Sunday, October 06, 2013

An Oberlin strong point?

My last post mentioned Oberlin College in the U.S. It's well known for its liberal politics. On its homepage it markets itself as follows:
Oberlin is a place of intense energy and creativity, built on a foundation of academic, artistic, musical excellence. With its longstanding commitments to access, diversity, inclusion, Oberlin is the ideal laboratory in which to study and design the world we want.

Last month I tried to develop some ideas about the way that liberals understand individuality (e.g. here). One part of my argument concerns human nature. We traditionalists accept aspects of human nature that are rejected by liberals, such as masculinity and femininity. We tend to think of ourselves as having a more comprehensive and realistic account of human nature than liberals.

And this belief is justified. However, there does exist one aspect of human nature that liberals do accept and focus on, namely the "creative spirit" aspect of our nature. Liberals express this creative spirit when they emphasise individuality as a creative unfolding of self; when they value the achievement of being self-made; when they reject (formally at least) convention; when they set out to shape the world after their own design; and when they look toward human progress.

That particular focus does bring some advantages to liberalism. It will tend to attract those who have an energy and commitment to making real world changes; who have a degree of idealism about social activism; and who will express themselves in idealistic language as being socially committed.

We need to take some of this ground for ourselves. That's one reason I'm not keen on labels such as "reactionary" or "curmudgeon" (there are even problems with "traditionalist" and "conservative"). We need to incorporate the creative spirit into our own politics, by bringing out the way that our politics serves individuality (as the creative unfolding of self) and contributes to the progress of human societies.

Look at the way that Oberlin markets itself. It is appealing to the creative spirit that I have tried to describe: "a place of intense energy and creativity" and "the ideal laboratory in which to study and design the world we want."

We should try to combine our own political advantages (a less abstract, detached and individualistic understanding of the human personality) with those of liberalism (a focus on creative energy, social activism and taking things forward).


  1. I've heard a lecturer on music browbeating students into "liking" non-classical music they hated in order not to be bigots, backward, ignorant, un-creative etc..

    This "advanced" music was about a hundred years old. It has never won a real, un-subsidized audience, and there is no sign that it ever will. It's important, despite the contempt of both the public and the musicians, because of the power of the purse.

    That's one of two big ways the left controls what counts as "creative" despite the lack of public appeal and despite the frustration of talented musicians and artists who don't necessarily like getting their technically best work pushed aside in favor of leftist political "art": they're the big donors and the big buyers and they've got academia stacked, so they control what you've got to "like" to have a career.

    The other big thing is, artists want to make a statement. Even if it's not true, just to say something. (E.g. if you have a howitzer of a voice and you just know that everyone could be looking at YOU!! if you could just sing the right thing to get attention.) If you say something leftist, there is a powerful lobby that will effectively defend it, and your right to say it, and you, and your future career. If you say something on the right, you are on your own, and your career can just vanish. Nobody has to hire you. They can always just say they're not hiring you because you're not talented. And if you about that fate by being mealy-mouthed about it and always luckily staying out of the limelight enough not to get blacklisted, where's the fun in that? It sure doesn't feel free or creative. The kinds of people who can really have an effect don't like being mealy-mouthed and staying out of trouble and walking on eggshells in order not to be noticed in the wrong way.

    It's hard to do anything about the left having all the money and control of all the institutions, though we should do our best to be a good PAYING audience for rightist art and performances whenever we can. I think we basically have to write off big-money art and big-money music.

    We should defend rightist artists, their work and their careers when we can. But again there's only so much we can do.

    I think a third thing that pro-white rightists should to is prefer, praise and patronize the kind of work that can be done on a shoestring, just with willpower, talent and time, and distributed on the Internet.

    I think this is something the right has been bad with, favoring art that has big financial and technical requirements, and ignoring "one guitar and a message" pop and other art like that.

    I think the old, utterly failed right lost out culturally in the Vietnam War, which it pushed despite that being irrelevant to or against the interests of every young white person. Whoever sang against the war sang in favor of their own interests, and whoever sang for it sang against their own interests, and if they liked it so much why weren't they there? And, it could be considered practically subversive just to be playing a guitar.

    We, not the institutional antiwhite left, are a counter-culture that wants to speak up and has things worth saying. We, not the institutional antiwhite left, want to mock the official lies blared everywhere and upheld by silence enforced with fear. We're the ones that want to make things different from what they are, and by "different" I don't just mean "worse for white children". We're the ones now who, if everyone was speaking up truthfully for their own interests, would have practically a monopoly of talented young whites. For that matter, we are now the relatively anti-war side, skeptical of military "adventures" irrelevant or harmful to the future of whites. We should own all that and roll with it. We are not the big-money, big-institution mainstream, and artistically we shouldn't try to be.

    1. Excellent last paragraph. I do want to emphasise that when I use the term "creative" I don't mean in the artistic sense only, but in two other senses, first, the way that we develop and express ourselves as personalities and, second, the way that we shape the society we live in. Liberals seem to want to do this "freely" in the sense of there being no created reality that might limit or guide the process - it is a detached process of self-making, which then makes it blind to the full range of human elements to hold onto, including those relating to identity and community.

  2. If art is naturally leftist because the sentiments and perceptions of young people are naturally leftist and they're the ones that create everything from new jargon to new art forms, how did "gay" come to mean "stupid"?

  3. All traditional societies are based upon religion and follow the social order and value system mandated by religious texts. This is evident upon travelling through the countries of the world and also in the West where immigrants have settled. One similar characteristic of these immigrant groups is that they have built up parallel societies within the West and in these relatively segregated societies have adhered to their own religious and cultural traditions and insulated themselves from the barbarism around them whilst taking advantage of the economic benefits.

    The "creative spirit" and social values must therefore be defined by Christianity and not by individuals.

    1. I think it goes even further than that. Whereas liberals want the creative spirit to operate in a way that is disengaged from reality, traditionalists want to be fully engaged by seeking to understand, and to best harmonise, an order of being - an order that has natural, social and spiritual components. That order of being is something that we try to best approach; inevitably there will be some differences in how that harmonising of a complex order is managed in different societies.

      For Western religious traditionalists, Christianity will inform the understanding of an order of being, though there is still that task of harmonising the natural, social and religious aspects of life, and bringing them together within a working model of society.

  4. Mark the point of Christianity is that all aspects of life are under Divine rule. One cannot separate and compartmentalise the natural order from the social and religious orders as all exist under the rule of God as mandated in God's Plan in the Bible. Local national and ethnic traditions play a role in the creation of the social order but only so far as they are in accordance with Biblical commands.

    A society which seeks to pick and chose which parts of Christian doctrine it will apply to society and which it will reject is a liberal one and not a traditional one.

    1. Anon, I'm always a bit careful when commenters see Christianity alone as the solution. I'm most familiar with the Catholic and Anglican traditions and in these churches today it is common to find a reductive theology in which Christianity is boiled down to people adopting an attitude of universal love and not making distinctions between people. It's not a theology on which a particular society can be founded, it is dissolving even of the churches which adopt it. It is a theology of a sect rather than of a religion which aspires to form the basis of a civilisation. I don't believe Christianity has to be like that, but here in Australia, at least, it is currently the popular understanding of what Christianity means, even amongst many of the clergy. The understanding of Christianity needs to be put right before it can be confidently promoted as a solution to the current ills of Western society.

  5. There has to be an understanding that Christianity is the base upon Western civilisation is founded and this means the Biblical teachings. This is still found in some of the Protestant and Orthodox denominations. There are churches which have a sound understanding of Christianity and are able to impart good theological teaching to their members. The Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Churches in the Anglosphere have never provided sound Biblical teaching (although they have in other parts of the world).

    The Roman Catholic Church has always focused on the practice of rituals and homilies which are often more political than Christian and rarely exceed 30 minutes, if that. The Roman Catholic Church has never specialised in Biblical exposition for the laity and hence the majority of Roman Catholics are ignorant of Christian theology. Some of the RC Priests even discourage the laity from reading the Bible.The Anglican Church is inherently flawed, being founded upon a divorce, headed by a Monarch who is not theologically trained, and in most of its churches, is barely Christian. (If Prince Charles succeeds to the Throne then the Anglican Church will be headed by an self admitted adulterer and "defender of all faiths"). The Anglican Church has the form of a Church but not the substance. In the few Anglican Churches which are evangelical, the theological instruction is superficial and brief and the churches are often large Sunday circuses devoted to marketing books and videos and self promotion of the pastors. They appear to be in a race to attract the largest congregations and biggest donations. Listening to the sermons (homilies) from Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, it is rare to hear a word of Hebrew or Greek spoken by the priests and yet a basic understanding of the key Hebrew and Greek words and thoughts is essential to Biblical knowledge. One has to know basic Hebrew grammar to understand the thinking of those who wrote the Bible and this you will never find in the sermons of an Anglican or Roman Catholic priest.

