Here is Ludwig von Mises’s take on traditionalism, Human Action (p 191-192)
Not exactly a ringing endorsement from Mises, now is it? However, it is understandable. Mises is not a traditionalist. Mises is a classical liberal. Mises is an economist. He cares more about interest rates than he does about transcendence… and that’s okay. I am not here to excoriate Mises because of it. I won’t go as far as to say dump capitalism but I will offer a warning to our techno-commercialist friends in the neoreactionary trichotomy. It is important that they realize this: economics are not the end-all and be-all of a healthy society. Tradition, transcendence and culture are also important in forming a health society. Do not take this as an assault my techno-commercialist friends. I do not intend to stir up inter-tribal conflict. I merely wish to open a line of discussion with you. Perhaps I can act as an arbitrator between these two camps of our trichotomy as I feel I agree with points made by both camps.
The techno-commercialists cannot deny that the pure indulgence in the material-physical world has only exacerbated the debilitating effects of modernity. Denial of spiritual transcendence has not made our society any happier. It has left many deeply dissatisfied.
“Unfortunately, in some people, the economic dominates the political, ethical and religious. This psychological condition is a mental illness, la daimonìa dell’economia (“demonic possession by the economy”).”
As cliche as it sounds, there is more to life than money…
We neoreactionaries must find some common ground over the issue of traditionalism vs. techno-commercialism. As Nyan explains over at MoreRight, neoreaction is a synthesis of the three parts of our trichotomy. It is true that most neoreactionaries tend to favor a particular part of the trichotomy but it is important not to forget that neoreaction is still a trichotomy. A true neoreactionary cannot view the economy as the end-all and be-all of society. If that is the case, then you are really no different from the anarcho-capitalists. However, the same goes for the traditionalist wing. Traditionalists can no longer be naive about economics; some even going as far as objecting to the use of interest rates altogether (regardless of magnitude) as usury. Dismissing all techno-commercialists as “shekel pimps” is not constructive either. With that said, we cannot simply dismiss one another. We must work together on this issue.
I am not an anti-capitalist. Austrian economics have played a major role in my development towards becoming a neoreactionary. I generally believe capitalism to be good and the most preferable economic system that a society can have. Neoreactionaries believe in forming healthy societies in order to reach peak civilization. In order to accomplish this, we must embrace traditionalism and spiritual transcendence. It cannot be left out. Otherwise, simply embracing the market as king, while rejecting traditional values, will likely bring about cultural decadence and degeneracy. Existence without essence is nothingness.
Going forward it will be important for these two particular camps within the trichotomy to find common ground; a balance between techno-commercialism and traditionalism. While Brett Stevens over at Amerika is not a self-proclaimed neoreactionary, he does offer up a bit of a blueprint for what he likes to call Futurist Traditionalism, which he derives from the philosophy of Guillaume Faye. We must embrace traditionalism, culture, transcendence while simultaneously allowing our markets to function as freely as possible in order to create the healthiest society possible.