Furthest Right

Confessions of a Reluctant Conservative

Very few of us started out wanting to be conservatives. I mean, the name even sounds boring, and most of the “conservatives” out there seem to be equal parts stupid, cowardly, and willing to enforce upon us this failing system.

When I grew up, conservatives were the guys who tossed you a Bible and a job application whenever you mentioned that society was failing. They believed in hard work, going to church, and stockpiling that 401(k) heartily.

As I grew older, conservatives were the people banning the music I wanted to listen to, forcing me to get carded in record stores, raising the price of cigarettes, and threatening to force prayer into schools.

They had no plan for the future, but were quick to tell us what was bad, even if they could not seem to articulate why it was bad or what they wanted instead. The Left at least seemed to have a plan that did not involve more time spent at jobs.

Everything they did seemed dumb and none of it was fun. This, to a young person, signals that conservatism is something best avoided, and we abbreviate it in our shorthand as “people who want to hold on to the past” which seems boring.

The thing about socializing when young is that just about anything works, for awhile. You have few obligations, some parental or community support, and can make anything work through your social network. As time goes on, this changes.

Specifically, you have to start making decisions. You tire of moving once every three months, and pick an apartment or house; you get bored by constantly bouncing between jobs and choose something in which to specialize; you hear the same jokes, excuses, “big plans,” dreams, visions, etc., in conversation enough to realize that almost all of them are thin face-value camouflage for the usual underlying motives, money, sex, and power.

At that point, you see how trivial and cheap everything is. Words are just words. People say all sorts of stuff and mean almost none of it; they are using their words to make you like them, manipulate you, or just fill time in conversation. None of this is serious; most of it is compensatory behavior, the type of churn that goes on when there is no achievable goal. Most of your friends will be bartenders, tour guides, entry-level IT support, and the like for their whole lives, so they have nothing to do really other than pretend, pose, and posture at being more important than they are.

In the ghetto, everyone has a mixtape. In the suburbs, everyone has a “project.” Usually it is some dream of an invention, a collection of rare things, a social event, or a great novel. Almost all of these end up abandoned because they were not serious in the first place, just a way to pass the time and seem unique and important enough to become a vital part of a social group.

I remember this one guy who set up a community group to demand safe parks or some other benevolent agenda. They raised money, held protests, gave interviews, and covered the place in flyers. Eventually, the effort fizzled when it became clear that, lo and behold, the reason we did not have safe parks was that it would cost millions a year to hire enough police to keep the apartment-dwellers who lived on three sides of the park area from killing each other. He didn’t care; he did it all just to impress a girl, and he married her and had three ugly children.

Once you see that most of what humans say is nonsense and will simply lead you down rabbit trails which waste all of your time, energy, focus, and money, you start getting cynical about humanity, which is correct, and this allows you to become less cynical about nature, the gods, and all of the good that life has to offer outside of socializing. You discover that what really matters in life exists between you and the dark infinite emptiness, and other people have little to contribute except by getting you off-track, something they take delight in doing because it makes them feel powerful.

At that point, you become a realist. You ignore opinion, feelings, peer pressure, experts, pundits, symbolism, and popularity, and focus on results in reality. If you need a sink installed in your workshop, you really do not care if Pazuzu himself shows up to install it; if he can do it on time for the right price, you have achieved your goal. Similarly, if a busload of orphans threatens your wife or child, you will kill them, every last one, and then hide the bodies so the democracy police do not round you up. If zombies show up and ask you where they can find some brains, you will point them to the neighboring town and then rush home to secure your own town. If some guy ODs on drugs in front of you, you will step over his twitching carcass rather than risk getting AIDS or hep from him. Animals are the ultimate realists: they take care of themselves and ignore everyone else. They have no socially-conditioned morality or obedience. They see no need to de-fang themselves just to make others feel at ease. A realist focuses on what he or she can verify is real, not what others think about it or whether or not recognition of it will destabilize society.

