Wednesday, 23 May 2018

'The nation state is the political masterpiece'

What matters in politics, more even than freedom or tradition, is the nation. It's a truism and yet I bet in our day many people, who are not Marxists, do not agree. 

'The nation state is the political masterpiece' as Raymond Aron said - but making central and eastern Europe into nation states was Procrustean and painful.  The process by which Eastern Europe became the collection of nation states that we know today was in many ways regrettable (the Habsburg Empire was a European Union that worked, at least until the Hungarians were taken into partnership) but also hard to avoid because, as travel became easy and people were taught to read, a common language and sense of national community became necessary. 

However, turning Eastern Europe into nation states, painful though it was, was less cruel than the formation of the English, French and Spanish nations long before. Nations are not usually formed without spilling much blood.

Replacing ethnic states in Western Europe with ethnic mosaics happened by accident and was completely unnecessary.  It may lead to many wars in the future. 

It could be argued that a low level insurgency has already begun.

People sometimes say that England has always accepted many immigrants but this is very misleading. Normans were never more than 5% of the English population and the Norman conquest was part of our nation being formed. It took centuries, but our Norman conquerors eventually intermarried with us and became English, unlike in Ireland where the Normans remain separate from the Irish to this day.

Jews and Huguenots were no more than 1% each. 

You have to go back to the Vikings, who raped, plundered and conquered us in the Dark Ages, to see immigration on as big a scale as we have now in England. 

The same sudden, vast and irrevocable change is taking place throughout Western Europe. Each country is very suddenly being transformed, without the wish or approval of her inhabitants.

The Europe we inherited from our fathers to hand on is changing existentially. We are responsible for this change.

We hear a lot now about the dichotomy between 'somewhere people' and 'anywhere people', meaning people whose outlook is global and those who are grounded in a place and sense of community. In fact, all of us who use the internet are global and far more rootless than we were when international calls were unimaginably expensive, there were just three television channels and people wrote letters.

As for somewhere people, the only two communities that really matter in the modern era, at least outside Facebook, are the family and the nation. 

This is why democracy doesn't really exist at village, town, county or international level.

Social cohesion means living in your own community, with people who understand you. If they are your kith and kin that is more cohesive than if they are not. 

That of course is how Europe is still organised, but it will cease to be so rapidly. 

If a class system or other hierarchical system binds people together so much the better.

Instead social cohesion is used as an argument for less inequality, with the assumed premises that there is something wrong with inequality and that it makes society less cohesive. There is no convincing evidence for either of these ideas, yet bishops repeat them instead of talking about sin and ultimate things.

I hear good, well-meaning, conservative English people saying things like
Patriotism is a good thing in small doses.

It's about indoctrination in liberal values - a lot of the indoctrination takes place because of the understanding we now have of the First World War. That wonderful play and film 'Oh What a Lovely War' has a lot to do with it. 

Study of the Second World War could be expected to make the English, at least, very keen on nation states and national independence, but instead people are taught something very different. The Nazis misused patriotism and are now used to make patriotism and the masculine virtues deeply suspect.

In fact love of country, like love of ones parents, spouse or children, is a good thing in doses as large as possible. Eastern Europeans, who unlike people in the West are not decadent, know this.


  1. Your comparison with the Vikings is not quite right. Vikings were genetically quite similar to the people they were invading. On the other hand tens of thousands of years of genetic divergence seperate the newcomers from today’s British natives. Not even a comparison with the fall of Rome is appropriate because the conquering Germanic tribes shared the same genetic origins as the Latins who founded Roman civilisation, both were Indo-Aryan/Nordic. and so the invaders contained the same genetic “hardware” that permitted Europe’s eventual cultural and technological renewal. A better comparison would be what occured to Nordic Persia or Nordic India, (only much much faster). The Brahmans or Kshatriyas of modern India are lighter and still higher IQ than the Unrouchables but Aryan India is gone forever. Even with the best of intentions of a rigid caste system was insufficient to prevent the degradation and bastardization of genes over the span of thirty five centuries. This is why India can never rival China no matter what its population is. They simply don’t have the genetic raw material.

    What happened to Aryan India and Aryan Persia is now happening to Aryan Europe and America, Australasia. And within little over half a century. You don’t ever come back from that. The last Aryan outpost, Eastern Europe could still survive if it collectively understands what is at stake. England however, is gone forever. This is the stark truth I’m afraid.

  2. I was taught at university that there was absolutely nothing good to be said about the Vikings but the important point is that people are being either obtuse or wishing to hide from the truth when they say, referring to the Danes that we have always been a nation of immigrants. The Danes and Normans were invaders not immigrants, like the English in the fifth century.

