Several weeks ago, Upon Hope blog appeared on our radar here. It seems a mixture of traditional conservatism and Christian reactionary philosophy with an eye toward the practical, real-world and applied solutions versions of those ideas. I was fortunate to catch a few words with the proprietor, Mark Moncrieff, who has been writing at this blog for several years and tackling the “big topics” of being a conservative in the postmodern, post-collapse era…
You describe yourself and your writing as “Traditional Conservative.” What does this mean?
Let me split this question up into Conservative and then Traditional Conservative.
A Conservative believes in:
Tradition does not mean we believe in things that are old and stale because a Tradition is not something that we do in the past, even though it comes from the past, but something we do now and hope to continue in the future. Tradition is the thing that connects, that seeks to reconcile, the past, the present and the future. We do not live at the start of history nor at the end, instead we live somewhere in the middle. The people of the past are not dead and gone and unimportant, anymore than the people of the present are unimportant, but neither are the people of the future, those generations still unborn unimportant. Tradition says remember the trinity of the past, the present and the future because if you lose sight of one then you have lost your way.
Order means that we do not believe in chaos, we believe that everything has both a rightful and a wrongful place. For example there are not eighty genders, there isn’t even one gender; there are two sexes, exactly two, male and female. That it is normal and natural for each sex to have its own unique attributes and failings. And that that continues for race, ethnicity and for individuals. We do not believe in equality because that is chaos not order, because there is nothing normal or natural in everything being the same
Family, Liberalism believes that the individual is the basic building block of society. But Conservatives know that is wrong [with that]: individuals have Mothers and Fathers; in short they have a Family. It is the Family that is the basic building block of society. We support blood, not water.
Conservatives come in two varieties, Paleos and Traditionalists, I am a Traditionalists. When it comes to social and economic issues we normally have very little to disagree about. It is foreign policy that divides us. Paleos believe that if we leave the world alone then the world will leave us alone. Traditionalists believe that we are part of the world and we cannot leave it alone anymore than it can leave us alone.
How did you come to this viewpoint, and what other ideologies or folkways — conservatism more resembles this than an ideology — failed to meet your standards?
I first became aware of politics in my teens and even then I called myself a Conservative. But nearly everyone who calls themselves a Conservative is in reality a Liberal and when I look back I realise that I was a Classical Liberal. I believed in equality, in civic nationalism and I was prepared to give free trade a go. Of course I reject all of those things now but it has been a slow but steady transformation, so slow that most of the time you couldn’t even notice. But there were some things I never accepted about Liberalism, Feminism never made any sense to me, why would a women be happier as an accountant than as a Mother?
I have never been a Leftist. I never even flirted with Communism or Socialism, nor with Nazism or Fascism, although I was interested in the latter two. Simply because even then Conservatives were called Nazis and Fascists, but it was very clear to me that I was neither of those things. When I heard of Anarchism I thought it was the stupidest political philosophy, but that place has been taken by Libertarianism which is basically right wing Anarchy.
They say that the best trick the devil did was to convince the world he didn’t exist. Liberalism has pulled the same trick, pretending that instead of being the most radical political philosophy that has ever existed it is [in] the sane middle ground. For far too long I believed them.
You have been blogging at Upon Hope for four years now, with an impressive ability to address questions that normal people might have about conservatism and the “why” of it. What would you say the theme of the blog is, and what kind of feedback do you get from your audience?
My intention has always been to use my blog as a way of doing things in real life. I never intended to go so deep into political philosophy, but I realised quite early on that while Liberalism needed to be picked apart and criticized it was also important to look deeper into Conservatism. I got a lot of support from other sites when I started and in my first two months I had over 500 visitors a month, but when I decided that I wanted to look more at Conservatism I lost around 2/3 of my visitors. It took a long time to get those numbers back up, I might add. I guess the theme of my blog is to try to explain Liberalism and Conservatism. The evils of Liberalism that is and the advantages of conservatism.
In the past few months I have had a bit of feedback but for a long time I hardly ever got any. Normally it is supportive and the very few angry emails are normally still intelligent. I have only ever deleted one email which was simply name calling. Although I have had some emails from married women telling me that I had influenced them not to reenter the workforce, which I was surprised but pleased to receive.
Why is Leftism so popular?
Leftism is so easy to understand and it has a logic of its own. Everyone is equal; that’s easy to understand, even though it’s completely nonsensical. The same goes for nearly any topic the Left pushes: they reduce it to a slogan and present that as policy. To the average person it can sound like all they are asking is for everyone to be nice to each other. It is only when you dig down that you find out the meat is riddled with maggots. Because Leftism is full of lies, instead of chanting “”Illegal immigrants are welcome,” they instead chant “Refugees are Welcome”. Here we have a clear lie with a clear slogan, but what it is not is complicated.
Can you tell us about yourself through a brief biography, and explain how you came to blogging.
I am a White working class Australian, 46, unmarried with no children and currently unemployed. So when I write about Liberalism, Feminism and Mass Immigration they are not academic subjects. I also served seven years in the Australian Army Reserves and I have a worthless University degree. My last job which finished last year was in the Operations room of a security company before they decided that my job could be done for a fraction of the price in the Philippines.
