After years of arguing along ideological lines, Americans are conditioned to instantly categorize and argue based on the existing divisions. The most common of these is the left/right dichotomy, but Democrat/Republican, Communist/Fascist, Libertarian/Authoritarian, Progressive/Traditionalist and any other number of ways are used to end conversation and begin conflict. While debates about the value of ideas have value, when we get to the point of being ideologues who just defend ideas as part of an existing block, the point of useful discourse has come to an end. Within America, it’s clear we are at that point, but I wonder if we should be.
There is a strange absence of authority in our system. The only thing we seem to agree upon is we do not trust any entity (of this world at least) to have power over us, but I wonder if people realize that they already invest such power in these ideas they’ve tacitly accepted as inviolate. To use one example, Marxists believe there is a single course of human history proceeding along a designated path with a set outcome. That is their truth. Many people on the right believe the same of markets, that infinite choice will lead to infinite good, and assume such a position is beyond question. They both accept a near absolute truth, a guiding authority, but it is one which removes their ability to apply reason to problems that impact people beyond their scope.
An identitarian posits a third path. What if there is no absolute view of history and society, and we simply exist as we are, subject to the rules of nature but acting within them in a capacity of our own choosing as we seek our own hierarchy to make sense of the world? Instead of trying to fulfill a predetermined end, what if we abandoned our long held issues and just looked at concepts as ideas which could either help our people or hurt our people? It’s radically simple, in the same way we approach our families and daily lives, but try it and see how you can bridge gaps.
I think learning is good…I can support education.
I think security is good…I can support having arms.
I think health is good…I can support better health care.
I think family is good…I support sustaining traditional marriage.
Basic assertions come together pretty neatly when we organize them by human interest. Assuming we accept nature, the fact and existential reality of what we are and how we must live, as our guide, it turns out the left/right divide comes out as bunk. We all want better lives for our people, to have quality education, environment, and health. We also want security and meaning, to have protection, family-centered life, and opportunity. For some inane reason, we believe these values are indelibly against one another, but it appears to me they’re quite complementary.
The truths we’re given but we don’t see as guiding us force us into these conflicts. They’re just as managed as every other aspect of culture and society, and just like the war between men and women that has been spun up to destroy families, this war of ideologies has done nothing more but empower states to bankrupt us not just financially, but morally as we fight unwinnable disputes and settle into irrelevance or apathy. We can do better, and our people deserve better.
Let’s think of issues as tools, and accept a grand bargain might be made. If the left can realize identity isn’t something that can be changed to anything due to whimsy and misplaced empathy, and the right realizes not everything can or should be for sale, half the battle is won. We could live quite happily in a state where we might provide more for the welfare of our people, but they would be our people, living a shared belief structure of dignity such as the core values of New Albion, and political discourse could shift back from ideological warfare to pragmatic policy. With autonomy enough for community differences in flavor, and authority enough to keep out those forces which constantly foment division, we could grow as a people.
It’s hard to think that way. But try it, and see if you can’t find the value. Remember, hating our own people, even when we think they are wrong, is what has been destroying the West. I will not hate them…I reserve such anger for those who sow such discord amongst us, and against whom we must unite if we are ever to regain our own self-determination. But it starts with love, not hate, because we are too few to continue these pointless battles.