honor among fake Americans

I’ve come to believe that Vox Day is right about only U.S. citizens descended from those circa the Constitutional Convention being real members of the American nation.  This not in spite of my personal case but because of it.  My ancestors immigrated to America in the mid-19th century from various parts of Europe, and I definitely don’t have the same instinctive identification with the colonial or revolutionary generations that the WASPs seem to have.  I’ve never been proud nor ashamed of the Founding Fathers, even before becoming a monarchist, even though my parents are interested in American history and never said anything against them; they simply are not my fathers.  The disputes and parties of American history are alien to me; arguments between Federalists and anti-Federalists, for example, feel to me like the disputes of a foreign people with alien sensibilities.

I find that I can think more warmly of Founderolatry realizing that it’s not meant for me, that it represents not a serious position of political philosophy but another people’s vulgar (in the sense of “popular”) expression of piety.

The proper attitude I should have to “real” Americans is gratitude.  They didn’t have to take my people in, and it is a point of honor that we should not make them regret having done so.  We should not aim to overthrow and replace them.  Yes, we Catholics wish that all lands would become Catholic, but we want this to happen by converting the natives, not by dispossessing them of their homes.  An America that embraced the faith would still be herself, just as Rome under Constantine and Theodosius remained herself.  And even if America did become Catholic, it would still not really be my country.

11 Responses

  1. Are you sure you dont have ancestors that go back to the founding? I have several branches on my mother’s side and I’m not particularly old stock.

  2. I am also from a family of immigrants (third generation), Catholic and from Northern Europe. Federalism is a political opinion that has historically protected Roman Catholics. Where decision-making is local, you have things like strong parochial schools that are a popular alternative to public schools and allowed to express their faith freely. Where decision-making sits in the Washington DC swamp and statehouses that are staffed with an ex-DC crowd, freedom of religion is threatened with a thousand cuts. And that’s not just a story about Catholicism. They hate people of faith in general.

    The US Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of law in this country, has five Roman Catholic justices and one justice that was raised Roman Catholic but became Episcopalian. Two of the justices, in fact, attended the same Catholic high school.

    There have certainly been movements in American history that have caused great harm and offense to Catholics, but you are not living through one. If anything, American Catholics are more Catholic than the current pope.

  3. Bonald,

    Do you think your case is typical, or do you think your case is atypical? My ancestors also immigrated to America in the mid-19th century (early 20th century in the case of my father’s side), but I have an instinctive identification with the founders (even though I regard their ideology as noxious), with America’s heritage more generally, and with England’s history, over say, the histories of other European nations. And while I do have some English ancestry, it’s not the dominant component, and not what I identify with if one asks me what my ancestry is.

    Whose history do you identify with most? The French?

  4. saucysandpiper,

    There have certainly been movements in American history that have caused great harm and offense to Catholics, but you are not living through one.

    A society that thinks that two men can marry each other and enacts this enormity into law and that regards public blasphemy as a fundamental right is a society that causes great harm and offense to men of all religions. And that’s a gross understatement.

    The fact that there are five legal positivist Catholic justice and one legal positivist Protestant justice on the Supreme Court simply shows what a deeply corrupting influence our society has been on Christianity.

  5. ¾ old stock British (English, Ulster-Protestant) here. Other quarter is German-Catholic immigrants (1850s). Hard to know who to identify with. Most of my ancestry is founder stock but a man’s patriline seems to hold special interest.

  6. Ian,

    Given the popularity of the sentiment “They didn’t want grandpa to come, so now I’m going to force them to take even more immigrants”, I’d say my case is typical, except that I don’t hate my benefactors.

  7. Josh,

    I’m not entirely sure. I’m guided mostly by knowing where a few of the family names among my ancestors come from (Belgium, Germany, Ireland). In this matter, though, perception is what matters.

    I wonder if if would make a difference if I had been even half founding stock. One sees that some identities are dominant and others recessive, as for example Americans who are half African American identify 100% as black. I expect other peoples of grievance (Hispanic, Jewish, Irish) exercise a similar attraction in their partial descendants.

  8. I’m half Irish, a quarter “founder stock,” (but mostly Welsh, it seems), and a quarter other Catholic immigrant groups.

    I do identify with the Irish side, but more because they were more recent immigrants and because I was much closer to that side of the family than due to them being “people of grievance.”

    Despite having provable founder stock ancestry (as far as I can tell I qualify for Sons of Union Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution, and First Families of Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Maryland) I feel the same disconnect from the founders as you describe. I don’t think I would have wanted to live in the America they lived in. I feel a sense of kinship with all the Catholic immigrant groups, even the ones to whom I’m not related.

  9. This seems somewhat along the lines of “more monarchist than thou” monarchists who don’t support the English monarchy because they’re holding out for a restoration of the Stuarts. If you want national loyalty to be a moral obligation contra the cosmopolitans, it seems perverse to make this depend on a dive into genealogy and history to decide to whom you owe your loyalties.

  10. […] Americans, being the descendants of those around the time of the Constitutional Convention: Honor Among Fake Americans. Also, status and democracy as rule by the media: The Trouble With an Aristocracy of […]

  11. idk Roepke, depends on how you characterize a state, if merely an organization of people in a land, or also including the bloodlines and storylines of said people(s), which are intertwined. obviously in this half-cosmopolitan world a lot of lines have been blurred, and therefore seems easier to just fall back on national loyalty based on structural material borders. however, when the cosmopolitans retort that the structures can be easily changed by moving lines on the map (and people around), the nationalist then has to reply that these borders are also based on bloodlines and storylines… and for us Catholics, the historical spread of the Gospel too.

    so it is no surprise that people with less Anglo-Saxon/Protestant background, whether material or cultural, will feel the usual Kirk-Burkean conservatism a bit plastic; focused on these limited transactional-rights that clearly only fitted a farmers’ republic of varying denominations and regions, a literal Union of provincial colonists that needed to get along under a Freemason order. (an order which would run strong while materials abounded, but would eventually betray its principles, since they were purely material and easily betrayed.) all this absent perhaps of the more traditional-rights based corporate body of Catholic societies – a model which, retrofitted to the (post)information age, should perhaps gain more resurgence, given how it gives what youth needs now: productive work, less usury, some land to hold onto, more community, and ways to make babies.

    and yes, i thank WASPs for steam engines and the Turing machine i am using now – heck, even for republican constitutional democracy, which is really an expansion of the medieval Catholic yeoman’s rights, which were looser in the sparser, wilder former-Celtic/Germanic lands than in more populated Roman provinces. but, i’d rather not have Turing’s vices expanded for the sake of “freedom of speech”, to the point that if royal enforcers and confessional states are at times needed, so be it.

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