Monday, March 25, 2013

Could a traditionalist society compete with a liberal one?

Jim Kalb describes the strength of liberalism as "the technological method of defining what is wanted and rationally organising resources to achieve it". By applying this method through modern bureaucracy and industrial organisation, liberal societies have been able to outcompete others.

It's a good point. Liberalism is destructive of many things, but economically it has (thus far) created a wide array of consumer choice, with Western shopping malls luring many from other countries.

In what ways could a traditionalist society compete with what liberalism offers? I'll start the ball rolling with the following:

1. A traditionalist community could attract those for whom materialism or hedonism were insufficient.

2. A traditionalist community would not be as unnaturally divided as a liberal one. The emphasis would be on complementary relationships between men and women rather than competing ones. There would no longer be a focus on whites as an oppressor class; nor would there be an aim of dissolving the majority group.

3. A traditionalist community would foster a sense of meaning in everyday endeavours, for instance, by connecting our identity as men and women to fatherhood and motherhood roles and above this to a value-bearing masculine and feminine essence.

4. A traditionalist community could attract the "lions" - those attracted to higher forms of character and culture. It's true that liberalism tries to satisfy this in its appeals to justice, equality and freedom. But it does so by asking the majority to turn against itself and to dissolve itself - so there is an element of self-abasement in the pursuit of liberal ideals. And when it comes to character and culture liberalism tends to reject the idea of inherent standards; instead, the moral standard is one of not discriminating between different lifestyle choices (tolerance, respect, diversity etc.). Can a "lion" be satisfied with the ultimate standard of merely tolerating or respecting rather than asserting higher standards?

5. A traditionalist community would be more concerned than a liberal one with timely family formation. That might attract some of those disillusioned with the periodic disruptions to family formation that take place in liberal societies.

6. A traditionalist community could appeal to those seeking a stable communal identity, within which they could hope to transmit their culture and larger ethnic tradition to future generations.

And what about the material standard of living? If a traditionalist community were to fall too far behind, it might well fail to attract or to keep considerable numbers of people. But there are reasons to believe that a traditionalist community could find at least some advantages when it comes to living standards.

7. In Australia, at least, the cost of housing and education is very high. It's difficult for many young people to afford to buy a home. It's possible to imagine ways to outcompete liberalism in such areas.

8. Hours of work are tending to rise. Sometimes, at least, these extra hours are unnecessary - there could be an effort to rein in hours at work.

9. The male wage has stagnated in real terms for 30 years now. In some Western countries, blue collar male workers have been hit particularly hard. Liberalism is not offering a constantly rising standard of living for everyone.

10. Many liberal states are facing a debt crisis. The limits of the welfare state seem to have been reached. Again, it cannot be assumed that the liberal state will be able to afford a constant rise in the value of benefits.


  1. I'm alittle confused by this post. I separate economic liberalism and social issue liberalism they are like apples and oranges.
    If a (social)liberal claims the success of economic liberalism that is rich.
    They are always against it and have a poor understanding of economics.
    The position need not be taken that economic freedom Is the alternative to traditionalism.
    In fact a traditional society would be the most beneficial to economic growth.
    Considering that is where western economic strength sprang from. It's also where any advantage the Asian world is now seeing is coming from traditional culture.

    The distinction needs to be made or as happened to me I was shouted at by a homosexual liberal fool that claimed homosexuality was intrinsic to economic liberalism.
    Which is absurd.

  2. I must admit i completely disagree that even mentioning a liberal society being close to equal to a traditional society is a joke...

    I think the only reason internationally the world hasn't collapsed yet is because of the very strong foundations built by the traditional society before it.

    The simplest example is the motivation for men to excel. When I was younger even though im very intelligent i flunked out of university more then once, because there simply wasnt motivation for me. Making more $$ later in life was hardly any motivation at all, society had stripped my main role as protector and provider..

    After I realized after taking the red pill that I had been fed a pack of lies and that society and my future family were in dire need of a proper man - my motivation increased ten fold to better myself.

