Author Archives: The Traditionalist

What is Called God? Classical Theism & Theistic Personalism

The Socratic Catholic

saint-augustine-portrait-2In my previous article, I discussed questions concerning the nature of God within the context of doing apologetics when confronted with the “one less god” argument used by many contemporary atheists. I concluded that the “one less god” argument is a failed attempt at refuting the existence of God because it is a mischaracterization of his true nature. The mischaracterization is ultimately the result of treating the nature of God as a mere being along side other beings in the natural order.

This mistake, however, is not entirely the fault of contemporary New Atheists. To be sure, these atheists are at fault for their intellectual errors concerning the nature of God, but these atheists are largely interacting with an apologetic methodology associated with theistic personalism, rather than the classical theism articulated, yet not identified as such, in the previous article. A brief survey of these two theistic traditions is…

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Against Libertarianism

Libertarian philosophy, which achieved it’s clearest development in the work of Robert Nozick, rests on the state of nature fantasy, conceived of by Rousseau, which conceives of man as a self sufficient automaton who rationally gives up a portion of his independence to benefit from the law and order of a just society. Thus, for liberals of all stripes, but especially libertarians, the relation between man and society is contractual, man serves society only insofar as it is beneficial to his own self interest. The conception of a cause greater than individual self interest is discarded, if not explicitly then implicitly. Libertarians may pay lip service to nationalism, community, religion or other forms of tradition, but this can only be considered lip service – their philosophy relegates these to a place of subservience to the self, and their existence is thus contingent on their being perceived to benefit a collective of this self interest. To make these tings contingent on individual interest is to remove all their significance, and to condemn them to an inevitable downfall among a mass of other superstitions which, in the liberal mindset, were only hindrances on the individuals growth.

Libertarianism differs from other forms of liberalism in that it is completely amoral. Other forms of liberalism leave a place for some kind of universal morality, generally based on universal compassion or the remnants of a Christian morality, libertarianism by contrast sees it’s amoral principles as steadfast due to their objective fairness within the conception of man the libertarian holds. This a priori, objective nature is what draws a lot of young intellectual types to the movement, they, like socialists, want an easy solution, a few basic principles which are applicable to all forms of social organisation, at all times, for all people. Taking these principles as sacrosanct, any societal problems which develop under them are seen as faults of he individual, protecting the objective rightness of the principles involved. But there will be losers under libertarianism, and these losers will be those who cannot make themselves valuable in the open market.

This is another problem of libertarianism, it is almost wholly an economic philosophy. It’s founders and chief propagators, Friedrich Von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard and others, were economists who sought to build a wholly a priori economic science which was not so reliant on the whims of politicians and changing circumstances as Keynesianism was. Keynesianism necessitated politicians deciding when the time was right to stimulate the economy with tax payer money, and when the time was right to restrict growth to prevent eventual downfall. With an understandable and natural distrust for this kind of cynical authority, they sought to take this power over people’s lives out of the politicians hands and into the individuals, through their collective choices to supply and demand the market and thus dictate a fair equilibrium, and also to objective, fair, a priori principles, which could do the job politicians tried to do better than the politicians. Libertarianism is the philosophy of the modern automaton. The wholly individual, self seeking economic unit, the “ego and his own”, free to forge his destiny through the amoral pursuit of his desires.

But man is more than an economic unit. Who has ever seen the Individual that the libertarians speak of? Man is an aspect of, a reflection of, a creation of and an integral part of his community. Man is his family. Man is his religion. Man is his nation. Man is his ethnicity. Man is his people’s history. Man is NOT simply a pleasure seeking animal, man, as Aristotle says, is a social animal. And more importantly, man is a being who thirsts for something greater. In his day to day life, he chases one pleasure after another, life, as Schopenhauer says, swings like a pendulum between pain and ennui. And yet, there is an intuition within us all that there is something greater than the material, that there is a good or goods to be pursued, whose pursuit goes beyond any narrow economic interests, and whose pursuit we feel is the justification for this endless game of survival.

Finally, libertarianism, more than any other credible political philosophy, is anathema to nationalism. For the libertarian, every individual is equal and should be given an equal chance, there is no concern over mass immigration for within libertarianism this is fundamentally fair. Let as many immigrants come as they please, the best will be hired, the worst will not, that is what’s fair. This is also to suppose that outside of the government’s interference we can have a totally color blind world, where individuals escape the shackles of the ignorance of racism and other prejudices. Libertarianism is also steadfastly opposed to all forms of protectionism, and, in it’s usual a priori way sees Free Trade as objectively fair and right, regardless of national interest. What this unabashed free trade would mean is a fully global market and the removal of borders in any meaningful sense.

This is hardly surprising when one looks at the founders of libertarianism. Von Hayek, Friedman, Rothbard, Nozick and Ayn Rand were all racial jews. Kevin MacDonald in his book The Culture of Critique gives two characteristics of Jewish intellectual movements. They are generally internationalist in nature, and propose a world free of nationalism and national interests, and they rest on unproven, often unprovable a priori assumptions. This fits Marxism, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, and of course libertarianism. It is easy to see why it has attracted many prominent jews among it’s ranks, for it promises a world free of nations, free of irrationality, free of collective interest in any groups, and favours a society which would inevitably be run by a small economic elite, free from taxation or responsibilities to their host nation. Let no man call himself a libertarian who opposed internationalism, liberalism, atheism, modernism and the materialism and selfishness which accompany it.

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Edmund Burke

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The Demise of Chinese Spirituality

 

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I recently heard from a friend who on his travels to China met a Taoist practitioner who cried when he began to explain that there was no one left in all of China interested in Taoist practice and philosophy.

The Far East is revered for it’s deeply held spirituality, yet it is little discussed how the atheistic Neomarxism of the country coupled with its obsession over economic development has served a final death blow to indigenous Chinese spirituality. Christianity, admittedly, is spreading, but some of that is due to Chinese attempts at Westernization.

This is the side of modernism that is little discussed, but is in fact it’s core value. The sweeping, all devouring “progress”, which is simply a change in mindset from the valuation of quality to quantity. It is a move from the spiritual to the material, the infinite to the finite, the self sustaining community to the all consuming self. It is base materialism, which, like a cancer devours all that falls outside it’s narrow atomistic worldview. It is this that we, as Radical Traditionalists seek to resist.

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Thoughts on Belgrade

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Spending a few days in Belgrade. A few things have struck me, most noticeable is the vast swathe of ugly high rise apartments which litter the city, a remnant of communist rule and a reminder of the distinctive soullessness which characterised nations living under the results of Marxism. Of course it’s not all bad, Belgrade is home to Saint Sava Temple, one of the more beautiful Orthodox churches you will encounter.

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Walking the streets one often encounters ruins left from the NATO bombing of this city, a sad reminder of a most heinous act by western leaders, a reminder which must weigh heavily on the minds of the proud Serbs, who suffered terribly once the west singled them out as being the cause and, at times sole perpetrator of the evils which followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

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The other striking characteristic of this city is the result a recent development – the massive influx of mostly Muslim refugees. Parts of the city are terribly littered and unsafe to pass through due to this influx, areas that I am told by locals were once safe and well kept. They are now patrolled 24/7 by armed police, who watch the refugees carefully, but they still harass and intimidate local passers by and display flagrant lack of respect for their new neighbours. What strikes me most is that almost every refugee I have seen has been a male aged 16 to 30. In other words, the perfect age for service in armed forces. Yet they have fled mostly from Syria, a country which more than any in the world right now needs it’s young men to come together in defence of the nation. That the west claims Assad is a monster means they must accept that these people are fleeing persecution, but the reality is the main form of persecution going on in the Middle East is inflicted on Christians and other religious minorities by Islamist militants. Yet, so few of the refugees are Christians.

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And so Serbia, in it’s desperation to modernise it’s weak economy and join the EU is forced to accept a mass of Muslim men, unaccustomed and unsuited to their welcoming nation, who are too cowardly or too wrong headed to fight in the defense of a noble nation being torn apart by the most monstrous grouping of savages the world has seen in modern history. A sad situation indeed.

ISIS is losing, and Assad is Responsible.

