Liberalism as Reaction Without ‘The Good’

Dr. Ron Dart, a Canadian professor at the University of the Fraser Valley and leading authority on Red Toryism, in his work The North American High Tory Tradition (American Anglican Press, 2016) describes liberalism (including classical liberalism and Progressivism) as a reactive movement against traditional life which is unable to define “the good, the true and the beautiful” because of its approach and values. Dart writes on page 186:

[L]iberalism emerged in history in response to and as a reaction to a certain read and interpretation of conservatism. Liberals often know what they want to be free from, but when it comes to defining what they want to be free for, the content of such choices tends to be a rather open-ended project. It is true, of course, that liberalism did put forward as its leading principles such notion as liberty, choice, equality, reason-imagination, the rights of the individual and the quest for meaning and happiness as guiding ideas. But, such principles when disconnected from the good can come to be defined in a variety of ways. This, then, is the first dilemma of liberalism, and it is this dilemma that sets it apart from the Classical way. Liberalism tends to be quite shy and hesitant about suggesting that there is a good (in both a metaphysical and ethical sense) that one and all can know. When notions such as the good, the true and the beautiful are both privatized and relativized, then they can be defined as each and all see fit. It is this liberal fear and suspicion of saying much about the ultimate (or reducing it to a mystery that each and all perceive and define in their own way) that makes liberalism a chameleon-like agenda that can become whatever an age wants or wishes it to be.

The above insight helps us to explain how liberalism jumps from one social crusade to the next, as Southern writer George Fitzhugh noted in the 1850s. From women’s suffrage to Black power to open borders to transgendered bathrooms, liberalism searches for a crusade and pushes ahead with no clear goal or end in mind. It has no real concept of “the good, the true and the beautiful.” This makes it a poor ideology upon which to base a country or civilization.

About Palmetto Patriot 240 Articles
South Carolinian. Southern Nationalist. Anglican.

26 Comments

  1. This has nothing to do with Southern Nationalism, of which this website is a voice. At the next alt-right conference, in one of the European capitals, maybe Mr. Cushman will deliver a speech to the effect that the High Tory tradition is about enslavement of the Negro and antipathy to the urbane. If I know whites, he’ll probably convince them.

    • The slogan of OD is “Nationalism, Populism, Reaction.” And OD has for years explored issues of ideology and the attack on tradition. Of course, I expect you to do nothing less than counter-signal SN at every opportunity. Why come to a pro-SN website to constantly voice anti-Southern views?

          • it’s called “seeing your enemy at a distance”

            Are you implying that Southern Nationalists are your enemy?

          • I’m surprised that you finally came around to openly admitting that.

            So would you mind telling us exactly why you consider SN your enemy? Are you just another WN who is opposed to ethnic Nationalism or are you a left-winger?

          • The only reason you’re surprised, Vickstrom, is that you haven’t been paying attention. I’m opposed to Southern Nationalism—as I think I’ve been making clear here, indirectly or not, for years—because it means nothing less than vindication of the Confederacy, which means vindication of the antebellum enslavement of blacks.

          • I really don’t care about what happened in the 1860s.

            Right now secession would be good for the South and it would be incredibly good for the White race as a whole (the moment Dixie leaves is the moment America loses the force projection required to interfere in Europe’s politics).

          • I really don’t care what you personally care about—or think you care about. I’m talking about Southern Nationalism, whose meaning I’ve stated correctly.

          • Sorry but you haven’t correctly stated the meaning of SN.

            The purpose of SN isn’t to vindicate slavery or even the confederacy. It’s purpose is to save the Southern people who are alive today. SN is a living movement dedicated to the modern world. It’s purpose isn’t to argue about ancient history (most SNs who I’ve met will even admit that they wish African slaves had never been brought to Dixie).

          • Plenty of persons inside and outside the South “wish African slaves had never been brought to” the South. That has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

            The kind of evasion in which you’re engaging is second nature in the South, as it has been for a century-and-a-half. That’s what allows you to behold the Confederate half-flag in this website’s banner and simultaneously maintain that I’ve incorrectly stated Southern Nationalism’s purpose. It’s what allows Mr. Wallace, our host, to laud the recent interview performance in which Richard Spencer gratuitously and disingenuously denies that he himself is a “Southern Confederate,” even though he, Spencer, knows that the Southern Nationalist host of this website is the news-watcher at Spencer’s altright.com.

            If Southern Nationalism is not about vindication of the Confederacy and thus of the antebellum enslavement of blacks, then maybe you will go to the next alt-right conference in Europe and explain as much. Knowing, whites, as I’ve said, I think you’ll have a good chance of persuading them. History shows that whites can be convinced of just about anything.

