social conservatism and small government

I’m obviously a social conservative but since I’m an agnostic I can’t base my social conservatism on religion. That would be hypocritical. I base my social conservatism on pure pragmatism.

What intrigues me is that mainstream conservatives seem to be blissfully unaware of the political consequences of social liberalism.

In the past half century or so we’ve seen a fascinating social experiment take place in the West – an attempt to create a society without sexual morality and without traditional sex roles. I think it’s pretty clear that the attempt has failed. Predictably it has led to social chaos, human misery and a collapse in birth rates. What we now have is a dying society – a society that cannot reproduce itself is pretty obviously a dying society. It’s become more and more a society of atomised individuals without purpose and without hope.

All this should be obvious but the exasperating thing is that mainstream conservatives just cannot see it. They continue to believe that a society is nothing more than economics. All we need to do is increase GDP and people will be happy. But GDP increases and people don’t get happier. All we need are more tax cuts and everything will be great. But taxes get cut and things don’t get better.

Human beings are social animals, not economic animals. People need more than money and consumer goods to make them happy. People need social connections and they need a purpose (other than greed). Feminism and sexual freedom destroy families. Without families people find that their lives are empty and meaningless.

But there’s another consequence that is usually overlooked. If the family is destroyed then the state must step in to take over its functions. This obviously results in a bigger stronger state. More big government.

Of course for most mainstream conservatives this is a feature, not a bug. Mainstream conservatives want what big business wants, and big business wants big government. So really they’re evil rather than stupid.

But what about the conservatives who claim that they are small government conservatives? They have shown no interest in promoting social conservatism so they have in effect contributed to the growth of big government. The logical conclusion would be that they’re stupid rather than evil. Or possibly they’re merely cowardly.

The libertarians are even more deluded. To the extent that libertarianism might be a workable proposition (which is I think extremely dubious) it could only ever work in a very socially conservative society with fairly rigid adherence to traditional sex roles.

The bottom line is that you can’t have small government without social conservatism. So-called conservatives who think they can be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” are living in a dream world. So-called conservatives who think they can be in favour of small government without also being in favour of social conservatism are living in the same world of delusions.

why nationalism has no electoral appeal

I’ve been having an intriguing debate on immigration with a Finn at Unz Review. He was crowing over the magnificent success of the anti-immigration party in the recent Finnish election. That party got a massive 17.5% of the vote. I tried to gently point out that since all the other parties are rabidly pro-immigration that result actually means that 82.5% of Finns voted in effect for pro-immigration policies. He tried to counter that by arguing that a recent survey showed that 74% of Finns opposed immigration. My reply was that such a survey isn’t very comforting when 82.5% of Finns proceeded to vote for parties with explicitly pro-immigration policies.

This all seems consistent with the situation in other countries. Polls show that people do not want immigration but they still vote for parties that they know are in favour of massive immigration.

So what is the answer to this mystery? Why is it that nationalist and anti-immigration parties just don’t attract the level of electoral support that would be expected?

I can suggest a few possible explanations.

Firstly, opinion polls and surveys are not especially reliable when it comes to social attitudes. Results can vary enormously depending on how questions are phrased. Opinion polls can be manipulated to provide particular results. The problem with this explanation is that you would expect opinion polls to underestimate support for immigration restrictionism.

Secondly, it may be that these parties are remarkably poor at selling their message. That sounds plausible but can we really believe that all these parties are incompetent when it comes to selling themselves?

Thirdly, it may be that many of the leaders of anti-immigration parties rub people up the wrong way – they seem autistic or weird, or more to the point they can easily be portrayed by the media as autistic and weird and socially undesirable.

Fourthly, it may be that while a very large number of people are anti-immigration it’s not really a very important issue for most of them. When it comes to voting they’re more interested in bread-and-butter issues. They’re more interested in voting for the party that will put the most money in their pockets right now. That’s much more important than the future of our society.

