When you think about Traditionalism you think about the past. The word tradition implies the past, in fact we are encouraged to think of something that is traditional as something that is both from the past and of the past. However a tradition is something that comes from the past, continues in the present and is something that we intend to go on with in the future. What it is not is something dead or extinct.
But don’t Traditionalists believe in Monarchy and in the Church having a role in society?
Certainly we do. But something that confuses both Traditionalists and non-Traditionalists alike is the idea that we support these things because they existed in the past and therefore we wish to recreate the past. But no such thing can occur, we can never recreate the past, it will never be 1661 or 1991 ever again. The past is for better and for worse gone. But that does not mean that the events of the past never occurred, nor does it mean that we cannot learn from the past. We can, we should and if we are serious about fixing the world we must.
The reason that we look to the past for answers is because the past provides us with numerous opportunities to see how things went wrong and how things were protected or recovered. The past is a place where we can learn without suffering any immediate cost. Something that is often not possible in the present and of course we cannot study the future, we can only speculate or surmise what the future will hold.
In all philosophies there is a conflict between the world as we believe it should be (theory) and the way the world actually works (reality). Traditionalism is at its strongest when it aligns itself with reality, with the traditional ways of doing things. So what do I mean by the traditional ways of doing things?
I mean the things that conform to human nature, because at the heart of Traditionalism is human nature, not the way the world should be but the way the world really works. In short, human nature is reality and the more that we take that in to account the better.
But there is a trap within human nature, and that is that it is part of our nature to deny our nature. We can become more than we were in the past, we can be smarter, more moral, simply better. That appeal to our vanity is inherent in every one of the ideologies, including the one we all live under, Liberalism. Traditionalism says no that is not true, in reality there are limits to our power and there should be. That we should not set people up to fail, but that we should instead set people up to succeed.
That our nature wants us to love and to be loved, that men and women are designed to fit together, to support each sex’s weakness with the other’s strength. That people want to marry and that they want to stay married. That they want their own children and that they want to be in control of those children. That we are hierarchical and instead of looking up to actors and the like, that we should look up to those who support our society and its future. That we should respect the past and work towards the future, while always remembering that we live in the present. That we are not mere individuals, that we are at one and the same time members of families, communities, ethnicities, nationalities and of races.
Human nature will continue to exist in the future and therefore so must Traditionalism.
Originally published at Upon Hope. You can find Mark’s Subscribestar here.