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).