Traditionalists must be anti-antiracists

because race is a social construction, of course!  (Not that social constructs can’t also be biological realities.)  While we aren’t obliged to defend intraracial cohesion per se, anyone who attempts to destroy intraracial cohesion will inevitably end up attacking things that we do care about.

Proof:

1) By definition, traditionalists support the preservation of traditions.  Traditions are by definition that which is handed down from generation to generation.

2) Some traditions, generally the most important, are group identity-forming.

3) Therefore, it’s important that most of the time, people marry others with the same tradition baggage.  Otherwise, one of them couldn’t pass on their ancestral ways and group consciousness to their descendants.  (With identity-forming traditions, it is not possible to authentically adopt two sets or mix and match.)  It’s a sort of collective survival instinct that people want those whom they identify as their descendants to identify with those whom they identify as their ancestors.  Introspection will show this desire alive in those, like American whites, who relate to their racial identity primarily through shame.  This is not to say that there’s a moral law against marrying-out, but it must be the exception rather than the rule for a group to survive.  Conversion/adoption is the other way to perpetuate a tradition, but that’s a zero-sum game between traditions and is usually numerically insignificant compared to perpetuation via procreation.

(Aside:  In patrilineal–meaning most–societies, the paternal line dominates, which is why it is viscerally clear to everyone that one’s own men having sex with foreign women is a score for the team, while one’s own women having sex with foreign men means being losers.)

4) Therefore, a traditional society will have a lot of marriage within the group.

5) Over time, as this cluster of people interbreed, they will become more homogeneous amongst themselves and more genetically distinct from outsiders.  They will become, in other words, a race.

The point of tradition is not to preserve races, but each tradition naturally creates its own genetic carrier, and an attack on the integrity of the latter will in practice mean an attack on the transmission of the former.

78 Responses

  1. The problem with race though is that there is a danger that it will supplant religion as the animating principal. If one wants to stop the mixing of races (I mean that not just in the biological sense) they we must begin by doing away with liberal-capitalism.

  2. “The Bible does not see color — which is why it leaves Christians free to publicly and guiltlessly associate with their own colors, as they are wont to do when not living under the tyranny of a secular liberal-progressive police state.”

    As I would say.

  3. Reblogged this on ReactionaryThought and commented:
    “(Aside: In patrilineal–meaning most–societies, the paternal line dominates, which is why it is viscerally clear to everyone that one’s own men having sex with foreign women is a score for the team, while one’s own women having sex with foreign men means being losers.)”

  4. The problem is, the races that actually exist, for the most part, do not exist for any morally desirable reason (which is not to say they’re evil or any nonsense like that, they just exist for morally indifferent reasons). I don’t see why it should be a concern of ours to protect the integrity of the white race. The most important identity forming group is religion, which is something that should be spread to all people. I’d also point out that ancient peoples generally distinguished between their own and foreigners based on religious worldview. This usually coincided with ethnicity until the modern day, but you can see that in pre-modern peoples where several ethnicities shared a common belief system (Catholic medieval Europe, the various tribes of ancient Israel, even much of the modern Middle East), those of the other ethnicities who shared the same religion, were considered to be more akin than foreign. And ethnicities with multiple competing religions tended not to remain a common ethnic group, but separated. The modern notion of a racial, ethnic, or civil culture separate from religion is an innovation (and a rather foolish one given the etymology of the word “culture”). Which is why it makes sense that nationalism has generally been aligned with liberalism, and why the original reactionaries were against it.

  5. Hello ArkansasReactionary,

    You make what’s probably the strongest argument against racial identification–that it has no moral value without any particular duties attached, like identification with one’s immediate family or town has. In my original post, I was only willing to say that even without directly caring about racial identification, we’re going to end up confronting its enemies. However, I do have a sense that being white imposes some sort of duty on me, although when you hear about it, it might seem more virtual than real. Let me try to explain.

    In America at least, being “white” pretty much means identifying as a descendant of European civilization rather than with its real or imagined victims. It’s not that blacks and mestizos are unwelcome; it’s that they have their own ancestral memories, and God bless them in their own pieties. Even a black who is a sincere Christian doesn’t feel white guilt or white defensiveness over the Crusades or slavery. We’re brothers in Christ but have different remembered ancestors. I say “remembered” because it’s impression that’s everything here. I may not really be biologically related to lots of the European peoples that I’ve been taught to feel guilty for, but the identification has stuck. It’s part of who I am now, and I feel genuinely concerned that the memory of “whites” not be entirely consigned to their enemies.

    This is what I feel to be my white man’s burden. It sounds closely related to my Catholic burden, since what I’m really defending is past Christian civilization, but I’ve found that churchmen devoted solely to Christ feel no compunction about throwing past generations of Christians under the bus as it were, because Christ alone is holy. Pope John Paul II’s apologies to unbelievers made my blood boil, because unlike him, my loyalty is not just to Christ but also to my ancestors, the dead of Christendom, and I never want to see the head of my tribe supplicating before other tribes.

  6. The medium by which tradition is primarily handed on is language, which is at once the creation of a particular way of life and the vehicle of its transmission. A common language defines a community, both inclusively and exclusively.

    For that reason, when Europeans speak of nationality, they tend to mean a language group – The Swedish minority in Finland, for example, or the Hungarian minority in Romania or when we talk of Basques, Bretons or Catalans. Similarly, Gaelic-speaking Scots use “Sasunnach” to describe English people and Lowland Scots indifferently, with all the connotations of the Greek βάρβαρος. When Fichte said that frontiers should depend, not on dynasties and treaties, but on language and nationality, I would suggest that “nationality” was added simply to balance the antithesis: in reality, for Fichte and most of his readers, “language” and “nationality” are synonymous.

    To quote an amusing example of this, I once heard two French ladies talking about their new curé, whose name was Garbut. Now, Garbut is a Venetian name, so I asked them if he was Italian. “Oh, no,” they said, “he’s French – from Montréal.”

    The correlation of language and ethnicity is variable; DNA results show that the majority of the indigenous English population is of Celtic descent, even in the south and east of the country, where the Anglo-Saxon and Danish settlements were most intensive and the death of the Cornish language was not associated with any influx of English-speakers into the Duchy

  7. I’m not sure that racial identification is without moral value. The Golden Rule is, after all, founded on one person identifying with another person as a human of equal moral worth, so anything that makes this identification easier and more probable would seem to have moral value. The fact that another person looks like me makes it easier to identify with that person, just as the facts that he speaks my language and worships my God.

    Of course we tend to admire people who do things the hard way, not the easy way, so there is something to admire in those moral athletes who feel genuine universal human brotherhood. Those of us for whom fraternal feeling is not so natural may, however, seek to exhibit brotherhood in a society in which the men look like our actual brothers.

