good, but rather to say that we must respect its basic existence, even if we must sometimes oppose it.

      • About your hypothetical question: That government would be “legitimate,” but wicked, and Christians (and others) would be right to oppose it with force if no other recourse existed.

    • Consider what Rod Dreher has called the Jeremiah option.

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-would-jeremiah-do/

      Jeremiah did not think it appropriate to fight the Babylonian government. They had a kind of legitimacy in his view, even if they were a cruel and implacable enemy. Jeremiah did not approve of the Jewish government that was crushed by Babylon. It lacked legitimacy. But he did not urge violent opposition to it.

      The Confederacy made a fatal error by firing on Fort Sumter, igniting a war they would lose. The Confederacy made a fatal error in secession, while they still had considerable power in the Congress that would have served them better than losing America’s bloodiest war. I would advise against the same error.

      I am not a pacifist in every situation, but I abhor violence and IMHO we are a long, long way from needing to even consider it.

      It might be uncharitable to construe some comments as extreme, and if so, I apologize to those offended, but I would rather take the risk of seeming uncharitable than have some future Anders Breivik or Timothy McVeigh make a decision for violence because no one raised a voice for caution and civility, and even of graciousness when we lose a round in the culture wars, as we inevitably will. Take the long view. Words have consequences. Rash action is ill advised and can easily be both counterproductive and sinful.

      There are a lot of Catholics on this blog. Pope Francis doesn’t talk like a neoreactionary. Pope Benedict XVI didn’t talk that way, and few would consider him a liberal.

      I have come to regard the Neoreactionary movement the way it is described at http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Neoreactionary_movement:

      “Neoreactionaries are the latest in a long line of intellectuals who somehow think that their chosen authoritarian thugs wouldn’t put them up against the wall. Possibly using sheer volume of words as a bulletproof shield…The movement is largely insignificant and mostly an object of curiosity (one must hope it remains this way)…”

      • When the Orthosphere condemned the American Revolution, you were the only one on there complaining and calling it “silly,” Now you are accusing the Orthosphere of being violent revolutionaries after completely misconstruing one comment. So which is it? Are only the revolutions you happen to like permissible? Why do you seem to have an axe to grind against traditionalists and Catholics in particular? If you don’t like it here, no one is forcing you to read it. The Orthosphere is a space for traditionalists and Christians. Mormons are outside of that consensus and the Orthosphere should not change just because of your over active imagination. There are hundreds of sites on the right today that promote things you are interested in like worshiping the US constitution and capitalism. That mainstream right-wing ideology has completely failed in any of its purported aims, is obvious and art of the reason the Orthosphere exists still doesn’t stop you from going there.

        There are a lot of Catholics on this blog. Pope Francis doesn’t talk like a neoreactionary. Pope Benedict XVI didn’t talk that way, and few would consider him a liberal.

        Are you paying attention? Who on here is a “neoreactionary?” I’ve criticized them and do not consider myself apart of their movement. Bonald has criticized as have others. I don’t think anyone here would consider themselves neo-reactionaries.

        Could you please explain to me, since you are very concerned by religious violence, why the living prophet Gordon Hinckley (along with 80% of your co-religionists) gave their support for the disastrous Iraq War? Do you think maybe you all should have spoke out against the war that has killed millions and destroyed Christianity there?

  3. “You can either accept your opponent’s premises or kill him.”

    Can you find a scripture to support that, from the Bible, the Koran or some other religious text?

  4. … And his family.

    Were it just me, I would probably, likely … even perhaps (unbiblically, of course) justifiably care less. But it isn’t just me. It’s me, and my wife, and eight children. And two grandchildren t’boot. So it’s important, imperative, vital.

    So, no, a Christian’s being violent – when violence is his only alternative – isn’t immoral. The opposite would be the case. But then we’d get into whether he had another option or not. …

  5. From the link Mark Citadel provided:

    “…the reactionary is legitimate in looking upon terrorism positively, should it either be applied to the correct target, or by design/accident, serve a greater reactionary goal.”

    And he writes

    “The legitimacy of violence exclusively through the state is only applicable if the state itself is legitimate. Since no modern state is legitimate, they have no such protections.”

    Vishmehr24 writes:

    “You can either accept your opponent’s premises or kill him.”

    Has madness instead of the dove descended on the Orthosphere? Are we in such an extreme situation that the Orthosphere has become a jihadist site? Will one of the regular contributors rein this in? Or can we expect the Orthosphere to issue violent fatwa’s in the future?

    • As a preliminary response, I do not see Mr. Citadel saying the second thing you quoted him saying, either here or at the link he provided. What is the source of this quote?

      As for Vishmehr24’s words, I take him as exaggerating for effect rather than advocating violence.

      • Alan,

        Check out http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.com/2014/09/terroris-political-weapon-part-ii.html
        just above the picture of the Twin Towers. The other quote is at 11:53 on 10/24

        There is a fine line between exaggerating for effect and crazy talk. Does the Orthosphere intend to become the home of extremist craziness? Not that I accuse you of such. It is the comments that bother me. No one seems to object or even care if the comments are straying past a line that we would find shocking in a liberal site. This does not strike me as civilized or Christ-like, whether there is an altar present or not.

    • …the reactionary is legitimate in looking upon terrorism positively, should it either be applied to the correct target, or by design/accident, serve a greater reactionary goal.

