Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:47 pm
So you don't like today's "conservatives." Okay. What change are you pushing for; and when you get it, how do you plan to keep it without becoming "conservative" about it?
That's just it. The socialists are not pushing for any one permanent change/reform or set of permanent changes/reforms. What they ideally want is open - ended, ongoing change, as much as is possible and on a non-stop basis until they achieve their goal, namely - the realization of a glorious, global utopia that is perfectly good in every respect. They seriously believe, like Voltaire, Helvetius and certain other 18th century philosophes
that human reason has the capacity to literally create "heaven on earth". Their problem is that they are arrogant and self-deluded; and have consequently acquired a pathological, religious -type faith in the notion of: PROGRESS !, PROGRESS !, PROGRESS ! I say "religious - type faith", because it is, strictly speaking, irrational. Not rational in the same sense that ultimately one cannot acquire genuine religious faith ( for example, Christian faith) through the exercise of mere human reason/rationality alone. The socialist personality is innately vulnerable to acquiring a robust"faith" that continuous reform of the state by the implementation of whatever innovative policies for change (typically large-scale social/economic change) are deemed necessary, will hasten the arrival of a utopia for humankind on this planet. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them that utopist, socialist radicalism always has, and always will end in tears, they simply refuse to listen. No matter how many times you explain to them that: Mao's Cultural Revolution in Red China; Leninism, the Stalinism and then Dialectical Materialism in the USSR; Pol Pot's primitive, agrarian, Marxist regime in Cambodia , etc; were catastrophic disasters for humanity, they stubbornly refuse to pay any attention .They are like cockroaches, no matter how many times you try to exterminate them in your house, they just keep coming back. As they are doing in the American Democrat party right now. Correct me if I am wrong, but the current front runners in the 2020 Presidential candidate contest, people like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders
The best example of this were some of the high falutin' Western Marxists in the academy during the 1960's, especially intellectuals like Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Co. The story is that by 1956 Marxism was really "on the nose", around the world, some of the main reasons for this were: (1) the promised world-wide workers' revolution that Marx and Engels had confidently predicted in the "Communist Manifesto" (1844) was now over 100 years past due; (2) America's capitalist economy which Marxist scholars around the world had said would implode had not imploded, in fact, not only had it survived the Great Depression and World War II, but in the mid 1950's there was plenty of hard empirical evidence published by economists showing that the US economy was booming; (3) then in 1956, Soviet leader, Nikita Krushchev, openly confessed that his predecessor, Joseph Stalin, had been a genocidal monster; (4) 1956 was a bad year for the Soviets because it was also the year they sent in the Red Army to crush a people's uprising (against communist rule) in Hungary; and crush it they did - very brutally. What they seemed to have forgotten is that in 1956 many people around the world had television sets at home and were watching - in horror - as live footage of the Kremlin's bloody clampdown on the streets of Budapest was beamed into their living rooms.
Now you would think that most Marxists in the West in the late 1950's, by that stage, have been saying to themselves, "Well, it looks like I backed a loser, Marxism doesn't work, in fact is toxic." and torn up their party cards. Some - quite a lot - did. But others like Derrida and Foucault and the rest of the Marxist faithful - the "true believers" simply could not accept that their cherished ideology was rotten to the core. So what they did was invent a new philosophy based on Marxism's core precepts, but disguised - by sleight-of-hand - to look like something new and innocuous - it was called deconstructionism by Derrida and Foucault called his new theory post-structuralism, but the bottom line is that they formed the foundation, of what most people today know as postmodernism. Postmodernism was a disaster for America, it utterly destroyed the quality of the teaching and learning in the non-STEM departments of all US Universities. It wreaked havoc in lots of other ways too, but this post is intended to be an in-depth critique of the course of postmodernism in the US and other Western nations, so I'll leave that for another day and to grips with what I wanted to discuss with you about conservatism.
WHAT IS THE PRIMARY, FOUNDATIONAL PRECEPT OF CONSERVATISM ?
I think it's fair to say that as far as "conscious conservatism", in the modern age is concerned, it first manifested itself in 1790, which was the year that Edmund Burke published "Reflections on the Revolution in France.
" After that essay was published, the notions of conservatism and innovation became fixed in the public consciousness by virtue of Burke's prophetic genius. In "Reflection", he had predicted the disastrous fall-out from the Jacobin insurgency with astonishing accuracy.
Burke understood that change may not be salutary reform and that precipitate innovation may become a devouring inferno rather than a luminous torch of progress. When Abraham Lincoln once inquired, "What is conservation" - "Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried ?" The answer is "Yes it is", but the desire to preserve the status quo
, and the conviction that when reform is necessary only cautious, gradual and incremental change out be implemented. WE are all familiar with this principle of conservatism, but the question arises what is its underlying doctrine ? In other words what ultimate principles did Burke refer to in formulating the conservative precept of cautious, incremental and gradual change of the the status quo
? In my opinion, the ultimate source of Burke's beliefs was the Natural (moral) Law Philosophy; this, I think, was his primal theoretical foundation.
Burke understands that society must alter, because prudent (wise-circumspect) change is a means of social preservation; but a statesman he says must take Providence into account. In his writings, Burke's refers to a "higher law" which is, an essence eternal and universal ethical norm ordained by God, and apprehended through human reason and instinct. It is valid at all times and in all places, independently of man's will. So I think what grounded all of Burke's political theory was belief in a transcendent or and a corpus of Natural (moral) Law ordained by God, which rules society as well as conscience. Burke understood that political problems were, at bottom, religious and moral problems. Our narrow human rationality - "understanding - is , Burke say, "feeble and weak", it cannot therefore satisfy human needs. It seems to me that every bone fide
Tory must be a realist. A Tory is a person who knows that there are vast, incomprehensible forces on this Earth, and also in Heaven - (just looking up into the astonishing boundlessness and splendour of a starry night sky confirms this) - and there is no way that our human rational faculties will ever plumb or fathom these phenomena. I mean, just consider YOURSELF, IC, how could I or any other man -even the most brilliant of persons - ever begin to provide an exhaustive rational account of what, precisely, you are ? Such an attempt would represent the height of folly, because you the human being/human person are so infinitely complex. The same thing applies for human society, Burke knew this, and it is why he held the "sophisters, calculators and economists" - the "metaphysicians, speculators and abstract theorists" of the Europe's "Age of Reason" like Voltaire, Rousseau and Helvetius, in such utter contempt. Not for no reason did he earn a reputation as the "gravedigger of the Enlightenment" (!)
Anyway, that's my tuppence worth. I think the fundamental canon of conservatism in the modern era is the Natural (moral) Law(?)
What do you think ?
Dachshund (Der Uberweiner)