Sunday, November 25, 2012

I did it from my own resources?

Here's another angle for looking at the differences between right and left liberals.

The right liberal parties tend to attract people who get psychological satisfaction from having competed in the market, earned their own money and raised their own family. These people can say "I did it from my own resources, through my talents and hard work. I can therefore count myself a success."

And so the right liberal parties tend to attract successful independent tradesmen, those working in private industry, small business operators, the married and so on.

The left liberal parties are more oriented to those people looking to state welfare as a guarantee of well-being, such as students, single women and pensioners. They also cater for those who use collective power to advance their interests (unionists) and who are therefore less likely to have that right liberal "I did it myself" mindset. The left liberal parties also appeal to minority groups by telling them that members of the majority group are not successful because of hard work and talent but because of institutional privilege and by promising the use of state power to transfer wealth and status to minority groups.

These differences are seen most starkly in the U.S., as in many other places in the West the right-liberal parties have adopted much of the left liberal point of view (someone like Thatcher stands out as an exception).

Obama is clearly on the left of the spectrum. During the recent election he used the "Julia" ad campaign, showing a woman who uses state welfare for support during the course of her life, and he was also criticised on the right for a speech in which he emphasised that people don't succeed through their own efforts and resources:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

So where do traditionalists stand in all of this? It would be easy for traditionalists to say "Well, we support the right liberal view, in which we think ourselves a success by working hard to earn our own money and raise a family. We reject the left liberal view that white men succeed through institutional privilege (racism and sexism)".

But leaving it at that would be a big mistake. The framework I described above excludes a traditionalist understanding of life. Once we accept the framework as it stands we lose. Our task is to take as many people as we can outside the existing political format.

For instance, where does the current format leave the issue of nation and ethny? The debate is between those who want to do it on their own and those who see whiteness as a form of privilege. So the right wing mentality tends to reject a concept of "white pride" on the grounds that we can't take credit for things we don't achieve ourselves as individuals, whereas the left rejects it as a defence of supremacy.

There is no place within the current format for the idea that a member of the majority might have a positive identification with an ethnic tradition of their own and feel a sense of duty to contribute positively to that tradition.

How would we create a place for such an understanding? We need to extend the idea of what a successful life means. It can include "I worked hard from my own resources to earn a living and support a family". But it should be much more than this.

What matters too is how richly we experience life. And this requires that we avoid being shut in to our own sense of self and losing our responsiveness to the outside world. If we manage to retain a sensitive response, then our individuality is substantially enhanced.

For instance, we might work hard as men and manage to support our families and that is certainly an achievement. But if as well we retain the responsiveness we have as men to our wives, and the paternal love we feel for our children, then we don't lose in individuality but we have a stronger sense of who we are as men and as fathers.

And it's the same when it comes to ethny and nation. If we have a sense of the larger existence of the ethnic tradition we belong to; if we recognise the good that the existence of this tradition represents; if we feel connected to past and future generations; if we feel a pride in the positive achievements of our forebears; if we accept the loyalties and the duties that naturally flow from membership of a tradition; and if we feel rooted within a place and a community associated with our tradition - then our individuality, our sense of who we are as an individual, is immeasurably enhanced.

I do often feel a pride in my Anglo-Australian forebears. Just this morning I stopped off at a suburban park with my family. I hadn't been there before and I was impressed with the care taken to create such a place. The gardens were made generations ago, so obviously I personally had nothing to do with their existence. But even so I felt a pride in my forebears for building so well.

We have to avoid, as the poet Sir Walter Scott put it, being "concentrated all in self". If we are limited to the satisfaction of being self-supported through our own resources, then we risk losing the kind of responsiveness I described and with it important aspects of self and identity.


  1. Excellent post; lots to think about and to bear in mind.

  2. Being proud of the good things your ancestors did also exposes you to guilt for the bad things they did. Of course, the Left only wants you to feel the guilt and never the pride...

  3. Simon, thanks.


    I agree with both your points. I think that someone who feels connected to their tradition doesn't need to gloss over what happened in the past. It's not a case of taking the stance that either your forebears were entirely guiltless or else you don't want to be associated with them.

