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Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Straussian Assault on America's European Heritage

Review of Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique by Grant Havers. Northern Illinois University Press, 2013. Hardcover, 256 pp., $37

by Ricardo Duchesne

Leo Strauss caricature
Leo Strauss caricature


A main pillar sustaining the practice of mass immigration is that Western nations are inherently characterized by a "civic" form of national membership. Western nations express the "natural" wishes of "man as man" for equal rights, rule of law, freedom of expression, and private property. Mainstream leftists and conservatives alike insist on the historical genuineness of this civic definition. This civic identity, they tell us, is what identifies the nations of Western civilization as unique and universal all at once. Unique because they are the only nations in which the idea of citizenship has been radically separated from any ethnic and religious background; and universal because these civic values are self-evident truths all humans want whenever they are given the opportunity to choose.

To include the criteria of ethnicity or religious ancestry in the concept of Western citizenship is manifestly illiberal. Even more, it is now taken for granted that if Western nations are to live up to their idea of civic citizenship they must relinquish any sense of European peoplehood and Christian ancestry. Welcoming immigrants from multiples ethnic and religious backgrounds is currently seen as a truer expression of the inherent character of Western nationality than remaining attached to any notion of European ethnicity and Christian historicity.

The reality that the liberal constitutions of Western nations were conceived and understood in ethnic and Christian terms (if only implicitly since the builders and founders of European nations never envisioned an age of mass migrations) has been conveniently overlooked by our mainstream elites. These elites are willfully downplaying the fact that the liberal nation states of Europe emerged within ethnolinguistic boundaries and majority identities. Those states possessing a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, where ancestors had lived for generations — England, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark — were the ones with the strongest liberal traits, constitutions and institutions. Those states (or empires like the Austro-Hungarian Empire) composed of multiple ethnic groups were the ones enraptured by illiberal forms of ethnic nationalism and intense rivalries over identities and political boundaries. In other words, the historical record shows that a high degree of ethnic homogeneity tends to produce liberal values, whereas countries or areas with a high number of diverse ethnic groups have tended to generate ethnic tensions, conflict, and illiberal institutions. As Jerry Muller has argued in Us and Them (Foreign Affairs: March/April 2008), "Liberal democracy and ethnic homogeneity are not only compatible; they can be complementary."

Mainstream leftists and conservatives have differed in the way they have gone about redefining the historical roots of Western nationalism and abolishing the ethnic identities of Western nations. Eric Hobsbawm, the highly regarded apologist of the Great Terror in the Soviet Union, persuaded most of the academic world, in his book, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (1989), that the nation states of Europe were not created by a people sharing a common historical memory, a sense of territorial belonging and habitation, similar dialects and physical appearances; no, the nation-states of Europe were "socially constructed" entities, "invented traditions", "imagined" by people perceiving themselves as part of a "mythological" group in an unknown past. Hobsbawm deliberately sought to discredit any sense of ethnic identity among Europeans by depicting their nation building practices as modern fairy-tales administered by capitalists and bureaucrats from above on a miscellaneous pre-modern population.

Leftists however have not been the only ones pushing for a purely civic interpretation of Western nationhood; mainstream conservatives, too, have been trying to root out Christianity and ethnicity from the historical experiences and founding principles of European nations. Their discursive strategy has not been one of dishonoring the past but of projecting backwards into European history a universal notion of Western citizenship that includes the human race. The most prominent school in the formulation of this view has come out of the writings of Leo Strauss. This is the way I read Grant Havers's Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique (2013). In this heavily researched and always clear book, Havers goes about arguing in a calm but very effective way that Strauss was not the traditional conservative leftists have made him out to be; he was a firm believer in the principles of liberal equality and a unswerving opponent of any form of Western citizenship anchored in Christianity and ethnic identity.

Strauss's vehement opposition to communism coupled with his enthusiastic defense of American democracy, as it stood in the 1950s, created the erroneous impression that he was a "right wing conservative". But, as Havers explains, Strauss was no less critical of "right wing extremists" (who valued forms of citizenship tied to the nationalist customs and historical memories of a particular people) than of the New Left. Strauss believed that America was a universal nation in being founded on principles that reflected the "natural" disposition of all humans for life, liberty and happiness. These principles were discovered first by the ancient Greeks in a philosophical and rational manner, but they were not particular to the Greeks; rather, they were "eternal truths" apprehended by Greek philosophers in their writings against tyrannical regimes. While these principles were accessible to all humans as humans, only a few great philosophers and statesmen exhibited the intellectual and personal fortitude to fully grasp and actualize these principles. Nevertheless, most humans possessed enough mental equipment as reasoning beings to recognize these principles as "rights" intrinsic to their nature, so long as they were given the chance to deliberate on "the good" life.

