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Fathers Keep Society Safe A Tactical Play on Social Security

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Our Post-patriotic Elite

by Christopher Chantrill
June 20, 2005 at 4:23 pm

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HOW WRONG can you be? No, we are not talking about the analogical genius, Senator Dick Durbin (D. al-Inois). We are talking about Mark Steyn, who has the effrontery to call Dick Durbin unpatriotic. Come now, Mark. Dick Durbin isn’t unpatriotic. He is post-patriotic.

Among the many things that our American liberals ask us to swallow in our own best interest is the idea that it is an act of lèse majesté to call them unpatriotic even though they are utterly embarrassed by patriotism. Who has not heard the liberal across the dinner table dismissing nationalism as dangerous and aggressive? But we are not allowed to call them on it.

This power play began after World War II when it came to public knowledge that a number of people with first names that sounded like last names had been passing government secrets to the Soviet Union. We call this time the McCarthy Era.

The McCarthy Era taught liberals that their ideas of a post-nationalist world did not go down too well with the American people. By the skin of their teeth they managed to swim back into the mainstream by a successful counterattack upon Senator McCarthy, and ever since, when caught in a post-patriotic act, they have waved the bloody shirt of McCarthyism to cow their accusers into silence.

Alger Hiss and Dexter White were unpatriotic and proud of it, and so are today’s liberals—in their hearts. Hiss and White believed in a world higher and better than nation states. From their experience in the 1930s they knew that the age of capitalism and fractious nation states was coming to an end, and they wanted to be part of the exciting and altruistic movement that would create a new world order to replace the old, failed system. There would be no place for atavisms like patriotism in the post-patriotic world that they wanted to build.

Today, as they continue with the project to replace the nation state with something higher and better, our post-patriotic elitists have a problem. They have not offered anything to replace patriotism. This was suddenly made obvious in May 2005 when the French and the Dutch people rejected the proposed EU constitution. The governing elite and the international professional class with graduate degrees may feel comfortable with the European idea, but the average people do not. They still adhere to their national loyalties.

Liberals are wrong about nationalism. It is not an embarrassment, it is a miracle. How was it ever possible to get people to shake loose from clan and tribal loyalties, a belonging based on blood, and accept the abstract membership in the modern nation state? The answer is embarrassing, of course.

“Toute ma vie je me suis fait une certaine idée de la France,” wrote General de Gaulle. The first Frenchman to have de Gaulle’s “certain idea about France” probably had it around the time that the English Henry V and his band of brothers were beating them up at the battle of Agincourt. The idea of Italy was created in conflict against the hated Austrian occupiers; the idea of a united Germany was imprinted into the Germanic peoples in the Franco-Prussian War. Local loyalties can only be melted in the crucible of war.

The EU constitution failed because the national loyalties of the Europeans remain unmelted. The French, to their credit, understand this and propose to unite the Europeans in the moral equivalent of war against the United States. Unfortunately, there are plenty of Europeans—Brits, Poles, Czechs, and Balts, for a start—who lack the proper enthusiasm for such a project. Perhaps in another 50 years we can all unite against neo-imperial China.

The time to abandon our patriotism will come when we combine with others to fight a common foe.

But wait a minute! We don’t have to wait half a century to face a common foe. We already have one, the dark forces of Islamic terrorism. Here is the very opportunity that the western liberals have wanted, the chance to melt particularistic nationalistic patriotisms in a cleansing war against a homophobic, intolerant, patriarchal ideology. Yet the liberals have gone AWOL. Instead of rallying the nationalism of the peoples of Europe and North America into a new integrated post-nationalism they have reacted like bureaucrats, searching diligently for undotted “i”s and uncrossed “t”s. They would rather miss the chance to grow the world beyond stultifying nationalism and patriotism than join with George W. Bush and the theocrats.

Maybe Dick Durbin and Co. are doing us a favor. Our modern elites seem incapable of building anything but top-down bureaucracies like the welfare state and the EU. So it is better for them to spout their offensive similes. Their mischievous post-patriotism is just the thing to keep them out of joint—and out of power.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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