    I don’t think we are asked to keep moral rules under the most difficult circumstances we can arrange. A chaste man who lives in a brothel is not more chaste than his brother who lives in a monastery.

  8. Bonald, what do you mean by “racism?” Most liberals I know of believe that racism is a kind of hatred. But in that sense of that word, racism differs from, say, white identity about which you’ll read at (http://www.amren.com/). Believers in white identity prefer to be with other whites, feel white pride, think that racial differences cause hostility, oppose forced integration, and believe that whites need to protect common concerns they have because they are white. I believe in white identity in this sense of the phrase. But white identity doesn’t imply that I hate members of other ethnic group because they belong to them.

  9. Bonald,

    You raise an interesting point. I guess mine is mainly that views on ethnicity historically followed (and still ought to) religious lines. Why are Hispanics considered closer to Anglo-Saxons than to Arabs, well because Hispanics and Anglo-Saxons were historically Christian, whereas the Arabs were Muslim.

    Also as an ex-neocon I suppose I have a fear of falling into the rabbit hole of trying to conserve yesterday’s innovation, so I’m intuitively weary of racialism, since it’s an idea only a few hundred years old.

    JMSmith,

    You raise a good point, but what do you say should be done in this regard?

  10. Also Bonald, I would agree that the majority of antiracists are also enemies of the things we care about.

  11. Arkansas Reactionary @ The word fraternity was tainted by the French Revolution, but this should not blind us to its moral significance. We are called upon to look upon other men as brothers. In reality this does not mean all other men living on this earth, but rather theme flesh and blood men by whom we are surrounded. If they look like my brothers as the genealogist defines that word, it will be easier for me to treat them as a brother, as the theologians define that word. Obviously,we must rise to the hard cases, but it is moral vanity to give ourselves more hard cases than we must

  12. But what should be done in our particular society, to fix this?

  13. ArkansasReactionary,

    Note that Bonald doesn’t say we need to be pro-racist. He’s simply saying we need to be anti-antiracist. “Antiracism”, as the term is commonly used today, doesn’t entail the measured skepticism you’re evincing. It entails contempt for and hatred of particular peoples (i.e., white people), their history, their traditions, and the institutions that transmit those traditions between generations; in its practical aspect it entails an attempt to destroy those people’s consciousness as a people by destroying those same institutions. They are, in other words, contemptible vandals (and usually baby-murdering degenerates). Whether or not love of one’s own race is morally obligatory, I’d hope we could all agree that avoiding a kind of racialist libido delendi is so obligatory.

  14. Proph,

    That’s true.

  15. My defense of race probably wouldn’t satisfy the Identitarians, though. If a black man identifies with “us” enough to be offended when someone insults medieval Europeans, I’m happy for him to marry one of my daughters. (If a good black Catholic wanted to marry one of them, I’d accept it, but I’d be sad that my grandchildren would regard me as part of an oppressor race. If a daughter of mine wanted to marry a Jew or Muslim, I’d do what I could to discourage it.) But for this reason if a group of whites and blacks both identified with the same ancestors, they wouldn’t be biologically distinct for long.

  16. “….I’m happy for him to marry one of my daughters.”

    Bonald, do you think that your recent Catholic ancestors would have shared this attitude?

    I’m very confident that, for example, my Catholic great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, etc. would have strongly objected to one of their daughters marrying him.

    Of course, this doesn’t prove anything. They could have been wrong.

  17. In a traditional society, I think ethnicity would be the proper object of the type of cohesive group loyalty that identitarians seek. Throughout most of world history, your neighboring peoples, that is, the “other” that you had the most contact with were racially similar. So ethnic differences were the big deal rather than biological/racial differences. In the new world, we created multiracial countries (and, at the same time, broke down intraracial ethnic barriers) and so I think it was inevitable that people would ultimately identify based on biological race (not saying this is good or bad, just that it’s to be expected).
    Jim Kalb’s Anti-Racism essay deals with this topic pretty thoroughly. Thomas Fleming has also dealt with this topic many times both in articles and in his book. Fleming’s take (I believe) is that “white” in the American context is too big and abstract and I think he believes that we should go back to traditional understanding of ethnicity.
    Whether you’re speaking of race or ethnicity, I think people (with exceptions) don’t tend to identify with what their ancestors didn’t create. This is why race/ethnicity tends to parallel & carry culture. If we believe in the reality of biological differences, it also means that, to some extent, race determines culture.

  18. “Whether you’re speaking of race or ethnicity, I think people (with exceptions) don’t tend to identify with what their ancestors didn’t create…”

    It is easy to think of important counter-examples. The Reception of Roman Law is a remarkable example, where nation after nation has adopted a foreign code to regulate their daily lives: family law, inheritance, ownership and obligation. Even such nationalistic societies as Japan and Turkey have done so and Germany’s civil code is more Romanistic than Italy’s.

    Think, too, of the pervasive influence of Classical models in art, architecture, literature, language and much else besides.

    No one is more devoted to their « Mission civilisatrice » than the French, whose culture is not in the least Frankish, but Roman to the backbone.

  19. Bruce,

    I disagree, in the pre-modern world, religion would have been more important than ethnicity. Ethnicity and culture formed around religion. Thus why Filipinos consider themselves western, whereas Vietnamese do not, because the Philippines accepted Catholicism en masses whereas the Vietnamese did not.

    Also note Michael’s point regarding the adoption of Roman law and culture by non-Romans.

    Regarding what recent Catholic ancestors would have thought, the problem is this argument could also be used to argue for classical liberalism.

  20. Bonald,
    Shouldn’t the dead bury their dead? Why go on and on about ancestor-worship? Who cares for traditions? Should Aztecs worship Aztec traditions?
    There is need for discussion in concrete, and not abstract hand-waving.
    Precseily which political steps would you recommend?
    1) Stripping political rights for a certain population? Your answer,Yes??
    2) Forbidding inter-marriage? Your answer No, i suppose.
    3) resedential segregration?

  21. #3. The beauty of segregation is that people do it naturally and voluntarily. All the state has to do is stop preventing it.

  22. vishmehr24 @ There are many possible attitudes towards one’s ancestors between the poles of “worship” and repudiation. Yet today, anyone who proposes to turn the dial one notch away from repudiation is accused of really proposing to turn it all the way to “worship.” Anyone who thinks about this for a moment must see that we do justice to our ancestors with an attitude somewhere between worship and repudiation. “Honor” just about sums it up.

    The Aztecs were vile in some ways, as are all people; but they no doubt also possessed virtues such as courage and fortitude. If a descendent of the Aztecs wishes to honor the memory of his ancestors, I have no objection to that. I would not let him airbrush human sacrifice out of the picture, but human sacrifice needn’t be the whole picture.

    Unless one is an absolute egalitarian, “stripping” certain populations of political rights will always be a political possibility. If one comes to believe that having granted that population that right was a mistake, one might very well conclude that “stripping” them of that right is desirable. For instance, I would “strip” the right to vote from Americans under the age of 21.