    It works more along the lines that you recognise what was good and want to build on that to take things forward. You take as a standard the highest level reached by those who came before you. So there is neither debilitating guilt nor a felt need to sanitise the historical record.

  4. Great points, Mr. Richardson.

    I made a similar point against the right-liberal, I-did-it-all-by-myself mentality at church once. I explained it this way:

    Did you birth yourself? Did you put your fingers on your hand, or your brain in your head? Did you feede, clothe and nurse yourself, teach yourself the ABC's?

    It's pretty obvious when you think about it just how much we are given, ready-made.

    And yet, it's also pretty obvious, pace leftists, that a man can take that inheritance and make or break it all by himself.

    Neither side of liberalism understands that tension well. The Gospels do a far better job, I think, in the parable of the talents.

  5. Forebears?

    I thought there were only three bears - daddy bear, mummy bear, and baby bear.

  6. The religious perspective helps a great deal in this matter. I've come around to the belief life is the process of becoming holy. You must become a person capable of accepting God's grace. That is its purpose.

    This is different then believing you get into heaven because you "do" things. Rather, by doing things you are becoming the sort of person that can accept living in heaven. That can accept God's grace. The story of Lucifer is very apt here. Lucifer was the highest of all God's creations, and yet he could not live in heaven. He chose hell over God's grace. Similarly human beings chose to leave Eden because they could not accept it.

    To summarize:

    1) God freely offers heaven and grace to anyone who wants it

    2) We have chosen not to accept it

    3) The purpose of life is becoming the kind of person who can accept it

    When you see life as a process rather then some record of actions or accomplishments it gives you a very different perspective. For instance, charity may or may not be a good thing. The relevant question to ask isn't, "did this person earn it", "does this person deserve it", or even "will this increase net happiness (utilitarianism)". Rather the question is, "will this help to make one more holy." Charity can help or hurt in such a case, it's really a complex case by case question then.

  7. This is an excellent series of posts.

  8. The aim of right liberalism seems to be to make (White) people talk, think and act as if they had no relatives. In the long run this is fatal for them, as survival is a multi-generational team game.

    The aim of left liberalism seems to be to make (White) people talk, think and act as if their relatives were all members of opposing tribes, while their real relatives were evil aliens. This would be worse, except that in the long run dead is dead.

  9. I suppose "traditionalism" is roughly equivalent to "paleoconservatism", "right-liberalism" to "neoconservatism" and "left-liberalism" to "cultural Marxism".

  10. Very well said.

    Here’s a quote from Robert Menzies, showing insight into right liberal thinking and also how much conservative thought can be taken for granted in the pursuit of liberal policies. 1954 William Queale Memorial Lecture:
    “Take politics. Most of us at Canberra enjoy the friendliest personal relations. We have great matters in common. We are all Australians, of common race, language, literature, traditions, and religious faith. With few exceptions, we began life with no advantages of wealth or social position. We believe in the equal rule of law and in the dignity of self-government. We are British through and through. We are for the Crown. We are the Queen's men and women. We all believe in progress, in development, in social justice. What a wealth of agreement we have here! We disagree, of course, about socialism; about the limits of functions of government; about financial policies; about the principles of administration; about foreign policy; about many things. But the truth remains that, if we concentrate on our differences and forget our unities, politics will sound and be like civil war. The one thing that the bitter and narrow partisans forget is that continuity of national security and growth require, on great matter, a certain continuity of policy. We secure that by remembering our unities; we destroy it by thinking only of our differences. I, as you may have gathered, am a Liberal, with deep and strong convictions. My opponents, including men of great ability, are Socialists. So let the fight go on. But whoever wins between us, may Australia win always. “
    And another criticising a self interested focus,
    “A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful money maker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example. A manager may be tough and practical, squeezing out, while the going is good, the last ounce of profit and dividend, and may leave behind him an exhausted industry and a legacy of industrial hatred. A tough manager may never look outside his own factory walls or be conscious of his partnership in a wider world. I often wonder what strange cud such men sit chewing when their working days are over, and the accumulating riches of the mind have eluded them”

