On Traditionalism

Hey Everybody, Marcus here.

It has been the longstanding position within MGTOW that both traditionalism and feminism are gynocentric institutions that cannot constitute a viable framework under which male female relations ought to take place. Of these two frameworks, feminism has received the lion’s share of criticism. Though traditionalism has also received a fair amount of criticism, I believe MGTOW arguments against traditionalism have not been as well developed as they could be.

As such, in this video, I intend to defend the following thesis; namely, that traditionalism is paradoxically impossible to justify and defend by a traditionalist as a consequence of traditionalism.

To begin this argument, we must first explore the concept of traditionalism itself. From my viewing of traditionalist anti-MGTOW videos it has always concerned me that the term itself has been used in fairly non-descript nebulous ways. The term seems to be used in a manner that appears to mold the meaning of the concept of traditionalism to fit the agenda of the speaker in the specific context the term is used. As such, I have yet to encounter a sufficient and complete accounting of what a traditionalist considers traditionalism.

To remedy this situation let us attempt to build up some form of account ourselves and see where it leads. Can it not be said that traditionalism, whatever is may be, must, at least in a topical way, have something to do with traditions? Surely it can. Can it also be said that there are multiple traditions in existence? This too is true. Now, is it possible for there to be contradictory traditions? Namely, is it possible that one tradition makes an affirmative normative claim as to some behavior while another tradition makes the opposite claim? Indeed, this is possible. For example, there are cultures in which cannibalism is a traditional behavior while in other cultures the absence of cannibalism is traditional. Indeed, cannibalism can be seen as both traditional and non-traditional.

So, from what we have said so far it must follow that there exist traditions which are mutually exclusive. Now, let us ask ourselves what a traditionalist is. Can it be said that a traditionalist is someone who defends tradition unqualified or someone who defends a particular tradition? Let us evaluate the first case in closer detail. If a traditionalist is someone who defends tradition unqualified, then it follows that he will assert the normative necessity of a behavior that has always been the case if such a precedent exists. In other words, if there is a tradition in relation to cannibalism, then the traditionalist will assert that the correct behavior is that of cannibalism. As we have previously demonstrated that there are cultures which have traditionally practiced cannibalism and other cultures which have traditionally not practiced cannibalism, the traditionalist would necessarily need to defend both traditions if the traditionalist is to be understood as one who defends tradition unqualified. However, such an interpretation would cause the traditionalist to fall into contradiction. One way to resolve this contradiction would be for such a traditionalist to relativize tradition to culture.
If he does so, then such a traditionalist will be defending the thesis that a member of some culture ought to practice the traditional behaviors of that culture if a tradition exists governing a particular behavior. In this way, traditionalism would, in essence be absolute animosity to change of behavior over time. In other words, traditionalism would be little more that the defense of custom against any form of alteration.

I suspect this is not the sort of traditionalism and this is not the sort of traditionalist we are dealing with in the MGTOW community. The second possibility of what a traditionalist is, as we said earlier, is someone who defends a particular tradition. This sort of traditionalist does not suffer from the earlier problem of contradictory traditions. In other words, the sort of traditionalism we are dealing with in the MGTOW community is the type that defends normative behaviors of a particular tradition that have always been the case with the intention that those behaviors never change.

The question we must deal with now is the following: “Which particular traditionalism is the traditionalist we encounter within the MGTOW community defending.” If traditionalists are to coherently use the label “traditionalism” unqualified, it must follow that they all mean the same thing when they use the word “traditionalism.” For example, it cannot be the case that one traditionalist can be for Catholic traditionalist, while another member of the same group would be for Islamic traditionalist and a third member of the same group would be for Pagan traditionalist. All three of these members must be either for Catholic, Islamic, or Pagan tradition.

However, I suspect that this is not the case. I suspect that part of the nebulous usage of the concept of “traditionalism” has been a result of the fact that the group that consider themselves “traditionalists” are in fact not defenders of the same tradition. I suspect there are Catholic traditionalists, Protestant Traditionalists, Muslim traditionalists, and who knows what else all mixed in together under the single unified label of “traditionalist.” As such, the label of “traditionalism” or “traditionalist” has no concrete meaning in the unqualified sense.

