Now Available: On War

Castalia House has done what we all hoped would happen eventually and compiled William S. Lind’s famous “On War” columns into one convenient book. First available in Kindle format, On War: The collected columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009 analyzes 4GW military theory through the rapidly-unfolding events in the early years of the GWOT. Featuring a foreword by the brilliant Israeli military theorist Martin van Creveld, On War is a fascinating book that is an absolute must-read for every military professional, wargamer, and amateur student of the art of war. favicon

Follow the link below to purchase On War from Amazon.com. At no charge to you, traditionalRIGHT will receive a small percentage.

Retroculture

When you get down to the brass tacks of the Counterrevolution, virtually all the political and social thought revolves around one question: “How do I combat modernity?” Our own William S. Lind has attempted to answer this question in a few of his works, including The Next Conservatism and the short story that eventually became Victoria, with something called Retroculture.

As Lind describes it, Retroculture is (or would be) a movement in which people pick a time in history prior to the 1960s (because that is when the major cultural upheaval began in the open) and build their lives around the norms of the day, complete with period clothes and technology. For instance, in Victoria, the character Bill Kraft drives a 1948 Buick Roadmaster and “was dressed in about the year 1945: well-cut brown double-breasted suit, wide tie, holding a brown fedora.” The story’s narrator later describes walking into Bill Kraft’s home like walking through a time lock. Everything from the appliances on the kitchen counter to the family’s manners were straight out of the late 1940s.

To me, the Retroculture idea has always seemed more than a little LARP-y. Will driving old cars, wearing fedoras, and speaking with archaic diction stoke the fires of a powerful new sociopolitical movement? Probably not, but it will get you laughed out of serious conversation.

Lind does not mean it to be quite as superficial as it is presented, however. It just takes more explaining to get to the core of the idea. The picture he paints of a happy, respectable family from the 1940s becomes a ray of light that starkly contrasts against the cold, degenerate reality of modernity. It’s meant to be a vision of what could be if we consciously changed our ways. A common refrain from Lind goes like this: “If you know you’ve gone down the wrong road, what do you do? You don’t keep driving. You turn back.” Retroculture uses the past as a guide and a benchmark. It calls for reshaping our lives to resemble, on a broad scale, the lives our ancestors led.

Retroculture addresses most of the important aspects of the modern world. Notably, technology and the ways in which it interferes with human lives and relationships is a major consideration for the movement. Microeconomics, a focus on local concerns over global abstractions, agrarianism, and even New Urbanism are a few more components of the remedy laid out to affect a return to normality. However, an examination of Retroculture’s motivations displays where Lind’s Boomer conservatism and our own Millennial Traditionalism diverge.

Lind’s vision of a Retroculture movement hits on all the visible flaws in modernity, but fails to acknowledge the rotting superstructure underneath. Two crucial aspects are missing. First is a clear definition of the people that are to make up this social movement. “Values” and a vague memory of how life used to be is simply not enough to be a binding social force. The second is the central role spiritual matters play in a healthy life. “Comfort”, “normal”, and “ordered” are all descriptors for the conservative’s good life. Traditionalists answer that those are not good enough. Traditionalism builds upon the thede. Actions are performed to glorify God and to build the civilization. The individual strives to transcend himself, becoming a shining example of greatness–of godliness–to others and putting duty to the tribe before his own corporeal needs and desires.

The best vision of a Traditionalist sociopolitical movement looks a lot like Archeofuturism. The layman, along with 80% of the rest of his civilizational cohorts,  lives in Medieval villages with agrarian and artisanal economies. Indeed, he lives a comfortable, normal, and ordered–yet still transcendant–life, which for him is much more than good enough. Certain roles in society require stepping out of the village life and into cities where properly evaluated technology plays important roles in advancing human lives.

Retroculture’s main benefit might be that it acts as an entry point into Traditionalism. Modern man simply needs to look to how his ancestors lived if he is ever to recover some semblance of a normal life, let alone a rewarding one. Retroculture has all the right prescriptions for the societal dieases it addresses. It only needs a shot of Traditionalism. favicon

On Loyalty and Identity

Recently I received an email from a friend commenting on ethno-nationalism. She contends that while group belonging by birth is a factor in establishing societal cohesion, loyalty is in reality much more important to that end. I generally agree with her assertion, but with some qualifiers.

