Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Most conservatives don't know what conservatism is

Conservatives preserve the permanent things by holding on to that which not only works, but creates a transcendent beauty in life. This is why we idealize “the good, the beautiful and the true” and is why we conserve these things where we find them, resisting a tidal wave of human individualism and short-sighted solipsism.

The seeming paradox of this outlook is that, unlike modernism, it does not prescribe a single standard for all people; rather, it says that local standards should prevail. Unlike pluralism however it does not suggest many standards coexisting in the same place, but that they exist in parallel; this is the philosophy of parallelism espoused on this site.

As such, we who strive for the transcendental ideal are brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, and cousins and colleagues to all who uphold tradition, values, art, beauty, religion and the human soul worldwide. Ours is not a universal language, but it is a universally applicable principle that benefits all civilizations that adopt it.

What makes this difficult is that, unlike modernism, our view is not centered in the individual as an oppressed antagonist of society at large. Instead, it sees civilizations as organic wholes in which each person serves a different but necessary role. There is no equality; better than that, there’s exclusive necessity.

- Brett Stevens interview at the Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage
The problem with conservatism is that most conservatives have no idea this is what they're fighting for. Instead, their proxy wars have become their imperial agenda: business, abortion, prayer in schools, guns, etc. The point is not to let the liberals define the talking points, but to take charge and define those points on your own.

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1 Comments:

At 5:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Explain to me:

!) How American conservative do not as a key support the rights of the individual against the collectivist mob.

2) How Progressives actually support the notion of the individual in any way shape or form.

I see your "arguments" against individualism quite often. They smack of collectivism to me.

The very thing that the American conservative movement is trying to save is the individual.

I think it is you that does not understand what conservatism is, at least in the cultural and historical context of America.

20th century American conservatism has perhaps less to do than you imagine with 18th and 19th century European Conservatism, which, after all, was mostly concerned with maintaining the privileges of the Acien Regime, at least so far as it was expressed politically.

One can read Burke all one wants, but the fact of the matter is that the political expressions of conservatism were on the cotinent and highly repressive.

If "classical liberalism" of the 19th century stripe has at it core the notions of universal suffrage, free markets, religious freedom and a notion of individual rights supported by some notion of natural or divine law, including basic equality before that law for all citizens, then it is the real source of modern political conservatism as a political movement, and not "traditional" European "conservatism".

American conservatism whish to restore the "traditional" America, not the "traditional" European order. Far from it. It certainly does not want some sort of rigid social hierarchy where "there is a place for everyone, and every one is in his place". American conservatism is profoundly opposed to these sort of aristocratic arrangements weather it comes from Limousine Liberals, the New Left or Country Club Republicans. It is the modern "Progressive" movement (and there "moderate" enablers) that lust after establishing a new sort of technocratic Oligarchical Collectivism, which is really nothing more than a regression back to the old European order.

The sort of "from Burke to Kirk" paleo-conservationism that apes traditional European conservatism--and apes it rather clumsily. one might add--has little to with American conservatism, and has lately been foisted on us by the Nancy boys at institutions such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review. This is the not far from sort of would be aristo snobbery and aspirations that one gets out of the Establishment Left.

This vanities of the pretensions of both groups are particularly comic given their circumstances and histories.

I think you need to do your homework--and a little soul searching. You seem to not understand American conservatism at all.

 

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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