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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Mosque and the Church

The engagement with the Islamic State may finally bury the idea that the Liberal West has any effective opposition to the assent of Islamism. Yet, the idea that radical Islam could or Islam itself could gain any form of toehold in the Western World is a new one; only the tide of secularization lowered the guard to the extent that our immigrants would see any future in the western world and desultory and meaningless. This is the true story of ISIS. 

We may continue to profess a war of ideas, but we are wrong, Islamism is not about ideas, it does not communicate on a rational plane; Christianity, likewise bypasses the plane of the rational. Instead, they communicate on the level of faith and providence, a need completely divorced from the huaman capacity to reason. 

Dinesh D'Souza touched on the argument in his book  The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, he identifies the hedonism, cynicism, solipsism, and nihilism of modern culture as the key actuating force for the moral outrage held by the Islamic world. Contrary to president George W. Bush, the Islamists do not hate "our freedoms" rather they hate our hedonism or degeneracy and our love of consumption. 

We can drop bombs on the Islamists for years, that won't fill the hole in the heart of the western world, the soul has evacuated the body in the west and we are left hallow: all purpose has vacated us. Look at our excesses, can one comfortably assert that despite or in fact because of all our wealth we are not scrambling to fill a void. The City of God and the world of the Transcendent have left the western world behind, the consecrated ground upon which we walk has become nothing by dirt. We have no reason or means to articulate the defense of western "Values" and we have lost touch with the sphere of the divine. Only a return to the Church can fill the void, and yet this return to the fold is unlikely. The pleasures, and the fallen and myopic nature of man will prevent it. Instead, our young people will continue to search for meaning in distant lands dominated by a violent and twisted prophetic vision. 

The only way we can save western civilization is embracing the church and repudiating the validity of the Manichean worldview proffered by Islam. We are not only at political odds with Islamism, but rather spiritual odds, and we are not even fighting, we are losing because we have put no challenger forward to oppose the scourge. 

Or in plainer terms only a god can defeat a god, but we have turned our back on him. 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Thoughts GOP Foreign Policy Debate

The failed project that is the GOP. 

From Canada, I write on the Republican debate on foreign policy held in Vegas on December 15, 2015. All I can say, and I did observe the spectacle in its entirety, is that I am terrified. Not simply for America, but all other free countries, which consider themselves her ally.

Why you may ask? 

Because the debate was held on foreign policy and yet no one seemed to have any reasonable strategy to secure America. Surprisingly Trump, and Paul possibly came out the best in the whole affair, but no one appeared intelligent or nuanced. I understand an electoral debate is an odious process, but I fear that many of these candidates mean what they say.

I am particularly concerned about the hardline polices proposed for Syria. The fact that America has not surrendered the notion of ousting Assad, that these buffoons still believe in a moderate, Sunni, opposition, and that a no fly zone, in a region where Russia is operating is seen as tenable rather than a catalyst for placing America in a position of great danger if not war.

Then there was Fiorina's comments about controlling the South China see and restricting Beijing; I fail to see how creating another enemy in America's largest trading partner, and destroying the work of Nixon and Kissinger would serve the Republican party.

Its not that the Republican party is full of fools, but rather they all seem to be the farthest thing from conservative and that is hawkish. Ready to bluster, and challenge, and ultimately lay the lives of other peoples children on the line without due consideration. That callousness is not the origin of good policy.

Finally, I fail to see how any establishment candidate can beat Trump: Trump operates on a different plain one that, it seems, no one is willing to challenge him on. It's not that Trump is any smarter, or abler, than his competitors it's simply that he is listening to the electorate and no one else is. Couple this with the fact that all the candidates act as though they are patriotic, they fail to truly express a reasonable nationalist sentiment. No one can beat Trump until they acknowledge that American's may well love America, more than they love freedom, and hate Obama.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Chrystia Freeland: Canada's Minister of Treachery

Canadians Have Become Stupid

Observe Canada, what your hunger for change has purchased you; your pretty boy Prime Minister has stacked his cabinet with the most emotive and unreasoned of plebs, the modern Canadian woman fifteen in total: I would like to focus on one such creature an incognizant, emotive, and gutless Liberal Chrystia Freeland, who appeared on Bill Maher November 21, 2015.  
I know nothing of Freeland, except that in under one hour she was able to call forth more bile than any other politician in recent memory. And though, I am far from a fan of Bill Maher, on the issue of Islam he is exemplary, and this is where he and Freeland clashed the hardest.
Maher starts by asserting that polling numbers in America have concluded that 56% of Americans believe that Islam has values that are at odds with their own. Particularly, liberal democracy, which I have my own concerns with, but not in the shape of the Islamists. Maher immediately sets up the conditions for Freeland’s embarrassment by stating, “this is what liberals don’t want to recognize.”

Canada’s Leaders Cannot Forget Ideology Even for An Instant

After a brief quote from David Cameron, condemning forced marriage, honour violence, FGM, and other heinous crimes. Which, shockingly . . . proliferate in Britain’s large Muslim minority. Maher goes on to state that all religions are not equal, a shocking admission from a liberal, and that in fact we need to confront the issue of Islamic exceptionalism
Freeland of course strongly disagrees. . . .  She cites “real diversity” as the remedy for the ills of Islamic extremism. Not realizing that her first antidote is just what got Europe into the position it now occupies. Nor does she recognize that the “diversity is our strength” agenda in Canada has left us a nation of confused, frustrated, impotent, and self-effacing pussies.
She happens to be emblematic of such propagandizing; forced upon the nation by her Prime Minister’s father Pierre Trudeau. Who saw it as necessary to destroy everything Canada was and replace it with a fleshless liberal skeleton constructed on paper rights and void of muscular institutions and a brain built on tradition.
Bill Maher is close to the key here, he nearly admits Christianity is the answer, by admitting its superiority to Islam. Bill Maher, may not know that St Augustine wrote in City of God book XI, that the scripture necessarily required interpretation, or that authority vested in hierarchy makes it easier for the church to expunge ill ideas; nor was he likely thinking “Jesus . . . said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” But he knew, like most intelligent people know, that Christianity has at its heart a very different institutional and theological framework. A framework, evolved over hundreds of generations that makes Christianity much more amenable to modern life and human flourishing.

But I digress. .  . .

