‘A part of the Southern heritage which deserves more attention of the serious kind than it has received is expressed by the term chivalry’ (Richard Weaver, The Southern Culture at Bay, 1st ed., Bradford and Core, eds., Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1989, p. 43).
Days like Memorial Day have become little more than thin veils to calculatingly drape over speeches promoting militaristic conquest and bloodshed by officials of the national government in
. Since theirs is the abuse of military power, it behooves us to understand what the soldier really ought to be doing. Washington City
Mark Hackard has translated an essay by Ivan Ilyin that helps us in this task of uncovering the character and duty of the true Christian knight. The Southern conception of chivalry, while admirable in many ways, was also corrupted by non-Christian elements that had seeped into it while forming in
Western Europe (striving for personal glory and honor, etc.).
We hope that Mr Ilyin’s essay will help us purge the dross from our own good Southern knightly tradition, helping the Southern States to become worthy in the eyes of God of freedom from the corporate-owned American Empire. Mr Hackard opens things thusly (continued at the address below):
Ivan Ilyin (1883-1954), the White emigre philosopher who articulated Russian national renewal, shows an essential requirement for the strength of any culture – a dedicated elite committed to serving God and defending its people. Ilyin knew that only through such leadership could a nation recover and flourish, and his essay written a decade after the Russian Civil War confirms this fact with clarity and force. Translated by Mark Hackard.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Through all the great discord of our days, amidst catastrophe, tragedy and loss, in disputes and temptations, we must remember one thing and live by it: the maintenance and propagation of a spirit of knightly service. First and foremost within ourselves, and then within our children, our friends and the like-minded. We should protect this spirit as something sacred; we must strengthen it in those who trust us, those who confide in us, and those who seek our direction. This is what we must advocate to our leaders and pastors, insisting and even demanding it. For this spirit is as the air and oxygen of Russian national salvation, and where it would run out, there would immediately set in an atmosphere of rot and decay, overt or hidden Bolshevism.
The decades we have experienced are such that men accustomed to holding indifferent and lukewarm positions, unable or unwilling to fortify themselves and make a decision, have already had their judgment signed in advance. They are condemned humiliation and the mire, and their vital forces will be used by the tempters of this world. Everywhere that there is no will, the will of the sons of perdition shall take the field. Everywhere that the conscience is silent and greed divides the soul in two, Bolshevism already conquers, and everywhere that the crude lust for power of some irritates the insatiable ambition of others, there is prepared seduction, disintegration and the triumph of the enemy. Everywhere that the spirit of chivalry weakens or disappears, disaster awaits us. So it stands now, and so shall it be henceforth.
At whatever post a man may stand, this duty (if only the cause is not in itself shameful) has its idea giving meaning to his cause, consecrating it not as an occupation, but as service, service to God’s Unified Cause on earth. In distinction from the subject himself, having his own personal interests, sympathies and desires, God’s cause has its Transcendent paths of necessity and exaction. And so man’s personal interests and the Transcendent interest of his Cause at any moment can part and place him before the temptation of self-interest. At any moment, a man can find himself in the position of a mercenary, not knowing upon what course to decide, or the position of a traitor who prefers his interest to the Transcendent. The spirit of chivalry is comprised of steadfast loyalty to the Transcendent path.
. . .
Source: ‘The Knightly Spirit’, http://souloftheeast.org/2014/05/23/knightly-spirit/, posted 23 May 2014, accessed 24 May 2014