I Had A Dream…

Gemuetlichkeit

…just last night. It was one of those vivid dreams that leaves an impression when you wake up from it. You see, I live in a city that is almost entirely “diverse.” Whites only make up about 1/5th of the population.  Ever since desegregation, Whites have slunk out of the city and moved into the suburbs. The city council and mayor are consistently “diverse,” year by year. The city itself has suffered greatly as a result. First of all the infrastructure is in a state of decay and secondly businesses have up and left for the suburbs. Our leadership is corrupt and embezzlement is almost certainly a regular occurrence. Crime is really bad too; people are regularly killed, raped, or robbed at gunpoint. There are break-ins in my neighborhood fairly regularly and no one really feels safe walking around at night, especially young women. It’s a situation that we Americans see time and again, so there is no need to belabor the point. Our once great cities aren’t what that they used to be.

Last night’s vision, though, left me with a sense of hope. I awoke feeling refreshed and motivated. What I saw was my own city, but in alternate reality, or some sort of parallel universe.  The difference was that it had a complete lack of “diversity.” That is to say its population was made up entirely of European Americans. I started walking around the city and everything I saw left me in perpetual astonishment. As tears were welling up in my eyes, I said to myself again and again over the course of my stroll, “Oh my God!” The streets were immaculate and none of the roads were in disrepair like before. All the buildings I recognized from the waking-city were there, but they had been renovated and were in great shape. In addition to the structures that I recognized, there were many more that I did not, and each of these was more impressive than the last. Some were constructed after the pattern of old world architecture and others were novel in their design. The city was bustling and vibrant, filled with children, families, and people of all ages. It appeared that instead sprawling out into the suburbs, everyone had invested their energy and resources into a single effort. With all their creativity and presence focused into one area, they had made it into a wonderful place.

As I continued my walk, I came across yet another feature not present in my waking-city. There was a fountain right in the heart of town with children playing in it. As I looked at them in their glee, I became aware of the most profound difference between my real city and the dream city. It was a sense of belonging and well-being. There was missing the stress, anxiety and isolation that I normally feel when I am in an urban area. It reminded me of how I felt in the East German city of Dresden, when I had lived there five years ago. They have a word to describe that exact feeling. The word is Gemütlichkeit. Like my dream city, Dresden was also “non-diverse,” but who knows about that town anymore.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Fall of Anarcho-topia

mimirians

“Well, they are people,
just like us
from within our own solar system.
Except that their society is
more highly evolved.
They don’t have no wars.
They got no monetary system.
They don’t have any leaders,
because each man is a leader.

How’s your joint, George?
l believe it went out.”

~Easy Rider (1969)

Long ago, thousands of years before the birth of Christ, there was an island in the Norwegian Sea called Stjórnleysi. This island was ruled over by a little known Norse god named Redbeard. Redbeard created out of ether and ice a race of men called the Mimirians to inhabit his small corner of the globe. He created this race as perfectly as he could. He wanted each man to be free and able to do as he pleased. He therefore made them a wise and rational people so that they could live without the restraints of monarchs, aristocrats, or nobles, unlike the other flawed races of men. The rest of mankind had been cursed by the Father of the gods long ago for their insolent pride and disobedience. In order to reign in their own cursed nature, the Father of the gods provided rulers to govern them. Redbeard however gave the Mimirians one law, and due to their divine nature, it was one they were naturally inclined to obey. Thou shalt commit no act of aggression against thy neighbor. Any form of violence, coercion, theft, or fraud was strictly forbidden. The law itself was a mere formality, because the thought of committing acts of aggression never even crossed anyone’s mind. As the Mimirian population began to increase, Redbeard apportioned to each tribe a particular section of the island, and within these sections each head of family was apportioned a plot of land to cultivate and keep. The East half of the island was mountainous and rich with minerals, also the coast had a rich supply of fish. The West half of the island was more suited to farming and grazing livestock. Those who lived in the West peacefully traded with those who lived in the East and the island grew very prosperous. As the race of Mimirians grew in splendor and beauty, they gave joyous thanks to Redbeard for making them a blessed and happy people. They sang to him, “Blessed Redbeard, creator of the Mimirians, you have made us and you have made us well. Happy and free we live in harmony with our neighbor, skill for bread and bread for skill, together we live and together we prosper!”

