Edward Feser has been reviewing Confucian philosophy. This is of importance because it has enabled the Chinese to thrive despite a history of tyrannical rule in the middle kingdom and overt oppression without. Of which my son’s ancestors had experience: New Zealand had a poll tax. He notes we do not follow those ideals
Needless to say, the modern character type is the opposite of that of which Confucius would approve. Youthful insolence is esteemed and ancestors and tradition are held in contempt. “Irreverent,” “subversive,” “rebel,” and the like are stock terms of approbation. Power and fame are prized for their own sakes, regardless of merit. The self is not tamed but indulged, driven by covetousness, lust, and the filling of the belly. Tastes become ever more vulgar; the very notions of great men and sages, let alone heavenly ordinances, are sneered at; and popular opinion is molded instead by the glib tongues of a relentlessly cynical, mocking, and quarrelsome commentariat. Longstanding morals and customs have been shredded and social order increasingly depends instead on legislation, regulation, and the threat of litigation. Confucius, like Plato in his analysis of democratic egalitarianism, might as well have been describing twenty-first century America.
As hearts are ever further from rectification and thoughts from sincerity, people increasingly conform their ideas about the nature of things to their wishes, rather than conforming their wishes to the nature of things. Among the consequences is the ideologization of language, so that it distorts reality rather than revealing it and becomes a tool for manipulation rather than rational discourse.
Feser points to how the ancient thought of politics, less of a democracy (Aristotle consider democracy always led to Tyranny, where the base appetites of both tryant and people ran amok). This required collegiality: the ability to work together and to get on with one another: the unwritten rules that engender trust. When we moved from the woke to the redneck quarter of our city we lost status but we gained peace. Yesterday our neighbour directed us to where he is feeding wild parrots. We are looking out for each other and helping each other, regardless of what level of lockdown or social distancing regulation our increasingly tyrannical governments put in place.
The tyrant will fear collegiality and neighbourliness. They want their serfs atomized, and their policies encourage it.
So, diversity + proximity = war; but, homogeny + proximity = citizenry.
Not only is our multi-ethnic society anti-democratic and chaotic, but the foreigners and imposters who presume to rule over us make a coordinated point to demonise whites at every opportunity. This is a calculated strategy which is designed to divide the nation along ethnic rivalries while putting down the one ethnic group that could pose a threat to their hegemony if that group ever got its act together.
The targeted selection of certain suburbs and cities to receive mass influxes of various foreign invaders is thus revealed as being a tactic, rather than something of pure chance. At every step the goal is to remove from the citizens their place within the community, to make them aliens in their own land. Such that Clint Eastwood’s character in a movie will be the last remaining white standout on a street where he has spent most of his life.
What to do, what to do. In my interview on the David Hiscox Show the other week, I extolled the listeners to begin working on their own set of virtues and the principles by which they lead their lives. It is beyond useless to overthrow a government of hollow men if those doing the overthrowing are subsequently revealed to also be hollow.
As Freser notes, the modern liberal thinking disdains any emphasis on personal discipline or the moral character of individuals, but rather seeks to impose order through rules and institutions. This top-down and external substitution for morality means that people will try and get away with whatever is possible. And that is just among the native population. Factor in the behavior of the unintegrated foreign invaders and the capacity for chaos rises inexorably to its foregone conclusion.
In a properly functioning society with citizens of good moral standing, personal lawsuits would be almost unnecessary.
But we must not be too hasty. While simultaneously losing faith in our rulers, we must also be disciplined and cultivate personal virtue in ourselves, in our families and in our communities. We must rectify our hearts, as Confucius says. And above all else, we must hold in our minds and hearts the concept of being a citizen, of contributing to our fellow men, of cultivating and embracing our philia.
Philia is important, and part of a healthy workplace, neighbourhood and church. It cannot be engineered. It requires mutual activities and purpose. I also think it is quite masculine. Many women don’t get it: they want to talk. But, as we saw yesterday in (of all things) a programme on architecture, many men show their love not in words but in the things that they do.
Philia means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek. It is one of the four types of love in the Bible. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354–430 AD), understood this form of love to describe a love of equals who are united in a common purpose, pursuit, good, or end. Thus, philia refers to love based on mutual respect, shared devotion, joint interests, and common values.
But, the woke say, we can have common purposes, pursuit, goals and ends in diversity. I say no. The common purpose is forced by fear and shame and cancel culture and daily rituals of hate. Philia comes from a love of place and people. It is more akin to the love of one’s tribe: one’s county or country, ones village.
It acknowledges that there are many nations and villages and tribes, but this one is mine, and among these people I can be who I am without any need for virtue signalling or politically correct tests.
Philia leads to goodwill. Without either, society is sterile.
And the simplest way to get to this place os to be humane, human, with your neighbours, your people, your tribe. No people is perfect. But do not deny your race and creed for the approval of those who hate you. That way lies destruction and despair. For diversity plus proximity alway swill lead to conflict.