Sir Roger Scruton: on being an intellectual conservative | YouTube (with reflections by me, on politics, economics, and society)

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Source: Sir Roger Scruton: How to Be a Conservative | YouTube

“It is not unusual to be a conservative. But it is unusual to be an intellectual conservative. In both Britain and America some 70% of academics identify themselves as being ‘on the Left,’ while the surrounding culture is increasingly hostile to traditional values, or to any claim that might be made for the high achievements of Western Civilization.”

— Sir Roger Scruton

And like it or not, the academic world does have a major impact – directly, through the pronouncements of academics, and even more significant, indirectly, through its graduates (who end up in business, media, and politics) – on the wider culture.

The “Benedict Option” (or what Sir Roger here calls “catacomb culture”) is valid and likely essential as a short-term strategy for survival of traditional values, ideas, and ideals (and perhaps, for traditional people who wish to bear and raise children in those values, ideas, and ideals), but it is not an end in itself.

Remember that the monks of medieval Europe did not merely remain in their monasteries, but in some cases actively evangelized (think the Celtic monks, Franciscan friars, and the preaching orders), or in the case of the Benedictines themselves, served as “leaven in the loaf” of the wider culture.

It’s not enough merely to “opt out” of secular culture – although, as I say, that can be an important first step, and survival strategy, just as the monks made the decision to leave their secular lives and enter the monastery. We have to keep the longer-term goal in mind: taking it back. Continue reading “Sir Roger Scruton: on being an intellectual conservative | YouTube (with reflections by me, on politics, economics, and society)”

A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov | Russian Insider

 

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Source: A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov

While I’m on Russian Insider: an interesting article on an interesting individual!

“In contrast to the values of the marketplace, [Glazunov] calls for placing spiritual and political ideals in first place. He believes that patriotism, service to society and its head, a monarch, are far more important than filthy lucre.”

Two examples of his paintings will illuminate the point. Continue reading “A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov | Russian Insider”

Election Day 2018 (U.S.)

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Today is the day of the midterm general elections, here in the United States. I took advantage of the “early voting” option to exercise my franchise last week, and as I commented at the time, I was very far from the only one!

But as I drove past Mechanicsville Elementary in Gamber, on the way home from work this evening at around 6:40, it was still busy, only a bit over an hour before the polls closed. And the same was true of every polling place I drove past, all day today, and I drove past quite a few of them.

Whatever else can be said about this election cycle, it’s got people stirred up! That’s more to the good than otherwise, I think, regardless of the outcome; in order for our representative, Constitutional Republic to operate effectively, it needs an informed, active electorate. Active they certainly seem to be, this time around – I just hope they’re also informed!

An Anglican clergyman friend of mine posted the following on Facebook today:

As I was driving away from the polling place today I was struck by the thought that I, a Christian monarchist, have resolved to be active in local republicanism. What can I say? There is no king, Christian or otherwise, running for office or who has a chance of being forcibly enthroned by holy reactionary forces. You gotta work with what you have in order to keep the modern Jacobins at bay, but it ain’t ideal.

I am an American Anglican. As an Anglican, monarchy is the natural polity, but as an American, I stand for the traditional rights of Englishmen that modern England and the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth have sold for a mess of collectivist, leftist and PC pottage.

King George III was right, I believe, about how the liberated colonies would come to suffer unduly for the lack of a monarchy, but England and the UK have given up the ghost. The House of Windsor is a vapid imitation of the Kings that went before it, and only in American republicanism is found the true tradition of the Anglo-Saxon kings of old, albeit in a diluted form.

I am an Anglican, and I therefore stand for the Monarch.

But I also stand for the Bill of Rights, which is an enumeration of the rights of Englishmen, and that’s why I will assist in leveraging the republican way here in Henderson County, North Carolina against the forces of American Jacobism and Bolshevism and the clueless “liberals” to their right.

He speaks, in large measure, for me as well. Until the King comes again, the form of government bequeathed to us by our Founders (“A Republic, Madam… if you can keep it!” as Franklin put it) – and to the greatest extent possible, as our Founders bequeathed it to us – is our best available shot at keeping the forces of darkness at bay.

But this election is a concerning one. Those forces of darkness are very strong, and although the mask is slipping, that also means they are relieved of the moderating effects of pretense and subterfuge. We live in trying times…

At Trump Rallies, Women See a Hero Protecting a Way of Life

a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera: A rally in Charlotte, N.C., last week. President Trump enjoys a herolike status among women who say he is fighting to preserve a way of life threatened by an increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

President Trump enjoys a hero-like status among women who say he is fighting to preserve a way of life threatened by an increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

Source: At Trump Rallies, Women See a Hero Protecting a Way of Life

They may mock and deride it, but even the mainstream media – including the extremely Left-leaning MSNBC – can’t deny it:

“While political strategists and public opinion experts agree that Mr. Trump’s greatest electoral weakness is among female voters, here in Columbia and places like it, the president enjoys a hero-like status among women who say he is fighting to preserve a way of life threatened by an increasingly liberal [actually Socialist, if not flat-out Marxist… if only it were still classically liberal!] Democratic Party…

“Some of Mr. Trump’s female backers initially supported him only reluctantly or do so now in spite of reservations about his bawdy language and erratic behavior. But they shared in his victory after the bitter and partisan battle over the confirmation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. And many believe the president when he reminds them during each of his hour-long pep rallies that the world they know — largely Christian, conservative and white — is at stake on Tuesday.”

Which, of course, is nothing other than the simple truth. Since this is MSNBC, after all, they say “Christian, conservative, and white” like it’s a bad thing… at least the Left isn’t bothering to hide its biases anymore!

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, November 6th – Election Day.

Jesse Kelly: “It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous”

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This idea of breaking up the United States may seem a bit outlandish now, but you won’t think so once real domestic unrest comes to your town.

Source: It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous

Let me preface my comments by being clear: I do not wish to see this. Despite my Monarchist and Confederate leanings, I deeply love and respect the American Republic that our Founders bequeathed to us (as Benjamin Franklin perhaps presciently put it, “if you can keep it”), and which my ancestors (including my father and paternal grandfather) fought to defend.

The United States has been far from perfect, but I truly believe that (if you set aside the late unpleasantness of the mid-1860s, and a few other incidents) it has done more good in the world than otherwise. But everything has its life-cycle, and that includes nations – and the ideologies behind them. And like human relationships, though “breaking up is hard to do,” there may come a time when it is the lesser of two evils.

What Jesse Kelly calls “the peaceful solution”: “We can and will draw the map and argue over it a million different ways for a million different reasons, but draw it we must. I’ve got my own map, and I suspect the final draft would look similar.”

It is said that no one (at least, no decent person) breaks up a committed relationship unless or until the pain of remaining becomes greater than the pain of departing. I am not sure we are quite there, yet, but we seem to be heading in that direction. As this essay puts it,

“The history of the world is nations breaking up and redrawing their borders. If we want to avoid this political divide turning into a deadly one, we should do likewise.

“Stop clinging to the past and acknowledge where we are as a country, not where you want us to be, not where things were when your grandpa was storming the beaches of Normandy. Where we truly are…

“Borders move. Countries split and change hands. They do this for a myriad of reasons. Ours would be a major cultural shift toward the left and half the country refusing to go along with tyranny…”

“The GOP has many problems, but the Democratic Party has turned into something completely un-American. The United States was founded on two things: Judeo-Christian values and a limited federal government. The entire platform of modern Democrats stands completely opposite both of those.”

Sobering – even depressing! – to think about, this nonetheless carries the ring of truth, in my opinion. I am also depressed to see my home state of Maryland well above the line (and even the “Old Dominion” of Virginia!) but I also, sadly, fear that Mr. Kelly is correct. There has been such an influx of Left-leaning urbanites, over the last several decades, that neither – and certainly not Maryland – is what it used to be. That I may ultimately find myself forced to migrate South or West is a sad likelihood that I have been pondering for a long time before reading this essay.

Mr. Kelly concludes,

“This idea of breaking up the country may seem a bit outlandish now, but you won’t think so once real domestic unrest comes to your town. Our political disagreements have become a powder keg, one that already would have blown if conservatives had liberals’ emotional instability.

