“One of the strange realities of the current fight over the direction of the conservative movement — double down on classical liberalism or reject many of its tenets in favor of a version of Christian statism? — is that it is taking place in the presence of an unjustified sense of despair and defeat. There is a wholly incorrect sense that the previous approach to the hot-button cultural issues of our day, centered around appeals to constitutional rights conducted (mostly) with civility and dignity, has failed. The argument is, in short: We lose, so we must change. …
Yes, the Left wins many fights. No question. It has enormous cultural power. But the idea that the Right is weak — and that classical liberalism is a dead end, a source of that weakness — is pure fiction …”
I’m looking around the world and trying to think of the countries where social conservatism has thrived under classical liberalism:
Is it true of the United States? The Trump administration is currently waging a global crusade to promote feminism and homosexuality. The largest group of illegal aliens ever recently crossed the border. Miley Cyrus is a role model for young women in our society. Virtually every major corporation in the United States is promoting #PrideMonth. The mainstream has moved on from legalizing sodomy and gay marriage to considering normalizing transgenderism with Drag Queen Story Hour. The political correctness is also worse than ever under Blompf.
Oh … but David French seriously believes that the Roberts Court is going to strike down the Roe decision. Yeah, well, I don’t believe that is going to happen at all. Abortion is way down because the Baby Boomers grew up and fewer people are even bothering to have children. Far from becoming more socially conservative, Millennials are hooking up on Tinder now and have simply become better at practicing birth control. They’re also abandoning David French-style evangelicalism for atheism. There is nothing compelling about David French or Russell Moore milquetoast Christianity.
I could explain how the whole arc of American history from the time of the American Revolution has been the steady expansion of classical liberalism at the expense of our traditional culture (taking liberty, equality, individualism, tolerance and rights to ever greater extremes), but I have written that article like a hundred times now in the archives. The United States has been in a permanent state of social revolution for centuries. The battles in the culture war over abortion, sodomy and gay marriage are just the latest fronts in a series of pitched battles since the leveling philosophy that is classical liberalism was invoked in the Declaration to justify the overthrow of the British monarchy in the American colonies.
The rest of the English-speaking world hasn’t fared any better under classical liberalism and is arguably much worse. I would argue these people are all behaving rationally from the perspective of classical liberalism given its assumptions about authority and the individual:
These photos from were from last year’s anti-Trump protest in London. The same crowd was back on the streets this afternoon:
Posted without comment. pic.twitter.com/VguwKRXStI— Han ?? (@WeirdLittleHen) June 4, 2019
This is the sort of culture that classical liberalism inexorably leads to in every country in which it has become the basis of the social order. It is true of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain and the whole of the degenerate West. These are the symptoms of cultural decline, not cultural progress.
“To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it? The old relation has become unsuitable, obsolete, perhaps unjust; and the remedy is, abolish it; let there henceforth be no relation at all. From the ‘sacrament of marriage’ downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related one to another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and its difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that by favor of Heaven; the ‘voluntary principle’ has come up, which will itself do the business for us; and now let a new sacrament, that of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our platforms, be universally the order of the day!Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation that has any where grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of the nomadic; in other words, LOOSEN BY ASSIDUOUS WEDGES, in every joint, the whole fabrice of social existence, stone from stone, till at last, all lie now quite loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c. over it, and rejoice in the now remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”
A conservatism based on classical liberalism is an oxymoron.
As Louis Hartz explained in 1955, American conservatism is classical liberalism. There is no authentic American conservatism outside of Southern conservatism which was grounded in slavery and which rejected liberalism in favor of Aristotle and Christianity in the 1850s.
Note: Sorry to burst your balloon of bullshit, David, but someone has to do it.