February 4, 2017

Conservatism, Conservatives and White Supremacy

Although I don't really consider myself a conservative, I have a few thoughts on modern conservatism. Conservatives basically believe in the unchanging preservation of legacies, moral, cultural and spiritual, from the ancient past. They look to these legacies as sources of guidance, and believe they are better guides to what is right and true than contemporary moral attitudes and ideas. Studying the Ancient Egyptians, I am deeply sympathetic to conservatism as a necessary corollary of cultural and religious preservation. When you've created a just society that has stood the test of time, there is something therein worth preserving. This is one reason why the Ancient Egyptians were so conservative. This is also why I respect those who choose to live according to conservative religious traditions, be they Jewish, Christian or Muslim. Conservatism free from attachment to state power or ethnic exclusivity is a powerful vehicle for preserving valuable moral dispositions. But modern conservatism doesn't deserve the name. It is mostly, if not solely, a form of ethnic nationalism based on the supremacy of European white Christian identity. It is not based on the preservation of old virtues, but on the spreading of new diseases of the heart, based on the lust for power. Perhaps there are a few strands of modern American conservatism that meaningfully connect to the universalist spiritual traditions and disciplines of medieval Christianity, but these are largely secondary to the preservation of group power of Euro-Americans in the space of a settler state. In its nationalist garb, this conservatism is basically the national and cultural expression of white supremacy. When a white nationalist like Jared Taylor talks about preserving white culture, he is articulating a conservative white nationalist critique of American liberalism. Listening to Taylor makes me think about how the founders of this American settler republic would react to the contemporary social scene. Arguably they would be more sympathetic to Jared Taylor than to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Which makes me think that Dr. King didn't represent an "American" tradition, nor a conservative one. Rather his work was an attempt to decolonize that American tradition, a herculean effort to reshape America into a more inclusive space. Whatever battered remnants of political virtue we cling to today are legacies of his and other's sacrifice, not the unchanging and hallowed traditions of this nation's checkered history. #BlackHistoryMonth #MartinLutherKing #Conservatism


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