  23. #3. The beauty of segregation is that people do it naturally and voluntarily. All the state has to do is stop preventing it.

    The word “voluntary” in that sentence is apt to lead to confusion. If you mean by “voluntary” that white residents get together to voluntarily beat up youts trespassing in their neighborhood if the government lets them, then yes. If you mean by “voluntary” that white residents get together voluntarily to burn down the house of the black family which persistently fails to get the hint that they should leave, then yes.

    If you mean by “voluntary” that blacks voluntarily choose to live with blacks, then ha ha. Legally mandated residential segregation is a way of doing in an orderly way what otherwise would be done in a disorderly way. If you want it (it being involuntary-for-blacks residential segregation) not to happen, a regime of centralized coercion is necessary. It is precisely the current system of libertarian freedom in housing location whose operationalization requires vigilant government thugs. The pseudo-segregation achieved under the current system is bought by constant motion—blacks are free to move into white neighborhoods; they do move into white neighborhoods; and then whites flee either further out into the countryside or back into the central city.

  24. @DrBill

    The problem with legally mandated residential segregation is that if a person is that homeowners have a right to their land, and to force them to leave it simply to grant its use to another for the same use (residential), is consequently unjust.

  25. DrBill: I don’t mean that the use of private violence should be allowed. No one should be forced (or intolerably pressured) to leave, although I see no reason that local authorities could not regulate who comes in. You seem to be assuming that blacks have an inherent desire to live with whites, even when they’re not wanted. Surely they also find it more comfortable to live among themselves, ruled by their own kind according to their own norms (to the extent that they really are a distinct subculture, and I think they are). Right now, there are incentives in place for them to go to white regions where they will find themselves “underrepresented”, and these are part of the artificial pressure I’d like to remove.

    You might say that blacks wish to live in white neighborhoods because we have better grocery stores, school equipment, and the like. If that’s it, then it should be possible for whites who want a homogeneous neighborhood to buy off outsiders. Imagine a segregated America where everybody got to live with their own race, supported by a constant flow of money extracted from the white ghettos and distributed to the others. There would also be some mixed regions for those few who like that sort of thing. Could this work?

  26. Interjecting here, I also think it’s more useful to talk about this at the national/tribal level rather than racial level. Race is such a broad category, and ill-defined. Not to mention, it is identified primarily by physical attributes. Nations, on the other hand, have much more clearly delineated cultures and social structure, but are abstract enough to represent a commitment beyond one’s own little world (unless you belong to an incredibly small nation). One is also able to be more easily adopted at a national level than a racial level because it is much easier to make a conscious decision to adopt French culture rather than, say, the tribal African one you were raised on. It comes with a specific language to learn, works of art and literature to be familiar with, and a traditional ancestral religion. Becoming white would have none of those things.

    Also, Biblically, nations play a much more prominent role than races. Shem, Japheth, and Ham are much more abstract ancestors than the progenitors of nations in the Bible. Nations are called to worship Christ, whereas there is hardly a mention of any larger race doing so. For this and other reasons, I think the nation is the limits of human extended family structure save for, perhaps, rare instances of some kind of global racial struggle.

    “Surely they also find it more comfortable to live among themselves, ruled by their own kind according to their own norms (to the extent that they really are a distinct subculture, and I think they are).”

    As far as this goes, there are many black people in the United States (and throughout the West) who have adopted European cultural values, mostly liberal ones, but still European ones. Most of the blacks who move into upper middle class neighborhoods are culturally indistinct from their neighboring whites, save perhaps from some mannerisms they may retain. My next door neighbor is an upper middle class black man who plays golf and tennis and wears Tommy Bahama gear. You don’t get much more stereotypically middle-aged white male than that. I can only imagine this sort of thing is a source of identity conflicts in the black community.

  27. Bonald @ The process you describe in your original post is ethnogenesis. This combines endogamy and the transmission of unique cultural traits, and has historically resulted primarily from geographic isolation. An ethnic group that is not isolated, and yet wishes to preserve its biological and cultural heritage, will erect artificial barriers to sexual and social intercourse (i.e. restrictions on commensality). The Jews are, of course, the paradigm example, but they are not altogether unique. These artificial barriers discourage social and sexual intercourse by stating that, when intergroup intercourse occurs, at least one of the parties who has crossed the barrier has degraded or defiled himself. He may therefore be ostracized or disowned by his original group.

    All of this becomes very difficult now that we have modern transportation and a liberal ideology saying that all men must be treated equally. When she is of age, my daughter may fly to South Africa and return wed to a Kalahari Bushman, and I’d be expected to feel nothing but delight. This is the meat grinder of Modernity, and there is very little we can do to gum up its gears.

    It is probably significant that wealth remains an important barrier to sexual and social intercourse. Indeed, “marrying money” is less common now than in the past because of assortative mating.

    My sense is that traditional Christians must study the survival strategies of the anabaptist sects. The Amish survive, retaining most of their children, with a very low level of geographic isolation. And they do this without coming into the crosshairs of the managerial state.

  28. My black, middle-class, next door neighbor (who is a very likeable man) has a strong sense of his blackness. His blackness is literally advertised on his clothes, and in the fraternal, black identity organizations he belongs to (they’re harmless affinity groups nothing like the black panthers). I think his example is typical.

    He’s part of the same 300 million+ person nation-state but I can’t see why I should see him as part of the same nation or people or tribe or whatever as I am. He sees himself as part of a different group.

  29. I entirely agree with nathanjevans regarding nation as the object of our political loyalty and not race.
    Even the English word “nation” misleads since it is connected with the notion of birth and heredity. The correct notion is the City.

    Focus on race does not comport well with Christian ethics and has a very poor record. Has 20C never happened?

  30. AR,
    “homeowners have a right to their land”
    Property rights are not prior to the State–that is the error of the libertarian.
    Property rights arise in a state of laws that is provided by the state.
    No state, no property rights. As a consequence, state is jusified (in political theory as well in Catholic teaching) to adjust the property rights to further common good.

  31. Vishmehr24,

    I do not believe that racial resettlement can easily be said to be in furtherance of the common good.

  32. You seem to be assuming that blacks have an inherent desire to live with whites, even when they’re not wanted. Surely they also find it more comfortable to live among themselves

    I don’t know what you mean by “inherent.” Blacks want to live among whites because the social organization which springs up where whites congregate produces pleasant living conditions, at least under present technological circumstances. It does this at all scales, from the family unit all the way up to the continent. Blacks don’t prefer, per se, to live with whites. They prefer to live in places that don’t suck. White places don’t suck. Black places suck. Does that make it “inherent?” It’s certainly something more than better grocery stores.

    Right now, there are incentives in place for them to go to white regions where they will find themselves “underrepresented”, and these are part of the artificial pressure I’d like to remove.

