One True Path

Reason                            -          Nature
One                                 -          Many
Global                             -          Local
Context independent       -          Context dependent
Clear                               -          Complex
Closed                             -          Open
Predetermined                 -          Free
Transcendent                   -          Immanent

Christians opened to door to infinity; rationalists walked through it.

Pre-modern rationalism was contained within a (religious) tradition. Modern rationalism is uncontained. The problem is not rationality per se, but 'rationality without a cause'.

The progressive, focused on a dream of universal consensus, attempts "to escape the agonistics of the network." Argumentation, confusion, conflict, and error disappear in a higher synthesis.    

The global vision can be reductionist or pluralist. The former attempts to unify under a "single privileged vocabulary" (e.g. physics or maths) whereas the latter attempts to synthesise all vocabularies and levels of description into an "integral" vision.

The Kantian transcendental project, like all transcendental theologies, aims to give grounds for settling all moral disputes.

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm;
Till the war-drum throbbd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.

[Alfred, Lord Tennyson]
'Locksley Hall'

Niebuhr found another example of this misguided search for unity - for an "absolute perspective which transcends the conflict” between competing loyalties - in Dewey's little book on religion, A Common Faith (1934).

Niebuhr considered Dewey's plea for a "religious faith that shall not be confined to sect, class, or race" as an attempt to “eliminate conflict and unite men of good will everywhere by stripping their spiritual life of historic, traditional, and supposedly anachronistic accretions." Dewey's position exemplified the "faith of modern rationalism in the ability of reason to transcend the partial perspectives of the natural world in which reason is rooted."

Liberals like Dewey mistakenly put their faith in moral suasion, education, and the scientific method. They imagined that “with a little more time, a little more adequate moral and social pedagogy and a generally higher development of human intelligence, our social problems will approach solution."

Dewey did not understand that competing loyalties were rooted in "something more vital and immediate than anachronistic religious traditions.” The fervor they evoked could not be modified or resolved, as Dewey seemed to think, by a "small group of intellectuals" who enjoyed the "comparative neutrality and security of the intellectual life."

[Christopher Lasch]
The True and Only Heaven, p.370, 375

Niebuhr distinguished prophetic religion not only from scientific rationality, which cannot justify hope, but from mystical religion, which cannot justify it either, except by turning its back on the "facts of incoherence.”

If science dismissed the existence of moral order and coherence in history as an illusion, mysticism dismissed the natural world itself as an illusion, together with the whole course of human history. For the mystic, reality dwelled in the timeless realm of pure essence, the contemplation of which, undistracted by unruly historical facts, became the goal of religious aspiration.

Mysticism, according to Niebuhr, was rationalism's mirror image. It carried the “rational passion for unity and coherence to the point where the eye turns from the outward scene, with its recalcitrant facts and stubborn variety, to the inner world of spirit."

The prophetic tradition found moral significance in history (since history is under God's judgment) without denying the reality of incoherence and evil. The achievement of the “prophetic movement in Hebraic religion," Niebuhr wrote, lay in its ability “to purge its religion of the parochial and puerile weaknesses of its childhood without rationalizing it and thus destroying the virtue of its myth."

His reference to the “virtue” of the prophetic myth, when we recall the rich associations and multiple meanings of the term, provides the clearest indication of the meaning of mythology, as Niebuhr understood it.

In the prophetic tradition, virtue is the truth that breaks the cycle of excessive optimism and disillusionment. It asserts the goodness of life without denying the evidence that would justify despair. Thus "Hebrew spirituality," Niebuhr argued, "was never corrupted by either the optimism which conceived the world as possessing unqualified sanctity and goodness or the pessimism which relegated historic existence to a realm of meaningless cycles.”

[Christopher Lasch]
The True and Only Heaven, p.372

In policy evaluation, “there is never a point at which the thinking, research, and action is 'objective' or 'unbiased’. It is partisan through and through, as are all human activities, in the sense that the expectations and priorities of those commissioning and doing the analysis shape it, and in the sense that those using the information shape its interpretation and application.”

The top-down models of policy evaluation and formulation do not suggest that elites never disagree about public policy. Elites may share a consensus about goals and values yet disagree on how to achieve them [...] Foundations sometimes fund studies that make conflicting policy recommendations, and think tanks compete with one another for preeminence in policymaking [...] And it is unlikely that there ever was a society in which elites did not compete among themselves for power and preeminence.

But interelite conflict and competition takes place within a broader consensus on the goals of public policy, especially economic growth, global expansion, and the protection of corporate enterprise [...] Disagreement occurs over the means rather than the ends of public policy.

It is the shared consensus among elites over the fundamental values of American society that allows public policy to be guided by “the intelligence of democracy." Political scientist Charles E. Lindblom explains the intelligence of democracy: “Strategic analysis and mutual adjustment among political participants, then, are the underlying processes by which democratic systems achieve the level of intelligent action that they do."

"The staid and dignified policy-formation process is very different from the helter-skelter special-interest process. ... It appears as disinterested and fairminded as the special-interest process seems self-seeking and biased."

The foundations, think tanks, and policy planning organizations generally try to remain above partisan politics. Their tax-exempt status under Section 501C3 of the Internal Revenue Code requires that they remain nonpartisan, that they do not endorse political candidates, and that their policy recommendations be presented as “civic and educational” activities.

They describe themselves as “independent,” “nonpartisan,” “objective,” “problem-solving,” and “public-spirited.”

But strategic analysis and mutual adjustment - the keys to intelligent policymaking - cannot develop in the absence of agreement on fundamental values.

[Thomas R. Dye]
Top Down Policymaking, p.63-4, 174

Science's goal of ultimate law and ultimate level also reflects the prevailing notion in the West of a single, unified deity.

Rather than seeking a single, most fundamental ground, the Native mind prefers to dance among the ever-changing movements of a living, subtle nature. Harmony and balance must accommodate change and the activities of the trickster.

[…] Native science works with a multiplicity of symbols, images, and stories. There is no single, unique reading to a story, but rather many enfolded and interpenetrating levels, none of which needs be thought of as being more fundamental than any other. Understanding comes from a direct experience of the dance between these levels of meaning.

In this sense, understanding within Indigenous science has something in common with Niels Bohr's notion of complementarity. Bohr's complementarity states that a single consistent description will never exhaust the meaning of what is happening at the quantum level. Rather, what is required are a number of complementary, mutually contradictory descriptions.

An electron is described as being both delocalized and wavelike, but also localized and particlelike. Likewise, the meaning of a traditional story depends upon a variety of contexts and can be unfolded in a variety of ways.

[F. David Peat]
Blackfoot Physics, p.262, 264

[...] what Wilber is presenting in his theory of evolutionary stages is perhaps the most detailed and consistent attempt yet to shoehorn mystical spirituality into the modern belief in progress.

[John Michael Greer]
'Against Enchantment I: Ken Wilber', Ecosophia

The traditional (or modern) way of confronting complexity was to find a secure point of reference that could serve as foundation, a passe-partout, a master key from which everything else could be derived.

Whatever that point of reference might be - a transcendental world of perfect ideas, the radically sceptic mind, the phenomenological subject - my claim is that following such a strategy constitutes an avoidance of complexity.

The obsession to find one essential truth blinds us to the relationary nature of complexity, and especially to the continuous shifting of those relationships. Any acknowledgement of complexity will have to incorporate these shifts and changes, not as epiphenomena, but as constitutive of complex systems.

[…] the suggestion will be that the postmodern approach is inherently sensitive to complexity, that it acknowledges the importance of self-organisation whilst denying a conventional theory of representation.

Scientific knowledge […] habitually legitimates itself by appealing to a coherent metadiscourse that performs a general unifying function. Should such a metadiscourse be found, it will be possible to incorporate all forms of knowledge into one grand narrative. This is the dream of modernism. Postmodernism is consequently defined as 'incredulity towards metanarratives' […]

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.112-4

The postmodern denial of single meta-narratives, and its emphasis on the importance of difference and opposition, is not normally formulated in terms of 'population thinking' (to use the biological expression for the kind of systems thinking referred to here), but the similarities are undeniable.

Although strains of thought that value the importance of relationships - and look for patterns rather than essences - can be found throughout the intellectual history of the West, they have usually been trampled over by more macho theories claiming to have found the Truth: Platonic idealism, rationalism, Marxism, positivism.

In our analysis of complex systems (like the brain and language) we must avoid the trap of trying to find master keys. Because of the mechanisms by which complex systems structure themselves, single principles provide inadequate descriptions.

We should rather be sensitive to complex and self-organising interactions and appreciate the play of patterns that perpetually transforms the system itself as well as the environment in which it operates.

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.107

Lyotard's insistence on dissension and destabilising forces, as opposed to consensus - notions which also form the core of Lyotard's critique of Habermas - has serious implications for philosophy in general, and specifically for the philosophy of science.

The role of science has traditionally been understood as one that has to fix knowledge in a permanent grid. Experimental evidence was used to verify theories. Sufficient verification would ensure a permanent place in the grid. It soon became clear, however, that the conditions for objective verification were problematic, that experimental evidence could support a theory, but not prove it.

The experimental process cannot include all the factors that could possibly be involved, nor can it predict how new knowledge would change the interpretation of experimental results. Since one could still disprove theories, the process of verification was replaced by one of falsification. If one could not add to the grid, one could at least disqualify unwanted members.

This strategy of 'throwing away' has the result of making the body of knowledge qualifying as 'scientific' leaner and leaner. Everything too complex or containing uncertainties or unpredictability is, for the time being at least, left aside.

Consequently, large parts of the totality of human knowledge are disregarded as unscientific - most of the arts, most of psychology (for many scientists Freud remains the paradigm of a scientific charlatan), and often, human sciences in general. Working with a narrow understanding of what science should be, even the life sciences (biology) and the empirical sciences (engineering) become suspect.

Pushed to its limits, the theory of falsification implies that only abstract, a priori truths are really scientific.

Lyotard's suggestion is that we discard the idea of consensus since it is impoverishing. To proliferate knowledge, we have to proliferate discourses without trying to fix them into a permanent grid.

This position has some affinity with the position of Paul Feyerabend (1975). Feyerabend insists on a scientific anarchy' in which all the marginalised voices should participate. There should be no immutable 'method' that determines what forms part of the canon and what does not. Instead of throwing away everything that does not fit into the scheme, one should try to find meaningful relationships among the different discourses.

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.118

The question that should be posed at this point is the following: can behaviour in accordance with an abstract, universal set of rules be called ‘ethical’ at all? What is at stake here is the very meaning of the word ‘ethics’.

It was part of the dream of modernism to establish a universal set of rules that would be able to regulate our behaviour in every circumstance. Taken by itself, this is a noble ideal, but if we wish to argue that human beings are constituted by their ethical behaviour, we run into problems. Following a universal set of rules (assuming such rules exist) does not involve decision or dilemma, it merely asks for calculation. Given the circumstances, what do the rules decree my behaviour should be? Can this be called ‘ethical’? What kind of human being would act like this? Clearly some kind of automaton, itself constituted by rational, rule-based principles. Modernist ethics, and an understanding of language and the mind in terms of rule-based systems, fit together perfectly.

This concurs with Zygmunt Bauman’s (1992, 1993) analysis of modern and postmodern ethics. For him, modernism’s attempt to structure our existence leads to nothing less than our imprisonment.

A postmodern attitude sets us free, not to do as we like, but to behave ethically. He acknowledges that this involves a paradox: ‘it restores to agents the fullness of moral choice and responsibility while simultaneously depriving them of the comfort of the universal guidance that that modern self-confidence once promised…. Moral responsibility comes with the loneliness of moral choice’ (Bauman 1992: xxii).

Actually this is just another formulation of the principle that has become a leitmotiv of this chapter: you cannot escape the agonistics of the network.

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.137-8

In his criticism of Kant’s abstract idealism, Hegel realises that we are constituted within the social system, but for him it is a system that will ultimately be perfectly organised. Everybody will have their specified place.

Although Hegel realised that the (dialectical) process of organisation is still in progress, his view is, in the end, still a conservative one. At some stage there will be no further need for transformation.

Adorno argues that there are differences among human beings that remain irreducible to a totalising system. He thus reminds us of the importance of differences, not as something that prevents us from finding a comfortable place in the system, but as that which constitutes our humanity.

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.138

[…] Rouse rejects the idea of the unity of science ‘which postulates as an epistemic ideal the unification of scientific representations of the world into a single all-inclusive and coherent picture.’

He motivates this rejection by denying that the goal of science is the ‘accumulation of a body of representations abstracted from the activity of research.’ The advance of science is centrifugal rather than centripetal, and in this process established results are often left by the wayside.

