The following article appeared on america.org by Brett Stevens
The post Eternal September internet revealed its true purpose as memetic churn: it funnels the antagonism of our world’s basement NEETs, daytime TV watchers, retirees, apartment-bound disability recipients, bored cubicle slaves and welfare nodules into an emotional amplifier. People post concerns in simple catchy forms and the crowd rages with a new fire.
Everything has a weakness and a strength, and the two are usually the converse of one another. The internet echo chamber does a good job of putting its finger on the fears of modern people, and a terrible job at coming up with solutions, since what matters above and beyond all else is that its “solutions” be memetic. That means: simple, engaging, and emotionally satisfying.
Real life is different from how most people experience emotions: emotional satisfaction comes at the end of accomplishment. The farmer lighting his pipe, looking over the freshly-plowed fields, and thinking how proud and pleased he is; the artist looking over his creations, having finally spoken his muse. But on the internet, emotional satisfaction is what makes the crowd buzz, and it comes from the untested thoughts that seem to beat back those fears.
On Amerika the blog, I and other writers have taken a radical perspective: that conservatism is the root of all sane thinking about how to make society, and that our retreat from it has created “Amerika” the society: a Soviet-style system where a single path to success exists, and that is through using the ideology of the Crowd to please others and thus be selected as the most capable. All of our incompetent elites got ahead this way.
Conservatism takes another perspective. For method it chooses consequentialism, or results mattering more than methods, which includes the idea that performance comes after reward, which is the inversion of socialism. For goals it chooses a transcendental outlook, or the notion that we should aim for the best in all things, using consequentialism to figure out what works but then choosing what achieves excellence over the merely adequate.
Already this blog post is too complex for at least ninety-nine out of one hundred people on the internet. It will never achieve memetic status because it is both too complex and not emotionally satisfying. Over the wires, or in a crowd, it will be shouted down and replaced with an ikon of a cute bunny screaming SIEG HEIL.
But what people need to know is this: conservatism is the most extreme “ideology” of them all, mainly because it is not an ideology — a way around reality, based in what we wish were true instead of what is — but a look at Reality as our guiding force. Conservatism is extremist common sense. We are a species like any other; we must adapt to our environment; if giving choices between a good, better and best option, choose the best!
What has happened (as usual) is that humans cannot distinguish between essence and instance. The essence of conservatism is an idea; the instance is any person, group or product (books, movies, blogs) that claims to be conservative. The instance does not change the essence. It is the other way around: the essence determines what the instance should be.
And yet… our “conservatives” seem very far from any meaningful definition of conservative. “Conservatism has failed!” wails the internet hype machine. Or is it that our conservatives are simply not conservative, which means by definition that they are liberal, and that their failure is part of the vast decay of society through liberalism?
By Occam’s Razor and any other meaningful analysis, that explanation makes a lot more sense.
Most people do not realize that conservatism exists only because liberalism exists. Before liberalism, all was shades of conservatism, which has plenty of internal texture and variation. After the French Revolution, conservatives were those who arose to preserve the best of what had come before, in anticipation that — as de Tocqueville and others analyzed — the Great Liberal Experiment would collapse.
As lore has it, the conservatives sat on the Right and the revolutionaries on the Left in the French National Assembly. Thus Leftists and Rightists were born, with Rightists including both socially-acceptable conservatives and what I call “primal conservatives” who hung on to their aristocratic, manorial and tribal traditions. “Liberals” were the conservatives who believed in a slow retreat through libertarianism.
In the current day, a steady leftward shift has left us with a social outlook that demonizes most true conservative positions. Remember, to find a conservative position, you look at (1) results and (2) what produces the best results.
This gives us the four pillars of any sensible conservatism:
- Nationalism. Internationalism produces cosmopolitan port cities that seem endearing at first until one realizes that they are filthy, venal, corrupt places with no culture and no purpose in life except mercantile exchange with consumers. Nationalism works and makes happy nations because they rule themselves with culture and not government, police and propaganda (media). Conservatives are more extreme than Hitler on this, but refuse to endorse his violent solutions for other reasons, namely that injustice and cruelty beget more of the same and thus produce bad results without need.
- Aristocracy. Most people are stupid monkeys who have no idea of what they need versus what they want. The only solution is to put our smartest people — who are one in a hundred — in charge, because otherwise, we have oppression by the stupidest. If we are going to have oppression, let it at least be competent! Aristocracy includes monarchism, a network of lesser aristocrats who are more like a Greek college than a social club, manorialism and a caste system, and a total abolishment of the State and its nit-picking rules.
- Capitalism. Sometimes you get a good, better and best choice, and sometimes you merely get a choice between bad and worse. Is capitalism bad? It depends how it is implemented; when balanced by the forces above capitalism works out well, but in the hand of low-caste merchants it turns into a third world style bazaar (the USA is merely a highly organized, corporate version of this). But every alternative to capitalism is a straight plunge into pure dysfunction, and socialism, government-protected unions and welfare states are proven parasite magnets.
- A transcendental goal. In addition to the general ideal of transcendentalism in conservatism, every civilization needs a transcendental goal, or some aspiration to the purest things — the good, the beautiful and the true; excellence; divinity — in life, which means they are never tangible but can be attributes of things. You cannot hold an excellent in your hand, and no accomplishment is ever a definition of excellence, but the best choices can be said to be excellent, and those are the ones worth fighting for.
Our civilization is in decline. A thousand years ago, the above were recognized as common sense on the level of “do not defecate in your soup before eating.” Then again, the people who had to understand them were the top 1% of society by inner excellence, meaning intelligence and moral character. The herd has never understood anything and never will because it is biologically incapable of doing so.
Are the above fascist or Soviet? No: they are more extreme than fascism, and are honest methods unlike the Soviet approach which is to demand unrealistic ideals so that everyone must fall in line to obey the parasite State, which derives its power from having bought off the proles and thus harnessed The Revolution as a means to permanent tyranny. Fascism and National Socialism are degraded conservatism — hybridized with liberalism — just like libertarianism, neoconservatism and tankinis.
The common tropes of the nu-internet are that conservatism is dead and nationalism has taken over, or that conservatism is inferior to traditionalism. These are just posing. Nationalism and traditionalsm are subsets of the conservative idea. The point we must focus on is that if we remove the Leftist ideology, we are left with common sense, and from that flow all of the possibilities for good. Without it, we are left (heh heh) on the path to decline and fall.
The above article very well summarizes the current decay in American society and there seems to be no way back due to loss of traditional value system. Every boundary carefully assembled by years of empirical experience during the ascendency of civilization is erased just for the sake of breaking traditions.
Back in India, you can see these assaults on traditions as well. Media has hardly highlighted NIT Srinagar issue as well as all the so called intelligentsia is absent from discussion because nationalism is a parochial idea and needs to be disposed off. The less said about the transcendental goals the better. Using the brute force of Supreme Court regular assaults are waged against Hindu traditions. Shani Temple, Sabrimala or Jallikattu are just few examples and the list is getting longer each day. The only question that remains to be answered- can India avoid the decay faced by the current West by making better choices?