In early December 2010 I was about to finish a casual job and I was pretty angry with how things were going. I thought to myself I cannot be the only one in Australia who feels like this and I went online to see if I could find an Australian Conservative site and I found Oz Conservative. Here was a guy who really was Conservative and I sent him an email and it turned out we lived only a few suburbs away from each other so we met up. Over time I wanted to do more than just think and in March 2013 I started by blog. I got a lot of support from Mr. Richardson at Oz Conservative, he really encouraged me and has been a great supporter of mine which I very much appreciate. Blogging can be hard, thinking can be hard, writing can be hard and then feeling that you’re running on the spot can be hard, so it was good to have someone in real life who was more experienced to talk to.
Do you think there is a “dividing line” that separates people who are actually conservative from those attempting to use conservatism as a means-to-an-end, such as self-promotion?
Yes I do, as I said earlier Conservatives believe in Tradition, Order and Family. But most people who call themselves Conservatives are in fact Liberals. Liberalism has some advantages, it is extremely patient and logical, just to give an example it has been pushing equality since the 1830s and if you accept equality then why can’t two men marry each other? From the outside that might not seen logical but from the inside it absolutely is. But when Liberalism wins it also fouls its own nest. Because Liberalism is not about building a new world where two men can live in happily married bliss, it’s about destroying the old world were marriage exists. It is about breaking society down until there is only Autonomous Individuals and the Government and nothing else. But such a world will be unable to sustain itself.
So how can you tell the difference between an actual Conservative and a Liberal masquerading as a Conservative?
An actual Conservative will never say that an immigrant is better, or that we need more immigration, or immigration built this country. He will never support the idea that we are only an economy, he will not support equality and he will be conservative when it comes to society.
You argue for Constitutional Monarchy. What are the strengths of this system over democracy and absolute monarchy, and what is its Achilles heel or backdoor, a.k.a. how it can be subverted?
Constitutional Monarchy has already been subverted, that’s what Liberalism does; it subverts organisations and uses them to further their aims. I support a Constitutional Monarchy because it exists, Australia is a Constitutional Monarchy and I want it to continue to be. It helps maintain our relationship to Britain, the country that gave life to mine; it reminds us that we are part of a bigger and older world then the one our politicians and media want us to remember. It is a connection to our language, law, political system and social order. It is a reminder that we are not alone in this world but that there are other countries that are our kith and kin. The elites want Australia to be a republic and while the Constitutional Monarchy continues it stops them from getting it’s prestige and it is a reminder that we were once part of an Empire instead of the being the proto-republic they want us to be.
In the past the Constitutional Monarchy had power as well as prestige, today it only has prestige. but how the politicians want that prestige. The problem is Liberalism, it is an acid and it destroys everything it touches. Until it is destroyed nothing will work, not Democracy, not Absolute Monarchy, not Constitutional Monarchy.
In an absolute monarchy, can a king be replaced, and is it necessary to have a formal process for this?
If a formal process exists to remove a reigning Monarch then it isn’t an Absolute Monarchy.
Traditionally if a Monarch was unfit to rule a regent was appointed to rule in his place, but he was not replaced. To replace a Monarchy is to betray the very idea of Monarchy.
Your approach is somewhat unique in that you defend traditional practices both from a health/existential viewpoint and an economic one, for example in the article where you argue that having housewives instead of female cube slaves is good for society and the economy. Do you think many conservative ways are beneficial in parallel like this, and why do you think that is so, if so?
I do think that Conservatism is not just a bunch of social concerns, of course social issues are important but we also have economic issues we must address. Not free trade and other Liberal ideas, which are often called Conservative. But a genuinely Conservative approach to economics. Free market economics that support as much as is practical small business over big business. Big business is the
natural friend of Liberalism, I think small business can be ours.
Conservative thinking is often single issue thinking, Liberalism is much better than us here, it is always mutually supporting. We need to do that as well and I don’t think it’s that hard. The problem is that we do not dig deep into issues and cover as many bases as possible. To use housewives as an example, I thought about the larger economic effect, the effects on a families economics, the wider effects upon society, the effects it has on future generations as well as the personal effects. So often we only approach a topic from one direction, but when we come at an issue from more than one angle we find that it is often naturally mutually supporting.
Conservatism seems to be on a bit of a rebound. What caused the “crash” in Leftism worldwide? How can conservatism rise? What pitfalls does it need to avoid? And how does this relate to the split between traditionalist and modernist varieties of conservative?
What caused the “crash” in Leftism worldwide?
Liberalism went full retard and as we all know, you never go full retard. In the past you could come home from work and sit down in front of the TV and watch Matlock solve a crime and the ads would try to sell you a refrigerator. Today you come home from work where you had to listen to a lecture on diversity, Matlock is a woman who investigates the murder of a transgender by a White man and the refrigerator is sold to you by an immigrant and the ideal family is apparently two people of different races with their multiracial children. In the past you could escape Liberalism, but today there is no where you can escape.
How can conservatism rise?
So much is failing and so man y people can see it is failing. The old slogans are no longer working. We need to show people the heel and to remind them that it doesn’t need to be invented. Things once did work and while we cannot go back to the past we can use it to build the future. But to do that we need more than blogs, we need real world Conservative groups.
What pitfalls does it need to avoid? And how does this relate to the split between traditionalist and modernist varieties of conservative?
The most obvious is to not think that Classical Liberalism or Right Liberalism is Conservative. They call themselves Conservatives but they are not, we must be on the lookout for them as they will try to infiltrate us and take over our organisations. And if we don’t have organisations then we are not going to get anywhere. It will be the gatekeepers who will decide if we can continue because if they are good at keeping out the Liberals we will do find but if they are not then we will fail.
Thank you, Mark, for being with us today. Interested readers can visit him at Upon Hope blog for interesting CRX and trad perspectives.