Recap of our first five months

I started this blog about half a year ago.  Its purpose has been to defend traditional cultures against a reductionistic attitude that I’ve called “liberalism”, but which might equally be identified as atheism, utilitarianism, or modernity in general.  The basic premise of this modern view, as I explain in my first essay, is that the world is nothing but a number of individual wills and the raw material for their satisfaction.  From this assumption, all relationships, all communal life, all nature–including our own bodies–are reconcieved as means to the end of individual preference satisfaction.  So, for example, the nation is reduced to a social contract; marriage is seen in terms of self-fulfillment rather than duty, leading to the erosion of gender roles, to contraception, and to divorce.  Even our relations to God Himself are reduced to matters of comfort and self-expression.  Against liberalism, I maintain that there are things, relationships, etc. which are good in themselves independent of their usefulness to any particular individual  Such things can make valid claims to the loyalty and reverence, not only of each of us individually, but to societies collectively.  The defense of a collective recognition of some good through law or custom I call “conservatism”.

The war between liberal and conservative conceptions of reality is waged on many fronts:  theories on the basis of authority, the liberal/communitarian debate, the essentialist/nominalist debate, sexual morality, religion, and the interpretation of history.  In my book reviews, I’ve tried to provide resources on some of these fronts for fellow reactionary combatants.  These pages are still very incomplete.

In the last couple of months, I’ve focused on reviewing the conservative “classics” as a sort of basis to buid from.  I’ve put up pages on the major works of Burke, de Bonald, de Maistre, Hegel, Brownson, and Voegelin.  There are only two conservative classics that I haven’t gotten to yet:  “The Meaning of Conservatism” by Roger Scruton, and “I’ll Take My Stand” by the 12 Southerners.  Otherwise, the alleged great works of 20th century conservatism can be safely ignored.  Most of them are crap.  The best are just popularized versions of great nineteenth century thinkers (e.g. Kirk just repeats Burke, and Nisbet just repeats Tocqueville).

The trouble with being a reactionary is that we’re always on defense, so the enemy always gets to pick the point of attack.  Up till now, I’ve acted on the assumption that most liberals are motivated by hatred of traditional sexual morality, and that if I could lay out clearly enough the reasons for the patriarchal family, their opposition to Christianity, tradition, and the rest would just disappear.  I’m no longer sure this is true.  It seems that the most aggressive liberal offensive these days is in their attack on religion.  Therefore, that’s where we should move our forces to defend.  In the next several months, I plan to review a number of books on natural theology and the phenomenology of the sacred.  I’ll also be starting an extended essay on the analogy of being in my own effort to refute the claim that belief in God is somehow silly.

Thanks for spending time here.  I hope you’ve found it helpful.

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