Friday, September 21, 2007

There is No Conservatism Without Social Conservatism

Ross Douthat has a lot to chew on here. I have never liked the beehive as it was always the symbol of Communists. The analogy seems inapt. However, all of this touches on a key beef of mine. I do not believe any kind of conservatism is sustainable without social conservatism. Assaults on tradition give us the French Revolution or at least Woodstock. The self-denial and ability to delay gratification required for free economies to work are unsustainable when "what I want right now" is the measuring stick of all things. No one will fight and die for a society based on me. They will always claim the other guy should do it.

The Contract based model of societal organization for all things is destroying society right now because in marriage one cannot bind ones future self. Further, the relentless attack on unchosen relationships threaten to separate parent from child and generation from generation. The Supreme Court has ruled that grandparents have no "rights" to see their grandchildren. The judicially enforced rules on family and procreation since Griswald in 1964 have been uniformally hostile to family formation or legislative efforts to support it.

The Left uses "equal rights" laws to destroy the choices of private organizations, shatter marriage and family and upset the wisdom of ages on matters of sexuality. The libertarians and many "conservatives" seem willing to join them there.

The result is an atomized individual, stripped of family, Church, parentage, fraternal organization, history, patriotism or anything but the immediate Id driven desire he might have. Such a person is ripe for control by the State.

Atomized individuals simply have never been able and will never be able to resist the state or the zeitgeist. Civilization requires we do both. Burke said that he who does not look back to his ancestors will not look forward to posterity. That is what modern Europe and those who ape it in America are creating. As a result they have no posterity which means, no future.

Finally, Douhot says he would have been a liberal in the 1950's. I can not join him there as I do not know what important differences on social conservatism Harry Truman had from Dwight D. Eisenhower. Free Market economics is always the default position of the conservative, but the family ought not to be on the auction block.

Update: Not surprisingly Burke said it better than I did. A new book is being discussed in the Corner and here is a post that quotes Burke on unchosen relationships:

The whole thread is interesting and I may pick up the book.


Dave S. said...

I will limit myself to two observations:

1) Mormonism and Freemasonry use the beehive as a symbol, but outside of the always-delightful "Communism as Judeo-Masonic conspiracy" set (Google "beehive communist symbology") I was not aware of the communist angle. However, I defer to JJV's superior Communist-spotting skills.

2) Kudos for quoting the Sex Pistols!

Anonymous said...

IMNSHO, the beehive and the contract are a pair of strawmen in this fight, or at the very least the two navigational markers that we try to steer ourselves between. The writings of the Founding Fathers seem to be more contractual than beehivish, and with them I tend to steer a bit closer to that shore. But I try to avoid the rocks and shoals. :)

John C.

jjv said...

I agree with John C about the Founding Fathers. However, they did that in the pre-French Revolution world. I, of course, think things have gone down hill since the abolition of primogenture and entail. However, a great dispute broke out between the Founders on the French Revolution and its demolition of all past bonds. Washington, Hamilton, Adams and many others were against, with Jefferson and Paine for. The fact that Paine barely escaped with his life as the Revolution turned on him emphasizes my point.

Dave S. said...

Strawmen? In a JJV post?