Tibor Imre Baranyi
ABOUT THE TERM "NATION"
IN THE LIGHT OF THE PRIMORDIAL TRADITION
ABOUT our method of inquiry, it will be useful to note that the present essay is intended to set aside every individual and contingent point of view: we do not wish to contribute to the manifold and diverse confusion about the concept of nation. On the contrary, we can aim at enlightening the original meaning of this concept in the light of real traditional principles in order to draw conclusions regarding today.
In order to define the concept of nation we must start from the fact that the nation originally meant the nobility. The nation was not in any sense equivalent to the inhabitants of the country (regnicola), with whom it got later mixed up on various levels. Additionally, until the Middle Ages the nation as nobility had not shown any correspondence with the so-called "nationalisms" of the modern age. In order to understand this clearly, we must consider the vertical articulation of a traditional society.
Regarding the forming of nations — that is of the various nobilities — it is necessary to set out from the disintegration of the original unity of mankind. This presented itself in the form of the expulsion from Eden, using a Christian symbolism, or in another way, in that of the ramification of the primordial Tradition: along the development of the world eras and the continuous changes of the spatial-temporal conditions, a moving away, in space and time, from the initial central state led to bigger and bigger formal differences among the single groups of people and among the single individuals as well. This determined special modes of existence that, although having an identical origin regarding their essence, nevertheless meant ever more significant changes, especially according to the measure of their abovementioned essential moving away. When there are radii starting from a centre, similar to apothems starting from the vertex of a cone along its mantle, there are two ways of considering the distances: on the one hand, as distances among the various points of the same radius and on the other hand, as distances among the various radii. The different radii symbolise the different peoples and the distances among the various points of the same radius represent the ranking differences among the same group of people. The various modes of existence, determined by the distance from the primordial centre, evidently started to mean the various methods and ways of realisation regarding the restitution of the primordial or paradisiacal state, too, a restitution (restauratio) that was —up until the world of the Modern and Contemporary Ages — the basic purpose of life of the various human groups and communities, the existential task they recognised and assigned to themselves; and exactly this was the line that essentially separated the noble from the non-noble. Those people and groups of people that fell out, as it were, of the operational scope of the restoration of the primordial state as the determining existential purpose, they lost their "nobility" and gradually degraded into vegetative forms of existence, into a kind of merely mundane culture. Instead of the vertical path of a central orientation, they stuck in a horizontal straying, in a mere "mundanity". Therefore, the nobles did not emerge from some kind of primitive state but on the contrary, never sank into it essentiallyi.e. to the point where the contact with the origins would have ceased. At this point we can mention that the essential purpose of the blood covenant among the seven Hungarian tribes was not the conquest or reconquest of the Carpathian Basin as a geographic place —as the modern materialistic view imagines it— but the restoration of the existential order of the primordial state, whose symbolic earthly projection or imprint can appear as the taking possession of a concrete geographic place, of a given region of the space, specifically of the Carpathian Basin.
Returning to the concept of nobility, considering the history of the entire mankind of the present world cycle, the definition of nobility based on exclusively hereditary factors occurred in a very restricted period, both in time and in space. The essence of nobility, that is, the nation was thus the presence of the live intention made a task of life, of the restoration of the primordial state. Therefore, the nobility or nation is not lost even today —at least as long as there is one man inside whom the primordial and original intention is alive—, even if its definition on genetic basis has become almost impossible nowadays, because the principle that determines it is eternal and its presence or absence is directly revealed in every man. We will return to this topic soon.