Group or institutional loyalty certainly goes a long way, but it is only a part of the whole equation. The other side of that coin is acceptance by the rest of the group, which in turn nurtures loyalty. Loyalty and acceptance together form an identity, a term that the Right needs to learn to embrace.

The word “identity” works well because it does things that other terms such as “race,” “ethnicity,” or “nationality” cannot, at least not as elegantly, and it paints a picture of the realities of human tribalism. This is because identity is not like loyalty to a sports team. Fans can pick the team they like, wear the jersey, and cheer for the men on the field who wear those same clothes, all while requiring no measure of personal sacrifice. But arbitrarily declaring citizenship, waving the flag, and singing the state anthem simply does not cut it. Tribal identity requires more than superficial markers of loyalty.

Birth into the group and blood heritage are concrete foundations—reasons for loyalty. Coincidentally, they are also the primary bases for group acceptance. One’s blood ties to his ancestors supports admission to the tribe and provides an impetus for learning the myths and traditions of the folk. Loyalty to the tribe develops organically, because it is “ours.” Our people, our culture, our God, our king, our homeland, our ancestors are all worthy of great sacrifice.

“Identity” is also useful, particularly these days, because it is not hung up on purity. It gets us to focus on race to the extent that it matters. Identity acknowledges that being of the blood is integral to tribal identity, but also that it is unproductive at best to quibble over percentages of foreign admixture. It simply is not important. Belonging to the tribe is akin to being part of the family, rather than whether one falls into a category that must be defined by statistics and figures. The important questions must be, “Are you tied to us by blood or similar bond?” and “Are you willing to sacrifice everything for our culture and our people?”

Julius Evola, one of tR’s greatest inspirations, wrote extensively about the relationship (and even preeminence) of “race of the spirit” to “race of the body.” In Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race he writes,

Race is a profound force manifesting itself in the realm of the body as in the realm of the spirit. In its full meaning the purity of race occurs when these two manifestations coincide; in other words, when the race of the body matches the race of the spirit and when it is capable of serving the most adequate organ of expression.

And later,

There are actually too many cases of people who are somatically of the same race, of the same tribe, indeed who are fathers and sons of the same blood in the strict sense of the word and, yet who cannot “understand” each other. A demarcation line separates their souls; their way of feeling and judging is different and their common race of the body cannot do much about it, nor their common blood.  The impossibility of mutual understanding lies therefore on the level of supra-biology. Mutual understanding and hence real togetherness, as well as deeper unity, are only possible where the common “race of the soul” and the “spirit” coexist.

Merely being tied by blood, although significant, is not enough to form an identity. Loyalty to the group, its culture, and its institutions are all prerequisites for acceptance and belonging.

Ignoring loyalty and identity is having tremendous ramifications for governments today. Decades of rule by disloyal ideologues is withering away at the legitimacy of the post-Westphalian state. The modern nation-state is no longer an instrument for the defense and betterment of a people (if it ever really was), and people are beginning to realize this. They are recognizing that their leaders are not part of the tribe.

Identity may be the state’s only hope of survival and, yet, coincidentally, is the only political movement with a possibility of shaping what might come after it. It is also the only vehicle rightists can use to revive and defend Western Tradition. tr favicon

Resource:

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Sunic-Evola.html

The View From Olympus 33: Islam’s True Face

Boko Haram’s abduction of some 250 Nigerian schoolgirls has again, with good reason, focused attention on the real nature of Islam. Even al Qaeda is reportedly trying to distance itself from Boko Haram. But this is dishonest. Boko Haram represents Islam’s true face.

To be sure, much of the response in Nigeria to the abduction is also an act. Sources inform me that Boko Haram was created by the Nigerian government, which retains ties to it. Why would a state create a Fourth Generation entity? Beyond stupidity and hubris, the apparent reason was so that Boko Haram could serve as a bogeyman, used by the Nigerian government to distract attention from its own crimes. Such is politics in black Africa’s pseudo-states, where the state is merely one criminal gang among many. No wonder the governor of Borno state, where Boko Haram is based, was quoted in the May 12 New York Times as saying, “Honestly, I am so desperate, if the Americans were to colonize, I say so be it.” The best times most of black Africa ever knew or ever will know was when they were European colonies.

