Dawn of the Meta-Modern Republic
Reconstructing a grand narrative that will captivate the American people and imbue their spirit with a beautiful, noble, and heroic identity.
In our previous article, Twilight of the Post-Modern Idols, we took a brief walk through mankind’s philosophic journey to find the elusive why:
“If we possess our why of life we can put up with almost any how.” Philosophy is the search for the elusive why, and the history of philosophy is really just a tale about where man has traveled in search to justify his existence. How have we come to “know thyself”? What terrifying voids have we ventured into? What dragons have we dared to face? What treasured idols have we discovered? From here, what ideas have these idols inspired? What systems of belief have risen in their shadows? How has our belief in these ideas provided meaning to people’s lives as individuals and also as members of larger political communities?
After stepping through the different philosophic eras, we came face-to-face with today’s post-modern man and suggested that he is still desperately searching for the why to justify his individual and political existence. When we took a hammer to the woke narrative and other post-modern structures of belief all we heard was a nihilistic thud. These idols are wobbling and it is not a matter of if they should be pushed over, but a question of when, by who, and what will be stood up in their place.
Post-modernism was all about creating a flat moral landscape through deconstruction. Irreverence and ironic cynicism took aim at and demolished the ethical hierarchies that structured the cultural, economic, and political traditions of the West. Gone were the grand patriotic narratives and transcendent religious beliefs, our prior notions of progress were slammed into a brick wall, objectivity was torched and relativism turned honest communication into a dialectical circus, everything great was reduced and made small, all the glory contained within the human experience was unwound into a pathetic heap of trash.
Fortunately for us, the glory of post-modernism walks hand in hand with its doom. Post-modernism is a negative reactive force - it can tear down systems of belief but it cannot actively provide a solid basis for building new positive systems of belief. Now that post-modernism has largely succeeded in deconstructing hierarchies and flattening our moral landscape it has created a problem it cannot solve: What now? Are we just supposed to become sloths and accept a post-modern dead-end to our individual, cultural, and political development?
Of course not! The more post-modernism succeeds in tearing something down the stronger the reaction will be to build something up in its place. In this way, meta-modernism can enter the discussion as a positive reconstructive force:
Meta-modernism stands in the rubble of all knowledge humanity had amassed over thousands of years of progress. The rubble created when postmodernism smashed our collective thought to bits in the name of intellectual emancipation. With this blank slate, meta-modernism [can select] from all human knowledge and begin to construct a new grand narrative, one subject to constant discussion and consideration. It will be honest and it will push itself forward by justifying itself, not attacking the thoughts and positions of others.1
We just recently stumbled into meta-modernism and it seemed to fit quite nicely with the Galloway Institute’s mission of creating a new political narrative. But some degree of ignorance is key to remain focused on creating instead of just searching and conforming. Our primary concern is proclaiming a new narrative. We are not concerned with how precisely we can fit inside a predefined ideological box. We believe that there are some valuable insights to be gained from meta-modernism, but if we are not labeled by others as pure meta-modernists then we will make a note of it and carry on.
The key advantage of acknowledging meta-modernism in the progression of philosophic thought is that it forces many on the right to come out of their conservative shells and begin to look forward. We are not going to snap our fingers and return to “how things used to be;” the consequences of post-Enlightenment ideas must be dealt with. We are not going to simply return to the bronze age, traditional catholicism, or even Nietzsche’s master v slave morality. “Facts don’t care about your feelings” conservatism and dry explanations for why we should advocate for certain political policies will not suffice; compelling stories and grand narratives must now be created to captivate the American people and imbue their spirit with a beautiful, noble, and heroic why.
Simply opening our minds to the possibility of a meta-modern republic will fundamentally alter our political calculus. We can begin to command our destiny once again. Rather than continually SEARCHING for what it means to be American we can focus on BECOMING a great people and developing a noble character that continually pursues greatness. The Greeks and Romans were not SEARCHING for what it meant to be “Greek” or “Roman.” No! These ancient peoples pushed themselves forward by justifying themselves and BECOMING great. Nietzsche writes:
To become what one is one must not have the faintest notion of what one is.2
To “become what one is” is an expressive act, it is an intuitive way of life, not an intellectual, historical, or scholarly pursuit. This expressive act of BECOMING great is both the beginning and the end of any project to create a new grand narrative.
So if we are following the twilight of the post-modern idols and waiting for the dawn of this meta-modern republic what should we be looking out for? Where will this expressive act of BECOMING come from? Montesquieu provides an excellent starting place:
Virtue in a republic is a most simple thing: it is a love of the republic; it is a sensation, and not a consequence of acquired knowledge: a sensation that may be felt by the meanest as well as by the highest person in the state.3
For our purpose, Montesquieu’s quote does not leave us wondering if this virtue still exists among a significant portion of the American citizenry. I believe the vast majority of Americans still possess this distinct virtue even if it may appear dormant as of late. More importantly, Montesquieu’s quote leaves us wondering if this virtue still exists among the right people. The expressive act of BECOMING great will require the greatest efforts from the greatest people. Pay attention to this sensation. Do they still feel it? Do you?
Philip Damico, An Introduction to Metamodernism – TheMetamodernist.com
Frederick Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Why I Am So Clever, 9.
Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, Book V.