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Abandoning the “Conservative” Fairy Tale

An Election Year New Year’s Resolution

James Cantrell POSTED: 12/31/11

( Our age is one defined by unrelenting opposition not merely to historic orthodox Christianity and its morals but also to the vestiges of the common sense born of and nurtured by Western Christian Civilization that have survived tenuously. We live in the final stages of an age of Revolution, a revolution against Christendom and all cultural and moral values that either were necessary to its rise or were its product. As my academic training is in literature, 20th century fiction most specifically, I naturally think that the best way to highlight where things stand is to say that we are in roughly the same position as Tolkien's Middle Earth with Sauron and Saruman unleashing their orcs for the planned final destruction.

One thing that most revolutionaries ken in their guts even if they lack the mental acuity to grasp intellectually is that people tend to be conservative. By that I do not mean that people tend to be against the regicide that marked the second stage of this revolution (the first was the Reformation). Nor do I mean that people tend to vote for political parties in Modern secular democracies that are to the right of the center of that nation's acceptable political alternatives. Rather, I mean that people tend to want to conserve whatever it is they find to be normative in their world.

That is the reason the cultural effects of even the most vicious revolutions, say the Anglo-Saxon Puritan and French, are preserved almost totally even when the specific revolution is tossed aside, its leaders humiliated if not punished. The English might have tired of the rule of Puritans and been willing to boot them from all significant power, but their conservative instincts led them to want to maintain the cultural effects of that successful revolution. After all, if the cultural effects of the Puritan Revolution were completely overturned, would that not spur many folks to demand to undo the entire Anglican revolution?

Political Puritanism was rendered impotent, but secularized cultural Puritanism not only survived but continued to mold the future of the English and the colonies they planted.

An old saw among culturally and morally conservative Southerners, one that also could be heard from old fashioned culturally and morally conservative Catholics living in other regions, is that the Republican Party, which began as and has never stopped being the party of the Yankee WASP elites, never conserved anything but the wealth and power of its movers and shakers.

The easy path for any political party in a democracy is to preserve yesterday's revolution. That is so because people tend to want to conserve at least last year's revolution as the known, 'safe' path. In practical terms, the Republican Party serves its own wealth by giving lip service to opposition to America's leftist revolutions while acting to conserve all but the most obviously horrible products of those revolutions. To actually oppose those revolutions, to strive to turn back their tide, would be to risk losing everything, perhaps becoming pariah in the new America that purports to tolerate everyone and everything.

That explains why so many seemingly genuinely conservative Republicans assert that they are opposed to abortion on demand but feel that they must obey the rule of law and accept it. It also explains why so many Catholics take that same stand. They are acting to herd with their fellow citizens, which means they are acting to conserve a revolution completed at some earlier time that is anti-Catholic at its core. And those Catholics invariably see themselves as anything but revolutionaries. In fact, their conservative instincts lead them to work – sometimes to work furiously and even ruthlessly – against those, Catholics as well as Protestants, who recognize that unless the Revolution is overturned, all become slaves to it.

There is no salvation, not even any real hope for true path correction, from political parties in a democracy.

If there is no hope for democratic politics because it is beholden to the masses which tend to demand to conserve most parts of the revolutions from last year and last month, then the only viable answer is the Church. But there we see the same problem. Vatican II has two principal ideas entwining: (1) the overwhelming desire for peace, peace among religions as well as nations, in the wake of two world wars, which peace would be achieved by ending all harsh talk and softening claims of being correct (we can label that post-World War II naïve Liberalism) and (2) a recognition that the Reformation had won, even in lands with majority Catholic populations, which meant that some bishops and most young 'experts' wanted to have the Church act to preserve that revolution's 'successes,' co-opting them.

The two ideas – peace at the cost of all but denying differences and a desire to conserve the successful revolution in order to stave off any new revolution – worked beautifully together to keep the revolution moving onward. The exuberant proponents of the 'Spirit of Vatican II,' being revolutionaries to the core, wasted no time in cramming their vision down everyone's throat. They understood in their guts that if they hesitated they would be exposed and rather easily refuted and rejected. They also knew that once they had enacted revolutionary changes, the masses, rather quickly, would accept them and even come to defend them in order to prevent any more revolution.

Plato faced a similar problem. Fifth Century BC Athens, having led the defeat of the Persian Empire, was overrun with bright men on the make, many of them cultural revolutionaries, many of them with non-Greek or partial Greek ancestry, and most of them acting to alter the society through its democracy and its international trading economy. The Athenian conservatives, best represented in literary terms by Old Comedy playwright Aristophanes, tended to see the matter simplistically, which meant both that they inclined to act to conserve the results of previous revolutions and to equate those like Socrates who would refute the wild-eyed revolutionaries with the revolutionaries. Plato's dialogues are the masterful attempts to steer Athenians to re-perceive their world, focusing on eternal verities rather than malleable laws of various regimes and practices of various city states and empires, so that they would no longer get things so backward, so that they would understand that conserving that which was wrong in the first place – wrong as an Idea – would continue to produce ever more rotten and poisonous fruits.

Plato understood that both the Sophists and the Athenian conservatives were wrong, in a symbiotic embrace. The conservatives were attempting to preserve what they felt were the best cultural practices and policies of Athens in its democratic age, which arose after it had embraced, some centuries earlier, a sexual revolution from the Levant, adopted religiously with the importation of Dionysius into the Greek pantheon. A sexual revolution is always a religious revolution because it must destroy the traditional family and its morality in order to succeed. That, in a nutshell, is how the Homeric world of Penelope and Andromache became the Athens of the Golden Age, with both female prostitution and pederasty 'normalized' and run rampant.

Plato recognized fully that to conserve even the seemingly inoffensive fruits of such a revolution acted to fertilize its deleterious effects.

We have little trouble seeing that liberals in our society – in the Anglosphere, universal post-Christian WASP culture – will not rest until they erect their version of earthly paradise, which will feature abortion officially labeled a sacrament, homosexual marriage given affirmative action status, and mandated respect for all non-Christian religions, as well as sanctions for those groups that refuse to embrace feminism and thus refuse to ordain women. We need to understand that conservatives in our society are acting to conserve what is left to them of English-speaking Protestant culture, which was birthed by making war, physical and then cultural, against Catholics and the Church. It thus is anti-Catholic even when it is most moral and doctrinally orthodox.

What the Anglo Protestant conservative cannot allow himself to consider, for that would lead to his conversion, is that the culturally suicidal liberalism against which he declaims and even rants is the telos, the inherent and inexorable end, of the culture he wishes to conserve.

The WASP conservative chases his tail endlessly, while the WASP liberal keeps pushing that tail chasing ever deeper into the camp of viciously anti-Christian relativism.

Our task to get shed of the reigning false dichotomy is easier than was Plato's because we have Plato and the Church and Platonist Church Father St. Augustine. All we have to do is reject the fairy tale of falsehood that is the Anglo Protestant sense of history.

But that seems to be much easier said than done.

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