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The Muslims Aren’t The Only Ones With a Fervent Ideology I Want a President That Won’t Stiff the Opposition

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All I Know Is That Gentlemanly Conservatism is Dead

by Christopher Chantrill
July 26, 2016 at 12:00 am

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LOOK, I DO not know if the Republican National Convention was a shambles or a cunning trick. I don’t know if Ted Cruz is a genius or a cad. I don’t know if Trump’s speech was dark and dismal or if it said exactly what the average voter is wanting to hear.

All I know is that the good old gentlemanly conservatism that I have adhered to since my introduction to Hayek and Mises 40 years ago is dead.

Clue One is Jonah Goldberg driving from Cleveland to Maine to join his wife and daughter.

So last night after driving for five or so hours to flee the Cleve, I was pretty tired. I penned a down payment on a downright downbeat G-File. I hadn’t slept much the previous week — I made my share of mistakes by the lake — and I was in a foul mood.

Jonah Goldberg is a great guy, and his Liberal Fascism is a magnificent take-down of liberals and everything they stand for. But today he is shivering in a lifeboat watching the conservative Titanic slip beneath the waves.

What went wrong? I’d say that the fatal flaw was that the conservative movement couldn’t transform itself from a debating club into a militant movement to take the fight to the liberals.

Mencius Moldbug had it exactly right. The universities and the media are the Cathedral, the Democratic Party is the Inner Party that gets to rule when in power and the Republican Party is the Outer Party that gets to govern when in office. The Outer Party is never going to take the fight to the Inner Party.

Years ago I picked up from a woman the simple notion that Government is Force: it is not kindly librarians helping people. Since then I’ve proposed that politics is division, because every election attempts to split the electorate, and system is domination, as in every administrative government program. Now, after a looking into the liberal activism culture I’ve decided that politics is violence, for that is what every “peaceful protest” threatens if its non-negotiable demands are not met.

Finally, government is injustice. It must be so, because every government program takes money from people by force and hands it out to the government’s supporters. By “supporters” I don’t just mean community organizers, but people like me: Social Security and Medicare recipients.

Of course, liberals don’t think that their rule of the experts is injustice. Not at all. They listen to NPR and read the New York Times and comfortably know that they are bending the arc of history towards justice. You would think that too if you were a comfortably tenured member of the ruling class.

But government is force, and government is injustice, so any ruling class is likely to provoke unrest and unhappiness among the people. The point of all the checks and balances and separation of powers and bills of rights is to limit the damage the ruling class can do.

So if the ruling class had a lick of sense it would listen to the opposition. It would compromise with the opposition instead of passing Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

Only it doesn’t. Instead liberals corrupt the election process, they want to cut back the First Amendment, and they force their opponents into silence with their accusations of “hate” and racism, sexism, and homophobia. Sad.

I say that this is a yuuge, strategic mistake. It makes the voters angry. And that is why the voters are looking for a president to smash things up after 7 years of a president that thinks politics is all about activism and organizing.

Of course it’s not just gentlemanly conservatives that have suffered under the liberal yoke. Others have suffered more. The white working class is dying from despair after half a century of liberal injustice. Black Lives Matter aside, African Americans have surely suffered a cultural tsunami from government programs designed to “help” them. The millennial kids are suffering under the college loans that crank up college fees and help hire more diversity administrators, and mom-and-pop savers are getting near-zero interest on their life savings so that the government can keep the deficit down. And how about the Asian quota at the nation’s selective colleges?

All because liberals don’t get that every time you start some wonderful program to bend the arc of history towards justice you stick it in someone’s eye. Because government is force. And very often you hurt the very people you are trying to help. Because force is a very blunt instrument.

Still, it’s a shame that gentlemanly conservatism is finished; it was worthy and noble, as far as it went. As always, liberals will learn to love it once they get to experience the Trump replacement — right in the solar plexus.

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


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