When I was in primary school, I remember with distinct clarity the questions that plastered the walls and display boards of my classrooms: “What are British Values?” “What is British Culture?”, and others to that effect. Even as a child, I sensed that there was something sinister afoot. I remember feeling that whenever this issue came up, it was implied that British values and culture did not really exist.

This conversation tended, at best, towards summing up British culture as a collection of thin, abstract, rationalistic notions, such as ‘tolerance’, ’democracy’, and ‘freedom’. That British culture was drinking tea, eating fish and chips, and talking about the weather. That it was in some way the “default culture” which, while a bit quaint and silly, did not have much in the way of notable characteristics. At worst, my peers and I were indeed taught that British culture was something indefinable, and that it did not really have any distinguishing qualities at all.

These were the Blair years. Since then, the situation has only worsened. The British, and the English in particular, are a people lost in the wilderness, made blind to our history and heritage, and without anything approaching a positive vision for the future. The English soul yearns for guidance; it aches for the sense of home and belonging that it once felt. It has been starving, never nourished, never even acknowledged by our metropolitan, anywhere-people overlords. Swathes of my people feel like outsiders in their ancestral homeland, and my generation do not even know what has been taken from them.

The situation is bleak; the Blairite Conservative party has no interest in acknowledging what has been done to the English, only ever in doubling down on their overbearing managerial world view. It has become necessary for a new force to enter British politics — one that understands with sharp clarity the nature of the forces that are moving against us. It is one that must offer a genuinely different way of looking at the world, outside of the neoliberal Blairite paradigm. It will be composed of men and women who are rich in personal virtue and character, not tempted by the enervating, smothering influence of the modern world and its plastic comforts.

Most importantly, it will be one that can offer a genuine, empowering, meaningful vision for the future; a future in which the grand aesthetic project of England can be celebrated for its beauty, instead of shunned and never spoken of. In short, this must be a movement for Traditionalism in Politics.

I am a young man, and my political and philosophical journey is only just beginning. My adult years are few in number, but in them I have come to appreciate the storied and textured history of my country. Educating myself on but a fraction of the stories of the men and women whose ideas, deeds, and creations make up the grand and beautiful tapestry that is the Kingdom of England and the United Kingdom more broadly has instilled me with a sense that this merry old island is somewhere deeply special; somewhere that exists in a category of its own, unlike any other land on Earth.

In turn, I have developed a profound awareness of the Burkean chain of civilisation. This is the reality that the living have a real and important relationship with the dead and the yet-to-be-born, which confers unto them certain responsibilities. The responsibilities of the living rest upon the fact that in being born into a civilisation, as all humans, without exception, are, the individual takes on a civilisational duty that expects him to preserve, nurture, and pass on the aesthetic project that is his culture. I did not choose to be born an Englishman, but I have chosen to take my place as one of the custodians of my culture.

The weight of history rests heavily upon this land, and one becomes acutely aware of this when he educates himself on the multi-millennium-spanning narrative which has unfolded here. I have begun to understand the character of the English, and I have rejected the rationalistic, Blairite view that told me my culture does not exist. My culture is one of standards and propriety. It is one that demands the individual treat himself and those around him with a certain level of respect. It demands that he take seriously the duties that the world confers unto him. It is one which believes that there is a proper way — the English way — of doing things. It is one that is stamped by the heroism and courage of Alfred and Churchill. It is one in which the individual is asked to take his right and proper place in a grand and beautiful artistic project, and to nurture it lovingly while he occupies his station.

These qualities reveal a sliver of the character of my civilisation, but language does not possess the capacity to express the essence of England. The experience of Englishness is fundamentally aesthetic; it is a feeling. One occasionally glimpses it; it is in the smell of the wood fire in the pub, whose smoke escapes through a stone chimney that pokes out of a thatched roof; in the greeting one shares with a stranger in the street on a sunny day; in the patchwork landscape of hedgerows and meadows, whose boundaries ended up where they are by negotiation and compromise

It is in the dignity and grandeur of the monarchical procession; in the austerity and majesty of the imperial architecture of Westminster; in the musty old books which describe a proud and honourable people, who are responsible for so much good that has become invisible to us, we denizens of modernity. All of these things, together with all of the people, places, and stories of this land, are the threads that make up the grand tapestry of England. Many in modern Britain, especially those who would see English culture disappear, attempt to define it via deconstruction — that is, the isolation of single characteristics, such as the fact that we like tea, or eat roast dinners, or wear poppies, or have a King. None of these elements alone can capture the essence of English culture; it is only by considering the aesthetic project as one whole that one can come to truly learn its character.

So where do we stand? The English are disaffected and disorganised, haunted by a sense that something has gone wrong, but without anything or anyone directing them. In this article, I have tried to lay out the beginnings of a vision based on a love and preference for our home and history. It is also highly important that we understand the nature of our opponents. In my next article in this series, I will describe the shape and character of the forces that move against us.

Traditionalism in Politics is a series of articles with which I hope to provide direction and vision, to the extent that I am capable, to the movement that is brewing in Britain. We live in a chaotic time — but these circumstances present opportunities for those of us who, driven by a profound love for our home and culture, are serious about rescuing it.