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Monday, 26 September 2016

Shout Out to Three Other Blogs



Before I begin writing other things (eg) working on the newest manuscript). I'd like to let my modest readership know, and show my appreciation for three fantastic blogs. Each of these blogs are immensely more prolific, unlike myself. I don't consider myself a blogger, rather a dabbler, who works on books and education while tipping my hat to toward internet media from time to time. However these blogs are unparalleled. I could offer further recommendations, and for anyone interested leave a comment, but for now to the point. 

Throne, Altar, Liberty: Possibly the best Canadian bog I've ever read and mandatory reading for anyone who considers themselves a Tory in contemporary Canada. I do not agree with everything Gary writes (then again I don't agree with everything I write). However, Gary reads quickly and is incredibly perspicacious. If anyone wish to familiarize themselves with the Canadian conservative tradition Throne, Altar, Liberty is the best place to start.

Oz Conservative: I love this guy, Mark gives us further perspective from the Commonwealth and doe it in such a way as to be highly entertaining and fit in manosphere concepts from time to time as well as butcher feminism and sexual egalitarianism on the regular. This is one of the blogs I approach for fun. Yet, there are expansive and detailed posts that are of incalculable value to the reader. 

Throne and Altar: Finally, Bonald. This is a great blog, its a little more reactionary in contrast to the others, however, I consider this a good thing. Bonald, provides an insightful look at Catholicism in the modern day, as well as monarchy, and is an excellent critic of democracy. His sidebar alone is brilliant and required reading. 

I hope my readers, get as much utility out of these three as I do. They are great writers and have been doing this for a long time. Still, giving them some patronage in the form of views will not hurt, but rather incentivize these three to keep the content coming! 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Children and the Multi-Ethnic Society


Chinese Canadian children playing basketball in Vancouver. A poor image choice, but hey I didn't work very hard. However the point is ethnically Asian children playing a game dominated by black athletes in North America.
An interesting thought/observation today. I occasionally find myself thinking about racism. I believe this is for two reasons, firstly family has always expressed racist sentiment from time to time, despite my love for them they can be quite bigoted. Secondly, the political right has always had an unintentional and unwanted association with racist politics. Its interesting, and captivates me. Probably because I oppose large scale immigration to western countries from source countries that are linguistically and culturally estranged from the norm in the country accepting them. I wish I had a more thorough faith in assimilation, but I don't. Regardless I noticed something interesting.

That there is abundant fears on the White Nationalist and racist dens of the internet that suggest that ethnicity is deep beyond a cultural construct: agreed. Regardless, racism and dislike for another race is obviously a conditioned behavior. What most people get confused about is ethnicity and culture.

Why do I say this? Because I look out the window of my home every day, and watch a handful of children playing in the yard and parking lot of my neighborhood. Now my neighborhood is dominated by immigrants (its rather poor and near great public transit), and most of these immigrants are Muslim Somali's. Now Islam is not my favourite, but despite the odious Mohammedanism professed by the parents, all the children in my neighborhood play together: white, black, Asian, I think I even saw a Native American!  



Without issues. They do not see race in a significant sense. Tell me its a biological disdain and I will laugh at you the empirical reality is everywhere. 

It is important to note however, that these children certainly will not stay friends; cultural conditioning will likely set in sometime soon. Right now most the children are between 5 and 9 years old (I assume). The point still stands, until the parents say do not play with those kafir or someone says hey those fucking natives have been milking the system for too long. The kids do not know better. They can't: they're kids.


MULTICULTURALISM = Death of a Nation 


Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Freedom Scale: An Embryonic Political Analogy

Today I'd like to offer an analogy that should relate to better understanding the political dynamic between individual and social freedoms. This metaphor will be inadequate simply because I have not yet had the time to flesh it out, rather I just thought of it, and the thought itself maybe derivative. Regardless I am proposing that political and individual freedom (note freedom itself is undefined and this is part of the problem) can be understood in a descriptive sense in terms of a scale: yes, a scale.

Imagine such a scale, but on the left we have political coercion, and on the right we have practiced virtue or character. (note: I am presupposing a virtue ethic not a consequential or deontological position) The individual, who has been habituated himself through social guidance, individual reflection, and action in order to be come an individual of virtue or character, is one who self-governs effectively in the sense of moderating the passions and subordinating the appetitive desires under the dominion of the reasoning portion of the mind. (of note: when I refer to the individual's habituation I am operating under the assumption that individual and institutional authority creates this impetus.) In this model institutions are not conceived of as part of the states framework, but rather an appendage to individual and familial association.

Now suppose that this individual lives in a society, whereby he is not conditioned to subordinate himself to his own, presumably social and rational sovereignty, then I suggest that he may find himself qualitatively speaking, as a subject of subordination of the outside power of the state. (the state we must be careful to recognize is not the community) This, I believe arises from the fact that the state regardless of its potential intention to avoid value judgments, as is so common in the perceptibly liberal society of licence (whereby quantitative autonomy is considered a political end of value), this still necessitates a determination of value. What in turn ends up happening is the individual, is subordinate to the end of the state, when he is not subordinate to value judgments implicit in the cultivation of virtue and citizenship. If the ends of political society are not dictated by cultivation of virtue in the individual then the direction of society will necessarily be governed by the state.

The scale exists, and how it works, how the elevation of state authority over individual self government begins to occur is once the state composed of individuals who do not govern themselves asserts a value judgment upon the nature of mankind itself in absence of a pre-enlightenment view of human frailty. If, as was a prior assumption in pre-enlightenment societies, that man was fallen, subject to nature, moral truth, cosmological order, and other checks. The enlightenment substituted nature, and history, for instrumentalized reason capable, in the eyes of reformers, of reconstructing the world to better suit the needs of humanity. This was possible, because, as Jean Jacques Rousseau indicated it was society that corrupted man.

 Implicit in this assertion was the notion that man's nature was corrupted from a pre-political idyllic peace. This viewpoint, in a modern context is well outlined by economist Thomas Sowell when he delineates boundaries between the constrained and unconstrained visions in his book  A Conflict of Visions. In terms of politics this creates a rational for construction of  a society best suited not to constrain man or direct him toward self governance, but rather a rational, which asserts itself toward the reconstruction of idyllic man and the engineering of a society through which all men will realize their pre-political innocence and goodness. This notion of engineered society naturally instrumentalizes humanity aggressively directs them toward the end of the state. This coercive force sees it necessary to treat the community as a tool for testing hypothesis and creates new fashionable value judgments ready to be imposed by fiat upon men who in their lack of personal virtue and habituation are hungry to indulge. By this mechanism, and I am sure much more could be said or theorized from a different premises, I believe, a partial explanation can be created that ties individual freedom to increased state coercion, and individual self-government to greater political freedom,

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

'Why Conservatism' Intro to the Founders

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain 


Due to the length of the chapters many of them will be broken at logical places and published in parts so as not to overwhelm readers with 3000+ word monographs, but instead keep 'Why Conservatism' digestible as possible. You can find the intro post/Index here.

When I consider conservatism I consider it broadly and in so doing draw on and acknowledge sources, which are either common or relatively obscure, and perhaps disowned by the conservative movement as a whole. There exists, at least in my mind, three currents of thought, which I used to divide conservatism as its grown and evolved throughout history: firstly, there is pre-modern conservatism, which I again subdivide into rationalist and anti-rationalist streams; secondly, there is modern conservatism, which would be the strain taken up by the followers and interpreters of Edmund Burke, in this case modern refers to its response to the modern political movement of the enlightenment and instrumental politics more broadly; and thirdly I chose to add a final division, which I title, Conservative Liberalism, which, is highly oxymoronic, yet the only viable way I see to systematize the modern conservative movement wedded to laisse-faire economics, modernity, and many of the premises first introduced by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
When I speak of the pre-moderns I am referring primarily to the big names in ancient Philosophy in this case I will reference three as exemplars, Plato, Aristotle, and Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo. Both Plato and Aristotle in many ways were revolutionary, but valuable tenants of conservative thought were also insipid in their works, and its important to recognize such currents. It may go without saying that philosophy in this era, like society itself, was necessarily conservative based upon the sociological make up of the ancient Mediterranean world, but this is not the point, but rather that the thoughts expressed by students of Plato’s Academy would have immense influence on conservatism, conservative interpretations of nature, and conservative thought generally, even when such influence was carried forth and mutated (for better and worse) by the Catholic Church, which until this day remains the chief proponent of teleological and Aristotelian philosophy through the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Saint Augustine on the other hand gets reference independent of the Greeks for three reasons: firstly, because at least in my experience he represents the first strong currents of anti-rationalist thought that explored the limits and viability of human reason; secondly because Augustine though primarily Neo-Platonic, represented an advanced evolution of Plato’s thoughts due to his writing as late as 748 years after Aristotle; lastly because Saint Augustine, innovated a great deal due to his attempted reconciliation of Platonic philosophy with Christian monotheism[1] and out of this a number of conclusions arise such as considerations of linear time and historicity, which would play a large part in conservative epistemology even if such currents are not directly traceable to the moderns and Liberals.
What I title the moderns are truly a unique case. This is because for the first time in the era between the mid 18th century and early 19th century conservatism became self aware. What do I mean by this? I mean that the new writers in the tradition. People like Edmund Burke and Louis De Bonald knew that they were working to refute a new wave: a dangerous wave, a movement that prepared to bring anarchy across the world in its search for mastery of man, his politics, his society, and his environment.
In this modern era conservative awareness grew, and the writings of the time take on a distinctly polemical style. Treatise were not written, but impassioned books and essays instead. Each of these writings argued for the restoration of something quickly being lost and soon to be forgotten. The era of the moderns was the era of revolutions and has to be understood as such. Events such as the Glorious Revolution had to be rationalized, the American Revolution remained tendentious, France fell into turmoil and terror, and finally by 1848 all Europe burned in a conflagration unparalleled in history. One likely spread by pernicious political liberalism seeded into the earth by Napoleon’s armies, but that is something for historians to determine. All these events, the tumult and the horror, as well as the feeling of being on the decline, on being on the wrong side of history, caused the stirring of conservatives across Western Civilization. That is why the moderns are unique.
I so titled the modern conservatives of the American ‘Conservative Movement’ and its predecessors, influencers, and intellectual cousins, for example Friedrich Hayek, as elements of Conservative Liberalism; this is in opposition to the name provided by Russell Kirk in the Conservative Mind where he styles them ‘Liberal Conservatives.’[2] Though Kirk, correctly identifies a unique strain of thought, I see an err in interpretation, insofar as the representatives of Conservative Liberalism derive the fundamentals of their world view from axioms first articulated by Liberal thinkers: firstly John Locke, above conservative influences, which grew primarily out of economic and religious considerations and not a moral philosophy unique to the movement; thus the appellation I provide is more fitting to the object of study. These thinkers lead to the first conclusion of the book the one that asks for criticism of the modern conservative political movement in the western world.
I divide the voices of conservative liberalism into two specific camps. One is a group of thinkers obviously liberal, yet tempered by conservative social leanings at the personal level. What sets these liberals apart in my eyes is service to the notion that mankind has some form of limit. They may say reason is not equal in all man and political constructivism is unattainable, yet they still hold to a constitution which places freedom as the concept of utmost value. These are the thinkers which see autonomy as the its own end and the state as its instrument.
The second group under the umbrella of the conservative liberalism, and this a contentious statement, are many of those relatively contemporary post WWII American public intellectuals and academics who attempted to synthesize conservative social policy with small government and the dominance of the market. Men like Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Sowell, William F. Buckley Jr, and to a lesser extent Irving Kristol (insofar as Kristol supported the free-market and supply side economics) make up this group. They are small in the relative scheme of things yet they deserve our attention because despite their best efforts to ensure the soul of conservatism lived on in a viable form: one that could gain and maintain electoral success. The movement conservatives and others, ultimately cost conservatism its soul; I say this because through the efforts of the men these men influenced, economic thinking became the sine qua non of the conservative parties in the western world.
Once election became dependent on low taxes and silence on social issues conservatism as we knew it died. Society became the purview of liberals and the state, and by extension the market, the purview of conservatives and if these lines were crossed then the liberal populace, as well as the political machine of the capitalist order, would take revenge. Conservatism as we know it, cannot become itself whole in body and spirit until it abjures electoral success and yet this is seemingly untenable. No one wishes a liberal dominated order, but perhaps, its already happened. Perhaps, conservatives, as we know them—as opposition parties across the globe—are just as liberal as their counterparts. Examining the conservative liberals and looking at the effort to synthesize the libertarian and conservative movements will hopefully begin to shed light on this question.

[1] "Augustine (354-430 C.E.)," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, accessed September 14, 2016, http://www.iep.utm.edu/augustin/#H8.
[2] Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind From Burke to Santayana, 7th ed. (Lake Bluff, IL, 1986),185-187.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Intro to 'Why Conservatism'



I am begging a new and lengthy blog series that will be tentatively be called 'Why Conservatism' I hope it will be a useful foundation akin to my 'Conservative Standpoint' Series. Like that Series I hope to make small changes and publish the manuscript at a later date in slightly altered format, so far now the blog will get the raw treatment, which I hope, will lead to a more refined and interesting piece going forward. However in the meantime, here is the intro (for the blog) and I hope you enjoy it and understand the intent. 