Realists differ from pragmatists. A pragmatist limits his thinking to what he believes to be the likely outcomes, given the group and its limitations. If he sees a UFO, he realizes that he will be portrayed as a whackjob if he mentions it, so he says he saw a weather balloon. If something goes wrong, he dramatizes it into a crisis and finds a scapegoat to blame. Pragmatists understand what the group will tolerate and are experts in manipulating the group, but that means that the group is their reality. They are not realists by any stretch of the imagination, since that would require accepting things beyond what the group accepts and therefore cannot be communicated. Pragmatists believe that there are universal truths, values, and communications and that they are defined by the group. Realists recognize that nothing is universal. A pragmatist works with what he knows can be achieved, which means that if he is on a boat and it has a minor emergency, he claims the boat is sinking because only that will motivate people, but if the boat is sinking, he downplays it as a minor emergency because otherwise people will panic. Pragmatists ruin everything they touch over time, despite having many early successes.

A conservative really begins life when realism dawns. This makes him a post-social entity, capable of analyzing life and using judgment — the ability to estimate degree, duration, quality, resilience, and side effects — to make choices about which things are better than others in certain contexts. As others have pointed out, life consists of few absolutes, but almost always trade-offs; you have multiple imperfect options and have to choose the best fit, given limitations like time, focus, energy, money, and the will of those around you (here is where realism overlaps somewhat with pragmatism). This means that the conservative exists beyond symbolism, or the search for ideals, and instead keeps ideals in the category of perpetual but never fully obtainable goals. He acts for what reality offers, and tries to carry through as many of his principles as possible, but balances everything against the ultimate test: quality of outcome in reality.

If a person decides to step out of the symbolic- and socially-mediated world in which most people live, he or she can no longer be part of Leftism, which consists of one idea only, egalitarianism. That idea refers to a symbolic reality in which the need of the individual to act without regard to consequences outweighs the need for social, natural, or moral order. Egalitarians believe in “equality” so that they, as individuals, are beyond criticism; it validates human herding behavior, where each person attempts to get close to the center of the action while fleeing the periphery where they are close to predators and irrelevance. Leftism requires a symbolic belief system, or ideology, while conservatism rejects the idea entirely.

To a conservative, symbolic belief systems (“ideologies”) are simply projection. They represent what people want to believe is true but also what does not exist in reality, which makes these systems highly unstable and therefore, prone to spread themselves as a means of controlling the narrative before someone notices that they are fantasy. This makes them both viral and parasitic, using people to spread themselves through language and image, while creating nothing but ruin in their wake.

A conservative therefore measures people by their moral goodness. How much have they resisted the virus? That requires honesty, some integrity, and a fair amount of sense of purpose. The people drifting around, doing a mediocre job of everything they touch, pursuing opportunism at the expense of others, and joining these destructive and moronic trends all lack that moral goodness.

In this framework, the base of conservatism is a form of eugenics or natural selection. We recognize that some people are good, and they really do not need laws; there are also a lot of people who are either bad or in the middle swaying back and forth, and no amount of laws or incentives will make these people behave well. If you want your community to rise, you keep the good and eject everyone else for a “quality over quantity” assessment. This is more like eugenics or natural selection than bureaucracy, which assumes that everyone is bad, stupid, and lazy and forces them to do what is correct through an elaborate maze of rules, regulations, incentives, and threats.

Conservatives recognize that good people are driven almost exclusively by creative purpose; that is, they see an opportunity and a glory attainable by addressing it (thymos), therefore they act. Bad people on the other hand respond only to their own fears and desires, which makes them impulsive and prone to favor novelty over quality. Nothing can remove the knowledge that we need some kind of eugenics, going back to the foundation of what we might call “conservatism” in Plato: good to the good, and bad to the bad. Much like natural selection, this filters and sorts a population so that the good rise to the top and the bad is excluded, improving the quality of that population over time.