      The Christian reactionary does not rejoice in sin, even if it serves an instrumental purpose.

    • People disagree. Then how to proceed. The issue can either be resolved by argument or by force.
      Arguments can only proceed to conclusion if the parties agree on premises.
      Thus, either one agrees with one’s opponent on the fundamental premises or use force.
      there is no other way.

      • I think “live and let live” is the case when there is no argument between A and B or, and this is what vishmer probably has in mind, there is an argument but A and B are equally strong or have much more to lose rather than to gain so they hesitate to decide the dispute by force. In other cases force is to be expected in the end.

        By “force” you mean justifiable from moral or at least legal point of view?

    • I am sure Mr. Roebuck will give me an opportunity to responds to these somewhat confusing allegations from Leo.

      1) For the record, the quotes you have provided are indeed my own, but cherry picked in a rather uncharitable way. I will assume this was not necessarily intentional, to be charitable to you, but the article and its Part 1 (which includes some definition groundwork) should be read in full to get an accurate picture of what I am trying to say.

      2) To use Islamic language only serves for incendiary effect. Fatwas and Jihad are very specific Islamic concepts not applicable to anything written here by anyone.

      3) You write the following

      “Does the Orthosphere intend to become the home of extremist craziness?”

      Now, this is rather interesting. Do you oppose same-sex marriage, the murder of the unborn, secularism, feminism, etc? If so… guess what! You’re an extremist. Extremism is a totally valueless and relative term.

      4) Let’s get to the point of it. My article NEVER at any instance ADVOCATES for terrorism, in fact it goes to great pains NOT to. In fact, I end it by saying that by virtue of the things we cover, we should not be surprised when other people act on these findings, rather than saying that we ourselves should act on these findings. I give the example of Anders Breivik’s reaction to what he read on counter-Jihad websites about an impending Islamic takeover of the European continent.
      As for looking positively upon such things if they fit into a certain criteria, this is not an absolute ideal, but rather a very fluid and relative one, depending on many factors. One can see virtue in an act and yet not support the act entirely or seek to emulate the act. I give the example of the assassination of Dr. Tiller, and abortionist who tore living babies apart, and argue that by virtue of Tiller’s actions, he lost a lot of the protections he might have had from legitimate vigilante justice, because his acts were so monstrous. Please tell us, is ANY act justified cause for violent retribution? Does one have to murder ten children or a hundred or a couple hundred thousand?

      5) Here is a good example of a fine distinction. There is indeed a picture of the September 11 attacks on this article about terrorism (how peculiar!), but one cannot imply that I somehow support 9/11 from this. This would be profoundly ludicrous. The act would be deemed legitimate in the eyes of Muslims, who are different forms of reactionaries, but of course that outlook is ENTIRELY different from a secular or Christian reactionary view. Thinkers like Evola as well as other thinkers did foresee such things as the modern world accelerated, and that this approach was going to happen sooner or later, to varying degrees between different peoples. Your implications that I am some kind of terrorist are slanderous. I am looking at the practice as an outsider.

      6) You make another quotation of me with this

      “The legitimacy of violence exclusively through the state is only applicable if the state itself is legitimate. Since no modern state is legitimate, they have no such protections.”

      As if this is some highly dangerous statement, when in fact it isn’t at all! It does not necessarily follow from this statement that the state and its adherents have NO protections, just that the protection of legitimacy does not exist.

      7) I stress again, nowhere do I personally advocate in this article even for an illegal action, let alone a terroristic one, my writings simple examine the metapolitics of terrorism for what it is, which is a political weapon, and how one can look at acts if they fall within a certain paradigm.

      Below, Thomas F. Bertonneau succinctly and tactfully presents a solid case on violent resistance that I think you may have trouble refuting. Let’s just put this into context. I assume you believe that when it comes unborn children, like adults, we are all under an obligation not to murder them, correct? And I will assume you can find no legitimate excuse for most abortions that would render them mere killing rather than a murder, correct?

      55,772,015 unborn children, of every color and sex, have been murdered in America since Roe Vs. Wade. Now, if you are saying that no violence against such a state as the one that commits this atrocity is justifiable under ANY circumstances, then here are the implications that follow.

      No Jewish uprising was justifiable during the Holocaust.
      No peasant uprising was justifiable in the Soviet Union
      No farmer’s uprising was justifiable in Cambodia
      No Christian uprising would be justifiable against the actions of the Islamic State in Iraq.

      This is the insanity you are left with when you commit yourself to essentially saying that all killing is murder, all violence is wrong. The Christian recognizes that he has every right to act in defense of himself or others. He is not taught to run seeking dragons afar to conquer, but when he comes under assault, he may act. This has been the case for centuries. Mr. Bertonneau gives examples that are modern, but we could go back long before then and find examples of Christians who have acted violently to defend themselves and others.

      While Vishmehr raises some good points, I have disagreed with him, saying that agreement and violence are not the only methods by which a result can be reached. I think this is overly simplistic. My argument was here, and has been in the article I cited, that the Christian Reactionary should not have knee-jerk response to violence. We are most certainly a peaceful religion, but this war was declared on us, NOT the other way around. I am saying that if Christians resort to violence in some situation, I will evaluate it based on the issue at hand and the method of the execution of this act, looking at each merit individually, rather than throwing my hands in the air and yelling “extremists!”.

      Debra S writes the following below.