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As the scourge of ISIS is slowly purged from Syria and Iraq, some in the western media who have spent the last 6 years trying to turn public opinion against the Syrian regime as well as his allies Russia and Iran are facing a difficult question; why, for so much of those years, have they called for the Syrian government to be removed in place of the terrorists his army is now so bravely defeating.
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Bashar al-Assad is a true modern day hero. He has gone up against the Zionist controlled coalition of the forces of Israel, the US, Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, ISIS and the terrorists of the so called Free Syrian Army all of whom share a common objective in wanting to overthrow this moderate regime, which has protected Christians, Shia Muslims and other minority faiths from the barbarism of fundamentalist Islam.
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He has faced the threat of his beloved country being bombed, invaded and torn apart from the inside by the arming and funding of criminals by western regimes, yet he has remained steadfast, stuck to his principles and refused to bow to the evil forces which have infested his nation like a virus. Now the Syrian people are reaping the rewards of this struggle. No one deserves more credit should ISIS eventually be defeated, yet the media will still decry him as a dictator and a war criminal, as well as continue their insidious campaign against his only major allies, Iran and Russia. But for those who know the truth, there is no greater hero in this struggle than Bashar al-Assad.

A lesson from the Irish in America

The Whitehouse yesterday put out the following release, announcing he return of March as Irish – American heritage month. The statement read:

IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2017

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Irish Americans have made an indelible mark on the United States.  From Dublin, California, to Limerick, Maine, from Emerald Isle, North Carolina, to Shamrock, Texas, we are reminded of the more than 35 million Americans of Irish descent who contribute every day to all facets of life in the United States.  Over generations, millions of Irish have crossed the ocean in search of the American Dream, and their contributions continue to enrich our country today.

From our four Irish-born Founding Fathers to Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish revolutionary who became an American hero after leading the Irish Brigade during the Civil War, Irish immigrants have shaped our history in enduring ways.  Throughout the centuries, hard-working Irish Americans have contributed to America’s innovation and prosperity — tilling the farms of Appalachia, working the looms of New England textile mills, and building transcontinental railroads — often overcoming poverty and discrimination and inspiring Americans from all walks of life with their indomitable and entrepreneurial spirit in the process.  From these early beginnings rose generations of Irish Americans who continue to lead our cities, drive our economy, and protect and defend the land they embrace as their own.

American culture carries an unmistakably Irish-American imprint.  Our literature, cinema, music, dance, sports, and visual arts are filled with the names and influence of great Irish Americans.

Irish Americans should be proud of the deep cultural, historical, and familial ties that have contributed to the strength of our vibrant transatlantic relationship with Ireland.  As we honor the past during Irish-American Heritage Month, we also celebrate a bright future of friendship and cooperation for generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2017 as Irish-American Heritage Month.  I call upon all Americans to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

 

Now let me say, as a proud Irish man I am glad to see the American administration recognise the strong bonds between our people. The story of the Irish Americans can teach us a lot. I expect the extreme left will be up in arms over Trump celebrating a fellow white race, but there was a time when no one faced greater “oppression” than the Irish.

The Irish fled to the U.S. from a desolate Ireland, destroyed by a laissez faire British economic policy designed to systematically lower the population of Ireland. Motivated by economic theories popularised by David Ricardo and others, the British administration believed the Irish Catholics over bred and their population needed lowering if they were to be economically viable. Thus it was that they could justify exporting huge amounts of livestock out of Ireland during the potato famine. During the famine there were numerous cases of people resorting to eating rats in a desperate attempt to survive. The Irish population was lowered in half.

The Irish, fleeing this dire situation, came to the USA with nothing but hope and an unmatched work ethic. They did not have dreams of getting rich or living an American dream, they simply wanted to earn enough to survive. For many decades the Irish were treated as second class citizens. Restaurants regularly displayed signs saying “No dogs, No Irish” and the Irish were often refused work due to their race. Yet, they persevered, and over time became an integral part of the growth of the US as the most powerful nation in the world. The Irish helped build the American dream, and few understood it better than they.

Today they are an unmistakable part of the American culture. Through their hard work they (we) have come to dominate certain sectors such as certain fire and police departments. Did they do this through quotas? Did they do this through welfare? Through political correctness forcing the indigenous population to talk to them in a way they found agreeable? No. They did it through hard work and virtuous living. They kept their faith and customs in such a way that they never descended into becoming a criminal underclass as other racial groups tended to do. This is not to say that they didn’t integrate. Indeed, another reason for their unique success was their willingness to embrace American culture and ultimately help shape it. Despite the hatred and discrimination they faced, they still very much believed in the American dream, and resolutely refused to become a victimised minority.

They succeeded, not by quotas, not by reparations, not by welfare or pity from the majority, but by the strength, determination and goodness present in their character. This lesson is one more relevant now than ever.

A Dozen Great Books

To celebrate world book day, I have decided to share a few of my favourites in various categories. Feel free to leave me any suggestions as I’m always looking for a good read.

Novels (Classics) -The Brother Karamazov

Dostoyevsky is a genius and deserves mention on any list. All his works have value, but the Brothers Karamazov is his magnum opus. A true masterpiece.

Novels (Modern) -Blood Meridian

 Cormac McCarthy is in my opinion the greatest living author. His understated and minimalist style hides layers of meaning and reading his best work can be an almost spiritual experience. He has written much great work, but none better than the bloody western Blood Meridian. The novel is essentially a gnostic text, and contains far more meaning than it seems at first glance. A book that rewards analysis.

Drama – Macbeth

I don’t need to discuss Shakespeare’s merit, it was simply a case of picking one of his works. Macbeth deeply affected me the first time I read it and nothing has matched it since. It’s quite incredible that one man was able to transmit such genius to paper in one life time.

Science –  Wholeness and the Implicate Order

At times difficult but always rewarding, this is Bohm’s argument for his conceptionof a holographic universe, a theory which attempts to unite discoveries in quantum physics with general relativity.

Philosophy – Parerga and Paralipomena

It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to one book in this category, but no one packs so much wisdom into such a small space as does Schopenhauer. His larger works of metaphysics, the World as Will and Idea is also well worth reading, and the Penguin condensed version of his essays is a good alternative, but his first collection of essays is a fantastic read from the first to last page. You cannot read Schopenhauer without leaving the wiser.

Honourable mentions: Pascal’s Pensees. Whitehead’s Process and Reality. Berdyaev’s The Divine and the Human. Spinoza’s Ethics.

Classics – The Odyssey

I love Homer, and choosing between the Iliad and The Odyssey was extremely difficult, but the latter was a more enjoyable read. The Penguin Classics version of it is a great translation and has become something of a classic itself.

Poetry – The Collected Poems

This one is simple, W.B.Yeats is and will always be my favourite poet, and any collection of his work is worth reading. Honourable mention to T.S. Eliots Four Quartets.

Religion – The Upanishads

I considered the Tao Te Ching, The Bhagavad Ghita and a number of writing’s by mystics, but the essence of all is best contained in these founding texts of Hinduism. I simply could not do the wisdom and beauty contained in the Upanishads justice, so I won’t try.

Economics – Progress and Poverty

Henry George’s argument for a single land value tax is still a convincing work. Rarely is a work of economic’s enjoyable but somehow George pulled it off. It is said Tolstoy spent his final moments preaching the value of Georgism to those present at his death bed, so it’s power to persuade is evident.

Politics – Men Among The Ruins

While Revolt Against the Modern World is considered Julius Evola’s magnum opus, I prefer this work. This is Evola’s meditation on the future of Europe in the wake of the second world war, and it presents a good summation of Evola’s thought.

History – Inside the Third Reich

I’m not sure what made this work so enjoyable, but Speer is always honest and eloquent, no one else paints so vivid a picture of the nature of the Third Reich or of Hitler as a man.

Other – The Perennial Philosophy

I wasn’t sure where to fit this one in but I feel it deserves a mention. Aldous Huxley condenses the essential teachings of the world religions through the medium of the wisdom of their greatest adherents.

Radical Traditionalism is now on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/radicaltraditiomalism/

 

I have now added a facebook page for the blog, and I hope to grow it’s following through facebook over the coming months. So if you’re on Facebook please take the time to give the page a like.