From the Bondage of the Will to the Triumph of the Will

Our nation was clearly founded for the purpose of advancing the white race in the North American continent at the expense of indigenous non-white tribes. A strict segregation was observed between whites and Negroes, and intermarriage between the two groups was negligible, both in the slave-holding South and the abolitionist North. This promotion and protection of whiteness was not accidental or subconscious, rather it was explicit and deliberate. And although early Americans did not generally discriminate against Jews for racial reasons, there was a good deal of religious discrimination against the tribe that had rejected and murdered the Messiah. Having established that early American society was both pro-white and anti-Jewish, and having stated plainly that America must return to such ideas if we wish to revitalize our country, it is inevitable that I will face accusations of being a “nazi.” It is therefore necessary to deal openly with the radical difference between traditional Americanism and early 20th century fascism.

Americanism can best be understood through the four principal ideas of Protestant Christianity, white racial identity, pioneer independence, and European culture. If we look at the European fascist movements we can see that only two out of these four foundational ideas are present: white racial identity and European culture. The lack of a pioneer heritage made the population in Europe much more open to the total concentration of power in a unified state than would have been possible in America. Most significantly, the lack of a strong Protestant understanding of the sinfulness and fallibility of fallen man led the fascists to loudly declare that their movement represented the “triumph of the will.” This trust in the power of the human will is in fact a complete inversion of Biblical religion. The central idea of the Reformation was that fallen man was such a slave to sin that he could do nothing on his own to reconcile himself to God, and that therefore salvation is achieved only through faith in the atoning death of Jesus. If the will by its own power can free itself from sin and work righteousness, then the atoning sacrifice is rendered nugatory. The great reformer Martin Luther defended this doctrine in his classic work On the Bondage of the Will. Thus we see that from Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler there is a complete transformation of the basic understanding of human nature. As our understanding of human nature informs all of our political decisions, this difference is of great consequence.

Although fascism and national socialism were undoubtedly right-wing movements (despite the unfounded protestations of certain neoconservatives who argue that the use of the word “socialism” in national socialism places that movement on the left), these movements were also basically humanistic. That is, they placed practically unlimited trust in human potential without divine aid, and they developed policies accordingly. Thus fascism can accurately be described as a kind of right-wing humanism, while communism is a kind of left-wing humanism. Humanistic political theorists almost invariably embrace some kind of utopianism. These theories posit that if certain humans, through their own strength, can change political or economic institutions in a certain way, then a world practically free of problems can result, such as an eternal reich or a worker’s paradise. When the goal is a worldly utopia, the results are almost always worldly suffering. This is because utopian thinkers do not take into account the fallibility and complexity of human behavior, and they falsely believe that human nature can be completely transformed through the alteration of a handful of external circumstances. The best defense against utopianism is the Protestant doctrine of original sin and the total depravity of fallen man, and the Christian character of the American people has done much to shield us from the disasters of utopian revolutionary movements.

That is not to say, of course, that utopianism has not manifested itself in American history. From the very beginning certain Unitarians and Freemasons in America have promoted utopian ideologies, frequently with disastrous results. The most obvious example of this is the insane abolitionist movement of the mid-1800s, many adherents of which held the completely unfounded view that the Negro slaves would reach white levels of achievement shortly after emancipation. The disaster of the Reconstruction era showed how foolish this expectation was, and the utopian mania of the racial egalitarians largely subsided for another 100 years.

However, despite the occasional emergence of utopianism in American history, the founding ethos and even the founding documents of America were sufficiently imbued with a proper Christian understanding of fallen man’s inherent wickedness that a strong strain of anti-utopian and anti-humanistic thinking has always been present. The political attitude that produced the Constitution understood man’s strong proclivities for vanity, ambition and greed, and accordingly constructed the American system in such a way that rival individuals, factions and regions would counterbalance each other and bring about a moderate state of harmony, which is the best that can be expected in our current state.

An unfounded faith in the human will certainly can lead to tyranny and social chaos, but this is far from the worst consequence. Trusting in the human will also leads to damnation. We are all born under the curse of sin, and faith in Christ and his redemptive work is the only thing that can rescue us. The more a society or political movement preaches the triumph of the will, the farther away they get from the sorrow and contrition for sin, without which the joys of salvation can never be tasted.

Comments

  1. A Southerner

    Very good article, Mr. Pulaski.
    I just wanted to comment on your statement that fascism is a kind of right-wing humanism and Utopianism. I absolutely agree with the humanist and utopian part but I don’t consider fascism or national socialism to be right-wing per se. They combine many characteristics that we would describe as right-wing, such as nationalism, but they also contain many characteristics that we would consider left-wing, such as government funded social projects and an intrusive and authoritarian police state. I don’t think we can really classify NS or fascism as right or left-wing, it is instead a third system that borrows from both sides but belongs to neither.

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