In light of all the comments and railing against TradYouth and Traditionalists in general by the pseudo-Orthodox Progressive Fifth Column, who is very vocal, it is a refreshing welcome to post this article by a non-partisan Traditional Orthodox man who has no dog in this fight and is unaffiliated with TradYouth in any fashion, yet understands our Faith quite beautifully through the eyes of the Ancients. Enjoy!
June 1, 2014
What is identity? And how does the answer to this question determine our attitude towards the twin evils of racism and cultural Marxism (Liberalism)?
First off, we should reject any proposed notion of identity that reduces human beings to any biological or physiological set of distinctive features. A person is more than his or her biology–or class, or personality, or intellect for that matter.
In strict theological terms, a person, through his “nous” (the seat or center of the human soul, located near or around the region of the heart) is one who is created capable of achieving direct communion with God through prayer (per the mystical tradition of Eastern Orthodox hesychasm–the spiritual tradition of this author), and through Eucharistic unity (communion in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ).
In anthropological terms, a human person is a communal being, not an object in a vacuum. He therefore requires community. He craves fellowship with other human beings. He is created to love, and to be loved in return. He has a will, and freely exercises his capacity for self-determination (for good or ill). He possesses reason and moral judgment. He perceives and appraises the aesthetically pleasing, and is armed with the capacity and potential for building cultures and civilizations.
Any ideology which limits identity to something biological alone (genetics, skin tone, gender), or to any human faculty or group of faculties (the will, the emotions, the intellect) consigns other human beings to the status of sub- or even non-humanity. And this is the irony of racism, for it conveniently exempts one’s own race (or ethnicity) from this crude and bare-bones definition of identity, while happily and eagerly applying it to others.
Racism is hypocritically built on hatred for the other more than it is built on love for one’s own. And in fact, if each human being, created in the very image of God, possesses his own unique expression of that image, then anyone who hates the image (as instantiated in a person of another race), hates himself. To truly love oneself (and one’s own people), one must honor “the other” selflessly, sacrificially, and without compunction.
It should be noted as well that no people promoting the dominance and spread of their own unique biological or racial distinctives to the detriment of another people is capable of contributing positively to the edifice of culture. Even if it is conceded there are areas in which one race may surpass another (be it in physical strength or intellect), the notion that a race may be intrinsically superior to another in the ontological sense of that word completely misses the (distinctly non-racial) meaning and reality of personhood. By eviscerating others of their transcendent and spiritual character, the racist inadvertently demotes his own people as well, reducing them to an animal nature by conflating the spiritual with the natural or created (e.g., a human faculty such as intellect). Peoples and nations seeking to build identity in opposition to other identities build their identity on violence rather than on beauty and transcendent truths–the perennial qualities of strong, stable, and long-lasting civilizations.
Furthermore, racism seems to be predicated on the unspoken (if not spoken) assumption that one’s race or ethnicity has remained–will always remain–more or less “pure” over long ages, unaffected by the vicissitudes of nature, such as: displacement and wars, migration patterns, environmental effects on genetics, and assimilation to other cultures (cultural hybridization), resulting in the creation of new (or modified) cultural identities. This “scientific” notion of identity is wholly inadequate. It is a crude, materialistic (reductionist), and anti-spiritual conception of the human being. It is a truncated, utterly adulterated view of identity relative to that which prevailed in the pre-modern world.
The flip-side of overt racism is much more prevalent in the western hemisphere, not to mention far more subtle and insidious. Its design is the same: the eradication of races, cultures, and distinctive civilizations in the name of “multiculturalism” (as discovered in the broader globalist program).
Cultural Marxism (or Liberalism) is a phenomenon that spans the whole of western secular culture. Liberalism here does not denote a political party or organization; rather it is a pervasive and ubiquitous force–an assumed or unconscious mindset–that has burrowed itself deeply into the psyche of western man largely due to the influence of popular culture, entertainment, the secular education system, the mainstream media, and lavishly funded NGOs (non-government organizations). Whereas racists have learned to hate “the other”, the cultural Marxist contends that real differences either do not exist, or are much too irrelevant to worry about. Humanity is a homogenous blob of interlocking opposites and compatible contradictions.To elaborate, the cultural Marxist/Globalist paradigm is rooted in a radically individualistic, rootless cosmopolitanism driven by the primary urge to prosper economically (materialism/hedonism). The human being is not much more than a potential producer and/or consumer for the economy–a tool to fuel fiscal growth. (He might even watch a football game, see a movie, or go to church over the weekend.) Communities, races, religions, ethno-cultures, and sexual identity (fixed gender) are meaningless baggage to be discarded and eternally forgotten. These are all secondary to building the new Babel of Biblical lore, the (economic) Tower reaching to heaven.
