RE: Nonsense on Stilts

Gaius Milton recently posted a commendable essay on the specious origin of the muddled “natural rights” concept. His essay asserted what many Traditionalist and non-Western scholars have known from the beginning – that these Enlightenment values which have become sacred to contemporary Western societies are flimsy fabrications.

For me, one of the greatest revelations I had, one which should have been obvious but which eluded me well into adulthood – is to follow the blood, then the money, then the merit – in that order. In evaluating an idea or proposal, keep cui bono (for whom) at the fore. Ambrose Bierce described politics as “a strife of interests disguised as a contest of principles”, a point which I embrace and extend to include philosophy, theology, and the soft sciences as well.

Every oligarchy carries with it a self-glorifying and self-justifying worldview. In some civilizations, this is more transparent than in others. India’s Brahmans ascribe to and promote a religion which promotes their own oligarchy as supreme in a structured relationship with India’s other oligarchies and groups. China’s Mandarins ascribe to a Confucian belief system which honors the behavior of a competent and humble bureaucrat in a highly ritualized society. Whatever the ruling class would have been doing anyway is spun as the highest thing one can be doing.

In the West, there have been a few competing oligarchies, relying on varying styles and degrees of crypsis to conceal their identities and motives. To understand why this half-baked notion of “natural rights” came about, to understand why so many promoted it, and to understand why it’s become canonical in Western thought requires understanding which oligarchy promoted it and why.

The Four VarnasAs I’ve noted elsewhere, I believe that there are four cardinal niches in the civilizational habitat: martial, managerial, mercantile, and menial. Oligarchies tend to consolidate their power through dominating one of these niches within a given society. Since the decline of the Roman Empire, the West has been largely dominated by a symbiotic relationship between a military aristocracy with origins among the Germanic warlords and the Catholic priesthood. During the Middle Ages, the ideals proffered by these elites were a fusion of Christian piety and militaristic honor codes.

But a new political force emerged among the increasingly wealthy peasants and landholders. They were successful professionals who were largely locked out of the Medieval power structure. They were opposed to the Catholic Church and the nobility – both of which were teetering on moral and financial bankruptcy. The increasingly wealthy and influential trade guilds gradually coalesced into the initiatic fraternity of Freemasonry, the institutional foundation of this ascendent mercantile elite.

This is the Enlightenment. Its agenda is that of the merchant, of the bourgeoisie. Its motto “liberty, fraternity, equality” isn’t a sacred and principled declaration. It’s a list of demands of a revolutionary vanguard translating their wealth into power. Their philosophy, perhaps most gracefully presented by America’s Benjamin Franklin, is essentially economic, chafing at decorum, ritual, and other transactional inefficiencies. It offers only superficial deference to religious piety and national identity. Sure, they had a strong sense of noblesse oblige; but even their concept of stewardship and charity is restricted to the economic dimension of the human experience.

When America’s founders “held these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”, they were rebelling against the power of the church and the privileges of the nobility. They wouldn’t have imagined that their flowery phraseology would later serve to justify extending political and even economic “equality” to America’s Blacks. They didn’t realize that the meritocratic system designed around their “common sense” would be an open invitation for a hostile oligarchy to sweep in, beat them at their own capitalist game, then rend this nation apart and sell each chunk of it like a chop shop tearing down a stolen car.

I’m not recommending a simple restoration of the Ancien Régime and I’m not damning the American experiment or even Freemasonry altogether. But it should be evident at this point that we need to critically examine the ideals which ultimately led us to where we find ourselves today. A lot of what we’ve taken for granted as self-evident common sense may well be nonsense on stilts.

President George Washington

About Matt Parrott 98 Articles
Matt Parrott is a low IQ wignat LARPing costume clown.


  1. Matt, do you contend that the very idea of a more rational order itself is nonsense on stilts? I don’t see how that’s nonsense at all, much less on stilts.

