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Objective Fictions & Subjective Realities:
The Need for a Nationalist Postmodernism

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Perhaps the best way to think about “postmodernism” from the Right is not as a problematic philosophical tradition, but as a philosophical tradition with a problem. On the one hand, “postmodernism” may be loosely defined as a philosophical turn that delegitimized traditional aesthetic and moral standards, and “deconstructed” seemingly self-evident categories like ethnicity and culture. On the other hand, it could also be defined as a school of thought which delegitimized the scientific, materialist, and liberal challenges to traditional claims to knowledge and truth. These include claims concerning the existence of cultural, religious, and ethnic categories.

Even if postmodern “deconstruction” had never emerged, liberal rationalist materialism would have kneecapped the traditionalist and identitarian Right with more efficiency — and less poetry — than the postmodern critique. Whether one is committed to a tribe, nation, or religion, there is not a sacred category imaginable that would have survived the materialist onslaught of industrialized liberal scientific modernity going unchecked. Even if science demonstrates that races are objective truths, as the “race realists” insist, the materialist and rationalist discourse of modern science provides no language for articulating a reason to preserve them. They are, however, entirely capable of articulating reasons for races to be destroyed. The modernizing projects of socialism, utilitarianism, and even imperial capitalism are naturally disposed to converge on discourses that favor the universal over the particular. Many voices of modernization have viewed particularities like tribes, nations, and races as archaic impediments to efficiency and progress, or as imperfect states of nature to be “improved” with “hybrid vigor.” If post-modernism and its Romantic conceptual forebears had never emerged in reaction to notions like “progress,” you can guarantee that the full might of modern industrial liberalism would have torn the nations and races of this world asunder.

It is not post-modernism, but the modernist inheritance of neo-liberalism, that makes it see only a “global market” instead of the world’s multiplicity of races, nations, and peoples. It is not “social justice” but, instead, its own ideological foundation that puts techno-capitalism at odds with the continued existence of discrete intergenerational categories of mankind. It is the drive to market expansion that leads techno-capitalism to delegitimize passions that would otherwise sustain communitarian ethnic and national identities and to redirect those passions toward “identities” acquired only by purchasing the latest products or media properties.

Thus, it is not a problem that postmodernism challenges the metaphysics of modernity. The true problem lies with the manner in which it does so. Largely for reasons of funding, postmodernism became standardized and disseminated in the context of academic departments like Critical Race Studies or Post-colonial Studies. The consequence has been that the prevailing institutional form of postmodernism draws an unfortunate dichotomy. On one side of the dichotomy is “modernity,” defined as the monolithic summation of all European and European-derived history and civilization. On the other side are non-European peoples and cultures.

It is here that we find a fundamental fallacy. It is shared by most intellectual traditions inheriting the mantle of “postmodernism,” but also by many critics of those traditions. This fallacy is that “modernity” is coextensive with the accumulative culture of European and European-descended peoples and that it is only non-European peoples who have pre-modern cultures to reclaim from the universalizing and de-particularizing currents of modernity. The practical implication of this historical misapprehension is that only non-European peoples have a stake in the project of modernity ceasing to exist, and that only they have something more permanent and particular to reclaim from the rubble of modernity once its “deconstruction” is finally complete. This false dichotomy is not a reflection of the fundamental risks posed by postmodernism to the Dissident Right. It is instead a reflection of how European and European-descended peoples continue to view themselves in relation to modernity.

The ethnic among “us”

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The notion that “modernity” is the culmination and full extent of European-derived history and culture necessarily implies that non-European cultures stand alone as something different to it. Both ideas are widespread outside the academy. To understand quite how widespread such notions are, consider the implication of the term “ethnic” when used as a prefix in colloquial English. Modern English is replete with terms like “ethnic food,” “ethnic” clothing styles, or “ethnic” appearances. Anyone using the word in this way does so to subtly and politely refer to the food, clothing styles, or bodily appearances of non-European peoples. However, that the word “ethnic” can be used in this way reveals deeper assumptions about the concept of history and identity in the mind of Westerners. These assumptions are as informative as they are pathological.

If it is only non-European food or clothing which is “ethnic,” then what is the food or clothing that is not “ethnic”? To whom does such food and clothing belong? Presumably, such non “ethnic” things belong to whatever people have no ethnicity. They belong to those people who are a kind of default, a people with no particular customs, or culture. To know who these mysterious people are, it is sufficient to ask yourself which population could never, in any context, have the term “ethnic” applied to their food or appearance. Immediately the image of a white person is conjured and, probably, the image of a white Anglo-Saxon protestant. We can now see how European-descended people and their cultures have become fused to the concept of the universal default “modern” man.

Rather than a modern linguistic aberration, the unasked question of who is or is not “ethnic” reveals an older problem that relates as much to the history of European empires as to our contemporary conception of “modernity.” The ethnic/non-ethnic dichotomy emerges the moment an ostensibly universal frame of reference is challenged by the emergence of a self-aware group that lays claim to a reimagined history, culture, and identity that purportedly predates the universal frame. For G.K. Chesterton, Irish nationalism typified this phenomenon. Chesterton immediately noted the existential crisis facing the English in light of Irish self-awareness when he stated that “the only answer to Irish nationalism is English nationalism, which is a reality; and not English imperialism, which is a reactionary fiction, or English internationalism, which is a revolutionary one.” [1] What he didn’t mention, but clearly understood, is that if both Irish nationalism and British imperialism remained simultaneous realities, then the English nation would become the fiction.

To be clear, Chesterton was not claiming that Irish nationalism posed a threat to the British Empire. The threat was instead posed to the English nation from whom that empire extended. Furthermore, it was not because the Irish asserted a national identity that the existential threat to the English nation emerged, but because the Irish did so from within the context of the British Empire.

