The Importance of Tradition

When I hear the word tradition, the first thing that comes into my head is the famed song from the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. In this film, Tevye, a poor milkman, is forced to decide whether or not make his family keep the traditions of his heritage, or to modernize: allowing his daughters to marry an impoverished tailor, a Communist, and an Orthodox Christian (I don’t particularly disagree with the third daughter’s decision). In the film, Tevye argues with himself over whether or not he should approve of his daughters choices: to marry for love over security, politics, and faith. Tevye, though he is with good intentions, is portrayed as flawed and backwards because of his holding of tradition, and the daughters are portrayed as having made positive and proper decisions, their leaving and abandoning tradition is encouraged. Yet, at the end of the film, when the Jews of Anatevka must leave the village having been expelled by the Russian empire, we see the ultimate consequences of the daughters actions: the first, who married a poor tailor, must go work in Warsaw in the hope of saving money to join her father in America. The second daughter decides to join her Communist husband in Siberia, in the hope he will be released one day. The third daughter has ostracized herself from her community, and has essentially ostracized her husband as well: both are anathematized form having married outside their groups and abandoning their traditions, and seems they will suffer for it.

Fiddler on the Roof is a wonderful film, but I bring it up because it unintentionally raises some interesting questions about the value and importance of tradition in one’s life: though the breaking away from tradition is encouraged in the film, the daughters ultimately suffer grievous consequences, yet this fact is brushed aside to show the moral righteousness of modernism and progress. Fiddler on the Roof is a romanticization: true love, progress, and hope outweigh tradition. The fact of the matter is that ultimately is Tevye’s oldest daughter would have married the wealthy butcher instead of the poor tailor, because the wealthy butcher could actually feed her and her children. The middle daughter would not have married a Communist, knowing well how dangerous such a thing could be, the consequences would be grave and far reaching. The youngest daughter would have eventually married a fellow Jew, because all of these daughters would have understood this one thing: these traditions is what would keep them alive.

This is the problem of modern society. Out of a disdain for the older ways and traditions of our forefathers, we have embraced ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’, we have eschewed tradition because we feel it has failed us, tradition has not helped us, rather held us back. Yet we see in our society that instead of a better quality of life, a more fulfilling life, modernity has given us emptiness, shallowness, and a complete and total loss of meaning in the very fundamental sense. Rather than fulfilling ourselves in spiritual matters, attempting to transform ourselves (in and through Christ), and therefore the fruits of the Holy Spirit showing forth in our lives, we try to fill our emptiness with material goods, drugs, and sexual encounters. Capitalism and secularism has not made us more whole, rather it has drained us and left us shallow husks of ourselves. Secular humanism, cultural relativism, and political progressiveness has not made our society more just, nor has it made us more moral, rather it has left is with little moral fabric, and as a result we kill the unborn, we ignore the downtrodden among us, and we look at genocide, famine, and war with indifference, more interested in finding instant gratification in material world. Democracy has not made us more prosperous, rather it has encouraged mob mentality and knee-jerk political activism, allowing for identity politics to poison the political system, with every group more interested in grabbing their share of the pie, rather than working together for the common good. Neither has it made us more educated: people know more about reality TV, Twitter trends, and social scandal than they do about the basic workings of their government, to the point that many people cannot tell you who the Vice-President of the United States is. The social, political, and existential issues that plague the West is the direct result of the exorcising of Traditional Christianity from western society.

The PolitBuro is a space dedicated to helping revive traditionalist values in a proper sense: in an internet age in which many on the far right, in an attempt to find places where they can discuss and read traditionalist thought, have been plagued by so called ‘traditionalists’ who are more interested in promoting fascism, racial segregation, and the justification of atrocities (holocaust denial, antisemitism, etc.). Though we at the PolitBuro are at our core anti-enlightenment, we are not, nor ever will be ‘Dark Enlightenment’. Though we are culturally conservative, we do not believe nor will we ever believe in any form of racial supremacism/segregation. Though we believe in older forms of government such as monarchy, and believe in proper patriotism and even nationalism, we are not at all fascists. We are Traditionalists: inspired and influenced by the Kings and Emperors of past, by the majestic and powerful rulers who united entire nations and brought prosperity, who believe in the Orthodox faith and its unique and historic role in guiding such rulers towards Christ. We believe in the Family, the Church, and Nation. May God keep you, and bless you all your lives!

Edited by Amber Sweilem

 

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