The Will To Failure

A popular topic on the dissident right is the failure of Buckley-style conservatism, often with an emphasis on the perfidy of particular conservatives. The focus is on the people or particular political events. For example, gay marriage is a popular example of how the so-called conservatives failed to conserve anything. People like David French are popular punching bags, as they are examples of the way in which main stream conservatives spend their time currying favor with the Left.

The underlying assumption is that conservative ideas are not the issue. The issue is the perfidy of conservatives and their unwillingness to fight for those ideas. Compounding it is the assumption that conservatives are intellectuals, who know the material and have mastered their arguments. It is just assumed that Buckley-style conservatism was mostly right on the ideas and that their people were smart enough to understand those ideas and argue for those ideas in the public square.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that conservatism, the Buckley form that was once called the New Right, was never an intellectual movement. Whatever the first movers of Buckley conservatism set-out to do, their movement never rose above the personal and the political. It was never an intellectual movement. Instead, it was a political enterprise that decorated itself with the trappings of political theory, history and philosophy. It was just a set of poses, masquerading as ideas.

That comes through in this very long review, in the Claremont Review of Books, of George Will’s very long book on conservatism. Early in the review, there is this quote from George Will. “If there is no sense in which there is an eternal human nature, there cannot be eternal principles—certainly no self-evident truths—of political organization and action.” That is the type of line that will strike the conservative reader as sensible, but it is complete nonsense. It is pseudo-intellectual babble.

For starters, it is sloppy logic, the sort of thing that one would expect from a freshman coed, not someone who fashions himself an intellectual. There may be principles that are contingent upon human nature, but he does not bother making that point. In fact, conservatives never bother to connect human nature with the axioms of human organization. Instead, it is broad assertions like that, which violate Hume’s law. Taken together, that sentence is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Human nature is the realm of biological truth, as in people desire sex, social status and security from danger. These are true things about humans everywhere humans can be found in nature. A principle is a rule about how people ought to behave or how a society should organize itself. These are found everywhere, as well. The thing is, one does not follow the other, which is why rules of behavior vary widely among humans. If there were eternal principles, they would show up everywhere.

Putting that aside, the assertion that there is an eternal human nature, at least with regards to politics, which is Will’s focus, is absurd. If that were true, human society would look pretty much the same everywhere. It does not, which means there is a great deal of diversity in man. While all people will share basic biological necessities, like the need for food, shelter, sex and so on, how they organize themselves to attain those things varies a great deal, owing to the natural diversity of man.

In other words, human nature does not lead to eternal principles. It eliminates the possibility of eternal principles. The morality of the Bushman, with regards to how they distribute food or access to females, will reflect their nature. In Siberia, where the people will have different natures, they will have different principles. Sure, both have rules against murder, but the principles they have created to deal with this eternal part of human nature are completely different, owing to their different nature.

That may seem like a quibble, but it is a good starting place when examining the anti-intellectualism of conservatives like Will. The book itself, as the reviewer later explains, is actually a rebuke of Will’s past arguments about the nature of conservatism. In the past, Will claimed to be a European conservative, which he was always careful to define as Burkean, rather than those bad guys on the European Right. In this book, he claims to have changed teams and become a Madisonian conservative.

The problem with that is Burke and Madison are not two faces of opposing views on human organization. Burke was certainly a critic of the bloody radicalism of the French Revolution, but he was never an enemy of American liberty. That’s because there was never anything all that radical about the American Revolution. Someone familiar with the material would have understood these differences, but that was never really George Will or any of the so-called conservatives.

Amusingly, the one element of the American Revolution that could be classified as radical was the Declaration. This is why Progressives have made it the foundation of their thought and the basis of the second founding theory. Will now embraces the Declaration as the cornerstone of conservatism, while in the past he rejected it as a “highly charged declaration of a political philosophy.” Will now calls it the most important political document in human history. That’s quite a change.

This is, of course, a great example of what was always wrong with conservatism. It was never an intellectual movement. Just as Will can come to oppose what he formerly supported, swinging around to embrace yesterday’s radicalism as today’s eternal principle, conservatism was always ready to make the same journey. Buckley-style conservatism was never an intellectual movement, it was a pose or what Will prefers to call a sensibility. It was whatever fashion worked in the moment.

This is why there has never been much thought given as to why conservatism, as a political project, was a total failure. They won elections, but never won the resulting policy fights. A true intellectual class would have compared theory to reality and noticed the many contradictions. Even today, when so-called conservative intellectuals convene to discuss the state of their racket, they just end up quoting dead men and promising to do more of the same. It’s nostalgia masquerading as introspection.

In a way, this was always true about Buckley conservatism. Even as a purely political operation, it always functioned as a cargo cult. If they could dress up as the Founders, repeat what they said, the spirit and constitution of that generation would magically appear in this generation. The Buckleyites could never understand that the America of the Founding was a different country. They did things different back then, because the people, their very nature, was different from modern America.

This is why conservatism was a total failure. The Left, for all of its faults, recognized that the America of the 20th century was nothing like the America of the Founding. It needed a new political framework and a new set of principles. The second founding idea was more than just a recasting of history to include the new arrivals. It was an effort to create a new foundation to support the new political orthodoxy. The Buckleyites were never smart enough to get that and were no match for the Left.


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Penitent Man
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Penitent Man

Good post. Clarifying. Conservatism will never rebound or prevail or two reasons: it is detached from Truth and by its very nature sits in a grumbling defensive crouch.

BFYTW
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BFYTW

I’ve taken to calling Buckley conservatives “low-velocity progressives.”

Wolf Barney
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Wolf Barney

For all the blathering about conservative principles from guys like Buckley and Will and so many others, there’s one issue–mass immigration–that they enthusiastically espoused, that’s not “conservative” at all. When considering the meaning of the word, it should be quintessentially conservative to embrace a low immigration policy, rather than the extremely high levels most of the conservatives promoted. The same can be said of trade policy and environmental issues. Those guys were fake conservatives.

Citizen of a Silly Country
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Citizen of a Silly Country

Because conservatives are complete idiots. They bought into the blank slate theory. But instead of believing that government could mold anyone into anything, they believed that culture could mold anyone into anything.

Therefore, there’s no contradiction between being a conservative and high levels of immigration. As long as they accept our culture, they’ll be just like us, and we’ll all be better for it.

Conservatives and Leftists only disagree on the method of creating the perfect man. They’re both inhuman Marxists at their core.

Compsci
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Compsci

Citizen, essentially correct. But I’d add, many others—myself included—did likewise accept the “blank slate” theory and its accompanying corollary—“equality” of ability. So what really happened? Why am I here reading Z-man and Will is publishing his apologist screed?

Ideology. A refusal to break from such concepts in the face of observable reality illustrating their falsity. 2 generations worth and counting of repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. A layman’s definition of insanity.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Me too, Compsci, I wanted to be fair, to be moral, to be helpful, to do the right thing.

BadThinker
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BadThinker

I’m convinced that at its core, much of ‘conservatism’ is basically modeled like a codependent relationship. The Left is the Cluster-B person, abusing and taking advantage of the codependent White Knights and ‘helper’ conservatives.

John Smith
Member

We DID the right thing, Alzaebo. At the time we didn’t know any better. At the time, the mass media controlled public opinion. At the time we were bombarded 24/7/365 with the narrative. Dissidents weren’t allowed anywhere near a microphone. Back then, vibrants pushed mops, cleaned the chitters, and behaved themselves. There weren’t nearly as many then as there are now. We could still look the other way and pretend Lefty wasn’t a self destructive homicidal nutter. Today’s dissident is much more sophisticated and informed. And – he is utterly deadly and vicious when provoked. Watching Hillary Clinton lose an… Read more »

HamburgerToday
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HamburgerToday

You says some important things, among which is the fact that a dominant race, confident in its dominance is willing to make concessions to ‘minorities’. I would add that one lesson of the last 60+ years is that a confident majority can be moved by appeal to ‘principles’. The ‘civil rights’ movements in all their ‘diverse’ forms played on ‘fairness’ and decent, ordinary White people are genuinely shocked that after decades of concessions and handouts their largesse is being returned with scorn and hatred. There were, of course, men and women who said, ‘Hold on, look at where this is… Read more »

Compsci
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Compsci

Hamburger, yes indeed we allowed our virtues to be used against us to our detriment. That must stop. Our virtues/values were developed and intended for our own kind, no others.

We made the (possibly fatal) mistake of assuming our virtues/values were universal—they are not—they can not be extended to those who will not or can not reciprocate.

I believe this is the basis of Z-man’s imperative to prioritize winning and then develop new organizing principles to suite the society that follows.

Normie
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hahahahaha!

Yep victory is right around the corner!

Calsdad
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Calsdad

I can see buying into blank slate theory as an AMERICAN conservative – only so far as the theory proves out to be true in REALITY. And in American culture – it has proven out to be true in many instances. There was a huge amount of immigration in the late 1800’s / early 1900’s – and by the WW2 time frame many of these people had been pretty much fully “integrated”. I’d argue that is what is leading us to talk about “white” nationalism – instead of talking about “white english/scottish” nationalism (as a for-instance). From what I’ve seen… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

This is the only colony that rebelled (until after the 60’s global Cultural Revolution). Our largest majority here became a pan-European supertribe, an ummah. This is a White melting pot- white Euros only. And we can melt quite well, too, due to intermarriage. The English marries the French, the Polish marries the Dane, the German marries the Italian, the Irish marries anything recently upright on two legs, and so on. I disagree with the “English” purists, as even Albion’s seed were seperate strains. The Chinese guys have counterparts in the thousands of American expats overseas. (Yes, I’m aware ‘melting pot’… Read more »

BadThinker
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BadThinker

They most definitely have not been fully integrated. There’s a reason that New Jersey is New Jersey and Ohio is Ohio. If you do a lot of traveling and working with people in different parts of America, you will quickly be disabused of the idea that “Americans” are all the same. A few outlier individuals might integrate, sort of. But their kids likely won’t, and any large minority groups will *definitely* not.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Close enough, Bad, I’m not an absolutist.

Some demographics can lump together 30,000 people and you get an Oktoberfest with beer gardens, or a Chinese New Year with firecrackers, or a Cinco de Mayonnaise with Spanish dancers!

Others, you get stabbings, shootings, and rape attacks. Close enough is good enough.

SamlAdams
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SamlAdams

I’ve seen the same, particularly growing up among the original Cuban emigres. But a couple observations. First that ability to assimilate—as VD Hanson often points out is based on not overwhelming the system with hordes of emigres from essentially one place. Then clumping them in one place with the entire systems designed around enabling no assimilation in language or customs. Second, in the modern age it is essentially frictionless to travel great distances. Yes, people have to pay off coyotes, but essentially with a little planning and an economy class ticket you can get from Lagos to the US. In… Read more »

3g4me
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3g4me

Carlsdad – For every putative Chinese guy here who’s Mr. All-American with pickup trucks and guns, I’ll raise you about 10,000 who are Han to their core despite their magic papers. Tell your integration theory to the paper-American Han who China won’t allow to leave (re Vox Day today). “But I’m an American!” they insist. Han know better than you – DNA matters. Don’t spout unicorn stories and then extrapolate them into universal principles. I am a unicorn, sexually and ethnically, and I know just how unusual I am for utterly rejecting certain things. But I don’t pretend that there… Read more »

Donald Cavaioli
Member

” I know Chinese guys who come here and pretty much abandon whatever culture they had in China – fly a Confederate flag, buy a gun, drive a pickup truck” On the surface only. Just like the sainted Ellis Island immigrants of yore who adopted a veneer of Americanism but never really let go of “de ole country” ways. In fact, many of their descendants today still cling to grandpa or great-grandpa’s ethnic heritage even referring to themselves as hyphenated Americans. The hazing of immigrants of that era only made them mind their manners to some extent. In this situation,… Read more »

