Sunday, March 09, 2014

It's the Culture, Not the Senate

Following on the Deneen essays (and Solzhenitsyn, for that matter) we have this from Claes Ryn.  Ryn's rather provocative essay argues that politics is a distinct second to the Culture--that is, that hearts and minds are won because of the Culture and politics simply flows from that driver.  It was written in '06, by the way.

...Conservative politicians and policy wonks have failed to reverse any of the main deleterious social trends of the last half-century not because they have lacked financial resources but because efforts like theirs have limited efficacy in the first place. While they have gobbled up millions and millions of donated dollars, the activities that shape the deeper sensibilities and desires of Americans have continued to be dominated by people trying to dismantle what remains of traditional American and Western civilization....

To Deneen's point:

...Today “conservative” often means leftist, as in wanting to reshape the world in the image of a single ahistorical model (“democracy”). Many so-called conservatives are better described as Jacobins. Most neoconservatives are ideologically intense universalistic liberals. Needless to say, what Americans call liberalism has long been difficult to tell apart from European social democracy.


...the conservative movement did not direct its main efforts toward a revitalization of the mind, imagination, and moral-spiritual life....

The One Great Fail of Limbaugh, Hannity, Belling and Sykes, not to mention the Conservative Barbie, Coulter.

...Without a major reorientation of American thought and sensibility, conservative politics was bound to fail. The neoconservatives reinforced the preoccupation with politics and public policy. They claimed that before their coming to the rescue American conservatism had been intellectually feeble, but, in reality, it had exhibited far greater scope and depth prior to their arrival. Mentioning just a few thinkers of the 1950s and ’60s proves the point: Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, John Lukacs, Thomas Molnar, Robert Nisbet, Peter Stanlis, Wilhelm Röpke, Peter Viereck, Eliseo Vivas, Eric Voegelin, and Richard Weaver.

Dreher, who brought us this essay, is of the opinion that this society will fail, and soon.  Rod's kinda pessimistic.


Anonymous said...

Dreher pitches tent with the climate crowd & St. Revolution. He calls out the foolish un-believers to deflect from his own well-documented shortcomings.

Voegelin on the other hand knows his gnosis, and its limits. The ongoing GOP "civil war" conjures 1980 - who's the Dem western gov running vs. Hill? We'll put cheese down in Vegas on Udall/Warren vs Hill if it comes down to that.

"The conservative movement did not direct its main efforts toward a revitalization of the mind, imagination, and moral-spiritual life..."

Who's hung up on the morality portion?

Dad29 said...

Umnnnhhh...if you're trying to tell us that morality doesn't matter,please feel free to be a murder victim.

As usual, you Libertarians don't really get it.