The clear separation of the vertical articulation levels, that is, the ranks of the order of existence, was one of the most important earmarks of every traditional society and was everywhere determined by the measure of detachment from the primordial central state. Within this, there are two fundamentally distinguished groups: that of the nobles in the original sensei.e. those that take part in the restoration or rather reconquest of the primordial state according to their own different natures, or we might as well say that those that although has fallen out of the central state, yet are turned and orientated towards the centre; and that of the non-noblesi.e. those that remain outside of this realisation mainly because of their intellectual limitedness and of their decline in the general order of existence, those that not only stand at the periphery, meant symbolically, but from this periphery do not gravitate towards the centre but towards an even more peripheral "nothing".1 Furthermore, originally the nobles, in every period and time, constituted three main groups, even if under different denominations. The first of these was the intellectual or sacerdotal elite representing the spiritual authority, whose late and remote shattered reflection was the mediaeval European clergy. The second of these was the stratum of the warrior knights and governors, led by the king, the group that is habitually called "nobility" in a restricted sense. Thirdly, the economic or "agricultural" stratum determined to guarantee the well-being of soul of the society, whose misshapen "reminiscence" is the European so-called "third order" or bourgeoisie. The vocations of life of these groups originated from their modes of existence along which they aimed to restore the primordial state both on a stricter personal plane and on a larger social one. The existential purpose of the intellectual or sacerdotal elite was the perfect liberation —we could say— from under the subjection of the order of existence, the achievement of the one-time metaphysical perfection, mainly during an intellectually active contemplative life. As a "grace" reflowed towards society, they as real pontifices maintained the connection between the divine and human worlds, bringing the laws of the divine world over to this one and translating them into human languages and also teaching them, thus determining positively the basic orientation of the given human society. They were the guides, the intellectual mapmakers of the traditional world. In turn, the basic task of the stratum of the warrior knights and governors, of this second group of the nobility in an extensive sense, as it were, of the depositary of the temporal power, was the maintenance and representation of the ideal Truth and the justice following from it, in regard to the inner and outer contrary forces. They were basically determined to maintain the order, the balance and the harmony, in one word: the peace, following the indications of the intellectual elite, in a way that eventually led even to the sacrifice of their lives, a fact that determined their basically heroic attitude. The main purpose of the temporal power, led by the king, was to assure the undisturbed activity of the intellectual elite and to guarantee, organise and protect the order and serenity necessary to it. In the end, the third order, the masters of the trades and of the applied sciences, originally followed the path of the self-sacrifice mainly in a devotional way by taking care of the various needs —mainly of soul and partially physical— of the society, and by organising and directing the economy, but not in terms of some hedonistic material exploitation —as does its deviative parody, the modern bourgeoisie— but for sustaining and assuring the activity of the stratum of the warrior knights and mainly that of the intellectual elite.
In a non-vertical sense, in the traditional world, one form of nobility was distinguished from the other by a special style i.e. the realisation style and characteristics of a basically identical or convergent existential purpose. But originally the identity of the vertical level or rank meant an incomparably greater solidarity than just living in the same country. A knight always understood another knight more —even if the latter spoke a different language— and considered him closer to himself than a non-noble eventually speaking the same language. Therefore, before the modern age and in Europe until the dissolution of the Mediaeval Oikoumené, nationalism in the modern sense was completely unimaginable and unintelligible. There was an endeavour that had been present in traces even before but presented itself with an explosive power in the deeply antitraditionally motivated and impregnated French revolution (1789), the endeavour that —together with the fallacy of egalitarianism— aimed to dilute the concept of nation and to falsify it by saying that everybody is a noble (ie. belongs to the nation) if he happens to be French. It does not matter if he participates or not in the realisation of the order of existence and in the restoration of the primordial state: the only thing that counts is that he is French. A grievous levelling happened, in which the bringing down everything to one level meant, as usual, a bringing down to the lowest level. Indeed, this revolutionary and antitraditional "nationalism" already at its birth was bringing along its stepchild, chauvinismi.e. that destructive fallacy in whose sign everybody becomes an enemy if he does not belong to the circle of the newly construed "nationality" and in whose consequence the most horrible wars took place in the history of mankind. Thus, the modern nationalism connectable to the French revolution, spreading like an epidemic in all Europe, on the one hand did not have anything to do with the original idea of nation (nobility) anymore, and on the other hand it had the obscure and occult purpose of undermining the traditional order and structures, mainly by the transient "elevation" of the masses of low and destructive nature into the circle of the nation. (In fact, the "elevation" never happened, on the contrary, what happened was the prompt and violent debasing and degrading of everything and everybody, to the lowest levels existing in that moment.)
