In America but not of it?

Ben W. writes:

In the entry, “Blacks assault whites, while taping the attack for later viewing and distribution,” you wrote: “Your comment adds to the general sense being expressed now that America as we knew it is done, cannot recover. The only way there’s any hope of going beyond liberalism is through the crash of liberal society.”

Given the anti-white ideology of America, as seen in the the eradication of our image from American coinage (“$100 coin of a non-American America”), I’ve already started living in America as an “internal emigre” (a phrase that was applied to Boris Pasternak). Or as Jesus said, “You are in this world but not of it.” I now know what the early Christians felt like living in the Roman Empire. It was not their home. We have become “strangers in a strange land.”

LA replies:

But is it really possible to do that? I and people I know have said things like this many times over the years, but it never came to anything. If you’re living in a society, and especially if you’re writing about it, then you care about its events and its well-being, you’re disturbed by the bad and condemn it, you’re cheered by the good and praise it, all of which means that you’re participating in that society and not living in internal exile. I don’t know that it’s possible to live in a society and not be of it; or, rather, I don’t know that it’s possible to be a white person living in the United States and not be part of it.

Perhaps a better model than internal emigre is dissident, which also comes from the anti-Soviet experience. A dissident lives in his country, he’s opposed to the existing regime and denies its legitimacy, but he still cares about the well-being of his country. However, that may not fit what you’re talking about, which seems to be a withdrawal of one’s care and loyalty, not just from a particular regime, but from the country itself.

What I’m suggesting is that the time may be coming when my “Traditionalist’s credo,” which is the creed of a dissident, no longer applies, because the credo still seeks to restore the country:

I declare that this government is no longer a constitutional and moral form of government. I will deal with it, and I will obey its laws, and I will support it when it is defending our country from foreign and domestic enemies. I will vote in its elections and participate in its political debates. But I will never accept it. I aim at a restoration of constitutional and moral order.

Gintas writes:

You wrote:

“The only way there’s any hope of going beyond liberalism is through the crash of liberal society.”

This is related to the “should young white men join the military?” question posed earlier (and I’ve seen it at a couple of other places, too). The question this time is, “should we prop up liberal society?” To ask that question is to answer it, therefore: “how can we accelerate the crash?” and “how can we control the crash to our favor?”

My theory is that the crash of liberal society will be accelerated best by giving liberals everything they want, fast. Controlling the crash is a different matter. It’s like cutting down a tree—you want to pull it down in the right place, not on top of your house.

Rick Darby writes:

Those of us who feel we are exiles in our home country have three basic options (with many minor variations, naturally):

1. Fix the system by working within the system. The other day Mark Levin was arguing from his radio pulpit to forget third parties, don’t count on rallies to accomplish anything, reform the Republican Party and work to elect good candidates.

2. Drop out, cultivate your garden, find your Lake Isle of Innisfree and keep your head down. Move to Australia or your own self-sufficient farm in the middle of the country, having as little to do with the general collapse as possible.

3. Accept that we are in grave peril and things will probably get worse. But it is not the River of No Return. Americans—well, white Americans and some of other ethnicities—are unlike Europeans for whom bending the knee to their rulers is second nature. A reaction, in the best sense of the word, is almost inevitable. Do what you can to hurry it along, and prepare the ground for a restoration of the Republic.

(I’m specifically excluding fantasies such as armed rebellion, a violent civil war, etc.)

Of the three options, none is absolutely right or wrong. Any might be a legitimate choice depending on an individual’s temperament and circumstances. To me, the first two are dubious.

While on further acquaintance I’ve modified my earlier harsh appraisal of Mark Levin—by talk radio standards, he’s not bad—he nevertheless has the inside-the-Beltway mentality maximum strength. Contra Levin, there is actually one party, the Republicrats, unresponsive to the public interest and the Constitution. I wouldn’t discourage anyone who believes they have found a good candidate from working to elect that person, but I don’t believe large-scale, fundamental change is possible that way now (at some time in the future, maybe).

By the same token, if anyone believes they have a safe house they can retreat to, best of Yankee luck to them. That way isn’t immoral, though it is unlikely to help anyone outside their immediate circle. But at the very least it’s impractical for most of us, who aren’t footloose enough to emigrate or drop out of society.

Which leaves Door no. 3. We do what we can, keep the flame lit, stay flexible. It doesn’t involve melodramatic gestures or martyrdom, but it does require holding fast to proven truths even when everything seems dead set against us. There’s no guarantee we’ll succeed. But we won’t be the first people in history who’ve stuck to principle and beaten the odds.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Send

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