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by Christopher Chantrill
July 03, 2005 at 6:03 pm
BACK IN the nineteenth century they used to write books about plucky young American ladsoften working to support their widowed mothersand how they showed up rich kids as liars and lowlifes. In Horatio Algers Struggling Upward, young Luke Larkin showed up the bankers son Randolph Duncan as a cheat and a cad and exposed Randolphs banker father as an embezzler.
In Little Lord Fauntleroy, Frances Hodgson Burnett abandoned all restraint and in a tale of embarrassing sentimentality set up her plucky American son of a widowed mother to humble not a mere local banker but a corrupt British aristocratnone other than the wicked Earl of Dorincourt. Living in solitary grandeur in Dorincourt Castle, Lord Dorincourt hated everyone, especially America and Americans, and plucky Cedric Errol, who turned out to be his heir Lord Fauntleroy, had to leave his native New York City and cross the Atlantic Ocean to sort him out.
In our day, of course, the plucky American lad is the embarrassing conservative movement and the corrupt banker/British aristocracy is the educated liberal elite sitting in its tenured bi-coastal castle and looking out with disdain upon ordinary America and ordinary Americans. In the coming fight over the replacement for Sandra Day OConnor on the United States Supreme Court we shall see what a plucky political movement come to robust manhood can do against a debased and corrupted educated elite. It will be a rattling good yarn.
Little Lord Fauntleroy was a great friend of the corner grocer in his New York neighborhood, a certain Mr. Hobbs, and learned under Mr. Hobbss tutelage to be a staunch Republican who celebrated the American Revolution, the Fourth of July, and grand Republican rallies at election time. As simple American patriots the two friends were naturally confused and overawed by the magnificence and sophistication of Dorincourt Castle, just as Republicans today are mystified and overawed by the magnificence and sophistication of the welfare state: the vast universities, the palatial schools, the monster bureaucracies, and the imperatives of free schools, affordable housing, and affordable health care.
Fauntleroy and Mr. Hobbs might have been cured of their awe if they knew what we know, that most of the great houses of England were built in the eighteenth century out of the profits from slave plantations in the West Indies. Modern Republicans understand only too well that the magnificence of the welfare state has also been constructed upon compulsionfrom a vast hoard of taxes collected year in year out from hardworking Americans and their families.
The keystone of liberal magnificence is the Supreme Court. Over half a century liberals have enjoyed the fawning deference of a compliant court that built them a jurisprudence inspired by three noble principles: first, that liberals should be free to follow their bliss, to live creative and meaningful lives liberated from suffocating suburban conformity; second, that their liberal clients should be freed from all responsibility and consequence of bad behavior; and thirdly, that every one elsethat is to say: Republicans, religious believers, and corporationsshould be held to the strictest standards in everything and should pay swingeing damages whenever they failed to deliver a cost-free world to liberals and their clients.
Viewed in the light of these three eternal principles, the last half century of Supreme Court jurisprudence makes complete sense. In the liberal bedroom, in the liberal art studio, and on the streets of the inner city, anything goes. But in the office and the corporate boardroom, strict scrutiny and detailed liberal supervision is the law of the land. And to spare delicate liberal sensibilities the Court has diligently driven religion from the public square.
Old Lord Dorincourt was a rich old man who hated the world and expected the world to hate him back. All he wanted was his privileges and an heir to continue his noble lineage. But he was overmastered by the naiveté and good cheer that little Lord Fauntleroy had learned from the Republican grocer Mr. Hobbs. We cannot expect that our Democratic friends will be so easily persuaded in the fight over the Supreme Court this summer. They will fight hard to retain the privileges that the Supreme Court has awarded them over the last half century. They have a lot to lose.
But conservatives still have an overwhelming advantage that we share with Fauntleroy and Mr. Hobbs: our embarrassing love for America. We get into teary fits when we talk about how grateful we are to be Americans, Ben Stein rhapsodizes in the July/August issue of The American Spectator. On the other hand, Bens Jewish doctor tells him, The Democrats just dont love America. Theyve been captured by the chronic complainers.
That is why it is time to add a vote to the conservative column at the United States Supreme Court.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization