Brett Stevens, American Renaissance, June 25, 2014
A new world opened over the last decade, and ideas that would have been taboo in the 1990s wormed their way into respectability. Now even mainstream sources discuss civil rights fatigue and the biological differences between the races.
I believe these changes herald a new era in which the most potent force of all–identity–will reassert itself. Identity cuts to the core of the questions we ask ourselves in quiet moments during restless nights: Why am I here? What is our purpose? What is future of humanity, and where is my place in it?
Identity defines each nation by the triad of culture, heritage and values. It differs from “nation-states” or “proposition nations” that define themselves by geographic boundaries and allegiance to a state ideology and economic system. We might call them “economic nations” because their primary purpose seems to be support for an economy so that the random people they have gathered under a banner can have jobs and entitlements.
An identitarian nation rejects the idea of the modern state. Identitarian nations are peoples. They come together from a common origin and think about their lives as a common way of life. This is not a “lifestyle,” which reduces culture to a product on a shelf for individual consumption. Ways of life originate from a shared origin, purpose, and folkways that have worked for that specific population over the centuries.
Identity looks to the questions of who we are and what is our goal, and recognizes that these questions cannot be answered by ideology. Answers must come from within, both inside the individual through a need for a purpose, and from the group, which has a sense of a shared goals that do not need a strong-arm government to be achieved.
The United States started with a strong identity: It was a breakaway nation formed of English colonists and settlers from other Western European nations. Its goal was to make its own decisions, both escaping the collapsing political structures of Europe and forging a new–or at least different–path.
Things have gotten worse ever since we left that focus behind. First we insisted on a universal moral standard defined by the manufacturing and trade economies of the northeast, and waged a disastrous civil war to enforce it. Then we became active in world politics, but did not use the self-interest of our people as our guide. Instead, we pursued the ideological objective of democratizing the world. At that point, we cared more about how we looked to others in order to curry political favor than about the effects of our actions on Americans.
Identitarianism does not judge “good” and “bad” as ideology does. It champions the group and encourages it to be a better version of itself. It makes decisions for its own people and does not consider its impact on others. As a result of this strong sense of group interest, people turn toward culture instead of government and or a police state that enforces ideology. They uphold social standards that guide their daily behavior and they ostracize those who violate them.
The standard of behavior in an identitarian nation is based on positive values. Those who live up to the standard will be praised. This contrasts with a society based in ideology, which punishes those who reject ideology, and rewards those who are obedient to it and promote novelty. Identitarianism has no use for novelty or ideology; it focuses on quality, on greater ability, depth, and character.
Conservatism used to try to create communities based in the family and on culture, heritage and values. As the superpower age fades, breakaway societies of this type will appear. They will rise above the rest because their methods work, and because the sense of identity they provide fills the individual with pride and the desire to benefit the group. The great democratic experiment of the USA will undergo “Brazilianization” and become like other mixed-race Third-World nations.
Those of us who reject the ideology of equality and diversity must unite–most likely on the basis of our shared Western European origins. Culture will be the basis of the breakaway groups that survive the collapse of American democracy, and will form the basis of the next civilization to rise from its ashes.