When Freeland is confronted by the fact that multiculturalism means acceptance of the barbaric, in this case, FMG, spousal violence, honor killings, the lynching of gays etc. . . . She cannot say these things are wrong; despite her best efforts, her liberalism, her belief in universal freedom and equality prohibit her from voiding the equality of ideas. This is a phenomenon Aristotle predicted in Politics. “[E]quality requires that whatever the multitude desires is authoritative, and freedom and equality involve doing what one wants.” What this means is that democrats believing they are equal in rights, believe they are equal in thoughts, ideas, morality, and countless other things, and equality prohibits a hierarchical relationship. All discourse and information devolves into opinion. That is what Freeland sees, opinion, and either the majority of people or she cannot recognize her erroneous arguments as such.
Freeland then continues, “the culture is not worse,” and “Muslims are not worse than Christians or Jews.” As if I or anyone else cares about a Muslim person in absence of their faith?
Ben Domenech interjects to explain that polling in Islamic countries shows widespread sympathy for the sharia, and other horrifying practices; Turkey being 8% in support of ISIS this theoretically secularized nation, perhaps the most moderate Muslim nation in the world, and 6 million people are sympathetic toward ISIS? Freeland cannot wrap her head around it, her PC and Liberal alarm bells keep crying out with dissonance, but all she can do is squeak.

Freeland Knows Canadian Culture Better Than Canadians

Freeland replies to her interlocutors with the banality of “our culture is a diverse one” sure, it has to be, Canada no longer has one. She has the audacity to lecture Canadians on the supposed shared values and traditions of the nation. Ideas established in living memory with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; there is nothing historical about them. At least in America they wrote the constitution down before the social justice warrior generation took over . . . ours is a product of the 20th century, and our unwritten precedents have all been rejected.

Maher Breaks Freeland’s Brain

“Are you saying by definition the Muslim faith is worse than other faiths?” Freeland asked.
“Yes,” Maher replied. Skip ahead, “what about Indonesia . . . the moderate country . .  . only 18% believe in honour killings.”
Offhand Indonesia has an approximate population of 250 million. That’s 45 million people who think honour killing is potentially justified. If Freeland could math, she would recognize that that is 10 million more people than the population of her native country, but still it is our fault for demonizing Muslims.
Finally, and to conclude, Freeland comes back to the great straw man: “the bible says, ‘an eye for an eye.’” If she had read, anything theological, or any serious Christian apologetics, which her liberal education would not bother to teach, because that is a product of cis privileged old white men, she would realize that scriptural literalism has long been in contention is Christian thought; Allah makes no such accommodations for revisionism, and here lies the problem.
Freeland does not understand culture, statistics, or philosophy, and she can’t ideology gets in the way, but here are some numbers for Freeland, from the Ayan Hirsi Ali’s new book Heretic:
Percentage of Muslims in 3 countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq) countries with high emigration to America.
Favour the death penalty for apostates Pakistan 75% Bangladesh 43% Iraq 41%
Say that Sharia is revealed word of god Pakistan 81% Bangladesh 65% Iraq 69%
Religious leaders should have. . . large influence  Pakistan 54% Bangladesh 69% Iraq 57%
Say honour killings are justified Pakistan 55% Bangladesh 66% Iraq 78%

I could go on. Our values indeed.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A Definition of Conservatism

What Makes a Conservative, at least one drawn from the British tradition and not the American liberal conflation?

I was asked in a comment to define my stance, and so I will. I am going to write the basic principles "I" believe underline the conservatives conception of the world, and then expand upon them in my book at a later date, but for now here they are. I do not claim such thoughts are original, but as much as possible they are mine.

1. The Conservative knows all good is predicated on order and allegiance.

2. The Conservative looks to the past, and the great body of historical knowledge for answers.

3. The Conservative knows that the social contract espoused by Burke is the only one.

4. The Conservative believes in absolute truth both spiritually and empirically.

5. The Conservative believes virtue is the key to politics.

6. The Conservative Recognizes all men are flawed and perfection and futility are synonyms.

7. The Conservative protects property.

8. The Conservative does not claim to know what is best for other societies.

9. The Conservative knows big business is just as dangerous as big government

10. The Conservative affects all things with moderation not recklessness.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Is it Time to Rethink Universal Suffrage?

This post was First Written for and posted on Return of Kings. You can find it here:

Ah, what an apparatus we have built for the enrichment of the poor.

It was relatively recently in the Western world that we extended the franchise to all adults, the United States gave women suffrage with the 19th amendment; in Canada, my native country, we finally, gave the aboriginal people suffrage in 1960, despite the fact that some reserves fail to acknowledge the crown as sovereign. Universal suffrage was a quixotic notion, one that came without any kind of assessment, as the old property and education requirements also fell away.

According to Elections Canada, Canada had property requirements as of 1885, but in the pattern of the British Great Reform Act of 1867 (the Second Great Reform Act) abolished requirements in all but Quebec. Meanwhile, the American founding fathers, according to the Lehrman Institute of American History, established property requirements as a means to determine the stake one had in society, but all but four states had abolished qualifications by 1860; worse yet, only eight states kept the criteria of paying taxes as a prerequisite for going to the ballot. Instead, we offered not just self-government, but the capacity to govern others directly to the electorate without concern for any sort of basic qualifications.

We are bleeding money, and they will just vote for more

Since the installment of universal suffrage welfare state entitlements have grown immensely. The national debt in the United States is over 18 trillion dollars according to the treasury department; aside from a handful of years during the Clinton administration debt has consistently clambered upwards at an ever accelerating pace. Canada, likewise, has hit 1.2 trillion owed, with rapid growth since the 1960’s and the establishment of a welfare state. Is there potential for a correlation here?

Perhaps people vote for what they covet. The poor may covet fiscal means and easy living; after all, the hardest working are rarely poor. The top 1% of North American income earners tend to work in jobs that demand extreme overtime according to American economist Thomas Sowell in his book Economic Facts and Fallacies.

Meanwhile, astute observer of culture, and founding father of neoconservatism Irving Kristol notes in his essay from the year 2000 “Two Welfare States” that the masculine conception of the welfare state as a last resort of minimal aid and maximal choice, along with a sense of paternalism, has been replaced by a maternal welfare state that is an expert in care.

Kristol writes:

The feminine, maternal vision of the welfare state now has the support not only of public opinion, but of institutions and professions that have been nourished by the state . . . there are large numbers of working women loyal to the state . . . and men, too, who are loyal to these women [my emphasis added]. These are . . . collectively the ‘helping professions,’ and include social work, nursing, psychology, public health . . . teaching, and branches of tv journalism. These professions . . . are politically active. . . . the largest single contingent at the Democratic convention [was] . . . the teachers unions.

We have stripped our entitlement programs and welfare reforms of virtually all obligation and sacrifice. Prior to the great depression it was the workhouse, the labour camp, or the road crew that would earn you your daily bread until you could find someplace else.

Peter Hitchens notes in his book The Abolition of Britain, that the workhouse was considered much too cruel for single mothers, so that last sacrifice was abolished. It is reasoned the poor suffer enough, and perhaps they do, but should they be able to impart such burdens as their upkeep on the rest of society without due consideration?

What is the answer?

The privilege of voting has become holy writ. Should it be?

I offer a solution: a temporary recall of the franchise for those currently receiving welfare and income supplements from the Federal government. This recall would affect those who are currently lacking in work, (I would have been in this category a handful of times myself) not those unfit or unable, but those currently unemployed and collecting assistance on a voluntary basis. Until society can come up with a better income supplement plan, and perhaps it never will, this is the only valid course of action.

Some critics may assert that it is an injustice and that many collect from such supplemental programs who do not necessarily desire such dependence, and no doubt it is true, but not pertinent to the proposition. Why? Because the democratic process is inherently discriminatory against the established population of a society. The great masses are flooding the ballot box with their ignorant assumptions and minds placated by bribes from sophist politicians.

If we take a look at prior American elections we can see the pernicious influence of universal suffrage in action: according to polls by CNN and Gallup, in the 2012 election unmarried women 66%, non-whites 90%, and those with less than a high school education 51%, as well as 60% of those who earned less than $50,000, and 73% who earned $15,000 or less voted for Obama. Not surprising, but it is readily apparent that these demographics skew electoral outcomes significantly. The idea that a large swatch of the population that creates little economic value can act as a political power broker is dangerous indeed.

Democracy is not conservative, it does not link generations past and present; democracy concerns itself with the winning of votes, and hence why a coherent philosophy will never be found in an elected official. This same concern for the now has led to the expansion of government spending across the Western world, and damaged our economies and our societies, possibly irreparably. Dependence on the state is at an all time high. We are all Greece; it’s just a matter of time before the collapse, and who can fault the voters for such behavior? It is certainly in their own interest.

However, take away the right to vote, and I believe you would see a rapid change. Democracy would become an incentive to leave poverty, and those who have means would no longer fear that the greater portion of the population will inevitably vote against their effort and work ethic.

Certainly such a proposal is shocking, and does not cohere with our current fetishizing of democracy. But we can ill afford to accept the lie that the customer is always right when it comes to government.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Conservative Standpoint Part 11: The Conservative on Freedom of Expression

This is Part 11 of the Conservative Standpoint by Cole D

Before I begin I’d like to post a handful of examples for the consideration of the reader:

  1. the pathetic failure of modern music embodied in Mily Cyrus “We Can’t Stop” Vs Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3”

2.  A brief excerpt from the emetic Last Exit to Brooklyn, which will come up later as an example. Selby writes:
Georgette sat back and sipped her gin for many seconds. Harry got up and chirped at Georgette, stoned out of his head, and plopped down beside Lee. Georgette followed him with her eyes, still sipping gin and still fighting for control of herself. She could not fuck it up now. It wont be long. Vinne and MS. She picked up the bottle of GIn and asked him if he would let Goldie do him. . . . [she] went to tell Goldie that everything was arranged. O everything is just so wonderful. Vinnie and his boys are stoned out of their heads and soon she would have Vinnie. . . . Goldie took her into the bedroom and gave her a syrette. Arent you going to take one? Not now honey. I/ll wait until after that big cocked guinea has fucked me. . . . everybody was swinging. . . . Camille felt real bitchy and daring and winked at Sal and he tried to speak but he couldnt stop grinding his teeth and his head just lolled back and forth, droplets of scotch dribbling down his chin, but he was so strong and handsome . . . she giggled thinking of the letter she would write to the pinkteas back home: O honey, do you know from nothing. What a gorgeous way to lose one's virginity!

Now let me ask you, what about the above examples is redemptive? Because that is the content, the apologist must defend if he wishes to draw a false equivalency between nonsense art, free speech, and free expression. Such an argument necessarily requires an assertion that logos and obscenity are one. I do not intend to make the case that we can effectively ban media from the public sphere; the internet, self-publishing, and cheap technology such as video cameras have heralded an end to that. Instead, I would like to assert the position that we have elevated freedom of expression to an absurdity, and we have failed to differentiate between expression and speech; in turn we have failed to at critical toward art and artists, and any such qualitative assessments are verboten any attempt at restriction is censorship, any assertion of good taste and aesthetics is backward. Our works and our media are important contributors to the life of the soul. Not only do we commit the cardinal sin of relativism if we deify the works of artists, but we also abandon our critical faculty and open ourselves to corruption. The real conservative is wise enough to know that free expression is not akin to free thought and free speech. The conservative believes the medium matters.

Free speech being the ability to communicate freely any message you desire, subject to specific restrictions within the nation (one may or may not agree with). For example, Canada prohibits sedition as well as hate speech, the United States technically does not, but the spirit of Free speech embodies a spirit of logos (reasoned Speech) as the ancient Greeks conceived it. A concept where the individual had the capacity to discuss ideas and debate them in a civil and professional fashion.

Expression however, has completely different connotations, yet so frequently is conflated with the freedom of speech. Expression by no means contains a message as a priority; it is a broad term, and an emotive term. Everything is expression not everything is speech. Expression does not depend on reason or civility one can just as easily express anger, sadness, and hatred, as one can express depth of thought and compassion.

The case to be made rests as Irving Kristol suggested in, “‘Porn Obscenity and the Case for Censorship,” on the way we used to understand society as encapsulated in a moral framework; a framework that places humanity at the forefront and believes in the deep effects of subtle things. In the essay, he notes that the pedagogical professions, which direct their efforts toward creating ethical and rational adults morally prepared to interact with the world, do so on the presumption that the material presented to children has a positive moral value. Yet, as Kristol states if we concede a book (or any other media) can enrich that someone, we must likewise concede that a book may corrupt them.

The conservative knows that many would certainly concur with the initial premise, but would recoil at the second; for better or worse, such an assertion has become morally alien to modern man. The cult of reason does not leave adequate room for the subtle manipulations of the consciousness through artistic works.

