Explaining Traditionalism at ‘The Everyman’

When it comes to society and politics, I call myself a Traditionalist, and today at The Everyman, I got to explain a little of what that means: 

Another point where the Traditionalist would reject Liberalism is on the question of freedom. For the Liberal, freedom is the highest good, and he would define freedom along the lines of, “the right to do whatever you like provided you do not interfere with another person’s rights.”

Of course, this requires a clear set of rights, which in turn require a standard for what is and is not a ‘right.’ Because if we take that definition of liberty to be substantially correct, then paradoxically the more ‘rights’ people have, the less freedom any one individual has (again, as we are daily observing in our own culture: if one man claims a right to not be insulted, then another man’s freedom of speech is proportionately limited).

As far as I am aware, this is a standard that Liberals have never been able to establish: there is no clear and objective way for a Liberal to determine what does and does not qualify as a ‘right.’ In fact, the Liberal principle that freedom is the highest good means that there can be no standard by which to judge of rights or freedoms (what can the highest or most basic of goods be judged against?).

Traditionalists, following classical philosophy, would say that rights, rather than being ‘self-evident’ foundations of freedom, are derived from moral duties and observable facts. That is, where a Liberal would say that natural rights determine moral duties, the Traditionalist would say that rationally discerned moral duties require certain rights. For instance, the fact that a man is a father imposes on him duties to provide for his family. This, in turn, requires the right of private property, since it would only be out of his own property that a man could be said to be providing (otherwise whoever owns that property—e.g. the State—would, in fact, be doing the providing). Now, that is not necessarily the only traditional justification for property, the point is that it is a justification, and one that is entirely logical.

Read the rest.

AMDG

Things to Know Before Dating a Traditionalist:

After reading the staggeringly tone-deaf list of things to know before dating a feminist, I thought it might be useful to provide a list of what someone – a modern woman within what seem to me to be the typical range of socio-political views – ought to know before dating a Traditionalist (which is my present label for my own set of views), hopefully while avoiding the pitfalls of the other list.

  1. Just because he is not a feminist does not mean he doesn’t respect you. From his perspective, it is quite the reverse.
  2. He is going to pay for the meal, open the door, and walk you to your car or to your door. He is not going to ask to come up either on this date or any other. For goodness sakes, do not take offense at any of this.
  3. He will not swear in front of you and you shouldn’t swear in front of him
  4. He will not be offended if you question his beliefs. It will not be the first time.
  5. He is not necessarily going to ask that you share his views, only that you don’t call him a moron, bigot, or (God forbid) ‘Nazi’ for having them.
  6. You will never win a debate with him by using the word “racist,” “sexist,” or any similar term.
  7. Don’t expect much from the word “equality” either.
  8. Telling him how one of his favorite films / books is actually sexist is a good way to ensure there will not be a second date. This goes double if you haven’t actually seen / read it.
  9. Trying to justify the murder of children by appealing to ‘choice’ will end poorly.
  10. He will not find you more attractive the more skin you show or the tighter your clothes are.
  11. Just because he is polite and dresses well does not mean he is not dangerous. This is a good thing.
  12. His idea of ‘women’s history’ is “Theresa of Avilla and Maria Theresa.” Citing a suffragette or (God forbid) a politician as an example of a great woman will only tempt him to mockery.
  13. He does not want to talk about sex past, present, or future on a first date. Probably not on the second one either.
  14. There is about a 50/50 chance he will recite poetry during the evening. Remain calm and let it run its course.
  15. He expects you to be as rational as he is.