    In a matter of 6 months i was able to fix a good part of the mistakes it took me 8 years to make.

    I'm equating traditionalist society with strong values, its just how it works out. Show me a unsuccessful with high moral values and strong family bonds and ill show u a liar.

  3. Alcestis Eshtemoa (Formely Elizabeth Smith)Tuesday 26 March 2013 at 02:06:00 GMT+11

    A traditionalist society shouldn't have this idea of the Enlightened Economic Man in its veins. Nor of the divorce between household and labour brought on by the British Industrial Revolution.

    What liberal societies offer are simply distractions transmitted through consumerism and other venues.

    Modernity kills humanity in its entirety and subverts the order, so to escape this deadness, they concentrate on the distractions.

    But the circus has to be 24/7 or else people start noticing their sorry state.

  4. Gert,

    Agreed, that liberalism survives by living on the social capital built up in more traditional societies.

  5. I once knew a man who immigrated to Australia from the East end of London. He settled in Sydney, worked hard to earn a pile and then moved to Northern Victoria where he set up a hobby farm, worked three days a week and spent the rest oof his time being a husband, father and member of the local community.

    THAT is a trend I see increasingly amongst like minded friends from their late 20s to early 40s.

    A traditionalist society within a society is not so outlandish as it seems, attracting enough of these types who are making the move anyway to a central geographical location would probably be all that it takes.

  6. You may have heard of the "resilient community" idea.

    There are many ways to build a resilient community.

    To start with, one needs common values. If everyone in the community sincerely believes in the same philosophy, then the community has a chance. But the philosophy can be anything - Catholicism, Maoism, Discordianism, whatever.

    Next, the community needs a location where the locals will not constantly harass them. Don't try to start a Rasta community in Utah, and don't try to start a Mormon community in Beijing.

    Then, the community needs some basic resources - usually a few acres of land and some organic farming equipment.

    After that, the process is pretty easy -- or so I'm told. I have never actually put this to the test. You can web search the term "resilient community" to find sites by John Robb and others.

  7. First anon,

    I don't think there's an orthodoxy when it comes to traditionalism and the free market.

    So when I give my opinion, I'm not asserting it as a generally accepted view. It's my view alone.

    When we consider the kind of economic model we want to follow we have to think about how that creates support or opposition toward a traditional society.

    If, for instance, global conglomerates dominate, then that concentrates wealth amongst a class of people who are unlikely to support a traditional community. Such people are likely to be unsympathetic to particular loyalties.

    Also, even if it's economically efficient to have production concentrated in low wage economies, I don't think a traditionalist community would want to entirely outsource production. Traditionalists tend to have a producer mentality - a desire to make and create.

    So my preferred economic model would try to create a class of small traders and manufacturers mostly dependent on local markets. Their economic position would depend on the continuing loyalty of local or regional communities, so they would have reason to support the particular loyalties of the community they lived in.

    Ideally, these traders and manufacturers would form a business association that would have the combined resources and financial weight to become an institutional source of support for a traditional society.

  8. First anon again. Thanks for the reply. I agree strongly with your post and model in your reply comment. Very much in support of all you have said.

  9. Jim Kalb describes the strength of liberalism as "the technological method of defining what is wanted and rationally organising resources to achieve it".

    I can't agree with that at all. Liberalism defines what is wanted in emotional / political terms, not technological ones. And more often than not, liberalism irrationally squanders resources to achieve its goals (or irrationally flings resources away in a futile effort to achieve unachievable goals).

  10. I think the only reason internationally the world hasn't collapsed yet is because of the very strong foundations built by the traditional society before it.

    We are living off the last whiffs from an empty bottle.

  11. Steve Sailer pointed out a long time ago that people in the U.S.A. spend a lot of money to price themselves out of immigrant neighborhoods. A traditionalist society without unassimilable immigrants would have lower housing costs, because you would not have to over-build in order to escape the Mongol hordes. In turn, this would make family formation more affordable. Combined with the higher birth rates of traditionalists that already exists, the traditionalist society would thrive and the leftist society would become a Third World cesspool.