Tuesday, July 04, 2006

From 1066 to 1776: Classical Education and
the Survival of the West

The message of this essay is simple: Classical Education must
be taken on its own terms as the imparting of a Tradition,
not as a means to something else. The purpose of Classical
Education is the perpetuation of Western Culture, which is
to say Continental, Latinate, Graeco-Roman, Romance Culture,
by means of acquiring the languages and especially the Higher
Tradition of that culture. Thus, the re-introduction of
Classical Education is equivalent to the cultural survival of
the West, where the West is broadly construed as both the Greek
and Latin-speaking halves of the former Roman Empire, and of
their successor cultures and extentions, notably to Ireland,
Scandinavia, Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the New World.

In the past, discussion of Classical Education has had, as a
subtext, the fear that the Classics might be eliminated from
the curriculum, and the defense of that curriculum on any
terms of surrender. Those fears were amply justified. It is
not ours to judge whether the terms of surrender were wisely
accepted or not, or to censure those who made the surrender.
Classical Education once formed the entire substance of eight
years of grammar school and four years of college. This prime
educational =estate real= was confiscated, unjustly, to make
room for other objects and purposes, hijacking the ability
of Western Culture to perpetuate itself. Eventually, the
level of linguistic competence in the classical languages
was lowered to the point that they were introduced late,
without learning how to speak them at all, and with younger
children so segregated from the older that rather than being
exposed to the accomplishments of both teachers and older
students for eight years, the student of the classics must
learn the culture-bearing languages, often in self-study,
and without the aid of competent, fluent speakers and writers
of the language. The dumbed down, watertight and spoon-fed
nature of the remaining language lessons does not help to make
linguistically competent mature speakers.

This situation has created an illusion that Latin and Greek
are dead langauges, and have been for a millenium or so.
This is true of Classical Latin and Greek, but is hardly
true of all forms of the languages =per se.= In reality, it
is Classical Education and the inculcation of the Tradition
that has died, and with it the number of speakers has recently
been reduced to a nearly non-viable population size. However,
this near-extinction event did not take place in A.D. 476,
but somewhat after A.D. 1776, a time much closer to our own
and more relevant to our current century and situation.

The proportion of Latin and Greek vocabulary in English should
be sufficient evidence that Latin was a living language during
the time English was formed, which is certainly well after the
fall of the Roman Empire. However, the myth has arisen that
the presence of Latin and Greek terms in English are `scholarly
borrowings,' as if nativist English-speaking scholars, writing
in English but somehow instructed in Latin as a foreign language
decided to select certain Latin terms for embedding in the
English matrix, despite their patently foriegn and alien
nature, as a form of pedantry and deliberate obfuscation.
This is hardly a fair description of what happened. First,
Latin, French, and native Saxon vocabulary all underwent the
Great Vowel Shift together, showing that the borrowing (or at
least the framing of the pronunciation rules for `borrowed'
Latin) must have been in the medieval period. Second, the
phonetic rules for French words and for Latin words are the
same, indicating that the Latin was borrowed into the French
subculture and fused with native English at a later date.
We pronounce Latin a certain way in these borrowings---we
pronounce it in fact as if it were Norman French. (This may be
proved from Anglo-Latin rhyming poetry in the medieval period).

Latin words are thus not borrowings from a foreign language in
the sense of =kaftan= or =cocoa,= but were already embedded in
the culture that is one of two constituent cultures whose fusion
formed Middle and thus Modern English. As for Greek terms, they
are not borrowed directly from Greek, using Greek sound rules,
but according to the long traditions of Graeco-Roman cultural
symbiosis, with an overlay of Romance Culture sound-rules
that requires Greek to be first converted to Latin, and then
(using the Old French pronunciation of Latin as modified by
the vowel shift) to English. Even new borrowings follow this
historical path, so as not to be jarring to our English, i.e.,
native Latinate, ears.

In other words, Latin, Greek, and French were `incorporated'
into English as a package deal---specifically, an integrated
cultural and linguistic package called Romance, or Continental
European Culture. The Romance Culture of Norman French, with
Latinate learning and its older substrate of Greek learning,
was one of two cultures and linguistic bases of English, and so
is not by any strech of the imagination `foreign.' Latin can
no more be disentangled from the Norman French basis than the
relative contributions of Frankish and vulgar Latin Romance
language can. They are equal partners and constintuents in
that portion of the English language.

The way Latin and Greek is used in English is much more complex
than the borrowing of single, isolated terms and concepts---it
borders on the sort of code switching between two different
languages, depending on context, that linguists point to in
hybrid dialects like Spanglish. It is exactly this sort of
contextual use of French and Latinate words, especially towards
the end of the sentence, that gives Chaucer his distinctive
style, and to a lesser extent makes Shakespeare's diction
so striking and mellifluous. More prosaically, the Latinate
terms of scholarly and professional jargon are part of a complex
cultural context, and can hardly replaced by native substitutes.
If a native translation does occur, one must know the code
book to participate in the Tradition and decode its texts.
This is as true of English texts as of Latin.

Spanglish is neither English or Spanish, but a complex switching
back and forth between the two. Switching means that, while
the switch is in the `on' position, Latin (and French) is as
much `our language' as Anglo-Saxon. The context or cultural
register is different when the Latinate coding is engaged,
that is to say, it is literary, scholarly, or professional
jargon, but these are real accomplishments in the Tradition of
Western Culture, and their vocabulary is not up for bargaining
or `dynamic translation.' The Tradition dictates which Greek
words have which Latin equivalents, and what the possible
English translations of both are, if there is to be any
translation at all!

It may be that this high register of culture-bearing discourse
is one we happen to dislike intensely and think pretentious
or perverse and inimicable (perhaps some Hispanics speaking
Spanglish harbor a similar distaste for the dominant Anglo
culture, even as they share the language of it in their
everyday speech). However, social and political attitudes and
agendas, on the one hand, and linguistic facts on the other,
are two different things---Americans speak English whatever
they may think of Britain politically; and English speakers
speak Normanised Latin, run through the meat grinder of the
Great Vowel Shift, whatever they may happen to think of the
French soccer team or the antics of Norman overlords and
their descendents.

To summarise: Latin is your native language. Learn it.

Learn Latin the English way, which is the Old French way, and
learn Greek the Latinate and English way also, unless you have
some more direct connection to Greek and hence Roman Culture.
These traditional ways underlie the incorporation of Latinate
and French elements in our language, and follow a *single* set
of rules, showing that they are a pre-packaged, constitutive
whole of that portion of our language and culture. They are, in
short, our Romanity, as well as our Latinity. In the judicial
court of culture, you are either an advocate for the Roman
claims, like the `civilians' or practitioners of Civil Law,
or their friends the Common Lawyers, who like Bracton insist
the English state is part of the Roman Commonwealth, the Res
Publica---or you are part of the prosecution. The prosecution
claims all our assets as their own, and claims that Anglo-Saxons
invented Law French, and the Corpus Juris of both Civilian
Municipal and Gentile law. They claim to own our literary
Tradition (as if they could read it), and assign all the glories
of English culture to its Germanic parts. 90% of our culture
is thus left untouched by scholarship, unmarked and unmissed
by barbarian Conservatives and barbarian Liberals alike.
Both pride themselves in how Western they are, and what a
wonderful addition to the world their global domination makes.

I do not mean, of course, any such absurd notion as that
Classical Latin is still spoken, or anyone's native language.
Classical Latin was already an artificial literary tongue
when the Western Empire collapsed, and whether any significant
number of persons still spoke it even then, fourteen centuries
ago, is an open question. Classical Greek had as its literary
model a period four centuries before that of Classical Latin,
and was no doubt correspondingly more artificial. But this
artificiality in no way compromised the literary tradition---the
continued reading of Classical authors, and their use as models
for composition; their employment in fact, as Classics of our
language and culture. The literary tradition, despite the ups
and downs in competence of the culture-bearers, persists for
thirteen centuries after the collapse of the empire; in some
respects it persists today.

What I am asserting is that both Greek-speaking and
Latin-speaking Roman Culture, and its continuation in Romance
Culture, exhibit a tendency to have on the one hand a scholarly,
culture-bearing tongue for writing and on the other a demotic
or vulgar tongue for speaking. This formal =diglossy= sets
in early, certainly by A.D. 400 at the latest in both cases,
and has persisted well into the modern period. We need only
regard the Roman Catholic church, which worshipped in a literary
hybrid of Classical and Vulgar Latin to within living memory,
or the similar continuing use of Koine (Atticising commoners'
Greek) in the Greek Church, to see the survival. These island
survivals are the tip of a much greater iceberg of clerical,
legal, medical, and scholarly use that did not entirely die
out until the early post-Napoleonic era.

The time is certainly past when anyone writing in English,
who wishes a wider continental audience, must translate his
scholarly work into Latin. The time is also past when learning
Latin was the single most important pre-requisite to a white
collar (clerical) job, or an absolute necessity for a lawyer,
a medical doctor, or a clergyman, not to mention a scholar.

With this loss of classical preferment---the sustaining force
of professional careers and literary necessity---the linguistic
stock of Latin and Greek has certainly fallen in barbarian eyes.
No loot, no glory. The modern barbarian feels little need at
all for such adornments, much less is he inclined to spend any
considerable length of time and certainly of money on them.
We have far better things to do with our children than
perpetuate the West, apparently. Certainly, the `what's
in it for me' attitude is not the sort one usually bears
towards one's cultural identity. If Latin mattered to our
modern barbarian, he would value it accordingly. Time spent
learning Latin would be put down as part of his cultural defense
budget---something no patriotic Anglo-Saxon warrior could afford
to neglect. Barbarian kings pay and pay handsomely for clerks.
They know they need someone to write all those letters or
make the legal forms up. They cannot imagine ever reading
such things themselves (and thus their utter contempt is shown
in dismissive laws). Today, such care and solicitousness is
lavished, in outsourcing, on English language skills---that
is, the sort of fellaheen, post-Latinate English that passes
for a worldwide language of trade, business, and technology.
This reduces the level of Western Culture to that of the Chinook
Trading Jargon, or the Persian use of Aramaic as the imperial
=lingua franca= and language of trade and commerce.

The Death of the West

Let us phrase the matter another way: Western Culture is dying
out. The claim that Western Culture can survive the loss of
Latin and Greek as the secure possession of its academic and
clerical classes is mostly bluster. Nativist English Culture
is not the same as Anglo-French, Continental, Romano-Greek
Culture. The rejection of Latin is the rejection of one part
of ourselves---a sort of cultural lobotomy. Whatever is left,
after the Latinate part (i.e., the better part of our French,
Romance, or Continental heritage) is removed, is at most but
one hemisphere, the barbarian one in fact. The barbarian is
never far beneath the surface of civilised life. If we lose
our culture, our Tradition, and our language, then we will
lose our civilisation as well.

The Successor Culture in the West is still insecure. It likes
to claim the achievements of its immediate predecessor as
its own, without warrant. It does this while despising and
destroying those very same achievements. Here is where we
must part company with the usual hand-wringing over Classical
Education and Education in general. There is no `decline'
in education---education itself, in the Classics and the
Tradition of the West, has been entirely obliterated. We are
left with the perception of a slow drift downwards, and a false
hope that this deline might be reversed. The reality is that
the drifting is over, and random natural and chaotic process,
the lot of the uncivilised barbarian, is taking its place.

Let us set aside any such hope as is contained in the word
`decline.' The West is not in decline. It has all but
departed. To the extent that Latin and Greek are altogether
unknown, and the educational traditions for learning them
are no longer even practiced, to exactly that extent we are
barbaric, because the high culture of the West is extinct.
If we are in fact a civilised people, then we are some other
civilisation than the West was, and we neither understand nor
reverence the West, except in our memories of it as a possible
object for plunder and self-glorification---and of which we
now claim to have every part of it that was worth having,
by right of conquest I suppose.

The Lost Cause

This is not a difficult point to understand. The high culture
of the West, continuously dominant in Europe and its American
colonies, was overthrown in a worldwide convulsive Revolution
between 1776 and about 1820, which is in historical terms a
fairly recent time, though quite out of living memory, though
many oral traditions from this period are still circulating,
not to mention well-known written accounts. Western Culture
is what we know by various names as the ancien regime, (late
medieval to early modern) feudalism, and by the evocative
name despotism. [Despota is the Greek form of address for
a bishop, or a noble lord. Despotism was not a slam-word,
except in particular political factions, until the Revolution
we are speaking of.]

Whatever name one gives to the historical trends is of little
moment---progress, modernity, the rise of the Middle Class,
renaissance, reformation, and revolution. They all mean
the same thing in ethnic terms: first, emancipation from,
and then the extermination of, Norman French Culture, its
heirs and assigns, and the obliteration of Norman provision
of Common Law; i.e., the allowance of English customary law in
the context of Feudal Culture. The Rule of Law, ultimately of
Roman Law with its respect for local custom as =jus gentile,=
is replaced by the more Anglo-Saxon notion of quantitative
trial by combat---democracy by vote and, passim, by bullet,
of this mass of soldiers against that one. Or, as we quaintly
phrase it, of Majority Rule.

With the loss of the culture-bearing language, and of Classical
Education, we will lose the culture of the West. To be honest,
the cause was lost from the beginning. It is somewhat pathetic
to see the efforts of the `English' aristocratic families
to retain their ingenuous Frenchness in the middle ages,
against stiff linguistic and demographic odds. Only about
10,000 Normans migrated in the initial conquest of 1066.
This is certainly sufficient to impose one language on a
large subject population---see the similar success of the
English language in India. Yet, by 1262 the French-speakers
had a very significant Nativist revolt on their hands. We see
them struggling to teach their children French (and of course
Latin), importing the latest teachers and grammars from French,
where the latest styles and fashions in language had already
marginalised their dialect. Until 1400 French was the only
vulgar tongue permitted at Oxford. If Papa (not Daddy) is
going to pay for an education, he wants it to be a French one.
Law French, a specialised jargon of Norman, or Old, French,
continued to be the language of the law down to 1732.

The ultimate success of French, Latinate, and Romance Culture
for four centuries, and its significant survival for three
more, right down to the revolution of 1688 and a generation
or so beyond, in the form of Jacobitism, is largely due to
the continuing appeal of continental culture as an object for
ambition, Latin as a literary medium of wide scope, and, until
the early modern period, maintenance by England of a `footprint'
on the continent. Before the nationalism of the Elizabethan
era, the claim to the old Angevin empire, to Brittany as well
as Wales, and France as well as England, was not bluster and
bravado but a bitter memory of native soil that had been lost.
We are now beyond caring and `think it better' that England and
France are divided by the natural and linguistic boundaries.
So we might one day be beyond caring that the Southwest is lost
to the United States, as a Spanish-speaking region it might
more conveniently be included in Mexico. To think this way,
*as if* past causes or old boundaries did not matter, is to
forswear your allegience to your own culture. Our forswearing
of the old allegiances in favor of Nationalism and Nativism
shows, dramatically, we have forsworn our allegiance to Western
Culture, to the old imperial causes, or to any variant of them.
New Empires we may have, but they won't be Western ones.

Education is not a Lost Cause

The prospect for cultural survival and revival lies, solely, in
the capability to generate and educate children in that culture.

Subjecting children to eight years of schooling, six days a
week, is a desparation act of cultural survival. It (Classical
Education) worked surpisingly well, for about seven centuries
(1066-1776). At first, it was facilitated by the custom of
leaving children at monesteries as =oblates,= at age seven,
and allowing them to enter the novitiate at age 10 or 12.
Later, the education was formalised in Grammar schools, with
a curriculum recognisably the same from Anglo-Saxon times down
to the American Revolution.

