“Both sides, for different reasons, are confused about the “liberalism” of the Founding and its teaching for the Right today.
Ahmari’s libertarian-leaning critics of various stripes seemed most appalled by his suggestion that the Right fight to win: “‘The only way is through’—that is to say, to fight the culture war with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good.” …
In other words, the individual and corporate responsibilities and duties that formed the necessary basis of the common good were not subjectively up for grabs. The “goods,” individual and common—secured and vouchsafed by civic partnership in America at the state and national level—were outlined and circumscribed by a moral and natural law knowable by reason, and aided and secured by certain religious teachings and practices.
Contrary to a certain strand of anti-or-post-liberalism on the Right, the “liberalism” of the Founding does not run in a straight line to Drag Queen Storytime. Americans who still want to be for both God and country have an American political philosophy and tradition from which to draw. …”
This is a good article.
I want to expand though on this last paragraph. I would argue that there is a strand of the American Founding that runs in a straight line to Drag Queen Storytime. Specifically, it runs from the culture of the East to Drag Queen Storytime against the resistance of the South.
Does this division sound familiar to you?
“But the Roundhead, at once a religious fanatic and a political agitator and reformer, could conceive of no government but the rule of the Saints, and form no other idea of the principles of civil liberty than what the levelling philosophy of the covenant taught. A bigot in faith and an idealist in speculation, his sentiments were violent and his convictions impracticable. A visionary from principle and a revolutionist from interest, his prejudices allowed no compromise, while his passions fed equally the flame of his cupidity and ambition. Austere in his morals and inflexible in his principles, he set up his own conduct as the standard of right, and sought to dictate the opinions and control the convictions of others. Rude in his manners and morose in his disposition, he practiced the profoundest dissimulation, while attaining credit for sincerity, and concealed his real character and designs under the cloak of hypocrisy. . . .”
Such was the debate in 1862 about their ancestors.
The Founding Fathers were not a homogeneous group. There also wasn’t a single American Revolution. There were three revolutions in the South alone – the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry which revolted over the fear that Britain was going to incite a slave rebellion and Indian attacks on the frontier, Tidewater over its chronic debt to British merchants and real estate speculation in the Ohio Country and the civil war between Patriots and Tories in the Backcountry. The Revolution in New England by Yankees was its own affair and the Middle Colonies were full of loyalists and pacifists.
The true founders of the United States were also the people who settled the American colonies in the 17th century, not their descendants who won the American Revolution and ratified the Constitution. They were the ones who laid down the regional cultures which spread west over the next three centuries. The Founding Fathers created a federation of those cultures called the United States under a republican government, not a single homogeneous European-style nation-state. Lincoln attempted to create such a nation-state during the War Between the States and not only did he fail to do so but he widened the existing cultural divisions. The Great Wave of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries sealed the divide and made it simultaneously ethnic, cultural, religious and ideological.
Jefferson Davis called his enemies “the disturbers of the peace of the world” and pointed to their history since Cromwell’s time which is the understatement of the century as that has been the hallmark of their conduct in international affairs ever since his time:
“And it is with these people that our fathers formed a union and a solemn compact. There is indeed a difference between the two peoples. Let no man hug the delusion that there can be renewed association between them. Our enemies are a traditionless and a homeless race; from the time of Cromwell to the present moment they have been disturbers of the peace of the world. Gathered together by Cromwell from the bogs and fens of the North of Ireland and of England, they commenced by disturbing the peace of their own country; they disturbed Holland, to which they fled, and they disturbed England on their return. They persecuted Catholics in England, and they hung Quakers and witches in America.“
It would be interesting to hear Jefferson Davis’s take on the possibility of a war with Iran and why it is necessary to preserve a thing called the “rules-based international order” over a mysterious explosion on a Japanese oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.
The Southern social order was based on republicanism and slavery which made it the conservative and authoritarian section of the United States. It became more conservative and authoritarian over time. In the wake of the American Revolution, free blacks initially had the right to vote in Tennessee and North Carolina, but not only was that later changed but every Southern state outright banned the settlement of free blacks. I’m citing this only as the most obvious example that illustrates how liberty and equality and the doctrine of individual rights did not become a social solvent in the South.
In the East, the social order was based much more on liberalism and free-market capitalism, which is reflected in the fact that Southerners preferred to study the classics while Yankees preferred to study the moderns. Unlike the Southern colonies, the Northern colonies were also founded as utopian societies. They lacked the massive institutional anchor that was slavery and white supremacy which made the South authoritarian and counterbalanced the worse tendencies of liberal democracy. The North has a radically abstract, universalist, utopian and egalitarian streak which has never existed in the South.
New York now has the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel. It is this social fact more than anything else that has dramatically accelerated the cultural decomposition of the United States since the mid-20th century. It is simply impossible to disentangle the inherent weaknesses of Northern culture and the triumph of radical social liberalism in the United States from the Jewish Question and from the triumph of our current hostile Jewish elite over the New England WASPs.
The North’s culture has always trended more universalist, more egalitarian, more libertine since the American Revolution, but the arrival of millions of Jews in the United States resentful over thousands of historical slights and their journey up the social ladder into the American elite threw it into overdrive. If it had been snowballing that way before, it became an avalanche after the Second World War when the WASPs were shoved aside. The problem isn’t a new one and things like political correctness and “Drag Queen Story Hour” should be properly seen in their context as merely the latest example of how a hostile and alienated Jewish elite enjoys degrading, demoralizing and antagonizing its host population.
So, that’s how we ended up in this vicious cultural struggle and in this awful place without the “conservative” movement raising a murmur of protest about it over the course of several decades. In hindsight, we can recognize that the American Founding was always flawed. It shouldn’t be uncritically venerated or discarded wholesale. Rather, we should diagnose what worked and what failed and try to solve the problem, but any serious attempt to do so will have to go through the entrenched power of the usual suspects who will scream bloody murder about “racism” and “anti-Semitism.” We’re dealing with people who couldn’t tolerate the likes of Milo Yiannopolis and Laura Loomer.
And … that’s fine. If we are serious about our beliefs and turning this country around, which we owe to our descendants, then there is no avoiding that confrontation. We’re not the problem. The Jews who are injecting poison into our culture to degrade our people are the problem and the definition of victory is discrediting those people and removing them from power over us.