Saturday, October 29, 2011


Been reading John Adams, as recommended by a mad Tea Partier.

I simply can't stomach this stuff, even from Adams. He is right, if viewed as a conservative - someone preserving the rights of Englishmen. He is absolutely mistaken when taken as a revolutionary - as someone arguing abstractly for what should be the best (and only) method of government - for all revolutionaries and "men of principle" have this in common, that they are willing to start a war over a misinterpreted clause in a Constitution. What difference is there between this, and that fanaticism of those who began the Wars of Religion?

God help this poor country. And this is coming from those who care.

(See Van Hervey's Blogodidact)

I will NEVER be a revolutionary, liberal or otherwise.

The Inklings and the Moral Imagination

True North.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plato Maligned Again

"Back in 1984, Culianu defined himself as one of the rising stars of the academic firmament with a book titled Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. The academic study of Renaissance magic had been a hot field since the Sixties, when Frances Yates finally blew the lid off a generations-old habit of scholarly disdain for occultism, but even by the standards of the Eighties Culianu’s book was startling. It took magic seriously as a system of psychological manipulation that used the cravings and desires of its target—the “eros” of the title—to shape human behavior. It suggested on that basis that modern advertising, which does exactly this, is simply the current form of magic, and that contemporary Western nations are “magician states” governed by the magical manipulation of public consensus...."

Even the archdruid isn't getting it quite right.

"In the dialogue Meno, to note only one example, Plato has Socrates demonstrate a point about the deep structure of the human mind by walking an illiterate servant boy through a geometrical proof. The boy doesn’t know a thing about geometry, but he is able to follow Socrates’ logic, and by the end of the process has understood what at that time was cutting-edge mathematics. Socrates’ point is that anyone, anywhere, could be taught the same thing—and that’s a point for which Plato’s Republic has no room at all. In the Republic, reason is for the few; honor and social commitments are for another minority, separate from the first; the majority has nothing but appetite. It’s therefore fair to say that in the Republic, nobody is allowed to be more than one-third of a complete human being.

That’s always the problem with utopian schemes; the inhabitants are never allowed to be fully human, though the restrictions are rarely handled with the geometric precision Plato displayed. When a utopian scheme is put into practice, in turn, what inevitably happens is that whatever dimension of the human is supposedly abolished happens anyway, and defines the fault line along which the scheme breaks down. Marxism is a great example; in theory, people in Marxist societies are motivated solely by noble ideals; in practice, getting people to go through the motions of being motivated solely by noble ideals required an ever-expanding system of apparatchiks, secret police and prison camps, and even that ultimately failed to do the job. One way or another, trying to create heaven on earth reliably yields the opposite; whatever resembles Plato’s Republic on paper turns into Pluto’s Republic in practice."
The problem with this analysis (and I heartily recommend his distinction between theurgy and thaumaturgy, Culianu and Ficino!) is that it assumes that societies can be run on "geometry" - that what is true in mathematics is true in the social sphere, legal sphere, etc. Certainly, anyone can learn mathematics - most men (for instance) are fairly good at it, as opposed to women.

While I heartily recommend his theurgy/thaumaturgy distinction (later in article), note that mathematics isn't governed by the same laws as the sphere of human action. This is a pervasive problem with all critiques of caste orders or traditionalism - they simply don't accept the fact that very, very, very few people have the aptitude or ability to govern themselves, let alone other people.

State of English Studies

Great Failed Hermit post.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jacob's Ladder

Which pill would you like to take, the red one, or the blue one?

Am I the only one?

To believe in the equality of all men, when we see them all unequal; to believe in liberty, when we see slavery established in all parts; to believe that all men are brothers, when history tells all are enemies; to believe that there is a common mass of misfortunes and of glories for all men born, when I see nothing but individual glories and misfortunes; to believe I am referred to humanity, when I know humanity is referred to me; to believe that humanity is my centre, when I constituted myself the centre of all; and finally, to believe that I should believe these things, when they are proposed to me by those who tell me that I should believe only my own reason, which contradicts all those things they propose to me, is an absurdity so stupendous, an abberation so inconceivable, that I stand mute and astounded in its presence.
My astonishment increases when I observe that those who affirm human solidarity, deny that of the family, which is to affirm that enemies are brothers, and that brothers should not be brothers; that those who affirm human solidarity are the same who a little before denied the political, which is to affirm I have nothing in common with my own, and all in common with strangers; that those who affirm human solidarity deny religion, though the former cannot be explained without the latter; and from all this I deduce in legitimate consequence that the Socialistic schools are at once illogical and absurd— illogical, because after demonstrating against the Liberal school that some solidarities cannot be accepted while others are rejected, they fall into the same error, accepting one amongst all, and rejecting the remainder—absurd, because precisely the one they proposed to me is not a point of reason but of faith, and because this proposal comes to me from those who deny faith and proclaim the imprescriptable right of reason to empire and sovereignty."

Servants of the Secret Fire

Some people are genuinely puzzled over Gandalf's words to the Balrog of Moria when he first warns it:
" 'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still and a silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow. You cannot pass!' "
[The Fellowship of the Ring]
Some people have taken this to mean that Gandalf serves his Ring of Fire, Narya. But this is not consistent or appropriate when Gandalf's history is taken as a whole.
I was re-reading the Silmarillion for references to what the "Secret Fire" that Gandalf serves, and I found the following:
"He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar."
[The Silmarillion]
Then later:
"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Ea."
[The Silmarillion]
The Imperishable Flame and the Secret Fire seem to represent the same thing; the power of Iluvatar to impart actual Being to his thought - the spirit of creation, if you will. It seems fitting that this would be something that Gandalf (as a Maia sent from the West by the Valar) would "serve" as counterposed to the evil of the Balrog. In this context, any notion of Gandalf serving the power of his ring Narya is absurd, IMHO (g).
As to what is meant by Gandalf's words "Flame of Udun", I simply infer that this is another word for Balrog. Balrogs are demons of fire, and the word Udun is found as an entry in the glossary of The Silmarillion under "tum":
"Cf. Utumno, Sindarin Udun (Gandalf in Moria named the Balrog 'Flame of Udun'), a name afterwards used of the deep dale in Moria between the Morannon and the Isenmouthe."
And Utumno is of course the first stronghold of Melkor in the North of Middle-earth. Hence, Flame of Udun could be read as Servant of Morgoth or Balrog from Morgoth's Fortress [Udun].
Just conjecture, of course.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Propositioning America

"America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American."
George W. Bush
"America is not only for the whites, but it is for all. Who is the American? The American is you, me and that. When we go to America we will become Americans and there is no a race or nationalism called America and the Americans are those Africans, Indians, Chinese, and Europeans and whoever goes to America will become American...American is for all of us and the whole world had made and created America. All the people all over the world had made America and it shall accordingly be for all of us. I will never feel ashamed when I claim for my right in America and it will not be strange when I raise my voice in America."
Col. Moammar Gadhafi

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Esoteric Gleanings

I am beginning to run into quite a collection of pieces at Gornahoor - the only connective thread is a desire to find something more, a Truth, which is not given to those who do not hunger. It is "hidden" only in the sense of being "in plain sight". Being deformed in personality, we cannot perceive what is clearly the case.

Who, once more, is Melchizedek?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


‘Novus Ordo Seclorum altered from Magnus Soeclorum Ordo, a mighty order of the ages born anew. Both the prophetic Virgin and Saturnian kingdoms now return. Now a new progeny is let down from the heavens. Favor, chaste Lucina, the boy soon to be born in whom the iron age shall come to an end, and the golden one shall arise again in the whole earth.’”


Friday, October 7, 2011

Diabolic Wrong or Divine Right

To assert that in whatever man you chose to lay hold of (by this or the other plan of clutching at him); and claps a round piece of metal on the head of, and called King,—there straightway came to reside a divine virtue, so that he became a kind of god, and a Divinity inspired him with faculty and right to rule over you to all lengths: this,—what can we do with this but leave it to rot silently in the Public Libraries? But I will say withal, and that is what these Divine-right men meant, That in Kings, and in all human Authorities, and relations that men god-created can form among each other, there is verily either a Divine Right or else a Diabolic Wrong; one or the other of these two!

For it is false altogether, what the last Sceptical Century taught us, that this world is a steam-engine. There is a God in this world; and a God's-sanction, or else the violation of such, does look out from all ruling and obedience, from all moral acts of men. There is no act more moral between men than that of rule and obedience. Woe to him that claims obedience when it is not due; woe to him that refuses it when it is! God's law is in that, I say, however the Parchment-laws may run: there is a Divine Right or else a Diabolic Wrong at the heart of every claim that one man makes upon another.

Thomas Carlyle, channeled by Moldbug

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Great Debate - Jaffa Vs. Bradford (Strauss vs. Kirk)

Where fraternity exists to support the official structure of a government, it can command assent with no fear of being called despotic or prejudiced in behalf of one component of the society it represents.

Bradford on Jaffa

A recent very unfruitful debate at OneCosmosBlogspot has been enormously educative. I won't detail any more, it wasn't really much fun; suffice it to say that I am an agnostic when it comes to "human rights". After the debacle of this attempted exercise in mutual understanding, I became aware of several facts. For one thing, I am not the greatest or most impassioned debater in the world; others are certainly "better" at it than I am. However, I tend to know when people are flying off the handle, and when I do, this tells me that I drew a little blood.

So I did some very long thinking on why it is that I reject (ultimately) John Locke's account of "human rights", although Bradford points out that Locke actually helped write South Carolina's constitution. In a nutshell, this is it, the following -

John Locke (or his apologist, Van) thinks that "states have powers, human beings have rights". States have "unreserved" or delegated powers, and individuals have "negative rights" - that is, the right to not have this or that done to one, at least without due process of law (which presumably would act against one only if one has violated someone else's rights). The inevitable confusions are sorted out with Reason (Van is eager not to associate himself with JS Mill, who ultimately uses the pragmatic test of "one atom" versus "another" to determine whose rights have precedence).

On the contrary, I assert (based on what I have experienced in reality and reflection upon it) that this is merely a beginning point. That is, States possess limited powers, but over time, tend to progress to hold "rights", or attain an essence; call this the "Heavenly Serbia" theory, if you like. Likewise, individuals in a state of nature are disorganized and "equal"; however, over time (with any luck) they are supposed to acquire "powers". In a healthy social fabric, both these tendencies will occur.

You will note that the "Left" is actually a parody of what I have just described - they attempt to "empower individuals" and construct more "efficient and sustainable governments". Lacking the classically liberal starting point (the "spirit of the law"), they cannot possibly attain this.

However, neither can the Tea Party-er do much more. They begin quite well; they wish to mirror a "state of nature" with their government, appealing to unalienable rights, government of laws vs. that of men, principled action, etc. All the usual rhetoric. Governments, however, are subject to both crisis and the Fates or dooms.

It's as if the Lockean cannot see that any other persons exist besides biological-empirical entities, which are "mostly the same". "Human beings have a right not to be tortured". What will they do when genetic experimentation becomes rather common? And what is torture? I can imagine any number of scenarios in which the violation of property (even by the "Law") would be not only "right" but "loving".

But that is a side-issue. The main point is that Locke never allows for either adaptation or development (except incidentally, which is ironic, given their emphasis on principle). It's as if they think government is largely a matter of business law. Of national emergencies and the power of the political to act on behalf of the interests of the state, or of slow steady spiritual evolution towards a permanent form (united Europe in the Dark Ages) they know little or nothing.

What does the rhetoric of "rights" add to what we know or can make of the individual? Christian charity, loving the neighbor as self, is a much "higher law". Could not a concrete Magna Carta guarantee as much as our eternal "Declaration" has done?

Individuals are equal only in basic sense, a starting point. In this aspect only, are they equal. Actually, in any other sense, justice will require them to be nothing more than unequal in the eyes of the law. What of the unborn, the genetically mangled, the insane? We assert that justice towards these beings is not determined by property rights, but by Love.

Such can always be abused, as can Love. Which is why it makes no sense to try to circumvent this by impassioned rhetoric. All governments engage in this. Why sully Love with the burden of propaganda? A bill of rights can be circumvented just as easily, perhaps more so, than a Magna Carta.

The goal of man is to progress from divided Time and united Space towards united Time, and divided Space. This is freedom. The state of nature is to have chaotic and isolated chronologies, along with massive "Empires" or "milieus". This is only a starting point. Man must evolve towards separate mansions and a common language, so that we can better Love one another.

This means that the individuum must conquer himself and attain real power, and that the States which nurture and are formed by such men must attain the status of being "heavenly Serbias", shields of the earth, concrete progressions and traditions sustained through time as truly conservative and conserved entities.

This is Freedom.

(to be continued...)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Ps. 48, 2: "Mount Zion in the Far North is the city of the great King."

Job 37, 22: "Out of the North He comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty."

Isaiah 14, 13: "You said in your heart: 'I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my throne; I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North."

Ezek. 1, 4: "As I looked, a stormwind came from the North, a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness, from the midst of which something gleamed like electrum."


The Hebraic "zaphon" has associations with the "heavens", the extreme north, and the "sacred mountain" situated in the direction of the far-north; in the biblical texts, the cosmic north, "Hyperborea", represents the enigmatic, mountainous abode of the Godhead as polar-axial Unmoved-Mover--the "Monsalvatsch" or "Monsalvat" of Grail-Legend, etc.

From the Gornahoor Forum, Theomast

Luther on Slavery

Luther wrote this just before the beginning of the rebellion, in an attempt to reconcile peasants and nobles (after the revolt had then started for real, Luther wrote his famous, violently reactionary opinion-piece, “Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants“).

Quoth Luther:


“There shall be no serfs, for Christ has made all men free.” That is making Christian liberty an utterly carnal thing. Did not Abraham and other patriarchs and prophets have slaves? Read what St. Paul teaches about servants, who, at that time, were all slaves. Therefore this article is dead against the Gospel. It is a piece of robbery by which every man takes from his lord the body, which has become his lord’s property. For a slave can be a Christian, and have Christian liberty, in the same way that a prisoner or a sick man is a Christian, and yet not free. This article would make all men equal, and turn the spiritual kingdom of Christ into a worldly, external kingdom; and that is impossible. For a worldly kingdom cannot stand unless there is in it an inequality of persons, so that some are free, some imprisoned, some lords, some subjects, etc.; and St. Paul says in Galatians 3:28, that in Christ master and servant are one thing. On this subject my friend Urban Regius has written enough; you may read further in his book.”


One night from out the swarming city gate
Stept holy Bajazyd, to meditate
Alone amid the breathing fields that lay
In solitary silence leagues away,
Beneath a Moon and Stars as bright as Day.
And the Saint wondering such a temple were,
And so lit up, and scarce one worshipper,
A voice from Heav’n amid the stillness said:
“The Royal Road is not for all to tread,
Nor is the Royal Palace for the rout,
Who, even if they reach it, are shut out.
The blaze that from my harim window breaks
With fright the rabble of the roadside takes;
And ev’n of those that at my Portal din,
Thousands may knock for one that enters in.

Bird Parliament, Attar

The New Man

This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by. It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the heavens…He is thus doubly armed and need fear neither demons nor men. Not that he fears death—no, he desires it. Why should he fear to live or fear to die when for him to live is Christ, and to die is gain? Gladly and faithfully he stands for Christ, but he would prefer to be dissolved and to be with Christ, by far the better thing." Bernard of Clairvaux

A new man will have to emerge, a man with heroic qualities; a giant of our history to do battle and win over all the enemies of our Fatherland, his battle and victory having to extend even beyond the material world into the realm of invisible enemies, the powers of evil. Everything that our mind can imagine as more beautiful spiritually; everything the proudest that our race can produce, greater, more just, more powerful, wiser, purer, more diligent and more heroic, this is what the Legionary school must give us! A man in whom all the possibilities of human grandeur that are implanted by God in the blood of our people be developed to the maximum."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Coming - the New Middle Ages

Umberto Eco argued it first - Rushdoony prophecied it, or worse. Welcome to a fundamentally unstable, and insecure world.