    Blacks don’t move to white countries/neighborhoods because they get affirmative action for doing so. They don’t, in fact, get affirmative action for doing so. They can get their affirmative action from black neighborhoods, too. They move to white countries/neighborhoods because they don’t want their 11 year old daughters to be raped. They don’t want their 5 year old sons’ feet cut by broken bottles in the vacant lot they play in. Etc.

    Imagine a segregated America where everybody got to live with their own race, supported by a constant flow of money extracted from the white ghettos

    You aren’t getting that without involuntary relocation of blacks and coercive measures to keep them away. But, yeah, I am pro-segregation, so that sounds OK to me. But the black places will still suck, and blacks will want out.

    Interjecting here, I also think it’s more useful to talk about this at the national/tribal level rather than racial level. Race is such a broad category,

    “American white” is a nation/tribe. “American black” is a nation/tribe. The fact that there are Francophile, expatriot Americans in Paris (who are not, by the way, French) does not change the fact that French and American white are different ethnies. The same with your “upper middle class” black neighbors. If they identify with whites and breed exclusively with whites, then, after a couple of generations, they will be white. The racistist racist who ever racisted would agree with this. Octoroons were white most places in the South during the heyday of Jim Crow.

    Relatedly, the word “race,” up until last Tuesday, had a flexible meaning. Irish race. English race. White race. Etc. This insistent failure, common among the “I’m not a racist” branch of traditionalism, to see that white and black are ethnicities when the conversation pertains specifically to the US, as it does here, is pretty annoying.

    The problem with legally mandated residential segregation is that if a person is that homeowners have a right to their land, and to force them to leave it simply to grant its use to another for the same use (residential), is consequently unjust.

    Twaddle. We throw people off their property all the time pour raisons d’etat. It’s just to do so.

    I do not believe that racial resettlement can easily be said to be in furtherance of the common good.

    The racial resettlement of blacks among whites was not in furtherance of the common good, and we should undo it to the extent feasible.

  33. On the religion/language business, the Marranos and the Donmeh adopted, at least outwardly, the religion and language of their host societies. However, they were rightly identified as different ethnicities because they did not interbreed with their host societies. Ashkenazi Jews are a separate ethnic group even though they do not really share a language among themselves and do share the languages of their various host societies. They are, however, a breeding group. Finally, the various American white ethnicities ceased to exist when they started to interbreed pretty much freely (post-WWII) not when they started to have the same religion (1000 years earlier) or when they spoke the same language (50 years earlier). So, I think breeding group is at least as important as language and religion.

  34. “Property rights arise in a state of laws that is provided by the state.”

    The contrary error originated with Locke, influenced by the Common Law tradition that conflates possession (a fact) with ownership (a legal concept).

    As Charles Rollin observed, “Theft was permitted in Sparta. It was severely punished among the Scythians. The reason for this difference is obvious: the law, which alone determines the right to property and the use of goods, granted a private individual no right, among the Scythians, to the goods of another person, whereas in Sparta the contrary was the case.” He also instances the gleaning laws of the OT

    To a Civilian, like Mirabeau, it seemed obvious that “Property is a social creation. The laws not only protect and maintain property; they bring it into being [elles la font naître]; they determine its scope and the extent that it occupies in the rights of the citizens.”

  35. “Octoroons were white most places in the South during the heyday of Jim Crow.”

    Not if they had the one drop rule.

    “This insistent failure, common among the “I’m not a racist” branch of traditionalism, to see that white and black are ethnicities when the conversation pertains specifically to the US, as it does here, is pretty annoying.”

    Ethnicities traditionally developed as a result of a particular people living in one country (ethnogenesis et al). There was no time when “American whites” or “American blacks” lived in their own countries to create these ethnicities.

    “Twaddle. We throw people off their property all the time pour raisons d’etat. It’s just to do so.”

    Racial resettlement is not a valid reason of the state.

    “On the religion/language business, the Marranos and the Donmeh adopted, at least outwardly, the religion and language of their host societies.”

    And they remained distinct because it was a fraud.

    “Finally, the various American white ethnicities ceased to exist when they started to interbreed pretty much freely (post-WWII) not when they started to have the same religion (1000 years earlier) or when they spoke the same language (50 years earlier). So, I think breeding group is at least as important as language and religion.”

    With the Norman invasion, there was a large influx of Frenchmen into England. They rapidly became one ethnocultural group (what we now call English). When Jews settled in various parts of Europe, OTOH, they remained distinct. Why? Religious difference.

    The reason that such did not occur here is because of the modern disregard for religion. Our national antireligion is liberalism, and race and ethnicity have served liberalism well as practical replacements for religion as an object of popular piety.

  36. Michael Paterson-Seymour @ Watching my children in the sandbox converted me to the basic Lockean understanding of property, which I understand to be some portion of nature with with one’s unalienated labor has been mixed. A child of one year old who mounds some sand into a heap will understand that it is his heap of sand, even if another, larger, child takes possession of it. A supervising adult who recognizes the justice of the first child’s claim to the heap of sand, and restores it to his possession, is analogous to a just state, which recognizes a natural right of ownership and enforces a political right of possession. On the other hand, an unjust adult might award possession of the sand heap to the second, usurping child, but no one (least of all the one-year-old) would agree that this made it the larger child’s property.

    The supervising adult (i.e. the law) may set limits on the property claim of the one year old (e.g. the heap does not extend to the limits of the sandbox, the heap is yours only so long as you play with the heap, you may not throw the heap at your sister), but the original property claim is not a fiction of the supervising adult (i.e. the law).

    Vishmehr 24 @ Following on what I just wrote, I think it is clear that property rights are not created by the state. They arise as a natural human sentiment and are subsequently defined and enforced by the state. This is necessary because there will always be usurpers who will steel what is not theirs, but also because persons with a just claim to property will, if left unchecked, expand their claims beyond reason.

  37. “There was no time when “American whites” or “American blacks” lived in their own countries to create these ethnicities.”

    Until the 1960’s, American blacks and American whites lived largely separate lives. This was accomplished legally in the South and informally in the North.

    As I illustrated above, most blacks have a sense of identity (one that is quite important to them) that excludes me. So I don’t think that I’m of the same people/ethnicity/whatever-you-want-to-call-it as they are.

  38. Bruce,

    But in one and the same country this racial/ethnic segregation happened, which is what makes a novelty historically speaking.

    Historically if one group of people comes to another country and settles amongst people who hold the same worldview, they’ll generally dissolve as a culturally distinct group, into the existing group.

  39. @vishmehr

    “Even the English word ‘nation’ misleads since it is connected with the notion of birth and heredity. The correct notion is the City.”

    The Biblical concept of nationhood is closely linked with birth and heredity, though with the possibility of adoption (see: Exodus 12:48-49). I was specifically using the term to refer to the ethnic grouping as an extension of ancestral heritage. However, one can be adopted by another nation if they adopt the customs and practices of its people. This is obviously easier if one looks like the people who form the main body of genetic descendants of the nation’s progenitors (so, it’s easier for a German to become a Frenchman than it is for him to adopt, say, Indian culture), but that’s just because people tend to stick around people who look like them. I would say this is not particularly desirable, though, save for exceptional circumstances.

  40. JMsmith,
    A right is a conclusion to a series of arguments, ultimately to a moral premise.
    The moral premise behind property rights is biblical-man must eat by the sweat of his brow.

    “Property rights arise in a state of laws” but
    “man is a political animal” thus
    “state of laws” is where man naturally lives.
    The error of liberal theory is to start with individuals and then construct state. But this inevitably leads to libertarianism.
    The older notion is to regard individuals, families and the state as three irreducible levels of human organization and all fundamental and none derivable from another.

  41. AR,
    “I do not believe that racial resettlement can easily be said to be in furtherance of the common good”
    I have said nothing about racial resettlement. My point was solely about the authority of the state to adjust private properties in order to further common good. .

  42. Locke distinguished between
    A) State of laws–that exists within a polity
    B) State of nature–that exists at the frontier between two polities (with no warfare between them). In Lockean language, the princes exist in a state of nature.
    C) state of war–actual warfare existing.

    Now, within a polity, people agree on a lot of moral premises, thus maximum number of arguments can proceed to conclusion and thus maximum scope exists for property rights.
    At the frontier where two polities face each other, not all moral premises are shared, and thus only a limited number of arguments can proceed to conclusion and thus property rights are limited.
    In particular, property rights in land are not secured at the frontier.
    But property rights in chattels are secured. Thus, trading can take place at the frontier.
    In a state of war, property is unsecured along with lfe and liberty.

    So, in this sense,I say that property rights “arise”in a state of laws.
    And Micheal PS is also justified in saying that property rights are socially created since the full specturm of property rights that arise in particular polity depends upon that polity. 200 years ago, intellectual property rights were not well-secured in America. Now they are.
    Another example- property rights in land are not defined in many
    primitive tribal polities.

  43. Rollin cites not only the laws of Lycurgus, but various biblical laws, in support of his proposition that “the law alone determines the right of property and the use of goods” – “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. xix. 9, 10). “When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow” (Deut. xxiv. 20, 21).

    All commentators agree that these were not moral injunctions, but part of the civil law of the Jewish Commonwealth.

  44. It was a fundamental principle of the Enlightenment that the nature of the human person can be adequately described without mention of social relationships. A person’s relations with others, even if important, are not essential and describe nothing that is, strictly speaking, necessary to one’s being what one is. This principle underlies all their talk about the “state of nature” and the “social contract,” and from it is derived the notion that the only obligations are those voluntarily assumed.

  45. MPS @ What you say about enlightenment individualism is partly correct. Its political theory employed a philosophical anthropology in which individuals predated society. But there is another side to this. The naturalism of the enlightenment led to strictly environmental explanations of human behavior, beginning with Rousseau. From these environmental theories we get the modern idea that the individual is nothing but what society makes him. We see the first error of excessive individualism in libertarians, the second in most sociologists, and both are dangerous. An individual is not the result of nature or culture, but of cultured nature.

    I think your quotes from the OT fit my sandbox parable since they place limits on the farmer’s property rights. Gleaning rights were a form of taxation to support the poor. Unlike our taxation to support the poor, they favored those poor who had the initiative and wherewithal to glean. The harvest itself was the farmer’s by natural right, not by the positive law of the state.

  46. JMsmith

    I do not think the gleaning laws can be seen as a tax. Rather, like arriage and services, it was a condition on which the land was held, like the reddendo in a feu-charter. The tithe, as described in Num. Xviii: 21-26 was clearly a separate estate in the land.

    The problem with attributing ownership to the possessor in a “state of nature” is that we read in the Institutes, “ea quae ex hostibus capimus iure gentium statim nostra fiunt &c – By the law of all nations, what we take from the enemy at once becomes ours” (Inst 2:1) Conquest extinguishes all titles, unless the conqueror grants them of new. Now, in a state of nature, every man is an enemy to every other, so the ownership lost and the ownership acquired would be alike nugatory.

  47. MPS @ That’s an interesting distinction between an outright tax and a condition of ownership, however I think both fall under the heading of a limitation on fee simple title to property. It is useful to look at premodern modes of land tenure when thinking about this question, although I’d lay the emphasis on the rights of tenants rather than the rights of landowners (arraign, reddendo, soakage). You write from England, don’t you? Your wonderful public footpaths are a legacy of this older understanding of limited property rights.

    If we are to take Justinian at face value, the law of conquest would make any attempt at reconquest an act of naked aggression on level with the initial conquest. Driving the Turks out of Hungary, or the Moors out of Spain, become simple acts of aggression. If a man grabs my wallet and I try to take it back, am I mugging him?

  48. Michael PS,
    “in state of nature, every man is an enemy to every other”
    In Hobbesian “state of nature”, but certainly not in Lockean “state of nature.”
    The Lcokean state of nature in fact corresponds to the libertarian utopia.

  49. JMsmith,
    “Conquest extinguishes all titles”
    True and can not be otherwise, if you really appreciate what titles are.

    property rights are defined and secured in a particular state of law. Conquest replaces one state of law with another. The property rights associated with one state of law depart with that state of law.

    However, it is only the titles in land that are inextricably associated with
    particular state of laws. Some property rights, such as to chattels, are defined even in state of nature. For example, one’c clothes. They remain unaffected by conquest.

  50. Bonald’s notion of race is simplistic. Leaving aside complex nations e.g. India or China, even relatively homogenous nations such as English represent problem for the view of race is an intermarrying group.

    The point is an aristocracy that normally does not intermarry with the commoners. An English aristocrat would be more likely to marry a German aristocrat rather than an English laborer. Yet there is still an ineffable loyalty that links the English aristocrat with his fellow English laborer. That tie is nationhood and which is shown to have nothing with intermarrying and race.

  51. JMsmith,
    “the law of conquest would make any attempt at reconquest an act of naked aggression on level with the initial conquest”

    One needs to distinguish between the national or tribal territories that are secured by might (or brute force) and private property this is secured by laws.
    The national territory since it has no justification beyond brute force can not be stolen. It can only be possessed. The acts of aggression possess no moral character in itself. That is, while stealing is always wrong, it is not wrong per se to take another tribe’s land.

  52. In a state of nature, man is stranger to other men. This is what I meant by likening it to the state at frontier.

    We are not too sure about a stranger. We do not know what gods he worships i.e. which moral premises he believes in and operates with.
    He is not necessarily an enemy but he is always a potential enemy.

