“Adventure, huh? That word stirs up some longing, resentful emotions. I wouldn’t trade in my time as a homeless, hungry teenager, because it’s part of my character and my self-image. But as soon as I got a little security I didn’t want to let it go, and when I was young enough for adventure I saw no value in it.” —Reader Heretic Phi
The Open Road
Freedom is not exactly the same thing as liberty, the latter entailing responsibility. In the comments under a recent post, reader JumpinJackFash kicks things off with a response to Suburban_elk’s riffing on youthful optimism and its derailment into techno-utopian fantasy:
I am a young man and you hit the nail right on. I dont want to stay in one place and I want much more than a simple steady life in a homogenous community because I dont think thats enough.
In response, I wrote a few words about my own period of wanderings during the early 1990s and how I value it now:
Right after high school, I dropped out of college and in a series of forays, drifted around places like east Tennessee, before going into the Army for a couple of years. There were more rough and frustrating moments than happy ones. I was always broke — spending half of my income on cigarettes, working on and off in restaurants and sleeping in my car or in cheap motels — and I had no idea where I was going for a while, but today I would not trade those couple of years for anything.
Where the 1950s America Failed
On the Alt-Right, commenters make the blog and aside from the host’s periodic supernova outburst of insight, the comments sections of blogs is where ideas churn. On that note, Trainspotter weighs in with this grand slam, raising the scope of the discussion to the very heart of White man’s restless brilliance:
A young man needs some adventure, and the best adventures involve trial & tribulation. That’s why just going back to Leave it to Beaver won’t be enough (though it would be a fantastic improvement over where we’re at today, obviously).
A healthy tribe is going to have rites of passage through which a young man can prove himself – through which he can gain respect and become a man, learning to hold his head high. Leave it to Beaver didn’t really offer that – it was largely just about being “nice” and becoming a productive worker bee. Nothing wrong with either of those things as far as they go but, again, it’s not enough. It’s spiritually dead and deeply unsatisfying to an important part of what we are. The European soul craves more; it needs more. If necessary, it will upend and destroy the world to get that “more.” It will even destroy itself.
In a sense, the 50’s were actually very feminine without being feminist – its masculine aspect was a dwindling holdover from another age. Looking back, it’s no great surprise that such a society would fold like a cheap suit, giving way with virtually no meaningful resistance to the degeneracy which quickly followed. From Leave it to Beaver to White Genocide within a single human lifespan.
Traditionally, our people created honor-based societies which produced the best of both worlds – toughness as well as manners, martial vigor as well as beautiful art. These things, superficially at odds to the ignorant modern mind, actually go together quite well. For our people, anyway; with other races your mileage may vary.
Whites must rekindle those old flames, both to achieve our own homelands and to defend them once they are ours again. Among countless benefits, a European honor culture will have no problem preventing racial aliens from trespassing upon the tribe.
Check him out on twitter: @trainspotter001. Heretic Phi agrees:
As idealistic and wonderful as that world in the past looks to me from this decomposing, empty society we live in, something important was missing from that era. Something lost in security, success and scale. Or how then did it fall so quickly? A kind of cowardly ignorance, or something. I wasn’t there so it’s hard to say. Like we (they?) hadn’t adapted to the invention of television yet, and were too easily seduced by the warm snuggly comfort of trusting authority.
It was a one-two punch. We opened the door to anarchy through our acquiescence to Civil Rights. We opened the door to tyranny when we acquiesced to the Patriot Act.
‘Murkan Liberalism vs. Warsaw Pact Communism
One of the phenomena of living under our present condition of anarcho-tyranny is the nostalgia for mere tyranny, minus its “anarcho-” partner. In extreme cases, some of us get a wistful feeling at the sight of an ethnically pure North Korean city with docile citizens marching in and out of their humble apartments. Even I flirted with that sub-rational form of Communism-nostalgia. And more openly, I’ve written fondly about my childhood in 1970s Warsaw.
Former Yugoslavian dissident Srdja Trifkovic makes an eloquent statement about the old Iron Curtain Communism; specifically, the degree of freedom of thought and conscience it allowed relative to our conditions in the contemporary West. Here is a short excerpt:
Now, in those days it was possible to […] have on the one hand, the official discourse to which everyone had to at least formally subscribe, and on the other hand to have the private discourse of the family and friends. And that there was, one might say, a parallelism between the state above and the society below.