      “For my part, I would not hesitate to shoot an intruder intent on harming my grandchildren. About the state’s abuses, I am more apt to be on my knees daily in prayer to preserve us from its tyrannical excesses.”

      And she is very correct in her statement as I’m sure it applies to most, however there are those who, if the intruder trying to harm their family IS the state, their response will be no different to if it was a common thug. Do you see how that works, Leo?

      Had you actually read and understood my writings, you would have seen that your concerns were for mere illusion and the implications you draw from my work are false. Is the mere study of the morality and metapolitics of violent resistance heretical now? Had you commented on the actual article, I would have been more than happy to address any concerns you had, instead it seems you have rather carelessly misrepresented me as some kind of violent brute which I am not, and I am sure that Vishmehr is not either.

      So, I will close this response with another quote from the article, which was really the main thrust of the argument therein

      “We who type these compact dissertations on the reactionary right are largely a benign sort. Many of us are willing to meet and discuss the current climate, speculate on governmental models, perhaps even engage in plotting for the inevitable moment that this tiger that the baron spoke of collapses and dies, however there are those who read our work, both online and in print, who due to their nature will be compelled to act.”

      I don’t think you can find fault with this statement. It seems to be probably true as our age degenerates, we will see more violence as modernity encroaches upon the Traditional World to an even more intolerable degree. The idea that such resistance might be legitimate in some circumstances, or beneficial to a greater good in others even if unrelated, is not as crazy an idea as you might think.

      Food for thought.

  6. Rebellions against the Soviet Empire took place in East Germany in 1951 and in Hungary in 1956; these were rebellions that made use of violence, highly organized in the Hungarian case. The later Czech anti-Soviet rebellions of 1968 and 1989 and the East German rebellion of 1989 were peaceful although the weakened state of the USSR and the integrity at the time of NATO certainly helped to contain the Soviet response, which was to withdraw from its imperium and a year later to implode. The 1951 and 1956 anti-Soviet rebellions looked useless at the time, but were certainly remembered in 1989, inspiring a new generation, thereby redeeming themselves from uselessness. Ditto the Czech rebellion of 1968. The Warsaw Uprising of 1945, against Nazi occupation, was incredibly violent. Will any Orthospherean condemn it?

    Closer to home, the War of Independence was violent, and that violence is remembered to this day with no little bitterness by the Canadians whose ancestors sought asylum by trekking the Patriot Trail through Northern New York to the Loyal Territories of the British North. Whose side in that dispute should Orthosphereans be on?

    The Civil War was violent. Does any Orthospherean approve of General Sherman’s March to the Sea?

    Was it Justice Holmes who said, “Democracy is not a suicide pact”? I forget. Nevertheless, I think that Christianity is no more a suicide pact than democracy; indeed, I think it is less a suicide pact than democracy. I conclude that Traditionalism cannot be a suicide pact and therefore that it cannot absolutely renounce violence. Christians prefer pacifism; but even Jesus resorted to violence in kicking the money-lenders out of the temple.

    In response to Vishmehr’s rhetorical question, I say, what good is dove-like behavior when the other party is a psychopath, or an ideologue (same thing), who is determined to kill, “for all the right reasons”? Moral discussion must not be based on extreme cases, but it cannot exclude them either; they must be taken into consideration. When Charlie Manson wants to kill me, I have a right to kill him first in self-defense. I have no moral right to give up my life uselessly and morality does not prohibit me from taking life in self-defense.

    Alan, I’m curious (genuinely so) to know how you distinguish “force” from “violence.” By “force” do you mean moral-rhetorical persuasion? But where the rebels are beyond persuasion, because they are beyond morality, must not the attempt at persuasion be backed up by the option to call on violence? And when persuasion fails, must not repressive violence be the next step?

    When the state begins to use repressive violence against dissenters (let us say, Traditionalists), either directly or by proxy, what are the dissenters to do?

    • “[W]hat are dissenters to do?”

      I don’t know. Can we find some direction in the Just-War theory? even though said theory applies to state vs state? Can we apply the right of self-defense as when the hatchet-wielder enters your home to perform Satan’s work of murder and mayhem?

      Can we look to ancient Rome when Christians were burned at the stake and fed to the lions? Or when Paul was forced into prison, from whence he wrote his magnificent letters to Timothy, for example?

      I did, not long ago, ask one of my pastors if he would have been a loyalist or a revolutionary had he been here in 1776. Curiously, he had never entertained the question; but without hesitation, he said he would have sided with the loyalists.

      I don’t think there is a “right” answer, overall. But passive resistance seems to be the best answer, to my mind. In such resistance, we plead for God’s mercy as we find ourselves in a time not totally unlike the time of Noah, or the period of the Judges, when every man “did what was right in his own sight.” And we remember that we are as sheep led to the slaughter in this evil and corrupt generation.

      On the other hand, it would seem that to have the backing of the state (Romans 13) is our most legitimate recourse to fending off the tyranny of pagans and atheists who have seized control of our government. That is to say, we should pray that God grant us through his mysterious actions in the course of human history that we may have extended to us a period of relative peace in which to proclaim the Gospel freely, without risk of imprisonment or worse. But that is His call to make.

      For my part, I would not hesitate to shoot an intruder intent on harming my grandchildren. About the state’s abuses, I am more apt to be on my knees daily in prayer to preserve us from its tyrannical excesses.

    • The Left intends to achieve its aims without violence. The aim is complete overthrow of traditional norms.
      Faced with the peaceful overthrow of tradition, the reaction is perfectly justified in defense of tradition by all possible means. We are not libertarian slaves of Non-Aggression Principle.

      The just-war theory speaks of “certain and lasting harms”. The overthrow of tradition certainly counts as a “certain and lasting harm”. We are not to look upon only at the Individual hurt to person or property– that is the liberalism. For us, The family and the polis is as much the real entities as the persons themselves.

    • Alan, I’m curious (genuinely so) to know how you distinguish “force” from “violence.”

      Although perhaps I didn’t make it clear, I was referring to terrorism when I said “The Christian reactionary does not rejoice in sin, even if it serves an instrumental purpose.” I was not referring to all forms of violence.

      I don’t think there is a clear distinction between force and violence. But terrorism is illegitimate and sinful almost by definition, so I see the important distinction as one between legitimate and illegitimate violence.

      I’m not equipped to discourse on just war theory, but it seems to me that legitimate violence must not be initiated by lone individuals or small, fringe organizations, but must be legitimized by some sort of recognized authority. And it must not target primarily the innocent (or the relatively innocent).

      Obviously war is sometimes necessary, or at least acceptable. Sometimes a people cannot get what they need, or defend themselves, any other way. I’m not a pacifist.

      • “And it must not target primarily the innocent (or the relatively innocent). ”

        We would certainly agree that haphazard acts of violence often directed towards general targets are not in keeping with all that is just, even if they serve a greater goal which may engender to them a positive aspect, and I do say as much in my postings, that all aspects must be taken into account, not just long term and short term goals.

        Terrorism does not necessarily end with people dead or even hurt, it is simply the act that has as its goal creating a psychological sense of fear in a target so that they change some manner of political conduct. We can bring to bear many examples where terrorism has been used in warfare, the famous ‘shock and awe’ tactics, designed specifically to affect the enemy in a psychological way and engender a change in their direction.

        Murder is most certainly a sin, and if somebody commits it, they have sinned. The question at hand is when does killing become murder, when does a target of violence become legitimate. Debra S gives the example of someone trying to physically hurt her grandchildren. What about somebody trying to physically hurt another’s grandchildren? Is this limited entirely to acts of physical violence, or does it also cover more broad assaults on the human character?

        It is correct to bring the discussion of terrorism under the larger discussion about just war theory as a general rule, the question of when a war is just and what acts in such a war remain just is one open to interpretation if one can provide good reasons.

        “The Left intends to achieve its aims without violence.”

        Just to maybe caveat this point from Vishmehr, the left has used violence to varying degrees, the French Revolution being the first great example. It does no good to assume that violence won’t be used by them in the coming decades, as they have shown a remarkable aptitude for it in the last century alone. And for the record, I do consider abortion to be a form of violence.

        “the reaction is perfectly justified in defense of tradition by all possible means.”

        Now, I don’t agree with Vishmehr here. There are limits on what Reaction can do, depending on who is doing it. I suppose for secular reactionaries, there really are no limits except practical concerns, but for the Christian Reactionary there are moral limits on your behavior that will keep you in good grace with the Lord, and allow your action to retain its political legitimacy. Here we have much common ground Mr. Roebuck. I definitely accept that we are limited and thankfully so, lest we become as barbaric as our enemies have been in centuries past. But the question is where the boundaries lie. My postings have reflected a cautious testing of these boundaries within the metapolitical landscape, rather than a bloodlusting call to ‘jihad’ or whatever Leo was asserting. I apologize if they came across as such. My writing style can tend to be somewhat direct and maybe too brief.

  7. Alan,
    “Not good, but legitimate.”

    Defining legitimacy of American State by ballot is acceptance of the liberal paradigm. And why the need for Reaction? What is the point of Orthosphere if we are to accept democracy and majority rule?

    Legitimacy can not be divorced from the good A ruler is legitimate to the extent he pursues the common good. This is the common Catholic understanding. You are not obliged to follow it, naturally but then the contradictions in the Orthosphere itself are made apparent.

    • Hold on there, Vishmehr24. Not so fast.

      Legitimacy of a state is a very limited concept. The requirements to be met are very low. At least that’s how I use the word, but I think it is widely used in that way. “Legitimate government” basically means that we do not allow ourselves to do anything we want with it, but rather treat it instrumentally as having a fundamentally valid existence. That is, it does what states are supposed to do, even if in an incompetent or wicked way.

      For example, the only current state I would regard as illegitimate is the so-called Islamic State. They are basically a gang of terrorists with aspirations of grandeur, not an actual serious government.

      So the requirements for “legitimacy” are rather low, in my book. Even North Korea meets them.

      The problem with the American State, as with the other Western states, is not that it is “illegitimate.” The problem is that it is wickedly undermining the common good.

      If you declare a state, or a person, to be “illegitimate,” then you are apparently declaring that we can do what we want with them. They become like pirates: Traditionally, pirates were to be summarily executed because their status was so far outside the pale of civilization that the normal rules did not apply to them. I do not say this about any existing government (with the possible exception of the Islamic State. But even here, there are important questions of prudence.)

      That’s why I opposed Mr. Citadel’s apparent declaration that the American government is illegitimate. It seemed to imply that we can therefore oppose it in any way we like. [In his further comments, though, he shows a more sane position. I don’t disagree with him.]

