Introduction and definitions

The purpose and scope of the Secession site.

The site is intended for all those who feel that the past thirty or so years have seen a near total collapse of Western culture. More specifically it is for those who believe that the answer to this problem is a cultural and mental withdrawal or secession from the post-cultural wasteland of the Pit and the unilateral creation of a continuing culture.

The site will have two foci:

1) Discussion of the philosophical and cultural questions associated with the secessionist position and the creation of the New Sensibility which will be required to replace the cultural void of the post-Eclipse world.

2) Practical secession - conversation about the ways in which we as individuals live seceded lives.

These two strands may at times seem very different - as different as abstruse philosophical discussion and friendly chit-chat. Nonetheless they are closely linked and essential one to another, since the creation of a New Sensibility can only arise out of the practice of a seceded life. To attempt to create a sensibility opposed to that of the Pit while continuing to be immerse (however critically) in its deracinated Image Sphere is an exercise in futility; while conversely, the creation of a life and world outside the Pit is impossible without a sound theoretical basis.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the site is the provision of a place where intellectual discussion and development may take place from a secessionist point of view. The primary weakness of those who would criticise the Pit at present is the lack of any intellectual matrix in which ideas may be developed. New situations have arisen over the past thirty years which have required a new terminology and a new outlook on the world. Until now this terminology and this outlook have been supplied entirely by the intellectual creators and collaborators of the Pit; and even its critics have been forced, by their intellectual isolation, to use the enemy's value-laden vocabulary (both verbal and conceptual).

Our aim is to provide the verbal and conceptual vocabulary which will allow the Pit - for the first time since its inception - to be criticised from the outside.

It is for this reason that Secession is our key concept. Until now all Pit-criticism has been essentially from within. Its unspoken premiss is that "this is the world we live in and must accept, however much we dislike it". And that acceptance has always been - however critical - on the Pit' s own terms: because there have been no other terms.

The secessionist can say on the contrary: "this is the world we have rejected and may begin to dissect". That is the underlying premiss of this site.

Not a Political Site

An important feature of this site is that it shall not be a political site. Obviously there is apolitical dimension to the cultural collapse of the past thirty years, and in any case it would be naive to suppose that culture can be criticised entirely in the absence of political considerations. However, in the first place we deny the doctrine (almost universal in the Pit for reasons we shall discuss elsewhere) of the primacy of politics. Politics constitute symptoms, not diseases. Great movements in the life of civilisations begin with ideas, with philosophies and with aesthetic sensibilities. Ultimately, they are responses - whether positive or negative - to spiritual reality - to the Eternal Verities. Politics are the practical outworking of these ideas, and come at a much later stage, both temporally and logically.

Our aim is to work at the more fundamental levels. Indeed this is a necessity because the intellectual underpinning of any revolt against, or replacement for, the Pit is at a very rudimentary stage. To propose political solutions to the present degeneration at this stage would be like proposing surgery without having studied anatomy. We repeat: for many reasons a new world has come into being which requires a new vocabulary and a new outlook in order to deal with it. At present the only vocabulary and outlook in existence are those created by the Pit itself. Any political game played at present would be played with the enemy's stacked cards. For (to repeat again) politics is dependent on its underlying ideas, philosophies and aesthetics. Despite its apparent and obvious temporal power which so easily deceive the vulgar into seeing it as the most potent force in human civilisation, it is in fact the mere tool of ideas - and of ideas far deeper and subtler than many politicians (and politically-minded people) are capable of understanding. For politicians are the mere drivers of engines that have been designed by minds of a far different order.

British Perspective

The focus of the site will be primarily British. This is not a question of nationalism in the usual sense so much as a recognition that the problems of deracination in Britain take a somewhat different form from that which they take elsewhere. Every culture is unique and the things which differentiate the British problem from, say, the American are too complex to discuss in an introductory piece such as this. However we may safely venture that a large part of the difference centres round the question of class. America has had, in theory and to some extent in practice, a quasi-classless society for some two centuries. Britain has no real-world model for classlessness. It may be said that Americans (or at any rate most Americans) can never really understand the question of class, while British people can never understand the world without it. And insofar as British people have come to understand the world without class, that world-view is entirely deracinated, for there is nothing at all in their legitimate history (their pre-Eclipse history) to which such a view can be related.

This is not to say that the false egalitarianism of post-Eclipse society has not been deeply damaging to America. Certainly it has, but it does not pose the same radical cultural problem. The proletarianisation which is almost the defining characteristic of post-Eclipse Britain is a concept which means almost nothing to the American mind.

Thus, while Britain and America share many of the problems of deracination to an extent that has never quite been reached in non-English speaking countries, the creation of a new culture along lines that would be acceptable in America would in Britain be only a prolongation of deracination. The British and American problems are, of course, closely related, but that very relationship can be deceptive. They are very far from being the same.