I. Titus Quinctius, Three Types of Societies
Elegant, pithy, and insightful. TQ frames his theory as an intervention in the Right’s ongoing race-versus-culture debate. He advances the ethnonationalist thesis that civilization is shaped by “a mutually reinforcing feedback loop existing among language, culture, and genetic lineage which serves as recursive reinforcement for all three of these things” against the rival tenets of racial nationalism and civic nationalism. TQ combines a diachronic account of the growth, dispersal and differentiation of a population with a synchronic account of the relationship between subpopulations occupying different socio-ecological niches within the population’s overall territory.
- As a population grows, distance creates linguistic pockets, which allows distinctive cultural pockets to develop, which sharpens boundaries and allows genetic distance between subpopulations to grow.
- At any given point in time, the territory of a population includes a core which is not easily subject to interference from external enemies, marches which are on the borders of the territory the population controls exclusively, and pioneer regions which it does not in fact control at all.
Thus situational variety breeds and reinforces ethnic variety across the core groups, marcher groups, and pioneer groups which collectively constitute a racial family. This variety leaves each type of group best-suited for different social arrangements and in particular, TQ hypothesizes, for different kinds of rule (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, respectively). Therein lies the rub: for we reactionaries all want to purge the rot and filth of modern society, but
for many this manifests itself in a desire to see absolute monarchy “restored” everywhere – even in places which have no tradition of absolutism.
Oops. —— If I said more now this wouldn’t exactly be a “lightning round”, now would it? So I won’t say more now, but I can’t promise I won’t say more tomorrow.
II. Kantbot, Bourgeois-Yet-Proletarian
Wonderful news: Kantbot is posting essays on Medium again. Today his theme is the educated classes…. such as they are:
The lecture hall swells with unsculpted minds, a slurry of clay and subsidized tuition poured out the back of society like a cement mixer through the windows.
The end result of progressive ideology’s hateful critique of all existing social order is that anyone who might otherwise have become a writer, a scholar, or a teacher “conceives of himself primarily as a worker in the factory of mystification”; the progressive needs to believe that social inertia is the result of an evil scheme to fool the little people. The hope this poisonous self-conception holds out to the bourgeois intellectual is that as the poison sinks in, “as they become conscious of their destiny,” the educated bourgeoisie can claim its autonomy by choosing to teach the little people to despise their own culture.
Alas! The blade cuts both ways. European civilization is the medium in which a Western intellectual lives, moves, breathes; by embracing a pseudo-revolutionary role, he alienates himself from what should have been his life’s work. The ‘self-liberation’ the intelligentsia sought is little more than proletarianization. The only thing left to these damned souls is
…easy bourgeois-yet-proletariat lifestyles of ritualized and empty pop-culture media consumption
Their puerile cynicism about the life of the mind was what damned them, and their lazy, superficial conventionality, for their only hope of avoiding this limbo lay
…not in ideology, but in philosophy, not in total surrender to Sentiment, but in the individual act of will required to reach inside yourself and rediscover your own human essence in the act of willful limitation of your own ego and the ultimate recognition of the independence of the world, of truth, from the constructive effects of Ideology.
(Not a bad definition of philosophy, actually.)
III. Jef Costello, Trump Will Complete the System of German Idealism!
Speaking of the willful limitation of one’s own ego — just this week I was browsing Counter-Currents, and came across this summary of the historical development of German idealism. It’s quite good, given how short it is. (I am often taken aback by how much talent we have to draw on, on the Right.) If you are unfamiliar with the philosophical debates that took modern philosophy from Kant to Hegel, I doubt you’ll ever find an easier way to get up to speed.
[As Kant] put it, we only know appearances; we never know how the world is apart from how it appears to us.
…An implication of Kant’s position was that the world as we perceive it is partially a construction of the human mind… But suppose it could be argued that the world is entirely a construction of the mind? This was Fichte’s move… Not only do I know this world as myself, there is nothing beyond this world of mine.
…So why does this world of my creation seem so often to resist my desires? Why am I not able to instantly bend it to my will? Is it the Russians? No! The Transcendental/Absolute Me has projected this world before Little-Old-Me as a field on which my will shall strive!
…Fichte[, Schelling objects,] was really a closet Kantian and couldn’t see it: since we don’t directly know the Transcendental/Absolute Me that is supposed to be generating this world, Fichte just reintroduces a Kantian “unknowable reality.”
…All of nature, Schelling argued, is intelligible if humanity is understood as its telos or goal. Our quest to understand nature is thus a search for self-knowledge… whether we go from subject to object or from object to subject, we are aiming at an “indifference point” where subject and object meet and are left behind. Schelling called this “the Absolute.”
But isn’t… the Absolute… an unknowable reality too? Ah well, the course of true idealism never did run smooth. Read the whole thing for Costello’s account of Hegel’s final solution to the Substance Question. And then, we get this:
[S]tanding in the midst of a civilization ruined by liberalism, we recognize that we must consciously accept and affirm our determination by nature and by history… Having seen the consequences of denying reality, we will affirm and defend reality with a wisdom, realism, and ferocity our ancestors were incapable of.
Enter Donald Trump.
There’s more at the link!
(One quibble — I’m sorry, I can’t help myself — Hegel never described history as having ended, as Costello suggests at certain points in the article. Quite the opposite. He did speculate that art history had ended, which somehow evolved into the popular misconception about “the end of history”.)
IV. Read Old Blogs
I always feel a little silly enticing people to read, like, a blogpost summarizing the work of the German idealists. Why not just crack open Schelling and learn the true meaning of indifference?
But at least Costello’s post was from two months ago. If I’m going to praise blogposts, they should at least be old blogposts, right? With that in mind: