Ethics and Reaction

MacIntyre in his work on liberalism has made the case that liberalism has become a tradition. This is something which is quite at odds with the underlying claims of liberalism that it is not a tradition but a universal and non-specific (temporally, spatially nor population wise) set of solutions to existence. The thesis is very interesting, but I cannot shake the feeling there is something significantly wrong with it. I am not sure liberalism should be counted as a tradition simply because I believe it is institutionalized idiocy that only exists as a result of a breakdown in societal organization. I need to think about it some more, but in the meantime it did make me think about the question of racism in relation to reaction, and it occurred to me that the concept is largely irrelevant if you are outside of the liberal paradigm. The liberal paradigm being one in which the sovereign nature of each individual is key, and under which hierarchy of any kind is wrong.

If you hold liberal concepts of humanity, and do accept all of the precepts of libertarianism for example, then it does hold that A) everyone is in possession of rights which are identical (this flows from Cartesian philosophy, and which leads to the concept that all are jointly capable of reaching the same level of understanding/ enlightenment,) and that B) holding that anyone is incapable of such achievement is false, and is the result of bigotry based on physical characteristics which do not hold as valid – you have already bought the liberal concept of the individual, you cannot now apply unprincipled exceptions.

To take this even further, once you have accepted the concept of the liberal self, then you set yourself on a mission to justify why liberal individuals form into societies (Hobbes, Locke, Schmitt, etc.) and why society should be comprised of who they are. Such problems can be seen in evidence in all walks of life. Who should be part of X? how do we organize? organize by race? IQ? Refuse to have any barriers? Language? Economic competence of the individual? (the question of children is always conspicuously absent, though given the propensity of Liberal’s to “liberate” everything with arms and legs, this is probably a blessing) – There is no genuine way to come to a conclusion.

So, it is within this paradigm that racism can be seen, and where it does make complete sense. If you are a liberal and you seek to block liberalism from anyone for whatever reason, then you are an (x)ist, the logic is inescapable. If however, you do not exist within this position, then the label of (X)ist is absurd; profoundly so.

So, if for example you were a Thomist, or Aristotelian (not the modern variants infused with modernity, but a serious medieval Thomist/ Aristotelian) and maintain a system that required an Arche within which ethics are placed, ordered and learned through practical education, then the idea of any sort of (X)ism is preposterous, as is the question of who should and should not be part of the community that embodies the Arche. The only members are those following the Way embodied in the Arche, and anyone from outside this way is not part of community. They may become so, but the entry levels will be such that high standards and continual development toward the Way of the order in question is intrinsic to it. This is not an existence that can be picked up by wearing the dress or simply moving there.

But such a way and order is largely incompatible with modernist capitalism incarnate in property as inviolable, and the sovereign individual, as all of these must be subservient to the ethics and goods as outlined by the community which operates on the Way in accordance with the communities Way.

Such an understanding is made clear in MacIntyre’s introduction to ‘After Virtue’

“The flourishing of the virtues requires and in turn sustains a certain kind of community, necessarily a small-scale community, within which the goods of various practices are ordered, so that, as far as possible, regard for each finds its due place with the lives of each individual, or each household, and in the life of the community at large. Because, implicitly or explicitly, it is always by reference to some conception of the overall and final human good that other goods are ordered, the life of every individual, household or community by its orderings gives expression, wittingly or unwittingly, to some conception of the human good. And it is when goods are ordered in terms of an adequate conception of human good that the virtues genuinely flourish. “Politics” is the Aristotelian name for the set of activities through which goods are ordered in the life of the ­community.”

It is coming to this understanding via MacIntyre that the ‘Letter to France’ makes sense. Financial wealth of individuals must be subject to the considerations of the order within which they act. There is no justification for allowing concentration of wealth in the hands of individuals who are then able to use it for motives and action in conflict with the community. Even those who have tried to use their wealth for perceived good causes have been means by which pernicious influence has been peddled. One only has to observe the fate of the Rhodes funds, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller funds, not to mention modern versions such as Soros and Bill Gates. Such men must be subservient to the community’s Way or they are cancerous growths which are not acting in accordance with the Arche of the Way. Good men will understand this and be content with the position of nobility bestowed upon them, those with bad character will not, but their actions will be curtailed.

Such a Way cannot be created wholesale, and that which represents Europe is that of the Catholic tradition which transmits Aristotle and Aquinas and virtue ethics. Such a realization seems to be present in the ‘Letter to France” as seen by point seven:

“France is a Catholic nation and cannot be restored without the help of the Church. Unfortunately, this institution too has been overrun by communists. The Society of St. Pius X is the legal successor of the French Catholic Church. All clerics affiliated with the Novus Ordo Church are assumed communist until proven otherwise, and purged as functionaries.”