In our understanding of the capacity for art to be transcendental, we have failed to realize that the great body of artwork is not. We have divorced the form from the message not realizing that the form conveys meaning just as deeply. Irving Kristol noticed this trend was a part of a deliberate goal in America to both prohibit criticism of artwork and to use it as an instrument for political ends. Kristol makes the arguments in “It’s Obscene but is it Art?” as follows.  The government, to Kristol, writing after the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts, should have never brought its finances to bear on the artistic community. The government placed itself in a trap; the arts community, and dispensations too it, were too broad to track, and yet, if they failed to regulate the works they undermined the concept of moral and aesthetic judgment and removed their ability to legitimize artistic works.

Kristol describes postmodern art as, “politically charged art that is utterly contemptuous of the notion that educating tastes and refining the aesthetic sensibilities of the citizenry [is a desirable goal]. Instead its goal [was] to deliberately . . . outrage . . . and . . . trash the very idea of an ‘aesthetic sensibility.’  To Kristol the postmodern art movement as a radical attempt to liquidate the bourgeois society of the western world. The arts community, “is engaged in the politics of radical nihilism; it has little interest in, and will openly express contempt for, ‘art’ in any traditional sense of the term. . . . Self-destruction . . . is a key point in its agenda, accompanied by the ‘deconstruction,’ of . . . Western civilization itself.”  Humanities courses were at the vanguard of the movement to extinguish artistic standards. The universities were by this time just as likely to offer a course in a study of the Simpsons as Dante, and if there are no standards of excellence outsider ourselves who could object?

A key paradigm separates those who take our existence as political animals for granted and those who do not, the majority of whom are what one would term conservatives, and that is the belief in unknowable and unquantifiable things, things beyond reason as well as understanding; concurrent to this is the conservative, as well as classical Greek belief that our City, as Aristotle supposed, exists for the discovery and maintenance of an authoritative good, and that such a Polis requires virtuous men. The idea that a virtuous people would build a virtuous society is unfamiliar to use now, but Burke expressed a similar sentiment, “But that sort of reason which banishes the affections is incapable of filling their place. . . . There ought to be a system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.” Who at this time can say we live in a lovely country? And who can reasonably say it has not be harmed by an excess of arbitrary freedom, often driven by profit, and the inundation of filth our communities have suffered?

Now critics would say lovely would be subjective, but Plato defined that, which he deemed virtuous and it is not an arbitrary definition, but one that is essentially eternal premised on two different ideas. One that the search for knowledge and wisdom is the governing principle of the just and virtuous man; second that a virtuous and just person lives in harmony with themselves not allowing the appetitive or spirited parts of the soul dominion over reason and judgment, but what does our current culture do but feed us a constant stream of indulgence for our appetites. None of us deliberate when we consume hedonistic, vulgar, and obscene materials. To Aristotle we have abandoned our capacity to deliberate. Despite our plethora of freedoms, we are no more than what he terms natural slaves, base and unconcerned about it.

Many both conservative and liberal will find my propositions objectionable: I state them as a true concept of a conservative relationship with the media definitive and right. To those who object I wish to examine a handful of the oft given apologies for absolute free expression.

I have already briefly mentioned that many would assert that the media and the consumption of materials can do no harm to the well-being of an individual, and proved this fallacious unless we completely abandon our assertion that media can produce or elevate the good in people. Secondly, some perhaps would maintain that even if it causes harm to consume such media that is not sufficient cause to abandon obscene or objectionable works, but what if, and it is not only harmful to those who consume media as such but also harmful and denigrating to those who produce such works. Take for example the analogy produced by Kristol in “Porn Obscenity and the Case for Censorship” he maintains that we are not all complete libertarians and that we would prohibit a great many activities, which seem outrageous to us, but at the same time are resistant to arguments of censorship and consent.

For example, we do not approve of cockfighting, gladiatorial contests, and artistic suicide, and as Kristol asserts this is not because of consent, affection toward animals, or a lack of artistry, but rather because authorization of such conduct is debasing to the human spirit.

Kristol makes the comparison of a well-known man, dying in bed, in a great deal of pain; he suffers so deeply that he can no longer communicated and he voids his bowels and bladder regularly: his death is just a matter of time. Kristol suggests, “it would be, technically, the easiest thing in the world to put a television camera in his hospital room and let the whole world witness this spectacle. We do not do it . . . because this is an obscene invasion of privacy. . . . we would be witnessing the extinguishing of humanity in a human animal.”

Thirdly, one may make the argument that we do not— have— to consume the forms of expression, which we reject. All I can say to such a proposition to look around you to the billboards, the signs, the depraved souls who wander the street with vomiting forth lewd comments, the television and its endless adverts ever more salacious; the public world has become private in its entirety and we cannot avoid it, but we can and should expect a level of civility on behalf of the public world. A person has no right to avoid offence, but a good society offends in an intelligent way. Truly valuable offence has a telos, there is an end to it, and good satire is different from crudeness for the sake. To feed our consumptive desires however is no worthy purpose and the vast majority of public display on offer directs itself at the commoditization of the violent, the vulgar, and the venereal.

Fourth and most common of the arguments against any form of restriction on the freedom of expression is the dystopian fear that any form of regulation will start us upon a slippery slope into the arms of Big Brother, the Thought Police, Newspeak and the Telescreen. However, our world would not look like this and the conservative can comfortably argue this because in the past it did not. Prior to the 1960’s the western world had a great many restrictions on the distribution of harmful media. To object to some degree of censorship marks a person out as a product of 1968 and willfully ignorant.

In “The Way We Were” by Irving Kristol he writes about the generational changes that swamped America and the issues related to absolute freedom in society and the culture it engendered.  He noted prior to the 1950’s so called censorship was a normal part of American life, and the only people who seemingly resented it were those who thought they could profit off the trafficking of explicit materials. As Kristol states:

“Perhaps no issue excites such hysteria today as does censorship, and the threat it supposedly poses to our liberties. . . . I do not know of a single case where the prohibition against pornography/obscenity was directed against political speech, political writings, or scholarly books. . . . Hollywood, for its part, has decided it’s a ‘creative community,’ . . . so any interference with its pursuit of prosperity by producing entertainment with soft porn, hard porn, or obscene violence is a censorship that threatens all freedom of expression. . . . The confusion between liberty and license, or entitlement and privilege, is one of the least endearing traits of the American character today.”

From the conclusion we can effectively note that not only was, freedom of expression not sacred to our ancestors, but it did not need to be. Other objects in life took on the air of the sacred: the family and the church stand out in this regard. We effectively deified our artists and made expression into holy writ as unquestionable as the Sermon on the Mount. We have abandoned our critical thinking as well as our connection to the transcendental and filled the void with artistic works of unquestioned merit.

The conservative will note that not only was the battle against censorship in many ways a superficial one, errors were made, but censorship itself was infrequent. The conservative likewise will note that the failure to circumscribe expression in the public sphere has had great consequence and it was not a partisan political issue, but one rooted in time and the hunger for freedom expressed by youth and allied elites who saw the need to restore a system that by functioned adequately.

Peter Hitchens notes the same in the Abolition of Britain Britain experienced a non-partisan divide in the case of censorship and obscenity laws; it was a generational divide. Hitchens notes that after Lady Chatterley and the advent of the required literary merit as a standard of judgment, and a horribly subjective one at that, it would be impossible to ban a book in Britain ever again. You could always find some intellectual or liberal to testify on the behalf of the media.  The culture warriors’ campaign was largely successful because not only had the old defenses of high culture ceased to stand, but that the instigators framed the debate in terms of the ability to act as free citizens and to question authority, a point which, for a democracy was very hard to reprobate.

Following Chatterley, Oz Magazine, and later The Little Red Book as Hitchens describes it “a manual of sexual license of children,” came Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn a book, which is so vulgar that they asked that no women sit on the jury. Yet, once the hearings had begun, one witness managed to compare the violence in the book to the blinding of Gloucester in King Lear.

This time an effort was made to prevent publication of the book and the defence mustered McGill Professor George Catlin, who said the book was absolutely obscene, and that the only reasonable motive for publishing the work was that its significant earning potential for the publisher, who by some estimates, had already sold 250,000 copies in America. Meanwhile, one publisher said it absolutely harmed his “memory and mind” to read the book and that he had withdrawn the book from the shelves of his store once he had discovered its nature. Others from the church testified for and against the book. The divide was clear even among the so-called traditionalists. Hitchens notes, that such matters as the British book trials were not such a big thing, but the precedents they established for the TV industry were immense.

Nevertheless, it was not just the precedent set for the television that harmed us. Rather it was the expectation, which only a true conservative maintains of a civil life, of civil conduct, and civil people; people who act virtuously (through good judgment, wisdom, and self-rule) to determine the good of the community as a whole, and to do so requires judgment. Judgment to Plato was the number one reason for censorship, the Poets were harmful not because they told stories, but because they failed to judge them in terms of right and wrong. Amoral gods were entertaining, but not substantive. This was the ethic of the west until the middle of the twentieth century, and such a paradigm deserves reassessment. The failure of our western societies to place value in judgment has left our communities and nations as soulless and empty as everything else, and is always the case we cannot turn back the clock. The future marches on.

I haven't forgotten

Just a heads up everyone who reads here. I haven't forgotten the blog. I'm just busy 3 major papers on politics and history for Uni right now (I do a very thorough and comprehensive job on research). And I have one article for Return of Kings that was just finished. Meanwhile, I am working on another Conservative Standpoint Chapter that will go up here as well. So, I have been busy, but its not why I haven't posted. Quality thorough posts take time, and I just don't have the flexibility to be regular with them.

Also, I am a horrible blogger. I do not do short, I do verbose, can't help it; I naturally write long. J

Just an Update.

Thanks: Cole.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Canada and its Two Liberal Parties

I’m not sure it makes any kind of sense mourning the conservative loss on October the 19, 2015. Sure, the Trudeau Liberals filled the void, sure it is another Trudeau at the head of Our Majesty’s Government, but that is not the be all end all. The Liberal party being back in power is not unusual (they have governed the country for the better part of its history); it’s just a return to what the Liberal Party does best secure and hold power, which would not be possible unless we discard the cries of Canadians on the right that the liberals are radical leftists. In fact, the concept that the liberal party and Mr Trudeau are radical leftists makes almost no sense. Despite our efforts to paint the party otherwise the Liberal Party has always been a broker party holding the center, regardless of shifts, and adopting Tory and NDP policies when necessary to ensure its continued hegemony: William Lyon Mackenzie King pulled off this trick many a time. So what can we lament, and what can we look forward too instead?

We can lament the onset of a variety of progressive policies: Trudeau has made it clear that he will not approbate pro-life sentiment in his caucus for example. We will likely see counterproductive foreign policy, just as bad in fact as Harper's, but perhaps lacking in a moral compass to an even larger degree. And finally, we will likely be hit with some misguided Keynesian stimulus, the stuff of election winners who think the government can direct the economy with any kind of authority, Stephen Harper at least knew that the economy was not some malleable thing.

At least it's not the Mulcair NDP. No great revolution is coming, some tweaks and perhaps some disregard for the sentiments of the better part of the Canadian polity, but not great NDP restructuring. Trudeau is not at the head of a revolutionary government, just an obnoxious one tempered by liberalism and progressive dogmatism.

But what rankles me more than anything in the past few weeks is the utter deification of Stephen Harper post-mortem.

Few would dare to say that we have two liberal parties in Canada, but in fact we do. Stephen Harper's government was no conservative government. It offered not even an effective olive branch to the social conservatives both amongst the public and in caucus; it effectively drove a massive and possibly unbreakable net down over our heads with bill C-51 and other misguided terror legislation antithetical to our ancient rights under English Common law; P.M Harper drove government spending throughout the bureaucracy to new heights; he annihilated manufacturing through free trade and anti-union legislation; market fundamentalism traded cheap goods for cheap jobs, and finally, he eviscerated environmental legislation despite our duty to preserve our majestic landscape for our posterity. His failure in providing for the unborn both through the debt burden, environmental legislation, and a failure to acknowledge the abortion debate are a deep betrayal of conservatism at its core: we should stop pretending otherwise. The Stephen Harper government was liberal, libertarian at best. Now let's work on electing real conservative leadership in his place and restore respect for our tradition of peace, order, and good government.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Conservative Standpoint Part 10: The Conservative and Democracy

