Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lawrence Auster

Sadly news has arrived of the passing on of Lawrence Auster. Laura Wood has written a fine tribute to him at her site. I can't write as personal a recollection of him as she has, as I never met Lawrence and only corresponded briefly.

I do however want to express my admiration for Lawrence Auster and my gratitude for what he achieved. He began his work at View from the Right in 2002 at a time when there were so few of us. I remember a comment he made to me very early on expressing his astonishment at just how isolated we were.

Over the years the readership of VFR grew until it became the flagship journal of traditional conservative thought. By 2009 VFR was getting almost a million page views per month, making it possibly the most read traditionalist publication in history.

What attracted readers to his site? I read VFR daily and was rarely disappointed because in one of the posts there would usually be a moment of creative insight. Perhaps it would be a matter of drawing together different strands of thought; perhaps a matter of political clarity in which something once vaguely perceived would find clear expression; or perhaps it would be an identification of some key aspect of an argument or belief.

At VFR you had the sense of traditionalism developing intellectually. This not only gave traditionalism an early sense of momentum but it also drew in an intelligent audience, a critical gain for a fledgling movement.

What allowed Lawrence Auster to sustain such creative insight over so many years? I don't think it was just a matter of talent. Having read Lawrence Auster's writing for so long, I believe that his output was sustained by a love of, and identification with, both the American and the larger Western traditions and, recognising the danger these traditions were in, a desire to understand the reasons for the decline. It was a serious endeavour to get to the truth of what was happening; a pursuit of knowledge in the service of the traditions he identified with.

Although realistic in his assessment of the political situation, he was never defeatist.

Lawrence Auster's passing is a great loss to us. My hope is that the movement he did so much to establish will continue to gain ground so that he will be remembered with gratitude by future generations of traditionalists.

(Please note: I am enabling comment moderation for a period of time.)


  1. Lawrence Auster’s passing has been a loss to traditionalists across the entire Anglosphere, Australia being no exception. We must not despair, but live up to his standards of excellence in unapologetically critiquing modern liberalism. The task of forming the intellectual bedrock of a genuine traditionalist revival now falls to us. Let us not let him down.

  2. I was sorry to hear about Lawrence Auster's death. Presumably comment moderation on the topic of Auster is now required in order to prevent more calumnies being exuded by the Pat Hannagans of this world.

  3. SydneyTrads,

    That's very well put. Thank you.

    Neil, yes that's the reason. I'll return to normal comments shortly.

  4. My sincere condolences. Its not easy to fight this battle from outside the tents of power. You are a true soldier for the cause. May you find peace in heaven.

  5. Rest In Peace (R.I.P.) Lawrence Auster. You will be surely missed. You touched many lives and was a great friend and mentor.

    (I'm Elizabeth Smith with a new name btw)

  6. Lawrence Auster did a lot of good and he will be greatly missed.

  7. This very important article, Jews--The Archetypal Multiculturalists, redirects to the VFR front page. In effect, it's "buried" a bit. You have to type the heading into the search box there to get to it; you cannot simply point people at the information.

    I think that's unfortunate, as it is in effect deathbed testimony. He knew it was true and very important, but through his life he could never bring himself to publish it. At the end, he did.

    Duty done. Reluctantly, as is very understandable due to the sensitivity of the topic. But duty done.

  8. Lawrence Auster was a voice of sanity in an insane world. He will be greatly missed among traditionalist conservatives.

  9. Auster's The Path to National Suicide is a must-read text. It was instrumental in framing the immigration debate for me.

    As Auster wrote:

    The very manner in which the issue is framed—as a matter of equal rights and the blessings of diversity on one side, versus “racism” on the other—tends to cut off all rational discourse on the subject. One can only wonder what would happen if the proponents of open immigration allowed the issue to be discussed, not as a moralistic dichotomy, but in terms of its real consequences. Instead of saying: “We believe in the equal and unlimited right of all people to immigrate to the U.S. and enrich our land with their diversity,” what if they said: “We believe in an immigration policy which must result in a staggering increase in our population, a revolution in our culture and way of life, and the gradual submergence of our current population by Hispanic and Caribbean and Asian peoples.” Such frankness would open up an honest debate between those who favor a radical change in America’s ethnic and cultural identity and those who think this nation should preserve its way of life and its predominant, European-American character. That is the actual choice—as distinct from the theoretical choice between “equality” and “racism”—that our nation faces.

    Substitute America with Australia and you have exactly the same situation.

  10. "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Matthew 28:6

    Earthly "freedom" is NOT what traditionalists and conservatives should be supporting. Freedom as the primary agenda inevitably morphs into license and narcissism.

    What we should be championing instead is ordered liberty, i.e., the pursuit of optimality. We live in the reality of an imperfect world, where there are always trade-offs, personal choices, responsibilities, and results. But just like Satan himself, leftists tempt the ignorant and naïve with delusions of pure autonomy. “Demand your rights” they insist, “and you shall be free.”

    Radical autonomy promises personal freedom, but in the end it is simply the license to avoid choosing good from evil and any true value derived thereof.

    Radical autonomy must inevitably chew up each next bit of traditional society in order to destroy it.

    Radical autonomy casts the individual adrift on an endless sea of ultimately meaningless choices. He is left with no traditions that could anchor him to his family, his culture, his religion, or his society. His existence has no choice but to sink into narcissism.

    Ordered liberty, NOT freedom, is the only way to achieve an optimal balance between individual choice and a meaningful society.

    The sordid beauty of liberalism is that you are allowed to deform the language in whatever way you feel, so as to avoid ever acknowledging the horrendous real-world ramifications of your poisoned policies. "In the Beginning was the Word..." And who would be most likely to distort the word, if not Satan himself? In the final analysis, the left have surrendered to evil.

    Come let us rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord, who is the Truth, the only Way to perfect freedom!

  11. Paycheck conservatives who draw a salary for being neutered "conservatives" at liberal strongholds like the New York Time ought to look at the hard, good life of Lawrence Auster, and be embarrassed by the contrast between their ephemeral evasions and his moral earnestness and ability to drive a meaningful debate about lasting values and how to uphold them.

    They won't of course.

  12. Daybreaker: Try using this link. Capitalization matters.

  13. Thank you for posting this.