Eventually other gods took note of the Mimirians and became increasingly jealous of Redbeard. One day the gods took council together and they said to one another, “Let us commission Ægir, the god of the sea, to destroy the splendor of the Mimirians.” So that is exactly what they did. Whenever seafaring foreigners would travel anywhere near the island, Ægir would call up a storm and cause their craft to crash on the rocky shores of Stjórnleysi’s Eastern seaboard. When the Mimirians came across these hapless seafarers, they took pity on them and allowed them to take up residence in their society. The foreigners gladly took them up on this, as Stjórnleysi was the most magnificent place they had ever been. Year by year, Ægir brought more and more ships to the shores of the island. As time went on, the aliens began to intermarry with the Mimirians and produce hybrid offspring that carried in them the cursed seed common to ordinary men. While this did occur in the West, it happened more often in the East, where Ægir would draw them and slam their crafts’ against the rocks. The Father of the gods said to himself, “Redbeard is full of himself and thinks he is all-powerful. Soon he will learn that there is more to this world than his silly decree and his naïve Mimirians will be the subject of my display.”

As the years went by, changes slowly started to creep into Mimirian society. There was no longer sound accord between the external law of the Mimirians and the internal nature of all of it’s citizens. Redbeard had written his law into the very DNA code of his beloved creation and when they intermarried flaws were introduced. Some of the hybridized people, as well as fresh foreign settlers, began to deceive, steal, and use violence to deprive others of their belongings. The older Mimirians were outraged that these sorts of things were happening. They were taken aback and they really didn’t know what to do, questioning to themselves, “How could anyone living in Stjórnleysi, the realm of Redbeard, defy his divine ordinance, ‘Thou shalt commit no act of aggression against thy neighbor?’“ In order to cope with the new problems, the elders had to try to come up with a way to suppress criminal activity without, they themselves, violating Redbeard’s decree. The solution, they decided, was to encourage some Mimirians to voluntarily form small local agencies called Gildis, which in the Mimirian tongue means “police force.” For a fee, each Gildi provided police service to any Mimirian who wanted it. Those opposed to the idea weren’t forced to accept the service, but if anyone were to commit an act of aggression against them, they would be without recourse. The elders reasoned that if someone violated the divine ordinance, they had in effect renounced their status as a Mimirian. Therefore, it was permissible for a Gildi to use force because it was for the purpose of upholding the divine decree. Moreover, no one could accuse Gildis of extortion, because their services were voluntarily purchased. In this way they felt justified fighting fire with fire, though the very idea made them uneasy. Once a Gildi would capture the accused, he would be brought before another private agency called a Dómari, which means “Judge,” where he would be tried. Once the concept was disseminated and encouraged, many Mimirians took up the call and formed numerous Gildis, as well as a sufficient number of Dómaris. There were enough Gildis that each Mimirian had the option of choosing between multiple in his local area. After the Gildis cropped up, the aggression rate dropped to near zero, the Mimirians rejoiced and again gave thanks to Redbeard.

