After the catastrophe, a new conservatism, a conservatism of truth

Readers know the low opinion I have of most of the writings at American Thinker. Just the other day I made fun of three typically triumphalist articles there that stated, not as a prediction, but as a fact, that Romney was going to win. But here is someone writing today at AT that gets it, Daren Jonescu. He states bluntly that we have lost America. And his advice is, not to surrender, as an acquaintance has advised me to do, and not to carry on as before, as the Republican and conservative establishment will advise us to do, but resistance—a resistance that consists in speaking the truth. And, shockingly for a conservative, he also recognizes that such truth-speaking is not going to lead to victory, at least in any foreseeable future, but that it is the only way to keep ourselves alive and to keep the left from having complete victory over us.

I would add further that those mainstream conservatives—your Victor Hansons, your Charles Krauthammers, your chestless wonders at National Review—who do not speak the truth, who do not recognize the terrible thing that has happened to America, but who keep acting as though everything in America is still basically ok and normal and that conservatives should just continue with the same politics as before but with some modifications aimed at winning more votes, are the people who would give the left complete victory and complete power over us.

Jonescu’s whole piece is worth reading. What follows are excerpts:

Here is a short list of words or turns of phrase that I never want to hear again.

(1) “America is a center-right country.” …

America is not a center-right country, whatever that means. It is—notwithstanding its still-sane minority (which includes almost everyone reading this)—a socialist-leaning nation that lags behind the rest of the progressive world only due to a slight residual guilt complex regarding all that old Constitution stuff. The events of the past couple of days suggest that even that little bugaboo has now been largely overcome by the majority, for whom most inhibitions about accepting their chains—and chaining their neighbors—are now gone….

This election was the last chance to spare America the final degradation of ceasing to be a constitutional republic altogether. That battle has now been lost. The things most needed now are clarity and forthrightness. The danger most imminent now is that, having forsaken the principles of liberty, the nation will simply forget that those principles ever existed. Therefore, from now on, to whatever extent possible, every candidate running against the Democrats in any election must be the most unapologetic, relentless constitutional conservative available. He or she must call out the Democrat as a leftist, a socialist, an authoritarian, and every other simply accurate designation appropriate to the situation. And he or she must be intellectually prepared to prove that case against the Democrat, and to make the moral, constitutional case for individual freedom.

Will this kind of blunt, hard truth lead to victory? Not likely, or not in the short run. The danger, however, is that if the true identity of modern American leftism is swept under the rug in the name of the big lie of “electability” (another word I hope I never hear again), the popular optics will forever belong to the Democrats, who, after all, have actively created a society in their own image and will therefore always appear as the most natural position to their monstrous offspring….

(4) “I know he’s a good man, and wants what’s best for America.” I hope this is the last presidential election in which conservatives will have to hear this validate-your-opponent claptrap from their standard-bearer. Barack Obama is neither a good man nor one who wants what is best for America. He is a bad, conscienceless man, who wants to undo America in the name of a very foreign model of social organization….

No more apologies. No more embarrassment. No more veiled language when on the big stage. The left won the day by making the most radical, anti-human irrationalism of this epoch seem safe and normal, while portraying freedom and individualism as the dangerous, radical path.

The electoral battle between leftism and liberty is lost, and perhaps will now remain so for a good long time, regardless of the name of the winning party in any given election.

The moral war, however, is still in its early stages. It is an educational war, which means a war of ideas, which means a civilizational war. It is going to get ugly, and we are going to lose more battles than we win. As you know, however, the ultimate victor is the side that wins the last battle.

“Forward”? Bring it on.

[end of Jonescu article.]

Jonescu somewhat contradicts his main point by that last triumphal note. He should have just said, we must fight a civilizational war, and we will not give up.

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

And the need for a “conservatism of truth” is why you should not terminate VFR. You are more relevant, necessary, and appreciated than ever!

Conservatives should recall Solzhenitsyn’s instruction to “live not by lies”:

Let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood—of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies—or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.

And from that day onward he:

  • Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.

  • Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.

  • Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.

  • Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.

  • Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.

  • Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.

  • Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question. Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.

  • Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed. Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.

But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude.

And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul—don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views, don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general—let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.

Even this path, which is the most modest of all paths of resistance, will not be easy for us. But it is much easier than self-immolation or a hunger strike: The flames will not envelope your body, your eyeballs, will not burst from the heat, and brown bread and clean water will always be available to your family.

A great people of Europe, the Czechoslovaks, whom we betrayed and deceived: Haven’t they shown us how a vulnerable breast can stand up even against tanks if there is a worthy heart within it? You say it will not be easy? But it will be easiest of all possible resources. It will not be an easy choice for a body, but it is the only one for a soul. Not, it is not an easy path. But there are already people, even dozens of them, who over the years have maintained all these points and live by the truth.

So you will not be the first to take this path, but will join those who have already taken it. This path will be easier and shorter for all of us if we take it by mutual efforts and in close rank. If there are thousands of us, they will not be able to do anything with us. If there are tens of thousands of us, then we would not even recognize our country.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 08, 2012 07:56 AM | Send

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