Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Social Conservatism: Semi-Homeless


Social conservatives should understand that in American politics - and all modern politics, really - they will never have a true "party." Particularly in modernity, a time shaped to repudiate many of the basic commitments of conservatives (indeed, a time that gave rise to the peculiar beast called "conservatism") there will always be a degree of political homelessness. Conservatives should aim to achieve some political ends, but understand that those aims will always be partially or imperfectly reflected in the commitments of all modern parties, and should seek, where possible, to reinforce or extend those commitments where they can be found. There is an odd willfulness on the part of many so-called conservatives to damn every action and word of Obama even as they excuse the actions of Bush. This reflects, in my mind, the sad reality that the Will to Power has deeply infiltrated itself within some thoughtful people who ought rightly to be the greatest opponents of that Nietzschean ambition.

True, dat.

By the way, I'm in the middle of reading a lengthy essay which purports to demonstrate that the Founders (specifically Jefferson and Madison) were virtual anti-Christians, who adopted Locke/Hobbes' political theories into the 1A to prevent religious influence on governance.

Which might come as either a relief or a surprise to Nick.


Anonymous said...

What would come as a relief/surprise to me? The fact that the founders adopted Locke/Hobbes theories to keep religion out of government, or the fact that you're reading the essay? The former would certainly not surprise me at all, as I argue that many times on my blog. Though I would never argue that they were "anti-Christians", though Jefferson's personal beliefs were debated hotly during his presidential campaign.

Once again I would argue that it is possible to be both very strongly Christian, and also believe that religion has no place in government.

Actually, I just ordered myself a copy of the Jefferson Bible... have wanted to see what he edited out as an insight into his beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I would think removing party politics is not impossible either. I'm actually interested in studying how politics works in Nebraska for instance, where I recently learned they have a unicameral, non-partisan legislature.

Not surprisingly, they are one of less than a dozen states that currently has no budget deficit right now.