In general terms, an empire emerges when a nation extends itself by force of arms and begins to incorporate its client nations within its own state apparatus and its own cultural conventions. Such conventions include the sense of a shared history and shared future that befits a single nation. While this usually happens by degrees, the identity of an empire’s founding nation becomes increasingly unclear as its cultural life and political offices become dominated by members of other nations. Over time a Gaul is called a “Roman.” This is because a shared identity, which is to say a shared sense of destiny and movement through time, becomes increasingly required for the stability of imperial states as they become more diverse. The existential risk this poses the founding nation can be viewed as a property of nested categories.

If nation A imposes their own cultural and historical frame of reference on nation B, both groups come to share a common frame of reference in the fashion that is expected of a single nation. However, if nation B also lays claim to their own cultural frame of reference, nation A becomes a nationless people with respect to nation B. This is because nation A becomes a people with no recognizable culture or history to call their own since that culture and history also belongs to nation B. Nation A is able to recognize nation B as a people with a particular culture and history, but both nation A and nation B can only recognize nation A as a universal, which is to say, as a generic category with no particular culture or history.

This phenomenon is not limited to “nations” as conceived by 19th-century observers like Chesterton, but to any category of cultural, ethnic, or historical identity that makes as a group of humans recognizable. For instance, suppose several nations converged on a common cultural and historical frame of reference which they called “Western Civilization” and then “modernity.” Then, suppose they extended their shared identity to every other nation in the world by asserting that all humans were now in an age of “modernity.” Suppose they enforced this view of reality on the rest of the world with an unprecedented, but temporary, superiority of military power. However, suppose two hundred years later, nations E-Z chose to retain (or reclaim) their own particular cultural frames of reference within the universalist framework now known as “modernity.” The problem of identity again remerges, but on a larger scale.

Nations A, B, C, and D will invariably become a people without their own culture or history in the same way that Chesterton saw the English cease to exist in relation to Irish nationalism. However, Chesterton could only observe English culture and history becoming generic, and thus unrecognizably “English,” with respect to the self-aware Irish people. What does it mean if, as in the case of modernity, a recognizable family of nations extended their shared cultural norms to the rest of the world and the rest of the world became self-aware? Under such conditions, whichever people developed modernity from their cultural tradition would cease to have a recognizable culture relative to the rest of humanity. How is that different from a people ceasing to exist?

How could cultureless people recognize themselves or articulate what their own particular history or future might look like? How could anyone else? How could a people without a recognizable history, future, or culture legitimately act to defend such things? How could they even know what to defend?

The moral implications of modernity and objectivity

In a world in which people of European descent typify the “modern,” then any effort by such people to act in their own interests could only ever be motivated by “irrationality” or “hate.” This is because modernity is a fundamentally universal enterprise by virtue of consisting of purportedly objective social, aesthetic, biological, and physical truths.

That which is “objective” is universal, and that which is universal belongs to all. If modernity is the universal standard at the endpoint of a developmental sequence, if it is the endpoint to which history will demand that all peoples “progress,” then it is the culture of all peoples. Thus European-descended people can have no claim to anything of their own so long as they extend cultures and histories to all peoples. If Western culture is the culture of modernity, and the cultural artifacts of the West include Hansel and Gretel, the Lord of the Rings, or the Swedish Eddas, then those are the cultural traditions of all people. Such is the inevitable consequence of viewing one’s own culture as the objective universal modern standard. For so long as European history and myth is viewed as the history myth of a “modern” society, it will inevitably belong to all those who could ever become modern.

With nothing uniquely their own, peoples of European descent could never legitimately act to preserve that which is theirs, since any such action would involve exclusion. Such exclusion could not be motivated by a legitimate effort to preserve something of one’s own, because white people have nothing exclusively their own to preserve. Who could genuinely be motivated to preserve things that don’t exist? In the absence of an alternative explanation, what else could possibly motivate an impulse to exclude others except an irrational hatred or a simple desire to “exclude”? This is why any effort by European or European-descended people to point out their own existence is deconstructed into oblivion and why any effort by European-descended people to claim ownership of their own historical and cultural expressions of themselves is called “hate.”

It could only be unjust to see a disproportionate representation of white people in cultural artifacts that belong to all people equally. This is why people of European descent feel morally obliged to include black characters in depictions of European history or myth. A black King Arthur is seen as a moral imperative where a white Shaka Zulu is seen as a moral problem, because the former is viewed as the heritage of the modern world where the latter is viewed as the heritage of black people. For so long as they view their cultures as the origin of modernity, people of European descent will have no rational grounds in their own moral lexicon for claiming their own cultural objects and telling their own stories of themselves as other peoples do.

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This is how the moral implications of modernity have played a formative role in the emergence of the doctrines of radical inclusion which are mistakenly viewed as the effect of postmodernism. To illustrate the point further, consider the following question: If all peoples have an equal claim to the customs and traditions of modernity, then how does one justify the disproportionate influence and representation of particular peoples in those customs and traditions? One can’t simply respond to the question “Why does Western art privilege white standards and have a disproportionate number of white people” by pointing out that Western art is the traditional culture of white peoples and is thus the story they tell to themselves about themselves. This is because the teleology of modernity implicitly recognizes Western art as one of the strands of its developmental history. Western art is thus the culture of modernity, and its history is the history of modernity. The history of a universal objective standard is not merely the traditional mode of narration of a single people. It is instead the framework by which all peoples make sense of their world.

If Western art is not the traditional cultural inheritance of white people, then there must be another reason for its disproportionate representation of white artists and white subjects relative to the rest of humanity. This leaves two options. One possibility is that white people have had disproportionate representation in Western art because each individual artist “earned it” by being objectively “better.” The other possibility is that those who are not equally represented in Western art were unjustly excluded.