As more time passed, Ægir brought even more ships into the jagged crags of Stjórnleysi. The Mimirians continued to welcome them. Some made it out West, but like before most settled in the East. As time passed, some Gildis in the East began to weaken and failed to perform their duty properly. Whether out of insolence or oversight, some criminals were quite literally getting away with murder. In order to fix the problem, better functioning Gildis began buying out and taking charge of the failing ones. The successful ones became larger, like puddles absorbing drops of dew. The rate of degeneration was happening so rapidly that even the larger Gildis began failing, until eventually there was a monopoly. At this point there was a single juggernaut in the East providing police service for the whole eastern half of the island. The founders called it Monolith, while others many commoners called it “Leviathan,” because of it’s labyrinthine complexity and size. Things went on for a while until the leadership of Monolith began to entertain fantasies about breaking Redbeard’s divine ordinance. They reasoned to themselves that the large number of now-degraded Mimirians who refused to pay for their service, would have done so if they only knew that it was for their own good. They disguised to themselves as good will for their fellow citizens, what was really a desire to rule over and extort other Mimirians. They decided they would bring everyone in the East under their protection, and in return the Easterners would be forced to pay annual dues whether they liked it or not. Monolith began by hiring soothsayers to go around committing blasphemy against Redbeard. They would say,” Redbeard is not a god, but a demon. He has lied to the Mimirians and exalted them for the sole purpose of taking pleasure in watching their destruction. Monolith is the only true power that can save us. Serve Monolith and we shall prosper once again.” Some people were shocked and resisted this notion but in time the soothsayers began to have their effect. Many people began calling for Monolith to bring all Easterners under the benevolent protection of the great Leviathan. There were some who stubbornly resisted the propaganda, but once Monolith had enough of the population on it’s side it’s used its monopoly of violence to force the remaining resisters into compliance. Redbeard was furious, but there wasn’t anything that he could do to intervene, the other gods were laughing and mocking him viciously. Redbeard consoled himself by looking to the Western half of his realm, it remained filled with Mimirians who feared and honored him with great reverence.

As all of this took place, the West looked on in astonishment. They couldn’t fathom why their fallen brothers would give way to such blasphemy, but they knew that there wasn’t anything they could do about it, except trust in Redbeard. After the Monolith was established in the East, they began sending spies into the West, to go in undercover and infiltrate their institutions. Eventually, about one-third of the Gildis were infiltrated. Others were infiltrated too, but they were too pure to be successfully subverted. The Gildis that were successfully subverted began promoting pro-Eastern propaganda and began to weaken the West. What the spies brought with them began to spread like a disease, but was met with at least some healthy resistance. That is the majority of the Western island held-fast but a large portion began to be seduced by pro-Eastern propaganda. The lies were taking root and growing like weeds among their healthy pastures. When the West was weakened sufficiently, the Eastern Monolith dared to make it’s boldest move yet, it launched an all-out attack on the Western part of the island. The Western Gildis that weren’t subverted, did the rational thing and banded together to counter this most horrendous act of aggression. There was one problem though, there weren’t enough men who were willing to join the Gildis and fight. Much of the West had been weakened too and many of the Mimirians were unable to figure exactly what was in their rational best interest, that is to say, they had somewhat degenerated. The Westerners weren’t about to break Redbeard’s law to fight off the invaders, they couldn’t break divine ordinance and force conscription, that would make them no better than this Eastern abomination standing at their doorstep.

After the Westerners were handily routed in the first round of battles, they quickly realized that they stood no chance of defeating their foe. They convened to discuss their dire situation, where they came to the inevitable conclusion that to continue to fight was pointless. There was no conceivable path to victory. The faithful Mimirians would either be slaughtered or forced to live under the tyranny Monolith. There was one man in the West, a pure Mimirian named Konun, who had fought more gallantly than any of the others. Not only this, but he had always been extremely faithful to the ways of the Mimirians and the law of Redbeard. However, recently he had begun to have doubts about the supreme authority Redbeard. He came to understand that Redbeard’s law only held sway over the Mimirian people and that the aliens who had settled there over the years were beholden to different gods. These other gods clearly had more power than Redbeard, otherwise why would Redbeard have allowed this to happen to them. Konun, using the notoriety he gained on the battlefield, used his newfound influence to call the attention of the council to himself. He said to the council, “I have served Redbeard and the Mimirian people faithfully my whole life, but it is clear that the time has come to make a bold decision. Destruction and slavery loom before us, the remnant of our people, and it has become apparent that while Redbeard has been good to us, he is not an all-powerful god. The influx of non-Mimirians to our island was something that Redbeard had no power over and was unable to deal with once it occurred. This is indeed a hard and sad realization we must face my brothers!” He argued that the Mimirian ways needed to change according to this new revelation. He explained how the island had degenerated through intermixing with foreign people, from foreign lands, with foreign gods. He explained how only those Mimirians who had remained pure would have the wisdom to keep the island relatively free. He was a very persuasive speaker and was able to gain the support of everyone in the council. Konun himself was of the purest stock and brave in battle, so those in the council convened and decided to make Konun leader of the Mimirian people. They gave him the authority of force, knowing that his wisdom could salvage a modicum of the freedom that had been lost. The council gave a sacrifice in thanks to Redbeard for all he done for them, but they also made a sacrifice to the other Nordic gods, including Ægir and the Father of the gods, and asked them to bless Konun’s kingship and to give them victory in battle over the Monolith.

