A conservative colleague tells me to terminate VFR

I just got a phone call from a long-time acquaintance I haven’t heard from in a long time. He said right off the bat: “America is finished and therefore you should shut down VFR.”

I hung up the phone. He called again. After saying that he hadn’t meant any disrespect, he explained that since America is finished, there is no point in conservative political activism, and therefore there’s no point in VFR. He said, “I have put my money where my mouth is,” since he had just resigned his job at a political activist organization, because there was no point in it any more, and is now going to focus only on his private life.

I explained to him, first, that VFR is obviously not a conservative political activist site (and having read VFR from the start how could he not know this?), but is primarily about understanding, and, through understanding, helping to cultivate a remnant.

Second, even if the historical American order is finished, which I believe it is and have said so repeatedly (which he also seemed to have missed), the world hasn’t ended, we are still living in it and have to try to make sense of it and figure out how we are going to live in it. Indeed, I continued, I and readers are at this moment trying to come to terms with the overwhelming disaster that has come upon us, and that’s part of what VFR is about.

He replied that he already understood my criticisms of liberalism, and others do too, and therefore there’s no point in my continuing to write such criticisms. He said it was “very strange” that I didn’t see that.

In other words, at the very moment that liberalism has gained a whole new level of power over the country, he believes we should stop paying attention to it and why people believe in it and how it operates and will continue to operate to harm us.

I told him that because he believes only in power, not in truth, the moment he sees no possibility of gaining power, he gives up.

Also, on the matter of activism, I might have added that even if America as it has existed is over, it has not simply disappeared. Oblivion would be simple. What has happened is far more complicated and threatening than mere oblivion, namely that America has been replaced by a lawless leftist regime that intends our harm and will imminently be doing all kinds of things to harm us. So we can’t simply ignore politics, can we? When the countries of Eastern and Central Europe were taken over by the U.S.S.R., did anti-Communists simply give up and stop resisting Communist rule in whatever means were available to them, even if those means were just intellectual? Because the historical civilization of Russia had been destroyed by Communism, would my acquaintance have advised Alexander Solzenitsyn not to write his books exposing Communist evil and laying out the principles of moral and social order?

- end of initial entry -

Ed H. writes:

Along the lines of your conversation with your defeated friend, I would say that the study of liberalism as a specific mental/emotional construct with fatal flaws may be the salvation of the country. I offer the following proposition for further thought.

I believe there is some sort of symbiosis between the content-free “economism” at the core of the Romney campaign and liberalism itself. Liberal power works by putting whole regions of thought off limits, Romney/Ryan’s soulless “economics only” approach to America acted as some sort of accelerator to liberalism not as an antidote. By avoiding bringing to consciousness all that’s missing in liberalism and Obama, Romney only legitimized liberal vacuity. There is some way in which Romney and Obama are two sides of the same coin. We saw this most notably in Debate Three. A real leader feeling the lifeblood of the American people in his veins would have gone in for the kill, humiliating, and destroying Obama without mercy, exposing Obama’s soulless core as vile and inhuman:

“Are you telling me, Mr. President, that you sat there and watched live video with Americans pleading for help and did nothing? That you watched them die in Benghazi when one word would have saved them? Am I to believe this? You disgust me.” [LA replies: I agree that an organic impulse is essential, but I would say your suggested words go too far.]

But there was no such organic pulse. This of course fits in with the basic sense everyone has about Romney, i.e., nice but cold; a good accountant but without vision; a manager not a leader. The lifelessness of the GOP serves as an enabler of liberalism. People this devoid of reality cannot be reached. But they can be perplexed to the point of being neutralized.

Gintas writes:

I believe 1960 was the high point of America, so we’re into year 52 of the decline, and who knows how much longer to go? It’s not as though this is the just the beginning of the decline, so we ought to be used to it, but it may be the point beyond which there is no reversing the decline. Let the liberal conservatives go. When they are in power we end up fighting them anyway, with their amnesties and offshoring and Hispandering and truckling to women and searching for the Great Conservative Black Hope and endless cowering and appeasing. The right-liberal GOP has to go.

Steven T. writes:

If the full consequences of liberalism are ever to be realized, it will be far too late to change direction. We are no longer preaching to the unbelievers, or even to the converted—we are preaching to the future remnant, as the prophet Isaiah did. This remnant may have a chance to reeducate society or maintain a sovereign enclave, so they must be initiated now into the traditional order of being to have a fighting chance.

Gerald M. writes:

Occasionally, you bowl me over with epigrammatic power. Today:

“I told him that because he believes only in power, not in truth, the moment he sees no possibility of gaining power, he gives up.”

That’s about as good a retort to defeatism as I’ve ever read. Differently expressed, it is also a call to defiance. “Because I believe in truth, which is permanent, I will not yield to power, which is temporary, and I will not give up.” (I’m sure this could be improved, but you see what I mean.) And yes, I am reminded of Churchill, in 1940.

The problem is that the leading Republicans are not only not Churchills, they are unworthy of tying the laces of his boots.

That’s why VFR should continue to exist, continue to defy, and never surrender.

JMC writes;

What did Churchill say?

He said:

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imaginations makes things out far worse than they are…. But for everyone, surely…. this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood alone…. it seemed…. we were finished…. instead our country stood in the gap. There was no…. thought of giving in…. we only have to persevere to conquer.

Sorry for the rough edit. But I wanted to keep it brief.

I think the PM would agree with you.

LA replies:

While readers’ attraction to Churchill at a terrrible moment like this is understandable, I’m not sure that his situation was analogous to ours. He had a functioning country to defend from invasion. That country was independent and in charge of its own affairs. Beginning on May 10, 1940 he exercised supreme power in that country. He had an army and an air force and a navy.

We have zero power, we have zero organization. We are individuals, living here and there. We are bloggers and commenters.

Still, though Churchill was defending his society with a united government and armed forces and an aroused citizenry, and we are just scattered and powerless individuals in a leftist society, the basic principle still holds, which I have stated so often: Even if evil controls our external society, we must never accede to it internally. If we hold on to the truth within ourselves, no matter how powerful and irresistible the ruling evil may seem, then the possibility remains of externally resisting and ultimately defeating that evil, though what form that resistance will take we do not currently know.

JMC replies:

The analogy does admittedly, as analogies often do, limp. But the point is Churchill’s unwillingness to yield to defeatism and despair in the face of overwhelming opposition.

However, if not Churchill, then your invocation of Solzhenitsyn is just as, and perhaps more, apt. We’ll resist as the circumstances allow. But I do not completely despair of the possibility of forming just such a nation as you claim we don’t have. Again, one cannot tell from appearances how things will go.

Simon P. writes:

I agree with you that studying and exposing liberalism is as important as ever, but this recent shift should cause right wingers to reevaluate their tactics. The dissidents of the USSR were not attempting to replace their regime with a slightly less oppressive one, but this is exactly what mainstream republicans want.

Traditional conservatives should accept that they are a small minority in this country and will continue to be marginalized as immigration increases. Meaning that democracy or working within the system is not an option and will not achieve anything. It will only corrupt conservatives by forcing them to support increasingly liberal moderate mainstream Republicans.

If the regime is evil then we should seek its collapse and work for some sort of isolation.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 07, 2012 06:51 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):