Imagine you are in a room with six sides and each wall has a door. If you leave the room through one of the doors, you end up in another six-sided room with doors. Assuming no obstacle, you can move in a straight line in any of six directions. If there obstacles, then things gets more complex. Anyone old enough to remember the Avalon Hill war games from the 70’s will be familiar with this concept. The idea was to simulate the 360-degree movement of the real world, but with segmented game space.
Now, imagine yourself in that first room and let’s assume it is filled with sights, sounds, smells and all sorts of other things that you can experience with your senses. So much so, in fact that you can’t quite experience and remember all of them. You spend as much time as you want, studying as much of the room as possible, before moving to the next room. Let’s say you master 80% of what there is to master. Then you move onto the next room to experience whatever lies within.
Here’s the thing though. You can only remember so much before the memory begins to fade and you forget some things. When you get into the new space, you have new stuff to process and organize in your head. Making room for the new stuff means forgetting some of the old stuff. Let’s say you forget a third of what you tried to remember of the first room by the time you get to the 80% point in the new room. Your head now contains 66% of 80% of the first room and 80% of the second room. You can do the math. I’ll wait.
If you move into the third room, you forget even more of the first room. You can see where this is headed. Keep moving from room to room and before long you only have vague recollections of what happened in the first rooms where you started. Even if you write stuff down you’re recollections are bound to get out of whack. When it comes to why you picked one door over another or what you were thinking at the time, well, your memory will be clouded by the present. It’s called recency bias.
Now, instead of you moving from room to room, imagine it is generations of men. The first generation operates in the first room. The next generation moves onto the second room, taking with them as much as they can recall being taught to them by the first generation. Then the third generation moves onto its phase of existence, having only second hand memories of their grandparent’s age. It does not take but a few generations before the people in the present are thoroughly detached from their ancestors. All they have are recollections of recollections.
That’s where the modern conservative finds himself in this age of turmoil. I was listening to someone on the radio the other day, lamenting the fact that no matter what happens in the election, the “conservative movement” is mortally wounded. The Trump insurgency has forever marginalized those rock-ribbed conservatives and their dreams of managerial technocracy. They did not put it that way, but that was the flavor of it. The person saying this clearly had no recollection of where the Right started or the road it had taken to end up at what some think is its terminus.
The fact is, Official Conservatism is so far from where it started, it is a crime against the language to call it “conservative.” The traditional American Right was always an individual liberty cause, which starts and ends with freedom of association. Everything that can be “conservative” rests on the basic idea that you have a basic right to associate with whom you like, when you like, on the terms you like. No one on the modern Right has talked about that in so long it is now forbidden knowledge.
The people writing at the big foot conservative publications never think about such things. Most of them came into the world of political ideology thinking that conservatism was about cutting taxes and losing wars of choice. The geezers came along when conservatism was focused on fighting the Russians and trying to figure out how to get around Roe in order to curtail abortion. The neocons are pretty much just hyper-violent globalists with a bizarre grudge against the Russians.
It’s why Trump’s talk about law and order, for example, sounds so alien and weird to the modern right-winger. To their ears, it almost sounds like Trump is hostile to government, which is crazy talk on the Right these days. That’s because the modern conservative is so far removed from the time when conservatism stood for ordered liberty that it is no longer even a recollection of a recollection. It is no longer part of their mental landscape so it falls outside their definition of conservative.
One can go on forever about the wrong turns the Right has made over the decades. Lord knows I’ve written enough on the topic. None of which really matters all that much, as the modern Right is where it is, in this time, a time when it no longer has anything to offer those outside the statist ideology of modern globalism. The alternative to post-national managerialism cannot be a different version of post-national managerialism. That’s why people, particularly young people, are turning their back on it, heading off to other rooms.