What makes us different from them?
The difference is that we don’t gather ourselves around a societal problem (illegal immigration, tailbacks, social inequality), like the other political ideologies have done (liberalism, socialism, etc). Instead, we base ourselves upon a universal analyses of the political evolution of civilization. From this knowledge we approach any societal problem and formulate a political solution.
We formulate our starting principle with the long-term in view and we also formulate political solutions that will have the greatest effect on the long run. We think bigger than that, beyond a quick fix of an immediate need, beyond the popularity of a temporary leader-figure. One may reply: “An immediate societal problem can gain the activism of the masses. A universal analyses of the political aspects of man will not gain the activism of the masses.” My answer is: “Basing the political ideology on an objective analysis is the only way it will not fail.” Republicanism, whose mission it was to prevent the expansion of government influence, has failed.
Fascism and National-Socialism, whose missions were to make Italy and Germany the leading powers of Europe, have failed. Communism, whose mission it was to abolish Capitalism and ensure a generous supply in the daily demands of ordinary labourers, has failed. Other examples are Humanism and Anarchism. Humanism challenged people to question the authority of existing traditions, by making them study the cultures, philosophies and facts of the world, so that they could think for themselves. This clearly failed; in a lecture I gave to 50 random adolescent students, for example, it turned out that only 2 or 3 knew what is going on in Libya. Surely they consider themselves unique individuals, qualified to question the authority of their teachers. While all are wearing the same ipods during the day and watch the same talent shows in the evening.
Anarchism intended to make both the individual and the community completely autonomous, and therefore free and equal. Yet this failed because it didn’t take human nature into account; it’s typically human to want the highest outcome for minimal investment. With other words, to cut corners hoping some do-good can be found willing to do extra work in the service of others. Since our aim is to formulate an ideology that can revive all that is Great, Noble and Virtuous in man, beginning with Western culture and indirectly of all cultures, we need a political philosophy that can see beyond the immediate.
“How are we different? Nazis, Republicans, leftists, Communists, anarchists, Greens, Libertarians and presumably a dozen others are like plants in spring, blowing their mimetic pollen across the electorate and intellectuals alike. We’re not just a splinter group of one of those. How are we different? How are people sure they’re not just picking a cryptic version of one of those others?” – Brett Stevens, ‘Resisting Assimilation’, 2011.
The difference between us and them is simple: We always go with the truth and the facts, make an objective analysis of the situation, and base our effective solutions upon that. Does that make us ‘D66-style pragmatics’? No, because we do have ideological values, since we constantly need to consolidate the integration of values within society if objectivity, requiring a reasonable mindset, is to be possible at all. Loyalty, Duty, Rationality – you can only succeed in your purpose if you consequently maintain its pursuit. Creativity is also important – you must be able to improvise and use the fluctuating circumstances in your favour instead of being thrown off-course by them.
If a person has these values, the values required to consequently maintain the pursuit of an objective, we speak of a coherent inner life. If people aren’t taught to endure, haven’t learned to bear hardships and to persevere, this is what happens: Other ideologies initially do follow objective reasoning and they do acknowledge the facts of the world. Until at some point a sensitive issue comes up, for example immigrant crime-rates. Then they suddenly look the other way in order not to estrange their following and thus their power-base.
Americans are a good example of this: Always declaring that the individual must be free in conscience and choice, and that the government must have minimal interference with this. Unless it’s about stimulating people to go (back) to church and to do prayer in class. Then using the governments’ influence is suddenly not an issue and political groups such as the Tea-Party look the other way. Consider everything that follows an elaborate explanation of what happens and why others go wrong.
I’ll tell you why all political movements are flawed except this one: They gather around political programs favouring some group, thus ensuring themselves of a power-basis of loyal activists, instead of gathering around an objective philosophy. They might start off with an open mindset, gathering ideas and people, and suddenly their movement is large and they find themselves with the opportunity of taking governing responsibility. Every choice they make is in accordance with their ideology and choices are explained to the following every time. Until such a leader finds himself in a situation where he has to choose what’s not the right thing for the values of his ideology.
Let’s say he wants labour-elevation programs, but is faced with budget cuts and money shortage. Or he needs the cooperation of some group, let’s say farmers, mayors or the police. So he has to give them some favour or privilege that stays behind closed doors (for example the police get some extra paid office hours that in reality aren’t used – or a Libertarian representative is coerced into withholding his veto from a protectionist regulation). The leader chooses this for the long term survival of his ideological movement and its political influence, but it does estrange the leaders from their ideological following and waters down the ideology itself. If a political movement grows big, it’s unlikely to retain its philosophical ideology.
It is a custom of democratic countries that what has a large following must also be a player in making policies and running the country. That means the ideology gets tied up with the establishment. And the establishment consists of all sorts of old boys, lobby groups and officials, who “have their own age old ways of how things are done around here”. This interaction with the establishment gives the ideological leader an image of the corrupt the moment he becomes a politician.
And he’ll be dealing more and more with those people and less and less with his following, with every step of government-responsibility he gains. Hitler was forced to stop the Sturm-Abteilung when they wanted to go against the captains of industry, this is what happened in the night of long knives. Lenin found himself reintroducing private property in the NEP, and Wilders had to abandon his pensioners-point – although he had repeatedly stated to be without compromise on the issue. What also doesn’t help is that political movements that get big, attract followers who want to lift along with its growing influence to serve their own ends rather than those of the ideology.