Havers's "conservative critique" of Strauss consists essentially in emphasizing the uniquely Western and Christian origins of the foundational principles of Anglo-American democracy. While Havers's traditional conservatism includes admiration for such classical liberal principles as the rule of law, constitutional government, and separation of church and state, his argument is that these liberal principles are rooted primarily in Christianity, particularly its ideal of charity. He takes for granted the reader's familiarity with this ideal, which is unfortunate, since it is not well understood, but is generally taken to mean that Christianity encourages charitable activities, relief of poverty and advancement of education. Havers has something more profound in mind. Christian charity from a political perspective is a state of being wherein one seeks a sympathetic understanding of ideas and beliefs that are different to one's own. Charitable Christians seek to understand other viewpoints and are willing to engage alternative ideas and political proposals rather than oppose them without open dialogue. Havers argues that the principles of natural rights embodied in America's founding cannot be separated from this charitable disposition; not only were the founders of America, the men who wrote the Federalist Papers, quite definite in voicing the view that they were acting as Christian believers in formulating America's founding, they were also very critical of Greek slavery, militarism, and aristocratic license against the will of the people.

Throughout the book Havers debates the rather ahistorical way Strauss and his followers have gone about "downplaying or ignoring the role of Christianity in shaping the Anglo-American tradition" — when the historical record copiously shows that Christianity played a central role nurturing the ideals of individualism and tolerance, abolition of slavery and respect for the dignity of all humans. Havers debates and refutes the similarly perplexing ways in which Straussians have gone about highlighting the role of Greek philosophy in shaping the Anglo-American tradition — when the historical record amply shows that Greek philosophers were opponents of the natural equality of humans, defenders of slavery, proponents of a tragic view of history, the inevitability of war and the rule of the mighty.

Havers also challenges the Straussian elevation of such figures as Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt, Hobbes and Locke as proponents of an Anglo-American tradition founded on "timeless" Greek ideas. He shows that Christianity was the prevailing influence in the intellectual development and actions of all these men. Havers imparts on the readers a sense of disbelief as to how the Straussians ever managed to exert so much influence on American conservatism (to the point of transforming its original emphasis on traditions and communities into a call for the spread of universal values across the world), despite proposing views that were so blissfully indifferent to "readily available facts".

Basically, the Straussians were not worried about historical veracity as much as they were determined to argue that Western civilization (which they identified with the Anglo-American tradition) was philosophically conceived from its beginnings as a universal civilization. In this effort, Strauss and his followers genuinely believed that American liberalism had fallen prey to the "yoke" of German historicism and relativism, infusing the American principles of natural rights with the notion that these were merely valid for a particular people rather than based on Human Reason. German historicism — the idea that each culture exhibits a particular world view and that there is no such thing as a rational faculty standing above history — led to the belittlement of the principles of natural rights by limiting them a particular time and place. Worse than this — and the modern philosophers, Hobbes and Locke, were to be blamed as well — the principles of natural rights came to be separated from the ancient Greek idea that we can rank ways of life according to their degree of excellence and elevation of the human soul. The modern philosophy of natural right merely afforded individuals the right to choose their own lifestyle without any guidance as to what is "the good life".

Strauss believed that this relativist liberalism would not be able to withstand challenges from other philosophical outlooks and illiberal ways of life, from Communism and Fascism, for example, unless it was rationally grounded on eternal principles. He thought the ancient Greeks had understood better than anyone else that some truths are deeply grounded in the actual nature of men, not relative to a particular time and culture, but essential to what is best for "man as man". These truths were summoned up in the modern philosophy of natural rights, though in a flawed manner. The moderns tended to appeal to the lower instincts of humans, to a society that would merely ensure security and the pursuit of pleasure, in defending their ideals of liberty and happiness. But with a proper reading of the ancient texts, and a curriculum based on the "Great Books", the soul of contemporaneous students could be elevated above a life of trivial pursuits.

