Saturday, November 16, 2019

The gatekeepers of the failed right

Back in 1998 the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre wrote:
Contemporary debates within modern political systems are almost exclusively between conservative liberals, liberal liberals, and radical liberals. There is little place in such political systems for the criticism of the system itself, that is, for putting liberalism in question.

This explains why society has drifted in an ever more liberal direction. Those who have called themselves "conservatives" have actually been right-wing liberals who believe in little more than individualism & the free market - a philosophy that is dissolving of tradition rather than supportive of it.

We are at an interesting moment in political history when this framework is beginning to be challenged. Some younger members of the right are no longer willing to go along with a philosophy they see as dissolving their identity; on the other hand there is a well-funded movement that aims to exclude from the right anyone who is not a right-liberal of some sort (i.e. classical liberal / libertarian).

I want to take a quick look in this post at some of the ideas that the right-liberal gatekeepers are promulgating - because I think it demonstrates clearly just how radically dissolving of society these ideas are.

Charlie Kirk, for instance, gave a speech in which he said he loved some of the places in America, like the Grand Canyon, but that,
...if all that disappeared and all I had was ideas and we were on an island...that's America...people have to remember that America is just a placeholder for timeless ideas and if you fall too much in love with the specific place, that's not what it is...

If this were true then anyone, anywhere could be just as "American," or perhaps more so, than actual Americans. Kirk, then, is not conserving a real entity, i.e. a people & place, but at most an idea - one which can be realised anywhere by anyone.

Moreover, this idea (or "proposition") is usually defined as something which is itself highly dissolving. Barack Obama expressed it during his 2011 State of the Union address as follows:
We are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea—the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.

Sounds nice, but if that is it, then why not have open borders so that everyone who wants to can participate in shaping their own destiny? There is nothing to delineate a real historic people in this formulation - the nation is just a large conglomerate of people doing their own thing. There is nothing to connect them meaningfully, apart from a shared commitment to doing their own thing - and anyone from anywhere can do this.

Dan Crenshaw, a Texan Congressman, is another to reject the idea of a real community in favour of a radical individualism. He said,
Speaking to those reptilian brains, which go back for thousands of years of human history, where identity politics actually matters. But it doesn't. The Western Enlightenment told us it doesn't, individualism is what matters.

According to Crenshaw, having a communal identity is something which should be made not to matter. We should instead just see ourselves as individuals. Again, this is a radically dissolving philosophy rather than one which conserves real, historic communities.

Where do such ideas lead establishment "conservatives"? Here is what a writer for National Review (and a TV personality for Fox News) believes about immigration:

Now, here's the thing. If Kat Timpf is allowed to represent the side of politics that is supposed to conserve the nation, how is that going to turn out? Obviously, not much in the way of conserving an existing people or nation is going to take place.

My hope, therefore, is that Charlie Kirk and the TPUSA, in spite of their funding, do not succeed as gatekeepers in limiting the right to forms of right-liberalism. I support the gatecrashers. I particularly support those who have correctly observed that the current establishment right does not actually conserve, but that all too often it is part of the process of dissolving peoples & identities.


  1. Was wondering if you were going to comment on the Groyper war.

    This tweet from one of Ben Shapiro's money men was instructive:

    1. Thanks, that's brilliant. Co-founder of Daily Wire, Jeremy Boreing, says openly (about the gatecrashers): "What these retrograde losers don't understand is that what American conservatives want to conserve is American liberalism."

      That's what the meaning of "conservatism" has been reduced to - conserving classical liberalism.

  2. The debate would be another animal if right-liberals explicitly condemned identity politics by so-called minorities, and advocated Singaporean-style values tests.

    But they aren't even willing to accommodate that, lest they lose access to media from the Woke left-liberal gatekeepers.

    Another aspect which the Right should consider is the occasional tolerance that Conservatism Inc gives towards anti-Islam sentiments. The establishment has never done anything to stop Muslim immigration, and never will in its current form. Being able to condemn Islam (using liberal standards) is more about bolstering the flagging support for endless wars.

    So a good triangulation would be to condemn Kirk for his "unprincipled exception", and enjoy the hilarity of his being forced to dig up "Muslim Zionists"

    1. Being able to condemn Islam (using liberal standards) is more about bolstering the flagging support for endless wars.

      The "conservative" view of Islam is that Muslims in western countries are wonderful law-abiding people and an incredible asset to those western countries. But Muslims in Muslim countries are totally evil and should be bombed into oblivion and slaughtered on an industrial scale - men, women and children.