The Way Forward

For those of us on the Right who long despaired for the future of our country, Donald Trump offered an unlikely ray of hope. He defied cultural Marxism, a.k.a. “political correctness”. He promised to end the flooding of our country with foreigners and the export of its middle-income jobs. He rejected Wilsonianism and its endless wars for endless peace. In short, he promised to give us our country back.

That hope is now gone. The Establishment has launched a double envelopment of President Trump that shows every sign of succeeding. On the one hand, it has taken over his administration from the inside, giving us the usual policies of the Republican Establishment. On the other hand, it is drowning the president in a flood of mostly phony charges intended to drive him from office. Either way, it wins, and real conservatives are left with no voice and no hope in the political system. The most important lesson of the Trump presidency may be that reform through the system is impossible.

Where do we go from here? On issues such as foreign policy, trade policy, and immigration, we may be able to do little beyond wait for the disasters inherent in Establishment policy to unfold, then move in to pick up the pieces. Whether the state can survive such a monumental failure is an open question.

But on the most important issue, culture, there is a way forward. That way is Retroculture.

Retroculture is a call to revive old ways of thinking and living, with an emphasis on the latter. The basic lesson of America’s history since the 1960s is that the old ways worked and the new ways don’t. It does not require a great intellectual leap from that fact to wanting to live once again in the old ways, many of which had their origins in the Victorian period.

For millennia, when a society found itself decaying and declining, it turned back and attempted to revive a past when life was better. The Renaissance and the Reformation are both examples. The result was not an exact recreation of the past, but by drawing on the past these attempts have at least sometimes brought about a new synthesis that was an improvement.

At present, Retroculture is only a word and an idea. If we are to save and restore our country, it needs to become a movement. It will not be a political movement, aimed at gaining power in Washington and changing laws. That way has failed. Rather, a Retroculture movement will be individuals, families, and perhaps in time whole communities changing how they live. That is far more powerful than politics.

There is an obvious parallel between Retroculture and Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option”. The difference is that Retroculture is secular. Because religious faith and worship were of central importance in the lives of our ancestors–just look at the churches they built–Retroculture will tend to lead people toward religion. But they can join a Retroculture movement on purely secular grounds, i.e., wanting to create a better life for themselves and their families by doing what works.

A Retroculture movement is a central theme in Thomas Hobbes’ novel Victoria (which, as his agent, I recommend) and also in the last book Paul Weyrich and I wrote together, The Next Conservatism. More than that, it is reflected in the lives of several important groups of people. One is the Amish, who live rural lives similar to those of 100 years ago, before Henry Ford’s Model T overran the countryside. Another group that embraces part of Retroculture is the home schoolers, many of whom home school to avoid the dreadful “education theory” that has replaced learning skills and facts with psychological conditioning and babble such as “self-esteem”. A college graduate of today knows less than a high school grad of 1950.

There is no single time period that defines Retroculture. Any time up through the 1950s, America’s last normal decade, will do. Our country was wrecked by the cultural revolution of the 1960s, and any model for present life drawn from before that catastrophe will be an improvement. Emmett Tyrrell once defined utopia as the 18th century with modern medicine and air conditioning.

Toward the goal of creating a Retroculture movement, this website is establishing a Retroculture bulletin board. Anyone who has ideas about Retroculture they want to share, or wants to connect with others choosing a Retroculture life, is welcome to post on it.

Retroculture’s home truth is simple: what worked before can work again. Ideologies promise perfect future societies based on this or that philosophy; invariably, they fail. Retroculture, in contrast, is based in reality, in the concrete, specific ways of living of our own forefathers. They were real, the ways in which they lived were real, and they worked. They built the greatest country on Earth. It wasn’t perfect; no human endeavor can be. But their America worked a whole lot better than the country we now know by that name. It’s time we brought that America back.

17 thoughts on “The Way Forward”

  1. Bill, this doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong. There’s every reason to try to live our lives by precepts of another time…a better time. There’s everything right with looking backward at a culture that worked and trying to emulate it.

    Having said that, it’s doomed to failure.The left, thanks to Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions”, has complete control over education. Because of jewish racist, discriminatory practices, cultural-marxists have a complete monopoly in infotainment. As we have seen in the acts of the so-called “intelligence agencies”, the IRS and other federal departments and even the White House staff, the left completely controls our government and have no qualms about using that power illegally and even in a treasonous fashion. We know these people have no morals or restraints outside their evil ideology.

    A, for all intents and purposes, cultural-marxist-led government will not tolerate your “retro culture” and will punish it for hearkening back “to a time of Jim Crow racism and the subjugation of women” blah, blah, blah, etc. ad nauseam. They simply will not allow it. Those practicing it will be like Christian bakers and will be forced to bake the cake in the end.

