Now, this is much more serious.
I would much rather discuss things like this than endless Alt-Right soap operas. I’ve wasted a week of my time responding to the Daily Drama Queen.
“What, exactly, do you want?” Liberal critics put the question to the post-fusionist American right in various ways. At times they ask it earnestly, at times with a sneer, and not infrequently with undisguised contempt. It seems that no political argument can be properly digested unless it comes with policy proposals stippled by bullet points. But the new American right seeks to challenge the philosophical parameters within which wonks allow that we may formulate policy. …”
I agree with all of this.
Liberalism is the root of the problem and so our focus has to be on metapolitics. The symptoms of liberalism that we are reacting to whether it is free love or transgenderism or anti-racism or deracination or open borders and so on are all downstream from the liberal paradigm.
“For the past two generations, American conservatives have been focused on liberty, first in the fight against communist totalitarianism, then in a more undifferentiated way in our resistance to “regulation.” But today our challenges are different. Our society is fragmented, atomized, and morally disoriented. The new American right seeks to address these crises—and to do so we need a politics of limits, not of individual autonomy and deregulation. …”
This is absolutely correct.
The Evil Empire won the Cold War. It was the empire of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism which has done just as much damage to our culture as communism.
“Progressive liberals are quite open about their aim: to raze all structures that stand in the way of an empire of autonomy-maximizing norms, an empire populated by the “free individual who no longer acknowledges any limits,” as Pierre Manent has written. Conservative liberals and libertarians share in this view of the highest good: The unfettered life is the best life. Most recognize the need for some limits, at least against freedoms that harm others. But the regulative ideal remains always operative: an ideal of ever-greater autonomy won through the removal of limits. …”
The goal of progressive liberalism is to demolish the social order and to unravel our culture in order to “liberate” its subject the individual. Specifically, this is to be done to people of European ancestry, but to no one else. On the contrary, their collective identities are to be celebrated because political correctness and multiculturalism have become dominant in the mainstream since the 1970s.
“But the new right begins from a different premise: that a great deal of our peaceful freedom is already lost. The free world doesn’t feel free, because often it isn’t. But this new unfreedom doesn’t arise from a dearth of individual liberties. The modern West is unfree because it is irresponsible, unbounded, unattached. …”
Yes, it is these attachments that make life rich and meaningful – whether it is your religion, your family, your ethnicity, etc. – and when people don’t have those attachments and relationships their lives become disordered. They become sick and go crazy. It is the advance of liberalism – the expansion of “freedom” at the expense of every other good in life – that has brought about this situation.
“Overthrowing these limits prevents us from making lifelong commitments and plunges us into sterile decadence. Our consequent dysfunction frequently necessitates restrictions more onerous than any imposed by nature or tradition. The vast administrative state arises in order to regulate societies that have been deregulated by an individualistic liberalism. …”
Yes, I agree with this too.
Look no further than the family that was destroyed. We are surrounded by people who are living with and suffering the consequences of “creative destruction.” They have been deracinated. They are immersed in cultural poison in the mainstream. The economic life blood of their communities has been destroyed by neoliberal economics. Their cultural environment has become so toxic over the past two generations that they don’t even want to reproduce.
“A kind of paralysis, accompanied by intense but often meaningless virtual activity, is the typical psychological experience of our time. Great sacrifices—that is, great acts of freedom—require the psychological comfort that comes of knowing one stands on solid ground, with a clear path stretching behind (from the past) and extending ahead (into the future). That path is the ordered continuity of tradition. …”
This is also my perspective.
I’m a Southern conservative. Not a mainstream conservative. I don’t like the term “conservatism” though because it is so tainted. It is Northern conservatism.
“Conservative liberalism is helpless in the face of these dynamics. No less than progressive liberalism, the conservative variant is wedded to the quest for greater individual autonomy for its own sake. To be sure, the conservative movement often clings to certain pre-liberal habits, institutions, and beliefs, but over the last two decades it has come to deny them any substantive primacy in the public square. The mainstream right and left have merged. The left emphasizes moral autonomy, while the right emphasizes market freedoms. For both, the highest end of politics is the pursuit of autonomy and care for the procedures that maximize autonomy. …”
LOL … 100% alignment on this too.
I’m reading the essay and like in virtually the next paragraph Ahmari has anticipated what I would say.
“At best, the feckless conservative liberal shouts, “This far, but no farther!” as one cherished ideal after another falls to the idol of freedom without limits. At worst, the conservative liberal declares with George Will that, actually, the task of conservatism today is to help people accommodate themselves to ceaseless disruption. …”
He’s talking about the cuckservatives here who we all find ridiculous. These are people like French who have mainstream media gigs because they are losers. The way this works is that the Left selects its opposition and declares it “respectable” and then the “respectable” conservatives police the “mainstream” on behalf of the Left. This is David French’s primary focus.
“The right claims to guard freedoms, whereas the left insists that we must take affirmative action, as it were, to ensure true freedom. Many, if not most, of our disputes can be mapped onto these two configurations, both of which treat freedom without limits as the highest good.”
“In the present moment, the new right’s most urgent priority is to resist efforts by liberals, both progressive and conservative, to oppose by underhanded procedural means the desire voters are expressing for a politics of the common good. …”
Great article, Sohrab.
Even as a Lutheran, I agreed with every word of it.