Now, if one were to speak with a traditionalist, we not only need to ask him what tradition is this traditionalist defending, but also ask him when in time did he believe this tradition was still in practice in society at large. For example, it is not uncommon for a Protestant traditionalist to harken back to the 1950s as some golden age of traditional values. However, why the 1950s? Why not the 1850s? It seems to be the case that as there are Catholic Traditionalists, Protestant Traditionalists, Pagan traditionalists, and so on, there also appears to be a temporal disparity within any given tradition as well.

Some protestant traditionalists will look to the 1950s as the point in time where their preferred traditional values were in full force. Others may look upon democracy as a failing point and point to the monarchic ways preceding the French Revolution and therefore look towards the 18th century as the correct point in history to emulate. Perhaps English protestants of the same ilk will look to before the glorious revolution and therefore the 17th or even 16th century as the standard.

However, a Protestant traditionalist can never look earlier than the 16th century as the standard for his interpretation of traditionalism as Protestantism only came into being during the reformation ofs Martin Luther in 1517. And even if a Protestant traditionalist were to look at the 16th century as the golden age of tradition, would that even make sense? After all, can you coherently state there was a protestant tradition in the 16th century when Protestantism had only existed for a handful of decades? Surely what became Protestant tradition was radical innovation and a hard break from tradition during the 16th century.

The problem of situating tradition in time becomes an even bigger problem when you start to compare against competing traditions. For example, where a Protestant traditionalist cannot possibly look further in time than the 16th century as a golden age of tradition, a Catholic can. A Catholic can look to the Scholastic period of the 12th or 13th century as the golden age or even as far back as the time of Jesus. Such a Catholic traditionalist cannot even coherently consider the Protestant tradition as tradition at all. But then we can throw in the Pagan traditionalists into the mix, Nietzsche, being one of these, and push the Golden age of tradition to even before western philosophy itself; before Socrates – to 800 BC or so. To the Pagan traditionalist, both the Catholic tradition and the Protestant tradition are not traditions at all but a radical break from tradition.

So, as we can see, there is a significant challenge for any traditionalist to defend their flavor of traditionalism in relation to other traditionalists much less against things like MGTOW.

With this said, what I would like to do now is take up the Catholic traditionalist position and see what happens. Let us assert that the traditionalist that MGTOW encounter most frequently is the Catholic Traditionalist. Let us also assert that western culture is a consequence of the Catholic faith. The reason why I have chosen this particular tradition is because it is the most difficult position to argue against. I have also chosen this position because ultimately, all justification governing traditional relationships ultimately flows from the Catholic faith; namely, the natural hierarchy of obedience and authority. From a top down view, we get; God has authority over man. Man has authority over woman. Woman has authority over child. From a bottom up view, we get; child is obedient to woman. Woman is obedient to man. Man is obedient to God.

Now, let us say we wish to defend Catholic traditionalism. Let us say that we take the stereotypical 1950s as the golden age of this tradition. We did not choose the 1960s as it entailed 2nd wave feminism, nor did we choose any decade subsequent as each decade closer to today moved further and further away from this 1950s ideal. Let this be the foundation of our defense of the Catholic tradition.

Immediately we encounter a problem. A problem I believe is ultimately fatal to defending the Catholic traditionalist position. The second Vatican council took place between 1962 and 1965. This council overthrew a great deal of traditional Catholic teaching that has, according to many, been a major contributor to the decline of the church. There are many who consider a majority of the second Vatican council to be heretical. This belief is so strong that a movement called Sedevacantism has risen that states that the present occupant of the Holy See is not truly pope due to the mainstream church’s espousal of the heresy of modernism and that, for lack of a valid pope, the see has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.

In fact, among Catholic traditionalists, Sedevacantism is considered radical traditionalism. Though I have no intention to go through the entirety of the views put forward by Sedevacantists, I will however discuss passages related to marriage that have broken from tradition.

One passage from Vatican 2 that deals with marriage says the following:

“But marriage is not merely for the procreation of children: its nature as an indissoluble compact between two people and the good of the children demand that the mutual love of the partners be properly shown, that it should grow and mature. Even in cases where despite the intense desire of the spouses there are no children, marriage still retains its character of being a whole manner and communion of life and preserves its value and indissolubility.”

Not only is it nowhere stated or implied in this passage that the procreation of children is the primary purpose of marriage, transcending all other purposes, but it is implied that this primary purpose is equalled in importance by what are in fact the secondary purposes.

The correct doctrine is succinctly set out in Canon 1013 of the 1917 Code: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and upbringing of children.”

The erroneous nature of the Vatican 2 doctrine is highlighted by the astonishing suggestion that only those who have “prudently reflected” and made a subsequent “decision” should raise “large” families. The truth is that Catholic parents should leave the size of their families entirely to divine providence, unless there are proportionately grave reasons for limiting them by partial or total abstinence.

The perversion of this doctrine by Vatican II is worthy of note not only as a departure from Catholic doctrine, but also as an incitement to vice and depravity. It is precisely because God instituted marriage and the reproductive act proper to marriage primarily as a means to the procreation of new life, and only secondarily for other lawful ends such as the fostering of mutual love between husband and wife and the allayance of concupiscence, that it is unlawful to seek the pleasures proper to matrimony while deliberately frustrating their natural fecundity. In other words, the false doctrine spread in this passage paves the way to the justification of marital onanism and every other sort of unnatural perversion.

It is perhaps not surprising that this passage drew very severe criticism from the two weightiest theologians present at the Council, Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect of the Holy Office, and Cardinal Browne,6 superior-general of the Dominicans. The former, speaking as the eleventh of twelve children of a labouring man, recalled the Scriptural doctrine and Catholic tradition of trusting to Providence rather than thinking it necessary to limit the size of families, and ironically pointed out that, if the text of this decree was to be considered correct and Catholic, this fitted in well with another notion heard for the first time at Vatican II – namely the notion that the Church had previously been in error (see item (q) below). The latter, in two interventions, showed how the desire to teach a fashionable doctrine (according some special rôle to romantic love among the ends of matrimony) was threatening to undermine the Church’s traditional doctrine. And although some changes in the text of the decree were made in the light of these interventions, nothing is plainer than that the adjustments were cosmetic and that the underlying errors remain in the text.

You see, even the Catholic traditionalist has no recourse to traditionalism. As Vatican 2 overthrew the beliefs that ruled the Catholic tradition in the 1950s, a Catholic traditionalist has a choice to make. Either he sides with the Sedevacantists and defends pre-Vatican 2 tradition, possibly excommunicated himself from the Church and therefore damning his soul to hell, or he breaks with tradition to follow the teachings of Vatican 2 which is only 50 years old and can hardly be considered tradition at all.

As such, the thesis I set out to argue for in the beginning of this video; namely, that traditionalism is paradoxically impossible to justify and defend by a traditionalist as a consequence of traditionalism, can be seen to really pertain to Catholic traditionalism.

A Catholic traditionalist is bound, traditionally by Catholic doctrine. Among these doctrines is to defer the interpretation of the faith to the magisterium. Since the magisterium, through Vatican 2, has in effect null and voided traditional marriage, the traditionalist either breaks tradition to remain obedient to the church or in effect becomes a heretic. As such, Catholic traditionalism is paradoxically impossible to justify and defend by a Catholic traditionalist as a consequence of his Catholic traditionalism.

Now, the problem the Catholic traditionalist encounters is not limited to marriage. The same argument ultimately pertains to all null and voided traditions in Vatican 2. However, marriage is the particular tradition that concerns us most within the MGTOW community so I have contained by argument to that.

Though this argument would not obtain within Protestant traditionalism, Islamic traditionalism, or Pagan traditionalism, I do believe similar arguments can be made for those. Protestantism itself, I would argue, is inherently revolutionary and not traditional to begin with so I don’t think Protestant traditionalists have much of a leg to stand on either. Islam, in turn is not a part of western culture so Muslim traditionalism is not something a traditionalist would want to “return” to in the west as it was never widely practiced to begin with. As for the Pagans, well, they followed a model of the extended family and not the nuclear family, so the nuclear family would not be something that would ever be defended by a Pagan traditionalist anyways which is not usually something we encounter from traditionalist rhetoric.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this video. There is surely more than can be said on the subject of traditionalism, but I believe what I have covered in this video is sufficient to shake up the traditionalist project at its foundation.

Thanks for listening.

Go team!


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