Brett Stevens of Amerika.org argued in a recent article that “our” arguments ought to remain secular. After all, broadly religious arguments are lost on the irreligious, and specifically religious arguments are lost on everybody who doesn’t share that specific religion. It’s fine to be religious, he insists, but keep it in the closet and pitch “conservatism” in the secular and universal language of positivism, logic, and reason.
There’s some utility to presenting identitarian and traditionalist arguments in terms secular materialists can digest, if only as a gateway. Somebody ought to be doing that, and who better than a talented polemicist like Brett? But while there’s merit in this angle, it’s ultimately insufficient. Failure to anchor our ideals in the transcendent guarantees that both the ideals themselves and the men possessing them will interminably slide back into the abyss of degeneration.
Transcendence, the existence of an objective locus of truth above and beyond the self, is the cardinal difference between the traditionalist and materialist mind. There are other elements of religiosity which are valuable for our identities and which inform our politics, …elements which often differ from one religion to another. But transcendence is the keystone securing the artifice, fixing those with a transcendent worldview to immutable, singular, and objective Virtue and Truth.
Even when arguments from within the material worldview are convincing, they’re only convincing within a rather limited context. Without the capacity to transcend self-interest, the individual’s possession of the truths about our collective right to exist almost always remain toothless in a society designed from the top-down to guarantee that pursuing our identitarian group interests remains in conflict with our individual interests.
We need martyrs. There are some notable and noble exceptions, but atheists and secularized adherents don’t generally make good martyrs. For decades, we’ve dominated the argument on truck stop bathroom walls and in their digital equivalent, the anonymous Internet forums and comment threads. In the vacuum devoid of self-interest that these anonymous outlets provide, we gradually dominate and control the discourse, because the systematic deprivation of any identity’s right to exist is indefensible on its own merits.
But our opponents don’t rely on the merits of their arguments. They rely on the effect of their social stigma, their occupational discrimination, and their tactical positions as gatekeepers of success and esteem in our society. It’s been shown that even very religious men, including clergy, aren’t immune to these forces. But historically and globally we’re consistently shown that religion is where hope lies in transcending the chasm between merely maintaining a conviction and manifesting that conviction despite terrible risks.
Following transcendence is the challenge of hygiene and fitness relative to degeneration. This is the essence of spiritual warfare, what Julius Evola refers to in his essays on The Metaphysics of War as the Greater Jihad (I prefer to call it the Greater Crusade, of course). It’s the rigorous process of purging ourselves of all the toxins and pollutants the Modern World is awash in. Even if we maintain the conviction of identity, it’s impotent without the requisite vitality and health–spiritual vitality and spiritual health–necessary to translate it from idle abstract belief into manifest reality.
Those who deny Jesus of Nazareth’s divinity should at least see the Sermon on the Mount as a concise tutorial on defeating degeneracy. Contra Nietzsche, Jesus’ message wasn’t one of ressentiment, a message for embittered cripples and defectives. It was a pathway through that problem. Christianity isn’t a derivative of Judaism; Christianity is the antithesis of and nullification of the Pharisaic Judiasm which was then and remains now the prototypical and most powerful expression of hateful, self-worshiping, mercantile, and material degeneracy.
Preserved in the esoteric and initiatic rites of traditional Christianity lies a systematic program for transforming Modern men into martyrs, those who go beyond the merely heroic defiance of steep odds into the saintly defiance of certain death in defense of perennial Truth and Virtue. Through fasting, prayer, and disciplining of our thoughts and actions, we’re all capable of this metamorphosis from hapless puppets hamstrung by our vices and temptations into legionnaires capable of overcoming and defeating Modernity altogether.
Western Christians have largely lost and forgotten the transcendent and transformative core of our faith. The Islamic world has not, and it’s why Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS are winning despite such astounding odds and boggling resources set against them. They’re succeeding in their Greater Jihad, and their military victories in the Lesser Jihad for a revived caliphate follow directly from that commitment to the abstract principles of Transcendence and Spiritual Warfare.
Brett’s correct that our arguments will have broader appeal and penetration if we keep them accessible to the secular and material mind. But what use are these secular and material minds when they’re profoundly incapable of sacrificing on behalf of the Truths and Virtues transcending themselves? When will they start fighting on the streets, building communities, birthing larger families, and resisting the regime? Aside from a handful of violent outbursts which are as much egotistical theatrics as self-sacrifices, aside from some exceedingly clever projects to influence politics while remaining anonymous leveraging powerful new technologies, where’s the political force commensurate with our actual numbers?
With religion, we can achieve–as we’ve achieved in the past–a political force beyond our actual numbers. Those who haven’t experienced transcendence for themselves have my respect. I was one of them not long ago. But even within their own material framework, secular advocacy is demonstrably of only limited utility in achieving their goals. Furthermore, I believe those fellow identitarians who imagine themselves confirmed skeptics or atheists will find in their own loyalty to kith and kin, and in their own selfless sacrifices they’ve made for their extended family, the kernel of a transcendent and religious worldview waiting to be nurtured and developed to its full potential.