          • You completely ignored my main point (which is that Southern Nationalism is focused on the future).

            The kind of evasion in which you’re engaging is second nature in the South, as it has been for a century-and-a-half. That’s what allows you to behold the Confederate half-flag in this website’s banner and simultaneously maintain that I’ve incorrectly stated Southern Nationalism’s purpose.

            1) I am not a Southerner, mate. 2) The Confederate flag is a part of Dixie’s history so it’s natural to have it on this site.

            It’s what allows Mr. Wallace, our host, to laud the recent interview performance in which Richard Spencer gratuitously and disingenuously denies that he himself is a “Southern Confederate,”

            I have no idea which interview your referring to. Mind sharing a link?

            Knowing, whites, as I’ve said, I think you’ll have a good chance of persuading them. History shows that whites can be convinced of just about anything.

            The way you refer to ‘whites’ and your own obsession with slavery makes it sound as if you are decisively not White.

            You wouldn’t be our lovable friend Daryl Lamont Jenkins, would you?

          • I didn’t ignore your point that Southern Nationalism is “focused on the future,” whatever that is supposed to mean. What do you think I was referring to when I spoke of evasion on your part?

            Not having allowed sufficiently for the possibility that a non-Southerner had internalized the South’s evasiveness, yes, I took you to be a Southerner. In a Southerner, of course, that evasiveness is almost understandable and even pitiable, inasmuch as it proceeds from the sting of defeat. In a non-Southerner, it’s contemptible.

            Yes–here’s the link, to an Occidental Dissent entry that was posted here a full three days ago, when, as seems to be usual, you were evidently not paying attention:

            http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2017/02/23/richard-spencer-reacts-to-being-kicked-out-of-cpac/

            “The way you refer to ‘whites’ and your own obsession with slavery makes it sound as if you are decisively not White.”

            Maybe you have a hearing problem. If you want to find out whether I’m Daryl Lamont Jenkins, whoever that is, or any other person other than the one as whom I present myself here and elsewhere on the internet, consult a Philadelphia telephone directory, learn my address, and knock on the front door of my residence. I won’t let you in, but I’ll confirm my identity as the person who comments here.

            And I’m not your mate, mate.

          • What do you think I was referring to when I spoke of evasion on your part?

            I already made my point – that slavery isn’t the focus of SN – clear. You chose to ignore that and then yammered on about how a reborn Confederacy would vindicate slavery.

            Why exactly you care so much about something that ended in the 1860s is beyond me (past life problems? lol). After all, you don’t even live in the South and claim to be an Italian-American.

            In a Southerner, of course, that evasiveness is almost understandable and even pitiable, inasmuch as it proceeds from the sting of defeat. In a non-Southerner, it’s contemptible.

            It’s rather ironic that you are the one known for being evasive (it’s actually something that nearly everyone who debates you ends up accusing you of). Seems like someone is projecting…

            Maybe you have a hearing problem.

            Last time I checked, I’ve never spoken with you. So it would technically be a reading problem.

            Perhaps the reason you’re so angry is that you don’t like being shown for the fraud you are? You have, after all, claimed on this site that you have no problem with ethnic nationalism but now you are admitting that Southern Nationalists are your enemies.

            Ergo, you had a good run but – like all liars and hypocrites – you’ve been exposed as the troll you are.

          • “Last time I checked, I’ve never spoken with you. So it would technically be a reading problem.”

            Since you seem to have been unsure of my identity, you would have some difficulty, I’d think, in checking whether you and I have ever spoken. Regardless, you’d employed the verb “sound,” and thus I chose to speak of your “hearing” problem.

            Nothing else in your comment seems to me to require a response. Should you say anything further, it will be the last word in this our exchange.

          • Nothing else in your comment seems to me to require a response. Should you say anything further, it will be the last word in this our exchange.

            Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bonaccorsi has yet again ignored my main points:

            1. He hypocritically claims to not have an issue with ethnic nationalism, yet also considers Southern Nationalists to be his enemy.

            When asked to provide a reason for this, all he could come up with is ‘muh slavery.’ This is in spite of the fact that slavery died in the 1860s and no one wants to revive it.

            2. He accused me of being evasive yet he has repetitively ignored several of my points.

            3. As a final note, it’s rather obvious that JB has a personal grudge against the South. Perhaps he blames Dixie for race relations in America and simply isn’t enough of a man to take any personal responsibility for his own city’s condition. Or perhaps he was bullied by Anglos in his youth. The world may never know.

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