Dutch
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Dutch

I grew up along the San Diego-Tijuana border. My childhood culture was white middle class dirt people, with a peculiar adaptation to the border situation, sort of a paternal kick-ass white male sensibility for what we called the “wetbacks” back in the day. Not welcomed, but tolerated, and put to work in certain places and jobs, or forced to move along or go back. The Border Patrol was our ally, they were expert trackers and outdoorsmen, and everyone on our side cooperated to make it all work. Now the area (which I have moved out of) is overrun and the… Read more »

UpYours
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UpYours

Point this fact out to a Chinese immigrant and he will say when an American of Irish ancestry can celebrate St. Patrick Day, when cannot I celebrate my ethnic background? Besides, as far as the founding stock of the US is concerned, the Poles and Italians are as alien as the Chinese. When you started making exceptions for the Poles, Italians etc. to celebrate their ethnic background live in ghettos etc., the trend was set. Every succeeding generation of immigrants now demand the same. The English and Scots-Irish (founding stock) should have made it clear that only their culture was… Read more »

Donald Cavaioli
Member

@UpYours If you’re addressing this comment to the one I wrote, then I suggest you actually read what I wrote. Where did I make such an exception? Where did I bemoan the fact the the Irish, Italians, Poles, what have you, could not celebrate their ethnic heritage? Where did I demand recognition of my grandparent’s ethnicity which, by the way, I never gave a damn about? It should be clear to anyone with half a brain in their head that I was saying true assimilation was virtually impossible and I was being as critical of the hyphenated Americans as the… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Cavaioli, compared to the Coalition of the Fringes, we are as alike as eggs in a basket.

This is doable.

Penitent Man
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Penitent Man

I hear them thar immigrants is better Americans than us’ns heritage types.

That Chinaman bigwig said we’re fat ‘n lazy and them D.C. types can’t rave nuff how the FOBs are the embod’ment of Murica.

Yes. Our pommel might be a bit bulbous and poorly balanced. They haven’t encountered the sharp end. Yet.

HamburgerToday
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HamburgerToday

White Americans took their eye off the ball, pursuing all the many forms of hedonism that post-WWII consumer capitalism served up. I think, in the back of our minds, we assumed that since ‘America’ was a great product, all immigrants would want to invest in America (assimilate).

They didn’t.

Like all good consumers, immigrants decided to treat America as smorgasbord, picking and choosing the parts they liked and ignoring the rest.

Member

“…immigrants decided to treat America as smorgasbord, picking and choosing the parts they liked…”

Hell, they started doing that in 1900.

UpYours
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UpYours

White America is 100% responsible for the decline of White America. Besides, the critical mass applies to “white” immigrants as well. Go to Joisey and parts of it resemble a Sicilian slum and only Sicilians and Italians can get ahead.

America’s goose was cooked in 1880, when the US let in large numbers of people from non-Anglo non-Germanic “white” people from Europe. The post-1965 wave accelerated the decline but the die had been cast a 100 years prior.

george
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george

And here we sit with Trump. At the State of the Union Speech: 1. ” We will never be a socialist country”. 2. “We want even more immigration but it has to be legal immigration”.

You cannot have have both. Not when 80% of the new immigrants have 80 IQs and will vote 80% democrat.

Member

“…when 80% of the new immigrants have 80 IQs and will vote 80% democrat.”

Let’s call it the “80/80 Paradigm”.

B D
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B D

I don’t know that they necessarily bought into blank slate, they lacked the balls to deal with being accused of racism and bigotry. They weren’t stupid, they were pussies. And they were too selfish to move out of the way and let the men do the heavy lifting.

RustBeltRevenge
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RustBeltRevenge

Tabula Rasa – it is the foundation of everything awful that has occurred.

Rogeru
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Rogeru

Depends on what they’re conserving. If they’re conserving a consumerist economy and culture then immigration makes sense.

Rcocean
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Rcocean

First, Will has never been a patriotic, conservative American. In his earlier, more honest years, he called himself a “Scoop Jackson Democrat”. He’s always been a globalist and elitist, however, he was also an anti-communist and liked Tax Cuts. He did NOT support Reagan in 1976 or 1980. He later came round, because Carter was to “isolationist” and “populist” for him. As for Buckley, he primary shtick was Anti-communism and support (broadly) for Catholicism. When the Berlin Wall fell, his interest in politics decreased, and he had no desire to do anything about globalism or restrict immigration.

Member

This is a great parallel to the definition of the Republican Party. The GOP started out as a radical party fueled by Abolitionism, Free Soil Agrarians, and (in the background) merchants/industrialists. In hindsight, it’s easy to see who would soon rule the roost. Ever since then, Republicans have ping-ponged between “principles” and “common sense”… between radicalism and business interests. Whenever the interests of the plutocrats get ahead of their skis, they can always temper public fury by returning to their radical origins, if only to fling insults at “neo-Confederates” for a time, before quietly retreating behind their motto: “The business… Read more »

Exile
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Exile

Shapeshifting, playing both sides, “Fellow Principled Conservatives” and “the Practical Case for Abandoning Principles.” A few thousand years of practice makes a good teacher, and Con, Inc’s Shabbos-strivers have also proven good studies, if often not up to their mentor’s IQ levels.

Member

There is one principle to which Con, Inc. has remained faithful: the canonization of Lincoln. How many times have you heard the cucks cluck that the GOP is “the party of Lincoln?”

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

The center cannot hold when tactical lying is the information stream. Society is parallel processing, so garbage in, garbage out.

These nomad raiders build nothing.
Even Solomon’s Temple was originally a temple to Ra, with the same floorplan and accoutrements- and “Solomon” had an Egyptian name.

Their shifting winds of story- costing nothing to produce, demanding everything in return- are a caustic acid that are destroying the deep well of accumulated knowledge.

Lose that well, and we lose civilization to these barbarian values. We’ve made a criminal syndicate into our high preists.

