Category Archives: Political Philosophy

New Sam Francis Book

Dr. Wilson just mentioned a new book based on writings by Sam Francis. The kindle version costs but $10 at Amazon, and Francis’s original book (second edition) on James Burnham might be a more polished version of the same work.

Note: Francis did mention our elite struggling to absorb Muslims but also that our elite is at least as calculating as any in history. This is to say: it is unclear who will win between the two.

Also, unstated by Dr. Wilson is the coming identity crisis of biotech.

The solution to our situation is nationalism, faith, distributism, other third way economics (emphasis on decentralisation and balance of power). States should be pursued that care for their own people and pursue a harmonious but also well-functioning society, that is a focus on the societal level as an organism itself. This is simply a return to classical (sane) political science. And we seem to have need of a specialised ruling class, an aristocracy, for at least part of political power. Restricted democratic voting would improve the voter pool if wanting democracy (for example requiring property ownership). Also, modern monasteries, free from the pull of the outside market, could help guard our culture.

While it is useful to write on utopian ideals and also on plausible practical solutions that work for a particular situation, true change will only come from a raw pursuit of power. The powerful then influence how society is newly shaped, as is always the case in every society.

Reading on this subject is more exciting and fun than any other, but I’m rusty. I began writing at CHT in 2006, mostly condemning libertarianism as faith-like and praising distributism and Francis’s work. I originally posted here to “help” the site while planning my own book-like website. I really haven’t made much advancement other than scattered notes. Political science isn’t something that pays the bills, or at least it doesn’t pay my bills.

So, I don’t claim to be an expert. I think Dr. Fleming, James Kalb, and Chronicles in general are where to go to learn political science. The Alt Right seems to be a more racial break with the paleos, but I don’t see why a person couldn’t learn political science from the masters while valuing what he values. The Alt Right might also be an excellent place to learn; I have little familiarity with it.

I will say that almost everyone who writes on political science seems to be tricked by the classical liberals in some area. So, I recommend reading Aristotle, reading Dr. Fleming, totally ignoring those preaching “Austrian economics” until you’ve learned something real. Then you’ll be able to think outside the box and make use of the Austrian ideas where useful to your ends.

Also, I look forward to entry of the Asian political scientists, who are less beholden to the insane Enlightenment ideas of Europe. Just as classical European political science is excellent, so too do I expect other traditional political ideas to be excellent and also similar. While everyone loves Confucius, a Chinese blogger recently suggested reading: Historical Records by Sima Qian and The Book of Lord Shang.

The blogger wrote:

Social justice is meaningless BS. What has to be rationally discussed is the redistribution of income. It is an economic necessity which has nothing to do with social justice and whatever ideology, left or right.

Here is a recipe of how the government should regulate the economy: “The rich must be punished and become poor, whereas the poor must be encouraged to become rich”. This is a recipe for the economic dynamics which would maximise the GDP. It was written 2400 years ago by Shang Yang, the designer of the Qin dynasty.”

Now, I’m skeptical that such truly maximises GDP, but we have here a traditional teaching that is likely tried and true, works for a reason we might not understand. He believes it improves GDP; I believe it creates a stronger society. Note: This is not socialism.

I think the path forward is to forget the Enlightenment ever happened. Forget Marx. Forget Smith. Return to real political science.

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Alt Right and Populism/Democracy

Alt Right is amorphous, difficult to pinpoint. One clear characteristic, however, is elitism. (I’m not declaring this site Alt Right, though I do believe in elite theory.)

Americans have an irrational mythology built on democracy and populism, that the people actually wield significant power, are, or at least can be, the ones in charge.

This is wholly contrary to elite theory, which states that elites are always behind society.

The Trump movement, though it is claimed by Hillary to be both an Alt Right conspiracy and a Russian conspiracy, is actually extremely populist. We have a revolt of the people, by the people, for the people, with Trump supporting pretty much whatever is both popular and in our interests. (Trump also seems to generally agree with “the people” and to be out-of-step with Washington politicians.)

If this movement fails, I think we’ll have to conclude that populism simply cannot, and never can, work. Those with money, those with power, always win, can only be slowed or pushed. So, then the only means of winning is to become wealthy/powerful oneself, rather than bothering with populist movements. That is, assuming electoral victory is desired. (Someone will add how an elite could direct a populist movement, but that is a powerful elite doing the directing.)

Continuing on American populist mythology:

Similarly, American conservatives tend to cherish “organic” culture, that arises on its own, from “the people”. I say this sadly, but I expect we only have “organic” culture when the individual or elite few that produced it has been forgotten.

