Answering questions about the new book, The Couch, and podcasting in the nude.
We keep reinventing the same ideas with new labels again and again. Sometimes, they get called “right-wing”; sometimes, they get called “left-wing.” But statism is statism, whatever label you stick on it. Collectivism is tribalism whether you call it socialism or nationalism, fascism or Communism. The only really — really — new thing of the last 10,000 years is the miracle of liberal democratic capitalism, and I think we’re losing our commitment to it.
.. I will say that the reaction has been ridiculous. The idea that it’s racist to control your borders or copy Canada is bonkers. It’s also funny. Liberals love to insist that Europe or Canada or Scandinavia does things in a more enlightened way. But say, “Okay, let’s have Canada’s immigration policy or France’s national-security policies or Switzerland’s health-insurance system” and the same people freak out. So much of the “They do things better over there” stuff is really just a rationalization for people to say, “You should do what I want” or “America is backward because it doesn’t do what I want it to do.”
.. I think there’s a profound conservatism to all great fiction. If I had to define the essence of leftism in a single phrase, it’d be “the perfectibility of man.” This is the idea that stretches back past Rousseau and probably the Gnostics to Plato’s Republic. Before public policy or any ideological agenda, conservatism recognizes the bedrock fact that man is flawed. He can be good, but only by being civilized. That’s why science fiction is so conservative.
.. But I also think New York vs. D.C. debates are dumb. As I always say, it’s like the great Cornell-Harvard rivalry that everyone at Cornell knows about and no one at Harvard has heard of.
The Order desires to welcome into membership people who are natural leaders and who share an understanding of the threats we face today globally from radical Islam, liberalism, political corruption, cultural Marxism and anti-Christian bigotry. We welcome those who are prepared to make a stand to defend all they hold dear regardless of the cost. We also look for people who can provide mutual support to each other as members of the Order.
- As a Templar you will be expected to participate in the Templar work of defence, charity, meetings and social events. However, we fully appreciate that not everyone can go off to War zones across the world. Indeed, only a very few can, but as a Knight or Dame you have a duty to support the overall work of the order and the brothers who volunteer overseas. As Templars we are all brothers and sisters and you enter into a lifelong commitment supporting the work of the Order as far as your personal circumstances allow.
- Christian chivalric group of men and women who take their inspiration from the highest ideals of the medieval Order of the Knights Templar, founded circa 1118. The Order of Knights Templar International are deeply involved in projects all over the world and our reputation for swift ethical action rather than just talking has gained us international trust and respect.
- Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Your Name give the glory.
- all those who secretly despise their own will and desire with a pure heart to serve the Sovereign King as a knight and with studious care desire to wear, and wear permanently, the very noble armour of obedience.
- Be mindful that you are on the crusade of the King of Kings. “Unless you take up your cross and follow me, you have no part with me”, said our Master. (St Matthew’s Gospel: chapter 16; verse 24) Do not be afraid to confess the King who is like no other King.
- May the white cloak remind you that we fight a holy war in all truthfulness; and may the red cross remind you that sacrifices must be made; for “we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against potentates and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in the cosmos.” (St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: chapter 6; verse 12)
- .. As a knight, stand up for the weak, above all for women and children, widows and orphans who need your help.
- .. Each brother of the Temple should know that he is not committed to anything so much as to serve God, and each one should apply all his study and understanding to this.
- .. “I do not know if it would be more appropriate to refer to them as monks or soldiers, unless it would be better to recognise them as being both. Indeed they lack neither monastic meekness nor military might. What can we say of this, except that “this has been done by the Lord and it is marvellous in our eyes.”
- .. The principles of Chivalry and traditional values been largely forgotten in decadent and subverted modern society. They need to be restored.
- .. The essence of Chivalry involved bravery, skilled training, and dedication in service to others.
The Ten Pillars of Modern Templar Chivalry:
- Believe in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and apply them in daily life
- Defend traditional Christianity, cleaving to your own confession but respecting that of others
- Respect and defend the weak against abuses by the strong
- Love the people and sovereignty of your country, for they are ordained by God
- Do not be a coward, face the enemy, and use direct force
- Fight the enemies of good relentlessly and without mercy
- Perform all secular duties under the higher Laws of God
- Never lie nor breach your word, be reliable for friend or foe
- Give generously and wholeheartedly, striving to make a difference for the better
- Always uphold right and good, against all evil and injustice
.. With the ‘modern’ West infected with various virulent strains of atomised and selfish individualism, cynical and ugly anti-idealism, and subverted by the worship of False Gods – from Allah to Money and on to Satan – there was never a time when a revival of the true Christian values of the original fighting Templars has been more urgently needed than today!
Taken this way, the phenomenon of chivalry represents a universal category, which is applicable in all circumstances, at all times and in all situations. Chivalry as a way of perceiving and affecting, both on the individual and social level, is more than necessary in the time we live in. In this sad time when all the civilization’s achievements are crumbling, in the time of great atomization of society and in the time of loss of meaning of any social or individual action.
.. The circumstance that had largely dealt the final blow to chivalry is the creation and development of the new socio-economic conditions, that have gradually replaced the feudal social structure, which was one of the main pillars of the chivalry caste. In economic terms, it was the development of capitalist economic relations and the strengthening of the bearers of these relations – the class of merchants. The principle of quality, as a social paradigm, was replaced by the principle of quantity. The concept of truth was replaced by the concept of wealth. All the aspects of society have become just a decor for the flow of capital.
.. The most significant and basic element of chivalry is the willingness to self-sacrifice. It is this element that is the fundamental demarcation line between the bourgeois, mercantilist view of the world and the chivalrous view of the world. The merchant always has, in the first place, on his mind an interest, a profit or a comfort. The knight always has, in the first place, on his mind the willingness to sacrifice. For the faith, for the crown, for an idea, for the state, for the master, for the weak… Never for any vulgar, profane or earthly goal. But instead, for an ideal, that to those with a mercantilist view seems very abstract and incomprehensible.
.. The willingness to sacrifice, places a knight in the realm of pure spirituality, as someone who has transcended the secular sphere of materialistic, cause and effect relationships. In addition, the willingness to sacrifice shows a knight’s willingness to overcome pride, which represents the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path. Also, what is especially important in our world, where materialism and hedonism are prevailing, is to overcome the temptation of material goods, which tend to hinder him. A knight always looks upon interest and benefit, the two sad achievements of the modern society, with contempt and indifference.
.. He could have accepted the vassal status of Serbia and avoided the war and defeat. Together with his nobles, Prince Lazar did not do this, but instead he chose self-sacrifice.
.. Lazar had not only the political or ethical dilemma, but rather a spiritual and metaphysical one, embodied in the choice between approaching God or Devil (synonyms: freedom or slavery, honor or dishonor, one’s own perception of truth or accepting the imposed). He had a choice between preserving integrity of the earthly existence, that is his own life, or preserving the spiritual integrity. He faced a temptation. His choice was the Lord.
.. Lazar’s sacrifice, in a sense, was similar to the sacrifice of the Christ himself.
.. “Death in the feat is better than the life with shame. It is better to die by the sword in the battle, than to kneel to the enemy. We lived enough for the people, so let us bear the feat of sacrifice, so that we may live forever in the heavens.
.. Spirituality is one ennobling factor that rises the knight above the ordinary soldier.
.. The organic model of civilization indicates something that was being created for some considerable period of time and is based on certain precise archetypes, that are constantly repeated throughout the ages. This may be a nation, a group of nations under the umbrella of a particular empire, or a group of nations under the umbrella of a common spiritual and cultural identity.
.. Traditionalism, as an ideological form, is contrary to the myth of progress that is typical of the society formed after the first bourgeois revolution in 1789. The myth of progress implies that things are constantly changing and improving from a less perfect state to a more perfect one.
.. From the Vedas to the Holy Scriptures, there is always a similar epilogue at the end of time – a gradual regression from a perfect to a less perfect form, until the final “endkampf” and the end of time.
.. The cult of ancestors, or respecting those who were here before us, is an element of traditionalism. The cult of ancestor veneration is an expression of our confrontation with our own egoism and pride, which are suggesting that everything before or after us does not matter.
.. Collectivism is a category opposite to the prevailing individualism of today. Individualism, as the legacy of bourgeois society, is nothing more than a hypertrophied egotism, which stems from pride.
.. Individualistic emphasis on ego and self-sufficiency has led to the fact that the individual in the contemporary social context is alienated – from others and from himself. Individualism, in addition to one’s alienation from the modern society, has led to a complete atomization of the society, in which it has lost all its meaning. All the paradigms of traditional society are reduced to the level of simulacrum, that is, to the level of a pale image of its original meaning.
.. An individual within the collective ceases to be proud, self-sufficient and exclusively occupied with his own gain and pleasure, but approaches the collective, with a desire to give something and not just take. He no longer takes himself first and foremost, but wants to sacrifice his own interests for the collective to which he belongs. He wants to obey the authority within the hierarchy as a natural state.
.. The starting point is that every individual is imperfect at the beginning, in the spiritual, intellectual and physical sense. The process of working on oneself, or self-discipline to which one willingly subjects oneself, leads to a better state of being.
.. Historically, it may be in the concept of chivalry, as an integral system of life and action, in which for the first time in European civilization, that we meet the synergy of simultaneous development of one’s own spirit, body and intellect.
.. Especially for those who need assistance or are under a threat.
A knight does not treat them with contempt, so typical for the relationship with the weak in the modern mercantilist society, but with love. The main expression of that love is compassion. The practical articulation of compassion is to protect and to serve. A knight always protects the one who is in danger, in distress or weak, and in this way, he serves them.
The [Russian Orthodox Church’s social teaching’s] ambivalence about individual rights and its emphasis on the religious community reflect central themes in Orthodox thought, which distrusts Western-style individualism. It is not simply a matter of rejecting the “excesses of individualism” in the matter of Western communitarian scholars. Orthodoxy often expresses discomfort with the very idea of the autonomous individual as a rights-holder.
.. Moreover, Orthodox thought conflates religious and national identities in a stronger way than in the West. To be sure, religion can serve as a marker of national and cultural identity in the West as well; consider Italy and Poland. And citizenship in Orthodox countries is not directly tied to religion; as a formal matter, one can be a Russian citizen and not an Orthodox Christian. But religion and nationality are intertwined in a particularly powerful way in the Orthodox world. In Russia, for example, it is a “widely accepted idea”—“shared by politicians, intellectuals and clergy”—that Orthodoxy is the fundamental factor in national identity.
.. I do want, however, to point out that when Orthodox countries reject liberal Western ideas (e.g., gay rights, religious liberty), they are not necessarily doing so out of bigotry, but because they have a fundamentally different view on what the human person is, what the church is, and what society is. They see the West’s war on their traditions in the name of secular liberalism as an act of aggression — and they’re right.