Thursday 21 June 2018

The NOT-danger/ hope of Western Nationalism

When the mainstream of Western politics - both Left and so-called Right (neither of which are Christian) - are united in saying that there is a resurgent Western nationalism, you can be sure that this is not really happening.

Real, original, nationalism was a tremendously powerful, grass-roots, bottom-up kind of movement; a kind of mania or instinctual welling of emotion and desire that was so strong that (once the spark had been applied) it was very difficult, often impossible, to contain.

This original nationalism, running from the middle 19th to 20th centuries, was such a powerful motivator that men would risk their reputations, livelihoods and lives for it. Nationalism burned briefly, in any country it was active only for a generation or so; but while it lasted it inspired almost (but not quite) religious levels of motivation.

Indeed, Nationalism in Europe and among the European diaspora was precisely a replacement for lapsed Christianity - as was communism - nationalism was the first post-Christian generations seeking a meaning and purpose in life.

But real, genuine, powerfully-motivating nationalism is long-since dead... obviously! dead and gone and never to be revived. It was a flash in the pan.

So anybody who pins their hopes of a better world, of a reversal of Western self-hatred and strategic suicide, of an escape from Western decline toward extinction, on a revival of nationalism is going to be disappointed.

It won't happen.

In fact, my conviction is that all previous possibilities are closed-off. Despite that in many ways - including just sheer viability - the past was better than the present; I am sure that any previous form of organisation is impossible, for all sorts of reason - but mainly because that is not what God wants of us.

How do I know what God wants? Isn't that a claim of extraordinary arrogance and pride? Well, I am not going to try and persuade you; because knowing what God wants is something that everybody needs to experience for himself. I am merely telling you what I know - and that claim is not a reason why you should believe it...

Yet before rejecting as sinful pride any claim to know the mind of God on a subject, you need to consider what can be known about this world, in light of what all Christians know of the nature of God. 

What God wants is an objective fact of being; and it is (surely?) inconceivable that God the creator and our Father would make things such that his wishes were hidden from his children? (From any of his children who genuinely want to know them.)

So it is my task - your, task, every Christian's task - to discover what God wants; in respect to everything that matters. Discover for yourself, by all means available - including by direct insight (true intuition, of the real self).

Because we are all Sons and Daughters of God we all 'inherit' something of the divine, and a fully-divine potential; and it is this inheritance that enables us to know God, to know God's mind - and to love God as a person.

So this kind of knowledge of 'what God wants' is not something restricted by anything other than our own limitations. In principle, it is open to any person - at least, nobody is excluded a priori. (The main exclusion is that people don't really want to know.)

Those whose hopes require a resurgent Western nationalism simply need to discover for themselves whether this is the proper and intended divine destiny of the West...  

Not by trying to infer God's mind indirectly from 'the evidence'; but know directly, by sincere and honest prayer and meditation - and that ought to settle the matter; because the 'evidence' will then become simply understandable, in light of that knowledge. 


Chiu ChunLing said...

Thus defined, nationalism is not God's will nor a viable possibility.

However, the contemporary usage applies this term to appreciation and respect for the cultural traditions which have produced the felicity of life enjoyed in Western nations (which is being destroyed by those who do not appreciate or respect those cultural traditions, both immigrants and Marxists).

While it may be legitimately said that this should not be termed Nationalism, in point of fact it is thus termed. And we must respond by saying that such functional gratitude for the heritage of preceding generations, call it Nationalism or patriotism or whatever, most certainly is God's will and is the most essential and true meaning of the commandment to honor thy father and thy mother.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - That's a good distinction. But this appreciation and respect for cultural traditions, while Good, is insufficient motivation for the qualitative change in consciousness/ life that is now required.

If this ever does come, there will be no doubt abouts its coming - the world will seem to have turned upside down, and the ruling elites and major social institutions will go beserk (In the UK we saw a mild and brief taste of what this would be like in the couple of days following the pro-Brexit vote - which was quite astonishing, at the time!)

Chiu ChunLing said...

The whole law is thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Contained in this is to love your neighbors (i.e. those who obey the spirit of God's commandments) as yourself. Further contained in that is the duty of love for your family, and contained in that is the duty of honor for your heritage.

It might well be said to be less than a tenth part of the law.

But no part of the law can be said to be non-essential. Even those who should reject most of what their nation has done still have a duty to understand and laud what it did right, even by accident.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - True. But the way this has to work for moderns is that we each need to find this for our-selves, by personal revelation of real the nature of things - not as an external law or duty.

Shane said...

Belated comment here Bruce, so understand if you don't reply.
The essay is a bit blunt, maybe crude to an extent but it is fairly accurate and does refer to legitimate analysis of social dynamics( hierarchy, status). I'm not necessarily Nationalistic myself but I will admit to certain predjudices. I believe that the continent of Europe is the home of the various European peoples, and that their ancestors hopes, dreams, and creations were intended for their progeny for their perpuity. I agree that the greatest threat to the West has been a Spiritual absence, but importing a more devout group that is not of the founding ethnos will not help the Civilization, but replace it with something else entirely

Bruce Charlton said...

@SF - You might like to look at some of the recent posts on Albion Awakening.

Chiu ChunLing said...

A key point, around here many like to technically distinguish between nationalism and patriotism, as I think that you might wish to distinguish between kings/kingdoms and emperors/empires.

Of course, more nuanced conceptual divisions are possible, even desirable, both in talking about attitudes towards one's own nation and the essential kind of nation one is talking about. In discussing the twentieth century especially, we should need to make a great many distinctions among fundamentally different types of empires, and how they transition amongst those types.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - I agree there are such distinctions; but for now and the future they have no proper applications - divinely sanctioned kigs and emperors are gone and unrevivable. Indeed, all the old objective (public) categories around which group loyalties were arranged are gone. eg. the guild mentality of doctors, the brotherhood of scientists - tow examples from my experience - have been destroyed or subverted. So much more the nation (or empire). We cannot build-from that which is gone, or which is inverted. Twist as we might, we are thrown back onto the unit of our-selves.

Chiu ChunLing said...

True enough, I was referring to the discussion of historical developments in the referenced wordpress article.

For the sake of our future, the corrupted empires of men must fall, and not be revived.