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Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
Highlights:

http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/09/15/book-review-north-american-high-tory-tradition/

Forest scene

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“Toryism is the political expression of a religious view of life. Conservatism is an attempt to maintain Toryism after you have lost your faith. Progressive Conservatism is an attempt to maintain conservatism after you have lost your memory too.” – David Warren


Quote:
This and similar positions reveal a core aspect of the High Tory view of the state. First, the High Tory recognizes that the sovereign power can and must actively pursue a particular vision of the common good – an ethos which directs the values, goals, and life of the state and political community. Second, High Tories were committed to a particular ethos informed by the Anglican faith. For the High Tory, the conception of a sovereign individual human existing outside of the shaping forces of the community was a foreign one. So too was the idea that human society could be separated from the spiritual order of which it was a party.


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Half a century after Grant, the Anglo-American world order finds itself at the hour of decision. It faces alienation, atomization, demographic collapse, and class strife within. It faces civilizational challenges and migratory pressure from without. This is made all the more difficult by an elite which refuses to recognize a “within” and “without”, claiming that they are merely defending the values which all people enlightened to Social Progress hold. If they admit a leading role for the United States, it is in the context of an “international community” of supposedly sovereign states who merely defend universal human values. The idea that this ideology serves geopolitical and economic ends is ignored. So too is the fact that Social Progress falls in the same category as any other religious mythos and not in that of “objective” physical science.

Dart devotes a full chapter in the book to describing what he calls the Matrix of Liberalism. He traces its intellectual and political development through seven major “acts”. Nominalism’s shift from overarching order to observed particulars; the Reformation’s elevation of individual liberty in determining truth; its entrenchment following the English civil war; the merger of liberalism with American radical Protestant reformers in the 18th century; the ultimate breaking of religious authority by political and romantic individualism in the 19th; the domination of political individualism in the liberal order of the 20th; finally, the postmodern 21st’s total rejection that desires should conform to any order beyond the individual. In this era, liberalism varies only in whether it should actively constrain ideological competitors (French secularism) or whether such suppression would undermine its own moral basis (Canadian liberalism).

Dissidents from liberalism in the Anglosphere have often recognized that the continent has always maintained its older traditions far better. De Maistre and Maurras in France; Schmitt and Heidegger in Germany; Donoso Cortes in Spain. The Anglosphere, being the geopolitical foundation of the liberal order, has more actively suppressed it. The Canadian student learns in school about Mackenzie and Trudeau, but not about Strachan or Grant. University students learn about T. S. Eliot’s criticisms of modernity, but not about his intellectual and personal ties to a more ancient ethos of English civilization. The Anglosphere has long experienced a condition of civilizational amnesia. The North American High Tory Tradition is a contribution to the cure. This cure is not only of historical interest. As Strachan, Leacock, and Grant realized, the destruction of the Anglo-Tory ethos was not carried out by dialectic and historical inevitability, but by men. The cure and redemption of the Anglo-American order will also come only from men.

Likewise, the growth of the global liberal anti-order has come from America, a child of the English civilization. If broader Western civilization can hope to achieve its Restoration without dividing against itself, then it is to the heart of America itself that the Restoration must reach. And for this it is necessary that we remember the Anglo-Tory faith. If a Restoration in the Anglosphere is possible, then it will be by tapping into currents of thought which preserved and guided us before the rise and reign of liberalism.

Just as English Christian civilization inherited currents of the Classical-Roman ethos, so too will a reborn Anglo-American order to come inherit currents of the Anglo-Tory ethos. The North American High Tory Tradition is a valuable introduction to this ethos and the men who fought for it, and an important guide to areas of further thought and study.




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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #2 
This was sent to me awhile ago. I started reading it last night. It gets off to a good start, but even though fairly anti-American myself I was put off by the way the second chapter seems to imply that regarding 9/11 the USA sort of had it coming for having supported various authoritarian regimes during the Cold War including those of the Shah, Franco, and Pinochet. DavidV would have disliked that chapter even more than I did. There are many valid criticisms of the USA and Americanism, especially from a Canadian Tory perspective, but I found this approach questionable. I'll give the book another chance, but I definitely do not like that chapter.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #3 
Well that's just it. The stock standard narrative that the Shah, Franco and Pinochet were uniquely "bad" is something that has become orthodoxy in so many circles, while ignoring the genuine evils of our time still with us. It all begins with intellectuals and academics, you see. What's the bigger problem is why supposed "traditionalists" would embrace part of that narrative too, especially when not only the USA but also the British Empire is often attacked for the same reasons.
Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #4 
Haven't read the book myself, but would also have a problem if he criticized US support for the Shah, Franco, or Pinochet.   Their regimes were better than most democracies.
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"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free." - Anatole France
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