Traditionalism East and West

An Indian blogger named Palahalli writes:

When in doubt, I seek out Shri Lawrence Auster. He makes, at a basic level, more sense to me than most folks do. His truths are too bitter and too harsh to accept and become acceptable—but there is this quality about them that makes one spy round the corner and whisper : “That man is actually right you know”. Perhaps it take courage to own such truths.

It’s not about Shri Auster being Christian and/or espousing White Western nationalism. It’s all about his logic of traditionalism being universal. Sounds strange? Think about it more and you’ll see the point i’m trying to get across. Better still, read him.

How does a Hindu traditionalist find so much common ground with Shri Auster’s White Western traditionalism? It’s the principle of traditionalism that provides the bedrock. In his words -

Traditionalism is not an ideology. It doesn’t have a formula of truth. It doesn’t have a formula for the organization of society. It is an orientation toward the order of being, a recognition of basic facts about existence which are universal to all cultures, but which take different forms in different cultures. (Which, by the way, doesn’t mean that all cultures are equal.)

Makes sense? It does to me.

The entry continues with a discussion of the Unprincipled Exception.

- end of initial entry -

Kristor writes:

Shri Lawrence Auster, eh? How about, “Rabbi Auster,” or “Bishop Auster”?

This takes vile sycophancy to a whole new level!

Seriously, though; when I read Palahalli saying, “His truths are bitter and harsh,” I recognized and recalled my own first reactions to VFR. The words I would have used would have been “difficult, acrid, unsparing; and, if you are going to be intellectually honest and consistent, unavoidable.”

And then, of course, there’s this: if Palahalli is taking you that seriously, how long can it be before he turns on you and rends you? God forbid.

LA replies:

Some months back, I asked either Palahalli or another Indian commenter who had called me “Shree” what it meant. He told me to my relief that it’s just a common title of respect.

October 3

Daniel R. writes:

Larry is right; in this context, “Shri” basically means “Mister.”

I think Kristor is being too dramatic here. If Palahalli wanted to be sycophantic, he could have called him “Guru Auster” or “Sahib Auster.” “Shri Auster” is him being polite and correct. Similarly, he says:

Smt Laura Wood compels one to think and think deeply.

“Smt” is short for “Shrimati,” the version of “Shri” for married women. “Mrs. Laura Wood,” in other words.

I don’t see why Kristor assume he would turn on Larry and “rend him.” He seems like a serious traditionalist himself, and of a similar mindset as Larry.

LA replies:

Kristor was referring to the unhappy pattern at VFR whereby sometimes commenters who are the most praising of me suddenly turn around and begin personally attacking me.

Palahalli S. writes:


This note is mainly in response to Shri Kristor.

The title “Shri” may be seen as an honorific. A title denoting respect. It is also used in place of “Mr.”

It’s “Shrimati” or short—“Smt” for married women. “Kumar” and “Kumari” for unmarried men and women respectively.

So it’s not “vile sycophancy” by any stretch of the imagination.

On taking Shri Auster’s thoughts seriously; I suppose that would last at least till either Shri Auster or I change our current positions and, speaking for myself, this seems unlikely.

As has been noted, the great thing about “traditionalism” is that its not contrived ideology.

Tim W. writes:

Traditionalism is definitely universal. One of the strengths of present-day China is that it still maintains a healthy culture, despite having a Communist government. In fact, Chinese culture is certainly to the right our debauched Western cultures. Modern Chinese cinema is filled with historical epics glorifying their history, films such as Hero and Red Cliff. No multiculturalism or relativism anywhere in sight. No homosexuality, either. Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain was banned in China.

From Mark K.
Subject: Lawrence Obama
“Kristor was referring to the unhappy pattern at VFR whereby sometimes commenters who are the most praising of me suddenly turn around and begin personally attacking me.”

No kidding, do you think you’re the conservative messiah beyond criticism?

LA replied:

Mr. K., for the last year, ever since you turned against me because of my criticisms of Sarah Palin, I’ve repeatedly expressed my sorrow that a commenter I once valued has nothing to say to me except to make stupid personal attacks. You’ve kept making the stupid and hostile statements. So enough is enough. Stop writing to me. If you keep writing. I will filter you out.

Randy writes:

I often hear the notion that conservative thinking is just one view in the “marketplace of ideas.” Traditional conservatism is REALITY while the rest is delusional fantasy. To take one example: if a person were isolated on a desert island, he would have to work to obtain food, water, and shelter or he would die. There is no one else to provide him is “right” to a better life. This is a transcendent REALITY captured in II Thessalonians 3:10

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

This is Econ 101. Think of how many ways in which the left has created the opportunity for some to live at the expense of the rest. This is the story of the last 50 years. We have ever fewer supporting ever more. What this leads to is a complete breakdown of the economic system—just as what happened in the Soviet Union. Three people supporting ten will lead to the exhaustion of the limited producers providing for the unlimited demand of the unproductive consumers. In addition, there will be no excess wealth that could be used to create capital that would allow further productive capacity and increased wealth. Everyone lives hand to mouth. This explains the current crisis. They tried to delay it, first, by sending our manufacturing base offshore ($2/day labor) then by giving “free” money (ie credit and subsidies) to everyone. This seemed to work for awhile as we exhausted our previously accumulated capital. They say we evolved to the “services society,” and now, to the “consumer society.” But you cannot endlessly consume without producing. What delusional fantasy. The REALITY is there is no free school lunch, first explained by the Apostle Paul, then Milton Friedman.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 02, 2009 07:02 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):