Saturday, June 18, 2022

A Manifesto on National Conservatism

This is a clarifying document with much to like (even more so, seeing it moved one writer at the Washington Post to attack it as "fascist"). 

Some parts are just okay, though. 

The document can't reconcile America's role as the "indispensable nation" in world affairs with the current domestic populist isolationist zeitgeist. The United States is simply too powerful to assume that we can completely shrink from what the authors call "liberal imperialism." Political fashions come and go. We've had major populist movements for reform previously, which, for example, later tailed-off into a more New Deal-style liberalism, that is, radical progressive statism, etc. The same in foreign policy. Should Russia and China agree to formally ally against the U.S., and to threaten U.S. interests beyond Ukraine --- say, with a Russian war in Western Europe or the establishment of Chinese forward operating bases in Latin America --- things will change, and the U.S., in its role as the world's liberal hegemon, will be forced to act according to the pressures of national security in an anarchic world of interstate competition and power shifts. 

The manifesto's a product of the Edmund Burke Foundation and is endorsed by such big name MAGA-esque figures as Michael Anton, Victor Davis Hanson, and Julie Kelly, among others.

See, "National Conservatism: A Statement of Principles." It's a ten-point program. Here's 8-10:

8. Family and Children. We believe the traditional family is the source of society’s virtues and deserves greater support from public policy. The traditional family, built around a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, and on a lifelong bond between parents and children, is the foundation of all other achievements of our civilization. The disintegration of the family, including a marked decline in marriage and childbirth, gravely threatens the wellbeing and sustainability of democratic nations. Among the causes are an unconstrained individualism that regards children as a burden, while encouraging ever more radical forms of sexual license and experimentation as an alternative to the responsibilities of family and congregational life. Economic and cultural conditions that foster stable family and congregational life and child-raising are priorities of the highest order.

9. Immigration. Immigration has made immense contributions to the strength and prosperity of Western nations. But today’s penchant for uncontrolled and unassimilated immigration has become a source of weakness and instability, not strength and dynamism, threatening internal dissension and ultimately dissolution of the political community. We note that Western nations have benefited from both liberal and restrictive immigration policies at various times. We call for much more restrictive policies until these countries summon the wit to establish more balanced, productive, and assimilationist policies. Restrictive policies may sometimes include a moratorium on immigration.

10. Race. We believe that all men are created in the image of God and that public policy should reflect that fact. No person’s worth or loyalties can be judged by the shape of his features, the color of his skin, or the results of a lab test. The history of racialist ideology and oppression and its ongoing consequences require us to emphasize this truth. We condemn the use of state and private institutions to discriminate and divide us against one another on the basis of race. The cultural sympathies encouraged by a decent nationalism offer a sound basis for conciliation and unity among diverse communities. The nationalism we espouse respects, and indeed combines, the unique needs of particular minority communities and the common good of the nation as a whole.