      And about my alleged acceptance of the liberal paradigm. The traditional American definition of legitimate government is one arrived at through our democratic processes. I stick with our American tradition, making me a traditionalist of sorts.

      But recall that I do not define “legitimate state” to mean “one that is good and therefore never to be opposed.” Of course we must oppose the wicked undermining of the common good. And this opposition may one day require physical resistance, that is, violence. Wars are sometimes necessary.

      The Orthosphere does not “accept democracy and majority rule.” We accept that it exists in America and elsewhere, but we do not regard it as the ideal state. I just say that America, warts and all, is basically “legitimate.” As defined above.

      And I was not aware you are a Catholic. Maybe I was misled by your skeptical-sounding questions about Christianity to which I responded in that other post.

      • “The problem with the American State, as with the other Western states, is not that it is “illegitimate.” The problem is that it is wickedly undermining the common good.”

        In my understanding, a state that “wickedly undermines the common good” renders itself illegitimate.
        And if one tries to understand what State is and why we should obey its dictates, then my claim is made self-evident, practically a tautology.

      • To you, “legitimate”=”good.” To me, “legitimate” does not equal “good.” It is more subtle.

        To the average person, declaring something illegitimate is to declare it outside the norms of society, so that normal rules of morality do not apply to it. Nobody has the right to make such a declaration about the entire government of a nation.

        You use the word in your way, but I think my definition is more in agreement with the way ordinary people use the word. And my definition avoids needless moral posturing.

        [Some moral posturing is good. But some is needless.]

      • “So the requirements for “legitimacy” are rather low, ”
        What are they?
        ” treat it instrumentally as having a fundamentally valid existence”
        the words “instrumentally” and “fundamentally” do not go well together.

        North Korea is legitimate while Islamic State is not.
        Because NK has existed for 60 years now?

      • Because NK has existed for 60 years now?

        Basically, yes. Remember, “legitimate” does not equal “good.”

      • I think this may come down to a semantic problem.

        It seems, Mr. Roebuck, you are using the terms ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ as synonyms for ‘genuine’ and ‘faux’.

        Your definition of the term ‘legitimate state’ seems to be – something that performs the functions and fits the definition of a state.

        However interestingly on this definition the word is rather meaningless. If a state is not legitimate, it does not fit the criteria for a state, therefore it is rather not an ‘illegitimate state’, but not a state at all. When you say “my state is illegitimate” what you are actually saying is “my state is not a state”. Kind of a self-defeating statement.

        Myself and Vishmehr are really using the words to mean something very different. A state may still be a state, and yet be illegitimate when viewed through a number of lenses. A state itself must have certain properties, as we know (boundaries, a government that rules with some enforcement power, internal communication, some physical structures), but these things only qualify a geographic and political entity to be called a ‘state’, not necessarily a ‘legitimate state’. When we say legitimate, we might put the state through a number of criteria.

        1) Political legitimacy – is the state structured in a way that conforms to the Traditional order?
        2) Moral legitimacy – is the state party to demonstrable moral evils?
        3) Theological legitimacy – is it a Christian state? (obviously Muslims would say ‘Islamic state’ and Hindus would say ‘Hindu state’)

        A state could fail all three of these (North Korea is a great example) and yet still be a state. Legitimacy in my mind really has to do with “are there good reasons beyond practicality to be a contributing member of the state”? And when a state falls short of having legitimacy in an area, it inevitable endangers itself, because even if it is legitimate in other areas, this can be overridden by a higher concern.

        A state might be both a declared Christian state and also structure itself in a traditional way, but if it was committing grave moral atrocities, its illegitimacy in that area may spurn and justify its overthrow in spite of its theological and political legitimacy.

        Vatican City, in my mind even though I am not a Catholic, actually meets the three criteria mentioned here (and there may be others). That’s not to say its perfect, just that it meets the legitimacy requirements: that nobody who lives there would have immediate justification in overthrowing the government of the Pope, arguing from legitimacy alone.

        This is more an argument of definitions than on actual content, thankfully. Maybe we can now see where we are actually coming from.

        “That’s why I opposed Mr. Citadel’s apparent declaration that the American government is illegitimate. It seemed to imply that we can therefore oppose it in any way we like.”

        Oh no! Not at all. That doesn’t follow. A state can be wholly illegitimate as I deem the barbaric state of North Korea to be, and STILL the Christian being persecuted has obligations of his own to fulfill and must oppose his government within the confines of morality and just war theory. We definitely are not supremely empowered just because our state is illegitimate. That would really lead to some craziness.

      • Alan,
        ” needless moral posturing.”
        I did not say of the American state that “it is wickedly undermining the common good.”
        You did but you refuse to carry the argument further-typical of the conservatives and right-liberal.
        So the posturing is not on my side.

      • Citidel,

        “Your definition of the term ‘legitimate state’ seems to be – something that performs the functions and fits the definition of a state”

        The state has only one function-to define and pursue the common good. But Alan has not provided any definition. He himself claims that the American state is “wickedly undermining the common good”. So, performing the function of common good is certainly not Alan’s definition.

      • I think when he is talking about the performance of functions, these are in more of a practical sense than any kind of moral sense. For instance, being able to enforce its borders, have a functioning law enforcement body, have a treasury, etc.

