Before his retirement, Charley Reese was a conservative opinion columnist with the Orlando Sentinel. He believed that writers owed it to their readers to regularly give a full disclosure of their biases. He put this belief into practice by writing, once a year, a column in which he gave such a disclosure, generally around the time of New Year’s. I consider this to be a practice worthy of emulation and so began the last two years with essays in that style. In “Here I Stand” I stated my basic religious, political and cultural beliefs. In “The Testimony of a Tory – A Brief Memoir” I gave an autobiographical sketch that told how I came to my positions, beliefs, and prejudices.
Despite the predictions, based upon the Mayan calendar cycle, that the world would end last December, a new year is upon us, which means that it is once again time for one of these essays. This year I have decided upon a format of alternating positive positions with negative ones. First I will state in one paragraph something I am for, something I believe in. Then in the next paragraph I will state something I am against. I am arranging these in sets, so that the negatives in one paragraph will go together with the positives in the paragraph immediately preceding it, like opposing sides to a coin.
I am a small-o orthodox Christian. I believe the faith declared in the Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. I accept the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as the authoritative and unerring, written Word of God. I worship the One God Who is eternally the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I am a sinner, a member of Adam’s fallen race, who will be judged according to his works on the day when Jesus Christ returns in glory to judge the quick and the dead. My faith and hope, for today, for that day, and for all eternity, rest entirely in the love, mercy and grace of God, given to the world in the Incarnation, sacrificial Atonement, and Resurrection of our Saviour Jesus of Nazareth Who is Christ the Lord, the Son of the Living God.
I reject and oppose the arrogant, anthropocentric concepts of materialism, rationalism and positivism. Materialism is the idea that the physical world, which we know and experience through our senses, is all that is, all that can be known and/or all that matters. Rationalism is the notion that human reason, aided by empirical science, can sufficiently explain all things without recourse to divine revelation. Positivism is the belief that human knowledge has advanced from mythology through theology and religion to a materialistic and rationalistic understanding of the world, and that this latter understanding is superior to the “superstition” that preceded it.
I am a Canadian patriot and nationalist. I am an old-fashioned “blood and soil” kind of patriot, whose country consists of real people, living in real territory, with real institutions, rather than a set of abstract ideals about human rights and democracy, that anyone on the planet can theoretically subscribe to. My country is the Dominion of Canada which was founded by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867, out of the English and French speaking provinces and territories of British North America, which has her own Parliament under the Sovereign we share with the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth. I am proud that my country was not born out of rebellion and revolution but was founded by Loyalists within the established tradition they had received from their forebears.
I despise the phony “Canadian nationalism” of the liberal political, academic, and media elites who hate Canada’s British roots and traditions and dismiss our country’s history prior the premierships of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau as our “colonial past.” This pseudo-nationalism consists of little more than support for the socialism, multi-culturalism, and left-wing ideology in general that the Liberal Party shoved down our throats in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, combined with anti-Americanism of the crudest, most vulgar sort. I equally loathe the anti-Canadianism of many so-called “conservatives” in Canada, who love the United States but hate their own country, and never miss an opportunity to put down Canada and to compare her unfavourably with the American republic.
I am a conservative. I believe that man is a social animal and that it is therefore human nature for men to live together in societies. I believe that the flaw in human nature that theologians call “Original Sin” is the root source of the evils, injustices, and other ills human beings suffer from. It is because of this flaw that men need laws to govern and order their societies. Since governments, the institutions that make and administer laws, are themselves composed of human beings tainted by sin, governments have a tendency to abuse their power and authority and to become tyrannical. For this reason, I believe that government powers and laws should be limited to what is absolutely necessary to maintain order.
I am against both classical and progressive liberalism. Classical liberalism is individualism, which places the individual before the nation, society, community, and even the family and which in its most extreme anarchist form, would sacrifice order in the name of individual liberty. Progressive liberalism is a form of statism which regards the modern democratic-bureaucratic state as the agent of social progress, and believes that the state’s powers to tax and legislate should be used to eliminate the social and economic inequality that the progressive liberal regards as the cause of evil and injustice. Both forms of liberalism are based upon mistaken views of human nature. Classical liberalism wrongly thinks that people are first individuals who by mutual agreement form families, communities, and societies when, in reality, people are born into their families, communities, and societies and within the context of these, later develop into who they are individually. Progressive liberals wrongly think that social and economic inequality are themselves evil and unjust and are the source of other evils and injustices. The root error of both forms of liberalism is the idea that flaws in the organization of society rather than flaws in human nature are the cause of the evils and suffering that plague mankind.
I am a High Tory. I believe in the institution of monarchy, in particular the parliamentary monarchy that developed in Britain and which was inherited by Canada and other Commonwealth countries. I believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the organic community and organized institution established by Christ and His Apostles, which administers the Sacraments instituted by Christ and has been governed, since the Apostolic age by the bishop-successors of the Apostles, and especially the English branch of that Church which is both catholic and reformed. I believe that for there to be order in society, there must be hierarchy, and that a ruling class is inevitable, although the ruling class may govern poorly and often does. I believe that an essential task of the upper classes is to sponsor the creation and preservation of high culture. High culture is the true mark of a higher civilization, rather than technological advancement as is the assumption of most modern thought. Culture is the creative expression of a community, society, or civilization and the means whereby that community, society, or civilization transmits its understanding of itself and the world down through the generations. High culture is part of both a particular culture and a universal culture. It consists of the best literature, music, and other art produced within a particular culture, and what makes it the best is that it transcends its particular culture and speaks to all people, in all places, and at all times. It elevates a culture and society, by directing them upwards towards the classical and universal ideals of the good, the true, and the beautiful.
I disagree strongly with modern democratic theory. I do not object to public offices being filled by popular election when the established constitution and prescription call for them to be so filled but I object to the notion that popular election is the best way of filling public offices. It is, in fact, the worst, because someone who runs for public office by means of popular election, demonstrates in doing so that he seeks power and that he is willing to obtain power by means of a contest as to who can successfully deceive the greatest number of people with his lies. While I have nothing against the classical Greek republican ideal of government constituted so as to govern for the public good, I do not accept the Roman republican ideal of a government headed by an elected official rather than a king or queen. I most vehemently oppose that ideal when it is proposed by would-be reformers in Canada who wish to turn our country into a republic by replacing our hereditary head-of-state with a politician. I reject Rousseau’s concept of the General Will of the people, the foundational doctrine of both modern democracy and totalitarianism, and Jefferson’s idea that governments derive their authority from the consent of those they govern. Bottom-up theories of government are great for populist rabble-rousing, which I detest, but are irrational and unsound. All real authority is either intrinsic or delegated from above. In arguing against the Divine Right of Kings, John Locke, father of modern liberalism, rejected the only true check on the abuse of government power – the recognition that it comes from God (Rom. 13) and that the governor is therefore answerable to God for how he used or abuses his authority. I do not believe in secularism or the modern dogma of the “separation of church and state”. Church and state are distinct institutions with distinct functions but the idea of “separation of church and state” forbids government’s from acknowledging God’s higher authority and undermines religion by privatizing it. Belief is a private, personal, matter, but religion is not. From the Latin word that means “to bind together”, religion is organized, community, worship which cannot, by definition, be private, and which cannot perform its essential role in society, if it is declared to be private and personal. I consider most of the art funded by modern governments through bureaucratic arts councils to be fraudulent, especially that which is called “modern” and “post-modern”. I object to public funds going towards its creation, although I also strenuously object to the defunding and closing of institutions which make preserve and make available to the public, the artistic and cultural heritage of the past. I deplore the way genuine popular culture, i.e,, song, stories, and art produced by people for their own use, has been largely replaced by “pop” culture – canned culture, mass-produced in culture-factories in Hollywood or some other equally horrible place, to be mass-marketed for mass-consumption. If true high culture elevates a society, pop culture, which to be mass-marketed must appeal to the lowest common denominator and which is therefore oriented to the lowest part of human nature, drags us down into the mud.
I am a communitarian. I believe in community, which is more than just a group of individuals who happen to live in the same place at the same time. It is people who are connected with each other and the place they live in so as to form an organic whole. The ties that bind a true organic community together stretch into the past and the future so as to include previous generations and generations to come. The indispensable elements of an organic community are race and culture. Race is the biological descent of the present generation of a community from all preceding generations and its biological ancestry of all successive generations. Race is not absolute and pure – people can and do enter and become part of communities from the outside while other people leave – but a community cannot exist if it is altogether absent. Culture, of course, is everything non-biological that is passed down from generation to generation in a community. Together, race and culture form the commonality, which binds a community into an organic whole. Simone Weil explained best what community provides to its members: “To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. It is one of the hardest to define. A human being has roots by virtue of his real, active and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future.” (1) The spirit of community is stronger in rural than in urban areas and in smaller rather than larger neighborhoods.
I oppose both the liberal individualism that breaks down and dissolves communities, alienating individuals and atomizing societies, and the collectivism that swallows up individuals and communities alike into large, faceless, masses.
I am a traditionalist and a reactionary. I believe in tradition, prescription, and continuity. Not all change threatens continuity and some change is necessary for the preservation of traditional order and institutions. Beneficial change is ordinarily slow and can only truly be said to be salutary after having been shown to be so through a long period of testing. If an innovation is harmful, however, this is often apparent almost immediately. When an innovation is shown to be harmful the wisest choice, when it is available, is not to continue down the path opened up by the innovation but to return to that which is known, time-tested and true.
I don’t believe in progress, the idea that man through reason, science, and innovation, will continually build newer, brighter and better futures for himself. The doctrine of progress comes in two varieties, technological and social, and I don’t believe in either one of them. The concept of technological progress is more than just the obvious fact that we invent new tools and techniques and improve upon old ones. It is the idea that by merging human knowledge with human innovation man will be able to solve every problem that comes his way as he extends his dominion over himself and over nature. Social progress is the idea that man, by leaving aside traditional social arrangements and institutions, and eliminating inequality between individuals, classes, the sexes and the races, can rationally design a new society, free from the evils of the past. Both versions of progress are doomed to failure and will only make things worse. Both are attempts by man, exiled from Paradise for his sin, to regain Paradise through the force of his own efforts, rather than through reliance upon the grace of God.
I believe in a class system with a high degree of social and economic freedom and mobility. For as long as human beings live together as families, in which fathers and mothers raise their children together, they will form classes. A class is a group of families with similar social and economic status. Sons, partly because they inherit half of their fathers’ genes and partly because they are raised by their fathers, have a tendency to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and take up their trades, crafts, professions, labour and careers. This tendency and the fact that human societies value and reward different kinds of work differently, make class inevitable. Neither of these factors, the human family or the fact that society places different values on different kinds of work, is something any sane person would want to change. Class is not a bad thing but a good thing, which contributes to the order of society. It is not absolute, however, anymore than race as an element of community, is absolute. The tendency of sons to follow their fathers is universal only in the sense that it is observable in every place and time, not in the sense of being true of every son without exception. Individual talents, strengths, desires, and ambitions vary greatly. Sometimes a son lacks the strength or talent to take up his father’s profession, at other times a son might be strongly gifted for a specific vocation that is different from that of his family. There should be social/economic freedom for individuals to pursue the work their talents best fit them for.
I disagree with those who wish to see either element in the balance of class and social freedom and mobility for individuals removed. I do not think that classes should harden into castes in which a person’s social and economic status, role, and labour are inflexibly predetermined from birth. Nor do I believe in the ideal of a classless society. I do not agree with the liberal individualist who would redefine class as “level of income” and otherwise have pure social mobility. I especially disagree with the Marxist who regards the existence of classes as the source of conflict and oppression and who holds to the ideal of communism in which both class and individual liberty are eliminated. In this desire for a classless society the liberal individualist and the Marxist communist are strange bedfellows.
I am a libertarian of sorts. While I do not believe in the underlying philosophy of libertarianism – the classical liberalism mentioned above – I generally accept the basic libertarian theory that the law should only forbid and penalize that which is actually and quantifiably harmful to other people. This is not the only input a society should have into how its members live their lives, but for the most part social and moral order is better maintained by other authorities and institutions than government. Too much government and too many laws actually harm the social and moral order because the concentration of control in the government weakens these other social institutions and authorities. For this reason I believe this kind of libertarianism complements rather than contradicts social conservatism and I also believe it to be the position most consistent with the emphasis upon personal freedom in the English tradition.
I do not like laws that are not necessary either for the maintenance of public and social order or for our protection against the violence of others.
I believe in property. A man has a right to that which he can legitimately and honestly obtain, whether as payment for his labour, as a gift, in exchange for other goods he already possessed, or by inheritance. If a man can honestly and legally obtain enough property that he can hire others to work that property and live off of the profits, there is nothing wrong with that and much to be praised in it for he provides a living to others as well as himself in doing so. If this right to what is one’s own is not secure and protected, no other right will be either. For this reason property ownership and the right thereof are the foundation of all other rights and of any true concept of justice.
I consider, therefore, all forms of socialism to be loathsome and evil. All nineteenth century socialisms, from Proudhon’s anarcho-syndicalism to Marx’s communism, were based upon the idea that property is the source of inequality and that inequality is the source of injustice and evil. However much they may have disagreed amongst themselves, they agreed that property must be done away with and replaced with a form of collective ownership. This idea continued into some socialisms in the twentieth century, but what we ordinarily call “socialism” today is something different. This kind of socialism calls upon government to play the role of Robin Hood, to rob from the rich and give to the poor. All forms of socialism are ideological expressions of the Deady Sin of Envy.
I believe in business. I agree with Dr. Johnson that “there are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.” (2) I think that a man’s business is his own, and that government should not try to run it for him. While I prefer small farms and businesses to large companies, I do not think that there is anything wrong with a business prospering and growing.
I disagree therefore with those who speak of business as if it were something dirty, and those who attack the profit motive. I disagree with those who think that government action should be taken to limit the growth of businesses within their borders or that the size and prosperity of a business is a reason for that business to be penalized. I think those people to be mentally and morally sick who think that it is right to place a larger portion of taxes upon people and business that have prospered and who actually have the audacity to call the tax burden they wish to place on the prosperous “their fair share”.
I am an economic nationalist. I believe that while government would be horrendously incompetent at running a man’s private business for him, it should be capable of administering the economic interests of the country as a whole. It is in the interests of a country that it have domestic production of essential goods so as not to be entirely dependent upon the importation of such goods from foreign sources. It is in the interests of a country that it not be stripped of capital and jobs. It is the government’s duty to look out for the country’s interests by protecting protection if necessary to maintain domestic production of essential goods and by penalizing companies that move capital and jobs out of the country. While no government should punish a business for growing and prospering within it’s borders, all governments have legitimate reasons to curtain the activities of companies that operate across national borders and which are accountable to the laws of no society being able to move activity that is illegal in one country into another where it is legal.
I detest globalism and the ideology of “free trade”, that seeks to integrate the economies of the world into one big market, that respects no borders, that dissolves national identities, undermines national sovereignty, and is effectively building a “new world order”, paving the way for the global government that liberals and socialists have dreamed of for centuries.
I believe in the “one nation conservatism” of Benjamin Disraeli and John G. Diefenbaker. The constitutional order requires broad support from every class and element of society in order to ensure its security and stability, and to have that broad support the order must ensure that belonging to the society and commonwealth is beneficial to all its members. For this reason, and in order to take the wind out of the sails of demagogues and revolutionaries, a social safety net to catch members of the commonwealth who are for whatever reason unable to meet their own basic needs and who do not have anyone else to do so for them, is necessary.
I do not believe that it is healthy to allow such a social safety net to grow too big, however. It should not have been allowed to grow into what we call “the welfare state” today. In the early twentieth century, Hilaire Belloc predicted that both capitalism and socialism would evolve into “the servile state”, in which the middle classes would shrink away, the vast majority of people would belong to a wage-labourer class which the government would agree to maintain in periods of unemployment, for when the small class of capitalists needed them again. Today’s “welfare capitalism” or “socialism” resembles Belloc’s “servile state” in many ways, and has other unattractive features as well. Welfarism kills the spirit of charity and compassion among those who are better off and kills the spirit of gratitude among its recipients. To raise the kind of government revenue necessary to support welfarism requires taxes on business or personal income, the former of which discourage enterprise, the latter of which are unjust and intrusive. Welfarism is the foundation of the “nanny-state”, in which the government, citing the fact that it is paying for people’s health, welfare, and upkeep as justification, intrudes into their lives and businesses and bosses them around “for their own good”.
I believe in environmental stewardship. God placed man upon a limited world with resources that are limited but mostly renewable if they ware watched over with care and wisdom. We have a duty to preserve and not waste these resources. We are to use them but not to use them up. We are to look upon God as the owner of the earth’s resources, and ourselves in the present as having been entrusted with the use and care of them, with the understanding that we will make sure that they continue to be available for future generations.
I have no use, however, for the kind of environmentalism that worships nature as a goddess, opposes human industry and activity, embraces a culture of death for human beings, and makes wild predictions about immanent global catastrophes.
I believe that conflict among human beings is inevitable. As individuals, groups, and as entire societies we frequently argue. While it is always preferable, it is not always possible that these disputes be settled peacefully. One of the basic functions government is the arbitration of disputes between individuals and groups so as to arrive at an agreement without violence. Government has the force of law to back up its rulings. The arbitration of disputes between governments and nations is more difficult and such disputes will, from time to time, break out into war. War is highly destructive of human life, liberty, property, and civilization and for this reason it is always deplorable. It is not, however, the supreme evil to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes it is necessary and right for a country to go to war. If one’s country goes to war, one has a duty to heed the call to arms, if and when it comes. War provides a unique opportunity for certain virtues, especially those of bravery and sacrifice to be exercised, and when such virtues are practiced they deserve the reward of honour.
I disagree, therefore, with pacifism, non-resistance, and other doctrines that forbid men from answering the call of duty. Such doctrines may be sincerely believed but they have the effect, if not the intention, of encouraging free riding – the enjoyment of the benefits of being part of a civil commonwealth without making the contributions to the commonwealth expected of its members. I am skeptical of plans for world peace. I regard the efforts to build a universal council/court in the United Nations to provide the arbitration between nations that national governments provide between individuals, as doomed to failure. Either the United Nations will be ineffective because it lacks the power to enforce its rulings, or it will have the power to enforce its rulings in which case it will have too much power and will cause a host of other problems. Powerful empires have served as efficient arbitrators between arguing nations and governments in the past, but they did not prevent all wars, no empire lasts forever, and empires are prone to waging war themselves. I am also skeptical of most things governments say in justifying their wars. I do not believe in sending the military to topple foreign governments we do not like if our own country’s people, territory, security, and other vital interests are not threatened. I do not believe war is appropriate as a means of attaining humanitarian ends. While I do not believe in appeasing bullying tyrants, neither do I believe in sabre-rattling and I think that many who practice the latter have drawn the wrong lesson from Neville Chamberlain’s experience at Munich. I have nothing but contempt for the doctrine of the American neo-conservatives who believe that their country’s war-machine should be used to bring liberalism and democracy to the utmost parts of the earth.
I believe that it is necessary for a society to have rules about sex. Sex is a fundamental fact of human nature. It is the division of the species into its two most basic categories, male and female, the internal force that attracts them to each other, and the relationship between them. The sexual libido is among the most powerful of the human passions. For there to be order and harmony in a society, people must be governed by the law. For an individual to be governed by the law he must himself govern his own passions and appetites. If he does not govern his passions, he will be enslaved by them rather than governed by the law. For this reason, and the fact that families, communities, societies, civilizations, and the species itself, unlike the individual, all have intergenerational lifespans and so depend upon sex, the means of reproduction, for their survival, society needs to have a say when it comes to sex. Society should uphold the pattern of a man and a woman marrying and raising their children together as father and mother as the expected norm, encourage behaviour that supports this pattern such as premarital abstinence, marital fidelity, and monogamy, and discourage behaviour that undermines this pattern such as promiscuity, adultery, and divorce. While these sorts of behaviour should be encouraged or discouraged among both males and females alike there are also roles appropriate to each sex which society should encourage. The role of motherhood – conceiving, bearing, giving birth to, and nursing children – has been biologically assigned to women by God and nature, and cannot be reassigned. It is in society’s own interests to encourage and expect women to perform this role. The role of fatherhood has only been biologically assigned to men in the limited sense of siring children. Society should encourage and expect men to perform the role of fatherhood in the fullest sense of taking responsibility for, providing for, and protecting their children and the mothers of their children, and raising those children in partnership with their mothers. These roles are what society should expect and encourage of men and women as groups. The roles are complementary and complementarity, not “equality” or “subservience” is the best word to describe the relationship between the sexes. Specific men and women may, for one reason or another, be incapable of fulfilling or unsuited for the role assigned to their sex. Such individuals should be accommodated and tolerated but not to the extent that society abandons the roles of wife-mother for women and husband-father for men as the general expectation and pattern. These roles, the pattern of the family, and rules regarding sexual behaviour, are best taught in the family, by fathers to sons and by mothers to daughters, with the support of the church.
I strongly disagree with the belief that all matters pertaining to sex are to be left up to the individual. This belief spread rapidly in the latter part of the twentieth century and has been taken to absurd extremes. In the decades after World War II, the sexual liberation movement pointed to the development of effective artificial birth control as the technological justification of its message that traditional moral rules concerning sexual behaviour were now obsolete, as if those rules had existed solely to protect the individual from inconvenient consequences of his behaviour, and not to guard society’s interest in human reproduction. The second wave of feminism, the so-called “women’s liberation movement”, declared that different societal roles for men and women were part of a conspiracy on the part of men to oppress women, that society should ignore sex and treat men and women only as individuals, and to ensure equality between the sexes and “women’s rights”, demanded that abortion be legalized and made accessible to all women, that universal public daycare be made available, and that marriage laws be re-written to allow for no-fault divorce, and encouraged women to put off marriage and motherhood and pursue careers instead. Yet that was only the moderate, liberal, branch of the movement! Both movements I consider to be despicable. They are the most significant contributing factors to the devaluation of human life and embracing of the “culture of death” that has swept Western civilization. A third movement, that demands that society cease to uphold marriage between a man and a woman as the norm, recognize same-sex erotic relationships as being of equal value with traditional, heterosexual, marriage, acknowledge as valid the decisions some individuals make that they are of a different sex – whether the opposite or a new one of their own creation – than their biology would indicate, and change all of its rules and traditions to accommodate the small minority of people who are attracted to their own sex or are in some other way confused as to their sexual identity, has arisen and is rapidly seeing Western societies give in to its demands. This movement’s advocates and defenders, who frequently profess ignorance of the existence of such a movement and pretend that these changes are just natural social evolution, like to ask questions like how expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples will harm other people? Such questions miss the point. This movement and its success is the symptom, not the disease. It is an indicator of just how badly society, morality, and the institution of marriage have already been damaged.
An unapologetic man of the Right, I believe in the importance of race and nationality. Race is not a matter of morphological differences such as skin and hair colour, as progressives would have us believe, but is rather the biological succession of generations that is a fundamental element of every level of social organization, from the family up through the community to the nation, and which also exists at the level of the species, hence the expression “the human race”. Race is the factor that makes it possible for families, communities, nations, and even the species itself, to exist as groups across the lifespans of multiple generations. Nationality is our sense of identification with those with whom we share a common language, a common religion, common customs and manners, a mutual history, and the same stories and songs. Race and nationality are indispensible elements of our social existence and we should regard them as contributing positively to that existence rather than bemoaning them and dreaming of a world in which they are reduced to insignificance or eliminated.
There are two opposite dangers with regards to race and nationality, both of which I try to avoid. These are the dangers of attaching too much importance to race and nationality on the one hand and not attaching enough importance to them on the other hand. When we make race and nationality so important that we demand that all smaller loyalties and attachments, to family, for example, or to friends and neighbours, be sacrificed for the good of race and nation and do not recognize even the most basic sense of a shared humanity with those beyond our own race or nation, we have made idols out of race and nation, and no good can come out of this. On the other hand, when we insist that natural ties of race and nation be ignored, and that our loyalty and attachment to our own, race, nation, and people be sacrificed for the good of a greater human unity, we make the same mistake on a much larger scale. I am not a “white nationalist” for, although I agree wholeheartedly with white nationalism’s indignation at the way the progressive spirit of the age expects all white nations and only white nations to commit racial suicide through a combination of mass immigration and antinatalism, self-loathing and idolatrous worship of “the Other”, I do not agree with the way white nationalism – or any other kind of racial nationalism – demands that a man’s race be his highest or only loyalty, and I dislike it’s Nietzschean tendency to blame Christianity for the evils of liberalism. I also do not agree with the way some white nationalists revere Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, although I tend not to hold this against them because I detest the way self-appointed progressive thought police, whose own political soulmates worship Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Castro, and “Che” Gueverra, insist that pariah status be conferred upon anyone who shook hands with someone who lived next door to the third cousin, twice removed of the college roommate of a person who once expressed the opinion that Hitler might have been something less than the absolute incarnation of all evil who makes the Antichrist look like a saint in comparison. Having said all this, it is clearly the opposite danger, that of undervaluing race and nation and making an idol out of a greater human unity, that is the threat in this day and age, at least in the Western world.
I believe that we have both universal and particular duties towards other people. I believe that while we have a general duty to treat all people with justice and mercy we have more specific duties to those to whom we are connected by ties of kinship, friendship, shared culture, faith, and citizenship, and propinquity. For example, we have a duty to respect our elders in general, but we also have a stronger and more specific duty to honour and obey our own father and mother. I believe that our specific duties to our family, friends, neighbours and countrymen must come first, before our general duties to all people.
I consider the thinking that is currently prevalent about inclusiveness and equality to be very harmful. Equality is not justice. To say that we should treat all people equally is to say that we should treat our friends like enemies, our family like strangers, our countrymen like foreigners. This is the reality of egalitarianism, lurking behind the ideal which is stated as the opposite of this, i.e., that we should treat our enemies like friends, etc. I abhor the recent phenomenon, now ubiquitous amongst Western intellectual elites, that Roger Scruton calls oikophobia, “the repudiation of inheritance and home.” (3) Oikophobia is a far greater evil than racism. Specific duties are more important than general duties and if racism is the evil of denying to other people, because of their race, the justice and mercy we are commanded to show to all people, oikophobia is the evil of denying to one’s own family, friends, neighbours and countrymen the specific loyalty, love, and duty owed to them. White liberal anti-racists are typically oikophobes, who accuse their own people of the evil of racism, whenever they practice the virtue of piety.
Recognizing that all men, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are sinners, and have their failings and weaknesses, I honour and respect the “dead white males” from Homer and Virgil to Dante and Milton, from Pindar and Horace to Tennyson and Kipling, from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes and Richard Hooker, from Sophocles and Aeschylus to Shakespeare and Marlowe, from Aristophanes and Juvenal to Dean Swift and Stephen Leacock, from Cicero and Cato to Edmund Burke, Lord Salisbury, Sir John A. MacDonald and Sir Winston Churchill, from Palestrina to Haydn and Mozart to Wagner, from Michelangelo and Raphael to Caravaggio and El Greco to Rembrandt and Rubens, the architects and builders of Western civilization, and all their achievements.
I refuse to bow my knee to the human idols erected in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, whether they be rock stars and rappers, professional athletes, television and movie actors, or other media-manufactured celebrities like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
Happy New Year everyone and God save the Queen!
(1) Simone Weil, The Need For Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1952), p. 41.This is a translation by A. F. Wills of a work first published in French in 1949.
(2) Quoted by James Boswell in his Life of Johnson, the entry for March 27, 1775.
(3) Roger Scruton, England and the Need for Nations (London: Civitas, 2006), p. 36.