    However there are other denominations which provide sound theological instruction and biblical expositions and much of their teaching material and sermons are available on the internet.

    Without a sound Christian understanding, society will continue as a liberal one.

    1. Anon, I generally try to avoid these kinds of debates between different Christian denominations. I do agree with you that it would be helpful for Christians to understand the key Hebrew and Greek words rather than relying on English translations which don't always adequately convey the original meaning (the word prautes comes to mind). Personally I am not an evangelical. I don't believe that the Bible is so complete or obvious a guide that there is no need for natural law, reason, experience and tradition to help clarify or our understanding. Even more importantly, I don't believe that everyone has the personal resources by themselves alone to bring the depth that is necessary to establish an adequate understanding. That seems to me to be very obvious today. The most that many people, including many clergy, appear to be able to do, is to extract a simple, reductive principle from the Bible and then apply it universally, regardless of whether it fits with the rest of the Bible, or what it's real world effects are, or even whether it really represents something true about the spiritual condition of man in his relationship to God. Rather than relying on each person to create a complex understanding, I'd prefer that this was represented within a tradition carefully established over time.

      However, as I said, as important as these issues are, this is not the place to discuss them, so I won't be posting further comments about these particular matters.

  6. "However, there does exist one aspect of human nature that liberals do accept and focus on, namely the "creative spirit" aspect of our nature. Liberals express this creative spirit when they emphasise individuality as a creative unfolding of self; when they value the achievement of being self-made; when they reject (formally at least) convention; when they set out to shape the world after their own design; and when they look toward human progress."

    Of course, the fact remains that "changing the world" and "making a difference" means -- and *must* mean -- changing other people so to induce them ... or compel them ... to conform to one's own desires.

  7. It's also a bit like Eastern enlightenment isn't it? I mean, you can achieve it on your own. Yay! But validating it, that requires the approval of a sect.

    You alone can create a new you. Yay! But it had better not be racist, sexist, homophobic, trans-phobic and cis-privileging, ethnocentric (unless it's the right ethnicity), too crude or over-sophisticated, gauche, louche, redolent of something negative-sounding, trite, jejune, stale or conforming, instead of "deliciously subversive". And we, the entrenched politically-correct establishment, will say which labels apply.

    Soon your "freedom" is no freedom at all, and your personal "creativity" works the same as modern art: it's "no rules" but for the political rules, but the politics is everywhere and everything.

    I think the right counter to this is to appeal blatantly to the raging testosterone of masculine youth, always the blowtorch of real creativity. Young men love rules and high standards - that's how you establish a sport, or any other kind of competition, including creative competition, and kick the tails of your rivals, and establish your greatness! (And win money, fame and girls of course. But sheer masculine ego comes first.)

    If you have the attitude that (despite all the evidence) you are still "the establishment" and your main job is to restrain young men (as if they weren't being feminized and muffled enough) you can't compete in the creativity department.

    What about girls? No powerful pro-right, counter-cultural force is going to arise from "top-of-her-class" highly-conforming, highly rewarded, affirmative-action-favoring feminist girls who have grown up being told they are wonderfully brave and bold for expressing feminist cliches and "the wisdom of the herd". There is nothing to do there.

    These girls might in their lifestyles more closely conform to right-approved respectable values, but as a rightist creative force they don't begin and they won't begin. They have to be recognized as a real force, often a very hostile and political force in criticism and theater. And that's about it.

    Also, the price of even ephemeral tolerance from that lot is that you have to stop boys being boys, and that is a price a real right must never be willing to pay, or even be seen to be maybe willing to pay. Mealy-mouthed talk in: trust out, energy out, game over. "It's a girly thing" - men flee to the exits.

  8. In all societies the social order is imposed top down and the majority of people assume their values and world views from authority figures. Most people have neither the time nor the talent to read and understand the materials required to shape an individual world view and accordingly they mindlessly follow authorities.The creation of a social order therefore requires control of social institutions.

    Traditional societies have always been based upon the coercion of young men to do two major things: obedience to the male authority of older men in society and dedication of their energies to the social system. Young men are therefore under the control of older men who train them in masculine values, the defense of society and land and to whom young men must show obedience and loyalty under threat of punishment for those who disobey. Such authority in Western society has largely gone and young men are weak and disorderly.

  9. Titus Didius Tacitus's post is the definition of "white tears"