Learn How To Be In the Minority

James Walpole/ July 18, 2020

If you hold any beliefs or values or traditions more sacred than the spirit of the age (secular state-managed consumerism, more or less), you should be prepared to feel like a minority for the rest of your life.

Agrarians, conservatives, libertarians (of the non-hedonist kind), Western traditionalists, orthodox religious believers, small-town people, and small-time artisans have little place in the new order (I could name more groups, but you get the point).

What are we to do?

We no longer have the luxury to hope that society will be fitting for us in our lifetime. We will have to hope for oases and small pockets of the culture and ideas and people we love.

In this we can learn much from the Jewish diaspora, or the diaspora of other minority groups throughout history.

Jewish people have many great customs, and even many in their most modernized and culturally integrated groups hang on to some dramatic cultural distinctives: circumcision, bar mitzvah, diet, and holy days.

Think about the significance of these practices and you’ll see how powerful they are for building a culture, and for holding a minority together.

Circumcision (though probably not right to do to children) is a powerful physical reminder – as permanent and certainly more significant and painful as a tattoo – that you belong to the tribe.

The bar and bat mitzvahs tell boys and girls in no uncertain terms that they have reached adulthood. These are the initiation rituals into manhood and womanhood which are tragically missing in most Western cultures.

The Sabbath and holy days (when kept) are attached to liturgies and practices, making them much more effective than secular holidays at binding people in a common story and making them different from outsiders.

And dietary restrictions may seem weird, but that’s probably why they’re so effective. They keep Jewish people together in one of the most common and important practices of life – eating. The unity in the mundane of life helps to make the cement of culture set.

All of these things helped Jewish folks stand apart and come together even when their beliefs and identity were in the serious minority in Europe. We contrarian Gentiles should strive to develop practices – beyond mere belief or self-identification – that can help us to survive and unite and thrive as a minority.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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