“Nobody is expected to cheer for this split. Cheering is not a normal reaction when couples get a divorce. We cheer for old married people on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

“But life is imperfect. Life is hard. We both now agree that living under the other side’s value system is wholly unacceptable. The most peaceful solution we Americans can hope for now is to go our separate ways. So let us come together one last time and agree on one thing: Irreconcilable differences.”

To my great sadness, I fear that he is right. I just wish I had confidence that we could do so, peacefully, before we get to the point beyond which a peaceful settlement may prove not merely difficult, but impossible to achieve.

Marion Le Pen at CPAC – Controversy and Common Sense

“We do not want this atomized world of individuals without gender, without mother, without father, without nation.”

Source: Marion Le Pen at CPAC | Defend Europa

“To open up to the outside, you must have a solid core. To welcome, you have to remain [intact]. To share, you must have something to offer.”

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is a controversial figure, and having her speak at CPAC was a controversial decision, because the party she represents, France’s Front National (highlights of whose current program are found here), is controversial: in part because of some unfortunate statements regarding the Holocaust by its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen (Marion Le Pen’s grandfather) – who has since been expelled – and in part because under the currently-dominant metric here in the U.S. (and in much of the West), anyone who is not hard-Left is therefore “far-right.”

Be that as it may, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen’s remarks should not be controversial to anyone who cares about his or her own country or its people, who is suspicious of the globalist agenda, and who believes that, basically, charity begins at home. Speaking of her home country of France, she asserts,

“France is no longer free today! The French are not free to choose their policies, whether they are economic, monetary, on immigration or even diplomacy. Our freedom is now in the hands of the European Union. This European Union is not Europe. It is an ideology that looks only to the future while being contaminated with historic amnesia. An ideology without land, without people, without roots, without soul, and without civilization. EU is in the process of slowly killing millenary nations.”

In other words, as the linked article points out, the EU “is not Europe, it’s an authoritarian system that is slowly destroying the nation states and the various European Identities.”

The idea of capital-“I” Identities, or as it’s sometimes called, “Identitarianism,” is another concept that is under fire by the mainstream/Left, but that outrage possesses a level of irony that would be amusing if it were not so maddening: it is perfectly all right to “identify” as a “person of color,” as somewhere on the “LGBT-etc.” spectrum, even as a “gender” different than the biological sex with which one was born – but as soon as you start identifying as a European (especially if you dare to use the “W” word), you are anathema: racist, fascist, xenophobic, Nazi. As I say, it would be amusing if it were not so aggravating!

Personally, I do identify as European (or, technically, an American of European descent) – and within that, primarily as English, Scots, and German – the same way I do as a man: not as a political statement, but as a simple and incontrovertible fact, an expression of biological (and in the case of my European identity, cultural and historical) reality. It is the actions and reactions of people on the Left that are gradually forcing me to view this identity in more socio-political terms: my heritage, both genetic and cultural, is under attack, and that unfortunate fact forces me to defend it.

This reality does not fill me with glee! Quite the contrary, in fact. I am not any sort of a supremacist, nor am I a colonialist, nor (much as I respect and appreciate, say, the Roman and British Empires) an imperialist. Like a lot of folks, I mainly want to be left alone. But I also want my people to be left alone, and not to be subsumed, oppressed, overrun, interbred, or replaced. So I suppose that makes me an Identitarian… and if so, so be it. I did not choose the label, or the fight; both were forced upon me. But just as in my school days – when I did not start fights, but often finished them – I’m not going to back down, either!

At any rate, that personal statement aside, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen has other good things to say, as the linked article recounts:

Marion also had thoughts about the state of modern society and the importance of things like family and values. She stated: “Without nation and without family, the limit of the common good, natural law and collective morality disappears as the reign of egoism continues.”

“Egoism” referring to the current incarnation of the “me generation,” in which what “I” want, be it sexual license, freedom from unwanted pregnancies (even if it means killing the unborn), from the commitment to marriage, etc., etc. – the list could go on – is more important than what is good for families, society as a whole, children, and future generations. The article goes on to note,

The current reign of egoism is the manifestation of modernism, a shallow ideology which forces individualism and the atomization of society on the younger generations, the biggest victims of modern society.