Islam promises relief from the endless corruption of African states, but what it actually offers is the puritan tyranny Boko Haram represents. This is inherent in Islam. The problem is that the Koran is to be read literally. Biblical literalism in Christianity is both new and very much a minority view. While the statements in the creeds are to be believed literally, the church as a whole has always understood that the New Testament is heavily metaphorical. That is not the case in Islam. Any Islamic who does not take the Koran literally is a lax Islamic (peace be upon them). Taking the Koran literally, however, yields exactly the sort of puritanical brutality we saw in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, in the areas ruled by al Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria and in Boko Haram. If you read the Koran (as I have), you will see it is a long list of verbots, coupled with endlessly repetitive denunciations of unbelievers, some of which command violence against them. Take that literally and voilà!, you have Boko Haram.

Puritanism springing from Koranic literalism is in fact the Achilles’ heel of Islamic 4GW organizations. Violent puritanism alienates the population and also, as government, simply doesn’t work. I have previously referenced a superb monograph on this, one that deserves much more attention from the American national security establishment than it has received. The reference is to Terror’s Mask: Insurgency Within Islam by Michael Vlahos. Vlahos agues that Islamic puritanism creates an endless cycle. Puritan movements arise, take power from the corrupt (by Koranic norms) elite, become “corrupt” themselves because pure Islam cannot govern, and thus gives rise to new puritan movements. This cycle, coupled with a reinvigorated Sunni-Shiite civil war, explains a great deal of what is happening today in the Islamic world.

Because Islam commands violent, literalist puritanism, it is not compatible with other religions, cultures, or secular philosophies. It is, and must be, at war with them. Boko Haram is a warning to any society that tolerates Islam. What it has brought to Nigeria today it will bring to your soil tomorrow. In places such as the suburbs of Paris, tomorrow is not very far away.

PS: In my previous column I discussed some ways in which the Russian armed forces have adopted techniques from 4GW entities. An excellent paper published by the National Defense Academy of Latvia’s Center for Security and Strategic Research, Russia’s New Generation Warfare in Ukraine: Implications for Latvian Defense Policy by Janis Berzins offers a much fuller treatment of this subject. I recommend it strongly, despite the author’s error in attempting to identify technology-driven 5th, 6th, and 7th generations. One would expect people from former Soviet lands to know their Hegel well enough to realize dialectically qualitative changes, which is what “generation” means in this context, are rare.

Ethno-Nationalism Bites Back

One wonderful thing about the modern Right as a group is that we are willing to engage in debate and exchange ideas rather than resort to ad hominem attacks or emotional responses toward those who do not toe the party line as is characteristic of the Left. Ed Kozak’s critique of ethno-nationalism is welcome. Deeper analysis of the issue brings the Right closer to the truth of the matter and helps to keep fanaticism at bay. It also allows us an opportunity to clarify our position in regard to the role ethnic identity plays in building a society.

I will begin by addressing a couple of Mr. Kozak’s points and then lay out traditionalRIGHT’s position regarding ethno-nationalism.

Revolutionaries vs. Reactionaries, Traditional vs. Progressive

My first nit to pick is Kozak’s charge that ethno-nationalism is “wholly revolutionary.” The article, “The Flag of the World,” offered a commentary on the different attitudes and approaches taken by supporters of ethno-nationalism, not whether or not the issue itself is reactionary or revolutionary. Ethno-nationalism may very well be revolutionary—in fact, everything that dissents from the current order and modernity is—but that was not the point.

Kozak suggests that “ethno-nationalism is neither traditional nor Right; it is certainly not a traditionalist conservative belief.” It is true, ethno-nationalism is not conservative, but Traditional (capital T), it absolutely is. Conservatives derive their identities from their loyalty to abstractions: states, kingdoms, institutions. Traditionalists find their identities in concrete truths: blood, tribe, heritage.

Here is a longer quote from the critique:

“Although nationalism can also have a unifying effect, it is still revolutionary, artificial, and destructive. Take for example Germany and Italy, another two 19th century inventions for which ancient kingdoms, principalities, and dynasties were swept away; hardly a conservative endeavor.”

Again, I agree, ethno-nationalism is not conservative. To be conservative would be to cling to evil, decrepit institutions that have long since passed their expiration dates, which is why American conservatives continually try to “restore the Constitution.” traditionalRIGHT is not conservative, but Traditional. Conservatism died 200 years ago.

Definitions

Ethno-nationalism, at its simplest, is something virtually anyone can get behind. The ethno-state, if the state as an institution is to continue to exist at all in the future, is TR’s default position of support concerning geopolitics. I like John Derbyshire’s explanation:

“If a nation is to hold together, the great majority of its people need to be bonded by ethnic kinship—shared history, a shared outlook. One’s outlook arises from one’s brain, which is a product of evolution—including, we now know, historically recent evolution.

Because ethnies overlap on most traits, a particular Turk may become a good German … However, since we can’t tell in advance whether he will or not, a wise nation severely restricts settlement from foreign ethnies and vigorously deports those who prove incompatible.

A big ethnic minority with a different outlook spells national discord.”

Simple enough. The ethno-state minimizes conflict because its raison d’être is to act in the benefit of a specific group. The government is rendered less corruptible by special interests and competing groups that game the system for themselves at the expense of others. Ethno-nationalism offers a solid base upon which a civilization may be built and is not an end in itself.

There is nothing ideological about this. There is no magical invocation of “rights.” Ethno-nationalism only recognizes that different peoples have different interests and are better served by determining their own destinies.

Imperium Europa

TR’s Perspective and the Future

Culture, loyalty, and patriotism, or “God, king, and country”—the primary conservative values—are undeniably important and can certainly be powerful unifying forces. But they are secondary values. The plain truth is that blood and soil create culture. The institutions that we (Traditionalists and conservatives alike) value so greatly came from within a people.

Indeed, these are interesting times. Defenders of Tradition have never really had to consider ethnicity’s effects on society at large. Surely not as intensely as they do now. Political globalism, multi-national corporations, mass communications, and high-speed travel have brought historically disparate peoples and cultures together like never before. Third-world peoples are settling in first-world lands. And who can blame them? The West is a wonderful realm in which to live.

The question for conservatives, though, is this: how can you maintain a first-world country if it is populated by third-world people? We can “assimilate” foreigners, but each passing generation of the new integrated nation will be a cheaper and thinner imitation of the true West.

traditionalRIGHT’s objective is to preserve Western civilization. The prerequisite for that goal is to preserve Western people. As immigration of the third-world into Western nations continues to increase and the state progressively weakens, it may become necessary to form non-state entities to defend and provide for the European diaspora. Only a coherent Western consciousness will facilitate such an effort. Supporting ethno-nationalism as a general principal for all peoples is a step in that direction.

What Difference Does It Make?

“What difference at this point does it make?” When the Sea Hag brayed that objection last year before a Congressional hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attack, I knew immediately the Republicans would latch onto that quote and attempt to squeeze every possible ounce of political theater they could out of it, despite having to take it out of context to do so.

But let’s go there. Let’s pretend Hill-dog was really asking, as Conservatism, Inc. wants to suggest, “What difference…does it make [if four Americans were killed in Benghazi]?” The sad, disappointing reality is that their deaths were in vain. In fact, the events that transpired that night (there were multiple attacks, a botched evacuation, and some suspicious CIA involvement) will likely make no difference whatsoever in American foreign policy or in the 2016 presidential election. Absolutely no one involved will be held accountable or brought to justice.

Without a doubt, the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods make a great deal of difference to their friends and family members. Of course it is grossly dishonorable that the military was given an order to stand down and not attempt to intervene or rescue the U.S. personnel involved. It is downright insulting that the federal government peddled the lie that the attack was simply a protest gone bad (over a poorly made YouTube video that no one had ever seen)—nothing to see here, citizen, move along. But this is the United States of America. It is by its nature a dishonorable, deceitful, corrupt, organization that operates solely to benefit and increase the power of the villainous oligarchs at the top.