When an ideological leader becomes a conductor of government, he has to keep asking himself the question: “What are the grounds on which I’m choosing this decision and not that one?” He has to perpetually ask himself: “Can I still justify this decision to my ideology and my following, and if so, how?” But that’s not how leaders usually are. Instead they drift along on “this is how things are done around here”. Why?
Because [I] they lack the coherent inner lives required to constantly cling to their ideals and keep rowing against such a “business as usual inertia-tide”. And [II] they lack the power-basis to force these establishment members to take the necessary steps to integrate his ideals into society. They lack capable personnel who share their leaders’ ideology, so they are forced to use other personnel. These others often have different ideologies, serve different groups, and therefore work for his ideological agenda only half-heartedly, slowing down effective implementation.
This discourages the ideological followers and their idealism dies down, and suddenly their leader, the once ideological orator, is just another “manager of public affairs”. Now, imagine that the leader, faced with the slacking conduct of his administrative personnel, rallies his following to put his workers under pressure – to force them to make policy that translates the ideology into societies’ daily life. This could work! This mixture of force and vigour could overcome the inertia-tide that surrounds those who’ve already secured comfortable positions at the top. But this wouldn’t work if the farmers already walked out because their leader had to ban protectionism in order to get industry working along. Or if the mayor and the police already gave up support because they didn’t want to be made to crack down on crime so hard. This fails because if people don’t get instantly what they want, they drop out.
As noted, the common person doesn’t see further then his immediate needs, and this seems to contradict with what is required for political activism – that is that the current generation makes a sacrifice of time and effort for the generations of the future. I draw on the wisdoms of philosophers in the past here, who remarked that great leaders lost their battles owing to the inconsistent attitudes of their people:
“No man can struggle with advantage against the spirit of his age and country, and however powerful a man may be, it is hard for him to make his contemporaries share feelings and ideas which run counter to the general run of their hopes and desires.
I am not suggesting that they resist him openly by means of well thought out schemes, or indeed by means of any considered determination to resist. They show no energy in fighting him and sometimes even applaud him, but they do not follow him. Secretly their apathy is opposed to his fire, their conservative interests to his revolutionary instincts, their homely tastes to his adventurous passion, their common sense to his flighty genius, their prose to his poetry. With immense effort he rouses them for a moment, but they soon slip from him and fall back, as it were, by their own weight. He exhausts himself trying to animate this indifferent and distracted multitude and finds at last that he is reduced to impotence, not because he is conquered but because he is alone.” -Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835
“Whatever we may think or affect to think of the present age, we cannot get out of it; we must suffer with its sufferings, and enjoy with its enjoyments; we must share in its lot, and, to be either useful or at ease, we must even partake its character. No man whose good qualities were mainly those of another age, ever had much influence on his own.
But reason itself will teach most men that they must, in the last resort, fall back upon the authority of still more cultivated minds, as the ultimate sanction of the convictions of their reason itself.” -John Stuart Mill, ‘The spirit of the age’, 1831
Therefore, ordinarily a big change in leadership, civilization and ideology can only occur during a time of extraordinary duress. Else people just can’t be bothered to throw their full weight behind it. For example in 1687/8 the Dutch stadhouder Willem III managed to organize a huge army and fleet to invade England, and did it within a couple of months. He did this despite the fact that Amsterdam, at the time the richest city on earth that was going to have to provide for this campaign, had persisted in a trade-friendly military neutral course for many years.
It was only that the people moved to restore the stadhouders’ military command by removing the wealthy tradesmen regents, when their republic was on the verge of being overwhelmed by Louis XIV and his Catholic helpers in Britain and Germany. Likewise, the NSDAP with its radical political agenda, could only gain power in Germany when the stock market crash and the Treaty of Versailles had severely undermined the nation. The people of the Roman Empire were only ready to accept that Octavian gathered all political and religious powers in one person once their city threatened to collapse under civil war. They were effectively breaking with the age old republican tradition because they hoped he could restore order – and he did, in a spectacular fashion. By now it should be clear to the reader what I mean by “a universal analyses of the political evolution of civilization”.
The more of a coherent inner life you possess, the more likely you are to adequately respond to the challenges that arise in your life. Therefore it’s nonsense to think that a group of people can lead a country to better days if the individual behaviour of these people in daily life doesn’t further the goals they say to pursue. In contrast a group of people with coherent inner lives will be able to find an effective solution to any societal problem that arises. Basically we see with effective leaders from the past, like Octavian and Willem III, that they always maintained a coherent inner life, and waited for the opportunity to present itself.
If you look at the first nineteen years of their lives, there was no indication at all that they would ever be powerful men. Today, whimsicalness is everywhere around us in society. When watching TV, when going out, when regarding literature – whimsicalness seems to be what people want (but not what they should want). From these preferences, therefore, it’s unlikely that a leader with a coherent inner life will drift to the top. And in todays’ society a leader needs to gain a broad support if his idea is to be commercially or electorally attractive. Before we look at any specific societal problem (like other ideologies do), this itself seems to be a course for disaster.
- Objective philosophy, not a policy-programme
- Learn to bear privations
- Select a following that is able to bear privations and to endure
- Use political influence to rearrange society in a way that it makes a coherent inner life the top 1 priority for all
This is also what distinguishes us from the rest. They provide solutions but only push these up to a point – until the inertia overcomes them – and from then on their ideologies become pure rhetoric. Because they lack a universal historic analysis, their political movements are bound to repeat this mistake. Instead of rhetoric, we offer realistic adaptations to the reality in which we find ourselves. Our continuous pursuit of the coherent inner life makes us inertia-proof: We are simply cut from different cloth.