Rejoinder to Goldberg/National Review

I normally despise anything National Review writes, but every now and then they can be very helpful even if very wrong.  In “Denationalizing Politics” Jonah Goldberg notes,

Donald Trump almost never uses the language of traditional American conservatism, with its emphasis on classically liberal notions of limited government, constitutionalism, individualism, and free trade.

Well, yes. Though given National Review’s support for neocon wars, one wonders how committed to constitutionalism they are.

Still, these visions leave millions of traditional conservatives and committed libertarians without a natural home in either major political party

Welcome to my world for the past two decades. Not fun, is it?  

No one simply lives in the United States of America. We live in Peoria, Harlem, and Seattle. The virtues built close to home, Levin argues, are those that make us good citizens and ultimately draw us together.

This is almost true.  I like the “go local” part of it.  The problem is that the United States as a singular entity was never supposed to exist.  We are supposed to be a collection of federal republics.

What would be so terrible about letting diverse communities decide how they want to live and spend their tax dollars?

Didn’t you guys call for the mass suicide of white communities?

As a whole much of Goldberg’s post sounds like something I would write.  The problem is the neocon agenda.  How can we empower local communities (“not cede power to Washington”) when the federal government expanded under his hero George W. Bush?

But isn’t “nationalism” dangerous?  Depends on what you mean by that term.  I think “nationalism” as used today is an empty term that serves only to link the enemy with Hitler. Of course, those who studied philosophical romanticism and the development of cultural cohesion know that no proponent uses the term like that.  

So what is nationalism?  Goldberg doesn’t actually define it but I think he means something like state centralization of power at the expense of local and international communities.  In doing so he makes a classic error in defining the state in modern, post-Enlightenment terms as some sort of bureaucratic apparatus. Goldberg sees the state as synonymous with the nation. Earlier Romantics (and the middle ages) did not use such a definition.  “Nation” for them was the cohesion of a number of unifying factors: culture, religion, language. Oh yeah, see Augustine’s City of God 19.24-26, “common bonds of love.”  State as a modern bureaucratic invention did not happen until much later.

Thus, we can define nationalism–no doubt as Herder defined it–as promoting the cultural cohesion of different groups who are defined and bound together by their shared objects of love.  Far from being “xenophobic” or “wacist,” this is the most loving and culturally enriching thing one can do.

Tell me what is better:  Ethiopian Orthodox art or some watered down white-boy band pop music?  Tell me what is better: the mosque at Timbuktu or Bauhaus architecture?  Tell me what is better: the Tao te Ching or 50 Shades of Grey?

I wonder if the loss of a culture is the reason for much of the mental illness in America today.

But moving on:  without nationalism and a strong identity, we are simply Lockean atoms bouncing in the Void.  Uprooted communities who live in fear and angst will not be able to stop the Internal Bankster Regime.

 

Notes on Matt Johnson’s take on Herder

This is a highlight of Matthew Raphael Johnson’s “Some Thoughts on Johann Herder and Modernism” (originally available at www.rusjournal.com/herder.html; accessed 19 February 2009.  That website is now defunct and Johnson is slowly moving his material to the new and highly-recommended www.rusjournal.org).

These posts will try to show why the GOP utterly failed to account for the rise of  Trump and ultimately on why neoconservatism/neoliberalism not only is politically shallow, but probably mentally alienated.

  1. Herder’s Critique of the Enlightenment: the study of man is different from the study of empirical science.
    1. Peoples are distorted if they are abstracted from their whole.
  2. The idea of social contract is a false bill of goods.
    1. For such a contract to exist the civilizational apparatus would have to already be in place.
    2. This is why attempts to spread “democracy” universally fail.
  3. We are born into community and cannot exist apart from it.  Thus, the idea of autonomous man is false.
  4. Epistemological premise of Herder: the conceptualization of data must always use poetry and memory as valid modes of knowing.
    1. Epistemology is intensely social.
    2. If we divorce it from the social life in which we find it–and the historical consciousness–then we divorce knowledge from reality.
    3. We cannot remove “romance” from reason.
    4. The spirit of loyalty and tradition is what maintains loyalty, not mathematical and economic equations.  (This is why Donald Trump won the nomination.)  
      1. These are relations of family, church, village.
      2. These relations are immediate because it is these relations that make conceptual mediation (i.e., reason) possible.
  5. Aesthetics: to aestheticize nature is to imprint the general will upon it and place it within the cultural vortex.
    1. Language, tradition, memory must all form a unified whole.
    2. Failure to do this results in alienation.
  6. Organic is not pantheistic
    1. What does “organic” mean?  
    2. Simply that the whole is manifest in the part.
  7. The nation is not the State.
    1. Custom, tradition, and nationality are not things one “consents” to.
    2. They are the conditions for one to consent to anything.
    3. “Liberal” consent is a fraud.  No one consents to be economically ruled by George Soros.

Unholy Terror

Schindler’s argument is simple: If Western intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s created the modern mujahidin, Western intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s globalized it (Schindler, 316). While it is logically impossible to be a consistent Muslim and a consistent secularist (The Koran, Surah 9:5), post-Communist Bosnia was something close to it.[1] The Western Anglo-American elite wanted to believe that an Islamic Bosnia would be a beacon of multi-cultural European values: democracy, women’s rights, and tolerance. While the regime under Alija Izetbegovic never achieved anything similar to that, the tragic irony is that if left alone, Bosnia would have remained nominally Islam and relatively secular: something the Western elites wanted.

unholy terror

In the following essay I will advance several theses: 1) The Clinton Administration (hereafter known as the “Clintonistas”) facilitated the rise of al-Qai’da as a global network; 2) The Clintonistas established a radically Islamic state in the heart of Europe; and 3) the tragedy of the Serbo-Croat-Bosnian war demonstrates a fundamental (and ultimately fatal) dialectic within the heart of the Western mind, whether “conservative” or “liberal.”

Other authors have documented the US’s facilitating the mujahidin against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It is becoming clear that such a move proved not only disastrous but also unnecessary (Primakov, Russia and the Arabs), as the Soviet Union had already fallen economically and would soon fall politically. Granted, hindsight is 20-20 and one cannot fault the Carter Administration too much for not knowing what radical Muslims would do with advanced NATO weaponry. Unfortunately, Carter’s mistake was repeated with glee by the Clintonistas, with the ultimate effects seen in the falling of the twin towers.

Schindler gives a brief, but fine overview of recent Balkan history from the 19th century until the post-World War 2 era. He sheds helpful light on an area few Westerners understand. To understand the problems in the Balkans, one must realize that religion and nationality are never far apart, contra recent works (Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers: 1804-1999).[2] In short, Croatia is Roman Catholic and has political affiliations with Germany. Serbia is Eastern Orthodox and looks to Russia for protection. Bosnia and Albania are Muslim and look to the Middle East for culture and religion. This much could be found in any encyclopedia. Schindler points out the obvious elephant in the room: the reason that Bosnia is Muslim is because the Ottoman Empire enslaved the Balkans and implicitly pressured many Slavs to convert.

Schindler notes that during World War 2 Croatia and parts of Bosnia joined sides with the Nazis while the Serbs (divided between the Chetniks and Tito’s Partisans) fought alongside the Allies. While he only notes it briefly, one must point out that Churchill and Co., abandoned the Chetnik monarchists to the Communists, whom the Communists subsequently executed (with Allied complicity).

Alija Itzebegovic’s Goal

Izetbegovic pulled one of the more incredible stunts in modern political history. He was able to tell Western media outlets and governments that he stood for democracy and pluralism while simultaneously ethnically-cleansing Christians, Jews, and secular Muslims from Bosnia. This makes one wonder whether the West was hypocritical or simply stupid (obviously, the answer is “both”). The result is that Western media outlets would report Serb atrocities but deliberately look the other way at Bosniak atrocities.

The U.S.-Iranian Connection

For reasons that defy common sense, the U.S. government facilitated not only the arrival of jihadist mujahidin into Bosnia, but also Iranian arms, intel networks, and soldiers into Bosnia. While other European forces had no love for the Serbs, the French and Germans were increasingly worried about the U.S. allowing armed Iranians into the heart of Europe. Indeed, as many Europeans noted, the numerous C-130s landing in Bosnia (violating the UN arms embargo) could only have been US planes or US-allowed planes.

The Srebenica “Massacre”

The one area of the war that always gets mentioned is the final Serb assault on the town of Srebenica, with the alleged slaughter of 7,000 Muslim men and boys. Several things must be noted: 1) it is acknowledged that 7,000 men of the Bosnian Muslim infantry were executed in military fashion; 2) Muslims recruit boys to fight for them;[3] 3) the town was not surrounded by the Serbs, thus allowing noncombatants to leave the city; 4) given that the city was controlled by Muslims gang leaders, many Muslims actually deserted to the Serb camp—this fact alone demonstrates how untenable the Hague narrative is: if the Serbs simply wanted to ethnically-cleanse the entire town, they would have done a better job of surrounding it and killing those leaving the city; 5) Alija Izetbegovic knew that he could never defeat the Serbian army alone and had to find a way to enlist outside help. The Clintonistas knew they couldn’t actually start attacking the Serbs without provocation. A deal was made: Izetbegovic would abandon his own people to be slaughtered, provoking international outcry and response.

The Dialectic Breaks Down Neo-Liberalism

Part of my thesis is that the Bosnian war of 1993-1995 (and the Kosovar War of 1999) destroys the way the Beltway Regime (along with the media puppets) views the world. The Clintonistas wanted to see a multi-cultural, tolerant but largely Islamic center in the heart of Europe. The problem is that Izetbegovic acted just like a good, Koranic Muslim. He promised tolerance to the West and marginalized those inside his country who did not share his Islamic vision. Therefore, the neo-liberals are presented with a dilemma: on one hand there is dynamic of multi-cultural, yet fully Koranic Islam (which has been demonstrated to collapse simply into radical Islam) and nationalism on the other hand (e.g., by nationalism I mean local and ethnically geographic communities deciding their own fates). Yet, both of these options are unacceptable for the neo-liberals. The only way the neo-liberal paradigm can function is by forcibly asserting its own narrative. Therefore, the neo-liberal paradigm is reduced to violence.

The Dialectic Breaks Down Neo-Conservatism

The contrasts are more stark in this case. Neocons do not want to identify with neo-liberal paradigms, yet I maintain they ultimately do. Neo-conservatives hate Islam (or only when Islam threatens Israel), thus it seems counter-intuitive that neo-conservatives would back radically Islamic leaders like Hashim Thaci and Alija Izetbegovic, men whose regimes openly state their enemies are Jews and Christians, and who openly state they will kill Jews and Christians. But the problem is deeper for neocons: they cannot oppose Islam in this case because identifying with the Serbs would identify them with a non-communist, yet fully nationalist Russia (Huntingdon, Clash of Civilizations).

Therefore, the neo-conservative paradigm is forced to choose between radical Islam on one hand and a Serbo-Russian identification on the other hand. Both choices are anathema to the neo-conservatives, but given that foreign interventionism is in the essence of the neo-conservative paradigm, a choice has to be made. But any choice that is made will contradict (and ultimately deconstruct) one of the (stated) tenets of neo-conservatism (anti-Islamic, anti-Russian). Therefore, the neo-conservative must choose between the deconstruction of his paradigm or opt out for the violence option. Of course, it goes without saying that neo-conservatism is reduced to violence. The only way the neo-conservative can escape the dialectic is to acknowledge another premise: as evil as radical Islam is, Russia is worse. The American involvement in the Balkans, therefore, must be seen as a miniature war against Russia (Norris, Collision Course: Nato, Russia, and Kosovo).[4]

Final Thoughts on the Book

Schindler’s book deserves widest possible dissemination. He openly exposes the Clintonistas as criminals who are in cohorts with the most odious criminals in the world. There are a few lapses in Schindler’s reading, though. He mentions that Slobodan Milosevic wanted to create a “Greater Serbia.” Perhaps Milosevic stated as much, but even as Schindler’s own reading demonstrates, Milosevic did a poor job of creating a “Greater Serbia.” Indeed, if such were his goal would he not have aided Karadvic and Mladic more? It’s irrelevant that the two leaders were at odds with Belgrade. Both sides would have certainly realized that a combined effort would have easily and quickly won the war—yet this effort never came.

Schindler’s proposal for defeating radical Islam is commendable, but ultimately flawed. It is simply a continuation of the “War on Terror.” To be fair to Schindler, it’s different from the neo-con/neo-lib definition of the War on Terror. Schindler identifies the enemy as a consistently Koranic Islam. However, Schindler’s proposal for “more intel, more arms” against the Muslims will not work. Until the West regains its Christian moral vision, and decides to not cast another vote of “no-confidence” in itself, arms will never defeat Islam.

Practically, this means recognizing that Europe’s cultural and moral roots can never be divorced from the Christian vision (Trifkovic, Defeating Jihad). Europe is faced with two practical options: Nihilism or the Nazarene. Corollaries to this vision: recognize Russia and Serbia as fighting the same enemy (and obviously, to stop funding jihadists in the Balkans, Cyprus, and Chechnya), put a moratorium on immigration from the Middle East, and place the leaders of the Hague on trial for treason against the European and American people.

Sadly, Americans paid the price for the Clinton error, also. By assistinig al-Qai’da in Bosnia, the Clintonistas provided bin-Laden with a competent network from which he would later launch his strikes against the United States.

Works Cited

F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press, 2009.

Demons, The Koran. Jihadist Press.

Glenny, Misha. The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers: 1804-1999. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

Huntingdon, Samuel. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster Papebacks, 1996.

Norris, John. Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo. Westport, CT. Praeger Publishers, 2005

Primakov, Yevgeny. Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East From the Cold War to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Schindler, John. Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qai’da, and the Rise of Global Jihad. St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007.

Trifkovic, Serge. Defeating Jihad: How the War on Terror May be Won in Spite of Ourselves. Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2006

Some thoughts on nations

In short, my views go like this (I am essentially modifying Augustine’s discussion in Bk 19 of City of God).
*Since I am an ontological realist, I believe that the nations in the mind of God (prior to their being revealed in Genesis 10/Acts 17) are real entities. They are not simply “names” or “linguistic constructions.” TO argue such is nominalism, and therefore wrong.
These entities (call them countries, nations, nation-states, I don’t care. The literature on this is more or less terrible) *MUST* be united by an agreement to share the common objects of love. Full stop. This.Is.Augustine.
However, while these are real entities in the mind of God, they are not absolute. They are contingent upon the vicissitudes of history (since history is in time and time is in flux, this is not surprising). So if some nations cease or others marry/breed in our out of these nations, that’s life.