These two logical extensions of the universalist pretenses of modernity set the stage for both the hysterical leftist impulse to “level the playing field” in Western societies, but also the “conservative” impulse to insist on a sociopathic meritocratic doctrine in which anything belongs to anyone so long as they personally “earn” it. To the Leftist, it is a moral (and historical) imperative that a black man should one day depict Charlemagne, or Thor, because the only possible reason that this has not already happened is because black people have been unjustly “excluded” from doing so. In response to a black Charlemagne or a black Thor, a “conservative” could only complain about “political correctness” leading to a “diversity hire,” which is another way of saying that the black actor did not “earn” that role by being “the best” for it. This completely glosses over the question of why a person of visibly African descent would ever be the best choice to depict a figure from the history of European peoples and their myths, unless the purpose of the casting director was to disassociate people of European descent from their own images.

It is because the universalist frame of modernity occludes the existence of European-derived ethnic groups that so many social conservatives assume that nationalists can only exclude people because they think they are not “good enough,” rather than because they are simply not members of the nation. A useful example of this phenomenon may be found in a recent conflict between two British parties that currently occupy what British society views as the “far-right.” On the one hand is Anne-Marie Waters, whose movement is defined by its chauvinistic perspective toward “British Culture” and “The West.” On the other side is the nationalist Patriotic Alternative.

In a YouTube video, Waters drew attention to an economically conservative immigration minister of Indian descent named Priti Patel. [2] She claimed, perhaps rightly, that Patel has reduced immigration more effectively than any of the white ministers preceding her. Waters proceeded to lambast the Patriotic Alternative on the grounds that its members would still claim that Patel is not “good enough” for the position because of her skin color. To Waters, the only possible question concerning Patel’s eligibility is how “good” she is. The question of whether Patel is a member of one of the nations of the British Isles, and thus whether it is moral or legitimate for her to exert control over the future of those peoples, is not entertained.

It is a meaningful problem that in Waters’ moral universe, her ethical judgment is correct. Consider a role for which the only criterion was competence. From my own perspective, it would be deeply immoral to claim that an individual performing that role well was not “good enough” because of something as arbitrary as their skin color or ear size. Of course, Waters fails to realize that it is not skin color that is the problem, nor is it the competence of the incumbent representative. In Patel’s case, the concern of Patriotic Alternative is simply that Patel’s ancestral history demonstrates that she is not a member of any of the nations that she is purportedly representing — and was thus never eligible for the role to begin with. Rather than “hating” Patel, many English nationalists likely view her as a victim for finding herself in a situation in which she does not meet the criteria for occupying positions of leadership for which she is clearly competent. However, Waters may plausibly view such an argument as mere rhetoric concealing an irrational “hatred.” Such a construal would not necessarily be a consequence of Waters choosing to be obtuse. It could be because she simply cannot intuitively recognize the moral logic of the nationalists. This is the crisis of modernity at work.

Regardless of Anne-Marie Waters’ intentions, about which I know nothing, most Westerners who use her seemingly obtuse semantic framing are probably not doing so intentionally. They are unlikely to be engaging in wordplay, or acting in bad faith. Instead, Waters’ style of discourse is so common, and so powerful, because so many Westerners on the Left and the Right simply cannot see nations or the morality that the existence of nations implies. Their moral frame is instead tied to universalist modernity which introduces an entirely different moral logic. Modernity grants no moral framework to either the Left or the Right in which it is sufficient to say that the English people should have exclusive representation in English culture, history, and politics by virtue of being English.

Are the Irish “ethnic”?

To summarize, we have established that:

If: A people extend their cultural and historical identity to include another people

And: The people to whom the identity is extended opt to retain (or reclaim) their own cultural and historical identity

Then: The people who extended their identity become a people with no recognizable culture or history to call their own relative to the group to whom the common identity was extended.

Based on the logic I have outlined, the emergence of “The Irish” risked destroying the “English” under the relational conditions imposed by the British Empire. Yet, this analysis is completely absent in contemporary historical accounts of Irish nationalism. G.K. Chesterton intuitively recognized the existential risk that the ontology of Irish nationalism posed for a self-aware English nation, and yet this too seems invisible to modern scholarship. Why is this?

Firstly, “Irish nationalism,” like “Indian nationalism,” is viewed through the lens of “anti-colonial” or “anti-imperial” histories and thus often falls under the remit of “post-colonial scholarship.” Post-colonial perspectives draw attention only to the negative identity of anti-imperial resistance, like that of Irish nationalism. This negative identity defines a population only by their shared act of resisting the power of an imperial oppressor. In this sense, the “Irish nationalism” discussed by Chesterton is treated by leftist post-colonial history as an ontologically legitimate historical category only insofar as “Irish nationalism” refers to a population brought together in opposition to the British Empire. That is why this is a negative definition; because it is a definition based on what the population is not or chooses not to be. However, a national uprising is also a positive declaration. It is a statement about what is positively true about the people, which, in the case of Irish nationalism, is that they are Irish.

A right-winger is likely to ascribe this failing to the left-wing character of post-colonial history. One might argue that the left-wing notion of “power structures” reduces human history to power-relations, which in turn limits the analytical categories of humanity to groups of humans with or without power. Rather than motivations based on “identity,” then, the leftist model can account only for group motivations caused by tensions that inevitably emerge between groups that have power and those that do not. To some extent this is true. However, it is not because post-colonial history is left-wing that it fails to note the full meaning of national identities. This problem is the result of post-colonial history being fundamentally modern. 