The concerns of science are practical rather than representational, and insofar as there is a concern for coherence, it is only local, more local even than the level of the applicable discipline, let alone that of the whole of science.

[Paul Cilliers]
Complexity and Postmodernism, p.132

This projected goal of a coherent world-picture has its reductionist versions, in which the coherence comes from explaining everything in a single privileged theoretical vocabulary (typically that of physics).

It also has pluralist versions, in which the results of different fields fit together as different levels of description appropriate for different levels of organization or complexity in the world.

[Joseph Rouse]
‘The Narrative Reconstruction of Science’

Construed in its traditional way, the unity of science is predicated upon a representationalist view of scientific knowledge, and postulates as an epistemic ideal the unification of scientific representations of the world into a single all-inclusive and coherent picture.

There are three respects in which I reject this construal of the unification of scientific knowledge. Most fundamentally, I do not believe that the accumulation of a body of representations abstracted from the activity of research is a goal of science at all.

Second, I am arguing that, far from inclusively bringing together all or most established scientific results into a single picture, the ongoing narrative reconstruction of scientific practices regularly excises established results from the background knowledge of a field, in order to focus its subsequent development. The coherence achieved through scientific research is thus practical rather than representational.

Third, the advance of scientific research seems centrifugal rather than centripetal.

New fields continually spin off with their own interests, methods, and interpretations. Their practitioners show little concern for how retrospectively to reconcile their interests and results with those of their progenitor disciplines. They will more typically consolidate their own results toward a new advance, perhaps in a still more divergent direction, than look back and try to see how it fits together with its origins.

Scientists' concern for coherence, at least in what they choose to investigate, is usually situated more locally than even the level of the discipline, let alone that of the whole of science.

What we get is not a single coherent picture of the world, but an ever more complex network of interconnections binding together various scientific endeavors. Achievements from one field get reworked and reinterpreted in order to serve the interests of another which may be at cross-purposes.

The loss in coherence is often happily compensated by the creation of new possibilities to explore, and new capabilities for doing that.

[Joseph Rouse]
‘The Narrative Reconstruction of Science’

Vervaeke: […] what myth is always doing - and Levi Strauss had sort of a sense of this with structuralism - is pointing you to opponent processing.

Here's this myth, with this opponent processing; and here’s this myth with this opponent processing - but what's the through line? […] you're trying to find the multi-dimensional nexus …

Peterson: - the meta-through-line -

Vervaeke: … of all the opponent processing.

This is Nicholas Of Cusa with his open sense of infinity. In the ancient Greek world infinity is a bad thing, it's chaos. But with Cusa, and then the whole neoplatonic tradition, it opens up into a positive thing. If I could get all of the opposites, I would see that in infinity they all coincide, and that would be the culmination or summation - not in any entity - of what our cognition is about.

I would have found the source of intelligibility, because I would have moved to the deepest grammar of cognition […]

Peterson: […] and that's the resolution of all opposing conflicts in some sense.

[Jordan B. Peterson & John Vervaeke]
‘A Conversation So Intense It Might Transcend Time and Space | John Vervaeke | EP 321, YouTube

And that's the third and I think, therefore, best vision of Cognitive Science. That's the vision of Cognitive Science as Synoptic Integration.

Synoptic Integration is not saying that all the disciplines are saying the same thing. But it's not simple eclecticism of “well, they're all saying different things, but let's get them all to be friendly and like each other, and they can have some sort of peripheral influence on each other”.

Synoptic integration is saying, “no, we need to build something right between the disciplines that addresses the equivocation, deals with the fragmentation and fills in the ignorance - tells us about how the levels are actually causally interacting and constraining each other. That's Synoptic Integration.

So what you want to do is you need to say, “They're not saying the same thing, but they're not just saying different things either!”. You have to create this bridging vocabulary that integrates across the disciplines.

So I'm trying to create constructs with multi-aptness. They get this balance between identity and difference that affords and provokes insightful transformation of the theorising from one discipline to another. And I start to create an overarching integration.

[John Vervaeke]
‘Ep. 26 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Cognitive Science’, John Vervaeke, YouTube

The structure of Plato’s philosophy meets all the requirements of the Apollonian Logos. At the top of his theory is the One, surrounded by eternal ideas. This is the peak of the divine, celestial world, illuminated by timeless light. The highest principle is the Good, which exudes its abundance firstly upon the world of ideas (paradigms) and then, through the good Creator-Demiurge, on the created cosmos.