There is no need to spend eight or twelve years in learning
one's *mother's* tongue. But it takes that long to learn
a scholarly tongue. Indeed, after this it takes another
`20 years lucubrations' to learn a cultural tradition, such
as the Common Law. No one can afford to invest 30 years in
anything other than a Tradition. No investment other than
`what we have always done' is certain enough, in a secure and
Traditional culture, to make expectation of the payoff rational.
Will desktop publishing with MS Word be a marketable skill
in 2040? The proof that we do not have a secure culture today
is that we have no Traditions worth betting the bank on.

Only the perpetuation of continental culture in the hostile
demographic conditions of Britain made the medieval and early
modern (Latin) Grammar school inevitable. This is one thing
we need to learn today---homeschooling is sufficient to equal
and exceed whatever the existing school system does. Mostly,
it is necessary as a *preventive* measure. But homeschooling
and separatism will not, of themselves, perpetuate the culture
of the West. They will do a better job of perpetuating
whatever is ultimately replacing the West, and will make the
Successor Culture a better culture than it otherwise would be,
but only a return to Classical Education, whether conducted
at home as was common in the colonial South, or at a one-room
traditional grammar school, can pass on the Traditions of
the West. Age-segregated non-classical schools don't count.
Wrong culture, wrong language, wrong method. If Momma knows
best, it's not the West. Momma can give birth to little
barbarians, but only Classical Education can make them Citizens.

This is obvious: if you don't give your child language lessons
or piano lessons your child won't speak French or Japanese or
play piano. If a language and tradition is not passed on,
then it is not passed on. Attempts to create programs for
learning `the classics in translation' or taking existing
educational models and grafting in a bit of Latin or even
Greek, while not using any part of the Tradition, are just
that---attempts. They are not will not be successes, at least
at cultural continuity. They are hybrids that might conserve
a bit here and there, but the Museum is not the Culture.
Modern academic tradition, and all of its alternatives, are
powerless to transmit Classical Culture. Only Traditional
Classical Education can do that.

The essential problem is: why don't we, deep down, care enough
about our own (Western) culture, so that we make the effort
to revive the languages, learning, and tradition of the West?
Largely, it is a problem of Hate.

It is certainly hard for moderns to sympathise with the Normans,
or Feudalism. We consider Feudalism's final overthow, and the
end to dominance of the British aristocracy, as our greatest
victory and the foundation of our country. Culture and
Tradition, however, is not a matter of whom you sympathise
with, but of who you are. We may not much *like* the Normans,
and wish their memory and all their evil works effaced from
the Earth (and this the depth of our ethnic hatred and the
anti-Roman cleansing program that is at the core of our current,
successor, its culture and incipient civilisation), ---yet
that does not change the fact that our language, our culture,
and our genetic heritage all point back to Anglo-French, and
hence to Anglo-Latin, our distinctive modes of Latinity and
Romanity, as one of two or three constituents; and of those
two or three to the culturally dominant one, of our =Natio.=
When we hate them, we hate ourselves.

This is the secret to the failure of Classical Education, both
in the generation after the American Revolution and its failure
in subsequent revival. Latin delenda est. The self-hatred of
the half-breed leaves us wishing both to Be yet also to Destroy
the West. We cannot do both of course, so we alternate between
puffing ourselves up over our great heritage and the next moment
tearing that very heritage down, obliterating, eradicating,
and cleansing---purging---all memory of it. The longer this
rapid cultural cycling goes on without real participation in the
culture of the West, the less likely it is to end in anything
resembling the West. This whole Graeco-Roman heritage thing
will, over generations, work itself out of the gene pool.
Who cares if you are one-sixteenth or one thirty-second
anything? You either are something, or you are not. In the
end, it is a matter of choosing sides and sticking with it.