This emphasis on absolute, universal, and "natural" standards attracted a number of prominent Christians to Strauss. The Canadian George Grant (1918-1988), for one, was drawn to the potential uses Strauss's emphasis on eternal values might have to fight off the erosion of Christian conviction in the ever more secular, liberal, and consumerist Canada of his day. Grant, Havers explains, did not quite realize that Strauss was neither a conservative nor a Christian but a staunch proponent of a philosophically based liberalism bereft of any Christian identity. Grant relished the British and Protestant roots of the Anglo-American tradition, though there were certain affinities between him and Strauss; Grant was a firm believer in the superiority of Anglo-Saxon civilization and its rightful responsibility in bringing humanity to a higher cultural level. The difference is that Grant affirmed the religious and ethnic particularities of Anglo-Saxon civilization, whereas Strauss, though a Zionist who believed in a Jewish nation state, sought to portray Anglo-American civilization in a philosophical language cleansed of any Christian particularities and European ethnicity.

Strauss wanted a revised interpretation of Anglo-American citizenship standing above tribal identities and historical particularities. Strauss's objective was to provide Anglo-American government with a political philosophy that would stand as a bulwark against "intolerable" challenges from the left and the right, which endangered liberalism itself. The West had to affirm the universal truthfulness of its way of life and be guarded against the tolerance of forms of expression that threaten this way of life. Havers observes that Strauss was particularly worried about the inability of liberal regimes, as was the case with the Weimar republic, to face up to illiberal challenges. He wanted a liberal order that would ensure the survival of the Jews, and the best assurance for this was a liberal order that spoke in a neutral and purely philosophical idiom without giving any preference to any religious faith and any historical and ethnic ancestries. He wanted a liberalism that would work to undermine any ancestral or traditionally conservative norms that gave preference to a particular people in the heritage of America's founding, and thereby may discriminate against Jews. Only in a strictly universal civilization would the Jews feel safe while retaining their identity.

Havers brings up another old conservative, Willmore Kendall (1909-68), who was drawn to Straussian thought even though substantial aspects of his thought were incompatible with Strauss's. Among these differences was the "majoritarian populism" of Kendall versus the aristocratic elitism of Strauss. The aristocrats Strauss had in mind were philosophers and statesmen who understood the eternal values of the West whereas the majoritarian people Kendall had in mind were Americans who were conservative by tradition and deeply attached to their ancestral roots in America, rather than believers in universal rights concocted by philosophers. While Kendall was drawn to Strauss's scepticism over unlimited speech, what he feared was not the ways in which particular ethnic/religious groups might use free speech to protect their ancestral rights and thereby violate — from Strauss's perspective — the universality of liberalism, but "the opposite of what Strauss fear[ed]": that an open society unmindful of its actual historical roots, allowing unlimited questioning of its ancestral identities, against the natural wishes of the majority for their roots and traditions, would eventually destroy the Anglo-American tradition.

Havers brings up as well Kendall's call for a restricted immigration policy consistent with majoritarian wishes. While Havers is primarily concerned with the Christian roots of Anglo-American democracy, he identifies this view by Kendall with conservatism proper. The Straussian view that America is an exceptional nation by virtue of being founded on the basis of philosophical propositions, which somehow have elevated this nation to be a model to the world, is, in Havers view, closer to the leftist dismissal of religious identities and traditions than it is to any true conservatism. Conservatives, or Paleo-Conservatives, believe that human identities are not mere private choices arbitrarily decided by abstract individuals in complete disregard of history and the natural dispositions of humans for social groupings with similar ethnic and religious identities.

These differences between the Straussians and old conservatives are all the more peculiar since, as Havers notes, Strauss was very mindful of the particular identities of Jewish people, criticizing those who called for a liberalized form of Jewish identity based on values alone. Jews, Strauss insisted, must maintain fidelity to their own nationality rather than to a "liberal theology", otherwise they would end up destroying their particular historical identity.

