The chicken-and-egg question of civilization decline dogs us repeatedly. Which came first, democracy or breakdown? The answer may be shocking: the tendency of humans toward individualism, manifested in both bourgeois oblivion and prole present-tense me-firsting, overcomes societies once they succeed.
From Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs:
The Divisionists occupy a mid-way position, could in fact be termed moderates…. They are called Divisionists because they literally divide. They cut off tiny bits of their flesh and grow exact replicas of themselves in embryo jelly. It seems probable, unless the process of division is halted, that eventually there will be only one replica of one sex on the planet: that is one person in the world with millions of separate bodies…. Are these bodies actually independent, and could they in time develop varied characteristics? I doubt it. Replicas must periodically recharge with the Mother Cell. This is an article of faith with the Divisionists, who live in fear of a replica revolution…. Some Divisionists think that the process can be halted short of the eventual monopoly of one replica. They say: “Just let me plant a few more replicas all over so I won’t be lonely when I travel…. And we must strictly control the division of Undesirables….” Every replica but your own is eventually an “Undesirable.” Of course if someone starts inundating an area with Identical Replicas, everyone knows what is going on. The other citizens are subject to declare a “Schluppit” (wholesale massacre of all identifiable replicas). To avoid extermination of their replicas, citizens dye, distort, and alter them with face and body molds. Only the most abandoned and shameless characters venture to manufacture I.R.s — Identical Replicas. (81)
The more important question with this in mind is how to resist it. So far the best resistance has come from aristocracy, but aristocrats tend to sacrifice themselves in battle, lessening the ratio of intelligent leaders to unpunished herd. And worse, when the intelligent are made into babysitters, they tend to self-destruct.
Compounding this is the tendency for human beings, even intelligent ones, to create a false social reality in which human intentions and feelings matter more than reality. Socializing reprograms our brains to defer to other people, not reality. On top of that, symbolic reality is more powerful to us, including the approval of others, because it creates a stronger signal in our brains.
If any human society survives in the future, it will do so through a dogmatic elitism and strict attention to morality of thriving in all areas. Ugliness will be banished, and the one-fifth of every generation that are born neurotic, resentful and oblivious will be dispatched to other lands. This seems harsh, but like nature, its harshness will result in better outcomes.
For those who imagine golden fields surrounded by happy people, this may be the price necessary to pay. Good to the good, and bad to the bad, in all things with an eye toward biology, namely that allowing the bad to persist endangers not just other people, but the shared effort toward which we give our lives in cooperation that takes up our irreplaceable time.
Fred Nietzsche is probably right in that currently, humanity is in the saddle between ape and greatness, and what holds us back is our fear for ourselves that has us resisting commitment to greater things than our own desires. And yet as the last century has shown us, a society dedicated to human desires becomes ugly and corrupting for all.
While anti-Semitism makes no sense because it scapegoats one group for the failure of the much larger phenomenon of Western Individualism, it is easy to see how it came about in the modern time because of the unfortunate affinity of a large percentage of Jews for egalitarian ideologies which also reveals the eternal tragedy of the Jewish people in Europe and Eurasia:
In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. They too, of course, were gradually eliminated in the next purges. In a fascinating lecture at a Tel Aviv University convention this week, Dr. Halfin described the waves of soviet terror as a “carnival of mass murder,” “fantasy of purges”, and “essianism of evil.” Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history.
When 2% of the population represents nearly 40% of the Communist Party, they will be targeted. Herzl recognized this when he noticed that among national populations, those who do not fit the national profile are attacked whenever things go wrong. But even more, when a stereotype becomes somewhat true, the brutality that follows seems justified or at least forgivable to most people, despite being unrealistic.
Naturally the tragedy of the Jews comes into play here. The Jewish diaspora began before the Jewish people were exiled from Palestine. It lies in the mixed-race nature of the Jewish population, who were probably once European but became merged with Asiatics and Asiatic-African hybrids because of Israel’s place as the center of world commerce at the time.
The Jews are a bourgeois tragedy: successful in business, they accepted everyone, which led to them changing from a European population to a mixed one. This guaranteed them a home on none of the continents and, when their homeland in the middle east was dispossessed from them, a wandering group who could never point to an origin and say “there, alone, we belong.”
Like the good businesspeople of the West today, the original Jews accepted diversity because it made good business sense. Thriving businesses do not turn down customers because of their national origin. But in doing so, the Jewish people invited in the hybridization that ensured they would never have a racial home or continental home except themselves.
