The mystery that is Bonald

Bill writes

It’s interesting to wonder what’s going on with Bonald on CAGW, race realism, and now missile defense.  Perhaps it is what he says above, that he thinks they are distractions from the important issues we should be paying attention to.  Perhaps it is what “Anonymous at 69″ is saying, that he has been socialized into these opinions and has not yet gotten around to evaluating them critically.  Perhaps it is what I said in an earlier post, that he is, though habit or worry about being eventually unmasked, respecting taboos whose violation he knows carries real consequences, especially for the untenured.  My theory, while tempting, has the problem that he has described himself as moderately anti-semitic (in those or almost those words), which would seem to be a third rail as problematic as the others.

How indeed to explain me?   I’m sure that what I find plausible is socially constructed, because that’s true of everybody.  I tend to be extremely suspicious of expert opinion only when it contradicts my core beliefs.  In other areas, I put the burden of proof on the dissenters.  On the other hand, it’s not likely that I’m peppering in a few PC beliefs thinking that they’ll protect me if I get exposed.  Bill himself points out problems with this theory, but let me spell them out further.  The one topic on which the elite will really brook no dissent is sodomy, and I’ve pretty definitely taken the most unacceptable view possible on that.  No amount of support for carbon taxes could save a man with my stated views on homosexuality, abortion, divorce, and censorship.

I really do think that we should avoid putting non-core issues on the same level as core issues.  Lydia’s feelings reflect my own:

Social conservatives, those of us on the unabashed American right, are tired of being told to go to the back of the bus by our supposed “own” party.

I’m tired of being told that I should just shut up and vote for tax cuts for the upper classes so that maybe, someday in the unspecified future, my social betters will repay me with a parental notice for abortions law.  Let’s face it:  it wasn’t love for the rich that protected them from getting strung up by the communists.  People only risked their fortunes, reputations, and lives fighting the Reds for two reasons:  love of God and love of country.  And how do the rich repay us?  What causes do they support with their billions?  Buggery and mass immigration.  I admit that taxing those little homos into the poorhouse does hold a certain appeal to me.

So there’s the social conditioning and the irrational spite.  I also have some reasons for my beliefs.  I’m not sure what Bill is referring to on race realism.  It’s true that I regard negro IQ as a distraction.  What really matters is that blacks are a distinct subculture and that they’re being used as a wedge minority.  On strategic missile defense, I think it’s a stupid idea because if I were going to attack the U.S., I certainly wouldn’t do it by shooting one nuke at us.  I’d either shoot a shitload of missiles at once, if I had them, or, if I didn’t, I would sneak in pieces of the bombs, assemble them in the States, and have local spies set them off.  It’s a lot easier to make bombs than missles.  SMD is easy to evade.  I’m also convinced that no technologically advanced country would want to commit suicide by attacking us.  We’re always being told that some of these countries–Iran in particular–are “crazy” and will do suicidal things just for the hell of it.  I don’t buy it anymore.  We say a lot more menacingly crazy things about them than they say about us.  Do they go on and on about changing our “regime”?

I was a hawk during the Cold War because I’m in favor of killing communists–anytime, anywhere.  I’ve got no heart for killing God-fearing Muslims.

15 Responses

  1. The original Bonald was an agrarian. Maistre wrote that “military science is the only one that deserves no funding, as its perfection can only increase human suffering.”

    The mystery is why hawks who believe in paving nature to build shopping centers are called “conservative.”

  2. I love Bonald, but I can’t get on the CAGW gravy train. Isn’t the real worry an ice age now? (

  3. Tragically, Maistre didn’t have to deal with communists!

  4. Since right wing thought is not simply an ideology founded on first principles, one should expect right-wingers to be more idiosyncratic than leftists. I’m not saying that the right has no principles, but that it’s principles are always mixed up with piety, which is to say love of one’s own and loyalty to concrete things rather than abstractions. Any man who has this piety will be something of a mystery to other men, even conservative men, because they do not share his particular love and loyalty. I say leave doctrinal purity and deathly fear of “contradictions” to the Leftists.

  5. The trouble you face is one of pragmatism. Sure, it sucks to be taken for granted and to sit at the back of the right-wing bus, but you don’t have many realistic political alternatives. Trying to form a purist traditionalist political party which is hived off from libertarian, corporate, defense, and moneyed interests won’t really get you what you want, either, because it would be far too small to have any impact at all, really.

    It’s just the reality for people who find themselves holding views that are rather uncommon (I put myself in that category, but for different reasons). Politics then becomes an act of compromise, not only with people who have radically different views than oneself, but also as a matter of deciding which — if any — larger coalition to ally oneself with.

    Sitting it out altogether is also an option for the purist, however. Pragmatically the number of traditionalist votes is small enough so as to probably not have much of a broader impact anyway (I mean the real trads, not Christian conservatives), so avoiding coalitions for the sake of maintaining purity may not be an unattractive option.

  6. Just posted a long comment. It did not appear. When I tried to re-post, website told me it was a duplicate. Grumble.

  7. This seems right, but there’s the question of which coalition. I’d prefer an R party with fewer plutocrats, more downscale whites, and more Mexicans. Let the D party be the elite+blacks party and the R party be the middle-to-lower party. This, perhaps, would get me an R party which is more enthusiastic than I would like about taxes, the welfare state, and protectionism, but which would be socially conservative.

  8. That’s happened to me several times recently.

  9. These seem to me the groundrules for traditionalist support of mainstream conservatism:

    1. Pragmatic libertarianism – is a political party going to protect traditional religious people and communities from harrassment by left-liberals?
    2. Immigration – is there going to be a national community left to preserve or not?

    These seem to me the only possible reasons now for voting for a mainstream conservative party. If the mainstream political party does not offer something significant on both these two issues, then one should not vote for them, period.

    One can and should engage intellectually with mainstream conservatives of course, but unless something substantive is offered to traditionalists they shouldn’t vote for mainstream conservatives.

  10. I’m tired of being told that I should just shut up and vote for tax
    cuts for the upper classes so that maybe, someday in the nspecified
    future, my social betters will repay me with a parental notice for
    abortions law.

    For what it’s worth, we don’t disagree in the least here, nor on
    “socialized medicine,” nor really on anything you can get to from
    Rerum Novarum and similar magisterial acts. Our “alliance” with the
    libertarians, the neocons, and their masters looks a lot like the
    alliance between a rapist and his victim, and breaking that alliance
    is a good idea. These (and others) are fine examples of weird
    positions the Rs have taken in the service of their paymasters and
    which they have shoved down the throats of their unwitting
    constituents via their noise machine.

    On strategic missile defense . . .

    Whether these are good or bad arguments, they are not arguments which physicists have any authority to make (and this is what was claimed). Engineers, game theorists, military historians perhaps but physicists, no. “Missile defense violates the second law of thermodynamics” is an argument physicists have authority to make.

    I agree that we should keep clear which things are central and which
    things are not. CAGW, missile defense, and race realism involve
    primarily factual and prudential matters. Anyone who does not have a competent, independent opinion on them should defer to authority.

    But it’s you who keep bringing them up as if they are obvious examples of some kind of perversity by conservatives. They are not. Conservatives may believe what they believe for bad reasons, but this does not establish that what they believe is false. The relevant authorities endorse race realism (albeit often in coded fashion) and the feasibility of missile defense. The apparent authorities in CAGW are not authorities, and this fact is pretty easy to see at this point.

    So, why should we argue about subjects which are not central to our
    worldview? Because they may be useful to illustrate the falsity of
    our enemies’ worldview. Because they may appeal to our enemies’
    victims. Because they may work to convince people that our enemies are wrong and we are right, that our enemies lie and we tell the truth. It’s not immoral to use a honest argument which we don’t find the most convincing one, right?

    Race realism is an important issue for the right since, first, the
    left keeps doubling down on it. Second, it is important to their crazed view that everybody is, potentially, a self-defining, self-creating ubermench, free of all social and natural constraints. Third, it is important to their ongoing calumny against Christendom.

    They have argued themselves into a position where it will be difficult
    for them to back down and where it is clear that the evidence will
    continue to accumulate that they are wrong. Because they are wrong. Furthermore, both race realism itself and the totalitarian way its discussion is suppressed is important to many people’s lives—and especially to the lives of intellectuals! It’s a winning issue for
    us. That’s a reason for it being taboo.

    I agree that one could build up a similar case for homosexuality, and
    I would welcome it. I would welcome it because it is really not being
    done in the way race realist arguments are being done. Making
    Thomistic arguments about homosexuality being contrary to nature is certainly a valuable part of that. But, this is too abstract. If you
    want to use homosexuality to win the public argument, then the
    abstract must be connected to something concrete, like, say your
    twelve-year-old son being raped by a gay scout leader and having his sexuality thereby twisted. Recruitment and homosexuals’ propensity for raping minors are taboo subjects people would care about. It is like race realism in that our side is right, and their side is both wrong and totalitarian in its tactics.

    Because there are not enough homosexuals around and because boys are reticent about reporting gay rapes, this is not really part of
    everyday experience for most people. So, this is a problem for this
    argument and a reason to focus more on race realism. In the 80s,
    there was still an active research and propaganda effort on homosexual perversity—I think it is gone now but don’t really know.

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but Steve Sailer used to do the gay
    thing to some extent, but seems to have lost interest.

    There are no arguments on our side which 1) will work and 2) are not taboo. For reasons which are obvious. All attempts to make nice must lead to failure. Not that I think success is likely anyway.

  11. “I was a hawk during the Cold War because I’m in favor of killing communists–anytime, anywhere.”

    But Stalin outlawed abortion and sent sodomites to the gulag. Castro also persecuted homos.

  12. Hi Bill,

    I found your post. Somehow, it had gotten labeled as spam.

  13. Probably a few of them believed the sky is blue, too.

  14. The major problem in the U.S. is that the Republican Party is not an effective opposition movement, while the Democratic Party *is* an effective party for the causes of the left.

    In this case, perhaps the best strategy is to join the Democrats and undermine radicalism from within.

    The trad or trad-leaning purist is uniquely suited for this task, because of his principled motivation. However, he lets his principles keep him from engaging his enemy in hostile territory.

    A few obstinate trads who just decide to join the Democrats and take over a few low-level positions do a service by blocking the rise of future radicals. They can boost the least damaging factions while edging out the most damaging.

    If they can push a few aspiring leftist leaders into the Green Party or some other ineffective club, so much the better.

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