In my experience, what makes people good is that they are competent. They have the ability to create, achieve, and influence their world, and therefore they have no use for manipulation, parasitism, and subversion. As strong and capable people, they would prefer to skip everything else and go ahead to do things which are useful to themselves and others, at which point they expect society will recognize what they have done and reward them. This alone makes a functional society, but such a society will tend toward the eugenic, removing those who contribute nothing without being forced because people of that nature degenerate civilization.

In other words, good people have an inner impetus to do good; bad people have a lack of impetus, therefore fall back on what they know, which is themselves, their fears, and their desires. Plato writes about the need for inner direction as a prerequisite to functional society:

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.

Conservatism tackles this issue, and Leftism will not. You need good people to have good results, and if your society rewards good people, they rise to the top and others emulate, which results in you having a group dedicated toward the aspirational and ascendant. If you do not do this, you end up with a group in which each person seeks only to increase his own power, fame, and wealth at the expense of civilization and nature, as well as the other people he victimizes. Refusing to remove the bad means that sociopaths rule you.

Once you go down that path of thought, it becomes clear that you cannot be a Leftist and also be aware enough of reality to achieve good results. I left Leftism because it did not achieve the results that we said we wanted, but no one cared because they were all gaming the system.

How do you game a society? You employ a tripartite strategy:

  1. Lead others to waste their time doing something self-destructive.
  2. Advance yourself by following token rules and cheating on the side.
  3. Do all this while suppressing knowledge that it is what you are doing.

In other words, this is a classic strategic position: harm others to raise yourself up, while concealing the fact that this is what you are doing behind some aegis of presumed goodness, like charity, equality, peace, religion, and so forth.

That approach fails over time because it is not creative. It divides up what exists and creates nothing new, since it is inherently anti-collaborative.

In the meantime, however, lots of people seize lots of stuff and feel really clever for having taken from others and gotten away with it. They become addicted to this pathology of destruction, since it makes them feel powerful and like they have successfully enacted revenge against the society that they secretly hate.

Such people go into denialism, which means that they assume that our civilization (as it is) is universally, absolutely, and objectively good, and therefore, that any other way is bad or at least inferior. They fear any other possibility for a way of life because that would make their existing condition sub-optimal, which would in turn force them to undergo the most difficult type of change, self-transformation to adapt to the new reality. This requires both creativity and self-discipline, and most people have only one or the other.

The pathology of destruction requires that they smash down anything which competes with their vision of what is good, which in actuality is a replacement for the good. This replacement requires them to declare that only that which is equal is good, and therefore anything unequal is not only not good but wholly bad. This means that they become agents of destroying anything strong, healthy, wise, intelligent, gentle, and orderly, since those things by the very fact of existing suggest that the egalitarian dream is not necessary and therefore, not objective, absolute, and universal as it purports to be. Someone in the grip of this pathology actually takes delight in demonic, destructive, unjust, and cruel behavior; to them, everything they destroy signals their own rise and importance, and lets them take revenge upon the world that by making them unequal, in their view, doomed them to misery as a personal affront.

People see rules as those rules apply to them personally as individuals; they rarely interpret them as policy, in the “golden rule” style case of, “if everyone does this, what will civilization look like?” Instead, they ask how it will be applied to them. When people hear “equality,” they think immediately: I can do whatever I want and not become a second-class citizen for it. They do not recognize the truth of nature over nurture, which is that what they choose to do reflects what they are; everything acts according to its nature, and the good do good by impulse as much as the mediocre propagate mediocrity.

Like liberalization, or the relaxing of standards to make the individual more important than social order, or its parent pacifism, which is the insistence on avoiding conflict being more important than resolving underlying issues, egalitarianism favors the neurotic ego over stimulus external to it. This includes the murky and thinly understood “inner self” of id, gut, and possibly soul, and external reality, which we only understand through our judgments of our perceptions of it, since these judgments are stored as memories that we use to navigate the world.

In this frame of mind, we can see how equality is simply individualism at the personal level. In groups, this individualism manifests as collective utilitarianism, or deferring to whatever pleases the largest number while offending the least number. This represents a risk reduction strategy: make as few enemies as possible while retaining as many allies as possible for the individual. This is herding behavior, by which the individual gains the group, but is then subject to decisions by the group, at which point the individual exploits the group out of a sense of perceived victimhood.

People like myself come from the realist state of mind that sees ultimate consequences in reality as the only important measure of an action or inaction; we take the opposite point of view as the symbolists, for whom all actions are communications (signals, gestures, tokens) made to the group, and consequences are secondary because of their utilitarian outlook. To them, a terrible decision made by the group is better than the conflict introduced by going against the will of anything more than a small number of the group, especially if that small number is a minority perceived as an underdog because of its lower power, fame, or wealth. Acting against the weak scares all members of the group by making them think that the actor is bound only by the rules of natural selection, not the auto-domestication inherent to pacifism that is required to keep the group together.

Our realism forces us out of the Left, and since the two sides are opposites — the Left favors the individual, where the Right favors Order — as realists we are shoehorned into the Right whether we like it or not because deferring to external reality represents an attempt to find Order. It rejects the individualism of the Left not directly but by passing it by as irrelevant, which enrages the Left because it proves them to be not necessary and therefore, destructive (things which are unnecessary but consume resources, including leadership, are innately destructive to the fortunes of the group).

I have said in the past that at heart I am a Leftist. This rings true for two reasons: I believe in the ideal of kindness, and I like the idea of an ever-evolving and ever-improving humanity. My problem with the Left is that they measure these things in terms of equality only, which means that they create a self-parasitizing society, because nothing in nature is equal because nothing in nature can be equal; equality means a lack of motion, a shortage of empty spaces, and an absence of possible goals. Like the Sunday school version of Heaven, where everyone sits around on white puffy cotton candy clouds and does nothing but bask in the balmy light of God’s grace, the Leftist ideal of Equality-Utopia suggests nothing but sterility, uniformity, repetition, conformity, obedience, and death.

In addition, there are some hippie aspects to my beliefs. I am an unabashed tree-hugger who believes that humanity must be limited so that nature has space to thrive, and I have sympathies for the underdog, the misfit, and the excluded. I see civilization as possibly evil, in that it always seems to include “progress” which means in its first version the dominance of industry and science over nature, and in its second the absolute reign of utilitarianism through equality and bureaucracy. I dislike the big corporate society around us, the slick products, and the constant booming televisions. I am more at home rambling around old country roads, walking through the woods, or hanging out on a neighborhood porch than I am fond of cities, nightclubs, bars, cinemas, courts, restaurants, mass pop culture events, or big box stores, but I recognize the utility of places like Walmart and Costco in making human life better by driving down costs.

My anarchist side says that basically if someone is a good person, you let them do what they want. I do not want to try to control people, or in other words manipulate the methods of their behavior in order to influence their thought; I want to separate the good from the bad, yeet the bad, and keep the good. Among the good, I think bedroom matters must remain private (this both requires their silence and our refusal to discuss the matter, as well as to refrain from harming them), people who grow weed in their backyard and smoke it should be left alone, and people who are non-conformists, eccentric, or socially awkward be accepted for who they are inside. I know, it reads like a Hallmark card or Joan Baez lyrics or something. Yet this too seems like commonsense realism to me.

I differ from the Left on matters of method. As I have said, their actions do not produce the results they claim to desire, which means that Leftists are insane, oblivious, or deceptive; honest people measure their intentions, actions, and outcomes against one another. In addition, I do not believe that their goals are good, including to the downtrodden. Their methods seem good, but they address surface problems as causes, and ignore the fact that people themselves must find a way to adapt to their environment. I favor charity for those who have suffered misfortunes, but those who are simply incompetent, insane, criminal, or selfish need to be moved on with the rest of the bad people. I sympathize with the plight of ethnic minorities, but I realize that diversity is fatal to a society. I encourage misfits of all types to find their niche and otherwise stay out of the way of the majority. My goal regarding the majority, on the other hand, is to introduce sanity and keep only the good ones, which reduces the social ills and bad behaviors that are so commonplace today.

As a nihilist, I recognize the duality of my somewhat anarchic natural selection. Nihilism can be defined simply:

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.

Translating this from the context of academic philosophy, which assumes like science that laboratory conditions extend to all areas of the globe, we get this more direct statement:

Nihilists believe that there are no universal truths, values, morals, or communications.

In other words, you may have a truth, value, moral, or communication in your mind, but it is locked there. Others can share in it to a degree if they are willing to meet you halfway in interpretation, but they do not have an exact copy because nothing in life is equal. Instead, they have their impression of your impression as it was communicated through tokens like gestures, language, symbols, emotions, and portrayals, including dream-like video. They will never understand what you do; they will appreciate their own version of it and nothing more. This also has a dark side.

Nihilism inherently creates hierarchy. That is, some methods are better than others, but this is only visible to those with the intelligence and honesty to see that. No method will appeal to everyone, just like no goal will, so in order to avoid choosing nothing and therefore repeating the past in a new form as Leftists do, we need hierarchy. Those who perceive and understand more rise in this hierarchy, while those who understand less are seen as non-participants in the questions for which their brains are not adapted. In this way, nihilism is both the most anarchistic philosophy and the most fascist simultaneously.

As with all things, there are exceptions. I believe that love can be communicated precisely because it is vague and does not need to be understood universally; it is in fact the most particular thing, such that one can love another without having to justify it or rationalize it in terms that the world will understand. It cannot be signaled, since the signals have all long since been corrupted, but it can be recognized and reciprocated. Love consists of appreciation and respect for another, taken to the level of wanting to incorporate that other into oneself to a degree. It is both entirely selfish and dominating, and also selfless and liberating.

Our current time occurred because society believed that it needed universalism. When it reaches a certain level of complexity, more than size, society becomes tempted by bureaucracy, or the need to assert an absolute truth that applies to all people and to marshall methods that they are permitted to use so that they fall in line and do what is necessary. By making itself a replacement for nature, meaning the cause-and-effect relationships mathematically inherent to our reality, bureaucracy turns itself into a system that is easily manipulated, and attracts as leaders those who intend to manipulate it for their own gain.

Much has been written about the downfall of Western Civilization. Was it the Illuminati, or the Jews? Maybe we can blame technology, as Kaczynski does, or the rich, as the Left does. In my view, it makes sense to look at the psychology of the individual as it interprets ideology and policy; through this lens, we can see that the notion of equality resembles a mental virus, replacing our idea of what is good in reality with a mindless drive toward greater equality through deferring to precedent. In this way, the worst aspects of conservatism and liberalism join in a single entity, doubling down on the sunk cost of a bad decision and defending it: “we have made this error and gone down this insane path, so let us try to patch it up and make it work.” This is the root of denialism, a belief that since equality is popular we can never get away from it, so we must argue from equality in order to rationalize conservatism. Both Buckley and Hitler attempted it and both met with failure.

The mental virus of equality takes hold because it determines the success of the individual. In a mass-oriented society, whatever flatters a plurality of the Crowd will immediately convey success to whoever spoke it, so the middle classes lead the way by learning how to speak the language of equality. Once they do this, it becomes clear that all of our public language consists of rationalizations of what we want in terms of the core ideal of equality. Political correctness simply takes this further by prohibiting any language or activity (read: methods) which do not advance equality. This is merely an instinctual extension of what has happened over the past centuries as equality has become a social ideal, meaning one that can be used in conversation to manipulate others.

At the root of equality we find human solipsism. People interpret ideology and policy in terms of themselves; to them, equality says that the individual is more important than social, natural, and divine order. This means that the individual can make any choice at a whim and suffer no consequences from society, which enables people to retreat further into the narcissism of the ego. Equality, after all, is a social trope; it is how you treat people in social groups, ensuring that they like you because you are both harmless — having agreed to the auto-domestication principle of being unwilling to use methods that harm others — and accepting, meaning that you will help them achieve what they desire. A vicious co-dependency results where people “validate” each other and their bad choices on the basis of being “nice,” which means harmless and accepting. At its core, “niceness” represents univeralism: “we are all the same mind, which means that we are all me, which means that I am more powerful than the gods and nature.”

No wonder this proves addictive. Western Civilization has died because the equality-virus ate it. We do not need to look for conspiratorial manipulators since the manipulators are us. We do not need to find a foreign enemy; the enemy is within, both by being us, and by being this mental virus in our heads. We keep doing the same things and hoping for different results because adopting equality requires that we rationalize all of our actions in terms of equality, and this in turn means that we have prohibited any of the methods — hierarchicalism, natural selection, realism, a quality-based assessment instead of utilitarianism — which might lead us away from equality. This leaves only a limited set of actions, and we repeat those pathologically, causing things to get worse every year while the denialism increases.

I turned to nihilism early in life in order to escape this pathological loop. Modern people operate in this framework: “Does it advance equality? If yes, good; if no, discard because people will attack you for thinking such heretical thoughts.” This means that equality serves as a replacement for reality. A nihilist sees equality as one of those false universals comprised of phantoms of the human mind like the idea that we can share truths, values, morals, and communications. By reverting to a focus based on realism, the nihilist sees Leftism as optional, something that terrifies Leftists because without the pretense of being objective, absolute, and universal, their philosophy disintegrates. If there are other options, Leftism is not necessary, and therefore people can live in other ways, at which point Leftism pales in comparison, much as the Soviet Union appeared grim and hopeless in contrast to the (relatively) free West. Nihilism says that you can choose Leftism if it works for you, but there is no realistic reason to favor it, so it is optional. A nihilist will avoid it much like he avoids any other superstition, trend, social trope, fad, tulip mania, panic, dancing sickness, or herding behavior in a group.

With fullness of knowledge, a nihilist will view Leftism through a eugenic lens. The philosophy of egalitarianism, when interpreted through the individual, means the ability to act arbitrarily without social consequences and therefore, to externalize the costs of individual survival to the group. We recognize this as parasitic behavior no different from the coronavirus, vines choking trees, mosquitoes, leeches, AIDS, and criminality. This externalization of costs, and the rationalization required to make it seem legitimate, constitutes the undoing of civilization and its reversion back to the mean, namely the subsistence-level existence which is common throughout the third world.

At some level, Leftists separate into two groups: self-conscious and un-self-conscious. The former group realizes that Leftism is basically a cover for their ability to get ahead, suppress others, and hide those facts; the latter group actually believes in Leftism as an ideal and thinks that the “good news” of Communism is possible in reality (spoiler: no). To a nihilist, this means that the first group are sociopaths and the latter group are insane and possibly idiotic, which calls for a response that removes both groups, since sociopaths, schizophrenics, and idiots all result from a buildup of deleterious mutations and society is healthier if they and their descendants are removed from the gene pool. This response gets beyond politics, and sees politics as a type of signaling, one which reveals who has a high mutation load in contrast to the healthy. A nihilist civilization would include massive peat bogs filled with the bodies of Leftists and other mental and physical defectives, including much of the Republican party.

