This is a timely essay that puts neoconservatism in its true colours.
Nikki Haley Is No Conservative
We like to say that American conservatism is a three-legged stool. The “legs” are the three dominant factions in the Republican Party: social traditionalists, economic libertarians, and foreign policy interventionists. Conventional wisdom holds that the Right is only stable if all three legs are balanced. Yet, over the last half-century, the only “leg” that has consistently gotten its way from the GOP are the war hawks.
Sure, economic conservatives have gotten lower taxes, but the federal register of encumbering regulations has grown exponentially. The red-headed stepchildren of the fusion coalition have been the social conservatives. What we have seen is our issues given short shrift and sacrificed pretty quickly in the light of foreign policy contingencies. (See George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.) All our issues went down the drain when the neoconservatives began braying for nation-building down a gun barrel.
Conventional Republican presidents have done three things. First, they defunded Mexico City Policy that prohibits American family-planning money from supporting abortion overseas. Second, they defunded the United Nations Population Fund. Thirdly, they promised strict constructionists on the Supreme Court. If they do these things, they are considered pro-life. And they have not tended to do much more than this.
A wise Jerusalem is better than an innocent Eden.
By Garrett Ward Sheldon • August 7, 2020
To understand the extraordinary events in America today, it is helpful to look at the ancient wisdom of Greece and Rome. And as the wise historian Thucydides said, “If we forget the errors of the past, we are doomed to repeat them.” The classical Greek authors Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the Romans Cicero and St. Augustine, explain much of what we are experiencing in politics today. A certain textbook, The History of Political Theory: Ancient Greece to Modern America, may also be helpful in this endeavor.
The ancient Greco-Roman historian Polybius (200-118 B.C.) developed a theory of the “lifecycle” of a republic. Like a human being, a republic is born, is young, matures, grows old, and dies. The United States was born in 1776 (our Declaration of Independence) and 1789 (the ratification of our Constitution); was a youth in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; you might say was adolescent in the mid-1800’s (during our Civil War) and matured in the industrial age of late 19th and early 20th centuries. But, by the mid-20th century, especially after World War II, our country grew old, and beginning in the 1960s, frail, sickly, and mentally-impaired.
Like human beings, elderly republics become weak and sickly, sad and demented before they die completely: into anarchy and lawlessness, or tyranny and dictatorship. A society shows its old age in moral weakness, political corruption, decadence, and depravity.
The appearance of the Corona virus has achieved what all the machinations of Western Marxists have failed to achieve since the Russian Revolution: lock people in their homes and deal what could be a fatal blow to the market economies of the West – otherwise called Capitalism.
The pretext is the COVID-19 virus. The only way to deal with this highly infectious virus is to restrict people to their homes and shut down most economic activity while printing money to ‘save’ businesses from destruction.
Christopher Ferrara in a long essay in Remnant newspaper, DONALD TRUMP and the COVID19 PANIC: A Comprehensive Analysis, discusses the other side of the story. The other side is President Trump’s strategy to deal with the virus whose effects on the evidence is hardly more serious that seasonal influenza. This is a long essay but it’s worth reading, if for nothing else than to read an alternative narrative to the present program of destruction – and the handing over of Western Society to the extreme Marxist left some of whom are already gloating over the irony of it all.
THE PLACE OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE ECONOMICS IN EDMUND BURKE’S
POLITICS OF ORDER
The Austrian Scholars Conference, March 2002
By Joseph Pappin III, University of South Carolina
President of The Edmund Burke Society of America
I wish to focus upon what until now has been a largely
unanswered question: “What is the relationship between Burke’s economic theory
and his political theory?” The implications of this question and the built-in
assumptions are that Burke’s political economy is entirely libertarian,
stressing laissez-faire principles in a free-market setting, and that his
political philosophy emphasizes order, hierarchy, tradition – all of which
comprise a conservative world-view, recalcitrant towards change, prizing order
and virtue over economic liberalism.
It is primarily due to the path-clearing works of
Peter Stanlis on Edmund Burke and the Natural Law and Francis
Canavan’s The Political Reason of Edmund Burke that the true
principles of Burke’s politics were salvaged from the invariant and unyielding
“Utilitarian” interpretation purveyed among virtually all Burkean expositors.
The natural law foundations of Burke’s politics were retrieved from his Works
in which they lay in clear light, and the natural moral law is grounded in the
eternal law of God, as Burke maintains. For Burke man is a creature of
God “who gave our nature to be perfected by our virtue,” and thereby “impressed
an invariable law upon it.” (Tract on the Popery Laws) But
for commentators such as the English Marxist C.B. MacPherson, who claims to
advance us beyond the natural law versus liberal utilitarian interpretations,
both views lie incomplete: “Both fail,” MacPherson laments in his small
volume Burke, “to resolve, indeed largely fail to see, the seeming
incoherence between Burke the traditionalist and Burke the bourgeois liberal.”
(Burke, Oxford, 1980, p.4). Here, Burke is seen to employ the language
of “Natural Law” as a rhetorical device to sanction a tradition based,
hierarchical society, which is already being transformed into a free market,
capitalist economy. For Burke, “Utility and Natural Law were the same because
capitalism and the traditional order were the same,” claims MacPherson,
“because capitalism needed the sanction of tradition and habit.” The result:
Burke is a bourgeois political economist who grounds the economy – and here is
a dose of traditionalism coming through – not on contract but on status. And
thus the rhetoric of “Christian Natural Law” is utilized to justify Burke’s own
brand of economic reductionism.
Continue reading The Place of Laissez-faire Economics in Edmund Burke’s Politics of Order