Fifthly, it may be that nationalist and anti-immigration parties are too much associated in the public mind with ideas that are so deeply unpopular and socially unacceptable that any party even vaguely linked with such ideas will fail to win votes. I’m talking about ideas such as HBD (human biodiversity) which its proponents claim to be a scientifically proven recognition of inherited differences (particularly in intelligence) between races. The problem with stuff like HBD is that firstly the science behind them is very very dubious and secondly there is no way you can avoid having such ideas labelled as white supremacism or Nazi science. So you end up with nationalist/anti-immigration parties being tainted with racism and that’s going to scare off 80% of your potential voters.

Sixthly, such parties can come across as being very negative. Concentrating too much on what you’re against without articulating what you’re for is a major political mistake.

I’m inclined to think that the fourth, fifth and sixth explanations are by far the most likely. So what is the answer to this problem? Obviously nationalist parties have to offer a lot more than anti-immigration rhetoric. They have to offer an economic alternative to globalism. They have to offer hope and inspiration. They have to get people excited about the possibility of having a future again. They have to be wary of obvious vote-losing stuff like HBD.

Whether any of this would actually work, whether nationalist parties would ever be allowed to govern, is another matter. It’s possible that even if they won they’d be targeted for destruction by the United States. I’m not even sure it would necessarily be a good thing if they won – I have expressed my reservations about nationalism in other posts. I’m simply pointing out why the current strategies of nationalists seem doomed to failure.

And it is worth pointing out that one of the reasons nationalists and other dissidents are such easy targets is that they have no real base of popular support.

conservatives and history

It is a curious fact that conservatives (I mean mainstream political conservatives rather than social conservatives) have never conserved anything and have never seriously tried to do so. The explanation is of course that mainstream conservatives are in fact liberals. Their entire worldview is liberal to the core. But how is it that these conservatives have never been troubled by the contradictions inherent in being liberals who call themselves conservatives?

Perhaps part of the explanation is the Whig view of history which has reigned unchallenged (particularly in the Anglosphere) for centuries. The Whig view of history is that the whole of history is an inevitable progression towards the Promised Land in which society will be organised entirely upon pure liberal lines. Its only challenger has been Marxist history but the Marxist approach to history is merely a variation on the Whig approach. To Marxist historians the endpoint of history is a society organised upon pure Marxist lines but the process is identical. History is inevitable, history is progressive, the trend is always towards a better and more virtuous world, change is good because change is always for the better (because old things and old ways are always bad), the good guys (the liberals) always triumph in the end.

In other times and places quite different views of history have prevailed. Cyclical views of history seemed to have predominated in the ancient world and in the East. The Christian view of history, that it is the unfolding of God’s plan, was at one time immensely influential. For the past couple of hundred years cyclical views of history have been very much on the fringe whilst the Christian view of history is now held only by extremist Christian heretics such as dispensationalists. Mainstream Christians accept the fundamentally anti-Christian Whig view of history.

It’s inherent in the Whig view that everything that happens in history will always turn out in the long run to be liberal and progressive and good and in accordance with Whig principles, because it’s in the very nature of history that liberalism must be the winning side. Liberalism is on the right side of history.

So naturally the outcome of historical conflicts, whether military or political, must tend to contribute to the defeat of those on the Wrong Side Of History. This means that the winners of any military or political conflict must be the good guys. Conservatives tend to believe this, and in fact most of us believe it because for several centuries we have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the Whig approach to history. It’s interesting that this even applies to obviously disastrous wars like the First World War. No matter how appalled we may be by that exercise in butchery most of us still feel that somehow the Germans must have been the bad guys, simply because they lost.  The fact that they lost is enough to prove that they were in the wrong.

This is an attitude that is unconsciously adhered to by most people in the Anglosphere. Victory in war is proof that one is on the Right Side of History. Mainstream conservatives do not question this because to do so would be to question the rightness and the inevitable triumph of liberalism.

This also applies to victory in political struggles. While it may seem obvious that the Sexual Revolution that began in the 60s was a catastrophe in every way and is something that needs to be undone if society is to survive very very few mainstream conservatives would dare to think such a thing, much less say it. It’s the same with the triumphs of feminism and the homosexual lobby. Mainstream conservatives are unwilling to adopt a radically critical stance towards such matters because the very fact that those who pushed the Sexual Revolution and feminism and the homosexual agenda succeeded proves that they were on the Right Side of History. Clearly those cataclysmic social changes were Meant To Be.

The irony is that conservatives end up being totally opposed to the idea of conserving anything because the only way to be on the Right Side of History is to be favour of constant change.

conservatives, liberals and authority figures

One of the great weaknesses of the conservative mindset is a certain habitual obsequiousness towards authority figures. There’s a tendency to assume that authority figures are fine people doing a good job and that they deserve respect.

Maybe there was a time when this was reasonable. Maybe there was a time when most authority figures were honest and trustworthy and concerned with doing the right thing. I don’t think it’s likely that this was ever the case but I’m prepared to admit the possibility that there was a time when it was at least partly true. What is beyond question is that to assume the trustworthiness of authority figures today is naïve to an almost pitiful degree.

In the past few years dissident rightists have started to realise that authority figures are not on their side. Mainstream conservatives however cling to their child-like faith in authority (they tend to positively grovel when they see a uniform) and even some dissident rightists still fall into the trap of being too trusting of authority.

The sad fact is that these days practically everyone in a position  of authority is either a liberal/globalist true believer or someone who has willingly sold his soul to liberalism/globalism for the sake of career advancement. If you are a police officer, a judge, a bureaucrat, an elected official, a church leader, then you serve the liberal/globalist Establishment. You serve those who have destroyed our society. You serve the enemies of civilisation. Whether you believe in the cause or evil or merely serve the cause of evil because you’re ambitious or you’re afraid of losing your job makes no difference. You are still serving evil.

It’s sad to see people who think of themselves as conservatives or traditionalists failing to understand that the levers of power are no longer in the hands of people who are on their side.

What’s rather strange and disturbing is seeing the way left-liberals have changed their view of authority. Up until a couple of decades ago any self-respecting left-liberal regarded authority with extreme suspicion. They regarded the representative of the criminal justice system with even more extreme suspicion. They considered the police (correctly) to be enemies. They considered organisations like the FBI or the CIA or MI5 to be pure evil. But liberals are more realistic than conservatives (they may be crazier than conservatives but they definitely understand reality more clearly). They understand that liberal-globalists are now the Establishment. They have abandoned any left-wing beliefs they once held and now embrace liberalism-globalism as The One True Faith. They understand that the police and the FBI and the entire intelligence/counter-intelligence community are still agents of oppression, but being faithful liberal-globalists they are now very much in favour of oppression.

I’m not sure which is more sad, the conservatives who still think a policeman is your friend and that the justice system has something to do with justice or the one-time leftists who now admire anyone in jackboots.

offering (or not offering) a vision for the future

In a discussion elsewhere I made the point that the weakness of the alt-right is that it doesn’t offer much in the way of a positive vision for the future. The alt-right is mostly negative and mostly focused on dislike of its political enemies. My view is that no political movement can succeed unless it does offer a positive vision of the future.

Someone else pointed out that this applies equally to the Left these days. Which I think is a valid point. There was a time when the Left articulated a very clear and reasonably coherent vision of the future. The Left had an actual program. That’s no longer the case. Social justice is a meaningless term that in practice means nothing more than handouts for victim groups and acting as a cover for vicious attacks on political enemies (especially Christians). Social justice, feminism and indeed liberalism in general are little more than rambling incoherent ideologies of hate. The Left no longer has a plan to reconstruct society. The Left has embraced capitalism. The ugliness and injustice and social unhealthiness of capitalism are now things for the Left to cover up. Social justice is a way of persuading us not to notice that the Left no longer has an actual coherent program.

The mainstream Right also offers no vision for the future, other than tax cuts for the rich.

So we’re left with nothing more than a struggle for power, and a recipe for societal disillusionment.

religion and politics don’t need to make sense

In my previous post I made the point that conservatives see politics as something that is open to debate while liberals see their own political beliefs as religious dogma that is not subject to debate. This is of course hardly original or startling although there are still conservatives who have failed to notice such an obvious fact.

There is something much more interesting that follows from this. Religion does not need to make sense. It is a matter of faith. You do not enter into debate on the subject. Rational argument is irrelevant to religious belief. It naturally follows that the same rule applies to any political ideology that functions as a substitute religion. Debate cannot be permitted.

What must be understood is that it’s not that liberals are unwilling to enter into political debate. They cannot do so. To do so would be to admit that their faith is subject to doubt. It would mean admitting that heretics might be right and the orthodox might be wrong.

The history of the decline of Christianity in the West provides compelling evidence that liberals are, from their point of view, quite correct in rejecting the possibility of discussion. They have a faith and they are satisfied with it. It gives them a reason to live, it gives them a feeling of moral superiority and it gives them a warm fuzzy emotional buzz. From their point of view their political religion works perfectly. The fact that it might make no sense at all and that it might all collapse like a house of cards if subjected to rational argument does not matter because they have no intention of allowing that to happen.

Conservatives just don’t get this. They still insist on assuming that politics is something that can be discussed and debated rationally. They still insist on thinking that political ideologies have to be logical and have to make sense.

This is why conservatism has failed. They can come up with impressive rational arguments in favour of their own economic and social policies but people don’t respond to rational arguments. People don’t decide how to vote based on rational arguments. They make such decisions based on emotions. If voting for a particular party makes them feel morally superior they will do so. If voting for a particular party gives them an emotional rush they will do so.

People do not vote based on a rational assessment of their own interests. There is nothing remotely rational about voting behaviour.

People do not choose their political beliefs by weighing up evidence. They choose the political beliefs that will make them feel good.

People need to feel that their lives have meaning. Choosing a political belief that is emotionally satisfying and that feels morally right helps to give a person the feeling that their life does have meaning and purpose.

Liberalism can only de fought and defeated by an opposing ideology that works the same way – an ideology that appeals to the emotions, that makes a person feel that they are fighting for something good and worthwhile, that feels morally right and that gives meaning to the life of those who believe in it.

who are these conservatives of whom you speak?

When it comes to politics labels are crucially important. They’re important because they’re nearly always false or misleading, often deliberately so.

Let’s take the conservative label. There are lots of people who attach this label to themselves. In fact practically all of those who do so are in fact liberals. There are very easy ways to tell if a person is conservative or not. If he says he believes in the individual and in individual rights then he’s a liberal. If he says he believes in freedom he’s a liberal. Those are the defining characteristics of liberalism.

There are lots of people who will describe themselves as being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Such people are liberals. The economic policies that these people describe as being conservative are in fact pure liberalism. These people are right-wing liberals, the very worst kind of liberal.

Those who would describe themselves as being liberal rather than conservative on economic policy are usually socialists. If you combine those economic views with socially liberal views then you’re a left-wing liberal. There’s only one problem with being a left-wing liberal – liberal social policies will eventually destroy any society and create chaos and socialism requires social order.

Being a social conservative is a radically different thing from being a political conservative. For some strange reason it seems to be assumed these days that social conservatives will be right-wing and will therefore support conservative economic policies (which are in reality as we have seen liberal economic policies). There’s no reason why this connection should exist. It used to be quite common to be an economic leftist (which is a very different thing to being an economic liberal). There used to be no problem with being a socialist and being a social conservative. In fact it made a lot of sense. If you were a socialist and you cared about the working class and you had a brain you’d pretty quickly work out that social liberalism is a catastrophe for working-class people.

The reason there are very few socially conservative socialists today is that there are virtually no socialists. Those who pretend to be socialists these days usually turn out to be liberals who pursue economic policies that favour the rich.

But there’s no particular reason why a person today can’t be a socially conservative socialist. Since I’m opposed to immigration and I’m socially ultra-conservative most people today would label me as being far right. Which makes no sense at all to me since I see my opposition to open borders and my social conservatism as being solid left-wing virtues.