The Imperative of Strength, Part I

“Of all evil I deem you capable: Therefore I want good from you.

Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

We speak often about preserving our culture, about restoring the virtues that, adhered to, allowed us to walk through the darkest periods in our history and out the other side with our humanity more or less intact.  The values of courage, discipline, and honor – seemingly distinct values found ever-present in cultures remembered for their power and longevity. But what is the finest distillation we can extrapolate across these values?

Courage, the strength to stand in the face of certain death and perform that to which one’s duty so binds them.

Discipline, the strength to overcome the lesser animal instincts of comfort, laziness, and inaction, with the will to power.

Honor, the strength to rise higher in character than the norm and preserve dignity, even in the face of death.

The common distillation among all these values is strength: one’s possession of the might to overcome.

If we look to our ancestors, we find this theme ever-present as the basic cultural ethos of all warrior civilizations. All civilizations which persisted for millennia against the ever-eroding forces of time shared in common the meta-value of strength. Athens’ culture of intellectual warriors focused on the discipline of increasing their authoritative functionality through both physical and intellectual competition. The Romans, using tactics which rely heavily on every individual’s strength to maintain unit integrity, created a culture of mutual accountability amongst the legions. Their discipline, enforced through brutal peer pressure, made them individually responsible for upholding diet, exercise, and training standards, as well as competent behavior during battle. The cost for falling below these standards was often mob-beatings or execution by fellow soldiers.

Romans spoke of the Celts whom they faced perpetually during the empire’s expansion across Europe and into Brittania as being in possession of an animal-like ferocity and strength, which had become dormant in the more civilized Roman man. Rome’s only defense against this Celtic strength was the implementation of  “cultural strength-accountability,” which would catalyze unit cohesion through mutual respect among soldiers suffering the same pressures of constant accountability. This culture of accountability kept Roman lines intact and allowed them to conquer a geographical area the size of Texas in under two years, wiping out a Gallic force outnumbering Caesar’s armies 5 to 1.

The Samurai of Japan held similar peer-supported pressures on personal development. Extreme dedication to discipline and a cultural imperative to preserving honor – even over one’s own life – led to the sustained existence of one of the most disciplined, courageous, honorable and savage societies the world has ever seen. These peoples all relied on the imperative of strength to overcome their baser hominid instincts and act in a way which befits a higher man.

Today’s average man is more concerned with the latest piece of tech, or which superhero movie is coming out this week, than he is the survival of his own people and culture. Even less is he concerned with the great work of building and preserving new cultures with brothers. Men have become children of lesser stars, fire of primordial ambition intentionally dimmed to levels manageable by the weak parasites that have infiltrated every conceivable means of influencing a developing mind toward acceptance of nihilistic mediocrity: the media, academia, human resources, popular scientism, etc.

The faceless force we battle, postmodernism, has its tendrils spread every direction it can manage. It seeks and possesses those too weak to cope with the terrifying nature of reality, turning them into hollow shells, mockeries of their own human potential. We are driven mindlessly to create a world where reality twists to inversion, where weakness is celebrated and perpetuated, beauty despised and destroyed – all in a desperate effort to avoid the pain associated with the essential human responsibility of forward motion and strength.

We have seen over and over, the absolute horror that results from allowing the tribal virtues of courage, discipline, and honor to become diluted toward the apathetic nihilism inversely dominant in their absence. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn details this in his magnum opus, The Gulag Archipelago, wherein we bear witness to his experience inside the Soviet Union forced labor camp system. The accounts in this work are some of the most horrifying examples imaginable of what happens to a society when these virtues, which act as a candle in the infinite darkness of nihilism, are allowed to become not just obsolete, but liabilities to their adherents; where strength is forsaken and the highest priority is the continued comfort of each individual.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”: battle cry of a people so encumbered by misery and existential bitterness, it inhibited the society right down to the family unit from engaging in the very values of which we speak, even in private. Families sociopathically betraying their own blood, dooming them to torture and death so as to acquire more comfortable lifestyles and favor with those at the top of the dominance hierarchy. Neighbors incentivized to inform on each other, whether or not they had actually done anything, by the promise of receiving the belongings of those they threw under the bus after the fact. Rural farmers being slaughtered en masse and priceless cultural relics intentionally destroyed so as to “modernize” the civilization. Millions slowly starving to death. Parents slaughtering their own children and selling their butchered bodies for meat.

Communism boasts a total death toll of well over 94 million in the twentieth century alone. This is the future we fight to avoid. We cannot allow the virus of postmodernism to perpetuate itself, the disease of weakness to take root. If we allow it in ourselves, it will spread to those around us. If we allow it in those around us, it will spread to us. Strength is the only reliable immunization against postmodern weakness.

PJ Pridgen