During the mid-1960s, the great Cultural Revolution began. 1980s conservatives started holding the line tolerably well, though couldn’t press forward. However, since the 1990s, they’ve been sliding backward, especially in the culture war. Why is this happening?
Liberal judges certainly aren’t shy about legislating from the bench, shoving their social engineering down the public’s throat. Judge-shopping is a major go-to tactic when leftists want something that legislatures will never support, much less the people.
Beginning with the Warren Court, SCOTUS achieved most of the left’s greatest victories, disregarding legitimately-enacted laws and the public’s will. For the latest example, popular referendums about gay marriage lost by wide margins, even in California. Then the Supreme Court’s philosopher-kings did their usual pilpul stuff and “interpreted” the Constitution according to their political preferences.
Also, the left overwhelmingly controls opinion-forming institutions. Education and the media are the major ones, but even many churches became converged, and also they’re making great efforts to silence dissident opinions online. Their milieu control resulted in generations of Blue Pilled liberals and a culture sliding further leftward. This is no coincidence. Their “long march through the institutions” is a major strategy, and it’s easy to underestimate the left’s organization and networking.
Measures allowing for recall of judges who blatantly exceed their authority would help. Changes in university hiring practices could mandate ideological balance, though we’re stuck with radicalinski professors until they age out. We also should keep discrediting the media and university system to starve the beast, and perhaps create our own institutions. These things aren’t easy, but are worthwhile goals.
Something the right can do immediately is start playing hardball. Leftists are out for total war. What are conservatives doing?
Conservatism in theory
By the textbook definition, conservatism seeks to maintain the status quo. William F. Buckley stated famously:
A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop…
Buckley was unquestionably brilliant, but not perfect. Creating National Review was an important development. Unfortunately, NR positioned itself as the non plus ultra of “respectable” rightist thought. Thus, anyone ideologically beyond their editorial board is an extremist unworthy of consideration. However, “defend left, punch right” isn’t a winning strategy. Further, the textbook status quo stance has some unavoidable problems.
If conservatism merely opposes change, rolling back leftist dysfunction and degeneracy matters little; they just don’t want more of it. Returning a nation’s former glory (MAGA and the like) isn’t on the agenda; that’s “reactionary”. Traditionalism is valuable, but blindly defending a dysfunctional “new normal” is nonsensical. It’s almost as silly as the radical leftist “change everything for the hell of it” shtick. As G.K. Chesterton, a founder of Distributism, once put it:
The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
How’s that helpful?
Status quo is stagnation
If the right isn’t at least somewhat reactionary, it’s barely more than centrism for its own sake. There’s no room for pursuing past concepts that worked better, carefully developing new ones, or pragmatically acknowledging another ideology’s successful ideas. Who really wants to conserve the present-day globohomo mess?
Further, that’s passive and strategically ineffective. Not pushing back means repeatedly losing ground. Mainstream nice guys must never diverge too far from Current Year liberalism. As fashions change, they must adopt former liberal positions. Holding firm on their principles makes them “extremists”. How terrible!
So textbook leftists push for constant change, and textbook conservatives must remain not too far behind. Who’s in the driver’s seat? To paraphrase Napoleon, never taking the offensive means never winning. Actually, National Review printed plenty of stuff during their early days with sentiments that they’d denounce venomously today. Standing athwart history and yelling “Stop” only went so far.
American mainstream politics
The right does include several variants outside of the textbook status quo concept. Many actually are well-developed ideologies. Of all the schools of thought, the following are America’s two most prominent.
Paleoconservatism is the old-school variety, including figures like Pat Buchanan. They certainly do favor taking the offensive in the culture war. Other than that, they oppose globalism. Their hearts are definitely in the right place. They merely need more awareness, particularly the grassroots. However, many are fairly Red Pilled, and their detractors know it.
Neoconservatism offers barely a status quo effort in the cultural sphere. However, they love big business, free trade agreements, and all the rest of it. They’re also enthusiastic about American intervention in the Middle East. (Another Buckley flaw was firing National Review writers for connecting the dots about things like that.) Whether neocons are actually rightists is pretty debatable. Libertarians are somewhat better; they don’t start spit-in-your-eye wars or implement police state measures.
Paleoconservatism was once the GOP’s defining ideology. During the 1970s, disenchanted liberals joined the Republican Party, becoming the neoconservatives. By the 1990s, they were calling the shots. Effectively it was a successful entryist strategy. The kingmakers in their smoke-filled rooms represent this faction. During the last primary, these were the ones who wanted to “lose with Cruz“, while repeatedly trying to sabotage their party’s overwhelmingly most popular candidate. Simply put, they really do want to conserve the present-day globohomo mess.
The two-party system essentially became a good cop / bad cop strategy. Meanwhile, mainstream liberalism faces similar problems. Big money financing causes Tammany Hall style corruption, so plutocrat-driven globalism takes precedence over actually eliminating war and poverty. Funny how that works…
If you’re not taking flak, you’re not over the target
Status quo conservatism is pretty bland, barely even an ideology. That hardly inspires enthusiasm. There’s little to get excited about neocons, either—at least for people like me. Paleoconservatives do want a country that looks like the one they grew up in, but some need to be made aware that the stakes are considerably higher than that.
Leftists actually do have energizing visions: social welfare programs, social justice, socialist utopias, etc. Their goals aren’t always practical, but it’s great advertising to get the rubes on board. That’s why top leftists promise the moon. Their supporters certainly do want to struggle for progress (as they see it). Some will even go to war for that, or chose martyrdom. They certainly have no qualms about raising hell. They’re prepared to do anything it takes.
The right needs to get just as enthusiastic, exerting maximal effort within the bounds of the law and sensibility. Mainstream conservatives try to be nice guys. Do leftists play fair? Taking the high road is fine, but only up to a point. If you’re fighting for your life, then believing you’re bound to Marquess of Queensbury boxing rules will get you killed.
Those who are serious about preserving their civilization will need stronger remedies than the mainstream. That’s how to push back on the Overton Window. Support your favorite brand of “deplorability”. Laugh off any name-calling tactics meant to delegitimize the opposition. It drives leftists crazy when they can’t browbeat their opponents into submission!
Finally, abide by the “no enemies on the right” principle. There’s room for moderate debate, but don’t dwell on differences with those outside the mainstream who make good faith efforts. That only helps our opponents.