  53. JMsmith

    I write from Scotland, which has a Civil (Roman) law tradition, with a heavily feudalised land law. Hence the distinction that Scots law draws between “direct ownership” (dominium directum), which comprises the superior’s rights and “ownership of the use” (dominium utile) which is the vassal’s right to the use and enjoyment of land. There is nothing corresponding to the “fee simple” of English law, except, perhaps, for the allodial tenure that survives in the former Danish territory of Orkney & Shetland. The vassal has a heritable and redeemable right, just like the superior. (and, of course, there may be mid-superiorities too)

    Vishmehr 24

    You are right as regards the national territory; this is one reason why the Roman jurists drew so sharp a distinction between Public law (which includes the relations between the state and its citizens) and Private law (which governs relations between ciitizens). Now dominium (ownership) is a concept of private law and the term is never applied to the ager publicus, for example.

  54. “One needs to distinguish between the national or tribal territories that are secured by might (or brute force) and private property this is secured by laws.
    The national territory since it has no justification beyond brute force can not be stolen. It can only be possessed. The acts of aggression possess no moral character in itself. That is, while stealing is always wrong, it is not wrong per se to take another tribe’s land.”

    I’d disagree that it’s not wrong to take another country’s land. Such is aggressive war, which is wrong.

  55. Vishmehr 24 claims that there is a difference between the conquest of a state’s territory and the expropriation of the private property of its citizens. This may be true in some abstract hypothetical sense, but in reality foreign conquest is normally accompanied by expropriation of private property, and expropriation of private property is wrong because to take a man’s property is to take a portion of his life.

    On the Lockean model of property that I am defending, what is stollen is not so much the land itself, but the labor that is inextricably sunk in the soil. This labor is often represented with the evocative expression ‘blood, sweat and tears.” My blood, sweat and tears are mine, given to me as a gift of God. I may be accountable to God for the ways that I use them, and I may be obliged to spend some portion of them to repay uncontracted debts to others, but my blood, sweat and tears are mine. When I sink them into material–including land–that material becomes mine (assuming no prior or unextinguished claim on that material).

    This understanding of property is, incidentally, the analogue of our belief that the God is the Lord of Creation because he created it.

  56. “This understanding of property is, incidentally, the analogue of our belief that the God is the Lord of Creation because he created it.”

    That is a case of specificatio. Even a thief, who makes another’s grapes into wine or corn into bread becomes the owner of the product (although he will be liable to the acti furti and a condictio furtiva).

    It is scarcely a notion that can be applied to land. The nearest analogy is the rule that allows a liferenter’s executors to enter and reap the crop he planted, which is treated, by anticipation, as a moveable. Where Locke’s idea breaks down is that it is the crop that is the result of labour, not the soil.

  57. Hmmm. One of my comments did not post. Will try again.

    “Octoroons were white most places in the South during the heyday of Jim Crow.”

    Not if they had the one drop rule.

    The one drop rule was a feature of Jim Crow under attack, not a feature of Jim Crow in its heyday. Well, to be more careful, Jim Crow in general was a feature of Jim Crow under attack—in its heyday it did not exist. According to Wikipedia, the first state to adopt one drop was Tennessee in 1910. One drop was the successor system to mulatto, quadroon, octoroon (these date to before the Civil War) and to the more casual duck test: “he looks white and acts white; therefore, he is white.”

    Ethnicities traditionally developed as a result of a particular people living in one country (ethnogenesis et al). There was no time when “American whites” or “American blacks” lived in their own countries to create these ethnicities.

    But I don’t agree that ethnogenesis requires a country. It’s kind of a creepy reverse nationalism. The idea that American whites and American blacks are part of a single ethny is risible. The idea that “American white” is an arbitrary construct grouping together a bunch of “real” ethnies which lie beneath is similarly risible. I suppose the Amish are an ethny. Maybe American Southern White is an ethny. But, I’m running out of plausible ones really fast. The possible positions are “Americans are deprived of any ethny at all” and the American white / American black one I support.

    “Twaddle. We throw people off their property all the time pour raisons d’etat. It’s just to do so.”

    Racial resettlement is not a valid reason of the state.

    But public order is. Hiring lots of cops and separating the races are just two different policies that the sovereign may consider in pursuit of it. Your position looks to me like the standard modern equivocation lightly dressed up in Catholic clothing. Any distinction among the races is necessarily motivated by hate. Blah, blah, blah.

    With the Norman invasion, there was a large influx of Frenchmen into England. They rapidly became one ethnocultural group (what we now call English). When Jews settled in various parts of Europe, OTOH, they remained distinct. Why? Religious difference.

    It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Frenchmen rapidly assimilated. The Normans did not. The upper classes in England were not a part of any “one ethnocultural group.” They were self-consciously first Norman and later namelessly Francophile and Francophone. They aggressively imported French and Latin words and repeatedly changed the pronunciation of English words in order persistently to mark themselves off from the commoners.

    I am aware of the claims that the English aristocracy is fully interbred with the commoners. I don’t believe them. Or, to the extent they are true, they are true in the Gregory Clark sense that the aristocracy carried out a slow, successful genocide.

    The Jews are a poor example for you. Their religion is inherently “racist.” Once you make hysteria about blood purity a tenet of your religion, the distinction between ethy=breeding group and ethny=religion kind of breaks down.

    Anyhow, all the ethnies of Western Europe are counterexamples to the ethny=religion idea. Spanish, French, Basque, and Italian ethnies had the same religion for a long time without becoming one ethny. Germans have been Protestant and Catholic for 500 years without becoming two different ethnies.

    Language is more plausible than religion as the kernel of ethnogenisis. Though I prefer genes as the kernel.

  58. As usual, an excellent comment.
    “Language is more plausible than religion as the kernel of ethnogenisis. Though I prefer genes as the kernel.”
    Language seems very important but I guess I’d ask why we’re forced to choose. Isn’t it all of the above?

  59. Echoing Dr. Bill’s comment, I wasn’t sure if AR was implying that blacks and whites are one ethny or if they are both ethny-less.

  60. “But I don’t agree that ethnogenesis requires a country. It’s kind of a creepy reverse nationalism. The idea that American whites and American blacks are part of a single ethny is risible. The idea that “American white” is an arbitrary construct grouping together a bunch of “real” ethnies which lie beneath is similarly risible. I suppose the Amish are an ethny. Maybe American Southern White is an ethny. But, I’m running out of plausible ones really fast. The possible positions are ‘Americans are deprived of any ethny at all’ and the American white / American black one I support.”

    When have two different ethnicities coexisted in the same country and had the same religion, and not merged, prior to the modern era? Yes it happened here, but it wouldn’t have in a more traditional society.

    “But public order is. Hiring lots of cops and separating the races are just two different policies that the sovereign may consider in pursuit of it. Your position looks to me like the standard modern equivocation lightly dressed up in Catholic clothing. Any distinction among the races is necessarily motivated by hate. Blah, blah, blah.”

