by Francis Parker Yockey
From its anthropology of the basic goodness of human nature in general, Rationalism produced 18th century Encyclopedism, Freemasonry, Democracy, and Anarchism, as well as Liberalism, each with its offshoots and variations. Each played its part history of the 19th century, and, owing to the critical distortion of the whole Western civilization entailed by the first World Wars, even in the 20th century, where Rationalism is grotesquely out of place, and slowly transformed itself into Irrationalism. The corpse of Liberalism was not even interred by the middle of the 20th century. Consequently it is necessary to diagnose even now the serious illness of the Western Civilization as Liberalism complicated with alien-poisoning.
Because Liberalism views most men as harmonious, or good, it follows that they should be allowed to do as they like. Since there is no higher unit to which all are tied, and whose super-personal life dominates the lives of the individuals, each field of human activity serves only itself—as long as it does not wish to become authoritative, and stays within the framework of “society.” Thus Art becomes “Art for Art’s sake,” l’art pour l’art. All areas of thought and action become equally autonomous. Religion becomes mere social discipline, since to be more is to assume authority. Science, philosophy, education, all are equally worlds unto themselves. None are subject to anything higher. Literature and technics are entitled to the same autonomy. The function of the State is merely to protect them by patents and copyrights. But above all—economics and law are independent of organic authority, i.e., of politics.
Twenty-first century readers will find it difficult to believe that once the idea prevailed that each person should be free to do as he pleased in economic matters, even if his personal activity involved the starvation of hundreds of thousands, the devastation of entire forest and mineral areas, and the stunting of the power of the organism; that it was quite permissible for such an individual to raise himself above the weakened public authority, and to dominate, by private means, the inmost thoughts of whole populations by his control of press, radio and mechanized drama.
They will find it more difficult yet to understand how such a person could go to the law to enforce his destructive will. Thus a usurer could, even in the middle of the 20th century, invoke successfully the assistance of the law in dispossessing any numbers of peasants and farmers. It is hard to imagine how any individual could injure the political organism more than by thus mobilizing the soil into dust, in the phrase of the great Freiherr von Stein.
But—this followed inevitably from the idea of the independence of economics and law from political authority. There is nothing higher, no State; it is only individuals against one another. It is but natural that the economically more astute individuals accumulate most of the mobile wealth into their hands. They do not however, if they are true Liberals, want authority with this wealth, for authority has two aspects: power, and responsibility. Individualism, psychologically speaking, is egoism. “Happiness” = selfishness. Rousseau, the grandfather of Liberalism, was a true individualist, and sent his five children to the foundling hospital [see Chechar's footnote below].*
Law, as a field of human thought and endeavor, has as much independence, and as much dependence as every other field. Within the organic framework, it is free to think and organize its material. But like other forms of thought, it can be enrolled in the service of outside ideas. Thus law, originally the means of codifying and maintaining the inner peace of the organism by keeping order and preventing private disputes from growing, was transmuted by Liberal thought into a means of keeping inner disorder, and allowing economically strong individuals to liquidate the weaker ones. This was called the “rule of law,” the “law-State,” “independence of the judiciary.” The idea of bringing in the law to make a given state of affairs sacrosanct was not original with Liberalism. Back in Hobbes’s day, other groups were trying it, but the incorruptible mind of Hobbes said with the most precise clarity that the rule of law rule means the rule of those who determine and administer the law, that the rule of a “higher order” is an empty phrase, and is only given content by the concrete rule of given men and groups over a lower order.
This was political thinking, which is directed to the distribution and movement of power. It is also politics to expose the hypocrisy, immorality and cynicism of the usurer who demands the rule of law, which means riches to him and poverty to millions of others, and all in the name of something higher, something with supra-human validity. When Authority resurges once more against the forces of Rationalism and Economics, it proceeds at once to show that the complex of transcendental ideals with which Liberalism equipped itself is as valid as the Legitimism of the era of Absolute Monarchy, and no more. The Monarchs were the strongest protagonists of Legitimism, the financiers of Liberalism.
But the monarch was tied to the organism with his whole existence, he was responsible organically even where he was not responsible in fact. Thus Louis XVI and Charles I. Countless other monarchs and absolute rulers have had to flee because of their symbolic responsibility. But the financier has only power, no responsibility, not even symbolic, for, as often as not, his name is not generally known. History, Destiny, organic continuity, Fame, all exert their powerful influence on an absolute political ruler, and in addition his position places him entirely outside the sphere of base corruptibility. The financier, however, is private, anonymous, purely economic, irresponsible. In nothing can he be altruistic; his very existence is the apotheosis of egoism. He does not think of History, of Fame, of the furtherance of the life of the organism, of Destiny, and furthermore he is eminently corruptible by base means, as his ruling desire is for money and ever more money.
In his contest against Authority the finance-Liberal evolved a theory that power corrupts men. It is, however, vast anonymous wealth which corrupts, since there are no superpersonal restraints on it, such as bring the true statesman completely into of the service of the political organism, and place him above corruption.
It was precisely in the fields of economics and law that the Liberal doctrine had the most destructive effects on the health of the Western Civilization. It did not matter much that esthetics became independent, for the only art-form in the West which still had a future, Western Music, paid no attention to theories and continued on its grand creative course to its end in Wagner and his epigones. Baudelaire is the great symbol l’art pour l’art: sickness as beauty. Baudelaire is thus Liberalism in literature, disease as a principle of Life, crisis as health, morbidity as soul-life, disintegration as purpose. Man as individualist, an atom without connections, the Liberal ideal of personality. It was in fields of action rather than of thought that the injury was the greatest.
Allowing the initiative in economic and technical matters to rest with individuals, subject to little political control, resulted in the creation of a group of individuals whose personal wills were more important than the collective destiny of the organism and the millions of the population. The law which served this state of affairs was completely divorced from morality and honor. To disintegrate the organism from the spiritual side, what morality was recognized was divorced from metaphysics and religion and related only to “society.” The criminal law reflected finance-Liberalism by punishing crimes of violence and passion, but not classifying such things as destroying national resources, throwing millions into want, or usury on a national scale.
The independence of the economic sphere was a tenet of faith with Liberalism. This was not subject to discussion. There was even evolved an abstraction named “economic man,” whose actions could be predicted as though economics were a vacuum. Economic gain was his sole motive, greed alone spurred him on. The technic of success was to concentrate on one’s own gain and ignore everything else. This “economic man” was however man in general to the Liberals. He was the unit of their world-picture. “Humanity” was the sum total of these economic grains of sand.
(*) In his searing exposé of Rousseau, Paul Johnson comments that the newborns of this extremely self-righteous scoundrel with all probability died in the foundling house. For installments 1 and 3 of this article, see here and here.