This is Part 10 of the Conservative Standpoint by Cole D

The United Nations on Democracy: Democracy is a universally recognized ideal and is one of the core values and principles of the United Nations.
Democracy provides an environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. The UN General Assembly has reaffirmed that “democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives. “According to the United Nations not only is democracy a universal value but also, the protector of human rights, an aspect of all our lives, and a means of free expression that offers the people the ability to determine their various social and economic systems. What could be wrong with this? How could one dispute it?
I insist that the conservative must dispute it. The conservative must come up with a critique of democracy that either indicts it as unworkable and debasing to the political system or at least provide an examination of the deplorable elements in the democratic system as a means to extract genuine legitimacy. The faults inbred in the will of the people and the exercises of such a will in political affairs, have been expressed for thousands of years, and yet, in the last approximately two hundred years the wellspring of dissention has ceased to bubble. The conservative may not in fact oppose democracy; however, if we examine the faults we may actually determine why it is, to a conservative that despite its vast flaws democracy has merit.
It is also worth drawing the distinction between blanket support for democracy, liberty, and deference to the mandate; as opposed to judicial superiority, representative government, and circumscription of powers and popular authority, because such distinctions allow one to draw a clearer line between the libertarians and conservatives.
Francis Fukuyama in his book the Origins of Political Order gives a brief outline of the shape of modern democracy and the attendant controversy. He notes that democracy is considered the sole legitimizing factor of a regime claiming that even the most tyrannical despots hold elections or maintain assemblies as a means of generating authority. Meanwhile, Fukuyama despite admitting that he sees democracy as a current, default form of government, Fukuyama is not so naive as to insist that such an ideal is a good by nature.  Fukuyama asserts that despite the near universal demand for democracy, the efficacy is still in dispute, and poor execution may be behind numerous regressive outcomes. Agitators around the world push for democracy, and may in fact secure regime change, but they expect quick and ethical government without accommodation for the time it takes to establish institutions capable of making the democratic system operate in an efficient and transparent fashion. Fukuyama insists (as I do) that wealth and security are conducive to democracy. Democracy is bound up in these things. Hierarchical and orderly government along with strong institutions serve as the foundation for a secure economic and social order.  Fukuyama notes that those who aspire for democracy and prosperity are seeking to “get to Denmark” Denmark: a place with good political and economic Institutions. Two problems arise out of getting to Denmark. First, Somalia, Afghanistan or anywhere else cannot construct institutions which evolved over centuries, and have a basis in local culture; secondly, most people like those in Denmark have no idea how their institutions evolved or became useful in the first place, and if such a thing is unknown it's certainly not simple to emulate.
The key to Fukuyama’s assessment, aside from the recognition of organic institutions bound within a cultural and time, is the observation made by Fukuyama that the democratic system is bound within a multitude of categories primary among them being the state, the rule of law, and accountable government; all important, but not all necessarily existing concurrently. Fukuyama gives the example of Prussia in the 18th century, were despite the lack of what we would consider democracy the monarchy was held accountable.
What I would title these various factors, social consensus, the rule of law, physical stability, accountability, civil unrest (in order to motivate extension of the franchise), legitimate institutions of government, and educated population is independent preconditions. Factors that may operate independently or within a democratic system: they are necessary for the genesis of such a democratic system, but in the absence of more than a handful quickly cause the collapse of democratic structures.
Francis Fukuyama has observed that in contrast to his thesis in The End of History, democracy has in fact ceased to expand, since 2009 Freedomhouse has recorded a decline in the number of democracies in the world for 4 years in a row.  This according to Francis Fukuyama is the first time this has happened since the 1970’s. If democracy is now contracting is, there a picture we can draw of how and why democracy earned its universal appeal, and why those same sentiments are now, potentially, beginning to fail? Maybe this will offer the conservative a better picture of the beliefs, successes and failures democracy as a theoretical exercise in the will of the people.
To be sure, I am using the term democracy in a macro sense, democracies inevitably vary widely, and that will be part of the consideration on behalf of whomever reads this. They must assess whether these statements apply to all democracies and to what extent. Electoral systems and various institutions will change the function and purposes of a democracy or may bring into question whether or not such a system is by its nature democratic; I will bypass specifics simply out of a lack of time and a consideration for brevity. However, by painting with a broad brush perhaps we will portray the universal components of democracy, the things in common and the collective weaknesses implicit in popular government.
The first thinkers to study democracy were Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Perhaps, authors did before or concurrently, but their writings do not survive. Plato and his pupil Aristotle sought to understand the faults of the democratic system in which they lived. A system of direct democracy organized though mass plebiscites and extensive meetings whereby the citizens of the polis decided upon issues without recourse to representatives. Looking back at these early assessments is valuable, because not only they remain contemporary in form, but also they allow for an understanding of the potential of direct democracy to fail.
Plato was the first to scrutinize democracy; he did so in the Republic book VIII where he gave his account of the five forms of government, and his analogy of the ship of state. Plato insisted that the government of the people: democracy was a latent system that existed within the ship of the state. The ship of state being an allegorical conception of the relationship between the philosopher and the people, where the sailors (politicians/demagogues) in their wish to take the boat from the pilot (philosopher), who seems to be doing nothing of use. The Sailors appeal to the ship-owner (the Demos) who despite his strength and ownership of the ship, is deaf, nearsighted, and unskilled, despite his right to own and decide on behalf of the ship it is obvious that he is not fit for custody.
Plato states of the sailors, “they are always crowded around the ship-owner himself, begging and doing everything so that he’ll turn the rudder over to them.” The sailors quarrel and bicker and the show themselves too distracted to understand the navigation of the ship, the techne (art) of the pilot who navigates, like the philosopher who knows the techne of ruling. The concept of techne is the key to Plato’s theory of government in the Republic, the concept of techne insists that the art is something that is rational, teachable, and good for the object of the art. To Plato the techne of ruling fits into this class. An exceptional person can be taught to rule and established in conditions to do so, despite the authoritarian means required, and that ruling is just or at least of its art and true ruling when it is done at the benefit of the ruled.  This is forms a large part of Plato’s disdain for democracy, those who would be elected or make decisions in the public forums do not possess the art of ruling and are therefore incapable of benefiting the object of their art— the ruled, and the failure to act on behalf of those who need it, the producers in the city with bronze souls, and countenance their desires is part of why democracy is unjust. Democratic government is not harmonious government.
Plato illustrates this disunity and vacillation inherent in democracy by first illustrating its evolution from the oligarchic state, and then its further devolution into tyranny.