    I realise that there are substantial competing and contradictory differences between Liberal and Conservative thought, however, many conservative points of view continue to be expressed within right liberal parties. Here is John Howard on the Liberal Wikipedia page,
    “Menzies knew the importance for Australian Liberalism to draw upon both the classical liberal as well as the conservative political traditions. ... He believed in a liberal political tradition that encompassed both Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill – a tradition which I have described in contemporary terms as the broad church of Australian Liberalism”
    Is it not possible to attempt to bridge this divide whilst at the same time correctly emphasising what Conservatism means? In the 1980’s and 90’s for example we saw sustained efforts by right liberal parties, led by people such as Regan and Thatcher to counter left liberalism on social conservative grounds as well as right liberal grounds. There was the revival of the Christian right in America and nationalism in the UK. These movements were not without fruit, although the strength of left liberal doctrine has also increased during this time. I wonder if greater common cause with right liberals cannot be made. After all their theories cannot be truly enacted in the absence of much of which we would consider to be conservative. In other words a reality check rather than a split for right liberals might be in order

  11. "Did you birth yourself? Did you put your fingers on your hand, or your brain in your head? Did you feede, clothe and nurse yourself, teach yourself the ABC's? "

    I'm not sure the "I did it all by myself" mentality is meaning that they were able to do all that by yourself. I think it's the idea that you built your business by not taking things your parents/neighbors paid into for granted.By making good decisions you're able to return the fruits of their labor in paying taxes for services such as school or helping you with homework, it wasn't the government that gave you the skills you have.

    It's like saying a hardware store can take credit for something they didn't build because a few materials were used in it that were purchased there even though the materials came from a manufacturing company. In this example the hardware store is the government, the materials come from We The People, and the thing that was built is the business. Left liberals think without the store(government) there would be no materials, right liberals believe they did it on their own without the help of the materials, traditionalists believe (hope I'm right in this) that we couldn't have done it without the sacrifice(paying taxes and helping us with life lessons etc.) of our family and neighbors for they were the ones that believed we could become anything we wanted to and we could have a better life for ourselves and our children because of their selflessness.

  12. Harvey Norman (retail chain) boss Gerry Harvey has the right to say "I built this myself" if anyone does. He is an efficient, ambitious and very hard-working entrepreneur, and he built his business in part to prove a point about what he could do.

    Gerry Harvey has also lobbied the federal government to create a two-tier wage system to allow employers such as himself to pay foreign guest workers less, thus driving up his own profits through a system that would allow foreigners to flood the Australian labor market, beating Aussies on price automatically, by law. This would inevitably mean the displacement of Australian laborers.

    While Gerry Harvey should be respected as a great businessman, there's a reason that successful businesses get built in Australia, and not in Haiti, where they imported Blacks to be slave labor till the overwhelmingly numerous Black genocided the Whites and created the Black Hell that Haiti has been ever since.

    There's a similar story taking place in slow motion in Zimbabe, and another one at an earlier, stage in South Africa, where the Whites were not always in minority, and they could have endured forever as an excellent first world nation if they has put their future first, but the wealthy and the powerful could never resist the profits to be had by drawing in cheap non-White labor in greater and greater numbers, till the outnumbered Whites were toppled from power, and are now hopelessly subjugated by a black population that is crushing them. This will almost certainly lead to genocide, as in Zimbabwe and Haiti.

    Men like Gerry Harvey, if allowed to do what they want for their own private profit at the expense of race and nation, would bring about a similar result in Australia and every White nation.

    (And for the record, Gerry Harvey is White and not Jewish; this is not about ethnic rivalry but about greedy-self-aggrandizement without regard for what the individual, however talented and hard-working, properly owes his race and nation.)

    From a right liberal point of view, Gerry Harvey is a self-made paragon, and there is nothing wrong with his agenda, even though such agendas have repeatedly led to anti-White genocides.

    From a left liberal point of view, Gerry Harvey is despicable as a successful capitalist, but his good side is that he's a would-be useful idiot, eager to start a migration cascade that would help destroy the remains of mono-cultural and White Australia.

    Both perspectives are morally insane and practically genocidal.