The first thing Konun did with his new authority was to force conscription in the West. He put to the sword those who refused to join the fight as well as all of the subverted elements in the Western Gildis. He called the troops to himself and gave a rousing speech. He said to them, “Men of the West, because of the degeneration that has come to our island, we can no longer live practically under the law of Redbeard. As you know, I feel this loss more painfully than any of you as I was among the most devoted followers of Redbeard and the greatest devotees of the Mimirian way of life. A time of change has come and we can no longer live according to the peaceful precepts of our fore-fathers. This power that goes by the name Monolith is threatening our very existence, not only do they utterly blaspheme Redbeard and thereby mock our forefathers, but they pay respect to no other except the false god Monolith. I stand before you today, urging that with our combined strength, my leadership, and the blessing of the gods, we can defeat this foe once and for all. I don’t know what life will look like after we win, but I can tell you that the new world we create will pay reverence to the past and will work for the freedom and happiness of the people of Stjórnleysi!” The troops wiped the tears from their eyes and cheered Konun, they had come to accept him as their leader and their last best hope. Konun lead an assault that plunged like a dagger into the heart of the monolithic menace. They were driven from the pastoral West and pushed back to the rocky East. The victory heartened the Westerners and Konun used this new wave of morale to his advantage. With their new found energy, the Westerners thrust assault after assault into the East. Eventually the remaining Monolith troops were pushed back to the shores from which the horror was born. Konun made a final rallying call, “Crush them and utterly annihilate them! Leave no one alive!” Konun’s troops did just that and utterly vanquished their demonic foe.

Years after the war had ended, the people of Stjórnleysi had started to make some progress in rebuilding the island. Konun was given a crown of authority and the power of the sword. The other of the wisest and purest were commissioned to write the laws for the island. The law of Redbeard and their Mimirian fore-bearers were taken into consideration when writing these laws. The bravest and strongest among those who had fought in the war were granted a status of nobility. The nobles were commissioned with the sacred duty of caring for the needs and desires of the islanders whose minds had become the most benighted by degeneration. Amidst all of the turmoil and conflict, Redbeard had become entirely dejected. When the other gods were satisfied that he had been taken down off of his pedestal, they sent Freya to console him and persuade him to come back and share Stjórnleysi and it’s people with the other gods. She said to him, “You created a wonderful and beautiful people, but your pride got away with you, because the Father of the gods has been deprived of his honor. He never intended for such a people such as the Mimirians to exist in this world and in this age. You defied his power and therefore we made a mockery of you by destroying your creation. Now that you have learned your lesson, you can rejoin the fellowship of the gods and have a say in the fate of Stjórnleysi.” Redbeard was consoled and took part in the governance of the realm that was formerly his exclusively. The island was never as free and peaceful as it was before, but with the leadership of Konun and his descendants they were able to live peacefully and prosperously for many hundreds of years to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beta, Alpha, Apollo & Dionysus

apollodionysus.jpg

“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” Matt. 7:29

With the rise of the red-pill, men in the alt-right now conceptualize themselves in terms of the alpha and beta. We have the alpha, the aloof cad who gets the girls and we have the white-knighting beta, with his visions of marital bliss and idealism. Many reading are probably already familiar with the dichotomy that Nietzsche drew between the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus in The Birth of Tragedy. I think it would be helpful though to use these contrasting figures to draw a parallel between our concept of alpha and beta. The alpha is Dionysus, lustful, strong, intoxicated, passionate, unpredictable, instinctual and chaotic while the beta is Apollo, reasoned, concerned with truth, law, order, and harmony. If you know your ancient Greek mythology, you will recall that Dionysus was loved by women and had a procession of female followers called Maenads. Apollo wasn’t as lucky. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses he was so desperate that he attempted to chase down and force sex on a nymph named Daphne. I think it is clear the ancient Greeks understood the nature of human sexuality long before we had the manosphere to come and enlighten us. If you’ll allow me to couple the characteristics of the beta with Apollo and those of the alpha with Dionysus, I will briefly show how betas can group together, overpower, and override alphas and how a true leader, the ideal man is neither Apollo nor Dionysus but a fusion of the two.