This fundamental alienation led to a fascination with anti-majority movements for many Jews, explaining their higher participation in Leftist movements. However, their lack of an identity in one of the four root races — Australid, Caucasian, Asian and African — then turned against them, as even the Communists recognized the power of nationalism.
While this seems like a problem without solution, nationalism solves this problem. A new race was made: the Jewish people. It belongs to no one but itself, and it needs its own homeland, whether in Israel or Madagascar. It will never be European again, but it can be the best of what it is, and this begins with a divorce from the alienation that has led it into so many disasters.
In the meantime, these historical events prove how nonsensical anti-Semitism is. Our problem in the West is that we are following the path that the ancient Jews did because, as individuals, we are willing to “succeed” at the expense of civilization. We cannot blame others for our own moral failing, and indeed, doing so obscures what we must do, which is to change our ways.
If there is a single thread that runs through the work of philosophers as diverse as Kirkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Evola, it is an extreme level of contempt and disgust for the bourgeois lifestyle.
Kirkegaard thought that comfort and respectability weakened the absolute faith necessary for a striving life; Schopenhauer opined that the lifestyle of the German middle class dealt in unreasonable optimism. Nietzsche resented the patriotism, slave morality and put-on Christianity of Wilhelmine Germany; Heidegger thought that the pursuit of money, family and the accoutrements of a middle class lifestyle distracted us from the few moments we could actually experience Being, instead feeding the Geworfenheit, or random necessities of life. Evola’s first conscious intellectual efforts were as a Dadaist painter, because, as he reflected later on in life, “I always had contempt for the bourgeoisie.” The materialism of the middle class was evidence of the sickening decline into materialism and sentimentality, according to the Italian Perennialist.
These critiques are both valid and wrongly placed at the same time.
There is, as these great men observed correctly, a wrong way to live in this world. We are awash in the artifacts of a civilization that has been revolutionized by the political will of the bourgeoisie writ large. The American Republic itself was the first bourgeois state, enshrining in its founding documents the right to strive towards happiness, to property, and to trade and engage in newspapering and religious functions. Current political debate focuses on which faction can deliver the maximum amount of comfort and wealth to the voter, with the minimum amount of pain. The masses follow das Gerede, the “chatter,” let it consume their lives, and seek only wealth, comfort and sexual satisfaction. The bourgeoisie we think of today is the myopic SWPL, the cheating housewife, the banal neighbor obsessed with the performance of his IRA, the Sunday-morning Christian who signals his faith more than he actually prays, and the ubiquitous Supporter-of-the-Troops. They are all products of this bourgeois impulse.
Clearly, this is a narrow minded and self-defeating way to live, and the philosophers were right about these types of people. They are a sign of the decline, the modern world made manifest. But we all cannot be kshatriya and Brahmins; there always have been, and needed to be, men to till the fields, women to raise children and make the material element of the nation continue. Is there a Traditionalist way to live authentically as a householder that does not degenerate into money-worship?
There is such a path, and the greats have always acknowledged that such a dharma is one of the Traditional ways to exist. Plato defined three castes — the gold, silver and bronze people — each with their role and place in the world. The ancient Aryans had three castes as well, the priests, warriors and the regular folk- those this eventually became the four (or five) castes that we are familiar with through the Varna and the laws of Manu. The Zoroastrian Persians had such a caste as well, the Vastrayosh, or herders of cattle.
So how does one exist as a householder, or bourgeoisie, while seeking some sort of transcendence through the lifestyle?
The first thing is an initiation, or a ritual to set one’s self towards the goal of being a householder in the world. Initiations have largely been lost in the West, but the commitment and the symbolism of the practice is what matters. Consider something difficult or significant that demonstrates commitment to work, family and God.
Secondly, one must strive towards actual traditional values of the householder. These are a balance between work, religious devotion and charity- neither of these should dominate, but all should be engaged in. Work should be done by the sweat of one’s brow, and actually earned through honest means. Transcendent religion needs to be a daily ritual that reminds the man of his place within the cosmic order and connects him symbolically to the transcendent. Charity can be as simple as devoting labor or time to something you believe in.
Finally, the vaisya should seek to cultivate optimistic resilience as their signature trait, what Sikhism calls chardi kala. The householder understands that we live in a cyclical world, but it is his labor and children that carry society forward, long after his death. This is the ultimate optimism- to feel one’s self part of an immortal entity, a race/tribe/society whose physical existence you embody and live. Even during this time of degeneration and suffering one can live knowing that you are the living Remnant, and your people will form the physical nucleus of what is to come.