Why The Alt-Right Doesn’t Get Conservatism

     A freelance writer at the Daily Caller, is celebrating the death of conservatism, and the rise of the Alt-Right. Clearly, the freelancer doesn’t quite get what conservatism is:

“I would ask those who today consider themselves conservatives: What exactly are you still conserving?

“…

“Please tell me, dear conservative friends: What have you conserved?

“This failure of conservatism to prevent the left’s takeover of the West is what has driven the emergence of the alt-right. Despite Hillary’s attempts at caricature, the alt-right is not a frog. Neither is it the monolithic entity that goose-steps out of the fevered imaginations of transgender Social Justice Warriors in recently re-segregated campus dorms across the nation. It is an organic reaction to the degenerate and destructive program the left has relentlessly pushed upon the peoples of the West.”

     Conservatism is but an adherence to a just and good civic inheritance, that both at once has allowed for both virtue and liberty: Liberty to choose, and the virtue to choose wisely. It is not a movement or a political machine. It does not plot change, for it is descriptive and conserving, not proscriptive and mutagenic towards society.

“It is something that must be conserved. … It calls for stewards to keep and protect our civic inheritance, and to protect society’s evolution from the hands and machinations of intelligent design by unintelligent designers.

“…

“If we are, indeed, authors to each of our abilities and influence to greater thread that is our society, our heritage, and our endowment to the future, than it behooves us to be the crystallizing lens that focuses what was, what is, and what could be to a perseverance and a potential that is a future and a promise that is worth striving, laboring, and even fighting for.”

     Have Americans, and those who wish to conserve that which is the essense of America, been the perfect stewards? No. That rare combination of liberty and virtue—that rare and radiant civic and cultural heritage—was always precarious. But even if there is but a whisper of it left, it is worth fighting for—it is worth conserving.

     In contrast, the Alt-Right are but mirror image versions of the broader Progressive Left and their fellow goers. It is a rejection of America, and an embracing of European-style petty nationalism.

“This ‘Right-Left’ dichotomy the Alt-Right invokes is a distinctly un-American one. American Conservatism is not on the European Right/Left spectrum, but orthogonal thereto. … [Ours] is a civic inheritance”.

DC Rally

     The freelance reporter goes on to say:

“The alt-right is edgier than conservatism. It is more aggressive and assertive. That’s the point. Right-thinking men and women of the West now have nothing to lose. It is in such circumstances that minds are quickened and hearts are steeled. They see an establishment which is corrupt, degenerate and morally bankrupt. They are not at all interested in conserving it.”

     In other words, they join with the Progressive Left in a total revolt to the past, the present, and the future which may still be, in order to impose a new society ex nihilo, and effectively “start from year zero.”

     Yes, we were to wedded to our liberty and virtue, that we could readily afford to tolerate those who choose poorly, for the great bulk of society created the conditions that were so conduce to morality and freedom alike, that we could take pride in our tolerance, and rightly so. But we became so used to liberty and virtue existing, that we forgot how fragile this rare confluence of history allowed both to exist concomitantly.

“Re-writing social norms, mores, and folkways, however, does unequivocally affect others by the tyrannical and conniving mutation of society, taking advantage of and abusing the natural tolerance of a society that has become so used to great liberty with the concomitant wisdom to choose virtuously, in order to unintelligently design a utopia ex nihilo in vacuo that is antithetical and ablative of the very virtue and liberty that made such tolerance possible!”

     By rejecting the mores, social norms, and folkways that conservatism seeks to steward, the Alt-Right, then we will devolve into a competition between two veins of Leftist thought, which is a European-style Left/Right division, but which is a divide orthogonal to conservatism in the Anglo-American vein.

“Alt-right aren’t conservatives. They are a mirror reflection of the Left. They are racial and ethnic collectivists who put the collective above the individual. Both the Progressives and the Alt-right are racist… they just disagree as to who the enemy is. The Left divided people by race, amongst other factors, and set-up an ‘us vs. them’ dichotomy. The Alt-Right in America, old school neo-NAZIs aside, are a creation, then, of the Left. The Alt-Right agree with the Left that there is an ‘us vs. them’ dichotomy, and even of what that dichotomy is, but differ on who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’.”

     Perhaps a line from the movie “Gladiator” sums it up best:

“There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish… it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.”

     At this point, we are but waiting for our modern day Elagabalus…


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1 Response to Why The Alt-Right Doesn’t Get Conservatism

  1. avatar George LeS says:

    I think the frequent claim that the alt-right is “European-style” right is itself misleading. It is a rather smug posture of Anglo-American classical liberals – themselves not wholly conservative – which ignores the actual complexity of the continental right. For instance, I’ve seen frequent conflations of “blood and soil” with “throne and altar”. Except in Russia (hardly typical of the West), these were OPPOSED, and strongly so.

    The European “right” the alt-right looks to isn’t really the historical right, but is an outgrowth of 19th C radicalism. I recommend Peter Viereck and John Lukacs here. (For the latter, the chapter in The Last European War, for the former, Conservatism Revisited. Yes, Viereck was unsound on the politics of his day – except for communism – but he was very perceptive about Metternich.)

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