[Editor’s note: This post is the first entry by the Times’ newest contributor and friend of the blog Halifax Shadow! I’m sure that all of our readers will join me in welcoming him aboard!]
“Why are the cattle on a common so puny and stunted? Why is the common itself so bare-worn, and cropped so differently from the adjoining enclosures?” – William Lloyd Forster, in 1832
I’m sure that most readers are familiar with the “tragedy of the commons.” This concept is a simple one that describes a situation in which a resource that is to be used for profit and is un-owned tends to be overused, potentially to a breaking point. Furthermore, the resource will be under-invested, as any improvements made to it will provide returns for the common good and not for the specific individual(s) making the investment.
As an example of this, we’ve recently heard serious allegations regarding the complicity of Purdue Pharmaceuticals and the Sackler family in aggressively pushing opioid prescriptions – up to and including knowingly encouraging doctors and pharmacies who were moving irregular amounts of the product (likely to addicted people) to move even more. This opioid epidemic – which claimed 130 American lives per day in 2017 – is the greatest drug crisis America has ever seen.
Practically everybody says they want good government. Aside from a few anarcho-[fill in the blank] types, most folks seek for effective government that provides stability and protection for the people. Yet, such a state of affairs is extremely rare in the world today. Why is that? What is it that we lack today that our ancestors had which gave them generally more stable and dependable government?
The answer, of course, is unitary government centered about the authority and legitimacy of monarchic rulers acting for their nations as whole units.
One of the greatest impediments to effective government, in any age, is the division of power into multiple, contradictory, and competing poles of influence. This is typically the result of democratisation, a process which has been accelerating since its inception (in its most recent incarnation) in the Enlightenment of the mid-18th century.
Western civilisation is vulgar. By that, I don’t just mean that it is boorish, coarse, and offensive (though it certainly is these things), but rather that it is common. Plebeian, if you will. The drive to egalitarianism which has plagued the West since 1775 has created in Western man a desire to debase himself. America – founded as it is upon the spurious principle that all men are created equal – has led the pack in the decline to the bottom. It is in the United States, especially, that the lowest common denominator is exalted in every area of life – the social, the political, the religious.
Sadly, this absurd view of equality has not encouraged Americans (or other Westerners, for that matter) to better themselves or to pursue equality by raising themselves to the level at which they would become worthy of admiration and esteem. Quite the opposite has been the case, and this debasement has been coupled with any ever-present drive to expand the number of lowest common denominator people who are allowed to exercise political power through voting, which has further eroded what remained of decent civil society. Indeed, our political leaders seem to be actively abetting this degeneration of our societies by importing massive numbers of low-IQ third worlders and rushing them into political participation as quickly as possible. At exactly the time when our nations need better citizens, we are only getting more, and more active, ones.
I’ve written previously about the fact of (and necessity for) social hierarchies among human populations. It is very apparent that human society naturally divides into hierarchical levels with progressively ascending castes (I prefer this term to “class,” which carries with it too much modernistic and economic baggage for my taste). Because of this universality, I believe it is a sound argument to say that these caste divisions are even divinely ordained. Indeed, the very term “hierarchy” presupposes this, meaning essentially “the rank of sacred things.”
I find the model of the three castes to be a useful conceptual tool for explaining and understand overall social hierarchies and divisions within human societies. I would in general follow Evola’s approach to caste division, though not in every sense. The term, of course, hearkens back to the well-known Hindu caste system which gradually developed after the invasion of Indo-Aryans into northern India around 1400 BC, and which is itself likely the crystallization of a less intricate and rigid system that (generally speaking) was commonly found among early Indo-Europeans and their steppe neighbors.
The first caste is made up of the brahmana (priestly caste) and the kshatriya (warrior and administrative caste). For most purposes, I tend to conjoin these two elements into a single “aristocratic” caste, of which they represent two aspects. The second caste is the vaisya, typically made up of the merchants, artisans, tradesmen, farmers, and so forth. Along with the brahmana and kshatriya, these were collectively known as the arya, who were also of the invading Indo-Aryan stock. However, they were the “little men” among the invaders and were not considered “noble” like the higher caste. The third and lowest caste is that of the sudra, made up of the very poor and generally unfree, the common laborers and so forth.
A hallmark of modern Western devolution is surely its rejection of traditional modes of hierarchy and authority, and its embracing of egalitarianism. This has been an endemic element within modernism, one decried by critics as widely drawn as Baron Evola, Thomas Carlyle, and Nicolás Gómez Davila. The central tenet of each – and many other – appraisals of this element of the West’s direction in the past few centuries lies in the observation that hierarchy and authority are necessary components of a well-functioning, rational, and indeed natural society. Whether it’s Evola expostulating on the disappearance of polar axial kingship or Carlyle decrying the sham and simulacrum of insincere society, the common theme (and one well worth noting) is that the rush to egalitarianism represents regression, rather than progress, and this is so whether it takes place in the West or in any other society.
The principle of hierarchy has been around for as long as human civilisation has existed. This much must be understood right from the start if the reader is to have any kind of realistic understanding of human society. Even in the most “primitive” tribal systems, every group has a chief – a man to whom the tribe looked up to as the leader and authority, the one who led the hunts, the one whose mana energised the rituals and made the rains come. Even in more distributed authority systems, such as those tribes governed by councils of elders and the like the principle of authority, resting on wisdom that accompanies senectitude, was still present – no one in such circumstances would have thought to suggest that the youngest wet-behind-the-ears brave or the village women should participate in the decision-making for the group. Generally speaking, there have been very few aberrations from this state of affairs until modern times.
Throughout the Western world, immigration (whether legal or illegal, and often approximating invasion more than true migration) is perhaps the single biggest issue facing both the people and the politicians. The Western world is finding itself facing an unprecedented mass influx of entrants from other, non-western parts of the world. While the history of the West has certainly involved mass movements of people at various times, these have always been understood to constitute either invasions or colonisations. The idea of millions of outsiders moving into a culture and it being considered “immigration” is a vastly new (and dangerous) concept in the West.
Nevertheless, there are many in our society who seem to be perfectly fine with the idea of mass immigration radically altering the cultural, religious, and genetic bases of Western societies. Indeed, the acceptability, or lack thereof, of mass immigration is one of the major points of division between so-called civic nationalists on one side and ethnonationalists (speaking generally) and especially white nationalists on the other. Civic nationalists, who are often really just straight up open borders supporters, believe that membership in a new society can be established as easily as simply taking an oath and signing some paperwork. “You can be a polygamist totem worshiper who believes albinos should be harvested for the magical elixirs in their livers and still be a good American,” and all that.
The common assumption, at least among the coastal élites, is that openness to immigration is correlated with democratic sensibilities in particular, drawing from a more generalised standard of egalitarianism. Because these élites rarely interact in any meaningful way with the immigrants who comprise the “mass” in mass immigration, they tend to assume the fungibility of the “lower classes.” This is why the political arm of the Cathedral sees immigrants as a source of political capital – one voter is as good as another, and if a new set of voters can be imported who will vote the way the Cathedral wants versus recalcitrant natives who insist upon voting for their own interests, then all the better. It wouldn’t be the first time in recent history that this has happened. The corporate arm of the Cathedral sees immigrants in much the same way – as replacement labourers for natives who are too expensive and have a fractious insistence upon earning a fair wage.
However, increasing democratisation and equality have not noticeably served to make either the masses or their “ethno-elites” more favourably disposed to mass immigration. Indeed, the opposite is widely occurring, as can be seen daily around us.
One of the greatest flaws in modern democratic and republican societies is the lack of a true and genuine aristocracy. While aristocracy has been much maligned since the rise of the revolutionary spirit engendered by the Enlightenment (and exemplified in the American and French revolutions), historically the rule of the best has been one of the anchors of stable and successful civil and moral society. The replacement of aristocracy by popular, democratically-oriented regimes is one of the long-term causes of the inverted and dissociative trends which have become the norm in nearly all Western cultures.
One the most basic things that anyone who hopes to have a rational view of human civilisation must understand is that hierarchy is the natural state of affairs within human society. In practice, there is no human society which has not had some form of social hierarchy, however “primitive.” Even though many ancient societies were not organised into the rigid and distinct castes into which many traditional Indo-European groups were, either in tripartite (priest-warrior-commoner) or quadripartite (brahman-kshatriya-vaishya-sudra) form, virtually every society which humanity has ever produced within the past 6-10,000 years has had some form of hierarchy. Even systems (such as communism) which seek in theory to destroy hierarchy end up in practice simply reinstituting a new system of hierarchy to replace the old.
Since hierarchy is natural in human society, the obvious corollary is that aristocracy is also natural and right (when genuinely aristocratic men occupy the apex of their nations). There must and will always be a class within any society which makes up the “top men.” This is true even within liberal and democratic regimes, though the bases for the elevation of the leaders in such societies generally are not truly “aristocratic,” but are based on retrograde and degenerate reasons such as mere wealth, technocratic skill, or political subterfuge. In more Traditional and well-ordered societies, the leadership caste is made up of warriors and regality, those who inherently possess superior traits through blood and spirit, and who subsequently apply themselves toward developing those traits through religion, service to the king and nation, and the perfection of their minds.
Here at the Times, I have previously discussed ethnonationalism and even applied it to the American situation. Essentially, ethnonationalism posits that nations – defined as people sharing common culture, heritage, traditions, language, religion, mores, and so forth (and thus, by extension, nearly always sharing a common genetic descent as well) – should be free to self-associate rather than being forced into supranational or globalistic schemas which dilute and destroy their unique national inheritances. But let’s say that this sort of schema were actually to become a reality to a much greater degree than it currently is – what would such a world look like? Would the world be divided among tens of thousands of different nations – each with its own well-defined territorial expanse – consisting of anywhere from tens of millions of people down to merely a few thousand? I don’t necessarily see how that would be advantageous, and would indeed be a very chaotic sort of situation – exactly the opposite of the type of orderly system that traditionalists and reactionaries seek to restore.
Instead, I believe that an ethnonationalist world order should include the element of aristocladism. Essentially, aristocladism may be defined as the division of national groups into hierarchies based on a variety of metrics having to do with their relative power and capacities, including many intangibles such as national spirit, courage, and so forth. Some nations, even when compared to their close relatives and neighbours, seem to “have it together” more than the others. It’s only natural that these nations should stand out as natural leaders and protectors for those around them. However, before expanding on this idea, I’d like to discuss a few foundational concepts.
It is becoming increasingly apparent to all reasonable observers that democracy in the Western world is a failure as a stable governing system. The reasons for this are obvious. Democracy encourages interfactional conflicts within a political state as various special interest and racial pressure groups each seek to seize as much political power from each other as possible. Indeed, democracy can be said to be a root cause of the current crisis we see in the Western nations in which they are being flooded with hostile and inassimilable foreigners from the Third World. The reason they are being invited here is so that leaders of the Blue Empire can essentially replace the intractable native populations with (presumably) more pliable ones who will be open to socialism and globalism, which is essentially what Steve Sailer pointed out was taking place years ago in Bahrain and Libya. From a stability and cohesion standpoint, democracy is toxic. It’s a superfund site which can only be dealt with by digging it out of the earth in toto and burying it in a lead-lined vault for a hundred centuries.
One of the most serious intrinsic weaknesses of democracy is the prevalence of factionalism. Now, no system is immune to this problem. Even monarchies and aristocracies will see varying levels of infighting between factions. However, this type of factionalism is usually confined to cliques which develop around various personalities in court, and rarely spills over into the nation at large. Aristocratic factionalism is almost never something which affects the lives of the common people or which excites them to themselves “choose sides” and undermine the overall social cohesion and order in the nation.
The same cannot be said of democratic factionalism, however. By its very nature, democratic factionalism seeks to mobilise large masses of ideologically motivated people in the service of a preferred political outcome. Whereas monarchic/aristocratic systems usually contain built-in safeguards which act to prevent interfactional strife from escalating to open conflict, the history of democracy, whether ancient or modern, lacks these. Hence, when a democratic system begins to break down, such as occurred in ancient 4th century Athens and in the German Weimar Republic between 1924 – 1932, it is not uncommon for open factional warfare even to take place.
The word “meritocracy” is one which we’ve seen thrown around a lot in recent years. In theory, the word would describe the rule by those with the most “merit” (which would, on its face, seem to make it a synonym for aristocracy, but in practice this is most certainly not the case). As it is popularly used in the media and other outlets, it tends to take on a very narrow definition, with “merit” appearing to be used synonymously with “bureaucrat” or “public policy wonk.” In other words, those which our society considers to have merit are those who would more properly be classified as “experts.”
The problem with this is that being “an expert” (however this is defined) is not the same as being a meritorious person.
Indeed, “experts” tend to be those whose range of knowledge and experience are very narrowly circumscribed, focusing intently on one extremely restricted area of study to the exclusion of most everything else. John Glanton provided a very good example of this in his discussion of meritocracy and gameability, when he noted the difference between students who are good spellers because they are widely read versus students in the national spelling bee competitions who are good spellers only because of their, frankly, aberrant devotion to memorising pre-determined lists of words,