Anyone mildly interested in traditionalism —be it beautiful old architecture, the preservation of fading cultures, magnificent literature, or simply an instinctive aversion to the ugliness of modernity—has probably heard of the “Wrath of Gnon,” a mysterious Twitter user who seems to spend a lot of time unleashing beauty onto social media. He—I know he is a he because in an email exchange, he referred to a promise he made to “Mrs. Wrath” to remain anonymous—combines beautiful artwork with thought-provoking quotes, all designed to make the viewer consider his worldview: His Twitter bio simply reads “Traditionalist.” — Jonathon Van Maren @ The Bridgehead Radio Show | From the front lines of the culture wars.
[FIND WRATH OF GNON ON TWITTER HERE ]
[FIND WRATH OF GNON ON TUMBLR HERE]
One of my favorite stories of this kind is the local apiarist (beekeeper) in my neighborhood. He told me that the first seven years of him keeping bees he never had more than a couple of jars for himself. Even though he had gotten into it with the idea of selling honey, he found that he neighbors were so hostile to the idea of having bees around that he had to walk around the neighborhood after every harvest and hand out jars of honey. Hundreds of kilos every year was given away. Over time the neighbors figured out that the bees were not dangerous and that this man was not abusing their neighborhood but actually making it a better place. More people started keeping flowers in their gardens and eventually the man could start selling his produce rather than giving it away.
This story illustrates a point that everyone from your grandmother to Tahitian islanders, to the hardcore Neo-reactionary thinkers can agree on: be worthy. To be part of something you must first be of use to it. A community is only as strong as the effort put into it by its members. You must have something to offer. This is as true in urban beekeeping as in modern courtship.
Learn a skill, master a craft, teach something: learn, create, pass on.
Many of your followers engage with you on social media. What is attracting people to traditionalism and your work?
I have this idea—like so many of my ideas, it used to be common sense—that beauty is essentially truth, and truth is essentially beautiful. Human history is varied enough that there are real life—once existing or still existing—examples of the ideal form of every human virtue. What I do is present them in an easily sharable form. I am suspicious of tracts and I detest manifestos and ideologies, I would rather show than tell: why does monogamy work? Why is personal charity superior to societal welfare? Why are picturesque crooked streets preferable to modern city streets? I try to focus on the beautiful and avoid pointing out errors and mistakes (but it is hard to stop oneself sometimes). Modern individualism has fostered a type of person who hates nothing more than being proved wrong or spoken down to. I believe that if I just gently remind people of the beauty that has been taken from their lives, that they will come to similar conclusions as me, on their own.
Which mainstream ideas pose the greatest threat to traditionalism?
Global capitalism, of course. Individual materialism, obviously. But more and more a sort of Laissez-Faire Nihilism, the one exemplified by clever young people “Who wants to have children in a world going to hell?”, and interestingly, even though they call themselves Progressives and outwardly profess undying faith in humanity (despite all the problems they cause and the distresses they must be able to see in their own communities), the main culprit of this are the Globalists themselves. There are no more rabid doom-mongers than the “save the rain forest” crowd. I forgot who said it, but “forget the war on terrorism, the most important war of our time is the war between the sexes, a war that we are all losing.” In a way I agree, in the way that the hidden enemy is always the one able to inflict the most damage: Feminism is the greatest danger to our civilization. By twisting facts, by a concentrated propaganda effort, the image has been planted into the minds of women that history was sexist, that the church was anti-women and that women can be…better than men. In reality it is the couple, the man and the woman together, who make up the basic bond of humanity. The day we finally give up on this idea of love, is the day our civilization is doomed forever. “Love is reactionary”, and “Progressivism is centrifugal” (as I often say).
You’ve said you hate politics. I hate politics, as well. But how do traditionalists engage with politics when it is the growth of government that intrudes into every part of life and seeks to eliminate our ability to live traditionally?
Nothing good will come from engaging with politics. There is no way you can play their game and not suffer for it. What traditionalists should do however is to refuse to play the Left’s game (and all of politics is leftist by definition) of political correctness. The Left is constantly trying to get us to denounce, or to deny, little by little to chip away at our pride and moral stand by forcing us to make (consciously or unconsciously) “unqualified reservations”, in feeble attempts to stave off criticism. This has to stop. Traditionalists can also point out to politicians when they are doing the right thing however, and by being generally upright in our chosen communities. In this way Traditionalists make good Doctors, Teachers, NCOs, Priests, in all places where there is authority without politics.
However, the Progressives are actively working to eliminate all pockets of resistance to the political world order, even the professions I noted above are no longer safe havens of order. In that case, as the family is the smallest unit of society, it is to the family that we should retreat, and from that strong point reach out to other families, friends and allies, to forge real friendships and networks, to foster love and beauty, these are today the most radically revolutionary activities you can possibly engage in….