Lord Have Mercy, On the Working Man…

I wasn’t intending to direct my criticisms in  “Tribe Uber Alles” towards the new “Traditionalist Worker Party”.  I was railing against perceived sentiments in the Alternative Right as a whole.  Matt Parrott, though, took my comments personally and wrote a response.  He was right to do so.  While I hope I haven’t discouraged any of my friends spear-heading the new party, I’m glad my post elicited a response if for no other reason than it’s always educational to see Matt Parrott clarify important doctrines.

Maybe it’s my Tidewater upbringing, with all its emphasis on old-world hierarchy, but I’ve always had a problem with the “Distributist” program.  It’s too egalitarian.  I’m committed to the idea that not everyone can govern themselves – certainly not everyone is fit to govern a society.  Maybe Fitzhugh was onto something when he suggested that not just blacks, but also poor whites ought to be formally subservient?

…if someone finds that shocking he needs to reflect more on our current situation.  The old Southern canard is right: we’re all plantation workers now.

The distributist program, be it Chestertonian or an evolved amalgam, has egalitarianism and Marxist class theory at its base.  The Haves vs the Have Nots.  The Bourgeoisie vs the Proletariat.  Or, as Rick Santorum says: the Bigs vs the Littles.  It’s this class theory I meant to criticize in my Tribe Uber Alles post.

A few years ago, Lew Rockwell posted a splash page of material analyzing various class theories.  There’s much to learn from this body of literature, certainly, but I realized it wasn’t scratching my Kinist itch so I set out to form the rough outlines of a Kinist theory of class.

It didn’t turn out to be as exciting as I thought; it devolved into little more than the recognition of wealth differences within a family, with interesting implications for currency wars, foreign politics, and monarchy.  It does, however, help clarify my disagreement with Marxists (and all those who similarly emphasize economic status over blood ties):

Imagine, if you will, a peaceful family.  But then, hark!  A knocking at the door.  A gang of storm troopers barrel into the house, separate the members, and force them to associate in terms of who produces the most value.  This hellish vision is a clear contrast to the natural balance of the family.  It’s true, some members naturally have more than the others, but each has a God-ordained role in the “great chain of being”.

Now my friends with the Traditionalist Worker Party would likely agree with this view, allowing, of course, that all members are treated with the dignity and respect their status deserves.  Matt Parrott’s concluding paragraph hints at this.  But they still play on the old Marxist and classical liberal idea of segregating people based on economic status; at least, segregated in their political theorizing.

This is fine to a point.  I aim to support my friends with their new party.  I realize political parties are vehicles of action that provide more maneuverability, fund raising, and the like, and that Trad Youth is wise to pursue it.  I also realize that the folk mind in America thinks of itself in terms of economic status and thus, economic status must be addressed.  But these practical matters aside, my heart will never be in it.

I don’t even think it makes sense.  How much property or how many means of production must a person have before he is no longer to be considered a “worker”, for example?  Don’t rich people work?  I know they have lots of leisure time, but their investments, in my view, represent stored working power that is actively being risked in whatever financial venture they’re invested in.  Maybe it’s physical labor that makes one a worker; but that means writers, poets, artists, et al. are no longer to be considered workers.  The lines here are blurred and seem, in many cases, arbitrary.

…as a matter of fact, I think such lines can *only* be coherently drawn within the context of a Godly family-based political situation in the first place, where, given the formality of status, everyone is clear on their position and everyone is equally clear on how they fit into the national situation.  I almost said:  “…on how they fit into the nationalist machine”, but it’s not a machine.  It’s more of a flourishing organism.  A tree!  A tree that the French “working class” chopped down like metaphorical lumberjacks.

At any rate, to reassert, I understand the utility of taking economic class status into consideration, especially in modern America.  And I certainly hope my rants haven’t discouraged anyone working on the Traditionalist Worker Party.  But again, my heart can never be in it.

As a post script:

If they’re aiming their door-to-door campaign efforts in Appalachia, they’ll have to work on their talking points.  Appalachians don’t like being told they’re helpless creatures who need a  political party to swoop in and rescue them.  They don’t need a bunch of pretentious college kids from back east teaching them how to live.  (Of course, that’s not who Heimbach and the Worker Party are, but I’m worried they might be perceived that way by stalwartly independent hill-folk).

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15 Responses to Lord Have Mercy, On the Working Man…

  1. Alan J. Perrick says:

    The way that a lot of self-proclaimed traditionalists have readily embraced the Marxist terminology of “Capitalism” and sometimes even “Bourgeoisie” and “Prole” is extremely off-putting. One would expect anyone familiar with the concept of tradition to understand that Marxism is very anti-traditionalist-a philosophy of the opponents of tradition! That business interests want cheap labour is normal, but betrayal of their own country-men by bringing in millions of third-worlders is not. It is not complicated. It is treason!


