Introducing Lawrence Auster

Fellow Hindus, I would like to introduce you to Lawrence Auster.

Auster is an American Nationalist and a votary of Traditionalism. His thoughts expressed although from a White Western Judeo-Christian perspective, have lessons for us Hindus who want to understand the modern bane of Hindusthan better; liberalism and its more well known manifestations in secularism and state-socialism.

Whilst reading Auster, I urge Hindus not to get distracted or react to his obvious and proud traditionalist American Nationalism-this much is expected from a true American-but glean from his writings how the cancer of liberalism continues to eat away the vitals of American and Western society and how best it may be combated. We need this understanding because even though Hindu samaja is traditional, its elite have sold itself to liberalism completely. Our unsuspecting samaja, which is faced with this strange new enemy, is effortlessly led down the garden path by its alienated elite, all in the name of fair play and equality.

Auster is a Traditionalist. His definition of traditionalism, in my view, does not conflict with our own Hindu view of how our samaja orders itself and survives.

Traditionalism is not an ideology. It doesn’t have a formula of truth. It doesn’t have a formula for the organization of society. It is an orientation toward the order of being, a recognition of basic facts about existence which are universal to all cultures, but which take different forms in different cultures. (Which, by the way, doesn’t mean that all cultures are equal.)

The notion of “viveka” or “positive discrimination” is ingrained in this definition as it is in our samaja.

Amongst Auster’s important works are – Path to National Suicide and Huddled Cliches.

All comments welcome.

– Namaste

12 Responses

  1. KN, i like his thought process but his blatant christian bigotry is a reality too, no?

  2. Well, I’ve been following Lawrence a very long time and haven’t found bigotry in him.

    He engages with Hindus who engage with him, in a very civil and constructive manner.

    I’ve learnt much from Lawrence. That’s the reason I recommend him strongly.

  3. It is worthwhile to compare notes with American traditionalists. I think there is a lot the Indian conservative movement can gain from the strong Western tradition. The American conservative movement however has been a coalition of social conservatives (traditionalists in other words), economic conservatives and foreign policy conservatives. Presently, the only noticeable conservatism is found in the last group (at the political level).Whether a similar arrangement can be worked out in India remains to be seen.

  4. Pilid, I find it very hard to imagine conservatives can remain conservatives if they are partly liberal.

    This is the case with many so-called conservatives who are essentially only economic conservatives and social and foreign policy liberals. There are other permutations and combinations too.

    In my opinion, traditionalism does not lend itself to mere mundane conservatism since it seeks linkages in cause and effect, vis rooted in traditional thought.

    In other words a traditionalist would look askance at a foreign policy conservative who was also a social liberal. The traditionalist would immediately deduce that the social liberal was ultimately reducing his country to a hollow shell.

  5. Not necessarily. A foreign policy conservative is someone who takes foreign policy concerns seriously and advocates a conservative viewpoint in that sphere. It does not mean that he/she holds a decisive point of view on social questions or even if he/she does so, the person is not in the position to determine social policy which makes it not very significant. For example, many folks who worked for the Bush administration were social liberals but that does not mean they had any impact on the administration’s abortion or gay rights policies. As I said, it is a convenient arrangement where the outlook and aptitude of one group is utilized without being in conflict with the other interests of the party’s popular base.

  6. From perspective of policy-making, you have a point. However, influence matters. An influential conservative foreign policy maker, but social liberal will weigh in in favor of social liberal laws.

    But that’s the Western view.

    The Hindu view is more integrated. Hindu Dharma leaves it to samaja to decide norms and mores per tradition. This is the reason why our Hindu Rajyas never made specific laws for or against homosexuality. Yet, emphasis on family ensured homosexual “rights” would not disturb samajic balance.

  7. Dear Mr. Palahalli,

    I am a reader of Lawrence Auster. I am an American Christian and know a little about India and Hinduism, but not much. I looked briefly through your website hoping to learn something from Hindu traditionalists such as yourself.

    May I ask what “samaja” means? I get the impression that it means the Hindu community as a larger whole, extended in space and time and considered as a society. But I didn’t understand what you mean by “samajic balance.”

    John Lockhard

  8. Thank you for writing Mr. Lockhard.

    Yes, your understanding of what samaja means is correct. It is both the immediate community as well as the larger society.

    In the context of homosexual “rights” my argument for samajic balance is multi-layered.

    1. Hindu samaja lays great store by the institutions of marriage and family.

    2. In fact, no Hindu samskara
    or rite of passage, Brahmanic or non-Brahmanic, can be performed without involving some member of the family.

    3. Hindu samaja has also revered the system of “arranged” marriage for the specific purpose of not leaving this decision to the whims of youthfulness.

    4. As you will note, things fall into place by providing the samaja with all round support structures that will ensure its orderly perpetuation. It goes without saying that such a samaja is also heterosexual.

    5. Hindu samaja sees sexual deviations. It will not call them perversions because then pervert behavior needs to be criminalized and penalized. Hindu tradition instead, has denied homosexual and other sexual deviances, legitimacy. It has denied them marriage and family; therefore it has succeeded in ensuring that even though homosexuals can live a free life, their deviations are not perpetuated by receiving social legitimacy.

    Thus balance is sought to be achieved.

    6. The British erred in penalizing homosexual behavior. What this does is it recognizes homosexuality as a criminal offense and makes it incumbent upon the State to prosecute. Or, when such a law is abolished eventually, it provides homosexuality the legitimacy of not being illegal. So, therefore, legally, homosexuals cannot be denied the right to marry and “have” families. The only human institution that then stands in their way is the traditional samaja. Now imagine if this samaja is not traditional but liberal. I know a liberal samaja is an oxymoron, but still imagine that such a one exists. This samaja will provide strength and legitimacy in the name of individual rights and non-discrimination between sexual behaviors.

    Hope this clarifies. Do write in with any questions.


  9. Mysterious are the workings of karma.

    After three long years, I come across your name again, and of all places at VFR. Initially, it did nothing, but memory insisted that this was a name which I had come across before, and one not to be lightly forgotten. A flash of recollection later, I logged back onto our old social networking hangout, and I beheld your changed profile message.

    Do my eyes deceive me, or is it really you? The same Palahalli with whom I so joyously sparred so many moons ago?

    (You are one of the few who I know are capable of shouldering the immense responsibility of creating an independent traditionalist Indian intellectual presence on the Internet, the way Auster and the others have done for the Western traditions.)

  10. Aneesh Mulye 🙂

  11. Dear Mr. Palahalli,

    Thank you for your clarifications.

    If I understand correctly your concept of balance, the traditional Hindu samaja, considered homosexuality a deviation but not a crime. Therefore it denied legitimacy without penalizing. The balance resulted from the different status of homosexuality when considered legally and socially. The fruit of the balance was a certain freedom for homosexual individuals combined with the stability and health of society. The older British practice of criminalizing was off-balance, being too harsh on the homosexuals, and unwise, because it linked the two factors too much. Now that the legal factor has been reversed, the social factor has been reversed as well, leaving society vulnerable.

    Is that a fair expression of your thinking?

    I have a question about your point 4. What sort of support structures exist in the samaja? How is this support provided, and by whom?

    Regarding point 6, I think we have something like a liberal samaja in America right now. Many people have instincts that contradict what the liberal samaja says they should think, do and feel, but they accept its authority and cannot articulate those instincts.

    John Lockhard

  12. Yes, Mr.Lockhard. Your understanding is correct.

    As for support structures, there is the institution of marriage, family and relationships maintained within and amongst the larger family. So support essentially comes from family members. The elders and better placed.

    Rituals and festivals help the process of remembrance, reinforcement and bonding.

    It will not be amiss to say that all such support structures are increasingly being attacked in urban Hindusthan; just like you see in the United States. However, a basically rooted, traditionalist samaja is putting up a decent fight.

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