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Epistemology, Race, & the Bazaar
Posted By Matt Parrott On August 29, 2012 @ 10:27 am In North American New Right | 29 Comments
Alexander Solzhenitsyn once asked, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
A similar challenge eventually confronts every individual who takes up the cause of the New Right in relation to modernity, as we’re all to varying degrees and in varying manners captivated by the liberal narrative. Dr. Mark Dyal’s recent essay, “Epistemology and the New Right ,” grapples directly with this challenge. We must indeed purge ourselves of liberal premises, principles, and narratives lest we sink inexorably back into the cesspit of decadence we’re trying to claw our way out of. We must do more than merely defeating our obvious opponents to the left of us, we must defeat the left within ourselves.
I struggled, however, with his rather indifferent attitude about race and dismissive approach to our concerns about race. I believe, for instance, that he overreaches when he claims that “For a racialist, race is everything; for a culturist, it is culture.” This statement is misleading, at least for myself and most thoughtful racialists I’ve encountered. My racial advocacy is front and center because our biological inheritance is a prerequisite upon which vital things depend. Who wouldn’t rank breathing as a chief concern when there’s a boot on his neck? Would I be rightly described as an ‘oxygenist’ who believes breathing is ‘everything’ as I gasped for air?
I think not.
It’s as if we were discussing plans for the new house we’re going to have built, only to be sidetracked by a proposal that we not be the ones to live in or own the house. Refusing to budge on this question, the question of whether or not our future belongs to us, makes me a “White Nationalist.” People who are trapped in the liberal narrative — including a good share of folks who identify as White Nationalists — see White Nationalism as an ideology and worldview all its own, one in which “race is everything.”
For the foreseeable future, the outside world will assuredly see us first and only as “racists” and “anti-Semites.” For the foreseeable future, our skirmishes with the outside world will be with those who wish to deprive us of these fundamental prerequisites (sovereignty and identity). That’s fine, and those battles should be fought with vigor and without apology. But we mustn’t internalize the left’s narrative, one in which we’re anachronistic conservative relics standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” Within the drawing room, among the architects, our chief concern must be replacing the Bourgeois Myth with our own.
Dyal declares, in apparent contrast to racists like myself, that for him, “knowledge is everything.” He then asks how knowledge works, declaring that “Knowledge is affective. It . . . produces . . . action. Plain and simple, it is the story needed to motivate a narratively driven species – such as our own – to move.”
Knowledge is not everything. While it is indeed true that we humans are driven almost exclusively by the narrative we’ve internalized, there’s a complex interaction between power and knowledge which determines how narratives are formulated and how narratives propagate and perish. I agree that the task of the North American New Right is to erect an alternative epistemology and resultant narrative. This process must, however, be informed by an understanding of how knowledge interacts with power, lest we remain impotent ideologues with no power or influence.
The Mercantile Age
The idea of a “social contract” is an enlightening example of the interaction between knowledge and power. It is odd that if society really did emerge from the negotiations and agreements of autonomous agents, such a fundamental notion went unremarked from the dawn of history until it was supposedly discovered in the 17th century. But once this story was accepted, it became difficult to perceive relationships between men and their society in any other way. That’s the power of a worldview. In the centuries since Hobbes and Locke, the West has marched along to their narrative, gradually conforming our founding documents, legal codes, moral habits, and even military institutions to a worldview in which the autonomous individual reigns supreme.
This worldview was not really constructed by Hobbes or Locke. They merely provided a systematic description of a worldview organically bubbling up around them: the worldview of the merchant. In every civilization throughout history, the niche of the merchant has existed, and that niche forms the worldview of its occupants. Long before modern democratic institutions, the ancient bazaar was the place where nobility, ancestry, and creed were secondary to egalitarianism, autonomy, and opportunism. After all, a merchant who refused to purchase his wares from Moors or gave them away for free to noblemen couldn’t compete against a merchant who purchased his wares from the optimal supplier and resold them at the highest price the market could bear.
This mercantile worldview is the only possible thing the victorious merchants could impose on the West once they gained power, because it’s the only worldview they can possibly have. It’s their operating system, and they’re as surely unwitting victims of it as those they’ve been imposing it on. But the merchants didn’t win in the West because their mercantile worldview is superior, or because the philosophes and Freemasons promoted it so persuasively. They won because dramatic changes in Western civilization’s habitat engorged them with sufficient wealth to orchestrate a coup against the Ancien Régime. The Age of Discovery and Colonialism flooded Western civilization with a tsunami of wealth which its native merchants and Jews rode into power over the corrupt and brittle traditional elites.
While the aristocracy or the Catholic Church could have hypothetically subverted and controlled this massive influx of wealth, they were also victims of their respective narratives and only understood power in terms of martial codes and sacred laws, respectively. They could have, in essence, rode the tiger. It was the Jews who managed to successfully mount the tiger while our priests and princes tried in vain to slay it in the anachronistic manners prescribed by their obsolete narratives. China’s managerial elite appears to be meeting this challenge, as well, harnessing and leveraging the power of capitalism to serve their interests. Putin seems to be accomplishing a similar objective in disempowering the capitalist “oligarchs” in favor of his favored bureaucratic and ecclesiastical elites.
What all these successful elites have in common is that they’re shrewdly playing by the fixed rules of the modern world while upholding a worldview other than the mercantile one that remains hegemonic in the West. If the North American New Right is to succeed, it must also pull off this hat trick of succeeding as an anti-mercantile force in a mercantile age.
As is becoming more apparent by the day, our mercantile elites integrally and absolutely lack the spirit of stewardship and sacrifice necessary to rule. Even if their Jewish partners in crime were more or less benign, like the Overseas Chinese who rule over subject populations in a more or less benevolent and sustainable manner, it would be imperative to reclaim our sovereignty. Given their pathological hatred of us, deposing and deporting them is an existential imperative.
Wisdom vs. Knowledge
Where Mark Dyal and many other New Right ideologues go astray is that they are so eager to purge themselves of the mercantile narrative and its artifacts that they dispose of much that the merchants get right. While it is perhaps folly to entrust a mere tradesman to rule — which is, after all, not his trade — tradesmen are definitively superior to priests and warriors at a certain type of knowledge: vulgar material knowledge. While a brave warrior might find a metallurgist’s intense focus on his craft, his banal lifestyle, and internal narrative dull and uninspiring, he still benefits from a sword which doesn’t break in the heat of battle.
Like René Guénon, Mark Dyal falls directly into the trap of dichotomizing wisdom and knowledge . . . of choosing between materialism and anti-materialism. Material reality isn’t the only thing. It’s not the most important thing. But a cultural and political movement that rejects scientific knowledge and eschews technology altogether because those things are (indeed) primarily the product of mere tradesmen with a woefully limited material worldview will surely fail. A New Right that establishes itself on this (ironically reactionary) approach to modernity will fail.
There is, as Greg Johnson suggested, a distinction between history and historiography . . . between facts and narratives. There is an objective concrete history of events, one which exists separately from historiography. There is a objective concrete difference between human races. While we shouldn’t dwell exclusively in the material world as our opponents do, we’ll surely break our swords in the heat of battle if we don’t understand the difference between objective information and the jaundiced perspective of the mercantile caste which dutifully recorded that objective information.
Mark Dyal casually dismisses racialism as a modern thing. He’s more right than wrong on this count. While an awareness of racial differences existed well before liberalism, the vulgar and dehumanizing chore of measuring, cataloging, and categorizing those differences has been a modern project undertaken by godless scientists. Scientists are to a mercantile order what priests are to a managerial order, and both the ideological and financial drive behind modern science comes from an oligarchy that perceives the world exclusively in material terms. Much of the narrative constructed around the facts of race was quite clearly designed by capitalists to justify their greed. As capitalism’s colonial framework has transitioned into a global framework, its narrative has transitioned from the overtly White Supremacist colonial one of yesteryear to the overtly anti-White globalist one of today.
The White Supremacist narrative of yesteryear conveniently overlooked the impressive intelligence of Jews and East Asians, inferring that our role among the races was that of overlords. It justified our kinsmen’s rapacious spree of conquering and subjugating populations around the world to profit from their labor and strip them of their resources. The new narrative overlooks different facts and emphasizes other ones in order to arrive at an internally consistent justification of its new globalist strategy for profiteering.
As I’ve explained in my review of Mugabe and the White African , White Liberalism is merely White Supremacism with a smile. It’s a necessary inversion of the familiar narrative brought about by the rising political power of the non-White races. For one generation, the farm uses cheap Black labor because the Black is inferior and rightly exploited. For the next generation, the farm uses cheap Black labor because it seeks to enrich and empower the noble Black workers. The narrative can be tweaked from time to time as political winds blow in different directions, but the vital thing for the merchant is operating the farm profitably . . . with cheap Black labor.
The liberal merchant’s narrative is transparently self-serving and eventually soils everything it touches. Both of these perspectives, the White Supremacist and the Anti-White one, are integrally decadent. The mercantile caste seeks to commoditize and consume, to metastasize like a cancer, erasing everything that stands between it and material profit. Borders, tribal loyalties, creeds, and traditions will eventually be destroyed if it remains unchecked, as they’re all obstacles to maximizing profit potential. While materialist episteme studiously investigates and documents the very real and vital differences between human populations, it does so as a hunter studying its prey.
Riding the Tiger
One of the great moral conundrums of the 20th century has been whether or not it’s moral to use knowledge arrived at by bad people. The classic example for the post-WWII generation is Dr. Mengele’s nefarious experiments on Jews in the Nazi concentration camps. Should that data be destroyed? Should it not be used by people who aren’t National Socialists? Should we have refused to hire Nazi rocket scientists whose research and talent played a pivotal role in our making it to the moon? Just as medical facts and astrophysical facts exist independently of the narrative possessing the people who discovered them, racial and technological facts exist independently of modernity.
We would be fools to embrace the European New Right’s muddled and indifferent perspectives on race and science, as they’re quite clearly incompatible with and largely ignorant of the facts . . . both tabular ones in research libraries and experiential ones Americans and others in the European diaspora possess through having more intimately grappled with racial issues in our travels outside Europe’s (until recently) racially homogeneous milieu. We must find a way to envision a future which includes at least a subset of our technological “progress,” which reacts intelligently to what we’ve learned about race, and in which we successfully compete materially and economically without reducing ourselves and our narrative to a strictly material and economic one.
This is only a revelation to American and Western European (including, evidently, New Right) audiences. China’s inner party is rejecting the mercantile worldview while defeating us at our own game. In Russia, a similar process is taking place. The Muslim Brotherhood is shrewdly competing for resources and successfully procuring capital, while rejecting our merchant’s narrative. The Jews have been a religious priesthood competing profitably in a mercantile context for centuries. While no civilization should be ruled by the bazaar’s merchants (or their elected representatives), no civilization can get by without a bazaar. No vanguard which discards all of the knowledge and material at our disposal in the modern age in favor of creating our own facts and realities can make any real progress at all.
The task before us is to dislodge the bazaar from political power over our destiny and also from epistemological power over our internal narratives. Our task is to put it back in its rightful tertiary place beneath priestly stewardship and martial leadership. It’s not to destroy the bazaar or all the useful and necessary items it produces. We must raise up an elite which is capable of challenging our corrupt and destructive mercantile elites both politically and philosophically, just as the merchants did to the Ancien Régime centuries earlier.
The first step in that process is to figure out what our worldview will be. I hope it’s not one which is willfully ignorant of the facts derived from scientific research or naively indifferent to the very real threat that an alien people will exploit our muddled thinking on racial matters to deprive us of our very existence or crowd us out of the future we’re designing for ourselves and our posterity.
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