      • That’s basically what I am saying. As I have defined the word, “legitimacy” is essentially unrelated to the moral quality of how the state runs the nation. As long as that is understood, there is nothing wrong with, for example, saying that North Korea’s government is “legitimate.”

        Examples of non-legitimate states would include, in addition to the so-called Islamic State, Vichy France and Manchukuo during the Second World War, and the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan.

        Again, I have two reasons for continuing to emphasize this point. One, the dictionary definition of “legitimate,” and the definition I think most people use, is basically “genuine,” or “in accordance with basic standards.” And two, when a government is declared to be “not legitimate,” it seems to imply that we need not obey or respect it. And although we ought to oppose wickedness in the American State, we do not have the right simply to declare it null and void, so to speak.

  8. “live and let live”
    A perennial liberal Trojan horse. Live and let live can work only in small things.It is precisely the liberal delusion that we can always agree to disagree. Some matters must be concluded, one way or other. Either there is slavery in the community or there is not. Either same-sex marriage is socially approved or isn’t.
    As Esolen has written in the Crisis site, a clothing-optional beach IS a nudist beach.

  9. Leo:

    Respectfully, I think you’re placing way too much stock in what thinkers like Mark Citadel can and should do, as opposed to what the government can and should do, to prevent the next Tim McVeigh or Anders Breivik. After all, O.J. Simpson didn’t just all of a sudden, utterly out of nowhere, decide to hack his ex-wife up in front of her home. He snapped, and due in no small part to her in-your-face whoring around in plain sight of his children. And don’t you figure he was advised to caution and civility by friends and relatives many times during her escapades … right up to that fateful night?

    Now, I’m no more saying Simpson was justified in murdering his wife than I am advocating the violent overthrow of the government, I’m simply saying there are those who can and should conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t provoke to violence those not exactly or always stable; that a legitimate government ought to conduct itself in a way that isn’t, at least so obviously, counter-cultural and destructive of its own people and their way of life. I’m saying what the government does or doesn’t do is far more likely to push the Tim McVeighs of the world over the cliff, than anything Citadel, et al says is likely to prevent their going over, or rein ’em back in. Not that I disagree with your pleas for caution and civility. I don’t. But at the same time it seems to me you embrace the liberal conception that the opposite is the case; that obscure bloggers are more responsible than is the government’s “long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object, …” in forming the likes of Tim McVeigh.

  10. “Whether the great evil of our civil life is not the fact that there seems now no medium between hopeless submission and full-dress revolution.Rioting has died out, moderate rioting”
    CS Lewis, Reflections on Psalms (chapter on Connivance)

  11. Alan,
    “To you, “legitimate”=”good.” ”
    You are persistently missing the point. What I have written is
    ” A ruler is legitimate to the extent he pursues the common good.”
    An incompetent ruler is not good but still legitimate. But you yourself declare that the American State is”wickedly undermining the common good”.

    What seems to be required first is to sort out the various misunderstandings that liberal assumptions have wrought on the ancient understanding of the state and common good.

    • ” A ruler is legitimate to the extent he pursues the common good.”

      The problem with this definition is that it assumes that the nation has some sort of consensus on what constitutes the common good. Unfortunately, America does not have such a consensus, and to the extent that there is something approaching a consensus, that consensus would be liberalism, which we traditionalists do not accept.

      In general, the word “legitimate” is a relative term, not an absolute one. It basically means “in accordance with accepted rules or standards.”

      The American State is indeed undermining the common good, but not uniformly and absolutely. It continues to perform correctly many of the essential duties of a state. And it has not been seized by a revolutionary faction in a violent revolution. The leftist revolution has been peaceful and democratic. Therefore I conclude that the American state is legitimate, as the word is commonly used.

      If one person, or one small faction, declares that the state which everybody else respects is “illegitimate,” then he or it is overstepping or overreaching. Since legitimacy is a function of convention, a small faction does not have the right to make this declaration. When and if a large percentage of people come to regard a state as illegitimate, then it becomes legitimate (so to speak) to call the state illegitimate. To say this is not liberalism. It is a recognition of the meaning of words.

      Of course, we traditionalists have a fairly clear idea of what a just state would be. “Just” is not a function of consensus.

      • Thanks, Debra. It seems like common sense to me, but it’s good to get confirmation from someone else.

      • When and if a large percentage of people come to regard a state as illegitimate, then it becomes legitimate (so to speak) to call the state illegitimate.

        So the majority of people can’t act against accepted rules and standards? In other words illegitimately? Does a large percentage of people always arrive at *a legitimate* conclusion?

        Basically, I agree with large part of what you are saying. I just don’t think that “established rules and standards” always means majority or large percentage of people. And I would say that “legitimate” is also not a function of consensus. At least not always…

      • The general meaning of “legitimate” is “in accordance with established rules and standards.” But “politically legitimate” contains additional factors and nuances. For one thing, a state (even a state like North Korea) cannot function without at least the tacit consent of the people. So to that extent, legitimacy does ride to a certain extent on the beliefs of the people.

      • “And it has not been seized by a revolutionary faction in a violent revolution”

        I think this is the basis for the entire state is it not, or is my American history incomplete 😉

        The problem is, Vishmehr and myself take that definition of “in accordance with accepted rules and standards” to have nothing to do with consensus or the properties inherent to the word ‘state’, rather it has to do with other properties that are objectively grounded and observable. So, when I see America committing massive moral evil (I mentioned the sheer number of murdered babies), I can safely conclude that America has lost all moral legitimacy and as a result, cannot assume to provide moral guidance to either its own people or foreign peoples (which it seems to be doing increasingly).

