Recently, here at West Coast Reactionaries, there has been talk from many perspectives about the relationship between a genuine spiritual elite and the cultural sensation so-called the “Alternative Right.” Largely spurred by James’ article and the comments section thereunder, people are considering questions of high and low, proper and improper. This I cannot fault overmuch; but I do believe the discussion is too tempered by a “black and white” approach regarding being “for” or “against” this brand of elitism.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of human beings are not spiritually elite; by this we mean they are not awake to God or Divine Truth in any meaningful way — even the inclination or potential is absent. The mass man cannot peer through the Eye of the Heart1 because it is closed to him, and this is why, in Traditional civilisation (that is to say, ordered civilisation), the caste system existed whereby society is led by those capable of interpreting the Divine as opposed to those who cannot. In Modern civilisation, however, the social order does not recognise caste2; for example, being a brahmin in fact lessens one’s status, socially-speaking, as one won’t care for bourgeois sensibility or money — however, caste still exists, even if its proper contextualisation on the social plane doesn’t. And it must be admitted that the vast majority of people involved with the Alt. Right are not brahmin or even kshatriya — in the worst cases, outcastes are amid the horde of YouTubers, bloggers and personalities. This isn’t shocking or confusing, but merely a reflection of (in particular, Occidental) man’s lack of coherent form at the present, manifest both inwardly in the sense of how little Modern men know of themselves, and outwardly in the sense of a chaotic and improper social order led by merchants and worse.
The Alt. Right is a product of Modern civilisation and largely exists within its paradigms and values; hence, for example, Nationalism is the predominant ideology amid Alt. Righters,3 an ideology which arose in direct contrast to the remaining visages of Tradition around the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (in England and France particularly). There is a confusion of sorts here, as most of the young men involved with the Alt. Right won’t have an indepth knowledge of political history, and, to them, Nationalism is merely the antithesis of Globalism; a sentiment re-inforced by the contemporary progressive’s paradoxical facilitation of global Capitalism, and, by levelling the playing-field, the progressive’s desire to remove all variables beyond money and material concerns (no races, no religions, no cultures, no countries, etc.). A closer examination regarding Nationalism tells us clearly that, although a concern for one’s own kin and type is totally just and natural, the political implications of Nationalism go beyond rejecting the twin-headed hydra of moral progressivism and international finance, and into accepting levelling and centralising the nation from a political and managerial point of view. We can quote, at length, Julius Evola‘s Notes on the Third Reich for an exploration of this phenomenon of inorganic levelling and centralising contextualised via Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the middle-twentieth century:
An initiative Hitler undertook already in the period when Hindenburg was still head of state, and which had an anti-traditional character, was extending the Gleichschaltung also to the Länder, the individual regional entities that in their partial autonomy and sovereignty corresponded to the various kingdoms, principalities and free cities of the federation of which the Second Reich was composed, with Prussia enjoying a pre-eminent position among them. These were abolished one after another, and the individual Länder were integrated in the central government by taking on the character of Gaue, areas headed by functionaries of the Reich’s central government, who were no longer representatives of the corresponding communities. Prussia was the first to undergo this fate under the leadership, unfortunately, of von Papen, a Rightist. Even Hindenburg said nothing to oppose this development, which amounted to a policy of centralising and levelling. Once again the excuse given was the need of a total organisation of all forces with the goal being the maximisation of efficiency. Emphasis was placed on the fact that by this policy Germany had become, for the first time in its history, unified as a “nation” (in the sense of modern nationalism). From our point of view, however, the negative aspect of the initiative is clear, since the previous system of a superior central authority combined with a group of smaller political units that enjoyed partial autonomy had an organic and qualitative character, which is traditional in a superior sense. In this regard Germany had presented, among all the modern European nations, an outstanding example.
[NOTE: In relation to this German “national” unification effected by Hitler, we can point out the opposition between the type of Italy’s unification, which had an analogous character, and the one effected by Bismarck with the creation of the Second Reich. This last unification had an organic character from above and was based on the agreement of the sovereigns of individual countries that maintained their traditional structure, and not through the “people.” On the contrary, Italy became one, in the so-called Risorgimento, under the standard of ideologies that went back to the French Revolution and according to the “nationalism” that derived from it.]4
Nevertheless, in spite of such ideological limitations, there are people who have found themselves in such a community, lost and disorientated as be many a young man, who do indeed step beyond the confines of the Modern playground. As I have said repeatedly, the Alt. Right is a network of various forces, groups and persons, and it is unfair and unproductive to paint with too broad a stroke. Criticising Nationalism doesn’t equal criticising the Alt. Right, but criticising the Alt. Right can equal criticising Nationalism if the particular person or people engaged with happen to subscribe to such an ideology. Hence, it is fair to lecture an individual about his behaviour if such a lecture is both instructive and constructive; the particularities of the situation must be considered in order to diagnose the specific problem and then form a specific treatment. James in his article lamenting the often childish and immature behaviour of many within the Alt. Right, whilst justified and not incorrect, is not constructive as he is not dealing with any particular persons, but, rather a squabble of faceless individual ideologues. Making statements and firmly pushing one’s feet into the ground before oneself is no error in and of itself — in fact the affirmation of one’s sensibilities is a must in the dreary stupour of Modernity, an anchor in the storm, so to speak — but to observe the need for proper order and leadership without actualising this deed in oneself and activities is a trap I worry many fall within. I can excuse James here as he indeed is involved in the teacher/student artform with certain persons, but I do believe it was a mistake on his part not to emphasise this point, the need for guidance, until the very last paragraph of his article. The Alt. Right, and persons who’re involved with that community, can only have a chance to grow and to improve if those above them extend their arms in friendship and respect. This can only happen on the individual, person-to-person level for the most part. Although voices amid the chaos may become louder than others in order to be paid attention to, the necessary changes which are required on the part of Modern individuals are so serious and so deep that listening from afar is simply not enough for many young men. They require hands-on and direct teaching from their betters who wish to see them grow and improve — and not out of frustration or a hatred for Modernity, but for love of the person and a desire to see them open their eyes in a full and proper manner.
I understand why many so-called perennialists and Tradition-friendly people turn their noses up at mass-cultural spectacles like the Alt. Right and co., and it is very true that the vast majority of people involved in such things are so ensnared by Modernity that they’ll smack-aside any hands outstretched to assist them properly, whatever the case. However, I think to forsake the very possibility of being a teacher, however humbly, is, if one does indeed have a vantage point, a grave error. Genuine human relationships are an enigma to the Modern world, and part of a reconstruction and a rediscovery of proper order takes place not only inwardly, in the understanding of nous or thumos depending upon one’s nature, but also in the formation of proper bonds with other people and the transmission of knowledge between teacher and student. This hierarchy cannot be forsaken simply because one is “too good” to get one’s hands unclean. Teachers of the world, do not be confused or upset if would-be students are lost and ignorant without your presence. The nature of such possibilities, of these possible encounters, will doubtless be personal and deeply confidential; the few diamonds amid the rough will demand close inspection and may be difficult to find. But the higher man will know this; he shouldn’t be concerned with the masses and those of such a bent within the Alt. Right — rather, those few worth paying attention to.
The world as it stands is Godless, fatherless and leaderless — the only way to correct this abominable condition is to actively resist it, is to give order to chaos. We must tend to our fellows and our world whether as teachers or students, and in doing so, in fulfilling our roles, we tend to ourselves.
1. Ephesians 1:18
2. “Caste” in the true, spiritual sense; not pointless Neo-Reactionary miswording, a la calling people who work for Google or Microsoft “brahmin.”
3. By this we mean a secular Nationalism, which is often confused with patriotism and a love for one’s thede. One can be loyal to one’s family without being a Nationalist in the political sense.
4. Julius Evola, Notes on the Third Reich, chapter two