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)”

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Freedom of speech is not “systemic violence” – a fact that used to be self-evident

I apologize for not having posted much lately. It’s been a long week – or more – at work. In any case:

It is most refreshing to see an intelligent commentator calling out a Leftist “professor” (the quotes are because what she “professes” is, as Michael Knowles points out, quite distressing for a professor in a taxpayer-funded institution of higher learning) on the absurdity of equating speech – the free exchange of ideas – with violence.

Well said, sir!

 

Boston Globe op-ed suggests restaurant waitstaff ‘tamper’ with Republicans’ food | TheBlaze

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The Boston Globe is under fire after publishing an opinion piece suggesting that restaurant waitstaff tamper with Republicans’ – particularly President Trump staffers’ – food.

Source: Boston Globe op-ed suggests restaurant waitstaff ‘tamper’ with Republicans’ food – TheBlaze

Bastard.

I’m sorry, not sorry, for the language. It is, however, both accurate and warranted.

I also apologize for posting a second political post in one day, during a time when I said I’d do my best to avoid such posts, but the opinion piece to which the Blaze article refers is completely over the top! In fact, I’m so angry I can hardly think straight, much less write coherently.

First, read the linked article, if you haven’t already, for the details. Then here are my thoughts:

First off, this individual (who I will not dignify by naming) is absolute and complete scum of the earth. The fact that he would write such a piece for publication is more than ample evidence of that. And the Boston Globe, despite its efforts to weasel out of the situation, is complicit, for its lack of “editorial oversight” in the first place. What, in God’s name, where they thinking, to allow that to appear in print?

Quite aside from the ethical, health-related, and just plain disgusting-ness elements of this reprehensible screed, how could anyone, on any side of the political aisle, possibly think that tampering with food as an act of political terrorism is in any way acceptable, or in any way beneficial to their or anyone’s cause – or, for that matter, to our culture, society, and even economy?

While everyone knows that there are sometimes questionable practices in restaurants, and sometimes questionable food makes it out to the table, the entire restaurant culture of this (or any) country is founded on the assumption that such incidents are rare, and usually limited to “greasy spoon” types of establishments.

If people are going to have to start thinking – even when they go out to a nice dinner at a nice restaurant – “Well, gee, what if my waiter overhears a comment I make to a table companion, or doesn’t like my choice of hat, and decides I’m of a political persuasion he or she doesn’t like, so s/he decides to spit (or worse) on my food, as a result?” What’s that going to do to people’s willingness to go out to dinner?

The level and variety of stupidities embodied in the described opinion piece are so many and so epic that it just beggars description. AND – this is the crowning irony – this is from someone who considers conservatives to be haters. Let that sink in for a minute. This guy doesn’t like the President, so he considers that it’s perfectly okay to p___ in the food of those who do, and in fact stated that people who do so would “be serving America” (though he later, and completely unconvincingly, walked that back).

But that’s okay. Being on the other side of the political aisle is not.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. And I am coming increasingly – if reluctantly – to agree with the assertion that today’s “liberalism” (which is a far cry from classical liberalism) is a flat-out, full-blown mental illness.

As I said:

Bastard.

Sick, disgusting, brain-damaged bastard.

But I still wouldn’t p____ in his food, because I have standards.

Even for scum like him.

QOTD: Courtney Lawes on acceptance

“And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

— (rugby player) Courtney Lawes

Source: Lawes defends Vunipola freedom-of-speech | RugbyPass

Full quote:

“I don’t have a faith like yourself my brother so I don’t share the same views in this matter but I do believe you should be able to voice your own opinions and beliefs as you see fit. 

“To everyone getting worked up about these post I ask you if you don’t believe in the same things as them then what do these statements matter to you? Can we not disagree with someone without calling them a bigot or a homophobe or every other name under the sun?

And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

This is in reference to a specific incident, but it certainly has much wider application! The irony is that it is – as is too-often the case, these days – the supposedly tolerant “liberals” and Leftists that are up-in-arms about supposedly anti-LGBT (actually merely family-friendly, and supportive of traditional mores) comments on social media by a few members of the rugby community.