If a religion is foreseen in this new society it will only unite people to the extent that it has already stripped them of their humanity and traditional identities, subjecting them to the status of full-time producers and wage slaves. Religion will simply serve to provide symbolic enforcement of the new norms. It will truly be reduced to an opiate–an epithet once applied to traditional religions by Karl Marx himself. Instead of recognizing that what one does must conform to what he is, the Liberal argues that one can be anything he wants–anything other than what he actually is–by sheer fiat. Sexual preferences need have nothing to do with one’s gender, for example. A person is what he does (argues the cultural Marxist). A man is a “homosexual” who has relations with other men. That he is a man somehow has no ontological value or metaphysical meaning whatsoever.
Cultural Marxism is, quite literally, an illusion. It rejects the ontological importance of fixed realities in order to create a fantasy world divorced from nature. Cultural Marxists disavow these obvious fixtures of reality in order to build an alternate reality in their own minds. This liberal philosophy embodies the ultimate rejection of reality itself. Only the most hopeless dualist would be capable of pretending that race, ethnicity, gender, and religious differences don’t really exist, or that they do not have ultimate metaphysical meaning or predictable implications. So we now begin to see the unthinkable, like the teenage girl who recently labeled herself a “trans-ethnic” woman, denying her own identity as Japanese. Thus the liberal tries to destroy natural identity by denying its existence. Nature is an illusion, a trick of the mind (like Liberalism!).
As an aside, one must wonder (on Liberalism) what it is to be a racist after all. When the liberal cites “racism”, is he not assuming the existence of that which he denies to be real? Given liberal assumptions, it is logically impossible to condemn the sin of racism! Identity is thus very real, but it is not found in the merely subjective or ethereal realm of “spirit”, “emotion”, or what have you–but in the visible world. Individual identities cannot be divorced from the collective realities of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or gender. If we extended the liberal logic to the human being, even his body (all matter) would be an illusion! This is a delusional philosophy of pure despair, for it not only destroys natural differences between cultural races, but between the eternal and created aspects of human beings. On such grounds, even murder and suicide is permissible. (“The flesh isn’t real after all!”) What racism and cultural Marxism jointly offer is a false dialectical framework which engages in the total de-construction of reality, even if their starting points are different. Racism limits the person to a biological mass by ignoring the higher spiritual dimension inherent to him; Liberal Marxism (oppositely) rejects nature as illusory so as to supplant and replace it with an alternate and illusory “reality”. But the human is not “merely” one or the other (spirit or matter), he is both! And both the racist and cultural Marxist ultimately reduce the human to nothing–consigns him to the bin of non-reality–by limiting his identity to one thing
What we have seen is that it is not possible on the grounds of racism or Liberalism to build a truly multi-cultural world order–an order in which diversity among races and cultures is genuinely honored and celebrated. “Multiculturalism” (on Liberal/Marxist grounds) is a candy-coated epithet for violence and coercion: the destruction of cultures by means of conformity to a homogenous and ultimately borderless/globalist society of mindless producers and consumers on the model of hedonism, humanism, commercialism, and imperialism.
We here emphasize the importance of race only to the extent that we emphasize more transcendent realities in lieu of race. Culture is a deeper, richer, broader concept from race, but cultures naturally arise and flourish within races and ethnic communities. In turn, a common religious tradition provides the cohesion necessary for cultures to grow alongside each other. A common spiritual identity enabled traditional civilizations to accommodate many cultures/nations/ethnicities under one (political) umbrella. (The “nation-state” is a modern, 19th c. golem that supplanted the breakup of the traditional empire by “enlightenment” anarchists. In the classical and pre-modern worlds, neither ethnicity nor race was conceived to be co-extensive or identical with the state apparatus, and the emperor or king symbolically represented the spiritual unity of the people in the midst of their rich diversity. Traditional societies were viewed as comparable to living organisms with a paternal head and a body cohesively held together–not like the atomized, fractured, and “poly”-centered societies of the modern western world with their overarching “unity” rooted in economy: work, money, and pleasure.)