Now, Straussians could well respond that the Anglo-American identity is different, consciously dedicated to universal values, but, as Havers carefully shows, this emphasis on the philosophy of natural rights cannot be properly understood outside the religious ancestry of the founders, and (although Havers is less emphatic about this) outside the customs, institutions and ethnicity of the founders. As the Australian Frank Salter has written:
The United States began as an implicit ethnic state, whose Protestant European identity was taken for granted. As a result, the founding fathers made few remarks about ethnicity, but John Jay famously stated in 1787 that America was 'one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors', a prominent statement in one of the republic's founding philosophical documents that attracted no disagreement (On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration: 230).
This idea that Western nations are all propositional nations is not restricted to the United States, but has been applied to the settler nations of Canada and Australia, and the entire continent of Europe, under the supposition that, with the Enlightenment, the nations of Europe came to be redefined by such "universal" values as individual rights, separation of church and state, democracy. As a result, mainstream liberals and conservatives today regularly insist that Europe is inherently a "community of values", not of ethnicity or religion, but of values that belong to humanity. Accordingly, the reasoning goes, if Europe is to be committed to these values it must embrace immigration as part of its identity. Multiculturalism is simply a means of facilitating the participation of immigrants into this universal culture, making them feel accepted by recognizing their particular traditions, while they are gradually nudge to think in a universal way. But, as Salter points out,
This is hardly a complete reading of Enlightenment ideas, which include the birth of modern nationalism, the democratic privileging of majority ethnicity, and the linking of minority emancipation to assimilation. The Enlightenment also celebrates empirical science including biology, which culminated in man's fuller understanding of himself as part of nature (213).
Liberals in the 19th century were fervent supporters of nationalism and the essential importance of being part of a community with shared traditions and common ancestry. Eric Hobsbawm's claim that Europeans nations were "ideological constructs" created without a substantial grounding in immemorial lands, folkways, and ethnos, should be contrasted to the ideas of such liberal nationalists as Camillo di Cavour (1810–1861), Max Weber (1864–1920), and even John Stuart Mill (1806–1873). While these liberals emphasized a form of nationalism compatible with classical liberal values, they were firm supporters of national identities at a time when a "non-xenophobic nationalism" was meant to acknowledge the presence of what were essentially European ethnic minorities within European nations. None of these liberals ever envisioned the nations of Europe as mere places identified by liberal values belonging to everyone else and obligated to become "welcome" mats for the peoples of the world.

Moreover, Enlightenment thinkers were the progenitors of a science of ethnic differences, which has since been producing ever more empirical knowledge, and has today convincingly shown that ethnicity is not merely a social construct but also a biological substrate. As Edward O. Wilson, Pierre van den Berghe, and Salter have written, shared ethnicity is an expression of extended kinship at the genetic level; members of an ethnic group are biologically related in the same way that members of a family are related even though the genetic connection is not as strongly marked. Numerous papers — which I will reference below with links — are now coming out supporting the view that humans are ethnocentric and that such altruistic dispositions as sharing, loyalty, caring, and even motherly love, are exhibited primarily and intensively within in-groups rather than toward a universal "we" in disregard for one's community. Strauss's concern for the identity of Jews is consistent with this science.

The Straussian language about "natural rights" belonging to "man as man" is mostly gibberish devoid of any historical veracity and scientific support. Hegel long refuted the argument that humans were born with natural rights which they never enjoyed until a few philosophers discovered them and then went on to create ex nihilo Western civilization. Man "in his immediate and natural way of existence" was never the possessor of natural rights. The natural rights the founders spoke about, which were also in varying ways announced in the creation of the nations of Canada and Australia, and prescribed in the modern constitutions of European nations, were acquired and won only through a long historical movement, the origins of which may be traced back to ancient Greece, but which also included, as Havers insists, the history of Christianity and, I would add, the legal history of Rome, the Catholic Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the Bourgeois Revolutions.

The Straussians believe that the way to overcome the tendency of liberal societies to relativism or the celebration of pluralistic conceptions of life without any sense of ranking the lifestyle of citizens is to impart reverence and patriotic attachment for the Anglo-American tradition by emphasizing not the heterogeneous identity of this tradition but its foundation in the ancient philosophical commitment to "the good" and the "perfection of humanity". But this effort to instill national commitment by teaching citizens about the classics of ancient Greece and the great statesmen of liberal freedom is doomed to failure and has been a failure. The problem of nihilism is nonexistent in societies with a strong sense of reverence for traditional practices, authoritative patriarchal figures, and a sense of peoplehood and homeland. The way out of the crisis of Western nihilism is to re-nationalize liberalism, throwaway the cultural Marxist notion that freedom means liberation from all identities not chosen by the individual, and accentuate the historical and natural-ethnic basis of European identity.




Recent Scientific Papers on Ethnocentrism and Human Nature:


18 comments:

  1. Professor –
    I read this post with interest and largely agree with your take. As an American, the key difference in our history is the presence from the Founding of a large group that clearly was a special case: the African-Americans.
    In my view, the civic and de-nationalized style of citizenship you describe arises from this unfortunate history. When the matter, after decades of crisis and civil war, came finally to a head in the 1960s, the U.S. stood at a cross-roads. It could find no way to hang on to the unspoken but powerful sense that the American nationality was a new European-American people while reconciling what do do with African-Americans. Any attempt to hang on to the traditional understanding involved inherently placing African-Americans outside of the nation. Historically, Americans handled this problem by viewing their nationhood in one way and their citizenship in quite another, while encumbering the African-American’s citizenship with exceptions and special rules so as to prevent any confusion as to whose nation it was at the end of the day. (Similar rules applied to other non-European-Americans, most famously in the case of the WWII era Japanese-Americans. Unless one analyzes that era while keeping the largely unspoken but very powerful distinction between who the American people thought themselves to be and who carried American citizenship, the treatment of Japanese-Americans appears, as it does to the modern eye, bizarre and utterly unacceptable).
    By the height of the Civil Rights Era, not only were keeping legal distinctions between the two groups no longer possible, it also became impossible to keep the much-more-important unwritten and consensual distinction between the two. The two great traditions of American history reached the moment of final combat and, as usual, Massachusetts was the victor. Thus, American citizenship became fully reconciled with the concept of the American nation (or people).
    In such a situation, only civic definitions of citizenship could be supported. And, as time has passed since then, bringing it with it the obvious fact that the extention of a place in the American nation to African-Americans by European-Americans wasn’t understood as the world-historic event it was but, instead, as more evidence of the latter groups inherent racism, the American elite had no choice but to double-down yet again: the U.S. Government now insists that its version of civic citizenship is the ONLY justifiable and legitimate form. Thus, an Algerian celebrating an Algerian win in the World Cup while waving the Algerian flag on the Champs-Elysees is French, while the National Front’s view that the French people consistitute a nation in a sense that excludes our Algerian fan is a right wing extremist akin to a Nazi and, in fact, anti-French.
    The “doubling-down” on an international scale has been accompanied by a program of massive immigration, so as to prove, once and for all, that what makes an American, and indeed a Canadian, Swede or German, is a bundle of dispassionate legal rights, properly documented and recorded, and not anything so out-dated as membership in an historic nation.
    It is in this way, for example, that Quebecois nationalists, in declaring fealty to the modern sense of civic citizenship, became mere advocates for some right to rule Administrative Region Seven and not, say, on the basis of their nationhood. The same goes for other mainstream “nationlist” parties, such as the Scottish Nationalist Party, which views Scotland purely as an administrative region.
    Which is why, in the long run, the only solution is the creation of a new nation as an experssion of the European-American people. One which, I would hope, the European-American people of Canada and those of the United States would realize they have much more in common with each other than the first do with the Chinese and the second with African-Americans.

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    1. Thanks for this comment. I have thought about this topic, which and would be worthy of another paper. It can't be deny that the presence of Blacks in the US has created a dynamic without parallel anywhere else in the Western world. And, as you suggest, other Western nations seem to believe that they must create the same situation in their countries if they are to meet the American criteria of liberal democracy.

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    2. The concept of a propositional nation was emphasised by Lincoln as early as his Electric Chord speech of 1858,

      http://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/library/electric-cord-speech.html

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    3. One also must not underestimate the role of the Jews in preventing Marcus Fravey's pan-African movement and subsequent support of civil right MLK jr and the NAACP - as direct meddling in the natural course of affairs - I.e. Segregation

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  2. You realize that Jerry Muller is a Straussian, right?

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    1. No, I didn't; the article I cited can be used for our purposes, and against him if he is. Now and then, they can't cover the actual history, and it slips right through.

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    2. I found this line particularly comical:

      he was a firm believer in the principles of liberal equality

      Equality? If there is one thing that comes through loud and clear in Strauss's writings, it's that Strauss was not in any way an egalitarian. It's true, Strauss was an anti-Christian, but that is no surprise (he was a Jew, after all). But he was anti-liberal and anti-egalitarian precisely because he was anti-Christian. Of course, you're not going to hear that from William Kristol and the rest of the Straussians, who have lustrated Uncle Leo as a harmless defender of rights, equality and liberal democracy. But that's the propaganda, the man himself was far more interesting.

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    3. Why comical, it says "liberal equality", meaning that all humans, for the Straussians, have a natural disposition to prefer liberal democracy? I am aware that Strauss did not think that all humans were thereby equal in their capacity for virtuous acts and for success in a market society.