Plato did not permit his Guardians and Philosopher kings to own property or keep families, but Plato sketches a necessary scenario where both families and ownership of property and wealth come to be permitted through the gradual failure of the eugenics and education in his just city leading to the Timarchy (the spirited government). Timarchy gradually leads over generations to an oligarchic nature. The rulers begin to fetishize wealth and property acquisition and the loosening of norms related to wisdom and moderation. Slowly imperfect souls enter the ruling class, and to placate the leaders who now own great wealth and property, the city enshrines wealth and property ownership as prerequisites for government bringing the oligarchy in its official capacity.
Oligarchy necessarily descends into democracy because of the hierarchy between rulers and ruled is no longer one based on rationality and fittedness, but rather a government based on one's property and wealth determine opportunities to rule.  Those who had the ability to rule through virtue and natural intelligence (their nature) are no longer permitted and discontent erupts from the bronze souled in a city. The legitimacy of the government has been shattered and the ability that made the gold souled Guardians most able to restrain and moderate the desires of the bronze souled in the just city has fled.
From here, the transition to democracy occurs; democracy creates a city obsessed with freedom and its unnecessary desires. The obsession with the desires drives the individuals away from interest in governance and tyrannical men into perceiving themselves as being exploited quickly manipulate them. The polis descends into factionalism: the rich feeling threatened about the poor restrict their freedom. In fear of the oligarchy returning the people to revolt.  To protect the masses the man with the most tyrannical soul will seize power and in doing so expunge the city of anyone who may offer a challenge, and because this man originated in the society with no restraint upon its appetite and desires. The tyrant uses any means to protect his status in leadership, busying the people with constant war, and lives out his life in authoritarian opulence.
Aristotle too concedes something similar. Aristotle envisioned in Politics a description of government vastly greater in flexibility that of Plato’s Republic. Government to Aristotle did not exist only on a continuum, but rather in an antithetical relationship between forms. So that each form had its corresponding corruption. Kingship vs Tyranny, Aristocracy vs Oligarchy, and Polity vs Democracy. Unlike Plato, Aristotle conceived of democracy as the most moderate of the corruptions to government. He realized that a government run by a collection of unchecked oligarchs or a king had little capacity for correction without extreme political action, and that a smaller body of people is more prone to corruption than a larger in some respects. Here we have one of the first reasoned apologies for democratic governance. The interesting in Aristotle derives not from the fact that he wrote about democracy, but rather that he did not dismiss it like his teacher, rather he recognized that it was imperfect in nature.
The Greeks tell us something about perennial problems with democracy specifically that it operates on the assumption that people have the capacity to be rational and that freedom and legitimacy could and should derive themselves from the assent of the people. The Greeks did not see the people as rational actors nor did they see freedom as a good thing, but others in times that are more contemporary would see no limit to the rationality of man or see any concern with the right to rule being vested in an implicit contract between the ruler and the ruled. Meanwhile, Plato’s devolution from democracy to tyranny would validate premonitions from thousands of years in the past.
Back in modern times democracy, the default form of government is floundering across the globe. Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and countless others all serve as emblems of the dangers of majoritarian rule and the propensity toward democratic failure. These states fail because they are established without the necessary order. The democratic impulse has superseded reality. Too often, the democracy is an infant birthed by a foreign father in the land, but set free from his pen long before he has matured enough to support himself in the world. Instead, he is carried place to place and held as a symbol of dignity and accomplishment by the father and his collective of friends long before any accomplishments themselves have been rendered. The speak of his precociousness and then watch as the child plunges headlong down a staircase with an ill-timed step.
This analogy brings us to another question. . . . Both implied by reference to the child and in reference to Plato’s ship-owner are either fit to rule? Do they have the means by which they can make effective choices? Are they culpable for their own actions? And how simply can the child and the short sighted and stupid be manipulated?
In the democratic system, immense weight is placed on the social contract and the mandate. The concept, which I hope shall be proven pernicious, that the authority to govern is not coffered through tradition, merit, appointment, arbitrary selection, committee, or any other such manner, but rather than the right to rule has its natural legitimacy embedded in the choice of the majority. Since the people, as a collective, are the ones to be governed and rule is bestowed upon them from above, in some form, they are the ones who hold the key to its legitimacy. All the power of investments and governance is maintained in a single notion, this seems of the utmost danger. James Madison recognized this early on writing in “Federalist No. 49,” Madison would not concede to Jefferson’s radical notion of a constitution subject to frequent revisions and rewrites. Jefferson proposed that constitutional disagreements and amendments could be rectified through appeal to electorate. Madison however, knew that the people's interests and desires are fleeting and fickle, prone to emotional highs and devastating lows. To Madison the assumption that the majority acts in a reasonable fashion was questionable. He suggested a nation of Platonic philosophers could govern in such a fashion; reassessing the constitution through study and dialogue before placing it before their assembly, but the people have no such ability, and by modifying the constitution whenever deemed fit the document itself would cease to be a permanent source of authority, or an object of reverence, once tainted too frequently by human hands the immutable and indissoluble character of the document would be gone. The relation between the contemporary and the past would expire and the permanent convention of the nation would die.
Democracy through its nature invites destruction, sophistry, and revolution.
How does democratic rule invite destruction? It invites destruction because without appropriate checks, we place the body of people in command of a tradition that they may have no desire to maintain. The people not seeing the direct benefit of one institution or tradition on society, and invested with the power of the legislature can easily enough destroy what they deem as arbitrary. To the conservative the failure to uncover immediate benefits in established traditions and institutions is not a failure of reason or a failure of the institution. Instead, we as people have remarkably little comprehension of the utility of structures that exist at the periphery of reason. Democracy causes destruction because it is the ultimate leveler. Its egalitarianism applied to politics and its interests consistently advance in that direction.
Carl Schmitt wrote of the way in which the state is capable of merging with society through popular sovereignty until the soft despotism leads the nation to ruin either fiscal or otherwise. Schmitt wrote after the establishment of Weimar Germany. In the Weimar assemblies, the Reichsrat was greatly weakened and could no longer check the assembly at leisure, and the Reichstag, now elected through proportional representation, became a debating hall for any interest group. In Schmitt's words, “the distinctions between state and society vanished. Schmitt wrote that many of the class and confession based parties that emerged in the interwar period were changing the nature of the state and society. Society overcame the state whenever it had the opportunity to do so, and he asserted that, “If state and society are in principle to become identical, then all social and economic problems immediately become problems of the state.” With a unified state and society, the state would by its nature seize control of the welfare, culture, and “every aspect of social life.” It was in this society (a society of unchecked democracy) that Schmitt saw the origins of totalitarianism. A soft totalitarianism, but a totalitarianism none the less.
