Lothrop Stoddard on Nazi feminism

[Here’s a quick one-off post on a subject the vast majority of people have been taught to regard as an oxymoron, and also as an appendix to my prior essay on NS thought. I hope to come out with more essays soon now that I have more free time ahead of me.]

Just about everyone equates National Socialism with social conservatism, not least of which contemporary sympathizers of National Socialism who regard it as the traditionalist philosophy par excellence, capable of invigorating the mind, body and soul of the great European race like no other.

It is therefore worth bringing up some observations from Lothrop Stoddard, a figure I believe every racialist would regard as a trustworthy source. One of his lesser known works, Into the Darkness (1940), documented his four-month tour of the Third Reich.

Chapter XIII, “Women of the Third Reich,” is particularly notable. It consists primarily of his conversation with leader of the NS-Frauenschaft, Gertrud Scholtz-Klink. Its testimony poses quite a challenge to interpretations of National Socialism as being traditionalist, conservative or reactionary on even a social and familial basis.

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How classical liberalism got pwned (in brief)

Social equity today does not have to be so much fought for by young radicals as administrated by managers of all ages.

— Jay M. Shafritz and E.W. Russell, Introducing Public Administration


A long-standing dilemma that disturbs the libertarians is the question of how classical liberalism was so badly butchered into the pinko social liberal ideology of Hobhouse, Green, Lloyd George, etc. which it is today. The straight answer is that no one butchered it and that liberalism outside of England and (sometimes) France was practically never laissez-fairist.

However, it is worth looking into the question for its own sake. After all, going from Herbert Spencer ranting against public sanitation legislation in his essay The New Toryism (1884) to Lloyd George’s “People’s Budget” in a span of about a couple of decades is a rather striking saltationist event of social evolution, both in the case of English liberalism specifically, and of how a generally economically liberal consensus can rapidly spiral off into one of scientific management.

“Who now reads Spencer?,” asked Talcott Parsons many years ago. No one. No one now reads Parsons either, might I add.

But in order to get a hint, perhaps we ought to sample the man. He was the biggest intellectual celebrity of the 19th century, after all. It’s almost difficult to believe this today given his quick plunge into irrelevance simultaneously with the Victorian rugged liberalism he stood for, but at least the volume of his book sales corroborates this notion. And, contrary to stereotypes of him by his socialist opponents, his theory of evolution was quite sophisticated.

This isn’t supposed to be an overview of Spencer. If you want that, go read Alberto Mingardi.

One of Spencer’s main postulates was that social systems evolve from an indefinite homogeneity to concrete and definite heterogeneous networks, and per his First Principles, “that all sensible existences must, in some way or other and at some time or other, reach their concrete shapes through processes of concentration.”

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Jules Barni and the comedy of the republican freeholder ethic

[This elucidates previous ideas I’ve been discussing, but states them in a much more direct manner. It also gave me the opportunity to introduce a few ultra-royalists that I will be revisiting later, and it’s my first attempt at comparative analysis via feudal law, something that I will be doing more of in the future.]

We will be looking at the story of a Kantian. It isn’t Donald Trump, though I am eagerly anticipating how he will complete the system. By all indications, The Donald seems like a fan of Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation, so perhaps a synthesis of the Ego and the Gesellschaft will be the key. One can only speculate.

The Kantian in question is Jules Barni, long-time traveler in left-wing causes during the Second Empire and Third Republic, having published in Jules Simon’s liberal newspapers, and having been a member of the League of Peace and Freedom, a pacifist organization joined by such luminaries as Garibaldi and Bakunin. Following his own idol Kant, himself a theoretician of republicanism and internationalism in Perpetual Peace (1795), Barni was to become a prime philosopher of modern liberal (as opposed to classical) republicanism, though largely unknown in the Anglosphere.

Writing in 1795, one of Kant’s Preliminary Articles for peace consisted of opposition to dynastic inheritance, justified thusly: “For a state is not a property (patrimonium), as may be the ground on which its people are settled. It is a society of human beings over whom no one but itself has the right to rule and to dispose. Like the trunk of a tree, it has its own roots, and to graft it on to another state is to do away with its existence as a moral person, and to make of it a thing. Hence it is in contradiction to the idea of the original contract without which no right over a people is thinkable. Everyone knows to what danger the bias in favour of these modes of acquisition has brought Europe (in other parts of the world it has never been known). The custom of marriage between states, as if they were individuals, has survived even up to the most recent times, and is regarded partly as a new kind of industry by which ascendency may be acquired through family alliances, without any expenditure of strength; partly as a device for territorial expansion. Moreover, the hiring out of the troops of one state to another to fight against an enemy not at war with their native country is to be reckoned in this connection; for the subjects are in this way used and abused at will as personal property.”

Putting aside the question as to why a “moral person” cannot morally contract himself, Barni’s Manuel républicain (1872) was a pivotal work in entrenching the revolution that Kant envisioned and which impassioned many men into carrying it out. It is an excellent statement of political modernity, and it ought to be reckoned with. We will be sampling the two most important chapters, Principles and Mores (of the republicans).

Now, we are going to do a little thought experiment here. We will take a contemporary legal treatise on Anglo-Norman feudal tenures and toy around with it as an analytical framework by which to elucidate the practical substance of Barni’s claims. Thomas de Littleton’s Tenures (circa 1480) is a good choice as any, a true classic.

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Constant, Remusat and the Tensions Between Ancient and Modern Liberties

Freedom! What word has caused more acrimony? Our great modern liberals, owing their lineage from cameralist blowhards on to German Kathedersozialisten who then cross-pollinated with American institutionalists (Friedrich S. List, widely credited as the founder of economic nationalism, was actually influenced by an early ideologue of the American System and of Northern manufacturing interests, Daniel Raymond), are ever clamoring for greater positive liberties. They fancy themselves as builders of an inclusive polis, complete with its patron deities of Science and Reason. A polis where behavioral norms are set completely uninhibited as if from a De Sade novel, and where no problem cannot be solved by social insurance programs legitimated through popular plebiscite and executed by technicians and clerks.

Against this stand the dwindling numbers of Manchesterites, espousing the negative conception of freedom from interference. To a large degree, this is an aristocratic idea: the nobleman jealously guarding his seignioral rights from regalian prerogative on top, and thus developing an ethic of independence. The ideal here is the rzeczpospolita szlachecka, a constitutionally limited commonwealth consisting of allodial property-holders having free conscience and owing little to the taxman, its ultimate dream being sinecure through absentee rent-extraction. Except this vision was transplanted to the burghers.

The Manchesterites would find out that the capitalists are natural-born Ghibellines, since strictly speaking, they have no status in terms of formal peerage. Their status is determined by wealth, and wealth can always (selectively) be maximized, if in an illusory manner, by the coalition-building powers of the exchequer and by lavish public works projects to serve as subsidized foundations of their own enterprises.

Social liberalism and Manchesterism are the inevitable perversions of two archetypes that French liberal Benjamin Constant would respectively draw between liberty of the ancients and liberty of the moderns, himself an avowed champion of the latter.

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Aristocratic liberalism: a brief tour of an extinct tradition

Can one be a liberal who hates the people? Liberalism and democracy are generally taken to be two inseparable sides of the same coin, but as any socialist will tell you, it need not be so. Indeed, it was not always so. Is there not some conflict between a contractual view of a bounded state where governors reciprocally guarantee certain rights to citizens, and a view of a General Will perpetually demolishing fences that the forces of “free expression” and ballot-box anarchy deem unworthy of standing? It seems there is. Of course, any aberration from democracy in a liberal state seems to be quickly corrected, either in the direction of more popular participation with disastrous results (First Spanish Republic, First Portuguese Republic, First Austrian Republic, etc.) or that of more popular participation with careful bureaucratic safeguards (most modern liberal democracies).

Still, the rule of law differing from the rule of the rabble, we will be looking at the dead transitory tendency that was aristocratic liberalism, which flourished during the period from the Bourbon Restoration to the July Monarchy (1814-1848) in France, but with a precedent in the conservative Monarchiens faction during the early stages of the French Revolution (1789-1791), who advocated for constitutional monarchy.

The essence of this aristocratic liberalism is a belief in constitutionalism, representative institutions and civil liberties, but a rejection of what we call “political freedom.” A nonpartisan monarch stands inviolable and infallible, but does not legislate directly, only through his ministers. A bicameral legislature votes on and enacts laws, but they are sanctioned and promulgated solely by the person of the king. Freedom of religion and equality before the law are guaranteed. However, political participation is strictly limited by census suffrage, restrictions on the press and restrictions on political assembly. These are, by and large, the principles of the Charter of 1814 which opened the Bourbon Restoration. The conception of liberty is one based on property, not on voice.

The aristocratic liberals were the epitome of bourgeois values. The term “bourgeois” has, of course, become one of opprobrium. The left associates it with reactionary capitalist robber barons extracting surplus value from powerless wage workers, whereas the right uses it as something of a synonym for an urban bohemian type with progressive convictions and a liberal-arts major, what is today often called a SWPL.

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Mencius Moldbug, 10 years later: a critical retrospective

[Also on Thermidor.]

Who would have thought that some kid, a civil service brat and the grandson of dues-paying members of the CPUSA, who came of age on Usenet discussing SunOS Unix login semantics and apparently submitting text files for cDc’s ezine [who are somehow still kicking around], would become an infamous blogger widely credited as the one who kickstarted a tendency in political thought called “neoreaction”?

April 22nd, 2007 was Moldbug’s debut on 2Blowhards.com, publishing his formalist manifesto, to be republished as the first article on Unqualified Reservations a day later. Having ostensibly secured himself a reasonable amount of discretionary income in the dot-com boom, he took a sabbatical to read some books, old and new.

The product of UR was a series of lengthy blog posts with long-winded digressions, liberal use of quotations and extended commentaries on books written before 1922 offering perspectives that are unsettling to children of (very) late modernity. Between this were frequent spats with other bloggers (something Moldbug would come back to do again after Scott Aaronson urged action against Trump’s Executive Order 13769). See, e.g., his exchanges with Liberal Biorealist: [1][2].

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American anti-communism: infested by pinkos (1956)

[I’ll be away during Easter break and for a while after. Except for a draft I have ready and set to be published next week that isn’t directly related to the legitimist mission that this blog has set for itself, my hands are empty for the time being.

Until then, here’s a quick dose of your beloved 1950s Amerikwa that many people want to go back to.]

So I was digging through old texts on American diplomacy when I stumbled upon some documents and minutes of a 1956 meeting of the House Un-American Activities Committee, that dreaded and vile scourge of McCarthyism, entitled: The communist conspiracy: strategy and tactics of world communism.

We are introduced to the hearing thusly:

Among the duties of the Internal Security Subcommittee, pursuant to Senate Resolution 366 of the 81st Congress, is the duty to make a continuing investigation of the extent, nature, and effects of subversive activities in the United States, its Territories and possessions, including, but not limited to, espionage, sabotage, and infiltration by persons who are or may be under the domination of the foreign government or organizations controlling the world Communist movement or any other movement seeking to overthrow the Government of the United States by force and violence.

It is abundantly clear from the numerous projects which the Internal Security Subcommittee has completed pertaining to the Communist conspiracy in the United States, that this conspiracy here is only one tentacle of a worldwide octopus which has as its principal target the United States of America.

If we are adequately to appraise the operation of the Communist conspiracy in this Nation it is essential that we keep abreast of the world strategy and tactics of international communism. Accordingly, I have appointed a task force of the Internal Security Subcommittee, consisting of myself as chairman with Senators Herman Welker and Pat McCarran as members, for the purpose of maintaining a continuing study and investigation of the strategy and tactics of world communism.

The hearing today is the first in a series of hearings on this general subject matter which has many facets, each of which we shall explore as we receive the testimony of a number of witnesses who will be scheduled over the course of the next several months.

Now, before HUAC introduces its exhibits, we get an introduction consisting of, among other things, a summary by none other than AFL-CIO President George Meany on the grave nature of the threat America is facing, and the ways that one can stop communist imperialism.

I have to caution you, this is extremely counterrevolutionary material here. Even hardened High Tories will find it a tad too much to stomach.

Having warned you:

That is why the Communist parties are not political parties in the democratic sense of the word. They are only national sectors of a Russian-directed world body. The military weight and material resources of the Soviet state are the base, the heart and head of Communist activities everywhere. This brute force is combined with a phony religious fanaticism. The Soviet state and its foreign branches constitute a godless church-state. This godless church-state fights on all fronts, in all walks of life, and with any and all means. Its central aim is the extension of the present Moscow-Peking Empire to include the entire world.

[…]

Too many in the free world fail to see the real nature of Communism as the mortal foe of everything that we hold dear, of every moral and spiritual value. Too many in the free world are still prisoners of the illusion that Communism is, historically speaking, a progressive system — extreme liberalism temporarily making bad mistakes. Actually, Communism represents darkest reaction. It is an anti-social system in which there are embedded some of the worst features of savagery, slavery, feudalism and life-sapping exploitation manifested in the industrial revolution of early-day capitalism.

[…]

Not until we of the free world can give rebirth to a vibrant moral attitude, to a burning indignation against such frightful bestialities, can the freedom-loving people be sufficiently stirred to gather the moral strength for resisting and defeating the totally anti-moral dogmas and deeds of Communism at home and abroad. Yes, this means above all a moral struggle against Communism.

[…]

Communism is the very opposite of liberalism. Communism is the deadliest enemy of liberalism. Liberals should be the most consistent and energetic fighters against Communism. Liberals must also be on guard against developing a certain type of McCarthyism of their own. They must shun like a plague the role of being anti-anti-Communist. Only by refusing to be thus entrapped can liberals shed every vestige of subconscious and conscious regard for Communism as a movement with which they have something in common.

Much more regard must be shown by the democracies for principles — for the principles of human rights and human freedom. We must never sacrifice principles to expediency. This means being rigid in support of our principles.

Freedom-loving, all-American anti-Bolshevism: it’s worse than the John Birchers thought. The dark forces of Communist reaction bringing “feudalism” and “life-sapping exploitation manifested in the industrial revolution of early-day capitalism” are certainly out of the way, however. Now we have a benevolent feudalism and a managerialism so beautiful it would reduce the old cameralists like Justi, Pfeiffer and Sonnenfels to tears. Or perhaps indignant rage at how the Kammern no longer have any coherent income-expenditure flows to speak of.