Continental Culture, coming from the Graeco-Roman base via
Romance language and culture, is aligned with Christianity
and a particular intellectual, not to mention material and
folkish, heritage. A very small fraction of all persons alive
in the middle ages are responsible for the literary output we
now call `history.' Overwhelmingly, if you are on the side of
`history' you are on the side of the French-speaking families,
and those of their children who were trained to be clerics.
Before that, you are on the side of Anglo-Saxons who had a
special enthusiasm for Latin and the Roman Church. Before that,
you are on the side of Romano-British imperial citizens and
their converts and variously-fortunate descendants in Ireland,
Scotland, Wales, and Britanny. This cultural blend of Celt and
Saxon was both insular and continental---the genetic material
of the Angevin empire of the Plantagenets, as well as of the
American South. It was ruled by aristocratic, French-speaking
families on both sides of the Channel. The whole was united by
the patriotic myth of Britain, not least the Arthurian cycle,
in both its English and French Romance forms, not to mention
the Latin sources of these.

Today, the literary output of the Heptarchy and the Angevin
Empire is largely ignored, as it was mostly written in Latin,
which few people, even scholars, now read; secondarily it
was written in older dialects of English and French that are
mostly not comprehensible to modern speakers of either of those
languages. In other words, the barbarian doesn't care---it's
not his history; it's not his language. Why, then, claim
to be The West? The vanity of the modern Anglo-Americans
demands a glorious past, and they find enough to satisfy
their hankering for one a simulation of a Classical Education
(in translation of course) and a suitable revenge in making
it despised and unimportant. One day, they won't feel the
need, and the Classics and the West will be dead to them.
Only the true children of the West among them will care.
The Anglo- Americans will be sure to remind them that they
have been out-voted, and in any event they don't have money
to show and are against all the forces of progress.

The acid test for such a Classical Education (and for the
West's will to survive) is whether the Tradition is in fact
accessible when the education is complete. If the answer is no,
we should neither expect nor blame the products if they do not
measure up to the intellectual level of the Founding Fathers.
These men were both Classically Educated, and intended their
children should be so. That they failed is a far more greivous
loss for Western Civilisation than any temporary fault with the
constitution or political arrangements---it closes off forever
the possibility of revival, until the situation is rectified,
first in the teachers, and only afterwards in the students.

As our modern Anglo-Saxons are wont to phrase it: we are on the
losing side. We are against progress, against the victorious
(and well-monied) side. This is proof we are not elect, not
victors by combat in the Contest of Quantity. We are against
English and English-speaking White Culture. That is, we are the
side of Western Culture and Christianity. Secular Liberalism is
not a fluke. It is one more way of sticking it to the Normans
(or the Anglo-Saxon monks) and everything they stand for,
including not incidentally but rather especially anything that
smacks of the Romish or the Latinate.

White Supremacists are necessarily, at least in the long
run, nativists, nationalists, and pagans. The whites
who aren't pagans and aren't nativists have long ago lost
their cause, the nativists will point out. All the power of
secular, nuclear-armed, classically liberal, bolshevist and
Anglo-Imperial barbarians is arrayed against us, should we
forget that fact. Insisting on White Unity, at this point, is
insisting on catipulation of Western Culture, of Romano-Greek
Culture, and of Christianity. Our Supremacist and Nativist
antagonists have little to apologise for, since no quarter
is given to us, neither was it in Atlanta or in the modern
educational system or in modern economic competition; the
Latinate, Continental, culture, always and everywhere, delenda
est. (The grousing of a few powerless White Supremacists here
and there about their lack of political power and the fate of
whites generally should not blind us to the far greater number
of Secularist White Supremacists who are in full control and
bombing every Classical Civilisation they can find, wherever
that civilisation shows a sign of putting up a fight).

I am not pleading for minority status there. That has
already been granted. Whites with Western Culture have had
card-carrying persecuted minority since, oh, Drogheda, if not
the medieval peasant rebellions. As a minority, we have been
subjected to the usual indignities and oppressions. As we have
done our share of oppressing, we have little to complain of.
Where possible, we have been expelled. Where that wasn't
practical, we have been reconstructed into New Barbarians.
I am asking that we remember who we are, and that in the past
`English' meant, and certainly its Christian part meant,
a commitment to the continental and the Romano-Greek, that
is to Western, culture. If there is to be a stand made
for Western Culture, we must understand that it cannot be a
stand for Native English. It must be a stand for continental
culture, for our French and Latin side. We must be prepared,
as defenders of the West and Christianity, to understand we
will be called race traitors and worse by the other side.
There are only two sides here: the side of Roman culture, and
the side of English nativist supremacism. We cannot have our
culture both ways, barbarian fiction, and Classical Tradition.