        However with regard to rebellion and just authority, I would say myself and Vishmehr probably part ways with you here, beyond mere semantics. I don’t see any reason to comply with any of the modern western states beyond practicality. That is, if you can evade the practical concerns of going against the grain, there are no legitimacy concerns to contend with when it comes to the state. This is how Traditional Man positions himself against the Modern World, and it differentiates him from the Christian who is simply trying to get by and not cause problems.

        If the federal government for example, voted to amend the Constitution to essentially end the civil right of Christians to speak out against moral evils, or better yet, this amendment was decided on by a large majority, by popular referendum, here are two responses.

        1) The state is legitimate and the people have spoken. I don’t agree, but as a member of this society and this culture, I will respect the rule of law and the will of my fellow citizens. I will recognize moral evil, but I will not speak out against it.

        2) The state is illegitimate and the will of the masses is worthless. This government action defies God and effectively declares war on the faithful. There is no metaphysical duty on my part to obey this modern state and I will work diligently, always in accordance with morality, to end its evil.

        I respond resolutely with the latter. For me, true legitimacy has a higher bar than just being able to provide utilities, and its not entirely based on a state’s moral character, but its essence and structure as well as its theological predispositions. Its not an impossible ‘gold’ standard to meet, like I said, Vatican City largely meets all the requirements to some degree (for now). A few other states may do so as well. The modern west, USA, UK, Sweden, France, Germany? not a chance.

      • “And it has not been seized by a revolutionary faction in a violent revolution”

        I think this is the basis for the entire state is it not, or is my American history incomplete 😉

        What happened in the distant past is largely irrelevant for the determination of political legitimacy. Most states are, or are the direct successor of, states formed by violence, sedition or revolution.

        American has lost all moral legitimacy.

        I was referring to political legitimacy, which is different from moral legitimacy. In the case of morality, we have a fairly objective standard that allows us to criticize and oppose even a “legitimate” state. I agree with you that the American state has lost much of its moral legitimacy by its support (tacit or explicit) of atheism, homosexuality, abortion, and so on.

        I don’t see any reason to comply with any of the modern western states beyond practicality.

        I basically agree here, but with one caveat. If you are, like me, an American, you must guard against the tendency to hate America, rather than only the unjust and sometimes evil acts of the American state. America is my nation, even if its leadership class is largely corrupt, and I ought to continue to love my people.

        Besides that, the American state sometimes still does good.

        With regard to your hypothetical scenario: “Legitimacy” has to do with the overall evaluation of the state. If the state openly does something as wicked as to declare Christian morality to be illegal, then we ought to oppose it any way we can. As to whether the state remains (politically) legitimate, I think that would be a moot point. Even if they were to remain “legitimate,” we would still have to oppose its evil.

      • Mark,

        I can think of a third alternative to your hypothetical, the law/act is itself immoral and Christians are not morally bound to follow it but outside of that the government is still legitimate.

      • As I have said, if a government is legitimate and you are a citizen of its purview, recognizing its legitimacy, then you are compelled to obey the rule of law, unless you were party to some information that told you the law was passed through some illegal device.

        If a government endorses immorality such as in the scenario described, then the ‘moral legitimacy’ of the state has been rendered void. It may then still have legitimacy in other areas, but I would argue that western governments fail to fulfill any such criteria, except for the very baseline ‘legitimacy’ requirements outlined by Roebuck (it must fit the definition of a state, performing all functions ancillary to that description), and to be honest if this qualifies as a legitimacy measure then it certainly isn’t one worth giving any consideration to when discussing actions against the state. As has been pointed out, North Korea fulfills these requirements at the worst possible level, and it seems that it would be right and fair for a North Korean civilian to sabotage or attack his state regardless of whether or not it fulfills the definition of a state.

        Legitimacy of this variety doesn’t actually provide the state any protection whatsoever, its simply a valueless and amoral state of affairs similar to a standard chair having four legs.

      • If a government endorses immorality such as in the scenario described, then the ‘moral legitimacy’ of the state has been rendered void. It may then still have legitimacy in other areas, but I would argue that western governments fail to fulfill any such criteria, except for the very baseline ‘legitimacy’ requirements outlined by Roebuck (it must fit the definition of a state, performing all functions ancillary to that description), and to be honest if this qualifies as a legitimacy measure then it certainly isn’t one worth giving any consideration to when discussing actions against the state.

        I don’t think your view is really endorsed by the traditional Christian view. The classic example of the Roman Empire which certainly qualifies as a government that committed numerous injustices and crimes, not just against Christians, but against everyone and yet I can’t think of an example of where Christians were called to take up arms against the empire in the way the Jewish Zealots did. Christians were still enjoined to obey that laws that were not directly repugnant to Christian morality. We also have the Eastern Christian example too, of were many Christian thinkers and theologians not only did not revolt but often times severed in the Islamic governments. St. John of Damascus comes to mind.

        The only types of “Christians” I see that attempt to justify this line of reasoning are certain millenarian sects. These sects are usually found here in the US. The Mormons are also a good example of this-raising militias, putting “curses” on government officials ect. David Koresh and his movement are a good modern example. The interesting aspect of this is that the sects themselves are not actually opposed to liberalism but more often than not directly incorporate elements of liberalism into their political theology. Many radical right-liberals in this country tend to freely infuse low-church notions with Lockean political thought, whether its “capitalism is Biblical” (see David Brat) to Mormon Jesus holding the Constitution along side George Washington. This is the dominate heresy.

