Friendship and the Political

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Political allegiance in the West has an taken on an aspect of religious devotion and fervor.  Perhaps because religion no longer occupies the same space within our society, we have simply replaced that “god shaped hole” in our hearts with the nearest available ideology?  To be sure, there is a messianic tendency at play.  I’ve fallen into it myself, believing if I just converted the right people the world could be saved, or at least stopped from getting much worse.  We have, after all, been told all our lives that we, the people, are the government – or at the very least determine its decisions.  Strange then that the government seems to do very little that we actually want, and a great many things we emphatically do not want.

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Full Circle

Europa

“Whenever you experience mental vacillation, cast your mind back to the Greco-Roman mentality as it was before the second century.”

– Montherlant

“In the first place, paganism is not a ‘return to the past.’  It does not consist of what could be called ‘one past versus another’… It is not a manifestation of a desire to return to some kind of ‘lost paradise’ (this is rather a Judeo-Christian theme), and even less… to a ‘pure origin’.

Contemporary paganism does not consist of erecting altars to Apollo or reviving the worship of Odin.  Instead it implies looking behind religion and, according to a now classic itinerary, seeking for the ‘mental equipment’ that produced it, the inner world it reflects, and how the world it depicts is apprehended.  In short, it consists of viewing the gods as ‘centers of values’… and the beliefs they generate as value systems: gods and beliefs may pass away, but the values remain.

Far from being confused with atheism or agnosticism, it poses a fundamentally religious relationship between man and world – and a spirituality that appears to us much more intense, much more serious, and stronger than what Judeo-Christianity claims for itself.  Far from desacralizing the world, it sacralizes it in the literal sense of the word; it regards the world as sacred – and this is precisely, as we shall see, the core of paganism.”

– Alain de Benoist

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Contra Hume

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David Hume, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, presents a refutation of the argument from design, sometimes called the teleological argument.  This argument suggests that a transcendent creator exists based on perceived evidence of deliberate design in the world.  It is perhaps better known today as the “watchmaker argument”, the idea that if one comes across a watch on the beach, with its intricate and obviously purposeful construction, it argues that somewhere there must exist a watchmaker: a being or beings capable of applying intentionality to blind extended matter.   Hume’s refutation of this argument is upheld as definitive, and a principle herald of the modern view of nature, as the desacralized and random interactions of blind and non-perceiving substances.  Does, however, this argument hold up under scrutiny?

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A Stoic Mnemonic in Hexameter

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All beings chase their own good
Will rising from judgements,
Of all things in the world,
Our success or failures.

Happiness is our choice,
Virtue ever close to hand.
Mind is always up to us,
And with it our emotions.

To live in harmony
With all sacred nature,
Means first and most of all
Being joyous in your self.

For excellence in action,
Regardless of outcome,
And steadiness of soul,
Lie always in our power.

Selections from “The Discourses, Handbook, Fragments” of Epictetus

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trans. Christopher Gill and Robin Hard

All things obey and serve the universe, both earth and sea, and the sun and the other stars, and the plants and animals of the earth. Our body likewise obeys it, both in sickness and health (when the universe wills) and when young and old, and as it passes through all other changes. It is therefore reasonable also that what depends on ourselves, that is to say, our judgement, should not be the only thing to strive against it. For the universe is powerful, and superior to ourselves, and has taken better counsel on our behalf than we can, by embracing us too in its governance in conjunction with the whole. Moreover, to act against it is to align ourselves with unreason, and achieving nothing but futile harassment, embroils us in pains and sorrows. (Fragments, 3)

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Selections from “The Emperor’s Handbook”

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by Marcus Aurelius,
trans. Scott and David Hicks

Never forget that the universe is a single living organism possessed of one substance and one soul, holding all things suspended in a single consciousness and creating all things with a single purpose that they might work together spinning and weaving and knotting whatever comes to pass. (4, 40)

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Thinking Aristocracy: Phase 1

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What is aristocracy? How can a modern person defend aristocracy as a viable system of government, let alone pretend that an aristocratic regime could be fair and just to all under its control? Do we not all know that, as Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”?

To begin with it is essential that we frame the question adequately. This can be difficult to do, as every modern Western regime has presented itself as “a Democracy”, even the most autocratic and totalitarian; and we have been raised and educated by the state to regard democracy as the only possible just system of government – regardless of outcomes.

The following four short texts, each around 100 pages and three of the four available via Kindle, move from an examination of the origin of the democratic ideal, to the nature of politics itself, to the moral hazards inherent in democracy, and finally to the metaphysical underpinnings of the modern world.

All of this is just scratching the surface. This list is meant as a starting point, not as a full study course. Depending on what kind of feedback I get – if any, I will be happy to recommend more to interested parties.

The Problem of Democracy

by Alain De Benoist
http://www.amazon.com/Problem-Democracy-Alain-Benoist-ebook/dp/B007TXXOYU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420396462&sr=8-1&keywords=the+problem+of+democracy

The Concept of the Political

by Carl Schmitt
http://www.amazon.com/Concept-Political-Expanded-Carl-Schmitt/dp/0226738922/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420397285&sr=1-1&keywords=carl+schmitt

From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy

by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
http://www.amazon.com/Aristocracy-Monarchy-Democracy-Moral-Economic-ebook/dp/B00PV4KLFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420396476&sr=8-1&keywords=Hans+Hermann+Hoppe

The Crisis of the Modern World

by Rene Guenon
http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Modern-World-Rene-Guenon/dp/8186569111/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420396961&sr=8-1&keywords=Crisis+of+the+Modern+world