So you say you hate the Puritans

Dear Hannah,

Oliver Cromwell was way better than Charles the First, but I have yet to hear anyone praise Cromwell for killing him.  Many objections have been raised to his killing of Charles, chief among them that Charles's death immediately led to the instant popularity of Charles II -- one of the loosest and most useless kings England ever saw.  But people are more likely to complain about Cromwell and the Puritans, despite the fact that Cromwell ruled more honestly and rightly than both his predecessor and his successor.  King Charles I is almost forgotten in America, despite his tendency to mangle and murder his subjects.  My theory on why we hate the better man and forget the worse is simple.  Charles I offended the constitutional liberties of Englishmen.  The Puritans tried to get rid of dancing on Sundays.

In an age ignorant of history and constitutional limits and the balance of powers, we can only expect such a judgment from the public.  Nobody knows about the dangerous tribunal known as The Star Chamber, and nobody cares about whether Charles abused the rights of Parliament.  We can barely tell when our own President is abusing his power, or when the judges have over-stepped theirs.  But we love dancing and drinking and Christmas and lovemaking, and if some Puritans were against dancing on Sunday, then we remember it and want to run them out on a rail.  And if they caused riots on Christmas by forcing everyone to fast and do penance, we'd almost rather burn our cities to the ground than let them run one.  It's better, to us, to suffer disease and divorce than have anyone take the freedom to fail a romance from us.  We know, even by looking at newborns, that our heads and legs were meant to move when something catchy's on the radio.  It isn't because the Puritans were bad neighbors that we've forgotten about their virtues (and let us be fair: they had many).  It's because they wanted everyone to be bad at having fun.

The most comical thing about our take on the Puritans is that we've forgotten how exactly they annoyed us, and so we've bred our own brand of Puritans and called them by a different name.  The fact of the matter is that there are Puritans all around us: miserable, petty Pharisees who enjoy ruining all our fun in the name of a new and judgmental and inhumane morality.  The Old Puritan could be found in nonconformist churches and middle class businesses.  The New Puritan is found in colleges and bureaucracies.  The Old Puritan tried to cleanse every corner of our minds.  The New Puritan tries to rob us of our balls.

After all, what's more Puritanical than someone demanding not that we get rid of dancing and illicit romance, but that we get rid of gender roles and chivalry? Or that we force little girls to play like boys, and demand that damsels also rescue their knights?  It takes a special kind of person to devise fifty different terms for genders, like it takes a special kind of person to come up with a hundred different names for our vices.  The Old Puritan never let us criticize a certain book; the New bans critical observations about a certain sex or skin color.  If the Old Puritan kept us from doing anything even slightly disgusting, the new Puritan forbids our most natural feelings of disgust.  The Old Puritan ignored our rights and feelings because we belonged to the wrong denomination; the New because we belong to the wrong race and civilization.

But our Puritans have taken the matter further. If they aren't burning witches at the stake they're busy lynching innocent cops.  The false god of "equality" has made them boo our winners and celebrate our sorest losers.  Political correctness -- historically a more capricious and invasive kind of censorship than anything the Old Puritans ever dreamed -- taints every aspect of our lives, twisting our speech, forcing us to whisper obvious truths, creating paranoia that someone in this ignorant, inhumane minority might eventually hear us and ruin our careers.  In everything except usefulness and fairness and learning and piety the radical leftist parallels or exceeds the worst of the Puritans, and in two hundred years he'll be hated as worse than one.  At the very least the hearty, industrious, utopian Puritans built the paradise known as New England.  The radical leftist will be remembered for wrecking it.

Leftists can deny us pretty women and gender roles and natural observations and healthy feelings.  They can walk around pretending they're better than us while ruining our fun.  But in the end, when people are tired of pretending to be things that they aren't for reasons that aren't only unhelpful, but lacking in the simple joys that make life meaningful, Westerners will break their shackles or riot.  The fact of the matter is that men and women will always be men and women, the majority of little boys will continue playing war, and the majority of little girls will continue wanting to be princesses. The majority of healthy men will always find damsels in distress exciting, and women will always count beauty to be their best asset.  Powerful men and peasants alike will always want and need religion -- and they'll continue getting married by pastors until the end of the human race.   We'll learn that liberty of thought and speech and property are the meaning of liberalism, that all races must be able to criticize, and that all men and women -- whatever their color -- are capable of evil whether or not they're in power.  We'll find common sense again, even if on the ashes of a once great and sensible society.  We'll throw aside our false religion, just so that we can feel the thrills of patriotism, and enjoy the romance we wanted as children.

Any party that denies the basic needs of human life -- the really raw and spiritual things that lie beneath our half-baked ideologies -- is temporary.  These groups hold sway for a short while, and then lose to nothing less than the desire to dance again -- as long-haired women, and valiant knights.  The Puritans lost because liberty is too necessary to our happiness.  The radical Leftists will eventually lose because they won't let us do the things most everyone really wants to do. 

Your father,


  1. I find Moldbug's position (that the USA is actually a Theocracy whose DNA runs right through the Puritans and all the way to the Levelers) quite persuasive.

    This means that the Puritans were and are fully responsible for this morass of a state where lunacy is not just to be tolerated, it's to be enabled (on pain of lawful punishment.)

    Hans Hermann Hoppe is right. Monarchy is better than social democracy (or any other democracy.) Since this 350 year lurch into supposed rule by commoners (rentier government) is not over, I will find it fascinating to watch the predictable phase changes come, as our current Democratic Despotism (courtesy of Democracy in America) turns entirely to socialist democracy, then to cannibal democracy (Venezuela's current stage) and then on to Zombie democracy (Last seen in Rwanda or Cambodia, where commoners pull their Lord of the Flies act so as to eat the brains.)

    Since most men are born slaves (Sallust, 2000 years ago noted this), we will be stuck with a state. The question then is, who will rule, and under what selection criteria? The Puritan answer always ignored who it was the Bible tells us owns every state on Earth.


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