Oct 11, 2013

The Traditionalism of the Present

[from Prince Jonathan]
  It can be very difficult to be a traditionalist some days. You are continuously mocked and decried as irrationally holding on to something long ago disproven, by people who themselves refuse to consider your position rationally. You are often betrayed or left behind by the political factions who were, mere days before, your staunchest allies and most energetic defenders. You are hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with you, and when you do, you often find that they have a radically different focus, so that you only barely share the same views. Yet, if you have any measure of conviction, you will struggle on all the same, content in the thought that you have the truth. The truth about society, the truth about politics, the truth about the world; that is the nature of traditionalism, and it is that nature that we should embrace.
  For if we do not hold our traditionalism because of its essential truth, if we hold it solely because it is beautiful or ancient or simply preferred by us, then we truly justify the criticisms and hurdles we must so often deal with. Indeed, choosing traditionalism purely because it is traditional is, in a great irony of language, against the spirit of that very concept. Clinging to the past because we like it is, in fact, a liberal choice, an elevation of the individual over society. Pomp, ritual, and solemnity, or age, genealogy, and tradition are not sufficient reasons to hold a complete worldview, no matter how elegant and wonderful they may be.
  This is not to say that these things, these beautiful facets of tradition, are bad. Quite the opposite, they are good. But still, they are not the spirit of tradition, and should not be treated as such. If the outlook of traditionalism had always been accompanied by severity and simplicity, or if there were no rituals or family ties related to it, or even if it were completely new and never before seen, it would still be right. It would still be the same spirit with the same keys to moral order and the betterment of society as a whole. Traditionalism is the proper order of things because of its substance, not its accidents.
  So, to finally state the message of this article clearly, being a traditionalist does not mean that you have to live in the past. On the contrary, in fact; it means you must look to the future. We know the way to proper society, we know the need for a love of duty, for the rule of law, for honour, for identity, and, yes, for respect of what came before. We know that this is the way to build a better country, so we ought to pursue its implementation regardless of what trappings come with it. If we can make it look the way we want it to, so much the better, but this is unnecessary. These traditions of beauty and stability will arise from a well-ordered civilization no matter what, for they come from the spirit of tradition, and not vice versā.
  Indeed, all these magnificent rituals and all these trappings of civilization were once new and innovative. All traditions, and all things loved by traditionalism, were once modern inventions. If we wanted to truly go back to the way things originally were, we would have nothing. Regal garb and majestic crowns, ancient families and royal blood, etiquette, heraldry, and art; all once were newborn and just created. But even then, at their dawn, they were not against tradition; for they sprang from the substance of tradition, which can survive without any ritual.
  So, going forward, we must move discerningly and cautiously as we try to build tradition back up after the wars it has lost. On the one hand, we are commanded by the tenets of traditionalism to respect even the smallest things created by our ancestors. On the other, we must recognize that, in some few ways, the world truly has changed, and we only harm ourselves by refusing to change anything at all to match it. Change, properly done, is traditional; and living in the past, improperly done, is liberal. A great irony, perhaps, but true.

Oct 9, 2013

21st Century Monasteries and Edan

  Various institutions are releasing updated demographics numbers over the next few months and the initial reports are as expected; all of Asia is below replacement fertility, as is all of Europe, all of South America, North Africa, South Africa, and other areas are close. The global fertility rate has been dropping for 50 years and shows no signs of stopping within the next 25, especially since the fertility tempo (average age of the birth of a first child) is also increasing.
  The artificial gender imbalance caused by sex-selective abortion and ubiquitous ultrasounds means that the low fertility rates may be masking a more serious problem - sex ratios so skewed that the next generation will be much smaller than predicted. Areas of rural China have a 14 to 1 ratio of males to females in their young population (under 30 years old) and areas of India have an even higher imbalance, estimated to peak at almost 19 to 1. Overall these two nations alone have no less than 50 million men under the age of 30 who can never have a wife do to an artificial shortage of women.
  The impact has been horrific for women - human trafficking, ubiquitous sexual assault, and physical attacks.
  Meanwhile, the West continues to glorify hypergamy, fornication, and childlessness. Mass media dismisses the family and praises the ill and the dysfunctional. After creating an artificial 'teen culture' mass marketing continues their effort to sexualize all ages. Porn is prevalent to the point that actual art is being pushed out of public consciousness. And self-abuse so common that it is leading to mass impotence in the young.
  The apparent triumph of low, or 'pop'. culture, the dismissal of morals and ethics by those who shout from rooftops for money, the replacement of education with credentialism and the accompanying trend of people delaying marriage and children in pursuit of worthless credentials and the associated high debt will continue to drive down fertility well after demographic implosion begins to destroy the current economic system. After all, a system based upon the assumption of perpetual growth cannot survive contraction!
  And the weaknesses of Democracy are on full display as the various nation-states stagger toward the abyss.
  What can we do about this?
  Everything that matters.
  The core ideals and principles of Edan are focused not just on  the cardinal virtues but also on stability; Edan is meant to endure and thrive in the most difficult of times. How? It is structured like a family which, of course, reflects God's design. Rejecting the horrors of Communism and the dehumanizing effects of Capitalism; standing by the truth and rejecting relativism; maintaining and preserving high culture; reaching out to our neighbors in true charity. These are the things we can and will do.
  Some have called Catholic homeschoolers the monasteries of virtue of the current truly Dark Age. Edan will join them in preserving civic virtue in a world collapsing under the weight of evil.