A natural man

(For a long spell, since turning my politics rightward about a decade ago, I have been a bit perplexed by my aversion to some elements of traditional conservatism. 

(This column clears it up for me. It was written by two young men, Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-described “dangerous faggot,” and Allum Bokhari, a Breitbart correspondent who lives in London. Yiannopoulos is also British-born.

(You may have heard of the Alt-Right, the alternative right. There are two versions of the Alt-Right, the extreme and the moderate. The latter makes sense to me.  The former does not. Fortunately, the moderate wing is far more populated.

(I am pleased to come out as a “natural conservative” and, it appears, a moderate Alt-Righter.)

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NATURAL CONSERVATIVES are mostly white, mostly male, middle-American radicals, who are unapologetically embracing a new identity politics that prioritizes the interests of their own demographic.

In their politics, these new conservatives are only following their natural instincts — the same instincts that motivate conservatives across the globe.

milo
Milo

Noted social psychologist Jonathan Haidt described the conservative instinct in his 2012 book The Righteous Mind.

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism.

Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity.

They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

An establishment Republican, with their overriding belief in the glory of the free market, might be moved to tear down a cathedral and replace it with a strip mall if it made economic sense. Such an act would horrify a natural conservative.

Immigration policy follows a similar pattern: by the numbers, cheap foreign workers on H1B visas make perfect economic sense. But natural conservatives have other concerns: chiefly, the preservation of their own tribe and its culture.

For natural conservatives, culture, not economic efficiency, is the paramount value. More specifically, they value the greatest cultural expressions of their tribe.

Their perfect society does not necessarily produce a soaring GDP, but it does produce symphonies, basilicas and Old Masters. The natural conservative tendency within the Alt-Right points to these apotheoses of western European culture and declares them valuable and worth preserving and protecting.

Needless to say, natural conservatives’ concern with the flourishing of their own culture comes up against an intractable nemesis in the regressive left, which is currently intent on tearing down statues of Cecil Rhodes and Queen Victoria in the UK, and erasing the name of Woodrow Wilson from Princeton in the United States.

These attempts to scrub Western history of its great figures are particularly galling to the Alt-Right, who in addition to the preservation of Western culture, care deeply about heroes and heroic virtues.

This follows decades in which left-wingers on campus sought to remove the study of “dead white males” from the focus of Western history and literature curricula.

An establishment conservative might be mildly irked by such behavior as they switch between the State of the Union and the business channels, but to a natural conservative, such cultural vandalism may just be their highest priority.

In fairness, many establishment conservatives aren’t keen on this stuff either — but the Alt-Right would argue that they’re too afraid of being called “racist” to seriously fight against it. Which is why they haven’t.

Certainly, the rise of Donald Trump, perhaps the first truly cultural candidate for president since Buchanan, suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

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The rise of Donald Trump suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

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Alt-Righters describe establishment conservatives who care more about the free market than preserving Western culture, and who are happy to endanger the latter with mass immigration where it serves the purposes of big business, as “cuckservatives.”

Halting, or drastically slowing, immigration is a major priority for the Alt-Right. While eschewing bigotry on a personal level, the movement is frightened by the prospect of demographic displacement represented by immigration.

The Alt-Right do not hold a Utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritize the interests of their tribe, they recognize that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – do the same.

As communities become comprised of different peoples, the culture and politics of those communities become an expression of their constituent peoples.

You’ll often encounter doomsday rhetoric in Alt-Right online communities: that’s because many instinctively feel that once large enough and ethnically distinct enough groups are brought together, they will inevitably come to blows.

In short, they doubt that full “integration” is ever possible. If it is, it won’t be successful in the “Kumbaya” sense. Border walls are a much safer option.

The Alt-Right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race.

The Alt-Right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved.

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Allum

A Mosque next to an English street full of houses bearing the flag of St. George, according to Alt-Righters, is neither an English street nor a Muslim street — separation is necessary for distinctiveness.

Some Alt-Righters make a more subtle argument.

They say that when different groups are brought together, the common culture starts to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Instead of mosques or English houses, you get atheism and stucco.

Ironically, it’s a position that has much in common with leftist opposition to so-called “cultural appropriation,” a similarity openly acknowledged by the Alt-Right.

It’s arguable that natural conservatives haven’t had real political representation for decades.

Since the 1980s, establishment Republicans have obsessed over economics and foreign policy, fiercely defending the Reagan-Thatcher economic consensus at home and neoconservative interventionism abroad.

In matters of culture and morality, the issues that natural conservatives really care about, all territory has been ceded to the Left, which now controls the academy, the entertainment industry and the press.

For those who believe in the late Andrew Breitbart’s dictum that politics is downstream from culture, the number of writers, political candidates and media personalities who actually believe that culture is the most important battleground can be dispiriting.

Natural liberals, who instinctively enjoy diversity and are happy with radical social change – so long as it’s in an egalitarian direction – are now represented by both sides of the political establishment.

Natural conservatives, meanwhile, have been slowly abandoned by Republicans — and other conservative parties in other countries. Having lost faith in their former representatives, they now turn to new ones — Donald Trump and the alternative right.

There are principled objections to the tribal concerns of the Alt-Right, but Establishment conservatives have tended not to express them, instead turning nasty in the course of their panicked backlash.

National Review writer Kevin Williamson, in a recent article attacking the sort of voters who back Trump, said that white working-class communities “deserve to die.”

Although the Alt-Right consists mostly of college-educated men, it sympathizes with the white working classes and, based on our interviews, feels a sense of noblesse oblige. National Review has been just as directly unpleasant about the Alt-Right as it has, on occasion, been about white Americans in general.

In response to concerns from white voters that they’re going to go extinct, the response of the Establishment — the conservative Establishment — has been to openly welcome that extinction.

It’s true that Donald Trump would not be possible without the oppressive hectoring of the progressive Left, but the entire media is to blame for the environment in which this new movement has emerged.

For decades, the concerns of those who cherish Western culture have been openly ridiculed and dismissed as racist.

The Alt-Right is the inevitable result.

No matter how silly, irrational, tribal or even hateful the Establishment may think the Alt-Right’s concerns are, they can’t be ignored, because they aren’t going anywhere.

As Haidt reminds us, their politics is a reflection of their natural inclinations.

In other words, the Left can’t language-police and name-call them away, which have for the last twenty years been the only progressive responses to dissent, and the Right can’t snobbishly dissociate itself from them and hope they go away either.

Guest lecturer

BEFORE WE introduce today’s guest lecturer, the Unseen Moon’s first, let me preface with a few words.

I oppose the phenomenon of political correctness — a somewhat cute term for a cultural cancer — and everything connected to it. Its source is the political left, and its party in the United States is the Democratic. Barry’s people.

And Hillary’s and Bernie’s people too.

I don’t write about it much anymore because I view its opposition as an exercise in futility. Its damage is done. America and Europe are spiraling down. The crash into the mountainside is imminent. Brace yourself.

But I happened upon the following column that focuses on one element of the cancer, that of renaming things, which smells of Stalin’s having opponents airbrushed from photographs.

After he’s murdered them.

And I liked the column. I want to share.

Changing history is a longtime tool of tyrants. What’s going on now is not changing history so much as it’s altering how we should view it, nearly as bad. It is elevating ignorance.

With no further ado, let’s give a big Moon welcome to Bill O’Reilly who needs no introduction.

Know that armed guards wait in the lobby to show the exit door to any of you who try to shout him down.

This is not Yale or Mizzou.

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bill“As you may know, some students at Princeton University are requesting – demanding! – that Woodrow Wilson’s name be obliterated from campus buildings.

Not only did Wilson graduate from Princeton, he was president of the school, governor of New Jersey and an impeccably ‘progressive’ president of the United States. So what’s the beef?

Well, our 28th president was a dyed-in-the-wool racist who re-segregated the federal bureaucracy.

His retrograde racial views have long been known to anyone who has taken the time to read about Wilson, and this latest campus dustup raises a question:

Why stop with Woodrow Wilson?

The town of Princeton and the university itself are named after William III, Prince of Orange, whose family was deeply involved in the slave trade. Princeton has streets and buildings honoring native son Paul Robeson, the singer, athlete, actor, and unapologetic Stalinist.

Robeson, undeniably a remarkable and talented man, clung to his affection for communism and the USSR even after being told that the Soviets were persecuting Jews. Perhaps his name should be vanished, Soviet-style, from the town square.

To the north in Connecticut, Wesleyan University got its name from John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church.

A couple of centuries before San Bernardino, Paris, ISIS, and all the other Islamic-related mayhem, Wesley described Muslims as ‘destroyers of human kind.’ So shouldn’t the trustees consider re-naming their ultra-liberal university?

Not to be outdone, Winston Churchill, whose name adorns numerous American schools, wrote that ‘no stronger retrograde force exists in the world’ than Islam.

And let’s not overlook President John Quincy Adams, who warned that the Koran advises ‘perpetual war’ against infidels. Yes, JQA was an Islamophobe, but don’t mention it to the good folks of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a saint in the church of liberalism, had some serious issues with homosexuality. As secretary of the navy, FDR went on a crusade to find and weed out ‘sexual perversion’ in the Navy.

The Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln opined that the white race must always retain ‘the superior position.’

Think of all those ‘Lincoln Elementary Schools’ and “Roosevelt High Schools’ across the USA and the big payday in store for stone masons.

In West Virginia, pretty much everything not nailed down is named after long-serving Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, whose career included a stint as Exalted Cyclops in the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. If there are calls to have his name sandblasted from all those edifices, we have not heard them.

Most towns, probably yours included, have streets named after slaveholders Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Yes, a stroll on Madison Avenue in New York City may require a ‘trigger warning’ for some of today’s more delicate college students.

The point of all this is not to say that everything should be renamed, but rather that nothing should be renamed. Unless, that is, some horrible new disclosure comes to light.

Anyone with a pulse and curiosity could have known that Woodrow Wilson was a stone-cold racist, that Honest Abe honestly felt blacks were lesser beings, and that Churchill loathed Islam.

These were men of their times expressing views that were common then, but which we now consider repugnant. They should be judged by the standards of the eras in which they lived, not by our notions of what is acceptable.

Demonizing FDR for his views of homosexuality makes as much sense as criticizing his fondness for cigarettes.

However, if we suddenly discover that Wilson was, say, a pedophile, or that Lincoln was a serial killer in his spare time, a re-examination will be in order.

Short of that, how about we just leave things the way they are? Sorry to all you bricklayers out there.

As an aside, back in 1964 Shirley Ellis had a runaway hit with ‘The Name Game.’ If you’re of a certain age, you can still recite her unique lyrics — ‘Lincoln, Lincoln, bo Bincoln, Bonanana fanna fo Fincoln.’ It was a light song infused with fun and joy.

But today’s Name Game is one of bitterness, usually played by left-wingers who revel in feeling ‘oppressed.’ And if they really want to start down the slippery slope of erasing past leaders from public streets and buildings, why not go all the way?

Out with Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt, down with Churchill and Wilson and Madison. Let the re-naming begin!”