Indeed. As I suggested above, these are the sorts of thoughts and positions which should not be controversial in any sane society; the fact that they are indeed controversial in our current society says things that are less-than-flattering about that society! I am reminded of the meme I posted, I think, some while ago:

Kids are more depressed these days

As I have commented previously, smartphones are part of it. But they are more a symptom than the disease: a symptom of an alienated and alienating society, disconnected from its geographical, cultural, and historical roots, as well as from an organic, holistic, integral community of which one can feel truly and fully a part.

In such a context, it is perhaps not surprising that so many people – and not just young people – would retreat into technology, seeking solace in that electronic drug: or perhaps one might say, that false and idolatrous religion, if it is seen as the primary source of meaning and “salvation” in one’s life.

But the fact that younger people, such as Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, are beginning to awaken to the sad and degraded state of our present society – and are starting to push back – is very encouraging, to me. God grant the pendulum is beginning to swing in a saner and more wholesome direction!

See also: Marion Marechal-Le Pen’s surprising conservative message

Video of her speech at CPAC:

Traditional Conservative College Students – anti-Libertarian & anti-Liberal | National Review

Source:  Traditional Conservative College Students — anti-Libertarian & anti-Liberal | National Review

“Plainly speaking, these young conservatives hold socially and culturally conservative views. On the other hand, they are wary of individualism and free markets. They are not necessarily anti-capitalist, but fear that laissez-faire economic systems can be excessively cutthroat, prizing individual material gain above the well-being of the community.”

In other words, they’re intelligent, reasonable, and thoughtful. Furthermore, this article notes,

“Traditionalism looks to higher, permanent things such as truth, goodness, and beauty. Students see that as more fulfilling than what the modern world has to offer…

“The presence of traditionalist conservatism among college students reveals that some young Americans reject the vocal liberalism and libertarianism of their peers. More than that, however, these young traditionalists fear that the modern world has gone astray. They are the vanguard of a new generation standing athwart history, trying to reorient Americans toward ideas and ideals that nourish the whole person: community, truth, goodness, and beauty.”

This is encouraging! I hope and pray the pendulum may be beginning to swing back. God grant it!

Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

The militant lefty is an overgrown brat who never made the emotional transition from the funk of total unfairness that teenagers inhabit to the appreciation for life of the mature adult.

Source: Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

I am coming to increasingly dislike the use of the word “liberal” to describe the American left-wing: there are very few authentic “liberals” out there. Most of what claims the mantle of “liberalism” these days is anything but; it is, rather, statist authoritarianism implacably opposed to everything that has contributed to the American ideal, and American success, for more than 200 years. As this essay accurately puts it,

“Resentment is the force that gives the left meaning.

“What animates the left is the conviction that everything (except their own tastes, preferences and opinions) is terrible and must be reformed until it too is like them. America is racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, arachnophobic and claustrophobic.”

Resentment, the essay continues,

“doesn’t just color the politics of a militant leftist. It encompasses his entire outlook on life. The personal conviction that the world is an unfair place fits neatly into an ideology that claims to be able to prove using science and history that the world is a truly unfair place…

“The left isn’t actually fighting for anything. It’s fighting against things. Big things and little things. It’s fighting against America. And it’s fighting against families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.”

In contrast, as the linked essay also points out, “the best antidote to leftist resentment is conservative thankfulness.

“There are plenty of problems in our country and the world. But if we can’t stop to be thankful for the good things, we will sink into the same swamp of resentment as the left.

“To be thankful is to be reminded of what we are fighting for. The resentful left doesn’t really fight for anything. Its resentful causes have no end point. There will never be a time when race relations, the environment, social mobility and caloric intakes are good enough for them to hang up their hats. The left maintains a perpetual state of crisis because it justifies a perpetual state of resentment.”

Indeed! As C.S. Lewis pointed out, decades ago,

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

However, the linked essay continues,

“Conservatives fight for the things in our lives that we value. And these are the very things that we are thankful for. Our gratitude reminds us of what we want to conserve. These include the tangible things, our families, our homes and our lives, and the intangible things, our freedoms and our traditions.

“The left can’t be thankful because it can’t admit that there’s anything worth appreciating. Revolutionary movements don’t create, they destroy. But we can and should be thankful for what we conserve…

“If we lose our ability to be thankful for the good things in our lives, we lose everything.”

Amen, and amen!