There’s a good article up on Jim’s Blog, giving his take on recent attempts to define the Alt-Right. I don’t think there was anything in its positive content, with which I disagreed; rather, in his and other attempts to define the Alt-Right, I think a critique of human “rights” is crucially omitted.
The abuse of the concept of rights is rooted in egalitarianism, and it is true that most of these definitions explicitly criticize egalitarianism. Still, the focus of such critiques tends to abide on issues of human biodiversity or cultural differences, etc.; they don’t boil this down to the marrow, since many of them will explicitly affirm something like the “right” to Free Speech, even while they attack egalitarianism.
“Rights,” abstracted from the moral and philosophical norms which rights require, are nothing more than the mill wheels in which society, morals and reason are ground into dust. The Supreme Pontiffs, de Maistre, the Catholic Reaction/Counter-Revolution, generally, etc., have all opposed this core error of the Left; but one need not be a Catholic. Evola, Carlyle, Guenon and other thinkers also see its rational incoherency and the menace it poses to society. While I understand that we have all been brainwashed into upholding the sacredness of individual rights, I would hope to see our most influential thinkers begin a serious reconsideration and critique of this fundamental error. If and when that happens, I am optimistic about what we could accomplish.
So, here’s my take on what the Left is, what the “right” is, and what the Alt-Right must be.
The Left, or Liberalism, according to Justice Kennedy’s accurate condensation of its essence, involves “the right to define one’s own concept of existence.” I.e., non serviam. But acknowledging reality, conforming one’s self to it, serving the Good, and the natural hierarchy which exists to serve and propagate the Good, is the truest form of authentic Freedom – a term which initially involved such semantic connotations as “nobility of character; master of one’s own affairs, because he has led the life of virtue and good fame, striving to attain such independence.”
Leftism’s “right to one’s own concept of existence,” or non serviam, is a demand for permission to do as one wants – speech, religion, gender identity, you name it. Whereas the authentic Western concept of Freedom is based on nobility of character and due subsidarity, revolutionary “liberty” is based in precisely the opposite principle: license, a personal exemption from reality, and from the expectation of yielding one’s self honorably to the institutions that uphold, and are upheld by, Truth. Leftism bases this exemption, either on the idea that there is no Truth, or on despair of ever knowing the Truth, or on the refusal to allow others to discern and enforce the Truth.
This is incoherent, because the very concept of “rights” requires the prerequisite logical premises, of some transcendent moral standard. If there is no truth, no actual right and wrong, then by what rationale could we say that a man was owed something, was entitled to something, by “right?” If we believe ultimate truth is unattainable, how are we confident that “rights” are rooted in it? Or, if we do have a transcendent standard of ultimate truth, by which we understand rights, then it is odd that it should only provide exemptions from moral principles, and never prescribe the moral principles themselves, from which we might not allow people to exempt themselves.
In other words, Leftism/Liberalism wants to eat its cake, and have it, too: it wants to invoke moral truths for exemptions, but to reject moral truths when it comes to prescriptions of behaviour. It insists on “rights,” but it frames many of these rights in abstraction from, or even in spite of, the integral whole from which they are derived. It invokes morality to claim a right to engage in certain actions, but ignores what morality says about the objective quality of their actions. Or, at the very least, Leftism doesn’t trust YOU to impose YOUR idea of rights, even though this concept of a private right to dissent from such impositions, is a universal imposition of the dissolution of all law and order. Leftism imposes the view on other people, that one mustn’t impose his views on other people.
Yes, this is our Leftist insanity: we impose that it is wrong to impose; it is absolutely right that you can’t know what is absolutely right; or at least, I’m telling you it’s right, that you can’t tell me what’s right; and, therefore we all must agree that we mustn’t tell people what they must or mustn’t do… except on this point, where we must tell people that they mustn’t, because it’s only right, to point out that you don’t get to decide what’s right.