As much as I am interested in the Immigration debate in an
abstract, detached sense, I cannot help noting that stopping
an influx of non-nativists will not much help my people, who
are being systematically eliminated in a rather public way,
with public holidays to mark and remember each occassion of
`victory' over them. This renders my interest in the fate of
other peoples who might or might not displace my antagonists
somewhat academic. I would warn, however those optimists who
believe that speaking Spanish means alignment with continental
European Culture, to address first the even more dubious and
improbable proposition that speaking English does. The day
is late and there is little evidence, on this continent,
that either Spanish or English speakers will long tolerate
the few remaining shreds of European, Christian Culture;
or that they will find common ground in Western Culture or
spare each other much on account of it. The largest group of
persons with the requisite genetic, linguistic, and cultural
heritage is already quite far from embracing Latin, Romish
Culture and religion, without severe qualification. They have
a strong attraction to the ethnic cleansing of the victors,
and are prone to those cultural legacies that are strongest
in their nativism (Shakespeare, say, rather than Gabriel
Harvey or the Euphuism of Lily; Milton, not Izaak Walton).
Although they remember with a certain fondness the Cavalier,
chivalric culture, and occasionally even remember the older
construction of their own culture as pro-Norman [this is quite
rare], mostly they lap up the Whig and Romantic counter-Whig
fabrications that glorify their conquerors. This was as true
in the Ante-Bellum South, with its addiction to Romanticism,
as it was in the Post-Bellum South, with its commitment to
imported German and Prussian Culture. The South of `Birth of
a Nation' is a South that has abandoned Western Civilisation,
and returned to its nativist, barbarian roots---to the point
of idolising Lincoln and White Supremacism, both notions very
far from the sentiments of the old aristocratic Southern gentry.

A Western Cultural Homeland and Western Survival

We do not need the Latinate equivalent of Zionism. There is no
need to find a homeland where Western Culture can flourish---it
is quite enough for it to continue or revive in those places
where English, French, Italian, Spanish, and other continental
languages are currently spoken. There we find physical
descendents of the =ancien regime= who have not entirely
abandoned their Western heritage, whom we must convince to
abandon the Nativist side and join the cause of their Romance
Culture-bearing side. We need for the Englishman and Old Stock
American to discover, after all these centuries, his Inner
Frenchman. Wherever English is spoken as a native language,
this ghost of the Plantagenets lurks, in the heart of the
Southern Gentlemen, even in some moods the Northern Puritan;
even in the heart of those fellaheen English-speakers who,
despite the clerical and intellectual roots of their language,
have have fallen well beneath the white-collar level of their
own past culture, well beyond a social level requiring either
French or Latin.

The first step to survival is to understand there is a
problem surviving in the first place. We are far too smug
and approach Classical Education as if it were some luxury
rather than the essential and indispensible communication of
our Tradition. If no one chooses to be the culture-bearer,
and no one makes the requisite sacrifices, then the culture
will not survive---certainly not on this continent. It is not
a matter of a dwindling minority, but the entire extinction
of the European heritage, except as a mythic symbol in the
nativist superstition about Our Glorious Past.