CAPT S
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CAPT S

“If there were eternal principles, they would show up everywhere.” Might this not also conflict with Hume’s law? An alternative conclusion is that there ARE eternal principles but man habitually falls short of them. (Which begs a number of follow-on questions.) We’re delving into metaphysical issues now, mysteries that science cannot penetrate. I completely agree with the assessment that Conservative Inc is basket of empty-scrotum gasbags. And yep, cultural mores vary … some we would even call degenerate. But degeneracy is an irrational concept without assuming a measuring rod of transcendent truth. The metaphysical argument against eternal principles boils down… Read more »

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

If there are eternal principles that few recognize, then why care about those principles? Unless you posit a God who will judge you for failing to recognize these principles, they are effectively non-existent.

CAPT S
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CAPT S

Good grief man – your moniker is “Line in the Sand”!!! I expect we share similar “lines” … i.e. principles.

We need to care about eternal principles, or more precisely, we need to care about objective truth. The history of dissidence involves brave people espousing true-truth, and living a life that nails their principles to the mast. Whether or not others recognize those principles is irrelevant. If we don’t undergird our politics with eternal principles then we’re essentially no different from the progressives – i.e. rudderless and adrift in relativism.

3g4me
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3g4me

CAPT S: If you and Line or I share similar principles, it’s probable that our DNA is highly similar in addition to our cultural upbringing – i.e. White, at least nominally Christian, American-born to American born and raised parents. And that’s the minimum – there are millions who fit those parameters who believe principles utterly counter to what we believe, and who want us dead. You know this. Your eternal principles may be eternal for you or I, but as Zman so well noted, while a Bushman may have a prohibition against murder, his definition of murder or what constitutes… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The same sages who can explain nothing, who can only yank our string with vague abstracts and indefinable yearning, tell us that we can never know. Of “mysteries that science cannot penetrate.”

Why do we believe them, then? Or the “choices” they present to any of us?

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

A major mistake of the followers of the Founders was to extrapolate a single eternal human nature from European nature. The overlap between the human nature of Europe and Africa, for example, is almost non-existent and certainly too small to found a universal philosophy of government.

Try to list the ethics that are common to all peoples. You may think that all people want to care for their children, but African men disprove even that.

Member

It was an honest mistake, and one grounded in the principle of universalist Christianity. However, men like George Washington were not buying into this. He knew from personal experience what savages were capable of.

Pickle Rick
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Pickle Rick

The “savages” Washington met didn’t castrate their own sons and make their men women, or women men.

Member

“The ‘savages’ Washington met didn’t castrate their own sons and make their men women, or women men.”

The savages Washington met were fond of dragging men and women out of their homes, raping them, scalping them, then burning them alive. Yes, Washington witnessed this behavior. He was not amused. And if these third world people gain absolute power over us, you can expect the same outcomes.

3g4me
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3g4me

I can believe it was an honest mistake, but it’s one people are still making today, and still based on the principle of universalist Christianity. As I said above to CAPT S, one can consider those of other races/cultures as “brothers in Christ,” but not brothers in behavior or mores or politics. Even the Bible notes all the “nations” and “tribes” and “peoples” in Heaven. DNA is from God, and it persists.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

That’s why I seethe at gene patents.
The Creator authored that public database, yet Monsanto or Eli Lilly claim sole ownership!

(Oh, and 3g4me, “the Father’s house has many mansions”, and each mansion has many seperate rooms. A guy’s kid asked, “Do Baptists go to Heaven, too?” and he didn’t know how to answer. The poor kid was certain that his friends were bound for Hell.)

Brad
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Brad

The “eternal human nature” is the conservative acceptance of the blank slate theory as their moral truth. Just like progressives, the conservatives have their own evangelists that preach the same ‘values’ when it suits their purpose. George W. Bush endlessly sermonized this to a vulnerable, uncertain American public blindsided by the events of 9/11 and suddenly confronted by the prospects of war on two nations. “If those poor people on the other side of the world could only be set free from tyrants and terrorists, they’d act and live just like us.”

Exile
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Exile

The Blank Slate is a civilizational shit-test, and we’re barely passing. We’ve come a long way dragging the intellectual and fiscal dead weight of blank-slate conservatism and libertarianism, but without them we’d be in the stars by now. Contra purple-thumbed hopey-change, pioneering the final frontier is a lot more realistic than closing The Gap.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Blank Slate was an earnest attempt to expand the franchise.

3g4me
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3g4me

God, yes. And “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.” True – but their family values include sleeping with one’s 12 year old cousin. Again, biblical Christianity does NOT proclaim the blank slate theory as moral truth – it endlessly demonstrates people are different . . . even those who are Christian.

Exile
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Exile

“A true intellectual class would have compared theory to reality and noticed the many contradictions.” The honest ones who did moved on to Our Thing. The dishonest ones who did (like Will) stayed behind to grift. The rest are just Blue Pilled social ballast. Conservatism was an intellectual Hamburger Hill designed for us to die on, an otherwise meaningless dot on the cultural landscape given significance only by the blood and treasure (((command & control))) were willing to dump into it. Like every “something-Hill” X of the Containment Wars, Buckley Hill is being abandoned seemingly without regret as the Forever… Read more »

3g4me
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3g4me

Another keeper from you, Exile. “The American village has been destroyed to save it.” I’m passing this on to my older son – he’ll very much understand and appreciate it.

Al from da Nort
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Al from da Nort

Exile; So if we’re Charlie, we’ll need some foreign power’s support to win. Not many likely candidates we could escape from by latter betraying them when convenient, just like we did the French after the American Revolution. IOW, they need to be powerful enough to help yet far enough away to be successfully betrayed later. Use the Han_? Really, really bad idea. Don’t forget that the great empires of the past (Persian, Roman, Ottoman, etc.) grew by being invited in by some local faction to defeat their domestic enemies. Beat the enemies, take over the clients: Works most every time_!

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Capital analysis, as always.
I nominate the supertribe of the common men of Europe, including the east and Russia, and the former Colonies.

The White Sphere, in other words.

Tykebomb
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Tykebomb

A Republican is just a lazy Democrat.