Schmitt asserts that democracy and particularly large and complex elective assemblies with a diverse base of parties not only establishes a “total state” through appeal to all demographics, confessions and subcultures, but it also makes for pedantic and ineffective government, which has no means to legislate or act of its own will due to the broad base of support necessary to ensure a successful parliamentary majority. The parties to maintain such a majority, very regularly through coalitions, are always beholden to a diverse section of outside interests and not their own duty to govern.
I mentioned the natural tendency of democratic regimes to fall victim to the arguments of sophists and rhetoricians, and that conjecture will be extended upon the implication being that the natural state of democracy is one that provides for the circumvention of institutional control and the and the enablement of revolution at the cost of the enfeeblement of the state. The very concept of revolution being antithetical to the conservative propensity for moderation, must therefore lead to a healthy scepticism of the democratic project.
No doubt the great mass of people in any society hold the largest portion of the reserve of power, but they are naturally kept from its exercise through the interwoven bodies of authority that provide a basis for their respect and affection. It is these bodies, as resides in the monarchy, the constitution, the popular assemblies, and the courts, the family, among other webs such as the church and the enforcers of law, which place us into a position of trust with the state and allow for the allocation of certain responsibilities to those most able and fit for the task. Yet, by investing the authority of government in the reciprocation of the people we have effectively elevated the people beyond the traditional constraints and brought them into a sphere formerly reserved for a powerful and well fitted minority— the best in a society.
Through the introduction of the popular sovereignty institution and law are subject to change at the will of people and if a legislative body or any other body seeks to check this temper than it must be so that it is in immediate conflict with the public good, if we are to assess the public good on the basis of majority opinion. Hobbes recognized this acutely in Leviathan. Hobbes suggests democracy is dangerous because it establishes the mandate of the people as the means of determining legitimacy, but the mandate of the people may easily shift to popular politicians or outsiders who may undermine the political order, such as Julius Caesar. Democracy to Hobbes may to easily transfer authority from a sovereign body to a despot.
This ability to bypass the framework of institutional authority and informal obligations would not, by nature, be a great risk, if it were not for the fact that a naturally distinguished class of people with means and property beyond that of the majority is certain to develop; distinguished though these elites may be they are in no capacity equal to the power of the majority, and as Jerry Muller notes in Conservatism these elites must trust in government structure, stability and strength to maintain the by-product of their industry and heredity.  Edmund Burke was well aware of the hardship and betrayal innate in revolutionary seizures when he wrote. “When men are encouraged to go into a certain mode of life by existing laws, and protected in that mode as a lawful occupation . . . I am sure it is unjust in legislature, by an arbitrary act, to offer sudden violence. . . .To stigmatize with shame and infamy that character and those customs which before had made measure of their happiness and honour. If to this be added an expulsion from their habitations, and a confiscation of all their goods, I am not sagacious enough to discover how this despotic sport . . . can be discriminated from the rankest tyranny.”
Flowing from the capricious and demanding nature of the great body of the population begs the question of whether or not most are prepared or deserve self-government. We do not tell children to rule themselves and what other relationship does the state have to its charges than that of a parent? The nature of the bond and its execution may change, but the subordinate relationship does not, and any true child will direct its affections upward to the parent likewise. Those who stray from this formula all too often ended up with easily bypassed harm to those, which are incapable of recognizing the risk and dangers long since triumphed over by ancestral good sense and collective wisdom.
Joseph Schumpeter dedicated himself to an analysis of the gap between the theoretical conception of democracy and its empirical reality. Specifically, he took the time in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy to expose the errors of conferring too much agency upon the public. Schumpeter unlike most theorists believed that a relative lack of oversight and a degree of negligence was necessary to ensure efficient government, by those who govern best more specifically, and he asserted that despite our wishes to the contrary, the vast body of popular opinion did not find itself engaged in the political process in any meaningful way. “We all know the man . . . who says that the local administration is not his business and callously shrugs his shoulders at practices. . . . “ Likewise Schumpeter states, “ High-minded citizens . . . who preach responsibility of the individual voter . . . invariably discover the fact that this voter does not feel responsible for what the local politicians do.” He contrasts this with larger scale national elections were a coherent and significant interest group might emerge; however, these interest groups often focus directly on short-term goals and limited rationality. This short run pattern often produces corrupt leaders. But as Schumpeter says, “[O]nly the short-run promise . . . tells politically.”  Schumpeter postulates that when the people are moved to act it is often based on passion and indignation and that since these are fleeting moments often driven by emotion the general will likely be dangerous and possibly “fatal to his nation.” Schumpeter realizes that interest groups can manipulate the perceived general will and coerce the individual into false desires and indignations. This is problematic, as Schumpeter notes because any decisions made in a democracy are not like purchases in a store, you cannot try out the products and replace them at leisure, yet our political apparatus functions like commercial advertising.
This leads to my closing comments on the unconservative nature of democratic politics. By no means is the jury decided, rather, I and most other conservatives have a degree of reconciliation to democracy that must yet take place. However we can determine that there is good cause to be suspect about the primary way by which we choose our leadership and hold them accountable today; this is not because the leadership itself is truly the problem, most conservatives can reasonably assert that there is a hierarchy to rule, and a necessary one at that: John Adams, Edmund Burke, and countless other historical tories and conservatives attest to this sentiment, but rather that our democratic constitutions, untempered by the value of unelected and timeless sentiment— of monarchs and upper-chambers— are prone to rampant destructive and revolutionary impulses. Sentiments advocated by revolutionary and freedom loving individuals who see change as the barometer of success and hold no affection for the ways of the past.

More than anything else however the conservative must consider themselves a skeptic of the democratic process, because the democratic process does not concern itself with the future nor the past, but rather it places its trust in the now— at the expense of its posterity and antecedents— and this is devastating: perhaps not perceptible to all but the most sagacious, but look back at the years of change and the way they advanced inexorably toward the modern degeneracy and disunity and you will see, as have I, that devastation may occur piecemeal.  Philosopher Roger Scruton, in his book The Meaning of Conservatism, rightly asserts that democracy inherently breeches the founding principle of conservative thought, it necessarily confers choice and acts in the interests of only those who of the present generation, for they are the only ones present to vote! However, he touches on one important redeeming factor of the democratic process and one we would do well to recall in times of great hardship, and that is it provides a legitimate way to oust the worst of leaders [but does it also not allow the worst to make appeal to the people despite of institutional rejection? In a democracy, we may get rid of our rulers.