Note. I have a tendency when I get on a subject of over write, to deal with more subjects than is necessary. I have certainly done this in this introduction to my articles on socialism particularly because, this article is evidently too large to be the introductory article for a reblogged article. However since I have already written it, I might as well use this introduction any way. I does include material which I have planned to bring up one or the other eventually. Readers should simply know that this is the introduction to the three additional articles I plan to reblog from my Radical Center blog.
A friend who is the leader of the Matronite Flame wing of the Matronite Goddess Tradition is aware that I identify politically as a Socialist. When I recently communicated to her that my socialist beliefs are representative of a historically marginalized minority tradition within that broader tradition she asked me to share some information regarding the tradition with her. I have decided to do this by reblogging some of my previously written articles on the subject within this blog. Of course in reblogging these articles I am breaking one of the rules of modern American political culture. Certainly within the political Left, politics and religion are carefully kept at a distance from each other. This is actually not particularly difficult for most people within the political Left because most who inhabit this political sphere are strongly secularist in orientation.
Within the political Right of course religion is often used in order to support a right wing political agenda. Thus God becomes a climate change denier, a denier of food stamp benefits for the poor and a supporter of right wing, Tea Party politics. This form of discourse of course simply confirms the self satisfied secularism of most within the Left. I do not care to follow these rules of discourse. While in general I will not be posting political articles within this blog I have decided to share a few of my articles on the subject of socialism because it has had such a central role in my world view though out most of my adult life. I also believe that of necessary ones political life effects ones religious life and certainly ones religious values should effect ones political stance. Politics and religion can not and should not be viewed as having no relationship with each other.
Another reason I choose to post these articles here at this time is that I have recently been in some dialogue with a woman who clearly shares at least some of the view points ( not all) of the Traditionalist political / cultural world view, a perspective which has had a powerful and decisive influence within the Filianic / Deanic religious movement. Traditionalism has tended to be explicitly anti-democratic, anti-socialistic and hierarchical. When I wrote the three articles I plan to post here in 2009 I had no knowledge of the Traditionalist world view. However I was very aware of the negative critiques of democracy which were developed by both the European Right and elements of the radical Left during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Traditionalist school founded by Rene Guenon in the first half of the 20th century, a school in which religion and metaphysics plays the dominant role, also contained very definite political social views many of which evidently came from much the same place as did the anti-democratic currents of the early 20th century.
I have since read some of the writings of Rene Guenon particularly from his small but influence book “The Crisis of the Modern World” published in 1927 and “The Feminine Universe” written by Miss Alice Lucy Trent in 1997 one of the leaders of the Aristasian community at that time. Most of my understanding of Traditionalist thought come from my readings from these two books. Since probably hundreds of books from a Traditionalist perspective have been written over the years I am hardly an expert of the subject. I certainly do not have a full understanding of Traditionalism’s metaphysical and religious principles nor of all of its political and social perspectives. These no doubt are quite diverse. However since I have thought much on the issue of the role that democracy should play within society, government, religion and many other institutions, I do not feel intimidated by Traditionalism’s views on these subjects.
The point is that while I find the anti-democratic critique of Guenon and other anti-democratic writers to be often interesting, sometimes insightful, and often well argued, I see no reason to change my belief that most human institutions particularly those of government need at least some strong degree of democracy in order to run well and in order to be responsive to the needs of the people. This does not mean that aspects of hierarchy based on meritocratic principles should not also have a strong role within government. Thus I am not opposed in principle to certain forms of Constitutional monarchy nor to the existence of certain aristocratic based bodies. The US senate was originally meant by the Founding Fathers to be such a meritocratic / aristocratic body. The US senate of course never really played that “rule by the best” role effectively.
Furthermore the current US form of government with its pretence of being purely democratic and that it is government “by the people”, is increasingly becoming dysfunctional. Thus I have become almost totally disenchanted by the current day workings of America’s current “democracy.” While I am more appalled by the inanity of the political discourse of Tea Party dominated Republican Party, the Democratic Party of Barack Obama particularly as it relates to US foreign policy also functions without conscience or morality.
Thus while I still believe that democracy within the government and other institutions is necessity to prevent them from becoming unresponsive to the needs of their constituents and becoming oppressive in nature, I believe that how “democracy” works in this society needs to be radically rethought. American democracy needs to be reformed and perhaps more structures of government of a more meritocratic even hierarchical nature may be necessary so that effective decisions can be made. For example the popular elections of state and local judges and members to other offices in which intellectual and moral qualities should count for more than simple political criteria should perhaps be ended. Does it really make sense to have popular elections of members of state supreme courts and local judges by electorates which know know very little about either the candidates or the legal issues involved. Perhaps certain governmental and judiciary offices should be chosen by more limited electorates, electorates having qualifications which would increase the likelihood that they would be more able to choose the best candidates for members of the judiciary. This would certainly in accordance with the intention of the Founding Fathers when they established to electoral college within the US Constitution. Of course that idea did not work but the basic principle as envisioned by the Founding Fathers was not a bad one.
However I am not arguing only for changes in government which would move toward a more meritocratic anti-democratic direction. Certain reforms should be put in place which would democratize certain aspects of society as well. For example money plays a much greater role in the electoral process than it should. Major electoral reform is needed. Furthermore democratic reforms of the US economy is needed as well, which brings us to the articles regarding what I call “cooperative socialism.” Thus I would argue that the Cooperative Socialism i.e. Workers Self-Management / Economic Democracy which I advocate in the three articles would powerfully strengthen democracy in the best and most realistic way within this society. Contrary to popular opinion if any institutions can and should be run democratically within society it is its economic institutions. There are no institutions which are of more importance to workers / employees who have to live within the context of these institutions the greater part of their waking hours. There are no institutions of which workers are more familiar and none in which they have a greater stake. There are none which workers if systemically educated can be more able to effectively run economically and efficiently. Enough for now.