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Vulgarity & Egalitarianism – I

How to Not Be a Vulgar Man

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
One of you recently posed this question: How can we as counter-revolutionaries progress regarding anti-egalitarianism?

To progress in this matter, it is indispensable to know what anti-egalitarianism is, that is, to be aware of the moral evil of egalitarianism. We need not only to consider anti-egalitarianism as a philosophical, metaphysical position – it seems that in this regard we are already familiar with the topic – but also to consider the practical aspects of egalitarianism so that we have the horror of it that we must have. What should be our position in face of the moral evil of egalitarianism?

Let us take a person who is vulgar in the proper sense of the word vulgar.

Vulgarity

Vulgar youth conatural with egalitarian modes and thinking

It is not a person who in his language uses expressions that I would be pleased to imagine that all of you abhor, such as “Cool,” “Right on,” “Got it?” and others like this – expressions in the current vocabulary that you should make an effort not to use. But I understand that such words could pass from the ear to the head and from the head to the mouth almost without reflection. This is not the type of person we are discussing here.

The vulgar man is a person who, when he sees a man wearing a suit and tie, thinks, “I hate this man.” He would like that man to have an open collar without a tie. If the properly dressed man takes off his tie, the vulgar man is not satisfied. Then he loathingly says: “Why doesn’t he take off his jacket?”

If the vulgar man sees someone without a jacket, he says with abhorrence: “Why doesn’t he wear his shirt outside his pants instead of keeping it tucked in?” If he sees the man with his shirt tucked out, he says: “Why he doesn’t he wear blue jeans?”

I am not describing here a person who is envious of the better dressed man because the latter has more than he does. Rather, the critical one is a person whose very constitution makes him feel co-natural with vulgar things. The more vulgar a thing is, the more pleased he is.. And the more elevated a thing is, the more uncomfortable he feels around it because he identifies himself with vulgarity.

The vulgar man likes the individual who talks placing his hand on the shoulder of his interlocutor, who taps the belly of his interlocutor with the back of his hand, who spits on the ground, who calls the other “dude” or “brother.” If he does not know something, he steps back, makes some outrageous comment, and laughs loudly like an idiot. When a vulgar man sees someone acting in this way he feels an immediate affinity with him. When he sees a distinguished person passing by, he thinks: “How arrogant he is! I hate him.”

Please note, such a reaction is not produced by envy, but by vulgarity. In face of a refined or genteel thing, he feels irritation. On the contrary, in face of anything that is vulgar, he feels sympathy because he has an affinity with vulgarity.

If an uncle were to provide him with a well decorated bedroom with elegant rugs, drapery and objects, shortly he would destroy the room by throwing his cigarette remains on the floor, wiping his dirty hands on the curtains, jumping on the bed and breaking its springs, spilling drinks on the furniture. He abuses everything that is well arranged and beautiful because he has an antipathy for, an allergy to everything that is in order.

If someone uses a form of politesse in addressing another – “Receive, my lady, the expressions of my high consideration” – he thinks, “How stupid! What a waste of time.”

golden carriage

Above, the Royal Carriage of Norway; below, Prophet Jonah by Aleijadinho, the fingers broken by vandals

Prophet Jonah by Aleijadinho
If he sees a carriage passing – let us suppose the gala carriage of the Queen of Norway, magnificently gilded with paintings decorating its doors and curved glass windows of crystal, pulled by a pair of stately horses and driven by one or two postillions – the idea that comes to his mind is to throw a stone at it. He feels a need to destroy it.

This is in part the mentality of so many tourists who visit the statues of Aleijadinho and break their fingers or write their names on the stones. They feel the need to shatter what is in order, to damage what is elevated. This mentality is worthy of complete rejection, because it professes a love of evil for the reason that it is evil; this is properly speaking to love the evil for its evilness; the dirty for its dirtiness; the error because it is wrong.

Barabbas should have had a horrendous physiognomy. Facing him, on the other side, was Our Lord Jesus Christ, majestic and sublime even in that moment of supreme suffering. By choosing Barabbas instead of Our Lord, the Jews revealed a filthiness of soul that expressed a complete depravity. It was like seeing the Devil and God and preferring the Devil. Now, this sordidness of soul is present in egalitarianism, which is evil per se.

Thus, the disposition of soul of an anti-egalitarian person is such that in all things he looks for the sublime, not in order to possess it, but rather to know and admire it. For example, when the anti-egalitarian man hears about the golden wheels of the carriage of the Queen of Norway, he thinks: “What a pity I cannot see it!” His desire is not to ride in that carriage, but to admire it.

The characteristic of the anti-egalitarian spirit is to see, know and love what is more sublime and elevated. It is, therefore, a rupture with what is vulgar. The anti-egalitarian and hierarchical spirit always seeks what is higher; at the same time it does not despise what is simple. If a person without an egalitarian spirit is poor and lives with dignity in his poverty, the anti-egalitarian man admires him. He does not despise what is poor; he despises what is vulgar.

The House of the Holy Family in Nazareth was poor, but was not vulgar. Everything in it was well arranged, ordered, clean, ceremonious and elevated even though it was poor. The anti-egalitarian man admires this; he considers dignified poverty a good thing.

What he rejects is anything that is sloppy, purposely disarranged, wrong for the sake of error, anything that is dirty and vulgar. This is what he repudiates.

So, here is a first point: We should examine our soul and continuously cultivate this state of spirit. This state of spirit in its turn leads our souls to the heights of the love of God. With this we have, then, the first mark of the anti-egalitarian spirit.

Continued

Posted April 15, 2015

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