In the previous article, there were several readers in the comments who seemed surprised that I had studied the issue and concluded that morality is universal.
As I did my research, turned over a bunch of ideas in my mind and especially after I started practicing morality, I began to see ethics in a new light. While morality is universal or accessible to anyone, political correctness is the opposite. It is a diabolical creed that divides people, causes violence and social strife and pits groups against each other under the cloak of righteousness.
It’s not just Christian and Aristotelian morality that is universal. Science is also universal. The philosophy of the Enlightenment is universal. If you are Asian, there is no inherent reason why you can’t practice science. There is no inherent reason why you can’t appreciate European classical music and culture. While you can never become White, there is no reason why you can’t convert to Christianity.
Let’s start with Aristotelianism and Antiquity. We shall go with Aristotelianism because it had the greatest impact on Western Europe in the Middle Ages.
Is there a reason why anyone can’t practice the classical virtues? There are any number of YouTube channels that are full of great advice about nutrition and body building. Some of these YouTube channels are run by people who are non-White. While they are non-White, they are not wrong about the benefits to your health of practicing the virtue of temperance in your life.
A temperate person will avoid drunkenness, sugary foods and won’t be quick to anger. A temperate person will maintain a healthy diet, reflect upon what he or she is consuming and avoid abusing drugs. A temperate person will be physically active, not slothful. It goes without saying that practicing temperance cuts across racial lines because morality is not a racial issue. There are White people, black people, Asian people and Hispanic people who are temperate. Similarly, there are White people, black people, Asian people and Hispanic people who DO NOT practice temperance in their lives.
An honest, straightforward person will always try to tell you the truth to the best of his ability. It isn’t a racial issue because morality cuts across racial lines. There are White people, black people, Asian people and Hispanic people who are honest. Similarly, there are White people, black people, Asian people and Hispanic people who mendacious, deceitful liars. There is no reason why anyone cannot practice honesty in their lives (veritas is the root of virtue) and become a better human being.
As Aristotle would have explained, potential and actual are two different things. As a human being, you have the potential to be a virtuous person, but you might actually be a vicious person. He would have said there is no such thing as moral equality because all individuals are virtuous or vicious in greater or lesser degrees and the same is true of peoples. There is one tribe of people in particular that comes to mind that enjoys a well deserved reputation for hypocrisy and mendacity.
As an “alt-right white supremacist” (take your pick from whatever absurd label journos are using), I would argue that courage is another virtue that anyone can practice. Courage is also a moral quality which is not a racial issue. There are White people, Hispanic people, Asian people, black people, Christians, even Muslims, who practice courage. Similarly, there are millions of White, Asian, Hispanic, black, Christian and Islamic cowards. The issue of courage and cowardice isn’t a racial one. It truly cuts across racial lines. As with all virtues, courage is a virtue which must be practiced or cultivated.
We can go through the whole list of Aristotelian virtues which he advocated practicing in a kind of moral gymnasium: prudence and justice, modesty, ambition, friendliness, generosity, highmindedness (a sense of honor, self worthiness) and so on. There is a lot of overlap with Plato in their assessment of the cardinal virtues. Aristotle identifies and talks about other goods as well like pleasure, wealth and honor. He doesn’t say they are necessarily bad. He only argues about their relative importance to eudaimonia or human flourishing and well-being. Everything that Aristotle describes as morality is at least something that could apply to everyone. Of course he explains that there are uncivilized brutes who are too dumb to realize this and who must be restrained. He wasn’t a modern day egalitarian.
What is our culture … cultivating in the 21st century? Is it cultivating any of these qualities to make our people into better citizens? Are they being taught to be kind people and courageous truth tellers with a temperate diet? Have you ever thought about it? I would argue that instead of virtue it is cultivating moral degeneracy, vicious behaviors as well as things that are outright Satanic like political correctness. We live in a culture which also outright suppresses and discourages virtue.
MODERN DAY ROLE MODEL FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Let’s travel further through time like Dr. Who:
THE MIDDLE AGES
We’re now in a very different place.
The center of moral life in Western Christendom is the Catholic Church which has converted the Germanic barbarians who overran the Western Roman Empire, blended Germanic culture with Greco-Roman culture and has started to change the landscape of Western Europe. The educated speak a common tongue called Latin while the common people speak a bewildering number of dialects.
Medieval Christendom has started making its mark with institutions which hadn’t existed before in Plato and Aristotle’s time. The church where the faithful practice their faith and worship their LORD is one. It has begun to spawn magnificent Gothic cathedrals. The university which teaches the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, astronomy, music and geometry) is another new institution. The liberal arts which were taught in the universities laid the groundwork for the study of theology which was considered the highest discipline. The idea behind this was to educate a European elite and step by step bring it closer to God. The hospital where the virtue of charity was practiced and institutionalized to care for the poor and the sick as Christ had commanded was another.
Now, there were all kinds of things going on in the High Middle Ages. By this point, the Germans, Dutch, English and the Irish have been converted to Christianity. The Second Crusade was going on against the Muslims. These Medieval Knights reaped a huge spiritual reward for fighting against Muslims. If they died fighting in the Crusades against the Saracens, they bypassed the whole Purgatory thing which became the source of so much controversy during the Reformation.
Europe has become a highly spiritual place.
It is dotted by various monastic houses and orders which were institutions for the most spiritually inclined men in Europe who wanted to leave behind the world to become closer to God. As I said in the last post, my personal favorite was Bernard of Clairvaux and the Cisterians.
Bernard was a celebrity in his time.
He was a highly respected voice in 12th century Western Europe. He was the leader of his little Cisterian band of the “athletes of God” who practiced their faith all over Western Europe. They would spend their time in the monasteries becoming better Christians instead of, say, doing all the things that SJWs are known for doing today. In hindsight, shutting down the monasteries was a bad idea.