Thus, I have come to appreciate the wisdom of my own religious tradition concerning matters of race and culture. Its balancing act, far from betraying an ambiguous or equivocal point of view, actually succeeds in navigating between the Scylla and Charybdis of racism and western-liberal Marxist thought. On the one hand, it has never encouraged a program–an agenda–of racial miscegenation comparable to liberal Marxism, realizing that cultures are the expression of faith and spiritual devotion, while races and ethnicities are the vehicles and carriers of culture, providing the stability and cohesion needed to not only create, but preserve and pass on culture. Spirituality and high culture (via the organic, ethno-traditional tribe) inoculates against the degrading influence of liberal Marxism with its deep-seated enmity of nature, morality, spirituality, and authentic human diversity
On the other hand, my tradition does not prohibit inter-racial or inter-ethnic marriage in the absolute sense, recognizing that uncompromising refusal reduces people to biological entities, constituting racism. The Sacrament of Marriage preserves its integrity in the context of inter-racial and inter-ethnic conjugal relations. The sacrament, in other words, is not rendered void or illegitimate. The only type of marriage that is outright forbidden is that which occurs outside the faith (i.e., to one who is not a baptized member of the faith-community).Racial miscegenation has never been a normative phenomenon, wherever one may look in the world. It has always been the proverbial exception proving the rule in human experience. In fact, several studies indicate that those with more similar genetics naturally attract. This results, of course in people typically marrying within their own race or ethnic tribe. One need not teach or actively promote this, it is inbuilt. Miscegenation may occur more often in the western world, but it remains on the fringes. This is why African-Americans, Asians, Arabs, Semites, White Europeans, South Americans, etc. tend to gravitate towards one another, establishing common enclaves, ghettoes, and areas within cities and neighborhoods throughout the western hemisphere.
In condemning or forbidding “miscegenation”, one may find himself close to espousing racism. There is no point in condemning what has been unnatural for most people throughout all of history. This is a losing tactic. If something should be condemned (and it should), it is cultural Marxism as such. This ideology is not repugnant for its recognition of inter-racial/ethnic marriages (traditional religions have always done this), but for its (1) underlying metaphysical belief that nature is an ever-shifting, non-fixed thing (thus undermining culture), and (2) for its aggressive tactical agenda of re-education, designed to force society into a mold that it would not have otherwise considered apart from coercive manipulation.
Liberals are unhappy being different. They are not content to simply exist or be accepted. Liberalism must force itself upon the many, alchemically transforming society via mind manipulation and propaganda techniques over generations. Further, it will labor tirelessly to induce guilty consciences by assigning unfair names and labels (like “hater” or “bigot”) to those who do not support or cooperate with the agenda. Liberalism excels in the art of demonization. It is skilled at tearing down. It thrives on violence. Hate is precisely nurtured in Liberalism. It is, in a word, intolerant. The fact that Liberalism must crusade to actively teach new generations of children and young adults that it is not only permissible but possibly even preferable to become something that he isn’t–something other than that which nature hath assigned him–is nothing short of suicide, a psychotic descent into self-hatred. The notion that we can be what we are obviously not is a child’s fairy tale, a puerile fetish no less fantastical than Peter Pan’s Never-Never Land. Seeking to de-construct metaphysics, liberals end up de-constructing themselves. When they are finished, there is nothing left to redeem or salvage.
We have established, then, that one’s identity is rooted in spirit and in nature, jointly. Man is a composite and complex entity. He is a beautiful tapestry or mosaic joined together by a host of diverse factors coming together to form a single identity. His identity is not just self-referential, but reaches out to embrace other people. It is communal/cultural. This is true in general, but it is also true in a very particular way: man was intended to find community among those whose values and way of life are similar to his own. He was designed to be the creator and bearer of culture and civilization. He was designed to seek and find his Creator. Producing and consuming are only a means to the more important task of knowing God and knowing oneself through Him. That is the task of life, a journey that continues until our death.
Finally, we have also noted the desperate militancy of western-liberal Marxists and their inability to bring peace or real diversity to humans, being rooted in a metaphysics of chaos and non-being. The Liberal Marxist, by denying nature and stripping human beings of their God-given identities, endorses a worldview established on narcissism, blending cultures into a melting pot of self-serving and self-satisfying individual personalities. Liberal Marxism is not satisfied with the piecemeal destruction of select races by racists, it shoots for nothing less than the destruction of humanity en toto. The logical outcome of this wholesale program of destruction is: Trans-humanism. But that is a topic for another article.