It is worth noting here that liberal historical perspectives do not call out the Leftist impulse to reduce national categories to sociologically dependent fictions. This is because liberal views of history share the modernist inability to ascribe ontological relevance to intergenerational group categories. Liberals simply disagree on the cause of identities like “Irish nationalists.” Where a Leftist would say it’s the result of oppression, a liberal may say it’s the result of “collectivist thinking,” “demagogues,” or a general lack of civilizational progress.

In response to Leftists and liberals, a modern conservative historian may appear to treat nations as categories of analysis. He may even argue that choosing to identify with a nation is a legitimate decision because of external benefits like improving group cohesion or collective psychological wellbeing. However, this still fails to articulate the historical category of a “nation” in the way that Chesterton does. A nation is that category into which one is born. It exists as an immaterial object that follows rules, like red or green. It is not willed into existence by virtue of its purported benefits. It is not optional, merely present.

When trying to analyze a phenomenon like “Irish nationalism,” the Left can only see a group defined by their common oppression, liberals can only see a multiplicity of individual humans moving through a particular phase of history, and conservatives can only see a group of individuals who “choose” to unite under a national identity. This is because these are all modern perspectives that recognize only two genuine categories in human history: that of humanity as a whole, and that of the decision-making individual. These categories will fail to capture the crisis faced by the English nation by the rise of the Irish nation because the nature of the crisis is a dynamic property of nations qua nations. This failure stems not from whether the observer is Left-wing, a liberal, or Right-wing, but from their shared modern outlook. The substance of nations and peoples, and the dynamics of those substances described by Chesterton, will remain invisible to all citizens of modernity regardless of how hard they try to see them.

An inevitable crisis of identity and G.K Chesterton’s “postmodern” critique

This article has hopefully established that in a world where there exists a population with a legitimate claim to a particular identity and another population whose only legitimate claim is to a shared universal identity, an existential crisis is inevitable. Such crises threaten to destroy entire nations, insofar as nations can be meaningfully said to exist, which is the key point of contention on this issue. As Chesterton laments, if the English fail to “make England attractive as a nationality, and even as a small nationality” then “who shall understand the Englishman with his dog as well as the Arab with his horse?” [3]

Chesterton’s recognition that people of European descent only recognize the substance which defines the collective identity of non-European-descended populations, but not the substance of their own identities, is prescient. However, in his time he was not able to articulate the extent to which the white man’s “modern” image of himself would be exported to the world through global academic and political channels. He could not see how Westerners’ intuitive dichotomy, which frames their cultures as a single timeless universal and all other cultures as a plurality of historical particulars, would become the view of all other peoples too. Chesterton would undoubtedly lament this age of neoliberally-managed postmodernism, in which non-European-descended peoples furiously police what is uniquely theirs whilst simultaneously demanding their place in what, by the same standards, belongs solely to peoples of European descent.

This is a moral problem as much as it is a political one. Peoples of European descent feel a moral pull to include all peoples in their present, their future, and even their past. They feel that their culture is the endpoint of humanity, and thus that they are merely holding on to a culture and identity that is destined to be shared equally as the universal inheritance of humanity. However, it is also conventional Western wisdom that all those who are not of European descent have a right to their own particular cultures, histories, and group identities. The risks of maintaining this double standard are profound. However, people of European descent are simply unable to re-enter a moral frame that allows them to view themselves like they view all non-European-descended peoples. What could the solution be?

If the problem is that people of European descent need to reimagine themselves and their cultures in a way that is made impossible by their universalist pretensions, perhaps the solution is to free themselves from those pretensions. Consider a statement made by an anthropologist who is traditionally viewed as an enemy of the Right. Margaret Mead, the influential student of Franz Boaz, once summarized the intellectual imperative to:

stand out against any grading of cultures in hierarchical systems which would place our own culture at the top and place the other cultures of the world in a descending scale according to the extent that they differ from ours. Refusing to admit that one culture could be said to be better than another, except in its capacity to adapt to a state of civilization imposed by its neighbors, we have stood out for a sort of democracy of cultures, a concept would naturally take its place beside the other great democratic beliefs. [4]

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Like Mead and Boaz, Chesterton also noted the imperative to dispense with “pompous abstractions about Law, and Justice and Truth” as well as efforts to universalize the standards of the British Empire with the expectation that “nations will love each other because they are alike.” [5] He contrasts this expectation with his own alternative model of world affairs in which “nations can love each other as men and women love each other, not because they are alike, but because they are different.” [6] Here we see Boaz and Mead’s ideal image of a world that recognizes the legitimate coexistence of recognizably different peoples and cultures. It is a world in which all peoples may legitimately claim their own histories and futures, in the absence of a universal standard of progress toward a purportedly objective set of standards set by modern, European-derived tradition.

Chesterton develops his political alternative by contrasting nations who “love each other” with the existential crisis European nations would bring upon themselves by imperiously expecting all nations to conform to European-derived standards and categories when he writes “they will never really do that unless they are really alike; and then they will not be nations.” [7] Chesterton’s solution to this problem is essentially “postmodern,” which is to say it notes the imperative of forgoing one’s own cultural claim to objective truths and standards in order to reclaim what is subjectively one’s own. He writes: “I am more convinced that the way for the Englishman to do it is to be English; but to know that he is English and not everything else as well.” [8]

Contrary to popular belief on the Right, it was not problematic that the Western academy, and the social conventions it informed, took Mead and Boaz’s perspective seriously. The problem was that neither Western academies, nor their academic dependents around the world, took that perspective seriously enough. A Western outlook that applied Mead’s injunction would view the world pluralistically. It would truly believe in and accept the existence of multiple human nations with differences that did not merely denote some stage on the path to becoming Westerners. There would be no core belief in the minds of Westerners that their destiny is to universalize and lose ownership of the cultures, identities, and historical trajectories that have always been their own. Rather than their sacred identities and norms being deconstructed into the nihilistic oblivion of “power structures” from within a universalist moral frame, the unique cultural inheritances of European peoples and their diasporas would remain rich, active, and self-justified if postmodernism were truly adopted.

