A Basic Guide to Liberalism and Conservatism, Part I

We could use a catechism of liberalism and conservatism (i.e., anti-liberalism.) Young people won’t know about reality unless someone teaches them. They may sense it, but they won’t know it unless someone teaches them.

 Part I:  Introduction

Liberalism is the deliberate violation of the laws of God,
the laws of nature,and human tradition. If this blasphemy excites you, you’re a liberal.
If it disgusts you, you’re a normal person.

Everybody knows something’s wrong with the world. As Christians, we know that the ultimate malady is sin, but sin manifests itself in countless ways. We need a more tangible and organized explanation.

A big part of the current problem is liberalism. It’s everywhere, it’s dominant, and it’s perverted. So we all need to defend ourselves against it.

That word “liberalism” is the usual name for the way of thinking that now rules Western civilization, America included. It’s more than just fashionable opinion; liberalism is an organized system. Its ideas are mostly consistent with one another, so they work together like a well-trained sports team. And there are countless organizations which teach liberalism and enforce its morality. Liberalism rules the West, so the people mostly believe it. And even if they don’t believe it, they usually go along with it. Continue reading

Propaganda of the Deed Works Again!

Nineteenth-century anarchism gave us the idea of “propaganda of the deed.”  This refers to the use of outrages and atrocities to bring a political movement or event into public awareness, operating on the principle that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, on June 28, 1914, was an example of “propaganda of the deed,” since the aim of Gavrilo Princep was to get people talking about the cause of Serbian independence.  As the French socialist Paul Brousse explained: Continue reading

Social Order is Prior to Liberty

Liberty is a subsidiary factor of social life; it is a derivative feature of social order, but not its source; for, social order by definition consists in constraints upon individual acts, whether through custom, or taboo, or scapegoating, or law. Social order then is the source and basis of such liberty as may be, and not vice versa.

Where there is no social order, there is no freedom to do anything but fight. This is that hypothetical State of Nature cherished analytically by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, either to disparage or valorize it. But notice that it never really happened, nor could it: man has always been a social animal, and cannot be otherwise. The most basic jot of society – i.e., sex – consists in constraints upon individual liberty; for, sex is either a mutual agreement to accept the constraints of duty to a lover, or else by rape an utter and complete constraint upon some other. Whether these constraints arise from within the social agent as the voice of his conscience, or from without as the voices of others urging him to this or that, is neither here nor there.

The zero of social order then is the zero of sex, ergo of man.

The true state of nature for man is a state of highly evolved and definite social order. His freedom of action, then, has always been constrained by social order; and that social order is in fact the basis of his freedom to opt for anything other than combat.

Continue reading

Storm Clouds Over the Brazos

A commenter recently cautioned that I had doxed myself. I appreciate his concern, but have always been knowingly reckless in maintaining my anonymity. My username matches the name on my birth certificate, and anyone who combs through my posts will discover that I am an academic geographer at a large public university in central Texas. With this information and a couple of keystrokes, anyone who is so minded can admire my photograph, peruse my curriculum vita, or tap out an e-mail with my address in the line labeled “To”. Continue reading

Deconstruction for Me but Not for Thee

I recently dragged the concept of “homonationalism” into the Orthosphere, feeling rather like a cat that proudly deposits a mangled meadow vole or titmouse on the hearthrug of its owner. Homonationalism, you will recall, is the proposition that Western societies are nice to homosexuals because this allows them to be nasty to Muslims. It was the theme of a conference hosted by the philosophy department at my university (and as no counter-conference was staged in the football stadium, we must suppose that homonationalism is a proposition with which the university administration substantially concurs). Continue reading

Knowledge is Sanity

If there be Truth, then might we know it. So then might there be also such a thing as falsehood – as, i.e., failing to understand and agree with Truth: to know it. No Truth, no possibility of falsehood or error. All human cognition then presupposes that there is indeed Truth; for all of it proceeds according to decisions, to operations of assent or dissent, yes or no to this or that notion. All of it works to ascertain whether propositions are true, or are not. If there be no Truth, this operation cannot but be chaotic noise, through and through; noise, NB, that cannot coherently asseverate its own noisiness.

You can’t believe that you’ve erred unless you believe that you might have done otherwise. To think anything at all, then, is implicitly to presuppose the existence of the Truth.

Continue reading

Thugs in the Banyan Groves of Academe

As everyone knows, the original Thugs were members of a murderous Hindu cult that was devoted to the goddess Kali, and that preyed upon parties of travelers whom they would at first befriend, and then betray in some lonely spot by the brutal rite of thuggee.  It appears that some similar scourge is now haunting the banyan groves of academe, if the Thug Warnings recently issued by our panjandrums are to be taken seriously.  Continue reading

Not a Snowflake, but a Hero

A sensible reactionary is forever on guard against the hazard of becoming merely reactionary, by which I mean ordering his loyalties and affections simply as the mirror opposite of the loyalties and affections of the stereotypical progressive Leftist.  We see such mere reaction at work in the man who drives a gas-guzzling monster truck because progressive leftists extoll tiny hybrids and scooters.  We see it at work in the man who eats monterey jack cheese because he has heard that progressive Leftists delight in stilton and brie. Continue reading

A Basic Paradox

To be a person, to belong to a community, one must imitate and assimilate.  To be a person, and not to belong to the crowd, one must resist imitation and assimilation.  One must accept being the “minus one” in “unanimity minus one.”  Yet, as the behavior of the Apostles testifies, this is the hardest thing to do.