I have said much the same on a number of occasions and in a number of fora: if you are going to position and present yourself as being in favor of “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “inclusion,” it is a sad irony when you refuse to afford others the right to their own opinions. Yet that is the modus operandi of much of the modern Left.

Those who make no claim to be tolerant of what they see as sins and vices – especially when they are promoted as being worthy of acceptance and even praise – at least have the virtues of consistency, frankness, intellectual honesty, and the courage of their convictions. Those who claim to be tolerant while, in fact, being anything but, have no such authenticity.

Old-school, classical liberals, of the “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” would presumably be very disappointed in their present-day successors! At least, I hope they would…


For the record, I am of the opinion that what consenting adults get into, sexually, is their own business, being between them, their understanding of God, and their spiritual counselor or advisor, if any.

Unless, of course, they make it my business, either by requesting my spiritual counsel – in which case I will provide it, honestly but hopefully with compassion – or by throwing it in my face, and the face of society, of which I am a part, insisting that disordered passions be “affirmed” or even “celebrated.”

Then I may have no choice but to speak up.

 

Knife crime: Tony Blair says police losing knife crime battle – BBC News

Tony Blair

The former prime minister says “the emergency” means he is more worried about his own children.

Source: Knife crime: Tony Blair says police losing knife crime battle – BBC News

One more, since I’m posting anyway…

Many years ago, I wrote what was supposed to be a satirical piece for the local newspaper about a future “National Club Association” (the NCA) protesting a proposed ban on cudgels – the idea being, first they ban guns, then knives, and eventually clubs as well. Now that concept doesn’t look so satirical. The UK really is banning knives!

And of course, what doesn’t get mentioned is who are actually engaging in these knife-fights, slashings, stabbings, etc.: I feel fairly safe in presuming that it is not, for the most part, descendants of those who won the Battle of Britain in WW II, or the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415… The UK has chosen, on its own or by acceding to EU mandates, to take in many outsiders whose values and culture are inimical to Britons; as ye sew, so shall ye reap. In any case:

The Paleoconservatives, who posted this on Facebook, accurately commented:

“The progressive left simply wants control. Gun control, and if they get that, then knife control. They want to control your words, your faith, your children. Once, the best of the left were at least classical liberals, supporting freedoms, but these days they will make you accept their definition of progress – whether you like it or not.”

What is true in the UK, is also true here. The Left – I will not call them “liberals,” except ironically – wants one thing and one thing only: power. Control. The political heirs of the Jacobins of Revolutionary France, and Cromwell’s Puritans in the English Civil War, they want to impose their idea of the ideal society – a warped, twisted secular version of the Kingdom of God, a God in which they no longer even claim to believe – on everyone else. And they will stop at nothing to get it.

As the traditional Order for Compline puts it, quoting 1 Peter 5:8,

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, firm in your faith.”

Wake-up call…

Spartan with trumpet

That moment when you finally realize that Western civilization really is under attack.

 

How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette

“I am a Classics Ph.D. who recently attended the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS—formerly the American Philological Association), a yearly conference that provides papers on classical subjects and interviews for academic positions. I now regret doing so since some remarks I made at the conference led to me being branded a ‘racist’ and the loss of my editing job with the Association of Ancient Historians.”

Source: How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette

This essay is not easy reading. In fact, I found it both depressing and disillusioning (not that I had many illusions, to start with) and deeply angering. It is a classic example of the cultural Marxism prevalent in the academic world, and one of the reasons I did not choose to go on and obtain a PhD in Medieval History, as had been my original intention, since I saw the same trends developing in medieval studies, all the way back in the mid-’90s.

In this essay, Mary Frances Williams – note, this is a woman, not one of those dastardly males! – who describes herself as an independent scholar living in California, having received her doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin, recounts the way in which she was harassed, bullied, mischaracterized, and denied the right to have her voice heard in defense of Classics as a discipline… at a Classics conference (!), and purportedly, one devoted to the future of classics. Dr. Williams notes that

“Of all the academic disciplines, Classics alone has managed until now to withstand most of the corrupting influences of modern critical theory and ‘social justice’ activism. Ours is the last bastion of Western Civilization in the academy.”

Or at least, has been. Continue reading “How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette”