A popular topic in dissident circles is the failure of the so-called conservatives to do anything to halt the advance of the Left. The way the conversation goes is to start with some event, the “conservative case for some lefty idea” and then move to mocking a particular conservative, who exemplifies the type. This can go the other way, as well, if the latest surrender is being led by a clown nose like David French of Kevin Williamson, two men who have become the face of modern cuckery.
There is an assumption among dissidents that these types know full well that they are just props for their Progressive handlers. They are aware of the truth, but choose to lie for a living, as it pays better than being honest. While this may be true with hucksters like French or an oleaginous grifter like Dinesh D’Souza, it is not so obvious with the bulk of the conservative believers. They see themselves as an authentic opposition to the Left and they think it is an effective opposition.
Here is a typical example from American Conservative of the sort of material popular with the normie conservative. It’s the standard rant against identity politics and multiculturalism that avoids anything dangerous. Right off the bat, the subhead gives the game away. It is going to be the conservative case for democracy, an idea conservatives have opposed since forever. It’s also un-American. The Founders were quite explicit and very public in their opposition to democracy.
Now, putting that aside, the writer gets going with the claim that “a healthy democracy demands that voters resist voting out of personal advancement. Your vote should be determined by what is best for the nation, not what is best for you.” In other words, the functioning democracy, not even an ideal one, is one where the members are ready to sacrifice themselves and their interests for the greater good. Presumably, there would be strong moral prohibitions against appeals to individual interests.
A normal man could be forgiven for wondering if this is a post about membership in a suicide cult, rather than a human society. This definition of democracy can only lead to a piety spiral, where citizens prove their virtue through self-abnegation. If the greatest good is sacrifice to the whole, then the normal human desire for status is going to lead to extreme public acts of piety. Since the most one can give of themselves is their life, the ultimate act of sacrifice to democracy would be suicide.
In addition to being insane, this definition of democracy is wrong. The Greeks certainly understood that the citizen’s relationship with his polis was reciprocal. We know this from Plato and Aristotle. The reason Athenian democracy could work was the individual gained something from his inclusion in the polis and, in turn, the polis got something from his participation. The Greeks were not lunatics forming a cult. As a result, they also limited the vote to Athenian males. You had to be born into the polis.
Later, he claims, “Multiculturalist ideology and identity politics have corrupted the way we understand participatory democracy.” A few paragraphs later he writes, “Any serious thinker knows that having a society that isn’t multicultural is an impossibility…” The reader might miss this obvious contradiction, as these statements are separated by a few paragraphs, but the writer should see the error. If a democracy must be multicultural, then multiculturalism is a necessary element.
The thing is, the general tone of the post suggests the writer is oblivious to this contradiction. Instead, he looks at the inevitable result of multiculturalism, which is social conflict and eventually violence, as the result of the bad people he calls Marxists, who subvert the system in some way. These Marxist, presumably, convince the citizens to be selfish individualists. Ironically, the assertion here is Marx and Marxists were suffering from false consciousness. They were not collectivists after all!
Toward the end of the piece, we get this gem. “Oddly, identity politics and multiculturalism are similar to Randian objectivism—they reinvent the political field as a means of advancing self-interest.” While it is amusing to see libertarians and cultural Marxists at the same trough, that’s not the intent here. The implication is that any politics that places the individual or his group at the top is inauthentic. True politics is the complete elimination of the individual and group identity.
Putting aside that this sounds like a suicide cult, the obvious problem here is that the total devotion to the democracy is a form of identity politics. The members of such a society would be warranted, maybe even required, for example, to go over to another society and murder all of those people. After all, to be outside the democracy is to be opposed to it, as anything but total immersion in the democracy is immoral. A smart man would then wonder if this is why democracy tends to be aggressive.
What’s going on here is the writer, like most conservatives, is desperately trying to reconcile a grab bag of principles that have been handed to him by the Left. He wants to believe democracy is wonderful. He wants to believe multiculturalism is the natural way of mankind. He believes all people are equal and infinitely malleable. Therefore, the only way to reconcile these “truths” is a form of politics that eliminates all individual and group identity. Everything that makes us human must be sacrificed.
Not only is this monstrous, it is an affirmation of the core of radicalism. This is the argument Progressives make on a daily basis. It is what justifies their war on anyone that opposes them. They feel completely justified in destroying the lives of those who disagree with them, because dissent is to put something before the whole. Just as the virtuous must fully submit themselves to the democracy, they must also sacrifice anyone who dissents. Democracy demands your total commitment.
The writer of that American Conservative piece does not follow his own logic nor can he, because he believes the same things the Left believes. That is and always has been the problem with the so-called conservatives. Their starting point is the same as the people they claim to oppose. They embrace the same universalism, the same egalitarianism and the same worship of democracy. From the beginning, American conservatism was about accommodation. It was wrong from the start.
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