An Empire of the Heart vs. An Empire of Iron

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Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering. ~ Charles Dickens

I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with Richard Spencer on a recent episode of the Rebel Yell podcast. Spencer, always a controversial figure in the Alternative Right, has once again riled tempers by taking an unpopular position on the recent BREXIT. Most in the Alternative Right, and most in the Southern Nationalist faction particularly, enthusiastically support England’s breaking away from the European Union. Any break up of centralized authority is seen as a net benefit for secessionist and decentralization efforts world wide. Spencer, on the other hand, staying consistent with his past statements, suggested the separation might not be in the English people’s best interest. On another recent podcast he said he’d remain open-minded about possible benefits and would take a pragmatic approach toward the entire ordeal. He’s well known for supporting a broad “pan-European unity” effort, where all the warring factions within the white world ban together under a centralized bureaucratic government of some sort. The Rebel Yell hosts disagreed.

My caricature of his position is admittedly broad because even after listening to numerous podcasts, I only have a vague notion about its particulars. When confronting knee-jerk reactions against it, I’ve often suggested that what he might have in mind is a world where the E.U. acts as a secularized version of the old Holy Roman Empire.

It’s often readily admitted, after all, that a strong cohesive force of some kind is needed to weld together the competing interests of the white world. Race, it’s generally conceded, is simply not enough. One need only glance at the history of the pro-white movement in America, especially since the 1970’s, to see a horrible amount of infighting, backstabbing, and all manner of different aims, ideas, and game plans. Didn’t even the great Constantine, on some secular accounts, inaugurate Christianity as the official religion of Rome solely to take advantage of its cohesive power?

I raised this idea to Spencer in the podcast, who replied that while Christianity could be a great cohesive force, it’s also proven very destructive. I didn’t counter the point then, but on my view, the wars of religion in Europe were a precise outcome of the breakdown of religious unity, not a result of it.

At any rate, this tussle leads immediately to a perennial problem in all nationalist movements, especially the Alternative Right. It’s generally supposed that we need political power, be it democratic or military, and that only comes by combining all the small pro-white factions together – unifying everyone into a large interest group which can effectively compete in whatever political climate it encounters. But how to merge all the groups together without glossing over vitally important sub-group identities?

This, says Spencer, is where we need the strong arm of the state. The so-called “Empire of Iron”; a powerful force that can impose its will on all the factions, with wise philosopher bureaucrats at the helm. This might seem more like the pagan Roman Empire than the Christian Catholic one that followed it. I argued instead for the so-called “Empire of the Heart” where all the competing factions maintained their sovereignty while still being able to work for their interests as a unit by virtue of a shared ethical / religious outlook – preferably Christianity.

Despite the rise in technology, which makes it easier for centralized states to control and / or oppress their subjects, the old political axiom still seems to apply: no one rules without the consent of the governed. There are always more of the governed than the governors so by sheer numbers alone, the whim of the populace has to be taken into account by law-makers. So I don’t see how the Empire of Iron can ever prevail. To prevail at all, there must already be an Empire of the Heart – a shared set of common values.

To attack from another angle: Empires of Iron may seem more “humane” in the abstract. Modernist government school kids are prone to scoff at the “petty” battles of the medieval “war lords”. They prefer large bureaucratic empires that impose federalized “democracy” allowing, in principle, the differing factions to resolve their issues nonviolently. It’s [the current year] after all, and as-we-now-know, and science, etc. Right?

This is a common fallacy of democrats and I’ll stomp it out here: the “evil” dark age violence, far from being eliminated by Pan-National democracy, is merely decentralized and spread out among the most innocent of the populace. Instead of a battle hardened warrior class absorbing the violence, democratic police officers impose ideals of the winning political faction on old ladies, children, defenseless families, and the like. Moreover, this isn’t a single battle, it’s a daily, ongoing act of violence.

Most of us know a free market where violence is allowed as a check on power and various non-government institutions have competing legitimacy is a much better way of organizing a society than bureaucratic democracies. But this sort of “anarchy” (a label I use for the feudalism of the middle ages) can *only* take place in a society of shared universal religious sentiment. Where knights are virtuous in victory and honorable in defeat (ie: instead of killing their Christian cousins, merely ransoming them). The modern may cringe, but this sort of honorable martial society is forthright, honest, and when repressed by artificial social contracts, leads to a seething cauldron of abuse, the brunt of which falls on the most innocent.

No – there can be no Empire of Iron without first having an Empire of the Heart, but if we already have an Empire of the Heart, there’s no need the one of Iron. It’s superfluous and only those flattered by their own rationalized ideals and alchemist intentions for their fellow man, find it the least bit plausible. Probably why it’s also rumored that Richard Spencer is a “transhumanist”. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

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