  3. I do not buy the idea that Brahmins are superior to untouchables for genetic reasons. Cicero thought the Britons were a race with whom little could be done. Cicero, writing to his friend Atticus, advised him not to buy britons as slaves, “because they cannot be taught to read, and are the ugliest and most stupid race I ever saw.” Caesar said of the Britons, “They are the most ignorant people I have ever conquered. They cannot be taught music.”
    The Britons were of course Celts, ancestors of the Welsh and Cornish. One is reminded of Dr Fagin's view of the Welsh in Decline and Fall.

    1. Weak argument, Paul. We now have solid scientific evidence we have that intelligence is mainly genetic. We are at the point now where a DNA test on a child can give us a good idea of what his IQ will be when he an adult. But because Caesar made some disparaging remarks about ancient Britons, so genes are unimportant? Togo has an average IQ of 70. Hong Kong of 108. Are you saying that the difference is all environmental?

    2. I have no doubt that in individuals intelligence is mainly inherited but I do not know that there are differences in intelligence between ethnic groups. My point is that the Britons were savages at one time. The English then in Germany were barbarians too. Mussolini said, before he adopted racism as a policy to be in step with Hitler, 'Naturally there is no such thing as a pure race, not even a Jewish one.'

    3. But inherited intelligence is the reason so much rubbish spoken these days about why do more Etonians go to Oxford than people on free school dinners is rubbish. I have a friend whose school dinners were paid for and who has a huge chip on his shoulders. He made a lot of money and then lost it - exactly as his father lost the factory he inherited. Lots of things are inherited though who knows what is nature and what nurture?

    4. Sounds like you have a problem with science, Paul. You say have no doubt that most intelligence is genetic but all traits influenced by genetics will differ across populations. So why would all population groups have the same intelligence? Where are the IQ tests that show this? The Mussolini quote is a red herring. The fact that Jews or Germans, or Italians are not pure (not even Hitler claimed Germans were pure) does not stop us from observing that they are generally smarter than Somalis. IQ tests confirm this. Lack of purity doesn't mean that races don't exist and that race doesn't matter. Anyone who thinks race is not important is not a conservative, no matter what he calls himself. Conservatism by definition is non-ideological, so the conservative has no problem with facts of any kind, and is against denying them.

    5. Your point about 'savage' Ancient Britons has been dealth with here:

      "On the surface, tribal Africa did (does) resemble the ancient British Isles.  In both cases life was cheap, superstition rife and barbaric practices endemic.  In both places, Christianity was twisted into strange local cults.  But there are some important distinctions to be made:

      Writing was unknown among native black Africans until/unless introduced to them by outsiders.  All the various British tribes had one form of writing or another – and these forms of writing seem to have developed independently of any contact with the Romans.

      Tribal Africans had no sense of the distant past except when it pertained to enchanted/sacred places or something else of practical use in the present.  In contrast, the various British tribes each had their own legends and histories of which they seem to have been keenly aware.

      In Africa, though war was common, rarely would an individual knowingly sacrifice his own life for a greater cause.  All humans tend to value their own lives, but black Africans tend to value their lives even more than other groups.  This is reflected in their historically low suicide rates even in America.  In contrast, according to Young, it was common for ancient Britons to rush toward their own deaths rather than suffer disgrace or in order to show their faith in God (among early Christians).
      Some groups of early Britons, especially the Picts, suffered great poverty.  Young attributes this, at least partly, to a lack of resources in their lands.  The poverty endured by Africans seems to be not so much due to lack of resources but lack of labor.  When motivated, Africans were capable of building fine houses for themselves.  Generally, however, Africans were not motivated.

      Leftists, in their belief that there is no difference between ancient European savages and modern African ones, also assume that a mere two thousand years is not enough time to accumulate any meaningful genetic differences between populations.  I have already written about this fallacy elsewhere.   We Ashkenazic Jews took only several hundred years to increase our average I.Q.’s to the point where the difference is noticeable.   Polynesians have developed distinctive appearances, on their various islands – and yet, by most accounts, they only embarked on their voyages within the last 3,000 years or so.

      Even though native Britons were “savages” in the year 500 A.D., this does not mean that their evolutionary advancement only commenced after that.  It takes time to built an advanced civilization.  Until then, and as long as primitive conditions exist, the masses will not meet their true genetic potential.  Such was probably the case in 500 A.D. – and such is certainly the case in many parts of the world today.  Only when we reach near optimum environmental conditions, such as in America today, do genetic differences in I.Q. become clear for all to see.  In the modern Occident we now have the descendants of savages from all over the world.  This is a grand experiment and the results have been coming in for several decades.  We only need to look at SAT scores, I.Q. tests and every other standardized test; they all tell the same story."

  4. Whilst, historically, it has been important to be rooted, in order to reach out to the world with conviction. That sense of oikophilia does not have to flow from the nation-state. However, to hold sufficient emotional tug to fight for, it most certainly is rooted in a physical place. As with most things, the larger the unit of attachment the looser that attachment becomes. This is easily forgotten in the rush to construct the global village of the mind. However, for the many being left behind in the rubble of hollowed out communities, where jobs are outsourced and shops lost e-commerce the global village has little to offer. I suggest this was a big push behind the votes for Trump, Brexit, LePenn and AfD.

    1. I think the idea of local communities is a chimera. It was true in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century countryside in Europe. It is true in African villages now, but printing, literacy, the train and television meant long ago that the nation was the only community that counted in advanced countries. This is why, when national political parties started contesting local elections, the local elections were fought on national issues.

      So it is certainly not true that the larger the unit of attachment is the looser the sense of attachment is. Only someone who did not understand the emotional importance of nations could imagine that this was so. Most people in every country do feel the emotional importance of the nation but in Western Europe they are ruled by people many of whom do not.

    2. People feel attachment to tribe, which is a mixture of people and place that is expressed through behaviour's that reflect and confirm those values.It certainly can be the nation, but my point is that the more clearly (often implicitly) such values and connections are shared the more powerful they are. Intrinsic motivation flows not just from belief, but also experience, especially shared experience. As difference of core values widens the bonds loosen. This, I think, is your point about immigration, but it is equally true wherever scale grows. The true test of political leadership is both remind people of their unity and provide policies and actions that will nourish them. Right now, as Goodhart notes well, the elites values have become disconnected from the majority of people. Hence the pushback... It is really a debate about what the nation means, or the extent to which it matters, in each specific case

    3. I suppose I cannot get cross with you for smuggling in values into the idea of the tribe or then nation. In fact values have nothing to do with either. Values are used by people who want there to be something other than ethnicity, shared history and culture that unites a people. An Englishman can be a fascist, a communist or a child murderer and still be just as English as you or me. A Norwegian can have exactly the same values as the English putatively possess and still be a foreigner.

      The best way to keep a nation united is to reduce immigration to modest proportions. If you insist on ascribing values to England the principle values that have formed us are the values of the Christian religion, based on Catholicism but modified by the Protestant Reformation and then the Enlightenment, an over rated phenomenon which itself flows from Christianity.

      I think this is apposite.

      Enoch Powell: ‘No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.’
      Mrs. Thatcher (it was just before the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands): ‘Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.’
      Enoch Powell: ‘No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.’

      I prefer Burke's definition of the nation to the guff about values.

      'A nation is not an idea only of local extent, and individual momentary aggregation: but it is an idea of continuity which extends in time as well as in numbers and in space. And this is a choice not of one day, or one set of people, not a tumultary and giddy choirs; it is a deliberate election of the ages and of generations; it is a constitution made by what is ten thousand times better than choice, it is made by the peculiar circumstances, occasions, tempers, dispositions and moral and special habitudes of the people, which disclose themselves only in a long space of time....'

    4. Well, if you want to get philosophical, the reason that local place matters is that roots that timelessness in networks of property obligations, that give immediacy to the legacy. This is why they are enshrined, alongside life and liberty, in the British (or perhaps at least the English) constitution. It is Locke's framing of property as natural that brings values into the foreground of nationhood. It is simply unavoidable for nations founded upon British beginnings.

    5. I saw this just now on someone's wall on Facebook.

      James Luellen State: A people permanently occupying a territory, possessing a Unity of culture through Common Law and their customs & habits, and exercising their collective sovereignty over all people & things within that territory through the medium of a government. - paraphrased from Black's Law Dictionary, 4th ed (It's not right in front of me)

      This is not a description of multiculturalism. Besides, to be multicultural is to have no culture, because you share no culture with others. This is not to say that a culture can or does not exist as a culmination or synthesis of many cultures, but in the end it is a single culture that a people share.

      Without Unity of culture in customs & habits, a people are divided and cannot exercise their collective sovereignty over or through their government. It is at this point that the government then becomes the state. This is the goal of #Marxism: divide de jure bodies politic and conquer them, then unite theses disprit people in a de facto legal form (the 14th Amendment US citizen) and rule them!

      It's been done to you in America, and its being done to the states of Europe now. The Oligarchs know exactly what they are doing, and they have all the money and people's consent to do it.