In March 1918 during the First World War, the Germans launched an offensive that broke through the Western Front. The Allies convened a Conference to decide what to do. At the Conference French Prime Minister Clemenceau heard General Petain (the victor of Verdun, Marshal of France and leader of Vichy France in WWII) say "the Germans will beat the English in open country, then they'll beat us as well". Clemenceau would later tell this story to the French President, Poincare where he would ask the rhetorical question"surely a General should not speak or think like that?"
I often think of that quote, but I ask "surely a Conservative should not speak or think like that?"
Have you ever thought something along those lines?
How can someone be a Conservative or think they are a Conservative if they say or think that? It is one of the more frustrating parts of being a Conservative. Finding that people that you hoped really were Conservative aren't.
In Australia, like most of the world, very few journalists call themselves Conservatives, at least their honest for once. But one who does call himself Conservative is Andrew Bolt. Mr. Bolt is the most read columnist in Australia and has been for years, he also has a TV show called The Bolt Report. And on most issues he's quite good, sometimes I'm surprised by how good, but then he reveals his other side. The side where he supports civic patriotism and says race doesn't matter, such as when he opposed putting a foreword in the Australian Constitution, his argument was that it would introduce race into the document and divide Australians along racial lines. So he was on the right side but for the wrong reason. The reason Conservatives should oppose such a thing is that such a change to the Constitution will have unforeseen consequences, consequences that no one can see and that it is always better to be safe than sorry.He also supports soft feminism and free trade. Things that are not Conservative at all, What he is is a Classical Liberal.
In the November 2015 issue of Quadrant, in the article The Birth of a New Conservative Age by Peter Murphy, on page 13 we get this quote:
"...there is a spectrum of conservatives. There are free-market, classical liberal, libertarian, national security, anti-totalitarian, Christian, evangelical, reform, futurist and traditional conservatives".
Wow what a list!
So basically your a Conservative if your not a Socialist. Well that explains how the Liberal party of Australia can exist, and the British Conservatives and the American Republicans!
The absurdity of the list should be obvious but sadly isn't, how can a Liberal, classical or otherwise be a Conservative? How can a Libertarian be a Conservative? And what exactly is a reformist reforming? Just to point out the most obvious.
I would have thought that a Conservative should be well, Conservative, like nearly all the time, not some random percentage. If a Conservative doesn't fit this criteria just how Conservative are they?
1. Socially Conservative
2. Fiscally Conservative
3. Economically Conservative
4. Loyal to it's own People
5. Loyal to it's own Heritage
When you hear a Conservative talk ask yourself if a Conservative should speak or think such a thing?
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I wonder about Bolt sometimes. Occasionally he seems to say something which may suggest, that perhaps, just perhaps, he realises that mass immigration is not a good reason for DEMOGRAPHIC reasons, but it's like a mirage. Is it there or not?ReplyDelete
Just recently Bolt blogged against the White Student Union saying that this led to racism, tribalism, etc.
Lets say that it does. Let's say that people who want to form organisations and communities based on identity decide to do so. I've heard from mainstream Conservatives that identity politics is evil, wrong, retrograde, but why? What exactly is wrong with identity politics?
Surely it is up to the individual to decide what they are, and who they are, and not Bolt? Is it the role of the Conservative to push an identity "top-down", instead of allowing one to develop "bottom-up"? If some people have a better grasp of their identity through their ethnicity, their broader race, than through a shared belonging to a bureaucratic entity which manages their passports and taxes, is that not their choice?
This reveals that despite Bolt's objection to multiculturalism and some forms of immigration, he only object in so far as it hurts the state. It is the bureaucratic entity and technocrats which define a state, and that is supposedly where our first allegiance should lie. But this seems like an oddly Leftist/Socialist position. This is what I heard from Trotskyites. Even some Marxists I know are more accommodating of people identifying by their, well, their identity.
Ultimately, Bolt's argument against multiculturalism, Islamic immigration, is that it doesn't lead to a deracinated, assimilated "every-man", which is exactly what the Left argue. The Left argue for assimilation, but believe that multiculturalism and specific ethnic pandering and special treatment would facilitate integration. Bolt's position is that this doesn't, and that integration and assimilation would be better served by pretending that identity shouldn't matter, and attacking those that do.
So Mainstream "Respectable" Conservatives agree with the current narrative that man belongs as an instrument of a state, and not belonging to the group he was born into. They just disagree with the most efficient means of getting there.
My Conservatism, if you can call it that, is that this notion itself is suspect, and that nations, communities based on shared identity, shared ancestry which are by a people, for a people should be preserved.
You have to remember that Bolt wants to keep working in the journalistic mainstream which means he has to conform to the current orthodoxy. What he says may have little relation to what he actually believes. The Overton Window has now shifted so far to the Left that mainstream journalists like Bolt have very little room to manoeuvre.Delete
Of course the problem is that once you start compromising in order to hang on to your job you can't stop.
He also supports soft feminismReplyDelete
Soft feminism is a bit like soft Stalinism.
Since Disraeli, the liberals have had to seek redefinition of what they believed in, as classical liberalism or "Manchester liberalism" could no longer meet the needs of a culturally traditionalist but industrial working class. Thus we got Old Labour in the UK, and William Jennings Bryan in the US.ReplyDelete
Today, we have to see the "right of center" parties in the Anglosphere as exclusively serving the financial interest of their donors. This means the Wall Street investment bankers, the immigrant employing food processors, the real estate titans making money off of wealthy Chinese immigrants. The Andrew Bolts and in the US the Salem Media radio hosts, are just masks for the naked liberalism of the Koch Brothers and Gina Reinhardt.
Even if there wasn't a George Soros and a Cultural Marxist Harvard, we'd still have problems
Terms like conservative have no real meaning today. In fact most of the terms used to describe political affiliations have become meaningless. Liberal, fascist, left-wing, right-wing, none of these terms bear any relationship to their original meanings.ReplyDelete
These days you can describe yourself as a conservative while holding beliefs that would have been labelled as radical socialist beliefs a few decades ago. There's also a complete split between economic conservatives and social conservatives.
For me being a social conservative is what matters. You can always fix the economy but you can't fix society once it's been broken. To me loyalty to heritage and people more or less go along with being a social conservative.
I'm finding myself having a certain amount of sympathy for the late B. A. Santamaria.
If pressed I'd probably describe myself as a reactionary!