    There is widespread feeling that Trump was the last hope. After this, the millions of illegals will be amnestied and vote Democrat. Millions of “refugees” and other muslims will be brought here to vote Democrat. This will make a permanent Democrat majority. Then, it’s all over.

    Bill,you hosted an NET show named Next Revolution in which you ended every show by toasting “to real reform or revolution”. Real reform is no longer possible…or will soon be impossible. Is this the time to prepare for revolution?

  2. I’ve pushed Bill on this recently too. He gets in his own way with his fuddy-duddy Kirkianism. Real solutions are off limits because it might upset the apple cart.

  3. So you are basically advocating for the Hippies? Or maybe you could be a bit more specific about how the old ways ‘worked’. Christianity died when it could not restrain the Christian nations of Europe from slaughtering each other in the millions. People stop praying to their gods when the gods stop answering, and they cast about until a newer better god comes along. Y’all never paid much attention to what Jesus had to say anyway.

  4. 1) Illegals come here because the Job Creators hire them.
    2) A Lefty never put anyone in jail for not doing drugs, not listening to obscene music, or waving a traitor flag (y’all know what I mean). Sounds like you have an issue with personal responsibility as it pertains to running your own life.
    3) and I know you dearly love the trigger word “cultural marxist”, but is this like pornography, something that you know when you see it? Marx was an economist, not a sociologist.

  5. The family is the basic building block of society. Destroy the family destroy society. The family is under siege by the cultural marxists. Weak to nonexistent families favor the cultural marxists. Cultural marxists don’t practice sexual reproduction they depend on recruitment. Strong families repel them. We can create strong families by choice. We can choose our family culture. We can be proactive. It requires sacrifice of time, money, social status, but it is incredibly rewarding to raise a successful rising generation. Retroculture is a box of tools we can use.

  6. “Emmett Tyrrell once defined utopia as the 18th century with modern medicine and air conditioning.”

    You can keep germ theory, basic antiseptic practices and some basic antibiotics. Sulfa should be doable, penicillin without industrial infrastructure is a lot harder to make than most people realize. A particularly brilliant village tinker might even be able to cobble together an X-ray machine, though in a few generations your ancestors will be debating whether or not such a thing ever really existed.

    As for air conditioning, have you ever been to Florida, Georgia, or Alabama in high summer? You can watch all the lights go dim at 10:00 every morning as every air conditioner in Dixie kicks on simultaneously. I doubt Plant Hammond or the TVA, to say nothing of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, could be maintained by a population that mostly shows up to work in horse-drawn carriages. You could maybe have limited refrigeration powered by boilers, windmills, waterwheels and the like, though Ted Kaczynsky doubted even that.

    (I’ll miss that a lot less than I’ll miss Novocain. Air conditioning has made my people fat and weak, and it’s also the primary tool of our conquest and paving-over by the hordes of damnyankee scum who would otherwise find our homeland about as livable as the Wehrmacht found Russia. Make the Southland Hot Again and maybe all the snowbirds will bugger on off back to their frozen wastelands where they belong.)

    The anarcho-primitivists are several decades ahead of us on this front (or several millenia behind, depending on your perspective). For some reason, they weren’t given a very flattering portrayal in Victoria. Jeson and Zerzen could have seen Paleopitus coming a mile away which is why they and most other primitivists categorically reject leftism.

    Yes, I know you needed stock antagonists to show off your 4GW strategies against, but should something have been said about how NAAPALT? Or how they might even have useful techniques for those who weren’t quite as, um, driven in their desire to relive the past?

  7. “The Conservative as Eighteenth Century Freak. He can’t stand the twentieth century. He doesn’t think much of the nineteenth century either. But the eighteenth had certain charms (those country-houses were delightful), and people knew their places. A few thousand pounds a year, his wool spun for him by an old family retainer and he would spend the rest of his days reading Edmund Burke in a Latin translation (this type loves his Latin). He hates cities, all mechanical objects and any group of over ten people. A good education means Latin and Greek, a smattering of the Bible, perhaps a dash or two of the Book of Common Prayer and discipline. He likes people to tip their hats and mind their manners. He loves little things and hates big things. When you ask him to name his favorite modern novel, he’ll say Sense and Sensibility. And every now and then he wonders aloud why so many young Americans think conservatives are irrelevant.”

  8. “All I know is that I am not a Marxist”
    -Karl Marx, attributed

    Worth noting, though, that if rightists don’t understand Marxism than neither do leftists. Your average SJW would have no problem with us going back to the days of dark satanic mills and owing your soul to the company store, so long as a quota system is in place to make sure that an acceptable number of faggots and niggers are holding the whips this time.

    Really, there’s no reason why socialism and traditionalism should be seen as mutually exclusive, especially if you’re talking socialism of the “national” variety. Business Conservatives never really gave a shit about Throne and Altar/Blood and Soil/God and Country. They really don’t mind big government so long as it’s the kind of big government that makes them richer: regulatory agencies to smother competition, a big military and prison-industrial complex to house all the proles driven out of work by their brown servants, welfare offices to pay half of their living expenses so that they only have to pay the other half. They don’t care if our country turns into Brazil, no doubt a few of them actively welcome it.

    The alt-right should adopt, maybe not non-capitalist so much as a post-capitalist economic position, much as our current social position could be called post-Christian. Let the Dems have the bourgeois suburbanites; we do that and not only do we keep the Rustbelt, we’ll have Mainers and Vermonters voting like West Virginians.

  9. I do very much appreciate your reasoned response.

    I’ve lived off and on for the past 16 years in a country that is officially a Socialist country governed by the Communist party, but on a day-to-day basis is one of the most capitalistic free-market hotbeds on the planet, Viet Nam. Perhaps at one time the word “communist” contained a significant load of meaning, but its dreadful overuse on both the left and right have reduced it to little more than a trigger word, and pardon the pun, a red flag. Personally, I find the word to be of little use at all anymore, except as an angle of attack, like calling someone a heretic or a witch.

    If you are recommending that concepts and ideas be evaluated on their merits and not necessarily on the excesses of the fanatics, then I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  10. Street Corner Conservative, 1975 book by William F Gavin.

    It predicted much of what we’ve been seeing with the rise of Trump and the Alt-right. One point in particular was the prediction that Northern Catholics, formerly a highly reliable voting bloc for the Dems, would only take so much acrimony from their oversocialized Leftist intelligentsia before defecting from them every bit as heavily as Southern Baptists had.

    We saw hints of this even in the 70’s, with Wallace and Nixon doing surprisingly well among urban white northerners. And later we had the Reagan Democrats (Reagan being a heteorthodox populist who only begrudgingly received the nod of the GOPe). The oversocialized Rightest intelligentsia was never all that welcoming, so it wasn’t hard for Clinton to get them back (and of course he rewarded them with NAFTA) but it looks like all he really got was another generation of business-as-usual before they became thoroughly alienated with the ruling class as a whole.

    What normally happens when large numbers of imperial subjects have lost faith in and loyalty to their ruling class, assuming they had any in the first place? Less “Benedict Option” and more “Alaric Option”.

  11. My heart tends strongly towards a more local focus which more often looks back, but the mathematics of such things as the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cares not about politics or the scales of government. Based on the science the conservative would assume the worst: that failure to bring down the sum total of human emissions quickly will end very badly for many people in many places. How dare one trust that 7.5 billion people and counting will – without an international consensus – do the necessary math and make the necessary adjustments? Of course we have no right to believe there is ANY “solution” – even one based on enlightened self-restraint – but…

  12. “Toward the goal of creating a Retroculture movement, this website is establishing a Retroculture bulletin board. Anyone who has ideas about Retroculture they want to share, or wants to connect with others choosing a Retroculture life, is welcome to post on it.”

    I suspect that the Retroculture board never got created.

    Will it ever get created?

    I assume Bill Lind does not do his own IT grunt work. Who is the IT guy here? Can we talk about getting this Retroculture board going?

  13. “Is this the time to prepare for revolution?”

    A right-wing revolution would have an easier time if it began just as the USA were undergoing some external crisis, e.g. a worldwide economic upheaval.

    If the international bankers disrupt the economy enough, right-wing revolution in the USA will have more support. Conversely, if the economy limps along, the populace will grow more and more complacent.

    I would like to believe in the Fourth Turning theory. According to that, the crisis started in 2008, and it should be over by 2025 or so. But there is no guarantee that the good guys will win.

  14. Television….My children, whom we homeschool are 8 and 10 have witnessed almost no TV commercials and I have instructed them as to what they are and why they exist. We have been without network and cable TV for 8 years now. Once it is out of your system you can stand back and observe its effect and influence from a completely different perspective. My conclusion is that the harmless little box in everyone’s house is the most destructive force ever unleashed upon the human condition.

  15. All the scenery became very blurred, and the whistling of the sharp calendar reverberated, how to control high names for blood pressure medication blood pressure at home but no one could be seen viagra last how long

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *