Most conservatives today believe that democracy can get us out of the disaster which democracy got us into in the first place. It can’t. And the most important reason why is that even conservatives have become convinced of a great many destructive progressive ideas.
Recently I came across the website of The Imperial Party of England. At a quick glance, it seems these chaps have the right idea. But on closer inspection I discovered that they believe that our schools are useful institutions staffed by decent human beings. The site declares that it would give teachers the right to “discipline” students, presumably by hitting them, presumably on the buttocks. Are these people truly unaware that one of the biggest problems we have with teachers today is keeping their hands off our sons’ buttocks? Do they actually imagine that any of the Marxist morons currently infesting so-called “schools” can be trusted with the privilege of punishing anyone? Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say that today’s elementary schools would be vastly improved if the children could paddle their teachers.
(As an aside, I am not entirely opposed to corporal punishment of children, but as an abused child myself and friend of numerous people who were abused far worse than I was, I am extremely cautious of it. Very few of today’s adults are responsible enough to be allowed to make stern expressions at children, let alone hit them. And finally, if corporal punishment is acceptable for children, it is much more so for adults. Reinstate corporal punishment of adults and then we can discuss battering the infinitely more vulnerable members of society.)
Civilization cannot be restored until, among other things, all of the scoundrels currently in charge of brainwashing our next generation are barred completely from one whit more interference with them. (It is true that such a ban would lose us a few responsible teachers or administrators, but as that number is unlikely to even be in the three digits, this is hardly worth consideration.) These people are teaching helpless children who have not had time to learn better that socialism can work, that everybody is equal, that Islam is a religion of peace and Christianity one of oppression, that white people are evil and that Western civilization is a chronicle of exploitation. And the Imperial Party believes that they ought to be allowed to back up this indoctrination by inflicting pain? If teachers in America and Europe were allowed to hit students starting next Monday, they would promptly begin battering them for pointing out that Obama is a terrible president or for refusing the teachers’ sexual advances.
Of course, the Imperial Party seems to be a small fringe group with little chance of gaining power anytime soon. It is likely a waste of emotional energy to get angry at them for such a reckless error. But these are the extreme traditionalists, the ones who even have the sense to know that monarchy is a prerequisite for lasting civilization and freedom. If they are so careless, what about the rank and file of conservatives?
The sad fact is that even most conservatives have no concept of how utterly unhealthy modern society is. This is partly because they themselves are good people, and have so thoroughly internalized morality that they do not truly believe that other people are bad, despite overwhelming evidence of this. I am constantly being drawn up short in discussions with my fellow right-wingers of various stripes because many of my proposals involve ways of compelling people (preferably through social pressures and religion, but by royal decree if necessary) to refrain from being evil. They always get libertarian on me and seem to think that people are likely to behave decently of their own accord. The fact that everyone in the Western nations is currently being every bit as evil as they can possibly get away with, which is a lot, and many of them quite a bit more, seems not to have attracted their notice.
With grand-sounding excuses – equality, freedom – we have divested ourselves of everything that used to safeguard civilization.
One example: nannies. I have a friend with two small babies. I am glad she has them, because she and her husband are highly intelligent people, and as moral as anyone not a congenital contrarian can be in this day and age; their genes need to be passed on. But I can’t help but be appalled – as is she – at the life she is currently living. When she occasionally has the energy to, she complains about the exhaustion and tedium. It is a price, I wish to emphasize, that she is quite willing to pay. But one can see how the prospect of years of overwork and boredom would frighten many an intelligent woman away from having children – precisely the women who we desperately need to do so.
Only a few generations ago, no woman was expected to do all of this all by herself. The poorest women lived with their families and so had a house full of aunts and grandmothers to help them. But it was taken for granted that only the most destitute people would not have nannies. Really, only a lunatic could imagine that one woman could take care of a baby all by herself.
The benefits of nannies are not only to the otherwise overworked mothers. Or even to the children. They benefit all of society. With their energies overtaxed, today’s mothers often do not do anything that can be called “raising” their children. (See: Sarah Palin.) My generation was the first to have a significant number of children who were farmed out to day care while their mothers were flitting about “fulfilling” themselves with careers. Meanwhile, I had to go to school with the children they couldn’t be bothered to civilize. When people who believe all women should have careers reproach me with the claim that mothers should be allowed to do what they like with their own lives, I remember that I was the one who had to endure the consequences of these irresponsible women doing what they liked with their own lives. Which is why such arguments impress me so little. They generally mean that while certain people are given “freedom of choice”, other people will have to contend with the problems caused by those choices. My own mother did not work outside the home, but she was not much better as she also did not work inside the home. Our house was always a mess and in the years before I was in school, she slept all day, leaving me to my own devices. I suppose I should have drunk antifreeze or wandered into traffic, but in fact the worst thing I did in all those long days alone was once taking the dishwashing liquid into the backyard and squirting bits of it onto various rocks. (I suppose that after the next rainfall our rocks must have been cleaner than anything inside our house.)
Indeed, this notion that women need to be wage slaves in order to be fulfilled and that left without interference, the natural Rousseauan goodness of children were shine through, has led to the breakdown of one of the most fundamental elements of the social contract. The tacit agreement has always been, “I will train my children to be fit associates and spouses for your children, and you shall do the same for me.” Only a tiny fraction of people are currently doing this. And let it be said, those few parents who are trying must contend with literally millions of people who are laboring hard to thwart their efforts.
Both society and my weak-willed father allowed my mother to get away with this. A healthier society would have pressured her with disapproval and ostracism to actually look after her child, and a patriarchal father ungelded by feminist madness would have ordered her to, but a far simpler and surer solution to my troubles and those of my classmates would have been keeping the custom of nannies. It is inevitable that some mothers will be lazy and immoral and prefer to go shopping or play at careers, and that some of these will have weak enough husbands and sufficient status that they can get away with it. But what a father might excuse in a wife would never be tolerated in a nanny. Similarly, the mothers who spawned my generation were never called to account for the appalling behavior of their offspring, largely because those who should have been wielding authority over these mothers had abdicated it. But when children with a nanny run about screaming profanities and breaking things, the nanny is likely to be fired, so those nannies make good and sure that such behavior never happens.
I am reminded that even E. M. Delafield, who believed in feminism and progressivism and thought society should be completely reconstituted, took it for granted that she would have a nanny, a maid and a cook even when she had a very modest income. Or take this example from Nancy Mitford’s autobiographical Love in a Cold Climate, about how a peer’s daughters behaved during the lean years of World War II:
So we worked hard, mending and making and washing, doing any chores for Nanny rather than actually look after the children ourselves. I have seen too many children brought up without Nannies to think this at all desirable. In Oxford, the wives of progressive dons did it often as a matter of principle; they would gradually become morons themselves, while the children looked like slum children and behaved like barbarians.
An apt description of virtually all children born since about 1968.
But restoring the custom of nannies would involve admitting that children need to be raised if they are not to grow up into barbarians. It would put the caregivers of children under the authority of their parents instead of the state, which might lead people to develop self-control and morality and all sorts of other things so inconvenient to the aspiring dictator. And it would force us to admit that the invention of the vacuum cleaner and the dishwasher did not eliminate the need for servants, and Hollywood has given us the notion that people who have servants are evil and not very good in bed.
Another pernicious notion that, again, even conservatives have accepted is that co-education is acceptable. This is partly because of the lie so many people are trying hard to believe these days, that males and females are not fundamentally different. There is also the notion that women ought to be, instead of valued for what they are good at, forced to compete with men at things that most of them are not good at. But I think that one overlooked motive is the desire to encourage classroom violence, which demoralizes its victims years before they have any power in society – just as liberal politicians enact policies that lead to crime in order to keep the law-abiding, taxpaying citizens cowed, so too do teachers on a smaller scale – and erodes the morals of those who carry out the violence. In their natural state, boys, as I know from years of personal experience, are pretty much monsters. In the past, parents and nannies trained them from as early as possible to restrain their violent impulses. Nowadays, when both parents are at work and there are no nannies, they reach school age never having been taught not to beat up smaller children. Teachers are certainly not going to teach them that, it would interfere with the process of values clarification. At least in single-sex schools, the victims of bullying would have some reasonable hope of defending themselves eventually. But in co-ed schools, savage little boys discover quickly that girls are much weaker than them and easy to beat up. This traumatizes the girls and likely trains them to believe that they need feminism to defend them from those rampaging beasts known as males. (I was a feminist and a misandrist until my thirties because of the bad impression my male classmates made on me.) But it also damages the boys, by allowing, nay encouraging, them to commit numerous immoral deeds before they have acquired self-control and a moral sense of their own. How can they later accept morals knowing that they have already done much evil? I contend that boys have a right to be protected from the opportunity to commit too much evil before the combination of rearing and neurological maturity gives them the self-control not to commit more.
Indeed, one of the worst things about modern society is the incredible lack of protection it gives to girls and young women. It locks little girls up with little boys to be beaten up while the teachers watch, reflecting smugly about how well they are practicing the Delphi technique. It locks teenage girls in the first years after puberty up with teenage boys in the first years after puberty, both with their hormones (which do not understand that we are no longer hunter-gatherers) urging them to spawn, with teachers pressing condoms on them. Then it casts young women adrift on the world to struggle with jobs that nearly all of them find more tedious than fulfilling, hoping to find a man who wishes to buy a cow despite a plentiful supply of free milk. Worst of all, from cradle to grave they are bombarded with propaganda intended to make them make foolish choices in a mate; bloodthirsty vampires will turn into devoted swains, somewhere out there is the perfect man who will make you feel like a goddess, the happiest marriages are those between people from completely different socioeconomic groups, and if your parents hate him he must be your true love. (Men are given the same pack of lies. I wonder how many men have been persuaded that sluts just need a chance at real love by the numerous whores with hearts of gold in movies, and lived to regret believing this.) Meanwhile, anyone who suggests that old rules of gentlemanly behavior be reinstated is denounced a a sexist monster. Possibly because people understand implicitly that men cannot and will not behave like gentlemen unless women behave like ladies.
(Men have their own equally serious problems in this corrupt age, but these have been amply explored by others and would be a tangent here.)
I am by nature a person who respects authority and wants a set of clear-cut rules to follow. I spent my childhood trying desperately to give the adults around me respect, while said adults behaved as if respect were the bubonic plague. But I was stuck with teachers who were dreaming eagerly of the day when Soviet soldiers would machine-gun their classrooms like in Red Dawn, a government which is determined to become a dictatorship, churches which despite what their parishioners want keep advocating socialism, unrestrained immigration and environmentalism, and – well, unusually I read the local paper one day this week, and in the last week alone, two local policemen were arrested for rape. One of the victims was twelve years old. Policemen.
So I have, bit by bit, lost the ability to respect any authority above my own judgment. My friends keep recommending the series White Collar to me, knowing that I enjoy heist flicks (one symptom of this attitude of mine), but I could only watch two episodes because I kept wanting the thief to outwit the FBI agent and escape. A dyed-in-the-wool goody-two-shoes like me ought to be rooting for the FBI agent, but I can no longer regard current authorities as legitimate ones and I won’t resume watching the show unless I hear that the thief is winning.
This attitude is all very well as far as it goes, as the most subversive thing I am likely to do is write reactionary blog posts quoting books by dead white men, but it does leave me personally rather adrift. Usually people count on their clergy and their elders to provide them with guidance, but I am completely on my own. Most people today consider this a desirable state, and claim to be in it themselves although it is striking that their own personal unique morals just happen to fit with those advocated by far-left professors and journalists in perfect lockstep. I really am in this state and it is not in the least desirable.
Most of my fellow conservatives have far too much faith in capitalism. We seem to believe that nothing done in a free market will ever be bad. I got my first intimation that this might not be true when I learned that tycoons are often behind the pushes for massive immigration of unskilled Third Worlders, because they want cheaper labor than they can get from their own countrymen.
I admit, I have shocked myself by beginning to wonder if massive industrialization is really such a good thing. Not that I would want to live in a world without it, but the degree of it leads to all sorts of problems, in the Third World as well as the First. And not that I would sign on for distributism, as a few other reactionary bloggers have down, as it would clearly degenerate into socialism very quickly.
We need capitalism. But we also need some power that can keep that of tycoons in check, and the only one that can possibly do that is a functioning aristocracy. They tried to put “the people” in charge of restraining them, and we all know how that turned out.
We need a monarch and an aristocracy, people who are not obliged to pander for their rank and are trained for it from birth, to protect us from whatever scoundrel has been able to hypnotize fools into voting for him. But we also need them to protect us from the schemes of tycoons. There is no one now who can protect us from tyranny, who can say “no” to those who will vote to steal our possessions and freedoms from us.
But as I said, most conservatives believe, with no evidence, that democracy can get us out of this disaster which democracy got us into.
We have some good people. What we need now is good premises. We will not bring civilization back from the brink unless we give up the modern world’s most cherished lies. But if even conservatives have embraced them, there is little prospect of that.
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