      In the City of Man, he writes:

      "Considering the connection between intelligence and prudence on the one hand, and between prudence and moral virtue on the other, one must admit a natural inequality among men regarding morality; that inequality is perfectly compatible with the possibility that all men possess by nature equally the capability to comply with the prohibition against murder, for example, as distinguished from the capability of becoming morally virtuous in the complete sense of becoming perfect gentlemen."

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    4. That's within a discussion of Thomas Aquinas and the derivation of equality from a "moral" premise. It's a good rule of thumb when reading Strauss to assume that any discussion of "moral" or Christianity is going to be negative. For instance, in this passage Strauss claims that the "moral" derivation of equality requires creation ex nihilo and an omniscient God, ie it requires Christianity. That's almost a reductio ad absurdum for Strauss.

      Here is a revealing passage from the correspondence with Lowith:

      "I really believe, although to you this apparently appears fantastic, that the perfect political order, as Plato and Aristotle have sketched it, is the perfect political order. Or do you believe in the world-state? If it is true that genuine unity is only possible through knowledge of the truth or through search for the truth, then there is a genuine unity of all men on the basis of the popularized final teaching of philosophy (and naturally this does not exist) or if all men are philosophers (not Ph.D.s, etc.) which likewise is not the case. Therefore, there can only be closed societies, that is, states. But if that is so, then one can show from political consideration that the small city-state is in principle superior to the large state or to the territorial-feudal state. I know very well that today it cannot be restored (But we live precisely in the extremely unfavorable situation; the situation between Alexander the Great and the Italian poleiw of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries was considerably more favorable); but the famous atomic bombs - not to mention at all cities with a million inhabitants, gadgets, funeral homes, "ideologies" - show that the contemporary solution, that is, the completely modern solution, is contra naturam."

      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/leo-strauss/files

      (correspondence with Lowith under "strauss correspondence")

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    5. My sense is that Strauss was an elitist in believing that only a few men were capable of understanding the truth and achieving true virtue. But in believing that the essence of the West was summed up in the principle of natural rights he made no distinctions between humans as potential members of the Anglo-American nations. These were universal nations created for all humans regardless of ethnicity and cultural background, which is an egalitarian idea.

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    6. 236-7 in What is Political Philosophy, Strauss sides with nationalism and against cosmopolitanism:

      ""The "modern ideal" does not leave room for reverence . . . Reverence is primarily . . . reverence for one's heritage, for tradition. But traditions are essentially particularistic"

      Strauss was not a Moses Mendellsohn/Spinoza kind of figure. He was a Zionist and sympathized with men of the right such as Carl Schmitt and Charles Maurras. What you've heard about Strauss is an inversion of the truth.

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    7. Strauss was an admirer of Classical political philosophy, and said that this philosophy "cannot be simply conservative since it is guided by the awareness that all men seek by nature, not the ancestral or traditional, but the good." But he was also a strong critic of the liberalism of his time, in opposition to which he sided with “contemporary” conservatism, praising its greater respect toward “particular” cultural traditions, the traditional family, importance of religion, and reverence for one’s national history, including differences between nations, linguistic differences and various other conservative traits. But this contemporary conservatism is still consistent with Strauss’s civic notion of Anglo-American citizenship. Defenders of Strauss such as Thomas Pangle (in his Leo Strauss, An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy) bring these points to explain why Strauss’s “influence inclines toward the conservative part of the present-day spectrum”, but Pangle recognizes that Strauss was a “conservative” (he uses quotation marks) only by the standards of his day.

      From my own perspective, I can’t think how a complete disregard for the ethnic and religious ancestry of a nation in the name of liberal values that are said to be true for “humanity” can be seen as conservative. I also think he misreads the Greek notion of “the good” in ignoring that, for Aristotle, a political community was also an ethnic community, or that when Aristotle wrote about human nature or “man” he had in mind citizens who were members of political communities made up of the same ethnic origin.

      In the context of Western nations today, an emphasis on ethnic identity does not amount to a call for ethnic purity, which does not exist, but an acknowledgment of the ethnic-historical reality underlying the making of these nations, and how radically divisive and experimental is the notion of purely propositional nations with open borders and “reverence” for ethnic diversity, backed by contempt for any ethnic affirmation on the part of Europeans.

      Strauss was an admirer and a critic of Schmitt.

