Marc: Hello Adam. That article about the German philosopher, Herder, will probably be of interest to you. He was basically in line with talk of “thedism.” Disregard the occasional oddities in the piece; I think one of the Counter-Currents bunch wrote it.
Adam: Yes, it’s interesting. Just confirms my view that ethno-nationalism is anti-Traditional.
Marc: He coined the terms “Zeitgeist” and “Volksgeist.” But his notion of race sounds Evolian?
Adam: Hm. I can see why you’d say that, but it’s not the same thing. For Evola, race is not something everyone is born with.
Marc: Its full sense is that it is initiatory?
Adam: Herder is approaching the matter from the perspective of ethic nationalism; ergo, all people in a country are being judged by the same measure. The peasants and merchants and soldiers, in his view, are all made of the same “stuff.” This is the trouble with nationalism as it stands; this view is incorrect. Different men have different possibilities imbued in them fit for their caste.
That is not to say that there is no national continuum, no shared culture — obviously there is. But the inherent inequality of men makes it irrational to base an entire political philosophy on their supposed sameness. I.e., they’re all “individuals” which make up a “collective.” This is a narrow and insufficient viewpoint. He’s [Herder] viewing everything from the bottom-up, not vice versa.
The Volksgeist, the spirit of the folk, is a manifestation of the people; it animates the nation. “There is only one class in the state, the Volk (not the rabble), and the king belongs to this class as well as the peasant.” The Volksgeist is as old as the Volk, and evolves with the national group. There is a life of national groups, and withering and death marks the end of a Volk.
Every human group is, as an empirical matter, different from every other group, each nationality (or Volk) is characterized by its own unique spirit. Each people possesses its own cultural traits shaped by ancestral history and the experience of a particular physical environment, and mentally constructs its social life through language, literature, religion, the arts, customs, and folklore inherited from earlier generations. The Volk is the family writ large.
The assertion that the king is in the same league as the peasants is bizarre. The king’s bodily race is subordinate to his spiritual race as the bridge between Earth and God.
In short, Marc, nationalism of this kind places an egalitarian “commonality” above caste and true race. Volk is indeed existent, but it is made manifest through culture and the higher dimensions of human beings; it is above their biology. And yet this higher race is not expressed in the same way for different castes. It is this sort of nuance which nationalists cannot see.
Marc: I understand your contention. So how does one gain caste?
Adam: We all have caste, but it one thing to have something and another to have knowledge of it. At the end of Ride the Tiger Evola speaks of being flung into the world, and then deciding whether to live or not — it is a choice. So it is with one’s true self. Do you admit to yourself that you are yourself, no-one other, and that you accept your being as part of a higher continuum? The answering of such questions leads one to race and the “being of” a broader project instead of happening to have particular genetic traits.
Race is attained via knowledge of oneself. Via knowledge of one’s history and the destiny one has in relation to that which birthed you, your particular nature is properly realised.
I am English. But what is this? What does it determine? What form has it taken over the ages? What are its defining marks? Where is the line drawn between English and French, or English and Welsh, etc.? And this isn’t just some “learning history” game, here, but the knowledge of one’s being; to feel this force manifest through oneself and realise therefore one’s very being in every way.
I’m afraid I cannot extrapolate further as this sort of area is quite new to me. But make no mistake; being of a particular race is not the same as merely having two parents with particular genes. It is not optional, one cannot choose to be any other race but one’s own race, but its realisation and actualisation are not commonly seen in the Modern world.
For the peasants in history, their race was realised via the community. The church, the fathers, their traditions, etc.. Though this was not equal to the race of kings and warriors.
Marc: The way one talks, the way one thinks, the vibe one gives off: is this one’s caste?
Adam: It’s a part of it, yes.
Marc: What is the rest?
Adam: Good grief… what differentiates a king and a priest? A worker and a merchant? It’s akin to “type,” this word “caste.” One’s “genre,” I suppose. I touched upon it in an article some time ago.
Who are you, Marc? What are you? As a being, a consciousness. What defines you? You have a caste, you are of a race or thede, you have a particular destiny flowing through your veins. And in knowing all this properly, one knows oneself.
Marc: Well, I’d say what differentiates a worker, merchant, king, and priest is how they think, talk, and act. Likewise, looks and ethnos aside, I am differentiable from the next man by the same means. I agree with you, though.
Adam: Yes, but why do they think, act, etc., differently? Because of caste. Personality, too. But caste is imperative.
Here in another article I mention a Greek word, οὶκειοπραγία. It means “attending to one’s duties,” to “work on oneself,” to “be oneself.” Notice how for the traditional Greeks, being yourself was an action. It was something to do, not what merely is. This is tapping into the proper notion of race. We must again know ourselves. This, in my opinion, is the greatest challenge we face in Modernity. Dickie Spencer’s “Become who we are” nonsense means little for deracinated Americans, but if you take it all the way to its deepest meaning, it implies a profound truthfulness. To revolt against the modern world and all its spiritual, aesthetic and moral deadness, is to know oneself and one’s destiny; is to have race in its fullest sense.
To answer a question of yours earlier that I didn’t mention, peasants don’t always have race. To the Romans, the plebeians were without Gods, without ancestors, without form. They didn’t even have an afterlife. In Vedic India, those outside of caste were likewise. You don’t really get this with Germanic pagans, though. The Germanics had a proper notion of volk which was more tribal, though the nobility was seen as of a superior race. Alaric, for instance, was descended from the Æsir. Hengist and Horsa from Wotan, etc..
Marc: Woden, even. We’ll have none of that nasty German here, Mr Englishman!
Adam: Hahaha — But even there, their being of that ancestry wasn’t material. It was a spiritual birth which they had undergone or a destiny of which they were a part. Hence Roman emperors underwent second births to be the Sons of Mars. Ritual is important.
Marc: But I’m understanding caste as being made up of the things I listed earlier. Are you understanding caste as a Platonic entity of some sort? As for your other stuff: I pretty much understand and agree with it.
Adam: Caste is complicated. Give me a moment.
Marc: I agree that nationhood has to be sort of initiated into, else people don’t care for it. It is a tradition in that sense. And sure.
You know, Marc, you’re one of the very few people who come to me directly and asks these questions. I appreciate it.
Marc: Thanks. I’ll read the links in an hour’s time after I’ve had my driving-lesson, and I’ll get back to you about them.
Well, I feel special now, don’t I? I’m glad you appreciate it.
Adam: No worries — and good luck with your lesson. I appreciate the honesty and openness on your part — I’m particularly impressed considering our first interactions those months ago. I’m glad things have grown since then.
Marc: We’ll see if the sleep-deprivation doesn’t kill me off. Thank you. I’m always open and honest. Some people wish I wasn’t so much so. It’s just my thing.
And, yea! Funny that? If I didn’t like you back then, I wouldn’t have bothered agitating you. Consider it me stealing your crayon to get your attention. You had something curiously intriguing about you which I couldn’t dismiss, even if back then I didn’t understand half the things you said.
Adam: Hahaha — excellent to know, and I’m glad things’ve happened the way they did.