Monday, June 03, 2013

Sydney Traditionalist Forum update

The Sydney Traditionalist Forum is continuing its good work. In April it held a documentary screening with Senator Cory Bernardi as the guest of honour. There is a report on the evening's events at the Sydney Trads website. I particularly liked this opening comment from the Convenor:
The Convenor opened proceedings by noting the apparent crisis of conservative politics in the Anglosphere. “Conservative seem to be always on the defensive” he said, and that “the best we can apparently expect from our leaders is a compromise with the Left.” He noted how this does not lead to a viable alternative to the mainstream’s liberal politics. “What this amounts to is a form of incremental triumph, over time, for the Left. All we have to do is look at other supposedly conservative parties of the mainstream to see where this will lead. The prominence of the John McCains, David Camerons and Malcolm Turnbulls within major non-left parties suggests there is a crisis of faith among the conservative mainstream.”

The Convenor then said that if conservatives want to address this problem, we need to openly and energetically analyse what it is to be a conservative in the first place. “If conservatism is simply the ‘praxis of preservation’, or merely preserving the status quo, then such a definition would mean that a conservative living in Soviet Russia in the 50’s would have to be a communist. Obviously this is a nonsense. There is more to conservatism than just preserving what we have, especially if there is a great deal around us that we may not wish to see preserved at all.

From Senator Bernardi:
He discussed the importance of building a strong community-based grassroots movement while also avoiding the stifling effects of personality based politics. Senator Bernardi emphasized that genuine conservative activism is principled activism, and indicated that for too long conservatives have been too accommodating to the demands of the unscrupulous left. Due to the inroads that leftist politics has made in popular culture over the last several decades, Senator Bernardi mused that “in a way, we are the radicals of today”. Although a great deal of cultural capital has been lost, “we should always have faith in the truth of our position

There's also a report at the Sydney Trads site of a more recent meeting of a Conservative Cave group.


  1. You might be interested in this article:

  2. Thursday,

    Interesting link - it shows how things develop from small circles of people into a larger movement.

    It shows too the idealism of the early libertarian movement. They weren't acting from an angry nihilism.

    But I couldn't help but notice the faulty concept of solidarity. It reinforces to me how important it is to get solidarity right. This is the libertarian version:

    Libertarianism is...the ideal of a world...of mutual cooperation through voluntary activities in free markets.

    That's been an influential idea. It encourages the confusion between society and economy, i.e. that our relationships are primarily economic ones; that our social fulfilment comes through career; and that not to participate in the market is to be denied the key good in life.

    It encourages as an ideal a country as a teeming marketplace open to everyone - as this is what is held to define the ultimate goods of human freedom and fraternity.

    It's not the traditionalist vision of solidarity, as we emphasise forms of connectedness that are not always voluntary (they can be inherited or biological) and not usually economic (they have to do with identity, family, culture and so on).

  3. I wasn't that interested in Rothbard's or anyone else's libertarian ideas.

  4. I think with the current ecology of idea development that the model no longer holds as stably as is laid out there.

  5. Thank you to OzConservative for reporting on our event with Senator Bernardi and the "Third Face-to-Face Meeting" of the Conservative Cave.

    Just a correction, the first like you provide is to the Conservative Cave meeting, not to the report on the function with Senator Barnardi. The report on the Bernardi function can be found here.