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What is traditionalism? We could have fetched you the word and its etymology from the dictionary, but traditionalism is much more than that. Traditionalism is a trip to the collective memory, the senses, culture, the past, the present and even our future.
Tradition is one of last bastions sticking and rooting people together under a common identity, showing that people and their culture didn’t pop out of nowhere.
Tradition is history, tradition is geography, the way that people settled in a specific territory and used the available local resources to transform it into beautiful pieces of art, clothing, dancing and also folk tales. Tradition is also craft, the amount of time an artisan spends on doing an ancient musical instrument, some piece of pottery or delicious local delights will never be replaced by automatized industry, it will never feel or look the same, nor have the same appeal or be as authentic.
Speaking of authenticity, that’s what tradition is also about, a display of who we are, what we do and stand for, as it always has been. It’s the baton pass, passed from past generations, to our present days that we will pass it on to future generations. In times where the trend is to look as bland and average like the ideal consumer unit our late-capitalist system like us to be, traditionalism is a reminder of our identity, a piece of us we have to cherish and cultivate from time to time despite what modernity forces upon us.
And with modernity we close this text: the clashes that modernity and traditionalism are as old as modernity itself. Modernity is the absence of traditionalism, it turns you into just a number, a worker, a consumer and above all, an uprooted, soulless individual drained into cosmopolitanism, where you feel a foreigner in the cities that used to be yours, with no sense of community like those in more traditional, rural towns. Modernists used to claim that they were the counterculture and they used to be right, but they’ve won and now they’re part of the system. We’re the counterculture now. Their way of life is not sustainable, they forgot history and what our ancestors have taught us. And when ‘Rome’ finally falls on its excesses, tradition will win again.