Now: the problem with the political “right,” in this country, is that it is Classically Liberal, and therefore already affirms this bedrock, Leftist principle of “rights to decide reality for myself, because I’ve/We’ve decided that you don’t get do decide what’s right – which, after all, is only right.” This produces the “Leftist Singularity,” in whose Event Horizon Cuckservatives are caught. Or, as some might say, this is why Cthulu may swim slowly, but he always swims left. Since “conservatives” embrace the essential doctrine of the Left, any and every new, moral or civilizational horror that emerges, gets processed by the Prime Directive of the Left. This means it will eventually be sanctified by the Leftist principle: “I have the right, not to have your idea of what’s right, imposed on me. Which means, LOL, that my idea of what’s right – namely, the Nothing – will become a void that consumes all of the previously and unfairly established norms, against which my perennial right of dissent and autonomy is infallibly exerted.”
Liberalism is literal madness, a logical paradox so obvious that any child could see it; but because we all fear the idea of truth, or of other people bossing us around, and because we have all been brainwashed about the sacredness of muh rights, we leave the consuming void in place, and throw all of our civilizational energy into its abyss.
Quos vult perdere, Deus prius dementat. Mark, how Western Civilization has been handed over by God unto chastisement, until it repents. This is our sin, this our error. Repent!
Thus, in my view, the Alt-Right must be the actual alternative to this version of the “right.” Protestantism introduced the principle that people had “the right to one’s own conception of reality.” Obviously, most Protestants did not mean, and still do not mean, any harm by this. But, also obviously, everything has grown from that seed, the seed of the revolution, or of the anti-Truth, the anti-Christendom, the anti-Western Civilization. It started out with disagreements about the Bible and the rights of the Crown and the Church, but it has expanded to the point where people now disagree about whether marriage is not-marriage, boys are girls, and squares are circles.
Prior to this, the West had the strength of its convictions and affirmed the Natural Law, as masterfully developed from Plato and Aristotle, on down through St. Thomas and others, as normative upon society. There was and is ample room for the toleration in this system of professed and enforced adherence to Natural Law. Toleration, is not the same thing as investing an error or a crime with absolute rights to exempt itself from Truth and legitimate authority. E.g., it’s not so much Free Speech, the policy, that is the problem; it’s Free Speech, the absolute and all-vindicating right. (It’s not always a good policy, either, but that’s a topic for another time).
I used to labor under the delusion that Medieval Catholicism was some sort of barbaric gulag where truth and reason went to die. Of course, the reason I’m now a Catholic monk, is because I learned that most of the complaints were false, and were made by Liberal revolutionaries in their zeal to attack the Truth, and the legitimate authority that upheld it. For example, the Inquisition was portrayed as a superstitious witch hunt, when actually it condemned the idea that witches even existed and gave us the exacting processes of modern jurisprudence that protect the accused. I came to see that Thomism and the moral philosophy of the Church were sounder and profounder than all of the aimless speculation that has come from the “Age of Enlightenment” (really: the Onset of Liberal Decay) onwards. Modern man has learned a lot more about merely material things, since we turned our minds more to them, and away from philosophical truths; now, we have televisions, but our halls of learning are filled with moral and philosophical infants. And really every age has its absurdities; because the absurdities of other ages do not occur in ours, they seem stranger to us than our own. But is Trial by Ordeal or the accidental veneration of ox bones really any more freakish than an SJW-instigated swatting? Than Honey-Boo-Boo? Than Slutwalks?
So, in my view the Alt-Right must, in addition to the things mentioned on Jim’s Blog, reject the idea of abstract “rights.” It must find the strength of its convictions, affirm the Natural Law as normative again, and not hesitate to repudiate those who claim abstract, absolute rights to dissent from Nature and from society, imposing their idiosyncratic concepts upon others via the passive-aggressive mechanisms of “not imposing,” in a Liberal, “rights”-based culture. May God turn His wrath from us, and grant us space for true penance and amendment of life. Vivat Christus Rex!