February 22, 2013
February 22, 2013
MANY readers of this site have described their sense of isolation in a society that seems bereft of wisdom, decency and common sense. Whether it be a college student disgusted by her courses, a young man looking for a wife, a new mother who wants to remain home, a white man whose career has been derailed by affirmative action, an elderly bachelor in a once-thriving community now brutalized by black crime and vandalism, or a Marine in the feminized military, these readers share the feeling that they do not belong. They reject the lunacy and decadence around them.
So many feel this way, and share a common understanding of what is missing and what is needed to reverse this decline, that it makes no sense for them to remain as scattered isolates. They should join together and seek others to join them. They should collectively respond to the evil around them.
To this end, a new organization, the American Traditionalist Society is now in the serious planning stages. The purpose of the American Traditionalist Society would be to spread proper —that is, traditionalist — conservatism. As Alan Roebuck, who proposed the idea and who has written a manifesto, puts it, “Traditionalism restores the life-giving ties between a man and his people, their past, and his God.” Traditionalism restores wisdom and common sense. Whereas contemporary thinking is fundamentally unwise outside of the procedures of the natural sciences and technology, traditionalism seeks to fill this void and strives for justice, truth, beauty, and the proper ordering of society.
Traditionalism is not just about bringing back the good things that have been lost. It is not backward-looking, although it admires the best in the past. According to Lawrence Auster, “The past, ‘tradition,’ is but one dimension of traditionalism. Traditionalism is, first, an orientation toward the transcendent structure of the universe–the natural, social, and spiritual orders that make us possible. Each society orders itself uniquely according to those orders. So traditionalism is not just the past tradition, it’s our active relationship and tension with the order of the world, but always grasped and done uniquely and newly in each time and society according to the particularities of that society.”
So far, the American Traditionalist Society is just an idea and has no organizational structure, funds or staff. But in the weeks ahead, a fuller statement of its founding principles in the lengthy manifesto will be posted here, as well as at The Orthosphere and View from the Right. The first step is to define the intellectual parameters of such a group. In the meantime, here is a formal introduction.
THE AMERICAN TRADITIONALIST SOCIETY: OUR RAISON D’ÊTRE
Since roughly the 1960s, America has pursued a determined course of self-destruction in the name of liberalism. Our nation is now in a state of undeniable crisis. The federal government, close to insolvency, openly defies the Constitution and asserts its increasingly unaccountable and tyrannical power over the states and over the life of every individual. Our borders have been effectively erased, our language weakened, and our cultural foundations overturned. Our major institutions have been undermined from within. The media and popular culture have marginalized decency and virtue and made filth, transgression, and every kind of nastiness the new norm—a norm unquestioned by anyone in the mainstream culture, including conservatives. Our leaders pontificate that we must be tolerant above all else, and so many draw the natural conclusion that life is absurd. With the official-in-all-but-name denial of the God of the Bible and of any transcendent truth, many young men and women have become demoralized, leading lives that are amoral, selfish, and dissipated.