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Monday, July 27, 2009

Goodbye to conservatism

There's nothing left to conserve.

From Taki's Magazine:

Enoch Powell may have argued that he would fight for his country even if it had a Communist government. At a certain point though, it is no longer a question of a different form of government for a country, but a different country altogether. The position of American conservatives regarding the regime they live under is approaching that of a pagan Roman after the eternal fire of Vesta was extinguished, or a Catholic Frenchmen after the slaughter in the Vendee. An appeal to a shared past will no longer work because that shared past does not exist. The legacy of the Founders can only be defended by incorporating them into a universal progressive history that ignores their actual beliefs. A legalistic identity based on a murky conception of universal human rights has not sufficed to hold together other regimes, and I doubt it will be able to do the same in America.

...

The Ron Paul movement must be credited for opening up space for conservatives on ideas such as the Federal Reserve, secession, and the accepted narratives about American history. Even more remarkable is the seeming refusal of the mainstream conservative movement to engage with the emerging liberty movement, even though it is huge potential source of activists, donors, and serious candidates.

Perhaps the reason behind this disconnect is that the Paul movement is the beginning of the post-conservative era for the American Right. If conservatism is about defending established institutions, Paul is not conservative. The liberty movement fundamentally challenges the legitimacy of the state, and implicitly challenges the cultural regime that supports it. A group that can cheer wildly when Abraham Lincoln is denounced as the worst president in American history is certainly a radical departure. The Paul movement’s historical revisionism, anti-state line, overt hostility towards the corporate (as opposed to capitalist) and government establishments, and indifference towards questions of respectability and permissible associations suggest that a decidedly anti-system Right is emerging.

The attacks on the liberty movement from the Left seem oddly divorced from reality. Left-wing sneers at Paul, the Tea Parties, and the Right (such as it is) generally have little to do with inflation, federal power, and government spending. The federal and state governments, with the clear help from the Fed-like, pseudo-private “watchdog” groups, have been issuing warnings about the danger of organizations like the Constitution Party and the Campaign for Liberty morphing into “militias” dedicated to–of course—white supremacy. The inevitable move towards European-style speech codes is justified by similar fears, that cries of “End the Fed” will somehow turn into “Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!” And of course, we have the claims by innumerable leftists that the Tea Parties are actually white-power rallies. There is no engagement with the Right on the issues that they are actually talking about and organizing around.


Movement conservatives (that is, the Republican Party) find themselves in the conflicted position of vying for control of an atheistic State with shelves upon shelves of laws devoted to correcting the 'wrongs' of free society. They are trapped by the Left's dialectic: any attempts to roll back the State become cast in terms of racial struggle.

The ugly truth is that an inorganic institution must be destroyed, root and branch, if any 'conservative' ideals are to be realized at this point. Not exactly a vote-getting message after two hundred and twenty years.

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