Now, in the terrorist phase of the Bolshevik revolution, there was a deliberate and very bloody attempt to blend the two, and that was the period of Lenin’s liquidation of the priests and intelligentsia, and Stalin’s liquidation of the Kulaks and the late run of “deviants” of all kinds.
But by the mid-50s, especially after Stalin’s death, what we had was the settling down of a system in which it was possible, oddly enough, to be free within the circle of one’s friends and family, and not to subscribe to official ideological norms wholeheartedly. You could go through the motions of display if you’re obliged to do so — if you’re a member of the Party, if you’re a part of the Nomenklatura — but when push came to shove, people behind closed doors with other people they could trust, could be themselves. And then it was possible to have meaningful conversations about politics, economy, or culture, or religion without the blinkers of imposed right-thinking. And then it was possible to be free.
Today in the postmodern Western world, it’s very hard, regardless of where you reside or what social circle you mix with, to exchange any meaningful thoughts on race, on immigration, on educational policy, on cultural policy, without encountering some seriously strange looks, and even strained and uncomfortable reactions from friends and neighbors. And that’s why you avoid these conversations.
So in other words, in a funny way, I might say I feel less free today, in my fifties in the United States, than I did in my teens as a teenager in Tito’s Yugoslavia because at least with people you could trust, and with people who shared the same cultural and social milieu that you come from, you could share your innermost thoughts without being looked upon as an eccentric or a deviant. Of course, if the secret policeman heard you, he might have looked upon you as a dissident and then it’s a totally different kettle of fish. You may have some difficulties, you may be expelled from school, you may even have your telephone tapped or your passport withdrawn or whatever, but you could at least function—within the parameters of what was a society untouched by the state—as a free person.
Trifkovic is not an apologist, nor does he advocate Communism in any way. What he’s saying is that the tyranny we live under right now is deeper-reaching and more insidious than one Eastern Europeans had lived under then. Notably, every former Cold War émigré of my parents’ generation with whom I have discussed this video emphatically agrees with what Trifkovic is saying.
Though maybe what some of us miss from Communist days, at least from my own then-child’s point-of-view, is its own kind of freedom. Middle class American children are kept close to home under their parents’ eye in the helicopter-parenting Zeitgeist born of the paradoxical anxieties of diversity and the intrusive state. I noticed that my strongest pangs of Communism-nostalgia point to recollections of being seven or eight years old, bus and tram numbers memorized, roaming freely about the city. To this day, the smell of diesel exhaust on a cold snowy day takes me back there.
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
After we overcome the present system, we will have to remain vigilant about restoring our rough American internal freedoms, which are possible in a country that will once again have external security, and not overshoot into the realm of tight control over ourselves. I wrote this short meditation about the value of balancing order and chaos in the “What Have We Learned” post:
Man has a wild side that compels him to find life under perfect order stultifying. Life needs an element of chaos to remind us that it all hangs on a thin string and to steer us clear of Eloi-like complacency and softening of character. Passion and creativity come from the darker recesses of our soul and thrive under a touch of danger.
Over the course of his life, a man realigns his spirit from youth’s fire to maturity’s self-command. In that transition, his temperament changes from adventurousness to territoriality, where he demarcates his claim on the world. As fathers and as men who’ve come to glean bits of life’s lessons, we become future-invested in desiring to create the same opportunities we had—and to preserve and expand the same space we enjoyed—for our next generation.
And yet, that spark of wanderlust never quite dies. I was recently riding a bike through the city when a large truck began drifting toward me from my left, parked cars to my right. Adrenaline and instinct did their thing as I maneuvered myself out of danger. Danger makes you feel alive. Come spring, a group of friends and I are heading for the mountains.
Victorian poet Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote “Ulysses” in 1833, dramatizing the restlessness of an old adventurer upon reclaiming his estates. The full poem is HERE; below are its concluding lines:
Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Tennyson’s superannuated Odysseus (I’m used to the Greek names) entrusted his son with the task of ruling the family’s lands and sailed off once more. Yet right this moment, a pair of piercing blue eyes opens amidst the bustle of maternity ward’s nurses. A little wanderer cries, impatient to test his wings and to roam, maybe setting his aim on descending to the gutters of Hades or ascending the peak of Olympus—either way, forged to stand in radiance and despise chains, proof-enough that we are created in the image of God.