Yet the forces of the worldwide subversion did not stop at the frontiers of the countries. As the levelling down worked extremely well as a destructive power in the local settings of a given society, it was as raised to a higher power, and thus the "borderless" internationalism was born. In its case, the only criterion to consider was that in the destruction everybody that walks on two feet or "human" is "with us" and since a huge amount of people recognised themselves in this pseudo-criterion, a dire numerical superiority, of the "united proletarians of the world", formed over those intending and called to maintain normality. Sensing this most obscure tendencies and processes, some forces became dissatisfied with the disastrous internationalising processes and, in order to stop them, turned back to nationalism but already with a somewhat different sign. In this context, the role of the nationalisms of the extreme right (mainly in the form of nationalsocialisms), that were gaining strength mainly by the first half of the XX century and that resolved to fight and stop internationalism and global communism, had an undoubtedly positive and conservative character, although their other traits showed strongly anti-traditional signs — but here we cannot delve in the detailed analysis of this topic.
After this sketchy historical and ideo-historical review, the contemporary content conferrable to the concept of nation can become clear to us, a conferment that, in order to be done legitimately, must be done exclusively in concordance with the traditional principles, in a kind of deductive way. Despite the fact that some —contaminated by such modern antitraditional fallacies as e.g. the high-flown "egalitarianism"— would very much like to place "the idea of nation on the possibly broadest social basis", this is not only nonsense but also impossible and the untenability of their theories will be proven by practice itself. We must become aware of the fact that the great majority of people have nothing to do with any nation. Nation means a quality, a quality that must even be surpassed through realisation, leaving behind the results of the supranational realisation as "blessings" for the nation. In case of the crowd (plebs), nothing of this kind arises: from the point of view of the development of their vegetative lives it is completely accidental where they are born or live or which nation's language they eventually speak because they do not live any inner, qualitative content of these factors. Being born in a certain place, even today does not make anyone part of the nation. In order to be that, it is necessary to grow up spiritually, to act internally in pursuance of realisation. The purpose is the same; the essence of the path is unaltered. Still now, the nation means the nobles possessing similar modes of existence and not those living in the same place or speaking the same language or perchance "feel themselves" as this or that "in their hearts". Belonging to a nation is not a mere question of profession of faith. It is important to which nation one professes to belong, but it is not enough: the inner quality —capable of spiritual realisation— that is, the nobility, is indispensable in order to belong to a nation.
The expression "nobility", however, must undoubtedly be refined or rather actualised. Obviously, the starting point of the definition cannot be some documentable aristocracy of birth or illustrious ancestry: despite their positive traits, these things have lost their real meaning by today. Essential nobility is not simply a question of birth. Birth or lineage can mean something in this sense but it is insufficient by itself. Therefore, a noblei.e. a real member of the nation —in concordance with the original meaning— is someone that takes part in the work of restoring the primordial state in a way and level conforming to his own qualitative constitution, in relation both to the inward world in a stricter sense and to the so called exterior world. The primordial state —in terms of a strict correspondence between the beginning and the end of a world cycle— also corresponds to the Golden Age of the new world regarding which we can state that the beginning and the end join each other. Therefore, those that participate in the realisation of the primordial state, in other words, of the Golden Age in the sign of a specifically Hungarian existential mode and a lifestyle, knowing and considering the space- and time-related conditions of being Hungarian — those are Hungarian nobles, members of the Hungarian nation. In the beginning of the XVI century, Werbőczy speaks of the fact that someone can be a Hungarian noble if "his merit ennobles him". But what does "merit" mean if we do not consider the question on a merely moral plane? "Merit" is a positive, continuous and systematic effort, practised almost as a regimen of life, made in order to restore the normalityi.e. the primordial state of existence and of conscience. In the case of the Hungarians, following the series of events known as "the conquest of the homeland", Christianity became the compass of the spiritual universe of this effort, owing to a particular depletion of the ancient Hungarian tradition and religion, among other things. The teaching of Jesus Christ is indeed the restoring of the primordial state, that is, of the "kingdom of God". Nevertheless, we must consider that the ideology of the (Hungarian) Sacred Crown wonderfully unites in itself the ancient Hungarian tradition and Christianity. At the beginning of times, the Hungarians have distanced themselves from the primordial state in their own peculiar way thereby they must return to it also in their own peculiar way, or if you will, they must realise the new Golden Age in their own peculiar way; these two things, as we already stated, coincide perfectly. Even the non-nobles can walk this path, but naturally only by following the nobles and first of all, the intellectual elite representing the spiritual authority, in perfect concordance with the similar elite and aspirants of all the nations of the world. Before anybody get disheartened by the small number of people of this kind, we must add right away that their number is not really important as the real nobility has always meant a narrow stratum, but their quality is, and that they are qualified by not something arbitrary but by their own intellectual level and by the rank in the existential order capable of assuming sacrifices that go beyond selfish individual interests. Thus, in a good case, all this can be positive and salvational even for those that are outside of the nobility in itself organically articulated in a vertical way (ie. the vulgus or plebs), as every other social stratum and group can participate in a life worthy of man exclusively through the intellectual elite of the nation and by a work voluntarily done on the path designated by this elite, the eschatological consequences of which —in case of a properly lived life— lead in the direction of salvation.
Important theorists of the present age have correctly recognised that the nationalism of modern age and especially nationalism degenerating in chauvinism represent a hotbed of opposition and conflicts among peoples. In order to eliminate the source of the discordancei.e. nationalism, however, they were led by a tragic misconception and set the target of realising subnationality whose nowadays vertex is the so-called "globalisation". The geoglobal society —and the temporary adventure of the European Union inside it— is the experiment, de-ideologized in the interest of efficiency, of realising the internationalism that washes away nations: it is a terminus as there is nothing of lower level in a social sense. All this can be duly evaluated if we consider that the final time, the terminative phase of a cycle is a superficially similar but essentially misshapen parody of the beginnings: the spiritual unity of the beginnings will be replaced by material uniformity at the end of times, the atomic uniformity of homogenized and uniformed individuals that are considered merely in a numerical or quantitative sense and that the less integrated are, the less differentiated are at the same time. The annihilation of nations is one of the prerequisites of the coming into being of the geoglobal counter-empire, whose behind-the-scenes and deeply cryptic implementor exerts his utmost efforts to demolish that which still rests of the nations and of national values. The almost completely homogenized human crowd resulting in the end, a mass deprived of every real qualitative difference and become sheer quantity, consisting of merely numerical individuals, represents the substantial basis on which the phalanx of counter-tradition is built: a nightmare, as much of short life as horrible, extending over everything. In the language of religion, this is the civitas diaboli (the land of the devil) or the empire of the antichrist. Undoubtedly, nations do not exist either at the beginning of the world or during the nearing of the end, but it is absolutely not indifferent if this means supranationality or subnationality. There is a whole human cycle, the history of a world, in between. In order to realise the primordial state of supranationality, the path is not leading through the confusion and annihilation of nations but through the seizing, differentiated and organically articulated realisation of all the values and qualitative characteristics of nation, a realisation that does not define itself against and to the detriment of other nations but on the contrary, in relation to the spiritual goal that precedes and surpasses everything, in perfect solidarity and unifying forces with those members of other nations that recognise and embrace the same goal.
1 This state has always been judged as a tragedy and as being deprived of almost everything and also meant the basic cause of a man's poverty in a material sense. Only in the latest period of modernity, this state started to be considered normal or even as exclusively normal and even more as something to relish