Friday, 23 February 2018

The Pilgrimage of St James's.






I find the answer to most of life's questions by walking. Right now I am wondering what validity there is in the worldview of the Traditionalist School/Dark Enlightenment.

This 'school' is not an organization or even a political philosophy. It is in reality to the right of politics in that it does deal in collective identities at all. The individual should find meaning in the traditions of his people (they say) and the timeless truths hidden within them. He seeks himself by losing himself in tradition and finds universal human truth by focusing on everything that makes his own culture particular and different.

Paradox within paradox.

Furthermore this is a philosophy most often practiced by those who have never heard of it. Aristocrats of the Soul arise because of their innate superiority and create civilization around themselves. They do this in a tyrannical and absolutest fashion and all we have to do if we wish to study this is to find a suitably undemocratic society that creates a mountain of art.

Fortunately London (and in particular St James's) is a good place to find the answer. London blends deep tradition with great wealth and (in previous ages at least) a willingness to virtue signal with art.

There are other places- such as the Vatican I suppose- that combine beauty with hierarchy- but the Vatican lacks the chaotic jumble that makes exploration so fruitful here.

In London, if we find ourselves at odds with the current century we may simply choose another!

The area I am exploring is quite small- a few streets only and I have provided a map here. Despite the small size it may be argued that the British Empire was run from this spot. Even now it has influence that has escaped the conspiracy community. Here is a website produced by the Crown Estates as the area is indirectly owned by the royal family. Rather oddly, the website undersells the beauty of the area and gives little flavour of the place.

In my own view the most important places to see if one is to truly understand the place would be Spencer House and the London Library along with the Athenaeum Club. The Palace of St James and the Royal Academy of Arts would also be useful. When it comes to religion (historically of great importance in the area) we have an Anglican church and the splendidly mad Alternatives that lives within it. Each of these institutions are cogs in a machine built to run an empire without that empire even knowing of its existence.

How did this area become important? It became a center of political power between the 17th and 19th centuries when the aristocracy ran the country as a kind of hobby. They would descend upon London from the country for the London Season. The men would engage in politics while their wives would attend an endless succession of artistic and sporting events often based within the St James's area itself. Most importantly of all, young women would be 'introduced to society' in the hope of marrying them off before they became an old maid and a drain on their families.

The season therefore became a centre of scheming and backroom deals where much of the real decision making was done. On the back of this the area became full of gentleman's clubs where a deal could be sealed discreetly over a glass of port. In fact it still is.

The evolved rather than arising from any single plan. As a result a plethora of scientific, cultural, social and political institutions arrose without the need of an administrative structure to control them. This 'government' may have been undemocratic but it was also extraordinarily streamlined and worked for the benefit of the wider society more than one would expect.

Just as any believer in the Traditionalist School would expect.

The area received two great blows that almost finished it as a power centre. The first world war brought an extension to the franchise to the working class (not just to women as most now believe) and this changed the class composition of the political strata. The second world war resulted in homes being used as government offices and in others being destroyed. It was followed by an aggressively socialist Labour government that made it unwise to flaunt wealth too openly. As a result art became a nationalised industry with the creation of the Arts Council and became divorced by degrees from beauty.

Which group made the best job of the arts? One way of finding the answer would be to compare the architecture of this area and the lively and inventive programme of the Royal Academy of Arts which is local to this area with post war British socialist architecture- a horror that was actually worse than most of the work produced in the socialist bloc in the same period.

St James's is not simply an artistic and social centre but also a political and business center too. This was achieved in a similarly streamlined way through private clubs where things could be sorted out directly between people who trust one another rather than by engaging corporate bureaucracies to negotiate back and forth. Naturally this system was seen as elitist and opposed by the progressives of the day but it is interesting to compare the number of people engaged in these types of activities with what they seem to have achieved. More seems to have been done at lower cost- and all while socialising with ones friends.

Through out the 1960's there was a war against 'the establishment' and what could be more establishment than the gentleman's club? A gradual war of attrition ensued by which some clubs were bullied into becoming mixed sex and others driven to bankruptcy. This process reached its peak in 1968 when rather strangely it ceased. Clubs that had become dowdy gradually returned to favour and by the 1990's new clubs were opening regularly. Currently the area enjoys healthy growth and greater popularity than at any time since the first world war.

The area has profited from globalisation. The global elite came to London in search of the best and discovered it in Saville Row which exists in the area and Harley St nearby. The area became the informal meeting point of the world's elite rather than merely the British empire. St James was reborn greater than before.

Post war we saw rise of the international think tank. These moved into the area on the memory of the backroom deals once done there and very probably continue much as the aristocrats of times past.

How bad was all this really? Certainly it sounds more fun than the buttoned up conformety we have now and it did concide with the growth of the greatest empire in the world. The English genius takes the absurd and the outdated and turns it into soemthing that works better than it should.

This guilded age also left a great many gifts for the present day. The architecture is spectacular and many of the institutions of the London Season remain and are open to all, rich and poor alike.

Can we (heaven forbid) even learn something from the bad old days?

The St James's district in London contains some staggeringly undemocratic and yet public facing bodies. These are not of the people but they are for the people. They continue to popularise art, science and the humanities in an age when the state is dumbing down.

My first encounter with this area captured a historical moment perfectly. I was walking through Queen Anne's Gate which is a think tank land clinging to the edges of St James's. I noticed security gates and concrete block everywhere. These appeared following the Manchester bombings and confirm to me that these places are seen as important. In the background a brass band played cautiously.


Look behind the row of trees. You will see Whitehall as a fairy tale castle. The mass of turrets and spires appear green like trees. This was building for a more confident age- but a more modest one too. The desire was not to dominate the landscape but to compliment it and blend with it.

Sadly the current age lacks either confidence or modesty which is a strange paring of faults.

This is the road to Buckingham Palace. Most people would say it is where the Queen of England lives and yet this is not true. It is only one of the Royal Palaces and is mainly used as a place for visiting dignitaries to drop in to for a pot of tea. We see the road is red- like a red carpet.

The Queen is popular with the people because of her Trump like vulgarity and her sense of the absurd. I hope they get together soon as I think they will get on famously.

The frontage we see here is actually a fake. It was put there by Queen Victoria to make it appear that she was not turning her back on the people as the real front of the palace faces the other way. In fact the entire palace is a castle of illusions. The real power lies in another palace we will visit in just a little while.

This raises an important point. Much of the cost of monarchy is a public show that would have to continue even if they did not exist. Buckingham Palace would continue as a museum but would lose some of its magic and become just one more historic site to visit.

The Royal Family call the jumbo jumbo of royalty 'the firm' and regard it as a business expense. It is neither quick not comfortable to travel by horse drawn coach (for example) and the only reason to do so is to allow tourists their London photo opportunity. It is alleged that the entire royal show costs only 32 pence a year for each of us. If so it seems good value to me.

There was a time when rulers had to build beauty to survive. Visual beauty may be appreciated by an illiterate population and is cheap to maintain once the structures have been built. The ugliness of the modern state may be due to overstretch. Socialism promises everything to the people but suffers from overstretch. It cannot build palaces for the future as it cannot even pay its bills today.

The architecture 'the establishment' produced was quite wonderful, although better examples exist. This seems a cheaper form of propaganda than turning state schools into leftist training camps. It is more honest and more humble.


Here we have St James Square. This was once the center of aristocratic political power in the UK as it was ringed by the London homes of aristocrats. Politics was then a hobby for gentlemen and from this square it was possible to walk to the Houses of Parliament and visit the fleshpots of the West End in the evening. These houses have largely been replaced by ugly corporate offices (who are just as adept at pulling strings as the aristos) but the square remains and retains a faint scent of its former power.

The former home of Nancy Astor in the square. She was the first female MP and is treated by the left as a woman of the people. The location of her home would suggest otherwise.

Two of the most interesting buildings in the square may be seen on the right. The London Library (a sort of intellectual club) is at the end while the blue plaque is from Chatham House a think tank.

On the left we see Devonshire house, taken over by the state for D Day planning and now a soulless (but comfortable) office. The second world war killed this area both through bombing and through appropriation.

There is always a seen and an unseen politics. The politics we see on the Parliament Channel is loud and something of a Truman Show. This may appear to be more democratic and open than the country club ways but it has the effect of cementing people to fixed positions. The Dark Enlightenment alternative is the quiet word out of the public gaze. Many of the institutes that orchestrate these deals still exist in this area.

The Traditionalist School makes a fundamental error of confusing politics with democracy- they oppose both. Much of parliamentary democracy is a fraud by which people pretend to disagree when they agree and pretend to agree when they disagree but would it be any better if it were less democratic? The politics would remain. So would corruption and self interest. Indeed- they may become much worse.

Alongside the square we find St James Street and Pall Mall. Here there are far more positive examples of the Dark Enlightenment in action. This is the center of 'clubland' where the Gentleman's Clubs may still be found. Many of these are mixed sex now but the function remains the same- they are places to meet with our peers. I believe they serve the public good. They allow artists, writers or businessmen to associate with one another and so further the creative process. Even the clubs devoted to the snobbish exclusion of the plebs make the world a better place by ensuring the snobs do not bother the rest of us.



First off, the Athenaeum Club one of the rare male only clubs. Unfortunately this is not the only qualification and one must be 'clubbable' and have a wad of cash. I qualify on neither criteria.


A strange thing- clubs are generally marked only by the union flag. There is no indication of the club that resides there. The members know and this is all that matters.

At the end of Pall Mall there exists St James Palace.



This is the oldest Royal Palace and not open to the public. It seems to be mostly a repository for minor toffs who live there rent free. The Dark Enlightenment favors a natural aristocracy of talented and energetic supermen but we see nothing of the kind here. Quite frankly we should close the place down.

St James remains a diplomatic hub for historical rather than practical reasons.

We journey to Jermyn St where things look up a little. This is mainly a shopping area these days where one may kit oneself out as an English Gentleman. It is one of the very few male spaces remaining in London.

At one end exists St James Church. It points to the role in which charity is likely to play under a Dark Enlightenment. This church runs a market for trendy ethnic clothing, furnishings and Fairtrade food. Shoppers are assured they are helping the world's poor and yet they ignore the at the door beggar to get there.

The church is a fascinating example of the decline of Christianity in Britain. At one point local government was organised around Anglican parishes. Each area had its own church and was generally named after it. The church had the right to levy a tithe upon the population Catholic and Protestant alike which was not always paid but in theory should have been.

We see that the Anglican church no longer has the confidence to keep pagan symbol out of its own churches.

The goods on display embody a peculiar 'inclusive exclusiveness'. The quality is superior to any designer brand and yet the prices are far lower. Generally these retailers do not advertise. Knowing about them means that one is a member of an elite of sorts even if one has no money. We have the peculiar paradox that snobbery can become a leveling factor in society so that a poor person can disdain a rich person for spending more money than them in the wrong places.



Out the front of Princes Arcade and we find Burlington House. A splendid Dark Reaction achievement. It contains artistic and scientific institutions and was built on the charity of a cultured elite. These men (mostly men) built what they considered to be beautiful or useful. They did not consult the poor while doing so because the poor were largely ignorant and surrounded by ugliness. How could the poor know what they needed? The fact that they remained poor proved that they did not!
This attitude is the core of the Dark Enlightenment. Those who know the way must lead and they must have the confidence to ignore those who do not.

There is always a free exhibition and one for the members. The freeloaders (like me) use the back entrance but I have the satisfaction of knowing that the taxpayer has paid for none of it.


Across the road- Fortnum and Mason. Probably the worlds most beautiful supermarket. Look at the expression of the man on the left. He is revisiting childhood Christmas.

Fortnum uses the symbols of the Dark Enlightenment but is actually an aggressive free market operator that exists by selling a piece of Old England. It may be Royal this and Royal that but the common man is king here.



Many Traditionalist School criticisms of democracy are entirely correct. The school is also correct in pointing out that genius is rare and will never win a majority vote.

I come back to Winston Churchill's comment that democracy is the worst imaginable system- apart for all the others that have been tried.

What we need is a plurality of systems. We need public provision and private charity, we need to open gates to the common people and yet respect those who have risen above the average.

In other words, the Traditionalist School is both completely right and completely wrong.

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The Ghastly Grimm.

St Olave Hart St (below) is a church built upon a mountain of bones piled up during the plague. There were too few living men to bury them. Charles Dickens suffered from insomnia and so he would walk the streets of London with his notebook recording all he saw. It was on one of these night walks that he called St Olave Hart street the Ghastly Grimm.
It seems cheerful enough by day (St Olave came from what is now Norway).
It can even be beautiful-by day. But come by night and we see what Dickens saw. We see the Ghastly Grimm.


Death to the hungry little caterpillar!


There are low impact but high probability events that it is worth prepping for despite their non fatal nature.

One such possibility is the wool eating moth caterpillar!

In order to be safe from these little monsters all one needs to do is prevent the adult moth laying eggs on wool. This may be achieved by placing woolen items in bags with a tight mesh. Ideally they should not be airtight or we might find we have packed our wool away slightly damp and we will simply replace moth damage with fungus damage.



I bought myself some shoe bags and I pack my items into these as they come out of the washing machine. This sorts them quite conveniently.

I also choose lavender fabric conditioner as I know that moths dislike the smell of real lavender. I have no idea if moths can tell the difference between synthetic lavender and real. In any case I now have some lavender soap which smells of the real thing.

This is a low investment, low return kind of prepping.

How to be the Gray Man.

The intelligence services teach field agents the art of 'going gray'. The grey man is hard to notice and easy to forget. He can move through a city in plain sight and yet memory of him is erased the moment he passes from view.

Why is this desirable? It is desirable because we have become a very conformist society. There are acceptable opinions and opinions it is better to keep to oneself. Violent leftist gangs such as Black Lives Matter or Antifa will beat anyone who is found in the wrong location with the wrong skin or the wrong opinions. It is better to go unnoticed.

Nature is kind to the older man in this respect. We are not seen as sexy or dangerous and so we are often not seen at all.

This photograph was taken in London where supporters of the bloodstained dictator of Venezuela march in support of Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party and aspirant dictator of Britain. It is a mistake to think that Venezuela could not happen here.

While taking these photos I was wearing scuffed Doc Martins, (plain clothed police cannot help polishing theirs to a mirror finish) baggy jeans - but not so baggy it appears I am mocking a certain kind of black man, and a work shirt sold by Primark. The aim was to blend in with the background and become invisible. Avoid the temptation to wear 'prepper' gear in there situations. It could get you killed.