go home Realism

The Aristotelian Connection
Carlos Whitlock Porter

I’m not usually interested in philosophy and I think philosophers are crazy - (”Can Being Be Posited [?] of Non-Being?” for 20,000 pages, etc. etc.) - note - but some philosophical problems are important. Take the problem of the nature of abstractions (the idea of “horse” as distinguished from individual horses). This is also known as “the problem of Universals and Particulars”.

Plato taught that abstractions are real, and pre-exist concrete, individual objects, which are simply the “pale reflection” of pre-existing, perfect abstractions. Abstractions are not only perfect, they are more real, and more valuable, than the concrete objects in which they are reflected.

A scientist might well see the “pre-existing abstraction” in terms of genetic possibility. A Darwinist or National Socialist would say that a horse is evolving towards, or away from, its potential as a “perfect horse”, which exists as a biological possibility only. But the view of Platonist idealism goes much further, since it extends to ALL abstractions, i.e., courage, loyalty, honour, books, art, etc. Not surprisingly, this view of abstractions is called Idealism (or Nominalism).

Aristotle, by contrast, taught that abstractions are a product of the human mind: we observe individual horses with their similarities and differences, and arrive at an abstract concept, an imaginary notion of “horse” which exists only in the mind.

This is called Rationalism. This view of abstractions has been increasingly dominant since the 13th century, and has now triumphed almost absolutely. (Rationalists are very fond of accusing their opponents of “irrationalism”, but it should be not noted that Idealists are no more “irrational” than Rationalists at all, partly because the words are used in a special sense, but mainly because the “rationalism” of the Rationalists is essentially a style of argument, a choice of vocabulary.)

Aristotelians are great hair-splitters. For example, they distinguish between “essence” and “accidents”. The “essence” of a thing is that which makes it what it is, its “quiditas”, or “thatness”. This does not include its existence. Existence is a non-essential quality, or “accident”. A horse can be a horse without existing.

Modern philosophers, in turn, tend to say, “Well, if abstractions exist only in the mind, and if a horse can be a horse without existing, and since we can imagine horses any way we want to: 66 teeth, 19 legs, 4 stomachs, what’s left of the concept of ‘horse’? Nothing. All you have to do is fiddle around with the definition of words.”

Now, on the face of it, it must be admitted that the Platonic view appears nothing less than insane, while the Aristotelian view appears to represent simple common sense. If I say, “There is no such thing as humanity, only individual human beings,” or “There is no such thing as mankind, only individual men and women,” I appear to be making a self-evident statement of fact. But it is not a fact. It is the expression of a theory of abstractions which dates back to Aristotle.

In fact, the Platonic view is closer to the truth, as I intend to show. Not only is the Aristotelian view incorrect, it is profoundly destructive and dangerous. One need only repeat the Aristotelian view often enough, taken to sufficiently great extremes, to destroy the basis of all human knowledge.

The fallacy of the Aristotelian view of abstractions becomes obvious if I say, “There is no such thing as courage, only individual acts of courage,” or “There is no such thing as the complete works of Shakespeare, only the individual words which make up these works: wherefore, art, thou, etc.”.

Many modern philosophers actually imply as much (for example, the behaviourists or logical positivists), and appear to believe that “anybody can be Shakespeare”, as long as we have a computer to shuffle the word combinations around. Common variants include the following:

- “There is no such thing as the nation, only individual members of the nation”.
- “There is no such thing as society, only individual members of society.”
- “There is no such thing as the American people, only individual American citizens.”
- “There is no such thing as the White race, only individual white people.”
- “There is no such thing as the Negro race, only individual Negroes.”

This is, in fact, the basis for the common assertion that “race” is an unscientific concept. People admit the scientific nature of genetics and heredity on an individual basis, but deny its application to the group, because they deny the existence of the group itself. All modern Aristotelian philosophies are individualistic (anti-nationalist, anti-racialist, anti-traditionalist, anti-patriotic), because they deny the reality of the collective, the nation, the race. If there is “no such thing as the nation”, then the nation can have no claims on the individual. (It should be noted that this doesn’t prevent individuals from making claims on the nation.)

Indeed, according to this theory, the nation never even existed, except as a geographical entity (varying in size according to the particular historical period) inhabited by individual human beings, from the King on down. To state that an individual should sacrifice himself for the nation is simply to state that some individuals must sacrifice themselves for the sake of other individuals, all of whom are alive at the present time (since dead and future generations exist only as abstract concepts, as a potential).

Hegel said that everything contains within itself the seeds of its opposite. Democracy, for example, begins as “majority rule”, as “rule with the consent of the governed”, and ends up, inevitably, in the absolute, totalitarian tyranny of minuscule minorities, or even isolated individuals. Dictatorship is the rule of a minority of one. The result: “Democracy”, the most oppressive and hysterical political and intellectual straitjacket on the planet, a.k.a. Political Correctness. Two hundred million people, and a single dissenting voice is intolerable.

Note the manner in which the Jews switch back and forth between philosophical systems to suit themselves. In one breath we are told that “There is no such thing as International Jewry” to take responsibility for Jewish crimes (Dresden, the Morgenthal Plan, Zionist atrocities in Palestine, etc; the list is literally endless), but there IS such a thing as “the German people” (to be bled white for the so-called “Holocaust”). In the very next breath, we are told that “There is NO such thing as the German people”, because “Anybody can be a German”, even a Turk or Congolese!

