Critics of the modern age usually start from the assumption that the way in which the West is organized is fine. The problem is either the people, as in we have a rotten ruling class, or some set of defects that have been introduced into the system. The lament is often some form of “if we had only not done X.” This is usually accompanied by fingering some point in the recent past, like the 60’s. Recency bias has always been a major part of right-wing criticism of left-wing politics.
The underlying assumption is that liberal democracy will work just fine, if we can just get rid of those terrible liberals or go back and correct some mistake from the past. No one ever stops to wonder if maybe those nasty liberals and errors in judgement are a feature of liberal democracy, rather than a defect. Like Marxists or libertarians, the right has worked from the assumption that the right sort of citizen can be conjured or created, in order to make liberal democracy function as intended.
The truth is, the results we see around us, whether it is spasms of radical self-destruction or the suicidal flood of migrants, are all the natural result of liberal democracy. The troubles facing the West are not the result of some defect or shabby operators at the top. This is what you get from liberal democracy. As a wise once man said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
The reason, of course, is the underlying assumption of democracy. That is, all men possess the same set of talents. After all, if every man’s say in the running of society is equal to the rest, if it carries the same weight at decision time, then all men must truly be equal. Otherwise, it is a system that deliberately vests the incompetent with the safety and security of others. In other words, the democrat must either be suicidal or sincerely believe men are of equal talent in this important task.
This is the fundamental faith of modern liberal democracy. It assumes and demands that all people are equally capable of making decisions about public policy. This is why noticing any differences in people has become a crime. To note that the retarded, for example, lack the necessary agency to care for themselves, raises the question of who else may lack the necessary qualities to care for themselves. If you cannot care for yourself, how can you be trusted to judge what is in the best interest of others?
This is why we see campaigns by radicals to expand the ballot to children, criminals and the mentally feeble. They couch their cause in fairness, but ultimately what is driving them is absolute egalitarianism. To acknowledge that people are not equally capable of being citizens, means debating where the line is drawn between those capable and those incapable of citizenship. This is a slippery slope that can only lead to the upending of the assumptions of modern liberal democracy.
That is where any alternative right, or alternative anything, must start, as it is the only way to arrive at an alternative outcome. Democracy starts and ends with egalitarianism, which is a binary issue. Either all men are equally capable of active participation is society or they are not. There is no middle ground. Democracy chooses the former and must relentlessly work to make it manifest. This is the root of the current madness that has gripped the West. It is a denial of biological reality.
This is the place to start when contemplating an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, whether it is in the narrow domain of politics or the larger one of culture. If all people are not the same in the particular sense, then it follows that all people are not the same in the general sense either. Since a “people” is the sum of the traits and abilities of the individual components, then what we observe as national character is the result of those individual differences peculiar to the people of that nation.
This brings us to the other face of democracy, which is universalism. Every democracy, from the Greeks to the present, assumes that the only legitimate and moral form of government is democracy. After all, if all men in the democracy are equal, it must mean all men in every society are equal. The social contract instantly becomes portable, applicable everywhere. Therefore, anything but liberal democracy is an immoral and inauthentic form of human organization.
The Peloponnesian War was a defensive struggle to resist the rapacious aggression of the Athenians, versus the natural hierarchy of the Spartans. The Great War that devastated Europe was ultimately to impose liberal democracy. The Second World War was a follow on to defend liberal democracy from fascism, which was followed by a 70 year war to defend it against Bolshevism. The history of democracy is a blood bath to prove it works everywhere for all people.
If what we observe is true, that people are not all the same in the wholesale or the retail level, then the question is why? The egalitarians point to various forms of magic like racism, the environment and the tides of history, but all of these collapse under the least bit of scrutiny. If any of these claims were true, we would see evidence of it in the West, where tens of millions of non-Europeans have been imported. Instead, the evidence revels the opposite. The differences in people are natural.
It is these natural differences in people that must be the starting place for any alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy. That sounds easy, but it is the great struggle of this age. It not only means standing outside the moral order, it requires questioning everything we inherited from the Enlightenment. That is what will divide Right and Left in the coming age. On the one side will be the defenders of the Enlightenment, and its egalitarian pretensions, while on the other will be biological realists.
Just as the Enlightenment struggled to escape the cocoon of the Middle Ages, biological realism is struggling for life today. Even sober minded critics of liberal democracy struggle to embrace it. Paul Gottfried, in his first post back at the venerable paleocon outlet Chronicles, makes this point about himself. He can acknowledge some of the points from biological realists, but ultimately he prefers to hug the shore of nurture, rather than sail into the sea of nature.
Yoram Hazony, the Israeli philosopher, wrote a book in which he wrestled with biological reality in his defense of nationalism. Chapter after chapter relied on accurate observations about human diversity. In fact, the foundation of his argument is that nations are different, because they are composed of people, different from the people of other nations. Yet every time he reached the obvious end point of his logic, he pulled back and started flapping his arms and howling about equality.
Hazony and Gottfried are realists, when it comes to ethnicity. Hazony is an ethno-nationalist, while Gottfried is a paleo-conservative. Neither man is naive about the realities of the human condition. Both struggle, however, to transcend their conditioning, which shows how powerful the egalitarian ethic is in the West. It can overcome not only facts and reason, it can make you question your own observations. The project to build a metaphysics around biological reality, therefore, is daunting.
The human diversity we see all around us, the diversity of outcomes, within regions and nations, as well as between them, is not an accident of fate. It is not the result of some dark magic or a conspiracy of one people at the expense of another. These differences are rooted in our nature. Human biological diversity is a real thing that describes who we are as a species. Man is not man without this great diversity, because we are the result of a long natural process of regional trial and error.
Because biology is real, that means sex is real, race is real and ethnicity is real. These are all real things, coming into sharper focus every day through the study of the human genome. The long journey from the dawn of modern man to the first civilization was not the same for all people. The resulting nations of people reflect the long biological journey made by each people. It also represents the natural division of labor, for creating life and for living it, between the sexes and between the talents.
The Enlightenment was the software needed to take Western man out of the Middle Ages, through the age of sail and the industrial age, into the technological age. Like all legacy code, it has reached the end of its time. The demographic age, in which Western man finds himself a minority in a sea of diversity, all creeping up on his natural habitat, will require new code. We need a new moral framework and to do that means deposing the current one and everything that it entails.
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