Richard M. Weaver wrote Ideas Have Consequences based around a simple concept: while individual people are small, ideas take on a life of their own when they resonate with others, and these become living things. If the word is a virus as William S. Burroughs says, then ideas are ecosystems in which people play a role and in doing so, advance the idea.
The twentieth century showed us the effect of ideas on masses of humanity. Revolutions took off whenever people needed a scapegoat, and that they inevitably ended up regretting their choice later rarely made it into the history books. People became fascinated with pure ideas like socialism and egalitarianism which had no counterpart in reality. Historical change followed.
These ideas, however, do not take the form of what we might call “political ideas,” or practical notions of systems. Rather, they tend to be visual ideas, such as seeing peasants interacting as equals, or no one suffering from want. They require translation into policy by those who can make the causes that achieve these visions as effects.
For that reason, it makes little sense to say that America is an idea:
But if the American nation is not a race, what is it? It’s now often said that the American nation is actually an “idea” — the idea that all men are created equal, for example, or that the powers of government derive from consent, as suggested in the Declaration of Independence. But that isn’t any more plausible than the racism of the alt-right. After all, if America is a handful of abstract principles drawn from 18th century Enlightenment philosophy, what are we to make of Americans who dissent from this philosophy — on biblical or Aristotelian, Burkean or Humean grounds?
This article goes on to make a series of half-hearted suggestions and ends in confusion, but it brings up a good point. If we make our society into an “idea,” then we are enforcing that as an ideology, which places us right in line with the Soviets, Fascists, Nazis, and Jacobins. Then again, that seems to be what has happened in the last century in the USA at least.
If America started as an idea, it took a long time to articulate. The first confederacy collapsed, giving way to the Constitution, after a Declaration of Independence and revolution that gave us some ideas in speeches and writings, including the famed Federalist Papers. However, were these the idea of America, or the system designed to support it?
Revolutions are tricky things. The American revolution was a secession, not a revolution per se, in that it did not intend to change the social system in America except as necessary to effect separation from its former masters. We left the English crown behind, so we needed to come up with another system.
Our founding fathers hated democracy, but also lacked a European royalty to rule them. Many will recall that there were calls for George Washington to appoint himself emperor, but he opted for elections instead. The founding fathers compromised by assuming that society as it was would continue on the same trajectory, namely ruled by an elite of pioneer plantation owners who kept order in their relatively independent states. At the time, the enfranchised population was almost entirely Western European, and only landowning males could vote.
This shows us what the “idea” of America actually was: a place for England and Western Europe to expand and live as a hierarchy of free holders, working off the land, and resisting the vast social change that was roiling Europe by adopting a very limited version of it with many checks and balances to keep extremity and mob rule out.
That inherently conservative idea was lost, of course, because words are interpreted by the beholder and people use that as an excuse to creatively re-write any document if given enough time. Tell people “thou shalt not murder” and they will start busily editing away at the definition of “murder” until it fails to include the people that they want dead.
Even more, the founding fathers gave us a clear idea of what the “idea” of America was with an immigration act crafted the same year as the Bill of Rights:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States.
Back then, “white” meant Western European: English, Scots, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, German, and a smattering of others who did not look mixed from places like France and Spain. White meant Nordic-Germanic without admixture. It also applied to free men, not slaves or the Irish. This was the “idea” of America as well.
Our contemporary society finds itself ruled by a Leftist idea, egalitarianism, that the founding fathers rejected by placing limits on it. They thought all mean were created equal, meaning that they were alive and could act on their own choices. They had zero intention of government enforcing this.
The Left created backward enforcement through doctrines similar to our modern “disparate impact.” If we assume all men are equal, they reasoned, if the results were not equal, then something had been done to reduce their equality, and it was the duty of government to intervene and make things equal. This always happens in egalitarian states; no recorded exceptions exist.
That, by the way, is why the “cOnSeRvAtIvEs sUpPoRt eQuAlItY oF oPpOrTuNiTy nOt eQuAlItY oF oUtCoMe” meme is mistaken: the two become one and the same, every time. If you say people are equal, people look around and spy some poor fellow in rags and say, “What about that guy?” and then you are on the road to full socialism in a heartbeat.
Modern conservatives represent those who took the American position, already a Leftist-interpreted version of the Right, and took it farther Left. This gave rise to the modern cuckservative or neo-conservative who is basically a Leftist who likes conservative methods. You can spot these in the wild talking about “muh rights” and “muh freedoms”:
As I told the audience, I’ve spent my life as a conservative, but what I’ve sought to conserve is not the Spanish Inquisition or the powers of kings and barons. I’ve sought to conserve the free societies that began to be built in the 18th century and that have gradually developed and strengthened—with many imperfections and hypocrisies and backsliding—in the 250 years since. When I was young, the most important challenges to those free societies seemed to come from Communists and Marxists. When I was not so young, the most important of those challenges seemed to come from Islamists. Today, they seem to come from—again, speaking politely—populists.