        As has been pointed out, North Korea fulfills these requirements at the worst possible level, and it seems that it would be right and fair for a North Korean civilian to sabotage or attack his state regardless of whether or not it fulfills the definition of a state.

        It still begs the question. St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that in order for a revolution to be just certain conditions must be met- whether there is a reasonable chance of the success as well as the danger that a revolution will only intensify a tyranny. Given your example a North Korean civilian would not be justified in doing that. His action alone would not defeat the regime. He would only invite retaliation on his family and community. Perhaps if he was part of some kind of plot, with military support to the point were the Kim family could be deposed (in the way say, Communist governments fell in the 80s with relatively little bloodshed) that might justify such actions. There are other factors too. Factors that our own government neglected in both Iraq and now Syria. Saddam and to a lesser extent Bashir Al-Assad are classic tyrants they and their families ruthlessly crushed dissent, and enriched themselves at the expense of the rest of the country. Nevertheless, the ill-advised fight to overthrow them led to the rise of an even more fanatical theo/political cult that not only threatens the entire world but also threatens religious and ethnic minorities in the region. Yes, even a bad regime is better than the fruits of such anarchy.

      • Yes, even a bad regime is better than the fruits of such anarchy.

        One reason why even a tyranny can still be politically legitimate.

      • “He would only invite retaliation on his family and community. Perhaps if he was part of some kind of plot, with military support to the point were the Kim family could be deposed”

        And such a scenario is one that I would postulate. Obviously it is foolish to martyr oneself unnecessarily.

        I did mention that practicality does limit action, and this is the case for the secular Reactionary as well. All decisions should be well-informed, and rebelling against Rome in any kind of violent way at that time would have been unlikely to succeed, however I will say again, though Rome may have lacked moral legitimacy it may have been legitimate through other lenses. For instance, I think Rome was politically legitimate. It was a Traditional State, and it is perhaps the case that its moral evil was not warrant enough to justify its forceful overthrow.

        Ancient Rome and the Modern West are as apples and oranges.

    • Alan,
      “that consensus would be liberalism, which we traditionalists do not accept. ”
      But you do accept the liberal consensus. You make only an exception for sexual mores.

      Could you explain what makes North Korea legitimate while Vichy France illegitimate?

      • I don’t accept the liberal consensus. If you would make such a claim, it proves you have not paid close attention to my views.

        As for legitimacy, I’ve discussed it in as much detail as I think appropriate to a blog post. “Political legitimacy” does not have a precise and universally-agreed-upon definition, and my definition reflects how I see states treat each other. “Political legitimacy” is a practical, not an idealistic, concept. If the majority of people and other states treat a state as politically legitimate, then it is de facto legitimate.

        The moral judgment on a state has to do with whether it is just, not whether it is “politically legitimate.”

  12. Mark Citadel:

    Allow me to pick your brain a little for my own edification. In your initial explanatory reply to Leo above you said something that piqued my interest. You say that extremism is a purely “relative and valueless” term. This caught my interest initially because those who know me well know that I often point out that people like me are rightly deemed “extremist,” “radical,” “on the fringes,” or however one chooses to express it, precisely because our world and life view, which governs the way we conduct ourselves in the important activities of day-to-day life, is so radically different than the average Joe’s world and life view, or the mainstream world and life view. Which brings me to my question:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that terms like the above are relative terms; it’s easy to establish this is so given that without something to relate them to they would not be intelligible. My question concerns their (according to you) valuelessness. I’m not quite seeing how they’re valueless, worthless. It seems to me that although they are relative terms – relative to the way the average liberal lives his life, I’m an extremist nutjob – they are not necessarily valueless; that to the contrary they have value derived from the fact that they remain constant in their fundamental aspects. That is to say that such terms generally apply to something radically different than the norm, whether the norm is traditionalism (in which case the majority would deem liberal principles as extremist), or whether the norm is leftism/modernism (in which case traditionalism is considered more or less extremist).

    In any event, thanks for giving me food for thought.

    • Certainly happy to address this. When I say they are ‘valueless’, I don’t mean that the views of the radical right are themselves without value. Of course they have inherent value… They are right!

      My point was that more generally, the labels of ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ or perhaps more amusingly ‘fundamentalist’ are used to smear people, but they don’t actually have any objective merit or altering property. An opinion does not gain veracity or falsehood based on how extreme or moderate the viewpoint is, and this is, in a sense, implied by those who throw these labels around as insults.

      They are essentially trying to say, “your opinion is invalid because it is extreme relative to the average citizen”. This is false logic and does not compute, and is rather strange to hear coming from people who hold views that themselves are extreme! I pointed out that just visiting this website and agreeing with the gist of what is discussed is extreme!

      “they are not necessarily valueless; that to the contrary they have value derived from the fact that they remain constant in their fundamental aspects.”

      Well, a constance in any line of thinking is a positive thing. It’s one of the many great things about Traditionalism as opposed to the ever-mutating and metastasizing liberalism. But it is this constance that gives them their value, not their extremism or moderation itself. Constance, you’ll not, is not relative. A line is straight, rather than straight in relation to other objects.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s