Plato described all three of these world zones in his Timaeus, in particular distinguishing the realm of paradigms (the observatory point of the gods, the Father), the realm of models, or “copies” and “icons” (the Son), and the mysterious khora (χώρα), the space or country which Plato likened to the Nurse or Mother.

In describing the khora (which was later identified by the Neoplatonists with the mother), Plato’s dialogue loses its crystal clarity, thus lending towards the strange assumption that this element can be comprehended only by means of a “special Logos”, which Plato called “bastard” or “illegitimate” (νόθος λόγος).

The vision of the celestial god thus reaches the surface of the earth, the lower limits of the world of copies, but here is confronted with its limits, as it can no longer see anything amenable to clear Apollonian discernment. At the border of the day, the realm of night-dreaming flickers. Timaeus (Plato) restricts himself to only a few suggestions and postulates the khora (space) to be a flat intermediary, beyond which there is nothing, and which is impossible to understand, insofar as there is nothing to properly understand in it.

In the solar Platonic vision, we can obtain only an external, “celestial” view, which sees as its bottom the khora (Χώρα), the space of the subtle film of the chaotic movement of scattered particles not yet formed by the ordering demiurge. Χώρα comes from the same root as mythological “chaos”, χάος, meaning “yawning”, or literally “opening the jaws”, “freeing the empty space.”

Instead of the voluminous “chaos” that creates the three-dimensionality of unordered void, Timaeus sees a film that resists comprehension by the classical Apollonian logos and whose comprehension demands falling into slumber, losing clarity and rigor, and degeneration […] This khora is the view of the back of the Great Mother, a limit unreachable by the Apollonian, where hell begins.

In a certain sense, Platonism is eternal, and has continued in both Christian theology by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, John of Damascus, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, Michael Psellos, John Italus, and Gemistus Plethon in the East, and by Boethius and John Scotus Eriugena in the West), as well as in the Renaissance and even amidst modern philosophy.

[Aleksandr Dugin]
The Three Logoi: An Introduction to the Triadic Methodology of NOOMAKHIA, Chap. 2

[...] what Kant presented as the universal and necessary principles of the human mind turned out in fact to be principles specific to particular times, places and stages of human activity and enquiry.

Just as what Kant took to be the principles and presuppositions of natural science as such turned out after all to be the principles and presuppositions specific to Newtonian physics, so what Kant took to be the principles and presuppositions of morality as such turned out to be the principles and presuppositions of one highly specific morality, a secularized version of Protestantism which furnished modern liberal individualism with one of its founding charters. Thus the claim to universality foundered.

For what the progress of analytic philosophy has succeeded in establishing is that there are no grounds for belief in universal necessary principles outside purely formal enquiries - except relative to some set of assumptions.

[...] analytic philosophers [...] seem to be determined to go on considering arguments as objects of investigation in abstraction from the social and historical contexts of activity and enquiry in which they are or were at home and from which they characteristically derive their particular import.

[Alasdair MacIntyre]
After Virtue, p.309-11

[...] there are no general timeless standards.

It is in the ability of one particular moral-philosophy-articulating-the-claims-of-a-particular-morality to identify and to transcend the limitations of its rival or rivals, limitations which can be - although they may not in fact have been - identified by the rational standards to which the protagonists of the rival morality are committed by their allegiance to it, that the rational superiority of that particular moral philosophy and that particular morality emerges.

The history of morality-and-moral-philosophy is the history of successive challenges to some preexisting moral order, a history in which the question of which party defeated the other in rational argument is always to be distinguished from the question of which party retained or gained social and political hegemony.

I hold not only that historical enquiry is required in order to establish what a particular point of view is, but also that it is in its historical encounter that any given point of view establishes or fails to establish its rational superiority relative to its particular rivals in some specific contexts.

[...] our situation in respect of theories about what makes one theory rationally superior to another is no different from our situation in regard to scientific theories or to moralities-and-moral-philosophies. In the former as in the latter case what we have to aspire to is not a perfect theory, one necessarily to be assented to by any rational being, because invulnerable or almost invulnerable to objections, but rather the best theory to emerge so far in the history of this class of theories.

It follows that the writing of this kind of philosophical history can never be brought to completion. The possibility has always to be left open that in any particular field, whether the natural sciences or morality-and-moral-philosophy, or the theory of theory, some new challenge to the established best theory so far will appear and will displace it.

Hence this kind of historicism, unlike Hegel's, involves a form of fallibilism; it is a kind of historicism which excludes all claims to absolute knowledge.

[Alasdair MacIntyre]
After Virtue, p.305

[...] in much of the ancient and medieval worlds, as in many other premodern societies, the individual is identified and constituted in and through certain of his or her roles, those roles which bind the individual to the communities in and through which alone specifically human goods are to be attained; I confront the world as a member of this family, this household, this clan, this tribe, this city, this nation, this kingdom. There is no 'I' apart from these.

For the Platonist, as later for the Cartesian, the soul, preceding all bodily and social existence, must [...] possess an identity prior to all social roles; but for the Catholic Christian, as earlier for the Aristotelian, the body and the soul are not two linked substances. I am my body and my body is social, born to those parents in this community with a specific social identity.

What does make a difference for the Catholic Christian is that I, whatever earthly community I may belong to, am also held to be a member of a heavenly, eternal community in which I also have a role, a community represented on earth by the church.

Of course I can be expelled from, defect from or otherwise lose my place in any of these forms of community. I can become an exile, a stranger, a wanderer. These too are assigned social roles, recognized within ancient and medieval communities. But it is always as part of an ordered community that I have to seek the human good, and in this sense of community the solitary anchorite or the shepherd on the remote mountainside is as much a member of a community as is a dweller in cities.

Hence solitariness is no longer what it was for Philoctetes. The individual carries his communal roles with him as part of the definition of his self, even into his isolation.

[Alasdair MacIntyre]
After Virtue, p.201-2

[...] nothing that I have said goes any way to show that a situation could not arise in which it proved possible to discover no rational way to settle the disagreements between two rival moral and epistemological traditions, so that positive grounds for a relativistic thesis would emerge.

[...] there are no successful a priori arguments which will guarantee in advance that such a situation could not occur. Indeed nothing could provide us with such a guarantee which did not involve the successful resuscitation of the Kantian transcendental project.

[Alasdair MacIntyre]
After Virtue, p.322

Recognition of the complex multicultural structure of human societies leads to differentialism and the complete rejection of hierarchy. Moreover, the reduction to the individual, which is the basis of the egalitarian morality of postmodernism, destroys cultural ensembles instead of protecting and strengthening them.

Differentialist anti-racism, on the contrary, merely postulates differences between societies, without attempting to evaluate them with the help of a general 'transcendental' criterion (which in principle cannot exist and any candidate for such status would only be a projection of one of the societies), nor to destroy them.

[Aleksandr Dugin]

The basic attitude of the Western tradition had grown toward diversity and toleration, based on the belief that every aspect of life and of human experience and every individual has some place in the complex structure of reality if that place can only be found and that, accordingly, unity of the whole of life can be reached by way of diversity rather than by any compulsory uniformity.

This idea was entirely foreign to the Russian mind. Any Russian thinker, and hordes of other Russians with no capacity for thought, were driven by an insatiable thirst to find the “key” to life and to truth. Once this “key” has been found, all other aspects of human experience must be rejected as evil, and all men must be compelled to accept that key as the whole of life in a dreadful unity of uniformity.

[Carroll Quigley]
Tragedy and Hope, ‘The Russian Empire to 1917,’ p.65

The inexorable growth of a world market does not advance a universal civilisation. It makes the interpenetration of cultures an irreversible global condition.

[John Gray]
False Dawn, p.193

Liberalism—and proto-liberalisms such as Christianity, Platonism, Vedanta, and so forth—do not see will at the bottom of the ethical proposition. They see only true.

For them, good is a species of true. For the folkish thinker, true is a species of good, and good is a matter of will. And so, under these proto-liberalisms, the will—whether it be your own will, or that of the king—is always and everywhere governed by propositions. This is the ultimate source of Schmitt’s “forever-deferred decision” of the sovereign.

When will is subordinated to proposition, willing is impossible. Where will is impossible, ethics is impossible, hence the devolution into individualism.

Folkishness, by seeing ethics as second-order commands, reintroduces will into the world. Specifically, this takes the form of the will of the founder. In our terms, this is the Odinic—the great man.

[Imperium Press]
‘Who’s the Boss — Folk or Elite?’, Imperium Press, Substack

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