    My position is that forcing someone to move from their property because some who looks like them and is distantly related to them commits disorder, is unjustified. Not because race is an exception, but because the exercise of eminent domain ought to be an exception.

    “It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Frenchmen rapidly assimilated. The Normans did not. The upper classes in England were not a part of any “one ethnocultural group.” They were self-consciously first Norman and later namelessly Francophile and Francophone. They aggressively imported French and Latin words and repeatedly changed the pronunciation of English words in order persistently to mark themselves off from the commoners.

    I am aware of the claims that the English aristocracy is fully interbred with the commoners. I don’t believe them. Or, to the extent they are true, they are true in the Gregory Clark sense that the aristocracy carried out a slow, successful genocide.”

    Of course there was cultural separation between nobles and commoners. But how long did cultural distinctions based on biological ancestry last?

    “The Jews are a poor example for you. Their religion is inherently ‘racist.’ Once you make hysteria about blood purity a tenet of your religion, the distinction between ethy=breeding group and ethny=religion kind of breaks down.”

    And when a Jew converted to Christianity in medieval Europe, he (and more importantly his descendants) integrated.

    “Anyhow, all the ethnies of Western Europe are counterexamples to the ethny=religion idea. Spanish, French, Basque, and Italian ethnies had the same religion for a long time without becoming one ethny. Germans have been Protestant and Catholic for 500 years without becoming two different ethnies.”

    Yes, peoples who lived in separate countries ended up being separate ethnicities. But notice how there weren’t, for example, a noticeable minorities of Italians living in medieval France, even when Italy was racked by massive internal conflict, and one would expect many people would have fled. Any who did so flee wouldn’t have remained a distinguishable subgroup in France. Heck, even the Papacy became French-dominated when the Pope lived in France.

    “Language is more plausible than religion as the kernel of ethnogenisis. Though I prefer genes as the kernel.”

    China had for as long as is known had many different languages spoke, until rather recently when the government repressed these. Whereas alternate religious beliefs have had a much longer history of suppression.

  61. Of course most nations have historically had a single language, as well, but China is a notable and historic exception.

  62. “As usual, an excellent comment.
    ‘Language is more plausible than religion as the kernel of ethnogenisis. Though I prefer genes as the kernel.’
    Language seems very important but I guess I’d ask why we’re forced to choose. Isn’t it all of the above?”

    They usually go to together, but religion, unlike ethnicity or even language, has historically impeded integration more so in cases where people live in the same country.

  63. […] pens another bit of Traditionalist Catholic crimethink in Traditionalists must be anti-antiracists. But he provides proof, you say? Proofs be rayciss! Also from Bonald, some groundwork for the […]

  64. JMsmith,
    The Lockean notion is not wrong but incomplete inasmuch it neglects the political context in which man lives, labors and acquires property.
    This neglect leads to errornous notions particularly regarding property in land.
    The correct context for man is man in city and his property as a part of the national territory.
    Otherwise what is your theory of national territory?/
    What is your idea of the relation between the national territory and individual landed property?

  65. My “theory of national territory” is that it is the land that has been imbued, and thereby purchased, by the blood, sweat and tears of the fathers of the nation. This is why the land belongs to that nation, and why, if that land is conquered, the nation has a right to undertake reconquest. It seems to me that your theory is actually a theory of state territory, which is quite a different thing than national territory. In your theory the state possesses land by conquest and can dole it out to anyone it pleases.

  66. JMsmith,
    There is no right or wrong in territories. The territory, whether national, tribal or state, is secured by might and not by arguments. Hence the only justification by which a particular people hold a particular land is might. There is no purchase by blood or sweat. This point is alluded to in Lord of the Rings as well when Frodo talks of “our Shire” and an Elf corrects him by saying that there were other people in Shire before hobbits and there will be others after hobbits.Explicitly he says “But it is not your Shire”.

    What is secured by might may be lost by might. As “those that live by sword shall die by the sword”.

  67. Regarding the “right of reconquest”–no such right. And by the same criterion–no such wrong.

    A soverign entity i.e. State or a tribe, people, nation–asserts its claim over a particular territory. Other states or tribes may affirm this claim or not. But none needs to give a particular reason for their assertions, affirmation or denials. For the matter is NOT settled by arguments but by might alone.

  68. On the contrary, vishmehr24, the Church teaches that waging aggressive war is immoral.

  69. “On the contrary, vishmehr24, the Church teaches that waging aggressive war is immoral.”

    Just War Theory does not necessarily preclude aggressive war. Really, whether aggressive war is acceptable or not depends entirely on whether you think an act of aggression is justifiable. Many would argue that aggressive war inherently lacks just cause, but obviously the proponent of an aggressive war would not think so. Also, what constitutes “aggressive war” is an open question. Is a preemptive strike “aggressive”? Is conquering your tribe’s only viable supply of water from an enemy with plenty of it aggressive? Is waging a war for your King’s claim on a throne aggressive? Aggression is too ambiguous to be a very useful category in regards to Just War Theory, in my opinion.

    That being said, vishmehr is wrong in that in order for there to be a just war, there must be a just cause. Just deciding, “hey, I want this chunk of earth” isn’t a just cause. Now, if your people needed that chunk of earth in order to survive, then it’s a bit more ambiguous as to whether conquering it is acceptable. Also, the nature of the previous claim on it would be an issue as well.

  70. Aquinas requires that a country can only have war waged against them justly for a fault:

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3040.htm

    The Catechism specifies that just war is in defense, and identifies the country against which just war is waged as the aggressor:

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm

    Thus it is clear that just war may only occur in response to an attack, in self-defense.

    And as far as the case of people requiring necessities of life from a neighboring country, while that country might be obliged to provide these necessities, or even to provide asylum to the inhabitants of the other country, they are not obliged to provide the other country with land, because a case of necessity only creates an obligation to provide someone with that which is in fact necessary, and permanent rights to land are not so necessary.

    Now since aggressive war is unjustified, but defensive war justified, it is clear then that the current state authority over a territory, has a right to that territory. Note though, that this right exists because of their legal rights to it, given either by tradition, by being given the rights from the previous sovereign, or by seizing the land as terra nullis, all of which ultimately go back to the first. The right does not exist because of labor or the like, as the labor effects only the fruits of the land.

  71. nathanjevans,
    “i want this chunk of earth” is hardly ever so. There are always multiple reasons, more or less valid. Eg Russian 19C expansion in Central Asia
    was justified by border banditry and slave raiding carried out by Central Asian tribes.
    Yet, there are actually NO valid claims to land. Valid claims on land exist ONLY within particular polities and do not make sense BETWEEN polities. The only reason English people are occupying their island is that they have beaten off all invaders. Emphasis BEATEN OFF and not
    ARGUED DOWN.

