This article appears in Vol III Issue I: Republics
“The difference in inspiration, trajectory and result between the American and French revolutions is sometimes put down to the greater influence, in the American case, of conservative ways of thinking, compared with the romantic individualism, the desire to pull down the old order and make everything anew, that inspired the revolutionaries in France.”
To the reader,
Truths are easier spoken about the past, but only generally explain the present, because the spirit of a people gives way to the toughest-pulling sentiment. In America, romantic individualism succeeded; and in many ways, it is indicative of our populism both on the left and the right.
Conservatism dies the moment it is uttered because it is a reversal of perversion, not the implementation of a new standard. In practice this means that they will rescind or impose policies to counter. The liberals, however, began with the mind and later solidified legislation when their dominance could be exerted with conscience rather than dikats—but to issue a diktat would imply that conservatives are winners, and they are not. Liberals then, enjoy a dominance exerted by both. They can rescind to counter, but they also impose from above, not from below. The two personalities are in contrary classes, with the most progressive (a crafted misnomer) occupying the hegemonic castle.
Proper conservatives today take after Jefferson and Burke in their belief in the continuity of customs as necessary for constitution building and necessary for the adhesion of a people. Note that constitution building not only means forming a legal document but implies the habits and understanding that binds the social contract. Our political sensibilities are built upon a common criteria of validity. Seeing as society’s criteria has already been lost, any attempt to save it by reversing policies that are cemented on top of it will not be cleanly excavated, if at all; it is like expecting wallpaper to be torn cleanly from the wallpaper it was glued on.
Within this magazine you will find a garden of knowledge into the political apparatus of the republic and the political mind of man. This was not a light task and a project of this sort will always remain unfulfilled because there will always be something to say—the namesake article upon which we begin could be much longer in its completed form, so a part two is already in mind. But for this issue, every article has been crafted to talk about the republic from its own angle to offer you something new to graze on with every page; so this issue should be consumed together with thoughtfulness as every piece is complementary.
The world today is teeming with news outlets, magazines, social media, and the like. Ideas are published every second and they consequently get old just as fast. Digital outlets today are focused primarily on one thing: generating clicks, never mind if anyone actually reads the article. Conservative outlets are not immune to this reality. In fact, they actively and submissively play this game because it profitably lines their pockets.
For example, each political side writes about tidbits in the culture war, never really contributing anything except instances of why they are right. This does nothing to inform anyone but those who already agree with them that there is something unpleasant in existence. In effect, both the left and right are collecting ammunition.
For the longest time, the left has been successful in presenting a vision of the future; so successful, that the natural disposition of man to want to tear up his forefathers in spite and rage has given way to these visions, often to the degeneration of society. Conservatives, for as reactionary as they have been and generally are, have not been able to do anything about the global shifts toward these visions because they lack one of their own.
Except for complaining about how pop artists are satanic, the Ben Shapiros of the right offer very little in terms of discourse. The National Review types offer little because their Buckleyan philosophy of the “individual” is incompetent, libertarian, and therefore dying. And the TPUSA of conservatism is also castrating itself in “brands” like “free markets, individualism, and limited government.”
These are old conceptions of conservatism and are hardly conservative in the Burkean sense. Russell Kirk would go so far as to say that these concepts have become conservativism’s ideology. But Kirk knew better than anyone that life was relational, or relative (which, if you have hitherto only listened to the above names and outlets, you might think was purely a postmodern and leftist idea).
In the coming pages is another attempt at an outline of the authors’ political philosophy. Though they may be “to the right,” they are voices illuminating the road less traveled. Not all roads lead to Rome, and I will not claim that this magazine will get us there. But I will say with certainty that they will take us elsewhere, rather than the nowhere we are statically gazing into thanks to the “conservative idols” of today.
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