Imagine with me. Once there were ten people on a desert island, five women and five men, and of the men one alpha and four betas. After one day on the island the alpha using his charm and charisma established himself as ruler of the island. Initially the betas made the mistake of believing he was just like them and because of his strength they went along with the scheme. Some of the characteristics or powers, if you will, that the betas employed were reason, fidelity, consistency of word and action, and the ability to join in a mutually beneficial relationship with other betas. Their weakness was that they initially assumed that everyone else had the same inner nature as them. The betas assumed that the five women and the one alpha were Apollonian. It didn’t take long (a few days really) for the trusting Apollonians to realize that something was awry. The alpha said that he was going apportion resources fairly to everyone on the island. He hadn’t done so. He had horded everything for himself. Also the Apollonians, using their powers of logic, noticed that as his list of decrees piled up many of them contradicted one-another, were chaotic and had no consistency. The Apollonians were forced to conclude that their Dionysian ruler was making decisions based on personal whim rather than accord with their ideal of Justice. To add insult to injury the women only had eyes for the Dionysian and he obligingly took all of them for himself. Once this dawns on the betas (you could say they were “red-pilled”) they were forced to re-conceptualize how they viewed their little island world and the other people in it. They had a sort of collective awakening where they learned to distinguish between Apollonian and non-Apollonian. Soon the four betas made a secret compact with one another that nullified the violated compacts they had previously made with the alpha and the five women and solidified the bonds between themselves. Next they put together a well ordered plan to remove the alpha from power. The four betas initiated their plan and with their joint strength were able to overpower the alpha. They first redistributed the resources equitably and then banished the alpha with his ration and his allotted one lady friend to the far side of the island.

The four betas attempted a joint rule between themselves but it didn’t take long before problems started to arise. You see once the betas came to power they fashioned a wonderful document stating that all betas were equal to one another. It stated, therefore, that all betas had an equal say in how the island ought to be governed. Next they thoroughly reasoned through a set of laws to be put in place laying out exactly how their little society was to be run. Things went well at first and everything was running smoothly until some unforeseen problems started to rear their head. First of all the women were discontent, they liked the comfort and prosperity their new society provided them but they were all haunted by the joyous spontaneity the banished alpha once gave them. More importantly threats to their society were presenting themselves that the betas seemed unable to cope with. If a problem were to come up for which the betas had no written law they would completely freeze. They wouldn’t know what to do. For example, once a large storm hit and they all ran and hid in their huts like cowards not knowing how to deal with the situation. It was so bad that the women had to attempt to save the crops as best they could while their men were hiding out. Another problem is that occasionally wild animals would come in from the edge of the jungle and wreak havoc on the town. Also every once in a while the alpha would come back and rob the betas while they were caught off guard and sleep with their lady friends while they were absent. The betas reasoned that they could join together again to thwart him but by the time they could get a plan together he was gone and the damage had already been done.

One beta in particular was deeply concerned about the future of his little island society. He was also very hurt by the fact that his lady friend didn’t at all reciprocate the love that he had for her. One day he trotted off into the jungle and didn’t come back for well over a month. While he was there he had time to be away from society and reason through the problems that were facing it. One night, as he was sitting by a fire he had made, he began as he usually did to contemplate and reflect. This night though, the pain of his rejection and the fear of destruction were more acute than they had ever been. While he sat there deep in thought the creatures in the jungle were making a cacophony of night sounds. In this moment their rhythm spoke to him and as he stared into the beautiful mesmerizing flames. At that point something changed in him. He stood up, ripped off his garment, and began howling at the moon like a wild beast. The next morning he awoke hungry, as he had not brought any food with him into the jungle. He got up, found a long piece of wood, and crafted a spear out of it. He spent the next several days hungrily tracking wild game. He finally managed to slay a wild boar with the spear he had fashioned. He dragged the corpse back to his campsite, gutted the carcass, and then smeared some of the blood on his forehead. He cooked the meat over the flames and enjoyed a delicious meal.

When he finally emerged from the jungle and returned to the little society, he was a changed man. He now had the strength to rule and the wisdom to guide his society into the future. He drew council with the other three betas and explained to them the transformation he had undergone. He showed them the spear and the skull of the boar he had slain. They were all taken aback and really thoroughly impressed. They also noticed that he had an assured tone in his voice and that he was able to speak persuasively. They saw in him the steadiness and fearlessness they knew they would need to save their society. After a few hours in their meeting the three betas emerged from the tent and announced to the women that the once beta would now be called leader. Leader then emerged from the tent and they put a rudimentary crown made of sticks on his head to symbolize his new authority. From that day forward not only was the society run in an orderly and harmonious fashion but leader with his new found strength was able to act in times of crises to avert danger. The alpha from the other side of the island tried to come back and cause trouble once, but he was soundly defeated by leader. The other three betas found inspiration through their leader and to a certain degree he imputed his essence on them. The women were now fully content and happy, especially leader’s lady friend, as she had nothing but the utmost adoration for him. The society flourished and grew and the island was transformed from a jungle into a fruitful tropical garden. A place anyone would be lucky to visit.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Rape of Europa

“If it hadn’t been for the joint determination of the Athenians and Spartans to ward off the approaching slavery, now nearly all the races of the Greeks would be mixed up with each other, as well as barbarians with Greeks and Greeks with barbarians, just like those nations whom the Persians rule over, who have been split up, then awkwardly mingled together, and who now live in scattered groups.” -Plato, The Laws

With Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations

siege-of-eger-castle-bc3a9la-vizkelety

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

B.M. Palmer – The South, Her Peril And Her Duty

palmersqueeze.jpg

This is my reading of an excerpt from a discourse delivered in the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, Thursday, November 29, 1860 By Reverend Benjamin Morgan Palmer. Palmer was an eloquent and well known Presbyterian minister around the time of the Civil War. Like other Southern Presbyterians, he believed that the pulpit was sacred and therefore not the place to discuss political and worldly matters. However, on the eve of impending conflict, he found it prudent to speak his mind. This particular excerpt has to do with the issue of slavery, the French Revolution, and Divine Providence as it relates to authority and hierarchically ordered society. He comments on the deranged fanaticism of New England abolitionists that sought to destroy existing organic hierarchy in favor of new systems of radical egalitarianism. This should be of particular interest to Southern-Reaction and Neo-Reaction because it is a Calvinist critique of the Post-Puritan, Unitarian, and Transcendentalist utopian-ism that helped create our modern political and cultural environment. Palmer saw the South and the Civil War as the last holdout for traditional society against the modern world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dabney On Corporations

Dabneysqueeze.jpg

The following is my reading of an excerpt from an essay by Robert Lewis Dabney entitled “The Philosophy Regulating Private Corporations.” R.L. Dabney is one of my very favorite historical figures. He was a preeminent theologian and a very gifted intellectual. He was a Presbyterian minister, seminary professor, and served as chaplain for Stonewall Jackson. His work was essential to the continued conservatism and orthodoxy of the Southern Presbyterian Church. Sadly the modern denominations, that he and those like him spiritually fathered, do not give him the proper respect and credit he is due. Clearly, it would be far easier to condemn him for his now unfashionable racial and political views than to confront the modern Zeitgeist. His intellectualism towers above the modern theologians who are his descendants and I think that in time he will be justified. He wrote about a wide range of issues, including economic ones. This passage here has to do with the negative effects of industrialization and the centralization of capital. Some of his criticisms sound similar to those of Karl Marx, but they are being made from the viewpoint of a reactionary rather than a revolutionary socialist.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Recognition in the South

Familiarity vs Merit

srits.jpg

“The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk–
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;”
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.”

