Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Taboo and a Formulation of a Conservative Idealism

     The Left likes to portray itself as the party of ultimate freedom, of unbridled acceptance and tolerance, of final liberation. And certainly, if one's biggest fear is that you will die one day without every last chemical receptor in your brain and body being stimulated in Pavlovian fashion, it is conceivable that they make a modest point. Call it the "Left", or the "Progressives", or "Liberals", or whatever you like. The term itself is relatively unimportant, deriving from the seating of the radical Jacobins within the French National Assembly. A more accurate word might be Revolutionists. This term would allow us to differentiate between those who are accidentally "Left" (in the sense of being stuck within their milieu) and those who are deliberately and violently situated within the internally coherent and radioactive core of Leftism, for whom "nothing has been done unless we destroy everything" (Alfred Jarry). Those who head up this list are perfectly aware, intellectually, what they are doing (noetically, of course, they are even blinder than everyone else). But on the intellectual plane, they are perfectly and lucidly aware that they are playing fast and loose with the facts. They are fully aware that there is more than just cognitive dissonance in their methods. But an auto-tranquilizer of "it's all for the best" reconciles them to the hypocrisy and hatred and hunger for power that activates this pulsating neutron star of Leftism, which wanders through the void of the abyss. Leftism is the lie in the mouth of the Beast.
     A frequent question one comes across is, to what extent is "Rightism" any different from Leftism? Don't Rightists use the ends to justify means, too? Doesn't the Right rely on coercive methods? Is it not so that the Right is just as ideological, merely from a different spot in the spectrum? This small paper is a brief effort to differentiate between the two positions.
     First, "Rightism" is not the goal of a true conservative. His goal is to be "the opposite of a Revolution". That is, he is not reactionary or reactive in that sense (although reactionary or counter-revolutionary as a label can be more or less useful as a label). To the true conservative, it's not so much that the revolutionists are wrong, as that they do not matter and, in fact, represent a complete nullity. They don't exist. That is, everything that would necessitate so-called Revolution is essentially an illusion. Think of it as the political equivalent of Saint Augustine's dictum that evil does not have existence: evil is just privation of the Good. Thus, Revolution represents an extreme form of complexity, or Chaos. It is an "opportunity": stable societies do not require armies of SJWs and political commissars, bureaucrats and managers. For the Left, more revolution means more job security. By contrast, it is only in the Conservative State that Marx's goal of the state "withering away" has any chance of succeeding, as indeed it did to a huge degree in the libertarian USA, circa 1950. Thus, a Conservative doesn't so much stand for what is Right-Wing, as he attempts to transcend the dichotomy or binary thought which necessitated the invention of Left versus Right in the Jacobin political climate of 1789. His true nexus flows from Above.
     We might expand this to say that Conservatism's most important distinction is Above-Below, rather than "Left-Right". The Left moved the debate to Left-Right because they denied that there was a verticality at all. The danger of Conservatism is precisely in its refined ability to make this distinction, since degenerate Conservatism can sometimes (literally) confuse Below-Above. The first point to make is that the Left is already (by default) in the Below-Above position of confusion: by denying the Vertical, it ensures that it will sink to the lowest plane of existence, with zero transcendence. At that point, it's all sentimental claptrap and passionate self-delusion, combined with reductive materialism, in which it's more important to Seem than to Be. Thus, every minority is aggrieved and sacred, by virtue of merely being born. I call this the "Only Voltaire is Immortal" fallacy, a meta-fallacy the Left has invented. That is, the same arguments which were used against the sacred kings and monarchs, can now be applied to the "individuals" and "communities" and "minorities" which constitute the source of sacredness in government. The air is so thick with irony on this one that it begs an explanation!
     This brings us to the concept of the Taboo. Precisely because the Left claims that "the Right" is the party of the irrational and racist Taboo (of dead white European males), one should look under that rock for the truth (since the Left usually if not always projects onto others). In Conservative thought something is Taboo because it is presupposed that such things represent an upper and perhaps lower limit to individual human ability - that is, if one doesn't understand the reason for a rule, one should study it more and not act upon the rule until full comprehension is reached. Often full comprehension resolves the dilemma. This is expressed in Burke's old dictum: "Never, without the strongest necessity, disturb that which is at rest". Another maxim Conservatives employ is "don't tear down the old house, until the new one is finished". Thus, Conservatives tend to reject Leftism simply for prudential and pragmatic reasons alone. For instance, there is the thought of "not killing the goose that laid the golden egg" - homogeneous societies tend to be stable ones. White Europe gave us the triangle of London-Paris-Berlin, which generated modern Science. Do we want to obliterate the formula through sorcerer-apprentice experimentation? Leftists tend to think that these are dull Polonius-like platitudes. What is not understood sufficiently is that there is an actual Idea and Critical Theory which lies behind these Taboos. We tend to reject Leftist for pragmatic reasons, but when we stop to think about, we have to reject it utterly for purely intellectual reasons.
     This is because one cannot be Taboo-free. The Left has constructed an entire panoply of new Taboos. The old Taboos had the air of a comfortable ghost, and perhaps a mystery about them. This was because it was recognized that a certain amount of Law and Order had to exist in order for the good Life to be rendered possible.
1First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men 2for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior...I Timothy 2:2
From this perspective, Leftism doesn't represent the generation of a new order of Myth, or a mere modality change (in the sense of "everything changes, but stays the same"), but actual Chaos or Entropy - a privation of possibilities, and reduction to a cold energy state. This might seem counter-intuitive - doesn't the Left radiate a lot of Energy? Certainly it does - like a roaring Blaze that will soon burn itself up and out, and to no purpose. It is progressing from the high-energy state of a conservative old Order, to the low energy state of Degeneration, through the radiant convective forces of Revolution.
    Conservatism (then) strives to eventually understand and control its own Taboos. This is stable-energy State. The Taboo moves from it's caricature (in Leftism) towards Mystery, resolving into the higher energy state of what we might call stable equilibrium at a higher level shell of energy. All Conservatives society exhibit this trend. If they do not become trapped and confused and temporarily descend downwards on the Above-Below continuum, they move or oscillate gently along the vertical equilibrium. Thus, the Old South (for instance) had a budding anti-Slave movement, until the South became needlessly rigid and defensive, when under attack by Abolitionism. In an even worse sense, Germany illustrated a large move down the vertical pole.
     This cycle is usually broken by Revolution. In fact, revolutionary forces disturbed steady-state oscillation of both the above examples (in the case of the Old South, it created a new kind of white nationalism out of the local organic counties and states of the South). The creation of new (and arbitrary) Taboos require actual mystification: Is there anyone who can explain why Antifa is destroying the village in order to save it? The Nazis (in this example) essentially placed technology at the service of nationalism, including the Leftist technologies of revolution and agitation. Germany began moving down the vertical pole, becoming a failed conservative state (down is up). Electrified by the radiant energies of Leftism, which to some degree interrupted and confused attempts to hold the equilibrium, the conservative state slid into perhaps the penultimate modern example of political tragedy.
     The Conservative response to all of this is that there are two necessary conditions of good government: first, Verticality has to be acknowledged. Thus, Leftism prima facie disqualifies itself, and deliberately so: their desire to destroy old Taboos is merely a brand new Taboo (old Taboos MUST be destroyed!) masquerading as Reason. This effectively ensures that one cannot pass through the Taboo state into Mystery, progressing into steady-State higher energy shell (which allows accumulation and possible movement to even higher states). One wastes colossal amounts of time and energy thrashing about, dispersing energy, and falling to lower levels. This is what one could expect given the Ideology of 1789.
     One does not try to create Taboos - Taboos represent man's mortality and privation: in a word, they are the marks of the presence of Evil. But they are not Evil themselves, for they perform (and conserve) a function. One overcomes them spiritually. This allows real Progress, in the only possible sense. So the second condition of good government is Purity. That is, one has to maintain enough tension to hold steady-state and avoid a downward slide, mistaking Down for Up, or forgetting one's relative position on the hierarchy. One also has to avoid the temptation of trying to mingle revolutionary methods with conservative goals. The important distinction is Up-Down, not Left and Right - that way lies binary thought, with consequent self-justification. To combat the Left, we have to go beyond Right-Left (itself a new Taboo generated by Revolution).
     Conservatism (then) is unpopular both because it admits that Man is Not God, and also, that he must become One with God. These are both unpopular truths. One presupposes Verticality, the other sets the preconditions for moving up rather than down.
     But there is one more critical and theoretical insight to be posited. Conservatism is on the side of both God and the devil (The Up-Down). This is the final subtle realization, and doesn't the Left scream this at every turn? Whereas Revolution and Leftism almost inherently depend upon the demonization of both Spirituality and Morality (by any means necessary), because they require a morally self-righteous Crusade, Conservative Thought does not attempt to deny that both the Demi-Urge and the Devil have a place within the hierarchical Order, nor that God is its summum bonum. That is, it is not committed to a Gnostic obsession or illusion that man is endlessly plastic, and that Nature as such is evil. Nature is evil when it is denied the benefits of its Taboos, which exist as necessaries to create the possibility of transcendence and individual Good. Thus, the Left's rage against Taboos-as-such is both hypocritical and also an enormous loss of energy which ought to be conserved. This leads to all sorts of practical critiques of the Left, eg., To what extent has the Cost of "Progress" been too high for the "Return on Investment"?, etc., which are perfectly valid in their own sphere, but are not the main issue.
     One can certainly quibble that Equality of Result is simply too big of a goal to be micro-managed by the State, or question whether the costs are inherently too high, etc., etc. But these are lower-plane disagreements, valid within their own sphere only. Conservatism (unlike Leftism) does not deny the place of either the Devil, the Flesh, or the World. In fact, it fully acknowledges them, and insists on putting them "in their place" in the hierarchy: "There is a time for war, and a time for peace...." It is based not on Gnostic desires to obliterate Nature, but rather a belief that the way forward is for those who possess Gnosis (as opposed to ideological pistis or doxa/dogma) ought to rule - the Just should be King.
     That this is an Ideal, rather than a perfect reality, is of course granted ("The perfect is the enemy of the good" - Russian proverb). If it was instantly and totally achievable now, it would not be Ideal, and this would betray the second principle of Purity. Purity must always be maintained, because without it, the tension slackens and a Conservative State can easily go from the Weimar Republic into the hands of a Chancellor who wants to "save" Germany from the Jews. This Purity, however, can only be truly Vertical or Transcendental - that is, it is beyond or sourced beyond, politics. It flows through politics (Liberalism imagines that it should not, for it is a lower order Leftist heresy), but it cannot originate in politics. The only way to maintain purity is to ruthlessly agree with your enemy against you, lest he take you before the judge. That is to say, the South should have freed the slaves first, and then fired on Fort Sumter. One cannot embrace the tactics of Revolution. The patchwork of variegated English and Brittanic ordered liberty in the Old South would have been destroyed by either the success or the failure of the Confederacy: the way to defend the self-governing liberties of the Anglo-Saxon order(s) would have been to grant justice to the slaves, and then secure a variety-in-unity across the South. This is exactly what Europe failed to achieve as well, and the European Union only represents another compromise with Revolution and a slide down the vertical pole, to something worse than nationalism.
     The goal is an Ideal, but not the immediate or immanent grasp of that Ideal. Within that tension of Verticality, Purity, and full Hierarchy (even for Devil and Demi-Urge, so that no Absolute Crusades or Puritanism are allowed), the critical and theoretical perspective of Conservatism is infinitely subtle, much more so than Leftism, as it embraces both the horizontal and the vertical, and allows for a fully textured hierarchical world in which even the existence of that Great Arch-Conservative the Devil finds a place in the ontology of Beings constituting all Reality. This affirms the possibility of Evil which exists, but only as privation as Good. Thus, Revolution by itself can have no positive meaning, except as Entropy State, as denial of the mortal and not-entirely-plastic nature of Man, and also as sheer Hypocrisy and love of violence for the sake of that violence (Nihilism). It can have only relative value, and must be paid for in blood with full awareness of the dynamite inherent in it: the Devil is given his due, but no absolute Idealism is possible from the Leftward axis, because the Vertical doesn't exist, and also because all karmic debt has to be paid in kind, since Evil can only be spiritually transcended and overcome, rather than attacked head on.
     Thus, it is not enough to define what we "want" from the world: we have to be sure first of all that we are in contact with a real world in the first place, and that our wants are proportioned to reality. Then we have to weigh means and ends, etc. And in order to remain open to questioning and probing by the light of Wisdom, we cannot demonically assert dogma/doxa/ideology along the horizontal plane. "Good" cannot be defined as being reactive or non-hatred, non-racism, non-hierarchy, etc. This is true "reactionary" thinking, because it has no view of the Summum Bonum. Liberalism, Progressivism, Leftism, and Revolutionism do not accept or even admit the possibility of there being a transcendental Good.
     To them, this transcendence will always take the guise of being the Moral "Other", and wear the mask of Fascism/Racism. But this is projection, and shows that they fear what they are. True Order is the opposite of Revolution, Hatred, War, etc. For the only defense against what happened to Germany in 1938 is actually to embrace All that we can understand about the nature of reality, rather than opening ourselves to assymetrical compromises with Revolution/Entropy. Over time, this additive picture of Reality can expand to become more subtle, but we are at the early stages of understanding (for instance) Ponerology and how being Left is likely an eternal temptation with many masks. The "Right's" insistence on ritual, repetition is actually a way of keeping a flame burning with a certain tension which allows the radiant buildup and expanse of energy, of opposing the creep of Darkness. As usual, the Darkness doesn't understand at all, and creates new and futile Taboos to destroy perceived Taboos (or at least, Taboos which aren't being "overcome").
     At this point, Conservative Idealism has immensely more explanatory power than Leftism, in that it is capable of accounting for a wider range of fact, both vertical and horizontal, and a richer texture of nuances and subtleties, both from political and religious philosophy. Above all, the account it can give of Leftism is coherent and rich, whereas the opposite is incoherent and paltry. The Left has to scream Fascism at every moment, if they see something on their right hand side, no matter how close. This is preoccupation with the horizontal plane.
     As we have said, this is entirely a waste of time. Without Up-Down, there is no Left-Right (or Center). Up-Down doesn't annihilate the secular, but rather, perfects it. This is the unfinished business of the West, and the sooner we embrace Ordered Liberty (or Conservative Idealism) the sooner individuals can get back to the business of finding what is important in Life, instead of wasting time trying to survive Revolutions. Of course, this will also entail the rejection of much of what passes as "Right wing" today, and this can be the subject of another post.

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