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  3. "The problem of nihilism is nonexistent in societies with a strong sense of reverence for traditional practices, authoritative patriarchal figures, and a sense of peoplehood and homeland."

    Quoted for truth. I think many Eastern European societies have a stronger sense of tradition; probably due to the Communism which "froze" things for 50 years.

    And thank you professor, for those links.

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  4. I do apologize for the wall-o-text I posted above. Not my usual style. I suppose, in my defense, I was still reeling from the happy discovery that I have Canadian comrades.

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  5. Dear professor...

    Jeffrey Sachs is a Jew. He is not White. In fact, people MUST understand, Jews are not White. This is half the battle.

    So?

    So Jews, more than any other group of intellectuals are pushing hard to see White majority nations become targets for diversity.

    Why?

    I can see three main historical reasons:
    1. Fear of White unity (leading to expulsions and "Holocausts")
    2. Fear of Christianity
    3. Revenge for the "Holocaust"

    It makes evolutionary sense that Jews would try to diversify other nations in order to promote their own survival.

    This is the crux. To fail to understand this, Whites will never win the war.

    Thank you.

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  6. I don't think Canada, or any western nation for that matter, should abandon its ethnoracial origins as a European-derived state. However, if European civilization is to survive, the west must abandon Christianity, a murderous, satanic cult that promotes white racial suicide and the complete annihilation of western culture. Whatever Christianity was like during the Middle Ages or the Reformation, it has now run its course and is an impediment to the survival of the white race and western civilization.

    For one thing, Christianity privileges Jewish ethnocentrism (“god’s chosen people”) above white racial and western cultural survival. Judaism is really a group evolutionary strategy with tremendous political ramifications for any western society forced to accommodate it. Christianity has allowed Jews to infiltrate the highest echelons of modern western society. Many Christians, preaching their doctrine of white racial extinction, have openly collaborated with ethnocentric, Zionist Jews in the destruction of western civilization. Once in positions of power, Jews use their greater ethnic cohesiveness and high IQ to take advantage of white individualist tendencies and Christian racial nihilism. The end goal of Jewish ethnocentrism is the transformation of all formerly white ethnostates into multi-ethnic, post-nationalist, globalized civic nations, but only because maximization of Jewish ethnic self-preservation requires avoiding the events of 1933-1945 at all costs.

    Surely, even you can see that all mainstream Christian denominations promote racial egalitarianism and support, even encourage miscegenation, which is white racial suicide through dilution. The Christian churches preach nonresistance in the face of massive third world invasion, telling whites that they should lay down their arms and surrender to the evil, hostile invaders, non-white plunderers who cannot be racially assimilated into western society. In fact, the religion of Christianity is one of the major factors behind the genocide of the white race and the destruction of western civilization, sapping the will of the white race to survive in the face of massive third world invasion and colonization of the west.

    Another problem is the non-European origin of Christianity. It was first preached and spread by 1st-century AD Palestinian Jews. This fundamentally Semitic orientation of the religion makes it incompatible with race realism and ethnonationalism. Christianity is otherworldly. Because it devalues this world, it teaches its adherents to put their faith in the world to come. Christianity thinks in terms of individual souls that need to be saved. It doesn’t think in terms of biologically defined groups. By teaching the fundamental equality of human souls before god, Christianity laid the foundations of modern egalitarianism and liberalism. In contrast, race realism and ethnonationalism are this-worldly and concerned with the biological realities of human physical existence. Ethnonationalism is, by definition, particularistic, not universalistic and open to all men like Christianity. The ethnonationalist must restrict group membership on the basis of such criteria as language and race. Race realists and ethnonationalists must reject all notions of human equality and think in terms of biological races, whereas the Christian religion must reject this group orientation by virtue of its universalism. Ethnonationalists are about the survival of their own racial group as a distinct biological entity, but Christians do not care for the biological survival of the white race and the material survival of western culture because their focus is primarily otherworldly.

    In short, Christianity is dangerous for whites and must be rejected if the white race and western culture are to survive the controlled demolition of the west by hostile elites, whether Jewish, Christian or liberal. Christianity is a mental sickness, an extreme form of pathological altruism that must be eradicated if we are to avoid being completely submerged in third world feces.

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  7. "Comrades" indeed. I see from the kitchen conservative: "We Support Israel!" & "Support our Troops".

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  8. Quite right, WD. although it is extremely difficult to get people to realise this situation. The majority do not know the half of it!

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