Marko
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Marko

Adjustment: a Republican is a slower Democrat

Ris_Eruwaedhiel
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Ris_Eruwaedhiel

Conservatism today is the liberalism of, what, a generation ago? It’s one thing to acknowledge that you lost the war (e.g., gay marriage), but to say that gay marriage is a conservative principle is something else.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Ris, do you know any good bridal shops?
I’m a man, getting married soon, and I don’t want my gown to clash with my husband’s.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

Alzae….you go with your bad self! You gay dog you! May your gaymoon be:

Synonyms for “uplifting:” boost, elevate, heave, heft, heighten, hike, hoist, jack (up), lift, perk (up), pick up, raise, take up, up, uphold, upraise.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I wish I could find that poster of a ghettopotamous saying, “Of course I support gay marriage… cuz I would watch the SH*T out of Gay Divorce Court!”

John Smith
Member

Phew. They say hindsight is 20/20, Z… and who knows, maybe you’re right about all that and I am full of chit. But… I was there. The context of the times was different in their day. Buckley, the Paleocons, the cucks – we were caught by surprise when the left launched an undeclared war on us. They got inside our decision loops, and for decades all we could do was react to their offences – they were gouging our eyes out and punching below the belt before we even knew the fight was on. The left beat us up, and… Read more »

Member

I resemble that remark. However, I abandoned any pretense about liberals in the seventies. The gentlemen who preened themselves on their principles were useless. I knew in my heart that sooner or later it would come to blood. We’re almost there and I have no regrets for anything I ever wrote or said against the rotten culture that got us into this existential struggle.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Bless you in return, Mr. Smith, so very well said, and the best of luck to us all. Cheers!

TomA
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TomA

Like all living things, our species eternally adapts to the local environment in which it finds itself. That is why Negroids (who evolved in sub-Saharan Africa) are different from Caucasians (who evolved in the higher latitudes). And the differentiation doesn’t stop there. There are many subtypes of Negroid depending upon the locale in Africa, e.g. the jungles of the Congo and the plains of the Serengheti evolved different Negroid traits that further subdivide this race. The same is true for Caucasians evolving in different parts of Europe and Asia. The evolution of social traits (memetic persistence) is also largely local.

Al from da Nort
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Al from da Nort

Tom; Before the poz took over anthropology* it was commonly acknowledged that there was no such thing as ‘The Negroid Race’. Rather there were no fewer than *five* indigenous races inhabiting the continent of Africa. – Caucasians north of the Sahara from well before the Roman Empire.** – Bantu West Africans in, what else, W Africa. In historical times they overran Central and South Africa.*** – Pygmies, who were the original population of the great jungles in the Congo River basin. They were overrun by the Bantus and are now confined to patches of jungle in Central Africa. – Bushmen/Hottentots,… Read more »

TomA
Guest
TomA

Excellent clarification. I was trying to make the point that the only thing that is naturally eternal about living things is the evolutionary imperative of adapt or become extinct. But you make another excellent point in your historical allegory. The Bantu proved that you can override nature by forcing extinction (or exile) upon your neighbors. Ditto for Huns and Mongols and other barbarian hordes. The Earth itself is a cauldron of fitness selection. So where are we headed?

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Tom;
Thanks for the kind words. The above distinctions were based on observable phenotypic differences that seemed stable at that time. Don’t know how well this classification scheme holds up now, given the recent advances in genetics. However, phenotype *is* derived from genotype, just mostly not on a one gene, one trait basis.

However, if genetics proved human universalism it would be everywhere in the media and there’d be no ’23 and me’ business to tell you ‘the real story of your ancestry’.

IOW, the above classification scheme is likely valid

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Thank gosh somebody remembers the taboo subject once called “physical anthropology”.

Are colleges allowed to call it that anymore?

I only beg to differ on the Moslem slave trade- some 125 million dead or enslaved, vs 4.5 million alive to the Americas. Islam stole so many females and castrated so many males that it changed the ecological balance of Africa, along with the 2000 year Bantu Rampage. Some stupid Egyptian should have never sold Hittite iron spearheads to that small tribe called Bantu.
(Plus! 100 million more in India.)

Citizen of a Silly Country
Guest
Citizen of a Silly Country

Conservatives were cooked the minute that they accepted the Left’s recasting of “all men are created equal” to “all (people) are equal”. Once you acquiesce on that point, you have no ground to stand on. It’s just one long retreat. Once you accept that all people are equal, culture becomes the only explanation for individual and group differences. Conservatives would argue that differences in crime rates, education, income, etc. (both within the United States and among countries) was caused by differences in culture. Fix the culture and everyone would be just like us. The Left countered that racism (sexism would… Read more »

MemeWarVet
Guest
MemeWarVet

>>> “If there is no sense in which there is an eternal human nature, there cannot be eternal principles—certainly no self-evident truths—of political organization and action.” <<<

How in the f**k am I, or anyone else, supposed to apply that as a daily principle for living?

Coherent philosophies can be distilled down to statements one can live by (ie “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.). Buckley Conservatism never provided this, and never tried.

Exile
Guest
Exile

14 simple words > the entire corpus of conservative bullshit from Burke to Kirk the Lesser.

MemeWarVet
Guest
MemeWarVet

And when I discovered those 14 Words, they became the missing cornerstone of my political philosophy.

Ayatollah Rockandrollah
Member

Does anyone here really think an “intellectual” like Will or Buckley ever even read, say, Aristotle’s Politics? Or any serious text of political philosophy?

They stared at their Federalist Papers and pocket Constitutions for five decades while the country rotted beneath their feet. They were nothing more than well-read college freshmen all along.

Soon they all will be dead. Let the dead bury their dead; let him rest next to Harry Jaffa in eternity, names writ in water.

Marko
Guest
Marko

10 comments in and no George Will hate yet? I’ll start. He’s been wheeled out like a piece of furniture for longer than Nick Fuentes has been alive. His two poles are Ronald Reagan and the Cubs, and both fanbases deserve to be boxed up and sent to the Ayatollah. He will be buried by the Gen Xers as that guy who says “piffle” and made conservatism so uncool that America openly welcomed the party of Somali racists and drag queens.

