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The Communist Origins Of Modern American Free Speech

Anti-anti-communism used to be a mainstay of left-liberal opinion. Even the nominally “anti-communistic” faction of social democrats and socialists from the DSA and Dissent magazine camps — the Irving Howes, the Michael Harringtons, the Tom Kahns — expressed their anti-communism to the extent that they denounced “totalitarian” encroachments on liberal values of some sort. However, anti-anti-communism is now a part of the political right also. Bolsheviks didn’t like homos, either! Stalin outlawed

Communalists and Constitutionalists

Liberalism and democracy are not the same, as I've mentioned in the context of the doctrinaires and ancients v. moderns. "Illiberal democracy" is used as an epithet to refer to various top-heavy presidential or parliamentary republics where elections serve a mostly symbolic role to give the dog (the public) a bone. And I don't mean blow them like in the AC/DC song. Although, figuratively, this may indeed be it. But that's quite a limited way of grasping the distinction. Instead let's use a dicho

The Murder Of Tradition

Our “progressive” obsessions for change neglect to consider consequences. Change is demanded for the sake of a fad or a slogan: “equality”, “democracy”, “reproductive rights”... Even a word of caution is damned as “reactionary”, “old-fashioned”, or “fascist”. Traditions, customs, beliefs, are regarded as being as transient as the planned obsolescence of computers. The assumptions by the “positivists” is that history is a straight light on “progress” from “primitive” to “modern”, and that anythin

Every Knee Shall Bow: Against The Cult Of Sport In America

LEAR …whoreson dog! you slave! you cur! OSWALD I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon LEAR [striking him] Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? OSWALD I’ll not be struck, my lord. KENT Nor tripped neither, you base football player! -King Lear; Act I, Scene iv Sport and spectacle define a society in the midst of decay. Absent the glories of war and the satisfaction of creation, the spiritually deteriorated man finds substitutes for true accomplishment in sport. At their height,

Sir Robert Filmer Refuted

King Clothar had ordered all the churches of his kingdom to pay into his treasury a third of their revenues. But when all the other bishops, though grudgingly, had agreed to this and signed their names, the blessed Injuriosus [Bishop of Tours] scorned the command and manfully refused to sign, saying, "If you attempt to take the things of God, the Lord will take away your kingdom speedily because it is wrong for your storehouses to be filled with the contributions of the poor whom you yourself ou

Old School Cuckservatism

The French historian Auguste de Gerando recounts an exchange between members of the Hungarian high and low nobility, in his Transylvanian travelogue published in 1845: One day [one of these] gentlemen came to complain to a neighboring magnate. He took off his hat, which he held in his hand while the lord listened to him. The latter induced the gentleman to cover himself, for the weather was cold. "I will not do it," said the gentleman. "I know what respect I owe you." "What?," replie

A Confucian Take On History: The Book Of Documents

When beginning a study of Confucianism, the most common starting-point is the Analects of Confucius, a reasonable choice since it's the most easily available book of the Confucian canon as well as the book most that gives us the most material from Confucius himself. When reading it, though, one quickly realises that Confucius draws a great deal of his teaching from prior sources. "A transmitter and not a maker," he describes himself in Book VII, Chapter I of that work, "believing in and loving t

Herostratos Rising, or: When Boomers Attack!

At the nadir of the Trojan War, with the Achaeans demoralized and defeated and King Agamemnon suggesting sailing home, Ajax and Odysseus were sent in a final effort to recruit Achilles back into the Achaean ranks. The hero, wounded by Agamemnon, is complimented, cajoled, and exhorted by Odysseus to fight for the Greeks against Troy—and then rejects them, declaring My [immortal] mother Thetis tells me that there are two ways in which I may come to my end. If I stay here and fight, I shall lose