Academic Agent describes himself as a “post-modern traditionalist”. I refer to him as “Academic Agent” (or AA) out of respect, as although his real name is publicly known he prefers to be referred to by his nom de web when engaged in online discourses. Although post-modernism is often maligned by those on the right, I have (especially in my theological studies) come to see post-modernism as something that can be advantageous, as it strips away democratic ideals and liberal presuppositions. Essentially, post-modernism annuls the current order completely, and in its wake it provides fertile soil for tradition and Christianity to take root. That being said, I rejected the post-modern traditionalism of AA, as he, being a disciple of Evola, has internalized the words of Evola where he declares that one should embrace a tradition, regardless of the tradition itself. Therefore to Evola, the embracing of and living in accordance to any tradition is what is essential, disregarding the merits or superiority of any particular tradition. This has resulted in AA, a man of Welsh and Persian decent, to embrace Chinese Taoism.
I have described myself as a “traditionalist” and would like to see myself as such. Alas, in all honesty I probably cannot be described as a traditionalist, but as someone who strives for tradition. As an aside, I will note that my conversion from Presbyterianism to Orthodoxy was not based on some desire to be traditional or for traditionalism. My interest in Orthodoxy predated my awareness or my valuing of tradition, it even predated the age of Orthodox content creators on the internet. I became Orthodox because I recognized it as the Truth, without considering or even being able to value its traditional nature. I have come to realize that, although I may have called myself a traditionalist, this was really a misuse of terms. The tradition I espouse is really a reconstruction, as I have not inherited or been bestowed a tradition that I belong to or am an inheritor of. I am the atomized individual of modernity, I have sought out traditionalism because tradition is something which is needful for all people, but there is no tradition to which I belong or can belong. Thus, I have created a tradition for myself, which involve the display of flags and nationalist trinkets of places I have little to no actual connection with whatsoever. These “consumerist” displays are all I have.
Now granted, the items I own and display are things which I feel define my person and my beliefs. However, if anyone were to visit my residence and take an interest in the things which I display, I would have to spend a great amount of time explaining how such articles relate to me and my beliefs. For those individuals who possess and belong to an authentic traditionalism, no such explanation is required. To speak objectively, I am a peasant who fancies himself an aristocrat, or a noble. I value all these things, but ultimately they do not and cannot belong to me. When interacting with those who have actually been born into a tradition, I am nothing more than a child, utterly inadequate and unable to thoughtfully engage with them, as they are ontologically beyond me. Class and caste distinctions and separations exist for a reason. In my imitation of the traditional and the aristocratic, I am liable to inadvertently debase through my imitation the traits and practices of those who naturally have received and posses their position, outlook, and lifestyle. I would essentially be committing something tantamount to sacrilege. Julius Evola was of the aristocratic class; he was a baron. Although I may fundamentally disagree with elements of his metaphysics, he is worthy of being referred to as an aristocrat of the soul, which is what he encouraged those of similar traditionalist values to be in the coming dark age. I hope to be an aristocrat of the soul, but such a calling may be beyond, and beyond the vast majority of those who read this.
Thus, my position is the advocate of tradition. Although I desperately would like to be traditional or noble, my birthright and post-modern predilections probably preclude this. However, my value, if it can be referred to as such, is in being the outsider. As someone who is outside of tradition, family, community, and nation, I am well suited to see the value in these things, and thus justify why such things are needful. It is fitting in the modern age, in the Guénonian sense, that a member of the plebeian class would come to see the value of and espouse tradition. In the Kali Yuga, or the age of iron, the people who comprise “the quantity”, of which I am a member, has come to espouse the virtue and necessity of those who comprise “the quality”.
Thus, although it pains me to do so, Academic Agent’s label of post-modern traditionalist applies to me. As I have never known a tradition, a culture, or even a timeless nation, all I am able to do is create for myself my own tradition, one which I hope is authentically traditional and not corrupted by modernity and its values. I do not think that Taoism or just any tradition is acceptable as AA does. Ultimately there is a singular Truth. Tradition is that which uniquely and distinctively adheres to the order of the Logos. All traditions do this in part, but in the absence of Christ these traditions are left incomplete and unfulfilled. I have the faith, I have Christ, but I do not have a tradition, a way of being which adheres to the Logos. I have no tradition. The possessions of my ancestors have been sold or discarded, either because money is more valuable than lineage or history, or because such items are antiquated and serve no practical function. In the void left by familial disregardment and post-modernism, I am compelled to establish for myself my own traditions, based upon my own values and beliefs. These traditions ultimately have little meaning and are inauthentic, but they are needful. Ultimately, I hope that in my defence of tradition those who belong to an authentic traditionalism can be affirmed and thus perpetuate themselves. I, of my peasant lineage and atraditional disposition, have nothing to offer regarding tradition in and of itself, but I hope that by occupying the position I hold I may provide a justification for the existence and perpetuation of those who embody an authentic and admirable tradition.
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