Choosing our direction

You may have noticed that our posts are now every other day instead of every day. This is not from a lack of things to write, or will to write them.

With the time I would spend making a post every other day, I’ve directed my time toward a larger writing. This has been overdue for over a decade but now has taken on a new and clearer form that I prefer to earlier writings.

As this nears completion, other projects will rise on the horizon that will demand similar amounts of time. It’s best to be vague and say that these are related to dissatisfaction with current online offerings for political, social and cultural growth.

I have always felt the internet is a fertile ground for publishing. For many others, however, it is a form of entertainment like television or video games.

The internet can be a false reality in which 8% of the people contribute 85% of the activity and those people tend to have little political or buying power. These people use the internet as a substitute for life, a place where they can “be somebody” by putting others down.

This cognitive dissonance mindset produces angry and directionless people. On the opposite extreme are compromisers, who are so infected with inertia that they negate their own ideals.

The problem with most right-wing blogs is that they are geared toward these people and not normal middle-class people — the backbone of the right-wing audience.

For the right wing to self-actualize and recover from 200 years of retreat following the French Revolution, it must dodge both (a) the internet radicals and (b) the compromise-happy groups that inevitably turn left.

Amerika.org is re-dedicating itself to the normal human who seeks logical arguments for what they know is true in their heart: modern society is a product of liberalism that leads to spiritual decay and eventually erosion of civilization itself.

Those on the right need to get organized before they get replaced. we should ask ourselves a yes/no question for any choice: is one option closer to what I desire, or not?

Radicals will reject anything but an exact match, because radicals do not seek solutions but to make themselves sound interesting, usually because in real life they are angry and failed. Compromisers will pick whatever preserves the status quo. Both are failing propositions.

Someone needs to step up and offer clarity.

To serve this need, Amerika.org will offer something other than the cheerleading and tin-drum beating of the major players. There will be fewer articles, but more insights along these lines, and more roots into the world outside the net.

I hope you’ll join us on this journey and, if you can, contribute however is appropriate for you. I, and the fine writers whom I am privileged to call colleagues, thank you, and look forward to these new horizons.

40 Comments

  1. Good luck to you. What you’re trying to do is rare, which is forge a type of true conservatism separate from the non-functional methods of the last 200 years, or maybe 2000. It’s a holy grail but not many people seem to be shooting for it so perhaps you have a chance.

    The more substantial problem is getting anyone “out there” to listen.

  2. Lisa Colorado says:

    A little bit of education on the conservative tradition would be great too. I mean, that’s what you’re saying, I think.

    1. That’s part of the plan. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs, for those who are not as fortunate as I have been to have life painstakingly show me these things.

      All of you brave folks who comment here, and have made some interesting points: your ideas are in this hopper, too, and I’m thankful for your input and participation.

      The goal is to bring back the reasons for conservatism, and explain it for its merits, instead of trying to defend the residue of once-great entities or invent some new ideology that turns out to be the same-old rebellion.

      1. crow says:

        If there was only one reason for conservatism, it would be this:
        A sane way of looking at life, as a society, without descending into a madness only tolerable under the influence of medication.

        1. I agree, and today’s essay addresses that.

          The point of conservatism is not what is minimally functional in the short term, but what works well.

          Our goal is to find the beauty, joy, truth, wisdom, glory, honor, passion and reverence in life, and intensify it.

          We are the ultimate hedonists. More than those who are content to inundate themselves in drugs and drink, we want life itself to be a source of incomparable pleasure.

          And why not? The future is in our hands.

  3. Dirk says:

    “The problem with most right-wing blogs is that they are geared toward these people and not normal middle-class people — the backbone of the right-wing audience.”

    They are the backbone of which ever status quo they happen to live under. They have no backbone to boot. The people whom you are deriding here are thinkers wether you like it or not. The “backbone” are not, nor will they do anything other than wait on the sidelines and see who wins.

    Otherwise good post.

    1. crow says:

      Perhaps you misunderstand.
      The people being ‘derided’ are – to my understanding – a highly vocal, highly visible group of misfits, who have lost the ability to discern, to compare, to reason, to consider, or to think at all.
      The internet seems to swarm with such people. At least, by the noise made by them, one is given that distinct impression.

      1. Dirk says:

        I may be misunderstanding the gist, yes. But it seems that he is deriding other thinkers who are “misfits” for some reason. Newsflash guys; you are all “misfits” if you subscribe to one iota of what is written here.

        Are people who are well-adjusted to insanity normal? What he refers to as the “audience” of the right-wing are just ordinary middle class folks. Nice people to be sure, but they don’t get politics the way “misfits” and “failures.” People consider me to be great and talented; so what? Am I adjusted because of it?

        The natural “audience” if they are that, should therefore act as such; an audience listens (audere). Who are they going to listen too? Themselves.

        Also, I suspect that “misfits” means guys who discuss those who cannot be named. Well, such is the world fellas. Brett sees common cause with them but not with other “misfits”. That common cause does not exists, it may be that the misfits are embarrassing or un-cool.

        It’s a good site and I hate to be too critical so I’ll quit right here. If I am in error then please accept my apologies in advance.

        1. I think that I’ve unintentionally started you reading too much into this. The extremists are those who insist on rebellion or destruction without a workable plan; the compromisers are those who patch up what exists without concern for whether it should be saved. My point is that both of these are false directions and we need a middle plan instead, but one that gets to the root of conservative values and upholds those instead of image or emotion.

          I pick on the internet people because I think the right-wing blogosphere, at least anything farther right than the Republican sites, is blighted with a number of these extremists who do nothing but drive normal people — the middle class — back toward the compromisers.

          I do not name those-who-cannot-be-named (Voldemort?!) because I think that they are not the cause of our problems. Further, I think that focus on them will (a) cause us to miss our actual goal and (b) result in more lugubrious eventiture like what happened in Europe during 1939-1945. It is both morally wrong, and strategically wrong, to target those-who-cannot-be-named when the real target is in front of us: liberalism. Replace liberalism with conservatism, and then work toward a cultural revolution to renew Europeans worldwide, and our goal is achieved. Without having to slaughter anyone, especially a group that for whatever its faults has contributed more than its share of good things, and suffered enough. Internet extremists find this position alarming but I think on a moral and practical level it is the only path for those who want to inherit the future, not repeat the past.

          I like nice normal middle-class folks. I think they are ready for a more complete conservatism, one that rejects the horror which modern society has become. They will not accept another lunatic movement likely to start another failing fratricidal war, however, nor will they endorse hateful killing. There is wisdom in this, like many things they do.

          1. crow says:

            As a manifesto, that makes a pretty good start.
            It’s difficult to see that anyone could take issue with it, but, as we know, there are many who will.

          2. Dirk says:

            Very well then, I accept that I have probably read to much into this. After all, it is just one small paragraph from a blogpost. It is difficult to get into another’s head and understand them. Carry on.

            1. Anonymous says:

              Most people don’t have the self knowledge to know, they often read a lot more into other peoples writings.

              If you have some complex thougths and state a short conclusion in an objective, neutral manner, people will often assume you come from a different line of thougth than you actually did.

              That’s also why it is impossible to talk about ethnic problems, why the dew were more often liberal, the problem of “freedom,” because they will asume you come from the same line of thougth as the bigots, who have been defining the discourse in the public on the opposite side of the liberals.

              The normal, healty conservative leaning people don’t like bigot racists, antisemites or homohaters. Neither do I or anyone else problably. They are just unpleasant people who want to get out their bad feelings by putting others down.

              1. ferret says:

                If you have some complex thougths and state a short conclusion in an objective, neutral manner, people will often assume you come from a different line of thougth than you actually did.

                A very good observation. Together with ambiguity of used terms this leaves little chance for this short conclusion to be understood.

                If, in order to convey a thought that was derived from a set of other thoughts (related to different areas of science, philosophy, life experience) you start explaining all those components and try to tie them together, the result will be a book size text that nobody would ever read farther than the first couple of sentences.

                People are busy with their own thoughts, often assume others being pursuing self-interest or entertaining themselves, or even enemies.

                Posting a comment that repeats the original article with minimal deviations doesn’t make any contribution except on the emotional level. Then where is the optimum, what is the best way of sharing one’s thought?

                1. Anonymous says:

                  »Posting a comment that repeats the original article with minimal deviations doesn’t make any contribution except on the emotional level. Then where is the optimum, what is the best way of sharing one’s thought?«

                  When we have similar values there is not much of substance to dispute about. But the world is full of works of litterature and art to explore, so in fact optimum is that we be one anothers mentors and guides towards what is valuable. If people truly want to understand each others positions, a dispute can be done with a few exchanges of messages.

                  It’s the same in a natural society : You learn your fathers trade from him and build your skills into society. Every existence is interconnected and in relation in some way, but there is not much to disagree and dispute about, because everyone has a natural place and is needed.

