Temporarily Embarrassed Patricians

On July 4, 1838, the well-esteemed congregationalist minister Hubbard Winslow gave out an oration at Old South Church attended by the municipal authorities of Boston, in commemoration of the anniversary of American independence.

Having graduated from the Yale Divinity School by 1825, in 1832 he had succeeded the Rev. Lyman Beecher as Pastor of the Bowdoin Street Church in Boston. Lyman Beecher was the father of, most famously, Harriet Beecher Stowe, among 12 other children who would cement the family legacy as advocates of temperance, abolition and women’s suffrage. Lyman Beecher himself was the co-founder of the American Temperance Society in 1826.

As such, I would reckon that Winslow is a decent proxy for the state of Boston Brahmin opinion at the time, and of the more conservative Old Light (non-revivalist) wing of evangelicalism.

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The Myth of the Socially Conservative Old Left

[A little detour I got the urge to do following internal debates at Thermidor Mag and various recent bouts of Third Positionist communist apologetics.]

Pareto said that history is the graveyard of aristocracies. It is also the graveyard of right-wing political hopes.

Postcolonialisms, critical theories of race, of sex; reader-response theories; one-dimensional men, 888-dimensional men; dialectics of enlightenment, enlightenments of dialectic; queer deconstructionists and undeconstructed queers (we have too many of those) — what is a helpless observer to do, but yell “Damn you to hell, Christ-killing Jew”?

The vagaries of the biological process, though thankfully not condemning us to an infinitely malleable tabula rasa, alas do not imprint us with historical consciousness. The predestined losers of yesterday die, and to take their place, the predestined losers of today are birthed.

These poor sods (I among them), having to undergo the pain of being under the boot of New Lefts, New New Lefts, Lefts of Ever Ascending Novelty, have developed a few heuristics to make sense of where the current New^n (for values of n) has left off from, and what trajectory it is following for the New^n+1 Left to pick up from.

So, a voice rises up:

“The Old Left didn’t raise a ruckus over no damned queers!”

Indeed, the Old Left didn’t raise a ruckus over no damned queers, by and large. Alas, it did for many other things no less destructive, and I don’t mean just economics.

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The Eighteenth Brumaire of Fritz Pendleton

[The original title was going to be “The Napoleonic Touch of Death,” but surely this is better.]

Fritz Pendleton has implored reactionaries to take note of a well-known Corsican, believing his significance to a hypothetical restoration to be unjustly downplayed. His essay “The Napoleonic Touch” (also linked from his blog) asks us to reconsider the Napoleonic legacy. I shall take up his challenge.

Interpretations of Napoleon still largely converge on one of two axes: Adolphe Thiers’ and Hippolyte Taine’s. A republican admiration for Napoleon the liberator juxtaposed to contempt for Napoleon the egoist, leveller and adventurist.

An interesting synthesis position is that of Frederic May Holland, a 19th century Unitarian minister, in his Liberty in the Nineteenth Century. Napoleon was an egoistic autocrat, but at least he wasn’t an Austrian Catholic conservative, and at least he blessed his German, Swiss and Italian subjects with equality before the law (although that was dialectically inevitable anyway). He concludes that “Napoleon’s despotism had the awful and baneful grandeur of an eruption of Vesuvius; but his despicable enemies merely kept up the oppression of his empire without its glory.” Glory, of carrying on the mantle of egalite, no doubt.

Pendleton, himself struggling with the distinction between patrimonial and despotic authority due to his Bodinian conception of sovereignty inherited from Moldbug, latches on to that word “autocrat” and shouts out: “Goyim, Napoleon was our guy!”

Pendleton’s essay is filled with constant reassurances that Napoleon’s actions were always primarily concerned with the maintenance of order, even when they seem egalitarian. To Pendleton order is something of an ill-defined fixation.

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Friedrich von Gentz, the law of nations and the decline of internoble solidarity

[I must say, this essay is the closest one so far to the spirit of this blog. I do not like it quite as much as the one on Jules Barni, but nonetheless it is this that best foreshadows the subjects I will be talking about all throughout.]

It is obvious that it is not the material situation of the people that causes the uneasiness with which society is suffering. The anxiety that agitated them was an anxiety of mind aroused by discussions on the constituent principles of States. Those who raise these discussions often lack sincerity; They raise them deliberately, in order to produce troubles; It is a weapon which they wish to employ in private interests, and sometimes, according to their position, in political interests; They attack the very seat of the life of States by destroying their principle and organization. These men take a mask of freedom and announce themselves to the nations as liberators; So that their mission has an end, they proclaim that all princes are tyrants, that they must be resisted, that their governments are despotic, that they must be changed. To attain their end, all sorts of sophisms are employed; The most dangerous of all is to separate peoples from their governments and to put them in a position of constant distrust and hostility. This calculation of destruction is clever; For the people, always the strongest, must end by overthrowing any government whatsoever. This principle is the most dangerous of all that can be promulgated, since it engenders anarchy and renders all government impossible. In thus isolating the governments by putting kings on one side and the peoples on the other, doubts have first been raised about the nature and rights of sovereignty.

— Count Karl Ludwig von Ficquelmont, Lord Palmerson, l’Angleterre et le continent (1852) [source]

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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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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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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.