~Rudyard Kipling

I often hear outsiders complaining about how hard it is for them to fit in socially in the South. I know this true where I am from because I see people struggling with it year in and year out. With the exception of hipster meccas like Austin or Athens and major cities like Atlanta, I would say that this is probably also true of the South in general. Down here we love who we know. We love what is familiar to us and spurn all that is strange and foreign. Down here you could be beautiful, intelligent, talented, and a generally likeable person and still find there are certain circles of people that don’t want to have anything to do with you. The reason these people are having a hard time is because here, unlike the rest of the United States, social status is based on what I call familiarity rather than merit. It is about who knows you and who you know rather than your accomplishments or your stellar personality. If you are in New York City and you are an attractive interesting person with a good job, congratulations you are hot stuff. That wouldn’t necessarily be the case in the South. You could easily feel like a total outcast down here. Now this seems arbitrary, unfair, and backward to people looking in from the outside, but perhaps if we take a closer look we might find that this system isn’t as silly as it seems and we may even find that it is preferable.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Republic by Plato. In it Socrates outlines what would be necessary to create an ideal society. In describing what the guardians of that society ought to be like, he compares them to dogs. They ought to love what is familiar to them and to hate that which is unknown. Oddly enough, Socrates also says that a dog is like a philosopher because he is a lover of what is known (He is a provincial) and therefore, like the philosopher, is a lover of knowledge:

Socrates: “well-bred dogs are perfectly gentle to their familiars and acquaintances, and the reverse to strangers” . . .

Socrates: “Would not he who is fitted to be a guardian, besides the spirited nature, need to have the qualities of a philosopher?” . . .

Socrates: “Why, a dog, whenever he sees a stranger, is angry; when an acquaintance, he welcomes him, although the one has never done him any harm, nor the other any good. Did this never strike you as curious?”

Glaucon: “The matter never struck me before; but I quite recognise the truth of your remark.”

Socrates: “And surely this instinct of the dog is very charming;—your dog is a true philosopher.”

Glaucon: “Why?”

Socrates: “Why, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing. And must not an animal be a lover of learning who determines what he likes and dislikes by the test of knowledge and ignorance?”

Glaucon: “Most assuredly.”

Socrates: “And is not the love of learning the love of wisdom, which is philosophy?”

It may seem counter-intuitive to compare a provincial hound to a lover of universal truth and knowledge, but I believe that Socrates was on to something here. I will leave it to you to ponder that mystery. The point I am trying to make is that Southerners are like dogs in the way of loving what is known and hating that which is unknown. While we are a supposedly hospitable people, and many of us are when we are trying to be, we must also admit that when we aren’t we may find ourselves growling at strangers and saving our most tender affections for those we know best. The stranger may be a better person than the one we know, but still we will stick with our own. The stranger may be a real stand-up guy. The stranger may even be acceptable to us, but the greatest advantage we always give to the one that we know.

Now how exactly is this system reasonable? Why do I find provincial bonds and affections preferable to merited ones? Before that is answered, know that any social hierarchy isn’t going to be purely merit based or familiarity based, but will be some mixture of the two. However, in order to find out which one should be dominant and which system is preferable, we need to take each element and isolate it. We need to examine each as if it were the only factor in determining a person’s social standing.

First of all, familiarity is more of an unconditional form of social recognition whereas merit is not. Imagine you move to a new city where people come and go on a regular basis. If you are young, outgoing, friendly, and just plain have it together, you may find yourself quickly meeting the approval of other people like yourself. Having a history with someone doesn’t count for anything because no one stays in the same place long enough for it to occur. You may be elated at all the new friends you are making and how sharply your social stock is trending upward. Who could possibly want to live in a backward place like the South? The people in this city don’t care about where I come from, what I’ve done in my past, or who I know. They are less judgmental, more accepting, and just better people when you get down to it. Are they though? If something is quickly gained, it can also be quickly lost. What if something were to happen to your career? What if you were injured or became seriously ill? Will those same people still care who you are when you no longer have anything to offer them? When you become a burden to them? Why would anyone trouble themselves about a person they only met a short time ago? Why would they care about a stranger? Down here people get sick, injured, or fall on hard times and the community will root for them, pray for them, and pull together. Why? It is because they are known. They are familiar and close to the heart. They have a history and they are a part of those who know them. The more you are known and the better you are known, the more people will still give a damn when your merit based value fails you.

Familiarity occurs in relation to other people over long periods of time. Merit assesses people as individuals and thus ignores human social value. We are social creatures and therefore a large part of our value to others is based on whether or not we are members of the same group. My value to another person immediately increases once he recognizes that we have a particular group identity in common. Now there are all kinds of groups to which we can belong. Some of these group identifications are trivial. These are memberships which can be obtained and disregarded rather easily, like identifying with people who dress in a certain manner, listen to a certain kind of music, or are a fan of a particular team. There are others which are innate and cannot be quickly taken up or discarded like nationality, race, family, or religion. In addition there are other unchangeable parts of our identity: where you went to high-school, the neighborhood in which you grew up, the children you played with when you were young, the children your parents played with when they were young and so forth. If we don’t put value on these parts of our identity and if we primarily associate with people, who by nature of not belonging to these groups, also put no value on them, this value will be lost. Not only will that value go unaccounted, if we ignore it thoroughly enough, eventually these parts of who we are will die and be forever lost. In choosing where to live, who to marry, and how to raise our children we are either perpetuating or ceasing certain identities in the next generation. Associating and giving social recognition based on merit rather than familiarity ignores these identifications.

With this in mind we must also take into consideration that, if everyone started to devalue these aspects of who they were, then eventually the groups themselves would disappear. The gate-keepers of our modern cultural and political atmosphere use Orwellian buzz-words like “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” religiously, but how do you think the diversity of peoples and cultures in this world came about in the first place? It certainly wasn’t by being “Open” and “Tolerant” to anything and everything that came along. It was by being exclusive and by placing value on one’s own. Undiscriminating acceptance of the other is in reality just a form of adulteration and if it goes unchecked is extremely destructive. The great irony is that when politicians, bureaucrats, and media-figures, champion “Diversity” they are almost always bringing about something that will in fact lead to the opposite, uniformity and blandness. What we end up with is a godless, sexless, and deracinated modern consumer with no sense of home or identity. We have cities filled with millions of people who have no history in common, people who couldn’t possibly understand one another or feel at home with one another. They are, each of them, a modern day Babel. These cities are filled with those who have suppressed hostilities toward one another. We have nations coming together whose ancestors have warred against each another for centuries. Do you think that animosity just goes away? It can be suppressed and ignored, but it is still part of who we are. We carry the past inside us whether we realize it or not. No wonder modern man is isolated and depressed; he has been disconnected from that to which he belongs and thrown into a den of foreigners. This is the trend of the Western World and it is a trend that has always been at odds with the Southern mindset. We have been forced into Modernity against our will, but we will prevail by holding fast to what is known.

All this being said, merit does have its place in the context of familiarity and I do think there is a place here for outsiders. However, it takes both time and patience. The South is where you go when you are ready to settle in for the long haul and find a home. In the South, reputation and recognition are built by consistently displaying meritorious behavior over time and in the context of a community. Our reputations are not only tied with our own behavior but also the behavior of our family in generations past. Unlike the American ideal this system is far less individualistic, but it is also in keeping with more traditional and stable forms of social organization. Also, despite the cynical comments I often hear, having money does not necessarily ensure a high social standing in the South. A person must also be active in their church, treat others justly, and use their money tastefully. The members of the Southern upper-class, not unlike the British landed gentry or Dutch nobility, are among the finest, gentlest, and well-bred people that can be found the world over. As for those who might make their home here I would ask, are you tired of hustle and bustle of the metropolis? Are you tired of living without community? Are you tired of being surrounded by unfamiliar people, people who don’t know you? Are you tired of living in a lonely and rootless world? Then at heart you are a Southerner and I would like to extend my welcome to you. Just remember it may take time for everyone else to come around. It may take years, decades even but it will be worth it. It is the natural way to live. I would go so far to say that it is how we were created to live. Be patient and determined and you will prevail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment