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What On Earth Is Going On In This Blog?
An Introduction to the Imperium Press Substack
For the long-time Imperium Press reader much in this blog will be familiar, but for some it will be confusing, especially for those who aren’t right-wing. I know there are many of you here. You’re probably open-minded and curious, liberal in the best sense of the word. Much of what comes out of the radical right seems to normal people repulsive and overly contrarian—but also, disturbingly, it makes far more sense than it should. How to understand this? It’s really not all that complicated.
After WWII, when on trial for supporting the Italian Fascists, Julius Evola said he wasn’t a fascist, but a superfascist. When asked what in the world that means, he replied that, “my principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.” If you replace French Revolution with Axial Age, you have a rough but good idea of what I stand for. The purpose of this blog is to reconstruct those Pre-Axial principles.
Suppose that you transported Groknar, a Corded Ware chieftain from the steppe circa 3000 BCE, to the current year. What would Groknar think of what’s going on? How would he make sense of today? How would he see the trajectory of man from his own time to now? How would he justify his own worldview? Would he justify it? Fleshing out these questions is the goal of this blog.
In my journey I’ve run across many worldviews, and they’ve all come up short. And yet, at every stage—from apolitical to libertarian to NRx and beyond—I knew I was fumbling toward something. Something invisible, but still there. The depth and weight of works like the Daodejing, Heraclitus, and Nietzsche—the very strivingness, the something-just-beyond-words that they were aiming at—approximated, if only roughly, what I knew must be there. My gut told me that there was something that underpinned all conservatism, all reaction, everything deep and abiding that man has ever held dear. But that something is now lost or invisible, like a right-wing dark matter. There must be something that puts rite above dogma, the close above the remote, the concrete above the abstract, the taboo above the precept, heritage above freedom. Then one day I read a book called The Ancient City that held up this right-wing dark matter right in front of my face.
The Ancient City gives you the Indo-European worldview, what we might call the default state for our peoples from the beginning of time up to only very recently in man’s existence. This default state has been almost totally effaced by progressive forces, but it has left traces, and those traces are what we now call right-wing, except what’s “right-wing” today is a ghost of this default state. This state is responsible for all our foundations, and is under siege today as it has been for 3,000 years.
The basic orientation of the right-winger is to return to sanity. Like Evola, he wants to live in a world of the sane and normal, and so he looks to a time before insanity was normalized. If he looks superficially, like a Jordan Peterson, he’ll find sanity very recently, and the more superficial he is, the more recently he’ll find it. But if he looks with a keen eye, then astonishingly far back he sees an earlier version of this insanity—really, the exact same thing, less pathological only because it’s less consistent. This blog seeks to reconstruct our worldview before any of that insanity, not just when it was manageable.
What does this worldview look like? Let’s say a few words here before we turn you loose to explore.
It looks like ancestor worship. Thousands of years ago we believed that neglecting the family worship would turn your dead ancestors into larval phantoms who would blight your crops, turn you sterile, and strike you down with disease. If you take this idea seriously, the modern world makes far more sense.
It looks like nationalism, or something like it. You’re from somewhere, stamped with your time and place of birth. You can’t escape it, and you shouldn’t try. The local and particular are doing all the heavy lifting in cultural, moral, and even epistemic terms—the more universal it is, the less it matters.
It looks like obedience. You have a father, or at least a tradition, and this is your god. Attempting to justify (or justify leaving) the tradition doesn’t make sense even in principle because your tradition is the source of all justification. You couldn’t oppose it except by enshrining it. But you can defile it by ingratitude.
It looks like pragmatism. You believe in science first and foremost because of what you can do with it. The criterion of truth or value is the consequence of holding to it. “We know that to be good whence good is derived”—this is the whole of ethics and epistemology put together.
It looks like cyclicity. History is not a line, nor even a jagged graph going somewhere, but an endless circle. “Good times make for weak men…”—this is the tragic view of life. Man, despite his best efforts, can only follow the path laid out for him by the fates, who have woven his destiny in advance.
It looks like environmentalism. Man is not the master of nature but answers to it. He is engaged in the drama of cosmic maintenance, which has both a sacred and a secular component to it. He has not only a right to the land, but a duty to it as well.
These are only a few of the shapes that this default state can take, what Houston Stewart Chamberlain has called the Aryan Worldview. To call it merely “right-wing” is to trivialize it. We call it folkishness.
You have been gaslit into thinking that these words—Aryan, right-wing, reactionary—are evil and abhorrent. For the first 99.98% of history people like us were the good guys, and in the near future and forever more we will again be on the “right side of history”. If you look around and see that liberalism, modernity, and progress has run off the rails, it’s not because it lost its way—it’s because it went where it was always going. What you’ll discover in this blog is the only alternative destination.
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