  2. rogerunited says:

    If the inheritance tax was done away with and especially if usury were outlawed you’d see families grow a lot tighter as that would be the source for capital whether for a business venture, college tuition or to pay bills. Families would begin building dynastic wealth, no matter how modest that dynasty may be, and this, I think, would tend to draw families closer as they become their brothers keeper so to speak. Following from this is political integration as the clann looks out for its interests and eventually the successful families might build the ‘series of decentralized, confederated duchies’ you mention in Tribe Uber Alles.

    Of course, to make this happen would require political clout that nobody on the sensible right has!

  3. marvin120 says:

    Didn’t want to put this on their TradYouth site because I didn’t want to look like a hater or whatever– I really do wish Parrott & Heimbach well, as most of their views fall right in line with my own.

    Since you seem to know them, though, please pass along this piece of advice: they absolutely MUST change the official symbol of their new party, as it will be totally off-putting to the people they’re trying to reach. As you alluded to, they’re apparently targeting Appalachian country folk. Well, white people in Appalachia are almost uniformly Protestant/Evangelical Christians…they wear their Christianity on their sleeve, so to speak. For some reason, these TradWorker guys have chosen a pitchfork as their symbol– a black pitchfork in a black circle. I guess they were trying to have some sort of “working” connotation (if so, a hammer would’ve been better IMO), but many born again Appalachia folk will see it as a symbol of Satan himself, regardless of the pro-Christian rhetoric that Heimbach & Parrott use. I mean, can you imagine these people displaying this pitchfork image on their house/property/truck? No chance. It’s like the logo was designed with a different crowd in mind, skewing “edgier” and possibly younger… at any rate, the project is bound to fail under that particular banner. I wish one of their friends would have a serious talk with them about it.

    • If you were more than some anonymous guy on the internet, the likes of which are legion, your opinion might carry more weight. Have you dabbled in grass root campaigning, for instance? Have you successfully lobbied for a candidate? Or maybe you’re a sociology major specializing in contemporary Appalachian customs?

      Don’t get me wrong – having grown up around the mountain culture (and being part-Appalachian myself), I see a lot of sense in what you’re saying. But where were you when they were designing the logo?

      You were a disinterested party, sitting at home behind your computer. As such, the two of us will have to be content with watching their project unfold and helping, should we choose to, wherever we can.

      Also – I see the symbols and attitudes of the TradWorkers, as reflecting a sort of Eastern European fascist aesthetic. It plays well in Romania and Greece, but you and I both know, will likely have small affect in Appalachia. Better they had picked up a symbol already popular in the region, or adapted them into their new logo.

      proposed logo

      • marvin120 says:

        Wow, I didn’t realize that to be taken seriously, I need to prove myself. Thanks for bringing me to my senses.

  4. Gustavo says:

    Forgive my English, I read correctly but not write. I am Argentine and anguish to see the naivety of many ‘conservative / traditionalist’ Americans when it comes to ideological and economic systems. There is no and there will never be any ‘third way’ in matters of social nature. There was so initiatives across Latin America (Catholic), and all walked toward violent Marxism we have here, where power reveals the man’s character. It’s just a utopia that does not hold for more than two generations to be taken by traitors. Desperation makes you play with fire.

    Strong hugs brother…

    • Thanks Gustavo.

      I might be inclined to believe except history shows that Europeans were once capable of having long-lasting, stable societies, built on love of Christ and a hierarchical social order. We had it once; that’s all the hope I need to believe we can have it again.

  5. Hans Gygax says:

    Good piece. I don’t think you can reconcile Orthodox Christianity/National Socialist mindset with the views of the Traditional American. Mr. Terry, why not return to a Biblical Law form of government?

    The only reason why National Socialism is the only viable option to many White Nationalists, is because it is the only system that can use the arm of the flesh to prevail (and with that you get a whole lot of undesirable baggage and a loss of freedom). But our forefathers who conquered this land were blessed because of their obedience to God, and prevailed through him.

    • I agree with secular writer Colin Woodard…the “founding” was more complicated than the Yankee historical paradigm would have us believe. The “North”, the “South”, the Tidewater, and Appalachia, were four distinct founding cultures with different aims, religious pursuits, and ideals.

      The Yankee / Midlander view is sometimes mistaken for the traditional American view, with Puritans taming the wilderness by teaching God’s Word to the Injuns and backwards hill folk. But the Southern worldview (and subsequent view of the “founding”) is much different. On the southern view, their quasi-feudalist society *was* the Biblical society.

      I agree with them.

      As for all the pagan white nationalists – I think they’re national socialists for emotional and cultural reasons, opposed to abstract reasoning about how the system will enable their “flesh”. The more I interact with pagan white nationalists, the more I realize that white people are our own worst enemy.

