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Thursday 7 February 2019

Why Conservatism Can’t Save Us

As I sat down to write this blog about why Conservatism can’t save us, as with so many other things in my life, and likely in yours, I got momentarily distracted by Facebook. Now low and behold what was the first post I saw, it was a comment on this exact issue. The comment was posted by a right wing (which by the way is not a dirty phrase like some think it is) commentary and blog site called Caldron Pool, and one part of the post said this: “The problem with secular conservatives and libertarians is that essentially they’re all just relativists like the left.” This is spot on and incredibly important for us to remember. But why is this so significant?

Well let me answer that question with another question: what are secular conservative values? Right about now you may be thinking something like: free markets systems, rule of law, and unless you want to import what the extreme left think are conservative values, you will be running out of things to say. I have called myself a political conservative all my life, and I can’t really say what the conservatives actually stand for, other than reacting to the constant push from progressives. In reality everything I ever see them do is generally just a reaction to what the progressives are doing, or a holding of the pass on one issue or another to try and stop the progressive advance, and quite ineptly.

The progressives push for superannuation, the conservatives oppose it, fail to oppose it, and then incorporate it into their values of the free market (which is crazy because superannuation is literally the government paternalistically confiscating your money, not letting you touch it, and allowing organizations to take a chunk of it out in fees, which you can’t avoid and can at best mitigate). Conservatives say they believe in family, but then allow policies through, or even push them through themselves, which pushes more and more of the families responsibility for provision onto the government, which incentivises more and more people to get divorces, because they can get lots of services and financial help from the government. The progressives push for the redefinition of marriage and conservatives oppose it, fail to oppose it, and then many of them find a way to say they stood for it all along, as a conservative value of freedom and liberty. This is just a few examples of how conservatives cuck out on all their principles. As I’ve heard many people say recently, “Conservatives have failed to conserve anything. They didn’t even conserve the ladies room.”

So if conservativism is useless and reactionary and fails to conserve anything than what should we replace it with? Well, the traditional right.

The modern centre right, and really much of the moderate right, is really just the left, having advanced into the spaces where the right once existed. The overtone window has moved so far to the left that we have strong leftists like Dave Rubin, Sargon of Akkad, and even sometimes people like Joe Rogan, either describing themselves as centre right, or being labelled as such by those who are further to the left. Rubin himself has done a video where he states he did not leave the left, the left move so far to the left, they left him behind. But Rubin’s views on the family, sexuality, drugs, and so many other issues fall far outside of a traditional right leaning perspective. And this is just one example. 

Here in Australia it has long been recognized that we have an extreme left party (The Greens), a far left party (Labor), and a moderately left party (LNP) with a few conservatives thrown into the mix, who spend much of their time trying to appear as moderate as possible. But the so-called conservatives in these parties have been as about as effective as a wet blanket for keeping you warm in the snow. So, what is the traditional right then?

It is the old-fashioned nationalist right. Right about now people freak out because I used those two words together in a positive light (I refer you to my previous post on Nationalism to read why it’s not a scary word here). But the old-fashioned nationalist right is simply a system which has three pillars: God, People or Nation, and Family. This idea can be seen in the American phrase “One nation under God.” Family is implicit in nation, because nation traces back to a Latin word “natio”, which can mean “birth” or “tribe” or “people”, so in other words a nation is made up intrinsically of families. A nation is an extension of the families which are its foundation. Some people phrase it: God, King, and country. But the idea is the same: the traditional right believes we live under the rule of God, and that we should be loyal to that rule, our nations king or government should be in submission to God, and we believe strong families who are taught to honour God make for a strong people.

Notice how straight away this gives us a positive vision for society. It’s not a reactionary posture like conservatism, it’s a vision with which we can evaluate our society and see how close to that vision we stand. At the moment we live in a country that has largely rejected God, that is moving further and further towards abdicating it’s own sovereignty to foreign powers (the UN, Paris Agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership, etc, etc) and even advocating policies which harm its own people, like encouraging high immigration to force wages to stay low. Our nation has so diluted the meaning of family, that it now means anything or really nothing. If we on the right, those who are often called conservatives, want to make a difference we need to stop reacting to the progressive advance and advance against it.

What did progressives do to move society this far? They moved into virtually every institution of society that moves the culture forward. They have advanced through academia, through politics, they virtually have a stranglehold on the media, and they are in the process of completing their advance through the churches. They had their vision, which is a semi-Marxist vision: specifically the restructuring of the family, the denigration of the church, increasing the influence and size of the government, all to move society towards an atheistic, or relativistic, secularism. And their methodology? Identify an oppressed victim class, and identify with and advocate for that victim class, and when there are no victim classes left redefine what a victim is and identify with that newly created victim class and continue to carry forward accordingly, until you have brought every institution to heel.

They have been so successful in their advance that they have even caused much of the church, who should be the greatest opponents to the destruction of things like family, to tow the line and advocate on their behalf. The social gospel’s popularity in the modern evangelical church is a sign of vast capitulation by the church to the Marxist vision for society. If you don’t believe me read the Communist Manifesto and compare the goals outlined in it, with the things achieved and advocated by the modern progressives, or advocates of what is called "liberation theology".

If we want to push back against this effectively we need to stop identifying ourselves with the defeatist posture of just seeking to conserve what we can, we need to take a long-term view of society and begin to advocate for and advance towards the right things. Old fashioned right wing nationalism is really just lifting up God, being loyal to and working for the best for your people, your country, and recognizing that the family is the number one institution in society that gives it it’s strength. So this gives us our vision. What is our methodology?

Well it starts at home: men get a wife and have a family. Raise your kids to believe in God and honour him and take them to a church where you can all be discipled in God’s ways. For those of us who already have families we need to do likewise. The most important thing anyone can do to improve this world is to have a strong family where you build strong Christian values into your children. Right back in Genesis 1 and 2 we were given this mandate. Too many Christians live their lives for themselves today, or for their careers, and put family on the back burner. But focusing on career instead of family goes completely against God’s vision for how we should live. It’s one thing to need to work and have a good job, it’s another thing completely to say, “I don’t want kids because I want to focus on my life goals at this stage.” By living this way Christians have bought into the self-glorifying message of this world, not the self-denying message of the scriptures. In other words structure your life in a way which best achieves this goal of a strong Christian family, rather than trying to fit your family around your life.  

Extend this structure into everything you do: advocate for government policies which strengthen families, rather than weakening them. Go into a career which allows you to provide and build your family up, rather than just achieve your personal career goals. Never give your vote to a politician who has policies which go against strengthening the family. Be open about your vision with society. Progressives have done this for decades. Many have found these progressives insufferable, but over time they have gained many adherents, and achieved their goals, because they believed in something and stuck with it. Do the same. Don’t be apologetic about believing this country should be a country under God, dedicated to protecting its people first and foremost, and based on strong families. Stop hiding your biblical ideas on how society should function, and encourage every Christian, nominal Christian, and Christian influenced westerner, to do the same.

There is much more which could be said, but at the end of the day we need to move away from the reactionary self-description of conservative and move towards a positive self-descriptor which actually tells people what we stand for: God, nation and family, the old fashioned right, before those words became dirty words. Let me just address one more thing before I close.

I hear many Christians thinking: Matt this is not our home. Why would we focus so much energy seeking to influence this world in this way, when our true home is in heaven? Well because Jesus told us to: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. God therefore and make disciples of all NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). To often we view this as just being about individual evangelism, but Jesus wants us to teach NATIONS that all authority is in him. He’s given us a command, he has his vision for us to achieve, let’s stop playing Aussie goal keeper against Brazilian striker, let’s move forward with a positive goal of what we want this country to be, and work towards it.