Author Archives: Stratton

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You can trust me, I'm pre-law

Whirling Dervish

On a recent night, the Council was sitting around the Round Table, ruminating on various issues, when Matthew said that conservatism offered nothing. In his words, “I’m sure the Aztecs had a culture they wanted to conserve.” I’ve argued against such lines of thinking, though I often perform as a sniper with a shotgun. It’s all wide pattern and no focused sighting. It’s one of the problems with having an ideology and not being pragmatic, namely, having an ideology means being willing to admit fallibility.

Will highlighted a great Dalrock post, and the comments therein, on Tuesday. Escoffier, at Dalrock’s blog, wrote that though the SoCons, a decidedly influential leg of the conservative stool, were averse to the shifting mores of life, they mostly sat on the sidelines and enjoyed their accumulating piles of stuff. Commenters here elaborated on that point.

Quick aside: George Carlin once joked that a house is a place where we store our shit. . .While we go out and get more shit!

Taking Carlin’s riff more literally, I’m increasingly of a mind with those who argue that conservatism/traditionalism as a policy standpoint is too deferential to the past and not sufficiently focused on the present. Moreover, that past is mostly an illusion. The conservatives and traditionalists focus on a purportedly idyllic time when the decline was already well in motion, the shit had just not yet accumulated to a level such that it could be classified as detritus.

Conservatism as an ethos is malleable. The blade may be sharpened, a scope may be mounted on a muzzle loader. But a return to the past is not coming. Instead of focusing on truths that were never true, we should instead look at natural law, our foundational mores, and adapt our tactics to the present. Always, though, we must keep an eye on the future. If we fail to do so, we risk becoming a mushy, all inclusive historical attraction for tourists.

In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen’s camel’s hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt represents the ego’s shroud. By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God’s unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God’s beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, “All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!”

All loves are a bridge to Divine love, huh? Not even close. All loves are a bridge to irrelevance and banishment. Tough love and adaptation are the bridges. We cannot conserve that which never truly existed.

Dervish communities, in the Middle Ages, served a central role in social, religious and political life throughout “central Islamic lands.” [Ed: Though associated with Islam, the Sufi predate them and are not part and parcel with “modern” Islam.]. Dervish orders were at one time much larger in size than they are today, as the government has taken control over most Dervish monasteries throughout this area. In 1925, Turkey ordered the dissolution of all Sufi fraternities by decree, the Mevleviyah managed to survive among small villages throughout the Middle East. In 1954, the Turkish government granted the Mevleviyah order “special permission” to perform ritual whirling practices for tourists during two weeks each year. Outside of tourist entertainment, Orthodox theologians have now vocally discounted the Dervish practice resulting in faqirs, or wandering, mendicant dervishes throughout central Islamic regions. Despite strict government control over Dervish practices, the Mevleviyah order continued its existence in Turkey until the early 21st century. [Ed: Read, now it’s gone.]

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in culture


Reactionary Revolutionary

The great game vs. MRA debate seems to have subsided, for now. Maybe they haven’t. I only paid passing attention because I don’t really care. Oops, I just wrote that out loud.

But I do find the split interesting, if not for the reasons outlined by the debaters themselves. Namely, I’m interested in the premise a not-insignificant portion of the MRA side starts from – that we need rights and activism to demand that women give us permission to be men. That is an abdication of man’s natural role, that of leader. We don’t lead our women because they give us permission, but because that’s just how it’s supposed to be, baby.

So then, what is a reactionary to do? Perhaps the proper reaction is a revolution that says we will no longer collectively frame our responses in reaction to women. Instead, we will lead and the women will react. Or to put it another way, go make us a sandwich.


Posted by on November 14, 2011 in culture, Masculinity



Badger is man after my own heart. Beyond the nostalgia, though, is another question. Where is the sweet spot, the intersection between looks and intelligence that produces a highly desirable candidate for a mate?

Admittedly, this is one of my hobby horses, to the point that I’ll use shoddy research just for the sake of a post with graphs.

The comments to Badger’s post show that I am not alone. Superficially, those actresses are not Alyssa Milano, in her prime of course, but the fact that they are not mouth breathers elevates them.

Which brings us to today’s question:  When looking at potential wives and mothers what is more important, the looks or the books?


Posted by on November 10, 2011 in culture, Sex


An Ethos or a Script?

We were discussing Novaseeker’s post at GLP. Our conversation started when I asked about the use of the word ‘traditionalist.’ We consider ourselves traditionalists, but we disagree with other traditionalists. Thus, we have a conundrum.

What is traditionalism?

Is it a set of guiding principles, a deference to natural law? Rather, is it a recipe, any diversion from which renders man thoroughly modern?

Feel free to include Venn Diagrams in your responses.


Posted by on November 6, 2011 in culture, Sex


Hey Baby

Recently I had an interaction with a few young ladies, one quite attractive. It was a nothing moment, but the blonde did stop to talk. We enjoyed a riveting, if brief, discussion of The Price is Right.

Because wives like knowing their husbands are desirable, I shared the anecdote with Penelope. “You are such a flirt!”

Busted. I am incorrigible in that regard. I don’t seek to escalate or stray, but I do like seeing girls smile.

How does flirting fit with tradition and religion? Do those of you who are married or in relationships still enjoy causing flustered eyelash flutters or have you tempered your masculine proclivities?


Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Sex