AltitudeZero
Guest
AltitudeZero

Very nice invective, Will most certainly deserves that and more. Also, it should be pointed out that Buckley Conservatism was always more or less an alliance of convenience between people who had nothing much in common got up to defeat Soviet Communism, nothing more. This was indeed a worthy and important goal, but once it had done this, it served no further purpose, and should have been disbanded the day after the USSR fell. But of course, by that time, lots of people had jobs that depended on the continued existence of “Conservatism”, so the circus had to stay on… Read more »

Exile
Guest
Exile

George Will is a chinless ambulating erectile dysfunction with a bowtie where his foreskin used to be

Marko
Guest
Marko

Thanks for putting the image in my head of Will trying to get an erection

Vegetius
Guest
Vegetius

Folks used to throw tomatoes at guys like George Will.

Member

From those who have had personal observations say at airports and such, say he is a vile vulgar man. You know, fbombs galore.

Carl B.
Guest
Carl B.

Will was a Beta-Cuck before there were Beta-Cuck’s. The only thing Bow-Tie George and his ilk ever “conserved” was the DC power-elite’s status quo.

Member

George Will is about as adept at mental gymnastics as at physical ones.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

All right people, how come the Zman seems to wake up thinking about what I’m thinking about?

Any of you notice that? I will bet my bottom dollar many or most here are also waking up thinking on the same things.

Some kind of weird zeitgeist thingie.
I appreciate the excellent strategic thinkers, like Zman, Exile, or Saml Adams, guys with an overview of social maneuvers and who can express it in clear practical terms.

Me, I’m just an Indian, so I leave it to the chiefs.

(To our foreign guests, that’s from “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians”)

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Addendum: know what, I bet this mental alignment happens in most blogs or interest groups with a dedicated audience.

We are a marvelous mystery, are we not?
I learn something from every one here.

Sir Balin
Guest
Sir Balin

Very droll title. Pre 1960 descriptors of conservative vs radical have a completely different referent from modern politics. They were developed for use within all European societies. Bring in large foreign populations and politics takes on a completely different contour, as that Singaporean president notably stated. Politics devolves to tribalism. To argue madisonian vs burkean is as pointless as the arguments had among libertarians.

Yves Vannes
Member

Buckley Conservatism has done its job almost perfectly:

They corralled the innate group interests of whites with rules, arguments, documents and acceptable sensibilities. They’ve effectively bridled our nature with BS for decades.

They provided enough of a drag on the hydra-headed progressive monster to keep it from getting too out of control too early and forcing the awakening of a true opposition. They did this while still provoking the proggies toward their endless revolution.

The enemies of Western Civ would have never gotten as far as they have without Blackford Oakes and his gang. I’d say job well done.

Tucker
Guest
Tucker

Buckley Conservatism was always about Bill Buckley personally. He was a staunch Catholic, and Catholicism was at war with Communism. So Buckley supported the military-industrial complex to fight Communism. Small government could wait. Buckley wanted to get invited to the cocktail parties in mid-town Manhattan. The inner party didn’t like John Birchers, so Buckley had to break with the Birchers. Buckley wanted to be a TV star. His Sunday afternoon ghetto spot was on government-run PBS, which never bothered him enough to quit. Buckley had ties to Mexico via his father and the CIA. So he was in favor of… Read more »

AltitudeZero
Guest
AltitudeZero

His anti-Communism and his Catholicism were the best things about him. Unfortunately, for a guy founding a major political movement, this wasn’t enough.

UpYours
Guest
UpYours

Cuckley was about one thing only, winning the Cold War. That is it. Even the sainted Reagan was a graduate of the Cuckley school. For him, winning over the eeeevil Soviets took precedence over things like illegal immigrants, breakdown of marriage, 2A, etc. Reagan’s 1986 Amnesty killed CA and his no-fault divorce killed marriage. His asset forfeiture killed the 4A and 5A.

Calsdad
Guest
Calsdad

Is the rule against murder even a universal human principle? Seems like there is an awful lot of variation there as well. Our own society doesn’t seem to have a universal rule against murdering babies (as a for-instance). In fact if the reports are to be believed – they even cut them up and sell the body parts. I’ve also seen quite a few stories in recent months detailing the truth of Aztec society – and that it was full of massive amounts of human sacrifice, many of them children. Seems like convienience and religious beliefs – along with whatever… Read more »

Brad
Guest
Brad

“Is the rule against murder even a universal human principle?”

There was some talk of Hillary Clinton, on her retirement from politics, becoming an ordained Minister.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

Total crap that people are naturally “Nice” and on the macro scale have an aversion to murder. We have to be taught. I visited this Big Island North Shore heiau. Yes, it is drenched in palpable creepiness. 1,000’s of people were sacrificed at this site. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/hawaii/mookini-heiau-hi/ Calsdad…you brought up the Aztecs. The influence of Meso America spread shortly after 1,000 AD and the combination of “climate change” launching a long drought brought cultural chaos to the Southwest, including cannibalism and sacrifice to Utah-Hovenweap and Chaco and many other locations. https://www.amazon.com/House-Rain-Tracking-Civilization-Southwest/dp/0316067547/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=house+of+rain&qid=1568652735&s=books&sr=1-1 For many ancient cultures, this appears to be default position… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Cal; Prohibitions against murder, and all such near universal rules, (and there *are* more than a few) historically applied only to those *inside* your tribe: Known as ‘the real people’ or similar. For non-related outsiders, who were, by definition, *not* ‘real people’ there were very different rules, if there were any.* That’s the key distinction that many here are missing in these sort of discussions about human universals.** Again, before anthropology was pozzed, starting in the late ’60s, there was a sustained, respectable intellectual effort at looking for universal cultural traits from pre-poz ethnographies. Quite a long list was developed… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

“They won elections, but never won the resulting policy fights.” Because they were always sabotaged from the inside / never intended to win the fight. I graduated college in 1988 and was a diehard fan of Ronald Reagan. He really had done a lot to reform the federal government despite never having both Houses of Congress. But the future looked bright for conservatism – like they had won the debate. Then along comes HW Bush to undue everything, casually break the most emphatic campaign promise ever, and ensure that his brand of “conservatism” was viewed as nothing but a joke.… Read more »

Rcocean
Guest
Rcocean

HW Bush was another of those “Nice” Frauds, like Mitt Romney. Everyone talks about how “Nice” they were/are, and how they were men of substance and “honor”. Except they were/are both elitists with complete contempt for the Boobs (aka the average person) and willing to say ANYTHING to get elected. People forget that Bush not only Broke his “no new taxes” pledge – he was spotted running with a mocking “no new hips” t-shirt. He not only took a 1988 nomination away from a real conservative, by 1992, he wasn’t he sure he was interesting in running in 1992. The… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Most people commenting on blogs are simply expressing their emotional hindbrain reactions to something they saw or read there, and have little to no understanding or knowledge that renders them qualified to comment at all. What we are now finding out is that most of the professional journalism and punditry community is the same, freshman arguments, as mentioned above. Or as I think Ben Rhodes said, that the journalists he dealt with were 27 year olds that knew nuttin about nuttin. Looks like it was always that way, and to the extent these well paid professionals knew anything, they sold… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Fear not, things are going to happen fast now. GW Bush (with help from all the Repub minions) killed the Republicans by clearly showing that they stood for nothing at all, and it took eight years after his presidency to see it all come down. Trump arose from the vacuum. So Obama was the figurehead of the movement that killed the Democrats, Social Justice angrily imposed. It will take one more Trump term (God willing) to drive the final stake in the thing, as lefty anger and frustration play out to their end point. Then things really start to happen,… Read more »

dad29
Guest

In Siberia, where the people will have different natures

I don’t think that word—nature–means what you think it means.

TomA
Guest
TomA

I think you mean “earthy”, but if survival skill was an Olympic sport, Siberians would take home much gold.

Member
Bruce Galbreath

And the people even further north, the Eskimos, Inuit and Lapps demonstrated even more spectacular survival skills, but to what end? Hanging on in the most inhospitable environment was better than nothing, but who or what drove them there?

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Egads, dads29, “I do not think…” is the one quip that our host absolutely cannot stand.

Beware! Are you trying to get us all killed?!

The Right Doctor
Guest
The Right Doctor

Completely new motion. I spent the weekend in the belly of the beast, San Francisco, where the Whore of Babylon is drunk on the blood or our prophets. The occasion was the passing of an old friend of forty years’ duration. There were about a hundred people there, 80% of whom were good, close friends and co-conspirators (shenanigans, not crimes, at least not on purpose – well, the drugs were a crime) in that place mostly in the eighties. Those were our professional formative years, we went to each other’s weddings, etc, and we’ve kinda stayed in touch. I was… Read more »

King Tut
Guest
King Tut

““It will be underwater when the sea level rises.” How do you make enough money to live in a place like that while you are guided by completely irrational ideas?” It’s signalling that he is a loyal follower of the One True Faith that enabled him to earn that money.

Their beliefs are rewarded and ours are punished. That’s why we’re outnumbered.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

“How do you make enough money to live in a place like that while you are guided by completely irrational ideas?”

That’s got to be the question of the century.
How is it any of these boobs and lunatics are so stinking rich?

The Babe
Member
The Babe

It is strange how the word “conservatism,” which should hold its meaning because of its obvious root “conserve”, has been completely redefined and destroyed because of association with these pathetic people.

Sad to say, a more accurate name for our thing now would probably be simply survivalism.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Ooo. Grog like. Grog REALLY like.

Our natural audience is the tradesmen, the veterans, the hunters, the preppers, the guys and gals who do things with their hands.

Most are red-pilled as can be, and they are the nameless, the silent majority that make everything happen.

What is their sport, what do they call themselves?
Survivalists.

I am sensing a major alignment of interests here.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

(I include the abiding Christians, building quiet fortresses against a wicked world, as they have done for two millenia.

Muslims do the same with their mosque forts, but they’re Enemy. Not the same, and they have to go back.)

King Tut
Guest
King Tut

There used to be a standing joke about the British Conservative party (the Tories) that they were “Britain’s biggest marriage bureau”. It was a joke with more than a kernel of truth. Nobody joined the Tories for political reasons or to pursue and implement ideas. People joined the Tories because membership meant a social life and, often, a career path. They joined the Tories in the hope that they could get their daughter married off to a nice, up-and-coming, young stockbroker and an invitation to join the golf club. In other words, the British Conservative Party has never ever been… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I think you’ve bloody nailed it, old chap!

UpYours
Guest
UpYours

Of course, it is 100% true of the GOPee.

Jack Dobson
Guest
Jack Dobson

“This is, of course, a great example of what was always wrong with conservatism. It was never an intellectual movement. Just as Will can come to oppose what he formerly supported, swinging around to embrace yesterday’s radicalism as today’s eternal principle, conservatism was always ready to make the same journey. Buckley-style conservatism was never an intellectual movement, it was a pose or what Will prefers to call a sensibility. It was whatever fashion worked in the moment.” “Pose” really is the operative word here. Will and his sort never believed in much more than sitting at a ludicrous “Round Table”… Read more »

Larry
Guest
Larry

In other words, human nature does not lead to eternal principles.

