How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Eight: Finding the Teachers of Wisdom

[Part OnePart Two.   Part ThreePart Four.  Part FivePart SixPart Seven.]

Recall from the previous parts 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. Recall also that man also needs revelation and personal repentance in order to be wise, and that once he has begun to repent of liberalism he is ready to find teachers of wisdom.

Once you have repented of your participation in the modern system, and once you understand the general framework for attaining knowledge of the most basic truths, where exactly can you go to begin learning the true order of the world and the traditions of your people? This learning generally cannot be had in the formal educations offered by schools, colleges and universities. With the existence of occasional exceptions acknowledged, American schools generally do not teach the wisdom of the ages or American tradition, or at best, they only teach them as just one set of options among many equally-valid (and therefore equally-invalid) options. Under the rule of modernism, believing the truth about the order of being is generally thoughtcrime.

Traditionalism must therefore be learned through unofficial channels.

Although we learn best through contact with living teachers, wisdom resides primarily in literature, through which we commune with the great teachers of the past. And the great literature of the past, through which the order of being can be known, is still available.

If you are the sort of person who reads essays like this, you are probably aware of the basic corpus of classic Western literature: The Iliad and The Odyssey, the Confessions and Consolation of Philosophy, Summa Theologica and The Republic, Moby Dick and War and Peace, etc. And let us identify the classic of all classics, the Bible

These works are classic because they have been found to express the wisdom of the ages. Except for the Bible not everything they say is true or edifying, of course, but they have stood the test of time and they richly reward the careful reader.

Does this mean that a traditionalist must read all the classics? No. Except for the Bible, an American traditionalist may have read few of them, or even none of them. They are not the prerequisite of traditionalism.

Instead, a traditionalist must begin learning the wisdom that is contained most clearly in the classics, and it has historically been true that the reading and discussion of classic literature has been the most common vehicle to instruct the young in the wisdom of the ages. Through this study, if all goes well, the young commune with both a living teacher who may become an embodiment of wisdom and with the greater teacher who is the author of the text. Through this study, if all goes well, the young are led to a more accurate and profound understanding of the order they first glimpse through intuition.

Remember, man has a natural intuition of the order of being, the knowledge of which is wisdom. By attuning yourself to this intuition you can begin learning the order of the world every day, even in mundane tasks. But the classroom study of classic literature is valuable because it provides concentrated doses of this instruction, and because it articulates the order of the world more sharply and accurately than is possible when you study alone.

*

The order of being can also be learned through some works of classic cinema and fine art. The cinema and fine art of the present day are often corrupt, expressing nihilism or overt evil, which is why we point the reader to the classics.

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And, in a most personal and accessible way, some of the order of being can be learned in the good traditionalist conservative weblogs. This author recommends most highly the following three websites:

View from the Right, the blog archive of the late Lawrence Auster. Here is an excerpt, in which Auster replies to a correspondent who chides him for being concerned about high levels of immigration.

Context and numbers are everything.

A small number of people of different race can join a majority group without changing the identity of the group, because, being a small number, they act as individuals and are seen as individuals, though they may be seen as exotics.

A massive number of people of different race fundamentally changes the whole society. Then it becomes a matter, not of individuals joining an existing culture, but of one group and its culture replacing another group and its culture.

This distinction is all important. You must understand it if you are to understand the immigration problem.

If you don’t get the distinction between a few people and a lot of people, you are going to go on believing the neoconservative fantasy that you can transform an entire country from a 100 percent or a 90 percent white country to a majority nonwhite country and everything is going to remain the same. You’re not going to see the reality of, for example, the Mexican invasion, in which Mexicans are involved in a national/racial takeover of major parts of the U.S., in which they, the Mexicans, are conscious of themselves gaining power as a group, and of the whites as losing power.

As we see in places throughout the country, particularly California, when a foreign people moves in en masse, they bring their culture, their way of life, their notions of law and order, their notions of right and wrong, their ethnic and national loyalties, with them. The former majority people and their way of life are pushed aside, and a new people and way of life displace them. You may THINK that culture has nothing to do with race. But that doesn’t change the fact that one people brings one culture, and displaces another people with another culture.

