Tradition, Excellence, and Modernity


article-1342152-0C9791B2000005DC-396_634x408Public education, or home school?  Which one is more important, and which one does a better job of educating children?  Either can be as successful as the other, and both can be abysmal failures if given the chance.  Even if computers could “save to brain” and get rid of incompetent teachers, it would be meaningless if there was no learning and refinement taking place.

Schools of any variety can teach children any number of facts and figures, but precious few actually educate a child.  I have slightly more faith in home-schooling concerning this area, but I’m still not entirely convinced that home-schooling does any better job at educating children about how to be successful, as opposed to being equally well educated as the great masses of other youth.  The other reason that I have an equal amount of doubt in home-school operations is that they are only as effective as the parents who administer the instruction.

Public education can fix ten years of failures in a single year if it stops teaching from a position of Modernity.  One of the better definitions of Modernity comes from the Viennese Jewish philosopher Otto Weininger (1880 – 1903).

“… the age in which the arts are only a rag for wiping its moods, and which attributes the artistic urge to animal games [Weininger is a opponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution, like Evola and Spengler]; the age of the most gullible anarchism; the age without a sense for the state and justice; the age of sexual ethics, the age of the most shallow of all historical methods (historical materialism); the age of capitalism and Marxism; the age in which history, life, and science are reduced to economics and technology.”

The worldview of Modernity is degenerate, subversive, and ultimately destructive against the creation of a High Culture and the inner journey of religious enlightenment.  In spite of the deleterious effects of Enlightenment theory, and its contrary position to Traditionalism, there is a common vein of thought which runs through both.  The ideas of excellence, mastery, and professionalism are essential to both the development of High Culture, and religious enlightenment.

Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711 – 1776) was an Enlightenment theorist who gives us a starting point for this example.

“But though there be naturally a wide difference in point of delicacy between one person and another, nothing tends further to encrease [sic] and improve this talent, than practice in a particular art, and then frequent survey or contemplation of a particular species of beauty.  When objects of any kind are first presented to the eye or imagination, the sentiment, which attends them, is obscure and confused; and the mind is, in great measure, incapable of pronouncing concerning their merits or defects.  The taste cannot perceive the several excellencies of performance; much less the particular character of each excellency, and ascertain its quality and degree.”

What this means is that it is not enough to know something or to be well learned on a given topic.  Any boob can parrot the popular wisdom of the day, or compile a tome of authoritative statements of high veracity, but there is no excellence or taste in a field of study until a person has taken it up as a skill, trade, or practice.  No, we cannot possibly have authority in matters of taste until we have established ourselves as an authority or an artisan of the subject matter.

Florentine Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) would agree, but his application of this principle is a bit different.  Machiavelli took the sage advice of an earlier Florentine philosopher, Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321), saying that a person has learned nothing until he has written it down for himself.

“I give myself completely over to the ancients.  And because Dante says that there is no knowledge unless one retains what one has read, I have written down the profit I have gained from their conversation, and composed a little book De principatibus, in which I go as deep as I can into reflections on this subject, debating what a principate is, what the species are, how they are gained, how they are kept, and why they are lost.  If ever any of my trifles can please you, this one should not displease you; and to a prince, and especially a new prince, it ought to be welcome.”

I think that Machiavelli would have been a blogger, but that’s besides the point; what is important to note is that learning and education are not passive activities.  Teaching is wasted if we don’t learn anything from it, and the first way to learn from our teaching is to record it for ourselves in a meaningful manner.  Machiavelli might also agree that the best way to learn something is to teach it.

As teachers of a subject, we begin to enter into the realm of the Culture-bearing stratum as either creators or appreciators.  Of course, we could never know which of the two we might be, but it is not possible to practice an art or skill and to teach it without becoming either an appreciator or creator.

American philosopher Francis Parker Yockey defines the Culture-bearing stratum as the expression of an esoteric journey, and one which is without consideration or respect to actual or imagined sociopolitical or class status.

“… the Culture-bearing stratum is articulated into creators and appreciators. It is in general the latter who transmit the great creations downward, insofar as this is possible. This process serves to recruit the higher material, wherever it appears, into the Culture-bearing stratum. The process of replenishment is continually going on, for the Culture-bearing stratum is not hereditary in any strict sense. The Culture-bearing stratum is a purely spiritual level of the populace of the Culture. It has no economic, political, social, or other hallmark.”

Only now are we beginning to look at a rejection of Modernity, and the esoteric nature of Traditionalism.  Public education and home-schooling will forever fail to educate children if we do not respect that education has implicitly sacred qualities to it.  A well-rounded education on mathematics, English, and the sciences is not the finish line.  A high school diploma, or a college diploma is not the finish line.  Home-schooling for the purpose of hiding your children from public education is not a success.  To reach a height of mastery and skill in a given art, and to be so well versed in it that you can also teach it to others is a goal, but not even that is the finish line.

Italian philosopher Julius Evola helps us understand this idea at a greater degree.

“Against all forms of resentment and social competition, every person should acknowledge and love his station in life, which best corresponds to his own nature, thus acknowledging the limits within which he can develop his potential; and should give an organic sense to his life and achieve its perfection, since an artisan who perfectly fulfills his function is certainly superior to a king who does not live up to his dignity. Only when such considerations have weight will this or that reform carried out on the socioeconomic plane be conceived and implemented without any negative consequence, according to true justice, without mistaking the essential for the accessory.”

The goal of education, either public or private, is to guide us towards perfection and religious enlightenment.  The manner or mode in which we receive an education is irrelevant in these regards, so it remains to be seen whether or not a technological trans-humanist “save to brain” computer technology can save us from illiteracy and under-education.  If it is the future, it will be as dark as the past unless we’re able to reject Modernity and Enlightenment theory.

 

Creative Commons License
Tradition, Excellence, and Modernity by Thomas Buhls is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


article-1342152-0C9791B2000005DC-396_634x408

By: Thomas Buhls



%d bloggers like this: