Let the tears which fell, and the broken words which were exchanged in the long close embrace between the orphans, be sacred. A father, sister, and mother, were gained, and lost, in that one moment. Joy and grief were mingled in the cup; but there were no bitter tears: for even grief itself arose so softened, and clothed in such sweet and tender recollections, that it became a solemn pleasure, and lost all character of pain.
Time flies even when you’re not having fun. While talking with an acquaintance who has kept up his subscription to National Review for the last fifty years, I realized that I had not seen an issue of the magazine in the last thirty years. In my twenties I subscribed to the magazine and also went to the library and read all the back issues dating back to the magazine’s beginnings. The book review section of National Review gave the reader the chance, if he took the trouble to obtain the authors’ works, to catch up on the history of the conservative movement in the 20th century.
I bring this up because my acquaintance — actually he is somewhat more than an acquaintance and less than a friend – was lamenting the fact that National Review has become a liberal magazine. I commiserated with him and left it at that. But I do not think that National Review has become a liberal magazine: I think National Review always was a liberal magazine. Their liberalism was rooted in their rejection of Burkean conservatism. A case in point: I cancelled my subscription to the magazine when the editors published an article titled, “Abortion: A Spirited Debate.” In the article ‘conservatives’ on both sides of the abortion issue expressed their opinions. I don’t recall all the authors, but I do recall that the prominent conservative, Ernest van den Haag, was pro-abortion. I sent off a cancellation notice to National Review in which I told them that the sanctity of the child in the womb was not a debatable issue and that any person or magazine that treated it as a debatable issue was not conservative. The editors replied that I was a hopeless reactionary and that I would find life awfully lonely without National Review. Well, I did find life awfully lonely, but I would have felt my loneliness all the more acutely had I continued to pretend I was in sympathy with the National Review conservatives.
What conservatives in the 20th century lacked was what Christian theology lacks: A commitment to a personal savior above the intellectual theories about God and a commitment to the preservation of a particular people who took that very particular and personal savior into their hearts. Governments, Burke asserted, were not as important as customs and manners. In fact, governments only existed to protect the immemorial customs and manners of the European people. And those customs and manners were rooted in the European people’s faith in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Any government, be it a monarchy or a republic, that failed to preserve the Christian customs and manners of the European people was not a legitimate government. The Southern conservative George Fitzhugh echoed Burke’s sentiments:
All government proceeds ab extra. Neither individuals nor societies can govern themselves, any more than the mouse can live in the exhausted receiver, or the clown lift himself by the lapel of his pantaloons. The South is governed by a healthy conservative public opinion. Had the negroes votes, the necessity would be removed, because the interest of the government class would cease to be conservative.
James Burnham, who started out his career as a Trotskyite and then became an ardent anti-communist, was typical of the 20th century conservatives. He wrote many books such as The Struggle for the World and The Suicide of the West, which were considered conservative masterpieces. But the fatal flaw of Burnham’s anti-communism was that his anti-communism was rooted in pragmatism — it was ‘this world only.’ And because it was ‘this world only,’ Burnham failed to see that there was no spiritual difference between the American democratic experiment and the Russian communist experiment. The former was incremental Jacobinism and the latter was the ‘Jacobinism now’ of the Robespierre Jacobins. The incremental Jacobinism of the American experiment in democracy has been more long-lasting than the Russian experiment, but that won’t necessarily stop the triumphant incremental Jacobins of the United States and Western Europe from becoming Robespierre Jacobins. The New Age liberals lack the caution and the patience for incremental Jacobinism. But perhaps caution and patience are no longer necessary considering the spiritually anesthetized state of the European people. The democratic zeitgeist, be it Russian communism or Western democracy, can only be resisted by a spiritual force greater than the zeitgeist of modernity. There is no such force in modern Europe.
What would it take to defeat the purveyors of modernity? It would take a people who believe that Christ rose from the dead on the third day. Such a people, when united to such a God, would have the spiritual force to resist the zeitgeist of modernity. In the absence of that spirit, all Burnham’s managerial programs and the countless other programs and political pamphlets of the 20th century conservatives amount to nothing. If you diagram and codify nothingness it still remains nothingness, it does not become a spiritual force.
The managerial conservatives, such as Burnham and Tyndall, ignored that which is essential for true conservatism, faith in something or someone beyond this world, and proceeded to unveil their plans to defeat the communist enemy from without and the liberal enemy from within while standing in the quicksand of democracy. The intellectual Christians, such as Weaver and Kirk, attempted to fuse the Western philosophical tradition with Christianity and democracy. That fusion eliminated the human element, the European people, which were and are necessary to defend the faith that made Europe Christendom.
The modern liberals tell us, “We will bring you hell.” Is there anything in 20th century or 21st century conservatism that can counter such creatures? No, there is not. Thomas Aird says it all in his poem, “The Devil’s Dream on Mount Aksbeck”: “The dreamer knew the work he marred, and felt a Fiend’s delight.” The devil hates Christ and His people with a passion that cannot be understood or resisted by reason alone. We must be joined to Him, who loves much, in order to understand the love that is beyond reason, which is the only force in heaven and earth that can overcome the passionate hatred of the devil and his minions.
In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the exiled Lear brought himself and his kingdom to utter ruin because of his failure to distinguish good from evil – he cast out his good daughter and placed his confidence in his two evil daughters. This is what the 20th century conservatives did and what the 21st century conservatives are still doing. They have cast out the good – the antique Europeans — and they have kept what is evil – the purveyors of democracy and racial diversity. But Lear, once he has lost his kingdom and seen the fruits of his daughters’ evil, repents of the evil he countenanced through his moral blindness. I see no such repentance in the modern conservatives. They still look to democracy as their savior.
Sometimes we are told to look to democratic Hungary and sometimes we are told to look to democratic Russia, where the democratic virus seems to be less virulent. But we will always believe a lie if we look to democracies for our salvation, even if those democracies are professed Christian democracies. Throughout Latin America and Europe, the most manically anti-white and anti-Christian parties are the Christian democratic parties. The Voltaires and the Rousseaus will always “mock on,” but should we become their lackeys by continually supporting liberal regimes that have institutionalized everything that is anti-Christian and anti-European just because those regimes are democratic? What is good cannot be synonymous with what is democratic. When that satanic premise rules, every evil under the sun is countenanced – legalized abortion, gay rights, feminism, and white genocide – because those evils have been democratically legalized. There must be a moral center in our souls that passes judgement on democracy. If there isn’t, if democracy is at the center of our souls, we will never oppose the devil, we will be at his mercy. And the devil has no mercy.
The Southern people did not lose the Civil War in 1864. They maintained their civilization after 1864 because they refused to accept the verdict of democracy, they refused to accept the fact that their whiteness and their Christian faith made them moral pariahs simply because a democratically elected government decided they were moral pariahs. The Southern people lost the war when they accepted a place in the liberal government in 1877, because what was implicit in their re-entry was an agreement to abide by the incremental Jacobinism of the liberal leviathan. Men such as Andrew Lytle and Donald Davidson remained spiritually unreconstructed, but the Southern people, as a people, became like unto the men and women of the North, they became grazers in the liberal fields of white oblivion. They lost their souls because they allowed the democratic process and all its attendant evils to become the moral center of their souls.
The pro-life movement, which started out as a movement to make abortion illegal, became a movement to ensure that abortion remained legal in perpetuity, because the people involved in the pro-life movement placed the democratic process at the center of their souls and left the unborn babies at the periphery of their souls, where they hovered around in a sort of limbo. The pro-life credo was not, “We will not abide the slaughter of the innocents.” Instead the credo was, “We will protest the slaughter of innocents within the confines of the democratic process, but we will not protest the slaughter of the innocents outside the democratic process.” To whom are you loyal when you have chosen the democratic process as your moral touchstone? Is it Christ, or is it the devil?
Writing in 1950 the great English historian Herbert Butterfield commented that as the belief in original sin died out so did the give and take, the compromise necessary in democratic politics, die out. If you believe that you as well as your political opponent are tainted with original sin, then there will be some humility. You might believe your opponent errs, but you will not believe he is beyond the ken of humanity. But when the Christian belief in original sin disappears, the liberal concept of original sin comes to the forefront. Sin is no longer endemic to the entire human race, it is now endemic to one race and one sex – the white male. Democracy writ large as in Jacobin France and the United States of America should never be acceptable to the European conservative, but even the smaller democratic structures, the village and county democracies, cannot work when the moral center of the democratic rulers is a liberal center. Christians can vote on which policy is best to ensure the continuance of the Christian customs and manners of European civilization. But they cannot vote on the best means to advance liberalism and destroy the white Christ-bearing race. Such a vote is blasphemy just as leaving the fate of the unborn to the mercies of the democratic process and leaving Christ to the democratic mercy of the Jewish rabble (“Give us Barabbas”) is and was blasphemy.
This world has been called, quite correctly, a vale of tears. But our Lord gave us the hope that our tears, when consecrated to Him, could soften and ultimately redeem the pain of this world. That is what our Europe, which is no more, was all about. Liberalism intensifies the agony of existence by destroying the white moments of the soul, those moments on earth when we feel connected to Him and to our kith and kin. There must be something inside of us that passes judgement on the culture of democracy. We can’t live in that nightmarish world where there is no light, no love, and no God. The devil’s dream on Mt. Aksbeck, to mar the work of God, cannot be our dream. We are not the democratic minions of the devil, we belong to non-democratic Europe, the Europe whose people did not disdain the God who made the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the dead to rise again. Are such things so inconsequential that we can leave His Europe behind for democratic Europe? It cannot be, nor shall it be. +