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The Thinking Housewife, Laura Wood’s blog. Here is an excerpt from her essay “Why we must discriminate:

Over the last 50 years, America has witnessed the cultural devastation of femininity and motherhood. When women fall, an entire way of life and civilization itself are not far behind. In order to reverse this state of affairs, a profound change in attitudes and prevailing mores is necessary. It’s not a question of returning to a former time, such as the 1950’s or the Victorian era, but of returning, as Richard Weaver put it, to the center of things, to the essence of who we are.

Attitudes are not all. We need ultimately to reverse existing laws and practices. First and foremost, we must restore customary economic discrimination in favor of men. America’s businesses and institutions must be free once again to favor men over women in hiring. If they are not, family life will never return to a reasonable state of health; the happiness of women and children will continue to decline; and men will fail to flourish and prosper.

It will take many years to recover the sensibility that sanctions a form of discrimination that was once common. It’s important to begin laying the groundwork. The essential foundation of change is a renewed understanding of ideas and practices that were once so basic and unspoken we did not feel the need to make them explicit or to defend them. Let’s begin this task together by clarifying the issue.

What is customary discrimination?

Customary discrimination, in relation to the sexes, is the voluntary and informal practice of favoring men over women in hiring. It is not encoded in law or enforced by regulation. It exists as a result of a common understanding that men must support families and cannot adequately do so if they compete with large numbers of women, a form of competition that lowers their wages and reduces their marketability. The relative stagnation of men’s wages in the last 50 years proves the point.

Why and when did customary discrimination end?

Customary discrimination came to an official end with the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which made discrimination against women in hiring unlawful, and its subsequent enforcement by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At the time the 1964 legislation was adopted, there was not widespread agitation for a change. The bill was the work of a relatively small minority. However, given the subsequent change in attitudes regarding sex roles, this radical experiment in social change was inevitable. It wasn’t dissatisfaction with home life so much as the novelty of the unknown and the romantic fantasies of the minority of feminists temperamentally unsuited to domesticity that convinced impressionable women to pour into the market for careers.

Businesses have profited from the end of discrimination as it opened up the pool of available labor and provided a check on wages.

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Turnabout, the website of James Kalb, author of, inter alia, “The Tyranny of Liberalism,” and “Against Inclusiveness.” Here is an excerpt, taken from “Sexual Morality, FAQ:”

  • Why should anyone care what consenting adults do in private?

Private conduct doesn’t stay private, especially when it involves something as basic to human life as sex. Among other things, private consensual sex gives rise to babies, family life, knife fights, betrayal, self-sacrificing devotion, and STDs. All these things are of concern to persons other than those immediately involved, so public standards regarding the conduct that leads to them can be a good thing if they help promote some and reduce others.

  • If there are “public standards” on sex won’t there be discrimination?

Certainly. People who act in ways others consider antisocial and wrong do get treated differently. Otherwise society could not exist, and as a practical matter moral education would be impossible. There’s nothing special about sex in that regard. People who think racism is bad don’t always treat racists the way they treat other people. Liars don’t get the same respect as honest men, and sometimes get called hard names, and in special circumstances even get tossed in jail. Of course it’s true that differential treatment can go too far. Theft is wrong, but the common-law penalty for stealing goods worth twelvepence (hanging) was too severe. Still, life must go on, and we must recognize and respond to wrong in ways that keep alive our sense of its wrongfulness even though sometimes responses have gone too far.

  • Who are other people to say what sexual conduct is right for me?

Who are other people to say what is polite, what honesty requires, what constitutes slander, harassment or betrayal of trust, or how much you should pay to support government operations? Views differ on all issues that have to do with human relations. Nonetheless, distinctions must be made and some distinctions must be made socially rather than individually. Sexuality touches us at the heart of what we are. It is intertwined with our most basic connections to others. It is the root of procreation, the family and the rearing of children, and thus of continued social existence and well-being. Standards that determine what sex is and what it is for are therefore fundamental rules for how we live together that can no more be viewed as a matter of individual choice than the standards of ordinary honesty or the rules of property. We need such standards to define our common moral world so we can agree where we are and what we have a right to expect from each other. Would it really make life better, for example, if husbands and wives had no social support whatever for expectations about their relationship and each other’s sexual conduct?

12 thoughts on “How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Eight: Finding the Teachers of Wisdom

  1. Pingback: How to Become an American Traditionalist, Part Eight: Finding the Teachers of Wisdom | Reaction Times

  2. On Auster’s immigration piece: One might take a very practical view of such things, and state that at this stage, when what we might call ‘white America’ is so perverse, degenerate, unholy, and in need of total overhaul, that the ‘browning’ of America is actually positive for the overall agenda.

    We have not yet seen what will happen when whites become a slight minority in their own countries. Sweden is of course close, in Europe likely to be the first to flip, but we cannot calculate exactly how this will change white perceptions on race, value, and their own identity. Yes, states like California and Arizona are fated to become annexations of Mexico, but if you look at national voting patterns for example, the Democratic Party is bleeding white voters like there is no tomorrow.

    Now, I abhor the failures of conservatism to conserve really anything, but this does represent a shift to the right somewhat as voting patterns change. We are getting to a stage where certain whites not in the academia lib-vortex will express very right wing views in private, in muttering. I’ve witnessed it myself. On the surface, they are of course eager to be modern and act modern and gain all the advantages of being respectable in a thoughtcrime society, but more and more have an inner resentment of liberalism. As more whites become conservative, more whites become reactionary, the entire white political paradigm shifts rightward.

    Racial tensions and animosity are obviously bad for a society, but if they threaten the dominant society of the modern age, we can assess this as having major potential benefits to reaction in the future. It was a ‘rainbow coalition’ that really propelled liberalism in the last century (particularly the latter half, as well as 2000-2010).

    United, they have stood and conquered.

    But divided…

    We shall see.

    • Auster addressed the browning of America in his seminal 103-page pamphlet/book The Path to National Suicide. There is no silver lining.

      For a long time, he hoped that the liberal Juggernaut would implode before it took down its host culture. In the last two or three years of his life, seeing liberalism go from strength to strength, seeing resistance to it marginalized and ignored, and never rolling back the tide, he changed his mind. He thought that liberalism would devour its host societies, including America 2.0, and leave them in ruins.

      What happens in that post-liberal world? If the lands of America were still 90% white, we might create America 3.0 similar to America 1.0, but without some of its flaws (what those might be are a separate discussion). Liberalism would be thoroughly discredited, and the people could work on creating a new, non-liberal country. However, since we have a multiethnic country now, we may well devolve into wars based on race: the Mestizos will want to unify the “stolen” lands with Mexico, while whites will want to preserve all the territory of the old USA intact. Blacks will be too disorganized to maintain a polity, but could rape, murder, and plunder with abandon, which would inspire a massive backlash against them. Asians might decide to carve out their own area; could they do this unopposed? Asians themselves are far from unified; while East Asians might cooperate with each other against whites, they would be unlikely to ally with Filipinos, for example (perhaps they would against the common white enemy, but the alliance would be fragile at best). There will likely be bloodshed on a massive scale, which could be exacerbated by invasion by a hostile foreign power (China? Russia? Mexico?).

      The survivors—if enough whites survive to create a white-majority country in the aftermath—will curse the liberals who precipitated the destruction of America for generations to come.

      There is no silver lining to the browning of America.

      • If there are fewer appalling racists like yourself implying that all black people rape, murder and plunder when there is literally nothing to support that being the case, then that lining is silver enough. A small minority of blacks behave appallingly, but Atlanta and Prince George County show that it is entirely possible for blacks to govern where they are a majority or plurality.

        Anyway this whole discussion is beside the point. America has been gone for decades, even as a proposition (which is all it has ever been), and the vaporous memory of that proposition is dissipating. I see it in some immigrant groups, but that may not mean they take it up. Or it may. They very well may. But “whites” don’t want to keep all of America going right now, not even conservative whites. They are as provincial as everyone else– they want their little enclave to stay preserved in amber through all the upheaval, but they don’t care about national or inter-ethnic/inter-cultural interests.

        If America revives as a proposition, it will be socially conservative firstly, and probably not majority-white, nor will it consist of the current 50 states and associated territories. But as much as it pains me to make a science fiction reference seriously, there is a good shot of a “Vicky” style identity coming to predominate culturally, similar thematically to the Victorian phyle in The Diamond Age. The Vickys were founded by a white-adopted Korean though, and that sort of mash-up is likely to carry the future America, if we get a future America. People influenced by or working closely with socially conservative, economically minarchist or subsidiarist whites, whites remaining a sizable plurality of 30-40%, but the culture itself being based on strongly held propositional values. Heinleinian future without the sexual libertinism, as it’s not compatible with such a race and ethnicity blind cultural milieu.

      • The Practical Conservative: Obviously I cannot speak for Lewis, but I think his comments about the black population of America reflect more on their current context and situation rather than race.

        The fact is, blacks largely make up the population of impoverished and uneducated (and I mean that in the true sense of the word, not in the sense of glorifying most useless high school and college diplomas). Vast swaths of this population, particularly in urban centers, are entirely dependent for their livelihoods on SNAP, EBT, etc.

        I don’t think he means to suggest poor Asians, whites, and definitely Latinos wont riot and run rampant if the welfare state collapses, but the dynamics in cities have been set up that if you take away these things, plus the security that the police force provides, there are going to be mass lootings of cities by urban black populations and associated crimes will explode in those areas.

        As a handy comparison, in Britain, it will more likely be whites rioting, raping, and looting, as the poorest people in Britain are mostly white, the same ones we saw during the 2011 riots there. Color is not really so much at issue here, but what are the dynamics for a population and how much do they rely on the government for survival.

        Will black farmers from Mississippi or black newscasters be rioting and raping? No.

        Will the people who are right now agitating in Ferguson Missouri be rioting and raping? Yes.

        Socioeconomic status is an important indicator of how people will act if the country falls apart.

      • Interesting reactions.

        Mr. Citadel understood what I meant; my apologies for failing to make myself clearer.

        I agree with the late Lawrence Auster about blacks: that while many blacks are good and decent people, there is a significant minority who are, in the absence of adequate societal guidance and pressure, prone to lawlessness that can become savage. We see this all around us, but the propagandists in the “news” media refuse to report it beyond the local news.

        As for my being an “appalling racist,” that is something you have yet to demonstrate. I call myself a race realist, meaning that I acknowledge that race exists, and that it has real effects on people and societies. While this makes me an “appalling racist” in the eyes of the race-denying whites and liberals of all sorts, people who have been indoctrinated to be “race blind,” it does not make me a racist as the term is traditionally understood.

        P.C., you might find the following post from View From the Right informative: Why the Truth about Black Dysfunction is So Important. The initial statement is concise—only 351 words—and is followed by an interesting discussion.

        For the record, I am horrified at the thought of the mayhem that will almost certainly ensue when the American government collapses, and outraged at the ideologues who are leading us there.

      • I’m on board that there is no silver lining. However, I don’t think the dystopian outcome you are painting is very likely. Mostly, this is because I don’t think our evil elite believes their own multiculti BS. All they have to do is make a few phone calls and we will no longer be at war with Eurasia, in fact we will have always been at war with Eastasia.

        Having watched this elite’s completely conscienceless yet amazingly effective alliance with Ukrainian Nazis over the last year, it’s even conceivable to me that the gradual growth of white nationalism in the US is a feature rather than a bug for them. Even if not, Ukraine serves as proof that they don’t believe their own BS. Cause good multiculti liberals don’t go into alliance with Nazis.

        I think the most likely outcome is either an exoterically white supremacist society (not white supremacist, exactly, but jewish-white-asian supremacist) or, pace Latin America, an esoterically white supremacist society. This won’t be a good thing, particularly, since it will be a white supremacist society with no organic traditions, institutions, or even people. Just a servile professional class terrified into conformity by a fear of the howling masses and, uhhh, some howling masses.

      • A small minority of blacks behave appallingly, but Atlanta and Prince George County show that it is entirely possible for blacks to govern where they are a majority or plurality.

        What’s the point of spewing this PC garbage? The differences in black and white behavior are gigantic and pervasive.

        It’s not a small minority of blacks who are dysfunctional. It’s more like most. Most black women who reproduce do it out of wedlock. A third of black men spend time in the custody of the criminal justice system. And this ignores all the painfully obvious dysfunction which does not rise to the level of criminality or bastardy. How many semi-literate white Princeton graduates are there, for example? How many of those semi-literate white Princeton graduates manage to make six figure incomes by combining their conspicuous lack of ability with a poorly concealed boiling rage at practically everyone around them? (Hint: none and none)

        As another example, how many “successful” blacks save money, at all? How many white congressmen wonder aloud about Guam tipping over if it gets too populated or ask where the astronauts planted the US flag on Mars? (None, none, none are pretty good answers) Can you have civilization if your leading citizens don’t save and are this startlingly retarded?

        As far as I know, there are no examples of functional black rule. Prince George’s County may have looked OK in the 1980s, but it is spiraling downwards now. Atlanta is ruled by white capitalists through mulatto front men. Get out google images and look at Shirley Franklin, Bill Campbell, Maynard Jackson, and Andrew Young—the first four black mayors of Atlanta. There are some high yella folks, right there! Although Kasim Reed, the current mayor, looks black, his dad sure doesn’t. Nobody says mulattoes can’t run a place sort of OK. On Hispaniola, the mulatto-run Dominican Republic is kind of functional while the black-run Haiti is a weeping pustule. The mulatto-run Barbados is also kind of functional. Black-run gives you Detroit, Johannesburg, or Congo.

        I think an anonymous, black middle-schooler summed it up best. When asked, in that infamous Christopher Jackson essay, to contemplate a world in which whites were not propping up blacks, he screamed “we screwed!”

      • ER, I hate your handle but I’ll let you post.

        I think you’re overreacting a bit. A lot of blacks are dysfunctional, but not “most.” It’s enough, and accurate, to say that many are.

        By the way, the problem isn’t just the minority of blacks who actually act criminally. It’s also the sizable percentage of blacks who, while not being criminal themselves, are sympathetic to black criminality, apparently out of racial solidarity egged on by leftist-encouraged hatred of whites. And it’s also the sizable percentage of whites (and other non-blacks) who share this sympathy.

      • I don’t think he means to suggest poor Asians, whites, and definitely Latinos wont riot and run rampant if the welfare state collapses . . . As a handy comparison, in Britain, it will more likely be whites rioting, raping, and looting, as the poorest people in Britain are mostly white, the same ones we saw during the 2011 riots there.

        I think you are a victim of propaganda. The London riots were overwhelmingly non-white. Remember that famous piece of video in which the BBC bimbo browbeat the poor storeowner because he wouldn’t say that he witnessed whites rioting?

  3. Regarding the discussion of immigration and Balkanization: Without detracting from the validity of the comments made here, I want to emphasize that the principles elucidated by Mr. Auster remain true for all times and all peoples. Regardless of America’s current condition and prognosis, the wise man ought to understand these principles as part of the eternal order of being.

  4. Some sane, well-read, stable, humble, personable, patient traditionalists may have a vocation to be mentors and teachers so that the young and the seeking may “commune with both a living teacher who may become an embodiment of wisdom and with the greater teacher who is the author of the text.”

    Such mentoring and teaching need not occur in classrooms, though it’s great if they do. But other venues are possible, such as community reading groups. Remember that many adults need teaching and mentoring that connect them with sound values and wholesome imagination. See Appendix B here:

    http://orientem.blogspot.com/2007/03/bright-lights-appendices.html

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