An Often Misunderstood Term
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire“
The strict definition is:
A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.
Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word tradition itself derives from the Latin “tradere” literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping.
In simple terms, tradition is the passing down of knowledge from prior generations. It’s a connection with your ancestral past. Generations before have all gone through struggles, and their answers to those struggles are traditions.
Tradition is not going back to what people did in the year 100 AD and calling it good. Neither is it doing silly things from the past without meaning. They are significant behaviors and beliefs that have evolved as they did for a reason. A specific reason that is unique to that region and nationality.
Tradition comes in the form of sustainable progress. Unlike the “progress” of anti-traditionalists, which is merely destruction of tradition. Tradition builds upon itself over time as new generations answer new questions. It’s by its very nature a preservation-function and allows a slow, stable evolution of a nation.
Progressivism (anti-traditionalism) is the opposite. It is a breaking down of tradition, with nothing to fill the void. It can only destroy what tradition has taught. While it seeks to “release” us of the characteristics of the old, all it does is leave a void that is then filled with other, far more harmful, customs. Usually of a selfish, degenerate, and individualistic nature.
An easy example of the distortion of the term “tradition” is seen in warfare. A Western traditionalist would not desire to return to the warring tactics of the Roman Empire. They would not put down their air fleets, their guns, and related modern equipment to fight with swords “because that’s the tradition”. The tradition is the proud, honorable, masculine, and strength-focused undertones. Which are all traditionally learned behavior that is absolutely still important in the modern day. Because of the anti-traditionalists, we lack it. And the problems that arise from that void are obvious to us nationalists.
Tradition is not something that is stagnant or “old”. Tradition can evolve with a people as new problems are encountered. Every modern right-wing state in the latter centuries built their own traditions by both looking to the past for examples of solving their modern problems and crafting their own solutions, which would later become tradition. Tradition is grown organically in response to struggles or problems faced. It does not seek to solve what is not broken. Progressivism does not grow or solve problems, it only destroys tradition to “go further”, without knowing where that takes us. (But we know).
Tradition moves with the people by being a key resource from the past. Think of it as an ever-growing, but slow, slope of improvement over time. Whereas anti-traditionalists think they know the answer to everything through a contemporary worldview, traditionalists realize we need slow, sustainable improvement instead.
I like to use the tradition of the Sabbath day as an example. The day was set aside for rest and worship, meaning to allow the national people a chance to relax, experience spirituality, converse with others, and participate in meaningful things. It is preserved as a tradition because these activities are healthy for a people, especially in modern times when everything is so fast, busy, and demanding for attention. It’s a tradition that tells us to slow down and take in what is actually meaningful—family, faith, and a calm mind. Even for a non-religious person, this is a useful day to seek their own spirituality, enjoy nature, and find peace every week. It’s a lesson from our ancestors to not be engulfed every day, or we will be overwhelmed and miss the forest for the trees.
Some traditions, just like some cultures, are poor. This is true. But the difference between anti-traditionalism and tradition is that tradition provides a slow, sustainable way to improve or expand upon these traditions to make them more useful. They can adapt a tradition to rectify it for contemporary use while keeping the cultural aspect intact. Anti-traditionalists simply seek a removal of the tradition, which means the problem that the tradition was meant to solve will return, albeit in a contemporary fashion.
The anti-traditionalists are in contrast to the traditionalists. Where the anti-traditionalists have a blind faith that their continually yet-to-be-determined version of the future will be better, the traditionalists generally recognize what is truly needed for sustainment and what must be done to do so. Where anti-traditionalists want to throw off all the chains of the past without regard for what new chains that they put themselves in, the traditionalists see the larger picture and desire to hold on to the critical elements that sustain them and slowly chip away toward a better future.
Because tradition is the learned knowledge passed down by previous generations, it can help us tackle complicated subjects that seem counter-intuitive or difficult to solve. Our ancients have figured out the answer for us already, which is where tradition comes in. They have stumbled in the dark, so we do not have to.
We do not believe in abandoning this knowledge in the pursuit of “progress” (properly read: regression). Traditional values did not appear at random or through accidental chance. They are answers to the complicated subjects that were time-tested over centuries.
A couple explanatory articles are here:
- On The Regressive Nature of “Progressivism”
- Carry The Torch: Ancestral Tradition In Modernity
- The Eras Of Western Civilization: On Tradition
The majority of traditional approaches to statehood are also clearly documented during the upcoming and height of all great civilizations. This is not a coincidence. These values are necessary for the states to become strong enough to become the greats. Consider it as a type of evolutionary adaptation for great states. If we want to sustain a great state, we have to preserve what made that state great. This is tradition and the natural order that inspires tradition.
Tradition is a return to what is sane from what we have learned throughout the lessons of history. Nationalists must reject blind “progress” which has no pathway to sustainable success in favor of a structured road that is, while not perfect, slowly building us to that better path using learned knowledge over time.
It is a contrast between those who recognize history and do not want to repeat it, versus those who desire to repeat it ad nauseam in the pursuit of modernity’s current inclination of “progress”.
These two factions, constantly warring with one another, are the true drivers of civilization.
I am firmly in the traditionalist camp, favoring historical heritage and realism over modern vice and blind optimism.
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