Let us consider the most popular statement of traditionalism, from its most evocative author, Julius Evola, and reflect how it has become the standard for actual conservatism in our day:
My principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.
There are two ways to construct a nation: inside-out, or based on its people and their varying levels of ability, or outside-in, where it is based on rules that shape people like products in a factory.
Our present civilization in the West is outside-in through the magic not just of egalitarianism, but its root in individualism. Individualism demands outside-in because each individual wants to end the Darwinian risk of not being included in the group through personal failings, low character or habits. Paradoxically, individualists demand collectivism because only collectivism provides each individual with protection.
As one might anticipate, any such paradoxical viewpoint will lead to something bad. Our society is not just failed, but since the World Wars has been ugly and corrupt in its soul, meaning that everyday life is the opposite of joy and tends to destroy anyone who is not a robotic, consumption-driven cog who specializes in flattering others. This is a time we benefit from leaving.
Making a break from the past requires us to update Evola’s statement:
My principles are only those that, during the golden ages of humankind, every well-born person considered sane and normal.
The decay had started long before the French Revolution, although that was the fatal decision that formalized the anti-realistic thought of the Left and thus weaponized it for transmission.
At the end of the day, the question distills to a simple set of further questions.
Do we want a golden age, or to apply band-aids to what we have? (Most people want the latter. Always.)
Do we want quality, or a whole lot of something less? (If we have more, we all get some.)
Do we want our lives to be fulfilling, or would we rather have nothing compete with the self for meaning?
Do we want to live for what others fear, or what we fear to assert, because it is so beautiful?
The inside-out society explores our inner desires to find what is real. It knows that there is no objectivity, only degrees of subjectivity, and those who are least subjective are those who know themselves the best, contrary to popular “wisdom.”
The outside-in society assumes that all of our desires are the same, i.e. “equal,” and therefore that we can be manipulated with external rewards and punishments alone. This turns us into domesticated animals who do not plan or desire, but merely react to what is offered, which keeps those in control in power.
At the current point in history, we stand at a juncture. We can keep on going down the path of the last several millennia, which is increasingly individualism which depends on a convenience-based worldview in which all objects in the world serve the individual, and that which conflicts with individual desires is seen as an impediment:
Individualism, political and social philosophy that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Although the concept of an individual may seem straightforward, there are many ways of understanding it, both in theory and in practice. The term individualism itself, and its equivalents in other languages, dates—like socialism and other isms—from the 19th century.
Individualism once exhibited interesting national variations, but its various meanings have since largely merged. Following the upheaval of the French Revolution, individualisme was used pejoratively in France to signify the sources of social dissolution and anarchy and the elevation of individual interests above those of the collective. The term’s negative connotation was employed by French reactionaries, nationalists, conservatives, liberals, and socialists alike, despite their different views of a feasible and desirable social order.
No one can quite put their finger on it, but individualism is the essence of the outside-in mentality. This is paradoxical: assertion of the individual, as an ideological concept, replaces the achievements of the individual as an independent actor. Individualism protects the individual from having to test himself by attempting to achieve goals and succeeding or failing. It removes the burden of adaptation to reality by insisting that the individual is fine just the way he is, or “equal.” This comforts the human mind by removing the primary struggle outside pure animal survival.
A sensible person is neither individualist nor conformist, which is what happens when a group of individuals get together and agree to enforce a fake reality that ensures no individual is challenged to do more than he desires. Think of a gang: all are accepted, so long as they uphold the gang, and no one is criticized for having failed at life so much that being in a gang is all they are good for. Civilizations thrive where they are the gang; once internal gangs arise and become popular, then the civilization is a bundle of special interests held together by some narrow device — usually politics or economics — which inevitably then becomes disproportionately powerful.
What might an inside-out society look like?
First, every activity would be related to a purpose that was in turn directly related to the goal of civilization. “I want this” would not be an acceptable reason, nor would “Other people want this.” Legitimate reasoning would take the tripartite form of “I need to do to x in order to achieve result y which is part of goal z.”
Next, at every level, people would have responsibility. Their jobs would involve tasks for which only one person was responsible and, if it were done wrong and no extreme intervening factor were found, they would be blamed. The flip side of this is that each day provides options to succeed by doing things right.
Finally, this society would be actively engaged in maintaining itself — and in bottlenecking its population. The hidden area where politics refuses to go, but nature does, is genetics. People act according to their genetic code, just like bugs or rodents. This produces a need to constantly promote the best and exile the worst, so that in every generation there is a struggle to prove oneself.
The main difference between an inside-out and outside-in society is that the outside-in society creates a type of system or game. It tells its citizens what is expect of them not in terms of results, but in terms of methods or procedures. As a result, those who conform, even if they miss everything but the obvious, get promoted and those who reject this exercise as silly are demoted, leading to a die-out of those with critical thinking abilities.
As world liberalism winds down — and from its failure across multiple fronts, it is clear that it is ending its two-hundred plus year streak and the last seventy years of intense dominance — we will need to look for an alternative to our society as it stands now. Our mistake will be to not go far enough, and not just reverse liberalism, but reverse the cause of liberalism by choosing a healthier direction such as an inside-out civilization