    Tribes and nations occupy particular lands and then lose them to a mightier tribe. And they LOSE all claims to it. Germans have lost their eastern lands, Indians have lost their Western lands (which now forms Pakistan). Nobody regards these proceedings-gaining and losing national territory/tribal land as either moral or immoral.

    What is needed to appreciate is that right and wrongs arise only in the situation where LAWS exist. But tribal land is always secured by MIGHT alone and not by laws.
    However, the conduct of war can be moral or immoral and this is where the Just War theory comes. Apart of them, the Just War theory merely presents us with some guidelines. The exact status of Just War theory is debatable. Has the Catholic Church ever declared a war unjust?
    Even the German Nazi army was carrying Catholic chaplains. The Catholic Bishops used to bless each national army in World War 1.

  72. “Has the Catholic Church ever declared a war unjust?”
    How could it? The Church can define moral principles, but not their application to a particular case, for that involves questions of fact, over which she has no particular competence.
    Even “Councils are not infallible in the reasons by which they are led, or on which they rely, in making their definition, nor in matters which relate to persons, nor to physical matters which have no necessary connexion with dogma.” (Peronne Præl. Theol. t. 2, p. 492) Thus, for example, the condemnation of Origen or Theodoret applies to the doctrines ascribed to them and not their persons

  73. AR,
    “their legal rights to it, given either by tradition, by being given the rights from the previous sovereign, or by seizing the land as terra nullis, all of which ultimately go back to the first”

    “Legal right” implies a court of law that defines, judges and secures the aforesaid right. But by definition of a sovereign, there can be no court of law that defines, judges and secures their rights. All claims and rights that sovereigns accept are self-imposed. The sovereign claims are secured by might. Thus, whatever their right to a particular territory might be, it is not emphatically a “legal right”.

    Now, you write that ultimately it goes back to tradition i.e. mere passage of time. You would see that in substance, it is identical to what I have asserted though my language is somewhat unusual. The matter is generally put in a timid kind of language that manages to obscure the essential difference in private property and national territory. And which is why people are often found to express absurd statements such as a govt. owning the territory.

    And if Govt owns the national territory (which is meant by the State having a legal claim to the territory) then you need to formulate the relation between Govt ownership of the entire territory and private ownerships of the various plots within the national territory.

  74. AR,
    2309 These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.
    1) the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    2) – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    3) – there must be serious prospects of success;

    4) – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
    ——————————————————————————
    Who is going to define “lasting, grave and certain damage”?
    If one operates with true classical definition of the nation and not the Lockean definition by which Govt is principally constituted to protect and secure private property and its accumulation, then one realizes that
    “lasting, grave and certain damage” include a lot of things that do not require marching armies.
    Eg a cultural war against one’s nation. If a country engages in cultural subversion i.e. inciting and funding campaigns for free divorce, abortion and acceptance of homosexuality, would you or would you not call it
    aggression against one’s nation?

  75. ““Legal right” implies a court of law that defines, judges and secures the aforesaid right. But by definition of a sovereign, there can be no court of law that defines, judges and secures their rights. All claims and rights that sovereigns accept are self-imposed. The sovereign claims are secured by might. Thus, whatever their right to a particular territory might be, it is not emphatically a “legal right”.”

    My rights to my property do not cease when the courthouse closes. Just because practical enforcement of a right depends on X, does not mean that X is the source of the right. I would point out that certain duties of the sovereign are imposed by divine law (e.g. to prohibit murder), or by tradition (e.g. to not seize private property without just compensation).

    “Now, you write that ultimately it goes back to tradition i.e. mere passage of time. You would see that in substance, it is identical to what I have asserted though my language is somewhat unusual. The matter is generally put in a timid kind of language that manages to obscure the essential difference in private property and national territory. And which is why people are often found to express absurd statements such as a govt. owning the territory.”

    You are correct that government does not “own” the territory strictly speaking.

    “And if Govt owns the national territory (which is meant by the State having a legal claim to the territory) then you need to formulate the relation between Govt ownership of the entire territory and private ownerships of the various plots within the national territory.”

    Private property is the right to the land itself and the fruit of the land. Sovereign authority is the right to regulate human conduct in the territory. Roughly speaking.

    “4) Who is going to define “lasting, grave and certain damage”?
    If one operates with true classical definition of the nation and not the Lockean definition by which Govt is principally constituted to protect and secure private property and its accumulation, then one realizes that
    “lasting, grave and certain damage” include a lot of things that do not require marching armies.
    Eg a cultural war against one’s nation. If a country engages in cultural subversion i.e. inciting and funding campaigns for free divorce, abortion and acceptance of homosexuality, would you or would you not call it
    aggression against one’s nation?”

    If the subversive state is not using armed force to facilitate its subversion, then it can be dealt with via the domestic authority of the subverted state. If the subversive state is using armed force to facilitate its subversion, then it is aggression.

  76. Southern whites just didn’t want to go full feudal and take proper responsibility. They wanted, even after slavery, the benefits of a captive labor pool that could undercut and buffer the local freeholding peasant class, but they didn’t want to honor an actual aristocrat’s web of obligations and responsibilities to their serfs/slaves.

    There has always been a plurality or even majority of blacks who are happy to live solely among their own kind. The myth that all blacks want to live among whites is just that, a myth. What they actually do is entirely different.

    In Texas, which is so feudal it is just barely American in certain key ways, responsibility was taken to a modest extent. The results were different. More property ownership, more infrastructure within-community and less crime within-community and without from black people. The Texan identity is longstanding for many black, Mexican and white (Bohemian and German and some others I am not as familiar with and would have to look up) families with ancestry going back a couple hundred years there. It’s a sort of national identity that doesn’t at all supersede racial issues, but it does link those three very different ethnies in a way that isn’t as typical in the rest of the United States.

    There are aspects of the Texan experiment worth paying attention to if one is pursuing some kind of long-range integration of disparate racial groups with common religions but the weird American history of individualism and atomic living.

  77. It’s a sort of national identity that doesn’t at all supersede racial issues, but it does link those three very different ethnies in a way that isn’t as typical in the rest of the United States.

    There are aspects of the Texan experiment worth paying attention to if one is pursuing some kind of long-range integration of disparate racial groups with common religions but the weird American history of individualism and atomic living.

    Very well said. Considering media portrayal, one might think Texas is some sort of hotbed of white racists. Interestingly enough, Houston successfully integrated a fourth ethny: Vietnamese. There is also a sizeable Muslim and Indian population in the city (I live there). My other observation is that the whitest city, Austin, is also the most fervently “anti-racist”, whose inhabitants look down their noses at those awful racist “conservatives” who live in the more diverse cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc.

    Texas is an example of people loyal to an idea that’s not really tied to “democracy” or “America”. It might not necessary be an entirely good idea, but it’s certainly unique.

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