Most conservatives belong to the rearguard variety of denialists. Healthy enough to have resisted the Leftist virus in full, they nonetheless realize that democracy is egalitarian and therefore inherently Leftist, and recognize that this means that the “arc of history” will swing to the Left until it suddenly ends in third world style collapse, much like the Soviet Union or post-Revolutionary France. Consequently, conservatives try to resist full Leftism, but to do so, they argue for conservatism in terms of Leftist rationalization, which leads to ludicrous statements about how conservatism represents “real equality” while the Left is “fake equality” (but it sends you money). The “Uniparty” comes from the fact that our conservatives, in order to be socially acceptable enough to win elections, become mostly Leftist.

If I could list the reasons for my deep hatred of conservatives, it would take up five times the length of this already-expanding essay. Since they cannot endorse actual conservatism, or Order-over-Individualism, and recognize that their actual thinking is ends-over-means instead of the means-over-ends theory of the Left that allows them to limit methods in order to control thinking, conservatives are forced into a position of pursuing symbolic issue. This is how we got a Satanic panic, obscenity stickers on records, gay-bashing, anti-abortion crusade, and debate over prayer in schools instead of tackling the entitlements state which took over in the 1930s and 1960s. Republicans have given up on achieving their goals, and this makes them toxic, with a few exceptions who are committed to acting like a cadre, that is, by sabotaging anything Leftist without telegraphing that this is what they are doing. The best among the conservatives — Reagan, Trump, Nixon — found their hands tied by having to compromise not only with the Left, but with their own party as it tried to compromise with the Left to the point that it was willing to give up on winning the Cold War, something that apparently continues with at least China and possibly Russia to this day.

Mainstream conservatives tend to be liars selected for their unwillingness to cross taboo lines rather than their effectiveness, and the conservative philosophy of trying to slow down inevitable Leftism always leads to failure because it has no positive goals. It lets the Left set the agenda, and then tries to resist it, without choosing a goal of its own independent of Leftism and pointing out that Leftism is optional but we can have a good life if we stop burning down our society to warm up equality. Conservatives give up because they know that in any group of humans, if we leave it up to conversation at the cocktail bar, people will defer to what they think others want, and end up with a philosophy like “Libertarian Communism”: everyone can make lots of money, but we’ll take most of it so that we can subsidize the Others and the Poor, but you will not notice this from your comfy home in the suburbs.

In my view, society needs a strong central authority that does very little. Its job is to set goals and then reward those who achieve them, in parallel to natural selection, which sets a framework for adaptation and rewards the organisms that fulfill it. It should raise up the good, and smash down the bad, and then simply get out of the way and let culture do the rest. Otherwise, it should leave people alone, and my anarchist/hippie side says that the Right will fail any time it attempts to impose an order that regulates behavior, since all this does is allow the degenerate to walk among us while assuming responsibility for the outcome of their behavior. A good government works like nature: it rewards the good by using them to steward nature, wealth, technology, knowledge, and culture; it removes the outright bad, and leaves those in the middle to be sorted by culture and social hierarchy. Dave and Steve living in a bungalow and causing no problems do not come on its radar, nor does Zero the Hero living alone in his trailer near a patch of primo sinsemilla. Our goal is Order, and that requires getting people out of the well of narcissism, which requires that they have responsibility for their actions, which in turn requires that government never regulate method, only reward outcomes.

Your average modern conservative would balk at this, which explains what defines them: they are creatures of popularity. Aboveground, they pander for votes; in the underground, they appeal to the myths of Christian fundamentalism, neo-Nazism, and Libertarianism all merged into one chimera of grotesque proportions. In both cases, what the audience wants to believe — wishful thinking — takes precedence over knowledge, gut instinct, and common sense. This destroys the conservative by making them an irrelevant caricature of their own beliefs.

All of this makes me a reluctant conservative. I did not want to be one and am as uneasy among them as I am among religious fanatics or a corporate boardroom. I do not trust people who pursue symbol over reality, and a lifetime of work with language and symbol has hardened that resolve. I ended up on the Right because it can be redeemed, where Leftism never can be anything but parasitism, but it will take a great deal of work before the Right is ready for anything resembling power.

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