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.
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.
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.