      • The cultural reason that some people choose National Socialism and its attendant personalities is due to some measure of anti-American sentiment or frustration, regardless of how they got to that measure in the first place. For myself, I find it near impossible to trust National Socialist philosophy because it has, at its centre, a papist…


      • After a decade of intense study of philosophy, I’ve learned the hard way that almost no one actually cares about philosophical rigor. People hold positions they know full well are contradictory. Some are proud of their incomprehension and look suspiciously on anyone who questions or tries to systematize it.

        This is especially true in cult-like counter-cultural groups.

        A cult, I’ve decided (after briefly studying the Westboro Baptists) is a tribal “in-group” that is cultivated, not around blood or family ties, but around an idea or a person. In the case of the American National Socialists, they’re a cult-like tribal group focused on a few passionately-held doctrines. If any NS gets too curious, or if he lets his passion lead him to study the doctrines to better understand, present, and defend them, he’ll attempt to correct the gaps and end up ostracized for his efforts.

        I’ve experienced similar treatment among the Kinists, few of whom rigorously study philosophy. In my zealous attempt to be an apologist for the position, I found I had to constantly wade into new waters by trying to systematize and shore up weak points in the worldview. My attempts were often met with scoffing, naive assertions that such weaknesses didn’t exist, or declarations that some theologian long ago solved the problems. At best I was brushed off as melodramatic and lost respect. At worst, I was outright ostracized and dishonored.

        On top of it, I’ve been so influenced by Mr. Cambria’s writings, I eventually concluded my passion in philosophy was misplaced.

        In the end, the only people who care about philosophy (real, analytical philosophizing) are Post-Enlightenment Christians, who’ve so intellectualized their Faith they’re unable to recognize true Christianity, and atheists who, in their attempts to intellectually suppress the knowledge of God, go to extreme lengths, finely splitting logical hairs, to avoid accepting the truth.

        No one else – not politicians, not writers, certainly not Alternative Rightists, cares about philosophical precision. Everyone has their passionate view already, chosen on the basis of social acceptance, tradition, or love for an aesthetic (the neo-pagans, for example, are convinced Vikings and old barbarians are cool and manly so they ostensibly ally themselves with the Norse gods, not knowing or caring if those gods can provide for the preconditions of rationality).

      • “Shotgun”,

        I can see what you mean about polemicists not emphasising their own philosophy very much.

        C.W.N.Y. does have a good deal of philosophy, a lot more than other blogs and publications. It’s the political philosophy of Mr Edmund Burke that gets the most presentation there.

        When you mentioned that blog, I saw you had it linked under your category of Kinist trifecta. It’s next to the link for Spirit/Water/Blood that doesn’t work anymore, which gave me an idea to check something.

        Why not use this link instead of the broken one? http://spiritwaterblood.com/page/2/
        There were all sorts of working links through the archive: https://archive.is/ZSJN0

        Best regards,


  6. Fr. John+ says:

    “The distributist program, be it Chestertonian or an evolved amalgam, has egalitarianism and Marxist class theory at its base.”

    Hmm. Some meat in this column, Shotgun. And some very good observations by the comments. I would like to challenge your statement above, however, by saying in my reading Belloc and Chesterton (Both Brits, thus islanders, thus already easily isolationist) that only Dorothy Day in the USA seems to be Marxist behind her Distributivism. As Christ said, ‘The poor ye shall ALWAYS have with you.” I fully see Distributivism as the social arm of a people united by Faith, Folk and Land. In short, the old ‘we take care of our own,’ under the benevolent arms of the Church – the MEDIEVAL CHURCH, to be clear. NOT the modern Corporation sole.

    In that, the Kinist, Distributivist, Nativist, and WN could all agree on -we don’t take care of the Xenos, (because they don’t belong here) we don’t tax the publicus (Primarily because the local church does the relief work, the state currently does- and badly) and we don’t want no help from no stinkin’ bureaucrats. If you are old enough to remember Bush’s ‘faith-based initiatives’ strategy, it was a feeble (because government ‘supported’) attempt at restoring that vision. I remember one liberal calling Rush (yes, back then, I thought Rush was megadittoes) and saying, ‘But, but if we restore charity to faith-based institutions, we’d… we’d have to listen to preaching before getting a meal!’

    Yup. damn Straight. That was PRECISELY why I liked it. Imagine, say, a down and out transvestite hooker, actually hearing someone call them unregenerate, alienated from God, and Damned. Why, we might actually make a man our of that poor, confused soul! Or at least remove one accursed sin from his burden, while he spends the rest of this life repenting for the other….

    So, in seeing Distributivism as some sort of neb-marxist construct, might it just be OUR own prejudices that say, ‘ANY HANDOUT is COMMUNIST in ideology’ that’s keeping us from ‘feeding and caring for our OWN?’

    Just sayin’


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