                  The modern way is fragmented : Buttkiss your way up the ladder of success and even stab your peers in the back in a sneaky way. The result of the rise of the urban middleclass in the 17′th cent. was a backstabbing competition under which the conditions of the farmers only became worse! Opinions are something one use to position one socially, and not a way to express truth.

                  1. ferret says:

                    “optimum is that we be one anothers mentors and guides towards what is valuable”

                    I like how you put it.

                    This kind of cooperation is possible if people do not compete but rather have these common values and trust each other. In this case they may want to understand each other.

                    The problem is, we tend to compete even when it doesn’t make any sense, simply out of habit.

                    And everyone believes his perspective is the right one, so why should he even consider a different point of view, just label it wrong and that’s it!

              2. The normal, healty conservative leaning people don’t like bigot racists, antisemites or homohaters. Neither do I or anyone else problably. They are just unpleasant people who want to get out their bad feelings by putting others down.

                True.

                We are open to ideas such as “mixing cultures and races destroys both and makes society unstable” because this is a technical description of what happens.

                We are open to the thought that society needs to have standards for behavior, and that those who are not going in the direction that the mainstream values, must be quiet about their activities. DADT.

                We are also open to the idea that freedom, liberty, consumerism, democracy, etc. may simply be bad or incomplete designs, and we may need to modify them to thrive.

                But haters? No — we know where they take things, and it’s a bad place.

                1. ferret says:

                  We are also open to the idea that freedom, liberty, consumerism, democracy, etc. may simply be bad or incomplete designs, and we may need to modify them to thrive.

                  A complete design of consumerism or democracy sounds a bit scary.

                  Or after the modification there will be only the original names remain, e.g., “democracy” will stand for the merely feedback collection, “consumerism” – for the consuming goods one really needs and without left-overs: cars until they fall apart, diner to the clean plates.

            2. Much of what I and other writers here are going on about comes from what we learned during the days of the previous site to this one, and how to separate goal from proximate cause. The ultimate goal of all conservatives is the same: a beautiful world, an advancing world. Not “progress.” Bah humbug to that!

    2. I don’t think he’s talking about the middle class. He’s talking about the people on the internet who are angry and make reading blogs such a chore with their truly pointless personal expression drama.

      Not that we ever see any of those here! (I know I’ve pushed the line a couple times but I try to rein it in.)

      1. crow says:

        We do see some. But rarely for very long :)

  4. crow says:

    I like this idea. More insight, less entertainment.
    But I’m gonna miss that entertainment :)
    I suspect, though, that entertainment is a lot more entertaining when it is less readily available. Becoming, in the precess, more valuable.
    Nice one, Brett!

  5. crow says:

    Imported from other sources, for your interest:

    “What is this preoccupation with ‘class-struggle’?
    I have no idea what such a beast is, or why it should figure at all in anybody’s thoughts.
    If one is interested in elevating one’s class, all one needs do is start having some.
    But instead, here we go, heading towards a ‘classless society’, in which nobody has any.

    The problem with ‘class’, I suppose, is that it can’t be taught.
    It has to be created, out of nothing. Like art. Like life.
    Always in short supply, better to eliminate it altogether, in the view of those unable to have it, than allow it to continue to elude them.”

    1. Higher standards are always harder to defend because those who don’t have them don’t see the use of them.

      1. crow says:

        Not only do they have no use for them, they don’t even know what they are.
        Failure to recognize!
        “I can’t see it, therefore it does not exist.”
        You see this a lot with the idea of ‘God’.

  6. gg says:

    Sounds good.. i look forward to all of this. Good luck.

  7. lisacolorado says:

    Tell me if I’m accurate: my idea of the kind of conservative I want to be…

    Honest about everything and not afraid to look at an idea or point of view. The more honest I am about what’s real, the more solidly I stand, and the less threatened I will be from contrary ideas.

    Acknowledging that there is something bigger than me, and that I have to accept I’m not in charge, and all I can control is my very next choice of what to pay attention to and what my yes or no goes for. This will help me let the war be won by the larger power than myself while at the same time winning each little battle I’m in.

    Oops, I have something I’ve got to get to this morning. ttyl.

    1. crow says:

      “Tell me if I’m accurate: my idea of the kind of conservative I want to be…”
      You have an ‘idea’ of what/who you ‘want to be’?
      That is the only thing that sticks out as being questionable.
      The sentence hints at separation from what you want to be to what you are.
      It is this separation that is a the root of the general social malaise.
      You know what you want to be, so be it.
      Now.

      1. Lisa Colorado says:

        It is really true–”who I want to be” implies something, doesn’t it. The truth is, what I do is the direct evidence of who I am, rather than what I say I am, or what I say I want to be.

        But there is a different view of that statement possible: “who I want to be” does not have to imply that I’m not that. It’s a description of my ideal, and says nothing of whether or not I actually am being that person I want to be.

        If there is a more ideal version of myself that I don’t always live up to, you could say I lack acceptance of who I actually am.

        And then again, having an ideal gives a person something to remember to live for when making decisions.

        However, that “who I want to be” must be a true ideal, originating in me and valued by me. I tried the ideal imposed upon me from the outside and couldn’t do it. Our true goals and ideals are things that motivate us to seek for them.

        Wow–I am kind of putting a pinpoint focus on a small phrase :)

        1. crow says:

          Yes, it’s called neurosis, but you are allowed a bit of that. It’s a very, very popular modern mode of self-expression.
          The trick is to identify it, rather than deny it. Which is what makes it a trick.
          Give it nowhere to hide, and it soon capitulates to the actual person.
          It’s hardly surprising that so few people ever pursue self-development beyond the this-is-what-I-do stage: it’s such a huge job, for most, that it is completely daunting.

          1. Lisa Colorado says:

            Wait–explain neurosis. I think that means there is a behavior that doesn’t make sense until you are able to see the repressed truth that caused it. Right?

            1. crow says:

              I am not an authority on neuroses.
              But your definition is pretty accurate, probably.
              There is an obsessive component to it, usually, too. Hence the reference.
              It doesn’t matter, really, once one becomes aware of it.
              It disappears, all by itself.

              The only reason this is even important at all, is that mental health is the first casualty of leftism, and the effect it can have on people, even by association.
              You could say neuroses are ‘normal’ nowadays.
              That doesn’t make them desirable, though.

            2. I think that means there is a behavior that doesn’t make sense until you are able to see the repressed truth that caused it.

              In another formulation, that there’s a “text” (public expression of motivation, values and intention) and a “subtext” (private knowledge of motivation, values and intention). We allow the public to dictate what we must say, but we know in our guts – hearts – souls otherwise, so we are forever trapped between two truths/realities/desires.

    2. The more honest I am about what’s real, the more solidly I stand, and the less threatened I will be from contrary ideas.

      This sounds very sensible to me. Reality studies have never steered me wrong.

      I have to accept I’m not in charge, and all I can control is my very next choice of what to pay attention to and what my yes or no goes for.

      I think this is exceptionally important. We don’t get much in this life, but we do get something we can exercise frequently, and that is choice. Every thing we do — purchases, speech, arrangement of furniture, art — reflects a worldview. To choose a worldview, and spread it through complete pervasiveness in every choice that we make, is the height of our power.

      1. crow says:

        You think that. I think this:
        Brett Stevens needs to do more of this: to comment on comments.
        To give feedback to feedback.
        To draw out and shape the malleable thoughts that the thread, itself, creates.
        Haha :) More work for you!
        There’s no escape.

        1. That’s an insightful observation. It keeps the dialogue two-way, so we all learn or confirm or whatever it is we need to do. Without this constant clarification, language may become (more) imprecise.

  8. Jose says:

    I think your decision will be a great asset for this site. Keep up the great work you are doing!!

  9. Ben says:

    Sounds interesting. One of the things I always felt Amerika lacked and was found more in the ANUS and CORRUPT was a sense of structure, while Amerika is only a linear blog (though the best I have ever read). Conservatism is a system, a state of mind, a state of being. It is many things. However, when a new reader finds amerika, he is thrown right into the thick of it, maybe even into heady metaphysics. As we recognise conservatism as being grounded in beliefe in reality, it would not hurt to trace a few paths from that grain of sand to a full realisation of the principles involved. Sort of conservative though 101, and moving on from there. The blog should never go, off course, but it would help if it had been easier to navigate and find articles in it, as in a sort of library, relating to many subjects.

    1. Very true.

      Previous organizations were geared more toward a manifesto and then elucidation of that, but it was too far removed from what most people could identify as philosophy and politics.

      “Conservative Thought 101″ is a great idea!

  10. gg says:

    This is the year of the water dragon. If your going to make a change for the long term, now is a good time to start.

    1. I’ve always been fond of water dragons. It’s a good year to launch new directions as vast change is upon us.

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