Several weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend (?) of Gornahoor during which the topic of a “movement” came up, by which he meant a counter-revolutionary or rightist movement. I had read a post by an alleged leader of said movement that criticized egalitarianism. Following up on that thought, I suggested to my friend that the movement ought to sort itself out by rank. Specifically, if egalitarianism is false, then the different leaders are necessarily unequal. Therefore, it should be possible to determine which are from superior minds and which are inferior. To my surprise, he was appalled by that suggestion. He could only perceive it as some sort of attack, basing his position on the idea that he should be in alliance with those who are “shooting” in the same direction he is.
But that is begging the question of what is the actual direction of the intellectual bullets. A movement needs to be a microcosm of what it hopes to achieve. Therefore, the movement ought to be clear about its spiritual ideals and its primary exponents, those who would lead, and who are to be the serfs. Otherwise, it is just a mulligan stew, a dish suitable only for intellectual hobos.
Instead of a movement led from above, there is a nebulous mass from below based on little more than popularity, facebook “likes”, and a continuous whir of low quality discussions and arguments. This is the opposite of a hierarchic arrangement. In such an order, a neophyte is not at the same level as an adept. Furthermore, the neophyte is there to learn, not to be “converted”, and certainly not to argue. In order to identify potential members, initiatic organizations have classification schemes to identify various types of men. Certain types cannot qualify for the higher degrees, so it would be pointless to initiate them.
A straightforward classification system is based on worldviews. For example, it is no accident that revolutions arising from the lower classes, as in the French and Russian revolutions, have been explicitly atheist and materialist. Hence, leaders of the “movement” who are atheist and materialist are vulgar and would most likely belong to a lower caste in a Traditional society.
A start in that direction is provided by the short book Nobilitas, by Alexander Jacob, of Indian descent despite his European sounding name. Its subtitle, which describes its aim, is “a study of European aristocratic philosophy from Ancient Greece to the Early Twentieth Century.” It consists of a series of vignettes highlighting the political theories of 20 thinkers, all based on the ideal of the rule by the best. He writes in the Preface:
The superiority of aristocratic government is due not only to its cultural advantage, but also to its solid philosophical foundation. … the term ‘aristocracy’ in my study is not used of a particular class of people so much as of a system of politics devoted to the cultivation of the rule of the best.
By this standard it is eminently fair to demand from the movement an explanation of its philosophical foundation and how the best would be trained and cultivated. Now philosophy, the love of wisdom, is concerned with ideas, hence most of the thinkers mentioned adhere to some form of philosophical idealism. From my point of view, I would have liked to see some medieval thinkers mentioned. Also, since biological racism is not a philosophy, I would replace their representatives in the book with Julius Evola who refuted the myth of blood in favour of the doctrine of spiritual races. Finally, I would also add Rene Guenon, since his metaphysical teachings would connect Europe to the East.
Gentlemen and Religion
Now such a short book cannot really describe the philosophical foundations, but only provide some of the more relevant conclusions that arise from them. Not all the thinkers are of the same depth and some are more political thinkers than philosophers in the true sense. However, that is not necessary since the aristocrats would themselves seldom be the philosophers, i.e., the spiritual leaders and educators. Instead, they would be trained in the art of ruling, so the goal of their education is to become gentlemen, not sages. Edmund Burke writes:
Nothing is more certain, than that our manners, our civilization, and all the good things which are connected with manners and with civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles; and were indeed the result of both combined; I mean the spirit of a gentleman and the spirit of religion.
Now, besides the philosophical foundation, we have two new criteria. Which proponents of the movement have the spirits of a gentleman and religion? Are they crude and vulgar, or advocates of a life of sensuality and debauchery? Do they make their case honestly and with integrity or are they full of half-truths and distortions? Is their religious spirit compatible with the history of Europe and the West or do they insist on some mass conversion — or more likely, deconversion — as the precondition for their movement?
Unity of Belief
Next, is the need for some sort of “national” unity, however, nation, or nationalism, is defined. Giuseppe Mazzini explains the need for a “strong national uniformity of thought and faith”:
Liberty of belief destroyed all community of faith. Liberty of education produced moral anarchy. Men without a common tie, without unity of religious belief and of aim, and whose sole vocation was enjoyment, everyone sought his own road, not heeding, if in pursuing it, they were trampling upon the heads of their brothers — brothers in name and enemies in fact.
This brings us back to the beginning. Is the “movement” truly one of real brothers or one of nominal brothers but real enemies? Thus, a movement requires a unity of religious belief. A “big tent” movement is not organic, but is merely a heap. So What is that belief and how possible is it a force for unity?
So before adopting an intellectual affiliation, investing emotional capital, or even providing financial support, ask if your movement demonstrates these qualities. These are the fruit of a couple of dozen centuries of the aristocratic element in European thought. If you think something “new” is necessary, or even worse, a new type of man, you will certainly be disappointed. That is why what is required is not a revolution in the opposite direction, but the opposite of a revolution (Joseph de Maistre).
Next: The philosophical foundations.