From the High Middle Ages forward, Western Christian Europe begins to have a reckoning with the intellectual heritage of Antiquity. The Aristotelian corpus began to be recovered and revived in Europe’s universities. It would dominate higher education in Western Europe from the 12th century through the Renaissance to the dawn of the 18th century when Aristotelian science had become discredited by the titans of the Scientific Revolution: to name a few, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, Newton.
Anyway, that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. Thomas Aquinas attempted to synthesize Augustinian Christianity with the recovered Aristotelian corpus. As time went on in Western Europe, however, the Scholasticism of the schools began to feel like dead weight from the Medieval past during the Renaissance, Reformation and the Scientific Revolution and was discarded.
It will suffice to say, morally speaking, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater here. Medieval Christians had significantly improved upon the virtue scheme of Aristotle.
Sounds great … to me? Is it possible to bring the practice of the virtue of chastity back for young White women? Can we bring back the practice of the virtues of faith and hope to curb nihilism and suicide? This would solve so many of our current cultural problems.
The Medieval Christians took Aristotelianism and added the Christian faith, the Bible, God’s Law as well as Roman law which was recovered around the same time period. When I studied the rise of modern science in college, I discovered that the roots trace back to the High Middle Ages. There was also this idea called nominalism that evolved out of the context of Western theological debates that would have a major impact on scientific thinking in Western Europe several centuries later.
We haven’t even talked about Christ himself.
Supposedly, he made satisfaction for our sins on the Cross at Calvary. This is what Protestants and Catholics alike used to believe in our civilization. Sure, there are important differences on justification by faith and salvation and what not, BUT … did anyone ever go to hell for, say, “racism” or “sexism” or “anti-Semitism” or any of this other nonsense Christ never spoke about?
Who actually killed Jesus Christ? Hell, were they ever forgiven for that? Boomer conservatives who know virtually nothing about European culture and history seem to believe they were, but people like us? We’re moral lepers because the ADL says so!
This is one of the most glorious epochs of European history.
I love this chapter of European history so much that I have made Raphael’s masterpiece painting The School of Athens which is found in the Vatican itself as the banner of this website.
In some ways, the Renaissance was a lot like our times. It was the moment in history when Christian men of European ancestry rediscovered and fell in love with the heritage of Greco-Roman Antiquity. Much of their work was inspired by the revival of interest in Plato, Cicero and the Roman Republic. It must have felt like a long night was passing for them.
I would argue that something similar is going on here in the 21st century. In our case, it is people who are TIRED of listening to and being lectured to by the deracinated and decultured Baby Boomer generation and sold their dumb paradigm, especially the “mainstream conservatives” who don’t know anything about our culture and who have totally failed at preserving it or much less restoring it to its former greatness. We’re shopping around for an alternative to those people.
We should take a page from the book of the prince of the humanists, Desiderius Erasmus, and go back to and drink from the well-springs of our European culture instead of from the polluted stream of “conservative” garbage that has been passed on to us. We shouldn’t listen to the people who put on that Boomer shit show of grifters and hacks at CPAC 2019. We should instead look back to history at men like Marsilio Ficino who created the Florentine Academy in the Republic of Florence to revive interest in the works of Plato. They were nostalgic for clear reasoning and sharp writing.
The Renaissance came and went without any discussion of the disease of political correctness. These men were Christian humanists and didn’t think in the same terms as the deracinated and decultured atheists of the future who are pumped up with pride and the certainty of the bigot and fanatic about the timeless validity of their moral creed which was only created about 70 years ago.
I feel like pole vaulting across the centuries.
The Enlightenment is a very interesting period of Western history for a number of reasons: to my knowledge, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hume and Kant all agreed with Blumenbach and Thomas Jefferson about the existence of racial differences within the human species. It is really to the 18th century that we can trace the origins of what is decried today as “racism.”
While slavery existed before the 18th century, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the growth of the New World plantation complex culminated in the Century of Light. It gave us all sorts of things like Reason, classical music, white supremacy, racism, Baroque art and architecture, individual rights, liberty, constitutional government, freedom of speech and assembly, markets and what can only be called the virtues of religious tolerance and a negative toward bigotry.
Voltaire considered himself a friend of humanity. He was also a “racist,” a fan of absolutism and of modern science and seeing natural forces at play in the world. He gently mocked Pangloss (i.e., Wilhelm Leibniz in Candide) for believing that the devastating 1755 Lisbon earthquake was a result of God’s providence and that the tragedy was the “best of all possible worlds” in Leibniz’s deluded scheme of thought. Both Jefferson and Voltaire’s God was highly reasonable.
Speaking of Jefferson …
How many tests of political correctness does Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence itself fail? He was a pioneer of “Scientific Racism” and “Herrenvolk Democracy.” He was an ardent admirer of his White Anglo-Saxon ancestors. He was a Southern slave owner and a white supremacist. He was a white separatist who believed that negroes should be deported to Africa or Haiti. He added the Louisiana Purchase to the United States to enable “settler-colonialism.”
One must laugh … because political correctness did not exist in Jefferson’s time either. He believed that some things like individual rights were universal and available to everyone including his own slaves. He struggled with the dilemma. It will suffice to say that the overall result of the Enlightenment was to sow moral confusion and shove aside the waning power of the churches, Catholic and Protestant alike, but it ALSO tacked on a lot of things that were in theory available to everyone. Free speech is one of those things championed by the “bigots” in our own times!
It is really a good thing all the religious conflict was quelled in the 18th century. It was an understandable reaction to the excesses of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Note: I hope you have been enjoying the ride. I’m trying to explain my point of view. We’ve been on a tour of the world as it existed before the Baby Boomers.