Another point: Americans Southerners believe that schooling should be done privately (populist and individual), without government involvement. Northerners, it is said, tend to believe in central, government directed education. And we’ve generally seen how Northern culture has won this battle. This could be due simply to confusion about our Southern traditions, since originally we had the plantation aristocracy and the closer ties to Europe, both we seem to have lost. Either way, it appears the Southern rejection of an elite, post-planter society, has not thrived. We’re similarly vulnerable to mass culture, each of us individually struggling (usually failing) to filter the mass culture for the next generation.

I don’t mean to equate “elite” solely with wealth, but if Trump loses, I think it’s safe to declare populism a failure and something that has never and can never work.

When Libertarians Attack!

The enemy of liberty has been found. Now it’s only a matter of exposing the monster for what it is, and it shall die from humiliation.

That monster is — conservatism.

It seems conservatism is an ideology, like communism or Nazism, that demands a powerful, centralized government, a police state, regulation over every aspect of an individual’s life, and a militaristic foreign policy.

Or so says libertarian author and blogger Tom Mullen. His book Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? claims to expose conservatism as the ugly and vicious love-child of those ancient apologists for despots, Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke.

Wait, what? Edmund Burke?

It takes only a cursory look at Mullen’s assertions to see just how sloppy and poorly researched they are. In doing so, I will let conservatives define conservatives, rather than libertarians. Seems only fair.

First, let’s consider how ludicrous it is to claim conservatism was co-founded by Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke. In fact, Hobbes belonged to a camp of political science that was directly opposed to Burke’s. Hobbes was a rationalist philosopher. Rationalists, as Michael Spicer explains in The Founders, The Constitution, and Public Administration: A Conflict in World Views, view human reason as sovereign. Reason, say the rationalists, is the ultimate authority on how humans should conduct themselves and organize society. Rationalists believe man can perfect himself and create utopia on earth. Because reason is the same everywhere, its principles apply to all peoples. Spicer observes that “rationalists distrust ideas derived from customs and traditions,” and therefore customs and traditions “are seen as impediments to obtaining true knowledge and must be swept aside.”

That’s why rationalist philosophers look to violence, whether by revolution or state-sanctioned force, to sweep out those musty old traditions that impede their programs.

Edmund Burke, on the other hand, was an anti-rationalist. As Spicer explains in his book, anti-rationalists do not believe human nature can be perfected. Instead, anti-rationalists “see the world, particularly the world of human affairs, as simply too complex and hence too unpredictable for any one mind, however wise, to comprehend and control.” For that reason, anti-rationalist philosophers look to established customs, traditions, and institutions as the most reliable guides to human conduct.

I cannot improve on this summary of Burke’s thought from the Edmund Burke Institute:

Burke is commonly regarded as the founder of modern conservatism. In his speeches and writings, he articulated the concept of an organic society: a social order that is sacred, natural, historical and traditional. He believed that social change was best achieved when eschewing abstract thought divorced from experience; instead, he favored renewal of the polity in harmony with a regard for individual liberty, respect for the accumulated wisdom within existing institutions and a concern for the greater good of the community. His political theory can best be summarized by his most famous phrase: “Society is a contract between the past, the present and those yet unborn.”

Traditional, organic society, then, is the foundation of order. Russell Kirk argued that traditional society is the only — the ONLY — source of our rules for mutual interaction — in other words, our rights:

Traditions are not abstractions; they are particular beliefs and customs closely related to private life and faith. The American Republic has its traditions, and so has the Cambodian Kingdom; but traditions are not created by political authority, and ought not to be debased into party slogans.

Only for the past century and a half has the word “tradition” been employed to signify “ancient customs” or “established habits of life in society.” Edmund Burke, for instance, writing in the last years of the eighteenth century, used the word “prescription” to convey these meanings, rather than the word “tradition.”

When we speak of tradition in America, then, generally we mean prescriptive social habits, prejudices, customs, and political usages which most people accept with little question, as an intellectual legacy from their ancestors.

The stable of rationalist philosophers includes Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, and Irving Kristol. Rationalists believe in the sovereign individual, whose chief concern is economic, and from that assumption, they derive their advocacy of the unitary, consolidated state; open borders; economic globalization; and the eradication of all traditional restraints on individual choice.

Among the notable anti-rationalists are David Hume, Adam Smith, and Joseph de Maistre. Anti-rationalists believe in the social nature of man, whose chief concern is the preservation and well-being of one’s culture, and from that foundation, they argue for small, culturally based political units; mediating institutions, such as families, churches, and voluntary associations to shelter and nurture the isolated individual; border security to insure demographic continuity; economic nationalism to protect jobs; and respect for traditional morality, which strengthens families and communities.

Mullen’s sloppiness is most apparent — and grating — in his conflation of neoconservatives and conservatives. Neoconservatives, despite their misleading name, are rationalists who view America as a “creedal nation” rather than a nation founded on Western traditions. Neocons base their ideology on Trotsky’s strategy of the “permanent revolution,” which called for supporting socialism in other countries to protect socialism in the USSR. So when Neocon handpuppet George W. Bush launched his US-led “global democratic revolution” beginning with Iraq, he argued that exporting democracy would help protect democracy in the US. When real conservatives, such as Pat Buchanan, Charley Reese, and Sam Francis aired their objections to Bush’s crusade, National Review’s David Frum denounced them as “unpatriotic conservatives.” Nevertheless, Mullen equates “militarism” as a defining conservative value.

There’s also an amusing aspect of Mullen’s intellectual confusion. On the basis of a few quotes, Mullen claims Edmund Burke fundamentally agreed with Thomas Hobbes, despite Burke’s radically different politics. While Burke believed in an organic society, Hobbes argued that man is not a social animal. Hobbes even went so far as to claim that society could not exist without a powerful government. The foundation of conservatism is that culture precedes government. Despite this breathtaking contradiction, Mullen frequently (obsessively?) uses Hobbes to discredit conservatism. Yet, Mullen applauds John Locke as one of the good guys, despite Locke’s frequent citation of Hobbes and partial agreement with him.

Why is this important? If we are to defend liberty, we have to understand where it came from, how it can be preserved, and what threatens it. Today we are faced with an out-of-control and self-serving central government that is busily importing a compliant Third-World population. Libertarians such as Mullen claim to defend liberty, but vocally support open borders and economic globalism, the same double-edged sword the ruling elite wields against us, its subjects. Without a Western majority, we cannot hope to preserve Western standards of behavior and governance.

George Will, a Phony Conservative, Attempts to Gatekeep Conservatism

George will has his panties in a wad over Donald Trump and attempts to protect the integrity of conservatism as he sees it in this rant. Who does George Will think he is fooling acting as the defender of conservatism? Sam Francis had this pretender’s number 30 years ago. (Sorry for the odd spacing, but the original sources was in columns so that’s how it pasted.)

Although Will is sometimes called a
“neo-conservative,” he is not one. Neoconservatives
typically derive more or
less conservative policy positions from essentially
liberal premises. Will in fact does
the opposite: he derives from more or less
unexceptionable premises of classical
conservatism policy positions that are
often congruent with the current liberal
agenda. It is because he accepts, and
wants to be accepted by, the “achievements”
of modem liberalism that he ignores
or sneers at the serious conservative
thinkers and leaders of our time who
have sought to break liberal idols and that
he voices no criticism of the powers that
support liberalism. It is therefore not surprising
that his commentary is welcomed
in and rewarded by liberal power centers.
They have little to fear from him and his
ideas and much to gain if his version of
“conservatism” should gain currency. He
enjoys every prospect of a bright future in
their company. ~ Sam Francis, Modern Age, Spring 1986

David Stockman: Immigration Laws Fill US Prisons

In a recent “Chart of the Day“, David Stockman highlights how US prisons would be “emptied” if not for drug and immigration laws. Immigration is not the second highest percentage in his chart, but it’s highlighted to imply that immigration laws are unnecessary.

This is typical of libertarians, typical of financial types, and typical of “socialists” like George Soros.

Is libertarianism truly the “opposite” of socialism? No.

Mike Church on Foreign Policy

This is from Mike Church’s Facebook page, although he doesn’t go by that name on Facebook:

I feel compelled to respond to a comment I hear more and more often from listeners to the Mike Church show on SiriusXM Patriot Channel. It goes like this:

LISTENER OBJECTION: Mike, I love you 95% of the time, your historical knowledge and insight on the Founders and the Constitution is awesome BUT your history and OPINION on foreign policy, war and Christianity is warped and unbelievably ignorant.
Signed,
“Conservative Listener”

I RESPOND: Your latter complaint defeats your former compliment. I use the same hagiographic method to study the Constitution’s history as I do Christianity’s and war. I suggest you: stop listening COMPLETELY (If I’m wrong using the same method for the latter I must be wrong in the former). Recall your like of this page and never visit it again and “unfriend” me here.
I wish you well in your pursuit of sophistry and perpetual war and will continue praying for you.

Pax Domini tecum.
Me

He is absolutely right that non-interventionism flows directly from Constitutionalism, a point that needs to be made incessantly. But I don’t think this is the right approach. “Conservative” interventionists need to be engaged and challenged. Otherwise, how does he expect to make any headway?