In other words, they want to define all conservatives as classical liberals, a group who accepted equality through its economic form, free markets, and assumed that all would turn out well if we just let people do whatever they want that they could also pay for. This belief lives on in modern libertarians, who lean more Left than Right. It also birthed the roots of consumerism.
Conservatives of old knew that people were fundamentally not good and that mob rule was fundamentally bad. They recognized the need for a military-style hierarchy, a strong social order, and reward only for those who did the right thing. They saw that most of humanity was living in error, and wanted to be the few to rise above the mediocrity of the norm.
If you look around the world, you can see how right they were and are. Most people live in subsistence-level poverty because they keep doing things in inefficient, dysfunctional, and superstitious but popular ways. Of the eight billion people on Earth, maybe a half billion live in near the standard of functional society that we have come to expect in the West.
The “new Conservatism” (or as we might call it in contemporary lexicon, neoconservatism) of America began to fragment a few decades later with the introduction of non-white Europeans — Irish, Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Jews — to a formerly almost exclusively Western European camp. This divided the country: the old schoolers like the old conservatism, but the new groups were afraid of being excluded or kept as an underclass, so they championed state-enforced equality.
America split along these lines and erupted into a mighty civil war based on whether we would keep the old agrarian order of the Constitution era or go along with the city-based industrial order, and when that was over, people compromised rather than keep their ideals. As Murray Rothbard wrote, the synthesis birthed modern America:
In short, the election of 1896 left the United States with a new party system: a centrist and moderately statist Republican Party with a comfortably permanent majority of the country, and a minority Democratic Party roughly confined to the one-party South and to Irish-controlled big cities of the Northeast and Midwest, which were nevertheless a minority in those regions. Gone was the sharp conflict of ideology or even of ethnic-religious values; both parties were now moderately statist in different degrees; both parties contained pietists and liturgicals within their ranks. The McKinley Republicans were happy to be known as the “party of prosperity” rather than the “party of great moral ideas.”
In order to get along, we had to leave behind “moral ideas” and replace them with “prosperity.” The country no longer had a unifying idea; it had an economic system and the government that would enforce it, much as it did during the Civil War.
Ethnic diversity took us from having a moral and social idea of who we were, to being a country dedicated to an ideology, or a messianic dogma which wants to change humans through social engineering in order to enforce ideology. That is an idea, but a different type of idea; it is not an idea of nation, but of a political system. In the old America, the political system existed to make the idea of America happen; in the new America, the political idea replaced the idea of America.
This ideology took hold in the 1900s, intensified after WW1 and the Great Depression, became used by the State as its moral justification for WWII, took further hold when its masters took interest in how total mobilization could make the nation effective, became formalized with the election of our first Irish president with Kennedy, exploded into control of mass/pop culture in 1968, and finally gained free license to be as crazy as it wanted when the Soviet Union fell and so people assumed that we were safe from extreme Leftism, instead of noticing that it was surging up from within.
For more than century, America has been like the Soviet Union an ideological republic, meaning that it is no longer dedicated to preserving “natural rights” and a culture. It is dedicated to transforming its people into Leftists by using civil rights, which has become such an ideological point of focus that any who dare criticize it must be destroyed in order to keep the herd marching in line.
As a result, Leftists can play a clever little game: they pretend that the order they recently foisted on us back in the 1960s is in fact how we have always been. This is their way of trying to argue for the new way as permanent despite abundant evidence of its failure:
Its premise appears to be that protection of others limits the rights of white men, and those rights should be unlimited.
…So much of what is at stake is the definition of “us”, “ours” and “we”. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,” says the preamble to the constitution. It was murky about who “we” were, and who “the people” were. That document gives only some white men the vote and apportions each state’s representation according to “whole Number of free Persons, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons”.
The signers of the Constitution made it clear what they meant by “we”: free Nordic-Germanic men of good character. Only after Leftists had raged across America, using slavery and then civil rights as their battering ram, was this definition changed. Now that we have seen, fifty years later, its effects, we realize that it is a dead-end path that will destroy us.
Diversity was promised, as you recall, as a form of making peace. Instead of having slaves and free men, we would have only free men. Instead of having a black underclass, we would have equal citizens. Everyone would live in peace, with white people able to do what they always have without interruption, with the added duty of tolerating others.
However, this demand for tolerance kept expanding. At first it meant equality under law; then it meant guaranteed jobs, and that if a white person was accused by a non-white person, the white person was presumed guilty. Disparate impact meant that somehow it became our duty to ensure that others were brought up to some level of equal. We could not have our own neighborhoods, schools, businesses, churches, or newspapers.
How is this any different from what the Communists did in the Soviet Union, or the Nazis did in Germany, or even the various crazy religious groups that our population emigrated to America in order to escape, in the depths of their fervor, did?
We are fighting for the freedom to be European. Not “white,” but our different European groups, such as WASPs and Slavs and Irish and Jews, without being forced to provide economic sustenance for a non-white underclass, a political agenda of civil rights, and a permanent huge government welfare/benefits/entitlement state. We are enslaved and it is slowly killing us off.
Fewer white babies are being born. More white people are strung out on drugs. Fewer have good jobs. Many more have dropped out. Suicide rates remain high, especially for those who lived long enough to see what happened to their nation. We cannot speak for ourselves, cannot even say that it is okay to be white, and we are constantly demonized in media.
These people on the Left pretend that they are the victims, but really, they are the aggressors. Like a swarm of locusts, they move into any country stupid enough to accept them, and then they use guilt and manipulation in order to take over. At that point, they consume everything of value, kill off the occupants, and then move on to their next target.
Most of humanity behaves this way. Our species is mostly insane and parasitic, as anyone who has been to the third world can tell you. Your average citizen of Earth lives in squalor and hobbles himself through corruption, criminality, and a lack of long-term planning. The West — including America — is the exception because we suppressed these behaviors.
Now the herd is telling us that we cannot suppress bad behavior and must accept it as equal, even though it means our doom. Like most people, they think that destroying those who have gotten ahead of them will somehow raise them up, but it will not. In the ashes of America, they will end up doing the same stuff they did elsewhere, and will be just as poor, dumb, violent, and corrupt.
We can see that it is The International Horde Versus The United States because of how they perverted our system of natural rights into their system of mandatory equality, a.k.a. “civil rights” and “human rights”:
Although there was a socialistic thread in its founding document, the United Nations was formed based on a vision of human rights presented in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (UDHR) which placed the concept of rights at the forefront for the progress of the world body. And rights are the mainstay for uplifting human freedom and the dignity of the individual. The UDHR document followed many amazing documents that presented rights as the central concept of the post-feudal world: the English Declaration (or Bill) of Rights of 1689, the U.S. Declaration of Independence with its important and forceful assertion of inalienable natural rights, the powerful U.S. Bill of Rights enacted in 1791, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789).
…In 2015, seventy years after their original rights-based document, the UN took a giant step towards the global government that was only hinted at in their first organizing document. They issued a document entitled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” This document has 91 numbered sections of the UN’s program for world government.
In other words, the international horde wants to take over to ensure that everyone has “rights,” which really means enforced equality, which in actuality means punishing the more competent so that the less competent can feel important. This is the triumph of envy and a nadir of humanity, not its apex.
Much like the Soviet Union, it will go down in slow smoldering agony and leave behind a population unable to make decisions for themselves, languishing in the ruins of a once-great empire. If you want to draw analogies to Italian military and industrial prowess after the fall of Rome, or the lack of great Greek philosophy for the past 1500 years, feel free.
The Left has destroyed the idea of America, which included the notion of protecting a Western European population, and replaced it with an angry mob that will grow in quantity but not in quality, and then fail catastrophically. Forced to accept this insanity, the population of America staggers around in denial, distracting itself with gadgets.
We chose diversity as our hill to die upon. It fragmented the “we” that was America: instead of saying that we came from the same root in Western Europe, we had to say that we shared an economic and political system. That in turn left us open to predation by ideology, to the point where now we are an ideological republic where the economic and political system is only tolerated because it serves the ideology… for now.
What is left of America? A smoking ruin:
Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.
But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”
An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” — a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.
These counter-culture movements were not “innovating,” they were destroying the previous order. In its place they injected the order of no-order, a society based upon utilitarianism, or the idea that whatever the largest number of people buy, vote for, or make popular is best. This produced hipsters and mass/pop culture in almost the same gesture.
Ideas have consequences. When we abandoned our original idea of America, we created an anti-America which embraced the opposite of what its founders intended and desired. That in turn has brought us to defeat, since now we have no reason to claim we are excellent but our civil rights agenda and UN-style horde rule. When that fails, we will truly have nothing.
The time has come to realize that we made a bad policy choice back in the 1900s, and we have to walk back toward the American idea. This means that diversity and civil rights must go, as must the welfare state, as must big government and consumerism. Much of the country will have to be relocated to their continents of origin.
However, that is the price of survival, and we are willing to pay it. The other option is to fail like so many empires before and to be so ruined that we will never rise again. That leaves nothing for our descendants, and nothing for ourselves but a sense of shame and failure for being the last generations of such a failed enterprise.