Conclusions

A unifying theme of the Dissident Right seems to be that people of European descent should act as though they are discrete peoples with their own particular cultures, their own particular pasts, and their own particular futures. This is what puts them at odds with their “cuck” brethren in the “normie right,” whose sole motivation is to reduce the heritage of Europeans and their diasporas to timeless universal ideals. I would venture, however, that this distinction overlooks a fatal flaw that spans the political spectrum.

Many, including those on the Dissident Right, continue to view their histories and cultures as the standards and foundations of modernity. However, modernity is the universal frame that invites all of humanity to claim equal ownership. Modernity potentially belongs to all with the potential to be modern. If modernity is also the culture of the West, and “The West” is the aggregate historical and cultural tradition of Europe and its diaspora, then the cultural tradition and identity of Europeans and their diaspora belongs to all. Claiming modernity means that peoples of European descent cannot morally articulate their own legitimate identity, culture, history, or future. They have no “right” to such things, because all that is exclusively “theirs” is that which is modern, and that which is “modern” is that which is universal, and that which is universal necessarily belongs to all humanity. It is precisely this Western impulse to identify their legacy with modernity which has framed the insidious institutional form of the postmodern turn.

The current institutional form of postmodernism operates on the assumption of two categories of humanity. One category marks the dominating Westerner whose identity, traditions, and historical trajectory are bound to the universal frame. By virtue of being viewed in the universal frame, any claim by Westerners to their own cultural inheritance could only ever be an act of arbitrary exclusion. Any expression of their own norms could only ever be a power-laden imposition that is intended to delegitimize and replace the norms of others. Mainstream postmodernism contrasts the first category of humanity with the second category which groups all peoples who are not of European descent together. For this group, postmodern morality means claiming their “right” to establish and police their own discrete identities, and to pursue their own values outside the modern frame. For them, postmodernism offers the potential to rediscover the non-European-derived traditions to which their ancestors adhered prior to Western modernity being imposed on them.

It is the fault of modern thinking in Westerners that a schematic ever existed which can fuse “Modern” with white, European, and Western. It is the fault of imperialism that this category can be used as a foil against which the “unheard voices” of the non-European, non-Western world may be defined. Being reduced to the universal foil for making sense of the liberated particular delegitimizes the efforts of white peoples to imagine and express their own future as their own family of peoples. Their imperial history simultaneously forces white people to occupy a world full of more numerous peoples who can morally articulate their right to reimagine their own futures as continuations of cultural traditions preceding Western domination.

European peoples and their diasporas will suffer from their unique inability to articulate and pursue their own interests for precisely as long as they view their unique cultural norms and standards as objective truths, and thus as the teleological endpoint of all humanity. Thus, if the Dissident Right wishes to produce a morally legitimate language in which it can discuss what belongs to people of European descent, such a language needs to invite Westerners outside the modern frame. It cannot be a language that returns to the cultural condition which led Europeans to extend their view of themselves and of their destiny, to the entire world.

In the most meaningful sense imaginable, such language must be postmodern.

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Notes

[1] G.K. Chesterton, Essays of Today and Yesterday (George G. Harrap & Co: 1928), p. 59

[2] Anne Marie-Waters on the Patriotic Alternative, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbtQ6NtO1DM

[3] G.K. Chesterton, Essays, p. 61

[4] Margaret Mead, “The Role of Small South Sea Cultures in The Post War World,” American Anthropologist, vol. 45, no. 2, 1943, p. 193

[5] G.K. Chesterton, Essays, 61

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid, 59.

 

30 Comments

  1. Tye Rogerson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    There’s a lot of meat on this one. I have shared with others, and will be chewing this over for awhile. It rings true in a profound way, and these threads must be picked up by others so we can build upon our recent gains.

    • Eumaios
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Well said!

      I’m very pleased to hear that you found value in this piece. I agree that the dissident right has made gains in certain intellectual areas and would do well to press its advance. The right must become as utilitarian as the left when it comes to theory and rhetoric.

  2. Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to articulate for a while now that imperialism undoes the core nation of an empire. The Russian empire diluted the Russian people, the Ottoman empire crushed and disassembled the Turkish nation, the British empire has led to such British as Pritti Pattel and David Lammy.

    Eumaios gives us a well-reasoned and researched reason why. As Tye says, there’s a lot of meat here and I will have to invite other dogs to chew on it. Thank you, friend. Thank you.

    • Eumaios
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Thank YOU for reading the article and leaving such a kind comment.

      I am so pleased to hear that this could go at least some way toward clarifying some of your own thoughts on these issues. Good luck on your intellectual journey friend!

  3. Tykebomb
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    But the problem remains what to do with the other flotsam of empire. Priti Pattel is not Indian. She grew up a non European in European culture ( I assume, I’m using her as an example). These second generation immigrants can NEVER be full members of their own homelands because they aren’t.

    They do have a culture: the consumerist imitation of their actual culture. They actively try to defend it by screaming “cultural appropriation everytime a European wears ethnic dress. The leveling effects of capitalism, the drive fir more and more efficiency, will create more of these people even in their homelands.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      If she stays, Britons have to accommodate her.

      If she goes to India, she will have to fit in. That’s tough but not your problem.

      Britons need to take their own side on this.

      • Richard Edmonds
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

        I agree. The mass-Third world immigration forced onto the West, and Britain in particular, has created a very cruel situation:

        If the Third -World immigrants remain here, then their continued migration into Britain (a consequence of their remaining here) plus their high birth-rate ensures that we the British will become a minority in our own land, with all that that means for us the native British;

        if on the other hand, the Third-World immigrants are required by force of Law to return to their lands of origin, then, Yes, that will involve hardships for them.

        This is the difficult situation that the liberals have bequeathed us with their mania for setting up the multi-racial society, where previously there was just us British: Either we accept our race-replacement leading to our genocide or we require, by force of Law, the repatriation of the Third-worlders in this country.

        Obviously in the words of Greg Johnson, we should take our own side: nobody in their right minds gives their country way.

        • Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          Greg had a good point in a different article as well. If they were capable of coming here, they’re capable of going back too.

          • Greg Johnson
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            If their “roots” in the UK matter, then the roots of Britons matter even more.

        • Lord Shang
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          As I have argued in many comments, this is far more of an ethical problem for us in America (and other Euro-diasporic countries) than for Europeans. Of course, by “ethical” I mean “Christian theological”, or at least I am implicating anyone who believes in the existence of 1) a supernatural being; 2) the human soul; 3) the soul’s personal immortality; and 4) a meting out of eternal punishment or misery upon (2) by (1) to be determined by the earthly or bodily moral conduct of (2). Otherwise, per Dostoyevsky, without God, all is permitted. Who cares what hardships you inflict, upon Third World colonizers or anyone else? Feed ’em, gas ’em, it’s all the same to an insentient cosmos.

          [The pragmatic contradiction in this, however, is that societies filled with purely amoral people will be much less effective and ultimately enduring than those comprised mostly of people with strong moral compasses and ethics of self-sacrificial duty. Indeed, I argue that even engaging in ethical discourse presupposes the existence of (1) through (4) above. No God, no ethics. I mean this performatively. Ethics, like logic, can be argued {and I do so argue} to inhere in the very nature of reality, but without any “heavenly reward” for right conduct, there is no reason for such conduct. Who has heard of an animal (which, absent our hypothesized but certainly not proven “en-soul-ment”, is what we are, and must be) behaving “ethically”?). At most, humans might occasionally act morally or compassionately in situations eliciting purely instinctual, “nuturant” responses (depending upon the individual’s genetic predisposition to such responses, and lack of strong personal agency to counteract such “programming” – eg, some people are more “bothered” than others by other people’s suffering, especially when it involves something the former can imaginatively ‘relate to’, and might act in a virtuous way to relieve such suffering in large part for their own psychic relief). But true ethics involves self-sacrifice (eg, buying a meal for a beggar, not your own child in whom you have a genetic and lifestyle-based emotional investment, and certainly NOT a beautiful woman whom you wish to seduce), and without both a supernatural soul and a supernatural entity which judges and rewards or punishes that soul based upon its earthly moral conduct, such self-sacrifice is irrational, the behavior of a brainwashed “sucker”.

          The ideal situation, then, for the pure atheist is to live among overwhelmingly ethical persons – a wolf among sheep. Of course, “wolf”-producing scientific discovery or philosophical analysis should accordingly be kept hidden from general view. ]

          In light of the above, and the reality that we men of the West are either Christian or ancestrally so, evaluation of moral problems should be conducted under Christian auspices, unless someone can prove that conditions (1) through (4) exist, but that the God who exists is not the Trinity. The problem with this latter line of analysis is that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe in the existence of a non-Christian god – even if such a god in fact exists. It is at least debatable that the Christian conception of god does exist, if for no other reason (and there are other reasons) than that our people have believed in such for two thousand years (nb: some anti-Christian white nationalists like to point out that Jesus and the original disciples were Jews, and thus that this faith is ‘alien’ to Europeans; I argue, however, that legions of the earliest converted were non-Jews, and that, moreover, the whole Near East and Maghreb were all much ‘whiter’ millennia ago that they are today due to centuries’ worth of Caucasoid mongrelization). The Trinity may be ontologically nonexistent, but if we have to posit the existence of conditions (1) through (4) in order to engage in meaningful ethical analysis (ie, analysis which has a use in guiding decision making and behavior, as opposed to parlor games of logical analysis with no real world relevance), the clear weight of history and the psychological development of Western Man, “marinated” in millennia of Christian influence, suggests that Christianity, more than any other theistic metaphysics, should be our starting point.

          So, from the perspective of Christian moral theology, which takes precedence: preventing white racio-cultural extinction in Euro-diasporic nations, or engaging in potential, and probably necessary, violent coercion to restore pre-immigration-settler-colonialist-invasion status quos ex ante? I put it this way because I hold it to be unarguable that, per Richard Edmonds’s dilemma, the indigenous peoples of Europe (understood as the “continent” – NOT “Magna Europa”; ie, everywhere whites are and have settled and built) have a moral right – FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE – to ask the settler-colonialists (defined strictly by race) to leave their ancient fatherlands, and to force them to do so if they refuse to leave peacefully. The importation of nonwhites into, and the granting of them citizenship in, the ancient-settled and built ethnonations of Europe, were acts of treasonous aggression perpetrated by portions of those European nations against other portions. Is this clear?

          Take Japan. Japan is an ancient ethnonation still overwhelmingly comprised of the ethnic type which built it, physically and culturally, over time, which made Japan, Japan; ie, Japan is still Japanese. Suppose 51% of Japs want to import non-Jap aliens (because, say, “they’re needed to do the work the native Japs won’t do”), and allow these aliens permanent residency in Japan, as well as Japanese citizenship, both for themselves and their progeny. Certainly to any nationalist this would be not merely unwise and immoral from an intergenerational perspective (because we understand that ‘diversity’ breeds division and future conflict, even assuming the ‘diversity’ is behaviorally broadly similar to the indigenous, something rarely the case in the ‘real world’), but it would also be immoral in and of itself , because the mere presence of imported ‘diversity’ constitutes a psychic and cultural assault upon national character, and the fragile and beautiful thing which is Japanese (French, German, Italian, etc) culture, heritage, and shared historical memory, which in turn is psychologically fragmenting, alienating and destabilizing over time. To suggest that a slight majority of the Japs (or even the whole body politic) today may engage in actions with FUTURE ruinous consequences is to hold that there are no intergenerational ethical duties.

          [To be cntd.]

          • Lord Shang
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            OOOPS! Reading my comment, I made a major mistake. (Never post before reviewing your comment!)

            I wrote above:

            “So, from the perspective of Christian moral theology, which takes precedence: preventing white racio-cultural extinction in Euro-diasporic nations, or engaging in potential, and probably necessary, violent coercion to restore pre-immigration-settler-colonialist-invasion status quos ex ante?”

            I meant to say “… or AVOIDING engaging in…”. Sorry.

            IOWs, which is more important: preventing white ethnocultural (and probably eventually racial) extinction in America (or Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa) or abjuring any course of action which, to prevent that extinction, might lead to violent conflict?

      • Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        If my experiences with Macedonian diaspora kids returning to the Fatherland is anything to go by, an ethnic Indian will take to India like a fish to water.

    • Vehmgericht
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Pritti Patel is not the problem: she merely upholds a mildly conservative status quo.

      It is the openly anti-white, anti-western types such as Ash Sarkar, the Charkrabortys, Gary Younge, Afua Hirsch and the ‘Baronesses’ Lawrence and Warsi that are perilous. From their high pulpits in broadcasting media they dribble their venom into popular discourse.

      They are the ones who have no intention of leaving: on the contrary they want us to disappear.

      • Eumaios
        Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        What is it precisely that Priti Patel’s status quo is conserving so “mildly””?

        In a certain sense, 20 million Priti Patels are more of a threat to the English nation than 20 million “anti-whites”. The latter recognize that their interests are distinct from those of the British peoples. They realize that they have their own pasts and futures and cannot partake in the past or future of the English people. With those distinctions intact, one would just have to wait for the right historical moment sometime in the future to articulate the notion that the English people have their own interests. At that stage it would be easy to develop a language to pursue those interests.

        The kind of English identity that would need to be imagined in order to include 20 million non-Europeans like Priti Patel who wish to “become English” would be unrecognizable. Any cultural tradition or aspect of history that excludes the newcomers would be a reminder that they are not “English” in the way that the real English are. If “The English” colonized India, does that mean Priti Patel’s ancestors were pith helmet wearing invaders to India? If not, then in what way is she “English”?

        What does one do when historical artifacts and narratives indicate that the history inherited by Priti Patel is not the history of the English people? One option is that the English identity becomes defined by the present and the future and not the past. This is just another way of saying “English identity” is whatever the latest African or Indian immigrant says that it is. Alternatively, Indians and Africans would need to be shoehorned into the myths and historical narratives of the English to the point where being “English” becomes meaningless. We see both occurring at once in our “inclusive” age.

        The only overarching “English” identity that could include so many non-Europeans is an individualist metropolitan mass consumerism, which would explain why this is increasingly pushed as the model of how the English should view themselves.

        In any event, I think I made it clear in the article that Priti Patel is not the problem here. If anything she is a victim for being in a situation where her competence and good instincts cannot be properly realized in the context of her own nation.

        • Lord Shang
          Posted May 9, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

          Well said. But you are avoiding the obvious issue (for anyone who believes in ethics): what should in fact be done about Priti Patel? Clearly, unlimited ethical quandaries could have been easily avoided simply by disallowing Priti Patel’s forebears from taking up residence on British soil back in the early 70s. But they were allowed to do so. Now if they arrived illegally, then perhaps Patel could be expelled on that ground (ie, that she still is a citizen of India given that her parents would still be so considered). But if Patel’s parents lawfully immigrated to the UK, then Patel was lawfully born there. She bears no culpability for that fact.

          But for England to remain English, it must remain white. Ultimately, that means nonwhites must be expelled from it, both territorially and legally (stripped of citizenship). The legal presence of a single nonwhite effectively nullifies the racial principle, to wit, that England is white. It also represents an existential (for once, the correct usage) threat to English survival, as one nonwhite loosens the nation’s racial standards; one means another one, and so on until England has been overrun and eviscerated. ONLY absolute apartheid can assure racial perpetuity.

          So what is to be done with Priti Patel and others in her situation (for, say, someone who is both a national patriot and an ethical Christian)? Expulsions plus a generous pension?

          • Eumaios
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Thank you for your well thought out responses. I appreciate you engaging with my ideas.
            In practical terms the answer to your question about what should actually be done is simple. Not all non-Britons need to be removed tomorrow. All that needs to be changed is the trend regarding which populations are growing and which are shrinking.

            To alter this trend, it would be sufficient to introduce a policy of voluntary repatriation with financial incentive alongside selective family benefits which boost indigenous birth rates. Legally, foreigners should be barred from serving in public offices. In historical terms, such a package of policies would be so standard and morally inoffensive as to not even be worth noticing. It is stranger, in historical terms, that such policies are not already in place. However, since modern British intuitions in this day and age are clearly not affected by historical precedent, let us talk about the ethical issue you raise.

            Being that the individual person of Priti Patel is not the problem at hand, the question regarding her place in the context of British society is in the domain macro level policy decisions. In strict ethical terms, decisions pertaining to society wide policy are never related to questions of “culpability” unless the policies in question pertain to criminal law.

            Every year decisions are made which harm people who are not “culpable” for any crimes. Every time interest rates are changed, someone goes bankrupt despite having made shrewd financial decisions. Every time the British state has gone to war it has done far worse to innocent Britons than anything a revised policy on nationhood would do to Priti Patel, a person whose interests are not even the legitimate concern of the British state.