Another example: “There is no such thing as the Negro Race”, to be feared, blamed, and/or hated for their resentfulness, destructiveness, and high crime rates, but there IS such a thing as the “White Race” to feel guilty for slavery! In the very next breath, we told that “there is NO such thing as the White Race”, because “racial purity is a delusion”!

To destroy the anti-pornography laws, Jews became Aristotelians and split hairs to show that “obscenity”, “lasciviousness”, and “prurient interest” were meaningless concepts incapable of definition. Then, to destroy Revisionism, they became Platonists, and referred to a pre-existing ideal of perfect social harmony allegedly being damaged by “Hatred”, without any definition of terms whatsoever.

The point of the above discussion is to show that National Socialism (which is not limited to the writings or speeches of Adolf Hitler and his followers, but which, on the contrary, has far-ranging philosophical roots) is a serious school of philosophical thought. The National Socialists make a clean sweep of 2000 years of philosophical thought by stating that a human being is subject to the laws of nature. Hitler’s statement that “the ultimate wisdom is the understanding of the instinct” is, in fact, one of the profoundest truths ever uttered by any human being. His practical failure does not diminish that fact. No one is diminished by martyrdom.

This makes Hitler one of the greatest philosophical thinkers of all time. Since he was also the greatest social reformer in history, as well as one of history’s greatest military and political leaders. This makes him one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. Personally, I have been very critical of Hitler in some respects in the past. But as more information becomes available from authentic documents (which exist by the ton, but most of which no one has yet taken the trouble to study), and as our views evolve in reaction to events, I believe that such is the final truth which will ultimately emerge.

It should be noted that “Race” and “Nation” were almost synonymous until fairly recently. To a patriot, it is obvious that the “nation” possesses a reality which extends over thousands of years, both past and present. Not only does the “Nation”, as an ideal, possess perfection, it is, in fact, in reality, more real, and more important, than the individuals of which it is said to consist at any given moment.

Let us reject the Aristotelian view of abstractions. Let us state that, for us, as for Plato, abstractions are real.

Let us state that the individual member of the nation is simply the “pale shadow” of the “perfect abstraction” of its greatest men. Even primitive tribes have their great warriors, priests, scribes, magicians, poets, seers. It is these which make the individual tribesman that which he is. To pretend otherwise is simply unrealistic.

Let us state that we are what the race, the nation, our ancestors, the family, our great political and religious leaders, have made us, and that, without them, we are nothing.
Let us state that it is to them, our ancestors, our countrymen, that we owe everything.
Let us state that, to us, the race, the nation, family, honour, and loyalty are a reality.
Let us state that to this ideal we are duty bound to sacrifice, not only our own lives, but the lives of others as well, if needs be.

It is obvious that abstractions are real. How far would you get in farming if you said, “There is no such thing as varieties of corn, only individual ears of corn”; or “There is no such thing as breeds of cows, only individual Holsteins, Guernseys, etc.”?

It is obvious that the “variety” or “breed” is more perfect and more real than the individual ear or animal. The “variety” or “breed” can be improved, and survives eternally, while the individual “ear” or “cow” has only one lifetime, and is gone in a meal. The same is true, mutatis mutandis, of the human individual. In Biblical terms, “he cometh forth as the grass and is cut down”.

During the Spanish Civil War, on 23 July 1936, the Communists captured the 12-year-old son of the Commanding Officer of the Nationalist garrison in the Alcázar at Toledo, and threatened to shoot him unless the officer surrendered the garrison within 15 minutes. This was over the telephone; the lines hadn’t been cut yet. The Nationalist Commander, Gen. José Moscardó, said, “May I speak to him?” The boy was put on the line. Moscardó said, “Hello, what’s going on?” The boy said, “Hi, Papá. They say they are going to shoot me if you don’t surrender the fortress in 15 minutes“. Moscardó said, “You know how I think. Your father is not going to surrender. If it’s true that they’re going to shoot you, I want you to commend your soul to Jesus Christ and say your prayers, and I want you to die like a Spaniard… “. The boy said “Yes, Papá”. Moscardó said, “A kiss for all eternity”. The boy said, “Goodbye, Papá”. Moscardó said, “Put the officer back on the line”. The Communist officer came back on the line, and Moscardó said, “You can save the 15 minutes you offered me, because the Alcázar will never surrender!” And it didn’t.

[The story of the phone conversation is almost undoubtedly a legend, since I do not see how the phone lines could remain uncut 5 days into the rebellion, but it illustrates a moral principle. What is certain is that the boy was held captive outside the fortress, that he died during the siege, and that the fortress never surrendered.]

That was the action of an idealist. His oath, his loyalty, his nation, the lives and freedom of the men under his command, came first. This is where the cerebral spirit of Jewish Aristotelianism * gets out its mental slide rule or pocket calculator and draws up a profit and loss account in which “Spain” counts for zero, because the “nation” doesn’t exist!

It should be noted that a decision to betray the garrison would have been particularly easy to rationalize. The revolt appeared hopeless and the enemy represented the so-called “legal government” of Spain – a government of Marxists and traitors to whom men of decency no longer owed any loyalty.

http://www.cwporter.com/ARISTOT.htm
Jan 10th, 2010