The four deaths in Benghazi, tragic though they are, also need to be put into perspective. Those men are but four more tallies on the scoreboard of the fraudulent Global War on Terror. The United States has sent thousands of forgotten servicemen, most of whom are barely old enough to be called adults, to die on unnamed wastelands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond to accomplish absolutely nothing. No outrage. No demands for justice. No calls to rethink strategy. Just business as usual. And characteristic of the GOP, in their eagerness to pin a cover-up scandal on the Obama administration, Republicans have blinded themselves to the bigger foreign policy failures at play.

A bit of investigation reveals, no thanks to the administration’s allies in the media, that the Benghazi attack, carried out by Islamic fighters, was likely the result of a weapons deal gone bad, the details of which have yet to be publicly released. As it turns out, the reason Ambassador Stevens’ consulate and the CIA annex were assaulted that night was because American agents were funneling arms, including heavy weaponry such as heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, to rebels in Syria. And who are the primary fighters in the Syrian rebellion? Al Qaeda. Yes, that al Qaeda. The same al Qaeda that killed 3,000 civilians on 9/11 and who is actively shooting and bombing American troops in Afghanistan. The United States government has betrayed not only the four Benghazi victims, but every 9/11 victim and the untold thousands of U.S. troops whose efforts and sacrifices they undermine every single day. This is a scandal goldmine, but the best the Republicans can muster is a bumbling complaint about being lied to about a protest.

The whole event is rather similar to the Operation Fast and Furious debacle, in which the ATF was running guns to Mexican drug cartels and one of the weapons turned up when a Border Patrol agent was killed in a gunfight. The aftermath? Zero U.S. officials were held responsible for supplying arms to drug lords. Brian Terry is dead. Eric Holder is still Attorney General. Barack Obama claimed ignorance. Case closed. America’s short attention span moved on.

The same results will happen with Benghazi. There will probably be a few more hearings, but nothing will happen, especially under this Justice Department. Vengeance looks mighty bad politically, so a future Republican Justice Department will not touch the issue either. Expect the 45th president to walk away scot-free.

The lessons here are simple. There is no honor in the United States government. It is an endlessly corrupt institution with no concern for the men and women they send off to do their fighting, to say nothing of the average citizen. No matter how much mental energy you spend worrying, physical effort you spend campaigning, or hard earned money you pour into the Tea Party dream candidate’s coffers, precisely nothing will change. Prepare for many more Benghazis, Fast and Furiouses, NSA wire tappings, Solyndras, IRS thugs, and executive orders. There is simply nothing left here for you.

Before you spend another minute trying to take your country back ask yourself honestly, “What difference does it make?”

25% Off “The Next Conservatism” from St. Augustine’s Press

St. Augustine’s Press is offering a 25% discount for traditionalRIGHT readers off the purchase of The Next Conservatism, which was co-authored by the late Paul M. Weyrich and our own William S. Lind.

While not technically related titles, The Next Conservatism can in some ways be considered a supplement to Victoria. It provides an in-depth look at a sane version of politics and everyday life, accompanying Victoria‘s broader vision of the future.

To purchase a copy go to St. Augustine’s Press and use the coupon code “NEXTCONSERVE”.

Why Focus On Race?

The topic of race is en vogue in New Right and neoreactionary circles. It may even seem as though it is central to these circles, but more likely, thanks to the Internet, writers are making up for decades of lost time, having been smeared and shamed since the 1960s whenever the subject was broached. It is important, however, to understand why race needs to be examined and why it is important to the Right.

So why focus so much attention on race? The first and easiest answer is “Because the Left brought it up.” Cultural Marxism/political correctness/totalitarian humanism is the state religion in the West and its ultimate sin is “racism,” or anything perceived to be as such. What once began as perhaps an honest effort to move toward equal treatment under the law for minorities and whites alike in America morphed rapidly into an iron-fisted equaling of condition and status and spread to include every underclass, victim, and oppressed-loser-niche group one can think of (For a good laugh, the reader should Google “cis-privilege” and “fat shaming”). Genuine racism, of course, is to believe that individuals cannot deviate from their corresponding group norms or to harbor baseless hatred for a particular group. Cultural Marxism transformed race from something obvious into something no one is supposed to notice. Committing an act of modern racism, then, is to so much as hint that people from around the world may not be interchangeable. Should some unfortunate soul transgress against this commandment, he will be compelled to publicly confess his sin, then to repent, and finally to live out his remaining days in exile, stripped of his livelihood and social status. To focus on race is to dissent from the Church of Cultural Marxism’s Black Mass. Thwarting its goal—the destruction of Western culture and her people—is a central aim of this journal.

