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royalcello

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I have subscribed to The American Conservative since its founding in 2002 by Patrick Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopoulos (ex-husband of Princess Alexandra of Schönburg and friend of the Greek royal family).   In its current issue (August 28; not yet online), TAC abandons its usual format for a discussion, with contributions from across the political spectrum, of the topic "What is Left?  What is Right?  Does it Matter?".   All of the articles are worth reading, but the one by Chilton Williamson Jr. contains some excellent observations [my emphasis] which one does not expect to encounter in an  American political magazine.

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Originally Posted by Chilton Williamson Jr.
It is untrue that America lacks a truly conservative political tradition, attenuated as it may have been.  (It is now almost extinct.)   Nevertheless, the history of the United States is conclusive evidence that republican government is at odds with conservatism and finally destructive of it.  (I take this to be the point of Gordon S. Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution and of his just-published book, Revolutionary Characters.)  There can be no conservatism outside of a hierarchical society, just as civilization is ultimately insupportable absent the structure, guidance, and authority that an aristocratical system, itself controlled by the institution of monarchy, provides.   A half-century ago, Willmoore Kendall included monarchism as one of those political alternatives forever mooted by the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution, and he may well have been right about that.  (Who, really, can say?  The future is always full of surprises, a few of them nice ones.)  But that is hardly the point.  The issue is not whether America could ever be returned to the social and political institutions of the mother country but whether conservatism as such exists, or can exist, in the United States today.  I say it does not and cannot.


BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not sure I agree with that.  Conservatism can be fostered by Scriptural faith,  even to the point of espousing Monarchy.  (After all it is the Kingdom of God, not the Heavenly Republic!)

The secularist may claim, and wish to convince others that Religion is irrelevant, but you'll notice that the ones most determined to remove religion from the public sphere are those same secularists.  If religion was not an important factor, tending toward conservative views, they would not fear it as they do. 

The Christians of America, especially those of the 'fundamentalists' stripe tend to be very conservative, as unlike constitutions and traditions, the scriptures are not open to amendment or revision.  This unchanging base tends to reduce the effect and depth of any changes instituted by the political powers.




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royalcello

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But has the "conservatism" of American Christians furthered genuinely conservative ends in practice?  Right now it mainly serves to legitimize an aggressive, revolutionary, and immoral foreign policy, and does not seem to pose a serious threat to big government.  The Republican Party as influenced by neoconservatism is the enemy of authentic conservatism, and I can take no comfort from the fact that many of those who endorse its agenda with their votes are conservative in aspects of their own lives.   American "conservatives" have been far more successful at getting Republican politicians into office so that they can start wars and cater to Big Business than in truly conservative goals like halting the legal slaughter of unborn children.

I think Williamson is saying that no matter how conservative ordinary people are, the institutions and ideology of democratic republicanism will tend to thwart their rightful aspirations.   Certainly this has been the case in the United States.
BaronVonServers

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Those same politician's you decry for their defense of the nation through aggressive, revolutionary and moral military actions have appointed conservative Judges to the Supremes, which, under the existing structure, is the only way to halt the slaughter of the innocents. 

(The hope that he would do so was the only real reason I voted for Bush - to me its about the babies). 


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royalcello

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The Republicans don't really want Roe vs. Wade to be overturned (it would take away the only reason many people vote for them), and I doubt very much that the Supreme Court is about to do so.  Bush is not "pro-life"; he supports abortion in cases of rape and incest and clearly does not consider the issue a high priority.   Republicans have won five of the eight presidential elections since Roe vs. Wade, and made eight of ten Supreme Court appointments, with no substantial results as far as abortion is concerned.

The Iraq war never had anything to do with "defending the nation," but is rather a blatantly unjust assault on a nation that never attacked us, rationalized by the profoundly un-conservative and essentially Jacobin goal of "spreading democracy."  Bush's despicable actions have cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives, inflamed much of the world against the U.S., dramatically worsened the position of Iraqi Christians, destabilized the entire region, and landed the American military into an indefensible quagmire from which there appears to be no exit.   None of this has anything to do with "conservatism" as I understand it.  The Republicans have forfeited any claim they ever had to be regarded by traditional conservatives as a "lesser evil" and are now arguably an even greater one.

If you support the Iraq war then I am truly sorry to hear that as I'd thought you would know better.  I honestly cannot understand how any monarchist can defend an approach to foreign policy that is clearly derived from the same roots as Wilson's crusade to "make the world safe for democracy" in World War I.

My final word on this topic in this thread, which was really not supposed to be about the Iraq war, is to recommend greater familiarity with the antiwar right-wing viewpoint as exemplified by publications such as TAC and Chronicles and commentators such as Thomas Woods, Paul Craig Roberts, and Joseph Sobran.




BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #6 
On Bush and 'Pro-Life':
He isn't as pro life as I am, but he's not 'murder on demand' like his opponent was.

On the Republicans and the Court:
We shall see if the newly 'right wing republican' appointees make any difference.

Winning election only helps with the court if you actually get to make an appointment.  The number of elections won doesn't really mean much by itself,  Until the confirmation of Roberts the Court was still majority 'centrists or democratic' appointees, not right wing republican appointees.

On the middle section of your reply:
I am un-apologetically more concerned with the safety of the babies, children, adults, and old folks here in the US than I am about would opinion.  I'll vote against the the democratic candidate as long as they remain pro-abortion, and for the republican as long as they remain pro-life, and let foreign policy take a back seat.  If single issue politics is 'stupid' count me among the stupid as long as the issue is Life.

On the Iraq War,
No, I'm not really defending it.  A bad decision made on bad information (read Woodard's book).   Bad choices, aren't necessarily immoral choices though.  If what the director of the CIA (he has been fired, did you notice?), told the president  was 'a slam-dunk' had actually been true, the 'preventive action' would have been morally justifiable.  Knowing only what he knew then, he and the Congress made a morally acceptable choice. 

It is only in the clarity of hindsight that we know the 'information' was false. 

Even given that, from the beginning, I had a simple pragmatic (not moral) question: "Who are we going to hand the country over to when we're done?".  In GWI it was easy, we gave Kuwait back to the Kuwaiti Gov't that existed before the Iraqi invasion.  The US has, the last 100 years or so, been successful at 'handing the country back' after taking it by force of arms, but in Iraq we have no one to had it back to. 

On Foreign Policy:

The foreign policy of the United States appears to be a mixture of 'kind acts of charity' and 'ruthless expansion of power and influence'.  The former is noble, and the later has been the policy of every monarchy ever to come into existence.  Shouldn't be an issue for Monarchist in that sense.

Overall:
Passion is not a fault.  Even your worst 'jab' called the actions, not the man, despicable, I know I don't draw the lines of 'acceptable behaviour' here, but you're still inside mine. - for what its worth.

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pauljluk

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronVonServers
I am un-apologetically more concerned with the safety of the babies, children, adults, and old folks here in the US than I am about would opinion.  I'll vote against the the democratic candidate as long as they remain pro-abortion, and for the republican as long as they remain pro-life, and let foreign policy take a back seat.  If single issue politics is 'stupid' count me among the stupid as long as the issue is Life.

But it seems that the issue for you isn't Life, it's American life. 5% of "God's children", and the other 95% can take a back seat. If you're a Christian, do you think God feels that way? Do you think God carries a US passport??
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'm not sure how you got to from 'foreign policy' taking a back seat to "t's American life. 5% of "God's children", and the other 95% can take a back seat.".   That wasn't my statement.  

No, God doesn't have a US Passport.  He was born into this world as a Jew, in Bethlehem, during the Roman Occupation.  If He had a passport it would have been Roman I guess.

US Foreign policy positions don't affect the vast majority of the worlds population in a life-or-death way.  Partisain foreign policies even less.  The Foregin Policy differences of the major candidates are always much less signficant than the domestic policy differences, (That may be a America-Centric view, or acknowlegement of the fact that American Policies is very domestic centric)

The Iraq war had bi-partisan support.  (Reasonable disengagement does now, 'reasonable' has slightly differing meanings, but if a demo won today, we'd not leave Iraq tomorrow). Israel has bi-partisain support.  (That might be different next time around, but the Israelis will do as the will regardless, the US position won't affect Lebanon or Gaza very much).

The Koyoto Protocols were supported by the Demos, and Opposed by the Reps, but that's the 'largest' foreign policy 'stance' difference that I recall.

The point is, I will not vote for 'murder on demand'.  Period.




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pauljluk

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronVonServers
The point is, I will not vote for 'murder on demand'.  Period.

Since murder is a crime defined by law, and the law does not regard the killing of a feotus as murder (and never has done, to my knowledge - anywhere), abortion is not and cannot be murder. This is an emotive and inflammatory misuse of the English language.
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauljluk
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronVonServers
The point is, I will not vote for 'murder on demand'.  Period.

Since murder is a crime defined by law, and the law does not regard the killing of a feotus as murder (and never has done, to my knowledge - anywhere), abortion is not and cannot be murder. This is an emotive and inflammatory misuse of the English language.


I put the phrase in quotes, did I not?  I'm fully aware that the pro-abortionists side doesn't like the term.  However, it does accurately descrive my feelings on the issue. 

You can play a semantic game, and use 'feotus' if you wish,  slave owners called slaves 'property' as did the law in the 18th century.  It didn't really change slaves into 'non persons' then, and using foetus doesn't make them 'non persons' now.  As for the law calling it Murder, check the story on the Scot Peterson case, he was charged with Two Counts of Murder, one for his Wife, and one for his Unborn Son.  The ONLY time its not 'murder' is when its unintentional 'manslaughter'  OR if the mother requested it.   If anyone else kills that baby, uhm foetus, before or after he or she is born, they'll be facing charges - bet on it.



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Comte_de_Maistre

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Reply with quote  #11 

I'm an avid reader of the American Conservative, just like RoyalCello.  However, I see "true" conservatism simply as those things which have been held onto by the people without the aid of authority since the American Revolution.  More and more of those things are being discarded..so much so that someone who claims to be "conservative" today can endorse all sorts of modern, popular culture phenomena. 

 

 

Here's my personal caveat to RoyalCello:

It's true that Catholicism represents the greatest Counter-Revolutionary force in the world.....but that still doesn;t amount to anything greater than bloggers at the moment.  However, if you really do feel called to the counter-enlightenment, realize that you must take pains to become the man that posterity speaks of when it utters the cliche, "the times are never so bad that a good man can't live in them".  If I'm not mistaken, I believe that I've paraphrased St. Thomas More.

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