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The Rising Tide of Education Subsidy The World Of "They're Just Kids"

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The Real Long War

by Christopher Chantrill
July 29, 2007 at 2:40 pm

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COLOR ME cynical, but I think that the fix is in on Iraq. In September Gen. Petraeus will report on the surge and declare a qualified victory. Then President Bush will start drawing down the troops. Slowly.

Everyone will feel betrayed. The conservative base will feel that our steadfast support for the war was all in vain.

The netroots will continue to demand immediate withdrawal. Expect the Democrats in Congress to keep offering a Resolution of the Week to support the troops and bring them home now.

It would be easy in this situation to get discouraged, but we are conservatives and we are better than that. This is a point worth making because right now the Conservatives in Britain are having a total meltdown over a couple of minor political setbacks.

But if we are not to panic like our formerly stiff-upper-lipped cousins across the Atlantic we must “do something.” I recommend we “do” some strategic thinking. As we retreat from Iraq we should think about the big picture.

The great lesson that we should learn from the first six years of the 9/11 era is this. If it weren’t for our liberal friends here in the United States and in Europe the terrorists would be nothing more than a bunch of Saudi rich kids and Iranian regime thugs out for a rumble.

What makes these Saudi rich kids and their pals world-historical is the understanding they get from the left and the publicity they get from the media. Exhibit A is the CNN-YouTube  questioner who asked the Democratic presidential candidates:

Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

Earth to YouTube: The gap that divides us from the thug dictators is not a lack of negotiations; it is the question of power. For a dictator power isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

The left always seems to be swooning over the latest gang of designer thugs. Right now university book stores are featuring dozens of earnest attempts to understand Islam. Back in the 1980s the lefty Sandalistas were flocking to Sandinista Nicaragua. In the 1970s the left was busy understanding the rage of well-born terrorists in the Weathermen, the Italian Red Brigades, and the Baader-Meinhof gang. A decade before that it was Castro and the execrable Che Guevara. All of those thugs would have got nowhere without the fawning of the luvvies on the left.

You might think that these dictator lovers are evil, and you might be right. But conservative philosopher Roger Scruton talks instead, in A Political Philosophy, of a kind of sickness: “oikophobia.” It’s a fancy Greek neologism for “educated derision at... national loyalty,” always siding with “‘them’ against ‘us,’ and the felt need to denigrate the customs, cultures, and institutions that are demonstrably ‘ours.’” In short, as Scruton writes, it is “the repudiation of inheritance and home.”

Modern conservatism was founded by Edmund Burke upon the opposite idea. It regards  “our liberties as an entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to be transmitted to our posterity” without repudiation.

The great challenge for us, conservatives and libertarians, people inspired by the spirit of democratic capitalism, is the challenge of the “oikophobes.” It means that the war on terror is not finally a war with Islamic terrorism, but an episode in the long war within the west that began in 1789. It is the war between the heirs of Burke and the heirs of Rousseau and Robespierre, between ordered liberty and the “oikophobic” alliance between rational experts, progressive activists, designer revolutionaries and out-and-out thugs.

The “oikophobic” alliance presents a Janus face to the world. It claims to be the very highest and best in human evolution, committed to equality, sharing and caring. In pursuit of this ideal it advocates constantly for inclusiveness and against divisiveness. Yet it conducts its politics according to the crudest techniques of the demagogue, setting worker against boss, renter against owner, woman against man, poor against wealthy, secularist against believer, black against white, gown against town.

And its institutions—the schools, universities, foundations, arts communities, and newsrooms of the world—are the most exclusive and divisive around. Conservatives and Christians need not apply.

But for all their faults you would think that the “oikophobes” would be willing to help conservatives defeat the homophobes, the racists, and the patriarchs of the Middle East.

But they won’t. They are “oikophobes” and they believe in taking the side of “them” against “us.”

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[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


Racial Discrimination

[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


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Taking Responsibility

[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


Responsible Self

[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.


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


Sacrifice

[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


Pentecostalism

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


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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