What Post-Christian Right Wingery Will Look Like

is on full display among the racist nuts at Occam’s Razor.

It is only a historical accident that conservatism in this country is still conserving the Christian tradition.  The further we move away from our Christian roots, the more conservatism will start to conserve something else, like the racist and tribal fealties of some imagined ethnos, or duty to the favored cultic deity (in America these tend to be Mammon, Mars, and Venus).  Since the habit of the conservative is generally to make sure that we go on making the mistakes that progressive have pioneered, there is an increasing chance that as the culture de-christianizes, future conservatives will help solidify that turn against the Christian tradition, as the tools at Occam’s Razor are now doing in the name of “conservatism”.

  • http://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/ Evan

    No Chesterton quote? He perfectly summed this up:
    “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types–the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

  • vox borealis

    My favorite bit:

    I am not anti-Christian. In fact, although I’m not particularly religious myself, I think that the vast majority of people cannot live without religion and that religion is necessary for the proper ordering of society. I just wish…

    Without irony (I think) the author sounds exactly like one of Fr. Longnecker’s characters, Todd Unctious. Brilliant!

  • vox borealis

    My favorite bit:
    I am not anti-Christian. In fact, although I’m not particularly religious myself, I think that the vast majority of people cannot live without religion and that religion is necessary for the proper ordering of society. I just wish…
    Without irony (I think) the author sounds exactly like one of Fr. Longnecker’s characters, Todd Unctious. Brilliant!

  • Dan Li

    How amusing, it seems he’s already found this post.

  • Harry

    He’s accused you of “supporting the third-world invasion” of the West. Mark, how do you plead?

    Oh, and someone else there has accused the Church of supporting ‘Cultural Marxism” because it is and always has been anti-racist. Brilliant.

  • MarylandBill

    Whenever I go to one of these sites I feel rather dirty. And scared that there are people like that who take those ideas seriously. But what is scarier is the idea that Christianity might be squeezed between the a left and a right that can only agree on the fact that they don’t like us.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    We know what the post-Christian Conservative will look like, because we know what the pre-Christian Conservative looked like:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

  • Ian Bibby

    More accurate to say that there will be no conservatism, even if there are people calling themselves conservatives. As you say, the ethnos these guys are “conserving” is imaginary, and hence they aren’t really conserving anything.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Heh, and just this morning I was watching again the exchange between WFB and Muggeridge (in which the latter evinces that he’s better read than anyone you’ll ever meet). If these retrogrades are posturing as conservatives, the contrast couldn’t be more striking! Doubtless they have a high regard for themselves as brave and fearless for embracing this foolishness, but in reality blood and soil is the easiest thing in the world, and the antithesis of the transcendental, of Kirk’s permanent things. Less of this darkness, more of the conservatism of Kirk, O’Connor, and Dawson – a conservatism that is perfected by Christianity, as all things are.

  • Mark R

    These folks on that site are way in over their heads…at least the garden variety racist, unlike these, are merely clueless and have unchallenged assumptions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Blujy Michael McCormick

    His thoughts aren’t new — they are straight out of Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” published in the late 1700s. Ideas that were picked up by the “Free Thinkers” of the 19th Century. Today it is spread around by the KKK and Neo-Nazis. I would be careful about painting anyone with that broad brush.

  • athelstane

    “…like the racist and tribal fealties of some imagined ethnos, or duty to the favored cultic deity.”

    There are precedents, especially in the Gallic world; one thinks of Maurras and Action Francais, a kind of supercharged ethnonationalism. Which is why it was condemned by Pius XI. Likewise, what conservative forces still existed in Quebec all too often latched onto Quebec’s new cult, Quebecois nationalism, after the Quiet Revolution essentially destroyed the Church in Quebec.

    And yet, it’s also true that conservatism comes in many strains. Not all French conservatives in the 20′s supported Action Francais – they saw it as the areligious phenomenon it generally was. The same is even more true of conservatism in America, which comes in many flavors. That includes social conservatives, many of whom feel increasingly alienated from the Republican Party; it also includes, alas, the neo-Randian tribalists at Occam’s Razor. (One can see this at NRO, which includes Ponnoru and Lopez, but also included John Derbyshire until very recently.) Thus the dangers of painting with a broad brush. *Some* current and future “conservatives” may turn against Christianity, but the fact remains that Christianity is an inherently conservative ethos, a fact which should not be overlooked by its mutation into de facto neopaganism in parts of the West.

  • kirthigdon

    I don’t think the people at OR and similar sites will ever be anything but fringe. If you want to see what tomorrow’s conservatism will be like just look at today’s liberalism. Tomorrow’s conservatism will idolize Obama just as the conservatism of today idolizes Martin Luther King. Genuine revolutionaries of the right will tend to gravitate toward extreme Islam since it is the only force of any significance really in revolt against the modern world view of secular liberalism.
    Kirt Higdon

    • ivan_the_mad

      “as the conservatism of today idolizes Martin Luther King” You say this as if it’s a bad thing.

      You reference “the right” and conservatism without distinction, and when
      speaking of Islam confuse revolutionaries with reactionaries. Your
      imprecision in terms, and apparent confusion regarding the same, makes
      for a nonsensical post.

      • kirthigdon

        Idolizing MLK or any mere mortal is a bad thing. And I know the difference between revolutionaries and reactionaries. I’m a reactionary. I oppose the project of modern liberalism and seek to learn and apply what I can from the wisdom of the past, both the Wisdom of God promulgated by the Catholic Church and the wisdom of wise humans. Revolutionaries are those who advocate or seek to overthrow the contemporary order by violence.
        Kirt Higdon

        • ivan_the_mad

          “Idolizing MLK or any mere mortal is a bad thing.” I see, you didn’t employ idolize as it is commonly used, as a synonym for admiring greatly. You mean actual idolatry, categorically wrong, i.e. worship, in which case I must ask for evidence of sacrifices, oblations, etc. But I’ll save us all some time and gratuitously deny your gratuitous and foolish assertion.

          No, you still don’t properly distinguish the terms enumerated above. Allow me to distinguish simply. Reactionaries seek a return to a prior status quo. Conservatives seek largely to preserve the status quo and ensure a stable society; any change is cautious and prudent. The right is part of a simplistic dichotomy whose meaning is entirely dependent on the body politic being discussed. Revolutionaries seek a new status quo. Revolutionaries are not categorically violent; counter-examples to your assertion being the Orange Revolution, the majority of King’s fellow protestors who heeded his exhortation to non-violence, and Ghandi’s movement which resulted in Swaraj.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      To the extent that those on the right “idolize” MLK (they don’t, but whatever), they do so for his message of treating people as individuals, and for his courage. The sensible right doesn’t embrace racism, but it also doesn’t adopt each and every thing that MLK wanted.

      Your thesis falls apart, however, when you try to extend it to almost anyone other than a slain civil rights hero. The right won’t idolize Obama any more than it idolizes LBJ or FDR.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    I thought we already had a glimpse of post-Christian right wingery in the “South Park Conservatives”:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2003/10/24933.html


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