Introduction


I am writing this book, with the express intent of responding to a handful of natural questions I believe would, and shall arise, for anyone choosing to take intellectual conservatism seriously in the modern world. The conservative impulse is a naturally confusing one to the modern man or woman, and one in which I wish to devote my time and study, despite, many of my thoughts on the matter becoming highly heterodox: see the later chapter ‘Can You Be A Pure Conservative?’ I will regardless be attempting to layout, essential commonalities to the conservative experience. This work, in essence, may very well be akin to ‘my’ ‘Mere Christianity’ of C.S Lewis, in that it focuses on the common and the intelligible facets of conservatism and tosses into the ditch the esoteric and the isolated.
I intend to draw the lines between conservatives and bind the thoughts tightly together by first engaging in a form of examination of primary texts and supporting works, and then following this up with a thorough summary of the conservative notions within those text. I hope I will be capable of detailing the way in which a number of different thinkers’ slot themselves into the conservative tradition; others, we will see, are not formerly part of the conservative tradition, yet have something to teach: they emphasize conservatism beyond party lines and outside dogmatic notions of party affiliation and overt association. Much will be made of classical authors, modern writes, and the uniqueness of American conservative liberalism.
Once the outlines have been drawn and the context established. Once the reader knows intimately what, by association best displays conservative thought. Once the values of the, virtues, and concerns of the philosophy have been made clear the reader will be exposed to a synthesized whole, which I hope, will expose him to one of the more comprehensive and organic understandings of conservatism.
Together my readings and those of others will be united and applied to a critical examination of modern self-professed ‘conservatives’ by this I mean the Republics, and the Conservative Party of Canada, the British Conservative Party, and potentially other examples throughout the Anglo-sphere. Global readings will be bypassed except nominally due to limitations of time. However, given the foundation laid we should be able to, with certainty examine the recent actions and policies of these political leaders and expose them as warped and degenerate.
Therefore, wherever I personally deviate or express highly heterodox opinions I shall deliberately attempt to contextualize them and make known that in these particular areas more than others I am providing a personal take, and expressing opinion with the intention of showing how as long as certain principles remain paramount the conservative themselves can differ by orders of magnitude in what is considered doctrine without themselves actually seeing it necessary to abandon the conservative label.
Lastly, the knowledge uncovered in the first two thirds of the book will be applied to higher questions. Namely, what is the nature of conservatism’s relationship to freedom, and how exactly do we conceptualize that freedom? Is individual freedom different from political freedom? How does society bind us? Can we prohibit licence and still be free? The it will be on to morality and ethics; I wish to approach the topic in two ways: one, asking how virtue ethics fits with conservatism, and understanding its ties with natural law theory; second, asking if deontological ethics can function in a conservative society or if it must, necessarily, lead itself to universalism and political cosmopolitanism. From here the final question will need an answer. The final question being is conservatism sufficient for a unified, cogent, intelligible, and moral framework? Important questions that will hopefully receive an adequate answer later on.
This book will not be an academic exercise. Rather, it may very well be considered a romantic one; full of oughts and shoulds and coulds and not, what is or what may be, because this is a conservative work on a personal level one of necessary flaws closer to a Socratic dialogue rather than an academic treatise laden with footnotes and a robust bibliography. This is deliberate because I truly believe that conservatism is a natural impulse a feeling, a ‘Persuasion’ as the late Irving Kristol called it, and I’d like to distance conservatism, so far as is possible, from the contemporary and the particular in order to expressly address its natural and universal nature. Conservatism as far as this conception goes is a projection of the self-upon the world and should be viewed as such a place where the heart and the memory extend themselves over all facets of the life. A conservatism intelligible to the layman and infused with feeling and passion. 
My writing will not be preconceived, or stripped to the barest and most direct, satisfying, and concise answers, but rather handled in a format similar to a stream of consciousness. This will naturally be divisive, but regardless, useful to my purposes and the audience I wish to address. This audience necessarily includes those who do not define themselves as conservatives, and perhaps such individuals are curious about the nature of conservatism, in which case I desire to expose them to the thoughts of a conservative in a colloquial and relatable fashion.
I must make final admission and disclaimer: This piece of writing is not representative of all conservatives, but rather represents a limited interpretation of a line of thought that has been characterized not only by philosophers, but by journalists, lawyers, politicians, economists, artists, novelists, and so forth. I cannot do justice to this plurality of interpretations, but rather assert to modestly represent them by recognizing that conservatism is more than a political stance, but a sovereign force welded to the mind but originating in the heart. I hope that readers accept my limitations and still enjoy the work that follows I know I will try my best to do so, and I truly believe that in the absence of perfection everyone is improved by trying.
Cole Dutton

September 10, 2016 

The Chapters or sections shall be as follows:



Table of Contents
Introduction
Conservatives' Shared Principles 
Intro to the Founders 
The Founders: Pre-Modern
The Founders: Modern
The Founders: Conservative Liberalism
Conservatives: the Individualists and Communitarian Strains
Conservatives: the Rationalist and Anti-Rationalist Strains 
Conservatism and Nature
What is Conservative Economic Policy?
The Problems with Contemporary Conservatism
Conservatism: Beyond Politics
Conservatism and Freedom: is Coexistence Possible
Is Conservative Morality Sufficient?
Conclusion