What can be done?

Stephen L . writes:

I read your columns regularly, and am quite impressed with the rigid conservative foundations which you champion. You have caused me to see the light not only on GWB but on the entire Republican party and the neoconservative movement. Since I was a little boy learning American history in a small ethnic Catholic school, staffed by the Sisters of Sts Cyril and Methodius, I have been extremely distrustful of the Islamic world, just a gut reaction that has always been with me. I have always believed that they did not belong in a free society because there is in freedom in Islam. Of course, my views were always ridiculed or dismissed out of hand proceeding through high school and then college (all Catholic, but Jesuit college). To say that I am disappointed about the cultural winds is an understatement; looking at the course offerings at my alma mater, the University of Scranton, makes me shake my head in disgust.

However, what can be done? It seems that short of a revolution, we are on an inexorable slide into liberalism, multiculturalism and domination by our Islamic masters. The government is obviously not on our side, the media is controlled by America haters, and the colleges are run by people who should be shot for treason. At times like this I get worried about what will happen to my grandchildren and great grandchildren…

LA replies:

As long as we think that the present liberal order is the only way things can be, then, yes, there is nothing but despair. But at the core of my view of things is the conviction that liberalism is not as strong as it seems. Liberalism is like the Wizard of Oz, seemingly mighty, intimidating, and invincible, but behind the curtains there’s just a little man pulling switches. As long as we think of liberalism as mighty and invincible, it remains so, and we remain helpless before it. But if we cease, deep down, to believe in liberalism, if we cease to accept its premises as our own, and challenge it face-on from the point of view of truth, then the shallowness and vulnerability and falseness and utter destructiveness of liberalism will become manifest. Liberalism, at its core, is inconsistent with existence. Liberals do not realize this, because of the unprincipled exceptions they keep constantly making to their liberalism to keep it functioning in the real world, like liberal anti-gun columnist Carl Rowen owninga gun and shooting an intruder with it. As the falsity and destructiveness of liberalism is exposed, both by our arguments and by the actual destruction going on all around us, then there will a chance that the reign of liberalism can be broken and our civilization can be saved.

I do not know that we can win. I do not know that we can turn it around. But I do know that liberalism is false and evil and that we can fight it. At present we are not even trying to fight it in a serious way. So from my point of view the future offers not despair but tremendous hope: the hope of changing from our present state of passive helplessness and surrender to liberalism, to a real fight against liberalism.

If I may adapt, for a good purpose, a phrase from one of the great monsters of history:

Traditional Westerners have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Men of the West, Unite!

- end of initial entry -

Kristor L. writes:

Remember Marxism in the late 1970s, how strong it seemed? Remember how the U.S. was sinking beneath the waves of inflation, stagnation, despair, and cardigans, while the Soviets took Nicaragua? Then came Volcker, Reagan, Thatcher, the 1986 Tax Reform, and Star Wars. Within six years of the passage of the ‘86 Tax Reform, which was the fruit of Ronald Reagan’s tireless campaigning beginning in the 50’s, the Soviet Union fell. Who would have presaged this in 1979, with Americans held captive in Iran, and Carter helpless to do anything?

It can happen again to liberalism, and just as quickly. We are now in the same position, vis-a-vis the Republican Party and the rest of the world, as Reagan conservatives were in 1976. Be of good cheer.


I wrote at the time of Reagan’s death that in some way he foresaw the problems we were heading into, and though he had ceased to be an active figure, there was the need for a figure to appear to do on the cultural front what Reagan had done on the front of the the economy and the confrontation with Communism.

I believe Reagan’s tax reform was passed in ‘82 or ‘83.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 17, 2007 01:53 PM | Send

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