Persons considering the U.S. Constitution and its untimely
fate a century and a half ago, or that of the Early Republic,
seldom hit upon the real problem. They act as if the current
population could somehow, magically, come to a similar or
better political arrangement. Even when this hope is not
as naive as belief in a golden era, or a simple desire
for reaction or conservatism, it is mis-guided. It does
not allow for the radicalness of the Revolution, or the
magnitude of its failure. These facts must be squarely faced
if we Westerners are to survive with our Westerness intact.
The Founding Fathers certainly did not intend the overthrow of
their own civilisation. They thought they could excise part of
it that greatly offended them: the feudal system, prelatism,
or despotism; specifically the Romish parts. They believed
they could build a system to replace the missing pieces.
Some of them believed the Christian parts could be paganised
or secularised. They thought that good intentions, such as
the perpetuation in Universities of Classical Education and
state subsidies for Classical Education would both work and
be effective in maintaining a Reformed, Democratic version
of Classicism. They were naive and underestimated the
difficulty of this task, which failed over the course of the
following century. The loss of institutional footprint and
economic pressures on the educated student both created an
occasion for Classical Education to drop below the 1-2% level
that was customary in the male population. The provision of
a simulacrum of Classical Education (all the learning and none
of the competence), proved as fatal as a parasitic virus in the
host of Western Culture. Perhaps, without the viable economic
inducements to a clerical education, Classical Education was
doomed from the start (of the Revolutionary era). In any
event, the destruction of one form of material culture, the
social and hierarchical organisation of the =ancien regime,=
and its clerical class, led to a series of challenges to
cultural survival that we have not yet met.

Without Classical Education we cannot place ourselves again
in the feet of the Founding Fathers, and correct any of their
mistakes. We do not possess securely the cultural background
or Tradition to do any such thing. The Barbarian can only
do two things with the documents produced by the Founding
Fathers: despise them or worship them superstitiously.
Understanding them from within, as something well-done and
similar to something he might himself do is not a permanent
possibility. I saw a few weeks ago the Federalist Papers
translated into Modern English so that modern college students
(at the University of Washington bookstore, where they were
offered for sale) could understand them. I can well believe
it: this is not the result of a `decline' in education, but
an absence of cultural capacity in the first place. It is
often said that Iraqis lack a capacity for Democracy---what is
seldom noted as a corollary is that Americans, too, increasingly
lack this capacity and for the same reason. As the European
type is displaced by the Nativist, English-speaking type, in
regard to Democracy and many other things that are relative
to Western Culture, Americans are increasingly no more Western
than Iraqis. The problem is not `Decline' but ethnic cleansing
and the concommitent obliteration of Tradition and the means
to perpetuate that Tradition, the Classical Education.

We cannot pillory barbarians for a failure to pass on Western
Culture, whether they are Iraqi barbarians or American ones.
It is not their culture and their language. They may be
instruments in the downfall of the West, but they are not the
cause of the failure. That cause we must find in ourselves.
There is no terror or terrorist greater than the one lurking
in one's own soul. We find there sufficient cause for both
our barbarian and our Roman Citizen.

It is pointless to hold up one's own country and people as
an object of hatred and contempt. The Flag, the Declaration
of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, as well as the
inherited Classical Education of Federalism and the Early
Republic and Western Culture needed to interpret them---all
these are both symbols of continuity and symbols of the
destruction of Tradition. We cannot say that any of them
have been completely effective at raising up a culture, nor
completely effective at their Revolutionary and destructive
objects; but fortunately we can also say that their defeat,
and the defeats they have inflicted, have not resulted in the
entire obliteration of Western Culture either. Cultures are
bred, and symbols or artifacts from the past are beyond both
exerting an irresistable influence and beyond the potentiality
for complete oblivion. They remain permanent possibilities,
as well as permanent dangers, for the Race.

While the past is beyond valuation as both totems of our
own achievement (what did we do to earn a share of its
glories beside inherit it?), or as objects of vilification
and derision, it is equally pointless to not take sides,
to not take our stand. One cannot both both be for and
against Graeco-Roman Culture, at least as far as one makes
it one's own. It is possible to be for and against adopted
cultures, or to value this culture highly and that one not so
highly---so long as one does not apply this transvaluation to
one's own culture. *One's Own* culture is simply that---One's
Own, one's heritage. Whatever parts of it may be good or bad,
eradicable or essential, it is part of one's self. To oppose
Classical, Latinate Culture in the name of English nativism, is
to make war with one half of oneself in the name of the other.
English language and English Culture, including its American
branch, is half French, id est, half Latinate. That is true
of language, of culture, and so far as it embodies Tradition,
of Education. To become free of oneself is also to hate
one's self. From the Past, there is no freedom, only oblivion.

Happy Independence Day.