But the eternal principle – God – led to human nature being created in the image of God and any politics that is attempted that leaves Him out is doomed to failure

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The Chinese have never had a God, and they’re still around. The Japanese have 8 million gods, but the closest they come to a Highest is goddess Amaterasu, the feminine Sun. Other peoples have different operating systems… and different gods. The Amerindians have no gods at all! Nothing with a face, nothing, despite the halfbreed’s myth of Earth Mother, Sky Father (no, they don’t believe that). Monotheism- the idea that their MUST be One above all- is your core. What we are taught is universal may not apply in this realm, the world of the Fallen. This is not saying… Read more »

Larry
Guest
Larry

Yes. But if a government legislates in opposition to the commandments of Christ – He is the King of Kings – it will lead innumerable souls to hell and not serve the common good. The hell unleashed by Decartes and Hobbes and Locke has resulted in an America that has positive laws n support of the Four Sins crying to Heaven for vengeance and we are reaping what we have sown Yes, there will be war and blood but no more than there has been since we were conceived in “Liberty” Locke is our Baby Daddy and his hallucination that… Read more »

imnobody00
Guest
imnobody00

Well, the thing is not as simple as you say. The religion of Chinese people is not Buddhism or Confucianism, which are elite religions. It’s Chinese popular religion, which has many gods and one Supreme God. Most polytheists religions have also a Supreme God, such as Hinduism, of which lesser gods are manifestations. This is similar to Christianity or Old Testament religion, where lesser gods are called “angels” or “demons”. Most tribes have also this belief (one Supreme God with lesser gods). Sometimes the Supreme God is forgotten and you have a pure polytheistic religion, such as Ancient Greece. See… Read more »

Hoyos
Guest
Hoyos

Before Christ my Celtic and Germanic ancestors were mired in something wretched that passed for “life”. Interminable wars and religious habits one would associate with darkest Africa. After Christ, they created the greatest civilization ever known. Except God builds the house, they labor in vain. No other religion addresses the head and the heart like Christianity, I’ve done my research and no other religion has stress tested it’s tenets as thoroughly and that’s a fact. It’s never going to land in a place like this but Christianity isn’t an addendum to anything, it’s not “precious cultural heritage”, it’s the point,… Read more »

Rogeru
Guest
Rogeru

“their movement never rose above the personal and the political. ” But isn’t this democratic politics? The quest for personal political power and/or the tearing down of your political rivals? Might the left not be the aberration, they are revolutionary after all? If this is the case, then conservatism would naturally be what is, ie conservative rather than revolutionary. Penitent Man describes conservatives as being in a grumbling, defensive crouch, which is what conserving is- defending. But, on a long enough time line, defenders always lose. Water erodes rock and revolutionaries erode societies. The war is lost, there’s not much… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Here’s what’s worth conserving: the Saudis, the f#%king Saudis!

After 18 years of 9-11 bullsh*t, today the news is that we must save our dear friends, our close allies, our beloved brothers!

Can you believe it? I mean, What The F?!?
THIS is staunch Murican conservatism?

Somebody here slipped in a comment about the Saudi king losing, and they were right on the money. Tip o’ the hat for the early warning.
Facepalms all around!

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

OMG. OMFG.
Twitter: they are singing “Rule Brittainia”, and waving a RAINBOW FLAG

Hendrick
Guest
Hendrick

George Will is an idiot but he’s no blank-slater. In that review, he’s quoted, “Civilization’s enemies attack civilization’s foundational idea the proposition that human nature is not infinitely plastic and therefore that people cannot be socialized to accept or do whatever those in charge of socialization desire.” Will’s problem is not blank-slate-ism. It’s a failure to recognize human biodiversity. He’s effectively a progressive mole: he doesn’t advance the readily disprovable blank slate proposition that most people intuitively understand is false. Instead, he claims there is a human nature but that it is universal. This justifies nation-building adventures and mass migration.… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Hendrick;
I’d say the more basic error is failure to except the depravity of mankind.

FaCubeItches
Guest
FaCubeItches

For as much as both parties now claim to worship the DOI, you’d figure there’d be at least some mention of the document that set the stage for it:

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/shots/arms.html

Oddly enough, there never is….

Rcocean
Guest
Rcocean

That’s the whole problem with Political Theology. What difference does it make, in the real world, whether George Will calls himself a Lockean, a Madison supporter, or an English Tory? All that matters is that in 2019, he pretends to be some sort of “Conservative” but supports the Liberal/Left and Democrats and wants them to win in 2020. Will may be an anti-intellectual, but there’s no evidence that ANY of this talk of Burke and the Federalist papers has ANY affect on who has power and what they do with it – in the USA of September 2019. And that’s… Read more »

RustBeltRevenge
Guest
RustBeltRevenge

57 year old. Reagan voter (once, never voted again except for Dukakis). Resident of the Rust Belt.

Scathing commentary. Insightful.

George Will, I remember him, as I’m sure ZMan does, on the Sunday morning talk shows. Bow-tied, pretentious.. Will’s role was to serve up Reagan conservatism as an expensive dinner in a posh part of town. Not a lot of conservatives liked Will, or even knew who he was. Honestly, he could argue conservative positions very well, but he was limited by the boundaries of conservative thought; which – apparently – he wasn’t thoughtful enough to escape.

david
Guest
david

Too much effort is put into explaining the Left’s strategies. Its simple. The Left has risen hundreds of times in different societies. Leftism is the result of prosperity. Prosperity means more weak and genetically unfit people will reproduce. Prosperity also means women will gain access to positions of power. Both of these criteria signify emotional, unintelligent, illogical bias to decision making in society. Women and low IQ, weak men always vote for a welfare state and once they taste its sweet nectar, anyone who wants to take it away is the enemy. Politicians see the easy votes and begin dumbing… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

David;
Much truth in what you say. As the classic formulation holds:
– Bad times make hard men.
– Hard men make good times.
– Good times make soft men.
– Soft men make bad times.

See, there really *are* human universals 😉

Hoyos
Guest
Hoyos

See, that’s something I see everywhere but don’t really believe in. Times are hard as hell, and the men are hard as hell in places like Dagestan or the CAR. These hard men create basically no good times. I mean that “bad times create hard men” saying is true-ish, but there are men who are hard as diamonds and they mostly use that strength to aggrandize themselves until they slow down enough for the inevitable even tougher guy to take them down.

sirlancelot
Guest
sirlancelot

I remember “William F Buckley” from public television. Always struck me as just some elitist bore. Even at a young age it was easy to tell he was just some overpaid gas bag. For many decades ( at least for us ) the white , Christian , European neighborhoods worked very well. Sure you might joke when one of your Irish friends married an Italian as a ” mixed marriage ” , but for the most part we all behaved ourselves and got along pretty well. Then the Liberals from across the river insisted we take on the savages from… Read more »