            If a decision as minor as an interest rate hike can be made regardless of how it negatively affects individuals who are not “culpable” of anything, then why on earth should a decision regarding an existential threat to the British peoples be prevented for reasons of individual culpability and fairness?

            If a state’s sole moral responsibility is to serve the interests of the nation(s) that it represents, it would follow that ANY decision regarding the continued existence of that nation(s) would be legitimate, regardless of the fallout. If the decision to save the British peoples can be made with such minor effects as one generation of foreigners being mildly disadvantaged, in a world in which multiculturalism leads white people to brutal deaths every day, it seems to me ethically unproblematic that such a decision should be made.

  4. Amas
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    This is a very insightful essay.

    Tangentially to your suggestions towards the end it can be useful to point out the “racism” of believing that our way of life is superior to that of other peoples. Also, I think the opposite is true to a large extent. As many people feel that there is something wrong or off about our way of life, if you can bring them to this belief that they already hold in the context of national/racial relations you’ll be getting somewhere.

    With respect to Deconstructionism I think the way forward is to bring it to its conclusion by deconstructing it as well leaving us at the beginning with new eyes and an undefined world to be explored.
    This brings to mind the poet Amergin of Irish myth who, upon reaching Ireland, sang an incantation defining the land almost as an act of creation.

    Viva postmodernism!

    • Eumaios
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your kind words!

      I agree that the nihilism and cynicism of deconstruction should be a means not an end. I would like my children to have knowledge of eternal absolutes concerning nation, convention and religion in a way that I never could.

  5. Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    As I follow it, part of this this seems to go that if one’s culture gets exported, then the originating society no longer has a culture to call its own. Another group can go back to its ancient roots and then secede, but the originating society will no longer ever have a way to have a unique culture. In the realm of pure theory maybe, but it’s not as simple as that.

    I don’t know about some of this. Bringing it to real-world conditions, the sort of corporate mass culture that’s getting exported under globalism is not really identical with Western civilization. In that case, why can’t we go back to our ancient roots and secede from Clown World?

    Here’s the big missing piece. It seems that the postmodernist analysis assumes that cultures have nothing to do with the genotypes that produced them. Franz Boas would agree with that one – this is the guy who claimed that after people moved to a new continent, the skulls of their descendants started to change shape after a few generations. Civic nationalists with their magic dirt argument would agree with that too. Me, I’m not so sure about all that.

    For us, the big problem isn’t about cultural appropriation. We don’t even go bananas about it! If people in another part of the world want to listen to Miley Cyrus, that’s up to them. Same for Mozart. The problem is about getting crowded out of our own living spaces by people who won’t (and maybe can’t) fit in, and don’t belong here.

    • Edward Bridle
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      ” the sort of corporate mass culture that’s getting exported under globalism is not really identical with Western civilization” – this distinction between genuinely Western culture and globalist or, as he calls it, universal culture was argued by Scott Alexander not many years ago: https://slatestarcodex.com/2016/07/25/how-the-west-was-won/

  6. Happy Larry
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to read this again printed it out for notes. This is really good.

    • Eumaios
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Thanks Larry!

      Stay happy my friend! 😉

  7. Repentant Extremist
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    There will be NO “Nationalist Postmodernism” of ANY kind: Nobody with a modicum of common sense is interested by the pathetic, anti-human agendas of the “alt-right”, or the loathsome “neo-nazi” crowd!… You’d better get a real Life, and start becoming normal, humane people again!…(sound advice!)

  8. FC
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    I finally see someone arguing that postmodern ideas can be used in an ethnic-nationalist context. The work of demonstrating the falsity of global society was already done by the French in the 70s, it is no coincidence that it is the same moment in which the new right (nouvelle droite) appears.

    • Posted May 9, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      On the one hand, it’s good that we can debate on the enemy’s terms and prevail, no matter what academic mumbo jumbo they’re throwing around.

      On the other hand, there’s a very short and easy answer to the question of whether or not it’s okay to dispossess us: NO.

  9. Lovely Phenotypes
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Deconstructionists tend to annoy me.

    Be careful what you say and do and what paths you take. Unknown is blank.
    It may still be your clay but you are no longer the potters.

    • Eumaios
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I’d rather go insane than go extinct.

  10. Lux
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    A return to German or Saxon or perhaps PIE? Oh bother . . . .

  11. Hegel's Kegels
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The challenge of postmodernism is that there is no a priori cataloging of identities. The Irish and the English are to be understood in relation to each other not possessing some unique essence which demarcates them as such. From the contact between English and Irish arises conception of English and Irish. We are unable to prove anything otherwise. Were we to postulate a unique Irishness it would not take us long to realize it was dependent on its contrast with Englishness. Now we may encounter those who even deny the relation as a kind of radical egalitarianism, but in a word these people are stupid, ignoring that there exists an Irish map and and Irish territory that relate to one another and consequently to England

  12. Rob
    Posted May 30, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Excellent article. The more I’ve read of liberal/modern philosophy and economic theory, it’s become apparent to me as well that the premises of people like Bertrand Russell, John Stuart Mill and even Locke are far more conducive to the eradication of distinct human communities than post-colonial thinkers like Chomsky. The prioritization of economic efficiency is one thing, but the exclusion of all other factors and motivations seems to me the modern ethos, and since it’s so ruthlessly unsentimental and naturally lends towards greater and greater concentrations of power, it’s very difficult to oppose directly. The current world order I think can only be brought down by the creation of subversive, internal power blocs. But don’t ask me specifics because I’m still thinking this through lol anyway Eumaios has a great faculty for critical thinking and powerful way with words, can’t wait to see more by this author.

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