Part of the Left’s strategy has been to deny the existence of race (it’s really just a social construct) or to say that it simply does not matter. Well, of course it’s real and of course it matters. It is the first and most distinct aspect of a man’s identity. It is an indispensable part of who he is. Simple mail-order genetics tests can determine which part of the world a person comes from with incredible accuracy. Race and ethnicity are considered every day in the medical field; be it diseases specific to individual tribes, somatic responses to drugs, or organ transplants and blood transfusions. Athletic ability, behavior, and IQ are all determined in large part by race. None of these facts would be shocking in an intellectually honest society. Crushing any discussion of human biodiversity has been a net detriment to all of mankind, especially as it relates to the sciences. Maybe more importantly, it forbids people from saying what they mean and discovering what nature intended for them to become.

Folks calling themselves conservatives in mainstream American politics presumably want to conserve something. What that something actually is remains a mystery as it certainly is not the culture or ethnic stock of the country. Sure, they generally oppose “immigration reform,” but only on the grounds that it will cost tax payers more money to support an increase in welfare recipients. They are still careful to acknowledge that America is “a nation of immigrants” (how does no one see what a gigantic contradiction that is?) and that “diversity is strength.” This is because what passes for the Right in the United States has been fully enveloped by cultural Marxism. It is what today’s Left was 20 years ago. It is purely controlled opposition. Republican politicians are already championing gay “rights.”

A healthy society recognizes that race, culture, and ethnicity are worth preserving—surely a party professing to be “conservative” does at least. It should not matter one whit how much 30 million Mexican immigrants could theoretically contribute to the American economy or if they have a sob story about seeking opportunity. They cannot be Americans because it would irreversibly alter the culture and genetic stock of the country. Political change cannot be realistically expected until Westerners regain an understanding of what makes them who they are. Race plus culture begets an ethnic identity.

It’s necessary to recognize, too, that racial or ethnic purity should not necessarily be a goal. Looking to history, there is not a single instance of a civilization so isolated as to prevent mixture from neighboring populations. It is desirable, however, to protect the general identity of the various ethnic groups. It is a natural human impulse to have a preferential love for one’s own family and tribe. This phenomenon exists in nature as well. Population ecologists have extensively documented altruistic behaviors among social animals regarding members of their own colony or tribal group, yet the behavior usually does not extend to other members of their species. This ensures that close genetic relatives will survive to reproduce and pass down traits unique to a particular group. It is nature’s fiercest built-in dive.

This author visited Charleston, South Carolina over the summer. It is a beautiful and historic city. Because of this, it has attracted a substantial number of transplants from across the country and locals are careful to discern between the natives and outsiders. Their rule is that no one can be considered a native Charlestonian unless their family has lived in the city for four generations. Imagine now taking this practice to the national level, reserving full citizenship privileges for natives of at least four generations of ancestry. This would fully defend the culture and ethnic identity of the group and allow for incidental immigration and interaction with other populations.

The position being articulated here is known as ethnonationalism. It begins with the recognition of and appreciation for all the diverse peoples of the world and acknowledging that those differences are precious. It is the belief that they would be best served if they had a homeland and state of their own in order to control their destiny and ensure their preservation. Ethnonationalism is the expression of love of one’s own family, tribe, and community. Race is, of course, a component of how an ethnic identity is defined and its discussion need to be facilitated.

A new paradigm that traditionalRIGHT spies on the near horizon is that the politics of identity are the future. This means that individuals are going to begin organizing and acting politically (or otherwise) according to how they define their tribe. Identity will be formed on the basis of race or ethnicity for most people as this directly ties to family and community, but it can also be based on ideology, religion, causes, etc. European peoples, and American whites in particular, have not been permitted to organize around their ethnic identities for the better part of a century. traditionalRIGHT’s goal when focusing on race is to begin to prepare Westerners to thrive in a changing world. If the West and her people are to continue to exist, racial discussion can no longer remain off the table.