On the Symbiosis of an Aristocracy
In the ancient West, it was not material wealth, its martial skill, or even its priestly castes, which made, or rather, created a sense of elitism. Our pursuit here is at once deeper, and metaphysical. At once psychic, those of our ancient past, regardless of the level or caste in which one was born, was the sacred ability to ‘initiate’, to be initiated, to ‘ritually initiate’ that person or persons into a particular caste. It was the ‘rite of passage’ proper, placing emphasis on the religious implications and metaphysical forms in which an individual now ‘sensed’ that this initiation had claimed him forever; that his service was now blessed according to his role in life. Practiced for so long, it became ‘institutional’, and was at the very heart and fabric of the West. In the world of Tradition, nothing was more sacred than the spiritual influences that the ‘rite’ could influence through its ‘action’ [i.e. through the ‘ritual’ itself]. The Brahmans of India, for instance, even though scattered throughout its country could, nevertheless, command such respect, almost reverence, enjoying a ‘prestige’ greater than any tyrant or ruler, because they had attained that ‘interconnection’ with the spiritual that the masses had not.
In Greece, China, and Rome the ‘patrician’ class, the nobility, the ‘aristocrats’, were characterized by possession of knowledge and practice of initiatory rites that were connected to the ‘divine’ power emanating from the founder of a particular Family. This, in turn, was passed down through, and into, the progeny of future generations. It is this ‘supernatural’ element, which, essentially, became the foundation of the ‘idea’ of aristocracy, as well as legitimate royalty. What constituted legitimate ‘aristocracy’ was not merely biological, not only blood or racial selection, but also ‘sacred traditions’. In Germanic and Northern races, as well as the Far East in the ancient classical world, the feeling was the same. Blood was a part, but the main part perhaps, was the ‘second birth’, that element of mystical significance, which separated a ‘divine’ from a ‘non-divine’, hence it was that the plebeians of Rome would never attain the status of the patrician not because of blood, but because the plebes were denied the ‘rite of passage’ in a ‘ritualized sense’. This may not strike the casual student of history as important, but if one were to compare its ‘universal’ brother, the ‘church’, then one can readily understand the mystical importance of ‘baptism’, which at once ‘transforms’ the individual, and ‘secures’ a relationship with God himself. One may trivialize this ‘rite’, as not all are Christians, but they would do so at their peril, since it ‘lives’ in the hearts and minds of millions. It is in the above context that one must look to the origin of the ‘aristocracy’ of the past. Like the plebeians of Rome, it was their ‘lack’ of cult which separated them from the patrician nobility; the same can be said of the ‘christian cult’ vis a vis, the non-christian by way of baptism.
In the Teutonic nations we find this ‘metaphysical’ tradition, insofar as the ‘chief’ was, at the same time, both priest and king. Not only this, but a claim of ‘divine’ parentage was the coup de grace amongst his people. This set him apart from all other ‘families’ since he was gifted with ‘divine’ characteristics. Even when compared to a military leader, who was always looked to with admiration, loyalty, and reverence because of his selfless sacrifice in battle for folk and tribe, it was the ‘class’ of priest/kings which held ultimate sway, going so far as to ‘initiate’ themselves if need be. This process was hardly for the weak however, and included isolation, trials of life and death; outside of this, a ‘person’ was considered [as] a member of the ‘women and children’ until, and not before, he had passed through his initiation. This included the king himself. Aristocracy came from the rite of ‘male passage’ from one level into the next, without it, he was of the herd.
In our modern time, aristocracy, like royalty, has merely taken on the more ‘secular’ and ‘political’ manifestations of the ‘mystical’. The origins of Aristocracy and Royalty were based on ‘character’, ‘race’, ‘honour’, ‘valor’, and ‘faithfulness’ [noblesse’ d’ epee, and on, noblesse de coeur]. Much later, these criterions were discarded, as was the privileges of ‘blood and tradition’. Whether or not this quality is lacking in our modern age is, at this moment, not the point, what is the point is the ‘structure’ and ‘form’ of the aristocrat; how, and for what reason the aristocrat existed at all.
It was not the intellectuality of peers, but of its spirituality, which made this class so predominant. It was never a matter of ‘knowing the law’, or how technical a class of men could be, but rather the ‘spiritual’ trust and direction within. In an attenuated form, the Knightly Orders of Nobility continued tradition proper through its initiations and rituals, one but considers the Teutonic Knights, Knights Templar, the Order of St. John, just to name a few, and created warriors who were both ‘priest and king’, and served as judicial, martial, and ecclesiastical leaders: in short, this was an aristocracy based on the ancient laws of the West. Tradition, Honour, valor, and sacrifice were all part of a ‘great’ tradition which, when entered, made them ‘just that much more mighty’ than the common man. These men, indeed, were uncommon.
The aristocracy of the past, that is, the elites who the people looked to for leadership, were special; they were special as a class; and they were special because of the seriousness required as part of an ‘overall’ duty to those who were entrusted, in a sacred sense, to their care. In modern times, when the West was coerced into disassociating the temporal authority from the spiritual authority, and instead replaced it solely with the electoral, thereby allowing the sacred ‘institutions’ to be open to ‘inferior’ types, and the lower social strata, it opened the door to the modern impure aristocracy of money. As time progressed, oligarchies, royal hangers-on, and the like turned more to the whims of the modern demos, the mass; no longer was the natural ‘aristocrat’ a trusted and competent leader. Greece, Rome, and now in our modern technics do we see the effects of these descending phases of senility.
Aristocracies are a natural phenomenon. All cultures, in their own way, host both the leaders and followers of the recurring generations. The point herein espoused is that equality is an illusion, and that all societies have their elite. In our ‘modern’ aristocracies, we look to the ‘kings’ of Industry, Oil, and commerce instead of Blood and Spirit. The ‘aristocracy’ of wealth may do good things, may provide jobs and the like, but they lack ‘spirit’, and most will agree that these men are in ‘business’ and would laugh if they were asked to conceive of ‘business’ as sacred or spiritual. Wealth is not what concerns us here, but the areas in which this sense, not of ‘duty’ or ‘sense of honour’, or even ‘obliges’ is not the purview of the merchant class, therefore, to consider as a ‘class’, the monied classes as more than mere purveyors of ‘exchange’, then we must look to others as our ‘sacred leaders’ in some other class. Utilitarian democracy lacks the ‘warrior’ sense of ‘faithfulness and honour’; it is replaced with a material and economic character which implies directly that personal convenience and material interest belongs to the merchant and not to the ‘aristocratic’. Aristocracy has given way to the plutocrat; the banker has become larger in life, than the warrior. How we view the relationships between our leaders and ourselves is what will mark the once and future West.