    Let’s see, Enlightenment values are nonsense on stilts because they failed to foresee every eventuality, or if they did foresee many of the most destructive, they failed to protect against them. Apply that critique to “Traditionalism” (by which I suppose you really mean nationalism, because real tradition is imperial, in which case you eventually get a milder version of the same destructive effects) and you’ll see that it too either failed to foresee and protect against its most destructive eventualities, or it “forsaw” them only too well, in which case one can only conclude you wish to “try again.” I don’t think the constituency for trading in liberty — albeit a degraded, degenerate form of it — for endless conflict is very large, but that’s just me.

  2. Silver,
    I’m no traditional Traditionalist and I’m not damning the American experiment altogether. Radically reconsidering America’s ideological foundation is necessary to save it. I’ll flesh that all out better in a follow-up post. The takeaway is to not assume I’m going in a typical RadTrad direction.

  3. Matt, this is an excellent post.

    Due to the constraints of length, I had to leave out a fair number of elaborations and asides in ‘Nonsense on Stilts’, but from this essay it’s clear to me that you’ve expanded on one of the key areas which I would have loved to have gone into further detail about.

    We are living in an age where physical science is progressing at an incredible rate, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. With this, we would be foolish to allow our political science to progress at the same rate as in previous generations, because any disparity between the two will not only become more and more embarrassing for the old establishment, but it will become, and has become, an increasingly serious danger to civilization.

  4. A critical examination is the only thing that can save us. Every religion, every political system, and every idea needs to be ruthlessly criticized. The sad thing is that there were devastating critiques of our problems thousands of years ago. Maybe the decline of a classical education in the 20th century has accelerated our destruction?

  5. Well said Matt. An ideological and philosophical revision of outdated, subsumed convictions, is, in today’s changed context, an absolute imperative. Our White people have internalized many irrational and contradictory ideas, passed down from prior times, that in effect, have crippled our inner ethnic compass. We have to come to grips with many of these self-destructive misconceptions, and deal with them on their real merit, or lack of it. Our genetic survival depends on it.

  6. Great essay. Every universe dies when its creator dies. The name may be hijacked but the real thing dies with its founder. Any plan that does not include the survival of the creators is a plan to be hijacked. If one plans to be hijacked until eliminated, it will happen. Everything else dies with the elimination.

  7. The mercantile class invited the jews back in after centuries of exclusion.

    Freemasonry gave jews equal status with Christians.

    If you invite a vampire in don’t be surprised when he doesn’t treat you as an equal.

  8. Matt Parrott – “Radically reconsidering America’s ideological foundation is necessary to save it.”

    I think you’d be interested in Randolf of Roanoke and his assertions that were essentially the same as yours, only he made them in the early 1800’s.

  9. Gaius,

    I remember when I was a teenager, reading Plato and wondering how this allegedly brilliant man could be so critical of democracy. Imagine my arrogance that I sat there at 16 thinking I had outsmarted Plato by holding the modern opinions.


    Old Atlantic,
    I believe it really boils down to pride. The mercantile elite saw themselves as having achieved their status through merit. I doubt they had the humility to consider the possibility of a hostile group coming along and defeating them at their own game.

    It reminds me of the Scorpion and the Frog fable.

    Thanks. I’ll check him out.

  10. Here’s a few of the things Plato said about ‘democracy’:

    Have you not observed how, in a democracy, many persons, although they have been sentenced to death or exile, just stay where they are and walk about the world – the gentleman parades like a hero, and nobody sees or cares?
    (Ever noticed how our society turns cop-killers and drug dealers into folk heroes?)

    …how grandly does she trample all these fine notions of ours under her feet, never giving a thought to the pursuits which make a statesman, and promoting to honor anyone who professes to be the people’s friend.
    (Draft dodgers and sexual perverts infest our political system. George W. Bush sat on his ass during Vietnam but sent American boys to die in Iraq.)

    These and other kindred characteristics are proper to democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.
    (That’s the key part. Democracy depends on an idea that we’re all equal – yet everyone knows it’s not true.)

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